Every year here at Leaping Laughter, Scott Stenwick (with the help of Michele Montserrat, Maurine Stenwick, and Harper Feist, plus various readers of the text) presents a 22-night series of rituals of the Office of the Readings. It is a reading of various sacred texts written by Crowley and the Saints of the EGC performed from the Spring Equinox through the nights of the Reading of the Book of the Law. We go through a series of rituals that take us through all the 22 paths of the Tree of Life, we sing a hymn for Nigredo, Albedo, Rubeus, and there is appropriate music for each section played during the introit. The details of the ritual can be found here:
I’ve been doing this for three or four years now, and every year I go through a process of initiation. My partner and I had to deal with a diagnosis of breast cancer one year, and the readings took on a very poignant flavor, each with amazing import that revealed a thing about ourselves and our experience of this existence that we manifest. Then there was a custody dispute that arose over my kids and my ex, and that was mirrored in the events of the Readings. This year, my partner prepares to take over the Body Master position of the lodge, and it’s a whole different set of meanings and insights we walk away with, each night. These rites are communal, and personal, all at the same time. They provide a framework to experience what we do as Thelemites, and a moment to take a look at what we’re doing individually.
And every night, I write a blog post in my head, but every morning it’s gone. Y’all don’t even know how cool they were.
Really cool. Super blog posts. Terrific.
I suspect that’s probably for the best, but I intend, one year, to get the experiences I feel each night into a separate instance to share publicly… but this is not that year.
But man, we go through all the holy books, and writings of the Saints, and an awesome invocation, and meditation, and it’s just amazing. I get the value of “Liturgy.” We plug into something that’s above us. We are reminded nightly that we are to get ourselves to the house of the Beloved. We sing hymns that were written and performed by people who are still shaping the OTO and its impact on the world. We come together as a community, and interact in our own ways together, experiencing the evoked rays of the spheres and signs and elements in ways that are both tribally uniting, and personally inspiring.
If your local body isn’t doing this kind of thing regularly, talk to Scott Stenwick. He’s been doing it since dinosaurs walked the Earth. Excellent resource, and an amazing opportunity to go through our Holy Books, and to create an annual ordeal that takes you through each of the paths of the Tree in a way that speaks to us personally, enlightening our minds, encouraging our hearts, and putting a useful strain on our bodies as we strive to make it to a nightly thing 22 nights in a row.
It creates an alchemical fire that transforms me anew yearly.
Many thanks to Scott and those who support him in this endeavor. Join us if you’re local, start doing them if you’re not. Good stuff, people.