Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
In honor of Grady Louis McMurtry, who was born on this day, October 18, in 1918 – here is a slightly extended version of a short blurb I wrote a few years back…
Grady Louis McMurtry (October 18, 1918 – July 12, 1985):
Grady McMurtry, also known as Hymenaeus Alpha 777, met Crowley while stationed in Europe and served as a Lieutenant in the United States Army during the second World War. Grady first visited Crowley at 93 Jermyn Street on October 30th, 1943 and the two immediately struck a chord and fast became friends. Crowley was clearly impressed by the young officer and shortly appointed Grady to the IX° of the Ordo Templi Orientis. Grady, who was a regular at Agape Lodge in Pasadena, California, was only a I° at the time. His magical motto, Hymenaeus Alpha, was suggested to him by Crowley in a letter dated November 19th, 1943.
Grady had the unique privilege of being a direct student of Crowley, from whom he received instruction in many of the Thelemic mysteries including practices usually reserved exclusively for members of the A∴A∴—which begs one to ponder as to exactly why. Crowley went far and beyond what would be required of a IX° when instructing Grady and clearly imparted unto him matters which he had not discussed with any other—as per his own words. Exactly what these matters were and why all the special treatment is a matter of some conjecture, but as of today, remains a mostly unexplored topic. (I am working on that.)
Crowley would further distinguish Grady when sending him a series of letters, referring to him as the “Caliph” (or his successor), granting him certain powers of authority that Grady later enacted when restarting the O.T.O. in the 1970’s. Ultimately Grady became one of Crowley’s most trusted allies and remained a close personal friend until his death in 1947.
Grady officially joined the A∴A∴, becoming Soror Meral’s first student, in March of 1970. Today, Grady is best known for reviving the fraternal organization of the Ordo Templi Orientis, which he headed from 1971 until his death in 1985. He was later canonized by Hymenaeus Beta and is now considered a Saint of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. In May of 1998, the Grand Master Sabazius instituted the Orders of the Lion and of the Eagle as a way of formally recognizing “men and women of the past who have contributed in diverse but important ways to the development and advancement of the great principles of our Order.” And Grady, along with Soror Meral, was inducted into this noble Order in August of 2018.
In retrospect, it is hard to deny Grady’s place in history—he shall forever stand as one of the most influential Thelemites who ever lived.
Grady, thank you for fulfilling the tasks laid at your feet by Crowley; I can’t imagine what the Thelemic community would look like today without your contributions. You have touched many more then you could have ever realized— we all owe a great deal of gratitude.
(This article was first published at AstrumArgenteum.org)
For further reading I highly recommend “In the Name of the Beast” – Volumes one and two – A Biography of Grady Louis McMurtry by J. Edward Cornelius, my own former teacher.
Love is the law, love under will