James Branch Cabell Inducted into the Order of the Lion

James Branch Cabell was inducted into O.T.O.’s Order of the Lion August 2018 E.V. Dionysius Rogers’ nominating essay has since been posted. It begins:

“James Branch Cabell (1879–1958) was a pioneering American fantasist, widely but briefly appreciated by the reading public. Although it was far from his first, Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice was easily Cabell’s most famous novel. It features the travels of the eponymous pawnbroker as he transacts amorous intrigues with a series of women from myth and fable. The picaresque medieval fantasy of Jurgen includes ample satire kicking against the customary morality of Cabell’s contemporaries. It was first published in 1919, and enjoyed a great deal of fame because of the prompt effort to suppress it undertaken by Anthony Comstock’s New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, then headed by John H. Sumner, who brought an obscenity case against the book. After two years of highly-publicized trial, the court found in favor of the defendants, Cabell and his publisher Robert M. McBride and Company…

“All of this talk of the symbolic value of weapons seems to emphasize their centrality to the obscenity charge against Jurgen, and to Cabell’s defense. In correspondence with his friend and editor Guy Holt during the course of the trial, Cabell wrote:

‘I have solved the problem of the Lance ceremony, which is taken from The Equinox, Volume III, pp. 250-258. You have this volume, I know …. It is also perhaps of importance that these ceremonies were originally printed in a fifteen cent magazine, the International, which was never arraigned for lewdness; since fifteen cents is considerably less than a dollar and seventy-nine.’


“The ‘Lance ceremony’ in question is Chapter 22 of Jurgen, ‘As to a Veil They Broke,’ which takesplace in the land of Cocaigne, where ‘There is no law … save, Do that which seems good to you.’ The greater part of the chapter is a sentence-for-sentence paraphrase of the first passages of the liturgy of the O.T.O. Gnostic Mass, through the Ceremony of the Opening of the Veil. Cabell did have the original text, as it had been sent to him by Crowley himself.”

Read the whole essay:


FYI – The Grand Master Sabazius instituted the Order of the Lion and the Order of the Eagle on May 1 1998 EV with this announcement:

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

“As most probably realize, the Law of Thelema was not entirely the result of praeterhuman forces. Crowley, as a scholar and even in his role as Prophet, was strongly influenced by the lives, ideas and works of many men and women who came before him. The road to The Book of the Law was built over many, many years by many, many hands now long stilled. So it is with all the Great Principles of our Order, spiritual, philosophical, and practical.

“The roots of our Order extend deeply into history, well before the advent of the New Aeon and the birth of such men as Crowley, Reuss, Kellner, and Doinel. It is these roots which have provided, and continue to provide, food and water to the Scarlet Flower that grows in the enclosed garden of our Order; and we must know and appreciate those roots if we are to truly know and appreciate that Flower.

“With this in mind, I have decided to establish a program within the U.S. Grand Lodge which will formally recognize 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. Men so recognized will receive an honor called the Order of the Lion; women will receive the Order of the Eagle. Nominees for these honors must be historical (as opposed to purely mythological) men and women, and must have died at least eleven years before award.”

Read the entire announcment: https://oto-usa.org/usgl/lion-eagle/?fbclid=IwAR0xB4KoGGJcVIcaNG7VuYJP9LuQZbbxU70-RH8dXKm-KUsmCN1HP8CHieg


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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