It is our honor to publish the Opening Remarks From Notocon X by the Electoral College’s president, David Hill:
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Or as we say in Texas, do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, y’all. I’m honored to be kicking off the 10th NOTOCON! I would like to begin by thanking the members of Scarlet Woman Lodge, Bubastis Oasis, and 718 Camp as well as all of the members of U.S. Grand Lodge who helped to make this gathering possible. Welcome to Austin everyone! I can’t express how overjoyed I’ve been at seeing messages from everyone as you’ve been arriving here in Austin for our biennial gathering.
The theme for this 10th National OTO conference is Fire of Motion. Fire of motion brings up images of the heat of the scorching Texas summer: the sound of morning doves cooing to warn of the impending heat of the day and of cicadas droning away in the afternoon. The kind of heat that transforms into sultry Texas nights. It brings up thoughts of frenetic activity and friction. For me, it reminds me of the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of flaming poi spinning around my body and sweat earned from dancing all night under the stars.
However, “Fire of Motion” is a small part of a larger quote from the Collects of our Gnostic Mass. It’s worth visiting that quote in full:
Lord secret and most holy, source of life, source of love, source of liberty, be thou ever constant and mighty within us, force of energy, fire of motion; with diligence let us ever labour with thee, that we may remain in thine abundant joy.
* So mote it be!
Lord secret and most holy, unto Him do we gather. That secret Lord that is the source of love and liberty, the force of energy and the fire of motion. The active, generative, and creative element within every one of us. The source of abundant joy. May we join together to manifest our creative visions within the bonds of fraternity. May our shared visions lead us to greater heights of manifestation both individually and as an Order.
We are few. Compare the number of OTO members in the United States to the population as a whole. We are the merest fraction of a fraction of one percent of the entire population of this country. We are the few and the secret! Look around you, my brethren. These are your comrades. These are the men and women who will bear witness to and support you on your Path of Going during your sojourn among us.
The word “fraternity” is defined as a group of people sharing a common profession or interests. I would like to believe that in the case of our Holy Order, fraternity runs deeper than that. Our common interests and beliefs are eloquently stated in The Book of the Law and the Holy Books of Thelema. Some of the beliefs that we all regularly profess are summarized in our Creed as well as the statement that OTO is dedicated to the high purpose of securing the Liberty of the Individual and his or her advancement in Light, Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, and Power through Beauty, Courage, and Wit, on the Foundation of Universal Brotherhood. It is with these high ideals in mind that we gather together this weekend.
In cases of conflict, learn to treat each other charitably. We are few, and we deserve the support of our brethren. We have divergent views, and that is to be encouraged! Our prophet did not wish to father a flock or to be the fetish of fools and fanatics. Cognitive diversity is to be encouraged as it leads us away from the fatal trap of groupthink. Crowley also said, “intolerance is evidence of impotence.” I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
Liber 194 indicates that OTO:
Combines monarchy with democracy; it includes aristocracy, and conceals even the seeds of revolution, by which alone progress can be effected. Thus we balance the Triads, uniting the Three in One; thus we gather up all the threads of human passion and interest, and weave them into an harmonious tapestry, subtly and diligently with great art, that our Order may seem an ornament even to the Stars that are in the Heavens at Night. In our rainbow-coloured texture we set forth the glory of the whole Universe-See thou to it, brother Magician, that thine own thread be strong, and pure, and of a colour brilliant in itself, yet ready to mingle in all beauty with those of thy brethren!
Enjoy your time together here in Austin, my brethren. You are my chosen family, and I love you all especially those who I disagree with. You are the greatest of my teachers. So feast and rejoice! Love another with burning hearts! May we all attain unto the axle of the wheel, yay, unto the axle of the wheel. Aum. Ha!
Love is the law, love under will.
It is now my pleasure to introduce my friend and brother, Brandon Jenkins. Brandon was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and currently resides here in Austin, Texas. He has released 13 albums since his career began in 1994. Brandon is a seminal figure in the Red Dirt country music scene. Brandon has a real gift as a songwriter. His lyrics pull no punches.
The first time I saw Brandon play, it was just him and a guitar on stage. I was blown away by his lyrics and his fantastic voice. I hope that you all enjoy his music. Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to welcome you all to Austin. Brandon Jenkins!
watch a live performance by Brandon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG6oJbj-uBg