The Grand Master’s Stance on the Relationship Between O.T.O. And A∴A∴


We have received an increasing number of inquiries regarding the relationship between O.T.O. and A∴A∴. Crowley describes the relationship in several documents:

O.T.O. “does not include the A∴A∴, with which august body it is, however, in close alliance.”

Liber LII, Manifesto of the O.T.O.

“Thou wilt note that We have written unto thee more as a member of the O.T.O., than in they capacity as of the A∴A∴, for the former organization is coordinate and practical, and concerns itself with material things. But remember this clearly, that the Law cometh from the A∴A∴, not from the O.T.O.. This Order is but the first of the great religious bodies to accept this Law officially, and its whole Ritual has been revised and reconstituted in accordance with this decision.”

Liber CCC, Khabs am Pekht

“…the A∴A∴ concerns the individual, his development, his initiation, his passage from “Student” to “Ipsissimus”; he has no contact of any kind with any other person except the Neophyte who introduces him, and any Student or Students whom he may, after becoming a Neophyte, introduce…The details of this Pilgrim’s Progress are very fully set forth in One Star in Sight…Now, in the O.T.O., the object of the ceremonies being the Initiation of the Candidate, it is he whose Path in Eternity is displayed in dramatic form.”

Magick Without Tears, Chapter 13, “System of the O.T.O.”
The A∴A∴ is a hierarchical teaching, testing and initiatory system dedicated to the personal spiritual advancement of its individual members. Within A∴A∴ all services are rendered free of charge, and no social activities are held. A∴A∴ is not incorporated, holds no copyrights or trademarks, and charges no dues or fees. It has no monetary income, and it operates no dues-collecting front groups. It is largely dependent on O.T.O. for assistance with practical matters that lie outside its primary mission, which is purely spiritual in nature. For example, it is O.T.O., not A∴A∴, which holds the Crowley copyrights, O.T.O. and A∴A∴ jointly issue the journal The Equinox, and A∴A∴ initiation events and lectures are often hosted by local O.T.O. bodies.

Nevertheless, despite their close relationship (as well as certain structural similarities and a strong, mutual interest in the life and works of Aleister Crowley), O.T.O. and A∴A∴ are distinctly separate organizations with their own curricula, customs, rituals, spheres of operation, means and methods; and neither is subordinate to the other. Both Orders serve the cause of promulgating the Law of Thelema (which–let us not forget–emanated from the Third Order of the A∴A∴ via Crowley), and there is a considerable amount of productive cross-membership; however, it is possible to advance to quite high levels in either organization without formal initiation in the other.

The hierarchical structure of the A∴A∴ revolves around the relationship between the individual aspirant, the person who introduced him, and the persons whom he may have introduced himself. However, the A∴A∴ system is not merely a collection of independent teacher-student relationships, it has an organized administration consisting of (unpaid) governing officers who are in charge of such matters as internal curriculum, admissions, records, and relations with other organizations.

In recent years, a variety of individuals and groups have asserted themselves as legitimate successors to the administration of A∴A∴ that existed under the external leadership of Aleister Crowley. It is not the place of the O.T.O. to judge the spiritual merits or ultimate “validity” of these various claimants, but it is also not the case that O.T.O. can have a “close alliance” and working relationship with a multiplicity of A∴A∴ administrations. For its purposes, O.T.O. recognizes a single administration of A∴A∴ The contact information for that administration is:


93, 93/93

originally posted

posted 7/17/15 EV


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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