FRATERNITAS LUCIS HERMETICAE
MYSTERIA, MYSTICA, MAXIMA
PEACE, TOLERANCE, TRUTH:
SALUTATION ON ALL POINTS OF THE TRIANGLE:
RESPECT TO THE ORDER.
To all whom it may concern: Greeting and Health.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The letters O.T.O stand for Ordo Templi Orientis, the Order of Oriental Templars, or Order of the Temple of the East. O.T.O. is an Outer Thelemic Order which 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.
O.T.O. is the first of the great Old Æon orders to accept The Book of the Law, received by Aleister Crowley in 1904 e.v., with its message of a New Æon in human thought, culture and religion based upon a single supreme injunction: the Law of Thelema, which is Do what thou wilt. This Law is not to be interpreted as a license to indulge every passing whim, but rather as the mandate to discover one’s True Will and accomplish it; leaving others to do the same in their own unique ways. “Every man and every woman is a star.”
The Law of Thelema can ultimately be fulfilled only through the efforts of each individual. Nevertheless, many worthy aspirants of the Great Work has a genuine need for information, guidance, fellowship, or the opportunity to assist their fellow aspirants and serve humanity.
The United Kingdom Grand Lodge is a duly chartered Grand Lodge and National Section of Ordo Templi Orientis. All initiate members of O.T.O. who reside in the United Kingdom (including U.K. territories and dependencies) are members of the U.K. Grand Lodge. Membership in the U.K. Grand Lodge of O.T.O. confers membership in O.T.O. (international).
INITIATION AND INSTRUCTION
The structure of O.T.O., like that of Freemasonry and the ancient mystery schools, is based on a series of initiations or degrees, most of which are conferred ceremonially. In the Rituals of these degrees, O.T.O. seeks to instruct the individual by allegory and symbol in the profound mysteries of Nature, and thereby to assist each to discover his or her own true identity.
The degrees of O.T.O. are divided into three Grades or “Triads”: the Hermit, the Lover, and the Man of Earth, as shown in the accompanying table:
|The Third, or Man of Earth, Triad||O°||Minerval|
|I°||Man and Brother / Woman and Sister|
|IV°||Perfect Magician and companion of the Holy Royal Arch of Enoch|
|Perfect Initiate, or Prince of Jerusalem|
|Outside all Triads||Knight of the East and West|
|The Second, or Lover, Triad||V°||Sovereign Prince Rose-Croix, and Knight of the Pelican and Eagle|
|Knight of the Red Eagle, and Member of the Senate of Knight Hermetic Philosophers|
|VI°||Illustrious Knight (Templar) of the Order of Kadosch, and Companion of the Holy Graal|
|Grand Inquisitor Commander, and Member of the Grand Tribunal|
|Prince of the Royal Secret|
|VII°||Theoreticus, and Very Illustrious Sovereign Grand Inspector General|
|Magus of Light, and Bishop of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica|
|Grandmaster of Light, and Inspector of Rites and Degrees|
|The First, or Hermit, Triad||VIII°||Perfect Pontiff of the Illuminati|
|Epopt of the Illuminati|
|IX°||Initiate of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis|
|X°||Rex Summus Sanctissimus|
|XI°||Initiate of the Eleventh Degree (This degree is technical, and has no relation to the general plan of the Order)|
|XII°||Frater Superior, and Outer Head of the Order|
Every man and woman of full age, free and of good report has an indefeasible right to the first three degrees of O.T.O. These “first three degrees” actually include all the degrees in the Man of Earth Triad; as the Minerval is considered a prologue to the First Degree, and the Fourth and P∴I∴ Degrees are considered pendants to the Third Degree.
The Man of Earth degrees follow a pattern based on the symbolism of the chakras and the stages of Kundalini Yoga. They also represent, in dramatic form, the individual’s Path in Eternity. In the 0º, the Ego, a wandering God, is attracted to the Solar System. In the Iº the Child experiences Birth. In the IIº, the Man or Woman experiences Life. The IIIº represents the Death of the individual, and the IVº represents the world beyond Death, the glorified state of the Initiate. In the P.’.I.’. Degree, the initiate symbolically achieves the ultimate Perfection, and the entire cycle is withdrawn into Annihilation.
Of these Stations upon the Path, all but the IIº represent single critical experiences. We are however concerned with Life in all its variety, and therefore all degrees above P.’.I.’. are elaborations of the IIº, a progressive instruction in how to live, since in a single ceremony it is hardly possible to sketch, even in the briefest outline, the Teaching of Initiates with regard to Life. The Vº-IXIIº rituals and teachings are therefore instructions in the Mastery of Life. There is instruction in Hermetic Philosophy, Qabalah, Magick and Yoga, all intended to prepare the candidate for the sex magical techniques of the highest degrees of O.T.O.
In addition to the official O.T.O. instructions, many of the local O.T.O. Lodges, Oases and Camps offer supplementary instruction to their members. The particular form of this supplementary instruction depend on the character and capabilities of the particular body, it may be provided in the form of classes, seminars, study programs, or publications.
As of 2005e.v. O.T.O. has nearly 3500 members and is active to varying extents in 54 countries. Membership in O.T.O. is private in the sense that names and addresses are not released to anyone, including O.T.O. officers lacking need to know, without prior express or implied consent of the individual members concerned.
Initiate membership can only be conferred in a physical ceremony by a properly chartered initiator. Initiate membership is subdivided by degree.
The Minerval Degree (0º) is an introductory initiate degree, designed to allow the aspirant to decide whether or not to become a full member. The First Degree (Iº) bestows full membership upon the initiate. A First Degree initiate may retire from active participation in O.T.O., but the spiritual link forged between the initiate and the Order during the ceremony of the First Degree will remain throughout the initiate’s life. Progress of the O.T.O. initiate toward the Fourth and P.’.I.’. degrees is usually a matter of years, as a certain amount of time is usually required to allow full maturation of the effects of the O.T.O. initiations. Beyond the degree of P.’.I.’., advancement is by invitation only.
In order to seek admission to the Minerval degree, candidates should contact their local or otherwise preferred body to express their interest in joining.
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