The initials themselves stand for O(rdo) T(empli) O(rientis). This
is apparently a Latin phrase, as described below:
As to Latin grammar, "templi" is the genitive case of "templum" =
"temple"; in the genitive case it translates as "of the temple."
"Orientis" is the genitive case of "Oriens," which can either be an
adjective meaning "Eastern" or a noun meaning "The East." Hence "Ordo
Templi Orientis" is ambiguous and may correctly be translated either as
"The Order of the Eastern Temple" or "The Order of the Temple of the
East." Also, Latin doesn't have words for "a" or "the," which you have
to supply from context; so one might change some or all of the "the's"
to "a's" or leave them out.
Robert Mathiesen, Brown University, SL500000@BROWNVM
Regarding the history (of the 'Caliphate OTO'):
"In 1895, Karl Kellner (1850-1905), a wealthy Austrian industrialist
and paper chemist, as well as a high-grade Mason, founded the Ordo
Templi Orientis. Kellner had traveled widely in the East, where he
met three adepts who instructed him specific magical practices.
Kellner's efforts to develop the Order were later assisted by Franz
Hartmann, Heinrich Klein and Theodore Reuss, who had worked together
prior to joining the O.T.O. The Order was first proclaimed in 1902
in Reuss's Masonic publication, 'Oriflamme'. On Kellner's death,
Reuss succeeded him as Outer Head [O.H.O.]. The 'Jubilee' edition of
the 'Oriflamme', published in 1912, announced that the Order taught
secret of sexual magic.
"Theodore Reuss was an interesting character. Born June 28, 1855 in
Augsburg, he entered Masonry in 1876. He was a singer, journalist and
possibly a spy for the Prussian political police, infiltrating the Socialist
League founded by Karl Marx's daughter and her husband. Reuss was
later associated with William Wynn Westcott, a leader of the Golden
Dawn, who later introduced him to John Yarker. Yarker chartered Reuss to
found the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim in Germany. After several
attempts to concretize various Masonic Rites, Reuss settled on the
development of the O.T.O.
"The Order experienced reasonably steady growth under Reuss' leadership.
For example, he chartered Papus in France, Rudolph Steiner in Berlin
and H. Spencer Lewis in the USA. In 1912, the historic meeting between
Reuss and Crowley occurred. Crowley wrote that Reuss came to him and
accused him of revealing Order secrets. When Crowley looked at it afresh,
the initiated interpretation of sexual magick unfolded itself to him for
the first time. Reuss appointed Crowley as Supreme and Holy King of all
the English speaking world, and it was this authorization that he invoked
when publishing the material of the Equinox.
"Reuss resigned as Outer Head of the Order in 1922 after suffering a
stroke and named Crowley his successor. All was well until 1925 when
_The Book of the Law_ was translated into German. There was a break
in the continuity of the Order. Manyk members split with the new O.H.O.
over the book, which Crowley was actively promulgating through the Order.
He had earlier revise dthe Order rituals at Reuss's request, deeply
infusing the doctrines of the New Aeon revelation."
_An Introduction to the History of the O.T.O._, by Ad Veritatem IX'
Within _Equinox III:10_, Edited by
Hymenaeus Beta, Frater Superior, Rex Summus Sanctissimus,
Caliph of the United States of America,
Published by Samuel Weiser, 1990.
b. What is their stated purpose?
"It is known only to a few that there exists an external visible
organization of such men and women, who having themselves found
the path to real self-knowledge, and who, having travelled the
burning sands, are willing to give the benefit of their experience,
and to act as spiritual guides to those who are willing to be
"While numberless societies, associations, orders, groups etc.
have been founded during the last thirty years in all parts of
the civilised world, all following some line of occult study,
yet there is but ONE ancient organization of genuine Mystics
which shows the seeker after truth a Royal Road to discover
The Lost Mysteries of Antiquity, and to the Unveiling of the
One Hermetic Truth.
"This organization is known at the present time as the Ancient
Order of Oriental Templars. Ordo Templi Orientis. Otherwise:
The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light.
"It is a Modern School of Magic. And, like the ancient schools
of magic, it derived its knowledge from the East. This Knowledge
was never its possessors.[sic] It was recorded in symbol, parable
and allegory, requiring a Key for its interpretation....
"This key can be placed within the reach of all those who... apply
for membership to the Oriental Templars (O.T.O.).
"The O.T.O.... is a body of Initiates in whose hands are
concentrated the secret knowledge of all Oriental Orders and of all
existing Masonic Degrees....
"The O.T.O., although an Academia Masonica, is not a Masonic Body,
so far as the Craft degrees are concerned in the sense in which that
expression is usually understood in England, and therefore in no way
conflicts with or infringes the just priveleges of the United Lodge
of England. English Master Masons in good standing, by arrangement,
on affiliation, are admitted at reduced charges. Members of the IX
degree become part-proprietors of the Estates and Goods of the Order.
For further information see the publications of the O.T.O., and the
synopsis of the degrees of the O.T.O."
'Constitution of the Ancient Order of Oriental Templars,
Ordo Templi Orientis',
by Frater Superior Merlin Peregrinus X Degree,
Past Grand Master Albert Karl Theodor Reuss
_Equinox III: 10_
"Our Order possesses the KEY which opens up all Masonic and Hermetic
secrets, namely, the teaching of sexual magic, and this teaching explains,
without exception, all the secrets of Nature, all the symbolism of
Freemasonry and all systems of religion."
c. What do they do? (or teach)
OTO is a kinship organization (along the lines of the Masons, Golden
Dawn, and many less esoteric orgs like Elks, Moose etc.) which
provides a social mechanism for meeting people with similar interests
(usually magical, often ceremonial).
It also provides the structure for initiatory conferment to all
comers or sufficient age and appropriate state of consciousness
regardless of sectarian bias (gender, race, religion, etc.).
Degrees 0 through IV may be by application, above this is invitation only.
Their structure is apparently thought more in line with the chakra
system than the qabalistic Tree of Life (as GD and others follow).
The rituals are supposed to catalyze deep psychological processes
and initiate energies within the '93 Current', forming an unbreakable
bond with the Order upon receiving the 1st Degree.
It has a hierarchy which applies to the function of the org itself,
has ties to monastic traditions as well (Knights Templar), and has
stated goals which are left to each individual to interpret ('The
promulgation of the Law of Thelema', which Crowley writes about).
Today its members number approximately 2000 around the world and
there are a few splinter groups from Kellner's original. To my knowledge
there is no 'official curriculum' of OTO, though they do have a suggested
syllabus, called _Liber MCLI_, which is appended to this document.
Generally OTO can be associated with most other schools of esotericism
and kinship organizations (tantra, zen, sufism, hermeticism, freemasonry).
Favorite subjects of study within OTO are Qabalah/Kabbalah, Hermetic
Magick, Enochian Magick, Sex Magick and other tantric disciplines.
Frater (I) Nigris (DCLXVI) CCCXXXIII
Suggested References (Please post some more!)
_Equinox III: 10_, Edited by Frater Superior Rex Summus Sanctissimus,
United States Caliph of Ordo Templi Orientis, Weiser, 1990.
_Modern Ritual Magick - The Rise of Western Occultism_, by Francis King
Contact the Order Directly:
Ordo Templi Orientis
Grand Treasurer General
P.O. Box 430
Fairfax, CA 94978
Love is the law
AShTON provides additional references:
First, if you care about THE OTO as revealed (reviled) today get
The Magical Link: The Quarterly Newsletter of Ordo Templi Orientis Internationa
Treasurer General, OTO, POB 430, Fairfax, CA 94978
This contains both the OTO Offical Bodies Worldwide Directory
and the OTO Publications Directory.
Oriflamme, Free to OTO members, First issue was
_Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword_ by Jack Parsons,
$9.95 + $3 to New Falcon Publ., 7025 E. 1st Ave #5, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Associate Membership will get you both ... I believe that it is $20/year
[Might be $15. - Tyagi]
Thelema Lodge Calendar has great stuff from the archives and Grady project.
It is often available on one of the BBS floating about.
$12/year from TLC, POB 2303, Berkeley, CA 94702
If your going to buy Equinoxes, you should go ahead and buy the
hardbacks bound in sailcloth from
93 Publishing Ltd, JAF BOX 7865, New York, NY 10116-4634
$35 to members (including evil associate members), $50 to pinks, + 5 S&H
_Equinox III.9_ being _The Holy Books of Thelema_, Weiser, 1983, $17.50
_Equinox III.10_ being the ancestor worship edition, Weiser, 1990, $14.95
_Gems from the Equinox_, Falcon Press, 1974, $35
_The Law is for All_, Falcon Press, 1986, $12.95
This is supposed to be the commentary on
_Liber AL vel Legis_, "The Book of the Law"
written by Crowley, but it was butchered by Regardie.
There is another version mangled by Motta.
You'd think that THE OTO would publish a meaningful
commentary and index on their own damn holy book!
93! 93Net Bulletin Boards:
ALamut 415/431-7541* SF, CA (Gone any time now)
BaphoNet 718/499-9277* Brooklyn, NY
Black Eidolon 901/372-6260* Memphis, TN
Magic Bus 313/544-3653 Royal Oak, MI
Modem Magick 619/447-5010* El Cajon, CA
Nothern Lights 916/729-0304 Citrus Heights, CA
Nuit Net 604/383-9376 Victoria, BA
Shades of Reality 503/772-0569 Medford, OR
TahutiNet 310/204-3184* LA, CA
The Silver Citadel 703/684-9871 Alexandria, VA
* may be reached by PC Pursuit
All these boards are operational 24 hours (a day, silly)
[I would just as include the fido nodes of the above]
Note: These boards are an important resouce for the OTO and the
Thelemic community. However, because of their extrmely high volume
THE OTO can assume no responsibilty for their content.
[Also ftp to ftp.lysator.liu.se or to slopoke.mlb.semi.harris.com]
[There is rumored to be a 'Thelema Email List' floating around also.]
[The following document was downloaded from 'Sacred Grove' BBS.
Not only is the author unreferenced, but its content is slightly
inaccurate. To my knowledge and to the knowledge of my kin in the
Order, _Liber MCLI_ is a GUIDELINE, not a requirement. Many of us
do agree, however, that it serves as a very valuable guide for study.
If you have any information regarding who created the original or
revised version of this document, please contact me and
appropriate credit will gladly be attributed. Thank you. - Tyagi]
_Liber MCLI_ ('Micklee')
These being the requirements of Minerval to Third Degree in study
and work in O.T.O. in the Order as it has manifested under the Caliph.
Prepared An LXXV of the New Aeon
Updated An LXXXVII of the New Aeon
MINERVAL STUDY PROGRAM
These are the practices and studies that the Order requires for the
Minerval period. A formal examination is required in these matters
(a perfect score is not necessary) before advancement to the First Degree.
1) Study THE BOOK OF THE LAW. Memorization of the first Chapter is
suggested. This may be done a verse a day, with review at intervals, or
whatever way is your will.
2) Keep a daily Journal or Magickal Diary.
3) Practice LIBER RESH daily.
4) Become proficient in the Lesser Pentagram Banishing Ritual. Twice
daily use is wise.
5) Do "Will" at the beginning of the main meal of the day.
6) Study MAGICK IN THEORY IN PRACTICE. Special attention to be paid to
the following Study Guide:
7) Stay in touch! OTO JAF Box 7666, New York, NY 10116-4632 USA.
(SASE for quickest response and decreased office expenses.)
Knock: 333-55555-333 (Total 11 knocks)
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law!"
Response: What is thy will?
It is my will to eat and drink!
Response: To what end?
That my body may be fortified thereby!
Response: To what end?
That I may accomplish the Great Work!
"Love is the law, love under will!"
Knock: 1 "Fall to!"
May be done at all meals. Should be done at the principal meal.
Note: Always say with enthusiasm! Inflame yourself with prayer!
FIRST DEGREE STUDY PROGRAM
These are the practices that the Order requires for the
First Degree. An examination is required in thee practices. ( a perfect
score is not necessary) before advancement to the Second Degree.
1) Continue and elaborate the practices and studies of the Minerval Program.
All are important.
2) Select and become proficient in at least one of the following: LIBER XXV,
LIBER XLVI, LIBER V or LIBER DCCC (Liber Samekh).
3) Begin or continue a particular study in one of the following: Qabalah,
Divination, Yoga, Astral Workings, or a like discipline.
4) Perform some work that will endure beyond your own physical lifetime:
write and be published, speak in public, produce a work of art, have and
nurture a child or perform some similar work that will pass beyond your own
mind, and beyond the minds of your immediate associates.
5) Perform some work for the benefit of your Brothers and Sisters in the
Order: Provide time and work in organization, correspond with isolated
initiates, share your insights, volunteer for specific needed tasks within
your abilities or perform some other service needed by the Order.
6) Join with fellow initiates in a Chapter, Lodge, or other group of the
7) Analyze your magical diary from some definite point of view; e.g.
endeavor to determine the point at which virtue becomes vice, as: sympathy
degenerating into pity, advice into meddling, temperance into apathy,
excellence into illusion, gentleness into shallowness and like matters.
Perhaps assign elements to your traits to determine imbalances. Also try to
determine what about yourself/life you can't laugh at. Record your findings
in your diary with both theoretical views and actual examples from your
SECOND DEGREE STUDY PROGRAM
These are the practices that the Order requires for the Second Degree.
An examination is required in these practices (a perfect score is not
necessary) before advancement to the Third Degree.
1) Continue with Minerval and First Degree programs. All are important.
2) Learn and become proficient in the following:
A> Liber Reguli
B> Perform in at least one group ritual.
C> Create and perform an original ritual.
D> Maintain a diary record of ritual workings.
3) Memorize the following columns from Liber 777: I, II, III, VII, XIV, XV,
XVI, LIV, LV, CLXXIX, and at least two others of your choice.
4) Learn and become familiar with some part of the tradition or history of
the O.T.O., and the signs, grips and words of the Minerval through Second
Degrees. Fulfill your Second Degree obligation regarding Liber Oz.
5) Begin a general study of all of these fields, specializing in one in
F> Another field of study approved by your Initiator (See recommended
6) Take responsibility for some task that directly benefits our Order.
With the Third Degree the candidate should possess an ability to function
as part of the Order in Official capacities.
7) Meditate on your Heart Chakra.
THIRD DEGREE STUDY PROGRAM
Prepare your own program, after you have received the Third
Degree. The program must have seven points, and must include the previous
programs in point one and must end with point 7: Meditate on the chakras.
Model your plan on the earlier curricula and submit it to your initiator and
the Grand Lodge of O.T.O. After your program has been approved, proceed.
====================== END OF ALT.MAGICK.FAQ7
Please see the exquisite GoldenDawnFAQ: Copyright Steven R. Cranmer,
1993 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details on GD.
This is from a series of continually-updated posts responding to recurrent
questions in this newsgroup. Please debate anything in here which seems
extreme and add your own response to these questions after the post. I'll
integrate what I can. Thanks.
Tyagi@HousEofKAos.AByss.com (THE KA'AB)