The Thelemic Order is a non-profit organization and Church, incorporated in the State of Delaware. US EIN 84-3433327.
The Thelemic Order serves a worldwide mission to promulgate the Law of Thelema. As a Thelemic Church TTO is Progressive and Heterodox.
TTO is explicitly progressive in that we reject any interpretation of Thelema which fuels intolerance, including racism, white nationalism, misogyny and classism, while practicing tolerance by enthusiastically embracing modern models of gender, sexual identity, and consent.
Heterodox is the opposite of orthodox. Where orthodox means doing things one way, heterodox means doing things many ways. Thelema is syncretic by nature, and what is interesting, healthy, and respectful for one person's practice may not fit another. We empower our Clergy and Members to experiment and do those things which have personal meaning to them, rather than adhering to a strict formula.
TTO is divided into three Elements
The Order General is the secular or lay-leadership of TTO. The Order General is headed by a Secretary-General who will be elected from among the dues-paying membership, and focuses on creating a safe space and good resources for personal exploration of the relgion and philosophy of Thelema, particularly in providing a positive space for the exploration of magic and ritual alone and in cooperation with others.
The Heterodox Gnostic Church or Ecclesia Gnostica Heterodoxa (EGH) is the branch of TTO which conducts training of Clergy, Ordination, holds Mass, offers the Sacrements and organizes the Canon of TTO.
The Initiatory Arm is the branch of TTO which conducts the Thelemic Initiations, which are designed to be a modern system of powerful initiatory experiences for Thelemites.
The Abbey of Al Qiyamah is Chartered Lodge of The Thelemic Order, located in Central, New York
Ecclesia Gnostica Heterodoxa
The Ecclesia Gnostica Heterodoxa
Style of the EGH
• Ecclesia Gnostica Heterodoxa
• Εκκλησία Γνωστική Ετερoδοξή
• Heterodox Gnostic Church
The concept of a modern Gnostic Church dates to 19th century France, most specifically to Jules Doinel and the Martinist Order. The Latinization dates either to Bricaud about 1906, or
Crowley in 1913. We have maintained it because we feel it communicates tradition and origin better than an Anglicization, however both terms may be used. We chose to use the term “Heterodox” meaning the opposite of “Orthodox” in order to emphasize the eclectic and living nature of the EGH. Heterodox has no perfect equivalent in
English, as “unorthodox” has a different connotation, and “nonconformist,” relates to a specific
group of English, Protestant, Christian churches. Throughout the classical era and the middle ages, many Greek and other terms were Latinized, and there is ample precedent for “heterodoxa” as a Latinization of Ετερoδοξή.
The Function of the Ecclesia Gnostica Heterodoxa
As The Thelemic Order exists to provide a community in order that its members may pursue a path of personal development, the EGH focuses specifically on offering guidance in finding a personal, spiritual, path. The EGH recognizes that a shared environment, guidance, and mentorship may be useful for
personal exploration. The EGH recognizes that while some struggle can be healthy, the world deals an endless series of struggles, while guidance and mentorship may be best provided in a context where peace
and amity are more prevalent than not. For that reason, the EGH has published the Articles of Understanding in order to gather in a large tent all those Thelemites who share certain general
understandings of Thelema.
The EGH makes no claim to be the One Gnostic and Catholic Church of Light, Life, Love and Liberty, nor the sole heir to the true church of old time.
The EGH is a focused Spiritual Path within the Thelemic Order. From an administrative perspective, participation in the EGH is not necessary to grow and learn within the Thelemic Order. Various individuals and authorities within the organization may have different opinions on the centrality or importance of the Thelemic Mass, and of the EGH, however there is no
official stance within the Order General. Advancement within the Initiatory Branch is not tied to advancement within the EGH.
Ecclesia Gnostica Heterodoxa
Heterdox Gnostic Church is the Ecclesiastical arm of The Thelemic Order. The EGH ordains Clergy and performs sacraments for Thelemites.
A decent chunk of the Handbook concerns the Clergy, its organization, and rules. This section lays out a broad outline, however anyone wishing to become a novice or aspire to ordination should read the full description.
Prelates - Prelates are members of the College of Prelates, and are generally accorded the title of "Bishop" after their elevation or consecration. As with most titles in TTO, the exact choice is somewhat at the discretion of the individual.
The College of Prelates makes decisions concerning the Ordination of Clergy, generally through an Ordination Committee.
The College of Prelates elects a Pontifex, who is the Chair and leader of the College, and serves for a term of two years.
The College of Prelates sets the official Canon and selects rituals and ceremonies as "official" rituals of EGH
Clergy - Clergy are official representatives of EGH. They have initial and continuing educational requirements
Clergy may lead all rituals and ceremonies of TTO, administer all sacraments, saving Ordination, which is reserved to the College of Prelates, and Attainment which is not administered.
Unlike some other Thelemic and pagan organizations, all Ordained Clergy are, like their counterparts in most Christian Churches, eligible to be sponsored for actual legal ministerial status, and receive aid in acquiring such status, in their US State or other place of residence. In States where TTO does not yet have a presence, TTO will work with local clergy to establish the necessary local structure to receive legal ministerial status.
While TTO encourages mentorship, and hopes Clergy will develop close relations with each other and Prelates, there is no formal system of apprenticeship. Clergy Petition the College for Ordination, and may be subject to impartial examination.
Clergy have administrative duties including reporting administration of the sacraments, and other rituals and ceremonies.
Novice Clergy - Confirmed members of the EGH may enter into Novitiate Training by submitting a Declaration of Intent to the Secretary of the College of Prelates. In respect to the individual nature of Thelema, there are no formal requirements to submit a Petition for Ordination, however it is expected that the Novice must undertake Mastery in three Qualities:
Administration - the Novice must show basic competence necessary to ensure the ability to complete those functions of Clergy which involve the recording of events, and adherence to formal regulation.
Ritualism - the Novice must show competence and expertise at the performance of the rituals of the Order, both by performing scripted material, and showing an appropriate ability to deal with improvisation or adversity.
Demeanor - the Novice must show that they are able to interact with their siblings in a way which is respectful and exemplifies love.
Novice Clergy may, like all Clergy, develop and perform their own liturgy or variants on liturgy, provided that they have completed all relevant and current safety and consent training.
EGH - THE SACRAMENTS
An act, most usually, though not of necessity involving the consumption of consecrated host and wine, by which the virtues are administered to the people. It is not required to be confirmed into the EGH, or declare harmony with the Understandings, in order to communicate.
The act of accepting membership in the The EGH. This is a personal sacrament in which the individual recognizes a spiritual bond and intellectual kinship with other members of the Communion. It is by definition open only to those who are principally at harmony with the Understandings.
The renunciation of beliefs or spiritual or magical claims which may have been imposed unjustly in the past. The ceremony of unbaptism places the authority and collective will of the church behind the act of freeing and cleansing. Unbaptism can be applied to any ritual, initiation, or set of beliefs which were imposed unfairly, both as a child or adolescent, and as an adult through social pressure, manipulation or which were accepted through previous ignorance. The Sacrament of Unbaptism may be bestowed on any who wish it, freely, whether or not they are Communicant within the EGH or accept the Understandings.
The celebration of the baptism of wisdom. This may be administered at any time, by request, and be administered more than once in response to the inner experience of the individual of the light of Gnosis. The Sacrament of Baptism may be bestowed on any who wish it, freely, whether or not they are Communicant within the EGH or accept the Understandings.
The sacrament of Union, Matrimony, or Marriage is between two or more individuals. There shall be no limitation on which individuals, on in which patterns, they may be cojoined, nor on what shall constitute an individual. The Sacrament of Union may be bestowed on any who wish it, freely, whether or not they are Communicant within the EGH or accept the Understandings.
The acceptance of the duty and obligation to administer the virtues within and without the community, to devote oneself to the growth of the community through hard labor and through teaching, and the obligation of living as an example.
The Sacrament of Ordination is held to be internal and personal, however the recognition and celebration of Ordination within the Church is subject to the approval of the Prelacy, and open only to those who are principally at harmony with the Understandings.
Attainment of Knowledge and Conversation
This sacrament may not be administered to another, or by another, but may only be experienced by the self. Even the words which are used to describe this sacrament are an approximation, and while may be equated to the knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, it embraces also many similar concepts, in whatever terms, or cultural paradigm they are expressed.
Because this sacrament is personal it is not celebrated, however an individual may ask for the participation of the Clergy in arranging for Feasting, or other celebration of an individual’s experience of this sacrament as they will.
The sacrament of Consolation is passed down from the ancient Gnostics, but practiced somewhat differently among Thelemites. It is the recognition of the imminent or recent passing of life, and provides any needed support for the quick and the dead "that they may be granted the accomplishment of their true Wills; whether they will absorption in the Infinite, or to be united with their chosen and preferred, or to be in contemplation, or to be at peace, or to achieve the labor and heroism of incarnation on this planet or another, or in any Star, or aught else."
While the EGH provides a liturgy for Consolation, it is by nature personal, and must be conformed to the will of the individual receiving it, or if they are departed to the will of those nearest to them.
More Information on the EGH:
THE EGH CROSSES
The Extended Fleur Cross depicted to the left and top is the Pontine symbol of the EGH.
Each Fleur, as rendered has five distinct points, making fifteen “points,” that is discernible features per arm of the cross. Each Fleur has two “crosses.” One cross is formed by the upper three petals and shaft one formed by the lower three petals and shaft, so six crosses and a central cross making seven. 15+7 = 22 Among other symbolism this can be seen as the 22 paths, each with its denoting letter. There are four arms of 22, which among other symbolism could be seen as denoting the Four Worlds. If one extends the metaphor, each arm could be seen as representing one part of the soul, with the central cross as Yechidah. The Fleur/Lily itself of course has significance, and the center and points can be seen as representative of the principle of going in all directions in the infinite. There are numerous reflections on the nature of Nuit and Hadit which could be extrapolated from the design. Each arm with the central cross, incidentally, sums to 23, which may carry its own significance. The Small Fleur Cross can be seen as a microcosm of the larger with 22 paths and the number 23 when its central point is counted. The Cross of Toulouse has its own set of symbolism, but is also of historical interest, in combination with or contrast with the Templar Cross.
The Initiatory Branch
Beginning in 2021, the Initiatory Branch will present a new series of Thelemic Initiations which will summarize over two hundred years of initiatory material in a set of original and never-before-seen rituals.
In regards to their value it is our intent to let success be our proof, however we are fully confident that the new Thelemic Initiations incorporate the central spirit, secrets, and ideals, though not the exact presentation or details (some of which is still under copyright) of Craft Degree Masonry, The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, Memphis and Mizraim, The Royal Arch, Rosicrucianism, the Golden Dawn, and various subsequent initiations in a powerful set of rituals relevant to the modern era.
Those already initiated in systems from a similar tradition?
On one hand we respect that many persons who come to us after having already experienced one of the 19th or 20th century initiatory tracks may be prepared at once to move several degrees ahead. It may also seem daunting “gruntwork” to start fresh at the bottom of a new initiatory system. At the same time we feel that the experience of these initiations is unique. For that reason we will offer an accelerated path to individuals who have already experienced a comparable initiatory system, allowing them to quickly and efficiently reach a grade comparable to their current grade in another system while absorbing the value of this new material and approach.