Centres of Pestilence

Once a month at Knights Templar Oasis, O.T.O. in Salem we run a discussion group called Centres of Pestilence. The title of which comes from the short comment in the Book of the Law. We have been running this monthly for two years, and are about half way through the Book of the Law. It is the longest running series of classes we have ever done. We started with Chapter 1 verse 1 and have been discussing between one and three lines each month. We typically run about 90 minutes or so.

This is not a class in the sense that there is a teacher handing out the true meaning but rather an open discussion with the goal of finding the meaning of the verses, but always with appeal to the writings of Crowley. We read the verse, and discuss the meaning, sometimes with great debate. We read Crowley’s old comment, the new comment, and the comment called D. We also refer to Motta’s commentaries although not considered authoritative. Words we are unclear of we look up in the Oxford Dictionary, and now will be checking Skeat’s as needed.

Crowley frequently refers to his other works for additional information. The Equinox and Liber Aleph: The book of Wisdom or Folly frequently get consulted, by the end of the evening the table is covered with books. If you can find a copy The Magickal and Philosopical Commentaries on the Book of the Law is a great resource. Multiple copies of the Law is for All are a must. We keep all our Crowley books in the reference section of our library, and multiple copies are encouraged for just this reason. The commentaries have been printed in many different editions, and we have been amazed at the discrepancies between them. I would love to see a complete, authoritative set of the commentaries get published, it would be an essential tool.

We also refer to the manuscript which has primacy over the text for insight. Many people take for granted that they are the same and without controversy, yet numerous articles and even a book have been written on this subject. What a great study tool it would be to have a copy of the Book of the Law, full-size, with the text on one page and the manuscript on the facing page. Even better would be to fulfill Crowley’s plan to print the manuscript with the text printed via letterpress under each line of the script. He made some sample pages done this way, but it was a project that was sadly never completed.

Join us this Sunday, and once a month thereafter, jump in at any time as each class stands alone.

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