Sunday, March 20, 2022

Office of the Readings for 2022

Happy Thelemic New Year, everyone! It's that time again, for the Office of the Readings.

For the last two years we have been limited to doing the Office of the Readings online. This year, I am pleased to announce that they will once again be presented in-person at Leaping Laughter Lodge, the Minneapolis local body of Ordo Templi Orientis. Getting back to business as usual for in-person events has been a long time coming, but it is a very welcome state of affairs.

This post will remain the top article here for the duration of the Thelemic High Holy Days, from March 20th to April 10th. The Rite of the Office of the Readings is performed for all of the readings beginning on March 20th.

Because of events at Paganicon this weekend, we will be reading the Prologue of the Unborn preceding the regular two readings for tonight, March 20th, and those readings will follow the Invocation of Horus. Our standard practice has been to read the Prologue on its own on the evening of March 19th, but that was not possible this year due to our activity at the convention. Otherwise, this is the version that we did for a number of years prior to changing some of the readings up more recently.


The Invocation of Horus

The Rite of the Office of the Readings


March 20 - Saturn/Earth, The Universe

Liber VII, Prologue of the Unborn.

Liber LXV, Cap I.

Liber VII, Cap II.

March 21 - Fire/Spirit, The Aeon

Liber LXV, Cap IV.

From The Four Zoas by William Blake.

March 22 - Sol, The Sun

Liber VII, Cap IV.

From A Mithraic Ritual Translated by GRS Mead.

March 23 - Pisces, The Moon

Liber VII, Cap VI.

From Dark Night of the Soul, Book II, Cap 8 by San Juan de la Cruz.

March 24 - Aries, The Emperor

Liber Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus.

From the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Cap 37 and 39.

March 25 - Mars, The Tower

Liber VII, Cap I.

From Liber CDXVIII, The 16th Æthyr.

March 26 - Capricornus, The Devil

Liber A'ash.

From Liber CXI, Cap 174-175.

March 27 - Sagittarius, Art


From The Vision of the Universal Mercury by G.H. Frater S.R.M.D.

March 28 - Scorpio, Death

From Liber Arcanorum.

From Liber CXI, Cap 192-194.

March 29 - Water, The Hanged Man

Liber LXV, Cap III.

I. N. R. I. by Frater Achad.

March 30 - Libra, Adjustment

Liber Libræ.

Selections from “The Spiritual Guide” by San Miguel de Molinos.

March 31 - Jupiter, Fortune

Liber VII, Cap III.

From Liber CDXVIII, The 20th Æthyr.

April 1 - Virgo, The Hermit

Liber VII, Cap V.

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes by Hermes Trismegistus.

April 2 - Leo, Lust

Liber Stellae Rubeæ.

From The Daughter of Fortitude Received by Sir Edward Kelley.

April 3 - Cancer, The Chariot

Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni.

Maha Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra (The Heart Sutra, Buddhist text. Translation by the Kuan Um School of Zen).

April 4 - Gemini, The Lovers

Liber LXV, Cap II.

From Liber DCCCXXXVII, The Law of Liberty.

April 5 - Taurus, The Hierophant

Liber LXV, Cap V.

From On Christ and Antichrist by Hippolytus, Cap 2.

April 6 - Aquarius, The Star


From The Thunder, Perfect Mind (Gnostic text).

April 7 - Venus, The Empress

Liber VII, Cap VII.

From Liber CDXVIII, The 7th Æthyr.

April 8 - Luna, The Priestess

Liber AL, Cap I.

April 9 - Mercury, The Magus

Liber AL, Cap II.

April 10 - Air, The Fool

Liber AL, Cap III.

If you would like to perform this series and have questions, feel free to e-mail me here. All Office of the Readings posts may be viewed here. Our Office of the Readings series is based on this ritual series by the Companions of Monsalvat.

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HalcAre said...

Hi Scott, hope your readings are going well.

I had a question about gematria, how do you divide a number such as 357? And if for example, you read the meaning for 357, add the numbers to get 15, multiplying them you get 105, do you then also divide add and multiply those numbers, or are you supposed to stop after branching out a certain number of times.

I also had a religious question specifically about Thelema and the book of the law. I read the book itself and have a surface level understanding of it's message, but I heard there were interpretations, expansions on sections and dives into the gematria. But searches aren't really turning up any commentaries or such, mostly just the actual book.

Scott Stenwick said...

There is not really a hard and fast rule here. The factors of 357 are 3, 7, and 17, each occurring exactly once. It sums to 15, which sums to 6. The digits multiply to 105, which also sums to 6. That's an interesting quality - most number don't sum and multiply to the same value. 6 would be Tiphareth on the Tree of Life, the sephira of the Sun.

The Sun rules the planetary realm, so in a planetary context the factors are 3 (Saturn), 7 (Venus), and 17 -> 8 (Mercury). If you represent those numbers on the planetary hexagram, you get an upright triangle with Tiphareth in the center. The triangle with a point in the focus has various esoteric meanings, which you can look up. The upright triangle itself represents Fire, so again, you can work your way back to the Sun as it rules the fixed fire sign Leo.

So I'd say 357 would be a solar number based on all of that. But it's important to note that there isn't a deterministic procedure for gematria. At least to a degree, part of doing it is meditating on various components of the number and making some intuitive leaps, and that process can't easily be codified.

Crowley wrote several commentaries on the The Book of the Law that I was able find compiled here:

The old comment was his first attempt, the new comment his later attempt, and the "Tunis Comment" at the very top of the page was his final word on the subject. No, I never burned my copy of The Book of the Law. I studied it, and I would say that the consequences of that study are profound - whether or not they're "most dire" is open to interpretation.

The most important bit of the Tunis Comment, though is that "All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself." Thelema is inherently anti-dogma. You expected to read The Book of the Law and interpret it for yourself, and it's considered bad form to promulgate your own particular interpretation of it. The Book of the Law is really deep - I've been studying it for over 25 years and I still see new stuff when I read through it that I never noticed before.

HalcAre said...

I was thinking more along the lines of division. "Divide, add, multiply and understand". Addition and multiplication were easy enough, but I didn't really get how to divide something like 357 as an example. But I guess I look at prime factors?

That's really interesting and a lot deeper than I was expecting. So far I've just been testing spirits by adding or multiplying the base number once and checking if the associations in sepher sephiroth correspond to what their nature is supposed to be.

For example, from the number Djin gives me if it or the subsequent numbers have fire or energising, burning or some conceptual relation linked to them, and there's a few examples of it I take it as "good enough" that Djin was the spirit that answered me.

I'd be curious to see your thought process on 636 with your approach, since it's addition and multiplication numbers result in different sephira or planets, and it's factors don't overlay a planetary hexagram in a way that seems meaningful, at least to me.

Thank you for the commentary pages, it's exactly what I was looking for. I remember reading Liber Tzaddi, which I think was the words of Ra-Hoor-Khuit? I was wondering if there are others like that for Nuit and Hadith. There's quite a few Libers it can be difficult to ascertain what's in each one from a brief description.

Scott Stenwick said...

I would say that it certainly is not the case that you need to do all possible operations on a word in order to understand its gematria. What you usually are looking for are particular patterns and combinations that stand out. The pattern that I saw in 357 is specific to that particular number. It doesn't mean that the same sort of analysis will work on any other.

Checking against Sepher Sephiroth is usually fine for testing spirits - ideally you want something just complex enough that you can work it out intuitively, but also not so obscure that it requires a bunch of operations. There's a sort of "moderation point" that is ideal. If something involves too many transformations, it could be that you are "reaching" for a meaning that matches what you want instead of looking at what is there.

For 636 - adding it you get (15 -> 6). 18 x 6 = (108 -> 9). Factors are 53, 3, 2, 2. So (12 -> 3) x (53 -> 8). So yes, it does come out to a several different values that don't map onto the hexagram. So that "hexagram pattern" I saw wouldn't be relevant here. Factoring as I see it would be dividing, so we do have addition, multiplication, and division represented - though I'm not sure that one line from The Book of the Law is intended to be universal. It might just be referring to Nuit's number of 56 mentioned in the previous verse, not all gematria ever.

Probably with a number like this I would just start going through some of the meanings in Sepher Sephiroth or Godwin's. There's also this list by Bill Heidrick which lists 636 as "founding or casting."

That could be significant right there if this number is from some magical operation.

There isn't anything specific in the Thelemic canon that specifically identifies it as the the words of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. It's a logical assumption given the hawk imagery, but there's no commentary that names it as such. The various Holy Books contain the words of various Thelemic deities, but there isn't really a one-to-one correspondence like it sounds like you are asking about.

HalcAre said...

Very helpful. I did have another question. I've gotten pretty decent at planetary practical magick, I've been doing a fair amount of evocations. My daily practice has gotten much more consistent too.

About two months ago the intelligence of Venus unexpectedly changed appearance in evocations to be extremely vivid, human with gold eyes instead of a hooded and robed figure which is how I normally see most of the angels when evoked.

Four days ago I was about to do another Venus evocation, and while rereading the specifics of the ritual I realised I'd been calling the intelligence by the wrong name. I corrected this and during the subsequent evocation the intelligence appeared as they used to. I was mildly confused so after I was finished testing them and getting their assent to the charge, I was going to ask them who the other spirit was and the idea popped into my head that they were my holy guardian angel since they had gold eyes. I asked Anael and the others if that was so, and they said yes.

I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try, so that night I did the lbrp, lirh, mpr, then the preliminary invocation like you normally do for an evocation, but I did an improvised holy guardian angel invocation to tune the space, and then tried conjuring them by vibrating the name I'd been using mistakenly. Sat down to meditate, scried in the spirit vision and there it was. Asked if it was my hga, it said yes. Asked for a number to confirm, got 636 but it said 663 would also work. The associations seemed possible.

I've been doing hga invocations after my daily practice for a few days now, and I was given a sigil to call it with. I've tested it with gematria a few other times, and I see connections. I've done tarot readings and it seems alright.

But I have doubts. According to my journals, I called the mistaken name once before and the spirit that showed up was still wearing hooded robes, I called the correct name the evocation after that and the intelligence showed up with the same appearance but without gold eyes. It's all a bit blurred and messy, I worry I'm either losing my grip or opening myself up to be pranked. Maybe I'm too credulous.

I thought you were supposed to do the abramelin operation and it'd take 6 months, or you get initiated up to a certain point for it to happen. Or do liber samekh or something. I'm pretty sure it doesn't just happen. I hate to bother you with this, but you've got a lot of experience.

Scott Stenwick said...

First off - it is entirely possible that this could be an HGA manifestation. I know the Abramelin takes 6 or 18 months depending on the version of the manuscript, and Liber Samekh takes 6 months. But also remember that Aiwass (Crowley's HGA) appeared out of the blue to dictate The Book of the Law. Crowley only realized Aiwass was his HGA later on when he went through the ritual series that he wrote up as Liber Samekh.

So they can appear at any time, and converse with you at any time. The deal with Knowledge and Conversation is that it is a stabilized connection in your mind, not an intermittent occurrence during rituals here and there. You can get a contact pretty quickly a lot of the time, but the writings in the tradition often make it sound like a switch that just "turns on" and then it's on - in other words, confusing a single contact with Knowledge and Conversation. The point of doing the 6 month operation is not to make the connection, but to stabilize it so it's useful and reliable. Before that, the contacts tend to get mixed up with your own thoughts - even though they can be genuine.

Keep up the HGA invocations, and over time you should be able to work out which aspects of this are coming from the HGA and which aspects are coming from elsewhere. It's also possible that you could have connected with an entirely different spirit - and as you keep up the practice that should become clear over time.

Bishop said...

Can you say to planetary entities to make a charge runing on specific time?
Just for example I made a charge and rite on Monday but that coresponding planet will be strong on Wednesday ?
So I say to Entities:"Make this charge run on Wednesday on that and that hour"
It is a entertaining tought but it sounds to good to be true!

I read much about HGA and practice Liber Samekh and sometimes Invocations from Ars Paulina or smiliar and is it really what people call the HGA a Powerful Angel who only goal is to connect a subject with Divinity?

Roth said...

Halcare, I’m curious if you know the planetary ruler of your horoscope? I’ve been running off a suggestion of Chris warnock’s that the chart ruler indicates an avenue by which one’s hga may be more easily/effectively reached for, even if one’s hga’s nature isn’t limited to a planetary level. Do you have any thoughts on this scott?

Scott Stenwick said...

@Bishop: In my experiences charges take on the characteristics of when they are cast, and you cannot get around that easily by rewording the charge. So I would say yes, that's too good to be true.

And you're not going to get a clear answer from anyone on what the HGA "really" is. There theories all over the place, and it's also not clear how helpful a question that is. In my experience it behaves like an external entity and it knows things that I don't, so I'm pretty sure it's not some psychological "higher self" projection or whatever. Beyond that, though, I can't be sure of how another person might experience contact with whatever it ultimately is.

@Roth: The planetary ruler of the chart can be calculated using this method:

The chart victor (or planetary ruler) is supposed to represent the planet by which you best connect to spirituality and divinity. I could see that relating to methods for contacting the HGA, but the tradition isn't very clear on the point. I certainly think there's enough there for that idea to be worth experimenting with.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

@Roth I don't think that idea is Warnock's to begin with. Instead, I'm pretty sure he learn of such concept from old sources. I can't quite remember exactly, but the Oikodespotes was associated with a personal genius in ancient times. The Oikodespotes was one of the chart rulers used in ancient times.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

Broadly speaking, there are people out there trying to monopolize the concept of HGA, often for their (financial) benefits. You'll probably come across people saying "that's not the HGA" and so forth. Truth be told I haven't seen any kind of spectacular progress in those people compared to others who've been in contact with such a spirit of "other kind" or whatever.

In my case, I came to encounter my Crowley-HGA (because some people hate Crowley) after having performed solar workings of a mystical nature a few months in advance and then starting Samekh. My natal Sun is peregrine by nature and, besides being greatly affected, it's far from being any kind of chart ruler. But apparently such workings paved the path for me to get closer to that being.

But nooooo, the HGA is supposed to be some super transcendental, god-like, beyond the ToL, whatever type of being. Again, I haven't noticed anything spectacular in the people who apparently encountered THAT HGA. Moreover, I know a couple of people who've encountered it on their own, without having to spend money on such and such instructions and guidance and they're minding their own business and seeing on with their lives instead of bragging about it whenever they get the chance.

In conclusion, I would say you start adding regular theurgic components to your practice with the aim at making contact with your HGA, if that's how you prefer to call the being. I'm sure your path will start being revealed before you at some point.

HalcAre said...

My natal chart victor is Venus by over 10 points. That resonates with how contact was made and continues to be made, so I'd say there being a link between the chart victor and the HGA is true in my case.

If we want another point, I think I remember Scott mentioning that his true will was generally within the sphere of Mercury. If the HGA is also linked to true will, then it'd make sense if that natal chart victor is Mercury.

I found Chris Warnock's article that you mentioned. The only method really talked about for making contact was using a system of substitutions for Hebrew letters to find your HGA's name, with Aleph on 0° Aries and continuing to repeat from there, and you find the letters attached to the degree of your sun, moon, ascendant, lot of fortune, and degree of prenatal lunation as mentioned in the chart victor article. Side note, the old name for that position is syzygy. Cool.

I didn't want to go to the effort of mapping out a letter to every degree, and a quick google search wasn't turning up someone else's work on that either. I did find an article written by one Brian Pivik in the equinox, with both that method and a whole bunch of variations on it for finding your HGA's name from your natal chart. Or your guardian daimon, genius, etc.

If you want a random early intermediate magician's tip on how to use your chart victor to contact your HGA, I'd say you could take a look at the practical magick article here for the planet suited to the victor, and once you've evoked the spirits and travel in the spirit vision into the table of art, ask them to bring your HGA there for you. Or you could pathwork up the tree of life to the appropriate Sephira or path and look for them directly.