Introduction to O.T.O.
Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) is an international religious and magical initiatory fraternity open to both men and women. O.T.O. was founded in Germany and England in the early part of the 20th century e.v., and was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in California in 1979 e.v. It is currently organised in 32 countries, with Grand Lodges in the United States, England, and Australia, and 154 official bodies worldwide. It still operates by the original charters, constitutions, documents and principles established during its formative years.
Ordo Templi Orientis is the first of the great Old Æon orders to accept The Book of the Law, received by Aleister Crowley in 1904 EV. This book proclaims a New Æon in human thought, culture and religion. The Æon arises from 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 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 individual efforts of each person. Nevertheless, many people have a genuine need for information, guidance, fellowship, or the opportunity to assist others. Such will find welcome in O.T.O.
O.T.O. was originally affiliated with European Masonry but is no longer a Masonic organization, though it shares some terminology and traditions with Masonry. The complex but intriguing history of O.T.O. may be of interest for the light it sheds on the origins of our current organisation and goals.
Specific local bodies (Oases and Lodges) provide ceremonial initiation into the first series of degrees of O.T.O. Most local bodies also regularly perform an O.T.O. ritual called the Gnostic Mass. This ritual is described in our system as “the central ritual of the O.T.O. both public and private,” and is presented under the auspices of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, the Gnostic Catholic Church, which is the ecclesiastical aspect of O.T.O.
Most local bodies also offer public classes, workshops, and book studies that usually cover a wide range of Thelemic and esoteric/occult subject matter. Some of these may include various aspects of the theory and practice of Thelema, Qabalah, Yoga, Ceremonial Magick, Hermetic Science, Tarot, Astrology, Alchemy, Mythology, Comparative Religion, and the history and structure of O.T.O., as well as various Thelemic celebrations, rituals, rites and holidays that assist and support the development of Thelemic community.
Ordo Templi Orientis maintains a strong presence across the island of Ireland, working within the duly chartered body of Cuchulain Oasis. We perform regular initiations into the Order, and hold classes and group rituals open to members and non-members alike. Please feel free to contact us for more information.