Forms of Address
Certain forms or styles of address are prescribed for use in formal correspondence with members of the various degrees of O.T.O. These forms of address are set forth in detail in a memorandum from Aleister Crowley circa 1914 e.v., written in the hand of Bro. G.M. Cowie. The Frater Superior has recently modified the original forms of address to allow women of the appropriate degrees of the Lovers Triad to be addressed as “Dame Knight” in addition to “Noble Dame.” These forms of address should be employed when you
- are writing to someone whose degree is known to you
- when you are writing to an officer whose office is associated with a particular degree, whether you know the officer’s actual degree or not.
For instance, if writing to the President of the Electoral College, you would use the form of address for a Senator; if writing to a member of the Grand Tribunal, you would use the form of address for a G.I.C. When in doubt, keep it simple: Dear Brother (Sister).
The official forms of address for formal correspondence are given below:
- O° – III°
(Men): Dear Sir and Brother
(Women): Dear Madam and Sister
(Men): Instructed Brother
(Woman): Instructed Sister
(Men): Very Excellent and Perfect Prince
(Women): Very Excellent and Perfect Princess
(Men): Very Excellent and Perfect Prince, and Reverend Senior
(Women): Very Excellent and Perfect Princess and Noble Dame of the Red Eagle
(Men): Illustrious Sir Knight
(Women): Illustrious Dame Companion of the Holy Grail
(Men): Illustrious and Just Sir Knight
(Women): Illustrious and Just Dame Knight
(Men):Illustrious, Just and Enlightened Sir Knight
(Women): Illustrious, Just and Enlightened Dame Knight
(Men): Very Illustrious Sir Knight
(Women): Very Illustrious Dame Knight
- Supreme Grand Council
As VII°, adding “and Most Wise and Excellent Councillor of His Most Sacred Majesty.”
Perfectly Illuminated and Very Illustrious Brother (Sister)
Thrice Holy, Thrice Illuminated and Thrice Illustrious Brother (Sister)
Most Holy, Most Illuminated and Most Worshipful Father (Mother)
Other members of X* write “Brother” or “Sister” for “Father” or “Mother”. A National Grand Master General is not approachable as such by any person who has not reached the VI°, except by special permission; however, the Grand Secretary General will forward appropriate correspondence to the National Grand Master General’s attention.
- Frater Superior (O.H.O.)
Most Holy and Most Beloved Father (Mother) in the Lord. The O.H.O. is not approachable as such by any person who has not reached the VIII*, except by special permission; however, the International Secretary General will forward appropriate correspondence to the Frater Superior’s attention.
For those addresses in which fraternity is not mentioned, the writer may add “and dear Brother (Sister)” or “and very dear Brother (Sister)” as his or her feelings dictate.
The closing (before your signature) should be as follows:
- Within the V°-X°, sign “In the Bonds of the Order,” with such additional expressions of duty as may be suited to the degree of the writer.
- Additionally, the signature of members of the Supreme Grand Council and higher degrees is prefixed by the triple cross crosslet, or “eleven-fold cross” (female members of these degrees use the triple cross with curved crosslets).
- The signature of members of the VII° is prefixed by the triple cross without crosslets.
- The Grail Name of members of the VI° is prefixed by the Cross Paltee.
- Members of the V° sign with the consonants of the name only.
- For K.E.W. and all lower degrees, use “Yours Fraternally.”
According to the memorandum, no form of address, no signature, and no closing should be used by the C.P.I. Within that degree, the writer of the letter should be indicated, if doubt exists, by some allusion in the text.
A formal superscription should be prefixed to the letter in the following terms:
- For X° National Grand Master General: “A Petition to His Most Sacred Majesty the Supreme and Holy King Ruling in [name of country] that is in the Sanctuary of the Gnosis”
- For a member of the IX°: “To the Thrice Holy, Thrice Illuminated and Very Illustrious [name] IX°”
- For a member of the VIII°: “To the Perfectly Illuminated and Very Illustrious [name] VIII°”
- For a member of the VII°: “To the Very Illustrious Sir Knight [name] VII°”
- …and so on for the lesser degrees.
In the O.T.O tradition, only the Frater Superior and the Grand Master of each Grand Lodge are required to assume Magical Titles, but many members prefer to use magical names of mottoes in lieu of their civil names. To avoid confusion, the civil name should always be included in any correspondence addressed to International HQ.