De Cultu

O.T.O. is primarily a fraternal organization but a great number of its initiates share a common interest in actively pursuing traditions of magick and meditation. There are many possible ways of translating this interest into actual practice and although the path that one treads is ultimately one’s own and unique, one may benefit from a well structured outline of spiritual discipline.

Crowley addresses this issue directly in a chapter “De Cultu” (“On Discipline”), which forms a part of his book Liber Aleph. The book itself is significant in that it is dedicated to Crowley’s ‘magical son,’ Charles Stansfeld Jones a.k.a. Frater Achad (who among other things founded the first North American O.T.O. Lodge in Vancouver around 1915). You could say that the book was written as a series of letters to a disciple.

“De Cultu” addresses basic rituals of banishing (Ritual of Pentagram), assumptions of God forms, salutations to the Sun (Liber Resh), eucharistic rituals (Mass of the Phoenix, the Gnostic Mass, and/or the Mass of the Holy Ghost), astral travel, and the practice of ‘the eight limbs’ (ashtanga) of Yoga. These practices thus form the nexus of the “De Cultu” workshop.

The text of “De Cultu” is as follows:

Now, o my Son, that thou mayst be well guarded against thy ghostly Enemies, do thou work constantly by the Means prescribed in our Holy Books.

Neglect never the fourfold Adorations of the Sun in his four Stations, for thereby thou doest affirm thy Place in Nature and her Harmonies.

Neglect not the Performance of the Ritual of the Pentagram, and of the Assumption of the Form of Hoor-pa-Kraat.

Neglect not the daily Miracle of the Mass, either by the Rite of the Gnostic Catholic Church, or that of the Phoenix.

Neglect not the Performance of the Mass of the Holy Ghost, as Nature herself prompteth thee.

Travel also much in the Empyrean in the Body of Light, seeking ever Abodes more fiery and lucid.

Finally, exercise constantly the Eight Limbs of Yoga. And so shalt thou come to the End.