Race/Ethnicity in Thelema

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Race/Ethnicity in Thelema

Postby Frater Isa Gold » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:25 am

Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law,

I have a particularly question regarding Race/Ethnicity in Thelema specifically in regards to the OTO. Before I get to my question I feel a little background info is necessary. I am new to the forum and a new student of the Law of Thelema (extended intro can be found in the 'Introduce Yourself' section :wink: ) . A child of the new aeon, I am 23 years old and of Puerto Rican & Costa Rican descent.

I have been thinking about reaching out to my local OTO body here in Philadelphia after reading the 'Open letter to those who may wish to join the OTO' PDF floating around the internet. I started to seriously consider initiation into the order as I do not know any other Thelemites in my area nor anyone to talk to of such matters.

Thus we have gotten to my question or concern if you will regarding Race/Ethnicity in the OTO and Thelema in general. In my day to day life I have never met another Thelemite in person nor knew what that was till a few months ago. Most of my friends would not even begin to understand, my family would say magick is of the devil. So I really have no one to talk about my beliefs and new path in life. So like most in my generation and age I have gone to the internet to try to connect with other like minded individuals (thus me being here).

While looking for other Thelemites (via Social networks, youtube, forums, etc.) I couldn't help but notice that its would seem most subscribers of Thelema and the OTO are of Caucasian descent. It was also hard to find brothers or sisters closer to my age that could relate to being a young adult in today's society with most members I found being older Caucasian men.

So my question is what are your views on Race/Ethnicity in Thelema and the OTO? Maybe I am wrong are there more members of non Caucasian descent that are accepting the Law of Thelema and becoming members of the OTO? If your are of non Caucasian descent would you care to share your experiences with race in Thelema and the OTO?

I know Thelema is a "religion" of Love and personal Will but I guess there is a fear in me that even with that said in today's society I expect some sort of judgment based on cultural differences. When I ask about Race it's not that I fear racism from the OTO as I'm sure the members of my local OTO body would be very welcoming. But do you think there is a possibility that differences such as Dress, Appearance, Music preferences(Mainly Hip-Hop), Speech would affect relationship with other members of the the OTO.

I appreciate any feedback, Thanks in advance.

Love Is the Law, Love Under Will

- Frater Isa Gold
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Re: Race/Ethnicity in Thelema

Postby Archaeus » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:14 am

Hi Isa Gold

I spent a number of years in OTO and during my time I knew people from all walks of life, all social classes and all races, most people were cool so far as those things were concerned so in a nutshell, your race isn't an issue.

That said, people are people, and you get ***holes in all walks of life, OTO members and thelemites/occultists in general are no different. I've spoken to people who have encountered racism in OTO, although I found that sexism is more common, although both seem to be rare compared to society in general.

On the other hand, yes OTO does seem to be dominated by middle-aged white men, and this is reflected in some of the culture of the Order. I suspect this has more to do with the origins of OTO as a quasi-masonic body within the western occult tradition, but everything has to have an origin so I wouldn't worry about that too much.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Race/Ethnicity in Thelema

Postby Frater Isa Gold » Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:08 am

93 Archaeus,

Many Thanks for your comment. I am sure I will be fine and that it is just my mind over thinking the subject as we tend to do.

93 93/93
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Re: Race/Ethnicity in Thelema

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:01 am

Frater Isa Gold wrote:I have been thinking about reaching out to my local OTO body here in Philadelphia after reading the 'Open letter to those who may wish to join the OTO' PDF floating around the internet. I started to seriously consider initiation into the order as I do not know any other Thelemites in my area nor anyone to talk to of such matters.

Temple of Thelema has a flourishing Temple in New York City. I know that's not just around the corner, but one member does live in Philadelphia and attend the Manhattan meetings at least a couple of times a month. You can get contact information here: http://thelema.org/contact/index.html

Their public classes and other events are listed here: http://www.meetup.com/Aiwass-Study-Group/

Thus we have gotten to my question or concern if you will regarding Race/Ethnicity in the OTO and Thelema in general. [...] While looking for other Thelemites (via Social networks, youtube, forums, etc.) I couldn't help but notice that its would seem most subscribers of Thelema and the OTO are of Caucasian descent. It was also hard to find brothers or sisters closer to my age that could relate to being a young adult in today's society with most members I found being older Caucasian men.

So my question is what are your views on Race/Ethnicity in Thelema and the OTO?

First, this site is not connected with O.T.O. in any sense, so we won't attempt to represent their policy or talk overly much about them.

But on the matter of race and Thelema in general.. I have both theoretical and practical remarks to make.

The theoretical one is easy: Thelema is universal, unbounded by racial considerations. Its philosophy and deeper principles are universal to humanity at this phase of our collective maturity.

On the other hand, yes, the majority of those who have identified themselves with a philosophy emerging from an upper middleclass British white male have been Caucasian. That's the current demographics. However, those demographics have shifted a bit over the last 20 years and, in any case, it's in no sense all white males.

In fact, it's not all males, either. Two of the three founders of Temple of Thelema were women. Over time, between one-third and one-half of our members have been women. I don't know the current O.T.O. demographics, but, at least in some geographic areas, women are very active. All this is true despite the fact that Thelema still has a hard time attracting women, and it really shouldn't (I wrote about this phenomenon at some length in an early chapter of Pearls of Wisdom).

Also, some of Aleister Crowley's remarks, by today's standards, are racist. He was a certain class of Englishman, and had some of the values of his day (plus language standards in his day were different). At root, he embraced universal humanity at its most diverse, and he'd blurt out an occasional remark that would embarrass any modern Liberal ;) . (Social standards have evolved much since then.) The point I want to make, though, is that this isn't the view of Thelema per se, but Crowley's wiring at the time.

And on age... we hear a lot from people in their late teens and early 20s. Thelemites in that age bracket are all over the place. Most of the time, it seems to me that they are the heavy majority. Not to worry about that part.

But do you think there is a possibility that differences such as Dress, Appearance, Music preferences(Mainly Hip-Hop), Speech would affect relationship with other members of the the OTO.

Some people will have their own reactions. That's human nature. And it depends on the group. Mostly (and without knowing people in O.T.O. in your area), I think the answer is no, this isn't a problem. On the other hand, if you find people for whom it is a problem, the Thelemic prescription would be: Be yourself anyway, and screw them,
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
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Re: Race/Ethnicity in Thelema

Postby Frater Isa Gold » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:41 am

93 Jim,

Thank you for your comments, I found them to be very insightful.
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