How Ordo Templi Orientis Helped Me
It was early 2011 and I was a mess.
I was overdosing on synthetic marijuana (white rabbit) on the regular and my marriage was falling apart. I was making my own absinthe and my own ayahuasca. The early ’10s were a fun time, but probably also the weirdest time in my life. However, I am grateful for my experiences.
It all started when I was at a house party in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Now, these were the sorts of house parties so-called ‘intellectuals’ would go to, you’d go to the basement to hear some noise music or you’d stay outside and talk Norbert about his underground film collection. I had begun to get into the occult, but I did not know much. I had a copy of Moonchild, Liber Al, and a Thoth Tarot deck.
I was trying to explain to someone about Thelema, but I was pronouncing it wrong. Someone came up to me and told me that I was quite wrong in my pronunciation. He then proceeded to tell me that he has classes at his house down the street and he’s formed something called a “camp-in-formation” in Ordo Templi Orientis. Not much of this really made sense to me, but I was eager for an opportunity to learn more about this stuff I was getting into.
About a month later, my ex-wife left me. I started developing severe panic attacks and was forced into homelessness due to the situation. I sought professional help, but I also continued going to the classes. I learned about meditation, The Middle Pillar, Liber Resh, and Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. I did these every day for about a year. They helped bring back some much needed balance to my life. My panic attacks slowly subsided, and were not a daily phenomenon anymore.
But that’s not how O.T.O. helped me.
I began taking initiations as early as October 2011. Our camp-in-formation traveled frequently to Atlanta. My initiations ended up taking me to different bodies in different regions, and I got to spend time with with many brothers and sisters. I went to Daytona Beach, FL, Dayton, OH, and New Orleans, LA over the years. I got to absorb different cultures and meet people I’d otherwise never meet.
My favorite part was visiting these places with other brothers of my local camp. If a ten hour car trip with another brother isn’t a ‘fraternal bonding experience’ I don’t know what is. Being stuck in a vehicle with someone that long really teaches you things about another person.
I put a lot of stock in ‘road trips’ not just because visiting other bodies is fun, but you get a lot more fraternal spending more intimate time with someone. Sure, you can have a few drinks after Mass or maybe go out to the goth club together, but nothing really ever impressed upon me the aspect of fraternity like having 2-4 brothers/sisters cramped in a car for a long period of time. It might not always be fun, but it sure is fraternal!
On a side note, I don’t want to take away from the deep bonds that initiations seem to cause. Most of the time these were road trips on the way to initiations.
It is important to note that O.T.O. didn’t do any of this, it merely provided an opportunity. If it weren’t for the Order, I don’t think I would have made it through the toughest time in my life. I have very special memories that mean a lot to me. It was something I needed and I am eternally grateful. Ever since then I have tried to help out in whichever ways I can. Sometimes to my detriment, but that’s a story for another time.