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O.T.O. Thelema

My Baptism in Ecclesia Gnostic Catholica

On December 16th, 2016 I was baptized into Eccleisa Gnostica Catholica. They are responsible for performing Aleister Crowley’s Liber XV: The Gnostic Mass which is the central ritual of Ordo Templi Orientis.

Most people are familiar with Christian baptism. Wear  a white robe, have a guy dunk you in the water, and then say something about being raised in the newness of life. At least that’s how it worked at my Southern Baptist cesspool of forgiveness fortress in Hendersonville, TN.

If you’re familiar with Aleister Crowley’s work, you might gather that my baptism was a little bit more dramatic. As ‘dramatic ritual’ are words we often use to describe The Gnostic Mass.

The major difference between the Christian one and the baptism written by O.T.O. is the symbolism. In Christianity a baptism symbolizes washing away the sin. Thelema rejects the notion of original sin, and it represents a symbolic ‘birth’ into the Thelemic community.

I was not fully submersed in water. Instead I knelt before a font, and they dripped water on my head three times. The first for Nuit, the second for Hadit, and the second for Ra Hoor Kuit. Then they also dipped a rose in wine and put that on my head.

There were also several parts borrowed from the ritual The Star Sapphire. I had not read the ritual prior to the ceremony, so it was all a surprise to me. However, the familiar lines from that ritual as well as parts I recognized. After the ritual, we participated in the Gnostic Mass and also witness a Confirmation afterwards. Having both ceremonies before and after the central ritual gave me a lot to think about.

I have not had much time to reflect on the ritual’s meaning, but I look forward to piecing it all together and analyzing it in my personal time.

I have been active in O.T.O. since early ’11 and a few of my friends were surprised I had not taken my baptism yet. It’s been something I have wanted to do for a while, but not had the opportunity to do so. Before I moved to Seattle in August ’16 I was living in Nashville and we did not have a very active E.G.C. presence. Now that I am with Horizon Lodge O.T.O. I have the chance to attend a Gnostic Mass two or three times a month. I would like to be ordained and eventually become a Priestess. I have taken the first step in the process and hope to report again on my experiences in the future.

You can find the information for the E.G.C. here.
You can find Horizon Lodge O.T.O.’s website here.
The baptism ritual in its entirety can be found here.

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