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Thelema 101

Ev, we need something like a Bat signal for you when these posts come up. :D

Paging Evster, Paging Evster! :lol:

Well, Ev is asleep right now, so I'll take the liberty of posting his little essay type thing. :D

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Satanism

First off, we need to separate the Christian Satan, the Devil who rules hell, from the Judaic Lucifer/Satan, and then from LaVey's Church of Satan. In Judaism, there is no hell, no judgment, and Satan is not the "Devil". The Hebrew root of the word Satan means "accuser". He was not the enemy or opposer of God, but rather a sort of Prosecuting Attorney who tests people for God. Witness the story of Job. That said, "Satanism", as in the whole "powers of evil" cult thing, which came to popularity in the last few decades, has little to nothing to with the Biblical Satan, be he angel or demon.

Thelema

Jimmy (and only Jimmy), was/is a Thelemite, not in any form a Satanist. Thelemites do in fact perform rituals to invoke spirits, but for purposes of goodness.

Thelema ("THEL-ay-mah") is a Greek word meaning "will" or "intention". It is also the name of a new spiritual philosophy which has arisen over the past several hundred years and is now gradually becoming established worldwide.

One of the earliest mentions of this philosophy occurs in the classic Gargantua and Pantagruel written by Francois Rabelais in 1532. One episode of this epic adventure tells of the founding of an "Abbey of Thelema" as an institution for the cultivation of human virtues, which Rabelais identified as being squarely opposite the prevailing Christian proprieties of the time. The sole rule of the Abbey of Thelema was: "Do what thou wilt". This has become one of the basic tenets of Thelemic philosophy today.

Although touched upon by various prominent visionary thinkers in the following few hundred years, the seeds of Thelema sown by Rabelais eventually came to fruition in the early part of this century when developed by an Englishman named Aleister Crowley. Crowley was a poet, author, mountaineer, magician, and member of the occult society known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In 1904, while traveling in Egypt with his wife Rose, Crowley became inextricably involved in a series of events which he claimed to inaugurate a new aeon of human evolution. These culminated in April when Crowley entered a state of trance and wrote down the three chapters of 220 verses which came to be called The Book of the Law (also known as Liber AL and Liber Legis). Among other things, this book declared: "The word of the law is Thelema" and "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law".

Crowley spent the rest of his life developing the philosophy of Thelema as revealed by the Book of the Law. The result was a voluminous output of commentary and works relating to magick, mysticism, yoga, qabalah, and other occult subjects. Virtually all of this writing bears the influence of Thelema as interpreted and understood by Crowley in his capacity as prophet of the New Aeon.

One theory holds that each chapter of the Book of the Law is associated with a particular aeon of human spiritual evolution. According to this view, Chapter One characterizes the Aeon of Isis, when the archetype of female divinity was paramount. Chapter Two relates to the Aeon of Osiris, when the archetype of the slain god became prominent, and the world's patriarchal religions became established. Chapter Three heralds the dawning of a new aeon, the Aeon of Horus, the child of the Isis and Osiris. It is in this new aeon that the philosophy of Thelema will be fully revealed to humanity, and will become established as the primary paradigm for the spiritual evolution of the species.

Some of the essential elements of belief in Thelema are:

"Every man and every woman is a star."

This is usually taken to mean that each individual is unique and has their own path in a spacious universe wherein they can move freely without collision.

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." and "thou hast no right but to do thy will."

Most Thelemites hold that every person possesses a True Will, a single overall motivation for their existence. The Law of Thelema mandates that each person follow their True Will to attain fulfillment in life and freedom from restriction of their nature. Because no two True Wills can be in real conflict (according to "Every man and every woman is a star"), this Law also prohibits one from interfering with the True Will of any other person.

The notion of absolute freedom for an individual to follow his or her True Will is a cherished one among Thelemites. This philosophy also recognizes that the main task of an individual setting out on the path of Thelema is to first discover his or her True Will, giving methods of self-exploration such as magick great importance. Furthermore, every True Will is different, and because each person has a unique point-of-view of the universe, no one can determine the True Will for another person. Each person must arrive at the discovery for themselves.

"Love is the law, love under will."

This is an important corollary to the above, indicating that the essential nature of the Law of Thelema is that of Love. Each individual unites with his or her True Self in Love, and so empowered, the entire universe of conscious beings unites with every other being in Love.

Of course, with the emphasis on freedom and individuality inherent in Thelema, the beliefs of any given Thelemite are likely to differ from those of any other. In the Comment appended to The Book of the Law it is stated that: "All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself." Although Thelema is sometimes referred to as a "religion", it accommodates the full range of individual beliefs, from atheism to polytheism. The important thing is that each person has the right to fulfill themselves through whatever beliefs and actions are best suited to them (so long as they do not interfere with the will of others), and only they themselves are qualified to determine what these are.

Love is the law, love under will

Ritual Magick

Thelemites do perform ritual magick. Wands, knives, the whole bit. However, not for purposes of evil, but rather to harness the power of ones Holy Guardian Angel. Within the system of Thelema, the Holy Guardian Angel is the "Silent Self", representative of one's truest divine nature.

I'm of the opinion that Page actually performed ritual onstage during his bow solo. The first ritual a Thelemite performs is called the Banishment. It's a cleansing of all things negative. One turns to each of the four corners and invokes the spirit of that cardinal point, ending on the fifth point which is the self. In Jimmy's bow solo, he sure enough strikes one chord after another, each time turning to one of the four directions. He repeats this several time finishing pointing skyward. I've seen the ritual performed, and it's pretty clear to me that's what he's up to. But I'm must stress that this is not evil. In fact it's precisely the opposite. There are a lot of bad vibes in a rock concert audience. Belligerent people who've had too much drink. People experiencing bad drug trips. The Banishment is meant to shake that all away and ground the audience, focusing them back on the music. Of course, that's just my interpretation.

Astrology and Symbolism

Jimmy did use both in Led Zeppelin. His dragon suits bore his astrological chart signs (Capricorn, Mercury and Saturn). His "Zoso" symbol is a stylized amalgam of centuries old alchemical symbols for same.

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Excellent exposition! I'd just add a couple of things to simplify:

"Every man and every woman is a Star", Soul, not a celebrity. There's a deep spiritual intent within this concept. But you knew that.

And to avoid more confusion,

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, love is the Law, love under will" does not mean "do as you please". It means to find your true will, or intent and follow it alone.

And finally, in English:

"There are a lot of bad vibes in a rock concert audience." is also a true statement, but needs some refinement. It's the right of the creator of the performance to harness his forces and conduct proceedings in a manner sufficient to "make the magick happen". While I don't believe that extends to backward masking on the albums as was rumoured, artists rely on making magick at every point in the creative process from a holy space where ideas came forth, to the studio where the single, historic take is recorded, to the concert where hopefully the music comes alive night after night. In Led Zeppelin's case, that's definitely magick.

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I don't know if he practices now, however recently he was more open about this in an interview than he has been in the past. He said 2 things;

- That the symbology - ZoSo etc is sort of like a good luck charm - in the same way that people might wear a lucky bracelet or something.

- That magick is not about devil-worship. His example of what magick can mean, is the 4 different members of Zeppelin coming together into a room, bringing their own energy, this energy interacts as they play and produces a fifth, greater energy (the music).

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That magick is not about devil-worship. His example of what magick can mean, is the 4 different members of Zeppelin coming together into a room, bringing their own energy, this energy interacts as they play and produces a fifth, greater energy (the music).

Yeah, I mean, even the slightest bit of research will make that clear. It's too bad that he needs to make that clarification. Nothing particularly wicked to be found in most of this stuff.

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Apparently, when he did his guitar bow solo he was performing a ritual in order to banish all the evil spirits from the concert venue. The ritual involved him pointing toward each of the four corners of the room. Hence, when he played his bow he would hit the guitar chord with the bow and on the rebound would point the bow to one of the corners of the room. :D

I cannot remember where I read that.

*Paging Evster for confirmation* *Paging Evster for confirmation*

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Apparently, when he did his guitar bow solo he was performing a ritual in order to banish all the evil spirits from the concert venue. The ritual involved him pointing toward each of the four corners of the room. Hence, when he played his bow he would hit the guitar chord with the bow and on the rebound would point the bow to one of the corners of the room. :D

I cannot remember where I read that.

*Paging Evster for confirmation* *Paging Evster for confirmation*

I believe Ev actually posted this exact information on the old board, so maybe that's where you're remembering it from! I was surprised to hear it -- I had no idea. I thought Jimmy was just being dramatic! :D

And Ev -- we need you here! I know you have a life outside this board, but... come back and teach! :)

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Apparently, when he did his guitar bow solo he was performing a ritual in order to banish all the evil spirits from the concert venue. The ritual involved him pointing toward each of the four corners of the room. Hence, when he played his bow he would hit the guitar chord with the bow and on the rebound would point the bow to one of the corners of the room. :D

I cannot remember where I read that.

*Paging Evster for confirmation* *Paging Evster for confirmation*

I believe Ev actually posted this exact information on the old board, so maybe that's where you're remembering it from! I was surprised to hear it -- I had no idea. I thought Jimmy was just being dramatic! :D

And Ev -- we need you here! I know you have a life outside this board, but... come back and teach! :)

Yes, it was Ev who wrote about the ritual that Jimmy performed with his bow. Angi reposted Ev's essay; it's a few posts up from here.

If you can still get your hands on a copy of Guitar World; the Special Holiday '07 one with Jimmy on the cover, he talks about magick in an interview. For the reason that Jimmy gives in the interview, people who practice Thelema often don't speak or write about it. Here is a bit of what Jimmy said in the GW interview:

GW: There was always a certain amount of speculation about your occult studies. It may have been subtle, but you weren't really hiding it.

Page: I was living it. That's all there is to it. It was my life--that fusion of magick and music.

GW: Your use of symbols was very advanced. The sigil [symbols of occult powers] on Led Zeppelin IV and the embroidery on your stage clothes from that time period are good example on how you left your mark in popular culture. It's something that major corporations are

aggressively pursuing these days; using symbols as a form of branding.

Page: You mean talismanic magick? Yes, I knew what I was doing. There's no point in saying more about it, because the more you discuss it, the more eccentric you appear to be. But the fact is--are far as I was concerned--it was working, so I used it. But it's really no different than people who wear ribbons around their wrists: it's a talismanic approach to something. Well, let me amend that: it's not exactly the same thing, but it is in the same realm. I'll leave this subject by saying the four musical elements of Led Zeppelin making a fifth is magick unto itself. That's the alchemical process.

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I had read somewhere recently that he is no longer a practitioner. Anyone know if that is correct?

Well, I can't say 100% that he still is, because I obviously don't know the man personally. I'll just say that he wore a shirt with an OTO symbol on it just a few years back. :)

JPcambodiaxmasday.jpg

JPcambodiaxmasday2.jpg

& I will let Ev know he's being called to this thread! :lol:

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Yes, it was Ev who wrote about the ritual that Jimmy performed with his bow. Angi reposted Ev's essay; it's a few posts up from here.

OOOOPPPPPSSSS!!! :lol: Haha! You caught me red-handed for not reading all of the thread. :lol: Yeah, maybe I remembered it from Ev's essay on the old board, the same one.

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Well, I can't say 100% that he still is, because I obviously don't know the man personally. I'll just say that he wore a shirt with an OTO symbol on it just a few years back. :)

& I will let Ev know he's being called to this thread! :lol:

I just like it when Ev's around to take questions -- he knows so much about various religions. :D

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I considered leaving you to fend for yourself...but then I thought I would be a good guy and back you up.....

....we are so ignorant. :lol: :lol:

B)

I know. :( Who knew that belonging to an internet forum could make me want to shoot myself on such a regular basis. :'(

And you are a true gentlemen. :);)

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OOOOPPPPPSSSS!!! :lol: Haha! You caught me red-handed for not reading all of the thread. :lol: Yeah, maybe I remembered it from Ev's essay on the old board, the same one.

:lol: Sorry about that...I didn't mean to call you out on the board. ..I just meant to direct you to back to Ev's essay. :beer:

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