The Pilgrimage

Trav­el­ing to sacred sites in search of the­o­log­i­cal con­fir­ma­tion, can bring on a great antic­i­pa­tion for expected authen­tic­ity. To the spir­i­tual trav­eler, pic­ture tak­ing is never quite enough. The place must be more than just vis­ited, it must be expe­ri­enced. An explorer who feels the urge to know a sacred truth more deeply becomes more than just a trav­eler. By virtue of their long­ing and com­mit­ment to make the jour­ney and by the desire to more deeply take in that sacred knowl­edge, they become a pil­grim. So it was for nine­teen O.T.O. pil­grims, by going to Egypt for April 8, 9, and 10, 2004, to cel­e­brate the 100th Anniver­sary of the writ­ing of the The Book of the Law, and our new Aeon.

For Brother Vere and myself, we wanted to dis­cover the envi­ron­ment in which Crow­ley found him­self at that time; to take our sacred Book of the Law and read it in the coun­try of its birth, and to wit­ness for our­selves the Stele of Reveal­ing from which Rose and Aleis­ter drew inspiration.

stele of revealing

stele of revealing

The only spe­cific plan for all of us was to meet at noon on each of the three suc­ces­sive days, April 8, 9 and 10, to cel­e­brate The Three Days of the Writ­ing of the Book of the Law. Aside from that, we each strove to do and see as much as we pos­si­bly could, expe­ri­enc­ing those things that would more closely give us insight or enhance our Thelemic perspectives.

On the morn­ing of April 8, whomever was in Egypt for the event was to meet in the lobby of the Mena House Oboroi, a beau­ti­ful 5-Star hotel located right across from the Giza Pyra­mids. By noon, the fol­low­ing peo­ple had gath­ered in the hotel foyer: Brother Diony­sius and Sis­ter Valerie from Ams­ter­dam, Nether­lands; Sis­ter Rhonda and Brother Gor­don from Van­cou­ver, Canada; Sis­ter Annette, Brother Brent and Brother Daniel from Aus­tralia; Sis­ter Xenia, Brother Alexey and Brother Nadav from Israel; Brother Peter, Brother Zacharias and Sis­ter Kristina from Swe­den; and Sis­ter Mary Lynn, Brother Jason, Soror Ashera, Frater Hru­machis, Brother Vere and myself from the US — nine­teen peo­ple from six dif­fer­ent coun­tries and four continents.

A per­fect grassy spot on the gar­den grounds had been found with the Great Pyra­mid stand­ing in wit­ness, stately across the plateau, while we sat quite com­fort­ably in a big cir­cle under the shade of sev­eral palm trees. We began by going around the cir­cle intro­duc­ing our­selves. Most gave their legal name, their mag­i­cal name, what coun­try they were from, what body they were from, and if they served their body in any offi­cer posi­tion. Most atten­dees were body mas­ters, sec­re­taries or treasurers.



Frater Hru­machis set up a small cen­tral altar and incense was lit. He also began by doing an invo­ca­tion for this spe­cial occa­sion. Then we read by going around the cir­cle, each recit­ing a verse from the First Chap­ter, until it was com­pleted. It was such a won­der­ful feel­ing to be sit­ting there shar­ing in the momen­tous occa­sion with brethren from around the world. I could see in each one’s face the same enthrallment.

Right after­ward, we got the idea to call Hymenaes Beta and have him join us in our rev­elry. Brother Vere called him with his cell phone and of course we woke him up, as he was half way around the world in another time zone. Nonethe­less, he seemed amenable to the occa­sion so we all called out “93!” into the phone. After Brother Vere signed off, we all did mid­day Resh and then lined up for group pho­tos. Excited to get to know one another bet­ter, we all walked sev­eral blocks to a nearby restau­rant for lunch.

After lunch we all split up to go explor­ing Cairo, but we all agreed to meet later that evening at a down­town restau­rant for din­ner. After a deli­cious din­ner we walked around a bit as the town comes more alive after dark. Admit­tedly the temp­ta­tion was too great. We each spent time at a nearby pas­try shop fill­ing up small trays of assorted Baklava and cakes to take to a local Ahwa (out­door cof­fee house) to lounge and feast again. We gath­ered in a col­or­ful tent like struc­ture along the street. Some also par­took of the local shisha (tobacco smoked in a water pipe) with one of two tobac­cos, one soaked in molasses and the other soaked in apple. Some­thing surely, we thought, Crow­ley must have also indulged in.

On the sec­ond sacred day at noon, we reassem­bled for our sec­ond day of the read­ing of The Book of the Law. We gath­ered once again in the same grassy area; how­ever, today the call to prayer was even louder and longer as Friday’s are to the Mus­lim what Sun­days are to Chris­tians and prayer is deliv­ered more fer­vently. So as not to delay our noon read­ing win­dow, we decided to move fur­ther around the back of the hotel to a more pri­vate and qui­eter place, which ended up being just as pleas­ant if not more so.

We began as before with a brief invo­ca­tion by Frater Hru­machis, incense, and then the read­ing com­menced going around the cir­cle. After the read­ing we agreed to call Sabaz­ius. He did not answer his phone, as it was in the mid­dle of the night for him, but we did leave a mes­sage on his recorder with our “93” greet­ing. We fol­lowed the read­ing with pass­ing around a book for every­one to list their names and emails, in order to more eas­ily share our com­ments and pic­tures of the entire event. We fol­lowed that by per­form­ing mid­day Resh and again going out to a local restau­rant to feast.



That evening we all met at the Oasis Hotel, where Soror Ashera had arranged to have a din­ner and belly danc­ing show in the hotel’s night­club for the entire group. We had a great din­ner and enter­tain­ment began with a singing duo, and later fea­tured an Egypt­ian Dancer “Sozi.” At one point Sozi came into the audi­ence to our table, pulling Brother Peter up to dance with her. He began to dance with so much jubi­la­tion of arms swing­ing and feet kick­ing up, that he lit­er­ally stole the show. He received a wild applause from every­one in the house.

For our third day of the read­ing of The Book of the Law, we once again found our famil­iar spot on the grassy grounds of the Mena House. Frater Hru­machis again per­formed an open­ing invo­ca­tion, incense was lit and we read of the Third Chap­ter, going around the cir­cle until, it too, was com­pleted. It had all seemed too short. We passed around our indi­vid­ual Books of the Law to have every­one sign the oth­ers, to com­mem­o­rate the occa­sion. Even within the short time that we had met, we could sense such a strong bond between us all. Many had tears in their eyes as we shared hugs of brother and sisterhood.



Mid­day Resh was per­formed and we all went to lunch again. After that most every­one decided to reassem­ble down­town at the Cairo Museum to once again look upon the Stele of Reveal­ing. Brother Gor­don and Sis­ter Rhonda had done some research upon arriv­ing ear­lier in Egypt, to learn that the Stele of Reveal­ing had been dis­cov­ered in a cache in the vil­lage of Gour­nah, where it had been moved from its orig­i­nal loca­tion in a hill­side tomb near the Tem­ple of Hat­shep­sut, which lies just south of the Val­ley of the Kings. It was the inten­tion of our group to be able to get into the glass case where it was on dis­play and be able to look at its reverse side. How­ever, the direc­tor of that sec­tion of the museum was on vaca­tion so it was not allowed.



This last day for many on the pil­grim­age still held a sur­prise, for every­one was about to be shown some­thing we didn’t even know still existed, the cof­fin of Ankh-af-na-khonsu! Sis­ter Xenia had been the one to find it in a side hall of the Egypt­ian Museum. Sure enough, there was a name­plate with his name and the date said it was from the XXVI Dynasty, the same as the Stele. The color was very good on the out­side, the lacquer-like fin­ish giv­ing it a golden-orange color. Time and its trans­port had cre­ated chips off of the col­or­fully painted plas­ter and cracks had devel­oped, but the over­all effect was impres­sive. What a won­der to behold a paint­ing of what once resem­bled the look of this unique indi­vid­ual. Finally, a face to go with his mys­te­ri­ous words!



The trip for every­one had finally come to an end though too soon. Deep friend­ships had been formed. A taste for mys­tery had been rewarded. We had not only seen the Stele of Reveal­ing, we had seen the Priest of the Prince’s last rest­ing sar­coph­a­gus. The sacred truths that we had wanted to be sure of, had been con­firmed. And like most pil­grims who answer to the call of spir­i­tual yearn­ing, the holi­ness and the mys­tery had found its way within us, and we would never be the same again.

This entry was posted in Articles, Egyptian Magick. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.