Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law - AL I:40

The folowing paragraphs are taken from IN THE NAME OF THE BEAST,
A biography of Grady Louis McMurtry, disciple of Aleister Edward Crowley,
Volume Two – 1962 -1985 by J. Edward Cornelius


On a magickal level, we have no clear surviving indication of exactly when Grady felt that he had completely crossed the Abyss or what prompted his next spiritual move. This is one of those Grady mysteries and great tragedies as an astrology chart of the event would be priceless in trying to figure out the birth pangs of the Ordo Templi Orientis. All we do know is that sometime in the early months of 1977, presumed around the Equinox of the Gods, Grady decided to pursue the next step in his magickal incarnation for the sake of the OTO. He took the oath of a Magus in the AA or 9=2. He later claimed that he learned his lesson from his previous Oath taking venture. He knew that utterances in the mundane in regards to one’s magickal affirmations could only create serious problems when other people impose their beliefs about the degree upon you. A true magickal seed must be planted in Silence as not to undermine its manifestation inevitably into Speech. He kept very quiet about taking the Oath of a Magus for years, or at least until he began taking in students into the AA with whom he could confide.

On the Qabalistic Tree of Life the degree of Magus is under the rulership of the 2nd sphere known as Chokmah, or Wisdom. The path that leads down to Chokmah from Kether, the 1st sphere, allows the transmission of Divine Madness or inspiration to descend. This path is known as The Fool. It is ruled by the Hebrew letter Aleph which, when written out in full, numerically adds to 111. In Greek, the letter ‘A’ is known as Alpha and thus part of Grady’s destiny was being realized through his motto Frater Hymenaeus Alpha 777. Chokmah also rules the Phallus, or that which utters the ‘Word’. It was Aleister Crowley, acting as the Magus of the New Aeon, who uttered the Word that transformed our world and bathed it in the Thelemic current. Crowley has also stated that although he became the Magus of the Aeon it “does not mean that only one man can attain this Grade.” He acknowledged that anyone who obtains to this degree after him must utter a Magickal Word that not only conforms to his Word but is also not in conflict with the principles of the New Aeon. In The Book of Lies, in a piece called Caviar, it further states; “The Word was uttered: the One exploded into one thousand million worlds.” This is when a magician’s True Will “pronounces FIAT” which molds the four elements into - “Let there be ...”  From this orgasm comes creation on all planes and, as Crowley points out, the work of the Magus is “to create a new Universe in accordance with His Will.” We can only presume that Grady spent a lot of time thinking about this obligation once he had taken it. It must have tore his soul in contemplation over what sort of Word would create a Universe that his incarnation had prepared him to fulfill.

When Grady assumed the role of Magus it automatically created ripples in the Universe in preparation for a new birth. He would later discuss this period simply by saying that in the early spring of ‘77 he did some “fairly heavy magick” to open “up the Order to an influx of psychic energy from the ancient Egyptian Gods worshipped by the Order.” Jokingly, he added, “KAPLOOIE!!”, as if a bomb exploded and he continued by stating, “the hippie-commie-pervert-weirdo-heathen occultists of Berkeley descended upon him ‘en masse’, to check him out.” They “found a hard drinking, hard thinking crusty old man, with one of the world’s greatest collections of humorous Al Crowley stories.” Soon his house became filled every week on Tuesday night with an increasing number of Crowleyites eager to learn about Thelema and to join his magical order. It was like magick! Some were obviously Bezerkeleyites, but many others were serious students who wanted to study.


The second issue of the OTO Newsletter came out in late September of 1977. It contained great articles written by Grady about how he first became involved with the Agape Lodge and told of his early meetings with Crowley and Karl Germer. It also contained Grady’s poem Alien Star that was from The Angel and The Abyss cycle of poetry.  This was the first exposure that many of us had to his poetry. Also in this issue it stated that thirty-one years after Grady had first considered the idea, “We intend a formal declaration of Thelema Lodge and signing of the Lodge Charter at that time.” This would be an historic event. The timing was scheduled “for Crowleymas in Berkeley on October 12th.” The article went on to state that “Thelema Lodge has been in operation informally for some time, but the Rite of Chartering of the Headquarters Lodge will be done as the Sun emerges from partial Solar Eclipse on Crowley’s birthday. Thus again the Phoenix rises!”

As planned, on October 12th 1977, just as the Sun passed the peak of an eclipse on the birthday of Aleister Crowley, a Charter was signed in Berkeley, California by Frater Hymenaeus Alpha IX 777 using Crowley’s special Seal Ring of Ankh-af-na-Khonsu. Grady signed the Charter as a Magus 9=2. More importantly, after months of deep contemplation, Grady felt he finally knew his Magickal Word, which would create the Universe for which his entire life had prepared him. He uttered three letters - OTO. This magical affirmation gave birth to Thelema Lodge as The Grand Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis.


Love is the law, love under will. - AL I:57