Axel M. Gruner – also known as Frater A Pan Heureka, the A.P.E. of Thoth, Konstantin Aura, Master Knumis, and Menthu Baal Shem – is a Thelemite who associates with Spiritus Sanctus Oasis in the Valley of Hannover, Lower Saxony.
How did you hear about Thelema and what drew you to it?
I must have been like 16 when I got a Dictionary of Symbols by one Mr. Golowin. The best crash course in symbolism, alchemy, tarot etc. Also included were some short portraits of so-called “symbolic persons”, like Casanova, Lovecraft and Crowley. Persons whose ideas actually made more sense to me than most of what I heard or read before. So, yeah, it was a little bit of an up and coming outsider meeting the mythical outsiders. There were people before me who didn’t give a damn about what the neighbours said! Glory!
All those concepts, scientific illuminism, sex magick, deus est homo, made perfect sense to me. At 16 I had already realised that most of the things you hear are lies designed to control people and keep them in their places. I do not accept that. Crowley and his lot gave me good reason to stick to my own ideas, a philosophy of Perpetual Non-Acceptance, of not-running-with-the-hunt. Or as the good book says: “Ye are against the people, O my chosen!” Also, if your name is a pentameter, people will probably remember it.
What is Magick to you?
To change the world. To let other people partake of my ideas, even to rewrite the story in which we are all living – the Comédie humaine. An infection of divine madness, and the infectious god am I.
Also, I think Magick (and Thelema) is the Art of finding the one thing you are really good in and comfortable with, your own special thing, your superpower and doing it like no one ever has before.
Why do you think Thelema is different from other philosophies? What makes it stand out to you?
Thelema is honest, as areall gnostic traditions. It offers no vacant ideals. You do not have to believe in it, but what you will experience and therefore know is more, is probably more continual than believe and make-believe of other philosophies. It is a change of the guard in the evolution of human consciousness, the changing of the lights to the mystics: We do not longer have to pray for Love, Hope and Charity, we have Agape, Gnosis and Thelema.
What do you love about OTO? What drew you to it? What makes you stay?
I love the OTO for what it is and what it can be. Regular Freemasonry will not give you the kind of fraternity as the OTO, the Rosicrucians want to save your soul and bore you to tears with their mystical diagrams. OTO is OTO. Even people who get sick of personal bullshitting somewhere will realise that this is personal and local, and that OTO still is OTO. And they return for their OTO. I am probably the baddest example for it: I left the Order for some years, same time I got divorced and had a shitload of personal problems. Afterwards I was too ashamed of myself to rejoin and instead got involved with other groups. So it took some time till I realised what bull that was, but then I realised that I was actually missing the Order and rejoined. I even got other old friends to realise the same and they also rejoined. Easy beans. They returned for their OTO.
What do you think are most important Magick and meditation practices?
This is for everybody to find out. I do not think that you will get the same results when different people do the same practices, rituals, meditations. Everybody has his own special way to do things, to understand things, to see things – an individual way of life, and therefore an individual way of Magick. There are people who will find satisfaction and illumination in working only a part of Crowleys syllabus, other people will only find satisfaction when they can create and formulate their own rituals and Magicks. This does not imply that Crowley was wrong, no – but it was not Crowley’s job to formulate an individual syllabus for everybody present and future. This is what we all have to do for ourselves: To find our own superpower, our own madness & ecstasy to inflame the world, and to make it an interesting place.
Do you have any stories from any experiences with Magick?
Well, it’s a funny old world. If someone tells me his experiences with Magick, I solemnly believe that he believes it to be so. I do not care for the fantasies of self-proclaimed prophets or reincarnations, or other people who are probably barking mad. But if someone can reasonably give proof to have checked and double-checked his phenomena, I’ll give him the benefit of doubt.
Therefore I will give myself the benefit of doubt that I am either barking mad or sincerely believe that Magick works and that I believe that some kind of praeter-human entities have fucked with me for the last 25 years.
I have written some heavily inspired books and Libri that include information that was not available to me at the time of writing, but I have also deleted the same amount of pages from these writings that were obviously just ramblings of my unconscious or cultural self. You can meet the dog-faced demons of the abyss, no problem, or the Archangel of Binah, but that doesn’t mean you have to be impressed doing so. The good thing about Thelema is that the only Law is Do What Thou Wilt, not What The Neighbours Say, or the Archangel of Binah, no matter how good-looking she is..
Where do you see OTO going in the next 10 years?
I would like to see the OTO in Germany, and Europe, going the same way as in the USA and other countries, where it is doing brilliant work.
But the climate here is different from the USA or even UK; we still have mental wounds from WWII and WWIII, the Cold War. The great religions have failed and are given to contempt, therefore most people deny any kind of Higher Truth, the divine nature of Man is mocked or ignored.
I see Germany decades after f.e. the UK, where interest in magick and even paganism was invigorated by a grassroot revolution, Pagan News, stapled booklets and personal contacts. There were brilliant mags here in the 90s and 90s – the OTOs “Baphomets Horn”, the IOTs “Anubis” or even that weird “Abrahadabra”/”AHA” magazine, but they all faded away.
I would like to see the OTO coming to the fore and giving a voice to the Thelemites and Magickians – if we do not, who else will? And the OTO is probably best suited to do so.
What is your favorite part about the Gnostic Mass?
Regarding the Gnostic Mass… I have nothing to say. I am an ordained Deacon of EGC and have celebrated the Mass since 25 years. I sincerely believe it is the best religious ritual I have ever partaken of, but I am not a religious man.
How do you see Thelema evolving in its 2nd Century of existing (i.e. after 100 years)? How is it different or how is it going to be different? What has grown or changed?
Yes! Inflame yourself with prayer!
Infect the world with your divine madness!
Bring fresh fever from the skies.
Believe nothing and know yourself.
There is something you can do!
Just do it your way.
I’ll do it my way.