Soror Lapis Lazuli is a Thelemite who associates with ARARITA Encampment in San Diego, CA.
How did you hear about Thelema and what drew you to it?
I heard about Thelema from my boyfriend when I was in high school and I was immediately drawn to its philosophy of freedom and personal responsibility.
What is Magick to you?
In general, magick is the application of Will to change oneself or the environment.
Why do you think Thelema is different from other philosophies? What makes it stand out to you?
Thelema stands out to me because it emphasizes the joy and beauty of life while not denying any of the negative aspects of existence. It is unique in that it makes no attempt to contradict science. Crowley often advocated critical thinking, even against his own works. That kind of scientific and self-reflective attitude is important in any school of thought.
What do you love about OTO? What drew you to it? What makes you stay?
I first attended OTO after reading Crowley’s writings about the Order. I attended classes at what would later become a local body. The Thelemites there were kind, philosophical, and well versed in the source material– well beyond what I had read into at that point. I initiated years later at another local body.
I stayed with OTO when I had seen a lot of success in my personal work from the Initiations and witnessed many personal changes as a result of my involvement in the Gnostic Mass. I really enjoy the company of the people at my local body (and the food there is awesome.)
What do you think are most important Magick and meditation practices?
The LBRP, LBRH, Star Ruby, and the meditation practices outlined in Liber E.
What do you think is the thing that most people misunderstand about Thelema?
I think one common misunderstanding about Thelema is that it is a religion that can be whatever one wants it to be. Thelema is meant to be applied to one’s unique life path and circumstances but that does not mean the core philosophy can be shaped as one pleases. When you change Thelema to fit your fancy you are no longer being a Thelemite.
Why do you think OTO is important to Thelema?
I think OTO is important to Thelema because OTO initiations help one to become a more free, creative, and effective Thelemite. I believe this is essential for developing a strong Thelemic society. It’s also a good social outlet for Thelemites to come together and develop ideas.
What do you think are the most important aspects of Thelema?
The emphasis on freedom, discipline, and rationality.
Where do you see OTO going in the next 10 years?
I believe that the OTO will continue to expand in the next 10 years. I would like to see more profess houses, bodies in new areas, Thelemic publications, and all that fun stuff. I believe we will see many creative projects coming out of OTO in the future as we have seen from OTO members in the past.
How do you see the world differently as a Thelemite?
I view the world with less moral judgment. I see people as whole, complex, and divine beings. Before I was a Thelemite I tried to push my standard of how things “should be” on the world and on to people. When I began to accept the Law I dropped this standard and became more content with the world yet still maintained the Will to change things.
What is your favorite part about the Gnostic Mass?
The Priestess speech has always been my favorite part of the Mass; as a congregant I feel like I am reconnecting with a long lost lover. I like that the Mass “administers the virtues to the brethren” and gives individuals the inspiration and energy to accomplish their Wills.
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?
I am still fairly new to Thelema but I believe Thelema will continue to grow as a religion over the next 100 years and continue to shape our society in subtle and major ways. I hope we can persist in building an attitude of confidence in Thelema as a powerful religion that holds a key to Man’s freedom, as I believe it does.