Soror Ley is a Thelemite who is currently Secretary of Bafomet Oasis in the Valley of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
My first boyfriend was in the Golden Dawn, so he told me about Crowley and showed me Crowley’s biography. Because I’ve been into witchcraft and all kinds of magic from around the world, I appreciated the usage of magical tools, an altar, and the esoteric books of my boyfriend although he was not a Thelemite. Since he belonged to and studied in the Golden Dawn, I wanted to find an esoteric Order as well; all the various statements by Crowley I had read planted a seed in my head. I found the contact of the Master of our Oasis and have since then started my Great Work, and it has been almost 10 years since then.
What is Magick to you?
Magick is an alchemical work that is first of all within an individual, where the consciousness works on the matter (body-mind) and transforms it under its Will, and – as a consequence – the same transformation projects into the outside world to help the magician better comprehend his or her True Will. In other words, the Great Work is the process to achieve our True Will, and Magick is an art or tool for doing so, and it is based on the deep knowledge of natural laws of the Universe.
Why do you think Thelema is different from other philosophies? What makes it stand out to you?
As a specialist on comparative religions, I always used to say that the main proposition of Crowley and the Law of Thelema is not new in this world. We only need to delve into different kinds of the world’s mystic practices and ways of living to see that the central position of the man who works with the Universe to achieve his True Will is not new in our history. But, as a prophet of the New Aeon, Crowley gave this philosophy-religion-way of living a new form to be presented for the mind and consciousness of the modern, Western man. The other difference to me is the perfect alchemy or mixture of East and West, the recovery of the Western tradition of the Holy Grail and the Indo-European spiritual path.
What do you love about OTO? What drew you to it? What makes you stay?
For me the OTO as a social organization is wonderful because of its members who always make you feel at home, like you’re with your true family. Actually, I left my family when I was 15 and the OTO replaced them quickly in my heart. The OTO environment, energy, and its people encourage me to perfect myself; OTO is an experimental place where my True Will encounters another individual’s Will, and we both have to learn how to develop ourselves wisely. “Love is the law,” as it is said, so the place where all Brothers gather is a place to learn about Love. The exchange of magical experience is another important aspect of OTO.
I guess I don’t even see myself without being involved in social development of the OTO, so that’s why I’m still here. Serving my Order every day becomes more and more of a privilege, it nourishes me and help me to grow much more quickly than if I would walk the Path alone.
What do you think are most important Magick and meditation practices?
For me, the very best practice is a continuous conversation with our Holy Guardian Angel and its invocation within us. Also, the daily constant routine is important for the maintenance of proper magickal environment: Banishing, Hexagrams, Sun salutations, the food ritual of Will, and the reading of The Book of the Law. These routines have to be maintained for beginners as well as for advanced adepts as well.
As for meditation, I personally believe that is not actually possible to “practice” it: it rises as the Sun by itself when one is ready. As well, it is not possible to achieve a conversation with your HGA, it just happens or not. One can only do one’s best to let it happen. In Magick as well as in Yoga, people often confuse meditation with concentration practices and techniques. To mention one example from Crowley: In the practice of Liber Jugorum, one chooses one word, for example “I,” and tries not to pronounce it during one week or more. Every time you break the rule, you have to make a cut on your arm. All kind of concentration practices train our mind to remain focused on any subject we choose, and this ability can be applied in any ritual as well. Nonetheless, true meditation – i.e. losing the consciousness of space-time and becoming one with the thing we do – is a different process, and I think these things are better developed in Yoga. I hope Crowley will not get angry with me!
What do you think is the thing that most people misunderstand about Thelema?
People often confuse Thelema with Crowleyanism, and instead searching for their True Will they lose themselves into a false cult to a human personality – in this case, Crowley’s. It’s very frustrating seeing people not being able to distinguish Crowley’s works as a magician from his life as a human being, trying to imitate his human life in everything; it’s the childish behavior of constant imitation.
The other silly mistake is to confuse “Do what thou wilt” with “Do what you want,” which happens to people who only need an excuse to release the repressions of their inner mind or to perform their miseries with or to other people without trying to go beyond that. This is simply a kind of animal behavior.
Why do you think OTO is important to Thelema?
Basically, OTO is a physical manifestation or body of Thelema, a physical vehicle which consists of the junction of its members. OTO a common space for all Thelemites for share their experiences and learn from each other. OTO is an oasis in the infinite desert-space of Nuit, where all travelers can stop all the time they wish and have a spiritual rest during their journey towards Freedom.
What do you think are the most important aspects of Thelema?
The Gnostic Mass, as a daily, weekly, or monthly communion with the Gods and the Mystery, leads to inner alchemical transformation. Regarding the OTO, initiation is the most important aspect, being the multiple steps on one and the same ladder.
Where do you see OTO going in the next 10 years?
I think that we are now the dinosaurs of the New Aeon, so in the future I can only see greater expansion of our Order, growing in its local bodies and adepts, development of more sophisticated magickal methods and a new point-of-view on interpretations of the Law of Thelema. After few thousand years, I can easily see the potential decadence and decline of the Law, which will be replaced by another Law as its said in Liber AL.
What is your favorite part about the Gnostic Mass?
I largely see the Mass from the Priestess’ point-of-view, and I’m sure that my favorite part could change from another perspective, but, as a Priestess, I love to see people to take their communion in front of me. I suppose it’s a moment when I can feel myself as a Nuit, giving food to my children.
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
The question I’ve been trying to discuss for years with different OTO authorities and for which I have still not received any satisfactory answer is the question regarding the false social gender construction (based on male-female representations) in Thelema, including the roles of the Gnostic Mass and, actually, the whole Thelemic pantheon. My question always was and still is: why are the roles of Priest and Priestess, or Nuit and Hadit, or Babalon and Therion necessarily related and can not be moved from what we socially consider as male-female roles based on, in my opinion and that of many philosophers of gender, a false social construction of certain characteristic we “should” have and perform through our whole life in the society depending on our genitals only. Or: why can only a person who was born with certain genitals be a Priestess and not the Priest and vice versa? Is it because the OTO consider that the genitals make the gender of the person and become its cage for the rest of his life? And, as a magicians and mystics, why we should repeat the same slavish mistake in our rituals as in the past, and why do we not try to break this cliché? I definitely consider this to be a silly, childish way of thinking to attribute to what we call Nuit, all kinds of what we call “female” characteristics and behaviors. These are only called female “thanks” to our slavery society that repeats every day how a female or male should think, behave, and to be along with what “she” or “he” is supposed to do with his/her genitals. The same goes for many different archetypes of Magick and mysticism. I think is an important issue that should be questioned, and I believe that the deconstruction of such an old human lie – the gender division of roles – would bring us more close to Love and Freedom.