The Gnostic Church of L.V.X.

The Clerics of Thelema

By Frater Adonis

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

"Be the Priest, fervent of body and soul.", the Priestess intones as she consecrates me for the Gnostic Mass. And so it goes as I am ordained into that body of clerics known as the 'Wandering Bishops'. "Be the Lord present among us.", she further commands as she summons the forces of water and the fire; mother and father. And for a brief period I am more than a man among men. She has empowered me that I might ". . . administer the virtues to the brethren[.]"

And so the A.'.A.'. proclaims that there is an Holy Gnostic Catholic Church and it consecrates a priesthood of men and woman whose chief function is to conduct a group rite that celebrates the Goddess. Through the medium of the Priest, an energy is transmitted to the Priestess who towers over the ornate ritual as an icon of femininity. She is the visible object of worship.

There is a poetry here and, of course, a great bhakti. But let us remember that as we charge into this 'new age', we are still products of our parents. For those of us to whom the Gnostic Mass is appealing, we more than likely have some Christian or even Roman Catholic background. Should then, the Thelemic clerics be the bastions of morality and wisdom that the Christians expect from their priests? Has this idea been conditioned into our consciousness?

It would be impossible to answer this with certainty, I believe. On the one hand, any community needs a center for spiritual guidance. And in the Thelemic community, anyone who would claim to be that center is looked upon as a center of pestilence. And on the other hand, all our wisdom, as Thelemites, should come solely from the knowledge and conversation of our Holy Guardian Angel. Are we then a community of Anarchists?

What about the role of clerics in this chaotic current? Well, Liber Legis would still have us work well and with business way. In order to have a church, one still needs administrators and those that can be depended on to get certain clerical jobs done. As well, the officers of the mass itself need to be ready and able; they need proper training, etc. And quality people need to be available for all these various relationships to the chruch if it is to hold a spiritual community together.

If you are a priest or a priestess, you are one among many. In the Gnostic Chruches of Thelema all can qualify for the funcitonal roles of the mass itself. The training is made available for all who desire to participate at just such a level. There is really no genuine distinction made between thsoe who belong to the clergy and those who belong to the lay congregation. We know that the only sin is truly that of restriction and that to make such distinctions can only produce hurt. This we have learned from the Book of the Law.

During those moments when the rite of the mass is being performed, these people are most certainly divine messengers and their lives are most heartily dedicated to the task at hand. But when all is said and done, click your heels three times and say 'I will come down, I will come down, I will come down.' The idea of sacrificing or sublimating your sexual drive and/or your mundane existence in order to be virtuous and therefore qualified to administer the virtues is dangerously absurd. A far cry from our Christian heritage.

Does this mean that we might really be reactinaries after all? I should certainly hope not. That would mean that we are still under the yoke of Christianity and have not obtained the freedom necessary to walk the path of Thelema. I choose to see it as dealing more potently with the task at hand; which is to be of service to the greater whole (NUIT) -- which can only be successfully accomplished by keeping ourselves sane and healthy. We all see enough news to know what can happen when you lock a Roman Catholic priest and a little boy in a room together.

But what about the rest of the alternative clerical community outside the path of Thelema? There are covens and other mystical bodies where priests and priestesses are consecrated and ordained. Some of them are friends of mine. We met on the job or at a local lecture. Some are married with children; some are single and lonely. Some have great talent and intelligence as others lead more simple existences. Still, I truly marvel at how we all purposefully choose not to distinguish ourselves.

It seems that what I have written about Thelemic clerics can be very easily applied to pagan and wiccan clerics as well. There are no special collars to be worn when the Jones' invite you for dinner. There's no vice that needs to be hidden away in some closet until your neurosis makes you psychotic. If you need psychological counseling, see a shrink. If someone asks you for help, they are saying that I trust you as a friend and fellow sojourner in this life. An your position in our community is no more exalted than mine.

When I am the Priest in the Gnostic Mass, I am the Priest. What a truly marvelous energy rushes through my veins and fuses with my spirit. To straddle the energy aroused by all present can't be described. I can only advise you to try it for yourself. And when the rite is ended, a sweet memory lingers as I slip back into my everyday personality. And I've developed a special kinship for my partners in the venture. My Priestess and Deacon have become important to me as friends on a very deep level. We have taken a fascinating journey together.

Of ocurse, for the Pirestess and I, this is very deep indeed. Because even if it is not true in the normalcy of our mundane lives, on the magickal level of the mass, we are most certainly lovers. There is an alchemical bonding that has tied us together in time and space and the aethyrs beyond. The child we have produced is the eucharist of the mass; the product of the love we share for each other and the ocmmunity of friends that have gathered for the rite. This is all so extremely potent and revitalizing.

The fact that we have succeeded at the performing of the rite is evident in the joy imbued in everyone's face. We move onto a small feast that has been prepared for when the mass has ended. We catch up on everyone's lives as we haven't seen each other since our last mass. We plan and dream for even brighter futures. We know that we have all bonded with each other in a most extraordinary way and thank the gods that we can all be together in such a beautiful space as this.

Love is the law, love under will.