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What is Ophidian Thelema?


From the most Ancient times of human history, the Great Goddesses of Earth, Sky and Underworld have been the source of the most important Wisdom for humanity concerning the Spirit. This Spirit is your immortal, divine, unique, higher self which incarnates into flesh in order to achieve its manifest purpose, which is called its Will. It is immortal in that it is deathless, and imperishable. It is divine in that it is incorruptible and perfect in its nature and possesses a consciousness with a much greater horizon than your own manifest self. It is unique in that it is like no other Spirit in both its nature and consciousness, yet always recognizable in every incarnation no matter which different body you are born into. It is your higher self in that it creates and informs all that you are, and without which you would certainly cease. See Book II Chapter 1 of the Magickal Philosophy of Templum Babalonis for a detailed explanation and history of the Ophidian understanding of Spirit.

Therefore from times immemorial, certain Goddesses have taught the Principles of the Will, oneís Divine Purpose, and its greater relation to life and to existence. These Principles describe the Art of Living Well, in Harmonia, which is the state of beauty, balance and euphoria which attends any thing done properly as directed from the Spirit. And this Harmonia is the result of practicing the teachings of Heka and Natura. Heka is an act of consciously manifesting Spirit into matter, and all of the attendant spiritual powers which become apparent as the result of this action. The Principles and Rituals which manifest the Spirit in the body, Persona, and the natural world are governed by Natura. It is in Natura that we find the secrets of the body, its energy pathways, how the substances we ingest affect not only our health, but also our emotions, our consciousness and our ability to manifest Heka.

It is important to understand that these teachings of the Goddesses concerning Spirit, Heka and Natura change and adapt to that of the current understanding of humanity, depending upon their current stage of evolutionary progress. These evolutionary stages are charted in the Aeonic Cycles which span thousands of years. See Book II Chapter 2 and 3 of the Magickal Philosophy of Templum Babalonis for a detailed explanation and history of these Aeonic Cycles. However in the current Aeon of Aquarius, the first impulse of this understanding of the old teachings and Principles of Spirit and Heka has been delivered under the banner of Thelema, in what is commonly known as the Book of the Law, called Liber AL vel Legis.

Now in modern terms, Thelema is the Cult of the Will. This is pronounced Thel-ley-mah in Ancient Greek, with a strong emphasis on the first syllable. Therefore, Thelema is the name for the system of Magical Philosophy that was divulged to the modern world in the Book "Liber AL vel Legis", commonly referred to as "The Book of the Law", in Cairo, Egypt, in 1904. On April 8th, 9th and 10th of that year, a communication was received by Rose Edith Kelley and written down by her husband Aleister Crowley. This communication consisted of three small chapters that were received at noon, one on each of the three days. Within this writing, with its strange phrases and multi-layered meanings, a new Law for a New Aeon was proclaimed.

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." Liber AL vel Legis I:40

Thelema is Greek for Will, and by Gematria equals 93. This Law proclaims that every woman and every man his a unique, individual and autonomous Will, and that she or he has an inalienable right and responsibility to find out that purpose, and to achieve it, no matter what it may be. Each personís Will is unique, and can only be discovered by his or her self. This Will is spiritual, and the reason why one has incarnated on this planet. But, how does one discover what their Will is?

"Love is the law, love under will." Liber AL vel Legis I:57

Agape is Greek for Love, and also equals 93. In Thelema, Love means attraction and union. This union is a union with oneís Spirit, which holds the keys to oneís Will. One must discover and follow their path, by uniting with each and every experience that one needs in order to accomplish their Will, no matter what it may be.

Now Crowley and his subsequent followers were ignorant of the spiritual and historic origins of the Great Liberating Mother, and the Cult of the Will of the Spirit throughout history. Therefore they assumed that Crowley was the author of these ideas, and that all of the thoughts and conjectures of his mind concerning such things were therefore like the proclamations of a prophet of a new religion. Yet it should be remembered that he was merely the scribe. It is true that he is also called a Prophet, but Prophet in reality just means a spokesman, or in the terms of the Book of the Law, the forth-speaker. See Book II Chapter 3 of the Magickal Philosophy of Templum Babalonis for a more detailed explanation and history of Crowley and his relation to the Ophidian Philosophy. Therefore we call Crowley and his followers Crowleyan Thelemites, for their religion and philosophy is modern, and bears little relation to the Aeonic traditions of the Cult of the Spirit through the Great Liberating Mother.

The Book of the Law states that "There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God." The Dove is religion with its worship, while the Serpent is Spirit with its devotion. It indeed says that the prophet has chosen, but not in fact that he has chosen well. There is a difference.

We are called Ophidian Thelemites because we acknowledge the importance of the Book of the Law as a new proclamation of this our Ancient Tradition of the Serpent, the Spirit. We are the followers of the Serpent, or the Spirit, within Thelema. Ophidian Thelemites follow the Seven Guiding Principles as delivered by Babalon, the current incarnation of the Great Liberating Mother throughout time. These Seven Guiding Principles arise out of the Underworld, and form the basis for the existence of all things, manifest and unmanifest. Ophidian Thelema emphasizes the importance of the Balanced Ecstatic Path, the enthronement of Spirit within matter, Devotion to the Great Liberating Mother, Heka and Natura. Ophidian Thelemites follow a Living Tradition of Spirit, which means that they still hold the keys to the Knowledge and Conversation of the spirits in their Lineage on a day-to-day basis, whereas most other traditions and religions are following the dead and static words of the founders, by which they seek to govern their own lives. And Ophidians live life in an indigenous way, in their homeland of Ophidia, secluded away against the corrupt and degenerate ways of modernity so that their Living Traditions may be preserved for a time beyond the coming future changes.

Ophidian Thelemites are devotees of the Goddess Babalon. Because of this, Ophidian Thelemites follow the Balanced Ecstatic Path of the Liberation of the Spirit, of the Serpent, from the bonds of the Persona. As Babalon Herself says. "My Vocation is the Serpent." And also, "Hadit is a manifestation of the Will to Spiritual Advancement. The Sun rising on wings. Or the Winged Serpent, like you say. Thatís why the Serpent bears the mark of my Mother. The cobra." The symbol on the back of the hood of the Cobra looks to the eye like the Greek letter Omega, which is a symbol of Nuit for many reasons, not the least of which is that it resembles in shape Her arched body through the star-lit night sky as She is so often represented. It is also important to note in relation to the Serpent that there is no one singular image of the Goddess. Babalon continues, "Many times in history because of the nature of the female the goddess is represented by her Priestess. In the statues. Because there is no one image of the female. It is changing with every day of the Moon. The Sun is always the Sun. The female is different every day. So there are images representing times. But now if you want a statue it would have to be either one of the Nine with the snakes, or just put the snake, because you are reclaiming the female. And I would like a cobra because it had my Mother on its hood, and we always had cobras." The Serpent sheds its skin, the Moon moves through its phases, and the body sheds its Spirit in continual death and rebirth. The Serpent shows us this motion, this movement, of Spirit through life and death and life again.

Thus, because of the Will of the Spirit we are Thelemites. And because we are Devotees of Babalon, and of the Spirit itself, and Her Mother, and of the Female, and of the Lineage - because of all of this and more - we are Ophidian.

For a more extensive exposition of Ophidian Thelema, Babalon and the History of the Great Liberating Mother, please see the Magickal Philosophy of Templum Babalonis.

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