The 93rd edition of the Skeptics' Circle is live at City of Skeptics. This time around, the Circle magically morphs into the form of a tarot reading... not just any tarot card reading, mind you, but "A Mystical Reading with Master Woo."
In keeping with the woofulness, we should be aware that this is a very, very special edition, a fact that I can reveal because of my own former delvings into the world of woo over many years. You see, the number 93 is of primal importance to the followers of Aleister Crowley, a master of the mystical powers of woo who founded his own religion, known by adherents as Thelema. One aspect of the religion is the importance of a kind of numerology derived from Kabbalistic gemmatria. Gemmatria proposes connections between the meanings of words based their numerical value. In Hebrew, letters have numerical values, and words with letters that add to the same sum are thought to do so because of a mystical connection between them. The Greek word "thelema," which means "will," adds to 93, the same as the total of the letters in the word "agape," meaning love. This led Woo Master Crowley to formulate what he and subsequent Thelemites consider the central tenet of the Thelemic faith, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will." This is essentially a mathematical formula expressing the same mystical unity that is promulgated in eastern mysticism. "Love under will" can be seen as a simple division equation:
Love under will = thelema/agape = 93/93 = 1
And what does it all mean? Well, nothing, or at least nothing more than any mystico-religious formula from the Christian mystery of the trinity to the Wiccan threefold law.
Today, the wooings and doings of Crowley are carried on by the church/order that he founded, the Ordo Templi Orientis or OTO. According to the USA Grand Lodge:
Although officially founded at the beginning of the 20th century e.v., O.T.O. represents a surfacing and confluence of the divergent streams of esoteric wisdom and knowledge which were originally divided and driven underground by political and religious intolerance during the dark ages. It draws from the traditions of the Freemasonic, Rosicrucian and Illuminist movements of the 18th and 19th centuries, the crusading Knights Templars of the middle ages and early Christian Gnosticism and the Pagan Mystery Schools. Its symbolism contains a reunification of the hidden traditions of the East and the West, and its resolution of these traditions has enabled it to recognize the true value of Aleister Crowley's revelation of The Book of the Law.The Book of the Law is, of itself, worth reading for some rather grandiose claims and bizarre statements. It forms a foundation for much woo that came after and is particularly fun to read after the consumption of large quantities of "wines that foam." It is particularly opposed to rational inquiry and critical analysis or, as the Book itself puts it:
27. There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason.Love is the law, love under woo!
28. Now a curse upon Because and his kin!
29. May Because be accursèd for ever!
— The Book of the Law, II: 27-29
Skepticssa has done a great job with latest Circle. I'm sure To Mega Therion would be proud. Or pissed. Nah, most likely he'd be passed out...