One of the problems with so-called Thelemites and occultists in general is that in the pride of their own belief systems and out of petty spite against the Christian system they tend to ignore or dismiss symbols which have become identified with modern day Christianity.
One of the problems with so-called Christianity is that most of its priests and followers fail to understand the symbols that they have taken into their religion.
The holy symbols employed universally are eternal and not restricted to only one belief system. They have existed since before all present day systems and are likely to survive the destruction of these systems.
Let us take a closer look at one of these symbols - one which shows the decay and materialism of modern day Christianity, which, by the way, has very little to do with the original teachings of the Initiate named Jesus and called the Christ.
THE CROSS - especially the Cross surmounting [penetrating!] the Globe.
An important symbol to Thelema is the Point within the Circle, commonly used to represent Sol. The Point is, of course, Hadit, the Secret Centre, while the Circle is Nuit, the Star Goddess, the Circumference nowhere found. Whereas Hadit represents the core of every Star, the Centre of the Universe, the infinitely small, Nuit represents the vastness of Space, the infinitely great.
There is an obvious sexual symbology here, Hadit being within Nuit in a perpetual state of creation and destruction, an eternal Act of Love Under Will, an Act of Magick. But this Thelemic symbol is clearly of cosmic proportions, including every plane of consciousness, every level and dimension of existence.
The Cross, a symbol of great antiquity and appropriated by the early Christians and now thought to be their's exclusively, is nothing but the Point in extension. The Cross, or Point in Extension, extends into the four dimensions, the four quarters, the four Elements. Mostly the Christian version of the Cross, which is the Cross of Suffering, distinct from the equal-armed 'Greek' Cross, extends downwards and through the Element of Earth showing its tendency to exaggerate materiality. [If you do not think modern day Christianity, distinct from the teachings of Jesus, material, just look to the Pope in his affectatious regal and expensive robes and crowns, his palace, et al, and look also to the always open, begging hands of the priesthood. Today's Christian priests, with their hands, making the sign of blessing which ends open and palms up demanding alms.]
Where the Thelemic symbol shows the Point, the Male Principle, always and completely within the Circle, the Female Principle, expanding in every possible direction as the Circle ever contracts, the Christian symbol of the Cross is without the Circle [Globe or Sphere], extending in only four directions, and only in one of these, that pointing downwards [which is the direction the Christian Hell is commonly thought to be located] and earthwards, to penetrate the Circle.
Whereas there is no limitation or restriction in the Thelemic symbol, it is obvious that limitation and restriction is what the Christian symbol is all about - and limitation, no less, to the basest and most material planes of thought and being.
Still, as imperfect and material as the Christian symbol is, there is much about it that can be very instructive.
What follows is not likely to be taught by representatives of the Christian 'faith', if they are even aware of the meanings of their adopted symbols, and this is highly unlikely, except perhaps in Gnostic circles.
The Cross is the Male Principle, a truly Phallic symbol, whereas the Circle [or Sphere] represents the Female Principle, Mother Earth, the Kteis as well as the Womb itself.
It should be noted that these together form the symbol of majesty, but also, by its limitation to the purely material and downward direction, the Cross and Sphere [or Circle] is a symbol of the perversion of Love. It is naught but the symbol of Venus [Aphrodite], the Goddess of Love, reversed. [It should also be noted that, by virtue of the Union of the Male and Female symbols, the Globe surmounted by the Cross has been used as a symbol of the Great Work.]
The Greek Qabalah, which I am now in possession of, is very illuminating in regards to the Cross and Circle symbol. Likewise, the Hebrew Qabalah is of great assistance in understanding this symbol. [It should be noted that Christianity is primarily a hybrid religion, hung upon the skeletal system given by Jesus the Initiate, and fleshed out with elements from the early Greek and Hebrew religions along with bits and pieces from many others, such as the Egyptian religions of Dynastic times.]
The myth of Jesus tells of his sufferings culminating in his walk to the top of Golgotha, carrying the Cross, which is then erected atop the hill, and upon which he is then crucified. The crucifixion, which very likely never happened in the material, historical sense that Christians today ignorantly believe, was but the symbol of the Initiate's Crossing of the Abyss to become a Master of the Temple, and thence to go on teaching, but much different than before. The 18 lost years of Jesus, during which time he probably roamed the East, studying such things as Buddhism, known to the Tibetans as Saint Isa, account for his initiations in the lower grades, whereupon, at the age of 30, he reappeared in the homelands, sometime after attaining to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel [Adonai, the Lord, the Father], and being of the Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4° Grade faced the Ordeal known to Initiates as the Crossing of the Abyss.
Golgotha, a feminine word, means "the Place of the Skull [or Head]". This hill, a mound on Mother Earth, Earth itself, is thus, by its name, related to the Hebrew Qoph [QVPh], which means "the Back of the Head", which in turn has been said to be the seat of the sexual drive. Qoph is the name of the 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and its numeration is 100. 100 is also the numeration of Kaph, KPh, which is the name of the 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. [11 is the number of Magick; the 5 of the Pentagram, Man, united with the 6 of the Hexagram, God.] Kaph is composed of two letters, Kaph or K, with the value of 20 [20 also being the numeration of Yod, IVD, the "Secret Seed" of the Hebrew alphabet, euphemistically called "the Hand", which is an instrument used to procure that "Seed"], and Pe or Ph, the value of which is 80 [euphemistically called "the Mouth", although obviously not representing that particular orifice as the "tongue" is anchored to the top and not the bottom of the so-called "mouth", thus showing that this letter actually represents the Kteis, the so-called "tongue" actually being the clitoris as well as the "Secret Seed" implanted therein.] A closer study will show the dual sex of both letters. 80 is also the numeration of Yesod, ISVD, the 9th Sephira of the Tree of Life and the seat of sexuality, equal to the Muladahara Chakkra, and to which is attributed the Moon. These two letters, Kaph and Pe, are equal to K and Ph, which are in turn equal to the Greek letters of Kappa and Phi, the initial letters of Kteis and Phallus united in 100 and thus in Qoph.
As you can see, the Hebrew Qabalah leads directly into the Greek Qabalah. So let us now look at the word Qoph, QVPh, the numeration of which is 186.
186 may, at first, appear a very unimpressive number, but study it more closely. Aside from the fact that it is made up of the Phallus , Eternity or Infinity [the symbol of which appears to be an 8 on its side], and the Spermatozoon , 186 is also 93 + 93!
93, as every good [and not so good] Thelemite knows, is, among other things, the numeration of Thelema, Will, and Agape, Love. [Noting with delight that 186, being 93 + 93, may be interpreted as KHLLCh, Keallach, united with OIVZ, Aiwaz!]
186, it is now necessary to point out, is also the numeration of the following words in Greek:
Golgotha: f., meaning "the Place of the Skull", whereon Jesus is said to have been crucified. [Mt. 27.33; Jn. 19.17 of the New Testament.]
Gegonen: "It is done!" [Re. 16.17] Signifying the accomplishment of the Act.
pfr: i.e. pyr, "fire", the Digamma ["f" here] replacing the Upsilon by Aleister Crowley's spelling, signifying the heat of passion.
Ennoia: f., a Gnostic entity; meaning "attitude, thought, intention, conception, an idea, purpose, an intent"; another way of saying Will.
epimeleia: f., "care, attention" - both of which are necessary in these Workings or Orgia.
anegagon: "to lead or bring up, bring offerings, bring before."
Lerna: the marsh in Argolis that was the abode of the Hydra [Serpent/Dragon]; Lerna therefore being a symbol of the Kteis within which is the Phallus. [It could also represent the seat of Kundalini force.]
Daimonia: "Daemons", mis-called 'evil' by such ignorant religions as Christianity and equated with the lower demons or qliphothic shells. These Daemons are of a higher order, Geniuses [or Genii] of people, places and things, and in a way they are the product of such Orgia as Thelemites practice, symnbolised by the number 186 [see Liber QVPh of The Newaeon Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 5, p. 3]. More properly it is the Daemon or Genius of a person or thing that one contacts upon the Inner Planes by Workings done on the Outer Plane or Level of Consciousness.
Finally, showing the perfection of Thelema...
A.·.A.·. Orgia: or the Orgia of the great Order! The Orgia, from which the English word 'orgy' has come and by which profaned, means, in the original Greek, "secret rites, secret worship, the rites of Bacchus in particular; any mysteries; also practiced by the initiate alone or with an assistant at a secret place of worship of Demeter at Elesus." A.·.A.·. Orgia thus means the Secret and Sacred Rites and Mysteries of that lofty Order known as the A.·.A.·., the significance of which should be quite obvious.
As the Christians use the Cross surmounting and penetrating the Circle [or Sphere] it is an 'evil' sign perverting and profaning Love. But like the reversed Pentagram, pointing downwards, commonly regarded as 'evil', placing the Point of Spirit below the four Elements, this symbol also has its positive aspect, virtually unknown to the Christians.
The Cross surmounting [mounting!] the Circle is also a symbol of the Great Work, the Union of the apparent opposites, fulfilling the Thelemic formula of Love Under Will.
So look you now, scoffers at the religious belief systems of others, at their symbols, and know that those symbols actually belong to all of us. Instead of hating the Christians and the followers of the other Slave-Gods, feel some sympathy for their ignorant state and the trouble that it leads them into. If you will, and if they ask, help them to understand the symbols that they mistakenly believe to be their exclusive property. Help them to a better understanding of these emblems as you help yourself to a better understanding.
Christianity as it is 'practised' today is a caricature of the Mysteries taught by the Initiate Jesus, but remember that because of the corrupt priesthood most 'Christians' are kept in ignorance of the truth, and even most of the priesthood is kept ignorant by the Bishops, Cardinals and the Pope. Their ignorance leads them into folly - often very dangerous and destructive folly.
Neither the Christians nor the teachings of Jesus are our enemies, the enemies of Thelema. As it has always been, the true enemy is Ignorance.
There is rarely a need to destroy your enemy, that is, another person who opposes you. One might capture such an enemy by reason and by the sword of reason exorcise the true enemy, Ignorance.
Do not pity the followers of the Slave Gods, but understand them and, if they show any desire for truth, help them to come to the Light.
But remember: Convert not! Talk not overmuch!
If they refuse the Light that it is our pleasure to give freely, then do not cast your pearls before swine. If they hear a word you speak and wish to hear more, speak on. If they are repulsed and angered by your words, remember the fourth power of the Sphinx and Keep Silent.
Although humanity is broken up into many groups and follows different Ways, there is in fact no difference and as brothers and sisters we travel these different Ways to the one same Goal. So let us learn from one another and work together.
I am not preaching passivism but brotherhood. Most conflict is unnecessary and shows that one or more parties are at fault, a Star off course, and this may be true for any would-be Thelemite as for anyone else. Conflict can be minimized, each Star finding its orbit, and we can - we can! - bring the beauty of order to our world and reveal it to be the Paradise that it truly is. If someone turns away from this brotherhood - let them. They shall perish and be forgotten. Ignorance shall eat them wholly up and our world will be the stronger and better for it.
Post Script: Details regarding the Crossing of the Abyss and the continued Ordeal of the new Magister Templi, written from the Point of View of a Master of the Temple, will appear in future Encyclicals. [And can be found elsewhere on this web site.]