"Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known." CCXX I.10
"There is a word to say about the Hierophantic task. Behold! there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest; Thus ye have star & star, system & system; let not one know well the other!" CCXX I.50
"A feast for fire and a feast for water; a feast for life and a greater feast for death!
"A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my rapture!
"A feast every night unto Nu, and the pleasure of uttermost delight!
"Aye! feast! rejoice! there is no dread hereafter. There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu." CCXX II 41-44
Ken Ward, known to us in the Thelemic and occult community as Frater O.v.N., died suddenly at the age of 61 on November 12, 2005 E.V., another victim of cancer. It seems that he had been suffering from the illness for quite some time, although neither his wife and sons, nor his friends were aware of it. If Ken himself had known he had kept it to himself. He was a man whose concern for others far outweighed his concern for himself. Of late he had expressed to me great concern over his wife's health, and yet his only complaint regarding his own health to me was that he was often tired. I, and perhaps Ken himself, attributed his weariness to his increased work load at the college in which he held a teaching position, partly the additional Analytical Chemistry lectures he had to take on after the death of his collegue Scott, on February 23 of 2005 E.V. Scott himself was a victim of cancer, a disease which also claimed the life of my own cousin Brian Coyle this same year.
My friend Ken Ward, down-to-earth, his feet firmly planted in reality as he reached for the stars, left behind the love of his life, Kathie, his wife for thirty-eight years, and his two sons, Jacob and Jamie. His love of chemistry and teaching, of the esoteric and especially Thelema, was only exceeded by the love he had for his family, always the first and most important subject of our conversations these many years.
It was sometime in 1977 E.V. when I received Ken's name and address on a mailing label among many sent to me by the late Helen Parsons Smith who, in a separate letter, told me that ethics would not allow her to share her mailing list with me when I had requested this assistance in getting the first printed issue of The Newaeon Newsletter ready for distribution. It was Helen's compromise with her ethics that brought Ken and I together those many years ago. Ken was, at that time, deeply involved in his investigations of the various occult organizations and personalities active then. We disagreed upon one individual in the occult community, he believed at least somewhat in the man and I, as should be no surprise to you, thoroughly disapproved of this character. Our hardly begun correspondence stopped at that time and I signed what was to be my last letter to him, "Yours as Harpocrates", the Lord of Silence. Ken has the distinction of being the only person to whom I ended a letter in this manner that I later reestablished contact with. He had come to agree with me in regards to the individual we had earlier disagreed upon during that brief period of time in which we were not communicating, and despite the fact that we did not always agree, perhaps because he did not always agree with me, we became friends for life.
Over these past few decades, Ken and I have enjoyed a strong friendship, exchanging ideas and gifts, assisting one another, our friendship strengthened by our mutual fascination with Aleister Crowley and our shared love for Thelema and all of its potential for the revolution and evolution of human society. I also came to think of Ken as my biggest "fan", for my older Brother-in-Thelema came not only to admire me as much as I admired him for so many reasons, but he more than any other of the few friends with whom I have so far shared my as yet unpublished manuscripts not only praised my work, but provided me with honest constructive criticism, possessing a sincere desire to see my work one day published. Unfortunately he did not survive to see the publication or even the completion of the trilogy I am currently involved with, nor the "birth" of a character who has now been long within the womb of my mind, described to Ken not long before his death.
I will miss Frater O.v.N. more than I can express with mere words -- his wry humour, his analytical mind, penetrating reason and intellectual wit. In my brother I saw a sincere Thelemite and Magician, a bit of an Alchemist, and above all a Man who had earned that noble title so carelessly applied by most to human males. It is not an easy thing to become a real Man in life, but by way of not only his love for honesty and knowledge, for Thelema and magick, but mostly his love for his wife and sons, in complete disregard for his own ego, Ken Ward proved beyond all doubt that he was a Man.
Whatever lies beyond this life in the embrace of Our Lady of the Stars, Nuit, Ken will live on in my heart and mind, as he will within the hearts and minds of all who knew him.
In mid-April 2008 E.V. I received a letter from Ken and Kathie Ward's son, Jamie, seventeen years of age, now living with relatives. Sadly, for those of us left behind, he informed me that his mother, after an illness, recently passed away. Kathie was a charming woman, warm and friendly, much loved by her husband and family. She possessed an inner beauty that brought light to the darkness and that brilliance of being will be very much missed in the world. She and Ken leave behind two sons, Jamie Dakota and Jacob Ward, who will, I am sure, carry on their name with strength and nobility.
No one, neither priest nor psychic, nor even magicians who recall past incarnations, really know for certain what lies beyond the veil of death, but I would like to think and personally hope that there is something beyond this life where Ken was waiting with open arms for his beloved wife Kathie, and that they are again together enjoying a great and glorious spiritual honeymoon.