Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) is the first of the great Old Æon orders to accept The Book of the Law, received by Aleister Crowley in 1904 EV. This book proclaims a New Æon in human thought, culture and religion. The Æon arises from a single supreme injunction: the Law of Thelema, which is "Do what thou wilt."
This Law is not to be interpreted as a license to indulge every passing whim, but rather as the mandate to discover one's True Will and accomplish it; leaving others to do the same in their own unique ways. "Every man and every woman is a star." The Law of Thelema can ultimately be fulfilled only through the individual efforts of each person. Nevertheless, many worthy aspirants to the Great Work of Thelema have a genuine need for information, guidance, fellowship, or the opportunity to assist their fellow aspirants and serve humanity. Such aspirants will find welcome in O.T.O.
O.T.O. was originally affiliated with European Masonry but is no longer a Masonic organization, though it shares some terminology and traditions with Masonry. The complex but intriguing history of O.T.O. may be of interest for the light it sheds on the origins of our current organization and goals.
The O.T.O. operates local bodies throughout the world; most members participate directly in one or more of them. There are three levels of local bodies within the O.T.O.: Camps, Oases, and Lodges, in order of increasing importance and services available. Most local bodies offer classes on magick, ritual, cabala, and other topics of interest to practicing Thelemites. Many bodies perform the Gnostic Mass on a regular basis. Other common local activities include performance of group rituals (for example, the Rites of Eleusis), publication of a newsletter or journal, and cooperative activities with other local alternative-religious groups.
U.S. Grand Lodge is not a Lodge in the above sense; rather, it is the name of the entire national section of Ordo Templi Orientis in the United States, comprising all the local bodies and members in the U.S., together with the administrative officers and governing bodies responsible for its operation. As a nonprofit corporate entity, U.S. Grand Lodge is known as "O.T.O. U.S.A.".
It should be clearly understood that initiate membership in O.T.O. requires a physical ceremony, and that it offers offer no formal correspondence courses or other remote services, though informal correspondence with members is welcome.
O.T.O. is a California nonprofit corporation and a federally recognized tax-exempt religious entity under IRS section 501c(3). We have proven ourselves to be the genuine O.T.O. of Aleister Crowley, both in the U.S. Federal Courts, and more importantly by our demonstrated success in faithfully promulgating practical Thelemic philosophy through a careful implementation of Crowley's vision of the mission of the Order.