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About the O.T.O.

What is the O.T.O.?

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."


What is the Law of Thelema?

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.


Is the O.T.O. affiliated with Masonry?

No. The 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.


Where can I find O.T.O. bodies?

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. 


What is U.S.G.L. U.S.A.?

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.

I’m interested in initiation. How can I join the OTO?
As stated on the O.T.O. USA Grand Lodge website, “Initiate membership is available to every man and woman who is free, at least 18 years old, and of good report.” If you are seeking initiation, you are required to have the sponsorship of at least two initiates. With us, sponsorship is a very serious thing. To acquire a sponsor, it is highly recommended that you get to know some of our members, and to seek out those whom you trust and desire sponsorship from. 

How do I find a sponsor for initiation?
The best way to become acquainted with sponsors is to get to know the people in our local body. The best way to do this is to attend our monthly Gnostic Mass, or any other public event. We currently hold Gnostic Masses on the third Sunday of every month, and these events are completely open to the public. Please visit our calendar for more information.

Do I need to pay any dues or other fees in order to attend?
No, you are not required to pay any money in order to attend our public events. Dues are required of initiates of the Minerval degree or higher. There are monthly dues that are paid to the local body that you attend, and yearly dues that are paid to Grand Lodge. If you are already an initiate, local body dues can be paid at your convenience via PayPal at our Payments Tab.

I would like to attend a Gnostic Mass, what do I need to do?
If you would like to attend a Gnostic Mass, you may contact us privately to receive directions. You may access times and dates for our upcoming Masses via our calendar. Mass begins at 4:30 PM, and we ask all attendees to arrive between 4:00 - 4:30 PM so that we may familiarize them with standards and protocols and to take care of any business before Mass begins.

If you have any further questions that have not been addressed here, you may Contact Us for further details.
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