I will first have to confess that, two years ago, when I was here with Holly and Beverly, they led us nearly to the doorstep of the Thelemista temple. I found myself walking the same walk we had walked then. This time I had an address and knew what time to show up.
I was greeted at the door by none other than Elton, the gentleman who hosted a visit from me and the girls in 2007. After a brief reminder, he remembered me and the visit. He was wearing moose antlers (the same type worn by Lisa's dog Booger) and wished us all a Merry Moosemass. I replied by recounting to him the Moose Jokes.
Pretty close to the scheduled time, Mass began. From the first moment it was an experience to remember. The energy was greater and different from the typical Horus mass. The deacon started the ritual with the voice of enthusiasm. The priestess then ramped it up a few notches by dancing during her circumambulations of the temple. And so the ritual progressed. I was bothered a bit by the way most lines of the mass were spoken too fast, almost seeming that they were being gotten out of the way as a bother or impediment. But to slow it down and hang on the words with too much weight would be to fall into the fault of Horusm where Mass is sometimes almost somber. I want to find the best place between these two places.
But the many good points outweighed the few faults I found. The operative word is this: We "celebrate" Gnostic Mass. Horus needs to turn Gnostic Mass into a celebration. Finally, for whatever I may find strange about the energy or events of the evening, I remind myself that a few of the people there knew Grady McMurty and Bill Heidrick who, as faulted as they may have been, were the vehicles that carried the modern O.T.O. to its revival.
- Instead of a banishing, we all joined in a circle and intoned... Aum, aum, aum.
- When the priestess circumambulated the temple, it was a very energetic dance, with a fast drum beat and much happy movement.
- The anthem was sung by the priest, but with a melody I didn't recognize. While the melody itself wasn't rock-n-roll, the priest sang it that way.
- As each person finished communicating, there was a loud cheer of 'Oh Yes, Oh yes!' or 'Huzzah' from the congregation.
- Most communicants also followed up with hugging the priestess, priest and deacon in turn.
- There was only one wine goblet we all shared. On the one hand, this makes for a generous helping of wine. On the other hand, it is good way to spread my cold.
- Drums, tambourines, etc. Used with enthusiasm during both circumambulations and again while communicating. When the communicant turned to declare, 'There is no part of me that is not of the gods', the drumming would go dead silent. It was a good effect.
This was my first time using BART. Like all such public systems, it presents an inscrutable rubric to the new user. But once a few basic routines are learned, it becomes easy and graceful. Except for the guy announcing stops on the last train. He sounded like he was talking with an anesthetized tongue into a microphone buried in electrified Jello.