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Sappho Poetry Event

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Sappho is the most famous woman poet of the ancient world. The bulk of her poetry, which was well-known and greatly admired through much of antiquity, has been lost, but her immense reputation has endured through surviving fragments. Yet the fragments are lovely.

We will have a short talk on the life and work of Sappho, followed by a participatory poetry reading. You are welcome to find your favorite poem by Sappho and bring to read.

Sappho is honored by as a saint in the Thelemic Mass. The Thelemic Mass is a distinctive ritual of Temple of Thelema based on A.'.A.'. Liber XV: Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica Canon Missae (written by Aleister Crowley in 1913). Crowley sought to create a Mass specifically based on The Book of the Law and conveying its truths in a vehicle of popular religion. He succeeded beautifully. The result was Liber XV.

Unfortunately, he also wrote it to include distinctive symbols, and even confidential signs and tokens, of one organization of which he then was a senior officer (O.T.O.). Besides compromising that fraternity’s privacy, it also made the Mass overly narrow IF THE GOAL WAS TO REACH THE MOST DIVERSE COMMUNITY.

Temple of Thelema, many years ago, undertook a modest rewrite. About 93% of our Mass is Crowley’s sublime original. The other 7% is our distinctive contribution.

One of the purposes of the rewrite is to further equilibrate the balance between gender energies in the Mass: Social standards on this issue, thankfully, have shifted in the 90 years since Liber XV was crafted. One aspect of this was to include female saints along as well as male saints.

There have been requests for more information on who the 70 saints of the Thelemic Mass are. Tonight we will focus on one of the female saints from the ancient Pagans: The Greek poet Sappho. We will conclude with a poetry reading.

Love is the law, love under will.



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  • Selene M.

    A lovely event.

    August 30, 2013

  • Patrick

    Running a tad late, but should be there soon.

    July 27, 2013

  • Rev. Donna M Swindells, F.

    I wish I could attend this educational & exciting event featuring the poetry of beloved Sappho.
    Any possibility of a printed copy of the presentation?
    May your event be well attended.
    Best Wishes,
    Rev. Donna M Swindells

    July 19, 2013

  • Paul

    Greetings Everyone,
    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
    I have a large amount of books I am offering Crowley related and rare Crowley books also. If you would like the list, send me an email at:
    Just to let you know, I have not established any prices on any of them, that would be up to you.
    Love is the law, love under will.
    Frater Paulos

    June 30, 2013

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