Subject: Re: SV: Ordos Templis Orientalis
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 00:34:40 +0200
From: “Captain Bjørn Ursfjord” < ursfjord[at]powertech[dot]no >
Organization: PowerTech, +47-2301-0000
Newsgroups: alt.religion.wicca, alt.magick

William Edward Woody wrote in message …

<< Anyone who is alive and free and of sound mind is << entitled >> to take the OTO degrees up to the 3rd degree. I’ve heard (but again, take with a grain of salt, as I really do not know) that the 5th degree and above are by invitation. I don’t know anything at all about the requirements of the 4th degree, and I think there’s a degree between the 4th and the 5th.

And (again, as far as I recall), the degrees are “Minerval” (or 0th), 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. There is no such animal as the “3rd degree minerval.” Any OTO members reading this want to clarify? >>

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

The OTO actually consists of 12 degrees, from 0 (Minerval) to XI. All men and women who are free, of full age (18) and of good report has an indefeasible right to take the initiations from 0 to III. These 4 degrees are called “the Man of Earth triad”. Beyond the IV degree further advancement are by invitation only. The degree system eventually leads to initiation into the IX degree, also known as initiates of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis. This degree teaches the final secret of the magical system practised by the OTO, and the preceding degrees function as preparation to receive this knowledge by gradually initiating the candidate into the mysteries. The X degree is reserved for the Supreme and Holy King (Frater Superior) of the order, while the XI degree is said to have no direct link with the rest of the initiates and do their own magic apart from the rest of the body.

The titles of the first degrees are as follows:
0: Minerval (M)
I: Man and Brother (M.)
II: Magician (M:)
III: Master Magician (M.:)
P.: M.: (a pendant to the III degree)
IV: Companion of the Holy Royal Arch of Enoch

After these degrees, there are two more “triads”, the Lover and the Hermit whose membership cannot be applied for, but are subject to invitation from the governing bodies of OTO who consist of members in the two upper triads. The final degree of the Hermit triad is the IX degree, whose initiates are the only ones who know the identity of the Frater Superior. By the other initiates in our holy order he is only known by his magical motto, Hymeneus Beta.

In the lower degrees, initiates are taught the basics of the western hermetic tradition along with yoga techniques from the east to prepare one’s mind and body for the higher magic taught in the higher degrees. The time span for this advancement is as long as around 15 years (in the case of the one IX initiate I know personally) and the reason for this is that, as Crowley put it, “the secret of the IX degree is even easier to misunderstand than to profane”.

One may also add that initiates of the lower degrees are encouraged to make themselves worthy of invitation for advancement, so it can not really be called an elitist organization. I am myself a III degree initiate, after having been in the II degree for more than 8 years. Initiates are encouraged to make the decision for themselves as to when they feel ready for advancement. For the time being, there is a minimum period of one year between each initiation in the Man of Earth triad.

For a good description of the OTO today, I can recommend “The Equinox, Vol. III number 10”, which is available at

<< First, I don’t believe there is any requirement to being “white”, either skin-color wise, or magickally. >>

That is correct. Race is not an issue in the OTO, neither is sex. As far as I know, OTO is the only Masonic body where women are as welcome as men are.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

Frater Chaos III