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KTO Thanks & Lon Milo DuQuette Lectures

I spent Saturday and Sunday at the Knights Templar Oasis of the Ordo Templi Orientis to attend two lectures by Lon Milo Duquette. The lectures were wonderful, and I'll discuss them more later. but right up front:

I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to the people at KTO for an extremely enjoyable weekend. The Knights Templar Oasis are excellent and gracious hosts, enjoyable company, and lively conversationalists. I had a fantastic weekend, thanks in large part to the KTO in their own right. In the end, the lectures themselves were the icing on a very fine cake.

Saturday's lecture was on the Thoth tarot, and presented primarily material from DuQuette's "Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot". The book itself has been of great value to me in understanding the symbolic story the Tarot tells. The lecture and presentation helped to clear up several points largely by condensing the text into a readily digestible meal. Proximity and presentation of the various subjects, combined with my learning style, opened up a new perspective on the deck that will take a lot of hashing-out and filling-in of blanks for me to explicate fully. Lon delivered the lecture with the humor and enthusiasm I've enjoyed on the WPBN podcast's "Dinner with Lon" segment.

The Sunday lecture was conducted in the form of a condensed 3-degree initiation into the Western mystery tradition. At one level, I didn't get a lot out of the lecture in terms of information: between my research into esoteric groups generally, and my study of both ancient and medieval philosophy, I have a solid intellectual acquaintance with the material.

On another level, the chaoist/Eristic attitude I've cultivated allowed me to commit myself to the initiatory process in such a way I was able to access the psychological and spiritual content in a meaningful way - the Order of Omega initiation was hilarious, fun, and purely Discordian in spirit. If I were to pick up and run with it, I would have to manage it in the same spirit in which I sometimes dole out the Pope cards- but in the same way that one gets out of a magickal operation what one puts into it, the initiation is in that sense valid, at worst I now have an in-joke with a group of relative strangers, and at best, we've become brethren of an order based on a joke. There are things that suck a lot more than that.

I will likely end up posting my notes on both lectures in the next few days, after I've had a chance to listen to the tapes and flesh out the spots that got thin on the note taking. I became so engrossed in the material, on the Tarot particularly, and was finding new associations with other material very rapidly at several points, rather like a low-grade psychedelic experience.