-From the Bodymaster-


Summer 2012

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

June

The last few months have been a whirlwind sort of experience. We started the month of June off with a Second Degree initiation down at Sword and Serpent’s temple. It was a great beginning to the last few months and got the Thelemic energy flowing for everyone who attended.

The next weekend, we attended the Babalon Rising Festival where Black Sun members performed a Gnostic Mass to a congregation of more than 50 people. It was a very awesome and slightly overwhelming feeling. That is the largest group of people that we have had at a single Mass before which was fantastic. It was also good to be able to spend some time with fellow Thelemites for a few days.

Upon returning from Babalon Rising, we had a week off, but some of us were able to attend another initiation at Pyramid Lodge in Buffalo, NY. It was, as usual, wonderful to spend a little time with the Brethren there and to engage in brilliant conversation with them.

The following weekend was our celebration of the Summer Solstice. From what I have been told, there was a good turn out and much fraternal conversation and enjoyment of one another’s company was shared. This was also the weekend of the Centennial Celebration at William Blake Lodge. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend their event and participate in the festivities as we celebrated 100 years of Ordo Templi Orientis in the English speaking parts of the world. There were several brilliant parts of that weekend, and I thank all of WBL for their effort and energy!

The following weekend I spent in Chicago, IL for more initiation work. It was an amazing way to finish such a month of activity! I want to extend my deepest appreciation for everyone who put so much work into making this Work possible. I hope that I am able to live up to everyone’s expectations, especially my own!

July

The first weekend of the month of July was open which gave me a chance to catch my breath and sit down with my fellow officers to debrief on all of the things that had been happening over the last few weeks. Our break was short-lived though as we made the journey to join our Brothers in the valley of Pittsburgh, PA to participate in their Minerval initiations. These initiations were the first to be done in the valley of Pittsburgh in 10 years, and we were honored to be a part of them. I think it is safe to say that everyone who attended had a very memorable experience and the strength of our fraternal bonds was definitely strengthened through our working together to provide an awesome initiation for our newly-made Guests.

There was a great discussion of Liber O at the Black Sun temple the following weekend while I was again away. Brother JI wrote a new temple opening ritual and performed it for the first time. Meanwhile, I had the pleasure of performing the Gnostic Mass at Sword and Serpent Oasis on Saturday which was followed a fantastic evening of fraternity. Sunday I performed the Gnostic Mass again with the Brethren of Blue Equinox Oasis (twice!), which was again followed by a brilliant night of fraternity.

Soror NO started a Night of Nuit for women interested in the OTO to have an opportunity to sit down and talk with other women about their experiences in the Order. If there are any women interested in joining her for the next one, keep an eye out for it to be posted on our calendar and to be announced on the BlackSun93 e-list.

The next weekend we were back in our temple with a private Gnostic Mass. I was very happy to have our Brother AA serve as the Priest for the first time in quite a while. He did a great job, and I look forward to seeing him in the role many more times to come!

August

The second weekend of the month of August started out with a discussion about Liber LXV. This book is so full of passionate words of love and adoration that it was a joy to discuss it and share our thoughts on which verses spoke to us in particular. I am looking forward to the next discussion on one of our Holy Books!

We had a very informational discussion in Robe Design the following weekend. It was good to see so many people interested in learning a skill that will serve them in their future endeavors with the Order as well as their personal work, magical and mundane. I expect that after the next of Soror NO’s sewing classes that we will begin the Black Sun sewing shop and start working on putting some robes, banners, and other magical sewing projects in the works!

I had the opportunity to visit a few of our Brothers in West Virginia for a few days as well. It was very good to have some time to hang out and build stronger bonds of fraternity as well as get to see what they are working on building. I was and am very encouraged by their interest and devotion to the building of a local body in their state and the people they are attracting to our Work.

Our last temple event for the month of August was a very new and beautiful experience for many of us at Black Sun Oasis. We performed a Greater Feast Mass for the wife of one of our Brothers. It was the first time that we worked with this kind of celebration of the Gnostic Mass, and it was a very different one than I expected. The energy of the Mass was more subdued in many ways than it normally feels, but the intensity of the Work was still potent. The closing portion of the Greater Feast Mass was a very new experience for all who participated, but I think it gave us a real opportunity to see the nature and essence of the work that we do throughout our lives. The Greater Feast that followed was delicious and filled with much conversation about the life and Work of a woman few of us had met, but all of us felt much closer to through the reading of her poetry and the stories we heard of her life and time with our Brother. I wish that I had known her. She was a remarkable woman.

The next day, we attended the Cleveland Pagan Pride Days in Bedford, OH. I was not sure quite what to expect, but I was hopeful that things would go well. I was pleasantly surprised to be enthusiastically welcomed along with the other members of Black Sun Oasis. Our discussion about the OTO and our involvement and experiences with it was well received. Several great discussions followed with a few of the people who had attended, and we all had a great time participating in a community that we have silently belonged to for too long. I hope that this was the beginning of many more collaborations and shared experiences to come.

Coming Months

Over the next few months we have many more exciting events to come. In September, we have two Priest Ordinations, IV* and P.I. initiations, and a Minerval Roundtable discussion that will be tyled to Minerval. In mid-late October or maybe into November, we are planning a Gnostic Mass weekend that we are tentatively calling a Mass of Masses. The purpose of this weekend is to get people who are novitiates working on learning the Gnostic Mass to get together and have the opportunity to work with other people than they may have had the opportunity to work with before. I am hoping that we will be able to bring everyone who participates the opportunity to work with at least two ordained clergy at least once over the course of the weekend. I think this will be a great learning opportunity and the Masses will be taped for those who would like a copy of their performance to be sent to their Bishop.

So, I guess to sum it all up, this has been a very busy past few months for Black Sun. I expect that things will settle down a little as the summer comes to a close, but it is difficult to know for sure how anything will play out. I want to thank everyone who has helped me to make all of the things that we do possible. I also want to remind everyone that we are a 501c3 (nonprofit organization) and that any donations to our Work are tax deductible and very welcome! The work that we do is worthwhile and important, but it is by no means free and every bit helps. If you would like to make a donation to Black Sun Oasis, you can do so through PayPal to our account under treasurer@blacksun93.org. We will also be updating the webpage with a link that will allow for you to enter in whatever amount you would like to donate. Thank you for your support!

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

Summer Solstice 2011 ev

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

As I sat down to write this it occurred to me that it has been a while since my last update. We have been very busy with the Work of the Oasis over the past few months. So far this year, we have performed 12 Minerval initiations, 6 First degree initiations, 3 Second degree initiations, and 1 Third degree initiation. There will be more of each of these before the year is out, but as I think about it, we have been very busier with initiations than we have been for a while. That is something that I am both proud of and excited to see.

We have done 2 Gnostic Masses so far this year, and although both have been private, it was amazing to see more than 25 people in attendance at the last one. I think that may be the most people I have ever heard of being at one of our local Masses. This is also very exciting. We have been doing Gnostic Mass practices every other Sunday at 11:00 a.m., and it is very good to see that there are a lot of people interested in learning and performing that ritual. I have been performing this ritual as the Priest for more than 10 years at this point (the last 2 as an official Priest of the EGC) and can only say that I am thrilled to see so many people interested in working that magic.

We have also been working a lot with other local bodies of the OTO quite a bit. I love going to other valleys or having them come to us and sharing ideas and energy. I want to extend my thanks to all of the Brothers and Sisters who have welcomed us into their homes and temples as well as those who have come to visit and join us in ours. The feelings of Fraternity grow so much with each of these visits. Thank you all for the Agape! The Thelemic current is growing stronger in the Mid-west, and I want to see that continue to grow, develop, and prosper in the years to come.

Specifically to my Brothers and Sisters at Black Sun, your work and devotion to our Temple has helped us to transform a bunch of dirty and grimy rooms into a space that we can all be proud of and comfortable in. It has been a lot of work, but the benefits of that labor are beginning to show. This past weekend was a testament to that. We would not have been able to host so many people so comfortably before we had this space, and I hope that you are all as proud of our accomplishments as I am. We are not done with our Work, but it is very gratifying to see that the efforts we have put into this endeavor are indeed paying off. I thank you all for everything you have done, are doing, and will continue to do as we move forward.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

Black Sun Space Update

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

I would like to take a moment to update everyone on our progress with the Temple. This past weekend, we finished up the painting which has been a rather large chore. I thank everyone who has come forward to help out with this. We will be working on getting the floors cleaned up this week and putting lights up in the Temple room. Hopefully, we will be able to have the floor finished by the beginning of March. We will then be moving in furniture and getting things rolling with the finishing touches.

I wanted to send out a reminder, that the private list is going to be for members only as of March 20, 2011 e.v. If you are not a member of Black Sun, you will be removed from this list. To be considered a member of the list, you must contribute either $31.00 or three or more hours to Black Sun. Affiliate and Associate members are still valuable and important to the body, but contribute less to the body (either financially or with volunteer time). Those who would be considered Student members must contribute $11.00 per month and some volunteer time to the body. If you have any questions about any of these designations, please contact me, and I would be happy to discuss them with you.

I want to be clear about the expenses that Black Sun has so that our members will see how their support is affecting the body. For the month of January, Black Sun Oasis paid $500 for meeting space, $40 for water and trash disposal, $203.02 for gas, and $162.94 for electric. These expenses do not include any of the cleaning materials or hard work that was contributed to the body in the effort to get the Temple in usable condition. Your contributions, dues, and donations make paying these expenses possible.

So far, we have had two initiations and one lecture meeting in the new space. I expect that as the weather warms up the gas and electric charges will drop (hopefully significantly). As I mentioned above, we are coming to the end of our preliminary labor to get the space ready for us and will soon be able to move to performing regular maintenance cleaning. There are a few other projects that we will be working on in the next few months and more details will be coming about them.

As we now have a dedicated space for the body, there is no longer any need for us to cancel or reschedule meetings or events. Events will be scheduled and unless there is a dire emergency, we will adhere to that schedule. I understand that sometimes things come up and that life happens, but the work of the body will be independent of such demands. It is very important to me that when we say we are going to do a thing, that we do that thing on schedule. We are working to see if there is a way that members will be able to access a common calendar of Black Sun events to avoid any miscommunications. We will also send out reminders two weeks in advance of our schedule to assure that everyone is informed of our events. Ultimately, the burden of making the events of Black Sun Oasis a priority is the responsibility of the membership. We will be putting the calendar together for the next quarter very soon.

I would like to urge those who have not contributed yet to do so. Black Sun’s new Temple is for all of those who would call it home and value it as such. It is a place for us to come together away from the everyday mundane to celebrate our rituals and ourselves. Again, I thank those who have contributed their time, energy, and resources to helping us with the new space. I know that it has been a lot of work to get things ready, and I appreciate everything people have been willing to do to help out.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

Fraternally,

Rc

Black Sun Oasis Acquires A Space!

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Guests, and other members of our community,

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

As some of you have probably already heard, Black Sun Oasis has acquired a temple space. With this new space come new responsibilities. We have a lot of work ahead of us to prepare the space and to maintain it. It will be important for all of us to pull together to make the new space a place that we can all be proud of and a place we can use to help Black Sun grow and prosper. Please let me know if anyone is interested in seeing the new space, I would be happy to arrange a time to meet for you to see our new Temple.

By having a separate space, we will be able to have larger and more open meetings and events. We will not be as tied to having our meetings only on weekends and will be able to host events during the week as well. We will be able to have a more regular schedule for rituals. We will have workshops to help initiates interested in learning the Mass as well as our initiation rituals (tiled to the appropriate degree). We will be able to have our library easily accessible to our members. Meetings will no longer be required to be in our homes, which takes a large burden off of initiates to host meetings and gives us a place that we will be able to come to as Brothers and Sisters. There are likely many other benefits that we will experience, but there is work to be done before this can happen.

First, we will need to prepare the space for our use. Over the next few months, we will be cleaning and preparing the space. There is a fair amount of work that needs to be done. We will be planning to have “work parties” every weekend until the space is ready. For the first month, we will be removing a wall and finishing a few of the rooms. We will then do any other construction work that needs to be done, paint, and clean the space. Once this work is finished, we will be moving in furniture (book cases, tables, chairs, and other things) and putting together a “kitchen” area for our use. The space has a bathroom, but no other running water is available in our space. We should be able to have the space ready by the Spring Equinox.

With the financial obligations a new space will bring, a few changes will be made to our normal operations. All meetings and events will have an expected $5.00 door charge unless the individual is one of the membership types listed below. A new membership dues structure will be instituted starting January 1, 2011 e.v. It will have one tier for non-initiates and three tiers for initiates. The personal obligation of local dues is important and should not be considered optional. For Black Sun to continue to serve its local initiates, they must contribute to its stability and well being. If you have any questions about the new structure, please let me know.

Affiliate Members – Non-initiates and Minervals who would like to be an Affiliate Member of Black Sun Oasis will be asked to contribute $6.00 per month.

Associate Members – Initiates who would like to be an Associate Member of Black Sun Oasis will be required to contribute $11.00 per month. They may choose to donate 1 (one) hour of volunteer work* per month to the body in lieu of making a cash contribution.

Student Members – Initiates who are full time students may contribute $11.00 per month to be considered members, but should also donate at least 1 (one) hour of volunteer work* per month. (If a Student Member does 2 (two) or more hours of volunteer work along with their monetary donation, they will be considered a Member.)

Affiliate, Associate, and Student Members will be able to use the Black Sun Oasis library on premises and be welcome to attend all open events at the new temple. Extra initiation fees may be charged to Associate and Student Members depending on necessary expenses.

Members – Initiates who would like to be Members of Black Sun Oasis will be required to contribute $31.00 per month. They may choose to donate 3 (three) or more hours of volunteer work* per month to the body in lieu of making a cash contribution.

Members will be able to check books out of the Black Sun Oasis library for a period of 3 (three) weeks. Members will be welcome to attend all open and private events (provided they are of the appropriate degree if tiled). Only Members of First Degree or higher will be able to join Black Sun’s private email group. Officers for ceremonies, rituals, and events must be Members.

Foundational Members – Initiates who would like to assist Black Sun with maintaining their temple space will be asked to contribute an equal share of the cost of building expenses.

Foundational Member benefits include all Member benefits as well as access to the temple for personal work.

*Volunteer work will include but is not limited to setting up for meetings/events, cleaning up after meetings/events, providing lectures, leading workshops, and assisting with special projects. Volunteer work is not guaranteed and will be on a first come, first served basis.

This is a very exciting time for Black Sun. We will need to adapt to the new changes as we go. I look forward to facing them together with my Brothers and Sisters.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

Fraternally,

Rc

Welcome to the new Black Sun Oasis website!

After several years of our old website with all of the very cool Flash programming that Brother RIKB put together for us, the time has come for a fresh new start. Some of the things that are different with the new site are this page which is a new addition for the bodymaster to post thoughts and ideas about what is happening with Black Sun. It is my goal to update it several times a month to keep the members of Black Sun as well as the community we are a part of informed and up to date on what is going on. Another page with some changes is our calendar page. We will be keeping our calendar in two formats so that people will be able to use whichever one works better for their purposes.

Take a look around and see what you think! More changes will be coming as they are developed.