As I look back over the past months, I realize that I have been terrible at keeping up with my reporting about our activities and accomplishments. I will do my best to sum up each of the three quarters from this year so that we will be caught up to where we are in time and space. My apologies for the extreme delay in sharing Black Sun’s portion of the journey!
During the month of January, we were pretty busy with our Work. We performed a Gnostic Mass on the first weekend. As per always, it is always a pleasure to share our central ritual with our brethren and guests, and it marks a good start of the vulgar year to begin it so. We had a brilliant discussion about Sacred Geometry that melted a few minds (in a good way) on the second weekend followed by Second degree initiations the same weekend. Our initiations have always recharged me, and having the opportunity to provide this experience for our Brothers and Sister was a powerful and beautiful experience. The fourth weekend of January was the beginning of a slightly new, but altogether awesome experience. We have decided to undertake performing the rituals that have been identified as the “Roots of Thelema” and the first of these we performed was a Mithraic Liturgy. This ritual was a whole new experience for us and gave us all some interesting perspective. Also the tauroctony painted by one of our local artists (and later welcome Guest) was positively awesome. We are indeed very lucky to have such a great group of magicians at Black Sun.
The second weekend of the month of February witnessed the Third degree initiation of one of our dear Sisters. She managed to raise herself up to perform our public Gnostic Mass the very next day! What a Master she has become! On the fourth weekend, we initiated a few Guests into the Order and welcome their involvement and participation. As with all journeys, theirs began with a single step, and we hope that in time, they will find themselves where they intended to be.
Ahh, March! The month of our year-end and year-beginning. The Work continued as we performed the Gnostic Mass on the first weekend. The second weekend was a very mixed one emotionally for us, as a couple of us made the journey to West Virginia to celebrate the Greater Feast of a beloved Brother and brilliant Man and magician. We were very fortunate to have known Brother J.S., and I am sure I speak for all of us when I say that we wish him the greatest of adventures on the next journey. He will be remembered with great fondness and missed for our not having had enough time with him. On the third weekend, we held a discussion about the Minerval initiation for those initiates who were interested in a more broad and ranging conversation about the degree. We held an Equinox Ritual and Feast to celebrate the Vernal Equinox and the start of our new year on the fourth weekend. It was a great thing to celebrate with Brothers and Sisters, Guests, and guests. That marked the end of Winter for us, which was a busy and intense season us all.
We celebrated our public Gnostic Mass on the first Saturday of the month and followed it up with a celebration of the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law which was followed by a Feast. As a part of our celebration, the city of Cleveland was inadvertently sprinkled with the ashes of a Book of the Law that we ritually burned for the event. I am sure the energy that we stirred up that day within ourselves was echoed in the glorious windstorm that made the burning of the pages more difficult as well as the “sharing” of them with the city at large. The third Monday of April began a journey for several members and guests of Black Sun as our Brother and Deputy Master organized a “Magick Monday” gathering to discuss and work through various Thelemic rituals, magick, and practices. This group has met almost every month, once a month, and the participants have all shared what a great experience it is for them. Kudos to you all, and keep up the good Work! We performed First degree initiations on the fourth weekend and brought two Men and Brothers into our Order. I hope that they find their journey within our system to be as rewarding and glorious as I have.
The month of May began with a Gnostic Mass on the second weekend of the month to allow for our Meet & Greet (held on the first Tuesday of every month) to happen before it. During the following week, Magick Mondays had its second meeting and the Black Sun Book Club had its first meeting and discussion. This group was also organized by our dear Brother and Deputy Master to discuss Thelemic texts in a group setting. Again, brilliant Work! A Chapter meeting was held in our Temple during the third weekend with a meet and greet for the local members on Saturday evening. Thank you to the membership of Black Sun Oasis for allowing Ouarda Chapter the use of its space. An Initiator Training was held on the fourth weekend and several Brothers and Sisters took the opportunity to explore our initiatory system’s processes and procedures in more depth. A meet and greet was held on Saturday evening for members of Black Sun to meet and get acquainted with two of our S.G.I.G./Bishops. Again, thank you to Black Sun’s members for the use of the Temple for this weekend of instruction.
The month of June started with a bang as one of our Brothers received his KEW initiation and three other brethren received their Fourth and P.I. initiations. The annihilation was a success, and our Sisters and Brother have completed their journey in the Man of Earth initiations. Their journeys are by no means over, but the initiations have reached their conclusion with Fire and Glory! Both S.G.I.G./Bishops in town for these initiations met with the local membership on Sunday before their flight home. A public Gnostic Mass was celebrated on the second weekend. On the third weekend, our second batch of Minerval initiations of the year was performed where we welcomed two new Guests into our Order. The third weekend of June started a new pattern for Black Sun Oasis with a second, private Gnostic Mass to be performed each month. This gives members interested in serving our community in the roles of the Mass an opportunity to learn and experience them before they perform publicly. This also gives our membership the opportunity to participate in a second Mass each month, so it is a win on all counts! We celebrated the Solstice with a Feast that evening, and everyone enjoyed one another’s company and fraternity. Magick Monday and the Black Sun Book Club met during the following week, but due to inclement weather, our outing to go stargazing had to be cancelled. This brought the season of Spring to a close and delivered us into the warm nights of Summer.
Our public Gnostic Mass was celebrated on the first weekend of July. A business meeting was held on the second weekend with a Minerval Roundtable discussion following on Saturday and a First degree Roundtable discussion on Sunday. These opportunities to explore and converse about our initiations have proved helpful and sometimes amazingly insightful for everyone participating. I look forward to continuing these discussions and expanding them to the other degrees of the Man of Earth as we go. Our private Gnostic Mass was celebrated on the third weekend followed by the Magick Monday gathering during the next week. Black Sun invited its members to join in a field trip to the Cleveland Art Museum on the fourth weekend. To round out the month, the Black Sun Book Club met during the last week of the month to continue their discussion of Thelemic texts.
The public Gnostic Mass was celebrated the second weekend of August (again, following the Meet and Greet held on the first Tuesday of the month). During the following week, the First Night of the Prophet and His Bride was celebrated among those who could be present and a Thelemic ladies night was held at a local coffee shop. The private Gnostic Mass was celebrated the third weekend and Black Sun was invited to present two different sessions at the annual Cleveland Pagan Pride Festival. I had the opportunity to speak to a few interested people about Liber Resh and to give a brief informational presentation about the O.T.O. It was good to get out and be a part of an event that celebrates so many different traditions. We appreciate being invited and look forward to working with the event again next year!
September began with a Gnostic Mass on the first weekend followed by Second degree initiations for a Brother and Sister. It always brings me such a sense of happiness and oddly, accomplishment to watch as my Brothers and Sisters move through our system of initiations. I have a great deal of respect for everyone who works their way through the whole system and does the work along the way to help themselves to evolve and change into the person that they want and Will to be. For this reason, Second degrees are a great place. As Magicians, they will prove themselves to themselves, and that is a beautiful thing. Several members of Black Sun traveled to the Chapter party in Indianapolis on the second weekend and the Work continued on the third weekend with three First degrees. Two Brothers and a Sister were brought into our Order, and I could not be happier for their inclusion. I love First degree and always have. I know that all three of them will be brilliant. Later that evening, we celebrated a Feast for the Autumnal Equinox with a great deal of food, fun, and fraternity shared by all who participated. A private Gnostic Mass was celebrated on Sunday of that weekend with Magick Monday following. That brought us to the close of Summer. So much growth and development is always a pleasure.
This will also bring to a close my tenure as Master of Black Sun Oasis. It has been such a brilliant journey over the past four years. We have grown, prospered, struggled, changed, and become in so many new, expected, and a fair few unexpected ways that I cannot thank my Brothers and Sisters enough for all that they have helped me to accomplish. We acquired a dedicated Temple space (and have been in it for almost three years at this point!), we have grown in numbers and support, and the fraternal bonds that we share with one another have been strengthened by our dedication to the Work that we do together. I will continue to serve Black Sun as an initiator as well as a Priest and for a time, I will serve as its Deputy Master. I cannot imagine delivering this local body that I have worked so hard to support into more capable hands. I wish nothing but the most glorious of futures for our Order, Black Sun, and all of its members, my Brothers and Sisters. I love you all. Thank you.