Ordo Templi Orientis is the first of the great Old Æon orders to accept
The Book of the Law, received by Aleister Crowley in 1904 EV. This book
proclaims a New Æon in human thought, culture and religion. The Æon
arises from a single supreme injunction: the Law of Thelema, which is
Do what thou wilt.
This Law is not to be interpreted as a license to indulge every passing
whim, but rather as the mandate to discover one's True Will and
accomplish it; leaving others to do the same in their own unique ways.
"Every man and every woman is a star." The Law of Thelema can
ultimately be fulfilled only through the individual efforts of each
person. Nevertheless, many worthy aspirants to the Great Work of
Thelema have a genuine need for information, guidance, fellowship, or
the opportunity to assist their fellow aspirants and serve humanity.
Such aspirants will find welcome in OTO.
OTO was originally affiliated with European Masonry but is no
longer a Masonic organization, though it shares some terminology and
traditions with Masonry. The complex but intriguing history of OTO may
be of interest for the light it sheds on the origins of our current
organization and goals.
The OTO operates local bodies throughout the world; most members
participate directly in one or more of them. There are three levels of
local bodies within the OTO: Camps, Oases, and Lodges, in order of
increasing importance and services available. Most local bodies offer
classes on magick, ritual, cabala, and other topics of interest to
practicing Thelemites. Many bodies perform the EGC Gnostic Mass on a
regular basis. Other common local activities include performance of
group rituals (for example, the Rites of Eleusis), publication of a
newsletter or journal, and cooperative activities with other local
alternative-religious groups. To find a local body near you, see the US
local bodies or international contacts listings.
US Grand Lodge is not a Lodge in the above sense, but is instead
the governing body of the Order in the United States. Grand Lodge
coordinates and monitors the operation of local bodies, sets policies,
maintains records and finances, and in general performs administrative
and leadership functions. Our program synopsis and mission statement
provide a summary of the purpose and activities of US Grand Lodge. Most
members of lower degrees have few direct dealings with Grand Lodge, as
almost all services to members are delivered by the local bodies.
If you wish to become a member of OTO, many resources are available to assist you in locating and contacting a local body to apply
for initiation. See the membership page (and the pages to which it
refers) for details. It should be clearly understood that initiate
membership in OTO requires a physical ceremony, and that we offer no
formal correspondence courses or other remote services, though informal
correspondence with members is welcome.
OTO is a California charitable corporation and a federally
recognized tax-exempt religious entity under IRS section 501c(3). We
have proven ourselves to be the genuine O.T.O. of Aleister Crowley,
both in the U.S. Federal Courts, and more importantly by our
demonstrated success in faithfully promulgating practical Thelemic
philosophy through a careful implementation of Crowley's vision of the
mission of the Order.