Preface to the
Revised Rituals of O.T.O.

As Presented to

Frater Superior Merlin X°

by Aleister Crowley

(1918. ev.)

Printed in The Equinox III:10,
originally edited by Hymenaeus Beta X°

What follows is Baphomet XI°’s Preface to his revised rituals of 0° – III° O.T.O., which were subsequently adopted by Frater Superior Merlin X° and the Supreme Council of the O.T.O. This document probably dates from circa 1914 E.V. —H.B.

WHEREAS THE INSTITUTION of Free Masonry has fallen to complete and deserved contempt among all men, but especially among true Masons, and whereas the traditional knowledge which it was designed to guard has been lost, degenerated, prostituted, or exploited, and whereas, especially in America, the institution serves as little else but a cloak for the operations of various gangs of swindlers, be it resolved by Us, the authorized representatives of its highest degrees and the faithful depositories of its ancient secrets, that the present machinery for communicating those secrets, be declared obsolete and the work of all who may unlawfully to usurp Our authority be declared void and of no effect.

Be it further resolved that Our own powers be, during the period of reconstruction, concentrated in a single dictator. Be it further resolved that the whole of symbolism of Free Masonry, and its name, be disused, that the true traditional knowledge be communicated in hieroglyphs unmistakably significant, although with the proper guards, in Rituals of first rate literary and dramatic merit, and so constructed that they shall require neither a gathering of many men nor expensive elaborations for their operation.

The Rituals, herewith submitted, are offered, subject to modifications made by the author in such sense as the Council may deem necessary, as illustrations of the proposed work up to the Third Degree.

It may be added in explanation, the the Minerval Degree represents the attraction of a wandering God, or “Ego” within the Solar System — that the fourth Degree, of which the Ritual is not yet complete, represents the glorified state of the initiated Man — and the Degree of Perfect Initiate, which closes the series, His ultimate Perfection. The Degrees from the Fifth to the Ninth are comments upon the Second, a progressive instruction in how to live.