This weekend was busy. The sink upstairs had the pinhole leak go from a small drip when you run both taps to spraying water all over. To add insult to injury, the trap was rusted out and I broke off the collar which supports the trap because of the rust. The new trap uses compression fittings and putty to hold it on, after I cut the old trap off. That really set the tone for the weekend. There’s design philosophy here – good people can engineer, great people can repair.

I’ve been interested in joining the OTO just to see what it’s about. I’ve been stalking them online and the publications are generally thought provoking even if you can’t jive with what they’re saying. I had a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago and the question was, “Why did you have children? What’s the reward?” Well, I had children because I enjoy bareback sex, and there’s consequences! What’s the reward is a lot harder to quantify and I had to meditate on the topic for a minute.

The reward (and challenge) to children is they force you to take a long hard look at your life and moral fabric. There’s plenty of children bred out of lust and they’re bred for welfare paychecks and similar ignoble means and ends. It’s sad, really, and it speaks volumes towards the moral quality of the parent. So what happens when we’re actually interested in raising kids? One ends up thinking about the nature of war and poverty in addition to the joys of untempered discovery and inquisition. What do we tell our children of the problems in Africa and the Middle East? How do we raise children to be tolerant but also stand up for themselves? What is the definition of “polite” when it comes to inquiring about why someone might be handicapped or transgendered? You can tell more about the person under the facade they put forth by their children then thousands of blog posts from them on the web. We’ve confounded the problem with soft identity. Do we really know the people that we meet, on the street, each day?

That being said in order to “beta test” the process I’ve decided that finding a place to have moral discussion which isn’t the standard facebook bumper sticker braindead crap was to throw myself headlong into mixing up my real life circles of friends and joining a place people do have discussions about kids. The irony isn’t lost on me – Crowley thought the average voter was a moron and the lodges have enough progressive morality that gays are overrepresented in the population. The gay population doesn’t bother me but it has the same problem other churches have where either gays are under-represented or over-represented. A gay couple with a kid is a rare bird.

I found the Xanadu Oasis first, OTO bodies are camps, oasises, or lodges. We met at Craft Ale House and had a few beers. What was supposed to be a half hour meeting turned into a two hour discussion, Darryl is a nice guy and came along with a woman who’s name I didn’t catch. She didn’t speak too too much. They typically operate out of people’s houses and host, so it’s a bit like a coffeehouse without the coffee. The big plus for me is that it’s a smaller group and Darryl is an approachable guy who’s knowledgeable to boot. He’s got degrees in psychology and nursing so he’s educated and well spoken. I will probably try to hang out with these guys more.

In contrast I also managed to get the guys at Thelesis to mail me back. The problem with Thelesis is the building isn’t accessible and mostly a jumble of rooms. Howard, the guy in charge, can’t seem to delegate and while the people attending the meeting were friendly and outgoing, trying to get a foot in the door (literally) was an effort in trying to contact them and then trying to wring a response out. If you’re new to the whole thing, little time is spent going over the motions of the mass and I got all of 10 seconds to try to incorporate it. Frankly, it’s not enough. To further add insult to injury someone apparently can’t let things just flow and has to conduct it again this coming weekend. Two in a month? Someone apparently is butthurt about how things went and it’s an unpleasant current. It seems like it runs well enough under the hood so I will probably be back but it’s not newbie friendly. More on the point I suspect at some point this attitude will breed contempt and it’s a bit like sitting on the grenade.

So finally the crux of the topic – I really don’t think Crowley is the be all and end all of these things and I tend to worry people take it way too seriously. The kabalah is completely neglected in favor of chakras, for instance. If you’re saying “Wait, these don’t line up nicely”, you’re correct and I think it’s to the detriment of the practice. However, what is anyone to do? Putting “golden dawn” into google maps results in a bunch of diners rather than lodges and I think the GD is probably dead in the united states (blog readers – prove me wrong). So, I’ll take what I can get for my particular worldview at this time and we’ll see where it goes from there.