Warts and all Index
Warts And All
A rough draft of the spiritual autobiography of Joseph B Wilson
Part Twenty Six
Copyright 2003 by Joseph B Wilson
The next couple of months were a whirlwind of many activities and meeting many people. I can't possibly remember everything that happened or what order it happened in so I'm just jotting down notes as I recall them here.
Ed Fitch introduced me to many of the people he knew in the area. Some, such as Nancy Poss of the Sea Coven, I remain friends with to this day.
We met, and struck up a friendship with, Carroll (Poke) Runyon, founder of the Church of Hermetic Sciences and Ordo Templi Astartes, a Qabalistic lodge which performs ceremonial magic based upon the Goetia. I had corresponded with Poke when I was in Greece.
I also finally met Dr. Theobold Mordey, a psychologist that had been one of my correspondence students when I was in Greece.
Mara wanted to be initiated, but her background with Sara had given her conceptions about the Craft that were foreign to me since I was unfamiliar with Golden Dawn, or any other Qabalah. Although by that time I was convinced that Sean had told me more than one stretcher, and that Roy's letters were filled with deceit, I showed her the Bowers material and she applied herself to studying and absorbing it.
Mara wanted a ceremonial initiation, and since I had no ceremony I could give her, I wrote one using the terminology found in Roy's letters and based somewhat on my past experiences. In England, Norman Giles had taught me a method to transfer the power of the different Gods from myself to another person so I included that as a part of the ceremony.
In November, I think it was over the Thanksgiving holiday, Mara and I went on a trip to visit Sara in Oregon. On the way we stopped at Tom DeLong's "Gwyddion's" house. (Much to his discomfort I refused to call him by his SCA name, which I thought was silly pretense. Everybody else called him Gwyddion and so I eventually started to do so.) During our stay there Gwiddion and I continued our discussion about finally forming an umbrella church for the Craft in the United States. I encouraged him to talk with the people he knew there and he did so. The seeds of CoG were planted with those discussions.
Anyway we had a delightful time, met many new people, and had marvelous discussions about the state of the Craft, philosophy, magic, and a lot of other subjects.
It was about this time, late 1973 to early 1974 that Bill and Helen Mohs, Jim and Bonnie Crowley, and Phil Wayne got together and formed a secret group they called the "Quintella". Apparently I was the reason for the formation for the Quintella began circulating the rumor that "Joe Wilson is a CIA plant" and Helen claimed that "they duplicated him perfectly down to the last detail, except they couldn't duplicate his dick." I'm not sure whether that was meant to be a compliment or not.
Mara and I attended circles with others in the Greater Los Angeles area in order to help them have enough people attending to have an effective circle. The others returned the favor and attended our circles while we were working on establishing our own group. This was a pretty common reciprocal arrangement in those days. Among the circles we attended were those held by Bill and Helen Mohs, Sea Coven Circles (Including a wonderful one on Nancy Poss's yacht) and the "outer court" circles that Dave and Ann Finnan had set up under the guidance of Ed Fitch. Before too long Mara and I also attended some classes in Qabalah that Poke Runyon was teaching, and in 1994 we were initiated into his ceremonial magic organization, the Ordo Templi Astartes.
I experimented with many different formats for our circles, beginning with the loose format I used when doing the open circles that I did every month while living in Bicester, England, and later succumbing to the pressure of the expectations people had about "the way things should be done". I wrote various documents which we handed out and used for training and teaching, some of which were new, some of which were based on the correspondence course I developed and taught while I was in England and Greece, and some of which were extracts and consolidations of material from the letters and papers that Roy Bowers aka Robert Cochrane had written to me and Norman. The latter I had consolidated into a little booklet in order to try to put things in some kind of coherent order for purposes of our group. I was never entirely satisfied with the results of those efforts. Regardless, this was the beginnings of the "1734" tradition, a failed attempt on my part to integrate the philosophy I had absorbed from Sean, Ruth, Roy, and Norman into a coherent dogmatic ritualized format. I was trying to create something that was reasonable and workable, included the good parts of the philosophies I had learned, while avoiding the dogma warned about by each of them.
One of the things we did while I hosted the circles in Bicester was to create a working circle by placing stones at the four compass points and the in-between points of the circle, and placing a ninth stone in the center for an altar stone. I'd gathered those stones from the field behind our house at 12 Wellington Close, Bicester. When I left England I brought the stone I'd used as an altar stone with me for continuity.
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