Digging and weeding the Powys soil – Nature against itself to thus create a new flowing – I find myself often and increasingly removed from this “21st Century” Western world. Not least from the curious world of the Internet, where connexions, adulation, and knowledge are saught amongst invented cyber-personae. And thus I am prompted to write following a recent visit to an online forum pertaining to LHP esoteric matters, and having read through a plethora of posts concerning that entity now often known as “O9A”.
When I became initiated into the Dark Tradition, many too many decades ago, I learned of a small collective of adults who worked quietly, hidden, and quite separate from the celebrity-ridden world of the Occult. For, refreshingly, the “Order” never really felt the need to engage with that world – more often viewing its antics with a detached amusement, or simply a non-judgemental disinterest. The few writings which existed (by today’s comparison) were non-polemical recordings with no references to anything outside of its Tradition. I may be mistaken, but back then, my understanding was of “it” existing not as an antidote or alternative/reaction to anything – but rather, a complete Way of itself.
Of course, with the onset of all things Internet, the world changed quite dramatically. The “Order” accordingly evolved – but, for good or ill? Time is still to tell, but ultimately the question is an irrelevance, being a matter only of personal taste and opinion. Today, it is interesting – sometimes – how individuals have taken the essential teachings and created new expressions of that Tradition, with this appropriating of established teachings to serve personal ends being entirely in keeping with the functionality of the Occult, both ancient and modern.
According to my online reading, a good number of these cyber-personae seem to argue over “fixing” the Order, or about “which of its teachings are now invalid” or about which teachings were fabrications to begin with. But, the ONA/O9A was only ever a recent causal invention, with a specific, temporal function: initially to esoterically bind a few individuals, and thence in its latter stages to go outwards and interact with the Occult world in general (including with its later employment of those strange abstractions “Niner”,”Drecc”, “Balobian” and so on).
I cannot believe that the following will be a revelation to many, but I must say that the “Order of Nine Angles” is only a limited abstraction (in its conforming to the “Occult”) of something far greater – a far greater thing which contains within it elements pertaining to the Occult, but not just those elements alone. What this “greater thing” is can only really ever be apprehended in self-forgetting – but that is for another time, perhaps.
There is one aspect in particular which strikes me as interesting when reading comments by those cyber-personae. It is that the reality of this Tradition in practice, as I understand it, is in fact based on personal, direct knowledge of those who follow the Way – or at the very least, between a guide and those she or he is guiding. It is this personal (generational) transmission, as inconvenient as this may be in today’s age of convenience, which imbues the methods of the Way with Numen – with magick (and I should add, though perhaps unnecessarily, that email correspondence does not constitute personal transmission). There is no genuine “kindred” outside of this personal transmission.
My, possibly controversial, take on the matter is that whilst publication of the teachings has been of great interest to academics and occultists alike and has served to reveal the existence of an hitherto secret and self-contained Way, without this personal transmission, there cannot in fact be any basis for judging the efficacy of the methods of the Tradition.
As an aside, I would be curious to learn out of those who claim on cyber-space to be effectively following the Seven-Fold Way, how many, if any, have ventured into the land and at least undertaken the rite of External Adept? How many in this modern age would discard their mobile phone, unplug themselves from social media and undertake an ordeal such as the rite of Internal Adept? Given the age we live in, it seems that the latter rite in particular is the quintessential esoteric stand against the modern world, and is more relevant now than ever. There will be many excuses not to undertake such rites, and all those excuses will be very convincing. But I shall move on before I descend into polemic…
If I were asked to describe the ONA/O9A, and even though my knowledge of it comes from an entirely different era, I would say that it is still an apolitical, anarchistic organisation designed to liberate the individual, and of course in the process provoke, infuriate, and contradict the conformists and power structures of society. And in addition – and perhaps most importantly – via its Labyrinthos Mythologicus, cause one or two, or more, individuals per decade (per century?) to discover that which lies beyond the mere shadow which is the form of the “O9A” itself.
Now having written all this, I recall my guide, many Summers ago, asking a rhetorical question: “Will anyone ever really know the true purpose of the Ceremony of Recalling?”
But what do I know? I am just a curmudgeon from an older time, and my reflections on the nature of the Order and Beyond are only my own – influenced and shaped as they are by those whom I knew and who came before me, and who only really told me that which they wished me to know. And with this effusion at an end, I shall crawl back under my stone (to dwell where the invasive roots are).
Some Solitary Seeker