Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
For those interested in joining the OTO, we hope this “how to” helps clear the way for you. Your first question might be “why should I join?” That is always deeply personal and not for anyone else to answer. What we can do is answer some of the common questions you may have.
Just as the experience for each initiate varies, during their time in the Order (according to their own life path), there can be a variety of experiences along the way to joining the Order. Take the following as a general guide only. You can take up any specific questions you may have with your local OTO.
But at a basic level, there are three core requirements for anyone approaching the Order that wish to join it:
You need to be of full age. Which at its basis means you have to be 18 years of age or older in Australia. Thankfully this is a simple requirement on balance. Either you are over 18 years of age, or you are not. If you are younger, wait until you have celebrated your 18th birthday. Then you can contact us. If you have to wait a few months or a few years, it won’t be a problem, the Order will still be here. There is no upper age limit on becoming a member.
You need to be a free person. This is a bit more complex, and is something that can be meditated on. But as clearly as possible, you need to be able to freely travel to initiations. And be capable of voluntarily taking Oaths to the Order. The freely travel point needs a bit of further clarification. This does not mean you need to own a car, a bike, or necessarily need to be able to walk. What it means, is that you are legally able to attend the initiations.
Finally, you need to be of good report. This point is the most complex, and probably the most confusing to those outside of the Order. This good report (which at its essence is saying you are suitable to be welcomed into the Order) comes from two other members of the Order being willing to sponsor your admittance. To preempt another question, you are not required to know any members before you join. It generally won’t be a hindrance if you do though. Our process gives you the chance to meet several members, either during an interview process or after an invitation to public events. Members there should get to know you, and you can get a feel for other members. From there, you can approach people for sponsorship, and if everything works for everyone involved you have found yourself sponsors.
Of course, before you get to that step, you still need to contact the Order. There has probably been a lot of people over the years that are not sure about what to write then they first contact the OTO. Some probably put off first contact for far too long worrying about that very issue. There is no right answer, although including your name, your location and “I would like to join the OTO” is a good start. You are not required to write a mystical thesis as your initial email. But if you do, that is perfectly fine. It would be good to include some background in your mail, but that is not necessarily needed until you start communicating with the local body.
After your initial contact, and once you have expressed a desire to join, sponsors are arranged and you’ll complete a pledge form. Once this is done, the dues and fees need to be paid (OTO is a dues collecting organisation, and the fees are part of the cost of initiation. Both of these are at a reasonable rate). When the administrative work is done, your initiation is scheduled and then performed. The time frame for these steps will be determined by your local OTO body. The first of our degrees (Guest or introductory degree) is called Minerval. As a Minerval you are welcome to attend OTO (non-public) events.
Please be aware our ceremonies require a physical presence. With the size of this country, this will sometimes mean you need to travel to participate in events such as initiations. At times, local OTO bodies will run meetings and discussion groups (regionally and across the country) using digital platforms.
The Order is not a “teaching Order” by definition. That does not mean you won’t learn much by being a member. It does mean that OTO does not specifically teach Ceremonial Magick, Yoga, Astrology, Kabbalah or 101 other things. It does provide teachings though, through its Initiations and Mysteries.
Importantly, there is no need or requirement for having any particular skill set or knowledge before you join OTO. If you have studied ceremonial magick for years, or if you have never looked at it, you are welcome. If you have mastered Yoga, or never touched upon it, again you are welcome. You can be a Thelemite or never heard of Thelema, either way you are welcome. Although proper advancement through the Order will mean you need to learn our System, all are welcome to join no matter their learning or experience.
Beyond being of full age, free and of good report, there is no specific requirements to join. All ages and genders are welcome. Our Order is made up of an incredibly diverse range of people.
There is no required pre-reading but it can be said having some familiarity with The Book of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis) won’t be a disadvantage.
An important note, your membership is private (as it is with all our members). We will not publish or announce your membership to anyone. You can choose to announce your own membership yourself if it is your will to do so.
And, although your reasoning for joining the Order is your own, here is one reason you might want to join the OTO:
If you want
You must fight for it
If you want
You must organise
If you want
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Love is the law, love under will.