The Scarlet Letter
Volume VI, Number 1 | March 2001
An Account of O.T.O.
First Written in the Language of His Period and Now
Revised and Rewritten in the Universal Cipher
By the Chevalier de Seingalt
The secret of Magick is inviolable by its own nature, since the Magician who knows it, knows it only because he has divined it. He has learned it from no one. He has discovered it by virtue of going to the lodge, observing, reasoning, and deducing. When he has arrived at it, he takes great care not to share his discovery with anyone, were it his best friend and a Magician, because who has not the ability to find it out, will not have the ability to profit from it when learned by word of mouth. The secret, then, will always be a secret.
Whatever one does in lodge must be kept secret; but those who, in their dishonest indiscretion, have not scrupled to reveal what is done there have not revealed the heart of the matter. How could they reveal it if they did not know it? If they had known it they would not have revealed the ceremonies.
The same impression which the Brotherhood of Magicians produces today on many who have not been initiated into it, was produced in ancient times by the great mysteries which were celebrated at Eleusis in honor of Ceres. They aroused the interest of all Greece, and the greatest men aspired to be initiated into them. That initiation was of far greater significance than initiation among modern Magicians, who include in their membership some rascals and dregs of human society. Impenetrable silence was long preserved concerning everything that took place in the Eleusinian mysteries, because of the veneration which they inspired. Someone dared, for example, to reveal the three words which the heirophant addressed to the initiates when he dismissed them at the conclusion of the mysteries; but what did that accomplish? Only to dishonor him who revealed them, for the words were in a barbarian language unknown to the profane. We read in Plutarch that Alcibiades was sentenced to death and that all his property was confiscated because he had dared to ridicule the great mysteries in the privacy of his house with Polytion and Theodoros, contrary to the laws of the Eumolpides. In consequence of his sacrilege he was sentenced to be cursed by the priests and priestesses, but the curse was not pronounced; a priestess opposed it, giving as her reason that she was a priestess “to bless, not to curse,” a most noble lesson scorned by the Christian priesthood of later ages. Nothing is important today. A.N. publishes the ceremonies of the Magicians in a pamphlet, and no one says anything except that he is a scoundrel. Everything nowadays is inconsequential and there is nothing which has any significance. The present trend will be defended and pursued, but everything will go from bad to worse if it stops halfway.