The Scarlet Letter
Volume II, Number 4 | May 1995
Column: Heretics for Tea & Crumpets
Trochilics of the Deacon During the Collects
by Dionysos Soter, Deacon, E.G.C.

The Canon of the Gnostic Mass, (i.e., Liber XV) does not specify which direction the Deacon is to face while intoning the Collects. Common practice seems to be for the Deacon to face East for all eleven of them. Based on my experimentation, I suggest the following directions of address, which may be used in whole or in part.

The Sun: Turn deosil from the East to face the actual direction of the Sun at the time of the Mass: South at noon, West at dusk, North at Midnight, etc.

The Lord: Complete the turn deosil back to the East to face the Priest and the Lance.

The Moon: Turn widdershins from the East to face the actual direction of the Moon. Check an ephemeris; or an astrology computer program that will place planets in the houses will give you the rough positions of the Sun and Moon (1st house is East, 4th North, 7th West, and 10th South).

The Lady: Complete the turn widdershins back to the East to face the Priestess and the Graal.

The Saints : Remain facing East, to project the crosses signed towards the Priest.

The Earth: Remain facing East and the High Altar, i.e. "the summit of the Earth."

The Principles: Turn deosil to face North, for the position of the Sun and Midnight—the latent principles underlying existence.

Birth: Turn deosil to face East for the position of the Sun at dawn, the appearance of the source of life.

Marriage: Turn deosil to face South for the position of the Sun at noon— station of Hathoor, goddess of love.

Death: Turn deosil to face West and the Tomb.

The End: Complete the cycle by turning North for the collect through "the accomplishment of their wills," concluding with the triple AUMGN towards the East.

These are my best judgements so far, with some of my reasoning unstated. Since no official instruction is given, let each Deacon—under the direction of the Priest and Priestess [and supervising Bishop]—revolve as she or he will. So mote it be.

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