Three discussions about the lodge-oriented brotherhood
Happy birthday to us – today, 7.7. 2022, the Star of Azazel turns sweet 16!
Last week, I was involved in two slightly funny but also important and telling discussions about the position of the Star of Azazel’s societal aspect. I include them below and add the third one, specifically created here, to hopefully clarify the place of the Star of Azazel as a societal constellation with no single government but one ethos!
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THE FIRST DISCUSSION
With a fellow SoA hermetist
Hermetist: – What’s the deal with all the Star of Azazel business being centred lately in Helsinki? Is this a conscious choice to leave the other lodges to their own devices? Won’t that kind of decision most likely seriously damage the SoA structure? I’ve already heard a prophecy that the SoA will cease to be a society in five years’ time.
Me: – Your prophecy is seriously late, brother! The society of SoA had already ceased to be a collectively governed structure back in 2018 when every lodge got its absolute autonomy. After twelve years of trying to give both perfect democracy and inspiring structure to people who often have completely opposite ways of thinking about what occultism and Work are, there was no other option but to free the source code, so to say, and let everyone proceed in their own lodges exactly as they want, can, and have the temperamental tendencies for. After that point, the lodges in Helsinki have been the most visible and energetical because those are the lodges where I personally work, and the Star of Azazel is my own dharmic life’s work: they are where I can and will put my own dynamism, and I am grateful to say that with these lodges I have had help from people who choose to do the same. This visible and dynamic lodge work could exist in any city tomorrow if people there started that kind of visible and dynamic work. No one is doing the other lodges’ work anymore. Instead, there is perfect freedom for both activity and inactivity.
Hermetist: – Thank you, this clarified the situation for me.
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THE SECOND DISCUSSION
With our Viides Askel customer at the Tuska festival
Customer: – Ah, I see you are selling the Star of Azazel’s literature here. What a shame that the society itself exists no more.
Me: – Excuse me?
Customer: – Yes, I read the news from their internet page. Some lodges are working, but the society is gone; is Nefastos himself involved anymore in any way?
Me: – Yours truly is as present in the lodge working as ever, I assure you. The Star of Azazel’s central government was dismantled several years ago to give absolute freedom to any working group to work as they wish, but the philosophy and the practice of the Star of Azazel’s system are working just like they have always been. The only real difference is that where before most of the energy went to social bureaucracy – where others tried to oversee others who seldom wanted such overseeing – everyone can now work under the Azazelian tenets as they feel best for their own lodge and their own temperament. In my lodges of Salome, Lucifer and Graal, we do certain kinds of work; in other lodges, brethren can work differently. Everything is now open.
Customer: – I’m really glad to hear that! Keep up the good work.
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THE THIRD DISCUSSION
With a hypothetical entity
H.E.: – Is there some kind of euphemism included in this “freeing of the source code”? Trying to make a failure seem like a good thing?
Me: – Perhaps that would be the case for a person who would have really, really wanted a societal, all-encompassing democratic system to work in occult exotericism and believed strongly that such would have been possible. For me, it is not so. When I started with the idea of the occult brotherhood back in ’99, with the tenets of Polyharmonia, I was already a bit doubtful how human psychology would cope with such a partly esoterical, partly exoterical level of societal structure. I had already read through and through the thousands of pages of the Theosophical Society’s hundred-plus-year-old dramas and some similar dramas concerning the Golden Dawn and other occult fraternities. I knew what to expect when the master told me that usual, “Try!”
H.E.: – You are not a big fan of democracy then?
Me: – Well… I’ve seen too many gross attempts of manipulation, pure animal selfishness, good people gone bad with substance abuse, people losing their souls to anti-ethics to find astral empowerment, bright ideals losing their lustre under the verdigris of status-seeking, and most of all, just plain old human folly. We human beings are not very evolved spiritually or even intellectually yet; this is a sad fact. Such a fact does not demand emotional reactions of despair like nihilism or aesthetically – i.e. surficially – bent relativism, but it still needs to be taken into careful consideration. And because of this, hierarchical structures – such which people can then either take or leave by their own choosing – are a must in any work that seeks to accomplish something besides the personal empowerment of individuals.
H.E.: – And how do the old and the new systems of the Star of Azazel take this fact into consideration?
Me: – The old one just tried to be as democratic as possible and prayed for the best. It was of no use, though: there was still almost constant drama with different people’s different temperaments and differing goals, and other people being unhappy both about being guided and for the opposite reason – not being given straightforward enough things to do. This is the old dilemma of balanced dynamism that everyone must overcome on their own to find (a) WHAT exactly they want to do and (b) HOW and how much they want to do that. This is now managed in the lodge-oriented Star of Azazel, where no one oversees the other lodges, just their own.
H.E.: – How do you see this change made four years ago affecting the brotherhood now?
Me: – Exactly as I thought it most likely would: the active lodges are now free to express their activity without having to expend their energy on shepherding others, and the non-active are mostly dying out from the lack of energy that is being fed to them from elsewhere, or accomplishing to find their own kind of slower-paced personal rhythm. Active members are happy and creative; non-committing members are realizing that they are not actually part of the occult society they only paid lip service to and are therefore drifting away into some other projects. This is very good.
H.E.: – So you don’t wish hangarounds for the SoA philosophy?
Me: – It’s not like that. I have always been happy for different kinds of members, some being active and some not so much. It’s just that those who are not active themselves should have no power over those who are: there are always people who tend to create problems without wishing to do so because of several types of personal challenges. Whereas many people interested in occult work would like to see only very intimate and close circles, I, on the other hand, cherish the idea of more exoterical occultism alongside that because what I would like to accomplish more than anything is the cultural shift in ethical understanding. That can only be done with a gradual change of mindsets on a larger scale, not with a handful of similar-minded people making rituals for a personal accomplishment. Thus, in my lodges of Salome and Lucifer, people can belong with minimal activity: but in these lodges, just like very little is expected beyond the undersigning of the SoA ethos, very little can also be forced down on members. The inner side of occult working comes in grades, like through the paced practices of lodge Graal, or in a less accentuated manner, also in Salome – for those who choose that kind of work.
H.E.: – How has this change in the Star of Azazel structure affected the number of people in the brotherhood?
Me: – Weirdly enough, it hasn’t. Lodge numbers have experienced the same calm-paced member increases as before the change. Before the shift to the lodge-oriented system, I felt very bad for some of the members – especially those outside Finland who were missing most of our discussions, publicity, media presence and even literature – who joined an SoA lodge and found themselves outside anything tangible to do if they so happened to join a lodge whose guide had no time or heart for the role. Even though this is still not as easy to manage as well as we would like – for there are always fewer workers than there are tasks to be done – it’s now possible to see that every member gets at least the possibility for dynamic working, and no one gets ignored in the lodges where I can carry the responsibility personally. This is, of course, possible only because of the mutual work of these enthusiastic lodges’ guides and acolytes, who have committed themselves to the shared vision, and are doing the same kind of daily work as I. In the former governed but fully democratic system, that was not possible because I could not interfere but still felt responsible for what the other lodges’ guides managed and didn’t manage to do with their lodges. It was an impossible situation, and even though I had to go through a massive burnout to see its factual impossibility, I am now very grateful for the master’s voice: “It is done. Now we continue with a different plan.”
H.E.: – Was the problem in the basic credo of trying to join the hands of the Right and the Left Path?
Me: – I wouldn’t say so. Those paths can and should be perfectly united, and the SoA will always do that exact work. The problem is exoterical, psychological and sociological: human beings are human beings who make mistakes all the time, or they would be adept aspirants already. As I have written from the beginning: “the hands unite when reaching up.” Only when they remain horizontal do they remain separate, and the Left Hand Path aspirant has a very different – even the opposite – mindset from that of the Right Hand Path aspirant. In such a horizontal situation, they cannot meet. Both keep pulling in their own direction, and neither wants much to do with the other. It’s like with the map: east and west never meet, as long as we hold to the exoterical mindset that west is to the left and east is to the right. It needs a new kind of thought to realize that these map borders are just artificial concepts, and in the spherical planet, there is no such thing as west or east, but both of these become each other all the time. In keeping going east, we come west and vice versa: it’s the miracle of Vespucci. Yet most people remain in a tug-o-war between these hypothetical poles simply because they enjoy their own personal temperamental reactions more than actually unifying truth – unity of esoteric spirit. The Star of Azazel is and has always been only for those who do not want only to see their own kind of force triumphing but would also like to see the world itself advance in common spiritual attainment, the type which unites the different kinds of aspects. This is the vibration of Lucifer: creativity through collectivity, collectivity through creativity. They need not fight, but they will, as long as we remain selfish and therefore short-sighted in our work.
H.E.: – How do you see the future of the brotherhood working out?
Me: – Next, the different vigorous lodges will create their own hermetic circles, the intimate cores working through their outer, visible core. Only those lodges with an active inner core of hermetic brethren alongside the energetic outer dynamism of the social aspect of more exoteric members will flourish. When and to the degree this is accomplished, the hermetists of the different lodges will be able to respect their completing and supplementing mutual work under different aspects of esoteric spirituality and ethics. Thus the true universal brotherhood will be soundly and strongly founded from perfect freedom to perfect unity of thought, considering all the different hues of temperament, but without ever compromising on ethics of the foundation of Honesty, Love and upward striving.
H.E.: – Besides the seemingly persistent confusion concerning the already accomplished change, what actual results are there for the active/enthusiastic members?
Me: – Just the freedom. Anyone willing to found an Azazelian lodge is free to do so without even asking anyone; they can either work in cooperation with the other lodges or all by themselves. If one wants to join these two possibilities, it is also possible to found – and keep managing – a lodge as a form of the international Salome lodge’s grade practice. More about these interchangeable 2° and 3° workings – ASTERION and BAPHOMET – will be forthcoming in the following blog articles.