The Secret Door
Thoughts on Thelema

The Rule of the Abbey of Thelema

Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy.(CCXX, i, 61)

Thus ye have star & star, system & system; let not one know well the other! (Ibid, i, 50)

Alef. Taw.

  1. The residents of the Abbey of Thelema shall consist of aspirants to the Silver Star.
  2. The new brother or sister shall take a new name based on the Holy Books of Thelema, by which they shall be known to all.
  3. Neither the Abbey of Thelema nor its residents shall discriminate against any person because of their race, national or ethnic origin, sex or sexual preference, or age.
  4. The Abbey of Thelema shall be non-sectarian.
  5. The Abbey of Thelema is ecologically responsible and deplores the continuing desecration of the Body of Our Lady Babalon (the Earth).
  6. The study and discussion of the Book of the Law is forbidden.
  7. All residents of the Abbey shall follow the Ten Precepts of Eyl.
  8. The Word and the Letter of Truth, and the sole Rule of Life, is to be found in the Holy Books of Thelema (Official Publications of the A∴A∴ in Class A). These books represent the utterance of an Adept entirely beyond criticism, and may not be changed. The individual right of interpretation is, however, absolute. The Chief of All may only add books to the Canon on the Authority of the Collegium Summum.
  9. The Head of the Abbey of Thelema is the Abbot or Abbess. They are appointed for life. The Abbot or Abbess manifests the True Will of the Abbey, speaks for the community, and is the sole source of power, strength, and authority within the Abbey, the Abbey’s Magical Link to the Highest. Each Abbey shall have its own Abbot or Abbess, and no Abbot or Abbess shall have power or authority over more than one community.
  10. Members of the Abbey shall swear a Vow of Holy Obedience to the Abbot or Abbess through their preceptor.
  11. A quorum of eleven shall be required to make a community.
  12. Each Abbot or Abbess shall appoint their successor in writing at or prior to their death. Failing that, the responsibility of the new Abbot or Abbess shall automatically fall to the resident with the highest standing in the community, based on attainment, grade, seniority, and age, in that order. Residents that are under any penance are ineligible for consideration.
  13. The Abbot or Abbess may be removed from office only by the unanimous consensus of all the inhabitants of the Abbey or the high council, or if they become legally unable to exercise the responsibilities of their office due to physical or psychological infirmity.
  14. The Abbot or Abbess may appoint officers to carry out the practical and administrative work of the Abbey, at their convenience, in which case they shall receive the same obedience of the community to which the Abbot or Abbess is entitled, subject to their authorization and approval.
  15. The Abbey shall maintain a Thelemic temple in accordance with the specifications prescribed in the Thelemic Holy Books.
  16. Every member of the Abbey may wear a bright blue tau robe, lined with scarlet and provided with a hood, with a golden girdle optional. Members of the high council shall wear a scarlet tau robe, lined with blue. The Abbot or Abbess shall wear a bright blue tau robe, as above, emblazoned with the Eye of Horus in scarlet.
  17. All male members of the Abbey shall shave the head with the exception of a single lock in the centre of the forehead, or an inverse tau at the hairline made with vermilion sandalwood paste.
  18. All female members of the Abbey shall wear their hair bobbed and died with optional red or yellow henna.
  19. The children of the Abbey shall be encouraged to go naked in order to free them from the bond of sexual shame.
  20. Upon reaching puberty, each child may become a full member of the Abbey, if they will.
  21. Every member of the Abbey shall be bound by a Vow of Holy Obedience to the Abbot or Abbess and by a Vow of Simplicity. Concerning the Vow of Chastity, it is not here written.
  22. The day shall be divided by a tom-tom, bell, or other alarum, at 6 a.m., 12 noon, 6 p.m., and 12 midnight, followed immediately by a communal Adoration of the Sun, according to the formula of Liber CC, followed by one hour of solitary meditation, except on Sunday.
  23. Meals shall be taken once daily at mid-morning. All meals shall be eaten communally in silence, and shall be preceded by the saying of Will. All members of the Abbey shall fast between meals, save for the imbibition of liquids.
  24. The morning shall be dedicated to work and physical development. The afternoon shall be dedicated to intellectual study, magick, or meditation, according to the member’s grade and inclination. The evening shall be dedicated to the communal recitation of the Cries of Adoration of Liber CMLXIII, or other chants, performances, readings, rituals, drumming, celebrations, feasts, or other observances, with the approval of the Abbot, except on Wednesday.
  25. The Abbey shall consist of five grades consisting of one year of service; two years of physical development; three years of devotional practice; four years of intellectual study; and five years of magical practice.[1] Those who complete this regimen shall constitute a high council that shall assist the Abbot or Abbess.
  26. The members of the Abbey shall fast totally on each Wednesday, unless that day happens to be one of the feast days of the Book of the Law.
  27. Every Wednesday night the Abbot or Abbess shall preach to the community, according to the formula of Liber LXIV.
  28. All male residents shall be addressed as Brother. All female residents shall be addressed as Sister. The Abbot and members of the high council shall be addressed as Father or Mother in accordance with their biological gender. Brothers and sisters may be addressed by a superior or equal by their chosen names, or an acceptable abbreviation or English equivalent thereof. Children shall be addressed by their given names.
  29. The children of the Abbey of Thelema shall address all of the residents as Father or Mother and shall be raised, disciplined as required, and educated by the community as a whole.
  30. Any person found to have done physical or psychological harm to any child, including the crimes of circumcision or genital mutilation, shall be immediately expelled, with no possibility of reinstatement.
  31. The corporal punishment of children is forbidden.
  32. The mass media and all other forms of popular servitude and indoctrination are forbidden within the Abbey of Thelema.
  33. The use of the first personal pronoun is forbidden to all except the Abbot or Abbess and the members of the high council.
  34. The members of the Abbey shall greet each other with the words “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” followed by the reply, “Love is the law, love under will.” The farewell is “Love is the law, love under will,” reiterated.
  35. Any conflict between the members of the Abbey shall be brought to the immediate attention of the Abbot or Abbess or the high council. Once the cause of such a discord or disagreement is identified, the Abbot or Abbess shall resolve it according to their ingenium. Once resolved, any further discord or disagreement for the same cause shall be considered a breach of the Vow of Holy Obedience, and punishable by penance or, in extreme cases, by anathema or physical expulsion.
  36. The entry of the Sun into the signs of the zodiac, the newness and fullness of the Moon, the birth and puberty of children, the marriages and deaths of residents, the quarter days, and the feast days prescribed in the Book of the Law, shall be observed by rituals and celebrated by feasts. In addition, the Abbey of Thelema shall sponsor public readings and performances of the works of Aleister Crowley and such other works as the Abbot may authorize.
  37. The Gnostic Mass shall be observed every Sunday at 12 noon, following the Adoration of the Sun, in lieu of the noon meditation.
  38. Those who do not accept the Law of Thelema may not enter the sanctuary of the Abbey of Thelema. Above all entrances to the Abbey the motto DO WHAT THOU WILT shall be superscribed. Guests and new members shall sign the following pledge form immediately upon admission to the Abbey: “I do solemnly declare that I accept the Law of Thelema, that I will devote myself to discover my True Will, and to do it.” Those who refuse to sign may be admitted to a gatehouse outside the sanctuary established for the purpose.
  39. The admission, expulsion, and advancement of members of the Abbey shall be at the personal discretion of the Abbot assisted by the high council. The Abbot at their personal discretion, excluding corporal punishment, may exact penances. The education of the Abbey’s children shall be the personal responsibility of the Abbot.
  40. Any member of the Abbey may leave the Abbey at any time and without shame simply by informing the Abbot of their will, provided they are not under any penance at the time.
  41. Any member of the Abbey who fails to observe the Rule of the Abbey of Thelema may be shunned. The Abbot, according to the severity of the infraction, shall determine the degree and duration of shunning. In extreme cases, they may be physically expelled, temporarily or permanently.
  42. Each Abbey shall incorporate itself as a religious society, in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which it is located, and shall establish itself on a sound financial basis. In particular, the Abbey shall endeavour to acquire any land or property that may become available in its vicinity, in order to enlarge its domain. Abbeys shall extend hospitality to each other’s members and to visiting Thelemites, at the discretion of the Abbot. Each Abbey shall be autonomous, subject to this Rule, which shall be observed by all.
  43. Every resident shall contribute to the maintenance of the Abbey.
  44. Each Abbey shall if possible be located at or near a geographical power centre or other location notable for beauty or some other special quality. The name of the Abbey shall be based on the Holy Books of Thelema.


[1] Corresponding to the three grades of the Book of the Law (man of Earth, Lover, and Hermit) in the order of invocation of the elements according to the formula of the Pentagram (Earth, Water, Air, Fire).

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