To Perfect This Feast
A Commentary on Liber XV – The Gnostic Mass
by James and Nancy Wasserman
$19.95 Paperback (ISBN-13: 978-0-9718870-3-9)
$35.00 Hardcover (ISBN-13: 978-0-9718870-7-7)
Revised and Final Third Edition
Both editions are Smyth-sewn, 128 pages
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The Gnostic Mass is a hymn to the wedding of scientific truth and religious aspiration. It offers a truly modern spirituality. The celebrant is encouraged to leave superstition and dogma behind and join in an ecstatic tribute to the glorious nature of reality. Aleister Crowley wrote the Gnostic Mass in 1913. He described it as the central ritual—public and private—of Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). Today it is being performed on a regular basis throughout the world.
The authors of this performance guide to the Mass are both longtime O.T.O. members and consecrated bishops of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.). They share between them over half a century of diligent practice and training with this rite. Their devotion has been rewarded with long-sought-after insights into its complex choreography.
The detailed instructions presented here not only provide missing keys to the geometrical puzzle of the Mass, but offer a wider window into the workings of magical ritual. This book will thus be of value to spiritual aspirants, as well as to scholars and students of ancient myth, modern religious movements, and contemporary Gnosticism. The authors believe the Gnostic Mass to be a doorway into the highest realms of spiritual development and make a compelling case for that assertion.
In addition to a detailed commentary, they offer a corrected, uninterrupted Mass Missal suitable for use by individuals and groups interested in working with the ritual, along with valuable insights into magical ceremonies in general, and the Gnostic Mass in particular.
From the new edition:
"The primary insight we received that prompted the first edition of this book in 2009 e.v. began in December 2005. It is described in the Commentary to Section VI, starting on page 93. It perfectly resolved the mathematical imbalance that had troubled me for over two and a half decades. We were humbled and felt compelled to share it with the wider Thelemic community. We then worked diligently to solve some of the other performance puzzles of which we were aware in Crowley’s stage directions. That quest led us through two previous editions of this book.
"We feel we have here solved problems that remained in our understanding of the choreography of the children and Deacon in Sections III, IV, and elsewhere. We noted the occurrence of two additional “X-switches” during a training session conducted in 2012 e.v. They are mentioned on pages 94 and 102. We have refined and explained our version of the Communion in Section VIII better than ever before. We “road-tested” this text twice with a group of five officers who had never done the Mass (three were not even O.T.O. members). That led to several important improvements in the instructions, and to the creation of the Temple diagram on page 52. We hope Mass teams will find the checklist useful on pages 125–127. There are another myriad of minor changes and refinements throughout."
James Wasserman first performed the role of Priest in 1979. In 1992 he and Nancy Wasserman celebrated the most widely attended Mass in the history of the ritual, with a congregation of some 500 people. In 2009, they began to share their insights in book form and released an improved second edition in 2010. This third and final elucidation solves certain remaining problems. James Wasserman is also the author of In the Center of the Fire: A Memoir of the Occult 1966-1989, a modern history of the O.T.O., and the editor of Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary. Nancy Wasserman is the author of The Weiser Concise Guide to Yoga for Magick.