General Information About the O.T.O.
The letters O.T.O. stand for Ordo Templi Orientis, the Order of the Oriental Templars, or Order of the Temple of the East. The O.T.O. is dedicated to securing the Liberty of the Individual, and his or her advancement in Light, Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, and Power. This is accomplished through Beauty, Courage, and Wit, on the Foundation of Universal Brotherhood. The O.T.O. is in sympathy with the traditional ideals of Freemasonry, and was the first of the Old Aeon orders to accept The Book of the Law.
Many aspirants to the Great Work have a genuine need for information, guidance, fellowship, or the opportunity to assist their fellow aspirants and serve humanity. Such aspirants will find welcome in the O.T.O.
The structure of the O.T.O., like that of Freemasonry and the ancient mystery schools, is based on a graded series of initiations, or Degrees. In these Degrees, the O.T.O. seeks to instruct the Individual by allegory and symbol in the profound mysteries of Existence, and thereby to assist each to discover his or her own true Nature. Every man and woman of full age, free, and of good report, has an indefeasible right to the introductory Degrees of the O.T.O.
The O.T.O. also includes the Gnostic Catholic Church (Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica), whose central public and private rite is "Liber XV," the Gnostic Mass.
The O.T.O. has active branches around the world and issues numerous periodicals in many languages. In addition to the official O.T.O. instructions and the celebrations of the Gnostic Mass, many national and regional O.T.O. Lodges, Oases and Camps offer classes and study programs to its members.
Fraternity and Culture
The O.T.O. is a social and fraternal Order. It provides a local and international community, intellectual stimulation, an opportunity to contribute service and knowledge, and a place to participate in sacramental and magical practices. Although the Order is principally Thelemic, there is a shared culture of appreciation for diverse esoteric traditions, and a variety of perspectives on religious and philosophical subjects. The O.T.O. does not have an official curriculum for its lower Degrees aside from what is conveyed through its system of initiations, though there are suggested practices associated with respective degrees, and local bodies often offer classes and events in order to share knowledge. Individuals often pursue deeper personal work independently, perhaps on their own, through the A∴A∴, or through another system. Members of the Seventh and higher Degrees of the O.T.O. are engaged in the theoretical and practical study of its specific method of magick.
We live in a time when the influence of community is on the wane. This suggests that to many the concept of fraternity may seem unfamiliar even as it is actually most valuable. We believe that the system of the O.T.O. provides a viable alternative social model based on fraternal meritocracy, organized in accordance with the ideals and principles of Thelema.