The sign, grip, penal sign, etc., of this degree seem to vary widely amongst those occult lodges which claim an O.T.O. ancestry. Accordingly they have not been inserted into the body of the ritual; in any case they are no more than the usual claptrap of secret societies — quite the least important parts of the ritual.
A conical tent, within which is seated Saladin, in oriental costume. Before him is an altar, ‘a Well covered with a coping-stone’, on which are
(1) The Book of the Law (CCXX).
(2) A Sword.
(3) A platter (disk) of bread and salt.
On his right hand is a seat. The Tent is lighted by a single candle: or, there is a palm tree.
Without is an armed black guard, who seizes the Candidate on his approach, and binds him hand and foot, and blindfolds him.
He then leads him to the Tent and knocks once.
Saladin: Whom have you there?
Black Guard: A Prisoner, mighty Saladin.
Saladin: Have you discovered his identity?
Black Guard: I have, mighty Saladin. He is a native of Corinth; but he has attained the freedom of the city of Athens, the ally of Mitylene.
Saladin: Why does he travel in the land of Egypt?
Black Guard: He says that he is travelling to Heliopolis, the City of the Sun.
Saladin: Are his intentions friendly?
Black Guard: He desires peace, and seeks wisdom.
Saladin: Then let him confirm his aspirations with
Sir, if your intentions be honourable, you will be set at liberty, and received with true hospitality in the camp of friends. Repeat your name at length and say after me:
I, … being an helpless prisoner in your power, hereby declare that I am a native of Corinth, a freeman of the city of Athens, the ally of Mitylene, and that I am travelling peacable to Heliopolis, the City of the Sun, in search of Light and Truth, of Wisdom and of Peace. Humbly, yet frankly, I demand your hospitality, and participation in your MYSTERIES, which I swear to study and to hold sacred and secret, and if I break this oath
(Saladin puts bread and salt into his mouth)
and betray the bread and salt, may the dogs devour my carcass; may I be mutilated and no more a man!
(Black guard applies sword in penal sign.)
Saladin: Noble Emir, release your prisoner!
(Done. 1st — Feet. 2nd — Hands. 3rd — Hoodwink.)
Saladin: (Shaking hands with the Candidate.) Noble guest, welcome to our camp! Be seated on my right hand.
I greet you as a brother with the title of Minerval, Man of Earth, a seeker after the hidden wisdom. Also, I present you with this Sacred Scroll (Done.) Study it well; it is the Charter of Universal Freedom. Noble Emir, I charge you with the pleasant duty of proclaiming the arrival of our guest to our fellow soldiers!
Black Guard: OYEZ! OYEZ! OYEZ! hear ye all that … is a welcome guest at our camp!
Saladin: In order to enable you for the future to penetrate our camp without annoyance from the sentries, I will confer upon you as a sign of recognition and a Pass Word. The sign is given by … etc. The Penal sign is given by … etc. The grip is … etc. The Word is ON. It signifies the Sun in the old Egyptian language. The password for the present month is …. For the present, worthy and welcome guest, I see that you are in need of repose. This noble Emir will conduct you to a suitable lodging. Therefore I bid you, for the present,
Hail and Farewell!
(Black guard conducts New Member to join his fellow soldiers.)
Note. If Candidate be female the obvious emendations must be made.
Minervals should be made in batches, preferably 12 at a time, according to the signs of the Zodiac. Each goes through the first part separately, all coming in together for the second part.
Saladin: Noble Emir, have you attended to the necessities of our guests?
Black Guard: I have, mighty Saladin.
Saladin: Let me assure myself of the same.
(Black guard brings the candidates forward.)
Worthy and valiant guests, I trust that so far you have had no reason to complain of our hospitality. Are you well rested and refreshed?
Candidate: I am. (Candidates are girded with swords.)
(A foreman can be chosen, as in a jury.)
Saladin: Are you ready to fight by the side of your comrades at the behest of the Supreme and Holy King, the Grand Master, Baphomet?
Candidate: I am.
Saladin: Our Grand Master will have none but free men in the ranks of his army. His soldiers must be neither mercenaries nor pressed men. I therefore ask you your object in enrolling yourself amongst us.
(Candidate replies as he thinks fit, and Saladin holds an impromptu dialogue with him which ends as follows.)
Noble and valiant guests and comrades! you have arrived amongst us at a time when freedom is about to deliver the decisive combat against the forces of superstition, tyranny and oppression. In the time which you spent in reposing from the fatigue of your journey, what was your sustenance and comfort.
Candidate: The Book of the Law.
Saladin: Can you explain the nature of that law in a few words?
Candidate: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
(All repeat, and give the sign.)
Saladin: Can you explain further the nature of the law?
Candidate: Love is the law, love under will.
(All repeat, giving the penal sign.)
Saladin: Are you prepared to defend those principles with your life?
Candidate: I am. (All repeat.)
Saladin: In order to fortify yourselves for combat, it is our custom to read a chapter of the Book of the Law. I will therefore request you to encourage your comrades in this manner.
(The Black guard gives the Candidate a chapter to read, and he reads it.)
Saladin: Let all present raise the right hand and say with me; ‘We swear to defend the principles of the Book of the Law in the name of the freedom of man, in whom is God.’
Noble and valiant guests, I will venture to acquaint you with the first paradox of philosophy. In order to obtain freedom to do your will, it is necessary to submit voluntarily to discipline and organization. Evolution implies structuralization. The power of man is greater than the power of the amoeba, because he has specialized the functions of our protoplasm of which he is composed. The regulations of our Order are strict, even as the sinews of your arm are firm. Were your sinews loosened, you could no longer move your arms. Chafe not, therefore, at the apparent restrictions which your obligations place upon you. They are designed solely to enable you to do your will.
In order that you may do the one thing which you will truly, you must therefore renounce all those other things which may tempt you to swerve from the one purpose of your sojourn amongst us. This tent, under whose canopy I sit, is restrained by the rigidity of its support. It fulfils its design by virtue of this discipline. I charge you, therefore, to meditate over this paradox, in order that you may understand the necessity to undergo that course of training which will make you efficient as a soldier of freedom. Let me further assure you that the word freedom is with us, no idle term. We neither know nor care what your will is.
‘Thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that and no other shall say “nay”.’ We unreservedly place power in your hands. If it be your will to enter this army as a spy to destroy your comrades, so be it!
Yet remember that you have made solemn affirmation to us in these words, which you will again repeat after me. ‘If I break this oath and betray the bread and salt, may I be mutilated and be no more a man.’
(All give penal sign.)
Saladin: It is our custom before going into battle, to fortify ourselves with meat and drink. A banquet has been prepared for our entertainment.
Emir: The banquet is ready, mighty Saladin.
Saladin: Let us partake of it. (O.T.O. Applause.)
(All go to banqueting tent.)
Saladin at head of table. Black guard at foot. Saladin rises … gives sign. ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the Whole of the Law.’
Emir: What is thy will, mighty Saladin?
Saladin: It is my will to eat and drink.
Emir: To what end?
Saladin: That I may fortify my body.
Emir: To what end?
Saladin: That I may do battle in the cause of freedom according to the Book of the Law.
Emir: Love is the Law, Love under Will.