Saturday, February 7, 2015
Item Number 4: The Gnostic Mass
I believe Tiffany's picture didn't come out properly, but I think we chose the same picture; however, we interpreted it in two different ways. I found this picture to be a possible representation of a gnostic mass. In fact, this picture was featured in an invitation to a gnostic mass here: http://www.meetup.com/Star-Sapphire-Lodge/events/63012382/. The gnostic mass is pretty strange/creepy to me because of the similarities to a traditional Christian Mass (here are the steps: http://hermetic.com/sabazius/gnostic_mass.htm). As such, they still believe in the consecration of a host, which could be depicted here. The reason I am hesitant to say that this is Percival depicted is that he was too blockheaded to inquire about the grail, and he consequently did not achieve it.
Though the gnostic mass has existed for a long time, it was popularized most by Aleister Crowley in the early 20th century. He wrote a book called "Magick," in which he laid the ground rules for Thelema, which is as much a religion as Taoism is. Regardless, he advocated the use of rituals, magic, and mysticism to get a closer connection to "god." He proclaimed himself the prophet of the "Aeon of Horus," and hence Egyptian deities are the predominant symbols in his philosophy. In fact, three Egyptian deities form the primary base.
The word "Thelma" comes from the Greek word "θέλω," which means "I wish." Coincidentally, this is the same word that the Sibyl uses when she wishes to die in the epigraph of The Waste Land.