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Thelema

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Thelema (セレマ?) is a system of philosophical law and magic, developed by Aleister Crowley.

Several important Thelemic aspects and concepts are featured in the story of Toaru Majutsu no Index, and are involved in Aleister Crowley's plan.

PrinciplesEdit

Crowley unicursal hexagram.svg

The Unicursal Hexagram is an important symbol in Thelema, equivalent of the Egyptian Ankh or the Rosicrucian's Rosy Cross. It represents the microcosmic forces interweaving with the macro-cosmic forces.

In 1904, Crowley traveled to Egypt on a honeymoon with his wife, Rose Kelly. While there, she entered into some kind of connection with the Egyptian god Horus. To test this, Crowley subjected her to tests involving arcane and Qabalistic knowledge of Horus, which she apparently passed with flying colors. After performing a ritual, an entity known as Aiwass dictated to Crowley for an hour. Crowley titled the result The Book of the Law, and this book would become the central tenet of Crowley's new religion, Thelema (Koine Greek for will).

The central belief behind both the Book of the Law and Thelema can be summed up in three sentences from the book:

  • "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."
  • "Love is the law, love under will."
  • "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt."

True Will is a central concept within Thelema. True Will originates from within the individual and could be referred to as their "true calling." In essence, it is the idea that a fully actualized person will act in accordance with their personal drive to act according to what they truly need to do. This is differentiated from a person merely doing what they want to and is not simply a call to hedonism. Instead, it is a person who surpasses the limitations of normal people by abandoning ideas of "right" and "wrong" as imposed by social norms and instead creating their own concept of morality that is true to themselves.

AeonsEdit

Main article: Aeon

An important concept in Thelema is that of Aeons (時代(アイオーン) Jidai (Aiōn)?), divisions of human history named after Egyptian deities,[1] and each characterized by certain forms of belief and expression.

There are three primary Aeons; the first is the Aeon of Isis (イシスの時代(アイオーン) Ishisu no Aiōn?), the time of primitive religions, before the establishment of Christianity.[1] The second is the Aeon of Osiris (オシリスの時代(アイオーン) Oshirisu no Aiōn?), a period in the classical and medieval centuries, believed to be one of stagnation, where humanity worshiped a single god during the spread of Christianity.[1] The third and newest is the Aeon of Horus (ホルスの時代(アイオーン) Horusu no Aiōn?) when it is believed humanity will enter a time of self-realization and self-actualization, achieving a true awakening after the downfall of Christianity.[1]

The Aeons influence several other aspects of Thelema, such as the Thoth Tarot based around the concept and featuring The Aeon as its twentieth Major Arcana instead of Judgement.[1] Unlike the Golden-style Tarot, in which the Major Arcana connected to the 22 paths on the Sephirot tree tell the story of the Son of God, from birth to execution and resurrection, in order to draw on a portion of his power and acquire a technique of entering the realm of god with a human body, the Thoth Tarot's Major Arcana (with different cards and a different meaning for The Hanged Man) starts at the birth of Christianity and follows it through to its destruction at Armageddon and to the new Aeon arriving afterwards, aimed at destroying the 'closed ceiling' of god's territory and bringing humanity to the next stage above it.[1]

EntitiesEdit

There are a number of deity-like figures and other similar entities which appear within the works of Thelema, a number of which are derived from other sources, such as Egyptian Mythology. These include Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Khuit, Babalon, Therion and Choronzon.

One particularly notable entity is the being known as Aiwass, who dictated the contents of the Book of the Law to Aleister Crowley.[2]

BackgroundEdit

Thelema was devised in the early 20th century by the magician Aleister Crowley, most likely influenced by his desire to find the proper rules and answers that the god who created the world could not in order to make the world a better place, a wish which started him down the path of magic.[3]

Like many other European magicians who had reached a dead-end in their research and sought new material elsewhere to make a breakthrough, Aleister Crowley traveled to Egypt, conveniently located just across the Mediterranean.[1] While he was in Egypt, Aleister experimented in summoning a demon which no one had ever heard of,[4] and incorporated the names of Isis, Osiris and Horus into his concept of Aeons,[1][4] a concept which a number of people within the Golden Dawn didn't support during his time with the cabal, being considered an extreme view even within that cabal.[1] During one of his trips, Aleister apparently used his wife who had accompanied him around the world as a medium to contact the entity known as Aiwass, who taught Aleister the secrets which he would incorporate into the Book of the Law.[2][5]

After severing ties with the Golden Dawn, Aleister continued his work on Thelema. In the present day, it forms a key part of his plan with Academy City.[6]

ChronologyEdit

Toaru Majutsu no IndexEdit

Various elements of Thelema, such as The Book of the Law, the concept of Aeons, and the entity Aiwass, are featured over the course of Toaru Majutsu no Index and play a key part in events in the story.[2][7][8][9]

Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no IndexEdit

Kamisato Rescue ArcEdit

Main article: Kamisato Rescue Arc

When Kamijou Touma, Misaka Mikoto, Karasuma Fran and Toyama Luca examined the core of the original Anti-Art Attachment, Luca observed magical elements within the core derived from Thelema and in a trance-like state, made a link between the Temple of Thelema and the use of drugs in adolescents to induce paranormal phenomena.[10] Luca incorporated multiple Thelemic elements into the spell she and Fran performed in order to rescue Kamisato Kakeru.[11][12] Tsuchimikado Motoharu later told Fran that to Aleister, Academy City is the return of Thelema.[6]

Uses of Thelema within the storyEdit

  • Abrahadabra: A key word featured in The Book of the Law (first and last), derived from Abracadabra, described as "the Word of the Aeon" (not to be confused with "the Word of the Law of the Aeon", Thelema, meaning "Will") and the magical formula of a new age, with multiple mystical interpretations.
  • Aeons: Thelemic concept in which the history of humanity is divided into several different Aeons, named after Egyptian deities.
    • Aiwass refers to himself as a being from the Aeon of Horus during his encounter with Accelerator and refers to Accelerator's black wings as something from the Aeon of Osiris.[8]
    • During his encounter with Fiamma of the Right, Aleister Crowley refers to how Fiamma used the wrong format in his plans, saying that if he'd based his plans in the Aeon of Horus rather Osiris he would have achieved a position similar to him.[9]
    • Nephthys, who had laughed as Aleister named the Aeons,[4] mentioned the concept to Kamijou Touma during her and Othinus's lecture on European magic and Africa.[1]
  • Aiwass: An entity encountered by Aleister Crowley, from whom the Book of the Law originated.
    • Aiwass itself appears within the series, first appearing during the end of GROUP's confrontation with Shiokishi.[7]
  • The Book of the Law: Also known as Liber AL vel Legis. The central sacred text of Thelema, written by Aleister Crowley and originating from Aiwass.
  • Thoth Tarot: A variant of Tarot, devised by Aleister, named after the Egyptian god of knowledge Thoth, and connected to the concept of Aeons.
    • Nephthys and Othinus refer to the Thoth Tarot during their lecture to Touma.[1]
    • The name of Aleister's AI, Reading Thoth 78, is derived from the Thoth Tarot.[13]
  • Unicursal Hexagram: A hexagram drawn in a single-stroke and an important symbol of Thelema, representing microcosmic forces interweaving with macro-cosmic forces.
    • A unicursal hexagram was one of the Thelemic elements which Luca incorporated into the spell intended to rescue Kamisato Kakeru.[14][11][15]

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

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