This weekend was the Gnostic Mass Intensive (which is what it turned out to be) with Jim and Nancy Wasserman down at the brand new Oasis temple, which is absolutely gorgeous. My contribution was basically to pull some rug remnants out of the floor and unload a truck. There were lots of people who did lots more, and man it is beautiful, and will become more so over time.
Anyway, Jim and Nancy Wasserman. They are great folks. I admit initially I was a bit suspicious because I know Jim is somewhere slightly to the right of Ayn Rand politically, and in doing Gnostic Mass instruction he has a tendency to say things like, "I know where you learned that, and who you learned it from, and it's WRONG!" He seems to regard California as the source of all noxious heresy and we won't even mention the word "Obama," OK? But away from all that, it is always to be remembered that he is the second oldest male Thelemite living after Lon Milo Duquette, and studied directly under Grady McMurtry, which puts him in a straight line back to Uncle Al his-ownself, and this does not count for naught.
Especially if you attend a Gnostic Mass where he and Nancy are presiding. I dunno if you remember the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, but in that comic, whenever the Freak Bros. would honk on an excellent doob the caption would read, "CLANG! HONK! TWEET!" and their eyeballs would go all loopy. I think that pretty much describes all of us at the Oasis after the Mass that they conducted was done. We were all just sort of wandering around going Hurr Durr and saying intelligent things like, "Wow," and "Wow," with the occasional "WOW" thrown in.
I am being facetious up above, but during the Mass, for real, I saw Jim manifesting the Gods. I don't often get to see somebody embody like that. It was thunderously powerful and I am not joking when I say that. Nancy was also definitely drawing down (to use the Wiccan term). It was very powerful, past my vocabulary to say. I had some questions about why they did things the way they do during his presentation, but after the Mass I was actually surprised to find out that he really was concerned about my experience of his way of doing the Mass. I had no problem admitting that I was wrong, and that his way of doing things definitely Works. He's obviously done the mass hundreds of times and put a near-obsessional level of thought into it (as evidenced by the book, "To Perfect This Feast,") but the power of what he and Nancy do is present. Force and Fire indeed. It was an astounding way to inaugurate the new Temple.
We went out to Angeli's afterwards and ate like fiends. It took some time for everyone to come to after the Mass, but when we did, the urge was EAT! FOOD! NOW! and so Angeli's was the place we ran for. I sat next to Jim and conversed a bit with him and he is far less intimidating than I anticipated. Actually a very friendly and super-knowledgeable man. Nancy is graciousness embodied. If you have a chance to go to a Mass with Jim and Nancy you ought to go immediately as soon as you hear about it.
This Thelema business is getting more and more under my skin. I found out that you don't have to have been baptized and confirmed in the EGC before you can take your Minerval. I was under the impression, for some reason, that I had to take Baptism and get confirmed before applying for Minerval, but nope, that is definitely not the case. I don't know where I got that idea, honestly, because nobody told me that and I didn't read it in the Intertubes. I guess I based that on my experience with the Christian church, where baptism comes before confirmation and then etc. after that. But regardless. That means that Minerval is actually much more imminent than I thought it might be.However, to be honest, I still want to get confirmed in the EGC before I take the Minerval. There seems to be a kind of symmetry about it that I like.