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Order of the Trapezoid MISSION STATEMENT

[from http://www.trapezoid.org/statement.html ]

Subject: Order of the Trapezoid MISSION STATEMENT
                                   
INTRODUCTION

   Consecrated by the Prince of Darkness, in his image as Wotan
   Hollenjaeger of the One Eye, the Order of the Trapezoid is a
   chivalric order of knighthood within the Temple of Set. Its
   members are adept black magicians who have sworn fealty beyond
   death to the spirit of their higher selves. These knights are
   dedicated to the quest for the Grail by seeking the angular
   mysteries of the Trapezoid, partaking of the Black Flame, and
   achieving a highly dynamic state of development known as
   Walhalla!
   
   The Order of the Trapezoid is the most culturally diverse order
   in the Temple of Set. A full account of its specific areas of
   focus, ranging from the magical traditions of Northern Europe and
   Southern Asia, to mad lab experiments and the martial arts, would
   fill a dozen volumes. The sections that follow give a brief
   outline of the Order of the Trapezoid in terms of its history,
   essential elements, organizational structure, and criteria for
   membership.
   
HISTORY

   The history of the Order of the Trapezoid is that of a formula
   for the emergence of an unknown entity into the world of
   humankind. Many attempts have been made at this formula. Yet
   while the formula has yet to be fully realized, our Knighthood
   has developed it to its furthest manifestation thus far. This
   section will trace its development through the contributions of
   Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Anton Szandor Lavey, Dr. Michael A.
   Aquino, and Dr. Stephen E. Flowers.
   
   Our history begins with the most ancient artifact of intelligent
   life, the human unconscious. It is from this primal landscape
   that H.P. Lovecraft found inspiration for his fantastic tales.
   Otherwise conservative and staunchly materialistic, Lovecraft
   allowed his deeper fears of water, dark places, and strange
   animals to come alive in his writings. In this, his work was much
   like that of many other expressionists of the time.
   
   Unlike his contemporaries, however, Lovecraft was well read in
   the natural sciences. He was among the first authors to explore
   the new physics of Planck, Einstein, and Schroedinger, and
   express the human implications of their works in fiction. By
   combining depth psychology with cutting edge cosmology, Lovecraft
   had stumbled upon the primal dreams of another world. The world
   of Lovecraft struck a deep chord among his readers, reminding
   people of something that they would rather forget; a world so
   real that people have been searching for the "real" Necronomicon
   ever since.
   
   Forty years after they were written, Lovecraft's tales would
   inspire a creative and iconoclastic showman, a Magus who
   proclaimed himself the "Black Pope" and gave the late sixties and
   early seventies a name: Indulgence. Anton Szandor LaVey ushered
   the Lovecraftian mythos into the ritual chambers and postmodern
   culture of the Church of Satan. Seeing the correlation between
   the "strange angles" of H.P.L., and the "negative architecture"
   described in Lafforrest's Houses That Kill, LaVey formulated the
   aesthetic function of this geometry in the Greater and Lesser
   Laws of the Trapezoid, in which certain angles that were harmful
   to most people, would be beneficial to those who were properly
   initiated into their mysteries. The latter was visually
   demonstrated in the photographs of Mortensen's The Command to
   Look, and verbalized a century earlier when Immanual Kant likened
   the experience of the sublime to standing atop a high cliff that
   simultaneously attracts us to move closer to its ledge and repels
   us to scramble for safety.
   
   Further inspired by a Lovecraftian tale that introduced the Order
   of the Shining Trapezohedron among its protagonists, LaVey formed
   the Order of the Trapezoid within the Church of Satan. As stated
   in a 1970 issue of The Cloven Hoof:
   
     "The O.Tr. is the 'board of directors' and security staff of
     the Church. Its functions are many, and its members are chosen
     by appointment, according to the special abilities and
     attributes of each. All Priests and Priestesses are
     automatically admitted into the Order, although identities of
     most members of the Order are unknown even to each other.
     Members of the Governing or Grand Council of the Trapezoid are
     known only to the High Priest, who solicits their aid when
     required."
     
   Although LaVey grasped the aesthetic correlates of the trapezoid
   in Lovecraft, and the Weimar-era expressionism of pre-war
   Germany, the LaVey-centered political organization of the O.Tr.
   kept it from becoming a proper order within the Church of Satan.
   The formula remained a thought experiment throughout the demise
   of the Church, and the ascension of the Temple of Set, where it
   was alternatively used to designate the Council of Nine and the
   Magistry.
   
   On October 19th, 1983, Dr. Michael Aquino, Magus of Xeper, High
   Priest and founder of the Temple of Set, took the thought
   experiment to Walhalla, the inner sanctum of the Wewelsburg
   Castle in Westphalia, Germany. This was the site where another
   experiment had gone awry: where the positive aspects of German
   romanticism - dynamism, life-worship, irrationality, artistic
   alchemy, and xenophilia - had tragically become the tools of
   totalitarianism, negative tribalism, and brutal acts committed on
   a mass scale.
   
   Dr. Aquino performed the rites at Wewelsburg to recapture the
   positive elements of this romantic stream from the place where
   the dark arts of the North were last attempted. There, he
   combined this stream with that of Lovecraftian expressionism, a
   genre with which he was familiar having previously served as
   LaVey's "lefthand man" in the Church of Satan, and written the
   "Ceremony of the Nine Angles". The marriage of German romanticism
   with Lovecraftian expressionism was a powerful one indeed,
   perhaps even too powerful. To insure that the arts which emerged
   from this marriage would never be misused again, Dr. Aquino
   reestablished the Order of the Trapezoid as a chivalric order of
   Knights sworn to uphold standards of honor and ethical conduct.
   The formula had come alive.
   
   For the first time since it was conceived, the Order of the
   Trapezoid had become a working organization with a working
   formula. Four years later, the Grandmastership of the Order was
   passed to Dr. Stephen Flowers, Yrmin Drighten of the Rune Guild,
   scholar of Germanic magical traditions, and author of numerous
   books on European magical systems. During his nine year tenure as
   Grandmaster, Dr. Flowers developed the IndoEuropean Northern
   roots of the Order, articulating its historical sources, and
   establishing a rigorous methodology for awakening traditional
   systems. Organizationally, he established a system of lodges and
   houses, and an inner council of advisors within the Order.
   
   The work of Dr. Flowers gave rise to a particular school of
   mysticism within the order. This school linked concrete
   accomplishments in objective reality to the knowledge of deeper
   mysteries which transcended rational thought and sense
   perception. This combination of objective and subjective endeavor
   became known as the two-fold path of initiation. From the deeper
   mysteries of his own work, he became the Magus of Runa, the seed
   of all Runes and essence of mysteries represented by a geometric
   yantra comprised of the nine angles of the trapezoid, and
   articulated in the formula, Reyn til Runa.
   
   
CENTRAL ELEMENTS

   The specific interests within the Order of the Trapezoid are too
   diverse to be generalized and too broad to be sufficiently
   rendered in an introductory text. Yet despite this, all works
   within the O.Tr. share four major elements which are central to
   the Order:
   
   The Black Flame is the central source of the Order. Every Knight
   of the Trapezoid, male or female, is an Initiate of the Left Hand
   Path. That is, every Knight is engaged in self-directed
   self-deification through liberating antinomianism. The Black
   Flame is the dark source and inspiration of the individual's own
   psyche as a uniquely developing deity; a kindred spirit of the
   Prince of Darkness. The Black Flame is signified by the ninth
   angle of the trapezoid, which at a collective level, functions as
   the central pivot which binds the O.Tr. to the Temple of Set.
   
   The Grail Quest is the central activity of the Order. Each Knight
   must find his or her own path of becoming, and swear to its
   realization. The Grail is the ultimate truth of one's ultimate
   endeavor. It is a truth which is ever sought yet never found. Yet
   there are ways to partake of that which cannot be fully grasped.
   The keys can be found in the seeking.
   
   The Trapezoid is the central mystery of the Order. Runa, the
   essence of mysteries, is represented by its ultimate example. The
   trapezoid functions to link objective and subjective realities,
   just as it beckons its initiates to explore worlds where the
   arrow of time no longer points in a single direction. The
   trapezoid is a two-dimensional representation of a three
   dimensional shadow. It is a prism and a gate. Most importantly,
   it is a mystery.
   
   Walhalla is the central state of becoming within the Order. The
   universe of the Black Magician is marked by major periods of time
   called Aeons. We are currently living in the Aeon of Set, guided
   by a philosophy of self-deification that is encapsulated in a
   Word, Xeper, meaning "become." Walhalla, the Hall of the Fallen
   where great heroes live in a highly dynamic state beyond death,
   describes a qualitatively distinct state of self-transformation
   that transcends the notion of change through time.
   
   
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

   The Order of the Trapezoid is the first among the orders of the
   Temple of Set, subject to the by-laws therein. Internally, it is
   owned and operated by its Knighthood, who are also members of the
   Temple.
   
   The O.Tr. is led by a Grandmaster, a spiritual monarch charged
   with overseeing the Order according to his or her vision for a
   period of time not to exceed nine years. The Grandmaster is a
   Master of the Trapezoid appointed by a previous Grandmaster
   subject to confirmation by the Knighthood.
   
   The Trihedron is the inner council of advisors whom the
   Grandmaster appoints to delegate the duties of his or her office.
   The members of the Trihedron include a Chancellor in charge of
   internal affairs, a Herald in charge of communications and
   insignia, and a Marshall in charge of external affairs. In
   addition to the Trihedron, the Grandmaster is advised by previous
   Grandmasters, and other Masters of the Trapezoid.
   
   Founded by Masters of the Trapezoid, the Houses of the Order are
   autonomous schools for specialized training in trapezoidal
   Initiation. They are not geographically local, and their
   interactions may extend beyond the Order and the Temple. They can
   be joined by any Knight according their respective criteria. The
   Temple of Set is represented among these Houses as the House of
   the Ninth Angle, which is overseen by the High Priest of the
   Temple of Set.
   
   Lodges are geographically localized groups within the Order of
   the Trapezoid. They are led by Lodgemasters who are Knights of
   the Trapezoid, and conduct their internal operations according to
   their own criteria. Lodges may or may not be defined according to
   specialized activities. Only one Lodge, Munsalvasche, is not
   geographically localized. The Munsalvasche Lodge is the banner
   representing the Knights Errant of the Order of the Trapezoid.
   
   The O.Tr. is an Order of leaders. Hence, it is up to the
   individual Knight to affiliate with a Lodge or a House, or
   conduct his or her affairs according to Knight's own will. Half
   the Knighthood conducts their work without any affiliation beyond
   those of the Order and Munsalvasche. The Order recognizes that
   individual Knight is the highest authority for his or her own
   initiation. Ultimately, we must each conduct our quests alone.
   
   
ENTRY

   The standards for entry into the Order of the Trapezoid are as
   follows:
     * The candidate must be a member of the Temple of Set who has
       been recognized as an Adept, second degree.
     * The candidate must be sponsored by a Knight of the Trapezoid
       who is also a Priest or Priestess of Set. The candidate is
       usually well-known to the sponsor, because all subsequent
       actions and nonactions of a Knight reflect, not only on his
       or her own honor, but the honor of the sponsor as well.
     * The candidate must participate in an induction ceremony
       conducted in the presence of a Master of the Trapezoid or
       Lodgemaster.
     * During the induction ceremony, the candidate must take the
       Oath of the Order, to which he or she will be bound beyond
       death.
       
    For more information on the Order of the Trapezoid, contact the
	Herald of the Order [mailto:herald@trapezoid.org].
   
  copyright 1997-8 Temple of Set. All rights reserved.
  ____________________________________________________________

EOF

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