Ecclesia Gnostica

a bibliographical note

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.) was the name that Aleister Crowley gave to the church of Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) specifically charged with the performance of the Gnostic Mass (Liber XV). The present-day policy of the O.T.O. is that "Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica is an inseparable part of Ordo Templi Orientis". However, in 1984 e.v. the late Grady Louis McMurtry (Hymenaeus Alpha), while still leading the O.T.O. as its acting Outer Head, was also the Patriarch of an E.G.C. which was set up as a wholly separate non-profit corporation. This separate corporation was later dissolved by a vote of its council of bishops in the fall of 1986 e.v.

In August of 1984 e.v. Mordecai Shapiro was assigned by Patriarch Hymenaeus Alpha to the task of editing a small quarterly publication for the church. The Patriarch determined that it should be called Ecclesia Gnostica and issued at the midseasons, in November, February, May, and August. Vol. I, No. 1 was published in November 1984 e.v., and eventually three more issues were published, to complete one volume. The final number was a memorial dedicated to the Patriarch, who had died the previous July. The cover price was $4 an issue, $13 for four. Here are scans of the covers, as well as bibliographical & historical information for each issue:


Volume I, Number 1 -- issued November 1984 in an edition of 100 (8½ X 7 in.)

A Gnostic Church calendar (1984/85 e.v.)----------------------------------------------p.2
The Glow-worm (by Aleister Crowley)[poem]----------------------------------------p.4
Pan to Artemis (by Aleister Crowley)[poem]------------------------------------------p.5
Bortsch (by Aleister Crowley)[poem]--------------------------------------------------p.6
Oblivion (by Grady L. McMurtry)[poem]---------------------------------------------p.7
Autumnal Equinox: the harvest of old Green Man (by Lola D. Wolfe)[poem]----p.8
from "13 sonnets for Nu" (by Mordecai Shapiro)-------------------------------------p.9
Two Poems (by Marc Olmsted)---------------------------------------------------------p.10
To: 777 Grady McMurtry (by Julie D. Weber)[poem]-------------------------------p.11
Ode to Lilith (by Richard V. Gorton)[poem]------------------------------------------p.12
Brief biographies of the Gnostic saints-------------------------------------------------p.13
Editor's page-------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.17
Illustrations (in order of appearance)---------------------------------------------------p.18


Volume I, Number 2 -- issued February 1985 in an edition of 100 (8½ X 7 in.)

Brief biographies of the Gnostic saints (continued)-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.2
A Death bed repentance: to the memory of Samuel Butler (by Aleister Crowley)[short story]------------------------------------p.7
An Hymn for the American people (by Aleister Crowley)[poem]--------------------------------------------------------------------p.10
For: Julie Weber and her Magick Theater from the cycle "Dark space and bright stars" (by Grady L. McMurtry)[poems]---p.11
Three poems (by Antony Wm. Iannotti)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.12
Thirty short poems from earth to sky (by Mordecai Shapiro)-------------------------------------------------------------------------p.13
Again: (by Luscha)[poem]-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.15
Of stars & stars (by Julie Denison Weber)[essay]--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.16
A Blizzard in the Sahara (by Aleister Crowley)[essay]--------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.18
93=93/93 (by Jayne M. Hilyer)[poem]--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.20
Editor's page--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.21
Illustrations (in order)---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.22

Note: two of the Crowley pieces in this issue were republished for the first time, the one on page 7 is from "The International" and the one on page 18 is from "The Bystander".


Volume I, Number 3 -- issued May 1985 in an edition of 250 (8½ X 7 in.)

Introduction to the following text------------------------------------------------------p.2
Liber XV (harmonized from the three versions published by Crowley)----------p.3
Notes on the text-------------------------------------------------------------------------p.23
Notes on pronunciation-----------------------------------------------------------------p.24
Brief biographies of the Gnostic saints (continued)---------------------------------p.26
Invokation of Isis (by Barbara Simmons)[poem]------------------------------------p.30
Ezekiel's Bestiary (by Grady L. McMurty)[poem]----------------------------------p.31
Editor's page------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.33
Illustrations (in order of appearance)--------------------------------------------------p.34

Note: this issue includes the first publication of a version of the Gnostic Mass that harmonized all three of the texts published in Crowley's lifetime. It was the basis of the text later published in the Equinox, Vol.III, No.10.


Volume I, Number 4 -- issued October 1985 in an edition of 200 (8½ X 11 in.)

In memoriam---------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.2
Ten poems selected from the works of Grady Louis McMurtry-----------------------p.3
On shopping with the Caliph (by Frater Riotimus)[essay]-----------------------------p.11
Epitaphius Basilicon (by Fr. Xcalibr (H. Jacobs))[poem]------------------------------p.12
Tekess ha-sheenu = Rite of Transformation (by HaLayL)-----------------------------p.13
The Revival of magick (by Aleister Crowley)[essay]----------------------------------p.15
How did all these people get into my room? (by Antony Wm. Iannotti)[essay]----p.25
The Road of excess (by Clayton)[poem]------------------------------------------------p.32
The Gnostic sewing corner (by Bishop Sappho)---------------------------------------p.33
Brief biographies of the Gnostic saints (conclusion of series)------------------------p.35
Editor's page--------------------------------------------------------------------------------p.39
Illustrations (in order of appearance)----------------------------------------------------p.40

Note: one of the McMurtry poems published in this issue—Identification (to be used in my own ritual)—appears here for the very first time, along with a reproduction of its handwritten original manuscript. The Crowley essay is republished here for the first time since its appearance in "The International"; it was later republished as the title essay in the O.T.O.'s collection of Crowley essays, The Revival of Magick and Other Essays (1998).

(Last Updated: 16 Nov 09)