PERSONAL INTERESTS of J. Edward CorneliusTo review my GENEALOGICAL STUDY of the Cornelius Family Tree. Click HERE for details. If you would like to see some of JERRY’S FAVORITE MOVIES and read his reviews – CLICK HERE. To read about Jerry’s personal interests regarding THE ANCIENT ROMAN COINS OF THE CORNELIA, click HERE. Or you can click here HERE to view a few of his favorite ‘female’ coins. To read one of THE MAGICAL RECORDS of J. EDWARD CORNELIUS titled ‘ASTRAL RATS’, click HERE.
ON J. EDWARD CORNELIUS
BEING A BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
OF FRATER ACHAD OSHER 583
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. – AL I:40
Who am I?
That’s a good question. I was born Gerald Edward Cornelius in New Haven, Connecticut on July 14th, 1951. Everyone simply calls me Jerry. Most of my interests center on the occult, ceremonial magick and the writings of Aleister Edward Crowley (1875-1947). I have been fascinated with this man since the late 1960’s. On a personal level, what else can I say about myself? I am my own boss; a poet, writer and artist by profession. My artwork and paintings have always been very erotic, some claim bordering on perversity with a touch of immoral and depraved humor but to me my work has simply been bathed in the beauty of that which I was not born; or the female form. There is an overbearing sense, as with everything that I do, that the underlying nature of my very existence is rooted in my quest for the opposite. Although I am very religious in my beliefs toward God, I believe in no single religion although philosophically I call myself a Thelemite. I adhere strongly to a belief in reincarnation or the transmigration of my Soul in an endless cycle of birth, life and death moving from one body into another and so forth in order to gain a multitude of experiences. I have been here before and I shall be here again and again until time is no more. I have no interest in escaping off this silly little rock that we call Earth. I enjoy it here. I take pleasure in my frivolities and experiences. I have learned that immortality is not guaranteed by living by other people’s moralistic values in the hope of a better afterlife. I take my fill of Life in the here now. Yes, here is where I commenced my earliest research; rooted in the ancient Greek axiom of ‘Know Thyself’ and I did just that, on every level.
I border on being a narcissist but I lack its generally accepted excessive traits of conceit, egotism and selfishness. Learning magick wore those negative traits down to fine dust and in the process I was left with looking at the term more from an ancient perspective of self-love. In many ways I am one with the eternal Greek youth Narcissus or the Self-Admirer (Νάρκισσος) simply because I place myself above all else while appearing often ‘indifferent’ toward others. In truth, I have strove to understand my opposite, the eternal feminine within but in the process I have fallen in love with myself. I am like Narcissus the son of the river god Cephisus and the nymph Liriope but there are many version of his story. I like the one which maintains that he had an identical twin sister. After her death, he would to go to the sacred spring, and although he knew that it was only his own reflection that he saw, he found relief for his lost love because it reminded him of her. However, he inevitably fell in love with himself and losing touch with reality, he fell in and drowned. And like Narcissus, I have also looked deeply at my image in a mirror and have become obsessed with that which I have chosen for this incarnation with all its good and bad physical qualities. In the ancient legends, upon his death, Narcissus changed into a beautiful yellow flower that blooms throughout the Asphodel Meadows; this being the middle section of the Greek underworld flanked by the Elysian Fields (Heaven) and Tartarus (Hell). Today we call this flower the daffodil, the ancients referred to it as the Narcissus Flower.
To me, the noted author Gerald Yoke said it best when he wrote – “The religious hedonist regards everything in the world as an aspect of God and therefore as a possible means of attainment. Everything is sacred.” I tend to agree. If God encompasses everything, then I wanted to make no distinction between one thing and another. I embrace everything which comes my way. This meant that the foolish goals of slaves, often oriented toward what a meager reality might have to offer, has had no hold on me. I sought God. Yes, I’ve always had this obsession about ‘something’ greater than me for as long back as I can remember, long before I ever heard of such words as ‘God’ or ‘religion’. I simply had a craving to find ‘It’, knowing that ‘It’ would make all things better. But admittedly in my youth, I could never define ‘It’ but I knew that all else was merely an Illusion. Years ago I wrote a profound statement in my diary which was true then and still true now – “Every child is taught not to stare at the Sun or they’ll go blind. I dared to look directly at my Star and, forgetting such childhood lessons; I lost sight of my reality.”
“There is more in a human life than our theories of it allow. Sooner or later something seems to call us onto a particular path. You may remember this ‘something.’ as a signal moment in childhood when an urge out of nowhere, a fascination, a peculiar turn of events struck like an annunciation: This is what I must do, this is what I’ve got to have. This is who I am.” – James Hillman
I bought my first book by Aleister Crowley in the late 1960s. After studying him for years I knew beyond a shred of a doubt I was Thelemite. In the mid-seventies I began corresponding with Crowley’s personal student Grady Louis McMurtry (1918-1985), or Frater Hymenaeus Alpha 777 Xth Degree O.T.O., 9=2 A.’.A.’.. Shortly thereafter in 1977 I joined Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). I considered Grady a good friend and a personal mentor. In fact, Grady spent time at my house back in Connecticut on several occasions. I quickly rose up the fraternal ranks and assumed VIIth Degree in 1979 and then VIIIth Degree in 1984. I was initially chartered to run The Frater Achad Chapter of the O.T.O. in Connecticut which was later elevated up to Brocken Mountain Lodge. Here I established Brocken Publications which existed for over six years and distributed Crowleyanity worldwide. I also published the Lodge Newsletter, Hellspawned, A Newsletter of Brocken Spectres. In 1986 I was chartered to run a Rose Croix Chapter in Connecticut. I remained in charge of these bodies for well over ten years.
I joined Aleister Crowley’s A.’.A.’. as a Probationer in July of 1979 and under Grady McMurtry’s personal tutelage I ascended the Tree grade by grade until finally, on April 22nd, 1984, I swore the Oath of the Abyss in his presence in Syracuse, New York; thus dying and being reborn in the City of the Pyramids. I had become a Magister Templi 8=3. After Grady’s death in July of 1985 I assumed head of his A.’.A.’. lineage of which I still run to this day.
In late August of 1989 I moved to Berkeley [California], where I presently reside. In 1991 I became the sixth Lodge Master of the then oldest continually operating Lodge in the world, Thelema Lodge O.T.O. which was founded by Grady Louis McMurtry in 1977. I held this position from 1991 to 1993. I was also placed in charge of the Neb-Het Chapter of the Rose Croix in the Bay Area. After retiring from these positions, I worked closely with Pangenetor Lodge O.T.O., whose Lodge Master, Marlene Cornelius, is my ex-wife. We wrote, published and distributed Crowleyanity worldwide under the name of Pangenetor Publications. I have published a multitude of articles in numerous publications, along with many pamphlets over the last thirty years. Some of my most notable are:
Did Aleister Crowley Know the Identity of Jack the Ripper?
Myths of the Solar Lodge Revisited
Aleister Crowley in Novels
Crowley’s I-Ching Sticks
Poetical Flavours of the Beast
The Warrior Troubadour … etc
In 1993 I began formulating plans for a larger formatted publication titled Red Flame, A Thelemic Research Journal. Each issue is actually a book in itself, 200 pages plus, centering on a single topic. I released the first issue, The Poetry of Grady Louis McMurtry to rave reviews worldwide. Since releasing that issue my ex-wife and I have released twelve other issues. Shortly thereafter, Red Flame closed its doors.
No. 1 – The Poetry of Grady Louis McMurtry (1993)
No. 2 – Mystery of Mystery, A Primer of Thelemic Ecclesiastical Gnosticism (1995)
No. 3 – The Friends & Acquaintances of Aleister Crowley (1996)
No. 4 – The Aleister Crowley Desk Reference (1997)
No. 5 – YI KING, a Beastly Book of Changes (1998)
No. 6 – The Foolish Issue (1999)
No. 7 – The Magickal Essence of Aleister Crowley (1999)
No. 8 – Liber AL vel Legis, The Book of the Law (2000)
No. 9 – Aleister Crowley, In the Public’s Eye (2001)
No. 10 & 11 – Jane Wolfe, Her Life with Aleister Crowley by Phyllis Seckler (2001)
No. 12 & 13 – In The Name of the Beast, A biography of Grady McMurtry, disciple of Aleister Crowley (2002)
In 2003, after almost 27 years, due to the present political atmosphere in Ordo Templi Orientis, I decided to official let my dues lapse and I resigned.
I continued writing and in the fall of 2005 I released a book titled ALEISTER CROWLEY AND THE OUIJA BOARD which dealt primarily with the history of the Ouija board from ancient China and Greece to the present day along with its corruption amongst the Spiritualists. It goes at length into Aleister Crowley’s beliefs that this is the greatest and most dangerous magickal implement ever created. It explains Crowley’s views on how to use the board correctly in a magickal setting. It was later translated into Portuguese and re-released in Brazil as ALEISTER CROWLEY eo TABULEIRO OUIJA (Brazil: San Paulo, Madras Editora Ltda 2008, 6 ¼ x 9 paperback, 158 pgs).
On January 18th, 2007 I released the first, of twenty issues, of a new magazine which I titled CORNELIA, The Magazine of the Magickal, Mystical and often Personal Writings of J. Edward Cornelius and Associates. In this publication I not only began serializing a lengthy set of lessons that I had written the year before titled In Pursuit of The Holy Guardian Angel (2006) but I also included The Magickal Essence of Aleister Crowley and other earlier writings. I also published two independent articles around this time. The first being Anthony Powell, A biographical Sketch of a Friend & Acquaintance of Aleister Crowley which appeared in the ANTHONY POWELL SOCIETY newsletter (Issue No.26, Spring 2007, Middlesaex, England, 6 x 8 ¼ stapled pamphlet, white cover, 32 pgs) and the second titled Crowley’s Physician, Dr. William Brown Thomson appeared in ANOTHER MIRROR, at the end of the road (Volume One, Number Two, Fall 2008, 8 ½ x 11 stapled newsletter, pg. 5, Pennsylvania).
I have also released the following books:
THE MAGICKAL ESSENCE OF ALEISTER CROWLEY
(Privately Published, Berkeley, California, Limited Edition 777 copies hardback, 246 pages, 2010)
ALETHEIA, Astrology in the New Aeon for Thelemites
(Black Jackal Press, Maine, Limited Edition 418 copies hardback, 134 pages, 2011)
THE ALEISTER CROWLEY DESK REFERENCE
2nd Edition Revised and Enlarged. Contributing editor A. Edward Drylie
(Teitan Press, Maine, 93 hardback and 418 paperback copies, 381 pages, 2013)
I have also written hundreds of short epistle and essays over the years which are distributed in our branch of the A.’.A.’.. A few of the more notable being:
ON BAPHOMET (2004)
ON THE PHALLUS (2004)
ON THE USE OF 93 (2006)
ON THE EIGHT LIMBS OF YOGA AND THE 0 (2010)
ON THE RITES OF KADOSH (2012)
ON GOD WILLS HOLY LOVE (2013)
ON AROUSAL, AND THE SABBATH OF THE WITCHES (2013)
ON THE THREE FATES (2013)
ON THE HOLY GUARDIAN ANGEL (2013)
ON THE HOMUNCULUS (2013)
ON TANTRA, PHALLICISM AND THE TREE OF LIFE Part II (2013)
ON PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLORATIONS AND THE TREE OF LIFE (2013)
ON CHASTITY, VIIth DEGREE O.T.O. & THE FOUNDATION STONES FOR THE OATH OF THE ABYSS (2013)
ON THE SCARLET WOMAN (2013)
ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEACHING MEN AND WOMEN (2014)
ON ONE’S TRUE WILL, KNOWN AS YOUR LOT IN LIFE OR PART OF FORTUNE (2014)
ON HELIOPOLIS, Being an Essay on Heliopolis of Lower Egypt (2014)
and many others.
My greatest accomplishment, still unpublished, is my Magickal Thesis in two parts. The first part is an autobiographical detail of my life and volume II is my magickal theory regarding my Tarot cards which began with a vision inspired through Temple workings. It would inevitably be painted onto an 18×24 canvas in oil on March 1st, 1980. Right from the start I knew it was The Devil trump of the Major Arcana. Then, over the next eight years, cards slowly unfolded in my dreams until finally in February of 1988 the last of 22 trumps appeared, it was The World. My Magickal Thesis was complete. It was later pointed out to me that I had finished the oil painting of The World on February 16th or exactly eight years to the exact day that the first card, The Devil, had manifested. I was born in the sign of Cancer, ruled by The Chariot whose Hebrew letter is Cheth which is the number 8. Furthermore, in my diaries I saw that I had begun The Devil at 8:12am in the morning and I finished The World at 8:12pm in the evening. These cards came out in a random order, each portraying a deep spiritual lesson which I was required to focus upon; similar to how Grady McMurtry felt about his poetry series known as The Angel & The Abyss.
Finally, on Wednesday, January 20th, 2000, with the Sun in Aquarius and the Moon in Pisces, I assumed the grade of Magus 9=2. I uttered my Word, a word which not only signified the Laws of my Universe, but fulfills my destiny.
What else can I say about myself? I enjoy drawing and painting. I have literally painted hundreds of erotic if not bizarre oil paintings over the years. Besides daily ritual, I focus all my energy on running Grady Louis McMurtry’s branch of the A.’.A.’. which has steadily grown throughout the years under my guidance. It has brought in many new initiates and has opened numerous Clerk Houses.
My latest publication is titled ESSAYS. Volume I appeared in the fall of 2014 and Volume II is soon to be releases in October of 2015. There are 37 different essays in the first volume. Many were written in response to a student’s request for information which they deemed not clearly explained in Crowley’s writings. Since many students ask the same questions, I started writing my replies in the form of essays which could later be handed out or emailed to other students who might be asking the same if not similar questions. In this light the essays run the gamut of thought from easy magickal foundational information to more intricate theories related to the Qabalistic spheres on the Tree of Life in which the student resides. It is also important to note that some of these essays were written to male students, while others were written to female students. All these essays are considered foundational stones designed to open a dialogue between a student and their teacher on often difficult topics.
Of greater news, on Monday, August 31st, 2015 I married my third wife, Erica Peterson. She works jointly as both editor and contributor to Essays.
Love is the law, love under will. – AL I:57