The origin of the Ordo Templi Orientis is unknown, but it was first made public in Germany in 1895 by Theodor Reuss. It has been speculated to have connections with Freemasonry and other secret societies such as the Illuminati and Rosicrucians, but no direct evidence of this connection has been found.
Interestingly, the Ordo Templi Orientis is a ceremonial magic order that seems to follow the Hermetic tradition and teachings of Aleister Crowley. The order consists of two central bodies: one for men only called the masculine branch, which includes nine degrees; another for women called the feminine branch, which consists of seven degrees.
In today’s world, the order is still active and has many branches worldwide.
One of the most interesting things about the O.T.O. is its connection to Hermes Trismegistus. The threefold nature of Hermes as a god, sage, and prophet is reflected in the three grades of initiation in the Ordo Templi Orientis: Minerval, Man of Earth, and Lover.
The godhead of Hermes is also reflected in the O.T.O.’s motto: “Ordo ab Chao” or “Order out of Chaos.” This reflects the Hermetic idea that through chaos comes order. And finally, one symbol of the O.T.O. is an upright pentagram with a triangle at the top, which represents the five elements: earth, air, water, fire, and spirit.
Tracing this secret order’s roots back to Hermes Trismegistus
As with so many secret societies, the O.T.O. has its roots in an initiatory tradition that goes back thousands of years. The O.T.O. does not claim to represent or replace any existing order, though it is inspired by earlier orders and has some historical connections. One such example is the Knights Templar, whose influence can be seen in many Masonic rites and within the mythologies of secret societies throughout history.
In turn, the Knights Templar have their historical roots firmly planted in the mythical figure Hermes Trismegistus. The primary source that exists for the existence of this figure is from Hellenistic Egyptian literature. This work has been dated to be complete somewhere between the second century B.C. and third century A.D., but its actual author remains unknown. However, many speculative theories exist surrounding it.
In any case, the Ordo Templi Orientis and the figure of Hermes Trismegistus have a historical connection revered within the society, but what exactly does this mean? To answer these questions, it will be necessary to explore further the life of Hermes Trismegistus and the teachings of Hermeticism.
In addition, another aspect that needs to be explored more profoundly is the symbol of the O.T.O., which is a double-headed eagle with its wings spread out.
Hermes Trismegistus and the teachings of Hermeticism
We can learn much about Hermeticism from a collection of texts known as the Corpus Hermeticum. This body of writing is a compilation of texts written in the first and second centuries A.D., but their true origins are unknown. Within these writings, we find a philosophy and theology that promotes the idea of an all-encompassing unity between God and the universe.
Central to this worldview is the figure of Hermes Trismegistus, who is seen as a divine messenger that brings together the wisdom of both the East and West. In many ways, he can be seen as the father of Hermeticism, whose teachings promote an understanding of the spiritual realm that transcends religious boundaries.
The symbol of the double-headed eagle
If we look at the symbol of the double-headed eagle that is used by both Freemasonry and the Ordo Templi Orientis, we can gain an understanding of its deeper meaning. This emblem represents a connection between heaven and earth and having associations with royalty in Western Europe through Eastern European descent from Rome.
In addition, this emblem was used by many of the royal families in Europe, which were part of an alliance with the Vatican. From this perspective, it is possible to see how secret societies are tied together through symbolism that has deep historical roots throughout time.
The Ordo Templi Orientis also uses a symbol known as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with both male and female elements.
Baphomet and the O.T.O.
The origins of this emblem are murky at best, but it seems to have connections with the medieval Knights Templar and the Freemasons. Some say that it represents evil or Satanism, while others claim it is a more complex symbol with a much deeper meaning.
From my perspective, it is difficult to say what Baphomet represents, and we may never know its true origins. However, the fact that this emblem is used by both the O.T.O. and Freemasonry suggests some type of connection between these two groups.
The symbol of the Ordo Templi Orientis
The eagle represents two concepts: the spiritual king who can soar above earthly things and see all, while the other concept is that of strength and power when united together in perfect harmony.
So, we can see that the meaning behind this symbol represents a perfected being that has attained an enlightened state while being grounded in reality. It represents wisdom and strength united together, centralized around one idea or concept: “The All,” as many occultists call it.
The symbolism of the Ordo Templi Orientis shares many similarities with that of Freemasonry, but there are also some key differences. The most obvious difference is the use of Baphomet as their primary emblem, which has a much more complex history than the simple double-headed eagle.
While it is difficult to say for sure what this symbol means, it seems to be associated with evil by some, which goes against central tenets of Freemasonry. When combined perfectly, it also represents strength and power, as the double-headed eagle does for O.T.O.
One view is that the symbol is not so much associated with evil but rather emphasized more on its connection to wisdom through an enlightened state that has been attained by perfection or a perfected being who can see all.
By looking at the symbols associated with both organizations, it can be seen that there is a strong connection between Freemasonry and the Ordo Templi Orientis and an emphasis on their shared roots in Western mysticism and Eastern philosophy.
To conclude, it can be said that there is a strong link between Hermeticism, Freemasonry, and the Ordo Templi Orientis, as well as an emphasis on their shared roots in Western mysticism and Eastern philosophy. This symbolism is steeped in history and provides a glimpse into the shared philosophical views that these groups have adopted.
However, there is enough disparity in the symbolism of Freemasonry and that of O.T.O., which shows some variation between these two groups despite their shared history through Hermeticism and Western mysticism. While it is difficult for us to say what this symbol means with absolute certainty, by looking at its origins, we can see that there are strong connections between these three groups that go beyond what is found in mainstream society.