1 / 4       © Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photojournalism.

2 / 4       © Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photojournalism.

3 / 4       © Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photojournalism.

4 / 4       © Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photojournalism.

Spring Solstice

The premises of the cult are in a quiet, middle-class town in the provinces, in Northern Italy. In the main square of the town, an elegant building, with only a plaque on the outside with a generic school written on it.
Inside, the operational base of the OTO, Ordo Templi Orientis (1), an initiatory Masonic lodge, which is based on the teachings of occultist Aleister Crowley (2).
«Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law» – this is one of their mottoes, and that is how I was greeted in all the e-mail exchanges that we had before organising a meeting.
After weeks, maybe months, they decide to meet me. There is absolute prohibition of photographing inside the premises. A beautiful blonde girl and a huge character in a ritual costume welcome me. I have to be able to have these photos. I insist.
We decide that the only possibility is to photograph, as an exception, a ritual held outdoors, the spring solstice.
Weeks later, I get loaded into a car. We drive around a bit in the countryside, so I could not identify the exact place. We arrived in a clearing. Flames surround a sacred circle, in which I can never enter. In the centre an altar. Around me move hooded figures like ancient monks.
Dressed in medieval clothes, the Officiates wield enormous swords in the style of fantasy. Goblets (of which I do not investigate the content) run between the participants. It invokes someone, or something, in languages I do not understand. At sunset, the culmination of the rite, it is all quite disturbing.
As you enter, the participants, in strict silence, in single file, disappear behind a curtain. But we are in Italy, and having removed the ritual cloths, you turn on the grill and you pull out the sausage and Chianti... let the sacred ritual of the barbecue in the woods begin. [ Gianmarco Maraviglia ]

(1) - Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of the Temple of the East, or the Order of Oriental Templars), is an initiatory international body of men and women; its purpose is to teach and promote the doctrines and practices of the religious and philosophical system known as Thelema (Will in Greek), recognising special care, among others, of the ideals of individual freedom, self-discipline, self-knowledge and universal brotherhood. (source: /www.otoitalia.it)
(2) - Edward Alexander Crowley (Leamington Spa, 12th October 1875 - Hastings, 1st December 1947), known as Aleister Crowley, was an esoteric, artist and British writer, whose works have given inspiration to some Satanist movements. He is considered among the most influential figures in the contemporary magical movements.

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[ ongoing ] Global Religion by Gianmarco Maraviglia
[ video ] Is there a dark side in religion?

Ordo Templi Orientis
Ordo Templi Orientis Italia
Ordo Templi Orientis on Censur
Aleister Crowley on Wikipedia
Gianmarco Mararaviglia
Echo Photojournalism

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published on 2016-02-11 in GlobalReligion


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