Master of the Hawk and Jackal
in memoriam Ebony Anpu
With the death of Frater Ebony Anpu VI degree, Charles Lee Reese, on Friday evening 7th May in Oakland, the lodge has lost one of its oldest and most distinguished members, a leading teacher and a beloved example of the Thelemic way of life. Born a Texan on 6th September 1950 e.v., Ebony had been an occultist and a devotee of the Goddess since childhood, nurtured in the love of an interesting and intelligent family. At the memorial service held to celebrate his greater feast, Ebony's mother, visiting from China where she is a language teacher, recalled some of the encouragement and support he received in his first autodidactic studies of magick. Offering the prospect of a university education, his mother blessed instead his choice, as she told us, "to go and study in California with the O.T.O." Living in San Francisco and then across the bay during the 1970's, Ebony joined in one of the very early waves of initiation under the Caliphate, and became a leader in the rebuilding of the Order of Hymenaeus Alpha. Dedicating his efforts not only to the collection and study of Crowley's writings, but also to the publication of this material, Ebony and his partner Soror Cinnamon formed Stellar Visions as a business to distribute magical texts.
In parallel with his development as a ceremonial magician, Ebony also trained himself to be an expert computer technician and information manager. Not only did he publish an early edition of Liber AL, very carefully presented on beautiful paper, but Bill Heidrick recalls that Ebony also prepared what was very probably the first electronic text of that book.
Devotion to the text of the Book of the Law was an abiding and productive discipline for Ebony, and some of his earliest publications in Thelemic journals pointed out the deep patterns and meanings which his readings of the Holy Books made clear. Besides contributing to newsletters, Ebony was active in their editing, publication, mailing, and marketing. He gave valuable guidance and a lot of hard work to numerous projects, including the early Profess House experiments in San Francisco, the Rites of Eleusis in the East Bay, and the administration of what was then Thelema Grand Lodge. Ebony served as Grand Secretary General of OTO during the last years of Grady's life, establishing with his organized and effective diligence many of the continuing traditions of that position.
Ebony's studied in the spiritual texts and culture of ancient Egypt were among his deepest pursuits, and those for which he was probably best known and most widely respected. When Grady died, it was Ebony whose words, in the ancient language of Khem, guided the mortal remains of the Caliph into the fires of cremation and the final release that sent our patriarch on his journey to the City of the Pyramids. Steeped in the language of Egypt, Ebony for many years tuaght the magical secrest which he found there to a growing circle of students and friends. A prolific writer himself, at times mystic and passionate, at times systematically wise and familiar, he shared with his associates a flow of rituals, articles, notes, meditations, essays, which were periodically collected as the Book of the Hawk and Jackal.
A masterful and artistic ritualist, Ebony showed generations of Thelemites just how powerful the basic personal banishings could be; few who saw his Star Ruby or Sapphire can ever forget his command of these rituals. For many years he led lunar cycle workings and occasionally acted as a gnostic priest in the solar rites as well. He was long the leading third degree initiator [webmaster note: 3rd degree OTO initiation deals with Death] at Thelema Lodge, and on of the most inspiring propounders of knowledge lectures for all of the Man of Earth degrees. After Grady's death, Ebony was one of the most active senior members of OTO in Berkeley, setting many of the stylistic precedence which gave Thelema Lodge its new character as a regional community rather than an international headquarters. His teaching expanded beyond the Order more and more during his later years, and the Cabal of the Hawk and Jackal took shape as his own tribe of students and friends gathered to support him. He and Liesl were married with a gnostic mass in Horus Temple at Thelema Lodge, and Ebony's advice and support have been of immeasurable benefit to each ofthe masters of that lodge who had the strength to listen to him. Always a beloved member of the community, Ebony could also be a most challenging brother, particularly for those who knew him less well or could hear him only in a dulll literalist spirit. Having dedicated so much to the Order, Ebony was unable to forbear from the highest standards in his vision of Thelema, and he could when necessary be so firmly loyal to this vision that any compromise to policy had to be made maningful in the extreme. Ebony, as our Frater Superior Hymenaeus Beta said at his funeral, could be one of the most disobedient members in the OTO and was also one of its most loyal.
Through his unique tesseract magick, the Egyptian coffin texts, the Holy Books of the A:.A:., the pagan festivals of the year, his own system of tantra and astrology and divination, and many other studies, Ebony taught hundreds of students. He had embarked upon his twenty second year of OTO membership. He had a large and fiercely loving circle of supporters, with contacts all around the world. Many will carry on with his teachings and rituals and traditions, and all will remember this veteran of Thelema. In the flesh, however, Ebony was not an athlete, despite his yogic prowess and for much of his life had been short of breath and seriously asthmatic. Sometimes he could not walk far, and he had constantly to concern himself with breathing. Though fiercely alive and unforgettably communicative, Ebony's health suffered and his care increased, with several medical cresis, and increasing debilitation. Finally, on a spring night, alone in his den between calls from students and intimate friends, he ceased to struggle with his lungs. His friends gathered at a wake three days later, and when family and fraternity could assemble we had a festival of tributes and masses and feasts for the life and the work of our completed brother. Now he travels to rejoin Grady and inaugurate that further temple where we will celebrate the mysteries in the light of the Sun of Midnight.
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