Euclydes Lacerda de Almeida - Memórias e Reflexões
el enigma a descifrarse

Man has the right to live by his own law: to live in the way that he wills to do; to work as he will; to play as he will; to rest as he will; to die when and how he will."

Liber OZ

Euclydes got in touch with Thelema in 1962, through Marcelo Ramos Motta, who would become known by the fans of the "Cool Madman" Raul Santos Seixas as the co-author of some of the more mystical compositions, such as Gita and Try one more time. His first connection to spiritual matters came from his own family of umbandists (brazilian animic cult). "I was espírita at that time, kardecist", he recalled.

He and Motta almost met in the Military School; Euclydes joined in 1950, two years after the other graduated. "I was one of the founders of the Spiritual Center Horácio Lucas, which works in the school until today. I also practiced a lot of yoga at that time, Hermogenes was my instructor for a long time, then I went to the Theosophical Society with him, but I didn't stay long", he told me.

Initiated in the Grand Orient of Brazil, he also reached degree 18 of Masonry, about what he felt disappointed. Connected to Theosophy, it didn't take long until he began being interested in other occul authors, such as the european Gerard E ncausse (Papus), Alphonse Louis Constant (Eliphas Levi Zahed). Motta, in his turn, belonged to the brazilian representation of the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua (FRA), first to divulge the Law of Thelema in Brazil; he was fascinated by the "magical translation" of François Rabelais work made by Crowley.

Motta left FRA in the beginning of the 1960s, when the head of the order for Brazil, Duval Ernani de Paula, 'purged' the rituals from elements that related to the englishman's doctrine. He ended up contacting the german Karl Johannes Germer, who after serious internal strife followed Crowley as leader of the Ordo Templi Orientist (Order of the Temple of the Orient, O.T.O.) after his death in 1947.

Edited by Motta himself at Lux Printing, in Rio de Janeiro, "Calling the children of the sun" intended, according to the author, "to bring news to the public" about the existence of the magical system developed by Aleister Crowley. Motta, who signed only as "M", put a returning address, for those who got interested. "At that time, there were no e-mail, right? Neither there were orkut, blogs, these kinds of things. Today, it's very different, even I have a blog, although I rarely do anything about it", he says, ironically.

The book was removed from circulation by the author right after - as soon as Motta detected a mistake that could harm the interpretation of the Jewsih Qabbalah symbol known as the Tree of Life (Otz Chiim). He was able to recover almost every copy. The buyers could be counted in the fingers of one hand. Euclydes was among them. "One day, my wife asked me to buy a book, I don't remember the title. In the shelves of the bookstore, I saw the Calling the children of the sun. That really got me interested, I bought it and read it". It was different from all he had read so far. "It was a shock".

The contact between the two began by letters, in 1963. They exchanged ideas about thelemic philosophy and about the installment of a branch of the O.T.O. in Brazil. Soon, the discussions were in person. "I have all the letters he sent me, from around 1963, in which he still called me 'mr. Euclydes'. After that he started calling me by my magical name. One day, Marcelo called me on the phone, and said that he would visit me. From that moment on, I became his disciple", he recalls.

At the time, he supposes, Motta should have one or two people willing to help him in the self-imposed mission of divulging Thelema in Brazil. "There probably were more disciples in the United States, that I didn't knew. In A.'.A.'., you only know the one who initiates you and the one you initiate. In O.T.O. it's different. It's a masonic order, it a group work. Everybody knows each other. In A.A., it's very difficult to happen contact between brothers phisically, so to speak".

The military coup of April 1st, 1964, made the two part. More so because in July, Motta dodged a formal request from Euclydes to join the O.T.O. He claimed, according to Euclydes, that his authorization to create a brazilian representation of the english order had been sent through mail by the german master living in the U.S. and "subtracted" by an unknown person.

Both were trying to gather other interested people. They gave away cards in the streets, with verses of one of Crowley's reference works, Liber OZ, libel about what he deemed to be the rights of human beings - a great part, absolutely common sense. They only managed to stir rebellion against the final part, which affirms that men "has the right do kill those who attempt to deny these rights".

Euclydes denies that this is sanction for assassinations, as the critics of the order understand it. "This 'kill' it's not in a literal sense. There are certain negative tendencies that must be 'killed'. It's not phiscally killing, none of this". Motta's disciple claims to have always defended that Crowley's words shouldn't be taken literally. "Crowley himself said no one should believe him, everyone should believe in oneself, should follow one's path. Whatever the path is. Whether it's Roman Catholic, umbandist, kardecist... doesn't matter. For us, the path doesn't matter, if the person is honest and follows strictly what he or she chose."

With Karl Germer's death, a new internal strife for succession - that lasted for years - bursted at O.T.O., another argument used by Motta to justify the lack of an "official" authorization for the brazilian representation. In 1968, Euclydes was transferred at Petrobras, to a terminal being constructed in Paraíba do Sul, a small city ni the interior of the state of Rio de Janeiro. The contact with the instructor was recovered thanks to the help of another of Motta's disciples, who was instructed to look for him in the new residence.

The dialogues between the two weren't limited to the magical and philosophical questions. They chatted as anyone else, talking about soccer and politics. The magical instructions were passed, basically through manuscripts. Euclydes reminded that Motta always criticized him for not knowing how to read fluently in English. Motta, a teacher at Cultura Inglesa (an English language course), alerted him to the dangers of translations: "He said: 'Learn English, because you will need it to read Crowley's books... if you read them in Portuguese, the translations are a bit twisted'. I found out that many times, the words don't have the meanings they should."

On December, 10th, 1971, Motta sent a letter to Euclydes declaring that Germer's succession had been solved and the new head of the O.T.O. was the englishman Kenneth Grant, a direct disciple of Crowley. Euclydes received the patent for the 3rd degree of the order and spent the next couple of years practicing the exercises Motta taught him. Everyday, for two hours. One day, inspired by a ritualistic experience, he wrote a poem filled with symbols and sent it to his instructor. "I had contact with something. A vision of a very beautiful entity, by chance, a feminine one, that transmitted to me many things. I was amazed with that. After reading it, Marcelo told me: 'You've reached the degree of Neophyte, so, receive it. And i did receive it".

On December 8th, 1973, Euclydes signed his oath of Neophyte for A.'.A.'., with Motta as his instructor. The personal relationship also became deeper. "He was a very affable guy, as far as personality goes. About Thelema, he was demanding. I remember a World Cup in which we watched a game at my house. Brasil won, and people went to the streets to party. He also went out with his car, we celebrated and all that. He was a guy like any other."

Both were outlining a society dedicated to the diffusion of Thelema. At Motta's request, Euclydes said he made many suggestions for the name of the group, most of them rejected. One of them deserved a special sting from the instructor: Spartacus Society. "He answered: Spartacus is the one who sets the slaves free. We are not here to set anyone free, each one must free oneself'. Then i put New Aeon Society, and he said, 'Well, this one is pretty innocuous, let's use it'. At the time, we didn't register the title, later I did it", he explained.

To obtain new adepts, without the electronical facilities of today, was a harder task. For various reasons, magical included, Motta set the number 11 as the minimum to begin the words. On November, 1974, they reached 14, more than enough. On July, 1975, instructor and discipled broke up rumorously, as Euclydes told in detail in an essay titled "Marcelo Ramos Motta - An enigma". Motta was furious because the organization's bylaw were published in the official public register without his approval.

The next year, the ex-instructor would be accused of taking two underaged students from Cultura Inglesa to his apartment at Saint Roman Street, in Copacabana, to use lisergic acid, cocaine and cannabis. The case ended up in the archives, for lack of evidence, after Motta's house was searched by the police, and he was interrogated at the Narcotics Division. Euclydes mantains that Motta had only one vice: wine. "When he went to my place, he always had a bottle or two of wine for us to drink".

Although their relationship ended up in an abrupt way, Euclydes refers to Motta with evident consideration. "I want to point out something: although I had a disagreement with Marcelo Motta, I have a deep admiration for him until today. I don't worship him, as some say, that I keep his bones in my house!", he laughs, remembering the rumor that he would have gone to the cemitery of Teresópolis and removed the bones of his former instructor. "I don't know if it was the skull, the shinbone, the thigh bone... I don't even know which was it! And that i brought it home as a sort of an idol, something to be adored."

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