Marcelo Ramos Motta

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Marcelo Ramos Motta (June 27, 1931 – August 26, 1987) was a Thelemic writer from Brazil, and member of A∴A∴.

Early life[edit]

Motta was born at the city of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Very little is known about his childhood, only that he was born into a family with Swiss-German ancestry and received a very strict education, amplified by his admission at the Military Academy of Rio de Janeiro (Colégio Militar do Rio de Janeiro). His father was a follower of the doctrine of Allan Kardec and his mother was Catholic. At eleven years of age he became interested for the first time in the mysterious "Rosicrucians", after reading Zanoni, the novel by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and he "decided to search for them and to become one of those mysterious Adepts". But his first contact with a self-proclaimed Rosicrucian society, the Brazilian branch of AMORC, did not satisfy him and he started his search for an initiatory school of the sort he found in Krumm-Heller's novel "Rose-Croix."

His time at the Military Academy of Rio de Janeiro gave him a sense of duty and discipline, which he applied to his occult research. During that time, he became interested in astrology and tarot, among other esoteric topics. Those interests were not very common among his fellow students, but they gave him some knowledge to argue with his philosophy teacher in a debate that became famous for years.

At the age of 17 he made contact with the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua, Arnold Krumm-Heller's Rosicrucian order where Motta took his first initiations in 1948, at the age of 17. Local political tension impelled him to move to Europe and then to the United States of America. His mission on this voyage, given by the Brazilian leadership of the FRA, was to meet Parsival Krumm-Heller (son of Arnold Krumm-Heller and then legal leader of FRA) and mediate the contacts between the Brazilian group and the international leadership.


Motta's first contact with Thelema was through John Symonds' book The Great Beast. Motta saw many connections between the Law of Thelema and parts of his initiations at FRA, but he had never heard about Thelema or Aleister Crowley. Furthermore, the book gave him some serious doubts about Crowley's initiations. After asking P. Krumm-Heller about the subject, Motta received from him considerable material about Thelema and Crowley, readings that completely changed Motta's opinion about Crowley and his methods and philosophy. Later, in the USA, P. Krumm-Heller introduced Motta to Karl Germer, leader of Ordo Templi Orientis at that time.

Returning to Brazil in 1962, Motta translated and published Crowley's Liber Aleph and wrote Calling the Children of the Sun, the first Thelemic writing published in Brazil (later this work was suppressed by Motta himself for fear of political repercussions). From this year to 1987, Motta, as a member of A∴A∴ had numerous students under his tutelage.

Karl Germer died in 1962, and in 1969, Grady McMurtry assumed control of O.T.O. based on his letters of "emergency authorization" given to him by Crowley. In 1975, Motta published "The Commentaries of AL", as The Equinox, Volume V, Number 1. This book was published by Samuel Weiser, Inc., and contained commentaries on The Book of The Law written by Aleister Crowley and by Motta himself. He also used this book to announce his claim to be the Outer Head of the Order of O.T.O.. This claim was rejected by U.S. court in 1978, when Motta unsuccessfully sued for ownership of Crowley's copyrights. The case was finally rejected on appeal in 1985.[1]

Later years[edit]

Motta admired and practiced oriental martial arts, specially Judo and Tae Kwon Do. In 1973 Motta self-produced a movie called "O Judoka" ("The Judo Fighter"). Apparently the movie did not pay for itself, forcing him to pay for its debts in the few following years.

In 1975, Motta wrote lyrics for some of the songs of The Novo Aeon (New Aeon) Album which was released by musician Raul Seixas in the same Year.

Motta never had any kind of economic stability, jumping from job to job and making a living as an English teacher, aided by the help of his followers. He died on August 26, 1987, at the city of Teresópolis (Brazil) at the age of 56 of myocardial infarction (a heart attack.)

Motta established his version of O.T.O. called Society Ordo Templi Orientis in Brazil and elsewhere. The order never reveals the number of its members but it does seem to be smaller than the legally recognized Ordo Templi Orientis. The legally recognized O.T.O. is now headed by a student of Motta's named William Breeze. Motta's pupils included the Brazilian celebrity novelist Paulo Coelho,[2] mathematician and philosopher Gary Costner (Frater P.L.S.), and musician Raul Seixas. He originally bequeathed his succession to the care of three pupils (William Robert Barden, Claudia Canuto de Menezes, and Daniel Ben Stone) on condition that they agree. (Deed and Trust, dated October 15, 1984). They failed to do so. Barden did succeed in publishing some authorized editions of Motta's work .

Published works[edit]

In Portuguese[edit]

  • O Equinócio dos Deuses (being the translation of Book 4 Part IV)
  • Yoga e Magia (being the translation of Book 4 Part I)
  • Magia e Misticismo (being the translation of Book 4 Part II)
  • Ataque e Defesa Astral ("Astral Attack and Defense", written by Motta)
  • Carta a um Maçom ("Letter to a Brazilian Mason", written by Motta)
  • Dos Propósitos Políticos da Ordem ("Of The Political aims of the O.T.O.", written by Motta)
  • Moral e Cívica Telêmicas ("Thelemic Political Morality", written by Motta)

In English[edit]

  • Letter to a Brazilian Mason
  • Manifesto
  • Thelemic Political Morality
  • Of the Political Aims of the O.T.O.
  • Liber AL vel Legis — The Book of the Law
  • Yoga and Magick — Book Four Part I
  • Magick and Mysticism — Book Four Part II
  • The Equinox — Vol. V n. 1 — The Commentaries of AL
  • The Equinox — Vol. V n. 2 - LXV Commented
  • The Equinox — Vol. V n. 3 — The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism (included work by comic book writer T. Casey Brennan as referenced at this Australian site:[3])
  • The Equinox — Vol. V n. 4 — Sex and Religion
  • Thelemic Magick Unexpurgated Commented — Part I
  • Thelemic Magick Unexpurgated - Part II
  • Magick Without Tears Unexpurgated Commented— Part I
  • Magick Without Tears Unexpurgated Commented— Part II
  • Calling the Children of the Sun

Contents and details of Equinoxes[edit]

The Commentaries of AL being The Equinox Volume V No.1,

Routledge & Kegan Paul, London and Henley, 1975ev. First published in the USA by Samuel Weiser 1975. First published in Great Britain by Routledge Keegan and Paul 1976. Hardback.

  • Liber AL vel LEGIS sub figura CCXX as delivered by XCIII = 418 to DCLXVI
  • Liber HAD
  • Liber NV
  • The Mass of the Phoenix
  • Liber Artemis Iota
  • Liber OZ
  • The OTO Manifesto
  • One Star in Sight
  • Facsimile of the Original Manuscript of Liber AL

The Equinox Volume V No.2

Thelema Publishing Company 1979ev. Regular and Deluxe editions. Hardback 410pp.

  • Praemonstrance
  • Poem in a Straight Line, Fernando Pessoa
  • The Slightly Smaller Stick
  • The Eighth Poem of the Keeper of the Herds, Fernando Pessoa
  • The OTO Manifesto
  • Taking a Stand, Soror K.A.
  • Liber LXV Commented, Crowley A, Motta M
  • Untitled Poem, Jonathan Harker
  • Liber CCXXXI A Personal Research, Motta M
  • The Slightly Smaller Stick (II)

The Chinese Texts of Magic and Mysticism, being Equinox V No.3,

Thelema Publishing Company, Nashville 1980ev. Hardback 486pp.

  • Publishers' Note
  • Editorial
  • At the Door, Claudio Canuto
  • Jin Gan Jing, Ge Yuan (Aleister Crowley)
  • Moonbeams, Claudio Canuto
  • What Rabbits are Like, Brennan T
  • The Silverfish (I) (Reviews)
  • The Worm in the Tomb, JC Ellis
  • Meditations on Li Po, Ray Eales
  • The Dao De Jing, Lao Zi (commented)
  • The Silverfish (II)
  • Five Songs, Marcelo Motta
  • The Synagogue of Satan, Crowley A
  • What's in a Name, Crowley A
  • The Silverfish (III)
  • The Yi Jing, Zhou Wen and Zhou Wu (commented)
  • The Silverfish (IV)
  • Appendix I: The Way of the Dao, Crowley A
  • Appendix II: Two Lessons on the Yi Jing, Crowley A
  • Appendix III: Tree of Life, Wolfe J
  • Appendix IV: A.C.'s Two Systems of Hexagram Attributions
  • Appendix V: Tao Teh King (alternative frontispiece)
  • Directive No.1
  • Acknowledgements

Sex and Religion, being Equinox V No.4

Thelema Publishing Company, Nashville 1981ev. Hardback 695pp.

  • Editorial
  • A Letter on Marriage
  • Poems (I)
  • Leah Sublime
  • Reviews (I)
  • The Field Theory of Sex
  • Poems (II)
  • Liber DCL vel De Fonte Aqvae Vitae
  • Notes on the Practices
  • Diaries 1906-07ev
  • The Paris Working
  • The Bagh-i-Muattar
  • Abjad-I-Al'Ain
  • Reviews (II)
  • The Wake World
  • Heavenly Bridegrooms
  • Psychic Wedlock
  • Woman and the Future
  • Reviews (III)
  • Statement of Thelema
  • Reference Index

The Commentaries of AL being The Equinox Volume V No.1

Second Edition, Thelema Publishing Company, Canberra 1990ev. Hardback 458pp. The 2nd edition has a more extensive index. It also has a slightly larger format, matching other Equinox editions published by TPC.

Full titles, contents and details of Oriflammes[edit]

Yoga and Magick by Aleister Crowley being Book Four Commented Part I, being The Oriflamme Volume VI No.1,

Printed by Society Ordo Templi Orientis International O.T.O 1982ev (details as per imprint, no place of publication listed). Paperback 78pp ISBN 0-933454-05-8

  • A Note
  • Aha (excerpt)
  • Preliminary Remarks
  • Asana
  • Pranayama and Mantrayoga
  • Yama and Niyama
  • Pratyahara
  • Dharana
  • Dhyana
  • Samadhi
  • Summary
  • Book Reviews
  • O.T.O. News

Magick and Mysticism by Aleister Crowley, being Book Four Part II, being The Oriflamme Vol.VI No.2

Printed by Society Ordo Templi Orientis International O.T.O. 1982e.v. Paperback 174pp ISBN 0-933454-06-6 $15

  • Preliminary Remarks
  • The Temple
  • The Circle
  • The Altar
  • Scourge, Dagger and Chain
  • The Holy Oil
  • The Wand
  • The Cup
  • An Interlude
  • The Sword
  • The Pantacle
  • The Lamp
  • The Crown
  • The Robe
  • The Book
  • The Bell
  • The Lamen
  • The Magick Fire
  • Reviews
  • Toothless but Toothsome
  • O.T.O. News
  • Stop Press Notice


  • The Magician
  • The Circle
  • The Altar
  • The Microcosm of Vitruvius
  • The Holy Oblation
  • Scourge, Dagger, Chain and Phial
  • Wand, Cup, Sword and Disk or Pantacle
  • The Sigillum Dei Aemeth
  • Example of Lamen
  • The Censer (Crowley Design)

Magick Without Tears (Unexpurgated, Commented) Part I [by] Aleister Crowley, being The Oriflamme Vol.VI No.3

Published by Society Ordo Templi Orientis International O.T.O 1983ev Paperback 625pp ISBN 0-913735-00-0

  • A Note on Type
  • Editorial
  • Foreword

(Main chapters are then given in the form of letters of correspondence from Crowley to a pupil) ● Letter A; ● Letter B; ● Letter C; ● Letter D; ● Letter E; ● Letter F; ● Letter G; ● Letter H; ● Letter I; ● Letter 1 - What is Magick?; ● Letter 2 - The Necessity of Magick for All; ● Letter 3 - Hieroglyphics: Life and Language Necessarily Symbolic; ● Letter 4 - The Qabalah, the Best Training for Memory; ● Letter 5 - The Universe. The 0=2 Equation; ● Letter 6 - The Three Schools of Magick (1); ● Letter 7 - The Three Schools of Magick(2); ● Letter 8 - The Three Schools of Magick(3); ● Letter 9 - The Secret Chiefs; ● Letter 10 - The Scolex School; ● Letter 11 - Wooly Pomposities of the Pious "Teacher"; ● Letter 12 - The Left-Hand Path - The "Black Brothers"; ● Letter 13 - System of the O.T.O.; ● Letter 14 - Noise; ● Letter 15 - Sex Morality

  • Artemis Iota

● Letter 16 - On Concentration; ● Letter 17 - Astral Journey, Example. How to Do It, How to Verify your Experiences; ● Letter 18 - The Importance of Our Conventional Greetings, Etc.; ● Letter 19 - The Act of Truth; ● Letter 20 - The Talismans: The Lamen; The Pantacle; ● Letter 21 - My Theory of Astrology; ● Letter 22 - How to Learn the Practice of Astrology; ● Letter 23 - Improvising a Temple; ● Letter 24 - Necromancy and Spiritism; ● Letter 25 - Fascinations, Invisibility, Levitation, Transmutations, "Kinks" in Time; ● Letter 26 - Mental Processes - Two Only are Possible; ● Letter 27 - Structure of Mind Based on that of Body (Haeckel and Bertrand Russell); ● Letter 28 - Need to Define "God", "Self", etc.; ● Letter 29 - What is Certainty?; ● Letter 30 - Do You Believe in God?; ● Letter 31 - Is Thelema a "New Religion"?; ● Letter 32 - How Can a Yogi Ever be Worried?; ● Letter 33 - The Golden Mean; ● Letter 34 - The Dao I; ● Letter 35 - The Dao II; ● Letter 36 - Quo Stet Olympus: Where the Gods, Angels, Etc., Live; ● Letter 37 - Death - Fear - "Magical Memory"; ● Letter 38 - Woman - Her Magical Formula; ● Letter 39 - Prophecy; ● Letter 40 - Coincidence; ● Letter 41 - Are We Reincarnations of the Ancient Egyptians?; ● Letter 42 - This "Self" Introversion;

  • Intelligence Services ARe Not Intelligent - The O.T.O. Since Crowley's Death
  • The Speedy Bookworm (Reviews)
  • O.T.O. News
  • Reference Index


  • The Copyright Certificate of Magick Without Tears
  • The Renewal Copyright Certificate of Magick Without Tears
  • Mr. Karl Johannes Germer and Ms. Sascha Ernestine Andre Germer
  • Jeremy Charles Ellis
  • Richard Gernon, a.k.a. Richard Gurney
  • José Antônio Queiróz

Magick Without Tears (Unexpurgated, Commented) Part II [by] Aleister Crowley, being The Oriflamme Vol.VI No.4

Published by Society Ordo Templi Orientis International O.T.O 1984ev Paperback 578pp ISBN 0-913735-01-9

  • Editorial

● Letter 43 - The Holy Guardian Angel Is Not The "Higher Self" But An Objective Individual; ● Letter 44 - "Serious Style" of A.C., Or The Apparent Frivolity Of Some Of My Remarks; ● Letter 45 - 'Unserious' Conduct Of A Pupil; ● Letter 46 - Selfishness; ● Letter 47 - Reincarnation; ● Letter 48 - Morals Of AL - Hard To Accept, And Why Nevertheless We Must Concur; ● Letter 49 - Thelemic Morality; ● Letter 50 - A.C. And The "Masters": Why They Chose Him, Etc. ● Letter 51 - How To Recognize Masters, Angels, Etc., And How They Work; ● Letter 52 - Family: Public Enemy No. 1; ● Letter 53 - "Mother Love"; ● Letter 54 - On "Meanness"; ● Letter 55 - Money; ● Letter 56 - Marriage - Property - War - Politics; ● Letter 57 - Beings I Have Seen With My Physical Eye; ● Letter 58 - "Do Angels Ever Cut Themselves Shaving?"; ● Letter 59 - Geomancy; ● Letter 60 - Knack; ● Letter 61 - Power and Authority; ● Letter 62 The Elastic Mind; ● Letter 63 - Fear, A Bad Astral Vision; ● Letter 64 - Magical Power; ● Letter 65 - Man; ● Letter 66 - Vampires; ● Letter 67 - Faith; ● Letter 68 - The God-Letters; ● Letter 69 - Original Sin; ● Letter 70 - Morality (I); ● Letter 71 - Morality (II); ● Letter 72 - Education; ● Letter 73 - "Monsters", Niggers, Jews, Etc.;[4] ● Letter 74 - Obstacles On The Path; ● Letter 75 - The A∴ A∴ And The Planet; ● Letter 76 - The Gods: How And Why They Overlap; ● Letter 77 - Work Worth While: Why?; ● Letter 78 - Sore Spots; ● Letter 79 - Progress; ● Letter 80 - Life A Gamble; ● Letter 81 - Method of Training; ● Letter 82 - Epistola Ultima;

  • Intelligence Services Are Not Intelligent - Or The O.T.O. Since Crowley's Death (2)
  • Reviews
  • O.T.O. News
  • O.T.O. Notice of Expulsion Of Grady Louis McMurtry[5]
  • Reference Index


  • Envelopes Addressed To Motta By Mrs Germer And Unknown
  • The Key Scale
  • The Tarot - General Attribution
  • The Chinese Cosmos
  • The Constitution of Man
  • Liber OZ

[Also an unlisted illustration, apparently of Aleister Crowley, full face, with a pipe and wearing suit and tie.]

Thelemic Magick - Unexpurgated Commented, Part I - by Aleister Crowley and Marcelo Motta, being The Oriflamme Vol.VI No.5

Published by Society Ordo Templi Orientis In Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil O.T.O 1987ev Paperback 419pp, No ISBN

  • Editorial
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 0: The Magical Theory of the Universe
  • Chapter I: The Principles of Ritual
  • Chapter II: The Formulae of the Elemental Weapons
  • Chapter III: The Formula of Tetragrammaton
  • Chapter IV: The Formula of ALHIM and ALIM
  • Chapter V: The Formula of I.A.O.
  • Chapter VI: The Formula of the Neophyte
  • Chapter VII: The Formula of the Holy Grail
  • Chapter VIII: Of Equilibrium and Other Matters
  • Chapter IX: Of Silence and Secrecy
  • Chapter X: Of the Gestures
  • Chapter XI: Of Our Lady Babalon and the Beast Whereon She Rideth; Also Concerning Transformations
  • Chapter XII: Of the Bloody Sacrifice: and Matters Cognate
  • Intelligence Service are Not Intelligent Part III
  • O.T.O. News
  • Reviews
  • Reference Index

Note: Thelemic Magick - Unexpurgated Part II - by Aleister Crowley being The Oriflamme Vol.VI (ppbk 430pp) was published after Motta's death and clearly the intended follow-up to Motta's edition of Part I, but and does not contain any Motta commentaries. The imprint says 'Published by Society Ordo Templi Orientis International, Typography and Index by Society Ordo Templi Orientis in Australia, Printing and Binding by Society Ordo Templi Orientis in Brasil, O.T.O.' ***** There is an edition put out by Ben Stone from Headland Press that does have the commentaries by Motta's, but does not have all the original intended appendices..


  1. ^ "Marcelo Ramos Motta, Etc., et al., Plaintiffs, Appellants, v. Samuel Weiser, Inc., Etc., Defendant, Appellee, 768 F.2d 481 (1st Cir. 1985)". Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  2. ^ Morais, Fernando (2009). Paulo Coelho: A Warrior's Life. HarperLuxe. ISBN 0061885886.
  3. ^
  4. ^ The title is apparently in response to a question. He replies: 'What is the position, you say, of "monsters"; and men of "inferior" races . . . .' He rejects her implication, repeats that "Every man and every woman is a star," explains the psychology and attacks the hypocrisy of Stalin and Hitler.
  5. ^ by Marcelo Ramos Motta. Details and copies of various historical letters are included in chapters 'O.T.O. News' and 'The O.T.O. Since Crowley's Death', together with Motta's claims to the O.T.O., in this and other volumes published by Motta. Alternative details, documents and transcripts of matters relating to Marcelo Ramos Motta's claims and Grady Louis McMurtry claims (critical of both) can be found in The Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon - A research project done by Peter-Robert Koenig "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2011-03-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]