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12 Steps of True Will in Thelemic Recovery

12 Steps of True Will in Thelemic Recovery

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.


How does recovery from alcohol or other addictions work in a Thelemic context?

At one point, I worked as a counselor in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that functioned based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Many different people, including Thelemites, often balk at the aspects of the 12 Steps that involve giving up one’s power and/or the “God stuff”. In the process of working in this setting, I came up with a “Thelemic version” of the 12 Steps.

This is not offered as medical advice, nor is it offered as a perfect system. It is merely offered for contemplation, and especially for any who are in the process of recovery and might find this helpful.

Step 1

I found that following out the desires, wishes, and whims of my conscious self (ego) left me living a life with diminished purpose, less meaning, less fulfillment, and/or lack of wholeness.

Step 2

I came to realize that there is a source of greater wisdom and power than my ego, the True Will, that can bring my life to a place of increased purpose, meaning, fulfillment, and wholeness.

Step 3

I made a conscious and resolute decision to seek to progressively and more completely know and accomplish this True Will as I understand it.

Step 4

I made a searching and fearless inventory of my environment, of others, and especially of myself to find the ways this True Will is being both aided and inhibited in various ways.

Step 5

I honestly explained the exact nature of these aids and inhibitions of my True Will to myself, to my deeper Self with its True Will, and to another human being.

Step 6

I became entirely ready and earnestly committed myself to rooting out all these inhibitions and strengthening all these aids to the accomplishment of my True Will.

Step 7

I humbly asked my deeper Self, in whatever ways seemed genuine and earnest to me, to aid me in the rooting-out of inhibitions and strengthening of aids to the accomplishment of my True Will.

Step 8

I made a list of all persons I had harmed with my previous ways and all persons that I felt had harmed me in the past, and I became willing to make amends to those I had harmed and to forgive those who had harmed me.

Step 9

I directly made amends and gave forgiveness to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure myself, them, or anyone else.

Step 10

I continued to take an inventory of the ways in which my environment, others, and especially myself inhibit and aid the accomplishment of my True Will, and I promptly admitted to myself (and others when appropriate) when I was acting out of selfish desires, wishes, and whims of the ego rather than a desire to more fully know and actualize my True Will.

Step 11

I sought through meditation, ritual, prayer, and other means I found suitable to improve my conscious contact with my True Will as I understood it, asking only for knowledge of this True Will and the power to carry it out.

Step 12

Having progressively come through various struggles and awakenings to re-align myself from self-will to True Will, I tried to carry this message to others I found struggling, and to practice these principles in all of my affairs/in all parts of my life.

Love is the law, love under will.

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IAO131 is the co-creator of the Thelemic Union and the author of several books on Thelema including HRILIU , Fresh Fever From the Skies, Naturalistic Occultism, Thelema Sutras, and many another essay and lecture. He is the founder of the Blazing Star OTO YouTube channel where you can see some of his lectures, co-creator of the Speech in the Silence podcast, the founding curator of The Grady McMurtry Project, and the creator of The Journal of Thelemic Studies. He is currently Master of Blazing Star Oasis O.T.O. in Oakland, California and serves as an Ordained Priest of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.) and a chartered initiator of Mysteria Mystica Maxima (M∴M∴M∴).

4 thoughts on “12 Steps of True Will in Thelemic Recovery

  1. The biggest problem people face when they enter AA is feeling that it won’t work for them as written. I don’t help people get over that by changing the program, I do it by working past their reservations about doing something that works. I struggled a little while when I first got sober to reconcile my thelemic views with AA, but ultimately I had to make the same admission that every person of faith in the program does, that my conception and my means of practicing didn’t work. There are parallels in many parts of the program to various types of magickal work, and to me, that’s proof that it works as written to change the individual on a spiritual level. I’d like to eventually write a little on the topic.

  2. 93.
    Not with intentions to inflate ego or an attempt to flatter. I want to say you are my favorite writer/person. When I first started my journey it was your writing that spoke like no one else’s would. You leave me feeling more knowledgeable and informed in regards to every aspect of Thelma. There are parts of Crowley:s writings that are hard for me to grasp and apply. You have such a wonderful way with words that I can’t help but put my understanding of Crowley into motion. This article will get printed and laminated. So when there comes a time I am questioned seriously about Thelema and for an idea on how to start, I can pull this article out and pass it on. Along with the web pages as needed, of course.
    93 93/93
    Love is the law, love under will. ~ A. Crowley

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