Coroner's Notes on
the Smoking Dog Project

A.L. IVi - IVv

by Paradoxos Alpha

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

The work of the Smoking Dog Project has been copiously documented in its archive at the Scarlet Woman Lodge web site. After three and a half years of operation, the Project has been closed on the basis of my unilateral desire to do so. Closure of the Project does not mean that any of the workings or materials that the Project generated are banned or invalidated. It simply means that I, as the principal and often sole organizer of the Project, have retired it as a venue for the generation of new ritual, its manifestly declared original purpose.

The Project has fulfilled that purpose very satisfactorily in my view. Examples of its work that I intend to perpetuate after the closure of the Project include the Liturgy of the Word of the Law for non-sacramental congregational work, and the Thelemic Feasts for the Cross-Quarters of the Zodiac. The Dogbreath Relay has my express encouragement to continue without me. And I am heartened that various individuals near and far have found some inspiration in my personal devotions, published as a segment of the Project.

I started the Smoking Dog Project (at that time working under the name Pnesomauma) on the basis of some very specific organizational goals and personal aims. Besides the theoretical basis outlined in the Project's manifesto, there were a few more local organizational goals:

  1. to facilitate the exercise and development of the ritual abilities of local magicians,
  2. to create another visible focus for productive activity within the Camp, and
  3. to document its own work in a way that would inspire others to go and do likewise.

Happily, the visible foci for activity within Scarlet Woman Camp (later Oasis, now Lodge) have multiplied since the establishment of the Project. Many of these provide for the exercise and development of their participants' ritual abilities. Of particular note in this regard is the annual performance of Crowley's Rites of Eleusis--a massive undertaking with vast opportunities for work on all of the demanding aspects of presentational ritual. The work of the Project was originally documented through a continuing column in The Scarlet Letter, the organ of the local OTO in Austin. Since then, that material has also woven itself into the Scarlet Woman web site, where it remains as an archive with the possibility of continuing to fulfill the third local goal.

My personal motivations in organizing the project were essentially threefold:

  1. to collaborate with my brothers and sisters,
  2. to shoulder some organizing responsibility, and
  3. to give myself incentive to work on ritual.

The development of the Lodge has long since eliminated the need for the Project to address my desire for collaborative activity. In organizing efforts I have gone on to accept a minor administrative post with OTO International, to become the choregus of the Unknown Rivers choir, and to receive a charter as an initiator in Mysteria Mystica Maxima. My incentive to do ritual work (beyond the official OTO ceremonies) is now provided by a Task which I have assumed individually, instead of through a group.

Other responsibilities have recently taken a higher priority for me than the Smoking Dog Project. And my own personal path is carrying me into fields where I am more interested in traditional instruction, rather than the sort of ad hoc experimentation that the Project epitomized.

In recent months there has been no activity within the Smoking Dog Project. The second leg of the Dogbreath Relay had concluded a while ago and no one had offered to host the third. The Feast of Cattle passed without observance. None of my individual work has been suitable for publication under the Smoking Dog aegis. The Project was conceived for work, and it has been painful for me to watch it languish. So I felt no compunction about euthanizing this particular hound with the Poison of the Infinite.

In closing this final "official" statement regarding the Smoking Dog Project, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks and love to every magician who did collaborate with me in its various rituals and workings. "Where there is smoke, there is heat."

Love is the law, love under will.