O.T.O. accepts as an integral part of its goals and methods the Law of Thelema, as expressed in the Book of the Law, Liber AL vel Legis, delivered to Aleister Crowley in the city of Cairo in 1904 e.v. The Law of Thelema is summarized as “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” and “Love is the law, love under will.” This Law is not to be interpreted as a license to indulge every passing whim, but rather as the mandate to discover one's True Will and accomplish it; leaving others to do the same in their own unique ways. The “acceptance” of the Law of Thelema is what defines a Thelemite; and the discovery and accomplishment of the True Will is the fundamental concern of all Thelemites. The Law of Thelema can ultimately be fulfilled only through the individual efforts of each person.
A religion without blind faith or original sin
As a religion, Thelema tends to inspire free thinking over faith, which Crowley defined as “acceptance of any statement as true without criticism, examination, verification, or any other method of test.” We embrace the emperical methods of modern science, although many Thelemites often denounce certain dogmatic aspects of pure empiricism. Also, Thelema utterly rejects the notion of original sin, and states, rather, that we are all divine creatures—“Every man and every woman is a star.” –AL I:5.
Thelemites tend to be individualists
Thelema emphasizes individualism, and the uniqueness of each person's Will. As a result, it is very difficult to make blanket statements about its nature or (still more so) the natures of its adherents. Even the label religion fits Thelema awkwardly in some contexts—it is in other senses a philosophy and a way of life, while also overlapping with the set of practices and symbols commonly called “Magick.”
A Thelemite can choose from many practices
Not every Thelemite utilizes all the spiritual practices available, and there is considerable room for each individual to choose practices which are suitable to his or her individual needs. Some of these practices are the same as, or similar to, the practices advocated by many of the great religions of the past; such as prayer, meditation, study of religious texts (those of Thelema and of other religions as well), chanting, symbolic and initiatory ritual, devotional exercises, self-discipline, etc. However, some of our practices have been traditionally associated with what has generally been known as “occultism”; i.e., astrology, divination, numerology, yoga, tantric alchemy, and discourse with “angels” or “spirits.” These are all taken by Thelemites as potentially effective means for obtaining spiritual insights into the nature of one's being and one's place in the universe; and for the fulfillment of such insights through harmonious, evolutionary works.
Thelemites promulgate the Law, but do not convert
Practices such as proselytizing and conversion are strongly discouraged, since we hold that interpretation of The Book of the Law is a task for the individual. At the same time, many undertake the duty of promulgating the principles of Liber Legis, thereby spreading the Law of Liberty. The charge of the Thelemite is not to battle against an evil spirit (e.g. Satan), but to fight the actual cultural forces of superstition, tyranny, and oppression in the name of the Freedom of Man.