Outside The Law
In December 1965, the Solar Lodge Temple was situated in the large, front, living room of a sixty year old mansion on West 30th Street :
The Order was never a monetary rip-off operation. The 0° had a five-dollar initiation fee, with no annual subscription. The basic degrees followed this fee schedule :
Initiation Fee.........Annual Subscription
I° ...... $ 10 .................$ 15
II° ..... $ 15 .................$ 20
III° .... $ 15 .................$ 25
There was never a charge for any degrees above the III°.
All meetings, ceremonies and expeditions were without charge or requested donation.
The membership searched everywhere for magickal books. Periodic trips to Hollywood Boulevard resulted in the purchase of virtually any available Thelemic material. A large collection was gathered in a short period of time. It was said that this material was easily gathered as it was magickally-magnetically linked to the talisman held by Capricornus.
That single item, a IX° talisman given by Crowley to Jane Wolfe, then to Aquarius, and then to Capricornus, was said to draw all the other material to it like gravity.
Capricornus decided to open an occult bookstore that Shiva would manage. A small building was rented right across the street from the USC dental school on Jefferson Blvd., and The Eye of Horus stood forth among the bookstores of Los Angeles.
Eventually, the Order owned six properties in Los Angeles, four of which were (small) mansions.
Solar Lodge is probably the most interesting and controversial of the many occult groups that sprung up in 1960s America.
In 1967, Solar Lodge moved its focus from Los Angeles to a plot of land in the desert near Vidal, California. There its members studied, performed their rituals and began building a permanent headquarters.
It was really hot. During the construction, the daily pattern was always the same: Get up early, eat, work fast until 10:30 AM. Then go to the river and sit in it until 4:00 PM.
Eventually, the Lodge took over and operated all the commercial facilities in the nearby town of Vidal.
.< CLICK HERE to see accurate renditions of the Grand Solar Temple & Solar Ranch
Disaster struck in 1969. First a massive fire engulfed and destroyed the complex, then a police raid saw thirteen of the group's members arrested with warrants issued for others. The ostensible reason for the arrests was the mistreatment of a child. But it was obvious to all that this was merely a pretext to attack the group, which had attracted the suspicion and wrath of conservative locals.
"When the police break the law,
then there is no law.
It's just a fight for survival! ."
Fearful that they would not receive a fair hearing, the senior members of the Lodge fled to Mexico where they magickally discovered the remote, secluded, 70-hectare Pig Farm.
During a ceremony to "discover direction" on Treasure Island, a huge arrow and an "X" materialized in the sky over the mainland, just south of Ensenada ...
A journey south into the Baja wilderness a few days later brought them to a rancho that was for sale ... with a massive "X" inscribed on the hill that rose just to the east of, and overlooked, this unique property :
When the FBI found out from Grady McMurtry that Solar Lodge had gone South of the Border, they incited the federales to capture the fugitives. But, in this case, synchronicity was one step ahead of the law, for the group was alerted and simply shifted its focus to Canada.
In an unfortunate twist of fate, the trials of those who remained in California coincided closely with the horrific Tate-LaBianca murders, and in the media-fuelled hysteria that followed, baseless accusations of connections between Charles Manson and his "family" and Solar Lodge spread widely. The Lodge gained a lasting and undeserved notoriety.
There were never any sacrifices, of chickens or otherwise, as reported in the book, The Family, authored by Ed Sanders. Everyone fully well knew that the expected "sacrifice" was that of each individuals ego. There were never any visits by Charles Manson or Tex Watson, either in town or in the desert.
In September of 1971, Capricornus and Sol left Shiva behind in Canada and took everyone else back to California, for Sol was determined to fight against the Establishment.
They rented an apartment near the buildings they owned in Los Angeles and set forth to expose the tactics of the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff, the District Attorney, and various Judges.
They printed a newspaper entitled The Midnight Press that revealed a multitude of cases of unethical and improper conduct :
Capricornus had done everything with her attorney to avoid going to court for settlement of the issue, as he repeatedly recommended. At one point she had the members capture the attorney, bind him (etc.), and then they administered the 0° ceremony (as if such an act would immediately transform him). This was a really stupid idea, for the attorney simply called a halt to all the nonsense by informing the F.B.I. of her whereabouts. Shortly thereafter, Capricornus and Sol were arrested by the F.B.I. at a furniture auction house on Adams Boulevard.
However, this was now an old case. The people with axes to grind found that their axes had been turned upon themselves, and nobody did any jail time. Capricornus was found guilty and three years of probation were assigned along with a $500 fine. The same was true for all the other "wanted" members who now came in to have their karma balanced.
Frater Shiva's book Inside Solar Lodge - Outside the Law is his personal account of the actual, unvarnished history of the group, and offers a rare glimpse into the lives, aspirations and magickal practices of this remarkable and much-misrepresented group of twentieth century magicians.
Soon after appearing in court, where all charges against Shiva were dismissed, he tendered his formal, written resignation and walked away. He left with nothing except his Lamen, in the form of a rubber stamp, that would become his "magickal link" to a future of renewed activity ...
. . . but based on entirely different grounds.
There had been well over 50 people initiated into Solar Lodge:
The Tong later moved to Las Vegas where they prospered in the catering business.
The properties in Los Angeles, all together, were sold for exactly one million dollars.
One thing was certain. All of them, the remaining members, and those who resigned themselves to their own fate, were no longer
.Outside The Law.
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