In short, being a member of Sword and Serpent Oasis involves being an O.T.O. initiate (i.e. taking a physical initiation ceremony administered by an officer under charter from O.T.O.) and keeping up with yearly dues with USGL and Sword and Serpent Oasis. You can find out more about O.T.O. membership here, and here is a lengthy FAQ on the Minerval Degree. Being a member of O.T.O. in good standing, however, does not automatically grant membership with Sword and Serpent Oasis .
The fundamental requirement for membership with the Oasis is the annual payment of local dues. At this time, local dues are $40 a month (which can be paid in one lump sum or in monthly installments) and are to be paid by all initiates of 0° or higher who are local to Sword and Serpent Oasis. For those not local to Sword and Serpent Oasis (defined as residing 50+ miles from Dayton ) who wish to affiliate with Sword and Serpent, dues are $20 per month. It is important to note that Sword and Serpent Oasis dues are separate from Grand Lodge dues.
Dues are to be paid by the first of each month. Dues may be paid via Paypal or in-person at an Oasis event. Paypal payments can be made to the following account: firstname.lastname@example.org . If dues are not paid for a given month, any dues received in the following month will be first applied to the previous month’s dues. Partial payments are accepted, so long as the full amount is paid by the end of the month.
Benefits of Membership
The financial benefit is the ability to attend all Oasis events (not including fundraisers) without paying entry fees. This includes the Mass, initiations, classes, and similar activities.
Oasis Members may attend private and public events.
Regular Events - Oasis Members may attend any regular Classes, Gnostic Masses, Initiations, etc. free of charge from attendance fees (material, food, etc fees may still be applicable).
Special Events - In the case of special events, where there is a cost to the Oasis to hold, Oasis Members in good standing will pay a discounted fee
Participation in degree-specific events (up to your current degree).
Library access and the ability to check out books.
Ability to schedule Oasis events and use of the temple.
Ability to attend certain events virtually.
Allowed use of the temple outside of class times.
Eligible to reserve classrooms.
Eligible to serve on a committee.
Eligible to vote on Oasis business brought to the general membership of the Oasis.
Perhaps the most substantial reward is in knowing that local dues help maintain the health of the temple and the ongoing ability for the Oasis to provide services and celebrate our rites.
On Being a Member of the Sword and Serpent Oasis
Every member has their own way of expressing themselves and contributing to the community. There is wide variation in the available time, skills, interests, and personalities, and we celebrate those differences. With this in mind, we believe there are three fundamental aspects of being a full and meaningful member of Sword and Serpent Oasis :
Regular Payment of Local Dues. This is the only strict requirement for Lodge membership. Regular dues payment ensures that events like the Gnostic Mass and initiations will continue to happen. It keeps the Oasis running smoothly and is a large part of what it takes to fulfill our common goals.
Participation. It is vital to the health of the Oasis for members to attend its events regularly. Although no member is expected to attend all events, a reasonable effort can be made to attend those events that concern the Oasis as a whole, such as the membership meetings, Oasis celebrations, work events for the temple, and fundraisers. It is also important to attend events that support each other, such as ecclesiastical ceremonies and rites of initiation. As one grows in the community, participation can expand to include producing events, helping with the maintenance and improvement of the Temple, and/or becoming an officer.
Fraternity. At its core, the Order is a community of brothers and sisters, bound by our initiatory oaths as well as our common goal of developing and establishing a living culture based on Thelemic principles. Former Frater Superior Ramaka X° wrote that advantages of Oasis membership include “Tolerance, Hospitality, Assistance to each and all to fulfill their Will or true purpose in life; social community and entertainment, cultural and educational opportunities, and mutual help when adversity makes her appearance.” To that we can add mutual respect, maintaining the peace of the temple (pax templi), and forthrightness in all dealings.
For a more detailed understanding of what it means to be a member of the Order, we recommend a close reading of Duty by Aleister Crowley.