The list contains 22 italicized names, and (excluding the recently-added William Blake) 70 names total. The conspicuous lack of women’s names in this list has resulted in considerable controversy. The use of the words “sons” and “paternal” in the closing of this Collect is a clear indication that the lack of female names in this list was not an oversight on Crowley’s part, and that he intended this list to be a list of men. The reason for this is not certain, though it has been the topic of considerable speculation. There is some evidence that O.T.O. policy at the time Liber XV was written forbade the divulging of the names of female members (see Book 52, Manifesto of the O.T.O., where the list of ancient and modern “Chiefs” of the O.T.O. concludes with the statement, “The names of women members are never divulged.”). Some believe that the invocation of the Saints of Liber XV was intended to inform the office of the Priest in his role as a male adorant of the Priestess in her role as Goddess incarnate.
In his address to the Women’s Conference in 1996 (see The Magical Link, Fall 1997 e.v.), the Patriarch Hymenaeus Beta described the Gnostic Mass as a “celebration of the sexual polarities and their cosmic and natural interplay” from a male perspective, having been written by a man. With regard to the list of Saints, he said, “It is a list of the small handful of men and man-gods who, in the opinion of the author of the Mass, understood the divinity of woman. […] Someday, perhaps not soon, but who knows, a woman adept of the Sovereign Sanctuary will manifest the genius to compose a Mass in which the female takes the more active role, and the male the more passive (as with siva and sakti in Hinduism) — in which the Deacon, speaking for the Priestess, can claim communion with the women in history that have perceived the divinity of man.”
|—||Helena and Tau Apiryon, “The Saints” from The Gnostic Mass: Annotations and Commentary, a note about the saints collect in Liber XV, Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae by Aleister Crowley|