Thee by the
and by the Unity thereof.
The Light of my Life is as the light of two moons, one rising and the other setting,
one increasing and the other waning; the one growing fat as the other groweth lean,
like a paunchy thief sucking dry a skin of amber wine.
Yet though the light of the first devoureth the light of the second,
nevertheless the light of the second disgorgeth the light of the first,
so that there is neither the desire of light nor the need of light —
all being as a woven twilight of day and night, a madness of mingling moons.
Yet I behold!
Now mine eyes are seven, and are as stars about a star;
and the lids of mine eyes are fourteen, two to each eye.
Also have I seven arms to do the bidding of the seven eyes;
and each arm hath an hand of three fingers,
so that I may rule the great ocean and burn it up with the Spirit of Flame,
and that I may drown the fire in the Abode of the Waters.
Thus I am rendered naked; for neither flame nor water can clothe me;
therefore am I as a breath of wind blown over an Earth of Adamant,
that knoweth neither sorrow nor rejoicing;
then do I abide as a River of Light between the Night of Chaos and the Day of Creation.
Two are the moons of my madness, like the horns on the head
of a goat. And between them burneth a pyramid of flame, which
consumeth neither but blindeth both, so that the one beholdeth
not the other. Notwithstanding, when the one is lost in the water,
and the other is burnt up in the flame, they become united in
the form of a woman fashioned of Earth and of Air, who without
husband is yet mother of many sons.
Now the Sons are in truth but one Son; and the one Son but
a daughter draped and never naked; for her mother is naked, therefore
is she robed. And she is called the Light of my Love, for she
is concealed and cannot be seen, as the Sun burneth over her
and drowneth her in fire, whilst below her surgeth the sea, whose
waves are as flames of water. When thou hast licked up the ocean
thou shalt not see her because of the fire; and when thou hast
swallowed the Sun surely shall the waters be driven from thee,
so that though the fire be thine the water hath slipped thee,
as a dog its leash. Yet the path is straight.
Along it shalt thou journey, and then shalt thou learn that
the fear of death is the blood of the world. So the woman dressed
herself in the shrouds of the dead, and decked herself with the
bones of the fallen; and all feared her, therefore they lived.
But she feared life; therefore she wove a dew-moon in her tangled
hair as a sign of the fickleness of Death, and wept tears of
bitter sorrow that she should live in the blossom of her youth.
And her tears crept like scorpions down her cheeks, and sped
away in the darkness like serpents; and for each serpent came
there an eagle which did carry it away.
"Why weep?" said the Balance swinging to the left.
"Why laugh?" said the Balance swinging to the right.
"Why not remain still?" answered the Hand that held
the Balance. And the Balance replied: "Because on my right
laughs Death and on my left weeps a Virgin."
Then the voice of the Hand said to the girl: "Why weep?"
And the maid answered: "Because Death maketh jest of my
life." Then the Hand stayed the Balance, and at once the
girl saw that she was Death, and that Death that had sat opposite
her was in truth a motherless babe. So she took the child she
had conceived in the arms of fear, and went her way laughing.
And the infant grew strong; yet its strength was in its weakness;
and though to look at it from before was to look upon a man-child,
from behind it was a little girl with golden hair. Now, when
the child wished to tempt a maid he faced and approached her;
and when the child wished to tempt a man she turned her back
on him and fled.
But one day the child met, at the self-same hour, Love; and
the man, seeing a woman, approached her eagerly, and the woman,
seeing a man, fled, so that he might capture her. Thus it came
about that the child met the child and wondered, not knowing
that the child had lost the child. So it was that they walked
side by side.
Then that part of the child that was man loved and lusted
for that part of the child that was woman; and each knew not
that each was the other, and felt that they were two and yet
one, nevertheless one and yet two.
And when one said: "Who art thou?"
the other answered at the self-same moment: "Who am I?"
Soon becoming perplexed if I were Thou, or if Thou were I,
it came about that the I mingled with the Thou, and the Thou
with the I, so that six added to ten became sixteen, which is
felicity; for it is the interplay of the elements. Four are the
elements that make man, and four are the elements that make woman.
Thus was the child reborn.
But though the man ruleth the woman, and the woman ruleth
the man, the Child ruleth both its mother and father, and being
five is Emperor over the kingdom of their hearts. To its father
it giveth four, and to its mother it giveth four, yet it remaineth
five, for it hath of its father an half and of its mother an
half; but in itself it is equal to both its father and its mother;
for it is father of fathers and mother of mothers.
Therefore is it One Whole, and not two halves; and being
One is Thirteen, which is called Nothing when it is All-things.
and Amen of Amen,
and Amen of Amen of Amen.