Chapter XI

Of Our Lady Babalon and of the Beast
Whereon She Rideth.
Also concerning Transformations.


The contents of this section, inasmuch as they concern Our Lady, are too important and too sacred to be printed. They are only communicated by the Master Therion to chosen pupils in private instruction.[1]


The essential magical work, apart from any particular operation, is the proper formation of the Magical Being or Body of Light. This process will be discussed at some length in Chapter XVIII.

We will here assume that the magician has succeeded in developing his Body of Light until it is able to go anywhere and do anything. There will, however, be a certain limitation to his work, because he has formed his magical body from the fine matter of his own element. Therefore, although he may be able to penetrate the utmost recesses of the heavens, or conduct vigorous combats with the most unpronounceable demons of the pit, it may be impossible for him to do as much as knock a vase from a mantelpiece. His magical body is composed of matter too tenuous to affect directly the gross matter of which illusions such as tables and chairs are made. The one really easy "physical" operation which the Body of Light can perform is "Congressus subtilis". The emanations of the "Body of Desire"[2] of the material being whom one visits are, if the visit be agreeable, so potent that one spontaneously gains substance in the embrace. There are many cases on record of Children having been born as the result of such unions. See the work of De Sinistrari on Incubi and Succubi for a discussion of analogous phenomena.

There has been a good deal of discussion in the past within the Colleges of the Holy Ghost[3], as to whether it would be quite legitimate to seek to transcend this limitation. One need not presume to pass judgment. One can leave the decision to the will of each magician.

The Book of the Dead contains many chapters intended to enable the magical entity of a man who is dead, and so deprived (according to the theory of death then current) of the material vehicle for executing his will, to take on the form of certain animals, such as a golden hawk or a crocodile, and in such form to go about the earth "taking his pleasure among the living."[4] As a general rule, material was supplied out of which he could construct the party of the second part aforesaid, hereinafter referred to as the hawk.

We need not, however, consider this question of death. It may often be convenient for the living to go about the world in some such incognito. Now, then, conceive of this magical body as creative force, seeking manifestation; as a God, seeking incarnation.

There are two ways by which this aim may be effected. The first method is to build up an appropriate body from its elements. This is, generally speaking, a very hard thing to do, because the physical constitution of any material being with much power is, or at least should be, the outcome of ages of evolution. However, there is a lawful method of producing an homunculus which is taught in a certain secret organization, perhaps known to some of those who may read this, which could very readily be adapted to some such purpose as we are now discussing.

The second method sounds very easy and amusing. You take some organism already existing, which happens to be suitable to your purpose. You drive out the magical being which inhabits it, and take possession. To do this by force is neither easy nor justifiable, because the magical being of the other was incarnated in accordance with its Will. And "... thou hast no right but to do thy will."[5] One should hardly strain this sentence to make one's own will include the will to upset somebody else's will![6] Moreover, it is extremely difficult thus to expatriate another magical being; for though, unless it is a complete microcosm like a human being, it cannot be called a star, it is a little bit of a star, and part of the body of Nuit.

But there is no call for all this frightfulness. There is no need to knock the girl down, unless she refuses to do what you want, and she will always comply if you say a few nice things to her.[7] You can always use the body inhabited by an elemental, such as an eagle, hare, wolf, or any convenient animal, by making a very simple compact. You take over the responsibility for the animal, thus building it up into your own magical hierarchy. This represents a tremendous gain to the animal.[8] It completely fulfils its ambition by an alliance of this extremely intimate sort with a Star. The magician, on the other hand, is able to transform and retransform himself in a thousand ways by accepting a retinue of such adherents. In this way the projection of the "astral" or Body of Light may be made absolutely tangible and practical. At the same time, the magician must realise that in undertaking the Karma of any elemental, he is assuming a very serious responsibility. The bond which unites him with that elemental is love; and, though it is only a small part of the outfit of a magician, it is the whole of the outfit of the elemental. He will, therefore, suffer intensely in case of any error or misfortune occurring to his protegee. This feeling is rather peculiar. It is quite instinctive with the best men. They hear of the destruction of a city of a few thousand inhabitants with entire callousness, but then they hear of a dog having hurt its paw, they feel Weltschmertz acutely.

It is not necessary to say much more than this concerning transformations. Those to whom the subject naturally appeals will readily understand the importance of what has been said. Those who are otherwise inclined may reflect that a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.

1Crowley is hinting here at the sexual nature of the rite. When a member of the O.T.O. reached the VI° and Crowley thought him a suitable candidate for the Higher Mysteries he was invited to join the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Gnosis where these mysteries of sexual magic were revealed.

2Kama Rupa, the Desire Body, a term much used in Theosophy; it is taken from Hinduism. The physical body is ascribed to the element Earth, the emotional body or desire body, to that of Water.

3Crowley's Abbey of Thelema at Cefalu was one such college.

4See The Book of Lies Cap. 44, and The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley, Vol. III, pp. 209-210, where occur paraphrased translations of certain classical Egyptian rituals.

5The Book of the Law

6Yet it might happen that the Will of the other being was to invite the Magician to indwell its instrument.

7Especially on the subject of the Wand or the Disk.

8This is the magical aspect of eating animal food, and its justification, or rather the reconciliation of the apparent contradiction between the carnivorous and humanitarian elements in the nature of Homo Sapiens.

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