There are three main theories of the Universe: Dualism, Monism and Nihilism. It is impossible to enter into a discussion of their relative merits in a popular manual of this sort. They may be studied in Erdmann's "History of Philosophy" and similar treatises.
All are reconciled and unified in the theory which we shall now set forth.
The basis of this Harmony is given in Crowley's Berashith
— to which reference should be made.
Infinite space is called the goddess NUIT, while the infinitely small and atomic yet omnipresent point is called HADIT.I present this theory in a very simple form. I cannot even explain (for instance) that an idea may not refer to Being at all, but to Going. The Book of the Law demands special study and initiated apprehension. These are unmanifest. One conjunction of these infinites is called RA-HOOR-KHUIT,More correctly, HERU-RA-HA, to include HOOR-PAAR-KRAAT. a unity which includes and heads all things.The basis of this theology is given in Liber CCXX, AL vel Legis which forms Part IV of this Book 4. Hence I can only outline the matter in a very crude way; it would require a separate treatise to discuss even the true meaning of the terms employed, and to show how The Book of the Law anticipates the recent discoveries of Frege, Cantor, Poincare, Russell, Whitehead, Einstein and others.
(There is also a particular Nature of Him, in certain conditions, such as have obtained since the Spring of 1904, e.v.) This profoundly mystical conception is based upon actual spiritual experience, but the trained reasonAll advance in understanding demands the acquisition of a new point-of-view. Modern conceptions of Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics are sheer paradox to the "plain man" who thinks of Matter as something that one can knock up against.
can reach a reflection of this idea by the method of logical contradiction which ends in reason transcending itself. The reader should consult "The Soldier and the Hunchback
" in The Equinox
I, I, and Konx Om Pax
. It is above all division. The Father of thought — the Word — is called Chaos — the dyad. The number Three, the Mother, is called Babalon. In connection with this the reader should study "The Temple of Solomon the King" in The Equinox
I, V, and Liber 418
This first triad is essentially unity, in a manner transcending reason. The comprehension of this Trinity is a matter of spiritual experience. All true gods are attributed to this Trinity.Considerations of the Christian Trinity are of a nature suited only to Initiates of the IX° of O.T.O., as they enclose the final secret of all practical Magick.
An immeasurable abyss divides it from all manifestations of Reason or the lower qualities of man. In the ultimate analysis of Reason, we find all reason identified with this abyss. Yet this abyss is the crown of the mind. Purely intellectual faculties all obtain here. This abyss has no number, for in it all is confusion.
Below this abyss we find the moral qualities of Man, of which there are six. The highest is symbolised by the number Four. Its nature is fatherlyEach conception is, however, balanced in itself. Four is also Daleth, the letter of Venus; so that the mother-idea is included. Again, the Sephira of 4 is Chesed, referred to Water. 4 is ruled by Jupiter, Lord of the Lightning (Fire) yet ruler of Air. Each Sephira is complete in its way.; Mercy and Authority are the attributes of its dignity.
The number Five is balanced against it. The attributes of Five are Energy and Justice. Four and Five are again combined and harmonized in the number Six, whose nature is beauty and harmony, mortality and immortality.
In the number Seven the feminine nature is again predominant, but it is the masculine type of female, the Amazon, who is balanced in the number Eight by the feminine type of male.
In the number Nine we reach the last of the purely mental qualities. It identifies change with stability.
Pendant to this sixfold system is the number Ten
|The balance of the Sephiroth:|
|Kether ||(1)||"Kether is in Malkuth, and Malkuth is in Kether, but after another manner."|
|Chokmah ||(2)||is Yod of Tetragrammaton, and therefore also Unity.|
|Binah ||(3)||is He of Tetragrammaton, and therefore "The Emperor."|
|Chesed ||(4)||is Daleth, Venus the female.|
|Geburah ||(5)||is the Sephira of Mars, the Male.|
|Tiphereth ||(6)||is the Hexagram, harmonizing, and mediating between Kether and Malkuth. Also it reflects Kether. "That which is above, is like that which is below, and that which is below, is like that which is above."|
|Netzach ||(7)||and Hod (8) balanced as in text.|
|Jesod ||(9)||see text.|
|Malkuth ||(10)||contains all the numbers.|
which includes the whole of Matter as we know it by the senses.
It is impossible here to explain thoroughly the complete conception; for it cannot be too clearly understood that this is a "classification" of the Universe, that there is nothing which is not comprehended therein.
The Article on the Qabalah in Vol. I, No. V of The Equinox is the best which has been written on the subject. It should be deeply studied, in connection with the Qabalistic Diagrams in Nos. II and III: "The Temple of Solomon the King".
Such is a crude and elementary sketch of this system.
The formula of TetragrammatonThe Unpronounceable Name, IHVH (Jehovah). is the most important for the practical magician. Here Yod = 2, He = 3, Vau = 4 to 9, He final = 10.
The Number Two represents Yod, the Divine or Archetypal World, and the Number One is only attained by the destruction of the God and the Magician in Samadhi. The world of Angels is under the numbers Four to Nine, and that of spirits under the number Ten.It is not possible to give a full account of the twenty-two "paths" in this condensed sketch. They should be studied in view of all their attributes in 777, but more especially that in which they are attributed to the planets, elements and signs, as also to the Tarot Trumps, while their position on the Tree itself and their position as links between the particular Sephiroth which they join is the final key to their understanding. It will be noticed that each chapter of this book is attributed to one of them. This was not intentional. The book was originally but a collection of haphazard dialogues between Fra. P. [Frater Perdurabo (Crowley)] and Soror A. [Soror Achitha (Roddie Minor)]; but on arranging the MSS, they fell naturally and of necessity into this division. Conversely, my knowledge of the Schema pointed out to me numerous gaps in my original exposition; thanks to this, I have been able to make it a complete and systematic treatise. That is, when my laziness had been jogged by the criticisms and suggestions of various colleagues to whom I had submitted the early drafts. All these numbers are of course parts of the magician himself considered as the microcosm. The microcosm is an exact image of the Macrocosm; the Great Work is the raising of the whole man in perfect balance to the power of Infinity.
The reader will remark that all criticism directed against the Magical Hierarchy is futile. One cannot call it incorrect — the only line to take might be that it was inconvenient. In the same way one cannot say that the Roman alphabet is better or worse than the Greek, since all required sounds can be more or less satisfactorily represented by either; yet both these alphabets were found so little satisfactory when it came to an attempt at phonetic printing of Oriental languages, that the alphabet had to be expanded by the use of italics and other diacritical marks. In the same way our magical alphabet of the Sephiroth and the Paths (thirty-two letters as it were) has been expanded into the four worlds corresponding to the four letters of the name Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh; and each Sephira is supposed to contain a Tree of Life of its own. Thus we obtain four hundred Sephiroth instead of the original ten, and the Paths being capable of similar multiplications, or rather of subdivision, the number is still further extended. Of course this process might be indefinitely continued without destroying the original system.
The Apologia for this System is that our purest conceptions are symbolized in Mathematics. "God is the Great Arithmetician." "God is the Grand Geometer." It is best therefore to prepare to apprehend Him by formulating our minds according to these measures.By "God" I here mean the Ideal Identity of a man's inmost nature. "Something ourselves (I erase Arnold's imbecile and guilty 'not') that makes for righteousness;" righteousness being rightly defined as internal coherence. (Internal Coherence implies that which is written Detegitur Yod.)
To return, each letter of this alphabet may have its special magical sigil. The student must not expect to be given a cut-and-dried definition of what exactly is meant by any of all this. On the contrary, he must work backwards, putting the whole of his mental and moral outfit into these pigeon-holes. You would not expect to be able to buy a filing cabinet with the names of all your past, present and future correspondents ready indexed: your cabinet has a system of letters and numbers meaningless in themselves, but ready to take on a meaning to you, as you fill up the files. As your business increased, each letter and number would receive fresh accessions of meaning for you; and by adopting this orderly arrangement you would be able to have a much more comprehensive grasp of your affairs than would otherwise be the case. By the use of this system the magician is able ultimately to unify the whole of his knowledge — to transmute, even on the Intellectual Plane, the Many into the One.
The Reader can now understand that the sketch given above of the magical Hierarchy is hardly even an outline of the real theory of the Universe. This theory may indeed be studied in the article already referred to in No. V of the Equinox, and, more deeply in The Book of the Law
and the Commentaries thereon: but the true understanding depends entirely upon the work of the Magician himself. Without magical experience it will be meaningless.
In this there is nothing peculiar. It is so with all scientific knowledge. A blind man might cram up astronomy for the purpose of passing examinations, but his knowledge would be almost entirely unrelated to his experience, and it would certainly not give him sight. A similar phenomenon is observed when a gentleman who has taken an "honours degree" in modern languages at Cambridge arrives in Paris, and is unable to order his dinner. To exclaim against the Master Therion is to act like a person who, observing this, should attack both the professors of French and the inhabitants of Paris, and perhaps go on to deny the existence of France.
Let us say, once again, that the magical language is nothing but a convenient system of classification to enable the magician to docket his experiences as he obtains them.
Yet this is true also, that, once the language is mastered, one can divine the unknown by study of the known, just as one's knowledge of Latin and Greek enables one to understand some unfamiliar English word derived from those sources. Also, there is the similar case of the Periodic Law in Chemistry, which enables Science to prophesy, and so in the end to discover, the existence of certain previously unsuspected elements in nature. All discussions upon philosophy are necessarily sterile, since truth is beyond language. They are, however, useful if carried far enough — if carried to the point when it become apparent that all arguments are arguments in a circle.See "The Soldier and the Hunchback," Equinox I, I. The apparatus of human reason is simply one particular system of coordinating impressions; its structure is determined by the course of the evolution of the species. It is no more absolute than the evolution of the species. It is no more absolute than the mechanism of our muscles is a complete type wherewith all other systems of transmitting Force must conform.
But discussions of the details of purely imaginary qualities are frivolous and may be deadly. For the great danger of this magical theory is that the student may mistake the alphabet for the things which the words represent.
An excellent man of great intelligence, a learned Qabalist, once amazed the Master Therion by stating that the Tree of Life was the framework of the Universe. It was as if some one had seriously maintained that a cat was a creature constructed by placing the letters C. A. T. in that order. It is no wonder that Magick has excited the ridicule of the unintelligent, since even its educated students can be guilty of so gross a violation of the first principles of common sense.
Long since writing the above, an even grosser imbecility has been perpetrated. One who ought to have known better tried to improve the Tree of Life by turning the Serpent of Wisdom upside down!Frater Achad (Charles Stansfeld Jones) in his book on the Cabbala entitled Q.B.L. or The Bride's Reception, privately published, Chicago, 1922. Yet he could not even make his scheme symmetrical: his little remaining good sense revolted at the supreme atrocities. Yet he succeeded in reducing the whole Magical Alphabet to nonsense, and shewing that he had never understood its real meaning.
The absurdity of any such disturbance of the arrangement of the Paths is evident to any sober student from such examples as the following. Binah, the Supernal Understanding, is connected with Tiphereth, the Human Consciousness, by Zain, Gemini, the Oracles of the Gods, or the Intuition. That is, the attribution represents a psychological fact: to replace it by The Devil is either humour or plain idiocy. Again, the card "Fortitude", Leo, balances Majesty and Mercy with Strength and Severity: what sense is there in putting "Death", the Scorpion, in its stead? There are twenty other mistakes in the new wonderful illuminated-from-on-high attribution; the student can therefore be sure of twenty more laughs if he cares to study it.
A synopsis of the grades of the A∴A∴ as illustrative of the Magical Hierarchy in Man is given in Appendix 2, "One Star in Sight." This should be read before proceeding with the chapter. The subject is very difficult. To deal with it in full is entirely beyond the limits of this small treatise.
FURTHER CONCERNING THE MAGICAL UNIVERSE
All these letters of the magical alphabet — referred to above — are like so many names on a map. Man himself is a complete microcosm. Few other beings have this balanced perfection. Of course every sun, every planet, may have beings similarly constituted.Equally, of course, we have no means of knowing what we really are. We are limited to symbols. And it is certain that all our sense-perceptions give only partial aspects of their objects. Sight, for instance, tells us very little about solidity, weight, composition, electrical character, thermal conductivity, etc., etc. It says nothing at all about the very existence of such vitally important ideas as Heat, Hardness, and so on. The impression which the mind combines from the senses can never claim to be accurate or complete. We have indeed learnt that nothing is in itself what it seems to be to us. But when we speak of dealing with the planets in Magick, the reference is usually not to the actual planets, but to parts of the earth which are of the nature attributed to these planets. Thus, when we say that Nakhiel is the "Intelligence" of the Sun, we do not mean that he lives in the Sun, but only that he has a certain rank and character; and although we can invoke him, we do not necessarily mean that he exists in the same sense of the word in which our butcher exists.
When we "conjure Nakhiel to visible appearance," it may be that our process resembles creation — or, rather imagination — more nearly than it does calling-forth. The aura of a man is called the "magical mirror of the universe"; and, so far as any one can tell, nothing exists outside of this mirror. It is at least convenient to represent the whole as if it were subjective. It leads to less confusion. And, as a man is a perfect microcosm,He is this only by definition. The universe may contain an infinite variety of worlds inaccessible to human apprehension. Yet, for this very reason, they do not exist for the purposes of the argument. Man has, however, some instruments of knowledge; we may, therefore, define the Macrocosm as the totality of things possible to his perception. As evolution develops those instruments, the Macrocosm and the Microcosm extend; but they always maintain their mutual relation. Neither can possess any meaning except in terms of the other. Our "discoveries" are exactly as much of ourselves as they are of Nature. America and Electricity did, in a sense, exist before we were aware of them; but they are even now no more than incomplete ideas, expressed in symbolic terms of a series of relations between two sets of inscrutable phenomena. it is perfectly easy to re-model one's conception at any moment.
Now there is a traditional correspondence, which modern experiment has shown to be fairly reliable. There is a certain natural connexion between certain letters, words, numbers, gestures, shapes, perfumes and so on, so that any idea or (as we might call it) "spirit", may be composed or called forth by the use of those things which are harmonious with it, and express particular parts of its nature. These correspondences have been elaborately mapped in the Book 777 in a very convenient and compendious form. It will be necessary for the student to make a careful study of this book in connexion with some actual rituals of Magick, for example, that of the evocation of Taphtatharath printed in The Equinox I, III, pages 170-190, where he will see exactly why these things are to be used. Of course, as the student advances in knowledge by experience he will find a progressive subtlety in the magical universe corresponding to his own; for let it be said yet again! not only is his aura a magical mirror of the universe, but the universe is a magical mirror of his aura.
In this chapter we are only able to give a very thin outline of magical theory — faint pencilling by weak and wavering fingers — for this subject may almost be said to be co-extensive with one's whole knowledge.
The knowledge of exoteric science is comically limited by the fact that we have no access, except in the most indirect way, to any other celestial body than our own. In the last few years, the semi-educated have got an idea that they know a great deal about the universe, and the principal ground for their fine opinion of themselves is usually the telephone or the airship. It is pitiful to read the bombastic twaddle about progress, which journalists and others, who wish to prevent men from thinking, put out for consumption. We know infinitesimally little of the material universe. Our detailed knowledge is so contemptibly minute, that it is hardly worth reference, save that our shame may spur us to increased endeavour. Such knowledgeKnowledge is, moreover, an impossible conception. All propositions come ultimately back to "A is A". as we have got is of a very general and abstruse, of a philosophical and almost magical character. This consists principally of the conceptions of pure mathematics. It is, therefore, almost legitimate to say that pure mathematics is our link with the rest of the universe and with "God".
Now the conceptions of Magick are themselves profoundly mathematical. The whole basis of our theory is the Qabalah, which corresponds to mathematics and geometry. The method of operation in Magick is based on this, in very much the same way as the laws of mechanics are based on mathematics. So far, therefore as we can be said to possess a magical theory of the universe, it must be a matter solely of fundamental law, with a few simple and comprehensive propositions stated in very general terms.
I might expend a life-time in exploring the details of one plane, just as an explorer might give his life to one corner of Africa, or a chemist to one subgroup of compounds. Each such detailed piece of work may be very valuable, but it does not as a rule throw light on the main principles of the universe. Its truth is the truth of one angle. It might even lead to error, if some inferior person were to generalize from too few facts.
Imagine an inhabitant of Mars who wished to philosophise about the earth, and had nothing to go by but the diary of some man at the North Pole! But the work of every explorer, on whatever branch of the Tree of Life the caterpillar he is after may happen to be crawling, is immensely helped by a grasp of general principles. Every magician, therefore, should study the Holy Qabalah. Once he has mastered the main principles, he will find his work grow easy.
Solvitur ambulando:"It can be solved by walking" which does not mean: "Call the Ambulance!"
Before discussing magical formulae in detail, one may observe that most rituals are composite, and contain many formulae which must be harmonized into one.
The first formula is that of the Wand. In the sphere of the principle which the magician wishes to invoke, he rises from point to point in a perpendicular line, and then descends; or else, beginning at the top, he comes directly down, invoking
first the god of that sphere by devout supplicationBeware, O brother, lest thou bend the knee! Liber CCXX teaches the proper attitude. See also Liber CCCLXX. Infra, furthermore, there is special instruction: Chapter XV and elsewhere.
that He may deign to send the appropriate Archangel. He then beseeches
the Archangel to send the Angel or Angels of that sphere to his aid; he conjures
this Angel or Angels to send the intelligence in question, and this intelligence he will conjure with authority
to compel the obedience of the spirit and his manifestation. To this spirit he issues commands
It will be seen that this is a formula rather of evocation than of invocation, and for the latter the procedure, though apparently the same, should be conceived of in a different manner, which brings it under another formula, that of Tetragrammaton. The essence of the force invoked is one, but the "God" represents the germ or beginning of the force, the "Archangel" its development; and so on, until, with the "Spirit", we have the completion and perfection of that force.
The formula of the Cup is not so well suited for Evocations, and the magical Hierarchy is not involved in the same way; for the Cup being passive rather than active, it is not fitting for the magician to use it in respect of anything but the Highest. In practical working it consequently means little but prayer, and that prayer the "prayer of silence".Considerations which might lead to a contrary conclusion are unsuited to this treatise. See Liber LXXXI [Crowley's novel, Moonchild].
The formula of the dagger is again unsuitable for either purpose, since the nature of the dagger is to criticise, to destroy, to disperse; and all true magical ceremonies tend to concentration. The dagger will therefore appear principally in the banishings, preliminary to the ceremony proper.
The formula of the pantacle is again of no particular use; for the pantacle is inert. In fine, the formula of the wand is the only one with which we need more particularly concern ourselves.Later, these remarks are amplified, and to some extent modified.
Now in order to invoke any being, it is said by Hermes Trismegistus that the magi employ three methods. The first, for the vulgar, is that of supplication. In this the crude objective theory is assumed as true. There is a god named A, whom you, B, proceed to petition, in exactly the same sense as a boy might ask his father for pocket-money.
The second method involves a little more subtlety, inasmuch as the magician endeavours to harmonize himself with the nature of the god, and to a certain extent exalts himself, in the course of the ceremony; but the third method is the only one worthy of our consideration.
This consists of a real identification of the magician and the god. Note that to do this in perfection involves the attainment of a species of Samadhi: and this fact alone suffices to link irrefragably magick with mysticism.
Let us describe the magical method of identification. The symbolic form of the god is first studied with as much care as an artist would bestow upon his model, so that a perfectly clear and unshakeable mental picture of the god is presented to the mind. Similarly, the attributes of the god are enshrined in speech, and such speeches are committed perfectly to memory. The invocation will then begin with a prayer to the god, commemorating his physical attributes, always with profound understanding of their real meaning. In the second part of the invocation, the voice of the god is heard, and His characteristic utterance is recited.
In the third portion of the invocation the magician asserts the identity of himself with the god. In the fourth portion the god is again invoked, but as if by Himself, as if it were the utterance of the will of the god that He should manifest in the magician. At the conclusion of this, the original object of the invocation is stated.
Thus, in the invocation of Thoth which is to be found in the rite of Mercury (The Equinox I, VI) and in: Liber(LXIV, the first part begins with the words "Majesty of Godhead, wisdom-crowned tahuti, Thee, Thee I invoke. Oh Thou of the Ibis head, Thee, Thee I invoke"; and so on. At the conclusion of this a mental image of the God, infinitely vast and infinitely splendid, should be perceived, in just the same sense as a man might see the Sun.
The second part begins with the words:
"Behold! I am yesterday, today, and the brother of tomorrow."
The magician should imagine that he is hearing this voice, and at the same time that he is echoing it, that it is true also of himself. This thought should so exalt him that he is able at its conclusion to utter the sublime words which open the third part: "Behold! he is in me, and I am in him." At this moment, he loses consciousness of his mortal being; he is that mental image which he previously but saw. This consciousness is only complete as he goes on: "Mine is the radiance wherein Ptah floateth over his firmament. I travel upon high. I tread upon the firmament of Nu. I raise a flashing flame with the lightnings of mine eye: ever rushing on in the splendour of the daily glorified Ra — giving my life to the treaders of Earth!" This thought gives the relation of God and Man from the divine point of view.
The magician is only recalled to himself at the conclusion of the third part; in which occur, almost as if by accident, the words: "Therefore do all things obey my word." Yet in the fourth part, which begins: "Therefore do thou come forth unto me", it is not really the magician who is addressing the God; it is the God who hears the far-off utterance of the magician. If this invocation has been correctly performed, the words of the fourth part will sound distant and strange. It is surprising that a dummy (so the magus now appears to Himself) should be able to speak!
The Egyptian Gods are so complete in their nature, so perfectly spiritual and yet so perfectly material, that this one invocation is sufficient. The God bethinks him that the spirit of Mercury should now appear to the magician; and it is so. This Egyptian formula is therefore to be preferred to the Hierarchical formula of the Hebrews with its tedious prayers, conjurations, and curses.
It will be noted, however, that in this invocation of Thoth which we have summarized, there is another formula contained, the Reverberating or Reciprocating formula, which may be called the formula of Horus and Harpocrates. The magician addresses the God with an active projection of his will, and then becomes passive while the God addresses the Universe. In the fourth part he remains silent, listening, to the prayer which arises therefrom.
The formula of this invocation of Thoth may also be classed under Tetragrammaton. The first part is fire, the eager prayer of the magician, the second water, in which the magician listens to, or catches the reflection of, the god. The third part is air, the marriage of fire and water; the god and the man have become one; while the fourth part corresponds to earth, the condensation or materialization of those three higher principles.
With regard to the Hebrew formulae, it is doubtful whether most magicians who use them have ever properly grasped the principles underlying the method of identity. No passage which implies it occurs to mind, and the extant rituals certainly give no hint of such a conception, or of any but the most personal and material views of the nature of things. They seem to have thought that there was an Archangel named Ratziel in exactly the same sense as there was a statesman named Richelieu, an individual being living in a definite place. He had possibly certain powers of a somewhat metaphysical order — he might be in two places at once,He could do this provided that he can travel with a speed exceeding that of Light, as he does. See A. S. Eddington "Space, Time, and Gravitation". Also: what means "at once"? for example, though even the possibility of so simple a feat (in the case of spirits) seems to be denied by certain passages in extant conjurations which tell the spirit that if he happens to be in chains in a particular place in Hell, or if some other magician is conjuring him so that he cannot come, then let him send a spirit of similar nature, or otherwise avoid the difficultly. But of course so vulgar a conception would not occur to the student of the Qabalah. It is just possible that the magi wrote their conjurations on this crude hypothesis in order to avoid the clouding of the mind by doubt and metaphysical speculation.
He who became the Master Therion was once confronted by this very difficulty. Being determined to instruct mankind, He sought a simple statement of his object. His will was sufficiently informed by common sense to decide him to teach man The Next Step, the thing which was immediately above him. He might have called this "God", or "The Higher Self", or "The Augoeides",From augos, the morning light, the dawn. or "Adi-Buddha",The root-Buddha or the primal Buddha, i.e. Enlightenment itself as opposed to an historic Buddha. or 61 other things — but He had discovered that these were all one, yet that each one represented some theory of the Universe which would ultimately be shattered by criticism — for He had already passed through the realm of Reason, and knew that every statement contained an absurdity. He therefore said: "Let me declare this Work under this title: 'The obtaining of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel'", because the theory implied in these words is so patently absurd that only simpletons would waste much time in analysing it. It would be accepted as a convention, and no one would incur the grave danger of building a philosophical system upon it.
With this understanding, we may rehabilitate the Hebrew system of invocations. The mind is the great enemy; so, by invoking enthusiastically a person whom we know not to exist, we are rebuking that mind. Yet we should not refrain altogether from philosophising in the light of the Holy Qabalah. We should accept the Magical Hierarchy as a more or less convenient classification of the facts of the Universe as they are known to us; and as our knowledge and understanding of those facts increase, so should we endeavour to adjust our idea of what we mean by any symbol.
At the same time let us reflect that there is a certain definite consensus of experience as to the correlation of the various beings of the hierarchy with the observed facts of Magick. In the simple matter of astral vision, for example, one striking case may be quoted.
Without telling him what it was, the Master Therion once recited as an invocation Sappho's "Ode to Venus" before a Probationer of the A∴A∴ who was ignorant of Greek, the language of the Ode. The disciple then went on an "astral journey," and everything seen by him was without exception harmonious with Venus. This was true down to the smallest detail. He even obtained all the four colour-scales of Venus with absolute correctness. Considering that he saw something like one hundred symbols in all, the odds against coincidence are incalculably great. Such an experience (and the records of the A∴A∴ contain dozens of similar cases) affords proof as absolute as any proof can be in this world of Illusion that the correspondences in Liber 777 really represent facts in Nature.
It suggests itself that this "straightforward" system of magick was perhaps never really employed at all. One might maintain that the invocations which have come down to us are but the ruins of the Temple of Magick. The exorcisms might have been committed to writing for the purpose of memorising them, while it was forbidden to make any record of the really important parts of the ceremony. Such details of Ritual as we possess are meagre and unconvincing, and though much success has been attained in the quite conventional exoteric way both by frater perdurabo and by many of his colleagues, yet ceremonies of this character have always remained tedious and difficult. It has seemed as if the success were obtained almost in spite of the ceremony. In any case, they are the more mysterious parts of the Ritual which have evoked the divine force. Such conjurations as those of the "Goetia" leave one cold, although, notably in the second conjuration, there is a crude attempt to use that formula of Commemoration of which we spoke in the preceding Chapter.
This formula is the principal and most characteristic formula of Osiris, of the Redemption of Mankind. "I" is Isis, Nature, ruined by "A", Apophis the Destroyer, and restored to life by the Redeemer Osiris.There is a quite different formula in which I is the father, O the Mother, A the child — and yet another, in which I.A.O. are all fathers of different kinds balanced by H.H.H., 3 Mothers, to complete the Universe. In a third, the true formula of the Beast 666, I and O are the opposites which form the field for the operation of A. But this is a higher matter unsuited for this elementary handbook. See, however, Liber Samekh, Point II, Section J.
The same idea is expressed by the Rosicrucian formula of the Trinity:
Ex Deo nascimur.
In Jesu Morimur
Per Spiritum Sanctum reviviscimus.
This is also identical with the Word Lux, L.V.X., which is formed by the arms of a cross. It is this formula which is implied in those ancient and modern monuments in which the phallus is worshipped as the Saviour of the World.
The doctrine of resurrection as vulgarly understood is false and absurd. It is not even "Scriptural". St. Paul does not identify the glorified body which rises with the mortal body which dies. On the contrary, he repeatedly insists on the distinction.
The same is true of a magical ceremony. The magician who is destroyed by absorption in the Godhead is really destroyed. The miserable mortal automaton remains in the Circle. It is of no more consequence to Him than the dust of the floor.It is, for all that, His instrument, acquired by Him as an astronomer buys a telescope. See Liber Aleph, for a full explanation of the objects attained by the stratagem of incarnation; also Part IV of this Book 4.
But before entering into the details of I.A.O. as a magick formula it should be remarked that it is essentially the formula of Yoga or meditation; in fact, of elementary mysticism in all its branches.
In beginning a meditation practice, there is alwaysIf not, one is not working properly. a quiet pleasure, a gentle natural growth; one takes a lively interest in the work; it seems easy; one is quite pleased to have started. This stage represents Isis. Sooner or later it is succeeded by depression — the Dark Night of the Soul, an infinite weariness and detestation of the work. The simplest and easiest acts become almost impossible to perform. Such impotence fills the mind with apprehension and despair. The intensity of this loathing can hardly be understood by any person who has not experienced it. This is the period of Apophis.
It is followed by the arising not of Isis, but of Osiris. The ancient condition is not restored, but a new and superior condition is created, a condition only rendered possible by the process of death.
The Alchemists themselves taught this same truth. The first matter of the work was base and primitive, though "natural". After passing through various stages the "black dragon" appeared; but from this arose the pure and perfect gold.
Even in the legend of Prometheus we find an identical formula concealed; and a similar remark applies to those of Jesus Christ, and of many other mythical god-men worshipped in different countries.See J.G.Frazer, The Golden Bough; J.M.Robertson, Pagan Christs; A. Crowley, Why Jesus Wept.
A magical ceremony constructed on this formula is thus in close essential harmony with the natural mystic process. We find it the basis of many important initiations, notably the Third Degree in Masonry, and the 5° = 6□ ceremony of the G∴D∴ described in The Equinox I, III. A ceremonial self-initiation may be constructed with advantage on this formula. The essence of it consists in robing yourself as a king, then stripping and slaying yourself, and rising from that death to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. This formula, although now superseded by that of HORUS, the Crowned and Conquering Child, remains valid for those who have not yet assimilated the point of view of the Law of Thelema. But see Appendix, Liber SAMEKH. Compare also "The Book of the Spirit of the Living Gods," — where there is a ritual given in extenso on slightly different lines: The Equinox I, III, pages 269-272.The magic of Abra-Melin was practised by members of the Golden Dawn. Crowley was so successful with the magical formula of Abra-Melin that it brought him up to a higher stage, that of Thelema which (in the light of his system) supersedes it. Put in another way the formula of the previous aeon — that of Osiris — involved the conception of death and resurrection through self-sacrifice. In the formula of the new aeon (Thelema) the emphasis shifts from the Dying God (Osiris, Christ and others) to the ever-living Sun, Horus, the "Crowned and Conquering Child" who typifies the eternal and undying Self in Man. Not "Thy will be done", but "Do what thou wilt." There is an etymological identity between Tetragrammaton and I A O, but the magical formulae are entirely different, as the descriptions here given have schewn.
Professor William James, in his Varieties of Religious Experience
, has well classified religion as the "once-born" and the "twice-born"; but the religion now proclaimed in Liber Legis
harmonizes these by transcending them. There is no attempt to get rid of death by denying it, as among the once-born; nor to accept death as the gate of a new life, as among the twice-born. With the A∴A∴ life and death are equally incidents in a career, very much like day and night in the history of a planet. But, to pursue the simile, we regard this planet from afar. A Brother of A∴A∴ looks at (what another person would call) "himself", as one — or, rather, some — among a group of phenomena. He is that "nothing" whose consciousness is in one sense the universe considered as a single phenomenon in time and space, and in another sense is the negation of that consciousness.
The body and mind of the man are only important (if at all) as the telescope of the astronomer to him. If the telescope were destroyed it would make no appreciable difference to the Universe which that telescope reveals.
It will now be understood that this formula of I A O is a formula of Tiphareth. The magician who employs it is conscious of himself as a man liable to suffering, and anxious to transcend that state by becoming one with god. It will appear to him as the Supreme Ritual, as the final step; but, as has already been pointed out, it is but a preliminary. For the normal man today, however, it represents considerable attainment; and there is a much earlier formula whose investigation will occupy Chapter VI
The Master Therion
, in the Seventeenth year of the Aeon,The New Aeon began in 1904. The Seventeenth year of the Aeon is therefore 1921 when Crowley was at his Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu, Sicily.
has reconstructed the Word I A O to satisfy the new conditions of Magick imposed by progress. The Word of the Law being Thelema, whose number is 93, this number should be the canon of a corresponding Mass. Accordingly, he has expanded I A O by treating the O as an Ayin, and then adding Vau as prefix and affix. The full word is then
ויאעוTable I (columns CLXXV and CLXXVI) gives the Hebrew letters with their Cabbalistic equivalents. ו = 6; י = 10; א = 1; ע = 70; ו = 6. Total 93.
whose number is 93. We may analyse this new Word in detail and demonstrate that it is a proper hieroglyph of the Ritual of Self-Initiation in this Aeon of Horus. For the correspondence in the following note, see Liber 777. The principal points are these:
|Atu (Tarot trump)
||No. of Atu
||No. of Letter
||Correspondence in Nature
|The Hierophant. (Osiris throned & crowned, with Wand.)
||Vau (a nail) English V, W, or vowel between O and U - ma'ajab and ma'aruf.
||Taurus (An earthy sign ruled by Venus; the Moon exalted therein, but male.)
||The Sun. The son in Tetragrammaton. (See Cap. III). The Pentagram which shows Spirit master & reconciler of the Four Elements.|
|Four Worshippers; the four elements.
||Liberty, i.e. free will.
||The Hexagram which unites God and Man. The consciousness or Ruach.
Parzival as the Child in his widowed mother's care: Horus, son of Isis and the slain Osiris.
Parzival as King & Priest in Montsalvat performing the miracle of redemption; Horus crowned and conquering, taking the place of his father.
Christ-Bacchus in Heaven - Olympus saving the world.
|The Hermit (Hermes with Lamp, Wings, Wand, Cloak, and Serpent).
||Yod (a hand) English I or Y.
||Virgo (an earthy sign ruled by Mercury exalted therein; sexually ambivalent) Light, i.e. of Wisdom, the Inmost.
||The root of the Alphabet. The Spermatozoon. The youth setting out on his adventures after receiving the Wand. Parzival in the desert. Christ taking refuge in Egypt, and on the Mount tempted by the Devil. The unconscious Will, or Word.|
|The Fool (The Babe in the Egg on the Lotus, Bacchus Diphues, etc.)
||Aleph (an ox) English A, more or less
||Air (The condition of all Life, the impartial vehicle. Sexually undeveloped). Life; i.e. the organ of possible expression.
||The free breath. The Svastika. The Holy Ghost. The Virgin's Womb. Parzial as "der reine Thor" who knows nothing. Horus. Christ-Bacchus as the innocent babe, pursued by Herod-Héré. Hercules strangling the serpents. The Unconscious Self not yet determined in any direction.|
|The Devil (Baphomet throned & adored by Male & Female. See Eliphas Levi's design.)
||Ayin (an eye) English A, or O ore or less: the bleat of a goat, A'a.
||Capricornus (an earthy sign ruled by Saturn; Mars exalted therein. Sexually male). Love: i.e. the instinct to satisfy Godhead by uniting it with the Universe.
||Parzival in Black Armour, ready to return to Montsalvat as Redeemer-King: Horus come to full growth. Christ-Bacchus with Calvary-Cross Kithairon — Thyrsus.|
ΙΑϜ varies in significance with successive Aeons.
Aeon of Isis. Matriarchal Age. The Great Work conceived as a straightforward simple affair.
We find the theory reflected in the customs of Matriarchy. Parthenogenesis is supposed to be true. The Virgin (Yod-Virgo) contains in herself the Principle of Growth — the epicene Hermetic seed. It becomes the Babe in the Egg (A — Harpocrates) by virtue of the Spirit (A = Air, impregnating the Mother-Vulture) and this becomes the Sun or Son (Ϝ = the letter of Tiphareth, 6, even when spelt as Omega, in Coptic. See 777).
Aeon of Osiris. Patriarchal age. Two sexes. I conceived as the Father-Wand. (Yod in Tetragrammaton). A, the Babe, is pursued by the Dragon, who casts a flood from his mouth to swallow it. See Revelation VII. The Dragon is also the Mother — the "Evil Mother" of Freud. It is Harpocrates, threatened by the crocodile in the Nile. We find the symbolism of the Ark, the Coffin of Osiris, etc. The Lotus is the Yoni; the Water the Amniotic Fluid. In order to live his own life, the child must leave the Mother, and overcome the temptation to return to her for refuge. Kundry, Armida, Jocasta, Circe, etc., are symbols of this force which tempts the Hero. He may take her as his servantHer sole speech in the last Act is "Dienen: Dienen". ["Serve: serve"] when he has mastered her, so as to heal his father (Amfortas), avenge him (Osiris), or pacify him (Jehovah). But in order to grow to manhood, he must cease to depend on her, earning the Lance (Parzival), claiming his arms (Achilles), or making his club (Hercules),Note that all these three remain for a time as neuters among women, prevented from living the male life. and wander in the waterless wilderness like Krishna, Jesus, Oedipus, χ. τ. λ. — until the hour when, as the "King's Son" or knight-errant, he must win the Princess, and set himself upon a strange throne. Almost all the legends of heroes imply this formula in strikingly similar symbols. Ϝ. Vau the Sun — Son. He is supposed to be mortal; but how is this shewn? It seems an absolute perversion of truth: the sacred symbols have no hint of it. This lie is the essence of the Great Sorcery. Osirian religion is a Freudian phantasy fashioned of man's dread of death and ignorance of nature. The parthenogenesis-idea persists, but is now the formula for incarnating demi-gods, or divine kings; these must be slain and raised from the dead in one way or another.All these ideas may be explained by reference to anthropology. But this is not their condemnation, but their justification; for the customs and legends of mankind reflect the true nature of the species.
Aeon of Horus. Two sexes in one person.
ϜΙΑΟϜ:F and V are alternate transliterations of the Hebrew letter ו (Vau). Hence FIAOF is VIAOV. 93, the full formula, recognizing the Sun as the Son (Star), as the pre-existent manifested Unit from which all springs and to which all returns. The Great Work is to make the initial ϜϜ of AssiahOne of the four worlds of Cabbalistic tradition. See Table II. (The world of material illusion) into the final ϜΙϜ of Atziluth,For these spellings see 777. the world of pure reality.
Spelling the Name in full, ϜϜ + ΙϜΔ + ΑΛΠ + ΟΙΝ + ϜϜ = 309 = Sh T = XX + XI = 31 the secret Key of the Law.Crowley means spelling the letters of the name (FIAOF) in full, i.e. Ϝ = ϜϜ; I or Yod = ΙϜΔ, etc. The total is 309 as opposed to 93. 309 is the number of the god Set (Sh = 300; T = 9). These two letters, Sh and T, are attributed to the Tarot Keys XX and XI, i.e. 31, the number of AL which is the secret key of The Book of the Law. See Liber Samekh, Point II.
is the secret
Life .............. Serpent
Life .............. Serpent
Light ............. Lamp
Love .............. Wand
Liberty ........... Wings
Silence ........... Cloak
These symbols are all shewn in the Atu "The Hermit". They are the powers of the Yod, whose extension is the Vau. Yod is the Hand wherewith man does his Will. It is also The Virgin; his essence is inviolate.
is the Babe "who has formulated his Father, and made fertile his Mother" — Harpocrates, etc., as before; but he develops to
The exalted "Devil" (also the other secret EyeIn man himself, i.e. the phallus.) by the formula of the Initiation of Horus elsewhere described in detail. This "Devil" is called Satan or Shaitan, and regarded with horror by people who are ignorant of his formula, and, imagining themselves to be evil, accuse Nature herself of their own phantasmal crime. Satan is Saturn, Set, Abrasax, Adad, Adonis, Attis, Adam, Adonai, etc. The most serious charge against him is that he is the Sun in the South. The Ancient Initiates, dwelling as they did in lands whose blood was the water of the Nile or the Euphrates, connected the South with life-withering heat, and cursed that quarter where the solar darts were deadliest. Even in the legend of Hiram,Hiram Abiff, the Master Builder of the Masonic tradition. See The Magical Record of the Beast 666. it is at high noon that he is stricken down and slain. Capricornus is moreover the sign which the sun enterers when he reaches his extreme Southern declination at the Winter Solstice, the season of the death of vegetation, for the folk of the Northern hemisphere. This gave them a second cause for cursing the south. A third; the tyranny of hot, dry, poisonous winds; the menace of deserts or oceans dreadful because mysterious and impassable; these also were connected in their minds with the South. But to us, aware of astronomical facts, this antagonism to the South is a silly superstition which the accidents of their local conditions suggested to our animistic ancestors. We see no enmity between Right and Left, Up and Down, and similar pairs of opposites. These antitheses are real only as a statement of relation; they are the conventions of an arbitrary device for representing our ideas in a pluralistic symbolism based on duality. "Good" must be defined in terms of human ideals and instincts. "East" has no meaning except with reference to the earth's internal affairs; as an absolute direction in space it changes a degree every four minutes. "Up" is the same for no two men, unless one chance to be in the line joining the other with the centre of the earth. "Hard" is the private opinion of our muscles. "True" is an utterly unintelligible epithet which has proved refractory to the analysis of our ablest philosophers.
We have therefore no scruple in restoring the "devil-worship" of such ideas as those which the laws of sound, and the phenomena of speech and hearing, compel us to connect with the group of "Gods" whose names are based upon ShT or D, vocalized by the free breath A. For these Names imply the qualities of courage, frankness, energy, pride, power and triumph; they are the words which express the creative and paternal will.
Thus "the Devil" is Capricornus, the Goat who leaps upon the loftiest mountains, the Godhead which, if it become manifest in man, makes him Aegipan, the All.
The Sun enters this sign when he turns to renew the year in the North. He is also the vowel O, proper to roar, to boom, and to command, being a forcible breath controlled by the firm circle of the mouth.
He is the Open Eye of the exalted Sun, before whom all shadows flee away: also that Secret Eye which makes an image of its God, the Light, and gives it power to utter oracles, enlightening the mind.
Thus, he is Man made God, exalted, eager; he has come consciously to his full stature, and so is ready to set out on his journey to redeem the world. But he may not appear in this true form; the Vision of Pan would drive men mad with fear. He must conceal Himself in his original guise. He therefore becomes apparently the man that he was at the beginning; he lives the life of a man; indeed, he is wholly man. But his initiation has made him master of the Event by giving him the understanding that whatever happens to him is the execution of this true will. Thus the last stage of his initiation is expressed in our formula as the final:
Ϝ — The series of transformations has not affected his identity; but it has explained him to himself.
Similarly, Copper is still Copper after Cu + O = CuO: + H2SO4 = CuS4O(H2O): + K2S = CuS(K2SO4): + blowpipe and reducing agent = Cu(S).
It is the same copper, but we have learnt some of its properties. We observe especially that it is indestructible, inviolably itself throughout all its adventures, and in all its disguises. We see moreover that it can only make use of its powers, fulfill the possibilities of its nature, and satisfy its equations, by thus combining with its counterparts. Its existence as a separate substance is evidence of its subjection to stress; and this is felt as the ache of an incomprehensible yearning until it realises that every experience is a relief, an expression of itself; and that it cannot be injured by aught that may befall it. In the Aeon of Osiris it was indeed realised that Man must die in order to live. But now in the Aeon of Horus we know that every event is a death; subject and object slay each other in "love under will"; each such death is itself life, the means by which one realises oneself in a series of episodes.This passage is obscure. Crowley contrasts the Old Aeon, the Aeon of Osiris (Christianity, Buddhism et al.), with that of the New, the Aeon of Horus (Thelema, the present age). The experience of Reality is only possible by the union, i.e. the death, of subject and object in consciousness. What Crowley apparently omitted to say is that in the previous Aeon the experience of Reality (the Kingdom of Heaven) is only attainable through the sacrifice, the denial, of the senses.
The second main point is the completion of the A, babe Bacchus, by the O, Pan (Parzival wins the Lance, etc.).
The first process is to find the I in the VThe I or Yod in the V or Vau, i.e. the Father in the Son. — initiation, purification, finding the Secret Root of oneself, the epicene Virgin who is 10 (Malkuth) but spelt in full 20 (Jupiter).
This Yod in the Virgin expands to the Babe in the Egg by formulating the Secret Wisdom of Truth of Hermes in the Silence of the Fool. He acquires the Eye-Wand,The Phallic-Power. beholding the acting and being adored. The Inverted Pentagram — Baphomet — the Hermaphrodite fully grown — begets himself on himself as V again.
Note that there are now two sexes in one person throughout, so that each individual is self-procreative sexually, whereas Isis knew only one sex, and Osiris thought the two sexes opposed. Also the formula is now Love in all cases; and the end is the beginning, on a higher plane.
The I is formed from the V by removing its tail, the A by balancing 4 Yods, the O by making an inverted triangle of Yods, which suggests the formula of Nuit — Hadit — Ra-Hoor-Khuit. A is the elements whirling as a Svastika — the creative Energy in equilibrated action.
The Hieroglyph shewn in the Seventh Key of the Tarot (described in the 12th Aethyr
, Liber 418
, The Equinox
I, V) is the Charioteer of Our Lady Babalon
, whose Cup or Graal he bears.
Now this is an important formula. It is the First of the Formulae, in a sense, for it is the formula of Renunciation.There is no moral implication here. But to choose A implies to refuse not-A: at least, that is so, below the Abyss. It is also the Last!
This Cup is said to be full of the Blood of the Saints; that is, every "saint" or magician must give the last drop of his life's blood to that cup.Crowley himself was so devoted; that was why he called himself Saint Aleister Crowley and his autobiography an autohagiography. Put in another way, he — the magician — must be utterly devoted to the Scarlet Woman, taking vows of holy obedience to Her. See The Magical Record of the Beast 666. It is the original price paid for magick power. And if by magick power we mean the true power, the assimilation of all force with the Ultimate Light, the true Bridal of the Rosy Cross, then is that blood the offering of Virginity, the sole sacrifice well-pleasing to the Master, the sacrifice whose only reward is the pain of child-bearing unto him.
But "to sell one's soul to the devil", to renounce no matter what for an equivalent in personal gain,Supposed personal gain. There is really no person to gain; so the whole transaction is a swindle on both sides. is black magic. You are no longer a noble giver of your all, but a mean huckster.
This formula is, however, a little different in symbolism, since it is a Woman whose Cup must be filled. It is rather the sacrifice of the Man, who transfers life to his descendants. For a woman does not carry in herself the principle of new life, except temporarily, when it is given her.
But here the formula implies much more even than this. For it is his whole life that the Magus offers to Our Lady. The Cross is both Death and Generation, and it is on the Cross that the Rose blooms. The full significance of these symbols is so lofty that it is hardly fitted for an elementary treatise of this type. One must be an Exempt Adept, and have become ready to pass on, before one can see the symbols even from the lower plane. Only a Master of the Temple can fully understand them.
(However, the reader may study Liber CLVI
, in The Equinox
I, VI, the 12th
Aethyrs in Liber 418
in Equinox I, V, and the Symbolism of the V° and VI° in O.T.O.There are eleven degrees in the O.T.O. In the original O.T.O. which Crowley took over from Reuss, the first six degrees were modelled on Masonic lines. The fifth and sixth in particular were concerned with the symbolism of blood. The seventh degree onwards constituted the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Gnosis. Its teachings are secret.
Of the preservation of this blood which Our Lady offers to the Ancient One, ChaosChaos is a general name for the totality of the Unity of Existence; it is thus a name feminine in form. Each unit of Chaos is itself All-Father. the All-Father, to revive him, and of how his divine Essence fills the Daughter (the soul of Man) and places her upon the Throne of the Mother, fulfilling the Economy of the Universe, and thus ultimately rewarding the Magician (the Son) ten thousandfold, it would be still more improper to speak in this place. So holy a mystery is the Arcanum of the Masters of the Temple, that it is here hinted at in order to blind the presumptuous who may, unworthy, seek to lift the veil, and at the same time to lighten the darkness of such as may be requiring only one ray of the Sun in order to spring into life and light.
AbrahadabraCrowley believed that Abracadabra was a corruption of Abrahadabra, the Gnostic name of the Secret or Hidden God. In The Book of the Law Abrahadabra is given as the Word of the Aeon in contradistinction to Thelema, the Word of the Law. Both words equate with the two numbers of Aiwass: Abrahadabra, 418; Aiwass, 418; Thelema, 93; Aiwaz, 93. 418 is also the number of the Great Work, 93 the number of the current that informs it. is a word to be studied in The Equinox I, V., "The Temple of Solomon the King". It represents the Great Work complete, and it is therefore an archetype of all lesser magical operations. It is in a way too perfect to be applied in advance to any of them. But an example of such an operation may be studied in The Equinox I, VII, "The Temple of Solomon the King", where an invocation of Horus on this formula is given in full. Note the reverberation of the ideas one against another. The formula of Horus has not yet been so fully worked out in details as to justify a treatise upon its exoteric theory and practice; but one may say that it is, to the formula of Osiris, what the turbine is to the reciprocating engine.
There are many other sacred words which enshrine formulae of great efficacity in particular operations.
For example, V.I.T.R.I.O.L.Visita Interiora Terrae, Recificando Invenies Occultam Lapidem. Visit the interior parts of the earth; by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone.
gives a certain Regimen of the Planets useful in Alchemical work. AraritaA name of God.
is a formula of the macrocosm potent in certain very lofty Operations of the Magick of the Inmost Light. (See Liber 813
The formula of Thelema may be summarized thus: Θ "Babalon and the Beast conjoined" — ε unto Nuith (CCXX, I, 51
)The Book of the Law: "But to love me is better than all things. If under the night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart and the serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me!"
— λ The Work accomplished in Justice — η The Holy Graal — μ The Water therein — α The Babe in the Egg (Harpocrates on the Lotus.)
That of "Agape" is as follows:
Dionysus (Capital Α) — The Virgin Earth γ — The Babe in the Egg (small α — the image of the Father) — The Massacre of the Innocents, π (winepress) — The Draught of Ecstasy, η.
The student will find it well worth his while to seek out these ideas in detail, and develop the technique of their application.
There is also the Gnostic Name of the Seven Vowels, which gives a musical formula most puissant in evocations of the Soul of Nature. There is moreover ABRAXAS; there is XNOUBIS; there is MEITHRAS;Abraxas, sometimes written Abrasax, is a corruption of Abracadabra. Xnoubis, usually written Chnubis, is a Gnostic deity. Meithras is, of course, Mithras. and indeed it may briefly be stated that every true name of God gives the formula of the invocation of that God.Members of the IV° of the O.T.O. are well aware of a Magick Word whose analysis contains all truth, human and Divine, a word indeed potent for any group which dares to use it. It would therefore be impossible, even were it desirable, to analyse all such names. The general method of doing so has been given, and the magician must himself work out his own formula for particular cases.The Holy Qabalah (see Liber D in The Equinox I, VIII, Supplement, and Liber 777) affords the means of analysis and application required. See also The Equinox I, V, "The Temple of Solomon The King".
It should also be remarked that every grade has its peculiar magical formula. Thus, the formula of Abrahadabra concerns us, as men, principally because each of us represents the pentagram or microcosm; and our equilibration must therefore be with the hexagram or macrocosm.The five-pointed star (pentagram) is a symbol of man (microcosm); the six-pointed star (hexagram) represents God or the Universal Spirit (macrocosm). Hence 5° = 6□ is the Formula of the Great Work, the uniting of God with man. Compare the eleven-pointed star of the A∴A∴ In other words, 5° = 6□ is the formula of the Solar operation; but then 6° = 5□ is the formula of the Martial operation, and this reversal of the figures implies a very different Work. In the former instance the problem was to dissolve the microcosm in the macrocosm; but this other problem is to separate a particular force from the macrocosm, just as a savage might hew out a flint axe from the deposits in a chalk cliff. Similarly, an operation of Jupiter will be of the nature of the equilibration of him with Venus. Its graphic formula will be 7° = 4□, and there will be a word in which the character of this operation is described, just as Abrahadabra describes the Operation of the Great Work.
It may be stated without unfairness, as a rough general principle, that the farther from original equality are the two sides of the equation, the more difficult is the operation to perform.
Thus, to take the case of the personal operation symbolized by the grades, it is harder to become a Neophyte, 1° = 10□
, than to pass from that grade to Zelator, 2° = 9□
. Initiation is, therefore, progressively easier, in a certain sense, after the first step is taken. But (especially after the passing of Tiphareth) the distance between grade and grade increases as it were by a geometrical progression with an enormously high factor, which itself progresses.A suggestion has recently been made that the Hierarchy of the Grades should be "destroyed, and replaced by" — a ring system of 13 grades all equal. There is, of course, one sense in which every grade is a Thing-in-Itself. But the Hierarchy is only a convenient method of classifying observed facts. One is reminded of the Democracy, who, on being informed by the Minister of the Interior that the scarcity of provisions was due to the Law of Supply and Demand, passed a unanimous resolution calling for the immediate repeal of that iniquitous measure!
Every person, whatever his grade in the Order, has also a "natural" grade appropriate to his intrinsic virtue. He may expect to be "cast out" into that grade when he becomes 8° = 3□. Thus one man, throughout his career, may be essentially of the type of Netzach; another, of Hod. In the same way Rembrandt and Raphael retained their respective points of view in all stages of their art. The practical consideration is that some aspirants may find it unusually difficult to attain certain grades; or, worse, allow their inherent predispositions to influence them to neglect antipathetic, and indulge sympathetic, types of work. They may thus become more unbalanced than ever, with disastrous results. Success in one's favourite pursuit is a temptress; whose yields to her wiles limits his own growth. True, every Will is partial; but, even so, it can only fulfill itself by symmetrical expansion. It must be adjusted to the Universe, or fail of perfection.
It is evidently impossible to give details of all these formulae. Before beginning any operation soever the magician must make a thorough Qabalistic study of it so as to work out its theory in symmetry of perfection. Preparedness in Magick is as important as it is in War.
It should be profitable to make a somewhat detailed study of the strange-looking word AUMGN, for its analysis affords an excellent illustration of the principles on which the PracticusThe particular work of the Practicus in the A∴A∴ (3° = 8□) was to study the Cabbala. may construct his own Sacred Words.
This word has been uttered by the Master Therion himself, as a means of declaring his own personal work as the Beast, the Logos of the Aeon. To understand it, we must make a preliminary consideration of the word which it replaces and from which it was developed: the word AUM.
The word AUM is the sacred Hindu mantra which was the supreme hieroglyph of Truth, a compendium of the Sacred Knowledge. Many volumes have been written with regard to it; but, for our present purpose, it will be necessary only to explain how it came to serve for the representation of the principal philosophical tenets of the Rishis.
Firstly, it represents the complete course of sound. It is pronounced by forcing the breath from the back of the throat with the mouth wide open, through the buccal cavity with the lips so shaped as to modify the sound from A to O (or U), to the closed lips, when it becomes M. Symbolically, this announces the course of Nature as proceeding from free and formless creation through controlled and formed preservation to the silence of destruction. The three sounds are harmonized into one; and thus the word represents the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva; and the operations in the Universe of their triune energy. It is thus the formula of a Manvantara, or period of manifested existence, which alternates with a Pralaya, during which creation is latent.
Analysed Qabalistically, the word is found to possess similar properties. A is the negative, and also the unity which concentrates it into a positive form. A is the Holy Spirit who begets God in flesh upon the Virgin, according to the formula familiar to students of The Golden Bough. A is also the "babe in the Egg" thus produced. The quality of A is thus bisexual. It is the original being — Zeus Arrhenothelus, Bacchus Diphues, or Baphomet.
U or V is the manifested son himself. Its number is 6. It refers therefore, to the dual nature of the Logos as divine and human; the interlacing of the upright and averse triangles in the hexagram. It is the first number of the Sun, whose last numberThe Sun being 6, a square 6x6 contains 36 squares. We arrange the numbers from 1 to 36 in this square, so that each line, file, and diagonal adds to the same number. This number is 111; the total of all is 666. is 666, "the number of a man".
The letter M exhibits the termination of this process. It is the Hanged Man of the Tarot; the formation of the individual from the absolute is closed by his death.
We see accordingly how AUM is, on either system, the expression of a dogma which implies catastrophe in nature. It is cognate with the formula of the Slain God. The "resurrection" and "ascension" are not implied in it. They are later inventions without basis in necessity; they may be described indeed as Freudian phantasms conjured up by the fear of facing reality. To the Hindu, indeed, they are still less respectable. In his view, existence is essentially objectionable;Thelemites agree that manifested existence implies Imperfection. But they understand why Perfection devises this disguise. The Theory is developed fully in Liber Aleph, and in Part IV of this Book 4. See also Cap V Paragraph on F final of FΙΑΟF.
and his principal concern is to invoke ShivaThe Vaishnava theory, superficially opposed to this, turns out on analysis to be practically identical.
to destroy the illusion whose thrall is the curse of the Manvantara.Manvantara, the vast cycle of time in which the universe exists in manifestation.
The cardinal revelation of the Great Aeon of Horus is that this formula AUM does not represent the facts of nature. The point of view is based upon misapprehension of the character of existence. It soon became obvious to The Master Therion that AUM was an inadequate and misleading hieroglyph. It stated only part of the truth, and it implied a fundamental falsehood. He consequently determined to modify the word in such a manner as to fit it to represent the Arcana unveiled by the Aeon of which He had attained to be the Logos.
The essential task was to emphasize the fact that nature is not catastrophic, but proceeds by means of undulations. It might be suggested that Manvantara and PralayaPralaya, the vast cycle of time in which the universe remains withdrawn, i.e. in its seed state. Compare dreamless sleep (Pralaya) and dreaming and waking (Manvantara), but this is of course only an approximate analogy. are in reality complementary curves; but the Hindu doctrine insists strongly on denying continuity to the successive phases. It was nevertheless important to avoid disturbing the Trinitarian arrangement of the word, as would be done by the addition of other letters. It was equally desirable to make it clear that the letter M represents an operation which does not actually occur in nature except as the withdrawal of phenomena into the absolute; which process, even when so understood, is not a true destruction, but, on the contrary, the emancipation of anything from the modifications which it had mistaken for itself. It occurred to him that the true nature of Silence was to permit the uninterrupted vibration of the undulatory energy, free from the false conceptions attached to it by the Ahamkara or Ego-making facility, whose assumption that conscious individuality constitutes existence let it to consider its own apparently catastrophic character as pertaining to the order of nature.
The undulatory formula of putrefactionCrowley had in mind the "undulatory" or serpentine glyph of Scorpio, . It is the "formula of putrefaction" because Scorpio is emblematic of the disintegrating quality of water; it is a watery sign. It is also connected with the ideas of darkness, corruption and death. The letter N, to which Scorpio is attributed, is the letter of death.
is represented in the Qabalah by the letter N, which refers to Scorpio, whose triune nature combines the Eagle, Snake and Scorpion. These hieroglyphs themselves indicate the spiritual formulae of incarnation. He was also anxious to use the letter G, another triune formula expressive of the aspects of the moon, which further declares the nature of human existence in the following manner. The moon is in itself a dark orb; but an appearance of light is communicated to it by the sun; and it is exactly in this way that successive incarnations create the appearance, just as the individual star, which every man is, remains itself, irrespective of whether earth perceives it or not.
Now it so happens that the root GN signifies both knowledge and generation combined in a single idea, in an absolute form independent of personality. The G is a silent letter, as in our word Gnosis; and the sound GN is nasal, suggesting therefore the breath of life as opposed to that of speech. Impelled by these considerations, the Master Therion proposed to replace the M of AUM by a compound letter MGN, symbolizing thereby the subtle transformation of the apparent silence and death which terminates the manifested life of Vau by a continuous vibration of an impersonal energy of the nature of generation and knowledge, the Virgin Moon and the Serpent furthermore operating to include in the idea a commemoration of the legend so grossly deformed in the Hebrew legend of the Garden of Eden, and its even more malignantly debased falsification in that bitterly sectarian broadside, the Apocalypse.
Sound work invariably vindicates itself by furnishing confirmatory corollaries not contemplated by the Qabalist. In the present instance, the Master Therion was delighted to remark that his compound letter MGN, constructed on theoretical principles with the idea of incorporating the new knowledge of the Aeon, had the value of 93 (M = 40, G = 3, N = 50). 93 is the number of the word of the Law — Thelema — Will, and of Agape — Love, which indicates the nature of Will. It is furthermore the number of the Word which overcomes death, as members of the degree of M MMaster Mason (the 3rd degree O.T.O.). of the O.T.O. are well aware; and it is also that of the complete formula of existence as expressed in the True Word of the Neophyte, where existence is taken to import that phase of the whole which is the finite resolution of the Qabalistic Zero.
Finally, the total numeration of the Word AUMGN is 100, which, as initiates of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis of the O.T.O. are taught, expresses the unity under the form of complete manifestation by the symbolism of pure number, being Kether by Aiq Bkr;A method of exegesis in which 1 = 10 = 100, 2 = 20 = 200, etc. also Malkuth multiplied by itself,102 = 100. and thus established in the phenomenal universe. But, moreover, this number 100 mysteriously indicates the Magical formula of the Universe as a reverberatory engine for the extension of Nothingness through the device of equilibrated opposites. כ = 100 (20 + 80). כ = κ = Κτεις: ף = φ = Φαλλοσ (by Notariqon).כף = PK, Phallus, Kteis or the male and female sexual organs. Notariqon is a Cabbalistic method of exegesis, by which the initial letters of a sentence (or the initial letter of a word, as in Phallus or Kteis) yields the key number.
It is moreover the value of the letter Qoph, which means "the back of the head", the cerebellum, where the creative or reproductive force is primarily situated. Qoph in the Tarot is "the Moon", a card suggesting illusion, yet shewing counterpartal forces operating in darkness, and the Winged Beetle or Midnight Sun in his Bark travelling through the Nadir. Its Yetziratic attribution is Pisces, symbolic of the positive and negative currents of fluidic energy, the male Ichthus or "Pesce" and the female Vesica, seeking respectively the anode and kathode. The number 100 is therefore a synthetic glyph of the subtle energies employed in creating the Illusion, or Reflection of Reality, which we call manifested existence.
The above are the principal considerations in the matter of AUMGN. They should suffice to illustrate to the student the methods employed in the construction of the hieroglyphics of Magick, and to arm him with a mantra of terrific power by virtue whereof he may apprehend the Universe, and control in himself its Karmic consequences.
There is no more important task than the exploration of one's previous incarnations.It has been objected to reincarnation that the population of this planet has been increasing rapidly. Where do the new souls come from? It is not necessary to invent theories about other planets; it is enough to say that the earth is passing through a period when human units are being built up from the elements with increased frequency. The evidence for this theory springs to the eye: in what other age was there such puerility, such lack of race-experience, such reliance upon incoherent formulas? (Contrast the infantile emotionalism and credulity of the average "well-educated" Anglo-Saxon with the shrewd common sense of the normal illiterate peasant.) A large proportion of mankind today is composed of "souls" who are living the human life for the first time. Note especially the incredible spread of congenital homosexuality and other sexual deficiencies in many forms. These are the people who have not understood, accepted, and used even the Formula of Osiris. Kin to them are the "once-born" of William James, who are incapable of philosophy, magick, or even religion, but seek instinctively a refuge from the horror of contemplating Nature, which they do not comprehend, in soothing-syrup affirmations such as those of Christian Science, Spiritualism, and all the sham 'occult' creeds, as well as the emasculated forms of so-called Christianity. As Zoroaster says: "Explore the river of the soul; whence and in what order thou has come." One cannot do one's True Will intelligently unless one knows what it is. Liber Thisarb,Thisarb is the Hebrew Berashith spelled backwards. The Equinox I, VII, gives instructions for determining this by calculating the resultant of the forces which have made one what one is. But this practice is confined to one's present incarnation.
If one were to wake up in a boat on a strange river, it would be rash to conclude that the direction of the one reach visible was that of the whole stream. It would help very much if one remembered the bearings of previous reaches traversed before one's nap. It would further relieve one's anxiety when one became aware that a uniform and constant force was the single determinant of all the findings of the stream: gravitation. We could rejoice "that even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea."
Liber Thisarb describes a method of obtaining the Magical Memory by learning to remember backwards. But the careful practice of Dharana is perhaps more generally useful. As one prevents the more accessible thoughts from arising, we strike deeper strata — memories of childhood reawaken. Still deeper lies a class of thoughts whose origin puzzles us. Some of these apparently belong to former incarnations. By cultivating these departments of one's mind we can develop them; we become expert; we form an organized coherence of these originally disconnected elements; the faculty grows with astonishing rapidity, once the knack of the business is mastered.
It is much easier (for obvious reasons) to acquire the Magical Memory when one has been sworn for many lives to reincarnate immediately. The great obstacle is the phenomenon called Freudian forgetfulness; that is to say, that, though an unpleasant event may be recorded faithfully enough by the mechanism of the brain, we fail to recall it, or recall it wrong, because it is painful. The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
analyses and illustrates this phenomenon in detail. Now, the King of Terrors being Death, it is hard indeed to look it in the face. Mankind has created a host of phantastic masks; people talk of "going to heaven", "passing over", and so on; banners flaunted from pasteboard towers of baseless theories. One instinctively flinches from remembering one's last, as one does from imagining one's next, death.This later is a very valuable practice to perform. See Liber HHH; also read up the Buddhist meditations of the Ten Impurities.
The point of view of the initiate helps one immensely.
As soon as one has passed this Pons Asinorum, the practice becomes much easier. It is much less trouble to reach the life before the last; familiarity with death breeds contempt for it.
It is a very great assistance to the beginner if he happens to have some intellectual grounds for identifying himself with some definite person in the immediate past. A brief account of Aleister Crowley's good fortune in this matter should be instructive. It will be seen that the points of contact vary greatly in character.
- The date of Eliphas Lévi's death was about six months previous to that of Aleister Crowley's birth. The reincarnating ego is supposed to take possession of the foetus at about this stage of development.
- Eliphas Lévi had a striking personal resemblance to Aleister Crowley's father. This of course merely suggests a certain degree of suitability from a physical point of view.
- Aleister Crowley wrote a play called "The Fatal Force" at a time when he had not read any of Eliphas Lévi's works. The motive of this play is a Magical Operation of a very peculiar kind. The formula which Aleister Crowley supposed to be his original idea is mentioned by Lévi. We have not been able to trace it anywhere else with such exact correspondence in every detail.
- Aleister Crowley found a certain quarter of Paris incomprehensibly familiar and attractive to him. This was not the ordinary phenomenon of the deja vu, it was chiefly a sense of being at home again. He discovered long after that Lévi had lived in the neighbourhood for many years.
- There are many curious similarities between the events of Eliphas Lévi's life and that of Aleister Crowley. The intention of the parents that their son should have a religious career; the inability to make use of very remarkable talents in any regular way; the inexplicable ostracism which afflicted him, and whose authors seemed somehow to be ashamed of themselves; the events relative to marriage:Lévi, on her deliberately abandoning him, withdrew his protection from his wife; she lost her beauty and intelligence, and became the prey of an aged and hideous pithecoid. Aleister Crowley's wife insisted upon doing her own will, as she defined it; this compelled him to stand aside. What happened to Mme. Constant happened to her, although in a more violent and disastrous form. all these offer surprisingly close parallels.
- The characters of the two men present subtle identities in many points. Both seem to be constantly trying to reconcile insuperable antagonisms. Both find it hard to destroy the delusion that men's fixed beliefs and customs may be radically altered by a few friendly explanations. Both show a curious fondness for out-the-way learning, preferring recondite sources of knowledge they adopt eccentric appearances. Both inspire what can only be called panic fear in absolute strangers, who can give no reason whatever for a repulsion which sometimes almost amounts to temporary insanity. The ruling passion in each case is that of helping humanity. Both show quixotic disregard of their personal prosperity, and even comfort, yet both display love of luxury and splendour. Both have the pride of Satan.
- When Aleister Crowley became Frater ΟΥ ΜΗ and had to write his thesis for the grade of Adeptus Exemptus, he had already collected his ideas when Lévi's La Clef des Grands Mysteres fell into his hands. It was remarkable that he, having admired Lévi for many years, and even begun to suspect the identity, had not troubled (although an extravagant buyer of books) to get this particular work. He found, to his astonishment, that almost everything that he had himself intended to say was there written. The result of this was that he abandoned writing his original work, and instead translated the masterpiece in question.
- The style of the two men is strikingly similar in numerous subtle and deep-seated ways. The general point of view is almost identical. The quality of the irony is the same. Both take a perverse pleasure in playing practical jokes on the reader. In one point, above all, the identity is absolute — there is no third name in literature which can be put in the same class. The point is this: In a single sentence is combined sublimity and enthusiasm with sneering bitterness, scepticism, grossness and scorn. It is evidently the supreme enjoyment to strike a chord composed of as many conflicting elements as possible. The pleasure seems to be derived from gratifying the sense of power, the power to compel every possible element of thought to contribute to the spasm.
If the theory of reincarnation were generally accepted, the above considerations would make out a strong case. Frater Perdurabo was quite convinced in one part of his mind of this identity, long before he got any actual memories as such.Long since writing the above, the publication of the biography of Eliphas Lévi by M. Paul Chacornat has confirmed the hypothesis in innumerable striking ways.
Unless one has a groundwork of this sort to start with, one must get back to one's life as best one can by the methods above indicated. It may be of some assistance to give a few characteristics of genuine Magical Memory; to mention a few sources of error, and to lay down critical rules for the verification of one's results.
The first great danger arises from vanity. One should always beware of "remembering" that one was Cleopatra or Shakespeare.
Again, superficial resemblances are usually misleading.
One of the great tests of the genuineness of any recollection is that one remembers the really important things in one's life, not those which mankind commonly classes as such. For instance, Aleister Crowley does not remember any of the decisive events in the life of Eliphas Lévi. He recalls intimate trivialities of childhood. He has a vivid recollection of certain spiritual crises; in particular, one which was fought out as he paced up and down a lonely stretch of road in a flat and desolate district. He remembers ridiculous incidents, such as often happen at suppers when the conversation takes a turn such that its gaiety somehow strikes to the soul, and one receives a supreme revelation which is yet perfectly inarticulate. He has forgotten his marriage and its tragic results,It is perhaps significant that although the name of the woman has been familiar to him since 1898, he has never been able to commit it to memory. although the plagiarism which Fate has been shameless enough to perpetrate in this present life, would naturally, one might think, reopen the wound.
There is a sense which assures us intuitively when we are running on a scent breast high. There is an oddness about the memory which is somehow annoying. It gives a feeling of shame and guiltiness. There is a tendency to blush. One feels like a schoolboy caught red-handed in the act of writing poetry. There is the same sort of feeling as one has when one finds a faded photograph or a lock of hair twenty years old among the rubbish in some forgotten cabinet. This feeling is independent of the question whether the thing remembered was in itself a source of pleasure or of pain. Can it be that we resent the idea of our "previous condition of servitude"? We want to forget the past, however good reason we may have to be proud of it. It is well known that many men are embarrassed in the presence of a monkey.
When the "loss of face" does not occur, distrust the accuracy of the item which you recall. The only reliable recollections which present themselves with serenity are invariably connected with what men call disasters. Instead of the feeling of being caught in the slips, one has that of being missed at the wicket. One has the sly satisfaction of having done an outrageously foolish thing and got off scot free. When one sees life in perspective, it is an immense relief to discover that things like bankruptcy, wedlock, and the gallows made no particular difference. They were only accidents such as might happen to anybody; they had no real bearing on the point at issue. One consequently remembers having one's ears cropped as a lucky escape, while the casual jest of a drunken skeinsmate in an all-night café stings one with the shame of the parvenu to whom a polite stranger has unsuspectingly mentioned "Mine Uncle".
The testimony of intuitions is, however, strictly subjective, and shrieks for collateral security. It would be a great error to ask too much. In consequence of the peculiar character of the recollections which are under the microscope, anything in the shape of gross confirmation almost presumes perjury. A pathologist would arouse suspicion if he said that his bacilli had arranged themselves on the slide so as to spell Staphylococcus. We distrust an arrangement of flowers which tells us that "Life is worth living in Detroit, Michigan". Suppose that Aleister Crowley remembers that he was Sir Edward Kelly. It does not follow that he will be able to give us details of Cracow in the time of James I of England. Material events are the words of an arbitrary language; the symbols of a cipher previously agreed on. What happened to Kelly in Cracow may have meant something to him, but there is no reason to presume that it has any meaning for his successor.
There is an obvious line of criticism about any recollection. It must not clash with ascertained facts. For example — one cannot have two lives which overlap, unless there is reason to suppose that the earlier died spiritually before his body ceased to breathe. This might happen in certain cases, such as insanity.
It is not conclusive against a previous incarnation that the present should be inferior to the past. One's life may represent the full possibilities of a certain partial Karma. One may have devoted one's incarnation to discharging the liabilities of one part of one's previous character. For instance, one might devote a lifetime to settling the bill run up by Napoleon for causing unnecessary suffering, with the object of starting afresh, clear of debt, in a life devoted to reaping the reward of the Corsican's invaluable services to the race.
The Master Therion, in fact, remembers several incarnations of almost uncompensated wretchedness, anguish and humiliation, voluntarily undertaken so that he might resume his work unhampered by spiritual creditors.
These are the stigmata. Memory is hall-marked by its correspondence with the facts actually observed in the present. This correspondence may be of two kinds. It is rare (and it is unimportant for the reasons stated above) that one's memory should be confirmed by what may be called, contemptuously, external evidence. It was indeed a reliable contribution to psychology to remark that an evil and adulterous generation sought for a sign.
(Even so, the permanent value of the observation is to trace the genealogy of the Pharisee — from Caiaphas to the modern Christian.)
Signs mislead, from "Painless Dentistry" upwards. The fact that anything is intelligible proves that it is addressed to the wrong quarter, because the very existence of language presupposes impotence to communicate directly. When Walter Raleigh flung his cloak upon the muddy road, he merely expressed, in a cipher contrived by a combination of circumstances, his otherwise inexpressible wish to get on good terms with Queen Elizabeth. The significance of his action was determined by the concourse of circumstances. The reality can have no reason for reproducing itself exclusively in that especial form. It can have no reason for remembering that so extravagant a ritual happened to be necessary to worship. Therefore, however well a man might remember his incarnation as Julius Caesar, there is no necessity for his representing his power to set all upon the hazard of a die by imagining the Rubicon. Any spiritual state can be symbolized by an infinite variety of actions in an infinite variety of circumstances. One should recollect only those events which happen to be immediately linked with one's peculiar tendencies to imagine one thing rather than another.The exception is when some whimsical circumstance ties a knot in the corner of one's mnemonic handkerchief.
Genuine recollections almost invariably explain oneself to oneself. Suppose, for example, that you feel an instinctive aversion to some particular kind of wine. Try as you will, you can find no reason for your idiosyncrasy. Suppose, then, that when you explore some previous incarnation, you remember that you died by a poison administered in a wine of that character, your aversion is explained by the proverb, "A burnt child dreads the fire." It may be objected that in such a case your libido has created a phantasm of itself in the manner which Freud has explained. The criticism is just, but its value is reduced if it should happen that you were not aware of its existence until your Magical Memory attracted your attention to it. In fact, the essence of the test consists in this: that your memory notifies you of something which is the logical conclusion of the premisses postulated by the past.
As an example, we may cite certain memories of the Master Therion. He followed a train of thought which led him to remember his life as a Roman named Marius de Aquila. It would be straining probability to presume a connection between (α) this hieroglyphically recorded mode of self-analysis and (β) ordinary introspection conducted on principles intelligible to himself. He remembers directly various people and various events connected with this incarnation; and they are in themselves to all appearance actual. There is no particular reason why they, rather than any others, should have entered his sphere. In the act of remembering them, they are absolute. He can find no reason for correlating them with anything in the present. But a subsequent examination of the record shows that the logical result of the Work of Marius de Aquila did not occur to that romantic reprobate; in point of fact, he died before anything could happen. Can we suppose that any cause can be baulked of effect? The Universe is unanimous in rebuttal. If then the exact effects which might be expected to result from these causes are manifested in the career of the Master Therion, it is assuredly the easiest and most reasonable explanation to assume an identity between the two men. Nobody is shocked to observe that the ambition of Napoleon has diminished the average stature of Frenchmen. We know that somehow or other every force must find its fulfilment; and those people who have grasped the fact that external events are merely symptoms of external ideas, cannot find any difficulty in attributing the correspondences of the one to the identities of the other.
Far be it from any apologist for Magick to insist upon the objective validity of these concatenations! It would be childish to cling to the belief that Marius de Aquila actually existed; it matters no more that it matters to the mathematician whether the use of the symbol X22 power involves the "reality" of 22 dimension of space. The Master Therion does not care a scrap of yesterday's newspaper whether he was Marius de Aquila, or whether there ever was such a person, or whether the Universe itself is anything more than a nightmare created by his own imprudence in the matter of rum and water. His memory of Marius de Aquila, of the adventures of that person in Rome and the Black Forest, matters nothing, either to him or to anybody else. What matters is this: True or false, he has found a symbolic form which has enabled him to govern himself to the best advantage. "Quantum nobis prodest hec fabula Christi!"What a boon to us is this story of Christ! The "falsity" of Aesop's Fables does not diminish their value to mankind.
The above reduction of the Magical Memory to a device for externalizing one's interior wisdom need not be regarded as sceptical, save only in the last resort. No scientific hypothesis can adduce stronger evidence of its validity than the confirmation of its predictions by experimental evidence. The objective can always be expressed in subjective symbols if necessary. The controversy is ultimately unmeaning. However we interpret the evidence, its relative truth depends in its internal coherence. We may therefore say that any magical recollection is genuine if it gives the explanation of our external or internal conditions. Anything which throws light upon the Universe, anything which reveals us to ourselves, should be welcome in this world of riddles.
As our record extends into the past, the evidence of its truth is cumulative. Every incarnation that we remember must increase our comprehension of ourselves as we are. Each accession of knowledge must indicate with unmistakable accuracy the solution of some enigma which is propounded by the Sphynx of our own unknown birth-city, Thebes. The complicated situation in which we find ourselves is composed of elements; and no element of it came out of nothing. Newton's First Law applies to every plane of thought. The theory of evolution is omniform. There is a reason for one's predisposition to gout, or the shape of one's ear, in the past. The symbolism may change; the facts do not. In one form or another, everything that exists is derived from some previous manifestation. Have it, if you will, that the memories of other incarnations are dreams; but dreams are determined by reality just as much as the events of the day. The truth is to be apprehended by the correct translation of the symbolic language. The last section of the Oath of the Master of the Temple is: "I swear to interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul." The Magical Memory is (in the last analysis) one manner, and, as experience testifies, one of the most important manners, of performing this vow.
It is found by experience (confirming the statement of Zoroaster) that the most potent conjurations are those in an ancient and perhaps forgotten language, or even those couched in a corrupt and possibly always meaningless jargon. Of these there are several main types. The "preliminary invocation" in the "Goetia" consists principally of corruptions of Greek and Egyptian names. For example, we find "Osorronnophris" for "Asor Un-Nefer".See appendix 4, Liber Samekh; this is an edition of this Invocation, with an elaborate Rubric, translation, scholia, and instruction. The conjurations given by Dr. Dee (vide The Equinox I, VIII) are in a language called Angelic, or Enochian. Its source has hitherto baffled research, but it is a language and not a jargon, for it possesses a structure of its own, and there are traces of grammar and syntax.
However this may be, it works. Even the beginner finds that "things happen" when he uses it: and this is an advantage — or disadvantage! — shared by no other type of language. The rest need skill. This needs Prudence!
The Egyptian Invocations are much purer, but their meaning has not been sufficiently studied by persons magically competent. We possess a number of Invocations in Greek of every degree of excellence; in Latin but few, and those of inferior quality. It will be noticed that in every case the conjurations are very sonorous, and there is a certain magical voice in which they should be recited. This special voice was a natural gift of the Master Therion; but it can be easily taught — to the right people.
Various considerations impelled Him to attempt conjurations in the English language. There already existed one example, the charm of the witches in Macbeth; although this was perhaps not meant seriously, its effect is indubitable.A true poet cannot help revealing himself and the truth of things in his art, whether he be aware of what he is writing, or no.
He has found iambic tetrameters enriched with many rimes both internal an external very useful. "The Wizard Way" (The Equinox I,I) gives a good idea of the sort of thing. So does the Evocation of Bartzabel in The Equinox I,IX. There are many extant invocations throughout his works, in many kinds of metre, of many kinds of being, and for many kinds of purposes. (See Appendix).
Other methods of incantation are on record as efficacious. For instance Frater I.A.,Iehi Aour, "Let there be Light," the motto of Allan Bennett in the Golden Dawn. when a child, was told that he could invoke the devil by repeating the "Lord's Prayer" backwards. He went into the garden and did so. The Devil appeared, and almost scared him out of his life.
It is therefore not quite certain in what the efficacy of conjurations really lies. The peculiar mental excitement required may even be aroused by the perception of the absurdity of the process, and the persistence in it, as when once Frater Perdurabo (at the end of His magical resources) recited "From Greenland's Icy Mountains", and obtained His result.See "Eleusis", A. Crowley, Collected Works, Vol. III Epilogue.
It may be conceded in any case that the long strings of formidable words which roar and moan through so many conjurations have a real effect in exalting the consciousness of the magician to the proper pitch — that they should do so is no more extraordinary than music of any kind should do so.
Magicians have not confined themselves to the use of the human voice. The Pan-pipe with its seven stops, corresponding to the seven planets, the bull-roarer, the tom-tom, and even the violin, have all been used, as well as many others, of which the most important is the bell,See Part II. It should be said that in experience no bell save His own Tibetan bell of Electrum Magicum has ever sounded satisfactory to the Master Therion. Most bells jar and repel. though this is used not so much for actual conjuration as to mark stages in the ceremony. Of all these the tom-tom will be found to be the most generally useful.
While on the subject of barbarous names of evocation we should not omit the utterance of certain supreme words which enshrine (α) the complete formula of the God invoked, or (β) the whole ceremony.
Examples of the former kind are Tetragrammaton, I.A.O., and Abrahadabra.
An example of the latter kind is the great word StiBeTTChePhMeFSHiSS, which is a line drawn on the Tree of Life (Coptic attributions) in a certain manner.It represents the descent of a certain Influence. See the Evocation of Taphtatharath, The Equinox I, III. The attributions are given in 777. This Word expresses the current Kether - Beth - Binah - Cheth - Geburach - Mem - Hod - Shin - Malkuth, the descent from 1 to 10 via the Pillar of Severity.
With all such words it is of the utmost importance that they should never be spoken until the supreme moment, and even then they should burst from the magician almost despite himself — so great should be his reluctanceThis reluctance is Freudian, due to the power of these words to awaken the suppressed subconscious libido. to utter them. In fact, they should be the utterance of the God in him at the first onset of the divine possession. So uttered, they cannot fail of effect, for they have become the effect.
Every wise magician will have constructed (according to the principles of the Holy Qabalah) many such words, and he should have quintessentialised them all in one Word, which last Word, once he has formed it, he should never utter consciously even in thought, until perhaps with it he gives up the ghost. Such a Word should in fact be so potent that man cannot hear it and live.
Such a word was indeed the lost Tetragrammaton.The Master Therion has received this Word; it is communicated by Him to the proper postulants, at the proper time and place, in the proper circumstances. It is said that at the utterance of this name the Universe crashes into dissolution. Let the Magician earnestly seek this Lost Word, for its pronunciation is synonymous with the accomplishment of the Great Work.Each man has a different Great Work, just as no two points on the circumference of a circle are connected with the centre by the same radius. The Word will be correspondingly unique.
In this matter of the efficacity of words there are again two formulae exactly opposite in nature. A word may become potent and terrible by virtue of constant repetition. It is in this way that most religions gain strength. At first the statement "So and so is God" excites no interest. Continue, and you meet scorn and scepticism: possibly persecution. Continue, and the controversy has so far died out that no one troubles to contradict your assertion.
No superstition is so dangerous and so lively as an exploded superstition. The newspapers of to-day (written and edited almost exclusively by men without a spark of either religion or morality) dare not hint that any one disbelieves in the ostensibly prevailing cult; they deplore Atheism — all but universal in practice and implicit in the theory of practically all intelligent people — as if it were the eccentricity of a few negligible or objectionable persons. This is the ordinary story of advertisement; the sham has exactly the same chance as the real. Persistence is the only quality required for success.
The opposite formula is that of secrecy. An idea is perpetuated because it must never be mentioned. A freemason never forgets the secret words entrusted to him, thought these words mean absolutely nothing to him, in the vast majority of cases; the only reason for this is that he has been forbidden to mention them, although they have been published again and again, and are as accessible to the profane as to the initiate.
In such a work of practical Magick as the preaching of a new Law, these methods may be advantageously combined; on the one hand infinite frankness and readiness to communicate all secrets; on the other the sublime and terrible knowledge that all real secrets are incommunicable.If this were not the case, individuality would not be inviolable. No man can communicate even the simplest thought to any other man in any full and accurate sense. For that thought is sown in a different soil, and cannot produce an identical effect. I cannot put a spot of red upon two pictures without altering each in diverse ways. It might have little effect on a sunset by Turner, but much on a nocturne by Whistler. The identity of the two spots as spots would thus be fallacious.
It is, according to tradition, a certain advantage in conjurations to employ more than one language. In all probability the reason of this is than any change spurs the flagging attention. A man engaged in intense mental labour will frequently stop and walk up and down the room — one may suppose for this cause — but it is a sign of weakness that this should be necessary. For the beginner in Magick, however, it is permissibleThis is not to say that it is advisable. O how shameful is human weakness! But it does encourage one — it is useless to deny it — to be knocked down by a Demon of whose existence one was not really quite sure. to employ any device to secure the result.
Conjurations should be recited, not read;Even this is for the weaker brethern. The really great Magus speaks and acts impromptu and extempore. and the entire ceremony should be so perfectly performed that one is hardly conscious of any effort of memory. The ceremony should be constructed with such logical fatality that a mistake is impossible.First-rate poetry is easily memorized because the ideas and the musical values correspond to man's mental and sensory structure. The conscious ego of the Magician is to be destroyed to be absorbed in that of the God whom he invokes, and the process should not interfere with the automaton who is performing the ceremony.
But this ego of which it is here spoken is the true ultimate ego. The automaton should possess will, energy, intelligence, reason, and resource. This automaton should be the perfect man far more than any other man can be. It is only the divine self within the man, a self as far above the possession of will or any other qualities whatsoever as the heavens are high above the earth, that should reabsorb itself into that illimitable radiance of which it is a spark. This is said of the partial or lesser Works of Magick. This is an elementary treatise; one cannot discuss higher Works as for example those of "The Hermit of Aesopus Island".On "Aesopus Island" in New Hampshire, U.S.A., in 1918, Crowley "the Hermit" recalled some of his past lives. The paper is unpublished, but see The Great Beast, 1971.
The great difficulty for the single Magician is so to perfect himself that these multifarious duties of the Ritual are adequately performed. At first he will find that the exaltation destroys memory and paralyses muscle. This is an essential difficulty of the magical process, and can only be overcome by practice and experience.See The Book of Lies; there are several chapters on this subject. But Right exaltation should produce spontaneously the proper mental and physical reactions. As soon as the development is secured, there will be automatic reflex "justesse", exactly as in normal affairs mind and body respond with free unconscious rightness to the Will.
In order to aid concentration, and to increase the supply of Energy, it has been customary for the Magician to employ assistants or colleagues. It is doubtful whether the obvious advantages of this plan compensate the difficulty of procuring suitable persons,The organic development of Magick in the world due to the creative Will of the Master Therion makes it with every year that passes easier to find scientifically trained co-workers. and the chance of a conflict of will or a misunderstanding in the circle itself. On one occasion Frater Perdurabo was disobeyed by an assistant, and had it not been for His promptitude in using the physical compulsion of the sword, it is probable that the circle would have been broken. As it was, the affair fortunately terminated in nothing more serious than the destruction of the culprit.
However, there is no doubt that an assemblage of persons who really are in harmony can much more easily produce an effect than a magician working by himself. The psychology of "Revival meetings" will be familiar to almost every one, and though such meetingsSee, for an account of properly-conducted congregational ceremonial, The Equinox I, IX. "Energized Enthusiasm", and The Equinox III, L. Liber XV, Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae. The "Revival meetings" here in question were deliberate exploitations of religious hysteria.
are the foulest and most degraded rituals of black magic, the laws of Magick are not thereby suspended. The laws of Magick are the laws of Nature.
A singular and world-famous example of this is of sufficiently recent date to be fresh in the memory of many people now living. At a nigger camp meeting in the "United" States of America, devotees were worked up to such a pitch of excitement that the whole assembly developed a furious form of hysteria. The comparatively intelligible cries of "Glory" and "Hallelujah" no longer expressed the situation. Somebody screamed out "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!", and this was taken up by the whole meeting and yelled continuously, until reaction set in. The affair got into the papers, and some particularly bright disciple of John Stuart Mill, logician and economist, thought that these words, having set one set of fools crazy, might do the same to all the other fools in the world. He accordingly wrote a song, and produced the desired result. This is the most notorious example of recent times of the power exerted by a barbarous name of evocation.
A few words may be useful to reconcile the general notion of Causality with that of Magick. How can we be sure that a person waving a stick and howling thereby produces thunderstorms? In no other way than that familiar to Science; we note that whenever we put a lighted match to dry gunpowder, an unintelligibly arbitrary phenomenon, that of sound, is observed; and so forth.
We need not dwell upon this point; but it seems worth while to answer one of the objections to the possibility of Magick, chosing one which is at first sight of an obviously "fatal" character. It is convenient to quote verbatim from the DiaryIn a later entry we read that the diarist has found a similar train of argument in Space, Time, and Gravitation, page 51. He was much encouraged by the confirmation of his thesis in so independent a system of thought. of a distinguished Magician and philosopher.The Magical Record of the Beast 666. This extract was written probably during the Cefalu period.
"I have noticed that the effect of a Magical Work has followed it so closely that it must have been started before the time of the Work. E.g. I work to-night to make X in Paris write to me. I get the letter the next morning, so that it must have been written before the Work. Does this deny that the Work caused the effect?
"If I strike a billiard-ball and it moves, both my will and its motion are due to causes long antecedent to the act. I may consider both my Work and its reaction as twin effects of the eternal Universe. The moved arm and ball are parts of a state of the Cosmos which resulted necessarily from its momentarily previous state, and so, back for ever.
"Thus, my Magical Work is only one of the cause-effects necessarily concomitant with the case-effects which set the ball in motion. I may therefore regard the act of striking as a cause-effect of my original Will to move the ball, though necessarily previous to its motion. But the case of magical Work is not quite analogous. For my nature is such that I am compelled to perform Magick in order to make my will to prevail; so that the cause of my doing the Work is also the cause of the ball's motion, and there is no reason why one should precede the other. (CF. Lewis Carroll, where the Red Queen screams before she pricks her finger.)
"Let me illustrate the theory by an actual example.
"I write from Italy to a man in France and another in Australia on the same day, telling them to join me. Both arrive ten days later; the first in answer to my letter, which he received, the second on "his own initiative", as it would seem. But I summoned him because I wanted him; and I wanted him because he was my representative; and his intelligence made him resolve to join me because it judged rightly that the situation (so far as he knew it) was such as to make me desire his presence.
"The same cause, therefore, which made me write to him made him come to me; and though it would be improper to say that the writing of the letter was the direct cause of his arrival, it is evident that if I had not written I should have been different from what I actually am, and therefore my relations with him would have been otherwise than they are. In this sense, therefore, the letter and the journey are causally connected.
"One cannot go farther, and say that in this case I ought to write the letter even if he had arrived before I did so; for it is part of the whole set of circumstance that I do not use a crowbar on an open door.
"The conclusion is that one should do one's Will 'without lust of result'. If one is working in accordance with the laws of one's own nature, one is doing 'right'; and no such work can be criticised as 'useless', even in cases of the character here discussed. So long as one's Will prevails, there is no cause for complaint.
"To abandon one's Magick would shew lack of self-confidence in one's powers, and doubt as to one's inmost faith in Self and in Nature.I.e. on the ground that one cannot understand how Magick can produce the desired effects. For if one possesses the inclination to do Magick, it is evidence of a tendency in one's Nature. Nobody understands fully how the mind moves the muscles; but we know that lack of confidence on this point means paralysis. "If the Sun and Moon should doubt, They'd immediately go out", as Blake said. Also, as I said myself. "Who hath the How is careless of the Why". Of course one changes one's methods as experience indicates; but there is no need to change them on any such ground as the above.
"Further, the argument here set forth disposes of the need to explain the modus operandi of Magick. A successful operation does not involve any theory soever, not even that of the existence of causality itself. The whole set of phenomena may be conceived as single.
"For instance, if I see a star (as it was years ago) I need not assume causal relations as existing between it, the earth, and myself. The connexion exists; I can predicate nothing beyond that. I cannot postulate purpose, or even determine the manner in which the event comes to be. Similarly, when I do Magick, it is in vain to inquire why I so act, or why the desired result does or does not follow. Nor can I know how the previous and subsequent conditions are connected. At most I can describe the consciousness which I interpret as a picture of the facts, and make empirical generalizations of the superficial aspects of the case.
"Thus, I have my own personal impressions of the act of telephoning; but I cannot be aware of what consciousness, electricity, mechanics, sound, etc., actually are in themselves. And although I can appeal to experience to lay down 'laws' as to what conditions accompany the act, I can never be sure that they have always been, or ever will again be, identical. (In fact, it is certain that an event can never occur twice in precisely the same circumstances.)If it did so, how could we call it duplex?
"Further, my 'laws' must always take nearly all the more important elements of knowledge for granted. I cannot say — finally — how an electric current is generated. I cannot be sure that some totally unsuspected force is not at work in some entirely arbitrary way. For example, it was formerly supposed that Hydrogen and Chlorine would unite when an electric spark was passed through the mixture; now we 'know' that the presence of a minute quantity of aqueous vapour (or some tertium quid) is essential to the reaction. We formulated before the days of Ross the 'laws' of malarial fever, without reference to the mosquito; we might discover one day that the germ is only active when certain events are transpiring in some nebula,The history of the Earth is included in the period of some such relation; so that we cannot possibly be sure that we may deny: "Malarial fever is a function of the present precession of the Equinoxes".
"We may therefore admit quite cheerfully that Magick is as mysterious as mathematics, as empirical as poetry, as uncertain as golf, and as dependent on the personal equation as Love.
"That is no reason why we should not study, practice and enjoy it; for it is a Science in exactly the same sense as biology; it is no less an Art that Sculpture; and it is a Sport as much as Mountaineering.
"Indeed, there seems to be no undue presumption in urging that no Science possesses equal possibilities of deep and important Knowledge;Magick is less liable to lead to error than any other Science, because its terms are interchangeable, by definition, so that it is based on relativity from the start. We run no risk of asserting absolute propositions. Furthermore we make our measurements in terms of the object measured, thus avoiding the absurdity of defining metaphysical ideas by mutable standards, (Cf. Eddington Space, Time, and Gravitation, Prologue.) of being forced to attribute the qualities of human consciousness to inanimate things (Poincare, La mesure du temps), and of asserting that we know anything of the universe in itself, though the nature of our senses and our minds necessarily determines our observations, so that the limit of our knowledge is subjective, just as a thermometer can record nothing but its own reaction to one particular type of Energy.
Magick recognizes frankly (1) that truth is relative, subjective, and apparent; (2) that Truth implies Omniscience, which is unattainable by mind, being transfinite; just as if one tried to make an exact map of England in England, that map must contain a map of the map, and so on, ad infinitum; (3) that logical contradiction is inherent in reason, (Russell, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, p. 136; Crowley, "Eleusis", and elsewhere); (4) that a Continuum requires a Continuum to be commensurable with it: (5) that Empiricism is ineluctable, and therefore that adjustment is the only possible method of action; and (6) that error may be avoided by opposing no resistance to change, and registering observed phenomena in their own language. that no Art offers such opportunities to the ambition of the Soul to express its Truth, in Ecstasy, through Beauty; and that no Sport rivals its fascinations of danger and delight, so excites, exercises, and tests its devotees to the uttermost, or so rewards them by well-being, pride, and the passionate pleasures of personal triumph.
"Magick takes every thought and act for its apparatus; it has the Universe for its Library and its Laboratory; all Nature is its Subject; and its Game, free from close seasons and protective restrictions, always abounds in infinite variety, being all that exists.The elasticity of Magick makes it equal to all possible kinds of environment, and therefore biologically perfect. "Do what thou wilt..." implies self-adjustment, so that failure cannot occur. One's true Will is necessarily fitted to the whole Universe with the utmost exactitude, because each term in the equation a+b+c=0 must be equal and opposite to the sum of all the other terms. No individual can ever be aught than himself, or do aught else than his Will, which is his necessary relation with his environment, dynamically considered. All error is no more than an illusion proper to him to dissipate the mirage, and it is a general law that the method of accomplishing this operation is to realize, and to acquiesce in, the order of the Universe, and to refrain from attempting the impossible task of overcoming the inertia of the forces which oppose, and therefore are identical with, one's self. Error in thought is therefore failure to understand, and in action to perform, one's own true Will.
This chapter may be divided into the following parts:
- Circumambulations (and similar movements).
- Changes of position (This depends upon the theory of the construction of the circle).
- The Knocks or Knells.
Attitudes are of two Kinds: natural and artificial. Of the first kind, prostration is the obvious example. It comes natural to man (poor creature!) to throw himself to the ground in the presence of the object of his adoration.The Magician must eschew prostration, or even the "bending of the knee in supplication", as infamous and ignominious, an abdication of his sovereignty.
Intermediate between this and the purely artificial form of gesture comes a class which depends on acquired habit. Thus it is natural to an European officer to offer his sword in token of surrender. A Tibetan would, however, squat, put out his tongue, and place his hand behind his right ear.
Purely artificial gestures comprehend in their class the majority of definitely magick signs, though some of these simulate a natural action — e.g. the sign of the Rending of the Veil. But the sign of Auramoth (see The Equinox I, II, Illustration "The Signs of the Grades") merely imitates a hieroglyph which has only a remote connection with any fact in nature. All signs must of course be studied with infinite patience, and practised until the connection between them and the mental attitude which they represent appears necessary.
The principal movement in the circle is circumambulation.In Part II of this Book 4 it was assumed that the Magician went barefoot. This would imply his intention to make intimate contact with his Circle. But he may wear sandals, for the Ankh is a sandal-strap; it is borne by the Egyptian Gods to signify their power of Going, that is their eternal energy. By shape the Ankh (or Crux Ansata) suggests the formula by which this going is effected in actual practice. This has a very definite result, but one which is very difficult to describe. An analogy is the dynamo. Circumambulation properly performed in combination with the Sign of Horus (or "The Enterer") on passing the East is one of the best methods of arousing the macrocosmic force in the Circle. It should never be omitted unless there be some special reason against it.
A particular tread seems appropriate to it. This tread should be light and stealthy, almost furtive, and yet very purposeful. It is the pace of the tiger who stalks the deer.
The number of circumambulations should of course correspond to the nature of the ceremony.
Another important movement is the spiral, of which there are two principal forms, one inward, one outward. They can be performed in either direction; and, like the circumambulation, if performed deosilI.e. In the same direction as the hands of a watch move. they invoke — if widdershinsI.e. In the opposite direction. they banish.Such, at least, is the traditional interpretation. But there is a deeper design which may be expressed through the direction of rotation. Certain forces of the most formidable character may be invoked by circumambulation Widdershins when it is executed with intent toward them, and the initiated technique. Of such forces Typhon is the type, and the war of the Titans against the Olympians the legend. (Teitan, Titan, has in Greek the numerical value of 666.) In the spiral the tread is light and tripping, almost approximating to a dance: while performing it the magician will usually turn on his own axis, either in the same direction as the spiral, or in the opposite direction. Each combination involves a different symbolism.
There is also the dance proper; it has many different forms, each God having his special dance. One of the easiest and most effective dances is the ordinary waltz-step combined with the three signs of L.V.X. It is much easier to attain ecstasy in this way than is generally supposed. The essence of the process consists in the struggle of the Will against giddiness; but this struggle must be prolonged and severe, and upon the degree of this the quality and intensity of ecstasy attained may depend.
With practice, giddiness is altogether conquered; exhaustion then takes its place and the enemy of Will. It is through the mutual destruction of these antagonisms in the mental and moral being of the magician that Samadhi is begotten.
Good examples of the use of change of position are given in the manuscripts Z.1 and Z.3;The Equinox I, II, pp. 244-260.
explanatory of the Neophyte Ritual of the G∴ D∴, where the candidate is taken to various stations in the Temple, each station having a symbolic meaning of its own; but in pure invocation a better example is given in Liber 831
.The Equinox I, VII, pp. 93 sqq.
In the construction of a ceremony an important thing to decide is whether you will or will not make such movements. For every Circle has its natural symbolism, and even if no use is to be made of these facts, one must be careful not to let anything be inharmonious with the natural attributions.The practical necessities of the work are likely to require certain movements. One should either exclude this symbolism altogether, or else think out everything beforehand, and make it significant. Do not let some actions be symbolic and others haphazard. For the sensitive aura of the magician might be disturbed, and the value of the ceremony completely destroyed, by the embarrassment caused by the discovery of some such error, just as if a pre-occupied T-totaller found that he had strayed into a Temple of the Demon Rum! It is therefore impossible to neglect the theory of the Circle.
To take a simple example, suppose that, in an Evocation of Bartzabel, the planet Mars, whose sphere is Geburah (Severity) were situated (actually, in the heavens) opposite to the Square of Chesed (Mercy) of the Tau in the Circle, and the triangle placed accordingly. It would be improper for the Magus to stand on that Square unless using this formula, "I, from Chesed, rule Geburah through the Path of the Lion"; while — taking an extreme case — to stand on the square of Hod (which is naturally dominated by Geburah) would be a madness which only a formula of the very highest Magick could counteract.
Certain positions, however, such as Tiphareth,Tiphareth is hardly "dominated" even by Kether. It is the son rather than the servant. are so sympathetic to the Magus himself that he may use them without reference to the nature of the spirit, or of the operation; unless he requires an exceptionally precise spirit free of all extraneous elements, or one whose nature is difficulty compatible with Tiphareth.
To show how these positions may be used in conjunction with the spirals, suppose that you are invoking Hathor, Goddess of Love, to descend upon the Altar. Standing on the square of Netzach you will make your invocation to Her, and then dance an inward spiral deosil ending at the foot of the altar, where you sink on your knees with your arms raised above the altar as if inviting Her embrace.But not "in supplication".
To conclude, one may add that natural artistic ability, if you possess it, forms an excellent guide. All Art is Magick.
Isadora Duncan has this gift of gesture in a very high degree. Let the reader study her dancing; if possible rather in private than in public, and learn the superb "unconsciousness" — which is magical consciousness — with which she suits the action to the melody.This passage was written in 1911 e.v. "Wake Duncan with thy Knocking? I would thou couldst!"
There is no more potent means than Art of calling forth true Gods to visible appearance.
The knocks or knells are all of the same character. They may be described collectively — the difference between them consists only in this, that the instrument with which they are made seals them with its own special properties. It is of no great importance (even so) whether they are made by clapping the hands or stamping the feet, by strokes of one of the weapons, or by the theoretically appropriate instrument, the bell. It may nevertheless be admitted that they become more important in the ceremony if the Magician considers it worth while to take upAny action not purely rhythmical is a disturbance. an instrument whose single purpose is to produce them.
Let it first be laid down that a knock asserts a connection between the Magician and the object which he strikes. Thus the use of the bell, or of the hands, means that the Magician wishes to impress the atmosphere of the whole circle with what has been or is about to be done. He wishes to formulate his will in sound, and radiate it in every direction; moreover, to influence that which lives by breath in the sense of his purpose, and to summon it to bear witness to his Word. The hands are used as symbols of his executive power, the bell to represent his consciousness exalted into music. To strike with the wand is to utter the fiat of creation; the cup vibrates with his delight in receiving spiritual wine. A blow with the dagger is like the signal for battle. The disk is used to express the throwing down of the price of one's purchase. To stamp with the foot is to declare one's mastery of the matter in hand. Similarly, any other form of giving knocks has its own virtue. From the above examples the intelligent student will have perceived the method of interpreting each individual case that may come in question.
As above said, the object struck is the object impressed. Thus, a blow upon the altar affirms that he has complied with the laws of his operation. To strike the lamp is to summon the Light divine. Thus for the rest.
It must also be observed that many combinations of ideas are made possible by this convention. To strike the wand within the cup is to apply the creative will to its proper complement, and so perform the Great Work by the formula of Regeneration. To strike with the hand on the dagger declares that one demands the use of the dagger as a tool to extend one's executive power. The reader will recall how Siegfried smote Nothung, the sword of Need, upon the lance of Wotan. By the action Wagner, who was instructed how to apply magical formulae by one of the heads of our Order, intended his hearers to understand that the reign of authority and paternal power had come to an end; that the new master of the world was intellect.
The general object of a knock or a knell is to mark a stage in the ceremony. Sasaki Shigetz tells us in his essay on Shinto that the Japanese are accustomed to clap their hands four times "to drive away evil spirits". He explains that what really happens is that the sudden and sharp impact of the sound throws the mind into an alert activity which enables it to break loose from the obsession of its previous mood. It is aroused to apply itself aggressively to the ideals which had oppressed it. There is therefore a perfectly rational interpretation of the psychological power of the knock.
In a Magical ceremony the knock is employed for much the same purpose. The Magician uses it like the chorus in a Greek play. It helps him to make a clean cut, to turn his attention from one part of his work to the next.
So much for the general character of the knock or knell. Even this limited point of view offers great opportunities to the resourceful Magician. But further possibilities lie to our hand. It is not usually desirable to attempt to convey anything except emphasis, and possibly mood, by varying the force of the blow. It is obvious, moreover, that there is a natural correspondence between the hard loud knock of imperious command on the one hand, and the soft slurred knock of sympathetic comprehension on the other. It is easy to distinguish between the bang of the outraged creditor at the front, and the hushed tap of the lover at the bedroom, door. Magical theory cannot here add instruction to instinct.
But a knock need not be single; the possible combinations are evidently infinite. We need only discuss the general principles of determining what number of strokes will be proper in any case, and how we may interrupt any series so as to express our idea by means of structure.
The general rule is that a single knock has no special significance as such, because unity is omniform. It represents Kether, which is the source of all things equally without partaking of any quality by which we discriminate one thing from another. Continuing on these lines, the number of knocks will refer to the Sephira or other idea Qabalistically cognate with that number. Thus, 7 knocks will intimate Venus, 11 the Great Work, 17 the Trinity of Fathers, and 19 the Feminine Principle in its most general sense.
Analyzing the matter a little further, we remark firstly that a battery of too many knocks is confusing, as well as liable to overweight the other parts of the ritual. In practice, 11 is about the limit. It is usually not difficult to arrange to cover all necessary ground with that number.
Secondly, each is so extensive in scope, and includes aspects so diverse from a practical standpoint that our danger lies in vagueness. A knock should be well defined; its meaning should be precise. The very nature of knocks suggests smartness and accuracy. We must therefore devise some means of making the sequence significant of the special sense which may be appropriate. Our only resource is in the use of intervals.
It is evidently impossible to attain great variety in the smaller numbers. But this fact illustrates the excellence of our system. There is only one way of striking 2 knocks, and this fact agrees with the nature of Chokmah; there is only one way of creating. We can express only ourselves, although we do so in duplex form. But there are three ways of striking 3 knocks, and these 3 ways correspond to the threefold manner in which Binah can receive the creative idea. There are three possible types of triangle. We may understand an idea either as an unity tripartite, as an unity dividing itself into a duality, or as a duality harmonized into an unity. Any of these methods may be indicated by 3 equal knocks; 1 followed, after a pause, by 2; and 2 followed, after a pause, by 1.
As the nature of the number becomes more complex, the possible varieties increase rapidly. There are numerous ways of striking 6, each of which is suited to the nature of the several aspects of Tiphareth. We may leave the determination of these points to the ingenuity of the student.
The most generally useful and adaptable battery is composed of 11 strokes. The principal reasons for this are as follows: Firstly, 11 is the number of Magick in itself. It is therefore suitable to all types of operation. Secondly, it is the sacred number par excellence of the new Aeon. As it is written in The Book of the Law: "...11, as all their numbers who are of us." Thirdly, it is the number of the letters of the word ABRAHADABRA, which is the word of the Aeon. The structure of this word is such that it expresses the great Work, in every one of its aspects. Lastly, it is possible thereby to express all possible spheres of operation, whatever their nature. This is effected by making an equation between the number of the Sephira and the difference between that number and 11. For example, 2°=9□ is the formula of the grade of initiation corresponding to Yesod. Yesod represents the instability of air, the sterility of the moon; but these qualities are balanced in it by the stability implied in its position as the Foundation, and by its function of generation. This complex is further equilibrated by identifying it with the number 2 of Chokmah, which possesses the airy quality, being the Word, and the lunar quality, being the reflection of the sun of Kether as Yesod is the sun of Tiphareth. It is the wisdom which is the foundation by being creation. This entire cycle of ideas is expressed in the double formula 2° = 9□, 9° = 2□; and any of these ideas may be selected and articulated by a suitable battery.
We may conclude with a single illustration of how the above principles may be put into practice. Let us suppose that the Magician contemplates an operation for the purpose of helping his mind to resist the tendency to wander. This will be a work of Yesod. But he must emphasize the stability of that Sephira as against the Airy quality which it possesses. His first action will be to put the 9 under the protection of the 2; the battery at this point will be 1-9-1. But this 9 as it stands is suggestive of the changefulness of the moon. It may occur to him to divide this into 4 and 5, 4 being the number of fixity, law, and authoritative power; and 5 that of courage, energy, and triumph of the spirit over the elements. He will reflect, moreover, that 4 is symbolic of the stability of matter, while 5 expresses the same idea with regard to motion. At this stage the battery will appear as 1-2-5-2-1. After due consideration he will probably conclude that to split up the central 5 would tend to destroy the simplicity of his formula, and decide to use it as it stands. The possible alternative would be to make a single knock the centre of his battery as if he appealed to the ultimate immutability of Kether, invoking that unity by placing a fourfold knock on either side of it. In this case, his battery would be 1-4-1-4-1. He will naturally have been careful to preserve the balance of each part of the battery against the corresponding part. This would be particularly necessary in an operation such as we have chosen for our example.
Consecration is the active dedication of a thing to a single purpose. Banishing prevents its use for any other purpose, but it remains inert until consecrated. Purification is performed by water, and banishing by air, whose weapon is the sword. Consecration is performed by fire, usually symbolised by the holy lamp.The general conception is that the three active elements co-operate to affect earth; but earth itself may be employed as an instrument. Its function is solidification. The use of the Pentacle is indeed very necessary in some types of operation, especially those whose object involves manifestation in matter, and the fixation in (more or less) permanent form of the subtle forces of Nature.
In most extant magical rituals the two operations are performed at once; or (at least) the banishing has the more important place, and greater pains seem to be taken with it; but as the student advances to Adeptship the banishing will diminish in importance, for it will no longer be so necessary. The Circle of the Magician will have been perfected by his habit of Magical work. In the truest sense of that word, he will never step outside the Circle during his whole life. But the consecration, being the application of a positive force, can always be raised to a closer approximation to perfection. Complete success in banishing is soon attained; but there can be no completeness in the advance to holiness.
The method of consecration is very simple. Take the wand, or the holy oil, and draw upon the object to be consecrated the supreme symbol of the force to which you dedicate it. Confirm this dedication in words, invoking the appropriate God to indwell that pure temple which you have prepared for Him. Do this with fervour and love, as if to balance the icy detachment which is the proper mental attitude for banishing.The Hebrew legends furnish us with the reason for the respective virtues of water and fire. The world was purified by water at the Deluge, and will be consecrated by fire at the last Judgment. Not until that is finished can the "real ceremony" begin.
The words of purification are: Asperges me, Therion, hyssopo, et mundabor; lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.Thou shalt sprinkle me, Therion, with hyssop and I shall be clean. Thou wilt wash me, and I shall be washed whiter than snow.
Those of consecration are: Accendat in nobis Therion ignem sui amoris et flammam aeternae caritatis.Let Therion kindle in us the Fire of his passion and the flame of eternal love.These may now advantageously be replaced by (a) "… pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect." (CCXX, I, 44) to banish; and (b) "I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body." (CCXX, II, 62) to consecrate. For the Book of the Law contains the Supreme Spells.
These, as initiates of the VII° of O.T.O. are aware, mean more than appears.
It is a strange circumstance that no Magical writer has hitherto treated the immensely important subject of the Magical Link. It might almost be called the Missing Link. It has apparently always been taken for granted, only lay writers on Magick like Dr. J. G. Frazer have accorded the subject its full importance.
Let us try to make considerations of the nature of Magick in a strictly scientific spirit, as well as, deprived of the guidance of antiquity, we may.
What is a Magical Operation? It may be defined as any event in nature which is brought to pass by Will. We must not exclude potato-growing or banking from our definition.
Let us take a very simple example of a Magical Act: that of a man blowing his nose. What are the conditions of the success of the Operation? Firstly, that the man's Will should be to blow his nose; secondly, that he should have a nose capable of being blown; thirdly, that he should have at command an apparatus capable of expressing his spiritual Will in terms of material force, and applying that force to the object which he desires to affect. His Will may be as strong and concentrated as that of Jupiter, and his nose may be totally incapable of resistance; but unless the link is made by the use of his nerves and muscles in accordance with psychological, physiological, and physical law, the nose will remain unblown through all eternity.
Writers of Magick have been unsparing in their efforts to instruct us in the preparation of the Will, but they seem to have imagined that no further precaution was necessary. There is a striking case of an epidemic of this error whose history is familiar to everybody. I refer to Christian Science, and the cognate doctrines of "mental healing" and the like. The theory of such people, stripped of dogmatic furbelows, is perfectly good Magic of its kind, its negroid kind. The idea is correct enough: matter is an illusion created by Will through mind, and consequently susceptible of alteration at the behest of its creator. But the practice has been lacking. They have not developed a scientific technique for applying the Will. It is as if they expected the steam of Watts' kettle to convey people from place to place without the trouble of inventing and using locomotives.
Let us apply these considerations to Magick in its restricted sense, the sense in which it was always understood until the Master Therion extended it to cover the entire operations of Nature.
What is the theory implied in such rituals as those of the Goetia? What does the Magician do? He applies himself to invoke a God, and this God compels the appearance of a spirit whose function is to perform the Will of the magician at the moment. There is no trace of what may be called machinery in the method. The exorcist hardly takes the pains of preparing a material basis for the spirit to incarnate except the bare connection of himself with his sigil. It is apparently assumed that the spirit already possesses the means of working on matter. The conception seems to be that of a schoolboy who asks his father to tell the butler to do something for him. In other words, the theory is grossly animistic. The savage tribes described by Frazer had a far more scientific theory. The same may be said of witches, who appear to have been wiser than the thaumaturgists who despised them. They at least made waxen images — identified by baptism — of the people they wished to control. They at least used appropriate bases for Magical manifestations, such as blood and other vehicles of animal force, with those of vegetable virtue such as herbs. They were also careful to put their bewitched products into actual contact — material or astral — with their victims. The classical exorcists, on the contrary, for all their learning, were careless about this essential condition. They acted as stupidly as people who should write business letters and omit to post them.
It is not too much to say that this failure to understand the conditions of success accounts for the discredit into which Magick fell until Eliphas Levi undertook the task of re-habilitating it two generations ago. But even he (profoundly as he studied, and luminously as he expounded, the nature of Magick considered as a universal formula) paid no attention whatever to that question of the Magical Link, though he everywhere implies that it is essential to the Work. He evaded the question by making the petitio principii of assigning to the Astral Light the power of transmitting vibrations of all kinds. He nowhere enters into detail as to how its effects are produced. He does not inform us as to the qualitative or quantitative laws of this light. (The scientifically trained student will observe the analogy between Levi's postulate and that of ordinary science in re the luminiferous ether.)
It is deplorable that nobody should have recorded in a systematic form the results of our investigations of the Astral Light. We have no account of its properties or of the laws which obtain in its sphere. Yet these are sufficiently remarkable. We may briefly notice that, in the Astral Light, two or more objects can occupy the same space at the same time without interfering with each other or losing their outlines.
In that Light, objects can change their appearance completely without suffering change of Nature. The same thing can reveal itself in an infinite number of different aspects; in fact, it identifies itself by so doing, much as a writer or a painter reveals himself in a succession of novels or pictures, each of which is wholly himself and nothing else, but himself under varied conditions, though each appears utterly different from its fellows. In that Light one is "swift without feet and flying without wings"; one can travel without moving, and communicate without conventional means of expression. One is insensible to heat, cold, pain, and other forms of apprehension, at least in the shapes which are familiar to us in our bodily vehicles. They exist, but they are appreciated by us, and they affect us, in a different manner. In the Astral Light we are bound by what is, superficially, an entirely different series of laws. We meet with obstacles of a strange and subtle character; and we overcome them by an energy and cunning of an order entirely alien to that which serves us in earthly life. In that Light, symbols are not conventions but realities, yet (on the contrary) the beings whom we encounter are only symbols of the realities of our own nature. Our operations in that Light are really the adventures of our own personified thoughts. The universe is a projection of ourselves; an image as unreal as that of our faces in a mirror, yet, like that face, the necessary form of expression thereof, not to be altered save as we alter ourselves.This passage must not be understood as asserting that the Universe is purely subjective. On the contrary, the Magical Theory accepts the absolute reality of all things in the most objective sense. But all perceptions are neither the observer nor the observed; they are representations of the relation between them. We cannot affirm any quality in an object as being independent of our sensorium, or as being in itself that which it seems to us. Nor can we assume that what we cognize is more than a partial phantom of its cause. We cannot even determine the meaning of such ideas as motion, or distinguish between time and space, except in relation to some particular observer. For example, if I fire a cannon twice at an interval of 3 hours, an observer on the Sun would note a difference of some 200,000 miles in space between the shots, while to me they seem "in the same place." Moreover, I am incapable of perceiving any phenomenon except by means of the arbitrary instruments of my senses; it is thus correct to say that the Universe as I know it is subjective, without denying its objectivity. The mirror may be distorted, dull, clouded, or cracked; and to this extent, the reflection of ourselves may be false even in respect of its symbolic presentation. In that Light, therefore, all that we do is to discover ourselves by means of a sequence of hieroglyphics, and the changes which we apparently operate are in an objective sense illusions.
But the Light servers us in this way. It enables us to see ourselves, and therefore to aid us to initiate ourselves by showing us what we are doing. In the same way a watchmaker uses a lens, though it exaggerates and thus falsifies the image of the system of wheels which he is trying to adjust. In the same way, a writer employs arbitrary characters according to a meaningless convention in order to enable his reader by retranslating them to obtain an approximation to his idea.
Such are a few of the principal characteristics of the Astral Light. Its quantitative laws are much less dissimilar from those of material physics. Magicians have too often been foolish enough to suppose that all classes of Magical Operations were equally easy. They seem to have assumed that the "almighty power of God" was an infinite quantity in presence of which all finites were equally insignificant. "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years" is their first law of Motion. "Faith can move mountains" they say, and disdain to measure either the faith or the mountains. If you can kill a chicken by Magick, why not destroy an army with equal exertion? "With God all things are possible."
This absurdity is an error of the same class as that mentioned above. The facts are wholly opposed. Two and two make four in the Astral as rigorously as anywhere else. The distance of one's Magical target and the accuracy of one's Magical rifle are factors in the success of one's Magical shooting in just the same way as at Bisley. The law of Magical gravitation is as rigid as that of Newton. The law of Inverse Squares may not apply; but some such law does apply. So it is for everything. You cannot produce a thunderstorm unless the materials exist in the air at the time, and a Magician who could make rain in Cumberland might fail lamentably in the Sahara. One might make a talisman to win the love of a shop-girl and find it work, yet be baffled in the case of a countess; or vice versa. One might impose one's Will on a farm, and be crushed by that of a city; or vice versa. The Master Therion himself, with all his successes in every kind of Magick, sometimes appears utterly impotent to perform feats which almost any amateur might do, because He has matched his Will against that of the world, having undertaken the Work of a Magus to establish the word of His Law on the whole of mankind. He will succeed, without doubt, but He hardly expects to see more than a sample of His product during His present incarnation. But He refuses to waste the least fraction of His force on works foreign to His Work, however obvious it may seem to the onlooker that His advantage lies in commanding stones to become bread, or otherwise making things easy for Himself.
These considerations being thoroughly understood we may return to the question of making the Magical Link. In the case above cited Frater Perdurabo composed His talisman by invoking His Holy Guardian Angel according to the Sacred Magick of Abramelin the Mage. That Angel wrote on the lamen the Word of the Aeon. The Book of the Law is this writing. To this lamen the Master Therion gave life by devoting His own life thereto. We may then regard this talisman, the Law, as the most powerful that has been made in the world's history, for previous talismans of the same type have been limited in their scope by conditions of race and country. Mohammed's talisman, Allah, was good only from Persia to the Pillars of Hercules. The Buddha's, Anatta, operated only in the South and East of Asia. The new talisman, Thelema, is master of the planet.
But now observe how the question of the Magical Link arises! No matter how mighty the truth of Thelema, it cannot prevail unless it is applied to any by mankind. As long as The Book of the Law
was in Manuscript, it could only affect the small group amongst whom it was circulated. It had to be put into action by the Magical Operation of publishing it. When this was done, it was done without proper perfection. Its commands as to how the work ought to be done were not wholly obeyed. There were doubt and repugnance in Frater Perdurabo
's mind, and they hampered His work. He was half-hearted. Yet, even so then intrinsic power of the truth of the Law and the impact of the publication were sufficient to shake the world so that a critical war broke out, and the minds of men were moved in a mysterious manner. The second blow was struck by the re-publication of the Book in September 1913, and this time the might of this Magick burst out and caused a catastrophe to civilization. At this hour, the Master Therion
is concealed, collecting his forces for a final blow. When The Book of the Law and its Comment is published, with the forces of His whole Will in perfect obedience to the instructions which have up to now been misunderstood or neglected, the result will be incalculably effective. The event will establish the kingdom of the Crowned and Conquering Child over the whole earth, and all men shall bow to the Law, which is "love under will".
This is an extreme case; but there is one law only to govern the small as the great. The same laws describe and measure the motions of the ant and the stars. Their light is no swifter than that of a spark. In every operation of Magick the link must be properly made. The first requisite is the acquisition of adequate force of the kind required for the purpose. We must have electricity of a certain potential in sufficient amount if we wish to heat food in a furnace. We shall need a more intense current and a greater supply to light a city than to charge a telephone wire. No other kind of force will do. We cannot use the force of steam directly to impel an aeroplane, or to get drunk. We must apply it in adequate strength in an appropriate manner.
It is therefore absurd to invoke the spirit of Venus to procure us the love of an Empress, unless we take measures to transmit the influence of our work to the lady. We may for example consecrate a letter expressing our Will; or, if we know how, we may use some object connected with the person whose acts we are attempting to control, such as a lock of hair or a handkerchief once belonging to her, and so in subtile connection with her aura. But for material ends it is better to have material means. We must not rely on fine gut in trolling for salmon. Our will to kill a tiger is poorly conveyed by a charge of small shot fired at a range of one hundred yards. Our talisman must, therefore, be an object suitable to the nature of our Operation, and we must have some such means of applying its force to such a way as will naturally compel the obedience of the portion of Nature which we are trying to change. If one will the death of a sinner, it is not sufficient to hate him, even if we grant that the vibrations of thought, when sufficiently powerful and pure, may modify the Astral light sufficiently to impress its intention to a certain extent on such people as happen to be sensitive. It is much surer to use one's mind and muscle in service of that hate by devising and making a dagger, and then applying the dagger to the heart of one's enemy. One must give one's hate a bodily form of the same order as that which one's enemy has taken for his manifestation. Your spirit can only come into contact with his by means of this magical manufacture of phantoms; in the same way, one can only measure one's mind (a certain part of it) against another man's by expressing them in some such form as the game of chess. One cannot use chessmen against another man unless he agree to use them in the same sense as you do. The board and men form the Magical Link by which you can prove your power to constrain him to yield. The game is a device by which you force him to turn down his king in surrender, a muscular act made in obedience to your will, thought he may be twice your weight and strength.
These general principles should enable the student to understand the nature of the work of making the Magical Link. It is impossible to give detailed instructions, because every case demands separate consideration. It is sometimes exceedingly difficult to devise proper measures.
Remember that Magick includes all acts soever. Anything may serve as a Magical weapon. To impose one's Will on a nation, for instance, one's talisman may be a newspaper, one's triangle a church, or one's circle a Club. To win a woman, one's pantacle may be a necklace; to discover a treasure, one's wand may be a dramatist's pen, or one's incantation a popular song.
Many ends, many means: it is only important to remember the essence of the operation, which is to will its success with sufficiently pure intensity, and to incarnate that will in a body suitable to express it, a body such that its impact on the bodily expression of the idea one wills to change is to cause it to do so. For instance, is it my will to become a famous physician? I banish all "hostile spirits" such as laziness, alien interests, and confliction pleasures, from my "circle" the hospital; I consecrate my "weapons" (my various abilities) to the study of medicine; I invoke the "Gods" (medical authorities) by studying and obeying their laws in their books. I embody the "Formulae" (the ways in which causes and effects influence disease) in a "Ritual" (my personal style of constraining sickness to conform with my will). I persist in these conjurations year after year, making the Magical gestures of healing the sick, until I compel the visible appearance of the Spirit of Time, and make him acknowledge me his master. I have used the appropriate kind of means, in adequate measure, and applied them in ways pertinent to my purpose by projecting my incorporeal idea of ambition in a course of action such as to induce in others the incorporeal idea of satisfying mine. I made my Will manifest to sense; sense swayed the Wills of my fellowmen; mind wrought on mind through matter.
I did not "sit for" a medical baronetcy by wishing I had it, or by an "act of faith", or by praying to God "to move Pharaoh's heart", as our modern mental, or our mediaeval, mystic, miracle-mongers were and are muddlers and maudlin enough to advise us to do.
A few general observations on the Magical Link may not be amiss, in default of details; one cannot make a Manual of How to Go Courting, with an Open-Sesame to each particular Brigand's Cavern, any more than one can furnish a budding burglar with a directory containing the combination of every existing safe. But one can point out the broad distinctions between women who yield, some to flattery, some to eloquence, some to appearance, some to rank, some to wealth, some to ardour, and some to authority. We cannot exhaust the combinations of Lover's Chess, but we may enumerate the principal gambits: the Bouquet, the Chocolates, the Little Dinner, the Cheque-Book, the Poem, the Motor by Moonlight, the Marriage Certificate, the Whip, and the Feigned Flight.
The Magical Link may be classified under three main heads; as it involves (1) one plane and one person, (2) one plane and two or more persons, (3) two planes.
In class (1) the machinery of Magick — the instrument — already exists. Thus, I may wish to heal my own body, increase my own energy; develop my own mental powers, or inspire my own imagination. Here the Exorcist and the Demon are already connected, consciously or subconsciously, by an excellent system of symbols. The Will is furnished by Nature with an apparatus adequately equipped to convey and execute its orders.
It is only necessary to inflame the Will to the proper pitch and to issue its commands; they are instantly obeyed, unless — as in the case of organic disease — the apparatus is damaged beyond the art of Nature to repair. It may be necessary in such a case to assist the internal "spirits" by the "purification" of medicines, the "banishing" of diet, or some other extraneous means.
But at least there is no need of any special device ad hoc to effect contact between the Circle and the Triangle. Operations of this class are therefore often successful, even when the Magician has little or no technical knowledge of Magick. Almost any duffer can "pull himself together", devote himself to study, break off a bad habit, or conquer a cowardice. This class of work, although the easiest, is yet the most important; for it includes initiation itself in its highest sense. It extends to the Absolute in every dimension; it involves the most intimate analysis, and the most comprehensive synthesis. In a sense, it is the sole type of Magick either necessary or proper to the Adept; for it includes both the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and the Adventure of the Abyss.
The second class includes all operations by which the Magician strives to impose his Will upon objects outside his own control, but within that of such other wills as are symbolised by means of a system similar to his own. That is, they can be compelled naturally by cognate consciousness.
For instance, one may wish to obtain the knowledge put forth in this book. Not knowing that such a book exists, one might yet induce some one who knows of it to offer a copy. Thus one's operation would consist in inflaming one's Will to possess the knowledge to the point of devoting one's life to it, in expressing that will by seeking out people who seem likely to know what is needed, and in imposing it on them by exhibiting such enthusiastic earnestness that they will tell the enquirer that this book will meet his needs.
Does this sound too simple? Can this obvious common-sense course be really that marvellous Magick that frightens folk so? Yes, even this triviality is one instance of how Magick works.
But the above practical programme may be a fiasco. One might then resort to Magick in the conventional sense of the word, by constructing and charging a Pantacle appropriate to the object; this Pantacle should then cause a strain in the Astral Light such that the vibrations would compel some alien consciousness to restore equilibrium by bringing the book.
Suppose a severer and more serious aim; suppose that I wish to win a woman who dislikes me and loves somebody else. In this case, not only her Will, but her lover's must be overcome by my own. I have no direct control of either. But my Will is in touch with the woman's by means of our minds; I have only to make my mind the master of hers by the existing means of communication; her mind will then present its recantation to her Will, her Will repeal its decision, and her body submit to mine as the seal of her surrender.
Here the Magical Link exists; only it is complex instead of simple as in the First Class.
There is opportunity for all kinds of error in the transmission of the Will; misunderstanding may mar the matter; a mood may make mischief; external events may interfere; the lover may match me in Magick; the Operation itself may offend nature in many ways; for instance, if there is a subconscious incompatibility between myself and the woman, I deceive myself into thinking that I desire her. Such a flaw is enough to bring the whole operation to naught, just as no effort of Will can make oil mix with water.
I may work "naturally" by wooing, of course. But, magically, I may attack her astrally so that her aura becomes uneasy, responding no longer to her lover. Unless they diagnose the cause, a quarrel may result, and the woman's bewildered and hungry Body of Light may turn in its distress to that of the Magician who has mastered it.
Take a third case of this class 2. I wish to recover my watch, snatched from me in a crowd.
Here I have no direct means of control over the muscles that could bring back my watch, or over the mind that moves these muscles. I am not even able to inform that mind of my Will, for I do not know where it is. But I know it to be a mind fundamentally like my own, and I try to make a Magical Link with it by advertising my loss in the hope of reaching it, being careful to calm it by promising it immunity, and to appeal to its own known motive by offering a reward. I also attempt to use the opposite formula; to reach it by sending my "familiar spirits", the police, to hunt it, and compel its obedience by threats.The ceremonial method would be to transfer to the watch — linked naturally to me by possession and use — a thought calculated to terrify the thief, and induce him to get rid of it at once. Observing clairsentiently this effect, suggest relief and reward as the result of restoring it.
Again, a sorcerer might happen to possess an object belonging magically to a rich man, such as a compromising letter, which is really as much part of him as his liver; he may then master the will of that man by intimidating his mind. His power to publish the letter is as effective as if he could injure the man's body directly.
These "natural" cases may be transposed into subtler terms; for instance, one might master another man, even a stranger, by sheer concentration of will, ceremonially or otherwise wrought up to the requisite potential. But in one way or another that will must be made to impinge on the man; by the normal means of contact if possible, if not, by attacking some sensitive spot in his subconscious sensorium. But the heaviest rod will not land the smallest fish unless there be a line of some sort fixed firmly to both.
The Third Class is characterized by the absence of any existing link between the Will of the Magician and that controlling the object to be affected. (The Second Class may approximate to the Third when there is no possibility of approaching the second mind by normal means, as sometimes happens).
This class of operations demands not only immense knowledge of the technique of Magick combined with tremendous vigour and skill, but a degree of Mystical attainment which is exceedingly rare, and when found is usually marked by an absolute apathy on the subject of any attempt to achieve any Magick at all. Suppose that I wish to produce a thunderstorm. This event is beyond my control or that of any other man; it is as useless to work on their minds as my own. Nature is independent of, and indifferent to, man's affairs. A storm is caused by atmospheric conditions on a scale so enormous that the united efforts of all us Earth-vermin could scarcely disperse one cloud, even if we could get at it. How then can any Magician, he who is above all things a knower of Nature, be so absurd as to attempt to throw the Hammer of Thor? Unless he be simply insane, he must be initiated in a Truth which transcends the apparent facts. He must be aware that all nature is a continuum, so that his mind and body are consubstantial with the storm, are equally expressions of One Existence, all alike of the self-same order of artifices whereby the Absolute appreciates itself. He must also have assimilated the fact that the Quantity is just as much a form as Quality; that as all things are modes of One Substance, so their measures are modes of their relation. Not only are gold and lead mere letters, meaningless in themselves yet appointed to spell the One Name; but the difference between the bulk of a mountain and that of a mouse is no more than one method of differentiating them, just as the letter "m" is not bigger than the letter "i" in any real sense of the word.Professor Rutherford thinks it not theoretically impracticable to construct a detonator which could destroy every atom of matter by releasing the energies of one, so that the vibrations would excite the rest to disintegrate explosively.
Our Magician, with this in his mind, will most probably leave thunderstorms to stew in their own juice; but, should he decide (after all) to enliven the afternoon, he will work in the manner following.
First, what are the elements necessary for his storms? He must have certain stores of electrical force, and the right kind of clouds to contain it.
He must see that the force does not leak away to earth quietly and slyly.
He must arrange a stress so severe as to become at last so intolerable that it will disrupt explosively.
Now he, as a man, cannot pray to God to cause them, for the Gods are but names for the forces of Nature themselves.
But, as a Mystic, he knows that all things are phantoms of One Thing, and that they may be withdrawn therein to reissue in other attire. He knows that all things are in himself, and that he is All-One with the All. There is therefore no theoretical difficulty about converting the illusion of a clear sky into that of a tempest. On the other hand, he is aware, as a Magician, that illusions are governed by the laws of their nature. He knows that twice two is four, although both "two" and "four" are merely properties pertaining to One. He can only use the Mystical identity of all things in a strictly scientific sense. It is true that his experience of clear skies and storms proves that his nature contains elements cognate with both; for it not, they could not affect him. He is the Microcosm of his own Macrocosm, whether or no either one or the other extend beyond his knowledge of them. He must therefore arouse in himself those ideas which are clansmen of the Thunderstorm, collect all available objects of the same nature for talismans, and proceed to excite all these to the utmost by a Magical ceremony; that is, by insisting on their godhead, so that they flame within and without him, his ideas vitalising the talismans. There is thus a vivid vibration of high potential in a certain group of sympathetic substances and forces; and this spreads as do the waves from a stone thrown into a lake, widening and weakening; till the disturbance is compensated. Just as a handful of fanatics, insane with one over-emphasised truth, may infect a whole country for a time by inflaming that thought in their neighbours, so the Magician creates a commotion by disturbing the balance of power. He transmits his particular vibration as a radio operator does with his ray; rate-relation determines exclusive selection.
In practice, the Magician must "evoke the spirits of the storm" by identifying himself with the ideas of which atmospheric phenomena are the expressions as his humanity is of him; thus achieved, he must impose his Will upon them by virtue of the superiority of his intelligence and the integration of his purpose to their undirected impulses and uncomprehending interplay.
All such Magick demands the utmost precision in practice. It is true that the best rituals give us instructions in selecting our vehicles of force. In 777 we find "correspondences" of many classes of being with the various types of operation, so that we know what weapons, jewels, figures, drugs, perfumes, names, etc. to employ in any particular work. But it has always been assumed that the invoked force is intelligent and competent, that it will direct itself as desired without further ado, by this method of sympathetic vibrations.
The necessity of timing the force has been ignored; and so most operations, even when well performed as far as invocation goes, are as harmless as igniting loose gunpowder.
But, even allowing that Will is sufficient to determine the direction, and prevent the dispersion of the force, we can hardly be sure that it will act on its object, unless that object be properly prepared to receive it. The Link must be perfectly made. The object must possess in itself a sufficiency of stuff sympathetic to our work. We cannot make love to a brick, or set an oak to run errands.
We see, then, that we can never affect anything outside ourselves save only as it is also within us. Whatever I do to another, I do also to myself. If I kill a man, I destroy my own life at the same time. That is the magical meaning of the so-called "Golden Rule", which should not be in the imperative but in the indicative mood. Every vibration awakens all others of its particular pitch.
There is thus some justification for the assumption of previous writers on Magick that the Link is implicit, and needs no special attention. Yet, in practice, there is nothing more certain than that one ought to confirm one's will by all possible acts on all possible planes. The ceremony must not be confined to the formally magical rites. We must neglect no means to our end, neither despising our common sense, nor doubting our secret wisdom.
When Frater I. A.
was in danger of death in 1899 e.v. Frater V. N.
and Frater Perdurabo
did indeed invoke the spirit BuerA Goetic spirit of a benign kind. "He healeth distempers in man, and giveth good Familiars. He governeth 50 Legions of Spirits." The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King by S. L. MacGregor Mathers and Aleister Crowley, Boleskine, Foyers, Inverness, 1904.
to visible manifestation that the might heal their brother; but also one of them furnished the money to send him to a climate less cruel than England's. He is alive to day;P.S. He died some months after this passage was written: but he had been enabled to live and work for nearly a quarter of a century longer than he would otherwise have done.
who cares whether spirits or shekels wrought that which these Magicians willed?
Let the Magical Link be made strong! It is "love under will"; it affirms the identity of the Equation of the work; it makes success Necessity.
Within the human body is another body of approximately the same size and shape;I.e. as a general rule. It can be altered very greatly in these respects. but made of a subtler and less illusory material. It is of course not "real"; but then no more is the other body! Before treating of clairvoyance one must discuss briefly this question of reality, for misapprehension on the subject has given rise to endless trouble.
There is the story of the American in the train who saw another American carrying a basket of unusual shape. His curiosity mastered him, and he leant across and said: "Say, stranger, what you got in that bag?" The other, lantern-jawed and taciturn, replied: "mongoose". The first man was rather baffled, as he had never heard of a mongoose. After a pause he pursued, at the risk of a rebuff: "But say, what is a Mongoose?" "Mongoose eats snakes", replied the other. This was another poser, but he pursued: "What in hell do you want a Mongoose for?" "Well, you see", said the second man (in a confidential whisper) "my brother sees snakes". The first man was more puzzled than ever; but after a long think, he continued rather pathetically: "But say, them ain't real snakes". "Sure", said the man with the basket, "but this Mongoose ain't real either".
This is a perfect parable of Magick. There is no such thing as truth in the perceptible universe; every idea when analysed is found to contain a contradiction. It is quite useless (except as a temporary expedient) to set up one class of ideas against another as being "more real". The advance of man towards God is not necessarily an advance towards truth. All philosophical systems have crumbled. But each class of ideas possesses true relations within itself. It is possible, with Berkeley,The real Berkeley did nothing of the sort: the reference here is to an imaginary animal invented by Dr. Johnson out of sturdy British ignorance. to deny the existence of water and of wood; but, for all that, wood floats on water. The Magician becomes identical with the immortal Osiris, yet the Magician dies. In this dilemma the facts must be restated. One should preferably say that the Magician becomes conscious of that part of himself which he calls the immortal Osiris; and that Part does not "die".
Now this interior body of the Magician, of which we spoke at the beginning of this chapter, does exist, and can exert certain powers which his natural body cannot do. It can, for example, pass through "matter", and it can move freely in every direction through space. But this is because "matter", in the sense in which we commonly use the word, is on another plane.We do not call electrical resistance, or economic laws, unreal, on the ground that they are not directly perceived by the senses. Our magical doctrine is universally accepted by sceptics — only they wish to make Magick itself an exception!
Now this fine body perceives a universe which we do not ordinarily perceive. It does not necessarily perceive the universe which we do normally perceive, so although in this body I can pass through the roof, it does not follow that I shall be able to tell what the weather is like. I might do so, or I might not: but if I could not, it would not prove that I was deceiving myself in supposing that I had passed through the roof. This body, which is called by various authors the Astral double, body of Light, body of fire, body of desire, fine body, scin-laeca and numberless other names is naturally fitted to perceive objects of its own class … in particular, the phantoms of the astral plane.
There is some sort of vague and indeterminate relation between the Astrals and the Materials; and it is possible, with great experience, to deduce facts about material things from the astral aspect which they present to the eyes of the Body of Light.This is because there is a certain necessary correspondence between planes; as in the case of an Anglo-Indian's liver and his temper. The relation appears "vague and indeterminate" only in so far as one happens to be ignorant of the laws which state the case. The situation is analogous to that of the chemist before the discovery of the law of "Combining Weights", etc. This astral plane is so varied and so changeable that several clairvoyants looking at the same thing might give totally different accounts of what they saw; yet they might each make correct deductions. In looking at a man the first clairvoyant might say: "The lines of force are all drooping"; the second: "It seems all dirty and spotty"; a third; "The Aura looks very ragged." Yet all might agree in deducing that the man was in ill-health. In any case all such deductions are rather unreliable. One must be a highly skilled man before one can trust one's vision. A great many people think that they are extremely good at the business, when in fact they have only made some occasional shrewd guesses (which they naturally remember) in the course of hundreds of forgotten failures.
The only way to test clairvoyance is to keep a careful record of every experiment made. For example, Frater O. M.OU MH [The NOT], Crowley's motto as an Exempt Adept 7° = 4□ A∴A∴. once gave a clairvoyant a waistcoat to psychometrize. He made 56 statements about the owner of the waistcoat; of these 4 were notably right; 17, though correct, were of that class of statement which is true of almost everybody. The remainder were wrong. It was concluded from this that he showed no evidence of any special power. In fact, his bodily eyes, — if he could discern Tailoring — would have served him better, for he thought the owner of the vest was a corn-chandler, instead of an earl, as he is.
The Magician can hardly take too much trouble to develop this power in himself. It is extremely useful to him in guarding himself against attack; in obtaining warnings, in judging character, and especially in watching the process of his Ceremonies.
There are a great many ways of acquiring the power. Gaze into a crystal, or into a pool of ink in the palm of the hand, or into a mirror, or into a teacup. Just as with a microscope the expert operator keeps both eyes open, though seeing only through the one at the eye-piece of the instrument, so the natural eyes, ceasing to give any message to the brain, the attention is withdrawn from them, and the man begins to see through the Astral eyes.
These methods appear to The Master Therion to be unsatisfactory. Very often they do not work at all. It is difficult to teach a person to use these methods; and, worst of all, they are purely passive! You can see only what is shewn you, and you are probably shewn things perfectly pointless and irrelevant.
The proper method is as follows: — Develop the body of Light until it is just as real to you as your other body, teach it to travel to any desired symbol, and enable it to perform all necessary Rites and Invocations. In short, educate it. Ultimately, the relation of that body with your own must be exceedingly intimate; but before this harmonizing takes place, you should begin by a careful differentiation. The first thing to do, therefore, is to get the body outside your own. To avoid muddling the two, you begin by imagining a shape resembling yourself standing in front of you. Do not say: "Oh, it's only imagination!" The time to test that is later on, when you have secured a fairly clear mental image of such a body. Try to imagine how your own body would look if you were standing in its place; try to transfer your consciousness to the Body of Light. Your own body has its eyes shut. Use the eyes of the Body of Light to describe the objects in the room behind you. Don't say. "It's only an effort of subconscious memory" … the time to test that is later on.
As soon as you feel more or less at home in the fine body, let it rise in the air. Keep on feeling the sense of rising; keep on looking about you as you rise until you see landscapes or beings of the astral plane. Such have a quality all their own. They are not like material things — they are not like mental pictures — they seem to lie between the two.
After some practice has made you adept, so that in the course of any hour's journey you can reckon on having a fairly eventful time, turn your attention to reaching a definite place on the astral plane; invoke Mercury, for example, and examine carefully your record of the resulting vision — discover whether the symbols which you have seen correspond with the conventional symbols of Mercury.
This testing of the spirits is the most important branch of the whole tree of Magick. Without it, one is lost in the jungle of delusion. Every spirit, up to God himself, is ready to deceive you if possible, to make himself out more important than he is; in short to lay in wait for your soul in 333 separate ways. Remember that after all the highest of all the Gods is only the Magus,See Liber 418, 3rd Aethyr. Mayan, the greatest of all the devils.
You may also try "rising on the planes".See Infra and Appendix. With a little practice, especially if you have a good Guru, you ought to be able to slip in and out of your astral body as easily as you slip in and out of a dressing-gown. It will then no longer be so necessary for your astral body to be sent far off; without moving an inch you will be able to "turn on" its eyes and ears — as simply as the man with the microscope (mentioned above) can transfer his complete attention from one eye to the other.
Now, however unsuccessful your getting out the body may apparently have been, it is most necessary to use every effort to bring it properly back. Make the Body of Light coincide in space with the physical body, assume the God-Form, and vibrate the name of Harpocrates with the utmost energy; then recover unity of consciousness. If you fail to do this properly you may find yourself in serious trouble. Your Body of Light may wander away uncontrolled, and be attacked and obsessed. You will become aware of this through the occurrence of headache, bad dreams, or even more serious signs such as hysteria, fainting fits, possibly madness or paralysis. Even the worst of these attacks will probably wear off, but it may leave you permanently damaged to a greater or less extent.
A great majority of "spiritualists", "occultists", "Toshosophists", are pitiable examples of repeated losses from this cause.
The emotional type of religionist also suffers in this way. Devotion projects the fine body, which is seized and vampirized by the demon masquerading as "Christ" or "Mary", or whoever may be the object of worship. Complete absence of all power to concentrate thought, to follow an argument, to formulate a Will, to hold fast to an opinion or a course of action, or even to keep a solemn oath, mark indelibly those who have thus lost parts of their souls. They wander from one new cult to another even crazier. Occasionally such persons drift for a moment into the surrounding of The Master Therion, and are shot out by the simple process of making them try to do a half-hour's honest work of any kind.
In projecting the Astral, it is a valuable additional safeguard to perform the whole operation in a properly consecrated circle.
Proceed with great caution, then, but proceed. In time your Body of Light will be as strong against spirits as your other body against the winds of Heaven. All depends upon the development of that Body of Light. It must be furnished with an organism as ramified and balanced as its shadowy brother, the material body.
To recapitulate once more, then, the first task is to develop your own Body of Light within your own circle without reference to any other inhabitants of the world to which it belongs.
That which you have accomplished with the subject you may now proceed to do with the object. You will learn to see the astral appearance of material things; and although this does not properly belong to pure clairvoyance, one may here again mention that you should endeavour to the utmost to develop and fortify this Body of Light. The best and simplest way to do this is to use it constantly, to exercise it in every way. In particular it may be employed in ceremonies of initiation or of invocation — while the physical body remains silent and still.
In doing this it will often be necessary to create a Temple on the astral plane. It is excellent practice to create symbols. This one precaution is needed: after using them, they should be reabsorbed.
Having learned to create astral forms, the next step will be at first very difficult. Phantasmal and fleeting as the astral is in general, those forms which are definitely attached to the material possess enormous powers of resistance, and it consequently requires very high potential to influence them. The material analogues seem to serve as a fortress. Even where a temporary effect is produced, the inertia of matter draws it back to the normal; yet the power of the trained and consecrated will in a well-developed astral body is such that it can even produce a permanent change in the material upon whose Body of Light you are working, e.g.; one can heal the sick by restoring a healthy appearance to their astral forms. On the other hand, it is possible so to disintegrate the Body of Light even of a strong man that he will fall dead.
Such operations demand not only power, but judgment. Nothing can upset the sum total of destiny — everything must be paid for the uttermost farthing. For this reason a great many operations theoretically possible cannot be performed. Suppose, for example, you see two men of similarly unhealthy astral appearance. In one case the cause may be slight and temporary. Your help suffices to restore him in a few minutes. The other, who looks no worse, is really oppressed by a force incalculably greater than you could control, and you would only damage yourself by attempting to help him. The diagnosis between the two cases could be made by an investigation of the deeper strata of the astral, such as compose the"causal body".
A body of black magicians under Anna KingsfordAnna Kingsford, so far as her good work is concerned, was only the rubber stamp of Edward Maitland. once attempted to kill a vivisector who was not particularly well known; and they succeeded in making him seriously ill. But in attempting the same thing with Pasteur they produced no effect whatever, because Pasteur was a great genius — an adept in his own line far greater than she in hers — and because millions of people were daily blessing him. It cannot be too clearly understood that magical force is subject to the same laws of proportion as any other kind of force. It is useless for a mere millionaire to try to bankrupt a man who has the Bank of England behind him.
To sum up, the first task is to separate the astral form from the physical body, the second to develop the powers of the astral body, in particular those of sight, travel, and interpretation; third, to unify the two bodies without muddling them.
This being accomplished, the magician is fitted to deal with the invisible.
It is now useful to contine with considerations of other planes, which have commonly been classed under the Astral. There is some reason for this, as the delimitations are somewhat vague. Just as the vegetable kingdom merges into the animal, and as the material plane has beings which encroach upon the boundaries of the astral, so do we find it in the higher planes.
The mental images which appear during meditation are subjective, and pertain not at all to the astral plane. Only very rarely do astral images occur during meditation. It is a bad break in the circle, as a rule, when they do.
There is also a Magical Plane. This touches the material, and even includes a portion of it. It includes the Astral, chiefly a full-blooded type of the Astral. It reaches to and includes most, if not all, of the spiritual planes.
The Magical plane is thus the most comprehensive of all. Egyptian Gods are typical inhabitants of this plane, and it is the home of every Adept.
The spiritual planes are of several types, but are all distinguished by a reality and intensity to be found nowhere else. Their inhabitants are formless, free of space and time, and distinguished by incomparable brilliance.
There are also a number of sub-planes, as, for example, the Alchemical. This plane will often appear in the practice of "Rising on the Planes"; its images are usually those of gardens curiously kept, mountains furnished with peculiar symbols, hieroglyphic animals, or such figures as that of the "Hermetic Arcanum", and pictures like the "Goldseekers" and the "Massacre of the Innocents" of Basil Valentine. There is a unique quality about the alchemical Plane which renders its images immediately recognizable.
There are also planes corresponding to various religions past and present, all of which have their peculiar unity.
It is of the utmost importance to the "Clairvoyant" or "traveler in the fine body" to be able to find his way to any desired plane, and operate therein as its ruler.
The Neophyte of A∴A∴ is examined most strictly in this practice before he is passed to the degree of Zelator.
In "Rising on the Planes" one must usually pass clear through the Astral to the Spiritual. Some will be unable to do this. The "fine body" which is good enough to subsist on lower planes, a shadow among shadows, will fail to penetrate the higher strata. It requires a great development of this body, and an intense infusion of the highest spiritual constituents of man, before he can pierce the veils. The constant practice of Magick is the best preparation possible. Even though the human consciousness fail to reach the goal, the consciousness of the fine body itself may do so, wherefore whoso travels in that body on a subsequent occasion may be found worthy; and its success will react favourably on the human consciousness, and increase its likelihood of success in its next magical operation.
Similarly, the powers gained in this way will strengthen the magician in his meditation-practices. His Will becomes better able to assist the concentration, to destroy the mental images which disturb it, and to reject the lesser rewards of that practice which tempt, and too often stop the progress of, the mystic.
Although it is said that the spiritual lies "beyond the astral", this is theoretical;The Hon. Bertrand Russell's Principia Mathematica may be said to "lie beyond" Colenso's "School Arithmetic"; but one can take the former book from one's shelves — as every one should — and read it without first going all through the latter again.
the advanced Magician will not find it to be so in practice. He will be able by suitable invocation to travel directly to any place desired. In Liber 418
an example of perfection is given. The Adept who explored these Aethyrs did not have to pass through and beyond the Universe, the whole of which yet lies within even the inmost (30th) Aethyr. He was able to summon the Aethyrs he wanted, and His chief difficulty was that sometimes He was at first unable to pierce their veils. In fact, as the Book shows, it was only by virtue of successive and most exalted initiations undergone in the Aethyrs themselves that He was able to penetrate beyond the 15th. The Guardians of such fortresses know how to guard.
The Master Therion has published the most important practical magical secrets in the plainest language. No one, by virtue of being clever or learned, has understood one word; and those unworthy who have profaned the sacrament have but eaten and drunken damnation to themselves.
One may bring down stolen fire in a hollow tube from Heaven, as The Master Therion indeed has done in a way that no other adept dared to do before him. But the thief, the Titan, must foreknow and consent to his doom to be chained upon a lonely rock, the vulture devouring his liver, for a season, until Hercules, the strong man armed by virtue of that very fire, shall come and release him.
The TeitanΤΕΙΤΑΝ = 300+5+10+300+1+50 = 666. — whose number is the number of a man, six hundred and three score and six — unsubdued, consoled by Asia and Panthea, must send forth constant showers of blessing not only upon Man whose incarnation he is, but upon the tyrant and the persecutor. His infinite pain must thrill his heart with joy, since every pang is but the echo of some new flame that leaps upon the earth lit by his crime.
For the Gods are the enemies of Man; it is Nature that Man must overcome ere he enter into his kingdom.In another sense, a higher sense, Nature is absolutely right throughout. The position is that the Magician discovers himself imprisoned in a distorted Nature of Iniquity; and his task is to disentangle it. This is all to be studied in The Book of Wisdom or Folly (Liber Aleph, CXI) and in the Master Therion's edition of the Tao Teh King. A rough note from His Magical Diary is appended here:
"All elements must at one time have been separate, — that would be the case with great heat. Now when atoms get to the sun, when we get to the sun, we get that immense, extreme heat, and all the elements are themselves again. Imagine that each atom of each element possesses the memory of all his adventures in combination. By the way, that atom (fortified with that memory) would not be the same atom; yet it is, because it has gained nothing from anywhere except this memory. Therefore, by the lapse of time, and by virtue of memory, a thing could become something more than itself; and thus a real development is possible. One can then see a reason for any element deciding to go through this series of incarnations; because so, and only so, can he go; and he suffers the lapse of memory which he has during these incarnations, because he knows he will come through unchanged.
"Therefore you can have an infinite number of gods, individual and equal though diverse, each one supreme and utterly indestructible. This is also the only explanation of how a being could create a war in which war, evil, etc. exist. Evil is only an appearance, because, (like "good") it cannot affect the substance itself, but only multiply its combinations. This is something the same as mystic monotheism, but the objection to that theory is that God has to create things which are all parts of himself, so that their interplay is false. If we presuppose many elements, their interplay is natural. It is no objection to this theory to ask who made the elements, — the elements are at least there, and God, when you look for him, is not there. Theism is "obscurum per obscurius." A male star is built up from the centre outwards; a female from the circumference inwards. This is what is meant when we say that woman has no soul. It explains fully the difference between the sexes.
The true God is man. In man are all things hidden. Of these the Gods, Nature, Time, all the powers of the universe are rebellious slaves. It is these that men must fight and conquer in the power and in the name of the Beast that hath availed them, the Titan, the Magus, the Man whose number is six hundred and three score and six.
The practice of Rising on the Planes is of such importance that special attention must be paid to it. It is part of the essential technique of Magick. Instruction in this practice has been given with such conciseness in Liber O
, that one cannot do better than quote verbatim (the "previous experiment" referred to in the first sentence is the ordinary astral journey.):
"1. The previous experiment has little value, and leads to few results of importance. But it is susceptible of a development which merges into a form of Dharana — concentration — and as such may lead to the very highest ends. The principal use of the practice in the last chapter is to familiarise the student with every kind of obstacle and every kind of delusion, so that he may be perfect master of every idea that may arise in his brain, to dismiss it, to transmute it, to cause it instantly to obey his will.
"2. Let him then begin exactly as before; but with the most intense solemnity and determination.
"3. Let him be very careful to cause his imaginary body to rise in a line exactly perpendicular to the earth's tangent at the point where his physical body is situated (or, to put it more simply, straight upwards).
"4. Instead of stopping, let him continue to rise until fatigue almost overcomes him. If he should find that he has stopped without willing to do so, and that figures appear, let him at all costs rise above them. Yea, though his very life tremble on his lips, let him force his way upward and onward!
"5. Let him continue in this so long as the breath of life is in him. Whatever threatens, whatever allures, though it were Typhon and all his hosts loosed from the pit and leagued against him, though it were from the very Throne of God himself that a voice issues bidding him stay and be content, let him struggle on, ever on.
"6. At last there must come a moment when his whole being is swallowed up in fatigue, overwhelmed by its own inertia. Let him sink (when no longer can he strive, though his tongue be bitten through with the effort and the blood gush from his nostrils) into the blackness of unconsciousness; and then on coming to himself, let him write down soberly and accurately a record of all that hath occurred: yea, a record of all that hath occurred."
Of course, the Rising may be done from any starting point. One can go (for example) into the circle of Jupiter, and the results, especially in the lower planes, will be very different to those obtained from a Saturnian starting point.
The student should undertake a regular series of such experiments, in order to familiarise himself not only with the nature of the different spheres, but with the inner meaning of each. Of course, it is not necessary in every case to push the practice to exhaustion, as described in the instructions, but this is the proper thing to do whenever definitely practising, in order to acquire the power of Rising. But, having obtained this power, it is, of course, legitimate to rise to any particular plane that may be necessary for the purpose of exploration, as in the case of the visions recorded in Liber 418
, where the method may be described as mixed. In such a case, it is not enough to invoke the place you wish to visit, because you may not be able to endure its pressure, or to breathe its atmosphere. Several instances occur in that record where the seer was unable to pass through certain gateways, or to remain in certain contemplations. He had to undergo certain Initiations before he was able to proceed. Thus, it is necessary that the technique of Magick should be perfected. The Body of Light must be rendered capable of going everywhere and doing everything. It is, therefore, always the question of drill which is of importance.
You have got to go out Rising on the Planes every day of your life, year after year. You are not to be disheartened by failure, or too much encouraged by success, in any one practice or set of practices. What you are doing is what will be of real value to you in the end; and that is, developing a character, creating a Karma, which will give you the power to do your will.
Divination is so important a branch of Magick as almost to demand a separate treatise.
Genius is composed of two sides; the active and the passive. The power to execute the Will is but blind force unless the Will be enlightened. At every stage of a Magical Operation it is necessary to know what one is doing, and to be sure that one is acting wisely. Acute sensitiveness is always associated with genius; the power to perceive the universe accurately, to analyse, coordinate, and judge impressions is the foundation of all great Work. An army is but a blundering brute unless its intelligence department works as it should.
The Magician obtains the transcendental knowledge necessary to an intelligent course of conduct directly in consciousness by clairvoyance and clairaudience; but communication with superior intelligences demands elaborate preparation, even after years of successful performance.
It is therefore useful to possess an art by which one can obtain at a moment's notice any information that may be necessary. This art is divination. The answers to one's questions in divination are not conveyed directly but through the medium of a suitable series of symbols. These symbols must be interpreted by the diviner in terms of his problem. It is not practicable to construct a lexicon in which the solution of every difficulty is given in so many words. It would be unwieldy; besides, nature does not happen to work on those lines.
The theory of any process of divination may be stated in a few simple terms.
1. We postulate the existence of intelligences, either within or without the diviner, of which he is not immediately conscious. (It does not matter to the theory whether the communicating spirit so-called is an objective entity or a concealed portion of the diviner's mind.) We assume that such intelligences are able to reply correctly — within limits — to the questions asked.
2. We postulate that it is possible to construct a compendium of hieroglyphs sufficiently elastic in meaning to include every possible idea, and that one or more of these may always be taken to represent any idea. We assume that any of these hieroglyphics will be understood by the intelligences with whom we wish to communicate in the same sense as it is by ourselves. We have therefore a sort of language. One may compare it to a lingua franca which is perhaps defective in expressing fine shades of meaning, and so is unsuitable for literature, but which yet serves for the conduct of daily affairs in places where many tongues are spoken. Hindustani is an example of this. But better still is the analogy between the conventional signs and symbols employed by mathematicians, who can thus convey their ideas perfectlyAs a matter of fact, they cannot. The best qualified are the most diffident as to having grasped the meaning of their colleagues with exactitude; in criticising their writings they often make a point of apologising for possible misunderstanding. without speaking a word of each other's languages.
3. We postulate that the intelligences whom wish to consul are willing, or may be compelled, to answer us truthfully.
Let us first consider the question of the compendium of symbols. The alphabet of a language is a more or less arbitrary way of transcribing the sounds employed in speaking it. The letters themselves have not necessarily any meaning as such. But in a system of divination each symbol stands for a definite idea. It would not interfere with the English language to add a few new letters. In fact, some systems of shorthand have done so. But a system of symbols suitable for divination must be a complete representation of the Universe, so that each is absolute, and the whole insusceptible to increase or diminution. It is (in fact) technically a pantacle in the fullest sense of the word.
Let us consider some prominent examples of such system. We may observe that a common mode of divination is to inquire of books by placing the thumb at random within the leaves. The Books of the Sybil, the works of Vergil, and the Bible have been used very frequently for this purpose. For theoretical justification, one must assume that the book employed is a perfect representation of the Universe. But even if this were the case, it is an inferior form of construction, because the only reasonable conception of the Cosmos is mathematical and hieroglyphic rather than literary. In the case of a book, such as The Book of the Law which is the supreme truth and the perfect rule of life, it is not repugnant to good sense to derive an oracle from its pages. It will of course be remarked that the Book of the Law is not merely a literary compilation but a complex mathematical structure. It therefore fulfils the required conditions.
The principal means of divination in history are astrology, geomancy, the Tarot, the Holy Qabalah, and the Yi King. There are hundreds of others; from pyromancy, oneiromancy, auguries from sacrifices, and the spinning-top of some ancient oracles to the omens drawn from the flight of birds and the prophesying of tea-leaves. It will be sufficient for our present purpose to discuss only the five systems first enumerated.
Astrology is theoretically a perfect method, since the symbols employed actually exist in the macrocosm, and thus possess a natural correspondence with microcosmic affairs. But in practice the calculations involved are overwhelmingly complicated. A horoscope is never complete. It needs to be supplemented by innumerable other horoscopes. For example, to obtain a judgment on the simplest question, one requires not only the nativities of the people involved, some of which are probably inaccessible, but secondary figures for directions and transits, together with progressed horoscopes, to say nothing of prenatal, mundane, and even horary figures. To appreciate the entire mass of data, to balance the elements of so vast a concourse of forces, and to draw a single judgment therefrom, is a task practically beyond human capacity. Besides all this, the actual effects of the planetary positions and aspects are still almost entirely unknown. No two astrologers agree on all points; and most of them are at odds on fundamental principles.Nearly all professional astrologers are ignorant of their own subject, as of all others. This science had better be discarded unless the student chances to feel strongly drawn toward it. It is used by the Master Therion Himself with fairly satisfactory results, but only in special cases, in a strictly limited sphere, and with particular precautions. Even so, He feels great diffidence in basing His conduct on the result so obtained.
Geomancy has the advantage of being rigorously mathematical. A hand-book of the science is to be found in The Equinox I, II. The objection to its use lies in the limited number of the symbols. To represent the Universe by no more than 16 combinations throws too much work upon them. There is also a great restriction arising from the fact that although 15 symbols appear in the final figure, there are, in reality, but 4, the remaining 11 being drawn by an ineluctable process from the "Mothers". It may be added that the tables given in the handbook for the interpretation of the figure are exceedingly vague on the one hand, and insufficiently comprehensive on the other. Some Adepts, however, appear to find this system admirable, and obtain great satisfaction from its use. Once more, the personal equation must be allowed full weight. At one time the Master Therion employed it extensively; but He was never wholly at ease with it; He found the interpretation very difficult. Moreover, it seemed to Him that the geomantic intelligences themselves were of a low order, the scope of which was confined to a small section of the things which interested Him; also, they possessed a point of view of their own which was far from sympathetic with His, so that misunderstanding constantly interfered with the Work.
The Tarot and The Holy Qabalah may be discussed together. The theoretical basis of both is identical: The Tree of Life.Both these subjects may be studied in the Equinox in several articles appearing in several numbers. The 78 symbols of the Tarot are admirably balanced and combined. They are adequate to all demands made upon them; each symbol is not only mathematically precise, but possesses an artistic significance which helps the diviner to understand them by stimulating his aesthetic perceptions. The Master Therion finds that the Tarot is infallible in material questions. The successive operations describe the course of events with astonishing wealth of detail, and the judgments are reliable in all respects. But a proper divination means at least two hours' hard work, even by the improved method developed by Him from the traditions of initiates. Any attempt to shorten the proceedings leads to disappointment; furthermore, the symbols do not lend themselves readily to the solution of spiritual questions.
The Holy Qabalah, based as it is on pure number, evidently possesses an infinite number of symbols. Its scope is conterminous with existence itself; and it lacks nothing in precision, purity, or indeed in any other perfection. But it cannot be taught;It is easy to teach the General Principles of exegesis, and the main doctrines. There is a vast body of knowledge common to all cases; but this is no more than the basis on which the student must erect his original Research. each man must select for himself the materials for the main structure of his system. It requires years of work to erect a worthy building. Such a building is never finished; every day spent on it adds new ornaments. The Qabalah is therefore a living Temple of the Holy Ghost. It is the man himself and his universe expressed in terms of thought whose language is so rich that even the letters of its alphabet have no limit. This system is so sublime that it is unsuited to the solution of the petty puzzles of our earthly existence. In the light of the Qabalah, the shadows of transitory things are instantly banished.
The Yi King is the most satisfactory system for general work. The Master Therion is engaged in the preparation of a treatise on the subject, but the labour involved is so great that He cannot pledge Himself to have it ready at any definite time. The student must therefore make his own investigations into the meaning of the 64 hexagrams as best he can.
The Yi King is mathematical and philosophical in form. Its structure is cognate with that of the Qabalah; the identity is so intimate that the existence of two such superficially different systems is transcendent testimony to the truth of both. It is in some ways the most perfect hieroglyph ever constructed. It is austere and sublime, yet withal so adaptable to every possible emergency that its figures may be interpreted to suit all classes of questions. One may resolve the most obscure spiritual difficulties no less than the most mundane dilemmas; and the symbol which opens the gates of the most exalted palaces of initiation is equally effective when employed to advise one in the ordinary business of life. The Master Therion has found the Yi King entirely satisfactory in every respect. The intelligences which direct it show no inclination to evade the question or to mislead the querent. A further advantage is that the actual apparatus is simple. Also the system is easy to manipulate, and five minutes is sufficient to obtain a fairly detailed answer to any but the most obscure questions.
With regard to the intelligences whose business it is to give information to the diviner, their natures differ widely, and correspond more or less to the character of the medium of divination. Thus, the geomantic intelligences are gnomes, spirits of an earthy nature, distinguished from each other by the modifications due to the various planetary and zodiacal influences which pertain to the several symbols. The intelligence governing Puella is not to be confused with that of Venus or of Libra. It is simply a particular terrestrial daemon which partakes of those natures.
The Tarot, on the other hand, being a book, is under Mercury, and the intelligence of each card is fundamentally Mercurial. Such symbols are therefore peculiarly proper to communicate thought. They are not gross, like the geomantic daemons; but, as against this, they are unscrupulous in deceiving the diviner.This does not mean that they are malignant. They have a proper pride in their office as Oracles of Truth; and they refuse to be profaned by the contamination of inferior and impure intelligences. A Magician whose research is fully adapted to his Neschamah will find them lucid and reliable.
The Yi King is served by beings free from these defects. The intense purity of the symbols prevent them from being usurped by intelligences with an axe of their own to grind.Malicious or pranksome elementals instinctively avoid the austere sincerity of the Figures of Fu and King Wan.
It is always essential for the diviner to obtain absolute magical control over the intelligences of the system which he adopts. He must not leave the smallest loop-hole for being tricked, befogged, or mocked. He must not allow them to use casuistry in the interpretation of his questions. It is a common knavery, especially in geomancy, to render an answer which is literally true, and yet deceives. For instance, one might ask whether some business transaction would be profitable, and find, after getting an affirmative answer, that it really referred to the other party to the affair!
There is, on the surface, no difficulty at all in getting replies. In fact, the process is mechanical; success is therefore assured, bar a stroke of apoplexy. But, even suppose we are safe from deceit, how can we know that the question has really been put to another mind, understood rightly, and answered from knowledge? It is obviously possible to check one's operations by clairvoyance, but this is rather like buying a safe to keep a brick in. Experience is the only teacher. One acquires what one may almost call a new sense. One feels in one's self whether one is right or not. The diviner must develop this sense. It resembles the exquisite sensibility of touch which is found in the great billiard player whose fingers can estimate infinitesimal degrees of force, or the similar phenomenon in the professional taster of tea or wine who can distinguish fantastically subtle differences of flavour.
It is a hard saying; but in the order to divine without error, one ought to be a Master of the Temple. Divination affords excellent practice for those who aspire to that exalted eminence, for the faintest breath of personal preference will deflect the needle from the pole of truth in the answer. Unless the diviner have banished utterly from his mind the minutest atom of interest in the answer to his question, he is almost certain to influence that answer in favour of his personal inclinations.
The psycho-analyst will recall the fact that dreams are phantasmal representations of the unconscious Will of the sleeper, and that not only are they images of that Will instead of representations of objective truth, but the image itself is confused by a thousand cross-currents set in motion by the various complexes and inhibitions of his character. If therefore one consults the oracle, one must take sure that one is not consciously or unconsciously bringing pressure to bear upon it. It is just as when an Englishman cross-examines a Hindu, the ultimate answer will be what the Hindu imagines will best please the inquirer.
The same difficulty appears in a grosser form when one receives a perfectly true reply, but insists on interpreting it so as to suit one's desires. The vast majority of people who go to "fortunetellers" have nothing else in mind but the wish to obtain supernatural sanction for their follies. Apart from Occultism altogether, every one knows that when people ask for advice, they only want to be told how wise they are. Hardly any one acts on the most obviously commonsense counsel if it happens to clash with his previous intentions. Indeed, who would take counsel unless he were warned by some little whisper in his heart that he was about to make a fool of himself, which he is determined to do, and only wants to be able to blame his best friend, or the oracle, when he is overtaken by the disaster which his own interior mentor foresees?
Those who embark on divination will be wise to consider the foregoing remarks very deeply. They will know when they are getting deep enough by the fact of the thought beginning to hurt them. It is essential to explore oneself to the utmost, to analyse one's mind until one can be positive, beyond the possibility of error, that one is able to detach oneself entirely from the question. The oracle is a judge; it must be beyond bribery and prejudice.
It is impossible in practice to lay down rules for the interpretation of symbols. Their nature must be investigated by intellectual methods such as the Qabalah, but the precise shape of meaning in any one case, and the sphere and tendency of its application, must be acquired by experience, that is, but induction, by recording and classifying one's experiments over a long period; and — this is the better part — by refining one's ratiocination to the point where it becomes instinct or intuition, whichever one likes to call it.
It is proper in cases where the sphere of the question is well marked to begin the divination by invocations of the forces thereto appropriate. An error of judgment as to the true character of the question would entail penalties proportionate to the extent of that error; and the delusions resulting from a divination fortified by invocation would be more serious than if one had not employed such heavy artillery.The apparent high sanction for the error would fortify the obstinacy of the mule.
There can, however, be no objection to preparing oneself by a general purification and consecration devised with the object of detaching oneself from one's personality and increasing the sensitiveness of one's faculties.
All divination comes under the general type of the element Air. The peculiar properties of air are in consequence its uniform characteristics. Divination is subtle and intangible. It moves with mysterious ease, expanding, contracting, flowing, responsive to the slightest stress. It receives and transmits every vibration without retaining any. It becomes poisonous when its oxygen is defiled by passing through human lungs.
There is a peculiar frame of mind necessary to successful divination. The conditions of the problem are difficult. It is obviously necessary for the mind of the diviner to be concentrated absolutely upon his question. Any intrusive thought will confuse the oracle as certainly as the reader of a newspaper is confused when he reads a paragraph into which a few lines have strayed from another column. It is equally necessary that the muscles with which he manipulates the apparatus of divination must be entirely independent of any volition of his. He must lend them for the moment to the intelligence whom he is consulting, to be guided in their movement to make the necessary mechanical actions which determine the physical factor of the operation. It will be obvious that this is somewhat awkward for the diviner who is also a magician, for as a magician he has been constantly at work to keep all his forces under his own control, and to prevent the slightest interference with them by any alien Will. It is, in fact, commonly the case, or so says the experience of The Master Therion, that the most promising Magicians are the most deplorable diviners, and vice versa. It is only when the aspirant approaches perfection that he becomes able to reconcile these two apparently opposing faculties. Indeed, there is no surer sign of all-round success than this ability to put the whole of one's powers at the service of any type of task.
With regard to the mind, again, it would seem that concentration on the question makes more difficult the necessary detachment from it. Once again, the diviner stands in need of a considerable degree of attainment in the practices of meditation. He must have succeeded in destroying the tendency of the ego to interfere with the object of thought. He must be able to conceive of a thing out of all relation with anything else. The regular practice of concentration leads to this result; in fact, it destroys the thing itself as we have hitherto conceived it; for the nature of things is always veiled from us by our habit of regarding them as in essential relation without ourselves and our reactions toward them.
One can hardly expect the diviner to make Samadhi with his question — that would be going too far, and destroy the character of the operation by removing the question from the class of concatenated ideas. It would mean interpreting the question in terms of "without limit", and this imply an equally formless answer. But he should approximate to this extreme sufficiently to allow the question entire freedom to make for itself its own proper links with the intelligence directing the answer, preserving its position on its own plane, and evoking the necessary counterpoise to its own deviation from the norm of nothingness.
We may recapitulate the above reflections in a practical form. We will suppose that one wishes to divine by geomancy whether or no one should marry, it being assumed that one's emotional impulses suggest so rash a course. The man takes his wand and his sand; the traces the question, makes the appropriate pentagram, and the sigil of the spirit. Before tracing the dashes which are to determine the four "Mothers", he must strictly examine himself. He must banish from his mind every thought which can possibly act as an attachment to his proposed partner. He must banish all thoughts which concern himself, those of apprehension no less than those of ardour. He must carry his introspection as far as possible. He must observe with all the subtlety at his command whether it pains him to abandon any of these thoughts. So long as his mind is stirred, however slightly, by one single aspect of the subject, he is not fit to begin to form the figure. He must sink his personality in that of the intelligence hearing the question propounded by a stranger to whom he is indifferent, but whom it is his business to serve faithfully. He must now run over the whole affair in his mind, making sure of this utter aloofness therefrom. He must also make sure that his muscles are perfectly free to respond to the touch of the Will of that intelligence. (It is of course understood that he has not become so familiar with geomancy by dint of practice as to be able to calculate subconsciously what figures he will form; for this would vitiate the experiment entirely. It is, in fact, one of the objections to geomancy that sooner or later one does become aware at the time of tracing them whether the dots are going to be even or odd. This needs a special training to correct).
Physio-psychological theory will probably maintain that the "automatic" action of the hand is controlled by the brain no less than in the case of conscious volition; but this is an additional argument for identifying the brain with the intelligence invoked.
Having thus identified himself as closely as possible with that intelligence, and concentrated on the question as if the "prophesying spirit" were giving its whole attention thereto, he must await the impulse to trace the marks on the sand; and, as soon as it comes let it race to the finish. Here arises another technical difficulty. One has to make 16 rows of dots; and, especially for the beginner, the mind has to grapple with the apprehension lest the hand fail to execute the required number. It is also troubled by fearing to exceed; but excess does not matter. Extra lines are simply null and void, so that the best plan is to banish that thought, and make sure only of not stopping too soon.Practice soon teaches one to count subconsciously … yes, and that is the other difficulty again!
The lines being traced, the operation is over as far as spiritual qualities are required, for a time. The process of setting up the figure for judgment is purely mechanical.
But, in the judgment, the diviner stands once more in need of his inmost and utmost attainments. He should exhaust the intellectual sources of information at his disposal, and form from them his judgment. But having done this, he should detach his mind from what it has just formulated, and proceed to concentrate it on the figure as a whole, almost as if it were the object of his meditation. One need hardly repeat that in both these operations detachment from one's personal partialities is as necessary as it was in the first part of the work. In setting up the figure, bias would beget a Freudian phantasm to replace the image of truth which the figure ought to be; and it is not too much to say that the entire subconscious machinery of the body and mind lends itself with horrid willingness to this ape-like antic of treason. But now that the figure stands for judgment, the same bias would tend to form its phantasm of wish-fulfilment in a different manner. It would act through the mind to bewray sound judgment. It might, for example, induce one to emphasize the Venereal element in Puella at the expense of the Saturnian. It might lead one to underrate the influence of a hostile figure, or to neglect altogether some element of importance. The Master Therion has known cases where the diviner was so afraid of an unfavourable answer that he made actual mistakes in the simple mechanical construction of the figure! Finally, in the summing up; it is fatally easy to slur over unpleasantness, and to breathe on the tiniest spark that promises to kindle the tinder — the rotten rags! — of hope.
The concluding operation is therefore to obtain a judgment of the figure, independent of all intellectual or moral restraint. One must endeavour to apprehend it as a thing absolute in itself. One must treat it, in short, very much the same as one did the question; as a mystical entity, till now unrelated with other phenomena. One must, so to speak, adore it as a god, uncritically: "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth." It must be allowed to impose its intrinsic individuality on the mind, to put its fingers independently on whatever notes it pleases.
In this way one obtains an impression of the true purport of the answer; and one obtains it armed with a sanction superior to any sensible suggestions. It comes from and to a part of the individual which is independent of the influence of environment; is adjusted to that environment by true necessity, and not by the artifices of such adaptations as our purblind conception of convenience induces us to fabricate.
The student will observe from the above that divination is in one sense an art entirely separate from that of Magick; yet it interpenetrates Magick at every point. The fundamental laws of both are identical. The right use of divination has already been explained; but it must be added that proficiency therein, tremendous as is its importance in furnishing the Magician with the information necessary to his strategical and tactical plans, in no wise enables him to accomplish the impossible. It is not within the scope of divination to predict the future (for example) with the certainty of an astronomer in calculating the return of a comet.The astronomer himself has to enter a caveat. He can only calculate the probability on the observed facts. Some force might interfere with the anticipated movement. There is always much virtue in divination; for (Shakespeare assures us!) there is "much virtue in IF"!
In estimating the ultimate value of a divinatory judgment, one must allow for more than the numerous sources of error inherent in the process itself. The judgment can do no more than the facts presented to it warrant. It is naturally impossible in most cases to make sure that some important factor has not been omitted. In asking, "shall I be wise to marry?" one leaves it open for wisdom to be defined in divers ways. One can only expect an answer in the sense of the question. The connotation of "wise" would then imply the limitations "in your private definition of wisdom", "in reference to your present circumstances." It would not involve guarantee against subsequent disaster, or pronounce a philosophical dictum as to wisdom in the abstract sense. One must not assume that the oracle is omniscient. By the nature of the case, on the contrary, it is the utterance of a being whose powers are partial and limited, though not to such an extent, or in the same directions, as one's own. But a man who is advised to purchase a certain stock should not complain if a general panic knocks the bottom out of it a few weeks later. The advice only referred to the prospects of the stock in itself. The divination must not be blamed any more than one would blame a man for buying a house at Ypres there years before the World-War.
As against this, one must insist that it is obviously to the advantage of the diviner to obtain this information from beings of the most exalted essence available. An old witch who has a familiar spirit of merely local celebrity such as the toad in her tree, can hardly expect him to tell her much more of private matters than her parish magazine does of public. It depends entirely on the Magician how he is served. The greater the man, the greater must be his teacher. It follows that the highest forms of communicating daemons, those who know, so to speak, the court secrets, disdain to concern themselves with matters which they regard as beneath them. One must not make the mistake of calling in a famous physician to one's sick Pekinese. One must also beware of asking even the cleverest angel a question outside his ambit. A heart specialist should not prescribe for throat trouble.
The Magician ought therefore to make himself master of several methods of divination; using one or the other as the purpose of the moment dictates. He should make a point of organizing a staff of such spirits to suit various occasions. These should be "familiar" spirits, in the strict sense; members of his family. He should deal with them constantly, avoiding whimsical or capricious changes. He should choose them so that their capacities cover the whole ground of his work; but he should not multiply them unnecessarily, for he makes himself responsible for each one that he employs. Such spirits should be ceremonially evoked to visible or semi-visible appearance. A strict arrangement should be made and sworn. This must be kept punctiliously by the Magician, and its infringement by the spirit severely punished. Relations with these spirits should be confirmed and encouraged by frequent intercourse. They should be treated with courtesy, consideration, and even affection. They should be taught to love and respect their master, and to take pride in being trusted by him.
It is sometimes better to act on the advice of a spirit even when one knows it to be wrong, though in such a case one must take the proper precautions against an undesirable result. The reason for this is that spirits of this type are very sensitive. They suffer agonies of remorse on realising that they have injured their Master; for he is their God; they know themselves to be part of him, their aim is to attain to absorption in him. They understand therefore that his interests are theirs. Care must be taken to employ none but spirits who are fit for the purpose, not only by reason of their capacity to supply information, but for their sympathy with the personality of the Magician. Any attempt to coerce unwilling spirits is dangerous. They obey from fear; their fear makes them flatter, and tell amiable falsehoods. It also creates phantasmal projections of themselves to personate them; and these phantasms, besides being worthless, become the prey of malicious daemons who use them to attack the Magician in various ways whose prospect of success is enhanced by the fact that he has himself created a link with them.
One more observation seems desirable while on this subject. Divination of any kind is improper in matters directly concerning the Great Work itself. In the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel, the adept is possessed of all he can possibly need. To consult any other is to insult one's Angel. Moreover, it is to abandon the only person who really knows, and really cares, in favour of one who by the nature of the case, must be ignorantNo intelligence of the type that operates divination is a complete Microcosm as Man is. He knows in perfection what lies within his own Sphere, and little or nothing beyond it. Graphiel knows all that is knowable about Marital matters, as no Man can possibly do. For even the most Marital man is limited as to Madim by the fact that Mars is only one element in his molecule; the other elements both inhibit concentration on their colleague, and veil him by insisting on his being interpreted in reference to themselves. No entity whose structure does not include the entire Tree of Life is capable of the Formulae of Initiation. Graphiel [the Sphere of Mars], consulted by the Aspirants to Adeptship, would be bound to regard the Great Work as purely a question of combat, and ignore all other considerations. His advice would be absolute on technical points of this kind; but its very perfection would persuade the Aspirant to an unbalance course of action which would entail failure and destruction. It is pertinent to mention in this connection that one must not expect absolute information as to what is going to happen. "Fortune-telling" is an abuse of divination. At the utmost one can only ascertain what may reasonably be expected. The proper function of the process is to guide one's judgment. Diagnosis is fairly reliable; advice may be trusted, generally speaking; but prognosis should always be cautious. The essence of the business is the consultation of specialists. of the essence of the matter — one whose interest in it is no more (at the best) than that of a well-meaning stranger. It should go without saying that until the Magician has attained to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel he is liable to endless deceptions. He does not know Himself; how can he explain his business to others? How can those others, though they do their best for him, aid in anything but trifles? One must therefore be prepared for disappointment at every stage until one attains to adeptship.
This is especially true of divination, because the essence of the horror of not knowing one's Angel is the utter bewilderment and anguish of the mind, complicated by the persecution of the body, and envenomed by the ache of the soul. One puts the wrong questions, and puts them wrong; gets the wrong answers, judges them wrong, and acts wrongly upon them. One must nevertheless persist, aspiring with ardour towards one's Angel, and comforted by the assurance that He is guiding one secretly towards Himself, and that all one's mistakes are necessary preparations for the appointed hour of meeting Him. Each mistake is the combing-out of some tangle in the hair of the bride as she is being coiffed for marriage.
On the other hand, although the adept is in daily communication with his Angel, he ought to be careful to consult Him only on questions proper to the dignity of the relation. One should not consult one's Angel on too many details, or indeed on any matters which come within the office of one's familiar spirits. One does not go the the King about petty personal trifles. The romance and rapture of the ineffable union which constitutes Adeptship must not be profaned by the introduction of commonplace cares. One must not appear with one's hair in curl-papers, or complain of the cook's impertinence, if one wants to make the most of the honeymoon.As the poet puts it; "Psyche, beware how thou disclose Thy tricks of toilet to Eros, Or let him learn that those love-breathing Lyrical lips that whisper, wreathing His brows with sense-bewitching gold, Are equally expert to scold; That those caressing hands will maybe Yet box his ears and slap the baby!"
To the Adept divination becomes therefore a secondary consideration, although he can now employ it with absolute confidence, and probably use it with far greater frequency than before his attainment. Indeed, this is likely in proportion as he learns that resort to divination (on every occasion when his Will does not instantly instruct him) with implicit obedience to its counsels careless as to whether or no they may land him in disaster, is a means admirably efficacious of keeping his mind untroubled by external impressions, and therefore in the proper condition to receive the reiterant strokes of rapture with which the love of his Angel ravishes him.
We have now mapped out the boundaries of possibility and propriety which define the physical and political geography of divination. The student must guard himself constantly against supposing that this art affords any absolute means of discovering "truth", or indeed, of using that word as if it meant more than the relation of two ideas each of which is itself as subject to "change without notice" as a musical programme.
Divination, in the nature of things, can do no more than put the mind of the querent into conscious connection with another mind whose knowledge of the subject at issue is to his own as that of an expert to a layman. The expert is not infallible. The client may put his question in a misleading manner, or even base it on a completely erroneous conception of the facts. He may misunderstand the expert's answer, and he may misinterpret its purport. Apart from all this, excluding all error, both question and answer are limited in validity by their own conditions; and these conditions are such that truth may cease to be true, either as time goes on, or if it be flawed by the defect of failure to consider some circumstances whose concealed operation cancels the contract.
In a word, divination, like any other science, is justified of its children. It would be extraordinary should so fertile a mother be immune from still-births, monstrosities, and abortions.
We none of us dismiss our servant science with a kick and a curse every time the telephone gets out of order. The telephone people make no claim that it always works and always works right.Except in New York City. Divination, with equal modesty, admits that "it often goes wrong; but it works well enough, all things considered. The science is in its infancy. All we can do is our best. We no more pretend to infallibility than the mining expert who considers himself in luck if he hits the bull's eye four times in ten."
The error of all dogmatists (from the oldest prophet with his "literally-inspired word of God" to the newest German professor with his single-track explanation of the Universe) lies in trying to prove too much, in defending themselves against critics by stretching a probably excellent theory to include all the facts and the fables, until it bursts like the overblown bladder it is.
Divination is no more than a rough and ready practical method which we understand hardly at all, and operate only as empirics. Success for the best diviner alive is no more certain in any particular instance than a long putt by a champion golfer. Its calculations are infinitely more complex than Chess, a Chess played on an infinite board with men whose moves are indeterminate, and made still more difficult by the interference of imponderable forces and unformulated laws; while its conduct demands not only the virtues, themselves rare enough, of intellectual and moral integrity, but intuition combining delicacy with strength in such perfection and to such extremes as to make its existence appear monstrous and miraculous against Nature.
To admit this is not to discredit oracles. On the contrary, the oracles fell into disrepute just because they pretended to do more than they could. To divine concerning a matter is little more than to calculate probabilities. We obtain the use of minds who have access to knowledge beyond ours, but not to omniscience. HRU, the great angel set over the Tarot, is beyond us as we are beyond the ant; but, for all we know, the knowledge of HRU is excelled by some mightier mind in the same proportion. Nor have we any warrant for accusing HRU of ignorance or error if we read the Tarot to our own delusion. He may have known, he may have spoken truly; the fault may lie with our own insight.The question of the sense in which an answer is true arises. One must not mix up the planes. Yet as Mr. Russell shows, Op Cit. p. 61, the worlds which lie behind phenomena must possess the same structure as our own. "Every proposition having a communicable significance must lie in just that essence of individuality which, for that very reason, is irrelevant to science". Just so: but this is to confess the impotence of science to attain truth, and to admit the urgency of developing a mental instrument of superior capacity.
The Master Therion has observed on innumerable occasions that divinations, made by him and dismissed as giving untrue answers, have justified themselves months or years later when he was able to revise his judgment in perspective, untroubled by his personal passion.
It is indeed surprising how often the most careless divinations give accurate answers. When things go wrong, it is almost always possible to trace the error to one's own self-willed and insolent presumption in insisting that events shall accommodate themselves to our egoism and vanity. It is comically unscientific to adduce examples of the mistakes of the diviners as evidence that their art is fatuous. Every one knows that the simplest chemical experiments often go wrong. Every one knows the eccentricities of fountain pens; but nobody outside Evangelical circles makes fun of the Cavendish experiment, or asserts that, if fountain pens undoubtedly work now and then, their doing so is merely coincidence.
The fact of the case is that the laws of nature are incomparably more subtle than even science suspects. The phenomena of every plane are intimately interwoven. The arguments of Aristotle were dependent on the atmospheric pressure which prevented his blood from boiling away. There is nothing in the universe which does not influence every other thing in one way or another. There is no reason in Nature why the apparently chance combination of half-a-dozen sticks of tortoise-shell should not be so linked both with the human mind and with the entire structure of the Universe that the observation of their fall should not enable us to measure all things in heaven and earth.
With one piece of curved glass we have discovered uncounted galaxies of suns; with another, endless orders of existence in the infinitesimal. With the prism we have analysed light so that matter and force have become intelligible only as forms of light. With a rod we have summoned the invisible energies of electricity to be our familiar spirit serving us to do our Will, whether it be to outsoar the condor, or to dive deeper into the demon world of disease than any of our dreamers dared to dream.
Since with four bits of common glass mankind has learnt to know so much, achieved so much, who dare deny that the Book of Thoth, the quintessentialized wisdom of our ancestors whose civilizations, perished though they be, have left monuments which dwarf ours until we wonder whether we are degenerate from them, or evolved from Simians, who dare deny that such a book may be possessed of unimaginable powers?
It is not so long since the methods of modern science were scoffed at by the whole cultured world. In the sacred halls themselves the roofs rang loud with the scornful laughter of the high priests as each new postulant approached with his unorthodox offering. There is hardly a scientific discovery in history which was not decried as quackery by the very men whose own achievements were scarce yet recognized by the world at large.
Within the memory of the present generation, the possibility of aeroplanes was derisively denied by those very engineers accounted most expert to give their opinions.
The method of divination, the ratio of it, is as obscure to-day as was that of spectrum analysis a generation ago. That the chemical composition of the fixed stars should become known to man seemed an insane imagining too ridiculous to discuss. To-day it seems equally irrational to enquire of the desert sand concerning the fate of empires. Yet surely it, if any one knows, should know!
To-day it may sound impossible for inanimate objects to reveal the inmost secrets of mankind and nature. We cannot say why divination is valid. We cannot trace the process by which it performs it marvels.The main difference between a Science and an Art is that the former admits mensuration. Its processes must be susceptible of the application of quantitative standards. Its laws reject imponderable variables. Science despises Art for its refusal to conform with calculable conditions. But even to-day, in the boasted Age of Science, man is still dependent on Art as to most matters of practical importance to him; the arts of Government, of War, of Literature, etc. are supremely influential, and Science does little more than facilitate them by making their materials mechanically docile. The utmost extension of Science can merely organize the household of Art. Art thus progresses in perception and power by increased control or automatic accuracy of its details. The Master Therion has made an Epoch in the Art of Magick by applying the Method of Science to its problems. His Work is a contribution of unique value, comparable only to that of those men of genius who revolutionized the empirical guesswork of "natural philosophers". The Magicians of to-morrow will be armed with mathematical theory, organized observation, and experimentally-verified practice. But their Art will remain inscrutable as ever in essence; talent will never supplant genius. Education is impotent to produce a poet greater than Robert Burns; the perfection of laboratory apparatus prepares indeed the path of a Pasteur, but cannot make masters of mediocrities. But the same objections apply equally well to the telephone. No man knows what electricity is, or the nature of the forces which determine its action. We know only that by doing certain things we get certain results, and that the least error on our part will bring our work to naught. The same is exactly true of divination. The difference between the two sciences is not more than this: that, more minds having been at work on the former we have learnt to master its tricks with greater success than in the case of the latter.
One of the simplest and most complete of Magick ceremonies is the Eucharist.
It consists in taking common things, transmuting them into things divine, and consuming them.
So far, it is a type of every magick ceremony, for the reabsorption of the force is a kind of consumption; but it has a more restricted application, as follows.
Take a substanceThis may be of composite character. symbolic of the whole course of nature, make it God, and consume it.
There are many ways of doing this; but they may easily be classified according to the number of the elements of which the sacrament is composed.
The highest form of the Eucharist is that in which the Element consecrated is One.
It is one substance and not two, not living and not dead, neither liquid nor solid, neither hot nor cold, neither male nor female.
This sacrament is secret in every respect. For those who may be worthy, although not officially recognized as such, this Eucharist has been described in detail and without concealment, somewhere in the published writings of the Master Therion. But He has told no one where. It is reserved for the highest initiates, and is synonymous with the Accomplished Work on the material plane. It is the Medicine of Metals, the Stone of the Wise, the Potable Gold, the Elixir of Life that is consumed therein. The altar is the bosom of Isis, the eternal mother; the chalice is in effect the Cup of our Lady Babalon Herself; the Wand is that which Was and Is and Is To Come.
The Eucharist of two elements has its matter of the passives. The wafer (pantacle) is of corn, typical of earth; the wine (cup) represents water. (There are certain other attributions. The Wafer is the Sun, for instance: and the wine is appropriate to Bacchus).
The wafer may, however, be more complex, the "Cake of Light" described in Liber Legis.
This is used in the exoteric Mass of the Phoenix (Liber 333
, Cap: 44
) mixed with the blood of the Magus. This mass should be performed daily at sunset by every magician.
Corn and wine are equivalent to flesh and blood; but it is easier to convert live substances into the body and blood of God, than to perform this miracle upon dead matter.
The Eucharist of three elements has for basis the symbols of the three Gunas. For Tamas (darkness) take opium or nightshade or some sleepy medicine; for Rajas (activity) take strychnine or other excitant; for Sattvas (calm) the cakes of Light may again be suitable.The Cakes of Light are universally applicable; they contain meal, honey, and oil (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, the three necessaries of human nutrition also perfume of the three essential types of magical and curative virtue; the subtle principle of animal life itself is fixed in them by the introduction of fresh living blood.):
The Eucharist of four elements consists of fire, air, water, and earth. These are represented by a flame for fire, by incense or roses for air, by wine for water, and by bread and salt for earth.
The Eucharist of five has for basis wine for taste, a rose for smell, a flame for sight, a bell for sound, and a dagger for touch. This sacrament is implied in the Mass of the Phoenix in a slightly different form.
The Eucharist of six elements has Father, Son, and Holy Spirit above; breath, water, and blood beneath. It is a sacrament reserved for high initiates.The Lance and the Graal are firstly dedicated to the Holy Spirit of Life, in Silence. The Bread and Wine are then fermented and manifested by vibration, and received by the Virgin Mother. The elements are then intermingled and consumed after the Epiphany of Iacchus, when "Countenance beholdeth Countenance".
The Eucharist of seven elements is mystically identical with that of one.
Of the method of consecrating the elements it is only necessary to say that they should be treated as talismans. The circle and other furniture of the Temple should receive the usual benefit of the banishings and consecrations. The Oath should be taken and the Invocations made. When the divine force manifests in the elements, they should be solemnly consumed. There is also a simpler method of consecration reserved for initiates of high rank, of which it is here unlawful to speak.
According to the nature of the Sacrament, so will its results be. In some one may receive a mystic grace, culminating in Samadhi; in others a simpler and more material benefit may be obtained.
The highest sacrament, that of One element, is universal in its operation; according to the declared purpose of the work so will the result be. It is a universal Key of all Magick.
These secrets are of supreme practical importance, and are guarded in the Sanctuary with a two-edged sword flaming every way;J. K. Husmans, who was afraid of them, and tried to betray the little he knew of them, became a Papist, and died of cancer of the tongue. for this sacrament is the Tree of Life itself, and whoso partaketh of the fruit thereof shall never die.The use of the Elixir of Life is only justifiable in peculiar circumstances. To go counter to the course of natural Change is to approximate perilously to the error of the "Black Brothers".
Unless he so will. Who would not rather work through incarnation; a real renewal of body and brain, than content himself with a stagnant immortality upon this mote in the Sunlight of the Universe which we call earth?
With regard to the preparations for such Sacraments, the Catholic Church has maintained well enough the traditions of the true Gnostic Church in whose keeping the secrets are.Study, in the Roman Missal, the Canon of the Mass, and the chapter of "defects".
ChastityThe Word Chastity is used by initiates to signify a certain state of soul and of mind determinant of a certain habit of body which is nowise identical with what is commonly understood. Chastity in the true magical sense of the word is inconceivable to those who are not wholly emancipated from the obsession of sex. is a condition; fasting for some hours previous is a condition; an earnest and continual aspiration is a condition. Without these antecedents even the Eucharist of the One and Seven is partially — though such is its intrinsic virtue that it can never be wholly — baulked of its effect.
A Eucharist of some sort should most assuredly be consummated daily by every magician, and he should regard it as the main sustenance of his magical life. It is of more importance than any other magical ceremony, because it is a complete circle. The whole of the force expended is completely re-absorbed; yet the virtue is that vast gain represented by the abyss between Man and God.
The magician becomes filled with God, fed upon God, intoxicated with God. Little by little his body will become purified by the internal lustration of God; day by day his mortal frame, shedding its earthly elements, will become in very truth the Temple of the Holy Ghost. Day by day matter is replaced by Spirit, the human by the divine; ultimately the change will be complete; God manifest in flesh will be his name.
This is the most important of all magical secrets that ever were or are or can be. To a Magician thus renewed the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel becomes an inevitable task; every force of his nature, unhindered, tends to that aim and goal of whose nature neither man nor god may speak, for that it is infinitely beyond speech or thought or ecstasy or silence. Samadhi and Nibbana are but its shadows cast upon the universe.
If the Master Therion effects by this book nothing else but to demonstrate the continuity of nature and the uniformity of Law, He will feel that His work has not been wasted. In his original design of Part III he did not contemplate any allusion to alchemy. It has somehow been taken for granted that this subject is entirely foreign to regular Magick, both in scope and method. It will be the main object of the following description to establish it as essentially a branch of the subject, and to show that it may be considered simply as a particular case of the general proposition — differing from evocatory and talismanic Magick only in the values which are represented by the unknown quantities in the pantomorphous equations.
There is no need to make any systematized attempt to decipher the jargon of Hermetic treatises. We need not enter upon an historical discussion. Let it suffice to say that the word alchemy is an Arabic term consisting of the article "al" and the adjective "khemi" which means "that which pertains to Egypt".This etymology differs from that given by Skeat; I can do no more than present my submission. A rough translation would be "The Egyptian matter". The assumption is that the Mohammedan grammarians held traditionally that the art was derived from that wisdom of the Egyptians which was the boast of Moses, Plato, and Pythagoras, and the source of their illumination.
Modern research (by profane scholars) leaves it still doubtful as to whether Alchemical treatises should be classified as mystical, magical, medical, or chemical. The most reasonable opinion is that all these objects formed the pre-occupation of the alchemists in varying proportions. Hermes is alike the god of Wisdom, Thaumaturgy, therapeutics, and physical science. All these may consequently claim the title Hermetic. It cannot be doubted that such writers as Fludd aspired to spiritual perfection. It is equally sure that Edward Kelly wrote primarily from the point of view of a Magician; that Paracelesus applied himself to the cure of disease and the prolongation of life as the first consideration, although his greatest achievements seem to modern thinkers to have been rather his discoveries of opium, zinc, and hydrogen; so that we tend to think of him as a chemist no less than we do of Van Helmont, whose conception of gas ranks him as one of those rare geniuses who have increased human knowledge by a fundamentally important idea.
The literature of Alchemy is immense. Practically all of it is wholly or partially unintelligible. Its treatises, from the Asch Metzareph of the Hebrews to the Chariot of Antimony are deliberately couched in hieratic riddles. Ecclesiastical persecution, and the profanation of the secrets of power, were equally dreaded. Worse still, from our point of view, this motive induced writers to insert intentionally misleading statements, the more deeply to bedevil unworthy pretenders to their mysteries.
We do not propose to discuss any of the actual processes. Most readers will be already aware that the main objects of alchemy were the Philosopher's Stone, the Medicine of Metals, and various tinctures and elixirs possessing divers virtues; in particular, those of healing disease, extending the span of life, increasing human abilities, perfecting the nature of man in every respect, conferring magical powers, and transmuting material substances, especially metals, into more valuable forms.
The subject is further complicated by the fact that many authors were unscrupulous quacks. Ignorant of the first elements of the art, they plagiarized without shame, and reaped a harvest of fraudulent gain. They took advantage of the general ignorance, and the convention of mystery, in just the same way as their modern successors do in the matter of all Occult sciences.
But despite all this, one thing is abundantly clear; all serious writers, though they seem to speak of an infinity of different subjects, so much so that it has proved impossible for modern analytic research to ascertain the true nature of any single process, were agreed on the fundamental theory on which they based their practices. It appears at first sight as if hardly any two of them were in accord as to the nature of the "First Matter of the work". They describe this in a bewildering multiplicity of unintelligible symbols. We have no reason to suppose that they were all talking of the same thing, or otherwise. The same remarks apply to every reagent and every process, no less than to the final product or products.
Yet beneath this diversity, we may perceive an obscure identity. They all begin with a substance in nature which is described as existing almost everywhere, and as universally esteemed of no value. The alchemist is in all cases to take this substance, and subject it to a series of operations. By so doing, he obtains his product. This product, however named or described, is always a substance which represents the truth or perfection of the original "First Matter"; and its qualities are invariably such as pertain to a living being, not to an inanimate mass. In a word, the alchemist is to take a dead thing, impure, valueless, and powerless, and transform it into a live thing, active, invaluable and thaumaturgic.
The reader of this book will surely find in this a most striking analogy with what we have already said of the processes of Magick. What, by our definition, is initiation? The First Matter is a man, that is to say, a perishable parasite, bred of the earth's crust, crawling irritably upon it for a span, and at last returning to the dirt whence he sprang. The process of initiation consists in removing his impurities, and finding in his true self an immortal intelligence to whom matter is no more than the means of manifestation. The initiate is eternally individual; he is ineffable, incorruptible, immune from everything. He possesses infinite wisdom and infinite power in himself. This equation is identical with that of a talisman. The Magician takes an idea, purifies it, intensifies it by invoking into it the inspiration of his soul. It is no longer a scrawl scratched on a sheep-skin, but a word of Truth, imperishable, mighty to prevail throughout the sphere of its purport. The evocation of a spirit is precisely similar in essence. The exorcist takes dead material substances of a nature sympathetic to the being whom he intends to invoke. He banishes all impurities therefrom, prevents all interference therewith, and proceeds to give life to the subtle substance thus prepared by instilling his soul.
Once again, there is nothing in this exclusively "magical". Rembrandt van Ryn used to take a number of ores and other crude objects. From these he banished the impurities, and consecrated them to his work, by the preparation of canvasses, brushes, and colours. This done, he compelled them to take the stamp of his soul; from those dull, valueless creatures of earth he created a vital and powerful being of truth and beauty. It would indeed be surprising to anybody who has come to a clear comprehension of nature if there were any difference in the essence of these various formulas. The laws of nature apply equally in every possible circumstance.
We are now in a position to understand what alchemy is. We might even go further and say that even if we had never heard of it, we know what it must be.
Let us emphasize the fact that the final product is in all cases a living thing. It has been the great stumbling block to modern research that the statements of alchemists cannot be explained away. From the chemical standpoint it has seemed not à priori
impossible that lead should be turned into gold. Our recent discovery of the periodicity of the elements has made it seem likely, at least in theory, that our apparently immutable elements should be modifications of a single one.See R.K.Duncan, The New Knowledge, for a popularisation of recent results.
Aleister Crowley held this doctrine in his teens at a period when it was the grossest heresy.
Organic Chemistry, with its metatheses and syntheses dependent on the conceptions of molecules as geometrical structures has demonstrated a praxis which gives this theory body; and the properties of Radium have driven the Old Guard from the redoubt which flew the flag of the essential heterogeneity of the elements. The doctrines of Evolution have brought the alchemical and monistic theory of matter into line with our conception of life; the collapse of the wall between the animal and vegetable kingdoms has shaken that which divided them from the mineral.
But even though the advanced chemist might admit the possibility of transmuting lead into gold, he could not conceive of that gold as other than metallic, of the same order of nature as the lead from which it had been made. That this gold should possess the power of multiplying itself, or of acting as a ferment upon other substances, seemed so absurd that he felt obliged to conclude that the alchemists who claimed these properties for their Gold must, after all, have been referring not to Chemistry, but to some spiritual operations whose sanctity demanded some such symbolic veil as the cryptographic use of the language of the laboratory.
The Master Therion is sanguine that his present reduction of all cases of the art of Magick to a single formula will both elucidate and vindicate Alchemy, while extending chemistry to cover all classes of Change.
There is an obvious condition which limits our proposed operations. This is that, as the formula of any Work effects the extraction and visualization of the Truth from any "First Matter", the "Stone" or "Elixir" which results from our labours will be the pure and perfect Individual originally inherent in the substance chosen, and nothing else. The most skilful gardener cannot produce lilies from the wild rose; his roses will always be roses, however he have perfected the properties of this stock.
There is here no contradiction with our previous thesis of the ultimate unity of all substance. It is true that Hobbs and Nobbs are both modifications of the Pleroma. Both vanish in the Pleroma when they attain Samadhi. But they are not interchangeable to the extent that they are individual modifications; the initiate Hobbs is not the initiate Nobbs any more than Hobbs the haberdasher is Nobbs of "the nail and sarspan business as he got his money by". Our skill in producing aniline dyes does not enable us to dispense with the original aniline, and use sugar instead. Thus the Alchemists said: "To make gold you must take gold"; their art was to bring each substance to the perfection of its own proper nature.
No doubt, part of this process involved the withdrawal of the essence of the "First Matter" within the homogeneity of "Hyle", just as initiation insists on the annihilation of the individual in the Impersonal Infinity of Existence to emerge once more as a less confused and deformed Eidolon of the Truth of Himself. This is the guarantee that he is uncontaminated by alien elements. The "Elixir" must possess the activity of a "nascent" substance, just as "nascent" hydrogen combines with arsenic (in "Marsh's test") when the ordinary form of the gas is inert. Again, oxygen satisfied by sodium or diluted by nitrogen will not attack combustible materials with the vehemence proper to the pure gas.
We may summarize this thesis by saying that Alchemy includes as many possible operations as there are original ideas inherent in nature.
Alchemy resembles evocation in its selection of appropriate material bases for the manifestation of the Will; but differs from it in proceeding without personification, or the intervention of alien planes.Some alchemists may object to this statement. I prefer to express no final opinion on the matter. It may be more closely compared with Initiation; for the effective element of the Product is of the essence of its own nature, and inherent therein; the Work similarly consists in isolating it from its accretions.
Now just as the Aspirant, on the Threshold of Initiation, finds himself assailed by the "complexes" which have corrupted him, their externalization excruciating him, and his agonized reluctance to their elimination plunging him into such ordeals that he seems (both to himself and to others) to have turned from a noble and upright man into an unutterable scoundrel; so does the First Matter blacken and putrefy as the Alchemist breaks up its coagulations of impurity.
The student may work out for himself the various analogies involved, and discover the "Black Dragon", the "Green Lion", the "Lunar Water", the "Raven's Head", and so forth. The indications above given should suffice all who possess aptitude for Alchemical Research.
Only one further reflection appears necessary; namely, that the Eucharist, with which this chapter is properly preoccupied, must be conceived as one case — as the critical case — of the Art of the Alchemist.
The reader will have observed, perhaps with surprise, that The Master Therion describes several types of Eucharist. The reason is that given above; there is no substance incompetent to serve as an element in some Sacrament; also, each spiritual Grace should possess its peculiar form of Mass, and therefore its own "materia magica". It is utterly unscientific to treat "God" as a universal homogeneity, and use the same means to prolong life as to bewitch cattle. One does not invoke "Electricity" indiscriminately to light one's house and to propel one's brougham; one works by measured application of one's powers to intelligent analytical comprehension of the conditions of each separate case.
There is a Eucharist for every Grace that we may need; we must apprehend the essential characters in each case, select suitable elements, and devise proper processes.
To consider the classical problems of Alchemy: The Medicine of Metals must be the quintessence of some substance that serves to determine the structure (or rate of vibration) whose manifestation is in characteristic metallic qualities. This need not be a chemical substance at all in the ordinary sense of the word.
The Elixir of Life will similarly consist of a living organism capable of growth, at the expense of its environment; and of such a nature that its "true Will" is to cause that environment to serve it as its means of expression in the physical world of human life.
The Universal Medicine will be a menstruum of such subtlety as to be able to penetrate all matter and transmute it in the sense of its own tendency, while of such impartial purity as to accept perfectly the impression of the Will of the Alchemist. This substance, properly prepared, and properly charged, is able to perform all things soever that are physically possible, within the limits of the proportions of its momentum to the inertia of the object to which it is applied.
It may be observed in conclusion that, in dealing with forms of Matter-Motion so subtle as these, it is not enough to pass the Pons Asinorum of intellectual knowledge.
The Master Therion has possessed the theory of these Powers for many years; but His practice is still in progress towards perfection. Even efficiency in the preparation is not all; there is need to be judicious in the manipulation, and adroit in the administration, of the product. He does not perform haphazard miracles, but applies His science and skill in conformity with the laws of nature.
As was said at the opening of the second chapter, the Single Supreme Ritual is the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. It is the raising of the complete man in a vertical straight line.
Any deviation from this line tends to become black magic. Any other operation is black magic.
In the True Operation the Exaltation is equilibrated by an expansion in the other three arms of the Cross. Hence the Angel immediately gives the Adept power over the Four Great Princes and their servitors.See the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.
If the magician needs to perform any other operation than this, it is only lawful in so far as it is a necessary preliminary to That One Work.
There are, however many shades of grey. It is not every magician who is well armed with theory. Perhaps one such may invoke Jupiter, with the wish to heal others of their physical ills. This sort of thing is harmless,There is nevertheless the general objection to the diversion of channels of Initiation to the Sea of Attainment, into ditches of irrigation for the fields of material advantage. It is bad business to pay good coin for perishable products; like marrying for money, or prostituting poetic genius to political purposes. The converse course, though equally objectionable as pollution of the purity of the planes, is at least respectable for its nobility. The ascetic of the Thebaid or the Trappist Monastery is infinitely worthier than the health-peddler and success-monger of Boston or Los Angeles; for the one offers temporal trash to gain eternal wealth, while the other values spiritual substance only as enabling him to get better bodily conditions, and a firmer grip on the dollars. or almost so. It is not evil in itself. It arises from a defect of understanding. Until the Great Work has been performed, it is presumptuous for the magician to pretend to understand the universe, and dictate its policy. Only the Master of the Temple can say whether any given act is a crime. "Slay that innocent child?" (I hear the ignorant say) "What a horror!" "Ah!" replies the Knower, with foresight of history, "but that child will become Nero. Hasten to strangle him!"
There is a third, above these, who understands that Nero was as necessary as Julius Caesar.
The Master of the Temple accordingly interferes not with the scheme of things except just so far as he is doing the Work which he is sent to do. Why should he struggle against imprisonment, banishment, death? It is all part of the game in which he is a pawn. "It was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory."
The Master of the Temple is so far from the man in whom He manifests that all these matters are of no importance to Him. It may be of importance to His Work that man shall sit upon a throne, or be hanged. In such a case He informs his Magus, who exerts the power intrusted to Him, and it happens accordingly. Yet all happens naturally, and of necessity, and to all appearance without a word from Him.
Nor will the mere Master of the Temple, as a rule, presume to act upon the Universe, save as the servant of his own destiny. It is only the Magus, He of the grade above, who has attained to Chokhmah, Wisdom, and so dare act. He must dare act, although it like Him not. But He must assume the Curse of His grade, as it is written in the Book of the Magus
.The Equinox I, VII, 5-9.
There are, of course, entirely black forms of magic. To him who has not given every drop of his blood for the cup of Babalon all magic power is dangerous. There are even more debased and evil forms, things in themselves black. Such is the use of spiritual force to material ends. Christian Scientists, Mental Healers, Professional Diviners, Psychics and the like, are all ipso facto Black Magicians.
They exchange gold for dross. They sell their higher powers for gross and temporary benefit.
That the most crass ignorance of Magick is their principal characteristic is no excuse, even if Nature accepted excuses, which she does not. If you drink poison in mistake for wine, your "mistake" will not save your life.
Below these in one sense, yet far above them in another, are the Brothers of the Left Hand Path.See Liber 418, and study it well, in this matter. The Equinox I, V, Supplement.
These are they who "shut themselves up", who refuse their blood to the Cup, who have trampled Love in the Race for self-aggrandisement.
As far as the grade of Exempt Adept, they are on the same path as the White Brotherhood; for until that grade is attained, the goal is not disclosed. Then only are the goats, the lonely leaping mountain-masters, separated from the gregarious huddling valley-bound sheep. Then those who have well learned the lessons of the Path are ready to be torn asunder, to give up their own life to the Babe of the Abyss which is — and is not — they.
The others, proud in their purple, refuse. They make themselves a false crown of the Horror of the Abyss; they set the Dispersion of Choronzon upon their brows; they clothe themselves in the poisoned robes of Form; they shut themselves up; and when the force that made them what they are is exhausted, their strong towers fall, they become the Eaters of Dung in the Day of Be-with-us, and their shreds, strewn in the Abyss, are lost.
Not so the Masters of the Temple, that sit as piles of dust in the City of the Pyramids, awaiting the Great Flame that shall consume that dust to ashes. For the blood that they have surrendered is treasured in the Cup of our Lady Babalon, a mighty medicine to awake the Eld of the All-Father, and redeem the Virgin of the World from her virginity.
Before leaving the subject of Black Magic, one may touch lightly on the question of Pacts with the Devil.
The Devil does not exist. It is a false name invented by the Black Brothers to imply a Unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions. A devil who had unity would be a God."The Devil" is, historically, the God of any people that one personally dislikes. This has led to so much confusion of thought that The Beast 666 has preferred to let names stand as they are, and to proclaim simply that Aiwaz — the solar- phallic-hermetic "Lucifer" is His own Holy Guardian Angel, and "The Devil" Satan or Hadit of our particular unit of the Starry Universe. This serpent, Satan, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade "Know Thyself!" and taught Initiation. He is "the Devil" of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is Baphomet, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection. The number of His Atu is XV, which is Yod He, the Monogram of the Eternal, the Father one with the Mother, the Virgin Seed one with all-containing Space. He is therefore Life, and Love. But moreover his letter is Ayin, the Eye; he is Light, and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty. (Note that the "Jehovah" of the Hebrews is etymologically connected with these. The classical example of such antinomy, one which has led to such disastrous misunderstandings, is that between Nu and Had, North and South, Jesus and John. The subject is too abstruse and complicated to be discussed in detail here. The student should consult the writings of Sir R. Payne Knight, General Forlong, Gerald Massey, Fabre d'Olivet; etc. etc., for the data on which these considerations are ultimately based.)
It was said by the Sorcerer of the Jura that in order to invoke the Devil it is only necessary to call him with your whole will.
This is an universal magical truth, and applies to every other being as much as to the Devil. For the whole will of every man is in reality the whole will of the Universe.
It is, however, always easy to call up the demons, for they are always calling you; and you have only to step down to their level and fraternize with them. They will tear you in pieces at their leisure. Not at once; they will wait until you have wholly broken the link between you and your Holy Guardian Angel before they pounce, lest at the last moment you escape.
Anthony of Padua and (in our own times) "Macgregor" Mathers are examples of such victims.
Nevertheless, every magician must firmly extend his empire to the depth of hell. "My adepts stand upright, their heads above the heavens, their feet below the hells."Liber XC, verse 40. See The Equinox I, vi.
This is the reason why the magician who performs the Operation of the "Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage", immediately after attaining to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, must evoke the Four Great Princes of the Evil of the World.
"Obedience and faith to Him that liveth and triumpheth, that reigneth above you in your palaces as the Balance of Righteousness and Truth" is your duty to your Holy Guardian Angel, and the duty of the demon world to you.
These powers of "evil" nature are wild beasts; they must be tamed, trained to the saddle and the bridle; they will bear you well. There is nothing useless in the Universe: do not wrap up your Talent in a napkin, because it is only "dirty money"!
With regard to Pacts, they are rarely lawful. There should be no bargain struck. Magick is not a trade, and no hucksters need apply. Master everything, but give generously to your servants, once they have unconditionally submitted.
There is also the questions of alliances with various Powers. These again are hardly ever allowable.Notwithstanding, there exist certain bodies of spiritual beings, in whose ranks are not only angelic forces, but elementals, and even daemons, who have attained to such Right Understanding of the Universe that they have banded themselves together with the object of becoming Microcosms, and realize that their best means to this end is devotion to the service of the true interests of Mankind. Societies of spiritual forces, organized on these lines, dispose of enormous resources. The Magician who is himself sworn to the service of humanity may count upon the heartiest help of these Orders. Their sincerity may always be assured by putting them to the test of the acceptance of the Law of Thelema. Whoso denies "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" confesses that he still clings to the conflict in his own nature; he is not, and does not want to be, true to himself. A fortiori, he will prove false to you. No Power which is not a microcosm in itself — and even archangels reach rarely to this centre of balance — is fit to treat on an equality with Man. The proper study of mankind is God; with Him is his business; and with Him alone. Some magicians have hired legions of spirits for some special purpose; but it has always proved a serious mistake. The whole idea of exchange is foreign to magick. The dignity of the magician forbids compacts. "The Earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof".
The operations of Magick art are difficult to classify, as they merge into each other, owing to the essential unity of their method and result. We may mention:
1. Operations such as evocation, in which a live spirit is brought from dead matter.
2. Consecrations of talismans in which a live spirit is bound into "dead" matter and vivifies the same.
3. Works of divination, in which a live spirit is made to control operations of the hand or brain of the Magician. Such works are accordingly most dangerous, to be used only by advanced magicians, and then with great care.
4. Works of fascination, such as operations of invisibility, and transformations of the apparent form of the person or thing concerned. This consists almost altogether in distracting the attention, or disturbing the judgment, of the person whom it is wished to deceive. There are, however, "real" transformations of the adept himself which are very useful. See the Book of the Dead for methods. The assumption of God-Forms can be carried to the point of actual transformation.
5. Works of Love and Hate, which are also performed (as a rule) by fascination. These works are too easy; and rarely useful. They have a nasty trick of recoiling on the magician.
6. Works of destruction, which may be done in many different ways. One may fascinate and bend to one's will a person who has of his own right the power to destroy. One may employ spirits or talismans. The more powerful magicians of the last few centuries have employed books.
In private matters these works are very easy, if they be necessary. An adept known to The Master Therion once found it necessary to slay a Circe who was bewitching brethren. He merely walked to the door of her room, and drew an Astral TT is the letter attributed to Saturn. ("traditore", and the symbol of Saturn) with an astral dagger. Within 48 hours she shot herself. As explained above, in another connexion, he who "destroys" any being must accept it, with all the responsibilities attached, as part of himself. The Adept here in question was therefore obliged to incorporate the elemental spirit of the girl — she was not human, the sheath of a Star, but an advanced planetary daemon, whose rash ambition had captured a body beyond its capacity to conduct — in his own magical vehicle. He thereby pledged himself to subordinate all the sudden accession of qualities — passionate, capricious, impulsive, irrational, selfish, short-sightedness, sensual, fickle, crazy, and desperate, to his True Will; to discipline, co-ordinate and employ them in the Great Work, under the penalty of being torn asunder by the wild horses which he had bound fast to his own body by the act of "destroying" their independent consciousness and control of their chosen vehicle. See His Magical Record An XX, Sun in Libra and onward. [Autumn 1924.]
7. Works of creation and dissolution, and the higher invocations.
There are also hundreds of other operations;Examples of Rituals for several such purposes are given in The Equinox. to bring wanted objects — gold, books, women and the like; to open locked doors, to discover treasure; to swim under water; to have armed men at command — etc., etc. All these are really matters of detail; the Adeptus Major will easily understand how to perform them if necessary.Moral: become an Adeptus Major!
It should be added that all these things happen "naturally".The value of the evidence that your operations have influenced the course of events is only to be assessed by the application of the Laws of probability. The Master Therion would not accept any one single case as conclusive, however improbable it might be. A man might make a correct guess at one chance in ten million, no less than at one in three. If one pick up a pebble, the chance was infinitely great against that particular pebble; yet whichever one was chosen, the same chance "came off". It requires a series of events antecedently unlikely to deduce that design is at work, that the observed changes are causally, not casually, produced. The prediction of events is further evidence that they are effected by will. Thus, any man may fluke a ten shot at billiard, or even make a break of a few strokes. But chance cannot account for consistent success, even if moderate, when it extends over a long period of time. And the ability of the expert to "name his shot" manifests a knowledge of the relations of cause and effect which confirms the testimony of his empirical skill that his success is not chance and coincidence. Perform an operation to bring gold — your rich uncle dies and leaves you his money; books — you see the book wanted in a catalogue that very day, although you have advertised in vain for a year; woman — but if you have made the spirits bring you enough gold, this operation will become unnecessary.This cynical statement is an absurdity of Black Magic.
It must further be remarked that it is absolute Black Magic to use any of these powers if the object can possibly be otherwise attained. If your child is drowning, you must jump and try to save him; it won't do to invoke the Undines.
Nor is it lawful in all circumstances to invoke those Undines even where the case is hopeless; maybe it is necessary to you and to the child that it should die. An Exempt Adept on the right road will make no error here — an Adept Major is only too likely to do so. A thorough apprehension of this book will arm adepts of every grade against all the more serious blunders incidental to their unfortunate positions.
Necromancy is of sufficient importance to demand a section to itself.
It is justifiable in some exceptional cases. Suppose the magician fail to obtain access to living Teachers, or should he need some especial piece of knowledge which he has reason to believe died with some teacher of the past, it may be useful to evoke the "shade" of such a one, or read the "Akasic record" of his mind.The only minds likely to be useful to the Magician belong to Adepts sworn to suffer reincarnation at short intervals, and the best elements of such minds are bound up in the "Unconscious Self" of the Adept, not left to wander idly about the Astral Plane. It will thus be more profitable to try to get into touch with the "Dead Teacher" in his present avatar. Moreover, Adepts are at pains to record their teaching in books, monuments, or pictures, and to appoint spiritual guardians to preserve such heirlooms throughout the generations. Whenever these are destroyed or lost, the reason usually is that the Adept himself judges that their usefulness is over, and withdraws the forces which protected them. The student is therefore advised to acquiesce; the sources of information available for him are probably selected by the Wardens of Mankind with a view to his real necessities. One must learn to trust one's Holy Guardian Angel to shape one's circumstances with skill. If one be but absorbed in the ardour of one's aspiration toward Him, short indeed is the time before Experience instils the certain conviction that His works and His ways are infinitely apt to one's needs.
If this be done it must be done properly very much on the lines of the evocation of Apollonius of Tyana, which Eliphas Lévi performed.See Dogma et Rituel de la Haute Magie; Rituel, ch. XIII.
The utmost care must be taken to prevent personation of the "shade". It is of course easy, but can rarely be advisable, to evoke the shade of a suicide, or of one violently slain or suddenly dead. Of what use is such an operation, save to gratify curiosity or vanity?
One must add a word on spiritism, which is a sort of indiscriminate necromancy — one might prefer the word necrophilia — by amateurs. They make themselves perfectly passive, and, so far from employing any methods of protection, deliberately invite all and sundry spirits, demons, shells of the dead, all the excrement and filth of earth and hell, to squirt their slime over them. This invitation is readily accepted, unless a clean man be present with an aura good enough to frighten these foul denizens of the pit.
No spiritualistic manifestation has ever taken place in the presence even of Frater Perdurabo; how much less in that of The Master Therion!Even the earliest Initiations confer protection. Compare the fear felt by D. D. Home for Eliphas Lévi. See The Equinox I, X, "The Key of the Mysteries".
Of all the creatures He ever met, the most prominent of English spiritists (a journalist and pacifist of more than European fame)W. T. Stead. This is hardly an accurate summary of Stead. had the filthiest mind and the foulest mouth. He would break off any conversation to tell a stupid smutty story, and could hardly conceive of any society assembling for any other purpose than "phallic orgies", whatever they may be. Utterly incapable of keeping to a subject, he would drag the conversation down again and again to the sole subject of which he really thought — sex and sex-perversions and sex and sex and sex and sex again.
This was the plain result of his spiritism. All spiritists are more or less similarly afflicted. They feel dirty even across the street; their auras are ragged, muddy and malodorous; they ooze the slime of putrefying corpses.
No spiritist, once he is wholly enmeshed in sentimentality and Freudian fear-phantasms, is capable of concentrated thought, of persistent will, or of moral character. Devoid of every spark of the divine light which was his birthright, a prey before death to the ghastly tenants of the grave, the wretch, like the mesmerized and living corpse of Poe's Monsieur Valdemar, is a "nearly liquid mass of loathsome, of detestable putrescence."
The student of this Holy Magick is most earnestly warned against frequenting their séances, or even admitting them to his presence.
They are contagious as Syphilis, and more deadly and disgusting. Unless your aura is strong enough to inhibit any manifestation of the loathly larvae that have taken up their habitation in them, shun them as you need not mere lepers!It occurs in certain rare cases that a very unusual degree of personal purity combined with integrity and force of character provides even the ignorant with a certain natural defence, and attracts into his aura only intelligent and beneficent entities. Such persons may perhaps practise spiritualism without obvious bad results, and even with good results, within limits. But such exceptions in no wise invalidate the general rule, or in any way serve as argument against the magical theory outlined above with such mild suasion.
Of the powers of the Sphinx much has been written.In Liber CXI (Aleph) the subject is treated with profound and all-comprehensive wisdom.
Wisely they have been kept in the forefront of true magical instruction. Even the tyro can always rattle off that he has to know, to dare, to will, and to keep silence. It is difficult to write on this subject, for these powers are indeed comprehensive, and the interplay of one with the other becomes increasingly evident as one goes more deeply into the subject.
But there is one general principle which seems worthy of special emphasis in this place. These four powers are thus complex because they are the powers of the Sphinx, that is, they are functions of a single organism.
Now those who understand the growth of organisms are aware that evolution depends on adaptation to environment. If an animal which cannot swim is occasionally thrown into water, it may escape by some piece of good fortune, but if it is thrown into water continuously it will drown sooner or later, unless it learns to swim.
Organisms being to a certain extent elastic, they soon adapt themselves to a new environment, provided that the change is not so sudden as to destroy that elasticity.
Now a change in environment involves a repeated meeting of new conditions, and if you want to adapt yourself to any given set of conditions, the best thing you can do is to place yourself cautiously and persistently among them. That is the foundation of all education.
The old-fashioned pedagogues were not all so stupid as some modern educators would have us think. The principle of the system was to strike the brain a series of constantly repeated blows until the proper reaction became normal to the organism.
It is not desirable to use ideas which excite interest, or may come in handy later as weapons, in this fundamental training of the mind. It is much better to compel the mind to busy itself with root ideas which do not mean very much to the child, because you are not trying to excite the brain, but to drill it. For this reason, all the best minds have been trained by preliminary study of classics and mathematics.
The same principle applies to the training of the body. The original exercises should be of a character to train the muscles generally to perform any kind of work, rather than to train them for some special kind of work, concentration of which will unfit them for other tasks by depriving them of the elasticity which is the proper condition of life.Some few forms of exercise are exempt from these strictures. Rock-climbing, in particular, trains every muscle in an endless variety of ways. It moreover compels the learner to use his own judgment, to rely on himself, to develop resource, and to depend upon his own originality to attack each new problem that presents itself. This principle may be extended to all departments of the education of children. They should be put into contact with all kinds of truth, and allowed to make their own reflections thereon and reactions thereto, without the least attempt to bias their judgment. Magical pupils should be trained on similar lines. They should be made to work alone from the first, to cover the whole ground impartially, to devise their own experiments and draw their own conclusions.
In Magick and meditation this principle applies with tremendous force. It is quite useless to teach people how to perform magical operations, when it may be that such operations, when they have learned to do them, are not in accordance with their wills. What must be done is to drill the Aspirant in the hard routine of the elements of the Royal Art.
So far as mysticism is concerned, the technique is extremely simple, and has been very simply described in Part I of this Book 4. It cannot be said too strongly that any amount of mystical success whatever is no compensation for slackness with regard to the technique. There may come a time when Samadhi itself is no part of the business of the mystic. But the character developed by the original training remains an asset. In other words, the person who has made himself a first-class brain capable of elasticity is competent to attack any problem soever, when he who has merely specialized has got into a groove, and can no longer adapt and adjust himself to new conditions.
The principle is quite universal. You do not train a violinist to play the Beethoven Concerto; you train him to play every conceivable consecution of notes with perfect ease, and you keep him at the most monotonous drill possible for years and years before you allow him to go on the platform. You make of him an instrument perfectly able to adjust itself to any musical problem that may be set before him. This technique of Yoga is the most important detail of all our work. The Master Therion
has been himself somewhat to blame in representing this technique as of value simply because it leads to the great rewards, such as Samadhi. He would have been wiser to base His teaching solely on the ground of evolution. But probably He thought of the words of the poet:
"You dangle a carrot in front of her nose,
And she goes wherever the carrot goes."
For, after all, one cannot explain the necessity of the study of Latin either to imbecile children or to stupid educationalists; for, not having learned Latin, they have not developed the brains to learn anything.
The Hindus, understanding these difficulties, have taken the God-Almighty attitude about the matter. If you go to a Hindu teacher, he treats you as less than an earthworm. You have to do this, and you have to do that, and you are not allowed to know why you are doing it.This does not conflict with the "go-as-you-please" plan put forward in the previous note. An autocratic Adept is indeed a blessing to the disciple, not because he is able to guide the pupil "aright" in the particular path which happens to suit his personality, but because he can compel the beginner to grind away at the weariest work and thus acquire all-round ability, and prevent him from picking out the plums which please him from the Pie of Knowledge, and making himself sick of a surfeit of sweets to the neglect of a balanced diet of wholesome nourishment.
After years of experience in teaching, The Master Therion is not altogether convinced that this is not the right attitude. When people begin to argue about things instead of doing them, they become absolutely impossible. Their minds begin to work about it and about, and they come out by the same door as in they went. They remain brutish, voluble, and uncomprehending.
The technique of Magick is just as important as that of mysticism, but here we have a very much more difficult problem, because the original unit of Magick, the Body of Light, is already something unfamiliar to the ordinary person. Nevertheless, this body must be developed and trained with exactly the same rigid discipline as the brain in the case of mysticism. The essence of the technique of Magick is the development of the body of Light, which must be extended to include all members of the organism, and indeed of the cosmos.
The most important drill practices are:
1. The fortification of the Body of Light by the constant use of rituals, by the assumption of god-forms, and by the right use of the Eucharist.
2. The purification and consecration and exaltation of that Body by the use of rituals of invocation.
3. The education of that Body by experience. It must learn to travel on every plane; to break down every obstacle which may confront it. This experience must be as systematic and regular as possible; for it is of no use merely to travel to the spheres of Jupiter and Venus, or even to explore the 30 Aethyrs, neglecting unattractive meridians.The Aspirant should remember that he is a Microcosm. "Universus sum et Nihil universi a me alienum puto" should be his motto. He should make it his daily practice to travel on the Astral Plane, taking in turn each of the most synthetic sections, the Sephiroth and the Paths. These being thoroughly understood, and an Angel in each pledged to guard or to guide him at need, he should start on a new series of expeditions to explore the subordinate sections of each. He may then practice Rising on the Planes from these spheres, one after the other in rotation. When he is thoroughly conversant with the various methods of meeting unexpected emergencies, he may proceed to investigate the regions of the Qliphoth and the Demonic Forces. It should be his aim to obtain a comprehensive knowledge of the entire Astral Plane, with impartial love of truth for its own sake; just as a child learns the geography of the whole planet, though he may have no intention of ever leaving his native land.
The object is to possess a Body which is capable of doing easily any particular task that may lie before it. There must be no selection of special experience which appeals to one's immediate desire. One must go steadily through all possible pylons.
Frater Perdurabo was very unfortunate in not having magical teachers to explain these things to Him. He was rather encouraged in unsystematic working. Very fortunate, on the other hand, was He to have found a Guru who instructed Him in the proper principles of the technique of Yoga, and He, having sufficient sense to recognize the universal application of those principles, was able to some extent to repair His original defects. But even to this day, despite the fact that His original inclination is much stronger towards Magick than towards mysticism, he is much less competent in Magick.Reconsideration of these remarks, at the request of a loyal colleague, compels Him to admit that this may not be the case, It is true that He has been granted all Mystical Attainment that is theoretically possible, while His powers in Magick seem to be uneven and imperfect. Despite this, it may yet be that He has compassed the Possible. For Mystical Attainments are never mutually exclusive; the trance of Sorrow (for example) is not incompatible with the Beatific Vision, or the "Universal Joke". But in Magick any one Operation debars its performer from accomplishing some other. The reason of this is that the Oath of any Work bonds the Magician once and for all to be the principles implied therein. See Chapter XVI Part I. Further, it is obviously possible to reach the essence of anything without interfering with other things which obstruct each other. Cross-country journeys are often scarcely practicable. A trace of this can be seen even in His method of combining the two divisions of our science, for in that method He makes concentration bear the Cross of the work.
This is possibly an error, probably a defect, certainly an impurity of thought, and the root of it is to be found in His original bad discipline with regard to Magick.
If the reader will turn to the account of his astral journeys in the Second Number of the First Volume of The Equinox, he will find that these experiments were quite capricious. Even when, in Mexico, He got the idea of exploring the 30 Aethyrs systematically, He abandoned the vision after only 2 Aethyrs had been investigated.
Very different is His record after the training in 1901 e.v. had put Him in the way of discipline.Recent developments have enabled Him to correct these conditions, so that this Book (as now finally revised for the Press) may be considered practically free from serious defect in this particular.
At the conclusion of this part of this book, one may sum up the whole matter in these words: There is no object whatever worthy of attainment but the regular development of the being of the Aspirant by steady scientific work; he should not attempt to run before he can walk; he should not wish to go somewhere until he knows for certain whither he wills to go.
The reader will find excellent classical examples of rituals of Magick in The Equinox, Volume I, in the following places:
Number I. The supplement contains considerations for preparing a ritual of self-initiation. The supplement is also a perfect model of what a magical record should be, in respect of the form.
Number II. On pages 244-288 are given several rituals of Initiation.
Pages 302-317 give an account of certain astral visions.
Pages 326-332 give a formula for Rising on the Planes.
Number III. Pages 151-169 give details of certain magical formulae.
Pages 170-190 are a very perfect example — classical, old style — of a magicalritual for the evocation of the spirit of Mercury.
Pages 190-197 — a ritual for the consecration of a talisman. A very perfect example.
Pages 198-205 — a very fine example of a ritual to invoke the Higher Genius.
Pages 208-233 — Ritual of Initiation, with explanation of the same.
Pages 269-272 — Ritual of obtaining the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel by the formula of I.A.O.
Pages 272-278 — Ritual to make one's self invisible.
Number IV. Pages 43-196, a treatise, with model Records, of Mental Training appropriate to the Magician.
Number V. The supplement is the most perfect account of visions extant. They explore the farthest recesses of the magical universe.
Number VI. the Supplement gives seven rituals of the dramatic order, as described in Chapter XIX.
Pages 29-32 — A highly important magical ritual for daily use and work.
Number VII. Pages 21-27, a classical ritual to invoke Mercury; for daily use and work.
Pages 117-157, an example of a dramatic ritual in modern style.
Pages 229-243, an elaborate magical map of the universe on particular principles.
Pages 372-375, an example of a seasonal ritual.
Pages 376-383, a ritual to invoke Horus.
Number VIII. Pages 99-128, the conjuration of the elemental spirits.
Number IX. Pages 117-136, a ritual for invoking the spirit of Mars.
Number X. Pages 57-79, a modern example of a magical ritual in dramatic form, commemorating the return of Spring.
Pages 81-90, a fragment of ritual of a very advanced character.
Vol. III.The ten bulky "numbers" of The Equinox volume II were neither written nor were they ever intended to be written. Crowley refers to them as "a volume of Silence". Silence is the formula of Harpocrates, and Silence alternates with that of Speech, the Outpouring, the formula of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the Twin aspects of Horus.
No. I. This volume contains an immense number of articles of primary importance to every student of magick.
The rituals of The Book of Lies and The Goetia are also to be studied. The "preliminary invocation" of the Goetia is in particular recommended for daily use and work.
Orpheus, by Aleister Crowley, contains a large number of magical invocations in verse. There are also a good many others in other parts of his poetical works.
The following is a complete curriculum of reading officially approved by the A∴A∴
Curriculum of A∴A∴
Section 1. Books for Serious Study:
. The standard Work of Reference in all occult matters. The Encyclopaedia of Initiation.
The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley. These works contain many mystical and magical secrets, both stated clearly in prose, and woven into the robe of sublimest poesy.
The Yi King. (S.B.E. Series, Oxford University Press.) The "Classic of Changes"; it gives the initiated Chinese system of Magick.
The Tao Teh King. (S.B.E. Series.) gives the initiated Chinese system of Mysticism.
Tannhäuser, by A. Crowley. An allegorical drama concerning the Progress of the Soul; the Tannhauser story slightly remodelled.
The Upanishads. (S.B.E. Series.) The Classical Basis of Vedantism, the best-known form of Hindu Mysticism.
The Bhagavad-Gita. A dialogue in which Krishna, the Hindu "Christ", expounds a system of Attainment.
The Voice of the Silence, by H. P. Blavatsky, with an elaborate commentary by Frater O. M. [Crowley]
The Goetia. The most intelligible of the mediaeval rituals of Evocation. Contains also the favourite Invocation of the Master Therion.
The Shiva Sanhita. A famous Hindu treatise on certain physical practices.
The Hathayoga Pradipika. Similar to The Shiva Sanhita.
A History of Philosophy by Johan Eduard Erdman, 3 vols, London, 1890. A compendious account of philosophy from the earliest times. Most valuable as a general education of the mind.
The Spiritual Guide [by Molinos]. A simple manual of Christian mysticism.
The Star in the West by J. F. C. Fuller. An introduction to the study of the Works of Aleister Crowley.
The Dhammapada. (S.B.E. Series, Oxford University Press.) The best of the Buddhist classics.
The Questions of King Milinda. (S.B.E. Series.) Technical points of Buddhist dogma, illustrated by dialogues.
Varieties of Religious Experience by William James. Valuable as showing the uniformity of mystical attainment.
Kabbala Denudata by Knorr von Rosenroth: also the Kabbalah Unveiled, by S. L. MacGregor Mathers.
The text of the Kabalah, with commentary. A good elementary introduction to the subject.
Konx om Pax [by Aleister Crowley]. Four invaluable treatises and a preface on Mysticism and Magick.
The Pistis Sophia. An admirable introduction to the study of Gnosticism.
The Oracles of Zoroaster. An invaluable collection of precepts mystical and magical.
The Dream of Scipio, by Cicero. Excellent for its Vision and its Philosophy.
The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, by Fabre d'Olivet. An interesting study of the exoteric doctrines of this Master.
The Divine Pymander by Hermes Trismegistus. Invaluable as bearing on the Gnostic Philosophy.
The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians by Franz Hartmann. An invaluable compendium.
Scrutinium Chymicum by Michael Maier. One of the best treatises on alchemy.
Science and the Infinite by Sydney Klein. One of the best essays written in recent years.
Two Essays on the Worship of Priapus by Richard Payne Knight. Invaluable to all students.
The Golden Bough, by J. G. Frazer. The Text-Book of Folk Lore. Invaluable to all students.
The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine. Excellent, though elementary, as a corrective to superstition.
Rivers of Life by General Forlong. An invaluable text-book of old systems of initiation.
Three Dialogues by Bishop Berkeley. The Classic of subjective idealism.
Essays of David Hume. The Classic of Academic Scepticism.
First Principles, by Herbert Spencer. The Classic of Agnosticism.
Prolegomena by Immanuel Kant. The best introduction to Metaphysics.
The Canon. The best text-book of Applied Qabalah.
The Fourth Dimension, by C. H. Hinton. The text-book on this subject.
The Essays of Thomas Henry Huxley. Masterpieces of philosophy, as of prose.
The object of this course of reading is to familiarize the student with all that has been said by the Great Masters in every time and country. He should make a critical examination of them; not so much with the idea of discovering where truth lies, for he cannot do this except by virtue of his own spiritual experience, but rather to discover the essential harmony in those varied works. He should be on his guard against partisanship with a favourite author. He should familiarize himself thoroughly with the method of mental equilibrium, endeavouring to contradict any statement soever, although it may be apparently axiomatic.
The general object of this course, besides that already stated, is to assure sound education in occult matters, so that when spiritual illumination comes it may find a well-built temple. Where the mind is strongly biased towards any special theory, the result of an illumination is often to inflame that portion of the mind which is thus overdeveloped, with the result that the aspirant, instead of becoming an Adept, becomes a bigot and fanatic.
The A∴A∴ does not offer examination in this course, but recommends these books as the foundation of a library.
Section 2. Other books, principally fiction, of a generally suggestive and helpful kind:
Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Lord. Valuable for its facts and suggestions about Mysticism.
A Strange Story by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Lord. Valuable for its facts and suggestions about Magick.
The Blossom and the Fruit by Mabel Collins. Valuable for its account of the Path.
Petronius Arbiter. Valuable for those who have wit to understand it.
The Golden Ass by Apuleius. Valuable for those who have wit to understand it.
Le Comte de Gabalis. Valuable for its hints of those things which it mocks.
The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope. Valuable for its account of elementals.
Undine by de la Motte Fouque. Valuable as an account of elementals.
Black Magic by Marjorie Bowen. An intensely interesting story of sorcery.
Le Peau de Chagrin by Honoré de Balzac. A magnificent magical allegory.
Number Nineteen by Edgar Jepson. An excellent tale of modern magic.
Dracula by Bram Stoker. Valuable for its account of legends concerning vampires.
Scientific Romances by C. H. Hinton. Valuable as an introduction to the study of the Fourth Dimension.
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.
Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.
The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.
The Arabian Nights translated by either Sir Richard Burton or John Payne. Valuable as a storehouse of oriental magick-lore.
Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory. Valuable as a storehouse of occidental magick-lore.
The Works of François Rabelais. Invaluable for Wisdom.
The Kasidah by Sir Richard Burton. Valuable as a summary of philosophy.
The Song Celestial by Sir Edwin Arnold. The Bagavad-Gita in verse.
The Light of Asia by Sir Edwin Arnold. An account of the attainment of Gotama Buddha.
The Rosicrucians by Hargrave Jennings. Valuable to those who can read between the lines.
The Real History of the Rosicrucians by A. E. Waite. A good vulgar piece of journalism on the subject.
The Works of Arthur Machen. Most of these stories are of great magical interest.
The Writings of William O'Neill (Blake). Invaluable to all students.
The Shaving of Shagpat by George Meredith. An excellent allegory.
Lilith by George MacDonald. A good introduction to the Astral.
Là-Bas by J. K. Huysmans. An account of the extravagances caused by the Sin-complex.
The Lore of Proserpine by Maurice Hewlett. A suggestive enquiry into the Hermetic Arcanum.
En Route by J. K. Huysmans. An account of the follies of Christian mysticism.
Sidonia the Sorceress by Wilhelm Meinhold.
The Amber Witch by Wilhelm Meinhold.
These two tales are highly informative.
Macbeth; A Midsummer Night's Dream; The Tempest by W. Shakespeare. Interesting for traditions treated.
Redgauntlet by Sir Walter Scott. Also one or two other novels. Interesting for traditions treated.
Rob Roy by James Grant. Interesting for traditions treated.
The Magician by W. Somerset Maugham. An amusing hotchpot of stolen goods."The Magician, Oliver Haddo, was Aleister Crowley; his house 'Skene' was Boleskine. The hero's witty remarks were, many of them, my own." The Confessions
The Bible by various authors unknown. The Hebrew and Greek Originals are of Qabalistic value. It contains also many magical apologues, and recounts many tales of folk-lore and magical rites.
Kim by Rudyard Kipling. An admirable study of Eastern thought and life. Many other stories by this author are highly suggestive and informative.
For Mythology, as teaching Correspondences:
Books of Fairy Tales generally.
Oriental Classics generally.
Sufi Poetry generally.
Scandinavian and Teutonic Sagas generally.
Celtic Folk-Lore generally.
This course is of general value to the beginner. While it is not to be taken, in all cases, too seriously, it will give him a general familiarity with the mystical and magical tradition, create a deep interest in the subject, and suggest many helpful lines of thought. It has been impossible to do more, in this list, than to suggest a fairly comprehensive course of reading.
Section 3. Official publications of the A∴A∴
Liber B vel Magi.
An account of the Grade of Magus, the highest grade which it is ever possible to manifest in any way whatever upon this plane. Or so it is said by the Masters of the Temple.
The Equinox VII, p. 5.
The Message of the Master Therion. Explains the Essence of the new law in a very simple manner.
The Equinox XI (Vol. III, No. 1), p. 39.
An instruction for the control of speech, action and thought.
The Equinox IV, p. 9 & Appendix VI of this book.
Liber IV. ABA.
A general account in elementary terms of magical and mystical powers.
Part. 1. "Mysticism" — published.
2. "Magick" (Elementary Theory) — published.
3. "Magick in Theory and Practice" (this book).
4. "The Law". Not yet completed.Book Four was designed in four parts, two of which were published separately in 1911 and 1912. Part three, entitled Magick in Theory and Practice, appeared in 1929. Part four was intended to be the text of The Book of the Law with Crowley's final comment on it. He wrote several comments, none of which satisfied him. In 1936 he published The Book of the Law with another and short comment under the title of The Equinox of the Gods; it was not, however, described as Book Four (part four). It forms instead part of The Equinox series, being number three of volume III.
Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae.
Instructions given for elementary study of the Qabalah, Assumption of God forms, vibration of Divine Names, the Rituals of Pentagram and Hexagram, and their uses in protection and invocation, a method of attaining astral visions so-called, and an instruction in the practice called Rising on the Planes.
The Equinox II, p. 11 and appendix VI in this book.
Liber VII.Liber VII, Liber LXV, and Liber DCCCXIII were published for members of the A∴A∴ in a very small edition, about 1910. Liber LXV also appeared in The Equinox, volume III, number I, Detroit, 1919.
Liber Liberi vel Lapis Lazuli, Adumbratio Kabbalae Aegyptiorum. sub Figura VII.
Being the Voluntary Emancipation of a certain exempt Adept from his Adeptship. These are the Birth Words of a Master of the Temple.
Its 7 chapters are referred to the 7 planets in the following order: Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Sol, Mercury, Luna, Venus.
See CCCCXVIII [The Vision and the Voice].
Liber E vel Exercitiorum.
Instructs the aspirant in the necessity of keeping a record. Suggests methods of testing physical clairvoyance. Gives instruction in Asana, Pranayama and Dharana, and advises the application of tests to the physical body, in order that the student may thoroughly understand his own limitations.
The Equinox I, p. 25 & Appendix VI of this Book.
Liber Porta Lucis.
An account of the sending forth of the Master Therion by the A∴A∴ and an explanation of His mission.
The Equinox VI, p. 3.
An Instruction for attaining Nuit.
The Equinox VII, p. 11.
Graduum Montis Abiegni.
An account of the task of the Aspirant from Probationer to Adept.
The Equinox III, p. 3.
Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae.
Represents the original and true pre-Christian Christianity.
The Equinox XI (vol. iii, part 1) And Appendix VI of this book.
Liber Turris vel Domus Dei.
An Instruction for attainment by the direct destruction of thoughts as they arise in the mind.
The Equinox VI, p. 9.
Gives three methods of attainment through a willed series of thoughts.
Unpublished. It is the active form of Liber CCCLXI.
The Classic of Purity, by Ko Hsuen.
A new translation from the Chinese by the Master Therion.
Liber XXV."Liber XXV" is chapter XXV in The Book of Lies, 1913. Twenty-five is the square of five, the number of the Pentagram.
The Ritual of the Star Ruby.
An improved form of the lesser ritual of the Pentagram,Liber CCCXXXIII, The Book of Lies, pp. 34 & 35.
Also Appendix VI of this book.
Liber Trigrammaton, being a book of Trigrams of the Mutations of the Tao with the Yin and Yang.
An account of the cosmic process: corresponding to the stanzas of DzyanIn the Theosophical system. See The Secret Doctrine, 1888, by H. P. Blavatsky. in another system.
An elementary course of morality suitable for the average man.
The Equinox I, p. 17.
An account of A∴A∴ first written in the Language of his period by the Councillor Von Eckartshausen and now revised and rewritten in the Universal Cipher.
The Equinox I, p. 4.
Liber XXXVI."Liber XXXVI" is chapter XXXVI in The Book of Lies. Thirty-six is the square of six, the number of the Hexagram.
The Star Sapphire.
An improved ritual of the Hexagram. Liber CCCXXXIII (The Book of Lies), p.p. 46 & 7, and Appendix VI of this book.
An Essay on Attainment by the Way of Equilibrium.
Knox Om Pax, p. 52
Liber XLIV."Liber XLIV" is chapter XLIV in The Book of Lies. Forty-four is the number of blood, which forms the basis of this rite — the Mass of the Phoenix.
The Mass of the Phoenix.
A Ritual of the Law.
Liber CCCXXXIII (The Book of Lies), pp. 57-7, and Appendix VI in this book.
The Key of the Mysteries.
A Translation of La Clef des Grands Mystères, by Eliphas Lévi. Specially adapted to the task of the Attainment of Bhakta-Yoga.
The Equinox X, Supplement.
Shi Yi Chien.
An account of the divine perfection illustrated by the seven-fold permutation of the Dyad.
The Lost Continent.
An account of the continent of Atlantis: the manners and customs, magical rites and opinions of its people, together with a true account of the catastrophe, so called, which ended in its disappearance.
The Chymical Jousting of Brother Perardua with the seven Lances that he brake.
An account of the Magical and Mystic Path in the language of Alchemy.
The Equinox I, p. 88.
An article on the Qabalah in The Equinox V, p. 65.
Across the Gulf.
A fantastic account of a previous Incarnation. Its principal interest lies in the fact that its story of the overthrowing of Isis by Osiris may help the reader to understand the meaning of the overthrowing of Osiris by Horus in the present Aeon.
The Equinox VII, p. 293.
Explains the actual history and origin of the present movement. Its statements are accurate in the ordinary sense of the word. The object of the book is to discount Mythopeia.
The Equinox XI, p. 55.
Liber Israfel, formerly called Anubis.
An instruction in a suitable method of preaching.
Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente.
An account of the relations of the Aspirant with his Holy Guardian Angel.
The Equinox XI (vol. iii, part 1), p. 65.
Liber Stellae Rubeae.
A secret ritual, the Heart of IAO-OAI, delivered unto V.V.V.V.V. for his use in a certain matter of Liber Legis.
See Liber CCCXXXIII (The Book of Lies), pp. 34-5. Also Appendix VI in this book.
The Sword of Song.
A critical study of various philosophies. An account of Buddhism.
A. Crowley, Collected Works, Vol. ii, pp. 140-203.
The Voice of the Silence, the Two Paths, the Seven Portals, by H. P. Blavatsky, with an elaborate commentary by Frater O. M.
The Equinox III, I. Supplement.
Liber LXXXIII. — The Urn.
This is the sequel to The Temple of Solomon the King, and is the Diary of a Magus. This book contains a detailed account of all the experiences passed through by the Master Therion in his attainment of this grade of Initiation, the highest possible to any manifested Man.
See The Confessions.
Liber LXXVIII.Liber LXXVIII was expanded into The Book of Thoth, 1944
A complete treatise on the Tarot giving the correct designs of the cards with their attributions and symbolic meanings on all the planes.
Part-published in The Equinox VII, p.143.
The Butterfly Net.
An account of a magical operation, particularly concerning the planet Luna, written in the form of a novel.
Published under the title "Moon-child" by the Mandrake Press, 41, Museum St., London, W.C.1.
A brief abstraction of the Symbolic representation of the Universe derived by Dr. John Dee through the Scrying of Sir Edward Kelly.
Part-published in The Equinox VII, p. 229 & VIII, p. 99.
Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus.
An account of Initiation, and an indication as to those who are suitable for the same.
The Equinox VI, p. 17.
A poetical allegory of the relations of the soul and the Holy Guardian Angel.
Konx Om Pax, p. 1.
A Handbook of Geomancy.
The Equinox II, p. 137.
A Treatise on the Nature of Death, and the proper attitude to be taken towards it.
Published in "The International", New York, 1917.
Liber CXI (Aleph).
The Book of Wisdom or Folly.
An extended and elaborate commentary on the Book of the Law, in the form of a letter from the Master Therion to his magical son. Contains some of the deepest secrets of initiation, with a clear solution of many cosmic and ethical problems.
De Lege Libellum.
A further explanation of the Book of the Law, with special reference to the Powers and Privileges conferred by its acceptance.
The Equinox III, part 1, p. 99.
Liber Cheth, vel Vallum Abiegni.
A perfect account of the task of the Exempt Adept considered under the symbols of a particular plane, not the intellectual.
The Equinox VI, p. 23.
The Tao Teh King.
A new translation, with a commentary, by the Master Therion.
A Master of the Temple, Being an account of the attainment of Frater Unus In Omnibus.
The record of a man who actually attained by the system taught by the A∴A∴
Part-published in The Equinox III, I, p. 127.
Astarte vel Liber Berylli.
An instruction in attainment by the method of devotion, or Bhakta-Yogi.
The Equinox VII, p. 37.
Liber Collegii Sancti.
Being the tasks of the Grades and their Oaths proper to Liber XIII. This is the official paper of the various grades. It includes the Task and Oath of a Probationer.
The High History of Good Sir Palamedes the Saracen Knight and of his following of the Questing Beast.
A poetic account of the Great Work and enumeration of many obstacles.
The Equinox IV, Special Supplement.
Resh vel Helios.
An instruction for the adoration of the Sun four times daily, with the object of composing the mind to meditation, and of regularising the practices.
The Equinox VI, p. 29.
Liber RU vel Spiritus.
Full instruction in Pranayama.
The Equinox VII, p. 59.
Syllabus. An enumeration of the Official publications of A∴A∴ with a brief description of the contents of each book.
The Equinox XI (vol. iii part 1), p. 11. This appendix is extracted therefrom.
Liber CCXX (AL vel Legis).
The Book of the Law, which is the foundation of the whole work.
Text in The Equinox X, p. 9. Short commentary in The Equinox VII, p. 378. Full commentary by the Master Therion through whom it was given to the world, will be published shortly.The "full commentary" on The Book of the Law is still unpublished. In 1936 Crowley published a condensed version in The Equinox of the Gods.
The Yi King.
A new translation, with a commentary by the Master Therion.
Liber Arcanorum των του TAHUTI quas vidit ASAR in AMENNTI sub figura CCXXXI. Liber Carcerorum των QLIPHOTH cum suis Geniis. Adduntur Sigilla et Nomina Eorum.
An account of the cosmic process so far as it is indicated by the Tarot Trumps.
The Equinox VII, p. 69.
An exposition in poetic language of several of the ways of attainment and the results obtained.
The Equinox III, p. 9
The Structure of the Mind.
A Treatise on psychology from the mystic an magical stand-point. Its study will help the aspirant to make a detailed scientific analysis of his mind, and so learn to control it.
Khabs am Pekht.
A special instruction for the Promulgation of the Law. This is the first and most important duty of every Aspirant of whatever grade. It builds up in him the character and Karma which forms the Spine of Attainment.
The Equinox III, I, p. 171
The Book of Lies falsely so-called. Deals with many matters on all planes of the very highest importance. It is an official publication for Babes of the Abyss, but is recommended even to beginners as highly suggestive.
An account in poetic language of the struggle of the human and divine elements in the consciousness of man, giving their harmony following on the victory of the latter.
The Equinox VII, p. 117.
Gives three methods of attainment through a willed series of thoughts.
Liber CCCLXV vel CXX.
The Preliminary Invocation of the Goetia so-called, with a complete explanation of the barbarous names of evocation used therein, and the secret rubric of the ritual, by the Master Therion. This is the most potent invocation extant, and was used by the Master Himself in his attainment.
See Appendix IV of this book.
Liber TAU vel Kabbalae Truium Literarum sub figura CD.
A graphic interpretation of the Tarot on the plane of initiation.
The Equinox VII, p. 75.
A vel Armorum.
An instruction for the preparation of the Elemental Instruments.
The Equinox IV, p. 15.
Liber XXX AERUM vel Saeculi.
Being of the Angels of the Thirty Aethyrs, the Vision and the Voice. Besides being the classical account of the thirty Aethyrs and a model of all visions, the cries of the Angels should be regarded as accurate, and the doctrine of the function of the Great White Brotherhood understood as the foundation of the Aspiration of the Adept. The account of the Master of the Temple should in particular be taken as authentic.
The Equinox V, Special Supplement.
Os Abysmi vel Da'ath.
An instruction in a purely intellectual method of entering the Abyss.
The Equinox VII, p. 77.
A dictionary of Hebrew words arranged according to their numerical value. This is an Encyclopaedia of the Holy Qabalah, which is a Map of the Universe, and enables man to attain Perfect Understanding.
The Equinox VIII, Special Supplement.
A complete Treatise on Astrology.
This is the only text book on astrology composed on scientific lines by classifying observed facts instead of deducting from a priori theories.
ΒΑΤΡΑΧΟΦΡΕΝΟΒΟΟΚΟΣΜΟΜΑΧΙΑ.The Magician exalts and expands his consciousness by several means. That referred to here, the ecstatic vibration of barbarous names — usually corruptions of Gnostic or Egyptian god-names — is extended to the use of composite words, such as BATRACHOPHRENOBOOCOSMOMACHIA. Crowley gives this as the title of Liber 536 which is an account of the expansion of individual consciousness to infinity. This practice of vibrating the barbarous names forms an important part of magic.
An instruction in expansion of the field of the mind.
The Equinox X, p. 35.
An instruction for attaining Hadit.
The Equinox VII, p. 83.
A statement of certain ethical considerations concerning Magick.
Unpublished.Crowley had forgotten that this essay had appeared as an article in The International, the magazine which he edited in New York in 1917.
An account of the Magical Personality who is the Logos of the present Aeon.
Unpublished.This became The Equinox of the Gods, 1936.
Liber DCCLXXVII. (777).
Vel Prolegomena Symbolica Ad Systemam Sceptico-Mysticae Viae Explicandae, Fundamentum Hieroglyphicorum sanctissimorum Scientae Summae.
A complete Dictionary of the Correspondences of all magical elements, reprinted with extensive additions, making it the only standard comprehensive book of reference ever published. It is to the language of Occultism what Webster or Murray is to the English Language.
The reprint with additions will shortly be published.The Neptune Press, 1949.
Specially adapted to the task of Attainment of Control of the Body of Light, development of Intuition and Hathayoga.
The Equinox IX, p. 17.
An account of the Hexagram and the method of reducing it to the Unity, and Beyond.
Liber IOD, formerly called VESTA.
An instruction giving three methods of reducing the manifold consciousness to the Unity.
Adapted to facilitate the task of the Attainment of Raja-Yoga and of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
The Equinox VII, p. 101.
The Law of Liberty. This is a further explanation of the Book of the Law in reference to certain Ethical problems.
The Equinox XI (vol. III, No. 1), p. 45.
John St. John.
The Record of the Magical Retirement of G. H.Greatly Honoured. Frater O∴M∴
A model of what a magical record should be, so far as accurate analysis and fullness of description are concerned.
The Equinox I, Supplement.
Liber Viarum Viae.
A graphical account of magical powers classified under the Tarot Trumps.
The Equinox VII, p. 101.
A complete study of the origins of Christianity.
Unpublished.Liber 888 was incorporated in a long essay entitled "The Gospel according to Saint Bernard Shaw," unpublished.
Liber Viae Memoriae.
Gives methods for attaining the magical memory, or memory of past lives, and an insight into the function of the Aspirant in this present life.
The Equinox VII, p. 105.
An elaborate study of the psychological effects produced by Anhalonium Lewinii (Mescal Buttons), compiled from the actual records of some hundreds of experiments.
The Treasure House of Images.
A superb collection of Litanies appropriate to the Signs of the Zodiac.
The Equinox III, Supplement.
A Note on Genesis.
A model of Qabalistic ratiocination. Specially adapted to Gana Yoga.
The Greek Qabalah.
A complete dictionary of all sacred and important words and phrases given in the Books of the Gnosis and other important writings both in the Greek and the Coptic.
Unpublished. [Not extant.]
Thy feet in mire, thine head in murk,
O man, how piteous thy plight,
The doubts that daunt, the ills that irk,
Thou hast nor wit nor will to fight —
How hope in heart, or worth in work?
No star in sight!
Thy gods proved puppets of the priest.
"Truth? All's relation!" science sighed.
In bondage with thy brother beast,
Love tortured thee, as Love's hope died
And Lover's faith rotted. Life no least
Dim star descried.
Thy cringing carrion cowered and crawled
To find itself a chance-cast clod
Whose Pain was purposeless; appalled
That aimless accident thus trod
Its agony, that void skies sprawled
On the vain sod!
All souls eternally exist,
Each individual, ultimate,
Perfect — each makes itself a mist
Of mind and flesh to celebrate
With some twin mask their tender tryst
Some drunkards, doting on the dream,
Despair that it should die, mistake
Themselves for their own shadow-scheme.
One star can summon them to wake
To self; star-souls serene that gleam
On life's calm lake.
That shall end never that began.
All things endure because they are.
Do what thou wilt, for every man
And every woman is a star.
Pan is not dead; he liveth, Pan!
Break down the bar!
To man I come, the number of
A man my number, Lion of Light;
I am The Beast whose Law is Love.
Love under will, his royal right —
Behold within, and not above,
One star in sight!
A glimpse of the structure and system of the Great White Brotherhood.
A∴A∴The Name of The Order and those of its three divisions are not disclosed to the profane. Certain swindlers have recently stolen the initials A∴A∴ in order to profit by its reputation.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
1. The Order of the Star called S. S. is, in respect of its existence upon the Earth, an organized body of men and women distinguished among their fellows by the qualities here enumerated. They exist in their own Truth, which is both universal and unique. They move in accordance with their own Wills, which are each unique, yet coherent with the universal will.
They perceive (that is, understand, know, and feel) in love, which is both unique and universal.
2. The order consists of eleven grades or degrees, and is numbered as follows: these compose three groups, the Orders of the S. S., of the R. C., and of the G. D.The Silver Star, the Rosy Cross, the Golden Dawn, the three Orders which comprise the A∴A∴ respectively.
The Order of the S. S.
|Ipsissimus||10° = 1□|
|Magus||9° = 2□|
|Magister Templi||8° = 3□|
The Order of the R. C.
(Babe of the Abyss — the link)
|Adeptus Exemptus||7° = 4□|
|Adeptus Major||6° = 5□|
|Adeptus Minor||5° = 6□|
The Order of the G. D.
(Dominus Liminis — the link)
|Philosophus||4° = 7□|
|Practicus||3° = 8□|
|Zelator||2° = 9□|
|Neophyte||1° = 10□|
|Probationer||0° = 0□|
(These figures have special meanings to the initiated and are commonly employed to designate the grades.)
The general characteristics and attributions of these Grades are indicated by their correspondences on the Tree of Life, as may be studied in detail in the Book 777.
Student. His business is to acquire a general intellectual knowledge of all systems of attainment, as declared in the prescribed books. (See curriculum in Appendix I.)
Probationer. His principal business is to begin such practices as he may prefer, and to write a careful record of the same for one year.
Neophyte. Has to acquire perfect control of the Astral Plane.
Zelator. His main work is to achieve complete success in Asana and Pranayama. He also begins to study the formula of the Rosy Cross.
Practicus. Is expected to complete his intellectual training, and in particular to study the Qabalah.
Philosophus. Is expected to complete his moral training. He is tested in Devotion to the Order.
Dominus Liminis. Is expected to show mastery of Pratyahara and Dharana.
Adeptus (without). is expected to perform the Great Work and to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
Adeptus (within). Is admitted to the practice of the formula of the Rosy Cross on entering the College of the Holy Ghost.
Adeptus (Major). a general mastery of practical Magick, though without comprehension.
Adeptus (Exemptus). Completes in perfection all these matters. He then either (a) becomes a Brother of the Left Hand Path or, (b) is stripped of all his attainments and of himself as well, even of his Holy Guardian Angel, and becomes a babe of the Abyss, who, having transcended the Reason, does nothing but grow in the womb of its mother. It then finds itself a
Magister Templi. (Master of the Temple): whose functions are fully described in Liber 418, as is this whole initiation from Adeptus Exemptus. See also Aha!. His principal business is to tend his "garden" of disciples, and to obtain a perfect understanding of the Universe. He is a Master of Samadhi.
Magus. Attains to wisdom, declares his law (See Liber I, vel Magi) and is a Master of all Magick in its greatest and highest sense.
Ipsissimus. Is beyond all this and beyond all comprehension of those of lower degrees.
But of these last three Grades see some further account in The Temple of Solomon the King, Equinox I to X and elsewhere.
It should be stated that these Grades are not necessarily attained fully, and in strict consecution, or manifested wholly on all planes. The subject is very difficult, and entirely beyond the limits of this small treatise.
We append a more detailed account.
3. The Order of the S. S.
is composed of those who have crossed the Abyss; the implications of this expression may be studied in Liber 418
, the 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th, and 9th Aethyrs in particular.
All members of the Order are in full possession of the Formulae of Attainment, both mystical or inwardly-directed and Magical or outwardly-directed. They have full experience of attainment in both these paths.
They are all, however, bound by the original and fundamental Oath of the Order, to devote their energy to assisting the Progress of their Inferiors in the Order. Those who accept the rewards of their emancipation for themselves are no longer within the Order.
Members of the Order are each entitled to found Orders dependent on themselves on the lines of the R. C. and G. D. orders, to cover types of emancipation and illumination not contemplated by the original (or main) system. All such orders must, however, be constituted in harmony with the A∴A∴ as regards the essential principles.
All members of the Order are in possession of the Word of the existing Aeon, and govern themselves thereby.
They are entitled to communicate directly with any and every member of the Order, as they may deem fitting.
Every active Member of the Order has destroyed all that He is and all that he has on crossing the Abyss; but a star is cast forth in the Heavens to enlighten the Earth, so that he may possess a vehicle wherein he may communicate with mankind. The quality and position of this star, and its functions, are determined by the nature of the incarnations transcended by him.
4. The Grade of Ipsissimus is not to be described fully; but its opening is indicated in Liber I vel Magi
There is also an account in a certain secret document to be published when propriety permits.Crowley is referring to his diary or The Magical Record of the Beast 666, the first volume of which has been edited, annotated and introduced by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant (Duckworth, 1972). Here it is only said this: The Ipsissimus is wholly free from all limitations soever, existing in the nature of all things without discriminations of quantity or quality between them. He has identified Being and not-Being and Becoming, action and non-action and tendency to action, with all other such triplicities, not distinguishing between them in respect of any conditions, or between any one thing and any other thing as to whether it is with or without conditions.
He is sworn to accept this Grade in the presence of a witness, and to express its nature in word and deed, but to withdraw Himself at once within the veils of his natural manifestation as a man, and to keep silence during his human life as to the fact of his attainment, even to the other members of the Order.
The Ipsissimus is pre-eminently the Master of all modes of existence; that is, his being is entirely free from internal or external necessity. His work is to destroy all tendencies to construct or to cancel such necessities. He is the Master of the Law of Unsubstantiality (Anatta).
The Ipsissimus has no relation as such with any Being: He has no will in any direction, and no Consciousness of any kind involving duality, for in Him all is accomplished; as it is written "beyond the Word and the Fool, yea, beyond the Word and the Fool".
5. The Grade of Magus is described in Liber I vel Magi
, and there are accounts of its character in Liber 418 in the Higher Aethyrs.
There is also a full and precise description of the attainment of this Grade in The Magical Record of the Beast 666.
The essential characteristic of the Grade is that its possessor utters a Creative Magical Word, which transforms the planet on which he lives by the installation of new officers to preside over its initiation. This can take place only at an "Equinox of the Gods" at the end of an "Aeon"; that is, when the secret formula which expresses the Law of its action becomes outworn and useless to its further development.
(Thus "Suckling" is the formula of an infant: when teeth appear it marks a new "Aeon", whose "Word" is "Eating").
A Magus can therefore only appear as such to the world at intervals of some centuries; accounts of historical Magi, and their Words, are given in Liber Aleph.
This does not mean that only one man can attain this Grade in any one Aeon, so far as the Order is concerned. A man can make personal progress equivalent to that of a "Word of an Aeon"; but he will identify himself with the current word, and exert his will to establish it, lest he conflict with the work of the Magus who uttered the Word of the Aeon in which He is living.
The Magus is pre-eminently the Master of Magick, that is, his will is entirely free from internal diversion or external opposition; His work is to create a new Universe in accordance with His Will. He is the Master of the Law of Change (Anicca).
To attain the Grade of Ipsissimus he must accomplish three tasks, destroying the Three Guardians mentioned in Liber 418, the 3rd Aethyr; Madness, and Falsehood, and Glamour, that is, Duality in Act, Word and Thought.
6. The Grade of Master of the Temple is described in Liber 418 as above indicated. There are full accounts in the Magical Diaries of the Beast 666, who was cast forth into the Heaven of Jupiter, and of Omnia in Uno, Unus in Omnibus,Achad, i.e. Charles Stansfeld Jones. who was cast forth into the sphere of the Elements.
The essential Attainment is the perfect annihilation of that personality which limits and oppresses his true self.
The Magister Templi is pre-eminently the Master of Mysticism, that is, His Understanding is entirely free from internal contradiction or external obscurity; His word is to comprehend the existing Universe in accordance with His own Mind. He is the Master of the Law of Sorrow (Dukkha).
To attain the grade of Magus he must accomplish Three Tasks; the renunciation of His enjoyment of the Infinite so that he may formulate Himself as the Finite; the acquisition of the practical secrets alike of initiating and governing His proposed new Universe and the identification of himself with the impersonal idea of Love. Any neophyte of the Order (or, as some say, any person soever) possesses the right to claim the Grade of Master of the Temple by taking the Oath of the Grade. It is hardly necessary to observe that to do so is the most sublime and awful responsibility which it is possible to assume, and an unworthy person who does so incurs the most terrific penalties by his presumption.
7. The Order of the R. C. The Grade of the Babe of the Abyss is not a Grade in the proper sense, being rather a passage between the two Orders. Its characteristics are wholly negative, as it is attained by the resolve of the Adeptus Exemptus to surrender all that he has and is for ever. It is an annihilation of all the bonds that compose the self or constitute the Cosmos, a resolution of all complexities into their elements, and these thereby cease to manifest, since things are only knowable in respect of their relation to, and reaction on, other things.
8. The Grade of Adeptus Exemptus confers authority to govern the two lower Orders of R. C. and G. D.
The Adept must prepare and publish a thesis setting forth His knowledge of the Universe, and his proposals for its welfare and progress. He will thus be known as the leader of a school of thought.
(Eliphas Lévi's La Clef des Grands Mysteres, the works of Swedenborg, von Eckarshausen, Robert Fludd, Paracelsus, Newton, Bolyai, Hinton, Berkeley, Loyola, etc., etc., are examples of such essays.)
He will have attained all but the supreme summits of meditation, and should be already prepared to perceive that the only possible course for him is to devote himself utterly to helping his fellow creatures.
To attain the Grade of Magister Templi, he must perform two tasks; the emancipation from thought by putting each idea against its opposite, and refusing to prefer either; and the consecration of himself as a pure vehicle for the influence of the order to which he aspires.
He must then decide upon the critical adventure of our Order; the absolute abandonment of himself and his attainments. He cannot remain indefinitely an Exempt Adept; he is pushed onward by the irresistible momentum that he has generated.
Should he fail, by will or weakness, to make his self-annihilation absolute, he is none the less thrust forth into the Abyss; but instead of being received and reconstructed in the Third Order, as a Babe in the womb of our Lady Babalon, under the Night of Pan, to grow up to be Himself wholly and truly as He was not previously, he remains in the Abyss, secreting his elements round his Ego as if isolated from the Universe, and becomes what is called a "Black Brother". Such a being is gradually disintegrated from lack of nourishment and the slow but certain action of the attraction of the rest of the Universe, despite efforts to insulate and protect himself, and to aggrandise himself by predatory practices. He may indeed prosper for a while, but in the end he must perish, especially when with a new Aeon a new word is proclaimed which he cannot and will not hear, so that he is handicapped by trying to use an obsolete method of Magick, like a man with a boomerang in a battle where every one else has a rifle.
9. The Grade of Adeptus Major confers Magical Powers (strictly so-called) of the second rank.
His work is to use these to support the authority of the Exempt Adept his superior. (This is not to be understood as an obligation of personal subservience or even loyalty; but as a necessary part of his duty to assist his inferiors. For the authority of the Teaching and governing Adept is the basis of all orderly work.)
To attain the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus, he must accomplish Three Tasks; the acquisition of absolute Self-Reliance, working in complete isolation, yet transmitting the word of his superior clearly, forcibly and subtly; and the comprehension and use of the Revolution of the wheel of force, under its three successive forms of Radiation, Conduction and Convection (Mercury, Sulphur, Salt; or Sattvas, Rajas, Tamas), with their corresponding natures on other planes. Thirdly, he must exert his whole power and authority to govern the Members of lower Grades with balanced vigour and initiative in such a way as to allow no dispute or complaint; he must employ to this end the formula called "The Beast conjoined with the Woman" which establishes a new incarnation of deity; as in the legends of Leda, Semele, Miriam, Pasiphae, and others. He must set up this ideal for the orders which he rules, so that they may possess a not too abstract rallying point suited to their undeveloped states.
10. The Grade of Adeptus Minor is the main theme of the instructions of the A∴A∴ It is characterised by the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. (See The Equinox
, "The Temple of Solomon the King"; "The Vision and the Voice", 8th Aethyr
; also "Liber Samekh
", etc. etc.) This is the essential work of every man; none other ranks with it either for personal progress or for power to help one's fellows. This unachieved, man is no more than the unhappiest and blindest of animals. He is conscious of his own incomprehensible calamity, and clumsily incapable of repairing it. Achieved, he is no less than the co-heir of gods, a Lord of Light. He is conscious of his own consecrated course, and confidently ready to run it. The Adeptus Minor needs little help or guidance even from his superiors in our Order.
His work is to manifest the Beauty of the Order to the world, in the way that his superiors enjoin, and his genius dictates.
To attain the Grade Adeptus Major, he must accomplish two tasks; the equilibration of himself, especially as to his passions, so that he has no preference for any one course of conduct over another, and the fulfilment of every action by its complement, so that whatever he does leaves him without temptation to wander from the way of his True Will.
Secondly, he must keep silence, while he nails his body to the tree of his creative will, in the shape of that Will, leaving his head and arms to form the symbol of Light, as if to make oath that his every thought, word and deed should express the Light derived from the God with which he has identified his life, his love and his liberty — symbolised by his heart, his phallus, and his legs. It is impossible to lay down precise rules by which a man may attain to the knowledge and conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel; for that is the particular secret of each one of us; as secret not to be told or even divined by any other, whatever his grade. It is the Holy of Holies, whereof each man is his own High Priest, and none knoweth the Name of his brother's God, or the Rite that invokes Him.
The Masters of the A∴A∴ have therefore made no attempt to institute any regular ritual for this central Work of their Order, save the generalised instructions in Liber 418 (the 8th Aethyr
) and the detailed Canon and Rubric of the Mass actually used with success by Frater Perdurabo
in His attainment. This has been written down by Himself in Liber Samekh. But they have published such accounts as those in "The Temple of Solomon the King" and in "John St. John". They have taken the only proper course; to train aspirants to this attainment in the theory and practice of the whole of Magick and Mysticism, so that each man may be expert in the handling of all known weapons, and free to choose and to use those which his own experience and instinct dictate as proper when he essays the Great Experiment.
He is furthermore trained to the one habit essential to Membership of the A∴A∴; he must regard all his attainments as primarily the property of those less advanced aspirants who are confided to his charge.
No attainment soever is officially recognised by the A∴A∴ unless the immediate inferior of the person in question has been fitted by him to take his place.
The rule is not rigidly applied in all cases, as it would lead to congestion, especially in the lower grades where the need is greatest, and the conditions most confused; but it is never relaxed in the Order of the R.C. or of the S.S.: save only in One Case.
There is also a rule that the Members of the A∴A∴ shall not know each other officially, save only each Member his superior who introduced him and his inferior whom he has himself introduced.
This rule has been relaxed, and a "Grand Neophyte" appointed to superintend all Members of the Order of the G∴D∴ The real object of the rule was to prevent Members of the same Grade working together and so blurring each other's individuality; also to prevent work developing into social intercourse.
The Grades of the Order of the G∴D∴ are fully described in Liber 185,This book is published in the Equinox Vol. III No. 2.
and there is no need to amplify what is there stated.It must however, be carefully remarked that in each of these preliminary Grades there are appointed certain tasks appropriate, and that the ample accomplishment of each and every one of these is insisted upon with the most rigorous rigidity.Liber 185 need not be quoted at length. It is needful only to say that the Aspirant is trained systematically and comprehensively in the various technical practices which form the basis of Our Work. One may become expert in any or all of these without necessarily making any real progress, just as a man might be first-rate at grammar, syntax, and prosody without being able to write a single line of good poetry, although the greatest poet in soul is unable to express himself without the aid of those three elements of literary composition.
Members of the A∴A∴ of whatever grade are not bound or expected or even encouraged to work on any stated lines, or with any special object, save as has been above set forth. There is however an absolute prohibition to accept money or other material reward, directly or indirectly, in respect of any service connected with the Order, for personal profit or advantage. The penalty is immediate expulsion, with no possibility of reinstatement on any terms soever.
But all members must of necessity work in accordance with the facts of Nature, just as an architect must allow of the Law of Gravitation, or a sailor reckon with currents.
So must all Members of the A∴A∴ work by the Magical Formula of the Aeon.
They must accept the Book of the Law as the Word and the Letter of Truth, and the sole Rule of Life.This is not in contradiction with the absolute right of every person to do his own true Will. But any True Will is of necessity in harmony with the facts of Existence; and to refuse to accept the Book of the Law is to create a conflict within Nature, as if a physicist insisted on using an incorrect formula of mechanics as the basis of an experiment. They must acknowledge the Authority of the Beast 666 and of the Scarlet Woman as in the book it is defined, and accept Their Will"Their Will" — not, of course, their wishes as individual human beings, but their will as officers of the New Aeon. as concentrating the Will of our Whole Order. They must accept the Crowned and Conquering Child as the Lord of the Aeon, and exert themselves to establish His reign upon Earth. They must acknowledge that "The word of the Law is ΘΕΛΗΜΑ" and that "Love is the law, love under will."
Each member must make it his main work to discover for himself his own true will, and to do it, and do nothing else.It is not considered "essential to right conduct" to be an active propagandist of the Law, and so on; it may, or may not, be the True Will of any particular person to do so. But since the fundamental purpose of the Order is to further the Attainment of humanity, membership implies, by definition, the Will to help mankind by the means best adapted thereto.
He must accept those orders in The Book of the Law that apply to himself as being necessarily in accordance with his own true will, and execute the same to the letter with all the energy, courage, and ability that he can command. This applies especially to the work of extending the Law in the world, wherein his proof is his own success, the witness of his Life to the Law that hath given him light in his ways, and liberty to pursue them. Thus doing, he payeth his debt to the Law that hath freed him by working its will to free all men; and he proveth himself a true man in our Order by willing to bring his fellows into freedom.
By thus ordering his disposition, he will fit himself in the best possible manner for the task of understanding and mastering the divers technical methods prescribed by the A∴A∴ for Mystical and Magical attainment.
He will thus prepare himself properly for the crisis of his career in the Order, the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel.
His Angel shall lead him anon to the summit of the Order of the R. C. and make him ready to face the unspeakable terror of the Abyss which lies between Manhood and Godhead; teach him to Know that agony, to Dare that destiny, to Will that catastrophe, and to keep Silence for ever as he accomplishes the act of annihilation.
From the Abyss comes No Man"No Man", Nemo, is the motto of a Master of the Temple. forth, but a Star startles the Earth, and our Order rejoices above that Abyss that the Beast hath begotten one more Babe in the Womb of Our Lady, His concubine, the Scarlet Woman, Babalon.
There is not need to instruct a Babe thus born, for in the Abyss it was purified of every poison of personality; its ascent to the highest is assured, in its season, and it hath no need of seasons for it is conscious that all conditions are no more than forms of its fancy.
Such is a brief account, adapted as far as may be to the average aspirant to Adeptship, or Attainment, or Initiation, or Mastership, or Union with God, or Spiritual Development, or Mahatmaship, or Freedom, or Occult Knowledge, or whatever he may call his inmost need of Truth, of our Order of A∴A∴.
It is designed principally to awake interest in the possibilities of human progress, and to proclaim the principles of the A∴A∴
The outline given of the several successive steps is exact; the two crises — the Angel and the Abyss — are necessary features in every career. The other tasks are not always accomplished in the order given here; one man, for example, may acquire many of the qualities peculiar to the Adeptus Major, and yet lack some of those proper to the Practicus.The natural talents of individual differ very widely. The late Sir Richard Jebb, one of the greatest classical scholars of modern times, was so inferior to the average mediocrity in mathematics, that despite repeated efforts he could not pass the "little go" at Cambridge — which the dullest minds can usually do. He was so deeply esteemed for his classics that a special "Grace" was placeted so as to admit him to matriculation. Similarly a brilliant Exorcist might be an incompetent Diviner. In such a case the A∴A∴ would refuse to swerve from Its system; the Aspirant would be compelled to remain at the Barrier until he succeeded in breaking it down, though a new incarnation were necessary to permit him to do so. But no technical failure of any kind soever could necessarily prevent him from accomplishing the Two Critical Tasks, since the fact of his incarnation itself proves that he has taken the Oath which entitled him to attain to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel, and the annihilation of this Ego. One might therefore be an Adeptus Minor or even a Magister Templi, in essence, though refused official recognition by the A∴A∴ as a Zelator owing to (say) a nervous defect which prevented him from acquiring a Posture which was "steady and easy" as required by the Task of that grade. But the system here given shows the correct order of events, as they are arranged in Nature; and in no case is it safe for a man to neglect to master any single detail, however dreary and distasteful it may seem. It often does so, indeed; that only insists on the necessity of dealing with it. The dislike and contempt for it bear witness to a weakness and incompleteness in the nature which disowns it; that particular gap in one's defences may admit the enemy at the very turning-point of some battle. Worse, one were shamed for ever if one's inferior should happen to ask for advice and aid on that subject and one were to fail in service to him! His failure — one's own failure also! No step, however well won for oneself, till he is ready for his own advance!
Every Member of the A∴A∴ must be armed at all points, and expert with every weapon. The examinations in every Grade are strict and severe; no loose or vague answers are accepted. In intellectual questions, the candidate must display no less mastery of his subject than if he were entered in the "final" for Doctor of Science or Law at a first class University.
In examination of physical practices, there is a standardised test. In Asana, for instance, the candidate must remain motionless for a given time, his success being gauged by poising on his head a cup filled with water to the brim; if he spill one drop, he is rejected.
He is tested in "the Spirit Vision" or "Astral Journeying" by giving him a symbol unknown and unintelligible to him, and he must interpret its nature by means of a vision as exactly as if he had read its name and description in the book when it was chosen.
The power to make and "charge" talismans is tested as if they were scientific instruments of precision, as they are.
In the Qabalah, the candidate must discover for himself, and prove to the examiner beyond all doubt, the properties of a number never previously examined by any student.
In invocation the divine force must be made as manifest and unmistakable as the effects of chloroform; in evocation, the spirit called forth must be at least as visible and tangible as the heaviest vapours; in divination, the answer must be as precise as a scientific thesis, and as accurate as an audit; in meditation, the results must read like a specialist's report of a classical case.
By such methods, the A∴A∴ intends to make occult science as systematic and scientific as chemistry; to rescue it from the ill repute which, thanks both to the ignorant and dishonest quacks that have prostituted its name, and to the fanatical and narrow-minded enthusiasts that have turned it into a fetish, has made it an object of aversion to those very minds whose enthusiasm and integrity make them most in need of its benefits, and most fit to obtain them.
It is the one really important science, for it transcends the conditions of material existence and so is not liable to perish with the planet, and it must be studied as a science, sceptically, with the utmost energy and patience.
The A∴A∴ possesses the secrets of success; it makes no secret of its knowledge, and if its secrets are not everywhere known and practised, it is because the abuses connected with the name of occult science disincline official investigators to examine the evidence at their disposal.
This paper has been written not only with the object of attracting individual seekers into the way of Truth, but of affirming the propriety of the methods of the A∴A∴ as the basis for the next great step in the advance of human knowledge.
Love is the law, love under will.
O. M. 7° = 4□ A∴A∴
Praemonstrator of the
Order of the R... C....
Given from the Collegium ad Spiritum Sanctum, Cefalu, Sicily, in the Seventeenth Year of the Aeon of Horus, the Sun being in 23 Degree Virgo and the Moon in 14 Degree Pisces.
1) What are "Astral" and "Spiritual" Beings?On consideration these notes have been left as they were originally written. In An XVII [1920 e.v.], Sol in Virgo, Soror Rhodon [Mary Butts, writer], a probationer of A∴A∴, at that time in enjoyment of the privilege of sojourning in a certain secret Abbey of Thelema, asked Him to add to this book an outline of the uranography of the Astral Planes, in less technical language than that of Liber 777. These notes were accordingly jotted down by Him. To elaborate them further would have been to make them disproportionate to the rest of this treatise.
Man is one: it is a case of any consciousness assuming a sensible form.
Microcosms and elementals. Maybe an elemental (e.g. a dog) has a cosmic conception in which he is a microcosm and man incomplete. No means of deciding same, as in case of kinds of space.See Poincaré, passages quoted infra.
Similarly, our gross matter may appear unreal to Beings clad in fine matter. Thus, science thinks vulgar perceptions "error". We cannot perceive at all except within our gamut; as, concentrated perfumes, which seem malodorous, and time-hidden facts, such as the vanes of a revolving fan, which flies can distinguish.
Hence: no a priori reason to deny the existence of conscious intelligences with insensible bodies. Indeed we know of other orders of mind (flies, etc., possibly vegetables) thinking by means of non-human brain-structures.
But the fundamental problem of Religion is this: Is there any praeter-human Intelligence, of the same order as our own, which is not dependent on cerebral structures consisting of matter in the vulgar sense of the word?
2) "Matter" includes all that is movable. Thus, electric waves are "matter". There is no reason to deny the existence of Beings who perceive by other means those subtle forces which we only perceive by our instruments.
3) We can influence other Beings, conscious or no, as lion-tamers, gardeners, etc., and are influenced by them, as by storms, bacilli, etc.
4) There is an apparent gap between our senses and their correspondences in consciousness. Theory needs a medium to join matter and spirit, just as physics once needed an "ether" to transmit and transmute vibrations.
5) We may consider all beings as parts of ourselves, but it is more convenient to regard them as independent. Maximum Convenience is our canon of "Truth".The passages referred to are as follows:
"Les axiomes géométriques ne sont donc ni des jugements synthétiques a priori ni des faits experimentaux. Ce sont des conventions ...
Dés lors, que doit-on penser de cette question: La géométrie Euclidienne est-elle vraie?
Elle n'a aucun sens. Autant demander si le système métrique est vrai et les anciennes mesures fausses; si les coordonnées cartésiennes sont vraies et les coordonnées polaires fausses. Une géométrie ne peut pas étre plus vraie qu'une autre; elle peut seulement étre plus commode.
On veut dire que par sélection naturelle notre esprit s'est adapté aux conditions du monde extérieur, qu'il a adopté la géométrie la plus avantageuse à l'espece; ou en d'autres termes la plus commode. Cela est conforme tout à fait à nos conclusions; la géométrie n'est pas vraie: elle est avantageuse." Poincaré, La Science et l'Hypothese.
"Nous choisirons donc ces règles non parce qu'elles sont vraies, mais parce qu'elles sont les plus commodes, et nous pourrions les resumer ainsi en disant:
"La simultanéité de dex événements, ou l'ordre de leur succession, l'égalité de deux durées, doivent être définies de telle sorte que l'énoncé des lois naturelles soit aussi simple que possible. En d'autres termes, toutes ces règles, toutes ces définitions ne sont pas que le fruit d'un opportunisme inconscient." Poincaré, La Valeur de la Science.
The Student may consult H. H. Joachim's The Nature of Truth, in rebuttal. But most of these subtleties miss the point. Truth must be defined. It is a name, being a noun (nomen); and all names are human symbols of things. Now Truth is the power to arouse a certain reaction ("assent") in a man, under certain conditions: ("greenness", weight, all other qualities, are also powers). It exists in the object, whether latent or manifest; so experiencing both does and does not alter the facts. This is Solipsism, because we can only be conscious of our own consciousness; yet it is not Solipsism, because our consciousness tells us that its changes are due to the impact of an external force. Newton's First Law makes this a matter of definition.
"What is truth?", beyond this, inquires into the nature of this power. It is inherent in all things, since all possible propositions, or their contradictories, can be affirmed as true. Its condition is identity of form (or structure) of the Monads involved.
It requires a quality of mind beyond the "normal" to appreciate 0° = X, etc., directly, just as H. H. Joachim's reasoning demands a point-of-view beyond that of the Bushman.
We may thus refer psychical phenomena to the intention of "Astral" Beings, without committing ourselves to any theory. Coherence is the sole quality demanded of us.
6) Magick enables us to receive sensible impressions of worlds other than the "physical" universe (as generally understood by profane science). These worlds have their own laws; their inhabitants are often of quasi-human intelligence; there is a definite set of relations between certain "ideas" of ours, and their expressions, and certain types of phenomena. (Thus symbols, the Qabalah, etc. enable us to communicate with whom we choose.)
7) "Astral" Beings possess knowledge and power of a different kind from our own; their "universe" is presumably of a different kind from ours, in some respects. (Our idea "bone" is not the same as a dog's; a short-sighted man sees things differently to one of normal vision.) It is more convenient to assume the objective existence of an "Angel" who gives us new knowledge than to allege that our invocation has awakened a supernormal power in ourselves. Such incidents as "Calderazzo"See the story, infra, about the origin of Book 4. and "Jacob"See the story, infra, about Amalantra. make this more cogent.
8) The Qabalah maps ourselves by means of a convention. Every aspect of every object may thus be referred to the Tree of Life, and evoked by using the proper keys.
9) Time and Space are forms by which we obtain (distorted) images of Ideas. Our measures of Time and SpaceSee Poincaré's essay on the Nature of Space, as an idea invented by ourselves to measure the result of, and explain, our muscular movements. are crude conventions, and differ widely for different Beings. (Hashish shows how the same mind may vary.)
10) We may admit that any aspect of any object or idea may be presented to us in a symbolic form, whose relation to its Being is irrational. (Thus, there is no rational link between seeing a bell struck and hearing its chime. Our notion of "bell" is no more than a personification of its impressions on our senses. And our wit and power to make a bell "to order" imply a series of correspondences between various orders of nature precisely analogous to Magick, when we obtain a Vision of Beauty by the use of certain colours, forms, sounds, etc.)
11) "Astral" Beings may thus be defined in the same way as "material objects"; they are the Unknown Causes of various observed effects. They may be of any order of existence. We give a physical form and name to a bell but not to its tone, though in each case we know nothing but our own impressions. But we record musical sounds by a special convention. We may therefore call a certain set of qualities "Ratziel",The Archangel of the Sphere of Chokmah, the second Sephira. or describe an impression as "Saturnian" without pretending to know what anything is in itself. All we need is to know how to cast a bell that will please our ears, or how to evoke a "spirit" that will tell us things that are hidden from our intellectual faculties.
12) (a) Every object soever may be considered as possessed of an "Astral shape", sensible to our subtle perceptions. This "astral shape" is to its material basis as our human character is to our physical appearance. We may imagine this astral shape: e.g. we may "see" a jar of opium as a soft seductive woman with a cruel smile, just as we see in the face of a cunning and dishonest man the features of some animal, such as a fox.
(b) We may select any particular property of any object, and give it an astral shape. Thus, we may take the tricky perils of a mountain, and personify them as "trolls", or the destructive energies of the simoom, as "Jinn".
(c) We may analyse any of these symbols, obtaining a finer form; thus the "spirit" contains an "angel", the angel an "archangel", etc.
(d) We may synthesize any set of symbols, obtaining a more general form. Thus we may group various types of earth-spirit as gnomes.
(e) All these may be attributed to the Tree of Life, and dealt with accordingly.
(f) The Magician may prepare a sensible body for any of these symbols, and evoke them by the proper rites.
13) The "reality" or "objectivity" of these symbols is not pertinent to the discussion. The ideas of X4 and √-1 have proved useful to the progress of mathematical advance toward Truth; it is no odds whether a Fourth Dimension "exists", or whether √-1 has "meaning" in the sense that √4 has, the number of units in the side of a square of 4 units.
The Astral Plane — real or imaginary — is a danger to anybody who takes it without the grain of salt contained in the Wisdom of the above point of view; who violates its laws either wilfully, carelessly, ignorantly, or by presuming that their psychological character differentiates them from physical laws in the narrower sense; or who abdicates his autonomy, on the ground that the subtler nature of astral phenomena guarantees their authority and integrity.
(14) The variety of the general character of the "planes" of being is indefinitely large. But there are several main types of symbolism corresponding to the forms of plastic presentation established by the minds of Mankind. Each such "plane" has its special appearances, inhabitants, and laws — special cases of the general proposition. Notable among these are the "Egyptian" plane, which conforms with the ideas and methods of magick once in vogue in the Nile valley; the "Celtic" plane, close akin to "Fairyland", with a Pagan Pantheism as its keynote, sometimes concealed by Christian nomenclature: the "Alchemical" plane, where the Great Work is often presented under the form of symbolically constructed landscapes occupied by quasi-heraldic animals and human types hieroglyphically distinguished, who carry on the mysterious operations of the Hermetic Art.
There are also "planes" of Parable, of Fable, and of Folk-lore; in short, every country, creed, and literature has given its characteristic mode of presentation to some "plane" or other.
But there are "planes" proper to every clairvoyant who explores the Astral Light without prejudice; in such case, things assume the form of his own mind, and his perception will be clear in proportion to his personal purity.
On the higher planes, the diversity of form, due to grossness, tends to disappear. Thus, the Astral Vision of "Isis" is utterly unlike that of "Kali". The one is of Motherhood and Wisdom, ineffably candid, clear, and loving; the other of Murder and madness, blood-intoxicated, lust-befogged, and cruel. The sole link is the Woman-symbol. But whoso makes Samadhi on Kali obtains the self-same Illumination as if it had been Isis; for in both cases he attains identity with the Quintessence of the Woman-Idea, untrammelled by the qualities with which the dwellers by the Nile and the Ganges respectively disguised it.
Thus, in low grades of initiation, dogmatic quarrels are inflamed by astral experience; as when Saint John distinguishes between the Whore Babalon and the Woman clothed with the Sun, between the Lamb that was slain and the Beast 666 whose deadly wound was healed; nor understands that Satan, the Old Serpent, in the Abyss, the Lake of Fire and Sulphur, is the Sun-Father, the vibration of Life, Lord of Infinite Space that flames with His Consuming Energy, and is also that throned Light whose Spirit is suffused throughout the City of Jewels.
Each "plane" is a veil of the one above it; the original individual Ideas become diversified as they express their elements. Two men with almost identical ideas on a subject would write two totally different treatises upon it.
15) The general control of the Astral Plane, the ability to find one's way about it, to penetrate such sanctuaries as are guarded from the profane, to make such relations with its inhabitants as may avail to acquire knowledge and power, or to command service; all this is a question of the general Magical attainment of the student. He must be absolutely at ease in his Body of Light, and have made it invulnerable. He must be adept in assuming all God-forms, in using all weapons, sigils, gestures, words, and signs. He must be familiar with the names and numbers pertinent to the work in hand. He must be alert, sensitive, and ready to exert his authority; yet courteous, gracious, patient, and sympathetic.
16) There are two opposite methods of exploring the Astral Plane.
(a). One may take some actual object in Nature, and analyse it by evoking its astral form, thus bringing it into knowledge and under control by applying the keys of the Qabalah and of Magick.
(b). One may proceed by invoking the required idea, and giving body to the same by attracting to it the corresponding elements in Nature.
17) Every Magician possesses an Astral Universe peculiar to himself, just as no man's experience of the world is coterminous with that of another. There will be a general agreement on the main points, of course; and so the Master Therion is able to describe the principal properties of these "planes", and their laws, just as he might write a geography giving an account of the Five Continents, the Oceans and Seas, the most notable mountains and rivers; he could not pretend to put forth the whole knowledge that any one peasant possesses in respect of his district. But, to the peasant, these petty details are precisely the most important items in his daily life. Likewise, the Magician will be grateful to the Master Therion for the Compass that guides him at night, the Map that extends his comprehension of his country, and shows him how best he may travel afield, the advice as to Sandals and Staff that make surer his feet, and the Book that tells him how, splitting open his rocks with an Hammer, he may be master of their Virgin Gold. But he will understand that his own career on earth is his kingdom, that even the Master Therion is no more than a fellow man in another valley, and that he must explore and exploit his own inheritance with his own eyes and hands.
The Magician must not accept the Master Therion's account of the Astral Plane, His Qabalistic discoveries, His instructions in Magick. They may be correct in the main for most men; yet they cannot be wholly true for any save Him, even as no two artists can make identical pictures of the same subject.
More, even in fundamentals, though these things be Truth for all Mankind, as we carelessly say, any one particular Magician may be the one man for whom they are false. May not the flag that seems red to ten thousand seem green to some one other? Then, every man and every woman being a Star, that which is green to him is verily green; if he consent to the crowd and call it red, hath he not broken the Staff of Truth that he leaneth upon?
Each and every man therefore that will be a Magician must explore the Universe for himself. This is pre-eminently the case in the matter of the Astral Plane, because the symbols are so sensitive. Nothing is easier than to suggest visions, or to fashion phantasms to suit one's ideas. It is obviously impossible to communicate with an independent intelligence — the one real object of astral research — if one allows one's imagination to surround one with courtiers of one's own creation. If one expects one's visions to resemble those of the Master Therion, they are only too likely to do so; and if one's respect for Him induces one to accept such visions as authentic, one is being false to one's soul; the visions themselves will avenge it. The true Guide being gone, the seer will stray into a wilderness of terror where he is tricked and tortured; he will invoke his idol the Master Therion, and fashion in His image a frightful phantasm who will mock him in his misery, until his mind stagger and fall; and, Madness swooping upon his carrion, blast his eyes with the horror of seeing his Master dissolve into that appalling hallucination, the "Vision of The Demon Crowley!"Crowley both accepted and rejected the image of himself as the evil shadow of every man — the Demon Crowley. Furthermore, he abhorred the clinging pupil. Hence his advice to him to rely on his true Guide, his Holy Guardian Angel. Cf. the Buddha's "Be ye lamps unto yourselves."
Remember, then, always, but especially when dealing with the Astral Plane, that man's breath stirs the Feather of Truth. What one sees and hears is "real" in its way, whether it be itself, or distorted by one's desires, or created by one's personality. There is no touchstone of truth: the authentic NakhielThe Intelligence of the Sun. is indistinguishable from the image of the Magician's private idea of Nakhiel, so far as he is concerned. The stronger one is to create, the more readily the Astral Light responds, and coagulates creatures of this kind. Not that such creation is necessarily an error; but it is another branch of one's Work. One cannot obtain outside help from inside sources. One must use precautions similar to those recommended in the chapter of Divination.
The Magician may go on for a long time being fooled and flattered by the Astrals that he has himself modified or manufactured. Their natural subservience to himself will please him, poor ape!
They will pretend to show him marvellous mysteries, pageants of beauty and wonder unspeakably splendid; he will incline to accept them as true, for the very reason that they are images of himself idealized by the imagination.
But his real progress will stop dead. These phantasms will prevent him from coming into contact with independent intelligences, from whom alone he can learn anything new.
He will become increasingly interested in himself, imagine himself to be attaining one initiation after another. His Ego will expand unchecked, till he seem to himself to have heaven at his feet. Yet all this will be nothing but his fool's face of Narcissus smirking up from the pool that will drown him.
Error of this kind on the Astral Plane — in quite ordinary visions with no apparent moral import — may lead to the most serious mischief. Firstly, mistakes mislead; to pollute one's view of Jupiter by permitting the influence of Venus to distort it may end in finding oneself at odds with Jupiter, later on, in some crisis of one's work.
Secondly, the habit of making mistakes and leaving them uncorrected grows upon one. He who begins by "spelling Jeheshua with a 'Resh'" may end by writing the name of the Dweller on the Threshold by mistake for that of his Angel.The Hebrew letter Yod, י, if written quickly and carelessly, could easily be mistaken for a Resh, ר. The "Dweller on the Threshold", a Theosophical term, is the embodiment of a man's unresolved complexes, an inharmonious and unbalanced force.
Lastly, Magick is a Pyramid, built layer by layer. The work of the Body of Light — with the technique of Yoga — is the foundation of the whole. One's apprehension of the Astral Plane must be accurate, for Angels, Archangels, and Gods are derived therefrom by analysis. One must have pure materials if one wishes to brew pure beer.
If one have an incomplete and incorrect view of the universe, how can one find out its laws?
Thus, original omission or error tends to extend to the higher planes. Suppose a Magician, invoking Sol, were persuaded by a plausible spirit of Saturn that he was the Solar Intelligence required, and bade him eschew human love if he would attain to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel; and suppose that his will, and that Angel's nature, were such that the Crux of their Formula was Lyrical Exaltation!
Apart from the regular tests — made at the time — of the integrity of any spirit, the Magician must make a careful record of every vision, omitting no detail; he must then make sure that it tallies in every point with the correspondences in Book 777 and in Liber D. Should he find (for instance) that, having invoked Mercury, his vision contains names whose numbers are Martial, or elements proper to Pisces, let him set himself most earnestly to discover the source of error, to correct it, and to prevent its recurrence.
But these tests, as implied above, will not serve to detect personation by self-suggested phantasms. Unless one's aura be a welter of muddled symbols beyond recognition, the more autohypnotic the vision is, the more smoothly it satisfies the seer's standards. There is nothing to puzzle him or oppose him; so he spins out his story with careless contempt of criticism. He can always prove himself right; the Qabalah can always be stretched; and Red being so nearly Orange, which is really a shade of Yellow, and Yellow a component of Green which merges into Blue, what harm if a Fiend in Vermilion appears instead of an Angel in Azure?
The true, the final test, of the Truth of one's visions is their Value. The most glorious experience on the Astral plane, let it dazzle and thrill as it may, is not necessarily in accordance with the True Will of the seer; if not, though it be never so true objectively, it is not true for him, because not useful for him. (Said we not a while ago that Truth was no more than the Most Convenient Manner of Statement?)
It may intoxicate and exalt the Seer, it may inspire and fortify him in every way, it may throw light upon most holy mysteries, yet withal be no more than an interpretation of the individual to himself, the formula not of Abraham but of Onan.
These plastic "Portraits of the Artist as a Young Man" are well enough for those who have heard "Know Thyself". They are necessary, even, to assist that analysis of one's nature which the Probationer of A∴A∴ is sworn to accomplish. But "Love is the law, love under will." And Our Lady Nuit is "... divided for love's sake, for the chance of union." These mirror-mirages are therefore not Works of Magick, according to the Law of Thelema: the true Magick of Horus requires the passionate union of opposites.
Now the proof that one is in contact with an independent entity depends on a sensation which ought to be unmistakeable if one is in good health. One ought not to be liable to mistake one's own sensible impressions for somebody else's! It is only Man's incurable vanity that makes the Astral "Strayed Reveller" or the mystic confuse his own drunken babble with the voice of the Most High.
The essence of the right sensation consists in recognition of the reality of the other Being. There will be as a rule some element of hostility, even when the reaction is sympathetic. One's "soul-mate" (even) is not thought of as oneself, at first contact.
One must therefore insist that any real appearance of the Astral Plane gives the sensation of meeting a stranger. One must accept it as independent, be it Archangel or Elf, and measure one's own reaction to it. One must learn from it, though one despise it; and love it, however one loathe it.
One must realize, on writing up the record, that the meeting has effected a definite change in oneself. One must have known and felt something alien, and not merely tried on a new dress.
There must always be some slight pang of pain in a true Astral Vision; it hurts the Self to have to admit the existence of a not-Self; and it taxes the brain to register a new thought. This is true at the first touch, even when exaltation and stimulation result from the joy of making an agreeable contact.
There is a deeper effect of right reaction to a strange Self: the impact invariably tends to break up some complex in the Seer. The class of ideas concerned has always been tied up, labelled, and put away. It is now necessary to unpack it, and rearrange its contents. At least, the annoyance is like that of a man who has locked and strapped his bag for a journey, and then finds that he has forgotten his pyjamas. At most, it may revolutionise his ideas of the business, like an old bachelor with settled plans of life who meets a girl once too often.
Any really first-class Astral Vision, even on low planes, should therefore both instruct the Seer, and prepare him for Initiation. Those failing to pass this test are to be classed as "practice".
One last observation seems fit. We must not assert the "reality" or "objectivity" of an Astral Being on no better evidence than the subjective sensation of its independent existence. We must insist on proof patient to all qualified observers if we are to establish the major premiss of Religion: that there exists a Conscious Intelligence independent of brain and nerve as we know them. If it have also Power, so much the better. But we already know of inorganic forces; we have no evidence of inorganic conscious Mind.
How can the Astral Plane help us here? It is not enough to prove, as we easily do, the correspondences between Invocation and Apparition.The Master Therion's regular test is to write the name of a Force on a card, and conceal it; invoke that Force secretly, send His pupil on the Astral Plane, and make him attribute his vision to some Force. The pupil then looks at the card; the Force he has named is that written upon it.
We must exclude concidence,The most famous novel of Fielding is called "Tom Jones". It happened that Frater Perdurabo was staying in an hotel in London. He telephoned a friend named Fielding at the latter's house, and was answered by Mr. Fielding's secretary, who said that his employer had left the house a few minutes previously, and could only be reached by telephoning a certain office in the City at between 11 o'clock and a quarter past. Frater Perdurabo had an appointment at 11 o'clock with a music-hall star, the place being the entrance to a theatre. In order to remind himself, he made a mental note that as soon as he saw the lady, he would raise his hand and say, before greeting her: "Remind me that I must telephone at once to Fielding", when he met her. He did this, and she advanced toward Him with the same gesture, and said in the same breath, "Remind me that I have to telephone to Tom Jones" — the name of a music-hall agent employed by her.
It will be seen that there is here no question of any connection between the elements of the coincidence. If a similar occurrence had taken place in the course of communication with an alleged spirit, it would have been regarded as furnishing a very high degree of proof of the existence of an independent intelligence.
To make this clear, let me substitute the terms of the equation. Suppose two independent mediums, A and B, were to receive respectively at the same moment two messages, the first; "Ask B who wrote Hamlet", the second: "Ask A the name of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy." The coincidence is here much simpler and less striking than the one recorded above, for there is no question of arriving at the identity by way of accidental synonyms concealing their rational connection. Yet most students of Occult phenomena would admit that there was a strong presumption that a single intelligence had deliberately devised the two messages as a means of proving his existence.
telepathy,In The International of November, 1918, was published the conconclusion of an article called "The Revival of Magick" by the Master Therion. The last sentence reads: "Herein is Wisdom; let him that hath understanding count the number of the Beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred and three score and six. ΤΟ ΜΕΓΑ ΘΗΡΙΟΝ, the Great Wild Beast, has the value, according to the Greek system, of 666. It is, of course, the title of the Master Therion.
The Master Therion was, about this time, in communication with an intelligence who gave the name of Amalantrah. On Sunday, February 24, 1918, at 9.30 p. m., The Master Therion asked Amalantrah if he could use the word ΘΗΡΙΟΝ as if it were Hebrew, with the idea of getting further information as to the mystic meaning of the Word. The answer was "Yes". He then asked: "Am I to take the word ΘΗΡΙΟΝ alone, or the three words ΤΟ ΜΕΓΑ ΘΗΡΙΟΝ?" The answer was to take the word ΘΗΡΙΟΝ alone. The Master Therion then asked what Hebrew letters should be used to transliterate the Greek. The answer was: "Tau, Yod, Resh, Yod, Ayin, Nun", which adds to 740 or 1390, according as Nun is given its ordinary value of 50, or its value as the final letter of a word, 700. Neither of these numbers possessed any special significance to The Master Therion. He became very annoyed at Amalantrah's failure to be of use; so much so that the communications became confused, and the work had to be abandoned for that evening. He tried various other Hebrew spellings for the word ΘΗΡΙΟΝ, but was unable to obtain anything of interest. This is rather remarkable, as it is nearly always possible to get more or less good results by trying various possibilities. For example, the O might be equally well Ayin, Vau or Aleph.
On Monday morning, The Master Therion went to the office of The International, of which he was editor. At this period there was a coal famine in New York, and it was forbidden to heat office buildings on Mondays. He merely took away his mail and went home. On Tuesday morning He found on his desk a letter which had arrived on Monday for the general editor, who had sent it across to Him for reply, as it concerned The Master Therion rather than himself. This letter had been written and posted on Sunday evening, at about the same time as the communication from Amalantrah. The letter ends as follows: "Please inform your readers that I, Samuel bar Aiwaz bie Yackou de Sherabad, have counted the number of the Beast, and it is the number of a man.
|(Read from right to left)||50||6||10||200||400|
Here, then, we see the most striking solution possible of the problem presented to Amalantrah. Observe that Amalantrah had refused to give the correct solution directly; as it would seem, in order to emphasize the remarkable character of the intervention of this Assyrian correspondent. Observe, too, that the latter was totally ignorant of the ordinary Qabalah, it being quite generally known that ΤΟ ΜΕΓΑ ΘΗΡΙΟΝ adds up to 666 in Greek. Observe, moreover, that nearly four months had passed since the problem was propounded in The International. The Assyrian lived some distance outside New York, and was an entire stranger to any of the staff of The International. The evidence appears overwhelming for the existence of Amalantrah, that he was more expert in the Qabalah than The Master Therion himself, and that he was (further) possessed with the power to recall this four-months-old problem to the mind of an entirely unconnected stranger, causing him to communicate the correct answer at the same moment as the question was being asked many miles away.
Coincidence, so completely adequate to explain the Fielding-Tom Jones incident, is utterly incompetent as an alternative theory. The directly purposeful character of the circumstances is undeniable; but if we are resolutely determined to deny the possibility of the existence of Amalantrah, which explains the whole affair so simply, we have still one resource. It involves difficulties which The Master Therion cannot conceive as less than those which encumber the other, but it is, at least, not entirely beyond possibility. This theory is telepathy. One may postulate that the solution of his problem existed in the subconscious mind of the Master Therion or in that of His seer, and that this solution was telepathically impressed upon the consciousness of the Assyrian so forcibly as to impel him to communicate it to the Master Therion's colleague on The International. Apart from the general improbability of this hypothesis, it is strange that if "Amalantrah" were really the subconscious mind of the seer, he should have given a wrong orthography. His doing so (if he knew the correct spelling) is only explicable by his wish not to take the edge off his plan for making the Assyrian's letter a fulminating revelation of his existence, as would have happened if the secret had been prematurely disclosed.
The case is here cited in order to illustrate the extreme care which ought to be taken in excluding all alternative hypotheses before admitting the existence of disembodied intelligences. It may be mentioned, however, that in this particular case there are numerous other incidents which make the telepathic theory untenable.
and subconscious knowledge.There is a well-known story quoted in several treatises of psychology in which the heroine is an ignorant English servant girl of quite inferior intelligence, and unacquainted with any language, even her own. In the course of a fever, she became delirious, and proceeded to reel off long passages of scholarly Hebrew. Investigations showed that in her first youth she had been for a time in the service of a Jewish Rabbi who had been accustomed to declaim his sermons in the hearing of the girl. Although attaching no meaning to the words, she had stored them mechanically in her subconscious memory, to be reproduced when the action of the fever excited the group of cells where they were recorded.
Our praeter-human Intelligence must convey a Truth not known to any human mind, past or present. Yet this Truth must be verifiable.
There is but one document in the world which presents evidence that fully satisfies these conditions. This is
LIBER AL vel LEGIS
the Book of the Law.
of this New Aeon of Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child, the Aeon whose Logos is The Beast 666, whose name in the Outer Order was Frater Perdurabo.According to Crowley's system, the present Aeon (of Horus) ws preceded by that of Osiris, and before that, by the Aeon of Isis. These are long historical periods, comprising at least 2,000 years each. The Aeon of Osiris can be cosidered, for all practical purposes, the Christian era, the era of the patriarchal systems — Buddha, Christ, Mahommed. The Aeon of Isis was represented by the Mother goddesses, and descends into pre-history. These names, Horus, Osiris, Isis were determined by The Book of the Law, the three chapters of which proceed from Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit, which are "technical terms" (in Crowley's system) for Isis, Osiris, Horus. "The Crowned and Conquering Child" is Horus as Ra-Hoor-Khuit (the active aspect of Horus), whose Logos or Word is here identified with The Beast 666 (Crowley). It was Crowley who transmitted The Book of the Law to mankind. In other words, Crowley (as the prophet of the New Aeon, because he transmitted the Book, which is the Word or Logos of that Aeon) identifies his magical personality with the Word of the Aeon.
The nature of the proof of the separate existence of praeterhuman Intelligence, independent of bodily form, is extremely complicated. Its main divisions may be briefly enumerated.
AIWAZ, the name of the Intelligence in question, proves:
(a) His power to pre-arrange events unconnected with His scribe so that they should fit in with that scribe's private calculations.
E.g. The Stélé which reveals the Theogony of the Book was officially numbered 666, in the Boulak Museum.Now the National Museum, Cairo The scribe had adopted 666 as His magical number, many years previously. Again, the scribe's magical House, bought years earlier, had a name whose value was 418. The scribe had calculated 418 as the number of the Great Work, in 1901 e.v. He only discovered that 418 was the number of his house in consequence of AIWAZ mentioning the fact.
(b) His power to conceal a coherent system of numbers and letters in the text of a rapidly-written document, containing riddles and ciphers opening to a Master-Key unknown to the scribe, yet linked with his own system; this Key and its subordinates being moreover a comment on the text.
E.g. "The word of the Law is ΘΕΛΗΜΑ" (Will); this word has the value of 93. "Love is the law, love under will." Love, Αγαπη, like Θελημα, adds to 93.
AIWAZ itself adds to 93.This numeration was discovered years later. The question then arose out of consideration of this discovery through S. Jacobs: "Why is Aiwaz spelt Aiwass, not Aiwaz, in the Book of the Law?" In Greek Αιϝασσ = 418. The author of the Book had concealed in His own name not one only but two numbers, those of supreme importance in the Book.
This was all strange to the scribe; yet years later he discovered the "Lost Word" of one of his own Orders: it was 93 also.
The Word of His most holy Order proved equally to count up to 93.This list by no means exhausts the series. In particular, Frater Perdurabo discovered in 1923 that the Hebrew word for "to will" is also of the value of 93: and its special technical meanings throw yet further light on the meaning of Θελημα as used by Aiwaz.
Now 93 is thrice 31; 31 is LA, "Not" and AL, "The" or "God"; these words run throughout the Book, giving a double meaning to many passages. A third 31 is the compound letter ShT, the two hieroglyphs of Sh and T (many centuries old) being pictures of the "Dramatis Personae" of the Book; and ShT being a haphazard line scrawled on the MS. touch letters which added to 418, valuing "this circle squared in its failure" as π correct to six places of decimals, etc.
Again: "thou shalt know not",This quotation is not in The Book of the Law at all. Given what follows, it is likely a misquotation of II:76: "What meaneth this, o prophet? Thou knowest not; nor shalt thou know ever." meaning "thou shalt know LA"; and "he shall discover the Key of it all",Another misquotation. This is likely from III:47, which says in part: "Let him not seek to try: but one cometh after him, whence I say not, who shall discover the Key of it all." id est, the Key AL.
(c) His power to combine subsequent events beyond the control of the scribe or his associates, so that they confirmed statements in the Book. Or, per contra, to predict such events.
E.g. The first Scarlet Woman proved unworthy, and suffered the exact penalties predicted.
Again, "one cometh after thee; he shall discover the key."Another misquote, again from II:76: "There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it." This one was to be the "child" of the scribe, "and that strangely".
Nine months after THE BEAST 666 had gotten a Magical "child" upon His concubine Jane Foster, a "Babe of the Abyss" was born, Frater Achad asserting his right to that grade, and thus "coming after" The Beast 666, who had been the last Adept to do so. And this "child" was definitely "one", since "one" is the meaning of his motto Achad. Finally, he did in fact "discover the key of it all" after THE BEAST Himself had failed to do so in 14 years of study.
(d) His power to conceive and express in concise terms true solutions of the main problems of the Universe.
E.g. The formula of Nuith and Hadith explain Existence in the terms of Mathematical-Logical Philosophy, so as to satisfy the difficulties of reconciling Dualism, Monism and Nihilism; all antinomies in all spheres; and the Original Perfection with the Manifest Imperfection of Things.
Again "Do that thou wilt...", the most sublimely austere ethical precept ever uttered, despite its apparent licence, is seen on analysis to be indeed "...the whole of the Law", the sole and sufficient warrant for human action, the self-evident Code of Righteousness, the identification of Fate with Freewill, and the end of the Civil War in Man's nature by appointing the Canon of Truth, the conformity of things with themselves, to determine his every act. "Do what thou wilt..." is to bid Stars to shine, Vines to bear grapes, Water to seek its level; man is the only being in Nature that has striven to set himself at odds with himself.
(e) His power to interpret the Spirit of the New Aeon, the relapse into ruthless savagery of the most civilized races, at a time when war was discredited by most responsible men.
(f) His power to comprehend and control these various orders of ideas and events, demonstrating thereby a mind and a means of action intelligible to, yet immensely above, all human capacity; to bind the whole into a compact cryptograph displaying mastery of English, of mathematical and philosophical conceptions, of poetic splendour and intense passion, while concealing in the letters and words a complex cipher involving the knowledge of facts never till then existing in any human mind, and depending on the control of the arm of the scribe, though He thought He was writing consciously from dictation; and to weave into a single pattern so many threads of proof of different orders that every type of mind, so it be but open and just, may be sure of the existence of AIWAZ as a being independent of body, conscious and individual, with a mind mightier than man's, and a power beyond man's set in motion by will.
In a word, The Book of the Law proves the prime postulate of Religion.
The Magician may therefore be confident that Spiritual Beings exist, and seek the Knowledge and conversation of His own Holy Guardian Angel with the same ardour as that of Frater Perdurabo when He abandoned all: love, wealth, rank, fame, to seek Him. Nay, this he must do or condemn himself to be torn asunder by the Maenads of his insensate impulses; he hath no safety save he himself be Bacchus! Bacchus, divine and human! Bacchus, begotten on Semelé of Zeus, the adulterous Lord of Thunder ravishing, brutally, his virginal victim! Bacchus, babe hidden from hate in the most holy of holies, the secret of thy sire, in the Channel of the Star-Spate, Whereof one Serpent is thy soul! Bacchus, twy-formed, man-woman, Bacchus, whose innocence tames the Tiger, while yet thy horns drip blood upon thy mouth, and sharpen the merriment of wine to the madness of murder! Bacchus, Thy thyrsus oozes sap; thine ivy clings to it; thy Lion-skin slips from thy sleek shoulders, slips from thy lissome loins; drunk on delight of the godly grape, thou knowest no more the burden of the body and the vexation of the spirit.
Come, Bacchus, come thou hither, come out of the East; come out of the East, astride the Ass of Priapus! Come with thy revel of dancers and singers! Who followeth thee, forbearing to laugh and to leap? Come, in thy name Dionysus, that maidens be mated to God-head! Come, in thy name Iacchus, with thy mystical fan to winnow the air, each gust of thy Spirit inspiring our Soul, that we bear to thee Sons in Thine Image!
Verily and Amen! Let not the Magician forget for a single second what is his one sole business. His uninitiated "self" (as he absurdly thinks it) is a mob of wild women, hysterical from uncomprehended and unstated animal instinct; they will tear Pentheus, the merely human king who presumes to repress them, into mere shreds of flesh; his own mother, Nature, the first to claw at his windpipe! None but Bacchus, the Holy Guardian Angel, hath grace to be God to this riot of maniacs; he alone can transform the disorderly rabble into a pageant of harmonious movements, tune their hyaena howls to the symphony of a paean, and their reasonless rage to self-controlled rapture. It is this Angel whose nature is doubly double, that He may partake of every sacrament. He is at once a God who is drunken with the wine of earth, and the mammal who quaffs the Blood of God to purge him of mortality. He is a woman as he accepts all impulses, are they not His? He is a man to stamp Himself upon whatever would hallow itself to Him. He wields the Wand, with cone of pine and ivy tendrils; the Angel creates continually, wreathing His Will in clinging beauty, imperishably green.
The Tiger, the symbol of the brutal passions of man, gambols about its master's heels; and He bestrides the Ass of Priapus; he makes his sexual force carry him whither He wills to go.
Let the Magician therefore adventure himself upon the Astral Plane with the declared design to penetrate to a sanctuary of discarnate Beings such as are able to instruct and fortify him, also to prove their identity by testimony beyond rebuttal. All explanations other than these are of value only as extending and equilibrating Knowledge, or possibly as supplying Energy to such Magicians as may have found their way to the Sources of Strength. In all cases, naught is worth an obol save as it serve to help the One Great Work.
He who would reach Intelligences of the type under discussion may expect extreme difficulty. The paths are guarded; there is a lion in the way. Technical expertness will not serve here; it is necessary to satisfy the Warders of one's right to enter the presence of the Master. Particular pledges may be demanded, ordeals imposed, and initiations conferred. These are most serious matters; the Body of Light must be fully adult, irrevocably fixed, or it will be disintegrated at the outset. But, being fit to pass through such experiences, it is bound utterly to its words and acts. It cannot even appear to break an oath, as its fleshly fellow may do.
Such, then is a general description of the Astral Plane, and of the proper conduct of the Magician in his dealings therewith.
Theurgia Goetia Summa
(CONGRESSUS CUM DAEMONE)
sub figura DCCC
being the Ritual employed by the Beast 666 for the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel during the Semester of His performance of the Operation of the Sacred Magick of Abramelin the Mage.
(Prepared An XVII Sun in Virgo at the Abbey of Thelema in Cephalaedium by the Beast 666 in service to Frater Progradior.Frater Progradior was Frank Bennett who came to the Abbey in the year 17 (1921).)
Official publication of A∴A∴ Class DClass D comprises the ritual publications of the A∴A∴. for the Grade of Adeptus Minor.Liber Samekh is adapted from a Fragment of a Graeco-Egyptian Work upon Magic, translated from a papyrus in the British Museum by Charles Wycliffe Goodwin, 1852. Mathers used it as the preliminary invocation to his translation of the Goetia. Crowley supplied the initiated interpretation of the barbarous names and magical formulae which it contains.
Evangelii Textus Redactus
Magically restored, with the significance of the
Etymologically or Qabalistically determined and paraphrased in English.
- Thee I invoke, the Bornless One.
- Thee, that didst create the Earth and the Heavens.
- Thee, that didst create the Night and the Day.
- Thee, that didst create the darkness and the Light.
- Thou art ASAR UN-NEFER ("Myself made Perfect"): Whom no man hath seen at any time.
- Thou art IA-BESZ ("the Truth in Matter").
- Thou art IA-APOPHRASZ ("the Truth in Motion").
- Thou hast distinguished between the Just and the Unjust.
- Thou didst make the Female and the Male.
- Thou didst produce the Seeds and the Fruit.
- Thou didst form Men to love one another, and to hate one another.
- I am ANKH-F-N-KHONSUAnkh-f-n-Khonsu ("His life is in Khonsu", the moon god of Thebes) was the title of a high priest in the temple of Amen-Ra, the sun god, in the 26th dynasty. Crowley first came across him when he saw his stele in the Cairo Museum in 1904, then called the Boulak Museum. Its exhibit number was 666! Crowley intuitively realized his identity with the priest. An account of Crowley's life in ancient Egypt as Ankh-f-n-Khonsu is given in "Across the Gulf", in The Equinox, volume I, number VII. thy Prophet, unto Whom Thou didst commit Thy Mysteries, the Ceremonies of KHEM.Egypt.
- Thou didst produce the moist and the dry, and that which nourisheth all created Life.
- Hear Thou Me, for I am the Angel of PTAH-APO-PHRASZ-RA (vide the Rubric):Literally, the Creative Motion of the Sun, i.e. the vibration of the Solar Current. this is Thy True Name, handed down to the Prophets of KHEM.
Hear Me: —
"O breathing, flowing Sun!"
ThIAFThe letter F is used to represent the Hebrew Vau and the Greek Digamma; its sound lies between those of the English long o and long oo, as in Rope and Tooth.
"O Sun IAF! O Lion-Serpent Sun, The Beast that whirlest forth, a thunderbolt, begetter of Life!"
"Thou that flowest! Thou that goest!"
"Thou Satan-Sun Hadith that goest without Will!"
"Thou Air! Breath! Spirit! Thou without bound or bond!"
"Thou Essence, Air Swift-streaming, Elasticity!"
"Thou Wanderer, Father of All!"
"Thou Wanderer, Spirit of All!"
"Thou Shining Force of Breath! Thou Lion-Serpent Sun! Thou Saviour, save!"
"Thou Ibis, secret solitary Bird, inviolate Wisdom, whose Word in Truth, creating the World by its Magick!"
"O Sun IAF! O Lion-Serpent Sun, The Beast that whirlest forth, a thunderbolt, begetter of Life!"
(The conception is of Air, glowing, inhabited by a Solar-Phallic Bird, "the Holy Ghost", of a Mercurial Nature.)
Hear me, and make all Spirits subject unto Me; so that every Spirit of the Firmament and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth, on dry land and in the water; of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire, and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me.
I invoke Thee, the Terrible and Invisible God: Who dwellest in the Void Place of the Spirit: —
"Thou spiritual Sun! Satan, Thou Eye, Thou Lust! Cry aloud! Cry aloud! Whirl the Wheel, O my Father, O Satan, O Sun!"
"Thou, the Saviour!"
"Silence! Give me Thy Secret!"
"Give me suck, Thou Phallus, Thou Sun!"
"Satan, thou Eye, thou Lust!"
"Satan, thou Eye, thou Lust!"
"Satan, thou Eye, thou Lust!"
"Thou self-caused, self-determined, exalted, Most High!"
The Bornless One. (Vide supra).
(The conception is of Fire, glowing, inhabited by a Solar-Phallic Lion of a Uranian nature.)
Hear Me, and make all Spirits subject unto Me: so that every Spirit of the Firmament and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land and in the Water: of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire, and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me.
Hear Me: —
RU-ABRA-IAFSee, for the formula of IAF, or rather FIAOF, Book 4 Part III, Chapter V. The form FIAOF will be found preferable in practice.
"Thou the Wheel, thou the Womb, that containeth the Father IAF!"
"Thou the Sea, the Abode!"
"Babalon! Thou Woman of Whoredom" "Thou, Gate of the Great God ON! Thou Lady of the Understanding of the Ways!"
"Hail Thou, the unstirred! Hail, sister and bride of ON, of the God that is all and is none, by the Power of Eleven!"
"Thou Treasure of IAO!"
"Thou Virgin twin-sexed! Thou Secret Seed! Thou inviolate Wisdom!"
"Abode of the Light...
"...of the Father, the Sun, of Hadith, of the spell of the Aeon of Horus!"
"Our Lady of the Western Gate of Heaven!"
"Mighty art Thou!"
Mighty and Bornless One! (Vide Supra)
(The conception is of Water, glowing, inhabited by a Solar-Phallic Dragon-Serpent, of a Neptunian nature.)
Hear Me: and make all Spirits subject unto Me: so that every Spirit of the Firmament and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land and in the Water: of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire: and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me.
I invoke Thee: —
"O Mother! O Truth!"
"Thou Mass!""Mass", in the sense of the word which is used by physicists. The impossibility of defining it will not deter the intrepid initiate (in view of the fact that the fundamental conception is beyond the normal categories of reason.)
"Hail, Thou that art!"
"Thou hollow one!"
"Thou Goddess of Beauty and Love, whom Satan, beholding, desireth!"
"The Fathers, male-female, desire Thee!"
(The conception is of Earth, glowing, inhabited by a Solar-Phallic HippopotamusSacred to AHAThOOR. The idea is that of the Female conceived as invulnerable, reposeful, of enormous swallowing capacity etc. of a Venereal nature.)
Hear Me: and make all Spirits subject unto Me: so that every Spirit of the Firmament, and of the Ether: upon The Earth and under the Earth: on dry land and in the Water: of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire: and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me.
"Ye that are Gods, going forth, uttering AUMGN. (The Word that goeth from
(A) Free Breath.
(U) through Willed Breath.
(M) and stopped Breath.
(GN) to Continuous Breath.
thus symbolizing the whole course of spiritual life. A is the formless Hero; U is the six-fold solar sound of physical life, the triangle of Soul being entwined with that of Body; M is the silence of "death"; GN is the nasal sound of generation & knowledge.
"Nuith! Hadith! Ra-Hoor-Khuit!"
"Hail, Great Wild Beast!"
- This is the Lord of the Gods:
- This is the Lord of the Universe:
- This is He whom the Winds fear.
- This is He, Who having made Voice by His commandment is Lord of all Things; King, Ruler and Helper. Hear Me, and make all Spirits subject unto Me: so that every Spirit of the Firmament and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land and in the Water: of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire: and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me.
"Indwelling Sun of Myself"
"Thou Fire! Thou Sixfold Star initiator compassed about with Force and Fire!"
"Indwelling Soul of Myself"
"Sun-lion Serpent, hail! All Hail, thou Great Wild Beast, thou I A O!"
"Breaths of my soul, breaths of mine Angel."
"Lust of my soul, lust of mine Angel!"
"Ho for the Sangraal! Ho for the Cup of Babalon! Ho for mine Angel pouring Himself forth within my Soul!"
"The Eye! Satan, my Lord! The Lust of the goat!"
"Mine Angel! Mine initiator! Thou one with me — the Sixfold Star!"
AD-ON-A-IIn Hebrew, ADNI, 65. The Gnostic Initiates transliterated it to imply their own secret formulae; we follow so excellent an example. ON is an Arcanum of Arcana; its significance is taught, gradually, in the O.T.O. Also AD is the paternal formula, Hadit; ON is its complement NUIT; the final Yod signifies "mine" etymologically and essentially the Mercurial (transmitted) hermaphroditic virginal seed — The Hermit of the Taro — The use of the name is therefore to invoke one's own inmost secrecy, considered as the result of the conjunction of Nuit and Hadit. If the second A is included, its import is to affirm the operation of the Holy Ghost and the formulation of the Babe in the Egg, which precedes the appearance of the Hermit.
"My Lord! My secret self beyond self, Hadith, All Father! Hail, ON, thou Sun, thou Life of Man, thou Fivefold Sword of Flame! Thou Goat exalted upon Earth in Lust, thou Snake extended upon Earth in Life! Spirit most holy! Seed most Wise! Innocent Babe. Inviolate Maid! Begetter of Being! Soul of all Souls! Word of all Words, Come forth, most hidden Light!"
"Devour thou me!"
"Thou dost devour Me!"
ANGELOS TON ThEON
"Thou Angel of the Gods!"
"Arise thou in Me, free flowing, Thou who art Naught, who art Naught, and utter thy Word!"
"I also am Naught! I Will Thee! I behold Thee! My nothingness!"
"Leap up, thou Earth!"
(This is also an agonising appeal to the Earth, the Mother; for at this point of the ceremony the Adept should be torn from his mortal attachments, and die to himself in the orgasm of his operation.A thorough comprehension of Psycho-analysis will contribute notably to the proper appreciation of this Ritual.)
"Thou Exalted One! It (i.e. the spritual 'semen', the Adept's secret ideas, drawn irresistibly from their 'Hell'It is said among men that the word Hell deriveth from the word "helan", to hele or conceal, in the tongue of the Anglo-Saxons. That is, it is the concealed place, which since all things are in thine own self, is the unconscious. Liber CXI (Aleph) cap Δς. by the love of his Angel) leaps up; it leaps forth!"But compare the use of the same word in section C.
"Lo! the out-splashing of the seeds of Immortality"
- I am He! the Bornless Spirit! having sight in the feet: Strong, and the Immortal Fire!
- I am He! the Truth!
- I am He! Who hate that evil should be wrought in the World!
- I am He, that lighteneth and thundereth!
- I am He, from whom is the Shower of the Life of Earth!
- I am He, whose mouth ever flameth!
- I am He, the Begetter and Manifester unto the Light!
- I am He, The Grace of the Worlds!
- "The Heart Girt with a Serpent" is my name!
The "Charge to the Spirit"
Come thou forth, and follow me: and make all Spirits subject unto Me so that every Spirit of the Firmament, and of the Ether, upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land, or in the Water: of Whirling Air or of rushing Fire, and every Spell and scourge of God, may be obedient unto me!
The Proclamation of the Beast 666
IAF: SABAFSee explanation in Point II.
ARS CONGRESSUS CUM DAEMONE
Let the Adeptus Minor be standing in this circle on the square of Tiphereth, armed with his Wand and Cup; but let him perform the Ritual throughout in his Body of Light.Astral Body.
He may burn the Cakes of Light, or the Incense of Abramelin;The Cakes of Light and the oil of Abramelin are described in The Book of the Law, chapter III, verses 23 to 25.
he may be prepared by Liber CLXXV
,Liber Astarte vel Berylli. An account of Bhakti Yoga.
the reading of Liber LXV
,The Book of the Heart Girt with the Serpent
and by the practices of Yoga. He may invoke Hadit by "... wine and strange drugs" if he so will.Any such formula should be used only when the adept has full knowledge based on experience of the management of such matters.
He prepares the circle by the usual formulae of Banishing and Consecration, etc.
He recites Section A as a rehearsal before His Holy Guardian Angel of the attributes of that Angel. Each phrase must be realized with full concentration of force, so as to make Samadhi as perfectly as possible upon the truth proclaimed.
He identifies his Angel with the Ain Soph,The Limitless or Void. and the Kether thereof; one formulation of Hadit in the boundless Body of Nuith.
He asserts that His Angel has created (for the purpose of self-realization through projection in conditioned Form) three pairs of opposites: (a) The Fixed and the Volatile; (b) The Unmanifested and the Manifest; and (c) the Unmoved and the Moved. Otherwise, the Negative and the Positive in respect of Matter, Mind and Motion.
He acclaims his Angel as "Himself Made Perfect"; adding that this Individuality is inscrutable in inviolable. In the Neophyte Ritual of G∴D∴ (As it is printed in The Equinox I, II, for the old aeon) the Hierophant is the perfected Osiris, who brings the candidate, the natural Osiris, to identity with himself. But in the new Aeon the Hierophant is Horus (Liber CCXX, I, 49) therefore the Candidate will be Horus too. What then is the formula of the initiation of Horus? It will no longer be that of the Man, through Death. It will be the natural growth of the Child. His experiences will no more be regarded as catastrophic. Their hieroglyph is the Fool: the innocent and impotent Harpocrates Babe becomes the Horus Adult by obtaining the Wand. "Der reine Thor" seizes the Sacred Lance. Bacchus becomes Pan. The Holy Guardian Angel is the Unconscious Creature Self — the Spiritual Phallus. His knowledge and conversation contributes occult puberty. It is therefore advisable to replace the name Asar Un-nefer by that of Ra-Hoor-Khuit at the outset, and by that of one's own Holy Guardian Angel when it has been communicated.
He hails Him as BESZ, the Matter that destroys and devours Godhead, for the purpose of the Incarnation of any God.
He hails Him as APOPHRASZ, the Motion that destroys and devours Godhead, for the purpose of the Incarnation of any God. The combined action of these two DEVILS is to allow the God upon whom they prey to enter into enjoyment of existence through the Sacrament of dividual "Life" (Bread — the flesh of BESZ) and "Love" (Wine — the blood or venom of AOPHRASZ).
He acclaims His Angel as having "eaten of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil"; otherwise, having become wise (in the Dyad, Chokmah) to apprehend the formula of Equilibrium which is now His own, being able to apply Himself accurately to His self-appointed environment.
He acclaims His Angel as having laid down the Law of Love as the Magical formula of the Universe, that He may resolve the phenomenal again into its noumenal phase by uniting any two opposites in ecstasic passion.
He acclaims His Angel as having appointed that this formula of Love should effect not only the dissolution of the separateness of the Lovers into His own impersonal Godhead, but their co-ordination in a "Child" quintessentialized from its parents to constitute a higher order of Being than theirs, so that each generation is an alchemical progress towards perfection in the direction of successive complexities. As Line 9 asserts Involution, Line 10 asserts Evolution.
He acclaims His Angel as having devised this method of self-realization; the object of Incarnation is to obtain its reactions to its relations with other incarnated Beings and to observe theirs with each other.
The Adept asserts his right to enter into conscious communication with His Angel, on the ground that that Angel has Himself taught him the Secret Magick by which he may make the proper link. "Mosheh"The whole of this invocation is based on the Goetia vel Salomonis Regis (The Goetia of Solomon the King), translated by MacGregor Mathers, published by him in 1898, and republished by Crowley in 1904. In this version, there is no mention of Ankh-f-n-Khonsu; instead the Adept identified himself with Mosheh (Moses).
is M H, the formation in Jechidah, Chiah, Neshamah, Ruach, — The Sephiroth from Kether to Yesod — since 45 is Σ 1-9 while Sh, 300, is Σ 1-24, which superadds to these Nine an extra Fifteen numbers. (See in Liber D the meanings an correspondences of 9, 15, 24, 45, 300, 345.)
45 is moreover A D M, man.Adam "Mosheh" is thus the name of man as a God-concealing form. But in the Ritual let the Adept replace this "Mosheh" by his own motto as Adeptus Minor. For "Ishrael"In Mather's original publication, the word Ishrael (Israel) appears. let him prefer his own Magical Race, according to the obligations of his Oaths to Our Holy Order! (The Beast 666 Himself used "Ankh-f-n-Khonsu" and "Khem" in this section.)
The Adept reminds his Angel that He has created That One Substance of which Hermes hath written in the Table of Emerald, whose virtue is to unite in itself all opposite modes of Being, thereby to serve as a Talisman charged with the Spiritual Energy of Existence, an Elixir or Stone composed of the physical basis of Life. This Commemoration is placed between the two personal appeals to the Angel, as if to claim privilege to partake of this Eucharist which createth, sustaineth and redeemeth all things.
He now asserts that he is himself the "Angel" or messenger of his Angel; that is, that he is a mind and body whose office is to receive and transmit the Word of his Angel. He hails his Angel not only as "un-nefer" the Perfection of "Asar" himself as a man, but as Ptah-Apophrasz-Ra, the identity (Hadit) wrapped in the Dragon (Nuit) and thereby manifested as a Sun (Ra-Hoor-Khuit). The "Egg" (or Heart) "girt with a Serpent" is a cognate symbol; the idea is thus expressed later in the ritual. (See Liber LXV. which expands this to the uttermost.)
The Adept passes from contemplation to action in the sections now following B to Gg. He is to travel astrally around the circle, making the appropriate pentagrams, sigils, and signs. His direction is widdershins. He thus makes three curves, each covering three-fourths of the circle. He should give the sign of the EntererThe Sign of the Enterer. A bodily gesture to project magical force: the left foot is advanced and the body inclined forward, both arms are raised to the level of the head, then flung forward vehemently.
on passing the Kiblah,The sacred temple at Mecca.
or Direction of Boleskine.Crowley's sacred temple on Loch Ness, the "Mecca" of the Thelemites. Crowley no longer lived there after about 1910. The name Boleskine adds up to 418, the number of Aiwass, ABRAHADABRA, the Great Work.
This picks up the force naturally radiating from that pointThis is an assumption based on Liber Legis II, 78 and III, 34.
and projects it in the direction of the path of the Magician. The sigils are those given in The Equinox
Vol. I, No. 7, Plate X outside the square; the signs those shewn in Vol. I, No. 2, Plate "The Signs of the Grades". In these invocations he should expand his girth and his stature to the utmost,Having experience of success in the practices of Liber 536, βατραχο-φρενοβοοκοσμομαχια.
assuming the form and the consciousness of the Elemental God of the quarter. After this, he begins to vibrate the "Barbarous Names" of the Ritual.
Now let him not only fill his whole being to the uttermost with the force of the Names; but let him formulate his Will, understood thoroughly as the dynamic aspect of his Creative Self, in an appearance symbolically apt, I say not in the form of a Ray of Light, of a Fiery Sword, or of aught save that bodily Vehicle of the Holy Ghost which is sacred to BAPHOMET, by its virtue that concealeth the Lion and the Serpent that His Image may appear adorably upon the Earth for ever. Let then the Adept extend his Will beyond the Circle in this imagined Shape and let it radiate with the Light proper to the element invoked, and let each Word issue along the Shaft with passionate impulse, as if its voice gave command thereto that it should thrust itself leapingly forward. Let also each Word accumulate authority, so that the Head of the Shaft may plunge twice as far for the Second Word as for the First, and Four Times for the Third as the Second, and thus to the end. Moreover, let the Adept fling forth his whole consciousness thither. Then at the final Word, let him bring rushing back his Will within himself, steadily streaming, and let him offer himself to its point, as Artemis to PAN, that this perfectly pure concentration of the Element purge him thoroughly, and possess him with its passion. In this Sacrament being wholly at one with that Element, let the Adept utter the Charge "Hear me, and make", etc. with strong sense that this unity with that quarter of the Universe confers upon him the fullest freedom and privilege appurtenant thereto.
Let the Adept take note of the wording of the Charge. The "Firmament" is the Ruach, the "mental plane"; it is the realm of Shu, or Zeus, where revolves the Wheel of the Gunas, the Three forms They correspond to the Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt of Alchemy; to Sattvas, Rajas, and Tamas in the Hindu system; and are rather modes of action than actual qualities even when conceived as latent. They are the apparatus of communication between the planes; as such, they are conventions. There is no absolute validity in any means of mental apprehension; but unless we make these spirits of the Firmament subject unto us by establishing right relation (within the possible limits) with the Universe, we shall fall into error when we develop our new instrument of direct understanding. It is vital that the Adept should train his intellectual faculties to tell him the truth, in the measure of their capacity. To despise the mind on account of its limitations is the most disastrous blunder; it is the common cause of the calamities which strew so many shores with the wreckage of the Mystic Armada. Bigotry, Arrogance, Bewilderment, all forms of mental and moral disorder, so often observed in people of great spiritual attainment, have brought the Path itself into discredit; almost all such catastrophes are due to trying to build the Temple of the Spirit without proper attention to the mental laws of structure and the physical necessities of foundation. The mind must be brought to its utmost pitch of perfection, but according to its own internal properties; one cannot feed a microscope on mutton chops. It must be regarded as a mechanical instrument of knowledge, independent of the personality of its possessor. One must treat it exactly as one treats one's electroscope or one's eyes; one influence of one's wishes. A physician calls in a colleague to attend to his own family, knowing that personal anxiety may derange his judgment. A microscopist who trusts his eyes when his pet theory is at stake may falsify the facts, and find too late that he has made a fool of himself.
In the case of initiations itself, history is scarred with the wounds inflicted by this Dagger. It reminds us constantly of the danger of relying upon the intellectual faculties. A judge must know the law in every point, and be detached from personal prejudices, and incorruptible, or iniquity will triumph. Dogma, with persecution, delusion, paralysis of progress, and many another evil, as its satraps, has always established a tyranny when Genius has proclaimed it. Islam making a bonfire of written Wisdom, and Haeckel forging biological evidence; physicists ignorant of radioactivity disputing the conclusions of geology, and theologians impatient of truth struggling against the tide of thought; all such must perish at the hands of their own error in making their minds, internally defective or externally deflected, the measure of the Universe.
of Being. The Aethyr is the "akasha", the "Spirit", the Aethyr or physics, which is the framework on which all forms are founded; it receives, records and transmits all impulses without itself suffering mutation thereby. The "Earth" is the sphere wherein the operation of these "fundamental" and aethyric forces appears to perception. "Under the Earth" is the world of those phenomena which inform those perceived projections, and determine their particular character. "Dry land" is the place of dead "material things", dry (i.e. unknowable) because unable to act on our minds. "Water" is the vehicle whereby we feel such things; "air" their menstruum wherein these feelings are mentally apprehended. It is called "whirling" because of the instability of thought, and the fatuity of reason, on which we are yet dependent for what we call "life". "Rushing Fire" is the world in which wandering thought burns up to swift-darting Will. These four stages explain how the non- Ego is transmuted into the Ego. A "Spell" of God is any form of consciousness, and a "Scourge" any form of action.
The Charge, as a whole, demands for the Adept the control of every detail of the Universe which His Angel has created as a means of manifesting Himself to Himself. It covers command of the primary projection of the Possible in individuality, in the antithetical artifice which is the device of Mind, and in a balanced triplicity of modes or states of being whose combinations constitute the characteristics of Cosmos. It includes also a standard of structure, a rigidity to make reference possible. Upon these foundations of condition which are not things in themselves, but the canon to which things conform, is builded the Temple of Being, whose materials are themselves perfectly mysterious, inscrutable as the Soul, and like the Soul imagining themselves by symbols which we may feel, perceive, and adapt to our use without ever knowing the whole Truth about them. The Adept sums up all these items by claiming authority over every form of expression possible to Existence, whether it be a "spell" (idea) or a "scourge" (act) of "God", that is, of himself. The Adept must accept every "spirit", every "spell", every "scourge", as part of his environment, and make them all "subject to" himself; that is, consider them as contributory causes of himself. They have made him what he is. They correspond exactly to his own faculties. They are all — ultimately — of equal importance. The fact that he is what he is proves that each item is equilibrated. The impact of each new impression affects the entire system in due measure. He must therefore realize that every event is subject to him. It occurs because he had need of it. Iron rusts because the molecules demand oxygen for the satisfaction of their tendencies. They do not crave hydrogen; therefore combination with that gas is an event which does not happen. All experiences contribute to make us complete in ourselves. We feel ourselves subject to them so long as we fail to recognise this; when we do, we perceive that they are subject to us. And whenever we strive to evade an experience, whatever it may be, we thereby do wrong to ourselves. We thwart our own tendencies. To live is to change; and to oppose change is to revolt against the law which we have enacted to govern our lives. To resent destiny is thus to abdicate our sovereignty, and to invoke death. Indeed, we have decreed the doom of death for every breach of the law of Life. And every failure to incorporate any impression starves the particular faculty which stood in need of it.
This Section B invokes Air in the East, with a shaft of golden glory.
The adept now invokes Fire in the South; flame red are the rays that burst from his Verendum.
He invokes Water in the West, his Wand billowing forth blue radiance.
He goes to the North to invoke Earth; flowers of green flame flash from his weapon. As practice makes the Adept perfect in this Work, it becomes automatic to attach all these complicated ideas and intentions to their correlated words and acts. When this is attained he may go deeper into the formula by amplifying its correspondences. Thus, he may invoke water in the manner of water, extending his will with majestic and irresistible motion, mindful of its impulse gravitation, yet with a suave and tranquil appearance of weakness. Again, he may apply the formula of water to its peculiar purpose as it surges back into his sphere, using it with conscious skill for the cleansing and calming of the receptive and emotional elements in his character, and for the solution or sweeping away of those tangled weeds of prejudice which hamper him from freedom to act as he will. Similar applications of the remaining invocations will occur to the Adept who is ready to use them.
The Adept now returns to the Tiphereth square of his Tau, and invokes spirit, facing toward Boleskine, by the active Pentagrams, the sigil called the Mark of the Beast,The Cross within the Circle, a well-known Christian and pre-Christian symbol. Crowley had a more personal "Mark of the Beast" sigil: the sun and moon conjoined to form a foreshortened phallus with testes, "the two witnesses", pendant. and the Signs of L.V.X. (See plate as before). He then vibrates the Names extending his will in the same way as before, but vertically upward. At the same time he expands the Source of that Will — the secret symbol of Self — both about him and below, as if to affirm that Self, duplex as is its form, reluctant to acquiesce in its failure to coincide with the Sphere of Nuith. Let him now imagine, at the last Word, that the Head of his will, where his consciousness is fixed, opens its fissure (the Brahmarandra-Cakkra, at the junction of the cranial sutures) and exudes a drop of clear crystalline dew, and that this pearl is his Soul, a virgin offering to his Angel, pressed forth from his being by the intensity of his Aspiration.
With these words the Adept does not withdraw his will within him as in the previous Sections. He thinks of them as a reflection of Truth on the surface of the dew, where his Soul hides trembling. He takes them to be the first formulation in his consciousness of the nature of His Holy Guardian Angel.
The "Gods" include all the conscious elements of his nature.
The "Universe" includes all possible phenomena of which he can be aware.
The "Winds" are his thoughts, which have prevented him from attaining to his Angel.
His Angel has made "Voice", the magical weapon which produces "Words", and these words have been the wisdom by which He hath created all things. The "Voice" is necessary as the link between the Adept and his Angel. The Angel is "King", the One who "can", the "source of authority and the fount of honour"; also the King (or King's Son) who delivers the Enchanted Princess, and makes her his Queen. He is "Ruler", the "unconscious Will"; to be thwarted no more by the ignorant and capricious false will of the conscious man. And He is "Helper", the author of the infallible impulse that sends the Soul sweeping along the skies on its proper path with such impetus that the attraction of alien orbs is no longer sufficient to swerve it. The "Hear me" clause is now uttered by the normal human consciousness, withdrawn to the physical body; the Adept must deliberately abandon his attainment, because it is not yet his whole being which burns up before the Beloved.
The Adept, though withdrawn, shall have maintained the Extension of his Symbol. He now repeats the signs as before, save that he makes the Passive Invoking Pentagram of Spirit. He concentrates his consciousness within his Twin-Symbol of Self, and endeavours to send it to sleep. But if the operation be performed properly, his Angel shall have accepted the offering of Dew, and seized with fervour upon the extended symbol of Will towards Himself. This then shall He shake vehemently with vibrations of love reverberating with the Words of the Section. Even in the physical ears of the adept there shall resound an echo thereof, yet he shall not be able to describe it. It shall seem both louder than thunder, and softer than the whisper of the night-wind. It shall at once be inarticulate, and mean more than he hath ever heard. Now let him strive with all the strength of his Soul to withstand the Will of his Angel, concealing himself in the closest cell of the citadel of consciousness. Let him consecrate himself to resist the assault of the Voice and the Vibration until his consciousness faint away into Nothing. For if there abide unabsorbed even one single atom of the false Ego, that atom should stain the virginity of the True Self and profane the Oath; then that atom should be so inflamed by the approach of the Angel that it should overwhelm the rest of the mind, tyrannize over it, and become an insane despot to the total ruin of the realm.
But, all being dead to sense, who then is able to strive against the Angel? He shall intensify the stress of His Spirit so that His loyal legions of Lion-Serpents leap from the ambush, awakening the adept to witness their Will and sweep him with them in their enthusiasm, so that he consciously partakes their purpose, and sees in its simplicity the solution of all his perplexities. Thus then shall the Adept be aware that he is being swept away through the column of his Will Symbol, and that His Angel is indeed himself, with intimacy so intense as to become identity, and that not in a single Ego, but in every unconscious element that shares in that manifold uprush.
This rapture is accompanied by a tempest of brilliant light, almost always, and also in many cases by an outburst of sound, stupendous and sublime in all cases, though its character may vary within wide limits.These phenomena are not wholly subjective; they may be perceived, though often under other forms, by even the ordinary man.
The spate of stars shoots from the head of the Will-Symbol, and is scattered over the sky in glittering galaxies. This dispersion destroys the concentration of the adept, whose mind cannot master such multiplicity of majesty; as a rule, he simply sinks stunned into normality, to recall nothing of his experience but a vague though vivid impression of complete release and ineffable rapture. Repetition fortifies him to realise the nature of his attainment; and his Angel, the link once made, frequents him, and trains him subtly to be sensitive to his Holy presence, and persuasion. But it may occur, especially after repeated success, that the Adept is not flung back into his mortality by the explosion of the Star-spate, but identified with one particular "Lion-Serpent", continuing conscious thereof until it finds its proper place in Space, when its secret self flowers forth as a truth, which the Adept may then take back to earth with him.
This is but a side issue. The main purpose of the Ritual is to establish the relation of the subconscious self with the Angel in such a way that the Adept is aware that his Angel is the Unity which expresses the sum of the Elements of that Self, that his normal consciousness contains alien enemies introduced by the accidents of environment, and that his Knowledge and Conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel destroys all doubts and delusions, confers all blessings, teaches all truth, and contains all delights. But it is important that the Adept should not rest in mere inexpressible realization of his rapture, but rouse himself to make the relation submit to analysis, to render it in rational terms, and thereby enlighten his mind and heart in a sense as superior to fanatical enthusiasm as Beethoven's music is to West African war-drums.
The adept should have realised that his Act of Union with the angel implies (1) the death of his old mind save in so far as his unconscious elements preserve its memory when they absorb it, and (2) the death of his unconscious elements themselves. But their death is rather a going forth to renew their life through love. He then, by conscious comprehension of them separately and together, becomes the "Angel" of his Angel, as Hermes is the Word of Zeus, whose own voice is Thunder. Thus in this section the adept utters articulately so far as words may, what his Angel is to Himself. He says this, with his Scin-Laeca wholly withdrawn into his physical body, constraining His Angel to indwell his heart.
"I am He" asserts the destruction of the sense of separateness between self and Self. It affirms existence, but of the third person only. "The Bornless Spirit" is free of all space, "having sight in the feet", that they may choose their own path. "Strong" is GBR,GBR, Geburah (Strength), the 5th Sephira, attributed to Mars. The Magician escorted by the Sun and the Moon (See Liber D and Liber 777). The "Immortal Fire" is the creative Self; impersonal energy cannot perish, no matter what forms it assumes. Combustion is Love.
"Truth" is the necessary relation of any two things; therefore, although it implies duality, it enables us to conceive of two things as being one thing such that it demands to be defined by complementals. Thus, an hyperbola is a simple idea, but its construction exacts two curves.
The Angel, as the adept knows him, is a being Tiphereth, which obscures Kether.Viewed from Malkuth, the sphere of the Earth or normal mundane consciousness, Kether is obscured by Tiphereth which is in direct line with Kether (the Crown). In other words, the Adept may only attain the Crown by the Grace of his Angel (in Tiphereth). The Adept is not officially aware of the higher Sephiroth. He cannot perceive, like the Ipsissimus, that all things soever are equally illusion and equally Absolute. He is in Tiphereth, whose office is Redemption, and he deplores the events which have caused the apparent Sorrow from which he has just escaped. He is also aware, even in the height of his ecstasy, of the limits and defects of his Attainment.
This refers to the phenomena which accompany his Attainment.
This means the recognition of the Angel as the True Self of his subconscious self, the hidden Life of his physical life.
The Adept realises every breath, every word of his Angel as charged with creative fire. Tiphereth is the Sun, and the Angel is the spiritual Sun of the Soul of the Adept.
Here is summed the entire process of bringing the conditioned Universe to knowledge of itself through the formula of generation;That is, Yod Hé, realizing Themselves, Will and Understanding, in the twins Vau Hé, Mind and body. a soul implants itself in sense-hoodwinked body and reason-fettered mind, makes them aware of their Inmate, and thus to partake of its own consciousness of the Light.
"Grace" has here its proper sense of "Pleasantness". The existence of the Angel is the justification of the device of creation.But see also the general solution of the Riddle of Existence in the Book of the Law and its Comment — Part IV of Book 4.
This line must be studied in the light of Liber LXV (The Equinox XI. p. 65).
This recapitulation demands the going forth together of the Adept and his Angel "to do their pleasure on the Earth among the living."A paraphrase of a line in the verse on the Stele of Revealing, see The Confession, plate XII.
The Beast 666 having devised the present method of using this Ritual, having proved it by his own practice to be of infallible puissance when properly performed, and now having written it down for the world, it shall be an ornament for the Adept who adopts it to cry Hail to His name at the end of his work. This shall moreover encourage him in Magick, to recall that indeed there was One who attained by its use to the Knowledge and Conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel, the which forsook him no more, but made Him a Magus, the Word of the Aeon of Horus!
For know this, that the Name IAF in its most secret and mighty sense declareth the Formula of the Magick of the BEAST whereby he wrought many wonders. And because he doth will that the whole world shall attain to this Art, He now hideth it herein so that the worthy may win to His Wisdom. Let I and F face all;If we adopt the new orthography VIAOV (Book 4 Part III Chap. V.) we must read "The Sun-6-the Son" etc. for "all"; and elaborate this interpretation here given in other ways, accordingly. Thus O (or F) will not be "The Fifteen by function" instead of "Five" etc., and "in act free, firm, aspiring, ecstatic", rather than "gentle" etc. as in the present text. [see footnote] yet ward their A from attack. The Hermit to himself, the Fool to foes, The Hierophant to friends, Nine by nature, Naught by attainment, Five by function.This whole ritual is an invocation of Shaitan (Satan) or Set, the son of Osiris. Crowley brings in several other magical matters and refashions them in the light of his aim in this particular work, namely union with his Angel, Shaitan-Aiwass. To this end, the Hierophant (of the Tarot) whose number is V, is replaced by the Devil, Set, whose Tarotic number is XV. Hence, instead of "Five by function", read "Fifteen by function". I.e. Horus (or Set) has now replaced Osiris (the Hierophant) in the New Aeon. Similarly, the Tarot Key, the Hermit, attributed to Virgo, the Virgin, is "Nine by nature." He is represented by the Yod or I of the formula IAO.
The A part of this formula is "The Fool", whose letter is Aleph which is 0 in the Tarot — "Naught by attainment."
The O of the formula is the Hierophant, not as Osiris (V) but as Set, the Devil, whose letter is O. In speech swift, subtle and secret; in thought creative, unbiased, unbounded; in act gentle, patient and persistent. Hermes to hear, Dionysus to touch, Pan to behold.
A Virgin, a Babe, and a Beast!The Virgin is the Hermit (I), the Babe is Aleph (A), the Beast is the Devil (O).
A Liar, an Idiot, and a Master of Men!
A kiss, a guffaw, and a bellow; he that hath ears to hear, let him hear!
Take ten that be one, and one that is one in three, to conceal them in six!"The ten that is one" is the I and the O conjoined: 1 + 0 = 1. "The one that is one in three" is A (Aleph) = 1. IAO, Aleph is the one in three. Aleph conceals the I and the O "in six", i.e. Vau, the Son.
Thy wand to all Cups, and thy Disk to all Swords, but betray not thine Egg!
Moreover also is IAF verily 666 by virtue of Number; and this is a Mystery of Mysteries; Who knoweth it, he is adept of adepts, and Mighty among Magicians!
Now this word SABAF,The Wands, Cups, Disks, and Swords are the names of the four suits of the Tarot. Crowley is here using them in a sexual sense, the I to all O's, with the Egg (Aleph) in the middle. being by number Three score and Ten,There is an alternative spelling TzBA-F where the Root, "an Host", has the value of 93. The Practicus should revive this Ritual throughout in the Light of his personal researches in the Qabalah, and thus make it his own peculiar property. The spelling here suggested implies that he who utters the Word affirms his allegiance to the symbols 93 and 6; that he is a warrior in the army of Will and of the Sun. 93 is also the number of AIWAZ and 6 of The Beast. is a name of Ayin, the Eye, and the Devil our Lord, and the Goat of Mendes. He is the Lord of the Sabbath of the Adepts, and is Satan, therefore also the Sun, whose number of Magick is 666, the seal of His servant the BEAST.
But again SA is 61, AIN, the Naught of Nuith; BA means go, for Hadit; and F is their Son the Sun who is Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
So then let the Adept set his sigil upon all the words he hath writ in the Book of the Works of his Will.
And let him then end all, saying, Such are the Words!The consonants of LOGOS, "Word", add (Hebrew values) to 93. and ΕΠΗ, "Words", (whence "Epic") has also that value: ΕΙΔΕ ΤΑ ΕΠΗ might be the phrase here intended: its number is 418. This would then assert the accomplishment of the Great Work; this is the natural conclusion of the Ritual. Cf. CCXX. III. 75. For by this he maketh proclamation before all them that be about his Circle that these Words are true and puissant, binding what he would bind, and loosing what he would loose.
Let the Adept perform this Ritual aright, perfect in every part thereof, once daily for one moon, then twice, at dawn and dusk, for two moons, next, thrice, noon added, for three moons, afterwards, midnight making up his course, for four moons four times every day. Then let the Eleventh Moon be consecrated wholly to this Work; let him be instant in continual ardour, dismissing all but his sheer needs to eat and sleep.These needs are modified during the process of Initiation both as to quantity and quality. One should not become anxious about one's physical or mental health on a priori grounds, but pay attention only to indubitable symptoms of distress should such arise. For know that the true
FormulaThe Oracles of Zoroaster utter this:
"And when, by often invoking, all the phantasms are vanished, thou shalt
see that Holy and Formless Fire, that Fire which darts and flashes through all
the Depths of the Universe; hear thou the Voice of the Fire!
"A similar Fire flashingly extending through the rushings of Air, or a Fire
formless whence cometh the Image of a voice, or even a flashing Light abounding,
revolving, whirling forth, crying aloud. Also there is the vision of the
fire-flashing Courser of Light, or also a Child, borne aloft on the shoulders
of the Celestial Steed, fiery, or clothed with gold, or naked, or shooting with
the bow shafts or light, and standing on the shoulders of the horse, then if
thy meditation prolongeth itself, thou shalt unite all these symbols into the
form of a Lion."
This passage — combined with several others — is paraphased in
poetry by Aleister Crowley in his Tannhauser [Kegan Paul, 1902].
"And when, invoking often, thou shalt see
That formless Fire; when all the earth is shaken,
The stars abide not, and the moon is gone,
All Time crushed back into Eternity,
The Universe by earthquake overtaken;
Light is not, and the thunders roll,
The World is done:
When in the darkness Chaos rolls again
In the excited brain:
Then, O then call not to thy view that visible
Image of Nature; fatal is her name!
It fitteth not thy Body to behold
That living light of Hell,
The unluminous, dead flame,
Until that body from the crucible
Hath passed, pure gold!
For, from the confines of material space,
The twilight-moving place,
The gates of matter, and the dark threshold,
Before the faces of the Things that dwell
In the Abodes of Night,
Spring into sight
Demons, dog-faced, that show no mortal sign
Of Truth, but desecrate the Light Divine,
Seducing from the sacred mysteries.
But, after all these Folk of Fear are driven
Before the avenging levin
That rives the opening skies,
Behold that formless and that Holy Flame
That hath no name;
The Fire that darts and flashes, writhes and creeps
Snake-wise in royal robe
Wound round that vanished glory of the globe,
Unto that sky beyond the starry deeps,
Beyond the Toils of Time, — then formulate
In thine own mind, luminous, concentrate,
The Lion of the Light, a child that stands
On the vast shoulders of the Steed of God:
Or winged, or shooting flying shafts, or shod
With the flame-sandals.
Then, lift up thine hands!
Centre thee in thine heart one scarlet thought
Limpid with brilliance of the Light above!
Drawn into naught
All life, death, hatred, love:
All self concentred in the sole desire —
Hear thou the Voice of Fire!"
whose virtue sufficed the Beast in this Attainment, was thus:
INVOKE OFTENSee The Equinox I, VIII, 22.
SCHOLION ON SECTIONS G & Gg
The Adept who has mastered this Ritual, successfully realising the full import of this controlled rapture, ought not to allow his mind to loosen its grip on the astral imagery of the Star-spate, Will-Symbol, or Soul-symbol, or even to forget its duty to the body and the sensible surroundings. Nor should he omit to keep his Body of Light in close touch with the phenomena of its own plane, so that its privy consciousness may fulfil its proper functions of protecting his scattered ideals from obsession.
But he should have acquired, by previous practice, the faculty of detaching these elements of his consciousness from their articulate centre, so that they become (temporarily) independent responsible units, capable of receiving communications from headquarters at will, but perfectly able (1) to take care of themselves without troubling their chief, and (2) to report to him at the proper time. In a figure, they must be like subordinate officers, expected to display self-reliance, initiative, and integrity in the execution of the Orders of the Day.
The Adept should therefore be able to rely on these individual minds of his to control their own conditions without interference from himself for the time required, and to recall them in due course, receiving an accurate report of their adventures.
This being so, the Adept will be free to concentrate his deepest self, that part of him which unconsciously orders his true Will, upon the realization of his Holy Guardian Angel. The absence of his bodily, mental and astral consciousness is indeed cardinal to success, for it is their usurpation of his attention which has made him deaf to his Soul, and his preoccupation with their affairs that has prevented him from perceiving that Soul.
The effect of the Ritual has been
(a) to keep them so busy with their own work that they cease to distract him;
(b) to separate them so completely that his soul is stripped of its sheaths;
(c) to arouse in him an enthusiasm so intense as to intoxicate and anaesthetize him, that he may not feel and resent the agony of this spiritual vivisection, just as bashful lovers get drunk on the wedding night, in order to brazen out the intensity of shame which so mysteriously coexists with their desire;
(d) to concentrate the necessary spiritual forces from every element, and fling them simultaneously into the aspiration towards the Holy Guardian Angel; and
(e) to attract the Angel by the vibration of the magical voice which invokes Him.
The method of the Ritual is thus manifold.
There is firstly an analysis of the Adept, which enables him to calculate his course of action. He can decide what must be banished, what purified, what concentrated. He can then concentrate his will upon its one essential element, over-coming its resistance — which is automatic, like a physiological reflex — by destroying inhibitions through his ego-overwhelming enthusiasm.A high degree of initiation is required. This means that the process of analysis must have been carried out very thoroughly. The Adept must have become aware of his deepest impulses, and understood their true significance. The "resistance" here mentioned is automatic; it increases indefinitely against direct pressure. It is useless to try to force oneself in these matters; the uninitiated Aspirant, however eager he may be, is sure to fail. One must know how to deal with each internal idea as it arises.
It is impossible to overcome one's inhibitions by conscious effort; their existence justifies them. God is on their side, as on that of the victim in Browning's Instans Tyrannus. A man cannot compel himself to love, however much he may want to, on various rational grounds. But on the other hand, when the true impulse comes, it overwhelms all its critics; they are powerless either to make or break a genius; it can only testify to the fact that it has met its master.
The other half of the work needs no such complex effort; for his Angel is simple and unperplexed, ready at all times to respond to rightly ordered approach.
But the results of the Ritual are too various to permit of rigid description. One may say that, presuming the union to be perfect, the Adept need not retain any memory soever of what has occurred. He may be merely aware of a gap in his conscious life, and judge of its contents by observing that his nature has been subtly transfigured. Such an experience might indeed be the proof of perfection.
If the Adept is to be any wise conscious of his Angel it must be that some part of his mind is prepared to realise the rapture, and to express it to itself in one way or another. This involves the perfection of that part, its freedom from prejudice and the limitations of rationality so-called. For instance: one could not receive the illumination as to the nature of life which the doctrine of evolution should shed, if one is passionately persuaded that humanity is essentially not animal, or convinced that causality is repugnant to reason. The Adept must be ready for the utter destruction of his point of view on any subject, and even that of his innate conception of the forms and laws of thought.Of course, even false tenets and modes of the mind are in one sense true. It is only their appearance which alters. Copernicus did not destroy the facts of nature, or change the instruments of observation. He merely effected a radical simplification of science. Error is really a "fool's knot". Moreover, the very tendency responsible for the entanglement is one of the necessary elements of the situation. Nothing is "wrong" in the end; and one cannot reach the "right" point of view without the aid of one's particular "wrong" point. If we reject or alter the negative of a photograph we shall not get a perfect positive. Thus he may find that his Angel consider his "business" or his "love" to be absurd trifles; also that human ideas of "time" are invalid, and human "laws" of logic applicable only to the relations between illusions.
Now the Angel will make contact with the Adept at any point that is sensitive to His influence. Such a point will naturally be one that is salient in the Adept's character, and also one that is, in the proper sense of the word, pure.This means, free from ideas, however excellent in themselves, which are foreign to it. For instance, literary interest has no proper place in a picture.
Thus an artist, attuned to appreciate plastic beauty is likely to receive a visual impression of his Angel in a physical form which is sublimely quintessential of his ideal. A musician may be rapt away by majestic melodies such as he never hoped to hear. A philosopher may attain apprehension of tremendous truths, the solution of problems that had baffled him all his life.
Conformably with this doctrine, we read of illuminations experienced by simple-minded men, such as a workman who "saw God" and likened Him to "a quantity of little pears". Again, we know that ecstasy, impinging upon unbalanced minds, inflames the idolised idea, and produces fanatical faith fierce even to frenzy, with intolerance and insanely disordered energy which is yet so powerful as to effect the destinies of empires.
But the phenomena of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel are a side issue; the essence of the Union is the intimacy. Their intimacy (or rather identity) is independent of all partial forms of expression; at its best it is therefore as inarticulate as Love.
The intensity of the consummation will more probably compel a sob or a cry, some natural physical gesture of animal sympathy with the spiritual spasm. This is to be criticised as incomplete self-control. Silence is nobler.
In any case the Adept must be in communion with his Angel, so that his Soul is suffused with sublimity, whether intelligible or not in terms of intellect. It is evident that the stress of such spiritual possession must tend to overwhelm the soul, especially at first. It actually suffers from the excess of its ecstasy, just as extreme love produces vertigo. The soul sinks and swoons. Such weakness is fatal alike to its enjoyment and its apprehension. "Be strong! then canst thou bear more rapture!" sayeth the Book of the Law.Liber Al vel Legis, II, 61-68, where the details of the proper technique are discussed. [Note, though, that the quote is actually from II, 70, and properly says "bear more joy".]
The Adept must therefore play the man, arousing himself to harden his soul.
To this end, I, the Beast, have made trial and proof of divers devices. Of these the most potent is to set the body to strive with the soul. Let the muscles take grip on themselves as if one were wrestling. Let the jaw and mouth, in particular, be tightened to the utmost. Breathe deeply, slowly, yet strongly. Keep mastery over the mind by muttering forcibly and audibly. But lest such muttering tend to disturb communion with the Angel, speak only His Name. Until the Adept have heard that Name, therefore, he may not abide in the perfect possession of his Beloved. His most important task is thus to open his ears to the voice of his Angel, that he may know him, how he is called. For hearken! this Name, understood rightly and fully, declareth the nature of the Angel in every point, wherefore also that Name is the formula of the perfection to which the Adept must aspire, and also of the power of Magick by virtue whereof he must work.
He then that is as yet ignorant of that Name, let him repeat a word worthy of this particular Ritual. Such are Abrahadabra, the Word of the Aeon, which signifieth "The Great Work accomplished"; and Aumgn interpreted in Part III of Book 4;The essence of this matter is that the word AUM, which expresses the course of Breath (spiritual life) from free utterance through controlled concentration to Silence, is transmuted by the creation of the compound letter ΜΓΝ to replace M: that is, Silence is realized as passing into continuous ecstatic vibration, of the nature of "Love" under "Will" as shewn by ΜΓΝ = 40 + 3 + 50 = 93 ΑΓΑΠΗ, ΘΕΛΗΜΑ etc., and the whole word has the value of 100, Perfection Perfected, the Unity in completion, and equivalent to ΚΡ the conjunction of the essential male and female principles. and the name of the beast, for that His number showeth forth this Union with the Angel, and His Work is no other than to make all men partakers of this Mystery of the Mysteries of Magick.
So then saying this word or that, let the Adept wrestle with his Angel and withstand Him, that he may constrain Him to consent to continue in communion until the consciousness becomes capable of clear comprehension, and of accurate transmissionThe "normal" intellect is incapable of these functions; a superior faculty must have been developed. As Zoroaster says: "Extend the void mind of thy soul to that Intelligible that thou mayst learn the Intelligible, because it subsisteth beyond Mind. Thou wilt not understand It as when understanding some common thing." of the transcendent Truth of the Beloved to the heart that holds him.
The firm repetition of one of these Words ought to enable the Adept to maintain the state of Union for several minutes, even at first.
In any case he must rekindle his ardour, esteeming his success rather as an encouragement to more ardent aspiration than as a triumph. He should increase his efforts.
Let him beware of the "lust of result", of expecting too much, of losing courage if his first success is followed by a series of failures.
For success makes success seem so incredible that one is apt to create an inhibition fatal to subsequent attempts. One fears to fail; the fear intrudes upon the concentration and so fulfils its own prophecy. We know how too much pleasure in a love affair makes one afraid to disgrace oneself on the next few occasions; indeed, until familiarity has accustomed one to the idea that one's lover has never supposed one to be more than human. Confidence returns gradually. Inarticulate ecstasy is replaced by a more sober enjoyment of the elements of the fascination.
Just so one's first dazzled delight in a new landscape turns, as one continues to gaze, to the appreciation of exquisite details of the view. At first they were blurred by the blinding rush of general beauty; they emerge one by one as the shock subsides, and passionate rapture yields to intelligent interest.
In the same way the Adept almost always begins by torrential lyrics painting out mystical extravagances about "ineffable love", "unimaginable bliss", "inexpressible infinities of illimitable utterness".This corresponds to the emotional and metaphysical fog which is characteristic of the emergence of thought from homogeneity. The clear and concise differentiation of ideas marks the adult mind. He usually loses his sense of proportion, of humour, of reality, and of sound judgment. His ego is often inflated to the bursting point, till he would be abjectly ridiculous if he were not so pitifully dangerous to himself and others. He also tends to take his new-found "truths of illumination" for the entire body of truth, and insists that they must be as valid an vital for all men as they happen to be for himself.
It is wise to keep silence about those things "unlawful to utter" which one may have heard "in the seventh heaven". This may not apply to the sixth.
The Adept must keep himself in hand, however tempted to make a new heaven and a new earth in the next few days by trumpeting his triumphs. He must give time a chance to redress his balance, sore shaken by the impact of the Infinite.
As he becomes adjusted to intercourse with his Angel, he will find his passionate ecstasy develop a quality of peace and intelligibility which adds power, while it informs and fortifies his mental and moral qualities instead of obscuring and upsetting them. He will by now have become able to converse with his Angel, impossible as it once seemed; for he now knows that the storm of sound which he supposed to be the Voice was only the clamour of his own confusions. The "infinity" nonsense was born of his own inability to think clearly beyond his limits, just as a Bushman, confronted by numbers above five, can only call them "many".
The truth told by the Angel, immensely as it extends the horizon of the Adept, is perfectly definite and precise. It does not deal in ambiguities and abstractions. It possesses form, and confesses law, in exactly the same way and degree as any other body of truth. It is to the truth of the material and intellectual spheres of man very much what the Mathematics of Philosophy with its "infinite series" and "Cantorian continuity" is to schoolboy arithmetic. Each implies the other, though by that one may explore the essential nature of existence, and by this a pawnbroker's profits.
This then is the true aim of the Adept in this whole operation, to assimilate himself to his Angel by continual conscious communion. For his Angel is an intelligible image of his own true Will, to do which is the whole of the law of his Being.
Also the Angel appeareth in Tiphereth, which is the heart of the Ruach, and thus the Centre of Gravity of the Mind. It is also directly inspired from Kether, the ultimate Self, through the Path of the High Priestess, or initiated intuition. Hence the Angel is in truth the Logos or articulate expression of the whole Being of the Adept, so that as he increases in the perfect understanding of His name, he approaches the solution of the ultimate problem, Who he himself truly is.
Unto this final statement the Adept may trust his Angel to lead him; for the Tiphereth-consciousness alone is connected by paths with the various parts of his mind.See the maps "Minutum Mundum" in The Equinox 1, 2, & 3 and the general relations detailed in Liber 777, of which the most important columns are reprinted in Appendix V. None therefore save He hath the knowledge requisite for calculating the combinations of conduct which will organise and equilibrate the forces of the Adept, against the moment when it becomes necessary to confront the Abyss. The Adept must control a compact and coherent mass if he is to make sure of hurling it from him with a clean-cut gesture.
I, The Beast 666, lift up my voice and swear that I myself have been brought hither by mine Angel. After that I had attained unto the Knowledge and Conversation of Him by virtue of mine ardour towards Him, and of this Ritual that I bestow upon men my fellows, and most of His great Love that He beareth to me, yea, verily, He led me to the Abyss; He bade me fling away all that I had and all that I was; and He forsook me in that Hour. But when I came beyond the Abyss, to be reborn within the womb of Babalon, then came he unto me abiding in my virgin heart, its Lord and Lover!
Also He made me a Magus, speaking through His Law, the Word of the new Aeon, the Aeon of the Crowned and Conquering Child.For the account of these matters see The Equinox, Vol. I, "The Temple of Solomon the King", Liber 418, Liber Aleph, John St. John, The Urn, and Book 4, Part IV.
Thus he fulfilled my will to bring full freedom to the race of Men.
Yea, he wrought also in me a Work of wonder beyond this, but in this matter I am sworn to hold my peace.
Arcanum Arcanorum Quod Continet Nondum Revelandum ipsis Regibus supremis O.T.O. Grimorium Quod Baphomet X° M...Baphomet X°: this was Crowley's title and rank in the O.T.O. The tenth degree signifies the Head of the Order in each country or province. Crowley was, in addition, the O.H.O., the Outer Head of the Order, i.e. the Head of the Order in the Outer as a whole, and thus bore the further title of Supreme and Holy King. suo fecit.
- Oriente ............... Altare
- Occidente ............. Tabula dei invocandi
- Septentrione .......... Sacerdos
- Meridione ............. Ignis cum thuribulo, χ τ λ
- Centro ................ Lapis quadratus cum
Maximi Igentis Nefandi Ineffabilis Sanctissimi
et cum ferro, tintinnabulo, oleo.
Virgo. Stet imago juxta librum ΘΕΛΗΜΑ.
Fiat ut in Libro DCLXXILiber Pyramidos is a class D publication of the A∴A∴. It contains a Ritual of Self-initiation. dicitur, sed antea virgo lavata sit cum verbis "Asperge me..." χ.τ.λ., et habilimenta ponat cum verbis "Per sanctum Mysterium," χ.τ.λ.
Ita Pyramis fiat. Tunc virgo lavabit sacerdotem et vestimenta ponat ut supra ordinatur.
(Hic dicat virgo orationes dei operis.)
Manibus accedat et ignem et sacerdotem virgo, dicens:
"Accendat in nobis Dominus ignem sui amoris et flamman aeternae caritatis."
De ceremonio Dedicationis
Invocet virgo Imaginem Dei M.I.N.I.S.
his verbis. — "Tu qui es prater omnia... χ.τ.λ."
Nec relinquet alteram Imaginem.
Deinde silentium frangat sacerdos cum verbis versiculi sancti dei particularitur invocandi.
Ineat ad Sanctum Sanctorum.
Duo qui fiunt UNUS sine intermissione verba versiculi sancti alta voce cantent.
De Benedictione Benedicti
Missa rore, dicat mulier haec verba "Quia patris et filii s.s." χ.τ.λ.
Fiat ut in Libro DCLXXI dicitur. ΑΥΜΓΝ.
The Star Ruby
For this ritual, see our copy of Liber XXV.
The star sapphire
For this ritual, see our copy of Liber XXXVI.
The Mass of the Phoenix
For this ritual, see our copy of Liber XLIV.
A∴A∴ publication in Class D. Being the Ritual of the Mark of the Beast: an incantation proper to invoke the Energies of the Aeon of Horus,The magical energies of the present age (the Aeon of Horus) are Solar and Martial. Mars is the particular sphere of Horus and his force is required to break down the outmoded values of the Old Aeon. adapted for the daily use of the Magician of whatever grade.
The Oath of the Enchantment, which is called The Elevenfold Seal.Cf. the eleven-fold Cross of Baphomet and the eleven-pointed Star of the A∴A∴
The Animadversion towards the Aeon
- Let the Magician, robed and armed as he may deem to be fit, turn his face towards Boleskine,Boleskine House is on Loch Ness, 17 miles from Inverness, Latitude 57.14 N. Longitude 4.28 W. that is the House of The Beast 666.
- Let him strike the battery 1-3-3-3-1.Five is the number of Mars, i.e. Horus in this context. Hence the five-fold battery of knocks, composed of the number of Set or Saturn (3), repeated thrice, between two ones or eleven.
- Let him put the Thumb of his right hand between its index and medius, and make the gestures hereafter following.
The Vertical Component of the Enchantment
- Let him describe a circle about his head, crying NUIT!
- Let him draw the Thumb vertically downward and touch the Muladhara Cakkra,The Chakra or Sphere of magical energy at the base of the spine, in which Sphere the Serpent Power lies coiled and asleep. crying, HADIT!
- Let him, retracing the line, touch the centre of his breast and cry RA-HOOR-KHUIT!
The Horizontal Components of the Enchantment
- Let him touch the Centre of his Forehead, his mouth, and his larynx, crying AIWAZ!
- Let him draw his thumb from right to left across his face at the level of the nostrils.
- Let him touch the Centre of his Breast, and his Solar Plexus, crying THERION!The person who performs this rite is not necessarily praising or glorifying the man, Aleister Crowley, but the Beast 666, of which — it is a current not a person — he was an avatar.
- Let him draw his Thumb from left to right across his breast at the level of the sternum.
- Let him touch the Svadhisthana,The Chakra near the solar plexus. and the Muladhara Cakkra, crying, Babalon!
- Let him draw his Thumb from right to left across his abdomen, at the level of the hips.
(Thus shall he formulate the Sigil of the Grand Hierophant, but dependent from the Circle.)
The Asserveration of the Spells
- Let the Magician clasp his hands upon his Wand, his fingers and thumbs interlaced, crying LAShTAL! ΘΕΛΗΜΑ! FIAOF! ΑΓΑΠΕ! ΑΥΜΓΝ!LAShTAL, a formula not a word.
THELEMA, the word of the Law.
FIAOF, another form of IAO.
AUMGN or AUM or OM, the root vibration of Creation.
(Thus shall be declared the Words of Power whereby the Energies of the Aeon of Horus work his Will in the world.)
The Proclamation of the Accomplishment
- Let the Magician strike the Battery: 3-5-3,The Rite is concluded with the triple battery of Set, and comprises the numbers of Set (3) and Horus (5). crying abrahadabra.
- Let the Magician, still facing Boleskine, advance to the circumference of his Circle.
- Let him turn himself towards the left, and pace with the stealth and swiftness of a tiger the precincts of his circle, until he complete one revolution thereof.
- Let him give the sign of Horus (or the Enterer) as he passeth, so to project the Force that radiateth from Boleskine before him.
- Let him pace his Path until he comes to the North; there let him halt, and turn his face to the North.
- Let him trace with his Wand the Averse Pentagram proper to invoke Air (Aquarius).
- Let him bring the Wand to the Centre of the Pentagram and call upon NUIT!
- Let him make the sign called Puella, standing with his feet together, head bowed, his left hand shielding the muladhara cakra, and his right hand shielding his breast (attitude of the Venus de Medici).
- Let him turn again to the Left, and pursue his Path as before, projecting the Force from Boleskine as he passeth; let him halt when he next cometh to the South, and face outward.
- Let him trace the Averse Pentagram that invoketh Fire (Leo).
- Let him point his Wand to the Centre of the Pentagram, and cry HADIT!
- Let him give the sign Puer, standing withfeet together and head erect. Let his right hand (the thumb extended at right angles to the fingers) be raised, the forearm vertical at a right angle with the upper arm, which is horizontally extended in the line joining the shoulders. Let his left hand, the thumb extended forwards, and the fingers clenched, rest at the junction of the thighs (attitudes of the gods Mentu, Khem,Ithyphallic gods. etc.).
- Let him proceed as before; then in the East, let mim make the Averse Pentagram that invoketh Earth (Taurus).
- Let him point his Wand to the Centre of the Pentagram, and cry THERION!
- Let him give the sign called Vir, the feet being together. The hands, with clenched fingers and thumbs thrust out forwards, are held to the temples; the head is then bowed and pushed out, as if to symbolize the butting of an horned beast (attitude of Pan, Bacchus, etc.)..
- Proceding as before, let him make in the West the Averse Pentagram whereby Water is invoked.
- Pointing the Wand to the Centre of the Pentagram, let him call upon BABALON!
- Let him give the sign Mulier. The feet are widely separated, and the arms raised so as to suggest a crescent. The head is thrown back (attitude of Baphomet, Isis in Welcome, the Microcosm of Vitruvius). (See Book 4, Part II).
- Let him break into the dance, tracing a centripetal spiral widdershins, enriched by revolutions upon his axis as he passeth each Quarter, until he come to the centre of the Circle. There let him halt, facing Boleskine. The Mark of the Beast (Sun and Moon conjoined with two witnesses)
- Let him raise the Wand, trace the Mark of the Beast, and cry AIWAZ!
- Let him trace the Invoking Hexagram of The Beast. (Unicursal Hexagram, first stroke top to lower right)
- Let him lower theWand, striking the Earth therewith.
- Let him give the sign of Mater Triumphans. (The feet are together; the left arm is curved as if it supported a child; the thumb and index finger of the right hand pinch the nipple of the left breast, as if offering it to that child.) Let him utter the word THELEMA!
- Perform the Spiral Dance, moving deosil and whirling widdershins. Each time on passing the West extend the Wand to the Quarter in question, and bow:
- "Before me the powers of LA!"LA, the Hebrew word for NOT, attributed to the West where the sun declines. (to West.)
- "Behind me the powers of AL!"AL, the Hebrew for God, the Creative Force, attributed to the East. (to East.)
- "On my right hand the powers of LA!"LA in this context represents Nuit, whose region is in the north where the greatest darkness reigns. (to North.)
- "On my left hand the powers of AL!"AL in this context is Hadit, the sun in the south. (to South.)
- "Above me the powers of ShT!"Set or Shaitan or Satan, in whom are concentrated the magical energies of the New Aeon. (leaping in the air.)
- "Beneath me the power of ShT!"The magician has now formulated the six-fold star of which Set forms the axis. Hence his leaping in the air and striking the ground with his Wand. He stands in this column as his own Wand, identified with the forces he has invoked. (striking the ground.)
- "Within me the Powers!" (in the attitude of Ptah erect, the feet together, the hands clasped upon the vertical Wand.)
- "About me flames my Father's Face, the Star of Force and Fire!"
- "And in the Column stands his six-rayed Splendour!"
(This dance may be omitted, and the whole utterance chanted in the attitude of Ptah.)
This is identical with the first gesture.
(Here followeth an impression of the ideas implied in this Paean)
I also am a Star in Space, unique and self-existent, an individual essence incorruptible; I also am one Soul; I am identical with All and None. I am in All and all in me; I am, apart from all and lord of all, and one with all.
I am Omniciscient, for naught exists for me unless I know it. I am Omnipotents, for naught occurs save by Necesity, my soul's expression through my Will to be, to do, to suffer the symbols of itself. I am Omnipresent, for naught exists where I am not, who fashioned Space as a condition of my consciousness of myself, who am the centre of all, and my circumference the frame of mine own fancy.
I am the All, for all that exists for me is a necessary expression in thought of some tendency of my nature, and all my thoughts are only the letters of my Name.
I am the One, for all that I am is not the absolute All, and all my all is mine and not another's; mine, who conceive of others like myself in essence and truth, yet unlike in expression and illusion.
I am the None, for all that I am is the imperfect image of the perfect; each partial phantom must perish in the flasp of its counterpart, each form fulfil itself by finding its equated opposite, and satisfying its need to be the Absolute by the attainment of annihilation.
The World LAShTAL includes all this.
AL — Two.In the Thelemic Cabbala, the Supernal Triad of the Tree of Life consists of LA and AL. It is arranged thus: LA (NOT), being the concentration of the Void (Ain), is attributed to Kether; LA is reflected into Chokhmah as AL; hence it is number two. AL in turn is reflected in to the Sephira Binah and becomes LA again. This Supernal Triad therefore consists of LA, AL, LA, each of which is 31, total 93, the number of Aiwass and the Hidden Gods above the Abyss.
L is "Justice","Justice" is the title of the VIIIth Tarot Key. In Crowley's The Book of Thoth this Key is called "Adjustment". Lamed or L is the letter attributed to it. the Kteis fulfilled by the Phallus, "Naught and Two" because the plus and the minus have united in "love under will."
A is "The Fool","The Fool" of the Tarot, attributed to the first letter of the hebrew alphabet, A, the number of which is 1. In the Tarot it is 0. See chapter 5. Naught in Thought (Parzival), Word (Harpocrates), and Action (Bacchus). He is the boundless air, and the wandering Ghost, but with "possibilities." He is the Naught that the Two have made by "love under will."
LA thus represents the Ecstasy of Nuit and Hadit conjoined, lost in love, and making themselves Naught thereby. Their child is begotten and conceived, but is in the phase of Naught also, as yet. LA is thus the Universe in that phase, with its potentialities of manifestation.
AL, on the contrary, though it is essentially identical with LA, shows "The Fool" manifested through the Equilibrium of Contraries. The wieght is still nothing, but it is expressed as it were two equal weights in opposite scales. The indicator still points to zero.
ShT is equally 31ShT or Set is 31 by the Tarot, i.e. Sh is attributed to the XXth Key and T or Teth to the XIth. with LA and AL, but it expresses the secret nature which operates the Magick or the transmutations.
ShT is the formula of this particular Æ another Æ might have another way of saying 31.
Sh is Fire as T is Force; conjoined they express Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
"The Angel""The Angel" is the XXth Key of the Tarot. In Crowley's system it is called "The Aeon". represents the Stélé 666, showing the Gods of the Aeon, while "Strength""Strength" is the XIth Key. In Crowley's system it is called "Lust". is a picture of Babalon and the Beast, the earthly emissaries of those Gods.
ShT is the dynamic equivalent of LA and AL. Sh shows the Word of the Law, being triple,I.e. LA ShT AL. as 93 is thrice 31. T shows the formula of Magic declared in that Word; the Lion, the Serpent, the Sun, Courage and Sexual Love are all indicated by the card.
In LA note that Saturn or Satan is exalted in the House of Venus or Astarte and it is an airy sign. Thus L is Father-Mother, Two and Naught, and the Spirit (Holy Ghost) of their Love is also Naught. Love is AHBH, 13, which is AChD. Unity, 1, Aleph, who is "The Fool" who is Naught, but none the less an individual One, who (as such) is not another, yet unconscious of himself until his Oneness expresses itself as a duality.
Any impression or idea is unknowable in itself. It can mean nothing until brought into relation with other things. The first step is to distinguish one thought from another; this is the condition of recognizing it. To define it, we must perceive its orientation to all our other ideas. The extent of our knowledge of any one thing varies therefore with the number of ideas with which we can compare it. Every new fact not only adds itself to our universe, but increases the value of what we already possess.
In AL this "The" or "God" arranges for "Countenance to behold countenance", by establishing itself as an equilibrium, A the One-Naught conceived as L the Two-Naught. This L is the Son-Daughter Horus-Harpocrates just as the other L was the Father-Mother Set-Isis. Here then is Tetragrammaton once more, but expressed in identical equations in which every term is perfect in itself as a mode of Naught.
supplies the last element; making the Word of either five or six letters, according as we regard ShT
as one letter or two. Thus the Word affirms the Great Work accomplished: 5°=6
.The Work of Tiphereth, where the formula of the Rose Cross is consummated. Tiphereth is the 6th Sephira on the Tree of Life; it is attributed to the Sun. See "One Star in Sight". The 5 and the 6 make 11, the number of Magick.
ShT is moreover a necessary resolution of the apparent opposition of LA and AL; for one could hardly pass to the other without the catalytic action of a third identical expression whose function should be to transmute them. Such a term must be in itself a mode of Naught, and its nature cannot encroach on the perfections of Not-Being, LA, or of Being, AL. It must be purely Nothing-Motion as they are purely Nothing-Matter, so as to create a Matter-in-Motion which is a function of "Something."
Thus ShT is Motion in its double phase, an inertia compose of two opposite currents, and each current is also thus polarized. Sh is Heaven and Earth, T Male and Female; ShT is Spirit and Matter; one is the word of Liberty and Love flashing its Light to restore Life to Earth, the other is the act by which Life claims that Love is Light and Liberty. And these are Two-in-One, the divine letter of Silence-in-Speech whose symbol is the Sun in the Arms of the Moon.
But Sh and T are alike formulae of force in action as opposed to entities; they are not states of existence, but modes of motion. They are verbs, not nouns.
Sh is the Holy Spirit as a "tongue of fire" manifest in triplicity, and is the child of Set-Isis as their logos or Word uttered by their "Angel." The card is XX, and 20 is the value of Yod (the secret seed of all things, the Virgin, "The Hermit," Mercury, the Angel or Herald) expressed in full as IVD.The number of IVD (Yod) is 10, but spelt in full, i.e. Yod (10) plus Vau (6), plus Daleth (4) = 20. Sh is the spiritual congress of Heaven and Earth.
But T is the Holy Spirit in action as a "roaring Lion" or as "the old Serpent" instead of an "Angel of Light." The twins of Set-Isis, harlot and beast, are busy with that sodomitic and incestuous lust which is the traditional formula for producing demi-gods, as in the cases of Mary and the Dove, Leda and the Swan, etc. The card is XI, the number of Magick AVD:The Hebrew word for Light. [Ed. note: No, it isn't. "AVR" (207) would be "light". "AVD" is "to be bent", or "firebrand". But the two words look very much alike: AVD, אוד versus AVR, אור.] Aleph "The Fool" impregnating the woman according to the Word of yod, the Angel of the Lord! His sister has seduced her brother Beast, shaming the Sun with her sin; she has mastered the Lion, and enchanted the Serpent. Nature is outraged by Magick; man is bestialized and woman defiled. The conjunction produces a monster; it affirms regression of types. Instead of a man-God conceived of the Spirit of God by a virgin in innocence, we are asked to adore the bastard of a whore and a brute, begotten in shamefullest sin and born in most blasphemous bliss.
This is in fact the formula of our Magick; we insist that all acts must be equal; that existence asserts the right to exist; that unless evil is a mere term expressing some relation of haphazard hostility between forces equally self-justified, the universe is as inexplicable and impossible as uncompensated action; that the orgies of Bacchus and Pan are no less sacramental than the Masses of Jesus; that the scars of syphilis are sacred and worthy of honour as much as the wounds of the martyrs of Mary.
It should be unnecessary to insist that the above ideas apply only to the Absolute. Toothache is still painful, and deceit degrading, to a man, relatively to his situation in the world of illusion; he does his Will by avoiding them. But the existence of "Evil" is fatal to philosophy so long as it is supposed to be independent of conditions; and to accustom the mind to "make no difference" between any two ideas6 as such is to emancipate it from the thralldom of terror.
We affirm on our altars our faith in ourself and our wills, our love of all aspects of the Absolute All.
And we make the Spirit Shin combine with the Flesh TethShin, the three tongues of Fire, is the letter of Spirit. Teth, which is in the shape of a serpent biting its tail, is attributed to the XIth Tarot Key, entitled Lust. into a single letter, whose value is 31 even as those of LA the Naught, and AL the All, to complete their Not-Being and Being with its Becoming, to mediate between identical extremes as their mean — the secret that sunders and seals them.
It declares that all somethings are equally shadows of Nothing, and justifies Nothing in its futile folly of pretending that something is stable, by making us aware of a method of Magick through the practice of which we may partake in the pleasure of the process.
The Magician should devise for himself a definite technique for destroying "evil." The essence of such a practice will consist in training the mind and the body to confront things which case fear, pain, disgust,The People of England have made two revolutions to free themselves of Popish fraud and tyranny. They are at their tricks again, and if we have to make a Third Revolution, let us destroy the germ itself! shame and the like. He must learn to endure them, then to become indifferent to them, then to become indifferent to them, then to analyze them until they give pleasure and instruction, and finally to appreciate them for their own sake, as aspects of Truth. When this has been done, he should abandon them, if they are really harmful in relation to health and comfort. Also, our selection of "evils" is limited to those that cannot damage us irreparably. E.g., one ought to practice smelling assafoetida until one likes it; but not arsine or hydrocyanic acid. Again, one might have a liaison with an ugly old woman until one beheld and loved the star which she is; it would be too dangerous to overcome the distaste for dishonesty by forcing oneself to pick pockets. Acts which are essentially dishonourable must not be done; they should be justified only by calm contemplation of their correctness in abstract cases.
Love is a virtue; it grows stronger and purer and less selfish by applying it to what it loathes; but theft is a vice involving the slave-idea that one's neighbour is superior to oneself. It is admirable only for its power to develop certain moral and mental qualities in primitive types, to prevent the atrophy of such faculties as our own vigilance, and for the interest which it adds to the "tragedy, Man."
Crime, folly, sickness and all such phenomena must be contemplated with complete freedom from fear, aversion, or shame. Otherwise we shall fail to see accurately, and interpret intelligently; in which case we shall be unable to outwit and outfight them. Anatomists and physiologists, grappling in the dark with death, have won hygiene, surgery, prophylaxis and the rest for mankind. Anthropologists, archæologists , physicists and other men of science, risking thumbscrws, stake, infamy and ostracism, have torn the spider-snare of superstition to shreds and broken in pieces the monstrous idol of Morality, the murderous Moloch which has made mankind its meat throughout history. Each fragment of that coprolite it manifest as an image of some brute lust, some torpid dullness, some ignorant instinct, or some furtive fear shapen in his own savage mind.
Man is indeed not wholly freed, even now. He is still trampled under the hoofs of the stampeding mules that nightmare bore to his wild ass, his creative forces that he had not mastered, the sterile ghosts that he called gods. Their mystery cows men still; they fear, they flinch, they dare not face the phantoms. Still, too, the fallen fetich seems awful; it is frightful to them that there is no longer an idol to adore with anthems, and to appease with the flesh of their firstborn. Each scrambles in the bloody mire of the floor to snatch some scrap for a relic, that he may bow down to it and serve it.
So, even today, a mass of maggots swarm heaving over the carrion earth, a brotherhood bound by blind greed for rottenness. Science still hesitates to raise the Temple of Rimmon, though every year finds more of her sons impatient of Naaman's prudence. The Privy Council of the Kingdom of Mansoul sits in permenant scret session; it dares not declare what must follow its deed in shattering the monarch Morality into scraps of crumbling conglomerate of of climatic, tribal, and person prejudices, corrupted yet more by the action of crafy ambition, insane impulse, ignorant arrogance, superstitious hysteria, fear fashioning falsehoods on the stone that it sets on the grave of Truth whom it has murdered and buried in the black earth Oblivion. Moral philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, mental pathology, physiology, and many another of the children of Wisdom, of whom she is justified, well know that the laws of Ethics are a chaos of confused conventions, based at best on customs convenient in certain conditions, more often on the craft or caprice of the biggest, the most savage, heartless, cunning and blood-thirsty brutes of the pack, to secure their power or pander to their pleasure in cruelty. There is no principle, even a false one, to give coherence to the clamour of ethical propositions. Yet the very men that have smashed Moloch, and strewn the earth with shapeless rubble, grow pale when they so much as whisper among themselves: "While Moloch ruled all men were bound by one law, and by the oracles of them that, knowing the fraud, feared not, but were his priests and wardens of his mystery. What now? How can any of us, though wise and strong as never was known, prevail on men to act in concert, now that each prays to his own chip of God, and yet knows every other chip to be a worthless ort, dream-dust, ape-dung, tradition-bone, or — what not else?"
So Science begins to see that the Initiates were maybe not merely silly and selfish in making their rule of silence, and in protecting Philosophy from the profane. Yet still she hopes that the mischief may not prove mortal, and begs that things may go on much as usual until that secret session decide on some plan of action.
It has always been fatal when somebody finds out too much too suddenly. If John Huss had cackled more like a hen, he might have survived Michaelmas, and been esteemed for his eggs. The last fifty years have laid the axe of analysis to the root of every axiom; they are triflers who content themselves with lopping the blossoming twigs of our beliefs, or the boughs of our intellectual instruments. We can no longer assert any single proposition, unless we guard ourselves by enumerating countelss conditions which must be assumed.
This digression has outstayed its welcome; it was only invited by Wisdom that it might warn Rashness of the dangers that encompass even Sincerity, Energy and Intelligence when they happen not to contribute to Fitness-in-their-environment.
The Magician must be wary in his use of his powers; he must make every act not only accord with his Will, but with the properties of his position at the time. It might be my Will to reach the foot of a cliff; but the easiest way — also the speediest, most direct, least obstructed, the way of minimum effort — would be simply to jump. I should have destroyed my Will in the act of fulfilling it, or what I mistook for it; for the True Will has no goal; its nature being To Go. Similarly, a parabola is bound by one law which fixes its relations with two straight lines at every point; yet it has no end short of infinity, and it continually changes its direction. The Initiate who is aware Who he is can always check his conduct by reference to the determinants of his curve, and calculate his past, his future, his bearings, and his proper course at any assigned moment; he can even comprehend himself as a simple idea. He may attain to measure fellow-parabolas, ellipses that cross his path, hyperbolas that span all space with their twin wings. Perhaps he may come at long last, leaping beyond the limits of his own law, to conceive that sublimely stupendous outrage to Reason, the Cone! Utterly inscrutable to him, he is yet well aware that he exists in the nature thereof, that he is necessary thereto, that he is ordered thereby, and that therefrom he is sprung, from the loins of so fearful a Father! His own infinity becomes zero in relation to that of the least fragment of the solid. He hardly exists at all. Trillions multiplied by trillions of trillions of such as he could not cross the frontier even of breadth, the idea which he came to guess at only becuase he felt himself bound by some mysterious power. Yet breadth is equally a nothing in the presence of the Cone. His first conception must evidently be a frantic spasm, formless, insane, not to be classed as an articulate thought. Yet, if he develops the faculties of his mind, the more he knows of it the more he sees that its nature is identical with his own whenever comparison is possible.
The True Will is thus both determined by its equations, and free because those equations are simply its own name, spelt out fully. His sense of being under bondage comes from his inability to read it; his sense that evil exists to thwart him arises when he begins to learn to read, reads wrong, and is obstinate that his error is an improvement.
We know one thing only. Absolute existence, absolute motion, absolute direction, absolute simultaneity, absolute truth, all such ideas: they have not, and never can have, any real meaning. If a man in delirium tremens fell into the Hudson River, he might remember the proverb and clutch at an imaginary straw. Words such as "truth" are like that straw. Confusion of thought is concealed, and its impotence denied, by the invention. This paragraph opened with "We know": yet, questioned, "we" make haste to deny the possibility of possessing, or even of defining, knowledge. What could be more certain to a parabola-philosopher that he could be approached in two ways, and two only? It would be indeed little less that the whole body of his knowledge, implied in the theory of his definition of himself, and confirmed by every single experience. He could receive impressions only be meeting A, or being caught up by B. Yet he would be wrong in an infinite number of ways. There are therefore א0 possibilities that at any moment a man may find himself totally transformed. And it may be that our present dazzled bewilderment is due to our recognition of the existence of a new dimension of thought, which seems so "inscrutably infinite" and "absurd" and "immoral," etc. — because we have not studied it long enough to appreciate that its laws are identical with our own, though extended to new conceptions. The discovery of radioactivity created a momentary chaos in chemistry and physics; but it soon led to a fuller interpretation of the old ideas. It dispersed many difficulties, harmonized many discords, and — yea, more! It shewed the substance of Universe as a simplicity of Light and Life, manners to compose atoms, themselves capable of deeper self-realization through fresh complexities and organizations, each with its own peculiar powers and pleasures, each pursuing its path through the world where all things are possible. It revealed the omnipresence of Hadit, identical with Himself, yet fulfilling Himself by dividing His interplay with Nuit into episodes, each form of his energy isolated with each aspect of Her receptivity, delight developing delight continuous from complex to complex. It was the voice of Nature awakening at the dawn of the Aeon, as Aiwaz uttered the Word of the Law of Thelema.
So also shall he who invoketh often behold the Formless Fire, with trembling and bewilderment; but if he prolong his meditation, he shall resolve it into coherent and intelligibile symbols, and he shall hear the articulate utterance of that Fire, interpret the thunder thereof as a still small voice in his heart. And the Fire shall reveal to his eyes his own image in its own true glory; and it shall speak in his ears the mystery that is his own right Name.
This then is the virtue of the Magick of The Beast 666, and the canon of its proper usage; to destroy the tendency to discriminate between any two things in theory, and in practice to pierce the veils of every sanctuary, pressing forward to embrace every image; for there is none that is not very Isis. The Inmost is one with the Inmost; yet the form of the One is not the form of the other; intimacy exacts fitness. He therefore who liveth by air, let him not be bold to breathe water. But mastery cometh by measure: to him who with labour, courage, and caution giveth his life to understand all that doth encompass him, and to prevail against it, shall be increase. "The word of Sin is Restriction": seek therefore Righteousness, enquiring into Iniquity, and fortify thyself to overcome it.
Ecclesia Gnosticae Catholicae
For this ritual, see our copy of Liber XV.