The Vision and the Voice


The Cry of the 13th Aethyr


Into the Stone there cometh an image of shining waters, glistening in the sun. Unfathomable is their beauty, for they are limpid, and the floor is of gold. Yet the sense thereof is of fruitlessness.
And an Angel cometh forth, of pure pale gold, walking upon the water. Above his head is a rainbow, and the water foams beneath his feet. And he saith: Before his face am I come that hath the thirty-three thunders of increase in his hand. From the golden water shalt thou gather corn.[2]
All the Aire behind him is gold, but it opens as it were a veil. There are two terrible black giants, wrestling in mortal hatred. And there is a little bird upon a bush, and the bird flaps its wings. Thereat the strength of the giants snaps, and they fall in heaps to the earth, as though all their bones were suddenly broken.[3]
And now waves of light roll through the Aethyr, as if they were playing. Therefore suddenly I am in a garden,[4] upon a terrace of a great castle, that is upon a rocky mountain. In the garden are fountains and many flowers. There are girls also in the garden, tall, slim, delicate and pale. And now I see that the flowers are the girls, for they change from one to another; so varied, and lucent, and harmonious is all this garden, that it seems like a great opal.[5]
A voice comes: This water which thou seest is called the water of death.[6] But NEMO hath filled therefrom our springs.
And I said: Who is NEMO?
And the voice answered: A dolphin's tooth, and a ram's horns, and the hand of a man that is hanged, and the phallus of a goat.[7] (By this I understand that nun is explained by shin, and hé by resh, and mem by yod, and ayin by tau.[8] NEMO is therefore called 165 = 11 x 15; and is in himself 910 = 91 Amen x 10; and 13 x 70 = The One Eye, Achad Ayin.)
And now there cometh an Angel into the garden, but he hath not any of the attributes of the former Angels, for he is like a young man, dressed in white linen robes.
And he saith: No man hath beheld the face of my Father. Therefore he that hath beheld it is called NEMO. And know thou that every man that is called NEMO hath a garden that he tendeth.[9] And every garden that is and flourisheth hath been prepared from the desert by NEMO, watered with the waters that were called death.
And I say unto him: To what end is the garden prepared?
And he saith: First for the beauty and delight thereof; and next because it is written, "And Tetragrammaton Elohim planted a garden eastward in Eden." And lastly, because though every flower bringeth forth a maiden, yet is there one flower that shall bring forth a man-child. And his name shall be called NEMO, when he beholdeth the face of my Father. And he that tendeth the garden seeketh not to single out the flower that shall be NEMO. He doeth naught but tend the garden.
And I said: Pleasant indeed is the garden,[10] and light is the toil of tending it, and great is the reward.
And he said: Bethink thee that NEMO hath beheld the face of my Father. In Him is only Peace.
And I said: Are all gardens like unto this garden?
And he waved his hand, and in the Aire across the valley appeared an island of coral, rosy, with green palms and fruit-trees, in the midst of the bluest of the seas.[11]
And he waved his hand again, and there appeared a valley shut in by mighty snow mountains, and in it were pleasant streams of water, rushing through, and broad rivers, and lakes covered with lilies.[12]
And he waved his hand again, and there was a vision, as it were of an oasis in the desert.[13]
And again he waved his hand, and there was a dim country with grey rocks, and heather, and gorse, and bracken.[14]
And he waved his hand yet again, and there was a park, and a small house therein, surrounded by yews.[15] This time the house opens, and I see in it an old man, sitting by a table. He is blind. Yet he writeth in a great book, constantly. I see what he is writing: "The words of the Book are as the leaves of the flowers in the garden. Many indeed of these my songs shall go forth as maidens, but there is one among them, which one I know not, that shall be a man-child, whose name shall be NEMO, when he hath beheld the face of the Father, and become blind."
(All this vision is most extraordinarily pleasant and peaceful, entirely without strength or ecstasy, or any positive quality, but equally free from the opposites of any of those qualities.) And the young man seems to read my thought, which is, that I should love to stay in this garden and do nothing for ever; for he sayeth to me: Come with me, and behold how NEMO tendeth his garden.[16]
So we enter the earth, and there is a veiled figure, in absolute darkness. Yet it is perfectly possible to see in it, so that the minutest details do not escape us. And upon the root of one flower he pours acid so that that root writhes as if in torture. And another he cuts, and the shriek is like the shriek of a mandrake, torn up by the roots. And another he chars with fire, and yet another he anoints with oil.
And I said: Heavy is the labour, but great indeed is the reward.
And the young man answered me: He shall not see the reward, he tendeth the garden.[17]
And I said: What shall come unto him?
And he said: This thou canst not know, nor is it revealed by the letters that are the totems of the stars, but only by the stars.
And he says to me, quite disconnectedly: The man of earth is the adherent. The lover giveth his life unto the work among men. The hermit goeth solitary, and giveth only of his light unto men.[18]
And I ask him: Why does he tell me that?
And he says: I tell thee not. Thou tellest thyself, for thou hast pondered thereupon for many days, and hast not found light. And now that thou art called NEMO, the answer to every riddle that thou hast not found shall spring up in thy mind, unsought. Who can tell upon what day a flower shall bloom?[19]
And thou shalt give thy wisdom unto the world, and that shall be thy garden. And concerning time and death, thou hast naught to do with these things. For though a precious stone be hidden in the sand of the desert, it shall not heed for the wind of the desert, although it be but sand. For the worker of works hath worked thereupon; and because it is clear, it is invisible; and because it is hard, it moveth not.
All these words are heard by everyone that is called NEMO. And with that doth he apply himself to understanding. And he must understand the virtue of the waters of death, and he must understand the virtue of the sun and the wind, and of the worm that turneth the earth, and the stars that roof in the garden. And he must understand the separate nature and property of every flower, or how shall he tend his garden?
And I said to him: Concerning the Vision and the Voice, I would know if these things be of the essence of the Aethyr, or of the essence of the seer.[20]
And he answers: It is of the essence of him that is called NEMO, combined with essence of the Aethyr, for from the 1st Aethyr to the 15th Aethyr, there is no vision and no voice, save for him that is called NEMO. And he that seeketh the vision and the voice therein is led away by dog-faced demons that show no sign of truth, seducing from the Sacred Mysteries, unless his name be NEMO.
And hadst thou not been fitted, thou too hadst been led away, for before the gate of the 15th Aethyr, is this written: He shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. And again it is written: The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart. And again it is written that God tempteth man. But thou hadst the word and the sign, and thou hadst authority from thy superior,[21] and licence.[22] And thou hast done well in that thou didst not dare, and in that thou dost dare.[23] For daring is not presumption.
And he said moreover: Thou dost well to keep silence, for I perceive how many questions arise in thy mind; yet already thou knowest that the answering, as the asking, must be vain. For NEMO hath all in himself. He hath come where there is no light or knowledge, only when he needeth them no more.
And then we bow silently, giving a certain sign, called the Sign of Isis Rejoicing.[24] And then he remaineth to ward the Aethyr, while I return unto the bank of sand that is the bed of the river near the desert.

The river-bed near Bou Sâada.

December 4, 1909. 2.10 - 3.45 p.m.

[1] ZIM = Leo, Sagittarius, Aquarius. See, in the Aethyr, the solar symbolism of the opening (Leo), the transmutation of the middle (Sagittarius), and the Saturnian ending (Aquarius).

[2] This pure pale gold is the symbol of the dawning life, arisen after passing through the night of the 14th Aethyr.

[3] This is a parable of the illusion of matter, whose vast horror is destroyed by the moving of the wings of initiation.

[4] Rather like the Alhambra.

[5] There is here a memory picture of the Alhambra; or something like it.

[6] The Great Sea of Binah — darkness.

[7] N (נ) = Nun, the fish (dolphin); E (ה) = Aries, the ram; M (מ) = Atu XII — the Hanged Man; O = ע, the goat, Capricornus. These are the letters comprising NEMO.

[8] 910 = Rasheeth (רשית) = Beginning. These attributions explain the nature of NEMO, the Master of the Temple.

[9] Every Magister Templi has a Work to do for the world.

[10] All this is to instruct the Magister Templi in his duties.

[11] The South Seas.

[12] Kashmir.

[13] The Sahara.

[14] The Highlands of Scotland.

[15] A certain secret house of the Great White Brotherhood. Yews, and certain other trees, as Persian Nuts, are used to indicate to passing initiates that they have there a resting place.

[16] Now follow further instructions to the Master of the Temple, how he is to do his work.

[17] Otherwise: "Art for art's sake".

[18] See Liber AL vel Legis I, v. 40. These are the three true grades of the Great Order.

[19] This certainly happened.

[20] The seer enquires into the objectivity of the vision. These doubts arose in his mind because of the memory pictures in the earlier paragraphs.

[21] D.D.S. was the magical name of George Cecil Jones who first introduced Crowley to the Order and remained a close friend and colleague for many important years. (He is not to be confused with Charles Stanfield Jones, Frater Achad, who came on the scene many years afterwards.)

[22] Conferred December 1906 e.v., after the Burma-China walk. (See The Eye in the Triangle for a fairly full description of this significant episode.)

[23] O.M. (one of the many magical names adopted by Crowley for the grade of 7° = 4) refused for three years to take the grade of 8° = 3 after it was offered him. He thought it almost presumptuous, taking it now.

[24] Giving suck to babe held in left arm.

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