The Vision and the Voice


The Cry of the 6th Aethyr


There cometh into the stone the great Angel whose name is Avé,[2] and in him there are symbols which strive for mastery, — Sulphur and the Pentagram, and they are harmonized by the Svastika.[3] These symbols are found both in the name of Avé[4] and in the name of the Aethyr. Thus he is neither Horus nor Osiris. He is called the radiance of Thoth; and this Aethyr is very hard to understand, for the images form and dissolve more rapidly than lightning. These images are the illusions made by the Ape of Thoth. And this I understand, that I am not worthy to receive the mysteries of this Aethyr. And all this which I have seen (being all the thoughts that I have ever thought) is, as it were, a guardian of the Aethyr.[5]
I seem quite helpless. I am trying all sorts of magical methods of piercing the veil: and the more I strive, the farther away I seem to get from success. But a voice comes now: Must not understanding lie open unto wisdom as the pyramids lie open to the stars?
Accordingly, I wait in a certain magical posture which it is not fitting to disclose, and above me appears the starry heaven[6] of night, and one star greater than all the other stars. It is a star of eight rays. I recognize it as the star in the seventeenth key of the Tarot, as the Star of Mercury. And the light of it cometh from the path of Aleph. And the letter Cheth is also involved in the interpretation of this star, and the paths of hé and vau are the separations which this Star unites.[7] And in the heart of the star is an exceeding splendour, — a god standing upon the moon, brilliant beyond imagining.[8] It is like unto the vision of the Universal Mercury. But this is the Fixed Mercury, and hé and vau are the perfected sulphur and salt. But now I come into the centre of the maze, and whirling dust of stars and great forgotten gods. It is the whirling Svastika which throws off all these things, for the Svastika is in aleph by its shape and number,[9] and in beth by the position of the arms of the Magician,[10] and in gimel[11] because of the sign of the Mourning of Isis, and thus is the Crown defended by these three thunderbolts. Is not thrice seventeen fifty-one, that is, failure and pain?
Now I am shut out again by this black Svastika with a corona of fire about it.
And a voice cries: Cursed be he that shall uncover the nakedness of the Most High, for he is drunken upon the wine that is the blood of the adepts. And BABALON hath lulled him to sleep upon her breast, and she hath fled away, and left him naked, and she hath called her children together, saying: Come up with me, and let us make a mock of the nakedness of the Most High.
And the first of the adepts covered His shame with a cloth, walking backwards; and was white. And the second of the adepts covered His shame with a cloth, walking sideways and was yellow. And the third of the adepts made a mock of His nakedness, walking forwards; and was black. And these are three great schools of the Magi, who are also the three Magi that journeyed unto Bethlehem; and because thou hast not wisdom, thou shalt not know which school prevaileth, or if the three schools be not one.[12] For the Black Brothers lift not up their heads thus far into the Holy Chokmah, for they were all drowned in the great flood, which is Binah, before the true vine could be planted upon the holy hill of Zion.
Now again I stand in the centre, and all things whirl by with incessant fury. And the thought of the god entereth my mind, and I cry aloud: Behold, the volatile is become fixed; and in the heart of eternal motion is eternal rest. So is the Peace beneath the sea that rageth with her storms; so is the changeful moon, the dead planet that revolveth no more. So the far-seeing, the far-darting hawk is poised passionless in the blue; so also the ibis that is long of limb meditateth solitary in the sign of Sulphur. Behold, I stand ever before the Eternal One in the sign of the Enterer.[13] And by virtue of my speech is he wrapped about in silence, and he is wrapped in mystery by me, who am the Unveiler of the Mysteries. And although I be truth, yet do they call me rightly the God of Lies, for speech is two-fold, and truth is one.[14] Yet I stand at the centre of the spider's web, whereof the golden filaments reach to infinity.[15]
But thou that art with me in the spirit-vision art not with me by right of Attainment, and thou canst not stay in this place to behold how I run and return, and who are the flies that are caught in my web. For I am the inmost guardian that is immediately before the shrine.
None shall pass by me except he slay me,[16] and this is his curse, that, having slain me, he must take my office and become the maker of Illusions, the great deceiver, the setter of snares;[17] he who baffleth even them that have understanding. For I stand on every path, and turn them aside from the truth by my words, and by my magick arts.
And this is the horror[18] that was shown by the lake that was nigh unto the City of the Seven Hills,[19] and this is the Mystery of the great prophets that have come unto mankind. Moses, and Buddha, and Lao Tan, and Krishna, and Jesus,[20] and Osiris, and Mohammed; for all these attained unto the grade of Magus, and therefore were they bound with the curse of Thoth. But, being guardians of the truth, they have taught nothing but falsehood, except unto such as understood; for the truth may not pass the Gate of the Abyss.[21]
But the reflection of the truth hath been shown in the lower Sephiroth. And its balance is in Beauty, and therefore have they who sought only beauty come nearest to the truth. For the beauty receiveth directly three rays from the supernals, and the others no more than one.[22] So, therefore, they that have sought after majesty and power and victory and learning and happiness and gold, have been discomfited. And these sayings are the lights of wisdom that thou mayst know thy Master, for he is a Magus. And because thou didst eat of the Pomegranate in hell, for half the year art thou concealed, and half the year revealed.[23]
Now I perceive the Temple that is the heart of this Aethyr;[24] it is an Urn suspended in the air, without support, above the centre of a well. And the well hath eight pillars, and a canopy above it, and without there is a circle of marble paving-stones, and without them a great outer circle of pillars. And beyond there is the forest of the stars. But the Urn is the wonderful thing in all this; it is made of fixed Mercury; and within it are the ashes of the Book Tarot,[25] which hath been utterly consumed.[26]
And this is that mystery which is spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles; that Jupiter and Mercury (Kether and Chokmah) visited (that is, inspired), Ephesus, the City of Diana,[27] Binah — was not Diana a black stone? — and they burnt their books of magick.
Now it seems that the centre of infinite space is that Urn, and Hadit is the fire that hath burnt up the book Tarot. For in the book Tarot was preserved all of the wisdom (for the Tarot was called the Book of Thoth), of the Aeon that is passed. And in the Book of Enoch was first given the wisdom of the New Aeon. And it was hidden for three hundred years, because it was wrested untimely from the Tree of Life by the hand of a desperate magician.[28] For it was the Master[29] of that Magician who overthrew the power of the Christian church; but the pupil rebelled against the master, for he foresaw that the New ("i.e.", the Protestant) would be worse than the Old. But he understood not the purpose of his Master, and that was, to prepare the way for the overthrowing of the Aeon.[30]
There is a writing upon the Urn of which I can but read the (two) words: Stabat Crux juxta Lucem. Stabat Lux juxta Crucem.
And there is writing in Greek above that. The word 'nox' written in Greek, and a circle with a cross in the centre of it, a St. Andrew's cross.[31]
Then above that is a sigil (?), hidden by a hand.[32]
And a voice proceedeth from the Urn: From the ashes of the Tarot who shall make the phoenix-wand? Not even he who by his understanding hath made the lotus-wand to grow in the Great Sea. Get thee back, for thou art not an Atheist, and though thou have violated thy mother, thou hast not slain thy father.[33] Get thee back from the Urn; thy ashes are not hidden here.[34]
Then again arose the God Thoth, in the sign of the Enterer, and he drove the seer from before his face. And he fell through the starry night unto the little village in the desert.

Benishrur, Algeria.

December 10, 1909. 7.40 - 9.40 p.m.

[1] MAZ = Aquarius, Taurus, Leo = צוט‎ = 105. The Hebrew word means "to change". Also 105 = the sum of numbers from 1 to 14 inclusive.)

[2] See Dr. John Dee and Sir Edward Kelly.

[3] Sulphur is the active Fiery Nature, and the Pentagram is the Microcosm of the Elements. But Atu IV — The Emperor — refers to ה‎ (5) for the Pentagram, and he forms the symbol of Sulphur by the position of his arms and legs. The Swastika harmonizes these, being the fiery thunderbolt, the electric whirling and also the balance of the elements (with its four arms) in a Microcosm.

[4] >A = א‎ = Aleph, the Swastika; V = ו‎ = Atu V — the Hierophant — the Pentagram; E = ה‎ = Aries and Atu IV — the Emperor, Sulphur.

[5] Aquarius = the Man, the Pentagram; A = the Swastika; Leo = the House of Sulphur. This is another elaboration of the meaning of the letters of the name of the Aethyr, MAZ.

[6] Masloth = the sphere of Chokmah = Mercury. ו and ה lead from Chesed and Tiphareth to Chokmah.

[7] Atu XVII — the Star — has the letter ה in the new Thelemic attribution. The Star is Mercury (Chokmah), for He is the light of Binah, the naked woman of the Atu. (Her arms make the Swastika, also the sign of the Mourning of Isis, one of the gestures in forming the LVX signs of the Adeptus Minor grade.) א is the Path through which the light of Kether comes to Chokmah. ח is said in the Zohar to interpret H, and Cheth is the Path which conveys the Cup of Binah to the Inferiors. Mercury unites ה and ו‎, for alchemically they are Sulphur and Salt. (ו‎ = the Kerub of Earth, Taurus.)

[8] Tahuti is sometimes so shewn.

[9] The Swastika has 17 squares, as already indicated. 17 = IAO, the triune Kether.

[10] In Atu I = the Magus.

[11] 3. ג‎, 3, is Luna, Isis.

[12] 4. This doctrine of the Three Schools is of extreme interest. Roughly, it may be said that the White is the pure mystic, whose attitude to God is one of reverence. The Yellow school conceals the mysteries indeed, but examines them as it goes. The Black school is that of pure skepticism. (There are some long letters in Magick Without Tears which at great length expound this doctrine. Ostensibly the letters quote from an essay by Gerard Aumont but there is no shadow of doubt that the essay was written by Crowley, who for reasons of his own permitted authorship to Aumont, an Algerian journalist.)

[13] Of Horus, or of projection of energy.

[14] See Liber B vel Magi, given in the appendix to Magick in Theory and Practice, as well as quoted in Gems from the Equinox.

[15] That is, he is also Solar. For the identification of Sol with Mercury (in some aspects) see "The Paris Working."

[16] The crucifixion of a toad in AN XII (1916).

[17] See Liber B vel Magi.

[18] See "The King of the Wood", a story by Aleister Crowley of a Priest of Nemi, published first in the International, a magazine which Crowley edited during his stay in the U.S. between 1914-1919. (It was later collected with other similar stories, such as "The Lake of Nemi" mentioned in Note 19, yet to be published in a book called Golden Twigs, based on themes selected from Frazer's masterpiece, The Golden Bough, which Crowley admired tremendously.)

[19] "The Lake of Nemi". See Note 18.

[20] This name is cunningly slipped in by the art of the God, for Jesus is but the figure-head used by the priests for their great sorcery.

[21] See again Liber B vel Magi for this disheartening doctrine.

[22] See the Tree of Life.

[23] It has been curiously true, that the Seer since this time has usually been concealed in a great magical retirement for about half of every year. This doctrine of the eating of the pomegranate refers to the fact that he refused to adopt one of the routine methods of success in Magick. He, being the Beast, 666, felt that he must keep his hold on Tiphereth by maintaining the formula of the Rosy Cross.

[24] This is like the Temple of Vesta at Rome in some way.

[25] This perhaps is also the karma of the new Magus. Somewhere it says that a white ash is prepared from the dust of NEMO by Hermes, the Invisible. For Urn see Azbogah = Mercury = Chad (כד) a pot, 24. But it may be 86, the number of Cohs (כוס) meaning a cup. Look up Sepher Sephiroth.

[26] The Master of the Temple who is chosen to proceed to the Grade of Magus has his little Pyramid of Dust consumed to ashes, and these are preserved in this Urn. (This is all highly symbolic language relative to the destruction of the ego through the passing of the Abyss and the preservation of the Skandhas in the vehicle used by the Master of the Temple. Many of the notes on preceding pages elaborate this issue.)

[27] Vesta = Virgo.

[28] Sir Edward Kelly. The reference is to the famous passage which Dee maintained to be given by demons. It taught that there was no sin, etc.

[29] Martin Luther.

[30] Martin Luther's magical act of cohabitation with a nun was the key to this doctrine.

[31] ⊗ = ΝΟΧ = N.O.X.

[32] All this required a Magus to see properly.

[33] This again means that the Magus 9° = 2 must burn up all his karma.

[34] This fact is now maintained openly. As to Atheists see Liber LXV, V. 34 - 40. Also 5th Aethyr; the Magister Templi is already being subtly prepared to attain to be a Magus.

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