The Commentaries of LXV

being

THE EQUINOX VOLUME V No. 2

BY ALEISTER CROWLEY

and another

An LXXV ☉ in

MARCH MCMLXXIX O.S.

"THE METHOD OF SCIENCE - THE AIM OF RELIGION"

Contents

INTRODUCTION BY DAVID BERSSON ON NOVEMBER 24, AN CVI 2009 e.v.


 Society O.T.O. Seal

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

The Commentaries of LXV written by Aleister Crowley and commented by my Superior in the A.·.A.·. and the O.T.O. (Marcelo Ramos Motta) was first issued to the public in Nashville Tennessee in 1979 e.v.. I was given a signed, luxury copy of this book which I cherish, study and meditate upon to present day.

I am now giving the main body of this volume to the world for study knowing that anything else within the contents of this Equinox can be published by others if they want to read the book reviews, announcements and other items that include other than the commentaries themselves. I have decided these commentaries have remained dormant too long as a consequence of the moral insanity and neglect of those failures who were named voters in the Declaration of Trust, given copyrights and failed completely to make this volume and other available to the public as my Superior would of wished.

I therefore give what should be studied, knowing what I give is what was, and still is the main concentration of my studies, the actual commentaries themselves. One vital point that my Superior made so many years ago. That each Adept is going to develop coordinates from Liber LXV depending on the idiosyncrasies of the karma of the star.

This has proven correct; and on many occasions of sublime and deep meditation my insights have taken directions that have developed a completely unique school of thought based on my particular initiations. Yet, without my Superior's interpretations they could not of advanced in the direction they did.

Therefore, bear this in mind; and study carefully these commentaries for they will surely unlock that insight within the sincere aspirant; as it has over the years with me.

Love is the law, love under will

INTRODUCTION

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Several years ago we were talking to a gentleman who, at least at the time, hated Θελημα and Aleister Crowley bitterly, and he told us: “I have done all the practices counseled by the A A, and I have never achieved a single solitary result.”

At the time we were younger and more credulous, so it did not occur to us that he was probably lying. We asked, very much concerned: “But did you ever sign the Oath and Pledge of a Probabtioner?”

“No,” he shook his head, “I never did.”

We were relieved. “In that case, you couldn’t expect any results. You didn’t form the Magickal Link with the Order. It is the transmission of the Wand, you know.”

The gentleman, who belonged to a group of mystics who practice homosexuality, smiled at my unintentional pun.

Although I have not seen this gentleman for many years, nor would I look forward to meeting him again, he and his group have continued creating whatever interference they can with the work of the A A since that time. Slander on this plane, pirated publications of Our works, instigation of egoic indiscipline in Aspirants — all this is part of their routine. Of course, they make the Ordeals harder, which is quite alright.

It is to people like them that LXV iv 11-16 refers.

In parody of that gentleman, I am bound to say that I have not done all the practices counseled by the A A!

Of, course, I bound myself, from the beginnning, by the Oath and the Pledge, to a true Brother of the A A, the late Frater SATURNUS, 8° = 3 A A.

But although I had deep instruction from Frater SATURNUS, and once in a while direct magickal communication with Him, he always insisted the he was not my Hierophant in the A A; that to all those whose Aspiration is true and strong, a spiritual Hierophant is asssigned, and this Entity handles all the details of the Aspirant’s progress.

This spiritual Hierophant is, and is at the same time is not necessarily, the Aspirant’s Holy Guardian Angel.

But whenever the Trances of the Central Pillar are reached, the Spiritual Being manifesting itself is the Holy Guardian Angel.

Who is the Holy Guardian Angel?

That is what LXV tries to explain. The intelligent student soon realizes that nothing as naive as the old lore of good and evil geniuses can be meant here.

Nor is the H.G.A. a manifestation of some idiotic Mahatma of the Theosophists. Not that Mahatmas do not exist; they exist. I am one myself, But I am not a Holy Guardian Angel.

Let us put it this way: I am not yet grown up enough to be able to be that.

The H.G.A. is not a Buddhi-Manas Image of your holy GURU, either. Beings capable of functioning as H.G.A. are beyond Atman altogether.

Are they human? That depends on your definition of humanity.

Were they a product of the same evolution as ours? I do not know. But at the level at which they exist, such questions are academic.

Is the H.G.A. of the A A always the same?

Yes and no. No, because the Central Task of the Inner Order is to achieve the Knowledge and Conversation, and once this is achieved the Adepti have a free choice of whether they want to continue in the Discipline of the A A or not. No one knows the name of the God of his brother, or sister, as the case may be. Thus did Frater Iehi Aour leave the A A to follow the Way of the Buddha on reaching Adeptship.

And yet, I who speak to you would say yes. Because to those who continue in the A A after reaching the Knowledge and Conversation comes, little by little, understanding of the Spiritual Nature of that Black Star that shields itself in horror because it cannot abide the touch of fear; wears a mask of utter sorrow because it wills to be known only by those who can know true joy; who was inveigled, slandered, cursed, feared and hated by the lords of the slums of the dead aeon under the name of the Devil.

Yes, we are followers of the Fallen One. Verily, does not that Somber Star point downward through the Abyss?

Read then, who will. And let them who seek knock; for it shall be opened unto ye.

Love is the law, love under will.

Editorial Note

The original text of the Holy Book is written in boldface. The Commentaries by Frater O.M. (Aleister Crowley) are in common type. The commentaries by Frater A. (Marcelo Motta) are in italics.

The original text is, of course, in Class A. The Commentaries by Frater O.M. are in Class B. The commentaries by Frater A. are in Class C.

The Author of the Holy Book is, of course V.V.V.V.V., Master of the Temple of the A A. It is useless to speculate on His relationship to Aleister Crowley. Rather work to become Masters of the Temple yourselves, and you will understand.

Let the reader by warned that although, for reasons of style, the male pronoun is used for the Candidate in most of these Commentaries, the A A accepts both men and women, and information valuable to one sex is just as valuable to the other.

Chapter I

The five chapters refer to the five Elements. 1-Earth, 2-Air, 3-Water, 4-Fire, and 5-Spirit. Each shows its Element in the light of the relation between the Adeptus Minor and his Holy Guardian Angel. Thus in Chapter I the material world or sensible aspect of Nature is shown to be a mere symbolic picture of something altogether different.

Of course the elements below Spirit are considered from the point of view of Spirit, since Akasha is the Center, or harmonization, of the lower Elements. Also, the presentations given by O.M. in his commentaries are not as universal in scope as the images in the original: they represent a limitation, the point of view of one Adept, only. The Commentaries are therefore useful as referentials, but candidates must strive to build their own frames of coordinates, which can safely be done only from the verses themselves.

Why, then, write Commentaries at all? There are many reasons. One of them, not the least, is that Religion should be a Science as well as an Art. Sciences need measurement, which depends on fullness of data. The more landmarks available, the easier to build frames, and eventually measurement will become possible. Then, of course, LXV will become obsolete as a religious manual. But by that time its Author, or His disciples, will be ready to produce another just beyond the reach of measurement. Or if not they, someone else.

1. I am the Heart; and the Snake is entwined
About the invisible core of the mind.
Rise, O my snake! It is now is the hour
Of the hooded and holy ineffable flower.
Rise, O my snake, into brilliance of bloom
On the corpse of Osiris afloat in the tomb!
O heart of my mother, my sister, mine own,
Thou art given to Nile, to the terror Typhon!
Ah me! but the glory of ravening storm
Enswathes thee and wraps thee in frenzy of form.
Be still, O my soul! that the spell may dissolve
As the wands are upraised, and the aeons revolve.
Behold! in my beauty how joyous Thou art,
O Snake that caresses the crown of mine heart!
Behold! we are one, and the tempest of years
Goes down to the dusk, and the Beetle appears.
O Beetle! the drone of Thy dolorous note
Be ever the trance of this tremulous throat!
I await the awaking! The summons on high
From the Lord Adonai, from the Lord Adonai!

Invocation of Kundalini. The adept “dies” to the natural world and blooms as a Lotus. He ceases: and enters the midnight silence where he adores Khephra. Then he awaits the coming of his Lord.

2. Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V., saying: There must ever be division in the word.

3. For the colours are many, but the light is one.

4. Therefore thou writest that which is of mother of emerald, and of lapis-lazuli, and of turquoise, and of alexandrite.

5. Another writeth the words of topaz, and of deep amethyst, and of gray sapphire, and of deep sapphire with a tinge as of blood.

6. Therefore do ye fret yourselves because of this.

7. Be not contented with the image.

8. I who am the Image of an Image say this.

9. Debate not of the image, saying Beyond! Beyond! One mounteth unto the Crown by the moon and by the Sun, and by the arrow, and by the Foundation, and by the dark home of the stars from the black earth.

10. Not otherwise may ye reach unto the Smooth Point.

11. Nor is it fitting for the cobbler to prate of the Royal matter. O cobbler! mend me this shoe, that I may walk. O king! if I be thy son, let us speak of the Embassy to the King thy Brother.

The Angel says: Each men sees Nature in his own particular way. What he sees is only an image. All images must be ignored; the adept must aspire single-heatedly to the Smooth Point. This matter cannot be discussed in common language; the king must speak of kingly things in a kingly way.

The references to precious stones should be understood in the light of qabalistic correspondences, but also, particularly, in the light of the Third Great Ordeal mentioned in AL iii 66. If two men visit a country and then write a description of it, their descriptions will differ in what their normal idiosyncrasies differ, not matter how general be their intention to make their descriptions. In talking about realms as little treaded as those of the subtler Sheaths of the Self, the almost total absence of general experience in the matter makes small differences in description more confusing, not only to the listeners but to the describer himself, than they should normally be.

In practice, what happens is that an Adept may be serenely minding his own business, and expounding his own system of achievement, and being successful in bringing other men to self-realization through his system, and suddenly he is confronted with what appears to be a totally different set of symbols and plan of training which, nevertheless, he feels to be a least as valid as his own. This ‘feeling’ is of course simply his spiritual perception at work. But his Lower Manas does not share this spiritual perception (except in rarest cases) in its fullness, and worries. The Lower Manas is the “cobbler” whose function is merely to mend the shoe (remember the sandal-strap in the hand of the Egyptian god, signifying the power of Akasha, the power of Going) so that the higher faculties may walk (he is elsewhere mentioned in this Holy Book as the ‘scribe’, but the cobbler is a more complex concept. The ‘scribe’ is merely the Lower Manas, but he ‘cobbler’ is the complex Lower Manas + Kama + Prana + Linga Sharira + Sthula Sharira considered as the total ‘normal man’. Of course, in the case of an Adept, however, this ‘normal man’ is initiate, and will have greater control of his vehicles, and a greater infusion in them of spiritual principles, than is the true norm of profane mankind).

No matter what differences in approach there may be among legitimate Schools if Initiation (there are false schools, and there are schools which are not false, but are so fragmentary in their training that it becomes impossible to call them legitimate), the human race is so constituted that it can only reach Integration, that is, Initiation, by the equilibrating Trances of the Middle Path of the Qabalah. These experiences are, therefore, the crucial ones (if you will pardon the pun). Provided the system in question includes them in one form or another, the system is all right.

Of course, other lines of evolution may be differently constituted. They all have in common the Smooth Point, however, or so at least the Angel seems to intimate.

Often ill-trained, or greenhorn Adepts (those who are reaching Tiphereth for the first time in one particular incarnation, and never reached it before, and therefore have no Magickal Memory-the so-called Intuition-to help them), will become disturbed when making contact with another system which may seem to differ wildly from their own (sometimes as if it were it complete opposite), and which yet they feel, rightly, to be true. In such cases it is fatal to leave your system and tackle the other. It is mixing the planes. If there be a need of contact between your branch of activity and that other, this contact should be made on the plane of Buddhi-Manas, and not on any lower plane. It is the “king’s son”, that is, the Prince, that is, the Tiphereth-consciousness, that should handle the “Embassy” to the other King involved. The “cobbler” must be made to do his work, that is to keep the lower vehicles in good health and disciplined to the Call of the Highest.

There is naturally, and exception to the rule of not going into the details of another system: when you are trying to perfect a new system that should include the best points of two-or more-others. Normally, however, the Impulse will be known, in this case, to come from the Prince-from Tiphereth. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

12. Then was there silence. Speech had done with us awhile. There is a light so strenuous that it is not perceived as light.

Silence. The Adept reports his impressions. (a) The highest degree of any given kind of energy surpasses the receptive power of the observer. This it appears as if of some other order.

13. Wolf’s bane is not so sharp as steel; yet it pierceth the body more subtly.

The subtler the form of energy, the more potent, but it is less easily observed.

The use of poisons and weapons as symbols indicates that the first result of the impact of higher energy in lower vehicles is, apparently at least, destructive. The charge produces a stepping-up in existing rates of vibration, with consequent expansion and agitation of all psychosomatic processes. The purely physical phenomena subside quickly because the human body, materially speaking, is the highest developed vehicle that we possess, normally, at this stage of evolution. Emotionally we are also much better developed than mentally, so the ecstasies connected with the Trances are easily absorbed within a few days, at the most. But since our Manas is our most recently developed Sheath, mental disturbance may last for quite longer and, in some cases, may become irreversible. In short, we may go insane as a result of Trance. Many have. This explains fanaticism, and religious persecution, throughout the history of mankind, but it also explains the excesses of revolutionaries and of conquering armies everywhere. Forget not, either, the bickering of scientists confronted with a new fact that fails to fit in with tier pet theories, or the existing concept of the Universe.

14. Even as evil kisses corrupt the blood, so do my words devour the spirit of man.

Truth destroys the reason.

It is not quite correct to say that truth destroys reason. The impact of a new datum upon one’s existing concept of the Universe destroys the nice house of cards which we had built, and may cause anguish, mental perturbation, and so forth. But reason is nothing but the faculty of integrating data, and if the mind withstands the shock it soon starts the process of building a new frame of reference which should include the new fact introduced into our consciousness.

Reason, in the sense decried in Liber AL, indicates a mental structure which makes of this organic integrator of ours the core and source of our consciousness. This kind of insanity is not as difficult to occur as it seems, if your consider that the infusion of spiritual levels of energy in the Lower Manas may mislead a careless thinker into believing that he is functioning in Buddhi Manas when he is merely wallowing in an over-energized Lower Manas. The qabalists indicate this possibility of error by englobing both Lower Manas and Buddhi Manas in their concept of the Ruach. As long as Daath remains fluid, ever-changing, ever-integrating, ever transmitting and receiving, there is no danger. The minute it becomes static and remains so, there is danger, no matter how beautiful the crystal may be. No static view of the Universe, no matter how ample and how glorious, can be valid. For the Universe is a living thing, and is continually changing.

15. I breathe, and there is infinite dis-ease in the spirit.

Life disturbs the placidity of the mind’s acceptance of dead symbols as reality.

16. As an acid eats into steel, as a cancer that utterly corrupts the body; so am I unto the spirit of man.

The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel gives a new and higher form of energy which destroys the grosser types of existence.

17. I shall not rest until I have dissolved it all.

The process continues until complete.

18. So also the light that is absorbed. One absorbs little, and is called white and glistening; one absorbs all and is called black.

Phenomena result from resistance to “love.” Perfect union is silent.

In one very important sense A.C. means here that the more dramatic and catastrophic a samadhi is, the less perfect it is. True union is unconscious, effortless; to put it in Taoist language, it is the Way of the Tao. A very noticeable samadhi is indication that the parapsychosoma involved is not familiar with the higher plane of existence from which the energy is being instilled. As is gradually adjusts to its new level of existence the samadhi becomes less intense and eventually seems to disappear completely. The Lower Manas frequently becomes disturbed right then: ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani?’ But what actually happened is that the Angel’s energy went “underground”-that is, penetrated the subconscious. Only then can you really say that a particular Trance has been conquered. If the Lower Manas takes the trouble to analyze behavior, day by day, it will soon realize that the total man no longer reacts to the same stimuli as it used to in the past. An initiation into a new attitude toward life has been undergone.

In another, and equally important sense, the verse warns clairvoyants against a very common mistake: That of thinking that a shiny aura necessarily indicates spiritual advancement. This depends on the highest plane at which the clairvoyant is sensitive. Energy impinging from the plane immediately above may quite simply appear “black” to the inner eye. Since clairvoyants seldom have any sense of perspective-or ego control, if you prefer-they seldom discount their own limitations as observers. Hence, for instance, ‘Bishop’ Leadbeater’s glowing descriptions of the auras of ‘mahatmas’.

Still another important sense, also useful to clairvoyants, is when you are (as occasionally happens) witness to an initiation from the inner planes. The more perfectly the initiate is able to make contact with the spiritual force involved, the less his aura will shine. In the best instances, at the crowning moment of the initiation the initiate becomes invisible to other eyes. It is as if he had become enveloped in a cloud of total darkness. You do not even ‘feel’ his presence anymore.

19. Therefore, O my darling, art thou black.

20. O my beautiful, I have likened thee to a jet Nubian slave, a boy of melancholy eyes.

21. O the filthy one! the dog! they cry against thee. Because thou art my beloved.

19-21. V.V.V.V.V. being perfectly Adeptus Minor appears evil.

The problem is the same as with those clairvoyants mentioned above. When they see a ‘black’ aura, it does not occur to them that maybe radiation is occurring beyond their level of perception. To do so would be humiliating to them, since it would admit an implicit inferiority. The sensitive capable of such an admission would be well on the way of transcending his then limitations and of passing into a higher level of being.

The subconscious antagonism is very real, and lower initiates, as a rule, resent and fear the Adept. They are incapable of understanding, for instance, how a man can be sublime enough to produce, say, the Renaissance, and at the same time gross enough to want to fuck their wives (if you point out to them that this desire is a simple corroboration of their good taste in wives, therefore a compliment, they don’t get mollified). We have-thank the Adepts!-become tolerant enough, the great majority of us, to live with our little penises. But we still get incensed at the bigger penises of our neighbors. Fear and hatred in the Ruach result from a psychological perception of personal inferiority. Of course, this inferiority is illusory, and would be dispelled by Adepthood. But often the man sulks foolishly, stamps his foot, and refuses to become an Adept. In such cases the initiator has no alternative but to strike hard and low, and to hell with them, master!

22. Happy are they that praise thee; for they see thee with Mine eyes.

Those who understand all this Work praise V.V.V.V.V.

Those who praise an Adept, instead of condemning and persecuting him, have reached an equivalent level of insight. They see from the perspective Tiphereth, not from any lower perspective.

23. Not aloud shall they praise thee; but in the night watch one shall steal close, and grip thee with the secret grip; another shall privily cast a crown of violets over thee; a third shall greatly dare, and press mad lips to thine.

24. Yea! the night shall cover all, the night shall cover all.

23-24. They do so in secret ways.

The reason for the secrecy is simple. The Inner College of the A A has a much stronger influx from the Supernals than the Outer College, necessarily. Therefore its Magickal Energy is most intense. Yet, for all its sublimity, the Inner College is below the Abyss, and subject to the laws of Duality and Glamour. The so-called “black Brothers” and their currents are therefore easily attracted by any demonstration of the Inner College’s energy, and interference is intense here-more intense than at the lower levels.

Silence and secrecy are therefore of the essence. The ancient so-called “Rosicrucians” had one single solitary rule for the outer world: they were not to be known as “Rosicrucians”. Likewise, a prudent Adept will veil his energy and his works with the utmost secrecy. As far as possible he will keep his operations sub rosa-if you will pardon the pun.

It is not possible to escape interference altogether, since you have crossed that Veil on one side of which is written ‘No Separate Existence’ and on the other side of which is written ‘No Existence’. The very fact that you are alive, radiating, is enough of a provocation to the “Black Brothers”. If, however, you can keep them from identifying the flesh from which your are working, and best of all, if you can keep them from perceiving what you are trying to do, you will reduce most of their interference to a negligible level.

Thus in A.C.’s novel Moonchild a magickal operation is conducted on two levels at once, but only one level is meant to attract the attention of the opposition and does; therefore the other level accomplishes its purpose without interference.

Normally, magickal operations are not conducted in such a way. Interference with any kind of operation, however, is very common. There are here several factors apparently complex, but ultimately very simple, which hinge on the nature of that great ‘devil’ Choronzon of which all “Black Brothers” are mere instruments.

Crown of violets-the violet is purple, a Thelemically important color, and grows best in hidden places, under cover of other plants.

Much of the symbolism of LXV is homosexual. This perhaps due to the sex of the Writer’s body, since the Marriage that takes place in Tiphereth is that of the soul as a bride to its god. Be that soul incarnated as a male or a female at the time, its formula is feminine in the Operation. Feminine reactions and attitudes are more naturally expressed if the body occupied at the time is female; but for some kinds of Orgia, in such cases, other difficulties arise. In the case of the Magus of an Aeon, for instance, the work could hardly be done without the possession of the physical image of the Creative Power.

25. Thou wast long seeking Me; thou didst run forward so fast that I was unable to come up with thee. O thou darling fool! what bitterness thou didst crown thy days withal.

Perdurabo hindered his own success by over eagerness.

A virtue not very common among Adepts, who usually feat the Angel at least as much as they aspire to Him, and therefore dance like crabs along the way. But Perdurabo has always been an exceptional Star.

26. Now I am with thee; I will never leave thy being.

27. For I am the soft sinuous one entwined about thee, heart of gold!

26-27. Union once made is permanent.

28. My head is jewelled with twelve stars; My body is white as milk of the stars; it is bright with the blue of the abyss of stars invisible.

The Angel is crowned with the Zodiac. His body is that of Nuit.

In this verse it is emphasized that the Spiritual Being mentioned as “Angel” here is in reality above all the so-called Angelic hierarchies in depth of perspective. We are not dealing with a planetary, or even with a starry nature. The Angel cannot be connected with a particular Sign of the Zodiac, as human beings can. No: his nature is cosmic. He is identified with our own Galaxy, the Milky Way; but it is pointed out that his power is somehow connected with our Sun, since the Zodiac exists only from the point of view of Sol, of course. Thus, we are dealing with a Being beyond us, yet of our own kind, in a sense. He is “of us”. See AL I.60.

29. I have found that which could not be found; I have found a vessel of quicksilver.

Stability has been found on a basis of change.

30. Thou shalt instruct thy servant in his ways, thou shalt speak often with him.

Seems an injunction to the Holy Guardian Angel to keep in close touch with the Adept.

Not so; it is an injunction to the Adept to keep in close touch with the “scribe”-his physical instrument of manifestation. The injunction comes from the Angel. Adepts frequently dislike going down into the filthy mud of matter to instruct that blind creature of slime from which they emerged as butterflies from a cocoon. This kind of attitude, carried too far, makes for “black brotherhood” on the Adept’s part. This subject has been treated at great length by many different systems.

31. (The scribe looketh upwards and crieth) Amen! Thou hast spoken it, Lord God!

The Adept accepts this as a definite promise.

In this note we see the essential spiritual humility of Aleister Crowley, to whom the Adept was but the scribe to his Angel. But the verse says scribe, and means scribe: that syndrome linga sharira + sthula sharira+ prana + kama + manas of which we have already spoken. Naturally the scribe jumps to the occasion and upholds the Angel’s decision.

The worst mistake that a spiritual nature may do is to despise or neglect “material’ and “animalistic” things. Man, the great beast of the fields, is on this planet and at the present time the Crossroads or Creation: the being which unites angel (do not confuse with the H.G.A.) and beast in one sole nature, the being where the Four Elemental Forces are to be harmonized, under the influence of Akasha, into the pentagram. It is the god suspended on the cross. Should the Initiate neglect and scorn that lower (but is it lower, from the point of view of the Infinite Abyss of the Void? For then what is up? what is down? what is above? what is below?) part of the sphinx whereon he rides, by that much neglect will be become less well-served by those faculties thereby represented. And since, so far as we now are able to perceive, the purpose of evolution is the spiritualization of blind matter, by that much neglect will he turn against the cosmic tide. “My adepts stand upright, their head above the heavens, their feet below the hells.” Liber XC 40.

32. Further Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V. and said:

33. Let us take our delight in the multitude of men! Let us shape unto ourselves a boat of mother-of-pearl from them, that we may ride upon the river of Amrit!

32-33. Proposal to view phenomena from the new standpoint.

34. Thou seest yon petal of amaranth, blown by the wind from the low sweet brows of Hathor?

35. (The Magister saw it and rejoiced in the beauty of it.) Listen!

36. (From a certain world came an infinite wail.) That falling petal seemed to the little ones a wave to engulph their continent.

34-36. Two points of view: as a girl’s smile involves the death of many cells in her body.

37. So they will reproach thy servant, saying: Who hath set thee to save us?

The above explains why men should resent their savior. They misinterpret his acts as destructive.

And, of course, quite often they are right. If you are going to build a new house, you must first raze down the old one. The Magus destroys with the dagger; the more skillful He is, the better He wields this weapon. A.C. ;himself, chipping away at a piece of wood in his retirement in Lake Pasquaney, suddenly realized how the work of destruction can result in creation: you chip away your material so that your vision takes shape in what is left. But certainly you chip away. And the chipped-away material has every right to howl. Of course, so do you have every right to chip!

There are several other meanings to the verse, all of them most subtle and most wise. We would call the attention of Major Adepts, for instance, to the unusual verbal construction of the question.

38. He will be sore distressed.

He in his human mind, is distressed at this.

The “servant” is, of course, the “scribe”, that is, the initiated instrument of flesh.

39. All they understand not that thou and I are fashioning a boat of mother-of-pearl. We will sail down the river of Amrit even to the yew-groves of Yama, where we may rejoice exceedingly.

40. The joy of men shall be our silver gleam, their woe our blue gleam — all in the mother-of-pearl.

39-40. But the whole relation is allusion. In reality the Angel and the Adept are simply arranging to sail through eternity together; the Work of the Adept in redeeming Mankind is only an image seen as he fashions his mother-of-pearl.

Well, not quite. The relation is very real: only, on the plane of men the Adept seems to be busy “saving” mankind; on the plane where the river of Amrit flows, he and his Angel are fashioning a boat of mother-of-pearl. The boat, besides being a female symbol, is a symbol of the persistence of life through generations. Mother-of-pearl is the substance that gives origin to the pearl, which is sacred to the Moon and to Binah. Mother-of-pearl indicates therefore She who is the Mother of Binah, that is to say, Nuit.

The supposed process of “salvation” of mankind is therefore a magickal process of immortalization, or perpetuation, of that complex of energies which we call the Adept. To go deeper into this subject at present would be to foster speculation and fantasy in the inexperienced. Suffice it to say that this whole process is quite commonplace. All adepts go through it. We refer serious students to AL II.44.

41. (The scribe was wroth thereat. He spake: O Adonai and my master, I have borne the inkhorn and the pen without pay, in order that I might search this river of Amrit, and sail thereon as one of ye. This I demand for my fee, that I partake of the echo of your kisses.)

42. (And immediately it was granted unto him.)

41-42. The human mind demands to be relieved of its sorrow by seeing Nature in this light on the ground that it has served the Masters with unselfish devotion.

Nonsense! The human mind demands the reward for which it has been willing to bear the inkhorn and the pen without material reward. Its devotion has been entirely selfish, but intelligent. Else the mind would be unsound. It is a lie, this folly against self. We do not serve the Masters because we are slaves who will to serve. We serve them in order to learn their “secrets” and become Masters ourselves. (They have, in reality, no “secrets”. Their only secret is their greater awareness and experience. By serving them, we increase ours.) The scribe in the verses, indignant upon realizing that the Adepts are not really “saving” anybody but themselves, demands the fulfillment of his contract. The accounting is immediately done, for the Masters, unlike “black brothers”, pay their debts.

43. (Nay; but not therewith was he content. By an infinite abasement unto shame did he strive. Then a voice:)

The mind demanded complete relief.

Not so: complete initiation. It is based in shame because it realizes how gross and perceptionless it is compared to the Angel and its Master (the Buddhi-Consciousness).

44. Thou strivest ever; even in thy yielding thou strivest to yield — and lo! thou yieldest not.

45. Go thou unto the outermost places and subdue all things.

46. Subdue thy fear and thy disgust. Then — yield!

By “everything possible” is meant the “outermost”. This refers to the outermost boundaries of consciousness, which of course includes the microcosmic qliphoth. It is a well-known fact that we do not know the external universe, we know only the reaction produced in our consciousness by the contact of our “ego”-the Ahamkara-with it. This contact is constantly shifting, and the Ahamkara itself is a living,that is, a dynamic, thing. The Universe includes “demons”, elementals, larvae, “shells” of the Qabalists-it includes, indeed, all kinds of very nasty things of which we are not usually aware, for we rarely take the trouble of extending consciousness to the outposts of our being. Yet, intelligence-in the sense of efficient communication-is one of the priorities in a successful army. Our consciousness is a Legion, but unless this Legion is disciplined and has a General in command, we are victims of some form of insanity or another. And if parts of our Legion are under our control, but we are not even aware of the existence of others, it cannot be said that the Commander is truly a General. The General commands all.

All this is connected with the legend that the Christ-consciousness-the Adept-has to go down into hell. The forces which are strong enough, gross enough, insensitive enough-and yet sensitive enough at the same time-to sustain our contact with the external Universe partake, of necessity, of the nature of this external Universe. Thus the “pagans” and “godless” and “demons” which inhabit the boundaries of the Circle of the Magician. The circle must expand continuously, and control over environment is the aim of the Master. He must subdue all things-including his fear and his disgust of the most external things. Only when he is the true Commander of himself-the true Master of the Temple-is he qualified to yield to the Angel. His expansion of consciousness is always in direct proportion to his extent of self-control.

Thus it can be perceived that any Initiate who becomes static is undergoing a psychic state similar to that of the “black brothers”. Usually, however, the Enemy-the external Universe-soon comes to strike his shield and defy him to mortal combat in the eternal Comedy-Tragedy of Pan. If this does not happen-and sometimes, in the Play of the Waters, a twig may remain stationary for a season (see Liber Aleph, 166)-then the Initiate may temporarily become like a “black brother” indeed. The only difference will be in the telepathic influence-if any!

47. There was a maiden that strayed among the corn, and sighed; then grew a new birth, a narcissus, and therein she forgot her sighing and her loneliness.

48. Even instantly rode Hades heavily upon her, and ravished her away.

47 — 48

Persephone, the earth-bound soul. Corn = material nourishment; its result is sorrow. Narcissus = the sexual instinct flowering as Beauty.

Instantly the soul forgets the “corn” and desires the flower, Hades comes and carries her off. Hades is the lord of “Hell,” i.e., the dark and secret but divine Soul within every man and woman. The rape thus means that the desire for Beauty awakes the Unconscious Self who then takes possession of the Soul, and enthrones her, only allowing her return to earth (Knowledge of the material world) at certain seasons, in order to attend to the welfare of mankind.

49. (Then the scribe knew the narcissus in his heart; but because it came not to his lips, therefore was he shamed and spake no more.)

I was seized by the impulse to adore Beauty, and felt ashamed at my inability to write a poem on the spot which should be worthy of the theme.

Nevertheless, this is exactly what he was doing then, writing LXV! But of course, it was not the scribe who was writing it…Or so the scribe thought.

This kind of seesaw effect is characteristic of the operation of the Ahamkara, or Ego-making faculty, and must be carefully studied. See and compare LXV v 23-26.

50. Adonai spake yet again with V.V.V.V.V. and said: The earth is ripe for vintage; let us eat of her grapes, and be drunken thereon.

50-58. An elaborate Parable in dialogue.

50. The Angel bids the Adept rejoice in certain events which are about to occur on earth.

51. And V.V.V.V.V. answered and said: O my lord, my dove, my excellent one, how shall this word seem unto the children of men?

The Adept doubts whether his doctrine will be understood rightly by mankind.

52. And He answered him: Not as thou canst see. It is certain that every letter of this cipher hath some value; but who shall determine the value? For it varieth ever, according to the subtlety of Him that made it.

The Angel agrees; but is more skeptical still, suggesting that any event may be taken as meaning anything one chooses.

Not exactly this: The Angel rather intimates that messages produced from certain levels of consciousness are universal in character, and can be translated by the listener into terms related to his or her own from a of reference without thereby diminishing their basic meaning or import. Such is the case with all A A publications in Class A.

53. And He answered Him: Have I not the key thereof? I am clothed with the body of flesh; I am one with the Eternal and Omnipotent God.

The Adept claims to be able to interpret phenomena rightly; that there is one special relation which is true, and all others false. He reminds the Angel that he realises Himself (as an unique Being always identical with Itself) alike in the lowest matter and the highest spirit.

As we can see, Masters (note the use of the capital H in both pronouns and compare with 52) are not any more immune to the symptoms of the Ahamkara than any other kind of human being. It is as if Picasso, indignant, protested that his pictures had only one legitimate meaning: the meaning that he himself found in them. Of course, the Angel soon puts his client right.

54. Then said Adonai: Thou hast the Head of the Hawk, and thy Phallus is the Phallus of Asar. Thou knowest the white, and thou knowest the black, and thou knowest that these are one. But why seekest thou the knowledge of their equivalence?

The Angel asks why one who possesses absolute Sight and Lordship and power to soar (the Head of the Hawk) who has creative energy able to fertilize Nature, his mother, sister, and wife (The Phallus of Asar) one who knows the pairs of opposites, and the fact of their identity, should trouble to calculate the equations which express the relations between the illusory symbols of diversity.

55. And he said: That my Work may be right.

The Adept replies that he must understand the laws of illusion in order to work in the world of illusion.

Not exactly: please note the lower-case h of the pronoun. Here it is no longer the Adept consciousness, the Master consciousness, speaking: it is the mere initiated man, ego hurting, who wants to keep his cake at the same time that he eats it. His explanation is a mere rationalization of his frustration at the fact that apparently he has no control over his own work.

56. And Adonai said: The strong brown reaper swept his swathe and rejoiced. The wise man counted his muscles, and pondered, and understood not, and was sad. Reap thou, and rejoice!

The Angel replies that such calculations lead one to believe in the reality of the illusions, to become confused by their complex falsities, and ultimately, mistrusting one’s own powers, to fail to act for fear of making mistakes; whereas it does not really matter what one does, since one set of illusions is just as good as another. The business of the Adept is to do his Work manfully and joyously, without lust of result or fear of accident. He should exercise his faculties to the full; the free fulfillment of their functions is sufficient justification. To become conscious of any organ is evidence that it is out of order.

Actually, the point made is: Do what thou wilt. The scribe is merely sulking, he is not really interested in the equations, as another star might be. Her serves a Magician, not an Accountant.

57. Then was the Adept glad, and lifted his arm. Lo! an earthquake, and plague, and terror on the earth! A casting down of them that sate in high places; a famine upon the multitude!

The Adept takes this advice, and puts forth his energy. The apparent result of his Work is disaster.

Not so: this is the preliminary razing of the old house ere the new one can be built. The last two world wars are but preliminary to the establishment of the Law of Θελημα upon the earth.

58. And the grape fell ripe and rich into his mouth.

But the whole idea of his relation with Mankind as a Redeemer proves phantasmagoric. The truth of the matter is that he has “eaten a grape.” i.e., begun to enjoy the banquet with his Angel proposed in Verse 50. (Cf. CCXX I.31)

The relationship of the Adept to mankind as Redeemer is not phantasmagoric on this plane. He is a Redeemer; he is the new Christ. But on the plane of the “river of Amrit” he and his Angel are merely fashioning their boat of mother-of-pearl. These two “truths” are not exclusive; in fact, the existence of one depends on the existence of the other.

59. Stained is the purple of thy mouth, O brilliant one, with the white glory of the lips of Adonai.

Every act of the Adept is really the kiss of his Angel.

Not exactly what is meant here; for the purple of the grape juice on the Adept’s lips is stained with the white glory of the lips of the Angel. Better say that every magickally creative act of the Adept is energized or guided or aided by the spiritual energy of his Angel. See LXV III.13-17 and the comments thereon.

60. The foam of the grape is like the storm upon the sea; the ships tremble and shudder; the shipmaster is afraid.

The ecstasy of the relation between the Adept and his Angel disperses “normal” thoughts; the Ego fears to lose control of the course of the mind. This (of course) occurs in a less real sphere, that of normal consciousness. The Ego is justly apprehensive, for this ecstasy will lead to a situation when its annihilation will be decreed so that the Adept may cross the Abyss and become a Master of the Temple. Remember that the Ego is not really the centre and crown of the individual; indeed the whole trouble arises from its false claim to be so.

61. That is thy drunkenness, O holy one, and the winds whirl away the soul of the scribe into the happy haven.

The ecstasy of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel brings peace to “the soul of the scribe” (his conscious mind) by impressing such energy on his thoughts that their normal conflict (which causes sorrow) becomes negligible, just as the personal antagonisms in a cavalry regiment are forgotten in the excitement of a charge.

62. O Lord God! let the haven be cast down by the fury of the storm! Let the foam of the grape tincture my soul with Thy light!

But the mind, knowing that the old quarrels will revive when the ecstasy has passed, asks that this anesthesia may be removed. It aspires to enter into the rapture with every element of its being, no matter of the pain. It knows that it can never be truly content until each separate fibre thrill harmoniously to that supreme enchantment.

63. Bacchus grew old, and was Silenus; Pan was ever Pan for ever and ever more throughout the aeons.

It knows that the lower types of intoxication were excitements, and in stupor and senility. It demands the Madness of Pan, the building up of every particle of its being into a single symbol to include All. This symbol is to combine the intelligence (omniscience) of Man with the omnipotence typified by horns, and the creative rapture of the leaping Goat. This Pan is not intoxicated, but wholly insane, being beyond distinction (knowledge) as including all in itself; he is also immune to time, since whatever happens can only be within himself; that is, all events are equally the exercise of his functions, and therefore accompanied by rapture, since He has included all possibilities in His unity so that any change is part of His life, an act of love under will.

64. Intoxicate the inmost, O my lover, not the outermost!

This is presumable once more the voice of the Angel. He bids the Adept pay less attention in the future to the transmutation of gross impressions into the raptures of union. The greater work is to cause the Unconscious to interpenetrate with the Angel. For such is the ultimate Sacrament is only too liable to be contented with the conscious joy of causing just those thoughts which have always been the source of error to glow with purity and splendour at the touch of the Angel. But it is far more important to renounce those rewards, ineffably holy and delightful though they be in order to perfect the Inmost Self, to purge it of personality and unite it with the Universe, though such Attainment lie too deep for direct conscious apprehension.

In short, go to the outermost places and subdue all things, then yield-and intoxicate the inmost.

65. So was it — ever the same! I have aimed at the peeled wand of my God, and I have hit; yea, I have hit.

In a secret code the Adept affirms that he is of the same sex; (so to speak) as his Angel. It is not a union of opposites to produce a tertium quid, but a realization of identity, like the return to consciousness from delirium, whose ecstasy bears no fruit involving new responsibilities, new possibilities of sorrow, but is all-sufficient to itself, with neither past nor future. The “peeled wand” is the creative Energy of the Angel, stripped of all veils, pointing to the Zenith, ready and eager to act. The Adept exclaims with joy that he has aspired to unite himself with this Idea, and has attained.

In short, by induction, spiritual puberty was achieved. The Angel is bi-sexual, or better, omni-sexual. He is a cosmic, or if you prefer, macrocosmic being. In it highest sense, of course, Pan is Nuit.



Thus concludes the description of the relations of the Adept and his Angel so far as the element of Earth, the concrete and manifest aspect of Nature, is concerned. The whole illusion has been destroyed; the bread has become the body of God. Yet this is but the lowest form of existence; in the next chapter we shall understand how the mind-as distance from the matter of thought-is concentrated and sanctified by the Magick of the Adept.

Chapter II

The previous chapter describes the effect wrought by the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel upon the outward appearances of things and the sensations caused and the corresponding part of the Soul, Nephesch.

We now turn to the element of Air, the faculties called Ruach, that is, the mind considered as an instrument of intellectual apprehension, a machine proper to the analysis of impressions and their interpenetration in terms of conscious thought. The Work of attaining to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel being in Tiphereth, the Centre of the Ruach, the result of success is to harmonize, concentrate, and glorify the medley of loose ideas which are suggested by the meaningless multiplicity of mental concepts.

1. I passed into the mountain of lapis-lazuli, even as a green hawk between the pillars of turquoise that is seated upon the throne of the East.

Describes the passage of the Divine Consciousness (the Hawk) coloured by love (green) into the world of starry space (lapis lazuli, which is blue with specks of gold) by a balanced path from earth to heaven (the pillars of turquoise). The East is the quarter attributed to Air, and the Hawk is there “seated,” i.e. stable, not to be distracted by whatever thoughts arise in the mind.

The Hawk here, however, does not represent the Divine Consciousness: it is the magickal Self, which includes all parts of the complex sthula-linga-prana-kama-manas which the Magician has already been able to “bring to order”.

2. So came I to Duant, the starry abode, and I heard voices crying aloud.

Being now open to the whole Universe, the Soul hears whatever is spoken. (Air is the vehicle of sound).

To mix metaphor with objective scientific information is sometimes dangerous. Air is not the only vehicle of sound, and any way, in the mystical symbology of the elements, hearing is referred to Akasha. We might say, therefore, that here is spoken of Akasha Vay, Sub-Element of the Element of Air which is, so to speak, the Root of emotions are referred to Water. But of course thought and emotion, in what they interact, partake of the nature of both, and sometimes more, Elements. It must always be kept in mind-if you will pardon the pun-that this Chapter refers to mind from the point of view of Spirit, that is, from the point of view of Initiation.

3. O Thou that sittest upon the Earth! (so spake a certain Veiled One to me) thou art not greater than thy mother! Thou speck of dust infinitesimal! Thou art the Lord of Glory, and the unclean dog.

A “Veiled One” (Isis) explains that no individual consciousness can be more than the sphere of which it is born and which constitutes its environment. It is equally supreme and vile, these qualities being illusions produced by artificial relations, which may be chosen at will.

May be chosen at will before incarnation, and even then within limits. After incarnation, you are bound by your genetic limitations. You can do much, as in Initiate; but you are limited by your inherited combination of chromosomes.

This is one of the many reasons-all of them selfish, We assure-why the Adepts are continuously trying to improve mankind. The4 healthier, subtler, more complex combinations are available, the greater the chances of expansion. Samadhi experienced by the brain of a 75 IQ is not the same as that of a brain of 300 IQ. Even if it happens to be the same kind of samadhi. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. But you can make a beautiful purse out of pig leather, if you are skilful, and the pig healthy enough before death. In short, you must work with the material at your disposal, you must accept the fact that this material is basically an animal, and you must never make the mistake of denying or mortifying or restricting the beast in you. It must be trained, not broken!

4. Stooping down, dipping my wings, I came unto the darkly-splendid abodes. There in that formless abyss was I made a partaker of the Mysteries Averse.

The Godhead, in order to realize itself, must involuntarily submit to undergo the experience of imperfection. It must take the Sacrament which unites it with the dark glamour of “Evil,” the counterpart of that which exalts the “Sinner” to Godhead.

The concept of God coming down into matter in order to “redeem” it is false, connected with the psychological hiatus between Chesed and Binah. The fable of the Fall was invented to explain why man is so unfortunately constituted (from the point of view of lazy men, of course), and to uphold the Father-Image at any cost. In reality, the hiatus is due to the fact that man is a Spiritual entity quickening the body and mind of an animal. There is no physiological connection in the brain between the faculties called the Supernals by the Qabalists and the highest faculty of the homo saps: Chesed. Daath is therefore an artificial construct (again the Ahamkara) with the purpose of making possible integration between the God and the man. Its inefficiency is due to its very recent apparition. All the faculties related to the higher Manas and to Buddhi-Manas are liable to confusion and error at this stage of evolution, because they are new, and still at the experimental stage. And the lower faculties, left to themselves, work well from a worldly point of view: the man (or woman) is happy, contented, prosperous, and dead to the higher life. As soon as the higher faculties become active, happiness of this sort disappears. The man, no matter how brilliant, proves incapable of providing his own living or that of his family; becomes “anti-social” and quite often ends up in prison or in the asylum. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man had better run for his life. Check Liber VII II.27-33.

The purpose is to create a human type capable of living the higher life while in the body of flesh, and doing it without trouble, perturbation or unnecessary pain. This purpose may take Us a few hundred thousand years yet to accomplish, but that is Our program. Until then.

Why then does God come into matter? To enrich His-Her-Its Experience. And this enriching of experience is basically a selfish impulse. We are not trying to “save” man. Dammit, We are man. Without Us, there is only the monkey and the blind thing of slime here, as LXV itself will make clear later on.

5. I suffered the deadly embrace of the Snake and of the Goat; I paid the infernal homage to the shame of Khem.

It accepts the formulae of: (a) Duality,i.e., life as vibration. (a-1) Death. (a-2) The illusion of Knowledge. (b) Exile. (b-1) The Hunger of Lust. (b-2) Labour. It acquiesces in the shame of being a God concealed in animal form.

6. Therein was this virtue, that the One became the all.

The object of this act is to realize the possibilities of one’s unity by representing its wholeness as an infinite number of particular cases, just as one might try to get an idea of the meaning of “poetry” by studying all available poems. None of these can be more than one imperfect illustration of the abstract idea; yet only through these concrete images can one get any understanding of what it means.

7. Moreover I beheld a vision of a river. There was a little boat thereon; and in it under purple sails was a golden woman, an image of Asi wrought in finest gold. Also the river was of blood, and the boat of shining steel. Then I loved her; and, loosing my girdle, cast myself into the stream.

The river is the stream of thought. The boat is the consciousness. The purple sails are the passions that direct its course, and the woman is the pure Ideal which one seeks to make the constant occupant and the guiding principle of one’s conscious life. Thus “woman”, though of gold, is only a lifeless image. The river is of blood; that is, the current of thought must be identified with the object of one’s like, not a mere medium for reflecting every casual impression.

The boat is of steel; that is, the consciousness must be able to resist the intrusion of all undesired thoughts. Loving this ideal, the Aspirant frees himself from all that binds him (shame, selfishness, etc. — “loosing my girdle”) and loses his ego in Thought itself (cast myself into the stream).

8. I gathered myself into the little boat, and for many days and nights did I love her, burning beautiful incense before her.

He identifies himself with pure consciousness, immune from, yet floating upon, the course of Thought, and devotes himself to this Ideal, with poetical and religious fervour.

9. Yea! I gave her of the flower of my youth.

He consecrates his creative energy to the Ideal.

10. But she stirred not; only by my kisses I defiled her so that she turned to blackness before me.

This process destroys the superficial beauty of the Ideal. Its purity is corrupted by the contact of mortality.

11. Yet I worshipped her, and gave her of the flower of my youth.

Despite the disappointment, the Aspirant persists in “love under will”. He gives himself up utterly to Truth, even now when it seems so dark and dreadful.

12. Also it came to pass, that thereby she sickened, and corrupted before me. Almost I cast myself into the stream.

The Ideal now breaks up into loathsome forms, no longer recognizable as the object of his love. He is tempted to abandon her, and to seek refuge from Consciousness by drowning himself in those distracting thoughts which surround him.

13. Then at the end appointed her body was whiter than the milk of the stars, and her lips red and warm as the sunset, and her life of a white heat like the heat of the midmost sun.

This despair suddenly vanishes. His ideal appears in its true form, a living woman instead of a dead image of gold. Her substance is now purer than starlight itself; her lips — the instruments of her speech and her caresses — are full of life and warmth as the sunset — i.e., they promise repose, love and Beauty (Hathor, goddess of the West). She is alive with the pure energy of the centre of the system to which the Aspirant belongs; i.e., she is the realization of the creative idea of which he has till now been only one part.

14. Then rose she up from the abyss of Ages of Sleep, and her body embraced me. Altogether I melted into her beauty and was glad.

The darkness of the past disappears as his Ideal possesses the Aspirant; and his Ego dissolves in the ecstasy of union with Her; he becomes the essence of all Joy.

15. The river also became the river of Amrit, and the little boat was the chariot of the flesh, and the sails thereof the blood of the heart that beareth me, that beareth me.

Now then do his thoughts themselves become immortal; his consciousness is understood to be the vehicle of his physical life — instead of vice-versa, as the uninitiate supposes. His passions are no longer symptoms of discontent, but identical with his individual life. There is thus no conflict with Nature. The Will is itself the Self.

This is of course a description of Integration, or Initiation. Also, however, the whole operation is viewed from another plane, and according to another possible formula of Attainment-not the one of the Savior-Adept, of course.

In each aeon there is an Adept who is chosen to the Christ of the aeon. In this aeon, he is ΤΟ ΜΕΓΑ ΘΗΡΙΟΝ, 666, who was incarnated as Aleister Crowley. The choice is karmic, that is to say, cosmic. The Adept is chosen because the complex of energies which he represents harmonizes best with the cosmic complex of energies which provides the magickal currents of the aeon. He is, of course, the Magus of the Aeon.

16. O serpent woman of the stars! I, even I, have fashioned Thee from a pale image of fine gold.

My own conception of Nuit is the result of the Magical Operation which I performed to give life to the ideal which I originally had in my heart, adored, and resolved to realise.

The whole passage describes the process of dealing with any given idea so as to bring it to perfection.

17. Also the Holy One came upon me, and I beheld a white swan floating in the blue.

17-26. The swan is the ecstatic Consciousness of the Adept. It is poised in infinite space, supported by Air — i.e., the medium of thought.

The Holy One came upon me” is an expression with double meaning. In a sense it means, “I was taken up in samadhi”. In another sense it means that the consciousness of the Angel, or guru (a lower case, but the expression is common in Hindu mysticism), enveloped the Adept, or the chela, thereby stimulating the lower mind into spiritual perception. The effect of this “overshadowing” depends entirely on the level of development of the overshadowed. The more awake you are, the ampler the experience resulting from the interpenetration of your aura by the aura of the Angel. See Liber Samekh and the Scholia thereon.

Do not, either, misunderstand the expression “overshadowed”. It is not hypnotism or domination or possession, but rather a phenomenon akin to resonance, in which, if a violin vibrates near another, the cords of the other instrument will tend to vibrate also.

18. Between its wings I sate, and the aeons fled away.

In Ecstasy time does not count.

Rather say the time flows at a different rate of speed. It counts, but according to another formula.

19. Then the swan flew and dived and soared, yet no whither we went.

The Ecstasy moves from one sublimity of Joy to another; but there is no progress possible in perfection, therefore no aim to be attained by such movements.

Again, this state is not “perfection”. Perfection is a limit to which we tend, but the day we believe we reached it we are dead. Hence Goethe’s Faust and Mephistopheles.

20. A little crazy boy that rode with me spake unto the swan, and said:

The boy is the human reason, which demands measurement as the first condition of intelligible consciousness. Aware of time, he cannot understand why all this motion has not brought the swan nearer to some fixed point, or how the relation of the point of origin to its present position is not an ever-present anxiety. He cannot conceive of motion without reference to fixed axes.

The most interesting point in this is the description of the human reason as “a little crazy boy”. We have, therefore, a faculty that is very young and which has not yet become fully harmonized.

21. Who art thou that dost float and fly and dive and soar in the inane? Behold, these many aeons have passed; whence camest thou? Whither wilt thou go?

22. And laughing I chid him, saying: No whence! No whither!

I reply that, apprehending the continuum (Nuit) as such, no “space- marks” exist.

It is utter folly to ask when the Universe began and when it will end, or to ask who created everything. We are mortal creatures, that is, creatures of vibration, and we perceive the external universe through our instrument of perception, which is vitiated by its own limitations. Why should things have had to be created? Why should they have to have a beginning or an end? Actually, the energy which animates us in our short crawl over the surface of this planet (or our occasional jumps away from it) is not affected by the transmutations of our flesh. It has existed before we did, and will continue to exist after we no longer do. For us there is whence and whither, but if there is the same for it, it will be according to rather different parameters. All things are, and have always been, changing. There is no “Reason” to think that they not always will. Theories such as entropy are merely extrapolations of our own sense of finiteness. Actually, scientists are beginning to suspect that matter is continuously being created and dying all over the universe. Precisely as human beings, not to say all other forms of life.

23. The swan being silent, he answered: Then, if with no goal, why this eternal journey?

The swan is of course silent: Ecstasy transcends expression. Reason asks the motive of motion, in the absence of all destination.

The swan has always been, in toe Orient, a symbol of samadhi. Hence the mystical title Paramahanse-the Transcendental Swan, that is, the mystic who has conquered Samadhi perfectly.

24. And I laid my head against the Head of the Swan, and laughed, saying: Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging? Is there not weariness and impatience for who would attain to some goal?

The Adept bringing this thought closes to Ecstasy, laughs, both for pure joy, and as amused by the incongruous absurdities of “rational” arguments from which he is now for ever free, expresses his idea thus: Thus free exercise of some object thereby, it would imply the pain of desire, the strain of effort, and the fear of failure.

It must be understood that the planes cannot be mixed. On the plane in which we normally live, that indeed where the ‘little boy’ holds sway, the pain of desire, the strain of effort and the fear of failure are normal mind-kama states. It is the perception that they are relations, and not absolutes, that produces in Initiates that strange (strange to normal mankind, it must be understood) detachment that makes them sometimes laugh in situations where other men might cry. Nevertheless we must act, on this plane of the ‘little crazy boy’, according to the rules of the game, if we want to ‘win’ on this plane. This is also what was meant by the early ‘Rosicrucian’ injunction that the brethren were to adopt the clothes and the customs of the country in which they happened to be travelling at any time.

25. And the swan was ever silent. Ah! but we floated in the infinite Abyss. Joy! Joy! White swan, bear thou ever me up between thy wings!

Ecstasy remains undisturbed. But the dialogue has caused the Adept to reflect more deeply on his state of bliss, so that the Ecstasy becomes motionless, realizing its perfect relation to the Infinity of the continuum.

The Adept demands that ecstasy shall be constant.

26. O silence! O rapture! O end of things visible and invisible! This is all mine, who am Not.

Silence ends the imperfection implied in speech — all words being evidence of duality, of a breach in Perfection.

Rapture: the end of the conflict between any two things; they are dissolved by Love; and, losing the sense of the Ego which caused the pain of feeling its separateness from the All, its imperfection, the release from strain is expressed as rapture.

“O end of all things visible and invisible!” This not only means that all things — being imperfect — are destroyed, but that this is their true end — Τελος — their perfection.

“This is all mine, who am Not.” The Adept is now possessed of all things, being come to the state called “Not” which contains them all, and of which they are merely images.

So long as he was a positive Ego, he was one of them, and opposed to them; they were not his. To make them his he must become the continuum in which all things exist potentially as members of any series that may be selected to illustrate any desired properties of its Nature.

The state of ‘Not’ may also be defined as the Nuptials of Nuit and Hadit, or the awakening and interaction of Ajna and Sahashara.

27. Radiant God! Let me fashion an image of gems and gold for Thee! that the people may cast it down and trample it to dust! That Thy glory may be seen of them.

The Adept is moved to manifest the Godhead which he has beheld by means of poetry. He foresees that the vulgar will be enraged, despise his books and stamp them under foot; but by their thus acting, their eyes will be opened to the glory of the God. This may mean that my work may reawaken real religious fervour in those who have lost all faith and vision; their wrath against me will arouse them to realize that at the bottom of their hearts there is the instinct that they are spiritual beings.

‘That Thy glory may be seen of them’ is a phrase so awkwardly constructed as to be interpreted also as “That they may perceive that the glory they see is their own.” This is obviously on purpose.

Whenever a man says “I am God” he awakens the indignation of most of his fellows. They do not realize that this indignation comes from the fact that whether they worship a God or not, subconsciously they identify their own innermost nature with Godhead. The indignation actually means: “No, you sonofabitch, you can’t be God, because I am.” Adepts are therefore usually prudent enough no to declare their divinity. Friedrich Nietzsche, who reached Tiphereth only through his own genius, unfortunately had not sufficient magickal training to be discreet, and went around acting and speaking like the incarnation of Dionysus that he was. As a consequence, he ended his days in an insane asylum. The same kind of fate greeted Ezra Pound and Wilhelm Reich among others. That such men were sent to insane asylums does not condemn them, but shames the society in which they happened to move. Ancient tribes, being closer to nature, respect madmen and say, rightly, that they are “possessed by the gods.” Left strictly alone, and being treated with gentleness and respect, people passing through mystical trances of this sort will gradually equilibrate their divers planes of consciousness and achieve a state of integration much ampler than the one they had before, thereby enriching the life of their society. Indeed, this is true of most psychological disturbances. Hopeless insanity may be the result of going through a spiritual awakening amongst “normal” people-who are, most of them, totally insane (‘a little crazy boy’) as well as immature from the point of view of the Supernals.

28. Nor shall it be spoken in the markets that I am come who should come; but Thy coming shall be the one word.

My religious work will not result in my bing acknowledged as the Redeemer: but men will admit that the Spirit of the Sun God Horus has breathed upon them and infused their clay with life.

“Radiant God” is, of course, in any aeon, the God or Goddess ‘enthroned in Ra’s seat’, and here we are treating of problems of the Hierarchy. In any aeon there is Ra’s viceroy, a minister of Hoorpakraath (that is, a Hierophant of the Magi), and the Magus of the aeon (sometimes there is more than one, although this will not be the case in the present aeon), who is the Hierophant of the Masters of the Temple. We are, of course, using thelemic terms and dealing with thelemic classification.

Therion is an Adept of such high order that He is not in the least interested in being acknowledged as Redeemer: he wants mankind to experience direct contact with the Supreme Hierophant, Heru-ra-ha in this aeon. Θελημα has come to lift the human race to a degree hitherto undreamed of civilization and spiritual progress. Therefore he withdraws into being simply the Channel whereby normal consciousness may get in touch with that Radiating Force of the Spiritual Sun. (The viceroy, of course, stimulates Kether-consciousness.)

29. Thou shalt manifest Thyself in the unmanifest; in the secret places men shall meet with thee, and Thou shalt overcome them.

Horus will be recognized as the explanation of all those energies of the Universe which we know must exist, although our senses cannot perceive them. Men shall perceive Horus when they explore the mysteries of Nature — e.g., the Unconscious in Man, or the structure of the Atom. He shall compel them to admit that He is the ultimate principle underlying all manifestation, against their old theories.

(The exact meaning of “Horus” in this passage must be drawn from CCXX Cap; III.)

We are going a little too far here. Horus is not the ultimate principle underlying all manifestation: this principle is Nuit. Nevertheless, because of His position as Kether-Consciousness, He will lead scientists and artists into a greater perception of the Universe-a perception which will be naturally tinted by the complex of energies that form the present Aeon of Aquarius-Leo, and tinted by the Nature of the God itself. He is, in Himself, a Star-gigantic in comparison to normal mankind, an Ipsissimus of the highest order. He is, also, the Absolute Monarch of Initiation in this Aeon. To go counter Him is the ultimate failure, and to disobey or disrespect Him is fatal. This is due to the enormous potential of energy concentrated around His work, of which He is the center and point of balance. To go against him is to lose yourself in a maelstrom of forces which go nowhere and which will tear you apart. And yet-how dare they who dare touch their spear to this Shield! The God laughs His rapture, and proves Himself. AL I.28-30.

‘The secret places’-the innermost hiding places in their own souls, which they thought safe from perusal even by their own normal consciousness.

30. I saw a pale sad boy that lay upon the marble in the sunlight, and wept. By his side was the forgotten lute. Ah! but he wept.

Verses 30-36. The Boy is Ganymede, the eagle, the bird of Jupiter. Here he is an image of the Adept.

He is pale, as having given his blood to his Work. He is sad, as understanding the Sorrow of the Universe. (His Work has itself made him aware of this). He is lying down, as weary and in doubt whether it be worth while to work. He is on the marble; that is, the hard bare facts of existence, despite all polish, hurt his flesh. He is in the sunlight; he sees only too clearly into Nature. His Angel shines upon him, but from inaccessible heights. He weeps; he whose duty is to pour wine for the Gods, can but shed forth salt water upon the bare ground. He has laid down and even forgotten his lute. He cannot make music; he has even lost the memory that he could do so of old.

31. Then came an eagle from the abyss of glory and overshadowed him. So black was the shadow that he was no more visible.

The Eagle symbolizes the influence of the Father of the Gods, also the highest form of Magical Life, and the Lordship of Air, i.e., power to rule the world of thoughts. This overshadows him so as to conceal his personality from sight.

The Hawk, the Swan and the Eagle are cognate symbols of Air, but each with a different type of function. Check The Heart of the Master and the magickal formulae corresponding to these birds. To each corresponds a type of samadhi also.

32. But I heard the lute lively discoursing through the blue still air.

Thus inspired, he resumes his music joyfully; the air itself becomes still, that is, no thoughts disturb him, and it is blue, being filled with the spirit of holiness, love and purity.

33. Ah! messenger of the beloved One, let Thy shadow be over me!

The Adept invokes the Word of his Angel to silence all personal thoughts.

Not so: to harmonize them, that is, to organize his human life from the point of view of Spirit.

34. Thy name is Death, it may be, or Shame, or Love. So thou bringest me tidings of the Beloved One, I shall not ask thy name.

He will accept this in whatever from it may appear; whether death itself be necessary to end the annoyance of the Ego, or Disgrace to make it ashamed to assert itself, or Love to destroy its ambitions.

This is the equivalent attitude to the Master of the Temple’s, who swears to interpret all phenomena as a personal dealing between God and his soul. Oswald Spengler put this in terms more apprehensible by abstract intellection when he said: “Everything of which we are conscious…has for us a deeper meaning still, a final meaning. And the one and only means of rendering this incomprehensible comprehensible must be a kind of metaphysics which regards everything whatsoever as having significance as a symbol.”

35. Where is now the Master? cry the little crazy boys. He is dead! He is shamed! He is wedded! and their mockery shall ring round the world.

His “rational” prejudices will presumably ask — in such a case — “What of your magical ambitions? You are not the Master that you wanted to be; you are simply the slave of this Angel of yours -whatever that may mean-your personality smothered, your ambitions crushed, your sole occupation to echo his remarks, of which you do not even approve.”

“You have destroyed your Self; you have earned the abuse of your friends; you have abandoned your career, and tied yourself to a woman’s whims.”

It is not only the Adept’s rational prejudices who will speak to him so; the ‘little crazy boys’ indicates all normal minds around him, echoed in or echoing his own.

36. But the Master shall have had his reward. The laughter of the mockers shall be a ripple in the hair of the Beloved One.

The Adept admits that his body and mind, left to their fate, have met with those disasters. But the intimacy with his Angel to attain which he deliberately dismissed all care of his personal affairs justifies his conduct; and the reproaches of his intellectual ideas are not raised as such: they are to him a stirring of the hair of the Beloved One (radiant energies of the individuality of the Angel) that is, they call his attention to one of His Glories.

If it were only this, we would be bound to accept that the relationship Adept-Angel is one of sheer slavery and vampirism. The truth is to be found in Chapter I.41-46 and the Commentaries thereon. What the Adept is trying to attain is beyond th grasp of the ‘little crazy boys’. To them he is a fool carrying an empty sack and assaulted by wild beasts, nose turned up into emptiness and an abyss gaping at his feet. Yet this is the Fool of the Taro, the First Emanation of Kether, the Perfect. See AL I.45

Once the Work has been accomplished, however, the Adept must-if he still has time left in that particular existence-consolidate his gains on the lower planes too. See AL II.24

37. Behold! the Abyss of the Great Deep. Therein is a mighty dolphin, lashing his sides with the force of the waves.

37-44. This passage is a parable with several applications.

I. It describes the method of attaining Concentration by “the Ladders” (See Liber Aleph).

II. It indicates how to deal with people whom one wishes to initiate.

III. It gives a method for passing from one state of mind to another at Will.

The main idea in all three matters is that one must apply the appropriate remedy to whatever malady may actually exist, not some ideally perfect medicine. The first matter must be brought step by step through each stage of the process; it is useless to try to obtain the Perfect Tincture from it by making the Final Projection.

IV. It describes the whole course of Initiation.

These four meanings demand detailed exposition, verse by verse.

37. I. The Abyss is the Mind; the Dolphin the uneasy Consciousness.

II. Men are ruled by pride and other passions

III. The dolphin signifies any state of mind that is uneasy, ill­content, and unable to escape from its surroundings.

IV. The dolphin is the profane.

38. There is also an harper of gold, playing infinite tunes.

I. The harper is the teacher whose praise of the Path of the Wise induces the profane to seek initiation; he is the Guru who stills the mind by making it listen to harmonious sounds, instead of torturing itself by thinking of its pains and its passions. These sounds are produced by mechanical means; they refer to practices like Asana, etc.

II. They are best reached by praise of beauty, shown in its most glittering dress.

III. Cure this by reflecting that it is the material of Beauty, just as Macbeth’s character, Timon’s misfortune, etc. gave Shakespeare his chance. Make your own trouble serve your sense of your own life as a sublime drama.

IV. Realizing his evil state, and delighting in the prospects offered by initiation, he (39) renounces all and becomes a pure Aspirant.

39. Then the dolphin delighted therein, and put off his body, and became a bird.

I. Freed from its grossness and violence, the consciousness aspires to lofty ideals. It is, however, unable to keep quiet, and has little intelligence. It is trained by hearing the harmony of life — breath inspiring a reed, instead of muscle agitating metal. This refers to Pranayama, but also to apprehending that inspiration is in itself more fluttering; it must learn the art of using every breath to produce harmony.

II. 39-40. When taught to aspire, and clean of the baser appetites, teach them the seven sciences.

III. Your thought will thus become lyrical; but this will not satisfy your need. You will feel the transitory nature of such a thought.

40. The harper also laid aside his harp, and played infinite tunes upon the Pan-pipe.

I. 40 - 41. The consciousness now acquires divine and human completeness. (41): The faun symbolized firm aspiration, creative power, and human intelligence. The wings of ideal longing are laid down; the thought accepts the fact of its true nature, and aims only at possible perfections.

III. Transform it by looking at it as a necessary and important fact in the framework of the Universe.

IV. He learns that the Adept is not a perfection of what he feels to be the noblest part of him, but a Microcosm.

41. Then the bird desired exceedingly this bliss, and laying down its wings became a faun of the forest.

II. 41-42. Having instructed them till they are really complete and ready for true initiation, tell them Truths.

III. The lyrical exaltation will now pass into a deep realization of yourself and all that concerns you as an Inhabitant of Nature, containing in your own consciousness the elements of the Divine, and the Bestial, both equally necessary to the Wholeness of the Universe. Your original discomfort of mind will now appear as pleasant, since, lacking that experience, you would have been eternally the poorer.

IV. He completes the formation of himself as an image of the All.

42. The harper also laid down his Pan-pipe, and with the human voice sang his infinite tunes.

I. It now hears the harmony of the Universe as expressed in the human voice; that is, as articulate and intelligible, so that every vibration, besides its power to delight the senses, appeals to the soul. This represents the stage of concentration when, being fixes in meditation upon any subject, one penetrates the superficial aspect and attempts to reach its reality, the true meaning of its relation with the observer.

III. Now interpret that experience “as a particular dealing of God with your soul.” Discover an articulate explanation of it: compel it to furnish an intelligible message.

IV. 42-43. He then understands all Things, and at last becomes the All.

43. Then the faun was enraptured, and followed far; at last the harper was silent, and the faun became Pan in the midst of the primal forest of Eternity.

I. The final stage is reached. All possible positives are known to be errors from the Negative. There is Silence. Then the faun becomes the All. Gone is the limited forest of secondary ideas in which he once dwelt, and left in order to follow the Word that enchanted him. He is now in the world of Ideas whose nature is simple (primal) and are not determined by such conditions as Time. (A tree is an idea, being phallic and bearing branches.)

II. Once they are on the Path, be silent; they will naturally come to Attainment.

III. Follow up this train of thought until you enter into Rapture, caused by the recognition of the fact that you — and all else are ecstatic expressions of a sublime Spiritual spasm, elements of an omniform Eucharist. Truth, no matter how splendid, will now lose all meaning for you. It belongs to a world where discrimination between Subject and Predicate is possible, which implies imperfection; and you are risen above it. You thus become Pan, the All; no longer a part. You thrill with the joy of the lust of creation, become a virgin goddess for your sake. Also, you are insane, sanity being the state which holds things in proper proportion; while you have dissolved all in your own being, in ecstasy beyond all measure.

44. Thou canst not charm the dolphin with silence, O my prophet!

I. Practice Elementary Yoga until you are perfect: do not try to attain Nibbana till you know how.

II. Many are the virtues of Silence: but who so is vowed to help men must teach them the Next Step.

III. Do not attempt to cure a fit of melancholy by lofty ideas: such will seem absurd, and you will only deepen your despair.

The profane cannot imagine what the Masters mean when they work with those nearest to them.

45. Then the adept was rapt away in bliss, and the beyond of bliss, and exceeded the excess of excess.

45-49. This passage describes the Adept’s reaction to Rapture. The main point is that all articulate description is futile.

45. Extravagant phrases attempt to record the Event.

Not so extravagant: they intimate bliss, and then transcendence of the normal limits of consciousness into another state where parameters cannot be found.

46. Also his body shook and staggered with the burden of that bliss and that excess and that ultimate nameless.

The Physical body, its nerves trying to react sympathetically to the experience, and being charged beyond their capacity is stricken.

This is one of the reasons why the Aspirant is urged again and again to increase the strength and health of his physical body. See the Tasks of the Grades, and See AL II.70

47. They cried He is drunk or He is mad or He is in pain or He is about to die; and he heard them not.

The observer (others, or his own rational mind) misunderstands what is happening.

Please note the capital H and the small h in the verse. These variations are always very important and meaningful in Class A publications.

48. O my Lord, my beloved! How shall I indite songs, when even the memory of the shadow of thy glory is a thing beyond all music of speech or of silence?

All this is altogether beyond expression.

49. Behold! I am a man. Even a little child might not endure Thee. And lo!

Even the innocence of a child could not endure the impact of the Angel. A man, having fixed ideas of truth, finds it terrible when they are all shattered, as they are in this experience.

50. I was alone in a great park, and by a certain hillock was a ring of deep enamelled grass wherein green-clad ones, most beautiful, played.

50-52. The park is the world of well-planted and carefully tended Ideas: such as the scholar and the Man of Letters enjoy. Here I found a place where I could exalt myself (the hillock). Thereby was a ring (my poetry) in which were fairies (my character, my phrases, my rhythm, etc.)

51. In their play I came even unto the land of Fairy Sleep. All my thoughts were clad in green; most beautiful were they.

Playing thus, I reach a state of poetic ecstasy (Fairy Sleep). Here I was happy.

52. All night they danced and sang; but Thou art the morning, O my darling, my serpent that twinest Thee about this heart.

But all this took place during the night: my highest poetic rapture is as darkness to the light of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

53. I am the heart, and Thou the serpent. Wind Thy coils closer about me, so that no light nor bliss may penetrate.

I am the feminine sense that accepts the embrace of the male H.G.A. I demand closer contact: even the light and bliss of Rapture distract me from the Union with Him.

54. Crush out the blood of me, as a grape upon the tongue of a white Doric girl that languishes with her lover in the moonlight.

His presence must leave me no light of my own.

Readers may consider the juxtaposition of blood, grape and girl as a poetic metaphor, and it may be so; however, it can also be a unification of several memories into a ‘ripple of His hair’. This is a difficult subject and caution leads us not to encourage the overly imaginative by enlarging on it at present. We refer the serious student to LXV I.33-40, LXV II.30-33, LXV III.40-46, LXV IV.7, LXV V.47 and the Commentaries thereon.

55. Then let the End awake. Long hast thou slept, O great God Terminus! Long ages hast thou waited at the end of the city and the roads thereof. Awake Thou! wait no more!

The End means “The True Self.” Terminus is the Phallic Stone which lies beyond the mind (city) and its thoughts (roads). By this Union with the Angel I hope to come to the True Self, the fixed eternal creative individual.

This “fixedness” is of course in relation to the Smooth Point, center of the complex of energies called ‘star’.

56. Nay, Lord! but I am come to Thee. It is I that wait at last.

Having attained the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel (by a male effort so to speak) the Adept become receptive, feminine, patient, surrendering his will wholly to that of his Angel.

The result of this surrender is the awakening of the True Will. See AL I.61 And see the corresponding paragraphs in Liber NV. It would be possible to explain intellectually this apparent paradox, but we prefer to recall the image of the resonating violin. The Angel is doing His Will; the surrender of the Adept impels him in the direction of his own true orbit. See AL I.45-48 and the Commentaries thereon.

57. The prophet cried against the mountain; come thou hither, that I may speak with thee!

57-60. It is equally vain to summon what one wants, or to go to seek it. To do so is to assert its absence, and the truth is that it is with one all the time, if one will but kill out one’s restlessness.

58. The mountain stirred not. Therefore went the prophet unto the mountain, and spake unto it. But the feet of the prophet were weary, and the mountain heard not his voice.

59. But I have called unto Thee, and I have journeyed unto Thee, and it availed me not.

60. I waited patiently, and Thou wast with me from the beginning.

61. This now I know, O my beloved, and we are stretched at our ease among the vines.

Realizing this, effort is at an end: one has only to enjoy.

62. But these thy prophets; they must cry aloud and scourge themselves; they must cross trackless wastes and unfathomed oceans; to await Thee is the end, not the beginning.

As things are, though, one is so constituted as to be unable to rest in simplicity. One must go through the mill in order to learn how to wait!

The problem arises from the fact that the mind-which, by the way, is very strictly connected with the Ahamkara-is a new faculty, just developed. The simplicity to which A.C. refers is not the simplicity of absence of data, but the simplicity of harmonization of every single part of one’s mind into an integrated, living whole. In order to achieve this, the mind must ‘go to the outermost places and subdue all things.’

63. Let darkness cover up the writing! Let the scribe depart among his ways.

The consciousness of the scribe, hitherto required that he might record the sayings of that part of his Being which we call “the Adept” and of his Angel, is now released to attend to its normal affairs.

These ‘normal affairs’, nevertheless, are not the affairs of a ‘normal man’, since the scribe’s mind is an initiated mind.

64. But thou and I are stretched at our ease among the vines; what is he?

The Adept and his Angel remain reposing in Rapture: they do not cease to exist when the scribe no longer perceives them. On the contrary, he seems rather unreal to them.

This is one of the reasons why the Angel orders the Adept-Consciousness to ‘speak often’ to its servant in LXV I.30-31. Unless contact is kept, the scribe runs the risk of losing himself in the amorphous phenomena of the material world, which can only acquire meaning from the point of view of Spirit.

65. O Thou beloved One! is there not an end? Nay, but there is an end. Awake! arise! gird up thy limbs, O thou runner; bear thou the Word unto the mighty cities, yea, unto the mighty cities.

Union with his Angel is not the sole goal of the Adept. There is “an end,” a Purpose proper to his individuality.

The Angel therefore bids him withdraw from the Trance of Union. He is to assume the form of Hermes (runner — Word-bearer) and deliver the Word entrusted to him to the “Mighty cities.” This may mean “to the greatest minds of the world.”

It will be noted that the Adept echoes the question of the ‘little crazy boy’.

The same answer is given, there is no end to rapture; but there is an ‘end’-a purpose-in it. This is related to the Magickal Oath of the A A, whose every member is pledged to help the evolution of mankind. The Adept; must impart information; not only the scientific method, but also the scientific ethics of free and full imparting of information openly to all, are Our way.

Chapter III

This chapter is attributed to Water; it deals with the preliminary reflections of Truth as apprehended by intuition,beyond any intellectual apprehension; and with the nature of the Understanding and the sexual instinct.

The Element of Water is of course identified with Emotions and Feelings. Passions, although they partake of water, are initiated by the element of Fire. Thus the problems (and the solution thereof) of kama, prana and sthula sharira are more especially treated here. Manas is involved only insofar as the intellect is affected by Apas.

1. Verily and Amen! I passed through the deep sea, and by the rivers of running water that abound therein, and I came unto the Land of No Desire.

1-2. The sea is the Sensorium of the Soul, and the currents his tendencies — those activities in which he finds pleasure. Until one has passed through the totality of possible experience (as divined by estimation of the actualities available in one’s own case) one cannot reach the state in which all Desire is recognized as futile. Only when this is fixed can one perceive the Unicorn- Μονοκερως de Astris-the single pure Purpose (it is white) whose name is written in the way now to be explained.

The collar represents completeness-the “infinity” or “eternity” symbolized by a ring. It is round the neck, i.e., the seat of knowledge (Death-the Visuddhi cakkra) and made of silver-the metal of the Virgin Isis-Urania, who informs Pure Aspirations. The name of this Unicorn (whose horn signifies the creative power) is “The Green Line winds about the Universe.” Note the etymology of Viridis, connected with vir and vis; also the idea of gyrat, reminding one of the aphorism “God is He with the Head of the Hawk, having a spiral force.” The Green Line, here chosen to connote the Limit of the Universe, suggests the Girdle of Venus. The boundary of Existence is thus not a fixed idea, but an ever-growing Vegetable Principle of Life, of the nature of Love. Summing up the doctrine, one may say that the intelligible expression of the pure creative Idea is the omniform principle of Growth.

2. Wherein was a white unicorn with a silver collar, whereon was graven the aphorism Linea viridis gyrat universa.

3. Then the word of Adonai came unto me by the mouth of the Magister mine, saying: O heart that art girt about with the coils of the old serpent, lift up thyself unto the mountain of initiation!

The Angel then speaks to the human consciousness of the Adept through the medium of his Initiated Self — otherwise he could not understand so exalted a message. He bids the man as a man (the heart, Tiphereth, the seat of the conscious Ego) acquire the point of view of the Initiate. The old serpent represents the natural Desire, which is the “cause of Sorrow,” binds man to grovel in the dust, and unites him with base animal life.

See LXV ii 5. The message is given through Binah, that is, Buddhi itself: the Angel is communicating at a very high level. As to grovelling in the dust, and base animal life, that is part of man; only, the Initiate must turn these forces into Service to the Higher Faculties. When the Eqyptian Initiate said ‘There is no part of me that is not of the Gods’, he did not mean by this that his material body, his etheric and astral bodies, his lover manas, his vitality and his passions had suddenly become divine in the sense of transcending the planes where they normally functioned. He meant simply that all his faculties were geared to the purpose of the Gods, that is to say, his True Will was being done without interference from any part of his being; and therefore saying this he was stating that he was God Made Flesh. And so does the priest mean it today when he says these words during the Gnostic Mass (See Liber XV).

4. But I remembered. Yea, Than, yea, Theli, yea, Lilith! these three were about me from of old. For they are one.

Than, Theli, and Lilith are three serpentine forms described in the Qabalah. Than is really Tanha — no pun is suggested, but Th is the letter of Matter, and N represents the reptilian or piscian idea of Life. It is connected with the “Gluten in the blood” which von Eckharthausen calls “the body of sin.”

Theli: li means secret satisfaction — an idea connected with shame. Lilith: li reduplicated and so become tedious ending in material darkness.

Than and Tanha: there is no pun involved, but simply a direct derivation, just as Satan, the Enemy, and SANATANAS, the Eternal, titles of the Suns of the Trimurti. Contact between the Jews and the Eastern systems was always feared by the Jews because of their great emphasis on monotheism and their centuries of conditioning to the worship of’Jehovah’, with attendant punishments for default.

From the point of view of the Initiate, every movementof semen, or every passion, or every desire, or every feeling that is not directly concentrated on Service to the Highest is a breach of Chastity-the most important of the Virtues of an Adept, since the sexual instinct connects all the lower faculties directly with the Higher. Those Serpentine forms represent thus waste of Kundalini, which is the famous ‘sin against the Holy Ghost’. It is a waste of your Life Force itself.

Let it be understood that common men are not affected by this ‘sin’. Their normal fate is to be born, live and die. Their troubles begin the moment they take the Oath of Aspiration. It is not exactly that they are swimmin against the tide-not in this Aeon, fortunately. But they were floating along, and now they are trying to swim and thus go forward faster than their fellows. Energy must be saved, because it is needed for the extra effort that Initiation costs. If you waste it, you waste your substance itself. Thus Prudence is sister to Chastity, nay, its twin, nay, they are both the self-same Virtue! See Atu IX in the Taro, and Chapter 53 of Liber Aleph.

5. Beautiful wast thou, O Lilith, thou serpent-woman!

5-12. The Adept analyses this Demon-Queen of his Nephesch. He recalls her sensory appeal, and notes that, the dissolution of all things being inevitable, the love of them leads to sorrow and destruction. In verses 11-12, furthermore, he shows that apart from all considerations of time, the nature of this Desire, properly apprehended, is corruption.

6. Thou wast lithe and delicious to the taste, and thy perfume was of musk mingled with ambergris.

7. Close didst thou cling with thy coils unto the heart, and it was as the joy of all the spring.

The nature of “Love” should be studied in Little Essays Toward Truth, chapter of the same name, particularly the last paragraph. It cannot be too well understood that all manifestations of human love, even the most lyrical, the happiest, the purest, the ones that all churches, from the Roman to the Buddhist, all States, from Italy to China, approve the “sanctify” with ceremonies and laws, are simply the convolutions of the old serpent, the activity of an animal instinct, the grunts and contortions, shomewhat refined in appearance no doubt, of the great apes.

8. But I beheld in thee a certain taint, even in that wherein I delighted.

The Curse of the Oath. This taint is totally invisible to normal mankind. You have to have the seeds of higher endeavor in you to sense it.

9. I beheld in thee the taint of thy father the ape, of thy grandsire the Blind Worm of Slime.

That is, of the animal ancestors of the bestial half of our race. Compare LXV II.3-5 and the Commentaires thereon.

10. I gazed upon the Crystal of the Future, and I saw the horror of the End of thee.

The end here means both the purpose of this force, which is purely animal, and the consequence of yielding to it, which is severance form the Higher Faculties.

11. Further, I destroyed the time Past, and the time to Come — had I not the Power of the Sand-glass?

12. But in the very hour I beheld corruption.

13. Then I said: O my beloved, O Lord Adonai, I pray thee to loosen the coils of the serpent!

13-14. It is useless to ask the Angel to free the Adept from such coercion; his magical force, which is necessary for this Work, is prevented by Desire from so much as beginning.

14. But she was closed fast upon me, so that my Force was stayed in its inception.

This is a very important point: it is useless to ask your Angel to do for you the things that you must do yourself. The Angel is not a master with a slave, or a puppeteer with his puppets: he is a Teacher to whom the Law of Θελημα is foremost. “So with thy all; thou has no right but to do thy will.” (AL I.42)

15. Also I prayed unto the Elephant God, the Lord of Beginnings, who breaketh down obstruction.

The Adept invokes Ganesha, who represents the power of breaking down obstructions. The elephant, “the half-reasoner with the hand,” is the moral force in man, partly intelligent and docile to the control of its Spiritual Master.

16. These gods came right quickly to mine aid. I beheld them; I joined myself unto them; I was lost in their vastness.

This moral force brought into action, the Angel also becomes an efficient assistant, and the constraint of Desire disappears altogether.

17. Then I beheld myself compassed about with the Infinite Circle of Emerald that encloseth the Universe.

The Adept now realizes himself as bounded only by the Green Line of verse 2.

You will ntoe that the Serpentine Force is the same, but now, so to speak, the magnetic poles have been changed. In essence, the Blind Worm of Slime is also the worm of Hell, Hadit, which is Life, and the giver of Life. Kundalini is sent from the Muladhara up, which is enough to transofrm it form the Demon-Queen Lilith into a Manifestation of Nuit. It is not the material at hand that is important, but what you do with it; or rather, it is not the material at hand which is malignant or “evil”, but you who surrender your lower self to gross indulgence.

18. O Snake of Emerald, Thou hast no time Past, no time To Come. Verily Thou art not.

This Line is recognized as equivalent to the Negative — to Nuith Herself.

19. Thou art delicious beyond all taste and touch, Thou art not-to-be-beheld for glory, Thy voice is beyond the Speech and the Silence and the Speech therein, and Thy perfume is of pure ambergris, that is not weighed against the finest gold of the fine gold.

19-20. This idea of Pure Love is free from all bonds; it gives the true utmost gratification; its perfume (spiritual significance) is not mingled with any imperfect conception. (Ambergris is the perfume of Kether; musk refers to Love in a somewhat animal sense.)

20. Also Thy coils are of infinite range; the Heart that Thou dost encircle is an Universal Heart.

The Angel also is identified with this Green Line, and thereby the consciousness of the Adept expands to include the Universe.

21. I, and Me, and Mine were sitting with lutes in the market-place of the great city, the city of the violets and the roses.

21-26. The idea of the Ego must not be used to unite the experience of the Adept. The music of life ceases (in such a case) whenever doubt darkens, trouble disturbs, or time wearies the consciousness. The Adept must lose himself wholly in the consciousness of his Angel, which is beyond all such limitations and immune to all attachments — for He is not to be expressed by any fixed Image, such as might be destroyed.

This is not exactly what is supposed to be done. The idea of the Ego must be used to unite the experience of the Adept below the Abyss; it is impossible to function as a human being without the Ahamkara. It is for this purpose that the Ahamkara was constructed. But the consciouysness of the Ego must be realized as a convenience, and as relative, not an absolute. The normal lines unting Kama, Manas and Ahamkara must be dissolved and replaced by new lines-the lines of Initiation. In short, old synapses must be dissolved in the brain, and new synapses must be established.

The Crossing of the Abyss (which may be done in two planes, that of the Manas and that of Kama, which are treated respectively in Liber Os Abysmi and Liber Cheth; and, in order that the Master of the Temple may function efficiency, both crossings must take place, though not necessarily at the same time) is the dissolution of the mortal ego, or the ego of the lumar man, and the creation of something that cannot any longer be called ego, but is the consciousness of the solar man, or the “Body of Glory”. The Ahamkara still exists, and still functions; but now the mind knows itself as an instrument and mediator-a “scribe”-and the Kama no longer is attached to the reactions of the Ahamkara.

“I”-the active aspect of the Ahamkara. “Me”-the passive aspect of the Ahamkara. “Mine”-the attachment to anything below the Abyss, possible only when some part or another of the Ahamkara becomes static, either through lack of energy at that spot, or through the formation of energy knots-complexes, as the psychoanalysts would say.

“The city of the violets and the roses” is, of course, the mind of Aleister Crowley, which is thus splendidly described.

22. The night fell, and the music of the lutes was stilled.

Doubt arises: “If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.” Compare LXV I.54-56.

Note that although only “I” is “under attack”, all three lutes are stilled. This is due to Attachment; each function of the untrained Ahamkara reacts upon the other.

23. The tempest arose, and the music of the lutes was stilled.

The tempest represents either anger, fear, or some other passion, being a turbulence of Kama arisen from the sensitiveness of the Ahamkara to whatever it interprets as an “attack” against its integrity.

24. The hour passed, and the music of the lutes was stilled.

“Mine” is a necessary concept only insofar as the Ahamkara must study a determined fact to convey information to Buddhi. Any memory of th brain is a case of “Mine”. But attachment to possessions, be they of any sort, is a vice of the untrained Ahamkara. Obviously the hour must psas, that is, the Universe must flow. Nothing is permanent in the Universe.

There is an apologue, narrated if I am not mistaken by Swami Vivekananda, of a yogi who saw a raj seated by a private like in fron of his castle and loosing his loincloth and depositing it on the steps to the castle went and bathed in the lake without previosly asking permision of the owner. After his bath the yogi, still naked, approached the raja nd began to upbraid him for his attachment to possissions. At this point both perceived that the castle had caught fire. The yogi went running to save his loincloth from the flames; the raj remained seated and contemplated the fire. In the nomenclature of the Book of the Law, the raj was a King; the yogi was a beggar trying to hide hi poverty.

25. But Thou art Eternity and Space; Thou art Matter and Motion; and Thou art the negation of all these things.

Again, resonance is the key. By concentrating on the Angel, the Adept learns how to reorganize the Ahamkara so that it will report truly and interfere not.

26. For there is no Symbol of Thee.

Compare LXV I.7-11

27. If I say Come up upon the mountains! the celestial waters flow at my word. But thou art the Water beyond the waters.

27-30. The Adept learns to control all varieties of image with present themselves, and to create any he may wish, but his Angel represents the Ideal which is his limit in this matter. All ideas of which he may be capable are comprised in the nature of his Angel.

This point is debatable and, in my opinion, correct only relatively to each Step inInitiation. But in these matters it is Experience that counts. Let each find out for himself. Certainly all ideas of which the Adept is capable at present are comprised in the nature of his Angel. But human stars grow. The Angel also grows. Lee Liber A’ash, verse 16.

28. The red three-angled heart hath been set up in Thy shrine; for the priests despised equally the shrine and the god.

29. Yet all the while Thou wast hidden therein, as the Lord of Silence is hidden in the buds of the lotus.

28-29. These verses are especially obscure, and must to a certain extent so remain. For they contain an allusion to the most secret and critical issue of the Magical career of TO MEGA OHPION. “The red three-angled heart” is the peculiar symbol of Ra-Hoor-Khuit; and the Prophet objected to accepting the Book of the Law, which proclaims Him, as being incompatible with his Oath to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel. Not until nineteen years later did he fully realize that the Holy Guardian Angel was concealed in this symbol Ra-Hoor-Khuit. The “priests” seem here to represent the Secret Chiefs of the A A who executed their purpose of establishing the Law by means of TO MEGA OHPION in complete disregard of his personal ideas of what his Work (Shrine”) and the object of his adoration (“god”) might be. The metaphor at the end of verse 29 reminds us that the lotus (Isis-Nature) conceals beneath it outward semblance, the secret perfections of the Child.

30. Thou art Sebek the crocodile against Asar; thou art Mati, the Slayer in the Deep. Thou art Typhon, the Wrath of the Elements, O Thou who transcendest the Forces in their Concourse and Cohesion, in their Death and their Disruption. Thou art Python, the terrible serpent about the end of all things!

The Holy Guardian Angel is now further identified not only with cognate symbols like Ra-Hoor-Khuit, but with ostensibly hostile glyphs. He is to be found in all phenomena soever.

Else the Oath of the Master of the Temple would be a mockery.

31. I turned me about thrice in every way; and always I came at the last unto Thee.

31-32. In whatever direction the Adept chooses to move, he must come eventually to his Angel. All that he sees is but a veil upon His Face.

32. Many things I beheld mediate and immediate; but, beholding them no more, I beheld Thee.

33. Come thou, O beloved One, O Lord God of the Universe, O Vast One, O Minute One! I am Thy beloved.

33-36. This passage, purely lyrical, requires no special comment. It asserts the ultimate identity of all Ideas with the Angel, including himself, whom he recognizes as united with Him in the triune relation of Father, Ruler, and Bride-groom, the source of his Being, the determinant of his Will, and the inspiration of his Joy and his Fertility.

No passage of a Holy Book of Θελημα is “purely lyrical”. Lord God the Universe: Heru-ra-ha. Vast One: Nuit. Minute One: Hadit. The Angel, therefore, exists in all these. Comprehends all these. Is all these.

34. All day I sing of Thy delight; all night I delight in Thy song.

This refers to a very high grade of Initiation, which very few Adepts are as yet capable of keeping permanently in manifestation while in the body of flesh.

35. There is no other day or night than this.

36. Thou art beyond the day and the night; I am Thyself, O my Maker, my Master, my Mate!

37. I am like the little red dog that sitteth upon the knees of the Unknown.

The dog is the base animal nature — “red” the symbol of its energy, sensibility, and power to love. It is helpless (on the knees of) the surrounding Mystery of Existence (the Unknown) but it remains still and trusts.

Actually, since it sits on the knees of the Unknown, it is not helpless, but protected. The “Unknown” is the statue of the Unknown God, which both the Greeks and the Egyptians held as symbol of the Infinite. He is, of course, Hadit. Cf. AL II.4.

38. Thou hast brought me into great delight. Thou hast given me of Thy flesh to eat and of Thy blood for an offering of intoxication.

The Angel replaces this attitude by full satisfaction and nourishment. It is in Him that the Adept lives, and His life that intoxicates him.

This is of course related to Chrisitan symbolism, but this symbolism much precedes Christianity-see The Golden Bough of Sir James Frazer, either the full or the condensed edition authorized by the author.

Actually, the relationship Angel-Adept-Scribe is one of symbiosis with full exchange of energy between the parts.

39. Thou hast fastened the fangs of Eternity in my soul, and the Poison of the Infinite hath consumed me utterly.

The enemy Time has been devoured, and the limited Ego dissolved in Infinity.

The reverse of the coin from verse 38 emphasizing the intercourse of the parts.

40. I am become like a luscious devil of Italy; a fair strong woman with worn cheeks, eaten out with hunger for kisses. She hath played the harlot in divers palaces; she hath given her body to the beasts.

The reference is to the Marquise de Brinvilliers; she represents the Nephesch or animal Soul. This Soul has tried to satisfy its passions in various strange ways.

Serious students should meditate deeply on the way Perdurabo’s memory of this incarnation is assumed into the Ecstasy of Tiphereth. Cf. LXV II.34 and 54 and the Commentaries thereon.

41. She hath slain her kinsfolk with strong venom of toads; she hath been scourged with many rods.

Hatred for other souls — pain of receiving truths.

42. She hath been broken in pieces upon the Wheel; the hands of the hangman have bound her unto it.

This ends in her unity being destroyed by Change. She has been bound to the cycle of Samsara by the Minister of Justice.

43. The fountains of water have been loosed upon her; she hath struggled with exceeding torment.

Her solidity can no longer resist the action of Purity; her complexes are invaded by the Universal Solvent. Her resistance is extreme torment.

44. She hath burst in sunder with the weight of the waters; she hath sunk into the awful Sea.

Finally it breaks up her coherence, and her sense of self crumbles and dissolves in the boundless Ocean of Love.

Thelemic Love-love under will. This is, of course, the Abomination of Desolation to the profane. That is why it is ‘awful’. This Ocean is the Sea of Binah.

45. So am I, O Adonai, my lord, and such are the waters of Thine intolerable Essence.

45-46. The text confirms this interpretation of Initiation as equivalent to extended psychoanalysis.

46. So am I, O Adonai, my beloved, and Thou hast burst me utterly in sunder.

Again A.C.’s modesty carries away with him. Not psychoanalysis; parapsychoanalysis, maybe, since faculties of man of which psychoanalysts do not even begin to be awre are involved in the process. Certainly, however, the analogy holds. But it is merely an analogy, else analysts will start advertising Initiation as the result of twenty or thirty years of analysis at a hundred dollars an hour!

There are three fundamental problems with psychoanalysis. First, it touches only the lower levels of kama and manas, and is totally unaware of the higher faculties. The only attempt we know of by a psychologist to study those faculties is Varieties of Religious Experience by William James. It is deplorable he was not taken up by someone else.

Second, Freud, although a genius, unfortunately did not undergo analysis-how could he, poor fellow? Pioneers always suffer from this handicap. He never perceived that his definition of the libido as immoral resulted from his early up-bringing in a Judeo-Christist society. His entire theory of psychoanalysis is vitiated by the dogma of Original Sin. Marx sufferd from the same hang-up. Rare indeed is the Jew who doesn’t. (Perhaps you can’t be a Jew if you don’t.)

Third, either because of a misinterpretation of the application of statistics to behaviorism, or because of a marxist approach to the concept of normality, modern psychoanalysis does not try to integrate the individual within himself, but rather to adapt him to society. If the peg is square or in zigzag, chip away until it can fit the round hole-or vice-versa. A beautiful new term is indeed dancing the rounds of the intelligentsiz: sociopathy, that is, the condition of being incapable of adaptation to the status quo. The sheep consider it a disease. The opinion of the goats has not been asked. After all, they are the villains of the piece.

47. I am shed out like spilt blood upon the mountains; the Ravens of Dispersion have borne me utterly away.

The life of the Ego is dispersed over all salient ideas. The ravens are the birds of Netzach the sphere of Venus, i.e., the life of the Adept is carried away aloft by Universal Love.

Note Dispersion=333, which is a number of Binah, and note that the Guaridan of the Abyss is BABALON, who is a form of Venus (Her Star is seven-pointed, among other things). Cf. Liber CLVI.4-6.

48. Therefore is the seal unloosed, that guarded the Eighth abyss; therefore is the vast sea as a veil; therefore is there a rending asunder of all things.

This process leads to the full crossing of the Abyss - for which see Liber 418 and Liber VII.

49. Yea, also verily Thou art the cool still water of the wizard fount. I have bathed in Thee, and lost me in Thy stillness.

50. That which went in as a brave boy of beautiful limbs cometh forth as a maiden, as a little child for perfection.

49-50. The above ideas are here repeated in another symbol. The “fount” is Salmacis (A nymph who lived in a fountain of the same name in Caria. She loved Hermaphroditus, who rejected her. He then bathed in her fountain. She seized him, praying that they might never be separated, and their bodies fused into that of a hermaphrodte. Traditionally, any man who bathes in the fountain in Caria becomes effminate.). The positive Individuality becomes the Universal and perfect Virgin of the World. See again Liber 418.

Also Liber VII I.49 The process of rendering asunder changes the formula of the Ego into the Formula of the Femal, and then into the Rejoicing Mother. The “babe” is of course the Babe of the Abyss, and also, of course, a form of Heru-ra-ha: Ra-Hoor-Khu. It will grow into a Master of the Temple, fed by the ‘Mother’, that is, the old complex of energies which has been, so to speak, “raped” by th Lord of Hell. There is an analogy here with the wasp that paralyzes a spider and leaves it to feed its larvae with its living flesh; but in this case the larvae are children of the wasp with the spider. Hence the Angel is the Vampire that comes forth only at night (the Night of Pan) to such the blood of human beings. All symbols, both the most sublime and the most foul, have their reverse side. Indeed, without showing both sides of the coin, they can not be true above the Abyss. Thus we saw, in vv. 4-20, how the old serpent, the source of all evil, is in truth a form of the Zodiac, the girdle of our lady Nuit.

51. O Thou light and delight, ravish me away into the milky ocean of the stars!

52. O Thou Son of a light-transcending mother, blessed be Thy name, and the Name of Thy Name, throughout the ages!

51-52. A lyrical outburst on this theme. Note Nuit, and the new True Self born of Her, not the old False Ego which is annihilated.

Of course the dissolution of the complex of energies that formed the old ego results in an identification of the entire being of the Adept with Nuit: See AL I.27-30, 58, 61; AL II.21, 44, 62, 72; AL III 43-45. The "kisses of the stars" are the impact of the directional energy of the True Will of those who already crossed the Abyss; the buffeting upon the neutrally floating Smooth Point creates a Resultant falling toward the Infinite; this Resultant is the True Will of the new Magister, who shall be reflected below the Abyss as a Morning Star or an Evening Star

(The above explanation is an attempt to put into astronomical language some idea what happens at the birth of the Babe of the Abyss; astronomical language being closest to pure mathematics, which the crown of the Manas, that is, the brain cell group that best represents the Ahamkara of the Initiate. The wise reader will understand the analogy must not be carried too far. But pure mathematics, is, in our opinion, the faculty most likely to bridge the gap between Daath and Binah in the future evolution of mankind. We are speaking, of course, or intellectual faculties.)

Thus the True Will is, at the same time, the expression of the position of the individual star in the cosmos. Free Will and Necessity are thus One - nay, are None, as the next verses show.

53. Behold! I am a butterfly at the Source of Creation; let me die before the hour, falling dead into thine infinite stream!

The reference is to Atu XVII. The butterfly is the Neschamah (pure Ψυχη). Its nature is that of a being separated momentarily and painlessly from Nuit.

The butterfly was chosen as a symbol of Initiatic Rebirth because it is a beautiful winged being that emerges from an ugly cocoon. Also it feeds upon the nectar of flowers (which are symbols analogous to the stars), is totally harmless and looks like a moving jewel.

54. Also the stream of the stars floweth ever majestical unto the Abode; bear me away upon the Bosom of Nuit!

The stream of souls (stars) flows ever toward Nuit; i.e., each man and woman has the same True Will — to regain its original Mother.

She is the Infinite, into which all stars are falling. Our Destination is the same.

This is also the river of Amrit spoken of in LXV I.33-40. The Boat of mother-of-pearl, being a female symbol, becomes now clear. Cf. LXV III.47-50.

55. This is the world of the waters of Maim; this is the bitter water that becometh sweet. Thou art beautiful and bitter, O golden one, O my Lord Adonai, O thou Abyss of Sapphire!

The above is declared to be a Mystery of the Atu XII. The “drowning” of the Adept transforms the Trance of Sorrow into that of Love. The Angel is seen as a positive symbol of this “Great Sea.”

56. I follow Thee, and the waters of Death fight strenuously against me. I pass unto the Waters beyond Death and beyond Life.

By His Knowledge and Conversation this transmutation is accomplished.

Nay, not transmutation: transcendence. The waters (notice lower case) of Death and the waters of Life hold sway below the Abyss. The Waters beyond this duality are the Waters of the Great Sea.

The Path of Initiation has to fight the natural inertia of the flesh and the entire complex of energies related to animal life, passive reaction to environment, in short, everything that makes of man merely that creature that Olaf Stapledon first called “homo saps” in his brilliant and prophetic novel, Odd John. This passive resistance (it is purely automatic) seems to become active and malignant as the Aspirant progresses. No mater where he turns, he sees a malignant corrupt face mocking him. He seemeth there is an actively malicious, fiendishly subtle Enemy ready to pounce on him at every corner. As it is written: “Thou shalt be vexed by dispersion.”

In truth, it is his own effort to swim faster than his fellows that creates ripples in the tide. Were he older and more skilled, he could follow the way of the Tao, and swim fast without making ripples; but Cf. LXV II.62.

57. How shall I answer the foolish man? In no way shall he come to the Identity of Thee!

57-59. The “foolish man” is the natural man, the uninitiate. “Foolish” is empty, vain full of wind (Air = א = The Fool). He is contrasted with the “Great Fool” Atu 0, Alelph, who is the first path from Kether.

(Cf. AL I.11, 31, 45, 48 and the Commentaries thereon.)

Hoor-paar-kraat or Harpocrates, the “Babe in the Egg of Blue,” is not merely the God of silence in a conventional sense. He represents the Higher Self, the Holy Guardian Angel. The connection is with the symbolism of the Dwarf in Mythology. He contains everything in Himself, but is unmanifested. See CCXX II.8. See Commentary to CCXX I.7

This man cannot be brought to perfection, for he is composed of Qliphoth or excrement. His emancipation is from just such parts of his being; they are not of his essence.

This is not quite correct. There is no ‘emancipation’ involved: the essence is incorrputed and incorruptible. But the Path of Initiation consists in using the qliphotic material of which common man is composed to create a “scribe”, that is, an Initiate. It would be more correct then to say that this man cannot be brought to perfection in his present state, which is but the materia prima of the Work. And he will not undergo the painful transmutations necessary to produce the Quintessentce-the Fifth element, Akasha-the Pentagram, or the Crucified God, or the Hanged Man-unless it be his True Will. And as we already know, this True Will is a function of Two, One, None, and All. He not only must call himself to initiation, he must also be chosen by Her, called by Her. For unless Adonai build the house, they labor in vain who build it. And so forth. This truth is overshadowed or explained in all systems. What must be understood above all is that from the point of view of the Supernals THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. A dog must bark, the husbandman must toil, the Adept must “save”. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

58. But I am the Fool that heedeth not the Play of the Magician. Me doth the Woman of the Mysteries instruct in vain; I have burst the bonds of Love and of Power and of Worship.

The Adept identifies himself with this Pure Fool. He is indifferent to the Illusion of Phenomenal existence caused by the Magician (Pekht, Extension, Atu I, Beth, 2, ;Mercury Mayan). The woman of the Mysteries (Isis, Atu II, Gimel, 3, Luna) does not spoil his purity with her phantastic reflections of Truth. He is no more at the mercy of the “The Empress” (Atu III, Daleth, 4, Venus), “The Emperor” ( Atu IV, Tzaddi, 90, Aries) and the “The Hierophant” (Atu V, Vau, 6, Taurus). That is, neither the subtle distinctions (I, II) of Truth nor their gross images (III, IV, V) injure his perfection of Zero.

Actually, it is not correct to call Daleth a “gross image” of Truth: it is entriely above the Abyss, and should not be confused with Netzach or even with Eros of the Greeks. It is the Emperor and the Hierophant that, crossing the Abyss, necessarily partake of the grossness of Duality. More likely by “Love” is meant Atu VI, The Lovers. Cf. AL I.41, and the Commentaries thereon.

59. Therefore is the Eagle made one with the Man, and the gallows of infamy dance with the fruit of the just.

It follows that the symbols of Royalty and Spirituality are now equivalent to those of plastic life (Aquarius and Scorpio) and vibratory manifestation.

The gallows is found in Atu XII (Mem, 40, Water [Cf verse 55]), and on it is suspended, free from earth, the joyously moving ('dance') form of the extended or manifested man (Atu VIII, Lamed, 30, Libra: the positive or expressed form of Atu 0, (Aleph, 0, Air); (Aleph and Lamed the Key of CCXX).

Again, it seems to us this interpretation is unnecessarily complex. The Eagle (referred to Scorpio) and the Man are the two feminine powers of the Sphinx. Scorpio is referred to BABALON, Aquarius to NUIT (see Liber V). These two are unifed precisely in Daleth, and thus the fruit of the just-the newborn Magister Templi-hangs suspended from the Gallows of Heaven, as a witness and a light to mankind. And he hags upside down, as needs be. He is, of course, the “Saint Peter” ofhte New Testament, holding the keys of heaven and hell. He is also, of course, the true “Pope”, of which the Bishop of Rome has never been more than a pathetic mockery. In the present Aeon, of course, he represents TO MEGA THERION, who is the Christ. The Roman Catholic church kept the letter of the Minor mysteries it inerited from the middle-eastern adepts, if no the spirit. Now it is discarding even that. Which is as it should be. (This is being written AN LXXI, 10 February 1975 e.v.)

60. I have descended, O my darling, into the black shining waters, and I have plucked Thee forth as a black pearl of infinite preciousness.

60-61. (These verses might be read as Strophe and Antistrophe; but before when the Angel speaks, we are told so.) The “black shining waters” are those of the Akasa, the menstruum of manifestation: the “pearl” is the rounded perfection of the Angel, who is thus a tangible symbol of the Formlessness of Nuit. (For “black,” again, see Cap I:18-20.)

61. I have gone down, O my God, into the abyss of the all, and I have found Thee in the midst under the guise of No Thing.

62. But as Thou art the Last, Thou art also the Next, and as the Next do I reveal Thee to the multitude.

Although thus ultimate, the Angel is also in close tough with the Man. This explains the policy of 666, as outlined below.

(Quote China Record, my G.W. )

April 24th [1906 E.V.]. Could I use Aiwas to help me with Augoeides invocation? I should think yes: I ought to use every power I have.

Augoeides fair only; though I invoked all these powers of mine. Yet after, by a strong effort of will, I banished my sore throat and my surroundings, and went up in my Body of Light. Reached a room in which a cruciform table was spread, a naked man being nailed thereto. Many venerable men sat around, feasting on his living flesh and quaffing his hot Blood. These (I was told) were the Adepts, whom I might one day join. This I understood to mean that I should get the power of taking only spiritual nourishment -- but probably it means much more than this. Next I came into an apparently empty hall, of white ivory worked in filigree. A square slim altar was in the midst. I was questioned as to what I would sacrifice on that altar. I offered all save my will to know A which I would only change for its own realization. I now became conscious of god-forms of Egypt sitting, {21} so vast that I could only see to their knees. “Would not knowledge of the gods suffice?” “No!” said I. It was then pointed out to me that I was being critical, even rationalistic, and made to see that A was not necessarily fashioned in my image. I asked pardon for my blindness, and knelt at the altar, placing my hands upon it, right over left. Then one, human, white, self-shining (my idea after all!), came forth and put his hands over mine, saying: “I receive thee into the Order of the --.” I sank back to earth in a cradle of flame.

April 25th. N.B. Yesterday’s vision a real illumination, since it showed me an obvious mistake which I had utterly failed to see. The word in my Kamma-work (in Burma) was “Augoeides,” and the method “Invoking Often.” Therefore a self-glittering One, whether my conscience approves or not, whether my desires fit or not, is to be my guide. I am to “invoke often,” not to criticize.

Consult the China Record, where Perdurabo meditated, after the the fall which did not hurt him, upon the fact that he had had narrow escapes all his life, and therefore was being protected, and therefore must be useful; and he decided to teach men the next step, which he called, to make it quite clear that he had no theological imlications in mind, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

63. They that ever desired Thee shall obtain Thee, even at the End of their Desire.

The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel represents the supreme need, and its attainment coincides with the final destruction of Desire (in the Buddhist sense).

64. Glorious, glorious, glorious art Thou, O my lover supernal, O Self of myself.

65. For I have found Thee alike in the Me and the Thee; there is no difference, O my beautiful, my desirable One! In the One and the Many have I found Thee; yea, I have found Thee.

64-65. The chapter ends with an outburst of lyrical exaltation. AL I.4 “Every number is infinite; there is no difference.”

AL I.22 “Now therefore I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing and any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.”

The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel resolves all thought into the identity of insignificance. He exists equally in the Unity of Ra-Hoor-Khuit and in every detail of phenomenal manifestation.

True, but misses the point. “I have found Thee alike in the Me and the Thee,” that is, upper case M and T, the Supernal Selves involved are identical, are one, nay, are none. Above the Abyss there is no difference; below, there is plenty of difference. But this is not what is meant by the verse, anyway. Things are not Kings, or rather, Kings are special cases of things… Cf. AL I.45, 48, 52 and the Commentaries thereon.

The Many in a sense is Dispersion, and another name for Choronzon, because it is not the All, which, of course, is perfect. Cf. LXV III.30-33.

Chapter IV

This Chapter is attributed to Fire. It deals with the salient rays of Positive Idea, beyond any intuition to apprehend, and with the nature of the Will and the sexual energy, the dynamic shape of the Self.

Being thus actually beyond Understanding, being the Utterance of the Unconscious, it becomes naturally impossible for even the Initiate to apprehend the chapter as it stands. It deals with the Original Unities; and it is for the Master of the Temple (the Adept in Tiphereth cannot understand the Chapter at all) to receive, interpret, bring to birth and conscious expression Their sublime gesture.

It is obvious from the above the 666 has a special preference for the element of fire. This is due to the Nature of the Star, and this is one of the reasons why He was chosen for Magus of an Aeon where Leo is one of the two key signs. His tremendous capacity of organizing intellection is another, since it harmonizes him with Aquarius, the other key sign.

Another Adept might have identified another Chaper more specially with the Unconscious, and produced a different type of work (LXV I.2-10). Nevertheless, since this is the Aeon of Aquarius-Leo, his bias makes His words even more useful to us. In a sense, this Chapter is an Adumbration of the Aeon in the Human Consciousness of the Initiate.

1. O crystal heart! I the Serpent clasp Thee; I drive home mine head into the central core of Thee, O God my beloved.

1-10. This section is the address of the Angel. He explains His Knowledge and Conversation from His own standpoint. The aspiration towards Him is masculine. At the moment of achievement it is replaced by passivity as explained in previous chapters. The aspiration has its parallel in the will of the Angel to communicate. But this will is superficially of a different character. Its nature is now explained.

1. He calls the Adept “Crystal heart” implying that he is a concentration of light, energy, love, lucidity, and purity. It is these qualities in the Adept with which he communicates. This is the object of the preparation. The Adept must present this image perfectly before the Knowledge and Conversation can operate. That is, purification and consecration must precede invocation. It is extremely difficult even for a Master of the Temple even after years of contemplation to get it firmly into his consciousness that his material part is not he at all any more than any other collection of phenomena. The Angel describes Himself as the serpent. The serpent is, of course the symbol of wisdom, immortality, royalty, and other similar qualities. The Angel not only winds himself about the heart of the Adept but drives His head into the centre. He addresses the Adept as “God my beloved” obviously any member of so high an order of being has long assimilated the truth of Pantheism.

The Angel identifies Himself with Kundalini, that is, with the vital-fiery-spiritual force of the linga-sharira, and activates this force to the level at which Hadit becomes manifest in His charge: “I drive home mine head into the central core of Thee”. It is again that phenomenon of resonance of which we have spoken before. The serious student will remember, of course, that Kundalini is a female force to the Hindus. Nu and Hu are complemental and exist in each other.

2. Even as on the resounding wind-swept heights of Mitylene some god-like woman casts aside the lyre, and with her locks aflame as an aureole, plunges into the wet heart of the creation, so I, O Lord my God!

The reference is to Sappho who was in love with the Sun, and threw herself into the sea to attain him. She is here the symbol of the Angel as represented by the Path of Gimel where is “The High Priestess.” This Path connects Macroprosopus (Kether) and Microprospus (Tiphereth), the supreme divinity and its human manifestation. The Sun is attributed to Tiphereth and so symbolizes the Adept. The Angel thinks of Himself as “plunging into the wet heart of the Creation,” i.e., the reflection in matter of the True Self of the Adept whom He loves.

3. There is a beauty unspeakable in this heart of corruption, where the flowers are aflame.

The Angel finds beauty in “this heart of corruption” by which he means the life of mutability. “The flowers are aflame.” Phenomena blossom and enkindle, i.e., touch.

4. Ah me! but the thirst of Thy joy parches up this throat, so that I cannot sing.

The intensity of the passion of the Angel is so great that He cannot express it even in music.

5. I will make me a little boat of my tongue, and explore the unknown rivers. It may be that the everlasting salt may turn to sweetness, and that my life may be no longer athirst.

The boat is here the symbol of consciousness, as in II:7-16. The tongue is the Logos of the Angel, and the unknown rivers new spheres of thought. The everlasting salt is the sorrow which tinctures the great sea of Binah, and the hopes by the above method to transcend the Trance of Sorrow in reference to all these possibilities.

Of course the Angel, as such, has already transcended such a simple Trance as that of Sorrow. But as here He identifies Himself with the Adept in love, He partakes of the sitation of the Beloved, as all true lovers do. For this motive, if no other, love must be under will, else we trun from our way, or turn someone else from his or hers. The exception to this rule is a lower form of being, which can only benefit by our love, be this expressed sexually, or in a relationship of master and pet, or gastronomincally. This, by the way, is the triple relation Angel-Adept. It parallels very well, on a much higher plane of course, the relation man-dog, or the rleation man-female animal (or vice-versa), or the relation obese citizen-fried chicken. Or the relation Magician-elemental spirits, and a few other Magickal relationships with subtler, yet less evolved, forms of being.

Here, full identification with the problems of the Adept’s instrument.

6. O ye that drink of the brine of your desire, ye are nigh to madness! Your torture increaseth as ye drink, yet still ye drink. Come up through the creeks to the fresh water; I shall be waiting for you with my kisses.

He is reminded of the parallel but contrary custom of men to seek satisfaction in the object of desire. Water is a symbol of pleasure, and desire is impregnated with sorrow. To act in this way maddens the deluded race of men. He bids them “Come up through the creeks,” i.e., the narrow passages of thought, the concentrated currents of thought which lead to pure pleasure — “the fresh water.” When men succeed in travelling by means of controlled will to true pure pleasure they find him waiting to administer the Sacrament.

Creeks means very small streams of water, hence not thought is meant here, but clean remifications of desire, which come from the fresh water, and taken counter-current-‘come up through the creks’-lead unto it. Let those who practice, or rather try to practice, sexaul magick ponder very deeply on this verse.

A.C.-not V.V.V.V.V.!-had a prejudice against desire, due to his early Buddhistic leanings and the influence of Allan Bennett. Hence the immediate identification with ‘narrow passages of thought’, denying that desire itself could lead to the pure water, the fresh water. This ‘fresh water’ is, of course, that ‘fountain of living water’ that Christists spoke so much, and did so little, about.

7. As the bezoar-stone that is found in the belly of the cow, so is my lover among lovers.

7-8. The bezoar-stone is a ball composed chiefly of hairs which represent closely-woven forces. He compares the Adept to this stone seeing him as a complex of diverse energies. The limbs of the Adept are the instruments of his activity. The Angel invites him to repose with Him in the orchard, i.e., in the place where natural processes have culminated in fructifying. The cool grass seems to be a symbol of vegetative life, and the Angel proposes to use this evergreen freshness of Nature as the field for rejoicing and nourishment. He calls to the slaves, that is, to the instruments of action, controlled any put to use to bring wine, i.e., to furnish the means of ecstasy, for He wishes the Adept to be enkindled with rapture and manifest its glow in his face, i.e., his outer consciousness.

This is related with ‘coming up through the creeks to the fresh water’: it describes the results-or some of the reults-of having done so. The image of the ‘bezoar-stone’ is extremely important to all those who desire to reach Adeptship. For, of course, the Adept is this: a comlex of energy-fluxes integreated and harmonized around a central core. (The analogy with the “atom” so-called is obvious.)

8. O honey boy! Bring me Thy cool limbs hither! Let us sit awhile in the orchard, until the sun go down! Let us feast on the cool grass! Bring wine, ye slaves, that the cheeks of my boy may flush red.

‘Honey boy’ is a symbol equivalent to that of ‘bezoar-stone’, or rather, they complement each other closely. Serious students are referred to BOOK FOUR, Part III, page 182, from the thrid paragraph to the end of the section.

9. In the garden of immortal kisses, O thou brilliant One, shine forth! Make Thy mouth an opium-poppy, that one kiss is the key to the infinite sleep and lucid, the sleep of Shi-loh-am.

A garden usually symbolizes a place of cultivated beauty; Oriental poets use it to express a collection of poems or wise sayings. The immortal kisses are the tokens of the operation of “love under will” which is perpetual. The Angel calls upon the Adept to display his brilliance as if the Knowledge and Conversation were a transcendental sacrament beyond that implied in all acts. The opium poppy is a symbol of peace, exaltation, and delight, the giver of sleep, by which is meant the silencing of all possible distractions. The mouth of the Adept, the organ by which he is nourished, expresses his thoughts, and symbolizes his passions; by the kiss of this mouth is meant its surrender to the Angel, the act of marriage, and this is the key to the infinite sleep and lucid. Sleep has been explained above. It is infinite, being freed from the limitations of condition, and lucid as being characterized by pure vision.

Shi-loh-am: the word means peace.

ש = Fire,
♎ = ל
מ = Water :
✡.

People are so accustomed to read about occultism, and to find the most preposterous claims turn to nothing in face of the behavior or the ineffectualness of the writers on “great mysteries” and “transcendental methods” and “illuminated avatars” that they tend to discount everyting. And they do well. Let it be stated then that nothing the A A writes about is illusion: everyting can be tested by yourself, and you can be your own witness. This writer has experienced the Knowledge and Conversation of his Angel; this writer has experienced the Sleep of Shi-loh-am; this writer has crossed the Abyss and this writer has beome a Magister Templi following the discipline and the rules ofhte A A. There is not a word in “One Star in Sight” (BOOK FOUR, Part III, pp. 229-244), the Manifesto of the A A, which is a lie or an exaggeration: Our method is that of Science, and Our experiments can be verified by those brave enough, persistent enough, and sincere enough to want to test them and Us.

10. In my sleep I beheld the Universe like a clear crystal without one speck.

The Angel explains that (in the reposeful ecstasy of love, I might even say in the orgasm of love, the reference is to the particular Samadhi of the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel) in his “sleep” he obtained the vision of the Universe as a continuous and immaculate phenomenon. This is contrasted implicitly with the effect of the same act on the Adept, to whom it simply means union with Godhead. The Angel has found perfection in his own Adept: this completes Perfection.

11. There are purse-proud penniless ones that stand at the door of the tavern and prate of their feats of wine-bibbing.

11-14. The Adept now speaks, or rather, the Master of the Temple speaks.

11. The tavern is the temple of spiritual intoxication. Without it are the Black Brothers boasting of their own attainments.

The expression “black brothers” is, unfortunately, very misleading. It is used by us because there is simply no word extant to describe the parapsychological state of a person who undergoes the particular symdrome so badly described by that name. (There exists the Black School of Magick, which has nothing to do with these “black brothers”.) They are also sometimes called “brothers of the left-hand path”, which is even more misleading. “Brothers of the left-hand path” were the Tantrists, who used women in their mystical rites, activating the left-hand path of the spinal column. They were piously decried in Tibet and India by “brothers of the right-hand path”, that is, those who followed the path of pederasty (pretending, like Roman priests and monks and nuns, to abstain) in their rites. De gustibus non est disputandum, but unfortunately the pedants will dispute anyway. (Cf. AL I.57.)

Readers should therfore avoid attaching any idea of racial slur (the Black School of Magick is connected with the racial strain of the same color, but no the “black brothers”, who can be of any skin color, and most of the time are white) or of mystical method to the idea of the “black brothers”. It is to be hoped that during this Aeon of Horus, with the increase of awareness, a clinical name will be found for this parapsychopathological condition that will not evoke false associations to mind. Acutally, the blackest are the shiniest! Cf. LXV I.18-22 and the Commentaries thereon.

12. There are purse-proud penniless ones that stand at the door of the tavern and revile the guests.

They are purse-proud, i.e., mean and selfish, yet penniless, i.e., their attainments are worthless. They also revile those who have attained the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel: the Black Brother for all his arrogance is aware like Klingsor of his real condition, and he therefore blasphemes the White Lodge.

A.C. considered the “Black Lodge” simply a corruption fo the White School of Magick. We are inclined to make the membership a little more extensive than that, but each Adept must decide on this question by his or her own experience.

13. The guests dally upon couches of mother-of-pearl in the garden; the noise of the foolish men is hidden from them.

The conches symbolize repose. The mother-of-pearl the opalescence of phenomena, when observed by the Initiate. (Compare the symbolism of the Rainbow.) Note that they are in the garden, not the tavern. This may mean that they have passed beyond the stage where the act is unique with one such as described in vv. 8-9. The foolish man: see II:37. Noise is a symbol of distraction and lack of harmony. It is “hidden from them” — a stronger phrase than “unheard by them.”

14. Only the inn-keeper feareth lest the favour of the king be withdrawn from him.

The innkeeper is the Guardian of the Mysteries, and the king the Authority by which men’s lives are governed. It is his business to protect the guests from the arrogance of the Black Brothers, but also to prevent their malice from making the sacrament unlawful. (Levi has a passage on this point. He says that when the arcanum was divulged in the time of the French Revolution it became impossible to put it into practice. The adepts consequently quarreled among themselves and chaos resulted. We must not suppose that this is a mere matter of the vow of secrecy. Nor does it imply that the publication of the means of attainment may lead to disaster. It is the fourth power of the Sphinx which was somehow lost.) It seems strange that the Magister in the midst of his rapture with the allocution of his Angel yet ringing in his ears should find nothing less incongruous in reply. The difficulty is easily explained. For one thing his ecstasy is ineffable. For another, it is perfect, so that he cannot possibly speak about it. Thirdly, he is aware that part of the price of his attainment is his responsibility as Guardian of the Mysteries. He therefore calls the attention of his Angel to what I may describe as the political situation.

On the question of Levi, and the vow of secrecy, and the revelation of arcana: true arcana cannot be divulged, because perception of them depends on living with them, experiencing them, their problems, their technicalities, the success and failure in thei application, which comes only with long practice. See LXV V.48-57. The old O.T.O. made a great hullabaloo over the simple fact of sexual magick, known all over the Far East for centuries, and capitalized on it in the ignorant West. When Aleister Crowley discovered the “Secret” by his own genius (and his Magickal Memory) and published it openly (as true scientists do about their discoveries), the Outer Head of the O.T.O. came running in from Germany and conned him into taking the O.T.O. “vow of secrecy”. Crowley, who when young could not resist a title, fell for it. When he repented, years later, he was already bound. It became necessary therefore to reorganize the O.T.O. according to Thelemic principles. In order that this be done, rituals and “secrets” have been openly published by instruments of the “black brothers”, who think, very naively as usual, that they are “destroying” the Order. Everybody with the slightest degree of intelligence and a modicum of scholarship can now perceive whtat the “secret of the IX° Degree” was, and some are stupid enough (one of them even likes to pass himself for the Outer Head, having been expelled from the Sanctuary for indiscipline many years ago!) to believe they know the “scret of the XI° Degree”. In point of fact, these indiviuals who try the “secret” in practice are not, as a rule, even capable of “drinking damnation unto themselves”. It is not enough to know that when you pull the trigger a gun shoots; it is still necessary to make sure that the gun is in good repair, properly loaded, and to know here, when, and how to aim.

What happened at the time of the French Revolution was that the theory of the “arcanum” (whatever this arcanum was at the time) was openly given, but the practice of the arcanum in the lower levels became clogged by the telepathic interference of a mob of would-be adepts clamoring for this or that gewgaw that they mistook for the jewels of the Sanctuary. The Fourth Power of the Sphinx had not been lost, or even diminished, since the Adepts responsible for that Revolution, which was the mother of every nation at present existing on the Eastern Hemisphere, and of many existing in the Western, not only wielded their power, but also worked terribly and skillfully through the nightmare of blood and madness. Cagliostro and “St. Germain”, among others, although “St. Germain”, who is now quite dead, only worked in the preparation, while Cagliostro was chiefly responsible, with his Master “Althotas”, for the conflagration itself.

15. Thus spake the Magister V.V.V.V.V. unto Adonai his God, as they played together in the starlight over against the deep black pool that is in the Holy Place of the Holy House beneath the Altar of the Holiest One.

15-21: The above peculiarity of the previous dialogue is the subject of part of this passage. Generally it discusses the question of the relations between certain powers of Nature.

15: The circumstances of the dialogue are carefully explained. He is the Master of the Temple, V.V.V.V.V., not merely the Adept, who has simply attained union. The Angel is moreover identified specifically with the symbol of Adonai. They are playing together, i.e., in conscious communion; in the starlight, i.e., in the presence of Nuit; and the place of their meeting is the “deep black pool” symbolic of Binah, the sphere of the sorrow of Motherhood, the place of conception and the abodeof Understanding. The holy place is the three first Sephiroth, i.e., above the Abyss. The holy house is the Tree of Life. And the Altar of the holiest one is Kether.

16. But Adonai laughed, and played more languidly.

Adonai replies to the passage, vv. 11-14, by simply changing the rhythm of his music to a more languid measure. In this way he implies that there is no need for haste or anxiety

17. Then the scribe took note, and was glad. But Adonai had no fear of the Magician and his play. For it was Adonai who had taught all his tricks to the Magician.

The scribe who is the conscious human being charged to report these matters understands by this that all is well. The Magician is Atu I, Mayan (see II:58) and the references in Liber 418. The Angel has no fear that the forces of illusion can ever interfere with the Great Work. He is himself Macroprosopus. This phrase needs explanation. Just as a man aspires to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel and attains it, so too does the Angel aspire to the “unity uttermost showed;” for his position is the Path of Gimel. In his attainment he has therefore reached Kether, from which spring not only his own Path Gimel (leading to Tiphereth) but that of Beth (leading to Binah). To understand properly the full nature of Binah we must remember this point. The sorrow connected with the idea of this Sephira is due to the fact that she is the recipient of the original illusion. There is no sorrow in the other current, the Path of Daleth through which her lord communicates his essence.

In this qabalistic explanation there occurs a very subtle confusion between the Angel that is growing, Babe of the Abyss, inside the Adept, and the Holy Guardian Angel itself. The H.G.A. is not in Gimel; Gimel simply represents the path that directly connects Kether to Tiphareth. It is natural that the Angel should there manifest His-Her-Its vibration, quickening the perceptions of the Adept until the latter is able to glow of his own light, but the Angel is equally present in very path of th Tree, in every Sephira, and He-She-It is identified, or rather, identifies himself-herself-itself with the Trinity Heru-ra-ha-Nuit-Hadit right at the beginning of LXV.

The Master of the Temple will, eventually, become a H.G.A. Himself (see The Wake World in KONX OM PAX), but it is he, as a human being, who aspires to the ‘unity uttermost showed’ (Heru-ra-ha). The Angel, being at least an Ipsissimus, is already identical to that Essence in His own Essence, though differing in manifestation. It is useless for us to try to explain more clearly what cannot be expressed clearly through the intellect. We refer readers to AL I.45 and AL I.52 once again.

It must be kept in mind that the Qabalah is an ingenious and to a great extent highly efficient attempt to create a set of symbols capable of transmitting Neschamic information (Buddhi movements) through Ruach (Manas). Its letters and numbers are not things in themselves; we tend to think of them as such because of our long familiarity with their use, but we must avoid this pitfall, which is the pitfall of theology. There perished the overwhelming majority of Jewish qabalists. It is the pit called Because in AL II.27. The materialization of symbols has always been the birth of religions (and consquent fanaticism) and the death of theurgy.

The sorrow connected with the idea of Binah exists only for those who are in the grasp of the ‘old serpent’ of Cap. III 4-20. They lament the loss of desire, but this is animal desire. Binah is described either as an arid desert full of rocks and naked mountains, or as a black sea. Only those who have become truly human dare live there. Cf. LXV V.60-63.

18. And the Magister entered into the play of the Magician. When the Magician laughed he laughed; all as a man should do.

The Magister whose abode is Binah now uses illusion itself as a means of enjoyment. He behaves naturally like a child without fear that there may be some sinister significance in the operations of Nature.

He follows the Way of the Tao, that is, he lives according to AL I.44. To understand this it is necessary to study Liber II and to practice Liber NV.

One word on the Magician. The “black brothers” would like to reach Chokhmah without having to pass through Binah; they would like to wield power without surrendering self. The Magus of the Aeon therefore manifests in the path of Beth in their consciousness and, as it is written, confounds their understanding. This operation is purely automatic. The Magus is exerting his power by doing his Will, that is, vibrating his Word. Should the “black brethren” swim with the tide, the Word would be a beacon to their Annihilation-Binah. By rebelling, they create counter-currents in their own consciousness. They become incapable of spirtual understanding, because their path of Beth vibrates inharmoniously, being turned against the Word of the Magus. Thus does He then send forth Illusion and Falsehood to enslave their souls. It is His curse. He would rather explain things to them kindly, and He does; but they will not hear, and as a result the words are transformed in their consciousness into the image of their own inmost greed-which is also their inmost fear. Thus works the Ahamkara.

The same mechanism works with common human beings everywhere, but not so intensely. To escape the slavery of the Magician it is enough to do your True Will. It is as simple as that. And as difficult!…For the slaves will not; they know not how to will. Cf. VII VII.36-39

19. And Adonai said: Thou art enmeshed in the web of the Magician. This He said subtly, to try him.

To test him the Angel suggests that his enjoyment of illusion is identical with that of the profane.

20. But the Magister gave the sign of the Magistry, and laughed back on Him: O Lord, O beloved, did these fingers relax on Thy curls, or these eyes turn away from Thine eye?

The Magister replies that although apparently enjoying the good things of life (so to speak) he has never for one instant forgotten that he is enjoying the love of his Angel. Neither by action of the fingers which grasp the curls or spiral energies of the Angel, nor by loss of concentration upon the eye (symbol of sight, creative energy, unity, etc. See also “Eye of Horus”) of his lover did he fall from the summit of his Samadhi. The Magister is therefore shown as perfectly initiated: he deliberately embraced the terrible illusion which is the source of all sorrow, and made it part integrally of the Great Work. There being no other direction from which misfortune might touch him, since he is protected by the Guardians of the Abyss from the interference of the Paths of Zayin and Cheth, he is henceforth immune.

This does not mean that the Magister cannot fail; it merely means that he can no longer fail through these faults. Similarly, once a child learns to walk, it cannot fail from walking, and it is safe from the problems of a child that does not know how to walk. This does not mean that the child may not beocme incapable of walking for some reason. But this reason shall be extraneous to its newly acquired faculty of walking.

Impossibility of failure means inevitability of success, and spells tedium. “It is pure chance that rules the Unvierse; therefore, and only therefore, life is good.”

21. And Adonai delighted in him exceedingly.

22. Yea, O my master, thou art the beloved of the Beloved One; the Bennu Bird is set up in Philae not in vain.

The Bennu bird refers to the currents and sub-currents set in motion by the A.·.A.·. every 600 years approximately, that is, twice in the course of each Aeon.

ΨΧ - 1900 Aiwass, TO MEGA OHPION


15-1600 Dee and Kelly, Christian Rosencreutz, Luther, Paracelsus 1490-1541.


1300 Jacobus Burgundus Molensis.


9-1000


6-700 Mohammed.


3-400


0 Apollonius of Tyana.


B.X. 300 Gautama Buddha.


NOTE. Scale of Time — resolved images dilated presentation. Racehorse legs. In a series of m events, none of which suggest n. Cf. glyphs of A. spelling of words, etc. Therefore no gauge of reality. (LXV I:32 seq.) Philae is an island in the Nile, now submerged by industrialism famous for its Temple of Ahathoor. In Liber VII VII:27, the Bennu Bird is identified definitely with the Phoenix-or Set the Wild Ass-through the symbolism of the Wand of the Second Adept in the Ritual of Adeptus Minor of R.R. et A.C.

The text affirms the Mission of TO MEGA OHPION 666 9° = 2 A.·.A.·. as Logos of the Aeon. The speaker seems to be the scribe, that is, the individual Aleister Crowley through whom these energies 666 etc. manifest. He rejoices in the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

The reminder of this chapter concerns in great part the relation of this scribe with the Adept and the Angel who complete and crown his personality. The following verses describe the Equinox of the Gods, and the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. They indicate the effect thereof upon the individual; for this chapter refers to Fire, the God of Tetragrammaton, that is, to the essence of the personality of the man concerned as a man. The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel represents the descent of the element Spirit into the midst of his being, according to the regular formula of the formation of the Pentagram IHShVH from IHVH. The chief difficulty of interpretation lies in the complication introduced by the Equinox of the Gods.

vv. 22-27 describes this Event.

28-29 describes the state of the scribe.

30-32 describes the preparation of the scribe for his Attainment.

33-37 describes the Threshold of his Initiation.

38-41 describes the Initiation itself.

42-44 describes the Understanding thereby given of the necessary relations of Spirit and Matter.

45-53 describes the results of Initiation.

54-56 brings together the Attainment and the Equinox of the Gods.

57-60 answers the question thus propounded.

61-65 a prophecy concerning the future of the individual scribe, the circumstances in which he shall come to the Perfection of his Attainment.

Readers may ask why pay so much attention to Aleister Crowley’s personal attainment? The explanation is in LXV I.33-40 and the Commentaries thereon. What on a certain plane is the Initiation of an Adept on another plane is his effect on mankind. 666 being the Christ of the Aeon of Horus, the importance of his initiation in general becomes evident.

23. I who was the priestess of Ahathoor rejoice in your love. Arise, O Nile-God, and devour the holy place of the Cow of Heaven! Let the milk of the stars be drunk up by Sebek the dweller of Nile!

The scribe recalls his incarnation as a priestess of Ahathoor, goddess of Love and Beauty. He calls upon the forces of the Nile and of Sebek the crocodile that is dweller thereof. They are to put an end to the regimen of the Mother (Aeon of Isis).

This is incorrect. The verse, and the following, indicate the Magickal currents at work in the passage from the last Aeon to the present Aeon, beginning with the recollection of the present situation of Philae (which was imperilled by the Aswan Dam). Readers should take particular account of the position and function of Apep, who only manifests during transitions.

24. Arise, O serpent Apep, Thou art Adonai the beloved one! Thou art my darling and my lord, and Thy poison is sweeter than the kisses of Isis the mother of the Gods!

Apophis replaces Isis.

Not so. The poison or “evil” of the Destructive Force shows more power than all the forces which were supposed beneficent and stable, in particular that which we call the Mother. In the same way Sebek shows himself more powerful that all the “good” gods, in particular Osiris, whose enemy he is. In short, when it is time for a transition, the change is catastrophic, to all appearances; the “evil powers”-which bourgeois mentality throughout the ages always equates with change, and even more so does peasant mentality-suddenly prove themselves more powerful than the “good ones”. All words and signs that “banished” or “restricted” them become inoperant. To the theologic mentality, as to the bourgeois and peasant mentality, this means chaos.

25. For Thou art He! Yea, Thou shalt swallow up Asi and Asar, and the children of Ptah. Thou shalt pour forth a flood of poison to destroy the works of the Magician. Only the Destroyer shall devour Thee; Thou shalt blacken his throat, wherein his spirit abideth. Ah, serpent Apep, but I love Thee!

AIWASS (identified with the Holy Guardian Angel of Aleister Crowley) is to destroy the formulae of Isis and Osiris (Aeon of the Dying God). There is here a reference to the Legend of Shiva who drank up the poison caused by the churning of the “Milk of the Stars” or manifestation of Phenomenal Existence. His throat became black (or indigo blue) as a result. AIWAZ has thus turned Apophis against himself, to make way for the Aeon of Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child. Apophis loved; i.e., vanishes in ecstasy at the caress of AIWAZ the “mighty serpent” of verse 26 (the throat is the seat of the element of Spirit - Akasha dwells in the Visuddhi Cakkram). The meaning is that the formula given by AIWAZ destroys the idea of Destruction as such. What was until now called “Death.” the means of resurrection in the Formula of Osiris IAO, is to be understood henceforth as “love under will.”

That is, as Change (see Little essays on Love). There are several inaccuracies in the above paragraph. The verse identifies Apep with He, the Unknown God, Ra, ofwhom all other gods are merely viceroys throughout the Aeons. (This does not mean that Apep is the Unknown God; it means that this apparently malignant force-Apep was as feared by the Egyptians as the “devil” was feared by the Christists-is also a divine force, also partakes of the Essence of Ra. This is the explanation of its sudden power to defeat all the other gods.) The scribe understands this, and loves Apep, identifying him, righrtly, with his own H.G.A., (Cf. LXV III.30-31) Of all the gods ‘attacked’ by the poison of the “Evil One” only Shiva, the destroyer, shall survive the attack; but his throat shall be ‘blackened’ by the influence of the poison of Apep. This means, of couxrse, that Shiva is one of the influences that will hold sway in the Aeon of Horus (Cf. ‘The Spiritual Name of Aleister Crowley in the Hindu Tradition’, as given in Eight Lectures on Yoga); but the interpretation of the power of thismember of the Trimuti-the Sanatanas-shall be influenced by Our concept of the Element of Spirit, which foolish Brahmins and Yogis know is the original concept of their own Tradition, but which for laziness, or fear, or malice, they have modified in the last few centuries. Cf. LXV I.12-19.

26. My God! Let Thy secret fang pierce to the marrow of the little secret bone that I have kept against the Day of Vengeance of Hoor-Ra. Let Kheph-Ra sound his sharded drone! let the jackals of Day and Night howl in the wilderness of Time! let the Towers of the Universe totter, and the guardians hasten away! For my Lord hath revealed Himself as a mighty serpent, and my heart is the blood of His body.

This Day of Vengeance is the Aeon of Horus — beginning with the Spring Equinox of 1904 E.V. (Note CCXX III:3 and the Avenger.) The “little secret bone” is found in the Phallus of the Bear. (Hebrew דב = 6). This is an anatomical fact. The Bear is symbolic of part of TO MEGA OHPION 666 according to the description given of Him in the Apocalypse:

I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his hands the name of blasphemy.

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

And he opened his mouth and blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues and nations.

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth: and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and all which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here 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 threescore and six. (Rev: Cap: XIII.)

We have copied this piece of nonsense because it is part of the original commentary by A.C.. Nevertheless, we refer students to ‘Liber 418’ for information on the nature of “Revelations” and the worth of its contents, which is minimal. A.C. was so obsessed by this piece of trash that he prepared certain regulations and procedures of the O.T.O. to comply with parts of the prophecies of the lazy, cruel, sly, mad Church Fathers responsible for this idiocy.

We continue with his Commentary.

This bone is consequently the Quintessential Individuality of the Unconscious of Aleister Crowley; he having retained his human personality in order to serve as the Instrument of the Logos of this Aeon. He now demands that the “fang” (Tooth=ש=Spirit) of his Angel shall penetrate to his inmost self.

“He having retained his human personality in order to serve as the Instrument of the Logos ofthis Aeon”: This sort of apology for the existence of self must stop once for all. The Adept whom we may call PERDURABO was born as a man Aleister Crowley on this planet. The purpose of his incarnation was to reach the Grade of Magus. He first reached the Grade of Magister Templi, which he had reached before in previous existences, but never on all planes. Then he reached the Grade of Magus sufficiently perfectly that the consequence of his Initiation was the Passage of the Aeons.

The Logos of the Aeon is that Magickal Being who was incarnated as Aleister Crowley. Human personalities are retained as long as we are regularly incarnated on this planet, the Grade of Ipsissimus being the highest that we can be aware of while so. It is not that we cannot be higher than Ipsissimi while in a body of flesh. It is simly that our physical brain will retain no memory of any experience that we may have above that plane while incarnated. From a practical point of view, from the point of view of material life, this is the same as not being able to have the spiritual experiences corresponding. Also, it does not follow that the Grade of Ipsissimus will still be the last of which we can have conscious incarnated awareness a hundred thousand, or even ten thousand, years from now. Evolution consists in being conscious of more on all planes all the time, and of being able to correlate more planes and more consciousness all the time.

We must stop once for all with that nauseating nastiness of Theosophists and Illumnates of the Master Joe Doe or the Master Kilroy incarnating themselves in poor little me or you out of their infinte mercy for mankind, who deserve their compassion so little. We are the cream of the crop on this planet, and whatever incarnates is Us-and not someone else. There is no God where any human being is.

A.C., knowing the brutishness characteristic of the existing religions, aware of the false humility and utter hypocrisy instilled by them, felt sufficiently apologetical about reaching Godhead to evade the issue. We, heirs of his experience, are not under the same compunction. We refer the reader to LXV V.23-26. Aleister Crowley was not the tool of 666. He was 666 Himself.

And he continues being 666 Himself. Only, now there is no more Aleister Crowley, except that which was assumed into the Highest. And this is the Ascension of which the Christists cackled so much, and about which they did so little in the age of their sickly power.

We continue with A.C.’s Commentary:

Khephra, the Scarabaeus Beetle, is the Sun at midnight. He appears in Atu XVIII (The Moon, referred to Pisces in the Zodiac) at the bottom of the hieroglyph, in a pool (the firmament of the Nadir). Above this is a path leading between two mountains crowned by towers. Beneath the Moon symbolic of glamour and illusion as opposed to the Moon of the Path of Gimel symbolic of Purity, Aspiration, etc., where goes the Holy Guardian Angel. This Path is guarded by two dogs or jackals symbolic of Anubis, guarder of the Threshold (see verse 34). The meaning of the verse is thus that AIWAZ (revealed “as a mighty serpent” — see above) has destroyed the principle of illusion. In particular, the belief of man that he is mortal (Osiris) must yield to the consciousness that he is the Crowned Child (Horus). My “heart” — i.e. the human will and consciousness of Aleister Crowley is identified with the essence of the life of AIWAZ (the blood of His body is used by Him as the physical basis of His manifestation in CCXX).

27. I am like a love-sick courtesan of Corinth. I have toyed with kings and captains, and made them my slaves. To-day I am the slave of the little asp of death; and who shall loosen our love?

Aleister Crowley has abandoned all his personal ambitions to “die” at the caress of AIWAZ in His function as his Holy Guardian Angel. (The little Microcosmic “little asp” as opposed to the “mighty serpent” who is responsible for the Macrocosmic Event the Equinox of the Gods). The images of the love-sick courtesan and of Cleopatra show the implication of the Nephesch or “animal soul” of Aleister Crowley in this matter.

Yet the entire verse may be connected with the memory of a past incarnation: it was fashionable among women for while, even before Cleopatra, to commit suicide in this manner. It could well then be another instance of a ‘ripple of His hair’.

28. Weary, weary! saith the scribe, who shall lead me to the sight of the Rapture of my master?

The scribe confesses the utter weariness of his human consciousness so far as it is divorced from communion with the rapture of the Adept (“my master”) who controls him.

This explanation is again inadequte and incorrectly termed. The scribe would like to become conscious of the Rapture of that part of his consciousness which function in Binah (not the ‘Adept’ consciousness in Tiphereth), but finds no way of doing so. This and the next verse complement themselves in description of the mental and physical state involved. The weariness is not exactly physical: when you come out of Trance, you find that you are not muscularly tired, nor in need of physical sleep. But while seeking to attune, you are conscious of thisextraordinary feeling of lassitude. It would be easy to speculate as to the cause; perhaps the prana energies of the linga sharira are being assumed into the culmination of nerve-brain cell-subtler energy linkage that makes contact between Neschamah and the Higher Ruach possible (Buddhi and Buddhi-Manas, in Hindu nomenclature). The description is remarkably apt in every detail, and it is to hoped that future experimenters will be able to establish what the problem really is. Perhaps it is akin to overload in an electric circuit. It eventually vanishes, or at least it did so in the case of this writer, who experienced it during his Neophyte initiation. Perhaps the circuitry became strengthened by use?

29. The body is weary and the soul is sore weary and sleep weighs down their eyelids; yet ever abides the sure consciousness of ecstacy, unknown, yet known in that its being is certain. O Lord, be my helper, and bring me to the bliss of the Beloved!

The “soul” means Nephesch. The scribe is supported, even in his conscious weariness, by the certainty of his “Unconscious” that he has come to his Attainment, despite his human conscious forgetfulness of the fact. He appeals to the Angel to flood the human consciousness with the “Bliss of the Beloved,” as heretofore expressed in this Book.

30. I came to the house of the Beloved, and the wine was like fire that flieth with green wings through the world of waters.

This is granted: the human consciousness enters into the pleasure-house of Adeptship. The wine of spiritual rapture which intoxicates him is likened to “fire that flieth” (Shin) “with green wings” (Daleth, Love) “through the world of waters” (Mem). Previous passages should enable the aspirant to understand this symbolism quite thoroughly. שמ is in the Qabalah “The Name” and “Heaven”; שר means “Almighty Power,” and דמ means “Blood.” These symbols thus explain the text in detail.

We call the attention of Alchemists and Brothers of the O.T.O. to the fact that the wine, which is another name for the Elixir, was like fire that ‘flies with green wings’ (moves through the Air, or has the Power of Air, since it flies) through ‘the world of waters’. Thus ‘wine’ is a harmony, or Quintessence, of the Four Elements into a Fifth State (Akasha), obtained through Love (green, the color of Daleth). A.C.’s explanation then becomes clearer and complements this one aptly.

Unless you come to the house of the Beloved,your best efforts to produce the Elixir, or the Wine of the Sabbath, will be in vain. Let this be a warning to the profane, but hlet them also remember that in the Aeon of Horus the catastrophic disasters that followed experimentation along these lines by the uninitiate are at an end. The Forces of the Aeon are harmonic with any serious, or sincere, or naļve, or spontaneous attempt to produce the Elixir.

Only those who would profane it by use against the True Will must beware.

31. I felt the red lips of nature and the black lips of perfection. Like sisters they fondled me their little brother; they decked me out as a bride; they mounted me for Thy bridal chamber.

Nature and perfection are Isis and Nephthys, who prepare Osiris (see Papyrus of Ani and The Book of the Dead generally) for Initiation. The Candidate is here represented as their brother (Aleister Crowley is Vau of IHVH, “the stone,” the human consciousness in Tiphereth — male) but decked out as a bride (for he is symbolically feminine towards his Holy Guardian Angel, the Heart about to meet the Embrace of the Serpent. (See, too, Cap. III:49-50 [Crowley made the following observation in his diary for May 4, 1906: “Indeed, this work of Augoeides requires the Adept to assume the woman’s part: to long for her bridegroom, it may be, and to be ever ready to receive his kiss; but not to pursue openly and to use as it were force. Yet the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence-Matt. 11:12- may it not be, though, that such violence should be used in order to attain that passive state? And of course, to shut out all rivals?”]).

We must make a remark for the benefit of Probationers and would be Probationers. The expression ‘human consciousness in Tiphereth’ is misleading. Tiphereth is the focal point of Hindu Buddhi-Manas; it is totally above human consciousness as this is experienced by the average brain.

The difference between the brain of the Initiate and brain of the profane is that the Initiate’s brain can remember Trance, or even be conscious of it while it is happening. We do not know if careful examination of the brain of an Adept would show any anatomic or physiological difference from a profane’s brain. We suspect that present experiments with so-called ‘aura photography’ initiated by the Russians will eventually provide the first scientific means to identify parapsychological states and their reaction on the brain.

What is important is that Probationers should not confuse Tiphereth-consciousness with brain-memory of Tiphereth states. The central experience of the Grade of Neophyte (and the obtaining of this experience is the sign that the Probationer reached Initiation in the Order) is the Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel. This Vision must not be confused with the Operation described in Liber VIII: it is not the Knowledge and Conversation, but a much more elementary contact. Every single Initiation, or passage through the Grades, provides a renewal of contact with the Angel, each time more intense and more expanded.

If the Neophyte (ex-Probationer) becomes convinced that he (or she) obtained the K. and C., he stops working towards the Grade of zelator, and becomes sure that he is an Adeptus Minor (to say the least!…). He can then become not only very dangerous to those below him, but something of a drag to his colleagues, as well as pathetically ridiculous to those of higher grades than himself, be they A A or not.

The Key to Initiation consists in never to become satisfied with whatever you have achieved up to now, no matter how sublime it may seem to you. Of course, you are occasionally exhausted by an Initiation, and must spend years recharging while you consolidate the ground already reached. But you should not lose sight of Aspiration because of that. As The Wake World makes abundantly clear, you must kiss your Angel again and again. Cf. AL II.69-72. It must also be remarked that A.C.’s attribution of the Atman to Kether is incorrect; Atman is attributed to Chokhmah. The Plane of Consciousness corresponding to Kether is Nirvana, or Nibbana. The Lower Manas corresponds to Netzach, Hod, and has its crown in Tiphereth (Adeptus Minor Within). Buddhi corresponds to Binah, and the Ahamkara to Daath.

The excessive importance attributed to Atman by the Brahmins is an example of that laziness we mentioned a while ago in talking of Neophytes who think they are Adepts, although on a higher plane. Actually, Atman, as understood by most Brahmins, is nothing but a figment of the Ahamkara. Cf. VII IV.50-53

32. They fled away at Thy coming; I was alone before Thee.

The Ego is deprived of its attributes before it can receive the impact of the Holy Guardian Angel. It must be the pure Human Self as an Individual independent of its manifestations as such, the phenomena of its relation with its environment.

This verse can of course be interpreted on other planes. A study of the attributions of Isis and Nephthys is helpful. This remark, or course, in no wise invalidates the above explanation.

33. I trembled at Thy coming, O my God, for Thy messenger was more terrible than the Death-star.

The Ego realizes that the Holy Guardian Angel will annihilate it. It trembles, and this shaking of its identity is the token of its surrender (Compare the ecstasy of fear of Amfortas at the onset of his Healing; and see II:60 and 62 with several similar passages elsewhere. The doctrine is everywhere implicit; but compare also Liber 418, 14th Aethyr, etc.) Also, the first appearance of the Angel is necessarily misunderstood; for while the human Ego exists, it is bound by the conditions of its being; and this implies a certain falsity of apprehension, the root of which is in the very illusion of Separateness which makes the Idea of an Ego possible.

But there are Egoes and Egoes, and Angels and Angels. We cannot generalize too far from known data, which are scanty. Before the A A was reformulated by P. and D.D.S. at the beginning of this centry, the scientific method was not used to investigate and describe religious experience. Whatever descriptions of the Knowledge and Conversation we have, therefore, are either fictional or unintelligible or were simply lost, or destroyed by the Adepts concerned.

In what concerns the present writer, he has always been treated with the utmost patience and gentleness by his Angel. Simultaneously, the Ordeals have been as hard as he could possibly stand. These statements may seem mutually exclusive to the profane; it is unfortunate that this should be so. Perhaps those whose intuition is awake will understand us.

We recall at least two instances of Ordeals which were quite close in conditions to these described here. We must also point out that the verse quite clearly states ‘Thy messenger’. We refer the serious student to LXV II.33-36 and the Commentaries thereon. A messenger may synthesize all the conditions therein described, and other and subtler conditions which can be even more terrible and harder to withstand, some of which are described in the following verses and A.C.’s Commentaries thereon.

34. On the threshold stood the fulminant figure of Evil, the Horror of emptiness, with his ghastly eyes like poisonous wells. He stood, and the chamber was corrupt; the air stank. He was an old and gnarled fish more hideous than the shells of Abaddon.

The “threshold” is before the “door” or “pylon” of Daleth. (Daleth means a door; its attribution is Venus, pure Love, and its Path is from Chokmah to Binah, the base of the Triangle of the Supernals. This “door” is thus in all ways a fit symbol of the entrance to Initiation). The “threshold” is then below the Path of Daleth on the Tree of Life; i.e., it is in the Abyss. The above symbolism refers strictly to the Attainment of Master of the Temple; but its Truth is reflected into the technically correct account of the Initiation of the Dominus Liminis to Adeptus Minor. Here the “door” is the third Reciprocal or Transverse Path (Daleth is the first) Pe which means a mount — the door of the vital organs. Pe is the letter of Atu XVI the “House of God” or “Blasted Tower.” The Hieroglyph represents a Tower — symbolic of the Ego in its Phallic Aspect, yet shut up, i.e., separate. This Tower is smitten by the Lightning Flash of Illumination, the impact of the Holy Guardian Angel and the Flaming Sword of the Energy that proceeds from Kether to Malkuth. Thence are cast forth two figures forming by their attitude the letter ע: these are the twins וח (Horus and Harpocrates) born at the breaking-open of the Womb of the Mother (the second aspect of the Tower as a “spring shut up, a fountain sealed”). The represent in respect of the male aspect of the Tower the spermatozoa (ע is ♑ the sign in which is the Sun at the Winter Solstice, when the New Year begins) emitted when the Phallus is smitten by the ecstasy of the Orgasm (Lightning Flash) and “blasted” by losing its erection.

On the “threshold” the Dominus Liminis is menanced by the Paths ע, ס, נ, the Atus XIII, XIV, XV. (Temperance or Restriction, Death, and the Devil, which issue from Tiphereth the abode of His Angel to ward off the profane of the Outer Order of G.D.

The main difference (in essence) between the formulae of the two Initiations, into the R.R. et A.C. and the S.S., respectively, are that the Adeptus Exemptus is below Daleth altogether, though he has crossed the Second Reciprocal Path Teth on his way to become an Adeptus Exemptus, and has no Path by which he may travel (save Gimel, which leads from Tiphereth to Kether, not from Chesed, to Binah, whither he is bound. This is to ward off the profane of the Inner Order of R.R. et A.C.) while the Dominus Liminis has already traversed the Path of Pe to attain the Grade of Philosophus, and the threshold is within, instead of without, the Pylon.

The significance of this is as follows: -

In crossing the Abyss the aim is to annihilate the Ego and its appurtenances altogether. In Qabalistic symbolism to attain to Zero. The peril is therefore that of identification with any of the products of disingegration. Choronzon, therefore, by which same we signify the idea of Dispersion, has no place within the Supernal Triad. The threshold of initiation, the Abyss, lies wholly without the door Daleth. The completeness of the disintegration, the impotence (ακρατωρ) and idleness (αεργια), is guaranteed by the absence of the love (Daleth) which might otherwise bind together the dissipated events to form a unity (in the 7th Aethyr, Liber 418, we learn that if the Black Brothers were only able to look up to the Goddess of Love (Daleth) above them they might yet attain to Understanding.)

In the Initiation to Adeptus Minor, the conditions are altogether other. The aim is the attainment of unity not negativity, and there is no such perfection in the Sephiroth of the Ruach, Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, which compose the Grades of the Inner Order (R.R. et A.C.) as necessarily excluding Choronzon from the three Grades of the A A. The student is now referred to the Elemental Watch-Towers of Sir Edward Kelly (See The Equinox I:7and8). The four Elemental Tablets (12 ;tm 13) are bound together by the little Tablet of Spirit ( 4 x 5), or, when the Tablets are arranged to show them each as a sub-section of the unity of Tetragrammaton by a black cross containing the letters of this little Tablet of Spirit. The names of evil demons are found notably by taking some imperfect and unbalanced symbol for the Watch-Towers such as a bilateral name from beneath the bar of the Calvary Cross in any of the Lesser Angles — and prefixing the appropriate letter from the Black Cross.

The doctrine implied is that the nature of Spirit is not only represented by Shin, the Holy Spirit, whose descent into the midst of Tetragrammaton sanctifies and illuminates the blind forces of the Elements, but is also soulless matter, dark, formless and void, the mere basis or background for the manifestation of all phenomena indifferently; and this truth is also symbolized by the blackness and undeveloped potentiality of Akasa as explained by the legend of Shiva mentioned in a previous paragraph.

Spirit may therefore be manifested either as the Holy Guardian Angel or as the Evil Persona, the Dweller on the Threshold, portrayed sensationally for trade by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his romance Zanoni. The doctrine is also frequently found in folk-lore, where man is represented as attended by both a good and an evil genius. The horror of the latter is intensified by his function as the alternative to the Holy Guardian Angel.

Now, in the case of Exempt Adept, should he be beaten back fromthe City of the Pyramids by failure to comply perfectly with the formula of “love under will” he remains lost in the Abyss with no future possibility than to identify himself in turn with each incoherent and unintelligible phenomenon that appears in the sensorium of the man, who has been disintegrated as the first to each and every imperfection which claims to be.

Entirely different is the case of the Dominus Liminis whose operation, if unsucessful, may be a simple failure perhaps due to no serious error of his own. Apart from slight discouragement he should be able to try again without disadvantage. Indeed he should have used his failure as a means of instruction. But he may also fail from not having thoroughly assimilated the injunction of the Hieraeus in the ceremony of his initiation into the Grade of Neophyte: “Fear is failure and the forerunner of failure. Be thou therefore without fear! for in the heart of the coward Virtue abideth not!” Similarly, he may have been unable to fulfil the formula of the Hierophant in that ceremony: “Remember that Unbalanced Force is evil. Unbalanced Mercy is but weakness: Unbalanced Severity is but oppression.” Once more the fascination of evil may be no less perilous than the fear. In any case he may expect to be confronted first of all by his Evil Genius (cf., further, the ceremony of Zelator in G.·.D.·. — the appearance of the Angels Samael, Metatron, and Sandalphon). He may fail to abide the onslaught. He may be thrust back from the threshold, and his defeat may be more or less damaging according to circumstances. But his fear may be so great as to induce him to transform it into fascination, or his exhaustion so complete that he isprepared to purchase rest at any price. In either case the result may be that he accepts his Evil Persona as his Guardian Angel.

I should be loth to assert that even so fearful a form of failure is necessarily fatal and final although evidently it must always create a disastrous Karma as involving the assertion fortified by the most solemn oaths and sealed by the most intense ecstasy of the absolute existence of evil, in a sense of the word, actually and ad hoc defined by himself, i.e., he has acquiesced in duality, established an interior conflict in himself, and ceremonially blasphemed and denied the unity of his own True Will. Appalling as is such a catastrophe, it lacks the element of finality since the principles involved do not extend above Tiphereth. He has become a Black Magician no doubt, but this is far indeed from being a Black Brother. It cannot even be said that such an one thereby manifests any tendency to become a Black Brother when the time is ripe; for his union even with the personification of Evil is also an act of love under will, though that will be false and vitiated by every conceivable defect and error. His chief danger is presumably that the intensity of the suffering which results from this may, as in the case of Glyndon in Zanoni, lead him to seek to escape altogether from Magick, to refrain from any act of love for fear lest he stray still farther from his true path. Let him remember the words of my brother: “If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.” Let him resolutely continue in iniquity, invoking the vengeance of the Gods, so that at the end the excess of his love and its transcendence of anguish may bring him back into the way of truth. From the above it should have become clear how it is that the Evil Genius is within the Sanctuary of the Temple of the Rosy Cross whose formula is “love under will,” while Choronzon is excluded alike from that shrine and from the City of the Pyramids whose law, although still “love under will,” understands both those terms as without limit.

But the Evil Genius is a form of Choronzon, implying as it does Duality. It merely seems more consistent and coherent because the Dominus Liminis ahs still not reached that psychological state wherein dissociation of the impressions results from the slightest stimuli. He is working towards Coagula, not towards Solve. Of course, it does not follow that he will have any tendency to become a Black Brohter when confronted with the Abyss. He has made Evil the Image of his Ideal, but provided he achieves coherence, the Faculty above all associated with Tphereth, he will become a Minor Adept. Since his Formula is Love, and since the Evil Genius, though a partial view of the Universe, is nevertheless a projection of the External, he may aspire to the City of the Pyramids just as much as a “Good” Minor Adept. This difficult subject is covered in LXV I.54 and in Liber Tzaddi 33-42.

By the time the “Evil” Dominus Liminis becomes a Minor Adept, his conception of Evil will have expanded to include much that is called “Good”-the more so the better the mans mind may be. Such was the case of Crowley himself, who started by revolting against the “Good” that he saw produce so much misery in the world about him. But the mind of Aleister Crowley was already so ample and deep ins cope that his vision of the Evil Persona was never so partial as to make possible to him to become what we might call a Sorcerer. He invoked Satan, true; but he got not the image of his ego and its appetites, but htat Dark Star which trhoughout the ages has waited for men to ask themselves: “But is there not something more in the Universe?”

The Evil is now described. The language is of course symbolic. At the same time the appearance here given might correspond very closely with the actual expressions of experience.

This, however, only in the case of a Dominus Liminis who had not swerved from the Middle Path: “Good and Evil are one to Him.”

The man who accepted his Evil Genius as his Angel might see a formidable, austere, or powerful Image, ready to help him satisfy his desires and acquire material power over his surroundings and his fellowmen. We refer the serious student to The Sacred magic of Abramelin the Mage, where the wily author mentions, alsmost in passing, that at the beginning of the Operation the operator might see a man of good and benevolent aspect who would pretend to be his Angel and promise him riches, etc. etc. in exchange for adoration. The author goes on to mention damnation of the soul as a result of falling for this promise, if we mistake not. The Abramelin book is, of course, spurious and mostly fiction; calculated, moreover, to awaken sympathy for the Jews at a time when they were, as a religion, persecuted everywhere. The ethical outlook is remarkably modern, and religious tolerance speaks to the intellect rather than the heart of the reader. The Operation itself, however, is possible, and the Magick Squares really have power, and are dangerous to anyone who has not yet achieved the balance of Tiphereth. Cf. Pantanjali on the Siddha and their worthlessness to the real Yogi. The Aspirant is wise to go straight to the Highest; then the powers will be seen in their proper perspective, and he will not make mistakes in their application, but will follow the Thelemic injunction: “So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will.”

Further, we must remark on the concept of ‘vengeance of the Gods’.

First we refer the serious student to AL II.22, particularly the words: “Be strong, o man! Lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this.” And finally we refer him to AL I.52 Perhaps he will undersand now in what circumstances he can expect retaliation. And last, but not least, he is referred to AL III.16. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

We are twice told that he “stood” which is to be contrasted with the activity of “going” of the Holy Guardian Angel (see verses 37 - 41). It is the peculiar token of any God that he should go. For this reason he bears the Ankh or sandal-strap in the Egyptian monuments. This antithesis is connected with the conception of the Black Brothers as shutting themselves up, or resenting change. The thelemic conception of the Universe is dynamic, so that stasis is inevitably the symbol of conflict with Nature. It is the equivalent of Death; for Death being a change, it is an event, i.e., a henomenon of activity of life. This doctrine should be studied very thoroughly in CCXX.

Let the student attend, moreover, to the contrast between the symbols of the Holy Guardian Angel and those of the Evil Genius. The former, (See verses 38 - 41) are positive, active, solid, dynamic; of chariots, horseman, spearmen, the weapons of Jupiter and Pan are tremendously vital in his hands. Per contra the Evil Genius is vague, unreal and inactive. His characteristics are horror and emptiness. His eyes are ghastly, which I take in its strict sense as connected with geist. And this epithet is peculiarly abhorrent since the sense of sight is attributed to Fire, and should be clear-cut and luminous. Such activities as he commands are slow, cozy and vermicular. They resemble wells of poisoned water, i.e. they lurk and receive as little light as possible, whereas the ideal eye should dart forth flame. He causes even the air about him to stagnate and stink. Anatomically he resembles a fish, a cold-blooded inhabitant of the passive element. (Note the fish as the accepted symbol of Jesus). Even so, he is old, slow-moving, while the chief virtue of fish is to be quickly gliding. And he is gnarled, offering unnecessary resistance to his own movement, and increasing its friction. Hideous!

Actually, the eyes of those “dwellers” are quite capable of glowing. Their glow, however, is like the glow of putrefying gases accidentally ignited, it is not a clean flame. And its most noticeable quality is a hatred of poisonous intensity. Fish-the dweller is a composite of shells and demonic influences relating the Aeon of Virgo-Pisces, the dead Aeon of Osiris just past.

Shells or Qliphoth are lifeless excrement; and Abaddon is the destroyer or disperser — the destroyer by dispersion.

Once more, a much lower aspect of Choronzon.

35. He enveloped me with his demon tentacles; yea, the eight fears took hold upon me. His method of combat as distinct from that of the Angel which is to pierce with a spear or smite with a thunderbolt is to envelope with his demoniacal and therefore illusory tentacles. This method is to restrict the Aspirant well knowing that “the word of Sin is restriction.” He succeeds in communicating the “eight fears,” which are connected with the eight heads of the stooping dragon. (See, for this symbolism, “The Temple of Solomon the King,” The Equinox I:1;nd3) They are the restrictions to the Supernal Triad attempted by the seven lower Sephiroth and Daath. Hence the Stooping Dragon is shown on the Tree of Life below the Abyss after the Fall, and on the floor of the Vault of Christian Rosencreutz. In the older symbolism they are the eight Keys of Edom.

36. But I was anointed with the right sweet oil of the Magister; I slipped from the embrace as a stone from the sling of a boy of the woodlands.

The Aspirant is “anointed with the right sweet oil of the Magister.” The Magister pertaining to Binah, this oil may be taken to symbolize his Neschamah or aspiration. See the account of the Holy Oil given in Book 4, Part II. Also the essential property of oil is to diminish friction and increase ease of movement. It is therefore the precisely right reply to this type of attack.

Furthermore, the Aspirant compares himself to a stone, which refers to the cubic stone symbolic of perfect adeptship, being the squared and equilibrated perfection of the spiritual Masonry; it is bounded by six squares which signify protection by Macroprosopus. See also the symbolism of the Stone in the Zohar, a subject far too extensive to make more than this single indication practicable. There is, furthermore, an identification of the Stone with the Sacred Phallus and of the Sun as worshipped in the Temple of Diana at Ephesus and in the word ABRASAX. In our own holy books, see V:6 and 58 of this Book and Liber VII V:2. In this last connection note the proper juxtaposition of stones as symbolic of the Great Work. This is to be found also in The Voice of Silence, where those who have attained build themselves into a wall to protect mankind. See also Liber VII VII:6

This stone is a missile in the “sling of a boy of the woodlands” who may be taken to represent the most youthful and active form of Pan, i.e. the aspirant considers himself as flung forth from the infinite and released from his swathings. (Cf. Liber XVII, VII:3 - 5) that he may perform the Great Work.

37. I was smooth and hard as ivory; the horror gat no hold. Then at the noise of the wind of Thy coming he was dissolved away, and the abyss of the great void was unfolded before me.

The aspirant is smooth; his qualities have been perfectly harmonised. He is hard, having perfected his resistance to extreme pressure. The analogy is with ivory. Ivory is the substance of the tooth, the letter Shin of the Holy Spirit and also of the substance of the skeleton on which his being is being built. The sound Sh moreover represents the power of silence as well as the activity and alertness which accompany the will to manifest oneself through one’s True Will. I here quote from my original notes on the intrinsic meaning of the letter: “S is the serpent-hiss, the sharp breath, teeth bared yet clenched, which is the natural token of alarm, hate, defiance, natural to a man who meets his fellow-berration from legitimate monkeyhood. By it he recognizes his brother, and names him accordingly, when need was. (Later, when alarm had died, we have still “sh!” — Hush! - not a call for Silence, which it breaks, but a claim on the Attention of other men.) In S is this idea of fear and anger, combines these ideas; so the first S-gods were storm-gods. Later, this breath, air moving in men, might be known for a proof that he lived; then this breath-letter, S, might come to mean “life.” For instance, God breathes on Adam to make him a “living soul,” and Elisha raises a boy to life by breathing on him. The Ruach Elohim again is a Breath that broods Chaos. At last we find a Holy Ghost begetting by dint of a breath. And was not Maut the Mother-Vulture impregnated by the wind? Perhaps too the hiss of the rain which fertilizes earth, as even a savage must observe in tropical lands where the result is so swift, may have helped him to the convention that S should mean life. This rain comes from the air which he breathes, though from beyond him; it seems then to him natural to make Zeus or Shu rain-gods and life-gods as well as air-gods, storm-gods, names for the fierce, the fearful anger which at first only meant “an enemy” — his fellow-man!” (Diary, June 1920).

The Evil Genius is accordingly unable to dominate the aspirant. He having proved his virtue is now ready to receive the Holy Guardian Angel. Firstly is the noise of His coming. “For the Lord shall descend from Heaven, with a shout, with the voice ofthe Archangel, and with the trump of God.” “The Lord” is Adonai — which is the Hebrew for ‘my Lord’; and He descends from Heaven, the supernal Eden, the Sahasrara Cakkra in man, with a ‘shout,’ a ‘voice’ and a ‘trump,’ again airy symbols, for it is air that carries sound. These sounds refer to those heard by the Adept at the moment of rapture.” (Book 4, Part II). This by itself is sufficient to destroy the illusion of the Evil Genius. The “abyss of the great void” is unfolded before the aspirant, i.e., all positive phenomena disappear. What remains is the “infinite space” of Nuit. The continuous body of infinite possibilities.

A correction must be made here. It is not the Sahashara that is active in the Initiation of the Adeptus Minor, bu the Visuddhi, ‘home of Akasha’. Phenomena of sound are referred to Akasha, the symbol of which is an ear. The Abyss of course unfolds before the Adept-it is related to the Initiation, which immediatley opens the perspective of the Next Step. Cf. LXV III.47-48. Also, although the Spiritual force comes from Visuddhi, it activates the Anahata. It comes dextro=rotatory, that is, from an “awakened Kundalini”. (Although in these matters the rate of vibration and the plane of vibration are more important than the direction of movement.)

38. Across the waveless sea of eternity Thou didst ride with Thy captains and Thy hosts; with Thy chariots and horsemen and spearmen didst Thou travel through the blue.

“The waveless sea of Eternity” repeats this idea. It is the timeless menstruum of action, unstirred by any vibration, while ready to receive and transmit that which is imposed thereupon by the will. The Holy Guardian Angel approaches rapidly (‘rides’) accompanied by his hosts (Note ; Tzaddi Beth Aleph, an host = 93).

39. Before I saw Thee Thou wast already with me; I was smitten through by Thy marvellous spear.

The arrival of the Angel is too rapid for the perception of the Adept. Cf. II:60 etc. The symbolism of the spear should be studied in the legends of the Crucifixion, of Parzifal, and others. The matter is further elucidated in Bagh-i-Muattar.

40. I was stricken as a bird by the bolt of the thunderer; I was pierced as the thief by the Lord of the Garden.

The Thunderer is Jupiter, here considered as the creative paternal, and warrior Lord of the Air. The bolt is the Swastika, or Disc of Zeus. Its symbolism is ultimately identical with that of the sphere. The bird is the natural symbol of the aspiring soul. Cf. II:39-41. The Swastika has the shape of the letter Aleph whose Temurah is PLA, (see Sepher Sephiroth) by which we mean the instantaneous destruction of the Ego in Samadhi. The second phrase echoes the two former. The Lord of the Garden is Pan or Priapus whom my brother Catullus constantly represents as punishing thieves in his peculiar manner. There is a special symbolism of the thief in which perhaps we find trances of the Legend of the Crucifixion and the ritual of the priest of Nemi but its detailed signification has been to a great extent lost or abandoned.

41. O my Lord, let us sail upon the sea of blood!

Cf. II:15, similar passage. I:33-41 especially verses 33 and 39. Immediately the Adept has attained to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel he loses no time, but goes on the way of his True Will, borne upon the flood of the physical life which he has spilt in order to enjoy the impersonal and effortless life in communion with his Angel.

Let it be understood, however, that the impersonal and effortless life is the Trance state, and when the Adept returns from this to do his True Will he is subject to the normal problems of material life. The planes must not be confused. We remember the case of an Adept who, walking along a city street still in the aftertase of ecstasy, saaw a man in the habit of a roman Catholic priest coming twoards him As everybody knows, Aspirants to the A A are supposed to exorcize people in the vestments of any of the religions cursed in AL III.51-53. The Adept, however, refrained from doing so, accepting, as he thought, this person in its habit as part of the Universal beauty he had just beheld in his Angel. As a result, his aura was blasted by a power so malignant that for five years afterwards the astral wound then produced still gave him trouble in Magickal Operations. He had simply mistaken the Plane of Tiphereth, where he had been, for the plane of matter, where he now was. It took him ten years to understand this.

Let this be a warning to others. Let them also remember that it is advisable to remain in retirement for several days after any Trance of Union, doing simple and routinary work of a temporal kind, to give the mind time to adjust to its newfound parameters, and to give the aura time to become sufficiently sedate not to shock people you may come in contact with. Exceptions to this rule are only Initiates of great experience or who practiced Liber III to perfection.

42. There is a deep taint beneath the ineffable bliss; it is the taint of generation.

Verses 42-44 present a lyrical picture of the Mystery of Evil.

Lyrical it may be; but describes a perception that comes to all of us some time or another during the Path.

42: The bliss of the union of the Adept and his Angel appears to contain a flaw, in that being an operation of change “the taint of generation” it shares the impermanence of all complex phenomena and therefore the liability to sorrow. See Cap. III vv. 21-25.

Actually, the perception involved is deeper than the mere sense of empermanence, and sorrow at this: it is a sense of something that partakes of that filthi of the blind worm of slime from which mankind evolved. You might say that it is the “angel” part of our consciousness lamenting its connection with the beast.

43. Yea, though the flower wave bright in the sunshine, the root is deep in the darkness of earth.

Admits that the most admirable manifestations spring from deep-seated mysteries. Corruption lies at the heart of all things.

44. Praise to thee, O beautiful dark earth, thou art the mother of a million myriads of myriads of flowers.

No attempt is made to contradict the above or to explain it away. The solution comes from looking at the other side of the matter. Corruption itself and all the mysteries of sorrow are to be held matters for rejoicing, since they are the engines whose work results in truth and beauty. Cf. CCXX Cap. I, vv. 29 and 30.

You can’t explain away a fact of life: you can only enlarge your perspective to include it. The tendency to avoid “lower things” is very dangerous. On one side, it stops development; on another, it may produce a habit of living that may lead to “black brotherhood” someday. The Adept to which we referred above refused to accept the “taint of generation” when he saw the Roman priest approaching. As a result, his aura was blasted by the demonic force which that priest represented. He was doubly wrong in not exorcising the priest, anyway, since it is a command that comes from the Lord of the Aeon Himself.

That same Adept, while still a Probationer, on a certain occasion had a gift from the Gods: a perfectly fromed, still warm hawk, met with on a solitary walk. The Probationer had been planning to furnish a Magickal Temple, and he needed a fan. Forthwith he started pulling out the pinions of the dead bird. The last one, however, came out hardly, and with a piece of flesh attached. Disgusted, instead of cleaning up the feather, the Probationer crushed it and threw it away. Then he had “an intimation” and counted the remaining feathers: he had only ten. The eleventh, which would have completed the fan perfectly, he had thrown away. At this moment the perception of the meaning of these verses came to him, although he had not yet read or learned them by heart: the perception that filth is part of life, and that sometimes you must go down into filth to get the pearl of great price. Although he kept the feathers he then had, he never made his fan. Nor did he complete his temple. He had disobeyed the rules of the A A and had learned Liber AL by heart instead of Liber LXV, reasoning that if he msut learn something by heart, he would “start with the highest”. He remained a Probationer for nine years, and it was only after several ordeals that he became sufficiently humble to do his job properly. In three months he psased to Neophyte. While learning LXV by heart (he learned the entire Book) he came to the present passage. The incident of the dead hawk came immediatley to his consciousness. But as we can see from the incident of his Adeptship already mentioned, he still did not entriely learn is lesson. Let us hope he knows better now.

45. Also I beheld my God, and the countenance of Him was a thousandfold brighter than the lightning. Yet in his heart I beheld the slow and dark One, the ancient one, the devourer of His children.

45-53. This passage is the most difficult in the Chapter. It is difficult to consider its verses separately. Yet there seems to be no proper coherence in them, no single orderly idea is their diversity. The solution seems to be in the direction of a realisation that the passage is in the nature of progressive discovery. It resembles the account of a mental journey. One of the keys to it is the sudden shifting of the point of view noted above, vv. 43-44. The contemplation of Beauty leads to the reflection upon the elements of Beauty which we do not recognise as beautiful because our sensorium is not djusted to that stage of existence. Cf. my poem on “Ovariotomy”, where the plastic beauty of woman seems to be destroyed by cutting her up. Yet the beauty reappears in a different form when the cells of which she is composed are examined under the microscope. Let us apply this key to the passage here under consideration.

45. In the first sentence attention is called to the brilliance of the appearance of the Angel. The second sentence recognises that beneath this appearance is a symbol of terror, viz., Saturn, who is here understood by his astrological and legendary attributions. We must be at pains to note that Saturn is the god of generation. This establishes a reference to verse 42. Saturn is called the devourer of his children because he is Time who conceals in oblivion the phenomena he has brought forth from the inane. But there is a further meaning which is that he is not bound by the results of his action. Whatever he does results only in a transitory phenomenon which vanishes automatically as time goes on. Shallow minded people are accustomed to regret impermanence. They fail to realize that if everything that happened remained in existence the burden of facts would soon become intolerable. Nature requires an excretory system or she would soon become clogged with the multiplicity of her own illusions. The progress of the human mind depends upon its power to assimilate the details of any work. They constitute the finished product and appear therein only in a changed form. The rough working must be destroyed. The process is continuous. The art of progress is to compose constantly more complex and more comprehensive synthesis; just as the words of a poem surrender their intrinsic meaning in order to compose the unity of the impression made by the poem as a whole, so again the poems of the poet. This formula is universally applicable. It is particularly the subject of biology.

46. In the height and the abyss, O my beautiful, there is no thing, verily, there is no thing at all, that is not altogether and perfectly fashioned for Thy delight.

Is to Verse 45 as verse 44 is to verse 43. The work of Saturn seems no longer mysterious and terrible because its nature changes and is lost in the admirable result of its operation.

47. Light cleaveth unto Light, and filth to filth; with pride one contemneth another. But not Thou, who art all, and beyond it; who art absolved from the Division of the Shadows.

Cf. CCXX, Cap. I vv. 22 - 23 and similiar passages. It is natural to us to make a distinction between things, to prefer one thing to another. But the Angel is above such duality. All things equally contribute to his perfection. He is said to be “absolved from the Division of the Shadows”, i.e. from the illusion of dividuality. It is only an illusion that difference is apparent between diverse phenomena. The most fatal mistake that the Adept can make is to emphasise the desirability of one set of things and the undersirability of another. If he persist in so doing his sectarianism will thwart his ideal so that his Angel, instead of being complete, comprehensive, and perfect, will represent his personal prejudices. In such a case the Adept will suffer whenever his attention is called to any idea in Nature which is not successfully transmuted and included in the scope of his aspiration.

We must however, remember that the Adept, like anyone else, has his work to do. We try to modify environment, and we either succeed or fail. Philosophical perception, for instance, of the existence of a Roman Catholic Church, must be balanced by the resolve-if you have this resolve-to eradicate the possibility of existence of such a symptom of disease from the surface of the globe. In short, we work upon the raw material of phenomena with the intention of producing change. This is Magick. And we may feel reasonably disgusted by the presence of evidence of the continued existence of something we are trying to destroy. ‘To make no difference between things’ must not be interpreted as Laissez-faire. We refer the reader to the case of the Adept we just mentioned a while ago. The planes must not-repeat not-be mixed.

48. O day of Eternity, let Thy wave break in foamless glory of sapphire upon the laborious coral of our making!

This doctrine is restated. The coral is the Karma produced by the accumulation of our acts. This construction has taken place in time and its need is to be covered by the rhythm of Eternal Delight. The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel set as a point of contact between two continua. Neither is comprehensive without the other.

49. We have made us a ring of glistening white sand, strewn wisely in the midst of the Delightful Ocean.

The symbolism of the previous verse is carried on. The ring indicated the perfection of our own being on the synthesis of our actions. We have constituted ourselves as a positive phenomenon situated in a realm of infinite possibilities, with which we can make contact, as we choose. To understand this passage properly we must keep in mind the teaching of CCXX about the nature of existence. The appearance of the Khu, a series of marriages of Hadit and Nuit, lead to the congregation of what may be called a positive individuality of the Second Order which is ready to act as a unit, and to invoke Nuit.

There is another meaning to this verse, possibly more cogent. It refers to the use of the Quintessence to produce certain results. Verse 51 give its use to produce another and a different result. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

50. Let the palms of brilliance flower upon our island; we shall eat of their fruit, and be glad.

Vv. 50-51 show the two forms in which this plan can be executed.

50: Acts of love under will may be directed to the creation of masterpieces. There are the “palms” whose flower delights, whose fruit nourishes our personality. Such acts may also be directed inwardly — the mystical process as opposed to the magical, the dissolution of the personality regarded as imperfection. The text indicates a preference for the latter process. This is natural, the work at issue being the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and this is primarily a work of dissolution rather than of further construction.

The text indicates a preference for the latter process on the part of Aleister Crowley. There is no necessary relation between the process and the Work of Tiphereth, which is not of dissolution, but of harmonization, not Solve, but Coagula.

51. But for me the lustral water, the great ablution, the dissolving of the soul in that resounding abyss.

What this actually means is that the Work of the IX ° Degree O.T.O. can lead to the Crossing of the Abyss. The Adepts are of many types and of many fields of activity. If they are like 666, they do not stop at Initiations to gather their laurels, but go straight on. This is not supposed to be a model of behavior. Suum Cuique.

52. I have a little son like a wanton goat; my daughter is like an unfledged eaglet; they shall get them fins, that they may swim.

The symbolism is here particularly obscure. The son is presumably Ruach and the daughter Nephesch. The former seems to be described in respect of its capriciousness and the latter of its poor undevelopment in the matter of aspiration. They are to be furnished with the means of rhythmical motion. The defect of the goat of the Nephesch is its idleness, its lack of wings. They are then to be rendered capable of ordered movement within the element of the nature of the Angel.

This is entirely incorrect. The Angel states that He has a little son like a wanton goat: that is, He has produced in the Adept, by His Creative Energy, the birth of a new seed of Ruach possessing the potentialities of Pan. And he has equally produced the birth of a new Nephesch possessing the potentialities of the Eagle, which must be studied in Alchemy. This daughter has wings; they are merely unfledged as yet. They shall get them fins that they may swim in the “warm honey” of the Adept’s being. Cf. v. 8.

Of course, the opposite point of view may be taken. The Adept may be speaking, in which case his children by the Angel must become capable of traveling in the Being of their Begetter, and thereby growing through that process of resonance that we have already spoken about. It makes no difference. Both views are simultaneously correct.

It must always be understood that the Lower Sheaths of the Self are fashioned by the Self in its search for Self-Realization. Manas and both Shariras are porduced by the Ahamkara, which is itself nothing but the expression of the Higher Triad’s Will to incarnate. The process of Initiation consists in the destruction of those lower principles and their reconstruction on a higher evolutionary coil of the spiral. In this, those of Our Order have the assistance of the Holy Guardian Angel. But there is never any question of obsession or implantation of “alien” material. These interpretations belong to the unregenerated Ahamkara. The Magister Templi is always of the seed of the man in whom He manifests. Cf. AL I.21, 29, 30, 45, 48, 52; Liber VII i.41-45, iii.1-15, 53-60, iv.55-59, vi.17-41, vii.11-14, 29-52.

53. That they may swim, O my beloved, swim far in the warm honey of Thy being, O blessed one, O boy of beatitude!

54. This heart of mine is girt about with the serpent that devoureth his own coils.

The symbols of the heart and the serpent are retained to represent the Adept and the Angel, but the Angel is now shown as identical with the great Snake, Ananta, which surrounds the Universe and by constantly devouring its own coils gradually restricts the manifested Cosmos.

This is, of course, a continuation of the perception started in 42-46. In man, this Snake Ananta manifests as Death. Cf. AL ii.6.

55. When shall there be an end, O my darling, O when shall the Uni verse and the Lord thereof be utterly swallowed up?

The Adept enquires with regard to the process. (The answer is apparently given in verse 65.) Despite the perfection of his rapture, the Adept appears to recognise that it is only so to speak an oasis in the desert. He extends his aspiration from the personal problem of his own sorrow to the contemplation of the Universal Sorrow.

This, of course, is rather presumptuous on the Adept’s part, since he simply equate the Universe of Men, of which he as just become aware by passing the Veil of Paroketh), with the Cosmic Universe. In Liber VII the Magister Templi makes no such mistake, since the word “universe” either comes in lower case or in capitals, depending on what universe is being spoken about. But the Magister’s point of view is ampler, of course.

“The Lord of the Universe,” who appears quite often in this Book and Liber VII, is to be interpreted in four main acceptions. First of all, it is Chesed, “whom all men call the First”, and any Father-Image that you happen to connote therewith: God-the-Father in the case of the Christists, Jehovah in case of Jews, any image of Buddha or Krishna obtained through Dhyana, etc. Second, it is Daath, which manifests through Chesed, and which is projected on the External Unvierse. This is a slightly subtler perception, and pertains precisely to those lower initiates who let themselves be deceived by Dhyana. The Black Brothers go one step further and identify themselves with it. Certain Brahmins, of course, confuse it with Atma. Third, in a very special acception, it is Ra-Hoor-Khuit, one aspect of the Lord of the Aeon. Wen the phrase is used in this sense it can be, as a rule, identified. Finally, it is equated with some inaginary Creator above and beyond all known concepts, including Kether. This, by they way, is risible, since such a concept could only arise in a Ruach, and not an enlightened one, at that. If there were such an animal, it would be Hadit.

56. Nay! who shall devour the Infinite? who shall undo the Wrong of the Beginning?

The Adept appears to be overwhelmed by this consideration. It seems to him theoretically impossible to “undo the wrong of the Beginning.” This means that he has now understood the doctrine that the beginning (Berashith) is necessarily of the nature of error. Any separateness, any sense of finitude represents imperfection. It is a matter of plain logic that it should be so. He has of course succeeded in making his personal imperfection the means of attaining self-consciousness and thereby a spiritual state beyond anything of which he seemed capable. But his attainment having made him aware of the whole Universe and identified it with the conditions of his own sublime being he experiences the Trance of Sorrow.

Which shows, of course, what an ass he is, and how further he must still go. “Plain logic,” indeed! The Adept resents that fact that there is a “deep taint” beneath all bliss. He wants Perfection. He resents Change. He resents the existence of anything that disturbs the calm and peace of his position as center of the kingdom of his soul, and he does not realize that it is the Angel Himself, and the existence of the Angel Himself, that thus disturbs him. He does not realize that he is reacting like that self-same savage of a hundred thousand years ago, to whom any stranger was an enemy. He does not realize the Formula of Nuit, for which see AL I.28-30. He does not perceive that Sorrow is an illusion, and the worst of the illusions, because it seems-only seems-to mortify the Ahamkara. Actually, it is the most insidious final stronghold of the Ego. Whatever is Sorrow for thee is Joy for some other part of the Univewrse-the true Universe. Therefore have the manhood to understand AL II.9, and to practice AL II.60. “But always unto me.” We continue with A.C.’s Commentary:

It must be borne in mind that Qabalastically the Adept has no special cognizance of any Sephira above Tiphereth until he has attained thereto. This postulate is promulgated simply for convenience of calculation. In actual practice it is of course usual for the aspirant to be imbued by wiser motives than those determined by his recognition of his personal imperfections.

The point of the passage is to show how the attainment, instead of being as the postulate was apt to image the completion of the Great Work, may extend his conception of that work from a personal to an impersonal sphere. The first lesson that he learn in fact is that he must apply himself immediately to fitting himself to enter the Third Order, now that at least he is admitted to the Second. I quote Liber 418, the 14th Aethyr. It states the doctrine with singular insight and eloquence.

57. Thou criest like a white cat upon the roof of the Universe; there is none to answer Thee.

This verse throws light on the three previous. The Angel is now clearly understood as only concerned with the Adept as such in total fraction of his whole function. He is no longer the goal and crown of the Adept. That work being accomplished it is seen in proper perspective. The Adept begins to apprehend the nature of the Angel as he is in himself, i.e., as he is a relation of the Macrocosm. Now in the particular case of 666, the Angel being Aiwass, the pertinence of verses 54-56, which were at first sight rather puzzling, as indicating a new and unfamiliar aspect of the Angel, is seen to be absolute. Aiwass is the Logos of the Aeon, his number being 93, like that of Θελημα the word of the Law. 666 is the instrument of which he and the Secret Chiefs of the A.·.A.·. prepared and employed as an instrument by which the Law might be proclaimed. 666 is the 4th number of Sol whose House is Leo, the Lion, which again is the Sign of the man 666 (rising at his birth). This man therefore apprehending his Angel as the perfection of his own symbol likened him to a white (Kether) cat (lion) and, since he is the Logos, says to Him “Thou criest.” This is the link with verses 54-56, for 666 looks to Aiwass to undo the Wrong of the Beginning by the utterance of a Word. It seems, however, to the nature of the Word is altogether sublime. The roof of the Universe is a symbol of Kether, or of Kether with the Paths א and ב which issue from it forming symbolically a roof to the Tree of Life. “There is none to answer Thee”. Above Kether is None or the Negative, the three kinds of Ain or Nothing. The complaint of 666 is therefore that this Word will find no echo save in the heart of Nuit.

Some remarks are necessary here. First, Aiwass is not the Word of the Aeon, being, as he himself states very clearly, the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat. The Word of the Aeon, the Logos thereof, is 666. The “secret chiefs” are all those Initiates who crossed the Abyss. Some are so immeasurably advanced that they may function as viceroys of the Unknown God, and sit on the thone of Ra. All of them function as Holy Guardian Angels as they pelase. Speculation as to their nature can only lead to disaster. They are, of course, unknown, since they have no function to declare to mankind at large except when they assume an Office such as Lord of the Aeon, Hierophant of the Magi, or Hierophant of the magistrie Templi. Aiwass was, of course, the Logos in the last Aeon; the Logos of an Aeon is always the Initiator of the Logos of the Aeon following. Aiwass, of course, is not Heru-ra-ha. He is Aiwass. But above the Abyss, and at hteir level of initiation, these distinctions are as academic as they seem important at our level.

58. Thou art like a lonely pillar in the midst of the sea; there is none to behold Thee, O Thou who beholdest all!

This verse Repeats the idea of verse 57. The “lonely pillar” represents Chokmah, the Creative Word, the Phallic Mercury, the Wisdom by which the world were created. The sea is Binah, the natural abode of Chokmah. The nature of Binah though indeed to understand is to be the great darkness. This is the conventional symbolism. Many examples of it are given in this and other sacred books. But see in particular Liber 418:

Twelfth Aethyr

This is the Mystery of Babylon, the Mother of Abominations, and this is the mystery of her adulteries, for she hath yielded up herself to everything that liveth, and hath become a partaker in its mystery. And because she hath made herself the servant of each, therefore is she become the mistress of all. Not as yet canst thou comprehended her glory.

Beautiful art thou, O Babylon, and desirable, for thou hast given thyself to everything that liveth, and thy weakness hath subdued their strength. For in that union thou didst understand. Therefore art thou called Understanding, O Babylon Lady of theNight!

This is that which is written, “O my God, in One last rapture let me attain to the Union with many.” For she is Love, and her love is one, and she hath divided the one love into infinite loves, and each love is one, and equal with The One, and therefore is she passed “from the assembly and the law and the enlightmmen# unto the anarchy of solitude and darkness. For ever thus must she veil brilliance of Her Self.”

O Babylon, Babylon, th# might Mother, that ridest upon the crowned beast, let me be drunken upon wine of thy fornications; let thy kisses wanton me unto death, that even I, thy cup-bearer, mayunderstand.

Now, through the ruddy glow of the cup, I may perceive far above, and infinitely great, the vision of Babylon. And the

Beast whereon she rideth is the Lord of the City of the Pyramids, that I beheld in the fourteenth Aethyr.

Fourteenth Aethyr

O thou that art master of the fifty gates of Understanding, is not my mother a black woman? O thou that art master of the Pentagram, is not the egg of spirit a black egg? Here abideth terror, and the blind ache of the Soul and lo! even I, who am the sole light, a spark shut up, stand in the sign of Apophis and Typhon.

Liber VII VII:28-33.

I am the One beyond these all; and I bear the symbols of the mighty darkness.

There shall be a sigil as of a vast black brooding ocean of death and the central blaze of darkness, radiating its night upon all.

It shall swallow up that lesser darkness. But in that profound who shall answer: What is? Not I.

Not Thou, O God!

A principal symbol of Chokmah as the Phallic Mercury is the eye I quote from the vision of Him as observed in The Paris Working: “He (Mercury) is essentially phallic, but he has a book in his hand, the Book which has one hundred and six pages. On the last page, as a colophon, is a four-pointed star, very luminous, and this is to be identified with the eye of Shiva, and the book pertains to the Grade of 7° = 4. The Sub-title of the Book is BIA, which is said to mean ‘force”‘.

In this aspect although Chokmah is the Word he sees and does not speak. The Word is in fact Act itself, rather than any intelligible utterance. The complaint of 666 seems then to be that neither by word nor deed can Aiwass undo the Wrong of the Beginning. Θελημα which is itself an absolute symbol of Chokmah is beyond the comprehension of the Universe whose imperfection its function is to remedy.

59. Thou dost faint, thou dost fail, thou scribe; cried the desolate Voice; but I have filled thee with a wine whose savour thou knowest not.

The epithet ‘desolate’ attracts the attention immediately. The word is derived from de-solare, de having an intensive force, so that desolate means “utterly alone.” The Hierophants have however been accustomed to communicate arcana in the presence of the profane by taking advantage of the similarity of sound between Sol and solus, especially in such parts of the declension as soli which is genitive singular of solus and dative singular of Sol, and solis, genitive singular of Sol and ablative plural of solus. The word desolate may therefore be intended to indicate the attribution of the Angel both to Kether (Solus) and to Tiphereth (Sol). The de may imply a reference to his relation with the adept through the Path of ד, Love, especially in view of the fact that His word Θελημα, 93, contains the idea of Agape, 93.

We must remark once more that there is no communication between and Adept and ד except through the Guardian of the Abyss; Daleth pertains to the Supernals. The Angel is implying the relation between Chokhmah and Binah, not between Himself and the Adept. His ‘normal’ contact with the Adept is through the High Priestess, ג.

The verse is a direct reply of Aiwass to 666 who was actually very disheartened at realising that the Great Work which he had accomplished, for all its raptures of his personal sorrow, was but the gateway of the Path of the stupendous task of rediscovering the Universe as he had done for himself. Aiwass explains that he has actually made the magical link necessary between Himself and the World through the man 666. My fainting under the sense of my responsibility, my feeling that my work for the world was foredoomed to failure, were due to my ignorance of what Aiwass had done.

He claims that he has filled me with “a wine whose savour thou knowest not”. Wine is the universal symbol for spiritual ecstasy and the means of producing it. 666 does not know precisely how this ecstasy which throbs his life will affect others.

More remarks are necessary. The man is not 666, but Aleister Crowley the “scribe”; the verse is perfectly clear as to this. Also, it is this man, this common vessel of flesh, who has been filled with a wine whose savor he knows not. The reader is referred to AL II.10-13, and the Commentaries thereon. 666 knows perfectly well of what wine is being spoken. The process is normal in Our Order; see Liber VII, VII.46-52. “Thou dost fain, thou dost fail.” This writer has, throughout the years, read many criticisms of Aleister Crowley’s character, many complaints of the discrepancy (assumed by the complainers, at any rate) between his words and his actions. Leaving aside the lack of intelligence of the complainers, and their lack of spiritual stature to criticize the instrument of the Logos, try to visualize what it must have meant, for a creature of flesh and blood, to start a new current of energy in an ocean of currents going nowhere, knotted up in their own inertia. Try to visualize the enmity awakened by such a man, try to envision the currents of hostile force, of hatred of the utmost intensity, directed against him. You will not succeed unless you taste for a while, as did Hercules, the difficulties of the task of Atlas-who, incidentally, never shrugged, and never shall.

Then, if you manage to conceive for a moment what is the ‘reward of Ra Hoor Khut’, weigh again your words, or the words of certain little men who have posed themselves as masters and instructors of their fellows without having ever assumed one step in the True Path of Service, without once having faced its horrors.

It is the mark of true Initiates in this day and age that they honor Crowley’s virtues and ignore his faults; for they know that wehre these faults were more than human-if they ever were-so also was the weight he had to carry. And not matter how great a man is, he has just so much energy at his disposal in this owrld of matter. Therefore you must concentrate on the really vital task, and leave the rest to chance. Count your years by your wounds-or by the wounds you inflict on others. Cf. AL III.49-60.

60. It shall avail to make drunken the people of the old gray sphere that rolls in the infinite Far-off; they shall lap the wine as dogs that lap the blood of a beautiful courtesan pierced through by the Spear of a swift rider through the city.

“The old gray sphere that rolls in the infinite Far-off” is the earth; for the place into which the Adept is caught up to

hold communion with his Angel is remote from the material Universe. Nevertheless this wine which may symbolise CCXX itself or even the poetry or the biography of the man 666 is guaranteed to posses the virtue of intoxicating the inhabitants of this planet.

The final symbol is strangely and even formidably vivid. The reference to the dogs, the blood, and the swift rider suggest the story of Jehu and Jezebel, but the allusion is not accurate or altogether intelligible. The general symbolism is nevertheless sufficiently clear. Cf., in the first place, Cap III:40.8 and Liber VII VII.15-16. Cf. also the uniform representation of the Adept as a maiden or harlot. For the swift rider Cf. Cap. IV:38-39 and the general symbolism of the Angel as bearer of the sacred lance or phallus and as mounted on a horse to indicate his swiftness and his power over the animal nature.

Blood is constantly used as a symbol of the flowing life the vehicle of animal energy.

The meaning of the verse is then that this spilth of the orgia of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel becomes the nourishment and the means of intoxication of the dogs, i.e. of animals of a lower stage of evolution. It is however, hinted that they contain in themselves the hidden godhead. See CCXX II:19. They have only to reverse their magical formula to attain the divinity. Note also the use of the word ‘lap’ which suggests their thirst, eagerness and enjoyment,but also is connected with the symbolism of the number 111. This implies the ‘thick darkness’ and the ‘sudden death’ involved in the process of Initiation. There is also the whole doctrine of “The Fool.” Besides all this, the word ‘lap’ is in the Angelic Language. (See The Equinox I:8, The 48 Calls or Keys.”) Because thus indicating that the limitation and sorrow of these dogs is due to their subservience to the faculty of reason. ‘There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason. Now a curse upon Because and his kin!” “May Because be accursed for ever! If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought. “If Power asks why, then is Power weakness. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise. Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog! (Liber CCXX, Cap. II.27-33.)’

The student should mediate upon these considerations until he has thoroughly assimilated them, severally and in combination. He should then construct a visual projection of the scene described in this verse. In this way he should eventually arrive at a direct intuitive apprehension of the way in which the life work of 666 may avail him to become partaker of the sacrament of initiation. Cf. also Liber VII III:16, 20-25 (24!), 49-50, 56-60, IV:17-24, VII:47-49.

I have emphasized the importance of this passage on the following consideration:

My own magical career began by my taking an oath to attain Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel on entirely selfish and personal grounds. I had, it is true, experienced the Trance of Sorrow, but the motive power in this Trance to formulate the oath was strictly confined to my individual dissatisfaction with the situation in which I found myself — as far as I know without any intention of my own. In the course of preparing to carry out the Operation of the Sacred Magic of Abremelin the Mage, I discovered that my interests were inseparable from those of humanity at large. I however formulated my True Will in this way. My mission on earth was to teach men “the next step,” i.e. to induce them to devote themselves to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel as opposed to more philosophically universal tasks such as the Hindu and Buddhist sages proposed. It was my own attainment that compelled me to extend the scope of my Work to the function of the Logos of the Aeon much as has been explained in the passages of this Chapter just discussed. The two most important works of strictly inspired origin which I have produced are LXV and VII and it now becomes clear that it is natural and necessary that this should be so. For Liber LXV covers every possible point that may arise in connection with the Grade of Adeptus Minor, and Liber VII of Magister Templi.

As to Liber VII, this is not quite correct. The book contains several keys that lead to the study of Liber AL as the true Book for Magistri Templi, to which Liber VII is but an introduction. This, by the way, is true of all of Aleister Crowley’s writings after he finally accepted the Book of the Law: all his works became Commentaries upon It.

61. I too am the Soul of the desert; thou shalt seek me yet again in the wilderness of sand.

61-63. Beginning with verse 54 the subject of this Chapter and indeed of the whole book has undergone a process of modification. Perviously it had been concerned almost exclusively with the relation between the Angel and the man, the only variety being due to the division of the man for convenience into Nephesch, Ruach, and so on. Indeed if we identify the Angel with Jechidah it might be fair to say that Liber LXV is nothing but an extended comment upon Column LXVII of Liber 777. But now we reach firstly the consciousness of the Universe in its totality and then the peculiar relation of 666 with his fellow men. We have seen that his function in the life of the Planet has been defined, and it is consequently not unnatural that the Angel should indicate the actual physical condition of His future relations with 666.

This interpretation by A.C. is totally wrong, and had he been a less advanced Initiate might have led him to personal disaster. As it was, the pressure of his true business-being a focus and radiating source of the Law of Θελημα - soon took his mind away from personal interpretations of physical conditions of future meetings with his Angel.

The reader should discount, in the Commentaries that follow, any reference to the personal interests of the scribe Aleister Crowley.

The Angel declares Himself to be the Soul of the Desert. This remark may be taken generally as a reference to His attribution to the Path of ג which joins Kether and Tiphereth crossing the Abyss or Desert whose essential characteristic is the absence of a soul. See Liber 418, 10th Aethyr. Choronzon is defined as soullessness. Protean as are the forms of his appearance this quality is common to them all that there is no essence behind them. They are the Qliphoth (shells or husks), devoid of meaning or substance because mere categories uninformed by any individuality. ג incidentally means a camel ‘the ship of the desert’. Cf. Liber vii, vv. 22-23, and Liber 333 Cap. 73:

THE DEVIL, THE OSTRICH, AND THE ORPHAN CHILD.


Death rides the Camel of Initiation.


Thou humped and stiff-necked one that groanest in Thine Asana, death will relieve thee!


Bite not, Zelator dear, but bide! Ten days didst thou go with water in they belly? Thou shalt go twenty more with a fire brand at they rump!


Ay! All thine aspiration is to death: death is the crown of all thine aspiration. Triple is the cord of silver moonlight; it shall hang thee, O Holy One, O hanged Man, O Camel-Termination-of-the-third-person-plural for thy multiplicity, thou Ghost of a Non-Ego!


Could but Thy mother behold thee, O thou Unt!
(Unt is Hindustani for camel. i.e., Would that BABALON might loon on thee with favour.)

The Infinite Snake Anata that surroundeth the Universe is but the Coffin-Worm!


V.V.V.V.V. is the Motto of 666 in his Grade of Magister Templi. See Liber LXI, vv. 29-30. The function of the Magister Templi is to cause the desert to blossom by transmitting the Logos of the Aeon to those that are below the Abyss.

Apart from this general signification there is a personal allusion to 666 who is Alastor, the Spirit of Solitude. Foolish Rabbins have included this symbol in their list of demons. To the well-fed Pharisee as to the modern bourgeois nothing seems more frightful than solitude in which the mind is compelled to face reality. Such people fear nothing so much as the wilderness. The very legend of their tribe deals with the “land of milk and honey”, the Promised Land, the wish phantasm of the sensual.

Observe that this is merely a matter of point of view. V:59-62. What is to the smug Jew with his Oedipus complex the extreme abomination is to us a “land beyond honey and spice and all perfection,” though we call it ‘Naught.’ We consider them ‘weary ones’ and their ideal of comfort and civilisation as ‘old grey land’. De gustibus non est disputandum. But there is a criterion in this case by which we can determine whether we or they have chosen the better part. For it is evident that no condition of existence can be really satisfactory if its joy is liable to be disturbed. The question is whether its nature is harmonious with that of the Universe. For stability depends thereon. We should find consequently that the ideal of the bourgeois is repose and his conception of the Cosmos static. Now we find that this is not the case. The Universe is a constant flux. To desire repose is thus contrary to Nature herself. We accept this fact and define the Black Brothers directly as those who seek to check the course of events. The bourgeois is for us therefore a clumsy ignorant amateur Black Magician. Our idea of joy is unchecked free motion, and the stability of our joy is assured by our very conception of Yesod. We find the change the more fixed we are in our joy. (Refer to the 11th and 3rd Aethyrs, and several similar passages in the Holy Books.) We are guaranteed by the nature of things in themselves whereas the bourgeois is constantly upset by such trivial matters as the efflux of time and the rate of exchange.

The hardships of desert life and in particular its psychological horror indicate the correspondence emphatically.

Apart from this reference to Alastor the word again recalls the historic events of the 3rd of December, 1909 e.v. at Bou Saada when 666 ceremonial underwent the Initiation into the Grade of Magister Templi. This points the allusion. From this it is evident that the import of these verses is entirely practical. They are not to be taken in a mystical sense, but as definitely predicting a Great Magical Retirement, to be undertaken by 666 at some period in the future. There do not seem to be any clear indications as to the date of this journey, but its conditions are laid down with considerable precision and the actual place the ‘consummation’ is described in terms which should leave no room for doubt.

The student should refer to the accounts of such events as the finding of the Villa Caldarezzo if he would learn to interpret the instructions communicated by means of visions and oracles.

I have always taken this passage in this sense. I have expected to find sooner or later that my circumstances were such that afterwards it would be found to have been a precise and exact fulfilment of this prediction. At the moment of writing this Comment some such journey is actually in contemplation and it may be part of the preparation for that journey that I should have been moved to devote my energies to the analysis of this Book. It is therefore immediately pertinent to my own work and should be exceedingly useful in the most practical way to the student to trace out as minutely as possible the probable bearings of the symbolism of the text.

In view however of the extreme importance of this Great Magical Retirement it would be in the last degree improper to discuss it coram populo while yet inchoate. Moreover it is a well-known characteristic of all true prediction that while some of the allusions should be intelligible at the time of utterance so that its general bearing should be unmistakeable there should be other passages altogether beyond the possibility of interpretation until the occurence of the event foretold. In Macbeth and Part II of Henry VI, Act I, Scene 4 and Act IV, Scene 1, lines 30-35, and Act V, Scene II, lines 67-69 illustrate this condition. The student is also referred to the interpretation and fulfilment of CCXX III:47. No amount of investigation would have enabled me to say in what sense the words of the prediction would justify themselves.

62-63. In the case of the Great Magical Retirement indicated in these verses the data are singularly precise. Even in the matter of the effect of the Work, verse 63, there are a number of unusual expressions — ‘bedecked’, ‘anointed’, Consummation’ — which are at present and must be, until the event, perfectly obscure. The verse is superficially the maximum of vagueness. These expressions might apply to almost any form of intercourse between Aiwass and the Beast. When the Retirement is a matter of history it will appear that these express with the almost mathematical precision the nature of the orgia, and that no other words exist which could replace them adequately. This circumstance should be irrefutable proof to those who understand anything of the laws of Nature expecially in regard to the doctrine of probability that Aiwass possesses the power of foretelling future events and bringing them to pass in conformity with His plans. The vagueness of the expression at present is evidently an essential part of this proof. For if I were able to interpret them with certainty in the striking and convincing way which time will permit me to do, I should be able by the exercise of prudence to arrange for the fulfilment of the prediction and thereby destroy its evidential character. (This paragraph was dictated by me to Frater O.P.V. on the evening of 17th July, 1923, E.V. (In fact 10-10.20 p.m. Tuesday, 17th July, 1923, at the Hotel Au Souffle du Zephir, Marsa Plage, Tunisia). (An XIX, Sol in 24 Cancer, Luna in 14 Virgo). The passage will be shown for confirmation to Eddie.)

I.e., Frater O.P.V.. This “prediction” of course never came to pass. The verse refers to verses 52-53, of which it is the ocnclusion. The ‘great lord and a comely’ is the outgrowth of the little boy ‘like a wanton goat’ the ‘woman clad in gassamer and gold and having the stars of her har’ is the late ‘unfledged eaglet’. They have grown up, that is, developed, and the Adept returns to meet the Angel ‘armed, like the Goddess’. The ‘land of pertilence and evil’ refers to Cap. I, vv. 45-46; the river of a ‘foolish city forgotten’ is the source of the human, material mind, perhaps the very brain.

There is something about the Initiatic Process that must be understood. Initiations are not necessarily complete on all planes at any one time, and need to be passed again and again until all planes are covered. This is not a rule; there is no rule in initiation, it is the most personal thing possible, and it must vary with the Movement of the Universe itself. And Universe can be interpreted as the inner, subjective universe, or the Human Universe, or the External Universe, or the Solar Universe, or the Cosmic Universe, and so on. Some Initiations may be complete on all planes, but the same individual might have to pass through his next Initiation several times, each time on a different plane.

The Initiation of the Neophyte reflects the Initiation of the Minor Adept; the Initiation of the Zelator reflects the Initiation of the Magister Templi; the Initiation of the Practicus reflects the Initiation of the Magus; the Initiation of the Philosophus reflects the Initiation of the Ipsissimus. The process starts again with the Dominus Liminis, whose circumstances and ordeals are analogous to those of the Probationer, Again, the Initiation of the Adeptus Minor is analogous to that of the Neophyte, though on a higher plane, and the Initiation of the Adeptus Major is analogous to that of the Practicus, and the Initiation of the Adeptus Exemptus is analogous to that of the Philosophus. (The Initiation of the Aelator is analogous, here, to the point of view of the Adeptus Minor Within.) The Crossing of the Abyss is again analogous to Probation and to the position and progress of the Dominus Liminis.

In practice this means that it is impossible to pass through an Initiation without producing a reflexive awakening in parts of one’s higher consciousness which are not particularly concerned with the initiation per se (at least in appearance). This of course is not true, really, since we are living porcesses of energy and every part of us is connected with every other part, but we hope the reader will understand what we mean. An Initiation reverberates on all parts of us, but concentrates especially on a certain faculty on a certain lane.

The result of this is that we must go through the same Initiation again and again until it becomes so perfect that we no longer become conscious of having undergone it. Thus did Aleister Crowley, for instance, run through the grades of the Outer with astonishing rapidity. These Grades he had conquered, repeatedly, in past lives, until they had become part of his Magickal Memory, that is to say, of his Magickal Self.

An example at everybody’s disposal: the Crossing of the Abyss must be undergone on two planes: that of Nephesch and that of Ruach. This does not mean that a person who undergoes the Crossing from Nhephesch’s point of view does not cross in Ruach; but when the Ruach exists in function of Nephesch, as is the case with intensely mystical temperaments, for instance, Ruach passes by virtue of Nephesch. Nevertheless, to become a balanced Adept, the person in question will have to undergo the Crossing again from the point of view of Ruach; and will have to do this in a new incarnation, where his or her temperament becomes more balanced in virtue of training in the positive sciences, or environmental conditioning, or genetic boosting from one of the parents or both, unless he or she is strong enough to control Nephesch, train Ruach, and cross twice in the same incarnation. Such cases do happen. The Instruction referring to the Crossing in Nephesch is Liber 156, and the Instruction referring to the Crossing in Ruach is Liber 474 (Os Abysmi vel Da’ath).

Since we define evolution as expansion of consciousness, and measure Spiritual Beings by the extent of their awareness, we must admit that a Magister Templi who should cross the Abyss only in Nephescfh (or rather, from Nephesch’s point of view) is inferior to a Magister Templi who crossed the Abyss from both points of view, Nephesch and Ruach. (This, again, is not quite true, for it depends on the depth and scope of the Stars involved, as for instance an Albert Einstein with just one college degree and a Joe Schmoe with several, but again we hope the reader will understand the limitations under which we must struggle to communicate ideas like these.)

We can safely say that even the greatest of the Stars will try, again and again, to increase its awareness on all planes in the most all-encompassing way possible. “My Adepts stand upright, their head above the heavens, their feet below the hells.”

The Adept in LXV has just complained of the Error of the Beginning, which simply means that he has not yet perfected his Initiation (there was no error at the beginning, and there was no beginning! Cf. Cap. II, vv. 17-22); and has asked the Angel in what circumstances he may expect full satisfaction from the Knowledge and Conversation. The answer is given very explicitly, and we suggest that serious students meditate and practice.

62. At thy right hand a great lord and a comely; at thy left hand a woman clad in gossamer and gold and having the stars in her hair. Ye shall journey far into a land of pestilence and evil; ye shall encamp in the river of a foolish city forgotten; there shall ye meet with Me.

63. There will I make Mine habitation; as for bridal will I come bedecked and anointed; there shall the Consummation be accomplished.

64. O my darling, I also wait for the brilliance of the hour ineffable, when the universe shall be like a girdle for the midst of the ray of our love, extending beyond the permitted end of the endless One.

The language of this verse is curiously extravagant yet curiously exact. The impression is that the Angel is doing violence to the language by compelling ambiguous glyphs to assume definite form. Refer to III:12 and my Comment upon them. Verses 64-65 apparently fix the connotation of the word ‘consummation’ in verse 63.

It is difficult to assign any exact reason for my impression, but that impression is that the love will extend no more as hitherto merely to Tiphereth (Liber LXV) or to Binah (Liber VII) but to Kether and the Ain Soph (Limitless).

The endless One seemed to be Kether. At least, I cannot think of any alternative. It may legitimately be described as endless on account of its unity. But in that case what meaning can we assign to ‘permitted end’? The suggestion is that there are really two ends, one permitted, i.e., arbitrarily assigned, the other inherent in its nature. The reference might then be either to Malkuth or to the Ain.

Alternatively, ‘end’ may not represent ‘finis’ but ‘telos’. The permitted end may be paraphrased the lawful goal.

Again ‘endless’ might be taken as equivalent to objectless. The canon of perfection of will is given in CCXX, I, 44: AL I.44: “For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.”

Kether as unity may be described as endless because it is itself a result, a product of ‘love under will,’ the resolution of the Dyad.

The Universe is compared to a ‘girdle for the midst of the ray of our love,’ as if that ray were a limitless line of light. The totality of manifested existence would then be the boundary of the [simple/central SECTION] of this love.

This state of things will arise when each of the two lovers has become identified with the infinite idea of which he is naturally a (centralized or constricted) particular case. In other words, the Angel and the Adept will each have attained to self-annihilation or dissolution in the being of Nuit and Hadit respectively, and thus the point of junction, the bridal chamber, will be in the midst of the Universe of the finite phenomena precipitated by the union of the infinite complementaries. The Universe will in fact be determined by the ray which represents the will to love of these two. The phenomenon is therefore parallel with that of the fundamental act of creation. This formula is so profound and important that it must be apprehended and assimilated by study of the theories concerning it in CCXX before the student can expect to attach any truly definite meaning to the ideas which I have endeavoured to translate into the language of intellectual concepts.

Besides all this there is undoubtedly a Neschamic or Samadhic meaning to verse 64 which is not in any way susceptible of intellectual interpretation unless by a Magister Templi who has made a special effort to construct a language capable of being the Abyss between Neschamah and Ruach, between the Samadhic and the normal conditions of consciousness.

65. Then, O thou heart, will I the serpent eat thee wholly up; yea, I will eat thee wholly up.

The conclusion-and be it remembered that this whole chapter concerns itself with the expression of the Unconscious Will — is that the ‘Consummation’ of the K. and C. of the H.G.A. whose connotation is fixed by verse 64 is the complete and irrevocable absorption of the human consciousness of the Adept in that of his H.G.A. The symbol of the heart i.e. of the passive passionate life of the Adept is consumed (consummation) in the divine and eternal life represented by the serpent. The serpent is a vibration of energy whose complementary curves appear as death and life. It is the change of direction at the solstitial points of the curves which produce the illusion of stasis and therefore invite nomenclature on the part of those who fail to understand the continuity of the line, seeing as they do only a minute arc of it. The idea is cognate when the serpent is taken as in verse 54. Whatever glyph be chosen the thought is the same. The consummation implies the transformation of the reverberatory vibration of human life into the continuous serpentine spiral vibration of that pure energy which is not assuaged by its results, which neither lusts for its results nor is assuaged by them.

Chapter 5

This Chapter is attributed to the element of Spirit; it deals consequently with the harmonization, in terms of humanity, of the Four Blind Forms of Energy. In previous chapters the man 666, being so gross and complex an idea, had no natural right to any place in the relations of his Angel, and the Adept which he has selected and perfected in himself. 666, ‘the scribe’ (etc., as he is called in various passages) must formulate a link between himself and those others. (See Cap. v. 31, vv. 41-49,etc.)

The four elements are usually called “blind” in occult tradition, but the term is misleading. What they are, actually, is automatic: they work on the Law of Balance, or Adjustment, and take no account of such qualities as “goodness” or “badness” on the part of people, as for instance in the fact that if you drink arsenic by mistake or if you drink it with the conscious intention of committing suicide you will equally die in either case unless purely mechanistic measure are taken to neutralize the effect of the arsenic.

The laws of nature, insofar as so-called “profane science” studies them, are the Blind Operations of the Elements. Consciousness, human or otherwise, is only beginning to be taken into account now, and wise scientists still isolate the purely mechanistic form of elemntal permutation in order to establish “laws”. Left to themselves, the Elements will follow a certain pattern of behavior. The enunciation of this pattern is the quotation of scientific laws.

The introduction of the Element of Spirit produces a change in all patterns. This is the so-called “supernatural” element in phenomena, which is now beginning to be studied in such scientific new branches of knowledge as parapsychology, genetics, ecology and mathematics. Of course it is not “supernatural”. It only seems to be so by the introduction of factors that alter the normal behavior of the Four “Blind” Forces.

There is, and both scientists and students of occultism should keep this in mind, a mechanistic or “blind” element of behavior in Akasha itself. Its faculty consists in harmonizing the lower four in relation to itself, but this harmonization may occur without voluntary exertion of the part of individuals whose constitution partakes of the Five, be they from whatever line of evolution. Also, there are elementals of Spirit. Certain orders of “demons” and “angels” pertain to Elemental classification, and only seem to be Microcosms because of the peculiasr integrating or harmonizing property of Akasha. It hsould be kept in mind that isnce the Four originate in Akasha, it is natural that it should have this influence on them. It is analogous to the property of valence in chemistry. Recognition of true “humanhood” in beings on the Astral Plane depends on the capacity to pierce beyond this mechanistic quality of Akasha. Unless the Sixth Element is present in a Being in the subtler planes, this being is not qualified to be dealth with on a level of equality with normal mankid. This, by the way, may eventually be useful in determining the level of evolution of extraterrestrial life forms.

A.C. shoud not keep using 666 to describe the man in whom Adept and Angel are operating the Chymical Marriage. It is misleading. His identity as 666 is completely above the level of the R.R. et A.C..

But as Spirit, descending into the midst of Fire, Water, Air and Earth, constitutes them an Unity, Microprosopus, so this Chapter resumes the previous four; it applies them to 666. It explains how the Chymical Marriage of his Magical Self with his Angel affects the totality of his being. The language is consequently less technical; indeed, some passages are intelligible as they stand to quite uninitiated minds.

There he goes with 666 again. Of course, “I who am thou am he,” but! Students should keep this distinction in mind.

1. Ah! my Lord Adonai, that dalliest with the Magister in the Treasure- House of Pearls, let me listen to the echo of your kisses.

666 has begun to understand his relation with the Marriage in Chapter IV:54 seg. For the root of Yod (in Tetragrammaton) is in the ‘Unconscious’ which connects the human consciousness with the Magical. Cf. Chapter I:41, ‘the echo of your kisses’; because the reality of such relations is beyond articulate apprehension; one can be conscious only of the reflection (in terms of the Ruach) of Neschamic intuition.

The fact accounts for the impotent babble of the Mystics of old time: they are compelled to rely on rhetorical devices like the use of such words as ‘ineffable’ and of magnificently mysterious metaphors. But now at last S.H. Frater V.V.V.V.V., 8 °= 3, has collaborated with G.H. Frater O.M., 7 °= 4, to construct a true language with accurately defined symbols in which the gesta of the A.·.A.·.. (above the Abyss) may be translated into those of the R.R. et A.C. (below the Abyss). See Liber DCCXIII vel Ararita: several passages, but especially V:1-8. The bulk of my writings upon the Orgia of the Holy Spirit of Man, from the Sword of Song, Konx Om Pax, and 777, to the Bagh-i-Muattar and my Magical Records are perhaps principally valuable to mankind as the first systematic essays in the interpretation of the Intuition of Neschamah to the Intellect of Ruach.

“The Treasure-House of Pearls” — See 777, Column 127, where Pearls are attributed to the First Palace (The Three Supernals) and to the Seventh (Yesod and Malkuth). But the symbolism of the Pearl — or of Dew — is peculiarly appropriate to descriptions of the Chymical Marriage. The Pearl is zro (see the Bagh-i-Muattar; The Lost Continent, etc. a cloudy Nebula containing the Rashith-ha-Gilgalim of the new Universe created of the Quintessence of the Substance of the Unity of the Angel and the Adept, expressed therefrom by virtue of “love under will” at the moment of Rapture.

In Chapter I, the Chapter of Earth, the scribe or prophet 666 is wroth, importunate, laborious, and ashamed. He had not succeeded in establishing the proper relations. He has now succeeded: “let me listen” is not a demand or request. It implies thepower as in a true subjunctive. Cf. “Let there be light.” He does not wait for an answer.

2. Is not the starry heaven shaken as a leaf at the tremulous rapture of your love? Am not I the flying spark of light whirled away by the great wind of your perfection?

He continues with absolute confidence to indicate the source of his powers. He notes that the starry heaven (Nuit) is ‘shaken’ i.e., its continuum is disrupted by the Chymical Marriage. At the other extreme his own static condition is destroyed. Heunderstands himself not as a fixed being of wrath but as the “the flying spark of light” — a pure dynamic vibration. This conception, first formulated in Liber CCXX, and explained already in this Comment, is in fact the first condition of what the Buddhists call Samma Dithi — right views. So long as a man thinks of himself as a being rather than as an energy he attributes to himself not, as the profane suppose stability, but stagnation, which is death. Moreover this spark is practically identified with the rapture of the Chymical Marriage.

3. Yea, cried the Holy One, and from Thy spark will I the Lord kindle a great light; I will burn through the great city in the old and desolate land; I will cleanse it from its great impurity.

It has been explained that the absolute surrender of the false self is the first condition of the existence of the True Self. While 666 seemed to himself a separate existence he remained impotent. Immediately he understands himself as “whirled away by the great wind of your perfection.” The Angel tells him of his success on just that plane of illusion which he has abandoned. The sorrow and failure of 666 arise from his contemplation of his fellow men, of the imperfection and wretchedness, the weariness of existence of this planet. He had found that his personal efforts, so far from remedying the mischief, tended rather to increase it. Now however, that his personality has been destroyed, it becomes efficient. It is impossible to change any fixed state by working upon it from the same level. At most one can rearrange its character by the formula of ALIM (see Book 4, Part III, Chapter IV), the formula of witchcraft. However one may manipulate the digits of a number divisible by 9, it remains a multiple of that number. (Consider attentively the whole doctrine connected with the number 9. The references have already been indicated in this Comment.).

The world of Assiah is a crystallization of the Atziluthic idea Briah and Yetzirah. It can be effectively modified by the import of some other Atziluthic quintessence. It is therefore useless for 666 as being of Assiah to attempt to redress it. He can only do so by exalting himself to Atziluth by the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the H.G.A., and approaching Assiah through Briah from Yetzirah.

The Angel spontaneously promises 666 that his True Will shall be made operative. The minute spark of his individuality shall be enkindled to a great light and this light shall consume the impurity of the ‘grey city in the old and desolate land’.

This Book was written down in London, and the apparent reference in the first instance is to that city. The text may mean that in some way or other 666 will become ‘a great light’, a portentious phenomenon pregnant with destruction in the eyes of its inhabitants.

It is a pity the Angel did not choose Tokyop, or Los Angeles, where the pollution problem is rather harder!… Of course this “grey city” is the same referred to Cap. IV.62, and Cap III.21. And the process of becoming ‘a whirling spark of light’ is general to all Adepti Minori, to which this Book is dedicated. The above paragraph is an example of that ‘taintness’ in the scirbe mentioned in Cap. IV.59-60, where again the city is mentioned. He looks around and finds himself ignored (except by his enemies, who revile yhim, try to entrap him, and to disperse his efforts) by all. No wonder he yearns for some symptom of his importance!

On this interpretation it is not clear what is meant by “its great impurity” or how the manifestation of 666 should “cleanse it therefrom.” The proper method of exegesis which immediately suggests itself is to collate the passages in the Holy Books which refer to that city, and to study them in the light of the historical events in which 666 has taken part. Even so, despite certain possibly significent incidents it would appear that some such event is still in the future.

There is of course no sure token that this interpretation is valid. An alternative might be sought in the numerical value of the Greek equivalent of “grey city” or it may transpire that some city has a peculiar right to be designated as grey.

Further, the allusion may be strictly poetic metaphor; “grey city” may mean no more than a place where men assemble, a gloomy, foggy place where men assemble. (Vide Cap. IV vv. 59-60)

Readers are seriously warned to refrain from trying to find actual material places or happenings relating to themselves as persons in any of the Holy Books. Several Aspirants, obsessed in this manner, met ruin, and at least one very high intiiate seriously heoparidzed his work by flaling into this trap. The only material city mentioned in the Holy Books is Cairo, in AL III.11. Otherwise the word is used in a strictly symbolical sense. Although ‘grey’ is the color of Chokmah, it has also a normal sense of people without enthusiasm or great intelligence or finer feelings-people such as the ‘grey men’ of J.B. Priestley’s amusing allegory. There is a relation ship between those ‘grey men’ and Kipling’s poem on the ‘Gods of htre Copy-book Headings’, but we are personally inclined to the idea that Kipling’s concept is nobler.

The insistence of the scribe Aleister Crowley in these last few comments in identifying himself with 666, of whom he is but the pale reflex in teyh ‘old grey shpere’, shows how depressed he was at the time of writing by the circumstances of his material environment. As a matter of fact, the influence of 666 in the world has just started. Future centuries may see a type of ‘success’ that Crowley himself would have considered too much. Cf. The Convert:

(A HUNDRED YEARS HENCE)


There met one eve in a sylvan glade


A horrible Man and a beautiful maid.


“Where are you going, so meek and holy?”


“I’m going to temple to worship


Crowley.” “Crowley is God, then? How did you know?”


“Why, it’s Captain Fuller that told us so.”


“And how do you know that Fuller was right?”


“I’m afraid you’re a wicked man;


Good-night.”


While this sort of thing is styled Success


I shall not count failure bitterness.


The “Man” in the poem, capitalized, is of course The Beast Himself. One is reminded of Ambrose Bierce’s priceless poem on Christ and Christians in The Devil’s Dictionary-perhaps the most realistic book ever written in the United States.

4. And thou, O prophet, shalt see these things, and thou shalt heed them not.

Cf. verse 21, Liber CCXX III:16; also Cf. Chapter I:44. (Crowley does not make clear if Liber AL or LXV is meant in this last instance. We reproduce as written.) It seems to be implied throughout that the work of 666 should be in a peculiar sense secret. See Liber CCXX I:10. I am to operate important changes in human society apart from the cardinal change affecting the onset of the Aeon of Horus and the proclamation of the Law of Θελημα. I shall further see the results of my work at least in a certain measure, and it is important that I shall not permit myself to be disheartened by contemplation of them or satisfaction with them.

5. Now is the Pillar established in the Void; now is Asi fulfilled of Asar; now is Hoor let down into the Animal Soul of Things like a fiery star that falleth upon the darkness of the earth.

This verse confirms the interpretation of verse 3. There is a quite different reference to the Equinox of the Gods, ABRAHADABRA, the magical Formula of the Aeon (not to be confused with the Word of the Law of the Aeon) represents the establishment of the pillar or phallus of the 5 Alephs. Aleph is a void or kteis, being the Atu marked 0.

The general symbol is repeated in particular terms. Isis and Osiris govern respectively the two Aeons (of the Kether and the Dying God) through which we have passed. The fulfilment of Asi by Asar indicates that their operation is complete, their conjunction having resulted in the appearance of Horus (Heru-ra-Ha in his twin aspects (a) Force and Fire, and (b) Silence).

The verse tells us that that has come to pass which it was the Great Work of 666, in his official relation to the A.·.A.·. as opposed to his personal career as a magician, to proclaim.

The “Animal Soul of things”, i.e., the Nephesch of the World. The Lord of the Aeon represents more than a new stage in the progressive infiltration of the darkness of matter by light. He acts directly on the World of Assiah.

Note in particular the form which he assumes — that of a “fiery star that falleth upon the darkness of the earth.” It is as a meteor or thunderbolt that he invades the planet. (Note that he is “let down” from the earth he appears as of terrific import, but from the point of view of the Gods he is imbued with all possible gentleness.

The greater perception of intelligence in living things; deeper understanding of the true implications and consequences of Darwin’s findings; the growth of such sciences as ecology; all this is related to the letting down of the Lord of the Aeon into the Animal Sould of things. Readers should be reminded that not too long ago it was denied that animals could think-much more talk!-and the idea that plants could feel or metals become fatigued would have been received with derision. Three hundred years ago, such theories would have been awarded, at least in the West, with religious persecution and possbily torture and burning alive. Darwin himself experienced all kinds of attacks from existing religions. Including Marxism.

6. Through the midnight thou art dropt, O my child, my conqueror, my sword-girt captain, O Hoor! and they shall find thee as a black gnarl’d glittering stone, and they shall worship thee.

The symbolism of midnight and of the “black gnarled glittering stone” suggests a reference to Atu XVIII where Kephra the Beetle, the Sun of Midnight, appears travelling in his bark under the Heaven. (The stone is everywhere conventionally accepted as a symbol of ☉.) Despite the promise of the symbol — “there is a budding morrow in midnight” — this first appearance of Horus is obscure and frightful. Yet He is found in this form and worshipped.

The nature of the symbol is rendered unmistakable by the additional epithets; a “child” indicates the irresponsible and innocent mischievousness. “My conqueror” further defines Him as overcoming the opposition of the inertia or natural prejudice of the ‘old guard’ of the profane. (Cf. Liber CCXX III as a whole, and in particular verses 3-9, II:17-18, 28, 32, 42, 46, 49&55, 59, 70-72.)

“My sword-girt” captain. This emphasises the warrior aspect in which Horus is to make his first appearance.

Taking these verses as having direct reference to the first publication of The Book of the Law in London, observe that nine months after The Equinox I(10), the War broke out so that Horus was actually worshipped in exactly this aspect in the quite unreasonable way predicted.

7. My prophet shall prophesy concerning thee; around thee the maidens shall dance, and bright babes be born unto them. Thou shalt inspire the proud ones with infinite pride, and the humble ones with an ecstasy of abasement; all this shall transcend the Known and the Unknown with somewhat that hath no name. For it is as the abyss of the Arcanum that is opened in the secret Place of Silence.

“My prophet”, as in verse 4, refers to 666. Cf. Liber CCXX I:26, etc. This title is given to him more frequently than any other. The term ‘prophet’ or ‘forth-speaker’ is contrasted with ‘The Beast’ which is connected with my function in Tiphereth, implying my manhood, kingship, my mastery of ecstasy, and as fulfilling the function referred to in the Apocalypse so far as the confusion caused by the corruption of the text of that Book permits us to calculate.

The title “priest” refers to the function of serving the Gods proclaimed in Liber CCXX, and administering the Sacrament (the new Magick, formula A.·.A.·., etc). The title “prince” may be connected with the attribution to Tiphereth, since Microprosopus is the Vau of Tetragrammaton, Vau having the value of 6, and corresponding to the four princes (sometimes called Emperors) of the Tarot.

The “prophecy” here mentioned is first of all CCXX Chapter III, this book itself, and various other poems, essays and rituals. Liber 418, Aethyr I.

The second paragraph indicates Horus in his active and adult aspects. The student is referred to the complete exposition of the meaning of the letter Aleph, in particular to that part of it in which it is explained that ‘the babe in the egg of blue, Harpocrates in whom all power is latent, he being Harpocrates, Bacchus Diphues, Zeus, Baphomet, Parzifal as the ‘pure fool’, the Great Fool of the Celtic legends, the child Hermes, etc., in the first stage of pantomorphous innocence, develops at puberty into Parzifal the Knight-errant, who obtains the Crown by winning the King’s daughter (a mystery on which the actual customs of many primitive races are founded). (See J.G. Frazer in The Golden Bough.) The phallic Hermes, the Baphomet of Atu XV, Zeus who assumes the form of a beast in order to impregnate various women (the Scarlet Woman) as in Atu XI. See also the legends of Beauty and the Beast, the Devil of the Sabbath, the Minotaur, Hercules (at first disguised as weaponless and ambisexual), many Asiatic legends.

The Lord of the present Aeon, two in one (ה, ו, Atu VI, born of union of ה and י) has thus been subject of prophecy throughout history. His nature, function, and relation with the other Gods, is thus a matter of common knowledge among initiatesor even the scholars. At the same time his present appearance is in a sense an original phenomenon. For He is represented in CCXX as the third to Nuit and Hadit, nay rather as the first, Nuit and Hadit being wholly beyond the comprehension of any but The Beast and his Bride and “the winners of the Ordeal X” (CCXX III:22). He is therefore shown as springing spontaneously. There is no reference to Isis and Osiris the traditional father and mother of Horus in the Egyptian theology.

‘Around thee the maidens shall dance, and bright babes be born unto them.’ One is reminded of the almost universal practice of circumambulating or dancing round the lingam, Maypole, or other cognate symbol of the creative faculty. The voice of scandal suggests that the women who adopted this rite made it effective by physiological precautions. But even so the aptness (congruity) of the two methods is evident and philoprogenitiveness is justified of her children no less than Wisdom. The Puritans rightly asserted that the Maypole was a lingam and May-day a Priapic festival.

The remaining section of the verse is extremely obscure. Humility seems to be discountenanced by The Book of the Law as incompatible with the proper understanding of oneself as a star, a king, or sovereign being, no less than the greatest of the Gods. It is further likely to lead to Sin, i.e., Restriction, since the humble are liable to fail to assert their independence and their right. From this it would appear that in some sense or other humility must be a positive virtue whose climax in an “ecstacy of abasement” is no less worthy of respect than any other form of trance. See I Ching, XV, on the Ch’ien Hexagram. This Hexagram is composed of the trigram of the female principle ☷ modifying the symbol ☶ of earth. See the last Trigram in Liber Trigrammaton. “Therefore was the end of it sorrow; yet in that sorrow a sixfold star of glory whereby they might see to return unto the stainless Abode; yea, unto the stainless Abode.” (Liber XXVII.) Abasement means movement towards the base, towards the foundation, Yesod, which represents the resolution of the antinomy Stability — Change. Observe the sympathetic harmony of all these symbols and compare them further with the doctrine of the Tao Teh King with regard to the supreme strength of water, low-lying and the apotheosis of weakness in the sense understood in the Tao Teh King throughout. I take this opportunity, moreover, to quote The Book of Lies.

PEACHES

Soft and hollow, how thou dost overcome the hard and full!

It dies, it gives itself; to Thee is the fruit!

Be thou the Bride; thou shalt be the Mother hereafter.

To all impressions thus. Let them not overcome thee; yet let them breed within thee. The least of the impressions, come to its perfection, is Pan.

Receive a thousand lovers; thou shalt bear One Child.

This child shall be the heir of Fate the Father.

TAT

Ex nihilo N.I.H.I.L. fit.

N. the Fire that twisteth itself and burneth like a scorpion.

I. the unsullied ever-flowing water.

H. the interpenetrating Spirit, without and within. Is not its name ABRAHADABRA?

I. the unsullied ever-flowing air.

L. the green fertile earth.

Fierce are the Fires of the Universe, and on their daggers they hold aloft the bleeding heart of earth.

Upon the earth lies water, sensuous and sleepy.

Above the water hangs air; and above air, but also below fire — and in all — the fabric of all being woven on Its invisible design, is

ΑΙΘΗΡ

Cap. LXXXVI

From this it is manifest that the humility and abasement referred to have no relation to the Xth “virtue” to which that name is given. The humility of Uriah Heep and Pecksniff, of Tartuffe, the “crucified Jesus” of the Y.M.C.A., C.I.C.C.U., and similar associations of the herd, which goes with hypocrisy, envy, low, cunning, and that whole complex of fear qualities which are characteristic of those who know themselves inferior. It is curious to reflect that in England we associate this frame of mind with Christianity, especially with Romish Christianity, whereas on the Continent those precise recessions are attributed to Judaism.

However, this type of ‘humility’ is not related to that false, egoic humility that he has been speaking about; it is merely social postruing, adopted by all minorities everywhere as a defense. In countries where Roman Catholicism predominates only the false humility described before is shown, we should rather say boasted, and this only towards “God”, the “Virgin”, or “Jesus”, as the case may be; the inhabitants, and particularly their priests, showing a patronizing (or hostile, though the hostility is openly expressed only in their inner circles) attitude to other relitgions. As to the Jew, he ahs been singing new tunes lately, but is still, as a rule, humble (or tries to be) towards his concept of God.

In this matter of humility as a defensive mimetism the serious tudent is referred to AL III.9 and to The Book of Lies, Chapter 19, “The Leopard and the Deer”, and the Commentary thereon by A.C.

Note that this is realistic adaptation to circumstances, not false humility that hopes to deceive God, or who else, into “rewarding” the devotee. See also AL II.58-60.

The “humble ones” in this passage are evidently employing a definite magical formula with their absolute energy and confidence.

The serious student is referred to AL I.49 and the Commentaries thereon. It can be noticed that A.C. is a little bewildered by this apology of humility, which is not exactly what one might call a Thelemic virtue! But there are two approaches to the Secret Chiefs: one, you recognize that you are potentially one of them, and you try to show yourself worthy of their company and their support. Another, you are conscious of your total worthlessness, but you trust in the generosity of Someone greater than yourself. The key to success in both attitudes is utter sincerity. The secret of the second formula is that you couldn’t be conscious of your worthlessness if you were lookintg at it from the plane of flesh. Cf. VII I.41-43, “If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise.” And those inclined to criticize the Lord of the Aeon for his choice of company would do well to read The Hawk and the Babe (The Winged Beetle) and ponder, particularly, the last stanza.

The results of the manifestation of Horus are now said “to transcend the Known and the Unknown with somewhat that hath no name.” It is quite clear that this is so, but far from obvious why the fact should be so firmly emphasised and explained, especially in such unusual and obscure terminology. The word “it” in the last sentence may refer to the nameless “somewhat” or to “all this”.

The “secret Place of Silence” is the womb of Nuit or “egg of blue” which conceals the babe Harpocrates.

The “Arcanum that is opened” may perhaps be paraphrased “the secret truth that is manifested.” The Abyss may always be taken to signify “absence of ground.” It is the form or means of manifestation of anything which is not so manifested. Alternatively, it may be the abyss that is opened, that is to say made available for investigation.

“All this” has no name because it is “the unity uttermost showed” (see CCXX III:37) of Horus. His identity absorbs these diverse phenomena with equal absoluteness. In the perfect purity of the child, or pure fool, (Parzifal, asked his name,answers “Ich weiss nicht”) all differences vanish for ever; see CCXX I:4 and 22-23. This verse 7 may therefore be summarised somewhat as follows:

The proclamation of Horus by 666 will enable every person to fulfil his proper function of True Will, and by so doing to reach the perfection of his own nature, whereas the illusion of dividuality is entirely destroyed. As it is written in Liber CCXX I.44-5.

“For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.”

“The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!”

8. Thou hast come hither, O my prophet, through grave paths. Thou hast eaten of the dung of the Abominable Ones; thou hast prostrated thyself before the Goat and the Crocodile; the evil men have made thee a plaything; thou hast wandered as a painted harlot, ravishing with sweet scent and Chinese colouring, in the streets; thou hast darkened thine eyepits with Kohl; thou hast tinted thy lips with vermilion; thou hast plastered thy cheeks with ivory enamels. Thou hast played the wanton in every gate and by-way of the great city. The men of the city have lusted after thee to abuse thee and to beat thee. They have mouthed the golden spangles of fine dust wherewith thou didst bedeck thine hair; they have scourged the painted flesh of thee with their whips; thou hast suffered unspeakable things.

The essence of this rhapsody is clear; yet the plane on which it may best be interpreted will differ according to the degree of initiation which the reader has attained.

Roughly, however, for all alike, it may be paraphrased “Thy soul has undergone the contamination of material and phenomenal illusion”. Cf. Cap. II:4-6, 7-16, III:4-12, 40-48, IV:2-3, 5, 33-37, 42-44. See also Liber VII, several passages, which may be discovered by the right ingenium of the Exempt Adept.

9. But I have burnt within thee as a pure flame without oil. In the midnight I was brighter than the moon; in the daytime I exceeded utterly the sun; in the byways of thy being I flamed, and dispelled the illusion.

Despite the above, the Holy Guardian Angel has always indwelt the being of the Adept, not even needing the nourishment represented by “oil.” (For this symbol see Book 4, Part II, Chapter 5.)

The Angel exceeds alike Sol, Luna and Agni, the three principles which (in the Hindu symbolism) come into course successively during each twenty-four hours, thus determining the character of Dhyana attained at any given period of the day.

10. Therefore thou art wholly pure before Me; therefore thou art My virgin unto eternity.

The relation of the man with his Angel is independent of his acts qua man. His Nephesch, considered as in relation to the non-Ego, is incapable of interfering with his true Nephesch.

This is utter idocy. The relation of the man with his Angel totall depends on his ‘binding together the words and the deeds so that in all is one Thought’-confer verse 58. What the Angel is saying is that He does not judge His client by the values of material life. Cf. AL II.52-56. Also, LXV I.21-22, VII II.23-33, IV.48, V. 22-26, VII 4-5. And once more, VII I.41-49. A.C. must have been very sleepy, or veryy depressed, when he wrote the above commentary. The primary purpose of the Adept is to become entirely coherent; instead of having several loosely connected, disorganized projections of himself on several planes, to become a ‘bezoar stone’. This becomes clear in the following verses.

11. Therefore I love thee with surpassing love; therefore they that despise thee shall adore thee.

This being understood by the profane, they take the proper view of Man. They realise (e.g.) that the ‘vices’ of Shakespeare and Shelley do not detract from their genius.

12. Thou shalt be lovely and pitiful toward them; thou shalt heal them of the unutterable evil.

The profane being thus purified are capable of receiving the benefit of the Initiation of the Adept.

13. They shall change in their destruction, even as two dark stars that crash together in the abyss, and blaze up in an infinite burning.

The reference seems to be a theory (at present unfashionable) of the formation of nebulae. The point here is simply that the intimate contact of two apparently ‘dark’ or ‘evil’ ideas leads to their transmutation into Light. It is “love under will.”

14. All this while did Adonai pierce my being with his sword that hath four blades; the blade of the thunderbolt, the blade of the Pylon, the blade of the serpent, the blade of the Phallus.

Adonai: אדני. Aleph is the swastika or Thunderbolt by shape: Daleth means Door or Pylon: Nun refers to Scorpio, the Serpent: Yod is the Phallus (Yod of IHVH — considered as the inmost and simplest idea).

15. Also he taught me the holy unutterable word Ararita, so that I melted the sixfold gold into a single invisible point, whereof naught may be spoken.

See Liber Ararita (DCCCXIII sub figura DLXX) for this. The symbolic mode of writing the Word is [to place all the Hebrew letters of the work ARARITA on the points of the Hexagram (non-unicursal) with Aleph on the top point and moving widdershins: Resh; Aleph; Tav; Aleph and Resh-Yod is then placed in the center.

A separate volume might be — and should be and shall be! — written upon the Arcana of this Hieroglyph.

16. For the Magistry of this Opus is a secret magistry; and the sign of the master thereof is a certain ring of lapis-lazuli with the name of my master, who am I, and the Eye in the Midst thereof.

The reference is to a material ring: see The Spirit of Solitude for some account of it. The lettering about the Eye is V.V.V.V.V. See Liber LXI vv. 22 sqq. These are the initials of the Motto of 666 as Magister Templi, 8 °= 3

“Vi Veri Univers Vivus Vici” also V is the Latin letter signifying 5, and its value (ו or ) is 6. The allusion is thus to 5 °= 6, the Great Work. Again, the arrangements of the letters on the lapis lazuli indicated the Pentagram.

17. Also He spake and said: This is a secret sign, and thou shall not disclose it unto the profane, nor unto the neophyte, nor unto the zelator, nor unto the practicus, nor unto the philosophus, nor unto the lesser adept, nor unto the greater adept.

18. But unto the exempt adept thou shalt disclose thyself if thou have need of him for the lesser operations of thine art.

17-18. The instruction in personal and practical. Cf. CCXX, I:10 and 50. The Magister Templi communicates, as such, only with Adeptus Exemptus: that is directly.

Meaning in Samadhi, of course. The Magister Templi is a Spiritual Being; we might even say, he is a God. He cannot communicate directly with any initiate below the level of the Crossing of the Abyss. He can communicate indirectly, through the man in whom he is incarnated, but this is like sending a telegram to your favorite girl (or favorite boy). Hardly the same as a kiss. However, true lovers are content with very little, especially if it is a token of what is to come. Or so says the Song of Songs, and the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita, and a few thousand other texts, including poems. (Perhaps I should say million, if I include poems.)

19. Accept the worship of the foolish people, whom thou hatest. The Fire is not defiled by the altars of the Ghebers, nor is the Moon contaminated by the incense of them that adore the Queen of Night.

Again personal and practical to 666. I have done much mischief by insisting on making everything clear to people who were not ready for it.

Ghebers: fire-worshippers in Persia. (See Compte d Gobineau: Trois Ans en Asie.)

Generally, the abuse of a formula does not injure the passive party, who is unconcerned, and incurs no responsibility.

There is a more general meaning, and we feel that A.C. is accusing himself unduly. When you get to a certain plane, you become conscious of the fact that you are the source of the spiritual energy from which a number of religions draw their contact-if any-with the higher planes. You can then become rather irritated with the idiocy of those worshippers, particularly since you know that you are the worshipped part. As an example: Crowley’s Magickal Name as Minor Adept Within was SATAN-JEHESHUA. You can imagine what he felt like on contemplating, on one side, the hypocritical sobs of the Christiests, and on the other the frantic antics of the Satanists! The ‘scribe’ part of an Adept may, under these circumstances, sometimes feel that he is responsible for the follies of the Popes or of the Messrs. Huysmans, de Guaita, et al. It is for this and many other reasons that Liber III should be assiduously practiced by the beginner. He does not know that he is going to need it, but he is. The guilt-complex can develop into mental disorder. Serious students are referred to O.M.’s note to Frater V.I.O.’s Record, Equinox III No. 1, p. 169, starting “(1) You are emotional.” The “certain Gate” he was talking about refers to this. The problem arises in connection to other circumstances. Once your consciousness bridges higher Trances, mental control becomes essential, otherwise you may go mad. Incidentally, this does not refer to the Crossing of the Abyss, when you go mad anyway. It refers to the initiations below the Abyss, and particularly those you incur when you become Dominus Liminis. The Dominis Liminis, if he is not careful, can even think he is a Magister Templi (again!). Liber III, well conquered at the beginning, will avoid all of these problems in the mind of the scribe. Aspirants neglect it at their own risk. Take it from the horse’s mouth. I took three years to recover common-sense after reaching Neophyte, and seven years to recover common-sense after reaching Zelator. It took me less time after Adeptus Minor, but only because I didn’t realize I ahd reached that Initiation until several years after. This wait, which delayed the Work I was supposed to do for the Order, could have been avoided if I had simply taken the trouble to conquer Liber III thoroughly when it was part of my Task.

20. Thou shalt dwell among the people as a precious diamond among cloudy diamonds, and crystals, and pieces of glass. Only the eye of the just merchant shall behold thee, and plunging in his hand shall single thee out and glorify thee before men.

Still personal and practical. 666 is to continue to live his normal life as a man of the world, unrecognised for what He is save by the ‘just merchant’ the man who can rightly assess values. It is the duty and privilege of some such man to bring to 666 his due measure of fame.

Of course, there is a more general sense. This admonition is directed at any Adept. Cf. AL II.24 and the Commentaries thereon. Not that an Adept is a Hermit, of course! Still, he better start practising to become one.

21. But thou shalt heed none of this. Thou shalt be ever the heart, and I the serpent will coil close about thee. My coil shall never relax throughout the fons. Neither change nor sorrow nor unsubstantiality shall have thee; for thou art passed beyond all these.

666 will (naturally) care as little for fame as he has always done for misunderstanding, abuse, and infamy. He will be wholly absorbed in His attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. This is the sempiternal. Change, sorrow, unsubstantiality: Anicca, Dukka, Anatta; The Three Characteristics. See my “Science and Buddhism” and other references.

Again, the verse applies to any Adept.

22. Even as the diamond shall glow red for the rose, and green for the rose-leaf; so shalt thou abide apart from the Impressions.

Impression: ‘Vrittis’. The True Self is independent of all phenomena. See numerous explanations of these matters in very many of my writings. See, in particular, my Tao Teh King. The Magister Templi reacts with perfect elasticity to all impacts, appearing to be wholly passive to all alike, yet really uninfluenced in the slightest degree by any.

23. I am thou, and the Pillar is established in the void.

Compare this refrain with verses 5, 24, 25. In verse 5 the Great Work is announced impersonally. Here it is identified with the Attainment.

We refer readers to LXV I.32-46, and the Commentaries thereon. The Work that was then imperfect is now accomplished. The reference to the Passage of the Aeons of course arises from the fact that the fashioning of their ‘boat of mother-pearl’ by Aiwass and 666 produced this effect in the life of mankind.

24. Also thou art beyond the stabilities of Being and of Consciousness and of Bliss; for I am thou, and the Pillar is ‘stablished in the void.

Being, Consciousness, Bliss: Sat, Chit, Ananda. See my writings on Hindu Philosophy. Contrast with verse 21. The attainment emancipates the Adept from all conditions soever.

25. Also thou shalt discourse of these things unto the man that writeth them, and he shall partake of them as a sacrament; for I who am thou am he, and the Pillar is ‘stablished in the void.

The human consciousness of Aleister Crowley is to be enlightened on this point. He is to be sanctified thereby, and ‘consumed’ or ‘consummated’. This Chymical Marriage unites him with the Angel and the Adept, Three in One and One in Three: This is the final perfection of union. Hence the repetition of the fourth time of the symbol of the Pillar in the Void. Cf. the Four consecrations in the Neophyte Ritual of G∴D∴.

It is not Aleister Crowley-or any other ‘scribe’-who shall be consummated; it is the spiritual experience that the Angel is imparting that shall be assimilated by him. Of course it is in the nature of a sacrament, as those who learn this Book by heart in sincerity know. The consummation of the scribe only occurs in the Crossing of the Abyss, which is not the Operation here. Every part of the Being of the Adept must be consecrated, integrated, harmonized: the ‘scribe’ is part of the Adept’s Being, and by the Grace of the Angel becomes part of the Angel’s Being (the process of resonance that we already spoke of). Eventually, he shall experience the Wrath. Cf. Liber 156, vs. 17-18. It will be noticed that the Magister Templi is not mentioned; in one sense, He does not exist yet; in another sense, the Angel has identified with Him. Cf. AL I.45 again. Actually, in practice, as usual, the obtention of any Initiation simply means that consciousness has been raised to the plane immediatley above it; as A.C. says, you cannot modify a substance by acting upon it in its own plane. At the moment of the Union in Tiphereth, Binah stirs, as indeed She has at every intitiation, since without Aspiration initiation is impossible, and Aspiration is symbolized by the Holy Oil, which pertains to Her.

It must not surprise the Practicus — “him, even!” — to find the private affairs of 666 discussed in a Class A publication of A∴A∴ purporting to deal with the Great Work of 5 ° = 6. This book is primarily concerned with the Attainment of 666 to that Grade; and it is only because all true Attainment is so almost wholly impersonal that its contents are actually valid for the Aspirant in general.

This is not quite correct. In the first place, 666 isnot implicated in Crowley’s Commentaries; 666 as such only speaks in Publications in Class A and D of the A∴A∴, and does this, or course, through the mediacy of V.V.V.V.V. who uses His instrument O.M. or P. who writes through the hand of Aleister Crowley. 666’s “private affairs” cannot be discussed because 666 has no “private affairs”-that is part of the Curse of His Grade. Furthermore, being the Magus of the Aeon, His attainments are of course of general import. This is also part of the Curse… It is incorrect to say that true Attainment is almost wholly impersonal. I suppose I am driving my readers up the walls, and I refer them to AL I.28-30, 45, 48, and 52, as I suspect I have done before. This time please add AL II.3, 6-8, 22-23, 45-49.

To give a practical example: I have found that my Initiations have followed entriely the process described by Aleister Crowley in his writings, and particularly they have echoed at every step the insights contained in the Holy Books. Yet, although I have been able to recognize experiences from his descriptions (or His descriptions, or Aiwass’s descriptions, as the case may be), and quite often have been able to improve on my chances by grace of the warning they may provide me, my personal experiences in the Path remain intensely personal. I am not repeating Crowley’s steps; I am paralleling them. The personal factor exists always, except in trance. I am not Aleister Crowley; I am Marcelo Motta, anotyher person entirely. I am also not V.V.V.V.V.; I am antoher Magister entrely. Finally, although I am authorized to use the Sigil and Number of the Beast, as Head of Θελημα, I am not fool enough to think , for one moment, that I am the Beast. Or at least, that Beast! I am antoher Star entriely. This, of course, does not chage the fact that… but I refer you once more to AL I.45, as if you didn’t know!

In short, Aspirants may quietly and peacefully assme that the Holy Books of Θελημα refer to precisely that attainments they are said to refer to in the Curriculum, regardless of all mentions of Aleister Crowely, pardon me, the ‘scribe’, and his personal problems and experiences. More: the personal aspect makes Liber VII less ‘identifiable-with’ than LXV, which refers to Coagula. The operation of producing a Magister Templi is less ‘generalizeable’. Let this be a “consolation” to those who think that becoming a Magister Templi is to lose one’s identity. On the contrary, it is to acquire an Identity for the first time.

(Of course, it may not be the identity that you would have chosen for yourself, but one can’t have everything. Only None can have it! I better stop here, lest my immoirtal wit run away with me. Besides, I was joking for the benefit of the “black brethren”-but if they could understand the joke they wouldn’t be “black brethren”. They would be babes in the woods, like me.)

26. From the Crown to the Abyss, so goeth it single and erect. Also the limitless sphere shall glow with the brilliance thereof.

The Crown, Kether, the Abyss, either Daath or that which is beyond Malkuth. The limitless Sphere, the Ain Soph. The general meaning is that the Attainment fills the whole Universe.

27. Thou shalt rejoice in the pools of adorable water; thou shalt bedeck thy damsels with pearls of fecundity; thou shalt light flame like licking tongues of liquor of the Gods between the pools.

The pools, and the flame between them, refer to the Sephiroth and the Paths. The general meaning is that the Attainment has fitted the Adept to perform creative work in all spheres.

This depends on the interpretation, and would only be true of a full Adept, that is, who had achieved the K. and C. in Tiphereth of Tiphereth of Atziluth. In any other case, he would have to perfect his work by achieving the K. and C. again and again, “ordering up” his House, so to speak, and this the verse descirbes. The “liquor of the Gods” is, of course, the Elixir, and here is another hint for tantrists. The “damsels” are the Nepheschs of Aspirants whom the Adept-at that level of full initiation become, on his turn, an “Angel”-might take under his cahrge. See The Wake-World.

28. Also thou shalt convert the all-sweeping air into the winds of pale water, thou shalt transmute the earth into a blue abyss of wine.

It enables him, moreover, to perform transmutations: it is not clear why these special examples should have been chosen, save on purely poetic grounds. (They are in essence Air to Water, and Earth to Fire).

Not so exclusively, since wine partakes of Water, also, and the next verse completes the sequence with Fire by mentioning the “ruddy gleams”. Of course, full command of Akasha (which is given only by perfect Adeptship) enables one to control fully the lower Four, and transmute them into each other. They are but modifications of Akasha, anyway.

29. Ruddy are the gleams of ruby and gold that sparkle therein; one drop shall intoxicate the Lord of the Gods my servant.

For the colours in this and the last verse, Cf. CCXX: “Blue am I and gold in the light of my bride: but the red gleam is in my eyes; & my spangles are purple & green.”

The Lord of the Gods is presumably Jupiter; he may be chosen because the whole transmutation refer to Chesed, or because of his position as the highest Sephira of Microprosopus.

Actually, Chesed is meant here, and this process of intoxication is described in VII in various chapters and according to various circumstances: Cf. VII II.13 (Pertinax is, of course, Perduabo), 11-12, 40-41; III.24, 49-50, 57-58; IV.21 7-13, 36-41; VII.36, 46-49. It is also mentioned in LXV itself, as the reader already knows; and particularly in this Chapter, vs. 61-63. See, also, Atu VII in the Book of Thoth; Liber 418, quoted under LUST, pg. 136-139.

Why is Chesed so directly influenced? Because it is the Sephira form which man starts the Crossing of the Abyss, and the Wine comes from the Cup of BABALON, the Guardian thereof. Cf. AL III.18-20 and the Commentaries thereon.

“The Lord of the Gods my servant:” of course, in the true Initiate. The “black brethre” rebel against the Angel’s authority, with the results already described elsewhere.

30. Also Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V. saying: O my little one, my tender one, my little amorous one, my gazelle, my beautiful, my boy, let us fill up the pillar of the Infinite with an infinite kiss!

30-33. The identification of the various elements into which Initiation has analysed the original individual is now complete. The Great Work — Solve et Coagula — has been accomplished. There is no distinction between the personal Attainment of Aleister Crowley and the Proclamation of the Word of the Law of Θελημα through him. Those who realise what this means rightly assume that it marks the end of an Aeon.

31. So that the stable was shaken and the unstable became still.

32. They that beheld it cried with a formidable affright: The end of things is come upon us.

The “affright” comes from the element of chance involved in any change of this latitude. Nobody knows how the Aeon will develop, not even the Magus Himself. It is not known even whether the Lord (or Lady) of the Aeon knows. Consequently, those who had “fried all their seeds”, and felt quite comfortable about htings, run just as much danger of finding themselves in the grip of “karma” as anybody else. It is as if you built a nice comfortable house somewhere, with fire warnings and burglar alarms, and settled down to enjoy your Social Security and your savings, and suddenly a dam burst, or a meteor fell, or your country declared war or was invaded, or there was an earthquake.

33. And it was even so.

34. Also I was in the spirit vision and beheld a parricidal pomp of atheists, coupled by two and by two in the supernal ecstasy of the stars. They did laugh and rejoice exceedingly, being clad in purple robes and drunken with purple wine, and their whole soul was one purple flower-flame of holiness.

34-40. This passage is perhaps the most obscure in the whole book.

Actually, it must be so. It describes the hermits, for which see AL II.24-25.

“Parricidal”. They have slain their fathers; i.e., they have won to manhood and the consciousness of the Independence of the Individuality.

“Pomp”. They celebrate their attainment of Freedom by means of a Pageant. They manifest the Godhead which they have won. Atheists. “Allah’s the atheist! He owns no Allah!” (Bagh-i-Muattar).They are free of the obsession of mortality and dependence.

'Coupled'. They unite with their comrades in “love under will”, being equal and identical despite their apparent difference. (See CCXX I:1-4, 22, 50 etc..) By virtue of the ecstasy of their common relation to Nuit.

'Laugh and rejoice'. (See CCXX I:26, 58, II:9, 19-25, 35-44, 62-64, 70, III:46.)

“Purple”. See CCXX I:61, II:24, 50-51. Purple is the royal colour and that of ecstasy, in particular, of the Chymical Marriage of Nuit and Hadit.

35. They beheld not God; they beheld not the Image of God; therefore were they arisen to the Palace of the Splendour Ineffable. A sharp sword smote out before them, and the worm Hope writhed in its death-agony under their feet.

This verse carries on the idea of ‘atheists’. Cf. too Chapter I:7-9, etc. Their natural place being Yesod (whose colour is purple) they, having destroyed the Foundation, are risen to Hod (whose colour is also purple). See Liber 777, Column XVII, Col. XV.

'Sword'. Their weapon of Intellectual Destruction.

'Hope' is a crawling worm, being the token of non-realisationof one’s Self as supreme Enjoyment.

36. Even as their rapture shore asunder the visible Hope, so also the Fear Invisible fled away and was no more.

Cf. “The City of Dreadful Night.”

At a certain stage of Initiation, as long as you don’t acquire complete perception of your parameters, this Fear Invisible is your constant companion. There is no rational answer or emotional defense from it. The only remedy is AL II.45-49 and AL III.17-20. It is a matter of the Will. Ultimately, this Fear is the remnant of the Father Image in your soul. It can only be excised by courage. Nothing else will do. Cf. LXV IV.35-37.

37. O ye that are beyond Aormuzdi and Ahrimanes! blessed are ye unto the ages.

In Persian Theology, the principles of Good and Evil. Cf. Nietzsche; and in our own doctrine, expressed in many ways in many places.

Unto the Ages. “Le-Olahm.” לעולמ See Ritual of the Pentagram. The value of the word is 176; this is 8 22 or 16 11 and this means the Redemption of the Serpent (22 letters) or the Magical Power (11) applied to the Blasted Tower (Atu XVI) forwhose significance see this Comment, above.

The serious reader is referred to Levi’s Key of the Mysteries, Part IV, Capter IV, The Great Arcane, the first sixteen paragraphs. The rest is drivel, ‘dust thrown in the eyes of the profane.’

38. They shaped Doubt as a sickle, and reaped the flowers of Faith for their garlands.

TERRIER-WORK

Doubt.

Doubt thyself.

Doubt even if thou doubtest thyself.

Doubt all.

Doubt even if thou doubtest all.

It seems sometimes as if beneath all conscious doubt there lay some deepest certainty. O kill it! Slay the snake!

The horn of the Doubt-Goat be exalted!

Dive deeper, ever deeper, into the Abyss of Mind, until thou unearth the fox THAT. On, hounds! Yoicks! Tally-ho! Bring THAT to bay!

Then wind the Mort!

(Liber 333, Chapter 51)

39. They shaped Ecstasy as a spear, and pierced the ancient dragon that sat upon the stagnant water.

“Spear”: the weapon of ☉ (and ♂).

“Dragon”: the Stooping Dragon: see “The Temple of Solomon the King,” diagram of the Fall, ;[The Equinox;] I(2), page 283.

“Stagnant Water”: the ‘soul’, in its uninitiated state, passive, corrupt and motionless, reflecting wrongly the imagery of the non-ego. (The Buddhist idea of the Mind is identical with this). The Words “sat” and “stagnant” connect this with the doctrine of the Black Brothers, and the theory of CCXX of the Universe as Going, or Energy.

40. Then the fresh springs were unloosed, that the folk athirst might be at ease.

The destruction of this illusion releases the soul to Purity and Motion, to ‘ease’, which is not idleness but freedom of action, for which men thirst. Pure water is the Principle of Elasticity, the Transmitter of Energy. The Pure Soul is identified with the Moving Spirit which informs it, reflecting it truly with perfect understanding. See the whole symbolism of the Cup. See Book 4, Part II, Chapter VII. See in particular Chapter III and my Comment.

That is, Cap. III of this Book. There is a further initiatic connection of the fresh springs with that ‘Fountain of Living Water’ of which the Gospels speak, and, if we are not mistaken, so does the Talmud, and so did the Master of Righteousness of the Essenes. This describes one of the most important influences produced by High Initiation. Cf. Cap. IV, vv. 5-6; Cap. IV, vv. 59-60; this Cap. V, vv. 61-63; Liber VII, VI.36-41; III.56-59 (the “Pain of the Goat” is, of course, the reward of Ra-Hoor-Khuit); VII.46-49. This is, of course, the ‘water turned into wine at the nuptial’; also, the ‘wine turned into blood’ of the Mass. It all refers to the Quintessence in one of its forms, or to the Mystery of the Grail, for which study Wagner’s libretto to Parzifal, Libri 156 and 418 and The Golden Bough. It was the corruption of this most ancient Arcane which resulted in the outgrowth of Christism. Cf. Also Atus VII and XII in The Book of Thoth.

41. And again I was caught up into the presence of my Lord Adonai, and the knowledge and Conversation of the Holy One, the Angel that Guardeth me.

The passage 34-40 was ‘in the spirit vision’. It follows 30-33. 34-40 thus become intelligible; it is my vision of mankind in the New Aeon of which I have proclaimed the Word. I now return to the contemplation of my personal relation with mine Angel.

It was not a ‘vision of mankind in the New Aeon’ but, as we said before, an adumbration of the Grade of Hermit, and how it influences (in the subtle planes) the life of mankind (the folk athirst) as a whole. If it were a vision of mankind, ‘couple by two and by two’ would be a rather limiting concept. Look at the multiplicity of the dance of the stars: many go alone, many by twos, amny by threes, fours, fives… many by thousands, many by millions. The only thing they all have in common is that they all go.

It should be noted that the conversation of the Angel is suggested to be more important than the knowledge. The Conversation is that effect of resonance of which we have already spoken. There is an old Portuguese saying, “Tell me who you go around with, and I’ll tell you who you are.” It probably has its equivalent in all languages.

42. O Holy Exalted One, O Self beyond self. O Self-Luminous Image of the Unimaginable Naught, O my darling, my beautiful, come Thou forth and follow me.

I repeat the Invocation. He is the Image of Nuit. The propriety of these phrases becomes manifest on studying the account already given of this nature.

43. Adonai, divine Adonai, let Adonai initiate refulgent dalliance! Thus I concealed the name of Her name that inspireth my rapture, the scent of whose body bewildereth the soul, the light of whose soul abaseth this body unto the beasts.

The first sentence is an acrostic of ‘Ada Laird’. This was one of the girls with whom I was intimate at the time of writing this Book. In these verses I deliberately identify my sexual exhilaration with my spiritual ecstasy, thus finally denying any difference between any two parts of my conscious being.

This is easier said than done. The numeration of ‘Ada Laird’ contains a further mystery. It is becoming easier in our days for people to conceive that the sex act can be a form of prayer, thanks to the Influence of the Beast. Of course, it is the most efficient form of prayer, since the sexual energy is the only function in normal mankind that is connected with all planes in which a human being exists. It is a form of samadhi that even the man (or the woman) in the street can cultivate, and it may lead to the highest attainments if only the fools persist in their folly long enough. However, they often get rather afraid. Cf. V. 62.

44. I have sucked out the blood with my lips; I have drained Her beauty of its sustenance; I have abased Her before me, I have mastered Her, I have possessed Her, and Her life is within me. In Her blood I inscribe the secret riddles of the Sphinx of the Gods, that none shall understand, save only the pure and voluptuous, the chaste and obscene, the androgyne and the gynander that have passed beyond the bars of the prison that the old Slime of Khem set up in the Gates of Amennti.

This constitutes a profound Riddle of Holiness. (Note in Greek, ‘the Sphinx’ or ‘the Strangler” equals 781 = 71 x 11.) (Note H Σφιγξ - Γρακος) The Greek work for Uraeus also equals 781. See authorities for special meanings of these words.

Those only understand it who combine in themselves the extremes of Moral idea, identifying them through transcendental overcoming of the antinomy. They must have gone further yet, beyond the fundamental opposition of the sexes. The male must have completed himself and become androgyne; the female, and become gynander.

This does not refer necessarily to homosexual intercourse; it refers to the polarization of the Sheaths. A person could be androgyne or gynander without showing homosexual behavior on the physical plane. On the other hand, there is no reason why they shouldn’t, if so inclined, go to bed with people involved. The key, however, consists in that they wouldn’t go to bed only with people of their own sex, if they did. Otherwise they would be homosexual, not androgyne or gynander.

This incompleteness imprisons the soul. To think “I am not woman, but man” or vice versa, is to limit one’s self, to set a bar to one’s motion. It is the root of the ‘shutting-up’ which culminates in become “Mary inviolate” or a “Black Brother.”

It must be always remembered, however, that the planes cannot be mixed. You are limited by the parameters of your physical incarnation in one type of body or another, at least at the present stage of scientific knowledge. Those people who deliberately change their sexual characteristics by surgical means may be simply giving in to the social pressure of disapproval of their ‘irregular’ behavior. They are like blacks (so-called) crossing “the color line”. This is no solution, but cowardly evasion. The idea is to do away with the color line, and with sexual prejudice of any sort. Do not change yourself-change society. You are not a function of the majority. Fuck the majority. Society as a whole-“all”-is a function of you. You have certain inalienable rights, which are defined in Liber OZ, and any society who tries to take away any of those rights from you has to be reformed. If it cannot be reformed it must be destroyed, and a better society constituted in its place.

By “the old Slime of Khem” is meant the principle of stagnation which was symbolized in Egypt (Khem) by Sebek, the dweller in the mud of Nile — see above, and in Liber 418 for the full account. Note that this is not ‘evil’, but merely the stoppage of the Energy of the Universe. The ‘contending forces’ of Good and Evil are complementary, and to be united by “love under will” — as I too often do, loosely and clumsily, thanks to my education and the limitations of language — to mean “that which is against my True Will,” the implication is not of anything active, however, loathsome or terrible it might appear. Any such idea is to be assimilated by “love under will” with its contradictory, thus reaching, in ecstacy, to a new Conception transcending the plane of these opposites.

Actually, nothing is against your True Will. Cf. Cap. IV, v. 46. It must be assimilated by the Formula of Nuit: 2=0. Your “enemy” is but a beacon of your Royal Road. But do not mix the planes!

Thus, my chief obstacle is the belief that any active Idea soever is ‘evil’ and it is therefore the main tenet of the Slave Gods, ‘Original Sin’, the existence of a Personal ‘Devil’ opposed to an Almighty Goodness — Ahrimanes and Aormuzdi as above — which threatens my Will.

The expression ‘Slave Gods’ means the gods worhipped by slaves (in the sense of Liber AL). These must always be “black brethren”-not lords of the earth, but lords of its slums.

Amennti — the West — the Place of Death — is the quarter attributed to Osiris in his aspect as the Slain God, that is, in modern slang, to ‘Jesus’. To us “The word of Sin is restriction.” The only possibility of ‘evil’ is that the Will may be hampered. On the contrary, to the slaves of ‘Jesus’, there is scarce an act which is not of the nature of ‘sin’. Even our “righteousness is as filthy rags.” “There is none good, no, not one,” etc., etc., ad nauseam — et praetor! To us, then, ‘Jesus’ is the very fount and origin of all possible ‘evil’, for he synonymous with the idea of Restriction on every plane. The Christian conception of sin as the will of the natural man, the ‘Old Adam’, is the basis of all internal conflict — of moral insanity. It is true that some writers calling themselves Christian have declared for Antinomianism; but orthodoxy has always condemned these; it is evident that these doctrines imply Pantheism. The sophisms of Paul demonstrate clearly enough how deeply false to one’s self one must be, even to make the essay to disengage the mind from the dilemma implicit in the theses that ‘Salvation’ emancipates from ‘Sin’, and that the ‘Saint’ is morally bound by the ‘laws of God’. The passages here following would be laughable had not History stigmatized them as atrocious.

That is, the passages following those, in the “Epistels”, where Paul gives the example to Aquinas. The many abuses of the Christist chruches against mankind were based on these sophisms. Of course, any people always have the government they deserve, or the God they deserve. It seems incredible that people could believe that God would speak from a high mountain only to tell them “no-nos”. But many did, and some still do. Original sin, no. Original stupidity, yes.

45. O my adorable, my delicious one, all night will I pour out the libation on Thine altars; all night will I burn the sacrifice of blood; all night will I swing the thurible of my delight before Thee, and the fervour of the orisons shall intoxicate Thy nostrils.

There is here an intentional identification of the very words of the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel with those appropriate to a fervent rhapsody addressed to an whore.

This is another hint to the initiates of Tantrism.

46. O Thou who camest from the land of the Elephant, girt about with the tiger’s pell, and garlanded with the lotus of the spirit, do Thou inebriate my life with Thy madness, that She leap at my passing.

The land of the Elephant: India. The reference is to Dionysus — to Bacchus Diphues. The symbol of Atu 0 has already been explained in detail. Note the emphasis laid upon his attributes — the male animal lust, courage, and ferocity of the tiger, the voluptuous female passivity, sensual (garlanded) yet spiritual, of the lotus; yet from these — whose Chymical Marriage is that of Nuit and Hadit — He is immune. (He is Innocence and Silence — the Babe in the Egg of Blue). I invoke Him to ‘inebriate my Life’ with His ‘madness’; to inspire me with his essential ecstasy.

He is also, of course, Vishnu-who was the Hindu member of the Trimurti functioning in the last Aeon.

Hymn to Bacchus


Hail, child of Somele!

To her as unto thee

Be reverence, be diety, be immortality!


Shame! treachery of the spouse

Of the Olympian house.

Hera! thy grim device against the sweet carouse!


Lo! in red roar and flame

Did Zeus descend! What claim

To feel the immortal fire had then the Theban dame!


Caught in that fiery wave

Here love and life she gave

With one last kissing cry the unborn child to save.


And thou, O Zeus, the sire

of Bromius — hunter dire!

Didst snatch the unborn babe from that Olympian fire:


In thine own thigh most holy

That offspring melancholy

Didst hide, didst feed, on light, ambrosia, and moly.


Ay! and with serpent hair

And limbs divinely fair

Didst thou, Dionysus, leap forth to the nectar air!


Ay! thus the dreams of fate

We dare commemorate,

Twinging in lovesome curls the spoil of mate and mate.


O Dionysus start

Be close, be quick, be near,

Whispering enchanted words in every curving ear!


O Dionysus start

As the Apollonian dart!

Bury thy horned head in every bleeding heart!


(“Orpheus”)

The last phrase “that She leap at my passing” is peculiarly obscure. “She” may be taken to refer to (name not written) - to Ada Laird — to I wot not what!

He ‘wotted’ what pretty well, but was being cute. The reference is to an arcanum of the Path of Hermit. Serious students will find its adumbration in Artemis Iota. The name withheld: the reason for withholding it will be understood by those who fathom the arcane through ordeal of practice.

47. Bid Thy maidens who follow Thee bestrew us a bed of flowers immortal, that we may take our pleasure thereupon. Bid Thy satyrs heap thorns among the flowers, that we may take our pain thereupon. Let the pleasure and pain be mingled in one supreme offering unto the Lord Adonai!

Finally pleasure and pain themselves must be mingled, identified, in a Chymical Marriage of their own. For all possible elements of sensation must take part in the supreme Sacrament. To omit aught thereof would be to leave it imperfect and therefore ‘evil;‘ to exclude a guest from the Wedding Feast; to restrict the Universe in that particular dimension.

This is another sense in which AL I.22 can be understood.

48. Also I heard the voice of Adonai the Lord the desirable one concerning that which is beyond.

48-52. Once more the plane of the Communion between the Adept and his Angel changes: This passage is simple instruction. It should be read in connection with Cap: I, v. 9 and similar texts where there is question of ‘that which is beyond.’ I am told here, as first in my Initiation of 1905- 1906 (quote dates, and give essential passage in diary [the principal initiatory passage-Apriil 25, 1906ev-is as follows: {April 25th. N.B. Yesterday’s vision a real illumination, since it showed me an obvious mistake which I had utterly failed to see. The word in my Kamma-work (in Burma) was “Augoeides,” and the method “Invoking Often.” Therefore a self-glittering One, whether my conscience approves or not, whether my desires fit or not, is to be my guide. I am to “invoke often,” not to criticize.}. By July 6, Crowley had semmingly accepted his role, writing “Unto thee Adonai do I commit my way. Unto thee the Augoeides, unto thee the Self-glittering one. I put my trust in the power that hath devised me as I am for the achieving of a purpose: the Next Step.”]) that my Mission to Mankind concerns the Next Step on Jacob’s Ladder of the Spiritual Ascent of the Race. They must progress in a sane and orderly manner, not soaring Icarus-like toward ill-defined perfections like Nibbana, but steadily and critically using their existing faculties to the best advantage, fulfilling each function adequately, accurately, with intelligent aspiration, not shirking the hard work of evolution, not trying to run before they can walk, making sure of every step as it is taken, and fortifying each position as it is won before proceeding to attach the next line of entrenchments.

Napoleon’s campaign of 1812 — Moscow — should warn the Aspirant.

In my experience, I have found this error to be the most dangerous to which really promising young Magicians are liable; while making any progress at all.

I quote the case of Meredith Starr as instructive in the highest degree.

The case of Meredith Starr is to be found in the Autohagiography. After his death, an enormous number of aspirants continued to make the same mistake. Most recent among those known to the public were Joseph Metzger, Kenneth Grant and Israel Regardie.

The main problem is that the Thelemic Current naturally vivifies initiative and self-confidence. But unless the disciple is so truly promising that the Order decides to spend the necessary magick energy to discipline him, he must discipline himself. And the temptation to ‘go one better than the Instructor’ is almost irresistible, particularly because the Instructgor is so meek, so mild, so accomodating, seems so fearful and uncertain of himself! (Cf. Tao Teh King, Cap. XV.)

Yet to disobey your Instructor is deadly from a spritiual point of view. You cut the link with Authority, for the Instructor is the representative of the Lord of the Aeon, and you become the plaything of forces beyond the control of mortal man. Youi may beocme rich (usually in the way of a thief) or famous (usually in a way that the Order would consider infamous); but your Work, to which you had obligated yourself when you signed the Oath, is abandoned, and by that much mankind, who needed your liberation to increase its own, is diminished. You are a “porfessional soldier who dares not fight,” and you know what Liber AL tells should be the attitude towards them.


(Note by David Bersson. Here is the quote from ‘Hagiography’ This is a unpublished passage that was not included in the Crowley - Motta Commentaries of LXV. It is so interesting and informative that I've included it.).

Meredith Starr, whose real name was Herbert Close, was a typical mattoid. There are two calsses of disciples who turn one’s hair prematurely white. There is the stolid class who find it very difficult to make out what I mean, and who are resistant to the practices. I do not mind taking trouble with such people, despite the patience required, for when they at last succeed in getting results, it is sure to be something worth having, and one can rely on its genuineness. Their difficulty comes from the best qualities of their minds: scepticism and common sense. The other class has no brains at all. It lives by the breath of its vanity. These people attain more sublime mystic success in an hour than the greatest men in history have ever managed in a quarter of a century. Meredith Starr was an extreme case.

One of his delusions was that he was a great poet. I was at first surprised when he came along with a poem so clearly imitated from the last that I happened to have written that it seemed more like an inaccurate copy than anything else. When this was pointed out, he claimed vehemently and quite seriously that it was an independent inspiration. One could not convince him about even the most glaring cases.

In one sense, the inspiration was, now and again, quite original. When I brought out ‘Amphora’ [Crowley’s volume of devotional verse to the Virgin Mary (1909), later republished as ‘Hail Mary!’ (1912)], the Spirit, by a strange coincidence, moved him also to write hymns to the Blessed Virgin. He may have thought that he ought to go one better by introducing learned allusions. He produced one couplet, which I regard as more worthy of immortality than anything else he wrote. It ran:

In Khem of old thou wast a cow;

Thou art the Virgin Mary now.

I had very little experience of disciples in those days, and simply could not understand people claiming success in such subtle and difficult matters without having applied every possible sceptical safeguard. For the first few days, I was actually fooled into believing that Starr had really attained the success he claimed. But when I found that he completely forgot his successes 24 hours later, I saw that there must be womething wrong, and it did not take me long to understand that his infantile vanity simply took every wish-phantasm for absolute truth. It was simply impossible to keep track of the miraculaous powers which he possessed. It was also impossible to shake his belief in the powers of his purusa on its at home day.

However, as luck was with me, he turned up one afternoon and informed me that he had just acquired the power of taking any poison without affecting him. I suggested that I try him out, and he was besotted enough to receive the suggestion joyfully. “Ring up Whineray” [E.P. Whineray, Corwley’s favorite pharmacist and the author of ‘A Pharmaceutical Study of Cannabis Sativa,” The Equinox Vol. I, No. 1 I said to Neuburg, (1909).],I said to Neuburg [Victor Benjamin Neuburg (1883-1940), poet, coeditor of ‘The Equinox’, and early A∴A∴ member.], with the aplomb and ‘savior faire’ peculiar to the English race, “and tell him to send a boy down at once with ¼ ouce of Strychnine.” Neuburg went to the telephone-and a faint gleam of common sense flashed across Starr’s mind. He asked me if I could not think of something that would be less devastating in its effect in case he had not got the power quite perfect yet. I said yes, I could accommodate him, and fetched 10 grains of Calomel [A laxative.] from my medicine case. He placed the tablets in his open left hand and picked them up one by one and swallowed them, on each occasion grinding out between his teeth, with the most horrific groans-which he intended to represent the power of will-“Strength beyond Strength, Pow-wer beyond Pow-wer, Adonai!”.

We then proceded to talk about other matters. An hour or so later, he said he would go home, having demonstrated his power over Calomel. I suggestd that perhaps something might happen later on. But he laughed the idea to scorn. He promised, however, to let us know if anything happened after all.

About 11 o’clock that night, the telephone rang. It was Meredith Starr to explain that the incident in his career which had recently embellished it was due to the normal operation of nature and not in any way the Calomel. When we had masted ourselves sufficiently to reply, we congratulated him on the efficiency of his alimentary arrangements and hoped to hear form him shortly. We stopped counting after a time, but the telephone calls became constantly more frequent and urgent, and his explanation of the facts progressively more ingenious, though sometimes a little difficult to follow or even to catch, perhaps because, he being destined to attain the mastery of the fourth power of the Sphinx, or for some other reason which I will not venture to suggest, his voice had become strangely weak.

As I said above, this is an extraordinary case. But the general type constitutes, as a moderate estimate, at least 70% of so-called occult students. Even quie serious aspirants fall into the trap before they are any good. I have to drill them in scepticism and the scientific method of verifying one’s results for months on end.

My honesty in this matter, I firmly believe, the main reason for my unpopularity as a teacher. I refuse to flatter people’s vanity. I may as well say that I doubt whether even the best minds can be trusted on this point, unless they have been previously trained pretty thoroughly in some physical science. Few people have any idea of what is meant by “possible sources of error”, even when they asre anxious to maintain an agnostic attitude.

Descartes said that there must be a moment in the life of every teacher when he resolved to stand outside all his preconceived ideas, withyout exception, no matter how apodeictically certain teny appear. I entirely agree. Let me add that I attach no value to any experiment of any sort unless it is not only checked and verified in every possible way, but is itself the logical result of previous work. I believe it is quite useless to go out for a casual stroll, so to speak, on the Astral Plane, or even into high spiritual states. The disconnectedness of the experience constitutes a liability to delusions. It should be obvious from the fact that ‘amasati’ is the effective test of spiritual progress, that any expiriment which is outside the true path of the individual is not in the least likely to mean anything to him. All magical work ought to be rigidly systematic.

It may be objected to, that in my own case, the most important events in my magickal career came entirely unsought and indeed altogether against my will. But the exception is only apparent. Inded my failure to understand itas the necessary climax of my previous work threw my career into absolute confusion iuntil I had succeeded in reconciling the seeming opposites. But, of course, it was not merely my own karma but that of the planet that was involved. Unknown to myself,I had brought myself to a state which made me useful to the chiefs of the Order in a way which I had not contemplated, even though I had formally requested to be employed on such a business. In any case, the character of the exception is such that nothing of the sort is likely to arise again for some hundreds of years, so that the general rule here laid down may very well be taken as absolute.

Later developments of this remarkable youth were interesting. People began to notice something, don’t you know, and acted accordingly on certain occasions. But in one interval, he beat it over to Steiner [Dr. rudolf Steiner (1861-1925] was a prolific author and founder of the Anthroposophical Society. Crowley discusses him below.], where anyone who was not a little crazy would have been regarded as both abnormal and immoral.

Steiner was at that time just degenerating from an initiate into a petty sectarian of Jesus. His brain had failed to stand the strain of the Secret of the O.T.O. [Steiner was initiated into the Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry and the IX° degree of the O.T.O., ans was briefly a leader of its German section.]. But Starr was not content to be with a mere disciple of Jesus. Nothing would do for him but the Master himself. He discovered this amiable Semite somewhere in India [Meher Baba (1894-1969)]. He had given up carpentering and set up as a school master, and was very anxious to get English and American parents to send their boys to him for training. But as the chief merit in the school was to go into long trances and lose sleep and appetite, I am sometimes tempted to surmise that his scheme will break down at this point.

[Crowley, ‘Confessions’, End of unpublished passage inserted by David Bersson.]

49. Let not the dwellers in Thebai and the temples thereof prate ever of the Pillars of Hercules and the Ocean of the West. Is not the Nile a beautiful water?

Cf. Cap: II, vv. 37-44 and Comment. Living in Thebes, seek your water in the Nile instead of wasting your time in vast vague vapourish vagaries about the Atlantic. In Plain English, follow out percisely and patiently the systematic course of Initiation prescribed by the A∴A∴. Be THOROUGH. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves. Those who despise detail are eventually destroyed by these vary things which they thought trivial; and their discomfiture and disgrace are all the more humiliating.

Lord Nose-in-the-Air stumbled over his own door-stop. Quote W.S. Gilbert 'The Haughty Actor' - 'Bab Ballads'.

Note by David Bersson. This quote by Gilbert was not included in the original Crowley - Motta Commentaries of LXV. Here it is:

An actor-Gibbs, of Drury Lane-

Of very decent station,

Once happened in a part to gain

Excessive approbation:

It sometimes turns a fellow’s brain

When he believes that he receives

Tremendous approbation.

His great success half drove him mad,

But no one seemed to mind him;

Well, in another piece he had

Another part assigned him.

This part was smaller, by a bit,

Than that in which he made a hit.

So, much ill-used, he straight refused

To pay the part assigned him.

[W.S. Gilbert, “The Haughty Actor”, ‘Bab Ballads.]


50. Let not the priest of Isis uncover the nakedness of Nuit, for every step is a death and a birth. The priest of Isis lifted the veil of Isis, and was slain by the kisses of her mouth. Then was he the priest of Nuit, and drank of the milk of the stars.

Every incident in life is of combined importance. No man can afford to lose the experience proper to his actual stage of initiation. Fulfil the formula of Isis — never mind, for the moment, Isis being a ‘Lower’ manifestation of the principle Yin than Nuit is! — and you come immediately to be priest of Nuit, and receive Her infinite bounty. (See my “Across the Gulf” Equinox, I, vii, pp: 295-354). I refer the Aspirant to the diary of S.H. Frater O.I.V.V.I.O. who instead of plodding steadily through the appointed Task of a Zelator, took advantage of a subtle Regulation of the A∴A∴ which permits any man, whatever his grade, to declare himself a Master of the Temple, and by mere virtue of the Oath, to become one [Charles Stansfeild Jones (Frater Achad or Frater O.I.V.V.I.O.), “Liber CLXV, A Master of the Temple,” part I, ‘The Equinox III(I) (1919 e.v.). Part II was to have been issued in’The Equinox III(2), but this number did not appear.]. In this case the intense purity of the aspiration of our Brother, and the Magical Necessity — in a matter not directly connected with his personal career in the Order — that he should take this appalling step, with his eyes open to the responsibility and danger involved, saved him from the consequences which would have smashed any arrogant, insolent, or presumptuous pretender. Nevertheless, his ignorance of the details of the intermediate Grades, led him constantly into the most deplorable errors, from the devastating penalties of which he was saved by the loving vigilance of his Superior in the Order, at least insofar as the more critical catastrophes were concerned

[This was written in 1923 e.v. Crowley eventually concluded that Jones had become clinically insane, and took a dim view of his spiritual standing.].

‘Was slain by the kisses of her mouth’: Cf. V. 62.

‘Drank of the mild of the stars.” This refers to a particular from of the Elixir, only obtainable by very advanced Alchemists as a rule. (However, sometimes the Grace of our Lady visits even the Neophyte.) Cf. Vv. 63-65.

51. Let not the failure and the pain turn aside the worshippers. The foundations of the pyramid were hewn in the living rock ere sunset; did the king weep at dawn that the crown of the pyramid was yet unquarried in the distant land?

There is yet a third consideration to be made in connection with this doctrine of The Next Step. It does in fact seem far easier to wander in the Wonderland of the Supernal Triad than to dig one’s way painfully through the Path of Tau, to make the Renunciation of a Dhamma-Buddha than to acquire Asana by dint of Anguished application and acutest agony of that detested and despised physical phantom, the very soul of Distraction, Dispersion, Degradation, Distress, and Despair!

But this is a ‘damnable heresy and a dangerous delusion’ arising from the simple fact that nobody can possibly form any idea soever of the Nature of the Task of any grade beyond his own — and I say this with every emphasis, despite by devotion and determination to describe the details of the Path of the Wise — even being at the pains of inventing what is practically a new language for this very purpose.

True, I have succeded thus far, that the Initiate, on arriving at any given Grade, instantly recognizes the accuracy of my account, thus confirming his confidence in my knowledge of the matter, and his assurance that he has really attained thereto and is not being fooled by his own vanity. But, until he has actual experience of this part of the Faith, he is bound to misunderstand my plainest presentation of its most evident symptoms.

Unless the Aspirant fully comprehend and freely acquiesce in this inherent incapacity, he is only too likely to try to sneak through the dim dreary dreadful discipline of his Grade — the more loathsome precisely because it represents his actual limitation of the moment, and have a perfectly lovely time fancying himself an Exempt Adept or an Arahat or even — I have known one such unhappy expert in self-delusion — an Ipsissimus! It was nothing to the great Him that the only reference to that Grade in all our Holy Books is to indicate a certain practice (itself beyond comprehension of any but the mightiest-minded Masters of the Temple!) as “the opening of the Grade.”

The Parable of the Pyramid requires no commentary: it is as lucid as it is sublime.

The whole passage (vv. 48-51) may be summed as an appeal to ordinary Good Sense — called “Common Sense” (Lucus a non lucendo) as being the rarest of Human qualities. Yet the truth lies deeper than this cynical apothegm.

Good sense is in reality common to all men: it is the property of the Unconscious whose Omniscience matches its Omnipotence. The trouble is that in practically every particular case the Intellect insists on interfering: Vanity craves to be flattered by ‘improving’ what is by nature perfect -with uniformly disastrous results. This is one of the main interpretations of the repeated diatribes in The Book of the Law against “the Reason,” against “because and his kin” (CCXX, ii, 27-33, etc.) or any similar usurpation of the royalty of the Individual by his own self-created illusions. The intellect should be a machine whereby one can express the facts of Nature. But it cannot even interpret them; that is the function of Neschamah. Even its critical faculty is limited to the object of seeming internal coherence, of avoiding any appearance of conflict. When it arrogates to itself any further function it is ultra crepidam [Lat., lit. “Above the foundation,” a paraphrase of ‘ne sutor supra crepidam judicaret’, “Let not the shoemaker criticize beyond his last”; the meaning here is “beyond its competence.”].

Note the word But in CCXX, ii, 34, marking the antithesis of the right course of action (vv. 34-51) against the wrong (vv. 27-33).

52. There was also an humming-bird that spake unto the horned cerastes, and prayed him for poison. And the great snake of Khem the Holy One, the royal Uraeus serpent, answered him and said:

52-56. The Parable of the Ibis, the Humming-Bird, and Uraeus Serpent.

Any comment would be impertinent: the signification of the Parable, deep though it be, is lucid as any passage in literature; and the language, exquisitely ornate as it is, a sublimity and a simplicity all its own.

The moral value, in particular, challenges that of the boasted parables of the Gospels. Contrast their sectarianism, their triteness, and (too frequently) their moral obliquity with this masterpiece.

53. I sailed over the sky of Nu in the car called Millions-of-Years, and I saw not any creature upon Seb that was equal to me. The venom of my fang is the inheritance of my father, and of my father’s father; and how shall I give it unto thee? Live thou and thy children as I and my fathers have lived, even unto an hundred millions of generations, and it may be that the mercy of the Mighty Ones may bestow upon thy children a drop of the poison of eld.

This last sentence intimates a very important fact about Initiation: it can produce a genetic change, that is, a modification in the DNA code. We must remark, in addition, that this modification is not necessarily transmited through the normal generative process. It is primarily an effect of telekinetics. This is the scientific fact behind the universal legends about “virgin births”. It will perhaps be ascertained by so-called orthodox science within the next few hundred years. We leave this statement as a suggestion for research by parapsychologists, knowing they will need very full cooperation from many other branches of science, especially themore exact ones, before they determine, not theprocess, but its manifestations. In this way-only-Lysenko was right.

54. Then the humming-bird was afflicted in his spirit, and he flew unto the flowers, and it was as if naught had been spoken between them. Yet in a little while a serpent struck him that he died.

55. But an Ibis that meditated upon the bank of Nile the beautiful god listened and heard. And he laid aside his Ibis ways, and became as a serpent, saying Peradventure in an hundred millions of millions of generations of my children, they shall attain to a drop of the poison of the fang of the Exalted One.

56. And behold! ere the moon waxed thrice he became an Uraeus serpent, and the poison of the fang was established in him and his seed even for ever and for ever.

The attitude of the Ibis could be defined as ‘pure will without lust of result’. ‘The moon waxed thrice’: three lunar months, or a station of the sun, is the minimum time necessary to establish a new psychosomatic rhythm, if it is volitive.

57. O thou Serpent Apep, my Lord Adonai, it is a speck of minutest time, this travelling through eternity, and in Thy sight the landmarks are of fair white marble untouched by the tool of the graver. Therefore Thou art mine, even now and for ever and for everlasting. Amen.

This verse completes the conception of time set forth in the Parable. In the K. and C. of the H.G.A. the divisions of time cease to imply difference. To use the roman metaphor, every day is marked with a white stone. But there is no difference between them; they seem all alike monuments of glittering candour unsoiled by the details of life. All ordinary events cease to perturb the even brilliance of Pure Consciousness of Timeless Communion.

58. Moreover, I heard the voice of Adonai: Seal up the book of the Heart and the Serpent; in the number five and sixty seal thou the holy book. As fine gold that is beaten into a diadem for the fair queen of Pharaoh, as great stones that are cemented together into the Pyramid of the ceremony of the Death of Asar, so do thou bind together the words and the deeds, so that in all is one Thought of Me thy delight Adonai.

58-65. The final passage summarizes the whole Book. It demands intimate study and adroit handling on the part of the Commentator; for each verse, while complete in itself, is an integral and necessary element of the whole.

58. “I”: the Scribe: Cf. Verse 48.

The significance of the number LXV has been explained in the prefatory note. The metaphors in this text are peculiar. One is of gold — fine gold — beaten with fine gold to form a circlet to adorn a bride and queen. The reference is to the Adept in this relation with Adonai.

The metaphor of the stones is, on the other hand, of Tiphereth. (The text assumes that the Great Pyramid of Gizeh as in fact designed as a Temple of Initiation wherein right fitly he celebrated the Ritual of the Slain God). For the whole symbolism of the stone, see the Qabalah, the rituals of Freemasonry, etc.

Here A.C. apparently confused Gizeh the city with Kheops the king, unless it was the copyist’s mistake. We remind the reader that this commentary was originally dictated to Frater O.P.V..

Note that words and deeds, being rightly wrought into one, lose their grossness and become pure thought. (The letters, Th, M.A. may be read אמת, Truth).

59. And I answered and said: It is done even according unto Thy word. And it was done. And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught.

Intellectual criticism of this Book leads to barren controversy — the wilderness of pedantry. It must be appreciated as a poem (sealed up into the blood) taken as the nourishment of the inmost life itself. Those who do this become chosen candidates for the K. and C. of the H.G.A. Their Aspiration (Thought) is then crystallized into Word and Deed: they accomplish the Operation of the Sacred Magick.

The “Land:” the reference is to Nuit. They become conscious that they are Stars in Space. For the whole interpretation of this symbol as equivalent to the achievement of the Great Work see (Quote authorities).

The authorities were not quoted. The best of all, after Liber AL itself, is Liber NV. Then Lbier HAD, then Liber XLIV, The Mass of the Phoenix, then Liber V, The Ritual of the Mark of the Beast. The serious student is advised to begin by this last, as being adapted to the Aspirant of whatever grade. It will lead to the others as quietly and inexorably as gravitation.

60. O land beyond honey and spice and all perfection! I will dwell therein with my Lord for ever.

Here is the idea of the life of the Adept in itself:

61. And the Lord Adonai delighteth in me, and I bear the Cup of His gladness unto the weary ones of the old grey land.

And here, in reference to his fellow-men. My own Magical career should be an adequate explanation of these two verses.

For people capable of measuring the astounding change in the animic atmosphere, the intellectual development, and the increased social awareness of mankind since 1904, that is.

62. They that drink thereof are smitten of disease; the abomination hath hold upon them, and their torment is like the thick black smoke of the evil abode.

62-64. This doctrine is the most deadly poison for the unworthy (even the Christian Mystics gathered some faint idea of this “eating and drinking damnation unto themselves”

Unhappily, they stopped there. ‘Smitten of disease’: the tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss. ‘The abomination’: the Law of Θελημα, or 666, or Heru-ra-ha Himself. ‘Thick black smoke of the evil abode’: the Light of the so-called ‘Rosicrucians’. Hell, the core of the star. Of coruse, all this is very disagreeable at first. Most fools do not persist in their folly, consequently.

It is strange that the text refrains from specifying the nature of the error: apparently the only point at issue is whether one is or is not “chosen.” (v. 63).

Note the word “weary,” and the symbols of stagnation and passivity (a) hath hold upon them, (b) thick, (c) black, (d) smoke, (e) abode. Contrast with these the stigmata of Attainment in v. 64 all fiery, active, and eager, even in the sphere ordinarily associated with the idea of repose — “eventide.” The Crown of the Sun himself is their girdle (Cf. the Rosicrucian adjuration “Be thy mind open, etc.)- —the girdle of the “death-kisses” this identifying death with love, the creative energy.

The mystery becomes clear on reference to verse 59. To be “chosen” is a matter for one’s own Will to decide. If this Book be alien to the student, it will poison him through and through; he must “seal” it up into his blood; then, drinking of it as a Wine which is identical with his life itself, it intoxicates them to the realization of themselves as the Lord Adonai, the Soul of the Book itself.

This student remembers that the Book did not poison him at the time of reading and learning by heart; on the contrary, it led him to the Neophyte Initiation. But he hath quaffed many a poinsoned cup since, and suffered the torment, and felt the presence of the evil one. Cf. VII III.40-48. And Cf. LXV IV.46. My Lord, I love Thee!

63. But the chosen ones drank thereof, and became even as my Lord, my beautiful, my desirable one. There is no wine like unto this wine.

‘Became even as my Lord’: see The Wake World.

64. They are gathered together into a glowing heart, as Ra that gathereth his clouds about Him at eventide into a molten sea of Joy; and the snake that is the crown of Ra bindeth them about with the golden girdle of the death-kisses.

‘Joy’: 26=2x13. (But also 2+6=8.)

65. So also is the end of the book, and the Lord Adonai is about it on all sides like a Thunderbolt, and a Pylon, and a Snake, and a Phallus, and in the midst thereof he is like the Woman that jetteth out the milk of the stars from her paps; yea, the milk of the stars from her paps.

Cf. v. 14: meditate strictly upon the propriety of the first appearance of this particular symbol in just this place.

The symbol is now completed by the introduction of Nuit into its midst. Compare the similar appearance of Shin in IHVH. (If this is not explained, do so fully).

Shin, the Holy Ghost, by descending in the midst of the Tetragram of the Blind Forces, transforms the Cross of the Elements into the Pentagram, Symbol of Man, IHShVH, ‘Jeheshua’. Sh is, of course, the Element of Spirit. The letter has to do double work in the Hebrew Alphabet, which is perhaps why the Jews keep confusing Spirit with Fire to this day.

What letter, then significant of Nuit, will transmute אדני as Shin does יהוה? The usual letter is He, “The Star,” Atu XVII, (Note that by the precession of the Equinoxes the sun is now in Aquarius instead of Pisces at the Vernal Equinox. In the Aeon of the Dying God men worshipped and , the Virgin and the Fish. We replace this by , Nuit and , Babalon and the Beast conjoined. But as צ is ‘not the Star’, and swing around as and about : Atus VIII and XI interchanged, and so Atus XVII and IV. But the Actual God worshipped has progressed from the laborious slain Bull of Mithras, in the North, to the Children (R.H.K. and H.P.K.). We thus obtain a Pentagrammaton אדהני whose value is 70, ץ, the Eye, Set or Saturn, Atu XV “The Devil.”