Liber Aba - Book IV - Part IV


The Official Organ of the A∴ A∴

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

Love is the law, love under will. 

The word of the law is 


The Official Organ of the O.T.O. 

Deus est Homo 

Vol. III No. III 

An I x Sol in Libra 


Issued by the O.T.O. 

A∴ A∴ Publication in Class E.



Above, the gemmèd azure is 

The naked splendour of Nuit; 

She bends in ecstasy to kiss 

The secret ardours of Hadit. 

The wingèd globe, the starry blue 

Are mine, o Ankh-f-n-Khonsu.

I am the Lord of Thebes, and I 

The inspired forth-speaker of Mentu; 

For me unveils the veiled sky, 

The self-slain Ankh-f-n-Khonsu 

Whose words are truth. I invoke, I greet 

Thy presence, o Ra-Hoor-Khuit!

Unity uttermost showed! 

I adore the might of Thy breath, 

Supreme and terrible God, 

Who makest the gods and death 

To tremble before Thee: — 

I, I adore thee!

Appear on the throne of Ra! 

Open the ways of the Khu! 

Lighten the ways of the Ka! 

The ways of the Khabs run through 

To stir me or still me! 

Aum! let it kill me!

The Light is mine; its rays consume 

Me: I have made a secret door 

Into the House of Ra and Tum, 

Of Khephra, and of Ahathoor. 

I am thy Theban, o Mentu, 

The prophet Ankh-f-n-Khonsu!

By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat: 

By wise Ta-nech I weave my spell. 

Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit! 

Bid me within thine House to dwell, 

O winged snake of light, Hadith! 

Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!





Saith of Mentu the truth-telling brother 

Who was master of Thebes from his birth: 

O heart of me, heart of my mother! 

O heart which I had upon earth! 

Stand not thou up against me as a witness! 

Oppose me not, judge, in my quest! 

Accuse me not now of unfitness 

Before the Great God, the dread Lord of the West! 

For I fastened the one to the other 

With a spell for their mystical girth, 

The earth and the wonderful West, 

When I flourished, o earth, on thy breast!

The dead man Ankh-f-n-Khonsu 

Saith with his voice of truth and calm: 

O thou that hast a single arm! 

O thou that glitterest in the moon! 

I weave thee in the spinning charm; 

I lure thee with the billowy tune.

The dead man Ankh-f-n-Khonsu 

Hath parted from the darkling crowds, 

Hath joined the dwellers of the light, 

Opening Duant, the star-abodes, 

Their keys receiving. 

The dead man Ankh-f-n-Khonsu 

Hath made his passage into night, 

His pleasure on the earth to do 

Among the living.



The Summons

A Summary


Sub Figura 


as Delivered by XCIII=418 




In the Book of the Law we find in the 3rd chapter and the 39th to the 41st verse an instruction to issue a book to say how this Revelation was obtained, with certain details with regard to the style in which it is to done.

It has hitherto been impossible to comply with this injunction, although an attempt was made in "The Temple of Solomon the King". We now proceed to do so; the subject divides itself into Eight Chapters.----[Ed.]

Chapter 1: The Boyhood of Aleister Crowley

Chapter 2: Adolescence: Beginnings of Magick

Chapter 3: Beginnings of Mysticism

Chapter 4: The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

Chapter 5: The Results of Recession

Chapter 6: The Great Revelation

Chapter 7: Remarks on the method of receiving Liber Legis, on the Conditions prevailing at the time of the writing, and on certain technical difficulties connected with the Literary form of the Book.

Chapter 8: Summary of the Case




Publication in Class C


The Sevenfold Mystery of the Ineffable Love; the Coming of the Lord in the Air as King and Judge of this corrupted World;


Under the form of a Discourse between Marsyas an Adept and Olympas his Pupil the Whole Secret of the Way of Initiation is laid open from the Beginning to the End; for the Instruction of the Little Children of the Light.

Written in Trembling and Humility for the Brethren of the A∴ A∴ by Their very dutiful Servant, an Aspirant to their Sublime Order,

Aleister Crowley


A LITTLE before Dawn, the pupil comes to greet his Master, and begs instruction.

Inspired by his Angel, he demands the Doctrine of being rapt away into the Knowledge and Conversation of Him.

The Master discloses the doctrine of Passive Attention or Waiting.

This seeming hard to the Pupil, it is explained further, and the Method of Resignation, Constancy, and Patience inculcated. The Paradox of Equilibrium. The necessity of giving oneself wholly up the the new element. Egoism rebuked.

The Master, to illustrate this Destruction of the Ego, describes the Visions of Dhyana.

He further describes the defence of the Soul against assailing Thoughts, and shows that the duality of Consciousness is a blasphemy against the Unity of God; so that even the thought called God is a denial of God-as-He-is-in-Himself.

The pupil sees nothing but a blank midnight in this Emptying of the Soul. He is shown that this is the necessary condition of Illumination. Distinction is further made between these three Dhyanas, and those early visions in which things appear as objective. With these three Dhyanas, moreover, are Four other of the Four Elements: and many more.

Above these is the Veil of Paroketh. Its guardians.

The Rosy Cross lies beyond this veil, and therewith the vision called Vishvarupadarshana. Moreover, there is the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

The infinite number and variety of these Visions.

The impossibility of revealing all these truths to the outer and uninitiated world.

The Vision of the Universal Peacock--Atmadarshana. The confusion of the Mind, and the Perception of its self-contradiction.

The Second Veil--the Veil of the Abyss.

The fatuity of Speech.

A discussion as to the means by which the vision arises in the pure Soul is useless; suffice it that in the impure Soul no Vision will arise. The practical course is therefore to cleanse the Soul.

The four powers of the Sphinx; even adepts hardly attain to one of them!

The final Destruction of the Ego.

The Master confesses that he has lured the disciple by the promise of Joy, as the only thing comprehensible by him, although pain and joy are transcended even in early visions.

Ananda (bliss)--and its opposite--mark the first steps of the path. Ultimately all things are transcended; and even so, this attainment of Peace is but as a scaffolding to the Palace of the King.

The sheaths of the soul. The abandonment of all is necessary; the adept recalls his own tortures, as all that he loved was torn away.

The Ordeal of the Veil of the Abyss; the Unbinding of the Fabric of Mind, and its ruin.

The distinction between philosoÿhical credence and interior certitude.

Sammasati--the trance wherein the adept perceives his causal connection with the Universe; past, present, and future.

Mastering the Reason, he becomes as a little child, and invokes his Holy Guardian Angel, the Augoeides.

Atmadarshana arising is destroyed by the Opening of the Eye of Shiva; the annihilation of the Universe. The adept is destroyed, and there arises the Master of the Temple.

The pupil, struck with awe, proclaims his devotion to the Master; whereat the latter bids him rather unite himself with the Augoeides.

Yet, following the great annihilation, the adept reappears as an Angel to instruct men in this doctrine.

The Majesty of the Master described.

The pupil, wonder-struck, swears to attain, and asks for further instruction.

The Master describes the Eight Limbs of Yoga.

The pupil lamenting the difficulty of attainment, the Master shows forth the sweetness of the hermit's life.

One doubt remains: will not the world be able instantly to recognise the Saint? The Master replies that only imperfect Saints reveal themselves as such. Of these are the cranks and charlatans, and those that fear and deny Life. But let us fix our thoughts on Love, and not on the failings of others!

The Master invokes the Augoeides; the pupil through sympathy is almost rapt away.

The Augoeides hath given the Master a message; namely, to manifest the New Way of the Equinox of Horus, as revealed in Liber Legis.

He does so, and reconciles it with the Old Way by inviting the Test of Experiment. They would go therefore to the Desert or the Mountains--nay! here and now shall it be accomplished.

Peace to all beings!


OLYMPAS. Master, ere the ruby Dawn

Gild the dew of leaf and lawn,

Bidding the petals to unclose

Of heaven's imperishable Rose,

Brave heralds, banners flung afar

Of the lone and secret star,

I come to greet thee. Here I bow

To earth this consecrated brow!

As a lover woos the Moon

Aching in a silver swoon,

I reach my lips towards thy shoon,

Mendicant of the mystic boon!
MARSYAS. What wilt thou?
OLYMPAS. Let mine Angel say!

"Utterly to be rapt away!"
MARSYAS. How, whence, and whither?
OLYMPAS. By my kiss

From that abode to this--to this!"

My wings?
MARSYAS. Thou hast no wings. But see

An eagle sweeping from the Byss

Where God stands. Let him ravish thee,

And bear thee to a boundless bliss!
OLYMPAS. How should I call him? How beseech?
MARSYAS. Silence is lovelier than Speech. 

Only on a windless tree

Falls the dew, Felicity!

One ripple on the water mars

The magic mirror of the Stars.
OLYMPAS. My soul bends to the athletic stress

Of God's immortal loveliness. 

Tell me, what wit avails the clod

To know the nearness of its God?
MARSYAS. First, let the soul be poised, and fledge

Truth's feather on mind's razor-edge. 

Next, let no memory, feeling, hope

Stain all its starless horoscope. 

Last, let it be content, twice void;

Not to be suffered or enjoyed;

Motionless, blind and deaf and dumb---

So may it to its kingdom come!
OLYMPAS. Dear master, can this be? The wine

Embittered with dark discipline?

For the soul loves her mate, the sense.
MARSYAS. This bed is sterile. Thou must fence

Thy soul from all her foes, the creatures

That by their soft and siren natures

Lure thee to shipwreck!
OLYMPAS. Thou hast said:

"God is in all."
MARSYAS. In sooth.
OLYMPAS. Why dread

The Godhood?
MARSYAS. Only as the thought

Is God, adore it. But the soul creates

Misshapen fiends, incestuous mates. 

Slay these: they are false shadows of

The never-waning moon of love.
OLYMPAS. What thought is worthy?
MARSYAS. Truly none

Save one, in that it is but one. 

Keep the mind constant; thou shalt see

Ineffable felicity. 

Increase the will, and thou shalt find

It hath the strength to be resigned. 

Resign the will; and from the string

Will's arrow shall have taken wing,

And from the desolate abode

Found the immaculate heart of God!
OLYMPAS. The word is hard!
MARSYAS. All things excite

Their equal and their opposite. 

Be great, and thou shalt be--how small!

Be naught, and thou shalt be the All!

Eat not; all meat shall fill thy mouth:

Drink, and thy soul shall die of drouth!

Fill thyself; and that thou seekest

Is diluted to its weakest. 

Empty thyself; the ghosts of night

Flee before the living Light. 

Who clutches straws is drowned; but he

That hath the secret of the sea,

Lives with the whole lust of his limbs,

Takes hold of water's self, and swims. 

See, the ungainly albatross

Stumbles awkwardly across

Earth--one wing-beat, and he flies

Most graceful gallant in the skies!

So do thou leave thy thoughts, intent

On thy new noble element!

Throw the earth shackles off, and cling

To what imperishable thing

Arises from the Married death

Of thine own self in that whereon

Thou art fixed.
OLYMPAS. Then all life's loyal breath

Is a waste wind. All joy forgone,

I must strive ever?
MARSYAS. Cease to strive!

Destroy this partial I, this moan

Of an hurt beast! Sores keep alive

By scratching. Health is peace. Unknown

And unexpressed because at ease

Are the Most High Congruities.
OLYMPAS. Then death is thine "attainment"? I

Can do no better than to die!
MARSYAS. Indeed, that "I" that is not God

Is but a lion in the road!

Knowest thou not (even now!) how first

The fetters of Restriction burst?

In the rapture of the heart

Self hath neither lot nor part.
OLYMPAS. Tell me, dear master, how the bud

First breaks to brilliance of bloom:

What ecstasy of brain and blood

Shatters the seal upon the tomb

Of him whose gain was the world's loss

Our father Christian Rosycross!
MARSYAS. First, one is like a gnarled old oak

On a waste heath. Shrill shrieks the wind. 

Night smothers earth. Storm swirls to choke

The throat of silence! Hard behind

Gathers a blacker cloud than all. 

But look! but look! it thrones a ball

Of blistering fire. It breaks. The lash

Of lightning snakes him forth. One crash

Splits the old tree. One rending roar!---

And night is darker than before.
OLYMPAS. Nay, master, master! Terror hath

So fierce an hold upon the path?

Life must lie crushed, a charred black swath,

In that red harvest's aftermath!
MARSYAS. Life lives. Storm passes. Clouds dislimn. 

The night is clear. And now to him

Who hath endured is given the boon

Of an immeasurable moon. 

The air about the adept congeals

To crystal; in his heart he feels

One needle pang; then breaks that splendour

Infinitely pure and tender ...

--And the ice drags him down!
OLYMPAS. But may

Our trembling frame, our clumsy clay,

Endure such anguish?
MARSYAS. In the worm

Lurks an unconquerable germ

Identical. A sparrow's fall

Were the Destruction of the All!

More; know that this surpasses skill

To express its ecstasy. The thrill

Burns in the memory like the glory

Of some far beaconed promontory

Where no light shines but on the comb

Of breakers, flickerings of the foam!
OLYMPAS. The path ends here?
MARSYAS. Ingenuous one!

The path--the true path--scarce begun. 

When does the night end?
OLYMPAS. When the sun,

Crouching below the horizon,

Flings up his head, tosses his mane,

Ready to leap.
MARSYAS. Even so. Again

The adept secures his subtle fence

Against the hostile shafts of sense,

Pins for a second his mind; as you

May have seen some huge wrestler do. 

With all his gathered weight heaped, hurled,

Resistless as the whirling world,

He holds his foeman to the floor

For one great moment and no more. 

So--then the sun-blaze! All the night

Bursts to a vivid orb of light. 

There is no shadow; nothing is,

But the intensity of bliss. 

Being is blasted. That exists.
MARSYAS. But the mind, that mothers mists,

Abides not there. The adept must fall

OLYMPAS. There's an end of all?
MARSYAS. But not an end of this! Above

All life as is the pulse of love,

So this transcends all love.

Who may attain?
MARSYAS. Rare souls.

Imaged a shadow of this light.
MARSYAS. Such is its sacramental might

That to recall it radiates

Its symbol. The priest elevates

The Host, and instant blessing stirs

The hushed awaiting worshippers.
OLYMPAS. Then how secure the soul's defence?

How baffle the besieger, Sense?
MARSYAS. See the beleagured city, hurt

By hideous engines, sore begirt

And gripped by lines of death, well scored

With shell, nigh oÿen to the sword!

Now comes the leader; courage, run

Contagious through the garrison!

Repair the trenches! Man the wall!

Restore the ruined arsenal!

Serve the great guns! The assailants blench;

They are driven from the foremost trench. 

The deadliest batteries belch their hell

No more. So day by day fought well,

We silence gun by gun. At last

The fiercest of the fray is past;

The circling hills are ours. The attack

Is over, save for the rare crack,

Long dropping shots from hidden forts;---

--So is it with our thoughts!
OLYMPAS. The hostile thoughts, the evil things!

They hover on majestic wings,

Like vultures waiting for a man

To drop from the slave-caravan!
MARSYAS. All thoughts are evil. Thought is two:

The seer and the seen. Eschew

That supreme blasphemy, my son,

Remembering that God is One.
OLYMPAS. God is a thought!
MARSYAS. The "thought" of God

Is but a shattered emerod:

A plague, an idol, a delusion,

Blasphemy, schism, and confusion!
OLYMPAS Banish my one high thought? The night

Indeed were starless.
MARSYAS Very right!

But that impalpable inane

Is the condition of success;

Even as earth lies black to gain

Spring's green and autumn's fruitfulness.
OLYMPAS I dread this midnight of the soul.
MARSYAS Welcome the herald!
OLYMPAS How control

The horror of the mind? The insane

Dead melancholy?
MARSYAS Trick is vain. 

Sheer manhood must support the strife,

And the trained Will, the Root of Life,

Bear the adept triumphant.
MARSYAS The reason, like a chime of bells

Ripped by the lightning, cracks.
OLYMPAS And these

Are the first sights the magus sees?
MARSYAS The first true sights. Bright images

Throng the clear mind at first, a crowd

Of Gods, lights, armies, landscapes; loud

Reverberations of the Light. 

But these are dreams, things in the mind,

Reveries, idols. Thou shalt find

No rest therein. The former three

(Lightning, moon, sun) are royally

Liminal to the Hall of Truth. 

Also there be with them, in sooth,

Their brethren. There's the vision called

The Lion of the Light, a brand

Of ruby flame and emerald

Waved by the Hermeneutic Hand. 

There is the Chalice, whence the flood

Of God's beatitude of blood

Flames. O to sing those starry tunes!

O colder than a million moons!

O vestal waters! Wine of love

Wan as the lyric soul thereof!

There is the Wind, a whirling sword,

The savage rapture of the air

Tossed beyond space and time. My Lord,

My Lord, even now I see Thee there

In infinite motion! And beyond

There is the Disk, the wheel of things;

Like a black boundless diamond

Whirring with millions of wings!
MARSYAS Know also that above

These portents hangs no veil of love;

But, guarded by unsleeping eyes

Of twice seven score severities,

The Veil that only rips apart

When the spear strikes to Jesus' heart!

A mighty Guard of Fire are they

With sabres turning every way!

Their eyes are millstones greater than

The earth; their mouths run seas of blood. 

Woe be to that accurséd man

Of whom they are the iniquities!

Swept in their wrath's avenging flood

To black immitigable seas!

Woe to the seeker who shall fail

To rend that vexful virgin Veil!

Fashion thyself by austere craft

Into a single azure shaft

Loosed from the string of Will; behold

The Rainbow! Thou art shot, pure flame,

Past the reverberated Name

Into the Hall of Death. Therein

The Rosy Cross is subtly seen.
OLYMPAS Is that a vision, then?
OLYMPAS Tell me thereof!
MARSYAS O not of this!

Of all the flowers in God's field

We name not this. Our lips are sealed

In that the Universal Key

Lieth within its mystery. 

But know thou this. These visions give

A hint both faint and fugitive

Yet haunting, that behind them lurks

Some Worker, greater than his works. 

Yea, it is given to him who girds

His loins up, is not fooled by words,

Who takes life lightly in his hand

To throw away at Will's command,

To know that View beyond the Veil. 

O petty purities and pale,

These visions I have spoken of!

The infinite Lord of Light and Love

Breaks on the soul like dawn. See! See!

Great God of Might and Majesty!

Beyond sense, beyond sight, a brilliance

Burning from His glowing glance!

Formless, all the worlds of flame

Atoms of that fiery frame!

The adept caught up and broken;

Slain, before His Name be spoken!

In that fire the soul burns up. 

One drop from that celestial cup

Is an abyss, an infinite sea

That sucks up immortality!

O but the Self is manifest

Through all that blaze! Memory stumbles

Like a blind man for all the rest. 

Speech, like a crag of limestone, crumbles,

While this one soul of thought is sure

Through all confusion to endure,

Infinite Truth in one small span:

This that is God is Man.
OLYMPAS Master! I tremble and rejoice.
MARSYAS Before His own authentic voice

Doubt flees. The chattering choughs of talk

Scatter like sparrows from a hawk.
OLYMPAS Thenceforth the adept is certain of

The mystic mountain? Light and Love

Are Life therein, and they are his?
MARSYAS Even so. And One supreme there is

Whom I have known, being He. Withdrawn

Within the curtains of the dawn

Dwells that concealed. Behold! he is

A blush, a breeze, a song, a kiss,

A rosy flame like Love, his eyes

Blue, the quintessence of all skies,

His hair a foam of gossamer

Pale gold as jasmine, lovelier

Than all the wheat of Paradise. 

O the dim water-wells his eyes!

There is such depth of Love in them

That the adept is rapt away,

Dies on that mouth, a gleaming gem

Of dew caught in the boughs of Day!
OLYMPAS The hearing of it is so sweet

I swoon to silence at thy feet.

The Word!
MARSYAS Had I a million songs,

And every song a million words,

And every word a million meanings,

I could not count the choral throngs

Of Beauty's beatific birds,

Or gather up the paltry gleanings

Of this great harvest of delight!

Hast thou not heard the word aright?

That world is truly infinite. 

Even as a cube is to a square

Is that to this.
OLYMPAS Royal and rare!

Infinite light of burning wheels!
MARSYAS Ay! The imagination reels. 

Thou must attain before thou know,

And when thou knowest--Mighty woe

That silence grips the willing lips!
OLYMPAS Ever was speech the thought's eclipse.
MARSYAS Ay, not to veil the truth to him

Who sought it, groping in the dim

Halls of illusion, said the sages

In all the realms, in all the ages,

"Keep silence. " By a word should come

Your sight, and we who see are dumb!

We have sought a thousand times to teach

Our knowledge; we are mocked by speech. 

So lewdly mocked, that all this word

Seems dead, a cloudy crystal blurred,

Though it cling closer to life's heart

Than the best rhapsodies of art!
OLYMPAS Yet speak!
MARSYAS Ah, could I tell thee of

These infinite things of Light and Love!

There is the Peacock; in his fan

Innumerable plumes of Pan!

Oh! every plume hath countless eyes;

--Crown of created mysteries!---

Each holds a Peacock like the First.
OLYMPAS How can this be?
MARSYAS The mind's accurst. 

It cannot be. It is. Behold,

Battalion on battalion rolled!

There is war in Heaven! The soul sings still,

Struck by the plectron of the Will;

But the mind's dumb; its only cry

The shriek of its last agony!
OLYMPAS Surely it struggles.
MARSYAS Bitterly!

And, mark! it must be strong to die!

The weak and partial reason dips

One edge, another springs, as when

A melting iceberg reels and tips

Under the sun. Be mighty then,

A lord of Thought, beyond wit and wonder

Balanced--then push the whole mind under,

Sunk beyond chance of floating, blent

Rightly with its own element,

Not lifting jagged peaks and bare

To the unsympathetic air!

This is the second veil; and hence

As first we slew the things of sense

Upon the altar of their God,

So must the Second Period

Slay the ideas, to attain

To that which is, beyond the brain.
OLYMPAS To that which is?--not thought? not sense?
MARSYAS Knowledge is but experience

Made conscious of itself. The bee,

Past master of geometry,

Hath not one word of all of it;

For wisdom is not mother-wit!

So the adept is called insane

For his frank failure to explain. 

Language creates false thoughts; the true

Breed language slowly. Following

Experience of a thing we knew

Arose the need to name the thing. 

So, ancients likened a man's mind

To the untamed evasive wind. 

Some fool thinks names are things; and boasts

Aloud of spirits and of ghosts. 

Religion follows on a pun!

And we, who know that Holy One

Of whom I told thee, seek in vain

Figure or word to make it plain.
OLYMPAS Despair of man!
MARSYAS Man is the seed

Of the unimaginable flower. 

By singleness of thought and deed

It may bloom now--this actual hour!
OLYMPAS The soul made safe, is vision sure

To rise therein?
MARSYAS Though calm and pure

It seem, maybe some thought hath crept

Into his mind to baulk the adept. 

The expectation of success

Suffices to destroy the stress

Of the one thought. But then, what odds?

"Man's vision goes, dissolves in God's;"

Or, "by God's grace the Light is given

To the elected heir of heaven. "

These are but idle theses, dry

Dugs of the cow Theology. 

Business is business. The one fact

That we know is: the gods exact

A stainless mirror. Cleanse thy soul!

Perfect the will's austere control!

For the rest, wait! The sky once clear,

Dawn needs no prompting to appear!
OLYMPAS Enough! it shall be done.

Easily trips the big word "dare. "

Each man's an OEdipus, that thinks

He hath the four powers of the Sphinx,

Will, Courage, Knowledge, Silence. Son,

Even the adepts scarce win to one!

Thy Thoughts--they fall like rotten fruits. 

But to destroy the power that makes

These thoughts--thy Self? A man it takes

To tear his soul up by the roots!

This is the mandrake fable, boy!
OLYMPAS You told me that the Path was joy.
MARSYAS A lie to lure thee!

And joy are twin toys of the brain. 

Even early visions pass beyond!
OLYMPAS Not all the crabbed runes I have conned

Told me so plain a truth. I see,

Inscrutable Simplicity!

Crushed like a blind-worm by the heel

Of all I am, perceive, and feel,

My truth was but the partial pang

That chanced to strike me as I sang.
MARSYAS In the beginning, violence

Marks the extinction of the sense. 

Anguish and rapture rack the soul. 

These are disruptions of control. 

Self-poised, a brooding hawk, there hangs

In the still air the adept. The bull

On the firm earth goes not so smooth!

So the first fine ecstatic pangs

Pass; balance comes.
OLYMPAS How wonderful

Are these tall avenues of truth!
MARSYAS So the first flash of light and terror

Is seen as shadow, known as error. 

Next, light comes as light; as it grows

The sense of peace still steadier glows;

And the fierce lust, that linked the soul

To its God, attains a chaste control. 

Intimate, an atomic bliss,

Is the last phrasing of that kiss. 

Not ecstasy, but peace, pure peace!

Invisible the dew sublimes

From the great mother, subtly climbs

And loves the leaves! Yea, in the end,

Vision all vision must transcend. 

These glories are mere scaffolding

To the Closed Palace of the King.
OLYMPAS Yet, saidst thou, ere the new flower shoots

The soul is torn up by the roots.
MARSYAS Now come we to the intimate things

Known to how few! Man's being clings

First to the outer. Free from these

The inner sheathings, and he sees

Those sheathings as external. Strip

One after one each lovely lip

From the full rose-but! Ever new

Leaps the next petal to the view. 

What binds them by Desire? Disease

Most dire of direful Destiny's!
OLYMPAS I have abandoned all to tread

The brilliant pathway overhead!
MARSYAS Easy to say. To abandon all,

All must be first loved and possessed. 

Nor thou nor I have burst the thrall. 

All--as I offered half in jest,

Sceptic--was torn away from me. 

Not without pain! THEY slew my child,

Dragged my wife down to infamy

Loathlier than death, drove to the wild

My tortured body, stripped me of

Wealth, health, youth, beauty, ardour, love. 

Thou has abandoned all? Then try

A speck of dust within the eye!
OLYMPAS But that is different!
MARSYAS Life is one. 

Magic is life. The physical

(Men name it) is a house of call

For the adept, heir of the sun!

Bombard the house! it groans and gapes. 

The adept runs forth, and so escapes

That ruin!
OLYMPAS Smoothly parallel

The ruin of the mind as well?
MARSYAS Ay! Hear the Ordeal of the Veil,

The Second Veil! ... O spare me this

Magical memory! I pale

To show the Veil of the Abyss. 

Nay, let confession be complete!
OLYMPAS Master, I bend me at thy feet---

Why do they sweat with blood and dew?
MARSYAS Blind horror catches at my breath. 

The path of the abyss runs through

Things darker, dismaller than death!

Courage and will! What boots their force?

The mind rears like a frightened horse. 

There is no memory possible

Of that unfathomable hell. 

Even the shadows that arise

Are things to dreadful to recount!

There's no such doom in Destiny's

Harvest of horror. The white fount

Of speech is stifled at its source. 

Know, the sane spirit keeps its course

By this, that everything it thinks

Hath causal or contingent links. 

Destroy them, and destroy the mind!

O bestial, bottomless, and blind

Black pit of all insanity!

The adept must make his way to thee!

This is the end of all our pain,

The dissolution of the brain!

For lo! in this no mortar sticks;

Down come the house--a hail of bricks!

The sense of all I hear is drowned;

Tap, tap, isolated sound,

Patters, clatters, batters, chatters,

Tap, tap, tap, and nothing matters!

Senseless hallucinations roll

Across the curtain of the soul. 

Each ripple on the river seems

The madness of a maniac's dreams!

So in the self no memory-chain

Or causal wisp to bind the straws!

The Self disrupted! Blank, insane,

Both of existence and of laws,

The Ego and the Universe

Fall to one black chaotic curse.
OLYMPAS So ends philosoÿhy's inquiry:

"Summa scientia nihil scire. "
MARSYAS Ay, but that reasoned thesis lacks

The impact of reality. 

This vision is a battle axe

Splitting the skull. O pardon me!

But my soul faints, my stomach sinks. 

Let me pass on!
OLYMPAS My being drinks

The nectar-poison of the Sphinx. 

This is a bitter medicine!
MARSYAS Black snare that I was taken in!

How one may pass I hardly know. 

Maybe time never blots the track. 

Black, black, intolerably black!

Go, spectre of the ages, go!

Suffice it that I passed beyond. 

I found the secret of the bond

Of thought to thought through countless years

Through many lives, in many spheres,

Brought to a point the dark design

Of this existence that is mine. 

I knew my secret. "All I was"

I brought into the burning-glass,

And all its focussed light and heat

Charred "all I am. " The rune's complete

When "all I shall be" flashes by

Like a shadow on the sky. 

Then I dropped my reasoning. 

Vacant and accursed thing!

By my Will I swept away

The web of metaphysic, smiled

At the blind labyrinth, where the grey

Old snake of madness wove his wild

Curse! As I trod the trackless way

Through sunless gorges of Cathay,

I became a little child. 

By nameless rivers, swirling through

Chasms, a fantastic blue,

Month by month, on barren hills,

In burning heat, in bitter chills,

Trÿic forest, Tartar snow,

Smaragdine archipelago,

See me--led by some wise hand

That I did not understand. 

Morn and noon and eve and night

I, the forlorn eremite,

Called on Him with mild devotion,

As the dew-drop woos the ocean. 

In my wanderings I came

To an ancient park aflame

With fairies' feet. Still wrapped in love

I was caught up, beyond, above

The tides of being. The great sight

Of the intolerable light

Of the whole universe that wove

The labyrinth of life and love

Blazed in me. Then some giant will,

Mine or another's thrust a thrill

Through the great vision. All the light

Went out in an immortal night,

The world annihilated by

The opening of the Master's Eye. 

How can I tell it?
OLYMPAS Master, master!

A sense of some divine disaster

Abases me.
MARSYAS Indeed, the shrine

Is desolate of the divine!

But all the illusion gone, behold

The one that is!
OLYMPAS Royally rolled,

I hear strange music in the air!
MARSYAS It is the angelic choir, aware

Of the great Ordeal dared and done

By one more Brother of the Sun!
OLYMPAS Master, the shriek of a great bird

Blends with the torrent of the thunder.
MARSYAS It is the echo of the word

That tore the universe asunder.
OLYMPAS Master, thy stature spans the sky.
MARSYAS Verily; but it is not I. 

The adept dissolves--pale phantom form

Blown from the black mouth of the storm. 

It is another that arises!
OLYMPAS Yet in thee, through thee!
MARSYAS I am not.
OLYMPAS For me thou art.
MARSYAS So that suffices

To seal thy will? To cast thy lot

Into the lap of God? Then, well!
OLYMPAS Ay, there is no more potent spell. 

Through life, through death, by land and sea

Most surely will I follow thee.
MARSYAS Follow thyself, not me. Thou hast

An Holy Guardian Angel, bound

to lead thee from thy bitter waste

To the inscrutable profound

That is His covenanted ground.
OLYMPAS Thou who hast known these master-keys

Of all creation's mysteries,

Tell me, what followed the great gust

Of God that blew his world to dust?
MARSYAS I, even I the man, became

As a great sword of flashing flame. 

My life, informed with holiness,

Conscious of its own loveliness,

Like a well that overflows

At the limit of the snows,

Sent its crystal stream to gladden

The hearts of me, their lives to madden

With the intoxicating bliss

(Wine mixed with myrrh and ambergris!)

Of this bitter-sweet perfume,

This gorse's blaze of prickly bloom

That is the Wisdom of the Way. 

Then springs the statue from the clay,

And all God's doubted fatherhood

Is seen to be supremely good. 

Live within the sane sweet sun!

Leave the shadow-world alone!
OLYMPAS There is a crown for every one;

For every one there is a throne!
MARSYAS That crown is Silence. Sealed and sure!

That throne is Knowledge perfect pure. 

Below that throne adoring stand

Virtues in a blissful band;

Mercy, majesty and power,

Beauty and harmony and strength,

Triumph and splendour, starry shower

Of flames that flake their lily length,

A necklet of pure light, far-flung

Down to the Base, from which is hung

A pearl, the Universe, whose sight

Is one globed jewel of delight. 

Fallen no more! A bowered bride

Blushing to be satisfied!
OLYMPAS All this, of once the Eye unclose?
MARSYAS The golden cross, the ruby rose

Are gone, when flaming from afar

The Hawk's eye blinds the Silver Star. 

O brothers of the Star, caressed

By its cool flames from brow to breast,

Is there some rapture yet to excite

This prone and pallid neophyte?
OLYMPAS O but there is no need of this!

I burn toward the abyss of Bliss. 

I call the Four Powers of the Name;

Earth, wind and cloud, sea, smoke and flame

To witness: by this triune Star

I swear to break the twi-forked bar. 

But how to attain? Flexes and leans

The strongest will that lacks the means.
MARSYAS There are seven keys to the great gate,

Being eight in one and one in eight. 

First, let the body of thee be still,

Bound by the cerements of will,

Corpse-rigid; thus thou mayst abort

The fidget-babes that tense the thought. 

Next, let the breath-rhythm be low,

Easy, regular, and slow;

So that thy being be in tune

With the great sea's Pacific swoon. 

Third, let thy life be pure and calm

Swayed softly as a windless palm. 

Fourth, let the will-to-live be bound

To the one love of the Profound. 

Fifth, let the thought, divinely free

From sense, observe its entity. 

Watch every thought that springs; enhance

Hour after hour thy vigilance!

Intense and keen, turned inward, miss

No atom of analysis!

Sixth, on one thought securely pinned

Still every whisper of the wind!

So like a flame straight and unstirred

Burn up thy being in one word!

Next, still that ecstasy, prolong

Thy meditation steep and strong,

Slaying even God, should He distract

Thy attention from the chosen act!

Last, all these things in one o'erpowered,

Time that the midnight blossom flowered!

The oneness is. Yet even in this,

My son, thou shalt not do amiss

If thou restrain the expression, shoot

Thy glance to rapture's darkling root,

Discarding name, form, sight, and stress

Even of this high consciousness;

Pierce to the heart! I leave thee here:

Thou art the Master. I revere

Thy radiance that rolls afar,

O Brother of the Silver Star!

OLYMPAS. Ah, but no ease may lap my limbs. 

Giants and sorcerers oppose;

Ogres and dragons are my foes!

Leviathan against me swims,

And lions roar, and Boreas blows!

No Zephyrs woo, no happy hymns

Paean the Pilgrim of the Rose!
MARSYAS I teach the royal road of light. 

Be thou, devoutly eremite,

Free of thy fate. Choose tenderly

A place for thine Academy. 

Let there be an holy wood

Of embowered solitude

By the still, the rainless river,

Underneath the tangled roots

Of majestic trees that quiver

In the quiet airs; where shoots

Of the kindly grass are green

Moss and ferns asleep between,

Lilies in the water lapped,

Sunbeams in the branches trapped

--Windless and eternal even!

Silenced all the birds of heaven

By the low insistent call

Of the constant waterfall. 

There, to such a setting be

Its carven gem of deity,

A central flawless fire, enthralled

Like Truth within an emerald!

Thou shalt have a birchen bark

On the river in the dark;

And at the midnight thou shalt go

to the mid-stream's smoothest flow,

And strike upon a golden bell

The spirit's call; then say the spell:

"Angel, mine angel, draw thee nigh!"

Making the Sign of Magistry

With wand of lapis lazuli. 

Then, it may be, through the blind dumb

Night thou shalt see thine angel come,

Hear the faint whisper of his wings,

Behold the starry breast begemmed

With the twelve stones of the twelve kings!

His forehead shall be diademed

With the faint light of stars, wherein

The Eye gleams dominant and keen. 

Thereat thou swoonest; and thy love

Shall catch the subtle voice thereof. 

He shall inform his happy lover:

My foolish prating shall be over!
OLYMPAS O now I burn with holy haste. 

This doctrine hath so sweet a taste

That all the other wine is sour.
MARSYAS Son, there's a bee for every flower. 

Lie open, a chameleon cup,

And let Him suck thine honey up!
OLYMPAS There is one doubt. When souls attain

Such an unimagined gain

Shall not others mark them, wise

Beyond mere mortal destinies?
MARSYAS Such are not the perfect saints. 

While the imagination faints

Before their truth, they veil it close

As amid the utmost snows

The tallest peaks most straitly hide

With clouds their holy heads. Divide

The planes! Be ever as you can

A simple honest gentleman!

Body and manners be at ease,

Not bloat with blazoned sanctities!

Who fights as fights the soldier-saint?

And see the artist-adept paint!

Weak are those souls that fear the stress

Of earth upon their holiness!

They fast, they eat fantastic food,

They prate of beans and brotherhood,

Wear sandals, and long hair, and spats,

And think that makes them Arahats!

How shall man still his spirit-storm?

Rational Dress and Food Reform!
OLYMPAS I know such saints.
MARSYAS An easy vice:

So wondrous well they advertise!

O their mean souls are satisfied

With wind of spiritual pride. 

They're all negation. "Do not eat;

What poison to the soul is meat!

Drink not; smoke not; deny the will!

Wine and tobacco make us ill. "

Magic is life; the Will to Live

Is one supreme Affirmative. 

These things that flinch from Life are worth

No more to Heaven than to Earth. 

Affirm the everlasting Yes!
OLYMPAS Those saints at least score one success:

Perfection of their priggishness!
MARSYAS Enough. The soul is subtlier fed

With meditation's wine and bread. 

Forget their failings and our own;

Fix all our thoughts on Love alone!

Ah, boy, all crowns and thrones above

Is the sanctity of love. 

In His warm and secret shrine

Is a cup of perfect wine,

Whereof one drop is medicine

Against all ills that hurt the soul. 

A flaming daughter of the Jinn

Brought to me once a wingéd scroll,

Wherein I read the spell that brings

The knowledge of that King of Kings. 

Angel, I invoke thee now!

Bend on me the starry brow!

Spread the eagle wings above

The pavilion of our love! .... 

Rise from your starry sapphire seats!

See, where through the quickening skies

The oriflamme of beauty beats

Heralding loyal legionaries,

Whose flame of golden javelins

Fences those peerless paladins. 

There are the burning lamps of them,

Splendid star-clusters to begem

The trailing torrents of those blue

Bright wings that bear mine angel through!

O Thou art like an Hawk of Gold,

Miraculously manifold,

For all the sky's aflame to be

A mirror magical of Thee!

The stars seem comets, rushing down

To gem thy robes, bedew thy crown. 

Like the moon-plumes of a strange bird

By a great wind sublimely stirred,

Thou drawest the light of all the skies

Into thy wake. The heaven dies

In bubbling froth of light, that foams

About thine ardour. All the domes

Of all the heavens close above thee

As thou art known of me who love thee. 

Excellent kiss, thou fastenest on

This soul of mine, that it is gone,

Gone from all life, and rapt away

Into the infinite starry spray

Of thine own AEon ... Alas for me!

I faint. Thy mystic majesty

Absorbs this spark.
OLYMPAS All hail! all hail!

White splendour through the viewless veil!

I am drawn with thee to rapture.

I bear a message. Heaven hath sent

The knowledge of a new sweet way

Into the Secret Element.
OLYMPAS Master, while yet the glory clings

Declare this mystery magical!
MARSYAS I am yet borne on those blue wings

Into the Essence of the All. 

Now, now I stand on earth again,

Though, blazing through each nerve and vein,

The light yet holds its choral course,

Filling my frame with fiery force

Like God's. Now hear the Apocalypse

New-fledged on these reluctant lips!
OLYMPAS I tremble like an aspen, quiver

Like light upon a rainy river!
MARSYAS Do what thou wilt! is the sole word

Of law that my attainment heard. 

Arise, and lay thine hand on God!

Arise, and set a period

Unto Restriction! That is sin:

To hold thine holy spirit in!

O thou that chafest at thy bars,

Invoke Nuit beneath her stars

With a pure heart (Her incense burned

Of gums and woods, in gold inurned),

And let the serpent flame therein

A little, and thy soul shall win

To lie within her bosom. Lo!

Thou wouldst give all--and she cries: No!

Take all, and take me! Gather spice

And virgins and great pearls of price!

Worship me in a single robe,

Crowned richly! Girdle of the globe,

I love thee! Pale and purple, veiled,

Voluptuous, swan silver-sailed,

I love thee. I am drunkness

Of the inmost sense; my soul's caress

Is toward thee! Let my priestess stand

Bare and rejoicing, softly fanned

By smooth-lipped acolytes, upon

Mine iridescent altar-stone,

And in her love-chaunt swooningly

Say evermore: To me! To me!

I am the azure-lidded daughter

Of sunset; the all-girdling water;

The naked brilliance of the sky

In the voluptuous night am I!

With song, with jewel, with perfume,

Wake all my rose's blush and bloom!

Drink to me! Love me! I love thee,

My love, my lord--to me! to me!
OLYMPAS There is no harshness in the breath

Of this--is life surpassed, and death?
MARSYAS There is the Snake that gives delight

And Knowledge, stirs the heart aright

With drunkenness. Strange drugs are thine,

Hadit, and draughts of wizard wine!

These do no hurt. Thine hermits dwell

Not in the cold secretive cell,

But under purple canopies

With mighty-breasted mistresses

Magnificent as lionesses--

Tender and terrible caresses!

Fire lives, and light, in eager eyes;

And massed huge hair about them lies. 

They lead their hosts to victory:

In every joy they are kings; then see

That secret serpent coiled to spring

And win the world! O priest and king,

Let there be feasting, foining, fighting,

A revel of lusting, singing, smiting!

Work; be the bed of work! Hold! Hold!

the stars' kiss is as molten gold. 

Harden! Hold thyself up! now die---

Ah! Ah! Exceed! Exceed!
MARSYAS My stature shall surpass the stars:

He hath said it! Men shall worship me

In hidden woods, on barren scaurs,

Henceforth to all eternity.
OLYMPAS Hail! I adore thee! Let us feast.
MARSYAS I am the consecrated Beast. 

I build the Abominable House. 

The Scarlet Woman is my Spouse--
OLYMPAS What is this word?
MARSYAS Thou canst not know

Till thou hast passed the Fourth Ordeal.
OLYMPAS I worship thee. The moon-rays flow

Masterfully rich and real

From thy red mouth, and burst, young suns

Chanting before the Holy Ones

Thine Eight Mysterious Orisons!
MARSYAS The last spell! The availing word!

The two completed by the third!

The Lord of War, of Vengeance

That slayeth with a single glance!

This light is in me of my Lord. 

His Name is this far-whirling sword. 

I push His order. Keen and swift

My Hawk's eye flames; these arms uplift

The Banner of Silence and of Strength--

Hail! Hail! thou art here, my Lord, at length!

Lo, the Hawk-Headed Lord am I:

My nemyss shrouds the night-blue sky. 

Hail! ye twin warriors that guard

The pillars of the world! Your time

Is nigh at hand. The snake that marred

Heaven with his inexhaustible slime

Is slain; I bear the Wand of Power,

The Wand that waxes and that wanes;

I crush the Universe this hour

In my left hand; and naught remains!

Ho! for the splendour in my name

Hidden and glorious, a flame

Secretly shooting from the sun. 

Aum! Ha!--my destiny is done. 

The Word is spoken and concealed.
OLYMPAS I am stunned. What wonder was revealed?
MARSYAS The rite is secret.
OLYMPAS Profits it?
MARSYAS Only to wisdom and to wit.
OLYMPAS The other did no less.
MARSYAS Then prove

Both by the master-key of Love. 

The lock turns stiffly? Shalt thou shirk

To use the sacred oil of work?

Not from the valley shalt thou test

The eggs that line the eagle's nest!

Climb, with thy life at stake, the ice,

The sheer wall of the precipice!

Master the cornice, gain the breach,

And learn what next the ridge can teach!

Yet--not the ridge itself may speak

The secret of the final peak.
OLYMPAS All ridges join at last.
MARSYAS Admitted,

O thou astute and subtle-witted!

Yet one--loose, jaggéd, clad in mist!

Another--firm, smooth, loved and kissed

By the soft sun! Our order hath

This secret of the solar path,

Even as our Lord the Beast hath won

The mystic Number of the Sun.
OLYMPAS These secrets are too high for me.
MARSYAS Nay, little brother! Come and see!

Neither by faith nor fear nor awe

Approach the doctrine of the Law!

Truth, Courage, Love, shall win the bout,

And those three others be cast out.
OLYMPAS Lead me, Master, by the hand

Gently to this gracious land!

Let me drink the doctrine in,

An all-healing medicine!

Let me rise, correct and firm,

Steady striding to the term,

Master of my fate, to rise

To imperial destinies;

With the sun's ensanguine dart

Spear-bright in my blazing heart,

And my being's basil-plant

Bright and hard as adamant!
MARSYAS Yonder, faintly luminous,

The yellow desert waits for us. 

Lithe and eager, hand in hand,

We travel to the lonely land. 

There, beneath the stars, the smoke

Of our incense shall invoke

The Queen of Space; and subtly She

Shall bend from Her infinity

Like a lambent flame of blue,

Touching us, and piercing through

All the sense-webs that we are

As the aethyr penetrates a star!

Her hands caressing the black earth,

Her sweet lithe body arched for love,

Her feet a Zephyr to the flowers,

She calls my name--she gives the sign

That she is mine, supremely mine,

And clinging to the infinite girth

My soul gets perfect joy thereof

Beyond the abysses and the hours;

So that--I kiss her lovely brows;

She bathes my body in perfume

Of sweat .... O thou my secret spouse,

Continuous One of Heaven! illume

My soul with this arcane delight,

Volumptuous Daughter of the Night!

Eat me up wholly with the glance

Of thy luxurious brilliance!
OLYMPAS The desert calls.
MARSYAS Then let us go!

Or seek the sacramental snow,

Where like a high-priest I may stand

With acolytes on every hand,

The lesser peaks--my will withdrawn

To invoke the dayspring from the dawn,

Changing that rosy smoke of light

To a pure crystalline white;

Though the mist of mind, as draws

A dancer round her limbs the gauze,

Clothe Light, and show the virgin Sun

A lemon-pale medallion!

Thence leap we leashless to the goal,

Stainless star-rapture of the soul. 

So the altar-fires fade

As the Godhead is displayed. 

Nay, we stir not. Everywhere

Is our temple right appointed. 

All the earth is faery fair

For us. Am I not anointed?

The Sigil burns upon the brow

At the adjuration--here and now.
OLYMPAS The air is laden with perfumes.
MARSYAS Behold! It beams--it burns--it blooms. 

OLYMPAS Master, how subtly hast thou drawn

The daylight from the Golden Dawn,

Bidden the Cavernous Mount unfold

Its Ruby Rose, its Cross of Gold;

Until I saw, flashed from afar,

The Hawk's eye in the Silver Star!
MARSYAS Peace to all beings. Peace to thee,

Co-heir of mine eternity!

Peace to the greatest and the least,

To nebula and nenuphar!

Light in abundance be increased

On them that dream that shadows are!
OLYMPAS Blessing and worship to The Beast,

The prophet of the lovely Star!

Liber Aba - Book IV - Part III


Part III of Book Four


The Master Therion

(Aleister Crowley)

[Based on the Castle Books edition of New York.]

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Table of Contents

  • 0 The Magical Theory of the Universe.
  • I The Principles of Ritual.
  • II The Formulae of the Elemental Weapons.
  • III The Formula of Tetragrammaton.
  • IV The Formula of Alhim: also that of Alim.
  • V The Formula of I. A. O.
  • VI The Formula of the Neophyte.
  • VII The Formula of the Holy Graal, of Abrahadabra, and of Certain Other Words; with some remarks on the Magical Memory.
  • VIII Of Equilibrium: and of the General and Particular Method of Preparation of the Furniture of the Temple and the Instruments of Art.
  • IX Of Silence and Secrecy: and of the Barbarous names of Evocation.
  • X Of the Gestures.
  • XI Of Our Lady BABALON and of The Beast whereon she rideth: also concerning Transformations.
  • XII Of the Bloody Sacrifice and Matters Cognate.
  • XIII Of the Banishings, and of the Purifications.
  • XIV Of the Consecrations: with an Account of the Nature and Nurture of the Magical Link.
  • XVI (1) Of the Oath.
  • XV Of the Invocation.
  • XVI (2) Of the Charge to the Spirit: with some Account of the Constraints and Curses occasionally necessary.
  • XVII Of the License to Depart.
  • XVIII Of Clairvoyance: and of the Body of Light, its Powers and its Development. Also concerning Divinations.
  • XIX Of Dramatic Rituals.
  • XX Of the Eucharist: and of the Art of Alchemy.
  • XXI Of Black Magick: of the Main Types of the Operations of Magick Art: and of the Powers of the Sphinx.
  • Appendix I

    Bibliography and Curriculum of the A∴A∴

    Appendix II

    One Star in Sight

    Appendix III

    Notes on the nature of the "Astral Plane"

    Appendix IV

    Liber Samekh - Theurgia Goetia Summa (Congressus Cum Daemone)

    Appendix V

    A few of the principal correspondences of the Qabalah

    Appendix VI

    A few principal Rituals

    Grimorium Sanctissimum

  • Liber XXV - The Star Ruby
  • Liber XXXVI - The Star Sapphire
  • Liber XLIV - The Mass of the Phoenix
  • Liber V vel Reguli
  • Liber XV - O.T.O. - Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae

    Appendix VII

    A few of the principal instructions authorised by the A∴A∴

  • Liber HHH - continet Capitula Tria: MMM, AAA, et SSS
  • Liber E vel Exercitiorum
  • Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae
  • Liber Astarte vel Berylli
  • Liber RV vel Spiritus
  • Liber Yod
  • Liber Thisharb
  • Liber B vel Magi
  • Liber Resh vel Helios
  • Liber III vel Jugorum
  • Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni
  • Liber A'ash vel Capricorni Pneumatici
  • Liber A vel Armorum

  • Liber Aba - Book IV - Part II



    footnote: The old spelling MAGICK has been adopted throughout in order to distinguish the Science of the Magi from all its counterfeits.



    HITHERTO we have spoken only of the mystic path; and we have kept particularly to the practical exoteric side of it. Such difficulties as we have mentioned have been purely natural obstacles. For example, the great question of the surrender of the self, which bulks so largely in most mystical treatises, has not been referred to at all. We have said only what a man must do; we have not considered at all what that doing may involve. The rebellion of the will against the terrible discipline of meditation has not been discussed; one may now devote a few words to it.

    There is no limit to what theologians call "wickedness." Only by experience can the student discover the ingenuity of the mind in trying to escape from control. He is perfectly safe so long as he sticks to meditation, doing no more and no less than that which we have prescribed; but the mind will probably not let him remain in that simplicity. This fact is the root of all the legends about the "Saint" being tempted by the '"Devil." Consider the parable of Christ in the Wilderness, where he is tempted to use his magical power, to do anything but the thing that should be done. These attacks on the will are as bad as the thoughts which intrude upon Dharana. It would almost seem as if one could not succesfully practice meditation until the will had become so strong that no force in the Universe could either bend or break it. Before concentrating the lower principle, the mind, one must concentrate the higher principle, the Will. Failure to understand this has destroyed the value of all attempts to teach "Yoga," "Menticulture," "New Thought," and the like.

    There are methods of training the will, by which it is easy to check one's progress.

    Every one knows the force of habit. Every one knows that if you keep on acting in a particular way, that action becomes easier, and at last absolutely natural.

    All religions have devised practices for this purpose. If you keep on praying with your lips long enough, you will one day find yourself praying in your heart.

    The whole question has been threshed out and organized by wise men of old; they have made a Science of Life complete and perfect; and they have given to it the name of MAGICK. It is the chief secret of the Ancients, and if the keys have never been actually lost, they have certainly been little used.

    footnote: The holders of those keys have always kept very quiet about it. This has been especially necessary in Europe, because of the dominance of persecuting churches.

    Again, the confusion of thought caused by the ignorance of the people who did not understand it has discredited the whole subject. It is now our task to re-establish this science in its perfection.

    To do this we must criticize the Authorities; some of them have made it too complex, others have completely failed in such simple matters as coherence. Many of the writers are empirics, still more mere scribes, while by far the largest class of all is composed of stupid charlatans.

    We shall consider a simple form of magick, harmonized from many systems old and new, describing the various weapons of the Magician and the furniture of his temple. We shall explain to what each really corresponds, and discuss the construction and the use of everything.

    The Magician works in a Temple; the Universe, which is (be it remembered!) conterminous with himself.

    footnote: By "yourself" you mean the contents of your consciousness. All without does not exist for you.

    In this temple a Circle is drawn upon the floor for the limitation of his working. This circle is protected by divine names, the influences on which he relies to keep out hostile thoughts. Within the circle stands an Altar, the solid basis on which he works, the foundation of all. Upon the Altar are his Wand, Cup, Sword, and Pantacle, to represent his Will, his Understanding, his Reason, and the lower parts of his being, respectively. On the Altar, too, is a phial of Oil, surrounded by a Scourge, aDagger, and a Chain, while above the Altar hangs a Lamp. The Magician wears a Crown, a single Robe, and a Lamen, and he bears a Book of Conjurations and a Bell.

    The oil consecrates everything that is touched with it; it is his aspiration; all acts performed in accordance with that are holy. The scourge tortures him; the dagger wounds him; the chain binds him. It is by virtue of these three that his aspiration remains pure, and is able to consecrate all other things. He wears a crown to affirm his lordship, his divinity; a robe to symbolize silence, and a lamen to declare his work. The book of spells or conjurations is his magical record, his Karma. In the East is the Magick Fire, in which all burns up at last.

    footnote: He needs nothing else but the apparatus here described for invocation, by which he calls down that which is above him and within him; but for evocations, by which he calls forth that which is below him and without him, he may place a triangle without the circle.

    We will now consider each of these matters in detail.



    THE Temple represents the external Universe. The Magician must take it as he finds it, so that it is of no particular shape; yet we find written, Liber VII, vi, 2: "We made us a Temple of stones in the shape of the Universe, even as thou didst wear openly and I concealed." This shape is the Vesica Piscis; but it is only the greatest of the Magicians who can thus fashion the Temple. There may, however, be some choice of rooms; this refers to the power of the Magician to reincarnate in a suitable body.

    {diagram on this page: a magical circle reminiscent of an illustration in the "Treasure House of Images" in the Equinox. Caption below: "THE CIRCLE".}



    THE Circle announces the Nature of the Great Work.

    Though the Magician has been limited in his choice of room, he is more or less able to choose what part of the room he will work in. He will consider convenience and possibility. His circle should not be too small and cramp his movements; it should not be so large that he has long distances to traverse. Once the circle is made and consecrated, the Magician must not leave it, or even lean outside, lest he be destroyed by the hostile forces that are without.

    He chooses a circle rather than any other lineal figure for many reasons; e.g.,

    1. He affirms thereby his identity with the infinite.

    2. He affirms the equal balance of his working; since all points on the circumference are equidistant from the centre.

    3. He affirms the limitation implied by his devotion to the Great Work. He no longer wanders about aimlessly in the world.

    The centre of this circle is the centre of the Tau of ten squares which is in the midst, as shown in the illustration. The Tau and the circle together make one form of the Rosy Cross, the uniting of subject and object which is the Great Work, and which is symbolized sometimes as this cross and circle, sometimes as the Lingam-Yoni, sometimes as the Ankh or Crux Ansata, sometimes by the Spire and Nave of a church or temple, and sometimes as a marriage feast, mystic marriage, spiritual marriage, "chymical nuptials," and in a hundred other ways. Whatever the form chosen, it is the symbol of the Great Work.

    This place of his working therefore declares the nature and object of the Work. Those persons who have supposed that the use of these symbols implied worship of the generative organs, merely attributed to the sages of every time and country minds of a calibre equal to their own.

    The Tau is composed of ten squares for the ten Sephiroth.

    footnote: The Ten Sephiroth are the Ten Units. In one system of classification (see "777") these are so arranged, and various ideas are so attributed to them, that they have been made to mean anything. The more you know, the more these numbers mean to you.

    About this Tau is escribed a triangle, which is inscribed in the great Circle; but of the triangle nothing is actually marked but the three corners, the areas defined by the cutting of the lines bounding this triangle. This triangle is only visible in the parts which are common to two of the sides; they have therefore the shape of the diamond, one form of the Yoni. The significance of this is too complex for our simple treatise; it may be studied in Crowley's "Berashith."

    The size of the whole figure is determined by the size of one square of the Tau. And the size of this square is that of the base of the Altar, which is placed upon Maukuth. It will follow then that, in spite of the apparent freedom of the Magician to do anything he likes, he is really determined absolutely; for as the Altar must have a base proportionate to its height, and as that height must be convenient for the Magician, the size of the whole will depend upon his own stature. It is easy to draw a moral lesson from these considerations. We will merely indicate this one, that the scope of any man's work depends upon his own original genius. Even the size of the weapons must be determined by necessary proportion. The exceptions to this rule are the Lamp, which hangs from the roof, above the centre of the Circle, above the square of Tiphereth; and the Oil, whose phial is so small that it will suit any altar.

    On the Circle are inscribed the Names of God; the Circle is of green, and the names are in flaming vermilion, of the same colour as the Tau. Without the Circle are nine pentagrams equidistant,

    footnote: Some magicians prefer seven lamps, for the seven Spirits of God that are before the Throne. Each stands in a heptagram, and in each angle of the heptagram is a letter, so that the seven names (see "Equinox VII") are spelt out. But this is a rather different symbolism. Of course in ordinary specialised working the number of lamps depends on the nature of the work, "e.g.," three for works of Saturn, eight for works Mercuial, and so on.

    in the centre of each of which burns a small Lamp; these are the "Fortresses upon the Frontiers of the Abyss." See the eleventh Aethyr, Liber 418 ("Equinox V"). They keep off those forces of darkness which might otherwise break in.

    The names of God form a further protection. The Magician may consider what names he will use; but each name should in some way symbolise this Work in its method and accomplishment. It is impossible here to enter into this subject fully; the discovery or construction of suitable names might occupy the most learned Qabalist for many years.

    These nine lamps were originally candles made of human fat, the fat of enemies

    footnote: Or sometimes of "birth-strangled babes," "i.e.," of thoughts slain ere they could arise into consciousness.

    slain by the Magician; they thus served as warnings to any hostile force of what might be expected if it caused trouble. To-day such candles are difficult to procure; and it is perhaps simpler to use beeswax. The honey has been taken by the Magician; nothing is left of the toil of all those hosts of bees but the mere shell, the fuel of light. This beeswax is also used in the construction of the Pantacle, and this forms a link between the two symbols. The Pantacle is the food of the Magus; and some of it he gives up in order to give light to that which is without. For these lights are only apparently hostile to intrusion; they serve to illuminate the Circle and the Names of God, and so to bring the first and outmost symbols of initiation within the view of the profane.

    These candles stand upon pentagrams, which symbolize Geburah, severity, and give protection; but also represent the microcosm, the four elements crowned by Spirit, the Will of man perfected in its aspiration to the Higher. They are placed outside the Circle to attract the hostile forces, to give them the first inkling of the Great Work, which they too must some day perform.

    {diagram on this page: A double cubic altar with universal sigil on top, sigils of the 4 Enochian elemental kings around sides in top half and Enochian watch towers (elemental squares) around sides in bottom half. There is a scale at bottom of the diagram and the caption under that: "THE ALTAR. SIDE DESIGNS FROM DR. DEE, AS IN EQUINOX VII."}



    THE Altar represents the solid basis of the work, the fixed Will

    footnote: It represents the extension of Will. Will is the Dyad (see section on the Wand); 2 x 2 = 4. So the altar is foursquare, and also its ten squares show 4. 10 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4.

    of the Magician; and the law under which he works. Within this altar everything is kept, since everything is subject to law. Except the lamp.

    According to some authorities the Altar should be made of oak to represent the stubbornness and rigidity of law; others would make it of Acacia, for Acacia is the symbol of resurrection.

    The Altar is a double cube, which is a rough way of symbolizing the Great Work; for the doubling of the cube, like the squaring of the circle, was one of the great problems of antiquity. The surface of this Altar is composed of ten squares. The top is Kether, and the bottom Malkuth. The height of the Altar is equal to the height above the ground of the navel of the Magician. The Altar is connected with the Ark of the Covenant, Noah's Ark, the nave ("navis," a ship) of the Church, and many other symbols of antiquity, whose symbolism has been well worked out in an anonymous book called "The Cannon,"

    WEH footnote: written by William Stirling

    (Elkin Mathews), which should be studied carefully before constructing the Altar.

    For this Altar must embody the Magician's knowledge of the laws of Nature, which are the laws through which he works.

    He should endeavour to make geometrical constructions to symbolize cosmic measurements. For example, he may take the two diagonals as (say) the diameter of the sun. Then the side of the altar will be found to have a length equal to some other cosmic measure, a vesica drawn on the side some other, a "rood cross" within the vesica yet another. Each Magician should work out his own system of symbolism -- and he need not confine himself to cosmic measurements. He might, for example, find some relation to express the law of inverse squares.

    The top of the Altar shall be covered with gold, and on this gold should be engraved some such figure as the Holy Oblation, or the New Jerusalem, or, if he have the skill, the Microcosm of Vitruvius, of which we give illustrations.

    On the sides of the Altar are also sometimes drawn the great tablets of the elements, and the sigils of the holy elemental kings, as shown in The Equinox, No. VII; for these are syntheses of the forces of Nature. Yet these are rather special than general symbols, and this book purports to treat only of the grand principles of working.

    {diagrams on this page, at top the microcosm of Vitruvius from the title page decoration (not frontispiece as is sometimes said) to Robert Fludd's "Utriusque Cosmi Maioris scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, Physica, Atque Technica Historia", based on a Renaissance copy of Vitruvius' 1st century "De Architectura" as interpreted by Cesariano in 1521, minus Fludd's rope, clouds and winged fawn+hourglass, with the caption beneath "DESIGN SUITABLE FOR TOP OF ALTAR", and below that a geometrical figure of the planets and stars from "The Cannon" fig. 3, p. 30, chap. II. with the under caption "THE HOLY OBLATION"}

    {diagram on this page: Inside a dashed equilateral triangle are a scourge, chain, dagger and a wide, low perfume bottle shaped like a woman's breast with nipple, below this is a scale in inches and below that the caption "THE SCOURGE, THE DAGGER, AND THE CHAIN; ENCLOSING THE PHIAL FOR THE HOLY OIL."}



    THE Scourge, the Dagger, and the Chain, represent the three alchemical principles of Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt. These are not the substances which we now call by these names; they represent "principles," whose operations chemists have found it more convenient to explain in other ways. But Sulphur represents the energy of things, Mercury their fluidity, Salt their fixity. They are analogous to Fire, Air and Water; but they mean rather more, for they represent something deeper and subtler, and yet more truly active. An almost exact analogy is given by the three Gunas of the Hindus; Sattvas, Rajas, and Tamas. Sattvas is Mercury, equable, calm, clear; Rajas is Sulphur, active, excitable, even fierce; Tamas is Salt, thick, sluggish, heavy, dark.

    footnote: There is a long description of these three Gunas in the Bhagavadgita.

    But Hindu philosophy is so occupied with the main idea that only the Absolute is worth anything, that it tends to consider these Gunas (even Sattvas) as evil. This is a correct view, but only from above; and we prefer, if we are truly wise, to avoid this everlasting wail which characterizes the thought of the Indian peninsula: "Everything is sorrow," etc. Accepting their doctrine of the two phases of the Absolute, we must, if we are to be consistent, class the two phases together, either as good or as bad; if one is good and the other bad we are back again in that duality, to avoid which we invented the Absolute.

    The Christian idea that sin was worth while because salvation was so much more worth while, that redemption is so splendid that innocence was well lost, is more satisfactory. St. Paul says: "Where sin abounded, there did grace much more abound. Then shall we do evil that good may come? God forbid." But (clearly!) it is exactly what God Himself did, or why did He create Satan with the germ of his "fall" in him?

    Instead of condemning the three qualities outright, we should consider them as parts of a sacrament. This particular aspect of the Scourge, the Dagger, and the Chain, suggests the sacrament of penance.

    The Scourge is Sulphur: its application excites our sluggish natures; and it may further be used as an instrument of correction, to castigate rebellious volitions. It is applied to the Nephesh, the Animal Soul, the natural desires.

    The Dagger is Mercury: it is used to calm too great heat, by the letting of blood; and it is this weapon which is plunged into the side or heart of the Magician to fill the Holy Cup. Those faculties which come between the appetites and the reason are thus dealt with.

    The Chain is Salt: it serves to bind the wandering thoughts; and for this reason is placed about the neck of the Magician, where Daath is situated.

    These instruments also remind us of pain, death, and bondage. Students of the gospel will recollect that in the martyrdom of Christ these three were used, the dagger being replaced by the nails.

    footnote: This is true of all magical instruments. The Hill of Golgotha is a circle, and the Cross the Tau. Christ had robe, crown, sceptre, etc.; this thesis should one day be fully worked out.

    The Scourge should be made with a handle of iron; the lash is composed of nine strands of fine copper wire, in each of which are twisted small pieces of lead. Iron represents severity, copper love, and lead austerity.

    The Dagger is made of steel inlaid with gold; and the hilt is also golden.

    The chain{Sic} is made of soft iron. It has 333 links.

    footnote: See The Equinox, No. V, "The Vision and the Voice": Xth Aethyr.

    It is now evident why these weapons are grouped around the phial of clear crystal in which is kept the Holy Oil.

    The Scourge keeps the aspiration keen: the Dagger expresses the determination to sacrifice all; and the Chain restricts any wandering.

    We may now consider the Holy Oil itself.



    THE Holy Oil is the Aspiration of the Magician; it is that which consecrates him to the performance of the Great Work; and such is its efficacy that it also consecrates all the furniture of the Temple and the instruments thereof. It is also the grace or chrism; for this aspiration is not ambition; it is a quality bestowed from above. For this reason the Magician will anoint first the top of his head before proceeding to consecrate the lower centres in their turn.

    This oil is of a pure golden colour; and when placed upon the skin it should burn and thrill through the body with an intensity as of fire. It is the pure light translated into terms of desire. It is not the Will of the Magician, the desire of the lower to reach the higher; but it is that spark of the higher in the Magician which wishes to unite the lower with itself.

    Unless therefore the Magician be first anointed with this oil, all his work will be wasted and evil.

    This oil is compounded of four substances. The basis of all is the oil of the olive. The olive is, traditionally, the gift of Minerva, the Wisdom of God, the Logos. In this are dissolved three other oils; oil of myrrh, oil of cinnamon, oil of galangal. The Myrrh is attributed to Binah, the Great Mother, who is both the understanding of the Magician and that sorrow and compassion which results from the contemplation of the Universe. The Cinnamon represents Tiphereth, the Sun -- the Son, in whom Glory and Suffering are identical. The Galangal represents both Kether and Malkuth, the First and the Last, the One and the Many, since in this Oil they are One.

    These oils taken together represent therefore the whole Tree of Life. The ten Sephiroth are blended into the perfect gold.

    This Oil cannot be prepared from crude myrrh, cinnamon, and galangal. The attempt to do so only gives a brown mud with which the oil will not mix. These substances must be themselves refined into pure oils before the final combination.

    This perfect Oil is most penetrating and subtle. Gradually it will spread itself, a glistening film, over every object in the Temple. Each of these objects will then flame in the light of the Lamp. This Oil is like that which was in the widow's curse: it renews and multiplies itself miraculously; its perfume fills the whole Temple; it is the soul of which the grosser perfume is the body.

    The phial which contains the Oil should be of clear rock crystal, and some magicians have fashioned it in the shape of the female breast, for that it is the true nourishment of all that lives. For this reason also it has been made of mother-of-pearl and stoppered with a ruby.




    THE Magical Will is in its essence twofold, for it presupposes a beginning and an end; to will to be a thing is to admit that you are not that thing.

    Hence to will anything but the supreme thing, is to wander still further from it -- any will but that to give up the self to the Beloved is Black Magick -- yet this surrender is so simple an act that to our complex minds it is the most difficult of all acts; and hence training is necessary. Further, the Self surrendered must not be less than the All-Self; one must not come before the altar of the Most High with an impure or an imperfect offering. As it is written in Liber LXV, "To await Thee is the end, not the beginning."

    This training may lead through all sorts of complications, varying according to the nature of the student, and hence it may be necessary for him at any moment to will all sorts of things which to others might seem unconnected with the goal. Thus it is not "a priori" obvious why a billiard player should need a file.

    Since, then, we may want "anything," let us see to it that our will is strong enough to obtain anything we want without loss of time.

    It is therefore necessary to develop the will to its highest point, even though the last task but one is the total surrender of this will. Partial surrender of an imperfect will is of no account in Magick.

    The will being a lever, a fulcrum is necessary; this fulcrum is the main aspiration of the student to attain. All wills which are not dependent upon this principal will are so many leakages; they are like fat to the athlete.

    The majority of the people in this world are ataxic; they cannot coordinate their mental muscles to make a purposed movement. They have no real will, only a set of wishes, many of which contradict others. The victim wobbles from one to the other (and it is no less wobbling because the movements may occasionally be very violent) and at the end of life the movements cancel each other out. Nothing has been achieved; except the one thing of which the victim is not conscious: the destruction of his own character, the confirming of indecision. Such an one is torn limb from limb by Choronzon.

    How then is the will to be trained? All these wishes, whims, caprices, inclinations, tendencies, appetites, must be detected, examined, judged by the standard of whether they help or hinder the main purpose, and treated accordingly.

    {diagram on this page: Solomonic sword vertical to the left, flame carved wand vertical to the right, cup supported by lotus flower tripod (four legs or three?) center top, circle at center bottom. A vertical scale is to the extreme right and this caption is below: "THE WAND, CUP, SWORD, AND DISK OR PANTACLE (drawn to scale)."}

    Vigilance and courage are obviously required. I was about to add self-denial, in deference to conventional speech; but how could I call that self-denial which is merely denial of those things which hamper the self? It is not suicide to kill the germs of malaria in one's blood.

    Now there are very great difficulties to be overcome in the training of the mind. Perhaps the greatest is forgetfulness, which is probably the worst form of what the Buddhists call ignorance. Special practices for training the memory may be of some use as a preliminary for persons whose memory is naturally poor. In any case the Magical Record prescribed for Probationers of the A∴A∴ is useful and necessary.

    Above all the practices of Liber III must be done again and again, for these practices develop not only vigilance but those inhibiting centres in the brain which are, according to some psychologists, the mainspring of the mechanism by which civilized man has raised himself above the savage.

    So far it has been spoken, as it were, in the negative. Aaron's rod has become a serpent, and swallowed the serpents of the other Magicians; it is now necessary to turn it once more into a rod.

    footnote: As everyone knows, the word used in Exodus for a Rod of Almond is {{Hebrew letters: Mem-tet-Hay Hay-Shin-Qof-Dalet}} , adding to 463. Now 400 is Tau, the path leading from Malkuth to Yesod. Sixty is Samekh, the path leading leading {{sic}} from Yesod to Tiphereth; and 3 is Gimel, the path leading thence to Kether. The whole rod therefore gives the paths from the Kingdom to the Crown.}

    This Magical Will is the wand in your hand by which the Great Work is accomplished, by which the Daughter is not merely set upon the throne of the Mother, but assumed into the Highest.

    footnote: In one, the best, system of Magick, the Absolute is called the Crown, God is called the Father, the Pure Soul is called the Mother, the Holy Guardian Angel is called the Son, and the Natural Soul is called the Daughter. The Son purifies the Daughter by wedding her; she thus becomes the Mother, the uniting of whom with the Father absorbs all into the Crown. See Liber CDXVIII.

    The Magick Wand is thus the principal weapon of the Magus; and the "name" of that wand is the Magical Oath.

    The will being twofold is in Chokmah, who is the Logos, the word; hence some have said that the word is the will. Thoth the Lord of Magic {sic} is also the Lord of Speech; Hermes the messenger bears the Caduceus.

    Word should express will: hence the Mystic Name of the Probationer is the expression of his highest Will.

    There are, of course, few Probationers who understand themselves sufficiently to be able to formulate this will to themselves, and therefore at the end of their probation they choose a new name.

    It is convenient therefore for the student to express his will by taking Magical Oaths.

    Since such an oath is irrevocable it should be well considered; and it is better not to take any oath permanently; because with increase of understanding may come a perception of the incompatibility of the lesser oath with the greater.

    This is indeed almost certain to occur, and it must be remembered that as the whole essence of the will is its one-pointedness,

    footnote: The Top of the Wand is in Kether -- which is one; and the Qliphoth of Kether are the Thaumiel, opposing heads that rend and devour each other.

    a dilemma of this sort is the worst in which the Magus can find himself.

    Another great point in this consideration of Magick Vows is to keep them in their proper place. They must be taken for a clearly defined purpose, a clearly understood purpose, and they must never be allowed to go beyond it.

    It is a virtue in a diabetic not to eat sugar, but only in reference to his own condition. It is not a virtue of universal import. Elijah said on one occasion: "I do well to be angry;" but such occasions are rare.

    Moreover, one man's meat is another man's poison. An oath of poverty might be very useful for a man who was unable intelligently to use his wealth for the single end proposed; to another it would be simply stripping himself of energy, causing him to waste his time over trifles.

    There is no power which cannot be pressed in to the service of the Magical Will: it is only the temptation to value that power for itself which offends.

    One does not say: "Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" unless repeated prunings have convinced the gardener that the growth must always be a rank one.

    "If thine hand offend thee, cut it off!" is the scream of a weakling. If one killed a dog the first time it misbehaved itself, not many would pass the stage of puppyhood.

    The best vow, and that of most universal application, is the vow of Holy Obedience; for not only does it lead to perfect freedom, but is a training in that surrender which is the last task.

    WEH footnote: Of all Crowley's views, this is the most controversial. It appears to fly in the face of Thelema. There is high merit in a vow of obedience, and necessity; but the merit is to be found in the "small print." To receive a vow of obedience from another implies perfection in the teacher, a thing impossible to mortals but possible to roles. To make a vow of obedience to a mortal is foolish unless conditions of circumstance and duration are involved.

    It has this great value, that it never gets rusty. If the superior to whom the vow is taken knows his business, he will quickly detect which things are really displeasing to his pupil, and familiarize him with them.

    Disobedience to the superior is a contest between these two wills in the inferior. The will expressed in his vow, which is the will linked to his highest will by the fact that he has taken it in order to develop that highest will, contends with the temporary will, which is based only on temporary considerations.

    The Teacher should then seek gently and firmly to key up the pupil, little by little, until obedience follows command without reference to what that command may be; as Loyola wrote: "perinde ac cadaver."

    No one has understood the Magical Will better than Loyola; in his system the individual was forgotten. The will of the General was instantly echoed by every member of the Order; hence the Society of Jesus became the most formidable of the religious organizations of the world.

    That of the Old Man of the Mountains was perhaps the next best.

    The defect in Loyola's system is that the General was not God, and that owing to various other considerations he was not even necessarily the best man in the Order.

    To become General of the Order he must have willed to become General of the Order; and because of this he could be nothing more.

    To return to the question of the development of the Will. It is always something to pluck up the weeds, but the flower itself needs tending. Having crushed all volitions in ourselves, and if necessary in others, which we find opposing our real Will, that Will itself will grow naturally with greater freedom. But it is not only necessary to purify the temple itself and consecrate it; invocations must be made. Hence it is necessary to be constantly doing things of a positive, not merely of a negative nature, to affirm that Will.

    Renunciation and sacrifice are necessary, but they are comparatively easy. There are a hundred ways of missing, and only one of hitting. To avoid eating beef is easy; to eat nothing but pork is very difficult.

    Levi recommends hat at times the Magical Will itself should be cut off, on the same principle as one can always work better after a "complete change." Levi is doubtless right, but he must be understood as saying this "for the hardness of men's hearts." The turbine is more efficient than a reciprocating engine; and his counsel is only good for the beginner.

    Ultimately the Magical Will so identifies itself with the man's whole being that it becomes unconscious, and is as constant a force as gravitation. One may even be surprised at one's own acts, and have to reason out their connection. But let it be understood that when the Will has thus really raised itself to the height of Destiny, the man is no more likely to do wrong than he is to float off into the air.

    One may be asked whether there is not a conflict between this development of the Will and Ethics.

    The answer is Yes.

    In the Grand Grimoire we are told "to buy an egg without haggling"; and attainment, and the next step in the path of attainment, is that pearl of great price, which when a man hath found he straightway selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that pearl.

    With many people custom and habit -- of which ethics is but the social expression --- are the things most difficult to give up: and it is a useful practice to break any habit just to get into the way of being free from that form of slavery. Hence we have practices for breaking up sleep, for putting our bodies into strained and unnatural positions, for doing difficult exercises of breathing -- all these, apart from any special merit they may have in themselves for any particular purpose, have the main merit that the man forces himself to do them despite any conditions that may exist. Having conquered internal resistance one may conquer external resistance more easily.

    In a steam boat the engine must first overcome its own inertia before it can attack the resistance of the water.

    When the will has thus ceased to be intermittent, it becomes necessary to consider its size. Gravitation gives an acceleration of thirty-two feet per second on this planet, on the moon very much less. And a Will, however single and however constant, may still be of no particular use, because the circumstances which oppose it may be altogether too strong, or because it is for some reason unable to get into touch with them. It is useless to wish for the moon. If one does so, one must consider by what means that Will may be made effective.

    And though a man may have a tremendous Will in one direction it need not always be sufficient to help him in another; it may even be stupid.

    There is the story of the man who practised for forty years to walk across the Ganges; and, having succeeded, was reproached by his Holy Guru, who said: "You are a great fool. All your neighbours have been crossing every day on a raft for two pice."

    This occurs to most, perhaps to all, of us in our careers. We spend infinite pains to learn something, to achieve something, which when gained does not seem worth even the utterance of the wish.

    But this is a wrong view to take. The discipline necessary in order to learn Latin will stand us in good stead when we wish to do something quite different.

    At school our masters punished us; when we leave school, if we have not learned to punish ourselves, we have learned nothing.

    In fact the only danger is that we may value the achievement in itself. The boy who prides himself on his school knowledge is in danger of becoming a college professor.

    So the Guru of the water-walking Hindu only meant that it was now time to be dissatisfied with what he had done -- and to employ his powers to some better end.

    And, incidentally, since the divine Will is one, it will be found that there is no capacity which is not necessarily subservient to the destiny of the man who possesses it.

    One may be unable to tell when a thread of a particular colour will be woven into the carpet of Destiny. It is only when the carpet is finished and seen from a proper distance that the position of that particular strand is seen to be necessary. From this one is tempted to break a lance on that most ancient battlefield, free-will and destiny.

    But even though every man is "determined" so that every action is merely the passive resultant of the sum-total of the forces which have acted upon him from eternity, so that his own Will is only the echo of the Will of the Universe, yet that consciousness of "free-will" is valuable; and if he really understands it as being the partial and individual expression of that internal motion in a Universe whose sum is rest, by so much will he feel that harmony, that totality. And though the happiness which he experiences may be criticised as only one scale of a balance in whose other scale is an equal misery, there are those who hold that misery consists only in the feeling of separation from the Universe, and that consequently all may cancel out among the lesser feelings, leaving only that infinite bliss which is one phase of the infinite consciousness of that ALL. Such speculations are somewhat beyond the scope of the present remarks. It is of no particular moment to observe that the elephant and flea can be no other than they are; but we do perceive that one is bigger than the other. That is the fact of practical importance.

    We do know that persons can be trained to do things which they could not do without training -- and anyone who remarks that you cannot train a person unless it is his destiny to be trained is quite unpractical. Equally it is the destiny of the trainer to train. There is a fallacy in the determinist argument similar to the fallacy which is the root of all "systems" of gambling at Roulette. The odds are just over three to one against red coming up twice running; but after red has come up once the conditions are changed.

    WEH footnote: Exactly four to one before and even after.

    It would be useless to insist on such a point were it not for the fact that many people confuse Philosophy with Magick. Philosophy is the enemy of Magick. Philosophy assures us that after all nothing matters, and that "che sara sara."

    In practical life, and Magick is the most practical of the Arts of life, this difficulty does not occur. It is useless to argue with a man who is running to catch a train that he may be destined not to catch it; he just runs, and if he could spare breath would say "Blow destiny!"

    It has been said earlier that the real Magical Will must be toward the highest attainment, and this can never be until the flowering of the Magical Understanding. The Wand must be made to grow in length as well as in strength; it need not do so of its own nature.

    The ambition of every boy is to be an engine-driver. Some attain it, and remain there all their lives.

    But in the majority of cases the Understanding grows faster than the Will, and long before the boy is in a position to attain his wish he has already forgotten it.

    In other cases the Understanding never grows beyond a certain point, and the Will persists without intelligence.

    The business man (for example) has wished for ease and comfort, and to this end goes daily to his office and slaves under a more cruel taskmaster than the meanest of the workmen in his pay; he decides to retire, and finds that life in empty. The end has been swallowed up in the means.

    Only those are happy who have desired the unattainable.

    All possessions, the material and the spiritual alike, are but dust.

    Love, sorrow, and compassion are three sisters who, if they seem freed from this curse, are only so because of their relation to The Unsatisfied.

    Beauty is itself so unattainable that it escapes altogether; and the true artist, like the true mystic, can never rest. To him the Magician is but a servant. His wand is of infinite length; it is the creative Mahalingam.

    The difficulty with such an one is naturally that his wand being very thin in proportion to its length is liable to wobble. Very few artists are conscious of their real purpose, and in very many cases we have this infinite yearning supported by so frail a constitution that nothing is achieved.

    The Magician must build all that he has into his pyramid; and if that pyramid is to touch the stars, how broad must be the base! There is no knowledge and no power which is useless to the Magician. One might almost say there is no scrap of material in the whole Universe with which he can dispense. His ultimate enemy is the great Magician, the Magician who created the whole illusion of the Universe; and to meet him in battle, so that nothing is left either of him or of yourself, you must be exactly equal to him.

    At the same time let the Magician never forget that every brick must tend to the summit of the pyramid -- the sides must be perfectly smooth; there must be no false summits, even in the lowest layers.

    This is the practical and active form of that obligation of a Master of the Temple in which it is said: "I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul."

    In Liber CLXXV many practical devices for attaining this one-pointedness are given, and though the subject of that book is devotion to a particular Deity, its instructions may be easily generalized to suit the development of any form of will.

    This will is then the active form of understanding. The Master of the Temple asks, on seeing a slug: "What is the purpose of this message from the Unseen? How shall I interpret this Word of God Most High?" The Magus thinks: "How shall I use this slug?" And in this course he must persist. Though many things useless, so far as he can see, are sent to him, one day he will find the one thing he needs, while his Understanding will appreciate the fact that none of those other things were useless.

    So with these early practices of renunciation it will now be clearly understood that they were but of temporary use. They were only of value as training. The adept will laugh over his early absurdities -- the disproportions will have been harmonized; and the structure of his soul will be seen as perfectly organic, with no one thing out of its place. He will see himself as the positive Tau with its ten complete squares within the triangle of the negatives; and this figure will become one, as soon as from the equilibrium of opposites he has attained to the identity of opposites.

    In all this is will have been seen that the most powerful weapon in the hand of the student is the Vow of Holy Obedience; and many will wish that they had the opportunity of putting themselves under a holy Guru. Let them take heart -- for any being capable of giving commands is an efficient Guru for the purpose of this Vow, provided that he is not too amiable and lazy.

    The only reason for choosing a Guru who has himself attained is that he will aid the vigilance of the sleepy Chela, and, while tempering the Wind to that shorn lamb, will carefully harden him, and at the same time gladden his ears with holy discourse. But if such a person is inaccessible, let him choose any one with whom he has constant intercourse, explain the circumstances, and ask him to act.

    The person should if possible be trustworthy; and let the Chela remember that if he should be ordered to jump over a cliff it is very much better to do it than to give up the practice.

    And it is of the very greatest importance not to limit the vow in any way. You must buy the egg without haggling.

    In a certain Society the members were bound to do certain things, being assured that there was "nothing in the vow contrary to their civil, moral, or religious obligations." So when any one wanted to break his vow he had no difficulty in discovering a very good reason for it. The vow lost all its force.

    WEH footnote: Crowley expressly cites this clause in the Golden Dawn initiations as the third defense for his publishing the Golden Dawn rituals. See Equinox I, 4, page 5, "Editorial".

    When Buddha took his seat under the blessed Bo-Tree, he took an oath that none of the inhabitants of the 10,000 worlds should cause him to rise until he had attained; so that when even Mara the great Arch-Devil, with his three daughters the arch-temptresses appeared, he remained still.

    Now it is useless for the beginner to take so formidable a vow; he has not yet attained the strength which can defy Mara. Let him estimate his strength, and take a vow which is within it, but only just within it. Thus Milo began by carrying a new-born calf; and day by day as it grew into a bull, his strength was found sufficient.

    Again let it be said that Liber III is a most admirable method for the beginner,

    footnote: This book must be carefully read. Its essence is that the pupil swears to refrain from a certain thought, word, or deed; and on each breach of the oath, cuts his arm sharply with a razor. This is better than flagellation because it can be done in public, without attracting notice. It however forms one of the most hilariously exciting parlour games for the family circle ever invented. Friends and relations are always ready to do their utmost to trap you into doing the forbidden thing.

    and it will be best, even if he is very confident in his strength, to take the vow for very short periods, beginning with an hour and increasing daily by half-hours until the day is filled. Then let him rest awhile, and attempt a two-day practice; and so on until he is perfect.

    He should also begin with the very easiest practices. But the thing which he is sworn to avoid should not be a thing which normally he would do infrequently; because the strain on the memory which subserves his vigilance would be very great, and the practice become difficult. It is just as well at first that the pain of his arm should be there "at the time when he would normally do the forbidden thing," to warn him against its repetition.

    There will thus be a clear connection in his mind of cause and effect, until he will be just as careful in avoiding this particular act which he has consciously determined, as in those other things which in childhood he has been trained to avoid.

    Just as the eyelid unconsciously closes when the eye is threatened,

    footnote: If it were not so there would be very few people in the world who were not blind.

    so must he build up in consciousness this power of inhibition until it sinks below consciousness, adding to his store of automatic force, so that he is free to devote his conscious energy to a yet higher task.

    It is impossible to overrate the value of this inhibition to the man when he comes to meditate. He has guarded his mind against thoughts A, B, and C; he has told the sentries to allow no one to pass who is not in uniform. And it will be very easy for him to extend that power, and to lower the portcullis.

    Let him remember, too that there is a difference not only in the frequency of thoughts -- but in their intensity.

    The worst of all is of course the ego, which is almost omnipresent and almost irresistible, although so deeply-seated that in normal thought one may not always be aware of it.

    Buddha, taking the bull by the horns, made this idea the first to be attacked.

    Each must decide for himself whether this is a wise course to pursue. But it certainly seems easier to strip off first the things which can easily be done without.

    WEH footnote: Among those who might find the ego an unwise first choice to attack are those who confuse it with a sense of private property. Many petty thieves use denial of the ego as an excuse. Three book-thieves and any number of shop-lifters come to mind.

    The majority of people will find most trouble with the Emotions, and thoughts which excite them.

    But is is both possible and necessary not merely to suppress the emotions, but to turn them into faithful servants. Thus the emotion of anger is occasionally useful against that portion of the brain whose slackness vitiates the control.

    If there is one emotion which is never useful, it is pride; for this reason, that it is bound up entirely with the Ego...

    No, there is no use for pride!

    The destruction of the Perceptions, either the grosser or the subtler, appears much easier, because the mind not being moved, is free to remember its control.

    It is easy to be so absorbed in a book that one takes no notice of the most beautiful scenery. But if stung by a wasp the book is immediately forgotten.

    The Tendencies are, however, much harder to combat than the three lower Shandhas put together -- for the simple reason that they are for the most part below consciousness, and must be, as it were, awakened in order to be destroyed, so that the will of the Magician is in a sense trying to do two opposite things at the same time.

    Consciousness itself is only destroyed by Samadhi.

    One can now see the logical process which begins in refusing to think of a foot, and ends by destroying the sense of individuality.

    Of the methods of destroying various deep-rooted ideas there are many.

    The best is perhaps the method of equilibrium. Get the mind into the habit of calling up the opposite to every thought that may arise. In conversation always disagree. See the other man's arguments; but, however much your judgment approves them, find the answer.

    Let this be done dispassionately; the more convinced you are that a certain point of view is right, the more determined you should be to find proofs that it is wrong.

    If you have done this thoroughly, these points of view will cease to trouble you; you can then assert your own point of view with the calm of a master, which is more convincing than the enthusiasm of a learner.

    You will cease to be interested in controversies; politics, ethics, religion will seem so many toys, and your Magical Will will be free from these inhibitions.

    In Burma there is only one animal which the people will kill, Russell's Viper; because, as they say, "either you must kill it or it will kill you"; and it is a question of which sees the other first.

    Now any one idea which is not The Idea must be treated in this fashion. When you have killed the snake you can use its skin, but as long as it is alive and free, you are in danger.

    And unfortunately the ego-idea, which is the real snake, can throw itself into a multitude of forms, each clothed in the most brilliant dress. Thus the devil is said to be able to disguise himself as an angel of light.

    Under the strain of a magical vow this is too terribly the case. No normal human being understands or can understand the temptations of the saints.

    An ordinary person with ideas like those which obsessed St. Patrick and St. Antony would be only fit for an asylum.

    The tighter you hold the snake (which was previously asleep in the sun, and harmless enough, to all appearance), the more it struggles; and it is important to remember that your hold must tighten correspondingly, or it will escape and bite you.

    Just as if you tell a child not to do a thing -- no matter what -- it will immediately want to do it, thought otherwise the idea might never have entered its head, so it is with the saint. We have all of us these tendencies latent in us; of most of them we might remain unconscious all our lives -- unless they were awakened by our Magick. They lie in ambush. And every one must be awakened, and every one must be destroyed. Every one who signs the oath of a Probationer is stirring up a hornets' nest.

    A man has only to affirm his conscious aspiration; and the enemy is upon him.

    It seems hardly possible that any one can ever pass through that terrible year of probation -- and yet the aspirant is not bound to anything difficult; it almost seems as if he were not bound to anything at all -- and yet experience teaches us that the effect is like plucking a man from his fireside into mid-Atlantic in a gale. The truth is, it may be, that the very simplicity of the task makes it difficult.

    The Probationer must cling to his aspiration -- affirm it again and again in desperation.

    He has, perhaps, almost lost sight of it; it has become meaningless to him; he repeats it mechanically as he is tossed from wave to wave.

    But if he can stick to it he will come through.

    And, once he "is" through, things will again assume their proper aspect; he will see that mere illusion were the things that seemed so real, and he will be fortified against the new trials that await him.

    But the unfortunate indeed is he who cannot thus endure. It is useless for him to say, "I don't like the Atlantic; I will go back to the fireside."

    Once take one step on the path, and there is no return. You will remember in Browning's "Childe Roland to the dark Tower came":

    For mark! no sooner was I fairly found

    Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two,

    Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view

    O'er the safe road, 'twas gone: grey plain all round,

    Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound.

    I might go on; naught else remained to do.

    And this is universally true. The statement that the Probationer can resign when he chooses is in truth only for those who have taken the oath but superficially.

    A real Magical Oath cannot be broken: you think it can, but it can't.

    This is the advantage of a real Magical Oath.

    However far you go around, you arrive at the end just the same, and all you have done by attempting to break your oath is to involve yourself in the most frightful trouble.

    It cannot be too clearly understood that such is the nature of things: it does not depend upon the will of any persons, however powerful or exalted; nor can Their force, the force of Their great oaths, avail against the weakest oath of the most trivial of beginners.

    The attempt to interfere with the Magical Will of another person would be wicked, if it were not absurd.

    One may attempt to build up a Will when {sic} before nothing existed but a chaos of whims; but once organization has taken place it is sacred. As Blake says: "Everything that lives is holy"; and hence the creation of life is the most sacred of tasks. It does not matter very much to the creator what it is that he creates; there is room in the universe for both the spider and the fly.

    It is from the rubbish-heap of Choronzon that one selects the material for a god!

    This is the ultimate analysis of the Mystery of Redemption, and is possibly the real reason of the existence (if existence it can be called) of form, or, if you like, of the Ego.

    It is astonishing that this typical cry -- "I am I" -- is the cry of that which above all is not I.

    It was that Master whose Will was so powerful that at its lightest expression the deaf heard, and the dumb spake, lepers were cleansed and the dead arose to life, that Master and no other who at the supreme moment of his agony could cry, "Not my Will, but Thine, be done."




    AS the Magick Wand is the Will, the Wisdom, the Word of the Magician, so is the Magick Cup his Understanding.

    This is the cup of which it was written: "Father, if it be Thy Will, let this cup pass from Me!" And again: "Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of?"

    And it is also the cup in the hand of OUR LADY BABALON, and the cup of the Sacrament.

    This Cup is full of bitterness, and of blood, and of intoxication.

    The Understanding of the Magus is his link with the Invisible, on the passive side.

    His Will errs actively by opposing itself to the Universal Will.

    His Understanding errs passively when it receives influence from that which is not the ultimate truth.

    In the beginning the Cup of the student is almost empty; and even such truth as he receives may leak away, and be lost.

    They say that the Venetians made glasses which changed colour if poison was put into them; of such a glass must the student make his Cup.

    Very little experience on the mystic path will show him that of all the impressions he receives none is true. Either they are false in themselves, or they are wrongly interpreted in his mind.

    There is one truth, and only one. All other thoughts are false.

    And as he advances in the knowledge of his mind he will come to understand that its whole structure is so faulty that it is quite incapable, even in its most exalted moods, of truth.

    He will recognize that any thought merely establishes a relation between the Ego and the non-Ego.

    Kant has shown that even the laws of nature are but the conditions of thought. And as the current of thought is the blood of the mind, it is said that the Magick Cup is filled with the blood of the Saints. All thought must be offered up as a sacrifice.

    The Cup can hardly be described as a weapon. It is round like the pantacle -- not straight like the wand and the dagger. Reception, not projection, is its nature.

    footnote: As the Magician is in the position of God towards the Spirit that he evokes, he stands in the Circle, and the spirit in the Triangle; so the Magician is in the Triangle with respect to his own God.

    So that which is round is to him a symbol of the influence from the higher. This circle symbolizes the Infinite, as every cross or Tau represents the Finite. That which is four square shows the Finite fixed into itself; for this reason the altar is foursquare. It is the solid basis from which all the operation proceeds. One form

    footnote: An ugly form. A better is given in the illustration.

    of the magical cup has a sphere beneath the bowl, and is supported upon a conical base.

    This cup (crescent, sphere, cone) represents the three principles of the Moon, the Sun, and Fire, the three principles which, according to the Hindus, have course in the body.

    footnote: These "principles" are seen by the pupil when first he succeeds in stilling his mind. That one which happens to be in course at the moment is the one seen by him. This is so marvellous an experience, even for one who has pushed astral visions to a very high point, that he may mistake them for the End. See chapter on Dhyana.

    The Hebrew letters corresponding to these principles are Gimel, Resh, and Shin, and the word formed by them means "a flower" and also "expelled," "cast forth."

    This is the Cup of Purification; as Zoroaster says:

    "So therefore first the priest who governeth the works of fire must sprinkle with the lustral water of the loud-resounding sea."

    It is the sea that purifies the world. And the "Great Sea" is in the Qabalah a name of Binah, "Understanding."

    It is by the Understanding of the Magus that his work is purified.

    Binah, moreover, is the Moon, and the bowl of this cup is shaped like the moon.

    This moon is the path of Gimel through which the influence from the Crown descends upon the Sun of Tiphereth.

    And this is based upon the pyramid of fire which symbolizes the aspiration of the student.

    In Hindu symbolism the Amrita or "dew of immortality"

    footnote: A--, the privative particle; "mrita," mortal.

    drips constantly upon a man, but is burnt up by the gross fire of his appetites. Yogis attempt to catch and so preserve this dew by turning back the tongue in the mouth.

    Concerning the water in this Cup, it may be said that just as the wand should be perfectly rigid, the ideal solid, so should the water be the ideal fluid.

    The Wand is erect, and must extend to Infinity.

    The surface of the water is flat, and must extend to Infinity.

    One is the line, the other the plane.

    But as the Wand is weak without breadth, so is the water false without depth. The Understanding of the Magus must include all things, and that understanding must be infinitely profound.

    H. G. Wells has said that "every word of which a man is ignorant represents an idea of which he is ignorant." And it is impossible perfectly to understand all things unless all things be first known.

    Understanding is the structuralization of knowledge.

    All impressions are disconnected, as the Babe of the Abyss is so terribly aware; and the Master of the Temple must sit for 106 seasons in the City of the Pyramids because this coordination is a tremendous task.

    There is nothing particularly occult in this doctrine concerning knowledge and understanding.

    A looking-glass receives all impressions but coordinates none.

    The savage has none but the most simple associations of ideas.

    Even the ordinary civilized man goes very little further.

    All advance in thought is made by collecting the greatest possible number of facts, classifying them, and grouping them.

    The philologist, though perhaps he only speaks one language, has a much higher type of mind than the linguist who speaks twenty.

    This Tree of Thought is exactly paralleled by the tree of nervous structure.

    Very many people go about nowadays who are exceedingly "well-informed," but who have not the slightest idea of the meaning of the facts they know. They have not developed the necessary higher part of the brain. Induction is impossible to them.

    This capacity for storing away facts is compatible with actual imbecility. Some imbeciles have been able to store their memories with more knowledge than perhaps any sane man could hope to acquire.

    This is the great fault of modern education -- a child is stuffed with facts, and no attempt is made to explain their connection and bearing. The result is that even the facts themselves are soon forgotten.

    Any first-rate mind is insulted and irritated by such treatment, and any first-rate memory is in danger of being spoilt by it.

    No two ideas have any real meaning until they are harmonized in a third, and the operation is only perfect when these ideas are contradictory. This is the essence of the Hegelian logic.

    The Magick Cup, as was shown above, is also the flower. It is the lotus which opens to the sun, and which collects the dew.

    This Lotus is in the hand of Isis the great Mother. It is a symbol similar to the Cup in the hand of OUR LADY BABALON.

    There are also the Lotuses in the human body, according to the Hindu system of Physiology referred to in the chapter on Dharana.

    footnote: These Lotuses are all situated in the spinal column, which has three channels, Sushumna in the middle, Ida and Pingala on either side ("cf." the Tree of Life). The central channel is compressed at the base by Kundalini, the magical power, a sleeping serpent. Awake her: she darts up the spine, and the Prana flows through the Sushumna. See "Raja-Yoga" for more details.

    There is the lotus of three petals in the Sacrum, in which the Kundalini lies asleep. This lotus is the receptacle of reproductive force.

    There is also the six-petalled lotus opposite the navel -- which receives the forces which nourish the body.

    There is also a lotus in the Solar plexus which receives the nervous forces.

    The six-petalled lotus in the heart corresponds to Tiphereth, and receives those vital forces which are connected with the blood.

    The sixteen-petalled lotus opposite the larynx receives the nourishment needed by the breath.

    The two-petalled lotus of the pineal gland receives the nourishment needed by thought, while above the junction of the cranial structures is that sublime lotus, of a thousand and one petals, which receives the influence from on high; and in which, in the Adept, the awakened Kundalini takes her pleasure with the Lord of All.

    All these lotuses are figured by the Magick Cup.

    In man they are but partly opened, or only opened to their natural nourishment. In fact it is better to think of them as closed, as secreting that nourishment, which, because of the lack of sun, turns to poison.

    The Magick Cup must have no lid, yet it must be kept veiled most carefully at all times, except when invocation of the Highest is being made.

    This cup must also be hidden from the profane. The Wand must be kept secret lest the profane, fearing it, should succeed in breaking it; the Cup lest, wishing to touch it, they should defile it.

    Yet the Sprinkling of its water not only purifies the Temple, but blesseth them that are without: freely must it be poured! But let no one know your real purpose, and let no one know the secret of your strength. Remember Samson! Remember Guy Fawkes!

    Of the methods of increasing Understanding those of the Holy Qabalah are perhaps the best, provided that the intellect is thoroughly awake to their absurdity, and never allows itself to be convinced.

    footnote: See the "Interlude" following.

    Further meditation of certain sorts is useful: not the strict meditation which endeavours to still the mind, but such a meditation as Samasati.

    footnote: See Equinox V, "The Training of the Mind"; Equinox II, "The Psychology of Hashish": Equinox VII, "Liber DCCCCXIII."

    On the exoteric side if necessary the mind should be trained by the study of any well-developed science, such as chemistry, or mathematics.

    The idea of organization is the first step, that of interpretation the second. The Master of the Temple, whose grade corresponds to Binah, is sworn to "interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with his soul."

    But even the beginner may attempt this practice with advantage.

    Either a fact fits in or it does not; if it does not, harmony is broken; and as the Universal harmony cannot be broken, the discord must be in the mind of the student, thus showing that he is not in tune with that Universal choir.

    Let him then puzzle out first the great facts, then the little; until one summer, when he is bald and lethargic after lunch, he understands and appreciates the existence of flies!

    This lack of Understanding with which we all begin is so terrible, so pitiful. In this world there is so much cruelty, so much waste, so much stupidity.

    The contemplation of the Universe must be at first almost pure anguish. It is this fact which is responsible for most of the speculations of philosophy.

    Mediaeval philosophers when hopelessly astray because their theology necessitated the reference of all things to the standard of men's welfare.

    They even became stupid: Bernardin de St. Pierre (was it not?) said that the goodness of God was such that wherever men had built a great city, He had placed a river to assist them in conveying merchandise. But the truth is that in no way can we imagine the Universe as devised. If horses were made for men to ride, were not men made for worms to eat?

    And so we find once more that the Ego-idea must be ruthlessly rooted out before Understanding can be attained.

    There is an apparent contradiction between this attitude and that of the Master of the Temple. What can possibly be more selfish than this interpretation of everything as the dealing of God with the soul?

    But it is God who is all and not any part; and every "dealing" must thus be an expansion of the soul, a destruction of its separateness.

    Every ray of the sun expands the flower.

    The surface of the water in the Magick Cup is infinite; there is no point different from any other point.

    footnote: "If ye confound the space-marks, saying: They are one; or saying, They are many ... then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit ... {{sic: error of capitalization, should be: "if ye confound the space-marks ..."}}

    This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister." These are the words of NUIT, Our Lady of the Stars, of whom Binah is but the troubled reflection.}

    Thus, ultimately, as the wand is a binding and a limitation, so is the Cup an expansion -- into the Infinite.

    And this is the danger of the Cup; it must necessarily be open to all, and yet if anything is put into it which is out of proportion, unbalanced, or impure, it takes hurt.

    And here again we find difficulty with our thoughts. The grossness and stupidity of "simple impressions" cloud the waters; "emotions" trouble it; "perceptions" are still far from the perfect purity of truth; they cause reflections; while the "tendencies" alter the refractive index, and break up the light. Even "consciousness" itself is that which distinguishes between the lower and the higher, the waters which are below the firmament from the waters which are above the firmament, that appalling stage in the great curse of creation.

    Since at the best this water

    footnote: The water in this Cup (the latter is also a heart, as shown by the transition from the ancient to the modern Tarot; the suit "Hearts" in old packs of cards, and even in modern Spanish and Italian cards, is called "Cups") is the letter "Mem" (the Hebrew word for water), which has for its Tarot trump the Hanged Man. This Hanged Man represents the Adept hanging by one heel from a gallows, which is in the shape of the letter Daleth -- the letter of the Empress, the heavenly Venus in the Tarot. His legs form a cross, his arms a triangle, as if by his equilibrium and self-sacrifice he were bringing the light down and establishing it even in the abyss.

    Elementary as this is, it is a very satisfactory hieroglyph of the Great Work, though the student is warned that the obvious sentimental interpretation will have to be discarded as soon as it has been understood. It is a very noble illusion, and therefore a very dangerous one, to figure one's self as the Redeemer. For, of all the illusions in this Cup -- the subtler and purer they are, the more difficult they are to detect.

    is but a reflection, how tremendously important it becomes that it should be still!

    If the cup is shaken the light will be broken up.

    Therefore the Cup is placed upon the Altar, which is foursquare, will multiplied by will, the confirmation of the will in the Magical Oath, its fixation in Law.

    It is easy to see when water is muddy, and easy to get rid of the mud; but there are many impurities which defy everything but distillation and even some which must be fractionated unto 70 times 7.

    There is, however, a universal solvent and harmonizer, a certain dew which is so pure that a single drop of it cast into the water of the Cup will for the time being bring all to perfection.

    This dew is called Love. Even as in the case of human love, the whole Universe appears perfect to the man who is under its control, so is it, and much more, with the Divine Love of which it is now spoken.

    For human love is an excitement, and not a stilling, of the mind; and as it is bound to the individual, only leads to greater trouble in the end.

    This Divine Love, on the contrary, is attached to no symbol.

    It abhors limitation, either in its intensity or its scope. And this is the dew of the stars of which it is spoken in the Holy Books, for NUIT the Lady of the Stars is called "the Continuous One of Heaven," and it is that Dew which bathes the body of the Adept "in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat."

    footnote: See Liber Legis. Equinox VII. {{SIC to the quote, correctly: ".. bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat: O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let ...

    In this cup, therefore, though all things are placed, by virtue of this dew all lose their identity. And therefore this Cup is in the hand of BABALON, the Lady of the City of the Pyramids, wherein no one can be distinguished from any other, wherein no one may sit until he has lost his name.

    Of that which is in the Cup it is also said that it is wine. This is the Cup of Intoxication. Intoxication means poisoning, and in particular refers to the poison in which arrows are dipped (Greek τοξον, "a bow"). Think of the Vision of the Arrow in Liber 418, and look at the passages in the Holy Books which speak of the action of the spirit under the figure of a deadly poison.

    For to each individual thing attainment means first and foremost the destruction of the individuality.

    Each of our ideas must be made to give up the Self to the Beloved, so that we may eventually give up the Self to the Beloved in our turn.

    It will be remembered in the History Lection

    footnote: Liber LXI, the book given to those who wish to become Probationers of A∴A∴

    how the Adepts "who had with smiling faces abandoned their homes and their possessions -- could with steady calm and firm correctness abandon the Great Work itself; for this is the last and greatest projection of the Alchemist."

    The Master of the Temple has crossed the Abyss, has entered the Palace of the King's Daughter; he has only to utter one word, and all is dissolved. But, instead of that, he is found hidden in the earth, tending a garden.

    This mystery is all too complex to be elucidated in these fragments of impure thought; it is a suitable subject for meditation.

    An Interlude

    Every nursery rime contains profound magical secrets which are open to every one who has made a study of the correspondences of the Holy Qabalah. To puzzle out an imaginary meaning for this "nonsense" sets one thinking of the Mysteries; one enters into deep contemplation of holy things and God Himself leads the soul to a real illumination. Hence also the necessity of Incarnation; the soul must descend into all falsity in order to attain All-Truth.

    For instance:

    Old Mother Hubbard

    Went to her cupboard

    To get her poor dog a bone;

    When she got there,

    The cupboard was bare,

    And so the poor dog had none.

    Who is this ancient and venerable mother of whom it is spoken? Verily she is none other than Binah, as is evident in the use of the holy letter H with which her name begins.

    Nor is she the sterile Mother Ama-but the fertile Aima; for within her she bears Vau, the son, for the second letter of her name, and R, the penultimate, is the Sun, Tiphareth, the Son.

    The other three letters of her name, B, A, and D, are the three paths which join the three supernals.

    To what cupboard did she go? Even to the most secret caverns of the Universe. And who is this dog? Is it not the name of God spelt Qabalistically backwards? And what is this bone? The bone is the Wand, the holy Lingam!

    The complete interpretation of the rune is now open. This rime is the legend of the murder of Osiris by Typhon.

    The limbs of Osiris were scattered in the Nile.

    Isis sought them in every corner of the Universe, and she found all except his sacred lingam, which was not found until quite recently (vide Fuller, The Star in the West).

    Let us take another example from this rich storehouse of magick lore.

    Little Bo Peep

    She lost her sheep,

    And couldn't tell where to find them.

    Leave them alone!

    And they'll come home,

    Dragging their tails behind them.

    "Bo" is the root meaning Light, from which spring such words as Bo-Tree, Bodhisattva, and Buddha.

    And "Peep" is Apep, the serpent Apophis. This poem therefore contains the same symbol as that in the Egyptian and Hebrew Bibles.

    The snake is the serpent of initiation, as the Lamb is the Saviour.

    This ancient one, the Wisdom of Eternity, sits in its old anguish awaiting the Redeemer. And this holy verse triumphantly assures us that there is no need for anxiety. The Saviours will come one after the other, at their own good pleasure, and as they may be needed, and drag their tails, that is to say those who follow out their holy commandment, to the ultimate goal.

    Again we read:

    Little Miss Muffett

    Sat on a tuffet,

    Eating of curds and whey,

    Up came a big spider,

    And sat down beside her,

    And frightened Miss Muffett away.

    Little Miss Muffett unquestionably represents Malkah; for she is unmarried. She is seated upon a "tuffet"; id est, she is the unregenerate soul upon Tophet, the pit of hell. And she eats curds and whey, that is, not the pure milk of the mother, but milk which has undergone decomposition.

    But who is the spider? Verily herein is a venerable arcanum connoted! Like all insects, the spider represents a demon. But why a spider? Who is this spider "who taketh hold with her hands, and is in King's Palaces"? The name of this spider is Death. It is the fear of death which first makes the soul aware of its forlorn condition.

    It would be interesting if tradition had preserved for us Miss Muffett's subsequent adventures.

    But we must proceed to consider the interpretation of the following rime:

    Little Jack Horner

    Sat in a corner,

    Eating a Christmas pie.

    He stuck in his thumb,

    And pulled out a plum,

    And said, "What a good boy am I!"

    In the interpretation of this remarkable poem there is a difference between two great schools of Adepts.

    One holds that Jack is merely a corruption of John, Ion, he who goes-Hermes, the Messenger. The other prefers to take Jack simply and reverently as Iacchus, the spiritual form of Bacchus. But it does not matter very much whether we insist upon the swiftness or the rapture of the Holy Spirit of God; and that it is he of whom it is here spoken is evident, for the name Horner could be applied to none other by even the most casual reader of the Holy Gospels and the works of Congreve. And the context makes this even clearer, for he sits in a corner, that is in the place of Christ, the Corner Stone, eating, that is, enjoying, that which the birth of Christ assures to us. He is the Comforter who replaces the absent Saviour. If there was still any doubt of His identity it would be cleared up by the fact that it is the thumb, which is attributed to the element of Spirit, and not one of the four fingers of the four lesser elements, which he sticks into the pie of the new dispensation. He plucks forth one who is ripe, no doubt to send him forth as a teacher into the world, and rejoices that he is so well carrying out the will of the Father.

    Let us pass from this most blessed subject to yet another.

    Tom, Tom, the piper's son,

    Stole a pig and away he run.

    The pig was eat,

    And Tom was beat,

    And Tom went roaring down the street.

    This is one of the more exoteric of these rimes. In fact, it is not much better than a sun-myth. Tom is Toum, the God of the Sunset (called the Son of Apollo, the Piper, the maker of music). The only difficulty in the poem concerns the pig; for anyone who has watched an angry sunset in the Tropics upon the sea, will recognize how incomparable a description of that sunset is given in that wonderful last line. Some have thought that the pig refers to the evening sacrifice, others that she is Hathor, the Lady of the West, in her more sensual aspect.

    But it is probable that this poem is only the frst stanza of an epic. It has all the characteristic marks. Someone said of the Iliad that it did not finish, but merely stopped. This is the same. We may be sure that there is more of this poem. It tells us too much and too little. How came this tragedy of the eating of a merely stolen pig? Unveil this mystery of who "eat" it!

    It must be abandoned, then, as at least partially insoluble. Let us consider this poem:

    Hickory, dickory, dock!

    The mouse ran up the clock;

    The clock struck one,

    And the mouse ran down,

    Hickory, dickory, dock!

    Here we are on higher ground at once. The clock symbolizes the spinal column, or, if you prefer it, Time, chosen as one of the conditions of normal consciousness. The mouse is the Ego; "Mus," a mouse, being only Sum, "I am," spelt Qabalistically backwards.

    This Ego or Prana or Kundalini force being driven up the spine, the clock strikes one, that is, the duality of consciousness is abolished. And the force again subsides to its original level.

    "Hickory, dickory, dock!" is perhaps the mantra which was used by the adept who constructed this rime, thereby hoping to fix it in the minds of men; so that they might attain to Samadhi by the same method. Others attribute to it a more profound signifance-which it is impossible to go into at this moment, for we must turn to:-

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;

    Humpty Dumpty got a great fall;

    All the king's horses

    And all the king's men

    Couldn't set up Humpty Dumpty again.

    This is so simple as hardly to require explanation. Humpty Dumpty is of course the Egg of Spirit, and the wall is the Abyss--his "fall" is therefore the descent of spirit into matter; and it is only too painfully familiar to us that all the king's horses and all his men cannot restore us to the height.

    Only The King Himself can do that!

    But one can hardly comment upon a theme which has been so fruitfully treated by Ludovicus Carolus, that most holy illuminated man of God. His masterly treatment of the identity of the three reciprocating paths of Daleth, Teth, and Pe, is one of the most wonderful passages in the Holy Qabalah. His resolution of what we take to be the bond of slavery into very love, the embroidered neckband of honour bestowed upon us by the King himself, is one of the most sublime passages in this class of literature.

    Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater,

    Had a wife and couldn't keep her.

    He put her in a peanut shell;

    Then he kept her very well.

    This early authentic text of the Hinayana School of Buddhism is much esteemed even to-day by the more cultured and devoted followers of that school.

    The pumpkin is of course the symbol of resurrection, as is familiar to all students of the story of Jonah and the gourd.

    Peter is therefore the Arahat who has put an end to his series of resurrections. That he is called Peter is a reference to the symbolizing of Arahats as stones in the great wall of the guardians of mankind. His wife is of course (by the usual symbolism) his body, which he could not keep until he put her in a peanut shell, the yellow robe of a Bhikkhu.

    Buddha said that if any man became an Arahat he must either take the vows of a Bhikkhu that very day, or die, and it is this saying of Buddha's that the unknown poet wished to commemorate.

    Taffy was a Welshman

    Taffy was a thief;

    Taffy came to my house

    And stole a leg of beef.

    I went to Taffy's house;

    Taffy was in bed.

    I took a carving knife,

    And cut off Taffy's head.

    Taffy is merely short for Taphthatharath, the Spirit of Mercury and the God of Welshmen or thieves. "My house" is of course equivalent to "my magick circle." Note that Beth, the letter of Mercury and "The Magus," means "a house."

    The beef is a symbol of the Bull, Apis the Redeemer. This is therefore that which is written, "Oh my God, disguise thy glory! Come as a thief, and let us steal away the sacraments!"

    In the following verse we find that Taffy is "in bed," owing to the operation of the sacrament. The great task of the Alchemist has been accomplished; the mercury is fixed.

    One can then take the Holy Dagger, and separate the Caput Mortuum from the Elixir. Some Alchemists believe that the beef represents that dense physical substance which is imbibed by Mercury for his fixation; but here as always we should prefer the more spiritual interpretation.

    Bye, Baby Bunting!

    Daddy's gone a-hunting.

    He's gone to get a rabbit-skin

    To wrap my Baby Bunting in.

    This is mystical charge to the new-born soul to keep still, to remain steadfast in meditation; for, in Bye, Beth is the letter of thought, Yod that of the Hermit. It tells the soul that the Father of All will clothe him about with His own majestical silence. For is not the rabbit he "who lay low and said nuffin'"?

    Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man!

    Bake me a cake as fast as you can!

    Pat it and prick it and mark it with P!

    Bake it in the oven for baby and me!

    This rime is usually accompanied (even to-day in the nursery) with a ceremonial clapping of hands-the symbol of Samadhi. Compare what is said on this subject in our comment on the famous "Advent" passage in Thessalonians.

    The cake is of course the bread of the sacrament, and it would ill become Frater P. to comment upon the third line-though it may be remarked that even among the Catholics the wafer has always been marked with a phallus or cross.



    "THE word of the Lord is quick and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword."

    As the Wand is Chokmah, the Will, "the Father," and the Cup the Understanding, "the Mother," Binah; so the Magick Sword is the Reason, "the Son," the six Sephiroth of the Ruach, and we shall see that the Pantacle corresponds to Malkuth, "the Daughter."

    The Magick Sword is the analytical faculty; directed against any demon it attacks his complexity.

    Only the simple can withstand the sword. As we are below the Abyss, this weapon is then entirely destructive: it divides Satan against Satan. It is only in the lower forms of Magick, the purely human forms, that the Sword has become so important a weapon. A dagger should be sufficient.

    But the mind of man is normally so important to him that the sword is actually the largest of his weapons; happy is he who can make the dagger suffice!

    The hilt of the Sword should be made of copper.

    The guard is composed of the two crescents of the waxing and the waning moon -- back to back. Spheres are placed between them, forming an equilateral triangle with the sphere of the pommel.

    The blade is straight, pointed, and sharp right up to the guard. It is made of steel, to equilibrate with the hilt, for steel is the metal of Mars, as copper is of Venus.

    Those two planets are male and female -- and thus reflect the Wand and the Cup, though in a much lower sense.

    The hilt is of Venus, for Love is the motive of this ruthless analysis -- if this were not so the sword would be a Black Magical weapon.

    The pommel of the Sword is in Daath, the guard extends to Chesed and Geburah; the point is in Malkuth. Some magi make the three spheres of lead, tin, and gold respectively; the moons are silver, and the grip contains quicksilver, thus making the Sword symbolic of the seven planets. But this is a phantasy and affectation.

    "Whoso taketh the sword shall perish by the sword," is not a mystical threat, but a mystical promise. It is our own complexity that must be destroyed.

    Here is another parable. Peter, the Stone of the Philosophers, cuts off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the High Priest (the ear is the organ of Spirit). In analysis the spiritual part of Malkuth must be separated from it by the philosophical stone, and then Christus, the Anointed One, makes it whole once more. "Solve et coagula!"

    It is noticeable that this takes place at the arrest of Christ, who is the son, the Ruach, immediately before his crucifixion.

    The Calvary Cross should be of six squares, an unfolded cube, which cube is this same philosophical stone.

    Meditation will reveal many mysteries which are concealed in this symbol.

    The Sword or Dagger is attributed to air, all-wandering, all-penetrating, but unstable; not a phenomenon subtle like fire, not a chemical combination like water, but a mixture of gases.

    footnote: The Oxygen in the air would be too fierce for life; it must be largely diluted with the inert nitrogen.

    The rational mind supports life, but about seventy-nine per cent. of it not only refuses itself to enter into combination, but prevents the remaining twenty-one per cent. from doing so. Enthusiasms are checked; the intellect is the great enemy of devotion. One of the tasks of the Magician is to manage somehow to separate the Oxygen and Nitrogen in his mind, to stifle four-fifts so that he may burn up the remainder, a flame of holiness. But this cannot be done by the Sword.

    The Sword, necessary as it is to the Beginner, is but a crude weapon. Its function is to keep off the enemy or to force a passage through them -- and though it must be wielded to gain admission to the palace, it cannot be worn at the marriage feast.

    One might say that the Pantacle is the bread of life, and the Sword the knife which cuts it up. One must have ideas, but one must criticize them.

    The Sword, too, is that weapon with which one strikes terror into the demons and dominates them. One must keep the Ego Lord of the impressions. One must not allow the circle to be broken by the demon; one must not allow any one idea to carry one away.

    It will readily be seen how very elementary and false all this is -- but for the beginner it is necessary.

    In all dealings with demons the point of the Sword is kept downwards, and it should not be used for invocation, as is taught in certain schools of magick.

    If the Sword is raised towards the Crown, it is no longer really a sword. The Crown cannot be divided. Certainly the Sword should not be lifted.

    The Sword may, however, be clasped in both hands, and kept steady and erect, symbolizing that thought has become one with the single aspiration, and burnt up like a flame. This flame is the Shin, the Ruach Alhim, not the mere Ruach Adam. The divine and not the human consciousness.

    The Magician cannot wield the Sword unless the Crown is on his head.

    Those Magicians, who have attempted to make the Sword the sole or even the principal weapon, have only destroyed themselves, not by the destruction of combination, but by the destruction of division.

    footnote: It should be noted that this ambiguity in the word "destruction" has been the cause of much misunderstanding. "Solve" is destruction, but so is "coagula." The aim of the Magus is to destroy his partial thought by uniting it with the Universal Thought, not to make a further breach and division in the Whole.

    Weakness overcomes strength.

    The most stable political edifice of history has been that of China, which was founded principally on politeness; and that of India has proved strong enough to absorb its many conquerors.

    footnote: The Brahmin caste is not so strict as that of the "heaven-born" (Indian Civil Service).

    The Sword has been the great weapon of the last century. Every idea has been attacked by thinkers, and none has withstood attack. Hence civilization crumbles.

    No settled principles remain. To-day all constructive statesmanship is empiricism or opportunism. It has been doubted whether there is any real relation between Mother and Child, any real distinction between Male and Female.

    The human mind, in despair, seeing insanity imminent in the breaking up of these coherent images, has tried to replace them by ideals which are only saved from destruction, at the very moment of their birth, by their vagueness.

    The Will of the King was at least ascertainable at any moment; nobody has yet devised a means for ascertaining the will of the people.

    All conscious willed action is impeded; the march of events is now nothing but inertia.

    Let the Magician consider these matters before he takes the Sword in his hand. Let him understand that the Ruach, this loose combination of 6 Sephiroth, only bound together by their attachment to the human will in Tiphereth, must be rent asunder.

    The mind must be broken up into a form of insanity before it can be transcended.

    David said: "I hate thoughts."

    The Hindu says: "That which can be thought is not true."

    Paul said: "The carnal mind is enmity against God."

    And every one who meditates, even for an hour, will soon discover how this gusty aimless wind makes his flame flicker. "The wind bloweth where it listeth." The normal man is less than a straw.

    footnote: But as it is said, "Similia similibus curantur," we find this Ruach also the symbol of the Spirit. RVCh ALHIM, the Spirit of God, is 300, the number of the holy letter Shin. As this is the breath, which by its nature is double, the two edges of the Sword, the letter H symbolises breath, and H is the letter of Aries -- the House of Mars, of the Sword: and H is also the letter of the Mother; this is the link between the Sword and the Cup.

    The connection between Breath and Mind has been supposed by some to exist merely in etymology. But the connection is a truer one.

    footnote: It is undoubted that Ruach means primarily "that which moves or revolves," "a going," "a wheel," "the wind," and that its secondary meaning was mind because of the observed instability of mind, and its tendency to a circular motion. "Spiritus" only came to mean Spirit in the modern technical sense owing to the efforts of the theologians. We have an example of the proper use of the word in the term: Spirit of Wine -- the airy portion of wine. But the word "inspire" was perhaps derived from observing the derangement of the breathing of persons in divine ecstasy.

    In any case there is undoubtedly a connection between the respiratory and mental functions. The Student will find this out by practising Pranayama. By this exercise some thoughts are barred, and those which do come into the mind come more slowly than before, so that the mind has time to perceive their falsity and to destroy them.

    On the blade of the Magick Sword is etched the name AGLA, a Notariqon formed from the initials of the sentence "Ateh Gibor Leolahm Adonai," "To thee be the Power unto the Ages, O my lord."

    And the acid which eats into the steel should be oil of vitrol. Vitrol is a Notariqon of "Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem." That is to say: By investigating everything and bringing it into harmony and proportion you will find the hidden stone, the same stone of the philosophers of which mention has already been made, which turns all into gold. This oil which can eat into the steel, is further that which is written, Liber LXV, i, 16: "As an acid eats into steel . . . so am I unto the Spirit of Man."

    Note how closely woven into itself is all this symbolism!

    The centre of Ruach being the heart, it is seen that this Sword of the Ruach must be thrust by the Magician into his own heart.

    But there is a subsequent task, of which it is spoken -- Liber VII, v, 47. "He shall await the sword of the Beloved and bare his throat for the stroke." In the throat is Daath -- the throne of Ruach. Daath is knowledge. This final destruction of knowledge opens the gate of the City of the Pyramids.

    It is also written, Liber CCXX, iii, 11: "Let the woman be girt with a sword before me." But this refers to the arming of Vedana with Sanna, the overcoming of emotion by clarity of perception.

    It is also spoken, Liber LXV, v, 14, of the Sword of Adonai, "that hath four blades, the blade of the Thunderbolt, the blade of the Pylon, the blade of the Serpent, the blade of the Phallus."

    But this Sword is not for the ordinary Magician. For this is the Sword flaming every way that keeps Eden, and in this Sword the Wand and the Cup are concealed -- so that although the being of the Magician is blasted by the Thunderbolt, and poisoned by the Serpent, at the same time the organs whose union is the supreme sacrament are left in him.

    At the coming of Adonai the individual is destroyed in both senses. He is shattered into a thousand pieces, yet at the same time united with the simple

    footnote: Compare the first set of verses in Liber XVI. (XVI in the Taro is Pe, Mars, the Sword.)

    Of this it is also spoken by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church in Thessalonica: "For the Lord shall descend from Heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we be for ever with the Lord."

    The stupid interpretation of this verse as prophetic of a "second advent" need not concern us; every word of it is, however, worthy of profound consideration.

    "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.

    This is most accurately pictured in the Tarot Trump called "The Angel," which corresponds to the letter Shin, the letter of Spirit and of Breath.

    The whole mind of man is rent by the advent of Adonai, and is at once caught up into union with Him. "In the air," the Ruach.

    Note that etymologically the word {greek letters here: sigma-upsilon-nu}, "together with," is the Sanskrit "Sam;" and the Hebrew ADNI is the Sanskrit ADHI.

    The phrase "together with the Lord," is then literally identical with the word Samadhi, which is the Sanskrit name of the phenomenon described by Saint Paul, this union of the ego and the non-ego, subject and object, this chymical marriage, and thus identical with the symbolism of the Rosy Cross, under a slightly different aspect.

    And since marriage can only take place between one and one, it is evident that no idea can thus be united, unless it is simple.

    Hence every idea must be analysed by the Sword. Hence, too, there must only be a single thought in the mind of the person meditating.

    One may now go on to consider the use of the Sword in purifying emotions into perceptions.

    It was the function of the Cup to interpret the perceptions by the tendencies; the Sword frees the perceptions from the Web of emotion.

    The perceptions are meaningless in themselves; but the emotions are worse, for they delude their victim into supposing them significant and true.

    Every emotion is an obsession; the most horrible of blasphemies is to attribute any emotion to God in the macrocosm, or to the pure soul in the microcosm.

    How can that which is self-existent, complete, be "moved?" It is even written that "torsion about a point is iniquity."

    WEH footnote: See Macrobius, Iamblichus, Plotinus and sayings attributed to Pythagoras for these views

    But if the point itself could be moved it would cease to be itself, for position is the only attribute of the point.

    The Magician must therefore make himself absolutely free in this respect.

    It is the constant practice of Demons to attempt to terrify, to shock, to disgust, to allure. Against all this he must oppose the Steel of the Sword. If he has got rid the ego-idea this task will be comparatively easy; unless he has done so it will be almost impossible. So says the Dhammapada:

    Me he abused, and me he beat, he robbed me, he insulted me;

    In whom such thoughts find harbourage, hatred will never cease to be.

    And this hatred is the thought which inhibits the love whose apotheosis is Samadhi.

    But it is too much to expect of the young Magician to practise attachment to the distasteful; let him first become indifferent. Let him endeavour to see facts as facts, as simply as he would see them if they were historical. Let him avoid the imaginative interpretation of any facts. Let him not put himself in the place of the people of whom the facts are related, or if he does so, let it be done only for the purpose of comprehension. Sympathy,

    footnote: It is true that sometimes sympathy is necessary to comprehension.

    indignation, praise and blame, are out of place in the observer.

    No one has properly considered the question as to the amount and quality of the light afforded by candles made by waxed Christians.

    Who has any idea which joint of the ordinary missionary is preferred by epicures? It is only a matter of conjecture that Catholics are better eating than Presbyterians.

    Yet these points and their kind are the only ones which have any importance at the time when the events occur.

    Nero did not consider what unborn posterity might think of him; it is difficult to credit cannibals with the calculation that the recital of their exploits will induce pious old ladies to replenish their larder.

    Very few people have ever "seen" a bull-fight. One set of people goes for excitement, another set for the perverse excitement which real or simulated horror affords. Very few people know that blood freshly spilled in the sunlight is perhaps the most beautiful colour that is to be found in nature.

    It is a notorious fact that it is practically impossible to get a reliable description of what occurs at a spiritualistic "seance;" the emotions cloud the vision.

    Only in the absolute calm of the laboratory, where the observer is perfectly indifferent to what may happen, only concerned to observe exactly what that happening is, to measure and to weigh it by means of instruments incapable of emotion, can one even begin to hope for a truthful record of events. Even the common physical bases of emotion, the senses of pleasure and pain, lead the observer infallibly to err. This though they be not sufficiently excited to disturb his mind.

    Plunge one hand into a basin of hot water, the other into a basin of cold water, then both together into a basin of tepid water; the one hand will say hot, the other cold.

    Even in instruments themselves, their physical qualities, such as expansion and contraction (which may be called, in a way, the roots of pleasure and pain), cause error.

    Make a thermometer, and the glass is so excited by the necessary fusion that year by year, for thirty years afterwards or more, the height of the mercury will continue to alter; how much more then with so plastic a matter as the mind! There is no emotion which does not leave a mark on the mind, and all marks are bad marks. Hope and fear are only opposite phases of a single emotion; both are incompatible with the purity of the soul. With the passions of man the case is somewhat different, as they are functions of his own will. They need to be disciplined, not to be suppressed. But emotion is impressed from without. It is an invasion of the circle.

    As the Dhammapada says:

    An ill-thatched house is open to the mercy of the rain and wind;

    So passion hath the power to break into an unreflecting mind.

    A well-thatched house is proof against the fury of the rain and wind;

    So passion hath no power to break into a rightly-ordered mind.

    Let then the Student practise observation of those things which normally would cause him emotion; and let him, having written a careful description of what he sees, check it by the aid of some person familiar with such sights.

    Surgical operations and dancing girls are fruitful fields for the beginner.

    In reading emotional books such as are inflicted on children, let him always endeavour to see the event from the standpoint opposite to that of the author. Yet let him not emulate the partially emancipated child who complained of a picture of the Colosseum that "there was one poor little lion who hadn't got any Christian," except in the first instance. Adverse criticism is the first step; the second must go further.

    Having sympathized sufficiently with both the lions and the Christians, let him open his eyes to that which his sympathy had masked hitherto, that the picture is abominably conceived, abominably composed, abominably drawn, and abominably coloured, as it is pretty sure to be.

    Let him further study those masters, in science or in art, who have observed with minds untinctured by emotion.

    Let him learn to detect idealizations, to criticize and correct them.

    Let him understand the falsehood of Raphael, of Watteau, of Leighton, of Bouguereau; let him appreciate the truthfulness of John, of Rembrandt, of Titian, of O'Conor.

    Similar studies in literature and philosophy will lead to similar results. But do not let him neglect the analysis of his own emotions; for until these are overcome he will be incapable of judging others.

    This analysis may be carried out in various ways; one is the materialistic way. For example, if oppressed by nightmare, let him explain: "This nightmare is a cerebral congestion."

    The strict way of doing this by meditation is Mahasatipatthana,

    footnote: See Crowley, "Collected Works," vol. ii, pp. 252-254.

    but it should be aided in every moment of life by endeavouring to estimate occurrences at their true value. Their relativity in particular must be carefully considered.

    Your toothache does not hurt any one outside a very small circle. Floods in China mean to you nothing but a paragraph in the newspaper. The destruction of the world itself would have no significance in Sirius. One can hardly imagine even that the astronomers of Sirius could perceive so trifling a disturbance.

    Now considering that Sirius itself is only, as far as you know, but one, and one of the least important, of the ideas in your mind, why should that mind be disturbed by your toothache? It is not possible to labour this point without tautology, for it is a very simple one; but it should be emphasised, for it is a very simple one. Waugh! Waugh! Waugh! Waugh! Waugh!

    In the question of ethics it again becomes vital, for to many people it seems impossible to consider the merits of any act without dragging in a number of subjects which have no real connection with it.

    The Bible has been mistranslated by perfectly competent scholars because they had to consider the current theology. The most glaring example is the "Song of Solomon," a typical piece of Oriental eroticism. But since to admit that it was this would never do for a canonical book, they had to pretend that it was symbolical.

    They tried to refine away the grossness of the expressions, but even their hardihood proved unequal to the task.

    This form of dishonesty reaches its climax in the expurgating of the classics. "The Bible is the Word of God, written by holy men, as they were inspired by the Holy Ghost. But we will cut out those passages which we think unsuitable." "Shakespeare is our greatest poet -- but, of course, he is very dreadful." "No one can surpass the lyrics of Shelley, but we must pretend that he was not an atheist."

    Some translators could not bear that the heathen Chinese should use the word Shang Ti, and pretended that it did not mean God. Others, compelled to admit that it did mean God, explained that the use of the term showed that "God had not left himself without a witness even in this most idolatrous of nations. They had been mysteriously compelled to use it, not knowing what it meant." All this because of their emotional belief that they were better than the Chinese.

    The most dazzling example of this is shown in the history of the study of Buddhism.

    The early scholars simply could not understand that the Buddhist canon denies the soul, regards the ego as a delusion caused by a special faculty of the diseased mind, could not understand that the goal of the Buddhist, Nibbana, was in any way different from their own goal, Heaven, in spite of the perfect plainness of the language in such dialogues as those between the Arahat Nagasena and King Melinda; and their attempts to square the text with their preconceptions will always stand as one of the great follies of the wise.

    Again, it is almost impossible for the well-mannered Christian to realize that Jesus Christ ate with his fingers. The temperance advocate makes believe that the wine at the marriage feast of Cana was non-alcoholic.

    It is a sort of mad syllogism.

    "Nobody whom I respect does this."

    "I respect So-and-so."

    "Therefore, So-and-so did not do this."

    The moralist of to-day is furious when one points to the fact that practically every great man in history was grossly and notoriously immoral.

    Enough of this painful subject!

    As long as we try to fit facts to theories instead of adopting the scientific attitude of altering the theories (when necessary) to fit the facts, we shall remain mired in falsehood.

    The religious taunt the scientific man with this open-mindedness, with this adaptability. "Tell a lie and stick to it!" is "their" golden rule.

    {diagram on this page: The Sigillum Dei Aemeth pentacle,



    AS the Magick Cup is the heavenly food of the Magus, so is the Magick Pantacle his earthly food.

    The Wand was his divine force, and the Sword his human force.

    The Cup is hollow to receive the influence from above. The Pantacle is flat like the fertile plains of earth.

    The name Pantacle implies an image of the All, "omne in parvo;" but this is by a magical transformation of the Pantacle. Just as we made the Sword symbolical of everything by the force of our Magick, so do we work upon the Pantacle. That which is merely a piece of common bread shall be the body of God!

    The Wand was the will of man, his wisdom, his word; the Cup was his understanding, the vehicle of grace; the Sword was his reason; and the Pantacle shall be his body, the temple of the Holy Ghost.

    What is the length of this Temple?

    From North to South.

    What is the breadth of this Temple?

    From East to West.

    What is the height of this Temple?

    From the Abyss to the Abyss.

    There is, therefore, nothing movable or immovable under the whole firmament of heaven which is not included in this pantacle, though it be but "eight inches in diameter, and in thickness half an inch."

    Fire is not matter at all; water is a combination of elements; air almost entirely a mixture of elements; earth contains all both in admixture and in combination.

    So must it be with this Pantacle, the symbol of earth.

    And as this Pantacle is made of pure wax, do not forget that "everything that lives is holy."

    All phenomena are sacraments. Every fact, and even every falsehood, must enter into the Pantacle; it is the great storehouse from which the Magician draws.

    "In the brown cakes of corn we shall taste the food of the world and be strong."

    footnote: We have avoided dealing with the Pantacle as the Paten of the Sacrament, though special instructions about it are given in Liber Legis. It is composed of meal, honey, wine, holy oil, and blood.

    When speaking of the Cup, it was shown how every fact must be made significant, how every stone must have its proper place in the mosaic. Woe were it were one stone misplaced! But that mosaic cannot be wrought at all, well or ill, unless every stone be there.

    These stones are the simple impressions or experiences; not one may be foregone.

    Do not refuse anything merely because you know that it is the cup of Poison offered by your enemy; drink it with confidence; it is he that will fall dead!

    WEH footnote: Metaphor. Not for reading by children!

    How can I give Cambodian art its proper place in art, if I have never heard of Cambodia? How can the Geologist estimate the age of what lies beneath the chalk unless he have a piece of knowledge totally unconnected with geology, the life-history of the animals of whom that chalk is the remains?

    This then is a very great difficulty for the Magician. He cannot possibly have all experience, and though he may console himself philosophically with the reflection that the Universe is conterminous with such experience as he has, he will find it grow at such a pace during the early years of his life that he may almost be tempted to believe in the possibility of experiences beyond his own, and from a practical standpoint he will seem to be confronted with so many avenues of knowledge that he will be bewildered which to choose.

    The ass hesitated between two thistles; how much more that greater ass, that incomparably greater ass, between two thousand!

    Fortunately it does not matter very much; but he should at least choose those branches of knowledge which abut directly upon universal problems.

    He should choose not one but several, and these should be as diverse as possible in nature.

    It is important that he should strive to excel in some sport, and that that sport should be the one best calculated to keep this body in health.

    He should have a thorough grounding in classics, mathematics and science; also enough general knowledge of modern languages and of the shifts of life to enable him to travel in any part of the world with ease and security.

    History and geography he can pick up as he wants them; and what should interest him most in any subject is its links with some other subject, so that his Pantacle may not lack what painters call "composition."

    He will find that, however good his memory may be, ten thousand impressions enter his mind for every one that it is able to retain even for a day. And the excellence of a memory lies in the wisdom of its selection.

    The best memories so select and judge that practically nothing is retained which has not some coherence with the general plan of the mind.

    All Pantacles will contain the ultimate conceptions of the circle and the cross, though some will prefer to replace the cross by a point, or by a Tau, or by a triangle. The Vesica Pisces is sometimes used instead of the circle, or the circle may be glyphed as a serpent. Time and space and the idea of causality are sometimes represented; so also are the three stages in the history of philosophy, in which the three objects of study were successively Nature, God, and Man.

    The duality of consciousness is also sometimes represented; and the Tree of Life itself may be figured therein, or the categories. An emblem of the Great Work should be added. But the Pantacle will be imperfect unless each idea is contrasted in a balanced manner with its opposite, and unless there is a necessary connection between each pair of ideas and every other pair.

    The Neophyte will perhaps do well to make the first sketches for his Pantacle very large and complex, subsequently simplifying, not so much by exclusion as by combination, just as a Zoologist, beginning with the four great Apes and Man, combines all in the single word "primate."

    It is not wise to simplify too far, since the ultimate hieroglyphic must be an infinite. The ultimate resolution not having been performed, its symbol must not be portrayed.

    If any person were to gain access to V.V.V.V.V.,

    footnote: The Motto of the Chief of the A∴A∴, "the Light of the World Himself."

    and ask Him to discourse upon any subject, there is little doubt that He could only comply by an unbroken silence, and even that might not be wholly satisfactory, since the Tao Teh King says that the Tao cannot be declared either by silence or by speech.

    In this preliminary task of collecting materials, the idea of the Ego is not of such great moment; all impressions are phases of the non-ego, and the Ego serves merely as a receptacle. In fact, to the well regulated mind, there is no question but that the impressions are real, and that the mind, if not a "tabula rasa," is only not so because of the "tendencies" or "innate ideas" which prevent some ideas from being received as readily as others.

    footnote: It does not occur to a newly-hatched chicken to behave in the same way as a new-born child.

    These "tendencies" must be combated: distasteful facts should be insisted upon until the Ego is perfectly indifferent to the nature of its food.

    "Even as the diamond shall glow red for the rose, and green for the rose-leaf, so shalt thou abide apart from the Impressions."

    This great task of separating the self from the impressions or "vrittis" is one of the may meanings of the aphorism "solve," corresponding to the "coagula" implied in Samadhi, and this Pantacle therefore represents all that we are, the resultant of all that we had a tendency to be.

    In the Dhammapada we read:

    All that we are from mind results; on mind is founded, built of mind;

    Who acts or speaks with evil thought him doth pain follow sure and blind.

    So the ox plants his foot, and so the car wheel follows hard behind.

    All that we are from mind results; on mind is founded, built of mind;

    Who acts or speaks with righteous thought him happiness doth surely find.

    So failing not the shadow falls for ever in its place assigned.

    The Pantacle is then in a sense identical with the Karma or Kamma of the Magician.

    The Karma of a man is his "ledger." The balance has not been struck and he does not know what it is; he does not even fully know what debts he may have to pay, or what is owed him; nor does he know on what dates even those payments which he anticipates may fall due.

    A business conducted on such lines would be in a terrible mess; and we find in fact that man is in just such a mess. While he is working day and night at some unimportant detail of his affairs, some giant force may be advancing "pede claudo" to overtake him.

    Many of the entries in this "ledger" are for the ordinary man necessarily illegible; the method of reading them is given in that important instruction of the A∴A∴ called "Thisharb," Liber CMXIII.

    Now consider that this Karma is all that a man has or is. His ultimate object is to get rid of it completely -- when it comes to the point of surrendering

    footnote: To surrender all, one must give up not only the bad but the good; not only weakness but strength. How can the mystic surrender all, while he clings to his virtues?

    the Self to the Beloved; but in the beginning the Magician is not that Self, he is only the heap of refuse from which that Self is to be built up. The Magical instruments must be made before they are destroyed.

    This idea of Karma has been confused by many who ought to have know better, including the Buddha, with the ideas of poetic justice and of retribution.

    We have the story of one of the Buddha's Arahats, who being blind, in walking up and down unwittingly killed a number of insects. [The Buddhist regards the destruction of life as the most shocking crime.] His brother Arahats inquired as to how this was, and Buddha spun them a long yarn as to how, in a previous incarnation, he had maliciously deprived a woman of her sight. This is only a fairy tale, a bogey to frighten the children, and probably the worst way of influencing the young yet devised by human stupidity.

    Karma does not work in this way at all.

    In any case moral fables have to be very carefully constructed, or they may prove dangerous to those who use them.

    You will remember Bunyan's Passion and Patience: naughty Passion played with all this toys and broke them, good little Patience put them carefully aside. Bunyan forgets to mention that by the time Passion had broken all his toys, he had outgrown them.

    Karma does not act in this tit-for-tat-way. An eye for an eye is a sort of savage justice, and the idea of justice in our human sense is quite foreign to the constitution of the Universe.

    Karma is the Law of Cause and Effect. There is no proportion in its operations. Once an accident occurs it is impossible to say what may happen; and the Universe is a stupendous accident.

    We go out to tea a thousand times without mishap, and the thousand-and-first time we meet some one who changes radically the course of our lives for ever.

    There is a sort of sense in which every impression that is made upon our minds is the resultant of all the forces of the past; no incident is so trifling that it has not in some way shaped one's disposition. But there is none of this crude retribution about it. One may kill a hundred thousand lice in one brief hour at the foot of the Baltoro Glacier, as Frater P. once did. It would be stupid to suppose, as the Theosophist inclines to suppose, that this action involves one in the doom of being killed by a louse a hundred thousand times.

    This ledger of Karma is kept separate from the petty cash account; and in respect of bulk this petty cash account is very much bigger than the ledger.

    If we eat too much salmon we get indigestion and perhaps nightmare. It is silly to suppose that a time will come when a salmon will eat us, and find us disagree.

    On the other hand we are always being terribly punished for actions that are not faults at all. Even our virtues rouse insulted nature to revenge.

    Karma only grows by what it fees on: and if Karma is to be properly brought up, it requires a very careful diet.

    With the majority of people their actions cancel each other out; no sooner is effort made than it is counterbalanced by idleness. Eros gives place to Anteros.

    Not one man in a thousand makes even an apparent escape from the commonplace of animal life.

    Birth is sorrow;

    Life is sorrow;

    Sorrowful are old age, disease, and death;

    But resurrection is the greatest misery of all.

    "Oh what misery! birth incessantly!" as Buddha said.

    One goes on from day to day with a little of this and a little of that, a few kind thoughts and a few unkind thoughts; nothing really gets done. Body and mind are changed, changed beyond recall by nightfall. But what "meaning" has any of this change?

    How few there are who can look back through the years and say that they have made advance in any definite direction? And in how few is that change, such as it is, a variable with intelligence and conscious volition! The dead weight of the original conditions under which we were born has counted for far more than all our striving. The unconscious forces are incomparably greater than those of which we have any knowledge. This is the "solidity" of our Pantacle, the Karma of our earth that whirls us will he nill he around her axis at the rate of a thousand miles an hour. And a thousand is Aleph, a capital Aleph, the microcosm of all-wandering air, the fool of the Taro, the aimlessness and fatality of things!

    It is very difficult then in any way to "fashion" this heavy Pantacle.

    We can engrave characters upon it with the dagger, but they will scarcely come to more than did the statue of Ozymandias, King of Kings, in the midst of the unending desert.

    We cut a figure on the ice; it is effaced in a morning by the tracks of other skaters; nor did that figure do more than scratch the surface of the ice, and the ice itself must melt before the sun. Indeed the Magician may despair when he comes to make the Pantacle! Everyone has the material, one man's pretty well as good as his brothers; but for that Pantacle to be in any way fashioned to a willed end, or even to an intelligible end, or even to a known end: "Hoc opus, Hic labor est." It is indeed the toil of ascending from Avernus, and escaping to the upper air.

    In order to do it, it is most necessary to understand our tendencies, and to will the development of one, the destruction of another. And though all elements in the Pantacle must ultimately be destroyed, yet some will help us directly to reach a position from which this task of destruction becomes possible; and there is no element therein which may not be occasionally helpful.

    And so -- beware! Select! Select! Select!

    This Pantacle is an infinite storehouse; things will always be there when we want them. We may see to it occasionally that they are dusted and the moth kept out, but we shall usually be too busy to do much more. Remember that in travelling from the earth to the stars, one dare not be encumbered with too much heavy luggage. Nothing that is not a necessary part of the machine should enter into its composition.

    Now though this Pantacle is composed only of shams, some shams somehow seem to be more false than others.

    The whole Universe is an illusion, but it is an illusion difficult to get rid of. It is true compared with most things. But ninety-nine out of every hundred impressions are false even in relation to the things on their own plane.

    Such distinctions must be graven deeply upon the surface of the Pantacle by the Holy Dagger.

    There is only one other of the elemental Instruments to be considered, namely the Lamp.



    IN Liber A. vel Armorum, the official instruction of the A∴A∴ for the preparation of the elemental weapons, it is said that each symbolic representation of the Universe is to be approved by the Superior of the Magician. To this rule the Lamp is an exception; it is said:

    "A Magical Lamp that shall burn without wick or oil, being fed by the Aethyr. This shall he accomplish secretly and apart, without asking the advice or approval of his Adeptus Minor."

    This Lamp is the light of the pure soul; it hath no need of fuel, it is the Burning Bush incomsumable that Moses saw, the image of the Most High.

    This Lamp hangeth above the Altar, it hath no support from below; its light illumines the whole Temple, yet upon it are cast no shadows, no reflections. It cannot be touched, it cannot be extinguished, in no way can it change; for it is utterly apart from all those things which have complexity, which have dimension, which change and may be changed.

    When the eyes of the Magus are fixed upon this Lamp naught else exists.

    The Instruments lie idle on the Altar; that Light alone burns eternally.

    The Divine Will that was the Wand is no more; for the path has become one with the Goal.

    The Divine Understanding that was the Cup is no more; for the subject and Object of intelligence are one.

    The Divine Reason that was the Sword is no more; for the complex has been resolved into the Simple.

    And the Divine Substance that was the Pantacle is no more; for the many has become the One.

    Eternal, unconfined, unextended, without cause and without effect, the Holy Lamp mysteriously burns. Without quantity or quality, unconditioned and sempiternal, is this Light.

    It is not possible for anyone to advise or approve; for this Lamp is not made with hands; it exists alone for ever; it has no parts, no person; it is before "I am." Few can behold it, yet it is always there. For it there is no "here" nor "there," no "then" nor "now;" all parts of speech are abolished, save the noun; and this noun is not found either in human speech or in Divine. It is the Lost Word, the dying music of whose sevenfold echo is I A O and A U M. Without this Light the Magician could not work at all; yet few indeed are the Magicians that have know of it, and far fewer They that have beheld its brilliance!

    The Temple and all that is in it must be destroyed again and again before it is worthy to receive that Light. Hence it so often seems that the only advice that any master can give to any pupil is to destroy the Temple.

    "Whatever you have" and "whatever you are" are veils before that Light.

    Yet in so great ~a matter all advice is vain. There is no master so great that he can see clearly the whole character of any pupil. What helped him in the past may hinder another in the future.

    Yet since the Master is pledged to serve, he may take up that service on these simple lines. Since all thoughts are veils of this Light, he may advise the destruction of all thoughts, and to that end teach those practices which are clearly conductive to such destruction.

    These practices have now fortunately been set down in clear language by order of the A∴A∴.

    In these instructions the relativity and limitation of each practice is clearly taught, and all dogmatic interpretations are carefully avoided. Each practice is in itself a demon which must be destroyed; but to be destroyed it must first be evoked.

    Shame upon that Master who shirks any one of these practices, however distasteful or useless it may be to him! For in the detailed knowledge of it, which experience alone can give him, may lie his opportunity for crucial assistance to a pupil. However dull the drudgery, it should be undergone. If it were possible to regret anything in life, which is fortunately not the case, it would be the hours wasted in fruitful practices which might have been more profitably employed on sterile ones: for NEMO

    footnote: NEMO is the Master of the Temple, whose task it is to develop the beginner. See Liber CDXVIII, Aethyr XIII.

    in tending his garden seeketh not to single out the flower that shall be NEMO after him. And we are not told that NEMO might have used other things than those which he actually does use; it seems possible that if he had not the acid or the knife, or the fire, or the oil, he might miss tending just that one flower which was to be NEMO after him!



    THE Crown of the Magician represents the Attainment of his Work. It is a band of pure gold, on the front of which stand three pentagrams, and on the back a hexagram. The central pentagram contains a diamond or a great opal; the other three symbols contain the Tau. Around this Crown is twined the golden Ureaus serpent, with erect head and expanded hood. Under the Crown is a crimson cap of maintenance, which falls to the shoulders.

    Instead of this, the Ateph Crown of Thoth is sometimes worn; for Thoth is the God of Truth, of Wisdom, and the Teacher of Magick. The Ateph Crown has two ram's horns, showing energy, dominion, the force that breaks down obstacles, the sign of the spring. Between these horns is the disk of the sun; from this springs a Lotus upheld by the twin plumes of truth, and three other sun-disks are upheld, one by the cup of the lotus, the others beneath the curving feathers.

    There is still another Crown, the Crown of Amoun, the concealed one, from whom the Hebrews borrowed their holy word "Amen." This Crown consists simply of the plumes of truth. But into the symbolism of these it is not necessary to go, for all this and more is in the Crown first described.

    The crimson cap implies concealment, and is also symbolical of the flood of glory that pours upon the Magician from above. It is of velvet for the softness of that divine kiss, and crimson for that it is the very blood of God which is its life. The band of gold is the eternal circle of perfection. The three pentagrams symbolize the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, while the hexagram represents the Magician himself. Ordinarily, pentagrams represent the microcosm, hexagrams the macrocosm; but here the reverse is the case, because in this Crown of Perfection, that which is below has become that which is above, and that which is above had become that which is below. If a diamond be worn, it is for the Light which is before all manifestations in form; if an opal, it is to commemorate that sublime plan of the All, to fold and unfold in eternal rapture, to manifest as the Many that the Many may become the One Unmanifest. But this matter is too great for an elementary treatise on Magick.

    The Serpent which is coiled about the Crown means many things, or, rather, one thing in many ways. It is the symbol of royalty and of initiation, for the Magician is anointed King and Priest.

    It also represents Hadit, of which one can here only quote these words: "I am the secret serpent coiled about to spring; in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one; if I droop down mine head and shoot forth venom, there is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one."

    The serpent is also the Kundalini serpent, the Magical force itself, the manifesting side of the Godhead of the Magician, whose unmanifested side is peace and silence, of which there is no symbol.

    In the Hindu system the Great Work is represented by saying that this serpent, which is normally coiled at the base of the spine, rises with her hood over the head of the Yogi, there to unite with the Lord of all.

    The serpent is also he who poisons. It is that force which destroys the manifested Universe. This is also the emerald snake which encircles the Universe. This matter must be studied in Liber LXV, where this is discussed incomparably. In the hood of this serpent are the six jewels, three on each side, Ruby, Emerald, and Sapphire, the three holy elements made perfect, on both sides in equilibrium.



    THE Robe of the Magician may be varied according to his grade and the nature of his working.

    There are two principal Robes, the white and the black; of these the black is more important than the white, for the white has no hood. These Robes may be varied by the addition of various symbols, but in any case the shape of the Robe is a Tau.

    The general symbolism which we have adopted leads us, however, to prefer the description of a Robe which few dare wear. This Robe is of a rich silk of deep pure blue, the blue of the night sky: it is embroidered with golden stars, and with roses and lilies. Around the hem, its tail in its mouth, is the great serpent, while upon the front from neck to hem falls the Arrow described in the Vision of the Fifth Aethyr. This Robe is lined with purple silk on which is embroidered a green serpent coiled from neck to hem. The symbolism of this Robe treats of high mysteries which must be studied in Liber CCXX and Liber CDXVIII; but having thus dealt with special Robes, let us consider the use of the Robe in general.

    The Robe is that which conceals, and which protects the Magician from the elements; it is the silence and secrecy with which he works, the hiding of himself in the occult life of Magick and Meditation. This is the "going away into the wilderness" which we find in the lives of all men of the highest types of greatness. And it is also the withdrawing of one's self from life as such.

    In another sense it is the "Aura" of the Magician, that invisible egg or sheath which surrounds him. This "Aura" must be shining, elastic, impenetrable, even by the light, that is, by any partial light that comes from one side.

    The only light of the Magician is from the Lamp which hangs above his head, as he stands in the centre of the Circle, and the Robe, being open at the neck, opposes no obstacles to the passage of this light. And being open, and very wide open, at the bottom, it permits that light to pass and illumine them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.



    THE Book of Spells or of Conjurations is the Record of every thought, word, and deed of the Magician; for everything that he has willed is willed to a purpose. It is the same as if he had taken an oath to perform some achievement.

    Now this Book must be a holy Book, not a scribbling-book in which you jot down every piece of rubbish that comes into your head. It is written, Liber VII, v, 23: "Every breath, every word, every thought, every deed is an act of love with Thee. Be this devotion a potent spell to exorcise the demons of the Five."

    This Book must then be thus written. In the first place the Magician must perform the practice laid down in Liber CMXIII so that he understands perfectly who he is, and to what his development must necessarily tend. So much for the first page of the Book.

    Let him then be careful to write nothing therein that is inharmonious or untrue. Nor can he avoid this writing, for this is a Magick Book. If you abandon even for an hour the one purpose of your life, you will find a number of meaningless scratches and scrawls on the white vellum; and these cannot be erased. In such a case, when you come to conjure a demon by the power of the Book, he will mock you; he will point to all this foolish writing, more like his own than yours. In vain will you continue with the subsequent spells; you have broken by your own foolishness the chain which would have bound him.

    Even the calligraphy of the Book must be firm, clear, and beautiful; in the cloud of incense it is hard to read the conjurations. While you peer dimly through the smoke, the demon will vanish, and you will have to write the terrible word "failure."

    And yet there is no page of this Book on which this word is not written; but so long as it is immediately followed by a new affirmation, all is not lost; and as in this Book the word "failure" is thus made of little account, so also must the word "success" never be employed, for its is the last word that may be written therein, and it is followed by a full stop.

    This full stop may never be written anywhere else; for the writing of the Book goes on eternally; there is no way of closing the record until the goal of all has been attained. Let every page of this Book be filled with song -- for it is a Book of incantation!



    THE Magical Bell is best attached to the chain. In some systems of Magick a number of bells have been worn, sewn upon the hem of the robe with the idea of symbolizing that every movement of the Magician should make music. But the Bell of which we shall speak is a more important implement. This Bell summons and alarms; and it is also the Bell which sounds at the elevation of the Host.

    It is thus also the "Astral Bell" of the Magician.

    footnote: During certain meditation-practices the Student hears a bell resound in the depths of his being. It is not subjective, for it is sometimes heard by other people. Some Magicians are able to call the attention of those with whom they wish to communicate at a distance by its means, or, so it is said.

    The Bell of which we speak is a disk of some two inches in diameter, very slightly bent into a shape not unlike that of a cymbal. A hole in the centre permits the passage of a short leather thong, by which it may be attached to the chain. At the other end of the chain is the striker; which, in Tibet, is usually made of human bone.

    The Bell itself is made of electrum magicum, an alloy of the "seven metals" blended together in a special manner. First the gold is melted up with the silver during a favourable aspect of the sun and moon; these are then fused with tin when Jupiter is well dignified. Lead is added under an auspicious Saturn; and so for the quicksilver, copper, and iron, when Mercury, Venus, and Mars are of good augury.

    The sound of this Bell is indescribably commanding, solemn, and majestic. Without even the minutest jar, its single notes tinkle fainter and fainter into silence. At the sound of this Bell the Universe ceases for an indivisible moment of time, and attends to the Will of the Magician. Let him not interrupt the sound of this Bell. Let this be that which is written, Liber VII, v, 31: "There is a solemnity of the silence. There is no more voice at all."

    As the Magical Book was the record of the past, so is the Magick Bell the prophecy of the future. The manifested shall repeat itself again and again, always a clear thin note, always a simplicity of music, yet ever less and less disturbing the infinite silence until the end.



    THE breastplate or Lamen of the Magician is a very elaborate and important symbol. In the Jewish system we read that the High Priest was to wear a plate with twelve stones, for the twelve tribes of Israel (with all their correspondences), and in this plate were kept the Urim and Thummin.

    footnote: Scholars are uncertain as to what these really were, though apparently they were methods of divination.

    The modern Lamen is, however, a simple plate which (being worn over the heart) symbolizes Tiphereth, and it should therefore be a harmony of all the other symbols in one. It connects naturally by its shape with the Circle and the Pentacle; but it is not sufficient to repeat the design of either.

    The Lamen of the spirit whom one wishes to evoke is both placed in the triangle and worn on the breast; but in this case, since that which we wish to evoke in nothing partial, but whole, we shall have but a single symbol to combine the two. The Great Work will then form the subject of the design.

    footnote: Some writers have actually confused the Lamen with the Pantacle, usually through a misunderstanding of the nature of the latter. Dr. Dee's "Sigillum Dei Amath" makes a fine pantacle, but it would be useless as a lamen, Eliphas Levi made several attempts to draw one or the other, he never seemed sure which. Fortunately he knows better now. The lamens given in the Lesser and Greater Keys of "Solomon" are rather better, but we know of no perfect example. The design on the cover of "The Star in the West" represents an early effort of Fra. P.

    In this Lamen the Magician must place the secret keys of his power.

    The Pentacle is merely the material to be worked upon, gathered together and harmonized but not yet in operation, the parts of the engine arranged for use, or even put together, but not yet set in motion. In the Lamen these forces are already at work; even accomplishment is prefigured.

    In the system of Abramelin the Lamen is a plate of silver upon which the Holy Guardian Angel writes in dew. This is another way of expressing the same thing, for it is He who confers the secrets of that power which should be herein expressed. St. Paul expresses the same thing when he says that the breastplate is faith, and can withstand the fiery darts of the wicked. "This "faith" is not blind self-confidence and credulity; it is that self confidence which only comes when self is forgotten.

    {figure on this page: A vesica with balances, sword, rose and crown, along with several letters and numbers. This caption beneath: "EXAMPLE OF DESIGN FOR A LAMEN"}

    It is the "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel" which confers this faith. The task of attaining to this Knowledge and Conversation is the sole task of him who would be called Adept. An absolute method for achieving this is given in the Eighth Aethyr (Liber CDXVIII, Equinox V).

    {illustration on this page: a pot supported by a tripod with arms up and over the top to hold up a perforated circular grate. The upper extensions of the arms are flame-shaped. This caption beneath: "THE CENSER (CROWLEY'S PATENT PATTERN)."}



    INTO the Magick Fire all things are cast. It symbolizes the final burning up of all things in Shivadarshana. It is the absolute destruction alike of the Magician and the Universe.

    The Thurible stands upon a small altar. "My altar is of open brass work: burn thereon in silver or gold!"

    WEH footnote: quotation corrected

    This altar stands in the East, as if to symbolize the identity of Hope and Annihilation. This brass contains the metals of Jupiter and Venus fused in a homogeneous alloy. This is then symbolical of divine love, and it is "open brass work" because this love is not limited in direction or extent; it is not particularized, it is universal.

    Upon this altar stands the Censer proper; it has three legs symbolical of fire.

    footnote: Because Shin the Hebrew letter of Fire, has three tongues of flame, and its value is 300.

    Its cup is a hemisphere, and supported from its edge is a plate pierced with holes. This censer is of silver or gold, because there were called the perfect metals; it is upon perfection that the imperfect is burned. Upon this plate burns a great fire of charcoal, impregnated with nitre. This charcoal is (as chemists now begin to surmise) the ultimate protean element: absolutely black, because it absorbs all light; infusible by the application of any known heat; the lightest of those elements which occur in the solid state in nature; the essential constituent of all known forms of life.

    It has been treated with nitre, whose potassium has the violet flame of Jupiter, the father of all, whose nitrogen is that inert element which by proper combination becomes a constituent of all the most explosive bodies known; and oxygen, the food of fire.

    WEH footnote: That is to say, this nitre is Potassium Nitrate or "Salt Peter". Such charcoal impregnated with Potash is now commonly sold for incense burning in the form of disks with an indentation in the top, "Three Kings Charcoal" is a popular brand, but some "self-starting" barbecue brickettes are also of this composition and much less expensive.

    This fire is blown upon by the Magician; this blaze of destruction has been kindled by his word and by his will.

    Into this Fire he casts the Incense, symbolical of prayer, the gross vehicle or image of his aspiration. Owing to the imperfection of this image, we obtain mere smoke instead of perfect combustion. But we cannot use explosives instead of incense, because it would not be true. Our prayer is the expression of the lower aspiring to the higher; it is without the clear vision of the higher, it does not understand what the higher wants. And, however sweet may be its smell, it is always cloudy.

    In this smoke illusions arise. We sought the light, and behold the Temple is darkened! In the darkness this smoke seems to take strange shapes, and we may hear the crying of beasts. The thicker the smoke, the darker grows the Universe. We gasp and tremble, beholding what foul and unsubstantial things we have evoked!

    Yet we cannot do without the Incense! Unless our aspiration took form it could not influence form. This also is the mystery of incarnation.

    This Incense is based upon Gum Olibanum, the sacrifice of the human will of the heart. This olibanum has been mixed with half its weight of storax, the earthly desires, dark, sweet, and clinging; and this again with half its weight of lignum aloes, which symbolizes Sagittarius, the arrow,

    footnote: Note that there are two arrows: the Divine shot downward, the human upward. The former is the Oil, the latter the Incense, or rather the finest part of it. See Liber CDXVIII, Fifth Aethyr.

    and so represents the aspiration itself; it is the arrow that cleaves the rainbow. This arrow is "Temperance" in the Taro; it is a life equally balanced and direct which makes our work possible; yet this life itself must be sacrificed!

    In the burning up of these things arise in our imagination those terrifying or alluring phantasms which throng the "Astral Plane." This smoke represents the "Astral Plane," which lies between the material and the spiritual. One may now devote a little attention to the consideration of this "plane," about which a great deal of nonsense has been written.

    When a man shuts his eyes and begins to look about him, at first there is nothing but darkness. If he continues trying to penetrate the gloom, a new pair of eyes gradually opens.

    Some people think that these are the "eyes of imagination." Those with more experience understand that this truly represents things seen, although those things are themselves totally false.

    As first the seer will perceive gray gloom; in subsequent experiments perhaps figures may appear with whom the seer may converse, and under whose guidance he may travel about. This "plane" being quite as large and varied as the material Universe, one cannot describe it effectively; we must refer the reader to Liber O and to Equinox II, pages 295 to 334.

    This "Astral Plane" has been described by Homer in the Odyssey. Here are Polyphemus and the Laestrygons, here Calypso and the Sirens. Here, too, are those things which many have imagined to be the "spirits" of the dead. If the student once take any of these things for truth, he must worship it, since all truth is worshipful. In such a case he is lost; the phantom will have power over him; it will obsess him.

    As long as an idea is being examined you are free from it. There is no harm in man's experimenting with opium-smoking or feeding on nuts; but the moment he ceases to examine, to act from habit and without reflection, he is in trouble. We all of us eat too much, because people, liveried and obsequious, have always bustled up five times daily with six months' provisions, and it was less trouble to feed and be done with it, than to examine the question whether we were hungry. If you cook your own food, you soon find that you don't cook more or less than you want; and health returns. If, however, you go to the other extreme and think of nothing but diet, you are almost sure to acquire that typical form of melancholia, in which the patient is convinced that all the world is in league to poison him. Professor Schweinhund has shown that beef causes gout; Professor Naschtikoff proves that milk causes consumption. Sir Ruffon Wratts tells us that old age is brought on by eating cabbage. By and by you reach the state of which Mr. Hereward Carrington make his proud boast: your sole food is chocolate, which you chew unceasingly, even in your dreams. Yet no sooner have you taken it into you than you awake to the terrible truth demonstrated by Guterbock Q. Hosenscheisser, Fourth Avenue, Grand Rapids, that chocolate is the cause of constipation, and constipation of cancer, and proceed to get it out of you by means of an enema which would frighten a camel into convulsions.

    A similar madness attacks even real men of science. Metchnikoff studied the diseases of the colon until he could see nothing else, and then calmly proposed to cut out every one's colon, pointing out that a vulture (who has no colon) is a very long-lived bird. As a matter of fact the longevity of the vulture is due to its twisted neck, and many thoughtful persons propose to experiment on Professor Metchnikoff.

    But the worst of all phantasms are the moral ideas and the religious ideas. Sanity consists in the faculty of adjusting ideas in proper proportion. Any one who accepts a moral or religious truth without understanding it is only kept out of the asylum because he does not follow it out logically. If one really believed in Christianity,

    footnote: "One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad." -- "Crowley."

    if one really thought that the majority of mankind was doomed to eternal punishment, one would go raving about the world trying to "save" people. Sleep would not be possible until the horror of the mind left the body exhausted. Otherwise, one must be morally insane. Which of us can sleep if one we love is in danger of mere death? We cannot even see a dog drown without at least interrupting all our business to look on. Who then can live in London and reflect upon the fact that of its seven million souls, all but about a thousand Plymouth Brethren will be damned? Yet the thousand Plymouth Brethren (who are the loudest in proclaiming that they will be the only ones saved) seem to get on very well, thank you. Whether they are hypocrites or morally insane is a matter which we can leave to their own consideration.

    All these phantoms, of whatever nature, must be evoked, examined, and mastered; otherwise we may find that just when we want it there is some idea with which we have never dealt; and perhaps that idea, springing on us by surprise, and as it were from behind, may strangle us. This is the legend of the sorcerer strangled by the Devil!


    ONLY words nowhere explained in the preceding pages are given in this list. Several others, mentioned in passing in the early part of the book, are sufficiently dealt with later on. In these cases the references in the Index should be turned up.

    The Great White Brotherhood which is giving this Method of Attainment to the world. See Equinox I.
    Adeptus Minor.
    A grade of adeptship. See Equinox III.
    See Equinox V and VII.
    The Great Fertile Mother Nature.
    The Great Mother not yet fertile.
    The God Amen = Zeus = Jupiter, etc., etc.
    The Symbol of "Life." A form of the Rosy Cross. See Equinox III.
    The Serpent-God who slew Osiris. See Equinox III.
    Babalon, Our Lady.
    See Equinox V, The Vision and Voice, 14th Aethyr.
    Babe of the Abyss.
    See Equinox VIII, Temple of Solomon.
    Scared Hymn of India, translated by Sir Edwin Arnold in the "Song Celestial."
    Understanding, the 3rd "emanation" of the Absolute.
    The Wand of Mercury. See Equinox II and III.
    Mercy, the 4th "emanation" of the Absolute.
    Wisdom, the 2nd "emanation" of the Absolute.
    See Equinox V, The Vision and the Voice, 10th Aethyr.
    City of the Pyramids.
    See Equinox V, The Vision and the Voice, 14th Aethyr.
    Crux Ansata.
    Same as Ankh, q.v.
    Knowledge, child of Chokmah and Binah in one sense; in another, the home of Choronzon.
    A sacred Buddhist book.
    Elemental Kings.
    See 777.
    Strength, the 5th "emanation" of the Absolute.
    Three principles. See Bhagadvadgita,{sic} 777, etc.
    See "Liber Legis," Equinox VII. Also "Liber 555."
    Hathayoga Pradipika.
    A book on physical training for spiritual purposes.
    Splendour, the 8th "emanation" of the Absolute.
    Pali dialect of Karma, q.v.
    "That which is made," "The law of cause and effect." See "Science and Buddhism," Crowley, Coll. Works, Vol. II.
    The Crown, 1st "emanation" of the Absolute.
    Lao Tze.
    Great Chinese teacher, founder of Taoists. See Tao Teh "K"ing.
    Liber Legis.
    See Equinox VII for facsimile reproduction of MS.
    The Unity or Male Principle. But these have many symbols, e.g., sometimes Yoni is 0 or 3 and Lingam 2.
    A form of the Rosy Cross.
    The great Universe, of which man is an exact image.
    A magician. Technically, also, a Master of the grade 9{degree} = 2{square}.
    Equinox VII, "Liber I," and elsewhere.
    See Lingam. Maha means great.
    Maha Sattipatthana.
    A mode of meditation. See "Science and Buddhism," Crowley, Coll. Works, Vol. II, for a full account.
    A young girl. The "bride." The unredeemed soul.
    "The kingdom," 10th "emanation" of the Absolute.
    A practice to attain union with God by repetition of a sacred sentence.
    Master of the Temple.
    One of grade 8{degree} = 3{square}. Fully discussed in Equinox.
    Man, considered as an exact image of the Universe.
    The "animal soul" of man.
    Victory, the 7th "emanation" of the Absolute.
    The state called, for want of a better name, annihilation. The final goal.
    See Nibbana.
    See "Liber Legis."
    See 777, and Equinox II and elsewhere.
    Perdurabo, Frater.
    See Equinox I-X, "The Temple of Solomon the King."
    See "Raja Yoga."
    See "The tradition of secret wisdom of the Hebrews," Equinox V.
    "Shells" or demons. The excrement of ideas.
    See "Liber Legis."
    The intellect and other mental qualities. See 777, etc.
    Sahasrara Cakkra.
    "The Temple of Solomon the King." See Equinox IV.
    See "The training of the Mind," Equinox V, and "The Temple of Solomon," Equinox VIII.
    "Science and Buddhism," Crowley Coll. Works, Vol. II
    See "Science and Buddhism."
    See "Science and Buddhism."
    See "Temple of Solomon," Equinox V.
    "A tooth." Hebrew letter = Sh, corresponds to Fire and Spirit.
    Shiva Sanhita.
    A Hindu treatise on physical training for spiritual ends.
    See "Science and Buddhism."
    See Konx Om Pax, "Thien Tao." 777, etc.
    Tao Teh King.
    Chinese Classic of the Tao.
    See 777, Equinox III and VIII, etc., etc.
    A "cross," Hebrew letter = Th corresponds to ""Earth." See 777.
    The demons corresponding to Kether. Two contending forces.
    A person who talks about Yoga, and does no work.
    The Egyptian god of Speech, Magick, Wisdom.
    "Beauty" or "Harmony," the 6th "emanation" of the Absolute.
    The destroyer of Osiris.
    One of the imaginary "nerves" of Hindu pseudo-physiology."
    See "Science and Buddhism," Crowley, Coll. Works, Vol. II.
    Vesica, Vesica Piscies.
    See Yoni. The oval formed by the intersection of the circles in Euclid I, 1.
    Virakam, Soror.
    A chela of Frater Perdurabo.
    "Foundation," the ninth "emanation" of the Absolute.
    One who seeks to attain "Union" (with God). A Hindu word corresponding to the Mohammedan word Fakir.
    The Dyad, or Female Principle. See Lingam.
    Splendour, a collection of books on the Qabalah. See "The Temple of Solomon the King," Equinox V.


    The A∴A∴ is an organization whose heads have obtained by personal experience to the summit of this science. They have founded a system by which every one can equally attain, and that with an ease and speed which was previously impossible.

    The first grade in Their system is that of


    A Student must possess the following books:

    1. The Equinox,
    2. 777.
    3. Konx Om Pax.
    4. Collected Works of A. Crowley; Tannhauser, The Sword of Song, Time, Eleusis. 3 vols.
    5. Raja Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda.
    6. The Shiva Sanhita, or the Hathayoga Pradipika.
    7. The Tao Teh King and the writings of Kwang Tze: S.B.E. xxxix, xl.
    8. The Spiritual Guide, by Miguel de Molinos.
    9. Rituel et Dogme de la Haute Magie, by Eliphas Levi, or its translation by A. E. Waite.
    10. The Goetia of the Lemegeton of Solomon the King.

    These books should be well studied in any case in conjunction with the second part -- Magick -- of this Book IV.

    Study of these books will give a thorough grounding in the intellectual side of Their system.

    After three months the Student is examined in these books, and if his knowledge of them is found satisfactory, he may become a Probationer, receiving Liber LXI and the secret holy book, Liber LXV. The principal point of this grade is that the Probationer has a master appointed, whose experience can guide him in his work.

    He may select any practices that he prefers, but in any case must keep an exact record, so that he may discover the relation of cause and effect in his working, and so that the A∴A∴ may judge of his progress, and direct his further studies.

    After a year of probation he may be admitted a Neophyte of the A∴A∴, and receive the secret holy book Liber VII.

    These are the principal instructions for practice which every probationer should follow out:


    Liber Aba - Book IV - Part I

    Book Four

    by Frater Perdurabo and Soror Virakam

    PART I





    known as the A∴A∴

    Witness our Seal,




    EXISTENCE, as we know it, is full of sorrow. To mention only one minor point: every man is a condemned criminal, only he does not know the date of his execution. This is unpleasant for every man. Consequently every man does everything possible to postpone the date, and would sacrifice anything that he has if he could reverse the sentence.

    Practically all religions and all philosophies have started thus crudely, by promising their adherents some such reward as immortality.

    No religion has failed hitherto by not promising enough; the present breaking up of all religions is due to the fact that people have asked to see the securities. Men have even renounced the important material advantages which a well-organized religion may confer upon a State, rather than acquiesce in fraud or falsehood, or even in any system which, if not proved guilty, is at least unable to demonstrate its innocence.

    Being more or less bankrupt, the best thing that we can do is to attack the problem afresh without preconceived ideas. Let us begin by doubting every statement. Let us find a way of subjecting every statement to the test of experiment. Is there any truth at all in the claims of various religions? Let us examine the question.

    Our original difficulty will be due to the enormous wealth of our material. To enter into a critical examination of all systems would be an unending task; the cloud of witnesses is too great. Now each religion is equally positive; and each demands faith. This we refuse in the absence of positive proof. But we may usefully inquire whether there is not any one thing upon which all religions have agreed: for, if so, it seems possible that it may be worthy of really thorough consideration.

    It is certainly not to be found in dogma. Even so simple an idea as that of a supreme and eternal being is denied by a third of the human race. Legends of miracle are perhaps universal, but these, in the absence of demonstrative proof, are repugnant to common sense.

    But what of the origin of religions? How is it that unproved assertion has so frequently compelled the assent of all classes of mankind? Is not this a miracle?

    There is, however, one form of miracle which certainly happens, the influence of the genius. There is no known analogy in Nature. One cannot even think of a "super-dog" transforming the world of dogs, whereas in the history of mankind this happens with regularity and frequency. Now here are three "super-men," all at loggerheads. What is there in common between Christ, Buddha, and Mohammed? Is there any one point upon which all three are in accord?

    No point of doctrine, no point of ethics, no theory of a "hereafter" do they share, and yet in the history of their lives we find one identity amid many diversities.

    Buddha was born a Prince, and died a beggar.

    Mohammed was born a beggar, and died a Prince.

    Christ remained obscure until many years after his death.

    Elaborate lives of each have been written by devotees, and there is one thing common to all three -- an omission. We hear nothing of Christ between the ages of twelve and thirty. Mohammed disappeared into a cave. Buddha left his palace, and went for a long while into the desert.

    Each of them, perfectly silent up to the time of the disappearance, came back and immediately began to preach a new law.

    This is so curious that it leaves us to inquire whether the histories of other great teachers contradict or confirm.

    Moses led a quiet life until his slaying of the Egyptian. He then flees into the land of Midian, and we hear nothing of what he did there, yet immediately on his return he turns the whole place upside down. Later on, too, he absents himself on Mount Sinai for a few days, and comes back with the Tables of the Law in his hand.

    St. Paul (again), after his adventure on the road to Damascus, goes into the desert of Arabia for many years, and on his return overturns the Roman Empire. Even in the legends of savages we find the same thing universal; somebody who is nobody in particular goes away for a longer or shorter period, and comes back as the "great medicine man"; but nobody ever knows exactly what happened to him.

    Making every possible deduction for fable and myth, we get this one coincidence. A nobody goes away, and comes back a somebody. This is not to be explained in any of the ordinary ways.

    There is not the smallest ground for the contention that these were from the start exceptional men. Mohammed would hardly have driven a camel until he was thirty-five years old if he had possessed any talent or ambition. St. Paul had much original talent; but he is the least of the five. Nor do they seem to have possessed any of the usual materials of power, such as rank, fortune, or influence.

    Moses was rather a big man in Egypt when he left; he came back as a mere stranger.

    Christ had not been to China and married the Emperor's daughter.

    Mohammed had not been acquiring wealth and drilling soldiers.

    Buddha had not been consolidating any religious organizations.

    St. Paul had not been intriguing with an ambitious general.

    Each came back poor; each came back alone.

    What was the nature of their power? What happened to them in their absence?

    History will not help us to solve the problem, for history is silent.

    We have only the accounts given by the men themselves.

    It would be very remarkable should we find that these accounts agree.

    Of the great teachers we have mentioned Christ is silent; the other four tell us something; some more, some less.

    Buddha goes into details too elaborate to enter upon in this place; but the gist of it is that in one way or another he got hold of the secret force of the World and mastered it.

    Of St. Paul's experiences, we have nothing but a casual allusion to his having been "caught up into Heaven, and seen and heard things of which it was not lawful to speak."

    Mohammed speaks crudely of his having been "visited by the Angel Gabriel," who communicated things from "God."

    Moses says that he "beheld God."

    Diverse as these statements are at first sight, all agree in announcing an experience of the class which fifty years ago would have been called supernatural, to-day may be called spiritual, and fifty years hence will have a proper name based on an understanding of the phenomenon which occurred.

    Theorists have not been at a loss to explain; but they differ.

    The Mohammedan insists that God is, and did really send Gabriel with messages for Mohammed: but all others contradict him. And from the nature of the case proof is impossible.

    The lack of proof has been so severely felt by Christianity (and in a much less degree by Islam) that fresh miracles have been manufactured almost daily to support the tottering structure. Modern thought, rejecting these miracles, has adopted theories involving epilepsy and madness. As if organization could spring from disorganization! Even if epilepsy were the cause of these great movements which have caused civilization after civilization to arise from barbarism, it would merely form an argument for cultivating epilepsy.

    Of course great men will never conform with the standards of little men, and he whose mission it is to overturn the world can hardly escape the title of revolutionary. The fads of a period always furnish terms of abuse. The fad of Caiaphas was Judaism, and the Pharisees told him that Christ "blasphemed." Pilate was a loyal Roman; to him they accused Christ of "sedition." When the Pope had all power it was necessary to prove an enemy a "heretic." Advancing to-day towards a medical oligarchy, we try to prove that our opponents are "insane," and (in a Puritan country) to attack their "morals." We should then avoid all rhetoric, and try to investigate with perfect freedom from bias the phenomena which occurred to these great leaders of mankind.

    There is no difficulty in our assuming that these men themselves did not understand clearly what happened to them. The only one who explains his system thoroughly is Buddha, and Buddha is the only one that is not dogmatic. We may also suppose that the others thought it inadvisable to explain too clearly to their followers; St. Paul evidently took this line.

    Our best document will therefore be the system of Buddha;

    footnote: We have the documents of Hinduism, and of two Chinese systems. But Hinduism has no single founder. Lao Tze is one of our best examples of a man who went away and had a mysterious experience; perhaps the best of all examples, as his system is the best of all systems. We have full details of his method of training in the Khang Kang King, and elsewhere. But it is so little known that we shall omit consideration of it in this popular account.

    but it is so complex that no immediate summary will serve; and in the case of the others, if we have not the accounts of the Masters, we have those of their immediate followers.

    The methods advised by all these people have a startling resemblance to one another. They recommend "virtue" (of various kinds), solitude, absence of excitement, moderation in diet, and finally a practice which some call prayer and some call meditation. (The former four may turn out on examination to be merely conditions favourable to the last.)

    On investigating what is meant by these two things, we find that they are only one. For what is the state of either prayer or meditation? It is the restraining of the mind to a single act, state, or thought. If we sit down quietly and investigate the contents of our minds, we shall find that even at the best of times the principal characteristics are wandering and distraction. Any one who has had anything to do with children and untrained minds generally knows that fixity of attention is never present, even when there is a large amount of intelligence and good will.

    If then we, with our well-trained minds, determine to control this wandering thought, we shall find that we are fairly well able to keep the thoughts running in a narrow channel, each thought linked to the last in a perfectly rational manner; but if we attempt to stop this current we shall find that, so far from succeeding, we shall merely bread down the banks of the channel. The mind will overflow, and instead of a chain of thought we shall have a chaos of confused images.

    This mental activity is so great, and seems so natural, that it is hard to understand how any one first got the idea that it was a weakness and a nuisance. Perhaps it was because in the more natural practice of "devotion," people found that their thoughts interfered. In any case calm and self-control are to be preferred to restlessness. Darwin in his study presents a marked contrast with a monkey in a cage.

    Generally speaking, the larger and stronger and more highly developed any animal is, the less does it move about, and such movements as it does make are slow and purposeful. Compare the ceaseless activity of bacteria with the reasoned steadiness of the beaver; and except in the few animal communities which are organized, such as bees, the greatest intelligence is shown by those of solitary habits. This is so true of man that psychologists have been obliged to treat of the mental state of crowds as if it were totally different in quality from any state possible to an individual.

    It is by freeing the mind from external influences, whether casual or emotional, that it obtains power to see somewhat of the truth of things.

    Let us, however, continue our practice. Let us determine to be masters of our minds. We shall then soon find what conditions are favourable.

    There will be no need to persuade ourselves at great length that all external influences are likely to be unfavourable. New faces, new scenes will disturb us; even the new habits of life which we undertake for this very purpose of controlling the mind will at first tend to upset it. Still, we must give up our habit of eating too much, and follow the natural rule of only eating when we are hungry, listening to the interior voice which tells us that we have had enough.

    The same rule applies to sleep. We have determined to control our minds, and so our time for meditation must take precedence of other hours.

    We must fix times for practice, and make our feasts movable. In order to test our progress, for we shall find that (as in all physiological matters) meditation cannot be gauged by the feelings, we shall have a note-book and pencil, and we shall also have a watch. We shall then endeavour to count how often, during the first quarter of an hour, the mind breaks away from the idea upon which it is determined to concentrate. We shall practice this twice daily; and, as we go, experience will teach us which conditions are favourable and which are not. Before we have been doing this for very long we are almost certain to get impatient, and we shall find that we have to practice many other things in order to assist us in our work. New problems will constantly arise which must be faced, and solved.

    For instance, we shall most assuredly find that we fidget. We shall discover that no position is comfortable, though we never noticed it before in all our lives!

    This difficulty has been solved by a practice called "Asana," which will be described later on.

    Memories of the events of the day will bother us; we must arrange our day so that it is absolutely uneventful. Our minds will recall to us our hopes and fears, our loves and hates, our ambitions, our envies, and many other emotions. All these must be cut off. We must have absolutely no interest in life but that of quieting our minds.

    This is the object of the usual monastic vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience. If you have no property, you have no care, nothing to be anxious about; with chastity no other person to be anxious about, and to distract your attention; while if you are vowed to obedience the question of what you are to do no longer frets: you simply obey.

    There are a great many other obstacles which you will discover as you go on, and it is proposed to deal with these in turn. But let us pass by for the moment to the point where you are nearing success.

    In your early struggles you may have found it difficult to conquer sleep; and you may have wandered so far from the object of your meditations without noticing it, that the meditation has really been broken; but much later on, when you feel that you are "getting quite good," you will be shocked to find a complete oblivion of yourself and your surroundings. You will say: "Good heavens! I must have been to sleep!" or else "What on earth was I meditating upon?" or even "What was I doing?" "Where am I?" "Who am I?" or a mere wordless bewilderment may daze you. This may alarm you, and your alarm will not be lessened when you come to full consciousness, and reflect that you have actually forgotten who you are and what you are doing!

    This is only one of many adventures that may come to you; but it is one of the most typical. By this time your hours of meditation will fill most of the day, and you will probably be constantly having presentiments that something is about to happen. You may also be terrified with the idea that your brain may be giving way; but you will have learnt the real symptoms of mental fatigue, and you will be careful to avoid them. They must be very carefully distinguished from idleness!

    At certain times you will feel as if there were a contest between the will and the mind; at other times you may feel as if they were in harmony; but there is a third state, to be distinguished from the latter feeling. It is the certain sign of near success, the view-halloo. This is when the mind runs naturally towards the object chosen, not as if in obedience to the will of the owner of the mind, but as if directed by nothing at all, or by something impersonal; as if it were falling by its own weight, and not being pushed down.

    Almost always, the moment that one becomes conscious of this, it stops; and the dreary old struggle between the cowboy will and the buckjumper mind begins again.

    Like every other physiological process, consciousness of it implies disorder or disease.

    In analysing the nature of this work of controlling the mind, the student will appreciate without trouble the fact that two things are involved -- the person seeing and the thing seen -- the person knowing and the thing known; and he will come to regard this as the necessary condition of all consciousness. We are too accustomed to assume to be facts things about which we have no real right even to guess. We assume, for example, that the unconscious is the torpid; and yet nothing is more certain than that bodily organs which are functioning well do so in silence. The best sleep is dreamless. Even in the case of games of skill our very best strokes are followed by the thought, "I don't know how I did it;" and we cannot repeat those strokes at will. The moment we begin to think consciously about a stroke we get "nervous," and are lost.

    In fact, there are three main classes of stroke; the bad stroke, which we associate, and rightly, with wandering attention; the good stroke which we associate, and rightly, with fixed attention; and the perfect stroke, which we do not understand, but which is really caused by the habit of fixity of attention having become independent of the will, and thus enabled to act freely of its own accord.

    This is the same phenomenon referred to above as being a good sign.

    Finally something happens whose nature may form the subject of a further discussion later on. For the moment let it suffice to say that this consciousness of the Ego and the non-Ego, the seer and the thing seen, the knower and the thing known, is blotted out.

    There is usually an intense light, an intense sound, and a feeling of such overwhelming bliss that the resources of language have been exhausted again and again in the attempt to describe it.

    It is an absolute knock-out blow to the mind. It is so vivid and tremendous that those who experience it are in the gravest danger of losing all sense of proportion.

    By its light all other events of life are as darkness. Owing to this, people have utterly failed to analyse it or to estimate it. They are accurate enough in saying that, compared with this, all human life is absolutely dross; but they go further, and go wrong. They argue that "since this is that which transcends the terrestrial, it must be celestial." One of the tendencies in their minds has been the hope of a heaven such as their parents and teachers have described, or such as they have themselves pictured; and, without the slightest grounds for saying so, they make the assumption "This is That."

    In the Bhagavadgita a vision of this class is naturally attributed to the apparation of Vishnu, who was the local god of the period.

    Anna Kingsford, who had dabbled in Hebrew mysticism, and was a feminist, got an almost identical vision; but called the "divine" figure which she saw alternately "Adonai" and "Maria."

    Now this woman, though handicapped by a brain that was a mass of putrid pulp, and a complete lack of social status, education, and moral character, did more in the religious world than any other person had done for generations. She, and she alone, made Theosophy possible, and without Theosophy the world-wide interest in similar matters would never have been aroused. This interest is to the Law of Thelema what the preaching of John the Baptist was to Christianity.

    We are now in a position to say what happened to Mohammed. Somehow or another his phenomenon happened in his mind. More ignorant than Anna Kingsford, though, fortunately, more moral, he connected it with the story of the "Annunciation," which he had undoubtedly heard in his boyhood, and said "Gabriel appeared to me." But in spite of his ignorance, his total misconception of the truth, the power of the vision was such that he was enabled to persist through the usual persecution, and founded a religion to which even to-day one man in every eight belongs.

    The history of Christianity shows precisely the same remarkable fact. Jesus Christ was brought up on the fables of the "Old Testament," and so was compelled to ascribe his experiences to "Jehovah," although his gentle spirit could have had nothing in common with the monster who was always commanding the rape of virgins and the murder of little children, and whose rites were then, and still are, celebrated by human sacrifice.

    footnote: The massacres of Jews in Eastern Europe which surprise the ignorant, are almost invariably excited by the disappearance of "Christian" children, stolen, as the parents suppose, for the purposes of "ritual murder." WEH footnote: This unfortunate perpetuation of the "blood-libel" myth was later recanted by Crowley. The blood-libel was visited upon early Christians by the Romans and is visited today upon Thelemites by Christian Fundamentalists.

    Similarly the visions of Joan of Arc were entirely Christian; but she, like all the others we have mentioned, found somewhere the force to do great things. Of course, it may be said that there is a fallacy in the argument; it may be true that all these great people "saw God," but it does not follow that every one who "sees God" will do great things.

    This is true enough. In fact, the majority of people who claim to have "seen God," and who no doubt did "see God" just as much as those whom we have quoted, did nothing else.

    But perhaps their silence is not a sign of their weakness, but of their strength. Perhaps these "great" men are the failures of humanity; perhaps it would be better to say nothing; perhaps only an unbalanced mind would wish to alter anything or believe in the possibility of altering anything; but there are those who think existence even in heaven intolerable so long as there is one single being who does not share that joy. There are some who may wish to travel back from the very threshold of the bridal chamber to assist belated guests.

    Such at least was the attitude which Gotama Buddha adopted. Nor shall he be alone.

    Again it may be pointed out that the contemplative life is generally opposed to the active life, and it must require an extremely careful balance to prevent the one absorbing the other.

    As it will be seen later, the "vision of God," or "Union with God," or "Samadhi," or whatever we may agree to call it, has many kinds and many degrees, although there is an impassable abyss between the least of them and the greatest of all the phenomena of normal consciousness. "To sum up," we assert a secret source of energy which explains the phenomenon of Genius.

    footnote: We have dealt in this preliminary sketch only with examples of religious genius. Other kinds are subject to the same remarks, but the limits of our space forbid discussion of these.

    We do not believe in any supernatural explanations, but insist that this source may be reached by the following out of definite rules, the degree of success depending upon the capacity of the seeker, and not upon the favour of any Divine Being. We assert that the critical phenomenon which determines success is an occurrence in the brain characterized essentially by the uniting of subject and object. We propose to discuss this phenomenon, analyse its nature, determine accurately the physical, mental and moral conditions which are favourable to it, to ascertain its cause, and thus to produce it in ourselves, so that we may adequately study its effects.



    THE problem before us may be stated thus simply. A man wishes to control his mind, to be able to think one chosen thought for as long as he will without interruption.

    As previously remarked, the first difficulty arises from the body, which keeps on asserting its presence by causing its victim to itch, and in other ways to be distracted. He wants to stretch, scratch, sneeze. This nuisance is so persistent that the Hindus (in their scientific way) devised a special practice for quieting it.

    The word Asana means "posture; but, as with all words which have caused debate, its exact meaning has altered, and it is used in several distinct senses by various authors. The greatest authority on "Yoga"

    footnote: Yoga is the general name for that form of meditation which aims at the uniting of subject and object, for "yog" is the root from which are derived the Latin word "Jugum" and the English word "Yoke."

    is Patanjali. He says, "Asana is that which is firm and pleasant." This may be taken as meaning the result of success in the practice. Again, Sankhya says, "Posture is that which is steady and easy." And again, "any posture which is steady and easy is an Asana; there is no other rule." Any posture will do.

    In a sense this is true, because any posture becomes uncomfortable sooner or later. The steadiness and easiness mark a definite attainment, as will be explained later on. Hindu books, such as the "Shiva Sanhita," give countless postures; many, perhaps most of them, impossible for the average adult European. Others insist that the head, neck, and spine should be kept vertical and straight, for reasons connected with the subject of Prana, which will be dealt with in its proper place. The positions illustrated in Liber E (Equinox I and VII) form the best guide.

    footnote: Here are four:

    1. Sit in a chair; head up, back straight, knees together, hands on knees, eyes closed. ("The God.")

    2. Kneel; buttocks resting on the heels, toes turned back, back and head straight, hands on thighs. ("The Dragon.")

    3. Stand; hold left ankle with right hand (and alternately practise right ankle in left hand, etc.), free forefinger on lips. ("The Ibis.")

    4. Sit; left heel pressing up anus, right foot poised on its toes, the heel covering the phallus; arms stretched out over the knees: head and back straight. ("The Thunderbolt.")

    The extreme of Asana is practised by those Yogis who remain in one position without moving, except in the case of absolute necessity, during their whole lives. One should not criticise such persons without a thorough knowledge of the subject. Such knowledge has not yet been published.

    However, one may safely assert that since the great men previously mentioned did not do this, it will not be necessary for their followers. Let us then choose a suitable position, and consider what happens. There is a sort of happy medium between rigidity and limpness; the muscles are not to be strained; and yet they are not allowed to be altogether slack. It is difficult to find a good descriptive word. "Braced" is perhaps the best. A sense of physical alertness is desirable. Think of the tiger about to spring, or of the oarsman waiting for the gun. After a little there will be cramp and fatigue. The student must now set his teeth, and go through with it. The minor sensations of itching, etc., will be found to pass away, if they are resolutely neglected, but the cramp and fatigue may be expected to increase until the end of the practice. One may begin with half an hour or an hour. The student must not mind if the process of quitting the Asana involves several minutes of the acutest agony.

    WEH footnote: It is important to distinguish between cramp and severe chronic muscle spasm which can tear ligaments. Muscle spasm tends to result from pinching or compressing nerves, and can lead to permanent injury. Also beware of constricted circulation, which produces numbness more than it does pain. Wear loose clothing and avoid pressing on hard objects.

    It will require a good deal of determination to persist day after day, for in most cases it will be found that the discomfort and pain, instead of diminishing, tend to increase.

    On the other hand, if the student pay no attention, fail to watch the body, an opposite phenomenon may occur. He shifts to ease himself without knowing that he has done so. To avoid this, choose a position which naturally is rather cramped and awkward, and in which slight changes are not sufficient to bring ease. Otherwise, for the first few days, the student may even imagine that he has conquered the position. In fact, in all these practices their apparent simplicity is such that the beginner is likely to wonder what all the fuss is about, perhaps to think that he is specially gifted. Similarly a man who has never touched a golf club will take his umbrella and carelessly hole a putt which would frighten the best putter alive.

    In a few days, however, in all cases, the discomforts will begin. As you go on, they will begin earlier in the course of the hour's exercise. The disinclination to practise at all may become almost unconquerable. One must warn the student against imagining that some other position would be easier to master than the one he has selected. Once you begin to change about you are lost.

    Perhaps the reward is not so far distant: it will happen one day that the pain is suddenly forgotten, the fact of the presence of the body is forgotten, and one will realize that during the whole of one's previous life the body was always on the borderland of consciousness, and that consciousness a consciousness of pain; and at this moment one will further realize with an indescribable feeling of relief that not only is this position, which has been so painful, the very ideal of physical comfort, but that all other conceivable positions of the body are uncomfortable. This feeling represents success.

    There will be no further difficulty in the practice. One will get into one's Asana with almost the same feeling as that with which a tired man gets into a hot bath; and while he is in that position, the body may be trusted to send him no message that might disturb his mind.

    Other results of this practice are described by Hindu authors, but they do not concern us at present. Our first obstacle has been removed, and we can continue with the others.



    THE connection between breath and mind will be fully discussed in speaking of the Magick Sword, but it may be useful to premise a few details of a practical character. You may consult various Hindu manuals, and the writing of Kwang Tze, for various notable theories as to method and result.

    But in this sceptical system one had better content one's self with statements which are not worth the trouble of doubting.

    The ultimate idea of meditation being to still the mind, it may be considered a useful preliminary to still consciousness of all the functions of the body. This has been dealt with in the chapter on Asana. One may, however, mention that some Yogis carry it to the point of trying to stop the beating of the heart. Whether this be desirable or no it would be useless to the beginner, so he will endeavour to make the breathing very slow and very regular. The rules for this practice are given in Liber CCVI.

    The best way to time the breathing, once some little skill has been acquired, with a watch to bear witness, is by the use of a mantra. The mantra acts on the thoughts very much as Pranayama does upon the breath. The thought is bound down to a recurring cycle; any intruding thoughts are thrown off by the mantra, just as pieces of putty would be from a fly-wheel; and the swifter the wheel the more difficult would it be for anything to stick.

    This is the proper way to practise a mantra. Utter it as loudly and slowly as possible ten times, then not quite so loudly and a very little faster ten times more. Continue this process until there is nothing but a rapid movement of the lips; this movement should be continued with increased velocity and diminishing intensity until the mental muttering completely absorbs the physical. The student is by this time absolutely still, with the mantra racing in his brain; he should, however, continue to speed it up until he reaches his limit, at which he should continue for as long as possible, and then cease the practice by reversing the process above described.

    Any sentence may be used as a mantra, and possibly the Hindus are correct in thinking that there is a particular sentence best suited to any particular man. Some men might find the liquid mantras of the Quran slide too easily, so that it would be possible to continue another train of thought without disturbing the mantra; one is supposed while saying the mantra to meditate upon its meaning. This suggests that the student might construct for himself a mantra which should represent the Universe in sound, as the pantacle

    footnote: See Part II.

    should do in form. Occasionally a mantra may be "given," "i.e.," heard in some unexplained manner during a meditation. One man, for example, used the words: "And strive to see in everything the will of God;" to another, while engaged in killing thoughts, came the words "and push it down," apparently referring to the action of the inhibitory centres which he was using. By keeping on with this he got his "result."

    The ideal mantra should be rhythmical, one might even say musical; but there should be sufficient emphasis on some syllable to assist the faculty of attention. The best mantras are of medium length, so far as the beginner is concerned. If the mantra is too long, one is apt to forget it, unless one practises very hard for a great length of time. On the other hand, mantras of a single syllable, such as "Aum,"

    footnote: However, in saying a mantra containing the word "Aum," one sometimes forgets the other words, and remains concentrated, repeating the "Aum" at intervals; but this is the result of a practice already begun, not the beginning of a practice.

    are rather jerky; the rhythmical idea is lost. Here are a few useful mantras:

    1. Aum.

    2. Aum Tat Sat Aum. This mantra is purely spondaic.


    {illustration: line of music with: Aum Tat Sat Aum :under it}

    3. Aum mani padme hum; two trochees between two caesuras.


    {illustration: line of music with: Aum Ma-ni Pad-me Hum :under it}

    4. Aum shivaya vashi; three trochees. Note that "shi" means rest, the absolute or male aspect of the Deity; "va" is energy, the manifested or female side of the Deity. This Mantra therefore expresses the whole course of the Universe, from Zero through the finite back to Zero.


    {illustration: line of music with: Aum shi-va-ya Va-shi Aum shi-va-ya Vashi :under it}

    5. Allah. The syllables of this are accented equally, with a certain pause between them; and are usually combined by fakirs with a rhythmical motion of the body to and fro.

    6. Hua allahu alazi lailaha illa Hua.

    Here are some longer ones:

    7. The famous Gayatri.

    Aum! tat savitur varenyam

    Bhargo devasya dimahi

    Dhiyo yo na pratyodayat.

    Scan this as trochaic tetrameters.

    8. Qol: Hua Allahu achad; Allahu Assamad; lam yalid walam yulad; walam yakun lahu kufwan achad.

    9. This mantra is the holiest of all that are or can be. It is from the Stele of Revealing.

    footnote: See Equinox VII.

    A ka dua

    Tuf ur biu

    Bi aa chefu

    IX. Dudu ner af an nuteru.

    {illustration: two lines of music with: A ka du - a Tuf ur bi - u Bi A'a che - fu Du - du ner af an nu - te -ru :under them}

    Such are enough for selection.

    footnote: Meanings of mantras:

    1 Aum is the sound produced by breathing forcibly from the back of the throat and gradually closing the mouth. The three sounds represent the creative, preservative, and destructive principles. There are many more points about this, enough to fill a volume.

    2. O that Existent! O! -- An aspiration after realty, truth.

    3. O the Jewel in the Lotus! Amen! -- Refers to Buddha and Harpocrates; but also the symbolism of the Rosy Cross.

    4. Gives the cycle of creation. Peace manifesting as Power, Power dissolving in Peace.

    5. God. It adds to 66, the sum of the first 11 numbers.

    6. He is God, and there is no other God than He.

    7. O! let us strictly meditate on the adorable light of that divine Savitri (the interior Sun, etc.). May she enlighten our minds!

    8. Say:

    He is God alone!

    God the Eternal!

    He begets not and is not begotten!

    Nor is there like unto Him any one!

    9. Unity uttermost showed!

    I adore the might of Thy breath,

    Supreme and terrible God,

    Who makest the Gods and Death

    To tremble before Thee: --

    I, I adore Thee!

    There are many other mantras. Sri Sabapaty Swami gives a particular one for each of the Cakkras. But let the student select one mantra and master it thoroughly.

    You have not even begun to master a mantra until it continues unbroken through sleep. This is much easier than it sounds.

    Some schools advocate practising a mantra with the aid of instrumental music and dancing. Certainly very remarkable effects are obtained in the way of "magic" powers; whether great spiritual results are equally common is a doubtful point. Persons wishing to study them may remember that the Sahara desert is within three days of London; and no doubt the Sidi Aissawa would be glad to accept pupils. This discussion of the parallel science of mantra-yoga has led us far indeed from the subject of Pranayama.

    Pranayama is notably useful in quieting the emotions and appetites; and, whether by reason of the mechanical pressure which it asserts, or by the thorough combustion which it assures in the lungs, it seems to be admirable from the standpoint of health. Digestive troubles in particular are very easy to remove in this way. It purifies both the body and the lower functions of the mind,

    footnote: Emphatically. Emphatically. Emphatically. It is impossible to combine Pranayama properly performed with emotional thought. It should be resorted to immediately, at all times during life, when calm is threatened.

    On the whole, the ambulatory practices are more generally useful to the health than the sedentary; for in this way walking and fresh air are assured. But some of the sedentary practice should be done, and combined with meditation. Of course when actually "racing" to get results, walking is a distraction.

    and should be practised certainly never less than one hour daily by the serious student.

    Four hours is a better period, a golden mean; sixteen hours is too much for most people.



    footnote: Yama means literally "control." It is dealt with in detail in Part II, "The Wand."


    THE Hindus have place these two attainments in the forefront of their programme. They are the "moral qualities" and "good works" which are supposed to predispose to mental calm.

    "Yama" consists of non-killing, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-receiving of any gift.

    In the Buddhist system, "Sila", "Virtue," is similarly enjoined. The qualities are, for the layman, these five: Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not lie. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt drink no intoxicating drink. For the monk many others are added.

    The commandments of Moses are familiar to all; they are rather similar; and so are those given by Christ

    footnote: Not, however, original. The whole sermon is to be found in the Talmud.

    in the "Sermon on the Mount."

    Some of these are only the "virtues" of a slave, invented by his master to keep him in order. The real point of the Hindu "Yama" is that breaking any of these would tend to excite the mind.

    Subsequent theologians have tried to improve upon the teachings of the Masters, have given a sort of mystical importance to these virtues; they have insisted upon them for their own sake, and turned them into puritanism and formalism. Thus "non-killing," which originally meant "do not excite yourself by stalking tigers," has been interpreted to mean that it is a crime to drink water that has not been strained, lest you should kill the animalcula.

    But this constant worry, this fear of killing anything by mischance is, on the whole, worse than a hand-to-hand conflict with a griesly bear. If the barking of a dog disturbs your meditation, it is simplest to shoot the dog, and think no more about it.

    A similar difficulty with wives has caused some masters to recommend celibacy. In all these questions common sense must be the guide. No fixed rule can be laid down. The "non-receiving of gifts," for instance, is rather important for a Hindu, who would be thoroughly upset for weeks if any one gave him a coconut: but the average European takes things as they come by the time that he has been put into long trousers.

    The only difficult question is that of continence, which is complicated by many considerations, such as that of energy; but everybody's mind is hopelessly muddled on this subject, which some people confuse with erotology, and others with sociology. There will be no clear thinking on this matter until it is understood as being solely a branch of athletics.

    We may then dismiss Yama and Niyama with this advice: let the student decide for himself what form of life, what moral code, will least tend to excite his mind; but once he has formulated it, let him stick to it, avoiding opportunism; and let him be very careful to take no credit for what he does or refrains from doing -- it is a purely practical code, of no value in itself.

    The cleanliness which assists the surgeon in his work would prevent the engineer from doing his at all.

    (Ethical questions are adequately dealt with in "Then Tao" in "Konx Om Pax," and should be there studied. Also see Liber XXX of the A. A. Also in Liber CCXX, the "Book of the Law," it is said: "DO WHAT THOU WILT shall be the whole of the Law."

    WEH FOOTNOTE: SIC, should be: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

    Remember that for the purpose of this treatise the whole object of Yama and Niyama is to live so that no emotion or passion disturbs the mind.)



    PRATYAHARA is the first process in the mental part of our task. The previous practices, Asana, Pranayama, Yama, and Niyama, are all acts of the body, while mantra is connected with speech: Pratyahara is purely mental.

    And what is Pratyahara? This word is used by different authors in different senses. The same word is employed to designate both the practice and the result. It means for our present purpose a process rather strategical than practical; it is introspection, a sort of general examination of the contents of the mind which we wish to control: Asana having been mastered, all immediate exciting causes have been removed, and we are free to think what we are thinking about.

    A very similar experience to that of Asana is in store for us. At first we shall very likely flatter ourselves that our minds are pretty calm; this is a defect of observation. Just as the European standing for the first time on the edge of the desert will see nothing there, while his Arab can tell him the family history of each of the fifty persons in view, because he has learnt how to look, so with practice the thoughts will become more numerous and more insistent.

    As soon as the body was accurately observed it was found to be terribly restless and painful; now that we observe the mind it is seen to be more restless and painful still. (See diagram opposite.)

    A similar curve might be plotted for the real and apparent painfulness of Asana.

    Conscious of this fact, we begin to try to control it: "Not quite so many thoughts, please!" "Don't think quite so fast, please!" "No more of that kind of thought, please!" It is only then that we discover that what we thought was a school of playful porpoises is really the convolutions of the sea-serpent. The attempt to repress has the effect of exciting.

    When the unsuspecting pupil first approaches his holy but wily Guru, and demands magical powers, that Wise One replies that he will confer them, points out with much caution and secrecy some particular spot on the pupil's body which has never previously attracted his attention, and says: "In order to obtain this magical power which you seek, all that is necessary is to wash seven times in the Ganges during seven days, being particularly careful to avoid thinking of that one spot." Of

    {diagram on page 26, nothing else, graph with following text beneath:

    BD shows the Control of the Mind, improving slowly at first, afterwards more quickly. It starts from at or near zero, and should reach absolute control at D.

    EF shows the Power of Observation of the contents of the mind, improving quickly at first, afterwards more slowly, up to perfection at F. It starts well above zero in the case of most educated men.

    The height of the perpendiculars HI indicates the dissatisfaction of the student with his power of control. Increasing at first, it ultimately diminishes to zero.}

    course the unhappy youth spends a disgusted week in thinking of little else.

    It is positively amazing with what persistence a thought, even a whole train of thoughts, returns again and again to the charge. It becomes a positive nightmare. It is intensely annoying, too, to find that one does not become conscious that one has got on to the forbidden subject until one has gone right through with it. However, one continues day after day investigating thoughts and trying to check them; and sooner or later one proceeds to the next stage, Dharana, the attempt to restrain the mind to a single object.

    Before we go on to this, however, we must consider what is meant by success in Pratyahara. This is a very extensive subject, and different authors take widely divergent views. One writer means an analysis so acute that every thought is resolved into a number of elements (see "The Psychology of Hashish," Section V, in Equinox II).

    Others take the view that success in the practice is something like the experience which Sir Humphrey Davy had as a result of taking nitrous oxide, in which he exclaimed: "The universe is composed exclusively of ideas."

    Others say that it gives Hamlet's feeling: "There's nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so," interpreted as literally as was done by Mrs. Eddy.

    However, the main point is to acquire some sort of inhibitory power over the thoughts. Fortunately there is an unfailing method of acquiring this power. It is given in Liber III. If Sections 1 and 2 are practised (if necessary with the assistance of another person to aid your vigilance) you will soon be able to master the final section.

    In some people this inhibitory power may flower suddenly in very much the same way as occurred with Asana. Quite without any relaxation of vigilance, the mind will suddenly be stilled. There will be a marvellous feeling of peace and rest, quite different from the lethargic feeling which is produced by over-eating. It is difficult to say whether so definite a result would come to all, or even to most people. The matter is one of no very great importance. If you have acquired the power of checking the rise of thought you may proceed to the next stage.



    NOW that we have learnt to observe the mind, so that we know how it works to some extent, and have begun to understand the elements of control, we may try the result of gathering together all the powers of the mind, and attempting to focus them on a single point.

    We know that it is fairly easy for the ordinary educated mind to think without much distraction on a subject in which it is much interested. We have the popular phrase, "revolving a thing in the mind"; and as long as the subject is sufficiently complex, as long as thoughts pass freely, there is no great difficulty. So long as a gyroscope is in motion, it remains motionless relatively to its support, and even resists attempts to distract it; when it stops it falls from that position. If the earth ceased to spin round the sun, it would at once fall into the sun.

    The moment then that the student takes a simple subject -- or rather a simple object -- and imagines it or visualizes it, he will find that it is not so much his creature as he supposed. Other thoughts will invade the mind, so that the object is altogether forgotten, perhaps for whole minutes at a time; and at other times the object itself will begin to play all sorts of tricks.

    Suppose you have chosen a white cross. It will move its bar up and down, elongate the bar, turn the bar oblique, get its arms unequal, turn upside down, grow branches, get a crack around it or a figure upon it, change its shape altogether like an Amoeba, change its size and distance as a whole, change the degree of its illumination, and at the same time change its colour. It will get splotchy and blotchy, grow patterns, rise, fall, twist and turn; clouds will pass over its face. There is no conceivable change of which it is incapable. Not to mention its total disappearance, and replacement by something altogether different!

    Any one to whom this experience does not occur need not imagine that he is meditating. It shows merely that he is incapable of concentrating his mind in the very smallest degree. Perhaps a student may go for several days before discovering that he is not meditating. When he does, the obstinacy of the object will infuriate him; and it is only now that his real troubles will begin, only now that Will comes really into play, only now that his manhood is tested. If it were not for the Will-development which he got in the conquest of Asana, he would probably give up. As it is, the mere physical agony which he underwent is the veriest trifle compared with the horrible tedium of Dharana.

    For the first week it may seem rather amusing, and you may even imagine you are progressing; but as the practice teaches you what you are doing, you will apparently get worse and worse.

    Please understand that in doing this practice you are supposed to be seated in Asana, and to have note-book and pencil by your side, and a watch in front of you. You are not to practise at first for more than ten minutes at a time, so as to avoid risk of overtiring the brain. In fact you will probably find that the whole of your will-power is not equal to keeping to a subject at all for so long as three minutes, or even apparently concentrating on it for so long as three seconds, or three-fifths of one second. By "keeping to it at all" is meant the mere attempt to keep to it. The mind becomes so fatigued, and the object so incredibly loathsome, that it is useless to continue for the time being. In Frater P.'s record we find that after daily practice for six months, meditations of four minutes and less are still being recorded.

    The student is supposed to count the number of times that his thought wanders; this he can do on his fingers or on a string of beads.

    footnote: This counting can easily become quite mechanical. With the thought that reminds you of a break associate the notion of counting.

    The grosser kind of break can be detected by another person. It is accompanied with a flickering of the eyelid, and can be seen by him. With practice he could detect even very small breaks.

    If these breaks seem to become more frequent instead of less frequent, the student must not be discourage; this is partially caused by his increased accuracy of observation. In exactly the same way, the introduction of vaccination resulted in an apparent increase in the number of cases of smallpox, the reason being that people began to tell the truth about the disease instead of faking.

    Soon, however, the control will improve faster than the observation. When this occurs the improvement will become apparent in the record. Any variation will probably be due to accidental circumstances; for example, one night your may be very tired when you start; another night you may have headache or indigestion. You will do well to avoid practising at such times.

    We will suppose, then, that you have reached the stage when your average practice on one subject is about half an hour, and the average number of breaks between ten and twenty. One would suppose that this implied that during the periods between the breaks one was really concentrated, but this is not the case. The mind is flickering, although imperceptibly. However, there may be sufficient real steadiness even at this early stage to cause some very striking phenomena, of which the most marked is one which will possibly make you think that you have gone to sleep. Or, it may seem quite inexplicable, and in any case will disgust you with yourself. You will completely forget who you are, what you are, and what you are doing. A similar phenomenon sometimes happens when one is half awake in the morning, and one cannot think what town one is living in. The similarity of these two things is rather significant. It suggests that what is really happening is that you are waking up from the sleep which men call waking, the sleep whose dreams are life.

    There is another way to test one's progress in this practice, and that is by the character of the breaks.

    "Breaks" are classed as follows:

    Firstly, physical sensations. These should have been overcome by Asana.

    Secondly, breaks that seem to be dictated by events immediately preceding the meditation. Their activity becomes tremendous. Only by this practice does one understand how much is really observed by the sense without the mind becoming conscious of it.

    Thirdly, there is a class of breaks partaking of the nature of reverie or "day-dreams." These are very insidious -- one may go on for a long time without realizing that one has wandered at all.

    Fourthly, we get a very high class of break, which is a sort of aberration of the control itself. You think, "How well I am doing it!" or perhaps that it would be rather a good idea if you were on a desert island, or if you were in a sound-proof house, or if you were sitting by a waterfall. But these are only trifling variations from the vigilance itself.

    A fifth class of breaks seems to have no discoverable source in the mind. Such may even take the form of actual hallucination, usually auditory. Of course, such hallucinations are infrequent, and are recognized for what they are; otherwise the student had better see his doctor. The usual kind consists of odd sentences or fragments of sentences, which are heard quite distinctly in a recognizable human voice, not the student's own voice, or that of any one he knows. A similar phenomenon is observed by wireless operators, who call such messages "atmospherics."

    There is a further kind of break, which is the desired result itself. It must be dealt with later in detail.

    Now there is a real sequence in these classes of breaks. As control improves, the percentage of primaries and secondaries will diminish, even though the total number of breaks in a meditation remain stationary. By the time that you are meditating two or three hours a day, and filing up most of the rest of the day with other practices designed to assist, when nearly every time something or other happens, and there is constantly a feeling of being "on the brink of something pretty big," one may expect to proceed to the next state -- Dhyana.



    THIS word has two quite distinct and mutually exclusive meanings. The first refers to the result itself. Dhyana is the same word as the Pali "Jhana." The Buddha counted eight Jhanas, which are evidently different degrees and kinds of trance. The Hindu also speaks of Dhyana as a lesser form of Samadhi. Others, however, treat it as if it were merely an intensification of Dharana. Patanjali says: "Dhrana is holding the mind on to some particular object. An unbroken flow of knowledge in that subject is Dhyana. When that, giving up all forms, reflects only the meaning, it is Samadhi." He combines these three into Samyama.

    We shall treat of Dhyana as a result rather than as a method. Up to this point ancient authorities have been fairly reliable guides, except with regard to their crabbed ethics; but when they get on the subject of results of meditation, they completely lose their heads.

    They exhaust the possibilities of poetry to declare what is demonstrably untrue. For example, we find in the Shiva Sanhita that "he who daily contemplates on this lotus of the heart is eagerly desired by the daughters of Gods, has clairaudience, clairvoyance, and can walk in the air." Another person "can make gold, discover medicine for disease, and see hidden treasures." All this is filth. What is the curse upon religion that its tenets must always be associated with every kind of extravagance and falsehood?

    There is one exception; it is the A∴A∴, whose members are extremely careful to make no statement at all that cannot be verified in the usual manner; or where this is not easy, at least avoid anything like a dogmatic statement. In Their second book of practical instruction, Liber O, occur these words:

    "By doing certain things certain results will follow. Students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophical validity to any of them."

    Those golden words!

    In discussing Dhyana, then, let it be clearly understood that something unexpected is about to be described.

    We shall consider its nature and estimate its value in a perfectly unbiassed way, without allowing ourselves the usual rhapsodies, or deducing any theory of the universe. One extra fact may destroy some existing theory; that is common enough. But no single fact is sufficient to construct one.

    It will have been understood that Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi form a continuous process, and exactly when the climax comes does not matter. It is of this climax that we must speak, for this is a matter of "experience," and a very striking one.

    In the course of our concentration we noticed that the contents of the mind at any moment consisted of two things, and no more: the Object, variable, and the Subject, invariable, or apparently so. By success in Dharana the object has been made as invariable as the subject.

    Now the result of this is that the two become one. This phenomenon usually comes as a tremendous shock. It is indescribable even by the masters of language; and it is therefore not surprising that semi-educated stutterers wallow in oceans of gush.

    All the poetic faculties and all the emotional faculties are thrown into a sort of ecstasy by an occurrence which overthrows the mind, and makes the rest of life seem absolutely worthless in comparison.

    Good literature is principally a matter of clear observation and good judgment expressed in the simplest way. For this reason none of the great events of history (such as earthquakes and battles) have been well described by eye-witnesses, unless those eye-witnesses were out of danger. But even when one has become accustomed to Dhyana by constant repetition, no words seem adequate.

    One of the simplest forms of Dhyana may be called "the Sun." The sun is seen (as it were) by itself, not by an observer; and although the physical eye cannot behold the sun, one is compelled to make the statement that this "Sun" is far more brilliant than the sun of nature. The whole thing takes place on a higher level.

    Also the conditions of thought, time, and space are abolished. It is impossible to explain what this really means: only experience can furnish you with apprehension.

    (This, too, has its analogies in ordinary life; the conceptions of higher mathematics cannot be grasped by the beginner, cannot be explained to the layman.)

    A further development is the appearance of the Form which has been universally described as human; although the persons describing it proceed to add a great number of details which are not human at all. This particular appearance is usually assumed to be "God."

    But, whatever it may be, the result on the mind of the student is tremendous; all his thoughts are pushed to their greatest development. He sincerely believes that they have the divine sanction; perhaps he even supposes that they emanate from this "God." He goes back into the world armed with this intense conviction and authority. He proclaims his ideas without the restraint which is imposed upon most persons by doubt, modesty, and diffidence;

    footnote: This lack of restraint is not to be confused with that observed in intoxication and madness. Yet there is a very striking similarity, though only a superficial one.

    while further there is, one may suppose, a real clarification.

    In any case, the mass of mankind is always ready to be swayed by anything thus authoritative and distinct. History is full of stories of officers who have walked unarmed up to a mutinous regiment, and disarmed them by the mere force of confidence. The power of the orator over the mob is well known. It is, probably, for this reason that the prophet has been able to constrain mankind to obey his law. I never occurs to him that any one can do otherwise. In practical life one can walk past any guardian, such as a sentry or ticket-collector, if one can really act so that the man is somehow persuaded that you have a right to pass unchallenged.

    This power, by the way, is what has been described by magicians as the power of invisibility. Somebody or other has an excellent story of four quite reliable men who were on the look-out for a murderer, and had instructions to let no one pass, and who all swore subsequently in presence of the dead body that no one had passed. None of them had seen the postman.

    The thieves who stole the "Gioconda" from the Louvre were probably disguised as workmen, and stole the picture under the very eye of the guardian; very likely got him to help them.

    It is only necessary to believe that a thing must be to bring it about. This belief must not be an emotional or an intellectual one. It resides in a deeper portion of the mind, yet a portion not so deep but that most men, probably all successful men, will understand these words, having experience of their own with which they can compare it.

    The most important factor in Dhyana is, however, the annihilation of the Ego. Our conception of the universe must be completely overturned if we are to admit this as valid; and it is time that we considered what is really happening.

    It will be conceded that we have given a very rational explanation of the greatness of great men. They had an experience so overwhelming, so out of proportion to the rest of things, that they were freed from all the petty hindrances which prevent the normal man from carrying out his projects.

    Worrying about clothes, food, money, what people may think, how and why, and above all the fear of consequences, clog nearly every one. Nothing is easier, theoretically, than for an anarchist to kill a king. He has only to buy a rifle, make himself a first-class shot, and shoot the king from a quarter of a mile away. And yet, although there are plenty of anarchists, outrages are very few. At the same time, the police would probably be the first to admit that if any man were really tired of life, in his deepest being, a state very different from that in which a man goes about saying he is tired of life, he could manage somehow or other to kill someone first.

    Now the man who has experienced any of the more intense forms of Dhyana is thus liberated. The Universe is thus destroyed for him, and he for it. His will can therefore go on its way unhampered. One may imagine that in the case of Mohammed he had cherished for years a tremendous ambition, and never done anything because those qualities which were subsequently manifested as statesmanship warned him that he was impotent. His vision in the cave gave him that confidence which was required, the faith that moves mountains. There are a lot of solid-seeming things in this world which a child could push over; but not one has the courage to push.

    Let us accept provisionally this explanation of greatness, and pass it by. Ambition has led us to this point; but we are now interested in the work for its own sake.

    A most astounding phenomenon has happened to us; we have had an experience which makes Love, fame, rank, ambition, wealth, look like thirty cents; and we begin to wonder passionately, "What is truth?" The Universe has tumbled about our ears like a house of cards, and we have tumbled too. Yet this ruin is like the opening of the Gates of Heaven! Here is a tremendous problem, and there is something within us which ravins for its solution.

    Let us see what what explanation we can find.

    The first suggestion which would enter a well-balanced mind, versed in the study of nature, is that we have experienced a mental catastrophe. Just as a blow on the head will made a man "see stars," so one might suppose that the terrific mental strain of Dharana has somehow over-excited the brain, and caused a spasm, or possibly even the breaking of a small vessel. There seems no reason to reject this explanation altogether, though it would be quite absurd to suppose that to accept it would be to condemn the practice. Spasm is a normal function of at least one of the organs of the body. That the brain is not damaged by the practice is proved by the fact that many people who claim to have had this experience repeatedly continue to exercise the ordinary avocations of life without diminished activity.

    We may dismiss, then the physiological question. It throws no light on the main problem, which is the value of the testimony of the experience.

    Now this is a very difficult question, and raises the much larger question as to the value of any testimony. Every possible thought has been doubted at some time or another, except the thought which can only be expressed by a note of interrogation, since to doubt that thought asserts it. (For a full discussion see "The Soldier and the Hunchback," "Equinox," I.) But apart from this deep-seated philosophic doubt there is the practical doubt of every day. The popular phrase, "to doubt the evidence of one's senses," shows us that that evidence is normally accepted; but a man of science does nothing of the sort. He is so well aware that his senses constantly deceive him, that he invents elaborate instruments to correct them. And he is further aware that the Universe which he can directly perceive through sense, is the minutest fraction of the Universe which he knows indirectly.

    For example, four-fifths of the air is composed of nitrogen. If anyone were to bring a bottle of nitrogen into this room it would be exceedingly difficult to say what it was; nearly all the tests that one could apply to it would be negative. His senses tell him little or nothing.

    Argon was only discovered at all by comparing the weight of chemically pure nitrogen with that of the nitrogen of the air. This had often been done, but no one had sufficiently fine instruments even to perceive the discrepancy. To take another example, a famous man of science asserted not so long ago that science could never discover the chemical composition of the fixed stars. Yet this has been done, and with certainty.

    If you were to ask your man of science for his "theory of the real," he would tell you that the "ether," which cannot be perceived in any way by any of the senses, or detected by any instruments, and which possesses qualities which are, to use ordinary language, impossible, is very much more real than the chair he is sitting on. The chair is only one fact; and its existence is testified by one very fallible person. The ether is the necessary deduction from millions of facts, which have been verified again and again and checked by every possible test of truth. There is therefore no "a priori" reason for rejecting anything on the ground that it is not directly perceived by the senses.

    To turn to another point. One of our tests of truth is the vividness of the impression. An isolated event in the past of no great importance may be forgotten; and if it be in some way recalled, one may find one's self asking: "Did I dream it? or did it really happen?" What can never be forgotten is the "catastrophic". The first death among the people that one loves (for example) would never be forgotten; for the first time one would "realize" what one had previously merely "known". Such an experience sometimes drives people insane. Men of science have been known to commit suicide when their pet theory has been shattered. This problem has been discussed freely in "Science and Buddhism,"

    footnote: See Crowley, "Collected Works."

    "Time," "The Camel," and other papers. This much only need we say in this place that Dhyana has to be classed as the most vivid and catastrophic of all experiences. This will be confirmed by any one who has been there.

    It is, then, difficult to overrate the value that such an experience has for the individual, especially as it is his entire conception of things, including his most deep-seated conception, the standard to which he has always referred everything, his own self, that is overthrown; and when we try to explain it away as hallucination, temporary suspension of the faculties or something similar, we find ourselves unable to do so. You cannot argue with a flash of lightning that has knocked you down.

    Any mere theory is easy to upset. One can find flaws in the reasoning process, one can assume that the premisses are in some way false; but in this case, if one attacks the evidence for Dhyana, the mind is staggered by the fact that all other experience, attacked on the same lines, will fall much more easily.

    In whatever way we examine it the result will always be the same. Dhyana may be false; but, if so, so is everything else.

    Now the mind refuses to rest in a belief of the unreality of its own experiences. It may not be what is seems; but it must be something, and if (on the whole) ordinary life is something, how much more must that be by whose light ordinary life seems nothing!

    The ordinary man sees the falsity and disconnectedness and purposelessness of dreams; he ascribes them (rightly) to a disordered mind. The philosopher looks upon waking life with similar contempt; and the person who has experienced Dhyana takes the same view, but not by mere pale intellectual conviction. Reasons, however cogent, never convince utterly; but this man in Dhyana has the same commonplace certainty that a man has on waking from a nightmare. "I wasn't falling down a thousand flights of stairs, it was only a bad dream."

    Similarly comes the reflection of the man who has had experience of Dhyana: "I am not that wretched insect, that imperceptible parasite of earth; it was only a bad dream." And as you could not convince the normal man that his nightmare was more real than his awakening, so you cannot convince the other that his Dhyana was hallucination, even though he is only too well aware that he has fallen from that state into "normal" life.

    It is probably rare for a single experience to upset thus radically the whole conception of the Universe, just as sometimes, in the first moments of waking, there remains a half-doubt as to whether dream or waking is real. But as one gains further experience, when Dhyana is no longer a shock, when the student has had plenty of time to make himself at home in the new world, this conviction will become absolute.

    Footnote: It should be remembered that at present there are no data for determining the duration of Dhyana. One can only say that, since it certainly occured between such and such hours, it must have lasted less than that time. Thus we see, from Frater P.'s record, that it can certianly occur in less than an hour and five minutes.

    Another rationalist consideration is this. The student has not been trying to excite the mind but to calm it, not to produce any one thought but to exclude all thoughts; for there is no connection between the object of meditation and the Dhyana. Why must we suppose a breaking down of the whole process, especially as the mind bears no subsequent traces of any interference, such as pain or fatigue? Surely this once, if never again, the Hindu image expresses the simplest theory!

    That image is that of a lake into which five glaciers move. These glaciers are the senses. While ice (the impressions) is breaking off constantly into the lake, the waters are troubled. If the glaciers are stopped the surface becomes calm; and then, and only then, can it reflect unbroken the disk of the sum. This sun is the "soul" or "God."

    We should, however, avoid these terms for the present, on account of their implications. Let us rather speak of this sun as "some unknown thing whose presence has been masked by all things known, and by the knower."

    It is probable, too, that our memory of Dhyana is not of the phenomenon itself, but of the image left thereby on the mind. But this is true of all phenomena, as Berkeley and Kant have proved beyond all question. This matter, then, need not concern us.

    We may, however, provisionally accept the view that Dhyana is real; more real and thus of more importance to ourselves than all other experience. This state has been described not only by the Hindus and Buddhists, but by Mohammedans and Christians. In Christian writings, however, the deeply-seated dogmatic bias has rendered their documents worthless to the average man. They ignore the essential conditions of Dhyana, and insist on the inessential, to a much greater extent than the best Indian writers. But to any one with experience and some knowledge of comparative religion the identity is certain. We may now proceed to Samadhi.



    MORE rubbish has been written about Samadhi than enough; we must endeavour to avoid adding to the heap. Even Patanjali, who is extraordinarily clear and practical in most things, begins to rave when he talks of it. Even if what he said were true he should not have mentioned it; because it does not sound true, and we should make no statement that is à priori improbable without being prepared to back it up with the fullest proofs. But it is more than likely that his commentators have misunderstood him.

    The most reasonable statement, of any acknowledged authority, is that of Vajna Valkya, who says: "By Pranayama impurities of the body are thrown out; by Dharana the impurities of the mind; by Pratyahara the impurities of attachment; and by Samadhi is taken off everything that hides the lordship of the soul." There is a modest statement in good literary form. If we can only do as well as that!

    In the first place, what is the meaning of the term? Etymologically, "Sam" is the Greek {in Greek alphabet: sigma-upsilon-nu--} the English prefix "syn-" meaning "together with." "Adhi" means "Lord," and a reasonable translation of the whole word would be "Union with God," the exact term used by Christian mystics to describe their attainment.

    Now there is great confusion, because the Buddhists use the word Samadhi to mean something entirely different, the mere faculty of attention. Thus, with them, to think of a cat is to "make Samadhi" on that cat. They use the word Jhana to describe mystic states. This is excessively misleading, for as we saw in the last section, Dhyana is a preliminary of Samadhi, and of course Jhana is merely the wretched plebeian Pali corruption of it.

    footnote: The vulgarism and provincialism of the Buddhist cannon is infinitely repulsive to all nice minds; and the attempt to use the terms of an ego-centric philosophy to explain the details of a psychology whose principal doctrine is the denial of the ego, was the work of a mischievous idiot. Let us unhesitatingly reject these abominations, these nastinesses of the beggars dressed in rags that they have snatched from corpses, and follow the etymological signification of the word as given above!

    There are many kinds of Samadhi.

    footnote: Apparently. That is, the obvious results are different. Possibly the cause is only one, refracted through diverse media.

    "Some authors consider Atmadarshana, the Universe as a single phenomenon without conditions, to be the first real Samadhi." If we accept this, we must relegate many less exalted states to the class of Dhyana. Patanjali enumerates a number of these states: to perform these on different things gives different magical powers; or so he says. These need not be debated here. Any one who wants magic powers can get them in dozens of different ways.

    Power grows faster than desire. The boy who wants money to buy lead soldiers sets to work to obtain it, and by the time he has got it wants something else instead -- in all probability something just beyond his means.

    Such is the splendid history of all spiritual advance! One never stops to take the reward.

    We shall therefore not trouble at all about what any Samadhi may or may not bring as far as its results in our lives are concerned. We began this book, it will be remembered, with considerations of death. Death has now lost all meaning. The idea of death depends on those of the ego, and of time; these ideas have been destroyed; and so "Death is swallowed up in victory." We shall now only be interested in what Samadhi is in itself, and in the conditions which cause it.

    Let us try a final definition. Dhyana resembles Samadhi in many respects. There is a union of the ego and the non-ego, and a loss of the senses of time and space and causality. Duality in any form is abolished. The idea of time involves that of two consecutive things, that of space two non-coincident things, that of causality two connected things.

    These Dhyanic conditions contradict those of normal thought; but in Samadhi they are very much more marked than in Dhyana. And while in the latter it seems like a simple union of two things, in the former it appears as if all things rushed together and united. One might say that in Dhyana there was still this quality latent, that the One existing was opposed to the Many non-existing; in Samadhi the Many and the One are united in a union of Existence with non-Existence. This definition is not made from reflection, but from memory.

    Further, it is easy to master the "trick" or "knack" of Dhyana. After a while one can get into that state without preliminary practice; and, looking at it from this point, one seems able to reconcile the two meanings of the word which we debated in the last section. From below Dhyana seems like a trance, an experience so tremendous that one cannot think of anything bigger, while from above it seems merely a state of mind as natural as any other. Frater P., before he had Samadhi, wrote of Dhyana: "Perhaps as a result of the intense control a nervous storm breaks: this we call Dhyana. Samadhi is but an expansion of this, so far as I can see."

    Five years later he would not take this view. He would say perhaps that Dhyana was "a flowing of the mind in one unbroken current from the ego to the non-ego without consciousness of either, accompanied by a crescent wonder and bliss." He can understand how that is the natural result of Dhyana, but he cannot call Dhyana in the same way the precursor of Samadhi. Perhaps he does not really know the conditions which induce Samadhi. He can produce Dhyana at will in the course of a few minutes' work; and it often happens with apparent spontaneity: with Samadhi this is unfortunately not the case. He probably can get it at will, but could not say exactly how, or tell how long it might take him; and he could not be "sure" of getting it at all.

    One feels "sure" that one can walk a mile along a level road. One knows the conditions, and it would have to be a very extraordinary set of circumstances that would stop one. But though it would be equally fair to say: "I have climbed the Matterhorn and I know I can climb it again," yet there are all sorts of more or less probable circumstances any one of which would prevent success.

    Now we do know this, that if thought is kept single and steady, Dhyana results. We do not know whether an intensification of this is sufficient to cause Samadhi, or whether some other circumstances are required. One is science, the other empiricism.

    One author says (unless memory deceives) that twelve seconds' steadiness is Dharana, a hundred and forty-four Dhyana, and seventeen hundred and twenty-eight Samadhi. And Vivekananda, commenting on Patanjali, makes Dhyana a mere prolongation of Dharana; but says further: "Suppose I were meditating on a book, and I gradually succeeded in concentrating the mind on it , and perceiving only the internal sensation, the meaning unexpressed in any form, that state of Dhyana is called Samadhi."

    Other authors are inclined to suggest that Samadhi results from meditating on subjects that are in themselves worthy. For example, Vivekananda says: "Think of any holy subject:" and explains this as follows: "This does not mean any wicked subject."(!)

    Frater P. would not like to say definitely whether he ever got Dhyana from common objects. He gave up the practice after a few months, and meditated on the Cakkras, etc. Also his Dhyana became so common that he gave up recording it. But if he wished to do it this minute he would choose something to excite his "godly fear," or "holy awe," or "wonderment."

    footnote: It is rather a breach of the scepticism which is the basis of our system to admit that anything can be in any way better than another. Do it thus: "A., is a thing that B. thinks 'holy.' It is natural therefore for B. to meditate on it." Get rid of the ego, observe all your actions as if they were another's, and you will avoid ninety-nine percent. of the troubles that await you.

    There is no apparent reason why Dhyana should not occur when thinking of any common object of the sea-shore, such as a blue pig; but Frater P.'s constant reference to this as the usual object of his meditation need not be taken "au pied de la lettre." His records of meditation contain no reference to this remarkable animal.

    It will be a good thing when organized research has determined the conditions of Samadhi; but in the meantime there seems no particular objection to our following tradition, and using the same objects of meditation as our predecessors, with the single exception which we shall note in due course.

    The first class of objects for serious meditation (as opposed to preliminary practice, in which one should keep to simple recognizable objects, whose definiteness is easy to maintain) is "various parts of the body." The Hindus have an elaborate system of anatomy and physiology which has apparently no reference to the facts of the dissecting-room. Prominent in this class are the seven Cakkras, which will be described in Part II. There are also various "nerves", equally mythical.

    WEH footnote: Not quite correct. Western anatomical knowledge has advanced since Crowley wrote this!

    The second class is "objects of devotion," such as the idea or form of the Deity, or the heart or body of your Teacher, or of some man whom you respect profoundly. This practice is not to be commended, because it implies a bias of the mind.

    You can also meditate on "your dreams." This sounds superstitious; but the idea is that you have already a tendency, independent of your conscious will, to think of those things, which will consequently be easier to think of than others. That this is the explanation is evident from the nature of the preceding and subsequent classes.

    You can also meditate on "anything that especially appeals to you."

    But in all this one feels inclined to suggest that it will be better and more convincing if the meditation is directed to an object which in itself is apparently unimportant. One does not want the mind to be excited in any way, even by adoration. See the three meditative methods in Liber HHH (Equinox VI.).

    footnote: These are the complements of the three methods of Enthusiasm (A∴A∴ instruction not yet issued up to March 1912.)

    At the same time, one would not like to deny positively that it is very much "easier" to take some idea towards which the mind would naturally flow.

    The Hindus assert that the nature of the object determines the Samadhi; that is, the nature of those lower Samadhis which confer so-called "magic powers." For example, there are the Yogapravritti. Meditating on the tip of the nose, one obtains what may be called the "ideal smell"; that is, a smell which is not any particular smell, but is the archetypal smell, of which all actual smells are modifications. It is "the smell which is "not" a smell." This is the only reasonable description; for the experience being contrary to reason, it is only reasonable that the words describing it should be contrary to reason too.

    footnote: Hence the Athanasian Creed. Compare the precise parallel in the Zohar: "The Head which is above all heads; the Head which is "not" a Head.'

    Similarly, concentration on the tip of the tongue gives the "ideal taste"; on the dorsum of the tongue, "ideal contact." "Every atom of the body comes into contact with every atom in the Universe all at once," is the description Bhikku Ananda Metteya gives of it. The root of the tongue gives the "ideal sound"; and the pharynx the "ideal sight."

    footnote: Similarly Patanjali tells us that by making Samyama on the strength of an elephant or a tiger, the student acquires that strength. Conquer "the nerve Udana," and you can walk on the water; "Samana," and you begin to flash with light; the "elements" fire, air, earth, and water, and you can do whatever in natural life they prevent you from doing. For instance, by conquering earth, one could take a short cut to Australia; or by conquering water, one can live at the bottom of the Ganges. They say there is a holy man at Benares who does this, coming up only once a year to comfort and instruct his disciples. But nobody need believe this unless he wants to; and you are even advised to conquer that desire should it arise. It will be interesting when science really determines the variables and constants of these equations.

    The Samadhi "par excellence," however, is Atmadarshana, which for some, and those not the least instructed, is the first real Samadhi; for even the visions of "God" and of the "Self" are tainted by form. In Atmadarshana the All is manifested as the One: it is the Universe freed from its conditions. Not only are all forms and ideas destroyed, but also those conceptions which are implicit in our ideas of those ideas.

    footnote: This is so complete that not only "Black is White," but "The Whiteness of Black is the essential of its Blackness." "Naught = One = Infinity"; but this is only true "because" of this threefold arrangement, a trinity or "triangle of contradictories."

    Each part of the Universe has become the whole, and phenomena and noumena are no longer opposed.

    But it is quite impossible to describe this state of mind. One can only specify some of the characteristics, and that in language which forms no image in mind. It is impossible for anyone who experiences it to bring back any adequate memory, nor can we conceive a state transcending this.

    There is, however, a very much higher state called Shivadarshana, of which it is only necessary to say that it is the destruction of the previous state, its annihilation; and to understand this blotting-out, one must not imagine "Nothingness" (the only name for it) as negative, but as positive.

    The normal mind is a candle in a darkened room. Throw open the shutters, and the sunlight makes the flame invisible. That is a fair image of Dhyana.

    footnote: Here the dictation was interrupted by very prolonged thought due to the difficulty of making the image clear. Virakam.

    But the mind refuses to find a simile for Atmadarshana. It seems merely ineffective to say that the rushing together of all the host of heaven would similarly blot out the sunlight. But if we do say so, and wish to form a further image of Shivadarshana, we must imagine ourselves as suddenly recognizing that this universal blaze is darkness; not a light extremely dim compared with some other light, but darkness itself. It is not the change from the minute to the vast, or even from the finite to the infinite. It is the recognition that the positive is merely the negative. The ultimate truth is perceived not only as false, but as the logical contradictory of truth. It is quite useless to elaborate this theme, which has baffled all other minds hitherto. We have tried to say as little as possible rather than as much as possible.

    footnote: Yet all this has come of our desire to be as modest as Yajna Valkya!

    Still further from our present purpose would it be to criticise the innumerable discussions which have taken place as to whether this is the ultimate attainment, or what it confers. It is enough if we say that even the first and most transitory Dhyana repays a thousandfold the pains we may have taken to attain it.

    And there is this anchor for the beginner, that his work is cumulative: every act directed towards attainment builds up a destiny which must some day come to fruition. May all attain!


    What is genius, and how is it produced?
    Let us take several specimens of the species, and try to find some one thing common to all which is not found in other species.
    Is there any such thing?
    Yes: all geniuses have the habit of concentration of thought, and usually need long periods of solitude to acquire this habit. In particular the greatest religious geniuses have all retired from the world at one time or another in their lives, and begun to preach immediately on their return.
    Of what advantage is such a retirement? One would expect that a man who so acted would find himself on his return out of touch with his civilization, and in every way less capable than when he left.
    But each claims, though in different language, to have gained in his absence some superhuman power.
    Do you believe this?
    It becomes us ill to reject the assertions of those who are admittedly the greatest of mankind until we can refute them by proof, or at least explain how they may have been mistaken. In this case each teacher left instructions for us to follow. The only scientific method is for us to repeat their experiments, and so confirm or disprove their results.
    But their instructions differ widely!
    Only in so far as each was bound by conditions of time, race, climate and language. There is essential identity in the method.
    It was the great work of the life of Frater Perdurabo to prove this. Studying each religious practice of each great religion on the spot, he was able to show the Identity-in-diversity of all, and to formulate a method free from all dogmatic bias, and based only on the ascertained facts of anatomy, physiology, and psychology.
    Can you give me a brief abstract of this method?
    The main idea is that the Infinite, the Absolute, God, the Over-soul, or whatever you may prefer to call it, is always present; but veiled or masked by the thoughts of the mind, just as one cannot hear a heart-beat in a noisy city.
    Then to obtain knowledge of That, it is only necessary to still all thoughts.
    But in sleep thought is stilled?
    True, perhaps, roughly speaking; but the perceiving function is stilled also.
    Then you wish to obtain a perfect vigilance and attention of the mind, uninterrupted by the rise of thoughts?
    And how do you proceed?
    Firstly, we still the body by the practice called Asana, and secure its ease and the regularity of its functions by Pranayama. Thus no messages from the body will disturb the mind.

    Secondly, by Yama and Niyama, we still the emotions and passions, and thus prevent them arising to disturb the mind.

    Thirdly, by Pratyahara we analyse the mind yet more deeply, and begin to control and suppress thought in general of whatever nature.

    Fourthly, we suppress all other thoughts by a direct concentration upon a single thought. This process, which leads to the highest results, consists of three parts, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi, grouped under the single term Samyama.
    How can I obtain further knowledge and experience of this?
    The A∴A∴ is an organization whose heads have obtained by personal experience to the summit of this science. They have founded a system by which every one can equally attain, and that with an ease and speed which was previously impossible.

    The first grade in Their system is that of


    A Student must possess the following books:

    1. The Equinox,
    2. 777.
    3. Konx Om Pax.
    4. Collected Works of A. Crowley; Tannhauser, The Sword of Song, Time, Eleusis. 3 vols.
    5. Raja Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda.
    6. The Shiva Sanhita, or the Hathayoga Pradipika.
    7. The Tao Teh King and the writings of Kwang Tze: S.B.E. xxxix, xl.
    8. The Spiritual Guide, by Miguel de Molinos.
    9. Rituel et Dogme de la Haute Magie, by Eliphas Levi, or its translation by A. E. Waite.
    10. The Goetia of the Lemegeton of Solomon the King.

    These books should be well studied in any case in conjunction with the second part -- Magick -- of this Book IV.

    Study of these books will give a thorough grounding in the intellectual side of Their system.

    After three months the Student is examined in these books, and if his knowledge of them is found satisfactory, he may become a Probationer, receiving Liber LXI and the secret holy book, Liber LXV. The principal point of this grade is that the Probationer has a master appointed, whose experience can guide him in his work.

    He may select any practices that he prefers, but in any case must keep an exact record, so that he may discover the relation of cause and effect in his working, and so that the A∴A∴ may judge of his progress, and direct his further studies.

    After a year of probation he may be admitted a Neophyte of the A∴A∴, and receive the secret holy book Liber VII.

    These are the principal instructions for practice which every probationer should follow out:



    Emerald Tablet

    Twelfth Century Latin Translation
    There are numerous other translations of this text as well, I however like this one and that is simply my personal preference. -(ed)

    0) When I entered into the cave, I received the tablet zaradi, which was inscribed, from between the hands of Hermes, in which I discovered these words:
    1) True, without falsehood, certain, most certain.
    2) What is above is like what is below, and what is below is like that which is above. To make the miracle of the one thing.
    3) And as all things were made from contemplation of one, so all things were born from one adaptation.
    4) Its father is the Sun, its mother is the Moon.
    5) The wind carried it in its womb, the earth breast fed it.
    6) It is the father of all ‘works of wonder' (Telesmi) in the world.
    6a) Its power is complete (integra).
    7) If cast to (turned towards- versa fuerit) earth,
    7a) it will separate earth from fire, the subtile from the gross.
    8) With great capacity it ascends from earth to heaven. Again it descends to earth, and takes back the power of the above and the below.
    9) Thus you will receive the glory of the distinctiveness of the world. All obscurity will flee from you.
    10) This is the whole most strong strength of all strength, for it overcomes all subtle things, and penetrates all solid things.
    11a) Thus was the world created.
    12) From this comes marvelous adaptions of which this is the procedure.
    13) Therefore I am called Hermes, because I have three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.
    14) And complete is what I had to say about the work of the Sun, from the book of Galieni Alfachimi.
    [From Latin in Steele and Singer 1928: 492.]

    Book of the Law - Aleister Crowley

    AL VEL
    XCIII = 418

    Publication in Class A.
    Chapter 1

    1. Had! The manifestation of Nuit.
    2. The unveiling of the company of heaven.
    3. Every man and every woman is a star.
    4. Every number is infinite; there is no difference.
    5. Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men!
    6. Be thou Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue!
    7. Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat.
    8. The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.
    9. Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!
    10. Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known.
    11. These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools.
    12. Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!
    13. I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to see your joy.
    14. Above, the gemmèd azure is
      The naked splendour of Nuit;
    She bends in ecstasy to kiss
      The secret ardours of Hadit.
    The wingèd globe, the starry blue,
    Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu!
    15. Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.
    16. For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight.
    17. But ye are not so chosen.
    18. Burn upon their brows, o splendrous serpent!
    19. O azure-lidded woman, bend upon them!
    20. The key of the rituals is in the secret word which I have given unto him.
    21. With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit.
    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 & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.
    23. But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!
    24. I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty.
    25. Divide, add, multiply, and understand.
    26. Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I, and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bendingdown, a lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.
    27. Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space, kissing her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat: O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!
    28. None, breathed the light, faint & færy, of the stars, and two.
    29. For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union.
    30. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.
    31. For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all! They feel little; what is, is balanced by weak joys; but ye are my chosen ones.
    32. Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain. This is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all.
    33. Then the priest fell into a deep trance or swoon, & said unto the Queen of Heaven; Write unto us the ordeals; write unto us the rituals; write unto us the law!
    34. But she said: the ordeals I write not: the rituals shall be half known and half concealed: the Law is for all.
    35. This that thou writest is the threefold book of Law.
    36. My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he shall comment thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khu-it.
    37. Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and teach.
    38. He must teach; but he may make severe the ordeals.
    39. The word of the Law is Θελημα.
    40. Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close into the word. For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
    41. The word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will! O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursèd! Accursèd be it to the æons! Hell.
    42. Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will.
    43. Do that, and no other shall say nay.
    44. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.
    45. The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!
    46. Nothing is a secret key of this law. Sixty-one the Jews call it; I call it eight, eighty, four hundred & eighteen.
    47. But they have the half: unite by thine art so that all disappear.
    48. My prophet is a fool with his one, one, one; are not they the Ox, and none by the Book?
    49. Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs. Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods; and let Asar be with Isa, who also are one. But they are not of me. Let Asar be the adorant, Isa the sufferer; Hoor in his secret name and splendour is the Lord initiating.
    50. There is a word to say about the Hierophantic task. Behold! there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest. Thus ye have star & star, system & system; let not one know well the other!
    51. There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there; and all rare scents; jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in turn or at once the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the palace. Will he not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But there are means and means. Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me.
    52. If this be not aright; if ye confound the space-marks, saying: They are one; or saying, They are many; if the ritual be not ever unto me: then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit!
    53. This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss. Also, o scribe and prophet, though thou be of the princes, it shall not assuage thee nor absolve thee. But ecstasy be thine and joy of earth: ever To me! To me!
    54. Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold! thou, o prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein.
    55. The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them.
    56. Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.
    57. Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God. 
      All these old letters of my Book are aright; but צ is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise.
    58. I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.
    59. My incense is of resinous woods & gums; and there is no blood therein: because of my hair the trees of Eternity.
    60. My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us. The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red. My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the seeing. Also I have asecret glory for them that love me.
    61. But to love me is better than all things: if under the night stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in spendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me!
    62. At all my meetings with you shall the priestess say—and her eyes shall burn with desire as she stands bare and rejoicing in my secret temple—To me! To me! calling forth the flame of the hearts of all in her love-chant.
    63. Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Wear to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you!
    64. I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky.
    65. To me! To me!
    66. The Manifestation of Nuit is at an end.

    Chapter 2

    1. Nu! the hiding of Hadit.
    2. Come! all ye, and learn the secret that hath not yet been revealed. I, Hadit, am the complement of Nu, my bride. I am not extended, and Khabs is the name of my House.
    3. In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found.
    4. Yet she shall be known & I never.
    5. Behold! the rituals of the old time are black. Let the evil ones be cast away; let the good ones be purged by the prophet! Then shall this Knowledge go aright.
    6. I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death.
    7. I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. «Come unto me» is a foolish word: for it is I that go.
    8. Who worshipped Heru-pa-kraath have worshipped me; ill, for I am the worshipper.
    9. Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.
    10. O prophet! thou hast ill will to learn this writing.
    11. I see thee hate the hand & the pen; but I am stronger.
    12. Because of me in Thee which thou knewest not.
    13. for why? Because thou wast the knower, and me.
    14. Now let there be a veiling of this shrine: now let the light devour men and eat them up with blindness!
    15. For I am perfect, being Not; and my number is nine by the fools; but with the just I am eight, and one in eight: Which is vital, for I am none indeed. The Empress and the King are not of me; for there is a further secret.
    16. I am The Empress & the Hierophant. Thus eleven, as my bride is eleven.
    17. Hear me, ye people of sighing!
      The sorrows of pain and regret
    Are left to the dead and the dying,
      The folk that not know me as yet.
    18. These are dead, these fellows; they feel not. We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk.
    19. Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.
    20. Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.
    21. We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world. Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever. Nuit! Hadit! Ra-Hoor-Khuit! The Sun, Strength & Sight, Light; these are for the servants of the Star & the Snake.
    22. I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this.
    23. I am alone: there is no God where I am.
    24. Behold! these be grave mysteries; for there are also of my friends who be hermits. Now think not to find them in the forest or on the mountain; but in beds of purple, caressed by magnificent beasts of women with large limbs, and fire and light in their eyes, and masses of flaming hair about them; there shall ye find them. Ye shall see them at rule, at victorious armies, at all the joy; and there shall be in them a joy a million times greater than this. Beware lest any force another, King against King! Love one another with burning hearts; on the low men trample in the fierce lust of your pride, in the day of your wrath.
    25. Ye are against the people, O my chosen!
    26. I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.
    27. 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.
    28. Now a curse upon Because and his kin!
    29. May Because be accursèd for ever!
    30. If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.
    31. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.
    32. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.
    33. Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!
    34. But ye, o my people, rise up & awake!
    35. Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy & beauty!
    36. There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times.
    37. A feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride!
    38. A feast for the three days of the writing of the Book of the Law.
    39. A feast for Tahuti and the child of the Prophet—secret, O Prophet!
    40. A feast for the Supreme Ritual, and a feast for the Equinox of the Gods.
    41. A feast for fire and a feast for water; a feast for life and a greater feast for death!
    42. A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my rapture!
    43. A feast every night unto Nu, and the pleasure of uttermost delight!
    44. Aye! feast! rejoice! there is no dread hereafter. There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu.
    45. There is death for the dogs.
    46. Dost thou fail? Art thou sorry? Is fear in thine heart?
    47. Where I am these are not.
    48. Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler.
    49. I am unique & conqueror. I am not of the slaves that perish. Be they damned & dead! Amen. (This is of the 4: there is a fifth who is invisible, & therein am I as a babe in an egg. )
    50. Blue am I and gold in the light of my bride: but the red gleam is in my eyes; & my spangles are purple & green.
    51. Purple beyond purple: it is the light higher than eyesight.
    52. There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not your vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter.
    53. Fear not, o prophet, when these words are said, thou shalt not be sorry. Thou art emphatically my chosen; and blessed are the eyes that thou shalt look upon with gladness. But I will hide thee in a mask of sorrow: they that see thee shall fear thou art fallen: but I lift thee up.
    54. Nor shall they who cry aloud their folly that thou meanest nought avail; thou shall reveal it: thou availest: they are the slaves of because: They are not of me. The stops as thou wilt; the letters? change them not in style or value!
    55. Thou shalt obtain the order & value of the English Alphabet; thou shalt find new symbols to attribute them unto.
    56. Begone! ye mockers; even though ye laugh in my honour ye shall laugh not long: then when ye are sad know that I have forsaken you.
    57. He that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is filthy shall be filthy still.
    58. Yea! deem not of change: ye shall be as ye are, & not other. Therefore the kings of the earth shall be Kings for ever: the slaves shall serve. There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was. Yet there are masked ones my servants: it may be that yonder beggar is a King. A King may choose his garment as he will: there is no certain test: but a beggar cannot hide his poverty.
    59. Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him.
    60. Therefore strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master!
    61. There is a light before thine eyes, o prophet, a light undesired, most desirable.
    62. I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body.
    63. Thou art exhaust in the voluptuous fullness of the inspiration; the expiration is sweeter than death, more rapid and laughterful than a caress of Hell’s own worm.
    64. Oh! thou art overcome: we are upon thee; our delight is all over thee: hail! hail: prophet of Nu! prophet of Had! prophet of Ra-Hoor-Khu! Now rejoice! now come in our splendour & rapture! Come in our passionate peace, & write sweet words for the Kings.
    65. I am the Master: thou art the Holy Chosen One.
    66. Write, & find ecstasy in writing! Work, & be our bed in working! Thrill with the joy of life & death! Ah! thy death shall be lovely: whososeeth it shall be glad. Thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our agelong love. Come! lift up thine heart & rejoice! We are one; we are none.
    67. Hold! Hold! Bear up in thy rapture; fall not in swoon of the excellent kisses!
    68. Harder! Hold up thyself! Lift thine head! breathe not so deep—die!
    69. Ah! Ah! What do I feel? Is the word exhausted?
    70. There is help & hope in other spells. Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!
    71. But exceed! exceed!
    72. Strive ever to more! and if thou art truly mine—and doubt it not, an if thou art ever joyous!—death is the crown of all.
    73. Ah! Ah! Death! Death! thou shalt long for death. Death is forbidden, o man, unto thee.
    74. The length of thy longing shall be the strength of its glory. He that lives long & desires death much is ever the King among the Kings.
    75. Aye! listen to the numbers & the words:
    76. 4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L G M O R 3 Y X 24 89 R P S T O V A L. What meaneth this, o prophet? Thou knowest not; nor shalt thou know ever. There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it. But remember, o chosen one, to be me; to follow the love of Nu in the star-lit heaven; to look forth upon men, to tell them this glad word.
    77. O be thou proud and mighty among men!
    78. Lift up thyself! for there is none like unto thee among men or among Gods! Lift up thyself, o my prophet, thy stature shall surpass the stars. They shall worship thy name, foursquare, mystic, wonderful, the number of the man; and the name of thy house 418.
    79. The end of the hiding of Hadit; and blessing & worship to the prophet of the lovely Star!

    Chapter 3

    1. Abrahadabra; the reward of Ra Hoor Khut.
    2. There is division hither homeward; there is a word not known. Spelling is defunct; all is not aught. Beware! Hold! Raise the spell of Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
    3. Now let it be first understood that I am a god of War and of Vengeance. I shall deal hardly with them.
    4. Choose ye an island!
    5. Fortify it!
    6. Dung it about with enginery of war!
    7. I will give you a war-engine.
    8. With it ye shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before you.
    9. Lurk! Withdraw! Upon them! this is the Law of the Battle of Conquest: thus shall my worship be about my secret house.
    10. Get the stélé of revealing itself; set it in thy secret temple—and that temple is already aright disposed—& it shall be your Kiblah for ever. It shall not fade, but miraculous colour shall come back to it day after day. Close it in locked glass for a proof to the world.
    11. This shall be your only proof. I forbid argument. Conquer! That is enough. I will make easy to you the abstruction from the ill-ordered house in the Victorious City. Thou shalt thyself convey it with worship, o prophet, though thou likest it not. Thou shalt have danger & trouble. Ra-Hoor-Khu is with thee. Worship me with fire & blood; worship me with swords & with spears. Let the woman be girt with a sword before me: let blood flow to my name. Trample down the Heathen; be upon them, o warrior, I will give you of their flesh to eat!
    12. Sacrifice cattle, little and big: after a child.
    13. But not now.
    14. Ye shall see that hour, o blessèd Beast, and thou the Scarlet Concubine of his desire!
    15. Ye shall be sad thereof.
    16. Deem not too eagerly to catch the promises; fear not to undergo the curses. Ye, even ye, know not this meaning all.
    17. Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth. Nu is your refuge as Hadit your light; and I am the strength, force, vigour, of your arms.
    18. Mercy let be off; damn them who pity! Kill and torture; spare not; be upon them!
    19. That stélé they shall call the Abomination of Desolation; count well its name, & it shall be to you as 718.
    20. Why? Because of the fall of Because, that he is not there again.
    21. Set up my image in the East: thou shalt buy thee an image which I will show thee, especial, not unlike the one thou knowest. And it shall be suddenly easy for thee to do this.
    22. The other images group around me to support me: let all be worshipped, for they shall cluster to exalt me. I am the visible object of worship; the others are secret; for the Beast & his Bride are they: and for the winners of the Ordeal x. What is this? Thou shalt know.
    23. For perfume mix meal & honey & thick leavings of red wine: then oil of Abramelin and olive oil, and afterward soften & smooth down with rich fresh blood.
    24. The best blood is of the moon, monthly: then the fresh blood of a child, or dropping from the host of heaven: then of enemies; then of the priest or of the worshippers: last of some beast, no matter what.
    25. This burn: of this make cakes & eat unto me. This hath also another use; let it be laid before me, and kept thick with perfumes of your orison: it shall become full of beetles as it were and creeping things sacred unto me.
    26. These slay, naming your enemies; & they shall fall before you.
    27. Also these shall breed lust & power of lust in you at the eating thereof.
    28. Also ye shall be strong in war.
    29. Moreover, be they long kept, it is better; for they swell with my force. All before me.
    30. My altar is of open brass work: burn thereon in silver or gold!
    31. There cometh a rich man from the West who shall pour his gold upon thee.
    32. From gold forge steel!
    33. Be ready to fly or to smite!
    34. But your holy place shall be untouched throughout the centuries: though with fire and sword it be burnt down & shattered, yet an invisible house there standeth, and shall stand until the fall of the Great Equinox; when Hrumachis shall arise and the double-wanded one assume my throne and place. Another prophet shall arise, and bring fresh fever from the skies; another woman shall awake the lust & worship of the Snake; another soul of God and beast shall mingle in the globèd priest; another sacrifice shall stain the tomb; another king shall reign; and blessing no longer be poured To the Hawk-headed mystical Lord!
    35. The half of the word of Heru-ra-ha, called Hoor-pa-kraat and Ra-Hoor-Khut.
    36. Then said the prophet unto the God:
    37. I adore thee in the song—

      I am the Lord of Thebes, and I
    The inspired forth-speaker of Mentu;
      For me unveils the veilèd sky,
    The self-slain Ankh-af-na-khonsu
      Whose words are truth. I invoke, I greet
    Thy presence, O Ra-Hoor-Khuit!

    Unity uttermost showed!
      I adore the might of Thy breath,
    Supreme and terrible God,
      Who makest the gods and death
    To tremble before Thee:—
      I, I adore thee!

    Appear on the throne of Ra!
      Open the ways of the Khu!
    Lighten the ways of the Ka!
      The ways of the Khabs run through
    To stir me or still me!
      Aum! let it fill me!
    38. So that thy light is in me; & its red flame is as a sword in my hand to push thy order. There is a secret door that I shall make to establish thy way in all the quarters, (these are the adorations, as thou hast written), as it is said:

    The light is mine; its rays consume
      Me: I have made a secret door
    Into the House of Ra and Tum,
      Of Khephra and of Ahathoor.
    I am thy Theban, O Mentu,
      The prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu!

    By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat;
      By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell.
    Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit!
      Bid me within thine House to dwell,
    O wingèd snake of light, Hadit!
      Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
    39. All this and a book to say how thou didst come hither and a reproduction of this ink and paper for ever—for in it is the word secret & not only in the English—and thy comment upon this the Book of the Law shall be printed beautifully in red ink and black upon beautiful paper made by hand; and to each man and woman that thou meetest, were it but to dine or to drink at them, it is the Law to give. Then they shall chance to abide in this bliss or no; it is no odds. Do this quickly!
    40. But the work of the comment? That is easy; and Hadit burning in thy heart shall make swift and secure thy pen.
    41. Establish at thy Kaaba a clerk-house: all must be done well and with business way.
    42. The ordeals thou shalt oversee thyself, save only the blind ones. Refuse none, but thou shalt know & destroy the traitors. I am Ra-Hoor-Khuit; and I am powerful to protect my servant. Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much! Them that seek to entrap thee, to overthrow thee, them attack without pity or quarter; & destroy them utterly. Swift as a trodden serpent turn and strike! Be thou yet deadlier than he! Drag down their souls to awful torment: laugh at their fear: spit upon them!
    43. Let the Scarlet Woman beware! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses; then shall my vengeance be known. I will slay me her child: I will alienate her heart: I will cast her out from men: as a shrinking and despised harlot shall she crawl through dusk wet streets, and die cold and an-hungered.
    44. But let her raise herself in pride! Let her follow me in my way! Let her work the work of wickedness! Let her kill her heart! Let her be loud and adulterous! Let her be covered with jewels, and rich garments, and let her be shameless before all men!
    45. Then will I lift her to pinnacles of power: then will I breed from her a child mightier than all the kings of the earth. I will fill her with joy: with my force shall she see & strike at the worship of Nu: she shall achieve Hadit.
    46. I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the Eighties cower before me, & are abased. I will bring you to victory & joy: I will be at your arms in battle & ye shall delight to slay. Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on, in my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any!
    47. This book shall be translated into all tongues: but always with the original in the writing of the Beast; for in the chance shape of the letters and their position to one another: in these are mysteries that no Beast shall divine. Let him not seek to try: but one cometh after him, whence I say not, who shall discover the Key of it all. Then this line drawn is a key: then this circle squared in its failure is a key also. And Abrahadabra. It shall be his child & that strangely. Let him not seek after this; for thereby alone can he fall from it.
    48. Now this mystery of the letters is done, and I want to go on to the holier place.
    49. I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men.
    50. Curse them! Curse them! Curse them!
    51. With my Hawk’s head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross.
    52. I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him.
    53. With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongol and Din.
    54. Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds.
    55. Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you!
    56. Also for beauty’s sake and love’s!
    57. Despise also all cowards; professional soldiers who dare not fight, but play; all fools despise!
    58. But the keen and the proud, the royal and the lofty; ye are brothers!
    59. As brothers fight ye!
    60. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.
    61. There is an end of the word of the God enthroned in Ra’s seat, lightening the girders of the soul.
    62. To Me do ye reverence! to me come ye through tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss.
    63. The fool readeth this Book of the Law, and its comment; & he understandeth it not.
    64. Let him come through the first ordeal, & it will be to him as silver.
    65. Through the second, gold.
    66. Through the third, stones of precious water.
    67. Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire.
    68. Yet to all it shall seem beautiful. Its enemies who say not so, are mere liars.
    69. There is success.
    70. I am the Hawk-Headed Lord of Silence & of Strength; my nemyss shrouds the night-blue sky.
    71. Hail! ye twin warriors about the pillars of the world! for your time is nigh at hand.
    72. I am the Lord of the Double Wand of Power; the wand of the Force of Coph Nia—but my left hand is empty, for I have crushed an Universe; & nought remains.
    73. Paste the sheets from right to left and from top to bottom: then behold!
    74. There is a splendour in my name hidden and glorious, as the sun of midnight is ever the son.
    75. The ending of the words is the Word Abrahadabra.
    The Book of the Law is Written 
    and Concealed. 
    Aum. Ha.

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