Marcelo Motta
with additional comments by David Bersson

(Originally printed in 1929 e.v as Magick in Theory & Practice by Aleister Crowley -
this unique edition is a second edition of the Crowley – Motta version of the commentaries on that volume.)


(This portion of the Book should be studied in connection with its Parts I. and II.)


ephrix erõti periarchés d' aneptoman
iõ iõ pan pan
õ pan pan aliplankte, kyllanias chionoktypoi
petraias apo deirados phanéth, õ
theõn choropoi anax

Thrill with lissome lust of the light,
O man! My man!
Come careering out of the night
Of Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan! Come over the sea
From Sicily and from Arcady!
Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards
And nymphs and satyrs for thy guards,
On a milk-white ass, come over the sea
To me, to me,
Come with Apollo in bridal dress
(Shepherdess and pythoness)
Come with Artemis, silken shod,
And wash thy white thigh, beautiful God,
In the moon of the woods, on the marble mount,
The dimpled dawn of the amber fount!
Dip the purple of passionate prayer
In the crimson shrine, the scarlet snare,
The soul that startles in eyes of blue
To watch thy wantonness weeping through
The tangled grove, the gnarled bole
Of the living tree that is spirit and soul
And body and brain — come over the sea,
(Io Pan! Io Pan!)
Devil or god, to me, to me,
My man! my man!
Come with trumpets sounding shrill
Over the hill!
Come with drums low muttering
From the spring!
Come with flute and come with pipe!
Am I not ripe?
I, who wait and writhe and wrestle
With air that hath no boughs to nestle
My body, weary of empty clasp,
Strong as a lion and sharp as an asp —
Come, O come!
I am numb
With the lonely lust of devildom.
Thrust the sword through the galling fetter,
All-devourer, all-begetter;
Give me the sign of the Open Eye,
And the token erect of thorny thigh,
And the word of madness and mystery,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan Pan! Pan,
I am a man:
Do as thou wilt, as a great god can,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! I am awake
In the grip of the snake.
The eagle slashes with beak and claw;
The gods withdraw:
The great beasts come, Io Pan! I am borne
To death on the horn
Of the Unicorn.
I am Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan!
I am thy mate, I am thy man,
Goat of thy flock, I am gold, I am god,
Flesh to thy bone, flower to thy rod.
With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks
Through solstice stubborn to equinox.
And I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend
Everlasting, world without end,
Mannikin, maiden, Maenad, man,
In the might of Pan.
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan! Io Pan!


Esseai athanatos theos, ambrotos, oyk eti thnétos Pythagoras.

"Magic is the Highest, most Absolute, and most Divine Knowledge of Natural Philosophy, advanced in its works and wonderful operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult virtue of things; so that true Agents being applied to proper Patients, strange and admirable effects will thereby be produced. Whence magicians are profound and diligent searchers into Nature; they, because of their skill, know how to anticipate an effect, the which to the vulgar shall seem to be a miracle.
" The Goetia of the Lemegeton of King Solomon.

"Wherever sympathetic magic occurs in its pure unadulterated form, it is assumed that in nature one event follows another necessarily and invariably without the intervention of any spiritual or personal agency.

Thus its fundamental conception is identical with that of modern science; underlying the whole system is a faith, implicit but real and firm, in the order and uniformity of nature. The magician does not doubt that the same causes will always produce the same effects, that the performance of the proper ceremony accompanied by the appropriate spell, will inevitably be attended by the desired results, unless, indeed, his incantations should chance to be thwarted and foiled by the more potent charms of another sorcerer. He supplicates no higher power: he sues the favour of no fickle and wayward being: he abases himself before no awful deity. Yet his power, great as he believes it to be, is by no means arbitrary and unlimited. He can wield it only so long as he strictly conforms to the rules of his art, or to what may be called the laws of nature as conceived by him. To neglect these rules, to break these laws in the smallest particular is to incur failure, and may even expose the unskilful practitioner himself to the utmost peril. If he claims a sovereignty over nature, it is a constitutional sovereignty rigorously limited in its scope and exercised in exact conformity with ancient usage. Thus the analogy between the magical and the scientific conceptions of the world is close. In both of them the succession of events is perfectly regular and certain, being determined by immutable laws, the operation of which can be foreseen and calculated precisely; the elements of caprice, of chance, and of accident are banished from the course of nature. Both of them open up a seemingly boundless vista of possibilities to him who knows the causes of things and can touch the secret springs that set in motion the vast and intricate mechanism of the world. Hence the strong attraction which magic and science alike have exercised on the human mind; hence the powerful stimulus that both have given to the pursuit of knowledge. They lure the weary enquirer, the footsore seeker, on through the wilderness of disappointment in the present by their endless promises of the future: they take him up to he top of an exceeding high mountain and shew him, beyond the dark clouds and rolling mists at his feet, a vision of the celestial city, far off, it may be, but radiant with unearthly splendour, bathed in the light of dreams.
" Dr. J. G. FRAZER, "The Golden Bough".

"So far, therefore, as the public profession of magic has been one of the roads by which men have passed to supreme power, it has contributed to emancipate mankind from the thraldom of tradition and to elevate them into a larger, freer life, with a broader outlook on the world. This is no small service rendered to humanity. And when we remember further that in another direction magic has paved the way for science, we are forced to admit that if the black art has done much evil, it has also been the source of much good; that if it is the child of error, it has yet been the mother of freedom and truth."

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
St. Paul.

Gnostic maxim, falsely ascribed to “St. Paul”.

"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."
"He must teach; but he may make severe the ordeals."
"The word of the Law is Θελημα."
LIBER AL vel xxxi: The Book of the Law.

Serious readers should pay strict attention to the above quotations, especially those from The Golden Bough: they will do much to explain Crowley's purpose in life, and even the meaning inherent in his Word as the Magus of the Aeon.

This book is for


for every man, woman, and child.

My former work has been misunderstood, and its scope limited, by my use of technical terms. It has attracted only too many dilettanti and eccentrics, weaklings seeking in "Magic" an escape from reality. I myself was first consciously drawn to the subject in this way.

So was I, and so probably are most people. The important point is that of those people who are attracted to Magick because they are frustrated by the status quo may – if they have intelligence and will – become inestimable resources to our species. They change the world. This remark is not likely to endear us with the Mossad, “Opus Dei”, the KGB, or the C.I.A. But then, we never were persona grata with them.

And it has repelled only too many scientific and practical minds, such as I most designed to influence.

Again, the serious reader should note this very important point.



is for


I have written this book to help the Banker, the Pugilist, the Biologist, the Poet, the Navvy, the Grocer, the Factory Girl, the Mathematician, the Stenographer, the Golfer, the Wife, the Consul --- and all the rest --- to fulfill themselves perfectly, each in his or her own proper function. Let me explain in a few words how it came about that I blazoned the word


upon the Banner that I have borne before me all my life.

Before I touched my teens, I was already aware that I was THE BEAST whose number is 666. I did not understand in the least what that implied; it was a passionately ecstatic sense of identity.

His attention was first attracted to the name when his rabidly Christist mother, annoyed by some childish prank, screamed at him: “You are the Beast of the Apocalypse!” He was six years old at the time. Serious students should pay no attention whatsoever to the “Apocalypse”, by the way. It is a clumsy forgery packed with lies, and the only intention behind it to try to keep Christism unhealthy and wealthy. The “Beast 666” is one of the most ancient symbols of humankind. Blavatsky touched upon it guardedly in Isis Unveiled. Its true meaning has always been known to Initiates of the so-called Western Tradition – which is to say, those who follow the Path of the White School of Magick. We remind the reader that “white” here refers to the while strain of our species; the word has no “moral” connotations to us. Cf. Magick Without Tears Part I, Letters 6, 7, and 8. The best description of the “Book of Revelations” is given in the true Book of Revelations, Liber CCCCXVIII.

In my third year at Cambridge, I devoted myself consciously to the Great Work, understanding thereby the Work of becoming a Spiritual Being, free from the constraints, accidents, and deceptions of material existence.

Please notice the loftiness of his conception. Many have thought the “Great Work” is to learn how to become rich or “powerful”; and many have thus become, to the detriment of our species and of the planet itself.

I found myself at a loss for a name to designate my work, just as H. P. Blavatsky some years earlier. "Theosophy", "Spiritualism", "Occultism", "Mysticism", all involved undesirable connotations. I chose therefore the name.


as essentially the most sublime, and actually the most discredited, of all the available terms. I swore to rehabilitate


to identify it with my own career; and to compel mankind to respect, love, and trust that which they scorned, hated and feared. I have kept my Word. But the time is now come for me to carry my banner into the thick of the press of human life. I must make


the essential factor in the life of


In presenting this book to the world, I must then explain and justify my position by formulating a definition of


and setting forth its main principles in such a way that


may understand instantly that their souls, their lives, in every relation with every other human being and every circumstance, depend upon


and the right comprehension and right application thereof.

Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will 1.

Notice that he calls it both a science and an art. It is a science, or even better, it IS in its aspects that have already been fully recorded, measured and reproduced by generations of practitioners. It is an art in two senses: first, in its aspects that have yet yielded to quantitative analysis for lack of sufficient data; second, in its aspects that depend on personal aptitude or idiosyncrasies. The second sense is often neglected, to the harm not only of official scientists but of amateur magickers. To give an analogy, the fact that I cannot lift five hundred pounds or jump thirty feet does not mean that another human being would be incapable of such feats. The fact that many people are unable to reproduce the feats of a Levi or a Blavatsky or a Crowley or a Germer does not mean that those experimenters were lying when they described their feats. They may have been, or may not have been. A trained scientist would do well to research the matter before reaching a conclusion; the average lay reader should shut up; uninformed opinion is totally worthless, whether it is in favour or against the claims of champion athletes. Of course, a serious scientist may reply that an athletic record is an easily certifiable matter, while magickers veil their so-called feats in secrecy. Very true; but not sufficient to dispose of the magickers' claims. Our methods of training are clearly described. Try to reproduce our results. You may even be pleasantly surprised.

(Note by David Bersson: In this paragraph Mr. Marcelo Motta introduces a new word, “magicker(s)”. Yet, the word “magician” appears in the Book of the Law whereas the magical gesture of a new word based on magic with a k is completely unnecessary. I, personally, therefore NEVER use the word “magickian” which is changing the style of a letter – yet I spell magic with a k – magick .)

(Illustration: It is my Will to inform the World of certain facts within my knowledge. I therefore take "magickal weapons", pen, ink, and paper; I write "incantations"---these sentences---in the "magickal language" ie, that which is understood by the people I wish to instruct; I call forth "spirits", such as printers, publishers, booksellers and so forth and constrain them to convey my message to those people. The composition and distribution of this book is thus an act of Magick by which I cause Changes to take place in conformity with my Will.)

1. In one sense Magick may be defined as the name given to Science by the vulgar.

ANY required change may be effected by the application of the proper kind and degree of Force in the proper manner, through the proper medium to the proper object.

The serious reader will readily understand that the above postulate covers all the practical applications of science, particularly the ones called “technology”.

(Illustration: I wish to prepare an ounce of Chloride of Gold. I must take the right kind of acid, nitro-hydrochloric and no other, in a vessel which will not break, leak or corrode, in such a manner as will not produce undesirable results, with the necessary quantity of Gold: and so forth. Every change has its own conditions. In the present state of our knowledge and power some changes are not possible in practice; we cannot cause eclipses, for instance, or transform lead into tin, or create men from mushrooms. But it is theoretically possible to cause in any object any change of which that object is capable by nature; and the conditions are covered by the above postulate.)

Please notice that knowledge and power do not necessarily go hand in hand. For instance, we already have the knowledge of how to cause eclipses, but not yet the power. It is possible that once knowledge is achieved the development of power is not far behind. On the other hand, some of the most important discoveries were the product of random accidents. These were cases where power preceded knowledge. Of course, a real Magician – or a real scientist – will object that power is only possible when an operation can be repeated at will.

Note by David Bersson: now here Mr. Motta spells magician without the k (and how it is in the Book of the Law only upper case) so perhaps he meant to use this new strange word “magicker” in a different sense and changed his mind.

1) Every intentional act is a Magickal act. 1

(Illustration: See "Definition" above.)

1 By "intentional" I mean "willed". But even unintentional acts so seeming are not truly so. Thus, breathing is an act of the Will to Live.

2) Every successful act has conformed to the postulate.

3) Every failure proves that one or more requirements of the postulate have not been fulfilled.

(Illustrations: There may be failure to understand the case, as when a doctor makes a wrong diagnosis, and his treatment injures the patient. There may be a failure to apply the right kind of force, as when a rustic tries to blow out an electric light. There may be failure to apply the right degree of force, as when a wrestler has his hold broken, There may be failure to apply the force in the right manner, as when one presents a cheque at the wrong window of the Bank. There may be failure to employ the correct medium, as when Leonardo da Vinci saw his masterpiece fade away. The force may be applied to an unsuitable object, as when one tries to crack a stone, thinking it a nut.)

4) The first requisite for causing any change is thorough qualitative and quantitative understanding of the conditions.

(Illustration: The most common cause of failure in life is ignorance of one's own True Will, or of the means to fulfill that Will. A man may fancy himself a painter, and waste his life trying to become one; or he may really be a painter, and yet fail to understand and to measure the difficulties peculiar to that career.)

5) The second requisite of causing any change is the practical ability to set in right motion the necessary forces.

This covers the case of the champion athlete or expert Magician, that we have mentioned before. The following example is not of that particular type.

(Illustration: A banker may have a perfect grasp of a given situation, yet lack the quality of decision, or the assets, necessary to take advantage of it.)

6) "Every man and every woman is a star". That is to say, every human being is intrinsically an independent individual with his own proper character and proper motion.

7) Every man and every woman has a course, depending partly on the self, and partly on the environment which is natural and necessary for each. Anyone who is forced from his own course, either through not understanding himself, or through external opposition, comes into conflict with the order of the Universe, and suffers accordingly.

(Illustration: A man may think it is his duty to act in a certain way, through having made a fancy picture of himself, instead of investigating his actual nature. For example, a woman may make herself miserable for life by thinking that she prefers love to social consideration, or vice versa. One woman may stay with an unsympathetic husband when she would really be happy in an attic with a lover, while another may fool herself into a romantic elopement when her only pleasures are those of presiding over fashionable functions.)

This was exactly the case of the mistress Crowley celebrated in his poem “Alice: An Adultery”, whom John Symonds, in his obtuse biography, alleges Crowley “hypnotized” in a chance street encounter through his “evil magic” and then “tiring” of her, ruthlessly discarded, telling her to “Go back to your provider.” One should really eventually find a more intelligent and more informed biographer of Aleister Crowley than this common English thief disguised as a writer!

Again, a boy's instinct may tell him to go to sea, while his parents insist on his becoming a doctor. In such a case he will be both unsuccessful and unhappy in medicine.)

But not necessarily poor, or even necessarily conscious of his unhappiness. Such “doctors” include those who become physicians not out of love for medicine, but out of calculated and misplaced greed; and unfortunately form the overwhelming majority of physicians in the world today, even in Communist countries, where theoretically financial success in life should be of no consequence. They cause immense misery to their fellow human beings. This writer once heard an uncle by marriage who was a doctor state openly in a family reunion (ah, the family!) that whenever a poor person came to his office he prescribed wrongly, so the undesirable client not come back. The exemplary partaker of the Hypocritical Oath eventually become the happy owner of several condominiums. The writer, blind fool, avoided both his uncle's office and his uncle's “home” henceforth, but could appreciate the moral lesson of the man's material success, which is: in a pigsty, the biggest pig is always king. Or, in other words, you may measure the ecological level of a society by how those who do not do their True Will “succeed” in it.

8) A Man whose conscious will is at odds with his True Will is wasting his strength. He cannot hope to influence his environment efficiently.

The serious reader should try to understand that Crowley's lofty conception of social morality (surprise, surprise) would allow no definition of “efficiency” that were not ecological. In the case of the rich uncle referred to above, the man became a wealthy landlord. He also contributed to the spread of disease, poverty, and public and private dishonesty in exact proportion to his “success”. Men and women like him are more directly responsible for famine, war and revolution than any politician in the world today. Except, perhaps, the Romish “popes”.

(Illustration: When Civil War rages in a nation, it is in no condition to undertake the invasion of other countries. A man with cancer employs his nourishment alike to his own use and to that of the enemy which is part of himself. He soon fails to resist the pressure of his environment. In practical life, a man who is doing what his conscience tells him to be wrong will do it very clumsily. At first!)

Again, it is easier or harder to do one's True Will in direct proportion to the general morality or immorality of the society in which one lives. Pioneers often die in misery and opprobrium, yet are blessed by intelligent and honest members of future generations.

9) A Man who is doing his True Will has the inertia of the Universe to assist him. (Illustration: The first principle of success in evolution is that the individual should be true to his own nature, and at the same time adapt himself to his environment.)

10) Nature is a continuous phenomenon, though we may not know in all cases how things are connected.
(Illustration: Human consciousness depends on the properties of protoplasm, the existence of which depends on innumerable physical conditions peculiar to this planet; and this planet is determined by the mechanical balance of the whole universe of matter. We may then say that our consciousness is causally connected with the remotest galaxies; yet we do not even know how it arises from--or with--the molecular changes in the brain.)

11) Science enables us to take advantage of the continuity of Nature by the empirical application of certain principles whose interplay involves different orders of idea connected with each other in a way beyond our present comprehension.
(Illustration: We are able to light cities by rule-of-thumb methods. We do not know what consciousness is, or how it is connected with muscular action; what electricity is or how it is connected with the machines that generate it; and our methods depend on calculations involving mathematical ideas which have no correspondence in the Universe as we know it. 1)

1. For instance "irrational", "unreal" and "infinite" expressions.

12) Man is ignorant of the nature of his own being and powers. Even his idea of his limitations is based on experience of the past, and every step in his progress extends his empire. There is therefore no reason to assign theoretical limits 2

2 i.e., except---possibly---in the case of logically absurd questions such as the Schoolmen discussed in connection with "God".

to what he may be, or what he may do.
(Illustration: A generation ago it was supposed theoretically impossible that man should ever know the composition of the fixed stars.

Meaning, really, all stars. The appellation “fixed” derives from medieval astrology, when celestial objects were divided in two classes, “fixed” stars, meaning those that apparently never changed position relative to each other, and “moving” stars, which included the planets, the sun, and the moon. In fact, the word “planet” come from the Greek for “to wander”. The perception that the entire cosmos is moving is very recent in astronomy. It only became generally accepted after Liber AL was given to the world, no doubt due to the development of better telescopes and the spectrograph. It is interesting to ponder that the view of the cosmos given in AL preceded, and was confirmed, by posterior – and apparently unrelated – scientific research.

It is known that our senses are adapted to receive only a fraction of the possible rates of vibration.Modern instruments have enabled us to detect some of these supra-sensibles by indirect methods, and even to use their peculiar qualities in the service of man, as in the case of the rays of Hertz and Roentgen. As Tyndall said, man might at any moment learn to perceive and utilize vibrations of all conceivable and inconceivable kinds. The question of Magick is a question of discovering and employing hitherto unknown forces in nature. We know that they exist, and we cannot doubt the possibility of mental or physical instruments capable of bringing us into relation with them.)

13) Every man is more or less aware that his individuality comprises several orders of existence, even when he maintains that his subtler principles are merely symptomatic of the changes in his gross vehicle. A similar order may be assumed to extend throughout nature.
(Illustration: One does not confuse the pain of a toothache with the decay that causes it. Inanimate objects are sensitive to certain physical forces, such as electrical and thermal conductivity; but neither in us nor in them--so far as we know--is there any direct conscious perception of these forces. Imperceptible influences are therefore associated with all material phenomena; and there is no reason why we should not work upon matter through these subtle energies as we do through their material bases. In fact, we use magnetic force to move iron and solar radiation to reproduce images.)

14) Man is capable of being, and using, anything which he perceives, for everything which he perceives is in a certain sense a part of his being. He may thus subjugate the whole of the Universe of which he is conscious to his individual Will.
(Illustration: Man has used the idea of God to dictate his personal conduct, to obtain power over his fellows, to excuse his crimes, and for innumerable other purposes, including that of realizing himself as God. He has used the irrational and unreal conceptions of mathematics to help him in the construction of mechanical devices. He has used his moral force to influence the actions even of wild animals. He has employed poetic genius for political purposes.)

15) Every force in the Universe is capable of being transformed into any other kind of force by using suitable means.

The serious reader will readily understand that this is now a generally accepted principle in physical science; but in 1929 e.v., when this book was first published, a unified field theory was still far in the future.

There is thus an inexhaustible supply of any particular kind of force that we may need.

(Illustration: Heat may be transformed into light and power by using it to drive dynamos. The vibrations of the air may be used to kill men by so ordering them in speech so as to inflame war-like passions. The hallucinations connected with the mysterious energies of sex result in the perpetuation of the species.)

16) The application of any given force affects all the orders of being which exist in the object to which it is applied, whichever of of those orders is directly affected.
(Illustration: If I strike a man with a dagger, his consciousness, not his body only, is affected by my act, although the dagger, as such, has no direct relation therewith. Similarly, the power of my thought may so work on the mind of another person as to produce far-reaching physical changes in him, or in others through him.)

17) A man may learn to use any force so as to serve any purpose, by taking advantage of the above theorems.

(Illustration: A man may use a razor to make himself vigilant over his speech, by using it to cut himself whenever he unguardedly utters a chosen word.

See Liber III

He may serve the same purpose by resolving that every incident of his life shall remind him of a particular thing, making every impression the starting point of a connected series of thoughts ending in that thing. He might also devote his whole energies to some one particular object, by resolving to do nothing at variance therewith, and to make every act turn to the advantage of that object.)

18) He may attract to himself any force of the Universe by making himself a fit receptacle for it, and arranging conditions so that its nature compels it to flow toward him.

This is the general theory behind Ritual Magick. In this sense, the difference between Magick and Yoga is merely that in Yoga the forces one intends to invoke are presupposed to be already part of one's interior universe.

(Illustration: If I want pure water to drink, I dig a well in a place where there is underground water; I prevent it from leaking away; and I arrange to take advantage of water's accordance with the laws of Hydrostatics to fill it.)

19) Man's sense of himself as separate from, and opposed to, the Universe is a bar to his conducting its currents. It insulates him.

(Illustration: A popular leader is most successful when he forgets himself and remembers only "The Cause". Self-seeking engenders jealousies and schism. When the organs of the body assert their presence other by silent satisfaction, it is a sign they are diseased. The single exception is the organ of reproduction. Yet even in this case its self-assertion bears witness to its dissatisfaction with itself, since it cannot fulfil its function until completed by its counterpart in another organism.)

20) Man can only attract and employ the forces for which he is really fitted.

(Illustration: You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. A true man of science learns from every phenomenon. But Nature is dumb to the hypocrite; for in her there is nothing false.  1.)

This, incidentally, is the true hope and patience of true saints. By Nature's sanctions are all pioneers eventually justified.

1.  It is no objection that the hypocrite is himself part of Nature. He is an "endothermic" product, divided against himself, with a tendency to break up. He will see his own qualities everywhere, and thus obtain a radical misconception of phenomena. Most religions of the past have failed by expecting nature to conform with their ideals of proper conduct.

21) There is no limit to the extent of the relations of any man with the Universe in essence; for as soon as man makes himself one with any idea the means of measurement cease to exist. But his power to utilize that force is limited by his mental power and capacity, and by the circumstances of his human environment.
(Illustration: When a man falls in love, the whole world becomes, to him, nothing but love boundless and immanent; but his mystical state is not contagious; his fellow-men are either amused or annoyed. He can only extend to others the effect which his love has had upon himself by means of his mental and physical qualities. Thus Catullus, Dante and Swinburne made their love a mighty mover of mankind by virtue of their power to put their thoughts on the subject in musical and eloquent language. Again, Cleopatra and other people in authority moulded the fortunes of many other people by allowing love to influence their political actions. The Magician, however well he succeed in making contact with the secret sources of energy in nature, can only use them to the extent permitted by his intellectual and moral qualities. Mohammed's intercourse with Gabriel was only effective because of his statesmanship, soldiership, and the sublimity of his command of Arabic. Hertz's discovery of the rays which we now use for wireless telegraphy was sterile until it reflected through the minds and wills of the people who could take his truth and transmit it to the world of action by means of mechanical and economic instruments.)

22) Every individual is essentially sufficient to himself. But he is unsatisfactory to himself until he has established himself in his right relation with the Universe.
(Illustration: A microscope, however perfect, is useless in the hands of savages. A poet, however sublime, must impose himself upon his generation if he is to enjoy (and even to understand) himself, as theoretically should be the case.)

23) Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one's conditions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action.

(Illustration: A golf club is intended to move a special ball in a special way in special circumstances. A Niblick should rarely be used on the tee or a brassie under the bank of a bunker. But also, the use of any club demands skill and experience.)

24) Every man has an indefeasible right to be what he is.

(Illustration: To insist that any one else should comply with one's own standards is to outrage, not only him, but oneself, since both parties are equally born of necessity.)

25) Every man must do Magick each time he acts or even thinks, since a thought is an internal act whose influence ultimately affects action, though it may not do so at the time.

(Illustration: The least gesture causes a change in a man's own body and in the air around him; it disturbs the balance of the entire Universe, and its effects continue eternally throughout all space. Every thought, however swiftly suppressed, has its effect on the mind. It stands as one of the causes of every subsequent thought, and tends to influence every subsequent action.

The serious reader should be reminded that it was from this illustration, as from the rest of Crowley's work, and particularly from Liber Thisharb that L. Ron Hubbard educed both his “Dianetics” and “Scientology” schemes.

A golfer may lose a few yards on his drive, a few more with his second and third, he may lie on the green six bare inches too far from the hole, but the net result of these trifling mishaps is the difference between halving and losing the hole.)

26) Every man has a right, the right of self preservation, to fulfill himself to the utmost. Men of "criminal nature" are simply at issue with their true Wills.

[The reader should not forget that there is a sharp difference between a compulsive criminal and a person who is at odds with the Establishment – of whatever type of Establishment may be. It would be easy and “logical” to say that anyone who reacts actively to his or her environment is committing a crime. “If God wanted men to fly (notice that women are not mentioned in such old saws!) “he” would have given them wings” is a perfectly logical statement if you assume that you live in the best of all possible worlds; and had it been accepted by all, not only the progress of science would have been impossible, but even the progress of religion. People who disagreed with Thomas Aquinas and the “popes” were tortured to death or burned alive in city squares for a thousand years, with the hearty applause of human sheep. Any society not based on The Book of the Law is by definition criminal; those who react to its tyranny must be judged in terms of the Law of Θελημα, not in terms of Judeo-Christist, or Buddhist, or Moslem, or Brahmin, or Marxist dogma. Cf. Liber OZ. A compulsive criminal in a Thelemic Society is a sick person, and to be treated as such. Euthanasia may at times be part of the treatment; these are matters of sociology, psychiatry, economics and politics. It is essential, however, that they be ultimately solved by scientists and statesman, not theologians (of whatever persuasion) and “politicians”.]

The murderer has the Will to Live; and his will to murder is a false will at variance with his true Will, since he risks death at the hands of Society by obeying his criminal impulse.

[We repeat the preceding caveat. No doubt Ronald Reagan would a Sandinista a criminal. A Sandinista (probably with more sincerity, if not with more justice) would apply the term to a “Contra” - and to Ronald Reagan himself.]

(Illustration: A function imperfectly performed injures, not only itself, but everything associated with it. If the heart is afraid to beat for fear of disturbing the liver, the liver is starved for blood and avenges itself on the heart by upsetting digestion, which disorders respiration, on which cardiac welfare depends.)

27) Every man should make Magick the keystone of his life. He should learn its laws and live by them.

(Illustration: The Banker should discover the real meaning of his existence, the real motive which led him to choose that profession. He should under-stand banking as a necessary factor in the economic existence of mankind instead of merely a business whose objects are independent of the general welfare. He should learn to distinguish false values from real, and to act not on accidental fluctuations but on considerations of essential importance. Such a banker will prove himself superior to others; because he will not be an individual limited by transitory things, but a force of Nature, as impersonal, impartial and eternal as gravitation, as patient and irresistible as the tides. His system will not be subject to panic, any more than the law of Inverse Squares is disturbed by elections. He will not be anxious about his affairs because they will not be his; and for that reason he will be able to direct them with the calm, clear-headed confidence of an onlooker, with intelligence unclouded by self-interest, and power unimpaired by passion.)

Emotion, rather than passion, might have been a better word here.

28) Every man has a right to fulfill his own will without being afraid that it may interfere with that of others; for if he is in his proper place, it is the fault of others if they interfere with him.

(Illustration: If a man like Napoleon were actually appointed by destiny to control Europe, he should not be blamed for exercising his rights.

See, however, AL iii 17. It works both ways. On the long run, the success of any leader is a function of overwhelming popular consensus. Paradoxically, this is especially true when the leader is a tyrant. The objection to the American so-called “democratic” system is that it interposes the will of a few privileged oligarchs between the citizenry as a whole and the country's choice of leadership. This worked well enough as long as those oligarchs sincerely had the best interests of the nation at heart; but the gene pool that made the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution possible has long since been diluted by dysgenic coupling. For the last four centuries the oligarchs have inherited money, not talent. At the present time of history, the United States of America is ruled by super-rich near imbeciles. They are the only ones with the money to finance an election; especially so at the presidential level. This subject is too long for a note.

To oppose him would be an error. Any one so doing would have made a mistake as to his own destiny, except insofar as it might be necessary for him to learn the lessons of defeat.

This insofar as his or her opposition were not joined by that of others in sufficient numbers. In fact, when Napoleon was finally defeated, he was defeated by the inertia of a population disillusioned by the perception of how his personal ambition had interfered with the Service of the French – and much of Europe! - had expected of him. By the time he had acceded to the age-old homo saps obsession of perpetuation of oneself through one's children (a “sapient” offshoot of the mammalian reproductive instinct), made a deal with the Vatican with an eye on the “divine right of kings”, started “monarching” his incompetent “fimmily”, and finally divorced Josephine to marry an Austrian “princess”, it was clear he could no longer be trusted to put the interests of the civilized world above his animal inheritance. It should be remarked that the only kings created by Napoleon who succeeded in establishing themselves as hereditary monarchs were those not of his own blood. So far, geniuses have always been accidents of evolution; there is no record of more than one to a “fimmily” in any generation.

The sun moves in space without interference.

This is relatively put. Another way to state it (just as true) would be to say that the sun moves as it does solely because of the interference of the rest of the Universe. Incidentally, Crowley was quite aware of this paradox, but also his entire opus, make clear:

The order of nature provides an orbit for each star. A clash proves that one or the other has strayed from its course.

But see Liber VII ii 3-4; iv 30-32; v 17-26, 35-36.

But as to each man that keeps his true course, the more firmly he acts, the less likely others are to get in his way. His example will help them to find their own paths and pursue them. Every man that becomes a Magician helps others to do likewise. The more firmly and surely men move, and the more such action is accepted as the standard of morality, the less will conflict and confusion hamper humanity.)

I hope that the above principles will demonstrate to ALL that their welfare, their very existence, is bound up in


I trust that they will understand, not only the reasonableness, but the necessity of the fundamental truth which I was the means of giving to mankind: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." I trust that they will assert themselves as individually absolute, that they will grasp the fact that it is their right to assert themselves, and to accomplish the task for which their nature fits them. Yea, more, that this is their duty, and that not only to themselves but to others, a duty founded upon universal necessity, and not to be shirked on account of any casual circumstances of the moment which may seem to put such conduct in the light of inconvenience or even of cruelty.

It was undoubtedly cruel of Stalin to remark to Djilas that, although the death of one individual is a matter to deplore, the death of a million individuals is a matter of statistics. Nothing very “communistic” about this statement, incidentally; as Djilas was the first to point out! However, it seems to have the Will of Djilas to spend most of his life in prison, and the Will of Stalin to put Russia on its feet after World War II. Which of the two men has been more important to humankind? I would say both have of greater service than any Reagan, any Kennedy, or any Kissinger, who have all been unnecessarily crueler than Stalin and have all shown themselves incapable of Dijilas's civic virtue – to say nothing of Thoreau's.

I hope that the principles outlined above will help them to understand this book, and prevent them from being deterred from its study by the more or less technical language in which it is written. The essence of


is simple enough in all conscience. It is not otherwise with the art of government. The Aim is simply prosperity;

Of all, not of a few, dear – or rather, not so dear – American oligarchs! The serious reader should ponder why Crowley makes this sudden, apparently disconnected, reference to the art of government here.

but the theory is tangled, and the practice beset with briars. In the same way


is merely to be and to do. I should add: "to suffer". For Magick is the verb; and it is part of the Training to use the passive voice.

Cf. Liber VII iii 54-56; v 46-47; vii 13-14. Part of the training, un-dear sado-masochists (among which we undoubtedly must include the overwhelming majority of American oligarchs, if American domestic and international policy in the last fifty years is any clue); not all of it.

This is, however, a matter of Initiation rather than of Magick in its ordinary sense. It is not my fault if being is baffling, and doing desperate!

In fact, his entire body of work was intended to the former less baffling and the latter less desperate for his fellows; and richly have they thanked him – and his pupils – for it!

Yet, once the above principles are firmly fixed in the mind, it is easy enough to sum up the situation very shortly. One must find out for oneself, and make sure beyond doubt, "who" one is, "what" one is, "why" one is. This done, one may put the will which is implicit in the "Why" into words, or rather into One Word. Being thus conscious of the proper course to pursue, the next thing is to understand the conditions necessary to following it out. After that, one must eliminate from oneself every element alien or hostile to success, and develop those parts of oneself which are specially needed to control the aforesaid conditions.

Let us make an analogy.

Notice the relation between the analogy and the apparently disconnected reference to the art of government above.

A nation must become aware of its own character before it can be said to exist. From that knowledge it must divine its destiny. It must then consider the political conditions of the world; how other countries may help it or hinder it. It must then destroy it itself any elements discordant with its destiny. Lastly, it must develop in itself those qualities which will enable it to combat successfully the external conditions which threaten to oppose is purpose. We have had a recent example in the case of the young German Empire, which, knowing itself and its will, disciplined and trained itself so that it conquered the neighbours which had oppressed it for so many centuries. But after 1866 and 1870, 1914! It mistook itself for superhuman, it willed a thing impossible, it failed to eliminate its own internal jealousies, it failed to understand the conditions of victory, At least, it allowed England to discover its intentions, and so to combine the world against it.

it did not train itself to hold the sea, and thus, having violated every principle of


it was pulled down and broken into pieces by provincialism and democracy, so that neither individual excellence nor civic virtue has yet availed to raise it again to that majestic unity which made so bold a bid for the mastery of the race of man. 1

When again it united itself under Hitler, once more it allowed itself the delusion of being superhuman. Should the Sharons, the Begins, the Shamirs and the rabbis who pull their strings keep holding sway in “Israel”, the exact same destiny will befall all their dupes.

The sincere student will discover, behind the symbolic technicalities of his book, a practical method of making himself a Magician.

In that rare sense of a true Initiate of the true “Western Esoteric Tradition”, or White School of Magick. We remind the serious reader that “White” refers simply to racial characteristics, and has no moral connotation whatsoever. Also, we should remind the reader that it is perfectly possible for a black or yellow person to train himself or herself under White School methods, should he or she so will. Both Crowley and Blavatsky, for instance, albeit racially white, trained under Yellow School masters for a while. Crowley himself, although her was very guarded about it, studied the Black School well enough to help William Seabrook write an excellent book on Voodoo (The Island) that has angered Christist theologians for decades.

The processes described will enable him to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be.

Professor Sigmund Freud and his school have, in recent years, discovered a part of this body of Truth, which has been taught for many centuries in the Sanctuaries of Initiation. But failure to grasp the fullness of Truth, especially that implied in my Sixth Theorem (above) and its corollaries, has led him and his followers into the error of admitting that the avowedly suicidal "Censor" is the proper arbiter of conduct. Official psycho-analysis is therefore committed to upholding a fraud, although the foundation of the science was the observation of the disastrous effects on the individual of being false to his Unconscious Self, whose "writing on the wall" in dream language is the record of the sum of the essential tendencies of the true nature of the individual. The result has been that psycho-analysts have misinterpreted life, and announced the absurdity that every human being is essentially an anti-social, criminal, and insane animal. It is evident that the errors of the Unconscious of which the psycho-analysts complain are neither more nor less than the"original sin" of the theologians whom they despise so heartily. He must behold his soul in all its awful nakedness, he must not fear to look on that appalling actuality. He must discard the gaudy garments with which his shame has screened him; he must accept the fact that nothing can make him anything but what he is. He may lie to himself, drug himself, hide himself; but he is always there. Magick will teach him that his mind is playing him traitor. It is as if a man were told that tailors' fashion-plates were the canon of human beauty, so that he tried to make himself formless and featureless like them, and shuddered with horror at the idea of Holbein making a portrait of him. Magick will show him the beauty and majesty of the self which he has tried to suppress and disguise. Having discovered his identity, he will soon perceive his purpose. Another process will show him how to make that purpose pure and powerful. He may then learn how to estimate his environment, learn how to make allies, how to make himself prevail against all powers whose error has caused them to wander across his path.

In the course of this Training, he will learn to explore the Hidden Mysteries of Nature, and to develop new senses and faculties in himself, whereby he may communicate with, and control, Beings and Forces pertaining to orders of existence which have been hitherto inaccessible to profane research, and available only to that unscientific and empirical


(of tradition) which I came to destroy in order that I might fulfil. I send this book into the world that every man and woman may take hold of life in the proper manner. It does not matter of one's present house of flesh be the hut of a shepherd; by virtue of my


he shall be such a shepherd as David was. If it be the studio of a sculptor, he shall so chisel from himself the marble that masks his idea that he shall be no less a master than Rodin. Witness mine hand: To Mega Therion (תריון): The Beast 666; MAGUS 9° = 2 A∴A∴ who is The Word of the Aeon Θελημα; whose name is called V.V.V.V.V. 8° = 3 A∴A∴ in the City of the Pyramids; OU MH 7° = 4 A∴A∴ OL SONUF VAORESAGI 6° = 5, and ... ... 5° = 6 A∴A∴ in the Mountain of Abiegnus: but FRATER PERDURABO in the Outer Order or the A∴A∴ and in the World of men upon upon the Earth, Aleister Crowley of Trinity College, Cambridge.


There are three main theories of the Universe; Dualism, Monism and Nihilism. It is impossible to enter into a discussion of their relative merits in a popular manual of this sort. They may be studied in Erdmann's "History of Philosophy" and similar treatises.

Note by David Bersson: The fourth theory of the universe has religious overtones that are had to of seemed inconsistent with the three being mentioned. Yet, it should be otherwise surprising to those who have studied the metaphysics of ancient polytheistic religion that it would not be included as the fourth. The fourth theory is Polytheism where the worship (means “identify with”) of Gods. Exempli gratia, you need only research the schools of thought of each God or Goddess to find a unique perspective of the universe that has the best of Dualism, Monism and Nihilism. Even further so, the Book of the Law could be polytheistic theory of the universe that includes these three. See my essays on the connections of polytheistic interpretation of the Book of the Law for those brave enough to continue this sublime research.

Erdmann's work is exhaustive, but expensive and difficult to find. Also, slightly dated. The student may use Bertrand Russell's History of Philosophy to her or her profit, albeit it is less extensive than Erdmann's.

All are reconciled and unified in the theory which we shall now set forth. The basis of this Harmony is given in Crowley's "Berashith" — to which reference should be made. Infinite space is called the goddess NUIT, while the infinitely small and atomic yet omnipresent point is called HADIT.  1

1  I present this theory in a very simple form. I cannot even explain (for instance) that an idea may not refer to Being at all, but to Going. The Book of the Law demands special study and initiated apprehension.

These are unmanifest. One conjunction of these infinites is called RA-HOOR-KHUIT, 2

2  More correctly, HERU-RA-HA, to include HOOR-PAAR-KRAAT.

a unity which includes and heads all things.  3

3  The basis of this theology is given in Liber CCXX, AL vel Legis which forms Part IV of this Book 4. Hence I can only outline the matter in a very crude way; it would require a separate treatise to discuss even the true meaning of the terms employed, and to show how The Book of the Law anticipates the recent discoveries of Frege, Cantor, Poincare, Russell, Whitehead, Einstein and others. (There is also a particular Nature of Him, in certain conditions, such as have obtained since the Spring of 1904, e.v.) This profoundly mystical conception is based upon actual spiritual experience, but the trained reason   1

1  All advance in understanding demands the acquisition of a new point-of-view. Modern conceptions of Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics are sheer paradox to the "plain man" who thinks of Matter as something that one can knock up against. can reach a reflection of this idea by the method of logical contradiction which ends in reason transcending itself. The reader should consult "The Soldier and the Hunchback" in Equinox I, I, and Konx Om Pax. "Unity" transcends "consciousness". It is above all division. The Father of thought — the Word — is called Chaos — the dyad. The number Three, the Mother, is called Babalon. In connection with this the reader should study "The Temple of Solomon the King" in Equinox I, V, and Liber 418. This first triad is essentially unity, in a manner transcending reason. The comprehension of this Trinity is a matter of spiritual experience. All true gods are attributed to this Trinity.  2

2  Considerations of the Christian Trinity are of a nature suited only to Initiates of the IX° of O.T.O., as they enclose the final secret of all practical Magick. An immeasurable abyss divides it from all manifestations of Reason or the lower qualities of man. In the ultimate analysis of Reason, we find all reason identified with this abyss. Yet this abyss is the crown of the mind. Purely intellectual faculties all obtain here. This abyss has no number, for in it all is confusion. Below this abyss we find the moral qualities of Man, of which there are six. The highest is symbolised by the number Four. Its nature is fatherly   3

3  Each conception is, however, balanced in itself. Four is also Daleth, the letter of Venus; so that the mother-idea is included. Again, the Sephira of 4 is Chesed, referred to Water. 4 is ruled by Jupiter, Lord of the Lightning (Fire) yet ruler of Air. Each Sephira is complete in its way. ; Mercy and Authority are the attributes of its dignity. The number Five is balanced against it. The attributes of Five are Energy and Justice. Four and Five are again combined and harmonized in the number Six, whose nature is beauty and harmony, mortality and immortality.

In the number Seven the feminine nature is again predominant, but it is the masculine type of female, the Amazon, who is balanced in the number Eight by the feminine type of male. This balance between the male and female qualities is an essential aspect of the man or woman of the Aeon of Horus. He will come back to this later on. Notice that this is the normal structure and balance of the human psyche, and that no human being is complete unless it contains all those those faculties in himself or herself. Blavatsky prophesied that the “Sixth Race” would be hermaphroditic: it was this that she had in mind. The rise of feminism and gay lib are related to this profound animic change in the life of humankind. The Holy Books of Thelema all speak of this. Cf., for instance, LXV iii 49-50, iv 52-53, v 44. In the number Nine we reach the last of the purely mental qualities. It identifies change with stability. Pendant to this sixfold system is the number Ten 1

The balance of the Sephiroth:

1 (1) "Kether is in Malkuth, and Malkuth is in Kether, but after another manner."
(2) is Yod of Tetragrammaton, and therefore also Unity.
(3) is He of Tetragrammaton, and therefore "The Emperor."
(4) is Daleth, Venus the female.

[Not so: here he forgets the dual nature of the planet Venus: the Morning Star is Lucifer, and male; the Evening Star is Venus, and female. Hence is it said that the Master of the Temple is cast down the Heavens as a Morning or an Evening Star. This entire symbolism is most ancient and most holy.]

(5)Geburah is the Sephira of Mars, the Male.

(6) is the Hexagram, harmonizing, and mediating between Kether and Malkuth. Also it reflects Kether. "That which is above, is like that which is below, and that which is below, is like that which is above."

Netzach (7) and Hod (8) balanced as in text.

Jesod (9) See text.

Malkuth (10) contains all the numbers.

which includes the whole of Matter as we know it by the senses. It is impossible here to explain thoroughly the complete conception; for it cannot be too clearly understood that this is a "classification" of the Universe, that there is nothing which is not comprehended therein. The Article on the Qabalah in Vol. I, No. V of the Equinox is the best which has been written on the subject. It should be deeply studied, in connection with the Qabalistic Diagrams in Nos. II and III: "The Temple of Solomon the King".

Such is a crude and elementary sketch of this system. The formula of Tetragrammaton is the most important for the practical magician. Here Yod = 2, He = 3, Vau = 4 to 9, He final = 10. The Number Two represents Yod, the Divine or Archetypal World, and the Number One is only attained by the destruction of the God and the Magician in Samadhi. The world of Angels is under the numbers Four to Nine, and that of spirits under the number Ten. 1

1 It is not possible to give a full account of the twenty-two "paths" in this condensed sketch. They should be studied in view of all their attributes in 777, but more especially that in which they are attributed to the planets, elements and signs, as also to the Tarot Trumps, while their position on the Tree itself and their position as links between the particular Sephiroth which they join is the final key to their understanding. It will be noticed that each chapter of this book is attributed to one of them. This was not intentional. The book was originally but a collection of haphazard dialogues between Fra. P. and Soror A.; but on arranging the MSS, they fell naturally and of necessity into this division. Conversely, my knowledge of the Schema pointed out to me numerous gaps in my original exposition; thanks to this, I have been able to make it a complete and systematic treatise. That is, when my laziness had been jogged by the criticisms and suggestions of various colleagues to whom I had submitted the early drafts.

[The serious reader would do well to compare the sequence of chapters with that in Levi's Dogme et Rituel; indeed, the serious student would do well to read each book in connection with the other.]

All these numbers are of course parts of the magician himself considered as the microcosm. The microcosm is an exact image of the Macrocosm; the Great Work is the raising of the whole man in perfect balance to the power of Infinity. The reader will remark that all criticism directed against the Magical Hierarchy is futile. One cannot call it incorrect — the only line to take might be that it was inconvenient. In the same way one cannot say that the Roman alphabet is better or worse than the Greek, since all required sounds can be more or less satisfactorily represented by either; yet both these alphabets were found so little satisfactory when it came to an attempt at phonetic printing of Oriental languages, that the alphabet had to be expanded by the use of italics and other diacritical marks.

The Red Chinese have now contrived a better system of phonetic transliteration of Chinese sounds in Western style, call Pinyin. Cf. Equinox V 3, “The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism”.

In the same way our magical alphabet of the Sephiroth and the Paths (thirty-two letters as it were) has been expanded into the four worlds corresponding to the four letters of the name Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh; and each Sephira is supposed to contain a Tree of Life of its own. Thus we obtain four hundred Sephiroth instead of the original ten, and the Paths being capable of similar multiplications, or rather of subdivision, the number is still further extended. Of course this process might be indefinitely continued without destroying the original system.

The Apologia for this System is that our purest conceptions are symbolized in Mathematics. "God is the Great Arithmetician." "God is the Grand Geometer." It is best therefore to prepare to apprehend Him by formulating our minds according to these measures.  1.

Particularly since God is man – or rather, the Human Being. His footnote clarifies this.

1.  By "God" I here mean the Ideal Identity of a man's inmost nature. "Something ourselves (I erase Arnold's imbecile and guilty 'not') that makes for righteousness;" righteousness being rightly defined as internal coherence. (Internal Coherence implies that which is written "Detegitur Yod.")

[As we observed in our notes to The Bagh-i-Muattar (Equinox V 4, “Sex and Religion”), the English word “holy” comes from the Sanskrit root kailo, which means whole. Cf. LXV iv 7 and the comments thereon in Equinox V 2.]

To return, each letter of this alphabet may have its special magical sigil. The student must not expect to be given a cut-and-dried definition of what exactly is meant by any of all this. On the contrary, he must work backwards, putting the whole of his mental and moral outfit into these pigeon-holes. You would not expect to be able to buy a filing cabinet with the names of all your past, present and future correspondents ready indexed: your cabinet has a system of letters and numbers meaningless in themselves, but ready to take on a meaning to you, as you fill up the files. As your business increased, each letter and number would receive fresh accessions of meaning for you; and by adopting this orderly arrangement you would be able to have a much more comprehensive grasp of your affairs than would otherwise be the case. By the use of this system the magician is able ultimately to unify the whole of his knowledge — to transmute, even on the Intellectual Plane, the Many into the One. The Reader can now understand that the sketch given above of the magical Hierarchy is hardly even an outline of the real theory of the Universe. This theory may indeed be studied in the article already referred to in No. V of the Equinox, and, more deeply in the Book of the Law and the Commentaries thereon: but the true understanding depends entirely upon the work of the Magician himself. Without magical experience it will be meaningless.

In this there is nothing peculiar. It is so with all scientific knowledge. A blind man might cram up astronomy for the purpose of passing examinations, but his knowledge would be almost entirely unrelated to his experience, and it would certainly not give him sight. In fact, even the average sighted lay person was totally incapable of visualizing the glory of the heavens until technological progress made possible not only telescopes powerful enough to belabor the obvious, but photographic processes adequate to produce books and manuals showing celestial bodies in detail and even in color. A similar phenomenon is observed when a gentleman who has taken an "honours degree" in modern languages at Cambridge arrives in Paris, and is unable to order his dinner. To exclaim against the Master Therion is to act like a person who, observing this, should attack both the professors of French and the inhabitants of Paris, and perhaps go on to deny the existence of France. This puts me in mind of the sad disillusioned stares I get from “pupils” who, too lazy or disorganized to do systematic astral traveling or systematic magical work or systematic Yoga practices, prefer to think I am lying or dreaming or delirious when I tell them insights simple enough to be understood by fools who have persevered in their folly. Let us say, once again, that the magical language is nothing but a convenient system of classification to enable the magician to docket his experiences as he obtains them. Yet this is true also, that, once the language is mastered, one can divine the unknown by study of the known, just as one's knowledge of Latin and Greek enables one to understand some unfamiliar English word derived from those sources. Also, there is the similar case of the Periodic Law in Chemistry, which enables Science to prophesy, and so in the end to discover, the existence of certain previously unsuspected elements in nature.

Several, incidentally, were discovered after he wrote this: they all fit perfectly in previously empty spaces of the Periodic Table of Elements. The student should, however, beware of any reasoning from the know to the unknown that is not immediately verified by – you guessed it – persevering and methodical practice. The only thing idle speculation has ever produced is religious dogmatism, religious tyranny, and religious persecution and genocide. The Jews did in the Amalekites, the Nazis did in the Jews, and the “Israelis” are doing in the Palestines precisely because of such lies speculating on the part of lazy, ego-flatulent louts.

All discussions upon philosophy are necessarily sterile, since truth is beyond language.

One should not confuse truth with facts. It is easy for salesperson to use language to explain to a potential buyer how an electrical appliance works; but even the best minds have found it impossible to explain in language the nature of electricity. The truths of philosophy are really only to be reached through religious experience, and are incommunicable to any who have not experienced the particular trance that one person might like to explain to another. Hence Crowley's two apparently contradictory axioms, that “Mystery is the enemy of Truth” and that “True secrets cannot be revealed”.

They are, however, useful if carried far enough — if carried to the point when it become apparent that all arguments are arguments in a circle.  1

1  See "The Soldier and the Hunchback," Equinox I, I. The apparatus of human reason is simply one particular system of coordinating impressions;...

[The reader should realize that when Crowley wrote this computers and cybernetics were still just a beam in the eye of a handful of dreamers and geniuses. He may perhaps be credited as the first observer to postulate the relativity of reason and to systematize religious experience in terms intelligible to scientists.]

its structure is determined by the course of the evolution of the species.

[Which – true scientists need not be reminded of this! - is relative to many factors, one of them (at least) infinite & unknown.]

It is no more absolute than the evolution of the species. It is no more absolute than the mechanism of our muscles is a complete type wherewith all other systems of transmitting Force must conform. But discussions of the details of purely imaginary qualities are frivolous and may be deadly. For the great danger of this magical theory is that the student may mistake the alphabet for the things which the words represent.

From this standpoint, it is indeed a relief that the overwhelming majority of “pupils” are as incapable of persisent aspiration as of persistent work; for the dogmatist resembles an idiot savant but is more dangerous than a dog with rabies: fools often mistake him or her for a sage, and why not? Her or she is the first to so mistake himself or herself! An excellent man of great intelligence, a learned Qabalist, once amazed the Master Therion by stating that the Tree of Life was the framework of the Universe. Hopefully, not a Jew! Yet, it is this kind of arid learning bereft of spiritual experience that produces persecution and genocide. I am reminded of the occasion when Oskar Schlag ( a far from learned Qabalist, despite his personal delusions) grew hotly indignant at my suggestion that the Masters, or Gods, or Secret Chiefs, manipulate the Tree of Life to serve Their purposes, and occasionally even change the symbols or switch them around.

Note by David Bersson: This is verify the above with regards to switching & manipulating the symbols of the Tree of Life. I have done this many, many times. Remember that the Tree of Life is nothing more than a convenient tool for the manifestation of energy from Supernal.

Yet, Mr. Schlag was not only willing to change or switch my symbols, he was also anxious to manipulate me!....

It was as if some one had seriously maintained that a cat was a creature constructed by placing the letters C. A. T. in that order. It is no wonder that Magick has excited the ridicule of the unintelligent, since even its educated students can be guilty of so gross a violation of the first principles of common sense. 1

1 Long since writing the above, an even grosser imbecility has been perpetrated. One who ought to have known better tried to improve the Tree of Life by turning the Serpent of Wisdom upside down! Yet he could not even make his scheme symmetrical: his little remaining good sense revolted at the supreme atrocities. Yet he succeeded in reducing the whole Magical Alphabet to nonsense, and shewing that he had never understood its real meaning.

[This was Charles Stansfeld Jones, already in the throes of egomania that finally not only kept him so deeply in the Qliphoth that, appropriately, he joined the Roman Church near the end of his life. Let the dead bury their dead]

The absurdity of any such disturbance of the arrangement of the Paths is evident to any sober student from such examples as the following. Binah, the Supernal Understanding, is connected with Tiphereth, the Human Consciousness, by Zain, Gemini, the Oracles of the Gods, or the Intuition. That is, the attribution represents a psychological fact: to replace it by The Devil is either humour or plain idiocy.

[“Unless, of course, you are a Jerry Falwell, or a Jesse Helms, or a Ronald Reagan, or a Romish “pope”. Then it is qliphotic obsession or evil malice. Please notice that the point of all this is simply that the Qabalah must be tested by its practical consonance with facts; not vice-versa!”]

Again, the card "Fortitude", Leo, balances Majesty and Mercy with Strength and Severity: what sense is there in putting "Death", the Scorpion, in its stead? There are twenty other mistakes in the new wonderful illuminated-from-on-high attribution; the student can therefore be sure of twenty more laughs if he cares to study it.

[The basic motivation of “Achad” in doing this was to argue for his being an Ipsissimus because he was a Neophyte, since “Kether is in Malkuth, Malkuth is in Kether, but after another manner”. It was a “way” of bypassing the need to reach the Grade of Magus, and thus being “better than the Teacher” without working for it! This kind of “keeping-your-cake-while-eating-it” syndrome is not as amusing as it may seem. Millions of people were barbarously slaughtered for a thousand years because the Romish “popes” considered themselves one better than Dionysus; not a few Jews (and Communists and Gypsies – but those are never mentioned) were slaughtered by the Nazis because Hitler thought himself better than Therion; and nowadays millions of Arabs are being slaughtered by the Zionists because Zionists think, or pretend to think, that they have a “divine right” to Palestine, to say nothing of the rest of the Middle East.]

A synopsis of the grades of the A∴A∴ as illustrative of the Magical Hierarchy in Man is given in Appendix 2 "One Star in Sight." This should be read before proceeding with the chapter. The subject is very difficult. To deal with it in full is entirely beyond the limits of this small treatise.


All these letters of the magical alphabet — referred to above — are like so many names on a map. Man himself is a complete microcosm. Few other beings have this balanced perfection. Of course every sun, every planet, may have beings similarly constituted. 1

1 Equally, of course, we have no means of knowing what we really are. We are limited to symbols. And it is certain that all our sense-perceptions give only partial aspects of their objects. Sight, for instance, tells us very little about solidity, weight, composition, electrical character, thermal conductivity, etc., etc...

[And when it does tell us something about them, it is not the sense of sight itself that gives us this information, but our previous personal or cultural experience with the things seen.]

It says nothing at all about the very existence of such vitally important ideas as Heat, Hardness, and so on. The impression which the mind combines from the senses can never claim to be accurate or complete. We have indeed learnt that nothing is in itself what it seems to be to us. But when we speak of dealing with the planets in Magick, the reference is usually not to the actual planets, but to parts of the earth which are of the nature attributed to these planets. Please understand that they are of a nature attributed to the planets; it is merely a convenient symbolic correspondence. Whether it actually corresponds with astronomical facts is still a matter for decades, perhaps centuries, of practical research by trained observers. Thus, when we say that Nakhiel is the "Intelligence" of the Sun, we do not mean that he lives in the Sun, but only that he has a certain rank and character; and although we can invoke him, we do not necessarily mean that he exists in the same sense of the word in which our butcher exists.

This kind of reservation is extremely confusing to rudimentary intellects such as most beginners possess; and it may even weaken the initial capacity of the serious student to invoke Nakhiel – or any other – with success. During a thousand years magicians performed such invocations in the firm belief that Nakhiel (or any other) actually came from the sun (or from any other celestial body) when called. Of course, during a thousand years they also believed that the sun revolved around the Earth; some may even have believed that this was the best of all possible worlds, except perhaps when, tied to stakes, they saw the flames being started amidst the applause of the rabble. But since often such simpleton “magicians” were the ones starting the flames, rather than the wretches at the receiving end of the stake, Crowley's attitude of resolute skeptism is much safer for everybody on the long run, and does not dismay those exceptional intellects which, while perceiving the relativity of all those correspondences and concepts, are able to realize that the fact that things are relative does not make them less true within their universe of discourse, provided this universe of discourse is coherent with itself. It will probably remain a matter of incomprehension for people like Jerry Falwell, Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan, Zionist rabbis and Romish “popes” for centuries to come that although “irrational”, “unreal” and “infinite” mathematical expressions are irrational, unreal, or infinite, a multiplicity of rational, real and finite things extremely useful to our species – and even to other species – can be accomplished using them. Perhaps people like Jerry Falwell, Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan, and even Zionist rabbis and Romish “popes” have a right to exist; but they have no right to infect us with their stupidity, or to force us to conform with it.

When we "conjure Nakhiel to visible appearance," it may be that our process resembles creation — or, rather imagination — more nearly than it does calling-forth. The aura of a man is called the "magical mirror of the universe"; and, so far as any one can tell, nothing exists outside of this mirror. It is at least convenient to represent the whole as if it were subjective. It leads to less confusion. And, as a man is a perfect microcosm, 1

1 He is this only by definition. The universe may contain an infinite variety of worlds inaccessible to human apprehension. Yet, for this very reason, they do not exist for the purposes of the argument. Man has, however, some instruments of knowledge; we may, therefore, define the Macrocosm as the totality of things possible to his perception. As evolution develops those instruments, the Macrocosm and the Microcosm extend; but they always maintain their mutual relation. Neither can possess any meaning except in terms of the other. Our "discoveries" are exactly as much of ourselves as they are of Nature. America and Electricity did, in a sense, exist before we were aware of them; but they are even now no more than incomplete ideas, expressed in symbolic terms of a series of relations between two sets of inscrutable phenomena. it is perfectly easy to re-model one's conception at any moment.

Now, this last statement is of the utmost importance to whoever would follow the Method of Θελημα. It is, indeed, difficult to understand and even incomprehensible to a dogmatic religionist, particularly Christists. Why (they would say) should it be perfectly easy to remodel one's conception? Is not a human being a permanent and static thing? Is not the cosmos unchangeable? Are not Good and Evil and all things perennial absolutes?... But being human is not being rigid. Within the limits of belonging to the human species, one can change, one can adapt, one can evolve. Nor are the species limits fixed absolutes: mutations happen at random (and at times they may happen purposefully- in one sense, this what Initiation means) both at the individual and at the specific levels. New species constantly appear - and their founding members are usually mutations from other species. The cosmos, far from being unchangeable, is in continuous flux. Nothing stands still except in relation to itself; and if you to include more things in your consciousness than that one thing you once thought was you, the entire microcosm must be readjusted each time you add a new factor to your personal equation. Hence the Fool, or Juggler. The more complex your consciousness becomes, the more encompassing it becomes; the more movement there is in it, the more flux, the more change, the more rhythm, the more dancing. Far from being static, life is dynamic. Even the apparent solidity of matter is a convenient illusion of the senses (it simplifies the process of awareness); were we to believe it “real” for one moment, modern science would be as impossible again as it was for a thousand years. Psychic stability depends on balanced change; and psychic growth demands Adjustment. It thus that AL – the Juggler and the Dancer conjoined- are the very root of the Formula of the Aeon.

Now there is a traditional correspondence, which modern experiment has shown to be fairly reliable. There is a certain natural connexion between certain letters, words, numbers, gestures, shapes, perfumes and so on, so that any idea or (as we might call it) "spirit", may be composed or called forth by the use of those things which are harmonious with it, and express particular parts of its nature. These correspondences have been elaborately mapped in the Book 777 in a very convenient and compendious form. It will be necessary for the student to make a careful study of this book in connexion with some actual rituals of Magick, for example, that of the evocation of Taphtatharath printed in Equinox I, III, pages 170-190,...

This page number reference is to the first edition.

...where he will see exactly why these things are to be used. Of course, as the student advances in knowledge by experience he will find a progressive subtlety in the magical universe corresponding to his own; for let it be said yet again! not only is his aura a magical mirror of the universe, but the universe is a magical mirror of his aura.

It is for this reason that psychic stasis makes growth, not only of the self but of science - and consequently of true religiousity - impossible. The unknown is a frighthening thing - to cowards and weaklings. Cf. AL i 28 - 31, ii 70 - 72, iii 17, 57.

In this chapter we are only able to give a very thin outline of magical theory — faint pencilling by weak and wavering fingers — for this subject may almost be said to be co-extensive with one's whole knowledge.

The knowledge of exoteric science is comically limited by the fact that we have no access, except in the most indirect way, to any other celestial body than our own.

This has been minutely changed by Russian and American exploration of space, since the purpose has been primarily military on both sides, to the chagrin of scientists on both sides. If one third of the money the Reagan administration plans to spend on its insane "Star Wars" project were spent on establishing colonies on the Moon and on Mars, and on sending robot probes to the other planets of the system, there would still be enough money left to finance research to end all diseases and to prolong human life, instead of shortening it. But the true purpose of the Reagan administration's project is to make it possible for Reagan's hidden backers - most of them oligarchic morons - to be paid by the average American citizen along the lines of two thousand dollars or so for a screw, or three thousand dollars or so for a nail.

In the last few years, the semi-educated have got an idea that they know a great deal about the universe, and the principal ground for their fine opinion of themselves is usually the telephone or the airship.

Now, of course, one can include television, guided missiles and the several types of atom bombs on the list.

It is pitiful to read the bombastic twaddle about progress, which journalists and others, who wish to prevent men from thinking, put out for consumption.

Actually, the blame should be laid at the door of publishers and editors, not of journalists, who just follow orders or else. However, this defense does not work Adolf Eichman, although it seems to have worked for General Westmoreland and Ariel Sharon.

We know infinitesimally little of the material universe. Our detailed knowledge is so contemptibly minute, that it is hardly worth reference, save that our shame may spur us to increased endeavour.

Naturally, this presupposes that we are not only bright enough to be aware of our ignorance, but brave enough to want to decrease it.

(1) Knowledge is, moreover, an impossible conception. All propositions come ultimately back to "A is A".

Such knowledge (1) as we have got is of a very general and abstruse, of a philosophical and almost magical character. This consists principally of the conceptions of pure mathematics. It is, therefore, almost legitimate to say that pure mathematics is our link with the rest of the universe and with "God".

Now the conceptions of Magick are themselves profoundly mathematical. The whole basis of our theory is the Qabalah, which corresponds to mathematics and geometry. The method of operation in Magick is based on this, in very much the same way as the laws of mechanics are based on mathematics. So far, therefore as we can be said to possess a magical theory of the universe, it must be a matter solely of fundamental law, with a few simple and comprehensive propositions stated in very general terms.

It should be remarked that most profance scientists are aware of this limitation and tolerant towards it; their complaint against Magicians, Yogis and mystics in general refers to the difficulty in reproducing our results, and therefore checking our alleged discoveries. But since it quite often takes a lifetime of effort to produce one significant Magickal or mystical result, their arguments are as futile as they are unanswerable. The only solution will be that, thanks to Crowley, the general theory is now openly available to the public (established cults, particularly Christism, notwithstanding). In each generation more scientists will dabble in Magick and Mysticism, and with each generation the mass of reports will grow. Furthermore, the species itself will grow in genetically inherited awareness of these matters. Cf. LXV v 52 - 56.

I might expend a life-time in exploring the details of one plane, just as an explorer might give his life to one corner of Africa, or a chemist to one subgroup of compounds. Each such detailed piece of work may be very valuable, but it does not as a rule throw light on the main principles of the universe. Its truth is the truth of one angle. It might even lead to error, if some inferior person were to generalize from too few facts.

Imagine an inhabitant of Mars who wished to philosophise about the earth, and had nothing to go by but the diary of some man at the North Pole! But the work of every explorer, on whatever branch of the Tree of Life the caterpillar he is after may happen to be crawling, is immensely helped by a grasp of general principles. Every magician, therefore, should study the Holy Qabalah.

The serious reader may understand now one of the reasons why the Nazis had Crowley's books burned, Mr. Germer, their translator, put in jail, and the O.T.O. outlawed in the Third Reich. The serious reader may also understand how stupid and malicious the people who equate Thelemites with Nazis are. As stupid or as malicious as those who might want to equate Thelemites with Zionists, by the way.

Once he has mastered the main principles, he will find his work grow easy.

"Solvitur ambulando" which does not mean: "Call the Ambulance!"

It means, roughly, cross your bridges when you get to them.


There is a single main definition of the object of all magical Ritual. It is the uniting of the Microcosm with the Macrocosm. The Supreme and Complete Ritual is therefore the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel;  1.

1.  See the "Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage"; and Liber 418, 8th Aethyr, Liber Samekh; see Appendix 3.

or, in the language of Mysticism, Union with God.   2.

2.  The difference between these operations is more of theoretical than of practical importance.

All other magical Rituals are particular cases of this general principle, and the only excuse for doing them is that it sometimes occurs that one particular portion of the microcosm is so weak that its imperfection of impurity would vitiate the Macrocosm of which it is the image, Eidolon, or Reflexion.

This statement is not precise and may confuse beginners. It is not the objective Macrocosm that may be impure or imperfect: the objective Macrocosm contains all things, therefore they are all balanced against each other. It is the subjective Macrocosm that may become vitiated, since the Microcosm grows by visualizing the Macrocosm in ever more complex and encompassing manner, and adjusting itself to this new concept. Oliver W. Holmes's poem, "The Chambered Nautilus", refers to this process of continuous growth. In Liber VII the distinction between objective and subjective Marocosms is made by the use of "universe", with lower case "u", to refer to the latter.

For example, God is above sex; and therefore neither man nor woman as such can be said fully to understand, much less to represent, God. It is therefore incumbent on the male magician to cultivate those female virtues in which he is deficient, and this task he must of course accomplish without in any way impairing his virility.

Exactly the converse applies to female magicians, of course. Such training may, and in some cases should, include the practice of homosexuality. It should, however, be remarked that to be a woman is not to be a "queen", and to be a man is not to be a "butch"! This difficult subject is further clarified in this book; serious students should also consult our other publications, and in particular Equinox V 4, "Sex and Religion".

It will then be lawful for a magician to invoke Isis, and identify himself with her; if he fail to do this, his apprehension of the Universe when he attains Samadhi will lack the conception of maternity. The result will be a metaphysical and — by corollary — ethical limitation in the Religion which he founds. Judaism and Islam are striking example of this failure.

To take another example, the ascetic life which devotion to magick so often involves argues a poverty of nature, a narrowness, a lack of generosity.

He does not mean that an ascetic life is often needed by the devotee of magick; he means that devotees of magick often practice asceticism under the delusion that it is necessary for results. Actually, athletics, not asceticism, is the key here. The "nature" to which he refers is one's personal nature. The next sentence uses Nature capitalized, to mean what scientists understand by the term:

Nature is infinitely prodigal — not one in a million seeds ever comes to fruition. Whoso fails to recognise this, let him invoke Jupiter.  1

1.  There are much deeper considerations in which it appears that "Everything that is, is right". They are set forth elsewhere; we can only summarise them here by saying that the survival of the fittest is their upshot.

[To a Christist, especially a theologian, this note will be totally unintelligible. It hold deep irony - and the deepest wisdom - in that he seems to agree with Thomas Aqinas in one breath, yet praises Charles Darwin in the other. To Christist dichnotomy, the two men are incompatible and represent irreconcilable viewpoints. But Cf. the "Curse of the Aethyrs" in Liber 418!]

[The key, of course, is that the Macrocosm is always in flux and the Microcosm is always growing. If it is healthy! This is not the Christist conception at all.]

The danger of ceremonial magick — the sublest and deepest danger — is this: that the magician will naturally tend to invoke that partial being which most strongly appeals to him, so that his natural excess in that direction will be still further exaggerated. Let him, before beginning his Work, endeavour to map out his own being, and arrange his invocations in such a way as to redress the balance.  2.

2.  The ideal method of doing this is given in Liber 913 (Equinox VII). See also Liber CXI Aleph.

This, of course, should have been done in a preliminary fashion during the preparation of the weapons and furniture of the Temple.

Cf. Book Four Part II, "Magick and Mysticism", for these.

To consider in a more particular manner this question of the Nature of Ritual, we may suppose that he finds himself lacking in that perception of the value of Life and Death, alike of individuals and of races, which is characteristic of Nature. He has perhaps a tendency to perceive the "first noble truth" uttered by Buddha, that Everything is sorrow. Nature, it seems, is a tragedy. He has perhaps even experienced the great trance called Sorrow. He should then consider whether there is not some Deity who expresses this Cycle, and yet whose nature is joy. He will find what he requires in Dionysus.

There are three main methods of invoking any Deity.

The "First Method" consists of devotion to that Deity, and, being mainly mystical in character, need not be dealt with in this place, especially as a perfect instruction exists in Liber 175 ("See" Appendix VI).

The "Second method"is the straight forward ceremonial invocation. It is the method which was usually employed in the Middle Ages. Its advantage is its directness, its disadvantage its crudity. The "Goetia" gives clear instruction in this method, and so do many other rituals, white and black. We shall presently devote some space to a clear exposition of this Art.

In the case of Bacchus, however, we may roughly outline the procedure.

This because he is going to give the invocation of Bacchus as an example of using the Third Method, and wishes the reader to be able to compare the two procedures.

We find that the symbolism of Tiphareth expresses the nature of Bacchus. It is then necessary to construct a Ritual of Tiphareth. Let us open the Book 777; we shall find in line 6 of each column the various parts of our required apparatus. Having ordered everything duly, we shall exalt the mind by repeated prayers or conjurations to the highest conception of the God, until, in one sense or another of the word, He appears to us and floods our consciousness with the light of His divinity.

The "Third Method is the Dramatic," perhaps the most attractive of all; certainly it is so to the artist's temperament, for it appeals to his imagination through his aesthetic sense.

Its disadvantage lies principally in the difficulty of its performance by a single person. But it has the sanction of the highest antiquity, and is probably the most useful for the foundation of a religion. It is the method of Catholic Christianity, and consists in the dramatization of the legend of the God. The Bacchae of Euripides is a magnificent example of such a Ritual; so also, through in a less degree, is the Mass. We may also mention many of the degrees in Freemasonry, particularly the third. The 5 °= 6 Ritual published in No. III of the Equinox is another example.

In the case of Bacchus, one commemorates firstly his birth of a mortal mother who has yielded her treasure-house to the Father of All,

In this case, Jupiter.

of the jealousy and rage excited by this incarnation, and of the heavenly protection afforded to the infant. Next should be commemorated the journeying westward upon an ass.

Symbol of Priapus, the God of virility and generation.

Now comes the great scene of the drama: the gentle, exquisite youth with his following (chiefly composed of women)

One of the reasons why Bacchus was unpopular with the Roman Establishment: too many equivalents of modern feminists in the worship!... In fact, the alternative name by which Bacchus was called, Liber (the Free), gave rise to the term "libertine".

seems to threaten the established order of things, and that Established Order takes steps to put an end to the upstart.

Here he makes one of those subtle puns characteristic of all his work. By the capitalized "Established Order" he means what we nowadays call the "Establishment".

We find Dionysus confronting the angry King, not with defiance, but with meekness; yet with a subtle confidence, an underlying laughter. His forehead is wreathed with vine tendrils. He is an effeminate figure with those broad leaves clustered upon his brow? But those leaves hide horns. King Pentheus, representative of respectability, 1.

1. There is a much deeper interpretation in which Pentheus is himself "The Dying God". See my "Good Hunting!" and Dr. J.G.Frazer's "Golden Bough".

[In this interpretation, Pentheus is the candidate under the "Dying God" formula, and Dionsysus-Bacchus is the Hierophant. This was the ancient Egyptian secret key to the Ritual, and in this higher and purer form the Ritual still is a basic Christian Ritual in this Aeon. Cf. AL i 49 again! Do not confuse Christian with Christist: the Nicene interpretation of the Mystery Play was always a blasphemy and a profanation.]

is destroyed by his pride.

Not by his pride: by his arrogant intolerance. Crowley, even in the Twenties, was still scarred enough by his early Christist conditioning not to understand the difference between pride, which is a Thelemic virtue, and vanity, which is the mark of the worst kind of fool: the fool who rejects what is unusual, or new, or better, and therefore cannot become wise.

He goes out into the mountains to attack the women who have followed Bacchus, the youth whom he has mocked, scourged, and put in chains, yet who has only smiled; and by those women, in their divine madness, he is torn to pieces.

It has already seemed impertinent to say so much when Walter Pater has told the story with such sympathy and insight. We will not further transgress by dwelling upon the identity of this legend with the course of Nature, its madness, its prodigality, its intoxication, its joy, and above all its sublime persistence through the cycles of Life and Death. The pagan reader must labour to understand this in Pater's "Greek Studies", and the Christian reader will recognise it, incident for incident, in the story of Christ.

The Christist reader, however, especially if a theologian will always refuse to recognize it: such recognition would mean the end of Christist imposture. The Golden Bough is in the "Index Expurgatorius" of the Vatican to this day.

This legend is but the dramatization of Spring.

The magician who wishes to invoke Bacchus by this method must therefore arrange a ceremony in which he takes the part of Bacchus, undergoes all His trials, and emerges triumphant from beyond death.

Or, if he or she be advanced enough, let him or her take the part of Pentheus.

He must, however, be warned against mistaking the symbolism. In this case, for example, the doctrine of individual immortality has been dragged in, to the destruction of truth. It is not that utterly worthless part of man, his individual consciousness as John Smith, which defies death — that consciousness which dies and is reborn in every thought. That which persists (if anything persist) is his real John Smithiness, a quality of which he was probably never conscious in his life.

This is the quality in oneself of which one becomes progressively more aware as one proceeds along the Path either of Magick or of Mysticism.

See "The Book of Lies", Liber 333, for several sermons to this effect. Caps. Alpha, Delta, Eta, Iota-Epsilon, Iota-Sigma, Iota-Eta, Kappa-Alpha, Kappa-Eta, in particular. The reincarnation of the Khu or magical Self is another matter entirely, too abstruse to discuss in this elementary manual.

[Cf. Liber Aleph, Chs. 192 - 193.]

Even that does not persist unchanged. It is always growing. The Cross is a barren stick, and the petals of the Rose fall and decay; but in the union of the Cross and the Rose is a constant succession of new lives.

See "The Book of Lies", Liber 333, for several sermons to this effect. The whole theory of Death must be sought in Liber CXI Aleph.

Without this union, and without this death of the individual, the cycle would be broken.

A chapter will be consecrated to removing the practical difficulties of this method of Invocation. It will doubtless have been noted by the acumen of the reader that in the great essentials these three methods are one. In each case the magician identifies himself with the Deity invoked. To "invoke" is to "call in", just as to "evoke" is to "call forth". This is the essential difference between the two branches of Magick. In invocation, the macrocosm floods the consciousness. In evocation, the magician, having become the macrocosm, creates a microcosm. You "invoke" a God into the Circle. You "evoke" a Spirit into the Triangle. In the first method identity with the God is attained by love and by surrender, by giving up or suppressing all irrelevant (and illusionary) parts of yourself. It is the weeding of a garden.

In the second method identity is attained by paying special attention to the desired part of yourself: positive, as the first method is negative. It is the potting-out and watering of a particular flower in the garden, and the exposure of it to the sun.

In the third, identity is attained by sympathy. It is very difficult for the ordinary man to lose himself completely in the subject of a play or of a novel; but for those who can do so, this method is unquestionably the best.

Observe: each element in this cycle is of equal value. It is wrong to say triumphantly "Mors janua vitae", unless you add, with equal triumph, "Vita janua mortis". To one who understands this chain of the Aeons from the point of view alike of the sorrowing Isis and of the triumphant Osiris, not forgetting their link in the destroyer Apophis, there remains no secret veiled in Nature. He cries that name of God which throughout History has been echoed by one religion to another, the infinite swelling paean I.A.O.! 1.

This name, I.A.O. is qabalistically identical with that of THE BEAST and with His number 666, so that he who invokes the former invokes also the latter. Also with AIWAZ and the Number 93. See Chapter V.

Actually, the correct formula remained secret until the end of the past Aeon. The triumpant "Osiris" is not the slain Asar, but Asar and Isis conjoined - Asar+Isis. This was the the name the Egyptians gave the soul of the deceased, whether the body of the mummy was male or female. "Osiris" is a mispronunciation. The risen soul is, therefore, neither male or female: it is both at once, the Heavenly Androgyne. Cf. Crowley's second paragraph of this chapter. Blavatsky prophesied that in this Aeon, the Aeon of the "Sixth Race" - note the number! - humankind would become androgyne. It is this secret, now openly revealed, she was hinting at. The Holy Books of Θελημα constantly refer to this need to balance the masculine and the feminine in oneself. Cf. for instance, Liber LXV ii 3, 7 - 16, iii 40 - 50, iv 27, 52 - 53, 60, v 8 - 10, 44; Liber VII i 49. Also, and especially, see Crowley's analysis of the new form of I.A.O. in Chapter V.

(Note by David Bersson) Yet, my interpretation of the Holy Books is from another school of thought. It is without a doubt that two schools of thought might be equally true for a time, and yet with time only one Child will prevail over the other who would arise. I have no doubt that such a magical Child will arise and straighten the entire mess out with regards to Blavatsky's theories on the sixth race and whether the human race is moving toward only one sex which blends male and female. We are divided for love's sake for the chance of union has a multitude of interpretations – and one sex hasn't been the way I personally have perceived it. Yet, we must otherwise keep an open mind that both Mr. Motta and Blavatsky (and even A.C) are incorrect. My suspicious skepticism might eventually shed some light on where the truth would eventually direct us. Two schools of thought cannot be simultaneously true forever. The factor infinite and unknown is ever ready to bring you back in touch with reality – sometimes with a very strong strike of the Sword of surprise from the files of infinite possibility of interpretation of a Class A document. Naturally, a bi sexual, a lesbian or a homosexual will smile with delight at Blavatsky's & Mr. Motta's interpretation, and they are equally in danger of bias as the heterosexual. We can only keep an open mind and try not to permit our sexual preferences be a factor in our observations of where the truth would be. After all, I could naturally be accused as a heterosexual of being bias to these insights and yet I really am looking at the Book of the Law – trying to come closer to it; and move such metaphysical perceptions to a new level of magical link and interpretation.

Note by David Bersson: As for the new formula of I.A.O. in Chapter V, again, neither V.I.A.O.V. nor I.A.O. appear anywhere in the Book of the Law. Yet, Amen does and its analysis is absent from any of my Superior’s or A.C.'s treatise. Therefore, in spite of the sensuous stimulation that such formulas awaken it is best to work those words in the Book of the Law into formula which would align us with a greater perfection to Liber Legis. Confer Liber AL, Chapter II, verse 49. The words, “This is of the 4”, is showing plainly that the Tetragrammaton for this Aeon is “This” and “Amen”. It's possible that these two Tetragrammatons have a basis for the growth of the Babe in the Egg for the male and female. This = male and Amen = female or the two formula need to be added together for a Greater Operation or both. Gematria can be worked out first and then it all can be translated into a ritual – either of sex magick, a ceremony for the pregnant Priestess, or a magical child brought forth into manifestation on this plane or another plane.


Before discussing magical formulae in detail, one may observe that most rituals are composite, and contain many formulae which must be harmonized into one.

The following references to the formulae of the Elemental Weapons should be studied in connection with the explanation of the mystical and spiritual meaning of those weapons in Magick and Mysticism. Many people find Book Four Part III difficult to understand. This is because they think of Magick as a means to material power or wealth, instead of a means of spiritual evolution or, if your prefer, expansion of consciousness. If you have the right attitude the book may be difficult to study, but no more difficult to understand than a treatise on algebra or the calculus is to a student. It is simply a matter of application. If you do not have the right attitude you will not understand the book any more than person thinking that a treatise on algebra or the calculus was actually a list in cipher of the location of hidden treasures would understand what her or she was looking was looking at.

The first formula is that of the Wand. In the sphere of the principle which the magician wishes to invoke, he rises from point to point in a perpendicular line, and then descends; or else, beginning at the top, he comes directly down, "invoking" first the god of that sphere by "devout supplication" 1.

1. Beware, O brother, lest thou bend the knee! Liber CCXX teaches the proper attitude. See also Liber CCCLXX. Infra, furthermore, there is special instruction: Chapter XV and elsewhere.

that He may deign to send the appropriate Archangel. He then "beseeches" the Archangel to send the Angel or Angels of that sphere to his aid; he "conjures" this Angel or Angels to send the intelligence in question, and this intelligence he will "conjure with authority" to compel the obedience of the spirit and his manifestation. To this spirit he "issues commands".

It will be seen that this is a formula rather of evocation than of invocation, and for the latter the procedure, though apparently the same, should be conceived of in a different manner, which brings it under another formula, that of Tetragrammaton. The essence of the force invoked is one, but the "God" represents the germ or beginning of the force, the "Archangel" its development; and so on, until, with the "Spirit", we have the completion and perfection of that force.

The formula of the Cup is not so well suited for Evocations, and the magical Hierarchy is not involved in the same way; for the Cup being passive rather than active, it is not fitting for the magician to use it in respect of anything but the Highest. In practical working it consequently means little but prayer, and that prayer the "prayer of silence". 1.

Cf. Liber VII v 46.

1. Considerations which might lead to a contrary conclusion are unsuited to this treatise. See Liber LXXXI.

[This is his novel Moonchild. The type of operation described in it, however, has never been known to yield results as satisfactory as people who undertake it would desire. It is too limiting and limited. General (O.T.O. type) or particular (A∴A∴ type) cultivation of the species may not seem more immediately rewarding, but is far more so on the long run. Cf. Liber 418, Aethyr 12, for the latter type.]

The formula of the dagger is again unsuitable for either purpose, since the nature of the dagger is to criticise, to destroy, to disperse; and all true magical ceremonies tend to concentration. The dagger will therefore appear principally in the banishings, preliminary to the ceremony proper.

Or after the ceremony, to evaluate the results. This is at least as important as the banishings themselves.

The formula of the pantacle is again of no particular use; for the pantacle is inert.

At the time he had not yet fully developed the dynamic conception of the Pantacle as a Whirling Disk which we find in The Book of Thoth, but the footnote that follows indicates he was already at work on it. The Formulae of the Elemental Weapons are so fully and beautifully developed in The Book of Thoth that quite possibly centuries will pass before additions or alterations to what is there written on the subject need be made. The serious student should refer to that book as much as to Magick and Mysticism while studying Book Four Part III.

In fine, the formula of the wand is the only one with which we need more particularly concern ourselves.

Later, these remarks are amplified, and to some extent modified.

Now in order to invoke any being, it is said by Hermes Trismegistus that the magi employ three methods. The first, for the vulgar, is that of supplication. In this the crude objective theory is assumed as true. There is a god named A, whom you, B, proceed to petition, in exactly the same sense as a boy might ask his father for pocket-money.

This usually only works if the supplicant is truly childlike. Especially if asking for money!...

The second method involves a little more subtlety, inasmuch as the magician endeavours to harmonize himself with the nature of the god, and to a certain extent exalts himself, in the course of the ceremony; but the third method is the only one worthy of our consideration.

Wiggling the carrot in front of the donkey's nose, but with most commendable intentions. One realizes what scorn he must have felt for sorcerers and the pursuit of Magick for material profit in general.

This consists of a real identification of the magician and the god. Note that to do this in perfection involves the attainment of a species of Samadhi: and this fact alone suffices to link irrefragably magick with mysticism.

Let us describe the magical method of identification. The symbolic form of the god is first studied with as much care as an artist would bestow upon his model, so that a perfectly clear and unshakeable mental picture of the god is presented to the mind. Similarly, the attributes of the god are enshrined in speech, and such speeches are committed perfectly to memory. The invocation will then begin with a prayer to the god, commemorating his physical attributes, always with profound understanding of their real meaning.

This is especially important with divinities that combine animal and human characteristics in their rendition, or who traditionally can appear under certain animal forms, like the Egyptian gods and goddesses. In this sense, the Greek (and then the Roman) deities are much closer to humanity (as we understand it); but even with them the physical characteristics are symbolic. The soft mature beauty of Venus, the stately mature beauty of Ceres, the austere young beauty of Minerva, the sinewy young manhood of Mars, the jovial maturity of Jupiter, the enormous phallus of Priapus and so on have a symbolic meaning that must be kept in mind. Those physical characteristics are visual extensions, so to speak, of the qualities those gods and goddesses are supposed to radiate into the life of humankind.

In the "second part" of the invocation, the voice of the god is heard, and His characteristic utterance is recited.

In the "third portion" of the invocation the magician asserts the identity of himself with the god. In the "fourth portion" the god is again invoked, but as if by Himself, as if it were the utterance of the will of the god that He should manifest in the magician. At the conclusion of this, the original object of the invocation is stated.

Thus, in the invocation of Thoth which is to be found in the rite of Mercury (Equinox I, VI) and in Liber LXIV, the first part begins with the words "Majesty of Godhead, wisdom-crowned TAHUTI, Thee, Thee I invoke. Oh Thou of the Ibis head, Thee, Thee I invoke"; and so on. At the conclusion of this a mental image of the God, infinitely vast and infinitely splendid, should be perceived, in just the same sense as a man might see the Sun.

The second part begins with the words:

"Behold! I am yesterday, today, and the brother of tomorrow."

The magician should imagine that he is hearing this voice, and at the same time that he is echoing it, that it is true also of himself. This thought should so exalt him that he is able at its conclusion to utter the sublime words which open the third part: "Behold! he is in me, and I am in him." At this moment, he loses consciousness of his mortal being; he is that mental image which he previously but saw. This consciousness is only complete as he goes on: "Mine is the radiance wherein Ptah floateth over his firmament. I travel upon high. I tread upon the firmament of Nu. I raise a flashing flame with the lightnings of mine eye: ever rushing on in the splendour of the daily glorified Ra — giving my life to the treaders of Earth!" This thought gives the relation of God and Man from the divine point of view.

Not just of God and Humankind, but of God and all that tread upon the Earth, or crawl on it or beneath its surface. The expansion of divine consciousness in our species (cf. LXV v 5) has created the concept of ecology and stimulated the conservation movement in every part of the globe.

The magician is only recalled to himself at the conclusion of the third part; in which occur, almost as if by accident, the words: "Therefore do all things obey my word." Yet in the fourth part, which begins: "Therefore do thou come forth unto me", it is not really the magician who is addressing the God; it is the God who hears the far-off utterance of the magician. If this invocation has been correctly performed, the words of the fourth part will sound distant and strange. It is surprising that a dummy (so the magus now appears to Himself) should be able to speak!

The very first Initiatic Trance, by expanding our consciousness, shows us the insignificance of that which we were deluded enough to think we were. Paradoxes abound in magickal or mystical work, for balanced psychic growth (or Initiation) depends on the solution of apparent antinomies, such as that we are creatures that are born, live and die, and yet we are (or may become) That which endures throughout the ages. This explains the conduct of adepts that often puzzles the multitude, and the strange laugh that comes from their lips at times when homo saps would be crying bitterly and invoking his or her Parental Image to the rescue. Some Christists (especially those descended from the inquisitors) instinctively know that laugh as "the Devil's laugh", and dread the sound of it. It reminds them of their useless atrocities, and foretells their ultimate defeat. Cf. Liber Aleph, Chs. 188 - 191; also, the end of Olaf Stapledon's Odd John.

The Egyptian Gods are so complete in their nature, so perfectly spiritual and yet so perfectly material, that this one invocation is sufficient. The God bethinks him that the spirit of Mercury should now appear to the magician; and it is so. This Egyptian formula is therefore to be preferred to the Hierarchical formula of the Hebrews with its tedious prayers, conjurations, and curses.

It will be noted, however, that in this invocation of Thoth which we have summarized, there is another formula contained, the Reverberating or Reciprocating formula, which may be called the formula of Horus and Harpocrates. The magician addresses the God with an active projection of his will, and then becomes passive while the God addresses the Universe. In the fourth part he remains silent, listening, to the prayer which arises therefrom.

The formula of this invocation of Thoth may also be classed under Tetragrammaton. The first part is fire, the eager prayer of the magician, the second water, in which the magician listens to, or catches the reflection of, the god. The third part is air, the marriage of fire and water; the god and the man have become one; while the fourth part corresponds to earth, the condensation or materialization of those three higher principles.

With regard to the Hebrew formulae, it is doubtful whether most magicians who use them have ever properly grasped the principles underlying the method of identity.

They have thousands of years of conditioning inhibiting them: the "Old Testament" shows that Jews not only were carefully trained to be totally servile towards their God, they were also originally servile towards their God, they were also originally servile by nature. To the average Jew, God is there, and he, the Jew, is here, and never the twain shall meet except on the level of thundering whitebeard and cowering prostrated slave. Jews compensate for this by considering themselves superior to everybody else. But in a basically servile God-worshipper relationship, identifying yourself with God is unthinkable. Many people have been stoned to death or burned alive or put away in insane asylums in Judeo-Christist societies for daring to say that they are God.

No passage which implies it occurs to mind, and the extant rituals certainly give no hint of such a conception, or of any but the most personal and material views of the nature of things. They seem to have thought that there was an Archangel named Ratziel in exactly the same sense as there was a statesman named Richelieu, an individual being living in a definite place. He had possibly certain powers of a somewhat metaphysical order — he might be in two places at once, 1.

1. He could do this provided that he can travel with a speed exceeding that of Light, as he does. See A.S. Eddington "Space, Time, and Gravitation". Also: what means "at once"?

for example, though even the possibility of so simple a feat (in the case of spirits)

Simply because the conditions in which time functions are not the same on the subtle planes as they are on the material plane. This interesting fact is in great need of trained and qualified researchers - but then, so is practically everything else in these matters.

seems to be denied by certain passages in extant conjurations which tell the spirit that if he happens to be in chains in a particular place in Hell, or if some other magician is conjuring him so that he cannot come, then let him send a spirit of similar nature, or otherwise avoid the difficultly. But of course so vulgar a conception would not occur to the student of the Qabalah.

His innate modesty in action again. I have known plenty stupid and obstinate students of the Qabalah; and most of them were Jews.

It is just possible that the magi wrote their conjurations on this crude hypothesis in order to avoid the clouding of the mind by doubt and metaphysical speculation.

The mind of the average Jewish Qabalist, that is.

He who became the Master Therion was once confronted by this very difficulty. Being determined to instruct mankind, He sought a simple statement of his object. His will was sufficiently informed by common sense to decide him to teach man "The Next Step", the thing which was immediately above him. He might have called this "God", or "The Higher Self", or "The Augoeides", or "Adi-Buddha", or 61 other things — but He had discovered that these were all one, yet that each one represented some theory of the Universe which would ultimately be shattered by criticism — for He had already passed through the realm of Reason, and knew that every statement contained an absurdity. He therefore said: "Let me declare this Work under this title: 'The obtaining of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel'", because the theory implied in these words is so patently absurd that only simpletons would waste much time in analysing it. It would be accepted as a convention, and no one would incur the grave danger of building a philosophical system upon it.

What Crowley did not realize was that, it being much easier to build a philosophical system on a convention than to research one's own mind and soul, the grave danger may not only be incurred but welcomed. Simpletons are outnumbered by idlers and cowards. To try to place the mystical "Zion", or the "Heavenly Jersusualem", or the "City of God" on any specific geographical location on the material plane is to mock and stunt an ancient and genuine idea that goaded many great human beings into self - improvement, therefore into improving our species.

With this understanding, we may rehabilitate the Hebrew system of invocations. The mind is the great enemy; so, by invoking enthusiastically a person whom we know not to exist, we are rebuking that mind. Yet we should not refrain altogether from philosophising in the light of the Holy Qabalah. We should accept the Magical Hierarchy as a more or less convenient classification of the facts of the Universe as they are known to us; and as our knowledge and understanding of those facts increase, so should we endeavour to adjust our idea of what we mean by any symbol.

At the same time let us reflect that there is a certain definite consensus of experience as to the correlation of the various beings of the hierarchy with the observed facts of Magick. In the simple matter of astral vision, for example, one striking case may be quoted.

Without telling him what it was, the Master Therion once recited as an invocation Sappho's "Ode to Venus" before a Probationer of the A∴A∴ who was ignorant of Greek, the language of the Ode. The disciple then went on an "astral journey," and everything seen by him was without exception harmonious with Venus. This was true down to the smallest detail. He even obtained all the four colour-scales of Venus with absolute correctness. Considering that he saw something like one hundred symbols in all, the odds against coincidence are incalculably great. Such an experience (and the records of the A∴A∴ contain dozens of similar cases) affords proof as absolute as any proof can be in this world of Illusion that the correspondences in Liber 777 really represent facts in Nature.

It suggests itself that this "straightforward" system of magick was perhaps never really employed at all. One might maintain that the invocations which have come down to us are but the ruins of the Temple of Magick. The exorcisms might have been committed to writing for the purpose of memorising them, while it was forbidden to make any record of the really important parts of the ceremony. Such details of Ritual as we possess are meagre and unconvincing, and though much success has been attained in the quite conventional exoteric way both by FRATER PERDURABO and by many of his colleagues, yet ceremonies of this character have always remained tedious and difficult. It has seemed as if the success were obtained almost in spite of the ceremony. In any case, they are the more mysterious parts of the Ritual which have evoked the divine force. Such conjurations as those of the "Goetia" leave one cold, although, notably in the second conjuration, there is a crude attempt to use that formula of Commemoration of which we spoke in the preceding Chapter.


1.  יהוה, the Ineffable Name (Jehovah) of the Hebrews. The four letters refer respectively to the four "elements", Fire, Water, Air, Earth, in the order named.

This formula is of most universal aspect, as all things are necessarily comprehended in it; but its use in a magical ceremony is little understood.

The climax of the formula is in one sense before even the formulation of the Yod. For the Yod is the most divine aspect of the Force — the remaining letters are but a solidification of the same thing. It must be understood that we are here speaking of the whole ceremony considered as a unity, not merely of that formula in which "Yod" is the god invoked,

The beginner should not be confused here. He does not mean that "Yod" is a "god", he means that it stands for a Divine Name according to the arrangement of the Qabalah. Yet, of course, there is a Qabalistic correspondence between Yod and the Hebrew concept of divine force coming into manifestation. For the purposes of using this formula, the Yod could represent any God of any religion. To restrict the Formula merely to Hebrew lore is a rabbinical pedantry.

"He" the Archangel, and so on. In order to understand the ceremony under this formula, we must take a more extended view of the functions of the four weapons than we have hitherto done.

It was his continuous development of this "extended view" that culminated in the masterly synthesis of The Book of Thoth.

The formation of the "Yod" is the formulation of the first creative force, of that father who is called "self-begotten", and unto whom it is said: "Thou has formulated thy Father, and made fertile thy Mother".

The intelligent reader will perceive that according to this definition, the process of Initiation is the creation of a God(dess), or a Human Being, where there only the child of an ape and the grandchild of the blind worm of slime. Cf. LXV iii 9. Initiation and Evolution are, in this sense, synonymous.

The adding of the "He" to the "Yod" is the marriage of that Father to the great co-equal Mother, who is a reflection of Nuit as He is of Hadit. Their union brings forth the son "Vau" who is the heir. Finally the daughter "He" is produced. She is both the twin sister and the daughter of "Vau". 1.

The serious reader, especially if female, should understand clearly that through this symbology a definite psycho - biological process is being described, and that the process applies to all human beings, regardless of their physical sex. It is especially important that feminists, in particular, should understand that this Supernal Pair, Father and Mother, Chokmah and Binah, are co-equals. The suffering of the last five thousand years or so has been due either to women stressing the female in Matriarchy or men stressing the male in Patriarchy. The Thelemic concept is one of balance. Even on the material plane it should be clear that the sexes are complementary: they are specializations of an originally single organism whose choice of sexual differentiation as its method of reproduction was purely an accident of evolution.

1. There is a further mystery herein, far deeper, for initiates.

His mission is to redeem her by making her his bride;

The material reflexion of this spiritual perception has created intense misery in this world, immature men deciding that they must "redeem" some woman from her "depravity" or her financial straits without regard to whether the woman's "depravity" is willed, or whether the straits are a natural consequence of stupidity or sloth. In a very definite sense, the desire to "save a woman from herself" is a manifestation of egoic vanity.

The "Vau" that is being spoken of in the formula is the equivalent of the Initiated Ruach, and the "He final" is the equivalent of the Unitiated Nephesch. The "Son" must first be born before "he" can redeem his unregenerated twin sister, the "Daughter". The serious reader is referred to The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians and to Sex and Religion. The physical body is just an appendage from the Tree at this point, and its physical sex is totally immaterial to the process being described.

the result of this is to set her upon the throne of her mother, and it is only she whose youthful embrace can reawaken the eld of the All-Father.

Thus starting the entire cycle again, but on a higher coil of the Expanding Helix which symbolizes Evolution and the Universe. Else, the operation of this Formula which would be a vicious circle.

In this complex family relationship 1.

1. The formula of Tetragrammaton, as ordinarily understood, ending with the appearance of the daughter, is indeed a degradation.

[This is neither a eulogy of homosexuality nor a gratuitious insult to women, but a hint and reminder to members of a certain esoteric body, of either (or better, any) sex. What he is talking about is a very specialized interpretation of the Formula that has nothing to do with the general symbolism of this Initiation. We cannot get into this further in a book addressed to the public.]

is symbolised the whole course of the Universe.

The Thelemic interpretation of the Formula expressed in our note above, however, is more advanced than the old Rabbinic concept, which made the process of initiation static. Once the eld of the All - Father were awakened, and regeneration complete, the process was at an end, and all was for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Another reason to go back to Palestine and kill more Arabs!

The point is that there is a factor infinite and unknown, and that Progress is eternal. "Build thou ever more stately mansions, O my soul!" The Tree is not static: it is continually growing. Cf. Liber LXV i 62 - 63; ii 3 - 6, 20 - 25; iii 1 - 20, 51 - 56; iv 48 - 51; v 23 - 26, 30 -33, 42, 57, 59 - 60; Liber VII vii 42 - 43.

It will be seen that (after all) the Climax is at the end. It is the second half of the formula which symbolises the Great Work which we are pledged to accomplish. The first step of this is the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, which constitutes the Adept of the Inner Order.

Of the A∴A∴ This is the Son redeeming the Daughter. Cf. The Bagh - i - muattar and The Wake World in Equinox V 4, "Sex and Religion". One might remark, in passing, that the gender symbolism of Liber LXV would have been much clearer to all people, regardless of sex, had Crowley been incarnated as a woman when he set it down; but it might have been less useful to men, and much easier to misinterpret by all.

The re-entry of these twin spouses

Which is to say, this Androgyne (if incarnated in a man's body) or this Gynander (if incarnated in a woman's body). Cf. Liber Lxv v 44 again.

into the womb of the mother is that initiation described in Liber 418, which gives admission to the Inmost Order of the A∴A∴ Of the last step we cannot speak.

By "Inmost Order" he means the S.S.. These initials, incidentally, mean neither Schutzstaffel or Social Security nor, unfortunately, Stella Stevens. They have often been translated as "Silver Star". This is a harmless symbolism, but the true meaning is hidden from any but those who actually attain to that "Inmost Order".

It will now be recognised that to devise a practical magical ceremony to correspond to Tetragrammaton in this exalted sense might be difficult if not impossible. In such a ceremony the Rituals of purification alone might occupy many incarnations.

This does not apply to that very specialized interpretation of the Formula to which he alluded before.

It will be necessary, therefore, to revert to the simpler view of Tetragrammaton, remembering only that the "He" final is the Throne of the Spirit, of the ש of Pentagrammaton.

The basic fact behind the universal religious use of the image of the female as receptive is the cunt. This may stand as an irrefutable defense of Sociobiology. In The Bagh - i - Muattor Crowley created a mystical treatise (that may, incidentally, be studied in conjunction with Liber LXV to much profit) in which he deliberately replaced the cunt with the anus as another receptacle for the phallus, which on its turn is a universal religious symbol of the Creative Principle, in the Qabalah referred to either as Shin or Vau or Yod. Each reference applies to a different manifestation of that Creative Principle. Judeo - Christist societies should be able to appreciate the symbolism of both Liber LXV and the Bagh - i - Muattar better than, say, South Sea islanders, since they are basically patriarchal societies.

The Yod will represent a swift and violent creative energy; following this will be a calmer and more reflective but even more powerful flow of will, the irresistible force of a mighty river. This state of mind will be followed by an expansion of the consciousness; it will penetrate all space, and this will finally undergo a crystallization resplendent with interior light. Such modifications of the original Will may be observed in the course of the invocations when they are properly performed.

The peculiar dangers of each are obvious — that of the first is a flash in the pan — a misfire;

This is usually the result either of few reserves of physical energy or of mistaking a passing enthusiasm for an aspect of one's Will. The first can be prevented by careful athletic training previous to a magical ceremony; the second, unfortunately, often is only known after it happens. An astounding capacity for self - deceit is one of the less endearing our our species's traits.

that of the second, a falling into dreaminess or reverie;

This is most common with people who practised habitual masturbation during their developing years. The cure should include athletic training, of which sexual activity should be a vital part; but it may take years, and the tendency to imagine, rather than to do, may remain throughout the rest of one's life and have to be watched and corrected for all times.

that of the third, loss of concentration.

This is prevented by either the continuous practice of Rituals and Astral Travel or by Hatha and Raja Yoga. Cf. Liber Aleph, Ch. 16

A mistake in any of these points will prevent, or injure the proper formation of, the fourth.

This applies both to the general formula and that very specialized variation to which he referred so guardedly.

In the expression which will be used in Chapter XV: "Enflame thyself", etc., only the first stage is specified; but if that is properly done the other stages will follow as if by necessity. So far is it written concerning the formula of Tetragrammaton.


"ALHIM", (Elohim) is the exoteric word for Gods. 1.

1. "Gods" are the Forces of Nature; their "Names" are the Laws of Nature. Thus They are eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent and so on; and thus their "Wills" are immutable and absolute.

[This definition presupposes that the "God" or "Goddess" is a personification or a visualization of natural law so far as the worshippers are able to conceive and understand it at the time they invent that particular Deity. If the God or Goddess is derived from the history or legend of the life of a real human being, this harmony between Him or Her and Natural Law is axiomatic, since human beings can only exist and function according to Natural Law.]

[Thus, "Gods" or "Goddess" that are fabrications or whose "adventures" are explained in terms that contradict Natural Law are false Gods, or "demons" - creatures of delusion. The worship of such false deities brings much suffering to the world. An excellent instance is the Nicene "Jesus".]

It is the masculine plural of a feminine noun, but its nature is principally feminine. 2.

Although the Magus whose Word is יהוה and whom the Jews know as "Moses" - an extremely common name in ancient Egypt, by the way - tried, by this conspicuously odd arrangement of the word that signifies "The Gods", to remind the Israelites both of the All - Mother and of the plurality of Divine Beings, He also was not immune to the Curse of His Grade, as we can see by the blind monotheistic - paternalistic struture of Judaism to this day.

2. It represents Sakti,or Teh; femininity always means form, manifestation. The masculine Siva, or Tao, is always a concealed force.

[The reader should be reminded that this interpretation is a sociobiological mammalism. An intelligent species that did not reproduce the way we do might have a totally different conception of the Creative Principles.]

It is a perfect hieroglyph of the number 5. This should be studied in "A Note on Genesis" (Equinox I, II).

The Elements are all represented, as in Tetragrammaton, but there is no development from one into the others. They are, as it were, thrown together — untamed, only sympathising by virtue of their wild and stormy but elastically resistless energy. The Central letter is "He" — the letter of breath — and represents Spirit. The first letter "Aleph" is the natural letter of Air, and the Final "Mem" is the natural letter of Water. Together, "Aleph" and "Mem" make "Am" — the mother within whose womb the Cosmos is conceived. But "Yod" is not the natural letter of Fire. Its juxtaposition with "He" sanctifies that fire to the "Yod" of Tetragrammaton. Similarly we find "Lamed" for Earth, where we should expect Tau — in order to emphasize the influence of Venus, who rules Libra.

The complexity of the concept, in sharp contrast with the basic simplicity of יהוה, and the obvious artificial construction of the word suggest that this sophisticated formula was originally Egyptian, not Semitic, and given to the Hebrews in an attempt to attenuate their natural Semitic primitivism and consequent savagery. The attempt to emphasize the Feminine and the pluralism of the Divine Forces is especially suggestive.

"ALHIM", therefore, represents rather the formula of Consecration than that of a complete ceremony. It is the breath of benediction, yet so potent that it can give life to clay and light to darkness.

"Genesis" being the first book of the Orthodox "Old Testament", we may surmise that it was written by one of the earliest religious leaders of the Hebrews, perhaps the Legislator himself (as, in fact, is claimed by most rabbis). It should be suggestive that the word ALHIM, not the word יהוה, is used to indicate the Creative Forces - not singular, but plural! - and that the Human Being is said to have been originally created by Them in their own image and only sexually divided in two at a later date. "Ad + Am", incidentally, is as much an initiatic cipher as Dao - De: "Ad", the Primal Father, joined to "Am", the Primal Mother.

One should emphasize once again that such concepts are only culturally successful when they agree with the facts of Nature or clash very little with them. One should also emphasize that they are of Kether, the Undivided, is rooted in cellular memory of the moncellular organisms that gave origin to all sexually differentiated life on our planet. Thus, despite the savagery of the Hebrews, which shouts at us out of their own records, the concept percolated into other Middle Eastern religions, survived the time when those other savages, the Romans, came to predominance through their greater practical talents and greater religious tolerance, and subsists to this day.

In consecrating a weapon, "Aleph" is the whirling force of the thunderbolt, the lightning which flameth out of the East even into the West. This is the gift of the wielding of the thunderbolt of Zeus or Indra, the god of Air. "Lamed" is the Ox-goad, the driving force; and it is also the Balance, representing the truth and love of the Magician. It is the loving care which he bestows upon perfecting his instruments, and the equilibration of that fierce force which initiates the ceremony. 1.

1. The letters Aleph and Lamed are infinitely important in this Aeon of Horus; they are indeed the Key of the Book of the Law. No more can be said in this place than that Aleph is Harpocrates, Bacchus Diphues, the Holy Ghost, the "Pure Fool" or Innocent Babe who is also the Wandering Singer who impregnates the King's Daughter with Himself as Her Child; Lamed is the King's Daughter, satisfied by Him, holding His "Sword and Balances" in her lap. These weapons are the Judge, armed with power to execute His Will, and Two Witnesses "in whom shall every Truth be established" in accordance with whose testimony he gives judgment.

[It should be obvious to the intelligent reader that this symbology is not only phallic-kteic, but also in harmony with the facts of human biology, albeit interpreted especially from the male standpoint (the pun is unintended). The "Sword" is, of course, the Phallus functioning on a lower plane, and the "Witnesses" are the testes, into which, indeed, every "Truth" is established by genetic inheritance. The Archtypes of the Wandering Minstrel and the King's Daughter can be found in European fairy-tales and are related to the cultural traditions of European tribes.]

"Yod" is the creative energy -- the procreative power: and yet "Yod" is the solitude and silence of the hermitage into which the Magician has shut himself. "Mem" is the letter of water, and it is the Mem final, whose long flat lines suggest the Sea at Peace not the ordinary (initial and medial) Mem whose hieroglyph is a wave. 1. And then, in the Centre of all, broods Spirit, which combines the mildness of the Lamb with the horns of the Ram, and is the letter of Bacchus or "Christ". 2.

1. In the symbolism above outlined, Yod is the Mercurial "Virgin Word", the Spermatozoon concealing its light under a cloke; and Mem is the amniotic fluid, the flood wherein is the Life-bearing Ark. See A. Crowley "The Ship", Equinox I, X.

2. The letter He is the formula of Nuit,

[In the original edition of this book, as he did during many years of his life, Crowley spelt "Nuit" as "Nuith". During the same period he, to consistence, often spelt "Hadit" as "Hadith". This was due to his annoyance about the fact that his French disciples were going haywire attaching especial significance to the French language (and speakers of it) because of the coincidence between the name of the Goddess, Nuit and nuit. "night" in French. In later years he went back to the correct spelling as in Liber AL.]

[He should, of course, not have bothered. In many languages there will be coincidences of this sort, and such coincidences may have especial significance to the culture that speaks that language. Unavoidably, what goes around under the name of "patriotism" (usually a mere projection of selfish vanity into one's idea of one's country) will produce excesses. But since the Law is for all such excesses will eventually be corrected, and the countries involved may learn a lot in the process.]

which makes possible the process described in the previous notes. But it is not permissible here to explain fully the exact matter or manner of this adjustment.

[He was still working on it, and naturally did not want to have his research appropriated or distorted.]

I have preferred the exoteric attributions, which are sufficiently informative for the beginner.

In his second footnote to this paragraph he very guardedly alludes to the fact that this interpretation of He is wrong, since it attributes it to Aries rather than Aquarius. Incidentally, it is quite possible that this misinterpretation was due to a deliberate male reaction to the excesses of Matriarchy at the time when the Aeon of Isis was succeeded by the Aeon of Asar. Cf. Robert Grave's The White Goddess. It should actually have been the Aeon of Asar-Isis, for the concept of equality and cooperation between (among?) the sexes to percolate into civilized society.

After the magician has created his instrument, and balanced it truly, and filled it with the lightnings of his Will, then is the weapon laid away to rest; and in this Silence, a true Consecration comes.


It is extremely interesting to contrast with the above the formula of the elemental Gods deprived of the creative spirit. One might suppose that as ALIM, is the masculine plural of the masculine noun AL, its formula would be more virile than that of ALHIM, which is the masculine plural of the feminine noun ALH. A moment's investigation is sufficient to dissipate the illusion. The word masculine has no meaning except in relation to some feminine correlative.

Feminists - and male chauvinist pigs - should pay close attention to this and what follows.

The word ALIM may in fact be considered as neuter. By a rather absurd convention, neuter objects are treated as feminine on account of their superficial resemblance in passivity and inertness with the unfertilized female.

The reader, especially if a woman, should keep in mind that he is referring to symbolic formulae, not to persons. Materialization of such symbols is a serious mistake to avoid, since it invariably limits both men and women to the ruin of the society - or the individuals - that so blunder.

But the female produces life by the intervention of the male, while the neuter does so only when impregnated by Spirit. Thus we find the feminine AMA, becoming AIMA, 1.

1. AMA is 42, the number of sterility; AIMA, 52, that of fertility, of BN, the SON.

through the operation of the phallic Yod, while ALIM, the congress of dead elements, only fructifies by the brooding of Spirit.

Becoming ALHIM by the descent of He, the Star, the Supernal Female and Universal Mother. The woman reader and the intelligent male reader may now perceive why the attribution of He to Aries was a male political device to discourage maternalism at the time Isis was being succeeded by Asar. We already pointed out that this was a mistake that seriously delayed psychic maturation of all the cultures who made it; Judaism (with its offshoot, Christism) and Islam come especially to mind.

This being so, how can we describe ALIM as containing a Magical Formula? Inquiry discloses the fact that this formula is of a very special kind.

The word adds up to 81, which is a number of the moon. It is thus the formula of witchcraft, which is under Hecate. 2.

2. See A. Crowley "Orpheus" for the Invocation of this Goddess.

It is only the romantic mediaeval perversion of science that represents young women as partaking in witchcraft, which is, properly speaking,

That is, speaking in the language of symbols. This interpretation has nothing to do with the historical facts relating to the Wiccan cult, of which Crowley was perfectly aware. Both men and women were recruited to the cult while still very young, usually by members of their own family. Also, it is but one aspect of Hecate, a very limited one at that. Cf. Liber 418, the 27th Aethyr. The interpretation of the Witch-Cult given in Michelet's La Sorciere, although equally romantic, is much closer to the facts of the time of the Christist witch-hunts in Europe.

restricted to the use of such women as are no longer women in the Magical sense of the word, because thy are no longer capable of corresponding to the formula of the male, and are therefore neuter rather than feminine.

This, however, applies only to the lowest level of manifestation, that of the physical body - and does not affect certain specialized uses of both the Formula of ALHIM and that of ALIM. Which, anyway, is what he is hinting at in these paragraphs.

It is for this reason that their method has always been referred to the moon, in that sense of the term in which she appears, not as the feminine correlative of the sun, but as the burnt-out, dead, airless satellite of earth.

Actually, the Wicca, being hunters rather than farmers, worshipped the Moon (in Roman lands, Diana was the mask for their Goddess) and counted time by the Moon, not by the Sun. They were Celts, small of stature and dark of complexion, and when the Anglo-Saxons began ruthlessly razing their forests, they were disdainfully called the "Little People" by the taller - and usually blond - invaders. Being a Stone-Age culture, they hunted and made war with wooden bows, flint-tipped arrows and spears and, flint axes and knives. They naturally feared "cold iron", that could easily shatter their best weapons. Iron was introduced in the British Isles by the invading Angles and Saxons. Most of the lore of the "Fairy-People" has a simple anthropological explanation. Even the fact that homosexuals are still called "fairies" in English is related to the sexual habits (and religious ceremonies) of the Wicca. This subject is beyond the scope of a note. The reader should just keep in mind that when Crowley speaks of "Witchcraft" he is not speaking of the Wicca at all, but of Christism.

Note by David Bersson: It should be duly noted that any stone age culture that is embraced by homo saps where the Government is dogmatically tribal will exist with little or no progress with regards to technology. They will go generation after generation after generation as hunters or fishers where the tribal codes that have become their Government stifle them. The success of the United States of America was a Government was invented where homo saps had broken from old Aeon false aristocracy and established a relationship of citizen and Government where tyranny was less likely as a consequence of the head of Government being a public servant. Within two hundred years more progress and technology was given than in a two thousand year period. Note that the old Wicca being a stone age culture hadn't even discovered iron – much less farming and were using early man – or even Neanderthal culture for homo saps. Note also, that other stone age cultures like the Native American Indian had similar issues where using stone age culture and tribal code they didn't go any further in technology than a deer skin shoe with a rabbit fur lining. Certainly, a “sole” contribution to technology already discovered in other cultures. The Law of Θελημα resolves the issue of Government, mysticism, and Our system applies the Method of Science to magick. It should be otherwise important to note the stagnation of the old Wicca (and other stone age cultures). All this should be a grave lesson with regards to progress and change.

No true Magical operation can be performed by the formula of ALIM.

As often with Crowley and other serious Initiates, this statement stands in sharp contradiction with the long footnote at the end of this chapter. As usual, the antinomy is initiatic. We again quote Liber LXV v 44 at the reader. Let him or her who who has wit solve the puzzle.

All the works of witchcraft are illusory;

We repeat, he is not here speaking of the Wiccan cult, but of the "witchcraft" loved - and in great part, created - by Christist inquisitors. Whether you turn Christism upside down or not, you are still a slave of the Nicene creed. Hence the importance of the "Devil" in Vatican iconography. The inquisitors knew quite well that the real "witches" laughed both at their "Satan" and their "Christ", and kept this fact a closely guarded secret. The purposes behind the witch - hunts were not religious: as usual with the Romish heresy, they were economic and political.

and their apparent effects depend on the idea that it is possible to alter things by the mere rearrangement of them. One must not rely upon the false analogy of the Xylenes to rebut this argument. It is quite true that geometrical isomers act in different manners towards the substance to which they are brought into relation. And it is of course necessary sometimes to rearrange the elements of a molecule before that molecule can form either the masculine or the feminine element in a true Magical combination with some other molecule.

This entire end of paragraph is at the same time wit, instruction, punning, "dust in the eyes of the profane", and a warning. It is typical Crowley. No one else in known history, with the possible exception of Rabelais, has been able to combine so many intentions so successfully in a few sentences.

It is therefore occasionally inevitable for a Magician to reorganize the structure of certain elements before proceeding to his operation proper. Although such work is technically witchcraft,

In the symbolic sense he has been using; but not necessarily in the Christist sense.

it must not be regarded as undesirable on that ground, for all operations which do not transmute matter fall strictly speaking under this heading.

The real objection to this formula is not inherent in its own nature. Witchcraft consists in treating it as the exclusive preoccupation of Magick, and especially in denying to the Holy Spirit his right to indwell His Temple. 1.

In this sense, it is "black magic". The intelligent reader should ponder that calling the Holy Spirit "he" (the pun is unintended) here presupposes that the letter He is attributable to Aries, rather than Aquarius.

1. The initiate of the XI° of O.T.O. will remark that there is a totally different formula of ALIM, complementary with that here discussed. 81 may be regarded as a number of Yesod rather than of Luna. The actual meaning of the word may be taken as indicating the formula. Aleph may be referred to Harpocrates, with allusion to the well-known poem of Catullus. Lamed may imply the exaltation of Saturn, and suggest the Three of Swords in a particular manner. Yod will then recall Hermes, and Mem the Hanged Man. We have thus a Tetragrammaton which contains no feminine component. The initial Force is here the Holy Spirit and its vehicle or weapon the "Sword and Balances". Justice is then done upon the Mercurial "Virgin", with the result that the Man is "Hanged" or extended, and is slain in this manner. Such an operation makes creation impossible — as in the former case; but here there is no question of re-arrangement; the creative force is employed deliberately for destruction, and is entirely absorbed in its own sphere (or cylinder, on Einstein's equations) of action. This Work is to be regarded as "Holiness to the Lord". The Hebrews, in fact, conferred the title of Qadosh (holy) upon its adepts. Its effect is to consecrate the Magicians who perform it in a very special way.

[Cf. Liber 813, viii.]

We may take note also of the correspondence of Nine with Teth, XI, Leo, and the Serpent. The great merits of this formula are that it avoids contact with the inferior planes, that it is self-sufficient, that it involves no responsibilities, and that it leaves its masters not only stronger in themselves, but wholly free to fulfil their essential Natures. Its abuse is an abomination.

[The serious student should consult also Liber Aleph, Chs. 90-92 with regard to certain aspects of this formula.]

The Formula of I.A.O.

This Formula is the principal and most characteristic formula of Osiris, of the Redemption of Mankind. I is Isis, Nature, ruined by A, Apophis the Destroyer, and restored to life by the Redeemer Osiris. 1. The same idea is expressed by the Rosicrucian formula of the Trinity:

Ex Deo nascimur.
In Jesu Morimur.
Per Spiritum Sanctum reviviscimus.

This is not the true Rosicrucian formula, but the exoteric rendition of it, which the Rosicrucians used to avoid persecutions. The true formula is given by the Signs of L.V.X.; "Jesu", of course, being just a blind for the "Asar-Isis", "Asarisis", "Osiris". We cannot go into this in depth here, for it concerns the Secret Circles of the O.T.O..

This is also identical with the Word Lux, L.V.X., which is formed by the arms of a cross. It is this formula which is implied in those ancient and modern monuments in which the phallus is worshipped as the Saviour of the World.

The doctrine of resurrection as vulgarly understood is false and absurd. It is not even “Scriptural”. St. Paul does not identify the glorified body which rises with the mortal body which dies. On the contrary, he repeatedly insists on the distinction.

This doctrine is connected with the development of the Astral Body, which is the basic technique of Magick. Cf. Chs. 81, 82 and 83 of Magick Without Tears Unexpurgated Commented and Chapter 16 of Liber Aleph.

The same is true of a magical ceremony. The magician who is destroyed by absorption in the Godhead is really destroyed. The miserable mortal automaton remains in the Circle. It is of no more consequence to Him that the dust of the floor. 2.

This experience occurs at the very first initiation, and can be extremely upsetting to an earthbound "scribe". In fact, it is the fear that it will happen that keeps most Aspirants from being initiated at all, for the mind senses what is coming as a threat to its integrity and avoids it unless the Will is strong enough to impose itself. I have repeatedly had students fail to reach even the Neophyte Initiation and lose all sense of perspective and even of morality as a result. Instances in the last two decades have been Euciydes de Almeida, Oseas de Almeida, James Wasserman, J.C. Ellis, J.D. Gunther, Richard Gernon, M.P. Starr, J.A. Queiroz. Of course, though from before my time, Francis "Israel" Regardie, Kenneth Grant, G.J. Yorke, G.L. McMurtry, H.P. Smith and Phyllis Seckler are classical cases of initiatic failure leading to permanent moral insanity.

Note by David Bersson: It is well that Mr. Motta should know & destroy the traitors by publicly exposing them. Most of these people today are dead or insane, or both. James Wasserman, recently appeared again to slander true initiates – and yet his moral insanity did not infect others with his stagnation and hospital sickness. Instead, he exposed himself as the low man he always was – in his meager attempt to justify his life long failure to raise himself above his demonic level. Mr. Motta once stated that Jews like James Wasserman are a good excuse for a Nazi. (I have read the entire Wasserman – Motta correspondence, of course.) Moreover, this statement has been proved in time by his lack of initiate insight which always had a tendency toward dogmatic Judaism rather than adherence to the Book of the Law. All his books are the adventures of a would be failure who went from Guru to Guru trying to find someone to accept his arrogant attitude as a disciple. Of course, we are left with second rate accounts of the Path by a failure who simply refused to learn real discipline and aspiration with the Great Work – a dead man who claims to be James Wasserman where whatever aspiration he might have had in his early days is permanently, spiritually dead. I wrote him after he had slandered Me in his book – and asked him to look into the mirror to see what he would see. Of course, I could sense his anger, hatred and jealousy that I was in good standing with Mr. Motta while he actually hid his letters from Mr. Motta for years in his painful shame that he could never measure up as a real initiate. These names should be noted and anyone connected with them I place a big question mark on.

But before entering into the details of I.A.O. as a magick formula it should be remarked that it is essentially the formula of Yoga or meditation; in fact, of elementary mysticism in all its branches.

In beginning a meditation practice, there is always 3. a quiet pleasure, a gentle natural growth; one takes a lively interest in the work; it seems easy; one is quite pleased to have started. This stage represents Isis. Sooner or later it is succeeded by depression—the Dark Night of the Soul, an infinite weariness and detestation of the work. The simplest and easiest acts become almost impossible to perform. Such impotence fills the mind with apprehension and despair. The intensity of this loathing can hardly be understood by any person who has not experienced it. This is the period of Apophis.

It is followed by the arising not of Isis, but of Osiris. The ancient condition is not restored, but a new and superior condition is created, a condition only rendered possible by the process of death.

The Magician must, of course, be willing to face this death; otherwise she or he will not reach "Resurrection". Almost invariably, when the pain and the failure start, the Instructor is blamed for it all. It is his or her fault: advice is interpreted as insults. The original Oath is completely forgotten. What is a Guru good for, they cry, if He or She is not willing to die in my place?... The fact that we have died already, and more than once, is either conveniently forgotten, or resolutely disbelieved. Anyone can covet the promises; very few are willing to undergo the curses!

The Alchemists themselves taught this same truth. The first matter of the work was base and primitive, though “natural”. After passing through various stages the “black dragon” appeared; but from this arose the pure and perfect gold.

Even in the legend of Prometheus we find an identical formula concealed; and a similar remark applies to those of Jesus Christ, and of many other mythical god-men worshipped in different countries. 4.

A magical ceremony constructed on this formula is thus in close essential harmony with the natural mystic process. We find it the basis of many important initiations, notably the Third Degree in Masonry, and the 5 °= 6 ceremony of the G. D. described in Equinox I, III. A ceremonial self-initiation may be constructed with advantage on this formula. The essence of it consists in robing yourself as a king, then stripping and slaying yourself, and rising from that death to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. 5.

There is an etymological identity between Tetragrammaton and I A O, but the magical formulæ are entirely different, as the descriptions here given have schewn.

Professor William James, in his Varieties of Religious Experience, has well classified religion as the “once-born” and the “twice-born”; but the religion now proclaimed in Liber Legis harmonizes these by transcending them. There is no attempt to get rid of death by denying it, as among the once-born; nor to accept death as the gate of a new life, as among the twice-born. With the A∴A∴ life and death are equally incidents in a career, very much like day and night in the history of a planet. But, to pursue the simile, we regard this planet from afar. A Brother of A∴A∴ looks at (what another person would call) “himself”, as one—or, rather, some—among a group of phenomena. He is that “nothing” whose consciousness is in one sense the universe considered as a single phenomenon in time and space, and in another sense is the negation of that consciousness.

[Cf. AL i 22, 52.]

The body and mind of the man are only important (if at all) as the telescope of the astronomer to him. If the telescope were destroyed it would make no appreciable difference to the Universe which that telescope reveals.

It will now be understood that this formula of I A O is a formula of Tiphareth. The magician who employs it is conscious of himself as a man liable to suffering, and anxious to transcend that state by becoming one with god.

This is the partial and imperfect perception that leads to most people to seek Initiation; when the fact that "God" experiences "suffering" - or anything else - much more deeply and strongly than the would-be lotus eaters, most of these desist and go back to such toys as making money or waging wars. Cf. AL i 3 1; LXV v 47.

It will appear to him as the Supreme Ritual, as the final step; but, as has already been pointed out, it is but a preliminary. For the normal man today, however, it represents considerable attainment; and there is a much earlier formula whose investigation will occupy Chapter VI.

THE MASTER THERION, in the Seventeenth year of the Æon, has reconstructed the Word I A O to satisfy the new conditions of Magick imposed by progress. The Word of the Law being Θελημα, whose number is 93, this number should be the canon of a corresponding Mass. Accordingly, he has expanded I A O by treating the O as an ע, and then adding Vau as prefix and affix. The full word is then ויאעו

whose number is 93. We may analyse this new Word in detail and demonstrate that it is a proper hieroglyph of the Ritual of Self-Initiation in this Æon of Horus. For the correspondence in the following note, see Liber 777. The principal points are these:

(need tables here)

IAF varies in significance with successive Aeons.

Æon of Isis. Matriarchal Age. The Great Work conceived as a straightforward simple affair.

We find the theory reflected in the customs of Matriarchy. Parthenogenesis is supposed to be true.

Parthenogenesis (or more correctly, monosexual reproduction) does occur naturally in some species, but not among mammals. Cloning - a relatively recent procedure - is a special case, being an artificial form of self - reproduction. The age-old myth of the "Virgin Birth" in religion is related to the established fact that Self-Initiation, which is to say (on the lower levels at least) "Regeneration" or "Resurrection", (on the lower levels at least) "Regeneration" or "Resurrection", does occur. It would occur more often if pupils feared it less!

The Virgin (Yod-Virgo) contains in herself the Principle of Growth—the epicene Hermetic seed.

This "Virgin" does not mean a material female body: it is, in a specialized and limited sense, the Anima of the Jungians or, in a specialized and limited sense, the Nephesch. This is part of the constitution of any human being, male or female. Cf. Equinox V 4, where the subject is treated at length, particularly in "The Field-Theory of Sex", "The Wake World", "The Paris Working", The Bagh-i-Muattar" and "Heavenly Bridegrooms".

It becomes the Babe in the Egg (A—Harpocrates) by virtue of the Spirit (A = Air, impregnating the Mother—Vulture) and this becomes the Sun or Son (F = the letter of Tiphareth, 6, even when spelt as Omega, in Coptic. See 777).

Æon of Osiris. Patriarchal Age. Two sexes.


conceived as the Father-Wand. (Yod in Tetragrammaton).


the Babe is pursued by the Dragon, who casts a flood from his mouth to swallow it. See Rev. VII. The Dragon is also the Mother—the "Evil Mother" of Freud. It is Harpocrates, threatened by the crocodile in the Nile.

The above sentence is unclear as it stands. It refers to the Babe, not to Freud's "Evil Mother". The serious reader should remember that Freud was a genius, and that his analysis of psychological mechanisms was path-cleaving; but he was also a Jew living among Christists, and his moral interpretations of "Evil", "Good", and of the ethical value of the Id, the Libido, etc., were, like Judeo-Christism in general, totally at variance, with social reality. The Dragon, of course, is ultimately Draco, and is referred to Nuit. Hence the peculiar sexual symbolism of the "St. George position" in British folklore, etc.

We find the symbolism of the Ark, the Coffin of Osiris, etc.

Cf. Liber XV and "The Ship".

The Lotus is the Yoni; the Water the Amniotic Fluid. In order to live his own life, the child must leave the Mother, and overcome the temptation to return to her for refuge. Kundry, Armida, Jocasta, Circe, etc., are symbols of this force which tempts the Hero.

The unfortunate prevalence of "evil" female symbols in folklore and legend is due to the fact that the bias of the Collective Unconscious in the last twenty-five hundred years (the Aeon of Osiris) has been predominantly patriarchal. The tales relating to a woman's problems in fighting for her social or psychic freedom have either been heavily censored or totally suppressed. The Heroine is in exactly the same position as the Hero in what relates to the Father. In fairy tales, the restricted relation of the daughter to the parents has survived only in the personae of the traditionally "evil" stepmother and stepfather.

He may take her as his servant 6. when he has mastered her, so as to heal his father (Amfortas), avenge him (Osiris), or pacify him (Jehovah). But in order to grow to manhood, he must cease to depend on her, earning the Lance (Parzival), claiming his arms (Achilles), or making his club (Hercules) 7., and wander in the waterless wilderness like Krishna, Jesus, Oedipus, k. t. l. —until the hour when, as the “King’s Son” or knight-errant, he must win the Princess, and set himself upon a strange throne. Almost all the legends of heroes imply this formula in strikingly similar symbols.


Vau the Sun—Son. He is supposed to be mortal; but how is this shewn? It seems an absolute perversion of truth: the sacred symbols have no hint of it. This lie is the essence of the Great Sorcery.

He means the idea that the God - or King - must die to "redeem" His worshippers or appease his people. Cf. AL ii 21.

Osirian religion is a Freudian phantasy fashioned of man's dread of death and ignorance of nature. The parthenogenesis-idea persists, but is now the formula for incarnating demi-gods, or divine kings; these must be slain and raised from the dead in one way or another. 8.

Æon of Horus. Two sexes in one person.

Cf. Blavatsky's prophecy that the "Sixth Root Race" would be hermaphroditic or androgynous. The esoteric meaning of this is hermaphroditic or androgynous. The esoteric meaning of this is to be found in the sections already quoted of Equinox V 4. Already it has become socially admitted and accepted that men and women share many outlooks and feelings that had previously, by convention, been tolerated or believed to exist only in members of one particular sex. This social admission and acceptance of bisexuality continues to increase and spread. The difference between the Fifties and the Eighties in just the United States of America is flagrant, albeit only people old enough to remember McCarthyism will be able to understand the fury of the Helmses, the Falwells, the Reagans and the Schlaflies against changes that they dread. Cf. LXV v 30 - 33.

Note by David Bersson: Again, I find any prophecies that Blavatsky made concerning the sixth race met with skepticism. For she did not accept the Law of Θελημα nor was Her current manifesting any Great Work that I found efficient. I could call her existence as a Master in Her own system to be ecological, and yet Her Path and Will moves in directions that do not manifest to the followers that could fill her shoes – much less see reality as reality. With regards to two sexes in one, again, it is an interpretation from Liber AL that matters the most to Me. In spite of both being Class A, Liber LXV is not supreme to the Book of the Law. Perhaps some of this confusion comes from A.C. stating that his H.G.A. was Aiwass, the author of the Book of the Law and therefore Liber AL and Liber LXV are coming from the same Source. Yet, Liber LXV is only one possible Communication from the H.G.A. and every Knowledge and Conversation is tailored to the karma of the Initiate. The Book of the Law states: “Every man and every woman is a star.”, which is another line which is supposed to be evidence that two sexes in one will be the mutation for the future, and yet if this were true it would be written: “Every man and every woman shall be one star”. No doubt, a greater awareness of our True Will has led many to stop lying to themselves about what their desires are and a greater tolerance exists where it did not exist than previously. This is most certainly not the same as this theory of mutation to a sixth race that Blavatsky would have us believe. Whether you are heterosexual or other you must realize that we biologically all are born to nurse the child. This is the type of inhibition which I would like to seen brought to the surface and made public. No shame, nor guilt, nor objection can deny this aspect of the biological will of both male and female – or both or either male and female would not have nipples!!

FIAOF: 93, the full formula, recognizing the Sun as the Son (Star), as the pre-existent manifested Unit from which all springs and to which all returns.

Notice that the Sun could just as well be interpreted as the Daughter - the "Woman Clothed with the Sun". The Archtype is there, has always been there, and is alive; even the insanity of Christism was unable to destroy it. In the present Aeon, however, Horus is a "male" deity on the lower levels. What we are trying to say is, the interpretation of the Sun as the Son is not meant to be sexist. It is not supposed to be the only or permanent interpretation. It is the present ontological interpretation, and it is a living, unfolding spiral, not a closed circle. Each Aeon should always be viewed as the preparation for the next; else, progress can be hindered and even temporarily blocked, as the Dark Age of Europe amply proved.

The Great Work is to make the initial FF of Assiah (The world of material illusion) into the final FIF of Atziluth, 9. the world of pure reality.

Notice that all worlds are constantly changing and growing; or at least, our perception of them is. Cf. LXV iii 1 - 20.

Spelling the Name in full, FF + IFD + ALP + OIN + FI = 309 = ShT = XX + XI = 31 the secret Key of the Law.

Cf. Liber V vel H vel Regvii,, The Ritual of the Mark of the Beast, Appendix VI of this book.


is the manifested Star.


is the secret Life










These symbols are all shewn in the Atu “The Hermit”. They are the powers of the Yod, whose extension is the Vau. Yod is the Hand wherewith man does his Will. It is also The Virgin; his essence is inviolate.

Notice that in this Aeon the female form of the Virgin is qliphotic unless balanced by the Whore.


is the Babe “who has formulated his Father, and made fertile his Mother”—Harpocrates, etc., as before; but he develops to


The exalted “Devil” (also the other secret Eye) by the formula of the Initiation of Horus elsewhere described in detail.

Cf. "A Ritual to Invoke Hice", Equinox 1 10.

This “Devil” is called Satan or Shaitan, and regarded with horror by people who are ignorant of his formula, and, imagining themselves to be evil, accuse Nature herself of their own phantasmal crime.

"Satan" is of course a corruption of "Sanatanas", the Sanskrit word for "Eternal", or "Divinely Immortal", which was one of the titles of the six members of the Trimurti (three males with three female counterparts-or vice-versa). Many superficial readers of Crowley's works are confused by the fact that he used the name "Satan" in many poems, rituals and invocations, yet denied emphatically that he was a "Satanist" in the Christist sense. Indeed, the theological Satan, the "Adversary" or "Evil One", is as false an invention as the theological "Jesus".

Very little is known about the Worship of Set, whom the average Egyptian considered evil because he was the Slayer - which is to say, the Initiator - of Asar. When Typhon was incorporated in Egyptian theogony he was loosely identified with Set. The same happened to any deity who was considered unpleasant, unfriendly, or evil.

Actually, Set was the God of scientists and researchers-or one might say, the spiritual symbol, and perhaps the original Guru, of intelligent skeptics among the Egyptians. He was the God of mechanics, engineers, inventors, surgeons, smiths, chemists (in fact, one of his names or titles was Khem, and as such he may well have been the original spiritual mentor of the Egyptians, since the Egyptians called their land Khem), etc. Some of his correspondences in other theogonies were Hephaistos, Hades, Vulcan, Pluto (he became identified with Pan and Priapus merely because the sexual hangups of the Roman-Alexandrines: the emphasis of his worship was on pure research, which of course included sex but which also, of course, transcended erotomania. Pan and Priapus are misunderstood to this day.) In the Trimurti he represents the less "benevolent" aspects of any of the members, albeit there is a misguided tendency to identify him exclusively with Shiva and Kali, the Destroyers.

Worshippers of Set were feared by the vulgar, since Set was "evil". The general priesthood either tacitly or actively cooperated in giving Set this reputation, since his priests (meaning to say, the students of science and technology among the Egyptians) were very accomplished and, had they so wished, would have completely controlled the country. They did not wish to, and said so plainly enough in the seasonal councils; but very few of the other priests believed them. The priests of Set were, however, really interested only in the kind of power that knowledge confers, not the kind of power conferred by superstitions. Their ethical position was exactly the one Ambrose Bierce put down in his priceless The Devil's Dictionary. It is significant that Bierce should have attributed his Dictionary to the "Devil"; he was definitely a Set worshipper, or perhaps even a priest of Set in a past incarnation, just as Mark Twain (cf. The Mysterious Stranger) and Ralph Waldo Emerson (surprise, surprise! - but see "Self-Reliance") were. Of course, the "iconoclast" attitude made the priests of Set even more shunned by the rest of the priesthood: general worshippers were sternly advised to stay away from them, and all kinds of frightening tales were fabricated and propagated about them. This caused them more amusement than chagrin, since it ensured that only the most morally courageous and open-minded Egyptians ever applied to them for instruction. The rest of the priesthood, of course, was always buying devices from the Priests of set, or secretly attending conferences and demonstrations in the Set temples.

To describe at length the activity of the priests of Set, or their interaction with the rest of the Egyptian priesthood, would take many volumes. The reader should understand that an individual whom vulgar minds approach for assurance that we live in the best of all possible worlds but who callously proceeds to point out the imperfection and narrowness of this belief is not likely to be voted into office or considered holy; not by vulgar minds, anyway. On the contrary, that is uncomfortable and unsettling company, to be shunned by all members of the true faith, as the Reagan administration amply demonstrates. Dissenters are always evil and satanic, and in the good old days, in virtuous, God-fearing parts of the world, they used to be burnt alive in public squares.

Satan is Saturn, Set, Abrasax, Adad, Adonis, Attis, Adam, Adonai, etc. The most serious charge against him is that he is the Sun in the South.

This, of course, from the point of view of peoples who live in the Northern Hemisphere! Once you cross the Equator, the attributions of North and South are reversed. Also, the connotation of the sun in the south with "evil" was peculiar, as Crowley does not actually point out in the continuation of this paragraph, to Mediterranean, North African and Middle-Eastern cultures of before the advent of the air-conditioner. North European mythologies-Anglo-Saxon mythology, for instance- did not connect the sun to the south with withering heat. In Norse mythology, "Hell" was not supposed to be extremely hot, but extremely cold. Suum cuique!

The Ancient Initiates, dwelling as they did in lands whose blood was the water of the Nile or the Euphrates, connected the South with life-withering heat, and cursed that quarter where the solar darts were deadliest. Even in the legend of Hiram, it is at high noon that he is stricken down and slain. Capricornus is moreover the sign which the sun enterers when he reaches his extreme Southern declination at the Winter Solstice, the season of the death of vegetation, for the folk of the Northern hemisphere. This gave them a second cause for cursing the south. A third; the tyranny of hot, dry, poisonous winds; the menace of deserts or oceans dreadful because mysterious and impassable; these also were connected in their minds with the South.

To the Norsemen, however, the South meant lands for plunder.

But to us, aware of astronomical facts, this antagonism to the South is a silly superstition which the accidents of their local conditions suggested to our animistic ancestors. We see no enmity between Right and Left,

This, for Thelemites, applies even to politics, which endears us neither to the billionaires nor to the commissars. It is however becoming obvious to more intelligent peoples (such as the Chinese and the Romanians) that Capitalism and Communism are nothing but different approaches to different arrangements of the same problems and should coexist, sometimes even in the same economy

Up and Down, and similar pairs of opposites. These antitheses are real only as a statement of relation; they are the conventions of an arbitrary device for representing our ideas in a pluralistic symbolism based on duality. “Good” must be defined in terms of human ideals and instincts.

With the increase of the Thelemic Current in the world, human definition of "Good" is finally becoming more efficient, being enlarged beyond anthropocentricity to include the facts of ecology.

“East” has no meaning except with reference to the earth’s internal affairs; as an absolute direction in space it changes a degree every four minutes. “Up” is the same for no two men, unless one chance to be in the line joining the other with the centre of the earth. “Hard” is the private opinion of our muscles. “True” is an utterly unintelligible epithet which has proved refractory to the analysis of our ablest philosophers.

We have therefore no scruple in restoring the “devil-worship” of such ideas as those which the laws of sound, and the phenomena of speech and hearing, compel us to connect with the group of “Gods” whose names are based upon ShT, or D, vocalized by the free breath A. For these Names imply the qualities of courage, frankness, energy, pride, power and triumph; they are the words which express the creative and paternal will.

This because, as we pointed out in the case of Set, those deities were feared by the vulgar, and therefore were worshipped - or understood - only by the most courageous members of the cultures that were exposed to them. They were only connected to paternalism because in the Semitic cultures where they were worshipped - or feared - only males were allowed to express themselves freely. When they are dared to! Among the Egyptians, however, like Sekhet, Nephthys, Hathoor and Maat expressed feminine qualities of courage and freedom that were suppressed by Judaism for three thousand years, and by Christism for two thousand. Parallel deities existed in cultures not infected by the Semites: Pallas Athena, Aphrodite, and Arthemis among the Greeks, Minerva, Venus and Diana among the Romans, for example. The dominance of the one only "good" only, and male only divinity heralded fifteen hundred years of ignorance, oppression and persecution. We are only now beginning to come out of that nightmare - and there are those who would return us to it if they could!

Thus “the Devil” is Capricornus, the Goat who leaps upon the loftiest mountains, the Godhead which, if it become manifest in man, makes him Aegipan, the All.

It should be remembered that the highest manifestation of Pan is Nuit. It should also be remembered that any true Divine Archetype or Divine Idea contains in itself not only its contradictions but its male or female counterpart. This is the basic tenet of the Aeon of Horus, already expressed by Crowley. If it be not so, the eidolon is not of the Supernals: it is either a lower aspect attributable to one of the lower sephiroth or Paths or it is a demonic or illusory entity only attributable to the Qliphoth.

One should also remind the reader that this thesis is totally at variance with both the Nicene fabrication and the Hebrew Orthodoxy. It awakens malignant hostility in Jewish rabbis and Christist clergy. This hostility does not even have to be conscious. Hence the persecutions against Θελημα.

The Sun enters this sign when he turns to renew the year in the North. He is also the vowel O, proper to roar, to boom, and to command, being a forcible breath controlled by the firm circle of the mouth.

He is the Open Eye of the exalted Sun, before whom all shadows flee away: also that Secret Eye which makes an image of its God, the Light, and gives it power to utter oracles, enlightening the mind.

Thus, he is Man made God, exalted, eager; he has come consciously to his full stature, and so is ready to set out on his journey to redeem the world.

This is not the "task" or "moral duty" of a God; it is merely that the presence of a higher intelligence inevitably evolves the environment wherein it moves. An honest and upright human being provides not only an example but a challenge to talking monkeys. A Crowley or a Genghis Khan or a Blavatsky or a Sappho or a Ramakrishna or a Lao Zi confront us with own imperfections. They cannot fail to awaken emulation in nobler natures or malignant hatred in lower ones. Hence the warning to kings that must not fall into the trap of self-sacrifice (AL ii 21. This merely removes the beacon whereby others may learn to chart their own courses: the "Light of the World".)

But he may not appear in this true form; the Vision of Pan would drive men mad with fear. He must conceal Himself in his original guise.

Which may be either a male or female human body; and so far as we know, may be a body belonging to another species. On our planet, it is quite possible that the cetaceans may reach all our levels of Initiation, and even beyond. Communication with them is of paramount importance before we undertake to colonize other worlds. The Law of Θελημα is the first Law given to our species that would not make us into tyrannical destroyers - or total slaves - when we make contact with other beings either as intelligent or more intelligent than ourselves. We must learn, for instance, the difference between eating specimens and extinguishing a species. We have obviously not learned this lesson so far, albeit a goodly proportion of humankind is becoming aware of it.

He therefore becomes apparently the man that he was at the beginning; he lives the life of a man; indeed, he is wholly man. But his initiation has made him master of the Event by giving him the understanding that whatever happens to him is the execution of this true will.

This is not well expressed: it gives the impression that the Incarnated God or Goddess reacts passively to the course of events. On the contrary, He or She constantly expresses His or Her own divine nature through the human instrument. But because the Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect, not two; more even, are none; because of this, whatever happens to such a being is ultimately the expression of His or Her true will, whether it seem to be the consequence of His or Her actions or consequences of aleatory events forced on Him or Her from outside sources. Chance does chance to happen; but it affects a God or Goddess less often than it does a stone, albeit it will happen more often to the God or Goddess than to a stone. The paradox is merely apparent. A God or Goddess embodies, in a sense, the will of our entire species. There are more factors included, thus more automatic compensation is provided "against" the factor infinite and unknown. This a problem of higher mathematics involving both vectorial and scalar considerations.

Thus the last stage of his initiation is expressed in our formula as the final:


The series of transformations has not affected his identity; but it has explained him to himself. Similarly, Copper is still Copper after Cu + O = CuO: + H2SO2 = CuSO4 (H2O): + K2S = CuS (K2SO4): + blowpipe and reducing agent = Cu(S).

It is the same copper,

Not really: atomic exchanges occur even during chemical combinations, and the copper will have been subtly altered to an extent. This inescapable fact of Nature is what the "Black Brothers" (so-called) dread most. Existence itself is constantly eroding the Tower - or Towers - of the Self.

but we have learnt some of its properties. We observe especially that it is indestructible, inviolably itself throughout all its adventures, and in all its disguises.

Short of the application of atomic energy, that is. The reader should keep in mind that when Crowley wrote the above analogy the possibility of atomic distintegration was just beginning to be contemplated. When he read for Chemistry at Cambridge - much before the Book of the Law! - the atom was considered the ultimate, and indestructible, form of matter. The very word "atom" expressed this idea. By the time Crowley was writing his later books he would not have made this analogy in this particular way, or would have qualified it. Cf. his approach to physical matter in The Book of Thoth.

We see moreover that it can only make use of its powers, fulfill the possibilities of its nature, and satisfy its equations, by thus combining with its counterparts. Its existence as a separate substance is evidence of its subjection to stress; and this is felt as the ache of an incomprehensible yearning until it realises that every experience is a relief, an expression of itself; and that it cannot be injured by aught that may befall it. In the Æon of Osiris it was indeed realised that Man must die in order to live.

Actually, "Aeon of Osiris" is misleading: it was the Aeon of Asar. "Osiris" is merely a corruption of "Asarisis", meaning the combination of Asar+Isis, which represented the human soul for the ancient Egyptians: again the idea of two sexes in one person! This psychological fact, of course, has always been known and recognized by Initiates. It has now become time for it to percolate into the life of our species in general, gradually making its way into all levels of human activity, politics and law included. Willeim Stekel may have been the first of Freud's disciples to give it a psychoanalytical treatment.

But now in the Æon of Horus we know that every event is a death; subject and object slay each other in “love under will”; each such death is itself life, the means by which one realises oneself in a series of episodes.

Also, this realization is infinite, since the Universe is perpetually Changing and - so far as we perceive - Growing.

The second main point is the completion of the A babe Bacchus by the O Pan (Parzival wins the Lance, etc.).

The first process is to find the I in the V—initiation, purification, finding the Secret Root of oneself, the epicene Virgin who is 10 (Malkuth) but spelt in full 20 (Jupiter).

This Yod in the “Virgin” expands to the Babe in the Egg by formulating the Secret Wisdom of Truth of Hermes in the Silence of the Fool. He acquires the Eye-Wand, beholding the acting and being adored. The Inverted Pentagram—Baphomet—the Hermaphrodite fully grown—begets himself on himself as V again.

The process is very slightly different for women than for men, due to anatomical considerations of the intrument - the physical body. Because the Feminist Movement is constantly being infiltrated by Christism, Zionism and other abominations, we will not go further into the matter in a treatise addressed to the general public except to state that women interested in achieving this Initiation should study Liber AL and apply it in practice on all levels wherein they may have perception of the Book.

Note that there are now two sexes in one person throughout, so that each individual is self-procreative sexually, whereas Isis knew only one sex, and Osiris thought the two sexes opposed.

Again we remind the reader that the proper name is Asar - precisely as it appears in Liber Legis - not Osiris. The name "Osiris" came into popular usage through Greek initiates of Eleusis who traveled to Egypt for further study, at a time when the Egyptian Initiates, foreseeing the total decline of the Land of Khem and the darkness of the Passage of the Aeons, were imparting the secrets to any who came to them; very much as Crowley was ordered to do and did by publishing the Equinox series.

Also the formula is now Love in all cases;

Love under will.

and the end is the beginning, on a higher plane.

In short, the formula is now not "death", but transmutation. Cf. LXV v 50. Incidentally, this may become a fact even in the material sense. See, for instance, Arthur C. Clarke's The City and the Stars. In the last paragraph Crowley again covers the formula; it is a brilliant synthesis from another angle, full of hints for a type of mind he had not been addressing so far:

The I is formed from the V by removing its tail, the A by balancing 4 Yods, the O by making an inverted triangle of Yods, which suggests the formula of Nuit—Hadit—Ra-Hoor-Khuit. A is the elements whirling as a Svastika—the creative Energy in equilibrated action.

1. There is a quite different formula in which I is the Father, O the Mother, A the Child—and yet another, in which I.A.O. are all fathers of different kinds balanced by H.H.H., 3 Mothers, to complete the Universe.

[See Liber HHH sub Figura 341.]

In a third, the true formula of the Beast 666, I and O are the opposites which form the field for the operation of A. But this is a higher matter unsuited for this elementary handbook. See, however, Liber Samekh, Point II, Section J.

2 It is, for all that, His instrument, acquired by Him as an astronomer buys a telescope. See Liber Aleph, for a full explanation of the objects attained by the stratagem of incarnation; also Part IV of this Book 4.

3 If not, one is not working properly.

4 See J.G.Frazer, The Golden Bough: J.M.Robertson Pagan Christs; A. Crowley Jesus, etc., etc.

5 This formula, although now superseded by that of HORUS, the Crowned and Conquering Child, remains valid for those who have not yet assimilated the point of view of the Law of Θελημα. But see Appendix, Liber SAMEKH. Compare also "The Book of the Spirit of the Living Gods," where there is a ritual given in extenso on slightly different lines: Equinox I, III, pages 269-272.

6 Her sole speech in the last Act is “Dienen: Dienen”.

[The reference is unclear as it stands. He is quoting the libretto of Wagner's "Parsifal"; the speech is Kundry's. "Dienen: Dienen" means, roughly, "To serve, to serve". The speech has several secret meanings only to be understood by Initiates, male or female. The etymology of "dienen" may be helpful to the serious student. Cf. also AL ii 21. Roughly speaking, Kundry in the last act of "Parsifal" symbolizes the Initiated Nephesch.]

7 Note that all these three remain for a time as neuters among woman, prevented from living the male life.

8 All these ideas may be explained by reference to anthropology. But this is not their condemnation, but their justification; for the customs and legends of mankind reflect the true nature of the species.

9 For these spellings see 777.


1. See the Neophyte Ceremony, Equinox I,II.

This formula has for its "first matter" the ordinary man entirely ignorant of everything and incapable of anything. He is therefore represented as blindfolded and bound.

This describes the ceremonial initiation of the First Degree in many Asarian masonic traditions. Only men were admitted to the overwhelming majority of them. It has usually been said that the reason for this was that women cannot keep a secret, and the dangers of being identified as a mason were dreadful. But the true reason was that most of those masonic movements had been infiltrated by Zionist interests - notice the emphasis on the "Temple in Jerusalem" inmost of them - and in Jewish Orthodoxy women are not admitted to worship.

As to women not being able to keep a secret... This fable has been propagated by self-centered superficial males. Women are quite able to keep a secret - but only when there is a practical advantage in doing so from their point of view. They have been keeping secrets from men - especially husbands, lovers and boyfriends - for thousands of years.

His only aid is his aspiration, represented by the officer who is to lead him into the Temple. Before entering, he must be purified and consecrated. Once within the Temple, he is required to bind himself by an oath. His aspiration is now formulated as Will. He makes the mystic circumambulation of the Temple for the reasons to be described in the Chapter on "Gesture". After further purification and consecration, he is allowed for one moment to see the Lord of the West,

In the Egyptian Minor Mysteries, this was Asar.

and gains courage 1.

1. Fear is the source of all false perception. Even Freud had a glimpse of this fact.

to persist. For the third time he is purified and consecrated, and he sees the Lord of the East,

Among the Egyptians, this position in the Minor Mysteries belonged to Horus; but in the Higher Mysteries the God or Goddess occupying it varied with the Aeons. Things started to go wrong when the priests of Amoun, the God's season being over, refused to surrender the temporal power they had acquired during His period.

The Masonic ritual in the last Aeon was a much simpler form of this ritual he is describing, which is that of the "Golden Dawn" of "McGregor" Mathers & Co.

who holds the balance, keeping him in a straight line. In the West he gains energy. In the East he is prevented from dissipating the same. So fortified, he may be received into the Order as a neophyte by the three principal officers, thus uniting the Cross with the Triangle. He may then be placed between the pillars of the Temple,

The emphasis has always been in balancing the pairs of opposites. This has not changed. It is not only the formula of "love under will": it has also been the scientific formula for acquiring knowledge and organizing it into a coherent, living whole.

to receive the fourth and final consecration. In this position the secrets of the grade are communicated to him, and the last of his fetters is removed. All this is sealed by the sacrament of the Four Elements.

It will be seen that the effect of this whole ceremony is to endow a thing inert and impotent with balanced motion in a given direction. Numerous example of this formula are given in Equinox I, Nos. II and III. It is the formula of the Neophyte Ceremony of G. D..

Not since the "Golden Dawn" was incorporated as the Outer Order of the A∴A∴ at the Passage of the Aeons. It may still be useful to those unable to absorb the Truth of Horus, however.

It should be employed in the consecration of the actual weapons used by the magician, and may also be used as the first formula of initiation.

In the book called Z 2 1.

1. [Those sections dealing with divination and alchemy are the most grotesque rubbish in the latter case, and in the former obscure and unpractical.

(Equinox I, III) are given full details of this formula, which cannot be too carefully studied and practised. It is unfortunately, the most complex of all of them. But this is the fault of the first matter of the work, which is so muddled that many operations are required to unify it.

This unification consists in finding one's "center of gravity" (read Tiphereth) and then "falling free along one's orbit" (read "doing one's Will"). It must not be forgotten, however, that periodic shifts of balance around one's center of gravity (read "initiations") and orbital swerves (ibidem) are inevitable, since human beings are always growing and meeting other living things (read "practicing love under will") along the way.

and of certain other Words.

The Hieroglyph shewn in the Seventh Key of the Tarot (described in the 12th Aethyr, Liber 418, Equinox I, V) is the Charioteer of OUR LADY BABALON, whose Cup or Graal he hears.

Now this is an important formula. It is the First of the Formulae, in a sense, for it is the formula of Renunciation. 1.

1. There is no moral implication here. But to choose A implies to refuse not-A: at least, that is so, below the Abyss.

It is also the Last!

This Cup is said to be full of the Blood of the Saints; that is, every "saint" or magician must give the last drop of his life's blood to that cup.

He is using the term "magician" in a very high sense, the sense of the Path of Initiation. Of course, the common man or woman may practice "magic" and achieve results even if it is not their intention to aspire to Initiation; but such are mere petty sorcerers or witches or necromancers from Crowley's point of view. This the main reason why people find it difficult to understand his works on Magick. They are not meant for the vulgar, nor are they addressed ot the vulgar.

It is the original price paid for magick power. And if by magick power we mean the true power, the assimilation of all force with the Ultimate Light, the true Bridal of the Rosy Cross, then is that blood the offering of Virginity, the sole sacrifice well-pleasing to the Master, the sacrifice whose only reward is the pain of child-bearing unto him.

Even during the Aeon of Asar the doctrine of the Roman-Alexandrines, as expressed in the Nicene Creed, was an abomination. It produced a thousand years of ignorance and fear. It is not the Master who must die for your "sins": it is you who must pay for your own folly, if anyone should pay for it. Bu there is no question of "sin" really involved. "There is no grace; there is no guilt." It is all a matter of the True Will. What do you really want out of life? Or death?

But "to sell one's soul to the devil", to renounce no matter what for an equivalent in personal gain, 1.

1. "Supposed" personal gain. There is really no person to gain; so the whole transaction is a swindle on both sides.

[The average reader will be confused by the above; yet, it is essential if you will understand what Crowley meant by Magick. Observe that "selling one's soul to the devil"-the old Christist bugaboo-simply means, from his point of view, to use the subtler powers and faculties of the soul for egoic purposes. Whether you make a pact with a false Teacher to this end, or make a pact with any being of the subtler planes to this end, or just excercise your natural talents along egoic lines of endeavor, from Crowley's point of view you are doing black magic. This was the man who was called "the wickedest man in the world"... And from the point of view of slaves and low men, of course he was.]

is black magic. You are no longer a noble giver of your all, but a mean huckster.

This formula is, however, a little different in symbolism, since it is a Woman whose Cup must be filled. It is rather the sacrifice of the Man, who transfers life to his descendants. For a woman does not carry in herself the principle of new life, except temporarily, when it is given her.

He would later modify this view in Liber Aleph; and in fact, it is genetically incorrect. The male does carry the principle of new life, but he is but a specialization of the female. It is possible that the purpose was to assure that, by separating the sexes, the preservation of the species in the face of accident or environmental erosion would be statisistically more probable. One man can fertilize hundreds of women in his lifetime; quite possibly among troglodytes, who lived under extremely hazardous conditions, that was the main function of the male. With the advent of civilization males were able to survive more often; this made the situation more complex that it had been, and gave rise to such artifical conventions as "love", marriage, ect.

The reader should keep in mind that, even if Crowley had not modified his view of the spiritual relationship of Man and Woman in later years, this Formula of the Graal would still work for women as well as men; for nothing so elementary as heterosexual physical intercourse is being discussed here. It cannot be too often repeated that every male human being contains a woman in his soul, and that every female human being contains a man in hers. You cannot be human if you do not satisfy these conditions. The serious reader is referred to what was said about the Formula of FIAOF in Chapter 5.

But here the formula implies much more even than this. For it is his whole life that the Magus offers to OUR LADY.

This phrasing may confuse the average reader, whom he was addressing so far. He should of written: "It is his or her whole life that the Magician offers to OUR LADY." The Magus, being a special case, always manifestes as a "male". He jumped to above the Abyss, whereas before he had been dealing with an aspect of the Formula which, although it crosses the Abyss, works normally from the Inner to the Outer Order of the A∴A∴

The Cross is both Death and Generation, and it is on the Cross that the Rose blooms. The full significance of these symbols is so lofty that it is hardly fitted for an elementary treatise of this type. One must be an Exempt Adept, and have become ready to pass on, before one can see the symbols even from the lower plane. Only a Master of the Temple can fully understand them.

(However, the reader may study Liber CLVI, in Equinox I, VI, the 12th and 2nd Aethyrs in Liber 418 in Equinox I, V, and the Symbolism of the V° and VI° in O.T.O.)

Of the preservation of this blood which OUR LADY offers to the ANCIENT ONE, CHAOS 1.

1. CHAOS is a general name for the totality of the Units of Existence; it is thus a name feminine in form. Each unit of CHAOS is itself All-Father.

the All-Father, to revive him, and of how his divine Essence fills the Daughter (the soul of Man)

We have kept the original phrase here, "soul of Man", rather than change it to "soul of the Human Being", in order to make quite clear to the reader that Crowley has not been talking about "males" - or "females"! - in this Chapter. As indeed, most of the time in the rest of his books. We refer the serious reader to our "Editorial" in Oriflame VI 3 for Crowley's usage of "Man" as a generic for the human species.

and places her upon the Throne of the Mother, fulfilling the Economy of the Universe, and thus ultimately rewarding the Magician (the Son)

The Initiated Ruach in a sense; in a higher sense still, the Khu. Again, we emphasize that this "Son" is present in both men and women!

ten thousandfold, it would be still more improper to speak in this place. So holy a mystery is the Arcanum of the Masters of the Temple, that it is here hinted at in order to blind the presumptuous who may, unworthy, seek to lift the veil, and at the same time to lighten the darkness of such as may be requiring only one ray of the Sun in order to spring into life and light.


ABRAHADABRA is a word to be studied in Equinox I, V., "The Temple of Solomon the King". It represents the Great Work complete, and it is therefore an archetype of all lesser magical operations. It is in a way too perfect to be applied in advance to any of them. But an example of such an operation may be studied in Equinox I, VII, "The Temple of Solomon the King", where an invocation of Horus on this formula is given in full. Note the reverberation of the ideas one against another. The formula of Horus has not yet been so fully worked out in details as to justify a treatise upon its exoteric theory and practice; but one may say that it is, to the formula of Osiris, what the turbine is to the reciprocating engine.

Meaning, that it more efficient. Most of our annotations to Crowley's works are based on our perception and research of the Formula of Horus along (or so we believe!) the lines proposed by A.C.. Our annotations, even when based on fact, should always be taken with scientific skepticism by the serious aspirant of either sex and of any sexual persuasion; for it may be that what we are saying is generally useful, or it may be that what we are saying is useful only to us and a few others. Our insights are not necessarily sociobiological in the ampler sense; but they are given because, among other things, what is most needed at present is experimental data as to the New Aeon. Hence the importance of the Magical Record, as Crowley himself wrote plainly in Liber E vel Exercitiorum.

Note by David Bersson: These points are extremely important and serious students should pay close attention to the point being raised. Over the last forty years or more I have come across many would be claimants to the title of title “magical child”. Or others who have made fool claims to be Master of the Temple having crossed the Abyss or even Magus. None of them ever showed the sincerity or honesty that this one comment proclaims. This comment is a real proclamation to aspirants to become the scientists that was brought forth as a vision for the future – where the method of science is truly embraced to counter this tendency with magicians to self delusion. The theory must be balanced by practice and Liber E begins an attitude where scientific observations from the magical record can be continued without the horrors of delusion taking shape on the Path toward initiation. You must understand the goal to become a occult scholar is no doubt a noble path – and yet you are simply repeating the words of greater initiates by such a limited stance. By becoming the real initiate who has used the method of science you of course become that type of occult scholar that is less likely to fall into the traps of delusion. This is the difference between a troglodyte like James Wasserman who many books only give us adventures of a failed student – and yet in terms of being an occult scholar he tries to pass himself off as successful on the path. You cannot compare this to Marcelo Motta whose years of magical work in adherence with the method of science really awakened useful insights to carry on the Great Work.


There are many other sacred words which enshrine formulae of great efficacity in particular operations.

For example, V.I.T.R.I.O.L. gives a certain Regimen of the Planets useful in Alchemical work. Ararita is a formula of the macrocosm potent in certain very lofty Operations of the Magick of the Inmost Light. (See Liber 813.)

The formula of Θελημα may be summarized thus: Theta "Babalon and the Beast conjoined" — epsilon unto Nuith (CCXX, I, 51) — lambda The Work accomplished in Justice — eta The Holy Graal — mu The Water therein — alpha The Babe in the Egg (Harpocrates on the Lotus.)

That of "Agape" is as follows:

Dionysus (Γ) — The Virgin Earth gamma — The Babe in the Egg (α — the image of the Father)

Again, imprecise phrasing. It is the image of the Father-Mother, Kether, being on the First Path from the Crown.

— The Massacre of the Innocents, π (winepress) — The Draught of Ecstasy, η.

The student will find it well worth his while to seek out these ideas in detail, and develop the technique of their application.

There is also the Gnostic Name of the Seven Vowels, which gives a musical formula most puissant in evocations of the Soul of Nature. There is moreover ABRAXAS; there is XNOUBIS; there is MEITHRAS; and indeed it may briefly be stated that every true name of God gives the formula of the invocation of that God. 1.

God or Goddess, of course. The serious student can experiment for himself or herself along the lines Crowley exemplified above. The proof of the pudding is then in the eating thereof.

1. Members of the IV° of the O.T.O. are well aware of a Magick Word whose analysis contains all truth, human and Divine, a word indeed potent for any group which dares to use it.

It would therefore be impossible, even were it desirable, to analyse all such names. The general method of doing so has been given, and the magician must himself work out his own formula for particular cases. 2.

2. The Holy Qabalah (see Liber D in Equinox I, VIII, Supplement, and Liber 777) affords the means of analysis and application required. See also Equinox I, V, "The Temple of Solomon The King".


It should also be remarked that every grade has its peculiar magical formula. Thus, the formula of Abrahadabra concerns us, as men, principally because each of us represents the pentagram or microcosm; and our equilibration must therefore be with the hexagram or macrocosm. In other words, 5 °= 6 is the formula of the Solar operation; but then 6 °= 5 is the formula of the Martial operation, and this reversal of the figures implies a very different Work. In the former instance the problem was to dissolve the microcosm in the macrocosm; but this other problem is to separate a particular force from the macrocosm, just as a savage might hew out a flint axe from the deposits in a chalk cliff.

The Operation is therefore a form of Coagula, just as the previous Operation was a form of Solve. It is analogous to the Operation of the Probationer, only on a much higher plane.

Similarly, an operation of Jupiter will be of the nature of the equilibration of him with Venus.

He means Chesed and Netzach, not necessarily the Gods. But cf. Equinox V 4, "The Paris Working".

Its graphic formula will be 7 °= 4, and there will be a word in which the character of this operation is described, just as Abrahadabra describes the Operation of the Great Work.

Or more than one word. The more generally useful a word expressing a magical formula is, the greater the probability of its general acceptance, as was the case with Abrahadabra and others already analysed by Crowley. Some words are useful only to particular individuals. That is the purpose-and meaning-of Magical Mottos.

It may be stated without unfairness, as a rough general principle, that the farther from original equality are the two sides of the equation, the more difficult is the operation to perform.

Thus, to take the case of the personal operation symbolized by the grades, it is harder to become a Neophyte, 1 °= 10, than to pass from that grade to Zelator, 2 °= 9.

Initiation is, therefore, progressively easier, in a certain sense, after the first step is taken. But (especially after the passing of Tiphareth) the distance between grade and grade increases as it were by a geometrical progression with an enormously high factor, which itself progresses. 1.

1. A suggestion has recently been made that the Hierarchy of the Grades should be "destroyed, and replaced by" — a ring system of 13 grades all equal.

[This ridiculous suggestion, as usual, came from a pupil who was being very properly sat upon. Cf. Liber 333, Ch. 45, and Crowley's Commentary thereon.]

There is, of course, one sense in which every grade is a Thing-in-Itself. But the Hierarchy is only a convenient method of classifying observed facts. One is reminded of the Democracy, who, on being informed by the Minister of the Interior that the scarcity of provisions was due to the Law of Supply and Demand, passed a unanimous resolution calling for the immediate repeal of that iniquitous measure!

[The Council of Nicea did a similiar job in theology, with the wonderful results every sensible citizen, in particular, should study at present, since Nicene asinity is behind all the antics of the "Moral Majority" and of the Reagan administration.]

Every person, whatever his grade in the Order, has also a "natural" grade appropriate to his intrinsic virtue.

[He is talking about the A∴A∴, of course. In the O.T.O., for instance, there would be a parallel situation, but connected to the person's True Will in temporal life. Cf. Liber 111, Ch. 188.]

He may expect to be "cast out" into that grade when he becomes 8 °= 3. Thus one man, throughout his career, may be essentially of the type of Netzach; another, of Hod. In the same way Rembrandt and Raphael retained their respective points of view in all stages of their art. The practical consideration is that some aspirants may find it unusually difficult to attain certain grades; or, worse, allow their inherent predispositions to influence them to neglect antipathetic, and indulge sympathetic, types of work. They may thus become more unbalanced than ever, with disastrous results.

[One of which being suggestions such as the above, of doing away with the Hierarchy (and thus with the authority of the Teacher, who keeps pointing out one's boo-booes) and making all grades "equal".]

Success in one's favourite pursuit is a temptress; whose yields to her wiles limits his own growth. True, every Will is partial; but, even so, it can only fulfill itself by symmetrical expansion. It must be adjusted to the Universe, or fail of perfection.

It is evidently impossible to give details of all these formulae. Before beginning any operation soever the magician must make a through Qabalistic study of it so as to work out its theory in symmetry of perfection. Preparedness in Magick is as important as it is in War.


It should be profitable to make a somewhat detailed study of the strange-looking word AUMGN, for its analysis affords an excellent illustration of the principles on which the Practicus may construct his own Sacred Words.

This word has been uttered by the MASTER THERION himself, as a means of declaring his own personal work as the Beast, the Logos of the Aeon. To understand it, we must make a preliminary consideration of the word which it replaces and from which it was developed: the word AUM.

The word AUM is the sacred Hindu mantra which was the supreme hieroglyph of Truth, a compendium of the Sacred Knowledge. Many volumes have been written with regard to it; but, for our present purpose, it will be necessary only to explain how it came to serve for the representation of the principal philosophical tenets of the Rishis.

Firstly, it represents the complete course of sound. It is pronounced by forcing the breath from the back of the throat with the mouth wide open, through the buccal cavity with the lips so shaped as to modify the sound from A to O (or U), to the closed lips, when it becomes M. Symbolically, this announces the course of Nature as proceeding from free and formless creation through controlled and formed preservation to the silence of destruction. The three sounds are harmonized into one; and thus the word represents the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva;

With their female counterparts. These vary in form, if not in essence, according to the particular Hindu sect you may talk with; but the general consensus is that they are respectively Sarasvati, the Goddess of Illuminated Knowledge, Lakshmi, the Goddess of Prosperity, and Parvati (Kali). Ultimately, they are all of them manifestations or modulations of Sakti. We cannot go into these correspondences in depth at this time.

and the operations in the Universe of their triune energy. It is thus the formula of a Manvantara, or period of manifested existence, which alternates with a Pralaya, during which creation is latent.

Analysed Qabalistically, the word is found to possess similar properties. A is the negative, and also the unity which concentrates it into a positive form. A is the Holy Spirit who begets God in flesh upon the Virgin, according to the formula familiar to students of "The Golden Bough". A is also the "babe in the Egg" thus produced. The quality of A is thus bisexual. It is the original being — Zeus Arrhenothelus, Bacchus Diphues, or Baphomet.

These are all androgynes - or gynanders, take your pick. Cf. LXV v 44 and Chapter 5 of this book.

U or V is the manifested son himself. Its number is 6. It refers therefore, to the dual nature of the Logos as divine and human;

The duality has other aspects that may be sought in Frater Parzival XI°'s edition of Liber C by those fortunate enough to possess a genuine copy.

Note by David Bersson: I was one of the members who received a genuine copy of this & I offer it to anyone in the Order who would aspire to be ninth degree. (I do not mail it – you must meet me personally to receive it.) Although Liber C is officially a ninth degree document it is given early as part of the preparation for what is to be received in the Secret Circle.

the interlacing of the upright and averse triangles in the hexagram. It is the first number of the Sun, whose last number 1.

1. The Sun being 6, a square 6x6 contains 36 squares. We arrange the numbers from 1 to 36 in this square, so that each line, file, and diagonal adds to the same number. This number is 111; the total of all is 666.

is 666, "the number of a man".

He is, therefore, the Alpha and Omega of the Christian (not Christist!) Current in this Aeon of Horus.

The letter M exhibits the termination of this process. It is the Hanged Man of the Tarot; the formation of the individual from the absolute is closed by his death.

Or her death. Cf. LXV iii 58-59. It cannot be too often emphasized that Crowley's works are not addressed to "males", but to humankind as a whole. In this Aeon, Initiation demands that a man should become a woman, and that a woman should become a man. This aphorism, absurb on the material plane at the present time, may not remain so in following centuries - cf. John Varley's magnificent short story, "Options". And of course the intelligent reader will have realized that in the subtler planes this aphorism has always been a reality that has now been brought down into normal human consiousness. Cf. LXV v 5.

We see accordingly how AUM is, on either system, the expression of a dogma which implies catastrophe in nature. It is cognate with the formula of the Slain God. The "resurrection" and "ascension" are not implied in it. They are later inventions without basis in necessity; they may be described indeed as Freudian phantasms conjured up by the fear of facing reality. To the Hindu, indeed, they are still less respectable. in his view, existence is essentially objectionable 1.

1. Thelemites agree that manifested existence implies Imperfection. But they understand why Perfection devises this disguise.

[Cf. AL i 28-32.]

The Theory is developed fully in Liber Aleph, and in Part IV of this Book 4. See also Cap V Paragraph on F final of FIAOF.

and his principle concern is to invoke Shiva; 2.

2. The Vaishnava theory, superficially opposed to this, turns out on analysis to be practically identical.

[The Vaishnava theory is that of worshippers of Vishnu. See his description as the Destroyer in the Bhagavad Gita.]

to destroy the illusion whose thrall is the curse of the Manvantara.

The cardinal revelation of the Great Aeon of Horus is that this formula AUM does not represent the facts of nature. The point of view is based upon misapprehension of the character of existence. It soon became obvious to The Master Therion that AUM was an inadequate and misleading hieroglyph. It stated only part of the truth, and it implied a fundamental falsehood. He consequently determined to modify the word in such a manner as to fit it to represent the Arcana unveiled by the Aeon of which He had attained to be the Logos.

The essential task was to emphasize the fact that nature is not catastrophic, but proceeds by means of undulations. It might be suggested that Manvantara and Pralaya are in reality complementary curves; but the Hindu doctrine insists strongly on denying continuity to the successive phases.

Of course, the theory of Manvantara and Pralaya is just as speculative as the recurrent controversy of the astronomic theory of the "Big Bang" versus "continuous creation" or whatever other theory is fashionable at the time. When the Hindu - or the astronomer - comes at you about the Beginning - or the End - of the Cosmos, you can always ask: "How do you know?" In this writer's experience, this is not conductive to your personal popularity with either Hindu mystics or astronomers. The point is that human life is so short, and the history of science so brief, that it is supremely presumptuous of us to try to measure the beginning or the end of things besides which the existence of our planet, to say nothing of the existence of our species, is a blink of an eye. And why should the Cosmos be presumed to have a beginning or an end just because we do? The immortality of the soul is a nice theory, but it remains a theory. What we do know is that nature is continuous. It is interesting that Liber AL emphasizes this point strongly. At any rate, it is obvious that Crowley's word AUMGN represents the facts of nature, as we at present know them, much better than AUM. Humans die, no doubt. But also undoubtedly, life goes on despite our personal demise. Our enormous significance is mostly to ourselves, as Stephen Crane was so rude as to point out.

These observations are not, of course, meant as a disparagement of AUM, which was a brilliant observation of nature - both human and general - for at least five thousand years. It took the advance of science for the inadequacy of this mantra to become evident; the nobility of the inventor - Krishna - cannot be questioned any more than the intelligence of Aristotle. Both did their best with what was available to them at the time.

It was nevertheless important to avoid disturbing the Trinitarian arrangement of the word, as would be done by the addition of other letters. It was equally desirable to make it clear that the letter M represents an operation which does not actually occur in nature except as the withdrawal of phenomena into the absolute; which process, even when so understood, is not a true destruction, but, on the contrary, the emancipation of anything from the modifications which it had mistaken for itself. It occurred to him that the true nature of Silence was to permit the uninterrupted vibration of the undulatory energy, free from the false conceptions attached to it by the Ahamkara or Ego-making facility, whose assumption that conscious individuality constitutes existence let it to consider its own apparently catastrophic character as pertaining to the order of nature.

The undulatory formula of putrefaction is represented in the Qabalah by the letter N, which refers to Scorpio, whose triune nature combines the Eagle, Snake and Scorpion. These hieroglyphs themselves indicate the spiritual formulae of incarnation. He was also anxious to use the letter G, another triune formula expressive of the aspects of the moon, which further declares the nature of human existence in the following manner. The moon is in itself a dark orb; but an appearance of light is communicated to it by the sun; and it is exactly in this way that successive incarnations create the appearance,

That is, our "existence"-for a while!-as this millionaire, or that commissar, or that beggar, all equally sure of their personal reality, importance and permanence.

just as the individual star, which every man is, remains itself, irrespective of whether earth perceives it or not.

Now it so happens that the root GN signifies both knowledge and generation combined in a single idea, in an absolute form independent of personality. The G is a silent letter, as in our word Gnosis; and the sound GN is nasal, suggesting therefore the breath of life as opposed to that of speech. Impelled by these considerations, the Master Therion proposed to replace the M of AUM by a compound letter MGN, symbolizing thereby the subtle transformation of the apparent silence and death which terminates the manifested life of Vau by a continuous vibration of an impersonal energy of the nature of generation and knowledge, the Virgin Moon and the Serpent furthermore operating to include in the idea a commemoration of the legend so grossly deformed in the Hebrew legend of the Garden of Eden, and its even more malignantly debased falsification in that bitterly sectarian broadside, the Apocalypse.

Sound work invariable vindicates itself by furnishing confirmatory corollaries not contemplated by the Qabalist. In the present instance, the Master Therion was delighted to remark that his compound letter MGN, constructed on theoretical principles with the idea of incorporating the new knowledge of the Aeon, had the value of 93 (M = 40, G = 3, N = 50). 93 is the number of the word of the Law — Θελημα — Will, and of Agape — Love, which indicates the nature of Will. It is furthermore the number of the Word which overcomes death, as members of the degree of M M of the O.T.O. are well aware;

and it is also that of the complete formula of existence as expressed in the True Word of the Neophyte,

where existence is taken to import that phase of the whole which is the finite resolution of the Qabalistic Zero.

Finally, the total numeration of the Word AUMGN is 100, which, as initiates of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis of the O.T.O. are taught, expresses the unity under the form of complete manifestation by the symbolism of pure number, being Kether by Aiq Bkr 1.

1. A method of exegesis in which 1 = 10 = 100, 2 = 20 = 200, etc.

also Malkuth multiplied by itself 2.

10 to the 2 power = 100. 2.

and thus established in the phenomenal universe. But, moreover, this number 100 mysteriously indicates the Magical formula of the Universe as a reverberatory engine for the extension of Nothingness through the device of equilibrated opposites. 3.

3. 100 (20 + 80) = כף. כ = χ = Κτεισ: ף = φ = Φαλλοσ (by Notariqon).

It is moreover the value of the letter ק, which means "the back of the head", the cerebellum, where the creative or reproductive force is primarily situated. ק in the Tarot is "the Moon", a card suggesting illusion, yet shewing counterpartal forces operating in darkness, and the Winged Beetle or Midnight Sun in his Bark travelling through the Nadir. Its Yetziratic attribution is Pisces, symbolic of the positive and negative currents of fluidic energy, the male Ichthus or "Pesce" and the female Vesica, seeking respectively the anode and kathode. The number 100 is therefore a synthetic glyph of the subtle energies employed in creating the Illusion, or Reflection of Reality, which we call manifested existence.

The above are the principal considerations in the matter of AUMGN. They should suffice to illustrate to the student the methods employed in the construction of the hieroglyphics of Magick, and to arm him with a mantra of terrific power by virtue whereof he may apprehend the Universe, and control in himself its Karmic consequences.



There is no more important task than the exploration of one's previous incarnations. 1.

1. It has been objected to reincarnation that the population of this planet has been increasing rapidly. Where do the new souls come from? It is not necessary to invent theories about other planets; it is enough to say that the earth is passing through a period when human units are being built up from the elements with increased frequency. The evidence for this theory springs to the eye: in what other age was there such puerility, such lack of race-experience, such reliance upon incoherent formulas? (Contrast the infantile emotionalism and credulity of the average "well-educated" Anglo-Saxon with the shrewd common sense of the normal illiterate peasant.) A large proportion of mankind today is composed of "souls" who are living the human life for the first time. Note especially the incredible spread of congenital homosexuality and other sexual deficiencies in many forms.

[You can see this is a much younger Crowley than the one who wrote:
"We'll bury him beneath another sod."]

Its possible here that Mr. Motta might be interpreting this incorrectly. What A.C. is stating is that first incarnation human beings have sexual issues that include homosexuality. This is not the same issue as considering the bi – sexual, male or female such a deviation or issue or that homosexuality itself is a sexual deficiency. It is stating that first incarnation human beings have issues in many forms – a statement that makes perfect sense without contradicting young Crowley from old.

[The key is, although he did not know it at the time of writing Thelemic Magick, that one's chosen form of love-expression is immaterial. the important point is that love must be under will. Cf. Equinox V 4, "Sex and Religion".]

Note by David Bersson: It should be observed that Aleister Crowley never wrote a book which he titled “Thelemic Magick” and what Mr. Motta is referring to is to his title during his lifetime on his commentary to Magick in theory & practice written by the Master Therion aka Aleister Crowley. I have decided this title has a tendency for dogma and I have changed the title to “Magick Commented”. As the method of science adjusts our parameters another book or books are going to be necessary to explain the magick that comes directly from the Book of the Law. Some of these formulas will be useful for the preliminaries of the New Aeon, and will be replaced by magical formula coming from the Book of the Law as We align Ourselves to this oft times complex Great Work to start fresh from the Book of the Law rather than adjust Aeon of Asar formula for the New Aeon from places like the old Golden Dawn, old Knight Templar Gestures or even naive Masonry and other assorted old Aeon protocol. This point is vital, and although we do not discard the training that working old formula into new manifestations of the Aeon we know that the method of science is going to take us to levels of magick undreamed of so early in the Aeon. Confer Liber AL, Chapter I, verse 49. Also Liber AL, Chapter II, verse 5.

These are the people who have not understood, accepted, and used even the Formula of Osiris. Kin to them are the "once-born" of William James, who are incapable of philosophy, magick, or even religion, but seek instinctively a refuge from the horror of contemplating Nature, which they do not comprehend, in soothing-syrup affirmations such as those of Christian Science, Spiritualism, and all the sham 'occult' creeds, as well as the emasculated forms of so-called Christianity.

Actually, Christism, as Fernando Pessoa brilliantly pointed out.]

As Zoroaster says: "Explore the river of the soul; whence and in what order thou has come." One cannot do one's True Will intelligently unless one knows what it is. Liber Thisharb, Equinox I, VII, give instructions for determining this by calculating the resultant of the forces which have made one what one is. But this practice is confined to one's present incarnation.

If one were to wake up in a boat on a strange river, it would be rash to conclude that the direction of the one reach visible was that of the whole stream. It would help very much if one remembered the bearings of previous reaches traversed before one's nap. It would further relieve one's anxiety when one became aware that a uniform and constant force was the single determinant of all the findings of the stream: gravitation. We could rejoice "that even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea."

A quote from one of Swineburne's greatest poems.

It's curious that Mr. Motta who considered this one of Algernon Charles Swinburne's greatest poems does not name the title of the poem. A.C. is quoting Algernon Charles Swinburne's poem called, “The Garden of Proserpine”. The poem, although very colorful in expression might disturb a manic depressive or annoy a Thelemite who sees existence to be joy – and perceives the continuity of consciousness – in death and life. Therefore, I see it as an old Aeon poem which no particular new creativity than its expressive and colorful metaphors. I find Yeats far more inspiring than Swinburne's attempt at poetry.

Liber Thisharb describes a method of obtaining the Magical Memory by learning to remember backwards. But the careful practice of Dharana is perhaps more generally useful. As one prevents the more accessible thoughts from arising, we strike deeper strata — memories of childhood reawaken. Still deeper lies a class of thoughts whose origin puzzles us. Some of these apparently belong to former incarnations.

On must be careful, however, when examining those thoughts. They may be the thoughts of another person - or several persons - who resonate genetically in the "wave length" - so to speak - in which the student is working at this etime. And they many not refer to past incarnations at all. A practice extremely helpful in avoiding "tete - atmospherics" - and many other things! - is given in Liber XVI.

Note by David Bersson: Yet neither A.C. nor Mr. Motta address the problem of first incarnation candidates where absolutely nothing can be gained from Liber Thisharb with regards to information on past incarnations. In such a case, Liber XVI should not be strictly avoided to gain something from the Thisharb practice and used only after. Yet, in such a case whether the experience was wave length vibration from other than a past incarnation is not going to be relevant. What would be important is noting the experience and if possible, the difference between the two.

By cultivating these departments of one's mind we can develop them; we become expert; we form an organized coherence of these originally disconnected elements; the faculty grows with astonishing rapidity, once the knack of the business is mastered.

It is much easier (for obvious reasons) to acquire the Magical Memory when one has been sworn for many lives to reincarnate immediately. The great obstacle is the phenomenon called Freudian forgetfulness; that is to say, that, though an unpleasant event may be recorded faithfully enough by the mechanism of the brain, we fail to recall it, or recall it wrong, because it is painful.

This perhaps the greatest obstacle any Probationer of the A∴A∴ has to face. Cf. Liber Pyramidos. This type of "forgetfulness", incidentally, is one of the Hindu "sins".

"The Psychopathology of Everyday Life"

By Freud, and perhaps his greatest masterpiece.

analyses and illustrates this phenomenon in detail. Now, the King of Terrors being Death, it is hard indeed to look it in the face. Mankind has created a host of phantastic masks; people talk of "going to heaven", "passing over", and so on; banners flaunted from pasteboard towers of baseless theories. One instinctively flinches from remembering one's last, as one does from imagining one's next, death. 1.

However, one flinches from remembering one's death (if one flinches from remembering it) not so much because of the phenomenon of material death itself, but because of the horror of the realization that one might have almost, but not quite, severed one's links with the Supernals during one's "life". This would have been real death - which yet might have left "you" very much "alive" in a very unhealthy sense - and even "immortal". But this experience is unintelligible to anyone who has not undergone its terror. The dread, incidentally, is not a fear of "death"; it is a fear of "life" without spirit. It is a dread that may, perhaps, affect only Initiates. I understand some people have been amused that I spoke of the "late James Wasserman" in some of these Thelemic editions when it is well known that Mr. Wasserman is, to all appearances, alive and kicking - or was of this writing. But Mr. Wasserman has been spiritually dead for years. Of course, were he able to realize this fact, he would not be dead at all. This is one of the many paradoxes of Initiation, and was expressed in the cribbed Dionysian aphorism: "Let the dead bury their dead."

1. This later is a very valuable practice to perform. See Liber HHH; also read up the Buddhist meditations of the Ten Impurities.

The point of view of the initiate helps one immensely.

As soon as one has passed this Pons Asinorum, the practice becomes much easier. It is much less trouble to reach the life before the last; familiarity with death breeds contempt for it.

It is a very great assistance to the beginner if he happens to have some intellectual grounds for identifying himself with some definite person in the immediate past. A brief account of Aleister Crowley's good fortune in this matter should be instructive. It will be seen that the points of contact vary greatly in character.

1. The date of Eliphas Levi's death was about six months previous to that of Aleister Crowley's birth. The reincarnating ego is supposed to take possession of the foetus at about this stage of development.

This is because the foetus recapitulates the entire history of the evolution of our species and reaches the human stage-as at present defined-only at the end of the third month of gestation. This is the reason why abortion only has ethical implications after the third month of pregnancy. It should interest the serious student that it is also only after the third month of pregnancy that abortion presents significant statistical risks to the prospective mother's health. Cf. Letter 27 of Magick Without Tears Unexpurgated Commented Part One.

2. Eliphas Levi had a striking personal resemblance to Aleister Crowley's father. This of course merely suggests a certain degree of suitability from a physical point of view.

Or, to put it loosely, genetic resonance. This is a hint for the benefit of future scientific researchers.

3. Aleister Crowley wrote a play called "The Fatal Force" at a time when he had not read any of Eliphas Levi's works. The motive of this play is a Magical Operation of a very peculiar kind. The formula which Aleister Crowley supposed to be his original idea is mentioned by Levi. We have not been able to trace it anywhere else with such exact correspondence in every detail.

4. Aleister Crowley found a certain quarter of Paris incomprehensibly familiar and attractive to him. This was not the ordinary phenomenon of the deja vu, it was chiefly a sense of being at home again. He discovered long after that Levi had lived in the neighbourhood for many years.

It should be remarked that when Motta visited England in late 1952 e.v. he found London remarkably familiar - as if he had lived there before (as usual!). This was particularly striking in what concerned the part of the town around the British Museum. Motta, incidentally, does not not believe that he is the "reincarnation" of Aleister Crowley - or even an "incarnation" of The Beast, alas! He suspects, however, that he is a reincarnation (whatever this may mean) of "Swami" Vivekananda, and that Karl Johannes Germer was the reincarnation - whatever, etc. - of Sri Ramakrishna that the Hindu Master told his pupils he would have to incur before he achieved total liberation - or, if you wish, real mastership. He furthermore believes that his a "reincarnation" of a Chinese pupil of Crowley's incarnation as Ko Yuen. His claim to be the reincarnation of Zhuang Zi, made in Equinox V 3, was meant as a joke on himself: he has been a scribe, that is (in a sense) a copyist, for several incarnations; and Zhuang Zi was a "scribe" of Lao Zi, albeit not a pupil of the Old One in a material sense.

5. There are many curious similarities between the events of Eliphas Levi's life and that of Aleister Crowley. The intention of the parents that their son should have a religious career; the inability to make use of very remarkable talents in any regular way; the inexplicable ostracism which afflicted him, and whose authors seemed somehow to be ashamed of themselves; the events relative to marriage: 1.

1. Levi, on her deliberately abandoning him, withdrew his protection from his wife;

[This is based on Crowley's misunderstanding of a statement of Levi's that a certain sage, on being betrayed by his wife, imposed only this sentence on her: "I take from you your intelligence and your beauty." Levi was not referring to himself, but to his pupil Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Levi never imposed any sentence on his wife when she left him, and she lived many further happy years - from her point of view, at any rate (and so far as we know, possibly also from Levi's) - as a Socialist agitator in France. On the other hand, Bulwer-Lytton did impose a sentence on his first wife, and the sentence came to pass, as the testimony of history shows. We remark to the serious reader that Bulwer-Lytton was a lesser man than Levi. Crowley never imposed any sentence on his wives; whatever "sentences" they may have incurred, they imposed on themselves. Crowley did impose a sentence on one of his mistresses, the celebrated "Cat". He was still relatively young then, and we question the wisdom of the gesture. We do not know if Crowley does - or even the Beast does. Suum cuiquel]

she lost her beauty and intelligence, and became the prey of an aged and hideous pithecoid.

[We repeat, this is not historical.]

Aleister Crowley's wife insisted upon doing her own will, as she defined it; this compelled him to stand aside. What happened to Mme. Constant happened to her, although in a more violent and disastrous form.

[We presume this refers to Ouarda (Rose crowley), his first wife, who became an alcoholic and had to undergo psychiatric treatment.]

all these offer surprisingly close parallels.

6. The characters of the two men present subtle identities in many points. Both seem to be constantly trying to reconcile insuperable antagonisms. Both find it hard to destroy the delusion that men's fixed beliefs and customs may be radically altered by a few friendly explanations. Both show a curious fondness for out-the-way learning, preferring recondite sources of knowledge they adopt eccentric appearances. Both inspire what can only be called panic fear in absolute strangers, who can give no reason whatever for a repulsion which sometimes almost amounts to temporary insanity. The ruling passion in each case is that of helping humanity. Both show quixotic disregard of their personal prosperity, and even comfort, yet both display love of luxury and splendour. Both have the pride of Satan.

A very romantic - and basically clumsy - way to put it. This famous "pride of Satan" dates back to Milton's "Paradise Lost", where the chief of the fallen angels is made to say "Better to rule in hell that to serve in heaven" - a sentiment lean wolves will always share and fat dogs decry. Our personal objection to such imagery is that it leads the unwary into the delusion that there has ever been a "devil" in the Judeo - Christist sense. Crowley's recurrent usage of the name "Satan" as a literary device has caused a lot of confusion in simple minds, and a lot of fear in dishonest minds occupying high places, and has put him in the amusing (if you are an outsider) position of being disliked by both christists and "Satanists".

7. When Aleister Crowley became Frater Omicron-Upsilon Mu-Eta and had to write his thesis for the grade of Adeptus Exemptus, he had already collected his ideas when Levi's "Clef des Grands Mysteres" fell into his hands. It was remarkable that he, having admired Levi for many years, and even begun to suspect the identity, had not troubled (although an extravagant buyer of books) to get this particular work. He found, to his astonishment, that almost everything that he had himself intended to say was there written. The result of this was that he abandoned writing his original work, and instead translated the masterpiece in question.

8. The style of the two men is strikingly similar in numerous subtle and deep-seated ways. The general point of view is almost identical. The quality of the irony is the same. Both take a perverse pleasure in playing practical jokes on the reader. In one point, above all, the identity is absolute — there is no third name in literature which can be put in the same class. The point is this: In a single sentence is combined sublimity and enthusiasm with sneering bitterness, scepticism, grossness and scorn. It is evidently the supreme enjoyment to strike a chord composed of as many conflicting elements as possible. The pleasure seems to be derived from gratifying the sense of power, the power to compel every possible element of thought to contribute to the spasm.

If the theory of reincarnation were generally accepted, the above considerations would make out a strong case. FRATER PERDURABO was quite convinced in one part of his mind of this identity, long before he got any actual memories as such. 1.

1. Long since writing the above, the publication of the biography of Eliphas Levi by M. Paul Chacornat has confirmed the hypothesis in innumerable striking ways.

[This is Paul Chacornac, who was a member of the French branch of the O.T.O. under Papus (Dr. Gerard Encausse), who also wrote the only sensible biography of "St. Germain" extant.]


Unless one has a groundwork of this sort to start with, one must get back to one's life as best one can by the methods above indicated. It may be of some assistance to give a few characteristics of genuine Magical Memory; to mention a few sources of error, and to lay down critical rules for the verification of one's results.

The first great danger arises from vanity. One should always beware of "remembering" that one was Cleopatra or Shakespeare.

Again, superficial resemblances are usually misleading.

One of the great tests of the genuineness of any recollection is that one remembers the really important things in one's life, not those which mankind commonly classes as such.

This is a very important point

For instance, Aleister Crowley does not remember any of the decisive events in the life of Eliphas Levi. He recalls intimate trivialities of childhood. He has a vivid recollection of certain spiritual crises; in particular, one which was fought out as he paced up and down a lonely stretch of road in a flat and desolate district. He remembers ridiculous incidents, such as often happen at suppers when the conversation takes a turn such that its gaiety somehow strikes to the soul, and one receives a supreme revelation which is yet perfectly inarticulate.

Without the benefit of amphetamine-laced coke, to boot.

He has forgotten his marriage and its tragic results, 1.

1. It is perhaps significant that although the name of the woman has been familiar to him since 1898, he has never been able to commit it to memory.

although the plagiarism which Fate has been shameless enough to perpetrate in this present life, would naturally, one might think, reopen the wound.

Actually, the fact of forgetting it simply means that it was not really important (from a spiritual point of view), albeit the sufferer may have thought so at the time! It also explains, in this case, how Crowley confused Bulwer-Lytton cursing his stranged wife with Levi not doing the same.

There is a sense which assures us intuitively when we are running on a scent breast high. There is an oddness about the memory which is somehow annoying. It gives a feeling of shame and guiltiness. There is a tendency to blush. One feels like a schoolboy caught red-handed in the act of writing poetry.

A poignant reference! It was a crime of which had been guilty as a schoolboy. As you know, only faggots write poetry, especially at an age when they should be going about bullying weaker boys or masturbating in the latrine. There is nothing like being brought up in a Christist society to instill in you a sense of real manhood. Ask Norman Mailer.

There is the same sort of feeling as one has when one finds a faded photograph or a lock of hair twenty years old among the rubbish in some forgotten cabinet. This feeling is independent of the question whether the thing remembered was in itself a source of pleasure or of pain. Can it be that we resent the idea of our "previous condition of servitude"?

Again, it is the shame of remembering how poorly one served one's Higher Soul, how often one took toys for treasures, and how often one mistook oneself for the One - or the None.

We want to forget the past, however good reason we may have to be proud of it. It is well known that many men are embarrassed in the presence of a monkey.

This was true even before Darwin pointed out that when men make monkeys of themselves they are recapitulating evolution.

When the "loss of face" does not occur, distrust the accuracy of the item which you recall, The only reliable recollections which present themselves with serenity are invariably connected with what men call disasters. Instead of the feeling of being caught in the slips, one has that of being missed at the wicket.

The reference is to the game of cricket.

One has the sly satisfaction of having done an outrageously foolish thing and got off scot free. When one sees life in perspective, it is an immense relief to discover that things like bankruptcy, wedlock, and the gallows made no particular difference. They were only accidents such as might happen to anybody; they had no real bearing on the point at issue. One consequently remembers having one's ears cropped as a lucky escape, while the causal jest of a drunken skeinsmate in an all-night cafe stings one with the shame of the parvenu to whom a polite stranger has unsuspectingly mentioned "Mine Uncle".

The "uncle" in question being, of course, either moneyed or "blue-blooded" - or in Russia, a Party - pooper. This sort of snobbishness may someday die; but not yet, alas.

The testimony of intuitions is, however, strictly subjective, and shrieks for collateral security. It would be a great error to ask too much. In consequence of the peculiar character of the recollections which are under the microscope, anything in the shape of gross confirmation almost presumes perjury. A pathologist would arouse suspicion if he said that his bacilli had arranged themselves on the slide so as to spell Staphylococcus. We distrust an arrangement of flowers which tells us that "Life is worth living in Detroit, Michigan". Suppose that Aleister Crowley remembers that he was Sir Edward Kelly.

It is amusing how Crowley persisted in giving Kelly the knightly that no one else does. One of his secret ambitions was to be knighted by the British government for services to his country. He never was - but then, neither was Charles Darwin.

Note by David Bersson: From the first Constitution of the United States of America called the Articles of Confederation which was never revoked – Article VI - it is considered treason for to accept a title of nobility from England with possible imprisonment or execution. Yet, as the years move forth this Article has been forgotten or ignored by various people in the United States even going so far as to have movie stars, politicians and other celebrities taking a title from the Queen of England. Yet, they are all guilty of treason including President Ronald Reagan who took Knighthood under the Queen of England during his administration of Presidency. Reagan did this to strengthen relations with England and he has a statue of himself in England in dedication to him.

Note by David Bersson: I have no doubt that A.C. would covet such a title whereas he is British and the magical link might of assisted England had the Queen thought to reward him in such a manner. Yet, for an American it never used to be be an honor – and those who are not American should study the Declaration of Independence and the history of the American Revolution to understand the seriousness of Americans rejection of the false elites in England. Early Americans were those would not bow before Kings & despised the tariff and law that King George imposed upon the colonies.

It does not follow that he will be able to give us details of Cracow in the time of James I of England. Material events are the words of an arbitrary language; the symbols of a cipher previously agreed on. What happened to Kelly in Cracow may have meant something to him, but there is no reason to presume that it has any meaning for his successor.

"Spiritists" constantly misinterpret the facts of reincarnation because they are horrified by personal extinction. Their entire rigmarole of lies has as its sole purpose a defense mechanism against the thought of death. The idea that what was important to someone in a past life may not matter a whit to his or her "successor", as Crowley puts it, appals them. It is no wonder that Spiritism and Christism both tend to insist on the reality of "Jesus", to say nothing of the reality of "God".

There is an obvious line of criticism about any recollection. It must not clash with ascertained facts. For example — one cannot have two lives which overlap, unless there is reason to suppose that the earlier died spiritually before his body ceased to breathe. This might happen in certain cases, such as insanity.

Again, the idea of an insane husk discarded by its Master, who happily goes to build up another temple elsewhere while the previous one mechanically gibbers through the motions of the living, is as intolerable to Spiritists as to Christists. This is especially so since they identify with the temple, rather than with its Master.

It is not conclusive against a previous incarnation that the present should be inferior to the past. One's life may represent the full possibilities of a certain partial Karma. One may have devoted one's incarnation to discharging the liabilities of one part of one's previous character. For instance, one might devote a lifetime to settling the bill run up by Napoleon for causing unnecessary suffering, with the object of starting afresh, clear of debt, in a life devoted to reaping the reward of the Corsican's invaluable services to the race.

This presupposes that Karma has ethical connotations, and is at total variance with the the philosophy of Θελημα. Cf. Liber 44. In later years he rose above such anthropomorphism. See, for instance, his explanation of Atu VIII in The Book of Thoth.

The Master Therion, in fact, remembers several incarnations of almost uncompensated wretchedness, anguish and humiliation, voluntarily undertaken so that he might resume his work unhampered by spiritual creditors.

Incorrect interpretation. The incarnations were undergone so he could learn certain lessons necessary to better use of his instrument of flesh on his next Mission. Cf. LXV v 8-13. There was no question of "paying Karmic debts".

These are the stigmata. Memory is hall-marked by its correspondence with the facts actually observed in the present. This correspondence may be of two kinds. It is rare (and it is unimportant for the reasons stated above) that one's memory should be confirmed by what may be called, contemptuously, external evidence. It was indeed a reliable contribution to psychology to remark that an evil and adulterous generation sought for a sign.

A quotation from one of the "gospels", probably cribbed from some genuine mystic's complaint. It is indeed a fact of psychology that the more people screw up their own lives, the more they yearn for miraculous divine intervention to come untangle the mess they have made. Witness the Reagan administration.

(Even so, the permanent value of the observation is to trace the genealogy of the Pharisee — from Caiaphas to the modern Christian.)

Signs mislead, from "Painless Dentistry" upwards. The fact that anything is intelligible proves that it is addressed to the wrong quarter, because the very existence of language presupposes impotence to communicate directly. When Walter Raleigh flung his cloak upon the muddy road, he merely expressed, in a cipher contrived by a combination of circumstances, his otherwise inexpressible wish to get on good terms with Queen Elizabeth. The significance of his action was determined by the concourse of circumstances. The reality can have no reason for reproducing itself exclusively in that especial form. It can have no reason for remembering that so extravagant a ritual happened to be necessary to worship.

This is a difficult paragraph to understand if you have not had some experience of Trance. Yet, for this very reason perhaps, it as a very valuable paragraph for the serious reader.

Therefore, however well a man might remember his incarnation as Julius Caesar, there is no necessity for his representing his power to set all upon the hazard of a die by imagining the Rubicon. Any spiritual state can be symbolized by an infinite variety of actions in an infinite variety of circumstances. One should recollect only those events which happen to be immediately linked with one's peculiar tendencies to imagine one thing rather than another. 1.

1. The exception is when some whimsical circumstance ties a knot in the corner of one's mnemonic handkerchief.

[Meaning, that some apparently trivial incident helps one to remember a spiritual lesson useful to the performance of one's True Will.]

Genuine recollections almost invariably explain oneself to oneself. Suppose, for example, that you feel an instinctive aversion to some particular kind of wine. Try as you will, you can find no reason for your idiosyncrasy. Suppose, then, that when you explore some previous incarnation, you remember that you died by a poison administered in a wine of that character, your aversion is explained by the proverb, "A burnt child dreads the fire." It may be objected that in such a case your libido has created a phantasm of itself in the manner which Freud has explained. The criticism is just, but its value is reduced if it should happen that you were not aware of its existence until your Magical Memory attracted your attention to it. In fact, the essence of the test consists in this: that your memory notifies you of something which is the logical conclusion of the premisses postulated by the past.

You should however beware of building up an imaginary incarnation to "explain" an aversion that many be simply caused by inherited physical traits and as such must be attributed not to Neschamah, but to Nephesch. Cf. Letter 49 of Magick Without Tears Unexpurgated Commented Part Two.

As an example, we may cite certain memories of the Master Therion. He followed a train of thought which led him to remember his life as a Roman named Marius de Aquila. It would be straining probability to presume a connection between (alpha) this hieroglyphically recorded mode of self-analysis and (beta) ordinary introspection conducted on principles intelligible to himself. He remembers directly various people and various events connected with this incarnation; and they are in themselves to all appearance actual. There is no particular reason why they, rather than any others, should have entered his sphere. In the act of remembering them, they are absolute. He can find no reason for correlating them with anything in the present. But a subsequent examination of the record shows that the logical result of the Work of Marius de Aquila did not occur to that romantic reprobate; in point of fact, he died before anything could happen. Can we suppose that any cause can be baulked of effect? The Universe is unanimous in rebuttal. If then the exact effects which might be expected to result from these causes are manifested in the career of the Master Therion, it is assuredly the easiest and most reasonable explanation to assume an identity between the two men. Nobody is shocked to observe that the ambition of Napoleon has diminished the average stature of Frenchmen.

This, whether true or not, is hardly amendable to measurement by present means. Were there any statistics about the average height prior to the institution of scientific census in that country?...

We know that somehow or other every force must find its fulfilment; and those people who have grasped the fact that external events are merely symptoms of external ideas, cannot find any difficulty in attributing the correspondences of the one to the identities of the other.

It would be of invaluable scientific help, however, should one remember a past incarnation and then, by dint of historic research or archeology, be able to verify one's memories of that particular life. Suppose, for instance, that albeit Marius de Aquila is generally unknown to history at present, there are somewhere records of his existence and adventures - or misadventures - that confirm Crowley's memories of that life (which unfortunately he does not give in detail). Unsupported personal memories are generally worthless to anyone but the person himself or herself; especially so when the memory is of someone well known to history! Until a reasonable number of such cases as the Marius of Aquila episode is researched and is documentedly available to scientists for scrutiny, the theory of reincarnation will remain just that: a theory. The availability of proper records would be of immense value in the investigation of organic life itself. So far, most generally available accounts of "past incarnations" are anecdotic at best.

Far be it from any apologist for Magick to insist upon the objective validity of these concatenations! It would be childish to cling to the belief that Marius de Aquila actually existed; it matters no more that it matters to the mathematician whether the use of the symbol X to the 22 power involves the "reality" of 22 dimension of space. The Master Therion does not care a scrap of yesterday's newspaper whether he was Marius de Aquila, or whether there ever was such a person, or whether the Universe itself is anything more than a nightmare created by his own imprudence in the matter of rum and water. His memory of Marius de Aquila, of the adventures of that person in Rome and the Black Forest, matters nothing, either to him or to anybody else. What matters is this: True or false, he has found a symbolic form which has enabled him to govern himself to the best advantage. "Quantum nobis prodest hec fabula Christi!" The "falsity" of Aesop's Fables does not diminish their value to mankind.

However, Aesop never tried to pretend his fables were realistic accounts of talking animals. In the argument re the "fabula Christi" there are two important points to consider: first, that the forgeries of the "New Testament" helped nobody but one of the most tyrannical and insane theocracies that ever infested the earth; and second, the Christ is a fable only to those unfit to reach Adeptship. Cf. Letter to a Brasilian Mason.

The above reduction of the Magical Memory to a device for externalizing one's interior wisdom need not be regarded as sceptical, save only in the last resort. No scientific hypothesis can adduce stronger evidence of its validity than the confirmation of its predictions by experimental evidence. The objective can always be expressed in subjective symbols if necessary. The controversy is ultimately unmeaning. However we interpret the evidence, its relative truth depends in its internal coherence. We may therefore say that any magical recollection is genuine if it gives the explanation of our external or internal conditions. Anything which throws light upon the Universe, anything which reveals us to ourselves, should be welcome in this world of riddles.

As our record extends into the past, the evidence of its truth is cumulative. Every incarnation that we remember must increase our comprehension of ourselves as we are. Each accession of knowledge must indicate with unmistakable accuracy the solution of some enigma which is propounded by the Sphynx of our own unknown birth-city, Thebes.

The reference to still another fable, the tragedy of Oedipus, is intentional.

The complicated situation in which we find ourselves is composed of elements; and no element of it came out of nothing. Newton's First Law applies to every plane of thought. The theory of evolution is omniform. There is a reason for one's predisposition to gout, or the shape of one's ear, in the past. The symbolism may change; the facts do not. In one form or another, everything that exists is derived from some previous manifestation. Have it, if you will, that the memories of other incarnations are dreams; but dreams are determined by reality just as much as the events of the day. The truth is to be apprehended by the correct translation of the symbolic language. The last section of the Oath of the Master of the Temple is: "I swear to interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul." The Magical Memory is (in the last analysis) one manner, and, as experience testifies, one of the most important manners, of performing this vow.

This, of course, a purely mystical position. But since through the practice of Liber Thisharb on can develop a memory of past incarnations, we repeat that it is of the greatest scientific import that such memories should be - if at all possible - validated. If they be objective in any sense soever, the implications not only for biology, psychology and biochemistry, but for physics itself are staggering.



"Before there was equilibrium, countenance beheld not countenance." 1.

1. The full significance of this aphorism is an Arcanum of the grade of Ipsissimus. It may, however, be partially apprehended by study of Liber Aleph, and the Book of the Law and the Commentaries thereon. It explains Existence.

So sayeth the holiest of the Books of the ancient Qabalah. (Siphra Tzeniutha 1. 2.) One countenance here spoken of is the Macrocosm, the other the Microcosm. 2.

2. This is the case because we happen ourselves to be Microcosms whose Law is "love under will". But it is also Magick for an unit which has attained Perfection (in absolute nothingness, 0°), to become "divided for love's sake, for the chance of union".

As said above, the object of any magick ceremony is to unite the Macrocosm and the Microcosm.

It is as in optics; the angles of incidence and reflection are equal. You must get your Macrocosm and Microcosm exactly balanced, vertically and horizontally, or the images will not coincide.

This equilibrium is affirmed by the magician in arranging the Temple. Nothing must be lop-sided. If you have anything in the North, you must put something equal and opposite to it in the South. The importance of this is so great, and the truth of it so obvious, that no one with the most mediocre capacity for magick can tolerate any unbalanced object for a moment. His instinct instantly revolts. 1.

Motta was so absolutely obsessed with this idea of equilibrium in his teens that he could not make a casual movement with one arm without immediately reproducing the same movement with the other arm. He fretted at this compulsion and once asked his superior in the "Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua" about it. The person could offer no satisfactory explanation.

1. This is because the essence of his being a Magician is his intuitive apprehension of the fundamental principles of the Universe. His instinct is a subconscious assertion of the structural identity of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm. Equilibrium is the condition of manifested existence.

For this reason the weapons, altar, circle, and magus are all carefully proportioned one with another.

Cf. Book Four Part II, "Magick adn Mysticism", Chs. 2 and 3.

It will not do to have a cup like a thimble and a wand like a weaver's beam. 2.

2. See Bagh-i-Muattar, V, par. 2.

Again, the arrangement of the weapons of the altar must be such that they "look" balanced. Nor should the magician have any unbalanced ornament. If he have the wand in his right hand, let him have the Ring 3.

3. The Ring has not been described in Part II of this book, for reasons which may be or may not be apparent to the reader. It is the symbol of Nuit, the totality of the possible ways in which he may represent himself and fulfill himself.

on his left, or let him take the Ankh, or the Bell, or the Cup. And however little he move to the right, let him balance it by an equivalent movement to the left;

Reading this paragraph in his teens would have done wonders for Motta's peace of mind, and perhaps even for his magickal progress. But although this book was known to his "superiors" in the "Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua", it was kept secret by those who possessed a copy of it. Once in a while a chapter was translated and printed in "Gnose", the "Fraternitas" monthly. The name of the author was never given, nor the source; one presumes in hopes that the readership would think their "superiors" had authored it.

or if forwards, backwards; and let him correct each idea by implying the contradictory contained therein. If he invoke Severity, let him recount that Severity is the instrument of Mercy; 1.

1. For example, as when Firmness with one's self or another is the truest kindness; or when amputation saves life.

if Stability, let him show the basis of that Stability to be constant change, just as the stability of a molecule is secured by the momentum of the swift atoms contained in it. 2.

The analogy with the stability of a human being is not coincidental; it might be said that we are "macrocosmic molecules". Cf. LXV iv 7.

2. See Liber 418, 11th Aethyr.

In this way let every idea go forth as a triangle on the base of two opposites, making an apex transcending their contradiction in a higher harmony.

This habit produces a giant forward step in personal ethics and general sociology, and is the basis of any concept of ecology.

It is not safe to use any thought in Magick, unless that thought has been thus equilibrated and destroyed.

Otherwise, true - meaning, thelemic - success in Magick is impossible. Cf. AL i 44; also, Liber NV vv. 9-11.

Thus again with the instruments themselves; the Wand must be ready to change into a Serpent, the Pantacle into the whirling Svastika or Disk of Jove, as if to fulfil the functions of the Sword. The Cross is both the death of the "Saviour" 1.

1. It is the extension in matter of the Individual Self, the Indivisible Point determined by reference to the Four Quarters.

[This "Point" is the Khabs, and the "bezoar-stone" woven around it is the Khu. Or at least, this an apt analogy below the Abyss, to a point (pun intended). Everyone must have a Khu, or at least a Ka; the quality of this Khu, or of this Ka, is however amendable to consious choice. If you choose to choose!

Also, the reference to the Four Quarters may limit the lazy or the insensitive Aspirant, being purely three - dimensional (you may also call it four-dimensional, including Time; but Time may actually be merely the Resultant of the further dimensions as interpreted by the human mind). There are other "Quarters". Spirit, for instance, is referred by Orthodox Jews to Jerusalem, by Orthodox Moslems to Mecca, and confirmed Thelemites to Boleskine.]

This is the formula which enables it to express its Secret Self; its dew falling upon the Rose is developed into an Eidolon of Itself, in due season.

[One's personal Rose is one's "Virgin of all men", in a sense. Cf. VII i 49. The average mystical Rose, unless awakened by love under will, looks a lot like a cabbage, as Judy Chicago should know. This is a hint to feminists and to advanced Philosophi.]

2. See Liber LXV and Liber VII.

and the Phallic symbol of Resurrection. Will itself must be ready to culminate in the surrender of that Will: 2.

the aspiration's arrow that is shot against the Holy Dove

Or the Swan. Cf. Liber 333, Ch. 17; also, Wagner's "Parsifal".

must transmute itself into the wondering Virgin that receives in her womb the quickening of that same Spirit of God.

Again, cf. LXV v 28; also, Liber 418, 5th Aethyr.

Any idea that is thus in itself positive and negative, active and passive, male and female, is fit to exist above the Abyss; any idea not so equilibrated is below the Abyss, contains in itself an unmitigated duality or falsehood, and is to that extent qliphotic 1.

1. See The Qabalah for the use of this word, and study the doctrine concerning the Kings of Edom.

[Never forgetting that, if Edom really existed, the "doctrine" applies to it and its kings only insofar as the god of a defeated culture usually is forced to become its devil under the victors. (This truth, which is an anthropological axiom, does not detract from the possible philosophical - and even psychological - value of any qabalistic "doctrine". Just don't assume there is any automatic value in it.]

and dangerous. Even an idea like "truth" is unsafe unless it is realized that all Truth is in one sense falsehood. For all Truth is relative; and if it be supposed absolute, will mislead. 2.

2. See Poincare for the mathematical proof of this thesis. But Spiritual Experience goes yet deeper, and destroys the Canon of the Law of Contradiction.

[He refers to his statement, corroborated by the experience of all genuine mystics and "occult" researchers who reached that level, that "above the Abyss" no thought is true unless it contains its contradiction in itself.]

There is an immense amount of work by the Master Therion on this subject; it pertains especially to His grade of 9° = 2. Such profundities are unsuited to the Student, and may unsettle him seriously.

[The word "Student" is used here in its technical A∴A∴ sense to refer to an Aspirant who has not yet experienced a Trance, and whose knowledge, therefore, is merely intellectual.]

It will be best for him to consider (provisionally) Truth in the sense in which it is taken by Physical Science.

[However, even physical science has made giant leaps since 1904 e.v. and Heisenburg's Principle of Uncertainty threw a wrench into the smug self-satisfaction of Newtonians and Roman-Alexandrines alike!]

"The Book of Lies falsely so called" (Liber 333) is worthy of close and careful study in this respect. The reader should also consult Konx Om Pax, "Introduction", and "Thien Tao" in the same volume.

All this is to be expressed in the words of the ritual itself, and symbolised in every act performed.


It is said in the ancient books of Magick that everything used by the Magician must be "virgin". That is: it must never have been used by any other person or for any other purpose. The greatest importance was attached by the Adepts of old to this, and it made the task of the Magician no easy one. He wanted a wand; and in order to cut and trim it he needed a knife. It was not sufficient merely to buy a new knife; he felt that he had to make it himself.

One reason for this was to ensure personal safety. In days when knives were made piecemeal, under contract, by the village smith and cost a fortune, anyone who bought a knife for the purpose of practicing the forbidden arts in no time the Roman Church would come knocking at your door with its tongue hanging out and rack, thumbscrew and torch ready. Toledo, a Spanish city for a long time belonged to the Moors and was famous for its cutlery, became known as a haven for sorcerers and magicians during the Middle Ages. Many of the most influential and learned Spanish Jews lived and worked there.

You may also realize how difficult it was for women to practice Magick; for if a man could try to learn the art of the blacksmith without too much fuss, smithing was an occupation unheard of for women; females who thus played with fire ended up on fire in the village square.

In order to make the knife, he would require a hundred other things, the acquisition of each of which might require a hundred more; and so on. This shows the impossibility of disentangling one's self from one's environment. Even in Magick we cannot get on without the help of others. 1.

1. It is, and the fact is still more important, utterly fatal and demoralizing to acquire the habit of reliance on others. The Magician must know every detail of his work, and be able and willing to roll up his shirtsleeves and do it, no matter how trivial or menial it may seem. Abramelin (it is true) forbids the Aspirant to perform any tasks of an humiliating type;

During the Operation itself, however!]

but he will never be able to command perfect service unless he has experience of such necessary work, mastered during his early training.

There was, however, a further object in this recommendation.

He means the recommendation that everything one uses should be "virgin", not Abramelin's prohibition.

The more trouble and difficulty your weapon costs, the more useful you will find it.

This is a well-known magical fact. It is probably related to the concentration necessary to do any task well - while one is learning it, at any rate. Cf. Liber 333, Ch. 32.

"If you want a thing well done, do it yourself." It would be quite useless to take this book to a department store, and instruct them to furnish you a Temple according to specification.

Not quite useless; but it would take you longer to "charge" the atmosphere of such a Temple than if you took the trouble to improvise everything in it yourself.

It is really worth the while of the Student who requires a sword to go and dig out iron ore from the earth, to smelt it himself with charcoal that he has himself prepared, to forge the weapon with his own hand: and even to take the trouble of synthesizing the oil of virtiol with which it is engraved.

Remember that the Sword is the Weapon of Air, or the Mind, or the Intellect; and that in its best sense, this "Vitriol" symbolizes the operation by which one sanctifies the Mind. This operation includes the extensive self-analysis. Cf. Magick and Mysticism, Chs. IV and VIII; also, Ch. 7 of this book.

He will have learnt a lot of useful things in his attempt to make a really virgin sword; he will understand how one thing depends upon another; he will begin to appreciate the meaning of the words "the harmony of the Universe", so often used so stupidly and superficially by the ordinary apologist for Nature, and he will also perceive the true operation of the law of Karma. 1.

1. In this sense especially: any one thing involves, and is involved in, others apparently altogether alien.

[The serious reader will understand that there is no "divine retribution" or "divine justice" of the anthropomorphic type herein involved. This concept of "justice" is usually nothing but a subjective sense of guilt, and "folly against self". If as Crowley said, you kill one hundred thousand lice in one minute in one incarnation, this does not mean that you will be killed by a louse - or by a hundred thousand lice - a hundred thousand times in a future life! But the "omnipresence of Her body" - which is what is really meant here - may produce unexpectedly disruptive effects from ill-considered causes; as for instance when you DDT to kill insects that destroy crops, and doing so damage the food chain of which those crops are but one of the many links. In a social sense, Karma is Ecology!]

Another notable injunction of the ancient Magick was that whatever appertained to the Work should be "single".

Again, the purpose was to simplify and intensify concentration, in very the Hindu sense of Ekagrata, "one-pointedness".

The Wand was to be cut with a single stroke of the knife. There must be no boggling and hacking at things, no clumsiness and no hesitation.

I remember in one of my visits to Mr. Germer attempting twice to kill a mosquito that kept buzzing around us, and failing. He remonstrated: "As usual, you are not concentrating your mind! You should practice Yoga more strictly." I was wet enough behind the ears to be surprised at his association between my inept attempt to kill a mosquito and my feeble practice of Dharana. My mind has become a little more efficient though the years; but not much.

If you strike a blow at all, strike with your strength! "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might!" If you are going to take up Magick, make no compromise. You cannot make revolutions with rose-water, or wrestle in a silk hat. You will find very soon that you must either lose the hat or stop wrestling. Most people do both. They take up the magical path without sufficient reflection, without that determination of adamant which made the author of this book exclaim, as he took the first oath, "PERDURABO" — "I will endure unto the end!" 1.

1. "For enduring unto the End, at the End was Naught to endure." Liber 333, Cap 7.

They start on it at a great pace, and then find that their boots are covered with mud. Instead of persisting, they go back to Piccadilly.

The traditional night-life quarter of London for two centuries.

Such persons have only themselves to thank if the very street-boys mock at them.

Another recommendation was this: buy whatever may be necessary without haggling!

You must not try to strike a proportion between the values of incommensurable things. 2.

2. However closely the square of any fraction approximates to 2, no fraction equals the square root of 2. The square root of 2 is not in the series; it is a different kind of number altogether.

The least of the Magical Instruments is worth infinitely more than all that you possess,

It has been our experience that generous-minded Aspirants have trouble with this rule, as Crowley himself did to an extent. One must not abandon common-sense. If, for instance, you spend all you have to make the Wand, you are not going to practice Magick very efficiently with just one Weapon. (Of course, one may use the Wand to get other Weapons; but this is another story. The average beginner is incapable of such a feat.) The injunction of "not haggling" is, as we have said before, directed at the mean-minded, who will automatically try to negotiate the last cent of any deal. It is perfectly all right to haggle when the tightwads are at the other end of the transaction. Bringing the price of the wood or the oil down to a decent level is one thing; trying to keep one's cake and eat it at the same time is quite another. This paradox is perfectly expressed in Liber VII ii 10. To walk the razor's edge between stinginess and wastefulness needs balance - which is the theme of Crowley's sermon at this point.

We repeat that the above caveat applies to the generous-minded Aspirant. The problem of the mean-minded Aspirant is quite another; people like Grady Louis McMurtry, Martin Patrick Starr, and Gerald Joseph Yorke are good examples not to follow!

Note by David Bersson: Of the three traitors that are being exposed only Martin Patrick Starr is still alive at the time of this publication. (December of 2013 e.v.) Martin Starr actually went further than James Wasserman and actually became a Neophyte of the A∴A∴ for a short period – before his moral insanity & ego made him fall from the Cliffs to the deep valley of the demon world where he never recovered & went on to betray his Superior in the A∴A∴ – Mr. Marcelo Motta. Still another Aspirant who never understood the Method of Science with regards to his A∴A∴ work and proceeded to print volumes – not of any originality or the insight of his Great Work – but A.C.'s books almost as a testimony of his stagnation and incompetence with regards to spiritual and intellectual pursuits. This occurred with James Wasserman – who was equally incapable of writing anything with regards to scientific experiments or insights and began to write books on how he failed miserably on his Path. Both justify themselves and rationalize away the Oath & Task that they so carelessly took – running away from the discipline of the Master only to end up mean spirited failures whose inferior intelligence shouts at you with every justification and word in the writings they attempt to present publicly. Of course, I inherited the hatred of both the late James Wasserman and the egoistic Martin Starr who both despise and fear Me for my success with regards to good standing with Marcelo Motta. Neither Starr nor Wasserman are capable of any insight, creativity or initiation. Therefore, the best they can do is reprint Crowley or write stories on the failures of their Path. It should be noted by serious students the great difference between the writings of an Initiate from the writings of an occult scholar.

or if you like, than all that you stupidly suppose yourself to possess. Break this rule, and the usual Nemesis of the half-hearted awaits you. Not only do you get inferior instruments, but you lose in some other way what you thought you were so clever to have saved. Remember Ananias! 1.

1. Observe well that there is never any real equivalence or measurable relation between any two things, for each is impregnably Itself. The exchange of property is not a mathematically accurate equation.

[Values expressed in money terms are too subjective for that.]

The Wand is merely a conventional expression of the Will, just as a word is of a thought. It can never be anything else; thus, though the process of making it, whether it involves time, money, or labour, is a spiritual and moral synthesis, it is not measurable in terms of its elements.

[It is, as he said, the consensus of magicians that the greater the trouble one goes through in fashioning one's Weapons, the more Magick one seems to able to perform with them. It is, however, useless to try to produce this "charging" effect artificially by fabricating unnecessary obstacles to one's path. This, indeed, was the point behind the Buddha's criticism of ascetic excesses. "Faking it" won't work; in fact, "faking it" is a form of haggling!]

On the other hand, if you purchase without haggling you will find that along with your purchase the vendor has thrown in the purse of Fortunatus. No matter in what extremity you may seem to be, at the last moment your difficulties will be solved.

Again, this is the consensus of true magicians.

For there is no power either of the firmament of the ether, or of the earth or under the earth, on dry land or in the water, of whirling air or of rushing fire, or any spell or scourge of God which is not obedient to the necessity of the Magician! That which he has, he has not; but that which he is, he is; and that which he will be, he will be. And neither God nor Man, nor all the malice of Choronzon, can either check him, or cause him to waver for one instant upon the Path. This command and this promise have been given by all the Magi without exception. And where this command has been obeyed, this promise has been most certainly fulfilled.


In all actions the same formulae are applicable. To invoke a god, i.e. to raise yourself to that godhead, the process is threefold, PURIFICATION, CONSECRATION and INITIATION.

Therefore every magical weapon, and even the furniture of the Temple, must be passed through this threefold regimen. The details only vary on inessential points. Exempli Gratia to prepare the magician, he purifies himself by maintaining his chastity 1.

1. See The Book of the Law and the Commentaries thereon for the true definition of this virtue.

[Cf. the Commentaries to AL i 51-52, ii 67-72, iii 55-56 especially. At the time Book Four Part III was published, Crowley had not yet written on the subject of chastity specifically in O.T.O. or A∴A∴ terms. He was to do so later. See the essays "Chastity" and "Energy" in Little Essays Toward Truth and "Artemis Iota" in Magick Without Tears Unexpurgated Commented Part One.]

and abstaining from any defilement.

Notice that "defilement" must be defined according to the conditions of the Operation, not by reference to some "ideal", "absolute" standard of "purity".

But to do the same with, let us say, the Cup, we assure ourselves that the metal has never been employed for any other purpose — we smelt virgin ore, and we take all possible pains in refining the metal — it must be chemically pure.

To sum up this whole matter in a phrase, every article employed is treated as if it were a candidate for initiation; but in those parts of the ritual in which the candidate is blindfolded,

This refers specifically to standard initiatic rituals such as the Apprentice Degree of old Aeon Masonry and the old "Golden Dawn" Neophyte Initiation. For the new Ritual, see Liber 671 vel Pyramidos.

we wrap the weapon in a black cloth 1.

1. This refers to the "formula of the Neophyte". There are alternatives.

[See Chapters Two and Six of this book.]

The oath which he takes is replaced by a "charge" in similar terms. The details of the preparation of each weapon should be thought out carefully by the magician.

Further, the attitude of the magician to his weapons should be that of the God to the suppliant who invokes Him.

The following description presupposes that the invoked Deity is a benevolent one! Generally speaking, humankind fabricates its divinities or deifies its heroes and heroines in order to have moral spiritual support. When a "godhead" is malignant, this is either an aspect of a complex Archtype or the culture who worships that godhead has strayed into the Qliphoth. A sane person does not invoke as central mentor of his or her consciousness a force that will foster involution, inecology or superstition. This has always been the plight of the Christists, and has now become the plight of the Zionists as well.

It should be the love of the father for his child, the tenderness and care of the bridegroom for his bride, and that peculiar feeling which the creator of every work of art feels for his masterpiece.

Where this is clearly understood, the magician will find no difficulty in observing the proper ritual, not only in the actual ceremonial consecration of each weapon, but in the actual preparation, a process which should adumbrate this ceremony; e.g., the magician will cut the wand from the tree,

Find his or her true Will as a discrete spacemark; again, cf. Liber NV vv. 9-11; also, Liber HAD vv. 8, 12-13; Liber NV, vv. 9-11.

will strip it of leaves and twigs, will remove the bark.

Cf. Liber HAD vv. 8, 12-13; Liber NV, vv. 9-11.

He will trim the ends nearly, and smooth down the knots: — this is the banishing.

He will then rub it with the consecrated oil until it becomes smooth and glistening and golden. He will then wrap it in silk of the appropriate colour: — this is the Consecration.

He will then take it, and imagine that it is that hollow tube in which Prometheus brought down fire from heaven, formulating to himself the passing of the Holy Influence through it. In this and other ways he will perform the initiation; and, this being accomplished, he will repeat the whole process in an elaborate ceremony. 1.

1. I have omitted to say that the whole subject of Magick is an example of Mythopoeia in that particular form called Disease of Language. Thoth, God of Magick, was merely a man who invented writing, as his monuments declare clearly enough. "Grammarye", Magick, is only the Greek "Gramma". So also the old name of a Magical Ritual, "Grimoire", is merely a Grammar. It appeared marvellous to the vulgar that men should be able to communicate at a distance, and they began to attribute other powers, merely invented, to the people who were able to write. The Wand is then nothing but the pen; the Cup, the Inkpot; the Dagger, the knife for sharpening the pen; and the disk (Pantacle) is either the papyrus roll itself; or the weight which kept it in position, or the sandbox for soaking up the ink. And, of course, the Papyrus of Ani is only the Latin for toilet-paper.

[This note will totally confuse pedants and prudes and may dishearten simple-minded Aspirants. It is written on several levels at once and some of those levels will be unintelligible to anyone below the Grade of the writer. Let us try to translate some of the meanings in "whiter words":

First of all, the note is a warning against obsession by the entire subject of Magick; as Levi said, the best way to see something clearly is not to stare at it all the time. One should keep one's perspective of any subject.
Second, the note points out that writing and publishing a book can be a Magical Operation of enormous consequences. Witness, for instance, the writing and publication of Marx's Das Kapital.
Third, the note touches on the Curse of the Magus: pomposity, pedantry and fanaticism are just some its dangers. Cf. Liber I vel B vel Magi, vv. 1, 5, 12-14, 19-20.
Fourth, the note points out the "omnipresence of Her body" in a hilarious way. Of course the Papyrus of Ani is one of the most famous original copies of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which was found in the tomb of an Egyptian called Ani. (It is famous because the text was almost intact.) But in Latin, the asshole is called anus - a word that survives in modern English with the same meaning - and the genitive of "anus" is "ani". So, if you say Papyrus Ani" in Latin, it means at the same time "the papyrus of Ani" and "paper for the asshole". This is one of Crowley's many hilarious, scholarly and initiatic puns.
The serious reader is therefore being warned against becoming obsessed by the subject of Magick, being reminded that all true Gods and Goddesses of humankind were originally human beings, and being indirectly encouraged to persist in the study and practice of the Art and Science of the Magi. The note also includes a humorous and touching lament; but this - and even its cause - will remain beyond the comprehension of the average reader.
One should add that one has failed to cover all the aspects of the footnote and its intention in these few paragraphs: a full discussion would take a volume and mean that the annotator had become pedant himself!]

To take an entirely different case, that of the Circle; the magician will synthesize the Vermilion required from Mercury an Sulphur which he has himself sublimated. This pure vermilion he will himself mix with the consecrated oil, and as he uses this paint he will think intently and with devotion of the symbols which he draws.

Remember that the Circle itself should be green, with the Names in vermilion, according to Part II of this book; but if one's ground itself be green, one will either have to use a different shade of green for the circle or use another color.

This circle may then be initiated by a circumambulation, during which the magician invokes the names of God that are on it.

Any person without sufficient ingenuity to devise proper methods of preparation for the other articles required is unlikely to make much of a magician; and we shall only waste space if we deal in detail with the preparation of each instrument.

There is a definite instruction in Liber A vel Armorum, in the Equinox, Volume I, Number IV, as to the Lamp and the Four Elemental Weapons.


It is found by experience (confirming the statement of Zoroaster) that the most potent conjurations are those in an ancient and perhaps forgotten language, or even those couched in a corrupt and possibly always meaningless jargon. Of these there are several main types. The "preliminary invocation" in the "Goetia" consists principally of corruptions of Greek and Egyptian names. For example, we find "Osorronnophris" for "Asor Un-Nefer". 1.

1. See appendix 4, Liber Samekh; this is an edition of this Invocation, with an elaborate Rubric, translation, scholia, and instruction.

[An annotated edition of Liber Samekh will be published in the Equinox VII series.]

The conjurations given by Dr. Dee (vide Equinox I, VIII) are in a language called Angelic, or Enochian. Its source has hitherto baffled research, but it is a language and not a jargon, for it possesses a structure of its own, and there are traces of grammar and syntax.

However this may be, it "works". Even the beginner finds that "things happen" when he uses it: and this is an advantage — or disadvantage! — shared by no other type of language,. The rest need skill. This needs Prudence!

The Egyptian Invocations are much purer, but their meaning has not been sufficiently studied by persons magically competent. We possess a number of Invocations in Greek of every degree of excellence; in Latin but few, and those of inferior quality. It will be noticed that in every case the conjurations are very sonorous, and there is a certain magical voice in which they should be recited. This special voice was a natural gift of the Master Therion; but it can be easily taught — to the right people.

It can also be learned by practice. The different "chakras" can be stimulated by the resonation of such a voice, and the very walls of a room can be made to vibrate. The pitch and volume must vary with the circumstances.

Various considerations impelled Him to attempt conjurations in the English language.

One of them being that English, being the language in which Liber AL was originally given to the world, is now the hieratic language, and will remain so throughout the Aeon.

There already existed one example, the charm of the witches in Macbeth; although this was perhaps not meant seriously, its effect is indubitable. 1.

1. A true poet cannot help revealing himself and the truth of things in his art, whether he be aware of what he is writing, or no.

He has found iambic tetrameters enriched with many rimes both internal an external very useful. "The Wizard Way" (Equinox I,I) gives a good idea of the sort of thing. So does the Evocation of Bartzabel in Equinox I,IX. There are many extant invocations throughout his works, in many kinds of metre, of many kinds of being, and for many kinds of purposes. (See Appendix).

The serious reader may notice that Crowley sometimes uses a capitalized pronoun when referring to "himself" most of the time uses the lower case pronoun. When using the capital pronoun he is referring to some activity or decision of the Magus incarnated in him; when using the lower case, he is referring to the "scribe". Cf. Liber LXV Commented for this.

Other methods of incantation are on record as efficacious. For instance Frater I.A., when a child, was told that he could invoke the devil by repeating the "Lord's Prayer" backwards. He went into the garden and did so. The Devil appeared, and almost scared him out of his life.

One should like more details of this adventure. Did he see a pranky elemental, an image from his own mind, the Christist egregora, or a certain Adept in his favorite disguise? Crowley's use of "Devil" capitalized seems to indicate the last.

It is therefore not quite certain in what the efficacy of conjurations really lies. The peculiar mental excitement required may even be aroused by the perception of the absurdity of the process, and the persistence in it, as when once FRATER PERDURABO (at the end of His magical resources) recited "From Greenland's Icy Mountains", and obtained His result. 1.

1. See "Eleusis", A. Crowley, "Collected Works", Vol. III Epilogue.

It may be conceded in any case that the long strings of formidable words which roar and moan through so many conjurations have a real effect in exalting the consciousness of the magician to the proper pitch — that they should do so is no more extraordinary than music of any kind should do so.

Magicians have not confined themselves to the use of the human voice. The Pan-pipe with its seven stops, corresponding to the seven planets, the bull-roarer, the tom-tom, and even the violin, have all been used, as well as many others, of which the most important is the bell 2.

2. See Part II. It should be said that in experience no bell save His own Tibetan bell of Electrum Magicum has ever sounded satisfactory to the Master Therion. Most bells jar and repel.

though this is used not so much for actual conjuration as to mark stages in the ceremony. Of all these the tom-tom will be found to be the most generally useful.

While on the subject of barbarous names of evocation we should not omit the utterance of certain supreme words which enshrine
(a) the complete formula of the God invoked, or
(b) the whole ceremony.

Examples of the former kind are Tetragrammaton, I.A.O., and Abrahadabra.

An example of the latter kind is the great word StiBeTTChePhMeFSHiSS, which is a line drawn on the Tree of Life (Coptic attributions) in a certain manner. 1.

1. It represents the descent of a certain Influence. See the Evocation of Taphtatharath, Equinox I, III. The attributions are given in 777. This Word expresses the current Kether - Beth - Binah - Cheth - Geburach - Mem - Hod - Shin - Malkuth, the descent from 1 to 10 via the Pillar of Severity.

With all such words it is of the utmost importance that they should never be spoken until the supreme moment, and even then they should burst from the magician almost despite himself — so great should be his reluctance 2.

2. This reluctance is Freudian, due to the power of these words to awaken the suppressed subconscious libido.

[The very idea of possession, even divine, upsets the ego; and this is one instance in which it is "reasonable" that this should be so. There is always a danger of qliphotic unbalance for any ego that has not been harmonized and subjected to control by the magician's Will - or, in simpler terms, any ego that has not become a Khu. A truly Divine Force may possess you, but it wil not obsess you. A qliphotic force will always try to obsess you if allowed free entry in the stronghold. There is really very little difference between this situation and any situation in society in which a human being tries to subject another's will by coercion. Abusive governments, corrupt "intelligence" services, bribed or self-serving "leaders" are but instances of qliphotic unbalance in humankind. Divine possession is a visit by a friend, qliphotic possession is invasion by an enemy.

[The mystical key consists in that the Ego must be destroyed if one is to progress on the Path; to this end, even obsession may be helpful! Cf. LXV i 44-46, ii 4-6, 33-34, iii 30-32, iv 7, 18-21, v 8-9. As long as the ego clings to the Will, and strives to remain a true servant of the Highest, qliphotic obsession will not prevail, and the magician will emerge from the struggle with added experience and enriched understanding.]
[The danger of surrender of the ego to the Qliphoth, of course, is basic in any possession. But this danger is inherent in life itself! The most dangerous obsessions are always pleasant: as Levi said, a chain or iron is never so dangerous as a chain of flowers.]

to utter them. In fact, they should be the utterance of the God in him at the first onset of the divine possession. So uttered, they cannot fail of effect, for they have become the effect.

Every wise magician will have constructed (according to the principles of the Holy Qabalah) many such words, and he should have quintessentialised them all in one Word, which last Word, once he has formed it, he should never utter consciously even in thought, until perhaps with it he gives up the ghost. Such a Word should in fact be so potent that man cannot hear it and live.

Such a word was indeed the lost Tetragrammaton 1.

1. The Master Therion has received this Word; it is communicated by Him to the proper postulants, at the proper time and place, in the proper circumstances.

[Anyone who thinks that by this is meant that in such occasions He teaches you elocution or orthography has not understood one word of what Crowley has been talking about. Read his next footnote!]

It is said that at the utterance of this name the Universe crashes into dissolution. Let the Magician earnestly seek this Lost Word, for its pronunciation is synonymous with the accomplishment of the Great Work. 2.

2. Each man has a different Great Work, just as no two points on the circumference of a circle are connected with the centre by the same radius. The Word will be correspondingly unique.

In this matter of the efficacity of words there are again two formulae exactly opposite in nature. A word may become potent and terrible by virtue of constant repetition. It is in this way that most religions gain strength. At first the statement "So and so is God" excites no interest. Continue, and you meet scorn and scepticism: possibly persecution. Continue, and the controversy has so far died out that no one troubles to contradict your assertion.

It is helpful, of course, to burn alive (as did the Christists), torture to death (as did the Christists), stone to death (as did the Zionists) or even simply to imprison (as do the Marxists) the people who disagree with you.

No superstition is so dangerous and so lively as an exploded superstition. The newspapers of to-day (written and edited almost exclusively by men without a spark of either religion or morality) dare not hint that any one disbelieves in the ostensibly prevailing cult; they deplore Atheism — all but universal in practice and implicit in the theory of practically all intelligent people — as if it were the eccentricity of a few negligible or objectionable persons. This is the ordinary story of advertisement; the sham has exactly the same chance as the real. Persistence is the only quality required for success.

It should not be understood by the suferficial reader that the above is a denial of Magick: the very will power and concentration of purpose necessary to keep repeating the Word are too harrowing for the average Madison Avenue liar to contemplate unless her or she is paid money, and a lot of it.

The opposite formula is that of secrecy. An idea is perpetuated because it must never be mentioned. A freemason never forgets the secret words entrusted to him,

Here Crowley is paying "freemasons" a compliment most of them do not deserve; but they can always pretext the need for secrecy if challenged to repeat the "secret words" the learned! "Ye shall know them by their fruit" applies brilliantly to those pompous wretches. The password of their Grade they probably do remember; after all, it is their entry to the security of the bourgeois herd. Remind the average American "freemason", for instance, that once upon a time freemasons slew traitors and died under torture without naming their brethren and he will turn pale and shudder!

though these words mean absolutely nothing to him, in the vast majority of cases; the only reason for this is that he has been forbidden to mention them, although they have been published again and again, and are as accessible to the profane as to the initiate.

In such a work of practical Magick as the preaching of a new Law, these methods may be advantageously combined; on the one hand infinite frankness and readiness to communicate all secrets; on the other the sublime and terrible knowledge that all real secrets are incommunicable. 1.

1. If this were not the case, individuality would not be inviolable.

[This absolutely profound and supremely important remark will probably escape the average reader unless we draw attention to it. The continuation of Crowley's footnote should be read with the greatest attention by theologians and preachers of any religion ("democracy" and "communism" included); but it probably won't. Aspirants should be warned that unless they understand this point they will confuse the acquistition of theoretical information with the conquest of practical experience; they will either revile their teachers for not telling them "enough", or think their teachers are garrulous charlatans. In either case, such aspirants will fail from Initiation.]

No man can communicate even the simplest thought to any other man in any full and accurate sense. For that thought is sown in a different soil, and cannot produce an identical effect. I cannot put a spot of red upon two pictures without altering each in diverse ways. It might have little effect on a sunset by Turner, but much on a nocturne by Whistler. The identity of the two spots as spots would thus be fallacious.

[It follows from this that the only thoughts that may always be useful to others are biologically balanced and "open-ended" ones - thoughts with the capacity of growth. Such thoughts do not offer "consolation", "certainty" or "safety" to any but the boldest of our species: the true humans among us.]

It is, according to tradition, a certain advantage in conjurations to employ more than one language. In all probability the reason of this is than any change spurs the flagging attention. A man engaged in intense mental labour will frequently stop and walk up and down the room — one may suppose for this cause — but it is a sign of weakness that this should be necessary. For the beginner in Magick, however, it is permissible 1.

1. This is not to say that it is advisable. O how shameful is human weakness! But it does encourage one — it is useless to deny it — to be knocked down by a Demon of whose existence one was not really quite sure.

[On the Christist theory, one supposes, that if Demons exist, perhaps so do Gods! All kidding aside, any confirmation of the "parapsychological" aspects of nature is naturally enheartening to whoever has dedicated a serious fraction of his or her life to the research of Magick and/or mysticism. In this there is always the lure of tampering with the evidence, (usually not so much to cheat others as to cheat oneself!) or of having one's judgment clouded by wish-phantoms. Yet one true magickal or spiritual experience many enheartend a seeker for a lifetime. Cf. Liber VII vii 15-16.]

to employ any device to secure the result.

Conjurations should be recited, not read: 2.

2. Even this is for the weaker brethern. The really great Magus speaks and acts impromptu and extempore.

[The word Magus is not here used in its technical sense of 9° = 2.]

and the entire ceremony should be so perfectly performed that one is hardly conscious of any effort of memory. The ceremony should be constructed with such logical fatality that a mistake is impossible. 1.

1. First-rate poetry is easily memorized because the ideas and the musical values correspond to man's mental and sensory structure.

[Experience, however, indicates that certain rhythms are easier for some cultures, and other rhythms easier for others. Also, troglodyte values, are more easily memorized by talking monkeys than modern, more complex, attitudes and thoughts.]

The conscious ego of the Magician is to be destroyed to be absorbed in that of the God whom he invokes, and the process should not interfere with the automation who is performing the ceremony.

But this ego of which it is here spoken is the true ultimate ego.

That is to say, the Khu.

The automaton should possess will, energy, intelligence, reason, and resource. This automaton should be the perfect man far more than any other man can be.

This is a fact that most people who approach us for Instruction prove totaly unable to understand or accomplish. It is hard and painful to improve one's humanity, and most people seek Magick under the delusion that it will make their life pleasant and easy.

It is only the divine self within the man, a self as far above the possession of will or any other qualities whatsoever as the heavens are high above the earth, that should reabsorb itself into that illimitable radiance of which it is a spark. 2.

This description will perplex the average reader, who simply does not have (and usually does not want to go through the trouble of having) the experience necessary to understand it. "What is the point," he or she may ask, "of going through the trouble of developing one's Will if having a Will is immaterial for those higher Trances?" In the first place, unless you develop your Will, you will be unable to experience any Trance at all. In the second place, a person can build himself or herself fine weapons, and become skilled in their use, and yet lay them down (albeit they are always within reach and in readiness) to make love, or eat, or enjoy good music or poetry. Yellows, being subtler and more civilized than whites, are usually able to fathom the apparent contradictions of mystical experiences more easily. Both Zen and Bushido are full of maxims, anecdotes and examples emphasizing this point. For the modern white point of view. cf. AL ii 69-72.

2. This is said of the partial or lesser Works of Magick. This is an elementary treatise; one cannot discuss higher Works as for example those of "The Hermit of Aesopus Island".

[Which were on the level of Magus in the technical sense of a 9° = 2 A∴A∴. Such records, by the way, always remain at best only partially intelligible to anyone not on the level from which they were performed. We have received queries from readers (and spies) on the subject of those "priceless secret manuscripts" of Crowley which (naturally) "the key to all Magick" and that we are supposed to be selfishly hoarding for our own benefit. But these have already been published: see Liber 333, Chs. 52 and 88. What has not been published is awaiting publication; meanwhile, we must deal with those elementary and unpleasant matters of ground work, aspiration, reverence, sympathy, etc., which seem to be totally absent from the history of most of those who come to us clamoring for "powers". Unless one take the next step, any further steps are no use at all.]

The great difficulty for the single Magician

Meaning the Magician who works a ritual without help from other Magicians, not the Magician who is spinster or a bachelor.

is so to perfect himself that these multifarious duties of the Ritual are adequately performed. At first he will find that the exaltation destroys memory and paralyses muscle. This is an essential difficulty of the magical process, and can only be overcome by practice and experience. 1.

1. See "The Book of Lies"; there are several chapters on this subject.

[Cf. Liber 333, Chs. 13 and 32 for instance.]

But Right exaltation should produce spontaneously the proper mental and physical reactions.

Correct, but very rare. It is easy to blame one's Guru for not exalting one rightly, when the actual fact is that you, the scribe, keep interjecting your own comments and fidgeting and sulking and lusting during the dictation. Cf. LXV i 30-40; ii 63-64; iv 17, 28, 59; v 1-2, 23-25.]

As soon as the development is secured, there will be automatic reflex "justesse", exactly as in normal affairs mind and body respond with free unconscious rightness to the Will.

In order to aid concentration, and to increase the supply of Energy, it has been customary for the Magician to employ assistants or colleagues.

Assistants being of lower Grades, and colleagues of the same Grade as himself or herself.

It is doubtful whether the obvious advantages of this plan compensate the difficulty of procuring suitable persons 2.

2. The organic development of Magick in the world due to the creative Will of the Master Therion makes it with every year that passes easier to find scientifically trained co-workers.

and the chance of a conflict of will or a misunderstanding in the circle itself. On one occasion FRATER PERDURABO was disobeyed by an assistant, and had it not been for His promptitude in using the physical compulsion of the sword, it is probable that the circle would have been broken. As it was, the affair fortunately terminated in nothing more serious than the destruction of the culprit.

This was Raoul Loveday. Please notice that Crowley did not skewer him, merely compelled him to obedience; but Crowley would of skewered him if he had not obeyed. Loveday, however, had already broken the circle so far as he himself was concerned; and soon after died of "natural causes", to Crowley's great chagrin.

The many idiots and/or spies who have written me letters in the last few years professing to be waiting with their tongues hanging out for the Noon (Cairo Egypt local time) of April 8, of 1986 e.v. should keep in mind that whoever is not willing to die or to kill for Initiation has no business ringing a true Initiate's bell. If you come to me, you will surely die (or run away); and you may have to kill. Yourselves, at the very least.

However, there is no doubt that an assemblage of persons who really are in harmony can much more easily produce an effect than a magician working by himself.

The ethical aspects of the effect, of course, will depend on the level of Initiation of the participants. Or their lack of it.

The psychology of "Revival meetings" will be familiar to almost every one, and though such meetings 1.

1. See, for an account of properly-conducted congregational ceremonial, Equinox I, IX. "Energized Enthusiasm", and Equinox III, L. Liber XV, Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Cannon Missae. The "Revival meetings" here in question were deliberate exploitations of religious hysteria.

[Most of the time, for either financial or political purposes, or both.]

are the foulest and most degraded rituals of black magic, the laws of Magick are not thereby suspended. The laws of Magick are the laws of Nature.

A singular and world-famous example of this is of sufficiently recent date to be fresh in the memory of many people now living. At a nigger camp meeting in the "United" States of America, devotees were worked up to such a pitch of excitement that the whole assembly developed a furious form of hysteria. The comparatively intelligible cries of "Glory" and "Hallelujah" no longer expressed the situation. Somebody screamed out "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!", and this was taken up by the whole meeting and yelled continuously, until reaction set in. The affair got into the papers, and some particularly bright disciple of John Stuart Mill, logician and economist, thought that these words, having set one set of fools crazy, might do the same to all the other fools in the world. He accordingly wrote a song, and produced the desired result.

The song is still heard once in a while. The lyrics consisted entirely of "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay", repeated over and over again.

This is the most notorious example of recent times of the power exerted by a barbarous name of evocation.

A few words may be useful to reconcile the general notion of Causality with that of Magick. How can we be sure that a person waving a stick and howling thereby produces thunderstorms? In no other way than that familiar to Science; we note that whenever we put a lighted match to dry gunpowder, an unintelligibly arbitrary phenomenon, that of sound, is observed; and so forth.

However, there is always, as in athletics, a personal factor involved. We know in theory that a human being can lift five hundred pounds, or jump thirty feet, or polevault twenty, or run a mile in eighty seconds; but in actual practice, very few human beings are capable of doing any of that. In the same way- as most would-be "magicians" eventually discover - very few human beings have produced thunderstorms by waving sticks and howling into the air. Once this painful realization sinks in, teachers have some typical reactions to watch for:
A realizes it is hard, and gives it up,
B realizes it is hard, blames his teacher for not teaching him better how to do it, and branches out into one of the following:
B1, who brazenly lies to others that he can do it and keeps close watch of weather bulletins henceforth,
B2, who lies to himself that he can do it and sometimes actually sees storms where none is (if other people saw them along with him, that at least would be something; but usually they don't),
B3, who concludes that the storm he produced is the one now taking place in Outer Mongolia, and
B4, who tries to worm the "Secret" of doing it out the teacher, fails, and becomes an enemy (and often a traitor) for life. The final two more reactions, C and D, are less usual: C sensed from the beginning how hard it was going to be, so never took the trouble to learn how to do it, knowing that fakers grow rich everywhere while teachers starve (his only disapointment is that the teacher usually starts avoiding him; but when politicians and movie stars and rock-and-roll idols flock around him he is soon consoled); and D works his or her ass off at it until proficiency or death comes at last.

Quite often, the latter comes first. Just as athletes have different capacities, so magicians have different talents. E may be able to produce thunderstorms and be a total failure at evocations, while F may produce a materialized demon with a snap of his or her fingers an die of thirst unless Nature provides rain in the due course of things. It is understandable, therefore, that scientists should be suspicious of Magick and magicians. But just as a thousand years ago nobody would have believed that a mile can be run in eighty seconds, or that a person can lift five hundred pounds, or polevault twenty feet, or jump ten meters, because nobody had seen anybody do any of these things, as Magick becomes more common, and magicians are trained along the lines of the Master Therion recommends, science may be able to accept undisputed facts - and take a giant step forward. "Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished."

We need not dwell upon this point; but it seems worth while to answer one of the objections to the possibility of Magick, chosing one which is at first sight of an obviously "fatal" character. It is convenient to quote verbatim from the Diary 1.

1. In a later entry we read that the diarist has found a similar train of argument in "Space, Time, and Gravitation", page 51. He was much encourage by the confirmation of his thesis in so independent a system of thought.

of a distinguished Magician and philosopher. "I have noticed that the effect of a Magical Work has followed it so closely that it must have been started before the time of the Work. E.g. I work to-night to make X in Paris write to me. I get the letter the next morning, so that it must have been written before the Work. Does this deny that the Work caused the effect?

"If I strike a billiard-ball and it moves, both my will and its motion are due to causes long antecedent to the act. I may consider both my Work and its reaction as twin effects of the eternal Universe. The moved arm and ball are parts of a state of the Cosmos which resulted necessarily from its momentarily previous state, and so, back for ever. "Thus, my Magical Work is only one of the cause-effects necessarily concomitant with the case-effects which set the ball in motion. I may therefore regard the act of striking as a cause-effect of my original Will to move the ball, though necessarily previous to its motion. But the case of magical Work is not quite analogous. For my nature is such that I am compelled to perform Magick in order to make my will to prevail; so that the cause of my doing the Work is also the cause of the ball's motion, and there is no reason why one should precede the other. (CF. "Lewis Carroll," where the Red Queen screams before she pricks her finger.)

"Let me illustrate the theory by an actual example.

"I write from Italy to a man in France and another in Australia on the same day, telling them to join me. Both arrive ten days later; the first in answer to my letter, which he received, the second on "his own initiative", as it would seem. But I summoned him because I wanted him; and I wanted him because he was my representative; and his intelligence made him resolve to join me because it judged rightly that the situation (so far as he knew it) was such as to make me desire his presence.

"The same cause, therefore, which made me write to him made him come to me; and though it would be improper to say that the writing of the letter was the direct cause of his arrival, it is evident that if I had not written I should have been different from what I actually am, and therefore my relations with him would have been otherwise than they are. In this sense, therefore, the letter and the journey are causally connected.

"One cannot go farther, and say that in this case I ought to write the letter even if he had arrived before I did so; for it is part of the whole set of circumstance that I do not use a crowbar on an open door. "The conclusion is that one should do one's Will 'without lust of result'. If one is working in accordance with the laws of one's own nature, one is doing 'right'; and no such work can be criticised as 'useless', even in cases of the character here discussed. So long as one's Will prevails, there is no cause for complaint.

"To abandon one's Magick would shew lack of self-confidence in one's powers, and doubt as to one's inmost faith in Self and in Nature. 1.

1. i.e. on the ground that one cannot understand how Magick can produce the desired effects. For if one possesses the inclination to do Magick, it is evidence of a tendency in one's Nature. Nobody understands fully how the mind moves the muscles; but we know that lack of confidence on this point means paralysis. "If the Sun and Moon should doubt, They'd immediately go out", as Blake said. Also, as I said myself. "Who hath the How is careless of the Why".

Of course one changes one's methods as experience indicates; but there is no need to change them on any such ground as the above.

"Further, the argument here set forth disposes of the need to explain the "modus operandi" of Magick. A successful operation does not involve any theory soever, not even that of the existence of causality itself. The whole set of phenomena may be conceived as single.

"For instance, if I see a star (as it was years ago)

Even the light of the star closest to our Sun, Proxima, takes four years to reach us.

I need not assume causal relations as existing between it, the earth, and myself. The connexion exists; I can predicate nothing beyond that. I cannot postulate purpose, or even determine the manner in which the event comes to be. Similarly, when I do Magick, it is in vain to inquire why I so act, or why the desired result does or does not follow. Nor can I know how the previous and subsequent conditions are connected. At most I can describe the consciousness which I interpret as a picture of the facts, and make empirical generalizations of the superficial aspects of the case.

"Thus, I have my own personal impressions of the act of telephoning; but I cannot be aware of what consciousness, electricity, mechanics, sound, etc., actually are in themselves. And although I can appeal to experience to lay down 'laws' as to what conditions accompany the act, I can never be sure that they have always been, or ever will again be, identical. (In fact, it is certain that an event can never occur twice in precisely the same circumstances.) 1.

1. If it did so, how could we call it duplex?

"Further, my 'laws; must always take nearly all the more important elements of knowledge for granted. I cannot say — finally — how an electric current is generated. I cannot be sure that some totally unsuspected force is not at work in some entirely arbitrary way. For example, it was formerly supposed that Hydrogen and Chlorine would unite when an electric spark was passed through the mixture; now we 'know' that the presence of a minute quantity of aqueous vapour (or some tertium quid) is essential to the reaction. We formulated before the days of Ross the 'laws' of malarial fever, without reference to the mosquito; we might discover one day that the germ is only active when certain events are transpiring in some nebula 2.

2. The history of the Earth is included in the period of some such relation; so that we cannot possibly be sure that we may deny: "Malarial fever is a function of the present precession of the Equinoxes".

, or when so apparently inert a substance as Argon is present in the air in certain proportions.

"We may therefore admit quite cheerfully that Magick is as mysterious as mathematics, as empirical as poetry, as uncertain as golf, and as dependent on the personal equation as Love.

"That is no reason why we should not study, practice and enjoy it; for it is a Science in exactly the same sense as biology; it is no less an Art that Sculpture; and it is a Sport as much as Mountaineering.

"Indeed, there seems to be no undue presumption in urging that no Science possesses equal possibilities of deep and important Knowledge; 1.

1. Magick is less liable to lead to error than any other Science, because its terms are interchangeable, by definition, so that it is based on relativity from the start. We run no risk of asserting absolute propositions. Furthermore we make our measurements in terms of the object measured, thus avoiding the absurdity of defining metaphysical ideas by mutable standards, (Cf. Eddington "Space, Time, and Gravitation". Prologue.) of being forced to attribute the qualities of human consciousness to inanimate things (Poincare, "La mesure du temps"), and of asserting that we know anything of the universe in itself, though the nature of our senses and our minds necessarily determines our observations, so that the limit of our knowledge is subjective, just as a thermometer can record nothing but its own reaction to one particular type of Energy.

[And even its reaction expresses nothing to us but our conventional and arbitrary measurement of our own reactions to our own notions of "hot" or "cold". Our scientific instruments are nothing but extensions of our subjectivity. No true breakthrough toward the objectivity scientists aim for will come until we make contact with an intelligent species other than our own. Again, it is of the utmost importance that we should try to communicate on equal grounds with the cetaceans. As long as we keep treating them as our inferiors it is unlikely that we will be able to do so. We keep trying to teach them our language when we should be trying to learn their own: not using instruments, they cannot with ease produce the sounds we make; using instruments, we can reproduce theirs and the sonic pitches at which they are uttered.]

Magick recognizes frankly
(1) that truth is relative, subjective, and apparent;
(2) that Truth implies Omniscience, which is unattainable by mind, being transfinite; just as if one tried to make an exact map of England in England, that map must contain a map of the map, and so on, ad infinitum;
(3) that logical contradiction is inherent in reason, (Russell, "Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy", p. 136; Crowley, "Eleusis", and elsewhere);
(4) that a Continuum requires a Continuum to be commensurable with it:
(5) that Empiricism is ineluctable, and therefore that adjustment is the only possible method of action; and
(6) that error may be avoided by opposing no resistance to change, and registering observed phenomena in their own language.

[On should not take philosophy too far, however! Since we cannot avoid subjectivity, we should oppose any change that might diminish our control over our environment, thereby restricting our Will; although we should welcome any change that will expand our environment, thereby increasing the potentialities for the exercise of our Will. Self-preservation is the primary purpose of any species; self-improvement should be the secondary ambition of intelligent ones.]

that no Art offers such opportunities to the ambition of the Soul to express its Truth, in Ecstasy, through Beauty; and that no Sport rivals its fascinations of danger and delight, so excites, exercises, and tests its devotees to the uttermost, or so rewards them by well-being, pride, and the passionate pleasures of personal triumph.

"Magick takes every thought and act for its apparatus; it has the Universe for its Library and its Laboratory; all Nature is its Subject; and its Game, free from close seasons and protective restrictions, always abounds in infinite variety, being all that exists. 1.

1. The elasticity of Magick makes it equal to all possible kinds of environment, and therefore biologically perfect. "Do what thou wilt..." implies self-adjustment, so that failure cannot occur.

[To interpret "Do what thou wilt" as a license to "abuse all things" is the characteristic reaction of all those who were born and brought up under a slave religion; the most common instances are Zionism and Christism in all their branches. The necessity for self-adjustment and the possibility of failure do not occur to those believers in an "omnipotent God" that can overthrow the laws of "his" own creation on a whim. Why should not such a deity condemn immortal souls to eternal pain, demand the ritual sacrifice of children, and put arbitrary limits to the development of creatures made (so we are told with unctuous emphasis) in its own image? Such ethical contradictions are unimportant: the god of slaves is above consistency as above everything else. That this "god" is a psychological image of the slave himself or herself never occurs to such people and for a long time did not occur to their victims, who were too busy dodging torture and bonfire to have time to stop to tyrannize others, especially when such worshippers move as a herd; the herds of Marx, Lenin, and Mao just as eager as the herds of Jehovah and "Jesus". Always for the good of "communism" or "democracy", of course. In their eyes the individual is always expendable; especially the individual who does not believe as they do.]

One's true Will is necessarily fitted to the whole Universe with the utmost exactitude, because each term in the equation a+b+c=0 must be equal and opposite to the sum of all the other terms. No individual can ever be aught than himself, or do aught else than his Will, which is his necessary relation with his environment, dynamically considered.

[This means, as someone has already put and put well, that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Either you will conquer your environment, or your environment will conquer you. There lies a wide gap between this and Judeo-Christist "Divine Omnipotence", to say nothing of Judeo-Christist "Divine Justice"!]

All error is no more than an illusion proper to him to dissipate the mirage, and it is a general law that the method of accomplishing this operation is to realize, and to acquiesce in, the order of the Universe, and to refrain from attempting the impossible task of overcoming the inertia of the forces which oppose, and therefore are identical with, one's self.

[It is easy to turn this fact into an excuse not to act at all, and not to attempt to change one's eniroment at all. The intelligent reader should keep in mind that what is meant here is what Blake said: "You never know what is enough unless you know what is too much." Failure to try is the one failure a human being should always be ashamed of; failure to do the impossible is the one scar that any warrior may proudly bear.]

Error in thought is therefore failure to understand, and in action to perform, one's own true Will.


This chapter may be divided into the following parts:

1. Attitudes.

2. Circumambulations (and similar movements).

3. Changes of position (This depends upon the theory of the construction of the circle).

4. The Knocks or Knells.


Attitudes are of two Kinds: natural and artificial. Of the first kind, prostration is the obvious example. It comes natural to man (poor creature!) to throw himself to the ground in the presence of the object of his adoration. 1.

1. The Magician must eschew prostration, or even the "bending of the knee in supplication", as infamous and ignominious, an abdication of his sovereignty.

[It is, however, proper for Servants of the Star & the Snake to pay hommage to the Beast at their formal Dedication, in the ancient feudal gesture, which much anteceded Christist perversion of all values. The difference is that between a knight or dame bending a knee before their liege and a slave kneeling before his or her master.

[Also, in the performance of Liber 175, prostration may at times be appropriate. In any case it is essential not to allow the mind to become confused. The planes should not be mixed!]

Intermediate between this and the purely artificial form of gesture comes a class which depends on acquired habit. Thus it is natural to an European officer to offer his sword in token of surrender. A Tibetan would, however, squat, put out his tongue, and place his hand behind his right ear. Purely artificial gestures comprehend in their class the majority of definitely magick signs, though some of these simulate a natural action — e.g. the sign of the Rending of the Veil. But the sign of Auramoth (see Equinox I, II, Illustration "The Signs of the Grades") merely imitates a hieroglyph which has only a remote connection with any fact in nature. All signs must of course be studied with infinite patience, and practised until the connection between them and the mental attitude which they represent appears "necessary."


The principal movement in the circle is circumambulation. 1.

1. In Part II of this Book 4 it was assumed that the Magician went barefoot. This would imply his intention to make intimate contact with his Circle. But he may wear sandals, for the Ankh is a sandal-strap; it is born by the Egyptian Gods to signify their power of Going, that is their eternal energy. By shape the Ankh (or Crux Ansata) suggests the formula by which this going is effected in actual practice.

This has a very definite result, but one which is very difficult to describe. An analogy is the dynamo. Circumambulation properly performed in combination with the Sign of Horus (or "The Enterer") on passing the East is one of the best methods of arousing the macrocosmic force in the Circle. It should never be omitted unless there be some special reason against it.

The serious reader is reminded that the "East" mentioned here is the Spiritual East, which for Thelemites is located in Boleskine, Scotland.

A particular tread seems appropriate to it. This tread should be light and stealthy, almost furtive, and yet very purposeful. It is the pace of the tiger who stalks the deer. The number of circumambulations should of course correspond to the nature of the ceremony.

Another important movement is the spiral, of which there are two principal forms, one inward, one outward. They can be performed in either direction; and, like the circumambulation, if performed deosil 1.

1. i.e. In the same direction as the hands of a watch move.

they invoke — if widdershins 2.

they banish. 3.

2. i.e. In the opposite direction.

3. Such, at least, is the traditional interpretation. But there is a deeper design which may be expressed through the direction of rotation. Certain forces of the most formidable character may be invoked by circumambulation Widdershins when it is executed with intent toward them, and the initiated technique.

[Cf. Liber H, The Ritual of the Mark of the Beast.]

Of such forces Typhon is the type, and the war of the Titans against the Olympians the legend. (Teitan, Titan, has in Greek the numerical value of 666.)

In the spiral the tread is light and tripping, almost approximating to a dance: while performing it the magician will usually turn on his own axis, either in the same direction as the spiral, or in the opposite direction. Each combination involves a different symbolism.

There is also the dance proper; it has many different forms, each God having his special dance. One of the easiest and most effective dances is the ordinary waltz-step combined with the three signs of L.V.X. It is much easier to attain ecstasy in this way than is generally supposed. The essence of the process consists in the struggle of the Will against giddiness; but this struggle must be prolonged and severe, and upon the degree of this the quality and intensity of ecstasy attained may depend.

With practice, giddiness is altogether conquered; exhaustion then takes its place and the enemy of Will. It is through the mutual destruction of these antagonisms in the mental and moral being of the magician that Samadhi is begotten.


Good examples of the use of change of position are given in the manuscripts Z.1 and Z.3; 1.

1. Equinox I, II, pp. 244-260.

explanatory of the Neophyte Ritual of the G∴D∴, where the candidate is taken to various stations in the Temple, each station having a symbolic meaning of its own; but in pure invocation a better example is given in Liber 831. 2.

2. Equinox I, VII, pp. 93 sqq.

In the construction of a ceremony an important thing to decide is whether you will or will not make such movements. For every Circle has its natural symbolism,

He means every Circle with different Names or design - this word meant in all its senses. Cf. Magick and Mysticism, Ch. II.

and even if no use is to be made of these facts, one must be careful not to let anything be inharmonious with the natural attributions. 3.

3. The practical necessities of the work are likely to require certain movements. One should either exclude this symbolism altogether, or else think out everything beforehand, and make it significant. Do not let some actions be symbolic and others haphazard.

[On the other hand, one should not allow oneself to be obsessed by the need for symbolism. Some actions - like walking from one point of the the Circle to another - are not necessarily imbued with any special symbolism beyond that most important symbolism of all: the symbolism of Going, of Moving, of Being and of Becoming. But the wise Magician knows that this symbolism is synonimous with life. Again, cf. Liber 333, Ch. 13.]

For the sensitive aura of the magician might be disturbed, and the value of the ceremony completely destroyed, by the embarrassment caused by the discovery of some such error, just as if a pre-occupied T-totaller found that he had strayed into a Temple of the Demon Rum! It is therefore impossible to neglect the theory of the Circle.

To take a simple example, suppose that, in an Evocation of Bartzabel, the planet Mars, whose sphere is Geburah (Severity) were situated (actually, in the heavens) opposite to the Square of Chesed (Mercy) of the Tau in the Circle, and the triangle placed accordingly.

The serious student should carefully consider the inestimable hints behind this example.

It would be improper for the Magus to stand on that Square unless using this formula, "I, from Chesed, rule Geburah through the Path of the Lion"; while — taking an extreme case — to stand on the square of Hod (which is naturally dominated by Geburah) would be a madness which only a formula of the very highest Magick could counteract.

Certain positions, however, such as Tiphareth, 1.

1. Tiphareth is hardly "dominated" even by Kether. It is the son rather than the servant.

are so sympathetic to the Magus himself that he may use them without reference to the nature of the spirit, or of the operation; unless he requires an exceptionally precise spirit free of all extraneous elements, or one whose nature is difficulty compatible with Tiphareth.

To show how these positions may be used in conjunction with the spirals, suppose that you are invoking Hathor, Goddess of Love, to descend upon the Altar. Standing on the square of Netzach you will make your invocation to Her, and then dance an inward spiral deosil ending at the foot of the altar, where you sink on your knees with your arms raised above the altar as if inviting Her embrace. 2.

2. But NOT "in supplication".

To conclude, one may add that natural artistic ability, of you possess it, forms an excellent guide. All Art is Magick.

Isadora Duncan has this gift of gesture in a very high degree. Let the reader study her dancing; if possible rather in private than in public, and learn the superb "unconsciousness" — which is magical consciousness — with which she suits the action to the melody. 1.

1. This passage was written in 1911 e.v. "Wake Duncan with thy Knocking? I would thou couldst!"

[This is one of Crowley's hilariously apt literary puns, a direct quotation from Shakespeare's Macbeth. His chief irritiation was that the dancer chose to ignore him and disaproved of her friend Mary d'Este's affair with him. It is a fact, however, that in the years before her death Isadora Duncan was becoming more and more extravagant, and her dancing sloppy.]

There is no more potent means than Art of calling forth true Gods to visible appearance.


The knocks or knells are all of the same character. They may be described collectively — the difference between them consists only in this, that the instrument with which they are made seals them with its own special properties. It is of no great importance (even so) whether they are made by clapping the hands or stamping the feet, by strokes of one of the weapons, or by the theoretically appropriate instrument, the bell. It may nevertheless be admitted that they become more important in the ceremony if the Magician considers it worth while to take up 2.

2. Any action not purely rhythmical is a disturbance.

an instrument whose single purpose is to produce them.

Let it first be laid down that a knock asserts a connection between the Magician and the object which he strikes. Thus the use of the bell, or of the hands, means that the Magician wishes to impress the atmosphere of the whole circle with what has been or is about to be done. He wishes to formulate his will in sound, and radiate it in every direction; moreover, to influence that which lives by breath in the sense of his purpose, and to summon it to bear witness to his Word. The hands are used as symbols of his executive power, the bell to represent his consciousness exalted into music. To strike with the wand is to utter the fiat of creation; the cup vibrates with his delight in receiving spiritual wine. A blow with the dagger is like the signal for battle. The disk is used to express the throwing down of the price of one's purchase. To stamp with the foot is to declare one's mastery of the matter in hand. Similarly, any other form of giving knocks has its own virtue. From the above examples the intelligent student will have perceived the method of interpreting each individual case that may come in question.

As above said, the object struck is the object impressed. Thus, a blow upon the altar affirms that he has complied with the laws of his operation. To strike the lamp is to summon the Light divine. Thus for the rest.

It must also be observed that many combinations of ideas are made possible by this convention. To strike the wand within the cup is to apply the creative will to its proper complement, and so perform the Great Work by the formula of Regeneration. To strike with the hand on the dagger declares that one demands the use of the dagger as a tool to extend one's executive power. The reader will recall how Siegfried smote Nothung, the sword of Need, upon the lance of Wotan. By the action Wagner, who was instructed how to apply magical formulae by one of the heads of our Order, intended his hearers to understand that the reign of authority and paternal power had come to an end; that the new master of the world was intellect.

The general object of a knock or a knell is to mark a stage in the ceremony. Sasaki Shigetz tells us in his essay on Shinto that the Japanese are accustomed to clap their hands four times "to drive away evil spirits". He explains that what really happens is that the sudden and sharp impact of the sound throws the mind into an alert activity which enables it to break loose from the obsession of its previous mood. It is aroused to apply itself aggressively to the ideals which had oppressed it. There is therefore a perfectly rational interpretation of the psychological power of the knock.

In a Magical ceremony the knock is employed for much the same purpose. The Magician uses it like the chorus in a Greek play. It helps him to make a clean cut, to turn his attention from one part of his work to the next.

So much for the general character of the knock or knell. Even this limited point of view offers great opportunities to the resourceful Magician. But further possibilities lie to our hand. It is not usually desirable to attempt to convey anything except emphasis, and possibly mood, by varying the force of the blow. It is obvious, moreover, that there is a natural correspondence between the hard loud knock of imperious command on the one hand, and the soft slurred knock of sympathetic comprehension on the other. It is easy to distinguish between the bang of the outraged creditor at the front, and the hushed tap of the lover at the bedroom, door. Magical theory cannot here add instruction to instinct.

But a knock need not be single; the possible combinations are evidently infinite. We need only discuss the general principles of determining what number of strokes will be proper in any case, and how we may interrupt any series so as to express our idea by means of structure.

The general rule is that a single knock has no special significance as such, because unity is omniform. It represents Kether, which is the source of all things equally without partaking of any quality by which we discriminate one thing from another. Continuing on these lines, the number of knocks will refer to the Sephira or other idea Qabalistically cognate with that number. Thus, 7 knocks will intimate Venus, 11 the Great Work, 17 the Trinity of Fathers, and 19 the Feminine Principle in its most general sense.

Analyzing the matter a little further, we remark firstly that a battery of too many knocks is confusing, as well as liable to overweight the other parts of the ritual. In practice, 11 is about the limit. It is usually not difficult to arrange to cover all necessary ground with that number. Secondly, each is so extensive in scope, and includes aspects so diverse from a practical standpoint that our danger lies in vagueness. A knock should be well defined; its meaning should be precise. The very nature of knocks suggests smartness and accuracy. We must therefore devise some means of making the sequence significant of the special sense which may be appropriate. Our only resource is in the use of intervals.

It is evidently impossible to attain great variety in the smaller numbers. But this fact illustrates the excellence of our system. There is only one way of striking 2 knocks, and this fact agrees with the nature of Chokmah; there is only one way of creating. We can express only ourselves, although we do so in duplex form. But there are three ways of striking 3 knocks, and these 3 ways correspond to the threefold manner in which Binah can receive the creative idea. There are three possible types of triangle. We may understand an idea either as an unity tripartite, as an unity dividing itself into a duality, or as a duality harmonized into an unity. Any of these methods may be indicated by 3 equal knocks; 1 followed, after a pause, by 2; and 2 followed, after a pause, by 1.

As the nature of the number becomes more complex, the possible varieties increase rapidly. There are numerous ways of striking 6, each of which is suited to the nature of the several aspects of Tiphareth. We may leave the determination of these points to the ingenuity of the student.

The most generally useful and adaptable battery is composed of 11 strokes. The principal reasons for this are as follows:
"Firstly", 11 is the number of Magick in itself. It is therefore suitable to all types of operation.
"Secondly", it is the sacred number par excellence of the new Aeon. As it is written in the Book of the Law: "...11, as all their numbers who are of us."
"Thirdly", it is the number of the letters of the word ABRAHADABRA, which is the word of the Aeon. The structure of this word is such that it expresses the great Work, in every one of its aspects.
"Lastly", it is possible thereby to express all possible spheres of operation, whatever their nature. This is effected by making an equation between the number of the Sephira and the difference between that number and 11. For example, 2 °= 9 is the formula of the grade of initiation corresponding to Yesod. Yesod represents the instability of air, the sterility of the moon; but these qualities are balanced in it by the stability implied in its position as the Foundation, and by its function of generation. This complex is further equilibrated by identifying it with the number 2 of Chokmah, which possesses the airy quality, being the Word, and the lunar quality, being the reflection of the sun of Kether as Yesod is the sun of Tiphareth. It is the wisdom which is the foundation by being creation. This entire cycle of ideas is expressed in the double formula 2 °= 9, 9 °= 2; and any of these ideas may be selected and articulated by a suitable battery.

We may conclude with a single illustration of how the above principles may be put into practice. Let us suppose that the Magician contemplates an operation for the purpose of helping his mind to resist the tendency to wander. This will be a work of Yesod. But he must emphasize the stability of that Sephira as against the Airy quality which it possesses. His first action will be to put the 9 under the protection of the 2; the battery at this point will be 1-9-1. But this 9 as it stands is suggestive of the changefulness of the moon. It may occur to him to divide this into 4 and 5, 4 being the number of fixity, law, and authoritative power; and 5 that of courage, energy, and triumph of the spirit over the elements. He will reflect, moreover, that 4 is symbolic of the stability of matter, while 5 expresses the same idea with regard to motion. At this stage the battery will appear as 1-2-5-2-1. After due consideration he will probably conclude that to split up the central 5 would tend to destroy the simplicity of his formula, and decide to use it as it stands. The possible alternative would be to make a single knock the centre of his battery as if he appealed to the ultimate immutability of Kether, invoking that unity by placing a fourfold knock on either side of it. In this case, his battery would be 1-4-1-4-1. He will naturally have been careful to preserve the balance of each part of the battery against the corresponding part. This would be particularly necessary in an operation such as we have chosen for our example.

Perhaps one final comment will be useful: the serious reader will realize from the above patiently developed example that unless one approaches a Magickal operation with the greatest concentration of mind, intention and feeling, one will either get no result or worse, one will get a result by the operation of the laws of chance only. This is worse because when it happens lazy students tend to fool themselves that they are adepts or even masters of the subject, much as a tyro marksman might hit bull's eye once, become convinced he or she needed no practice, and either be shot down by the first mugger her or she chanced to meet in the street or shoot an innocent bystander when trying to down the mugger.



The contents of this section, inasmuch as they concern OUR LADY, are too important and too sacred to be printed. They are only communicated by the Master Therion to chosen pupils in private instruction.

Cf., however, Liber 156


The essential magical work, apart from any particular operation, is the proper formation of the Magical Being or Body of Light. This process will be discussed at some length in Chapter XVIII.

The serious student should always carefully consider the number of the Chapters in this book in relation to the themes treated therein. He or she will also find it useful to compare the numeration to that in Levi's Dogme et Rituel, of which we are preparing an annotated English version.

We will here assume that the magician has succeeded in developing his Body of Light until it is able to go anywhere and do anything. There will, however, be a certain limitation to his work, because he has formed his magical body from the fine matter of his own element. Therefore, although he may be able to penetrate the utmost recesses of the heavens, or conduct vigorous combats with the most unpronounceable demons of the pit, it may be impossible for him to do as much as knock a vase from a mantelpiece. His magical body is composed of matter too tenuous to affect directly the gross matter of which illusions such as tables and chairs are made. 1.

1. The one really easy "physical" operation which the Body of Light can perform is "Congressus subtilis".

[Meaning, sexual intercourse between an astral and a physical body.]

The emanations of the "Body of Desire" of the material being whom one visits are, if the visit be agreeable, so potent that one spontaneously gains substance in the embrace. There are many cases on record of Children having been born as the result of such unions. See the work of De Sinistrari on Incubi and Succubi for a discussion of analogous phenomena.

[The intelligent reader will realize that the use of "Children" capitalized must mean something quite different from regular homo saps infestation; Crowley further emphasizes this by speaking of "De Sinistrari's research as research in analogous phenomena. The serious student is referred to Sex and Religion (Equinox V 4, particularly The Bagh-i-Muattar, The Paris Working, Heavenly Bridegrooms and The Wake World in that Equinox number. The serious aspirant is also referred to the Signs of N.O.X. too, and Chapter V of this book.]

There has been a good deal of discussion in the past within the Colleges of the Holy Ghost, as to whether it would be quite legitimate to seek to transcend this limitation. One need not presume to pass judgment. One can leave the decision to the will of each magician.

The Book of the Dead contains many chapters intended to enable the magical entity of a man who is dead, and so deprived (according to the theory of death then current) of the material vehicle for executing his will, to take on the form of certain animals, such as a golden hawk or a crocodile, and in such form to go about the earth "taking his pleasure among the living." 1.

1. See "The Book of Lies" Cap. 44, and The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley, Vol. III, pp. 209-210, where occur paraphrased translations of certain classical Egyptian rituals.

As a general rule, material was supplied out of which he could construct the party of the second part aforesaid, hereinafter referred to as the hawk.

The theory seems to have been that one particular form would make "journeying" easier than another, depending on the region one wished to visit, or the circumstances of the visit. Only practical research may really answer these questions for the individual student. In a series of experiments with another initiate, for instance, Crowley found it easier to travel the distance between them (over water) by assuming the form of a golden hawk than by going in his own human form. It is, of course, extremely easy to change one's "physical shape" in the astral.

We need not, however, consider this question of death. It may often be convenient for the living to go about the world in some such incognito. Now, then, conceive of this magical body as creative force, seeking manifestation; as a God, seeking incarnation.

There are two ways by which this aim may be effected. The first method is to build up an appropriate body from its elements. This is, generally speaking, a very hard thing to do, because the physical constitution of any material being with much power is, or at least should be, the outcome of ages of evolution. However, there is a lawful method of producing an homunculus which is taught in a certain secret organization, perhaps known to some of those who may read this, which could very readily be adapted to some such purpose as we are now discussing.

The second method sounds very easy and amusing. You take some organism already existing, which happens to be suitable to your purpose. You drive out the magical being which inhabits it, and take possession. To do this by force is neither easy nor justifiable, because the magical being of the other was incarnated in accordance with its Will. And "... thou hast no right but to do thy will." One should hardly strain this sentence to make one's own will include the will to upset somebody else's will! 1.

1. Yet it might happen that the Will of the other being was to invite the Magician to indwell its instrument.

Moreover, it is extremely difficult thus to expatriate another magical being; for though, unless it is a complete microcosm like a human being, it cannot be called a star, it is a little bit of a star, and part of the body of Nuit.

But there is no call for all this frightfulness. There is no need to knock the girl down, unless she refuses to do what you want, and she will always comply if you say a few nice things to her. 2.

This, as with athletics and magical powers, is still very much dependent on the individual equation, no matter how big your Wand or how plentiful your Disk!

2. Especially on the subject of the Wand or the Disk.

You can always use the body inhabited by an elemental, such as an eagle, hare, wolf, or any convenient animal, by making a very simple compact. You take over the responsibility for the animal, thus building it up into your own magical hierarchy.

The totem poles of some yellow tribes (please remember that "red" is a subgroup of yellow) indicate precisely this kind of compact; and the order in which the animal forms appear on the pole indicates the level at which the compact functions in each case. This is a closely guarded secret of such tribes, very holy to them, and we will not invade their privacy with further discussion of the matter here.

This represents a tremendous gain to the animal. 1.

1. This is the magical aspect of eating animal food, and its justification, or rather the reconciliation of the apparent contradiction between the carnivorous and humanitarian elements in the nature of "Homo Sapiens".

[Naturally, the worthier sort of people show reverence and respect for the animals whose flesh they eat. One is reminded of a Zen apologue: A master in martial arts tells a student samurai, "A fish saved my life once." The student, surprised: "How come?" The master: "I ate it."]

[There is a far distance between this attitude and the attitude of persons who pen animals in narrow cages so they are forced to inactivity and then shove hormones down their throats. The fat content of the flesh becomes excessive, the flesh itself becomes sickly, and the abnormal hormone count affects the endocrine balance of the eaters. Not only do those persons torture animals out of the grossest, blindest form of greed: they also poison the people who consume their produce.
It should be remarked in passing that the manner in which Jews slaughter animals for "kosher" food shows a reverence for life which comes from a thousand years of living in arid lands, where an animal becomes a treasure. One wonders, however, if rich slaughterhouse owners of the Jewish persuasion show equal reverence to the flesh they intend for goyim!]

It completely fulfils its ambition by an alliance of this extremely intimate sort with a Star. The magician, on the other hand, is able to transform and retransform himself in a thousand ways by accepting a retinue of such adherents. In this way the projection of the "astral" or Body of Light may be made absolutely tangible and practical. At the same time, the magician must realise that in undertaking the Karma of any elemental, he is assuming a very serious responsibility. The bond which unites him with that elemental is love; and, though it is only a small part of the outfit of a magician, it is the whole of the outfit of the elemental. He will, therefore, suffer intensely in case of any error or misfortune occurring to his protegee. This feeling is rather peculiar. It is quite instinctive with the best men. They hear of the destruction of a city of a few thousand inhabitants with entire callousness, but then they hear of a dog having hurt its paw, they feel Weltschmertz acutely.

It is not necessary to say much more than this concerning transformations. Those to whom the subject naturally appeals will readily understand the importance of what has been said. Those who are otherwise inclined may reflect that a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.


It is necessary for us to consider carefully the problems connected with the bloody sacrifice, for this question is indeed traditionally important in Magick. Nigh all ancient Magick revolves around this matter. In particular all the Osirian religions — the rites of the Dying God — refer to this. The slaying of Osiris and Adonis; the mutilation of Attis; the cults of Mexico and Peru; the story of Hercules or Melcarth; the legends of Dionysus and of Mithra, are all connected with this one idea. In the Hebrew religion we find the same thing inculcated. The first ethical lesson in the Bible is that the only sacrifice pleasing to the Lord is the sacrifice of blood; Abel, who made this, finding favour with the Lord, while Cain, who offered cabbages, was rather naturally considered a cheap sport.

The bloodthirstiness of Hebrew religion has been carefully concealed by Jews in the last twenty centuries for purposes of self-protection; but it is quite evident in its most successful offshoot, Christism.

The idea recurs again and again. We have the sacrifice of the Passover, following on the story of Abraham's being commanded to sacrifice his firstborn son, with the idea of the substitution of animal for human life. The annual ceremony of the two goats carries out this in perpetuity. And we see again the domination of this idea in the romance of Esther, where Haman and Mordecai are the two goats or gods; and ultimately in the presentation of the rite of Purim in Palestine, where Jesus and Barabbas happened to be the Goats in that particular year of which we hear so much, without agreement on the date.

This subject must be studied in the "Golden Bough", where it is most learnedly set forth by Dr. J. G. Frazer. Enough has now been said to show that the bloody sacrifice has from time immemorial been the most considered part of Magick. The ethics of the thing appear to have concerned no one; nor, to tell the truth, need they do so. As St. Paul says, "Without shedding of blood there is no remission"; and who are we to argue with St. Paul?

The intelligent reader - and even the unintelligent but healthy reader - will perceive the devastating irony intended here.

But, after all that, it is open to any one to have any opinion that he likes upon the subject, or any other subject, thank God!

That is, now that the followers of "St. Paul" are unable to shed blood as often or as openly as they used to!

At the same time, it is most necessary to study the business, whatever we may be going to do about it; for our ethics themselves will naturally depend upon our theory of the universe. If we were quite certain, for example, that everybody went to heaven when he died, there could be no serious objection to murder or suicide, as it is generally conceded — by those who know neither — that earth is not such a pleasant place as heaven.

However, there is a mystery concealed in this theory of the bloody sacrifice which is of great importance to the student, and we therefore make no further apology, We should not have made even this apology for an apology, had it not been for the solicitude of a pious young friend of great austerity of character who insisted that the part of this chapter which now follows — the part which was originally written — might cause us to be misunderstood. This must not be.

This last paragraph is perfectly hilarious, and in the light of subsequent events deeply touching; but we doubt the austere young friend in question (Loveday? Mudd?) realized how Crowley was laughing at him - and at himself - while writing it.

The blood is the life. This simple statement is explained by the Hindus by saying that the blood is the principal vehicle of vital Prana. 1.

1. Prana or force" is often used as a generic term for all kinds of subtle energy. The prana of the body is only one of its "vayus". Vayu means air or spirit. The idea is that all bodily forces are manifestations of the finer forces of the more real body, this real body being a subtle and invisible thing.

There is some ground for the belief that there is a definite substance, 2.

2. This substance need not be conceived as "material" in the crude sense of Victorian science; we now know that such phenomena as the rays and emanations of radioactive substances occupy an intermediate position. For instance, mass is not, as once supposed, necessarily impermeable to mass, and matter itself can be only interpreted in terms of motion. So, as to "prana", one might hypothesize a phenomenon in the ether analogous to isomerism. We already know of bodies chemically identical whose molecular structure makes one active, another inactive, to certain reagents. Metals can be "tired" or even "killed" as to some of their properties, without discoverable chemical change. One can "kill" steel, and "raise it from the dead"; and flies drowned in icewater can be resuscitated.

[This discovery was the beginning of modern experiments in bio-cryogenics.]

That it should be impossible to create high organic life is scientifically unthinkable, and the Master Therion believes it to be a matter of few years indeed before this is done in the laboratory. Already we restore the apparently drowned. Why not those dead from such causes as syncope?

[All this has come to pass as he forsaw. Crowley's foresight in this case was not mysticism or "Magic"; it was intelligence.]

If we understood the ultimate physics and chemistry of the brief moment of death we would get hold of the force in some say, supply the missing element, reverse the electrical conditions or what not. Already we prevent certain kinds of death by supplying wants, as in the case of Thyroid.

not isolated as yet, whose presence makes all the difference between live and dead matter. We pass by with deserved contempt the pseudo-scientific experiments of American charlatans who claim to have established that weight is lost at the moment of death, and the unsupported statements of alleged clairvoyants that they have seen the soul issuing like a vapour from the mouth of persons "in articulo mortis"; but his experiences as an explorer have convinced the Master Therion that meat loses a notable portion of its nutritive value within a very few minutes after the death of the animal, and that this loss proceeds with ever-diminishing rapidity as time goes on. It is further generally conceded that live food, such as oysters, is the most rapidly assimilable and most concentrated form of energy. 1.

1. One can become actually drunk on oysters, by chewing them completely. Rigor seems to be a symptom of the loss of what I may call the Alpha-energy and makes a sharp break in the curve. The Beta and other energies dissipate more slowly. Physiologists should make it their first duty to measure these phenomena; for their study is evidently a direct line of research into the nature of Life. The analogy between the living and complex molecules of the Uranium group of inorganic and the Protoplasm group of organic elements is extremely suggestive.

[The serious reader should be reminded that this book was published originally in 1929 e.v. and written much before that.]

The faculties of growth, action, self-recuperation, etc., must be ascribed to similar properties in both cases; and as we have detected, measured and partially explained radioactivity, it must be possible to contrive means of doing the same for Life.

Laboratory experiments in food-values seem to be almost worthless, for reasons which we cannot here enter into; the general testimony of mankind appears a safer guide.

It would be unwise to condemn as irrational the practice of those savages who tear the heart and liver from an adversary, and devour them while yet warm. In any case it was the theory of the ancient Magicians, that any living being is a storehouse of energy varying in quantity according to the size and health of the animal, and in quality according to its mental and moral character. At the death of the animal this energy is liberated suddenly.

The animal should therefore be killed 1.

1. It is a mistake to suppose that the victim is injured. On the contrary, this is the most blessed and merciful of all deaths, for the elemental spirit is directly built up into Godhead — the exact goal of its efforts through countless incarnations. On the other hand, the practice of torturing animals to death in order to obtain the elemental as a slave is indefensible, utterly black magic of the very worst kind, involving as it does a metaphysical basis of dualism.

[This means that the magician, instead of sharing his or her essence with the animal by incorporating it in his or her animic hierarchy (what a totem pole symbolizes), imprisons it astrally and vampirizes its energy to the last of his or her own purpose. There is no exchange - no "love under will". This is rape of the worst sort, and reflects on lower planes the attitude of the so-called "Black Brothers". This crime is more serious when committed against a lower form of life than when it is committed - or rather, when it is attempted - against a human being, for the lower form of life has no recourse.

[The practice of subjection animals to a deprived and poisoned existence in order to ensure an artificial and quick increase of their bodily weight and thus get more money out their ultimate death is a reflexion of this attitude on the material plane. It is morally indefensible as well as intellectually stupid, since meat thus "imporoved" is poisonous with free radicals, excess hormones, and unhealthy fat. The etheric and astral auras of such meat are to be reckoned with even more strongly. Animals that are raised for food should be treated with love and respect, and killed with a minimum of pain - killed, if possible, under the circumstances of a religious rite, as Jews, for instance do. The right attitude is brilliantly described in Olaf Stapledon's Odd John.

[This is also the meaning behind Blake's Proverb of Hell: "All wholesome food is caught without a net or a trap." The best kind of sportsman hunter understands this proverb well.]

[The most stupid - and the earliest - form of this torturing of animals for food started with castrating them to make them more docile and to increase their fat. For thousands of years we have been ingesting greasy animal meat without the hormones that give animals elan, much of their individual personality, and all of their reproductive power. Our own hormone levels have been altered to compensate for the digestion of such vittles. We have become that which we eat: tame overweight herds at the beck and call of unscrupulous billionaires and corrupt politicians, or hungry exploited peoples without the courage to defend themselves against oppression efficiently or the intelligence to react constructively to it.]

There is, however, no objection to dualism or black magic when they are properly understood. See the account of the Master Therion's Great Magical Retirement by Lake Pasquaney, where he "crucified a toad in the Basilisk abode".

within the Circle, or the Triangle, as the case may be, so that its energy cannot escape. An animal should be selected whose nature accords with that of the ceremony — thus, by sacrificing a female lamb one would not obtain any appreciate quantity of the fierce energy useful to a Magician who was invoking Mars. In such a case a ram 1.

1. A wolf would be still better in the case of Mars. See 777 for the correspondences between various animals and the "32 Paths" of Nature.

would be more suitable. And this ram should be virgin — the whole potential of its original total energy should not have been diminished in any way. 2.

2. There is also the question of its magical freedom. Sexual intercourse creates a link between its exponents, and therefore a responsibility.

For the highest spiritual working one must accordingly choose that victim which contains the greatest and purest force. A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence 3.

3. It appears from the Magical Records of Frater Perdurabo that He made this particular sacrifice on an average about 150 times every ear between 1912 e.v. and 1928 e.v.

[Now, obviously this statement, thus publicly printed, and apparently confessing 150 infanticides, would have landed Crowley in jail were it "true" in the usual sense. In fact, the yellow press of many countries had a field day with it, which should remind the intelligent reader of his dry remark in paragraph four of this chapter about not being misunderstood.

[Still on the subject of the intelligent reader: every single remark in this chapter, those apparently casual ones "made in passing" included, will provide precious information, and keep providing new data (and insights) for decades, to anyone interested in Magick or Θελημα.]

Contrast J.K.Huyman's "La-Bas", where a perverted form of Magic of an analogous order is described.

"It is the sacrifice of oneself spiritually. And the intelligence and innocence of that male child are the perfect understanding of the Magician, his one aim, without lust of result. And male he must be, because what he sacrifices is not the material blood, but his creative power." This initiated interpretation of the texts was sent spontaneously by Soror I.W.E., for the sake of the younger Brethren.

On the subject of the constant feeding of misinformation to the public about Crowley: in his trashy "Satan and the Swastika" "Francis King" alleged that he wrote this lady in Germany after the war concerning Crowley's statement in Letter 48 of Magick Without Tears Unexpurgated Commented that she had considered Hitler her "magical child"; and alleged that she answered him denying that she had ever done so, and (naturally) ridiculing Crowley. This was a very miraculous correspondence, since Soror I.W.E. had been dead for ten years by the time "King" wrote his "book".]

is the most satisfactory and suitable victim. 1.

For evocations it would be more convenient to place the blood of the victim in the Triangle — the idea being that the spirit might obtain from the blood this subtle but physical substance which was the quintessence of its life in such a manner as to enable it to take on a visible and tangible shape.

1. See Equinox (I, V. Supplement: Tenth Aethyr) for an Account of an Operation where this was done. Magical phenomena of the creative order are conceived and germinate in a peculiar thick velvet darkness, crimson, purple, or deep blue, approximating black: as if it were said, In the body of Our Lady of the Stars.

Or, more specifically, in the womb. Research has shown that the human womb gives off ultra-violet radiation during orgasm; very likely it also does so during conception and gestation. Very likely it gives off infra-red radiations as well.]

See 777 for the correspondences of the various forces of Nature with drugs, perfumes, etc.

Those magicians who abject to the use of blood have endeavored to replace it with incense. For such a purpose the incense of Abramelin may be burnt in large quantities. Dittany of Crete is also a valuable medium. Both these incenses are very catholic in their nature, and suitable for almost any materialization.

But the bloody sacrifice, though more dangerous, is more efficacious; and for nearly all purposes human sacrifice is the best.

Cf. AL iii 24. Notice that the blood of an animal is the least convenient choice.

Note by David Bersson. This comment by Mr. Motta is extremely valuable in terms of a magical gesture that aligns the text to the Book of the Law to the subject matter of blood. The coordinates must be established properly for the alignment that the magical link might be consistent with the will to manifest. Immediately, the serious student checks the verse and realizes that the best blood is of the moon – which as everybody knows is menstrual blood. Yet, in a sense the Priestess who donates the menstrual blood is “making sacred” or giving a true sacrifice of blood for cakes of light or other operations. Only a fool or the insane would ignore the “best”. For the best blood being of the moon – that is what is to be used for the best blood for magick.

In addition, Mr. Motta brings up the issue our very eating habits which originate from someone, somewhere slaying an animal. We kill for food and must realize that proper attitudes and procedures must not be ignored. This chapter on the Bloody Sacrifice is very important to study, and to bring it all out into the open right from the beginning so we can test our souls on the reality of what we are and to avoid those errors of the past. As a brother of the O.T.O. who has a leadership position I might seem paranoid and overly cautious with regards to this subject – yet be warned that we are not a Charles Manson murder cult. Our curriculum must be read – and you, the novice need to listen and heed all these warnings. If you are enamored by evil with regards to the bloody sacrifice you have no business in the O.T.O.. I, personally, have used blood many times in my ceremonies and it has ALWAYS been the best blood. I have held up cakes of light to my Image of Ra-Hoor-Khuit invoking His force into the Cake and then eating the Cake as the climax of the Ceremony. Of course, I never shared this ceremony with anyone – yet anyone can write or improvise lines of Adoration to accomplish this Ceremony which had and has subtle and powerful effects on my Path of Initiation.

The truly great Magician will be able to use his own blood, or possibly that of a disciple, and that without sacrificing the physical life irrevocably.

Such details, however, may safely be left to the good sense of the Student.

[Insofar as the Student may possess this commodity.]

Experience here as elsewhere is the best teacher. In the Sacrifice during Invocation, however, it may be said without fear of contradiction that the death of the victim should coincide with the supreme invocation.

An example of this sacrifice is given in Chapter 44 of Liber 333. This Mass may be recommended generally for daily practice.

One last word on this subject. There is a Magical operation of maximum importance: the Initiation of a New Aeon. When it becomes necessary to utter a Word, the whole Planet must be bathed in blood.

This when, as in the case of Θελημα, the Word is of general import. Past, more restricted Words, affected directly only those nations or cultural groups for whom they were first intended. Θελημα is the first Word in known history intended for the entire Planet Earth; and would have been impossible for perhaps thousands of years yet, were not for the preparation provided by the Words that preceded it. Cf. Liber 333, Ch. 7, and Liber Aleph, Chs. 68-75.

Note by David Bersson. Although it is true that Θελημα is defintely unique for the "entire Planet Earth" it is also meant for other planets - those earth like planets that science has only just begun to seek out and make plans to visit. See Liber AL, Chapter II, verse 78. No doubt, the words from the Book of the Law "thy stature shall surpass the stars" takes on a meaning which has room for many subtle a meditation. Yet, how could it be otherwise that that Space Programs of NASA or ESA would be sacred to Nuit?

Before man is ready to accept the Law of Θελημα, the Great War must be fought. This Bloody Sacrifice is the critical point of the World-Ceremony of the Proclamation of Horus, the Crowned and conquering Child, as Lord of the Aeon. 1.

1. Note: This paragraph was written in the summer of 1911 e.v., just three years before its fulfilment.

[The information came from the Evocation of Bartzabel described in Equinox I 9, the which took place some time before the date of publication of that number, March Equinox (N.L.) of 1913 e.v.]

This whole matter is prophesied in the Book of the Law itself; let the student take note, and enter the ranks of the Host of the Sun.


There is another sacrifice with regard to which the Adepts have always maintained the most profound secrecy. It is the supreme mystery of practical Magick. Its name is the Formula of the Rosy Cross. In this case the victim is always — in a certain sense — the Magician himself, and the sacrifice must coincide with the utterance of the most sublime and secret name of the God whom he wishes to invoke.

Properly performed, it never fails of its effect. But it is difficult for the beginner to do it satisfactorily, because it is a great effort for the mind to remain concentrated upon the purpose of the ceremony. The overcoming of this difficulty lends most powerful aid to the Magician.

The practice of Liber III is very helpful in overcoming this handicap.

It is unwise for him to attempt it until he has received regular initiation in the true 1.

1. It is here desirable to warn the reader against the numerous false orders which have impudently assumed the name of Rosicrucian. The Masonic Societas Rosicruciana is honest and harmless; and makes no false pretences; if its members happen as a rule to be pompous busy-bodies, enlarging the borders of their phylacteries, and scrupulous about cleansing the outside of the cup and the platter; if the masks of the Officers in their Mysteries suggest the Owl, the Cat, the Parrot, and the Cuckoo, while the Robe of their Chief Magus is a Lion's Skin, that is their affair. But those orders run by persons "claiming" to represent the True Ancient Fraternity are common swindles. The representatives of the late S. L. Mathers (Count McGregor) are the phosphorescence of the rotten wood of a branch which was lopped off the tree at the end of the 19th century. Those of Papus (Dr. Encausse), Stanislas de Guaita and Peladan, merit respect as serious, but lack full knowledge and authority.

[He means the old "Golden Dawn" so dear to the late "Israel" Regardie.]

The "Ordo Rosae Crucis"

[The late Max Heindel's outfit.]

is a mass of ignorance and falsehood, but this may be a deliberate device for masking itself. The test of any Order is its attitude towards the Law Θελημα. The True Order presents the True Symbols, but avoids attaching the True Name thereto; it is only when the Postulant has taken irrevocable Oaths and been received formally, that he discovers what Fraternity he has joined. If he have taken false symbols for true, and find himself magically pledged to a gang of rascals, so much the worse for him!

[Which may seem unfair; but if so, it would not be any more unfair than human justice, wherein it is axiomatic that ignorance of the law is no excuse for infringing it. (This, incidentally, is a pragmatic - if arbitrary - convention; otherwise infringers could always claim innocence through ignorance, and it would be impossible to prove otherwise.)

But the magickal factor is that in these things intuition counts absolutely, and if you find yourself linked to unworthy people this happened because there was something in your nature that resonated to theirs. The Karma must then be paid before your next step.]

Order of the Rosy Cross, and he must have taken the vows with the fullest comprehension and experience of their meaning. It is also extremely desirable that he should have attained an absolute degree of moral emancipation 1.

1. This results from the full acceptance of the Law of Θελημα, persistently put into practice.

and that purity of spirit which results from a perfect understanding both of the differences and harmonies of the planes upon the Tree of Life.

For this reason FRATER PERDURABO has never dared to use this formula in a fully ceremonial manner, save once only, on an occasion of tremendous import, when, indeed, it was not He that made the offering, but ONE in Him. For he perceived a grave defect in his moral character which he has been able to overcome on the intellectual plane, but not hitherto upon higher planes. Before the conclusion of writing this book he will have done so. 2.

This defect was compassion, with a tendency to pity. Cf. The Commentaries of AL for this.

2. P.S. With the happiest results. P.

The practical details of the Bloody Sacrifice may be studied in various ethnological manuals, but the general conclusions are summed up in Frazer's "Golden Bough", which is strongly recommended to the reader. Actual ceremonial details likewise may be left to experiment. The method of killing is practically uniform. The animal should be stabbed to the heart, or its throat severed, in either case by the knife. All other methods of killing are less efficacious; even in the case of Crucifixion death is given by stabbing. 1.

1. Yet one might devise methods of execution appropriate to the Weapons: Stabbing or clubbing for the Lance or Wand, Drowning or poisoning for the Cup, Beheading for the Sword, Crushing for the Disk, Burning for the Lamp, and so forth.

One may remark that warm-blooded animals only are used as victims: with two principal exceptions. The first is the serpent, which is only used in a very special Ritual;

The Serpent is not really killed; it is seethed in an appropriate vessel; and it issues in due season refreshed and modified, but still essentially itself. The idea is the transmission of life and wisdom from a vehicle which has fulfilled its formula to one capable of further extension. The development of a wild fruit by repeated plantings in suitable soil is an analogous operation.

the second the magical beetles of Liber Legis. (See Part IV.)

One word of warning is perhaps necessary for the beginner. The victim must be in perfect health — or its energy may be as it were poisoned.

Again, this reflects on what we have already said about meat from animals. But the meaning is much more extensive than that.

It must also not be too large: 3.

3. The sacrifice (e.g.) of a bull is sufficient for a large number of people; hence it is commonly made in public ceremonies, and in some initiations, e.g. that of a King, who needs force for his whole kingdom. Or again, in the Consecration of a Temple.

Note by David Bersson: Years ago, when living in Albuquerque, New Mexico I was having a discussion with Soror Tapa Nuit who happened to mention in a conversation whether a magical ceremony of immortality would be possible. I commented to her that much magical energy would have to be awakened and mentioned that a Bull Sacrifice might be a possibility. The conversation ended where I began to write it. It came out so well that Soror Tapa Nuit and I actually performed this ceremony shortly after I had written it. It was actually hand written by myself and Soror Tapa Nuit typed it out as I was writing it. Since then, it has been done by many initiates in the Order.

Note by David Bersson: With regards to Soror Tapa Nuit from Vancouver Canada I cannot reveal anything else which would be a compromise to a Sister of the A∴A∴ that deserves respect for her privacy. Suffice to state, that without her I wouldn't of been inspired to write the Bull Sacrifice. Her high intelligence, her incredible beauty and capacity for the Higher Magick was known and experienced personally when she came to visit me. The fact that I was severe to her with discipline does not alter her sublime contribution as a Priestess who truly inspired me to write the Bull Sacrifice. She wrote me once – not sure whether her standing in the A∴A∴ was good after I had written one of my more severe letters to her. I wrote her back that while she was under the delusion that I was insane I had written several books. Yet, I would point out to others that if anyone would have been a vampire to me – she would have been had I not adhered to the delegation of the discipline of the Hierarchy. Does she understand this by now? Well, sometimes such mutual understanding does take assimilation – and once she stated to me that it must be easier for me than her. Yet, she wasn't considering what I personally went through with regards to discipline from my Superior.

See Lord Dunsany, "The Blessing of Pan" — a noble and most notable prophecy of Life's fair future.

[Not in this annotator's opinion.]

the amount of energy disengaged is almost unimaginably great, and out of all anticipated proportion to the strength of the animal. Consequently, the Magician may easily be overwhelmed and obsessed by the force which he has let loose;

This is a very real and serious danger.

it will then probably manifest itself in its lowest and most objectionable form. The most intense spirituality of purpose 1.

1. This is a matter of concentration, with no ethical implication. The danger is that one may get something which one does not want. This is "bad" by definition. Nothing is in itself good or evil. The shields of the Sabines which crushed Tarpeia were not murderous to them, but the contrary. Her criticism of them was simply that they were what she did not want in her Operation.

is absolutely essential to safety.

In evocations the danger is not so great, as the Circle forms a protection; but the circle in such a case must be protected, not only by the names of God and the Invocations used at the same time, but by a long habit of successful defence. 2.

2. The habitual use of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (say, thrice daily) for months and years and constant assumption of the God-form of Harpocrates (See Equinox, I, II and Liber 333, cap. XXV for both of these) should make the "real circle", i.e. the Aura of the Magus, impregnable.

This Aura should be clean-cut, resilient, radiant, iridescent, brilliant, glittering. "A Soap-bubble of razor-steel, streaming with light from within" is my first attempt at description; and is not bad, despite its incongruities: P.

"FRATER PERDURABO, on the one occasion on which I was able to see Him as He really appears, was brighter than the Sun at noon. I fell instantly to the floor in swoon which lasted several hours, during which I was initiated." Soror A.'.. Cf. Rev. I, 12-17.

If you are easily disturbed or alarmed, or if you have not yet overcome the tendency of the mind to wander, it is not advisable for you to perform the "Bloody Sacrifice". 3.

3. The whole idea of the word Sacrifice, as commonly understood, rests upon an error and superstition, and is unscientific, besides being metaphysically false. The Law of Θελημα has totally changed the Point of View as to this matter. Unless you have thoroughly assimilated the Formula of Horus, it is absolutely unsafe to meddle with this type of Magick. Let the young Magician reflect upon the Conservation of Matter and of Energy.

Yet it should not be forgotten that this, and that other art at which we have dared darkly to hint, are the supreme formulae of Practical Magick.

You are also likely to get into trouble over this chapter unless you truly comprehend its meaning. 1.

1. There is a traditional saying that whenever an Adept seems to have made a straightforward, comprehensible statement, then is it most certain that He means something entirely different. The Truth is nevertheless clearly set forth in His Words: it is His simplicity that baffles the unworthy. I have chosen the expressions in this Chapter in such a way that it is likely to mislead those magicians who allow selfish interests to cloud their intelligence, but to give useful hints to such as are bound by the proper Oaths to devote their powers to legitimate ends. "...thou hast no right but to do thy will." "It is a lie, this folly against self." The radical error of all uninitiates is that they define "self" as irreconcilably opposed to "not-self." Each element of oneself is, on the contrary, sterile and without meaning, until it fulfils itself, by "love under will", in its counterpart in the Macrocosm. To separate oneself from others is to destroy oneself; the way to realize and to extend oneself is to lose that self — its sense of separateness — in the other. Thus: Child plus food: this does not preserve one at the expense of the other; it "destroys" or rather changes both in order to fulfil both in the result of the operation — a grown man. It is in fact impossible to preserve anything as it is by positive action upon it. Its integrity demands inaction; and inaction, resistance to change, is stagnation, death and dissolution due to the internal putrefaction of the starved elements.


Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and had better come first. Purity means singleness. God is one.

This is true for anyone below the Grade of Ipsissimus. It should not be interpreted theologically, however: it is a psychological fact. Since every man and every woman is a star, one's Point of View is the ultimate center of one's consciousness. Beyond this there is only the annihilation of Pan. The alternative is the lonely fortresses of the "Black Brothers".

The wand is not a wand if it has something sticking to it which is not an essential part of itself. If you wish to invoke Venus, you do not succeed if there are traces of Saturn mixed up with it.

Again, this is for the beginner. In more complex operations,it is possible to invoke both Venus and Saturn at once; however, one will usually take care to do so only when the two planets are very well aspected.

That is a mere logical commonplace: in magick one must go much farther than this. One finds one's analogy in electricity. If insulation is imperfect, the whole current goes back to earth. It is useless to plead that in all those miles of wire there is only one-hundredth of an inch unprotected. It is no good building a ship if the water can enter, through however small a hole.

This is confirmed by the experience of all successful magicians, and is part of the axioms of the Yellow School. Cf. Equinox V 3, pp. 308-309, M's Commentary to Xiao Chu. Neglect of this simple point is the most common cause of failure among Aspirants.

That first task of the Magician in every ceremony is therefore to render his Circle absolutely impregnable. 1.

1. See, however, the Essay on Truth in "Konx om Pax". The Circle (in one aspect) asserts Duality, and emphasizes Division.

If one littlest thought intrude upon the mind of the Mystic, his concentration is absolutely destroyed; and his consciousness remains on exactly the same level as the Stockbroker's. Even the smallest baby is incompatible with the virginity of its mother.

Or in other words, you cannot be "a little pregnant", despite all the theologizing of the Romish heresy around the tickling doctrine of the "virgin birth".

If you leave even a single spirit within the circle, the effect of the conjuration will be entirely absorbed by it. 2.

2. While one remains exposed to the action of all sorts of forces they more or less counterbalance each other, so that the general equilibrium, produced by evolution, is on the whole maintained. But if we suppress all but one, its action becomes irresistible. Thus, the pressure of the atmosphere would crush us if we "banished" that of our bodies; and we should crumble to dust if we rebelled successfully against cohesion. A man who is normally an "allround good sort" often becomes intolerable when he gets rid of his collection of vices; he is swept into monomania by the spiritual pride which had been previously restrained by countervailing passions.

This is why Probationers usually become putrid. Also, it is one of the reasons why it is impossible to predict beforehand who will succeed and who will fail in Initiation. The most the Instructor can do in order not to waste his or her time and energy with the unfit is to enforce the terms of the Oath to the letter; especially in what concerns reverence, duty, sympathy, devotion, assiduity and trust!

Again, there is a worse draught when an ill-fitting door is closed than when it stands open. It is not as necessary to protect his mother and his cattle from Don Juan as it was from the Hermits of the Thebaid.

The Magician must therefore take the utmost care in the matter of purification, "firstly", of himself,
"secondly", of his instruments,
"thirdly", of the place of working.
Ancient Magicians recommended a preliminary purification of from three days to many months. During this period of training they took the utmost pains with diet. They avoided animal food, lest the elemental spirit of the animal should get into their atmosphere. They practised sexual abstinence, lest they should be influenced in any way by the spirit of the wife. Even in regard to the excrements of the body they were equally careful; in trimming the hair and nails, they ceremonially destroyed 3.

3. Such destruction should be by burning or other means which produces a complete chemical change. In so doing care should be taken to bless and liberate the native elemental of the thing burnt.

A better understanding of the meaning of this comes through training. But consider that our bodies are formed of living cells, and that each cell has its own consciousness and, in a sense, its own "soul".

This maxim is of universal application.

the severed portion. They fasted, so that the body itself might destroy anything extraneous to the bare necessity of its existence. They purified the mind by special prayers and conservations. They avoided the contamination of social intercourse, especially the conjugal kind; and their servitors were disciples specially chosen and consecrated for the work.

In modern times our superior understanding of the essentials of this process enables us to dispense to some extent with its external rigours; but the internal purification must be even more carefully performed. We may eat meat, provided that in doing so we affirm that we eat it in order to strengthen us for the special purpose of our proposed invocation. 4.

The personal equation is very important in such matters. This annotator finds it hard to survive emotionally in a big city without eating meat: a purely vegetarian diet makes him hypersensitive to the rudeness, grossness and downright savagery of the people around him.

4. In an Abbey of Θελημα we say "Will" before a meal.

"Will" - not "Grace"!

The formula is as follows.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."
"What is thy Will?"
"It is my will to eat and drink"
"To what end?"
"That my body may be fortified thereby."
"To what end?"
"That I may accomplish the Great Work."
"Love is the law, love under will."
"Fall to!"
This may be adapted as a monologue. One may also add the inquiry "What is the Great Work?" and answer appropriately, when it seems useful to specify the nature of the Operation in progress at the time. The point is to seize every occasion of bringing every available force to bear upon the objective of the assault. It does not matter what the force is (by any standard of judgment) so long as it plays its proper part in securing the success of the general purpose. Thus, even laziness may be used to increase our indifference to interfering impulses, or envy to counteract carelessness.

By producing emulation. But most envious people do not take the trouble. Low men always think you got yours without hard work, even in the case of things money cannot buy, like experience, insight, character and wisdom.

See Liber CLXXV, Equinox I, VII, p. 37. This is especially true, since the forces are destroyed by the process. That is, one destroys a complex which in itself is "evil" and puts its elements to the one right use.

By thus avoiding those actions which might excite the comment of our neighbours we avoid the graver dangers of falling into spiritual pride.

By not allowing others to dwell on our spiritual holiness, and thereby flatter our egoes. Of course, if you are a Thelemite, you seldom run any danger of that: your virtues will usually be the sort that talking monkeys call vices.
The expression "spiritual pride" deserves some comment. Pride is a Thelemic virtue; you are supposed to be proud. This pride, however, is the awareness of one's own sovereign dignity, and does not exclude the same attitude in others; to the contrary, welcomes its presence, and rues its absence. The spiritual pride to which Crowley refers is that disorder of the Ahamkara that leads you to think that only you have the right to consider yourself the center of the Universe. From there to considering one's god the only true god that ever was or ever will be is but a small step.

We have understood the saying: "To the pure all things are pure", and we have learnt how to act up to it.

Everyone knows this is not true insofar as the majority of talking monkeys is concerned; but the prevailing concept of the relativity of morals among cultured people is a very important step ahead in civilization. Simply to voice such a position in the Middle Ages of Europe would have led the imprudent to the rack and the bonfire.

We can analyse the mind far more acutely than could the ancients, and we can therefore distinguish the real and right feeling from its imitations. A man may eat meat from self-indulgence, or in order to avoid the dangers of asceticism.

Cf. his essay "The Dangers of Mysticism", Equinox 1 6 pp. 153-158.

We must constantly examine ourselves, and assure ourselves that every action is really subservient to the One Purpose.

It goes without saying - except for talking monkeys - that this entails continuous vigilance and self-analysis. The Law of Θελημα frees you from control by others only on condition that you learn to control yourself: "thou hast no right but to do thy will."

It is ceremonially desirable to seal and affirm this mental purity by Ritual, and accordingly the first operation in any actual ceremony is bathing and robing, with appropriate words. The bath signifies the removal of all things extraneous to antagonistic to the one thought. The putting on of the robe is the positive side of the same operation. It is the assumption of the fame of mind suitable to that one thought.

A similar operation takes place in the preparation of every instrument, as has been seen in the Chapter devoted to that subject. In the preparation of the place of working, the same considerations apply. We first remove from that place all objects; and we then put into it those objects, and only those objects, which are necessary. During many days we occupy ourselves in this process of cleansing and consecration; and this again is confirmed in the actual ceremony.

The operative word here is many. Many hours, many days, many years. I had a pupil once - or so he called himself - who failed to achieve any significant result in six years of "attempts" which consisted - after listening to my holy discourse - in one, at the most three, days of real trying followed by endless months of lip-service. Naturally, when he failed to get anywhere, the fault was thought to be mine. Eventually I passed him to another Instructor, who had at a time been a fellow pupil and tenant of his; the person no longer lived in the same city, and I thought familiarity would not breed contempt; also, the person had succeeded where he had failed, and I hoped this would create emulation, if not spite. No such luck. Eventually, I was forced to order the Instructor to cut contact with the false pupil: negligence had become irreverence.

The cleansed and consecrated Magician takes his cleansed and consecrated instruments into that cleansed and consecrated place, and there proceeds to repeat that double ceremony in the ceremony itself, which has these same two main parts. The first part of every ceremony is the banishing; the second, the invoking. The same formula is repeated even in the ceremony of banishing itself, for in the banishing ritual of the pentagram we not only command the demons to depart,

An essential detail in which we will fail, by the way, unless we have succeeded in raising ourselves above their level.

but invoke the Archangels and their hosts to act as guardians of the Circle during our pre-occupation with the ceremony proper. In more elaborate ceremonies it is usual to banish everything by name. Each element, each planet, and each sign, perhaps even the Sephiroth themselves; all are removed, including the very one which we wished to invoke, for that forces as existing in Nature is always impure. But this process, being long and wearisome, is not altogether advisable in actual working.

But cf. (for instance) Liber Yod vel 831, the First Method.

It is usually sufficient to perform a general banishing, and to rely upon the aid of the guardians invoked. Let the banishing therefore be short, but in no wise slurred — for it is useful as it tends to produce the proper attitude of mind for the invocations. "The Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram" (as now rewritten, Liber 333, Cap. XXV) is the best to use. 5.

5. See also the Ritual called "The Mark of the Beast" given in an Appendix. But this is pantomorphous.

A careful comparison between Liber V and Liber XXV will help the serious student understand what Crowley means by this

Only the four elements are specifically mentioned, but these four elements contain the planets and the signs 6.

6. The signs and the planets, of course, contain, the elements. It is important to remember this fact, as it helps one to grasp what all these terms really mean. None of the "Thirty-two Paths" is a simple idea; each one is a combination, differentiated from the others by its structure and proportions. The chemical elements are similarly constituted, as the critics of Magick have at last been compelled to admit.

He means, of course, that they are particular combinations of subatomic particles. Hence, not only is the transmutation of lead into gold possible, it is theoretically possible to transmute any element into any other.

— the four elements are Tetragrammaton; and Tetragrammaton is the Universe.

This is a reference to the Qabalah, not to physics or astronomy; furthermore, the attribution of the Universe to Tetragrammaton is now a very limited - and limiting - concept. Christianity - by which we do not mean Christism! - introduced the concept of the Fifth Element; Liber AL expanded this by introducing the concept of the sixth (Hadit) and the Seventh (Nuit).

This special precaution is, however, necessary: make exceedingly sure that the ceremony of banishing is effective! Be alert and on your guard! Watch before you pray! The feeling of success in banishing, once acquired, is unmistakable.

It is, however, easily mistaken for good digestion, or indigestion, or "mood" by anyone who has not yet experienced the atmosphere produced by a genuine banishing. One should remark, also, that quite often a person manages to achieve a true banishing and henceforth deliberately avoids repeating his or her feat; for filth cleaves unto filth, and slaves hate responsibility.
A true banishing and its effects are best recognized by those who have been privileged enough to visit the living quarters of a true Initiate, especially in his or her presence.

At the conclusion,

Of the Banishing

it is usually well to pause for a few moments, and to make sure once more that every thing necessary to the ceremony is in its right place. The Magician may then proceed to the final consecration of the furniture of the Temple. 7.

7. That is, of the special arrangement of that furniture. Each object should have been separately consecrated beforehand. The ritual here in question should summarize the situation, and devote the particular arrangement to its purpose by invoking the appropriate forces. Let it be well remembered that each object is bound by the Oaths of its original consecration as such. Thus, if a pantacle has been made sacred to Venus, it cannot be used in an operation of Mars; the Energy of the Exorcist would be taken up in overcoming the opposition of the "Karma" or inertia therein inherent.



Consecration is the active dedication of a thing to a single purpose. Banishing prevents its use for any other purpose, but it remains inert until consecrated. Purification is performed by water, and banishing by air, whose weapon is the sword. Consecration is performed by fire, usually symbolised by the holy oil. 1.

1. The general conception is that the three active elements co-operate to affect earth; but earth itself may be employed as an instrument. Its function is solidification. The use of the Pentacle is indeed very necessary in some types of operation, especially those whose object involves manifestation in matter, and the fixation in (more or less) permanent form of the subtle forces of Nature.

In most extant magical rituals the two operations are performed at once; or (at least) the banishing has the more important place, and greater pains seem to be taken with it; but as the student advances to Adeptship the banishing will diminish in importance, for it will no longer be so necessary.

This is quite incorrect. Banishing lower "evil" or disruptive forces will become less necessary, because the strengthening of the student's aura frightens away or subdues beings that formerly it did not; but there are subtler forms of disruptive or hostile forces that must be banished with great care. This is particularly true in what concerns AL iii 49-57.

The Circle of the Magician will have been perfected by his habit of Magical work. In the truest sense of that word, he will never step outside the Circle during his whole life.

Quite correct. However, it is still necessary to apply the utmost selectiveness to what one allows to step into it!

But the consecration, being the application of a positive force, can always be raised to a closer approximation to perfection. Complete success in banishing is soon attained; but there can be no completeness in the advance to holiness.

We must emphasize once more that there can be no "completeness of banishing" below the Abyss. The price of freedom - and even good health - is eternal vigilance. This is so "as long as thou art thou."

The method of consecration is very simple. Take the wand, or the holy oil, and draw upon the object to be consecrated the supreme symbol of the force to which you dedicate it. Confirm this dedication in words, invoking the appropriate God to indwell that pure temple which you have prepared for Him. Do this with fervour and love, as if to balance the icy detachment which is the proper mental attitude for banishing. 2.

2. The Hebrew legends furnish us with the reason for the respective virtues of water and fire. The world was purified by water at the Deluge, and will be consecrated by fire at the last Judgment. Not until that is finished can the "real ceremony" begin.

The words of purification are: Asperges me, Therion, hyssopo, et mundabor; lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.

A woman Aspirant should say "nivea" instead of "niven"; at least in the Outer.

Those of consecration are: Accendat in nobis Therion ignem sui amoris et flammam aeternae caritatis. 3.

3. These may now advantageously be replaced by
(a) "... pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect." (CCXX, I, 44) to banish; and
(b) "I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body." (CCXX, II, 62) to consecrate. For the Book of the Law contains the Supreme Spells.

Quite correct; but at times, and for routine work, the student will find that more primitive words or gestures of banishing work more simply: the verses of AL are so lofty and so sacred that one shuns employing them in any but the most serious occasions, just as one will not usually don one's finest clothes to cook or mow the lawn.

Note by David Bersson: Although this is an interesting point I absolutely do not follow such suggestions as to take one second of the Great Work and magick other than seriously. Therefore, this comment talks one down to the level of those of poverty of spirit – and even further – aspirants are encouraged toward creativity of ceremony with regards to further magical links to the Book of the Law. Therefore this advice is not speaking to Me – or even me who would aspire to the strongest manifestation feasible from the 93 Current.

These, as initiates of the VII° Degree of O.T.O. are aware, mean more than appears.

His natural modesty. In the original version of these verses, "Domine" (Latin for "Lord"), not "Therion" was used. He decided to "come clean", but was embarrassed! The reference to the VII° O.T.O. must pass uncommented.


It is a strange circumstance that no Magical writer has hitherto treated the immensely important subject of the Magical Link. It might almost be called the Missing Link. It has apparently always been taken for granted, only lay writers on Magick like Dr. J. G. Frazer have accorded the subject its full importance.

Let us try to make considerations of the nature of Magick in a strictly scientific spirit, as well as, deprived of the guidance of antiquity, we may.

What is a Magical Operation? It may be defined as any event in nature which is brought to pass by Will. We must not exclude potato-growing or banking from our definition.

Cf. the Introduction. The Thelemic definition of Magick is vitally important for two main reasons: it includes science in the magical domain and emphasizes Will versus passive acceptance, and docile adaptation to, any sort of environmental restriction. The eventual acceptance of our Law by the intelligent section of any human population will produce an immense step ahead not only in the sciences and arts but in social organization, efficient citizenship and responsible government.

Let us take a very simple example of a Magical Act: that of a man blowing his nose. What are the conditions of the success of the Operation? Firstly, that the man's Will should be to blow his nose; secondly, that he should have a nose capable of being blown; thirdly, that he should have at command an apparatus capable of expressing his spiritual Will in terms of material force, and applying that force to the object which he desires to affect. His Will may be as strong and concentrated as that of Jupiter, and his nose may be totally incapable of resistance; but unless the link is made by the use of his nerves and muscles in accordance with psychological, physiological, and physical law, the nose will remain unblown through all eternity.

Writers of Magick have been unsparing in their efforts to instruct us in the preparation of the Will, but they seem to have imagined that no further precaution was necessary. There is a striking case of an epidemic of this error whose history is familiar to everybody. I refer to Christian Science, and the cognate doctrines of "mental healing" and the like. The theory of such people, stripped of dogmatic furbelows, is perfectly good Magic of its kind, its negroid kind. The idea is correct enough: matter is an illusion created by Will through mind, and consequently susceptible of alteration at the behest of its creator. But the practice has been lacking. They have not developed a scientific technique for applying the Will. It is as if they expected the steam of Watts' kettle to convey people from place to place without the trouble of inventing and using locomotives.

Let us apply these considerations to Magick in its restricted sense, the sense in which it was always understood until the Master Therion extended it to cover the entire operations of Nature.

What is the theory implied in such rituals as those of the Goetia? What does the Magician do? He applies himself to invoke a God, and this God compels the appearance of a spirit whose function is to perform the Will of the magician at the moment. There is no trace of what may be called machinery in the method. The exorcist hardly takes the pains of preparing a material basis for the spirit to incarnate except the bare connection of himself with his sigil. It is apparently assumed that the spirit already possesses the means of working on matter. The conception seems to be that of a schoolboy who asks his father to tell the butler to do something for him. In other words, the theory is grossly animistic. The savage tribes described by Frazer had a far more scientific theory. The same may be said of witches, who appear to have been wiser than the thaumaturgists who despised them. They at least made waxen images — identified by baptism — of the people they wished to control.

Or so was alleged by the Inquistors; but the records of "witch" interrogations under torture prove abundantly that the Romish clergy asked questions and accepted no answers but those which would fit their theology.

They at least used appropriate bases for Magical manifestations, such as blood and other vehicles of animal force, with those of vegetable virtue such as herbs. They were also careful to put their bewitched products into actual contact — material or astral — with their victims. The classical exorcists, on the contrary, for all their learning, were careless about this essential condition. They acted as stupidly as people who should write business letters and omit to post them.

It is not too much to say that this failure to understand the conditions of success accounts for the discredit into which Magick fell until Eliphas Levi undertook the task of re-habilitating it two generations ago. But even he (profoundly as he studied, and luminously as he expounded, the nature of Magick considered as a universal formula) paid no attention whatever to that question of the Magical Link, though he everywhere implies that it is essential to the Work. He evaded the question by making the "petitio principii" of assigning to the Astral Light the power of transmitting vibrations of all kinds. He nowhere enters into detail as to how its effects are produced. He does not inform us as to the qualitative or quantitative laws of this light. (The scientifically trained student will observe the analogy between Levi's postulate and that of ordinary science "in re" the luminiferous ether.)

It is deplorable that nobody should have recorded in a systematic form the results of our investigations of the Astral Light. We have no account of its properties or of the laws which obtain in its sphere. Yet these are sufficiently remarkable. We may briefly notice that, in the Astral Light, two or more objects can occupy the same space at the same time without interfering with each other or losing their outlines.

In that Light, objects can change their appearance completely without suffering change of Nature. The same thing can reveal itself in an infinite number of different aspects; in fact, it identifies itself by so doing, much as a writer or a painter reveals himself in a succession of novels or pictures, each of which is wholly himself and nothing else, but himself under varied conditions, though each appears utterly different from its fellows. In that Light one is "swift without feet and flying without wings"; one can travel without moving, and communicate without conventional means of expression. One is insensible to heat, cold, pain, and other forms of apprehension, at least in the shapes which are familiar to us in our bodily vehicles. They exist, but they are appreciated by us, and they affect us, in a different manner. In the Astral Light we are bound by what is, superficially, an entirely different series of laws. We meet with obstacles of a strange and subtle character; and we overcome them by an energy and cunning of an order entirely alien to that which serves us in earthly life. In that Light, symbols are not conventions but realities, yet (on the contrary) the beings whom we encounter are only symbols of the realities of our own nature. Our operations in that Light are really the adventures of our own personified thoughts.

This is an extremely important point to remember. Those who forget it can do enormous harm to themselves and their fellow beings in "normal life".

Note by David Bersson: When you conquer the astral plane you would have a tendency to perceive that personified thoughts are the content of the Light. Yet, the work of Dominus Liminus changed this for me when I created my first Temple on the astral plane. Doorways and gateways to elsewhere do exist, and the Places that exist beyond them were not your “personified thoughts”. Liber 418 does prove this, and yet you must go see for yourself and record your experiments. It is all most unsettling to be surprised in such a manner.

The universe is a projection of ourselves; an image as unreal as that of our faces in a mirror, yet, like that face, the necessary form of expression thereof, not to be altered save as we alter ourselves. 4.

4. This passage must not be understood as asserting that the Universe is purely subjective.

Notice the use of capital U in order to differentiate between the "subjective" and the "objective" Universe. The same device is used in the Holy Books of Θελημα, particularly in Liber VII.

On the contrary, the Magical Theory accepts the absolute reality of all things in the most objective sense. But all perceptions are neither the observer nor the observed; they are representations of the relation between them. We cannot affirm any quality in an object as being independent of our sensorium, or as being in itself that which it seems to us. Nor can we assume that what we cognize is more than a partial phantom of its cause. We cannot even determine the meaning of such ideas as motion, or distinguish between time and space, except in relation to some particular observer.

The reader should notice that Crowley was already perfectly familiar with the general theory of relativity at a time when few scientists were even accepting it.

For example, if I fire a cannon twice at an interval of 3 hours, an observer on the Sun would note a difference of some 200,000 miles in space between the shots, while to me they seem "in the same place." Moreover, I am incapable of perceiving any phenomenon except by means of the arbitrary instruments of my senses; it is thus correct to say that the Universe as I know it is subjective, without denying its objectivity.

The mirror may be distorted, dull, clouded, or cracked; and to this extent, the reflection of ourselves may be false even in respect of its symbolic presentation. In that Light, therefore, all that we do is to discover ourselves by means of a sequence of hieroglyphics, and the changes which we apparently operate are in an objective sense illusions.

But the Light serves us in this way. It enables us to see ourselves, and therefore to aid us to initiate ourselves by showing us what we are doing. In the same way a watchmaker uses a lens, though it exaggerates and thus falsifies the image of the system of wheels which he is trying to adjust. In the same way, a writer employs arbitrary characters

He means letters.

according to a meaningless convention in order to enable his reader by retranslating them to obtain an approximation to his idea.

Such are a few of the principal characteristics Astral Light. Its quantitative laws are much less dissimilar from those of material physics. Magicians have too often been foolish enough to suppose that all classes of Magical Operations were equally easy. They seem to have assumed that the "almighty power of God" was an infinite quantity in presence of which all finites were equally insignificant. "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years" is their first law of Motion. "Faith can move mountains" they say, and disdain to measure either the faith or the mountains. If you can kill a chicken by Magick, why not destroy an army with equal exertion? "With God all things are possible."

Even should you wish to reason theistically, and equate Nature with God, you must admit the omnipresence of the Creator; a natural corollary is that God is present in your enemies, in stones, and most certainly in such little things as the law of inertia, the law of thermodynamics, and the law of diminishing returns. Unless you do this, you will remain a Middle Ages mentality of the worst sort, like Ronald Reagan or the Romish "popes".
The "omnipresence of God" should explain why armies, countries and people who were virtuous and "in the right" lost wars, elections and lawsuits! It can never be sufficiently clear that "God" does not "reward virtue" or "punish vice".

There is no grace; there is no guilt:
This is the Law: Do what thou wilt!

Then, you may ask, what is the point in being honest? Why is honesty the best policy?

Everything is relative, ladies and gentlemen. Honesty will not take very far in any existing human society, of whatever political persuasion; but it will take you far with Us. And only with Us. It is better to die in the misery of a Sascha Germer than to die in the misery of a Donald Weiser or a Ronald Reagan. We do not see the world with your eyes. Or rather, We may see the world with your eyes, if We so will; but Our point of view remains that of Initiates. The Light of the wise is the darkness of the profane.

Should you feel inclined to call Us visionaries, maniacs, or deceivers, consider that We, being human, learn from past mistakes; talking monkeys do not. We look back on the record of ages. Many virtuous armies have lost battles to villianous armies; many virtuous countries have fallen victim to vicious ones; many virtuous persons have been oppressed, defeated, tortured, maimed and slaughtered by liars, thieves and madmen. The wealth of most nations has been built on dishonesty. But look at the kind of society in which you live! It is the product of such abuse and such error. Are you happy? Are you fulfilled? Are you free? And even if you are, is the same true of a significant majority of your people and other peoples of the Earth?
For if it is not - and We know it is not - something is wrong with your society's wealth, something is wrong with its health, something is wrong with its weal. None of it is unto Nuit. All of it will fall, perish, or spread its disease into future generations throughout centuries of restriction, abuse, and stupidity.
Honesty is the best policy, ladies and gentlemen. Intelligent selfishness is human; brutish egotism is not even purely animal: it is a quality of talking monkeys, who are advanced enough to ape humanity, but not advanced enough to serve it.

This absurdity is an error of the same class as that mentioned above. The facts are wholly opposed. Two and two make four in the Astral as rigorously as anywhere else. The distance of one's Magical target and the accuracy of one's Magical rifle are factors in the success of one's Magical shooting in just the same way as at Bisley. The law of Magical gravitation is as rigid as that of Newton. The law of Inverse Squares may not apply; but some such law does apply. So it is for everything. You cannot produce a thunderstorm unless the materials exist in the air at the time, and a Magician who could make rain in Cumberland might fail lamentably in the Sahara. One might make a talisman to win the love of a shop-girl and find it work, yet be baffled in the case of a countess; or vice versa. One might impose one's Will on a farm, and be crushed by that of a city; or vice versa. The MASTER THERION himself, with all his successes in every kind of Magick, sometimes appears utterly impotent to perform feats which almost any amateur might do, because He has matched his Will against that of the world, having undertaken the Work of a Magus to establish the word of His Law on the whole of mankind. He will succeed, without doubt, but He hardly expects to see more than a sample of His product during His present incarnation. But He refuses to waste the least fraction of His force on works foreign to His WORK, however obvious it may seem to the onlooker that His advantage lies in commanding stones to become bread, or otherwise making things easy for Himself.

A skeptic might, of course, take this as a charlatan's excuse for his or her incapacity. But an expert skeptic knows that charlatans never excuse themselves: "Qui s'excuse, s'accuse!" Furthermore, charlatans usually lead prosperous dishonest lives.

These considerations being thoroughly understood we may return to the question of making the Magical Link. In the case above cited FRATER PERDURABO composed His talisman by invoking His Holy Guardian Angel according to the Sacred Magick of Abramelin the Mage. That Angel wrote on the lamen the Word of the Aeon. The Book of the Law is this writing. To this lamen the Master Therion gave life by devoting His own life thereto. We may then regard this talisman, the Law, as the most powerful that has been made in the world's history, for previous talismans of the same type have been limited in their scope by conditions of race and country. Mohammed's talisman, Allah, was good only from Persia to the Pillars of Hercules. The Buddha's, Anatta, operated only in the South and East of Asia. The new talisman, Θελημα, is master of the planet.

Several critics have voiced the opinion that Crowley did not finish the Operation of Abramelin, which he admitted himself that he abandoned to help Samuel Liddell ("MacGregor") Mathers, at the latter's behest. None of these critics, of course, ever performed the Operation. At least one whose name I have forgotten - but his name is as negligible as his character - also opined that Karl Germer could not perform the Operation in solitary confinement in a Nazi concentration camp, since the requirements given by Abramelin are very specific and difficult to contrive. And some critics have doubted that Mr. Germer was in a German concentration camp at all.
One cannot go into this matter in depth, except to say that the Operation of Abramelin is only one, and a very specialized one, means of achieving the Kiss of the Angel. This Kiss, in one form or another, is essential to the passing in any Grade of the Outer. Furthermore, when the purpose of him or her who would achieve the Operation is as cosmic in scope as Crowley's was, the entire planet can, very easily, become the Oratory of the postulant. Verb. saps.

But now observe how the question of the Magical Link arises! No matter how mighty the truth of Θελημα, it cannot prevail unless it is applied to any by mankind. As long as the Book of the Law was in Manuscript, it could only affect the small group amongst whom it was circulated. It had to be put into action by the Magical Operation of publishing it. When this was done, it was done without proper perfection. Its commands as to how the work ought to be done were not wholly obeyed.

In fact, they were not obeyed at all! He was supposed to have printed the book "beautifully in red ink and black upon beautiful paper made by hand", and to simply hand a free copy to any heterosexual couple who might offer him hospitality henceforth. Cf. AL iii 39. He did not do this. He was supposed to "abstruct" the original Stele of Revealing from the (then) "ill-ordered house" - the Boulak Museum - in Cairo, leaving a copy in its place. Cf. AL iii 10-11. He did not do this either. It is impossible to say for sure which of these two disobediences caused him most trouble, and his followers most trouble after him.

There were doubt and repugnance in FRATER PERDURABO's mind, and they hampered His work. He was half-hearted. Yet, even so then intrinsic power of the truth of the Law and the impact of the publication were sufficient to shake the world so that a critical war broke out, and the minds of men were moved in a mysterious manner.

But perhaps a slow suffusion of the Law throughout human society, done with all prudence and discretion - his temple, the Oratory in Boleskine, was supposed to have remained secret and his Kiblah forever (AL iii 10) - was what the Lord of the Aeon had had in mind.

The second blow was struck by the re-publication of the Book in September 1913, and this time the might of this Magick burst out and caused a catastrophe to civilization. At this hour, the MASTER THERION is concealed, collecting his forces for a final blow. When The Book of the Law and its Comment

But the comment, the original Comment, which is in Class A along with the book, indicates precisely that the intention of the Lord of the Aeon was a gentle, slow and pondered dissemination of His Rule; catastrophes, both those already endured and those yet to come, might have been avoided.

is published, with the forces of His whole Will in perfect obedience to the instructions which have up to now been misunderstood or neglected, the result will be incalculably effective. The event will establish the kingdom of the Crowned and Conquering Child over the whole earth, and all men shall bow to the Law, which is "love under Will".

Notice the capital in "Will"! He was still not aware of what was wrong with his efforts. But by this time the original instructions would have been extremely hard, if not impossible, to obey. Boleskine had been sold, and the Boulak Museum had become less accessible to a penniless man infamous throughout the world.

This is an extreme case; but there is one law only to govern the small as the great. The same laws describe and measure the motions of the ant and the stars. Their light is no swifter than that of a spark. In every operation of Magick the link must be properly made. The first requisite is the acquisition of adequate force of the kind required for the purpose. We must have electricity of a certain potential in sufficient amount if we wish to heat food in a furnace. We shall need a more intense current and a greater supply to light a city than to charge a telephone wire. No other kind of force will do. We cannot use the force of steam directly to impel an aeroplane, or to get drunk. We must apply it in adequate strength in an appropriate manner.

It is therefore absurd to invoke the spirit of Venus to procure us the love of an Empress, unless we take measures to transmit the influence of our work to the lady. We may for example consecrate a letter expressing our Will; or, if we know how, we may use some object connected with the person whose acts we are attempting to control, such as a lock of hair or a handkerchief once belonging to her, and so in subtile connection with her aura. But for material ends it is better to have material means. We must not rely on fine gut in trolling for salmon. Our will to kill a tiger is poorly conveyed by a charge of small shot fired at a range of one hundred yards. Our talisman must, therefore, be an object suitable to the nature of our Operation, and we must have some such means of applying its force to such a way as will naturally compel the obedience of the portion of Nature which we are trying to change. If one will the death of a sinner, it is not sufficient to hate him, even if we grant that the vibrations of thought, when sufficiently powerful and pure, may modify the Astral light sufficiently to impress its intention to a certain extent on such people as happen to be sensitive. It is much surer to use one's mind and muscle in service of that hate by devising and making a dagger, and then applying the dagger to the heart of one's enemy. One must give one's hate a bodily form of the same order as that which one's enemy has taken for his manifestation. Your spirit can only come into contact with his by means of this magical manufacture of phantoms; in the same way, one can only measure one's mind (a certain part of it) against another man's by expressing them in some such form as the game of chess. One cannot use chessmen against another man unless he agree to use them in the same sense as you do. The board and men form the Magical Link by which you can prove your power to constrain him to yield. The game is a device by which you force him to turn down his king in surrender, a muscular act made in obedience to your will, thought he may be twice your weight and strength.

These general principles should enable the student to understand the nature of the work of making the Magical Link. It is impossible to give detailed instructions, because every case demands separate consideration. It is sometimes exceedingly difficult to devise proper measures.

Remember that Magick includes all acts soever. Anything may serve as a Magical weapon. To impose one's Will on a nation, for instance, one's talisman may be a newspaper, one's triangle a church, or one's circle a Club. To win a woman, one's pantacle may be a necklace; to discover a treasure, one's wand may be a dramatist's pen, or one's incantation a popular song.

Many ends, many means: it is only important to remember the essence of the operation, which is to will its success with sufficiently pure intensity, and to incarnate that will in a body suitable to express it, a body such that its impact on the bodily expression of the idea one wills to change is to cause it to do so. For instance, is it my will to become a famous physician? I banish all "hostile spirits" such as laziness, alien interests, and confliction pleasures, from my "circle" the hospital; I consecrate my "weapons" (my various abilities) to the study of medicine; I invoke the "Gods" (medical authorities) by studying and obeying their laws in their books. I embody the "Formulae" (the ways in which causes and effects influence disease) in a "Ritual" (my personal style of constraining sickness to conform with my will). I persist in these conjurations year after year, making the Magical gestures of healing the sick, until I compel the visible appearance of the Spirit of Time, and make him acknowledge me his master. I have used the appropriate kind of means, in adequate measure, and applied them in ways pertinent to my purpose by projecting my incorporeal idea of ambition in a course of action such as to induce in others the incorporeal idea of satisfying mine. I made my Will manifest to sense; sense swayed the Wills of my fellowmen; mind wrought on mind through matter.

I did not "sit for" a medical baronetcy by wishing I had it, or by an "act of faith", or by praying to God "to move Pharaoh's heart", as our modern mental, or our mediaeval, mystic, miracle-mongers were and are muddlers and maudlin enough to advise us to do.

A few general observations on the Magical Link may not be amiss, in default of details; one cannot make a Manual of How to Go Courting, with an Open-Sesame to each particular Brigand's Cavern, any more than one can furnish a budding burglar with a directory containing the combination of every existing safe. But one can point out the broad distinctions between women who yield, some to flattery, some to eloquence, some to appearance, some to rank, some to wealth, some to ardour, and some to authority. We cannot exhaust the combinations of Lover's Chess, but we may enumerate the principal gambits: the Bouquet, the Chocolates, the Little Dinner, the Cheque-Book, the Poem, the Motor by Moonlight, the Marriage Certificate, the Whip, and the Feigned Flight.

The Magical Link may be classified under three main heads; as it involves
(1) one plane and one person,
(2) one plane and two or more persons,
(3) two planes.

The serious reader is advised to pay the utmost attention to this classification and the explanation that follows.

In class (1) the machinery of Magick — the instrument — already exists. Thus, I may wish to heal my own body, increase my own energy; develop my own mental powers, or inspire my own imagination. Here the Exorcist and the Demon are already connected, consciously or subconsciously, by an excellent system of symbols. The Will is furnished by Nature with an apparatus adequately equipped to convey and execute its orders.

It is only necessary to inflame the Will to the proper pitch and to issue its commands; they are instantly obeyed, unless — as in the case of organic disease — the apparatus is damaged beyond the art of Nature to repair. It may be necessary in such a case to assist the internal "spirits" by the "purification" of medicines, the "banishing" of diet, or some other extraneous means.

But at least there is no need of any special device "ad hoc" to effect contact between the Circle and the Triangle. Operations of this class are therefore often successful, even when the Magician has little or no technical knowledge of Magick. Almost any duffer can "pull himself together", devote himself to study, break off a bad habit, or conquer a cowardice. This class of work, although the easiest, is yet the most important; for it includes initiation itself in its highest sense. It extends to the Absolute in every dimension; it involves the most intimate analysis, and the most comprehensive synthesis. In a sense, it is the sole type of Magick either necessary or proper to the Adept; for it includes both the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and the Adventure of the Abyss.

The second class includes all operations by which the Magician strives to impose his Will upon objects outside his own control, but within that of such other wills as are symbolised by means of a system similar to his own. That is, they can be compelled naturally by cognate consciousness.

For instance, one may wish to obtain the knowledge put forth in this book. Not knowing that such a book exists, one might yet induce some one who knows of it to offer a copy. Thus one's operation would consist in inflaming one's Will to possess the knowledge to the point of devoting one's life to it, in expressing that will by seeking out people who seem likely to know what is needed, and in imposing it on them by exhibiting such enthusiastic earnestness that they will tell the enquirer that this book will meet his needs.

Does this sound too simple? Can this obvious common-sense course be really that marvellous Magick that frightens folk so? Yes, even this triviality is one instance of how Magick works.

But the above practical programme may be a fiasco. One might then resort to Magick in the conventional sense of the word, by constructing and charging a Pantacle appropriate to the object; this Pantacle should then cause a strain in the Astral Light such that the vibrations would compel some alien consciousness to restore equilibrium by bringing the book.

Suppose a severer and more serious aim; suppose that I wish to win a woman who dislikes me and loves somebody else. In this case, not only her Will, but her lover's must be overcome by my own. I have no direct control of either. But my Will is in touch with the woman's by means of our minds; I have only to make my mind the master of hers by the existing means of communication; her mind will then present its recantation to her Will, her Will repeal its decision, and her body submit to mine as the seal of her surrender.

Here the Magical Link exists; only it is complex instead of simple as in the First Class.

There is opportunity for all kinds of error in the transmission of the Will; misunderstanding may mar the matter; a mood may make mischief; external events may interfere; the lover may match me in Magick; the Operation itself may offend nature in many ways; for instance, if there is a subconscious incompatibility between myself and the woman, I deceive myself into thinking that I desire her. Such a flaw is enough to bring the whole operation to naught, just as no effort of Will can make oil mix with water.

I may work "naturally" by wooing, of course. But, magically, I may attack her astrally so that her aura becomes uneasy, responding no longer to her lover. Unless they diagnose the cause, a quarrel may result, and the woman's bewildered and hungry Body of Light may turn in its distress to that of the Magician who has mastered it.

Take a third case of this class 2. I wish to recover my watch, snatched from me in a crowd.

Here I have no direct means of control over the muscles that could bring back my watch, or over the mind that moves these muscles. I am not even able to inform that mind of my Will, for I do not know where it is. But I know it to be a mind fundamentally like my own, and I try to make a Magical Link with it by advertising my loss in the hope of reaching it, being careful to calm it by promising it immunity, and to appeal to its own known motive by offering a reward. I also attempt to use the opposite formula; to reach it by sending my "familiar spirits", the police, to hunt it, and compel its obedience by threats. 5.

5. The ceremonial method would be to transfer to the watch — linked naturally to me by possession and use — a thought calculated to terrify the thief, and induce him to get rid of it at once. Observing clairsentiently this effect, suggest relief and reward as the result of restoring it.

Again, a sorcerer might happen to possess an object belonging magically to a rich man, such as a compromising letter, which is really as much part of him as his liver; he may then master the will of that man by intimidating his mind. His power to publish the letter is as effective as if he could injure the man's body directly.

Notice his calling a blackmailer a sorcerer. This is deliberate, and relates to our previous remarks on honesty.

These "natural" cases may be transposed into subtler terms; for instance, one might master another man, even a stranger, by sheer concentration of will, ceremonially or otherwise wrought up to the requisite potential. But in one way or another that will must be made to impinge on the man; by the normal means of contact if possible, if not, by attacking some sensitive spot in his subconscious sensorium. But the heaviest rod will not land the smallest fish unless there be a line of some sort fixed firmly to both.

The Third Class is characterized by the absence of any existing link between the Will of the Magician and that controlling the object to be affected. (The Second Class may approximate to the Third when there is no possibility of approaching the second mind by normal means, as sometimes happens).

This class of operations demands not only immense knowledge of the technique of Magick combined with tremendous vigour and skill, but a degree of Mystical attainment which is exceedingly rare, and when found is usually marked by an absolute apathy on the subject of any attempt to achieve any Magick at all. Suppose that I wish to produce a thunderstorm. This event is beyond my control or that of any other man; it is as useless to work on their minds as my own. Nature is independent of, and indifferent to, man's affairs. A storm is caused by atmospheric conditions on a scale so enormous that the united efforts of all us Earth-vermin could scarcely disperse one cloud, even if we could get at it.

The serious reader should know that at least once this tongue-in-cheek rascal gave a pupil, as part of the exam of Practicus, the production of a storm. In fact, he was even more precise: the pupil was to produce a thunderbolt in a specific area, within a specific time limit.

How then can any Magician, he who is above all things a knower of Nature, be so absurd as to attempt to throw the Hammer of Thor? Unless he be simply insane, he must be initiated in a Truth which transcends the apparent facts. He must be aware that all nature is a continuum,

This is why honesty is the best policy, gentle (?) reader.

so that his mind and body are consubstantial with the storm, are equally expressions of One Existence, all alike of the self-same order of artifices whereby the Absolute appreciates itself. He must also have assimilated the fact that the Quantity is just as much a form as Quality; that as all things are modes of One Substance, so their measures are modes of their relation. Not only are gold and lead mere letters, meaningless in themselves yet appointed to spell the One Name; but the difference between the bulk of a mountain and that of a mouse is no more than one method of differentiating them, just as the letter "m" is not bigger than the letter "i" in any real sense of the word. 6.

The writing of one may occupy more space than the writing of the other; but this is a different matter, or rather, a different universe of discourse.

6. Professor Rutherford thinks it not theoretically impracticable to construct a detonator which could destroy every atom of matter by releasing the energies of one, so that the vibrations would excite the rest to disintegrate explosively.

This sort of reasoning eventually produced the atom bomb. For a time it was feared that the detonation of one would lead to universal combustion; the mathematical formulae were worked out very carefully before construction of the device actually started. It is still theoretically possible to explode a whole planet, or to prod a star into going nova, which undoubtedly would please minds of the caliber of Ronald Reagan's.
On the other hand, it is possible to turn a satellite into a miniature sun, and thereby to fertilize a planetary surface, as Arthur C. Clarke speculated in one of his magnificient novels. Sorcerers and Initiates - and a true scientist is above all an Initiate - do differ. If not in methods, at least in aims.

Our Magician, with this in his mind, will most probably leave thunderstorms to stew in their own juice; but, should he decide (after all) to enliven the afternoon, he will work in the manner following.

First, what are the elements necessary for his storms? He must have certain stores of electrical force, and the right kind of clouds to contain it.

He must see that the force does not leak away to earth quietly and slyly.

He must arrange a stress so severe as to become at last so intolerable that it will disrupt explosively.

Now he, as a man, cannot pray to God to cause them, for the Gods are but names for the forces of Nature themselves.

But, "as a Mystic", he knows that all things are phantoms of One Thing, and that they may be withdrawn therein to reissue in other attire. He knows that all things are in himself, and that he is All-One with the All. There is therefore no theoretical difficulty about converting the illusion of a clear sky into that of a tempest.

Cf. John's explanation of his "miracle" to his Fido in Chapter XII of Stapledon's "Odd John".

On the other hand, he is aware, "as a Magician", that illusions are governed by the laws of their nature. He knows that twice two is four, although both "two" and "four" are merely properties pertaining to One. He can only use the Mystical identity of all things in a strictly scientific sense. It is true that his experience of clear skies and storms proves that his nature contains elements cognate with both; for it not, they could not affect him. He is the Microcosm of his own Macrocosm, whether or no either one or the other extend beyond his knowledge of them. He must therefore arouse in himself those ideas which are clansmen of the Thunderstorm, collect all available objects of the same nature for talismans, and proceed to excite all these to the utmost by a Magical ceremony; that is, by insisting on their godhead, so that they flame within and without him, his ideas vitalising the talismans. There is thus a vivid vibration of high potential in a certain group of sympathetic substances and forces; and this spreads as do the waves from a stone thrown into a lake, widening and weakening; till the disturbance is compensated. Just as a handful of fanatics, insane with one over-emphasised truth, may infect a whole country for a time by inflaming that thought in their neighbours, so the Magician creates a commotion by disturbing the balance of power. He transmits his particular vibration as a radio operator does with his ray; rate-relation determines exclusive selection.

In practice, the Magician must "evoke the spirits of the storm" by identifying himself with the ideas of which atmospheric phenomena are the expressions as his humanity is of him; thus achieved, he must impose his Will upon them by virtue of the superiority of his intelligence and the integration of his purpose to their undirected impulses and uncomprehending interplay.

All such Magick demands the utmost precision in practice. It is true that the best rituals give us instructions in selecting our vehicles of force. In 777 we find "correspondences" of many classes of being with the various types of operation, so that we know what weapons, jewels, figures, drugs, perfumes, names, etc. to employ in any particular work.

Characteristically, he did not mention he was the author of the book (at the time few people would know this); nor that it was the first work of its kind. After half a century, it remains the best manual of magico-mystical correspondences extant. The only way to improve on it is to add to it.

But it has always been assumed that the invoked force is intelligent and competent, that it will direct itself as desired without further ado, by this method of sympathetic vibrations.

The necessity of timing the force has been ignored; and so most operations, even when well performed as far as invocation goes, are as harmless as igniting loose gunpowder.

But, even allowing that Will is sufficient to determine the direction, and prevent the dispersion of the force, we can hardly be sure that it will act on its object, unless that object be properly prepared to receive it. The Link must be perfectly made. The object must possess in itself a sufficiency of stuff sympathetic to our work. We cannot make love to a brick, or set an oak to run errands.

We see, then, that we can never affect anything outside ourselves save only as it is also within us. Whatever I do to another, I do also to myself. If I kill a man, I destroy my own life at the same time. That is the magical meaning of the so-called "Golden Rule", which should not be in the imperative but in the indicative mood. Every vibration awakens all others of its particular pitch.

The fact that some men - and women - deserve a little killing has nothing to do with this. The "Golden Rule" is not a moral axiom, it is a psychological fact. A wise gardener prunes a tree; should this be the Tree of Self, why, it many need pruning even worse than others.

There is thus some justification for the assumption of previous writers on Magick that the Link is implicit, and needs no special attention. Yet, in practice, there is nothing more certain than that one ought to confirm one's will by all possible acts on all possible planes. The ceremony must not be confined to the formally magical rites. We must neglect no means to our end, neither despising our common sense, nor doubting our secret wisdom.

When Frater I. A. was in danger of death in 1899 e.v. Frater V. N. and FRATER PERDURABO did indeed invoke the spirit Buer to visible manifestation that the might heal their brother; but also one of them furnished the money to send him to a climate less cruel than England's.

Again, he does not mention that he was the one who furnished the money, gotten from a mistress who wished to impress him with her generosity.

He is alive to day 7.

7. P.S. He died some months after this passage was written: but he had been enabled to live and work for nearly a quarter of a century longer than he would otherwise have done.

who cares whether spirits or shekels wrought that which these Magicians willed?

Let the Magical Link be made strong! It is "love under will"; it affirms the identity of the Equation of the work; it makes success Necessity.


In the straightforward or "Protestant" system of Magick there is very little to add to what has already been said. The Magician addresses a direct petition to the Being invoked. But the secret of success in invocation has not hitherto been disclosed. It is an exceedingly simple one. It is practically of no importance whatever that the invocation should be "right". There are a thousand different ways of compassing the end proposed, so far as external things are concerned. The whole secret may be summarised in these four words: "Enflame thyself in praying." 1.

1. This is Qabalistically expressed in the old Formula: Domine noster, audi tuo servo! kyrie Christe! O Christe!

The mind must be exalted until it loses consciousness of self. The Magician must be carried forward blindly by a force which, though in him and of him, is by no means that which he in his normal state of consciousness calls I. Just as the poet, the lover, the artist, is carried out of himself in a creative frenzy, so must it be for the Magician.

It is impossible to lay down rules for the obtaining of this special stimulus. To one the mystery of the whole ceremony may appeal; another may be moved by the strangeness of the words, even by the fact that the "barbarous names" are unintelligible to him. Some times in the course of a ceremony the true meaning of some barbarous name that has hitherto baffled his analysis may flash upon him, luminous and splendid, so that he is caught up unto orgasm. The smell of a particular incense may excite him effectively, or perhaps the physical ecstasy of the magick dance.

Every Magician must compose his ceremony in such a manner as to produce a dramatic cilmax. At the moment when the excitement becomes ungovernable, when then the whole conscious being of the Magician undergoes a spiritual spasm, at that moment must he utter the supreme adjuration.

One very effective method is to stop short, by a supreme effort of will, again and again, on the very brink of that spasm, until a time arrives when the idea of exercising that will fails to occur 2.

2. This forgetfulness must be complete; it is fatal to try to "let oneself go" consciously.

["Fatal" in the sense that you will not achieve the spasm at all. Also, the approach of this spasm is very frightening to the mind, for it disintegrates it, at least momentarily. This fear, which come to us all, has produced many initiatic failures.]

Inhibition is no longer possible or even thinkable, and the whole being of the Magician, no minutest atom saying nay, is irresistibly flung forth. In blinding light, amid the roar of ten thousand thunders, the Union of God and man is consummated.

If the Magician is still seen standing in the Circle, quietly pursuing his invocations, it is that all the conscious part of him has become detached from the true ego which lies behind that normal consciousness. But the circle is wholly filled with that divine essence; all else is but an accident and an illusion.

The subsequent invocations, the gradual development and materialization of the force, require no effort. It is one great mistake of the beginner to concentrate his force upon the actual stated purpose of the ceremony. This mistake is the most frequent cause of failures in invocation.

A corollary of this Theorem is that the Magician soon discards evocation almost altogether — only rare circumstances demand any action what ever on the material plane. The Magician devotes himself entirely to the invocation of a god; and as soon as his balance approaches perfection he ceases to invoke any partial god; only that god vertically above him is in his path.

This always what we convene into calling "The Holy Guardian Angel".

And so a man who perhaps took up Magick merely with the idea of acquiring knowledge, love, or wealth, finds himself irrevocably committed to the performance of The Great Work.

It will now be apparent that there is no distinction between magick and meditation except of the most arbitrary and accidental kind. 3.

By "meditation" here he means Yoga. The serious reader is referred to Parts I and II of this Book Four, Yoga and Magick and Magick and Mysticism.

3. There is the general metaphysical antithesis that Magick is the Art of the Will-to-Live, Mysticism of the Will-to-Die; but — "Truth comes bubbling to my brim; Life and death are one to Him"!.

The quotation is from his beautiful play, "The Scorpion".


Beside these open methods there are also a number of mental methods of Invocation, of which we may give three.

The first method concerns the so-called astral body. The Magician should practise the formation of this body as recommended in Liber O, and learn to rise on the planes according to the instruction given in the same book, though limiting his "rising" to the particular symbol whose God he wishes to invoke.

The second is to recite a mantra suitable to the God.

The third is the assumption of the form of the God — by transmuting the astral body into His shape. This last method is really essential to all proper invocation, and cannot be too sedulously practised.

There are many other devices to aid invocation, so many that it is impossible to enumerate them; and the Magician will be wise to busy himself in inventing new ones.

We will give one example.

Suppose the Supreme Invocation to consist of 20 to 30 barbarous names, let him imagine these names to occupy sections of a vertical column, each double the length of the preceding one; and let him imagine that his consciousness ascends the column with each name. The mere multiplication will then produce a feeling of awe and bewilderment which is the proper forerunner of exstasy.

In the essay "Energized Enthusiasm" in No. IX, Vol. I of the Equinox 4.

4. The earliest and truest Christians used what is in all essentials this method. See "Fragments of a Faith Forgotten" by G.R.S.Mead, Esq. B. A.

This kind of boasting is perfectly legitmate. On the other hand, it is hard to think of anybody speaking of Albert Einstein, Ph.D., or of Aurelius Theophrastus Bombastus, M.D. or Jacob Boehme, D.D.!

pp. 80-81.

There is a real connexion between what the vulgar call blasphemy and what they call immorality, in the fact that the Christian legend is an echo of a Phallic rite. There is also a true and positive connexion between the Creative force of the Macrocosm, and that of the Microcosm. For this reason the latter must be made a pure and consecrated as the former. The puzzle for most people is how to do this. The study of Nature is the Key to that Gate.

[By this he means that "moral" considerations should spring from physiological facts; attempting the reverse has produced only madness, disease, or misery for the last two thousand years.]

is given a concise account of one of the classical methods of arousing Kundalini. This essay should be studied with care and determination.

(Part I)

The motive why part of Chapter XVI comes before Chapter XV should be gleamed by comparison between Crowley's arrangement of his chapters and the arrangement of the chapters in Eliphas Levi's Dogme et Rituel.

The third operation in any magical ceremony is the oath or proclamation. The Magician, armed and ready, stands in the centre of the Circle, and strikes once upon the bell as if to call the attention of the Universe. He then declares "who he is", reciting his magical history by the proclamation of the grades which he has attained, giving the signs and words of those grades. 1.

1. This is not merely to prove himself a person in authority. It is to trace the chain of causes that have let to the present position, so that the operation is seen as karma.

He then states the purpose of the ceremony, and proves that it is necessary to perform it and to succeed in its performance. He then takes an oath before the Lord of the Universe (not before the particular Lord whom he is invoking)

In this Aeon, the Lord of the Universe is Heru-ra-ha. The reader should not be confused by gender. The Lord of the Universe in this Aeon happens to be a "male"; the Lord of the Universe in the next Aeon shall be a "female", the Goddess Maat. (Whether She shall be called the "Lord" or the "Lady" of the Universe shall be entirely up to Her!) But at the level at which those Entities exist and function, such distinctions of sex are only true for the worshippers, and this only below the Abyss. Our persisent weeding out of apparently sexist terms in Crowley's text has as its purpose only to make it easier for feminist activists to understand him. We emphasize again, as we have done before, that his use of the male pronoun throughout most of his writing - but not, the serious reader may notice, in many crucial passages - was merely the conventional literary device of the times.

as if to call Him to witness to the act. He swears solemnly that he will perform it — that nothing shall prevent him from performing it — that he will not leave the operation until it is successfully performed — and once again he strikes upon the bell.

Yet, having demonstrated himself in that position at once infinitely lofty and infinitely unimportant, the instrument of destiny, he balances this by the "Confession", in which there is again an infinite exaltation harmonised with an infinite humility. He admits himself to be a weak human being humbly aspiring to something higher; a creature of circumstance utterly dependent — even for the breath of life — upon a series of fortunate accidents. He makes this confession prostrate 2.

2. Compare the remarks in a previous chapter.

He means his first footnote to Chapter II.

But this is a particular case. We leave its justification as a problem.

before the altar in agony and bloody sweat. He trembles at the thought of the operation which he has dared to undertake, saying, "Father, if it be Thy Will, let this cup pass from me! Nevertheless not my will but Thine be done!" 3.

Such expressions are basically immature and to be avoided by Thelemites. As this annotator once proclaimed loudly in a studio of the most fanatically Christist TV network of Brasil, you are your father and your mother, and God and the Devil. Your material parents are but intermediaries in your self-realization in flesh; they deserve respect for putting up with you, but you also deserve the respect due a guest - if you behave like one. As Khalil Gibran put aptly in "The Prophet", addressing momism or daddism in general, "Your children are not your children." Crowley's footnotes enlarge on this theme of theistic servilism or theistic affiliation.

3. Of course this is for the beginner. As soon as it is assimilated as true, he will say: "My will which is thine be done!" And ultimately no more distinguish "mine" from "thine". A sympathetic change of gesture will accompany the mental change.

The serious reader will realize that in the course of a Magickal Ceremony one practices complex intensely. Another proof of the intimate relation between Yoga and Magick.

The dread answer comes that It Must Be, and this answer so fortifies him with holy zeal that it will seem to him as if he were raised by divine hands from that prostrate position; with a thrill of holy exaltation he renews joyfully the Oath, feeling himself once again no longer the man but the Magician, yet not merely the Magician, but the chosen and appointed person to accomplish a task which, however apparently unimportant, is yet an integral part of universal destiny, so that if it were not accomplished the Kingdom of Heaven would be burst in pieces.

The Supernals, not the Christist mediaeval infantilism. But of course this feeling, albeit often heralding success in the Operation, is illusion due to the limitations of the rational mind. Cf. Liber 418, the 11th Aethyr.

He is now ready to commence the invocations. He consequently pauses to cast a last glance around the Temple to assure himself of the perfect readiness of all things necessary, and to light the incense.

The Oath is the foundation of all Work in Magick, as it is an affirmation of the Will. An Oath binds the Magician for ever. In Part II of Book 4 something has already been said on this subject; but its importance deserves some further elaboration. Thus, should one, loving a woman, make a spell to compel her embraces, and tiring of her a little later, evoke Zazel to kill her; he will find that the implications of his former Oath conflict with those proper to invoke the Unity of the Godhead of Saturn. Zazel will refuse to obey him in the case of the woman whom he has sworn that he loves. To this some may object that, since all acts are magical, every man who loves a woman implicitly takes an Oath of love, and therefore would never be able to murder her later, as we find to be the not uncommon case. The explanation is as follows. It is perfectly true that when Bill Sykes desires to possess Nancy,

The reference is to characters in Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist".

he does in fact evoke a spirit of the nature of Venus, constraining him by his Oath of Love (and by his magical power as a man) to bring him the girl. So also, when he wants to kill her, he evokes a Martial or Saturnian spirit, with an Oath of hate. But these are not pure planetary spirits, moving in well-defined spheres by rigidly righteous laws. They are gross concretions of confused impulses, "incapable of understanding the nature of an oath". They are also such that the idea of murder is nowise offensive to the Spirit of Love.

It is indeed the criterion of spiritual "caste" that conflicting elements should not coexist in the same consciousness.

He means by this that more refined spiritual beings are incapable of self-contradiction. On the other hand, a contradiction may be apparent; such cases occur, however, with microcosms and not with spirits. As Walt Whitman says in one of his poems, "So I contradict myself. I contain multitudes."

This, of course, is not to be used as an excuse for the kind of contradiction that the better class of spirits will not tolerate. As long as the planes are not mixed you run into little mischief, or none at all; but you must keep things simple. It is, for instance, perfectly possible to love your enemy and yet kill his or her body; the killing is done on one plane, loving on another. But it is useless to expect spirits who are not microcosms to accept this kind of contradiction. They do not have the wherewithal to do so; they live on either one plane or the other, not on both at the same time.

The psalm-singing Puritan who persecutes publicans, and secretly soaks himself in fire-water; the bewhiskered philanthropist in broadcloth who swindles his customers and sweats his employees: these men must not be regarded as single-minded scoundrels, whose use of religion and respectability to cloke their villainies is a deliberate disguise dictated by their criminal cunning. Far from it, they are only too sincere in their "virtues"; their terror of death and of supernatural vengeance is genuine; it proceeds from a section of themselves which is in irreconcilable conflict with their rascality. Neither side can conciliate, suppress, or ignore the other; yet each is so craven as to endure its enemy's presence. Such men are therefore without pure principles; they excuse themselves for every dirty trick that turns to their apparent advantage.

It is on such men that capitalist societies have been built so far.

The first step of the Aspirant toward the Gate of Initiation tells him that purity — unity of purpose — is essential above all else.

This definition of purity is extremely important to candidates; essential, in fact. The usual connotations of "purity" with "sex" is totally irrelevant to the problem.

"Do what thou wilt" strikes on him, a ray of fierce white flame consuming all that is not utterly God. Very soon he is aware that he cannot consciously contradict himself. He develops a subtle sense which warns him that two trains of thought which he had never conceived as connected are incompatible. Yet deeper drives "Do what thou wilt"; subconscious oppositions are evoked to visible appearance.

This, put plainly, means that your complexes or inhibitions or whatever are projected in Assiah of Assiah, and acted out as psychodramas in which other people take part; the difference between these psychodramas and those acted on stage or in clinics being that participants are unaware that they are acting, and the audience is usually bored, uninvolved, or actively hostile.

The secret sanctuaries of the soul are cleansed. "Do What thou wilt" purges his every part. He has become One, one only.

This supposing you can stand the pain and the failure. The majority drop out of college while still in kindergarten.

His Will is consequently released from the interference of internal opposition, and he is a Master of Magick.

Do not confuse with Master of the Temple, however.

But for that very reason he is now utterly impotent to achieve anything that is not in absolute accordance with his Original Oath, with his True Will, by virtue whereof he incarnated as a man. With Bill Sykes love and murder are not mutually exclusive, as they are with King Arthur. The higher the type of man, the more sensitive he becomes; so that the noblest love divines intuitively when a careless word or gesture may wound, and, vigilant, shuns them as being of the family of murder. In Magick, likewise, the Adept who is sworn to attain to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel may in his grosser days have been expert as a Healer, to find that he is now incapable of any such work. He will probably be puzzled, and wonder whether he has lost all his power. Yet the cause may be no more than that the Wisdom of his Angel depreciates the interference of ignorant kindliness with diseases which may have been sent to the sufferer for a purpose profoundly important to his welfare.

In the case of THE MASTER THERION, he had originally the capacity for all classes of Orgia.

The serious reader is reminded, for important reasons, that the English word "orgy" comes from the Greek, and that the word in Greek means Work.

In the beginning, He cured the sick, bewitched the obstinate, allured the seductive, routed the aggressive, made himself invisible, and generally behaved like a Young-Man-About-town on every possible plane. He would afflict one vampire with a Sending of Cats,

With some help from his friends at first. Cf. "At the Fork of the Roads", Equinox I I.

and appoint another his private Enchantress, neither aware of any moral oxymoron, nor hampered by the implicit incongruity of his oaths.

But as He advanced in Adeptship, this coltishness found its mouth bitted; as soon as He took serious Oaths and was admitted to the Order which we name not, those Oaths prevented him using His powers as playthings. Trifling operations, such as He once could do with a turn of the wrist, became impossible to the most persistent endeavour. It was many years before He understood the cause of this. But little by little He became so absorbed in the Work of His true Will that it no longer occurred to Him to indulge in capricious amusements.

Yet even at this hour, though He be verily a Magus of A∴A∴, though His Word be the Word of the Aeon, though He be the Beast 666, the Lord of the Scarlet Woman "in whom is all power given", there are still certain Orgia beyond Him to perform, because to do so would be to affirm what He hath denied in those Oaths by whose virtue He is That He is. This is the case, even when the spirit of such Orgia is fully consonant with His Will. The literal sense of His original Oath insists that it shall be respected.

The case offers two instances of this principle.

That is, his own case, which he is using as example.

FRATER PERDURABO specifically swore that he would renounce His personal possessions to the last penny; also that He would allow no human affection to hinder Him. These terms were accepted; He was granted infinitely more than He had imagined possible to an incarnated Man. On the other hand, the price offered by Him was exacted as strictly as if it had been stipulated by Shylock.

The miserly Jewish moneylender in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice", on which Sir Walter Scott obviously based his own Jewish moneylender in "Ivanhoe". The expression "exacting one's pound of flesh" comes from that play.

Every treasure that he had on earth was taken away, and that, usually, in so brutal or cruel a manner as to make the loss itself the least part of the pang. Every human affection that He had in His heart — and that heart aches for Love as few hearts can ever conceive — was torn out and trampled with such infernal ingenuity in intensifying torture that His endurance is beyond belief. Inexplicable are the atrocities which accompanied every step in His Initiation! Death dragged away His children with slow savagery; the women He loved drank themselves into delirium and dementia before His eyes, or repaid His passionate devotion with toad-cold treachery at the moment when long years of loyalty had tempted Him to trust them. His friend, that bore the bag, stole that which was put therein, and betrayed his Master as thoroughly as he was able.

This was G.M. Cowie, to whom had been entrusted the proceeds from the sale of Boleskine on behalf of the O.T.O. But as we pointed out before, Boleskine should never have been sold, and Heru-ra-ha's injunction in AL iii 10-11, 39, 41 had already been totally disobeyed.

At the first distant rumour that the Pharisees were out, his disciples "all forsook Him and fled". His mother nailed Him with her own hands to the cross, and reviled Him as nine years He hung thereupon.

The meaning of these references lie in Crowley's life, and it is beyond the scope of a note to go into them. But the parallel with parable of the "Gospels" shows that, at the date of the writing of this Lament, he had still not managed to divest himself totally of the disadvantages of a Christist upbringing.

Now, having endured to the end, being Master of Magick, He is mighty to Work His true Will; which Will is, to establish on Earth His Word, the Law of Θελημα. He hath none other Will than this; so all that He doth is unto this end. All His Orgia bear fruit; what was the work of a month when He was a full Major Adept is to day wrought in a few minutes by the Words of Will, uttered with the right vibrations into the prepared Ear.

This last sentence cannot be enlarged upon; the sole purpose of this note is to bring the attention of the serious reader to it.

But neither by the natural use of His abilities, though they have made Him famous through the whole world, nor by the utmost might of his Magick, is He able to acquire material wealth beyond the minimum necessary to keep Him alive and at work. It is in vain that He protests that not He but the Work is in need of money; He is barred by the strict letter of His Oath to give all that He hath for His magical Attainment.

However, how far this was due to his Oath, and how far to his disobedience, only Heru-ra-ha knows.

Yet more awful is the doom that He hath invoked upon Himself in renouncing His right as a man to enjoy the Love of those whom He loves with passion so selfless, so pure, and so intense in return for the power so to love Mankind that He be chosen to utter the Word of the Aeon for their sake, His reward universal abhorrence, bodily torment, mental despair, and moral paralysis.

All this is quite correct, and should serve as a warning to budding Beasts. But it probably won't.

Yet He, who hath power over Death, with breath to call back health, with a touch to beckon life, He must watch His own child waste away month by month, aware that His Art may not anywise avail, who hath sold the signet ring of his personal profit to buy him a plain gold band for the felon finger of his bride, that worn widow, the World!

The reference is basically to two children, both girls, one by his first wife Rose (Ouarda) Crowley, nee Kelly, the first Scarlet Woman, and the other by Ninette Shumway. But all his children, were taken from him; some are still alive. It is not known what they think of their father. If they think of him at all. A similiar fate has befallen this writer who, incidently, has never considered himself in Crowley's class.

(Part II)


On the appearance of the spirit, or the manifestation of the force in the talisman which is being consecrated, it is necessary to bind it by an Oath or Charge.

The basic difference between the Oath or Charge referred to in Part I and this is that the previous is addressed at ourselves; we ourselves are the talisman being charged, or the spirit being invoked. The Khu, or Magickal Self, is a creation of ours. It is a Temple that we build and in which the real Us - the Khabs - will dwell. It is the "Body of Glory" of the ancient true Christians, and the "Temple of the Living God" of the ancient true Israelites.

A spirit should be made to lay its hand visibly on the weapon by whose might it has been evoked, and to "swear obedience and faith to Him that liveth and triumpheth, that regneth above him in His palaces as the Balance of Righteousness and Truth" by the names used in the evocation.

It is then only necessary to formulate the Oath or Charge in language harmonious with the previously announced purpose of the operation.

The precaution indicated is not to let oneself sink into one's humanity while the weapon is extended beyond the Circle. Were the force to flow from it to you instead of from you to it, you would be infallibly blasted, or, at the least, become the slave of the spirit.

This has happened to many, and explains the curious moral somersaults of some people who dabbled in Magick throughout history.

At no moment is it more important that the Divine Force should not only fill, but radiate from, the aura of the Magician.


Occasionally it may happen that the spirit is recalcitrant, and refuses to appear.

Let the Magician consider the cause of such disobedience!

It may be that the place or time is wrong. One cannot easily evoke water-spirits in the Sahara, or salamanders in the English Lake District. Hismael will not readily appear when Jupiter is below the horizon.  1.

1.  It is not possible in this elementary treatise to explain the exact nature of the connexion between the rays of the actual planet called Jupiter and the Jupiterian elements which exist in various degrees in terrestrial objects.

In order to counteract a natural deficiency of this sort, one would have to supply a sufficient quantity of the proper kind of material. One cannot make bricks without straw.

In the Sahara, for instance, one would have to provide some water for the undine's exclusive use, and light a fire in the Lake District for the benefit of the salamander.

A very developed elemental spirit might succeed in overcoming such material difficulties without physical help; but such developed elementals usually attend the call only of very developed Magicians!...

With regard to invocations of the Gods, such considerations do not apply. The Gods are beyond most material conditions. It is necessary to fill the "heart" and "mind" with the proper basis for manifestation. The higher the nature of the God, the more true this is. The Holy Guardian Angel has always the necessary basis. His manifestation depends solely on the readiness of the Aspirant, and all magical ceremonies used in that invocation are merely intended to prepare that Aspirant; not in any way to attract or influence Him. It is His constant and eternal Will   2.

2.  Since this Knowledge and Conversation is not universal, it seems at first as if an omnipotent will were being baulked. But His Will and your will together make up that one will, because you and He are one. That one will is therefore divided against itself, so long as your will fails to aspire steadfastly.
Also, His will cannot constrain yours.

Else, His-Her-It would be a "Black Brother" so-called, which is absurd.

He is so much one with you that even your will to separate is His will. He is so certain of you that He delights in your perturbation and coquetry no less than in your surrender. These relations are fully explained in Liber LXV. See also Liber Aleph CXI.

to become one with the Aspirant, and the moment the conditions of the latter make it possible, That Bridal is consummated.


The obstinacy of a spirit (or the inertial of a talisman) usually implies a defect in invocation. The spirit cannot resist even for a moment the constraint of his Intelligence, when that Intelligence is working in accordance with the Will of the Angel, Archangel and God above him.

Most Western magical invocations so far have been based on the Orthodox Qabalist approach, which is hopelessly sexist. Hence "God" rather than "Goddess", and "him" rather than "it" when referring to the spirit. All true Gods are, of course, androgynous, or rather polysexual - including good old Jehovah!

It is therefore better to repeat the Invocations than to proceed at once to curses.

The Magician should also consider  3.

3.  Of course this should have been done in preparing the Ritual. But he renews this consideration from the new standpoint attained by the invocation.

whether the evocation be in truth a necessary part of the Karma of the Universe, as he has stated in his own Oath (See Cap. XVI, I). For if this be a delusion, success is impossible.

If the Magician truly aspires to Service to Humanity, that is. Budding "Black Brethen" may not have the problems of such a one.

It will then be best to go back to the beginning, and recapitulate with greater intensity and power of analysis the Oath and the Invocations. And this may be done thrice.

But if this be satisfactorily accomplished, and the spirit be yet disobedient, the implication is that some hostile force is at work to hinder the operation. It will then become advisable to discover the nature of that force, and to attack and destroy it. This makes the ceremony more useful than ever to the Magician, who may thereby be led to unveil a black magical gang whose existence he had not hitherto suspected.

His need to check the vampiring of a lady in Paris by a sorceress once led FRATER PERDURABO to the discovery of a very powerful body of black magicians, with whom he was obliged to war for nearly 10 years before their ruin was complete and irremediable as it now is.

Cf. Equinox I 4, "The Temple of Solomon the King", for a brief account of this.

Such a discovery will not necessarily impede the ceremony. A general curse may be pronounced against the forces hindering the operation (for "ex hypothesi" no divine force can be interfering) and having thus temporarily dislodged them — for the power of the God invoked will suffice for this purpose — one may proceed with a certain asperity to conjure the spirit, for that he has done ill to bend before the conjurations of the Black Brothers.

Indeed, some demons are of a nature such that they only understand curses, are not amenable to courteous command: —

"a slave
Whom stripes may move, not kindness."

I have met a few such in my time incarnated in pseudo-human flesh.

Finally, as a last resource, one may burn the Sigil of the Spirit in a black box with stinking substances, all having been properly prepared beforehand, and the magical links properly made, so that he is really tortured by the Operation.  4.

4.  The precise meaning of these phrases is at first sight obscure. The spirit is merely a recalcitrant part of one's own organism.

[An important point; but it would make no difference if it were otherwise, for less evolved beings are subject to the Will of more evolved ones. This is a fact of Nature; the only morality involved is that of the "Curse" of the Aethyrs. The fact that you may abstain from house-breaking a pet merely inconveniences you and your household without benefitting the animal. If you want it to be "free", send it away to its natural envirnoment. It is debatable whether it will lead a better life there, and improve the chances of its species' evolution there more than it would in your company.]

To evoke him is therefore to become conscious of some part of one's own character; to command and constrain him is to being that part into subjection. This is best understood by the analogy of teaching oneself some mental-physical accomplishment (e.g. billiards), by persistent and patient study and practice, which often involves considerable pain as well as trouble.

This is a rare event, however. Only once in the whole of his magical career was FRATER PERDURABO driven to so harsh a measure.


In this connexion, beware of too ready a compliance on the part of the spirit. If some Black Lodge has got wind of your operation, it may send the spirit, full of hypocritical submission, to destroy you. Such a spirit will probably pronounce the oath amiss, or in some way seek to avoid his obligations.

It is a dangerous trick, though, for the Black Lodge to play; for if the spirit come properly under your control, it will be forced to disclose the transaction, and the current will return to the Black Lodge with fulminating force. The liars will be in the power of their own lie; their own slaves will rise up and put them into bondage. The wicked fall into the pit that they themselves digged.

And so perish all the King's enemies!


The charge to the spirit is usually embodied, except in works of pure evocation, which after all are comparatively rare,

He means that one usually evokes a spirit in order to make it execute some task, not just to converse with it or investigate its nature.

in some kind of talisman. In a certain sense, the talisman is the Charge expressed in hieroglyphics. Yet, every object soever is a talisman, for the definition of a talisman is: something upon which an act of will (that is, of Magick) has been performed in order to fit it for a purpose. Repeated acts of will in respect of any object consecrate it without further ado. One knows what miracles can be done with one's favourite mashie! One has used the mashie again and again, one's love for it growing in proportion to one's success with it, and that success again made more certain and complete by the effect of this "love under will", which one bestows upon it by using it.

Of course it can be argued that one's success with that mashie springs from the fact that one's skill at golf is good, and that constant use of that tool has made one musculature subconsciously familiar with its shape, weight, feel, tensile strenght, etc. Thus the virtue of the mashie is in you, not in it. The virtue of the talisman, on the other hand, is in it, not in you.
This is a superficial view; the debate, anyway, is an example of "counting one's muscles". For it is your virtue that constrains the spirit to dynamize the talisman. Let a tyro invoke the same spirit with your invocation and using a talisman exactly like yours, and let the tyro do this without the benefit of your personal help: the result may very well be total failure. It is in this sense that Magick partakes of the qualities both of a Science and an Art. It is science insofar as its laws are linked to physical laws, albeit by subtle links; and it is art insofar as it is a function of application and talent.

It is, of course, very important to keep such an object away from the contact of the profane. It is instinctive not to let another person use one's fishing rod or one's gun. It is not that they could do any harm in a material sense. It is the feeling that one's use of these things has consecrated them to one's self.

This is a Leo reaction. Most sportsmen just fear the fishing rod or the gun will be harmed by unskilful handling - and naturally, no handling is as skilful as theirs!...

Of course, the outstanding example of all such talismans is the wife.

Or the husband, as the case may be. This is a matter of who shoots first! What follows is tongue in cheek, especially the last sentence.

A wife may be defined as an object specially prepared for taking the stamp of one's creative will. This is an example of a very complicated magical operation, extending over centuries. But, theoretically, it is just an ordinary case of talismanic magick. It is for this reason that so much trouble has been taken to prevent a wife having contact with the profane; or, at least, to try to prevent her.

Readers of the Bible will remember that Absalom publicly adopted David's wives and concubines on the roof of the palace, in order to signify that he had succeeded in breaking his father's magical power.

This may be the correct interpretation; this annotator has not read much of the "Bible" lately, and is not going to now just over an Orthodox Israelite's motives, be they legendary or no. But many a patriarchal chieftain, in like circumstances, adopted a defeated chieftain's or a relative's wives and concubines as a charitable gesture, to keep the women from going begging or prostituting themselves, and to allow them to continue living in the style they had grown accustomed to. In such a case, even a radical feminist might admire the gesture without admiring the society that occasioned it.

Now, there are a great many talismans in this world which are being left lying about in a most reprehensibly careless manner. Such are the objects of popular adoration, as ikons, and idols. But, it is actually true that a great deal of real magical Force is locked up in such things; consequently, by destroying these sacred symbols, you can overcome magically the people who adore them.

This, however, is a very limited and circumscribed kind of victory. What follows is again tongue in cheek, and the parallel established is unflattering to idols and ikons!

It is not at all irrational to fight for one's flag, provided that the flag is an object which really means something to somebody. Similarly, with the most widely spread and most devotedly worshipped talisman of all, money, you can evidently break the magical will of a worshipper of money by taking his money away from him, or by destroying its value in some way or another. But, in the case of money, general experience tells us that there is very little of it lying about loose. In this case, above all, people have recognised its talismanic virtue, that is to say, its power as an instrument of the will.

But with many ikons and images, it is easy to steal their virtue. This can be done sometimes on a tremendous scale, as, for example, when all the images of Isis and Horus, or similar mother-child combinations, were appropriated wholesale by the Christians. The miracle is, however, of a somewhat dangerous type, as in this case, where enlightenment has come through the researches of archaeologists. It has been shown that the so-called images of Mary and Jesus are really nothing but imitations of those of Isis and Horus. Honesty is the best policy in Magick as in other lines of life.

One doubts the belated discovery by archaeologists was much consolation to the millions of people harmed by Christist dishonesty in the last fifteen hundred years. The evil Christism has done to the species cannot be paid even by the slaughter of Christists. It can only be redressed by adoption of the Law of Θελημα and total scorn for the Nicene liars and murderers and their present dupes and sycophants.


After a ceremony has reached its climax, anti-climax must inevitably follow. But if the ceremony has been successful this anti-climax is merely formal. The Magician should rest permanently on the higher plain to which he has aspired.  1.

1.  The rock-climber who relaxes on the face of the precipice falls to earth; but once he has reached a safe ledge he may sit down.

The whole force of the operation should be absorbed; but there is almost certain to be a residuum, since no operation is perfect: and (even if it were so) there would be a number of things, sympathetic to the operation, attracted to the Circle. These must be duly dispersed, or they will degenerate and become evil. It is always easy to do this where invocations are concerned; the mere removal of the strain imposed by the will of the magician will restore things to their normal aspects, in accordance with the great law of inertia. In a badly-managed evocation, however, this does not always obtain; the spirit may refuse to be controlled, and may refuse to depart — even after having sworn obedience. In such a case extreme danger may arise.

In the ordinary way, the Magician dismisses the spirit with these words: "And now I say unto thee, depart in peace unto thine habitations and abodes — and may the blessing of the Highest be upon thee in the name of (here mention the divine name suitable to the operation, or a Name appropriate to redeem that spirit); and let there be peace between thee and me; and be thou very ready to come, whensoever thou are invoked and called!"   2.

2.  It is usual to add "either by a word, or by a will, or by this mighty Conjuration of Magick Art."

Should he fail to disappear immediately, it is a sign that there is something very wrong. The Magician should immediately reconsecrate the Circle with the utmost care. He should then repeat the dismissal; and if this does not suffice, he should then perform the banishing ritual suitable to the nature of the spirit and, if necessary, add conjurations to the same effect. In these circumstances, or if anything else suspicious should occur, he should not be content with the apparent disappearance of the spirit, who might easily make himself invisible and lie in ambush to do the Magician a mischief when he stepped out of the Circle — or even months afterwards.

This warning is to be taken seriously.

Any symbol which has once definitely entered your environment with your own consent is extremely dangerous; unless under absolute control. A man's friends are more capable of working him harm than are strangers; and his greatest danger lies in his own habits.

Of course it is the very condition of progress to build up ideas into the subconscious. The necessity of selection should therefore be obvious.

True, there comes a time when all elements soever must be thus assimilated. Samadhi is, by definition, that very process. But, from the point of view of the young magician, there is a right way — strait and difficult — of performing all this. One cannot too frequently repeat that what is lawful and proper to one Path is alien to another.

Immediately after the License to Depart, and the general closing up of the work, it is necessary that the Magician should sit down and write up his magical record. However much he may have been tired  3.

3.  He ought to be refreshed, more than after a full night's deep sleep. This forms one test of his skill.

by the ceremony, he ought to force himself to do this until it becomes a habit. Verily, it is better to fail in the magical ceremony than to fail in writing down an accurate record of it. One need not doubt the propriety of this remark. Even if one is eaten alive by Malkah be-Tarshishim ve-Ruachoth ha-Schehalim, it does not matter very much, for it is over so very quickly. But the record of the transactions is otherwise important.

For future observers, of course; scientists especially.

Nobody cares about Duncan having been murdered by Macbeth. It is only one of a number of similar murders. But Shakespeare's account of the incident is a unique treasure of mankind. And, apart from the question of the value to others, there is that of the value to the magician himself. The record of the magician is his best asset.

It is as foolish to do Magick without method, as if it were anything else. To do Magick without keeping a record is like trying to run a business without book-keeping.

Look who was talking! It cannot be said that he had learned by then. The theory, perhaps, but not the practice.

There are a great many people who quite misunderstand the nature of Magick. They have an idea that it is something vague and unreal, instead of being, as it is, a direct means of coming into contact with reality. It is these people who pay themselves with phrases, who are always using long words with no definite connotation, who plaster themselves with pompous titles and decorations which mean nothing whatever. With such people we have nothing to do. But to those who seek reality the Key of Magick is offered, and they are hereby warned that the key to the treasure-house is no good without the combination; and the combination is the magical record.

From one point of view, magical progress actually consists in deciphering one's own record.  4.

4.  As one is a Star in the Body of Nuit, every successive incarnation is a Veil, and the acquisition of the Magical Memory a gradual Unveiling of that Star, of that God.

For this reason it is the most important thing to do, on strictly magical grounds. But apart from this, it is absolutely essential that the record should be clear, full and concise, because it is only by such a record that your teacher can judge how it is best to help you. Your magical teacher has something else to do besides running around after you all the time, and the most important of all his functions is that of auditor. Now, if you call in an auditor to investigate a business, and when he asks for the books you tell him that you have not thought it worth while to keep any, you need not be surprised if he thinks you every kind of an ass.

It is — at least, it was — perfectly incredible to THE MASTER THERION that people who exhibit ordinary common sense in the other affairs of life should lose it completely when they tackle Magick. It goes far to justify the belief of the semi-educated that Magick is rather a crazy affair after all. However, there are none of these half-baked lunatics connected with the A∴A∴, because the necessity for hard work, for passing examinations at stated intervals, and for keeping an intelligible account of what they are doing, frightens away the unintelligent, idle and hysterical.

There are numerous models of magical and mystical records to be found in the various numbers of the "Equinox", and the student will have no difficulty in acquiring the necessary technique, if he be diligent in practice.



Within the human body is another body of approximately the same size and shape;  1.

1.  i.e. as a general rule. It can be altered very greatly in these respects.

but made of a subtler and less illusory material. It is of course not "real"; but then no more is the other body! Before treating of clairvoyance one must discuss briefly this question of reality, for misapprehension on the subject has given rise to endless trouble.

There is the story of the American in the train who saw another American carrying a basket of unusual shape. His curiosity mastered him, and he leant across and said: "Say, stranger, what you got in that bag?" The other, lantern-jawed and taciturn, replied: "mongoose". The first man was rather baffled, as he had never heard of a mongoose. After a pause he pursued, at the risk of a rebuff: "But say, what is a Mongoose?" "Mongoose eats snakes", replied the other. This was another poser, but he pursued: "What in hell do you want a Mongoose for?" "Well, you see", said the second man (in a confidential whisper) "my brother sees snakes". The first man was more puzzled than ever; but after a long think, he continued rather pathetically: "But say, them ain't real snakes". "Sure", said the man with the basket, "but this Mongoose ain't real either".

This is a perfect parable of Magick. There is no such thing as truth in the perceptible universe;

He is talking about "absolute" truth, of course. This is a problem of symbolic logic.

every idea when analysed is found to contain a contradiction. It is quite useless (except as a temporary expedient) to set up one class of ideas against another as being "more real". The advance of man towards God is not necessarily an advance towards truth.

Certainly not the Christist "God", at any rate.

All philosophical systems have crumbled. But each class of ideas possesses true relations within itself. It is possible, with Berkeley,  2.

2.  The real Berkeley did nothing of the sort: the reference here is to an imaginary animal invented by Dr. Johnson out of sturdy British ignorance.

to deny the existence of water and of wood; but, for all that, wood floats on water. The Magician becomes identical with the immortal Osiris, yet the Magician dies. In this dilemma the facts must be restated. One should preferably say that the Magician becomes conscious of that part of himself which he calls the immortal Osiris; and that Part does not "die".

Now this interior body of the Magician, of which we spoke at the beginning of this chapter, does exist, and can exert certain powers which his natural body cannot do. It can, for example, pass through "matter", and it can move freely in every direction through space. But this is because "matter", in the sense in which we commonly use the word, is on another plane  3.

3.  We do not call electrical resistance, or economic laws, unreal, on the ground that they are not directly perceived by the senses. Our magical doctrine is universally accepted by sceptics — only they wish to make Magick itself an exception!

Now this fine body perceives a universe which we do not ordinarily perceive. It does not necessarily perceive the universe which we do normally perceive, so although in this body I can pass through the roof, it does not follow that I shall be able to tell what the weather is like. I might do so, or I might not:

It would depend very much on either special training or the personal equation, including one's True Will.

but if I could not, it would not prove that I was deceiving myself in supposing that I had passed through the roof. This body, which is called by various authors the Astral double, body of Light, body of fire, body of desire, fine body, scin-laeca and numberless other names is naturally fitted to perceive objects of its own class ... in particular, the phantoms of the astral plane.

There is some sort of vague and indeterminate relation between the Astrals and the Materials; and it is possible, with great experience, to deduce facts about material things from the astral aspect which they present to the eyes of the Body of Light.  4.

The average "clairvoyant", however, like the average fortune-teller, is totally incompetent and can be extremely dangerous to gullible "marks". It is not just a matter of the money paid over to such people on any one consultation: they achieve, if they can, psychological domination over you; this is the source of their power, and that is how they can keep extracting your money, your time, your ambitions, and manipulating your dreams for their own selfish purposes. Eschew them. The serious reader is referred to our review of The Psychic Mafia in Oriflamme VI 2.

4.  This is because there is a certain necessary correspondence between planes; as in the case of an Anglo-Indian's liver and this temper. The relation appears "vague and indeterminate" only in so far as one happens to be ignorant of the laws which state the case. The situation is analogous to that of the chemist before the discovery of the law of "Combining Weights", etc.

This astral plane is so varied and so changeable that several clairvoyants looking at the same thing might give totally different accounts of what they saw; yet they might each make correct deductions. In looking at a man the first clairvoyant might say: "The lines of force are all drooping"; the second: "It seems all dirty and spotty"; a third; "The Aura looks very ragged." Yet all might agree in deducing that the man was in ill-health. In any case all such deductions are rather unreliable. One must be a highly skilled man before one can trust one's vision. A great many people think that they are extremely good at the business, when in fact they have only made some occasional shrewd guesses (which they naturally remember) in the course of hundreds of forgotten failures.

The only way to test clairvoyance is to keep a careful record of every experiment made. For example, FRATER O. M. once gave a clairvoyant a waistcoat to psychometrize. He made 56 statements about the owner of the waistcoat; of these 4 were notably right; 17, though correct, were of that class of statement which is true of almost everybody. The remainder were wrong. It was concluded from this that he showed no evidence of any special power. In fact, his bodily eyes, — if he could discern Tailoring — would have served him better, for he thought the owner of the vest was a corn-chandler, instead of an earl, as he is.

Very possibly the Earl of Tankerville; cf. Crowley's Diaries in Equinox V 4.

The Magician can hardly take too much trouble to develop this power in himself. It is extremely useful to him in guarding himself against attack; in obtaining warnings, in judging character, and especially in watching the process of his Ceremonies.

There are a great many ways of acquiring the power. Gaze into a crystal, or into a pool of ink in the palm of the hand, or into a mirror, or into a teacup. Just as with a microscope the expert operator keeps both eyes open, though seeing only through the one at the eye-piece of the instrument,

A very common practice with one-piece microscopes. The researcher concentrates on the plate, and does not even see what the other eye is seeing. Try it sometime, it is a good lesson on how Yoga, and "visions", work.

so the natural eyes, ceasing to give any message to the brain, the attention is withdrawn from them, and the man begins to see through the Astral eyes.

These methods appear to The MASTER THERION to be unsatisfactory. Very often they do not work at all. It is difficult to teach a person to use these methods; and, worst of all, they are purely passive! You can see only what is shewn you, and you are probably shewn things perfectly pointless and irrelevant.

The proper method is as follows: — Develop the body of Light until it is just as real to you as your other body, teach it to travel to any desired symbol, and enable it to perform all necessary Rites and Invocations. In short, educate it.

This is easier than it sounds, but entails patient drilling over a period of months - or years. Look on it as a form of athletics. It is athletics, albeit on another plane of being. The principles are the same, and the demands on the Will exactly comparable.

Ultimately, the relation of that body with your own must be exceedingly intimate; but before this harmonizing takes place, you should begin by a careful differentiation. The first thing to do, therefore, is to get the body outside your own. To avoid muddling the two, you begin by imagining a shape resembling yourself standing in front of you. Do not say: "Oh, it's only imagination!" The time to test that is later on, when you have secured a fairly clear mental image of such a body. Try to imagine how your own body would look if you were standing in its place; try to transfer your consciousness to the Body of Light. Your own body has its eyes shut. Use the eyes of the Body of Light to describe the objects in the room behind you. Don't say. "It's only an effort of subconscious memory" ... the time to test that is later on.

As soon as you feel more or less at home in the fine body, let it rise in the air. Keep on feeling the sense of rising; keep on looking about you as you rise until you see landscapes or beings of the astral plane. Such have a quality all their own. They are not like material things — they are not like mental pictures — they seem to lie between the two.

After some practice has made you adept, so that in the course of any hour's journey you can reckon on having a fairly eventful time, turn your attention to reaching a definite place on the astral plane; invoke Mercury, for example, and examine carefully your record of the resulting vision — discover whether the symbols which you have seen correspond with the conventional symbols of Mercury.

This testing of the spirits is the most important branch of the whole tree of Magick. Without it, one is lost in the jungle of delusion. Every spirit, up to God himself, is ready to deceive you if possible, to make himself out more important than he is; in short to lay in wait for your soul in 333 separate ways. Remember that after all the highest of all the Gods is only the Magus,  5.

5.  See Liber 418, 3rd Aethyr.

Mayan, the greatest of all the devils.

You may also try "rising on the planes".  6.

6.   See Infra and Appendix.

With a little practice, especially if you have a good Guru, you ought to be able to slip in and out of your astral body as easily as you slip in and out of a dressing-gown. It will then no longer be so necessary for your astral body to be sent far off; without moving an inch you will be able to "turn on" its eyes and ears — as simply as the man with the microscope (mentioned above) can transfer his complete attention from one eye to the other.

Now, however unsuccessful your getting out the body may apparently have been, it is most necessary to use every effort to bring it properly back. Make the Body of Light coincide in space with the physical body, assume the God-Form, and vibrate the name of Harpocrates with the utmost energy; then recover unity of consciousness. If you fail to do this properly you may find yourself in serious trouble. Your Body of Light may wander away uncontrolled, and be attacked and obsessed. You will become aware of this through the occurrence of headache, bad dreams, or even more serious signs such as hysteria, fainting fits, possibly madness or paralysis. Even the worst of these attacks will probably wear off, but it may leave you permanently damaged to a greater or less extent.

Again, this is a warning to be taken most seriously.

A great majority of "spiritualists", "occultists", "Toshosophists", are pitiable examples of repeated losses from this cause.

Not always pitiable. Some of them delight in dirty affinities.

The emotional type of religionist also suffers in this way. Devotion projects the fine body, which is seized and vampirized by the demon masquerading as "Christ" or "Mary", or whoever may be the object of worship. Complete absence of all power to concentrate thought, to follow an argument, to formulate a Will, to hold fast to an opinion or a course of action, or even to keep a solemn oath, mark indelibly those who have thus lost parts of their souls. They wander from one new cult to another even crazier. Occasionally such persons drift for a moment into the surrounding of The MASTER THERION, and are shot out by the simple process of making them try to do a half-hour's honest work of any kind.

In projecting the Astral, it is a valuable additional safeguard to perform the whole operation in a properly consecrated circle.

Proceed with great caution, then, but proceed. In time your Body of Light will be as strong against spirits as your other body against the winds of Heaven. All depends upon the development of that Body of Light. It must be furnished with an organism as ramified and balanced as its shadowy brother, the material body.

To recapitulate once more, then, the first task is to develop your own Body of light within your own circle without reference to any other inhabitants of the world to which it belongs.

That which you have accomplished with the subject you may now proceed to do with the object. You will learn to see the astral appearance of material things; and although this does not properly belong to pure clairvoyance, one may here again mention that you should endeavour to the utmost to develop and fortify this Body of Light. The best and simplest way to do this is to use it constantly, to exercise it in every way. In particular it may be employed in ceremonies of initiation or of invocation — while the physical body remains silent and still.

In doing this it will often be necessary to create a Temple on the astral plane. It is excellent practice to create symbols. This one precaution is needed: after using them, they should be reabsorbed.

Having learned to create astral forms, the next step will be at first very difficult. Phantasmal and fleeting as the astral is in general, those forms which are definitely attached to the material possess enormous powers of resistance, and it consequently requires very high potential to influence them. The material analogues seem to serve as a fortress. Even where a temporary effect is produced, the inertia of matter draws it back to the normal; yet the power of the trained and consecrated will in a well-developed astral body is such that it can even produce a permanent change in the material upon whose Body of Light you are working, e.g.; one can heal the sick by restoring a healthy appearance to their astral forms. On the other hand, it is possible so to disintegrate the Body of Light even of a strong man that he will fall dead.

Such operations demand not only power, but judgment. Nothing can upset the sum total of destiny — everything must be paid for the uttermost farthing. For this reason a great many operations theoretically possible cannot be performed. Suppose, for example, you see two men of similarly unhealthy astral appearance. In one case the cause may be slight and temporary. Your help suffices to restore him in a few minutes. The other, who looks no worse, is really oppressed by a force incalculably greater than you could control, and you would only damage yourself by attempting to help him. The diagnosis between the two cases could be made by an investigation of the deeper strata of the astral, such as compose the"causal body".

A body of black magicians under Anna Kingsford  7.

7.  Anna Kingsford, so far as her good work is concerned, was only the rubber stamp of Edward Maitland.

once attempted to kill a vivisector who was not particularly well known; and they succeeded in making him seriously ill. But in attempting the same thing with Pasteur they produced no effect whatever, because Pasteur was a great genius — an adept in his own line far greater than she in hers — and because millions of people were daily blessing him. It cannot be too clearly understood that magical force is subject to the same laws of proportion as any other kind of force. It is useless for a mere millionaire to try to bankrupt a man who has the Bank of England behind him.

To sum up, the first task is to separate the astral form from the physical body, the second to develop the powers of the astral body, in particular those of sight, travel, and interpretation; third, to unify the two bodies without muddling them.

This being accomplished, the magician is fitted to deal with the invisible.


It is now useful to contine with considerations of other planes, which have commonly been classed under the Astral. There is some reason for this, as the delimitations are somewhat vague. Just as the vegetable kingdom merges into the animal, and as the material plane has beings which encroach upon the boundaries of the astral, so do we find it in the higher planes.

The mental images which appear during meditation are subjective, and pertain not at all to the astral plane.

This is a very important point, which beginners should try to keep in mind, since the faculty of imagination itself is at first used in developing astral faculties. But an image that can be classifed as having some astral quality to it is totally different from a purely mental image. Only experience teaches the difference - and a competent guru, if one is lucky enough to find this rara avis about.

Only very rarely do astral images occur during meditation. It is a bad break in the circle, as a rule, when they do.

There is also a Magical Plane. This touches the material, and even includes a portion of it. It includes the Astral, chiefly a full-blooded type of the Astral. It reaches to and includes most, if not all, of the spiritual planes.

The Magical plane is thus the most comprehensive of all. Egyptian Gods are typical inhabitants of this plane, and it is the home of every Adept.

Whether discarnate or not. An incarnated Adept is a special case of Adeptship in general; you might say that the physically visible person is just the tip of the iceberg; the rest of him or her can only be found on the Magickal and Spiritual Planes. This is a very difficult subject, impossible by anyone who has not had some experience of trance, either magickal or mystical: even the simplest and most elementary experience will give the Aspirant some insight. A profane, however, cannot understand Adeptship at all, and will tend to either deny it exists or, what is worse, create for himself or herself - and sometimes his or her fellows - a mythical, exaggerated or totally erroneous concept of "sainthood" or "divinity".
The Roman Catholic Church, for example, has always been severely limited in its concept of sainthood by the fact that the first and inalienable condition for a mystic of that denomination to be "canonized" is that he or she should demonstrate - at least in public - total acceptance of the Nicene dogma and the "divinely-delegated" authority of the "popes". Now, this is very difficult indeed for anyone who has had genuine experience of the more advanced Dhyanas, and impossible for anyone who has reached even the first and simplest Samadhi  8.

8.  The serious reader is referred to our comment to Crowley's text in Yoga and Magick, p. 63, footnote 2.

Those mystics who for some reason or another make contact with the original and true Christian current learn at once that the "Jesus" of the Roman-Alexandrines is a sad fabrication and a not very subtle perversion of the historical Dionysus.

Consequently, Roman Catholic "saints" usually do not exist in the spiritual planes in the least,  9.

9.  Those who do exist there have a spiritual influence that tends to the contestation of Romish dogma and the dissolution of the temporal power of Romanism.

and the worship of the "faithful", failing to make contact with a real spiritual entity, builds egregorae in the astral. Such egregorae may become powerful enough to produce material results; hence the "miracles" that multiply faith, thereby feeding the vitality of the egregorae. The final result is the increase of Romanism, which has never meant the improvement of civilization or the acceleration of the evolution of the species.

The spiritual planes are of several types, but are all distinguished by a reality and intensity to be found nowhere else. Their inhabitants are formless, free of space and time, and distinguished by incomparable brilliance.

This brilliance, however, appears to beginners or to the profane as a total - and frightening - darkness. It is the light "higher than eyesight".

here are also a number of sub-planes, as, for example, the Alchemical. This plane will often appear in the practice of "Rising on the Planes"; its images are usually those of gardens curiously kept, mountains furnished with peculiar symbols, hieroglyphic animals, or such figures as that of the "Hermetic Arcanum", and pictures like the "Goldseekers" and the "Massacre of the Innocents" of Basil Valentine. There is a unique quality about the alchemical Plane which renders its images immediately recognizable.

There are also planes corresponding to various religions past and present, all of which have their peculiar unity.

It is of the utmost importance to the "Clairvoyant" or "traveler in the fine body" to be able to find his way to any desired plane, and operate therein as its ruler.

The Neophyte of A∴A∴ is examined most strictly in this practice before he is passed to the degree of Zelator.

In "Rising on the Planes" one must usually pass clear through the Astral to the Spiritual. Some will be unable to do this. The "fine body" which is good enough to subsist on lower planes, a shadow among shadows, will fail to penetrate the higher strata. It requires a great development of this body, and an intense infusion of the highest spiritual constituents of man, before he can pierce the veils. The constant practice of Magick is the best preparation possible.

Constant through the years, even decades. Anyone may think he or she is getting quick spiritual results from a few minutes' practice, or a few days' practice, and in most cases even a few months' practice, is deceiving himself or herself.

Even though the human consciousness fail to reach the goal, the consciousness of the fine body itself may do so, wherefore whoso travels in that body on a subsequent occasion

That is, with physical memory that he or she is doing so, or has done so - subjective time under those circumstances has not yet been scientifically measured. The serious reader is referred to Equinox V 2, "Liber 231: A Personal Research"; and particulary to the footnote on p. 311.

may be found worthy; and its success will react favourably on the human consciousness,

This is unadroitly phrased: he means the physical consciousness. The astral consciousness is also human - in the case of human beings, at any rate.

and increase its likelihood of success in its next magical operation.

Similarly, the powers gained in this way will strengthen the magician in his mediation-practices. His Will becomes better able to assist the concentration, to destroy the mental images which disturb it, and to reject the lesser rewards of that practice which tempt, and too often stop the progress of, the mystic.

He means the "Siddha", or "powers", described by Patanjali.

Although it is said that the spiritual lies "beyond the astral", this is theoretical;  10.

10. The Hon. Bertrand Russell's "Principia Mathematica" may be said to "lie beyond" Colenso's "School Arithmetic"; but one can take the former book from one's shelves — as every one should — and read it without first going all through the latter again.

the advanced Magician will not find it to be so in practice. He will be able by suitable invocation to travel directly to any place desired. In Liber 418 an example of perfection is given. The Adept who explored these Aethyrs did not have to pass through and beyond the Universe, the whole of which yet lies within even the inmost (30th) Aethyr.

Unfortunately, it is not clear whether he means the physical, the magickal or the astral Universe, or all at once. Mr. Germer was of the opinion that it would be centuries before anyone managed to skry the Aethyrs again as thoroughly as Crowley, it not being allowed as unnecessary. If so, we may have to wait for clarification.

He was able to summon the Aethyrs he wanted, and His chief difficulty was that sometimes He was at first unable to pierce their veils. In fact, as the Book shows, it was only by virtue of successive and most exalted initiations undergone in the Aethyrs themselves that He was able to penetrate beyond the 15th. The Guardians of such fortresses know how to guard.

The MASTER THERION has published the most important practical magical secrets in the plainest language. No one, by virtue of being clever or learned, has understood one word; and those unworthy who have profaned the sacrament have but eaten and drunken damnation to themselves.

This quite true; but in the process they have done much harm to others. Crowley's contention that keeping secrets is foolish, therefore, is open to much question. A loaded gun is a useful thing to have around the house; but it should be kept away from children. The parallel is not quite apt, but suffices.

One may bring down stolen fire in a hollow tube from Heaven, as The MASTER THERION indeed has done in a way that no other adept dared to do before him. But the thief, the Titan, must foreknow and consent to his doom to be chained upon a lonely rock, the vulture devouring his liver, for a season, until Hercules, the strong man armed by virtue of that very fire, shall come and release him.

One has "bi-sexed" the Titan; it is impossible to "bi-sex" Hercules; but the Greek hero doubtless has a parallel heroine in other cultures, especially those ante-dating the Aeon of Osiris. It is up to feminist researchers to identify them, and bring their lore back to social consciousness. The Titan has to be bi-sexed; countless is the number of women who tried to "bring down fire from heaven" for their fellows, especially their fellow women in many cases; and who were chained to the rock and tortured for it. We need only instance Ida Craddock, whose case has been detailed in Equinox V 4, "Sex and Religion"; but history counts many others. The fact that their efforts have been mostly concentrated in the social and ethical areas, rather than the magickal or mystical, is not a demerit; some may even consider it added honour to their passion.

The TEITAN 11.  - whose number is the number of a man,...

Not of a "man", but of the human being manifested in Tiphareth of Tiphareth; the body may be female. The archetype itself is usually figured as male because he is directly connected, magickally, with the Phallus, just as 156 is directly connected magickally with the Kteis. Those are not "sexist" limitations; they are biological facts. Our species evolved as a sexually differentiated organism; and the path it chose in evolution was the bisexual path. Physically, we are either men or women or anomalies. The psychological, astral, magickal and spiritual facts, however, suffer from this biological limitation only insofar as it is difficult for the average physical brain to absorb and accept the fact that the "soul" is hermaphrodite. Yet, the hermaphroditism of the "soul" is mirrored in the very brain; most people nowadays do not realize this only because of the sexist social conditioning of Judeo-Christist ideology. The serious reader is again referred to Equinox V 4; but our entire series of commented Crowley texts so far bears on this basic identity of the sexes. On should not mix the planes, of course, but always seek the harmonious and balanced correspondence between them. There is always a "Middle Path"; else, we could not even have become organized as living matter. A center of gravity - or Point of View - is the first condition for existence in the material universe.

Note by David Bersson: These past two comments, which although addressed to the initiate – are actually addressed to the feminists that Mr. Motta thought would immediately be attracted to his School of Thought makes me proud to read. No doubt, it didn't work out that the feminists lined up at our Doors awaiting initiation into a Body of Initiates who finally (at least) tried to understand their aspiration to be heard and known. Yet, I stand with my original observation that the feminist movement is only the first manifestation, magically for the woman girt with a sword. Perhaps, several manifestations from the Book of the Law and Our Current will occur – for in a sense – this Aeon is preparing women for those Perceptions they will awaken for the Aeon of Maat. Yet, it is otherwise presumptuous to consider the first trumpet of the woman girt with a sword (being feminism) – the ultimate goal or the ultimate manifestation.

11. TEITAN = 300+5+10+300+1+50 = 666.

— whose number is the number of a man, six hundred and three score and six — unsubdued, consoled by Asia and Panthea,

Notice that these are "female" archtypes.

must send forth constant showers of blessing not only upon Man whose incarnation he is,

Notice Man used in the sense of humanity in general. The Mystery of the Beast will not to be discussed here, but the serious reader will find useful matter for meditation in Crowley's description of Atu XI in The Book of Thoth.

but upon the tyrant and the persecutor.

This is always the ruling deity of the society wherein the upstart appears. The serious reader is referred to Crowley's "A Ritual to Invoke Hice or Any Other Divine One".

It should be realized, however, that true Divine Ones do not tyrannize or persecute. Cf. AL i 43; ii 22. This apparent contradiction is related to the horror described in Liber B vel Magi, vv. 00, 1, 5, 14 and explained, briefly but clearly, in Liber 418, the 3rd Aethyr.

His infinite pain must thrill his heart with joy, since every pang is but the echo of some new flame that leaps upon the earth lit by his crime.

For the Gods are the enemies of Man; it is Nature that Man must overcome ere he enter into his kingdom.  12.

12.  In another sense, a higher sense, Nature is absolutely right throughout. The position is that the Magician discovers himself imprisoned in a distorted Nature of Iniquity; and his task is to disentangle it. This is all to be studied in The Book of Wisdom or Folly (Liber ALEPH, CXI) and in the Master Therion's edition of the "Tao Teh King". A rough note from His Magical Diary is appended here:

"All elements must at one time have been separate, — that would be the case with great heat. Now when atoms get to the sun, when we get to the sun, we get that immense, extreme heat, and all the elements are themselves again. Imagine that each atom of each element possesses the memory of all his adventures in combination. By the way, that atom (fortified with that memory) would not be the same atom; yet it is, because it has gained nothing from anywhere except this memory. Therefore, by the lapse of time, and by virtue of memory, a thing could become something more than itself; and thus a real development is possible. One can then see a reason for any element deciding to go through this series of incarnations; because so, and only so, can he go; and he suffers the lapse of memory which he has during these incarnations, because he knows he will come through unchanged.

"Therefore you can have an infinite number of gods, individual and equal though diverse, each one supreme and utterly indestructible. This is also the only explanation of how a being could create a war in which war, evil, etc. exist. Evil is only an appearance, because, (like "good") it cannot affect the substance itself, but only multiply its combinations. This is something the same as mystic monotheism, but the objection to that theory is that God has to create things which are all parts of himself, so that their interplay is false. If we presuppose many elements, their interplay is natural. It is no objection to this theory to ask who made the elements, — the elements are at least there, and God, when you look for him, is not there. Theism is "obscurum per obscurius." A male star is built up from the centre outwards; a female from the circumference inwards. This is what is meant when we say that woman has no soul. It explains fully the difference between the sexes.

Once more it becomes clear that when Crowley speaks of "an infinite number of gods, individual and equal though diverse", the only reason why he does not add "and goddesses" is that his concept of such divine beings - such "stars" - is beyond physical biological characteristics per se. It is also clear that his concept of "woman has no soul", does not have the derogatory theological connotation given it in Islam and Orthodox Judaism.

The true God is man. In man are all things hidden. Of these

We left the beginning of the above paragraph as originally printed, to show once more to the reader that Crowley's use of the word "man" implied no sexist bias. The "these" - plural - refers not to the things hidden in man, but humans, plural. This becomes clear with the beginning of the next sentence, where we see men, plural, being used.

It could be argued, with some justification, that it was unnecessary that we change Crowley's text on a point of pronouns; it could be said that any cultured person will understand he is not speaking exclusively of men or for men when he speaks. However, it has happened - or at least so it was reported to us - that some Australian feminists complained against Liber OZ on the grounds that it spoke only of the rights of Man. Since character is more important than culture, we do not wish to see such unlearned women eschew the most important writings of our age for reasons related to a sore spot. (The serious reader is referred to Letter 78 of Magick Without Tears Unexpurgated Commented Part Two. The pun is intended.) Especially if one considers that women have every right to be sore, and that any woman who isn't, at least to some extent, is a slave.

Note by David Bersson: I would of never changed anything of Crowley's writings from any whining from Australian feminists, unlearned or otherwise. If they do not like “Man” being used as “Humanity” in Liber Oz they most certainly do not have to join us. Certain women are “of us” and fit in quite nicely – and others resemble being of us and do not quite make the grade when it comes to taking a stand. Claudia Canuto de Menezes known when she was O.T.O. as “Soror K.A. is a prime example of a feminist failure where when it came time to take a stand – she acted like a moron, and whined like a little bitch proclaiming no one was worthy. Had Marcelo Motta known that her demeanor was all “eye candy” to impress him from Claudia Canuto de Menezes - I'm most certain he would of never changed Crowley's words. I have changed it all back knowing full well what Claudia did, and how she proved to be a liar, a traitor and a fool who was directly responsible for no vote occurring as per Mr. Motta's instructions to have a successor in the Declaration of Trust. As for women who are feminists and sincerely have those Tendencies of Initiation, magick, aspiration and self discipline they can try to join us. Yet, it will not matter how “feminist” they are if they cannot be girt with a sword as it is written in the Book of the Law. Male or Female – you will have the tests and ordeals to pass.

the Gods, Nature, Time, all the powers of the universe are rebellious slaves. It is these that men must fight and conquer in the power and in the name of the Beast that hath availed them, the Titan, the Magus, the Man whose number is six hundred and three score and six.

The last statement is not quite correct, and shows that at that early age Crowley still was not very clear about his mission. It is in their own power and in their own name that humans must fight and conquer- emulating the Teitan. This is the highest interpretation possible to formulate intelligibly below the Abyss. But on the lower planes the Curse will prevail. The Beast shall be worshipped as Savior by all failures, and revered as a pioneer by all successes.
It should be remarked that although the Beast of this Aeon is the Lion - Leo in the Zodiac - in every Aeon there is a Beast. This is related to the symbology of the Zodiacal signs, in which human and animal forms alternate. And the number of this Beast is always 666, albeit the "Beast" itself necessarily varies in type from Aeon to Aeon. History still holds the lore of the Lamb (actually, the Ram - the "Lamb" was Christist emasculation of the symbol), the Fish, the Goat and the Bull. Other precessions are lost in the night of time, and their history is remembered only by Initiates who, for some reason or another, are in touch with or choose to investigate the Records.

Note by David Bersson: Yes, yes, this is a much better comment on a much higher level than his previous comments where he felt so obligated toward feminism as a direct manifestation for the woman girt with a sword. Such sincerity of purpose, such strength of character and clearly a magical gesture made to align what was occurring at the time with the Feminist movement. Yet, he leaves the subject of his feminism magick gesture, and we observe Him jump to a higher plane of consciousness where in the previous comments you are swimming in the mud of the material where he tries to force an issue that yet needs further manifestation.


The practice of Rising on the Planes is of such importance that special attention must be paid to it. It is part of the essential technique of Magick. Instruction in this practice has been given with such conciseness in Liber O, that one cannot do better than quote verbatim (the "previous experiment" referred to in the first sentence is the ordinary astral journey.):

"1. The previous experiment has little value, and leads to few results of importance. But it is susceptible of a development which merges into a form of Dharana — concentration — and as such may lead to the very highest ends. The principal use of the practice in the last chapter is to familiarise the student with every kind of obstacle and every kind of delusion, so that he may be perfect master of every idea that may arise in his brain, to dismiss it, to transmute it, to cause it instantly to obey his will.

"2. Let him then begin exactly as before; but with the most intense solemnity and determination.

"3. Let him be very careful to cause his imaginary body to rise in a line exactly perpendicular to the earth's tangent at the point where his physical body is situated (or, to put it more simply, straight upwards).

"4. Instead of stopping, let him continue to rise until fatigue almost overcomes him. If he should find that he has stopped without willing to do so, and that figures appear, let him at all costs rise above them. Yea, though his very life tremble on his lips, let him force his way upward and onward!

"5. Let him continue in this so long as the breath of life is in him. Whatever threatens, whatever allures, though it were Typhon and all his hosts loosed from the pit and leagued against him, though it were from the very Throne of God himself that a voice issues bidding him stay and be content, let him struggle on, ever on.

"6. At last there must come a moment when his whole being is swallowed up in fatigue, overwhelmed by its own inertia. Let him sink (when no longer can he strive, though his tongue be bitten through with the effort and the blood gush from his nostrils) into the blackness of unconsciousness; and then on coming to himself, let him write down soberly and accurately a record of all that hath occurred: yea, a record of all that hath occurred."

Of course, the Rising may be done from any starting pint. One can go (for example) into the circle of Jupiter, and the results, especially in the lower planes, will be very different to those obtained from a Saturnian starting point.

The student should undertake a regular series of such experiments, in order to familiarise himself not only with the nature of the different spheres, but with the inner meaning of each. Of course, it is not necessary in every case to push the practice to exhaustion, as described in the instructions, but this is the proper thing to do whenever definitely practising, in order to acquire the power of Rising. But, having obtained this power, it is, of course, legitimate to rise to any particular plane that may be necessary for the purpose of exploration, as in the case of the visions recorded in Liber 418, where the method may be described as mixed. In such a case, it is not enough to invoke the place you wish to visit, because you may not be able to endure its pressure, or to breathe its atmosphere. Several instances occur in that record where the seer was unable to pass through certain gateways, or to remain in certain contemplations. He had to undergo certain Initiations before he was able to proceed. Thus, it is necessary that the technique of Magick should be perfected. The Body of Light must be rendered capable of going everywhere and doing everything. It is, therefore, always the question of drill which is of importance. You have got to go out Rising on the Planes every day of your life, year after year. You are not to be disheartened by failure, or too much encouraged by success, in any one practice or set of practices. What you are doing is what will be of real value to you in the end; and that is, developing a character, creating a Karma, which will give you the power to do your will.


Divination is so important a branch of Magick as almost to demand a separate treatise.

Genius is composed of two sides; the active and the passive. The power to execute the Will is but blind force unless the Will be enlightened. At every stage of a Magical Operation it is necessary to know what one is doing, and to be sure that one is acting wisely. Acute sensitiveness is always associated with genius; the power to perceive the universe accurately, to analyse, coordinate, and judge impressions is the foundation of all great Work. An army is but a blundering brute unless its intelligence department works as it should.

It may be for this reason that the United States of America has lost so many wars lately.

The Magician obtains the transcendental knowledge necessary to an intelligent course of conduct directly in consciousness by clairvoyance and clairaudience; but communication with superior intelligences demands elaborate preparation, even after years of successful performance.

It is therefore useful to possess an art by which one can obtain at a moment's notice any information that may be necessary. This art is divination. The answers to one's questions in divination are not conveyed directly but through the medium of a suitable series of symbols. These symbols must be interpreted by the diviner in terms of his problem. It is not practicable to construct a lexicon in which the solution of every difficulty is given in so many words. It would be unwieldy; besides, nature does not happen to work on those lines.

The theory of any process of divination may be stated in a few simple terms.

1. We postulate the existence of intelligences, either within or without the diviner, of which he is not immediately conscious. (It does not matter to the theory whether the communicating spirit so-called is an objective entity or a concealed portion of the diviner's mind.) We assume that such intelligences are able to reply correctly — within limits — to the questions asked.

2. We postulate that it is possible to construct a compendium of hieroglyphs sufficiently elastic in meaning to include every possible idea, and that one or more of these may always be taken to represent any idea. We assume that any of these hieroglyphics will be understood by the intelligences with whom we wish to communicate in the same sense as it is by ourselves. We have therefore a sort of language. One may compare it to a "lingua franca" which is perhaps defective in expressing fine shades of meaning, and so is unsuitable for literature, but which yet serves for the conduct of daily affairs in places where many tongues are spoken. Hindustani is an example of this. But better still is the analogy between the conventional signs and symbols employed by mathematicians, who can thus convey their ideas perfectly  13.

13.  As a matter of fact, they cannot. The best qualified are the most diffident as to having grasped the meaning of their colleagues with exactitude; in criticising their writings they often make a point of apologising for possible misunderstanding.

without speaking a word of each other's languages.

3. We postulate that the intelligences whom wish to consul are willing, or may be compelled, to answer us truthfully.

Let us first consider the question of the compendium of symbols. The alphabet of a language is a more or less arbitrary way of transcribing the sounds employed in speaking it. The letters themselves have not necessarily any meaning as such. But in a system of divination each symbol stands for a definite idea. It would not interfere with the English language to add a few new letters. In fact, some systems of shorthand have done so. But a system of symbols suitable for divination must be a complete representation of the Universe, so that each is absolute, and the whole insusceptible to increase or diminution. It is (in fact) technically a pantacle in the fullest sense of the word.

Let us consider some prominent examples of such system. We may observe that a common mode of divination is to inquire of books by placing the thumb at random within the leaves. The Books of the Sybil, the works of Vergil, and the Bible have been used very frequently for this purpose. For theoretical justification, one must assume that the book employed is a perfect representation of the Universe. But even if this were the case, it is an inferior form of construction, because the only reasonable conception of the Cosmos is mathematical and hieroglyphic rather than literary. In the case of a book, such as the Book of the Law which is the supreme truth and the perfect rule of life, it is not repugnant to good sense to derive an oracle from its pages. It will of course be remarked that the Book of the Law is not merely a literary compilation but a complex mathematical structure. It therefore fulfils the required conditions.

The principal means of divination in history are astrology, geomancy, the Tarot, the Holy Qabalah, and the Yi King. There are hundreds of others; from pyromancy, oneiromancy, auguries from sacrifices, and the spinning-top of some ancient oracles to the omens drawn from the flight of birds and the prophesying of tea-leaves. It will be sufficient for our present purpose to discuss only the five systems first enumerated.

ASTROLOGY is theoretically a perfect method, since the symbols employed actually exist in the macrocosm, and thus possess a natural correspondence with microcosmic affairs. But in practice the calculations involved are overwhelmingly complicated. A horoscope is never complete. It needs to be supplemented by innumerable other horoscopes. For example, to obtain a judgment on the simplest question, one requires not only the nativities of the people involved, some of which are probably inaccessible, but secondary figures for directions and transits, together with progressed horoscopes, to say nothing of prenatal, mundane, and even horary figures. To appreciate the entire mass of data, to balance the elements of so vast a concourse of forces, and to draw a single judgment therefrom, is a task practically beyond human capacity.

Perhaps not if one has the aid of a computer.

Besides all this, the actual effects of the planetary positions and aspects are still almost entirely unknown. No two astrologers agree on all points; and most of them are at odds on fundamental principles. 14.

14. Nearly all professional astrologers are ignorant of their own subject, as of all others.

This science had better be discarded unless the student chances to feel strongly drawn toward it. It is used by the MASTER THERION Himself with fairly satisfactory results, but only in special cases, in a strictly limited sphere, and with particular precautions. Even so, He feels great diffidence in basing His conduct on the result so obtained.

GEOMANCY has the advantage of being rigorously mathematical. A hand-book of the science is to be found in Equinox I, II. The objection to its use lies in the limited number of the symbols. To represent the Universe by no more than 16 combinations throws too much work upon them. There is also a great restriction arising from the fact that although 15 symbols appear in the final figure, there are, in reality, but 4, the remaining 11 being drawn by an ineluctable process from the "Mothers". It may be added that the tables given in the handbook for the interpretation of the figure are exceedingly vague on the one hand, and insufficiently comprehensive on the other. Some Adepts, however, appear to find this system admirable, and obtain great satisfaction from its use. Once more, the personal equation must be allowed full weight. At one time the MASTER THERION employed it extensively; but He was never wholly at ease with it; He found the interpretation very difficult. Moreover, it seemed to Him that the geomantic intelligences themselves were of a low order, the scope of which was confined to a small section of the things which interested Him; also, they possessed a point of view of their own which was far from sympathetic with His, so that misunderstanding constantly interfered with the Work.

THE TAROT and THE HOLY QABALAH may be discussed together. The theoretical basis of both is identical: The Tree of Life.

Both these subjects may be studied in the Equinox in several articles appearing in several numbers.

The 78 symbols of the Tarot are admirably balanced and combined. They are adequate to all demands made upon them; each symbol is not only mathematically precise, but possesses an artistic significance which helps the diviner to understand them by stimulating his aesthetic perceptions. The MASTER THERION finds that the Tarot is infallible in material questions. The successive operations describe the course of events with astonishing wealth of detail, and the judgments are reliable in all respects. But a proper divination means at least two hours' hard work, even by the improved method developed by Him from the traditions of initiates. Any attempt to shorten the proceedings leads to disappointment; furthermore, the symbols do not lend themselves readily to the solution of spiritual questions.

The Holy Qabalah, based as it is on pure number, evidently possesses an infinite number of symbols. Its scope is conterminous with existence itself; and it lacks nothing in precision, purity, or indeed in any other perfection. But it cannot be taught;  16.

16.  It is easy to teach the General Principles of exegesis, and the main doctrines. There is a vast body of knowledge common to all cases; but this is no more than the basis on which the student must erect his original Research.

each man must select for himself the materials for the main structure of his system. It requires years of work to erect a worthy building. Such a building is never finished; every day spent on it adds new ornaments. The Qabalah is therefore a living Temple of the Holy Ghost. It is the man himself and his universe expressed in terms of thought whose language is so rich that even the letters of its alphabet have no limit. This system is so sublime that it is unsuited to the solution of the petty puzzles of our earthly existence. In the light of the Qabalah, the shadows of transitory things are instantly banished.

This refers, one should note, to the Practical Qabalah of the Initiates, not to ossified contraptions of Jewish Orthodoxy.

The YI KING is the most satisfactory system for general work. The MASTER THERION is engaged in the preparation of a treatise on the subject, but the labour involved is so great that He cannot pledge Himself to have it ready at any definite time.

He did finish the structure of this treatise before his death; the masterpiece was pieced together by Marcelo Motta and will be published in Equinox VII under the name Crowley himself chose for it, Shih Yi Jien.

The student must therefore make his own investigations into the meaning of the 64 hexagrams as best he can.

The Yi King is mathematical and philosophical in form. Its structure is cognate with that of the Qabalah;

Quite true; but it took Crowley's genius to notice this.

the identity is so intimate that the existence of two such superficially different systems is transcendent testimony to the truth of both. It is in some ways the most perfect hieroglyph ever constructed. It is austere and sublime, yet withal so adaptable to every possible emergency that its figures may be interpreted to suit all classes of questions. One may resolve the most obscure spiritual difficulties no less than the most mundane dilemmas; and the symbol which opens the gates of the most exalted palaces of initiation is equally effective when employed to advise one in the ordinary business of life. The MASTER THERION has found the Yi King entirely satisfactory in every respect. The intelligences which direct it show no inclination to evade the question or to mislead the querent. A further advantage is that the actual apparatus is simple. Also the system is easy to manipulate, and five minutes is sufficient to obtain a fairly detailed answer to any but the most obscure questions.

With regard to the intelligences whose business it is to give information to the diviner, their natures differ widely, and correspond more or less to the character of the medium of divination. Thus, the geomantic intelligences are gnomes, spirits of an earthy nature, distinguished from each other by the modifications due to the various planetary and zodiacal influences which pertain to the several symbols. The intelligence governing Puella is not to be confused with that of Venus or of Libra. It is simply a particular terrestrial daemon which partakes of those natures.

Crowley uses here the Latin form of "demon", derived from the Greek. This is done absolutely on purpose. Neither the Romans nor the Greeks had any connotation of "evil" when they used this word. A daemon was merely an entity of subtler planes of existence than the material, and could be either "good" or "bad", depending on its inclinations. Roman Catholic theology deliberately discredited the noun "demon" in order to weaken the Pagans - so called - cults, which (it goes without saying) were always immensely healthier than Romanism.

The Tarot, on the other hand, being a book, is under Mercury, and the intelligence of each card is fundamentally Mercurial. Such symbols are therefore peculiarly proper to communicate thought. They are not gross, like the geomantic daemons; but, as against this, they are unscrupulous in deceiving the diviner.  17.

17.  This does not mean that they are malignant. They have a proper pride in their office as Oracles of Truth; and they refuse to be profaned by the contamination of inferior and impure intelligences. A Magician whose research is fully adapted to his Neschamah will find them lucid and reliable.

The Yi King is served by beings free from these defects. The intense purity of the symbols prevent them from being usurped by intelligences with an axe of their own to grind.  18.

18.  Malicious or pranksome elementals instinctively avoid the austere sincerity of the Figures of Fu and King Wan.

[Respectfully the Chinese geniuses who devised the Trigrams and the Hexagrams which compose the Yi Jing. The serious reader is referred to Equinox V 3, "The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism".]

It is always essential for the diviner to obtain absolute magical control over the intelligences of the system which he adopts. He must not leave the smallest loop-hole for being tricked, befogged, or mocked. He must not allow them to use casuistry in the interpretation of his questions. It is a common knavery, especially in geomancy, to render an answer which is literally true, and yet deceives. For instance, one might ask whether some business transaction would be profitable, and find, after getting an affirmative answer, that it really referred to the other party to the affair!

There is, on the surface, no difficulty at all in getting replies. In fact, the process is mechanical; success is therefore assured, bar a stroke of apoplexy.

One should remark that legitimate divination is fatiguing; much energy is spent in the process. Normally, however, apoplexy would indicate a predisposition and too much lust of result.

But, even suppose we are safe from deceit, how can we know that the question has really been put to another mind, understood rightly, and answered from knowledge? It is obviously possible to check one's operations by clairvoyance, but this is rather like buying a safe to keep a brick in. Experience is the only teacher. One acquires what one may almost call a new sense. One feels in one's self whether one is right or not. The diviner must develop this sense. It resembles the exquisite sensibility of touch which is found in the great billiard player whose fingers can estimate infinitesimal degrees of force, or the similar phenomenon in the professional taster of tea or wine who can distinguish fantastically subtle differences of flavour.

It is a hard saying; but in the order to divine without error, one ought to be a Master of the Temple. Divination affords excellent practice for those who aspire to that exalted eminence, for the faintest breath of personal preference will deflect the needle from the pole of truth in the answer. Unless the diviner have banished utterly from his mind the minutest atom of interest in the answer to his question, he is almost certain to influence that answer in favour of his personal inclinations.

The psycho-analyst will recall the fact that dreams are phantasmal representations of the unconscious Will of the sleeper, and that not only are they images of that Will instead of representations of objective truth, but the image itself is confused by a thousand cross-currents set in motion by the various complexes and inhibitions of his character. If therefore one consults the oracle, one must take sure that one is not consciously or unconsciously bringing pressure to bear upon it. It is just as when an Englishman cross-examines a Hindu, the ultimate answer will be what the Hindu imagines will best please the inquirer.

Or so it was in the days of the British Empire. Mostly this indicated passive resistance on the part of the Hindu, and total indifference to the best interests of the invader, if not veiled hostility. Conquering armies have this same problem everywhere.

The same difficulty appears in a grosser form when one receives a perfectly true reply, but insists on interpreting it so as to suit one's desires. The vast majority of people who go to "fortunetellers" have nothing else in mind but the wish to obtain supernatural sanction for their follies. Apart from Occultism altogether, every one knows that when people ask for advice, they only want to be told how wise they are. Hardly any one acts on the most obviously commonsense counsel if it happens to clash with his previous intentions. Indeed, who would take counsel unless he were warned by some little whisper in his heart that he was about to make a fool of himself, which he is determined to do, and only wants to be able to blame his best friend, or the oracle, when he is overtaken by the disaster which his own interior mentor foresees?

Normally, we are our own best counsellor on what course of conduct we should choose. The tendency to ask others what to do with our own lives is a slave tendency. The relationship Chela-Guru does not fall exactly under this category, since the Chela is free at any time to leave the Guru, goes to the Guru for specific reasons, and has (presumably!) made up his or her mind to seek Initiation before the whole relationship starts. It would be ridiculous to argue that someone who goes to college is abdicating his or her freedom except in very limited terms. The serious reader is referred to Liber Aleph, Chs. 36-37.

Those who embark on divination will be wise to consider the foregoing remarks very deeply. They will know when they are getting deep enough by the fact of the thought beginning to hurt them.

This is why true Gurus are often abandoned and betrayed by morally deficient Chelas. False Gurus are universally revered by their pupils and beignly tolerated, even encouraged, by totalitarian governments: they know better than to rub puppies' noses in their own messes; at least when the puppies walk on two feet.

Note by David Bersson: A classic or prime example of a “morally deficient Chela” was Claudia Canuto de Menezes whose stupidity and absence of moral stature disobeyed the Declaration of Trust and would not or could not be strong enough to gather the other two voters to arrange a vote for Mr. Motta's successor.

It is essential to explore oneself to the utmost, to analyse one's mind until one can be positive, beyond the possibility of error, that one is able to detach oneself entirely from the question. The oracle is a judge; it must be beyond bribery and prejudice.

It is impossible in practice to lay down rules for the interpretation of symbols. Their nature must be investigated by intellectual methods such as the Qabalah, but the precise shape of meaning in any one case, and the sphere and tendency of its application, must be acquired by experience, that is, but induction, by recording and classifying one's experiments over a long period; and — this is the better part — by refining one's ratiocination to the point where it becomes instinct or intuition, whichever one likes to call it.

It is proper in cases where the sphere of the question is well marked to begin the divination by invocations of the forces thereto appropriate. An error of judgment as to the true character of the question would entail penalties proportionate to the extent of that error; and the delusions resulting from a divination fortified by invocation would be more serious than if one had not employed such heavy artillery.  19.

19.  The apparent high sanction for the error would fortify the obstinacy of the mule.

There can, however, be no objection to preparing oneself by a general purification and consecration devised with the object of detaching oneself from one's personality and increasing the sensitiveness of one's faculties.

All divination comes under the general type of the element Air. The peculiar properties of air are in consequence its uniform characteristics.

The intelligent reader will understand that by "the peculiar properties of air" Crowley does not mean the physio-chemical properties of the mixture of gases that composes the Earth's atmosphere. He is talking about the magickal-mystical Element, called Vayu by Hindu initiates.

Divination is subtle and intangible. It moves with mysterious ease, expanding, contracting, flowing, responsive to the slightest stress. It receives and transmits every vibration without retaining any. It becomes poisonous when its oxygen is defiled by passing through human lungs.

There is a peculiar frame of mind necessary to successful divination. The conditions of the problem are difficult. It is obviously necessary for the mind of the diviner to be concentrated absolutely upon his question. Any intrusive thought will confuse the oracle as certainly as the reader of a newspaper is confused when he reads a paragraph into which a few lines have strayed from another column. It is equally necessary that the muscles with which he manipulates the apparatus of divination must be entirely independent of any volition of his. He must lend them for the moment to the intelligence whom he is consulting, to be guided in their movement to make the necessary mechanical actions which determine the physical factor of the operation. It will be obvious that this is somewhat awkward for the diviner who is also a magician, for as a magician he has been constantly at work to keep all his forces under his own control, and to prevent the slightest interference with them by any alien Will. It is, in fact, commonly the case, or so says the experience of The MASTER THERION, that the most promising Magicians are the most deplorable diviners, and vice versa. It is only when the aspirant approaches perfection that he becomes able to reconcile these two apparently opposing faculties. Indeed, there is no surer sign of all-round success than this ability to put the whole of one's powers at the service of any type of task.

With regard to the mind, again, it would seem that concentration on the question makes more difficult the necessary detachment from it. Once again, the diviner stands in need of a considerable degree of attainment in the practices of meditation. He must have succeeded in destroying the tendency of the ego to interfere with the object of thought. He must be able to conceive of a thing out of all relation with anything else. The regular practice of concentration leads to this result; in fact, it destroys the thing itself as we have hitherto conceived it; for the nature of things is always veiled from us by our habit of regarding them as in essential relation without ourselves and our reactions toward them.

The serious reader may now understand better why Part I of this Book Four Commented is called Yoga and Magick.

One can hardly expect the diviner to make Samadhi with his question — that would be going too far, and destroy the character of the operation by removing the question from the class of concatenated ideas. It would mean interpreting the question in terms of "without limit", and this imply an equally formless answer. But he should approximate to this extreme sufficiently to allow the question entire freedom to make for itself its own proper links with the intelligence directing the answer, preserving its position on its own plane, and evoking the necessary counterpoise to its own deviation from the norm of nothingness.

We may recapitulate the above reflections in a practical form. We will suppose that one wishes to divine by geomancy whether or no one should marry, it being assumed that one's emotional impulses suggest so rash a course. The man takes his wand and his sand; the traces the question, makes the appropriate pentagram, and the sigil of the spirit. Before tracing the dashes which are to determine the four "Mothers", he must strictly examine himself. He must banish from his mind every thought which can possibly act as an attachment to his proposed partner. He must banish all thoughts which concern himself, those of apprehension no less than those of ardour. He must carry his introspection as far as possible. He must observe with all the subtlety at his command whether it pains him to abandon any of these thoughts. So long as his mind is stirred, however slightly, by one single aspect of the subject, he is not fit to begin to form the figure. He must sink his personality in that of the intelligence hearing the question propounded by a stranger to whom he is indifferent, but whom it is his business to serve faithfully. He must now run over the whole affair in his mind, making sure of this utter aloofness therefrom. He must also make sure that his muscles are perfectly free to respond to the touch of the Will of that intelligence. (It is of course understood that he has not become so familiar with geomancy by dint of practice as to be able to calculate subconsciously what figures he will form; for this would vitiate the experiment entirely. It is, in fact, one of the objections to geomancy that sooner or later one does become aware at the time of tracing them whether the dots are going to be even or odd. This needs a special training to correct).

However, sooner or later one will become too conversant with the mechanics of any system one may use, not only geomancy. The special training is, of course, furnished through Yoga and Ritual Magick; see also Liber III. The wily beginner, however, may devise tricks to fool the ego-making faculty, much like Ulysses when he wished to hear the Sirens without being enslaved by their song. For instance, this annotator's untrained mind had gotten to the point of trying to anticipate which line would form next during his divinations by the Yi Jing. To avoid this interference from the ego, he started using six sets of three coins, instead of just one set, and would cast an entire hexagram without looking at it until the last line had been thrown. This made for less "pleasing" answers to his queries. It also made for truer ones.

Physio-psychological theory will probably maintain that the "automatic" action of the hand is controlled by the brain no less than in the case of conscious volition;

This is the inescapable rock against which all wish-phantoms break. Since even the most "ethereal" or "spiritual"initiative of the incarnated human being depends on the brain, the mind should be trained not to interfere with such initiatives, and to cooperate strictly with them. We have thus the initiatic paradox that the mind is the great enemy; yet, that the Will must work through the mind if it is to influence the physical world. The serious reader will then understand why Part II of this Book Four Commented is called Magick and Mysticism. Crowley's genius started his momumental treatise on Magick with a brilliant and succinct exposition of the basic training of Yoga from the point of view of an aspirant Thelemic magician, followed by an even more brilliant exposition of the links between Magick and the mystical symbols of the best religious syncretism. Study of Parts I and II, and of Book Four is essential to the understanding - and the use! - of Part III. Many readers have complained that Book Four Part III is "incomprensible" or "rambling" or "abstruse". Such readers are not serious students of pseudo-occultism or to Christism: Crowley is only for the direst, most hard-working, and loftiest of our species.
The serious student is again referred to Liber Aleph, this time Chs. 128-132.

but this is an additional argument for identifying the brain with the intelligence invoked.

Having thus identified himself as closely as possible with that intelligence, and concentrated on the question as if the "prophesying spirit" were giving its whole attention thereto, he must await the impulse to trace the marks on the sand; and, as soon as it comes let it race to the finish. Here arises another technical difficulty. One has to make 16 rows of dots; and, especially for the beginner, the mind has to grapple with the apprehension lest the hand fail to execute the required number. It is also troubled by fearing to exceed; but excess does not matter. Extra lines are simply null and void, so that the best plan is to banish that thought, and make sure only of not stopping too soon.  20.

The serious reader is referred to our three previous text commentaries.

20.  Practice soon teaches one to count subconsciously ... yes, and that is the other difficulty again!

The lines being traced, the operation is over as far as spiritual qualities are required, for a time. The process of setting up the figure for judgment is purely mechanical.

But, in the judgment, the diviner stands once more in need of his inmost and utmost attainments. He should exhaust the intellectual sources of information at his disposal, and form from them his judgment. But having done this, he should detach his mind from what it has just formulated, and proceed to concentrate it on the figure as a whole, almost as if it were the object of his meditation. One need hardly repeat that in both these operations detachment from one's personal partialities is as necessary as it was in the first part of the work. In setting up the figure, bias would beget a Freudian phantasm to replace the image of truth which the figure ought to be; and it is not too much to say that the entire subconscious machinery of the body and mind lends itself with horrid willingness to this ape-like antic of treason. But now that the figure stands for judgment, the same bias would tend to form its phantasm of wish-fulfilment in a different manner. It would act through the mind to bewray sound judgment. It might, for example, induce one to emphasize the Venereal element in Puella at the expense of the Saturnian. It might lead one to underrate the influence of a hostile figure, or to neglect altogether some element of importance. The MASTER THERION has known cases where the diver was so afraid of an unfavourable answer that he made actual mistakes in the simple mechanical construction of the figure! Finally, in the summing up; it is fatally easy to slur over unpleasantness, and to breathe on the tiniest spark that promises to kindle the tinder — the rotten rags! — of hope.

Cf. LXV v 35-36.

The concluding operation is therefore to obtain a judgment of the figure, independent of all intellectual or moral restraint.

The serious reader will understand that this is only possible when the mind and the moral faculties have been thoroughly trained to be restrained only by one's Will. Students are again referred to our previous notes on the structure of this Book Four; and intelligent aspirants are referred to Liber XVI as well. Perhaps they will now understand its austere and sublime purpose.
Perhaps an additional remark on the "moral faculties", in the sense in which Crowley uses the expression here, will be useful to the discriminating. They are only indirectly related with Buddhi, or even with Buddhi Manas. They are the product of education, environment and instinct: nodal aggregates of Kama and Linga Shaira slightly modified by Manas and distantly - very distantly in the average person - influenced by Buddhi. They cannot even be connected with the Tendencies, for they do not pertain to what is basic in the individual except through the emotions and the appetites. They are what makes it possible for low men to hold lofty ideals in theory and to lie, cheat and murder in practice without the slightest genuine qualm or genuine remorse. The "moral faculties" are not even, in low men, connected with sentiment; only with sentimentality.

One must endeavour to apprehend it as a thing absolute in itself. One must treat it, in short, very much the same as one did the question; as a mystical entity, till now unrelated with other phenomena. One must, so to speak, adore it as a god, uncritically: "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth." It must be allowed to impose its intrinsic individuality on the mind, to put its fingers independently on whatever notes it pleases.

The serious reader will understand that if the diviner puts himself or herself in such a state of absolute receptivity and allows the slightest tendency to bias to linger in either mind or emotion, there is a serious danger of upset, and even of obsession. The parallel with the Passage of the Abyss is exact; hence Crowley's statement that to divine efficiently one should be at least a Master of the Temple.

In this way one obtains an impression of the true purport of the answer; and one obtains it armed with a sanction superior to any sensible suggestions. It comes from and to a part of the individual which is independent of the influence of environment; is adjusted to that environment by true necessity, and not by the artifices of such adaptations as our purblind conception of convenience induces us to fabricate.

He refers here to something very few have experienced in the raw; of those few who have experienced it, most have recoiled in terror. By "true necessity" he means that core of Endeavor which is behind all the efforts of our particular type of living matter to manipulate environment efficiently in order to evolve. This core is utterly "unscrupulous" and "pitiless"; it cares absolutely nothing for individual human units except insofar as the activity of those individual human units may enhance the chances of the species as a whole; and its decisions as to what may enhance our chances have nothing necessarily to do with average concepts of morality or justice, since average concepts of morality or justice mirror not the realities of the Universe, but our attempts to shield our ego from these. Weaker minds have, throughout the ages, on sensing this Root Influence, associated it with destruction or evil. Deities like Kali, Shiva, Typhon, Set Ahrimanes, Loki, Hephaistos, Saturn, Hurrican, have been equated with it; wrongly, since it is beyond all separate manifestation in the species, even at the level of the Supernals. Cf. Liber VII vii 42-43. Myths like Satan and the Adversary are feeble Judeo-Christist attempts to defend the tawdry encampments of ego from the harsh onslaught of IT. In the Book of the Law, this Root Principle is called Hadit.

The student will observe from the above that divination is in one sense an art entirely separate from that of Magick; yet it interpenetrates Magick at every point. The fundamental laws of both are identical. The right use of divination has already been explained; but it must be added that proficiency therein, tremendous as is its importance in furnishing the Magician with the information necessary to his strategical and tactical plans, in no wise enables him to accomplish the impossible. It is not within the scope of divination to predict the future (for example) with the certainty of an astronomer in calculating the return of a comet.  21.

21.  The astronomer himself has to enter a caveat. He can only calculate the probability on the observed facts. Some force might interfere with the anticipated movement.

There is always much virtue in divination; for (Shakespeare assures us!) there is "much virtue in IF"!

In estimating the ultimate value of a divinatory judgment, one must allow for more than the numerous sources of error inherent in the process itself. The judgment can do no more than the facts presented to it warrant. It is naturally impossible in most cases to make sure that some important factor has not been omitted. In asking, "shall I be wise to marry?" one leaves it open for wisdom to be defined in divers ways. One can only expect an answer in the sense of the question.

The serious reader will then understand the absolute need to formulate the question very clearly in one's mind, defining to oneself the limits of the connotations of every word used in formulating it and the limits of discourse of the question itself, before putting it to the oracle. Here, above all, technical training in Meditation is most helpful. A beginner may find it useful to write down a first draft of his or her question, and revise it carefully, before putting the final version to the test.

The connotation of "wise" would then imply the limitations "in your private definition of wisdom", "in reference to your present circumstances." It would not involve guarantee against subsequent disaster, or pronounce a philosophical dictum as to wisdom in the abstract sense. One must not assume that the oracle is omniscient. By the nature of the case, on the contrary, it is the utterance of a being whose powers are partial and limited, though not to such an extent, or in the same directions, as one's own. But a man who is advised to purchase a certain stock should not complain if a general panic knocks the bottom out of it a few weeks later. The advice only referred to the prospects of the stock in itself. The divination must not be blamed any more than one would blame a man for buying a house at Ypres there years before the World-War.

He means World War I. It is nevertheless "wise" and useful to divine before buying a house anywhere! The Chinese used to be very careful about real estate purchases, consulting special diviners about the relation of the site to the landscape and the region, and the orientation of the proposed structure in relation to the site, they probably still do this, even if unofficially, in Red China today.

Note by David Bersson: Unfortunately, it is difficult to ascertain what culture, tradition or previous perceptions of honor still exist in China now that they have seemed to of permanently embraced Communism as their protocol and ideology. The propaganda from China shows them – on the surface – permitting the purchase of real estate – and yet real estate is the property of the Communist State so unless you are member of the Communist Party or connected with the Government you are not treated like an equal. I see the tendency and retrograde deterioration in Chinese Government as a consequence of them becoming communistic as a slow grave they have dug for themselves where the death of any culture or wisdom will be replaced by the Communistic manifestos of Mao. Naturally, the Curses in the Third Chapter are at work where you see the same tendency in North Korea where the Buddhist and Mongol are being dealt with on planes that are beyond the comprehension of the savage Chinese and the savage Korean. The Tao cannot be stated after a study of it to have anything to do with The Book of the Law whose Manifestation is the Babe in the Egg with the Thelemic Tetrgrammaton which shall in turn manifest the crowned and conquering child. You should be aware, that the savage Tao manifests as the primal core – not the Child – but the “old man” as the archetype of Wisdom. This shows the Tao to be possibly dangerous and hostile to the 93 Current. Of course, the Master Therion's version of it will be useful to the novice for purposes of comparative metaphysical studies.

As for what will be left to China with regards to the deadly adjustment from the Curses in the Third Chapter – the only wisdom that would ever be preserved is the Crowley-Motta Chinese Texts of Magic and Mysticism (Equinox Volume V, number 3 published in 1980 e.v.) – which Mr. Motta – in his attempt to counter the Tendency of Red China to dissolve centuries of Wisdom – printed publicly to give us a real Rosetta stone of Chinese Wisdom for humanity. Whether China or North Korea or Mongolia or other cousin countries like Japan will have people or Government as the New Aeon progresses is a meditation most sublime and terrible.

Note by David Bersson: The Equinoxes, and especially the volume one series of eleven volumes (I include the Blue Equinox), were specifically meant to preserve any wisdom that was deemed worthy to be kept intact in anticipation of the those changes which the Law of Θελημα would create. You must realize that the Mongol is cursed in the Book of the Law who, more than likely – being cousins of Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese will be mainly or completely wiped out. Yet, what will occur almost immediately – and does seem to be occurring presently – is a mass break down of their culture. Of course, I could be completely perceiving this all with a much too catastrophic a pessimism. These races could, very well, adopt the Law of Θελημα and preserve themselves. Naturally, this could in turn be a much too optimistic a perception. However, I think some shocks or surprises are ahead with regards to the Manifestation of the curse of the Mongol.

This magical gesture of the Equinox Volume V Number 3 (Chinese Equinox) was celebrated by the Menthu Lodge, Marcelo Motta and Claudia at a Mongolian Restaurant. It was the first time I had ever entered a Mongolian Restaurant. Claudia was completely unaware of why Mr. Motta had chosen a Mongolian Restaurant (rather than a Chinese) or the real nature of the celebration. For someone like Claudia whose lofty insights would include mere, mundane insights from idiot feminist poetry from idiots like Melissa Cannon she would have been at that time (as now) unaware what the nature of Mr. Motta's magical gesture was – or how far reaching into the future it would be. Perhaps, Claudia – a woman with such a naive demeanor could only see Mr. Motta as a mystic who had decided to randomly present Chinese Philosophy to the world. Yet, in my innocence back then. I did not foresee her as the one who would eventually betray Mr. Motta by not arranging the vote – and simply walking away from it all. The staff at the restaurant seemed to sense something and were silent in a most peculiar and eerie manner, and formal with us – as if they sensed what we had done.

As against this, one must insist that it is obviously to the advantage of the diviner to obtain this information from beings of the most exalted essence available. An old witch who has a familiar spirit of merely local celebrity such as the toad in her tree, can hardly expect him to tell her much more of private matters than her parish magazine does of public. It depends entirely on the Magician how he is served. The greater the man, the greater must be his teacher. It follows that the highest forms of communicating daemons, those who know, so to speak, the court secrets, disdain to concern themselves with matters which they regard as beneath them.

The reader is again reminded that the word "daemon" here is used in its Greek sense, and has absolutely no Christist connotations of "evil".

One must not make the mistake of calling in a famous physician to one's sick Pekinese. One must also beware of asking even the cleverest angel a question outside his ambit. A heart specialist should not prescribe for throat trouble.

The Magician ought therefore to make himself master of several methods of divination; using one or the other as the purpose of the moment dictates. He should make a point of organizing a staff of such spirits to suit various occasions. These should be "familiar"spirits, in the strict sense; members of his family. He should deal with them constantly, avoiding whimsical or capricious changes.

This is a very important precaution, and the more difficult to observe because one will be tempted by some spirits themselves to act dispersively. The testing is mutual!

He should choose them so that their capacities cover the whole ground of his work; but he should not multiply them unnecessarily, for he makes himself responsible for each one that he employs. Such spirits should be ceremonially evoked to visible or semi-visible appearance. A strict arrangement should be made and sworn. This must be kept punctiliously by the Magician, and its infringement by the spirit severely punished. Relations with these spirits should be confirmed and encouraged by frequent intercourse. They should be treated with courtesy, consideration, and even affection. They should be taught to love and respect their master, and to take pride in being trusted by him.

It is sometimes better to act on the advice of a spirit even when one knows it to be wrong, though in such a case one must take the proper precautions against an undesirable result. The reason for this is that spirits of this type are very sensitive.

The more sensitive you are, the more sensitive they will be. You should realize also that some of the components of your personality may be less than tactful - to put it mildly. Such rough parts should be kept strictly under control. To give one instance, this writer was once reciting Chapter II of Liber LXV, and sylphs attracted to his aura by the intensity and purity of his aspiration decided to treat him to a gift; it was near sunset, and they fashioned above the line of the horizon, using clouds, a fiery swan. The writer saw this spontaneous and innocent gift, and chose to remark, rather sarcastically, that the swan shape was not perfect! Immediately, he sensed the recoil in level under level of his cellular struture; the entities were deeply wounded and withdrew in distress. There was absolutely nothing he could do to revive their enthusiasm. Even his apologies were useless. It took years to undo the dissonance caused by one split second of self-indulgence.

They suffer agonies of remorse on realising that they have injured their Master; for he is their God; they know themselves to be part of him, their aim is to attain to absorption in him.

The word "Master" is not here used in the special sense of Magister Templi.

They understand therefore that his interests are theirs. Care must be taken to employ none but spirits who are fit for the purpose, not only by reason of their capacity to supply information, but for their sympathy with the personality of the Magician. Any attempt to coerce unwilling spirits is dangerous. They obey from fear; their fear makes them flatter, and tell amiable falsehoods. It also creates phantasmal projections of themselves to personate them;

These being shields they raise between themselves and the source of their fear; much as a person who is intimidated by another many prefer to write him or her a letter or talk through the telephone rather than face to face.

and these phantasms, besides being worthless, become the prey of malicious daemons who use them to attack the Magician in various ways whose prospect of success is enhanced by the fact that he has himself created a link with them.

With the phantasmal projections, not with the daemons. One emphasizes again that the word "daemons" is not here employed in the Christist sense.

One more observation seems desirable while on this subject. Divination of any kind is improper in matters directly concerning the Great Work itself. In the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel, the adept is possessed of all he can possibly need. To consult any other is to insult one's Angel. Moreover, it is to abandon the only person who really knows, and really cares, in favour of one who by the nature of the case, must be ignorant  22.

22.  No intelligence of the type that operates divination is a complete Microcosm as Man is. He knows in perfection what lies within his own Sphere, and little or nothing beyond it. Graphiel knows all that is knowable about Marital matters, as no Man can possibly do. For even the most Marital man is limited as to Madim by the fact that Mars is only one element in his molecule; the other elements both inhibit concentration on their colleague, and veil him by insisting on his being interpreted in reference to themselves. No entity whose structure does not include the entire Tree of Life is capable of the Formulae of Initiation. Graphiel, consulted by the Aspirants to Adeptship, would be bound to regard the Great Work as purely a question of combat, and ignore all other considerations. His advice would be absolute on technical points of this kind; but its very perfection would persuade the Aspirant to an unbalance course of action which would entail failure and destruction. It is pertinent to mention in this connection that one must not expect absolute information as to what is going to happen. "Fortune-telling" is an abuse of divination. At the utmost one can only ascertain what may reasonably be expected. The proper function of the process is to guide one's judgment. Diagnosis is fairly reliable; advice may be trusted, generally speaking; but prognosis should always be cautious. The essence of the business is the consultation of specialists.

of the essence of the matter — one whose interest in it is no more (at the best) than that of a well-meaning stranger. It should go without saying that until the Magician has attained to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel he is liable to endless deceptions. He does not know Himself; how can he explain his business to others? How can those others, though they do their best for him, aid in anything but trifles? One must therefore be prepared for disappointment at every stage until one attains to adeptship.

"Adeptship", on the other hand, is here employed most definitely in the technical A∴A∴ sense. Beginners should not be confused about the word "disapointment", either. Everyone expects the prophecies in AL as to women (whether they are heterosexuals or lesbians!), goods, spices, etc., to become operative the moment one reaches "adeptship". The point is whether you are pitting yourself against the manifested Universe or cozily fashioning a small section of it into a personal haven. In the former case, disapointment awaits around the corner all one's life, as every Initiate sworn to Service knows. Every man and every woman is a star; but stars, as any astronomer will tell you, are not "equal" in the vulgar sense. On the contrary, they come in different sizes, colors and shapes, and each has a totally individual orbit. Count your years by your wounds, and know yourself by the company you keep.

This is especially true of divination, because the essence of the horror of not knowing one's Angel is the utter bewilderment and anguish of the mind, complicated by the persecution of the body, and envenomed by the ache of the soul. One puts the wrong questions, and puts them wrong; gets the wrong answers, judges them wrong, and acts wrongly upon them. One must nevertheless persist, aspiring with ardour towards one's Angel, and comforted by the assurance that He is guiding one secretly towards Himself, and that all one's mistakes are necessary preparations for the appointed hour of meeting Him. Each mistake is the combing-out of some tangle in the hair of the bride as she is being coiffed for marriage.

It should not be thought that the Formula of Adeptship is necessarily less disturbing to women than to men because of the fact that so much of the relationship is between the feminine part of the psychic struture of the Aspirant with an impinging male force; first, because the Angel is not "male", but omnisexual: the limitations of the symbology simply denote the parts of a male Aspirant's psyche that usually most need balancing; after all, it was a "male scribe" who set down the Book!
And second because, precisely for the same reason, a female Aspirant will need to balance parts in the self which, in a woman, are often underdeveloped for sociobiological reasons. Cf. LXV i 65 and the comments thereon in Equinox V 2.

On the other hand, although the adept is in daily communication with his Angel, he ought to be careful to consult Him only on questions proper to the dignity of the relation. One should not consult one's Angel on too many details, or indeed on any matters which come within the office of one's familiar spirits. One does not go the the King about petty personal trifles.

Alas! Many a King must have wished this were true. As usual, Crowley was extrapolating from the nobility of his personality to a human type as rare as jewels.
One should not fall into the delusion that one's Angel's energy is infinite. As great as it is, the Angel may have many clients besides oneself (in this context, Crowley's remark on his dream recorded at 5:45 of the Seventh Day in John St. John is quite funny). Furthermore, the Angel has His-Her-its own particular Work to do, of which training human souls may, for all we know, be only a very small part.

The romance and rapture of the ineffable union which constitutes Adeptship must not be profaned by the introduction of commonplace cares. One must not appear with one's hair in curl-papers, or complain of the cook's impertinence, if one wants to make the most of the honeymoon.  23.

23.  As the poet puts it;
"Psyche, beware how thou disclose Thy tricks of toilet to Eros,
Or let him learn that those love-breathing Lyrical lips that whisper,
wreathing His brows with sense-bewitching gold,
Are equally expert to scold;
That those caressing hands will maybe Yet box his ears and slap the baby!"

[Trust Crowley not to resist a joke. "The poet" is, of course, himself, and the poem is a parody of Classical love poetry.]

To the Adept divination becomes therefore a secondary consideration, although he can now employ it with absolute confidence, and probably use it with far greater frequency than before his attainment. Indeed, this is likely in proportion as he learns that resort to divination (on every occasion when his Will does not instantly instruct him) with implicit obedience to its counsels careless as to whether or no they may land him in disaster, is a means admirably efficacious of keeping his mind untroubled by external impressions, and therefore in the proper condition to receive the reiterant strokes of rapture with which the love of his Angel ravishes him.

It is, furthermore, good training towards that state of "making no difference between any one thing and any other thing", and towards the Oath of the Abyss.

We have now mapped out the boundaries of possibility and propriety which define the physical and political geography of divination. The student must guard himself constantly against supposing that this art affords any absolute means of discovering "truth", or indeed, of using that word as if it meant more than the relation of two ideas each of which is itself as subject to "change without notice" as a musical programme.

Divination, in the nature of things, can do no more than put the mind of the querent into conscious connection with another mind whose knowledge of the subject at issue is to his own as that of an expert to a layman. The expert is not infallible. The client may put his question in a misleading manner, or even base it on a completely erroneous conception of the facts. He may misunderstand the expert's answer, and he may misinterpret its purport.

Misinterpretation is most often due to lust of result.

Apart from all this, excluding all error, both question and answer are limited in validity by their own conditions; and these conditions are such that truth may cease to be true, either as time goes on, or if it be flawed by the defect of failure to consider some circumstances whose concealed operation cancels the contract.

In a word, divination, like any other science, is justified of its children. It would be extraordinary should so fertile a mother be immune from still-births, monstrosities, and abortions.

This profound statement touches on the "sore spot" to end all sore spots of Christist theology: the obsessive fear of "evil", which - as Motta once pointed out to Phyllis Seckler, to no avail - creates evil.

We none of us dismiss our servant science with a kick and a curse every time the telephone gets out of order. The telephone people make no claim that it always works and always works right.  24.

24.  Except in New York City.

Divination, with equal modesty, admits that "it often goes wrong; but it works well enough, all things considered. The science is in its infancy. All we can do is our best. We no more pretend to infallibility than the mining expert who considers himself in luck if he hits the bull's eye four times in ten."

The error of all dogmatists (from the oldest prophet with his "literally-inspired word of God"

Actually, this writer has never found it written anywhere in what purports to be the original writings of purported prophets that any purported prophet made this claim. It is always the followers who make it; and the more pin-headed the follower, the louder his or her vociferations, and the crueller his or her persecution of heretics.

to the newest German professor with his single-track explanation of the Universe) lies in trying to prove too much, in defending themselves against critics by stretching a probably excellent theory to include all the facts and the fables, until it bursts like the overblown bladder it is.

Divination is no more than a rough and ready practical method which we understand hardly at all, and operate only as empirics. Success for the best diviner alive is no more certain in any particular instance than a long putt by a champion golfer. Its calculations are infinitely more complex than Chess, a Chess played on an infinite board with men whose moves are indeterminate, and made still more difficult by the interference of imponderable forces and unformulated laws; while its conduct demands not only the virtues, themselves rare enough, of intellectual and moral integrity, but intuition combining delicacy with strength in such perfection and to such extremes as to make its existence appear monstrous and miraculous against Nature.

To admit this is not to discredit oracles. On the contrary, the oracles fell into disrepute just because they pretended to do more than they could. To divine concerning a matter is little more than to calculate probabilities. We obtain the use of minds who have access to knowledge beyond ours, but not to omniscience. HRU, the great angel set over the Tarot, is beyond us as we are beyond the ant; but, for all we know, the knowledge of HRU is excelled by some mightier mind in the same proportion. Nor have we any warrant for accusing HRU of ignorance or error if we read the Tarot to our own delusion. He may have known, he may have spoken truly; the fault may lie with our own insight.  25.

25.  The question of the sense in which an answer is true arises. One shouldn't mix up the planes. Yet as Mr. Russell shows, "Op Cit. p". 61, the worlds which lie behind phenomena must possess the same structure as our own.

[By "structure" here is meant the set of operative laws. Russell's proposition, however, has been superseded to an extent by contemporary mathemathical physics. Heisenberg's Principle might be said to be one mathematical expression of AL ii 32's plain and straight affirmation: "Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise."]

"Every proposition having a communicable significance must lie in just that essence of individuality which, for that very reason, is irrelevant to science".

[Since by Russell's definition the purpose of science is find general, not individual, explanations of universal phenomena. Such explanations are what is expressed by scientific "laws". The "mystically-inclined" reader should not hereby deride science; the two universes of discourse touch where a mystic will go haywire doing this, and practice theology instead of practicing Theurgy.]

Just so: but this is to confess the impotence of science to attain truth, and to admit the urgency of developing a mental instrument of superior capacity.

[He does not mean that science is a mental instrument; he means that the human brain - the present mental instrument in use - must be developed so that the short-comings of science will be eliminated. The development of the human brain is, therefore, the true purpose behind the disciplines we usually call Mysticism, Magick, and Religion. By "true purpose" is meant here the purpose of the Gods (or "Secret Chiefs") who stimulate these activities in the species.]

The MASTER THERION has observed on innumerable occasions that divinations, made by him and dismissed as giving untrue answers, have justified themselves months or years later when he was able to revise his judgment in perspective, untroubled by his personal passion.

This has happened to this researcher as well.

It is indeed surprising how often the most careless divinations give accurate answers. When things go wrong, it is almost always possible to trace the error to one's own self-willed and insolent presumption in insisting that events shall accommodate themselves to our egoism and vanity. It is comically unscientific to adduce examples of the mistakes of the diviners as evidence that their art is fatuous. Every one knows that the simplest chemical experiments often go wrong. Every one knows the eccentricities of fountain pens; but nobody outside Evangelical circles makes fun of the Cavendish experiment, or asserts that, if fountain pens undoubtedly work now and then, their doing so is merely coincidence.

Certainly, by Heisenberg's Principle, it is coincidence; but not merely. The Cavendish Experiment determined the density of the Earth.

The fact of the case is that the laws of nature are incomparably more subtle than even science suspects.

The average reader may wonder why Crowley goes into this at such length here. It is simply that he is trying to explain how the seeminly random and arbitrary manipulations of any system of divination may result in accurate evaluations and predictions of processes going on in environmental phenomena sometimes quite remote physically from the diviner and his or her quest, or apparently on another plane of discourse altogether from sticks, or sand, or cards, or coins, or tea leaves, or whatever.

The phenomena of every plane are intimately interwoven.

Mixing the planes means forgetting how the laws operative on one plane interact with the laws operative on another; it does not mean that the planes are not connected. However, the fact that one cannot breathe in water on the physical plane does not mean that one cannot breathe in water on the astral plane; or that the struture of the organism that breathes in water on the astral is not connected with the structure of the organism that cannot breathe in water on Earth.
Awareness of the analogies, correspondences, and differences between the planes is what produces success in Magick; and, to a lesser and more specialized extent, in life.

The arguments of Aristotle were dependent on the atmospheric pressure which prevented his blood from boiling away. There is nothing in the universe which does not influence every other thing in one way or another. There is no reason in Nature why the apparently chance combination of half-a dozen sticks of tortoise-shell should not be so linked both with the human mind and with the entire structure of the Universe that the observation of their fall should not enable us to measure all things in heaven and earth.

With one piece of curved glass we have discovered uncounted galaxies of suns; with another, endless orders of existence in the infinitesimal. With the prism we have analysed light so that matter and force have become intelligible only as forms of light. With a rod

Of glass, he still means.

we have summoned the invisible energies of electricity to be our familiar spirit serving us to do our Will, whether it be to outsoar the condor, or to dive deeper into the demon world of disease than any of our dreamers dared to dream.

Since with four bits of common glass mankind has learnt to know so much, achieved so much, who dare deny that the Book of Thoth, the quintessentialized wisdom of our ancestors whose civilizations, perished though they be, have left monuments which dwarf ours until we wonder whether we are degenerate from them, or evolved from Simians, who dare deny that such a book may be possessed of unimaginable powers?

It is not so long since the methods of modern science were scoffed at by the whole cultured world. In the sacred halls themselves the roofs rang loud with the scornful laughter of the high priests as each new postulant approached with his unorthodox offering. There is hardly a scientific discovery in history which was not decried as quackery by the very men whose own achievements were scarce yet recognized by the world at large.

Within the memory of the present generation, the possibility of aeroplanes was derisively denied by those very engineers accounted most expert to give their opinions.

The method of divination, the "ratio" of it, is as obscure to-day as was that of spectrum analysis a generation ago. That the chemical composition of the fixed stars should become known to man seemed an insane imagining too ridiculous to discuss. To-day it seems equally irrational to enquire of the desert sand concerning the fate of empires. Yet surely it, if any one knows, should know!

To-day it may sound impossible for inanimate objects to reveal the inmost secrets of mankind and nature. We cannot say why divination is valid. We cannot trace the process by which it performs it marvels.  26.

26.  The main difference between a Science and an Art is that the former admits mensuration. Its processes must be susceptible of the application of quantitative standards. Its laws reject imponderable variables. Science despises Art for its refusal to conform with calculable conditions. But even to-day, in the boasted Age of Science, man is still dependent on Art as to most matters of practical importance to him; the arts of Government, of War, of Literature, etc. are supremely influential, and Science does little more than facilitate them by making their materials mechanically docile. The utmost extension of Science can merely organize the household of Art. Art thus progresses in perception and power by increased control or automatic accuracy of its details. The MASTER THERION has made an Epoch in the Art of Magick by applying the Method of Science to its problems. His Work is a contribution of unique value, comparable only to that of those men of genius who revolutionized the empirical guesswork of "natural philosophers". The Magicians of to-morrow will be armed with mathematical theory, organized observation, and experimentally-verified practice.

[Those who follow His system, at least.]

But their Art will remain inscrutable as ever in essence; talent will never supplant genius. Education is impotent to produce a poet greater than Robert Burns; the perfection of laboratory apparatus prepares indeed the path of a Pasteur, but cannot make masters of mediocrities.

But the same objections apply equally well to the telephone. No man knows what electricity is, or the nature of the forces which determine its action. We know only that by doing certain things we get certain results, and that the least error on our part will bring our work to naught. The same is exactly true of divination. The difference between the two sciences is not more than this: that, more minds having been at work on the former we have learnt to master its tricks with greater success than in the case of the latter.


The Wheel turns to those effectual methods of invocation employed in the ancient Mysteries and by certain secret bodies of initiates to-day. The object of them is almost invariably  1.

1.  The word is unwarrantably universal. It would not be impracticable to adopt this method to such operations as Talismanic Magick. For example, one might consecrate and charge a Pantacle by the communication by Aiwass to the Scribe of the BOOK of the LAW, the Magician representing the Angel, the Pantacle being the Book, and the person on whom the Pantacle is intended to act taking the part of the Scribe.

the invocation of a God, that God conceived in a more or less material and personal fashion. These Rituals are therefore well suited for such persons as are capable of understanding the spirit of Magick as opposed to the letter. One of the great advantages of them is that a large number of persons may take part, so that there is consequently more force available; but it is important that they should all be initiates of the same mysteries, bound by the same oaths, and filled with the same aspirations. They should be associated only for this one purpose.

Meaning, that they should have no personal and worldy ties with each other. In this way the momentum of their aspiration is increased.

Such a company being prepared, the story of the God should be dramatised by a well-skilled poet accustomed to this form of composition. Lengthy speeches and invocations should be avoided, but action should be very full. Such ceremonies should be carefully rehearsed; but in rehearsals care should be taken to omit the climax, which should be studied by the principal character in private. The play should be so arranged that this climax depends on him alone. By this means one prevents the ceremony from becoming mechanical or hackneyed, and the element of surprise. assists the lesser characters to get out of themselves at the supreme moment. Following the climax there should always be an unrehearsed ceremony, an impromptu. The most satisfactory form of this is the dance. In such ceremonies appropriate libations may be freely used.

The Rite of Luna (Equinox I. VI) is a good example of this use. Here the climax is the music of the goddess, the assistants remaining in silent ecstasy.

In the rite of Jupiter the impromptu is the dance, in that of Saturn long periods of silence.

It will be noticed that in these Rites poetry and music were largely employed — mostly published pieces by well-known authors and composers. It would be better  2.

2.  "PERHAPS! One can think of certain Awful Consequences". "But, after all, they wouldn't seem so to the authors!" "But — pity the poor Gods!" "Bother the Gods!"

[Different strata of the Initiate's mind half in jest and half in earnest discussing some of the secondary aspects of Dramatic Rituals. In an Initiate as advanced as Therion, such strata are often the equivalent of entire personalities in less evolved people. Fernando Pessoa, the Portuguese poet, and first Thelemically-trained Magister Templi in a Latin country, wrote three books of poetry under what he called "heteronyms". Each book was in a different style, each one expressed a different view of the world, and each was a mastepiece. There is no comparable phenomenon in world literature anywhere except, perhaps, in Crowley's own masterly literary jokes, crown of which is The Bagh-i-Muatter. (See Equinox V 4, "Sex and Religion".)]

to write and compose specially for the ceremony.  3.

3.  A body of skilled Magicians accustomed to work in concert may be competent to conduct impromptu Orgia. To cite an actual instance in recent times; the blood of a Christian being required for some purpose, a young cock was procured and baptized into the Roman Catholic Church by a man who, being the son of an ordained Priest, was magically an incarnation of the Being of that Priest, and was therefore congenitally possessed of the powers thereto appurtenant.

[This totally silly and un-Thelemic. Every man and every woman is a star, and the "ordination" of a Roman Catholic "priest" has no magickal value whatsoever. Thus, neither is the son an eidolon of the father nor are any powers whatsoever communicated in Romish rituals of "ordination"; especially not the sort of powers whatsoever communicated in Romish rituals of "ordination"; especially not the sort of powers that will remain in the seed! (Cf. LXV v 52-56.) However, for people obsessed by the black-magical current of Romanism, the ritual might be effective as a means of achieving psychological independence from Roman Catholic dogma.]

The cock, "Peter Paul," was consequently a baptized Christian for all magical purposes. Order was then taken to imprison the bird; which done, the Magicians assuming respectively the characters of Herod, Herodias, Salome, and the Executioner, acted out the scene of the dance and the beheading, on the lines of Oscar Wilde's drama,

[Wilde's intensely beautiful (if a bit morbid!) play, "Salome", first written by him in French, then translated into English.]

"Peter Paul" being cast for the part of John the Baptist. This ceremony was devised and done on the spur of the moment, and its spontaneity and simplicity were presumably potent factors in its success.

On the point of theology, I doubt whether Dom Gorenflot sucessfully avoided eating meat in Lent by baptizing the pullet a carp.

[This a reference to a very witty episode in Alexandre Dumas' historical romance, "Les Quarante-Cinq".]

For as the sacrament — by its intention, despite its defects of form — could not fail of efficacy,

[So states Romish dogma. When one considers that people like Marcos of the Philippines and Pinochet of Chile (to saying nothing of Bush, Casey and Meese of the U.S.A.!) "communicated" every Sunday for the last thirty years, and so did a few thousand Brasilian torturers and murderers, and when one considers the true history of the Romish Church, one wonders at the idea that a talisman can be charged with holiness even by someone who is unholy in himself, so long as this person holds a Romish warranty to turn matter into divinity.]

the pullet must have become a Christian, and therefore a human being. Carp was therefore only its baptized name — cf. Polycarp — and Dom Gorenflot ate human flesh in Lent, so that, for all he became a bishop, he is damned.

[There is no record in Dumas that "Dom Gorenflot" became a bishop, albeit he certainly was headed in that direction. Crowley's wit here is as funny as it is theologically correct.]



One of the simplest and most complete of Magick ceremonies is the Eucharist.

It consists in taking common things, transmuting them into things divine, and consuming them.

So far, it is a type of every magick ceremony, for the reabsorption of the force is a kind of consumption; but it has a more restricted application, as follows.

Take a substance  1.

1.  This may be of composite character.

symbolic of the whole course of nature, make it God, and consume it.

There are many ways of doing this; but they may easily be classified according to the number of the elements of which the sacrament is composed.

The highest form of the Eucharist is that in which the Element consecrated is One.

It is one substance and not two, not living and not dead, neither liquid nor solid, neither hot nor cold, neither male nor female.

This sacrament is secret in every respect. For those who may be worthy, although not officially recognized as such, this Eucharist has been described in detail and without concealment, somewhere in the published writings of the MASTER THERION. But He has told no one where. It is reserved for the highest initiates, and is synonymous with the Accomplished Work on the material plane. It is the Medicine of Metals, the Stone of the Wise, the Potable Gold, the Elixir of Life that is consumed therein. The altar is the bosom of Isis, the eternal mother; the chalice is in effect the Cup of our Lady Babalon Herself; the Wand is that which Was and Is and Is To Come.

The Eucharist of two elements has its matter of the passives. The wafer (pantacle) is of corn, typical of earth; the wine (cup) represents water. (There are certain other attributions. The Wafer is the Sun, for instance: and the wine is appropriate to Bacchus).

The wafer may, however, be more complex, the "Cake of Light" described in Liber Legis.

This is used in the exoteric Mass of the Phoenix (Liber 333, Cap: 44) mixed with the blood of the Magus.

The word is not used here in the technical sense of the Grade of Magus.

This mass should be performed daily at sunset by every magician.

Corn and wine are equivalent to flesh and blood; but it is easier to convert live substances into the body and blood of God, than to perform this miracle upon dead matter.

The word "God" should not be interpreted in the limited Judeo-Christist sense, but in the Thelemic sense.

The Eucharist of three elements has for basis the symbols of the three Gunas. For Tamas (darkness)

This is for Hindus not the darkness of Binah, but the darkness of gross elemental life. The darkness of Binah is symbolized in the Hindu system by the Akasha. Of course, these distinctions are expressed below the Abyss.

take opium or nightshade or some sleepy medicine;

For Tamas symbolizes that state of material heaviness in which it is hard for the mind and the soul to quicken the flesh into active reaction to one's environment.

for Rajas (activity) take strychnine or other excitant;

The morally rudimentary Jesse Helms-Reagan-Meese type of mind is hereby notified that all poisons are medicines if taken in carefully measured amounts. So with strychnine.

for Sattvas (calm) the cakes of Light may again be suitable.  2.

2.  The Cakes of Light are universally applicable; they contain meal, honey, and oil (carbohydrates, fats, and proteids, the three necessaries of human nutrition): also perfume of the three essential types of magical and curative virtue; the subtle principle of animal life itself is fixed in them by the introduction of fresh living blood.

[AL iii 23-25 and the Commentaries thereon.]

The Eucharist of four elements consists of fire, air, water, and earth. These are represented by a flame for fire, by incense or roses for air, by wine for water, and by bread and salt for earth.

The Eucharist of five has for basis wine for taste, a rose for smell, a flame for sight, a bell for sound, and a dagger for touch. This sacrament is implied in the Mass of the Phoenix in a slightly different form.

The Eucharist of six elements has Father, Son, and Holy Spirit above;

Cf. Liber C Revised.

breath, water, and blood beneath. It is a sacrament reserved for high initiates.  3.

3.  The Lance and the Graal are firstly dedicated to the Holy Spirit of Life, in Silence. The Bread and Wine are then fermented and manifested by vibration, and received by the Virgin Mother. The elements are then intermingled and consumed after the Epiphany of Iacchus, when "Countenance beholdeth Countenance).

[These references can be studied in Michael Maier's illustrations to his alchemic tracts, or their reproductions in Jung's "Psychology and Alchemy". The text of the latter can be profitably skipped; the texts of the former are deliberate blinds. Lady Frieda Harris' designs under Crowley's instructions for Atus VI and XIV of The Book of Thoth are also highly illuminating.]

The Eucharist of seven elements is mystically identical with that of one.

Of the method of consecrating the elements it is only necessary to say that they should be treated as talismans. The circle and other furniture of the Temple should receive the usual benefit of the banishings and consecrations. The Oath should be taken and the Invocations made. When the divine force manifests in the elements, they should be solemnly consumed. There is also a simpler method of consecration reserved for initiates of high rank, of which it is here unlawful to speak.

According to the nature of the Sacrament, so will its results be. In some one may receive a mystic grace, culminating in Samadhi; in others a simpler and more material benefit may be obtained.

The highest sacrament, that of One element, is universal in its operation; according to the declared purpose of the work so will the result be. It is a universal Key of all Magick.

These secrets are of supreme practical importance, and are guarded in the Sanctuary with a two-edged sword flaming every way,  4.

4.  J.K.Husmans, who was afraid of them, and tried to betray the little he knew of them, became a Papist, and died of cancer of the tongue.

[Let not, however, the average thief and liar among our readers be disheartened. In the kind of society in which we live most traitors, Papist or not, die of tumor of the bank account. What Crowley really means is that Huysman's inflated opera may offer useful hints to the earnest and long-suffering seeker.]

; for this sacrament is the Tree of Life itself,

The reference is to the initiatic apologue in "Genesis", not to the Qabalistic Tree of Life.

and whoso partaketh of the fruit thereof shall never die  5.

5.  The use of the Elixir of Life is only justifiable in peculiar circumstances. To go counter to the course of natural Change is to approximate perilously to the error of the "Black Brothers".

Unless he so will. Who would not rather work through incarnation; a real renewal of body and brain, than content himself with a stagnant immortality upon this mote in the Sunlight of the Universe which we call earth?

There is a factor of saturation, of which people who become old and mature at the time (the two processes are not always concomitant!) are aware. It is as if one had fed on experience, and then needed time out after digestion to rearrange one's instrument of research with basis on the newly-gathered data. Justice Holme's poem. "The Chambered Nautilus" dwells on this subject.

Note by David Bersson:   The life span of the average human being is far too short not to lengthen it either by modern science or magick. Without a doubt, this saturation or digestion or manifested gestalt is very real & yet it does take years. Without length of days in your lifespan you simply cannot get enough done with regards to magical gestures to see for yourself some of the effects of your magick. Therefore, it might be going too far to name such an aspiration a black brother attitude to want immortality. No doubt, it is like a great treasure that once you gain it you will need the responsibility and wisdom to spend or invest it properly. Death is the crown of all, and it is vital that the serious student prepare for one's own death with an anxious, curiosity of the hereafter – or if you cannot find it possible that you have such a thing – it matters little. Certainly, the pain of illness is far more terrible than the death itself. Yet, it is a fear that can be controlled. That greater Feast for death is otherwise an important Feast to alter our attitudes toward death. I demand that a great Feast be prepared by those below me in the Order if or when I decide it is my will to die. Any nonsense emotions should be tears of joy that I have entered My Temples on the Inner Planes, and My Magical Gestures as the Sphinx of the Gods will continue until I see fit to reincarnate in a suitable instrument of flesh.

With regard to the preparations for such Sacraments, the Catholic Church has maintained well enough the traditions of the true Gnostic Church in whose keeping the secrets are.  6.

6.  Study, in the Roman Missal, the Canon of the Mass, and the chapter of "defects".

[This, however, has since been "modernized" so as to lose whatever little contact it still had with the original, genuine Gnostic tradition. The serious reader is referred to the Breviary of the Holy Gnostic Catholic Church, by Frater Parzival XI°.]

The Word Chastity is used by initiates to signify a certain state of soul and of mind determinant of a certain habit of body which is nowise identical with what is commonly understood. Chastity in the true magical sense of the word is inconceivable to those who are not wholly emancipated from the obsession of sex.

Chastity 7. is a condition; fasting for some hours previous is a condition; an earnest and continual aspiration is a condition. Without these antecedents even the Eucharist of the One and Seven is partially — though such is its intrinsic virtue that it can never be wholly — baulked of its effect.

A Eucharist of some sort should most assuredly be consummated daily by every magician, and he should regard it as the main sustenance of his magical life. It is of more importance than any other magical ceremony, because it is a complete circle. The whole of the force expended is completely re-absorbed; yet the virtue is that vast gain represented by the abyss between Man and God.

It is then not a circle, but a spiral. For daily communication, ritual invocations or prayer may suffice; even a banishing ritual, if properly performed, is, in a sense, an invocation (this is especially so with the Star Ruby). At least once a week however, ideally, the Magician should communicate in some form of Mass. That of the Phoenix, in most cases, can be used daily only for short periods, due to the constant wounding of the body.

The magician becomes filled with God, fed upon God, intoxicated with God. Little by little his body will become purified by the internal lustration of God; day by day his mortal frame, shedding its earthly elements, will become in very truth the Temple of the Holy Ghost. Day by day matter is replaced by Spirit, the human by the divine; ultimately the change will be complete; God manifest in flesh will be his name.

This is the most important of all magical secrets that ever were or are or can be. To a Magician thus renewed the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel becomes an inevitable task; every force of his nature, unhindered, tends to that aim and goal of whose nature neither man nor god may speak, for that it is infinitely beyond speech or thought or ecstasy or silence. Samadhi and Nibbana are but its shadows cast upon the universe.

It might be called the Going, or Free Fall.


If the Master Therion effects by this book nothing else but to demonstrate the continuity of nature and the uniformity of Law, He will feel that His work has not been wasted. In his original design of Part III

Of this Book Four, he means.

he did not contemplate any allusion to alchemy. It has somehow been taken for granted that this subject is entirely foreign to regular Magick, both in scope and method. It will be the main object of the following description to establish it as essentially a branch of the subject, and to show that it may be considered simply as a particular case of the general proposition

He means his basic Definition of Magick, q.v.

— differing from evocatory and talismanic Magick only in the values which are represented by the unknown quantities in the pantomorphous equations.

"Pantomorphous" meaning general. It shall eventually be possible to establish mathematical equations for the operation of magickal phenomena, as is already being done for physical, biological, and even for some sociobiological, phenomena.

There is no need to make any systematized attempt to decipher the jargon of Hermetic treatises.

He means classical treatises on Alchemy.

We need not enter upon an historical discussion. Let it suffice to say that the word alchemy is an Arabic term consisting of the article "al" and the adjective "khemi" which means "that which pertains to Egypt"  8.

8.  This etymology differs from that given by Skeat; I can do no more than present my submission.

A rough translation would be "The Egyptian matter". The assumption is that the Mohammedan grammarians held traditionally that the art was derived from that wisdom of the Egyptians which was the boast of Moses,

Not of Moses, but of the Hebrews through the poor Magus.

Plato, and Pythagoras, and the source of their illumination.

Actually, it is quite clear that advanced Greek religious thought drew its theurgy from the Egyptian initiates all through the classical times.

Modern research (by profane scholars) leaves it still doubtful as to whether Alchemical treatises should be classified as mystical, magical, medical, or chemical. The most reasonable opinion is that all these objects formed the pre-occupation of the alchemists in varying proportions. Hermes is alike the god of Wisdom, Thaumaturgy, therapeutics, and physical science.

However, of theoretical, or pure research only in the last instance. Set the abhorred was the God of the implementation of physical science, and he was abhorred precisely because he debunked the "miracles" of the priests of Amoun and Asar. Heretics are never appreciated!

All these may consequently claim the title Hermetic. It cannot be doubted that such writers as Fludd aspired to spiritual perfection. It is equally sure that Edward Kelly wrote primarily from the point of view of a Magician; that Paracelesus applied himself to the cure of disease and the prolongation of life as the first consideration, although his greatest achievements seem to modern thinkers to have been rather his discoveries of opium, zinc, and hydrogen;

This is because modern thinkers have not had to submit themselves to the ministrations of the "physicians" of Paracelsus' time.

so that we tend to think of him as a chemist no less than we do of Van Helmont, whose conception of gas ranks him as one of those rare geniuses who have increased human knowledge by a fundamentally important idea.

Crowley being another; but generations may pass before consensus reaches this awareness.

The literature of Alchemy is immense. Practically all of it is wholly or partially unintelligible. Its treatises, from the "Asch Metzareph" of the Hebrews to the "Chariot of Antimony" are deliberately couched in hieratic riddles. Ecclesiastical persecution, and the profanation of the secrets of power, were equally dreaded.

Cf. our commentaries to LXV i 24 and iv 14 in Equinox V 2.

Worse still, from our point of view, this motive induced writers to insert intentionally misleading statements, the more deeply to bedevil unworthy pretenders to their mysteries.

At first sight, not a very scientific attitude; but, thanks to the Roman Church and its inquistors, those were not very scientific times. To them who had the key, the tracts were intelligible enough; and among themselves the researchers were quite frank in exchanging data.

We do not propose to discuss any of the actual processes. Most readers will be already aware that the main objects of alchemy were the Philosopher's Stone, the Medicine of Metals, and various tinctures and elixirs possessing divers virtues; in particular, those of healing disease, extending the span of life, increasing human abilities, perfecting the nature of man in every respect, conferring magical powers, and transmuting material substances, especially metals, into more valuable forms.

The subject is further complicated by the fact that many authors were unscrupulous quacks.

Those were who "profited" most from alchemy: they traded on the greed and wishful thinking of the bourgeois and the noble, who were conditioned by Christism into bad logic and easy belief in the most irrational stupidities.

Ignorant of the first elements of the art, they plagiarized without shame, and reaped a harvest of fraudulent gain. They took advantage of the general ignorance, and the convention of mystery, in just the same way as their modern successors do in the matter of all Occult sciences.

The serious reader is referred to our review of The Psychic Mafia in Oriflamme VI 2, "Magick and Mysticism".

But despite all this, one thing is abundantly clear; all serious writers, though they seem to speak of an infinity of different subjects, so much so that it has proved impossible for modern analytic research to ascertain the true nature of any single process, were agreed on the fundamental theory on which they based their practices. It appears at first sight as if hardly any two of them were in accord as to the nature of the "First Matter of the work". They describe this in a bewildering multiplicity of unintelligible symbols. We have no reason to suppose that they were all talking of the same thing, or otherwise. The same remarks apply to every reagent and every process, no less than to the final product or products.

Yet beneath this diversity, we may perceive an obscure identity. They all begin with a substance in nature which is described as existing almost everywhere, and as universally esteemed of no value. The alchemist is in all cases to take this substance, and subject it to a series of operations. By so doing, he obtains his product. This product, however named or described, is always a substance which represents the truth or perfection of the original "First Matter"; and its qualities are invariably such as pertain to a living being, not to an inanimate mass. In a word, the alchemist is to take a dead thing, impure, valueless, and powerless, and transform it into a live thing, active, invaluable and thaumaturgic.

The reader of this book will surely find in this a most striking analogy with what we have already said of the processes of Magick. What, by our definition, is initiation? The First Matter is a man, that is to say, a perishable parasite, bred of the earth's crust, crawling irritably upon it for a span, and at last returning to the dirt whence he sprang. The process of initiation consists in removing his impurities, and finding in his true self an immortal intelligence to whom matter is no more than the means of manifestation. The initiate is eternally individual; he is ineffable, incorruptible, immune from everything. He possesses infinite wisdom and infinite power in himself. This equation is identical with that of a talisman. The Magician takes an idea, purifies it, intensifies it by invoking into it the inspiration of his soul. It is no longer a scrawl scratched on a sheep-skin, but a word of Truth, imperishable, mighty to prevail throughout the sphere of its purport. The evocation of a spirit is precisely similar in essence. The exorcist takes dead material substances of a nature sympathetic to the being whom he intends to invoke. He banishes all impurities therefrom, prevents all interference therewith, and proceeds to give life to the subtle substance thus prepared by instilling his soul.

Once again, there is nothing in this exclusively "magical". Rembrandt van Ryn used to take a number of ores and other crude objects. From these he banished the impurities, and consecrated them to his work, by the preparation of canvasses, brushes, and colours.

In Rembrandt's day painters usually prepared all their materials themselves, and their formulations of paints were sometimes jealously guarded trade secrets. Most serious modern painters do the same. It is only the average amateur who casually goes to the nearest "art shop" and purchases material ready-made.

This done, he compelled them to take the stamp of his soul; from those dull, valueless creatures of earth he created a vital and powerful being of truth and beauty. It would indeed be surprising to anybody who has come to a clear comprehension of nature if there were any difference in the essence of these various formulas. The laws of nature apply equally in every possible circumstance.

We are now in a position to understand what alchemy is. We might even go further and say that even if we had never heard of it, we know what it must be.

Let us emphasize the fact that the final product is in all cases a living thing. It has been the great stumbling block to modern research that the statements of alchemists cannot be explained away. From the chemical standpoint it has seemed not "a priori" impossible that lead should be turned into gold. Our recent discovery of the periodicity of the elements has made it seem likely, at least in theory, that our apparently immutable elements should be modifications of a single one.  9.

As any high school student should know by now, lead has been transmuted into gold by radiation; but the process is not commercially profitable.

9.  See R.K. Duncan, "The New Knowledge", for a popularisation of recent results.
Aleister Crowley held this doctrine in his teens at a period when it was the grossest heresy.

Organic Chemistry, with its metatheses and syntheses dependent on the conceptions of molecules as geometrical structures has demonstrated a praxis which gives this theory body; and the properties of Radium have driven the Old Guard from the redoubt which flew the flag of the essential heterogeneity of the elements. The doctrines of Evolution have brought the alchemical and monistic theory of matter into line with our conception of life; the collapse of the wall between the animal and vegetable kingdoms has shaken that which divided them from the mineral.

But even though the advanced chemist might admit the possibility of transmuting lead into gold, he could not conceive of that gold as other than metallic, of the same order of nature as the lead from which it had been made. That this gold should possess the power of multiplying itself, or of acting as a ferment upon other substances, seemed so absurd that he felt obliged to conclude that the alchemists who claimed these properties for their Gold must, after all, have been referring not to Chemistry, but to some spiritual operations whose sanctity demanded some such symbolic veil as the cryptographic use of the language of the laboratory.

The MASTER THERION is sanguine that his present reduction of all cases of the art of Magick to a single formula will both elucidate and vindicate Alchemy, while extending chemistry to cover all classes of Change.

There is an obvious condition which limits our proposed operations. This is that, as the formula of any Work effects the extraction and visualization of the Truth from any "First Matter", the "Stone" or "Elixir" which results from our labours will be the pure and perfect Individual originally inherent in the substance chosen, and nothing else. The most skilful gardener cannot produce lilies from the wild rose; his roses will always be roses, however he have perfected the properties of this stock.

Now, with genetic engineering, even this has become theoretically possible. One cannot yet, however, even theoretically, turn a particular lily plant into a rose bush.!

There is here no contradiction with our previous thesis of the ultimate unity of all substance. It is true that Hobbs and Nobbs are both modifications of the Pleroma. Both vanish in the Pleroma when they attain Samadhi. But they are not interchangeable to the extent that they are individual modifications; the initiate Hobbs is not the initiate Nobbs any more than Hobbs the haberdasher is Nobbs of "the nail an sarspan business as he got his money by". Our skill in producing aniline dyes does not enable us to dispense with the original aniline, and use sugar instead. Thus the Alchemists said: "To make gold you must take gold"; their art was to bring each substance to the perfection of its own proper nature.

No doubt, part of this process involved the withdrawal of the essence of the "First Matter" within the homogeneity of "Hyle", just as initiation insists on the annihilation of the individual in the Impersonal Infinity of Existence to emerge once more as a less confused and deformed Eidolon of the Truth of Himself. This is the guarantee that he is uncontaminated by alien elements.

The Joke being, of course, that there are no alien elements!...Cf. Liber 333, Ch. 14

The "Elixir" must possess the activity of a "nascent" substance, just as "nascent" hydrogen combines with arsenic (in "Marsh's test") when the ordinary form of the gas is inert. Again, oxygen satisfied by sodium or diluted by nitrogen will not attack combustible materials with the vehemence proper to the pure gas.

We may summarize this thesis by saying that Alchemy includes as many possible operations as there are original ideas inherent in nature.

Alchemy resembles evocation

The average reader may not understand this analogy. It refers to the "general equations of Magick" which he has already suggested will eventually be formulated. A certain grounding in mathematics is very useful to Thelemic thinking.

in its selection of appropriate material bases for the manifestation of the Will; but differs from it in proceeding without personification, or the intervention of alien planes.  10.

10.  Some alchemists may object to this statement. I prefer to express no final opinion on the matter.

It may be more closely compared with Initiation; for the effective element of the Product is of the essence of its own nature, and inherent therein; the Work similarly consists in isolating it from its accretions.

This is the Solve phase of the Operation; Coagula consists in selecting and rearranging accretions (through the Ego-making faculty) that will be most efficient in the work of the original. Point-Event (or "Star") through the true Will. The serious reader will realize that the main difference between Initiation and death is that Initiation is "willed" and death isn't. But the re-incarnating Star undergoes exactly the same process of selection and rearrangement; and, except in the case of very high Initiates, in a much more thorough manner than is possible in the initiatic process during only one lifetime. Hence Crowley's expression of his personal preference for death rather than the use of the "Elixir of Life" to prolong just one one particular incarnation.

Now just as the Aspirant, on the Threshold of Initiation, finds himself assailed by the "complexes" which have corrupted him, their externalization excruciating him, and his agonized reluctance to their elimination plunging him into such ordeals that he seems (both to himself and to others) to have turned from a noble and upright man into an unutterable scoundrel;

This process, like orgasm, is usually catastrophic in the case of Aspirants incarnated in a male body, and undulatory in the case of Aspirants incarnated in a female body. This is probably due to the fact that the "soul" (or Nephesch) is "female": repercussions of the initiatic ordeals of the "Bride" on the physical brain are less disturbing when that brain rules over a predominatingly female hormonal balance.
Nor should this process be confused with homosexuality. The "soul" is female. To put it coarsely, an Initiate incarnated in a male body is (on certain planes and in certain senses) a woman, not a faggot. Or, to put it in still another manner, the femininity of the human soul is an accident of evolution; passive sexual behavior on the physical plane in a male is a matter of consious personal choice. Contrary to the allegations of a certain sub-group of paederasts (and a current fad among some American psychologists), homosexuals are not born, and most often are not made; they make themselves. The "morality" of such a choice is totally irrelevant to this discourse. Each special case needs to be weighed on its own special merits or demerits, and this only by people who may feel themselves involved in the case. Ultimately, it is nobody's business but the person's, except insofar as the person's activities may interfere with someone else's freedom of choice. A simple, straightforward, courteous invitation to fuck cannot, among civilized people, be considered serious interference with another's Will, or "seduction" or "corruption" or "rape" of anybody. Not even of a well brought up child.
Conversely, the main problem of human Aspirants incarnated in female bodies is most often to develop behavorial structures which are easier for male hormonal balances to handle. Aggressiveness, self-assertion, positive rather than passive reaction to envirnoment, are such qualities. The intelligent reader will notice that these are related to the mechanisms through which the Will impinges on matter. (Hence Crowley's suggestion, to a female Aspirant, that she adopt the Motto "Fiat Yod" - cf. Orflamme VI 3, Magick Without Tears Unexpurgated Commented Part One, Letters E and F.) Accordingly, it is clear why women suffer less "catastrophic" internal upheavals over Initiation than men up to Dominus Liminus. Their hardest ordeals consist in developing the projection of the Will (Chiah) in Nephesch and Ruach and putting it to work on the environment. And, since any human Initiate is a man on certain planes and in certain senses, again in the case of women, homosexuality is a matter of personal choice, not an imposition of circumstances.
It should be added that the above remarks apply only up to the threshold of Adeptus Minor. The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is as revoluntionary for women as to men; to men because it involves being ravished; and to women because they must become the same sex as their Angel, who on that level manifests as a male. Again, it should be emphasized that for a woman, being a man is not the same thing as being a homosexual. To put it coarsely but clearly, a man is not a dyke. Among women, exactly as among men, homosexuality is a matter of consious choice. The previous remarks on social interaction apply as well.

so does the "First Matter" blacken and putrefy as the Alchemist breaks up its coagulations of impurity.

The student may work out for himself the various analogies involved, and discover the "Black Dragon", the "Green Lion", the "Lunar Water", the "Raven's Head", and so forth. The indications above given should suffice all who possess aptitude for Alchemical Research.

Only one further reflection appears necessary; namely, that the Eucharist, with which this chapter is properly preoccupied, must be conceived as one case — as the critical case — of the Art of the Alchemist.

The reader will have observed, perhaps with surprise, that The MASTER THERION describes several types of Eucharist.

The serious reader should not be surprised, however, that He chose to remark on this here, rather than where he described them.

The reason is that given above; there is no substance incompetent to serve as an element in some Sacrament; also, each spiritual Grace should possess its peculiar form of Mass, and therefore its own "materia magica". It is utterly unscientific to treat "God" as a universal homogeneity, and use the same means to prolong life as to bewitch cattle. One does not invoke "Electricity" indiscriminately to light one's house and to propel one's brougham; one works by measured application of one's powers to intelligent analytical comprehension of the conditions of each separate case.

This is a kind hint to the serious reader to take another look at Chapter XIV Part II.

There is a Eucharist for every Grace that we may need; we must apprehend the essential characters in each case, select suitable elements, and devise proper processes.

To consider the classical problems of Alchemy: The Medicine of Metals must be the quintessence of some substance that serves to determine the structure (or rate of vibration) whose manifestation is in characteristic metallic qualities. This need not be a chemical substance at all in the ordinary sense of the word.

The Elixir of Life will similarly consist of a living organism capable of growth, at the expense of its environment; and of such a nature that its "true Will" is to cause that environment to serve it as its means of expression in the physical world of human life.

The Universal Medicine will be a menstruum of such subtlety as to be able to penetrate all matter and transmute it in the sense of its own tendency, while of such impartial purity as to accept perfectly the impression of the Will of the Alchemist. This substance, properly prepared, and properly charged, is able to perform all things soever that are physically possible, within the limits of the proportions of its momentum to the inertia of the object to which it is applied.

It may be observed in conclusion that, in dealing with forms of Matter-Motion so subtle as these, it is not enough to pass the Pons Asinorum of intellectual knowledge.

In other words, it is not enough to know intellectually what is to be done; just as knowing how an Olympic champion weightlifter hauls five hundred pounds up from the ground does not enable one without training and aptitude to do the same. In the last paragraph he makes this quite clear to anyone with brains:

Note by David Bersson: Those who have been my students for some time have on occasion heard me remark, “knowing magically what to do”. Yet, this did not come without the treading and training of the Path. Sometimes I have thought that you are either chosen or not chosen or “of us” or “not of us” - and yet intellectual discussion of this issue might have dangers of ideology, theology or dogma so the best advice I can give is follow the curriculum and you will eventually align your Self with the Thelemic Current or as it is often called the “93 Current”. So many quit before the real magick even begins as a consequence of the work involved.

The MASTER THERION has possessed the theory of these Powers for many years; but His practice is still in progress towards perfection. Even efficiency in the preparation is not all; there is need to be judicious in the manipulation, and adroit in the administration, of the product. He does not perform haphazard miracles, but applies His science and skill in conformity with the laws of nature.



As was said at the opening of the second chapter, the Single Supreme Ritual is the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. "It is the raising of the complete man in a vertical straight line."

Any deviation from this line tends to become black magic. Any other operation is black magic.

In the True Operation the Exaltation is equilibrated by an expansion in the other three arms of the Cross. Hence the Angel immediately gives the Adept power over the Four Great Princes and their servitors. 1.

1. See the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

If the magician needs to perform any other operation than this, it is only lawful in so far as it is a necessary preliminary to That One Work.

There are, however many shades of grey. It is not every magician who is well armed with theory. Perhaps one such may invoke Jupiter, with the wish to heal others of their physical ills. This sort of thing is harmless,  2.

2.  There is nevertheless the general objection to the diversion of channels of Initiation to the Sea of Attainment, into ditches of irrigation for the fields of material advantage. It is bad business to pay good coin for perishable products; like marrying for money, or prostituting poetic genius to political purposes. The converse course, though equally objectionable as pollution of the purity of the planes, is at least respectable for its nobility. The ascetic of the Thebaid or the Trappist Monastery is infinitely worthier than the health-peddler and success-monger of Boston or Los Angeles; for the one offers temporal trash to gain eternal wealth, while the other values spiritual substance only as enabling him to get better bodily conditions, and a firmer grip on the dollars.

or almost so. It is not evil in itself. It arises from a defect of understanding. Until the Great Work has been performed, it is presumptuous for the magician to pretend to understand the universe, and dictate its policy. Only the Master of the Temple can say whether any given act is a crime. "Slay that innocent child?" (I hear the ignorant say) "What a horror!" "Ah!" replies the Knower, with foresight of history, "but that child will become Nero. Hasten to strangle him!"

There is a third, above these, who understands that Nero was as necessary as Julius Caesar.

But the Nicene Creed was not necessary at all. Exessive tolerance may become lack of discrimination and the sort of weakness that permits evil. This is mixing of the planes indeed.

The Master of the Temple accordingly interferes not with the scheme of things except just so far as he is doing the Work which he is sent to do. Why should he struggle against imprisonment, banishment, death? It is all part of the game in which he is a pawn. "It was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory."

This "Son of Man" being, of course, the Qabalistic Ben Adam; and "Man" being the Qabalistic Adam Kadmon, who, incidentally, is androgynous-gynander, being made in the image of the Elohim.

The Master of the Temple is so far from the man in whom He manifests that all these matters are of no importance to Him. It may be of importance to His Work that man shall sit upon a throne, or be hanged. In such a case He informs his Magus, who exerts the power intrusted to HIm, and it happens accordingly. Yet all happens naturally, and of necessity, and to all appearance without a word from Him.

Nor will the mere Master of the Temple, as a rule, presume to act upon the Universe, save as the servant of his own destiny. It is only the Magus, He of the grade above, who has attained to Chokhmah, Wisdom, and so dare act. He must dare act, although it like Him not. But He must assume the Curse of His grade, as it is written in the Book of the Magus.  3.

3.  Equinox I, VII, 5-9.

There are, of course, entirely black forms of magic. To him who has not given every drop of his blood for the cup of BABALON all magic power is dangerous. There are even more debased and evil forms, things in themselves black. Such is the use of spiritual force to material ends. Christian Scientists, Mental Healers, Professional Diviners, Psychics and the like, are all "ipso facto" Black Magicians.

They exchange gold for dross. They sell their higher powers for gross and temporary benefit.

That the most crass ignorance of Magick is their principal characteristic is no excuse, even if Nature accepted excuses, which she does not. If you drink poison in mistake for wine, your "mistake" will not save your life.

Below these in one sense, yet far above them in another, are the Brothers of the Left Hand Path.  4.

4.  See Liber 418, and study it well, in this matter. Equinox I 5, Supplement.

[Unfortunately, even there the expression "Black Brothers" is used, rather than a more appropriate one; but the description of what is meant by a "Black Brother" there makes it quite clear that no racial connotations are involved, and the true Black School of Magick is not what is talking about.]

These are they who "shut themselves up", who refuse their blood to the Cup, who have trampled Love in the Race for self-aggrandisment.

It should be stated categorically that the expression "Brothers of the Left Hand Path" is not here used in its only technical sense, which is, Hindu Tantrists who practise heterosexual sex magic. As anyone with the slightest wit will understand from looking at Its Seal, the O.T.O. is - magically - a heterosexual Brotherhood-Sisterhood. We cannot go into depth here on the problems this may cause to people with homosexual leanings who wish to join us - or into the problems they cause!
The expressions "Black Brothers" and "Brothers of the Left-Hand Path" were extensively used by Toshosophists (Crowley's very apt pun on "Theosophist", by which he meant the followers of Besant and Leadbeater, not the followers of Blavatsky, whom he considered true Theosophists); hence his employing it here, merely for the sake of general intelligibility. We might wish he had not done so. A more technical, Thelemically correct term will eventually have to be developed. the serious reader is referred to our annotations to the three chapters of Magick Without Tears Unexpurgated Commented Part One dedicated to "The Three Schools of Magick" (Oriflamme VI 3).

As far as the grade of Exempt Adept, they are on the same path as the White Brotherhood;

It is not easy to say whether he uses the expression "White Brotherhood" here in the technical, Thelemic sense, or in the Toshosophical sense. Crowley was of the opinion that the "Black Brotherhood" of the Toshosophists was an offshoot of the White School of Magick, and had nothing to do with the Yellow School or the Black School. We are inclined to think that the disorder described in Liber 418 is not limited to people trained in the White School who go awry, but is found among certain failed trainees of the Black and the Yellow Schools as well.

for until that grade is attained, the goal is not disclosed. Then only are the goats, the lonely leaping mountain-masters, separated from the gregarious huddling valley-bound sheep.

This is doubly interesting in view of the fact that the "Black Brothers" are elsewhere described as those who refuse membership in the species (with its concomitant duties if one is an Initiate!) and dwell in their "Lonely Fortresses" below the Abyss. The reader would be inclined to think their influence would stimulate independence and autonomy in the species, not the gregariousness that seeks safety in numbers. The apparent paradox is a suitable subject for meditation by Aspirants.

Then those who have well learned the lessons of the Path are ready to be torn asunder, to give up their own life to the Babe of the Abyss which is — and is not — they.

The others, proud in their purple, refuse. They make themselves a false crown of the Horror of the Abyss;

In Hindu parlance, we might say they define the Anthakarana as being the Atman, and refuse any further contact with Buddhi. In Hebrew parlance, they dwell in Daath instead of passing on to Binah; and that Daath, thus severed from its links with the Supernals, ceases being the Undefiled Knowledge and becomes an incarnation of the Horror of Selfishness.

they set the Dispersion of Choronzon upon their brows; they clothe themselves in the poisoned robes of Form;

Rupa. Rather than say they "clothe" themselves, one should say they swathe themselves; Form is their "protection".

they shut themselves up; and when the force that made them what they are is exhausted, their strong towers fall, they become the Eaters of Dung in the Day of Be-with-us, and their shreds, strewn in the Abyss, are lost.

This, however, may take centuries, or even millenia, to happen. Also, it is not as "bad" as it sounds, although it is what they fear above all. It simply means that no one can cheat Nature for ever.

Not so the Masters of the Temple, that sit as piles of dust in the City of the Pyramids, awaiting the Great Flame that shall consume that dust to ashes.

This writer cannot forget a letter from an aggrieved reader, stating that the missivist had been all over the City of the Pyramids, and had not seen us there. How dared we call ourselves a Magister, then? This interesting letter was not answered: who can clear muddy water? Besides, it was unanswerable anyway.

For the blood that they have surrendered is treasured in the Cup of OUR LADY BABALON, a mighty medicine to awake the Eld of the All-Father, and redeem the Virgin of the World from her virginity.


Before leaving the subject of Black Magic, one may touch lightly on the question of Pacts with the Devil.

The Devil does not exist. It is a false name invented by the Black Brothers to imply a Unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions.

Here, it is obvious that Crowley is equating the "Black Brothers" with the originators - and maintainers - of Christism. We still think the condition is more inclusive than that.
The existence of "Absolute Evil" is necessary to the Christists for otherwise it would be impossible to keep their theology, and therefore their dogma, intact against the onslaught of reality and common-sense. If there be no Devil, what need for the "Christ"? (Their concept of the "Christ".) No "Christ", no money and no power, no "Devil", no psychological dominance over their sheep through the veiled threat of hell and eternal torment; therefore, again no money and no power. Heaven forbid!

A devil who had unity would be a God  5.

5.  "The Devil" is, historically, the God of any people that one personally dislikes.

[It was the genius of Frazer that first established the anthropological rule that the God of a vanquished tribe always becomes the "Devil" of the vincitors. This, incidentally, is not always so: it depends very much on the low level of intelligence and the hypocrisy of the theology of the conquerers. Judeo-Christism is the only known creed in modern history that has always taken this shortcut in public relations. Even Islam has been strong enough to disdain the gods of the vanquished without identifying them with its "Shaitan". Very likely, Islam would have no Shaitan at all if Muhammad had had more schooling and had not been so influenced by the "Bible".]

Note by David Bersson: This ironic point by Mr. Motta – that Islam owes its vicious, savagery to its influence of the Bible is most enlightening. Even more ironic that Mohammad was an illiterate camel driver who saw a Jewish Angel. Those savages in the Middle East who consider Mohammad a prophet seem equally uneducated as they blow themselves up in protest to others who have different ideologies. The terrorist attack on September 11th (and other countries) should be ample proof to the world on the sheer stupidity and lack of character of this culture. Those who are called Thelemites are reminded that the demonic current of Mohammad is equally vicious & dangerous and are classified as mechanical currents of the old Aeon. A.C. and Mr. Motta were brought up in a Christist environment where the insanities of Islam did not immediately occur to them. You must take the Curses of ALL those in the third Chapter seriously, not just the Christist!!!

This has led to so much confusion of thought that THE BEAST 666 has preferred to let names stand as they are, and to proclaim simply that AIWAZ — the solar-phallic-hermetic "Lucifer"

[In the sense of Light-Bearer, for which the serious reader is referred to our many remarks throughout this entire series of annotated Crowley editions.]

is His own Holy Guardian Angel, and "The Devil" SATAN or HADIT of our particular unit of the Starry Universe.

[He means Sol. It is, however, incorrect to equate Aiwass or "Satan" with Hadit. It is (perhaps) correct to say that an Ipsissimus is Hadit. But it is not correct to say that Hadit is an Ipsissimus.
Furthermore, it might be correct to say that Sol is Hadit; but it is not correct to say that Hadit is Sol. It is clearly written: "I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star." Every heart of man, in the sense of the heart of any member of the human species - Initiated member, at least. And the core of every star, not just Sol.
This is a staggering ample concept, and open to research and testing for thousands of years to come. It could, for instance, apply only to our particular galaxy. Whether or not it does, as we remarked elsewhere, before the advent of Liber Legis the human species had no equal basis - the same things as common ground - on which to deal with little green men in flying saucers, or whatever.]

This serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade "Know Thyself!" and taught Initiation. He is "the Devil" of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is BAPHOMET, the Androgyne

[Please notice this important point, women - and male chauvinist pigs as well.]

who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection. The number of His Atu is XV, which is Yod He, the Monogram of the Eternal, the Father one with the Mother, the Virgin Seed one with all-containing Space.


He is therefore Life, and Love. But moreover his letter is Ayin, the Eye; he is Light, and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty. (Note that the "Jehovah" of the Hebrews is etymologically connected with these. The classical example of such antinomy, one which has led to such disastrous misunderstandings, is that between NU and HAD, North and South, Jesus and John. The subject is too abstruse and complicated to be discussed in detail here. The student should consult the writings of Sir R. Payne Knight, General Forlong, Gerald Massey, Fabre d'Olivet; etc. etc., for the data on which these considerations are ultimately based.) .

It was said by the Sorcerer of the Jura that in order to invoke the Devil it is only necessary to call him with your whole will.

The sorcerer may have meant the Christist "Devil", and not the God of the Witches. If the former, indeed, if you invoke delusion with your whole will, it will become truth - to you, and only to you - and sooner or later it will destroy you. If he meant the latter, as Kipling would say, that is another story. The serious reader is referred to Michelet's "La Sorciere" as a masterful essay on the God of the Witches during the Dark Ages of Europe. (Are you really gone?...Or have they just been transfered to Ronald Reagan's America?...)

This is an universal magical truth, and applies to every other being as much as to the Devil. For the whole will of every man is in reality the whole will of the Universe.

The creation of delusion is the sole occupation of the "Black Brothers". They can do nothing else, because they do not want to do anything else.

It is, however, always easy to call up the demons, for they are always calling you; and you have only to step down to their level and fraternize with them. They will tear you in pieces at their leisure. Not at once; they will wait until you have wholly broken the link between you and your Holy Guardian Angel before they pounce, lest at the last moment you escape.

Anthony of Padua and (in our own times) "Macgregor" Mathers are examples of such victims.

This Antony of Padua is the sorcerer mentioned by the anonymous author of "The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage", and should not be confused with the Francisan monk who was "canonized" for - naturally! - brown-nosing the papacy.

Nevertheless, every magician must firmly extend his empire to the depth of hell. "My adepts stand upright, their heads above the heavens, their feet below the hells."  6.

6.  Liber XC, verse 40. See The Equinox.

This is the reason why the magician who performs the Operation of the "Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage", immediately after attaining to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, must evoke the Four Great Princes of the Evil of the World.

"Obedience and faith to Him that liveth and triumpheth, that reigneth above you in your palaces as the Balance of Righteousness and Truth" is your duty to your Holy Guardian Angel, and the duty of the demon world to you.

These powers of "evil" nature are wild beasts; they must be tamed, trained to the saddle and the bridle; they will bear you well. There is nothing useless in the Universe: do not wrap up your Talent in a napkin, because it is only "dirty money"!

The reference is to one of the parables of the "gospels". "Talent" here is the classical Greek gold currency, not a quality.

With regard to Pacts, they are rarely lawful. There should be no bargain struck. Magick is not a trade, and no hucksters need apply. Master everything, but give generously to your servants, once they have unconditionally submitted.

There is also the questions of alliances with various Powers. These again are hardly ever allowable.  7.

7. Notwithstanding, there exist certain bodies of spiritual beings, in whose ranks are not only angelic forces, but elementals, and even daemons, who have attained to such Right Understanding of the Universe that they have banded themselves together with the object of becoming Microcosms, and realize that their best means to this end is devotion to the service of the true interests of Mankind.

[With emphasis on true.]

Societies of spiritual forces, organized on these lines, dispose of enormous resources. The Magician who is himself sworn to the service of humanity may count upon the heartiest help of these Orders. Their sincerity may always be assured by putting them to the test of the acceptance of the Law of Θελημα. Whoso denies "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" confesses that he still clings to the conflict in his own nature; he is not, and does not want to be, true to himself. "A fortiori", he will prove false to you.

No Power which is not a microcosm in itself — and even archangels reach rarely to this centre of balance — is fit to treat on an equality with Man. The proper study of mankind is God;

[This is a take-off on Alexander Pope, the English poet and essayist.]

with Him is his business; and with Him alone. Some magicians have hired legions of spirits for some special purpose; but it has always proved a serious mistake. The whole idea of exchange is foreign to magick. The dignity of the magician forbids compacts. "The Earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof".

Another quotation from the "Bible", this time the "Old Testament".


The operations of Magick art are difficult to classify, as they merge into each other, owing to the essential unity of their method and result. We may mention:

1.  Operations such as evocation, in which a live spirit is brought from dead matter.

2.  Consecrations of talismans in which a live spirit is bound into "dead" matter and vivifies the same.

3.  Works of divination, in which a live spirit is made to control operations of the hand or brain of the Magician. Such works are accordingly most dangerous, to be used only by advanced magicians, and then with great care.

Now he tells us! Better late than never, one supposes.

4.  Works of fascination, such as operations of invisibility, and transformations of the apparent form of the person or thing concerned. This consists almost altogether in distracting the attention, or disturbing the judgment, of the person whom it is wished to deceive. There are, however, "real" transformations of the adept himself which are very useful. See the Book of the Dead for methods.

He means the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which was never really meant for the dead. It was the standard manual of astral travel; those who were initiates, even of a low grade, possessed a copy. The owner's personal copy was put in his or her coffin; the magnetism of the book, supposedly handled and worked with daily, was believed to help the astral body of the deceased to remain coherent until the next incarnation, thus achieving continuity of consiousness from one existence to the next - a much better sort of immortality than that provided by prolonging the existence of any one physical body.

The assumption of God-Forms can be carried to the point of actual transformation.

5.  Works of Love and Hate, which are also performed (as a rule) by fascination. These works are too easy; and rarely useful. They have a nasty trick of recoiling on the magician.

6.  Works of destruction, which may be done in many different ways. One may fascinate and bend to one's will a person who has of his own right the power to destroy. One may employ spirits or talismans. The more powerful magicians of the last few centuries have employed books.

In private matters these works are very easy, if they be necessary. An adept known to The MASTER THERION once found it necessary to slay a Circe who was bewitching brethren. He merely walked to the door of her room, and drew an Astral T ("traditore", and the symbol of Saturn) with an astral dagger. Within 48 hours she shot herself.  8.

8.  As explained above, in another connexion, he who "destroys" any being must accept it, with all the responsibilities attached, as part of himself. The Adept here in question was therefore obliged to incorporate the elemental spirit of the girl — she was not human, the sheath of a Star, but an advanced planetary daemon, whose rash ambition had captured a body beyond its capacity to conduct — in his own magical vehicle. He thereby pledged himself to subordinate all the sudden accession of qualities — passionate, capricious, impulsive, irrational, selfish, short-sightedness, sensual, fickle, crazy, and desperate, to his True Will; to discipline, co-ordinate and employ them in the Great Work, under the penalty of being torn asunder by the wild horses which he had bound fast to his own body by the act of "destroying" their independent consciousness and control of their chosen vehicle. See His Magical Record An XX, ☉ in ♎ and onward.

[The Record quoted does not refer to the slaying of the "Circe", but to the work of disciplining the new faculties.]

7.  Works of creation and dissolution, and the higher invocations.

There are also hundreds of other operations;  9.

9.  Examples of Rituals for several such purposes are given in the Equinox.

to bring wanted objects — gold, books, women and the like; to open locked doors, to discover treasure; to swim under water; to have armed men at command — etc., etc. All these are really matters of detail; the Adeptus Major will easily understand how to perform them if necessary.   10.

10.   Moral: become an Adeptus Major!

It should be added that all these things happen "naturally".   11.

11.  The value of the evidence that your operations have influenced the course of events is only to be assessed by the application of the Laws of probability. The MASTER THERION would not accept any one single case as conclusive, however improbable it might be. A man might make a correct guess at one chance in ten million, no less than at one in three. If one pick up a pebble, the chance was infinitely great against that particular pebble; yet whichever one was chosen, the same chance "came off". It requires a series of events antecedently unlikely to deduce that design is a work, that the observed changes are causally, not casually, produced. The prediction of events is further evidence that they are effected by will. Thus, any man may fluke a ten shot at billiard, or even make a break of a few strokes. But chance cannot account for consistent success, even if moderate, when it extends over a long period of time. And the ability of the expert to "name his shot" manifests a knowledge of the relations of cause and effect which confirms the testimony of his empirical skill that his success is not chance and coincidence.

Perform an operation to bring gold — your rich uncle dies and leaves you his money;

This is an allusion to Balzac's outstanding magickal parable, "La Peau de Chagrin".

books — you see the book wanted in a catalogue that very day, although you have advertised in vain for a year; woman — but if you have made the spirits bring you enough gold, this operation will become unnecessary.  12.

12.  This cynical statement is an absurdity of Black Magic.

It must further be remarked that it is absolute Black Magic to use any of these powers if the object can possibly be otherwise attained. If your child is drowning, you must jump and try to save him; it won't do to invoke the Undines.

Nor is it lawful in all circumstances to invoke those Undines even where the case is hopeless; maybe it is necessary to you and to the child that it should die. An Exempt Adept on the right road will make no error here — an Adept Major is only too likely to do so. A through apprehension of this book will arm adepts of every grade against all the more serious blunders incidental to their unfortunate positions.


Necromancy is of sufficient importance to demand a section to itself.

It is justifiable in some exceptional cases. Suppose the magician fail to obtain access to living Teachers, or should he need some especial piece of knowledge which he has reason to believe died with some teacher of the past, it may be useful to evoke the "shade" of such a one, or read the "Akasic record" of his mind.  13.

13.  The only minds likely to be useful to the Magician belong to Adepts sworn to suffer reincarnation at short intervals, and the best elements of such minds are bound up in the "Unconscious Self" of the Adept, not left to wander idly about the Astral Plane. It will thus be more profitable to try to get into touch with the "Dead Teacher" in his present avatar. Moreover, Adepts are at pains to record their teaching in books, monuments, or pictures, and to appoint spiritual guardians to preserve such heirlooms throughout the generations. Whenever these are destroyed or lost, the reason usually is that the Adept himself judges that their usefulness is over, and withdraws the forces which protected them. The student is therefore advised to acquiesce; the sources of information available for him are probably selected by the Wardens of Mankind with a view to his real necessities. One must learn to trust one's Holy Guardian Angel to shape one's circumstances with skill. If one be but absorbed in the ardour of one's aspiration toward Him, short indeed is the time before Experience instils the certain conviction that His works and His ways are infinitely apt to one's needs.

If this be done

That is, evocation of the "shade". The latter process involves skrying at a very high level, not evocation.

it must be done properly very much on the lines of the evocation of Apollonius of Tyana, which Eliphas Levi performed.   14.

14.  See Rituel et Dogme de la Haute Magie; Rituel, ch. XIII.

The utmost care must be taken to prevent personation of the "shade". It is of course easy, but can rarely be advisable, to evoke the shade of a suicide, or of one violently slain or suddenly dead.

Easy because the astral body will still be very much coherent, if perhaps very afflicted or very disoriented.

Of what use is such an operation, save to gratify curiosity or vanity?

One must add a word on spiritism, which is a sort of indiscriminate necromancy — one might prefer the word necrophilia — by amateurs. They make themselves perfectly passive, and, so far from employing any methods of protection, deliberately invite all and sundry spirits, demons, shells of the dead, all the excrement and filth of earth and hell, to squirt their slime over them. This invitation is readily accepted, unless a clean man be present with an aura good enough to frighten these foul denizens of the pit.

No spiritualistic manifestation has ever taken place in the presence even of FRATER PERDURABO; how much less in that of The MASTER THERION!

Even the earliest Initiations confer protection. Compare the fear felt by D. D. Home for Eliphas Levi. See Equinox I, X, "The Key of the Mysteries".  15.

15.  Of all the creatures He ever met, the most prominent of English spiritists (a journalist and pacifist of more than European fame) had the filthiest mind and the foulest mouth. He would break off any conversation to tell a stupid smutty story, and could hardly conceive of any society assembling for any other purpose than "phallic orgies", whatever they may be. Utterly incapable of keeping to a subject, he would drag the conversation down again and again to the sole subject of which he really thought — sex and sex-perversions and sex and sex and sex and sex again.

This was the plain result of his spiritism. All spiritists are more or less similarly afflicted. They feel dirty even across the street; their auras are ragged, muddy and malodorous; they ooze the slime of putrefying corpses.

Also, they are sometimes possessed or overshadowed by evil demons, especially if they are Christists.

No spiritist, once he is wholly enmeshed in sentimentality and Freudian fear-phantasms, is capable of concentrated thought, of persistent will, or of moral character. Devoid of every spark of the divine light which was his birthright, a prey before death to the ghastly tenants of the grave, the wretch, like the mesmerized and living corpse of Poe's Monsieur Valdemar, is a "nearly liquid mass of loathsome, of detestable putrescence."

The student of this Holy Magick is most earnestly warned against frequenting their seances, or even admitting them to his presence.

They are contagious as Syphilis, and more deadly and disgusting. Unless your aura is strong enough to inhibit any manifestation of the loathly larvae that have taken up their habitation in them, shun them as you need not mere lepers!  16.

16.  It occurs in certain rare cases that a very unusual degree of personal purity combined with integrity and force of character provides even the ignorant with a certain natural defence, and attracts into his aura only intelligent and beneficent entities. Such persons may perhaps practise spiritualism without obvious bad results, and even with good results, within limits. But such exceptions in no wise invalidate the general rule, or in any way serve as argument against the magical theory outlined above with such mild suasion.


Of the powers of the Sphinx much has been written.  17.

17.  In Liber CXI (Aleph) the subject is treated with profound and all-comprehensive wisdom.

Wisely they have been kept in the forefront of true magical instruction. Even the tyro can always rattle off that he has to know, to dare to will and to keep silence. It is difficult to write on this subject, for these powers are indeed comprehensive, and the interplay of one with the other becomes increasingly evident as one goes more deeply into the subject.

But there is one general principle which seems worthy of special emphasis in this place. These four powers are thus complex because they are the powers of the Sphinx, that is, they are functions of a single organism.

The Sphinx represents the Adept in the Western Occult Tradition, as does the Dragon in the Eastern.

Now those who understand the growth of organisms are aware that evolution depends on adaptation to environment.

Or biologically successful modification of it.

If an animal which cannot swim is occasionally thrown into water, it may escape by some piece of good fortune, but if it is thrown into water continuously it will drown sooner or later, unless it learns to swim.

Organisms being to a certain extent elastic, they soon adapt themselves to a new environment, provided that the change is not so sudden as to destroy that elasticity. Now a change in environment involves a repeated meeting of new conditions, and if you want to adapt yourself to any given set of conditions, the best thing you can do is to place yourself cautiously and persistently among them. That is the foundation of all education.

The old-fashioned pedagogues were not all so stupid as some modern educators would have us think.

By putting emphasis on mnemonics, that is.

The principle of the system was to strike the brain a series of constantly repeated blows until the proper reaction became normal to the organism.

It is not desirable to use ideas which excite interest, or may come in handy later as weapons, in this fundamental training of the mind. It is much better to compel the mind to busy itself with root ideas which do not mean very much to the child, because you are not trying to excite the brain, but to drill it. For this reason, all the best minds have been trained by preliminary study of classics and mathematics.

The same principle applies to the training of the body. The original exercises should be of a character to train the muscles generally to perform any kind of work, rather than to train them for some special kind of work, concentration of which will unfit them for other tasks by depriving them of the elasticity which is the proper condition of life.  18.

18.  Some few forms of exercise are exempt from these strictures. Rock-climbing, in particular, trains every muscle in an endless variety of ways. It moreover compels the learner to use his own judgment, to rely on himself, to develop resource, and to depend upon his own originality to attack each new problem that presents itself. This principle may be extended to all departments of the education of children. They should be put into contact with all kinds of truth,

[Moral, scientific, social, artistic, philosophical, religious, etc. etc. Cf. Liber Aleph, Chs. 30-42.]

and allowed to make their own reflections thereon and reactions thereto, without the least attempt to bias their judgment.

[This last demands a self-restraint that "low men" seem, unfortunately, incapable of.]

Magical pupils should be trained on similar lines. They should be made to work alone from the first, to cover the whole ground impartially, to devise their own experiments and draw their own conclusions.

In Magick and meditation this principle applies with tremendous force. It is quite useless to teach people how to perform magical operations, when it may be that such operations, when they have learned to do them, are not in accordance with their wills. What must be done is to drill the Aspirant in the hard routine of the elements of the Royal Art.

So far as mysticism is concerned, the technique is extremely simple, and has been very simply described in Part I of this Book 4.

See Oriflamme VI 1, "Yoga and Magick".

It cannot be said too strongly that any amount of mystical success whatever is no compensation for slackness with regard to the technique.

It is the technique that trains the lower Will.

There may come a time when Samadhi itself is no part of the business of the mystic. But the character developed by the original training remains an asset. In other words, the person who has made himself a first-class brain capable of elasticity is competent to attack any problem soever, when he who has merely specialized has got into a groove, and can no longer adapt and adjust himself to new conditions.

The principle is quite universal. You do not train a violinist to play the Beethoven Concerto; you train him to play every conceivable consecution of notes with perfect ease, and you keep him at the most monotonous drill possible for years and years before you allow him to go on the platform. You make of him an instrument perfectly able to adjust itself to any musical problem that may be set before him. This technique of Yoga is the most important detail of all our work. The MASTER THERION has been himself somewhat to blame in representing this technique as of value simply because it leads to the great rewards, such as Samadhi. He would have been wiser to base His teaching solely on the ground of evolution. But probably He thought of the words of the poet:

"You dangle a carrot in front of her nose,
And she goes wherever the carrot goes."

For, after all, one cannot explain the necessity of the study of Latin either to imbecile children or to stupid educationalists; for, not having learned Latin, they have not developed the brains to learn anything.

From the point of view of brain-development, German would be just as useful to native English speakers; and from an etymological point of view, it would be better. Conversely, Latin is better for native Romance-language speakers.

The Hindus, understanding these difficulties, have taken the God-Almighty attitude about the matter. If you go to a Hindu teacher, he treats you as less than an earthworm. You have to do this, and you have to do that, and you are not allowed to know why you are doing it.  19.

19.  This does not conflict with the "go-as-you-please" plan put forward in the previous note. An autocratic Adept is indeed a blessing to the disciple, not because he is able to guide the pupil "aright" in the particular path which happens to suit his personality, but because he can compel the beginner to grind away at the weariest work and thus acquire all-round ability, and prevent him from picking out the plums which please him from the Pie of Knowledge, and making himself sick of a surfeit of sweets to the neglect of a balanced diet of wholesome nourishment.

After years of experience in teaching, The MASTER THERION is not altogether convinced that this is not the right attitude. When people begin to argue about things instead of doing them, they become absolutely impossible. Their minds begin to work about it and about, and they come out by the same door as in they went. They remain brutish, voluble, and uncomprehending.

The technique of Magick is just as important as that of mysticism, but here we have a very much more difficult problem, because the original unit of Magick, the Body of Light, is already something unfamiliar to the ordinary person. Nevertheless, this body must be developed and trained with exactly the same rigid discipline as the brain in the case of mysticism.

Maudlin sentimentalists who fancy themselves "mystically inclinced" or even go to the extreme of self-deception of considering themselves Yogis or Yoginis or in some other way "holy", should pay close attention to the above caveat.

The essence of the technique of Magick is the development of the body of Light, which must be extended to include all members of the organism, and indeed of the cosmos.

The most important drill practices are:

1.  The fortification of the Body of Light by the constant use of rituals, by the assumption of god-forms, and by the right use of the Eucharist.

2.  The purification and consecration and exaltation of that Body by the use of rituals of invocation.

3.  The education of that Body by experience. It must learn to travel on every plane; to break down every obstacle which may confront it. This experience must be as systematic and regular as possible; for it is of no use merely to travel to the spheres of Jupiter and Venus, or even to explore the 30 Aethyrs, neglecting unattractive meridians.  20.

20.  The Aspirant should remember that he is a Microcosm. "Universus sum et Nihil universi a me alienum puto"

["I am the Universe, and nothing in the Universe is alien to me."]

should be his motto. He should make it his daily practice to travel on the Astral Plane, taking in turn each of the most synthetic sections, the Sephiroth and the Paths. These being thoroughly understood, and an Angel in each pledged to guard or to guide him at need, he should start on a new series of expeditions to explore the subordinate sections of each. He may then practice Rising on the Planes from these spheres, one after the other in rotation. When he is thoroughly conversant with the various methods of meeting unexpected emergencies, he may proceed to investigate the regions of the Qliphoth and the Demonic Forces. It should be his aim to obtain a comprehensive knowledge of the entire Astral Plane, with impartial love of truth for its own sake; just as a child learns the geography of the whole planet, though he may have no intention of ever leaving his native land.

The object is to possess a Body which is capable of doing easily any particular task that may lie before it. There must be no selection of special experience which appeals to one's immediate desire. One must go steadily through all possible pylons.

FRATER PERDRABO was very unfortunate in not having magical teachers to explain these things to Him. He was rather encouraged in unsystematic working. Very fortunate, on the other hand, was He to have found a Guru who instructed Him in the proper principles of the technique of Yoga, and He, having sufficient sense to recognize the universal application of those principles, was able to some extent to repair His original defects. But even to this day, despite the fact that His original inclination is much stronger towards Magick than towards mysticism, he is much less competent in Magick.  21.

21.  Reconsideration of these remarks, at the request of a loyal colleague, compels Him to admit that this may not be the case, It is true that He has been granted all Mystical Attainment that is theoretically possible, while His powers in Magick seem to be uneven and imperfect. Despite this, it may yet be that He has compassed the Possible. For Mystical Attainments are never mutually exclusive; the trance of Sorrow (for example) is not incompatible with the Beatific Vision, or the "Universal Joke".

[For the meaning of these terms, see Little Essays Toward Truth.]

But in Magick any one Operation debars its performer from accomplishing some other. The reason of this is that the Oath of any Work bonds the Magician once and for all to be the principles implied therein. See Chapter XVI Part I. Further, it is obviously possible to reach the essence of anything without interfering with other things which obstruct each other. Crosscountry journeys are often scarcely practicable.

A trace of this can be seen even in His method of combining the two divisions of our science, for in that method He makes concentration bear the Cross of the work.

Cf. Book Four Part II, "Magick and Mysticism".

This is possibly an error, probably a defect, certainly an impurity of thought, and the root of it is to be found in His original bad discipline with regard to Magick.

If the reader will turn to the account of his astral journeys in the Second Number of the First Volume of the Equinox, he will find that these experiments were quite capricious. Even when, in Mexico, He got the idea of exploring the 30 Aethyrs systematically, He abandoned the vision after only 2 Aethyrs had been investigated.

Very different is His record after the training in 1901 e.v. had put Him in the way of discipline.  22.

22.  Recent developments have enabled Him to correct these conditions, so that this Book (as now finally revised for the Press) may be considered practically free from serious defect in this particular.

At the conclusion of this part of this book, one may sum up the whole matter in these words: There is no object whatever worthy of attainment but the regular development of the being of the Aspirant by steady scientific work; he should not attempt to run before he can walk; he should not wish to go somewhere until he knows for certain whither he wills to go.


Bibliography and Curriculum of the A∴A∴

The reader will find excellent classical examples of rituals of Magick in The Equinox, Volume I, in the following places —

Number I. — The supplement contains considerations for preparing a ritual of self-initiation. The supplement is also a perfect model of what a magical record should be, in respect of the form.

Number II. — On pages 244-288 are given several rituals of Initiation.
Pages 302-317 give an account of certain astral visions.
Pages 326-332 give a formula for Rising on the Planes.

Number III. — Pages 151-169 give details of certain magical formulae.
Pages 170-190 are a very perfect example — classical, old style — of a magical ritual for the evocation of the spirit of Mercury.
Pages 190-197 — a ritual for the consecration of a talisman.
A very perfect example.
Pages 198-205 — a very fine example of a ritual to invoke the Higher Genius.
Pages 208-233 — Ritual of Initiation, with explanation of the same.
Pages 269-272 — Ritual of obtaining the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel by the formula of I.A.O.
Pages 272-278 — Ritual to make one's self invisible.

Number IV. — Pages 43-196 — Treatise, with model Records, of Mental Training appropriate to the Magician.

Number V. — The supplement is the most perfect account of visions extant. They explore the farthest recesses of the magical universe.

Number VI. — the Supplement gives seven rituals of the dramatic order, as described in Chapter XIX.
Pages 29-32 — A highly important magical ritual for daily use and work.

Number VII. — Pages 21-27 — Classical ritual to invoke Mercury; for daily use and work.
Pages 117-157 — Example of a dramatic ritual in modern style.
Pages 229-243 — An elaborate magical map of the universe on particular principles.
Pages 372-375 — Example of a seasonal ritual.
Pages 376-383 — Ritual to invoke Horus.

Number VIII. — Pages 99-128 — The conjuration of the elemental spirits.

Number IX. — Pages 117-136 — Ritual for invoking the spirit of Mars.

Number X. — Pages 57-79 — Modern example of a magical ritual in dramatic form, commemorating the return of Spring.
Pages 81-90 — Fragment of ritual of a very advanced character.


Number 1. — This volume contains an immense number of articles of primary importance to every student of magick.

The majority of these articles are especially important to candidates to the O.T.O..
Equinox III 2 was never published: the Lord of the Aeon intervened for reasons that can be fully clear only to those who read Liber AL, its Comment, and its Commentaries attentively.

Number 3 - The Equinox of the Gods,

Book Four Part Iv, The Law.
Essential to an understanding of Magick, Θελημα, and the Aeon of Horus. It will be re-issued soon as Equinox VII 1, annotated by Marcelo Motta. As an Appendix, it will include the greatly expanded text of Equinox V 1, The Commentaries of AL.

Number 4 - Eight Lectures on Yoga:

a masterpiece of wit and concision, this book is the necessary complement to Yoga and Magick.

Number 5 - The Book of Thoth,

shamelessly pirated by Samuel Weiser, Inc.. This book will be reissued by us, annotated and corrected, since it contains blinds - Crowley's and Germer's foresight of the attempted thefts to come.

Number 6 - Liber Aleph vel CXI,

published by Germer and Motta, and pirated and defaced by several incompetent thieves. A new edition is in preparation by the O.T.O.

The rituals of The Book of Lies and the Goetia are also to be studied. The "preliminary invocation" of the Goetia is in particular recommended for daily use and work.

See Appendix III of the present volume.

Orpheus, by Aleister Crowley, contains a large number of magical invocations in verse. There are also a good many others in other parts of his poetical works.

The following is a complete curriculum of reading officially approved by the A∴A∴

The Curriculum has been updated. Many of the originally quoted works have become rare and some have been supeseded by time.


SECTION 1. — Books for Serious Study:

The Equinox. The standard Work of Reference in all occult matters. The Encyclopaedia of Initiation.

Collected Works of A. Crowley. These works contain many mystical and magical secrets, both stated clearly in prose, and woven into the robe of sublimest poesy.

The Yi King. (S.B.E. Series, Oxford University Press.) The "Classic of Changes"; gives the initiated Chinese system of Magick. The Tao Teh King. (S.B.E. Series.) gives the initiated Chinese system of Mysticism.

Tannhauser, by A. Crowley. An allegorical drama concerning the Progress of the soul; the Tannhauser story slightly remodelled.

The Upanishads. (S.B.E. Series.) The Classical Basis of Vedantism, the best-known form of Hindu Mysticism.

"S.B.E." stands for "Sacred Books of the East", under the general editorship of Max Miller. This outstanding series is now available in Dover Press Editions as quality paperbacks for a moderate price. They are the best translations extant bar ours, which cover only a few volumes as indicated here. The Dover Press editors are to be congratulated on making those priceless books available to contemporary readers.

The Bhagavad-Gita. A dialogue in which Krishna, the Hindu "Christ", expounds a system of Attainment.

The Voice of the Silence, by H. P. Blavatsky, with an elaborate commentary by Frater O. M.

The Goetia. The most intelligible of the mediaeval rituals of Evocation. Contains also the favorite Invocation of the Master Therion.

See Appendix III of this book.

The Shiva Sanhita. A famous Hindu treatise on certain physical practices.

The Hathayoga Pradipika. Similar to The Shiva Sanhita.

Erdmann's "History of Philosophy". A compendious account of philosophy from the earliest times. Most valuable as a general education of the mind.

This book is now rare, expensive and outdated. It can be profitably replaced by Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy.

The Spiritual Guide of Molinos. A simple manual of Christian mysticism.

Close to Christist, but not enough for the Vatican: Molinos was suspected of heresy and his followers were closely watched, threatened and persecuted.

The Star of the West. (Captain Fuller.) An introduction to the study of the Works of Aleister Crowley.

The Dhammapada. (S.B.E. Series, Oxford University Press.) The best of the Buddhist classics.

The Questions of King Milinda. (S.B.E. Series.) Technical points of Buddhist dogma, illustrated by dialogues.

Varieties of Religious Experience. (James.) Valuable as showing the uniformity of mystical attainment.

This book is available in a Modern Library edition.

Kabbala Denudata, von Rosenroth: also the Kabbalah Unveiled, by S. L. Mathers. The text of the Kabalah, with commentary. A good elementary introduction to the subject.

This, however, is the Orthodox Hebrew Kabbalah, most of it as egregiously nonsensical as Christist theological tracts.

Konx om Pax. Four invaluable treatises and a preface on Mysticism and Magick.

One of the treatises, The Wake World, is to be found in Equinox V 4, "Sex and Religion".

The Pistis Sophia. An admirable introduction to the study of Gnosticism.

The Oracles of Zoroaster. An invaluable collection of precepts mystical and magical.

Not, however, by the Magus of the same name, nor Parsee from a religious point of view.

The Dream of Scipio, by Cicero. Excellent for its Vision and its Philosophy.

The best translations of this book have the Greek original side by side with the translation.

The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, by Fabre d'Olivet. An interesting study of the exoteric doctrines of this Master.

A new edition by crowley and Motta is being prepared. D'Olivet's translation is basically Judeo-Christist.

The Divine Pymander, by Hermes Trismegistus. Invaluable as bearing on the Gnostic Philosophy.

Again, the best translations come side by side with the Greek text.

The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, reprint of Franz Hartmann. An invaluable compendium.

This book was done under the inspiration of Blavatsky, the Master, after whom good Franz abandoned the Wine of Iacchus for bourgeois beer. It has been shamelessly pirated by many thieves. It is true the artwork was all in the public domain; but Hartmann's sweat wasn't.

Scrutinium Chymicum, by Michael Maier. One of the best treatises on alchemy.

Written by a Jew, as was the next one on the list. This book is not easily available; some of its most suggestive illustrations can be found in Jung's "Psychology and Alchemy".

Science and the Infinite, by Sidney Klein. One of the best essays written in recent years.

Now, however, outdated. Any of Issac Asimov's or Arthur C. Clarke's collections of essays on science will replace it with profit.

Two Essays of the Worship of Priapus, by Richard Payne Knight. Invaluable to all students.

Several editions of this book are now available. The best American one was done by Lyle Stuart. For once, no edition is piracy. The book has been in the public domain for almost a century.

The Golden Bough, by J. G. Frazer. The Text-Book of folk Lore. Invaluable to all students.

Still, incredibly, the best book on the subject. Several "annotated editions" (read expurgated) have been done; the only purpose was to disguise or minimize the fact that Frazer's book is a relentless exposure of the insane theology of Christism. The serious student should try to acquire the full edition in several volumes; next, the only edition in one volume authorized by the author himself. This is one of the most important books of this or any other century.

The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine. Excellent, though elementary, as a corrective to superstition.

It should be remarked that Paine experienced as many difficulties in his time as did Crowley and Germer in theirs, and we in ours.

Rivers of Life, by General Forlong. An invaluable text-book of old systems of initiation.

Hard to find as of this date, but worth looking for.

Three Dialogues, by Bishop Berkeley. The Classic of subjective idealism.

Essays of David Hume. The Classic of Academic Scepticism.

First Principles, by Herbert Spencer. The Classic of Agnosticism.

Prolegomena, by Emanuel Kant. The best introduction to Metaphysics.

With regard to the preceding four works, the serious student should consult Liber Os vel Abysmi, Equinox I, 7, p. 77

The Canon. The best text-book of Applied Qabalah.

This book is now available in - naturally - a pirated edition. It was originally published anonymously.

The Fourth Dimension, by H. Hinton. The text-book on this subject.

It still is.

The Essays of Thomas Henry Huxley. Masterpieces of philosophy, as of prose.

Still, very actual as philosophy, and monumental as style. The following books have been added by this editor: they were not extant when Crowley provided the Curriculum; in fact, many of them were directly or indirectly inspired by Therion's Magick:

The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir. Although this book is now many respects outdated, it was the first statement of feminism to become internationally famous, and still gives the basic point of view of intelligent modern women very clearly. The serious reader should study it and

The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Frieden, before perusing the following books on this list; for the revolutionary implications of Darwin's and Wilson's work are even more important to women than to men at the present stage of human social evolution.

Nature and Man's Fate, by Garrett Hardin. The only valid critique of Marxism ever written: it goes to the heart of the Socialist fallacy without kowtowing to what bleats all over the world under the label of "democracy". The serious reader should not be surprised to discover that the book is apparently about Darwin and the Law of Evolution.

Sociobiology, by Edward O. Wilson. Probably the most important book since Darwin's The Origin of the Species, and as revolutionary in it implications as Darwin's. Professor Wilson has, naturally, been the target of slaves and slave-drivers ever since this book first came to light in 1975 e.v.. It is difficult to read this book as it is to read The Origin of Species - both are strikingly original works written for scientific minds of the highest caliber by scientific minds of the highest caliber, expressing a totally new approach to cherished half-facts and entrenched delusions. The serious reader may find it profitable to read first

Sociobiology and Behavior, by David P. Barash. At present, Professor Wilson's book is available from the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Professor Barash's from Elsevier, New York, New York.

The object of this course of reading is to familiarize the student with all that has been said by the Great Masters in every time and country.

Please notice that "Masters" does not exclude scientists or artists. Anyone who has done strikingly original work on behalf of our species is a Master in one school or another; sometimes in several at once.

He should make a critical examination of them; not so much with the idea of discovering where truth lies, for he cannot do this except by virtue of his own spiritual experience, but rather to discover the essential harmony in those varied works. He should be on his guard against partisanship with a favourite author. He should familiarize himself thoroughly with the method of mental equilibrium, endeavouring to contradict any statement soever, although it may be apparently axiomatic. The general object of this course, besides that already stated, is to assure sound education in occult matters, so that when spiritual illumination comes it may find a well-built temple. Where the mind is strongly biased towards any special theory, the result of an illumination is often to inflame that portion of the mind which is thus overdeveloped, with the result that the aspirant, instead of becoming an Adept, becomes a bigot and fanatic.

The A∴A∴ does not offer examination in this course, but recommends these books as the foundation of a library.

SECTION 2. — Other books, principally fiction, of a generally suggestive and helpful kind:

Zanoni, by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. Valuable for its facts and suggestions about Mysticism.

Lytton was Eliphas Levi's favorite English pupil, and a past incarnation of Marcelo Motta. Zanoni should be read in connection with The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, on which it was inspired as much as Levi's teaching. As ethical philosophy Zanoni is primary, but as occult fiction it still works.

A Strange Story, by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. Valuable for its facts and suggestions about Magick.

This is actually a better book than Zanoni; perhaps for this reason it has not enjoyed as popular a career.

The Blossom and the Fruit, by Mabel Collins. Valuable for its account of the Path.

Petronius Arbiter. Valuable for those who have wit to understand it.

By this he means especially The Satyricon.

The Golden Ass, by Apuleius. Valuable for those who have wit to understand it.

Le Comte de Gabalis. Valuable for its hints of those things which it mocks.

This book purported to be a satyre against the legendary "Rosicrucians", who were as fashionable at the time as Scientology and "Transcendental Meditation" in their day.

The Rape of the Lock, by Alexander Pope. Valuable for its account of elementals.

Undine, by de la Motte Fouque. Valuable as an account of elementals.

Black Magic, by Marjorie Bowen. An intensely interesting story of sorcery.

Albeit blatantly Christist in its moralisms, this book is interesting as being perhaps the first feminist occult novel in history.

Le Peau de Chagrin, by Honore de Balzac. A magnificent magical allegory.

Most useful to those who have read their Sterne. It teaches Prudence in the sense of the the introduction to Tristam Shandy, which is the sense of Liber Aleph, Ch. 53, and of Atu IX.

Number Nineteen, by Edgar Jepson. An excellent tale of modern magic.

Dracula, by Bram Stoker. Valuable for its account of legends concerning vampires.

Scientific Romances, by H. Hinton. Valuable as an introduction to the study of the Fourth Dimension.

Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.

Alice Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.

The Hunting of the Snark, by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.

The Arabian Nights, translated by either Sir Richard Burton or John Payne. Valuable as a storehouse of oriental magick-lore.

Morte d'Arthur, by Sir Thomas Mallory. Valuable as a storehouse of occidental Magick-lore.

The Works of Francois Rabelais. Invaluable for Wisdom.

The best English translation is Samuel Putnam's.

The Kasidah, by Sir Richard Burton. Valuable as a summary of philosophy.

The Song Celestial, by Sir Edwin Arnold. "The Bhagavad-Gita" in verse.

The Light of Asia, by Sir Edwin Arnold. An account of the attainment of Gotama Buddha.

The Rosicrucians, by Hargrave Jennings. Valuable to those who can read between the lines.

The Real History of the Rosicrucians, by A. E. Waite. A good vulgar piece of journalism on the subject.

The Works of Arthur Machen. Most of these stories are of great magical interest.

Basically Christist in morality, albeit a liberal old-fashioned no-Papism-please Anglican kind of morality, Machen was a superb stylist and one of the few serious members of the old "Golden Dawn".

The Writings of William O'Neill (Blake). Invaluable to all students.

We demur. Most of the "prophetic writings" are of interest to Englishpersons (real Englishpersons, the kind who think the Hanover infestation should go back where it came from) only. The occult student from other shores should concentrate on the shorter poems, to which the "Songs of Innocence and Experience" form a good introduction, and on "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell", which is one of the most remarkable pieces of original thought ever produced, and - as he says - invaluable to all who would understand and practice Thelemic ethics.

The Shaving of Shagpat, by George Meredith. An excellent allegory.

Lilith, by George MacDonald. A good introduction to the Astral.

Basically, Christist in morality, however.

La-Bas, by J. K. Huysmans. An account of the extravagances caused by the Sin-complex.

The Lore of Proserpine, by Maurice Hewlett. A suggestive enquiry into the Hermetic Arcanum.

En Route, by J. K. Huysmans. An account of the follies of Christian mysticism.

Sidonia the Sorceress, by Wilhelm Meinhold.

The Amber Witch, by Wilhelm Meinhold.
These two tales are highly informative.

Mostly, however, about the "Christian love and tolerance" practised in Europe just before the Renaissance. Meinhold's concept of magic and black magic is straight out of the grimoires and the pulpit. Lutherain pulpit, but pulpit nevertheless.

Macbeth; Midsummer Night's Dream; The Tempest, by W. Shakespeare. Interesting for traditions treated.

According to Crowley, the invocations in verse can be profitably used.

Redgauntlet, by Sir Walter Scott. Also one or two other novels. Interesting for traditions treated.

Rob Roy, by James Grant. Interesting for traditions treated.

The Magician, by W. Somerset Maugham. An amusing hotchpot of stolen goods.

Maugham's later introduction to this book, however, shows him to have become a mean and petty faggot as he aged. Inferior wines turn to vinegar.

The Bible, by various authors unknown. The Hebrew and Greek Originals are of Qabalistic value.

Originals? Maybe so,in the case of Hebrew texts. The Greek texts are adulterated piracies of Gnostic authors, and their Qabalistic value depends on where the text is accurate and where it is not. As a rule, only an Initiate of the true Christian current will be able to discriminate between chaff and wheat.

It contains also many magical apologues, and recounts many tales of folk-lore and magical rites.

Kim, by Rudyard Kipling. An admirable study of Eastern thought and life.

As it was when the book was written. India has become independent since; the result seems to prove that slaves should serve.

Many other stories by this author are highly suggestive and informative.

He means the short-story form, of which Kipling was and remains a master. Much of his verse, also, is extremely useful to Thelemites.
We append a few works of contemporary writers:

The Magic Island, by William Seabrook, Inspired and oriented by Crowley, it remains the single valid treatment of Haitian Voodoo by an outsider. It has, of course, been heatedly criticized by Christist missionaries, and at least one Jesuit priest has called it utter nonsense - especially in what concerns the mystical meaning behind the Goat Sacrifice.

Rosemary's Baby, by Ira Levin. Utter nonsense, of course; but amusing nonsense, and useful as a slap in the face of conventional Christist morality.

Woman's Mysteries, by Dr. M. Esther Harding. Another study, from a Jungian point of view.

The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype, by Erich Neumann. Another Jungian approach. This book is chiefly valuable for its profusion of marvellous illustrations. They may even, to an extent, initiate those sensitive enough to react to images and who have genetic memory of the Aeon of Isis. The text, like Jung's own "Psychology and Alchemy", is to be taken with serious reservations, especially by women. Were the author not a male and a Jew!

The Encyclopaedia of Witchcraft and Demonology, by Professor Rossell Hope Robbins. The only civilized modern study of the two subjects. Invaluable to all students.

La Sorciere, by Jules Michelet. Invaluable to students of the witch craft as it was practised by women in the Middle Ages in Europe, and the psychological pressures that led those women to brave the terrible dangers of the craft. The book is particularly valuable in that Michelet, writing soon after and an intellectual son of the French Revolution, believed in neither the Christist god or the Christist devil.

The God of the Witches and The Witch Cult in Western Europe, by Dr. Margaret A. Murray. Two highly original anthropological studies of the Wycca religion. Many of her conclusions are intuitional leaps rather than deductions from facts, which has led many scholars to view her work with reservations. They are, nevertheless, valuable. Especially so to women who are also occult students.

The Sea Priestess and Moon Magic, by Dion Fortune (Violet M. Firth).
The first feminine (but not feminist) approach to occult fiction writing since Marjorie Bowen. Primary from the Initiatic point of view, but readable.

The Secrets of Dr. Taverner, by Dion Fortune (Violet M. Firth).
The tales of the occult collected under this title are allegedly fictional accounts of Ms. Firth's own paranormal experiences. They are all readable; some are interesting. "The Goat-Footed God", however, a novel that purports to do for occultism what Ulysses did for modern literature, is more heavy-footed than a bull, and just as full of shit.

Psychic Self-Defense, by Dion Fortune (Violet M. Firth).
This would have gone down better as fiction, especially Ms. Firth's "skrying of Akasic records" to explain other people's present behavior from their behavior in supposed past incarnations. But not everybody can be a Blavatsky. Ms. Firth once wrote a letter to Aleister Crowley telling him that she would follow him secretly but disavow him in public. This led to a comfortable existence and an undeserved reputation for wisdom. It is not on record that Ms. Firth ever extended any financial help to the man whose work she copied and profited from, not even when, in his later years, he was often close to starvation. Francis "Israel" Regardie, while living in England, became Ms. Firth's paramour for a time. Like attracts like.

Moonchild and Diary of a Drug Fiend, by Aleister Crowley. These two novels are more highly informative than anything Ms. Firth ever wrote. The first is in a light, satirical vein; the second has a more serious approach. They are both of the greatest value to a Thelemic student.

Flim-Flam, by James Randi. This book should be read by all serious occultists. It debunks and exposes charlatansim in all its forms, conscious and unconscious. If it won't make you a more responsible occultist, at least it may make you a less gullible one.

For Mythology, as teaching Correspondences:
Books of Fairy Tales generally.
Oriental Classics generally.
Sufi Poetry generally.
Scandinavian and Teutonic Sagas generally.
Celtic Folk-Lore generally.

With respect to future mythologies, and mythologies that are springing from the rapid changes taking place on the planet due to the impact of the New Aeon, the serious student should read science fiction, epecially writers like Arthur C. Clarke, Jack Vance, John Varley, the early Robert Heinlein, the early Andre Norton, Issac Asimov, John Wyndham, Larry Niven, Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, Theodore Sturgeon, Katharine MacLean, Anne McCaffrey's novels, Vonda McIntyre's novels, Ray Bradbury's short stories, Damon Knight, C.J. Cherryh, and many other talents past and present.

This course is of general value to the beginner. While it is not to be taken, in all cases, too seriously, it will give him a general familiarity with the mystical and magical tradition, create a deep interest in the subject, and suggest many helpful lines of thought.

It has been impossible to do more, in this list, than to suggest a fairly comprehensive course of reading.

Official publications of the A∴A∴

Liber I.

Liber B vel Magi.
An account of the Grade of Magus, the highest grade which it is ever possible to manifest in any way whatever upon this plane. Or so it is said by the Masters of the Temple. Equinox VII, p. 5.

Liber II.
The Message of the Master Therion.
Explains the Essence of the new law in a very simple manner. Equinox XI (Vol. III, No. 1), p. 39.

Liber III.
Liber Jugorum.
An instruction for the control of speech, action and thought. Equinox IV, p. 9 & Appendix VI of this book.

Liber IV. ABA.
A general account in elementary terms of magical and mystical powers.
Part. 1. Mysticism — published.
Part 2. Magick (Elementary Theory) — published.
Part 3. Magick in Theory and Practice (this book).
Part 4. The Law.

Also known as the Equinox of the Gods

Note by David Bersson: Note that the Equinox of the Gods hadn't been completed yet - when this book was originally done in 1929 e.v. and it wasn't until 1936 e.v. that it appeared as Equinox Volume III, number 3. Mr. Motta gave me one of the editions of this book that he received from Karl Germer many years ago when I became the Lodge Master of the Menthu Lodge.

Liber VI.
Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae.
Instructions given for elementary study of the Qabalah,

Actually, it would be better to say practical study of the Qabalah. There is nothing elementary about it after the student has been practicing the book for two or three decades, as he or she should.

Assumption of God forms, vibration of Divine Names, the Rituals of Pentagram and Hexagram, and their uses in protection and invocation, a method of attaining astral visions so-called, and an instruction in the practice called Rising on the Planes. Equinox II, p. 11 and appendix VI in this book.

Liber VII. Liber Liberi vel Lapis Lazuli, Adumbratio Kabbalae Aegyptiorum. sub Figura VII.
Being the Voluntary Emancipation of a certain exempt Adept from his Adeptship. These are the Birth Words of a Master of the Temple.
Its 7 chapters are referred to the 7 planets in the following order: Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Sol, Mercury, Luna, Venus.


Liber IX.
Liber E vel Exercitiorum.
Instructs the aspirant in the necessity of keeping a record. Suggests methods of testing physical clairvoyance. Gives instruction in Asana, Pranayama and Dharana, and advises the application of tests to the physical body, in order that the student may thoroughly understand his own limitations. Equinox I, p. 25 & Appendix VI of this Book.

Liber X.
Liber Porta Lucis.
An account of the sending forth of the Master Therion by the A∴A∴ and an explanation of His mission.
Equinox VI, p. 3.

Liber XI.
Liber NV.
An Instruction for attaining Nuit. Equinox VII, p. 11.

Liber XIII.
Graduum Montis Abiegni.
An account of the task of the Aspirant from Probationer to Adept. Equinox III, p. 3.

Liber XV.
Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Cannon Missae.
Represents the original and true pre-Christian Christianity.
Equinox XI (vol. iii, part 1) And Appendix VI of this book.

Liber XVI.
Liber Turris vel Domus Dei.
An Instruction for attainment by the direct destruction of thoughts as they arise in the mind.
Equinox VI, p. 9.

A very difficult and most important Instruction. It gives independence from telepathic influence of any sort and at any level of the Ruach.

Liber XVII.
Liber I.A.O.
Gives three methods of attainment through a willed series of thoughts. Unpublished. It is the active form of Liber CCCLXI.

Liber XXI.
The Classic of Purity, by Ko Hsuen.
A new translation from the Chinese by the Master Therion. Unpublished.

Liber XXV.
The Ritual of the Star Ruby.
An improved form of the lesser ritual of the Pentagram, Liber CCCXXXIII, The Book of Lies, pp. 34 & 35.
Also Appendix VI of this book.

Liber XXVII.
Liber Trigrammaton, being a book of Trigrams of the Mutations of the Tao with the Yin and Yang. An account of the cosmic process: corresponding to the stanzas of Dzyan in another system. Unpublished.

It will be published in Equinox VII along with the Shih Yi Jien, which is organically interwoven with it.

Note by David Bersson: It should be noted at this point that this was never published, and many other publications mentioned for the future were never completed as a consequence of the death of Marcelo Motta. In addition, these manuscripts that were supposed to be published were never sent to me after Mr. Motta's death. After twenty-five years and more it seems unlikely that they were preserved - and yet if any of them ever turns up - send them to me - and I will make them available.
David Bersson
P.O. Box 59326
Pittsburgh, PA 15210

Liber XXX.
Liber Librae.
An elementary course of morality suitable for the average man. Equinox I, p. 17.

An account of A∴A∴ first written in the Language of his period by the Councillor Von Eckartshausen and now revised and rewritten in the Universal Cipher. Equinox I, p. 4.

Liber XXXVI.
The Star Sapphire.
An improved ritual of the Hexagram. Liber CCCXXXIII (The Book of Lies), p.p. 46 & 7, and Appendix VI of this book.

Liber XLI.
Thien Tao.
An Essay on Attainment by the Way of Equilibrium. Knox Om Pax, p. 52

Liber XLIV
The Mass of the Phoenix.
A Ritual of the Law. Liber CCCXXXIII
(The Book of Lies), pp. 57-7, and Appendix VI in this book.

Liber XLVI.
The Key of the Mysteries.
A Translation of "La Clef des Grands Mysteres", by Eliphas Levi. Specially adapted to the task of the Attainment of Bhakta-Yoga. Equinox X, Supplement.

Liber XLIX.
Shi Yi Chien.
An account of the divine perfection illustrated by the seven-fold permutation of the Dyad. Unpublished.

It will be published as part of Volume VII of the Equinox.

Liber LI.
The Lost Continent.
An account of the continent of Atlantis: the manners and customs, magical rites and opinions of its people, together with a true account of the catastrophe, so called, which ended in its disappearance. Unpublished.

This entire description is misleading. Actually, under the guise of speaking of Atlantis, Liber LII provides a series of hints on possible benefits and problems of O.T.O. training.

Liber LV.
The Chymical Jousting of Brother Perardua with the seven Lances that he brake.
An account of the Magical and Mystic Path in the language of Alchemy. Equinox I, p. 88.

Liber LVIII.
An article on the Qabalah in Equinox V, p. 65.

Liber LIX.
Across the Gulf.
A fantastic account of a previous Incarnation. Its principal interest lies in the fact that its story of the overthrowing of Isis by Osiris may help the reader to understand the meaning of the overthrowing of Osiris by Horus in the present Aeon. Equinox VII, p. 293.

The average reader is strongly warned that the adjective fantastic is earnestly meant.

Liber LXI.
Liber Causae.
Explains the actual history and origin of the present movement.

Of the White School of Magick, he means. "Mythopeia" is roughly the equivalent of "mystification" in the active sense in this context.

Its statements are accurate in the ordinary sense of the word. The object of the book is to discount Mythopeia. Equinox XI, p. 55.

Liber LXIV.
Liber Israfel, formerly called Anubis. An instruction in a suitable method of preaching. Unpublished.

Liber LXV.
Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente.
An account of the relations of the Aspirant with his Holy Guardian Angel. Equinox XI (vol. iii, part 1), p. 65.

Reprinted with an extensive Commentary by Crowley and clarifying annotations by Motta in Equinox V 2.

Liber LXVI.
Liber Stellae Rubeae.
A secret ritual, the Heart of IAO-OAI, delivered unto V.V.V.V.V. for his use in a certain matter of Liber Legis. See Liber CCCXXXIII (The Book of Lies), pp. 34-5. Also Appendix VI in this book.

Liber LXVII.
The Sword of Song.
A critical study of various philosophies. An account of Buddhism. A. Crowley, Collected Works, Vol. ii, pp. 140-203.

Liber LXXI.
The Voice of the Silence, the Two Paths, the Seven Portals,
by H. P. Blavatsky, with an elaborate commentary by Frater O. M.
Equinox III, I. Supplement.

Liber LXXXIII. — The Urn.
This is the sequel to The Temple of Solomon the King, and is the Diary of a Magus. This book contains a detailed account of all the experiences passed through by the Master Therion in his attainment of this grade of Initiation, the highest possible to any manifested Man. Unpublished.

A complete treatise on the Tarot giving the correct designs of the cards with their attributions and symbolic meanings on all the planes. Part-published in Equinox VII, p.143.

Liber LXXXI.
The Butterfly Net.
An account of a magical operation, particularly concerning the planet Luna, written in the form of a novel. Published under the title "Moon-child" by the Mandrake Press, 41, Museum St., London, W.C.1.

The Mandrake Press was forced out of business for publishing Crowley soon after issuing his second long fiction work, The Diary of a Drug-fiend. Both books are, however, available in several pirate editions.

Liber LXXXIV. Vel Chanokh.
A brief abstraction of the Symbolic representation of the Universe derived by Dr. John Dee through the Scrying of Sir Edward Kelly. Part-published in Equinox VII, p. 229 & VIII, p. 99.

Liber XC.
Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus.
An account of Initiation, and an indication as to those who are suitable for the same. Equinox VI, p. 17.

Liber XCV.
The Wake-World.
A poetical allegory of the relations of the soul and the Holy Guardian Angel. Konx Om Pax, p. 1.

Liber XCVI.
Liber Gaias.
A Handbook of Geomancy. Equinox II, p. 137.

Liber CVI.
A Treatise on the Nature of Death, and the proper attitude to be taken towards it.
Published in "The International", New York, 1917.

Liber CXI (Aleph).
The Book of Wisdom or Folly.
An extended and elaborate commentary on the Book of the Law, in the form of a letter from the Master Therion to his magical son. Contains some of the deepest secrets of initiation, with a clear solution of many cosmic and ethical problems.

Liber CL.
De Lege Libellum.
A further explanation of the Book of the Law, with special reference to the Powers and Privileges conferred by its acceptance. Equinox III, part 1, p. 99.

Liber CLVI.
Liber Cheth, vel Vallum Abiegni.
A perfect account of the task of the Exempt Adept considered under the symbols of a particular plane, not the intellectual. Equinox 1, VI, p. 23.

Liber CLVII.
The Tao Teh King.
A new translation, with a commentary, by the Master Therion.

Equinox V 3, "The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism".

Liber CLXV.
A Master of the Temple, Being an account of the attainment of Frater Unus In Omnibus. The record of a man who actually attained by the system taught by the A∴A∴ Part-published in Equinox III, I, p. 127.

One of the many motives why Equinox III 2 was never published was Crowley's intention to publish the second part of this record. By the time the issue would have been printed it had become clear that "Frater Unus in Omnibus" had failed to cross the Abyss.

Liber CLXXV.
Astarte vel Liber Berylli.
An instruction in attainment by the method of devotion, or Bhakta-Yogi. Equinox VII, p. 37.

Liber Collegii Sancti. Being the tasks of the Grades and their Oaths proper to Liber XIII. This is the official paper of the various grades. It includes the Task and Oath of a Probationer. Unpublished.

This Book is given to every Probationer who successfully concludes Probation and becomes a Neophyte.

The High History of Good Sir Palamedes the Saracen Knight and of his following of the Questing Beast.
A poetic account of the Great Work and enumeration of many obstacles.
Equinox IV, Special Supplement.

This is a remarkable piece of work, one of Crowley's many masterpieces of Initiatic poetry. However, one must be already fairly advanced in the Path to profit from its references to the obstacles.

Liber CC. Resh vel Helios.
An instruction for the adoration of the Sun four times daily, with the object of composing the mind to meditation, and of regularising the practices.
Equinox VI, p. 29.

Liber CCVI.
Liber RU vel Spiritus.
Full instruction in Pranayama. Equinox VII, p. 59.

Liber CCVII. Syllabus. An enumeration of the Official publications of A∴A∴ with a brief description of the contents of each book. Equinox XI (vol. iii part 1), p. 11.
This appendix is extracted therefrom.

Liber CCXX (L vel Legis). The Book of the Law, which is the foundation of the whole work.
Text in Equinox X, p. 9. Short commentary in Equinox VII, p. 378. Full commentary by the Master Therion through whom it was given to the world, will be published shortly.

"Shortly" took over fifty years. See Equinox V 1, The Commentaries of AL.

Liber CCXVI. The Yi King. A new translation, with a commentary by the Master Therion.

Equinox V 3, "The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism".

Liber Arcanorum ton ATU tou TAHUTI quas vidit ASAR in AMENNTI sub figura CCXXXI. Liber Carcerorum ton QLIPHOTH cum suis Geniis. Adduntur Sigilla et Nomina Eorum. An account of the cosmic process so far as it is indicated by the Tarot Trumps. Equinox VII, p. 69.

An exposition in poetic language of several of the ways of attainment and the results obtained. Equinox III, p. 9

This Book differs from Liber CXCVII chiefly in that the latter describes obstacles along the Path, rather than the Path itself.

Liber CCLXV.
The Structure of the Mind.
A Treatise on psychology from the mystic an magical standpoint. Its study will help the aspirant to make a detailed scientific analysis of his mind, and so learn to control it. Unpublished.

Liber CCC. Khabs am Pekht.
A special instruction for the Promulgation of the Law. This is the first and most important duty of every Aspirant of whatever grade. It builds up in him the character and Karma which forms the Spine of Attainment. Equinox III, I, p. 171

The Book of Lies falsely so-called. Deals with many matters on all planes of the very highest importance. It is an official publication for Babes of the Abyss, but is recommended even to beginners as highly suggestive. Published.

A new edition commented by Crowley and annotated by Marcelo Motta is in preparation.

Liber CCCXXXV. Adonis.
An account in poetic language of the struggle of the human and divine elements in the consciousness of man, giving their harmony following on the victory of the latter.
Equinox VII, p. 117.

Liber H.H.H. Gives three methods of attainment through a willed series of thoughts.
Equinox I 5, p. 5.

Liber CCCLXV, vel CXX.
The Preliminary Invocation of the Goetia so-called, with a complete explanation of the barbarous names of evocation used therein, and the secret rubric of the ritual, by the Master Therion. This is the most potent invocation extant, and was used by the Master Himself in his attainment. See p. 265 of this book.

Liber CD.
Liber TAU vel Kabbalae Truium Literarum sub figura CD. A graphic interpretation of the Tarot on the plane of initiation. Equinox VII, p. 75.

Liber CCCCXII. A vel Armorum.
An instruction for the preparation of the elemental Instruments.
Equinox I, IV, p. 15.

Liber XXX AERUM vel Saeculi.
Being of the Angels of the Thirty Aethyrs, the Vision and the Voice. Besides being the classical account of the thirty Aethyrs and a model of all visions, the cries of the Angels should be regarded as accurate, and the doctrine of the function of the Great White Brotherhood understood as the foundation of the Aspiration of the Adept. The account of the Master of the Temple should in particular be taken as authentic.
Equinox V, Special Supplement.

This was re-printed as "The Vision and the Voice", with extensive notes by the Seer, by Frater SATURNUS X°, Mr. Karl Johannes Germer, as Oriflamme II 1 in the Summer Solstice (L.N.) of 1952 e.v.. It was subsequently pirated by an ex-secretary of Crowley and failed Probationer called Francis (a.k.a. "Israel") Regardie, who mangled the author's notes and mixed with his own asinine comments. A new authorized edition, with the original text intact and notes by Marcelo Motta, is being prepared by the O.T.O..

Liber CDLXXIV. Os Abysmi vel Da'ath.
An instruction in a purely intellectual method of entering the Abyss.
Equinox VII, p. 77.

Liber D.
Sepher Sephiroth. A dictionary of Hebrew words arranged according to their numerical value. This is an Encyclopaedia of the Holy Qabalah, which is a Map of the Universe, and enables man to attain Perfect Understanding. Equinox I, VIII, Special Supplement.

Liber DXXXVI. A complete Treatise on Astrology.
This is the only text book on astrology composed on scientific lines by classifying observed facts instead of deducting from a priori theories. Unpublished.

Part of this work has been pirated in several countries. The complete text has been recovered, and will be published by the O.T.O.

An instruction in expansion of the field of the mind.
Equinox X, p. 35.

An instruction for attaining Hadit. Equinox VII, p. 83.

De Thaumaturgia.
A statement of certain ethical considerations concerning Magick. Unpublished.

The Beast.
An account of the Magical Personality who is the Logos of the present Aeon. Unpublished.

Liber DCCLXXVII. (777).
Vel Prolegomena Symbolica Ad Systemam Sceptico-Mysticae Viae Explicandae, Fundamentum Hieroglyphicorum sanctissimorum Scientae Summae.
A complete Dictionary of the Correspondences of all magical elements, reprinted with extensive additions, making it the only standard comprehensive book of reference ever published. It is to the language of Occultism what Webster or Murray is to the English Language. The reprint with additions will shortly be published.

It was published by Frater SATURNUS X°, Mr. Karl Johannes Germer, and since pirated by several unscrupulous fringe publishers. A new, greatly augmented edition, is being prepared by the O.T.O..

Energised Enthusiasm.
Specially adapted to the task of Attainment of Control of the Body of Light, development of Intuition and Hathayoga.
Equinox IX, p. 17.

An account of the Hexagram and the method of reducing it to the Unity, and Beyond. Unpublished.

Liber DCCCXXXI. Liber IOD, formerly called VESTA.
An instruction giving three methods of reducing the manifold consciousness to the Unity. Adapted to facilitate the task of the Attainment of Raja-Yoga and of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Equinox VII, p. 101.

The Law of Liberty. This is a further explanation of the Book of the Law in reference to certain Ethical problems. Equinox XI (vol. III, No. 1), p. 45.

Liber DCCCLX. John St. John.
The Record of the Magical Retirement of G. H. Frater OM
A model of what a magical record should be, so far as accurate analysis and fullness of description are concerned. Equinox I, Supplement.

An annotated edition of this Book is being prepared by the O.T.O.

Liber Viarum Viae.
A graphical account of magical powers classified under the Tarot Trumps. Equinox VII, p. 101.

A complete study of the origins of Christianity. Unpublished.

Published as Oriflamme II 2 by Frater SATURNUS X°, Mr. Karl Johannes Germer in 1953 e.v.

Liber תישארב
Liber Viae Memoriae.
Gives methods for attaining the magical memory, or memory of past lives, and an insight into the function of the Aspirant in this present life. Equinox VII, p. 105.

The Cactus.
An elaborate study of the psychological effects produced by Anhalonium Lewinii (Mescal Buttons), compiled from the actual records of some hundreds of experiments. Unpublished.

The Treasure House of Images.
A superb collection of Litanies appropriate to the Signs of the Zodiac. Equinox III, Supplement.

The Greek Qabalah.
A complete dictionary of all sacred and important words and phrases given in the Books of the Gnosis and other important writings both in the Greek and the Coptic. Unpublished.

A Note on Genesis. A model of Qabalistic ratiocination. Specially adapted to Gnana Yoga.


Notes for an Astral Atlas Notes on the nature of the "Astral Plane".  1.

1.  On consideration these notes have been left as they were originally written. In An XVII, Sol in Virgo, Soror Rhodon, a probationer of A∴A∴, at that time in enjoyment of the privilege of sojourning in a certain secret Abbey of Θελημα, asked Him to add to this book an outline of the uranography of the Astral Planes, in less technical language than that of Liber 777. These notes were accordingly jotted down by Him. To elaborate them further would have been to make them disproportionate to the rest of this treatise.

1) What are "Astral" and "Spiritual Beings?"

Man is one: it is a case of any consciousness assuming a sensible form.

Microcosms and elementals. Maybe an elemental (e.g. a dog) has a cosmic conception in which he is a microcosm and man incomplete. No means of deciding same, as in case of kinds of space.  2.

2.  See Poincare, passages quoted infra.

Similarly, our gross matter may appear unreal to Beings clad in fine matter. Thus, science thinks vulgar perceptions "error". We cannot perceive at all except within our gamut; as, concentrated perfumes, which seem malodorous, and time-hidden facts, such as the vanes of a revolving fan, which flies can distinguish.

Hence: no a priori reason to deny the existence of conscious intelligences with insensible bodies. Indeed we know of other orders of mind (flies, etc., possibly vegetables) thinking by means of non-human brain-structures.

But the fundamental problem of Religion is this: Is there any praeter-human Intelligence, of the same order as our own, which is not dependent on cerebral structures consisting of matter in the vulgar sense of the word?

2) "Matter" includes all that is movable. Thus, electric waves are "matter". There is no reason to deny the existence of Beings who perceive by other means those subtle forces which we only perceive by our instruments.

3) We can influence other Beings, conscious or no, as lion-tamers, gardeners, etc., and are influenced by them, as by storms, bacilli, etc.

4) There is an apparent gap between our senses and their correspondences in consciousness. Theory needs a medium to join matter and spirit, just as physics once needed an "ether" to transmit and transmute vibrations.

5) We may consider all beings as parts of ourselves, but it is more convenient to regard them as independent. Maximum Convenience is our cannon of "Truth".  3.

3.   The passages referred to are as follows:

"Les axiomes geometriques ne sont donc ni des jugements synthetiques a priori ni des faits experimentaux. Ce sont des conventions ...
Des lors, que doit-on penser de cette question: La geometrie Euclidienne est-elle vraie?
Elle n'a aucun sens. Autant demander si le systeme metrique est vrai et les anciennes mesures fausses; si les coordonnees cartesiennes sont vraies et les coordonnees polaires fausses. Une geometrie ne peut pas etre plus vraie qu'une autre; elle peut seulement etre "plus commode."
On veut dire que par selection naturelle notre esprit s'est adapte aux conditions du monde exterieur, qu'il a adopte la geometrie la plus avantageuse a l'espece; ou en d'autres termes la plus commode. Cela est conforme tout a fait a nos conclusions; la geometrie n'est pas vraie: elle est avantageuse." Poincare, "La Science et l'Hypothese."

"Nous choisirons donc ces regles non parce qu'elles sont vraies, mais parce qu'elles sont les plus commodes, et nous pourrions les resumer ainsi en disant:

"La simultaneite de dex evenements, ou l'ordre de leur succession, l'egalite de deux durees, doivent etre definies de telle sorte que l'enonce des lois naturelles soit aussi simple que possible. En d'autres termes, toutes ces regles, toutes ces definitions ne sont pas que le fruit d'un opportunisme inconscient." Poincare "La Valeur de la Science."

The Student may consult H. H. Joachim's "The Nature of Truth", in rebuttal. But most of these subtleties miss the point. Truth must be defined. It is a name, being a noun (nomen); and all names are human symbols of things. Now Truth is the power to arouse a certain reaction ("assent") in a man, under certain conditions: ("greenness", weight, all other qualities, are also powers). It exists in the object, whether latent or manifest; so experiencing both does and does not alter the facts. This is Solipsism, because we can only be conscious of our own consciousness; yet it is not Solipsism, because our consciousness tells us that its changes are due to the impact of an external force. Newton's First Law makes this a matter of definition.

"What is truth?", beyond this, inquires into the nature of this power. It is inherent in all things, since all possible propositions, or their contradictories, can be affirmed as true. Its condition is identity of form (or structure) of the Monads involved.

It requires a quality of mind beyond the "normal" to appreciate 0° = X, etc., directly, just as H. H. Joachim's reasoning demands a point-of-view beyond that of the Bushman.

We may thus refer psychical phenomena to the intention of "Astral" Beings, without committing ourselves to any theory. Coherence is the sole quality demanded of us.

6) Magick enables us to receive sensible impressions of worlds other than the "physical" universe (as generally understood by profane science). These worlds have their own laws; their inhabitants are often of quasi-human intelligence; there is a definite set of relations between certain "ideas" of ours, and their expressions, and certain types of phenomena. (Thus symbols, the Qabalah, etc. enable us to communicate with whom we choose.)

7) "Astral" Beings possess knowledge and power of a different kind from our own; their "universe" is presumably of a different kind from ours, in some respects. (Our idea "bone" is not the same as a dog's; a short-sighted man sees things differently to one of normal vision.) It is more convenient to assume the objective existence of an "Angel" who gives us new knowledge than to allege that our invocation has awakened a supernormal power in ourselves. Such incidents as "Calderazzo"   4.

4.  See the story, infra, about the origin of Book 4. and "Jacob"   5.

5.  See the story, infra, about Amalantra. make this more cogent.

8) The Qabalah maps ourselves by means of a convention. Every aspect of every object may thus be referred to the Tree of Life, and evoked by using the proper keys.

9) Time and Space are forms by which we obtain (distorted) images of Ideas. Our measures of Time and Space  6.

6.  See Poincare's essay on the Nature of Space, as an idea invented by ourselves to measure the result of, and explain, our muscular movements. are crude conventions, and differ widely for different Beings. (Hashish shows how the same mind may vary.)

10) We may admit that any aspect of any object or idea may be presented to us in a symbolic form, whose relation to its Being is irrational. (Thus, there is no rational link between seeing a bell struck and hearing its chime. Our notion of "bell" is no more than a personification of its impressions on our senses. And our wit and power to make a bell "to order" imply a series of correspondences between various orders of nature precisely analogous to Magick, when we obtain a Vision of Beauty by the use of certain colours, forms, sounds, etc.)

11) "Astral" Beings may thus be defined in the same way as "material objects"; they are the Unknown Causes of various observed effects. They may be of any order of existence. We give a physical form and name to a bell but not to its tone, though in each case we know nothing but our own impressions. But we record musical sounds by a special convention. We may therefore call a certain set of qualities "Ratziel", or describe an impression as "Saturnian" without pretending to know what anything is in itself. All we need is to know how to cast a bell that will please our ears, or how to evoke a "spirit" that will tell us things that are hidden from our intellectual faculties.

12) (a) Every object soever may be considered as possessed of an "Astral shape", sensible to our subtle perceptions. This "astral shape" is to its material basis as our human character is to our physical appearance. We may imagine this astral shape: e.g. we may "see" a jar of opium as a soft seductive woman with a cruel smile, just as we see in the face of a cunning and dishonest man the features of some animal, such as a fox.
(b) We may select any particular property of any object, and give it an astral shape. Thus, we may take the tricky perils of a mountain, and personify them as "trolls", or the destructive energies of the simoom, as "Jinn".
(c) We may analyse any of these symbols, obtaining a finer form; thus the "spirit" contains an "angel", the angel an "archangel", etc.
(d) We may synthesize any set of symbols, obtaining a more general form. Thus we may group various types of earth-spirit as gnomes.
(e) All these may be attributed to the Tree of Life, and dealt with accordingly.
(f) The Magician may prepare a sensible body for any of these symbols, and evoke them by the proper rites.

13) The "reality" or "objectivity" of these symbols is not pertinent to the discussion. The ideas of X4  and √ -1 have proved useful to the progress of mathematical advance toward Truth; it is no odds whether a Fourth Dimension "exists", or whether √ -1 has "meaning" in the sense that √ 4 has, the number of units in the side of a square of 4 units.

The Astral Plane — real or imaginary — is a danger to anybody who takes it without the grain of salt contained in the Wisdom of the above point of view; who violates its laws either wilfully, carelessly, ignorantly, or by presuming that their psychological character differentiates them from physical laws in the narrower sense; or who abdicates his autonomy, on the ground that the subtler nature of astral phenomena guarantees their authority and integrity.

(14) The variety of the general character of the "planes" of being is indefinitely large. But there are several main types of symbolism corresponding to the forms of plastic presentation established by the minds of Mankind. Each such "plane" has its special appearances, inhabitants, and laws — special cases of the general proposition. Notable among these are the "Egyptian" plane, which conforms with the ideas and methods of magick once in vogue in the Nile valley; the "Celtic" plane, close akin to "Fairyland", with a Pagan Pantheism as its keynote, sometimes concealed by Christian nomenclature: the "Alchemical" plane, where the Great Work is often presented under the form of symbolically constructed landscapes occupied by quasi-heraldic animals and human types hieroglyphically distinguished, who carry on the mysterious operations of the Hermetic Art.

There are also "planes" of Parable, of Fable, and of Folk-lore; in short, every country, creed, and literature has given its characteristic mode of presentation to some "plane" or other.

But there are "planes" proper to every clairvoyant who explores the Astral Light without prejudice; in such case, things assume the form of his own mind, and his perception will be clear in proportion to his personal purity.

On the higher planes, the diversity of form, due to grossness, tends to disappear. Thus, the Astral Vision of "Isis" is utterly unlike that of "Kali". The one is of Motherhood and Wisdom, ineffably candid, clear, and loving; the other of Murder and madness, blood-intoxicated, lust-befogged, and cruel. The sole link is the Woman-symbol. But whoso makes Samadhi on Kali obtains the self-same Illumination as if it had been Isis; for in both cases he attains identity with the Quintessence of the Woman-Idea, untrammelled by the qualities with which the dwellers by the Nile and the Ganges respectively disguised it.

Thus, in low grades of initiation, dogmatic quarrels are inflamed by astral experience; as when Saint John distinguishes between the Whore BABALON and the Woman clothed with the Sun, between the Lamb that was slain and the Beast 666 whose deadly wound was healed; nor understands that Satan, the Old Serpent, in the Abyss, the Lake of Fire and Sulphur, is the Sun-Father, the vibration of Life, Lord of Infinite Space that flames with His Consuming Energy, and is also that throned Light whose Spirit is suffused throughout the City of Jewels.

Each "plane" is a veil of the one above it; the original individual Ideas become diversified as they express their elements. Two men with almost identical ideas on a subject would write two totally different treatises upon it.

15) The general control of the Astral Plane, the ability to find one's way about it, to penetrate such sanctuaries as are guarded from the profane, to make such relations with its inhabitants as may avail to acquire knowledge and power, or to command service; all this is a question of the general Magical attainment of the student.

He must be absolutely at ease in his Body of Light, and have made it invulnerable. He must be adept in assuming all God-forms, in using all weapons, sigils, gestures, words, and signs. He must be familiar with the names and numbers pertinent to the work in hand. He must be alert, sensitive, and ready to exert his authority; yet courteous, gracious, patient, and sympathetic.

16) There are two opposite methods of exploring the Astral Plane.
(a). One may take some actual object in Nature, and analyse it by evoking its astral form, thus bringing it into knowledge and under control by applying the keys of the Qabalah and of Magick.
(b). One may proceed by invoking the required idea, and giving body to the same by attracting to it the corresponding elements in Nature.

17) Every Magician possesses an Astral Universe peculiar to himself, just as no man's experience of the world is conterminous with that of another. There will be a general agreement on the main points, of course; and so the Master Therion is able to describe the principal properties of these "planes", and their laws, just as he might write a geography giving an account of the Five Continents, the Oceans and Seas, the most notable mountains and rivers; he could not pretend to put forth the whole knowledge that any one peasant possesses in respect of his district. But, to the peasant, these petty details are precisely the most important items in his daily life. Likewise, the Magician will be grateful to the Master Therion for the Compass that guides him at night, the Map that extends his comprehension of his country, and shows him how best he may travel afield, the advice as to Sandals and Staff that make surer his feet, and the Book that tells him how, splitting open his rocks with an Hammer, he may be master of their Virgin Gold. But he will understand that his own career on earth is his kingdom, that even the Master Therion is no more than a fellow man in another valley, and that he must explore and exploit his own inheritance with his own eyes and hands.

The Magician must not accept the Master Therion's account of the Astral Plane, His Qabalistic discoveries, His instructions in Magick. They may be correct in the main for most men; yet they cannot be wholly true for any save Him, even as no two artists can make identical pictures of the same subject.

More, even in fundamentals, though these things be Truth for all Mankind, as we carelessly say, any one particular Magician may be the one man for whom they are false. May not the flag that seems red to ten thousand seem green to some one other? Then, every man and every woman being a Star, that which is green to him is verily green; if he consent to the crowd and call it red, hath he not broken the Staff of Truth that he leaneth upon?

Each and every man therefore that will be a Magician must explore the Universe for himself. This is pre-eminently the case in the matter of the Astral Plane, because the symbols are so sensitive. Nothing is easier than to suggest visions, or to fashion phantasms to suit one's ideas. It is obviously impossible to communicate with an independent intelligence — the one real object of astral research — if one allows one's imagination to surround one with courtiers of one's own creation. If one expects one's visions to resemble those of the Master Therion, they are only too likely to do so; and if one's respect for Him induces one to accept such visions as authentic, one is being false to one's soul; the visions themselves will avenge it. The true Guide being gone, the seer will stray into a wilderness of terror where he is tricked and tortured; he will invoke his idol the Master Therion, and fashion in His image a frightful phantasm who will mock him in his misery, until his mind stagger and fall; and, Madness swooping upon his carrion, blast his eyes with the horror of seeing his Master dissolve into that appalling hallucination, the "Vision of THE DEMON CROWLEY!"

Remember, then, always, but especially when dealing with the Astral Plane, that man's breath stirs the Feather of Truth. What one sees and hears is "real" in its way, whether it be itself, or distorted by one's desires, or created by one's personality. There is no touchstone of truth: the authentic Nakhiel is indistinguishable from the image of the Magician's private idea of Nakhiel, so far as he is concerned. The stronger one is to create, the more readily the Astral Light responds, and coagulates creatures of this kind. Not that such creation is necessarily an error; but it is another branch of one's Work. One cannot obtain outside help from inside sources. One must use precautions similar to those recommended in the chapter of Divination.

The Magician may go on for a long time being fooled and flattered by the Astrals that he has himself modified or manufactured. Their natural subservience to himself will please him, poor ape!

They will pretend to show him marvellous mysteries, pageants of beauty and wonder unspeakably splendid; he will incline to accept them as true, for the very reason that they are images of himself idealized by the imagination.

But his real progress will stop dead. These phantasms will prevent him from coming into contact with independent intelligences, from whom alone he can learn anything new.

He will become increasingly interested in himself, imagine himself to be attaining one initiation after another. His Ego will expand unchecked, till he seem to himself to have heaven at his feet. Yet all this will be nothing but his fool's face of Narcissus smirking up from the pool that will drown him.

Error of this kind on the Astral Plane — in quite ordinary visions with no apparent moral import — may lead to the most serious mischief. Firstly, mistakes mislead; to pollute one's view of Jupiter by permitting the influence of Venus to distort it may end in finding oneself at odds with Jupiter, later on, in some crisis of one's work.

Secondly, the habit of making mistakes and leaving them uncorrected grows upon one. He who begins by "spelling Jeheshua with a 'Resh'" may end by writing the name of the Dweller on the Threshold by mistake for that of his Angel.

Lastly, Magick is a Pyramid, built layer by layer. The work of the Body of Light — with the technique of Yoga — is the foundation of the whole. One's apprehension of the Astral Plane must be accurate, for Angels, Archangels, and Gods are derived therefrom by analysis. One must have pure materials if one wishes to brew pure beer.

If one have an incomplete and incorrect view of the universe, how can one find out its laws?

Thus, original omission or error tends to extend to the higher planes. Suppose a Magician, invoking Sol, were persuaded by a plausible spirit of Saturn that he was the Solar Intelligence required, and bade him eschew human love if he would attain to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel; and suppose that his will, and that Angel's nature, were such that the Crux of their Formula was Lyrical Exaltation!

Apart from the regular tests — made at the time — of the integrity of any spirit, the Magician must make a careful record of every vision, omitting no detail; he must then make sure that it tallies in every point with the correspondences in Book 777 and in Liber D. Should he find (for instance) that, having invoked Mercury, his vision contains names whose numbers are Martial, or elements proper to Pisces, let him set himself most earnestly to discover the source of error, to correct it, and to prevent its recurrence.

But these tests, as implied above, will not serve to detect personation by self-suggested phantasms. Unless one's aura be a welter of muddled symbols beyond recognition, the more autohypnotic the vision is, the more smoothly it satisfies the seer's standards. There is nothing to puzzle him or oppose him; so he spins out his story with careless contempt of criticism. He can always prove himself right; the Qabalah can always be stretched; and Red being so nearly Orange, which is really a shade of Yellow, and Yellow a component of Green which merges into Blue, what harm if a Fiend in Vermilion appears instead of an Angel in Azure? The true, the final test, of the Truth of one's visions is their Value. The most glorious experience on the Astral plane, let it dazzle and thrill as it may, is not necessarily in accordance with the True Will of the seer; if not, though it be never so true objectively, it is not true for him, because not useful for him. (Said we not a while ago that Truth was no more than the Most Convenient Manner of Statement?)

It may intoxicate and exalt the Seer, it may inspire and fortify him in every way, it may throw light upon most holy mysteries, yet withal be no more than an interpretation of the individual to himself, the formula not of Abraham but of Onan.

These plastic "Portraits of the Artist as a Young Man" are well enough for those who have heard "Know Thyself". They are necessary, even, to assist that analysis of one's nature which the Probationer of A∴A∴ is sworn to accomplish. But "Love is the law, love under will." And Our Lady Nuit is "... divided for love's sake, for the chance of union." These mirror-mirages are therefore not Works of Magick, according to the Law of Θελημα: the true Magick of Horus requires the passionate union of opposites.

Now the proof that one is in contact with an independent entity depends on a sensation which ought to be unmistakeable if one is in good health. One ought not to be liable to mistake one's own sensible impressions for somebody else's! It is only Man's incurable vanity that makes the Astral "Strayed Reveller" or the mystic confuse his own drunken babble with the voice of the Most High.

The essence of the right sensation consists in recognition of the reality of the other Being. There will be as a rule some element of hostility, even when the reaction is sympathetic. One's "soul-mate" (even) is not thought of as oneself, at first contact.

One must therefore insist that any real appearance of the Astral Plane gives the sensation of meeting a stranger. One must accept it as independent, be it Archangel or Elf, and measure one's own reaction to it. One must learn from it, though one despise it; and love it, however one loathe it.

One must realize, on writing up the record, that the meeting has effected a definite change in oneself. One must have known and felt something alien, and not merely tried on a new dress. There must always be some slight pang of pain in a true Astral Vision; it hurts the Self to have to admit the existence of a not-Self; and it taxes the brain to register a new thought. This is true at the first touch, even when exaltation and stimulation result from the joy of making an agreeable contact.

There is a deeper effect of right reaction to a strange Self: the impact invariable tends to break up some complex in the Seer. The class of ideas concerned has always been tied up, labelled, and put away. It is now necessary to unpack it, and rearrange its contents. At least, the annoyance is like that of a man who has locked and strapped his bag for a journey, and then finds that he has forgotten his pyjamas. At most, it may revolutionise his ideas of the business, like an old bachelor with settled plans of life who meets a girl once too often.

Any really first-class Astral Vision, even on low planes, should therefore both instruct the Seer, and prepare him for Initiation. Those failing to pass this test are to be classed as "practice".

One last observation seems fit. We must not assert the "reality" or "objectivity" of an Astral Being on no better evidence than the subjective sensation of its independent existence. We must insist on proof patient to all qualified observers if we are to establish the major premiss of Religion: that there exists a Conscious Intelligence independent of brain and nerve as we know them. If it have also Power, so much the better. But we already know of inorganic forces; we have no evidence of inorganic conscious Mind.

How can the Astral Plane help us here? It is not enough to prove, as we easily do, the correspondences between Invocation and Apparition.  7.

7.  The Master Therion's regular test is to write the name of a Force on a card, and conceal it; invoke that Force secretly, send His pupil on the Astral Plane, and make him attribute his vision to some Force. The pupil then looks at the card; the Force he has named is that written upon it.

We must exclude coincidence,  8.

8.   The most famous novel of Fielding is called "Tom Jones". It happened that FRATER PERDURABO was staying in an hotel in London. He telephoned a friend named Fielding at the latter's house, and was answered by Mr. Fielding's secretary, who said that his employer had left the house a few minutes previously, and could only be reached by telephoning a certain office in the City at between 11 o'clock and a quarter past. FRATER PERDURABO had an appointment at 11 o'clock with a music-hall star, the place being the entrance to a theatre. In order to remind himself, he made a mental note that as soon as he saw the lady, he would raise his hand and say, before greeting her: "Remind me that I must telephone at once to Fielding", when he met her. He did this, and she advanced toward Him with the same gesture, and said in the same breath, "Remind me that I have to telephone to Tom Jones" — the name of a music-hall agent employed by her.

It will be seen that there is here no question of any connection between the elements of the coincidence. If a similar occurrence had taken place in the course of communication with an alleged spirit, it would have been regarded as furnishing a very high degree of proof of the existence of an independent intelligence.

To make this clear, let me substitute the terms of the equation. Suppose two independent mediums, A and B, were to receive respectively at the same moment two messages, the first; "Ask B who wrote Hamlet", the second: "Ask A the name of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy." The coincidence is here much simpler and less striking than the one recorded above, for there is no question of arriving at the identity by way of accidental synonyms concealing their rational connection. Yet most students of Occult phenomena would admit that there was a strong presumption that a single intelligence had deliberately devised the two messages as a means of proving his existence.

telepathy,   9.

9.  In "The International" of November, 1918, was published the conconclusion of an article called "The Revival of Magick" by the Master Therion. The last sentence reads: "Herein is Wisdom; let him that hath understanding count the number of the Beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred and three score and six." TO MEΓA ΘHPION, the Great Wild Beast, has the value, according to the Greek system, of 666. It is, of course, the title of the Master Therion.

The Master Therion was, about this time, in communication with an intelligence who gave the name of Amalantrah. On Sunday, February 24, 1918, at 9.30 p. m., The Master Therion asked Amalantrah if he could use the word ΘHPION as if it were Hebrew, with the idea of getting further information as to the mystic meaning of the Word. The answer was "Yes". He then asked: "Am I to take the word ΘHPION alone, or the three words TO MEΓA ΘHPION?" The answer was to take the word ΘHPION alone. The Master Therion then asked what Hebrew letters should be used to transliterate the Greek. The answer was: "Tau, Yod, Resh, Yod, Ayin, Nun", which adds to 740 or 1390, according as Nun is given its ordinary value of 50, or its value as the final letter of a word, 700. Neither of these numbers possessed any special significance to The Master Therion. He became very annoyed at Amalantrah's failure to be of use; so much so that the communications became confused, and the work had to be abandoned for that evening. He tried various other Hebrew spellings for the word ΘHPION, but was unable to obtain anything of interest. This is rather remarkable, as it is nearly always possible to get more or less good results by trying various possibilities. For example, the O might be equally well Ayin, Vau or Aleph.

On Monday morning, The Master Therion went to the office of "The International," of which he was editor. At this period there was a coal famine in New York, and it was forbidden to heat office buildings on Mondays. He merely took away his mail and went home. On Tuesday morning He found on his desk a letter which had arrived on Monday for the general editor, who had sent it across to Him for reply, as it concerned The Master Therion rather than himself. This letter had been written and posted on Sunday evening, at about the same time as the communication from Amalantrah. The letter ends as follows: "Please inform your readers that I, Samuel bar Aiwaz bie Yackou de Sherabad, have counted the number of the Beast, and it is the number of a man.

ת ר י ו ן

N  O  I  R  Th   (Read from right to left) 50   6  10  200  400   


Here, then, we see the most striking solution possible of the problem presented to Amalantrah. Observe that Amalantrah had refused to give the correct solution directly; as it would seem, in order to emphasize the remarkable character of the intervention of this Assyrian correspondent. Observe, too, that the latter was totally ignorant of the ordinary Qabalah, it being quite generally known that TO MEΓA ΘHPION adds up to 666 in Greek. Observe, moreover, that nearly four months had passed since the problem was propounded in "The International?" The Assyrian lived some distance outside New York, and was an entire stranger to any of the staff of "The International." The evidence appears overwhelming for the existence of Amalantrah, that he was more expert in the Qabalah than The Master Therion himself, and that he was (further) possessed with the power to recall this four-months-old problem to the mind of an entirely unconnected stranger, causing him to communicate the correct answer at the same moment as the question was being asked many miles away.

Coincidence, so completely adequate to explain the Fielding-Tom Jones incident, is utterly incompetent as an alternative theory. The directly purposeful character of the circumstances is undeniable; but if we are resolutely determined to deny the possibility of the existence of Amalantrah, which explains the whole affair so simply, we have still one resource. It involves difficulties which The Master Therion cannot conceive as less than those which encumber the other, but it is, at least, not entirely beyond possibility. This theory is telepathy. One may postulate that the solution of his problem existed in the subconscious mind of the Master Therion or in that of His seer, and that this solution was telepathically impressed upon the consciousness of the Assyrian so forcibly as to impel him to communicate it to the Master Therion's colleague on "The International." Apart from the general improbability of this hypothesis, it is strange that if "Amalantrah" were really the subconscious mind of the seer, he should have given a wrong orthography. His doing so (if he knew the correct spelling) is only explicable by his wish not to take the edge off his plan for making the Assyrian's letter a fulminating revelation of his existence, as would have happened if the secret had been prematurely disclosed.

The case is here cited in order to illustrate the extreme care which ought to be taken in excluding all alternative hypotheses before admitting the existence of disembodied intelligences. It may be mentioned, however, that in this particular case there are numerous other incidents which make the telepathic theory untenable.

and subconscious knowledge.  10.

10.  There is a well-known story quoted in several treatises of psychology in which the heroine is an ignorant English servant girl of quite inferior intelligence, and unacquainted with any language, even her own. In the course of a fever, she became delirious, and proceeded to reel off long passages of scholarly Hebrew. Investigations showed that in her first youth she had been for a time in the service of a Jewish Rabbi who had been accustomed to declaim his sermons in the hearing of the girl. Although attaching no meaning to the words, she had stored them mechanically in her subconscious memory, to be reproduced when the action of the fever excited the group of cells where they were recorded.

Our praeter-human Intelligence must convey a Truth not known to any human mind, past or present. Yet this Truth must be verifiable. There is but one document in the world which presents evidence that fully satisfies these conditions. This is


the Book of the Law.

of this New Aeon of Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child, the Aeon whose Logos is THE BEAST 666, whose name in the Outer Order was FRATER PERDURABO.

The nature of the proof of the separate existence of praeterhuman Intelligence, independent of bodily form, is extremely complicated. Its main divisions may be briefly enumerated.

AIWAZ, the name of the Intelligence in question, proves:
(a) His power to pre-arrange events unconnected with His scribe so that they should fit in with that scribe's private calculations.

E.g. The Stele which reveals the Theogony of the Book was officially numbered 666, in the Boulak Museum. The scribe had adopted 666 as His magical number, many years previously. Again, the scribe's magical House, bought years earlier, had a name whose value was 418. The scribe had calculated 418 as the number of the Great Work, in 1901 e.v. He only discovered that 418 was the number of his house in consequence of AIWAZ mentioning the fact.

(b) His power to conceal a coherent system of numbers and letters in the text of a rapidly-written document, containing riddles and ciphers opening to a Master-Key unknown to the scribe, yet linked with his own system; this Key and its subordinates being moreover a comment on the text.

E.g. "The word of the Law is Θελημα." (Will); this word has the value of 93.
"Love is the law, love under will." Love, Aγαπη like Θελημα, adds to 93.

AIWAZ itself adds to 93.  11.

11.  This numeration was discovered years later. The question then arose out of consideration of this discovery through S. Jacobs: "Why is Aiwaz spelt Aiwass, not Aiwaz, in the Book of the Law?" In Greek Aifass = 418. The author of the Book had concealed in His own name not one only but two numbers, those of supreme importance in the Book. This was all strange to the scribe; yet years later he discovered the "Lost Word" of one of his own Orders: it was 93 also.

The Word of His most holy Order proved equally to count up to 93.  12.

12.  This list by no means exhausts the series. In particular, Frater Perdurabo discovered in 1923 e.v. that the Hebrew word for "to will" is also of the value of 93: and its special technical meanings throw yet further light on the meaning of Θελημα as used by Aiwaz.

Now 93 is thrice 31; 31 is LA, "Not" and AL, "The" or "God"; these words run throughout the Book, giving a double meaning to many passages. A third 31 is the compound letter ShT, the two hieroglyphs of Sh and T (many centuries old) being pictures of the "Dramatis Personae" of the Book; and ShT being a haphazard line scrawled on the MS. touch letters which added to 418, valuing "this circle squared in its failure" as π correct to six places of decimals, etc.

Again: "thou shalt know not", meaning "thou shalt know LA"; and "he shall discover the Key of it all" id est, the Key AL.

(c) His power to combine subsequent events beyond the control of the scribe or his associates, so that they confirmed statements in the Book. Or, per contra, to predict such events.

E.g. The first Scarlet Woman proved unworthy, and suffered the exact penalties predicted. Again, "one cometh after thee; he shall discover the key."

This one was to be the "child" of the scribe, "and that strangely".

Nine months after THE BEAST 666 had gotten a Magical "child" upon His concubine Jane Foster, a "Babe of the Abyss" was born, Frater Achad asserting his right to that grade, and thus "coming after" THE BEAST 666, who had been the last Adept to do so. And this "child" was definitely "one", since "one" is the meaning of his motto Achad. Finally, he did in fact "discover the key of it all" after THE BEAST Himself had failed to do so in 14 years of study.

(d) His power to conceive and express in concise terms true solutions of the main problems of the Universe.

E.g. The formula of Nuit and Hadit explain Existence in the terms of Mathematical-Logical Philosophy, so as to satisfy the difficulties of reconciling Dualism, Monism and Nihilism; all antinomies in all spheres; and the Original Perfection with the Manifest Imperfection of Things.

Again "Do that thou wilt", the most sublimely austere ethical precept ever uttered, despite its apparent licence, is seen on analysis to be indeed "the whole of the Law.", the sole and sufficient warrant for human action, the self-evident Code of Righteousness, the identification of Fate with Freewill, and the end of the Civil War in Man's nature by appointing the Canon of Truth, the conformity of things with themselves, to determine his every act. "Do what thou wilt" is to bid Stars to shine, Vines to bear grapes, Water to seek its level; man is the only being in Nature that has striven to set himself at odds with himself.

(e) His power to interpret the Spirit of the New Aeon, the relapse into ruthless savagery of the most civilized races, at a time when war was discredited by most responsible men.

(f) His power to comprehend and control these various orders of ideas and events, demonstrating thereby a mind and a means of action intelligible to, yet immensely above, all human capacity; to bind the whole into a compact cryptograph displaying mastery of English, of mathematical and philosophical conceptions, of poetic splendour and intense passion, while concealing in the letters and words a complex cipher involving the knowledge of facts never till than existing in any human mind, and depending on the control of the arm of the scribe, though He thought He was writing consciously from dictation; and to weave into a single pattern so many threads of proof of different orders that every type of mind, so it be but open and just, may be sure of the existence of AIWAZ as a being independent of body, conscious and individual, with a mind mightier than man's, and a power beyond man's set in motion by will.

In a word, the Book of the Law proves the prime postulate of Religion.

The Magician may therefore be confident that Spiritual Beings exist, and seek the Knowledge and conversation of His own Holy Guardian Angel with the same ardour as that of FRATER PERDURABO when He abandoned all: love, wealth, rank, fame, to seek Him. Nay, this he must do or condemn himself to be torn asunder by the Maenads of his insensate impulses; he hath no safety save he himself be Bacchus! Bacchus, divine and human! Bacchus, begotten on Semele of Zeus, the adulterous Lord of Thunder ravishing, brutally, his virginal victim! Bacchus, babe hidden from hate in the most holy of holies, the secret of thy sire, in the Channel of the Star-Spate, Whereof one Serpent is thy soul! Bacchus, twy-formed, man-woman, Bacchus, whose innocence tames the Tiger, while yet thy horns drip blood upon thy mouth, and sharpen the merriment of wine to the madness of murder! Bacchus, Thy thyrsus oozes sap; thine ivy clings to it; thy Lion-skin slips from thy sleek shoulders, slips from thy lissome loins; drunk on delight of the godly grape, thou knowest no more the burden of the body and the vexation of the spirit.

Come, Bacchus, come thou hither, come out of the East; come out of the East, astride the Ass of Priapus! Come with thy revel of dancers and singers! Who followeth thee, forbearing to laugh and to leap? Come, in thy name Dionysus, that maidens be mated to God-head! Come, in thy name Iacchus, with thy mystical fan to winnow the air, each gust of thy Spirit inspiring our Soul, that we bear to thee Sons in Thine Image!

Verily and Amen! Let not the Magician forget for a single second what is his one sole business. His uninitiated "self" (as he absurdly thinks it) is a mob of wild women, hysterical from uncomprehended and unstated animal instinct; they will tear Pentheus, the merely human king who presumes to repress them, into mere shreds of flesh; his own mother, Nature, the first to claw at his windpipe! None but Bacchus, the Holy Guardian Angel, hath grace to be God to this riot of maniacs; he alone can transform the disorderly rabble into a pageant of harmonious movements, tune their hyaena howls to the symphony of a paean, and their reasonless rage to self-controlled rapture. It is this Angel whose nature is doubly double, that He may partake of every sacrament. He is at once a God who is drunken with the wine of earth, and the mammal who quaffs the Blood of God to purge him of mortality. He is a woman as he accepts all impulses, are they not His? He is a man to stamp Himself upon whatever would hallow itself to Him. He wields the Wand, with cone of pine and ivy tendrils; the Angel creates continually, wreathing His Will in clinging beauty, imperishably green.

The Tiger, the symbol of the brutal passions of man, gambols about its master's heels; and He bestrides the Ass of Priapus; he makes his sexual force carry him whither He wills to go.

Let the Magician therefore adventure himself upon the Astral Plane with the declared design to penetrate to a sanctuary of discarnate Beings such as are able to instruct and fortify him, also to prove their identity by testimony beyond rebuttal. All explanations other than these are of value only as extending and equilibrating Knowledge, or possibly as supplying Energy to such Magicians as may have found their way to the Sources of Strength. In all cases, naught is worth an obol save as it serve to help the One Great Work.

He who would reach Intelligences of the type under discussion may expect extreme difficulty. The paths are guarded; there is a lion in the way. Technical expertness will not serve here; it is necessary to satisfy the Warders of one's right to enter the presence of the Master. Particular pledges may be demanded, ordeals imposed, and initiations conferred. These are most serious matters; the Body of Light must be fully adult, irrevocably fixed, or it will be disintegrated at the outset. But, being fit to pass through such experiences, it is bound utterly to its words and acts. It cannot even appear to break an oath, as its fleshly fellow may do.

Such, then is a general description of the Astral Plane, and of the proper conduct of the Magician in his dealings therewith.


Liber Samekh
Theurgia Goetia Summa
(Congressus Cum Daemone)
Sub Figurâ DCCC
being the Ritual employed by the Beast 666
for the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel
during the Semester of His performance of the Operation of the Sacred Magick of ABRAMELIN THE MAGE.

Prepared An XVII Sun in Virgo at the Abbey of Θελημα in Cephalaedium by the Beast 666 in service to FRATER PROGRADIOR

Class D for the Grade of Adeptus Minor.

Evangelii Textus Redactus
Magically restored, with the significance of the BARBAROUS NAMES
Etymologically or Qabalistically determined and paraphrased in English.

Section A.
The Oath

Thee I invoke, the Bornless One.
Thee, that didst create the Earth and the Heavens.
Thee, that didst create the Night and the Day.
Thee, that didst create the darkness and the Light.
Thou art ASAR UN-NEFER ("Myself made Perfect"):
Whom no man hath seen at any time.
Thou art IA-BESZ ("the Truth in Matter")
Thou art IA-APOPHRASZ ("the Truth in Motion").
Thou hast distinguished between the Just and the Unjust.
Thou didst make the Female and the Male.
Thou didst produce the Seeds and the Fruit.
Thou didst form Men to love one another, and to hate one another.

Section Aa.

I am ANKH - F - N - KHONSU thy Prophet, unto Whom Thou didst commit Thy Mysteries, the Ceremonies of KHEM.

Thou didst produce the moist and the dry, and that which nourisheth all created Life.

Hear Thou Me, for I am the Angel of PTAH - APO - PHRASZ - RA (vide the Rubric): this is Thy True Name, handed down to the Prophets of KHEM.

Section B.

Hear Me:

- AR

"O breathing, flowing Sun!

" ThIAF   1.
"O Sun IAF!
O Lion-Serpent Sun, The Beast that whirlest
forth, a thunder- bolt, begetter of Life!


"Thou that flowest! Thou that goest! " A-ThELE-BER-SET
"Thou Satan-Sun Hadith that goest without Will!
" A
"Thou Air! Breath! Spirit! Thou without bound or bond!
"Thou Essence, Air Swift-streaming, Elasticity!


"Thou Wanderer, Father of All!
"Thou Wanderer, Spirit of All!" PhI-ThETA-SOE
"Thou Shining Force of Breath!
Thou Lion-Serpent Sun! Thou Saviour, save!
" IB
"Thou Ibis, secret solitary Bird,
inviolate Wisdom, whose Word in Truth,
creating the World by its Magick!
"O Sun IAF!
O Lion-Serpent Sun,
The Beast that whirlest forth,
a thunder- bolt, begetter of Life!

" The conception is of Air, glowing, inhabited by a Solar-Phallic Bird,

"the Holy Ghost", of a Mercurial Nature.

Hear me, and make all Spirits subject unto Me; so that every Spirit of the Firmament and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth, on dry land and in the water; of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire, and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me.  1

1.  The letter F is used to represent the Hebrew Vau and the Greek Digamma; its sound lies between those of the English long o and long oo, as in Rope and Tooth.

Section C.

I invoke Thee, the Terrible and Invisible God: Who dwellest in the Void Place of the Spirit:
"Thou spiritual Sun! Satan, Thou Eye, Thou Lust! Cry aloud! Cry aloud! Whirl the Wheel, O my Father, O Satan, O Sun!
"Thou, the Saviour!
"Silence! Give me Thy Secret!
"Give me suck, Thou Phallus, Thou Sun!
"Satan, thou Eye, thou Lust!" Satan, thou Eye, thou Lust! Satan, thou Eye, thou Lust!
"Thou self-caused, self-determined, exalted, Most High!
" The Bornless One. (Vide supra).

The conception is of Fire, glowing, inhabited by a Solar-Phallic Lion of a Uranian nature.

Hear Me, and make all Spirits subject unto Me: so that every Spirit of the Firmament and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land and in the Water: of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire, and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me.

Section D.
Hear Me:
- RU-ABRA-IAF   2.
"Thou the Wheel, thou the Womb, that containeth the Father IAF!
"Thou the Sea, the Abode!
"Babalon! Thou Woman of Whoredom.
Thou, Gate of the Great God ON!
Thou Lady of the Understanding of the Ways!
"Hail Thou, the unstirred!
Hail, sister and bride of ON, of the God that is all and is none,
by the Power of Eleven!
"Thou Treasure of IAO!
" I
"Thou Virgin twin-sexed!
Thou Secret Seed!
Thou inviolate Wisdom!
"Abode of the Light .................
"......of the Father, the Sun,
of Hadith, of the spell of the Aeon of Horus!
"Our Lady of the Western Gate of Heaven!
"Mighty art Thou!" Mighty and Bornless One! (Vide Supra)

The conception is of Water, glowing, inhabited by a Solar-Phallic Dragon-Serpent, of a Neptunian nature.

Hear Me: and make all Spirits subject unto Me: so that every Spirit of the Firmament and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land and in the Water: of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire: and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me. 

2.  See, for the formula of IAF, or rather FIAOF, Book 4 Part III, Chapter V. The form FIAOF will be found preferable in practice.

Section E.


I invoke Thee:

- MA

"O Mother! O Truth!" BARRAIO

"Thou Mass!"   3.


"Hail, Thou that art!" KOThA

"Thou hollow one!


"Thou Goddess of Beauty and Love, whom Satan, beholding, desireth!


"The Fathers, male-female, desire Thee!

" The conception of of Earth, glowing, inhabited by a Solar-Phallic Hippopotamus 4. of a Venereal nature.

Hear Me: and make all Spirits subject unto Me: so that every Spirit of the Firmament, and of the Ether: upon The Earth and under the Earth: on dry land and in the Water: of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire: and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me. 1

3.  "Mass", in the sense of the word which is used by physicists. The impossibility of defining it will not deter the intrepid initiate (in view of the fact that the fundamental conception is beyond the normal categories of reason.)

4.  Sacred to AHAThOOR. The idea is that of the Female conceived as invulnerable, reposeful, of enormous swallowing capacity etc.

Section F.


Hear Me: AFT

"Male-Female Spirits!


"Male-Female Sires!


"Ye that are Gods, going forth, uttering AUMGN. The Word that goeth from (A) Free Breath. (U) through Willed Breath. (M) and stopped Breath. (GN) to Continuous Breath. thus symbolizing the whole course of spiritual life. A is the formless Hero; U is the six-fold solar sound of physical life, the triangle of Soul being entwined with that of Body; M is the silence of "death"; GN is the nasal sound of generation & knowledge.


"Identical Point!





Hail, Great Wild Beast!

Hail, IAO!

" Section Ff.

This is the Lord of the Gods:

This is the Lord of the Universe:

This is He whom the Winds fear.

This is He, Who having made Voice by His commandment is Lord of all Things; King, Ruler and Helper.

Hear Me, and make all Spirits subject unto Me: so that every Spirit of the Firmament and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land and in the Water: of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire: and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me.

Section G.
Hear Me:
"Indwelling Sun of Myself
"Thou Fire! Thou Sixfold Star initiator compassed about with Force and Fire!
"Indwelling Soul of Myself
" PUR (Vide Supra)
"Sun-lion Serpent, hail!
All Hail, thou Great Wild Beast,
thou I A O!
"Breaths of my soul,
breaths of mine Angel.
" IOOU "Lust of my soul,
lust of mine Angel!
" ABRASAX (Vide Supra).
"Ho for the Sangraal!
Ho for the Cup of Babalon!
Ho for mine Angel pouring Himself forth within my Soul!
" OO
"The Eye! Satan, my Lord!
The Lust of the goat!
" FF
"Mine Angel! Mine initiator! Thou one with me - the Sixfold Star!
" AD-ON-A-I   5.
"My Lord! My secret self beyond self, Hadith, All Father!
Hail, ON, thou Sun, thou Life of Man, thou Fivefold Sword of Flame!
Thou Goat exalted upon Earth in Lust, thou Snake extended upon Earth in Life!
Spirit most holy!
Seed most Wise!
Innocent Babe. Inviolate Maid!
Begetter of Being!
Soul of all Souls!
Word of all Words,
Come forth, most hidden Light!
"Devour thou me!
"Thou dost devour Me!
"Thou Angel of the Gods!
" ANLALA "Arise thou in Me, free flowing, Thou who art Naught,
who art Naught, and utter thy Word!
"I also am Naught!
I Will Thee!
I behold Thee!
My nothingness!
"Leap up, thou Earth!"

(This is also an agonising appeal to the Earth, the Mother; for at this point of the ceremony the Adept should be torn from his mortal attachments, and die to himself in the orgasm of his operation.   6.)


"Thou Exalted One!

It (i.e. the spiritual 'semen', the Adept's secret ideas, drawn irresistibly from their 'Hell' 7. by the love of his Angel) leaps up; it leaps forth!  8.


"Lo! the out-splashing of the seeds of Immortality"

5.  In Hebrew, ADNI, 65. The Gnostic Initiates transliterated it to imply their own secret formulae; we follow so excellent an example. ON is an Arcanum of Arcana; its significance is taught, gradually, in the O.T.O. Also AD is the paternal formula, Hadit; ON is its complement NUIT; the final Yod signifies "mine" etymologically and essentially the Mercurial (transmitted) hermaphroditic virginal seed - The Hermit of the Taro - The use of the name is therefore to invoke one's own inmost secrecy, considered as the result of the conjunction of Nuit and Hadit. If the second A is included, its import is to affirm the operation of the Holy Ghost and the formulation of the Babe in the Egg, which precedes the appearance of the Hermit.

6.   A thorough comprehension of Psycho-analysis will contribute notably to the proper appreciation of this Ritual.

7.   It is said among men that the word Hell deriveth from the word "helan", to hele or conceal, in the tongue of the Anglo-Saxons. That is, it is the concealed place, which since all things are in thine own self, is the unconscious, Liber CXI (Aleph) chap. 12 4.

8.  But compare the use of the same word in section C.

Section Gg.

The Attainment

I am He! the Bornless Spirit! having sight in the feet: Strong, and the Immortal Fire!
I am He! the Truth!
I am He! Who hate that evil should be wrought in the World!
I am He, that lighteneth and thundereth!
I am He, from whom is the Shower of the Life of Earth!
I am He, whose mouth ever flameth!
I am He, the Begetter and Manifester unto the Light!
I am He, The Grace of the Worlds!
"The Heart Girt with a Serpent" is my name!

Section H.

The "Charge to the Spirit"

Come thou forth, and follow me: and make all Spirits subject unto Me so that every Spirit of the Firmament, and of the Ether, upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land, or in the Water: of Whirling Air or of rushing Fire, and every Spell and scourge of God, may be obedient unto me!

Section J.

The Proclamation of the Beast 666

Such are the Words!

9.  See explanation in Point II.


Ars Congressus Cum Daemone

Section A

Let the Adeptus Minor be standing in this circle on the square of Tiphereth, armed with his Wand and Cup; but let him perform the Ritual throughout in his Body of Light. He may burn the Cakes of Light, or the Incense of Abramelin; he may be prepared by Liber CLXXV, the reading of Liber LXV, and by the practices of Yoga. He may invoke Hadit by "... wine and strange drugs" if he so will.  10.  He prepares the circle by the usual formulae of Banishing and Consecration, etc.

He recites Section A as a rehearsal before His Holy Guardian Angel of the attributes of that Angel. Each phrase must be realized with full concentration of force, so as to make Samadhi as perfectly as possible upon the truth proclaimed.

Line 1

He identifies his Angel with the Ain Soph, and the Kether thereof; one formulation of Hadit in the boundless Body of Nuit.

Line 2,3,4

He asserts that His Angel has created (for the purpose of self-realization through projection in conditioned Form) three pairs of opposites:
(a) The Fixed and the Volatile;
(b) The Unmanifested and the Manifest; and
(c) the Unmoved and the Moved. Otherwise, the Negative and the Positive in respect of Matter, Mind and Motion.

Line 5

He acclaims his Angel as "Himself Made Perfect"; adding that this Individuality is inscrutable in inviolable. In the Neophyte Ritual of G D (As it is printed in Equinox I, II, for the old aeon) the Hierophant is the perfected Osiris, who brings the candidate, the natural Osiris, to identity with himself. But in the new Aeon the Hierophant is Horus (Liber CCXX, I, 49) therefore the Candidate will be Horus too. What then is the formula of the initiation of Horus? It will no longer be that of the Man, through Death. It will be the natural growth of the Child. His experiences will no more be regarded as catastrophic. Their hieroglyph is the Fool: the innocent and impotent Harpocrates Babe becomes the Horus Adult by obtaining the Wand. "Der reine Thor" seizes the Sacred Lance. Bacchus becomes Pan. The Holy Guardian Angel is the Unconscious Creature Self - the Spiritual Phallus. His knowledge and conversation contributes occult puberty. It is therefore advisable to replace the name Asar-Un-Nefer by that of Ra-Hoor-Khuit at the outset, and by that of one's own Holy Guardian Angel when it has been communicated.

Line 6

He hails Him as BESZ, the Matter that destroys and devours Godhead, for the purpose of the Incarnation of any God.

Line 7

He hails Him as APOPHRASZ, the Motion that destroys and devours Godhead, for the purpose of the Incarnation of any God. The combined action of these two DEVILS is to allow the God upon whom they prey to enter into enjoyment of existence through the Sacrament of dividual "Life" (Bread - the flesh of BESZ) and "Love" (Wine - the blood or venom of AOPHRASZ).

Line 8

He acclaims His Angel as having "eaten of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil"; otherwise, having become wise (in the Dyad, Chokmah) to apprehend the formula of Equilibrium which is now His own, being able to apply Himself accurately to His self-appointed environment.

Line 9

He acclaims His Angel as having laid down the Law of Love as the Magical formula of the Universe, that He may resolve the phenomenal again into its noumenal phase by uniting any two opposites in ecstasic passion.

Line 10

He acclaims His Angel as having appointed that this formula of Love should effect not only the dissolution of the separateness of the Lovers into His own impersonal Godhead, but their co-ordination in a "Child" quintessentialized from its parents to constitute a higher order of Being than theirs, so that each generation is an alchemical progress towards perfection in the direction of successive complexities. As Line 9 asserts Involution, Line 10 asserts Evolution.

Line 11

He acclaims His Angel as having devised this method of self-realization; the object of Incarnation is to obtain its reactions to its relations with other incarnated Beings and to observe theirs with each other.

10.  Any such formula should be used only when the adept has full knowledge based on experience of the management of such matters.

See Liber XIII.

Section Aa.

Line 1

The Adept asserts his right to enter into conscious communication with His Angel, on the ground that that Angel has Himself taught him the Secret Magick by which he may make the proper link. "Mosheh" is M H, the formation in Jechidah, Chiah, Neshamah, Ruach, - The Sephiroth from Kether to Yesod - since 45 is Sum 1-9 while Sh, 300, is Sum 1-24, which superadds to these Nine an extra Fifteen numbers. (See in Liber D, the meanings and correspondences of 9, 15, 24, 45, 300, 345.)

45 is moreover A D M, MDA, man. "Mosheh" is thus the name of man as a God-concealing form. But in the Ritual let the Adept replace this "Mosheh" by his own motto as Adeptus Minor. For "Ishrael" let him prefer his own Magical Race, according to the obligations of his Oaths to Our Holy Order! (The Beast 666 Himself used "Ankh-f-n-Khonsu" and "Khem" in this section.)

Line 2

The Adept reminds his Angel that He has created That One Substance of which Hermes hath written in the Table of Emerald, whose virtue is to unite in itself all opposite modes of Being, thereby to serve as a Talisman charged with the Spiritual Energy of Existence, an Elixir or Stone composed of the physical basis of Life. This Commemoration is placed between the two personal appeals to the Angel, as if to claim privilege to partake of this Eucharist which createth, sustaineth and redeemeth all things.

Line 3

He now asserts that he is himself the "Angel" or messenger of his Angel; that is, that he is a mind and body whose office is to receive and transmit the Word of his Angel. He hails his Angel not only as "un-nefer" the Perfection of "Asar" himself as a man, but as Ptah-Apophrasz-Ra, the identity (Hadit) wrapped in the Dragon (Nuit) and thereby manifested as a Sun (Ra-Hoor-Khuit). The "Egg" (or Heart) "girt with a Serpent" is a cognate symbol; the idea is thus expressed later in the ritual. (See Liber LXV which expands this to the uttermost.)

Section B

The Adept passes from contemplation to action in the sections now following B to Gg. He is to travel astrally around the circle, making the appropriate pentagrams, sigils, and signs. His direction is widdershins. He thus makes three curves, each covering three-fourths of the circle. He should give the sign of the Enterer on passing the Kiblah, or Direction of Boleskine. This picks up the force naturally radiating from that point 11. and projects it in the direction of the path of the Magician. The sigils are those given in the Equinox Vol. I, No. 7, Plate X outside the square; 12. the signs those shewn in Vol. I, No. 2, Plate "The Signs of the Grades". In these invocations he should expand his girth and his stature to the utmost 13., assuming the form and the consciousness of the elemental god of the quarter. After this, he begins to vibrate the "Barbarous Names" of the Ritual.

Now let him not only fill his whole being to the uttermost with the force of the Names; but let him formulate his Will, understood thoroughly as the dynamic aspect of his Creative Self, in an appearance symbolically apt, I say not in the form of a Ray of Light, of a Fiery Sword, or of aught save that bodily Vehicle of the Holy Ghost which is sacred to BAPHOMET, by its virtue that concealeth the Lion and the Serpent that His Image may appear adorably upon the Earth for ever.

Let then the Adept extend his Will beyond the Circle in this imagined Shape and let it radiate with the Light proper to the element invoked, and let each Word issue along the Shaft with passionate impulse, as if its voice gave command thereto that it should thrust itself leapingly forward. Let also each Word accumulate authority, so that the Head of the Shaft may plunge twice as far for the Second Word as for the First, and Four Times for the Third as the Second, and thus to the end. Moreover, let the Adept fling forth his whole consciousness thither. Then at the final Word, let him bring rushing back his Will within himself, steadily streaming, and let him offer himself to its point, as Artemis to PAN, that this perfectly pure concentration of the Element purge him thoroughly, and possess him with its passion.

In this Sacrament being wholly at one with that Element, let the Adept utter the Charge "Hear me, and make", etc. with strong sense that this unity with that quarter of the Universe confers upon him the fullest freedom and privilege appurtenant thereto.

Let the Adept take note of the wording of the Charge. The "Firmament" is the Ruach, the "mental plane"; it is the realm of Shu, or Zeus, where revolves the Wheel of the Gunas, the Three forms 14. of Being. The Aethyr is the "akasha", the "Spirit", the Aethyr or physics, which is the framework on which all forms are founded; it receives, records and transmits all impulses without itself suffering mutation thereby. The "Earth" is the sphere wherein the operation of these "fundamental" and aethyric forces appears to perception. "Under the Earth" is the world of those phenomena which inform those perceived projections, and determine their particular character. "Dry land" is the place of dead "material things", dry (i.e. unknowable) because unable to act on our minds. "Water" is the vehicle whereby we feel such things; "air" their menstruum wherein these feelings are mentally apprehended. It is called "whirling" because of the instability of thought, and the fatuity of reason, on which we are yet dependent for what we call "life". "Rushing Fire" is the world in which wandering thought burns up to swift-darting Will. These four stages explain how the non-Ego is transmuted into the Ego. A "Spell" of God is any form of consciousness, and a "Scourge" any form of action.

The Charge, as a whole, demands for the Adept the control of every detail of the Universe which His Angel has created as a means of manifesting Himself to Himself. It covers command of the primary projection of the Possible in individuality, in the antithetical artifice which is the device of Mind, and in a balanced triplicity of modes or states of being whose combinations constitute the characteristics of Cosmos. It includes also a standard of structure, a rigidity to make reference possible. Upon these foundations of condition which are not things in themselves, but the canon to which things conform, 15. is builded the Temple of Being, whose materials are themselves perfectly mysterious, inscrutable as the Soul, and like the Soul imagining themselves by symbols which we may feel, perceive, and adapt to our use without ever knowing the whole Truth about them. The Adept sums up all these items by claiming authority over every form of expression possible to Existence, whether it be a "spell" (idea) or a "scourge" (act) of "God", that is, of himself. The Adept must accept every "spirit", every "spell", every "scourge", as part of his environment, and make them all "subject to" himself; that is, consider them as contributory causes of himself. They have made him what he is. They correspond exactly to his own faculties. They are all - ultimately - of equal importance. 16. The fact that he is what he is proves that each item is equilibrated. The impact of each new impression affects the entire system in due measure. He must therefore realize that every event is subject to him.17. It occurs because he had need of it. Iron rusts because the molecules demand oxygen for the satisfaction of their tendencies. They do not crave hydrogen; therefore combination with that gas is an event which does not happen. All experiences contribute to make us complete in ourselves. 18. We feel ourselves subject to them so long as we fail to recognise this; when we do, we perceive that they are subject to us. And whenever we strive to evade an experience, whatever it may be, we thereby do wrong to ourselves. We thwart our own tendencies. To live is to change; and to oppose change is to revolt against the law which we have enacted to govern our lives. To resent destiny is thus to abdicate our sovereignty, and to invoke death. Indeed, we have decreed the doom of death for every breach of the law of Life. And every failure to incorporate any impression starves that particular faculty which stood in need of it.

This Section B invokes Air in the East, with a shaft of golden glory.

11.  This is an assumption based on Liber Legis II, 78 and III, 34.

12.  The seals are those of the Four Elemental Kings.

13.   Having experience of success in the practices of Liber 536, BATRAXO-RENOBOOKOSMOMAXIA.

14.  They correspond to the Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt of Alchemy; to Sattvas, Rajas, and Tamas in the Hindu system; and are rather modes of action than actual qualities even when conceived as latent. They are the apparatus of communication between the planes; as such, they are conventions. There is no absolute validity in any means of mental apprehension; but unless we make these spirits of the Firmament subject unto us by establishing right relation (within the possible limits) with the Universe, we shall fall into error when we develop our new instrument of direct understanding. It is vital that the Adept should train his intellectual faculties to tell him the truth, in the measure of their capacity. To despise the mind on account of its limitations is the most disastrous blunder; it is the common cause of the calamities which strew so many shores with the wreckage of the Mystic Armada. Bigotry, Arrogance, Bewilderment, all forms of mental and moral disorder, so often observed in people of great spiritual attainment, have brought the Path itself into discredit; almost all such catastrophes are due to trying to build the Temple of the Spirit without proper attention to the mental laws of structure and the physical necessities of foundation. The mind must be brought to its utmost pitch of perfection, but according to its own internal properties; one cannot feed a microscope on mutton chops. It must be regarded as a mechanical instrument of knowledge, independent of the personality of its possessor. One must treat it exactly as one treats one's electroscope or one's eyes; one influence of one's wishes. A physician calls in a colleague to attend to his own family, knowing that personal anxiety may derange his judgment. A microscopist who trusts his eyes when his pet theory is at stake may falsify the facts, and find too late that he has made a fool of himself.

In the case of initiations itself, history is scarred with the wounds inflicted by this Dagger. It reminds us constantly of the danger of relying upon the intellectual faculties. A judge must know the law in every point, and be detached from personal prejudices, and incorruptible, or iniquity will triumph. Dogma, with persecution, delusion, paralysis of progress, and many another evil, as its satraps, has always established a tyranny when Genius has proclaimed it. Islam making a bonfire of written Wisdom, and Haeckel forging biological evidence; physicists ignorant of radioactivity disputing the conclusions of geology, and theologians impatient of truth struggling against the tide of thought; all such must perish at the hands of their own error in making their minds, internally defective or externally deflected, the measure of the Universe.

15.  There is no "tyranny" or "arbitrariness" in this. The "Energy" which formed and animates our Race established this canon in relation to the circumstances of our environment; that new faculties have been created within the original structure, in order to adapt the race better to existing conditions, or to meet the necessities of new conditions, is evident from the study of Biology itself; and it was this that led Darwin to conceive the Law of Evolution of Species. In the same way, Initiation creates a new condition, since the human being begins to function on yet another plane with each Major Initiation - see AL iii 61-69; and this requires the re-creation of consiousness to which 666 is referring to here. Every step is "a death and birth."

The study of the Law of Evolution lead us to the conclusion that the human race is the oldest of the races, or species, manifested on this planet; this notwithstanding that in its present form it is the most "recent". All the species evolve; the fact that ours is the most evolved indicates that it is the most ancient - with the possible exception of the dolphins, which may represent another branch of the original current. It is well known that dolphins possess brains as complex as the human brain.

16.  Hence the most "insignificant" of them (relatively speaking) is equally necessary to the completion of All. The Universe is in equilibrium solely because it includes all of the forces. Any force is, therefore, equal and opposite to all the others. And the sum of them is the Infinite.
To better understand this, think of a numeric series which tends to the limit of Infinity but never reaches it. Each of the numbers is necessary - absolutely necessary - to obtain infinity. And no single one is "more" necessary than any other. Nevertheless, each number is completely different from every other.
At the same time, within the limits of any number, it is possible to form a numeric sub-series which tends to the completion of the number, but never reaches it; and in this sense every number is infinite in itself.

17.  This is a natural corrolary of the fact that he or she is one of the factors that make up the Universe, and is therefore equal and opposite to the sum of all the other factors. At the same time, of course, we can adopt the position that the Adept is a function of all the other forces in the Universe. But this position is no more valid, in the true sense of the word "validity", than the previous one; and relatively for the Adept, the previous point of view or position is more convenient for him or her. In this sense, the "space-marks" are many and one "simultaneously". To lose the sense that we are one star in the cosmos among many, is to run the risk of becoming a Black Brother; to lose the sense that relative to ourselves, others are only a part of our consiousness is to run the risk of abjuring our liberty and becoming slaves; to lose the sense that both points of view are simultaneously valid is to run the risk of falling in the "pit" called "Because" and to become "dogs" - conceiving of God as a "Creator" outside of ourselves, instead of perceiving that we are God incarnate.
The attitude of the Exempt Adept who vows "to consider every phenomenon as a particular dealing between God and his or her soul" includes all three of the above points of view as a practical formula of action, or existence, manifested; "practical", naturally, from the point of view of the Initiate, who has to coordinate all his or her recently-awakened faculties with the "normal" faculties of Homo "Saps".
The reader will easily imagine that for someone who is trying to achieve this coordination but who has not yet succeeded, the most commonplace phenomena of everyday life can turn into real nightmares. See AL i 31.

18.  It is for this that "pity" is a delusory sentiment. When we see a person in a state of indigency, for example, and we give him or her money or food, we do wrong; what we should do is examine the causes, instead of trying to annul effects; otherwise, the moment we withdraw, the person will fall back into the same conditions, and remain there until of his or her own free will - that is, by his or her personal initiative - he or she wants to change the conditions; or until tyrants, were it only the case, are eliminated.
The exeptions to this rule are extremely few. Liber Aleph, Cap. 148.
If instead of giving alms to beggars, charitable people sought to eliminate the causes of which beggary is an effect, the social conditions would improve with astonishing speed, and the indolent would be forced to develop initiative and courage.

Section C

The adept now invokes Fire in the South; flame red are the rays that burst from his Verendum.

Section D

He invokes Water in the West, his Wand billowing forth blue radiance.

Section E

He goes to the North to invoke Earth; flowers of green flame flash from his weapon. As practice makes the Adept perfect in this Work, it becomes automatic to attach all these complicated ideas and intentions to their correlated words and acts. When this is attained he may go deeper into the formula by amplifying its correspondences. Thus, he may invoke water in the manner of water, extending his will with majestic and irresistible motion, mindful of its impulse gravitation, yet with a suave and tranquil appearance of weakness. Again, he may apply the formula of water to its peculiar purpose as it surges back into his sphere, using it with conscious skill for the cleansing and calming of the receptive and emotional elements in his character, and for the solution or sweeping away of those tangled weeds of prejudice which hamper him from freedom to act as he will. Similar applications of the remaining invocations will occur to the Adept who is ready to use them.

Section F

The Adept now returns to the Tiphereth square of his Tau, 19. and invokes spirit, facing toward Boleskine, by the active Pentagrams, the sigil called the Mark of the Beast, and the Signs of L.V.X. (See plate as before). He then vibrates the Names extending his will in the same way as before, but vertically upward. At the same time he expands the Source of that Will - the secret symbol of Self - both about him and below, as if to affirm that Self, duplex as is its form, reluctant to acquiesce in its failure to coincide with the Sphere of Nuit. Let him now imagine, at the last Word, that the Head of his will, where his consciousness is fixed, opens its fissure (the Brahmarandra-Cakkra, at the junction of the cranial sutures) and exudes a drop of clear crystalline dew, and that this pearl is his Soul, a virgin offering to his Angel, pressed forth from his being by the intensity of this Aspiration.

19.  That is, his or her astral body returns to that square, the physical body has been there this whole time.

Section Ff

With these words the Adept does not withdraw his will within him as in the previous Sections. He thinks of them as a reflection of Truth on the surface of the dew, where his Soul hides trembling. He takes them to be the first formulation in his consciousness of the nature of His Holy Guardian Angel.

Line 1

The "Gods" include all the conscious elements of his nature.

Line 2

The "Universe" includes all possible phenomena of which he can be aware.

Line 3

The "Winds" are his thoughts, which have prevented him from attaining to his Angel.

Line 4

His Angel has made "Voice", the magical weapon which produces "Words", and these words have been the wisdom by which He hath created all things. The "Voice" is necessary as the link between the Adept and his Angel. The Angel is "King", the One who "can", the "source of authority and the fount of honour"; also the King (or King's Son) who delivers the Enchanted Princess, and makes her his Queen. He is "Ruler", the "unconscious Will"; to be thwarted no more by the ignorant and capricious false will of the conscious man. And He is "Helper", the author of the infallible impulse that sends the Soul sweeping along the skies on its proper path with such impetus that the attraction of alien orbs is no longer sufficient to swerve it. The "Hear me" clause is now uttered by the normal human consciousness, withdrawn to the physical body; the Adept must deliberately abandon his attainment, because it is not yet his whole being which burns up before the Beloved.

Section G

The Adept, though withdrawn, shall have maintained the Extension of his Symbol. He now repeats the signs as before, save that he makes the Passive Invoking Pentagram of Spirit. He concentrates his consciousness within his Twin-Symbol of Self, and endeavours to send it to sleep. But if the operation be performed properly, his Angel shall have accepted the offering of Dew, and seized with fervour upon the extended symbol of Will towards Himself. This then shall He shake vehemently with vibrations of love reverberating with the Words of the Section. Even in the physical ears of the adept there shall resound an echo thereof, yet he shall not be able to describe it. It shall seem both louder than thunder, and softer than the whisper of the night-wind. It shall at once be inarticulate, and mean more than he hath ever heard.

Now let him strive with all the strength of his Soul to withstand the Will of his Angel, concealing himself in the closest cell of the citadel of consciousness. Let him consecrate himself to resist the assault of the Voice and the Vibration until his consciousness faint away into Nothing. For if there abide unabsorbed even one single atom of the false Ego, 20. that atom should stain the virginity of the True Self and profane the Oath; then that atom should be so inflamed by the approach of the Angel that is should overwhelm the rest of the mind, tyrannize over it, and become an insane despot to the total ruin of the realm. 21.

But, all being dead to sense, who then is able to strive against the Angel? He shall intensify the stress of His Spirit so that His loyal legions of Lion-Serpents leap from the ambush, awakening the adept to witness their Will and sweep him with them in their enthusiasm, so that he consciously partakes this purpose, and sees in its simplicity the solution of all his perplexities. Thus then shall the Adept be aware that he is being swept away through the column of his Will Symbol. and that His Angel is indeed himself, with intimacy so intense as to become identity, and that not in a single Ego, but in every unconscious element that shares in that manifold uprush. 22.

This rapture is accompanied by a tempest of brilliant light, almost always, and also in many cases by an outburst of sound, stupendous and sublime in all cases, though its character may vary within wide limits. 23.

The spate of stars shoots from the head of the Will-Symbol, and is scattered over the sky in glittering galaxies. This dispersion destroys the concentration of the adept, whose mind cannot master such multiplicity of majesty; as a rule, he simply sinks stunned into normality, to recall nothing of his experience but a vague though vivid impression of complete release and ineffable rapture. Repetition fortifies him to realise the nature of his attainment; and his Angel, the link once made, frequents him, and trains him subtly to be sensitive to his Holy presence, and persuasion. But it may occur, especially after repeated success, that the Adept is not flung back into his mortality by the explosion of the Star-spate, but identified with one particular "Lion-Serpent", continuing conscious thereof until it finds its proper place in Space, when its secret self flowers forth as a truth, which the Adept may then take back to earth with him.

This is but a side issue. The main purpose of the Ritual is to establish the relation of the subconscious self with the Angel in such a way that the Adept is aware that his Angel is the Unity which expresses the sum of the Elements of that Self, that his normal consciousness contains alien enemies introduced by the accidents of environment,24. and that his Knowledge and Conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel destroys all doubts and delusions, confers all blessings, teaches all truth, and contains all delights. But it is important that the Adept should not rest in mere inexpressible realization of his rapture, but rouse himself to make the relation submit to analysis, to render it in rational terms, and thereby enlighten his mind and heart in a sense as superior to fanatical enthusiasm as Beethoven's music is to West African war-drums.25.

20.  False from the initiatic point of view. As the psychologists rightly say, ego - the personality - is the product of genetic inheritance and environment. But this is only true for the common man or woman - and even in the case of the common man or woman, it is only partially true. The Energy which forms a human being ultilizes, really, the material which it has at its disposal in that particular section of the time-space continuum in which the formation occurs. But this Energy - which is the "Angel" - transcends those ephemeral conditions. The proof is that the human being is born - and dies. The Energy which formed it goes - where? Nothing is lost - everything is "transformed" is an inexorable law which operates in each and every plane.
In the common man or woman, the personality operates, during the major part of existence, as a syndrome of inherited and acquired reflexes. Rarely does a psychic experience of the "initiatic" order occur. Similarly, the religions and romantic experiences and the moral crises of such people rarely elevate them even to the plane of the Neophyte Initiation.
In the Initiate, however, things are different. Higher faculties of consciousness are awakened by the initiatic process - consequently, it is necessary, sooner or later, that a destruction and reconstruction - "a death and a birth" - occur in the personality. In the beginning, the modifications require the destruction and reconstruction of only parts of the personality - parts which are symbolized by different spheres of the Ruach in the Tree of Life.
The Initiation of Tiphareth, however, requires a complete reorganization of the Personality, for Tiphareth is directly linked to every section of the Ruach. The false Ego - the reflex or "lunar" personality - must be dissolved, and its material reorganized so as to reflect, in the planes of manifestation, the True Will - that is, the Word of the Angel.
The Crossing of the Abyss signifies the complete annihilation of all the inferior factulties. "Is a God to live in a dog?" To this Crossing the Initiation of the Minor Adept is but a pale reflexion.
The reader will understand perhaps more easily now why the "saints" - that is, persons passing through initiatic stages - of any religion frequently display symptoms that differ little from those which lead psychiatrists to hospitalize their patients. The attitude of primitive tribes was much wiser - the "crazies" were considered "afflicted by the gods", and treated with respect and patience. They were allowed to express their "craziness" freely, and it was prohibited to restrain them. In this respectful and supportive psychological atmosphere, mental disturbances were much more rare than they are becoming in our present-day society, in which the advances of science and the growing complexity of life in society enter into constant conflict with the emotional taboos of the trogloditc tribes which are maintained as "morality" by the established religions.

21.  In a system of forces in equilibrium, any force applied to the center of gravity will affect equally all parts of the system. If the system is not in equilbrium, the applied force will augment the disequilibrium precisely in the direction of the disequilibrium which existed before the force was applied.

22.  This is, "self-awareness" expands so as to include all the elements of which we are normally unaware. That which psychoanalysts call "consiousness" is in reality only the resultant of all the psychosomatic forces. It is as if it were the visible tip of the iceberg - while the major part of its volume remains hidden beneath the water. In the final analysis, the Ego is nothing more and nothing less than the structuralization and cohesion of all the billions of cellular consciousness which make up our organism. This in the "normal person" - in the Initiate, other factors, latent in the common person, or rarely manifested in the common person, must be included in the functioning of that which we call the "consciousness" - that is, the Ego.
The "Lion-Serpents" are, clearly, the spermatazoa.

23.   These phenomena are not wholly subjective; they may be perceived, though often under other forms, by even the ordinary man.

24.  Or by the atavistic tendencies inherited from one's ancestors!

25.  See LXV v 23 - 25.

Section Gg

The adept should have realised that his Act of Union with the angel implies
(1) the death of his old mind save in so far as his unconscious elements preserve its memory when they absorb it, 26. and
(2) the death of his unconscious elements themselves. But their death is rather a going forth to renew their life through love. He then, by conscious comprehension of them separately and together, becomes the "Angel" of his Angel, as Hermes is the Word of Zeus, whose own voice is Thunder. Thus in this section the adept utters articulately so far as words may, what his Angel is to Himself. He says this, with his Scin-Laeca wholly withdrawn into his physical body, constraining His Angel to indwell his heart.

Line 1

"I am He" asserts the destruction of the sense of separateness between self and Self. It affirms existence, but of the third person only. "The Bornless Spirit" is free of all space, "having sight in the feet", that they may choose their own path. "Strong" is G B R, The Magician escorted by the Sun and the Moon (See Liber D and Liber 777). The "Immortal Fire" is the creative Self; impersonal energy cannot perish, no matter what forms it assumes. Combustion is Love.

Line 2

"Truth" is the necessary relation of any two things; therefore, although it implies duality, it enables us to conceive of two things as being one thing such that it demands to be defined by complementals. Thus, an hyperbola is a simple idea, but its construction exacts two curves.

Line 3

The Angel, as the adept knows him, is a being Tiphereth, which obscures Kether. The Adept is not officially aware of the higher Sephiroth. He cannot perceive, like the Ipsissimus, that all things soever are equally illusion and equally Absolute. He is in Tiphereth, whose office is Redemption, and he deplores the events which have caused the apparent Sorrow from which he has just escaped. He is also aware, even in the height of his ecstasy, of the limits and defects of his Attainment.

Line 4

This refers to the phenomena which accompany his Attainment.

Line 5

This means the recognition of the Angel as the True Self of his subconscious self, the hidden Life of his physical life.

Line 6

The Adept realises every breath, every word of his Angel as charged with creative fire. Tiphereth is the Sun, and the Angel is the spiritual Sun of the Soul of the Adept.

Line 7

Here is summed the entire process of bringing the conditioned Universe to knowledge of itself through the formula of generation 27.; a soul implants itself in sense-hoodwinked body and reason-fettered mind, makes them aware of their Inmate, and thus to partake of its own consciousness of the Light.

Line 8

"Grace" has here its proper sense of "Pleasantness". The existence of the Angel is the justification of the device of creation. 28.

Line 9

This line must be studied in the light of Liber LXV (Equinox XI. p. 65).

26.  Each initiation produces a permanent change in the psyche of the individual; and lapses of memory as to past experiences which have no significance for the present conditions are common. This is one of the components of the "death" element of the operation.

27.  This is, Yod He realizing Themselves, Will and Understanding, in the twins Vau He, Mind and Body.

28.  Or in other nomenclature: certain regions of the brain which are found in a latent state in the common person are activated by the initiatic process and the rest which are already functioning are coordinated with this new region, which transcends and harmonizes all the earlier psychosomatic functions, reorganizing all.
The phenomenon, in a certain sense, resembles the phenomenon of resonance in two violins. If one violin plays, the other resonates. It is important that the Aspirant understand this: that his or her Angel is not a part of him or her. But, at the same time, it is clear that the Angel is a part of him or her...See AL i 45.
One of the initiations consists of understanding the words, "I am the Resurrection and the Life." These words symbolize the realization, achieved many millennia ago, by a person who understood, for the first time, that the Spiritual Sun does not "die". Since then, during the initiatic process, Aspirants arrive at this realization and, so to speak, "recollect" that experience, which has now been made an integral part of the racial memory.
The hideousness of Romanism consists in that the symbols were materialized. Instead of perceiving that it is he himself or she herself that pronounces these words, in his or her true being, the roman catholic is raised to believe in a "Savior" without whom he or she would die, without he or she is a creature condemned by "original sin".
The opportunity that this "doglike" attitude gives to meglomaniacal entities - the Black Brothers - is self-evident to any intelligent reader. Various unscrupulous occultists are attempting to use the Egregora for their personal ends. A jew, a number of jesuits, and diverse hindu "initiates" are thus proceeding. Unfortunately for them, the current is dead. Their present impetus is nothing more than the inertia of sixteen hundred years. Day by day their force diminishes. "And so perish all the King's enemies!" See AL i 49; ii 5-9, 21-23; iii 19, 49-55.

29.  But see also the general solution of the Riddle of Existence in The Book of the Law and its Comment - Part IV of Book 4.

Section H.

This recapitulation demands the going forth together of the Adept and his Angel "to do their pleasure on the Earth among the living."

Section J.

The Beast 666 having devised the present method of using this Ritual, having proved it by his own practice to be of infallible puissance when properly performed, and now having written it down for the world, it shall be an ornament for the Adept who adopts it to cry Hail to His name at the end of his work. 30. This shall moreover encourage him in Magick, to recall that indeed there was One who attained by its use to the Knowledge and Conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel, the which forsook him no more, but made Him a Magus, the Word of the Aeon of Horus!

For know this, that the Name IAF in its most secret and mighty sense declareth the Formula of the Magick of the BEAST whereby he wrought many wonders. And because he doth will that the whole world shall attain to this Art, He now hideth it herein so that the worthy may win to His Wisdom.

Let I and F face all 31.; yet ward their A from attack. The Hermit to himself, the fool to foes, The Hierophant to friends, Nine by nature, Naught by attainment, Five by function. In speech swift, subtle and secret; in thought creative, unbiassed, unbounded; in act gentle, patient and persistent.

Hermes to hear, Dionysus to touch, Pan to behold.

A Virgin, A Babe, and a Beast!
A Liar, an Idiot, and a Master of Men! A kiss, a guffaw, and a bellow; he that hath ears to hear, let him hear!
Take ten that be one, and one that is one in three, to conceal them in six!
Thy wand to all Cups, and thy Disk to all Swords, but betray not thine Egg!

Moreover also is IAF verily 666 by virtue of Number; and this is a Mystery of Mysteries; Who knoweth it, he is adept of adepts, and Mighty among Magicians!

Now this word SABAF, being by number Three score and Ten 32., is a name of Ayin, the Eye, and the Devil our Lord, and the Goat of Mendes. He is the Lord of the Sabbath of the Adepts, and is Satan, therefore also the Sun, whose number of Magick is 666, the seal of His servant the BEAST.

But again SA is 61, AIN, the Naught of Nuith; BA means go, for Hadit; and F is their Son the Sun who is Ra-Hoor-Khuit.

So then let the Adept set his sigil upon all the words he hath writ in the Book of the Works of his Will.

And let him then end all, saying, Such are the Words! 33. For by this he maketh proclamation before all them that be about his Circle that these Words are true and puissant, binding what he would bind, and loosing what he would loose.

Let the Adept perform this Ritual aright, perfect in every part thereof, once daily for one moon, then twice, at dawn and dusk, for two moons, next, thrice, noon added, for three moons, afterwards, midnight making up his course, for four moons four times every day. Then let the Eleventh Moon be consecrated wholly to this Work; let him be instant in continual ardour, dismissing all but his sheer needs to eat and sleep. 34. For know that the true Formula 35. whose virtue sufficed the Beast in this Attainment, was thus:


So may all men come at last to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel: thus sayeth the Beast, and prayeth His own Angel that this book be as a burning Lamp, and as a living Spring, for Light and Life to them that read therein.


30.  This is, of course, the practice immemorial of Initiation; the saluation by the chela to the Guru who initiated the current to which the chela belongs.
What Aspirants must understand concerning the Thelemic current is, above all, the following:
1.   The Current is in its beginning. It is growing, while the past currents are all dying (since the Thelemic Current includes the spiritual source of all the others); however, at the present time the inertia of the other currents is enormous; a great force is necessary; every new Aspirant must add his or her force to the Impulse. (See LXV iii 56).
2.   The Current does not offer "consolation" in the sense of the personality and the lower Manas. It neither "guides" nor "advises". It only stimulates all manifestations of the higher faculties; but in each and every case it is necessary that the Aspirant take the first step. (See LXV iii 3-16, and the Commentary. The Elephant God is the moral force - the force of the character - of the Aspirant himself or herself. If that is not shown - woe unto him or her! See AL ii 48-49. One must have gold to make gold.)
3.   The Current destroys and dissolves everything in the Personality which opposes the manifestation of the True Will of the Aspirant. Consequently, in many cases, the first impression which the Aspirant will have upon invoking the Current is that a "black and magligant" force is persecuting and destroying him or her. And so it is. (See LXV i 12-17, ii 7-15, 30-32, 62; iii 30, 37-48; iv 45-51; v 8-9, 14, 34-36, 51, 61-63; see also Liber 156; and Liber AL i 32, 60; ii 14, 52-54, 60, 78-79; iii 18, 42-46. All this applies not only to "enemies" but also to our own personality; above all, to our own personality! See AL i 17.)

31.  If we adopt the new orthography VIAOV (Book 4 Part III Chap. V.) we must read "The Sun-6-the Son" etc. for "all"; and elaborate this interpretation here given in other ways, accordingly. Thus O (of F) will not be "The Fifteen by function" instead of "Five" etc., and "in act free, firm, aspiring, ecstatic", rather than "gentle" etc. as in the present text.

32.  There is an alternative spelling TzBA-F Where the Root, (ABz) "an Host", has the value of 93. The Practicus should revive this Ritual throughout in the Light of his personal researches in the Qabalah, and thus make it his own peculiar property. The spelling here suggested implies that he who utters the Word affirms his allegiance to the symbols 93 and 61 that he is a warrior in the army of Will and of the Sun. 93 is also the number of AIWAZ and 6 of The Beast.

33.  The consonants of LOGOS, "Word", add (Hebrew values: sGL) to 93. And EPH, "Words", (whence "Epic") has also that value: EIDE TA EPH might be the phrase here intended: its number is 418. This would then assert the accomplishment of the Great Work; this is the natural conclusion of the Ritual. Cf. CCXX. III. 75.

34.  These needs are modified during the process of Initiation both as to quantity and quality. One should not become anxious about one's physical or mental health on a priori grounds, but pay attention only to indubitable symptoms of distress should such arise.

35.  The Oracles of Zoroaster utter this: "And when, by often invoking, all the phantasms are vanished, thou shalt see that Holy and Formless Fire, that Fire which darts and flashes through all the Depths of the Universe; hear thou the Voice of the Fire!

"A similar Fire flashingly extending through the rushings of Air, or a Fire formless whence cometh the Image of a voice, or even a flashing Light abounding, revolving, whirling forth, crying aloud. Also there is the vision of the fire-flashing Courser of Light, or also a Child, borne aloft on the shoulders of the Celestial Steed, fiery, or clothed with gold, or naked, or shooting with the bow shafts or light, and standing on the shoulders of the horse, then if thy meditation prolongeth itself, thou shalt unite all these symbols into the form of a Lion."

This passage - combined with several others - is paraphased in poetry by Aleister Crowley in his "Tannhauser".

"And when, invoking often, thou shalt see
That formless Fire; when all the earth is shaken,
The Stars abide not, and the moon is gone,
All Time crushed back into Eternity,
The Universe by earthquake overtaken;
Light is not, and the thunders roll,
The World is done:
When in the darkness Chaos rolls again
In the excited brain:
Then, O then call not to thy view that visible
Image of Nature; fatal is her name!
It fitteth not thy Body to behold
That living light of Hell,
The unluminous, dead flame,
Until that body from the crucible
Hath passed, pure gold!
For, from the confines of material space,
The twilight-moving place,
The gates of matter, and the dark threshold,
Before the faces of the Things that dwell
In the Abodes of Night,
Spring into sight
Demons, dog-faced, that show no mortal sign
Of Truth, but desecrate the Light Divine,
Seducing from the sacred mysteries.
But, after all these Folk of Fear are driven
Before the avenging levin
That rives the opening skies,
Behold that formless and that Holy Flame
That hath no name;
The Fire that darts and flashes, writhes and creeps
Snake-wise in royal robe
Wound round that vanished glory of the globe,
Unto that sky beyond the starry deeps,
Beyond the Toils of Time, - then formulate In thine own mind, luminous, concentrate,
The Lion of the Light, a child that stands
On the vast shoulders of the Steed of God:
Or winged, or shooting flying shafts, or shod
With the flame-sandals.
Then, lift up thine hands!
Centre thee in thine heart one scarlet thought
Limpid with brilliance of the Light above!
Drawn into naught
All life, death, hatred, love:
All self concentred in the sole desire -
Hear thou the Voice of Fire!"

36. See Equinox I, VIII, 22.


Scholion on Sections G & Gg

"The Seeds of Immortality!"

The Adept who has mastered this Ritual, successfully realising the full import of this controlled rapture, ought not to allow his mind to loosen its grip on the astral imagery of the Star-spate, Will-Symbol, or Soul-symbol, or even to forget its duty to the body and the sensible surroundings. Nor should he omit to keep his Body of Light in close touch with the phenomena of its own plane, so that its privy consciousness may fulfil its proper functions of protecting his scattered ideals from obsession.

But he should have acquired, by previous practice,37. the faculty of detaching these elements of his consciousness from their articulate centre, so that they become (temporarily) independent responsible units, capable of receiving communications from headquarters at will, but perfectly able
(1) to take care of themselves without troubling their chief, and
(2) to report to him at the proper time. In a figure, they must be like subordinate officers, expected to display self-reliance, initiative, and integrity in the execution of the Orders of the Day.

The Adept should therefore be able to rely on these individual minds of his to control their own conditions without interference from himself for the time required,38. and to recall them in due course, receiving an accurate report of their adventures.

This being so, the Adept will be free to concentrate his deepest self, that part of him which unconsciously orders his true Will, upon the realization of his Holy Guardian Angel. The absence of his bodily, mental and astral consciousness is indeed cardinal to success, for it is their usurpation of his attention which has made him deaf to his Soul, and his preoccupation with their affairs that has prevented him from perceiving that Soul.

The effect of the Ritual has been

(a) to keep them so busy with their own work that they cease to distract him;

(b)to separate them so completely that his soul is stripped of its sheaths;

(c)to arouse in him an enthusiasm so intense as to intoxicate and anaesthetize him, that he may not feel and resent the agony of this spiritual vivisection, just as bashful lovers get drunk on the wedding night, in order to brazen out the intensity of shame which so mysteriously coexists with their desire;

(d)to concentrate the necessary spiritual forces from every element, and fling them simultaneously into the aspiration towards the Holy Guardian Angel; and

(e)to attract the Angel by the vibration of the magical voice which invokes Him. 39.

The method of the Ritual is thus manifold.

There is firstly an analysis of the Adept, which enables him to calculate his course of action. He can decide what must be banished, what purified, what concentrated. He can then concentrate his will upon its one essential element, over-coming its resistance - which is automatic, like a physiological reflex - by destroying inhibitions through his ego-overwhelming enthusiasm. 40. The other half of the work needs no such complex effort; for his Angel is simple and unperplexed, ready at all times to respond to rightly ordered approach. 41.

But the results of the Ritual are too various to permit of rigid description. One may say that, presuming the union to be perfect, the Adept need not retain any memory soever of what has occurred. He may be merely aware of a gap in his conscious life, 42. and judge of its contents by observing that his nature has been subtly transfigured. Such an experience might indeed be the proof of perfection. If the Adept is to be any wise conscious of his Angel it must be that some part of his mind is prepared to realise the rapture, and to express it to itself in one way or another. This involves the perfection of that part, its freedom from prejudice and the limitations of rationality so-called. For instance: one could not receive the illumination as to the nature of life which the doctrine of evolution should shed, if one is passionately persuaded that humanity is essentially not animal, or convinced that causality is repugnant to reason. The Adept must be ready for the utter destruction of his point of view on any subject, and even that of his innate conception of the forms and laws of thought. 43. Thus he may find that his Angel consider his "business" or his "love" to be absurd trifles; also that human ideas of "time" are invalid, and human "laws" of logic applicable only to the relations between illusions.

Now the Angel will make contact with the Adept at any point that is sensitive to His influence. Such a point will naturally be one that is salient in the Adept's character, and also one that is, in the proper sense of the word, pure. 44.

Thus an artist, attuned to appreciate plastic beauty is likely to receive a visual impression of his Angel in a physical form which is sublimely quintessential of his ideal. A musician may be rapt away by majestic melodies such as he never hoped to hear. A philosopher may attain apprehension of tremendous truths, the solution of problems that had baffled him all his life.

Conformably with this doctrine, we read of illuminations experienced by simple-minded men, such as a workman who "saw God" and likened Him to "a quantity of little pears". Again, we know that ecstasy, impinging upon unbalanced minds, inflames the idolised idea, and produces fanatical faith fierce even to frenzy, with intolerance and insanely disordered energy which is yet so powerful as to effect the destinies of empires. 45.

But the phenomena of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel are a side issue; the essence of the Union is the intimacy. Their intimacy (or rather identity) is independent of all partial forms of expression; at its best it is therefore as inarticulate as Love.

The intensity of the consummation will more probably compel a sob or a cry, some natural physical gesture of animal sympathy with the spiritual spasm. This is to be criticised as incomplete self-control. Silence is nobler.

In any case the Adept must be in communion with his Angel, so that his Soul is suffused with sublimity, whether intelligible or not in terms of intellect. It is evident that the stress of such spiritual possession must tend to overwhelm the soul, especially at first. It actually suffers from the excess of its ecstasy, just as extreme love produces vertigo. The soul sinks and swoons. Such weakness is fatal alike to its enjoyment and its apprehension. "Be strong! then canst thou bear more rapture!" sayeth The Book of the Law. 46.

The Adept must therefore play the man, arousing himself to harden his soul.

To this end, I, the Beast, have made trial and proof of divers devices. Of these the most potent is to set the body to strive with the soul. Let the muscles take grip on themselves as if one were wrestling. Let the jaw and mouth, in particular, be tightened to the utmost. Breathe deeply, slowly, yet strongly. Keep mastery over the mind by muttering forcibly and audibly. But lest such muttering tend to disturb communion with the Angel, speak only His Name. Until the Adept have heard that Name, therefore, he may not abide in the perfect possession of his Beloved. His most important task is thus to open his ears to the voice of his Angel, that he may know him, how he is called. For hearken! this Name, understood rightly and fully, declareth the nature of the Angel in every point, wherefore also that Name is the formula of the perfection to which the Adept must aspire, and also of the power of Magick by virtue whereof he must work.

He then that is as yet ignorant of that Name, let him repeat a word worthy of this particular Ritual. Such are Abrahadabra, the Word of the Aeon, which signifieth "The Great Work accomplished"; and Aumgn interpreted in Part III of Book 4 47.; and the name of THE BEAST,for that His number showeth forth this Union with the Angel, and His Work is no other than to make all men partakers of this Mystery of the Mysteries of Magick.

So then saying this word or that, let the Adept wrestle with his Angel and withstand Him, that he may constrain Him to consent to continue in communion until the consciousness becomes capable of clear comprehension, and of accurate transmission 48. of the transcendent Truth of the Beloved to the heart that holds him.

The firm repetition of one of these Words ought to enable the Adept to maintain the state of Union for several minutes, even at first.

In any case he must rekindle his ardour, esteeming his success rather as an encouragement to more ardent aspiration than as a triumph. He should increase his efforts.

Let him beware of the "lust of result", of expecting too much, of losing courage if his first success is followed by a series of failures.

For success makes success seem so incredible that one is apt to create an inhibition fatal to subsequent attempts. One fears to fail; the fear intrudes upon the concentration and so fulfils its own prophecy. We know how too much pleasure in a love affair makes one afraid to disgrace oneself on the next few occasions; indeed, until familiarity has accustomed one to the idea that one's lover has never supposed one to be more than human. Confidence returns gradually. Inarticulate ecstasy is replaced by a more sober enjoyment of the elements of the fascination.

Just so one's first dazzled delight in a new landscape turns, as one continues to gaze, to the appreciation of exquisite details of the view. At first they were blurred by the blinding rush of general beauty; they emerge one by one as the shock subsides, and passionate rapture yields to intelligent interest.

In the same way the Adept almost always begins by torrential lyrics painting out mystical extravagances about "ineffable love", "unimaginable bliss", "inexpressible infinities of illimitable utterness". 49. He usually loses his sense of proportion, of humour, of reality, and of sound judgment. His ego is often inflated to the bursting point, till he would be abjectly ridiculous if he were not so pitifully dangerous to himself and others. He also tends to take his new-found "truths of illumination" for the entire body of truth, and insists that they must be as valid an vital for all men as they happen to be for himself.50.

It is wise to keep silence about those things "unlawful to utter" which one may have heard "in the seventh heaven". This may not apply to the sixth.

The Adept must keep himself in hand, however tempted to make a new heaven and a new earth in the next few days by trumpeting his triumphs. He must give time a chance to redress his balance, sore shaken by the impact of the Infinite.

As he becomes adjusted to intercourse with his Angel, he will find his passionate ecstasy develop a quality of peace and intelligibility which adds power, while it informs and fortifies his mental and moral qualities instead of obscuring and upsetting them. He will by now have become able to converse with his Angel, impossible as it once seemed; for he now knows that the storm of sound which he supposed to be the Voice was only the clamour of his own confusions. The "infinity" nonsense was born of his own inability to think clearly beyond his limits, just as a Bushman, confronted by numbers above five, can only call them "many".

The truth told by the Angel, immensely as it extends the horizon of the Adept, is perfectly definite and precise. It does not deal in ambiguities and abstractions. It possesses form, and confesses law, in exactly the same way and degree as any other body of truth. It is to the truth of the material and intellectual spheres of man very much what the Mathematics of Philosophy with its "infinite series" and "Cantorian continuity" is to schoolboy arithmetic. Each implies the other, though by that one may explore the essential nature of existence, and by this a pawnbroker's profits.

This then is the true aim of the Adept in this whole operation, to assimilate himself to his Angel by continual conscious communion. For his Angel is an intelligible image of his own true Will, to do which is the whole of the law of his Being.

Also the Angel appeareth in Tiphereth, which is the heart of the Ruach, and thus the Centre of Gravity of the Mind. It is also directly inspired from Kether, the ultimate Self, through the Path of the High Priestess, or initiated intuition. Hence the Angel is in truth the Logos or articulate expression of the whole Being of the Adept, so that as he increases in the perfect understanding of His name, he approaches the solution of the ultimate problem, Who he himself truly is.

Unto this final statement the Adept may trust his Angel to lead him; for the Tiphereth-consciousness alone is connected by paths with the various parts of his mind. 51. None therefore save He hath the knowledge requisite for calculating the combinations of conduct which will organise and equilibrate for forces of the Adept, against the moment when it becomes necessary to confront the Abyss. The Adept must control a compact and coherent mass if he is to make sure of hurling it from him with a clean-cut gesture.52.

I, The Beast 666, lift up my voice and swear that I myself have been brought hither by mine Angel. After that I had attained unto the Knowledge and Conversation of Him by virtue of mine ardour towards Him, and of this Ritual that I bestow upon men my fellows, and most of His great Love that He beareth to me, yea, verily, He led me to the Abyss; He bade me fling away all that I had and all that I was; and He forsook me in that Hour. But when I came beyond the Abyss, to be reborn within the womb of BABALON, then came he unto me abiding in my virgin heart, its Lord and Lover!

Also He made me a Magus, speaking through His Law, the Word of the new Aeon, the Aeon of the Crowned and Conquering Child. 53. Thus he fulfilled my will to bring full freedom to the race of Men. Yea, he wrought also in me a Work of wonder beyond this, but in this matter I am sworn to hold my peace.

37.  This emphasizes one more time the absolute necessity of conquering the Task of each and every Grade of the Outer Order before attempting the Operation of Tiphereth. See Liber XIII once again!

38.  See LXV ii 63-64.

39.  That voice must be uttered simultaneously in all planes in which the Adept functions; that is, in all the Sephiroth below Tiphareth. Hence the necessity for preliminary training. See Liber XIII and Chapter 160 of Liber Aleph.

40.  A high degree of initiation is required. This means that the process of analysis must have been carried out very thoroughly.

See LXV iii 40-46 and the Commentary.

The Adept must have become aware of his deepest impulses, and understood their true significance. The "resistance" here mentioned is automatic; it increases indefinitely against direct pressure. It is useless to try to force oneself in these matters; the uninitiated Aspirant, however eager he may be, is sure to fail. One must know how to deal with each internal idea as it arises.

It is impossible to overcome one's inhibitions by conscious effort; their existence justifies them. God is on their side, as on that of the victim in Browning's Instans Tyrannus. A man cannot compel himself to love, however much he may want to, on various rational grounds. But on the other hand, when the true impulse comes, it overwhelms all its critics; they are powerless either to make or break a genius; it can only testify to the fact that it has met its master.

41.  "When the disciple is ready, The Master appears."

42.  See LXV iv 28-29.

43.  Of course, even false tenets and modes of the mind are in one sense true. It is only their appearance which alters. Copernicus did not destroy the facts of nature, or change the instruments of observation. He merely effected a radical simplification of science. Error is really a "fool's knot". Moreover, the very tendency responsible for the entanglement is one of the necessary elements of the situation. Nothing is "wrong" in the end; and one cannot reach the "right" point of view without the aid of one's particular "wrong" point. If we reject or alter the negative of a photograph we shall not get a perfect positive.

44.  This means, free from ideas, however excellent in themselves, which are foreign to it. For instance, literary interest has no proper place in a picture.

45.  The case of the unhealthy system of Romanism, with the disasters it produced in the West during 1600 years, comes immediately to mind. See Letter to a Brasilian Mason.

46. Liber Al vel Legis, II, 61-68, where the details of the proper technique are discussed.

47. The essence of this matter is that the word AUM, which expresses the course of Breath (spiritual life) from free utterance through controlled concentration to Silence, is transmuted by the creation of the compound letter MGN to replace M: that is, Silence is realized as passing into continuous ecstatic vibration, of the nature of "Love" under "Will" as shewn by MGN = 40 + 3 + 50 = 93 AGAPH, Θελημα etc., and the whole word has the value of 100, Perfection Perfected, the Unity in completion, and equivalent to KR the conjunction of the essential male and female principles.

48. The "normal" intellect is incapable of these functions; a superior faculty must have been developed. As Zoroaster says: "Extend the void mind of thy soul to that Intelligible that thou mayst learn the Intelligible, because it subsisteth beyond Mind. Thou wilt not understand It as when understanding some common thing."

49. This corresponds to the emotional and metaphysical fog which is characteristic of the emergence of thought from homogeneity. The clear and concise differentiation of ideas marks the adult mind.

50.  We know of at least one case in which the Aspirant too two years to reacquire a sense of proportion.

51. See the maps "Minutum Mundum" in the Equinox I, 1, 2, & 3 and the general relations detailed in Liber 777, of which the most important columns are reprinted in Appendix V.

52.  The Aspirant must not forget that each Sephira contains the Tree of Life in miniature; each of the Initiations therefore reflects, in its structure, the whole of Initiation with its crises, the Angel and the Abyss. "...every step is a death and a birth."

53. For the account of these matters see The Equinox, Vol. I, "The Temple of Solomon the King", Liber 418, Liber Aleph, "John St. John", "The Urn", and Book 4, Part IV.