Marcelo Motta



Volume VI Number 3

An LXXX Sol in 0° 0' 0" ♑

22 December 1983 e.v.

10h 30m Greenwich Mean Time

Second Edition done by David Bersson on:

22 December 2009 e.v.


Introduction by David Bersson written December 6th, An CVI 2009 e.v.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

While it is true that our planet has hallways of philosophy, flowers glittering in the sunlight, wisdom sublime, and glories unspeakable, so it is simultaneously true that garbage does rot the gutters of the ghetto and demonic insanity does occur in the process of the Path whereas the inertia of Path is simply too much for the low man.

How perfectly reflective all this is that the contents of this book should give such gardens of wisdom; and also expose the latter.

Such repulsive convulsions of failure such as Israel Regardie's deletions to the text of MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS have to be, after all, exposed; for it is a command in our Holy Law that we know and destroy the traitors. Yet it also true that we must balance the pairs of opposites so that Liber Tzaddi and its principles give those who are not supernal a glimpse of those Palaces ineffable. Call it an attempt to perceive both sides of the coin, and if the reverse side of the coin be clouded with a smiling demon, let us know that the sly smile of the Hierophant who has heard the Riddle of the Sphinx and is set in purest gold is being Tossed and Juggled by the Magus!

Yet, something more must be revealed. The basics of those who will to tread our Path must face the Instructor; and have those doors unlocked so that the Path might be made clear to those who would partake of the sacrament of Initiation.

Even further so, it is important that this second edition of MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS commented be given once again to the multitudes. Thereby, the wisdom of the Master Therion will be given to the aspirant, the cutting; sublime comments of Marcelo Motta might expose, reveal and expound insight into the reality of those who would awaken to Our Way.

The aspirant is startled by the way Marcelo Motta weaves in and out of any given letter and text — sometimes enlightening one with a new perspective, sometimes giving an insight on the history behind the sentence that might be lost in the sands of time, sometimes giving a surprise attack on the low man for good measure, or simply sharing the humor of a man whose education gives us that subtle wit that can only be admired in a cultured human being — and can only exist for someone who has tread the horrors of the Path knowing that Wisdom is Folly.

Simultaneously to this, the Comedy of Pan has once again given us the Hierophant's sly smile — who incidentally is doing so from listening to the latest Oracle of the Sphinx, who has given Him still another Riddle to excite the next manifestation of the Current of the Aeon. (Cf. Liber Aleph ch. 151 - 159) It is otherwise a sublime paradox and relief to the Aspirant — with an image of himself as torn asunder by the ordeals — realizes with a moment of silent satisfaction, that after all, "leaping laughter" is also a command from our Holy Law.

Within the contents of this book you will surely be surprised and delighted that the reality of the Master's attempt to expound and enlighten is built with stones of true sincerity a tower arising unto the very heavens.

Love is the law, love under will

Comments by David Bersson aka Frater ☥ aka Frater Sphinx written December 10, An CVI 2009 e.v. concerning the Editorial of the first edition of MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS COMMENTED.

 A A Seal

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

The following editorial was written by Marcelo Ramos Motta also known as Frater Parzival 11° and clearly expounds the logic behind exposing Israel Regardie as a traitor who deleted fifteen thousand words from MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS. I agree completely with this exposure and not only was it an honorable gesture for Θελημα to restore the body of the text deleted; it was in complete compliance with the Book of the Law to know and destroy the traitors.

The ordeals thou shalt oversee thyself, save only the blind ones. Refuse none, but thou shalt know & destroy the traitors. I am Ra-Hoor-Khuit; and I am powerful to protect my servant. Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch! Them that seek to entrap thee, to overthrow thee, them attack without pity or quarter; & destroy them utterly. Swift as a trodden serpent turn and strike! Be thou yet deadlier than he! Drag down their souls to awful torment: laugh at their fear: spit upon them!
(AL III vs. 42)

Israel Regardie was a Probationer of the A∴A∴ and for a short period of time A.C.'s secretary. That he was a traitor to the man Crowley, to the Master Therion Himself, the system of the A∴A∴; and to my Superior who was the most devoted disciple of Karl Germer there can no doubt from the following facts you will be reading below.

Mr. Motta states that the purist will object to his changes in the text of Aleister Crowley; and this is no doubt a valid objection that what Aleister Crowley wrote, he wrote. It is historically dangerous to alter what he wrote for future scholars to actually be confused on what was originally written. Yet, this isn't necessarily why I leave the Aleister Crowley text the way it was — and do not include his edits with punctuation. Other purists object stating that in Liber OZ it states "man" is used in the sense of the word "humanity" and to be consistent with Mr. Motta's school of thought this would need to be changed — and therefore absolutely would be forbidden whereas this was given not only with Aleister Crowley's signature but the Seal of the Beast. An interesting point — with a valid objection. Yet I have no objections to the school of thought of My Superior, my motives are infinitely more sublime. I will state that the School of thought of every Exempt Adept 7 °= 4 is unique; and even state further that the School of thought of every Master of the Temple 8 °= 3 has its basis on what Instructions are given though the Path of ד. Let My writings be a testimony of My proof that this decision is based on Truth — and yet who but those who are approaching these planes and levels can be sure?

I will point out that the English language itself, in its further evolution will come from the style of how it is written in the Book of the Law. Confer AL III vs. 2.. When the words, "Spelling is defunct" was proclaimed this began a new manifestation of the English language that will evolve a grammar consistent with the style and manner from the Book of the Law.

Therefore, this second edition will be unique — what Marcelo Motta wrote remains completely intact except for some work with Greek and Hebrew that my Superior would have approved of. The publishing computer that was used was so low tech that such items were impossible to be included - and what Aleister Crowley wrote remains intact without the editing that was done.

The first edition was written without the italics of Mr. Motta's comments being inserted between the text — and this makes the edition very difficult at times to read. My Superior writes the following in the first edition.:

This text was composed under circumstances of great hardship, between trips to Maine over the Weiser lawsuit, search for documents, reading of depositions, and harassment by Immigration.  A computer progam was learned and used in the preparation of the camera ready material; the program is severely limited in many important points.  For instance, it does not have a "print pause" command, nor sufficient flexibility for improvising one.  It was thus impossible to use a different font for italics.  Accordingly, Marcelo Motta's notes have been included within square brackets.  Due to the typewheel used, these are often hard to find, and the reader should strive not to confuse Motta's notes with Crowley's original text.  A review of the program used, and a discussion of computers, printers and word-processing software will be included in Part II.

As you note from the above, italics were clearly impossible for the low tech publishing computer — and the accounts were drained as a consequence of the court cases.

Marcelo Motta had lived in a time where such computer programs were not as user friendly as the wonderful desktop publishing that we take for granted today — I am able to restore, and return to the same formats that were used by previous editions.

Yet, I am restoring more than just this — Being Aware of certain magical gestures that in the experimental stage have had to be altered to manifest Θελημα properly I have arisen from My Throne and thrust forth My Spear in a Magical Gesture of Adjustment.

Am I stating that I am not in agreement with my Superior, Marcelo Motta in the A∴A∴ and the O.T.O. by not proceeding precisely like he did during his lifetime? Why, no, of course not! Yet, you must realize that My will is not his will — and I have to prepare my own magical gestures to manifest my own school of thought on all its subtle planes. Who but a slave would try to be the self same wax mold of his teacher?

Love is the law, love under will


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

As our subscribers know, this number of The Oriflamme should have been dedicated to Book Four Commented Part III, subtitled "Thelemic Magick." We have had to alter our schedule due to a renewed publication of Mr. Francis "Israel" Regardie's piracy of Magick Without Tears.

Francis Regardie is a Jew. So far as Thelemites are concerned, this is not and has never been a label of infamy. Rather, from the testimony of history, it has often been a label of merit. Sadly, in Mr. Regardie's case, an exception proves the rule.

Some weak—minded correspondents of ours have, once in a while, complained that we denounced Francis Regardie in past Thelemic publications. Some were so advanced in weak-mindedness — or in hypocrisy — that they pretended to be unable to understand why we were so "hostile" to Mr. Regardie — implying that we are intolerant of an individual, on the whole, valuable to society.

We are not really concerned about the opinions of weak-minded people; they are usually weak—charactered, as Mr. Regardie is, although he certainly is not weak-minded. Another exception that proves the rule.

We will not, therefore, try to defend ourselves against the accusations, veiled or otherwise, of animosity towards Mr. Francis "Israel" Regardie. Our main concern is now, as it has always been, that, as long as his copyrights are protected by law, Aleister Crowley should not be misrepresented in print by liars or by thieves. Mr. Regardie, as his record proves, is both. Unhappily, too many Jews these days are both, in some context or another. Some, like Mr. Menachem Begin, step further backwards, and become also terrorists and murderers. It may or may not be significant to the reader that such unworthy Jews are usually "Israelis." If there is a pun here, it is not of our making. Indeed, we doubt it is of the making of Mr. Francis "Israel" Regardie's parents.

In 1937 e.v. (significantly, again, just before the start of the Second World War) Mr. Regardie published, for the first time, his "The Golden Dawn" compilation. In his introduction to that book he stated he had felt compelled to publish it because Aleister Crowley had mangled much of the material in The Equinox. The implication was, all through the introduction, that what Aleister Crowley ever knew he had stolen from the Golden Dawn "secret manuscripts." This piece of misinformation has (still significantly) been methodically spread among publishing houses in many different countries by an Israeli double agent called Oskar Schlag, of whom you will learn more in an essay further in this Oriflamme number: an essay appropriately called "Intelligence Services are not intelligent."

So far so good; Mr. Regardie had total legal freedom to libel Aleister Crowley, because Crowley was dead by the time Mr. Regardie published the old Golden Dawn material. (By law, you cannot libel a dead person. You can say anything you want about the dead. Even the heirs can not sue. De mortuis but the good, ha ha.) But if, as Mr. Regardie implied and often explicitly stated, all that Crowley ever knew he stole from the Golden Dawn of "MacGregor" Mathers & Co., one would expect Mr. Regardie never to touch Crowley material. After all, what use is Crowley material if you can have — thanks to Mr. Regardie's generosity, altruism, and moral honestly — access to the fountainhead of wisdom in the four (two next, and now one) volumes of Mr. Regardie's "The Golden Dawn?"

Unfortunately for Regardie, however, Mr. Karl Germer kept publishing fresh Crowley material. Also unfortunately for Mr. Regardie, serious students of The Equinox were able to perceive that Θελημα went light years beyond all the cumbersome, baroque, verbose and imprecise "secret manuscripts" that Mr. Regardie so generously "gave" to the world — collecting the royalties for his own pockets. Much of the material in his "The Golden Dawn" edition was previously unpublished, mind you; therefore, copyright protected. Did Mr. Regardie pay royalties to the authors, or the heirs of the authors, of that material? Not so you could notice.

Eventually, revenue from this first exercise stated to dry up: people lost interest in Regardie's "The Golden Dawn" once it became clear that it did not nearly match the material in The Equinox, or in the new Crowley material Mr. Germer helped his Master publish, and after Crowley's death kept publishing (under conditions of great hardship): The Equinox of the Gods, Eight Lectures on Yoga, The Heart of the Master, Little Essays Towards Truth, The Book of Thoth, The Gospel According to Saint Bernard Shaw, The Vision and the Voice Annotated, Magick Without Tears, 777 revised, The Book of Lies Commented and — with the help of yours truly — Liber Aleph. By the end of the Sixties, Francis "Israel" Regardie's disparagement of Crowley's genius was no longer credible. Therefore, since by then Mr. Germer was dead and Regardie thought a thief has nothing to fear from the dead, he started pirating again — this time Crowley material. He published something called "Gems from the Equinox."

So far, not too far: since Crowley had deliberately allowed the copyrights of the first Equinox volume to lapse, one could not accuse Mr. Regardie of blatant theft, although one might think he should have felt morally obliged to at least share royalties with the O.T.O. — had he any morals. Still, it is difficult to understand why Mr. Regardie should have felt compelled to edit "gems" from The Equinox if, as he had previously stated in print, all the material in it was cribbed from the ineffable mysteries of the "pure" Golden Dawn...

Having noticed a resurgence of interest in "his" writings with this publication, Mr. Regardie went further. He edited "The Vision and the Voice Commented" — and, since this book had been originally done in a very small edition and was totally out of print, this time he felt safe to take one step further in his intellectual, if not material, theft: he added his asinine comments to Aleister Crowley's comments, troubling himself not at all about making a difference between them — an "interpretation" of AL I 22 that would subsequently prove helpful to other thieves. I ordered this edition from Samuel Weiser, Inc.; upon its arrival in Brasil I noticed the mangling of the text and mailed it back with a note explaining why I was rejecting it. This was reported to Regardie, along with my pointed comments on his ethics; and did not predispose him to be one of my admirers. So much the better, for I am sometimes weak enough to measure my worth by the worth of those who admire me; being admired by Francis "Israel" Regardie would leave me deeply worried about myself.

However, by the time my existence began to trouble Mr. Regardie, his presumption had already gone too far: he had published his gelded edition of Magick Without Tears. This time it was total legal theft. Mr. Regardie, upon becoming aware that finally someone had appeared on the scene who could legally claim to represent the O.T.O., began to try to extricate himself. In contradictory statements (which we have in writing) made over a period of several years he claimed to different inquirers, first that all the Crowley material, with the exception of his "edition" of Magick Without Tears (!), was in the public domain, and "Motta had nothing to say about it." After some years, being notified by Donald Weiser or James Wasserman or some other liar and thief like himself that I was still going strong, he stated that he had permission to publish Crowley from Joseph Metzger in Switzerland. Upon being politely requested to present evidence of Mr. Metzger's "permission," he sulked and went into the kind of Stainless Silence of which "maharishis," "paramanhansas" and other "holy masters" are so fond at such occasions. Finally, more recently, he stated that he had permission to publish from Grady McMurtry. Upon again being politely asked to clarify whether this "permission" dated back to the time when he first stated that the material was in the public domain, or at least back to the time when he claimed to have Metzger's permission, he again chose to withdraw into Inscrutable Silence. We strongly doubt that this plain, public unveiling of his lack of character will disturb the serenity of his Retirement.

The Equinox Volume One was in the public domain by the time Francis "Israel" Regardie picked his "gems" from it. In that instance, although Regardie was morally a thief, legally he was just a parasite. The Vision and the Voice Commented was not officially copyrighted, due to Mr. Germer's lack of familiarity with copyright law: he thought the book was in the public domain, having first been published in The Equinox Volume One; but the additional Crowley comments were not in the public domain, and may still be protected in the United States of America (they are certainly protected in many other countries, England included); this is one of the points the O.T.O. is now determining in the courts.

But in the case of Magick Without Tears, Regardie's position that he could publish this book because it was in the public domain was a flagrant and malicious lie; as you can see from the photographic reproductions on the next page:

As already stated, when Regardie claimed "permission" from Metzger we requested to see it in writing; which we — and so far as we know, everybody else — never did. "Permission" from McMurtry ("given" years after the fact) we did not trouble to request proof of, because quite possibly Regardie could exhibit a scrap of paper to that effect: it is well known by now that if I point out that someone is a liar, a thief, or an incompetent, McMurtry will hastily "charter" him or her in something or another, and "grant" him or her unmerited or preposterous titles. But as neither Metzger nor McMurtry ever had sanction from Mr. Germer or from his executor to represent the Crowley copyrights (we are now in the process of proving this in court) their "permission" to Regardie is no better than the permissiveness he allows himself.

Although Mr. Germer, in many different letters, expressed to me his total lack of trust in Regardie's sincerity, I do not think he ever realized that when Regardie appeared and offered his "services" to Θελημα and Aleister Crowley he was already, as James Wasserman was when he offered his "services" to me, an agent of sinister and powerful interests. Mr. Germer's explanation of Regardie's "disenchantment" with Crowley was this: Crowley had told his secretary and "disciple" that the Master is selfish; and from that moment on Regardie had begun to fear Crowley was a "Black Brother," and decided to fight him for the rest of his life.

This explanation, nevertheless, does not sufficiently dovetail with the facts of Regardie's conduct in the years since Mr. Germer's death. As to the Master being selfish; we deny Regardie moral character or spiritual understanding, but we do not deny him plain old everyday Yiddish cunning and worldliness. It cannot fail to have occurred to Regardie that if Crowley really was a "Black Brother," the last thing he would do would be to warn a disciple against himself: the average "maharishi" is far, of course, from being a "Black Brother," but is astute enough to protest nothing but "endless love" to his dupes.

The selfishness of the Master is a fact; he or she cares for absolutely nothing but his or her Work; disciples are merely tools in the game of His or Her life, to be used (but not abused) or discarded as a child does to lead soldiers or to dolls. The Master is merely an instrument of the Gods; His or Her "personal" life is an illusion; the Work which he or she was sent to do is all that matters. The Juggernaut of the Hindus is nothing but an image of this — to the profane — terrible reality. If the disciple cannot accept this fact, and live with it, he or she is at perfect liberty to stop being a disciple. But he or she should at least have the common decency to feel grateful for the Master's frank warning, and not try to rob His or Her instrument of its property.

I myself have often been accused — and from the point of view of the accusers, I admit sometimes with cause — of being unfeeling, overbearing, totally involved with myself, ruthlessly cold and, of course, always pitiless. I have been accused of not doing my Work, which from the point of view of the accusers should be that of "saving" and "consoling" them. After all, am I not supposed to be a Servant of Humanity?

But to be a Servant of Humanity is not to be babysitter to knaves or to fools; it is to cultivate the best, not the worst, in the soul of those who come to you for instruction; it is to make gold from lead. The operation is far from painless, either to the prima materia or to the Alchemist (although the prima materia may perhaps be forgiven for ignoring the problems of the latter — what can it know of the Pain of the Goat?) Our purpose, as Crowley himself inimitably stated, is twofold: to fortify the fit and to eliminate the unfit. If you want "consolation" and crave a safe haven, come not to the Master; go to the preacher or to the charlatan (is there truly a difference between the two?) You deserve each other. I am not here to please you or to love you: I am here to please Those who sent me, and to teach you to love Them more than you "love" yourselves. In short, I am a Servant, and would make Servants of you; meanwhile, I will make you into my servants. If the program does not please, it is useless to try to change it; get away from me and go play with your toys.

It would have been easier to believe in the sincerity of Francis "Israel" Regardie's "disenchantment" if he had gone away to play with his toys; but it has become progressively clearer in the last three decades that he wants to appropriate Crowley's toys to play with. This present publication is proof that he will not be allowed to do this.

This edition restores the original text of Magick Without Tears, from which Mr. Regardie cut over fifteen thousand words; it restores and increases the list of quoted books that appeared in the legitimate original edition; and enlarges the index. It restores Mr. Germer's original introduction. It includes notes that explain obscure points, clarify certain terms, and indicate what parts of the text were excised by Mr. Regardie — sometimes explaining the motivation behind the cut. By and large, however, Mr. Regardie's cuts speak for themselves, and little by little build up an enlightening picture of his soul.

There are certain changes in the text. First, punctuation. Unfortunately, many of the letters were dictated to Kenneth Grant, who by this time was Crowley's new secretary (he never had much luck with secretaries, did he.) In letters to Mr. Germer, of which we have copies, Crowley complained that Grant was in the habit of changing his text without consulting him. The punctuation in the original edition is often irregular; this might also be due to who typed it; whatever the reasons, we have tried to make it more regular. Whenever it seemed to us, however, that the punctuation followed the rhythm of Crowley's speech rather than the rules of grammar, we left it intact.

Second, we have changed the term "Christianity" and its derivates to the term "Christism," wherever it is clear in the text that Crowley is not speaking about legitimate Christianity, of which we are the heirs, but of the Roman-Alexandrine con—game and its later branches. The term "Christism" was invented by Fernando Pessoa, the great Portuguese poet who became Crowley's pupil, King of the O.T.O. in Portugal, and eventually the first Thelemically trained Master of the Temple in a Latin country. The term is useful, and we are sure that Crowley would have approved of this change. Fernando Pessoa dedicated his life to fighting for Θελημα in his country; he died young under the terrible burden of constant attack by the Roman Catholic Church; he died unknown. He is now recognized as one of the greatest and most original poets of his country; widely admired in Portugal and Brasil; translated into several languages; frequently, like Shakespeare, quoted unknowingly, mostly by young people. With its usual cynicism, the Roman Catholic Church in Portugal and Brasil is now pretending that it always admired him. He will eventually be recognized as one of the greatest poets of the world. There is a translation of his works in English; we have not read it, so cannot opine as to its merits; but for those who may be interested in the man, it might be a start. Of course, the essence of great poetry can usually be caught in all its beauty only in the original idiom. Happy are they who can read Homer in Greek, Goethe, Schiller and Helne in German, Vatsyayana in Sanskrit, Omar Kayyam in Persian, the Koran in Arabic, the Song of Songs in Hebrew, Lao Zi in Chinese... I envy them.

Third, and this will certainly raise some hackles among purists, we have changed terms that in these days of heightened feminine self—consciousness might be considered evidence of sexism. Such changes can only be made when the expression was merely a figure of speech, and not indicate an opinion (or, if you will, a prejudice) on Crowley's part. When it is clear that the references to the male or to the female were fully intended to express differences between the sexes, we left them intact. But the pronoun "he" and the term "man" have traditionally been used in English for centuries to express not the male half of the species only, but the species in general; and when such occasions happened along, we adopted the cumbersome device of "he or she" or "him or her" and its like; for it is better to be cumbersome than to be unclear. Crowley always spoke of the Initiate as a male, and of the Master of the Temple as "he." But since this was not an expression of prejudice (else, he would not have stated that Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was a Master of the Temple, as he did; or that Sappho was a Philosophus who eventually became a Dominus Liminis and in dying reached Adeptship), but merely a figure of style, we have changed the form in an attempt to preserve the thought. Crowley has been accused — by the Roman Catholic Church of course — of hating and despising women. You will notice that most of the letters in Magick Without Tears were written to women; and women should read them without being disturbed, in these days of feminist activism that we can but encourage and applaud, by conventions of speech. We are not sure that Mr. Karl Johannes Germer would have approved of this our initiative; but we have done it on our Authority.

These reservations expressed, you have here the original Crowley text, pure and as intact as using Israel Regardies and Kenneth Grants as secretaries could leave it.

One of the reasons why I am most unsympathetic towards Francis "Israel" Regardie is that, at the time Magick Without Tears was first published, he was enjoying good revenues from his "The Golden Dawn" compilation and creating for himself, among superficial thinkers, a reputation as a man of wisdom; yet, he contributed nothing to the Crowley book he later pirated; he lifted not one finger to help. Magick Without Tears was printed under conditions of the greatest hardship: the text was typed on an early electric typewriter (the same one on which Mr. Germer ordered me to type a list he had made of the books in the O.T.O. library; he also ordered me to keep a copy of the list, that is now being used in court to find out how much of the library was since criminally sold by either Grady McMurtry, Helen Parsons-Smith, or Phyllis whatever); the result was mimeographed and bound. When I first talked of these things with Mr. Germer, I asked him how many copies had been printed; he told me two hundred. Seeing the expression on my face he asked if I thought the edition should have been larger. I said I thought it should have been at least a thousand, upon which he grew greatly indignant; for he had wanted to print at least a thousand, but the people — guess who — who had "helped" him put it out had protested this was not worth the trouble — they did not think even two hundred copies would sell. Who would want to read Aleister Crowley...?

The final reason why I am unsympathetic towards Francis "Israel" Regardie — indeed, the reason why I will never forgive him, and could never respect him, even as a fellow being; the reason why in my opinion he dishonors his religion and his culture (as most Zionists do), is that when he first published his Magick Without Tears piracy it went through two printings in a matter of months; he made good money from his theft; and he did not send one cent of this money to Mrs. Sascha Germer, who (in the absence of myself) was legally responsible for the Crowley copyrights; to whom he should have gone for permission to publish (the trouble was, she would never have given it to him); who had then less than three years to live, and who was slowly starving to death. Literally so. The reason why this conduct dishonors his religion and his culture is that Mrs. Germer was Jewish; and a good Jew will never allow another Jew to starve, particularly a woman. This was the grimmest survival rule the Jews learned, first from deprivation in the physical deserts of the Middle East, then from two thousand years of deprivation in the moral deserts of the Christist world. Francis "Israel" Regardie is a bad Jew in the Jewish sense; and in any human sense he is an unscrupulous, presumptuous and contemptible creep. As I stated in my last letter to Mr. Donald Weiser, people like him and Regardie are a good excuse for Nazis: the kind of example they give can only harm the Jews as a whole, for it can only harm humankind. We will go into this in more detail in the essay appended to this book called "Intelligence Services are not Intelligent."

Since this number of The Oriflamme was prompted by the unethical behavior of one Jew, perhaps a reminder to unintelligent readers is wanted. We have often been accused of anti—semitism because we criticize Jews who murder, exploit or rob members of other cultural groups and sometimes even their fellow Jews. Those who thus libel us forget, out of malice or stupidity, that our criticism of such behavior extends to all other members of our species. Our remarks on people like Regardie, Weiser, Begin, Kahane, etc., should not be thought to automatically apply to all members of their faith. We think the average Jew is an outstanding asset to any society in which she or he may move and work. But since Jews excel, not only in our opinion but their own, the average homo saps of whatever sex, color, or faith, we also think it their duty to always exhibit in their conduct that excellence so hardly won.

Love is the law, love under will.

Marcelo Motta


IN 1943 e.v. Aleister Crowley met a lady who, having heard of his wide knowledge and experience, asked his advice on occult, spiritual and practical matters

Actually, those letters were addressed to different people, most of them women. Many were addressed to Jane Wolfe, who Crowley had met years before.

This chance connection resulted in a stimulating exchange of letters. Crowley then asked others to put similiar questions to him. The result was this collection of over eighty letters which are now being issued over the title that he chose, "MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS".

This was a take—off on an arithmetic primer for children that was a bestseller for several decades.

Crowley did not copies of his early letters to the above-mentioned lady, so was unable to to include them in the collection that he planned to publish. Fortunately they have been preserved and are now included in the introduction to this book. Their original form has retained with the opening and closing formulae which Crowley used in all his letters. Crowley at first intended to call the book ALEISTER EXPLAINS EVERYTHING, and sent the following circular to his friends and disciples asking them to suggest subjects for inclusions:


"Much gratified was the author of THE BOOK OF THOTH to have so many letters of appreciation, mostly from women, thanking him for not 'putting it in unintelligible language', for 'making it all so clear that even I with my limited intelligence can understand it, or think I do.'

It is interesting that women responded to the EQ. III 5 in greater numbers than men: the Roman Catholic Church had kept up an intensive campaign against Crowley since Mussolini's days, accusing him in the press, in private documents of Romish orders, and in confidential instructions to "priests" of being an enemy and despiser of womanhood. But the second World War had been very productive: with most young men on the front, bosses and managers had to hire women to positions women would usually not have occupied before the conflict, and even to promote them. An entire generation of females had a first taste of personal freedom, and after the war was over many of them resented having to give it up. Some never did, and the Feminist Revolution gathered momentum from them. Thoughout this book, behind Crowley's jokes and gibes, his deep love and respect for the so-called "tender sex" will become very clear

"Nevertheless and notwithstanding! For many years the Master Therion has felt acutely the need of some groundwork teaching suited to those who have only just begun the study of Magick and its subsidiary sciences...

Such as physics, astronomy, mathematics, geology, biology, medicine, psychiatry... And sociology. Very specially this...

..., or are merely curious about it, or interested in it with intent to study. Always he has done his utmost to make his meaning clear to the average intelligent educated person...

Always an absolute minority in any country...

...but even those who understand him perfectly and are most sympathetic to his work, agree that it is in this respect he has often failed. "So much for the dianosis -- now for the remedy!" One genius, inspired of the Gods, suggested recently that the riddle might be solved somewhat on the old and well - tried lines of 'Dr. Brewer's Guide to Science'; id est by having aspirants write to the Master asking questions, the kind of problem that naturally comes into the mind of any sensible enquirer...

Unfortunately, another absolute minority, at least on this planet...

"..., and getting his answer in the form of a letter.  'What is it?'  'Why should I bother my head about it?'  'What are its principles?'  'What use is it?'  'How do I begin?', and the like.

"This plan has been put into action; the idea has been to cover the subjects from every possible angle.  The style has been colloquial and fluent; technical terms have either been carefully avoided or most carefully explained; and the letter has not been admitted to the series until the querent has expressed satisfaction.  Some seventy letters, up to the present have been written, but still there seem to be certain gaps in the demonstration, like those white patches on the map of the World, which looked so tempting fifty years ago.

This memorandum is to ask for your collaboration and support.  A list, indicating briefly the subject of each letter already written, is appended.  Should you think that any of those will help you in your own problems, a typed copy will be sent to you at once ...  Should you want to know anything outside the scope, send in your question (stated as fully and clearly as possible) ...  The answer should reach you, bar accidents, in less than a month ...  It is proposed ultimately to issue the series in book form.""

This has now been done.


This was, of course, the original Editor, Mr. Karl Johannes Germer, during whose lifetime Francis Israel Regardie would never have dared to proclaim himself qualified to edit Crowley, much less to speak for him!

Letter No. A

March 19, 1943 e.v.

Cara Soror:

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

I was very glad to gather from your conversation yesterday afternoon that you have a serious intention of taking up the Great Work in the proper spirit.  Your criticisms of previous experience in the course of your adventures appeared to be singularly sane and just.  As I promised I am writing this letter to cover a few practical points which we had not time to discuss and which in any case I think it better to arrange by correspondence.

1) It is of the first importance that you should understand my personal position.  It is not actually wrong to regard me as a teacher, but it is certainly liable to mislead; fellow-student, or, if you like, fellow-sufferer, seems a more appropriate definition.

The purpose is to avoid, if possible, a devotional approach mingled with religious awe on the part of the disciples. The Thelemic Method is, after all, the Method of Science. Before I came to the United States to pick up the pieces from the Gunther Gernon Cabiness III debacle of "Troll Publishing" I asked Soror K.A., who happened to be the woman —— and the only man —— on the spot at the time: "Make fun of me. Tell them little ridiculous things about me." Well, she did this great enthusiasm —— perhaps too great, but then, she also resented the Teacher —— who doesn't? As a result, when I arrived I was looked upon with suspicion and even with contempt; even so, it was necessary to beat them off to keep them from sitting at my feet with their tongues hanging out to listen to my Holy Discourses, instead of working their asses off and listening to the voice of their own souls. Where any. Crowley was specially adept at puncturing Holy Devotion Unto The Guru, and and is here being very tactful indeed. But this is one problem, as well as the solution, are incomparably discussed in Chapter M of Liber 333 Commented.

Note by David Bersson: The reference to Soror K.A. (Claudia Canuto de Menezes) as a man was a sly poke at her bisexuality with a stronger tendency for women than men. Mr. Motta's remark came true that she truly resented the Master; and she betrayed him by not arranging a vote — separating legally from the Declaration of Trust. She was a moron. I suspect at the time of her writing the notarized document to separate from the Declaration of Trust she was too stupid to realize that she was creating a situation where Mr. Motta's own writings would not be available in his native country in his native tongue without his own devoted having to pirate his books — a situation that he would of never approved of.)

The climax of my life was what is known as the Cairo Working, described in the minutest detail in The Equinox of the Gods...

Book Four Part IV, The Law, to be published in this Volume of the THE ORIFLAMME.

...At that time most of The Book of the Law was completely unintelligible to me, and a good deal of it—especially the third chapter—extremely antipathetic.  I fought against this book for years; but it proved irresistible.

I do not think I am boasting unfairly when I say that my personal researches have been of the greatest value and importance to the study of the subject of Magick and Mysticism in general, especially my integration of the various thought-systems of the world, notably the identification of the system of the Yi King with that of the Qabalah.  But I do assure you that the whole of my life's work, were it multiplied a thousand fold, would not be worth one tithe of the value of a single verse of The Book of the Law.

I think you should have a copy of The Equinox of the Gods and make The Book of the Law your constant study.  Such value as my own work may possess for you should amount to no more than an aid to the interpretation of this book.

2) It may be that later on you will want a copy of "Eight Lectures on Yoga"...

EQ. III No. 4, which will be re—issued, annotated, in due course.

...; so I am putting a copy aside for you in case you should want it.

3) With regard to the O.T.O., I believe I can find you a typescript of all the official documents.  If so, I will let you have them to read, and you can make up your mind as to whether you wish to affiliate to the Third Degree of the Order.  I should consequently, in the case of your deciding to affiliate, go with you though the script of the Rituals and explain the meaning of the whole thing; communicating, in addition, the real secret and significant knowledge of which ordinary Masonry is not possessed.

4) The horoscope; I do not like doing these at all, but it is part of the agreement with the Grand Treasurer of the O.T.O....

At that time, Karl Johannes Germer. Mr. Germer was an excellent astrologer, and it is interesting that he should insist on Crowley drawing the charts; it shows he considered Crowley a better astrologer than himself.

... that I should undertake them in worthy cases, if pressed.  But I prefer to keep the figure to myself for future reference, in case any significant event makes consultation desirable.

Now there is one really important matter. The only thing besides The Book of the Law which is in the forefront of the battle.  As I told you yesterday, the first essential is the dedication of all that one is and all that one has to the Great Work, without reservation of any sort...

The one thing that Messrs. Regardie, Grant, Metzger, McMurtry, Mudd, Smith, Neuberg, Stansfleld Jones, and Mesdames "Hirsig", Wolfe, Parsons Smith, Wade-Seckler-McMurtry and lots of less notorious people we could mention, prove constantly, with tiresome regularity, totally incapable to do.

This must be kept constantly in mind; the way to do this is to practice "Liber Resh vel Helios, sub figura CC". There is another version of these Adorations, slightly fuller; but those in the text are quite alright.  The important thing is not to forget...

That is, not to forget the dedication of all that one is and all that one has, to the Great Work.

... I shall have to teach you the signs and gestures which go with the words.

It is also desirable before beginning a formal meal to go through the following dialogue: Knock 3—5—3: say, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."  The person at the other end of the table replies: "What is thy Will?"  You: "It is my Will to eat and drink."  He: "To what end?"  You: "That my body may be fortified thereby."  He: "To what end?"  You: "That I may accomplish the Great Work. "...

It is customary, if you are a Probationer or a Member of the G.D., to add at this point: "The Knowledge and Conversation of my Holy Guardian Angel".

Note by David Bersson: It was never customary when I was Lodge Master of the Menthu Lodge or the 93 Lodge to do this; nor had Mr. Motta ever given me or any other student I know this "custom". I was, in fact, given an entire different instruction on the matter which I pass on to my students to this day.

...The other: "Love is the law, love under will."  You, with a single knock: "Fall to."  When alone make a monologue of it: thus, Knock 3-5-3.  Do what, etc.  It is my Will to, etc., that my body, et Cetera., that I may, et Cetera., Love is, et Cetera.  Knock: and begin to eat.

It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of performing these small ceremonies regularly, and being as nearly accurate as possible with regard to the times.  You must not mind stopping in the middle of a crowded thoroughfare—lorries or no lorries—and saying the Adorations...

Alas! Such counsels of perfection are for the future. You will attract not only attention to yourself, but the deadly enmity of Christists —— to say nothing of other crapulous creeds —— if you do something like this. I used to do it, when I was in college in the U.S.A., at a time when I was under special surveillance by order of Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, and remember being approached by an agent who made no special effort to remain inconspicuous and asked why I stopped in the middle of the street and babbled words to myself. He knew perfectly well what I did, and why I did it, and was merely trying to fill his daily quota and earn his salary. You should say the Adorations fully whenever you can, but in public you may merely say them interiorly, putting either your forefinger or your thumb to your lips, depending on your Grade or your pleasure. The important detail is not to forget them —— ever! Also, you must realize that the Stations of the Sun have absolutely nothing to do with normal clock time. They have to do with Local Time, and most specially the merdian that happens to be over your head. It is Noon when the Sun is crossing the local meridian, no matter what the clock says. And if you are on a mountaintop the Sun will set much later, and rise much earlier, than if you are in a valley. Skyscrapers also count. And south of the Equator, noon and midnight are reversed cardinal points. Either you keep these things in mind or you will end up with dead dogma such as "Christmas" and Holy Inquisitions in your hands. If you feel that it is better to have them in your hands than at your throat, you are becoming crapulous, friend. Or rather ex — friend.

...; and you must not mind snubbing your guest—or your host—if he or she should prove ignorant of his or her share of the dialogue...

Actually, social occasions are usually smoothly passed over by merely apologizing to your host or partner, stating that you are going to say your prayers, and doing it. There is nothing that shows more promptly whether a person deserves human company or not than their reaction to such a simple request.

Christists, as a rule, will automatically assume that you are performing what they call prayers, but since the occasion is social you do not have to disillusion them unless they force you to. In this writer's experience, they often do. But then it is their fault, as usual, and not yours.

... It is perhaps because these matters are so petty and trivial in appearance that they afford so excellent a training.  They teach you concentration, mindfulness, moral and social courage, and a host of other virtues.

Like a perfect lady, I have kept the tit bit to the last.  It is absolutely essential to begin a magical diary, and keep it up daily.  You begin by an account of your life, going back even before your birth to your ancestry. In conformity with the practice which you may perhaps choose to adopt later, given in Liber Thisarb, sub figura CMXIII, paragraphs 27-28, Magick, pp. 420—422, you must find an answer to the question: "How did I come to be in this place at this time, engaged in this particular work?"  As you will see from the book, this will start you on the discovery of who you really are, and eventually lead you to your recovering the memory of previous incarnations.

As it is difficult for you to come to Town except at rare and irregular intervals, may I suggest a plan which has previously proved very useful, and that is a weekly letter.  Eliphas Lévi did this with the Baron Spedalieri, and the correspondence is one of the most interesting of his works.  You ask such questions as you wish to have answered, and I answer them to the best of my ability.  I, of course, add spontaneous remarks which may be elicited by my observations on your progress and the perusal of your magical diary.  This, of course, should be written on one side of the paper only, so that the opposite page is free for comments, and an arrangement should be made for it to be inspected at regular intervals.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. B

April 20, 1943 e.v.

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

I was very glad to have your letter, and am very sorry to hear that you have been in affliction.  About the delay, however, I think I ought to tell you that the original Rule of the Order of A∴A∴ was that the introducer read over a short lection to the applicant, then left him alone for a quarter of an hour, and on coming back received a "yes" or "no."  If there was any hesitation about it the applicant was barred for life.

The reason for the relaxation of the rule was that it was thought better to help people along in the early stages of the work, even if there was no hope of their turning out first—class...

That relaxation was a mistake which has seriously affected the progress of the Work, since it produced people like Regardie, Stanfeld Jones, Kenneth Grant, Grady McMurtry, Phyllis Wade-Seckler-McMurtry, Helen Parsons Smith, etc. etc. etc. If people are not going to turn out first class they should be ruthlessly discarded; we are not in the salvation business, we are in the teaching business. If a person is obviously unfit it is a mistake to encourage them in the delusion that they can make progress. This progress is usually at the expense of the energy of the instructor, that would be better applied teaching someone worthier. I myself was introduced to the Order according to the original rule. I had exactly five minutes to decide if I wanted to join or not. And every time I have relaxed this rule with one of my pupils that pupil has eventually proved unworthy, and the Work has been harmed by her or him.

... But I should like you to realize that sooner or later, whether in this incarnation or another, it is put up to you to show perfect courage in face of the completely unknown, and the power of rapid and irrevocable decision without without counting the cost.

I think that it is altogether wrong to allow yourself to be worried by "psychological, moral, and artistic problems."  It is no good your starting anything of any kind unless you can see clearly into the simplicity of truth.  All this humming and hawing about things is moral poison.  What is the use of being a woman if you have not got an intuition, an instinct enabling you to distinguish between the genuine and the sham?

On the other hand, see his remarks on the Woman Formula in Letter 53, "Mother—Love". So-called "feminine intuition" can be found in both sexes, and was very rare in Western women in the Old Aeon: perceptive temperaments had been ruthlessly weeded out by the Christist denominations, women exhibiting it being accused of witchcraft, satanism, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Only the "comfortable" type of women, exhibiting the "virtues" that Romanism considered useful to its domination were allowed to thrive.

Intuition, so-called, is simply a well—developed Neschamic with the Ruach. If you were incarnated in a female body it was indeed easier for this link to form and endure; but the energies of the Aeon of Horus (Cf. LXV v 5-7, 44)provide both sexes with the opportunity of intuition now. Crowley knew perfectly well, but was talking down to the level of the disciple. The need to do this leads the Masters often to being accused of contradiction, silliness, or even dishonesty.

Your state of mind suggests to me that you must have been, in the past, under the influence of people who were always talking about things, and never doing any real work.  They kept on arguing all sorts of obscure philosophical points; that is all very well, but when you have succeeded in analyzing your reactions you will understand that all this talk is just an excuse for not doing any serious work.

Does any of you recognize himself or herself in this description? Very likely not. Alas!

I am confirmed in this judgment by your saying: "I don't know if I want to enter into a great conflict.  I need peace.""  Fortunately you save yourself by adding: "Real peace, that is living and not stagnant."  All life is conflict.  Every breath that you draw represents a victory in the struggle of the whole Universe.  You can't have peace without perfect mastery of circumstance; and I take it that this is what you mean by "living, not stagnant."

Generous as always, loving as always. What she really meant was the legendary stork's device of sticking your head in a hole in the sand and leaving your bottom to the wind.

But it is of the first consequence for you to summon up the resolution to stamp on this sea of swirling thoughts by an act of will; you must say: "Peace be still."  The moment you have understood these thoughts for what they are, tools of the enemy, invented by him with the idea of preventing you from undertaking the Great Work—the moment you dismiss all such considerations firmly and decisively, and say: "What must I do?" and having discovered that, set to work to do it, allowing of no interruption, you will find that living peace which (as you seem to see) is a dynamic and not a static condition.  (There is quite a lot about this point in Little Essays Toward Truth, and also in "The Vision and the Voice".)

The Vision and the Voice will also be presently reprinted by us: this has been made necessary by more of Mr. Israel Regardie's meddling with things beyond his competence.

Your postscript made me smile.  It is not a very good advertisement for the kind of people with whom you have been associated in the past.  My own position is a very simple one.  I obeyed the injunction to "buy a perfectly black hen, without haggling."  I have spent over 100,000 pounds of my inherited money on this work: and if I had a thousand times that amount today it would all go in the same direction.  It is only when one is built in this way, to stand entirely aloof from all considerations of twopence halfpenny more or fourpence halfpenny less, that one obtains perfect freedom on this Plane of Disks.

Well, not quite; or rather, not in the least, if you are a Thelemite, for as the Lord of the Aeon Himself remarked, all must be done "with business way". This attitude of indifference to money only works insofar as no money is needed for the Work, and even then we are skeptical about its value. It is proper to Eastern Masters (real ones, not the millionaire "maharishis" and "gurujis" and whatever), but not to us. You cannot build Lodges without money, publish books without money, travel to faraway caves without money, etc., etc., etc. The error consists in valuing money in itself as a proof of achievement, rather than as a means to it.

Crowley erred constantly by not observing the recommendations in the Third Chapter of AL, which he admittedly abhorred. He never, for instance, took the trouble to copyright Equinox I 1 - 10, declaring (as Mr. Germer told me upon asking) that he felt it should belong to Mankind. We all know how Mankind manifested its gratitude. His next attack of animadversion led him to sell Boleskine House, his last anchor to financial security, and give the money to the O.T.O.: the Grand Treasurer General he had chosen promptly stole it. By 1919 e.v. he had partly recovered his senses, and Equinox III 1 was copyrighted in his name upon being published in the United States; but again the text of this book contained serious errors of doctrine that conflicted glaringly with the Third Chapter of the Book of the Law. This time, the Lord Himself intervened: the intended No. 2, which was even worse in this respect, never appeared. Subsequent numbers of Equinox III were published with extreme sacrifice and at great intervals. Without the abnegation of Karl Johannes Germer, the publication of of No. 3, The Equinox of the Gods, No. 4, Eight Lectures on Yoga, and No. 5, The Book of Thoth, would never have occurred.

Mr. Germer himself suffered of this ambivalence towards money. I remember his making my son's horoscope and describing it to me in a letter. He detected in the boy, among other things, a tendency to "acquisitiveness", and remarked in an aside "I do not like it". But without some degree of acquisitiveness you are liable to end up your life, as Crowley did, depending on the generosity of your disciples; and if you ponder on the average generosity of the average disciple you will do well to keep in mind Chapter 55 of Liber 333, which Crowley himself, unfortunately for him, for Mr. Germer, and for me, never did.

Being a "Crowley disciple" is not, as I know to my regret, conducive to your getting and keeping good jobs, specially at a managerial level; being a Crowley thief, like Regardie, Grant, McMurtry and others, helps. This is reflexion on the society in which we live, not on Crowley. Future disciples may have it better, but they will do well to count their pennies meanwhile and keep a wary eye for the intelligence services which, tools of the established cults that they are, keep hounding our feet and passing on the "confidential information" to our possible employers that we are satanists, or anarchists, or nazis, or drug dealers, or sex perverts, or whatever. If I sound overly indignant in this paragraph, it is because I am reliving three decades of such "attentions" from the F.B.I., the C.I.A., Shin Beth, the Brasilian Military Intelligence, and perhaps even the K.G.B.. It gets boring after a while, you know.

All the serious Orders of the world, or nearly all, begin by insisting that the aspirant should take a vow of poverty...

See what I mean? There he goes again. This is absolutely not Thelemic at all.

...; a Buddhist Bhikku, for example,can own only nine objects—his three robes, begging bowl, a fan, toothbrush, and so on.  The Hindu and Mohammedan Orders have similar regulations; and so do all the important Orders of monkhood in Christianity...

He means Christism. Yet, it was exactly the cults derived from those orders that the Lord of the Aeon decried as crapulous! It is quite obvious that even near the end of his life Crowley did not like the Third Chapter of The Book of the Law at all. Yet in the next paragraph his responsibilities as Prophet are again affirmed.

Our own Order is the only exception of importance; and the reason for this is that it is much more difficult to retain one's purity if one is living in the world than if one simply cuts oneself off from it.  It is far easier to achieve technical attainments if one is unhampered by any such considerations.  These regulations operate as restrictions to one's usefulness in helping the world.  There are terrible dangers, the worst dangers of all, associated with complete retirement.  In my own personal judgment, moreover, I think that our own ideal of a natural life is much more wholesome.

When you have found out a little about your past incarnations, you should be able to understand this very clearly and simply.

What I have found about my past incarnations has confirmed my position, which is his own Position as Prophet: wealth and power should belong to those who will use such attributes to serve humankind, not to abuse it. If millionaires were initiates or heeded initiates, capitalism would neither oppress nor generate poverty; and if commissars were initiates or heeded initiates, communism would work as well in practice as it is supposed to work in theory.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. C

April 30, 1943 e.v.

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Thank you for your long letter of no date, but received two days ago...

This sloppiness can be very irritating; also, bad for keeping records and for keeping track of the surveillance of intelligence services, so-called.

... I am very sorry you are still feeling exhausted...

This, almost seventy years old, during the war between air raids, and suffering the kind of deadly persecution and boycott that hounded his last four decades of existence. If she had any sense she would not even mentioned her "troubles" to him; but if disciples had any sense they would not need to be disciples.

... I am not too good myself, for I find this weather very trying.  I will answer your various points as best I can.I am arranging to send you the official papers connected with the O.T.O., but the idea that you should meet other members first is quite impossible.  Even after affiliation, you would not meet anyone unless it were necessary for you to work in cooperation with them.  I am afraid you have still got the idea that the Great Work is a tea—party.  Contact with other students only means that you criticize their hats, and then their morals; and I am not going to encourage this.  Your work is not anybody else's; and undirected chatter is the worst poisonous element in human society.

When you talk of the "actual record" of the "Being called Jesus Christ," I don't know what you mean.  I am not aware of the existence of any such record.  I know a great many legends, mostly borrowed from previous legends of a similar character.

It would be better for you to get a copy of "The Equinox of the Gods" and study it.  The Great Work is the uniting of opposites.  It may mean the uniting of the soul with God, of the microcosm with the macrocosm, of the female with the male, of the ego with the non-ego—or what not.

By "love under will" one refers to the fact that the method in every case is love, by which is meant the uniting of opposites as above stated, such as hydrogen and chlorine, sodium and oxygen, and so on. Any reaction what- ever, any phenomenon, is a phenomenon of "love", as you will understand when I come to explain to you the meaning of the word "point—event".  But love has to be "under will," if it is to be properly directed.  You must find your True Will, and make all your actions subservient to the one great purpose.

Rahoor is the Sun God; Tahuti is the Egyptian Mercury; Kephra is the Sun at midnight.

A true disciple. These were details that, in a civilized country like England, she could get information on in any local library; but she had to bother the Master rather than exert herself

About your problems; what I have to do is to try to teach you to think clearly.  You will be immensely stimulated by having all the useless trimmings stripped from your thinking apparatus.  For instance, I don't think you know the first principles of logic.  You apparently take up a more or less Christist attitude...

Again, we will change the word 'Christian' and its derivates to the word 'Christist' and its derivates wherever it is clear in the text that Crowley is referring to the theology developed by the Roman-Alexandrines, rather than to the theurgy of the original Gnostics, followers of Dionysus. The neologism 'Christist' was invented by the great Portuguese poet and Brother, Fernando Pessoa, and its use has been spreading but surely since his demise. It is specially useful if you live in a country oppressed by Roman Catholicism in its most virulent form, as are most countries in South America, the Phillippines, South Korea, Italy, France, Poland, and as were the United States under the Kennedys.

..., but at the same time you like very much the idea of Karma.  You cannot have both.

They imply two totally different teleologies. The Christist concept is that you live only one life, in which you are doomed to hell from the start, unless you save your soul by the benevolent mediacy of whatever branch of the Romish heresy happens to vampirize your cultural group, in which case you go to purgatory or even heaven after you die. Karma implies that you live a series of lives, and learn what is "good" for you by trial and error. The need for "salvation" and the threat of "eternal damnation" are concepts totally alien to the concept of Karma.

The question about money does not arise.  This old and very good rule (which I have always kept) was really pertinent to the time when there were actual secrets...

He is here referring to the rule that we do not accept money to pay for teaching or initiating.

...But I have published openly all the secrets.  All I can do is to train you in a perfectly exoteric way.  My suggestion about the weekly letter was intended to exclude this question, as you would be getting full commercial value for anything paid.

Your questions about the Spirit of the Sun, and so on, are to be answered by experience.  Intellectual satisfaction is worthless.  I have to bring you to a state of mind completely superior to the mechanism of the normal mind.

Meaning, he is going to try to teach her to think for herself. Normal minds do not normally think for themselves: they have been trained to react to stimuli, like Pavlov's dogs. In order to think for oneself a person has to strip himself or herself from all prejudices of upbringing, cultural group and education. In this sense, a college education is a handicap rather than an advantage, since it simply means that mind was subjected to extra conditioning, unless the individual was fortunate enough to go to one of the first rate universities, where freshmen are taught to think rather than to learn by rote. Such universities are becoming fewer and fewer in these days of intellectual conflict between so—called capitalism and so—called marxism, for the "leaders" on both sides find it more profitable to themselves to foster political and social dogma than to encourage free inquiry and free spirits. The process of stripping oneself from one's acquired prejudices is extremely painful to the pupil, and most naturally give up and go back to the herd. This is splendidly put across in of Stephen Crane's poems, "The Wayfarer":

The wayfarer
Perceiving the pathway to truth
Was struck with astonishment.
it was thickly grown with weeds.
"Ha," he said,
"I see that none has passed here
in a long time."
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
"Well," he mumbled at last,
"Doubtless there are other roads."

A good deal of your letter is rather difficult to answer.  You always seem to want to put the cart before the horse.  Don't you see that, if I were trying to get you to do something or other, I should simply return you to the kind of answer which I thought would satisfy you, and make you happy? ...

But of course it was this that she wanted him to do: it is the process by which the "maharishis" and "gurujis" acquire their enormous fortunes. People go to the Master for consolation, not for truth. But the Master is Truth, so what else can we teach?

... And this would be very easy to do because you have got no clear ideas about anything.  For one thing, you keep on using terms about whose significance we are not yet in agreement...

Meaning that she constantly uses terms in emotional connotation to her conditioning, rather than in their simple dictionary definition; so that when she says something he cannot be sure exactly what she means, and when he gives an answer she interprets it in terms of what she wants to hear, rather than of what he is trying to convey. This is one of the most difficult problems in dealing with pupils.

... When you talk about the "Christian path," do you believe in vicarious atonement and eternal damnation—or don't you?  A great deal of the confusion that arises in all these questions, and grows constantly worse as fellow—students talk them over—the blind leading the blind—is because they have no idea of the necessity of defining their terms.

Then again, you ask me questions like "What is purity?" that can be answered in a dozen different ways; and you must understand what is meant by a "universe of discourse." ...

A "universe of discourse" means the limits within which one is trying to communicate ideas through the use of words. If I (hopeless male chauvinist that I am) am talking about the beauty of a girl's breasts, you should be able to understand that I am expressing my personal tastes in the shape of breasts, not speaking of Beauty as an "eternal verity". Not unless I am a poet; poets have license to jump from a universe of discourse to another, which is perhaps why so many poets are licentious. This is a pun. A pun could be defined as a coupling of two or more universes of discourse in one word, usually in an attempt at humor.

... If you asked me—"Is this sample of cloride of gold a pure sample?"  I can answer you.  You must understand the value of precision in speech.  I could go on rambling about purity and selflessness for years, and no one would be a penny the better.

Except he, of course. But to be a "maharishi" or Prime Minister or President or any other sort of charlatan was never one of his priorities.

P.S.—or rather, I did not want to dictate this bit...

Because the ape taking them down, who if was not Regardie by this time was Grant, would interpret them according to his own universe of discourse, and become even more simian thereby.

... -your ideas about the O.T.O. remind me of some women's idea of shopping.  You want to maul about the stock and then walk out with a proud glad smile: NO. Do you really think that I should muster all the most distinguished people alive for your inspection and approval?

Well, here he was indulging in a little bit of salesmanship. Very few members of the O.T.O. were actually distinguished even then, and I am not talking about social or intellectual distinction: I am talking about character and aspiration. If you consider that both McMurtry and Grant were members, you will know what I mean. On the other hand, it would certainly have been outrageous to drag in a Karl Johannes Germer or a Rudolph Steiner or a J.B.S. Haldane or even an Arnold Krumm—Heller to subject them to the lady's scrutiny.

The affiliation clause in our Constitution is a privilege: a courtesy to a sympathetic body ...

This refers to a clause in the original O.T.O. Constitution granting members of Osirian Masonry an automatic right to become members of the III° O.T.O. As the Constitution now stands, this privilege has been withdrawn. "Sympathetic" body, indeed!

...Were you not a Mason, or Co-Mason, you would have to be proposed and seconded, and then examined by savage Inquisitors; and then—probably—thrown out on to the garbage heap ...

Again, pure propaganda, alas: remember that Grady McMurtry was granted the IX° on the strength of a fifty pound loan. But we can assure you that is not the way things are being done now, and hopefully will continue to be done in time to be.

... Well, no, it's not as bad as that; but we certainly don't want anybody who chooses to apply. Would you do it yourself, if you were on the Committee of a Club?  The O.T.O. is a serious body, engaged on a work of Cosmic scope.  You should question yourself: what can I contribute?

Secrets. There is one exception to what I have said about publishing everything: that is, the ultimate secret of the O.T.O.  This is really too dangerous to disclose; but the safeguard is that you could not use it if you knew it, unless you were an advanced Adept; and you would not be allowed to go so far unless we were satisfied that you were sincerely devoted to the Great Work.  (See "One Star in Sight".).  True, the Black Brothers could use it; but they would only destroy themselves.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. D

June 8, 1943 e.v.

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Thanks for your letter.  I couldn't find the O.T.O. typescript—and then it struck me that it would be useful to await your reactions.  If I were expecting some presumably important papers by post, I should get anxious after 24 hours delay (at most) and start enquiries.  Anyhow, I can't find them for the moment; but Mr. Bryant said he would lend you his "Blue Equinox": pages 195—270 give what you require.

But the real point of your affiliating is that it saves me from constantly being on my guard lest I should mention something which I am sworn not to reveal. As in every serious society, members are pledged not to disclose what they may have learnt, whom they have met; it is so, even in Co-Masonry: isn't it: But one may mention the names of members who have died.  (See Liber LII, par. 2.)  Be happy then; the late X... Y... was one of us.  I hope that he and Rudolph Steiner will (between them) satisfy your doubts ...

We must here introduce several observations. First, you will notice now seriously Crowley took the secrecy of the O.T.O. material, rituals inclusive. You will see later on that Mr. Israel Regardie, in his piracy, excised a long paragraph that makes it quite clear Crowley would never have either welcomed or allowed the publication of the secret rituals of the O.T.O. in book form. The reasons why Mr. Regardie excised that paragraph will become progressively clear as we go on. Second, Mr. Germer, when editing the letters, withdrew any reference to the name of Mr. X... Y..., although the man was then deceased. Mr. Germer did so to protect both the man's family and his friends from the kind of "attention" that was then being served on Thelemites by the F.B.I. of Messrs. Hoover and McCarthy. Do not forget that this book was first published, in its only legal edition before the present one - and the only intact edition before this one — in 1954 e.v. At Hoover's instigation the F.B.I. had hounded both Mr. and Mrs. Germer in such a manner that they were forced to leave New York and take residence in Hampton, New Jersey. To the agents' credit we must add that they were not willing to do this: the letters from Hoover to them actually threaten them with sanctions if they don't find something to the Germer's discredit. Apparently Hoover was in good faith about this: he had obviously received "confidential information" that led him to believe the Germers were guilty of horrible crimes. Since Hoover worked closely with the Vatican throughout (both he and McCarthy were Roman Catholics) the entire witch-hunt of the Fifties, one does not have to wonder where he got his prejudice. The agents finally got some lame accusations that Mr. Germer was a Nazi sympathizer from the owner of "an occult bookshop the subject patronizes," and Hoover seems to have become satisfied with that. It was enough to send agents to all of Mrs. Germer's pupils — she taught piano in private — and warn them against her. She lost the majority of them, and with the pupils went the income that supported them both in New York City. Hence the move to Hampton, where I first met the both of them.

The above quotations are from the F.B.I. archives, material that the bureau was forced to reveal under the Freedom of Information Act which some of Mr. Reagan's supporters in the Senate and the House have expressed a pious desire to have repealed. The names of some of the informers, however, have been blackened out in the records. Nevertheless, any reader of these lines will be able to guess what "occult bookshop" in New York Mr. Germer patronized. It is interesting that he should be accused of Nazism, and Mrs. Germer be accused of Nazism, when not only were they both refugees from Nazism but also Mrs. Germer herself was Jewish. Mr. Germer was married three times: two of his wives were Jewish. One of the motives he was put in a concentration camp by the Nazis was that he was sympathetic towards Jews. He once wrote me that he would rather deal with a Jew than a Christist any time, a sentiment in which I heartily concur. I do not hold it against Jews that people like Donald Weiser, Israel Regardie and Oskar Schlag happen to dishonor their culture and their faith. "Mr. X... Y..." was an influential American.

The A∴A∴ is totally different.  "One Star in Sight" tells you everything that you need to know.  (Perhaps some of these regulations are hard to grasp: personally, I can never understand all this By-Law stuff.  So you must ask me what, and why, and so on.)

This is said in perfect sincerity. The man Crowley, the "scribe," is a totally different energy-structure from the adept who conceived and organized the structure of the A∴A∴ system, or the Master who energized it. The only necessary link is that one is the instrument of the others. This should absolutely not be confused with the spiritualist concept of "mediumship," but it is understandable that a profane mind may be unable to perceive the difference. However, even the first and most elementary Trance of Union will show the novice that there are more planes to his or her consciousness than the ones in which featherless bipeds usually function.

There is really only one point for your judgment.  "By their fruits ye shall know them." ...

Yes, but the author of this famous sentence seems not to have pondered that one person's fruit is another person's poison; to say nothing of hogs or monkeys. We each go to the tree of our own choosing, and find it excellent. Zionism and Romanism make me vomit, but doubtlessly taste sweet to Oskar Schlag and William Casey. My only objection is that they both would like to ram their food down my throat, and I find it unfit for human consumption.

... You have read Liber LXV and Liber VII; That shows you what states you can attain by this curriculum.  Now read "A Master of the Temple" (Blue Equinox, pp. 127-170) for an account of the early stages of training, and their results.  ...

You will observe that he emphasized the early stages, and not Stansfeld Jones' attempt to cross the Abyss, which was unfortunately unsuccessful; however, this part of Jones' work was to have appeared in Equinox III 2; and Jones' failure was one of several motives why this number of Equinox III was never printed. By the time Crowley received the Record, Jones was already trying to unseat the Master - and what was worst, he was doing it unconsciously. (If you do it consciously, you have merely chosen the path of evil; you are a Black Magician, but not necessarily a Black Brother.)

... (Of course, your path might not coincide with, or even resemble, his path.)

But do get it into you head that "If the blind lead the blind, they shall both fall into the ditch."  If you had seen 1% of the mischief that I have seen, you would freeze to the marrow of your bones at the mere idea of seeing another member through the telescope!  Well, I employ the figure of hyperbole, that I admit ...

Meaning that he is exaggerating a little to impress the importance of isolation upon her. It was too early in the day for him, in his Pure Fool's innocence, to perceive the disquiet this rigorous secrecy would provoke in benevolent governments everywhere. Services of "intelligence" — one really wonders at why they are given that name, when they are usually manned by the narrowest type of moral and intellectual homo saps - fret a lot at all this mystery: we must be trying to keep people apart from each other so we can manipulate them more easily, or teach them all kinds of unspeakable obscenities. Through the years, I have had pupils who are not really pupils at all, but relay all the advice they are given to a central panel of "psychologists" or computer scenario or whatnot that is trying to discover what makes us, or at least me, tick. I have learned to detect the type: they usually take at least a month to answer letters of advice or to react to orders, because they have to send it in and wait for instructions. Unfortunately, one's oath demands that one should put up with this kind of thing, at least until the time when these traitors either give up or are ordered off by their bosses. But it is impossible to stress the importance of working in isolation in the system of the A∴A∴, at least in the stages before you reach Zelator fully. Probationers are putrid, and Neophytes are naughty; they invariably interfere with each other, besides pestering you unceasingly, if you allow them to hold too much intercourse - of any kind - with each other or with you!

... but it really won't do to have a dozen cooks at the broth!  If you're working with me, you'll have no time to waste on other people.

I fear your "Christianity" is like that of most other folk.  You pick out one or two of the figures from which the Alexandrines concocted "Jesus" (too many cooks, again, with a vengeance!) and neglect the others.  The Zionist Christ of Matthew can have no value for you; nor can the Asiatic "Dying-God"—compiled from Melcarth, Mithras, Adonis, Bacchus, Osiris, Attis, Krishna, and others—who supplied the miraculous and ritualistic elements of the fable.

Rightly you ask: "What can I contribute?"  Answer: One Book.  That is the idea of the weekly letter: 52 of yours and 52 of mine, competently edited, would make a most useful volume.  This would be your property: so that you get full material value, perhaps much more, for your outlay.  ...

This is the kind of amazing generosity — some lawyers would call it stupidity - that was always getting him into trouble and made him end his life in complete poverty.

... I thought of the plan because one such arrangement has recently come to an end, with amazingly happy results: ...

Here referring to Equinox III No. 5, "The Book of Thoth," the copyright of which originally he intended to let Frieda Harris have completely.

... they should lie open to your admiring gaze in a few months from now.  Incidentally, I personally get nothing out of it; secretarial work costs money these days.  But there is another great advantage; it keeps both of us up to the mark.  Also, in such letters a great deal of odds and ends of knowledge turn up automatically; valuable stuff, frequent enough; yes, but one doesn't want to lose the thread, once one starts.  Possibly ten days might be best.

But please understand that this suggestion arose solely from your own statement of what you thought would help in your present circumstances.  Anyway, as you say, decide!  If it is yes, I should like to see you before June 15 when I expect to go away for a few days; better to give you some groundwork to keep you busy in my absence.

As Mejnour did to Glyndon, and with like results.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. E

Aug. 18, 1943 e.v.

Cara Soror:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Much thought has gone into the construction of your Motto.  "I will become" can be turned neatly enough as "Let there be;" by avoiding the First Pronoun one gets the idea of "the absorption of the Self in the Beloved," which is exactly what you want.

And which interestingly enough, by the way, is psychologically and anatomically a male, rather than female, impulse. Crowley should not, however, have put a Motto in this lady's mouth in this way. It is true that her first idea, "I will become," was basically egoic, but that is none of the instructor's business. He used to play around like this, and the result was that the pupils often played around as well instead of doing real work. He was, true, aware of the lady's egocentricity and tried in vain, with this device, to give her a more mystic motivation; but it is better to watch the deeds, rather than the words. Usually the Probationer has no real idea of his or her Will in joining the Order; very often they have no idea whatsoever of what the Order really is: the sublimity of the A∴A∴ is beyond the conception of any but the highest type of Aspirant. This is why the Probationer is granted the privilege of changing his or her Motto on becoming a Neophyte, something that one can normally do only when passing from the G.D. to the R.R. et A.C. and hence to the S.S. The act of suggesting to a Probationer a Motto less stupid, and maybe even closer to his or her true Aspiration than the one they chose themselves, often leads the personality into surly rebellion. It is going to rebel all the way in any case!

"The creative Force of the Universe" is quite ready-made.  Πυραμις, a

Mr. Germer's original note reads: "In the original in Greek"

... pyramid, is that Force in its geometrical form; in its biological form it is Φαλλος, ...

Mr. Germer's note: "In the original in Greek"

..., the Yang or Lingam.  Both words have the same numerical value, 831.  These two words can therefore serve you as the secret object of your Work.  How than can you construct the number 831?

The Letter כ,...

Ibidem: "In the original in Hebrew."

..., Jupiter (Jehovah), the Wheel of Fortune in the Tarot—the Atu X is a picture of the Universe built up and revolving by virtue of those Three Principles: Sulphur, Mercury, Salt; or Gunas: Sattvas, Rajas, Tamas—has the value 20.  So also has the letter י spelt in full. (יוד)

Ibidem: "In the original in Hebrew."

One Gnostic secret way of spelling and pronouncing Jehovah is ΙΑΩ ...

Ibidem: "In the original in Greek."

... and this has the value 811.  So has "Let there be," Fiat, transliterating into Greek. (ΦΙΑΤ)

Resuming all these ideas, it seems that you can express your aspiration very neatly, very fully, by choosing for your motto the words FIAT YOD.

Which, in simple English, would be: "Let the penis manifest in me," or "May I develop the male aspect of my nature." Feminists would do well to pay attention here. All this was probably Greek, to say nothing of Hebrew, to the lady, who may even have interpreted the proposed motto as meaning that Crowley wanted to stick his penis in her; this would put her at the same level of mentality of Kenneth Grant, Grady McMurtry and Israel Regardie, but this level of mentality is about the level of the average low man, therefore the average low woman as well. Nevertheless, it was a good try, and shows Crowley, the relentless promoter of true feminism, which is to say true femininity or masculinity, which is to say balanced humanhood, still at work, tireless in spite of age, disease, persecution and the "friendship" of Gerald Yorke, to say nothing of the chelaship of the aforementioned featherless bipeds.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. Please study this letter, and these explanatory figures (the author, BAPHOMET X° O.T.O., in the original spells each word, giving the numerical equivalent of each letter in pyramis, etc. This is here not copied.) and meditate upon them until you have fully assimilate not only the matter under immediate consideration, but the general method of Qabalistic research and construction. Note how new cognate ideas arise to enrich the formula.


Letter No. F

Aug. 20, 1943 e.v.

Cara Soror:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Let me begin by referring to my letter about the motto and make clear to you the working of this letter.

In this motto you have really got several ideas combined, and yet they are really, of course, one idea.  Fiat, being 811, is identical with IAO, and therefore FIAT YOD might be read not only as "let there be" (or "Let me become"), the secret source of all creative energy, but as "the secret source of the energy of Jehovah."  The two words together, having the value of 831, they contain the secret meanings Pyramis and Phallos, which is the same idea in different forms; thus you have three ways of expressing the creative form, in its geometrical aspect, its human aspect, and its divine aspect.  I am making a point of this, because the working out of this motto should give you a very clear idea of the sort of way in which Qabalah should be used.  I think it is rather useful to remember what the essence of the Qabalah is in principle; thus, in your correspondence for Malkuth, Yesod, and Hod you are simply writing down some of the ideas which pertain to the numbers 10, 9, and 8 respectively.  Naturally, there is a great deal of redundancy and overloading as soon as you get to ideas important enough to be comprehensive; as is mentioned in the article on the Qabalah in "Equinox" Vol. I, No. 5, it is quite easy to prove 1 = 2 = 3 = 4, etc.

Within the "universe of discourse" of the Qabalah, of course. But even in some forms of Higher Mathematics the proposition can be proven - again, within a determined "universe of discourse." Please keep in mind that although a universe of discourse may include several other universes of discourse, the reasoning in the included ones should be strictly limited to their own boundaries; this is another form of stating that the planes must not be mixed.

On the other hand, you must be careful to avoid taking the correspondences given in the books of reference without thinking out why they are so given. Thus, you find a camel in the number which refers to the Moon, but the Tarot card "the Moon" refers not to the letter ג which means camel, but to the letter ק, and the sign ♓ which means fish, while the letter itself refers to the back of the head; and you also find fish has the meaning of the letter נ.  You must not go on from this, and say that the back of your head is like a camel—the connection between them is simply that they all refer to the same thing.

In studying the Qabalah you mention six months; I think after that time you should be able to realize that, after six incarnations of uninterrupted study, you may realize that you can never know it; as Confucius said about the Yi King.  "If a few more years were added to my life, I would devote a hundred of them to the study of the Yi."

If, however, you work at the Qabalah in the same way as I did myself, in season and out of season, you ought to get a very fair grasp of it in six months.  I will now tell you what this method is: as I walked about, I made a point of attributing everything I saw to its appropriate idea. I would walk out of the door of my house and reflect that door is ד, and house ב; now the word "dob" ...

Daleth + Beth

... is Hebrew for bear, and has the number 6, which refers to the Sun.  Then you come to the fence of your property and that is ח—number 8, number of Tarot Trump VII, which is the Chariot: so you begin to look about for your car.  Then you come to the street and the first house you see is number 86, and that is Elohim, and it is built of red brick which reminds you of ♂ and the Blasted Tower, and so on.  As soon as this sort of work, which can be done in a quite lighthearted spirit, becomes habitual, you will find your mind running naturally in this direction, and will be surprised at your progress.  Never let your mind wander from the fact that your Qabalah is not my Qabalah; a good many of the things which I have noted may be useful to you, but you must construct your own system so that it is a living weapon in your hand.

I think I am fair if I say that the first step on the Qabalah which may be called success, is when you make an actual discovery which throws light on some problem which has been troubling you.  A quarter of a century ago I was in New Orleans, and was very puzzled about my immediate course of action; in fact I may say I was very much distressed.  There seemed literally nothing that I could do, so I bethought myself that I had better invoke Mercury.  As soon as I got into the appropriate frame of mind, it naturally occurred to me, with a sort of joy, "But I am Mercury."  I put it into Latin— Mercurius sum, and suddenly something struck me, a sort of nameless reaction which said: "That's not quite right."  Like a flash it came to me to put it into Greek, which gave me "'Ερμης Ειμι" and adding that up rapidly, I got the number 418, with all the marvellous correspondences which had been so abundantly useful to me in the past (See Equ. of the Gods, p. 138).  My troubles disappeared like a flash of lightning.

Now to answer your questions seriatum; it is quite all right to put questions to me about The Book of the Law; a very extended commentary has been written, but it is not yet published.  I shall probably be able to answer any of your questions from the manuscript, but you cannot go on after that when it would become a discussion; as they say in the law-courts, "You must take the witness's answer."

II. The Qabalah, both Greek and Hebrew, also very likely Arabic, was used by the author of The Book of the Law.  I have explained above the proper use of the Qabalah.  I cannot tell you how the early Rosicrucians used it, but I think one may assume that their methods were not dissimilar to our own.  Incidentally, it is not very safe to talk about Rosicrucians, because their name has become a signal for letting loose the most devastating floods of nonsense.  What is really known about the original Rosicrucians is practically confined to the three documents which they issued.  The eighteenth century Rosicrucians may, or may not, have been legitimate successors of the original brotherhood—I don't know.  But from them the O.T.O. derived its authority; The late O.H.O. Theodor Reuss possessed a certain number of documents which demonstrated the validity of his claim according to him; but I only saw two or three of them, and they were not of very great importance.  Unfortunately he died shortly after the last War, and he had got out of touch with some of the other Grand Masters.  The documents did not come to me as they should have done ...

This remark should be clarified: before dying, Reuss appointed Crowley his Successor as O.H.O.; and the O.H.O. is curator of all the property of the Order. The O.H.O. is not "elected," as Grady McMurtry slyly tried to make believe in one of his "epistles" to his faithful: he is always appointed by his or her predecessor. Only in the case the O.H.O. should die without appointing a successor are the National Grand Masters General to hold an election to appoint one. Crowley appointed Karl Johannes Germer his Successor as O.H.O. unequivocally, in letters to many pupils, Mr. McMurtry included; and Mr. Germer, also unequivocally, appointed me as his Successor on his deathbed, as reported by his wife. The only reason why I have not assumed the title is that I have never wanted it; my interest has always been the A∴A∴, not in the O.T.O., and I should like very much to do what many of my Brethren and Sisters have done before me, and Parsifal Krumm-Heller was fortunate enough to be able to do two decades ago, to wit: to vanish from public view and lead my own magickal and spiritual life. But I am obligated by my Oath, and will stick around until I can find a replacement. I am beginning to think that I will die before this happens, considering the astounding rate at which all my pupils fail to qualify for any sort of responsible position. Character, alas, has never been an abundant commodity, and in these days of "democracy" versus the "godless" it seems to become rarer every day. I have met people of character in the course of my adventures, but none stupid enough to want to take my place. Fools, of course, are always rushing in, the pests.

...; they were seized by his wife who had an idea that she could sell them for a fantastic price; and we did not feel inclined to meet her views.  I don't think the matter is of very great importance, the work being done by members of the Order all over the place is to me quite sufficient.

One can see that Theodor Reuss, albeit O.H.O., was not competent enough to choose a proper mate for a man of his responsibilities; but the German O.T.O., with very few exceptions, notably Karl Johannes Germer, were mostly ego-inflated masons with no dedication or higher capacity of any sort; about on the level of the Grady McMurtrys, Israel Regardies and the average Grand Blah-Blah in the average "masonic lodge" in the U.S.A. and everywhere else in the "free world."

III. The Ruach contains both the moral and intellectual worlds, which is really all that we mean by the conscious mind; perhaps it even includes certain portions of the subconscious.

The average reader may ask here, "But don't you know for sure?" Of course he did not know for sure: Crowley invented parapsychology single-handedly; he was the first Master to openly apply the Method of Science to the Aim of Religion. Only future generations of researchers will be able to establish quantitative analysis of the Ruach, as of other parts of the human being not as yet identified in the physical body. Brain research will help, but unless the researchers have mystical or magickal training they will miss much of the utmost importance.

IV. In initiation from the grade of Neophyte to that of Zelator, one passes by this way.  The main work is to obtain admission to, and control of, the astral plane.

He is referring to the Path of ת, but in a sense totally beyond the average pupil's capacity or experience.

Your expressions about "purifying the feelings" and so on are rather vague to enter into a scientific system like ours.  The result which you doubtless refer to is attained automatically in the course of your experiments.  Your very soon discover the sort of state of mind which is favourable or unfavourable to the work, and you also discover what is helpful and harmful to these states in your way of life.  For instance, the practice like the non-receiving of gifts is all right for a Hindu whose mind is branded for ten thousand incarnations by the shock of accepting a cigarette or a cup of tea.  Incidentally, most of the Eastern cults fall down when they come West, simply because they make no allowance for our different temperaments. Also they set tasks which are completely unsuitable to Europeans—an immense amount of disappointment has been caused by failure to recognize these facts.

One of the many reasons why the "gurujis" and "maharishis" are so "successful" is that they are not even genuine followers of their own oriental systems. Their cynicism is very similar to that of the Romish Popes, who have always been fully aware that "Jesus" is nothing but a useful fiction. Useful to them!

Your sub-questions a, b, and c are really answered by the above.  All the terms you use are very indefinite. I hope it will not take too long to get you out of the way of thinking in these terms.  For instance, the word "initiation" includes the whole process, and how to distinguish between it and enlightenment I cannot tell you.  "Probation," moreover, if it means "proving," continues throughout the entire process.  Nothing is worse for the student than to indulge in these wild speculations about ambiguous terms.

V. You can, if you like, try to work out a progress of Osiris through Amennti on the Tree of Life, but I doubt whether you will get any satisfactory result.

Because at her stage of "advancement" she not only would fail to recognize landmarks, she did not even realize exactly what the Osiris is, or Amennti is, or the Tree of Life itself is...

It seems to me that you should confine yourself very closely to the actual work in front of you. At the present moment, of course, this includes a good deal of general study; but my point is that the terms employed in that study should always be capable of precise definition. I am not sure whether you have my "Little Essays Toward Truth" ...

This slim volume of essays is essential to anyone who would study the O.T.O. as reformulated by Crowley to follow the philosophy of Θελημα. A new edition shall be duly issued as part of this Oriflamme volume.

... The first essay in the book entitled "Man" gives a full account of the five principles which go to make up Man according to the Qabalistic system.  I have tried to define these terms as accurately as possible, and I think you will find them, in any case, clearer than those to which you have become accustomed with the Eastern systems.  ...

He is here talking about the translations of those terms, especially the grandiloquent idiocy of the Leadbeaters and the Besants.

... In India, by the way, no attempt is ever made to use these vague terms.  They always have a very clear idea of what is meant by words like "Buddhi," "Manas" and the like.  Attempts at translation are very unsatisfactory.  I find that even with such a simple matter as the "Eight limbs of Yoga," as you will see when you come to read my "Eight Lectures".

This book, also, will soon be reprinted by us with annotations. It complements Book Four Part One fully.

I am very pleased with your illustrations; that is excellent practice for you.  Presently you have to make talismans, and a Lamen for yourself, and even to devise a seal to serve as what you might call a magical coat-of-arms, and all this sort of thing is very helpful.

It occurs to me that so far we have done nothing about the astral plane and this path of Tau of which you speak.  Have you had any experience of travelling in the astral?  If not, do you think that you can begin by yourself on the lines laid down in Liber O, sections 5 and 6?  (See Magick, pp. 387-9).  If not you had better let me take you through the first gates.  The question of noise instantly arises; I think we should have to do it not earlier than nine o'clock at night, and I don't know whether you can manage this.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. G

September 4, 1943 e.v.

Cara Soror:

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

"shall be" (instead of "Do what thou wilt is ...") not "is."  See Liber AL, I, 36, 54, and II, 54.  Not "Master Perdurabo": see BOOK FOUR PART III p. XXIX.  "Care Frater" is enough.

All this is normal, tiresomely normal instruction. I must have given it myself one thousand times at least - I don't think it would so often bore me shitless otherwise. "shall Be," not "is," is used in Liber AL, for multiple motives, the foremost of which are: it makes the statement of the Law a "Becoming," not a "Being" proposition, a dynamic - Theurgic - not dogmatic proposition; and it warns you to be wary lest you become as self-satisfied as the "Popes" or Jerry Falwell, Or Phyllis Schlafly, or Menachem Begin, or Ronald Reagan. We want Theurgy, not Dogma, and if you can't understand "why" we so arbitrarily restrict your choice of theology you should go apply for membership in the F.B.I., or the C.I.A., or Shin Beth, or the K.G.B., or the "College of Cardinals," or anywhere else you may wish to, except the O.T.O., or the A∴A∴, or any other Thelemic Order. "Care Frater," not "Master Perdurabo" for several motives. One, because Perdurabo was not even an adept: this was Crowley's Motto in the Outer Order, the G.D.; another, because even if Perdurabo was a Master, only an Exempt Adept would be able to address him as such, and this address would be done an altogether different level of discourse... To make it short, and before you accuse me of nit-picking, please try to keep in mind that our rules were not laid out in the manner of the average crapulous creed or government bureaucracy: they were deeply thought out and established for very serious purposes which, if you follow our rules to the letter and thereby come to perceive their intent, might even seem agreeable to you. What is extremely annoying is to have people come to us pretending that they want to join us but showing total disregard for our rules and regulations, to say nothing of our aims. It makes for waste of time and energy all around. You may have time and energy to waste, but we don't. "Care Frater" is Latin for "Dear Brother," and if the instructor be female the address is "Cara Soror," which means "Dear Sister." Now, try to be honest in this address, and don't do like Grady McMurtry, who can open a letter with "Most Illustrious, Excellent, etc., etc., Brother" and proceed to show that he intends to treat you in a very unbrotherly manner. Again, this kind of thing is good for the Popes, American Presidents and Politsburo members, but it is not for us. We number fools, Fools, grouches and babes among us; but we number neither flatterers nor hypocrites.

777 is practically unpurchaseable: copies fetch £10 or so...

Much more now for the original edition. 777 Revised, which included material not in the original edition, has been pirated by Samuel Weiser, Inc. - naturally, with an "introduction" by Mr. Israel Regardie, who condescendingly praises a book from which he extracted the little of the Qabalah he knows. The O.T.O. plans a new edition, to be called 777 Revised Two, including new important tables of correspondences produced by A∴A∴ researchers in the last thirty years. It is to be hoped that it will not be pirated by Donald Weiser, or introduced by Mr. Regardie.

... Nearly all important correspondences are in Book 4 Part III Table I...

Important for the beginner, that is.

... The other 2 books are being sent at once.  "Working out games with numbers."  I am sorry you should see no more than this.  When you are better equipped, you will see that the Qabalah is the best (and almost the only) means by which an intelligence can identify itself.  And Gematria methods serve to discover spiritual truths.  Numbers are the network of the structure of the Universe, and their relations the form of expression of our Understanding of it...

A note by Mr. Germer reads: "He gives the numerical value of the letters of the Greek alphabet - not copied here."

... In Greek and Hebrew there is no other way of writing numbers; our 1, 2, 3 etc. comes from the Phoenicians through the Arabs.  You need no more of Greek and Hebrew than these values, some sacred words—knowledge grows by use—and books of reference.

One cannot set a pupil definite tasks beyond the groundwork I am giving you, and we should find this correspondence taking clear shape of its own accord.  You have really more than you can do already.  And I can only tell you what the right tasks—out of hundreds—are by your own reactions to your own study and practice.

"Osiris in Amennti"—see the Book of the Dead.  I meant you might try to trace a parallelism between his journeyings and the Path of Initiation.

Astral travel—development of the Astral Body is essential to research; and, above all, to the attainment of "the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel."

You ought to demonstrate your performance of the Pentagram Ritual to me; you are probably making any number of mistakes.  I will, of course, take you carefully through the O.T.O. rituals to III° as soon as you are fairly familiar with them.  The plan of the grades is this:—

Attraction to the Solar System
V°–IX°Progressive comment on II° with very special reference to the central secret of practical Magick.

We know that the prurience of thieves like Regardie, Grant, Symonds and Francis King has led everybody to believe that sex is the central secret of practical Magick, but the subject is a little more extensive than that. After all, if the "central secret" were sex, Messrs. Regardie, McMurtry and Grant, and Mesdames Parsons-Smith and Wade-Seckler-McMurtry must have been practicing it for years. And since they achieved no more by it than the distinctions of being liars, thieves, hypocrites or all three at once, there must be something missing in this "central secret." Perhaps they should go and consult Masters & Johnson to find out what they are doing that isn't quite right!

There is thus no connection with the A∴A∴ system and the Tree of Life.  Of course, there are certain analogies.

Your suggested method of study: you have got my idea quite well.  But nobody can "take you through" the Grades of A∴A∴.  The Grades confirm your attainments as you make them; then, the new tasks appear.  See "One Star in Sight".

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. H

November 10–11.  11 pm–2 am

Cara Soror:

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

Yours of yestere'en came to gladden me just when the whole evening lay blank before me: the one job such a big job that I simply can't get down to it until I get help: How annoying!  Still, yours the gain!

1. That verse (AL I 44) condenses the whole magical technique.  It makes clear — when you have understood it—the secret of success in the Great Work.  Of course at first it appears a paradox.  You must have an aim, and one aim only: yet on no account must you want to achieve it!!!

Those chapters of The Book of Lies quoted in my last letter ...

A note by Mr. Germer reads: "A letter dated Oct. 12, '43 e.v., constituted No. 48 in
Magick Without Tears, and the following chapters from the Book of Lies: - Peaches, Pilgrim-Talk, Buttons and Rosettes, The Gun-Barrel and the Mountaineer." In his "edition" of this book, Regardie cut out any reference to the chapters quoted. Yet, they are essential to an understanding of what Crowley means in both this letter and Letter no. 48, q.v.

... do throw some light onto this Abyss of self-contradiction; and there is meaning much deeper than the contrast between the Will with a capital W, and desire, want, or velleity ...

The dictionary definition of velleity is "A mere wish, unaccompanied by the effort of action necessary to accomplish it."

... The main point seems to be that in aspiring to Power one is limited by the True Will.  If you use force, violating your own nature either from lack of understanding or from petulant whim, one is merely wasting energy; things go back to normal as soon as the stress is removed.  This is one small case of the big Equation "Free Will = Necessity" (Fate, Destiny, or Karma: it's all much the same idea).  One is most rigidly bound by the causal chain that has dragged one to where one is; but it is one's own self that has forged the links.

The point is that unless the individual develops knowledge of that part of the self which forges the links, he or she may either be totally impotent in life or deviate completely from the path of his or her own soul. This is an ad for parapsycho-analysis, that is to say, initiation.

Please refrain from the obvious retort: "Then, in the long run, you can't possibly go wrong: so it doesn't matter what you do."  Perfectly true, of course!  (There is no single grain of dust that shall not attain to Buddhahood:" with some such words did the debauched old reprobate seek to console himself when Time began to take its revenge.) ...

He is referring to Gautama Buddha, who must already have been in the throes of indigestion when he uttered this "consoling" phrase. If he ever did utter it.

... But the answer is simple enough: you happen to be the kind of being that thinks it does matter what course you steer; or, still more haughtily, you enjoy the pleasure of sailing.

No, there is this factor in all success: self-confidence.  If we analyze this, we find that it means that one is aware that all one's mental and physical faculties are working harmoniously.  The deadliest and subtlest enemy of that feeling is anxiety about the result; the finest gauze of doubt is enough to dim one's vision, to throw the entire field out of focus.  Hence, even to be aware that there is a result in prospect must militate against that serenity of spirit which is the essence of self-confidence. As you will know, all our automatic physiological functions are deranged if one is aware of   This then, is the difficulty, to enjoy consciously while not disturbing the process involved.  The obvious physical case is the sexual act: perhaps its chief importance is just that it is a type of this exceptional spiritual-mental condition.  I hope, however, that you will remember what I have said on the subject in paragraphs 15–17 of my Third Lecture on "Yoga for Yellowbellies" ...

A reference to the second part of Equinox III Number Four, Eight Lectures on Yoga. The first part is called "Yoga for Yahoos," a reference to Swift's satire "Gulliver's Travels."

...; there is a way of obtaining ecstacy from the most insignificant physiological function...

Please understand that the word 'ecstasy' in not necessarily connected with physical sexual activity.

... Observe that in transferring the whole consciousness to (say) one's little finger or big toe is not trying to interfere with the normal exercise of its activities, but only to realize what is going on in the organism, the exquisite pleasure of a function in its normal activity...

If the essence of organized matter's smallest movements were not pleasure, life would not exist in the Universe as we know it. In a very real sense this is what is meant by the apparently high-sounding phrase, "The essence of Existence is joy;" or, as it is even better put by the author of The Book of the Law, "Remember all ye that existence is pure joy."

... With a little imagination one can conceive the analogical case of the Universe itself; and, still less fettered by even the mildest limitation which material symbols necessarily (however little) suggest, "Remember all ye that existence is pure joy." (AL II 9)

It is important to understand that this is a scientifically ascertainable fact, not an empty theological promise. Even cancerous cells have joy in organizing themselves; the fact that the body undergoing the process does not as a whole enjoy it is just a part of the Universal Joke. But unless complicated by external factors, cancer is a psychosomatic disease. Cancer in the body usually reflects a conflict in the soul, which is perhaps the reason why cancer is quickly becoming the most common disease of our times.

Is it too bold to suggest that the gradual merging of all these Ways into an interwoven unity may be taken as one mode of presentation of the Accomplishment of the Great Work itself?

At least, I feel fairly satisfied the meditation of them severally and jointly may help you to an answer to your first question.

2. Most people in my experience either cook up a hell-broth of self-induced obstacles to success in Astral traveling, or else shoot forth on the wings of romantic imagination and fool themselves for the rest of their lives in the manner of the Village Idiot.  Yours, luckily, is the former trouble.

But—is it plain obstinacy?—you do not exercise the sublime Art of Guru-bullying.  You should have made one frenzied leap to my dying bed, thrust aside the cohorts of Mourning Archimandrites, and wrung my nose until I made you do it.

This is a reference to an eastern apologue about a dying master with the "Secret" yet untold. You can find the secret clearly revealed in the poem called "The Disciples" in Eq. I, 10 and "The Secret" in Olla. However, the Art of Guru-bullying is indeed a noble art. I wish I had practiced it more often.

And you repeatedly insist that it is difficult.  It isn't.  Is there, however, some deep-seated inhibition—a (Freudian) fear of success?  Is there some connection with that sense of guilt which is born in all but the very few?

The innate sense of guilt is a result of extended pruning of the population of Europe during the religious persecutions and relentless genocide practiced by the Christists. A child born unashamed and happy was immediately suspected and "humbled," and watched carefully to see how it would grow. If you look around you, or think back to your own childhood, you will see that this method of child-rearing is still widely practiced. I know it was practiced with me.

But you don't give it a fair chance. There is, I admit, some trick, or knack, about getting properly across; a faculty which one acquires (as a rule) quite suddenly and unexpectedly.  Rather like mastering some shots at billiards.  Practice has taught me how to communicate this to students; only in rare cases does one fail.  (It's incredible: one man simply could not be persuaded that intense physical exertion was the wrong way to to it.  There he sat, with the veins on his forehead almost on the point of bursting, and the arms of my favourite chair visibly trembling beneath his powerful grip!)  In your case, I notice that you have got this practice mixed up with Dharana: you write of "Emptying my mind of everything except the one idea, etc." Then you go on: "The invoking of a supersensible Being is impossible to me as yet."  The impudence!  The arrogance!  How do you know, pray madam?  (Dial numbers at random: the results are often surprisingly delightful!)  Besides, I didn't ask you to invoke a supersensible (what a word! Meaning?) Being right away, or at any time: that supersensible is getting on my nerves: do you mean "not in normal circumstances to be apprehended by the senses?"  I suppose so.

In a word: do fix a convenient season for going on the Astral Plane under my eye: half an hour (with a bit of luck) on not more than four evenings would put you in a very different frame of mind.  You will soon "feel your feet" and then "get your sea-legs" and then, much sooner than you think

"Afloat in the aethyr, O my God! my God!" . . . . . "White swan, bear thou ever me up between thy wings!"

3. Now then to your old Pons Asinorum about the names of the Gods!...

"Pons Asinorum" is Latin for "asses' bridge." The reference is actually to the first theorem of Euclid: it was believed that if a student were able to understand its demonstration he or she would be able to follow the demonstrations of geometry and mathematics without too great difficulty. This was perhaps optimistic on the part of teachers. The expression came to mean "something not particularly difficult except for absolute beginners." It is in this sense that Crowley uses it here.

... Stand in the corner for half an hour with your face to the wall!  Stay in after school and write Malka be-Tharshishim v-Ruachoth b-Schehalim 999 times!

My dear, dear, dear sister, a name is a formula of power.  How can you talk of "anachronism" when the Being is eternal?  For the type of energy is eternal.

Every name is a number: and "Every number is infinite; there is no difference." (AL I 4).  But one Name, or system of Names, may be more convenient either (a) to you personally or (b) to the work you are at.  For example, I have very little sympathy with Jewish Theology or ritual; but the Qabalah is so handy and congenial that I use it more than almost any—or all the others together—for daily use and work.  The Egyptian Theogony is the noblest, the most truly magical, the most bound to me (or rather I to it) by some inmost instinct ...

Because the Egyptian Theogony was democratic, rather than autocratic as the Jewish Theology is. In the Jewish pantheon there is only one God — Jehovah. (That Jehovah happens to be merely Amon-Ra "without-teared" by Moses down to the mentality of the slaves he was experimenting on is too long a story for this note; it would take a whole book, and would have to involve the politics of the Egyptian priesthood into the bargain.) In the Egyptian Theogony, the Gods — include Goddesses — succeed each other as leaders. This is what is called the Succession of the Aeons. The "Throne of Ra" is successively occupied by different deities, and the Throne of Ra is called the "Throne of the Unknown God" precisely to leave open the options. This means freedom, variety and opportunity. The tyranny of Jehovah, of course, is comfortable for those who do not wish to think for themselves or branch out into unknown, therefore terrible, territory; but just as not every Jew is a bourgeois or an admirer of Menachem Begin, not every human being yearns for safety in life above all things.

... and by the memory of my incarnation as Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, that I use it (with its Græco-Phoenician child) for all work of supreme import.  Why stamp my vitals, madam!  The Abramelin Operation itself turned into this form before I could so much as set to work on it!  Like the Duchess' baby (excuse this enthusiasm; but you have aroused the British Lion-Serpent.)

"Stamp my vitals" is an old English oath, and is probably related, as most such oaths, to archetypical myths. Cf. "the Woman who bruises the Head of the Serpent." "The Duchess's baby" is a character in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; but here is a Crowley pun and a joke on the morals - and sexual technique - and the ideas of education - of the aristocracy.

Note, please, that the equivalents given in 777 are not always exact.  Tahuti is not quite Thoth, still less Hermes; Mercury is a very much more comprehensive idea, but not nearly so exalted: Hanuman hardly at all.  Nor is Tetragrammaton IAO, though even etymology asserts the identity.

This is related to the fact that different cultural groups evolve different interpretations of the "Archetypes;" quite often, through the dynamism provided to the group-mind by the life and passion of some particular individual, of either - or any - sex. The "Archetypes," of course, are not "eternal verities" except for the human species; at least, not until we have enough wisdom and humility to check, for instance, the opinion of the cetaceans. But since the cetaceans and we stem from the same source, and indeed are very closely related, we may have to wait for the opinion of aliens from outer space - meaning beyond our solar system - before formulating a system of truly cosmic significance. Meanwhile, our pantheons work well enough - for us. As long as we do not mix up our universes of discourse, that is.

In these matters you must be catholic, eclectic, even syncretic ...

Now, come on! Go to your dictionary. It will do you good to learn the meaning of a few words on your own. And perhaps you will be able to ponder how the Roman "Catholic" Church has entirely lost the definition of the word "catholic," to say nothing of the words "syncretic" and "eclectic." Or of the word "Church."

And you must consider the nature of your work.  If I wanted to evoke Taphthartharath, there would be little help indeed from any but the Qabalistic system; for that spirit's precise forms and numbers are not to be found in any other.

The converse, however, is not so true.  The Qabalah, properly understood, properly treated, is so universal that one can vamp up a ritual to suit almost "any name and form." ...

This will become even more so with our publication of our researches on the Shih Yi Jien.

... But in such a case one may expect to have to reinforce it by a certain amount of historical, literary, or philosophic study—and research.

4. Quite right, dear lady, about your incarnation memories acting as a "Guide to the Way Back."  Of course, if you "missed an Egyptian Incarnation," you would not be so likely to be a little Martha, worried "about much serving."  Don't get surfeited with knowledge, above all things; it is so very fascinating, so dreadfully easy; and the danger of becoming a pedant—"Deuce take all your pedants! say I."  Don't "dry-rot at ease 'till the Judgment Day."

Both quotations are from Shakespeare. Pedants become pedants because they are totally self-satisfied. This does not mean that a pedant may not know a lot. You may learn from a pedant - but you will stop learning from the pedant as soon as you reach his or her limits. Furthermore, you will be wise to conceal the fact that you have reached that particular mind's limits from that mind; for pedants are vindictive. They are perfectly aware of the fact that they don't know all, but they are afraid to learn more, and they do not welcome being reminded of their cowardice. Pedants put Nietzsche and Wilhelm Reich in the asylum, Crowley in infamy, and Regardie in the "Literary Who's Who." They always know their own.

No, I will NOT recommend a book.  It should not hurt you too much to browse on condensed hay (or thistles) ...

He is calling her an ass, with good reason; but it is the ass of the fable.

... such as articles in Encyclopedias.  Take Roget's Thesaurus or Smith's Smaller Classical Dictionary (and the like) to read yourself to sleep on.  But don't stultify yourself by taking up such study too seriously.  You only make yourself ridiculous by trying to do at 50 what you ought to have done at 15.  As you didn't—tant pis!  ...

French: the equivalent of "Too bad."

... You can't possibly get the spirit; if you could, it would mean merely mental indigestion.  We have all read how Cato started to learn Greek at 90: but the story stops there.  We have never been told what good it did to himself or anyone else.

This is not necessarily true in all cases, especially nowadays when we know much more about nutrition and the brain; but it was certainly true of that particular lady at that particular time; and of poor Cato in his time.

5. God-forms.  See Book Four Part III. Quite clear: quite adequate: no use at all without continual practice.  No one can join with you - off you go again! ...

Meaning, wanting him to hold her hand while she works.

... No, no, a thousand times no: this is the practice par excellence where you have to do it all yourself. ...

"Par excellence" = especially. Crowley's continuous insertion of French expressions in his speech to this lady is not particularly "learned" and certainly not pedantic. England is just across the Channel from France, the two countries have been friendly enemies for centuries, and it is but two or three hours nowadays by sea and ten minutes by air from one to the other. Expressions in each other's language are quite familiar on both sides. In 1943 e.v. this was especially so, since the Free French were quartered in England under De Gaulle.

... The Vibration of God-names: that perhaps, I can at least test you in.  But don't you dare come up for a test until you've been at it—and hard—for at least 100 exercises.

The next three paragraphs are missing in Mr. Regardie's "edition" of this book, perhaps because they state unequivocally that the work of the pupil is more important than the learning of the teacher. Either he remembered his own laziness or was trying to shield his self-importance.

I think this is your trouble about being "left in the air."  When I "present many new things" to you, the sting is in the tail—the practice that vitalizes it.  Doctrinal stuff is fine "Lazily, lazily, drowsily, drowsily, in the noo-on-dye shaun!"  ...

Allusion to one of "Uncle Remus's" tales and imitating Southern American Negro dialect.

... An ounce of your practice is worth a ton of my teaching.  GET THAT.  It's all your hatred of hard work:

"Go to the ant thou sluggard!
Consider her ways and be——."

I am sure that Solomon was too good a poet, and too experienced a Guru, to tail off with the anticlimax "wise."

In the original letter, Crowley finished off the quotation with the word "buggered." In the prurient, witch-hunting American Fifties Mr. Germer thought it prudent not to include the word. Regardie did away with the quotation altogether.

6. Minerval.  What is the matter?  All you have to do is understand it: just a dramatization of the process of incarnation.  Better run through it with me: I'll make it clear, and you can make notes of your troubles and their solution for the use of future members.

7. The Book of Thoth  Surely all terms not in a good dictionary are explained in the text.  I don't see what I can do about it, in any case; the same criticism would apply to (say) Bertrand Russell's Introduction to Mathematical Physics, wouldn't it?

Next he quotes from the very book:

Is x an R-ancestor of y if y has every R-hereditary that x has, provided x is a term which has the relation R to something or to which something has the relation R?  (Enthusiastic cries of "Yes, it is!")  He says "A number is anything which has the number of some class."  Feel better now?

His innate kindness then asserts itself.

Still, it would be kind of you to go through a page or so with me, and tell me where the shoe pinches.  Of course I have realized the difficulty long ago; but I don't know the solution—or if there is a solution.  I did think of calling Magick "Magick Without Tears"; and I did try having my work cross-examined as I went on by minds of very inferior education or capacity.  In fact, Parts I and II of Book 4 were thus tested.

But not, obviously, Part III. Part IV is much more accessible to the average American Ph.D. in these days of "progressive education." The next paragraph was omitted in Mr. Regardie's "edition".

What about applying the Dedekindian cut to this letter? I am sure you would not wish it to develop into a Goclenian Sorites, especially as I fear that I may already have deviated from the δια παντος Hapaxlegomenon.

The references are to the Greek text of Aristotle's Logic, and Mr. Germer added a note that the Greek words were written in Greek in the original. It must all have been Greek to her. One wonders if she realized he was pulling her lower extremity or extremities, and if she took advantage of the monumental offer of going through some pages of The Book of Thoth with him. Apparently she bought a copy. Only two hundred were printed, and they now sell - when they sell - for over a thousand dollars each.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. I

January 27, 1944 e.v.

Cara Soror:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

It is very good hearing that these letters do good, but rather sad to reflect that it is going to make you so unpopular.  Your friends will notice at once that glib vacuities fail to impress, and hate you, and tell lies about you.  It's worth it.

As Mark Twain would say, "He had had some."

Yes, your brain is quite all right; what is wanted is to acquire the habit of pinning things down instantly.  (He says 're-incarnation'—now what exactly does he mean by that?  He says "it is natural to suppose . . . ": what is "natural", and what is implied by supposition?)  Practice this style of criticism; write down what happens.  Within a week or two you will be astounded to discover that you have got what is apparently little less than a new brain!  You must make this a habit, not letting anything get by the sentries.

Indeed, I want you to go even further; make sure of what is meant by even the simplest words. Trace the history of the word with the help of Skeat's Etymological Dictionary.  E.g. "pretty" means tricky, deceitful; on the other hand, "hussy" is only "housewife."  It's amusing, too, this "tabby" refers to Prince Attab, the grandson of Ommeya—the silk quarter of Baghdad where utabi, a rich watered silk was sold.  This will soon give you the power of discerning instantly when words are being used to hide meaning or lack of it.

This paragraph and the postscript were cut out by Mr. Regardie, presumably because he did not want to give offense to some of his friends:

About A∴A∴, etc.: your resolution is noble, but there is a letter ready for you which deals with what is really a legitimate enquiry; necessary, too, with so many hordes of "Hidden Masters" and "Mahatmas" and so on scurrying all over the floor in the hope of distracting attention from the inanities of their trusted henchmen.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. I must write at length about the Higher Self or "God within us,", too easy to get muddled about it, and the subject requires careful preparation.

Actually, he had to write several. See Letters 28. 36, 42, and 43.

LETTER ONE: What is Magick?

Cara Soror:

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

What is Magick? Why should anyone study and practice it? Very natural; the obvious preliminary questions of any subject soever. We must certainly get all this crystal clear; fear not that I shall fail to set forth the whole business as concisely as possible yet as fully, as cogently yet as lucidly, as may prove within my power to do.

At least I need not waste any time on telling you what Magick is not; or to go into the story of how the word came to be misapplied to conjuring tricks, and to sham miracles such as are to this day foisted by charlatan swindlers, either within or without the Roman Communion, upon a gaping crew of pious imbeciles.

First let me go all Euclidean, and rub your nose in the Definition, Postulate and Theorems given in my comprehensive (but, alas! too advanced and too technical) Treatise on the subject ....

Here he refers to Book Four Part III.

Here we are!



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

(Illustration: It is my Will to inform the World of certain facts within my knowledge.  I therefore take "magical weapons," pen, ink, and paper; I write "incantations"—these sentences—in the "magical language" i.e. that which is understood by 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 is thus an act of


by which I cause Changes to take place in conformity with my Will.

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

The difference is mainly one of purpose, not of matter. Science is the observation and study of Nature. Applied Science is, on one level, technology; on several other levels, Magick.


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

(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 sufficient quantity and of adequate strength, and place it, 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.)


1. Every intentional act is a Magical Act.

In the original edition a footnote to this was switched by mistake for the previous remark on Magick being the name given to Science by the vulgar. The footnote reads: "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." And developing a disease may be an act of the Will-to-Die.

Illustration: See "Definition" above.)

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 his patient.  There may be 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 found 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 condition.

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

(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 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 true pleasures are those of presiding at fashionable functions. 

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.

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.

(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!)

Mr. Regardie, for instance, "improved" with practice.

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.)

But if the environment is decidedly hostile to the individual's True Will, then it is necessary to change the environment or be restricted by it. This is the entire point of technology or of Magick.

10. Nature is a continuous phenomenon, thought we do 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 know even 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.

Here he added the footnote: "For instance, 'irrational,' 'unreal,' and 'infinite' expressions." These are all types of advanced mathematic operations without which the study of physics, specially nuclear physics, would be still at eighteenth century level.

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 to what he may be, or to what he may do.

Here he added another footnote: "i.e. except - possibly - in the case of logically absurd questions, such as the schoolmen discussed in connection with 'God'".

(Illustration: Two generations ago it was supposed theoretically impossible that man should ever know the chemical composition of the fixed stars.  It is known that our senses are adapted to receive only an infinitesimal fraction of the possible rates of vibration.  Modern instruments have enabled us to detect some of these suprasensibles 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 ...

Respectively, radio waves and x-rays.

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 in 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 toothache with the decay which 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 those 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 that he perceives is in a certain sense a part of his being.  He may thus subjugate the whole 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.  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 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 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 her, or in others through him or her.)

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

Note by David Bersson: Note that Marcelo Motta replaces "man" with "human being" throughout this text to clarify the equality of sexes; that every man & women is a star. In the above comment I have included both — and yet now that the point is made We leave the rest as a testimony and lesson on how a expression can be so misleading. Yet, knowing this still does not alter the fact that this is not how Aleister Crowley wrote it — and therefore all future text will be the way Aleister Crowley wrote it. Other Masters in time will arise and comment, no doubt, and other schools of thought will give new insight. Yet, what Aleister Crowley wrote must not be confused with "another," "Sphinx," or any successor He might manifest to Initiation to as a Magical Child. In the Book of the Law it is written: Every man and every woman is a star. Yet, this is not a statement of equality, necessarily, yet it most certainly is on the plane of philosophy. Philosophy aside, there are stars and stars. Some brighter than others; and some not even from Our system. Yet, all we can immediately deduce that the star is man and women, or both as metaphor suddenly awakens a insight of Neshemah.. In my commentary called Gold Coins I give an even more unique insight on the subject of man & women being a star. That is, "a star". An insight never before given with any other Master in the past; and an insight that sheds light on the perception of "day of be with us", "of us", origin of species from the point of view of the galaxy and cosmos — and of giving hints of an entirely new perspective on the difference between those who are "of us" as a star & what is meant by a profane not being of us.

(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.  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 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, establishing a connection with it, and arranging conditions so that its nature compels it to flow toward him.

(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.

This is another and most important argument against any kind of religious dogma that considers anything in the Universe as intrinsically "evil" or "hostile" to the progress of the human being or the "welfare" of our souls. The progress of science in the West, for instance, was only possible after the decay of Christism. Attempts to reinstitute medieval religion, such as that of the "Moral Majority" nowadays in the U.S.A., are invariably accompanied by attempts to deny or weaken science or true humanism, which derives from science.

(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 otherwise than by silent satisfaction, it is a sign that they are diseased.  The single exception is the organ of reproduction ...

Not so: All the organs of elimination, of which the organ of reproduction is just one particular case. If defecation and urination, for instance, were not pleasurable acts in any living organism, it would not survive for long the accumulation of catabolic products in itself.

... Yet even in this case self-assertion bears witness to its dissatisfaction with itself, since in cannot fulfill 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.

Here he added the following footnote: "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." But here Crowley was being idealistic rather than objective. If such religions had "failed," he would not have become so dissatisfied with his times and environment as to set himself up as the new Christ. The dangerous point is, that it is much easier to assert a limited Will, based on a limited perception of the Universe, than to assert an ampler will that takes as much of the Universe into account as the instrument of that Will may be conscious of. In practice, the scientist is always diffident; the fanatic is always loud and positive. Crowley's assertion above is tantamount to saying that the Will of a hypocrite cannot prevail upon Nature and his or her fellow beings. This is only correct in the long run — and sometimes in the very, very long run. Humankind, as a whole, cannot be enslaved by the false Will of a hypocrite; but human beings frequently are. Human life is brief. Christism is slowly dissolving at last its miasma of sickness and hatred, but it took over a thousand years for brave human beings, patiently working, to achieve this dissolution with the relentless help of Nature. Jerry Falwell is extremely wrong, and I am extremely right; but Jerry Falwell made fifty million dollars last year and I made nothing. So let us put it that the hypocrite is deaf to Nature but not, unfortunately, dumb to his or her fellows. On the contrary, the more hypocritical they are, the more articulate they become and the easier they are to understand, for what they have to say is always very simple. Unfortunately for the unthinking masses, it is not the simplicity of synthesis, such as we find in Liber AL, but the simplicity of Restriction, such as we find in the Ten Commandments, or in the Creed of Nicea, or in The Communist Manifesto.

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 succeeds 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 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 anyone else shall comply with one's own standards is to outrage, not only him, but oneself, since both parties are equally born of necessity.)

Unless, of course, the other person has stated, apparently of his or her own free will, that he or she wants to conform to your standards, and then proceeds to disprove this Will through his or her deeds. Then you must tell them to either prove their words by their actions or go peddle their schizophrenia, true or assumed, elsewhere.

25. Every man must do Magick each time that he acts or even thinks, since a thought is an internal act whose influence ultimately affects action, thought 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.  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 of a whole stroke, and so probably between having and losing the hole.)

26. Every man has a right, the right of self-preservation, to fulfill himself to the utmost.

Here he added the following footnote: "Men of 'criminal nature' are simply at issue with their true Wills. 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." This is, of course, an over-simplification of the issue, and supposes, first of all, that the "Society" lives by Thelemic principles, not by Christist, or Moslem, or Zionist, or Brahmin, or Marxist, or whatever. Mr. Menachem Begin is a model to "Israelis;" he is also a terrorist and murderer to the British, the Arabs and, incidentally, myself. The laws of any "Society" that does not conform with the Law of Θελημα will unfailing be restrictive, inecological and unjust. Galileo broke the law, and so did Crowley; did not the tribunals of their times condemn both men? United States Law sent Wilhelm Reich and Timothy Leary to prisons for the insane where both underwent "treatment;" Nixon was elected and Kissinger stated publicly that there is no aphrodisiac like power, both in that same period of time. One's exercise of one's right to self-preservation in a society of slaves makes one a criminal at some time or another, and an "enemy of the people." Keep that in mind.

(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 keynote 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 understand banking as a necessary factor in the economic existence of mankind, instead of as 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.)

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 path, 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.  To oppose him would be an error.  Anyone so doing would have made a mistake as to his own destiny, except in so far as it might be necessary for him to learn the lessons of defeat. " The sun moves in space without interference.  The order of Nature provides a orbit for each star.  A clash proves that one or the other has strayed from its course.  But as to each man that keeps his true course, the more firmly he acts, the less likely are others 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.)

Well, here endeth the First Lesson.

That seems to me to cover the ground fairly well; at least, that is what I have to say when serious analysis is on the agenda.

But there is a restricted and conventional sense in which the word may be used without straying too far from the above philosophical position.  One might say:—

"Magick is the study and use of those forms of energy which are (a) subtler than the ordinary physical-mechanical types, (b) accessible only to those who are (in one sense or another) 'Initiates'."  I fear that this may sound rather obscurum per obscurius; but this is one of these cases— we are likely to encounter many such in the course of our researches—in which we understand, quite well enough for all practical purposes, what we mean, but which elude us more and more successfully the more accurately we struggle to define their import.

We might fare even worse if we tried to clear things up by making lists of events in history, tradition, or experience and classifying this as being, and that as not being, true Magick.  The borderland cases would confuse and mislead us.

But—since I have mentioned history—I think it might help, if I went straight on to the latter part of your question, and gave you a brief sketch of Magick past, present and future as it is seen from the inside.

What are the principles of the "Masters"?  What are They trying to do?  What have They done in the past?  What means do They employ?

As it happens, I have by me a sketch written by M. Gerard Aumont of Tunis some twenty years ago, which covers this subject with reasonable adequacy.

I have been at the pains of translating it from his French, I hope not too much reminiscent of the old traduttore, traditore.  I will revise it, divide it (like Gaul) into Three Parts and send it along.

Love is the law, love under will.



The essay on the Three Schools of Magick is reproduced as Letters 6, 7, and 8. "Traduttore, traditore" is an Italian pun meaning, 'translator, traitor.' But in this case if Crowley betrayed anyone it was himself, for the essay, although signed by Mr. Gerard Aumont, was written by Crowley himself. Aumont was not a pseudonym of Crowley's; he was a pupil for a while in Tunis. We have written extensive notes to this essay, for reasons that will be obvious to the serious reader when he or she gets to it.

LETTER TWO: The Necessity of Magick for All

Cara Soror:

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

Right glad am I to hear that you have been so thoroughly satisfied with my explanation of what Magick is, and on what its theories rest.  It is good, too, hearing how much you were interested in the glimpse that you have had of some of its work in the world; more, that you grasped the fact that this apparently recondite and irrelevant information has an immediate bearing on your personal life of today.  Still, I was not surprised that you should add: "But why should I make a special study of, and devote my time and energy to acquiring proficiency in, the Science and Art of Magick?

Obviously, this letter was written or re—written already having in mind its publication as part of a series; it deviates from Crowley's normal colloquial and joking manner.

Ah, well then, perhaps you have not understood my remarks at one of our earliest interviews as perfectly as you suppose!  For the crucial point of my exposition was that Magick is not a matter extraneous to the main current of your life, as music, gardening, or collection jade might be.  No, every act of your life is a magical act; whenever from ignorance, carelessness, clumsiness or what not, you come short of perfect artistic success, you inevitably register failure, discomfort, frustration.  Luckily for all of us, most of the acts essential to continued life are involuntary; the "unconscious" has become so used to doing its "True Will" that there is no need of interference; when such need arises, we call it disease, and seek to restore the machine to free spontaneous fulfillment of its function.

But this is only part of the story.  As things are, we have all adventured into an Universe of immeasurable, of incalculable, possibilities, of situations never contemplated by the trend of Evolution.  Man is a marine monster; when he decided that it would be better for him somehow to live on land, he had to grow lungs instead of gills.  When we want to travel over soft snow, we have to invent ski; when we wish to exchange thoughts, we must arrange a conventional code of sounds, of knots in string, of carved or written characters—in a word—embark upon the boundless ocean of hieroglyphics or symbols of one sort or another.  (Presently I shall have to explain the supreme importance of such systems; in fact, the Universe itself is not, and cannot be, anything but an arrangement of symbolic characters!)

Here we are, then, caught in a net of circumstances; if we are to do anything at all beyond automatic vegetative living, we must consciously apply ourselves to Magick, "the Science and Art" (let me remind you!) "of causing change to occur in conformity with the Will."  Observe that the least slackness or error means that things happen which do not thus conform; when this is so despite our efforts, we are (temporarily) baffled; when it is our own ignorance of what we ought to will, or lack of skill in adapting our means to the right end, then we set up a conflict in our own Nature: our act is suicidal.  Such interior struggle is at the base of nearly all neuroses, as Freud recently "discovered"—as if this had not been taught, and taught without his massed errors, by the great teachers of the past!  The Taoist doctrine, in particular, is most precise and most emphatic on this point; indeed, it may seem to some of us to overshoot the mark; for nothing is permissible in that scheme but frictionless adjustment and adaptation to circumstance.  "Benevolence and righteousness" are actually deprecated!  That any such ideas should ever have existed (says Lao-tse) is merely evidence of the universal disorder.

Taoist sectaries appear to assume that Perfection consists in the absence of any disturbance of the Stream of Nescience; and this is very much like the Buddhist idea of Nibbana.

We who accept the Law of Θελημα, even should we concur in this doctrine theoretically, cannot admit that in practice the plan would work out; our aim is that our Nothing, ideally perfect as it is in itself, should enjoy itself through realizing itself in the fulfillment of all possibilities.  All such phenomena or "point-events" are equally "illusion"; Nothing is always Nothing; but the projection of Nothing on this screen of the phenomenal does not only explain, but constitutes, the Universe.  It is the only system which reconciles all the contradictions inherent in Thought, and in Experience; for in it "Reality" is "Illusion", "Free-will" is "Destiny", the "Self" is the "Not-Self"; and so for every puzzle of Philosophy.

Not too bad an analogy is an endless piece of string.  Like a driving band, you cannot tie a knot in it; all the complexities you can contrive are "Tom Fool" knots, and unravel at the proper touch.  Always either Naught or Two!  But every new re-arrangement throws further light on the possible tangles, that is, on the Nature of the String itself.  It is always "Nothing" when you pull it out; but becomes "Everything" as you play about with it, since there is no limit to the combinations that you can form from it, save only in your imagination (where the whole thing belongs!) and that grows mightily with Experience.  It is accordingly well worth while to fulfill oneself in every conceivable manner.

The above proposition, which sounded so simple to him as he wrote it, will demand the deepest meditation and years of verification from the average student.

It is then (you will say) impossible to "do wrong", since all phenomena are equally "Illusion" and the answer is always "Nothing."  In theory one can hardly deny this proposition; but in practice—how shall I put it?  "The state of Illusion which for convenience I call my present consciousness is such that the course of action A is more natural to me that the course of action B?"

Or: A is a shorter cut to Nothing; A is less likely to create internal conflict.

Will that serve?

Offer a dog a juicy bone, and a bundle of hay; he will naturally take the bone, whereas a horse would choose the hay.  So, while you happen to imagine yourself to be a Fair Lady seeking the Hidden Wisdom, you come to me; if you thought you were a Nigger Minstrel, you would play the banjo, and sing songs calculated to attract current coin of the Realm from a discerning Public! ...

The word "nigger " did not have at the time and in England the heavy emotional connotations it was later to acquire in the U.S.A. Nor should the reader think that Crowley had color prejudice; remember that several of his male lovers were black, and that he wrote a poem (under the pseudonym of 'Hilda Norfolk,' to emphasize both his passivity in the affair and the whiteness of his own skin — "Norfolk" — Nordic) of sexual rapture dedicated to at least one of them. Furthermore, "nigger minstrels" were all the rage of musical halls at the time, white performers blackening themselves with burnt cork to sing and dance in disguise, in the manner made famous in the movies by Al Jolson.

... The two actions are ultimately identical—see AL I, 22—and your perception of that fact would make you an Initiate of very high standing; but in the work-a-day world, you are "really" the Fair Lady, and leave the minstrel to grow infirm and old and hire an orphan boy to carry his banjo!

Now then, what bothers me it this: Have I or have I not explained this matter of "Magick"—"Why should I (who have only just heard of it, at least as a serious subject of study) acquire a knowledge of its principles, and of the powers conferred by its mastery?"  Must I bribe you with promises of health, wealth, power over others, knowledge, thaumaturgical skill, success in every worldly ambition—as I could quite honestly do?  I hope there is no such need—and yet, shall I confess it?—it was only because all the  good things of life  were suddenly seen of me to be worthless, that I took the first steps towards the attainment of that Wisdom which, while enjoying to the full the "Feast of Life," guarantees me against surfeit, poison or interruption by the knowledge that it is all a Dream, and gives me the Power to turn that dream at will into any form that happens to appeal to my Inclination.

I would rather be awake

Let me sum up, very succinctly; as usual, my enthusiasm has lured me into embroidering my sage discourse with Poets' Imagery!

Why should you study and practice Magick?  Because you can't help doing it, and you had better do it well than badly.  You are on the links, whether you like it or not; why go on topping your drive, and slicing your brassie, and fluffing your niblick, and pulling your iron, and socketing your mashie and not being up with your putt—that's 6, and you are not allowed to pick up.  It's a far cry to the Nineteenth, and the sky threatens storm before the imminent night.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER THREE: Hieroglypics: Life and Language Necessarily Symbolic

Cara Soror:

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

Very natural, the irritation in your last!  You write:—

"But why?  Why all this elaborate symbolism?  Why not say straight out what you mean?  Surely the subject is difficult enough in any case—must you put on a mask to make it clear?  I know you well enough by now to be sure that you will not fob me off with any Holy-Willie nonsense about the ineffable, about human language being inadequate to reveal such Mysteries, about the necessity of constructing a new language to explain a new system of thought; of course I know that this had to be done in the case of chemistry, of higher mathematics, indeed of almost all technical subjects; but I feel that you have some other, deeper explanation in reserve.

"After all, most of what I am seeking to learn from you has been familiar to many of the great minds of humanity for many centuries.  Indeed, the Qabalah is a special language, and that is old enough; there is not much new material to fit into that structure.  But why did they, in the first place, resort to this symbolic jargon?"

You put it very well ...

Too well, indeed; he rewrote it for the purposes of his discourse. This occasionally will happen with his longer quotations from her and other pupil's letters in this book. Pupils are seldom able to write so cogently on such matters, and when they do write long letters like this they are to be discouraged; for asking long questions is usually merely an excuse for doing short work. If any.

...; and when I think it over, I feel far from sure that the explanation which I am about to inflict upon you will satisfy you, or even whether it will hold water!  In the last resort, I shall have to maintain that we are justified by experience, by the empirical success in communicating thought which has attended, and continues to attend, our endeavors.

But to give a complete answer, I shall have to go back to the beginning, and restate the original problem; and I beg that you will not suppose that I am evading the question, or adopting the Irish method of answering it by another, though I know it may sound as if I were.

Let me set out by restating our original problem; what we want is Truth; we want an even closer approach to Reality; and we want to discover and discuss the proper means of achieving this object.

Very good; let us start by the simplest of all possible enquiries—and the most difficult—"What is anything?"  "What do we know?" and other questions that spring naturally from these.

I see a tree.
I hear it—rustling or creaking in the wind.
I touch it—hard.
I smell it—acrid.
I taste it—bitter.

The last two sensations depend on the type of tree, of course.

Now all the information given by these five senses has to be put together, although no two agree in any sort of way.  The logic by which we build up our complex idea of a tree has more holes than a sponge ...

The following paragraphs should be, and have been, most attentively read by scientists, for Crowley is analysing the very process of observation by which scientific research is possible; and he is analysing it in order to show the process through which our minds perceive anything outside themselves — or recreate from memory or imagination. What he is describing is one of the first discoveries of Pratyahara. It is deeply disturbing at first for the mind to perceive the flimsiness, the irreality one might say, of the process by which it "accesses reality." But how else can you study the instrument of consciousness? And unless you know the instrument as deeply as you can, how can you use it efficiently?

But this is to jump far ahead: we must first analyze the single, simple impression.  "I see a tree."  This phenomenon is what is called a "point-event."  It is the coming together of the two, the seer and the seen.  It is single and simple; yet we cannot conceive of either of them as anything but complex.  And the Point-Event tells us nothing whatever about either; both, as Herbert Spencer and God knows how many others have shown, unknowable; it stands by itself, alone and aloof.  It has happened; it is undeniably Reality.  Yet we cannot confirm it; for it can never happen again precisely the same.  What is even more bewildering is that since it takes time for the eye to convey an impression to the consciousness (it may alter in 1,000 ways in the process!) all that really exists is a memory of the Point-Event. not the Point-Event itself.  What then is this Reality of which we are so sure?  Obviously, it has not got a name, since it never happened before, or can happen again!  To discuss it at all we must invent a name, and this name (like all names) cannot possibly be anything more than a symbol.

Even so, as so often pointed out, all we do is to "record the behaviour of our instruments."  Nor are we much better off when we've done it; for our symbol, referring as it does to a phenomenon unique in itself, and not to be apprehended by another, can mean nothing to one's neighbors.  What happens, of course, is that similar, though not identical, Point-Events happen to many of us, and so we are able to construct a symbolic language.  My memory of the mysterious Reality resembles yours sufficiently to induce us to agree that both belong to the same class.

But let me furthermore ask you to reflect on the formation of language itself.  Except in the case of onomatopoeic words ...

Words that describe things by imitating the sound of such things, like 'meow' for a cat's meow or 'bang' for an explosion. We apologize for introducing such explanations from time to time, but the cultured reader is a rarity these days, and should ponder the wonderful effects of modern 'socialistic' or 'progressive' education on the mind of the average person. To reach for a dictionary may affect such a person's attention span more than he or she can stand without missing the point of what is being read. This long apology is likely to have the same effect, but it is being made only once.

... and a few others, there is no logical connection between a thing and the sound of our name for it.  "Bow-wow" is a more rational name than "dog", which is a mere convention agreed on by the English, while other nations prefer chien, hund, cane, kalb, kutta and so on.  All symbols, you see, my dear child, and it's no good your kicking!

But it doesn't stop there.  When we try to convey thought by writing, we are bound to sit down solidly, and construct a holy Qabalah out of nothing.  Why would a curve open to the right, sound like the ocean, open at the top, like you?  And all these arbitrary symbolic letters are combined by just as symbolic and arbitrary devices to take on conventional meanings, these words again combined into phrases by no less high-handed a procedure.

And then folk wonder how it is that there should be error and misunderstanding in the transmission of thought from one person to another!  Rather regard it as a miraculous intervention of Providence when even one of even the simplest ideas "gets across."  Now then, this being so, it is evidently good sense to construct one's own alphabet, with one's own very precise definitions, in order to handle an abstruse and technical subject like Magick.  The "ordinary" words such as God, self, soul, spirit and the rest have been used so many thousand times in so many thousand ways, usually by writers who knew not, or cared not for the necessity of definition that to use them to-day in any scientific essay is almost ludicrous.

That is all, just now, sister; no more of your cavilling, please; sit down quietly with your 777, and get it by heart!

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER FOUR: The Qabalah: The Best Training for Memory

Cara Soror:

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

Now you must learn Qabalah.  Learn this Alphabet of Magick.  You must take it on trust, as a child does his own alphabet.  No one has ever found out why the order of the letters is what it is.  Probably there isn't any answer.

The answer is simply that from the beginning the letters were associated with numbers, and an entire system of intertwined symbolic logic came out of it. Any other system, provided it were coherent in itself, would serve — cf. Russell & Whitehead on this in Principia Mathematica. The advantage of the Qabalah is that is has been in use for so long that an entire system of archetypes has become associated with it. Those archetypes have their counterparts in other cultures, as it was only to be expected: the general principles of medicine can be used to cure any variant of the human species; and no matter how much a human being may differ from another - some almost looking like monkeys, and some almost behaving like monkeys even if they do not look simian - they all belong to the same species. The Qabalah was not, of course, invented by the Jews themselves. They had it partly from the Babylonians, partly from the Assyrians, partly from the Egyptians. But the practical Qabalah that Crowley is specifically talking about was developed in the Middle Ages of Europe by a great Jewish genius, Maimonides, in an effort to prove to the Christists that they and the Israelites had a common heritage of spiritual insights with the so-called barbaric tribes of Europe and the wisdom of Islam and the Far East. Maimonides had help, of course, in doing this, but deserves all the credit for giving momentum to this effort to counteract the horror and the hatred hidden behind Christism's false message of "love." Like all things that have value for humankind beyond the life of a generation, the Qabalah has changed and grown with the centuries. The so-called "Qabalah of Aleister Crowley" is not, of course, Aleister Crowley's any more than modern physics belongs to Einstein. Without Newton's work, and the work of all those that went before him, where would Einstein be? And where would we be without Einstein and Aleister Crowley?

The following paragraph was cut out by Mr. Regardie from his "edition," for reasons connected with pure greed. The paragraph calls attention to Crowley's efforts at deciphering the mysteries of the Yi Jing, and Helen Parsons-Smith had just put out her own "edition" of this Book. In view of the fact that Mr. Regardie claims that he had Crowley's best interests at heart when he started pirating Crowley's work, and in view of the fact that Mrs. Parsons-Smith, although not authorized to publish O.T.O. material, was at least an O.T.O. member (something that Mr. Regardie has never been and never will be), it is interesting that he should try to hinder, rather than to help, her effort. But the Magus works in subtle ways His wonders to perform, and greed and pettiness in thieves may eventually contribute to the benefit of true followers. See Equinox V, No. 3, published by the O.T.O., advertised at the end of this volume.

If you only knew what I am grappling with in the Yi King! The order of the sixty-four hexagrams. I am convinced that it is extremely significant, that it implies a sublime system of philosophy.  I've got far enough to be absolutely sure that there is a necessary rhythm; and it's killing me by millimetres, finding out why each pair succeeds the last.  Forgive these tears!

But our Magical Alphabet is primarily not letters, but figures, not sounds but mathematical ideas.  Sir Humphrey Davy, coming out of his famous illumination (with some help from Nitrous Oxide he got in) exclaimed: The Universe is composed solely of ideas.  We, analyzing this a little, say: The Universe is a mathematical expression.

Of course, the Universe is nothing necessarily of the sort. It would be better to express both insights in this way: "A certain region of the human mind can apprehend the Universe solely as ideas," and "The constitution of the human mind tends to the investigation of the Universe through mathematical processes." This, by the way, is in accordance with Crowley's own advice. We are in extreme need of communication with other intelligent forms of life at this stage; there is no other way to enrich our experiences. We might start by trying the cetaceans, although they are so close to us genetically. They are extremely intelligent, yet have never attempted to develop a technology, have adapted to their environment rather than tried to change it; have been persistently harmed by us, and yet persist in remaining friendly towards bothersome bipeds. An explanation of their motivations might enlarge our conception of the Universe in a way to transcend all philosophies and scientific speculations so far.

Sir James Jeans might have said this, only his banker advised him to cash in on God ...

Sir James Jeans was a physicist and a teacher, a contemporary of Eddington, and wrote some very clear books explaining physics to the lay person. Eddington's literary work was, however, far superior in content.

... The simplest form of this expression is 0 = 2, elsewhere expounded at great length ...

See letter 5. But it is also in practically every other letter of this book, and is the basis of Crowley's ontology.

... This 2 might itself be expressed in an indefinitely great number of ways.  Every prime number, including some not in the series of "natural numbers", is an individual.  The other numbers with perhaps a few exceptions (for instance 418) are composed of their primes.

Each of these ideas may be explained, investigated, understood, by means very various.  Firstly, the Hebrew, Greek and Arabic numbers are also letters.  Then, each of these letters is further described by one of the (arbitrarily composed) "elements of Nature;  the Four (or Five) Elements, the Seven (or Ten) Planets, and the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac.

As he says himself, the composition of those ideas is arbitrary, although very likely it was the product of "astral investigation" on the part of Maimonides and his collaborators. Among other things, we may consider "Seven Elements," following the Hindu-Tibetan esoteric tradition, or, as he says himself, Ten Planets (including the Moon) rather than just seven. The point is that attempts to introduce these thoughts on the Tree seem to be successful. In a way, the Qabalistic Tree of Life proves itself by such additions, which complicate but further harmonize the whole. There is in this a parallel with the Table of Elements; but it has, so far, proved extremely useful to mystics and magicians. One should not, however, exaggerate this usefulness to the point of falling into the delusion that the Qabalah is "divinely ordained." I remember a conversation in Brasil with Oskar Schlag (who had come to feel me out for either Shin Beth or the Vatican or the C.I.A. or more likely all three at once) in which he protested against Crowley's inversion of the Emperor and the Star on the Tree, implying it was "unorthodox." I suggested to him that the Masters manipulate the Tree for their own purposes from time to time, especially when the Aeons succeed each other, and he became very indignant about this. Apparently he was under the delusion that there is still one more Commandment from Moses or whoever: "Thou shalt not diddle with the Tree." Dogmatism for its own sake is always the mark of the pendant, the superficial thinker, the hypocrite or the theologian. Robert Frost's famous wall is often built in one's mind.

All these are arranged in a geometrical design composed of ten "Sephiroth" (numbers) and twenty-two "paths" joining them; this is called the Tree of Life...

The reference, of course, is to Genesis; and it is interesting to see Adam, after so many supposed centuries, still trying to wrestle Jehovah's secrets from Heaven's guard, following the advice of the Serpent. Or are they going to blame it on Eve again? At any rate, it is no wonder the Christist inquisitors burned so many Qabalist Jews alive. One imagines these martyrs were often denounced by their own people; for if not heretics, they were certainly "satanists." One wonders if any of them raised the objection that the law was made for man, and not man for the law, and what good it did them if they did.

Every idea soever can be, and should be, attributed to one or more of these primary symbols; thus green, in different shades, is a quality or function of Venus, the Earth, the Sea, Libra, and others. So also abstract ideas; dishonesty means "an afflicted Mercury," ...

One imagines that Mercury was in dire need of heavy doses of Valium in Mr. Regardie's horoscope!

... generosity a good, though not always strong, Jupiter; and so on.

The Tree of Life has got to be learnt by heart; you must know it backwards, forwards, sideways, and upside down; it must become the automatic background of all your thinking. You must keep on hanging everything that comes your way upon its proper bough.

At first, of course, all this is dreadfully confusing; but persist, and a time will come when all the odd bits fit into the jig-saw, and you behold—with what adoring wonder!—the marvellous beauty and symmetry of the Qabalistic system.

And then—what a weapon you will have forged!

What power to analyze, to order, to manipulate your thinking!

The following six Crowley paragraphs were excised by Mr. Regardie, only he - and perhaps Jehovah - knows why. Too colloquial about "sacred" things?

And please remember when people compliment you on your memory or the clarity of your thought, to give credit to the Qabalah!

That's fine, I seem to hear you purr; that looks a lovely machine.  The Design is just elegant; that scarf-pin of yours is perfectly sweet.

There's only one point: how to make the damn thing work?

Ah yes, like the one in the Apocalypse, the sting is in your tail.

Honest, you needn't worry; it works on ball-bearings, and there's always those "Thirteen Fountains of Magnificent Oil flowing down the Beard of Macroprosopus" in case it creaks a little at first.  But seriously, all the mathematics you need is simple Addition and Multiplication.

"Yeah!" you rudely reply.  "That's what you think; but you haven't got very far in the Qabalah!"

Too true, sister.

The Book of the Law itself insists upon the fact that it contains a Qabalah which was beyond me at the time of its dictation, is beyond me now, and always will be beyond me in this incarnation. Let me direct your spiritual attention to AL I, 54; I, 56; II, 54-55; III, 47.

Now there was enough comprehensible at the time to assure me that the Author of the Book knew at least as much Qabalah as I did: I discovered subsequently more than enough to make it certain without error that he knew a very great deal more, and that of an altogether higher order, than I knew; finally, such glimmerings of light as time and desperate study have thrown on many other obscure passages, to leave no doubt whatever in my mind that he is indeed the supreme Qabalist of all time . . . .

But please do not infer from this that Aiwass is "God," and that the Qabalah - specially the Thelemic - is a direct gift from "God" to Adam (oh, not to Eve, no!), or you will follow Messrs. Schlag and Begin into the garbage heap of idolatry. Mr. Regardie seems so far to have avoided at least this mistake, which may give rise to a maxim. Better a thief than a fanatic...? Either way, the following eight paragraphs were again excised by Mr. Regardie, perhaps because they teach the reader how to work out his or her own Qabalah, and so not to depend on "Qabalists" of Mr. Regardie's level for "guidance." They also show too well where, how, and under whose counsel he learned the little Qabalah he knew.

"I asked you how to work it."

Don't be so peevish, querulous, and impatient; your zeal is laudable, but it's wasting your own time to hurry me.

Well, when you've got this Alphabet of Numbers (in its proper shape) absolutely by heart, with as many sets of attributions as you can commit to memory without getting confused, you may try a few easy exercises, beginning with the past.

("How many sets of attributions?"—Well, certainly, the Hebrew and Greek Alphabets with the names and numbers of each letter, and its mean- ing: a couple of lists of God-names, with a clear idea of the character, qualities, functions, and importance of each; the "King-scale" of colour, all the Tarot attributions, of course; then animals, plants, drugs, per- fumes, a list or two of archangels, angels, intelligences and spirits—that ought to be enough for a start.)

Now you are armed!  Ask yourself: why is the influence of Tiphareth transmitted to Yesod by the Path of Samekh, a fence, 60, Sagittarius, the Archer, Art, blue—and so on; but to Hod by the Path of Ayin, an eye, 70, Capricornus, the Goat, the Devil, Indigo, etc.?

Either Crowley or a secretary apparently slipped here, for Samkeh is a "prop," not a "fence." True, there are certain important analogies between the two letters; however, those are beyond discussion in this public work.

Thirteen is the number of Achad , Unity, and Ahebah, Love; then what word should arise when you expand it by the Creative Dyad, and get 26; what when you multiply it by 4, and get 52? Then, suppose the Pentagram gets busy, 13 x 5 = 65, what then?

Now don't you dare to come round crawling to me for the answers; work it out yourself what sort of words they ought to be, and then check your result by looking up those numbers in the Sepher Sephiroth: Equinox Vol. I, No. 8, Supplement.

When you are a real adept at all these well-known calculations "prepare to enter the Immeasurable Region" and dig out the Unknown.

You must construct your own Qabalah!

He does not mean that you must construct a new Tree of Life: he means that you must build up your own dictionary of words and numbers that make the Tree of Life especially significant to you, and the Qabalistic correspondences especially useful to you. The following paragraphs elucidate this point.

Nobody can do it for you.  What is your own true Number?  You must find it and prove it to be correct. In the course of a few years, you should have built yourself a Palace of Ineffable Glory, a Garden of Indescribable Delight.  ...

All these were terms applied to Qabalistic or philosophical tracts and to collections of poetry by the Arabs and the Hebrews in the Middle Ages.

... Nor time nor Fate can tame those tranquil towers, those Minarets of Music, or fade one blossom in those avenues of Perfume!

Humph!  Nasty of me: but it has just stuck me that it might be just as well if you made a Sepher Sephiroth of your own!  What a positively beastly thing to suggest!  However, I do suggest it.

After all, it's simple enough.  Every word you come across, add it up, stick it down against that number in a book kept for the purpose.  That may seem tedious and silly; why should you do all over again the work that I have already done for you?  Reason: simple.  Doing it will teach you Qabalah as nothing else could.  Besides, you won't be all cluttered up with words that mean nothing to you; and if it should happen that you want a word to explain some particular number, you can look it up in my Sepher Sephiroth.

By this method, too, you may strike a rich vein of words of your own that I have altogether missed.

No doubt, a Really Great Teacher would have said: "Beware!  Use my Dictionary, and mine alone!  All others are spurious!"  But then I'm not a R.G.T. of that kind.

Indubitably one of the reasons why he died poor, which will not be the case with Mr. Regardie.

For a start, of course, you should put down the words that are bound to come in your way in any case: numbers like 11, 13, 31, 37, and their multiples; the names of God and the principal angels; the planetary and geomantic names; and your own private and particular name with its branches.  After that, let your work on the Astral Plane guide you. 

When investigating the name and other words communicated to you by such beings as you meet there, or invoke, many more will come up in their proper connections.  Very soon you will have quite a nice little Sepher Sephiroth of your very own.  Remember to aim, above all things, at coherence.

It is excellent practice, but the way, to do some mental arithmetic on your walks; acquire the habit of adding up any names that you have come across in your morning's reading.  Nietzsche has well observed that the best thoughts come by walking; and it has happened to me, more than once or twice, that really important correspondences have come, as by a flashlight, when I was padding the old hoof.

You will have noticed that in this curt exposition I have confined myself to Gematria, the direct relation of number and word, omitting any reference to Notariqon, the accursed art of making words out of initials, like (in profane life) Wren and Gestapo and their horrid brood, or to Temurah, the art of altering the position of the letters in a word, a sort of cipher; for these are almost always frivolous.  To base any serious calculations on them would be absurd.

Yet, these are the favorite entertainment of "orthodox" Jewish Qabalists.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S.  You should study the Equinox Vol. I, No. 5, "The Temple of Solomon the King" for a more elaborate exposition of the Qabalah.

LETTER FIVE: The Universe: The 0 = 2 Equation

Cara Soror,

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

Yes, I admit everything! It is all my fault.  Looking over my past writings, I do see that my only one-pointed attempt to set forth a sound ontology was my early fumbling letter brochure.  Since then, I seem to have kept assuming that everybody knew all about it; referring to it, quoting it, but never sitting down seriously to demonstrate the thesis, or even to state it in set terms.  Chapter 0 of Magick in Theory and Practice skates gently over it; the "Naples Arrangement" in The Book of Thoth dodges it with really diabolical ingenuity.  I ask myself why.  It is exceedingly strange, because every time I think of the Equation, I am thrilled with a keen glow of satisfaction that this sempiternal Riddle of the Sphinx should have been answered at last.

So then let me now give myself the delight, and you the comfort, of stating the problem from its beginning, and proving the soundness of the solution—of showing that the contradiction of this Equation is unthinkable.  — — Are you ready?  Forward!  Paddle!

Readers seriously interested in Thelemic philosophy — by which I mean those who want to live by it —— should pay close attention to this demonstration. The entire concept of Θελημα springs from it. The following is a sort of extended commentary on AL I, 28-30, 45-46; II, 66, III 19-20.

1.  We are aware.

2.  We cannot doubt the existence (whether "real" or "illusory" makes no difference) of something, because doubt itself is a form of awareness.

3.  We lump together all that of which we are aware under the convenient name of "Existence", or "The Universe".  Cosmos is not so good for this purpose; that word implies "order", which in the present stage of our argument, is a mere assumption.

4.  We also tend to think of the Universe as containing things of which we are not aware; but this is altogether unjustifiable, although it is difficult to think at all without making some such assumption.  For instance, one may come upon a new branch of knowledge—say, histology or Hammurabi or the language of the Iroquois or the poems of the Hermaphrodite of Panormita.  It seems to be there all ready waiting for us; we simply cannot believe that we are making it all up as we go along.  For all that, it is sheer sophistry; we may merely be unfolding the contents of our own minds.  Then again, does a thing cease to exist if we forget it?  The answer is that one cannot be sure.

The reader is reminded that many states of insanity - among which we definitely must include religious fanaticism - revolve precisely around such points.

Personally, I feel convinced of the existence of an Universe outside my own immediate awareness; but it is true, even so, that it does not exist for me unless and until it takes its place as part of my consciousness.

This is added argument for trying to expand one's consciousness, and for not being too self-satisfied. I may not be aware that a supersonic airplane is coming towards me from the back; it may not exist for me until the moment that it reduces me to a shower of disrupted colloid bits - but it then proves its existence in a very thorough manner, and I will be even more idiotic than the average fool if I call it "evil" or "satanic" as I die, or call it "The Will of God," which is simply another way of expressing my idiocy that kept me in the path of the airplane in the first place.

5.  All this paragraph 4 is in the nature of a digression, for what you may think of it does not at all touch the argument of this letter. But it had to be put in, just to prevent your mind from raising irrelevant objections.  Let me continue, then, from 3.

6.  Something is.  (You must read the "Soldier and The Hunchback" in Equinox I 1. This something appears incalculably vast and complex.  How did it come to be?

This, briefly, is the "Riddle of the Universe," which has been always the first preoccupation of all serious philosophers since men began to think at all.

7.  The orthodox idiot answer, usually wrapped up in obscure terms in the hope of concealing from the enquirer the fact that it is not an answer at all, but an evasion, is: God created it.

Then, obviously, who created God?  Sometimes we have a Demiurge, a creative God behind whom is an eternal formless Greatness—anything to confuse the issue!

Sometimes the Universe is supported by an elephant; he, in turn, stands on a tortoise . . . by that time it is hoped that the enquirer is too tired and muddled to ask what holds up the tortoise.

Sometimes, a great Father and Mother crystallize out of some huge cloudy confusion of "Elements"and so on.  But nobody answers the question; at least, none of these God-inventing mules, with their incurably commonplace minds.

8.  Serious philosophy has always begun by discarding all these puerilities.  It has of necessity been divided into these schools: the Nihilist, the Monist, and the Dualist.

9.  The last of these is, on the surface, the most plausible; for almost the first thing that we notice on inspecting the Universe is what the Hindu schools call "the Pairs of Opposites."

This too, is very convenient, because it lends itself so readily to orthodox theology; so we have Ormuzd and Ahriman, the Devas and the Asuras, Osiris and Set, et cetera and da capo, personifications of "Good" and "Evil."  The foes may be fairly matched; but more often the tale tells of a revolt in heaven.  In this case, "Evil" is temporary; soon, especially with the financial help of the devout, the "devil" will be "cast into the Bottomless Pit" and "the Saints will reign with Christ in glory for ever and ever, Amen!"  Often a "redeemer," a "dying God," is needed to secure victory to Omnipotence; and this is usually what little vulgar boys might call a "touching story!"

10.  The Monist (or Advaitist) school, is at once subtler and more refined; it seems to approach the ultimate reality (as opposed to the superficial examination of the Dualists) more closely.

It seems to me that this doctrine is based upon a sorites of doubtful validity.  ...

"Sorites" is a word from formal logic: it means a chain of arguments in which each depends on the other to reach a conclusion.

... To tell you the hideously shameful truth, I hate this doctrine so rabidly that I can hardly trust myself to present it fairly!  But I will try.  Meanwhile, you can study it in the Upanishads, in the Bhagavad-Gita, in Ernst Haeckel's The Riddle of the Universe, and dozens of other classics.  The dogma appears to excite its dupes to dithyrambs.  I have to admit the "poetry" of the idea; but there is something in me which vehemently rejects it with excruciating and vindictive violence.  Possibly, this is because part of our own system runs parallel with the first equations of theirs.

11.  The Monists perceive quite clearly and correctly that it is absurd to answer the question "How came these Many things (of which we are aware) to be?" by saying that they came from Many; and "Many" in this connection includes Two.  The Universe must therefore be a single phenomenon: make it eternal and all the rest of it— i.e. remove all limit of any kind—and the Universe explains itself.  How then can Opposites exist, as we observe them to do?  Is it not the very essence of our original Sorites that the Many must be reducible to the One?  They see how awkward this is; so the "devil" of the Dualist is emulsified and evaporated into "illusion;" what they call "Maya" or some equivalent term.

"Reality" for them consists solely of Brahman, the supreme Being "without quantity or quality."  They are compelled to deny him all attributes, even that of Existence; for to do so would instantly limit them, and so hurl them headlong back in to Dualism.  All that of which we are aware must obviously possess limits, or it could have no intelligible meaning for us; if we want "pork," we must specify its qualities and quantities; at the very least, we must be able to distinguish it from "that-which-is-not-pork."

But—one moment, please!

12.  There is in Advaitism a most fascinating danger; that is that, up to a certain point, "Religious Experience" tends to support this theory.

A word on this.  Vulgar minds, such as are happy with a personal God, Vishnu, Jesus, Melcarth, Mithras, or another, often excite themselves—call it "Energized Enthusiasm" if you want to be sarcastic!—to the point of experiencing actual Visions of the objects of their devotion. 

But these people have not so much as asked themselves the original question of "How come?" which is our present subject.  Sweep them into the discard!

13.  Beyond Vishvarupadarshana, the vision of the Form of Vishnu, beyond that yet loftier vision which corresponds in Hindu classification to our "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel", is that called Atmadarshana, the vision (or apprehension, a much better word) of the Universe as a single phenomenon, outside all limitations, whether of time, space, causality, or what not.

Very good, then!  Here we are with direct realization of the Advaitist theory of the Universe.  Everything fits perfectly. Also, when I say "realization," I want you to understand that I mean what I say in a sense so intense and so absolute that it is impossible to convey my meaning to anyone who has not undergone that experience. (I have discussed this and the following points very fully in Book Four Part I.)

See Yoga and Magick, pp. 47-66.

How do we judge the "reality" of an ordinary impression upon consciousness?  Chiefly by its intensity, by its persistence, by the fact that nobody can argue us out of our belief in it.  As people said of Berkeley's 'Idealism'—"his arguments are irrefutable but they fail to carry conviction."  No sceptical, no idealist queries can persuade us that a kick in the pants is not 'real' in any reasonable sense of the word.  Moreover memory reassures us.  However vivid a dream may be at the time, however it may persist throughout the years (though it is rare for any dream, unless frequently repeated, or linked to waking impressions by some happy conjunction of circumstances, to remain long in the mind with any clear-cut vision) it is hardly ever mistaken for an event of actual life.  Good: then, as waking life is to dream, so—yes, more so!—is Religious Experience as above described to that life common to all of us.  It is not merely easy, it is natural, not merely natural, but inevitable, for anyone who has experienced "Samadhi" (this word conveniently groups the higher types of vision. "Vision" is a dreadfully bad word for it; 'trance' is better, but idiots always mix it up with hypnotism.) to regard normal life as "illusion" by comparison with this state in which all problems are resolved, all doubts driven out, all limitations abolished.

But even beyond Atmadarshana comes the experience called Shivadarshana, (possibly almost identical with the Buddhist Neroda - Samapati) ...

It is identical. The supposed differences are merely the result of cultural or religious conditioning.

... in which this Atman (or Brahman), this limit—destroying Universe, is itself abolished and annihilated.

(And, with this experience, smash goes the whole of the Advaitist theory!)

It is a commonplace to say that no words can describe this final destruction.  Such is the fact; and there is nothing one can do about it but put it down boldly as I have done above.  It does not matter to our present purpose; all that we need to know is that the strongest prop of the Monist structure has broken off short.

Moreover, is it really adequate to postulate an origin of the Universe, as they inevitably do?  Merely to deny that there ever was a beginning by saying that this "One" is eternal fails to satisfy me.

What is very much worse, I cannot see that to call Evil "illusion" helps us at all.  When the Christian Scientist hears that his wife has been savagely mauled by her Peke, he has to smile, and say that "there is a claim of error."  Not good enough.

14.  It has taken a long while to clear the ground. That I did not expect; the above propositions are so familiar to me, they run so cleanly through my mind, that, until I came to set them down in order, I had no idea what a long and difficult business it all was.

Still, it's a long lane, etc.  We have seen that "Two" (or "Many") are unsatisfactory as origin, if only because they can always be reduced to "One"; and "One" itself is no better, because, among other things, it finds itself forced to deny the very premises on which it was founded.

Shall we be any better off if we assume that "Ex nihilo nihil fit" is a falsehood, that the origin of All Things is Nothing?  Let us see!

15.  Shall we first glance at the mathematical aspect of Nothing?  (Including its identical equation in Logic.)  This I worked out so long ago as 1902 e.v. in Berashith, which you will find reprinted in The Sword of Song, and in my Collected Works, Vol. I.

The argument may be summarized as follows.

When, in the ordinary way of business, we write 0, we should really write 0n.  For 0 implies that the subject is not extended in any dimension under discussion.  Thus a line may be two feet in length, but in breadth and depth the coefficient is Zero.  We could describe it as 2f × 0b × 0d, or n2f + 0b + 0d.

/*I'm sure that's x not + as in the Motta commentary. I'll have to check this*/

What I proposed in considering "What do we mean by Nothing?" was to consider every possible quality of any object as a dimension.

For instance, one might describe this page as being nf + n'b + n''d + 0 redness + 0 amiability + 0 velocity + 0 potential and so on, until you had noted and measured all the qualities it possesses, and excluded all that it does not. For convenience, we may write this expression as Xf+b+d+r+a+v+p—using the initials of the qualities which we call dimensions.

Just one further explanation in pure mathematics.  To interpret X1, X1+1 or X2, and so on, we assume the reference to be to spatial dimensions.  Thus suppose X1 to be a line a foot long, X2 will be a plane a foot square, and X3 a cube measuring a foot in each dimension.  But what about X4?  There are no more spatial dimensions.  Modern mathematics has (unfortunately, I think) agreed to consider this fourth dimension as time.  Well, and X5?  To interpret this expression, we may begin to consider other qualities, such as electric capacity, colour, moral attributes, and so on.3 

But this remark, although necessary, leads us rather away from our main thesis instead of toward it.

16.  What happens when we put a minus sign before the index (that small letter up on the right) instead of a plus?  Quite simple. x2 = X1+1 = X1 + X1.  With a minus, we divide instead of multiplying.  Thus, X3-2 = X3 ÷ X2 = X1, just as if you had merely subtracted the 2 from the 3 in the index.

Now, at last, we come to the point of real importance to our thesis: how shall we interpret X0?  We may write it, obviously, as X1-1 or Xn-n.  Good, divide.  Then X1 ÷ X1 = 1.  This is the same, clearly enough, whatever X may be.

17.  Ah, but what we started to do was discover the meaning of Nothing.  It is not correct to write it simply as 0; for that 0 implies an index 01, or 0{2}, or 0n.  And if our Nothing is to be absolute Nothing, then there is not only no figure, but no index either.  So we must write it as 00.

What is the value of this expression?  We proceed as before; divide.

00 = 0n-n = 0n ÷ 0n = (0n ÷ 1) × (1 ÷ 0n).  Of course 0n ÷ 1 remains 0; but 1 ÷ 0{n} = ∞.

That is, we have a clash of the "infinitely great" with the "infinitely small;" that knocks out the "infinity" (and Advaitism with it!) and leaves us with an indeterminate but finite number of utter variety. That is: 00 can only be interpreted as "The Universe that we know."

18.  So much for our demonstration.  Some people have found fault with the algebra; but the logical Equivalent is precisely parallel.  Suppose I wish to describe my study in one respect: I can say "No dogs are in my study," or "Dogs are not in my study."  I can make a little diagram: D is the world of dogs; S is my study. Here it is:

Diagram 1

/*These two diagrams still have to be inserted. Also, I'll double check the equations above..*\

The squares are quite separate.  The whole world outside the square D is the world of no dogs: outside the square S, the world of no-study.  But suppose now that I want to make the Zero absolute, like our 00, I must say "No dogs are not in my study."

Or, "There is no absence-of-dog in my study."  That is the same as saying: "Some doge are in my study;" diagram again:

Diagram 2

In Diagram 1, "the world where no dogs are" included the whole of my study; in Diagram 2 that absence-of-dog is no longer there; so one or more of them must have got in somehow.

That's that; I know it may be a little difficult at first; fortunately there is a different way—the Chinese way—of stating the theorem in very much simpler terms.

19. The Chinese, like ourselves, begin with the idea of "Absolute Nothing." They "make an effort, and call it the Tao;" but that is exactly what the Tao comes to mean, when we examine it.  They see quite well, as we have done above, that merely to assert Nothing is not to explain the Universe; and they proceed to do so by means of a mathematical equation even simpler than ours, involving as it does no operations beyond simple addition and subtraction.  They say "Nothing obviously means Nothing; it has no qualities nor quantities."  (The Advaitists said the same, and then stultified themselves completely by calling it One!)  "But," continue the sages of the Middle Kingdom, "it is always possible to reduce any expression to Nothing by taking any two equal and opposite terms." 

(Thus n+ = (-n) = 0.)  "We ought therefore to be able to get any expression that we want from Nothing; we merely have to be careful that the terms shall be precisely opposite and equal."  (0 = n + (-n).  This then they did, and began to diagrammatize the Universe as the Yi—a pair of opposites, the Yang or active male, and the Yin or passive Female, principles. They represented the Yang by an unbroken ( — ), the Yin by a broken ( —  — ), line. (The first manifestation in Nature of these two is Tai Yang, the Sun, and the Tai Yin, the Moon.) This being a little large and loose, they doubled these lines, and obtained the four Xiang. They then took them three at a time, and got the eight Kwa. These represent the development from the original Yi to the Natural Order of the Elements.

The serious student will find this whole subject amply developed in The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism, Equinox V, 3.

I shall call the male principle M, the Female F.

M.1. ☰Qian"Heaven-Father". F.1. ☷Kun"Earth-Mother"
M.2. ☲LiThe Sun F.2. ☵KanThe Moon
M.3. ☳ZhenFire F.3. ☱DuiWater
M.4. ☴SunAir F.4. ☶GenEarth

Note how admirably they have preserved the idea of balance.  M.1. and F.1. are perfection.  M.2. and F.2. still keep balance in their lines. The four "elements" show imperfection; yet they are all balanced as against each other.  Note, too, how apt are the ideograms.  M.3. shows the flames flickering on the hearth, F.3., the wave on the solid bottom of the sea; M.4., the mutable air, with impenetrable space above, and finally F.4., the thin crust of the earth masking the interior energies of the planet.  They go in to double these Kwâ, thus reaching the sixty-four Hexagrams of the Yî King, which is not only a Map, but a History of the Order of Nature.

It is pure enthusiastic delight in the Harmony and Beauty of the System that has led me thus far afield; my one essential purpose is to show how the Universe was derived by these Wise Men from Nothing.

When you have assimilated these two sets of Equations, when you have understood how 0 = 2 is the unique, the simple, and the necessary solution of the Riddle of the Universe, there will be, in a sense, little more for you to learn about the Theory of Magick.

You should, however, remember most constantly that the equation of the Universe, however complex it may seem, inevitably reels out to Zero; for to accomplish this is the formula of your Work as a Mystic.  To remind you, and to amplify certain points of the above, let me quote from Book Four Part III:

Pages 152-153, footnote 2, in the original edition. Book Four Part III Commented, subtitled Thelemic Magick, will be issued soon.

All elements must at one time have been separate—that would be the case with great heat.  Now when atoms 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; 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 un- changed.

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 "Perfect Being" could create a world in which war, evil, etc., exist.  God 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 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.

The reader will understand that all this is pure speculative thinking, although on a much higher level than that of theologians. Theurgists have what we call "religious experiences" and some of them, very imprudently, deduce from such experiences an idea of "God." From that moment on the theologian, that vermin of religion, is on "safe" ground. A theologian does not criticize his or her religion's idea of "God;" all their "reasoning" is a manipulation of dogma. As to the speculation about how male stars and female stars are built, it is sheer nonsense. The star itself is omnisexual; it is the instrument that becomes "limited" in this regard at birth. This subject is thoroughly treated in Equinox V 4, subtitled "Sex and Religion." The idea that a woman has no "soul" is a purely Semitic idea; it springs from the cultural attitude of Arabs and Jews towards women. However, when one considers the utter docility with which Arabic women and Jewish women have for centuries acquiesced in theologies that insult and denigrate their sex, one wonders if woman does have, if not a soul, at least a brain. "Obscurum per obscuris" means, roughly, a false argument based on a false premise, leading to more confusion that there was at the start. Crowley's final paragraph dispels any doubt that he had progressed beyond speculations about woman's "soul" by the time of this writing:

Every "act of love under will" has the dual result

(1) the creation of a child combining the qualities of its parents,
(2) the withdrawal by ecstasy into Nothingness.
Please consult what I have elsewhere written on "The Formula of Tetagrammaton;" the importance of this at the moment is to show how 0 and 2 appear constantly in Nature as the common Order of Events.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER SIX: The Three Schools of Magick (1)

Cara Soror,

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

Here is the first section of M. Gerard Aumont's promised essay; it was originally called "The Three Schools of Magick."  (Don't be cross, please, because it is not in the form of a personal letter!)

As previously stated, although Gerard Aumont did exist and was a Crowley pupil for a while, this essay was written by Crowley himself as part of his campaign against Besant and Leadbeater. The White School and the Yellow are brilliantly described and commented upon; the Black School, however, is not touched at all. The Black School of Magick is, of course, connected with the black peoples of the Earth: Africans and Australasians. Direct reference to it is made in AL I, 37, under African terminology. The reader will notice that in all three letters devoted to this long essay Crowley does not treat of the real Black School at all. Instead, he does one of those manipulation jobs very common among Adepts, to take advantage of the connotation of "Black" with "Evil" in the mind of followers of the more debased cults of humankind, and of the color prejudice against black people on the part of the average vulgar white - and yellow! — person. He was not here concerned with "truth" in the normal sense. As he himself stated in his Commentary to Chapter 45 of Liber 333:

The Master (in technical language, the Magus) does not concern himself with facts; he does not care whether a thing is true or not: he uses truth and falsehood indiscriminately, to serve his ends. Slaves consider him immoral, and preach against him in Hyde Park.

This statement is neither true nor false. The point the reader must keep in mind is that all references to the "Black School" here made are highly imaginative, to put it mildly. Crowley was in fact referring specifically to a sub-branch of the White School, for the Hindus - the true Aryans! - are members of the White School, for all that their skin often looks blacker than that of a Negro. The confusion is made more confused by adding the Buddha to the story, for the Buddha was actually a Yellow School member. But since the Theosophical Society, after falling in the clutches of two unworthy disciples of the dead Master, was trying to use religion to further the alleged political interests of India and the actual financial interests of maharajas and "maharishis" and "gurujis" etc., etc., ad nauseam. Crowley, indignant that they dared step on his turf and were actually playing dirty, played dirty as well — and much more successfully.

You must not feel sympathy towards Annie Besant and her accomplice: she did not really care for India itself at all: what she had in mind was power. She wanted India to become independent of the British Empire, but to fall under her domination. Her dream was to be the "grey eminence" behind the throne, or the republic, or whatnot. And from an independent India, how powerful would the Theosophical Society become! Why, as powerful as the Vatican, nay more! Think of it: Annie Besant, the White Popess of the Orient! ...In a sense, almost a feminist dream. But very far from the Master, Blavatsky, a true feminist by the way.

The Hindus, if you discount propaganda, are one of the most callous, stupid, selfish and cruel peoples in the world. In their way, they are exactly as callous and selfish as that sub-cultural group called the Christists. Misery in India is terrible; the absolute scorn for the rights in individuals who do not belong to the ruling gang and for the sufferings of the poor is dreadful. Here is a nation that has one of the biggest cattle herds in the entire world but where daily children die of starvation because the parents are vegetarians, and Hindus neither plant enough nor control (surprise, surprise!) their sexual appetites. One could go on for hours speaking of the peoples of the Bengal peninsula and detailing their psychology, politics, and material reality, but it is useless to do so. The serious reader will find more than enough testimony about them in works by intelligent Western visitors of that region; even Ms. Shirley McLaine, in her first autobiographical book of travels (not the silly one about China) managed to draw an accurate portrait of what is wrong with that zone. It should be interesting to ponder that Christist countries, without the influence of the so—called "Rosicrucians," of the Qabalist Jews of Maimonides, and of the Moors, would be exactly under the same plight.

Yet, the influence of Besant and Leadbeater was sufficiently strong in the West to provide the "maharishis" and "secret Hindu masters" with enough of an entry, at least in the United States of America, that they not only became millionaires with the greatest of ease, but are favorably received where a Thelemite would be shunned and feared. In part this is due to the relentless campaign of vengeance that the Theosophical Society, or at least that section of it under Besant and Leadbeater's influence, moved against Crowley (and continue moving against Crowley) ever since. Interestingly enough, the Vatican has taken enormous advantage of the Toshosophists's as Crowley called them, hatred for Θελημα. It is not only the Magus who uses truth or falsehood indiscriminately for his own purposes!

This statement about the Magus, however, must be clearly understood. Some things that seem to the average human being to be eternal verites are actually quite false: they are dreams of the untrained mind, often derived from subconscious impulses of fear or greed. It is of this kind of thing that Crowley said that the Magus takes advantage to put his Law across. however, to go deeply into this matter would but confuse the reader, who not only would be unable to understand us, but very likely would, which is worse, completely misinterpret what we said. Crowley was very right when he stated that true secrets cannot be revealed (that's why they are secrets.) Unless you yourself have experience of the states of consciousness of which it is being spoken, you will not understand what is being spoken, no matter how clearly it is stated, or by whom.

One last remark before we go into the Essay itself: precisely as readers should be careful of the emotional connotations of "Black" that may exist in their minds when reading what follows, they should also be careful of the connotations of "White." What is "white" is not necessarily "good" or "beautiful" or "just," it is merely white; and in the sense meant by the essay, the word White refers to that racial group of humankind that falls under the name of the "white races." This includes not only Nordic and Caucasian, but also Semite and Aryan groups, as well as the ancient Egyptians, who looked copper-skinned rather than white. If you do not keep this firmly in mind, it is unlikely that you will profit much from the reading of what follows; and what follows, to a mind that keeps its guard, is truly profitable reading. It will teach you a lot about the White and Yellow Schools of Magick - although very little about the Black!

There is today much misunderstanding of the meaning of the term "Magick." Many attempts have been made to define it, but perhaps the best for our present purpose of historical-ideological exposition will be this—Magick is the Science of the Incommensurables.

This is one of the many restricted uses of the word; one suited to the present purpose.

It is particularly to be noted that Magick, so often mixed up in the popular idea of a religion, has nothing to do with it.  It is, in fact, the exact opposite of religion; it is, even more than Physical Science, its irreconcilable enemy.

Which is why all religions attack us.

Let us define this difference clearly. Magick investigates the laws of Nature with the idea of making use of them.  It only differs from "profane" science by always keeping ahead of it.  As Fraser has shown, Magick is science in the tentative stage; but it may be, and often is, more than this.  It is science which, for one reason or another, cannot be declared to the profane.

This does not mean that those willing and able to do so cannot reproduce the experiments of the teacher, and verify his or her own conclusions for their own benefit. However, the stages of consciousness which compose spiritual progress are unintelligible and incommunicable to those who have not undergone the training necessary to experience them, or who are constitutionally incapable of undergoing them.

Religion, on the contrary, seeks to ignore the laws of Nature, or to escape them by appeal to a postulated power which is assumed to have laid them down.  The religious man is, as such, incapable of understanding what the laws of Nature really are.  (They are generalizations from the order of observed fact.)

The History of Magick has never been seriously attempted. ...

All those "histories of Magic" written so far, including Levi's, are either sketchy, misleading, downright false, or sectarian.

... For one reason, only initiates pledged to secrecy know much about it; for another, every historian has been talking about some more or less conventional idea of Magick, not of the thing itself.  But Magick has led the world from before the beginning of history, if only for the reason that Magick has always been the mother of Science.  It is, therefore, of extreme importance that some effort should be made to understand something of the subject; and there is, therefore, no apology necessary for essaying this brief outline of its historical aspects.

There have always been, at least in nucleus, three main Schools of Philosophical practice.  (We use the word "philosophical" in the old good broad sense, as in the phrase "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society for the Advancement of Knowledge.")

The word "philosophy" is from the Greek, and actually means "love of wisdom."

It is customary to describe these three Schools as Yellow, Black, and White.  The first thing necessary is to warn the reader that they must by no means be confounded with racial distinctions of colour...

In this you find Crowley's true attitude towards the black race: he is about to embark upon an Operation that might result to their harm, and he is defusing that possibility at the start, while having every intention to use racial prejudice if he can to neutralize the efforts of Besant and Leadbeater.

...; and they correspond still less with conventional symbols such as yellow caps, yellow robes, black magick, white witchcraft, and the like.  The danger is only the greater that these analogies are often as alluring as the prove on examination to be misleading.

These Schools represent three perfectly distinct and contrary theories of the Universe, and, therefore, practices of spiritual science.  ...

This statement, is, of course, incorrect, and we will call the attention of readers to this fact when it becomes apparent. Keeping in mind the purpose for which the essay was written, however, you will immensely profit from its purely initiatic aspects.

... The magical formula of each is as precise as a theorem of trigonometry.  Each assumes as fundamental a certain law of Nature, and the subject is complicated by the fact that each School, in a certain sense, admits the formulæ of the other two.  ...

This is actually Thelemically incorrect. Cf. AL. III 49-56. But since he was trying to awaken irritation against and opposition to the 'Toshosophists,' it would have been impolitical on his part to let escape that he despised the people he intended to use just as much as he despised the people he intended to use them against - or perhaps just a little less.

This kind of operation, by the way, has never been known to be successful in the long run. It is much better to take the stand that the Lord of the Aeon took from the start. it may bring you centuries of suffering and persecution, but you will succeed — and your success will be much purer than it would have been with the "help" of all those troglodytes.

Think of making a "deal" with the likes of Jerry Falwell and Menachem Begin and the Popes to "destroy the Red Menace." It has been tried repeatedly by corrupt American "presidents" like John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and now Ronald Reagan. Can you see any historical evidence of "success" in the present, or foresee any in the future?!?

... It merely regards them as in some way incomplete, secondary, or illusory.  Now, as will be seen later, the Yellow School stand aloof from the other two by the nature of its postulates.  But the Black School and the White are always more or less in active conflict; and it is because just at this moment that conflict is approaching a climax that it is necessary to write this essay.  The adepts of the White School consider the present danger to mankind so great that they are prepared to abandon their traditional policy of silence, in order to enlist in their ranks the profane of every nation.

Fat use they would be!

We are in possession of a certain mystical document ...

Here Crowley added the note: "Liber CDXVIII, The Vision and the Voice." Mr. Germer added the following to this note: "New edition with Introduction and Commentary by 666. Thelema Publishing Co., Barstow, California." This is another book that Mr. Israel Regardie pirated and adulterated, falsifying Crowley's annotations with misleading insertions of his own, without taking the trouble to distinguish between Crowley's material and his. This book, also, will be reprinted by us in its unadulterated form. Readers interested in it who are not yet on our mailing list have only to write us requesting to be added to it, and will be able to subscribe to it at pre-publications prices before it is publically issued.

... which we may describe briefly, for convenience sake, as an Apocalypse of which we hold the keys, thanks to the intervention of the Master who has appeared at this grave conjuncture of Fate.  This document consists of a series of visions, in which we hear the various Intelligences whose nature it would be hard to define, but who are at the very least endowed with knowledge and power far beyond anything that we are accustomed to regard as proper to the human race.

We must quote a passage from one of the most important of these documents.  The doctrine is conveyed, as is customary among Initiates, in the form of a parable.  Those who have attained even a mediocre degree of enlightenment are aware that the crude belief of the faithful, and the crude infidelity of the scoffer, with regard to matters of fact, are merely childish.  Every incident in Nature, true or false, possesses a spiritual significance.  It is this significance, and only this significance, that possesses any philosophical value to the Initiate.

The orthodox need not be shocked, and the enlightened need not be contemptuous, to learn that the passage which we are about to quote, is a parable based on the least decorous of the Biblical legends which refer to Noah.  It simply captures for its own purposes the convenience of Scripture...

Not so: this is the true legend, or rather initiatic fable, of which the Bible version is a corruption and falsification, perhaps unintended; for each of us can only see or hear or understand as far as we are capable. Notice the reference to the "indecorous" nature of the fable: he is apologizing beforehand to the prejudice of the people who forbade the reading of the Bible lest its franker passages corrupt or disillusion the faithful. From the point of view of a modern teenager, the whole story is quite innocent; but it was not innocent to orthodox Jews, who to this day copulate in darkness, since the sight of the naked human body is wicked! Those, incidentally, are the kind of people who trained the adolescent Menachem Begin to murder women, children, and fellow Jews — and as "reward" for his murders elected him "Prime Minister of Israel" in his old age.

(Here follows the excerpt from the Vision.)

And a voice cries: Cursed be he that shall uncover the nakedness of the Most High, for he is drunken upon the wine that is the blood of the adepts. ...

That is, he is a Magus, although not necessarily the Magus of the Aeon in which he lives.

"... And BABALON hath lulled him to sleep upon her breast, and she hath fled away, and left him naked, and she hath called her children together saying: Come up with me, and let us make a mock of the nakedness of the Most High...

In a sense, the perception of the nakedness means the perception of the limitations or inadequacies inherent in the Law extant at the time when the adepts first perceive that their "father" is "naked," that is, that the extant Law is inadequate. You must realize that no law, on any level or any sense, is inadequate until someone perceives it is, and proves it!

... And the first of the adepts covered His shame with a cloth, walking backwards, and was white.  And the second of the adepts covered his shame with a cloth, walking sideways, and was yellow.  And the third of the adepts made a mock of His nakedness, walking forward, and was black ..."

Now, this has absolutely nothing to do with the Racial Strains of magick; rather with the attitude with which the Adepts react to the previous Law, now found insufficient or inadequate. The "White" so-called perceive it is inadequate, but react as if it weren't, disguising its insufficiency and acting as if that Law were valuable: they walk backwards from it, paying it homage in the old style of courtiers towards a king or emperor. The "Yellow" perceive its inadequacy and conceal it; but they no longer obey that law; they walk sideways from it. The "Black" advance and expose its inadequacy, and ridicule it. We, therefore, of Θελημα, are the true "Black School" of Magick, as defined in the apologue, in the present Aeon. Have you ever seen a "maharishi" denounce established cults or speak against whatever knaves may be "rulers" of whatever country the "maharishi" makes his millions in...? In the above sense, "Black" is used as the color of "Evil." We create scandal, we create discord, we "make waves." And whoever does this has only two alternatives: either remain the "Devil" until that Law becomes impotent with time, or is destroyed by someone, or destroy that Law themselves, and become "God."

... "And these are the three great schools of the Magi, who are also the three Magi that journeyed unto Bethlehem; and because thou hast not wisdom, thou shalt not know which school prevaileth, or if the three schools be not one.

Essentially, of course, they are one, since humankind is one; but in manifestation they have to be separate. Remember the Equation!

We are now ready to study the philosophical bases of these three Schools. We must, however, enter a caveat against too literal an interpretation, even of the parable.  It may be suspected, for reasons which should be apparent after further investigation of the doctrines of the Three Schools, that this parable was invented by an Intelligence of the Black School, who was aware of his iniquity, and thought to transform it into righteousness by the alchemy of making a boast of it ...

By the above interpretation we can see how far Crowley was from perception of AL III when he wrote this. The Intelligence who was telling the parable was not taking sides at all: It was merely stating that whatever adept, or whatever School of Adepts, mocked or criticized the "Establishment" was considered "black," that is to say, "evil." But cf. AL, I 21, 28-31, 49, 52-56, 60; II, 5, 14, 23, 52; III, 19, 43-45, 54.

... The intelligent reader will note the insidious attempt to identify the doctrine of the Black School with the kind of black magic that is commonly called Diabolism.  In other words, this parable is itself an example of an exceedingly subtle black magical operation, and the contemplation of such devices carried far enough beings us to an understanding of the astoundingly ophidian processes of Magicians ...

Now, here he is mocking the foolish reader, and warning the wise not to take him too seriously, yet take him seriously enough. I know this will sound perplexing to the average reader; all one can say it, too bad you are average: try to change, if you can! It goes without saying that it would be extremely silly of the "Black School" to call attention to its own "blackness!" Unless, of course, the intention were to provide an Ordeal - cf. AL II, 53.

... Let not the profane reader dismiss such subtleties from his mind as negligible nonsense. It is cunning of this kind that determines the price of potatoes.

The above digression is perhaps not so inexcusable as it may seem on a first reading. Careful study of it should reveal the nature of the thought-processes which are habitually used by the secret Masters of the human race to determine its destiny.

When everyone has done laughing, I will ask you to compare the real effects produced on the course of human affairs by Caesar, Attila, and Napoleon, on the one hand; of Plato, the Encyclopaedists, and Karl Marx on the other.

Here Crowley added the following note: "It is interesting to note that the three greatest influences in the world today are those of Teutonic Hebrews: Marx, Hertz, and Freud." Notice that these are influences for evolution, or change.

The Yellow School of Magick considers, with complete scientific and philosophical detachment, the fact of the Universe as a fact.  Being itself apart of that Universe, it realizes its impotence to alter the totality in the smallest degree.  To put it vulgarly, it does not try to raise itself from the ground by pulling at its socks.  It therefore opposes to the current of phenomena no reaction either of hatred or of sympathy.  So far as it attempts to influence the course of events at all, it does so in the only intelligent way conceivable.  It seeks to diminish internal friction.

It remains, therefore, in a contemplative attitude.  To use the terms of Western philosophy, there is in its attitude something of the stoicism of Zeno; or of the Pickwickianism, if I may use the term, of Epicurus.  The ideal reaction to phenomena is that of perfect elasticity.  It possesses something of the cold-bloodedness of mathematics; and for this reason it seems fair to say, for the purposes of elementary study, that Pythagoras is its most adequate exponent in European philosophy.

Since the discovery of Asiatic thought, however, we have no need to take our ideas at second-hand.  The Yellow School of Magick possesses one perfect classic.  The Tao Teh King.

See Equinox V, III, "The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism," published by the O.T.O.. At the time this essay was written Crowley added the following note:
"Unfortunately there is no translation at present published which is the work of an Initiate. All existing translations have been garbled by people who simply failed to understand the text. An approximately perfect rendering is indeed available, but so far it exists only in manuscript. One object of this letter is to create sufficient public interest to make this work, and others of equal value available to the public."
This is now being done by us

It is impossible to find any religion which adequately represents the thought of this masterpiece.  Not only is religion as such repugnant to science and philosophy, but from the very nature of the tenets of the Yellow School, its adherents are not going to put themselves to any inconvenience for the enlightenment of a lot of people whom they consider to be hopeless fools.

At the same time, the theory of religion, as such, being a tissue of falsehood, the only real strength of any religion is derived from its pilferings of Magical doctrine; and, religious persons being by defini- tion entirely unscrupulous, it follows that any given religion is likely to contain scraps of Magical doctrine, filched more or less haphazard from one school or the other as occasion serves.

Let the reader, therefore, beware most seriously of trying to get a grasp of this subject by means of siren analogies.  Taoism has as little to do with the Tao Teh King as the Catholic Church with the Gospel.

An extremely poor analogy: the Dao De Jing has existed intact for centuries: the "Gospel" is a forgery perpetrated by the Roman-Alexandrinians. See Letter to a Brasilian Mason, published by the O.T.O. One must remember, however, the kind of people for whom he was writing.

The Tao Teh King inculcates conscious inaction, or rather unconscious inaction, with the object of minimizing the disorder of the world.  A few quotations from the text should make the essence of the doctrine clear.

X 3 Here is the Mystery of Virtue.  It createth all and nourisheth all; yet it doth not adhere to them.  It operateth all; but knoweth not of it, nor proclaimeth it; it directeth all, but without conscious control.
XXII 2 Therefore the sage concentrateth upon one Will, and it is as a light to the whole world.  Hiding himself, he shineth; withdrawing himself, he attracteth notice; humbling himself, he gaineth force to achieve his Will.  Because he striveth not, no man may contend against him.
XLIII 1 The softest substance hunteth down the hardest.  The Unsubstantial penetrateth where there is no opening.  Here is the Virtue of Inertia.
2 Few are they who attain: whose speech is Silence, whose Work is Inertia.
XLVIII 3 He who attracteth to himself all that is under Heaven doth so without effort.  He who maketh effort is not able to attract it.
LVIII 3 The wise man is foursquare and avoideth aggression; his corners do not injure others.  He moveth in a straight line, and turneth not aside therefrom; he is brilliant, but doth not blind with his brightness.
LXIII 2 Do great things while they are yet small, hard things while they are yet easy; for all things, how great or hard soever, have a beginning when they are little and easy.  So thus the wise man accomplisheth the greatest tasks without undertaking anything important.
LXXVI 2 So then rigidity and hardness are the stigmata of death; elasticity and adaptability of life.
3 He then who putteth forth strength is not victorious; even as a strong tree filleth the embrace.
4 Thus the hard and rigid have the inferior place, the soft and elastic the superior.

Enough, I think, for this part of the essay.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER SEVEN: The Three Schools of Magick (2)

Cara Soror:

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

Hoping that you are now recovered from the devastating revelations in the matter of the Yellow School, I must ask you to brace yourself for disclosures even more formidable about the Black.  Do not confuse with the Black Lodge, or the Black Brothers.  The terminology is unfortunate, but it wasn't I that did it.  Now then, to work!

He next returns to the original essay written under the "Gerard Aumont" pseudonym.

The Black School of Magick, which must by no means be confused with the School of Black Magick or Sorcery, which latter is a perversion of the White tradition ...

Now here we must again introduce a caveat. (This word is from Latin, and means 'warning.' Crowley, like many cultured intellects, uses it often, so you might as well get accustomed to it.) Please keep in mind that the "Black School" mentioned in this essay is not the "Black School" mentioned in the Initiated Apologue quoted from The Vision and the Voice. The former is merely a failure of Initiatic Courage to face facts, while the latter, at least in this Aeon, is us, the Thelemites. Crowley is lying on certain planes and telling the truth on others in the following paragraphs. We will try to help you keep track of what is 'true' and what is 'false' about what he says, but you must also try to find your own way through the maze if you can. Consider it an exercise in listening to political speeches!

..., is distinguished fundamentally from the Yellow School in that it considers the Universe not as neutral, but as definitely a curse.  Its primary theorem is the "First Noble Truth" of the Buddha—"Everything is Sorrow."  In the primitive classics of this School the idea of sorrow is confused with that of sin ...

This absolutely was not the intention of the Buddha when he spoke: he merely stated a fact; the "moral" implications given to that fact were the result of vehicular indiscipline on the part of followers unable to face the Master and listen to the "Secret" He spoke.

(This idea of universal lamentation is presumably responsible for the choice of black as its symbolic colour.  And yet?  Is not white the Chinese hue of mourning?)

This parenthesis is a broad hint to the intelligent reader.

The analysis of the philosophers of this School refers every phenomenon to the category of sorrow.  It is quite useless to point out to them that certain events are accompanied with joy: they continue their ruthless calculations, and prove to your satisfaction, or rather dissatisfaction, that the more apparently pleasant an event is, the more malignantly deceptive is its fascination.  There is only one way of escape even conceivable, and this way is quite simple, annihilation. (Shallow critics of Buddhism have wasted a great deal of stupid ingenuity on trying to make out that Nirvana or Nibbana means something different from what etymology, tradition and the evidence of the Classics combine to define it.  The word means, quite simply, cessation: and it stands to reason that, if everything is sorrow, the only thing which is not sorrow is nothing, and that therefore to escape from sorrow is the attainment of nothingness.)

This attack on Buddhism is the more incisive because Crowley had been a very orthodox Buddhist prior to the Dictation of The Book of the Law. Nevertheless, there are two things wrong with it. First, what the Buddha mean by 'annihilation' was the result of the Trance Nerodah-Sammapatti, which roughly corresponds to the Samadhi Shivadarshana, which Crowley himself admits is a higher state of Samadhi than Atmadarshana. The Buddha preached detachment from the illusion of existence, not extinction of existence. His followers were not encouraged to commit suicide, but to reach a higher level of perception than that of the mass of humankind, slave of circumstances.

The second wrong this is that the 'Toshosophy' of Besant and Leadbeater has nothing at all to do with serious Buddhism of any sort. It is rather a debased form of Brahmanism mixed up with absurd legends. There are certain "secret masters" who are always quite mysterious, quite inaccessible, but extremely powerful, devotion to whom - and lots of money paid to the representatives of — will ensure the 'faithful' all kinds of fantastic powers or privileges or advantages. The Besant-Leadbeater pantheon includes not only Morya and Koot Hoomi, Blavatsky's supposed gurus, but a medley of legendary figures from all times: the "Master Jesus," the "Master Racoczy," the "Master Hilarion," the "Master Maitreya," etc., etc. The analogy with the "saints" of Roman Catholicism is flagrant; the main difference is that, although there are female "saints" in the Roman Catholic pantheon, Leadbeater's homosexuality precluded any in the Toshosophic. The "theosophy" of Besant and Leadbeater is a black magical operation attempted along the very same lines as Christism, and would probably have been as "successful" as Christism had Crowley not intervened. But Buddhism itself is merely a branch of the Yellow School, and as we observed before, the real Black School of Magick, the School of the Black Race, is not touched upon in Crowley's essay.

Western philosophy has on occasion approached this doctrine. It has at least asserted that no known form of existence is exempt from sorrow. Huxley says, in his Evolution and Ethics, "Suffering is the badge of all the tribe of sentient things."

Not Aldous Huxley the writer, but his grandfather, the great biologist and stylist Thomas Henry Huxley, the first respected scientist to publicly defend and accept Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution in England.

The philosophers of this School, seeking, naturally enough, to amend the evil at the root, inquire into the cause of this existence which is sorrow, and arrive immediately at the "Second Noble Truth" of the Buddha: "The Cause of Sorrow is Desire."  They follow up with the endless concatenation of causes, of which the final root is Ignorance.  (I am not concerned to defend the logic of this School: I merely state their doctrine.)  The practical issue of all this is that every kind of action is both unavoidable and a crime.  I must digress to explain that the confusion of thought in this doctrine is constantly recurrent.  That is part of the blackness of the Ignorance which they confess to be the foundation of their Universe.  (And after all, everyone has surely the right to have his own Universe the way he wants it.)

It is extremely unlikely that the true thought of the Buddha is represented in Buddhism any more than the true thought of Dionysus is represented in Christism or, alas! the true thought of Crowley will represented in Crowleyanity a hundred years from now. We are just at the beginning, and the trouble caused by the Stansfeld Joneses, the Grants, the Yorkes, the Regardies, the McMurtrys, the Heflins and perhaps the Mottas is already apparent!

This School being debased by nature, is not so far removed from conventional religion as either the White or the Yellow ...

This blow below the belt does not touch the Buddha in the least, of course. As we said before, the entire essay was meant as an attack on existing religion, an advertisement for Thelemic religion (as he conceived it at the time) and a broadside aimed at Besant and Leadbeater who, having failed in their attempt to set Krishnamurti up as "World Savior" (to be manipulated by them from behind), were beginning to make Buddhistic noises to infiltrate France and from there the rest of Europe.

... Most primitive fetishistic religions may, in fact, be considered fairly faithful representatives of this philosophy.  Where animism holds sway, the "medicine-man" personifies this universal evil, and seeks to propitiate it by human sacrifice.  The early forms of Judaism, and that type of Christianity which we associate with the Salvation Army, Billy Sunday and the Fundamentalists of the back-blocks of America, are sufficiently simple cases of religion whose essence is the propitiation of a malignant demon.

Any form of Christism is such propitiation: the Nicene Creed postulates it. We refer the reader to Letter to a Brasilian Mason on this subject.

When the light of intelligence begins to dawn dimly through many fogs upon these savages, we reach a second stage.  Bold spirits master courage to assert that the evil which is so obvious, is, in some mysterious way, an illusion.  They thus throw back the whole complexity of sorrow to a single cause; that is, the arising of the illusion aforesaid.  The problem then assumes a final form: How is that illusion to be destroyed.

A very wicked thing, to go against Deity like this. Why, if "God" had meant man to fly, "he" would have given them wings. Et cetera and so forth. Attempts to destroy to illusion of Christism, for example, were accompanied by torture and genocide for several centuries. It is a characteristic of religions started and maintained by Black Brothers that heretics are not to be permitted. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," etc. etc.

A fairly pure example of the first stage of this type of thought is to be found in the Vedas; of the second stage, in the Upanishads ...

You will notice that nothing of this has anything to do with Buddhism or the Buddha; his main intention in the essay is to discredit anything that comes from the Orient, with the single exception of Chinese philosophy. This was due to the fact that Besant and Leadbeater hid the miasma of the conmanship behind a medley of Hindu and pseudo-Buddhistic lore. Their "Hidden Masters" lived somewhere in a vague region of the East that kept jumping all over the Bengal Peninsula, Tibet, and sometimes even the Gobi desert: "Shambalah," where the "gods" live - that kind of thing. The modern reader may not realize how this whole mystification was popular at a time not so long ago. James Hilton's very successful, and very commonplace, novel Lost Horizons was inspired by it, although his Shangri-La was, of course, his own creation even in the name. How it must have annoyed the Toshosophists that he did not use the term "Shamabalah"... But perhaps they would have protested against it; they were, and are, stupid enough to. Meanwhile, the Master Blavatsky's true intention, which was a weakening of the fanaticism of the Christist stranglehold on the West, was going down the drain until Crowley picked it up and carried it on.

... But the answer to the question, "How is the illusion of evil to be destroyed?", depends on another point of theory.  We may postulate a Parabrahm infinitely good, etc. etc. etc., in which case we consider the destruction of the illusion of evil as the reuniting of the consciousness with Parabrahm.  The unfortunate part of this scheme of things is that on seeking to define Parabrahm for the purpose of returning to Its purity, it is discovered sooner or later, that It possesses no qualities at all!  In other words, as the farmer said, on being shown the elephant: There ain't no sich animile.  It was Gautama Buddha who perceived the inutility of dragging in this imaginary pachyderm.  Since our Parabrahm, he said to the Hindu philosophers, is actually nothing, why not stick to or original perception that everything is sorrow, and admit that the only way to escape from sorrow is to arrive at nothingness?

We may complete the whole tradition of the Indian peninsula very simply.  To the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Tripitaka of the Buddhists, we have only to add the Tantras of what are called the Vamacharya Schools.  Paradoxical as it may sound the Tantrics are in reality the most advanced of the Hindus ...

Madame Blavatsky used Tantrism very discreetly, and one of her followers, Sir John Woodroffe ("Arthur Avalon"), translated many important Tantric texts into English. The reaction of Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism, to say nothing of the other Christist sects, against it was extremely sharp, and Besant and Leadbeater abandoned the whole effort: Who wants to make money out of "religion" never attacks the status quo.

... Their theory is, in its philosophical ultimatum, a primitive stage of the White tradition ...

The reader is again reminded that although our School is indeed the White School from a racial point of view it is the School called "black" in the Initiated Apologue quoted from The Vision and the Voice, at least at present.

... for the essence of the Tantric cults is that by the performance of certain rites of Magick, one does not only escape disaster, but obtains positive benediction.  The Tantric is not obsessed by the will-to-die.  It is a difficult business, no doubt, to get any fun out of existence; but at least it is not impossible.  In other words, he implicitly denies the fundamental proposition that existence is sorrow, and he formulates the essential postulate of the White School of Magick, that means exist by which the universal sorrow (apparent indeed to all ordinary observation) may be unmasked, even as at the initiatory rite of Isis in the ancient days of Khem.  There, a Neophyte presenting his mouth, under compulsion, to the pouting buttocks of the Goat of Mendez, found himself caressed by the chaste lips of a virginal priestess of that Goddess at the base of whose shrine is written that No man has lifted her veil.

This description of the Egyptian Rites pertains already to the decayed days of Egypt, not to the time of its power, and Crowley is quoting almost word for word from Levi's History of Magic and a chapter of his Dogme et Rituel. Oh those chaste virginal priestesses!

The basis of the Black philosophy is not impossibly mere climate, with its resulting etiolation of the native, its languid, bilious, anaemic, fever-prostrated, emasculation of the soul of man ...

Wow! Perhaps you are beginning to understand what he was doing?

... We accordingly find few true equivalents of this School in Europe.  In Greek philosophy there is no trace of any such doctrine ...

He passes over discreetly, of course, that the Hellenes came to Europe originally from Asia, as did most other tribes from known history. Hence the established fact that most Indo-European languages stem from ancient Sanskrit, in which the Vedas and the Upanishads were originally written.

... The poison in its foulest and most virulent form only entered with Christianity ...

Here he added the following note: "Anti-Semite writers in Europe - for example Weininger - call the Black theory and practice Judaism, while by a curious confusion, the same ideas are called Christian among Anglo-Saxons. In 1936 e.v. the "Nazi" School began to observe this fact."

... But even so, few men of any real eminence were found to take the axioms of pessimism seriously.  Huxley, for all of his harping on the minor key, was an eupeptic Tory ...

Meaning, a member of the Conservative Party gifted with a good digestion. The reader is reminded this is Thomas Henry Huxley that is being spoken about.

... The culmination of the Black philosophy is only found in Schopenhauer, and we may regard him as having been obsessed, on the one hand, by the despair born of that false scepticism which he learnt from the bankruptcy of Hume and Kant; on the other, by the direct obsession of the Buddhist documents to which he was one of the earliest Europeans to obtain access.  He was, so to speak, driven to suicide by his own vanity, a curious parallel to Kiriloff in The Possessed of Dostoiewsky.

The reader will find good descriptions of the doctrines of all those three philosophers, Schopenhauer, Hume and Kant, in Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy.

We have, however, examples plentiful enough of religions deriving almost exclusively from the Black tradition in the different stages.  We have already mentioned the Evangelical cults with their ferocious devil-god who creates mankind for the pleasure of damning it and forcing it to crawl before him, while he yells with druken glee over the agony of his only son ...

A bit along the lines of yellow journalism here; but he had learned a lot from them. A footnote added at this point reads: "N.B. Christianity was in its first stage a Jewish Communism, hardly distinguishable from Marxism." This is partly correct: most of the Essene sects from which the Jewish aspects of Christism stem were Communist in structure. Again, see Letter to a Brasilian Mason for details.

... But in the same class, we must place Christian Science, so grotesquely afraid of pain, suffering and evil of every sort, that its dupes can think of nothing better than to bleat denials of its actuality, in the hope of hypnotizing themselves into anaesthesia.

Practically no Westerns have reached the third stage of the Black tradition, the Buddhist stage ...

We again remind the reader that Buddhism is a branch of the Yellow School of Magick, and not of the Black School in the racial sense or of the Black School in the sense of the already quoted Apologue.

... It is only isolated mystics, and those men who rank themselves with a contemptuous compliance under the standard of the nearest religion, the one which will bother them least in their quest of nothingness, who carry the sorites so far.

But the latter usually huddle under the dripping, bloody wing of Christism, rather than under Buddhism of any sort.

The documents of the Black School of Magick have already been indicated.  They are, for the most part, tedious to the last degree and repulsive to every wholesome-minded man ...

Lying outright as part of the policy behind this essay, since elsewhere in his writings he makes plenty of references to the poetic beauty and nobility of thought in many of the Hindu Classics. They are in their majority, anyway, far above the "Gospels" both in style and philosophical depth.

...; yet it can hardly be denied that such books as The Dhammapada and Ecclesiastes are masterpieces of literature.  They represent the agony of human despair at its utmost degree of intensity, and the melancholy contemplation which is induced by their perusal is not favourable to the inception of that mood which should lead every truly courageous intelligence to the determination to escape from the ferule of the Black Schoolmaster to the outstretched arms of the White Mistress of Life.

Oh, boy.

Let us leave the sinister figure of Schopenhauer for the mysteriously radiant shape of Spinoza!  This latter philosopher, in respect at least of his Pantheism, represents fairly enough the fundamental thesis of the White tradition ...

Although he was a Jew... Again, the reader is reminded not to take 'Black' and 'White,' to say nothing of 'Yellow,' very seriously in this essay of Crowley's.

... Almost the first observation that we have to make is that this White tradition is hardly discoverable outside Europe.  It appears first of all in the legend of Dionysus ...

Who, by they way, as Crowley knew extremely well, came to Europe from the Bengal Peninsula. Politics is a dirty game, boys and girls.

... (In this connection read carefully Browning's "Apollo and the Fates".)

The Egyptian tradition of Osiris is not dissimilar.  The central idea of the White School is that, admitted that "everything is sorrow" for the profane, the Initiate has the means of transforming it to "Everything is joy."  There is no question of any ostrich-ignoring of fact, as in Christian Science.  There is not even any more or less sophisticated argument about the point of view altering the situation as in Vedantism.  We have, on the contrary, and attitude which was perhaps first of all, historically speaking, defined by Zoroaster, "nature teaches us, and the Oracles also affirm, that even the evil germs of Matter may alike become useful and good."  "Stay not on the precipice with the dross of Matter; for there is a place for thine Image in a realm ever splendid."  "If thou extend the Fiery Mind to the work of piety, thou wilt preserve the fluxible body."

However, as Crowley also knew perfectly well, these so-called Oracles of Zoroaster have as much to do with Zoroaster the Magus from Persia as the "Gospels" have to do with Dionysus, or Blavatsky's "Stanzas of Dyan" have to do with any ancient manuscript: they are all relatively modern forgeries; although to apply to word 'forgery' to the "Oracles" is perhaps a little extreme: the writer adopted the pseudonym Zoroaster to write them, and perhaps he was even called Zoroaster. But they have nothing to do with Persian religion. Here Crowley added the following footnote: "This passage appears to be a direct hint at the Formula of the IX° O.T.O., and the preparation of the Elixir of Life."

It appears that the Levant, from Byzantium and Athens to Damascus, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Cairo, was preoccupied with the formulation of this School in a popular religion, beginning in the days of Augustus Caesar.  For there are elements of this central idea in the works of the Gnostics, in certain rituals of what Frazer conveniently calls the Asiatic God, as in the remnants of the Ancient Egyptian cult.  The doctrine became abominably corrupted in committee, so to speak, and the result was Christianity, which may be regarded as a White ritual overlaid by a mountainous mass of Black doctrine, like the baby of the mother that King Solomon non-suited.

The reader will notice that, despite the fact that he insisted at the beginning that the Black Brothers and Black Magick should not be confused with the Black School of Magick, he is here doing exactly that. The explanation is that he was simultaneously lying and warning the reader about what he intended to do, and is now doing.

We may define the doctrine of the White School in its purity in very simple terms.

The reader is again reminded that this is our School, and that it is the School called "Black" in the Apologue from The Vision and the Voice. Are you getting a headache? Carry on...

Existence is pure joy.  Sorrow is caused by failure to perceive this fact; but this is not a misfortune.  We have invented sorrow, which does not matter so much after all, in order to have the exuberant satisfaction of getting rid of it.  Existence is thus a sacrament.

This is a not very scientific over-simplification of the doctrine expressed in AL, and if carried to its furthest consequences may give rise, in the future, to as loathsome a theology and as corrupt a religion as Christist theology and Christism itself. But we will refrain from any commentary on AL further than those already extant in Equinox V 1 "The Commentaries of AL."

Adepts of the White School regard their brethren of the Black very much as the aristocratic English Sahib (of the days when England was a nation) regarded the benighted Hindu ...

A not very brotherly attitude, one may remark; but be reminded again that he is lying his head off for his own main purposes: to propagandize Θελημα and further the discredit of Besant and Leadbeater.

... Nietzsche expresses the philosophy of this School to that extent with considerable accuracy and vigour.  The man who denounces life merely defines himself as the man who is unequal to it.  The brave man rejoices in giving and taking hard knocks, and the brave man is joyous.  The Scandinavian idea of Valhalla may be primitive, but it is manly ...

It may be remarked here that Nordic mythology was the first to introduce the concept of the Warrior Woman into the West since the Greek legend of the Amazons. This in part was due to the fact that Nordic women enjoyed sexual freedom and social equality from the beginning, and even the miasma of Christism has been unable to rob them completely of their cultural heritage in this respect.

... A heaven of popular concert, like the Christian; of unconscious repose, like the Buddhist; or even of sensual enjoyment, like the Moslem, excites his nausea and contempt.  He understands that the only joy worth while is the joy of continual victory, and victory itself would become as tame as croquet if it were not spiced by equally continual defeat.

Such oversimplifications, as we remarked before, can give rise to crapulous creeds. The "he" referred to here is the "brave man." It can be seen that at the time this essay was written (Crowley had just been expelled from Sicily) his understanding of AL was still quite limited.

The purest documents of the White School are found in the Sacred Books of Θελημα...

Ah, he got to it!...

... The doctrine is given in excellent perfection both in the Book of the Heart Girt with the Serpent and The Book of Lapis Lazuli.  A single passage is adequate to explain the formula.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liber LXV, Cap. II.

We find even in profane literature this doctrine of the White School of Magick:&mdash

O Buddha! couldst thou nowhere rest
    A pivot for the universe?
Must all things be alike confessed
    Mere changes rung upon a curse?

I swear by all the bliss of blue
    My Phryne with her powder on
Is just as false—and just as true—
    As your disgusting skeleton.

Each to his taste: if you prefer
    This loathly brooding on Decay;
I call it Growth, and lovelier
    Than all the glamours of the day.

You would not dally with Doreen
    Because her fairness was to fade,
Because you know the things unclean
    That go to make a mortal maid.

I, if her rotten corpse were mine,
    Would take it as my natural food,
Denying all but the Divine
    Alike in evil and in good.

Aspasia may skin me close,
    And Lais load me with disease.
Poor pleasures, bitter bargains, these?
    I shall despise Diogenes.

Follow your fancy far enough!
    At last you surely come to God.

The poem is, of course, by Crowley himself.

There is thus in this School no attempt to deny that Nature is, as Zoroaster said, "a fatal and evil force"; but Nature is, so to speak, "the First Matter of the Work", which is to be transmuted into gold.  The joy is a function of our own part in this alchemy.  For this reason we find the boldest and most skillful adepts deliberately seeking out the most repugnant elements of Nature that their triumph may be the greater.  The formula is evidently one of dauntless courage.  It expresses the idea of vitality and manhood in its most dynamic sense.

The only religion which corresponds to this School at all is that of ancient Egypt; possibly also that of Chaldea.  This is because those religions are Magical religions in the strict technical sense; the religious component of them is negligible.  So far as it exists, it exists only for the uninitiate.

There are, however, traces of the beginning of the influence of the School in Judaism and in Paganism.  There are, too, certain documents of the pure Greek spirit which bear traces of this.  It is what they called Theurgy.

The Christian religion in its simplest essence, by that idea of overcoming evil through a Magical ceremony, the Crucifixion, seems at first sight a fair example of the White tradition; but the idea of sin and of propitiation tainted it abominably with Blackness.  There have been, however, certain Christian thinkers who have taken the bold logical step of regarding evil as a device of God for exercising the joys of combat and victory.  This is, of course, a perfectly White doctrine; but it is regarded as the most dangerous of heresies.  (Romans VI. 1,2, et al.)

For all that, the idea is there ...

But the idea is not Thelemic at all, on the contrary. There is no "evil" in the doctrine of The Book of the Law.

... The Mass itself is essentially a typical White ritual.  Its purpose is to transform crude matter directly into Godhead.  It is thus a cardinal operation of Talismanic Magick.  But the influence of the Black School has corroded the idea with theological accretions, metaphysical on the one hand, and superstitious on the other, so completely as to mask the Truth altogether.

Now this, of course, is altogether incorrect. The Black School as he interprets it in the essay, meaning the Hindus and the Buddhists, had absolutely no influence on the corruption of the Gnostic Ritual of the Mass at the hands of the Christists. He is deliberately equating the "Black School" with the Black Lodge and the Black Brothers, to take advantage of the emotional connotations of the color "black" in the average Western mind. He will get to Besant and Leadbeater eventually, as you will see, after having thoroughly confused the issue for his own purpose, which, we remind the reader, was to discredit the Toshosophists and Eastern "maharishis" and "gurujis" in general and to propagandize Θελημα as he then understood it.

At the Reformation, we find a nugatory attempt to remove the Black element.  The Protestant thinkers did their best to get rid of the idea of sin, but it was soon seen that the effort could only lead to antinomianism; and they recognized that this would infallibly destroy the religious idea as such.

Antinomianism is the Christist theological concept that "faith" alone is sufficient to ensure "salvation." This does away with the "Devil," with "Jesus" and, what was more serious, with the need for priests, pastors, or organized churches...!

Mysticism, both Catholic and Protestant, made a further attempt to free Christianity from the dark cloud of iniquity.  They joined hands with the Sufis and the Vedantists. But this again led to the mere denial of the reality of evil.  Thus drawing away, little by little, from clear appreciation of the facts of Nature, their doctrine became purely theoretical, and faded away, while the thundercloud of sin settled down more heavily than ever.

This reference can only be understood if you study the history of the ecumenical movement of the late Nineteenth Century, with the creation of the World Council of Religions, at which Vivekananda made such a strong showing. But obviously, any strengthening of sound systems of mysticism, such as Vedanta and Sufism, could - and did - only lead to further weakening of Christist theology From our point of view, of course, this is all to the good. From the point of view of the Jerry Falwells and Phyllis Schlaflys and the Popes, it is utter disaster, especially to their purses.

The most important of all the efforts of the White School, from an exoteric point of view, is Islam.  In its doctrine there is some slight taint, but much less than in Christianity.  It is a virile religion. It looks facts in the face, and admits their horror; but it proposes to overcome them by sheer dint of manhood.  Unfortunately, the metaphysical conceptions of its quasi-profane Schools are grossly materialistic.  It is only the Pantheism of the Sufis which eliminates the conception of propitiation; and, in practice, the Sufis are too closely allied to the Vedantists to retain hold of reality.

Again, this is deliberately incorrect.

That will be all for the present.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER EIGHT: The Three Schools of Magick (3)

Cara Soror:

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

It has been a long—I hope not too tedious—voyage; but at last the harbour is in sight.

Our Essay approaches its goal; the theory of Life to which initiation tends.

He means Thelemic initiation.

Let us continue!

The above paragraphs were cut out by Mr. Regardie in his "edition" of this book. Perhaps he thought the definition of the Essay's goal too threatening to himself and his cronies.

There is in history only one movement whose object has been to organize the isolated adepts of the White School of Magick, and this movement was totally unconnected with religion, except in so far as it lent its influence to the reformers of the Christian church.  Its appeal was not at all to the people.  It merely offered to open up relations with, and communicate certain practical secrets of wisdom to, isolated men of science through Europe.  This movement is generally known by the name of Rosicrucianism.

The word arouses all sorts of regrettable correspondences; but the adepts of the Society have never worried themselves in the least about the abuse of their name for the purposes of charlatanism, or about the attacks directed against them by envious critics.  Indeed, so wisely have they concealed their activities that some modern scholars of the shallower type have declared that no such movement ever existed, that it was a kind of practical joke played upon the curiosity of the credulous Middle Ages.  It is at least certain that, since the original proclamations, no official publications have been put forward.  The essential secrets have been maintained inviolate.  If, during the last few years, a considerable number of documents have been published by them, though not in their name, it is on account of the impending crisis to civilization, of which mention will later be made.

There is no good purpose, even were there license, to discuss the nature of the basis of scientific attainment which is the core of the doctrines of the Society.  It is only necessary to point out that its correspondence with alchemy is the one genuine fact on the subject which has been allowed to transpire; for the Rosicrucian, as indicated by his central symbol, the barren cross on which he has made a rose to flower, occupies himself primarily with spiritual and physiological alchemy.  Taking for "The First Matter of the Work  a neutral or inert substance (it is constantly described as the commonest and least valued thing on earth, and may actually connote any substance whatever) he deliberately poisons it, so to speak, bringing it to a stage of transmutation generally called the Black Dragon, and he proceeds to work upon this virulent poison until he obtains the perfection theoretically possible.

Incidentally, we have an almost precise parallel with this operation in modern bacteriology. The apparently harmless bacilli of a disease are cultivated until they become a thousand times more virulent than at first, and it is from this culture that is prepared the vaccine which is an efficacious remedy for all the possible ravages of that kind of micro-organism.

Part of the Essay was excised here by Crowley himself.

We have been obliged to expose, perhaps at too considerable a length, the main doctrines of the three Schools.  The task, however tedious, has been necessary in order to explain with reasonable lucidity their connection with the world which their ideas direct; that is to say, the nature of their political activities.

The Yellow School, in accordance with its doctrine of perfectly elastic reaction and non-interference, holds itself, generally speaking, entirely apart from all such questions.  We can hardly imagine it sufficiently interested in any events soever to react aggressively.  It feels strong enough to deal satisfactorily with anything that may turn up: and generally speaking, it feels that any conceivable action on its part would be likely to increase rather than to diminish the mischief.

It remains somewhat contemptuously aloof from the eternal conflict of the Black School with the White ...

This is again totally incorrect: the Black School of Magick, the racial School, does not conflict with the White School; and the White School happens, by the terms of the Apologue, to be the "Black School" this Aeon. Crowley has deliberately led the discussion to the warfare between the White School and the Black Lodge and the Black Brothers.

... At the same time, there is a certain feeling among the Yellow adepts that should either of these Schools become annihilated, the result might well be that the victor would sooner or later turn his released energy against themselves.

Since the Black Lodge and the Black Brothers are essentially diseased, should they triumph they would certainly spread infection all over the planet. But since for certain reasons this is impossible, Crowley's description of the technique of the Yellow School is more imaginative than factual. Please notice that the Schools intermingle and exchange knowledge at need and at random, and that the "Rosicrucians" just described were a branch of the White School using Yellow School methods in their magickal operation. They were, by the way, the most successful White School organization in known history since Ancient Egypt.

In accordance, therefore, with their general plan of non-action, as expressed in the Tao Teh King, of dealing with mischief before it has become too strong to be dangerous, they interfere gently from time to time to redress the balance.

During the last two generations the Masters of the Yellow School have been compelled to take notice of the progressive ruin of the White adepts.  Christianity, which possessed at least the semblance of a White formula, is in the agonies of decomposition, even before it is actually dead.  Materialistic science has overwhelmed the faith and hope of the Christians (they never possessed any charity to overwhelm) with a demonstration of the sorrow, transitoriness and cruel futility of the Universe.  A vast wave of pessimism has engulfed the fortress of Mansoul.

It was indeed a deadly blow to the adepts of the White School when Science, their own familiar friend in whom they trusted, lifted up his heel against them ...

All this is specious, all this part of the projected attack on Besant, Leadbeater and the Toshosophists. Science was the weapon the Rosicrucians wielded to destroy the tyranny of the Roman Church, and the stimulation of scientific thought has been the special province of the White School of Magick for many centuries.

... It was in this conjuncture that the Yellow adepts sent forth into the Western world a messenger, Helena Petrowna Blavatsky, with the distinct mission to destroy, on the one hand, the crude schools of Christianity, and, on the other, to eradicate the materialism from Physical Science ...

This is totally incorrect. It is true that Blavatsky, like Crowley himself, went to Asia for training, but she was a White Adept (read "Black...!"), and her work was obviously along the techniques and aims of the White School. The main reason why Crowley states she was sent by the Yellow School is that Blavatsky claimed that her Masters were Oriental: he is trying to dissociate Blavatsky and her Masters completely from what he calls the "Black School," which, as we will soon see, means especially Besant and Leadbeater in this essay, with their gambit of "Secret Masters." Please notice that Besant and Leadbeater, although failing in their special con because of Crowley's intervention, at least opened the door to any charlatan "maharishi" or "guruji" in the West. Put on a turban or a white robe, cultivate meaningful references to the "Secrets of the Orient," and you can make a lot of money in the West, especially in California, to this day.

... She made the necessary connection with Edward Maitland and Anna Kingsford, who were trying rather helplessly to put the exoteric formulae of the White School into the hands of students, and with the secret representatives of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood.  It is not for us in this place to estimate the degree of success with which she carried out her embassy; but at least we see today that Physical Science is at last penetrating to the spiritual basis of material phenomena.  The work of Henry Poincarè, Einstein, Whitehead, and Bertrand Russell is sufficient evidence of this fact.

Christianity, too, has fallen into a lower degree of contempt than ever.  Realizing that it was moribund, it made a supreme and suicidal effort, and plunged into the death-spasm of the first world-war.  It was too far corrupt to react to the injections of the White formula which might have saved it ...

It has never been our intention to save it. On the contrary, this disease should run its course and go the way of all such infamous rubbish. It is indeed a "black" page in the history of humankind. If it depended on people like the Grants, McMurtrys and Regardies, it would happen all over again under another name.

... We see today that Christianity is more bigoted, further divorced from reality, than ever.  In some countries it has again become a persecuting church.

In any country where Christism has acquired political and financial power, it has never ceased to persecute, and wherever it may attain power, it will persecute. Hence the need to destroy it. If you will pardon the pun, it has no saving graces.

With horrid glee the adepts of the Black School ...

Again we remind the reader that this has absolutely nothing to do with the real (racial) Black School, and nothing to do with Hinduism or Buddhism except insofar as Besant and Leadbeater tried to use those traditions for their own purposes and Crowley intervened. The terminology he has been using has been deliberately misleading from the start.

... looked on at these atrocious paroxysms.  But it did more.  It marshalled its forces quietly, and prepared to clean up the debris of the battlefields.  It is at present (1924 e.v.) pledged to a supreme attempt to chase the manly races from their spiritual halidom.  (The spasm still - 1945 e.v. - continues; note well the pro-German screams of Anglican Bishops, and the intrigues of the Vatican.)

The Black School has always worked insidiously, by treachery.  We need then not be surprised by finding that its most notable representative was the renegade follower of Blavatsky, Annie Besant, and that she was charged by her Black masters with the mission of persuading the world to accept for its Teacher a negroid Messiah ...

Get the point? Krishnamurti, of course, was a pure Aryan, and had no negro blood whatsoever. But the essay was written to be read by the European equivalent of the Birch Society, the Moral Majority and Ronald Reagan...

... To make the humiliation more complete, a wretched creature was chosen who, to the most loathsome moral qualities, added the most fatuous imbecility.  And then blew up!

Here, again Crowley himself excised material that had been in the original essay, dealing with the Besant Leadbeater Krishnamurti imbroglio in greater detail. As we observed before, he could fight dirty with the worst of them. He earned the lasting hatred of Besant and Leadbeater, and that section of the Theosophical Society that remained under their influence is deadly hostile to Crowley to this day. They have consistently helped the Vatican and the Zionists in their campaign of vilification of The Beast.

This, then, is the present state of the war of the Three Schools.  We cannot suppose that humanity is so entirely base as to accept Krishnamurti; yet that such a scheme could ever have been conceived is a symptom of the almost hopeless decadence of the White School ...

Here he added the following: "Note. This passage was written in 1924 e.v. The Master Therion arose and smote him. What seemed a menace is now hardly even a memory."

... The Black adepts boast openly that they have triumphed all along the line.  Their formula has attained the destruction of all positive qualities.  It is only one step to the stage when the annihilation of all life and thought will appear as a fatal necessity.  The materialism and vital scepticism of the present time, its frenzied rush for pleasure in total disregard of any idea of building for the future, testifies to a condition of complete moral disorder, of abject spiritual anarchy.

The White School has thus been paralysed.  We are reminded of the spider described by Fabre ...

Jean Henri Fabre, respected French entomologist and man of letters, who wrote "The Life of the Spider."

... who injects her victims with a poison which paralyzes them without killing them, so that her own young may find fresh meat. And this is what is going to happen in Europe and America unless some- thing is done about it, and done in very short order.

The Yellow School could not remain impassive spectators of the abominations.  Madame Blavatsky was a mere forerunner.  They, in conjunction with the Secret Chiefs of the White School in Europe, Chiefs who had been compelled to suspend all attempts at exoteric enlightenment by the general moral debility which had overtaken the races from which they drew their adepts, have prepared a guide for mankind.  This man, of an extreme moral force and elevation, combined with a profound sense of worldly realities, has stood forth in an attempt to save the White School, to rehabilitate its formula, and to fling back from the bastions of moral freedom the howling savages of pessimism.  Unless his appeal is heard, unless there comes a truly virile reaction against the creeping atrophy which is poisoning them, unless they enlist to the last man under his standard, a great decisive battle will have been lost.

This prophet of the White School, chosen by its Masters and his brethren, to save the Theory and Practice, is armed with a sword far mightier than Excalibur.  He has been entrusted with a new Magical formula, one which can be accepted by the whole human race.  Its adoption will strengthen the Yellow School by giving a more positive value to their Theory; while leaving the postulates of the Black School intact, it will transcend them and raise their Theory and Practice almost to the level of the Yellow ...

Once more we remind the reader that the "Black School" he refers to is merely Hinduism and Buddhism, and that Hinduism is actually a branch of the White School (racially speaking), and Buddhism of the Yellow. The Operation against Besant and Leadbeater is still on... And now he is, of course, beating his own drum.

... As to the White School, it will remove from them all taint of poison of the Black, and restore vigour to their central formula of spiritual alchemy by giving each man an independent ideal.  It will put an end to the moral castration involved in the assumption that each man, whatever his nature, should deny himself to follow out a fantastic and impracticable ideal of goodness.  Incidentally, this formula will save Physical Science itself by making negligible the despair of futility, the vital scepticism which has emasculated it in the past.  It shows that the joy of existence is not in a goal, for that indeed is clearly unattainable, but in the going itself.

This law is called the Law of Θελημα.  It is summarized in the four words, "Do what thou wilt."

It should not be necessary to explain that a full appreciation of this message is not to be obtained by a hasty examination.  It is essential to study it from every point of view, to analyse it with the keenest philosophical acumen, and finally to apply it as a key for every problem, internal and external, that exists.  This key, applied with skill, will open every lock.

From the deepest point of view, the greatest value of this formula is that it affords, for the first time in history, a basis of reconciliation between the three great Schools of Magick.  It will tend to appease the eternal conflict by understanding that each type of thought shall go on its own way, develop its own proper qualities without seeking to inter- fere with other formulae, however (superficially) opposed to its own.

What is true for every School is equally true for every individual.  Success in life, on the basis of the Law of Θελημα, implies severe self-discipline.  Each being must progress, as biology teaches, by strict adaptation to the conditions of the organism.  If, as the Black School continually asserts, the cause of sorrow is desire, we can still escape the conclusion by the Law of Θελημα.  What is necessary is not to seek after some fantastic ideal, utterly unsuited to our real needs, but to discover the true nature of those needs, to fulfill them, and rejoice therein.

This process is what is really meant by initiation; that is to say, the going into oneself, and making one's peace, so to speak, with all the forces that one finds there.

It is forbidden here to discuss the nature of The Book of the Law, the Sacred Scripture of Θελημα.  Even after forty years of close expert examination, it remains to a great extent mysterious; but the little we know of it is enough to show that it is a sublime synthesis of all Science and all ethics.  It is by virtue of this Book that man may attain a degree of freedom hitherto never suspected to be possible, a spiritual development altogether beyond anything hitherto known; and, what is really more to the point, a control of external nature which will make the boasted achievements of the last century appear no more than childish preliminaries to an incomparably mighty manhood.

All this is, of course, coming to pass. You will notice that he rewrote parts of the Essay to adapt it to 1945 e.v., when he decided to make it part of this book.

It has been said by some that the Law of Θελημα appeals only to the élite of humanity.  No doubt here is this much in that assertion, that only the highest can take full advantage of the extraordinary opportuni- ties which it offers.  At the same time, "the Law is for all."  Each in his degree, every man may learn to realise the nature of his own being, and to develop it in freedom. It is by this means that the White School of Magick can justify its past, redeem its present, and assure its future, by guaranteeing to every human being a life of Liberty and of Love.

Such, then, are the words of Gérard Aumont.  I should not like to endorse every phrase ...

Not at this late date, anyway...

...; but the whole exposition is so masterly in its terse, tense vigour, and so unrivalled by any other document at my disposal, that I thought it best to let you have it in its own original form, with only those few alterations which lapse of time has made necessary.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. Our own School unites the ruby red of Blood with the gold of the Sun.  It combines the best characteristics of the Yellow and the White Schools.  In the light of M. Aumont's exposition, it is easy to understand.

To us, every phenomenon is an Act of Love, every experience is necessary, is a Sacrament, is a means of Growth.  Hence, "...existence is pure joy;..." (AL II 9) "A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my rapture!  A feast every night unto Nu, and the pleasure of uttermost delight!" (AL II 42-43).

Let this soak in!

LETTER NINE: The Secret Chiefs

Cara Soror:

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

Very glad I am, since at one time I was obliged to be starkly stern about impertinent curiosity, to note that your wish to be informed about the Secret Chiefs of the A∴A∴ is justified; it is most certainly of the first importance that you and I should be quite clear in our minds about Those under whose jurisdiction and tutelage we both work.

The question is beset with thickets of tough thorn; what is worse, the path is so slippery that nothing is easier than to tumble head first into the spikiest bush of them all.

You justly remind me that one of my earliest slogans was "Mystery is the enemy of Truth;" how then is it what I acquiesce in the policy of concealment in a matter so cardinal?

Perhaps the best plan is for me to set down the facts of the case, so far as is possible, from them it may appear that no alternative policy is feasible.

The first condition of membership of the A∴A∴ is that one is sworn to identify one's own Great Work with that of raising mankind to higher levels, spiritually, and in every other way.

This is not explicit in the Oaths and Tasks of the lower grades, and has led to much confusion for the selfish and petty so-called "aspirant," who comes to the Order merely to try to improve his or her own restricted condition, imagined or otherwise. It is not for nothing that the Hierophant has a subtly sinister half-smile on his face!

Accordingly, it stands to reason that those charged with the conduct of the Order should be at least Masters of the Temple, or their judgment would be worthless, and at least Magi (though not that particular kind of Magus who brings the Word of a New Formula to the world every 2,000 years of so) or they would be unable to influence events on any scale commensurate with the scope of the Work.


Of what nature is this Power, this Authority, this Understanding, this Wisdom—Will?

(I go up from Geburah to Chokmah.)

Of the passive side it is comparatively easy to form some idea; for the qualities essential are mainly extensions of those that all of us possess in some degree.  And whether Understanding - Wisdom is "right" or "wrong" must be largely a matter of opinion; often Time only can decide such points.

But for the active side it is necessary to postulate the existence of a form of Energy at their disposal which is able "to cause change to occur in conformity with the Will"—one definition of "Magick."

Now this, as you know, is an exceedingly complex subject; its theory is tortuous, and its practice encompassed with every kind of difficulty.

Is there no simple method?

Yes: the thaumaturgic engine disposes of a type of energy more adaptable than Electricity itself, and both stronger and subtler than this, its analogy in the world of profane science.  One might say, that it is electrical, or at least one of the elements in the "Ring-formula" of modern Mathematical Physics.

In the R.R. et A.C., this is indicated to the Adept Minor by the title conferred upon him on his initiation to that grade: Hodos Camelionis:—the Path of the Chameleon.  (This emphasizes the omnivalence of the force.) ...

Not so: it emphasizes the absolute need to disguise oneself by resembling one's environment: the rule of the Rosicrucians was, and it might be supposed it still is, "to adopt the clothes and the customs of the country one happens to be travelling in." It is pardonable in Crowley that he forgot this point, for His work was not that of a "Rosicrucian;" His Work was not to conceal his light from the profane, but to become, in the silly ritual parlance of Christism, the Light of the World. In other words, the Hanged Man.

... In the higher degrees of O.T.O.—the A∴A∴ is not fond of terms like this, which verge on the picturesque—it is usually called "the Ophidian Vibrations," thus laying special stress upon its serpentine strength, subtlety, its control of life and death, and its power to insinuate itself into any desired set of circumstances...

The reference is also, of course, to the Kundalini, the Serpent Power of the Hindu, Tantric and Tibetan Schools. This symbol is universal: it is found in North, Central and South America, and in Australasia as well.

It is of this universally powerful weapon that the Secret Chiefs must be supposed to possess complete control.

Within limits. An athlete may press two hundred pounds or more while I can press only one hundred; but the athlete might be crushed under a thousand. The analogy is bad, but it could be worse. The important point is that the reader should keep in mind that the Secret Chief is not omnipotent or omniscient or omnipresent except in relation to humankind. They can be wrong, and they can fail, at least relatively speaking; although on a much higher level of discourse than preachers, politicians, bureaucrats and millionaires.

They can induce a girl to embroider a tapestry, or initiate a political movement to culminate in a world-war; all in pursuit of some plan wholly beyond the purview or the comprehension of the deepest and subtlest thinkers.

(It should go without saying that the adroit use of these vibrations enables one to perform all the classical "miracles.")

Again, within limits. But most of the classical 'miracles,' the 'gospel' ones especially, where genuine, can be performed by even minor thaumaturges.

These powers are stupendous: they seem almost beyond imagination to conceive.

The following Latin lines and subsuquent paragraph were cut out in Mr. Regardie's edition.

"Hic ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono;
Imperium sine fine dedi."

As Vergil, that mighty seer and magician of Rome at her perihelion says in his First Book of the Aenead.  (Vergil whose every line is also an Oracle, the leaves of his book more sacred, more significant, more sure than those of the Cumaean Sibyl!)

Crowley shared, naturally enough, Levi's admiration for Virgil, to say nothing of Dante's. The lines mean roughly: "Since I neither a deadline nor a purpose set to things, I give infinite empery."

These powers move in dimensions of time and space quite other than those with which we are familiar.  Their values are incomprehensible to us.  To a Secret Chief, wielding this weapon, "The nice conduct of a clouded cane" might be infinitely more important than a war, famine and pestilence such as might exterminate a third part of the race, to promote whose welfare is the crux of His oath, and the sole reason of His existence!

But who are They?

Since They are "invisible" and "inaccessible," may They not merely be figments invented by a self-styled "Master," not quite sure of himself, to prop his tottering Authority?

Well, the "invisible" and "inaccessible" criticism may equally be leveled at Captain A. and Admiral B. of the Naval Intelligence Department.  These "Secret Chiefs" keep in the dark for precisely the same reasons; and these qualities disappear instantaneously the moment They want to get hold of you.

It is written, moreover, "Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known." (AL I 10)

But are They then men, in the usual sense of the word?  They may be incarnate or discarnate: it is a matter of Their convenience.

Have They attained Their position by passing through all the grades of the A∴A∴?

Yes and no: the system which was given to me to put forward is only one of many.  "Above the Abyss" all these technical wrinkles are ironed out.  One man whom I suspect of being a Secret Chief has hardly any acquaintance with the technique of our system at all.  That he accepts The Book of the Law is almost his only link with my work.  That, and his use of the Ophidian Vibrations: I don't know which of us is better at it, but I am sure that he must be a very long way ahead of me if he is one of Them.

You have already in these pages and elsewhere in my writings examples numerous and varied of the way in which They work.  The list is far from complete.  The matters of Ab—ul—Diz and of Amalantrah show one method of communication; then there is the way of direct "inspiration," as in the case of "Hermes Eimi" in New Orleans.

Again, They may send an ordinary living man, whether one of Themselves or no I cannot feel sure, to instruct me in some task, or to set me right when I have erred.  Then there have been messages conveyed by natural objects, animate or inanimate ...

Here he added the note: "One thing I regard from my own experience as certain: when you call, They come. The circumstances usually show that the call had been foreseen, and preparations made to answer it, long before it was made. But I suppose in some way the call has to justify the making. "

This is not necessarily so. They may choose the path of least resistance to convey a message, following the Way of the Dao; and if you try to trace the logical sequence of events preceding the occasion, you may draw the conclusion that They had foreseen the demand a long time before it was vibrated, when They merely channeled a little of an existing force towards you, and then immediately ceased to impinge on the Continuum more than necessary for your — Their — purposes. In the same way I can use a river for transportation; the river was created by geological upheavals perhaps ten million years ago or more; am I to state that it was created merely for the purpose of my crossing it to reach a destination that may not live longer than a moment? It is correct, however, that usually They won't answer unless you ask. You must cultivate the Noble Art of Guru-bullying, but with all due caution. Woe if you ask for help when you are just too lazy or too conceited to fight your own battles! In such cases, it is better not to call attention to yourself. Which, after all, is what is meant by Hodos Chamelionis! It cuts both ways. As Crowley himself says, when you really need help, you get it — as a rule, if it serves Their purposes. And you often were not aware that you needed the help before it comes. In my experience, it is very seldom that you get help when it does not directly serve Their purposes; for one; Their resources are not infinite; for another, why should They care what happens to you? But sometimes they are amused by you, or fond of you, or entertained by your antics. It is useless - and even dangerous — to try to contrive such responses. They may be amused by insincerity, but only when it is very subtle or very clumsy — and They do not feel obligated to "reward" it! in fact, They feel obligated by nothing except Their own purposes. This is my experience, which is of course partial and limited, so don't take it for eternal Truth.

... Needless to say, the outstanding example in my life is the whole Plan of Campaign concerning The Book of the Law.  But is Aiwaz a man (presumably a Persian or Assyrian) and a "Secret Chief," or is He an "angel" in the sense that Gabriel is an angel?  Is Ab-ul-Diz an Adept who can project himself into the aura of some woman with whom I happen to be living, although she has no previous experience of the kind, or any interest in such matters at all?  Or is He a being whose existence is altogether beyond this plane, only adopting human appearance and faculties in order to make Himself sensible and intelligible to that woman?

I have never attempted to pursue any such enquiry.  It was not forbidden; and yet I felt that it was! I always insisted, of course, on the strictest proof that He actually possessed the authority claimed by Him!  But I felt is improper to assume any other initiative.  Just a point of good manners, perhaps?

Good manners are always a helpful quality; in a sense, they mean awareness of the existence of, and respect for, other stars. The following paragraph was excised by Mr. Regardie, perhaps because it states clearly that
a) Crowley was totally humble towards his superiors and
b) Crowley could make contact with Them at any time if an emergency arose, which, as everybody knows, the Zionists seem unable to do with Moses, or Jehovah, or whoever.

You ask whether, contact once made, I am able to renew it should I so wish.  Again, yes and no.  But the real answer is that no such gesture on my part can ever be necessary.  For one thing, the "Chief" is so far above me that I can rely on Him to take the necessary steps, whenever contact would be useful; for another, there is one path always open which is perfectly sufficient for all possible contingencies.

Elsewhere I will explain why they picked out so woebegone a ragamuffin as myself to proclaim the Word of the Aeon, and do all the chores appurtenant to that particular Work.

The Burden is heavier as the years go by; but—Perdurabo.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. Reading this typescript over for "literals," it struck me that you would ask, very reasonably: "But if the Secret Masters have these boundless powers, why do They allow you to be plagued by printers, held up for lack of secretaries, worried by all sorts of practical problems? . . . Why, in a word, does anything ever go wrong?"

There are several lines of reply; coalescing, they suffice:

1.  What is "wrong?"  Since four wars is Their idea of "right," you may well ask by what standard you may judge events.

2.  Their Work is creative; They operate on the dull mass of unrealized possibilities.  Thus they meet, firstly, the opposition of Inertia; secondly, the recoil, the reaction, the rebound.

3.  Things theoretically feasible are practically impossible when
(a) desirable though their accomplishment may be, it is not the one feat essential to the particular Work in hand and the moment;
(b) the sum total of available energy being used up by that special task, there is none available for side-issues;
(c) the opposition, passive or active, is too strong, temporarily, to overcome.

More largely, one cannot judge how a plan is progressing when one has no precise idea what it is.  A soldier is told to "attack;" he may be intended to win through, to cover a general retreat, or to gain time by deliberate sacrifice.  Only the Commander in Chief knows what the order means, or why he issues it; and even he does not know the issue, or whether it will display and justify his military skill and judgment.

Our business is solely to obey orders: our responsibility ends when we have satisfied ourselves that they emanate from a source which has the right to command.

P.P.S.  A visitor's story has just reminded me of the possibility that I am a Secret Chief myself without knowing it: for I have sometimes been recognized by other people as having acted as such, though I was not aware of the fact at the time.

Which proves nothing; he might have been Overshadowed. But if he was not a Secret Chief then, He is a Secret Chief now.

LETTER TEN: The Scolex School

Cara Soror:

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

You actually want to know how to distinguish gold from copper pyrites —"fool's gold" they called it in '49 California...

She had asked him how she would be able to distinguish between the Secret Chiefs he had just described and the bogus 'Secret Masters' so widely advertised in the yellow press. "'49" does not mean 1949 e.v., but 1849 e.v., the date when the so-called 'Gold Rush started in the United States of America.

...- no! I wasn't there ...

She had probably been pestering him about his recent incarnations. Please remember that these letters were not edited in the order in which they were written, and that lots of them were not written to the same person, of whatever sex.

... - or "absolute" alcohol and—Liqueur Whisky from "alki" (commercial alcohol—see Jack London's The Princess, a magnificent story—don't miss it!) and Wartime Scotch as sold in most British pubs in 1944, era vulgari.

One pretty good plan is to take a masterpiece, pick out a page at random, translate it into French or German or whatever language you like best, walk around your chair three times (so as to forget the English) and then translate it back again.

You will gather a useful impression of the value of the masterpiece by noticing the kind of difficulty that arises in the work of translation; more, by observing the effect produced on you by reading over the result; and finally, by estimating the re-translation; has the effect of the original been enhanced by the work done on it? Has it become more lucid? Has it actually given you the information which it purported to do?

(I am giving you credit for very unusual ability; this test is not easy to make; and, obviously, you may have spoilt the whole composition, especially where its value depends on its form rather than on its substance.  But we are not considering poetry, or poetic prose; all we want is intelligible meaning.)

It does not follow that a passage is nonsensical because you fail to understand it; it may simply be too hard for you.  When Bertrand Russell writes "We say that a function R is 'ultimately Q-convergent α' if there is a member y of the converse domain of R and the field of Q such that the value of the function for the argument y and for any argument to which y has the relation Q is a member of α."  Do we?

But you do not doubt that if you were to learn the meaning of all these unfamiliar terms, you would be able to follow his thought.

Now take a paragraph from an "occult teacher."

What's more, I'll give you wheat, not tares; it seems terrifyingly easy for sound instruction to degenerate in to a "pi-jaw."  Here goes!

"To don Nirmanakaya's humble robe is to forego eternal bliss for self, to help on man's salvation.  To reach Nirvana's bliss but to renounce it, is the supreme, the final step—the highest on Renunciation's Path."

Well, not quite, unless you are fool enough to believe that Nirvana is the 'ne plus ultra' of spiritual states; and you don't believe that unless you are a talking monkey and nothing else, any more than you believe that 'nothing can exceed the speed of light.'

Follows a common-sense comment by Frater O.M.

The quotation is from Crowley's edition of Blavatsky's The Voice of the Silence and The Seven Portals, commented by himself. This book, also, will be reissued by us.

All this about Gautama Buddha having renounced Nirvana is apparently all a pure invention of Mme. Blavatsky, and has no authority in the Buddhist canon ...

In short, Blavatsky was lying, just as Crowley lied in his "The Three Schools of Magick;" which, since they were both members of the White ("Black") School, may give you a good idea of Our character, or lack of it!

... The Buddha is referred to, again and again, as having 'passed away by that kind of passing away which leaves nothing whatever behind.' The account of his doing this is given in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta; and it was the contention of the Toshophists that this 'great, sublime Nibbana story' was something peculiar to Gautama Buddha.  They began to talk about Parinibbana, super-Nibbana, as if there were some way of subtracting one from one which would leave a higher, superior kind of a nothing, or as if there were some way of blowing out a candle which would leave Moses in a much more Egyptian darkness than we ever supposed when we were children.

This is not science.  This is not business.  This is American Sunday journalism.  The Hindu and the American are very much alike in this innocence, this 'naiveté' which demands fairy stories with ever bigger giants.  They cannot bear the idea of anything being complete and done with.  So, they are always talking in superlatives, and are hard put to it when the facts catch up with them, and they have to invent new superlatives.  Instead of saying that there are bricks of various sizes, and specifying those sizes, they have a brick and a super-brick, and 'one' brick, and 'some' brick; and when they have got to the end they chase through the dictionary for some other epithet to brick, which shall excite the sense of wonder at the magnificent progress and super-progress—I present the American public with this word—which is supposed to have been made.  Probably the whole thing is a bluff without a single fact behind it.  Almost the whole of the Hindu psychology is an example of this kind of journalism.  They are not content with the supreme God.  The other man wishes to show off by having a supremer God than that, and when a third man comes along and finds them disputing, it is up to him to invent a supremest super-God.

It is simply ridiculous to try to add to the definition of Nibbana by this invention of Parinibbana, and only talkers busy themselves with these fantastic speculations.  The serious student minds his own business, which is the business in hand.  The President of a Corporation does not pay his bookkeeper to make a statement of the countless billions of profit to be made in some future year.  It requires no great ability to string a row of zeros after a significant figure until the ink runs out.  What is wanted is the actual balance of the week.

The reader is most strongly urged not to permit himself to indulge in fantastic flights of thought, which are the poison of the mind, because they represent an attempt to run away from reality, a dispersion of energy and a corruption of moral strength.  His business is, firstly, to know himself; secondly, to order and control himself; thirdly, to develop himself on sound organic lines little by little.  The rest is only leather and prunella.

Meaning, empty talk or "hot air."

There is, however, a sense in which the service of humanity is necessary to the completeness of the Adept.  He is not to fly away too far.

Some remarks on this course are given in the note to the next verse.

The student is also advised to take note of the conditions of membership of the A∴A∴

(Equinox III (1), Supplement pp. 57 - 59).

So much for the green tree; now for the dry!

We come down to the average popular "teacher," the mere humbug.  Read this:—

"One day quite soon an entirely different kind of electricity will be discovered which will bring as many profound changes into human living as the first type did.  This new electricity will move in a finer ether than does our familiar kind, and thus will be nearer in vibration to the fifth dimension, to the innermost source of things, that realm of 'withinness' wherein all is held poised by a colossal force, that same force which is packed within the atom.  Electricity number two will be unthinkably more powerful than our present electricity number one."  (V.S. Alder, The Fifth Dimension, p. 132)

This thoroughly silly book has recently been reprinted; naturally, by Samuel Weiser, Inc.

Exhausted; I must restring my bow.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER ELEVEN: Woolly Pomposities of the Pious "Teacher"

Cara Soror:

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

I do not think that it was any new kind of electricity.  I think it was the passage itself that has given me neuralgia.  It disgusts me beyond words.

To put the matter in a nutshell, tersely, concisely, succinctly, the world is being corrupted by all this ---

Asthmatic ThinkingTorpid ThinkingNauseous Thinking
Bovine TUncertain T.Old-maidish T.
Chawbacon T.Venomous T.Purgative T.
Diffuse T.Whelp T.Querulous T.
Excretory TYahoo T.Rat-riddled T.
Fog-bound T.Zig-zag T.Superficial T.
Gossiping T.Ambivalent T.Tinsel T.
Higgledy-piggledy T.Broken T.Unbalanced T.
Ill-mannered T.Corked T.Viscous T.
Jibbing T.Disjointed T.Windy T.
Kneeling T.Eight-anna T.Yapping T.
Leaden T.Flibberty-gibbet T.Zymotic T.
Moulting T.Glum T.Addled T.
Neurotic T.High-falutin' T.Blear-eyed T.
Orphan T.Invertebrate T.Capsized T.
Peccable T.Jazzy T.Down-at-heel T.
Queasy T.Knavish T.Evasive T.
Rococo T.Leucorrhoeic T.Formless T.
Slavish T.Motheaten T.Guilty T.
Hypocritical T.Unsystematic T.Lachrymose T.
Ignorant T.Void T.Maudlin T.
Jerry-built T.Waggly T.Neighing T.
Knock-kneed T.Atrophied T.Odious T.
Lazy T.Bloated T.Pedestrian T.
Messy T.Cancerous T.Quavering T.
Nasty T.Dull T.Ragbag T.
Oleaginous T.Eurasian T.Sappy T.
Purulent T.Futile T.Tuberculous T.
Slattern T.Immature T.Veneered T.
Unkempt T.Beige T.Woolly T.
Over-civilized T.Emaciated T.Flat T.
Gluey T.Dislocated T.Emetic T.
Crippled T.Slushy T.Insanitary T.
Foggy T.Teaparty T.Gloomy T.
Wordy T.Negroid T.Jaundiced T.
Opportunish T.Babbling T.Pedantic T.
Muddy T.Onanistic T.Flatulent T.
Unclean T.Hybrid T.Sluttish T.
Flabby T.Nebulous T.Stale T.
Unsorted T.Hurried T.Mangy T.
Prim T.Empty T.Portentous T.
Theatrical T.Vain T.Loose T.
Vaporous T.Loose T.Wooden T.
Myopic T.Bloodless T.Soapy T.
Flimsy T.Ersatz T.Gabbling T.
Unfinished T.Pontifical T.Wishful T.
Mongrel T.Unripe T.Frock-coated T.
Irrelevant T.Glossy T.Fashionable T.
Hidebound T.Officious T.Unmanly T.
Snobbish T.Misleading T.Slippery T.

In the original edition Mr. Karl Germer, the editor, added this note: "In the original Manuscript the list of adjectives contains about 1,000 words; a small selection only has been used." Mr. Regardie, incidentally, in his "edition" of this book, failed to acknowledge that the footnotes, when not by Crowley, were by Karl Johannes Germer; possibly because this would make his piracy and theft the more blatant; also, possibly, because he wanted to enrich his reputation at the expense of a better man's mind and character. The secretary who took dictation was not, of course, by this time Mr. Regardie, who had fled with holy awe from the wicked man he would later try to rob, as we have seen. Nay, the secretary was another future thief, Kenneth Grant. The adjectives followed each other without pause: Crowley described the kind of "thinking" he meant with a thousand different words, none of which by the way, were the traditional four-letter ones, although he knew plenty of those as well. The point of the exercise is explained in the text itself. One cannot help wondering what Mr. Grant — who, if anything, is intellectually as lazy as he is morally - thought of the whole thing while he had to put it down. It must have taken at least half an hour.

... as we find in Brunton, Besant, Clymer, Max Heindl, Ouspensky and in the catchpenny frauds of the secret-peddlers, the U.B., the O.H.M., the A.M.O.R.C., and all the other gangs of self-styled Rosicrucians; they should be hissed off the stage.

These lines of verse were excised Mr. Regardie. Perhaps the reference to Australia reminded him of a much better man than himself, Frank Bennet, and irked him.

We want it dinkum!
Advance Australia!
Stick to your flag!
March to your National Anthem:—
"Get a bloody move on!
Get some bloody sense
Learn the bloody art of

One of the many popular war-marches of the time. Please remember that World War II was still on.

So much for Buckingham!

Buckingham Palace, traditional living space of the British "royal" family.

Now that we are agreed upon the conditions to be satisfied if we are to allow that a given proposition contains a Thought at all, it is proper to turn our attention to the relative value of different kinds of thought.  This question is of the very first importance: the whole theory of Education depends upon a correct standard.  There are facts and facts: one would not necessarily be much the wiser if one got the Encyclopaedia Britannica by heart, or the Tables of Logarithms.  The one aim of Mathematics, in fact—Whitehead points this out in his little Shilling Arithmetic—is to make one fact do the work of thousands.

What we are looking for is a working Hierarchy of Facts.

That takes us back at once to our original "addition and subtraction" remark in my letter on Mind.  Classification, the first step, proceeds by putting similar things together, and dissimilar things apart.

One asset in the Audit of a fact is the amount of knowledge which it covers.  (2 + 5)2 = 49; (3 + 4)2 = 49; (6 + 2)2 =64; (7 + 1)2 = 64; (9 + 4)2 = 169 are isolated facts, no more; worse, the coincidences of 49 and 64 might start the wildest phantasies in your head—"something mysterious about this."  But if you write "The sum of the squares of any two numbers is the sum of the square of each plus twice their multiple"— (a + b)2 = a2 + b2 + 2ab—you have got a fact which covers every possible case, and exhibits one aspect of the nature of numbers them- selves.  The importance of a word increases as its rank, from the particular and concrete to the general and abstract.  (It is curious that the highest values of all, the "Laws of Nature," are never exactly "true" for any two persons, for one person can never observe the identical phenomena sensible to another, since two people cannot be in exactly the same place at exactly the same time: yet it is just these facts that are equally true for all men.)

Observe, I pray, the paramount importance of memory.  From one point of view (bless your heart!) you are nothing at all but a bundle of memories. When you say "this is happening now," you are a falsifier of God's sacred truth!  When I say "I see a horse", the truth is that "I record in those terms my private hieroglyphic interpretation of the unknown and unknowable phenomenon (or 'point-event') which has more or less recently taken place at the other end of my system of receiving impressions."

This paragraph was excised by Mr. Regardie.

(Is this clear?  I do hope so; if not, make me go on at it until it is.)

Well, then! You realize, of course, how many millions or billions of memories there must be to compose any average well-trained mind.  Those strings of adjectives ...

He is referring to the thousand definitions of the kind of "thinking" one gets from the Besants, Leadbeaters, Regardies, Grants, McMurtrys, etc., etc.

... all sprang spontaneously; I did not look them up in books of reference; so imagine the extent of my full vocabulary!  And words are but the half-baked bricks with which one constructs.

The following paragraph was also excised by Mr. Regardie

Millions, yes: billions probably: but there is a limit.

He means, to the number of memories you can retain in your brain and coordinate with each other.

See to it, then, that you accept no worthless material; that you select, and select again, always in proper order and proportion; organize, structuralize your thought, always with the one aim in view of accomplishing the Great Work.

Well, now, before going further into this, I must behave like an utter cad, and disgrace my family tree, and blot my 'scutcheon and my copybook by confusing you about "realism." Excuse: not my muddle; it was made centuries ago by a gang of curséd monks, headed by one Duns Scotus—so-called because he was Irish—or if not by somebody else equally objectionable.  They held to the Platonic dogma of archetypes.  They maintained that there was an original (divine) idea such as "greenness" or a "pig," and that a green pig, as observed in nature, was just one example of these two ideal essences.  They were opposed by the "nominalists," who said, to the contrary, that "greenness" or "a pig" were nothing in themselves; they were mere names (nominalism from Lat. nomen, a name) invented for convenience of grouping.  This doctrine is plain commonsense, and I shall waste no time in demolishing the realists.

You will notice that the "realists," as they called themselves, were indeed the "idealists" to end all "idealists," and the fact that they were able to call themselves by a term that meant exactly the opposite of what they were explains Crowley's thousand adjectives and reminds one of the "democracy" of Reagan and the "morality" of Falwell, to say nothing of the "feminism" of Schlafly and the "Christianity" of the Popes. Shall one add the "compassion" of the Zionists...? Of course, if you were going to brazen it out then, being a monk helped. It still does, in backward countries like Ireland and the United States.

All à priori thinking, the worst kind of thinking, goes with "realism" in this sense.

And now you look shocked and surprised! And no wonder! What (you exclaim) is the whole Qabalistic doctrine but the very apotheosis of this "realism"? (It was also called "idealism", apparently to cheer and comfort the student on his rough and rugged road!)

Rather, to confuse him more completely, one would - if you will pardon the word - think.

Is not Atziluth the "archetypal world?" is not—

Oh, all right, all right!  Keep your blouse on!  I didn't go for to do it.  You're quite right: the Tree of Life is like that, in appearance.  But that is the wrong way to look at it.  We get our number two, for example, as "that which is common to a bird's legs, a man's ears, twins, the cube root of eight, the greater luminaries ...

In astrological parlance, the Sun and the Moon.

..., the spikes of a pitchfork," etc. but, having got it, we must not go on to argue that the number two being possessed of this and that property, therefore there must be two of something or other which for one reason or another we cannot count on our fingers.

The trouble is that sometimes we can do so; we are very often obliged to do so, and it comes out correct.  But we must not trust any such theorem; it is little more than a hint to help us in our guesses.  Example: an angel appears and tells us that his name is MALIEL (MLIAL) which adds to 111, the third of the numbers of the Sun.  Do we conclude that his nature is solar?  In this case, yes, perhaps, because, (on the theory) he took that name for the very reason that it chimed with his nature.  But a man may reside at 81 Silver Street without being a lunatic, or be born at five o'clock on the 5th of May, 1905 e.v., and make a very poor soldier.

"No, no, my dear sister, how tempted soever,
To nominalism be faithful forever!"

(If you want to be very learned indeed, read up Bertrand Russell on "Classes.")

He means in Russell's The Principles of Mathematics, which is perhaps Russell's masterpiece. But very likely he would not have been able to write it without his previous work on Principia Mathematica with Alfred North Whitehead, who has already been mentioned by Crowley. Whitehead was another giant intellect, a philosopher and a mathematician, but unlike Russell he did more teaching than writing, which is the reason why he is less known.

Enough, more than enough, of this: let us return to the relative value of various types of thought.

The above lines were excised from Mr. Regardie's "edition" of this book. But it is well known that he does not approve of accounting, or of Bertrand Russell, or of nominalism, or of Crowley.

I think you already understand the main point: you must structuralise your thinking.  You must learn how to differentiate and how to integrate your thoughts.  Nothing exists in isolation; it is always conditioned by its relations with other things; indeed, in one sense, a thing is no more than the sum of these relations.  (For the only "reality," in the long run, is, as we have seen, a Point of View.)

Now, this task of organizing the mind, of erecting a coherent and intelligible structure, is enormously facilitated by the Qabalah.

When, in one of those curious fits of indisposition of which you periodically complain, and of which the cause appears to you so obscure, you see pink leopards on the staircase, mmmmm "Ah! the colour of the King Scale of Tiphareth—Oh! the form of Leo, probably in the Queen Scale" and thereby increase your vocabulary by these two items.  Then, perhaps, someone suggests that indiscretion in the worship of Dionysus is responsible for the observed phenomena ...

Meaning that she drank too much.

... —well, there's Tiphareth again at once; the Priest, moreover, wears a leopard-skin, and the spots suggest the Sun.  Also, Sol is Lord of Leo: so there you are! pink leopards are exactly what you have a right to expect!

The example is a gentle joke with her, but the method isn't.

Until you have practiced this method, all day and every day, for quite a long while, you cannot tell how amazingly your mnemonic power ...

Meaning the power of your memory. We assume, of course, that the majority of our readers are products of Progressive Education, and need these little hints.

... increases by virtue thereof.  But be careful always to range the new ideas as they come along in their right order of importance.

It is not unlike the system of keys used in big establishments, such as hotels.  First, a set of keys, each of which opens one door, and one door only.  Then, a set which opens all the doors on one floor only. And so on, until the one responsible person who has one unique key which opens every lock in the building.

There is another point about this while System of the Qabalah.  It does more than merely increase the mnemonic faculty by 10,000% or so; the habit of throwing your thoughts about, manipulating them, giving them a wash and brush-up, packing them away into their proper places in you "Crystal Cabinet," gives you immensely increased power over them.

In particular, it helps you to rid them of the emotional dirt which normally clogs them...

Here he added the following note: "I hope there is no need to repeat that whether any given thought is pleasant, or undesirable, or otherwise soiled by Vedana, is totally irrelevant."

...; you become perfectly indifferent to any implication but their value in respect of the whole system; and this is of incalculable help in the acquisition of new ides.  It is the difference between a man trying to pick a smut out of his wife's eye with clumsy, greasy fingers coarsened by digging drains, and an oculist furnished with a speculum and all the instruments exactly suited to the task.

Yet another point.  Besides getting rid of the emotions and sensations which cloud the thought, the fact that you are constantly asking your— self "Now, in which drawer of which cabinet does this thought go?" automatically induces you to regard the system as the important factor in the operation, if only because it is common to every one of them.

So not only have you freed Sanna (perception) from the taint of Vedana (sensation) but raised it (or demolished it, if your prefer to look at it in that light!) to be merely a member of the Sankhâra (tendency) class, thus boosting you vigorously to the fourth stage, the last before the last! of the practice of Mahasatipathana.

Considering what he said about the Buddha in the essay on the "Three Schools," you might think he was contradicting himself if you had not known what he was trying to do there, and what he is trying to do here.

Just one more word about the element of Vedana.  The Intellect is a purely mechanical contrivance, as accurate and as careless of what it turns out as a Cash Register.  It receives impressions, calculates, states the result: that is A double L, ALL!

Try never to qualify a thought in any way, to see it as it is in itself in relation to those other elements which are necessary to make it what it is.

Above all, do not "mix the planes."  A dagger may be sharp or blunt, straight or crooked; it is not "wicked-looking," or even "trusty," except in so far as the quality of its steel makes it so. A cliff is not "frowning" or "menacing."  A snow-covered glacier is not "treacherous:" to say so means only that Alpine Clubmen and other persons ignorant of mountain craft are unable to detect the position of covered crevasses.

All such points you must decide for yourself; the important thing is that you should challenge any such ideas.

Above all, do not avoid, or slur, unwelcome trains of thought or distressing problems.  Don't say "he passed on" when you mean "he died," and don't call a spade a bloody shovel!

The following seven paragraphs were excised by Mr. Regardie from his "edition". Perhaps he considered them superfluous, or perhaps he considered them too informative. With that kind of "intellect", who can tell?

Thresh out such matters with Osiris' flail; on the winnowing-fan of Iacchus!

Truth in itself is beautiful, and the best bower-anchor of your ship; every truth fits all the rest of truth; and the most alluring lies will never do that.

"The toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in its head."

and the result of letting

"Two ghastly scullions concoct mess
With brimstone, pitch, vitriol, and devil's dung."

in the end repay investigation.

The Vision and the Voice again, please!  That frightful Curse—how every phrase turns out to be a Blessing!

I shall break off this brief note at this point, so that you may have time to tell me if what I have so far said covers the whole ground of your enquiry.

You may remember that she had asked him how to differentiate a real Teacher from a false; and he has told her to learn to think straight, and she will realize that truth fits together, while a lie does not. He also told her, of course, to have the courage to face truth. This is not the kind of advice likely to put a lot of money in the Teacher's pockets: it demands too much effort, too much attention, and too much courage from "pupils"! There is even a side—effect of such frankness that, to a superficial thinking, may seem incomprehensible: when the Teacher tells unpleasant truths to some kinds of people, the immediately decide that the Teacher is either a liar or incompetent. (Sometimes they will at once set out in search of the kind of false teacher Crowley has been at such pains to describe!) It is always easier to blame someone else for one's own shortcomings, either innate or of training. But it is a deadly course for the would—be initiate.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER TWELVE: The Left-Hand Path—"The Black Brothers"

Cara Soror:

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

It is the introduction of the word "self" that has raised such prickly questions ...

This refers to several previous letters. Unfortunately or not, these Letters were not edited in the order in which they were written. Crowley put this one here because he had just spoken of the Secret Chiefs, then of false teachers. He probably thought the sequence would be more orderly this way. The reader may miss his correspondents' letters, the ones that awakened these responses; but if they were as mine to my own instructor, you haven't missed much.

... It really is a little bewildering; the signpost "Right-hand Path", "Left-hand Path", seems rather indecipherable; and then, for such a long way, they look exactly alike.  At what point do they diverge?

Crowley should have made it clear from the beginning that this "left"-"right" nomenclature is totally inadequate. Indeed, it was introduced by the Toshosophists under the influence of homosexual Hindu "masters". I don't mean that a homosexual cannot be a Master; but a Master who is homosexual will not condemn or hate or restrict the 'straights,' while the average homosexual will be just as biased as the average 'straight'. This term was introduced by Hindu faggots pretending to be Gurus, and referred simply to the Tantrists, who not only used women in magickal rituals but — horror of horrors! — admitted women to their mysteries, initiated them, and considered some of them to be Masters themselves. Vivekananda's Master, Ramakrishna, had a woman as his instructor; one does not consider that Vivekananda was lacking because of that. "Left-hand Path" meant the left spinal cord channel, the Ida; and "Right-hand Path" meant the right spinal chord channel, the Pingala. The so-called 'Teachers' who introduced the nomenclature considered that if a man went to bed with another man they would both cultivate the Positive, or Solar Current, which runs through Pingala, while if a man went to bed with a woman he would cultivate the Negative, or Lunar Current, which runs through Ida. However, it so happens that the polarity is reversed in the female: the Solar current runs through Ida, and the Lunar current through Pingala! So here, you see, we have the kind of situation that would delight medieval theologians in search of a human barbecue. The Tantrists — those infamous heterosexuals! — were skillfully slandered by Besant and Leadbeater's faggotty "gurus," who wanted no competition, and especially no competition from people vile enough to go to bed with women. Hence, in the West, the connotation of "Brother of the Left-hand Path" with "Evil". In the Orient, and especially among true Hindu Initiates, of course there is no such connotation. As a matter of fact, they laugh themselves sick at the Toshosophists and con—men like the "Paramahamsa Yogananda" and others of the same ilk. The use of the expression "Black Brother" is, again, extremely unfortunate. It is interesting to notice that one expression comes from the dichotomy of the imperfect European. Evil not only is relative, but in both these cases there is not even any real harm involved, merely prejudice. So please try to understand that when Crowley uses this unfortunate nomenclature he is neither disparaging heterosexuals nor indicting blacks. As he put it himself, the nomenclature is unfortunate, but it was not he who invented it. We surely must find some better term, for the "Black Brother", or "Brother of the Left-hand Path", in the sense of the imperfect initiate who refuses the Crossing of the Abyss, exists and, from the point of view of the Masters of the Temple, is insane in Buddhi, which is a condition that is not detectable by the average psychiatrist!

Actually, the answers are fairly simple.

As far as the achievement or attainment is concerned, the two Paths are in fact identical.  In fact, one almost feels obliged to postulate some inmost falsity, completely impossible to detect, inherent at the very earliest stages.

For the decision which determines the catastrophe confronts only the Adeptus Exemptus 7 °= 4. Until that grade is reached, and that very fully indeed, with all the buttons properly sewed on, one is not capable of understanding what is meant by the Abyss.  Unless "all you have and all you are" is identical with the Universe, its annihilation would leave a surplus.

Mark well this first distinction: the "Black Magician" or Sorcerer is hardly even a distant cousin of the "Black Brother."  The difference between a sneak-thief and a Hitler is not too bad an analogy.

These paragraphs were excised by Mr. Regardie in his "edition", for reasons better known to himself.

The Sorcerer may be—indeed he usually is—a thwarted disappointed man whose aims are perfectly natural.  Often enough, his real trouble is ignorance; and by the time he has become fairly hot stuff as a Black Magician, he has learnt that he is getting nowhere, and finds himself, despite himself, on the True Path of the Wise.

"Invoking Zeus to swell the power of Pan,
The prayer discomfits the demented man;
      Lust lies as still as Love."

Thereupon he casts away his warlock apparatus like a good little boy, finds the A∴A∴, and lives happily ever after.

The Left-hand Path is a totally different matter.  Let us start at the beginning.

You remember my saying that only two operations were possible in Nature: addition and subtraction....

Multiplication and division are simply accelerated forms of each!

...Let us apply this to magical progress.

What happens when the Aspirant invokes Diana, or calls up Lilith?  He increases the sum of his experiences in these particular ways.  Sometimes he has a "liaison-experience," which links two main lines of thought, and so is worth dozens of isolated gains.

Now, if there is any difference at all between the White and the Black Adept in similar case, it is that the one, working by "love under will" achieves a marriage with the new idea, while the other, merely grabbing, adds a concubine to his harem of slaves.

The about-to-be-Black Brother constantly restricts himself; he is satisfied with a very limited ideal; he is afraid of losing his individuality—reminds one of the "Nordic" twaddle about "race-pollution."

He is here referring to the Nazi delusion that they were the Aryans, blond, beautiful and just - which is to say, fair on all three counts... like the Popes in two at least. There were only blond Jesuses hanging from crosses in Roman Catholic churches in Germany during Nazism!

The next paragraph was excised by Mr. Regardie, with the result, in his "edition" that the reader gets the impression that Crowley's woman pupil was protesting against his critique of Nazism. But since the Zionists were trying to associate us to Nazism for quite some time, perhaps Mr. Regardie wanted to help them in their campaign of slander. Note the sequence:

Have you seen the sand-roses of the Sahara?  Such is the violence of the Khamsin that it whips grains of sand together, presses them, finally builds them into great blocks, big enough and solid enough to be used for walls in the oasis.  And beautiful!  Whew!  For all that, they are not real rocks.  Leave hem in peace, with no possible interference—what happens?  (I brought some home, and put them "in safety" as curiosities, and as useful psychometrical tests.)  Alas!  Time is enough.  Go to the drawer which held them; nothing remains but little piles of dust.

"Now Master!"  (What reproach in the tone of your voice!) All right, all right! Keep your hair on!—I know that is the precise term used in The Vision and the Voice, to describe the Great White Brother or the Babe of the Abyss; but to him it means victory; to the Left-Hander it would mean defeat, ruin devastating, irremediable, final.  It is exactly that which he most dreads; and it is that to which he must in the end come, because there is no compensating element in his idea of structure ...

Here again Mr. Regardie excised, for reasons of his own, from the next line until the end of the following paragraph, "...might still be ruling France."

... Nations themselves never grow permanently by smash-and-grab methods; one merely acquires a sore spot, as in the case of Lorraine, perhaps even Eire.  (Though Eire is using just that formula of Restriction, shutting herself up in her misery and poverty and idiot pride, when a real marriage with and dissolution in, a real live country would give her new life.  The "melting-pot" idea is the great strength of America.)

Consider the Faubourg St. Germain aristocracy ...

A fashionable upper-class quarter of Paris before the French Revolution.

... -now hardly even a sentimental memory.  The guillotine did not kill them; it was their own refusal to adapt themselves to the new biological conditions of political life.  It was indeed their restriction that rotted them in the first instance; had Lafayette or Mirabeau been trusted with full power, and supplied with adequate material, a younger generation of virtue, the monarchy might still be ruling France.

But then (you ask) how can a man go so far wrong after he has, as an Adeptus Minor, attained the "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel"?

Recall the passage in the 14th Aethyr ...

The reference is to The Vision and the Voice.

...: See where thine Angel hath led Thee", and so on.  Perhaps the Black Brother deserts his Angel when he realises the Programme.

Perhaps his error was so deeply rooted, from the very beginning, that it was his Evil Genius that he evoked.

In such cases the man's policy is of course to break off all relations with the Supernal Triad, and to replace it by inventing a false crown, Daäth.  To them Knowledge will be everything, and what is Knowledge but the very soul of Illusion?

Refusing thus the true nourishment of all his faculties, they lose their structural unity, and must be fortified by continuous doses of dope in anguished self-preservation.  Thus all its chemical equations become endothermic.

"Dope" here is used in the sense of unhealthy stimulation, and 'it' refers to the inecological self-preservation effort.

I do hope I am making myself clear; it is a dreadfully subtle line of thought.  But I think you ought to be able to pick up the essential theorem; your own meditations, aided by the relevant passages in Liber 418 and elsewhere, should do the rest.

To describe the alternative attitude should clarify, by dint of contrast; at least the contemplation should be a pleasant change.

Every accretion must modify me.  I want it to do so.  I want to assimilate it absolutely.  I want to make it a permanent feature of my Temple.  I am not afraid of losing myself to it, if only because it also is modified by myself in the act of union.  I am not afraid of its being the "wrong" thing, because every experience is a "play of Nuit," and the worst that can happen is a temporary loss of balance, which is instantly adjusted, as soon as it is noticed, by recalling and putting into action the formula of contradiction.

Remember the Fama Fraternitatis: when they opened the Vault which held the Pastos of our Father Christian Rosencreuz, "all these colours were brilliant and flashing."  That is, if one panel measured 20" x 40", the symbol (say, yellow) would occupy 200 square inches, and the background (in that case, violet) the other 200 square inches.  Hence they dazzled; the limitation, restriction, demarcation, disappeared; and the result was an equable idea of form and colour which is beyond physical understanding.  (At one time Picasso tried to work out this idea on canvas.)  Destroy that equilibrium by one tenmillionth of an inch, and the effect is lost.  The unbalanced item stands out like a civilian in the middle of a regiment.

True, this faculty, this feeling for equilibrium must be acquired; but once you have done so, it is an unerring guide.  Instant discomfort warns one; the impulse to scratch it (the analogy is too apt to reject!) is irresistible.

And oh! how imperative this is!

Unless your Universe is perfect—and perfection includes the idea of balance—how can you come even to Atmadarshana?  Hindus may maintain that Atmadarshana, or at any rate Shivadarshana, is the equivalent of crossing the Abyss.  Beware of any such conclusions!  The Trances are simply isolated experiences, sharply cut off from normal thought-life.  To cross the Abyss is a permanent and fundamental revolution in the whole of one's being.

Much more, upon the brink of the Abyss.  If there be missing or redundant even one atom, the entire monstrous, the portentous mass must tend to move with irresistible impact, in such direction as to restore the equilibrium.  To deflect it—well, think of a gyroscope!  How then can you destroy it in one sole stupendous gesture?  Ah!  Listen to The Vision and the Voice.

Perhaps the best and simplest plan is for me to pick out the most important of the relevant passages and put them together as an appendix to this letter.  Also, by contrast, those allusions to the "Black Brothers" and the "Left-hand Path."  This ought to give you a clear idea of what each is, and does; of what distinguishes their respective methods in some ways so confusingly alike ...

But a much more succinct explanation is available to the serious student in Liber Trigrammaton, q.v.

...I hope indeed most sincerely that you will whet your Magical Dagger on the Stone of the Wise, and wield most deftly and determinedly both the White-handled and the Black-handled Burin.  In trying to express these opinions, I am constantly haunted by the dread that I may be missing some crucial point, or even allowing a mere quibble to pass for argument.  It makes it only all the worse when one has become so habituated by Neschamic ideas, to knowing, even before one says it, that what one is going to say is of necessity untrue, as untrue as it is contradictory.  So what can it possibly matter what one says?

Such doubts are dampers!

"Enough of Because!  Be he damned for a dog!"

Here follow the quotations from The Vision and the Voice.

The Angel re-appears

The blackness gathers about, so thick, so clinging, so penetrating, so oppressive, that all the other darkness that I have ever conceived would be like bright light beside it.

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

I am the snake that devoureth the spirit of man with the lust of light.  I am the sightless storm in the night that wrappeth the world about with desolation.  Chaos is my name, and thick darkness.  Know thou that the darkness of the earth is ruddy, and the darkness of the air is grey, but the darkness of the soul is utter blackness.

The egg of the spirit is a basilisk egg, and the gates of the understanding are fifty, that is the sign of the Scorpion.  The pillars about the Neophyte are crowned with flame, and the vault of the Adepts is lighted by the Rose.  And in the abyss is the eye of the hawk.  But upon the great sea shall the Master of the Temple find neither star nor moon.

And I was about to answer him:  "The light is within me."  But before I could frame the words, he answered me with the great word that is the Key of the Abyss.  And he said: Thou hast entered the night; dost thou yet lust for day?  Sorrow is my name and affliction.  I am girt about with tribulation.  Here still hangs the Crucified One, and here the Mother weeps over the children that she hath not borne.  Sterility is my name and desolation.  Intolerable is thine ache, and incurable thy wound.  I said, 'Let the darkness cover me;' and behold, I am compassed about with the blackness that hath no name.  O thou, who hast cast down the light into the earth, so must thou do for ever.  And the light of the sun shall not shine upon thee and the moon shall not lend thee of her luster, and the stars shall be hidden because thou art passed beyond these things, beyond the need of these things, beyond the desire of these things.

What I thought were shapes of rocks, rather felt than seen, now appear to be veiled Masters, sitting absolutely still and silent.  Nor can any one be distinguished from the others.

And the Angel sayeth: Behold where thine Angel hath led thee!  Thou didst ask fame, power and pleasure, health and wealth and love, and strength and length of days.  Thou didst hold life with eight tentacles, like an octopus.  Thou didst seek the four powers and the seven delights and the twelve emancipations, and the two and twenty Privileges and the nine and forty Manifestations, and lo! thou art become as one of These.  Bowed are their backs, whereon resteth the Universe.  Veiled are their faces, that have beheld the glory Ineffable.

These adepts seem like Pyramids—their hoods and robes are like Pyramids.

And the Angel sayeth: Verily is the Pyramid a Temple of Initiation.  Verily also is it a tomb.  Thinkest thou that there is life within the Masters of the Temple that sit hooded, encamped upon the Sea?  Verily, there is no life in them.

Their sandals were the pure light, and they have taken them from their feet and cast them down through the abyss; for this Aethyr is holy ground.

Herein no forms appear, and the vision of God face to face, that is transmuted in the Athanor called dissolution, or hammered into one in the forge of meditation, is in this place but a blasphemy and a mockery.

And the Beatific Vision is no more, and the glory of the Most High is no more.  There is no more knowledge.  There is no more bliss.  There is no more power.  There is no more beauty.  For this is the Palace of Understanding; for thou art one with the Primeval things.

Drink in the myrrh of my speech, that is bruised with the gall of the roc, and dissolved in the ink of the cuttle-fish, and perfumed with the deadly nightshade.

This is thy wine, who wast drunk upon the wine of Iacchus.  And for bread shalt thou eat salt, O thou on the corn of Ceres that didst wax fat!  For as pure being is pure nothing, so is pure wisdom pure —— ...

Here he added the note: "I suppose only a Magus could have heard this word."

But the word was 'folly': he used the antithesis as the subtitle of Liber Aleph: "The Book of Wisdom or Folly." The point is that the folly must be pure!

"..., and so is pure understanding silence, and stillness, and darkness.  The eye is called seventy, and the triple Aleph whereby thou perceivest it, divideth into the number of the terrible word that is the Key of the Abyss.

I am Hermes, that am sent from the Father to expound all things discreetly in these the last words that thou shalt hear before thou take thy seat among these, whose eyes are sealed up and whose ears are stopped, and whose mouths are clenched, who are folded in upon themselves, the liquor of whose bodies is dried up, so that nothing remains but a little pyramid of dust.

And that bright light of comfort, and that piercing sword of truth, and all the power and beauty that they have made of themselves, is cast from them, as it is written, "I saw Satan like lightning fall from heaven."  And as a flaming sword is it dropt though the Abyss, where the four beasts keep watch and ward.  And it appeareth in the heaven of Jupiter as a morning star, or as an evening star.  And the light thereof shineth even unto the earth, and bringeth hope and help to them that dwell in the darkness of thought, and drink of the poison of life.  Fifty are the gates of Understanding, and one hundred and six are the seasons thereof. And the name of every season is Death.

The Vision and the Voice. 14th Æthyr.)

And for his Work thereafter?

So we enter the earth, and there is a veiled figure, in absolute darkness.  Yet it is perfectly possible to see in it, so that the minutest details do not escape us.  And upon the root of one flower he pours acid so that the root writhes as if in torture.  And another he cuts, and the shriek is like the shriek of a Mandrake, torn up by the roots.  And another he sears with fire, and yet another he anoints with oil.

And I said: Heavy is the labour, but great indeed is the reward.

And the young man answered me: He shall not see the reward; he tendeth the garden.

And I said: What shall come unto him?

And he said: This thou canst not know, nor is it revealed by the letters that are the totems of the stars, but only by the stars.

And he says to me, quite disconnectedly: The man of earth is the adherent.  The lover giveth his life unto the work among men.  The hermit goeth solitary, and giveth only of his light unto men.

And I ask him: Why does he tell me that?

And he says: I tell thee not.  Thou tellest thyself, for thou hast pondered thereupon for many days, and hast not found light.  And now that thou art called NEMO, the answer to every riddle that thou hast not found shall spring up in thy mind, unsought.  Who can tell upon what day a flower shall bloom?

And thou shalt give thy wisdom unto the world, and that shall be thy garden.  And concerning time and death, thou hast naught to do with these things.  For though a precious stone be hidden in the sand of the desert, it shall not heed for the wind of the desert, although it be but sand.  For the worker of works hath worked thereupon; and because it is clear, it is invisible; and because it is hard, it moveth not.

All these words are heard by everyone that is called NEMO.  And with that doth he apply himself to understanding.  And he must understand the virtue of the waters of death, and he must understand the virtue of the sun and of the wind, and of the worm that turneth the earth, and of the stars that roof in the garden. And he must understand the separate nature and property of every flower, or how shall he tend his garden?

(Ibid. 13th Æthyr.)

Thus for the Masters of the Temple; for the Black Brothers, how?

For Choronzon is as it were the shell or excrement of these three paths, and therefore is his head raised unto Daäth, and therefore have the Black Brotherhood declared him to be the child of Wisdom and Understanding, who is but the bastard of the Svastika.  And this is that which is written in the Holy Qabalah, concerning the Whirlpool and Leviathan, and the Great Stone.

(Ibid. 3rd Æthyr)

Moreover, there is Mary, a blasphemy against BABALON, for she hath shut herself up; and therefore is she the Queen of all those wicked devils that walk upon the earth, those that thou sawest even as little black specks that stained the Heaven of Urania.  And all these are the excrement of Choronzon.

And for this is BABALON under the power of the Magician, that she hath submitted herself unto the work; and she guardeth the Abyss.  And in her is a perfect purity of that which is above, yet she is sent as the Redeemer to them that are below.  For there is no other way into the Supernal mystery but through her and the Beast on which she rideth; and the Magician is set beyond her to deceive the brothers of blackness, lest they should make unto themselves a crown; for it there were two crowns, then should Ygdrasil, that ancient tree, be cast out into the Abyss, uprooted and cast down into the Outermost Abyss, and the Arcanum which is in the Adytum should be profaned; and the Ark should be touched, and the Lodge spied upon by them that are not masters, and the bread of the Sacrament should be the dung of Choronzon; and the wine of the Sacrament should be the water of Choronzon; and the incense should be dispersion; and the fire upon the Altar should be hate.  But lift up thyself; stand, play the man, for behold! there shall be revealed unto thee the Great Terror, the thing of awe that hath no name.

(Ibid. 3rd Æthyr)

And now She cometh forth again, riding upon a dolphin.  Now again I see those wandering souls, that have sought restricted love, and have not understood that the "word of sin is restriction."

It is very curious; they seem to be looking for one another, or for something, all the time, constantly hurrying about.  But they knock up against one another and yet will not see one another, or cannot see one another, because they are so shut up in their cloaks.

And a voice sounds: It is most terrible for the one that hath shut himself up and made himself fast against the universe.  For they that sit encamped upon the sea in the city of the Pyramids are indeed shut up.  But they have given their blood, even to the last drop, to fill the cup of BABALON.

These that thou seest are indeed the Black Brothers, for it is written: He shall laugh at their calamity and mock when their fear cometh ...

Cf. The Book of the Law III 42.

... And therefore hath he exalted them unto the plane of love.

And yet again it is written: He desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his wickedness.  Now, if one of these were to cast off his cloak he should behold the brilliance of the lady of the Aethyr; but they will not.

And again:—

Oh, I see vast plains beneath her feet, enormous deserts studded with great rocks; and I see little lonely souls, running helplessly about, minute black creatures like men.  And they keep up a very curious howling, that I can compare to nothing that I have ever heard; yet it is strangely human.

And the voice says: These are they that grasped love and clung thereto, praying ever at the knees of the great goddess.  These are they that have shut themselves up in fortresses of Love.

(Ibid. 7th Æthyr.)

Moreover, this also:

And this is the meaning of the Supper of the Passover, the spilling of the blood of the Lamb being a ritual of the Dark Brothers, for they have sealed up the Pylon with blood, lest the Angel of Death should enter therein.  Thus do they shut themselves off from the company of the saints. Thus do they keep themselves from compassion and from understanding. Accursed are they, for they shut up their blood in their heart.

They keep themselves from the kisses of my Mother Babylon, and in their lonely fortresses they pray to the false moon.  And they bind themselves together with an oath, and with a great curse.  And of their malice they conspire together, and they have power, and mastery, and in their cauldrons do they brew the harsh wine of delusion, mingled with the poison of their selfishness.

Thus they make war upon the Holy one, sending forth their delusion upon men, and upon everything that liveth.  So that their false compassion is called compassion, and their false understanding is called understanding, for this is their most potent spell.

Yet of their own poison do they perish, and in their lonely fortresses shall they be eaten up by Time that hath cheated them to serve him, and by the mighty devil Choronzon, their master, whose name is the second Death, for the blood that they have sprinkled on their Pylon, that is a bar against the Angel Death, is the key by which he entereth in.

(Ibid. 12th Æthyr.)

Here he added the following note: "I think the trouble with these people was, that they wanted to substitute the blood of someone else for their own blood, because they wanted to keep their personalities."


Yet must he that understandeth go forth unto the outermost Abyss, and there must he speak with him that is set above the four-fold terror, the Prince of Evil, even with Choronzon, the mighty devil that inhabiteth the outermost Abyss.  And none may speak with him, or understand him, but the servants of Babylon, that understand, and they that are without understanding, his servants.

Behold! it entereth not into the heart, nor into the mind of man to conceive this matter; for the sickness of the body is death, and the sickness of the heart is despair, and the sickness of the mind is madness.  But in the outermost Abyss is sickness of the aspiration, and sickness of the will, and sickness of the essence of all, and there is neither word nor thought wherein the image of its image is reflected.

And whoso passeth into the outermost Abyss, except he be of them that understand, holdeth out his hands, and boweth his neck, unto the Chains of Choronzon.  And as a devil he walketh about the earth, immortal, and be blasteth the flowers of the earth, and he corrupteth the fresh air, and he maketh poisonous the water; and the fire that is the friend of man, and the pledge of his aspiration, seeing that it mounteth ever up- ward as a Pyramid, and seeing that man stole it in a hollow tube from Heaven, even that fire he turneth into ruin, and madness, and fever, and destruction.  And thou, that art an heap of dry dust in the city of the Pyramids, must understand these things.

Beware, therefore, O thou who art appointed to understand the secret of the Outermost Abyss, for in every Abyss thou must assume the mask and form of the Angel thereof.  Hadst thou a name, thou wert irrevocably lost.  Search, therefore, if there be yet one drop of blood that is not gathered into the cup of Babylon the Beautiful: for in that little pile of dust, if there could be one drop of blood, it should be utterly corrupt; it should breed scorpions, and vipers, and the cat of slime.

And I said unto the Angel: "Is there not one appointed as a warden?"

And he said:

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani.

Such an ecstasy of anguish racks me that I cannot give it voice, yet I know it is but as the anguish of Gethsemane.

(Ibid. 11th Æthyr.)

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER THIRTEEN: System of the O.T.O.

Cara Soror:

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

You inform me that the Earnest Inquirer of your ambit has been asking you to explain the difference between the A∴A∴ and the O.T.O.; and that although your own mind is perfectly clear about it, you find it impossible to induce a similar lucidity in his ...

I've had some of those myself.

... You add that he is not (as one might at first suppose) a moron.  And will I please do what I can about it?

Well, here's the essential difference ab ovo usque ad mala; the A∴A∴ concerns the individual, his development, his initiation, his passage from "Student" to "Ipsissimus"; he has no contact of any kind with any other person except the Neophyte who introduces him, and any Student or Students whom he may, after becoming a Neophyte, introduce.

The details of this 'Pilgrim's Progress' are very fully set forth in "One Star in Sight "; and I should indeed be stupid and presumptuous to try to do better than that.  But it is true that with regard to the O.T.O. there is no similar manual of instruction.  In the Manifesto, and other Official Pronunciamenti, there are, it is true, what ought to be adequate data; but I quite understand that they are not as ordered and classified as one would wish; there is certainly room for a simple elementary account of the origins of the Order, of its principles, of its methods, of its design, of the Virtue of its successive Grades. This I will now try to supply, at least in a brief outline.

Let us begin at the beginning.  What is a Dramatic Ritual?  It is a celebration of the Adventures of the God whom it is intended to invoke. (The Bacchae of Euripides is a perfect example of this.)  Now, in the O.T.O., the object of the ceremonies being the Initiation of the Candidate, it is he whose Path in Eternity is displayed in dramatic form.

What is the Path?

  1. The Ego is attracted to the Solar System.
  2. The Child experiences Birth.
  3. The Man experiences Life.
  4. He experiences Death.
  5. He experiences the World beyond Death.
  6. This entire cycle of Point-Events is withdrawn into Annihilation.

In the O.T.O. these successive stages are represented as follows:—

5IV°(Perfection, or Exaltation)
6P.I.(Perfect Initiate)

Of these Events of Stations upon the Path all but 3 (II°) are single critical experiences.  We, however, are concerned mostly with the very varied experiences of Life.

All subsequent Degrees of the O.T.O. are accordingly elaborations of the II°, since in a single ceremony it is hardly possible to sketch, even in the briefest outline, the Teaching of Initiates with regard to Life.  The Rituals V°–IX° are then instructions to the Candidate how he should conduct himself; and they confer upon him, gradually, the Magical Secrets which make him Master of Life.

Mr. Israel Regardie, in his "edition, " cut off the preceding three paragraphs, obviously because they make it very clear that Crowley would never have condoned the publication of the O.T.O. rituals done by thieves with whom Mr. Regardie always was in contact and whom Mr. Regardie encouraged, abetted, and - as we can plainly see - imitated. Furthermore, some of Crowley's remarks in those paragraphs must have hit Mr. Regardie too close to the flesh to be comfortable. The Rituals of the O.T.O. have been changed, of course, and will never again be made public by thieves. It is interesting to note that in his piracy Mr. Francis "King " did not include the Rituals above the VI°, stating that there are "no rituals for those Grades." Of course there are; they simply did not fall into his thieving hands because those who delivered the rituals to this butchery never had them, having no right to the Grades. Since these are the only O.T.O. Rituals that were not exposed, they have been kept, by decision of the O.H.O. The pirated rituals are being used, as it was intended by the thieves who published them, by totally unworthy individuals in several countries. Those rituals are no longer valid, and persons undergoing 'initiation' under them are requested to write to us immediately, informing us of this infringement on the rights and name of the O.T.O. Persons authorized to represent the O.T.O. will always be able to exhibit patents. But since many have been expelled for dishonesty or laxity, it is possible that patents are being exhibited that are no longer valid. For instance, a member who has not paid dues for more than three months is automatically out of the Order. People interested in legitimate O.T.O. contact are advised to always check with us the claims of any individuals whatsoever before they trust either their purse or their mind to them. In civilized countries, if necessary the attention of the police will be brought to bear on false claimants.

Note by David Bersson: My Superior, Marcelo Motta, wrote the above under excruciating circumstances when all our accounts were drained by the vampire Lawyers, and the liars were gloating on how easily it was to get away with their treachery. Even as he fought no matter how apparent was the hardship - so have I continued the battle. As a student both in the A∴A∴ and the O.T.O. that was in good standing at the time of his death I wasn't about to withdraw into the silence. Kill me, or let me live (I remember thinking) but let me battle on till whatever end shall be conjured by the living experience of my training by my beloved Superior. With the real & pragmatic experience of being a Lodge Master with two Lodges (Menthu Lodge in Nashville and 93 Lodge in Albuquerque) under his supervision no other member was more qualified for the position. I honestly believe if Claudia Canuto de Menezes had not been a low IQ moron who was too cowardly to take a stand, and William Barden had not been a heroin addict, and Ben Stone had been a sincere, honest, and competent lawyer I would of surely been recognized for my years of dedication and been voted as the legal Successor of Marcelo Motta. While it is true that I am the not the legal successor of Marcelo Motta — and of course a vote would have had to have occurred in strict accordance with the Declaration of Trust for this to be so — I do have my Duty, Instructions and Honor. What did Marcelo Motta give me in regards with instructions after his death? Well, I did search though my correspondence with him and his only remark to the query was to state, "Fight the good fight". That's it. Of course, considering this from the plane of He communicating to me with Samadhi Language I knew magically what to do. The above request by my Superior is therefore still in motion; and write Me directly concerning these matters. Therefore, any parallel infringements that might today in the present be observed should be duly addressed to Write me directly either for membership or to join My Battle, or to report those machinations that might be observed anywhere on this planet.

David Bersson
P.O. Box 59326
Pittsburgh, PA 15210

It is improper to disclose the nature of these ceremonies; firstly, because their Initiates are bound by the strictest vows not to do so; secondly, because surprise is an element in their efficacy; and thirdly, because the Magical Formulae explicitly or implicitly contained therein are, from a practical point of view, both powerful and dangerous.  Automatic safeguards there are, it is true; but a Black Magician of first- class ability might find a way to overcome these obstacles, and work great mischief upon others before the inevitable recoil of his artillery destroys him.

Such cases I have known.  Let me recount briefly one rather conspicuous disaster.  The young man was a genius—and it was his bane.  He got hold of a talisman of enormous power which happened to be exactly what he wanted to fulfill his heart's dearest wish.  He knew also the correct way of getting it to work; but this way seemed to him far too long and difficult.  So he cast about for a short cut.  By using actual violence to the talisman, he saw how he could force it to carry out his design; he used a formula entirely alien to the spirit of the whole operation; it was rather like extracting information from a prisoner by torture, when patient courtesy would have been the proper method.  So he crashed the gate and got what he wanted.  But the nectar turned to poison even as he drained the cup, and his previous anguish developed into absolute despair.  Then came the return of the current, and they brought it in "while of unsound mind."  A most accurate diagnosis!

I do beg you to mark well, dear sister, that a true Magical Operation is never "against Nature."  It must go smoothly and serenely according to Her laws.  One can bring in alien energies and compel an endothermic reaction; but—"Pike's Peak or bust?"  The answer will always be BUST!

To return for a moment to that question of Secrecy: there is no rule to prohibit you from quoting against me such of my brighter remarks as "Mystery is the enemy of Truth;" but, for one thing, I am, and always have been, the leader of the Extreme Left in the Council-Chamber of the City of the Pyramids, so that if I acquiesce at all in the system of the O.T.O. so far as the "secret of secrets" of the IX° is concerned, it is really on a point of personal honour.  My pledge given to the late Frater Superior and O.H.O., Dr. Theodor Reuss.  For all that, in this particular instance it is beyond question a point of common prudence, both because the abuse of the Secret is, at least on the surface, so easy and so tempting, and because, if it became a matter of general knowledge the Order itself might be in danger of calumny and persecution; for the secret is even easier to misinterpret that to profane.

Lege!  Judica!  Tace!

Love is the law, love under will.



One should perhaps remark here that the secret to which he refers is not in the least easy to profane, although it can be misinterpreted, and often is, even by those who have access to it by lawful means but are unprepared to bear the weight of the responsibilities it brings to the Initiate's life. Even in it were openly published, it would be extremely hard for a profane to use it; as to those who, like Regardie, Grant, Yorke, McMurtry, forswore their Oaths and Obligations, and those who stole that to which they had no right, they have invariably found that they cannot avail themselves of it at all. Indeed, I have on occasion imparted it to people who had no real right to it, out of misguided compassion or an error of judgment; I have always noticed that within months, sometimes a few days, they had totally forgotten it, or were totally unable to understand what it was all about, no matter how many patient and repeated explanations, and even demonstrations, might be tried on their behalf. There is a lion in the way.

LETTER 14: Noise

Cara Soror:

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

You ask me what is, at the present time, the greatest obstacle to human progress.

I answer in one word: NOISE.

You will recall that in Yoga the concise compendium of Initiated Instruction is:

Sit still
Stop thinking
Shut up, and
Get out.

The second of these postulates the third; for one can neither think nor stop thinking with all that row going on.

Then again, the Fourth Power of the Sphinx is Silence; on this subject I must refer you to Little Essays Toward Truth No. 14 p. 75).

The references are to the original edition. This enormously important book will soon be re-issued by the O.T.O.

We are really trying to discuss something totally different; something practical in daily life.  Very well, then; you remark that Goetia actually means "howling", that we use officially the Bell, the Tom-Tom, the Incantations, the Mantras and so on.  All quite true, about Magick; but none of it applies to Yoga, for even with the Mantra the practice is to go faster and more quietly as one proceeds, until it becomes "Mental Muttering."  M is the letter that is pronounced with the lips firmly closed; and Silence is the meaning of the MU root of Mystery.

However, we must admit the value of rhythmical, one-pointed sound; that is very different from Noise.  Old French has noise, nose, a debate, quarrel, noise; Provençal noisa, nausa, nueiza.  But Diez claims the derivation from nausea—and by the Living Jingo, I consider Diez a hundred per cent white man!

He is facetiously imitating the language of so-called Jingoism, coined to describe the patriotic and imperialist themes of poems by Rudyard Kipling, who was detested by the British leftists, mis-called 'liberals.'

Now, most modern talking is little better than a series of conventional grunts; most people seem to aim deliberately at not saying anything with meaning, at least in normal conversation.  (James Branch Cabell is exceedingly funny in his displays of this intolerable habit.)

In his books.

I once had a most wholesome lesson: how diffuse and therefore unnecessary is much of even our most would-be-compressed speech.

I had been charged by my Superior with the reconstruction of a certain ritual.  This was in 1912 e.v.; already the tempo of the world had speeded up mercilessly; to get people to learn even short passages by heart would be no easy job. So, warned by the prolix, pious, priggish and platitudinous horrors of Freemasonry (especially the advanced degrees of the Scottish and Egyptian Rites), I resolved to cut the cackle and come to the 'osses in the most drastic manner of which I was capable.

It was a great success.

But then we had a candidate who was stone deaf.  (Not "a little hard of hearing;" his tympana were burst.)

Obviously, one could show him slips of paper, as one did in talking to him.  But there in much of the ceremony the candidate must be hoodwinked!

Nothing for it but to communicate by the deaf and dumb alphabet on his fingers.  This I did—and found that I could cut out on the spur of the moment at least forty per cent of the "Irreducible minimum" without doing any damage at all to the effect of the ritual.  "That larned 'im!"

Of course, there is such a thing as the Art of Conversation; I have been lucky enough to know three, perhaps four, of the world's best talkers; but that is not to the point.  As well object to impasto because it wastes paint.

This paragraph was cut out in Mr. Regardie's piracy, Crowley not only was fortunate enough to have known three, perhaps four, of the world's best talkers; he was one himself. What he means by the art of conversation can be dimly captured in the dialogue of some of Oscar Wilde's comedies of manners; "The Importance of Being Earnest," for instance. The magazine Punch published, some years ago, a very interesting article by a writer who had known Crowley personally during the days of his "fame," had once lunched with him and Louis Wilkinson and spent two fascinated and unforgettable hours listening to the repartee.

What I am out to complain of is what I seriously believe to be an organized conspiracy of the Black Lodges to prevent people from thinking.

Naked and unashamed!  In some countries there has already been compulsory listening-in to Government programmes; and who knows how long it will be before we are all subjected by law to the bleatings, bellowings, belchings of the boring balderdash of the B.B.C.-issies?

The following two paragraphs were excised by Mr. Regardie in his "version" of this book; considering the kind of people who must awaken his sympathies, the omission is understandable, if not pardonable.

They boast of the freedom of religious thought; yet only the narrowest sectarian propaganda is allowed to approach the microphone.  I quite expect censorship of books—that of the newspapers, however vehemently denied, is actually effective—and even of private letters.  This will mean an enormous increase in parasitic functionaries who can be trusted to vote for the rascals that invented their sinecures.  That was, in fact, the poison ivy that strangled the French poplar!

But these soul-suffocationg scoundrels know well their danger.  There are still a few people about who have learnt to think; and they are palsied with terror lest, as might happen at any moment these people realized the peril, organized, and made a clean sweep of the whole brood of scolex!

It is to the point to remind the reader that two years ago there was in the United States a television program that weekly aired social problems and asked the audience to comment; the comments were counted, and a statistical table of them shown at the start of the next program in the following week. It began to become clear that the overwhelming majority of the audience was too liberal and in favor of things that the Establishment fears: sexual freedom, legalization of drug use (though not of drug abuse - but how can you ascertain the difference when use is underground?), abortion, voluntary euthanasia, responsible government, honest police, efficient bureaucrats... The program was taken off the air under the excuse that it did not do well in the ratings. It had seven million viewers at the time.

So nobody must be allowed to think at all.  Down with the public schools! ...

In England, the expression 'public schools' is misleading: these are private schools to which only the children of the upper classes were sent, like the famous Eton.

... Children must be drilled mentally by quarter-educated herdsmen, whose wages would stop at the first sign of disagreement with the bosses.  For the rest, deafen the whole world with senseless clamour.  Mechanize everything! Give nobody a chance to think.  Standardize "amusement."  The louder and more cacophonous, the better!  Brief intervals between one din and the next can be filled with appeals, repeated 'till hypnotic power gives them the force of orders, to buy this or that product of the "Business men" who are the real power in the State.  Men who betray their country as obvious routine.

It may not be generally known that the real motive why the United States entered the Viet Nam war was that certain international business cartels were interested in the mineral wealth of that country.

The history of the past thirty years is eloquent enough, one would think.  What these sodden imbeciles never realize is that a living organism must adapt itself intelligently to its environment, or go under at the first serious change of circumstance.

Where would England be today if there had not been one man, deliberately kept "in the wilderness" for decades as "unsound," "eccentric," "dangerous," "not to be trusted," "impossible to work with," to take over the country from the bewildered "safe" men?

He means Winston Churchill.

And what could he have done unless the people had responded? Nothing. So then there is still a remnant whose independence, sense of reality, and manhood begin to count when the dear, good, woolly flock scatter in terror at the wolf's first howl.

Yes, they are there, and they can get us back our freedom—if only we can make them see that the enemy in Whitehall is more insidiously fatal than the foe in Brownshirt House.

The Nazis. The country was at war, remember.

On this note of hope I will back to my silence.

Love is the law, love under will.



The "hope" was short-lived; after the war the Socialists took over, as foreseen by Crowley, and reduced England to the shambles it now is.


Cara Soror:

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

Thank you!  I am to cover the whole question of sex in a few well-chosen words?  Am I to suppose that you want to borrow money?  Such fulsome flattery suggests the indirect approach.

As a matter of fact, your proposal is not so outrageous as it sounds at first; for as far as the English language goes, there is really hardly anything worth reading.  98.138 per cent of it is what Frances Ridley Ravergal used to call "fiddlesticks, blah, boloney, Bull-shit, and the bunk."

However, quite recently I issued an Encyclical to the Faithful with the attractive title of Artemis Iota, and I propose that we read this into the record, to save trouble, and because it gives a list of practically all the classics that you ought to read. Also, it condenses information and advice to "beginners," with due reference to the positive injunctions given in The Book of the Law.

Still, for the purpose of these letters, I should like to put the whole matter in a nutshell.  The Tree of Life, as usual, affords a convenient means of classification.

  1. To the physical side of it psychological laws apply.  "Don't monkey with the buzz-saw!" as John Wesley might have put it, though I doubt whether he did.
  2. The "moral" side.  As in the case of the voltage of a cissoid, there isn't one.  Mind your own business! is the sole sufficient rule.  To drag in social, economic, religious, and such aspects is irrelevance and impurity.
  3. As with all pioneers, Crowley was a bit confused about his aims. When he said 'moral aspects', he was thinking in terms of abstract morality based on obsolete religious codes. But this entire letter and Artemis Iota itself, are a sermon on morality. Thelemic Morality. A morality that is practical and actual, based on scientific findings.

  4. The Magical side.  Sex is, directly or indirectly, the most powerful weapon in the armoury of the Magician; and precisely because there is no moral guide, it is indescribably dangerous. I have given a great many hints, especially in Magick, and The Book of Thoth—some of the cards are almost blatantly revealing; so I have been rapped rather severely over the knuckles for giving children matches for playthings.  My excuse has been that they have already got the matches, that my explanations have been directed to add conscious precautions to the existing automatic safeguards.

The above remarks refer mainly to the technique of the business; and it is going a very long way to tell you that you ought to be able to work out the principles thereof from your general knowledge of Magick, but especially the Formula of Tetragrammaton, clearly stated and explained in Magick, Chap. III.  Combine this with the heart of Chap. XII and you've got it!

But there is another point at issue.  This incidentally, is where the "automatic safeguards" come in. "...thou hast no right but to do thy will." (AL I 42) means that to "go anwhoring after strange" purposes can only be disastrous.  It is possible, in chemistry, to provoke an endothermic reaction; but that is only asking for trouble.  The product bears within its own heart the seed of dissolution.  Accordingly, the most important preliminary to any Magical operation is to make sure that its object is not only harmonious with, but necessary to, your Great Work.

Note also that the use of this supreme method involves the manipulation of energies ineffably secret and most delicately sensitive; it compares with the operations of ordinary Magick as the last word in artillery does with the blunderbuss!

This paragraph was excised in Mr. Regardie's piracy, and its absence, along with the absence of another two paragraphs further on, makes Crowley's thought in this letter totally unintelligible to the reader.

I ought to have mentioned the sexual instinct or impulse in itself, careless of magical or any other considerations soever: the thing that picks you up by the scruff of the neck, slits your weasand with a cavalry sabre, and chucks the remains over the nearest precipice.

What is the damn thing, anyway?

That's just the trouble; for it is the first of the masks upon the face of the True Will; and that mask is the Poker-Face!

As all true Art is spontaneous, is genius, is utterly beyond all conscious knowledge or control ...

You can and should, however, achieve conscious control of the technique of execution; and this is what he is talking about.

..., so also is sex.  Indeed, one might class it as deeper still than Art; for Art does at least endeavour to find an intelligible means of expression.  That is much nearer to sanity than the blind lust of the sex-impulse.  The maddest genius does look from Chokmah not only to Binah, but to the fruit of that union in Da'ath and the Ruach; the sex-impulse has no use for Binah to understand, to interpret, to transmit.  It wants no more than an instrument which will destroy it.

These following two paragraphs were also excised in Mr. Regardie's piracy:

"Here, I say, Master, have a heart!"

Nonsense!  (I continue)  What I say is the plain fact, and well you know it!  More, damned up, hemmed in, twisted and tortured as it has been by religion and morality and all the rest of it, it has learnt to disguise itself, to appear in a myriad forms of psychosis, neurosis, actual insanity of the most dangerous types.  You don't have to look beyond Hitler!  Its power and its peril derive directly from the fatal fact that in itself it is the True Will in its purest form.

As the reader will realize, the absence of these paragraphs makes nonsense of the whole letter. Mr. Regardie's problem was that, like most whores who call themselves analysts, he is not in the business of helping people find their True Will, but in the business of fitting round pegs into square holes, no matter of what cost to the fittees. His purpose was to make smooth the running of a society conceived merely to put money in the pockets of people who already had too much money to start with. Please notice that this is not meant as a criticism of capitalism as a system. The communist world is just as full of Regardies as the United States of America, busily fitting round pegs into square holes to keep the Party hierarchy "safe". Moral cowardice by itself is despicable enough; but moral cowardice combined with personal and public dishonesty is really beyond comment. We cannot find words to describe Mr. Regardie's lack of character. Perhaps this feat on his part, and the others that went before and follow it, will describe it better than we could. Always pretending to want to "help Crowley", Mr. Regardie has done his best — meaning his worst — to castrate the man's thought and stand between it and the reader, like an Old Testament scarecrow, draped in the rags of Mosaic dogma, stuck in the field of the human mind.

What then is the magical remedy?  Obvious enough to the Qabalist.  "Love is the law, love under will."  It must be fitted at its earliest manifestations with its proper Binah, so as to flow freely along the Path of Daleth, and restore the lost Balance.  Attempts to suppress it are fatal, to sublime it are false and futile.  But guided wisely from the start, by the time it becomes strong it has learnt how to use its virtues to the best advantage.

And what of the parallel instinct in a woman?  Except in (rather rare) cases of congenital disease or deformity, the problem is never so acute.

For Binah, even while she winks a Chokmah, has the other eye wide-open, swivelled on Tiphareth.  Her True Will is thus divided by Nature from the start ...

He refers to woman, not to Binah, in what follows. It should be pondered, however, that in what pertains to mystical or magical training this problem may affect both sexes.

..., and her tragedy is if she fails to unite these two objects.  Oh, dear me, yes, I know all about "spretæ injuria formæ" and "furens quid femina possit"; but that is only because when she misses her bite she feels doubly baffled, robbed not only of the ecstatic Present, but of the glamorous Future.  If she eat independently of the Fruit of the Tree of Life when unripe, she has not only the bad taste in the mouth, but indigestion to follow.  Then, living as she does so much in the world of imagination, constantly living shadow-pictures of her Desire, she is not nearly so liable to the violent insanities of sheer blind lust, as is the male.  The essential difference is indicated by that of their respective orgasms, the female undulatory, the male catastrophic.

This paragraph was also excised, perhaps because Mr. Regardie thought it might seem insulting to female readers; perhaps because it reminded him of the famous episode of the Golden Calf. If Mr. Regardie's motive was the former, it is interesting that he should show such concern not to offend women, when by his previous censorship of this Letter he had already deprived them - and men as well! — from the deep knowledge of one's sexual impulses that Crowley had been trying to impart. But Mr. Regardie's main trouble in life always was the kind of shallowness of thought and action that springs from fear of facing the limitations of one's own self.

The above, taken all in all, may not be fully comprehensive, not wholly satisfying to the soul, but one thing with another, enough for a cow to chew the cud on.

Good night!

Love is the law, love under will.





De coitu

Scholla Triviae

"Dianae sumus in dife Puellae et pueri integri Dianam pueri integri Puellaque canamus."


The quoted verses might be translated into English this way: "We chaste boys and girls are in the care of Diana; we chaste boys and girls together praise Diana."

Please notice that the emphasis is Crowley's, and is meant to be significant to the reader. He considered this tract on sexual morality extremely important to women; yet very much dependent on right conduct by men. Diana is the Roman form of the Goddess Artemis, the Goddess of Chastity. The tract, therefore, treats of Initiatic Chastity, which has absolutely nothing to do with Christist, Jewish, Brahmin, Moslem, Buddhist or even Marxist concepts of the sort. Observe the difference between the word for "chastity" in the Classical Latin, the root of which is integer - with its sense of whole, of wholesomeness - and the word for "chastity" in Christist Latin (which has been the standard imposed by torture and genocide for fifteen hundred years), derived from "castus," which means walled up, enclosed, restricted. "Integri" meant integral, complete, with no part, function or member lacking by nature: working as a harmonious whole. An integrated psychosoma might be a very accurate translation in modern psychoanalytical jargon.

Artemis Iota is required reading for Hermits of Θελημα of both sexes; for Initiates of the Inner and Secret Circles of the O.T.O.; for A∴A∴ Aspirants; and for any human being interested in living a sane and civilized existence. Perhaps some day it will be required reading in school curricula in this world; if ever it is, this world will be much closer to "Paradise" than it is now.

Try to understand that you are not just supposed to read and study this, you are supposed to practice it. Moral courage, personal integrity and — believe it or not — rigorous self-denial are sine qua non conditions for its practice. You will find that the tenets here expressed are essential to physical and emotional, to say nothing of moral, health; and you will also find that these tenets are savagely hated and fought against in all the codes of the past Aeon. The laws of the country where you may live, reader — and your country may be anywhere in this world, and follow any political statute soever — were made to curtail the activities that here you find stated to be not only the right but the duty of every living being, humans included. Those statutes are deadly to the human soul: they must be fought against and changed at any cost if our species is to progress to the net turn of the evolutionary helix. And since much of what you must do will be painful to your ego, those statutes will take advantage of your egoic hangups to try to put you on their side. You must be always on your guard not to fall into this trap. Mr. Regardie did, unhappy wretch!

Read! Think! Be brave! And act! For intentions that are not sealed by deeds are worthless. And harmful to you and the species.

The Word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will; O lover, if thou wilt, depart. There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it to the aeons!
(AL I 41)

The references, unless otherwise stated, are to Liber AL vel Legis, the Table of Commandments of this Aeon.

Consent or refusal are to be determined by the impulse itself, without reference to any other motives such as commonly influence action.

This means simply what it says. If you are married, you are not to bed your wife or husband unless you feel like it. If you are married, and want to bed a man or woman other than your mate, you are to do so without letting the fact that you are married come into the matter. There is no sensible reason why it should. Marriage is a social contract, not a set of chains. Chastity belts are out. Naturally, this will seem very pleasant to you when you are the one "indulging your base nature," but when it is your wife, or husband, or person-friend, you will probably be tempted to tut—tut. Don't. And if you sulk, try to not do it in the other person's (or persons') presence. It will be very hard to act human at first, but eventually you will be able to rise above the level of Christist quadrupeds. And you will feel the difference at last. If you survive.

So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do they will.
(AL I 42)

Every thought, word or act without exception is subject to this Law. "Do what thou wilt" does not give license to do anything else; lest this be not understood, the doctrine is here explicit: "Thou hast not right but to do thy will."

Jealous screams do not manifest your will: rather, the lack of it. Jealous sobs are no better. Grow up!

Every particle of energy must be built into this single-track machine of will; directly or indirectly, it must serve the one purpose. A very small hole in the hull may sink a very large ship.

Every act, therefore, with the thoughts and words which determine its performance, is a sacrament.

A sacrament is something that marks you, and creates you. So, if you are a Regardie carefully censoring Crowley, this creates you. If you play the martyr or the tyrant to restrict your mate's sexual yearning for someone else, this creates you. You create yourself daily by your deeds. Try to create yourself a human being, rather than a troglodyte! And beware, for a human who denies either his or her own soul, or restricts the soul of others, becomes something lower and more dangerous than the beasts.

Now, of all acts the most intrinsically important is the act of love. Firstly, because the ecstasy which accompanies its due performance is a physical image, or hint, of the state of Samadhi, since the consciousness of the Ego is temporarily in abeyance; secondly, because its normal effect on the material plane is, or may be, incalculably vast. (The emphasis upon the word due is absolute.) Precisely because it is so powerful a weapon, it use is hedged in with manifold precautions, and its abuse deprecated in injunctions heavily charged with menace:

Also, take your will and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me.
(AL I 51)

Like the scorpion, the sting is on the tail: "But always unto me" means, without restricting the will of anybody, or even any living being, at all. If, or instance, you decide to fuck a dog — a real dog, you know, four—legged, not a politician or a Moral Majority leader of a TV "evangelist" — you better make damn sure the animal has no negative reactions to the occasion. (If you love dogs, you will be able to notice if it wants to fuck you, or be fucked by you, or not; and if you don't love dogs, what are you doing fucking one, anyway? Try to remember that violating an animal is even worse than raping a human being. The human may react, may even kill you; the animal is helpless in the hands of a more intelligent, supposedly higher—evolved being.)

If this be not aright; if ye confound the space-marks, saying: They are one; or saying, They are many; if the ritual be not ever unto me: then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit!
(AL I 52)

This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart and my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss.
(AL I 53)

The "little world my sister" is the Planet Earth - our planet, in case you hadn't noticed; and if you practice Artemis Iota to the letter, you will contribute to the regeneration of Mother Earth, the Mother of us all who live on it, but just one "little sister" to the Being who was speaking.

...But ecstasy be thine and joy of earth: ever To me! To me!

Please notice carefully the juxtaposition of the quoted verses. We shall return to this after quoting them as they were put by Crowley, and in the order they were put in by Crowley.

... Ye shall gather goods and store of women and Spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in Splendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy.
(AL I 61)

There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries; veil not your vices in virtuous words; these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter.
(AL II 52)

This paragraph is directed to either heterosexual men or homosexual women with a penchant for the "active role."; the paragraph just above this note is directed to women of any sexual persuasion whatsoever.

There is help & hope in other spells. Wisdom says: be strong! Than canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!
(AL II 70)

But exceed! exceed!
(AL II 71)

Strive ever to more! and if thou art truly mine - and doubt it not, an if thou art ever joyous! - death is the crown of all.
(AL II 72)

Here is confirmation in detail of AL I, 41. This act is a definite electric or magnetic phenomenon. No other considerations apply. (It will therefore occasionally seem, to an outsider, unreasonable.)...

Remember that the outsider may be you! Control of one's ego is paramount; also, control at one's pain at seeing an object of love find joy in some other being's embrace, for we have been taught for generations that 'infidelity' in our lover is 'sinful' and, what is worse, diminishes our self-importance. Whoever follows the precepts of Artemis Iota is swimming against the current of hundreds of thousands of years of conditioning, for those "moral codes" are not really moral at all: they are social expressions of animal instincts pretending to be human under the guise of "divine authority". 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife,' for instance, sounds very fine; but did anybody ask the wife's opinion? They used to stone "adulteresses" to death, you may recall. All this hypocrisy and double-standard has to go. You must make a conscious effort to destroy it, no matter how painful it may be to you. Or to others!

... The only exception - it is only apparently so - is when satisfaction of the impulse would manifestly thwart the True Will more than it would help to fulfill it; any such case must be judged on its merits.

"But always unto Me". The word always admits of no exception; "unto Me" may be paraphrased as the "fulfillment of one possibility necessary to the achievement of the Great Work"...

This is a specialized interpretation, for those undergoing training in an Initiatic Order. A paraphrase useful to the average human being might be "but always according to the will of all parties involved in the act;" or, "but with no harm to the Eco-system."

Every act is a sacrament, but this pre-eminently so. The text continues with a plain threat: "if the ritual be not ever unto me, then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit." To profane this sacrament of sacraments is the most fatal of errors and offences, for it is high treason to the Great Work itself.

The next verse repeats: "If the ritual be not ever unto me;" and it is emphasized and fortified with a threat. The offender is no longer in free enjoyment of the caresses of the Goddess of Love; he is cast out in to the penal constraint of the merciless and terrible God of Chapter III.

He means chapter III of The Book of the Law.

"...Be goodly therefore; dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where..."

This refers to the technique of the art; it will be explained later in this essay.

"...and with whom ye will."

This repeats what has been said already above in the notes to AL I 41.

Verse 53 asserts the importance of this dogma. Neglect of these prescriptions has been responsible for the endless and intolerable agonies, the hideous and unmitigable disasters of the past.

The Qabalist may note that "To me!" at the end of this verse not only repeats the adjuration, but is a Magical Seal set upon the dogma. (Verse 54 is a hint to seek the secret.)

In Greek letters, TO MH adds to 418; it is identical with Abrahadabra, the cipher of the Great Work. Meditation should lead the student to considerations even deeper and more fruitfull.

Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God.
(AL I, 57.)

Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious langour, force and fire are of us.
(AL II 20)

I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, O man! lust, and enjoy all things of sense and rapture: feat not that any God shall deny thee for this.
(AL II, 22.)

Straight to the point. This verse quoted is again partly warning, partly admonition, and should be ample explanation of why this tract is required reading for Hermits of Θελημα.

Behold! these be grave mysteries; for there are also of my friends who be hermits. Now think not to find them in the forest or on the mountain; but in beds of purple, caressed by magnificent beasts of women with large limbs, and fire and light in their eyes, and masses of flaming hair about them; there shall ye find them.
(AL II 24)

But ye, o my people, rise up & awake!
Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy and beauty!
There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times.
A feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride!
A feast for the three days of the writing of the Book of the Law.
A feast for Tahuti and the child of the Prophet - secret, O Prophet!
A feast for the Supreme Ritual, and a feast for the Equinox of the Gods.
A feast for fire and a feast for water; a feast for life and a greater feast for death!
A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my rapture!
A feast every night unto Nuit, and the pleasure of uttermost delight!
Aye! feast! rejoice! there is no dread hereafter. There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu.
(AL II 34-44)

These verses refer once more to the concomitants of the act; they indicate the adjuvants to the technique; and they indicate the spirit in which it should be approached. The detached scientific attitude of enquiry and preparation is preliminary; the object is to foresee hindrances, to facilitate and to direct the current; but the impulse itself is Enthusiasm.

The next quoted verses are put together especially for the woman reader. One of them has already been quoted; but he repeats it, because of its importance.

There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not your vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter.
(AL II 52)

Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you.
Also for beauty's sake and love's.
(AL III 55-56)

The student should assimilate the doctrine of the "Black Bothers" ...

Here Mr. Germer added a note to the original edition: "See Letter 12 of this book."

To refuse to fulfill any of one's possibilities is the direct negation of the Great Work.

It should be remarked in passing, for the benefit of the average woman reader, that the feminist movement is under constant and insidious attack from the "Mary" syndrome. We find supposedly feminist groups trying to ban pornography and even girlie photos in magazines, without taking the trouble to find out whether the women who participate in those enterprises enjoy them, and want to participate in them, or are compelled by force to do so, which seems unlikely. Until before World War I women who worked in any capacity other than a housewife were looked upon with suspicious of being "immoral," "fast," or "loose." By the definition of the cults of the Slave-gods, of course they were. Sexual freedom is not only a right of any woman, it is also a pleasure. Feminism is not hatred of men, an unfortunate by-product of it, is being used to influence feminists as a whole to avoid the male, or sexual activity with the male, except in terms that, if you look carefully upon them, differ from the old standards only because of a reversal of roles. In short, feminists are supposed to be "chaste," and men are supposed not to want a woman as a "sex object." So what is wrong about wanting someone as a sex object? I have often been looked upon as a sex object, happily sometimes by women, and I enjoyed the proceedings in bed well enough, with no strings attached. The emphasis on not being regarded as "sex objects" is merely another attempt of the enemy to lead women back into servitude. It is very natural that a woman should not want to be regarded only as a sex object; but if this happens with a man whom you find sexy enough for one night, but not a man you would want to spend your entire existence with, so what? Unfortunately, this subject is too complex to go into at length here. Feminists should beware of any tendencies to restrict their sexual life out of "respect" for artificial standards of "dignity," or abstract concepts of what being a feminist is. A feminist certainly wants to do more than fuck; but unless fucking is included in your program, sisters, and fucking with men at that, I will tend to suspect your motives. Crowley next repeats several other verses, this time to emphasize sexual technique.

There is help & hope in other spells. Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!
But exceed! exceed!
Strive ever to more! and if thou art truly mine - and doubt it not, an if thou art ever joyous! - death is the crown of all.
(AL II 70-72)

Here, in a few simple phrases, is a complete guide — in skeleton — to the Art of Love.
Genius without technique is often clumsy and unintelligible; but technique without genius is dry bones. Genius is there, or is not there; nor wit nor work avail if it be absent. Yet one may maintain that it is always there, since "Every man and every woman is a star." In any case only technique responds to study and exercise; it has been written that it "demands as much study as theology, and as much practice as billiards." All one can do is
(a) to unleash,
(b) to direct, the latent genius. In countries hostile to civilization, ("horribilesque ultimosque Brittanos"), and their colonies ...

The Latin phrase means here: "Britain the most horrible of all." But from what one reads, even in their own propaganda, it seems that Soviet Russia and Red China are not far behind.

..., past and present ...

That got the good old U.S.A. into it, boys and girls. And Australia. And Canada. And New Zealand. And Ireland. And ...

..., the technique is almost non-existent; individuals who possess it in any degree of perfection owe their pre-eminence, in almost every case, to tuition and training under the natives of happier and less barbaric parts of the world. Each type of race or culture has its own special virtues.
A. Study: The student should study, bear in mind, and take to heart, such classics as the Ananga-Ranga, the Bagh-i-Muattar of Abdullah el Haji ...

Cf. Equinox V 4, subtitled Sex and Religion, for this.

..., the Kama Shastra, the Kama Sutra, the Scented Garden of the Sheik Nefzawi, and certain scientific or pseudo-scientific treatises (usually upon the deformities of nature, or the abuses of ignorance) by numerous authors, mostly French, German, Austrian or Italian. "Energized Enthusiasm," EQ. I, 9, is of palmary virtue.
(Liber LXVI, Liber CCCLXX, Liber DCCCXXXI, Liber CLXXV, Liber LCVI and others, also in The Equinox, are official publications of the A∴A∴) There are also various classics of the subject, helpful to assimilate the romantic and enthusiastic atmosphere proper to the practice of the Art; one may instance Catullus, Juvenal (specially the Sixth Satire), Martial, Petronius Arbiter, Apuleius, Bocaccio, Masucci, Francois Rabelais, de Balzac (Contes Drolatiques), de Sade (Justine, Juliette, et al.), Andre de Nerciat, Alfred de Musset and Georges Sand (Gamiani; ou Deux nuits d'exces), Sacher Masoch (Venus in Furs), with the English and American too numerous to list, but notably the poets in Holy Orders: Swift, Sterne, Herrick, Donne, and Herbert.

There is also a complete literature of mysticism which approaches or implies this matter; but this type of work is, for the younger student, as dangerous as it is superficially attractive. It encourages the sense of guilt, teaches the venomous art of self-exculpation, and extols that very hypocrisy which Freedom notably condemns.

"Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries."
(AL II 52)

B. Practice: No one teacher, however gifted, can possibly cover one hundredth part of the groundwork of this Art. The best tuition is that of trained and consecrated experts; next, that of men and women of natural genius.

C. Original Research: This should be based upon the broadest possible knowledge, and the deepest understanding of the same; and upon the results of the scope and intensity of one's practice.

But exceed! exceed!
(AL II 71)

But always unto Me.
(AL I 51)

LETTER 16: On Concentration

Cara Soror:

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

You wisely ask me for a special letter on Concentration; you point out that I have implied it constantly, but never given plain instruction.

This paragraph was cut out by Mr. Regardie, probably as part of the Zionist campaign to give the public the impression that Crowley admired the Nazis, if not the "Prophet" Samuel.

It hope I have not been so vague as to allow you to suppose that Concentration Camps are evidence that benevolent and enlightened governments are at last seriously concerned to educate the world to Yoga; but I do agree that it cannot do great harm if I take a dose of my own medicine, and gather into one golden sheaf all the ripe corn of my wisdom on this subject.

For concentration does indeed unlock all doors; it lies at the heart of every practice as it is of the essence of all theory; and almost all the various rules and regulations are aimed at securing adeptship in this matter.  All the subsidiary work—awareness, one-pointedness, mind- fullness and the rest—is intended to train you to this.

All the greetings, salutations, "Saying Will," periodical adorations, even saying Apo pantos kakodaimonos with a downward and outward sweep of the arm, the eyes averted, when one sees a person dressed in a religious (Christian) uniform: all these come under "Don't stroke the cat the wrong way!" or, in the modern pseudo-scientific journalese jargon "streamlining life."

Note by David Bersson: It is a fulfillment of the command in the Book of the Law to Curse them. Cf. AL Ch. III vs. 50 - 55. Serious students should be banishing not only the Christist Priests and Roman Catholic Nuns but any Church as you pass them,. You cannot stop here, however, look at the rest of the verses, for instance, and you see that Mohammad is Cursed as well. This means all the symbolism connected with their creed must be cursed as well. I have actually pondered whether September 11th would of occurred if the Command to curse Mohammad had been obeyed by those who are called Thelemites.

Again this next paragraph was cut out by Mr. Regardie, perhaps because he thought Crowley was promoting himself — Mr. Regardie probably feels that he holds a monopoly on this.

Let us see if Frater Perdurabo has anything to the point! Of course, Part I of Book 4 is devoted to it; but there is too much, and not enough, to be useful to us just now.

One should perhaps explain, for the benefit of people slightly more perceptive than Mr. Regardie, that Crowley in his old age felt as alien to "Frater Perdurabo" as he would have felt as a boy. In his old age, Crowley was a Master of the Temple AND a Magus AND an Ipsissimus: the subsets of his Being were distant, often quaint, curiosities to him. Mr. Regardie was never able to perceive this, because Mr. Regardie was never able to analyse himself into his constituent parts; he did not have any.

What your really need is the official Instruction in The Equinox, and the very fullest and deepest understanding of Eight Lectures on Yoga; but these lectures are so infernally interesting that when I look into the book for something to quote, it carries me away with it.  I can't put it down, I forget all about this letter.  Rather a back-handed advertisement for Concentration!

The best way is the hardest; to forget all this and start from the beginning as if there had never been anything on the subject written before.

I must keep always in mind that you are assumed to know nothing whatever about Yoga and Magick, or anything else beyond what the average educated person may be assumed to have been taught.

What is the problem?  There are two.

β: To train the mind to move with the maximum speed and energy, with the utmost possible accuracy in the chosen direction, and with the minimum of disturbance or friction.  That is Magick.

α: To stop the mind altogether.  That is Yoga.

The rules, strangely enough, are identical in both cases; at least, until your "Magick" is perfect; Yoga merely goes on a step further.  In Beta you have reduced all movements from many to One; in Alpha you reduce that One to Zero.

Now then, with a sigh of relief, know you this: that every possible incident in the Beta training is mutatis mutandis, perfectly familiar to the engineer.

The material must be chosen and prepared in the kind and in the manner, best suited to the design of the intended machine; the various parts must be put together with the utmost precision; every obstacle to the function must be removed, and every source of error eliminated.  Now cheer up, child!  In the case of a machine that he has devised and constructed himself with every condition in his favour, he thinks he is doing not too badly if he gets some fifteen or twenty per cent of the calculated efficiency out of the instrument; and even Nature, with millions of years to adjust and improve, very often cannot boast of having done much better.  So you have no reason to be discouraged if success does not smile upon you in the first week or so of your Work, starting as you do with material of whose properties you are miserably ignorant, with means pitifully limited, with Laws of Nature which you do not understand; in fact, with almost everything against you but indomitable Will and unconquerable courage.

This paragraph, again, was cut out by Mr. Israel Regardie, presumably because the poets quoted were not popular with the intelligentsia in his days; and Mr. Regardie brown—nosed the intelligentsia as much as he could.

(I know I'm a poor contemptible Lowbrow; but I refuse to be ashamed for finding Kipling's "If" and Henley's Don't remember—the title; they may not be poetry ...

This was the contention of the Bloomsbury intelligentsia, most of it pseudo-liberal and socialist. I have never read Henley, but Kipling's "If" is poetry of a kind that its critics themselves could never have achieved. Applied to Crowley's own life, it shows that he was a Man, while Mr. Regardie was a pseudo-magician, a pseudo-psychoanalyst and now also, as we can see, a pseudo-Crowley. One wonders if he had ambitions of becoming a pseudo-Thelemite?

...; but they are honest food and damned good beer for the plebeian wayfarer.  It was such manhood, not the left-wing high-brow Bloomsbury sissies, that kept London through the blitz.  Pray forgive the digression!)

But it is not really a digression at all. Kipling's poem describes exactly the kind of vicissitudes that anyone who takes up self-development of the depth and scope of Initiation may expect from life and his or her fellowpersons, and I suppose that Henley's does something similar. Incidentally, during World War II, Kipling's "If" was found framed in the office or home of the great majority of working Britons. This, of course, does not include the intelligentsia, who never work anywhere, just play. The poet had been in disgrace for several years already, and it is interesting that he should have surfaced, in this one poem at least, despite the loud complaints of the critics, at one of the most difficult times in the history of England. After the conflict, the intelligentsia again managed to banish him from the minds of his countrymen, with the beautiful results that are so evident at the present time and which Crowley, incidentally, had foreseen in his prophetic poem, Carmen Saeculare, decades before:

The harlot that men called great Babylon,
In crimson raiment and in smooth attire,
The scarlet leprosy that shamed the sun,
The gilded goat that piled the world for hire; -
Her days of wealth and majesty are done:
Men trample her for mire!

The temple of the God is broken down;
Yes, Mammon's shine is cleansed! The house of her
That cowed the world with her malignant frown,
And drove the Celt to exile and despair,
Is battered now — God's fire destroys the town;
London admits God's air.

This was written forty-five years before London was razed by the Nazi raids. (One may protest that the Nazis were hardly God - but either everything is God, or nothing is.) Interestingly enough, a note to this poem reads: "Crowley, an Irishman, was passionately attached to the Celtic movement, and only abandoned it when found that it was a mere mask for the hideous features of Roman Catholicism."

The poem was written in 1900 e.v., published with the note in 1905 e.v. He wasn't fooled for very long, was he? Yet, many Irishmen support the I.R.A. to this day, in spite of its characteristically Roman Catholic brutality and cruelty, only to be compared to the Zionist blood thirst in Palestine. One might remark here that the majority of the Nazi sympathizers and many of the party itself were devout Roman Catholics, and that the Vatican abetted the killing of the Jews in Germany as long as it publicly could. What some Roman Catholic clergymen are reported to have done to help, they did of their own initiative, not on orders from Rome.

There is only one method to adopt in such circumstances as those of the Aspirant to Magick and Yoga: the method of Science.  Trial and error.  You must observe.  That implies, first of all, that you must learn to observe.  And you must record your observations.  No circumstance of life is, or can be irrelevant.  "He that is not with me is against me." ...

This direct quotation from the "Gospels" shows either the attitude of a "Black Brother" or of a ruthless politician, if applied to the society of humans; but applied to the society of the component parts of the self, it is the only way to achieve efficient rule, and thus become able to do one's Will.

... In all these letters you will find only two things: either I tell you what is bad for you, or what is good for you.  But I am not you; I don't know every detail of your life, every trick of your thought.  You must do ninety percent of the work for yourself.  Whether it is love, or your daily avocation, or diet, or friends, or amusement, or anything else, you must find out what helps you to your True Will and what hinders; cherish the one and eschew the other.

I want to insist most earnestly that concentration is not, as we nearly all of us think, a matter of getting things right in the practices; you must make every breath you draw subservient to the True Will, to fertilize the soil for the practices.  When you sit down in your Asana to quiet your mind, it is much easier for you if your whole life has tended to relative quietude; when you knock with your Wand to announce the opening of an Invocation, it is better if the purpose of that ceremony has been simmering in the background of your thought since childhood!

But coming from your psychosoma; not from the instigation of Daddy or Mommy or Auntie or some preacher or "priest." Children should never be biased by adults towards any one particular form of ideology or creed. On this subject, cf. Liber Aleph, Chs. 35-42.

Yes indeed: background!

Deep down, on the very brink of the subconscious, are all those facts which have determined you to choose this your Great Work.

Then, the ambition, conscious, which arranges the general order and disposition of your life.

Lastly, the practices themselves.  And my belief is that the immense majority of failures have their neglect to brush up their drill to thank for it.

And the vast majority of candidates are failures, for precisely that cause. Cf. The Dao De Jing, Chapter 63, and The Yi Jing, Hexagram 9, and the notes thereon. The next paragraph was again excised by Mr. Regardie, obviously because it advertised Crowley's books rather than his. The fact that Crowley’s books have always been incomparably better than his in everything was probably an added incentive to censorship.

For technical advice on all these subjects, I shall refer you to those official works mentioned in the early part of this letter; I shall be happy if you will take to heart what I am now so violently thrusting at you, this Middle Work of Concentration.

Crowley uses "Middle Work" here in both the Qabalistic sense of necessary to reach the experiences of the Middle Path and in the Daoistic sense. The serious reader should study particularly Little Essays Towards Truth, Yoga and Magick, Eight Lectures on Yoga, Thelemic Magick and Equinox I 4. A practice that is difficult but most important in the acquisition of Concentration is detailed in Liber III, one of the Official Instructions of the A∴A∴.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER 17: Astral Journey: Example, How to do it, How to Verify your Experience

Cara Soror:

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

There is no better way of training the memory than the practice of the Holy Qabalah.

On the principle that if you repeat yourself enough, even a parrot may learn to speak. It worked with Mr. Regardie.

The whole mechanism of memory depends on joining up independent data.  You must go on adding a little to little, always joining the simple impressions by referring them to others which are more general; and so on until the whole of your universe is arranged like the brain and the nervous system.  This system in fact, becomes the Universe.  When you have got everything properly correlated, your central consciousness understands and controls every tiniest detail.  But you must begin at the beginning—you go out for a walk, and the first thing you see is a car; that represents the Atu VII, the Chariot, referred to Cancer.

Then you come to a fishmonger, and notice certain crustacea, very mala chostomous.  This comes under the same sign of Cancer.  The next thing you notice is an amber-coloured dress in Swan and Edgar's ...

A popular woman's fashion shop at the time in London. Writing "mala costomous" as he did was either a mispelling by the secretary or, more likely, a pun on "mal-accustomed." But a crab that knows it is going to the pan has every right to be crabby.

...; amber also is the colour of Cancer in the King's Scale.  Now then you have a set of three impressions which is joined together by the fact that they all belong to the Cancer class; experience will soon teach that you can remember all three very much more clearly and accurately than you could any one of the three singly.

You have not increased the burden on your memory, but diminished it.

What you say about tension and eagerness and haste is very true.  See The Book of the Law, Chapter I, 44.

"For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect."

This, from a practical point of view, is one of the most important verses in the book.

The unusual word "unassuaged" is very interesting.  People generally suppose that "will" is the slave of purpose, that you cannot will a thing properly unless you are aiming at a definite goal.  But this is not the case.  Thinking of the goal actually serves to distract the mind.  In these few words is included the whole method without all the bombastic piety of the servile doctrine of mysticism about the surrender of the Will.  Nor is this idea of surrender actually correct; the will must be identified with the Divine Will, so-called.  One wants to become like a mighty flowing river, which is not consciously aiming at the sea, and is certainly not yielding to any external influence.  It is acting in conformity with the law of its own nature, with the Tao ...

The Dao can always be defined as the Law of the Nature of Any Thing soever.

... One can describe it, if necessary, as "passive love" ...

Cf. Liber VII V, 46 for this important point.

...; but it is love (in effect) raised to its highest potential.  We come back to the same thing: when passion is purged of any "lust of result" it is irresistible; it has become "Law." I can never understand why it is that mystics fail to see that their smarmy doctrine of surrender actually insists upon the duality which they have set out to abolish!

This paragraph, which is of vital importance to A∴A∴ Aspirants, was expurgated from Mr. Regardie's "edition."

I certainly have no intention of "holding you down" to "a narrow path of work" or any path ...

This reference should be explained. She has not accused him to holding her down to a narrow path of work; she has asked him to do so. His refusal is typical of Our Method, and he proceeds to explain why We work as We do.

... All I can do is to help you to understand clearly the laws of your own nature, so that you may go ahead without extraneous influence.  It does not follow that a plan that I have found successful in my own case will be any use to you.  That is another cardinal mistake of most teachers.  One must have become a Master of the Temple to annihilate one's ego.  Most teachers, consciously or unconsciously, try to get others to follow in their steps. I might as well dress you up in my castoff clothing!  (In the steps of the MasterAt the feet of the Master.  Steward!)

The two quotations are titles of Toshosophic tracts written under the "guidance" of Besant and Leadbeater. It is extremely informative that Regardie should have excised this paragraph.

Please observe that the further you get on, the higher your potential, the greater is the tendency to leak, or even to break the containing vessel ...

The Path does not become "easier" as you Go. It becomes harder, more dangerous, and the dangers subtler. There is no point at which you reach that "Perfection" which is the aim of the lazy and the unintelligent, wherein you are "incapable of error." Even the Master of the Temple or the Magus can make mistakes. If the Ipsissimus be exempt from this frailty - which We do not know — it is because the Ipsissimus does not "act" as such. Wherever relative action is possible, error is possible. Our responsibility is much greater than yours, and Our burden at all times reflects Our responsibility. Whoso envies the true Master either dislikes hard work or is addicted to it...

... I can help you by warning you against setting up obstacles, real or imaginary, in your own path; which is what most people do.  It is almost laughable to think that the Great Work consists merely in "letting her rip;" but Karma bumps you from one side of the toboggan slide to the other, until you come into the straight."  (There's a chapter or two in the Book of Lies about this, but I haven't got a copy.  I must find one, and put them in here.  Yes: p. 22)

This refers to the original edition.

O thou that settest out upon the Path, false is the Phantom that thou seekest.  When thou hast it thou shalt know all bitterness, thy teeth fixed in the Sodom—Apple.

Thus hast thou been lured along that Path, whose terror else had driven thee far away.

O thou that stridest upon the middle of the Path, no phantoms mock thee.  For the stride's sake thou stridest.

Thus art thou lured along that Path, whose fascination else had driven thee far away.

O thou that drawest toward the End of The Path, effort is no more. Faster and faster dost thou fall; thy weariness is changed into Ineffable Rest.

For there is no Thou upon that Path: thou hast become The Way.

Yes, but this is part of the Hierophant's propaganda. The "Way" is as described in Crane's The Wayfarer... No wonder the Hierophant's smile is so cryptic!

As in the Yi King, the 3rd hexagram has departed from the original perfection, and it takes all the rest of the hexagrams to put things right again.

The result, it is true, is superior; the perfection of the original has been enhanced and enriched by its experience.

Of course, one may ask how Perfection may be improved. But such thoughts are Neschamic, and contain their own contradiction. Most human beings worth their salt - read Binah! - cannot stand personal ease for longer than it takes for the person to recuperate from past vicissitudes. An extended vacation soon palls; retirement from life spells death, or deterioration of one's faculties. If you do not believe us, visit Florida or the Riviera!

There is another way of defining the Great Work.  That explains to us the whole object of manifestation, of departing from the perfection of "Nothing" towards the perfection of "everything", and one may consider this advan- tage, that it is quite impossible to go wrong.  Every experience, whatever may be its nature, is just another necessary bump.

Naturally one cannot realize this until one becomes a Master of the Temple; consequently one is perpetually plunged in sorrow and despair.  There is, you see, a good deal more to it than merely learning one's mistakes.  One can never be sure what is right and what is wrong, until one appreciates that "wrong" is equally "right."  Now then one gets rid of the idea of "effort" which is associated with "lust of result." All that one does is to exercise pleasantly and healthfully one's energies.

It will not do to regard "man" as the "final cause" of manifestation. Please do not quote myself against me.

"Man is so infinitely small,
 In all these stars, determinate.

 Maker and master of them all,
 Man is so infinitely great."

The human apparatus is the best instrument of which we are, at present, aware in our normal consciousness; but when you come to experience the Conversation of the higher intelligences, you will understand how imperfect are your faculties.  It is true that you can project these intelligences as parts of yourself, or you can suppose that certain human vehicles may be temporally employed by them for various purposes; but these speculations tend to be idle.  The important thing is to make contact with beings, whatever their nature, who are superior to yourself, not merely in degree but it kind.  That is to say, not merely different as a Great Dane differs from a Chihuahua, but as a buffalo differs from either.

Of course you are perfectly right about the senses ...

This is a direct reference to an objection in her letter.

... though I would not agree to confine the meaning to the five which are common to most people.  There must, one might suspect, be ways of apprehending directly such phenomena as magnetism, electrical resistance, chemical affinity and the like.  Let me direct you once more to The Book of the Law, Chapter II, vs. 70 - 72:

There is help & hope in other spells.  Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy.  Be not animal; refine thy rapture! 

If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!

"But exceed! exceed!

"Strive ever to more! and if thou art truly mine—and doubt it not, an if thou art ever joyous!—death is the crown of all."

The mystic's idea of deliberately stupefying and stultifying himself is an "abomination unto the Lord."  This, by the way, does not conflict with the rules of Yoga.  That kind of suppression is comparable to the restrictions in athletic training, or diet in sickness.

Now we get back to the Qabalah—how to make use of it.

In Astral work, he means.

Let us suppose that you have been making an invocation, or shall we call it an investigation, and suppose you want to interpret a passage of Bach.  To play this is the principal weapon of your ceremony.  In the course of your operation, you assume your astral body and rise far above the terrestrial atmosphere, while the music continues softly in the background.  You open your eyes, and find that it is night.  Dark clouds are on the horizon; but in the zenith is a crown of constellations.  This light helps you, especially as your eyes become accustomed to the gloom, to take in your surroundings.  It is a bleak and barren landscape.  Terrific mountains rim the world.  In the midst looms a cluster of blue-black crags. 

Now there appears from their recesses a gigantic being.  His strength, especially in his hands and in his loins, it terrifying.  He suggests a combination of lion, mountain goat and serpent; and you instantly jump to the idea that this is one of the rare beings which the Greeks called Chimaera.  So formidable is his appearance that you consider it prudent to assume an appropriate god-form.  But who is the appropriate god?  You may perhaps consider it best, in view of your complete ignorance as to who he is and where you are, to assume the god-form of Harpocrates, as being good defence in any case; but of course this will not take you very far ...

Because it is too general for specialized work; and also because while you assume this form you must keep Silence, and thus cannot commune with the vision. The Form of Harpocrates is good for defense or withdrawal only, unless you are a very high initiate.

... If you are sufficiently curious and bold, you will make up your mind rapidly on this point.  This is where your daily practice of the Qabalah will come in useful.  You run through in your mind the seven sacred planets. 

The very first of them seems quite consonant with what you have so far seen.  Everything suits Saturn well enough.  To be on the safe side, you go through the others; but this is a very obvious case—Saturn is the only planet that agrees with everything.  The only other possibility will be the Moon; but there is no trace noticeable of any of her more amiable characteristics.  You will therefore make up your mind that it is a Saturnian god-form that you need.  Fortunate indeed for you that you have practiced daily the assumption of such forms! ...

He likes to hit below the belt, doesn't he...?

... Very firmly, very steadily, very slowly, very quietly, you transform your normal astral appearance into that of Sebek.  The Chimaera, recognizing your divine authority, becomes less formidable and menacing in appearance.  He may, in some way, indicate his willingness to serve you.  Very good, so far; but it is of course the first essential to make sure of his integrity.  Accordingly you begin by asking his name.  This is vital; because if he tells you the truth, it gives you power over him.  But if, on the other hand, he tells you a lie, he abandons for good and all his fortress.  He becomes rather like a submarine whose base has been destroyed.  He may do you a lot of mischief in the meantime, of course, so look out!

This, incidentally, applies to so-called Probationers who come to us on false pretenses and try to lie their way into the Order...

Well then, he tells you that his name is Ottillia ...

Which means that "he" either is a girl or, perhaps, a faggot.

... Shall we try to spell it in Greek or in Hebrew.  By the sound of the name and perhaps to some extent by his appearance one might plump for the former; but after all the Greek Qabalah is so unsatisfactory ...

At present. We are working on a Dictionary of the Greek Qabalah, taking Crowley's work on it as a basis.

... We give Hebrew the first chance—we start with עטיליאה. Let us try this lettering for a start.  It adds up to 135. I daresay that you don't remember what the Sepher Sephiroth tells you about the number; but as luck will have it, there is no need to inquire; for 135 = 3 x 45.  Three is the number, is the first number of Saturn, and 45 the last.  (The sum of the numbers in the magic square of Saturn is 45.)  That corresponds beautifully with everything you have got so far; but then of course you must know if he is "one of the believing Jinn." ...

A reference to Arabic magic, and to 'The Thousand and One Nights.' a "believing Jinn" is one that accepts Islam; and will, in theory, be more sympathetic to a Palestinian than Mr. Menachem Begin.

... Briefly, is he a friend or an enemy?  You accordingly say to him "The word of the Law is Θελημα"  It turns out that he doesn't understand Greek at all, so you were certainly right in choosing Hebrew ...

This chimeara, although born in Greece, obviously underwent bar mitzvah, poor fellow. But wait, isn't it a girl? Oh well, one should not be too picky about role models these days.

... You put it to him, "What is the word of the Law?" and he replies darkly. "The word of the Law is Thora."  That means nothing to you; any one might know as much as that, Thora being the ordinary word for the Sacred Law of Israel, and you accordingly ask him to spell it to make sure you have heard aright; and he gives you the letters, perhaps by speaking them, perhaps by showing them: טרע.  You add these up and get 279.  This again is divisible by the Saturnian 3, and the result is 93; in other words, he has been precisely right.  On the plane of Saturn one may multiply by three and therefore he has given you the correct word "Θελημα" in a form unfamiliar to you ...

In his light manner, Crowley has here given an important hint to Jewish Qabalists. We doubt Mr. Regardie got the message, but then, Mr. Regardie was not a Qabalist.

... You man now consider yourself satisfied of his good faith, and may proceed to inspect him more closely.  The stars above his head suggest the influence of Binah, whose number also is three, while the most striking thing about him is the core of his being: the letter Yod.  (One does not count the termination "AH": being a divine suffix it represents the inmost light and the outermost light.)  This Yod, this spark of intense brilliance, is of the pale greenish gold which one sees (in this world) in the fine gold leaf of Tibet.  It glows with ever greater intensity as you concentrate upon observing him, which you could not do while you were preoccupied with investigating his credentials.

Confidence being thus established, you inquire why he as appeared to you at this time and at this place; and the answer to this question is of course your original idea, that is to say, he is presenting to you in other terms that "mountainous Fugue" which invoked him ...

He means the piece by Bach that she supposedly played to start the invocation, or investigation.

... You listen to him with attention, make such enquiries as seem good to you, and record the proceedings.

The above example is, of course, pure imagination, and represents a very favourable case.  You are only too likely, and that not only at the beginning, to meet all sorts of difficulties and dangers.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER 18: The Importance of our Conventional Greetings, etc.

Cara Soror:

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

From time to time I have exhorted you with mine accustomed matchless eloquence never to neglect the prescribed Greetings: but I think it just as well to collect the various considerations connected with their use—and in "Greetings" I include "saying Will" before set meals, the four daily adorations of the Sun Liber CC, vel Resh) and the salutation of Our Lady the Moon.  I propose to deal with the general object of the combined rituals, not with the special virtues of each separately.

The practice of Liber III vel Jugorum is the complement of these grouped customs ...

This book is divided in three stages. In the first, you stop yourself from saying a word you do not want to say; in the second from performing an act you do not want to perform; in the third from thinking a thought you do not want to think. As part of the training, you cut yourself sharply if you find yourself saying, doing, or thinking what you had decided not to say, do, or think. This practice is very effective as well as difficult.

... By sharp physical self-chastisement when you think, say, or do whatever it is that you have set yourself to avoid doing, you set a sentry at the gate of your mind ready to challenge all comers, and so you acquire the habit of being on the alert.  Keep this in mind, and you will have no difficulty in following the argument of this letter.

When you are practicing Dharana ...

See Book Four Commented Part I, "Yoga and Magick."

..., you allow yourself so many minutes.  It is a steady, sustained effort.  The mind constantly struggles to escape control.  (I hope you remember the sequence of "breaks." In case you don't, I summarize them.

  1. Immediate physical interruptions: Asana should stop these.
  2. Things that are "on you mind."
  3. Reverie, and "Wouldn't it help if I were to— ?"
  4. Atmospherics—e.g. voices apparently from some alien source.
  5. Aberrations of the control itself; and the result itself.  (Remember the practice of some Hindu schools: "Not that, not that!" to whatever it is the presents itself as Tat Sat—reality, truth).

Need I remind you how urgent the wish to escape will assuredly become, how fantastic are the mind's devices and excuses, amounting often to deliberate revolt?  In Kandy ...

Ceylon, where he went to study Hatha Yoga under Allan Bennett, by then Bhikkhu Ananda Metteya.

... I broke away in a fury, and dashed down to Colombo with the intention of painting the very air as red as the betel- spittle on the pavements!  But after three days of futile search for satisfying debauchery I came back to my horses, and, sure enough, it was merely that I had gone stale; the relaxation soothed and steadied me; I resumed the discipline with redoubled energy, and Dhyana dawned before a week had elapsed.

I mention this because it is the normal habit of the mind to organize these counter-attacks that makes their task so easy.  What you need is a mind that will help rather than hinder your Work by its normal function.

This is where these Greetings, and Will-sayings, and Adorations come in.

It is not a concentration-practice proper; I haven't a good word for it.  "Background-concentration" or "long-distance-concentration" are clumsy, and not too accurate.  It is really rather like a public school education.  One is not constantly "doing a better thing that one has ever done;" one is not dropping one's eye-glass every two minutes, or being a little gentleman in the act of brushing one's hair.  The point is that one trains oneself to react properly at any moment of surprise.  It must become "second nature" for "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." to spring to the forefront of the mind when one is introduced to a stranger, or comes down to breakfast, or hears the telephone bell, or observes the hour of the adoration, (these are to be the superficial reactions, like instinctively rising when a lady enters the room), or, at the other end, in moments of immediate peril, or of sudden apprehension, or when in one's meditation, one approaches the deepest strata.

One need not be dogmatic about the use of these special words.  One might choose a formula to represent one's own particular True Will.  It is a little like Cato, (or Scipio, was it?) who concluded every speech, whether about the Regulations of the Roman Bath or the proposal to reclaim a marsh of the Maremma, with the words: "And moreover, in my opinion, Carthage ought to be destroyed."

So they finally went and destroyed it, thereby perhaps setting civilization back a thousand years.

Got it?

You teach the mind to push your thought automatically to the very thing from which it was trying to wander.  "Yes, I get you Stephen! . . . But, Uncle Dudley, come clean, do you always do all this yourself?  Don't you sometimes feel embarrassed, or fear that you may destroy the effect of your letter, or "create a scene" in the public street when you suddenly stop and perform these incomprehensible antics, or simply forget about the whole thing?"

Yes, I do.

The next nine lines were cut by Mr. Regardie.


Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

These Latin words are traditionally used in Roman Catholic "confession." They mean, respectively, "I have sinned" and "My fault, my enormous fault." However, nobody ever heard a Romish "priest" saying them while a "heretic" was being burned alive.

I am not your old and valued friend, Adam Qadmon, the Perfect Man.

I am a pretty poor specimen.

I am nothing to cable about to Lung Peng Choung, or Himi, or Monsaivat.

All legendary holy places.

I do forget now and again; though, I am glad to say, not nearly as often as I used to do.  (As the habit is acquired, it tends to strengthen itself).  But often I deliberately omit to do my duty.  I do funk it.  I do resent it.  I do feel that it's too much bother.

As I said above, Adam Qadman is not my middle name.

Well now, have I any shadow of an excuse?  Yes, I have, after a fashion; I don't think it good manners to force my idiosyncrasies down people's throats, and I don't want to appear more of an eccentric than I need.  It might detract from my personal influence, and so actually harm the Work that I am trying to perform. . .

The next three paragraphs were again cut out of Mr. Regardie's "edition."

"Yes, that's all very well, Alibi Ike; you are exceedingly well know as a Scripture-quoting Satan, as a Past-Master in self-justification. Trained from infancy by the Plymouth Brethern, who for casuistry leave the Jesuits at the post!"  "Yes, yes, but — — —."

"You needn't but me no buts, you old he-goat!  Wasn't there once a Jonas Hanway, the first man to sport an umbrella?  Wouldn't your practice be natural, and right, and the cream of the cream of good manners as soon as a few hundred people of position took to doing it?  And wouldn't Thomas, Richard, and Henry, three months later, make a point of doing the same as their betters?"  (That was Conscience speaking.)

All right, you win.

Love is the law, love under will.



A purely personal comment here. I do not normally say "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" when I am introduced to a stranger. However, if I sit to eat or drink with anyone, I will say "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." I only open and close my letters with the Law when I am addressing Thelemites or candidates to Θελημα, or want to emphasize to my correspondent that I am one of those fiendishly evil people, a "follower of Aleister Crowley;" and on streets or in public I usually perform the Adorations inwardly, merely using the Sign of Silence discreetly. I used, many years ago, to open all my letters with the Law, no matter whom I was addressing. All I got from it was the constant spying of "intelligence" services, and the consequent boycott that this invariably entails. I do not regret having been enthusiastic, but nowadays I feel that one should live and let live. If they want to be slaves, that is their privilege. Neither do I envision with much favor the day when everybody will go about saying "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" to everybody else. It smacks of the kind of dogmatism that so "distinguishes" the established creeds. Moderation, I think, is more impressive than loud-mouthed lip service. Someday, perhaps, there will be a Jerry Falwell (there is always a Jerry Falwell) propagandizing the Law of Θελημα on television. On that day, Maat better show up quickly!

LETTER 19: The Act of Truth

Cara Soror:

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

It seems that last Wednesday I so far forgot myself as to refer to the "Act of Truth" in conversation, and never mentioned what it is when it's at home, or why anyone should perform it, or what happens when one does perform it!

All right, I will remedy that; luckily, it is a very simple matter; very important, perfectly paradoxical and devastatingly effective.

Analysed, it is to make the assumption that something which seems very wrong is actually all right, that an eager wish is an accomplished fact. a reasonable anxiety, entirely unfounded—and to act accordingly.

For instance, I'm in some desolate place, dependent for my food supply on a weekly messenger.  If he is a day late, it is awkward; if two, it means hardship; if three, serious risk.  One is naturally anxious as the day approaches; perhaps the weather, or some similar snag, makes it likely that he will be late.  From one cause or another, I have rather exceeded my ration.  There is nothing I can do about it, materially.

The sensible course of action is to draw in my horns, live on the minimun, necessary to life, which involves cutting the day's work down to almost nothing, and hope for the best, expecting the worst.

But there is a Magical mode of procedure.  You say to yourself: I am here to do this Work in accordance with my true Will.  The Gods have got to see to it that I'm not baulked by any blinking messenger.  (But take care They don't overhear you; They might mistake it for Hybris, or presumption.  Do it all in the Sign of Silence, under the aegis of Harpocrates, the "Lord of Defence and Protection"; be careful to assume his God-form, as standing on two crocodiles.  Then you increase your consumption, and at the same time put in a whole lot of extra Work.  If you perform this "Act of Truth" properly, with genuine conviction that nothing can go wrong, your messenger will arrive a day early, and bring an extra large supply.

This, let me say at once, is very difficult, especially at first, until one has gained confidence in the efficacy of the Formula; and it is very nastily easy to "fake."  Going through the motions (as they say) is more futile here than in most cases, and the results of messing it up are commonly disastrous.

Here he added the following footnote: "Do not be misled by any apparent superficial resemblance to "Christian Science" and "Coueism" and their cackling kin. They miss every essential feature of the formula."

You must invent your act to suit your case, every time; suppose you expect a cable next Friday week, transferring cash to your account.  You need $500 to make up an important payment, and you don't know whether they will send even $200.  What are you going to do about it?  Skimp, and save your expenses, and make yourself miserable and incapable of vigorous thought or action?  You may succeed in saving enough to swing the deal; but you won't get a penny beyond the amount actually needed—and look at the cost in moral grandeur!

No, go and stand yourself a champagne luncheon, and stroll up Bond Street with an 8 1/2 "Hoyo de Monterey, ...

An expensive brand of cigar.

... and squander $30 on some utterly useless bauble.  Then the $500 will swell to $1000, and arrive two days early at that!

There are one or two points to consider very carefully indeed before you start:—

  1. The proposed Act must be absurd; it won't do at all if by some fluke, however unlikely, it might accomplish your aim.  For instance, it's no use backing an outsider.  There must be no causal link.
  2. The Act must be one which makes the situation definitely worse.  exempli gratia: suppose you are counting on a new dress to make a hit at a Reception, and doubt whether it is so much better than your present best, or whether it will be finished in time.  Then, wear that present best to-night (wet, of course), knowing you are sure to soil it.
  3. Obviously, all the usual conditions of a Magical Operation apply in this as in all cases; your aim must conform with your True Will, and all that; but there is one curious point about an Act of Truth: this, that one should resort to it only when there is no other method possible.  In the explorer's case, above, it won't do if he has any means of hurrying up the messenger.

It seems to me that the above brief sketch should suffice an intelligent and imaginative student like yourself; but if any point remains darkling, let me know, and I will follow up with a postscript.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


P.S.—I thought it might help you if I were to make a few experiments. I have done so.  Result: this is much more difficult and delicate an affair than I had thought when I wrote this letter. For instance, one single thought of a "second string"—exempli gratia "if it fails, I had better do so and so"—is enough to kill the while operation stone dead.  Of course, I am totally out of practice; but, even so . . . . . .

LETTER 20: Talismans: The Lamen: The Pantacle

Cara Soror:

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

Really you comfort me when you turn from those abstruse and exalted themes with which you have belaboured me so often of late to dear cuddlesome little questions like this in our letter received this morning: "Do please, dear Master, give me some hints about how to make Talismans (that's the same as Telesmata, isn't it?  Yes, 666) and the Pantacle.  The official instructions are quite clear, of course; but somehow I find them just a little frightening."

Oh boy. When they go all humble on you like this, no matter the sex, its time to watch out. They want you to do their work for them.

Well, I think I know pretty well what you mean; so I will try to imitate the style of Aunt Tabitha in "The Flapper's Fireside."

One of the 'Dear Abbys' of the Twenties.

For one thing, you forgot to mention the Lamen.  Now what are these things when they are at home? That's easy enough.

The Lamen is a sort of Coat of Arms.  It expresses the character and powers of the wearer.

A talisman is a storehouse of some particular kind of energy, the kind that is needed to accomplish the task for which you have constructed it.

The Pantacle is often confused with both the others; accurately, it is a "Minutum Mundum", "the Universe in Little"; it is a map of all that exists, arranged in the Order of Nature.  There is a chapter in Book 4, Part II, devoted to it (pp. 117 - 129) ...

See Book Four Part II Commented, "Magick and Mysticism," pp. 93-106.

... I cannot make up my mind whether I like it.  At the best it is very far from being practical instruction. (The chapter on the Lamen, pp. 159 - 161, is even worse.)

Same book, pp. 121-122.

An analogy, not too silly, for these three; the Chess-player, the Openings, and the Game itself.

But—you will object—why be silly at all?  Why not say simply that the Lamen, stating as it does the Character and Powers of he wearer, is a dynamic portrait of the individual, while the Pantacle, his Universe, is a static portrait of him?  And that, you pursue flattering, is why you preferred to call the Weapon of Earth (in the Tarot) the Disk, emphasizing its continual whirling movement rather than the Pantacle of Coin, as is more usual.  Once again, exquisite child of our Father the Archer of Light and of seaborn Aphrodite, your well-known acumen has "nicked the ninety and nine and one over" as Browning says when he (he too!) alludes to the Tarot.

As you will have gathered from the above, a Talisman is a much more restricted idea; it is no more than one of the objects in his Pantacle, one of the arrows in the quiver of his Lamen.  As, then, you would expect, it is very little trouble to design.  All that you need is to "make considerations" about your proposed operation, decide which planet, sign, element or sub-element or what not you need to accomplish your miracle.

As you know, a very great many desirable objects can be attained by the use of the talismans in the Greater and Lesser Keys of Solomon the King; also in Pietro di Abano and the dubious Fourth Book of Cornelius Agrippa.

Dubious because it may not have been authored by Agrippa at all.

You must on no account attempt to use the squares given in the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage until you have succeeded in the Operation.  More, unless you mean to perform it, and are prepared to go to any length to do so, you are a fool to have the book in your possession at all.  Those squares are liable to get loose and do things on their own initiative; and you won't like it.

This warning was meant most seriously, and should be taken most seriously. It is easy to delude oneself that one has become an Adept, and therefore can use those squares. We know of several cases, including Mr. Regardie's, in which the individuals involved went on to become liars, or thieves, or con-persons, or simply went insane or committed suicide. Some, however, became very rich. But rich along the style of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, Mr. Anton LaVey, Mr. Jerry Falwell, Ms. Phyllis Schlafly, Mr. Ronald Reagan, and all the Romish Popes.

The late Philip Haseltine, a young composer of genius, used one of these squares to get his wife to return to him.  He engraved it neatly on his arm.  I don't know how he proceeded to set to work; but his wife came back all right, and a very short time afterwards he killed himself.

When they don't kill themselves, they often conspire to kill other people; or in some other way always go against the Eco-system. To control those forces - which are very real and very serious - you must have reached Tiphareth of Tiphareth fully, and be totally obedient to your Angel.

Then there are the Elemental Tablets of Sir Edward Kelly and Dr. John Dee.  From these you can extract a square to perform almost any conceivable operation, if you understand the virtue of the various symbols which they manifest.  They are actually an expansion of the Tarot.  (Obviously, the Tarot itself as a whole is a universal Pantacle—forgive the pleonasm!  Each card, especially is this true of the Trumps, is a talisman; and the whole may also be considered as the Lamen of Mercury.  It is evidently an Idea far too vast for any human mind to comprehend in its entirety ...

It is amusing that he should say so, who had by then created a Code of Morality and a System of Theurgy so complex, so far reaching, so relative (read related), that they will revolutionize religious thought and political structures for the next two thousand years, and will certainly influence the flux of the next Aeon, presided albeit by a Goddess, rather than a God - and that not he. Or He...!

... For it is "the Wisdom whereby He created the worlds.")

The decisive advantage of this system is not that its variety makes it so adaptable to our needs, but that we already posses the Invocations necessary to call forth the Energies required.  What is perhaps still more to the point, they work without putting the Magician to such severe toil and exertion as is needed when he has to write them out from his own ingenium.  Yes!  This is weakness on my part, and I am very naughty to encourage you to shirk the hardest path.

I used often to make the background of my Talismans of four concentric circles, painting then, the first (inmost) in the King (or Knight) scale, the second in the Queen, the third in the Prince, and the outermost in the Princess scale, of the Sign, Planet, or Element to which I was devoting it.  On this, preferably in the "flashing" colours, I would paint the appropriate Names and Figures.

Lastly, the Talisman may be surrounded with a band inscribed with a suit- able "versicle" chosen from some Holy book, or devised by the Magician to suit the case.

In the British Museum (and I suppose elsewhere) you may see the medal struck to commemorate the victory over the Armada ...

The Spanish Armada, which only failed to conquer England because Elizabeth's astrologer, Dee, and his seer, Kelly, a her request invoked the Enochian Powers against it. Oh, those awful and accursed Satanists! They were probably responsible for you and me, to say nothing of the "United" American States, and for the advance of civilization in the next thousand years.

... This is a reproduction, perhaps modified, of the Talisman used by Dee to raise the storm which scattered the enemy fleet.

Tradition has it that Queen Elizabeth herself asked her astrologer and cartographer for this portent. Be it as it may, it is well documented that Dee was not only intensely patriotic, but also devoted to his sovereign. It is debatable whether the skeptical Elizabeth valued his magic very much; but she, as everybody else in her government, must have valued his scholarship. It would not be exaggeration to say that without Dee's tireless efforts the expansion of England from an insignificant island kingdom to world—wide Empire would not have occurred. He provided most of the charts that guided Elizabeth's corsairs through the routes the Spaniards jealously guarded or vainly coveted; the Queen's intelligence service was always at his disposal to this end.

You must lay most closely to your heart the theory of the Magical Link (see Magick pp. 107 - 122) and see well to it that it rings true; for without this your talisman is worse than useless.  It is dangerous; for all that Energy is bound to expend itself somehow; it will make its own links with anything handy that takes its fancy; and you can get into any sort of the most serious kind of trouble.

There is a great deal of useful stuff in Magick; pp. 92 - 100, and pp. 179 - 189 ...

We are working on an annotated edition of this at present. It will be published under the title of Book Four Commented Part III, subtitled "Thelemic Magick."

... I could go on all night doing nothing but indicating sources of information.

Then comes the question of how to "charge" the Talisman, of how to evoke or to invoke the Beings concerned, and of—oh! of so much that you need a lifetime merely to master the theory.

Remember, too, please, what I have pointed out elsewhere, that the greatest Masters have quite often not been Magicians at all, technically; they have used such devices as Secret Societies, Slogans and Books. If you are so frivolous as to try to exclude these from our discourse, it is merely evidence that you have not understood a single word of what I have been trying to tell you these last few hundred years!

May I close with a stray example or so? Equinox III 1 has the Neophyte's Pantacle of Frater O.I.V.V.I.O.  The Fontispiece of the original (4 volume) edition of Magick, the colors vilely reproduced, is a Lamen of my own Magick, or a Pantacle of the Science, I'm sure I'm not sure which!

Very few copies of the original edition carry this Pantacle, which is described in the text itself. It will be reproduced in full color in Thelemic Magick.

Most of my Talismans, like my Invocations, have been poems.  This letter must be like the Iliad in at least one respect: it does not end; it stops.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 21: My Theory of Astrology

Cara Soror:

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

A few well-chosen words about Astrology?  Madam, I am only too happy to oblige: our aim is to serve.  The customer is usually wrong; but statistics indicate that it doesn't pay to tell him so.

It seems a long while since I set up your Nativity, and read it, but it is very clear in my mind that you were astonished, as so many others have been, by the simplicity and correctness of my reading.  It began, you remember, by your giving me the usual data when we dropped in for tea at the Anglers' Rest.  I calculated the Ascendant on the spot, and remarked "Rubbish!"  I looked at you again very carefully; and, after many grunts, observed, "More likely half-past ten—within an hour one way or the other."  You insisted; I insisted.  Unwilling to make a Fracas in the Inn ...

Reference to yellow journalism headlines. He had had some.

..., we decided to put you to the trouble of writing to your mother to settle the dispute.  Back came the answer: "within a few minutes of eleven.  I remember because your father had hung on as long as he could—he had to take the morning service."

This occurrence is very common in my experience; I have contradicted what sounded like ascertained fact and proved on enquiry to have been right; so, considering that the statistics I made many years ago showed me to have been right 109 times out of 120, I think two things are fairly near probation; firstly, I am not guessing—that doesn't matter much; but, secondly, which is of supreme importance, there is a definite connection between the personal appearance and manner of the native, and the Sign of the Zodiac which was rising when he first drew air into his lungs.

Let me add, to strengthen the argument, that on the few occasions where I have erred there has been a good astrological reason for it.  Exempli gratia, I might plump for Pisces rising when it was actually Capricornus; but in that case Saturn would have been afflicted by being in Cancer, with bad aspects from Venus and the Moon, thus taking away all his rugged, male, laborious qualities, and in the Ascendant might have been Jupiter, suggesting many of the qualities of Pisces: and so forth.

Now let me start!  You want me to explain the system—or no-system!—which I use.  I do not "move in a mysterious way My wonders to perform;" for nothing could be simpler.  For its origin I have to thank Abramelin the Mage, who empties the vials of his scorn upon the astrologers of his time with their meticulous calculations of "the hours of the planets" and so on.  I think he goes too far when he says that a planet can have no influence at all, or very little, unless it is above the horizon; but he meant well, bless him!  And, though he does not say so, I believe that I do my stuff in very much the same way as he did.

The next paragraph is one of the most important in this letter; it gives it warrant to be seriously considered by scientific minds; naturally, Mr. Israel Regardie saw fit to excise it.

Modern astrologers multiply their charts until their desks remind me of a Bargain Basement in the rush hour!  They compare and contrast until they are in bat-eyed bewilderment bemused; and when the answer turns out absolutely false, exclaim, what a shout: "By Ptolemy, I forgot to look at the last Luniation for Buda-Pesth!"  But then they can always find something or other which will explain how they came to go wrong: naturally, when you have several hundred factors, helplessly bound and gagged, it would be just too bad if you couldn't pick out one to serve your turn—after the event!  No, dear girl, it should be obvious to an unweaned brat:
(a) they can't see the wood for the trees,
(b) they are using Ruach on a proposition which demands Neschamah.  Intellect is quite inadequate; the problem requires mother-wit, intuition, understanding.

This is the main reason why Astrology is so erratic that it cannot be called a science; it is an art. The people who write for The Skeptical Inquirer, which we reviewed in Book Four Commented Part I, subtitled "Yoga and Magick," periodically have kittens over astrologers and Astrology. They have proved again and again that it doesn't work; and can attribute the stubborn popularity of the subject with the general public to nothing else but stupidity and escapism. Well, it is not necessarily so, or not always so; unfortunately for official science, once in a while someone comes along who practices Astrology from a Neschamic level, sometimes without even realizing it; and such a person achieves a reasonable efficiency of prediction, say slightly above fifty/fifty; word-of-mouth does the rest. Kepler was an astrologer; he is called an astronomer merely because the scientific establishment decided to adopt him — after Kepler's law, what else could they do...? But Kepler made a good living as an astrologer, and is reputed to have been remarkably accurate in his predictions. So was Crowley. The O.T.O. has finally been able to reconstitute his work on Astrology. It covers over four hundred brilliant pages, and we will publish it as soon as we can afford to.

Here is my system in a Number 000 Ampoule.

Meaning, in very few words.

Put up the figure at birth: study it, make notes of the aspects and dignities, concentrate—and turn on the Magical Tap!

Occasionally, when I began, I set up the "progressed figure" to see how the patient was doing this week, but it never seemed to help enough to compensate for the distraction caused by the complication.  What I do observe to examine the situation of to—day is Transits.  These I have found very reliable; but even with these I usually ignore aspects of minor importance.  Truth to tell, conjunctions mean very much more than the rest put together.

Talking of aspects, I think it ridiculous to allow vast "orbs" like 15° for Luna, and 12° for Sol.  Astrologers go to extreme lengths to calculate the "solar revolution" figure not to a degree, not to a minute, but to a second: and that when they don't know the exact time of birth within half an hour or more!...

How can they? Rare is the person who takes time out to jot down the exact moment when a fetus, issuing from a vulva, draws its first breath and complains against the Universe! Times registered in birth certificates are approximate, to put it mildly; and the mother who clocks the issue with a chronometer is so rare as to make astrological study of her child superannuated; for such a mother surely means to supervise the unhappy wretch's conditioning for the rest of its life — unless, of course, she is a true human being. But these are so rare...!

... Talk about straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel!  Then what does an hour or so matter anyhow, if you are going to allow an aspect, whether it is 2° or 10° off?  This even with delicate aspects like the quintile or semi-sextile.  What would you think of a doctor who had a special thermometer made to register -1/100 of a degree, and never took notice of the fact that the patient had just swallowed a cupful of scalding hot tea?

In my own work, I disallow a deviation of 5° or 6° from the exact aspect, unless there is some alien reason for thinking that it is actually operative.  With the minor aspects, I dislike reckoning with them if they are even 3° away.

Nor do I see any sense in marking the odd minutes in the Ascendant, when one is not sure even of the decan.

That seems to be about all that is necessary for my "morning hate;"...

He was crotchety in the mornings those days, and when they complained, he — or they — gave rise to this expression. Think about it: one of the most brilliant intellects of any time, easily a hundred years ahead of his contemporaries in morality and social consciousness; ostracized, slandered, libeled, and, worst of all, surrounded by bores like Kenneth Grant, John Symonds and Gerald Yorke; his best and most apt disciple, Karl Johannes Germer, five thousand miles away across the Atlantic; and the Socialists in the saddle! The only wonder is that he neither cut his own throat nor rose every morning to curse you, and me, and the rest of humankind. Heroin — he was a registered addict - England has a few saving graces, and this is one of them (but they only did it to keep The Beast alive, so it was not so much to their credit) — became the only thing that could make him register, in his diary, before going to his hard, cold bed at night, "I have lived through the day." No wonder Fernando Pessoa, in Portugal, drank himself to death! Not everyone can have the moral force of an Aleister Crowley.

...; suppose we go on to the question of interpretation.

Thousands of books have been written on Astrology; nobody could possible read them all thoroughly, and he would be a great fool to try.  But he may do little harm by going into them far enough to observe that hardly any half-dozen are agreed even on the foundations of their system, hardly any two upon the meaning of any given aspect, dignity, or position; there is not always agreement even upon what questions pertain to which houses.

There are a few completely quack systems, such as those which mix up the science with Toshosophical hypotheses ...

Like Alice Bailey's books, or Peter Ouspensky's, for instance.

...; naturally you discard these.  But even of generally acceptable forms of Astrology, such as Mundane and Horary, I tend to be distrustful.  I ask, for instance, why, if Taurus rules Poland and Ireland, as is no doubt the case, the crash and massacres of 1939 e.v. and later in the one did not take place in the other.  All the seaports of the world naturally come under one of the three watery signs; but we do not find that an affliction of Pisces, which hits Tunis, should do harm to all the other harbours similarly ruled.

This brings us to the first Big Jump in the steeplechase of the whole science.  We hear of thousands of people being killed at the same time (within an hour or two, perhaps a minute or two) by earthquake, shipwreck, explosion, battle or other form of violence.  Was the horoscope of every one of the victims marked with the probability of some such end?  I have known very strange cases of coincidence, but not to that extent!

The answer, I believe, is manifold.  It might be, for example, that Poland and Ireland are ruled by different degrees of Taurus; that there are major and minor figures, the former overruling the latter, so that the figure of the launching of the "Titanic" swallowed up the nativities of the victims of her wreck.

Something of this sort is really an obvious truth.  Flood in China, famine in India, pestilence anywhere, evidently depend on maps of a scale far more enormous than the personal.

Then—on this point I feel reasonably sure—there may be one or more factors of which we know nothing at all, by which the basic possibilities of a figure are set to work.  (Just as a car with engine running will not start until the clutch is put in.)

I will conclude by announcing a rather remarkable position.

  1. I see no objection at all to postulating that certain "rays," or other means of transmitting some peculiar form or forms of energy, may reach us from the other parts of the solar system; for we can in fact point to perfectly analogous phenomena in the discoveries of the last hundred years or so.  But that is no more than a postulate.
  2. The objections to Astrology as such, indicated by what I have already pointed out, and several others, would suffice to place me among the most arrogant disbelievers in the whole study, were it not for what follows.
  3. The facts with regard to the Ascendant are so patent, so undeni- able, and so inexplicable without the postulate in (1), that I am utterly convinced of the fundamental truth of the basic principles of the science.

I said, "I will conclude"; and I meant it.  For now that (or so I hope) you respect sufficiently my conviction that Astrology is a genuine science and not a messy mass of Old Wives' Tales, you will obviously demand instruction as to how to learn it, that you may verify my opinion in the light of your own experiments.

But it doesn't; as you will see, you have to work your ass off at it in order to be even half-way "good" at Astrology...

This will look much better if I put it in a separate letter.

'Till then—

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER 22: How to Learn the Practice of Astrology

Cara Soror:

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

"Up guards, and at 'em!" ...

A quotation. One of those famous historical phrases with which idiots were enthused to get themselves killed to help some king or another spread or sustain social injustice and bad government. He is actually enticing her to get off her ass and do some work of her own; perhaps the first time in history that the phrase was used ecologically.

First, you must know your correspondences by heart backwards and upside down (air connu.) ...

"Air connu" is French. In aviation, it would mean that the air space within a certain territory had been thoroughly explored. One has to explain such tidbits lest you products of modern education, who barely know your own language, believe that some awful Secret Formula of Magic (probably having to do with Sex) is concealed in those sibylline phrases.

... They are practically all in The Book of Thoth; but "if anyone anything lacks," ...

Shakespeare. He was not showing off, he was merely an educated man. Before television and disco, believe it or not, lots of people talked like that; and for an Englishman, of course, quoting Shakespeare was normal in those days. It isn't anymore; now they either quote Marx (usually out of context; but Marx is seldom in context anyway) or the B.B.C.

... look for it in "777".

Then, get a book on Astrology, the older the better.  Raphael's Shilling Handbook is probably enough for the present purpose. Get well into your head what the menu says about the natures of the planets, the influence of the aspects, what is meant by dignities, the scope of the houses, and so on.

Dovetail all this with your classical knowledge; the character and qualities, the powers and the exploits, of the several deities concerned.

Next, learn how to set up a figure of the heavens. This need not take an average intelligent person more than an hour at the most. You can learn it from a book.  Lastly, get Barley's 1001 Notable nativities and More Nativites.  Also any other collections available.  Practice setting up the horoscopes.  Use the Chaldean square system; it shows at the first glance what is happening in the angular houses, which are the keys of the whole figure.

Compare and contrast what you know of the natives, from history, with what is said of the aspects (and the rest) in the books you have read.

Put together similar horoscopes; exempli gratia a dozen which have Sagittarius rising, another lot with Jupiter in the mid-heaven, and so on; see if you can find a similarity in their lives with what the books will have led you to expect.

Don't be afraid to criticise; on the contrary, do some research work on your own, and find cases which seem to contradict tradition.

Instance: Saturn in the M.C. is said to cause a spectacular rise in a man's career, ending in an equally notable crash. Examples: Napoleon I and III, Oscar Wilde, Woodrow Wilson, Lord Northcliffe, Hitler.  Look for figures with Saturn thus placed, whose natives have jogged along equably and died in the odour of sanctity.  Find out why what worked in some cases failed in the others.

By the time you have studied (say) 500 nativities you will be already a fairly competent judge.  Work your bloody guns! as Kipling says; get a friend—just this once I allow you human intercourse—to set up for you figures of historical importance, or with some outstanding characteristic (e.g. murderers, champions of sport, statesmen, monsters, philanthropists, heresiarchs) without telling you to whom it refers.

Build up the character, profession, story from the nativity. It sounds incredible; but more than a score of times I have been actually able to name him!

You should remember that this covered hundreds of examples; but it is more than most "astrologers" would be able to do. The problem is, after studying a thousand nativities or so you would naturally have some relevant ones in your memory. The point of the exercise is to help you learn how to work out the astrological symbology to build up a personality or, as he says, a story.

By the time you have got good at this game—and a most amusing game it is—you may call yourself a very competent astrologer.

Sometimes, even now, you may assign the figure of the Archbishop of York to Jabez Balfour or Catherine de Medici; or mix up Moody and Sankey with Brown and Kennedy; don't be discouraged; perhaps there may be something to be said for you after all!

I believe, as I hope, that you will be surprised at the speed with which you acquire proficiency.

All this time, moreover, you have not been wholly idle.  You will have been running about like a demented rabbit, and trying to spot the rising sign of everybody you know.  Look at them full-face, then profile; and note salient characteristics, pendulous lips, receding chins, bulbous noses, narrow foreheads, stuck-out ears, pimples, squints, warts, shape of face (three main types; thin, jutting, for cardinal signs; square, steadfast for cherubic; weak, nondescript, for the rest); then the stature, whether lithe, well-knit, sturdy, muscular, fat or what not; in short every bodily feature in turn; make up your mind what sign was rising at birth, and stick to it!

The following six paragraphs were cut from Mr. Regardie's "edition," which makes nonsense of the one following.

Now to verify your suspicions.  The conversation may run thus:

You: "Can you answer a question without answering another which you were not asked?"

It, surprised: "Why, yes, of course I can."

You: "Good. Then, do you know the date of the Battle of Waterloo?"

It: "1815."

You probably have to explain!...

The person, of course, answered a question that had not been asked; the answer should have been 'Yes, I do.' This is a good game for training yourself to answer police interrogations or give depositions in lawsuits. Let the interrogators do the work; you are not there to help them; in fact, they are invading your privacy!

... In any case you begin all over again, when he has contented himself with "Yes" or "No" you say "Do you know the hour of your birth?"  If he says "No," you ask if he can find out, and so on.  If he says "Yes;" "Then tell me either the hour or the day and month; but not both."  If he gives you the hour, you calculate a bit, and say: "Then you were born on the nth of Xember, within a fortnight either way."

If he tells you his birthday, work it out as before and then: "You were born at P in the morning within an hour either way." (This makes it about 11 to 1 against your being right, in either case, on pure chance.)

Again, you can practise this in cafés, when you visit civilized countries, and it is often possible to scrape acquaintance with people who look specially interesting, and do not, as in England, instantly suspect you of dishonourable advances, and get them to play up.  This is sometimes easier when you are already with that friend which I was so lax as to allow you; and it is, I own, very helpful to discuss strange faces if only to make it quite clear to your own mind why you decide on one as ♍, another as ♉.

Both being Earthy signs.

A strange thing happened once; I had explained all this to the girl that I happened to be living with: that is, I taught her the names of the signs; she knew no Astrology, net even the simple correspondences. After about a month, she was better at it than I was!  ("Why strange?" you mutter rudely.  "Quite right, my dear! I have always been a wretched reader of character.  Bless my soul! there was a time when I had hopes of you," I savagely retort.)  She had picked up the knack, the trick of it; she could select, eliminate, re—compose, compare with past experience, and form a judgment, without knowing the names of its materials.

The phenomenon, however, may not have indicated special capacity in the girl; merely the influence on her of close contact with an Initiate's aura. The rest would be if, after the affair ended, she retained her talent over a period of years. This type of influence is very common, and is not necessarily connected to the person's sex, or even to sexual relationships. Under the influence of a Master, a pupil often outperforms himself or herself; let the influence be withdrawn, and the person subsides into his or her natural mediocrity. I have known such in my own experience, and examples, of course, abound. Look at Crowley's own life. The pupil who keeps his or her talent, or develops high quality work of some sort, after contact with the Master has ended, is the only kind of pupil who actually gained something from Chelaship. But people of this sort had it in them; the Master merely helped them discover themselves - their True Will, if you like.

Note by David Bersson: Once again, I remind serious student within my Circle, those who are keen on O.T.O. history; or even curiosity seekers to the manifestations of the magick of the Masters of Our System that Claudia Canuto de Menezes is a prime example of a member being stimulated during the Master's lifetime by His aura — only to fall head first into the demonic world when confronted with the dire facts of the reality of her own responsibility. I've stated elsewhere that she seemed at least average intelligence when I knew her — and yet when faced with just that responsibility that would of made her a real member she — without the presence of the Master — slowly deteriorated into a apparent moron who simply could not do so much as handle the simplest issues of her private life. She did much worse than subside into natural mediocrity, as my Superior phrases it in his above commentary — It was as if the Gods Themselves punished her for her lack of that essential sense of duty. Today, she dresses in rags, speaks like a women who has entered a darkness where no light can penetrate. A hopeless, dying soul who pays daily with her private fears, schizophrenia, drunkenness, and mocking faces that taunt her in the cold, dusk wet streets.
Here is a poem from my diary at the time her betrayal:

Mark my words, he said,
not a tear will I shed,
she had a debt to Society,
and she decided to be free,
the mistake is clear
she cannot look herself within the mirror
without feeling her own inner fear

When you have got your sea—legs at both these parts of your astrological education, you may (I think) put out to sea with some confidence.  Perhaps a fair test of your fitness would be when you got three people right out of four, in a total of a score or so. Well, allow for my being in a "mood" to—night; call it two out of three.  If it were guesswork, after all, that means you are bringing it off at seven to one ...

You may now realize where J.B. Rhine and others got the idea of applying the statistical method to the study of parapsychological phenomena! But if you are still in doubt, look at the section on "Physical clairvoyance" in Liber E vel Exercitiorum.

... Obviously, when you do go wrong, set up the figure, study it more carefully than ever, and find out what misled you.

Remember constantly that the Statistical Method is your one and only safeguard against self—deception.

Within the limits of a letter I could hardly hope to go into matters much more fully or deeply than I have done; but 'pon my soul!  I think that what I have said should be enough for an intelligent and assiduous student ...

The rarest kind. What is worse, even when a student is assiduous and intelligent, this does not guarantee that he or she will have the necessary self-control to withstand the Ordeals of discipline and perspective.

... Let me insist that all that is worth while comes by experience.  Learning one thing will give you the clue to another.

Well do I know to my sorrow how hard it is, as a rule, to learn how to do a thing solely from written instruction; so perhaps you had better arrange to see me one day about the actual setting-up of a figure.  Probably, too, there will be a few points that you would like to discuss.

It goes without saying that she did nothing of the kind. Most pupils ask you how to do things in the hope that they will learn a shortcut — usually some "Ineffable Secret" — that will save them the time and effort they prefer to apply to indulgence in their basest appetites. The moment they realize that serious Magick means serious work they declare you a false teacher and go seek for leisure and escapism elsewhere. That such behavior implies lack of moral character and exhibits rudimentary intellectual courage bothers them, in this writer's experience, not at all.

I will end by betting you six clothing coupons to a pound of sugar that in two years' concentrated work on these lines you will become a better astrologer than ever I was.  (This is very cunning of me; in two years we shall all be getting clothes without coupons.)

The war was just over, and England still on coupons. He was right in his prediction. But they must never have checked on it; first, because she probably did not take the trouble to even try to learn Astrology; and second, because two years later he died.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 23: Improvising a Temple

Cara Soror:

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

(This letter has been provoked by points discussed in your recent visit.)

As some of your daily practices are ceremonial, it should not come amiss to vouchsafe a few hints of practical service.  For in ritual Magick, it will of course be the first care to get everything balanced and tidy.

If you propose to erect a regular Temple, the most precise instructions in every detail are given in Book 4, Part II.  (But I haven't so much as seen a copy for years!) ...

Naturally not; the Regardies of this world had all pounced on them. The reader is referred to Book Four Commented Part II, sub—titled "Yoga and Magick," for a new edition of this work.

... There is a good deal scattered about in Part III (Magick, which you have)...

Soon to be reissued by the O.T.O. under the title Thelemic Magick.

..., especially about the four elemental weapons.

But if circumstances deny you for the moment the means of carrying out this Ædification as the Ideal would have it, you can certainly do your best to create a fairly satisfactory—above all, workable—substitute.

The next paragraph was excised by Mr. Israel Regardie.

(By the way, note the moral aspect of a house, as displayed in our language. "Edification"—"house-making": from Latin Aedes, "house".  "Economy"—"house-ruling": from the Greek "ΟΙΚΟΣ", "House" and "ΝΟΜΟΣ", "law.")

I was often reduced to such expedients when wandering in strange lands, camping on glaciers, and so on.  I fixed it workably well.  In Mexico, D.F. for instance, I took my bedroom itself for the Circle, my night-table for the Altar, my candle for the Lamp; and I made the Weapons compact.  I had a Wand eight inches long, all precious stones and enamel, to represent the Tree of Life; within, an iron tube containing quicksilver—very correct, lordly, and damsilly.  What a club!  Also, bought, a silver-gilt Cup; for Air and Earth I made one sachet of rose-petals in yellow silk, and another in green silk packed with salt.  In the wilds it was easy, agreeable and most efficacious to make a Circle, and build an altar, of stones; my Alpine Lantern served admirably for the Lamp.  It did double duty when required: e.g. in partaking of the Sacrament of the Four Elements, it served for Fire.  But your conditions are not so restricted as this.

Let us consider what one can do with an ordinary house, such as you are happy enough to possess.

First of all, it is of immense advantage to have a room specially consecrated to the Work, never used for any other purpose, and never entered by any other person than yourself, unless it were another Initiate, either for inspection or in case you were working together.

The aura accumulates with the regularity and frequency of Use.

The first point is the Banishing: Everything is to be removed from the room which is not absolutely necessary to the Work.

In this country, one must attend to the heating.  An electric stove in the East or the South, is best: it must not need attention.  One can usually buy stoves with excellent appropriate symbolism.  (Last time I did this—1913 e.v.—I got a perfect Ferranti at Harrods ...

A fashionable London department store, still extant.

... The circular copper bowl, with the central Disk as the source of heat, is unsurpassable.)  The walls should be "self-coloured," a neutral tint—green, grey or blue-grey?— and entirely bare, unless you put up, in the proper quarters, the proper designs, such as the "Watch Towers"—see The Equinox I, vii.

Remember that your "East," your Kiblah, is Boleskine House, which is as near as possible due North from Plymouth.  Find North by the shadow of a vertical rod and noon, or by the Pole-Star.  Work out the angle as usual.

The Stélé of Revealing may be just on the N. Wall to make your "East."

This is the Spiritual East, or Orient, corresponding to the Element of Spirit. Do not confuse with the cardinal point East, the attributions of which remain the same.

Next, your Circle.  The floor ought to be "Earth" green; but white will serve, or black.  (A Masonic carpet is not at all bad.) The Circle itself should be as shown in "Book 4", Part II; but as this volume is probably unavailable, ask me to show you the large painted diagram in my portfolio when next you visit me, and we can arrange for it to be copied.

Again, the reader is referred to the new edition of Book Four Commented Part II, "Yoga and Magic," where there is a diagram of the Circle he mentions.

This should then be painted in the correct colours on the floor: the Kether Square to the North, your "East."

The Altar must fit exactly the square of Tiphareth; it is best made as a cupboard; of oak or acacia, by preference.  It can then be used to hold reserves of incense and other requisites.

Note that the height of the Altar has to suit your convenience.  It is consequently in direct relation with your own stature; in proportion, it is a double cube.  This then determines the size of your circle; in fact the entire apparatus and furniture is a geometrical function of yourself.  Consider it all as a projection of yourself in terms of these conventional formulae.  (A convention does really mean "that which is convenient."  How abject, then to obey a self-styled convention which is actually as inconvenient as possible!)

Next, the Lamp.  This may be of silver, or silver-gilt, (to represent the Path of ג) and is to be hung from the ceiling exactly above the centre of the altar. There are plenty of old church lamps which serve very well.  The light is to be from a wick in a floating cork in a glass of olive oil.  (I hope you can get it!)  It is really desirable to make this as near the "Ever-burning Lamp of the Rosicrucians" as possible; it is not a drawback that this implies frequent attention.

Now for the Weapons!

The Wand.  Let this be simple, straight and slim!  Have you an Almond or Witch Hazel in your garden—or do I call it park?...

The joke because she was a member of the aristocracy and lived in a manor.

... If so, cut (with the magick knife—I would lend you mine) a bough, as nearly straight as possible, about two feet long.  Peel it, rub it constantly with Oil of Abramelin (this, and his incense, from Wallis and Co., 26 New Cavendish Street, W.1) ...

This address is out of date. You cannot obtain true Oil of Abramelin anywhere anymore unless you compose it yourself, and to do this you need Oil of Galangal which, since China went red, became extremely difficult to obtain. The O.T.O. is trying to reach an agreement with a Republic of China company to obtain the root and press the oil elsewhere under rigorous supervision. Persons interested in obtaining genuine Oil of Galangal should write us. An unscrupulous charlatan called Herman Slater, working out of a seedy bookstore called "The Magickal Childe," has recently announced to the public "genuine Oil of Abramelin blessed by the O.T.O." This same individual has been known to affirm that "members of Motta's O.T.O." participate in the "blessing." Mr. Slater is either insane or a liar, probably both. No member of the O.T.O. would participate in such a scheme, for members of the O.T.O. are neither imposters nor thieves. Furthermore, any attempt to "bless" Oil of Abramelin for sale is a blasphemy, and extremely harmful magickally both to the seller and to the buyer. Since this is the Oil used in the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel, it stands to common sense that none but a full Adeptus Minor could bless it for others; and an Adept would not do such a thing, for the Oil can only be genuinely blessed by the Aspiration of the Candidate, which awakens the response of the Candidate's Angel. In the previous Oriflamme number we published an announcement to readers, inviting them to buy a liter of Galangal for themselves, at the price of a hundred dollars a liter. We need at least one hundred buyers to swing the deal, for the Chinese company naturally refuses to take the trouble of selling less than several tons of Galangal root at any one time. We have, up to now, only ten stated intentions of buying. We have received letters requesting to buy only an ounce or so. Readers must understand that we are not a commercial enterprise, nor are we in the oil selling business. One liter of Galangal may cost you a hundred dollars, but it should last the average practicing Magician literally for decades. If you calculate the price you pay for a few ounces of, say, Mr. Slater's false oil (there are many other con-men in this business), and calculate the equivalent price of a liter of genuine Galangal, you will realize that you have been offered the bargain of a lifetime. If you do not have enough intelligence to do this simple calculation, or enough empathy to realize our difficulties in merely publishing decent O.T.O. books (much more are going into the oil-selling business), you should not try to become a Magician; try to become an American president instead. If Reagan could, there is no reason why you could not, dumb as you are and insensitive as you are. Oil of Abramelin can be easily composed by anyone: the oils of Myrrh, Cinnamon and Olive are much less expensive and more easily procurable than oil of Galangal. An O.T.O. Lodge, of course, needs a greater quantity of Oil of Abramelin than an individual, in order to perform the Mass for its members on a regular basis. Readers should take all these matters under consideration before they think we are trying to extract more money for less value from them, or that we are in a position to cater to small orders of oil from lazy, stingy or stupid people.

... and keep wrapped in scarlet silk, constantly, I wrote, and meant it; rub it, when saying your mantra, to the rhythm of that same. 

(Remember, "A ka dua" is the best; ask me to intone it to you when you next visit me.)

The Cup.  There are plenty of chalices to be bought.  It should be of silver. If ornamented, the best form is that of the apple.  I have seen suitable cups in many shops.

The Sword.  The ideal form is shown in the Ace of Swords in the Tarot. At all events, let the blade be straight, and the hilt a simple cross. (The 32° Masonic Sword is not too bad; Kenning or Spencer in Great Queen Street, W.C.2 stock them—or used to do.)

Masonic swords, however, are usually made of very poor iron, not even steel.

The Disk.  This ought to be of pure gold, with your own Pantacle, designed by yourself after prolonged study, graved thereupon.  While getting ready for this any plain circle of gold will have to serve your turn.  Quite flat, of course.  If you want a good simple design to go on interim, try the Rosy Cross or the Unicursal Hexagram.

So much for the Weapons!  Now, as to your personal accoutrements, Robe, Lamen, Sandals and the like, The Book of the Law has most thoughtfully simplified matters for us.  "I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress."  (AL I, 61)  The Robe may well be in the form of the Tau Cross; i.e. expanding from axilla to ankle, and from shoulder to—whatever you call the place where your hands come out.  (Shape well shown in the illustration in Magick facing page 382)...

This refers to the original edition. Many books, however, lack this illustration. It will be published in our edition, of course.

... You being a Probationer, plain black is correct; and the Unicursal Hexagram might be embroidered, or "applique" (is it? I mean "stuck on"), upon the breast.  The best head-dress is the Nemyss: I cannot trust myself to describe how to make one, but there are any number of models in the British Museum, on in any Illustrated Hieroglyphic text.  The Sphinx wears one and there is a photograph, showing the shape and structure very clearly, in the Equinox I, 1, frontispiece to Supplement.  You can easily make one yourself out of silk; broad black-and-white stripes is a pleasing design.  Avoid "artistic" complexities.

Well, that ought to be enough to keep you out of mischief for a little while; but I feel moved to add a line of caution and encouragement.

Faites attention!
Khabardar karo!

Just as soon as you start seriously to prepare a place for magical Work, the world goes more cockeyed than it is already.  Don't be surprised if you find that six weeks' intense shopping all over London fails to provide you with some simple requisite that normally you could buy in ten minutes.  Perhaps your fires simply refuse to burn, even when liberally dosed with petrol and phosphorus, with a handful of Chlorate of Potash thrown in just to show there is no ill feeling!  When you have almost decided that you had better make up your mind to do without something that seems really quite unobtainable—say, a sixty-carat diamond which would look so well on the head-dress—a perfect stranger comes along and makes you a present of one.  Or, a long series of quite unreasonable obstacles or silly accidents interfere with your plans: or, the worst difficulty in your way is incomprehensibly removed by some extraordinary "freak of chance."  Or, . . .

In a word, you seem to have strolled into a world where—well, it might be going too far to say that the Law of Cause and Effect is suspended; but at least the Law of Probability seems to be playing practical jokes on you.

This means that your manoeuvres have somehow attracted the notice of the Astral Plane: your new neighbours (May I call them?) are taking an interest in the latest Tenderfoot, some to welcome, to do all they can to help you to settle down, others indignant or apprehensive at this disturbance of routine.  This is where your Banishings and Invocations come to the rescue.  Of course, I am not here referring to the approach to Sanctuaries which of necessity are closely guarded, but merely to the recognition of a new-comer to that part of the world in general.

Of course all these miracles are very naughty of you; they mean that your magical power has sprung a few small leaks; at least, the water is oozing between some planks not sealed as Hermetically as they should be.  But oh and this is naughtier still—it is a blessed, blessed comfort that they happen, that chance, coincidence and all the rest will simply not explain it all away, that your new vision of life is not a dream, but part and parcel of Experience for evermore, a real as any other manifestation of Reality through sense such as is common to all men.

And this brings us—it has been a long way round—from the suggestion of your visit to the question (hitherto unanswered) in your letter.

You raise so vast and razor-edged a question when you write of the supposed antinomy of "soul" and "sense" that it seemed better to withhold comment until this later letter; much meditation was most needful to compress the answer within reasonable limits; even to give it form at all is no easy matter.  For this is probably the symptom of the earliest stirring of the mind of the cave-man to reflection, thereunto moved by other symptoms—those of the morning after following upon the night before.  It is—have we not already dealt with that matter after a fashion?—evidence of disease when an organ become aware of its own modes of motion.  Certainly the mere fact of questioning Life bears witness to some interruption of its flow, just as a ripple on an even stream tells of a rock submerged.  The fiercer the torrent and the bigger the obstacle, the greater the disturbance to the surface—have I not seen them in the Bralduh eight feet high? Lethargic folk with no wild impulse of Will may get through Life in bovine apathy; we may well note that (in a sense) the rage of the water seems to our perturbed imagining actually to increase and multiply the obstructions; there is a critical point beyond which the ripples fight each other!

This, a description of how the psychosoma may deal with parapsychological conflicts brought on by mystical or magickal training (or simply by what one might call, a bit vaguely but at least poetically — the vagueness is due to our scanty systematic research in these matters — the "flowering of the soul."), is one of the most important passages of this Book.

That, in short, is a picture of you!

You have mistaken the flurry of passing over some actual snag for a snag in itself!  You put the blame on to your own quite rational attempts to overcome difficulties.  The secret of the trick of getting past the rocks is elasticity; yet it is that very quality with which you reproach yourself!

We even, at the worst, reach the state for which Buddhism, in the East presents most ably the case: as in the West, does James Thomson (B.V.) in "The City of Dreadful Night"; we come to wish for—or, more truly to think that we wish for "blest Nirvana's sinless stainless Peace" (or some such twaddle—thank God I can't recall Arnold's mawkish and unmanly phrase!) and B.V.'s "Dateless oblivion and divine repose."

"B.V." was James Thomson's pen name. "Arnold" refers to Sir Edwin Arnold, author of "The Light of Asia."

I insist on the "think that you wish," because, if the real You did really wish the real That, you could never have come to exist at all! ("But I don't exist."—"I know—let's get on!")

Note, please, how sophistically unconvincing are the Buddhist theories of how we ever got into this mess.  First cause: Ignorance.  Way out, then, knowledge.  O.K., that implies a knower, a thing known—and so on and so forth, thought all the Three Waste Paper Baskets of the Law; analysed, it turns out to be nonsense all dolled up to look like thinking.  And there is no genuine explanation of the origin of the Will to be.

How different, how simple, how self-evident, is the doctrine of The Book of the Law!

There are any number of passages dealing with this matter in my writings: let's forget them, and keep to the Text!

Cap. I, v. 26 ". . my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body."

V. 30  "This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all."  (There is a Qabalistic inner meaning in this text; "the pain," for instance, Ο ΑΛΓΟΣ, may be read XVII × 22 "the expression of Star-love," and so on: all too complicated for this time and place!)

"XVII" above being the number of Atu XVII, "The Star," in the Crowley Tarot.

V. 32. "Then the joys of my love" (i.e. the fulfillment of all possible experiences) "will redeem ye from all pain."

V. 58. "I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; . . ."

Here he added the following footnote: "Peace": the glow of satisfaction at achievement.  It is not "eternal," rather, it whets the appetite for another adventure. (Peace, Η ΕΙΡΗΝΗ = 189 = 7 × 9 × 13, the Venusian plus Lunar form of Unity.)

This calculation seems to be wrong, but it is hard to say whether the mistake was Crowley's or the copyist's. 189 equals 7x9x3, not 7x9x13, which is 819.

Cap. II, v. 9 "Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains."

(The continuation is amusing!...

In retrospect; if you read his Commentaries to AL, you will see he was not so amused at the time.

... vv. 10 and 11 read:

O prophet! thou hast ill will to learn this writing.  I see thee hate the hand & the pen; but I am stronger.

At that time I was a hard-shell Buddhist, sent out a New Year's Card "wishing you a speedy termination of existence!"  And this as a young man, with the world at my feet.  It only goes to show . . .)

Vv. 19, 20. "Is a God to live in a dog?  No!  but the highest are of us. . . . Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us."

This chapter returns over and over again to this theme in one form or another.

What is really more significant is the hidden, the unexpressed, soul of the Book; the way in which it leaps into wild spate of rhapsody on any excuse or no excuse.

This is surely more convincing than some dreary thesis plodding along doggedly with the "proof" (!) that "God is good," every sentence creaking with your chalk-stones and squeaking with the twinges of your toe!

Yet just because I proclaim a doctrine of joy in the language of joy, people—dull camels—say I am not "serious."

He was innocent, wasn't he? He did not realize that the —people— who said such things were in the pay of Christist interests, especially Roman Catholic, with the sole purpose to discredit him. In Brasil, for instance, it was published constantly in magazines in my youth, in short references to Crowley, that he was a despiser of women and thought they should all be slaves.

Yet I have found pleasure in harnessing the winged horses of the Sun to the ploughshare of Reason, in showing the validity of this doctrine in detail.  It satisfies my sense of rhythm and of symmetry to explain that every experience, no matter what, must of necessity be a gain of grandeur, of grip, of comprehension and enjoyment ever growing as complexity and simplicity succeed each other in sublime systole and diastole, in strophe and antistrophe chanting against each other to the stars of the Night and of the Morning!

Of course it is easy as pie to knock all this to pieces by "lunatic logic," saying: "Then toothache is really as pleasant as strawberry shortcake:"  You are hereby referred to Eight Lectures on Yoga.  None of the terms I am using have been, or can be defined.  All my propositions amount to no more than tautology ...

"Tautology" is the same thing as redundancy: repetition of the same meaning under different words, as for instance when you say, "Are you climbing up?"   Which, of course, people do all the time. Few, however, say "Are you descending down?"

...: A. is A.  You may even quote The Book of the Law itself:

Now a curse upon Because and his kin! . . . Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog. 
(AL II 28-33)

These things stink of Ignoratio Elenchi, or something painfully like it: as sort of slipping up a cog, of "confusing the planes" of willfully misunderstanding the gist of an argument.  (All magicians, by the way, ought to be grounded solidly in Formal Logic.)

Symbolic Logic would probably be more efficient than Formal. Ignoratio Elenchi is one of listed wrong forms of reasoning of Formal Logic; the Latin words mean, roughly, disregard for the whole chain of reasoning to concentrate on only one point which cannot of itself represent the final conclusion; and through this to attack the final conclusion. As, for instance, when Mr. Weiser's lawyer tried to insinuate, very subtly, that Donald Weiser had a legal right to pirate us because The Book of the Law is immoral.

Never forget, at the least, how simple it is to make a maniac's hell—broth of any proposition, however plain to common sense.

All the above, now:—Buddhism refuted.  Yet it is a possibility andA∴A∴ therefore one facet of Truth.  "Rest" is an idea: so immobility is one of the moving states.  A certain state of mind is (almost by definition) "eternal," yet it most assuredly begins and ends.

And so on for ever—I fear it would be nugatory, pleonastic (and oh! several other lovely long adjectives!) ...

Yeah. You just look them up in your dictionary from now on. We will elucidate henceforth only expressions that cannot be easily checked. You might as well do some of the work in understanding Crowley yourselves. Boo-hoo.

... to try to guard you from these hydra-headed and protean booby—traps; you must tackle them yourself as they arise, and deal with them as best you can: always remembering that often enough you cannot tell which is you and which is the Monkey Puzzle, or who has won.  ("Everybody's won; so everybody must have a prize" applies beautifully).  And none of it all matters a row of haricots verts sautés; for the conclusion must always be Doubt (see that beastly Book of Lies again—there's a gorgeous chapter about it) and the practical moral is this: these contradictions don't occur (or don't matter) in Neschamah.

The next paragraph was cut by Mr. Regardie.

Also, it might help you quite a lot (by encouraging you when depressed, or amusing you when you want to relax) to read Sir Palamede the Saracen; Supplement to The Equinox, Vol. I 4 ...

We are planning to issue presently a selection of Crowley's poetry. This shall be part of it.

... I expect quite a few of his tragi—comic misadventures will be already familiar to you in one disguise or another.

And if the above remarks should embolden you to exclaim: "Perhaps a little drink would do me no great harm" I shall feel that I have deserved well of my country!

For—see Liber Aleph, after Rabelais—the Word of the Last Oracle is TRINC.

You may realize, if you are intelligent, sensitive, and if you like history, how the Temperance Societies reacted to this. The "Dry Law" in the United States, and the anti-drug laws in all countries, were passed after AL was given to the world, at the instigation of the upholders of the established dogmas, who knew perfectly well that their last trumpet had sounded, and wanted to stay alive — if what they do can be called living — as long as they could.

This plaint of yours tails off—and perks up in so doing—with confession of Ambition, and considerations of what you must leave over to your next life.  Very right! but all that is covered by your general programme.  It is proper to assimilate these ideas with the fundamental structure of your mind: "Perhaps I had better leave 'The Life and opinion of Battling Bill, the Ballarat Bruiser' till, shall we say, six incarnations ahead"—But perhaps you have acquired that already.

And this unconscious memory is what prompts you the feeling that you do not need it at once. Perhaps!

No, better still, concentrate on the Next Step! After all, it is the only one you can take, isn't it! Without lust of result, please!

And I shall leave anything else to the next letter.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


P.S. "Next letter," yes, they are running into one another more than somewhat; it is better so, for life is like that.  And we have the bold bad editor to sort them out.

This was, of course, Mr. Karl Johannes Germer, not Israel Regardie. By leaving this P.S. untouched in the text of his piracy, Mr. Regardie slyly thought to induce the reader to believe that the affectionate reference was to himself. He later tried the same ruse, only more so, when defacing the footnotes to Mr. Germer's edition of The Vision and the Voice.

LETTER 24: Necromancy and Spiritism

Cara Soror:

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

Really, you make me ashamed of You! To write to ignorant me to wise you up about necromancy, when you have at your elbow the one supreme classic—Lévi's Chapter XIII in the Dogme et Rituel!

Eliphas Levi's Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, mistranslated by Arthur Edward Waite as Transcendental Magic. Waite's translation is so bad, distorts so much the meaning of the original, that the O.T.O. is preparing a new translation, commented by Marcelo Motta. Until then, serious students should strive to read Levi's masterpiece in the original French. People are funny; I wrote this remark in a previous number of Oriflamme VI, and a young man who persists in calling himself a student of mine without doing any serious work to this end complained that I was hard on Americans who do not know French. This young man is the son of a millionaire, and spent his early youth in Europe. He had ever opportunity to learn not only French, but several other foreign languages; alas, he was interested in nothing at the time (as he is now) but the grossest and most stupid self-indulgence. This same young man was given every opportunity to help prepare our books by setting the original Crowley material to type, reducing my labor by at least sixty percent, and thus giving me time to work on such things as translations of Levi, to say nothing of other much needed material; but, again, he preferred to indulge himself rather than to serve me, therefore the Order, his country and other English-speaking countries. His complaint about having to wait for a translation of Levi, incidentally, came exactly when, against every possible admonition and advice, he had squandered one hundred thousand dollars of his family's money in one year, and in the process made it impossible for us to use the typesetting machine we had employed up to then. The technical deficiencies and delays in our publications can be ascribed almost entirely to his debauch, presumption, indiscipline, and egotistical stupidity. Leaving aside those limitations not of my making: if you want me to feel sorry for an American who does not know French find me a poor black living in the Chicago ghetto, or a poor Spanish-American living in Dallas, Texas. Who ever said life is "fair?" The very example of this young fool, who will someday inherit millions of dollars, speaks for itself. Life is tough on the poor, the ignorant and the weak — and this is why there are Initiates. Nothing deserves more contempt than a rich person who makes the poor even poorer, or an intelligent person who is too lazy to learn; except perhaps a physically strong person who enjoys pushing the weak around. Actually what all the above means is, if you don't know French and are unwilling to help us work, shut up and wait patiently for our edition; be grateful we are willing to take the trouble; and try never to emulate rich idle heirs!

Another Note by David Bersson: "Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie" is translated properly from French to mean "Dogma and Ritual of High Magic." Had Eliphas Levi, Arthur Edward Waite and the "young man in question" had listened to the Riddle of the Sphinx both would of known that Rien ne se perd, rien ne se cree, tout se transforme — instead of being strangled by the irony. The irony is of course the schools of thought proceeding transform everything. Therefore, one man's treasure is another man's garbage — yet after another matter, if you'll forgive the Alchemical interpretation of the planes of perception. Also, "White is white is the lash of the overseer, white is black is the watchword of the slave." Yet, what is "bound & loathing" for one Master might be a talisman to be whirled as a weapon of war for the Life and Enigma of another Master's school of thought. Of course, without the odd translation of Waite, or, "the young man in question" where We would be all be now? Doing the wrong thing at the right time is just as bad for the True Will, as doing the right thing at the wrong time says the Sphinx slyly knowing full well that the right thing at the right time might be only surface and it will recoil on you anyway. Therefore, use what material you have at hand, or self excise the entire magical gesture altogether by non movement!

What sublimity of approach!  What ingenuity of "considerations!"  With what fatally sure steps marches his preparation!  With what superb technique does he carry out his energized enthusiasm!  And, finally, with what exact judicial righteousness does he sum the results of his great Evocation of Apollonius of Tyana!

Contrast with this elaborate care, rightness of every detail, earnestness and intentness upon the goal—contrast, I say, the modern Spiritist in the dingy squalor of her foul back street in her suburban slum, the room musty, smelling of stale food, the hideous prints, the cheap and rickety furniture, calling up any one required from Jesus Christ to Queen Victoria, all at a bob-a-nob!

Of course, spiritists avidly read Crowley's books — we should know, they are some of our regular customers. This description must have led them to improve their act. Oh, they still call up anyone required, but thy do it in clean (though conveniently murky) surroundings, have plush waiting rooms or plush "Camps," and charge much higher fees!

Faugh! Let us return to clean air, and analyse Lévi's experiment; I believe that by the application of the principles set forth in my other letters on Death and Reincarnation, it will be simple to explain his partial failure to evoke Apollonius.  You had better read them over again, to have the matter clear and fresh in your mind.

Now then, let me call you attention to the extreme care which Lévi took to construct a proper Magical Link between himself and the Ancient Master.  Alas!  It was rather a case of building with bricks made without straw; he had not at his command any fresh and vital object pertaining intimately to Apollonius.  A "relic" would have been immensely helpful, especially if it had been consecrated and re-consecrated through the centuries by devout veneration.  This, incidentally, is the great advantage that one may often obtain when invoking Gods; their images, constantly revered, nourished by continual sacrifice, serve as a receptacle for the Prana driven into them by thousands or millions of worshippers.  In fact, such idols are often already consecrated talismans; and their possession and daily use is at least two-thirds of the battle.

The above speculation is incorrect, and Crowley is merely indulging in exhibiting some of his knowledge of the Magical Link in worship. There is absolutely no guarantee that you will make contact with the Teacher through a 'relic' of him or her; on the contrary, the most likely result is that you will attract either an astral cadaver, or an elemental, or a demon, masquerading as that person. The cadaver may well be that of the person whose 'relic' you use, but it will not be the person, just a corpse; and in the case of a real initiate, you will not get even that, for reasons that Crowley will explain himself in his next paragraphs. The motive why Mr. Karl Johannes Germer buried Crowley's ashes under a tree and told no one where (I know where, and even the tree, but I'm not telling either) was to avoid the dear wish of Grady McMurtry and other ghouls to create a "talisman" that would only attract malignant forces, and make the "Demon Crowley" a reality.

Apollonius was indeed as refractory a subject as Lévi could possibly have chosen.  All the cards were against him.

Why?  Let me remind you of the sublimity of the man's genius, and the extent of his attainment.  Apollonius must certainly have made the closest links between his Ruach and his Supernal Triad, and this would have gone seeking a new incarnation elsewhere.  All the available Ruach left floating around in the Akasha must have been comparatively worthless odds and ends, true Qlippoth or "Shells of the Dead"—just those parts of him, in a word, which Apollonius would have deliberately discarded at his death.

So what use would they be to Lévi? ...

Or to Grady McMurtry, for that matter. This is the true objection against worship of 'relics' of 'saints.' If they were true saints, the relics would become the focus of unhealthy forces; if they were false saints, the astral shells themselves would come, and vampirize the worshippers.

... Even if there were among them a few such elements as would serve his purpose, they would have been devitalized and frittered away by the mere lapse of the centuries, since they had lost connection with the reality of the Sage.  Alternatively, they might have been caught up and adopted by some wandering Entity, quite probably some malignant demon.

Qlipoth—Shells of the Dead—Obsessing Spirits!  Here we are back in the pestilent purlieus of Walham Green, and the frowsty atmosphere of the frowsy "medium" and the squalid séance.  "Look! but do not speak to them!"  as Virgil warned Dante.

And do not answer if they speak to you.

So let us look.

No!  Let us first congratulate ourselves that this subject of Necromancy is so admirably documented.  As to the real Art, we have not only Eliphas Lévi, but the sublimely simple account in the Old Testament of the Witch of Endor, her conjuring up of the apparition of Samuel to King Saul.  A third classic must not be neglected: I have heard or read the story elsewhere—for the moment I cannot place it.  But it is so brilliantly told in I Write as I Please by Walter Duranty that nothing could be happier than to quote him verbatim.

It was the story of a Bolshevik who conversed with a corpse.  He told it to me himself, and undoubtedly believed it, although he was an average tough Bolshevik who naturally disbelieved in Heaven and Hell and a Life beyond the Grave.  This man was doing 'underground' revolutionary work in St. Petersburg when the War broke out; but he was caught by the police and exiled to the far north of Siberia. In the second winter of the War he escaped from his prison camp and reached an Eskimo village where they gave him shelter until the spring. They lived, he said, in beastly conditions, and the only one whom he could talk to was the Shaman, or medicine man, who knew a little Russian.  The Shaman once boasted that he could foretell the future, which my Bolshevik friend ridiculed.  The next day the Shaman took him to a cave in the side of a hill in which there was a big transparent block of ice enclosing the naked body of a man—a white man, not a native—apparently about thirty years of age with no sign of a wound anywhere.  The man's head, which was clean-shaven, was outside the block of ice; the eyes were closed and the features were European.  The shaman then lit a fire and burnt some leaves, threw powder on them muttering incantations, and there was a heavy aromatic smoke.  He said in Russian to the bolshevik, 'Ask what you want to know.'  The Bolshevik spoke in German; he was sure that the Shaman knew no German, but he was equally sure he saw the lips move and heard it answer, clearly, in German.

He asked what would happen to Russia, and what would happen to him.  From the moving lips of the corpse came the reply that Russia would be defeated in war and that there would be a revolution; the Tzar would be captured by his enemies and killed on the eve of rescue; he, the Bolshevik, would fight in the Revolution but would suffer no harm; later, he would be wounded fighting a foreign enemy, but would recover and live long.

The Bolshevik did not really believe what he had seen although he was certain that he had seen it.  I mean that he explained it by hypnotism or auto-suggestion or something of the kind; but it was true, he said, that he passed unscathed through the Revolution and the Civil War and was wounded in the Polish War when the Red Army recovered Kiev.

So also we are most fortunate in possessing the account almost beyond Heart's desire of Spiritism, in Robert Browning's Mr. Sludge the Medium.  You see that I write "Spiritism" not "Spiritualism."  To use the latter word in this connection is vulgar ignorance; it denotes a system of philosophy which flourished (more or less) is the Middle Ages—read your Erdmann if you want the gruesome details.  But why should you?

The model for Mr. Sludge was David Dunbar Home, who was really quite a distinguished person in his way, and succeeded in pulling some remarkably instructed and blue—blooded legs.  Personally, I believe him to have been genuine, getting real results through pacts with elementals, demons or what not; for when he was in Paris, arrangements were made for him to meet Eliphas Lévi; forthwith "he abandoned the unequal contest, and fled in terror from the accursed spot."

What annoyed Browning was that he had added to his collection of "Femora I have pulled", those appendages of Elizabeth Barrett; and where R.B. was there was no room for anyone else—as in the case of Allah!

R.B. was accordingly as spiteful as he could be, and that was not a little.

It is not fair to tar all mediums with the Sludge brush; there are many who could advance quite sincerely some of the apologia of Sludge.  Why should a medium be immune to self—deception spurred by the Wish-Fiend?  While there are people walking about outside the Bug—house who can find Mrs. Simpson and Generals de Gaulle, Franco, Allenby, Montgomery and who else in the "Centuries" of Nostradamus, we should be stupid to assign everything to conscious fraud.

The next paragraph was excised by Mr. Regardie from his " edition", possibly because none of names of the illustrious psychoanalysts mentioned is his own.

In that case what about poor Tiny Aleister?  Do please allow me the happy young Eagles of the Old Testament; what clearer prophecy of psychoanalysis, it's only the English for Freud and Jung and Adler!

Who all three were Jews. This paragraph was excised by Mr. Regardie from his "edition," possibly because none of the names of illustrious psychoanalysts mentioned is his own. Crowley was jesting, of course; but Mr. Regardie may have resented this piece of free advertisement of a genius and two pupils far above himself in intellect and character.

No, by no means always fraud.  Yet at any séance the "investigators" take no magical precautions soever—against, say, the impersonation of Iophiel by Hismael, or the Doves of Venus by the A'arab Zareq. All they attempt especially at "demonstrations" and "materializations," is to guard with great elaboration and (as a rule) complete futility against the deceptions of the common conjuror.  They are not expecting any genuine manifestation of the "Spirit World;" and this fact makes clear their true subconscious attitude.

As for those mediums who possess magical ability, they almost always come from the most ignorant classes—Celts are an exception to this rule—and have no knowledge whatever of the technique of the business.  Worse, they are usually of the type that delights in the secret dirty affinities, and so naturally and gladly attract entities of the Qliphothic world to their magical circle.  Hence tricksters, of the lowest elemental orders, at the best, come and vitalize odds and ends of the Ruach of people recently deceased, and perform astonishing impersonations.  The hollow shells glow with infernal fire.  Also, of course, they soak up vitality from the sitters, and from the medium herself.

Altogether, a most poisonous performance.  And what do they get out of it?  Even when the "Spirits" are really spirits, they only stuff the party up with a lot of trashy lies.

To this summary the Laws of Probability insist that there shall be occasional exceptions.

But the occasional exceptions need not be permanent; indeed, rarely are. A "medium" may get a genuine communication on a certain occasion, merely because some legitimate Entity decided that was the line of least resistance to communicate with someone at that particular time — and never in his or her life get a genuine communication again.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 25: Fascinations, Invisibility, Levitation, Transmutations, "Kinks in Time"

Cara Soror:

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

Dear me! dear me!  The world's indeed gone topsy—turvy if you have to ask me for the secrets of Fascination!  Altogether tohu-bohu and the Temurah Thash raq!

So much for a display of Old-World Courtly Manners; actually rubbish, for you might very well be fascinating without knowing how you worked the trick.  In fact, I think that is the case ninety-nine times in a hundred. Besides, I read your letter carelessly; I overlooked the phrase in which you mention that you use the word as Lévi did; id est to cover all those types of "miracle" which depend on distracting the attention of, or otherwise composing, the miraclee—I invent a rather useful word, yes?

Not from the point of view of professional miraclers.

So let us see what sort of miracles those are.

To start with, I doubt if we can.  Many of such thaumaturgic phenomena contain elements of illusion in greater or less degree; if the miraclee's mind is 100% responsible, I think the business becomes a mere conjuring trick.

My dictionary defines the verb: "to charm, to enchant; to act on by some irresistible influence; to captivate; to excite and allure irresistibly or powerfully."

For the noun it gets even deeper into technical Magic: "the act or power of fascinating or spell binding, often to one's harm; a mysterious, irresistible, alluring influence."  (Personally, I have always used, or heard, it much less seriously: "attractive" hardly more).  Skeat, surprisingly, is almost dumb: p. part. of "to enchant" and "from L. fascinum, a spell."

Yes, surprisingly; for the word is one of the many that means the Phallus ...

It should not have surprised him; Skeat obviously knew, but had he, in the England of Queen Victoria, announced to the world that fascination came from the penis (or the vulva), he would never have found employment anywhere. The same horrible prudishness is evident even today in such supposedly "enlightened sexologists" as Masters and Johnson, who not only were very careful to avoid giving statistics of penis size, or women's reaction to penis size, in their books, but went so far as to state the outrageous lie that once a penis grows in erection, all men are more or less equal! Recently, in a Playboy magazine interview, they admitted that their intention had been to avoid causing pain or inferiority complexes or whatever — not in these exact words. So you have a pair of supposed "scientists" who conceal facts from the public, just like the C.I.A., the K.G.B., the Vatican, Lysenko, and the average politician. Poor Skeat at least was trying to save his job, but one doubts that Masters and Johnson were in jeopardy from anything but their own paternalism—maternalism and Judeo—Christist hypocrisy. Naturally, Playboy swears by this pair; almost invariably, when giving sexual advice to readers, they quote Masters and Johnson. This, quite often, spreads erroneous and even harmful information to the public. Kinsey, at least, may have been old—fashioned, but he was objective.

... The implication is that there is some sexual element in the exciting and alluring quality, which lifts it altogether above mere "pleasing."

I am reminded of a story once told me by Mrs. Germer in Hampton, N.J., about a very strait—laced Aspirant who, in Paris, met a woman whom he thought extremely witty, and told her so. The woman turned to him mockingly, pointed at her crotch and said: "Ça, c'est mon esprit!" (This is my wit!) The Aspirant forthwith fell in love with her, and learned a lot he had not known about life from the relationship.

To my mind the implication is that there is some quality inherent which is cognate to that too totally irrational quasimagnetic force which has been responsible not only for innumerable personal tragedies—and comedies —but for the fall of dynasties and even the wreck of Empires.

"Christ" is reported as having said: "If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me."  Interpret this in the light of the Cross as a Phallic emblem, and—how lurid a flash!

Compare AL II 26.

I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy.  If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one.  If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.

This versicle is deep, devilish deep; and it is chock-a-block with the mysteries of Fascination.  Dig into this, dear sister! dig with your Qabalistic trowel; don't blame me if you don't get a Mandrake with the very first thrust!

But most certainly I shall say nothing here.  Yes, indeed, nothing was ever more sternly forbidden than prattle on subjects like this!  Look!  It goes right on:

There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss.  He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason.

(v. 27)  The pit is of course the Abyss: see The Vision and the Voice, 10th Aethyr.  A very sticky—or rather, unstuck! finish; so 'ware Hawk!

To business!  Fascination No!  Invisibility, is obviously penny plain S.A.

This is notably an affair of the subconscious; it often masters open dislike and distaste; it never yields to reason. It destroys all sense of values.  Its origin is usually obscure.  The least irrational base of it is the sense of smell.  It was, if I remember rightly, the Comte de St. Germain who advised Loise de la Valliêre to fix her exquisitely broidered kerchief in such wise that it protected her from contact with her saddle, and then, after a morning's hard gallop, to find an excuse for using it to wipe the brows of the perspiring king.  It took him years to recover!  The story is well known, and the plan widely adopted with remarkably unvarying success.  But be careful not to overdo it; for if the source of the perfume is recognized the consciousness takes charge, and the result is antipathy.

This negative reaction of the conscious mind results from a thousand years of relentless condemnation of all things sexual instigated by the insanity of Christism.

Many years ago I composed a scent based on similar principles, which I intended to market under the title "Potted Sex Appeal."  We tried it out with the assistance of a certain noble Marquess, whose consequent misadventures—won't he laugh when he reads this!

But there are other senses: "l'amour de l'oreille" may refer not only to Othello's way of snaring Desdemona, but subtleties of timbre in the voice...

Yes, yes, you say impatiently, but there isn't any miracle about all this in the ordinary sense of the word.

True, but why the devil do you want me, so long as you're getting what you need?  Just being childlike, I suppose!  No?  Merely that you can explain such matters to yourself well enough.  All right; on to No. 2.  Shall we look at levitation for a change?

This power—if it be one—is very curious indeed.  It connects more directly with magnetism than almost any other.  The first thing we think of when someone says "magnet" is picking up iron filings as a child.

Age before honesty!  Let Father Poulain S.J. speak first!  He is obliged to admit the phenomenon, because the Church has done so.  But precisely similar accounts of the levitation of pagans and heretics must be according to him, lies, or Works of the Devil.  As for the method, "God employs the angels to raise the saint, so as to avoid the necessity of intervening Himself."  Lazy old parishioner!

Now for a douche of common sense. Hatha-Yoga is quite clear and simple, even logical, about it.  The method is plain Pranayama. Didn't I tell you onetime of the Four Stages of Success?
1. Perspiration—of a very special kind ...

It is thick and slick, almost the consistency of semen, sometimes with the odor of semen, sometimes with a peculiar perfume, which may possibly be the that of equivalent female hormones. Rubbed back into the skin it invigorates the body.

2. Sukshma-Khumbakam: automatic rigidity.  One stiffens like a dog in a bell-jar when you pump in Carbon Dioxide (is it?) 
3. The Bhuchari-Siddhi, "jumping about like a frog."  One is wafted, without one's Asana being disturbed, about the floor, rather as fragments of paper, or dry leaves, might be in a slight draught under the door. 
4. If one is quite perfectly balanced one cannot be moved sideways; so one rises.  And there you are!

One should perhaps make a remark about Hatha Yoga. The term has often been translated as the Union of Sun and Moon, and it can be so described, but it has also been translated as Union by Courage, and most definitely it can be so described. In order to reach those stages that Crowley is describing the Yogi has to endure formidable bodily pain, great mental and emotional stress, and quite often the sensation that one is going to die if one sticks to the practice a moment longer. This is not an image or an exaggeration: one has to experience it to believe it, but it is a fact. It is possible, indeed, although this writer does not think so, that the experience of levitation is merely a delusion caused by a brief attack of insanity. But there have been eye—witness accounts of this experience from many parts of the world, always related to religious ecstasy, although not of any particular dogma — which may or may not be significant. In his book, Flim Flam, which should make part of the library of any serious student of occultism, Mr. James Randi expresses his total disbelief in levitation, and he particularly demolishes the levitation claims of the followers of a "Maharishi" whose name I have never bothered to learn, but who is connected directly or indirectly to the Toshosophists, and who founded so-called "Transcendental Meditation." It is difficult to say whether the followers of this cunning millionaire are simply hypnotized or lying when they claim to levitate It may even be possible that some of them do levitate, briefly; but not at will. The phenomenon is very likely not subject to volition except in very high Initiates, who usually do not have the time or energy to develop it to such a point — we have other priorities. Obviously, it would edify Mr. Randi to see the phenomenon happen under laboratory conditions, but one of the problems involved is that the Yogi would have to be extremely advanced in concentration in order to be able to achieve the kind of condition in which conscious levitation may occur in the presence of witnesses and recording machinery, and it is unlikely that any legitimate Yogi would bother to do this. However, scientists could try to duplicate Yogic phenomena for themselves, and one can think of less satisfactory places to practice Yoga than the seclusion of one's own laboratory. I can personally vouch for the special kind of perspiration and for automatic rigidity, for I achieved these myself. But when the tremors of the third stage were starting with me I reached Dhyana and certain insights, and abandoned Yoga completely, considering that I had achieved the result that I had been striving for. A scientists could at least try to verify those claims before denying them; after all, is not that the Method of Science? Mr. Randi, for instance, could try. But one must, as I said before, have the courage necessary to face the very terrifying sensations of approaching insanity and/or approaching death. True yogis are probably even rarer than true patriots, true statesmen, of true Christians.

Personally, I reached the Bhuchari-Siddhi quite a number of times; but I never observed No. 4.  On several occasions other people have seen me levitated, though never to a height of more than a foot or so. Here is the best account of such an incident, of those at my immediate disposal.

He next quotes Virakam's account published in Magick and Mysticism.

Nearly midnight.  At this moment we stopped dictating, and began to converse.  Then Fra. P. said: "Oh, if I could only dictate a book like the Tao Teh King!" ...

He did not dictate, but wrote, one at least as good, The Book of Lies Falsely So—Called, which we will of course re—issue, annotated.

Note by David Bersson: This commentary I never received, nor do I know whether it was ever done before my Superior's death. Other commentaries which my Superior mentions in this commentary to be released are also missing — and of course they were supposed to be in those very files which Claudia Canuto de Menezes searched through claiming to me over the telephone that there must be another will. What did you do, Claudia Canuto de Menezes???
(This Commentary might of been important for the Advancment of the Law of Θελημα or a scientific study of the Babe of the Abyss from the point of view of a Master other than V.V.V.V.V., yet not having seen it I cannot speculate with any accuracy.) Or perhaps the question should be, what couldn't she show any moral courage and do what the Master wanted in the Declaration of Trust — arrange a vote and print his books as he delegated in his last will.

... Then he closed his eyes as if meditating.  Just before I had noticed a change in his face, most extraordinary, as if he were no longer the same person; in fact, in the ten minutes we were talking he seemed to be any number of different people. I especially noticed the pupils of his eyes were so enlarged that the entire eye seemed black.  (I tremble so and have such a quaking feeling inside, simply in thinking of last night, that I can't form letters).  Then quite slowly the entire room filled with a thick yellow light (deep golden, but not brilliant. I mean not dazzling, but soft.)  Fra. P. Looked like a person I had never seen but seemed to know quite well—his face, clothes and all were of the same yellow.  I was so disturbed that I looked up to the ceiling to see what caused the light, but could only see the candles.  Then the chair on which he sat seemed to rise; it was like a throne, and he seemed to rise; it was like a throne, and he seemed to be either dead or sleeping; but it was certainly no longer Fra. P.  This frightened me, and I tried to understand by looking round the room; when I looked back the chair was raised, and he was still the same.  I realized I was alone; and thinking he was dead or gone—or some other terrible thing—I lost consciousness.

This discourse has been thus left unfinished: but it is only necessary to add that the capacity to extract such spiritual honey from these unpromising flowers is the mark of an adept who has perfected his Magick Cup.  This method of Qabalistic exegesis is one of the best ways of exalting the reason to the higher consciousness.  Evidently it started Fra. P. so that in a moment he become completely concentrated and entranced.

Note that this has nothing at all to do with any Pranayama.  It seems a matter of ecstatic concentration, which chose this mode of expression instead of bringing on Samadhi—though that, too, occurred in some of the cases.

By the way, there is a fairly full account of the whole business; I have just remembered—it is in my Autohagiography.

Pranayama produced, firstly, a peculiar kind of perspiration; secondly, an automatic rigidity of the muscles; and thirdly, the very curious phenomenon of causing the body, while still absolutely rigid, to take little hops in various directions.  It seems as if one were somehow raised, possibly an inch from the ground, and deposited very gently a short distance away.

I saw a very striking case of this at Kandy.  When Allan was meditating, it was my duty to bring his food very quietly (from time to time) into the room adjoining that where he was working.  One day he missed two successive meals, and I thought I ought to look into his room to see if all was well.  I must explain that I have known only two European women and three European men who could sit in the attitude called Padmasana, which is that usually seen in seated images of the Buddha.  Of these men, Allan was one.  He could knot his legs so well that, putting his hands on the ground, he could swing his body to and fro in the air between them. 

When I looked into his room I found him not seated on his meditation mat, which was in the centre of the room at the end farthest from the window, but in a distant corner ten or twelve feet off, still in his knotted position, resting on his head and right shoulder, exactly like an image overturned.  I set him right way up, and he came out of his trance.  He was quite unconscious that anything unusual had happened.  But he had evidently been thrown there by the mysterious forces generated by Pranayama.

There is no doubt whatever about this phenomenon; it is quite common.  But the Yogis claim that the lateral motion is due to lack of balance, and that if one were in perfect spiritual equilibrium one would rise directly in the air.  I have never seen any case of levitation, and hesitate to say that it has happened to me, thought I have actually been seen by others, on several occasions, apparently poised in the air.  For the first three phenomena I have found no difficulty in devising quite simple physiological explanations.  But I can form no theory as to how the practice could counteract the force of gravitation, and I am unregenerate enough to allow this to make me sceptical about the occurrence of levitation.  Yet, after all, the stars are suspended in space.  There is no à priori reason why the forces which prevent them rushing together should not come into operation in respect of the earth and the body.

The Allan part of this is the best evidence at my disposal. He couldn't have got where he did by hopping, and he couldn't have got into that position intentionally; he must have been levitated, lost balance, and dropped upside down.  In any case, there is no trace of fascination about it, as there may have been in Soror Virakam's observation.

About invisibility, now?  Of this I have so much experience that the merest outline could take us far beyond the limits of a letter.  In Mexico D.F., I worked at acquiring the power by means of ritual.  I worked desperately hard.  I got to the point where my image in a pier-glass flickered, rather like the very earliest films did.  Possibly more work, after more skill had come to me, might have done the whole trick.  But I did not persist when I found out how to do it by fascination.  (Here we are at last!)

Roughly, this is how to do it. If one is concentrated to the point when what you are thinking of is the only reality in the Universe, when you lose all awareness of who and where you are and what you are doing, it seems as though that unconsciousness were in some way contagious.  The people around you just can't see anybody.

At one time, in Sicily, this happened nearly every day.  Our party, strolling down to our bathing bay—the loveliest spot of its kind that I have ever seen—over a hillside where there wasn't cover for a rabbit, would lose sight of me, look, and fail to find me, though I was walking in their midst. At first, astonishment, bewilderment; at last, so normal had it become: "He's invisible again."

One incident I remember very vividly indeed; an old friend and I were sitting opposite each other in armchairs in front of a large fire, smoking our pipes.  Suddenly he lost sight of me, and actually cried out in alarm.  I said: "What's wrong?"  That broke the spell; there I was, all present and correct.

Did I hear you mutter "Transmutations?  Werwolves?  Golden Hawks?"  Likely enough; it's time we touched on that.

In certain types of animal there appears, if tradition have any weight, to be a curious quality of—sympathy?  I doubt if that be the word, but can think of none better—which enables them to assume at times the human form.  No. 1—and the rest are also rans—is the seal.  There is a whole body of literature about this.  Then come wolves, hyaenas, large dogs of the hunting type; occasionally leopards.  Tales of cats and serpents are usually the other way round; it is the human (nearly always female) that assumes these shapes by witchcraft.  But in ancient Egypt they literally doted on this sort of thing.  The papyri are full of formulas for operating such transmutations.  But I think that this was mostly to afford some relaxation for the spirit of the dead man ...

Or woman. The tombs of women also contained such papyri.

...; he nipped out of his sarcophagus, and painted the town all the colours of the rainbow in one animal shape or another.

The only experience I have of anything of this sort was when I was in Pacific waters, mostly at Honolulu or in Nippon.  I was practising Astral projection.  A sister of the Order who lived in Hong Kong helped me ...

This was Elaine Simpson, dear "Fidelis." See Equinox V 4, subtitled "Sex and Religion," for her.

... I was to visit her, and the token of perfect success was to be that I should knock a vase off the mantel-piece.  We appointed certain days and hours—with some awkwardness, as my time—distance from her was constantly growing shorter—for me to pay my visit.  We got some remarkable results; our records of the interview used to tally with surprising accuracy; but the vase remained intact!

This is not one of my notorious digressions; and this is how transmutation comes into it.  I found that by first taking the shape of a golden hawk, and resuming my own form after landing in her "temple"—a room she had fitted ad hoc—the whole operation became incomparably easier.  I shall not indulge in hypotheses of why this should have been the case.

A little over four years later—in the meantime we had met and worked at Magick together—we resumed these experiments in a somewhat different form.  The success was much greater; but though I could move her, and even any objects which she was touching, I could make no impression on inanimate objects at a distance from her.  The behaviour of her dogs, and of her cat, was very curious and interesting.  Strangest of all, there appeared those "kinks in Time" which profane science is just beginning to discuss.  Example: on one occasion our records of an "interview" agreed with quite extraordinary precision; but, on comparing notes, it was found that owing to some stupid miscalculation of mine, it was all over in Hong Kong some hours before I had started from Honolulu!  Again, don't ask me why, or how, or anything!

The next paragraph was excised by Mr. Regardie.

Talking of kinks in Time, I shall now maintain my aforesaid evil notoriety ...

Meaning, his supposed tendency to digress. The word "asynartete" that he uses comes from the Greek and means "not connected." It is of common use in poetics to indicate two consecutive verses that do not have the same rhythm.

... —the story is totally asynartete from fascinations of whatever variety—by recounting what is by far the most inexplicable set of facts that ever came my way.

In the summer of 1910 e.v. I was living at 125 Victoria Street, in a studio converted into a Temple by means of a Circle, an Altar and the rest.  West of the Altar was a big fireplace with a fender settee; the East wall was covered with bookshelves.  Enter the late Theodor Reuss, O.H.O. and Frater Superior of the O.T.O.  He wanted me to join that Order. I recommended him, in politer language to repeat the Novocastrian Experiment.  Undeterred, he insisted: "But you must."

(Now we go back, or forward, I know not which, to a night when I found myself stranded in London.  I asked hospitality of a stranger; it was readily afforded.  Some hours later my hostess fell asleep; I could not do so; something was nagging me.  I suddenly took my notebook, and wrote a certain passage in a certain book, since published.)

"Must, my foot!"  He persisted: "You have published the secret of the 9th degree of O.T.O., and you must take the corresponding oaths."  "I have done nothing of the sort.  I don't know the secret.  I don't want to know it.  I don't . . ."  He interrupted me; he strode across the room; he plucked a book from the shelves; he opened it; he thrust it under my nose; he pointed out a passage with a minatory index.  I began to stammer.  "Yes, I wrote that.  I don't know what it means; I don't like it; I only put it in because it was written in rather curious circumstances, and I was too lazy—or perhaps a little afraid—to reject it and write what I wanted."  He fastened on one point: "You don't know what it means?"  I repeated that I did not, even now that he had claimed it as important.  He explained it to me, as to a child.  I was merely surprised; it didn't sound possible.  (Sister, all this while I've been lying to you like an Archbishop; it is connected with fascinations; indeed, it has very little to do with anything else!)

Finally, he won me over, I went down to his G.H.Q., took the Oaths, was installed in the Throne of the X° of O.T.O. as National Sovereign Grand Master General, and began to establish the Order as a going concern.

Well, you say, that is a very simple story, nothing specially hard to believe in it.

True, but consider the dates.

That scene in Victoria Street, is as clear and vivid in my mind, in every detail, as if it were yesterday.  That secret is published only in that passage of that book.  And—the book was not published until three years later, and from an address of which in 1910 e.v. I had not so much as thought of.  The date of my adhesion to the O.T.O. (which, by the way, upset every principle and plan that I had ever held) is equally certain by virtue of subsequent published writings.

Now go away and explain that!

The simplest explanation, of course, is that he was mistaken as to the date. This, also, is related to fascination.

Well I've given you a fair account of some of the principal fascinations; as to the rest, bewitchments, sorceries, inhibitions and all that lot, it is enough if I say that they follow the regular Laws of Magick; in some, fascination proper plays a prominent part; in others, it is barely more than walking on to say "My lord, the carriage waits!"  But—even that can be done well or ill, and a small mistake may work a mighty mischief.

It certainly may. I've seen it done by others, and have done it myself.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 26: Mental Processes—Two Only are Possible

Cara Soror:

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

"Occult" science is the most difficult of them all.  For one thing, its subject-matter includes the whole of philosophy, from ontology and metaphysics down to natural history.  More, the most rarefied and recondite of these has a direct bearing upon the conduct of life in its most material details, and the simplest study of such apparently earthbound matters as botany and mineralogy leads to the most abstruse calculations of the imponderables.

With what weapons, then, are we to attack so formidable a fortress?

The first essential is clear thinking.

In a previous letter I have dealt to some extent with this subject; but it is so important that you must forgive me if I return to it, and that at length, from the outset, and in detail.

Let us begin but having our own minds clear of all ambiguities, ignoring for the purpose of this argument all metaphysical subtleties.  I want to confine it to the outlook of the "plain man."

What do we do when we "think?"

There are two operations, and only two, possible to thought.  However complex a statement may appear, it can always be reduced to a series of one or other of these.  If not, it is a sham statement; nonsense masquerading as sense in the cloak of verbiage and verbosity.

Analysis, and Synthesis; or,

Subtraction, and Addition.

1. You can examine A, and find that it is composed of B and C.  A = B + C.

2. You can find out what happens to B when you add C to it.  B + C = A.

As you notice, the two are identical, after all; but the process is different.

Example: Raise Copper Oxide to a very high temperature; you obtain metallic copper and oxygen gas.  Heat copper in a stream of oxygen; you obtain copper oxide.

You can complicate such experiments indefinitely, as when one analyzes coal-tar, or synthesizes complex products like quinine from its elements; but one can always describe what happens as a series of simple operations, either of the analytical or the synthetic type.

(I wonder if you remember a delightful passage in Anatole France where he interprets an "exalted" mystical statement, first by giving the words their meaning as concrete images, when he gets a magnificent hymn, like a passage from the Rig-Veda; secondly, by digging down to the original meaning, with an effect comical and even a little ribald.  I fear I have no idea where to find it; in one of the "odds and ends" compilations most likely.  So please, look somebody; you won't have wasted your time!)

I mean criticisms such as "Definition is impossible;"  "All arguments are circular;"  "All propositions are tautological."  These are true, but one is obliged to ignore them in all practical discussions.

This has been put in a sort of text, because the first stumbling-block to study is the one never has any certainty as to what the author means, or thinks he means, or is trying to persuade one that he means.

Try something simple: "The soul is part of God."  Now then, when he writes "soul" does he mean Atma, or Buddhi, or the Higher Manas, or Purusha, or Yechidah, or Neschamah, or Nepheshch, or Nous, or Psyche, or Phren, or Ba, or Khu, or Ka, or Animus, or Anima, or Seele, or what?

The next paragraph was excised from Mr. Regardie's "edition," for reasons that will be not be obvious to anybody but a member of the "Moral Majority," in which undoubtedly Mr. Regardie should be included.

As everybody, will he nill he, creates "God" in his own image, it is perfectly useless to inquire what he may happen to mean by that.

That, of course, includes both the legendary "Moses" and Ms. Gloria Steinem.

But even this very plain word "part."  Does he mean to imply a quantitative assertion, as when one says sixpence is part of a pound, or a factor indispensable, as when one says "A wheel is part of a motor-car" ...

The next sentence was also excised by Mr. Regardie for the same reason he excised the revealing paragraph above.

("Part" actually means "a share, that which is provided," according to Skeat; and I am closer to the place where Moses was when the candle went out than I was before!)

That is, of course, in the dark

The fact is that very few of us know what words mean; fewer still take the trouble to enquire.  We calmly, we carelessly assume that our minds are identical with that of the writer, at least on that point; and then we wonder that there should be misunderstandings!

The fact is (again!) that usually we don't really want to know; it is so very much easier to drift down the river of discourse, "lazily, lazily, drowsily, drowsily, In the noonday sun."

Why is this so satisfactory?  Because although we may not know what a word means, most words have a pleasant or unpleasant connotation, each for himself, either because of the ideas or images thus begotten, of hopes or memories stirred up, or merely for the sound of the word itself.  (I have gone a month's journey out of my way to visit a town, just because I liked the sound of the name!)

Then there are devices: style—rhythm, cadence, rime, ornamentation of a thousand kinds.  I think one may take it that the good writer makes use of such artifice to make his meaning clear; the bad writer to obscure it, or to conceal the fact that he has none.

Always the innocent. He forgets the writer of exceptional style who deliberately uses all of his or her technique to put across a false idea as if it were truth.

One of the best items of the education system at the Abbey in Cefalu was the weekly Essay.  Everyone, including children of five or six, had to write on "The Housing Problem," "Why Athens Decayed," "The Marriage System," "Buddhist Ethics" and the like; the subject didn't matter much; the point was that one had to discover, arrange and condense one's ideas about it, so as to present it in a given number of words, 93 or 156, or 418 as like as not, that number, neither more nor less.  A superb discipline for any writer.

Mr. Regardie, however, would probably prefer a limit of 365 words and a half. The last two paragraphs of this letter retell the deaf O.T.O. candidate's story in a previous letter. It seems probable that it was that incident which gave Crowley the idea for the Abbey's weekly Essay.

I had a marvellous lesson myself some years earlier.  I had cut down a certain ritual of initiation to what I thought were the very barest bones, chiefly to make it easy to commit to memory.  Then came a candidate who was deaf—not merely "a little hard of hearing;" his tympana were ruptured—and the question was How?

All right for most of it; one could show him the words typed on slips.  But during part of the ceremony he was hoodwinked; one was reduced to the deaf-and-dumb alphabet devised for such occasions.  I am as clumsy and stupid at that as I am at most things, and lazy, infernally lazy, on top of that ...

Oh, sure. Here he was, almost seventy two years old, writing long letters to morons.

... Well, when it came to the point, the communication of the words became abominably, intolerably tedious.  And then!  Then I found that about two-thirds of my "absolutely essential" ritual was not necesasary at all!

That larned 'im.

The expression above, which Crowley seemed to like, was of course used by Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER 27: Structure of Mind Based on that of Body (Haeckel and Bertrand Russell)

Cara Soror:

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

Was the sudden cloudburst at the end of my last letter somewhat of a surprise, and more that somewhat of a shock?  Cheer up!  The worst is yet to come.

The reference is obviously not connected to the letter preceding this in the book; it must have been either a letter too personal to be included, or a few paragraphs of the same sort, or a letter included elsewhere in the series. The next paragraph was excised in Mr. Regardie's "edition."

This is where clean thinking—a subject whose fringes I seem to remember having touched—wins the Gold Medal of the Royal Humane Society.

It is surely the wise course to accept the plain facts; to try to explain them away, or to excuse them, is certain to involve one in a maelstrom of sophistry; and when, despite these laudable efforts, the facts jump up and land a short jab to the point, one is even worse off than before.

This has to be said, because Sammasati is assuredly one of the most useful, as well as one of the most trustworthy and most manageable, weapons in the armoury of the Aspirant.

You stop me, obviously with a demand for a personal explanation.  "How is it," you write, "that you reject with such immitigable scorn the very foundation-stones of Buddhism, and yet refer disciples enthusiastically to the technique of some of its subtlest super-structures?"

Which question proves, of course, that the lady cannot lift her mind above the chains of dogma any more than can the Romish Popes. Hitler may have been a villain, Begin may be a villain; yet Hitler was a great organizer and Begin is a shrewd politician. So far as this writer has been able to verify, the only creed of human(?)kind that has no rewarding features whatsoever is Christism; this because, being a deliberate falsification of the truth, it is rotten at the core, and the rottenness pervades all its facets. At first sight, at least its emotional disciplines seem to deserve attention; but they are tainted by sin and guilt complexes. Liber 175 includes and surpasses Francis of Assisi, Francis Xavier, Juan de La Cruz and Ignacio de Loyola in every detail. Of the Christist mystics, only those considered unorthodox, such as Molinos and à Kempis, are even remotely useful reads for Aspirants. The others, of course, make interesting study for parapsychopathologists.

I laff.

It is the old, old story.  When the Buddha was making experiments and recording the results, he was on safe ground: when he started to theorize, committing (incidentally) innumerable logical crimes in the process, he is no better a guesser than the Arahat next door, or for the matter of that, the Arahat's Lady Char.

This "Lady Char" is not a member of the nobility. The expression refers to the British "charwoman," and can be roughly translated as "domestic female servant."

So, if you don't mind, we will look a little into this matter of Sammasati: what is it when it's at home?

It may be no more than a personal fancy, but I think Allan Bennett's translation of the term, "Recollection," is as near as one can get in English.  One can strain the meaning slightly to include Re-collection, to imply the ranging of one's facts, and the fitting of them into an organized structure.  The term "sati" suggests an identification of Being with Knowledge—see The Soldier and the Hunchback: ! and ? Equinox I, 1.  So far as it applies to the Magical Memory, it lays stress on some such expedient, very much as is explained in Liber Thisarb.

The next paragraphs were also excised in Mr. Regardie's "edition."

But is it not a little strange that "The Abomination of Desolation should be set up in the Holy Place," as it were?  Why should the whole-bearted search for Truth and Beauty disclose such hateful and such hideous elements as necessary components of the Absolute Perfection?

Never mind the why, for a moment; first let us be sure that it is so. Have we any grounds for expecting this to be the case?

We certainly have.

This is a case where "clean thinking" is most absolutely helpful. The truth is of exquisite texture; it blazons the escutcheon of the Unity of Nature in such delicate yet forceful colours that the Postulant may well come thereby to the Opening of the Trance of Wonder; yet religious theories and personal pernicketiness have erected against its impact the very stoutest of their hedgehogs of prejudice.

Who shall help us here?  Not the sonorous Vedas, not the Upanishads, Not Apollonius, Plotinus, Ruysbroeck, Molinos; not any gleaner in the field of à priori; no, a mere devotee of natural history and biology: Ernst Haeckel.

Enormous, elephantine, his work's bulk is almost incredible; for us his one revolutionary discovery is pertinent to this matter of Sammasati and the revelations of one's inmost subtle structure.

He discovered, and he demonstrated, that the history of any animal throughout the course of its evolution is repeated in the stages of the individual.  To put it crudely, the growth of a child from the fertilized ovum to the adult repeats the adventures of its species.

This doctrine is tremendously important, and I feel that I do not know how to emphasize it as it deserves.  I want to be exceptionally accurate; yet the use of his meticulous scientific terms, with an armoury of quotations, would almost certainly result in your missing the point, "unable to see the wood for the trees."

Let me put it that the body is formed by the super-position of layers, each representing a stage in the history of the evolution of the species.  The foetus displays essential characteristics of insect, reptile, mammal (or whatever they are) in the order in which these classes of animal appeared in the world's history.

Now I want to put forward a thesis—and as far as I know it is personal to myself, based on my work at Cefal—to the effect that the mind is constructed on precisely the same lines.

If, as materialists insist, the mind is but a function of the body, this would be an immediate corollary to the above.

You will remember from my note on "Breaks" in meditation how one's gradual improvement in the practice results in the barring-out of certain classes of idea, by classes.  The ready-to-hand, recent fugitive thoughts come first and first they go.  Then the events of the previous day or so, and the preoccupations of the mind for that period. Next, one comes to the layer of reveries and other forms of wish-phanstasm; then cryptomnesia gets busy with incidents of childhood and the like ...

Perhaps the reader is beginning to understand where L. Ron Hubbard got the ideas for his Dianetics and Scientology cons.

...; finally, there intrudes the class of "atmospherics," where one cannot trace the source of the interruption.

All these are matters of the conscious rational mind ...

The next sentences, and the following two paragraphs, including the verse quotation, were excised by Mr. Regardie.

...; and when I explored and classified these facts, in the very first months of my serious practice of Yoga, I had no suspicion that they were no more than the foam on a glass of champagne: nay, rather of

"black wine in jars of jade
Cooled all these months in hoarded snow,
Black wine with purple starlight in its bosom,
Oily and sweet as the soul of a brown maid
Brought from the forenoon's archipelago,
Her brows bound bright with many a scarlet blossom
Like the blood of the slain that flowered free
When we met the black men knee to knee."

How apt the verses are! How close are wine and snow to lust and slaughter!

The closeness may not be evident to your mind or mine, but was to his.

I have been digressing, for all that; let us return to our goats!

The structure of the mind reveals its history as does the structure of the body.

(Capitals, please, or bang on something; that has got to sink in.)

Just as your body was at one stage the body of an ape, a fish, a frog (and all the rest of it) so did that animal at that stage possess a mind correlative.

Now then!  In the course of that kind of initiation conferred by Sammasati, the layers are stripped off very much as happens in elementary meditation (Dharana) to the conscious mind.

(There is a way of acquiring a great deal of strange and unsuspected knowledge of these matters by the use of Sulphuric Ether, (C2H5)2O, according to a special technique.  I wrote a paper on it once, 16 pp. 4{to}, and fearing that it might be lost had many copies made and distributed.  Where is it?  I must write you a letter one day.

Accordingly, one finds oneself experiencing the thoughts, the feelings, the desires of a gorilla, a crocodile, a rat, a devil-fish, or what have you!  One is no longer capable of human thoughts in the ordinary sense of the word; such would be wholly unintelligible.

I leave the rest to your imagination; doesn't it sound to you a little like some of the accounts of "The Dweller on the Threshold?"

However, it is not the same thing.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER 28: Need to Define "God", "Self", etc.

Cara Soror:

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

Artless remark!  Oh you!

A note by Mr. Germer states: "Refers to a pious phrase at the end of her letter."

Well, I suppose it's a gift—to stir Hell to its most abysmal horror with one small remark slipped in at the end.  Scorpion!

"Higher self"—"God within us."

Dear Lady, you could never have picked five words from Iroquois, or Banti, or Basuto or the Jargon of Master François Villon, or Pictish, which severally and together convey less to my mind.

No, no, not Less: I mean More, so much more that it amounts to nothing at all.  Spencer Montmorency Bourbon Hohenstaufen sounds very exclusive and aristocratic, and even posh or Ritzy; but if you bestow these names upon every male child, the effect tends to diminish ...

This sentence was excised in Mr. Regardie's piracy, one cannot really understand why.

... The "Southern Gentleman" Lee Davis recently hanged for rape and murder, was not a near relation either of the General or the President: he was a Nigger.

One wonders; did Regardie wish to "protect" Crowley's reputation against being attributed color prejudice? Or did he just want to sell more copies of his piracy to black people? Anyone of any intelligence and fair—mindedness who knew the state of the Southern United States around 1945 e.v. must know exactly what he meant by the example. Possibly the scion of Robert Lee and Jefferson Davis really raped and murdered; more likely, he merely seduced or was seduced, and then tried to defend himself against the kind of mind that thinks a woman is property, and that a white woman can only be owned by white—skinned slavers. One cannot really believe that Crowley's reputation mattered to Regardie; we have already seen how he butchered his Master's thought merely to serve himself, and we will have copious further demonstrations of his dishonesty, both legal and moral. Crowley's true attitude towards the lynching of blacks in the Southern United States, by the way, is very clear in one of the "Simon Iff" tales. He disapproved of it thoroughly; yet, was able to understand the motivations of the people who committed those atrocities much better than they understood themselves.

Gimme the old spade, I've got to go digging again.

1. Higher.  Here we fall straight into the arms of Freud. Why "higher?" Because in a scrap it is easier to strangle him if you are on top. When very young children watch their parents in actu coitus, a circumstance exceedingly usual almost anywhere outside England, and even here where houseroom is restricted, the infant supposes that his mother, upon whom he depends entirely for nourishment, is being attacked by the intrusive stranger whom they want him to address as "Dad." ...

Not if the child's intelligence exceeds that of the average clod; an observant boy or girl will perceive that the act is violent but not angry, and will often get the first localized flowering of the sexual instinct from such a sight. The conflict comes only in less intelligent minds, particularly in societies conditioned by sexual restriction. Naturally, for the average Jew, and for Freud himself, his interpretation was apt. It was also apt for the average Christist. But it would not have been apt for South Sea islanders before, as Mark Twain put it, the Christist missionaries taught them the meaning of hell; and it was not apt to this writer's reaction, which we detailed in our introduction to The Bagh I Muattar in Equinox V 4. Wilhelm Reich's analysis of the sexual instinct in children is much wiser than Freud's; but then, as we ourselves pointed elsewhere, Freud, although a genius, labored under a big handicap, poor fellow: he had never been psychoanalysed or undergone Thelemic training!

... From this seed springs an "over-under complex," giving rise later on, in certain cases to whole legions of neuroses.

The problem is, however, a little ampler than that. Most societies presuppose that what is "higher" is "better." This is not related merely to Freudian—Jewish—Christist sexual hangups; it is related to the simple fact of brute force. If it is taller than you, it is usually bigger than you, and if it is bigger than you, it is higher than you for the simple reason that it can beat the living crap out of you. This comes from the primeval slime itself. If women were bigger physically than men, it is very likely that the male would be fighting for an E.R.A. right now, rather than the other way around. Sociobiology deserves serious study from statesmen and from jurists, but is unlikely to get it as long as Christist prejudice lingers in the average human mind.

Now then make it a little clearer, please, just what you mean by "higher."

Skeat seems to connect it with hills, swellings, boils, the maternal breast; is that reason enough for us to connect it with the idea of advantage, or—"superiority" merely translates it into Latin!—worth, or—no, it's really too difficult.  Of course, sometimes it has a "bad" meaning, as of temperature in fever; but nearly always it implies a condition preferable to "low."

Why, yes, of course; from the point of view of the healthy animal, it is better to beat than to get beaten! So what 'higher' simply means is that, unless you are the one looking down, you are cowed and defeated and subservient. This is related to masochism and to the human mind's capacity for self—deception in order to preserve an illusion of self—respect. He is bigger than I, and can beat me up; therefore, let me try to find some arguments by which I may convince myself that it is right and proper that he be the ruler, and I the rulee. The invention of weapons went a long way towards changing the material odds in this game, but the moral odds have not changed. It may no longer be the bigger man or woman who rules, but it is still the man or woman with the most efficient sexual weapon. If this, incidentally, can be applied to the sexual organs, it is difficult to say. The mystique of male member size seems to be that the bigger it is, the better; but the male's mystique of the female organ seems to be that the tighter it is, therefore the smaller, the better. As we observed before, Masters and Johnson have done their best to confuse sexual competitiveness, when they, with their type of research, were above all other scientists in a position to clear it for keeps. Given their reticence, and given the "egalitarian" and socialistic tendencies of the modern so—called "liberal" mind, it is quite possible that the mystique of penis size is actually based on statistics, at least to an extent. Future scientists will probably have to work on this. If you think it is not important, you do not understand very well how what is between your legs influences that which is between your shoulders. The point of this note, however, is simply that the concept of "higher" does not have any "uplifting" qualities to it (I really find it hard to resist a pun.) It merely indicates the slave's recognition of his or her state of subjugation to his or her tyrant.

Applied to the "self," it becomes a sort of trade name; nobody tells me if he means Khu, or Ba, or Khabs, or Ut of the Upanishads or Augoeides of the Neo-Platonists, or Adonai of Bulwer-Lytton, or — — here we are with all those thrice-accurs't alternatives.  There is not, cannot be, any specific meaning unless we start with a sound skeleton of ontogenic theory, a well-mapped hierarchy of the Cosmos, and define the term anew.

From the point of view of space—travellers, for instance, the term is either totally relative or totally meaningless.

Then why use it?  To do so can only cause confusion, unless the context helps us to clarify the image.  And that is surely rather a defeatist attitude, isn't it?

When I first set myself to put a name to my "mission"—the contemplation carried me half—way across South—West China ...

It is interesting, and perhaps even significant, that he should have conceived it there.

... —I considered these alternatives.  I thought to cut the Gordian Knot, and call it by Abramelin's title the "Holy Guardian Angel" because (I mused) that will be as intelligible to the villagers of Pu Peng as to the most learned Pundits; moreover, the implied theory was so crude that no one need be bound by it.

Little did he know. the next paragraph was taken out by Mr. Regardie.

All this is rubbish, as you will see when we reach the discussion on "self:" To explain now would lead to too unwieldy a digression.

2. "Within."  If you don't mind, we'll tackle this now, while "higher" is fresh in our minds; for it is also a preposition.  First you want to go up; then you want to go in.  Why?

Because it is 'safe,' of course. It is related to the troglodyte, or any other animal, retreating into its lair. So you see that the combination of 'higher' and 'within' merely underlines two of the human being's most ancient negative attitudes: subservience and retreat.

As "higher" gave the idea of aggression, of conquest, "within" usually implies safety.  Always we get back to that stage of history when the social unit, based on the family, was little less than condition No. 1 of survival.  The house, the castle, the fortified camp, the city wall; the "gens," the clan, the tribe, the "patrie," to be outside means danger from cold, hunger and thirst, raiding parties, highway robbers, bears, wolves, and tigers.  To go out was to take a risk; and, your labour and courage being assets to your kinsmen, you were also a bad man; in fact, a "bounder" or "outsider."  "Debauch" is simply "to go out of doors!"  St. John says: "without are dogs and sorcerers and whoremongers and adulterers and idolaters and..."—so on.

Of course, like everything else in the "New Testament," "St. John" is purely a pen name for the unscrupulous forgers, who took genuine tracts from genuine mystics, not all of them Essene by any means, and set them down intercalated with sectarian tall tales within a pot—pourri of Dying Dog legends. As a matter of fact, it occurs to this annotator as he writes that the forgers of the "Gospels" had minds very much of the caliber of Mr. Regardie's. It is difficult to say how far this man would have gone in his manipulation of Crowley's texts if we had not appeared on the scene.

We of Θελημα challenge all this briskly.  "The word of Sin is Restriction." (AL I, 41).  Our formula, roughly speaking, is to go out and grab what we want ...

Please keep in mind that 'what' is not 'who,' and that the Law is for all. Of course, some people cannot be defined as 'whos,' they must be defined as 'whats.' But it so happens that the tyrants of humankind, for all their seeming humanity, or even superhumanity, are really 'whats' in the core of their "selves." He goes on to make this very clear.

... We do this so thoroughly that we grow thereby, extending our conception of "I" by including each new accretion instead of remaining a closely delineated self, proud of possessing other things, as do the Black Brothers.

We are whole-hearted extroverts; the penalty of restricting oneself is anything from neurosis to down right lunacy; in particular, melancholia.

This is correct even from the point of view of orthodox psychiatry, and explains the tone of most Christist mystic tracts, especially those of their so—called 'saints.' Try to understand, however, that this "extrovertedness" goes much deeper than simple outward personality traits. You may be naturally a shy person, or a retiring person; the important thing is that you should never in your mind and soul deny the existence or significance of other things, especially those which you consider painful or evil. We grow by uniting ourselves by love under will, with all things, one at a time. The serious reader is referred to the letter on the Formula of the Aeon, 0=2.

You ask whether these remarks do not conflict with my repeated definition of Initiation as the Way In.  Not at all; the Inmost is identical with the All ...

If you remember that you must include all things, even those you find within yourself that you consider shameful or "evil." Cf. LXV I 44-46 and many other passages in the Holy Books of Θελημα.

... As you travel inward, you become able to perceive all the layers which surround the "Self" from within, thus enlarging the scope of your vision of the Universe.  It is like moving from a skirmishing patrol to G.H.Q.; and the object of so doing is obviously to exercise constantly increasing control over the whole Army.  Every step in rank enables you both to see more and to do more; but one's attention is inevitably directed outward.

When the entire system of the Universe is conterminous with your comprehension, "inward" and "outward" become identical.

This, of course, is not "logical" at first reading. But the paradox is one that has been found in higher mathematics, and is solvable by Symbolic Logic. See Bertrand Russell's Principles of Mathematics.

But it won't do at all to seek anything within but a point of view, for the simple reason that there is nothing else there!

This is the truth that the "Black Brethren" fear above all, and which leads them to avoid crossing the Abyss. Dogmatic religions which are obviously based on negative defense mechanisms, such as Christism, are one of the fruits of their retreat from Reality.

It is just like all those symbols in The Book of Thoth; as soon as you get to the "end" of anything, you suddenly find it is the "beginning."

To formulate the idea of "self" at all, you must posit limitations; anything that is distinguishable is a mere temporary (and arbitrary) selection of the finite from the infinite; whatever you chose to think of, it changes, it grows, it disappears.

You have got to train your mind to canter through those leafy avenues of thought upon the good green turf of Indifference; when you can do it without conscious effort, so that up—down, in—out, far—near, black—white (and so on for everything) appears quite automatically, you are already as near an Initiate as makes no matter.

If, however, at that point you think, like Mr. Regardie, that 'yours—mine' applies to someone else's copyrights, you have simply developed a slight case of autism...

3. "Self."  For a full discussion of this see Letter 42.

4. "God."  This is really too bad of you!

Of all the hopelessly mangled words in the language, you settle with unerring Sadism on the most brutally butchered.

Crippen was an amateur.

Compared to her, that is. Mr. Germer added the following note: "Crippen was a famous English poisoner who was caught and hung." When, oh when will the police catch the Romish "Popes"..?

Skeat hardly helps us at all, except by warning us that "good" has nothing whatever to do with it ...

Meaning, that the similarity in lettering between the two words is mere coincidence, as should be clear from the difference in the sound of the vowels. But in English spelling, as with the Christist "God," everything is possible, and for a very simple reason. When Rome invaded the British Isles for the second time, much after the great Caesar was first there and admired the Druids, Rome was already in the clutches of the Roman—Alexandrines, and a plague of missionaries descended, of course, upon the islands, just as they later did in the South Seas to Mark Twain's chagrin (to say nothing of ours, or of the intelligent natives of that region.) The islanders had their own language and their own alphabet — the Runic alphabet — and the two were phonetically related, which means that words were written in the same way they are pronounced. But the Runic alphabet was also related to the local religion, which was Druidism; and this would never do. So the missionaries declared the Runic alphabet "evil" and "satanic," burned the Druids alive, and had hanged or tortured to death anyone who should be found writing in runes. Since it was impossible to make the entire population speak Latin, the missionaries started transliterating the local language into the "holy alphabet:" meaning the Latin alphabet, of course. However, perhaps because they were too busy at their devotions, such as raping, torturing, and killing, they were not very systematic about it. And that is the reason why, to this day, English is one of the most difficult languages in the world to spell. Whenever a young English—speaker gets an F in high school English, he or she should remember to thank the Roman Church for this, as for so many other "advantages" it has brought to his or her culture, to say nothing of our species as a whole.

... Dieu comes from Deus, with all its Sol—Jupiter references, and Deos, which Plato thought meant a runner; hence, Sun, Moon, Planets.

The best I can do for you, honest Injun! is the Russian word for god 'Bog'; connected probably, though the Lithuanian, with the Welsh Bwq, a spectre or hobgoblin.  "Bugge", too. Not very inspiring, is it, to replace the Old Hundredth by "Hush! Hush! Hush! here come the Bogey Man."  Or is it?

But, although perhaps he was not consciously trying to make the point, that is exactly what the Christist "God" is: a complicated version of the 'Bogey Man,' dressed in the rags of Dogma to disguise the craven fear and servilism of the worshippers. Mr. Begin's "Jehovah" is precisely the same kind of menacing Father Figure. Step Father, as in the fairy tales, maybe...?

Enough of this fooling!  Out, trusty rapier, and home to the stone heart of the audacious woman that wrote "God within us."

I know you thought you knew more or less what you meant when you wrote it; but surely that was a mere slip.  An instant's thought would have warned you that the word wouldn't stand even the most superficial analysis. You meant "Something which seems to me the most perfect symbol of all that I love, worship, admire"—all that class of verb.

But nobody else will have the same set of qualities in his private museum; you have, as every one has always done, made another God in your own image.

Then the Vedantists define God as "having neither quality nor quantity;" and some Yogis have a practice of setting up images to knock them down at once with "Not that! Not that!"

Which is actually where he got his Exempt Adept Motto, anyway.

And the Buddhists won't admit any God at all in anything at all like the sense in which you use the word. (One of the most amusing passages of irony is to be found in "The Questions of King Milinda" where the Arahat Nagasena demolishes Maha Brahma.)

It was not amusing to the Brahmins. But I suppose we don't amuse Christists very much either. Do we amuse Buddhists at all...?

What's worse, whatever you may mean by "God" conveys no idea to me: I can only guess by the light of my exceedingly small knowledge of you and your general habits of thought and action.  Then what sense was there in chucking it at my head?  Half a brick would have served you better.

You think you can explain to me viva voce, perhaps?  Don't you dare try!  Whatever you said, I should prove to be nonsense, philosophically and in a dozen other ways.  And the County Council Ambulance would bundle you off in your battered and bewildered débris to the Bug-house, as is so etymologically indicated.

Do see it simply; the word must in any event connote ideas of Neschamah, not of Ruach.

"But you use the word all the time."  Yes, I do, and rely on the context to crystallize this most fluid—or gaseous—of expressions.

5. "Us."  Why "Us"?

Is this a reference to the Old School Tie, or that Finishing School in Brussels, and the ticket to the Royal enclosure at Ascot?  I do not suppose for a moment that you meant it that way: but it's there.  And so—

Anecdote of Lao-Tze.

The Old One was surrounded as usual by a galaxy of adoring disciples, and they were trying to get him to show them where the Tao was to be found.

It was in the Sun and Moon, he admitted; it was in the Son of Heaven and in the Superior Man.  (Not George Nathaniel Curzon, however).  It was in the Blossoms of Springtide, and in the chilling winds that swept over from Siberia, and in the Wild Geese that it bore Southward when their instinct bade them.  In short, the catalogue began to look is if it were going to extend indefinitely ...

As well it should.

...; and an impatient disciple, pointing to certain traces left by a mule in its recent passage, asked: "And is the Tao also in that?"  The Master nodded, and echoed: "Also in that."

Then what becomes of this privileged "us"?  We are obliged to extend it to include everything.  Then, as we have just seen, "God" also is unfettered by definitions.

Net result: "God within us" means precisely nothing at all.

And so it does, By Bradman!

"Bind nothing!  Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.  But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!" 
(AL I 22 - 23)

I implore you not to point out that, this being the case, words like "hurt" and "chief" cannot possibly mean anything.  The fact is that if we are to get on peaceably in the Club, we have to know when to take any given expression in a Pickwickian sense.

In the Ruach all the laws of logic apply: they don't in Neschamah.

The real meaning of the passage is simple enough, if you understand that it refers to a specific result of Initiation.  You have to be able to reckon up the Universe, as a whole and in every part; and to get rid of all its false or partial realities by discarding everything but the One Reality which is the sole truth in, and of Illusion.

There is one set of equations which express the relation of the Perceiver and the Perceived, adjusted in accordance with the particular limitations on both sides; another cancels out all the finite terms, and leaves us with an ultimate x = o = 0°.


I know I'm a disheartening kind of bloke, and it does seem so unfriendly to jump down a fellow's throat every minute or so when she tries to put it ever so nicely, and it is so easy—isn't it?—to play the game of Sanctimonious Grandiloquence ...

Since the lady in question was obviously Lady Frieda Harris, anyone having some ideas of her hot temperament can visualize how angry she became reading all this! We do not think she learned from it; at least, not enough, or she would have bequeathed her paintings to the O.T.O., and not to that sanctimonious and grandiloquent dodderer, Gerald Yorke.

..., and surely what was said was perfectly harmless, and . . . .

No, N.O., no: not harmless at all. My whole object is it train you to silence every kind of hypothetical speculation, and formulae both resonant and satisfying.  I want you to—

abhor them
abominate them
despise them
detest them
escew them

hate them
loathe them
and da capo.

and to get on with your


.  Then when you get the results, you can try, albeit uselessly, to fit your own words to the facts, if you should wish to communicate, for any good reason, your experiences to other people.

Then, despairing of your impotence, how glad you will be that you have been trained not to let anyone fob you off with phrases.

You must remember that she was a pupil, an Aspirant; thus, at least theoretically, a human being aspiring to honesty. He was not talking to the average politician or ecclesiastic of any party, or any "church," upon the earth or anywhere else.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,


LETTER 29: What is Certainty?

Cara Soror:

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

The first six lines of this letter were excised by Mr. Regardie.

Well, I suppose I ought to have expected you to cock that wise left eyebrow at me!  Right you are to wonder precisely what I mean by "certainty," in the light of:

        "On Soul's curtain
Is written this one certainty, that naught is certain."

Then there is that chapter in The Book of Lies (again!)

The Chinese cannot help thinking that the Octave has five notes.

The more necessary anything appears to my mind, the more certain it is that I only assert a limitation.

I slept with Faith, and found a corpse in my arms on awaking; I drank and danced all night with Doubt, and found her a virgin in the morning.

I wouldn't start to argue with the Chinese, if I were you; they might remind you that you exude the stench peculiar to corpses.

Again, that other "Hymn to St. Thomas" ...

He means Thomas Aquinas, the specious hypocrite who declared 'Credo quia absurdum,' and thus made it possible for the Roman Church to burn people alive for centuries on a basis of false logic. Aquinas single—handedly delayed scientific progress for a thousand years. No wonder the Romish Popes made him a "saint!" ("Credo quia absurdum" is Latin for "I believe because it is absurd." Aquinas argued that if it were not absurd it would not be necessary to believe, for one would know. "Faith" was, therefore, the quality of attachment to things manifestly absurd and unreal, and it was a Christist virtue. This may seem at first glance to be the same doctrine as that of the Supernals, but it isn't. The experience of the Supernals is untranslatable in terms of normal reason, but it is experience nevertheless, and can be expressed in terms of higher mathematics; while the "absurd" Aquinas was referring to was merely the Romish dogma, and specifically the Nicene Creed. The serious reader is reminded of our and Crowley's remarks on Athanasius in Book Four Commented Part I, "Yoga and Magick."

..., as I ought perhaps to have called it:

Doubt Thyself.
Doubt even if thou doubtest thyself.
Doubt all
Doubt even if thou doubtest all.

It seems sometimes as if beneath all conscious doubt there lay some deepest certainty.  O kill it! slay the snake!
The horn of the Doubt-Goat be exalted!
Dive deeper, ever deeper, into the Abyss of Mind, until thou unearth that fox
THAT.  On, hounds!  Yoicks!  Tally-ho!  Bring THAT to bay!

Then, wind the Mort!

"Wind the Mort" — blow the trumpet called "Mort," French for "Death." Fox-hunting, incidentally, was not always as it is now, a ridiculous occupation. These animals used to be as numerous as wolves, and to plague the chickenyards of the peasantry. In the old days chickens ran around loose, instead of being penning in torture chambers as they are now. The hunt, therefore, effectively kept down the fox population, thus amusing the nobility and helping the peasants at the same time. People who have no knowledge of history can be utterly dense even when they are scientists. When you read books on wolves these days, for instance, you are led into the belief that those noble animals never ate a human in a thousand years. The fact is simply that wolves aggressive towards humans have been persistently killed off over a period of centuries, leaving only those animals alive who were intelligent enough to avoid attacking the human being. The wolf of the Middle Ages would cheerfully dine on an elderly peasant or a small child if given a chance, as is abundantly clear from the records.

Once more—what a book that is: I never realized it until now!...

He is referring to The Book of Lies. The reader should try not to think of Crowley here as beating his own drum in a vulgar sense, or trying to advertise his works, although he was perfectly capable of doing both, as who isn't? Please visualize this seventy—year old man looking back at work that had been written by a much younger Crowley, of a totally different level of experience. Like any other living being, albeit perhaps on an ampler scale, an Initiate is a community of planes of endeavor, and sometimes we find it hard to recognize ourselves in some of our past, and even present, masks. As would any other human being trying self—analysis. The Book of Lies is one of the masterpieces of humankind, but centuries may pass before the world at large realizes this. Crowley in his old age was genuinely surprised at the levels of insight he had been able to put across in a few words in such a short book — less than a hundred pages without the commentaries and notes, remember. When an initiate is just out of a Trance, or fresh from a Magickal Retirement, he or she may produce work that later on, re-reading it, will surprise him or her. The Inner Being is the same, but the personality is functioning at a much lower rate of vibration and may even exclaim to itself in surprise: 'Did I write this?!' Crowley, in trying to explain things to his correspondent, whoever she or he was in this particular letter or any of the others, was constantly surprised at being reminded of how cogently he had put the necessary explanation so many years ago, drunken with ecstasy. Let us consider my own, admittedly much more modest case. When I reached my second initiation I asked my Angel to take away all the "rewards" — meaning "siddha," etc. — of my grade except those absolutely necessary to serve those under my care in the Order. The purpose of this request was to make possible that, by going further more nakedly into every by—way of my being, I would ensure that my next meeting with the Angel would be much intenser in all directions than it would be if I were allowed to enjoy the comfort of "powers." The request was granted, and as a result I often find myself reading my letters to pupils, or the annotations I write to Crowley's books, in order to cull some insights for myself. The "Scribe" can literally be a scribe.

... it says—see that double page at the onset, one with "?" and the other with "!" alone upon the blank.  Moreover you should read the long essay The Soldier and the Hunchback: ! and? in the first volume and number of The Equinox.

Mr. Regardie excised the reference to The Equinox, probably to avoid competition with the true thing, since he had just published his so—called "Gems from the Equinox" to line his own pockets with the produce of his Master's thoughts. Meanwhile, Mrs. Germer was slowly starving to death a few hundred miles away from him in California.

But every one of those—rather significant, nich wahr?—slides into a rhapsody of exaltation, a dithyramb, a Paean ...

At this point he introduced a long footnote, including a quotation from Browning. The whole thing was excised by Mr. Regardie. Here it is:

It seems natural to me - apodeictic after a fashion - to treat Doubt as positive, even aggressive. There is none of the wavering, wobbling, woebegone wail of the weary and bewildered wage-slave; it is a triumphant challenge, disagreement for its own sake. Irish!

Browning painted a quite perfect picture of my Doubt.

Up jumped Tokay on our table,
Like a pigmy castle—warder,
Dwarfish to see but stout and able,
Arms and accoutrement all in order;
And fierce he looked North, then wheeling South
Blew with his bugle a challenge to Drouth,
Cocked his flap-hat with the tosspot feather,
Twisted his thumb in his red moustache,
Jingled his huge brass spurs together,
Tightened his waist with its Buda Sash,
And then, with an impudence nought could abash
Shrugged his hump—shoulder, to tell the beholder,
For twenty such knaves he should laugh but the bolder;
And so, with his sword-hilt gallantly jutting,
And dexter hand on his haunch abutting,
Went the little man, Sir Ausbruch, strutting!"

It's not the least bit like Tokay; rather the Bull's Blood its neighbor, or any rough strong red wine like Rioja. Curious, though, his making him a hunchbacked dwarf; there must be something in this deep down. I wonder what! (Ask Jung!)

Perhaps it was the reference to Jung that irked Mr. Regardie. "Bull's Blood" is a type of red wine which supposedly has some actual ox blood mixed in it.

... No good here.  For what you want is a penny plain pedestrian prose Probability—Percentage.  You want to know what the Odds are when I say "certain."

A case for casuistry?  At least, for classification.  It depends rather on one's tone of voice?  Yes, of course, and as to the classification, off we jog to the Divine Pymander, who saw, and stated, the quiddity of our query with his accustomed lucidity.  He discerns three degrees of Truth; and he distinguishes accordingly:—

  1. True
  2. Certain without error
  3. Of all truth.

Clear enough, the difference between 1 and 2: ask me the time, I say half-past two; and that's true enough.  But the Astronomer Royal is by no manner of means satisfied with any approximation of that kind.  He wants it accurate.  He must know the longitude to a second; he must have decided what method of measuring time is to be used; he must make corrections for this and for that; and he must have attached an (arbitrary) interpretation to the system; the whole question of Relativity pops up.  And, even so, he will enter a caveat about every single ganglion in the gossamer of his calculations.

Well then, all this intricate differentiation and integration and verification and Lord knows what leads at last to a statement which may be called "Certain without Error."

It is interesting to see a man who did so much towards emancipating human mind from its feast who in fact was this very moment at the job, using expressions like "Lord knows" and "God" this and "God" that. Did he mean the Lord of the Aeon? But the Lord of the Aeon does not know everything; He just knows a little more than we do, is a little further ahead. Such expressions, even when they are purely rhetoric, should be vigorously avoided by Thelemites. The following two paragraphs were excised in Mr. Regardie's "edition." Possibly he thought they were a digression, but they are obviously an illustrative actual example of the relativity of all measurement:

Excuse me just a moment!  When I was staying at the Consulate of Tengyueh, just inside the S.W. frontier of China, our one link with England, Home, and Beauty was the Telegraph Service from Pekin.  One week it was silent, and we were anxious for news, our last bit of information having been that there was rioting in Shanghai, seventeen Sikh policemen killed ...

As well they should be. What were Sikh policemen doing in China, anyway?

... For all we knew the whole country might rise en masse at any moment to expel the "Foreign Devils." ...

But to fall in Chiang Kai Chek's greedy paws!

... At last the welcome messenger trotted across from the city in the twilight with a whole sheaf of telegrams.  Alas, save for the date of dispatch, the wording in each one was identical: each told us that it was noon in Pekin!

They had to be relayed at Yung Chang, and both the operators had taken ten days off to smoke opium, sensible fellows!

But Hermes Trismegistus is not content with any such fugues as the Astronomer, however cunning and colossal his Organ; his Third Degree demands much more than this.  The Astronomer's estimate has puttied every tiniest crack, he concedes it, but then waves it brusquely away: all the time the door is standing wide open!

The Astronomer's exquisitely tailored figure stands in abashed isolation, like a gawky young man at his first Ball; he feels that he doesn't belong.  For this D.S.T., or Greenwich, or what not, however exact in itself, is so only in reference to some other set of measurements which themselves turn out to be arbitrary; it is not of any ultimate import; nobody can dispute it, but it simply doesn't matter to anybody, apart from the particular case.  It is not "Of all Truth."

What Hermes means by this it will be well to enquire.

May we call it "a truth of Religion?"  (Don't be shocked!  The original word implies a binding-together-again, as in a "Body of Doctrine:" compare the word "Ligature." ...

"Religion" comes from the Latin "re—ligare," meaning "to bind again."

... It was only later by corruption, that the word came to imply "piety;" re—ligens, attentive (to the gods) as opposed to neg—ligens, neglectful.)

I think that Hermes was contemplating a Ruach closely knitted together and anchored by incessant Aspiration to the Supernal Triad; just such an one, in short, as appears in those remarks on the Magical Memory, a God-man ready to discard his well—worn Instrument for a new one, bought up to date with all the latest improvements (the movement of the Zeitgeist during his past incarnation, in particular) well wrought and ready for his use.

This being so, a truth which is "of all Truth" should mean any proposition which forms an essential part of this Khu—this "Magical Identity" of a man.

The next five paragraphs were excised by Mr. Regardie.

How how curious it must appear at the first glance to note that the truths of this order should prove to be what we call Axioms—or even Platitudes—

. . . . . . What's that noise?

. . . . . . I think I hear Sir Ausbruch!

Meaning Doubt, of course in his healthy sense of scientific skepticism.

And in full eruption too!  And hasn't he the right?  For all this time we've bluffed our way breezily ahead over the sparkling seas, oblivious of that very Chinese Chinese—puzzle that we started with, the paradox (is it?) of the Chinese Gamut.

(We shan't get into doldrums; there's always the way out from "?" to "!" as with any and every intellectual problem whatsoever: it's the only way. Otherwise, of course, we get to A is A, A is not-A, not-A is not—A, not—A is A, as is inevitable).

"The more certain I am of anything, the more certain it is that I am only asserting a limitation of my own mind."

Very good, but what am I to do about it?  Some at least of such certainties must surely be "of all Truth."  The test of admission to this class ought to be that, of one were to accept the contradictory of the proposition, the entire structure of the Mind would be knocked to pieces, as is not at all the case with the Astronomer's determination, which may turn out to be wrong for a dozen different reasons without anybody getting seriously wounded in his tenderest feelings.

The Statesman knows instinctively, or at worst, by his training and experience, what sort of assertion, harmless enough on the surface, may be "dangerous thinking," a death-blow to his own idea of what is "of all Truth," and strikes out wildly in a panic entirely justifiable from his own point of view ...

This sort of "statesman," however, must disappear from government if humankind is to progress in the next thousand years. Scientific truth, however relative in itself, should be the yardstick of all politics. If this necessitate change, so much the better.

... Exhibit No. 1: Galileo and that lot.  What could it possibly matter to the Gospel story that people should think that the Earth moves round the Sun?  (Riemann, and oh! such a lot of things, have shewn that it didn't and doesn't!  This sort of "Truth" is only a set of conventions.)

Riemann is the German mathematician who invented elliptic geometry and revolutionized may concepts of higher mathematics.

"Oh, don't gas away like this!  I want to know what to do about it.  Am I to accept this cauerwauling Gamut, and enlarge my Mind, and call it an Initiation?  Or am I to nail my own of—all—Truth Tonic Solfa to the Mast, and go down into the Maelstrom of Insanity with colours flying?  Do you really need Massed Bands to lull Baby to sleep?

The Master of the Temple deals very simply and efficiently with problems of this kind.  "The Mind" (says he) of this Party of the First Part, hereinafter referred to as Frater N (or whatever his 8 °= 3 motto may be) is so constructed that the interval from C to C is most harmoniously divided into n notes; that of the Party of the Second Part hereinafter referred to as—not a Heretic, an Atheist, a Bolshie, ad Die-hard, a Schismatic, an Anarchist, a Black Magician, a Friend of Aleister Crowley, or whatever may be the current term of abuse—Mr. A, Lord B, the Duke of C, Mrs. X, or whatever he or she may chance to be called—into five.  The Structure called of—all—Truth in neither of us is affected in the least, any more than in the reading of a Thermometer with Fahrenheit on one side and Centigrade on the other.

You naturally object that this answer is little better than an evasion, that it automatically pushes the Gamut question outside the Charmed of—all—Truth Circle.

No, it doesn't really; for if you were able to put up a Projection of those two minds, there would be, firstly, some sort of compensation elsewhere than in the musical section; and secondly, some Truth of a yet higher order which is common to both.

Not unaware am I that these conceptions are at first exceedingly difficult to formulate clearly.  I wouldn't go so far as to say that one would have to be a Master of the Temple to understand them; but it is really very necessary to have grasped firmly the doctrine that "a thing is only true insofar as it contains its contradiction in itself."  (A good way to realize this is by keeping up a merry dance of paradoxes, such as infest Logic and Mathematics.  The repeated butting of the head against a brick wall is bound in the long run to shake up the little grey cells (as Poirot might say) ...

Poirot is, of course, "Hercule Poirot," the favorite fictional detective of the late British popular novelist, Agatha Christie.

... teach you to distrust any train of argument, however apparently impeccable the syllogisms, and to seek ever more eagerly the dawn of that Neschamic consciousness where all these things are clearly understood, although impossible to express in rational language.)

The prime function of intellect is differentiation; it deals with marks, with limits, with the relations of what is not identical; in Neschamah all this work has been carried out so perfectly that the "rough working" has passed clean out of mind; just so, you say "I" as if it were an indivisible Unity, unconscious of the inconceivably intricate machinery of anatomical, physiological, psychological construction which issues in this idea of "I."

We may then with some confidence reaffirm that our certainties do assert our limitations; but this kind of limitation is not necessarily harmful, provided that we view the situation in its proper perspective, that we understand that membership of the of-all-Truth class does not (as one is apt to think at first sight) deepen the gulfs which separate mind from mind, but on the contrary put us in a position to ignore them. Our acts of "love under will," which express our devotion to Nuit, which multiply the fulfillments of our possibilities, become continually more efficacious, and more closely bound up with our Formula of Initiation; and we progressively become aware of deeper and vaster Images of the of-all-Truth class, which reconcile, by including within themselves, all apparent antinomies.

It is certain without error that I ought to go to bed.

Love is the law, love under will.



LETTER 30: Do you believe in God?

Cara Soror:

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

You are quite right, as usual. True, we have gone over a great deal of the ground in various learned disquisitions of Gods, Angels, Elves, et hoc genus omne.

But God with a capital "G" in the singular is a totally different pair of Blüchers—nicht wahr?

Let me go back just for a moment to the meaning of "belief."  We agreed that the word was senseless except as it implies an opinion, instinct, conviction—what you please!—so firmly entrenched in our natures that we act automatically as if it were "true" and "certain without error," perhaps even "of the essence of truth." (Browning discusses this in Mr. Sludge the Medium.)  Good: the field is clear for an enquiry into this word  God. 

We find ourselves in trouble from the start.

We must define; and to define is to limit; and to limit is to reduce "God" to "a God" or at best "the God."

He must be omniscient (Mercury) omnipotent, (Sulphur) and omnipresent (Salt); (note:these symbols still need to be inserted.) yet to such a Being no purpose would be possible; so that all the apologies for the existence of "evil" crash.  If there be opposites of any kind, there can be no consistency.  He cannot be Two; He must be One; yet, as is obvious, he isn't.

How do the Hindu philosophers try to get out of this quag?  "Evil" is "illusion;" has no "real" existence.  Then what is the point of it?

They say "Not that, not that!" denying to him all attributes; He is "that which is without quantity or quality."  They contradict themselves at every turn; seeking to remove limit, they remove definition.  Their only refuge is in "superconsciousness."  Splendid! but now "belief" has disappeared altogether; for the word has no sense unless it is subject to the laws of normal thought... Tut! you must be feeling it yourself; the further one goes, the darker the path.  All I have written is somehow muddled and obscure, maugre my frenzied struggle for lucidity, simplicity . . . .

Is this the fault of my own sophistication?  I asked myself.  Tell you what!  I'll trot round to my masseuse, and put it up to her.  She is a simple country soul, by no means over-educated, but intelligent; capable of a firm grasp of the principles of her job; a steady church-goer on what she considers worthwhile occasions; dislikes the rector, but praises his policy of keeping his discourse within bounds.  She has done quite a lot of thinking for herself; distrusts and despises the Press and the Radio, has no use for ready-made opinions.  She shares with the flock their normal prejudices and phobias, but is not bigoted about them, and follows readily enough a line of simply-expressed destructive criticism when it is put to her.  This is, however, only a temporary reaction; a day later she would repeat the previous inanities as if they had never been demolished ...

In this lies the power of established dogma. When a person has been unconsciously conditioned from birth by environment, parents, teachers and personal relationships to a set code of morals or a standard of behavior, that person will find extreme difficulty in ridding himself or herself of those acquired behavior patterns. Intellectual awareness of their falsity or relativity or even of their harmfulness or hostility to your self will not rid you of them. A new set of behavior patterns must be decided for and consciously acted upon, persistently, often for a period of many years, before a real personality change is effected. Such a change is always psychosomatic. One of the reasons why many Aspirants to the Secret Wisdom fail to reach Initiation is their neglect of this important fact, or incapacity to act on it. Cf. LXV V 52-56.

... In the late fifties, at a guess. I sprang your question on her out of the blue, à la "doodle-bug;" premising merely that I had been asked the question, and was puzzled as to how to answer it.  Her reply was curious and surprising: without a moment's hesitation and with great enthusiasm, "Quickly, yes!"  The spontaneous reservation struck me as extremely interesting ...

He means the reservation implied in the use of the adverb 'quickly,' meaning simply 'without taking time to think about it' in this context. It is quite possible that without the influence of Crowley's aura she would not have been aware of the reservation at all.

... I said: of course, but suppose you think it over—and out—a bit, what am I to understand?  She began glibly "He's a great big—" and broke off, looking foolish.  Then, although omnipotent, He needed our help—we were all just as powerful as He, for we were little bits of each other—but exactly how, or to what end, she did not make clear.  An exclamation: "Then there is the Devil!"

She went on without a word from me for a long while, tying herself up into fresh knots with every phase.  She became irreverent, then downright blasphemous; stopped short and began to laugh at herself.  And so forth—but, what struck me as curious and significant, in the main her argument followed quite closely the lines which came naturally to me, at the beginning of this letter!

Please remark that this was all probably the influence of the Freedom imparted by the resonance of the Initiate's Aura. Her answer to the same question put by, say, her pastor, might have been totally mechanical, superficial, blind and self—satisfied.

In the end, "curiouser and curiouser," she arrived at a practically identical conclusion: she believed, but what she believed in was Nothing!

As to our old criterion of what we imply in practice when we say that we believe, she began by saying that If we "helped" God in His mysterious plan, He would in some fashion or other look after us.  But about this she was even more vague than in the matter of intellectual conviction; "helping God" meant behaving decently according to one's own instinctive ideas of what "decently" means.

Except that, as we observed before, such "instinctive ideas" are usually not based on true instinct, but on acquired behavior patterns due to conditioning by some dogma.

It is very encouraging that she should have seen, without any prompting on my part, to what a muddle the question necessarily led; and very nice for me, because it lets me out, cara soror!

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. I thought it a good plan to put my fundamental position all by itself in a postscript; to frame it.  My observation of the Universe convinces me that there are beings of intelligence and power of a far higher quality than anything we can conceive of as human; that they are not necessarily based on the cerebral and nervous structures that we know; and that the one and only chance for mankind to advance as a whole is for individuals to make contact with such Beings.

LETTER 31: Religion–Is Θελημα a "New Religion"?

Cara Soror:

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

"Would you describe your system as a new religion?"  A pertinent question, you doubtless suppose; whether it may happen to mean anything is—is—is—well, is what we must try to make clear.

True, it's a slogan of A∴A∴  "The method of science—the aim of religion.&  Here the word "aim" and the context help the definition; it must mean the attainment of Knowledge and Power in spiritual matters—or words to that effect: as soon as one selects a phrase, one starts to kick holes in it!  Yet we both know perfectly well all the time what we do mean.

But this is certainly not the sense of the word in your question.  It may clear our minds, as has so often happened, if we examine it through the lens of dear old Skeat.

Religion, he says, Latin: religio, piety.  Collection or paying attention to: religens as opposed to negligens, neglecting; the attitude of Gallio.  But it also implies a binding together i.e. of ideas; in fact, a "body of doctrine."  Not a bad expression.  A religion then, is a more or less coherent and consistent set of beliefs, with precepts and prohibitions therefrom deducible.  But then there is the sense in which Frazer (and I) often use the word: as in opposition to "Science" or "Magic."  Here the point is that religious people attribute phenomena to the will of some postulated Being or Beings, placable and moveable by virtue of sacrifice, devotion, or appeal.  Against such, the scientific or magical mind believes in the Laws of Nature, asserts "If A, then B"—if you do so—and—so, the result will be so—and—so, aloof from arbitrary interference.  Joshua, it is alleged, made the sun stand still by supplication, and Hezekiah in the same way cause it to "go back upon the dial of Ahaz;"  Willett did it by putting the clock back, and getting an Act of Parliament to confirm his lunacy.  Petruchio, too "It shall be what o'clock I say it is!"  The two last came close to the magical method; at least, to that branch of it which consists of "fooling all the people all the time."  But such an operation, if true Magick were employed, would be beyond the power of any magician of my acquaintance; for it would mess up the solar system completely.  (You remember how this happened, and what came of it, in a rather clever short story by H.G. Wells.)  For true Magick means "to employ one set of natural forces at a mechanical advantage as against another set"—I quote, as closely as memory serves, Thomas Henry Huxley, when he explains that when he lifts his water—jug—or his elbow—he does not "defy the Law of Gravitation."  On the contrary, he uses that Law; its equations form part of the system by which he lifts the jug without spilling the water.

To sum up, our system is a religion just so far as a religion means an enthusiastic putting—together of a series of doctrines, no one of which must in any way clash with Science or Magick.

Call it a new religion, then, if it so please your Gracious Majesty; but I confess that I fail to see what you will have gained by so doing, and I feel bound to add that you might easily cause a great deal of misunderstanding, and work a rather stupid kind of mischief.

The word does not occur in The Book of the Law.

Love is the law, love under will.



Θελημα is not a religion: it is a mode of Theurgy. As such, it should remain rigorously experimental and documental; scrupulously follow the scientific method, as this was defined by Descartes, Poincare, Russell, and Whitehead. It is, essentially, a form of spiritual research; we use the word research here in its most limited scientific definition. However, Crowley did renew and inspire the Holy Gnostic Catholic Church, which is, in a sense, a form of religion. But even in this, the message is, and should remain, that etched in Chapters 113 to 117 of Liber Aleph.

LETTER 32: How can a Yogi ever be Worried?

Cara Soror:

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

That question I have been expecting for a very long time!  And what you expect is to see my middle stump break the wicket-keeper's nose, with the balls smartly fielded by Third Man and Short Leg!

The references are to the game of cricket.

I admit that it looks like a strong case.  Here (you put it in your more elegant prose) we have a Yogi, nay more, a Paramahamsa, a Bodhisattva of the best: yea, further, we have a Master of the Temple—and is not his Motto "Vi veri vniversom vivus vici?" and yet we find him fussing like an old hen over the most trivial of troubles; we find him wrapped in the lacustrine vapours of Avernus, fretting himself into a fever about imaginary misfortunes at which no normal person would do more than cast a contemptuous glance, and get on with the job.

Yes, although you can scarcely evade indictment for unnecessarily employing the language of hyperbole, I see what you mean.  Yet the answer is adequate; the very terms of his Bargain with Destiny not only allow for, but imply, some such reaction on the part of the Master to the Bludgeonings of Fate.  (W. E. Henley)

Here Mr. Germer added the following note: "An English poet."

There are two ways of looking at the problem.  One is what I may call the mathematical.  If I have ten and sixpence in the world and but a half-guinea cigar, I have no money left to buy a box of matches.  To "snap out of it" and recover my normal serenity requires only a minute effort, and the whole of my magical energy is earmarked for the Great Work.  I have none left to make that effort.  Of course, if the worry is enough to interfere with that Work, I must detail a corporal's file to abate the nuisance.

The other way may be called the Taoist aspect.  First, however, let me explain the point of view of the Master of the Temple, as it is so similar.  You should remember from your reading what happens in this Grade.  The new Master is "cast out" into the sphere appropriate to the nature of his own particular Great Work.  And it is proper for him to act in true accordance with the nature of the man as he was when he passed through that Sphere (or Grade) on his upward journey.  Thus, if he be cast out into 3° = 8, it is no part of his work to aim at the virtues of a 4° = 7; all that has been done long before ...

In theory, at any rate. In practice, it is possible to obtain insights of a Grade before attaining the technical expertise of another, perhaps "lower" Grade. The subject is too difficult and too ample, besides being too confidential, for a short discourse.

... It is no business of his to be bothering his head about anything at all but his Work; so he must react to events as they occur in the way natural to him without trying to "improve himself."  (This, of course, applies not only to worry, but to all his funny little ways.)

The Taoist position differs little, but it is independent of all considerations of the man's attainment; it is an universal rule based on a particular theory of things in general.  Thus, "benevolence and righteousness" are not "virtues;" they are only symptoms of the world-disease, in that they should be needed.  The same applies to all conditions, and to all modes of seeking to modify them.  There is only one proper reaction to event; that is, to adjust oneself with perfect elasticity to whatever happens.

That tiger across the paddy-field looks hungry.  There are several ways of dealing with the situation.  One can run away, or climb a tree, or shoot him, or (in your case) cow him by the Power of the Human Eye; but the way of the Tao is to take no particular notice.  (This, incidentally, is not such bad Magick; the diversion of your attention might very well result in your becoming invisible, as I have explained in a previous letter.)  The theory appears to be that, although your effort to save yourself is successful, it is bound to create a disturbance of equilibrium elsewhere, with results equally disastrous.  Even more so; it might be that to be eaten by a tiger is just what you needed in your career through the incarnations; at that moment there might well be a vacancy somewhere exactly where it will do most good to your Great Work ...

By "vacancy" in this sense he means an opportunity for incorporation, usually in a fetus. It has been alleged that in some cases it may be the True Will of a human being to invite the Magician to indwell his or her instrument of flesh. We opine that, from the perspective of the Lower Sephiroth, this would be an extremely rare occurrence if the arrangement were to last more than a moment of time. The British thriller writer Edgar Wallace wrote an interesting novel on this theme.

... When you press on one spot, you make a corresponding bulge in another, as we often see a beautiful lady, unhappy about her waist-line, adopt drastic measures, and transform herself into the semblance of a Pouter Puffin!

In theory, I am particularly pleased about this Method, because it goes for everybody, requires no knowledge, no technical training, "no nuffin."  All the same, it won't do for me, except in a much modified form, and in very special cases; because no course of action (or inaction) is conceivable that would do great violence to my nature.

So let me worry along, please, with the accent on the "along;" I will grin and bear it, or, if it gets so bad that I can't do my Work, I will make the necessary effort to abate the nuisance, always most careful to do as little damage as possible to the main current of my total Energy.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 33: The Golden Mean

Cara Soror:

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

You would think that one who like myself has the Sun, the Lord of His Horoscope, in Libra, with Venus who rules that sign in close conjunction with him, with Saturn trine, Uranus sextile, Mars square and Luna quincunx to him, would wear the Golden Mean as a breastplate, flaunt it on my banneret, quarter it on my escutcheon, and grave it on the two-edged blade of my thrice trusty falchion!

Just so, objects that instinct itself!  "Had you been born a few hours earlier, with Aries rising, its lord Mars aggravated by the square of Sol and Venus, you would indeed have bee a Wild Man of the Woods, arrogant, bigoted, domineering, incapable of seeing a second side to any question, headstrong, haughty, a seething hell-broth of hate; and this fact disables your judgment."

All perfectly true.  My equable nature is congenitally hostile to extreme measures, except in imagination.  I cannot bear sudden violent movements. Climbing rocks, people used to say that I didn't climb them, that I oozed over them!

This explains, I think, my deep-seated dislike of many passages in The Book of the Law.

O prophet! thou hast ill will to learn this writing.  I see thee hate the hand & the pen; but I am stronger.
(AL II 10-11)

Well, what is the upshot of all this?  It answers your question about the value to be attached to this Golden Mean.  There is no rule about it; your own attitude is proper for yourself, and has no value for anybody else.  But you must make sure exactly what that attitude actually is, deep down.

Let us go back for a moment to the passage above quoted.  The text goes on to give the reason for the facts. 

Because of me in Thee which thou knewest not.  for why?  Because thou wast the knower, and me.
(AL II 12-13)

The unexpected use or disuse of capitals, the queer syntax, the unintelligibility of the whole passage: these certainly indicate some profound Qabalistic import in these texts.

So we had better mark that Strictly Private, and forget it.

The serious reader is referred to Marcelo Motta's notes on this passage in The Commentaries of AL.

One point, however, we have forgotten: although my Libra inclinations do bias me personally, they also make me fair-minded, "a judge, and a good judge too" in the memorable phrase of the late William Schwenk Gilbert ...

Who, incidentally, was a Jew. I keep up these reminders because of the insistent Zionist campaign accusing Crowley of anti—semitism. Many people whom he admired were Jews by birth, and he did not admire them any less because of it. One of the few of his friends whom he never criticized, about whom he had only complimentary things to say, was Oscar Eckenstein, to whom we dedicated our edition of The Commentaries of AL.

... So I will sum up what is to be said for and against this Golden Mean.

As usual, nobody has taken the trouble to define the term.  We know that it was extolled by both the Greek and the Chinese philosophers; but I cannot see that they meant much more than to counsel the avoidance of extremes, whether of measures or of opinions; and to advocate moderation in all things.

James Hilton has a most amusing Chinese in his Lost Horizon.  When the American 100% he-man, mixer, joiner, and go-getter, agrees with him about broadmindedness in religious beliefs, and ends "and I'm dead sure you're right!" his host mildly rebukes him, saying: "But we are only moderately sure."  Such thought plumbs the Abysses of Wisdom; at least, it may quite possibly do so.  Forgive me if I emulate the teacher!

But this is not as simple as it sounds.  There is great danger in this Golden Mean, one of whose main objects is to steer clear of shipwreck, Scylla being as fatal as Charybdis.  No, this lofty and equable attitude is worse than wrong unless it derives from striking the balance between two very distant opposites.  One of the worst perils of the present time is that, in the reaction against ignorant bigotry, people no longer dare to make up their minds about anything.  The very practice, which the A∴A∴ so strongly and persistently advocates, tends to make people feel that any positive attitude or gesture is certainly wrong, whatever may be right.  They forget that the opposite may, within the limit of the universe of discourse, amount to nothing.

They fall into flabbiness.

I avoid this—see the example at the very outset of this letter—by saying: "Yes, I hate so-and-so like hell; I want to exterminate the very memory of the bastard from the earth, after I have personally superintended having him 'Seven years a—killing' winding up by hanging, disembowelling, and quartering him.  But of course I'm not necessarily right about this in any sense; it is merely that I happened to be born the kind of man that feels like that!"

Of course, in no case does the Golden Mean advise hesitating, trimming, hedging, compromising; the very object of ensuring an exact balance in your weapon is that its blow may be clean and certain.

You know how all our faults love to disguise themselves as virtues; very often, as what our neighbours call virtues, not what we ourselves think them.  We are all ashamed to be ourselves; and this is sheer, stark stultification. For we are ourselves; we cannot get away from it; all our hypocrisies and shams are just as much part of ourselves as what we like to think is the real man. All that we do when we make these pretenses is to set up internal strain and conflict; there is nothing objective in it.  Instead of adding to our experience, which is the Great Work, we shut ourselves up in this citadel of civil turmoil; it is the Formula of the Black Brothers.

The Golden Mean is more valuable as the extremes which it summarizes are distant from each other; that is the plain mechanics of the lever.  So don't pay too much attention to these remarks; they are no more than the quiet fireside reflections of a man who has spent all his life breaking records.  The Golden Mean at its best can only keep you from extravagant blunders; it will never get you anywhere.

The Book of the Law constantly implies a very different policy; listen to its climax-exhortation:

But exceed! exceed!
(AL II 71)

Remember that which is written: "Moderate strength rings the bell: great strength returns the penny."  It is always the little bit extra that brings home the bacon.  It is the last attack that breaks through the enemy position.  Water will never boil, however long you keep it at 99° C.  You may find that a Pranayama cycle of 10-20-30 brings no result in months; put it up to 10-20-40, and Dhyana comes instantly.  When in doubt, push just a little bit harder.  You have no means of finding out what are exactly the right conditions for success in any practice; but all practices are alike in one respect; the desired result is in the nature of orgasm.

I guess that's about what I think.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 34: The Tao (1)

Cara Soror:

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

This is the hardest question you have yet put to me: to explain the Tao.  The only proper answer would be Silence, trusting to the slow dispersion and absorption of the disturbance created by your asking it.  In that sentence there lies, really, the whole explanation; but I see well enough that it won't do for you.  You are not yet old or wise enough to understand that the only way to clear muddy water is to leave it alone.  Still, you doubtless expect me to tell you just how that comes to pass; I will not disappoint you.  First of all, what is the Tao?  No proposed equivalent in any other language comes within a billion light—years of giving even an approximation.  For one thing, it is itself a paradox; for another, it has several meanings which are apparently quite distinct.  For instance, one sinologist calls it "Reason"; another, "The Way"; another "Tat" or "Shiva."  These are all true in one sense or another.  My own "White Hope" (see The Book of Thoth) is to identify it with the Qabalistic Zero.  This last attribution is useful, as I will show presently, for hard practical reasons; it is an assumption which indicates the method of the Old Wise One who approaches the Tao.

As you know, the supreme classic of this subject, is the Tao Teh King; and I must suppose that you have read this in at least one of the several translations, else I should have to start by pushing my own version at you.  (This has been ready for a quarter of a century, and I seem to be unable to get it printed!) ...

This has now been done. See Equinox V 3 subtitled "The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism."

Note by David Bersson: I have had an extreme aversion towards the Dao (or Tao) for many years — sensing it was supposed to be included in the Curses in Third Chapter of The Book of the Law concerning the crapulous creeds of the Mongol. Not knowing for sure whether this is a private prejudice, or a ripple in My Hair, or a karmic handicap, or something else entirely — I have reserved myself to silence about the issue of my repulsion toward the Dao. Have I changed my mind and attitude toward the Dao after so many years of meditation and caution with regards on whether it is a crapulous creed of the Mongol to be cursed? No, I haven't. I read The Book of the Law & feel the vigor and excitement of its words — yet when I read the Dao I feel like I will take a dark and demonic turn from my aspiration and Path by partaking of its essence. Therefore, stand warned that I may have been right all these years!

... None of these published translations, learned and admirable though they may be as such, can be of use except to familiarize you with the terminology; for not one of these scholars has the most nebulous idea of that Laotze was talking about ...

The next fourteen lines of Crowley's text were cut out of Mr. Regardie's "edition".

... I can hardly hope to emphasize sternly enough how deep and wide is the "Great Gulf fixed" between the initiate and the profane, when questions of this kind are on the Magic Carpet.  Suppose you were transported (on that Carpet!) to a planet where the highest means of reproduction was germination; try to make the denizens understand Catullus, Shelley, Rossetti, or Emily Bronteë!  It is, honestly, quite as bad as that.  How can anyone grasp the idea of perfect and absolute negation being at the same time the sole motive force of all that exits?

"Tao hath no will to work;
But by its influence even
The Moon and Sun rejoice to run
Among the starry Seven."

King Kang Khang.

A variant reading of the second verse is "Yet by its way of Heaven." This reading is in our personal copy of the translation by Crowley given us by Mr. Germer, and is the one we used in Equinox V 3.

The Book of the Law states the doctrine of Tao very succinctly:

...thou hast no right but to do thy will.  Do that, and no other shall say nay.  For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.
(AL I, 42-44)

"Thus also the Sage, seeking not any goal, attaineth all things; he does not interfere in the affairs of his body, and so that body acteth without friction.  It is because he meddleth not with his personal aims that these come to pass with simplicity."  Tao Teh King, VII 2.

The ideal analogy seems to be that of a planet in its orbit.  It has its "true motion;" it meets the minimum of friction from circumambient space.  When it suffers the attraction of another body, it sways slightly to make the proper adjustment without effort or argument; it can, consequently, continue indefinitely in its orbit.

This is roughly the plan of the Taoist in his attitude to life. Having ascertained the Path which satisfies the equations of his Nature (as we say, "found his True Will") he continues "without lust of result," acting only when it happens to be necessary to adjust himself to any external stress that affects him, and so proceeds happily

     "thinking of a way
   To feed oneself on batter,
And so go on from day to day
   Getting a little fatter."

—assuming that his "True Will" is of that variety.  Basil King Lamus asserts this in The Diary of A Drug Fiend when he says: "If I were a dog, I should bark; if I were an owl, I should hoot."  It is rather like the pattern in the game of dominoes; you put the card that matches.  No other consideration comes into it at all.

It is the extreme simplicity of this idea which baffles people's minds, and the universal quality of impatience which makes everybody fidget, and so injure the delicacy of the "fine adjustment" which is the essence of the work.

The next twenty five lines were excised from Mr. Regardie's piracy.

When I used to climb rocks, I never jumped, I never grabbed, I never made a sudden or a violent movement; therefore, with thin smooth arms like a young girl's, and legs, tough enough it is true but always slow and steady, I used to find myself at the top of pitches that had beaten all the gymnasts.

In every sport worth the name one may observe similar facts.  Consider the delicacy required for big breaks at billiards; the problem is always to secure favourable readjustment with a minimum of disturbance.  Of course, there are positions which demand drastic treatment; but that is the best evidence that the balls have got into the worst possible mess from your point of view.  But it was an exquisitely delicate "safety shot" that got them like that.  True, there are games in which brute force is the way to victory; but such games never make progress in themselves.  The "tug-of-war" or "tossing the caber" are exactly as they were fifty—or five hundred—years ago.  Contrast the advance in "positional" chess!

Oh yes, this is all old stuff!  Of course it is; but it remains a useful sort of basis for meditation when you are seeking to understand one aspect of the Way of he Tao.

Anyhow (you protest) this is getting away from the question as to what Tao actually is.  Good; but I want you to abstain from trying to make an intellectual image of it, still less to visualize it.  I tried at one time to do something of the sort with the Fourth Dimension: Hinton gives a practice involving complex patterns of cubes; and I was never able to make anything of it.

As I said above, it is a matter of Neschamah; but what follows may help you.

Why is the Tao translated "Reason"?  Because by "Reason" is here meant the structure of the mind itself; a Buddhist who had succeeded with Mahasatipatthana might call it the Consciousnesss of the Tendency to Perceive the Sensation of Anything.  For in the last resort, and through the pursuit of one line of analysis, this structure is all that we can call our consciousness.  Everything of which we can in any way be aware may be interpreted as being some function of this structure.

Note by David Bersson: Well, my previous remarks on the Dao are only emphasized by the Dao having for its definition "reason". Now, what does it state in The Book of the Law about "reason"? My recommendation is to curse the Dao as a crapulous creed of the Mongol — and this in spite of the apparent reverence that my Superiors in the A∴A∴ and the O.T.O. have held toward its current. My initiations and experiences are not those of my superiors — and My School of Thought and estimation on these issues are clearly elaborated on within my numerous essays. Wake up! The Book of the Law is therefore stating that the Dao is a lie, for as already remarked Dao has for its definition as "reason". The truth is, the Tao is mystical philosophy that has for its manifestation of the asexual old man who has forgotten the vitality of his youth — and mistaken his lack of life force in his old age for wisdom. This has initiated the dogmatic propaganda in the Orient that old age is equivalent to wisdom — a lie perpetuated by those who would confuse the attitude of youthful frivolity with lack of wisdom. The Law of Θελημα rips into this delusion and tears it to pieces like so much tissue paper — the vigor of the Eternal Child & the awakening of the Magical Child with leaping laughter manifests from the core of our being as we move forth with life, liberty and volition. I quote those brilliant and powerful words from The Book of the Law:

Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.
(AL II vs. 20)

Note!  Function.  For now we see why Tao may also be translated "The Way"; for it is the motion of the structure that we observe.  There is no Being apart from Going.

You are familiar with the Four Powers of the Sphinx, attributed by the Adepts of old time to their Four Elements.  Air is to Know, Scire; Fire is to Will, Velle; Water is to Dare, Audere; and Earth is to Keep Silence, Tacere ...

It is interesting, however, that elsewhere he gives a different attribution, in which Fire is to Dare and Water is to Will; for this latter definition is much more in accordance with the entire Method of the Yellow School. See page 314, first paragraph, Equinox V, 3, "The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism." Should this attribution hold, then the Powers of the Sphinx as referred to the elements are Spirit To Move (or Go), Fire To Dare, Water To Will, Air To Know and Earth To Keep Silence. Again, in Liber Aleph vel CXI Crowley goes into the Powers of the Sphinx very deeply but from an entirely different direction. The reader must of course decide for himself or herself which interpretation accords most with his or her True Will, or find a different one! Crowley's attribution of Will to Water was first put down in his motes to his copy of Legge's translation of the Yi Jing, which was in Mr. Germer's possession and from which, with our instructor's consent, we made our copies of his notes. Those notes were written, in many cases, in the last three years of his life; thus the definition of Water as To Will may have come after he wrote the above explanation, and if so must represent his more mature thought on the subject.

... But now that a fifth Element, spirit, is generally recognized in the Qabalah, I have deemed it proper to add a Fifth Power corresponding: to Go, Ire.  (Book of Thoth, p. 275)

The O.T.O. is preparing a new, annotated edition of this book. The introduction of Spirit in the concept of the Elements, which was first proposed by the old so—called "Rosicrucians" of the late Middle Ages of Europe, is in great part due to Ms. Blavatsky's influence on pupils like Franz Hartmann and Rudolph Steiner, who after her death, noticing the total moral corruption of Besant and Leadbeater, withdrew from the Toshosophic Society to work in the O.T.O.

Then, as Spirit is the Origin, the Essence, and the Sum of the other four, so is to Go in relation to those powers.  And to Go is the very meaning of the name God, as elsewhere shewn in these letters; hence the Egyptian Gods were signalized as such by their bearing the Ankh, which is a Sandal—strap, and in its form the Crux Ansata, the Rosy Cross, the means whereby we demonstrate the Godhead of our Nature.  See then how sweetly each idea slides into the next!  How right this is, that the Quintessence should be dynamic and not static!  For if there were some form of Being separate from Going, it would necessarily be subject to decay; and, in any case, a thing impossible to apprehend, since apprehension is itself an Act, not an idea immobile which would be bound to change in the very moment of grasping it.

As I have tried to shew in another letter, the "Point-Event" (or whatever it is) of which we are aware is a change, or, less inaccurately, the memory of one; the things that change remain relentlessly unknown.

This is an initiatic perception, and the result of advanced Yoga practice, especially Pratyahara. It is very unsettling to the mind to perceive for the first time that, far from being the origin of "thoughts," it is merely a means of manipulating impressions, and that these impressions themselves are unreal in the first place, being effects and not causes of organized life. The mind must be taught to control "thoughts" if it is to be an efficient servant of the Will. What we call a "thought" is nothing but the ultimate impression made upon our brains of organic changes of the most infinitesimal sort, bioelectricity moving along the nerves. The entire system is unstable, constantly changing; permanence of consciousness is merely the ability to keep jumping across the sea of impressions from the tip of an iceberg to another, without ever taking stock of what is under the waves. It is thus not "permanence" at all. Stability depends on continual Change. It is also not "real consciousness" at all, for it perceives symbols of phenomena, rather than the phenomena themselves. Direct perception of phenomena, if it be possible, must exist on a level quite other than that of the normal brain activity even of a scientific genius; much more, then, than the "brain" of a theologian!

It does seem to me, young woman, that you ought to go over these ideas again and again, familiarizing yourself intimately with this process of passing from one to another, so intimately that it becomes automatic and spontaneous for you to run round the circle in perfectly frictionless ease; for otherwise your mind will be for ever pestering you all your life, and even your conscience reproaching you; they will say "But you have never got a definite answer to any single one of your original questions."  We are all—most of us, anyhow—born with this hankering after the definite; it is our weakness that yearns for repose.  We do not see that this is death; if any of these answers could be cut off short and neatly trimmed with paper frills like a ham, it would no longer be even an approximation to truth.

I am quite sure that this is the Doctrine of the Tao, and of opinion that no other body of teaching puts forward its thought more clearly or more simply.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 35: The Tao (2)

Cara Soror:

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

You are only one of a number of people who are interested in my translation of the Tao Teh King. Naturally, I want to publish it; but so many other things come first. So I am sending you the Introduction, in the hope that it will stimulate that interest to the point of getting some other publisher to give it sea-room.

You must understand his plight, which he himself, in his Pure Fool's innocence, did not understand very well. He was the subject of a relentless campaign of vilification, libel, slander, and smear, fomented mostly, at first, by the Vatican. Then the Zionists, the Toshosophists, and other Christist denominations took it up. The continuous articles and bits of "news" published about him in the yellow press were unbelievable; any human being guilty of half what was attributed to him would have either been executed for murder or spent the rest of his life in jail. There was absolutely no chance of his work finding a publisher at the time, but many unscrupulous third—raters were waiting cagily for his death, hoping to profit from it. Men like Israel Regardie and Donald Weiser — if such creatures can be called "men" at all — were planning ahead to make money off him without having to pay royalties to anyone but themselves, and without having to ask permission to publish things that they knew they would not be permitted to publish anyway. What real Thelemite would want to have his or her name associated with Regardie, Weiser, Grant and others of their ilk? We ourselves, as soon as we discovered, from researching the facts, the depth of moral corruption of those people, cut contact with them forever. Crowley's translation of the Dao De Jing is finally available to the public in a legitimate, Thelemic edition, from which the genuine O.T.O. — his O.T.O., and it only — will benefit for at least a century. Serious readers who have not bought our material before are referred to Equinox V, 3, "The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism," for a complete and faithful edition of all Crowley's work on the Method of the Yellow School, with the exception of the Shi Yi Jien, which will be published separately due to its bulk and special format. If you cannot find "The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism" in your local bookshop, you may order it directly from us, with the advantage that you will be put on our mailing list, and be informed of any new planned publications, sometimes with a chance to acquire them at pre—publication prices much below retail. Also remember that our first editions invariably become bibliophile treasures, and thus are excellent investments in every way. The rest of this letter is a direct quote from Crowley's planned introduction to his translation of Lao Zi's masterpiece. We omit our notes, which the reader will find in our edition of this, the best translation of the classic of Daoism for the next thousand years at least. Whoever may produce a better one in the future will owe as much to Crowley as to Lao Zi.

I bound myself to devote my life to Magick at Easter 1898 (era vulgari) and received my first initiation on November 18 of that year.

Crowley never mentioned details of this initiation. What actually happened was that he invoked the "Devil," since he was absolutely revolted with the results of so—called Christianity; and was flabbergasted when he was visited by the "Christ" as effect of his "satanic" invocations. This being was, of course, Aiwass Himself, though it was years before Crowley understood this. Cf. VII, vii 15, and VII iv 34-48.

My friend and climbing companion, Oscar Eckenstein ...

A very high initiate, and a Jew by human birth.

... gave me my first instructions in learning the control of the mind early in 1901 e.v., in Mexico City.  Shri Parananda, Solicitor General of Ceylon, an eminent writer upon, and teacher of, Yoga from the orthodox Shaivite standpoint, and Bhikkhu Ananda Metteya, (Allan Bennett) the great English Adept, who was one of my earliest instructors in Magick, and joined the Sangha in Burma in 1902 e.v., gave me my first groundings in mystical theory and practice.  I spent some months of 1901 in Kandy, Ceylon with the latter, until success crowned my work.

This success was absolute in Hatha Yoga, but only relative in Raja Yoga at the time. He conquered Asana, Pranayama and Dharana; but upon experiencing Dhyana abandoned mystical progress until much later. We marvel at the insouciance of the average occultist. We knew a lady once who considered herself to have attained the Grade of Adeptus Minor, and who calmly lent us Jung's annotated edition of The Secret of the Golden Flower, insinuating that it would do for us what Book Four Part I and Eight Lectures on Yoga would not or could not. Yet, this creature was incapable of sitting her fat ass still through asana for more than five minutes—if this much.

I also studied all varieties of Asiatic philosophy, especially with regard to the practical question of spiritual development, the Sufi doctrines ...

His study of the Sufi doctrines is reflected in that subtle work, the Bagh—I—Muattar, which was so shocking to John Symonds' prurient mind that this incompetent biographer could not believe it had a serious intention behind its ribald depiction of Arab homosexuality.

... the Upanishads, the Sankhra, Veda and Vedanta, the Bhagavad-Gita and Purana, the Dammapada, and many other classics, together with numerous writings on the Tantra and Yoga of such men as Patanjali, Vivekananda, etc., etc. Not a few of these teachings are as yet wholly unknown to scholars.  I made the scope of my studies as comprehensive as possible, omitting no school of thought however unimportant or repugnant.

This quality of intellectual courage was perhaps the most outstanding aspect of Crowley as a scholar. Very few people at this end of the Twentieth Century e.v. can even begin to fathom what it took to publish EQUINOX VOL. I in England, and the wave of malignant hatred that fell on the Magus.

I made a critical examination of all these teachers in the light of my practical experience.  The physiological and psychological uniformity of mankind guaranteed that the diversity of expression concealed a unity of significance.  This discovery was confirmed, furthermore, by reference to Jewish, Greek, and Celtic traditions.  One quintessential truth was common to all cults, from the Hebrides to the Yellow Sea; and even the main branches proved essentially identical.  It was only the foliage that exhibited incompatibility.

Cf. Liber LXI vv. 1-5, 7, 17-18, 22-24.

When I walked across China in 1905-6 e.v., I was fully armed and accoutred by the above qualifications to attack the till&mdashthen&mdashinsoluble problem of the Chinese conception of religious truth.  Practical studies of the psychology of such Mongolians as I had met in my travels, had already suggested to me that their acentric conception of the universe might represent the correspondence in consciousness of their actual psychological characteristics.

Here, Crowley commits his first inexactitude, but due more to the scant knowledge available about the "yellow" races at his time than to personal prejudice. The psychology of the Mongolian was vastly different from the Chinese prior to Lao Zi's emigration (we are not trying to suggest a chain of cause and effect) to the Mongol steppes. The Mongols practiced shamanism of the simplest sort, and could safely be called fetishists. The Chinese had an extremely sophisticated corpus of mysticism, which unfortunately continue to be misunderstood by most western scholars. The equation of "heaven" with the Judeo-Christian vulgar concept of the after-life, for instance, is ridiculous. What the Chinese meant by "Heaven" was roughly the same as the Thelemic qabalist means when he or she speaks of the Supernals, at least in terms of level of discourse. No single deity or location is meant or could be meant by the term that we translate as "heaven." The simple shamanism of the Mongols is best exemplified by Genghis Khan, who tolerated all religions, and enforced the toleration of all religions, as long as he lived, and received not only Jewish scholars but Christian priests in his tent. He allowed and even encouraged his children and his chieftains to hear their discourses yet, kept faithful to the religion of his forefathers to the day of his death, and above all venerated the totem of his tribe, which happened to be the hawk. The infusion of Chinese sophistication in Mongolian psychology came only when Kublai Khan, Genghis' grandson, abandoned the life of the steppes and became even more Chinese than the Chinese themselves. This marked the end of the rule of the Hordes.

I was therefore prepared to examine the doctrines of their religious and philosophic Masters without prejudice such as had always rendered nugatory the efforts of missionary sinologists; indeed, all oriental scholars with the single exception of Rhys Davids.  Until his time, translators had invariable assumed, with absurd naivété, or (more often) arrogant bigotry, that a Chinese writer must be putting forth either a more or less distorted and degraded variation of some Christian conception, or utterly puerile absurdities.  Even so great a man as Max Müller, in his introduction to the Upanishads, seems only half inclined to admit that the apparent triviality and folly of many passages in these so&mdashcalled sacred writings might owe their appearance to our ignorance of the historical and religious circumstances, a knowledge of which would render them intelligible.

During my solitary wanderings among the mountainous wastes of Yun Nan, the spiritual atmosphere of China penetrated my consciousness, thanks to the absence of any intellectual impertinences from the organ of knowledge. 

It is perhaps worthwhile to remark on this sentence. The average, we hope healthily, skeptical reader may ponder that he or she cannot understand how one can learn about the people of a country wandering in its wastes. We could be half—facetious and remark that the average interplanetary traveler might learn a lot about our "civilization" by examining the garbage deposits of any big city. But what is actually meant is something else, and perhaps the defense (if not the justification) a magickal or mystical retirements. The geography of a country cannot but impose cultural modifications in the inhabitants. Should one draw away from the noise and frenzy of those inhabitants and wander in the wilds of their territory, one might perceive some of the roots of their appetites and fears. Also, one might get telepathic insights on a level impossible otherwise. But this, as Rudyard Kipling might say is another story. This is the sort of thing that in the absence of an adequate number of experimenters to provide parameters of measurement must remain at least for the time being, subject to purely personal evaluation. We recommend the experiment as a useful exercise.

The Tao Teh King revealed its simplicity and sublimity to my soul ...

In James Legge's translation.

... little by little, as the conditions of my physical, no less than of my spiritual life, penetrated the sanctuaries of my spirit.  The philosophy of Lao Tze communicated itself to me, in despite of the persistent efforts of my mind to compel it to conform with my preconceived notions of what the text must mean.  This process, having thus taken root in my innermost intuition during those tremendous months of wandering Yun Nan, grew continually throughout succeeding years.  Whenever I found myself able once more to withdraw myself from the dissipations and distractions which contact with civilization forces upon a man, no matter how vigorously he may struggle against their insolence, to the sacred solitude of he desert, whether among the sierras of Spain or the sands of the Sahara, I found that the philosophy of Lao Tze resumed its sway upon my soul, subtler and stronger on each successive occasion.

But neither Europe nor Africa can show any such desolation as America. The proudest, stubbornest, bitterest peasant of deserted Spain, the most primitive and superstitious Arab of the remotest oases, are a little more than kin and never less than kind at their worst; whereas in the United States one is almost always conscious of an instinctive lack of sympathy and understanding with even the most charming and cultured people. 

This situation has been changed to a degree since, mostly by Frater Saturnus X° having taken residence, during the last years of his life, in that country. What Crowley did not understand during his stay in America was that he was under constant magickal attack; this attack manifested particularly through pseudo—American Masons. In this respect, it is illuminating to read Simburne Clymer's works on Rosicrucianism, and particularly attacks against A.M.O.R.C. Mr. Clymer's works were written with the purpose of proving that A.M.O.R.C. was not the 'real' Rosicrucian society in America. But who can prove or disprove the legitimacy of a Rosicrucian, unless he (or she) is a legitimate member of that ancient group of people? And, as every serious student knows, the Rosicrucians were forbidden by their own vows, to expose themselves as such. Mr. Clymer's (or whoever wrote under this name) works are, therefore, self—defeating insofar as the intention was to prove or disprove the legitimacy of any Rosicrucian movement. But they thoroughly illuminate (if you will pardon the pun!) the level of shallowness, malice, vulgarity and pettiness of which Mr. Clymer and his supporters were capable. To say nothing of their leverage on corrupt policemen and dishonest judges.

It was therefore during my exile in America that the doctrines of Lao Tze developed most rapidly in my soul, ever forcing their way outwards until I felt it imperious, nay inevitable, to express them in terms of conscious thought.

The pearl is a symbol of this process.

No sooner had this resolve taken possession of me than I realized that the task approximated to impossibility.  His very simplest ideas, the primitive elements of his thought, had no true correspondences in any European terminology.  The very first word "Tao" presented a completely insoluble problem.  It had been translated "Reason", "The Way", "Το Ον."  None of these convey any true conception of the Tao.

The Tao is reason in this sense, that the substance of things may be in part apprehended as being that necessary relation between the elements of thought which determines the laws of reason.  In other words, the only reality is that which compels us to connect the various forms of illusion as we do. 

Or, in still other words, since all that which we can think of is not true, but merely an image of reality falsified through the lens of the Ego, the gestalt of the process by which we reason is the only reality, since it equates with our psychosomatic tendencies. The Ego is thus, a polity or again, a gestalt, rather than a Monad. A resultant cannot be called the only force since it is a function and not a constant. Indeed, the only constants are the conditions under which the gestalts occur—and these are syndromes, not Monads.

It is thus evidently unknowable, and expressible neither by speech nor by silence. 

Now, this is going too far; and in our opinion, Crowley himself would have qualified this statement had computer analysis and the computer itself been available for his perusal at the time it was written. In our opinion, all yields to mathematical analysis; and the computer over a period of a few hundred years of time, will be able to fathom many unknowns of the human brain — provided it is programmed by an Adept!...

All that we can know about it is that there is inherent in it a power (which however is not itself) by virtue whereof all beings appear in forms congruous with the nature of necessity.

This necessity is again, the structure of the human psychosoma; as Euclidean geometry for instance, has been demonstrated to be nothing more than a very unsophisticated extension of the concept of space awakened in the mind of a child by the movements of the physical human body.

The Tao is also "the Way"—in the following sense.  Nothing exists except as a relation with other similarly postulated ideas.  Nothing can be known in itself, but only as one of the participants in a series of events.  Reality is therefore in the motion, not in the thing moved.

In this sense, 'Way' becomes a peculiarly apt description, since the word means simultaneously manner (or process) and path. The reader should note that again, it is a gestalt that is sought through the concept. (We use the word 'gestalt,' rather loosely, and not at all in its accepted psychoanalytical sense, to indicate a coherent summation in the mind of stimuli occurring in several levels. These levels in themselves, being up to a point part of the stimuli; and yet, simultaneously, parameters of the conditions through which the stimuli can occur.)

We cannot apprehend anything except as one postulated element of an observed impression of change. We may express this in other terms as follows.  Our knowledge of anything is in reality the sum of our observations of its successive movements, that is to say, of its path from event to event.  In this sense the Tao may be translated as "the Way."  It is not a thing in itself in the sense of being an object susceptible of apprehension by sense or mind. 

As a way or process, however, it can be apprehended—or we would not be talking about it here! Its enormous complexity of operation, however, makes any attempts at analysis confusing and even misleading. It is not susceptible to intellectual apprehension in the normal sense; indeed, any one intellectual formulation of it can but be partial, as A.C. is demonstrating as he goes, and as Lao Zi himself stated very simply and firmly in the first paragraph of his book.

It is not the cause of anything; it is rather the category underlying all existence or event ...

This breath—taking concept is of a daring unequalled by theologians at any time, and makes Lao Zi, perhaps, the deepest thinker of all ages. It must be clearly apprehended, especially by minds of scientific bent. Lao Zi states as we did, that our apprehension of reality is limited by our psychosoma, but he goes still further and says that the way in which our psychosoma is formed, and the manner in which our psychosoma functions, are precipitations or projections of the cosmic balance of forces, or the "All-Dao." He therefore takes us into an assessment—or attempt at assessment—of the origin of intelligent life. His postulate is then, similar to that of the Thelemic Qabalah: not only has all life (and even all form) the same origin, but there is also an essential underlying 'fraternity' in all that lives, since all comes form the same source. The main difference between Lao Zi and theologians consists in that scientists can—and will—study the Dao; in fact, are studying it every time they work. While no scientist gifted with the slightest common sense would waste his or her time studying for instance, the Christist 'God!' ...

... and therefore true and real as they are illusory, being merely landmarks invented for convenience in describing our experiences. 

Reality is relative and the grossest concepts of reality are always subjective. Toothache can be excruciating to whoever experiences it; but not only the tooth but also the bacteria working in it are nothing but enormously complex force-fields; and so is the trigeminus; so as a matter of fact, is the brain. Naturally, the sufferer of toothache will have a few well-chosen words to say about the above statement; but unless a mind achieve the level of apprehension and apparent detachment we describe, the cure of toothache is impossible. We stressed apparent because in reality, the level of apprehension encouraged by Lao Zi is much closer to the origin of phenomena-thus, to efficient manipulation of them-than the level of the average sufferer of toothache. At least at the time the toothache is occurring! The subjectiveness of any concept of reality is inescapable as long as man is the only intelligent species with which men can communicate. Hence, it would be wise to try to talk to the cetaceans, rather than kill them for blubber. The advances in science deriving from success in communication are a priori incalculable, but the potentialities are staggering.

The Tao possesses no power to cause anything to exist or to take place. 

Being the 'Universal Balance of Forces,' the All-Dao in itself, is totally indifferent to the occurrence of events.

Yet our experience when analyzed tells us that the only reality of which we may be sure is this path or Way which resumes the whole of our knowledge.

This point of view is clearly arguable; but it is arguable in the last quarter of the Twentieth Century, after cybernetics, computer analysis, integrated circuitry, the neutron, the positron, the neutrino, et al.; to say nothing of the fact that we who say it is arguable, have reached the position of stating so by following the very psychological and ethical theories established by Crowley. The All-Dao has no 'power' to cause anything to exist or to take place; yet, things do exist and do take place (this last expression by the way, deserved careful attention from physicists, advanced mathematicians and psychologists with a modicum of scientific training-unhappily, few as yet). Why? This question is related to the Mystery of the Magus and perhaps, the Ipsissimus; it is presumptuous for us to go into it except to state, again, that Point-Events do occur and perhaps, to add that as the Atheists say, There is no god but man; at least, as long as we keep slaying the cetaceans for meat and blubber.

As for TO ON ...

TO is the Greek article of the, ON is the present participle of the verb to be; hence, The Being, or that which is 'absolute existence.' It may surprise most modern speakers of the English language to learn that 'being' is not an original Anglo-Saxon word, but an attempt to translate Platonic concepts of existence into English; and this indirectly, since the influence was that of Thomas Aquinas! It may also surprise not only modern speakers of English, but many pseudo-philosophers and scholars, that TO ON is in essence, the same thing as the Hindu ATMAN. This concept is totally un-Thelemic. Cf.Liber VII IV,51. In a very restricted sense, what A.C. means by his objections to the use of TO ON as a translation of the Dao is that the Platonic concept of existence is connected with the Platonic ideal 'Archetypes.' From the Thelemic point of view, those archetypes, which were so useful to Christist theologians, beginning with Aquinas are merely expressions of cultural prejudice at its worst.

... which superficially might seem the best translation of Tao as described in the text, it is the most misleading of the three.  For To On possesses an extensive connotation implying a whole system of Platonic concepts, than which nothing can be more alien to the essential quality of the Tao.  Tao is neither "being" nor "not being" in any sense which Europe could understand.  It is neither existence, nor a condition or form of existence.  Equally, TO MH ON gives no idea of Tao.  Tao is altogether alien to all that class of thought.  From its connection with "that principle which necessarily underlies the fact that events occur ...

But it so happens that as we have already stated, it is NECESSARILY not one principle, but a gestalt of forces, conditions, planes of operation, and interactions among all these things. Nor is the 'Resultant,' necessarily TO ON itself in the Platonic definition, which is-if philosophers will pardon our frankness-the outlook of slave-minds.

... one might suppose that the "Becoming" of Heraclitus might assist us to describe the Tao.  But the Tao is not a principle at all of that kind.  To understand it requires an altogether different state of mind to any with which European thinkers in general are familiar.

The greater subtlety of Easter thought is at least partly of genetic origin. The 'yellow' races tend to have a higher average IQ than the blacks and the whites. But dogmatic religion there as here, has always produced monstrous aberrations.

It is necessary to pursue unflinchingly the path of spiritual development on the lines indicated by the Sufis, the Hindus and the Buddhists; and, having reached the trance called Nerodha-Sammapati, in which are destroyed all forms soever of consciousness ...

This is roughly the equivalent of Shivadarshana in Shivaite Yoga and Vedanta nomenclature. There are many levels and modification of this Trance, as of all others.

... there appears in that abyss of annihilation the germ of an entirely new type of idea, whose principal characteristic is this: that the entire concatenation of One's previous experiences and conceptions could not have happened at all, save by virtue of this indescribable necessity.

I am only too painfully aware that the above exposition is faulty in every respect.  In particular, it presupposes in the reader considerable familiarity with the subject, thus practically begging the question.  It must also prove almost wholly unintelligible to the average reader, him in fact whom I especially aim to interest.

For his sake I will try to elucidate the matter by an analogy.  Consider electricity.  It would be absurd to say that electricity is any of the phenomena by which we know it.  We take refuge in the petitio principii ...

Naturally, this expression also presupposes in the average reader, some knowledge of Latin and of formal logic. Crowley's average reader therefore, is someone of considerable general culture and interested in metaphysics and parapsychology-not exactly the average citizen in Mobile, Alabama or Irkutsk, Siberia! 'Petitio principii' means the same thing as 'begging the question.'

... of saying that electricity is that form of energy which is the principal cause of such and such phenomena.  Suppose now that we eliminate this idea as evidently illogical.  What remains?  We must not hastily answer "Nothing remains."  There is some thing inherent in the nature of consciousness, reason, perception, sensation, and of the universe of which they inform us, which is responsible for the fact that we observe these phenomena and not others; that we reflect upon them as we do, and not otherwise.  But, even deeper than this, part of the reality of the inscrutable energy which determines the form of our experience, consists in determining that experience should take place at all.  It should be clear that this has nothing to do with any of the Platonic conceptions of the nature of things.

In short, it is not conceptions (no matter how glorious or all-including!) that are being investigated, but the conceiving faculty itself. Obviously a very difficult thing to do; as well apply a lens to magnifying itself. Hence the pressing need of establishing communication with intelligent life forms other than our own. They can examine us while we examine them, and perhaps reach much more realistic conclusions than were possible even to a sage of Lao Zi's magnitude. Need we repeat that we might find conversation with the cetaceans more profitable and less risky (at least as a first step) than the frantic search of slave minds after little green men (or whatever) in flying saucers? Surely Damon Knights classic story, "To Serve Man," cannot be entirely forgotten! No one has established yet that the cetaceans are out to cook and eat us-rather the contrary.

The least abject asset in the intellectual bankruptcy of European thought is the Hebrew Qabalah. 

Now that is a fine phrase, and perhaps Jewish scholars will understand better why we prefer the expression Thelemic Qabalah. For the Jewish Qabalists in their majority are as foolish and as dogmatic as the Christist theologians. We remember meeting a Jew, a high—grade old—aeon Mason, who as very shocked when we insinuated that perhaps the Qabalah had been made for men and not men for the Qabalah! We will go further and state here, knowing that we shock many orthodox Zionists in so doing, that the Qabalah was made by men and not by in A.C.'s fine phrase, some gaseous (rhymes with nauseous) vertebrate of the male sex with flashing eyes and a white beard! It is almost impossible to trace the origin of the diagram called the Tree—of—Life because undoubtedly, it was conceived little by little and confirmed by the spiritual experience (never forget that experience results from experiment) of a great number of wise and courageous men (and perhaps even a few women—Cf. Du Guesclin's famous wife) at a time of the most narrow—minded and bloodthirsty religious persecutions in the history of the Western world. The Qabalists had to walk a razor's edge, with the burning stake on one side of the threat of madness at the other. Perhaps at some future date the history date, the history of this period of formation of the modern Qabalah—the experimental Qabalah of mystics and magickians—will be determined; perhaps the records are hopelessly lost by now. At any rate, the Qabalah that we prefer to call Thelemic started making an appearance during the Middle Ages, probably at the same time that Masonry began to form (see our Letter to a Brazilian Mason). Undoubtedly it was known by the Alchemists, consequently also by the Rosicrucians (so—called). During the reign of Frederick the Second, perhaps, Arab and Jewish scholarship was able to confer and coalesce the Qabalah that eventually pervaded the mystical fraternities of the following centuries. The word 'occultism,' still so much in use, should be mentioned in this context. Obscurantism was never the intention of the early and legitimate Masons, Rosicrucians and Alchemists. They kept their findings and their experiments secret in order to spare themselves and their descendants (as well, and perhaps foremost, as their successors) the most hideous death at the hands of demented bigots. It was never the intention of those honest and brave men, whose memory honors our race, to cast a veil of secrecy around their findings in order to keep themselves the superiors (?!) of their fellowmen. Indeed, this concept is a slave—concept. They fully intended to make their findings public as soon as they could do so without foolishly sacrificing themselves—only megalomaniacs yearn after martyrdom, and only the Christists among megalomaniacs, at that. And they did make their findings public, skillfully and patiently. Many died in the process, having been too optimistic about the level of intellectual awareness and emotional control of the people to whom they made their revelations. Giordano Bruno and Michel Servet are but two examples.

... Properly understood, it is a system of symbolism indefinitely elastic, assuming no axioms, postulating no principles, asserting no theorems, and therefore adaptable, if managed adroitly, to describe any conceivable doctrine.

In the same way in which Gregory IX placed in the 'Holy Sepulchre' under interdict after Frederick the Second excommunicated, became the first Christian (we do not mean Christist!) to achieve a successful Crusade to make it safe for visitation by Christists, we expect orthodox Jewish Qabalists to abjure and deplore this view of the Qabalah. It is a measure of Crowley's genuine love and respect for his fellowmen that he never conceived such a possibility. In spite of his childhood and the attacks he suffered throughout his life, he never really understood the extent of stupidity and blind hatred among human beings until in his late forties. And he spent the next thirty years of his life wishing he were dead—but forced to go on living in order to remain—the Beast.

It has been my continual study since 1898, and I have found it of infinite value in the study of the "Tao Teh King."  By its aid I was able to attribute the ideas of Lao Tze to an order with which I was exceedingly familiar, and whose practical worth I had repeatedly proved by using it as the basis of the analysis and classification of all Aryan and Semitic religions and philosophies.  Despite the essential difficulty of correlating the ideas of Lao Tze with any others, the persistent application of the Qabalistic keys eventually unlocked his treasure-house.  I was able to explain to myself his teachings in terms of familiar systems.

This achievement broke the back of my Sphinx. Having once reduced Lao Tze to Qabalistic form, it was easy to translate the result into the language of philosophy.  I had already done much to create a new language based on English with the assistance of a few technical terms borrowed from Asia, and above all by the use of a novel conception of the idea of Number and of algebraic and arithmetical procedure to convey the results of spiritual experience to intelligent students.

Indeed, this was perhaps the foremost achievement of Crowley as a scholar. Something of the sort had been attempted by William James before him in Varieties of Religious Experience. But although there is no denying the depth of James' psychological insight, he was not himself, a mystic. And A.C.'s achievement far surpasses his in every sense.

It is therefore not altogether without confidence that I present this translation of the Tao Teh King to the public.  I hope and believe that careful study of the text, as elucidated by my commentary, will enable serious aspirants to the hidden Wisdom to understand (with fair accuracy) what Lao Tze taught.  It must however be laid to heart that the essence of his system will inevitably elude intellectual apprehension, unless it be illuminated from above by actual living experience of the truth.  Such experience is only to be attained by unswerving application to the prac- tices which he advocates.  Nor must the aspirant content himself with the mere attainment of spiritual enlightenment, however sublime.  All such achievements are barren unless they be regarded as the means rather than the end of spiritual progress; allowed to infiltrate every detail of the life, not only of the spirit, but of the senses.

Cf. LXV iv 18-21; 26; 42-46. Also LXV v 8-10; 20-26.

The Tao can never be known until it interprets the most trivial actions of every day routine.  It is a fatal mistake to discriminate between the spiritual importance of meditation and playing golf.  To do so is to create an internal conflict. 

Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.

He who knows the Tao knows it to be the source of all things soever; the most exalted spiritual ecstasy and the most trivial internal impression are from our point of view ...

Now, this 'we' in which Crowley so blissfully includes his readers, actually refers to the deepest and most brilliant minds on the surface of the planet. Nor do these minds necessarily belong to (at least superficially!) top Initiates. Some pure scientists (especially those trained in mathematics) also have achieved that level of existence and thought. It is one of the purposes of the A∴A∴ to increase their number.

... equally illusions, worthless masks, which hide, with grotesque painted pasteboard false and lifeless, the living face of truth.  Yet, from another point of view, they are equally expressions of the ecstatic genius of truth—natural images of the reaction between the essence of one's self and one's particular environment at the moment of their occurrence.  They are equally tokens of the Tao by whom, in whom, and of whom, they are.  To value them for themselves is to deny the Tao and to be lost in delusion.  To despise them is to deny the omnipresence of the Tao, and to suffer the illusion of sorrow.  To discriminate between them is to set up the accursed dyad, to surrender to the insanity of intellect, to overwhelm the intuition of truth, and to create civil war in the consciousness.

This is the foremost reason why the hermits in this Aeon are to be found in the midst of society, and not secluded in forests and in mountains. Vivekananda has an interesting apologue as to this. He tells of a hermit who by dint of much practice became able to keep snow frozen against his breast, and out of fraternal love decides to visit his brother who lives in the filth of a city's daily life. Upon his getting there, he shows his brother the pure snow nestled against his breast. His brother a merchant gravely thanks him for the gift. A beautiful young woman enters his shop and begins to haggle. The brother takes a live coal form the shop's central brazier and to the hermit's astonishment, drops it between his tunic and his breast while he haggles with the pretty young lady. After she leaves, he turns to his brother and takes out the coal now dead, and bares his breast; no burn is visible on his skin. Then he says: "Look brother, your snow is melting." And it is. Love is the law, love under will.

From 1905 to 1918 e.v. the Tao Teh King was my continual study.  I constantly recommended it to my friends as the supreme masterpiece of initiated wisdom,...

Why not Liber Legis, instead?—the incipient fanatic may ask. It is because the purpose of Liber Legis was to integrate all existing psychological research (this includes religious experience, although it does NOT include religious dogma) into on equation; specifically, 2=0. Liber Legis is not a metaphysical treatise (as in a sense, the Dao De Jing), but a Code of Ethics. In short, it is a set of Commandments—we hope better and more inclusive than any given before; but certainly, not the last. It is indeed, the only religious code in history that predicts its own demise. Cf. AL iii 34. If we are permitted to add some autobiographical data here, it was the very fact that Liber Legis not only admitted its limitations, but predicted the conditions under which it would become invalid that was foremost in our decision to accept it as our personal guide and rule of life, on all planes until the time when the Lady of the Sword and the Scales shall rise.

... and I was as constantly disappointed when they declared that it did not impress them, especially as my preliminary descriptions of the book had aroused their keenest interest.

We have had a similar experience on recommending Liber CCCXXXIII, The Book of Lies, to intelligent people as the supreme masterpiece of initiated wisdom-greater even, than the Dao De Jing!...

I thus came to see that the fault lay with Legge's translation, ...

Now, here the two-edge sword of Reason is being wielded. The Magus is a Liar and a Cheat. His curse is precisely that he must be a con artist; at least, as long as humankind keeps slaying cetaceans for blubber, rather than trying to talk with them. How could poor Legge hope to translate Lao Zi's thought correctly? The fault is not with the translator, but with the readers, as we have learned throughout the years, by recommending Liber 333 to all and sundry. Legge did as good a job as could be expected from an honest, and highly intelligent scholar; unless he were also a mystic and an M.T. at least!

... and I felt myself impelled to undertake the task of presenting Lao Tze in language informed by the sympathetic understanding which initiation and spiritual experience had conferred on me.  During my Great Magical Retirement on Aesopus Island in the Hudson River during the summer of 1918 e.v., I set myself to this work, but I discovered immediately that I was totally incompetent.  I therefore appealed to an Adept named Amalantrah, which whom I was at that time in almost daily communication.

This, although possible is unlikely. Crowley was very fond at that time, of imitating the con artist practices of Blavatsky regarding the Hidden Mahatmas and so forth. Undoubtedly, he was in touch with some entity that gave Amalantrah as its name; but the translation of the Dao De Jing that follows is an obvious adaptation of Legge's translation to Thelemic nomenclature. It is no less precious (to Thelemites, that is!) for this reason. Cf. LXI viii, the last sentence.

He came readily to my aid, and exhibited to me a codex of the original, which conveyed to me with absolute certitude the exact significance of the text.  I was able to divine without hesitation or doubt the precise manner in which Legge had been deceived.

Whether Amalantrah provided a codex or not (which we repeat, we strongly doubt, although it is possible), a comparison between Legge's, Lin Yutang's and Crowley's version indicates clearly that Legge was limited by his cultural circumstances, and Lin Yutang also so; although to a smaller extent. Crowley's version we can attest as an Initiate, is not only faithful to the original as has the added advantage of being couched in Thelemic expressions. In this sense, it provides added insight into some of the higher and subtler meanings of Liber Legis.

He had translated the Chinese with singular fidelity, yet in almost every verse the interpretation was altogether misleading.  There was no need to refer to the text from the point of view of scholarship.  I had merely to paraphrase his translation in the light of actual knowledge of the true significance of the terms employed.  Any one who cares to take the trouble to compare the two versions will be astounded to see how slight a remodeling of a paragraph is sufficient to disperse the obstinate obscurity of prejudice, and let loose a fountain and a flood of living light; to kindle the gnarled prose of stolid scholarship into the burgeoning blossom of lyrical flame.

I completed my translation within three days, but during the last five years ...

This places the date of the present translation in 1923 e.v., and explains why it was not listed in the Syllabus in Equinox, Vol. III, No. 1. Crowley was still working on it.

Note from Jelks Cabiness III aka Frater Oz: We think that the Author is here confusing the Syllabus of the Official Instructions of the A∴A∴ in EQUINOX VOL. I No. 10, with the A∴A∴ Praemonstrance in EQUINOX VOL. III No. 1. We refer the reader to page 15 of the latter, where it does indeed list the DAO DE JING).

Note from Marcelo Motta aka Frater Parzival: Publishers should be exterminated, especially when they are right.

Note from David Berssson aka Frater Sphinx to Jelks Cabiness III aka Frater OZ:
Damn it, Jelks!!!

... I have constantly reconsidered every sentence.  The manuscript has been lent to a number of friends, scholars who have commended my work, and aspirants who have appreciated its adequacy to present the spirit of the Master's teaching.  Those who had been disappointed with Legge's version were enthusiastic about mine.  This circumstance is in itself sufficient to assure me that Love's labour has not been lost, and to fill me with enthusiastic confidence that the present publication will abundantly contribute to the fulfillment of my True Will for which I came to earth.  Let us wring from labour and sorrow the utmost of which humanity is capable.  Fulfill my Will to open the portals of spiritual attainment to my fellowmen, to bring them to the enjoyment of that realization of Truth, beneath all veils of temporal falsehood, which has enlightened mine eyes and filled my mouth with song.

We were in touch at one time, with a majority of the surviving Crowley disciples, at least in America. The only one who was always outspokenly enthusiastic about Crowley's translation of the Dao De Jing was Mr. Karl Johannes Germer. But we do not doubt that many outstanding scholars, scientists and writers became acquainted with it. Crowley was intimate, or on friendly terms with men of the level of J.W.N. Sullivan, J.B.S. Haldane, A.N. Whitehead and Bertrand Russell. Certainly lesser minds than his in his specialty, but at least some of them, outstanding pioneers in their own fields. Those men never advertised their acquaintance with the 'wickedest man in the world.' Undoubtedly they felt embarrassed in some cases, or decided it was better to lurk in others. Anyhow, through their acquaintance, Crowley had a much deeper influence in the thought of his time and subsequent time, than is generally realized. Jung for example, owes much to Crowley, although he never acknowledged it. We believe it can be stated with complete truth that no outstanding mystic, philosopher, psychologist, sociologist, metaphysician or even statesman since Crowley has failed to owe some debt to that strange (to the jejune and the bourgeois) man's thought and work.

So there you are.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 36: Quo Stet Olympus: Where the Gods, Angels, etc. Live

Cara Soror:

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

We settled what Gods, angels, demons, elementals were some little while ago; we also wrote of how they live, so now, insatiable Seeker, you ask where.

But surely, even as a child—did you not sing that immemorial Gregorian plain-chant

"There's a Friend for little children
Above the bright blue sky."

Simple enough.  A nice flat earth: sun, moon, stars, planets, satellites hung up to dry, with occasional meteorites and comets jazzing about to vary the monotony; above all that, this bright blue floor based upon Reckitts' and advertisements for the Riviera.

Just like that.  And above that again, the Jew Jeweller's hashish dream of heaven: see the Apocalypse.  A vulgarization of Baudelaire's still, shining, mirror world!

The reference is to the description of the "heavenly Jerusalem" as a city of jewels. Baudelaire, of course, used the same image under the influence of hashish.

How right Rome was when she put her foot down on great Galileo and his upstart kind!  But she did not do the job properly.  She should have brewed a bogus bogey-tale to frighten people off astronomy for ever.  But perhaps it was already too late!  The mischief had struck roots too deep for her.

Considering the evident imbecility of some of our correspondents, it is perhaps wise to point out that the above paragraph is pure irony. It was already too late to put people off Crowley as well.

What had these wizards wrought?

Those lovely mediaeval Charts Celestial that still enchant us by sheer beauty and sublimity ...

They have never enchanted me. Behind the glowing colors I could always perceive the blood thirst and insane hatred of reality that are the real fact behind the Vatican's teary hypocrisy. What is beautiful is not necessarily true; but what is true is always beautiful. At least for the brave.

... had been made mockery by those sinister adepts of sorcery!

No more flat earth on four pillars—on?—

In India the earth was supported by an elephant who stood on a tortoise—who . . . ?  No floor above.  Nothing but empty space with swarming galaxies; no room for "heaven."  Simpler to call Olympus or Meru the home of the Gods—believe it or not! don't ask questions!

Yet all the time the difficulty is of our own silly making.  The most elementary consideration of the nature of Gods, angels, demons, and the rest, as shown by their peculiar faculties, stamps them all instantly as Beings pertaining to more than three dimensions!  Just as no number of lines is enough to produce the smallest plain, as a cube is capable of containing an infinite number of squares, so, far from there being no room for heaven, there is absolutely nothing but room!

Yet of course the nature of that space is for ever incomprehensible, nay inconceivable, by any being of a lower dimension.  Only when we have succeeded in uniting our Conscious (three-dimensional) with our Unconscious (four-dimensional) Self can we expect even a symbolic conception of how things go on "in them furrin parts."

The expressions "three-dimensional" and "four-dimensional" should be taken as an literary image, not as a proposed geometric equation between the Conscious and the Unconscious. Mystical and magickal experience lead to the conclusion that Time (the fourth dimension of physics at present) is a function, not a constant, on many planes of consciousness. Cf. Crowley's reference to "kinks" in time, for instance, in Letter 25.

Speculation on such points is unpardonably profitless; I have only devoted these few paragraphs to the subject because it is useful to rebut the somewhat soapbox type of critic who thinks to rebutt the whole thesis "Sunt Daemones" by the snook-cocking query "Quo Stet Olympus."

The typist of the original edition of this book forgot the second "t" of "rebutt" and thus made total nonsense of Crowley's pun. The paragraph is admittedly difficult for the average reader — a definition which includes the overwhelming majority of American Ph.Ds. since "progressive education" took over. He means to refute (rebut) the critics who try to join (rebutt) the affirmation "They are demons" — the Christist's favorite explanation for anything that transcends their rudimentary intellectual capacity — to the argument "Where is Olympus?"

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 37: Death—Fear—"Magical Memory"

Cara Soror:

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

You ask me, very naturally, for details of the promise of Nuit (AL I 58) "...certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; ..."

In the first place, I think that it means what it says.  There may be, probably is, some Qabalistic inner meaning: Those four nouns most assuredly look as if there were; but I don't feel at all sure what the Greek (or Hebrew, or Arabic) words would be; in any case, I have not yet made any attempt in this direction.

To the straightforward promise, then!  Certainly no word more reassuring could be given.  But avoid anxiety, of course; remember "without lust of result," and AL III, 16: "Deem not too eagerly to catch the promises; ..."  Now, full speed ahead!

Like most promises of this type, it is, one must suppose, conditional.

Such a power is clearly of the Siddhi; and my instinct tells me that it is a result of devotion to Our Lady of the Stars.  Somehow I can't think of it as a sort of Birthday Present to a Favourite Nephew.  "Why not?"  You're right, as usual: anything may be a "Play of Nuit."  Still, I feel that this would be a rare case.

"But doesn't everything have to happen to everybody?"  Yes, of course, in a sense; but don't keep on interrupting!  I was coming to something interesting.

I insist of putting forth the immediately useful point of view: "devotion to Nuit" must mean the eager pursuit of the fulfillment of all possibilities, however unpleasant.

Good: now see how logical this is." For how else could one have reasonable "certainty," as contrary with "faith" (=interior conviction) ...

Please notice that he defines "faith" in a manner totally diverse from the Christist, especially the Aquinas, definition.

..., otherwise than by the acquisition of the "Magical Memory"—the memory of former lives.  And this must evidently include that of former deaths.  Indeed "Freudian forgetfulness" is very pertinacious on such themes; the shock of death makes it a matter of displaying the most formidable courage to go over in one's mind the incidents of previous deaths.  You recall the Buddhist "Ten Impurities;"—The Drowned Corpse, the Gnawed-by-wild-beasts-Corpse, and the rest.

A much improved form of this Buddhist practice is given in Liber HHH, one of the instructions of the A∴A∴.

Magick (though I says it as shouldn't) ...

He means Book Four Commented Part III, subtitled "Thelemic Magick," which is supposed to follow this book in the Oriflamme VI series.

... gives a very full and elaborate account of this Memory, and Liber CMXIII (Thisarb) a sound Official Instruction on the two main methods of acquiring this faculty. (None of my writings, by the way, deal with the First Method; this is because I could never make any headway with it; none at all.  Frater Iehi Aour, on the other hand, was a wizard at it; he thought that some people could use that way, and others not: born so ...

Frater Iehi Aour is the same Allan Bennett who was Crowley's first instructor in Magick, and then became his second instructor in Yoga in Ceylon. Unfortunately, Bennett's refusal to accept the Book of the Law occasioned a quick deterioration of his subtler vehicles in the last part of his life, precisely as it happened to Grudjieff and has happened to many others since.

... If it should happen that you have that faculty, and no gift at all for the other, it's just too bad; you'd better buzz off, and get another Holy Guru less one-legged.)

There are, however, as I find on reading over what I have written else- where, quite a few lacunae in the exposition; and I may as well now do my best to stop one or two obvious gaps.

The period of my life which was the climax of my work on this subject is those weeks of Thaumaturgy on the Hudson River—I fear the Magical Diary The Hermit of Aesopus Island is irretrievably lost—when I was shown the Codex of the Tao Teh King from which my (still unpublished) translation is taken, and when the veil was no more than a shimmering, scintillating gossamer, translucent to the ineffable glory that glows behind it.  For in those weeks I was able to remember and record a really considerable number of past lives.  (I half believe, and hope, that the relevant passages were copied into one of my Cefalu diaries; but who will struggle through those still extant on the chance?)

"But what about the intervals?" you ask, Shabash!  Rem acu tetigisti.

It strikes me with immense and poignant power a right shrewd blow—what of the other side? What of the periods between successive incarnations?

Let us look back for a moment to Little Essays Toward Truth and see what it says about the Fabric of a man.  (No, I'm not dodging your query: I'll get there in my own good time.  Let a fellow breathe!)  Nothing to our purpose, as your smiling shake of the head advises me.  And yet—The theory is that the Supernal Triad constitutes (or, rather, is an image of) the "eternal" Essence of a man; that is, it is the positive expression of that ultimate "Point of View" which is and is not and neither is nor is not etc.  Quite indestructible.

Now when a man spends his life
(a) building up and developing the six Sephiroth of the Ruach so that they cohere closely in proper balance and relation,
(b) in forging, developing and maintaining a link of steel between this solid Ruach and that Triad, Death merely means the dropping off of the Nephesch (Malkuth) so that the man takes over his instrument of Mind (Ruach) with him to his next suitably chosen vehicle.  The tendency of the Ruach is of course to disintegrate more or less rapidly under the impact of its new experiences of after—death conditions.

The next paragraph was, for very obvious reasons, deleted from Mr. Regardie's "edition" of this book.

(Hence the supposed Messages from the Mighty Dead, usually Wish-phantasms or outbreaks of the during—life—suppressed Subconscious, often very nasty.  The "Medium" gets into communication with the "Shells of the Dead"—Qliphoth, the Qabalah calls them.  A month or so, perhaps a year or so in the case of minds very solidly constructed or very passionately attached, and the Shells' "Messages" begin to be less and less coherent, more and more fragmentary, more murderously modified by the experiences it has met in its aimless wanderings.  Soon it is altogether broken up, and no more is heard of it.)

It is therefore of the very first importance to train the mind in every possible way, and to bind it to the Higher Principles by steady, by constant, by flaming Aspiration, fortified by the sternest discipline, and by continuously reformulated Oaths.

Unless, of course, the "Medium" is a charlatan, in which case, as time passes, you hear more and more — but hardly on the intellectual or moral level of the dead person! You get Victor Hugo writing bad prose, or Bertrand Russell spouting faulty mathematics, or "Jesus Christ" asserting the holiness of the Vatican, Et Cetera., et cetera., et cetera.

Such a man will be fully occupied after his death with the unremitting search for his new instrument; he will brush aside—as he has made a habit of doing during life—the innumerable lures of "Reward" and the like.  (I am not going to ask you to waste any time on the fantastic fairy tales of Devachan, Kama Loka and the rest; this must come up if you want to know about Paccheka—Buddhas, Skooshoks, the Brahma—lokas and so on—but not now, please!)

There is one Oath more important than all the rest put together, from the point of view of the A∴A∴. You swear to refuse all the "rewards," to acquire your new vehicle without a moment's delay, so that you may carry on your work of helping Mankind with the minimum of interruption.  Like all true Magical Oaths, it is certain of success.

A Magickal Oath is "true" when it expresses the True Will of the individual uttering it.

So then we have a man not only very well prepared to reincarnate at once—this means about six months after his death, for his vehicle will be a foetus about three months old, but to extirpate more deliberately all impressions that may assail its integrity.

Alternatively, there may be something in the nature of such impressions that is unsuitable for carrying over into the conscious mind of the new man.  Or there may be a rule—exempli gratia the draught of the waters of the River Lethe—and it might be possible for some Adept (whose initiation is of a higher degree than, or of a different type to, mine) to make his way through that particular barrier.

Enough of may, might, perhaps, and all that harpy brood!  The plain fact is that I remember nothing at all of any Post Mortem experiences, and I have never known anyone else who does.

There is one exception. I do remember the first, almost momentary, reaction.  I am in my Astral Form, in my best Sunday—go—to—meeting Ceremonial Vestments, and with my Wand I seem to hold this raised, attaching great importance to the act—looking down upon the corpse, exactly as one does at the outset of an "Astral Journey" in one's days of learning how to do it.

I recall no impression at all made by this sight; neither regret nor relief nor even surprise.

But there is one intensely strong reaction—I fancy I have mentioned this already—when one first remembers one of one's deaths: "By Jove! that was a narrow squeak!"

What was it that one feared? I haven't the foggiest.

What one feared was the severance of the links between the incarnated self and the Higher Triad.

And that is what I had to tell you about the Magical Memory. No: just one point to go to sleep on: suppose two or more people claim simultaneously to have been Julius Caesar, or Shakespeare, or—oh! always one very great gun!  Well, fifty or sixty years ago or more there was a regular vogue for this sort of thing, especially among women.  It was usually Cleopatra or Mary Queen of Scots or Marie Antoinette: something regal and tragic preferred, but unsurpassable beauty the prime essential as one would expect.

Except that some of those women were not "beautiful" at all in the conventional sense.

Of the Mary Queen of Scots persuasion was old Lady Caithness, who seems moreover to have had a sense of humour into the bargain, for she gave a dinner—party in Paris to twelve other ladies, each of whom had also been the luckless victim of Henry VIII's failure to produce of his own loins a durable male succession.  (His marriages were so many desperate efforts to save England from a second innings of the devastation of the Wars of the Roses, from which his father, who was not a miser, but a sound financier and economist, had rescued the country. You must understand this if English History is to be at all intelligible to you.  The tragedy began with the early death of the Black Prince; the second blow, that of Henry V coupled with the futility of his son and the murder of Prince Edward at Tewkesbury.)

Well, that was a big laugh, of course; it tended to discredit the whole theory of Reincarnation.

Quite unnecessarily, if one looks a little deeper.

What do I mean when I say that I think I was Eliphaz Lévi?  No more than that I possess some of his most essential characteristics, and that some of the incidents in his life are remembered by me as my own.  There doesn't seem any impossibility about these bundles of Sankhara being shared by two or more persons.  We certainly do not know enough of what actually takes place to speak positively on any such point.  Don't lose any sleep over it.

I have not, and maybe she did not, but Oskar Schlag may have tossed about in bed for a while. When he came to me in Brasil to spy on me for the C.I.A., or Shin Beth, or the Vatican, or all three at once, and I told him that I was the reincarnation of the Count of Saint Germain, he got very angry and snapped that he was sure he was that. I told him, "But it is quite possible that we both are" — which only made him all the madder. So what? If it made him any happier to think that "Saint Germain" would be reborn to be a traitor to true occult science, a sold spy of repugnant international cartels, and a pawn of Vatican and "Israeli" torturers and murderers, let him. To each his or her own.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 38: Woman—Her Magical Formula


Wine rots the liver; fever swells the spleen;
Meat clogs the belly; dust inflames the eye;
Stone irks the bladder: gout—plague—leprosy!
Man born of woman is most full of trouble;
God, a gorged fool that belches him, a bubble!
But of all plagues wherewith a man is cursed,
Take my word for it, woman is the worst!

The World's Tragedy

Cara Soror:

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

The next twelve lines of the original were 'expurgated' from Mr. Regardie's edition.

"Pibrock of Dhonuil Dhu,
    Kneel for the onset!"

for this letter is to put Woman once and for ever in her place.

But (as usual!) let us first of all make clear what we are to mean by Woman.

Not that amorphous (or rather, as the poet says, "oniscoid with udders") dull and clamorous lump, bovine, imbecile, giggling, truthless, nymphomaniac yet sexless, malignant, interminable, of whom Schopenhauer rhapsodized in his most famous panegyric: apparently his sentimental softness understood only the best side of her.  No! let us observe, shudder, and lay down the pen.

That makes me feel better; my duty to conscience is done.

You can see why Mr. Regardie excised this. The type of "woman" that Crowley has just described is the type of cattle that orthodox Jews have carefully cultivated for centuries (and would still cultivate to this day if it weren't for the Betty Friedans), and which Christists, especially Roman Catholics, esteem as much as do Saudi tyrants and Persian ayatollahs. This kind of creature, he explicitly states, is not what he means by Woman. But any other kind would probably have scared Mr. Regardie into his pants, rather than out of them.

The eternal antagonism between the sexes is mere illusion. As well suppose the male the enemy of the female screw.  Understand the spiritual reality of each, grasp their magical formulae; the sublime necessity of the apparent opposition will be apparent.

The ultimate of Woman is Nuit; that of Man, Hadit.  The Book of the Law speaks very fully and clearly in both cases.  I quote the principal passages.

A. Nuit.

Had!  The manifestation of Nuit. 
(AL I 1)

Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!
I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours.  My joy is to see your joy.

Above, the gemmed azure is
   The naked splendour of Nuit;
She bends in ecstasy to kiss
   The secret ardours of Hadit.
      The winged globe,the starry blue,
      Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu! 

                        (AL I 12—14)

...Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. ... 
(AL I 22)

...And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.
(AL I 26)

Dictated: "the unfragmentary non-atomic fact of my universality. (Write this in whiter words, But go forth on)." Ouarda wrote into the MS, later, the five words as in text.)

"Ourda" was the Magickal Name of Rose Crowley, his first wife. The name means "rose" in Arabic.

"O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!
(AL I 27)
"None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.
"For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.
"This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all. 
(AL I 32)

"Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me only!  Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain.  This is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all.
(AL I 32) 

"...the Law is for all. 
(AL I 34)

"I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy: nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.
"My incense is of resinous woods & gums; and there is no blood therein: because of my hair the trees of Eternity.
"My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us.  The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red.  My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the seeing.  Also I have a secret glory for them that love me.
"But to love me is better than all things: if under the night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. ...
"...I love you!  I yearn to you!  Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you.  Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me! 
(AL I 58—61)

B. Hadit.

Nu! the hiding of Hadit.
Come! all ye, and learn the secret that hath not yet been revealed.  I, Hadit, am the complement of Nu, my bride.  I am not extended, and Khabs is the name of my House.
In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found.
Yet she shall be known & I never.
(AL II 1-4)

I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star.  I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death.
I am the Magician and the Exorcist.  I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle.  'Come unto me' is a foolish word: for it is I that go.
Who worshipped Heru-pa-kraath have worshipped me; ill, for I am the worshipper. 
(AL II 6-8)

For I am perfect, being Not; and my number is nine by the fools; but with the just I am eight, and one in eight: Which is vital, for I am none indeed.  The Empress and the King are not of me; for there is a further secret.
I am the Empress & the Hierophant. Thus eleven, as my bride is eleven.
(AL II 15-16)

I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. ... 
(AL II 22)

I am alone: there is no God where I am. 
(AL II 23)

I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy.  If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one.  If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.
There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss.  He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason. 
(AL II 26-27)

Dost thou fail?  Art thou sorry?  Is fear in thine heart?
Where I am these are not.
Pity not the fallen!  I never knew them.  I am not for them.  I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler.
I am unique & conqueror.  I am not of the slaves that perish. ... 
(AL II 46-49)

Blue am I and gold in the light of my bride: but the red gleam is in my eyes; & my spangles are purple & green.
Purple beyond purple: it is the light higher than eyesight. 
(AL II 50-51)

Lest it should all prove too difficult, I have not quoted several passages which are completely beyond my comprehension; even in those here set down, there is quite a little that I should not care to boast that I had altogether clear in my own mind.

Leaving out nearly everything, the only way to simplify it is to call Hadit the "Point-of-view," and "Anywhere" to be the radix of all possible "Point-Events," or "experiences," or "phenomena;" ...

One wonders where he got this "Anywhere." Did he by any chance mean "Everywhere?" Cf. AL II 3

...; Nuit is the complement, the total possibilities of any such radix.  You can only get this properly into that part of your mind which is "above the Abyss," i.e. Neschamah: even so, Neschamah must be very thoroughly fertilized by Chiah, and illuminated by Jechidah, to make any sort of a job of it.

But to come down from the contemplation of Abstract Reality (which, being static and "infinite," is ultimately immeasurable) to these Ideas in their interaction (and thus directly observable), it is easy enough to understand the Magical Formula of their interaction.  Of course, whatever I say can be no more than a rough approximation, even a suggestion rather than a statement; but I cannot help the nature of the case.  Nuit is the centripetal energy, infinitely elastic because it must fit over the hard thrust directed against it; Hadit, the centrifugal, ever seeking to penetrate the unknown.  Nuit is not to dissimilar from the Teh described in Lao-Tze.

Incorrect. Nuit is a much ampler concept than De. Nuit probably could only be equated with the Dao-De, or the Dao itself.
See Equinox V 3,
"The Chinese Texts of Magick and Mysticism" diagrams, Appendix III, pp 476-477.

Nor would it be proper to ignore the Book of Lies:

Soft and hollow, how thou dost overcome the hard and full!
It dies, it gives itself; to Thee is the fruit!
Be thou the Bride; thou shalt be the Mother hereafter.
To all impressions thus.  Let them not overcome thee; yet let them breed within thee.  The least of the impressions, come to its perfection, is Pan.
Receive a thousand lovers; thou shalt bear but One Child.
This child shall be the heir of Fate the Father.

(p. 12)

I want you to realize that this collaboration of the equal opposites is the first condition of existence in any form.  The trouble (I think) has always been that nobody ever looked at things from outside; they were always at one end or the other.  This is because one haphazard collection of Point-Events chooses to think of itself as a Male; another, as a Female.  It is totally absurd to think of Winnie as a woman, and Martin as a man.  The quintessence of each is identical: "Every man and every woman is a star."  It is only a superficial accident that has made one set determine to function in one particular incarnation as the one or the other.  I say function; for there is no difference in the Quintessence.

Yet, since it is with a Being in its present function that one has to deal, it needs must that one acts in practice as if "does" were the same as "was."  You might be described as one instance of the 0 = 2 equation, and I as another; and any 0 = 2 is indistinguishable from any other.  Yet you and I are not identical, because all that I can know of you, or you of me, is a presentation of a part of that 0 = 2 "Universe;" if we were both equally conscious of that Whole, there would be no means of becoming aware, as we are in fact aware, of that distinction.

Somewhat of this is perhaps intended in The Book of the Law:

... Bind nothing!  Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.
But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!
(AL I 22-23)

Whoso availeth (i.e. can put to practical service) is of "presidential timber," so to speak, because he is able to understand the Being behind the Function, and is accordingly not liable to be deceived by the facet that happens to be presented to him in his Function corresponding.

Yes, but why "him" and not "her?" Perhaps the explanation is in the fact (that he states himself almost in passing) that man is always pushing out to the outermost, while woman is always closing in. At any rate, it is obvious from The Book of the Law that although Woman as Nuit is the Utmost Ideal to which Humankind should tend, at least during the present Aeon a being functioning as a male is going to lead the manifested flock. This does not necessarily imply that it has always been so, or that it is going to be so in the net Aeon. Nor is this my assessment necessarily correct. This is the Aeon of "two sexes in one" (Cf. "The Formula of I.A.O.," Chapter V of Book Four Part III.) As usual, the future will tell. At any rate, this Aeon shall see the full liberation of Woman as an incarnated being. What She shall do with the fruits of her liberation may perhaps only become apparent with the next harvest.

The case is not wholly unlike that of a man on a mountain who should see two other peaks jutting up from a paten of cloud.  Those tips give little indication of the great mass that supports each; both are equally of the one same planet; they are in fact identical save for the minute spire visible.  Yet he, reconnoitering with intent to climb them observes closely only that function of each crag and icefall which is relevant to his plan to reach their summits.  He also is of that One Quintessence; but he must fit himself adroitly to each successive incident of the respective Functions of these mountains if he is to make the contacts which will finally enable him to realize the Point-Events which he will summarize as "I climbed Mount Collon and the Aiguille de la Za."

I don't believe I can put it much better than that, and I'm too lazy to try; but I do want to emphasize that Weininger (in Sex and Character) merely scratched the surface.  All of us, whether we are "full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard" or "in our hours of ease Uncertain, coy, and hard to please" do in every most minuscule sort of act exercise both the male and female functions almost equally; the determination is rarely more than a matter of a casting vote.

It is so even in the embryo.  It is much less than 1/10 of 1% that decides whether the foetus will turn out an Alexander or an Alice.  Nature delights in delicate touches of this sort; it is one part of Sulphuric Acid in I don't remember how many million parts of water that is enough to turn blue litmus red; and even with our own gross apparatus we can arrange for a ten—thousandth part of a grain to send a scale down with a bang.  Think of a roulette ball hovering on the edge at the end of a long spin!  Think of Buridan's ass!

Jean Buridan (1295—1356    e.v.), Parisian nominalist philosopher. The next six lines were cut out of Israel Regardie's "edition" of this book, proving once more that the man had as little sense of humor as sense of honour.

So, once for all, shut up, you screaming parrot!  Gabble, gabble, gabble, it's enough to break one's tympana, and drive a man stark staring mad.

Shut up!
Shut up!!
Shut UP!!!

These women!

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


P.S.  One ought, perhaps, to give an outline of how these facts work out in the social system of Θελημα.

It may be useful to classify women in three groups, (I exclude the fourth, which while anatomically woman, does not function in that capacity: the "spinster.") corresponding to Isis, Osiris and Horus.

The Isis-Class consists of the mother-type.  To them the man is no more than the necessary creator and sustainer of her children.

This type is still the most common in the world. It is often hostile to feminism; also in favor of aspects of feminism that will increase the subservience of the male to the female but not those aspects that will increase female autonomy from the patriarchal family system, unless it be to institute a matriarchal family system. They are sometimes lesbians, since the male is only important to them as fertilizer, but must become mothers before they abandon themselves to their brand of lesbianism. Many have never experienced an orgasm in heterosexual intercourse, and do not care one way or the other. Restrictive religions such as Christism, Orthodox Judaism, and some forms of Brahmanism and Buddhism appeal strongly to this type of woman and are supported by them. The extreme type of this woman is called 'chaste' in The Book of the Law. The classical Jewish "supermom," as well as the Italian Roman Catholic mom and the classical American mom come from this type of woman.

The Osiris-Class comprises those women who are devoted to their man qua man, and to his career.  Her children, if any, she values as reproductions of the Beloved; they carry him on into futurity by virtue of her deathless love.

This type of woman is the self—sacrificing type. They are often spiritually inclined and become members of religious orders. Crowley is mistaken in stating that the male is all important to them; they may also be lesbians. What is important to them is an Ideal. If a man personifies that Ideal to them they will dedicate themselves to him, but not otherwise.

The Horus—Class is composed of those women who remain children, the playgirls, who love only for pleasure.  To them a child is dull at the best, at the worst a nuisance.

One can see that he did not like the Third Chapter of AL very much! The Horus type of woman is independent and usually a militant feminist. A man must be a companion or a partner, never a master or an idol. They are selfish, and why should they not be? They include, of course, "playgirls;" they also include women like Helena Blavatsky and Elizabeth I. Such women are repulsed by the purely animal aspects of maternity, and if they decide to have children they usually reach this decision by an act of Will, not under the impulse of instinct or emotion. They may be lesbians as well. When heterosexual, they make the best possible partners to males who can respect their independence and treat them as equals socially, intellectually, and spiritually. In the past Aeon, those women were usually reduced to restricted occupations, or occupations considered "immoral." They became actresses, dancers, prostitutes, "witches" or outlaws, for the system did not allow them to be anything else. They are still feared by most men, and hated by many women. The Aeon is too young for the masses of humankind to understand them, or for them to fully understand themselves. Even Crowley himself did not understand them very well, as one can see from his description. In the future these women will be scientists, legislators, artists and warriors more often than mothers, and they will walk side by side with men, never behind, unless in hierarchical situations such as in an army. If so, the male superior officer better be good as well as brave!

Each of these classes has its qualities and its defects; each should be held in equal, although dissimilar, honour.

And what, you ask, has the man got to say about all this?  Nothing simpler; all women are subordinate to his True Will.

"Love is the law, love under will." Love must be under will. He is, of course, stating the point of view of the Aspirant. The converse, naturally, is also true: if you are a woman, and intend to become an initiate (or anything else of importance in this world outside the norm), you must consider all men — and all other women and all things, as a matter of fact — subordinate to your True Will. Unless you understand this point, you will entirely miss Crowley's thought. Women "should be held in equal though dissimilar honour:" meaning that each type of True Will deserves equal respect, but must be reacted to according to one's own True Will. Each of us, male or female, is, and must remain, the center of our own universe. Even when we dedicate ourselves to someone else, and serve him or her, this either is a Bud of our True Will or we are slaves. The only kind of Service that is trustworthy is Service that is spontaneous and aware. To put any other interpretation to the statement in the last two lines of Crowley's text above is simply to negate everything that he said before about the difference between the sexes being mere illusion, or simply a function of the material instrument of the Star.

Only the Osiris-Class, provided he can find one of them, are of more than transient use to him; and even in this case, he must be careful to avoid being ensnared.

I myself have always felt extremely bored by the Osiris type of woman he defined; as bored by it as I a repulsed by the Isis—Class. But this is probably connected with my own Work in this life. I am not seeking personal success, therefore the Osiris woman is useless to me; and I think the world is overpopulated by featherless bipeds enough, and therefore the Isis woman can find no sympathy in me. From my standpoint, the Horus—Class are hard to deal with, but at least give spice to life. To each his or her own Will, of course.

But the really important issue is the recognition of each type of True Will in woman.

Especially by women, of each other and of themselves. The Osiris—Class is frowned upon by the Isis—Class, who are still the majority, and only tolerated because they, also, often have children. But the Isis—class usually hates and fears the Horus—Class most bitterly, and the Osiris—Class cannot understand them. The tendency, therefore, is to train girl—children to behave like Isis—Class women, whether that is their Will or not. This is one of the great tragedies of modern society, and the birth pangs of the Woman of the New Aeon are far from over. Cf. AL III, 43-45, 55-56.

LETTER 39: Prophecy

Cara Soror:

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

Now, now, now!  I really had hoped that this at least you might have spared me.  Still, I have to admit that your reason for asking me to go all pontifical about Prophecy is a good one; you want a chucker-out for the loafers that come cadging into your Taverne de la Belle Sibylle, and waste your time with piffle about Pyramids.

This is a reference to the craze about prophecies of the future based on measurements of the Great Pyramid. This was all the rage at the time among dupes of people like the Weisers, the Llewellyns, the Grants, et alii.

What a game!

So naturally you need a Book of the Rules, and a list of the classes of offensive people, whether prostitutes, policemen, or verminous persons.  (I quote from the Regulations for secular Pubs!) ...

"Pubs" — short for "public place," the British equivalent of an American bar or a French boite. "Verminous persons" does not mean people like Israel Regardie or Donald Weiser: it means people more than usually infested by parasites: fleas, lice, ticks, etc. In the Christist days when those Regulations were set up, bathing more than once a year was still looked upon as a probable symptom of deadly sin. Policemen were not to be present because they were supposed to not get drunk (they still aren't.) As for prostitutes, one wonders at all the fuss. They are a natural outcome of Christism. As Blake said, brothels are built with bricks of religion. The purpose of the Regulations was to make the poor women's life even harder while making the life of their customers easier. Let them roam the streets, not the bars. Thus they would be less inclined to haggle over the price of their favors, especially in winter, and "gentlemen" would be able to accost them without being subject to the scrutiny of the bibulous lower classes.

... who think the easiest of all possible refuges from their Fear (see other letters!) is reliance upon the mouldy mumblings of moth-eater mountebanks.

Perhaps it will be best to begin by setting down the necessary conditions for a genuine prophecy. We shall find that most of the famous predictions are excluded without need of more specific examination.

But—priority, please, as usual, for the etymology.  Prophesy means "forth-speaking," more or less equal to "inspired."  It has nothing to do with foretelling the future, though it may do so, as it may do anything, being only the ravings of a poet, drunkard, or madman.  (You remember how Saul came upon a company of youths all prophesying away together to beat the hand, and joined the merry throng.  So people said, "Is Saul also among the Prophets?" meaning a man capable of the "divine" intoxication of love, song, eloquence, or whatever else enthusiastic might possess him.  Men seized by the afflatus were found to be capable of extraordinary exploits; hence the condition was admired and envied by the average clod.  Also, imitated by the average crook!)

For all that, I am going for once to yield to popular clamour, and use words in their popular sense. That seems to me, roughly this: Prediction is a forecast based on reason, prophecy one which claims the warrant of "magical" powers.  You agree?  Then we can get on.

1. The prophecy must announce itself as such.  We cannot have people picking up odds and ends which may be perfectly irrelevant, and insisting that they conceal forecasts. This excludes Great Pyramid lunatics; it would be quite simple to do the same sham calculations with the Empire State Building ...

At the time, still the tallest building in the world.

...; when the architects protested, it is simple to reply: why, but of course!  God was most careful not to let them know what they were really doing, or they would have died of fright!

This argument was actually put forward by the Spiritists when Zancig confessed that his music-hall exploits were accomplished by means of a code ...

Here Crowley inserted a long note:
"Mrs. Zancig sat on the stage, blindfolded. Her husband wandered about the audience, taking one object or another from one or another of them, and asking her 'Ready?' 'What is this?' 'And this?' 'This now?' 'Right, what's this?' and so on They had worked out a list of some hundreds of questions to cover any probably article, or to spell its name, or give a number, as when asked the number of a watch of bus ticket — and so on. One evening at Cambridge, I was explaining this to a group of undergraduates; being doubted, I offered to do the same truck with the help of one of them — a complete stranger. I only stipulated ten minutes alone with him "to hypnotize him." Of course I won easily. They cut out one possible way of communication after another; but I always managed to exchange a few words with my "medium" or slip him a note, so as to have a new code not excluded by the latest precaution."

... It is quite useless to get any sense whatever into the heads of these bigoted imbeciles ...

Meaning the Spiritists. One is reminded that James Randi, the foe of charlatan 'psychics,' has often been accused by them of being a 'psychic' himself, although he insists again and again that he is an illusionist, nothing else. At this point Crowley inserted a devasting analysis of the psychological makeup of professional "mediums," partly quoted from Browning; significantly, Israel Regardie cut the entire passage off his "edition" of the book:

... Here, A.C! don't forget your best-beloved Browning!  In Mr. Sludge the Medium, the detected cheat—it was D.D. Home in real life—offers this silly subterfuge:

Why, when I cheat
Mean to cheat, do cheat, and am caught in the act,
Are you, or rather, am I sure o' the fact?
(There's verse again, but I'm inspired somehow)
Well then I'm not sure!  I may be perhaps,

Free as a babe from cheating; how it began,
My gift,—no matter; what 'tis got to be
In the end now, that's the question; answer that!
Had I seen, perhaps, what hand was holding mine,
Leading me whither, I had died of fright
So, I was made believe I led myself.

2. The date of the prophecy must antecede that of its fulfilment. The very greatest care must be taken to insure this. When both dates are remote, as in the case of "fulfilled" Biblical prophecies, this is often impossible.

3. The prophecy must be precise.  This rules out cases where alternative verifications are possible.

4. The prophecy must be more than a reasonable calculation of probability. This rules out stuff like "The Burden of Nineveh" and the like.  Incidentally, "The Burden of Damascus" does not seem to have had much luck so far!  By latest accounts, the old burg wasn't feeling too badly.

We may also refer to the Second Advent: "Behold!  I come quickly."

There have been quite a few false alarms to date.  (It began with Jesus himself, snapping off the disciple's head: "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?"  Well, somebody was disappointed.)

5. The verification must be simple, natural, unique and unmistakable. Forced and far-fetched explanations, distortions of Qabalistic or other mathematical reasoning, are barred.

6. The prophecy itself must possess the complement of this precision.  It must be so perfectly unintelligible at the time that the elucidation of the answer makes it certain that the prophet knew precisely the whole riddle.

I feel that this condition is itself expressed in a somewhat oracular form; I will try to clarify by citing what I consider a perfect example.  Perfect, I say, because the "must" is a little too strong; there are degrees of excellence.

"That stele they shall call the Abomination of Desolation; count well its name, & it shall be to you as 718."
(AL III 19)

(The Stélé is that whose discovery culminated in the writing of the Book of the Law.)

Here the first part is still quite unintelligible to me: I have tried analysis of the original phrase in "Scripture," and nearly everything else: entirely in vain: One can see dimly how people, recognizing that Stélé as the Talisman responsible for reducing half the cities of Europe to rubble, might very well make reference to those original prophecies.  But, at the best, that's nothing to cable to Otaheite about!

Now the second part.  This was even more baffling than the other.  "Count well its name"?  how can I? it never had a name! So I tried all sorts of experiments with 718.  Shin, 300, the letter of Spirit, with our key-number 418, looks promising.  Only one more pie-crust!  I kept attacking, off and on, for many a long year, got out all sorts of fantastic solutions, complex and confused; they simply shouted their derision at me.

It was one glorious night in Cefal, too utterly superb to waste in sleep; I got up; I adored the Stars and the Moon; I revelled in the Universe.  Yet there was something pulling at me.  It pulled eftsoons my body into my chair, and I found myself at this old riddle of 718.  Half—a—dozen comic failures.  But I felt that there was something on the way.  Idly, I put down Stélé in the Greek, 52, and said, "Perhaps we can make a 'name' out of the difference between that and 718."

I jumped.

718 — 52 = 666

My own name!

Why, of course, quoth he, in glee; it is in fact the Stélé of 666; for it is the Stélé of Ankh-f-n-khonsu, my name in those past days.

Oh, no! said Something, that's not good enough!  "Count well its name"—the Stélé of Ankh-f-n-khonsu: a name is something to which it answers, quite different from a title.  That solution is clever, but it just won't do, because that Stélé never had a name!

You lie!  I shouted, as the full light broke through the mists of my mind: In these three Thousand years it has once, if only once, had a name, by invoking which you could bring it up before you; its name is "Stélé 666" in the Catalogue of the Museum at Boulak!

A single simple hammerstroke, and the nail is driven home to the head!

Compare this with the chaotic devices of the "bilateral—cipher" maniacs, by the application of which it is easy to prove that Bernard Shaw wrote Rudyard Kipling.  Or anything else! you pay your money, and you take your choice.

Reference to the Bacon—Shakespeare imbroglio. The Toshosophist Pantheon includes Francis Bacon, under what name one does not remember (nor does it matter), and the clientele is asked to believe that yes, Bacon wrote all Shakespeare's plays. But if an Oskar Schlag can believe he is the "reincarnation of the Mastwer Racoczy," it follows that a Toshosophist can believe anything, even that Ronald Reagan has a functioning brain. But who knows? Perhaps he is overshadowed by the "Masters of Shamballah." considering his performance so far (this is being written in February of 1984 e.v.), that would not be a bit surprising. Pity Shambalah is as fictional as "Middle Earth" (though not as good.)

Another strong point is:

7. The prophecy should on the surface mean something vague and plausible, and, interpreted, possess this same quality of unique accuracy.

For instance (although it is not prediction) consider "Love is the law, love under will."  Yes, that sounds very well; I dare say that is an excellent point of philosophy.—But! well, anyone might say that. Oh, no!  For when we use the Greek of the technical terms, we find ΑΓΑΠΗ, Love, and Θελημα Will, both of the value of 93—and these only two blossoms of the Tree whose root is 31, and the entire numerical—verbal system based thereupon organized with incredibly simple intricacy; well, that is an Eohippus of an entirely different tint!  It is no more the chance (if happy) statement of any smooth—tongued philosopher, but the evidence of, and the key to, an incalculably vast design.  As well attribute the Riemann—Christoffel Tensor to the "happy thought" of some post-prandial mathematician.

Here is another case.

Now then this two—in—One letter ☾ ☉ is the third Key to this Law; and on the discovery of that fact, after years of constant seeking, what sudden splendours of Truth, sacred as secret, blazed in the midnight of my mind!  Observe now; "...this circle squared in its failure is a key also."  Now I knew that in the value of the letters ALHIM, 'the Gods', the Jews had concealed a not quite correct value of π, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, to 4 places of decimals: 3.1415; nearer would be 3.1416.  If I prefix our Key, ☉ ☾ ☉ 31 putting, Set or Satan, before the old Gods, I get 3.141593, π correct to six places, Six being my own number and that of Horus the Sun.

This is a straight quotation from Book Four Commented Part IV, The Law, subtitled "The Equinox of the Gods," to be published by us in this series. It is incorrect to say that Horus "is" the Sun, unless one qualifies this statement by referring to the current Aeon. In this Aeon, certainly, Horus "is the Sun;" or rather, occupies the throne of the Unknown God, also called the "Throne of Ra." But in the next Aeon it might be equally correct to say that Maat is "the Sun," as in the preceding Aeon it would have been correct to say that Osiris was the Sun, and in the previous Aeon that Isis was the Sun. Incidentally, for what it may be worth (and I do not assume it is worth very much), "my" number in the first school I ever went to, a British-American school in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, was 593. For my benefit (?) of possible future iconographers, my next number in Military High School in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, was 968. Make of it what you will, but please remember that the more pedantic a Qabalist is, the more numbers he or she (pardon me, dear Orthodoxers and not—so—dear Zionists!) can find in a number. Even in Zero. I myself was once able to find 666 in "Marcelo Ramos Motta" — but then, who couldn't? Or in any other name, if they tried hard enough?

And one more, this time an actual prediction.

Here again is what might at first seem almost an evasion!  " commeth after him,..." indeed!  I suppose so.  It fits anybody who discovers it or claims to have done so.

Not one little bit!

For when the time came, and the Key was found, the finder's name in the Order was—and had been from the moment of his admission as a probationer—Achad, the Hebrew word for "One."  And he came "after him" in the precise technical sense, that he was in fact the next person to undertake the Adventure of the Abyss.

I hope you are not getting the idea that my Prophetic ambit is limited to these high-falutin' metaphysical masterpieces of Runic Lore.  In case you do, I now propose to break your "seven green withs that were never dried" altogether, Delilah; for I shall keep my hair on ...

What was left of it at the time, anyway.

... I shall go forth to war!  From 1920 to 1923 e.v. my abode for a season was the house called the Horsel of the Abbey of Θελημα that lieth upon Santa Barbara, overlooking the town of Telepylus—see Homer and Samuel Butler II ...

The novelist, better known than his namesake, a XVIIth Century poet, author of "Hudibras."

... but called later by the Romans Cephaloedium, and now Cefal.  There did I toil to expand my little Part III of Book 4 to the portentous volume now more generally known as Magick in Theory and Practice.  After numerous misadventures, it was published in 1928 e.v.

This is Book Four Commented Part III, now retitled "Thelemic Magick." The edition is in preparation. It has taken longer than the others because it is four times as thick, and because it was necessary to neutralize Mr. Regardie's butchery of Crowley's texts by re—issuing Magick Without Tears with its text intact.

I refer you to that book, page 96.

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. 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.

Here Crowley added the following Footnote: 'This paragraph was written in the summer of 1911 e.v., just three years before its fulfilment. Second innings '38 e.v., sqq.'

The 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.

(It is a pity that I cannot prove my footnote, but this Chapter XII was part of the original MS, advertised as to be published in 1912 e.v..  ...

As usual, he had to wait over a decade to publish it.

... You may take my word for it, for once.  And in any case we have the prophecy of Bartzabel, the Spirit of Mars, in the early summer of 1910 e.v. that wars involving the disaster of
(a) Turkey and
(b) Germany would be fought within 5 years.  See the New York World, December, 1914.)

We now proceed to Magick, page 112.

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 and 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.  There were doubt and repugnance in FRATER PERDURABO's mind, and they hampered His work. He was half-hearted.  Yet, even so, the 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. 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. 

Rather, a much—needed purgative. Compare the advance of civilization after the two World Wars with the world picture today. There is much to be feared, but what a difference in awareness of human rights, to say nothing of the rights of the other tenants of the ecosphere!

At this hour, the MASTER THERION is concealed, collecting his forces for a final blow.  When The Book of the Law and its Comment 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."

This should be plain enough, and satisfactory.  However, I thought it was time to draw public attention to these matters more emphatically.

In fulfillment of my pledge given above, and of the instructions originally given to me by the Masters, I got out The Equinox of the Gods at 6:22 a.m., Dec. 22. 1937, e.v.; and, to fulfill my condition No. 1 (above) of a Prophecy, as well as to establish the date, I got a reporter on the spot, with the result following:

These Names Make News.

Mixed Bag of Early Birds.

An Englishman, a Jew, an Indian, a Negro, a Malayan—no, it's not one of those saloon-bar jokes—assembled on the Embankment, by Cleopatra's Needle, soon after 6 a.m. yesterday.

They were there to assist at the publication of a book by 62 year- old magician, ALEISTER CROWLEY.

Publication occurred at 6:22 sharp, when the Sun entered Capricornus.

Crowley make a short speech; as "the Priest of the Princes" proclaimed the Law of Θελημα; handed copies of book to white, red, brown, black, yellow representatives.

Representative of the "black" race was a dancing-girl.  Indian was a non-English speaking Bengali Muslim, who seemed rather puzzled by the whole business.

Book contains message dictated to Crowley at Cairo in 1904 "by Aiwass, a Being whose nature he does not fully understand but who described Himself as 'The Minister of Hoor-Paar-Kraat' (the Lord of Silence)."

Prospectus of book says it's been published three times before; adds, sinisterly, that first publication was nine months before outbreak of Balkan war, second, nine months before outbreak of world war, third, nine months before outbreak of Sino-Japanese war.

No coincidence, it says: "the might of this Magick burst out and caused a catastrophe to civilisation."

Well, we'll see next September . . . .

"It's a bit hard of you to wish another war on us," I said to Crowley.

"Oh, but if everyone will only do as I tell them to," he replied, "the catastrophe can be averted."

"Somehow I fear they won't."

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

Then I issued a prospectus for the book, giving the facts as to previous publications and their results, and leaving blank a space after "The Fourth Publication" to wait the event.


nine months before the outbreak of the Balkan War, which broke up the Near East.

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 . . .  Yet, even so, the intrinsic power of the truth of the Law and the impact of 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."


nine months before the outbreak of the World War, which broke up the West.

"The second blow was struck by the re-publication of the Book in September, 1913 e.v., and this time . . . caused a catastrophe to civilisation.  At this hour, the Master Therion is concealed, collecting his forces for a final blow.  When The Book of the Law and its Comment is published . . . in perfect obedience to the instruction . . . 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."


nine months before the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war, which is breaking up the Far East.


6:22 a.m., December 22, 1937, e.v.

This series of actions complies perfectly with the condition of Prophecy. Nine months elapsed, and I was able to overprint, also to reprint, enlarged to four pages my remaining prospectuses in red ink.  As follows:

nine months before the Betrayal, which stripped Britain of the last rags of honour, prestige and security, and will break up civilisation.

I have always maintained that Munich marked the true outbreak of the war, because Hitler's rape of Czecho-Slovakia, however justifiable, was irreconcilably incompatible with our Foreign Policy; and Munich is Nine Months to a day after my Gesture.

This then I consider a completely documented case of Prophecy.

And I shall be a completely documented case of Brain-Fag unless I shut up NOW.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 40: Coincidence

Cara Soror:

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

When I was writing that letter about prophecy, I was hot and bothered all the time by my faithful sentinel, the well—greaved Hoplite that stands at the postern of my consciousness, ready to challenge every thought—and woe to the intruder who cannot give the countersign!  This time the dear old ruffian thought the matter serious enough to report Higher Up.  "It is put plainly enough, emphatically enough, incontrovertibly enough" was the gist of his communication "that the first and most irretrievable trick of the enemy is to dupe you into passing Captain Coincidence as 'Friend,' whereas he is naturally the most formidable of all your foes when it comes to a question of proof."

Quite right, Sergeant-Major!  But it is not only about prophecy, but about all sorts of things, in particular, of course, the identification of angels and similar problems.

Well, we have captured quite a few lads of the company of Captain Coincidence; let us have them up for examination and learn what we can about their weapons and other warlike matters!

I take our first prisoner from Magick.

He means Book Four Commented Part III, subtitled "Thelemic Magick."

The most famous novel of Fielding is called Tom Jones.  It happened that FRATER PERDURABO was staying in a 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 advance 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.

The reader will of course realize the homophony of the two names Fielding and Feilding.

Here comes another, this time completely crazy!  Nothing "Literary" about it; no sense anywhere; a pure freak.

A friend of mine, A, rang up a friend of hers, B, at her flat in Holland Park, some 3 or 4 miles west, and a p'int to the Nor'rard, of Piccadilly Circus.  After the usual series of "they don't answer", "line's engaged", "unobtainable", "line's out of order", "line's temporarily disconnected at the subscriber's request", an appeal to "Supervisor" got her connected instantly.  Yet another girl friend, C, appears in, and vanishes from, the story; she said "Oh, what a pity, you've just missed her; she went out five minutes ago.  I think she'll be back in an hour's time, try then."

A waited impatiently, and rang up once more.  Again the series of nonsense—difficulties about getting the connection.  At last the answer came.  This time yet one more girl friend D.  "Oh, what a pity!  You've just missed her; she left the box not five minutes ago."  "Box," screamed A, "what box?  Have I got mixed up in a Trunk Murder?" "Why, this box," replied D, calmly.  "What — — box?" shouted A.  "Isn't that her flat?"  "Her flat! are you crazy?  This is a call-box in Shaftesbury Avenue."  Collapse of A's confidence in the sanity of Nature.

One may note that there was no similarity in the names of the exchanges, or in the numbers.

One should perhaps make a parenthesis here. The subject of coincidence is a complex one, and has been extremely well—analysed in an article published some two years ago in The Skeptical Inquirer; unfortunately I remember neither the title of the article nor the name of the author; I keep loaning my things to pupils, and naturally I never get them back. The point of the article was the mathematical inevitability of coincidences — and the temptation to take a coincidence as a manifestation of the "paranormal." (I do not know if the author read Crowley; I know Rhine did.) However, the subject is not so simple. On a certain plane or planes, and perhaps on the inmost plane, the Universe is a Continuum. Coincidence following volition may be simple coincidence, but seldom is. In the second case above, the chain of coincidence is too fantastic, and one must point out that A willed to speak to B, and kept missing B by a narrow margin in circumstances totally out of the normal boundaries of chance. You express what Crowley used to call a Bud—Will. This Bud—Will sets up a disturbance in the Continuum. Chance demands that interference, deviation, refraction, dispersion, must occur to a lesser or greater extent. You may get what you might call "success" — the fulfillment of your Bud—Will. You might also get a convergence of two harmonics — as in the incident involving the names 'Fielding,' 'Feilding,' and 'Tom Jones' — or a "near—miss" such as expressed in the case of A wanting to talk to B. "Success is your proof" here is irrevocably the scientific approach. You must call your shots before you make them. This is the entire difference between the Master and the Apprentice: the Master's shots usually come in, and when the Apprentice's shots do, it often is a coincidence, or the influence of the Master's energy. As we said before, the subject is not so simple. As a matter of fact, the subject is extremely complex. Centuries of research may be necessary before the Method of Science can reach its next conclusion about the Aim of Religion.

It is the most grotesquely impossible case of "wrong number" that ever came my way.

Now for one or two oddities.  Recently, needing to relax, I borrowed three "thrillers" from different sources.  In every case, the plot turned on two men being so alike that no one could tell them apart.  (Rupert of Hentzau, John Chilcote, M.P., Melander's Millions.)

I traveled from Louisville to Detroit by a railroad whose nickname was the "Big Four", my object being some business connected with my Book 4.  The name of my express was the "Big Four"—it left from No. 4 platform at 4 p.m.  My sleeping berth was No. 4 in Car No. 4; and my ticket was No. 44,444. I ought to have been April 4, I suppose; but it wasn't.

Last week a letter from me appeared in the Sunday Dispatch with regard to the Everest Mystery of 1921 e.v.  I expressed my view that the two lost climbers, last seen on an easy snow—slope near the summit, had simply been blown into the air by one of the sudden gusts of incredible fierce winds which are common at those heights, and dashed to earth perhaps a mile away.

After reading this, I went to a friend's room to borrow a book, picked up her Shakespeare's Histories, and, opening it at random, came upon:

They that stand high have many blasts to shake them,
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
Richard III, Act I, Sc. 3.

Now here's a story that's too good to lose; not the mistiest phantasm of an ideogram how to class it; for one thing, it's chock-a-block with moral lessons and economic theories and political summats; but there's coincidence in it somewhere, and under coincidence down it shall go. Even if only by coincidence.

From 1895 e.v. onwards I dealt with Colin Lunn.

"Of all the tobacconists under the sun,
There is none, there is none, like the great Colin Lunn—"

of Sidney Street, Cambridge.  When I started round the world, alas for fidelity!  I began to forget him.  By 1906 e.v. the operation was practically complete.

In '42 e.v. I spent a few days with friends in Cambridge.  Sauntering along K.P. (King's Parade to you, madam!) on my way back to the station with half an hour or so to kill, I thought I would pop in to Lunn's new shop there, and pass the time of day.  He might have something to take my fancy.  So I did.  Needless to say, I didn't know the shopman from Adam, as he did not offer me a view of his identification mark.

Reference to the legend that Adam had no navel, not having been born of woman. Male chauvinism comes from way back, boys and girls. And you know where from; or should.

I asked after old friends; we gossiped of old times and new; presently he observed, putting a hand under the counter: "I think this is yours sir." "How do you know who I am?  I've never seen you before."  "Oh, yes sir, I was the odd-job boy at the old Sidney Street shop; I remember you quite well."  By this time there lay on the counter a strange familiar-unfamiliar object—a pipe that I had left for some minor repair before hurrying off to the East 37 years before!  I am smoking it now.

And you can draw your own beastly conclusion!

Yes, but this was not coincidence at all. It is simply proof that Colin Lunn's was an outstanding tobacconist's shop, and that Crowley's personality had impressed a youthful mind in such a way that decades later he was still remembered. This is cause and effect.

Here is a last, a passing strange account of a coincidence—or should it come under "Answers to Prayer."

Mr. Regardie, naturally, omitted the following story from his "edition," thus missing entirely the point Crowley was trying to make by pulling his pupil's aristocratic leg.

A young enthusiastic "Heaven Born" (= Indian Civil Servant) parlous pious, was engaged to an exquisite chaste damosel in Lutterworth.  Praised and promoted by his appreciative chiefs in Bombay, he felt his future sure enough to go home on leave, marry her, and bring her out to India.  At their parting, she had given him a ring; naturally, he set great store by it." But the climate had thinned him; it was loose; playing with it as he talked with a friend on the ship, it slipped from his finger, and fell into the harbour." He suppressed an expression of annoyance.  "Well that's past praying for," laughed the friend—unhappily an infidel, not a true friend at all.  The young man stiffened.  "It is?" he answered solemnly and emphatically; "We shall see."  And he retired to his cabin to lay his grief before the Lord.

The ship arrived at Aden without incident.  While she was coaling, it was the idle habit of some sailors to bait a hook with a large piece of pork, and fish for sharks. An hour later they caught a fine specimen, and hauled it aboard.  They cut it open.  No ring.

Did you expect anything else, reader...? If you did, you are fresh sheep meat for the table of Christism. Or any other pseudo—religious con—game, for that matter.

I hope you don't think I'm letting my pen run away with me:

"Pens!  Good Lord,
Who knows if you drive them or they drive you?"

No, I have not forgotten that I am here to instruct as well as to amuse: also, to make certain observations which will, I flatter myself, be rather new to you.

I plunge headlong.

Everything that happens, no matter what, is an inconceivably improbable coincidence.  You remember how you had to begin when you first came to me for help.  I said to you, "Here are you, and no other person, come to see me, and no other person, in this room, and no other room, at this time, and not other time.  Hod did that come about?"  The answer to that question is the first entry in your Magical Diary: and, with a slightly different object in view, the first step in the practice of Liber Thisharb and the acquisition of Magical Memory.

Why, hang it all; the events of the last hour, even, might have gone just an infinitesimally little bit different, and the interview would not have taken place as it did. Consider then, that factors stretching back into Eternity—all the factors there are!—have each one contributed in its degree to bringing this interview about.  What a fantastic improbability!  Yet here we are.

Chance blindly rules the Universe.  But what is Chance?  And where does purpose intervene?  To what extent?

I shall now conduct you, no less firmly than Mr. E. Phillips Oppenheim, to Monte Carlo.

E. Phillips Oppenheim was a very popular British thriller writer of the Thirties. The following paragraph was omitted by Mr. Regardie, who may have considered it superfluous, but was merely emphasizing the workings of Chance with a concrete personal example.

(Excuse me!  I was just called to the telephone.  Somebody of whose existence I was not aware has fallen ill in Ireland—and bang went my plans for tomorrow.)

You walk quietly into the Casino; it seems to you that the excitement is even more noticeable than usual.  You see a friend at the table "Here in the nick of time!" he gasps.  "Black has just turned up for the 24th time running."  You press forward to plank the maximum on Red.  The wheel spins; Black again! "Forty thousand she-devils in the belfry of St. Nicholas Rocambole-de-Ronchonot!"

"But — but" (you stammer when spirits of hartshorn have revived you)  "in the whole history of the tables a colour has never turned up more than 24 times running!"

Now, is this correct statistics, or superstition? Because if it were correct statistics, it would be significant, depending on the computer number of runs reaching 24.

My poor friend, what has that got to do with it?  True, from the start it is countless millions to 1 that there will not be a run of 24 on the red or the black; but the probability on any single spin (ignoring zero) is always one to one.  The black compartments do not contract because the ball has fallen into any one of them.

Anyone who gambles at all is either a dilettante, a crook, or a B.F. ...

A Bloody Fool.

If you could get the B.F.'s to understand the very elementary mathematics set forth above, good—night to gambling!  And a good riddance, at that!  Well, there is one advantage in the system; it does help the intelligent man to steal a march on his neighbours!

In all this the important point for my present purpose is to show you how entirely this question of probability and coincidence is dependent on your attention.

The sequence BBBBBBB at roulette is most unlikely to occur; but so, in exactly the same degree, is the sequence B R B R R B R or any other sequence.  The one passes unnoticed, the other causes surprise, only because you have in your mind the idea of "a run on black."

Extend this line of thought a little, and link it up with what I was saying about the Magical Diary; you realize that every phenomenon soever is equally improbably, and "infinitely" so.  The Universe is therefore nothing but Coincidence!

How then can any event be more improbable than any other?  Why, very simply.  Go back to Monte; proclaim that at Table No. 3 Black will turn up 7 times running, after this next spin.  (Or, of course, any other series of 7.)  Now you see how Coincidence links up with Prophecy!

According to the late Arnold Krumm-Heller, Frater Huiracocha VIII° O.T.O., Crowley once gave him exactly this type of demonstration: going with him to a casino, won a considerable amount of money at roulette and then, having proved his point, steadily lost it again until back to the amount of money he had had when beginning. Cagliostro is supposed to have been able to predict the result of sporting events, and to have supported himself and his wife Serafina in England by such means. As a result, he attracted the attention of a pair of professional crooks who caused him no end of trouble there. The last two paragraphs of this essay were also cut out of Mr. Regardie's piracy.

A fortiori, Coincidence is destroyed by Purpose, if, wishing to enlighten you on the subject, I write this letter and post it to your address, your receipt of it is no longer Coincidence.  So then coincidence must be entirely both unforeseen and unintentional; in other words, absolutely senseless.  But we have just proved that the Universe is nothing but Coincidence; it therefore is senseless.

So, having established the asymptote of our hyperbolic hyperbola, and shewn it to be asynartete, why should we not acquiesce, and say olive oil?

The joke in the last paragraph is from Above the Abyss, of course.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 41: "Are we Reincarnations of the Ancient Egyptians?"

Cara Soror:

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

That accursed conscience of mine has been pricking me ever since I dashed off that rather curt and off—hand letter card in answer to yours of the 18th.  I had intended as a matter of fact to let you have the present coruscation as soon as I could get my secretary in the offing, but I thought I would snap your head off in the strength of your question as salutary chastisement.

The above paragraph, the first of this letter, was cut from his "edition" by Mr. Regardie. One is almost tempted to enquire into the thought processes that led him to this sort of "editing," but... "Who can clear muddy water?"

I do wish you would understand that all these speculations are not only idle and senseless because you cannot possibly verify their accuracy, but a deadly   You ask if we, meaning, I suppose, the English ...

A very pointed barb. At that time the English still had delusions of grandeur based on the past.

..., are now reincarnating the Egyptians. When I was a boy it was the Romans, while the French undertook the same thankless office for the Greeks.  I say "deadly poison;" because when you analyse you see at once that this is a device for flattering yourself.  You have a great reverence for the people who produced Luxor and the Pyramids; and it makes you feel nice and comfortable inside if you think that you were running around in those days as Rameses II or a high priest in Thebes or something equally congenial.

You may say that I am myself the chief of sinners in this respect because of Ankh—f—n—Khonsu, but this was not my doing.  It was imposed upon me by The Book of the Law, and I do not feel particularly flattered or comforted by this identification.  The only interest to me is the remarkable manner in which this is interwoven with the existence of the "Cairo working."

Your second and third questions are still worse.  I should be ashamed of myself if I were to do so much as to refer to them.

That must serve for that.  But your fourth question I did answer after a fashion.  It has however struck me that I might have given you a more detailed instruction with advantage.

When I was up the Mindoun Chong in Burma, I started an investigation of my dreams; and the only way to catch them was to write down as much as I could remember on waking, instantly.  The result of doing this is rather surprising.  To begin with, I discovered, especially as the practice progressed, that I was having many more dreams than I had previously supposed.  This might have come about in either of two ways.

(1)The practice might have actually increased my tendency to dream, and
(2) the habit of observation may have brought dreams to the surface which would otherwise have gone unremarked.  In either case the figures were quite definite.

I found almost at once, that is to say after about a month, that practically every dream that I could remember, could be quite clearly ascribed to one of two causes:
(a) the events of the previous day or days, or the subjects which had interested and excited me during that period, and
(b) the physical conditions of the moment.  For instance, a good deal of the time of the experiment I was sleeping in what might have been euphemistically called a houseboat.  It was liable to leak; and on such occasions as I woke to find water trickling down my nose, I found that the dream from which I had wakened was an adventure of some sort in connection with water.  (It is quite notorious, I believe, that many asthmatic subjects are pestered by dreams of having been guillotined in a previous incarnation.  Alan Bennett, I may mention, was one such.)

As the practice proceeds, you should find not only that your dreams increase in number per night, but also became very much fuller, clearer and more coherent.  I assume that the reason is that the fact of your paying attention to them brings them to the surface.

I am not quite sure whether this is a complete and adequate answer to your question 4, "How can I best bring my sleeping memory into my waking hours?"

I have studied, and my secretary has studied, and we can make no head or tail of your remark about brain exercises with sketch.

Well, I must hope for the best, and leave you with my blessing.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 42: This "Self" Introversion

Cara Soror:

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

"...It is a lie, this folly against self...."
(AL II 22)

The English is very un-English, and the context hardly helpful.  But the meaning is clear enough; the idea is to dismiss, curtly and rudely, the entire body of doctrine which insists on altruism as a condition of spiritual progress.

Why do I jump in with this text without warning.  Because at the end of my letter on Sammasati the Dweller of the Threshold popped up, and that brings us to the Black Brothers, and the Left—hand path, all of which subjects are very generally supposed to depend for origin upon "Selfishness."

This question is one of the most critical in the whole of Magical Theory; for in one sense it is certainly true that every error without exception is due to exacerbation of the Ego.

Yet The Book of the Law flings at us disdainfully:

"It is a lie, this folly against self."

How then?

I fear there is nothing for it but to go thoroughly into the whole matter of the "self."  This may involve some recapitulation; but then didn't the Buddha repeat three times every one of those extravagantly verbose paragraphs which give the luckless Bhikku—timens, not tumens, as Catullus says ...

A pun. "Timorous, not tumescent." Catullus was a great Latin poet. Mr. Regardie must have thought the idea of tumescence to be indecent, for he cut out this whole passage.

... —permission to have
(a) walls
(b) roof
(c) window
(d) door
(e) hinge to door
(f) fastening to door
(g) h, and c.—no, he didn't! anyhow, all those ancient conveniences?

Nothing especially mystical about "h. and c.," it is merely the usual abbreviation for "hot and cold water" in British rental ads, and is a rueful joke on the part of an old man who probably had had to peruse such ads and compare prices and descriptions very seriously in his late years. The passage was cut by Regardie.

"Self" is one of the trickiest words afloat.  Skeat gives merely the equivalents, all practically the same in sound, in various Nordic languages; he doesn't say where it comes from, or what it means.  I don't know either, bless your heart!

Latin and Greek don't help us at all; and when we try Eastern languages, it seems, dimly, to give the idea of the Ego, whatever that may be.  Or perhaps "that combination which is unified by Ahamkara, the "Ego-making faculty."

Decidedly not illuminating!

One can't use the word as an ordinary noun.  Skeat doesn't even label it as such.  One can hardly say: Mr. Blenkinsop's self is good, or rheumatic, or gone for a walk.  It makes nonsense.  Yet Philosophy has picked out this hapless Tetragrammaton, and made endless mud pies with it!

When one says: "I fell and hurt myself", it's only a conventional abbreviation.  One means "my nose," or "my elbow," as the case may be!  No, I can't conscientiously admit it as a noun.  More accurately: "my body fell, and I am suffering from the injury thereby caused to my whatever it was."

The next four lines were again cut by Mr. Regardie:

And so what?

(Oh dear, I am tying ourselves into knots!)

So what? Ah me, nothing for it but to plunge head foremost into the hybrid abyss of Babu—Blavatsky bak—abak!

Brahman—don't confuse with the Brahma of the Trimurti, so so many Nippies and Clippies are but too liable to do—is the macrocosmic Negative Absolute, when cross—examined; its microcosm is Purusha or Atma. Very near our own Qabalistic Zero— ...

He means Brahman, not Atman or even Purusha, here.

... Nought in no dimensions—equals Infinity (air connu).  Then comes Buddhi, which curates, bookmakers' clerks, miners and Privy Councillors so often mistake for Buddha (Ha! Ha!), the faculty of discrimination.  Pretty much like the 0 = 2 equation in our system.

Next, the Higher Manas, which is our Neschamah, as near as a toucher; and the Lower Manas, which, as every Lovely and Cutie well Knows, is our Ruach.  The rest of the Hindu system can easily be fitted in.

This interpretation equates Brahman to the Veils of the Absolute, Atman to Kether, Buddhi to Chokmah and Buddhi—Manas to Neschamah. In our opinion, it is incorrect. The Hindu system is very detailed below the Abyss, but vague and insufficient above it, especially as interpreted by the average "maharishi." We would equate Atman to Daath, Buddhi to Chesed, Buddhi—Manas to Geburah and Manas to Tiphareth instead. This would put the interpretation much closer to the level of Babu—Blavatsky bak—bak. Of course, it all depends on what thing one names. To an exploiter of "transcendental meditation," Atman is merely Daath under disguise; to a Ramakrishna or a Vivekananda or a Crowley, it may well be Kether. Here as in everything else, to each his or her own.

Note, however, the Ahamkara, usually translated "Ego-making faculty," which collects what it can from this dump, and labels it "I."

The problem is precisely how the Ahamkara is interpreted, or classified. To the average Hindu mystic, it might equate with Daath, while a more advanced Master might equate it to Chokmah, or even Kether itself. (Please understand that this is not a "promotion" for the Ahamkara, but rather a "demotion" for Chokmah or Kether; the Ego is the limitation, not the expansion of the "True" Self. All these expressions, and even what one is trying to express with them, are nonsense, but let us go on.) It is necessary to be very experienced in Samadhi and to have gone from Atmadarshana to Shivadarshana in order to practice Viveka on this. The next three paragraphs were cut out from Mr. Regardie's "edition." It should be becoming clear to the reader that Mr. Regardie's primary concern was to make money out of his late Master, not to transmit his thought faithfully, as would any honorable scholar, whether a disciple or not. Thus, he cut out anything that might give offense to any charlatan or fool knowing well that most people who buy "occult" books are either one or the other. However, this was not the way Crowley worked, and this was not the way Crowley thought. That great man surely deserves to be remembered for better things than having, for a while, accepted an Israel Regardie as pupil and secretary!

There seems not much point in elaborating all this.  The Hindu Pandit is a whale for swallowing numberless oceans, all swarming with Jonahs; he duplicates and discriminates and invents at his own sweet will, in order to get a pretty pattern with 84 or 108 crores of asankyas of lakhs of anythings.

We have done enough for honour.

Enough if we see that the system is in its essence identical with our own.

Well, then, what is this "Higher Self" that you roll out upon me?

Actually, we are very far from being out of the wood.  This Ut, of Udgitha, who looms so large in the Upanishads; the God peculiar to yourself, who appears in one of the Darshanas; some Individual constructed from the material listed above; are these all one?  If not, is the difference between them more than a quibble?

Really, all these speculations are based on à priori considerations; we had better drop the whole argument as little better than a waste of time; nay, as worse, for it encourages one in loose thinking, and especially in clinging to names which have no counterpart in things.

There is only one point of theory which matters to our practice.  We may readily concur that the Augoeides, the "Genius" of Socrates, and the "Holy Guardian Angel" of Abramelin the Mage, are identical.  But we cannot include this "Higher Self"; for the Angel is an actual Individual with his own Universe, exactly as man is; or, for the matter of that, a bluebottle.  He is not a mere abstraction, a selection from, and exaltation of, one's own favorite qualities, as the "Higher Self" seems to be.  The trouble is (I think) that the Hindu passion for analysis makes them philosophize any limited being out of existence.

This matter is of importance, because it influences one's attitude to invocation.  I can, for instance, work myself up to a "Divine Consciousness," in which I can understand, and act, as I cannot in my normal state.  I become "inspired;" I feel, and I express, ideas of almost illimitable exaltation.  But this is totally different from the "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel," which is the special aim of the Adeptus Minor.  It is ruin to that Work if one deceives oneself by mistaking one's own "energized enthusiasm" for external communication.  The parallel on the physical plane is the difference between Onanism and Sexual Intercourse.

The word "onanism" is here used in its more common meaning of "masturbation," rather than its Biblical meaning of "coitus interruptus."

Probably, my reason for insistence on this point is my antipathy to introversion in any form.  The "mystic path" itself is packed with dangers.  Unless the strongest counter—irritants are exhibited, the process is almost certain to become morbid.  It is only one step from the Invocation of Zeus, or Apollo, or Dionysus, which does demand identification of oneself with the object of one's worship, to a form of self—worship which soon develops into a maniacal exacerbation of the Ego; and if one persists in this involuted curve, one becomes a "Black Brother," or departs for the local loony-bin.

Invocations of even the most positive Gods are dangerous, unless care can be taken to keep the personality of the god distinct from one's own.  Athene is a superb deity; but one does not want to be nothing but Athene, except in that supreme moment of Samadhi with Her which is the climax of the invocation.

The next two paragraphs were cut out by Mr. Regardie:

Do you remember one of Barbey d'Aurevilly's Contes Cruels about a Spanish nobleman who anticipated one of the privileges of marriage instead of waiting for ecclesiastical licence?  The Inquisitor simply had him tied to his betrothed for 48 hours.

It is really rather like that!...

Except that the self—deluded may think the process pleasant. I am sure Mr. Regardie considers himself a great Adept, at least when he is not reading what I say about him. However, when one hates to see evil done in this world, one has little alternative but to be unpleasant to some people.

... One of my mathematically-minded disciples—J.W.N. Sullivan, I think—told me that his sinister science had one peculiarly devilish pitfall; one is so satisfactorily equipped for work if one had but a bit of paper and a pencil—and a comfortable bed!  He had to make a point of severe physical exercise to escape becoming bed-ridden in his early twenties!

So, even in divine invocation, one should insist on definite communication of knowledge (or what not) which is incontestably not one's own.  The fact that the self-begotten feelings and ideas are so eminently satisfactory—naturally, since there is nobody to oppose them—is damnably seductive.

Once started on that road, one can easily develop self-deception to a fine art.  One can imagine that one has undergone, or achieved, all sorts of experiences "as described in the books," when all that one has actually done is to work the results of one's reading into a bubble inflated by imagination.

It should be obvious to you that the habit grows on one; every bad quality, from vanity to laziness, lends most willing aid.  One replaces reality more and more continuously by these exciting and flattering reveries, which by this time have no longer any shadow of a claim to be called mystic experiences at all.

The next three paragraphs were criminally excised by Mr. Regardie. Naturally, they are among the most important in this book. One can conceive many reasons why Mr. Regardie thought it necessary to excise these three paragraphs from his "edition" of Magick Without Tears; none of them, however, honorable or dignified. He may have resented Crowley speaking of himself as a psychoanalyst — the man had no diploma! He may have wanted to soothe Gerald Yorke's ruffled ego, since Yorke was one of the victims of masturbation whom Crowley failed to cure. He may have wanted to shield himself, since he was another, whose record amply proves Crowley's involuntary failure. He may have wanted to sell more books and make more money, since the present tendency is to consider masturbation not only "harmless" but even healthy. Or he may not have understood the importance of Crowley's objection to masturbation at all. Masturbation is one of the most insidious and vicious of practices. It would obviously not occur if sexual activity were truly socially accepted, which it is not: if it were, adolescents on reaching puberty would be encouraged to fuck, rather than furtively encouraged to masturbate. The objections to masturbation are multiple, both magickally and psychologically. Psychologically, as Crowley states, it creates autism where it did not exist before, or exacerbates it where it already existed. Magickally, its effects are even more dangerous. Unfortunately, one cannot go very deeply into the subject in a book that is geared towards the general public, but one will do what one can. Orgasm — either male or female — is creative. The energies involved are connected with the deepest roots of the self; the sensations and emotions have been made the most pleasant that a sexually differentiated organism is capable of. This was done by nature — call it "God" if you will, but if you do, try to remember that what is natural is godlike — basically to ensure the reproduction, therefore the survival, of the species. If an individual acquires the habit of pleasuring himself or herself rather than pleasuring or being pleasured by another individual this not only goes counter to the natural functions of sex but also counter to the social instincts of the person. One becomes incapable of truly empathizing, therefore of truly understanding the needs of others. Societies in which sex is a "sin" always surround sexual activity with all kinds of aberrant taboos. In countries infested by Roman Catholicism in its most virulent form, for instance Latin American countries, boys and girls, who go to school together until they reach adolescence, are immediately separated at that time, precisely when their being with members of the opposite sex becomes most necessary Then you get absurdities like statutory rape, or the idea that an adolescent should not fuck at all. It is precisely adolescents who most need to fuck: at that age, sexual activity is paramount, concern with sex is overwhelming, the sensations and emotions are at their apex. To restrict sexual activity in the young is more than criminal: it is social suicide. There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for restricting the young sexually in this day and age when unwanted pregnancy can be avoided or terminated with minimum inconvenience and maximum efficiency. It would indeed be wise to frown on too early reproduction, since parenthood is a serious responsibility and should be incurred only after mature thought and mature decision, as should voting or going to war. It would be wise to discourage people from marrying too young, or having children too young; but to discourage adolescents from having sex is senseless stupidity (in some cases, perversion); and to forbid them by law from having it is an intolerable invasion of human rights. I can speak of masturbation with knowledge, for I myself was given to this habit until my earliest twenties; I stopped masturbating finally on the advice of both Parsifal Krumm—Heller and Karl Johannes Germer, and under the guidance of the latter. In my case, I had never really enjoyed the habit; I yielded to it under the pressure of hydraulics and under the restrictions of a very unhealthy home life, with parents who were not only sexually restricted by even, in a psychological sense, sexually perverted. And my parents were sexually restricted and psychologically perverted precisely because they had been brought up in the kind of society that considers sexual activity sinful, and equates chastity with sexual repression. In this kind of society, the young hide and play with themselves — an excellent expression! — instead of playing with each other. And then people wonder why the sexes do not understand each other, or hate each other, or why the rich are unfeeling, or why governments are unscrupulous, or why priests, preachers and psychoanalysts are insane. Although I did stop masturbating, to this day I can still recognize tendencies, emotional, intellectual, and social, which were created in my psyche by this loathsome habit. Masturbation used to make me feel unclean, and it still does, whether in myself or in others. And I can see its horrible effects — there is really no other adjective to describe them — in the life of my contemporaries. You should not, by the way, confuse the habit of masturbation with the use of masturbation as a magickal ritual — a thing, incidentally, which is not done except in most exceptional circumstances. No: one speaks of masturbation here as a form of self—indulgence; and this form of self—indulgence is more dangerous than any habit—forming drug, religion included. As a matter of fact, it is closely related to religious fanaticism, the refusal to face reality, and the incapacity to see oneself. The social encouragement of acceptance of masturbation by pedagogues and psychologists, which one notes in modern American society, is one of the wrongest possible things. The relaxation of social restriction led to frankness in sexual matters, and masturbation was finally faced and discussed socially. The moral cowardice and social hypocrisy of a thousand years of Judeo—Christism, however, have not been faced by so—called psychoanalysts of Mr. Regardie's ilk. Perhaps they simply have been unable to perceive the roots of their own conditioning and complexes; more likely, they are more interested in making money than in benefitting society; this, also, is a form of playing with oneself. Whatever their reasons, these have led to social encouragement of precisely the habit that would not exist at all — unless as an atavism or under most unusual circumstances — if sexual activity were really accepted. If sex is clean and healthy, why should anyone play with himself or herself? Let us play with each other! These remarks, naturally, apply to masturbation as self—indulgence. If you "masturbate" someone else, that is not masturbation at all in the sense Crowley used the word, or I use the word in these remarks. The reader, male or female, is strenuously advised to seek sexual pleasure in the company of another being, and never to indulge in so—called "solitary pleasure." You are also strenuously advised, for the health and progress of our species, to fight for the kind of social outlook that will make the concealment or legal restriction of sexual activity as obsolete as the Judeo—Christist god.

It is desperately difficult to cure such conditions; the patient resents bitterly every touch of truth, for he feels it, accurately enough, as a thrust to the very core of his being.

Parallel with this, in my psychoanalytic practice I have had excellent success with all forms of sexual aberration, with the one exception of masturbation.

In these cases, even though I have often been successful in "curing" the condition, so that the man has been able to carry on with satisfaction to himself and his family the normal functions of a husband, I have never really got rid of the peculiar mental and moral characteristics which have been, if not implanted, at least encouraged and fostered, by this devastating habit.

Now do remember this; it is the guarantee of wholesomeness in any Invocation that there should be contact with another.  It is better to conjure up the most obnoxious demons from the most noisome pit of Hell than to take one's own exhilarations for Divine benediction; if only because there was never a demon yet so atrocious as that same old Ego.

You will discover the truth of these remarks when you approach the Frontier of the Abyss.  Well, now, if that isn't too funny!  The text of this stupendous sermon was AL II, 22.  I take this verse in its most obvious and ordinary sense; for instance, the following sentence:

"... The exposure of innocence is a lie. ...";

for that means clearly enough Hypocrisy.  So

"... It is a lie, this folly against self. ..."

only means, "To hell with sentimental altruism, with false modesty, with all those most insidious fiends, the sense of guilt, of shame—in a word, the 'inferiority complex' or something very like it."  The whole tenor of The Book of the Law, is to this effect.  The very test of worth is that one should be aware of it and not afraid to sock the next man on the jaw if he disputes it!

Of course, there is no guarantee that this primitive type of test will always work in practice. If you weigh a hundred pounds and the next man weighs two hundred and knows Karate of some such, your worth will be better protected by a gun, or, as the generals put it, strategic retreat. Masturbators, for instance, instinctively resent true worth in others. And, thanks to a thousand years of Judeo—Christist dysgenics, masturbators will usually be taller, stronger, handsomer, richer and meaner than yourself...

When Genghis Khan's Mongols began their campaign to conquer the world (and they were only stopped by that genius's death) they were, by all reports, dwarfish, ugly people — sometimes called monstrous by those they defeated. But by the time they had conquered Asia and were half way into Europe, they had become one of the most handsome cultural groups known — for when they conquered a land, they took the healthiest women and the brightest children into their households, spared — and employed — the most intelligent and professional men, and always ate the best foods and drank the finest wines. Thirty years — the life of a generation. And the life of a leader greater than Napoleon and wiser than Hitler. In modern times, only Elizabeth I of England could compare in her effect over her nation. We, of Θελημα, have been repressed and decimated for the last three thousand years. The hand of Jew and Christist alike was raised against us. "Suffer not a witch to live" was, of course, a self—serving translation of the Hebrew original; but there is plenty of evidence in the Old Testament — the only one that can be remotely called a genuine cultural document in the "Bible" — that the Hebrews, also, did us in whenever they could. Therefore, Thelemites at this time are seldom rulers, or strong or beautiful people. We tend, also, to have all kinds of problems of adaptation to a society of fat, self—satisfied, stupid and slyly malignant and cruel sheep. The Zionists talk a lot about the "Holocaust" — a convenient 'six million martyrs' concealing six million crimes. Of our holocaust neither Zionist nor Christist speaks. Yet both would still be murdering us if they could. In fact, in many parts of the world, they still are. How, under such circumstances, are we to reach our potential? The answer is, of course, in Liber AL. But whether the wars remain of ideas, or gravitate eventually to the level of brute versus intelligent force, the basic tactics will remain that succinctly described in AL III 9.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S.  But what do I mean when I say "myself" in normal speech?  I mean Tiphareth, the human self as determining the identity of the Supreme Triad plus as much Ruach as I have succeeded in organising as extensions of it.

Though your Supernal Triad is in essence identical with mine, your Tiphareth is quite definitely not mine. It is like mine in its nature and many of its sympathies, but your Ruach is altogether different from mine in (at a guess) 80% of its components.

We must add Malkuth as the medium which crystallizes the characters of our respective "Selves."

This is all horribly, hatefully difficult to put into words; there is bound to be misunderstanding, however cleverly I concoct the potion. But we understand pretty well for all that, at least so far as is necessary for most practical purposes.

EDITORIAL: From part 2 of the first edition of MWT COMMENTED


Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Part two of MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS UNEXPURGATED COMMENTED is finally here. We say "finally" because it took so long for Part One to reach our subscribers and the general public. One of the motives for the delay is detailed in the review of computer material starting on Page 423.

We thank you for your patience and your custom. Thelemic Magick should be available by the middle of next year, and The Equinox of the Gods for the Winter Solstice. Next year The Oriflamme temporarily ceases publication and Volume III of The Equinox starts. "Intelligence" services allowing, we hope to publish for the next five years, and the end of which the A∴A∴ will again withdraw into Silence, Volume III of the The Oriflamme will start on the Solstice of Summer of 1991 e.v. "Intelligence" services allowing, of course.

A Jewish acquaintance has brought to our attention that we made a mistake in Part One when stating that the dark Jewish somatotype is normally called "Schwartz" by other Jews, especially light-colored Ashkenazys. The situation is somewhat less innocent than that. The Yiddish word "Schwartz" which comes from the German "Schwarz" ("black"), was used by the Ashkenzys to refer to black people. Unforunately, its emotional connotations were fairly equivalent to those of "nigger" in Southern white American English. The word is applied to Sephardic Jews as an epithet of scorn. (Cf. Soror K.A.'s review of "feminist" Jewish publications starting Page 135 of Magick and Mysticism.)

So as you can see, Jews are really one of the most privileged cultural groups on Earth. We poor goyins are reduced to called other cultural groups names, such as "spick", "kike", "nigger", "wetback", "mick", etc. But Jews can even cast racial slurs on each other. How nice to be chosen!...

It is now clear why Fred Mendel and Donald Weiser deliberately withheld the Liber Aleph royalties from Mrs. Germer (see this Solstice's installment to her slow death by starvation. They did not know she was blonde and light-eyed like themselves. They thought she was a nigger.

We thank our Jewish acquaintance for bringing our attention to this inaccuracy in reporting; especially since, as a Jew, it must have been painful for him to point out a fault in members of his own cultural group. It was a depressing piece of news. We can understand better why Jesse Jackson referred to New York as "Hymietown": he was letting off the steam of a few centuries of abuse. It would have been more civilized on the part of national Zionist organizations to have kept as silent about it as did most non-Zionist Jews.

It should be pointed out that Jews who insult other Jews with racial epithets are, on the whole, a minority. It is unfortunate that this minority is usually able to live on Park Avenue or in Tel Aviv rather than in the Bronx or on the Gaza strip.

We should like to think that we will have less occasion to refer to Jews in future issues of The Oriflamme, or at least have nice things to say about them.

Readers of Equinox V 4 and Oriflamme VI 2 may remember our enthusiastic reviews of the work of the feminist composer Kay Gardner. Ms. Gardner has just issued a new record, A Rainbow Path, which is as original and creative as all her work so far. It is available, as we understand are also her previous works, from Ladyslipper, P.O. Box 3124, Durham, NC 27705.

For the benefit of the C.I.A., the Mossad, and the F.B.I., we should like to state here for the record that Ms. Gardner is not a member of the O.T.O., or of the A∴A∴. She is, like our Jewish acquaintance mentioned above, a member of the human race. Perhaps under the Reagan administration this has already become a crime. But there are no aggravating circumstances, mind.

Love is the law, love under will

The Editor

(Note by David Bersson): The Editor was of course, Marcelo Motta, who had recovered somewhat from the financial disaster of vampire lawyers — and was proceeding bravely among the most hideous magical attacks from the black lodges, the black brothers and other unsavory manifestations of would—be political conglomerates that that had begun to notice his progress with the various magical gestures that were creating havoc from the truth that they manifested and the change that they implied. Kay Gardner died on August 28, 2002 e.v.. Although she was not a A∴A∴ nor O.T.O. member her experiments with sound for healing had parallels with occult science as it is expounded in ONE STAR IN SIGHT and her music and movement was of special interest to Mr. Motta. Her work with sound and healing should have been the preliminaries of a new science. She did turn in her work, ideas, and experiments to the scientific community, such as Cambridge University scientists — and yet she was never taken seriously being a feminist. No doubt, she was possibly suspected to be a lesbian by the "moral majority" type mentalities that predominated the intellectual community of that era. The facts are, however, that she was very heavily involved with witchcraft, a High Priestess and the mother of two daughters. In 1975 e.v., in New York City, Kay Gardner was the first woman that Sorceress Zsuzsanna Emese Budapest, "the witch of Budapest" ordained as a Dianic High Priestess, for the Emilia Earhart Coven #1. In additon, she was also a High Priestess of Isis initiated by the Supreme Sorceress Lady Olivia Robertson, at her castle in Ireland. She was no doubt a brave and good woman — and her music is still available to date for those who are curious about her.

LETTER 43: The Holy Guardian Angel is not the "Higher Self" but an Objective Individual

Cara Soror:

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

The very first paragraph of this letter was omitted by Mr. Regardie:

On going over some recent letters I see that you question abut William Gillette and the Angels was indeed "a red—hot twy—prong that you stick to hiss i' the soft of" me.  ...

He means her question answered in Letter 58, headed "Do angels ever cut themselves shaving?"

... You meant not only to inquire into the order of being to which angels belong, but as to whether they are liable to accident, misfortune and the like.

The answer is that it depends on the Angel—for the purposes of this letter I propose to use the word "angel" to include all sorts of disembodied beings, from demons to gods—in all cases, they are objective; a subjective "angel" is different from a dream only in non-essentials.

Now, some angels are actually emanations of the elements, planets, or signs to which they are attributed.  They are partial beings in very much the same way as are animals.  They are not microcosms as are men and women.  They are almost entirely composed of the planet (or what—ever it is) to which they are attributed.  The other components of their being I take to be almost accidental.  For example, the Archangel Ratziel is lord of a company of angels called Auphanim; and one must not imagine that all these angels are identical with one another, or there would not seem to be much sense in it.  They have some sort of composition, some sort of individuality; and the character and appearance of the Angel can be determined by its name.

I do not think that I have anywhere mentioned how this is done.  To take an example, let us have Qedemel—the Hebrew letters as Q.D.M.A.L, and the numeration is 175, which is that of the sum of the 1st 49 numbers, as is proper to ♀.

In the ambit of a particular Sephirah, any number can present itself under the guise of a multiple of the main number representing that Sephirah; or so say the Qabalists. In the original edition of this book, either the secretary or they copyist omitted the words 'divided by 7,' which are implied by 'as is proper to ♀.' It is thus that it can be said that on the Plane of Understanding (or the Plane of the "Devil!") the Law of Israel is identical to the Law of Θελημα, whether Orthodox Jews (read "Israelis") like it or not.

We may then expect the head or head-dress of the spirit to be in some way characteristic of the Sign of ♓.  The general form of the body will be indicated by the ד, the letter of ♀, and the lower part (or perhaps the quality) will be determined by the watery Mem—The termination אל is usually taken to indicate appropriate symbols.  For instance, the א might show a golden aura, and the ל a pair of balances.

Another possible interpretation, which he mentions elsewhere, is that such "angels" as have the termination AL to their "names" carry the Sword (A) and Scales (L). The reader should realize that all this is merely a communication code in this case based on Hebrew lore. A scientific study of such entities can be conducted on totally different lines, according to the precepts or symbolism of another cultural tradition. This whole subject matter was first covered by Crowley in Liber 777, which we are expanding to include as many systems as possible. But our choice will always be, to some extent, limited by the fact that we use the so called Hebrew Qabalah   actually, the Medieval Qabalah of the Alchemists, "Rosicrucians" and Masons   as a rosetta stone. Crowley chose it because he considered it the most practical and efficient system, and we concur. But future researchers should keep in mind that whenever you structure knowledge you are limited by the structure itself you are using. Our successors may find a more efficient rosetta stone that the Magickal Qabalah. But if so, they will still have evolved a more efficient system from that of Maimonides, "Christian Rosenkreutz," and Aleister Crowley.

Some further detail might be indicated by taking the letters ד and מ together, for Dam is the Hebrew word for blood.  From such considerations one can build up a pictorial representation in one's mind which may serve as a standard to which any appearance of him should more or less conform.  The question then takes the form of inquiry into how far such beings are immortal or eternal.

In the above case, evidently his existence depends on that of the planet ♀; and one might suppose that, if that planet were stricken from the solar system, there would be no more Qedemel.  But this is to judge too rashly; for ♀ himself is only an emanation of the number 7, and is therefore indestructible. {Handwritten note: Because she-he comes from ... who is △ + □, 3 + 4}

As ♃ "herself" is equally indestructible, being an emanation of the number 4. The reader should try to keep in mind that one is not talking of material things here. ♃ or ♀, the planets, can obviously be destroyed — for instance, if the Sun goes nova. But mathematical concepts are indestructible, at least as long as a mind exists that uses number as a means of mentation. And even should such a type of mind cease to exist in the material universe so—called, it might still exist on those other planes of which Crowley is talking. Really, it would be so nice if scientists made a serious study of Magick and Mysticism! We need rigorously trained intellects of the brilliance of a Bertrand Russell, or of the intuitional wealth of an Einstein, if we are to progress along the path pointed out by the genius of Aleister Crowley. It may perhaps be as important, or even more important to our species, than the exploration of so—called "material" space.

It is some such idea as the above which is at the back of the conventional idea that elementals are immortal, that they incur mortality when their ambition and devotion causes them to incarnate as human beings. (Is this achieved by some sort of marriage with a reincarnating Ego? Or how?  All this is very obscure; we need more evidence.)

The sentences between parentheses, and the next paragraph, were excised by Mr. Regardie.

You will doubtless have read in many Eastern stories of the destruction of dryads or Nats ...

One is Greek, the other the Hindu name for what Crowley obviously thought was the same (species?) type of elemental creature.

... by the cutting down of the tree in which they have made their habitation.  A nymph, similarly, would be destroyed if her fountain were to dry up.

Since Mr. Regardie published his piracy of this book some years ago, one wonders if his Jewish blood gave him enough prophetic powers to at least foresee James Watt, and to try to help his work of polluting America even more than it has polluted itself by electing Ronald Reagan to the presidency!

Dryads, Nats, nymphs, etc., may be simply a communication code between the souls of human beings and the souls of natural things. I once asked my very wise and very patient Master, Mr. Karl Johannes Germer, if he thought that someone invoking the Aethyrs would get the same visions that Crowley did. He usually thought long and deep before he answered a question, but this time he did not hesitate. "No," he said, "I think the person would get the kind of symbols that would be intelligible to his or her cultural background, but the message would be the same, at least until the end of the present Aeon." This is, of course, another reason why we are trying to include as many new systems in Liber 777 Revised 2 as we possibly can. We sometimes get inquiries from impatient readers on this matter. They should keep in mind that this is a work for decades — even for centuries. New editions may be done after the death of this editor and annotator to include systems as far as Sirius — begging your pardon, dear "Rosicrucians" — or as close as the cetaceans. Whichever we reach first. It would of course be easier to first reach the cetaceans, but for that it is necessary to stop killing them and try to understand that the lore of "sirens" and "tritons," for instance, may be nothing but a projection of the insistent message of love and sympathy transmitted to us by the whales and dolphins that we keep murdering and slaughtering. It is interesting to speculate whether the so—called "Christian" ethics of "turning the other cheek" was not actually transmitted to Jonah, the Hebrew prophet, inside the whale...? (The intelligent reader will — hopefully — understand that we are merely indicating George Orwell's masterful essay of the same title as a hint.) For if ever any intelligent being has turned the other cheek to another intelligent being, the cetaceans have done so to us. As history proves, we have never done it even to each other. It is not a human characteristic; but it may very well be a cetacean characteristic, as least towards us, and if so, we should count our blessings. Any other species should be respected if we want to preserve and improve our species. It is time to accept ecology!

Now, can an angel of this sort ever go wrong, by which one must mean, can he ever be untrue to his own nature?

Please note the definition of "going wrong." The Aspirant must carefully discriminate between personal failure and non—personal failure. Personal failure consists in being untrue to one's own nature; only beings of very complex psychosomatic structure, such as human beings, are usually capable of this type of error. Non—personal failure will be more likely to occur the longer one must persevere in any kind of effort, since it is a material expression of statistical law — or, if you prefer, of the law of Chance. The only failure that is serious enough from an Initiatic point of view is the failure to be true to one's own nature. In a human being, this means going astray from one's True Will. All other types of failure, coming as they do from the environment and not from the Self, can be deplored, but have to be accepted and compensated for, since they are always possible, and frequently unpredictable even by the most evolved beings (which homo saps usually is not.) "There is a factor infinite and unknown." I have known disciples to express surprise that I put up with them even when (they think) they have been most obnoxious and contrary. But my Instructors and my Masters have put up with me, and still do. The only unpardonable sin is willful and conscious disobedience of one's True Will in circumstances where environmental pressure is not sufficient to account for one's failure to listen to the "Voice of the Silence" (as Blavatsky might say). This is the "sin against the Holy Ghost," and if it be too often repeated (the dangerous frequency varies according to one's psychosoma and to the time-space node where one's Point—of—View is moving, so there is no hard and fast safety rule to be prescribed!) it produces a "Black Brother."

I do not see how one can imagine this to happen; for they are so completely creatures of the elements of which they are composed that they must be regarded as completely devoid of will in any intelligible sense of the word.  Their actions in fact are merely re—actions.

They are, of course, entirely lacking in the Supernal Triad.  There is therefore no question of anything in them which would persist through change.

Another important point. Environmental change can only affect intrinsically a Microcosmic Being, not a being that is in itself a part of the forces of nature rather than a being that aspires to become the whole of those forces, which is to say, the All.

Perhaps it would be better to say that changed does not really affect them.  Another way to put it would be that they are adjectives, not nouns.  They are merely sensible manifestations of the elements to which they are attributed, and to the letters of their name.

Now, on the other hand, there is an entirely different type of angel; and here we must be especially careful to remember that we include gods and devils, for there are such beings who are not by any means dependent one one particular element for their existence.  They are microcosms in exactly the same sense as men and women are.  They are individuals who have picked up the elements of their composition as possibility and convenience dictates, exactly as we do ourselves.  I want you to understand that a goddess like Astarte, Astaroth, Cotytto, Aphrodite, Hathoor, Venus, are not merely aspects of the planet ...

Here he added the following note: "'Venus' is, of course, a 'thing-in-itself;' the planet is merely one case of the idea."

This entire structure of reasoning is purely mathematical, and the serious reader will find it in Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica and in Russell's own personal masterpiece, The Principles of Mathematics, which is slightly easier to absorb for the average reader than the former.

...; they are separate individuals who have been identified with each other, and attributed to ♀ merely because the salient feature in their character approximates to this ideal.

Now then, it is simple to answer the question of their development, their growing old and dying; for, being of the same order of Nature as we are ourselves, almost anything which is true of us is true also of them.

I have tended rather to elaborate this theme, because of the one personally important question which arises in more recent letters; for I believe that the Holy Guardian Angel is a Being of this order.  He is something more than a man, possibly a being who has already passed through the stage of humanity ...

Not necessarily in a human body, or belonging to the human species; but certainly able to include in Its experience the limits of human experience, otherwise communication could never be as intimate and immediate as any Minor Adept can testify it is.

..., and his peculiarly intimate relationship with his client is that of friendship, of community ...

Community of interests, purposes, and aims. This is crucial, if you will pardon the pun; and here is another reason for scientists to explore mystical experience, if only to assure ourselves that the contact the Adepts make is one that will truly benefit our species. It is all, in the essence, a matter of the judgment of values, such as: Who has proved "herself" most valuable to the human species (to say nothing of "her" own country), Phyllis Schlafly or Betty Friedan? Elizabeth I or Elizabeth II? Or who has proved "himself" most valuable to the human species, Bertrand Russell or whoever is the present Roman "Pope?" Baruch Spinoza, or Thomas Aquinas? Chose ye well...!

..., of brotherhood, or Fatherhood.  He is not, let me say with emphasis, a mere abstraction from yourself; and that is why I have insisted rather heavily that the term "Higher Self" implies "a damnable heresy and a dangerous delusion."

It it were not so, there would be no point in The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

Apart from any theoretical speculation, my Sammasiti and analytical work has never led to so much as a hint of the existence of the Guardian Angel.

He means, of course, as part of one's own self.

He is not to be found by any exploration of oneself. It is true that the process of analysis leads finally to the realization of oneself as no more than a point of view indistinguishable in itself from any other point of view; but the Holy Guardian Angel is in precisely the same position.  However close may be the identities in millions of ways, no complete identification is ever obtainable.

But do remember this, above all else; they are objective, not subjective, or I should not waste good Magick on them.

In this I most emphatically concur from my own experiences. Indeed, being an ex—masturbator, I should know the difference between myself and another! (Masturbations are pledged not to take this as a defense of their indefensible "habit," which is merely a distorted form of sexual expression squeezed off the sexual restriction encouraged by the "Black Brothers," who fear above all any contact with any autonomous Self beyond their selves. Thelemic Magick is based on 2=0, not "I am I." Surely, "I am I;" so what? This is a definition of personal limitation, unless it is a statement rigorously limited in space and Time. One should hope that both Mr. Jack Vance and Mr. Robert Heinlein, whose talents and intellects one admires, will get this point before they die...! To say nothing of Mr. Oskar Schlag. But Hope is a worm.

Let me say in particular in regard to Gods, that the God Jupiter whom you invoke is not necessarily the same as he whom I invoke.  It is clear in any case that the revelation of himself to you is modified in many ways by your own particular sensitiveness; just as in ordinary life, your idea of a friend may be very different from my own conception of the same individual.  Suppose, for example, he happens to be a musician, there will be an entire side of his character to which I am practically insensitive. You could talk to him for hours, and I would understand little or nothing of what was said.

This letter may have been written to Sascha Germer, rather than any other woman, since Mrs. Germer was an accomplished pianist, teacher, and musician.

Similarly, if he were a mountaineer, it would be your turn to be odd man out.

You send out a call into the Aethyrs; Who answers it depends on may factors. "It is a lie, this folly against self" applies to the "Angel" — meaning the H.G.A. — as much as it applies to yourself. The Being that answers your call intends to get something out of the exchange, just as you do. Remember, it is 2=0, not "I equals I!" In my own case, I reached 666, the Magus of the Aeon, possibly because in my adolescence I vowed myself to help humankind. It is not just that He—She—It found my Aspiration "worthy" — it is simply that my Aspiration resonated with His—Her—Its own purpose. The relationship between the "Angel" and the client is always one of mutual convenience, not one of "self—sacrifice." The entire concept of "self-sacrifice" is a lie contrived by the "Black Brothers" (a lie involuntary, albeit they are not conscious of this crucial fact, and would deny it heatedly were it to be mentioned to one of them — they have no True Will, being the slave—gods as well as the gods of slaves), contrived to conceal their cowardice, and thus to keep humankind enslaved to their restricted Selves (the "Black Brother's" Selves, not humankind's Selves.) In passing, one should warn the serious reader against the idea, which the Toshosophists and false initiates constantly try to foment, that the H.G.A. is nothing but a mind—projection of the Aspirant. Denial of this masturbatory delusion is precisely the point of this entire letter. A certain Alexandra David—Neil, among others, has tried to foment this insidious lie. It is interesting that Alice Bailey, although obviously another charlatan in many senses, and "Dion Fortune," who spent her entire life slyly stealing insights from Crowley while stabbing him in the back, did not.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


LETTER 44: "Serious" Style of A.C., or the Apparent Frivolity of Some of my Remarks

Cara Soror:

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

Alas!  It is unlikely that either you or I should come upon a copy of Max Beerbohm's portrait of Mathew Arnold; but Raven Hill's famous cartoon is history, and can be told as such without the illustration.

Mr. Regardie cut this and the following paragraph from his "edition." Perhaps he thought that Max Beerbohm and Raven Hill, to say nothing of Matthew Arnold, were best forgotten, since none were Zionists; although the two former were Jews.

We shall have to go into the matter, because of your very just criticism of my magical writings in general—and these letters, being colloquial, are naturally an extreme case.

Mr. Regardie's "reasons" for cutting the above paragraph, however, can only have been to maintain Crowley's "reputation" as an impervious megalomaniac; possibly to spare himself similar accusations by taking up a role model, however fictitious.

Far—off indeed those sunny days when life in England was worth living; when one could travel anywhere in Europe—except Russia and Turkey, which spiritually, at least, are in Asia—or America, without a pass—port; when we complained that closing time was twelve—thirty a.m. ...

Of drinking places, nightclubs, and public places of entertainment, of course.

...; when there was little or no class bitterness, the future seemed secure, and only Nonconformists failed to enjoy the fun that bubbled up on every side.

However, as a Master of the Yellow School might remark, such are always the most dangerous times in the history of any species, to say nothing of the history of any country. A leader who is not worried is a leader who is blind. This apparently cynical statement should fully explain why only the stalwart or absolute fools would aspire to be "leaders."

Well, in those days there were Music—halls; I can't hope to explain to you what they were like, but they were jolly.  (I'm afraid that there's another word beyond the scope of your universe!)  At the Empire, Leicester Square, which at that time actually looked as if it had been lifted bodily from the "Continong" ...

The Continent meaning Continental Europe. He is mimicking Cockney pronunciation here.

... (a very wicked place) there was a promenade, with bars complete (drinking bars, my dear child, I blush to say) ...

Meaning that they sold hard liquor and that evil beverage, wine, rather than just lukewarm beer.

... where one might hope to find "strength and beauty met together, Kindle their image like a star in a sea of glassy weather."  There one might always find London's "soiled doves" (as they revoltingly called them in the papers) of every type ...

Meaning, those few women who were strong enough not to want to be domestic drudges, and thus were reduced to the risk of being called prostitutes, or worse. Cf. AL iii 43-45.

... : Theodora (celebrated "Christian" Empress) and Phryne, Messalina and Thais, Baudelaire's swarthy mistress, and Nana, Moll Flanders and Fanny Hill.

All these women, with the exception of Theodora, Messalina and possibly Phryne, are fictional heroines of erotic novels. Theodora was a hetera who became Empress of Byzantium, and Messalina was Claudius's wife, celebrated by Robert Graves in his famous Roman novels; Phryne, also a hetera, may have been as mythical as Aphrodite.

But the enemies of life were on guard ...

The puppets of the "Black Brothers;" at present, in the United States of America, one can instance such unfunny fools as Ronald and Nancy Reagan, James Watt, Phyllis Schlafly, Jerry Falwell, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

... They saw people enjoying themselves, (shame!) and they raked through the mildewed parchments of obsolete laws until they found some long—forgotten piece of mischief that might stop it.  The withered husks of womanhood, idle, frustrated, spiteful and malignant, called up their forces, blackmailed the Church into supporting them ...

One can see how blindly innocent he was, even in his old age. He did not realize that those people were manipulated by the "Churches" (in this case the Anglican and the Roman Catholic), not the other way around!

..., and began a senseless string of prosecutions.

Notable in infamy stands out the name of Mrs. Ormiston Chant.

Who, although Crowley did not realize it, was a "chaste" woman, manipulated by sinister forces hiding behind her "spiritual" counselors! Her envy of freedom in others exacerbated to boot, no doubt, by secret masturbation and the tyranny of a husband made unsympathetic and brutal by that very same vice. Although we have been known to condemn "Mrs." Phyllis Schlafly, it should not be thought from this that we consider her an evil force in herself; nay, she is merely the instrument of those drunken on solitary vice, who indulge in it in their rainbow—hued, but — alas! — unstable towers...

So here we had the trial of some harmless girl for "accosting;" it was a scene from this that inspired Raven Hill's admirable cartoon.

A "pale young curate" is in the witness box.  "The prisoner," he drawled "made improper proposals to me.  The actual words used were: "why do you look so sad, Bertie?'"

The magistrate: "A very natural question!"

The cartoon appeared in Punch, to this day the best, and perhaps only, British humorous magazine.

Now, fifty years later, here am I in the dock.

The next forty lines were, of course, cut out by that puppet of the "Black Brothers" who was deluded enough to think of himself as 'Israel Regardie.'

("How can you expect people to take your Magick seriously!" I hear from every quarter, "when you write so gleefully about it, with your tongue always in your cheek?")

My dear good sister, do be logical!

Here am I who set out nigh half a century ago to seek "The Stone of the Wise, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness:"  I get it, and you expect me to look down a forty-inch nose and lament!

I have plenty of trouble in life, and often enough I am in low enough spirits to please anybody; but turn my thoughts to Magick—the years fall off.  I am again the gay, quick, careless boy to whom the world was gracious.

We, who have "seen" this gay, quick, careless boy in our Temple, can attest to it.

Let this serve for an epitaph: Gray took eleven years; I, less:

Elegy Written in a Country Farmyard


Here lies upon this hospitable spot
   A youth to flats and flatties unknown;

The Plymouth Brethren gave it to him hot;
   Trinity, Cambridge, claimed him for her own.

He climbed a lot of mountains in his time
   He stalked the tiger, bear and elephant.
He wrote a stack of poems, some sublime,
   Some not.  Tales, essays, pictures, plays my aunt!

At chess a minor master, Hoylake set
   His handicap at two.  Love drove him crazy.
Three thousand women used to call him pet;
   In other matters—shall we call him "lazy"?

He had the gift of laughing at himself;
   Most affably he walked and talked with God;
And now the silly bastard's on the shelf,
   We'll bury him beneath another sod.

The above poem is, of course, a take-off on Thomas Gray's over-solemn "Elegy in a Country Churchyard," done on the spur of the moment and in which Crowley touches on every aspect of himself and his career. "We'll bury him beneath another sod" is a pun on his homosexual activities. Again, Mr. Regardie's excision of this small masterpiece, and of the paragraphs accompanying it, is criminal.

In all the active moods of Nature—her activity is Worship! there is an element of rejoicing; even when she is at her wildest and most destructive.  (You know Gilbert's song "When the tiger is a—lashing of his tail"?)  Her sadness always goes with the implied threat of cessation—and that we know to be illusion.

There is nothing worse in religion, especially in the Wisdom-Religion, than the pedagogic-horatory accents of the owlish dogmatist, unless it be the pompous self-satisfaction of the prig.  Eschew it, sister, eschew it!

Even in giving orders there is a virile roar, and the commander who is best obeyed is he who rages cheerfully like an Eights Coach or a Rugger Captain.  "Up Guards and at 'em!" may not be authentic; but that is the right spirit.

Not always. What is appropriate for the sergeant may not be appropriate for the general.

The curate's twang, the solemnity of self-importance, all manners that do not disclose the real man, are abominations, "Anathema Maranatha"—or any other day of the week.  These painted masks are devised to conceal chicanery or emptiness.  The easy-going humorous style of Vivekananda is intelligible and instructive; the platitudinous hot potatoes of Waite are neither.  The dreadful thing is that this assumption of learning, of holiness, of mysterious avenging powers, somehow deceives the average student.  He does not realise how well and wisely such have conned Wilde's maxim: "To be intelligible is to be found out."

I know that I too am at times obscure; I lament the fact.  The reason is twofold:
(a) my ineradicable belief that my reader knows all about the subject better than I do myself, and (at best) may like to hear it tackled from a novel angle,
(b) I am carried away by the exultant exaltation of my theme: I boil over with rapture—not the crystal—clear, the cool solution that I aimed at.

On the Path of the Wise there is probably no danger more deadly, no poison more pernicious, no seduction more subtle than Spiritual Pride; it strikes, being solar, at the very heart of the Aspirant; more, it is an inflation and exacerbation of the Ego, so that its victim runs the peril of straying into a Black Lodge, and finding himself at home there.

Against this risk we look to our insurance; there are two infallible: Common Sense and the Sense of Humour.

The next eight lines were again cut off by Mr. Regardie.

When you are lying exhausted and exenterate after the attainment of Vishvarupadarshana it is all wrong to think: "Well, now I'm the holiest man in the world, of course with the exception of John M. Watkins;" better recall the words of the weary sceptical judge in A. P. Herbert's Holy Deadlock; he makes a Mantram of it!  "I put it to you—I put it to you—I put it to you—that you have got a boil on your bottom."

From sitting continually in Asana, he means; nothing peculiarly "mystical" about it!

To this rule there is, as usual with rules, an exception.  Some states of mind are of the same structure as poetry, where the "one step from the sublime to the ridiculous" is an easy and fatal step. But even so, pedantry is as bad as ribaldry.  Personally, I have tried to avoid the dilemma by the use of poetic language and form; for instance, in AHA!

It is all difficult, dammed difficult; but if it must be that one's most sacred shrine be profaned, let it be the clean assault of laughter rather than the slimy smear of sactimoniousness!

There, or thereabouts, we must leave it.  "Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh;" and I cannot sing the words of an epithalamium to the music of a dirge.

Besides, what says the poet?  "Love's at its height in pure love?  Nay, but after When the song's light dissolves gently in laughter."

The next two paragraphs were again completely mangled by Mr. Regardie.

Oh!  "One word more" as Browning said, and poured forth the most puerile portentous piffle about that grim blue-stocking "interesting invalid," his spouting wife.  Here it is, mercifully much shorter, and not in tripping trochees!

"Actions speak louder than words."  (I positively leak proverbs this afternoon—country air, I suppose): and where actions are the issue, devil a joke from Aleister!

Do you see what is my mark?  It is you that I am going to put in the dock about "being serious;" and that will take a separate letter—part of the answer to yours received March 10th, 1944 e.v. and in general to your entire course of conduct since you came to me—now over a year ago.

This is the next letter which, when spiritual development becomes a better known discipline, will stand out as a classic lesson on the subject of true discipleship. Oh boys and oh girls! I do wish some of my so—called pupils would read it more carefully and more often. For a change, it was one of the few letters in the book not butchered by Israel Regardie. Possibly because he was unable to read it very carefully himself from the heights of his self—importance, and thus was incapable of realizing how thoroughly it applied to him.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,


LETTER 45: "Unserious" Conduct of a Pupil

Cara Soror:

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

Here pops us Zola again—this time he says J'Accuse!  Today's Hexagram for me is No. X. Lî, the Tiger: and the Duke of Chau comments on the last line as follows:  "The sixth line, undivided, tells us to look at the whole course that is trodden, and examine the presage which that gives.  If it be complete and without failure, there will be great good fortune."  O.K.; Let's!

It is now well over a year since you came to me howling like a damned soul in torment—and so you should be!—and persuaded me to take you as my pupil.  What have you done with that year?

First, suppose we put down what you agreed to do: The essential preliminaries of the work of the A∴A∴—you are to be heartily congratulated upon your swift perception that the principles of that august body were absolute.

This is meant as irony: She had perceived and stated that the Rules of the A∴A∴ were to be followed to the least detail, and then proceeded to do exactly the opposite — as usual...!

1.  Prepare and submit your Magical Record.  (Without this you are in the position of a navigator with neither chart nor log.) It would have been quite easy to get this ready in a week.  Have you done so in a year?  No.

2.  Learn to construct and perfect the Body of Light.  This might have required anything up to a dozen personal lessons.  You were urged to claim priority upon my time.  What did you do? You made one experiment with me fairly satisfactory, and got full instructions for practice and experiment at home. You made one experiment, ignoring every single one of the recommendations made to you. You kept on making further appointments for a second personal lesson; and every one of them you broke.

3.  Begin simple Yoga practices. This, of course, cannot be checked at all in the absence of a careful record and of instructed critical analysis.  You do not make the one, and are incapable of the other.  So I suppose you are very well satisfied with yourself!

4.  Your O.T.O. work. You were supplied with copies of those rituals to which you were entitled. You were to make copies of these. Your were to go through them with me, so as to assimilate their Symbolism and teaching. Have you done any of this?  No.

5.  You were to write me a letter of questions once every fortnight. Have you done so? No.

Have you in thirteen months done as much as honest work would have accomplished in a week?  No.

What excuses do you drag out, when taxed with these misdemeanors?

You are eager to make appointments to be received in audience; then you break them without warning, explanation, apology or regret.

You are always going to have ample time to devote to the Great Work; but that time is always somewhere after the middle of next week.

If you put half as much enthusiasm into what you quite rightly claim to be the most important factor in life as other old ladies do into Culbertson Contract, you might get somewhere.

What you need, in the way of a Guru, is some fat, greasy Swami, who would not allow you to enter or leave his presence without permission, or address him without being formally invited to do so. After seven years at menial household drudgeries, you might with luck be allowed to listen to some of his improving discourse.

This is not meant as irony; it is quite standard practice in India to this day, which explains why "maharishis" become millionaires so easily when they come West; their "pupils" are carefully broken in — and into — and their reputation for ineffable holiness precedes them.

Pretentious humbug is the only appeal to which you can be relied on to respond.  Praxiteles would repel you, unless you covered the marble completely with glittering gew-gaws, tinsel finery, sham jewels from the tray of Autolycus!  Yet it was precisely because you were sick of all this that you came to me at all.

Or at least said so.

How can one take you as a serious student? Only because you do have moments when the scales fall from your eyes, and your deep need tears down the tawdry counterfeits which hide the shrine where Isis stands unveiled—but ah! too far.  You must advance.

To advance—that means Work.  Patient, exhausting, thankless, often bewildering Work.  Dear sister, if you would but Work!  Work blindly, foolishly, misguidedly, it doesn't matter in the end:  Work in itself has absolute virtue.

But for you, having got so far in this incarnation, there must be a revolution.  You must no longer hesitate, no longer plan; you must leap into the dark, and leap at once.

"The Voice of my Higher Soul said unto me: Let me enter the Path of Darkness; peradventure thus I may attain the Light."

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,


P.S. Let me adduce an example of the way in which the serious Aspirant bends to the oar.  This is not boasting as if the facts denoted superlative excellence; they speak.  The only comment is that if such conduct is not normal and universal, it ought to be.  Yet no!  I would add this: that I have not yet heard of anyone who has attained to any results of importance who does not attribute his success to devotion of quite similar quality.

Here they are:

The "Mr. X." referred to in the following paragraphs is Crowley himself. He really was not boasting: he had known others as dedicated, as committed, as himself.

1.  The Cloud on the Sanctuary.  On reading this book, Mr. X., who was desperate from the conviction that no success in life was worth a tinker's dam, decided: "This is the answer to my problem; the members of the Secret Fraternity which this book describes have solved the riddle of life.  I must discover them, and seek to be received amongst them."

2.  X., hearing a conversation in a café which made him think that the speaker might be such an one as he sought, hunted him down—he had gone on his travels—caught him, and made him promise an interview at the earliest possible date.

3.  This interview leading to an introduction to the Fraternity, he joined it, pledging his fealty.  But he was grievously shocked, and nearly withdrew, when assured:  "There is nothing in this Oath which might conflict in any way with your civil, moral or religious obligations."  If it was not worth while becoming a murderer, a traitor, and an eternally damned soul, why bother about it?  was his attitude.

The Head of the Fraternity being threatened with revolt, X. when to him, in circumstances which jeopardised his own progress, and offered his support "to the last drop of my blood, and the last penny of my purse."

Deciding to perform a critical Magical Operation, and being warned that serious opposition might come from his own friends, family, etc., he abandoned his career, changed his name, cut himself off completely from the past, and allowed no alien interest of any sort to interfere with his absorption in the Work.  His journey to see the Head seemed at that time a fatal interruption; at the least, it involved the waste of one whole year.  He was wrong; his gesture of setting the interests of the Order before his personal advancement was counted unto him for righteousness.

This "Order" is not the O.T.O., but the old "Golden Dawn," now reformulated as the Outer Order of the A∴A∴, and the "Head" referred to is not the Outer Head of the O.T.O., but "McGregor&qu