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A Commentary on The Star Sapphire
By the
Nu Isis Working Group

The following is based on a discussion held by the Nu Isis Working Group 19.09.01 e.v.; compiled by Frater T.S. from (a) notes taken during the meeting, (b) commentaries prepared in advance by Frater D.I.C.E. and Frater T.S. and (c) Frater T.S.'s memories of the discussion, later corrected by Frater D.I.C.E.; it should not be assumed to be a verbatim or even vaguely accurate record of the actual conversation.

Let the Adept be armed with his Magick rood (and provided with his Mystic Rose).


D.I.C.E.: I assume you all know what he's talking about here.  The Magick Rood is the Wand of the Magician / Lance of the Priest, i.e. the Lingam.  The Mystic Rose is the Cup of the Priestess, i.e. the Yoni.

T.S.: Agreed.  'Rood' is an archaic term for cross—

D.I.C.E.: —A specific kind.  A relatively small cross head, but at the end of a 4 or 5 foot shaft.

T.S.: It's considered an 'active' weapon, hence the magician is "armed" with it, whereas he is "provided" with the "Mystic Rose."  Obviously, only with both these can the ROSY CROSS be formulated.  They are analagous to the Wand and Cup which the Adept is instructed to use in Liber Samekh.

In the centre, let him give the L.V.X. signs; or if he know them, if he will and dare do them, and can keep silent about them, the signs of N.O.X., being the signs of Puer, Vir, Puella, Mulier.  Omit the sign I.R.

D.I.C.E.: The ritual can be performed with either the L.V.X. signs or the N.O.X. signs, depending on the knowledge and capabilities of the magician.  Implies that the N.O.X. signs are preferred.  Lon DuQuette suggests1 Isis Rejoicing is omitted from the N.O.X. signs because it has no equivalent among the L.V.X. signs.

T.S.: Disagree with Lon on that one.  I don't believe you can map the four other NOX signs one-to-one with +LVX.  The choice of signs has to do with how you plot the Hexagram on the Tree of Life.  Normally it centres on Tiphareth, to which the LVX signs refer, but there's another way of doing it, called the Heavenly Hexagram in 7772 which centres on Daath; it's based on something in the Golden Dawn Enochian material.3  Because of the way the NOX signs are referred to the grades, if you make them in the order given omitting I.R. you symbolically step through Geburah, Chesed, and into the Abyss but not across it.4  So you're in Da'ath at the centre of the supernal hexagram.  Hence the dire warnings.5  NOX signs without Isis Rejoicing also have reference to Tetragrammaton, but the order here suggests that association isn't so important.

Then let him advance to the East, and make the Holy Hexagram, saying: PATER ET MATER UNUS DEUS ARARITA.

D.I.C.E.: See chapter 69 of The Book of Lies for a description of the Holy Hexagram.

T.S.: It's a union of opposites - or at least, of contrasting forces.

D.I.C.E. (translates): "Father and Mother [are the] one god ARARITA." 

T.S.: In the East the hexagram is formulated by yod and of Tetragrammaton, Abba and Aima.  The initial stage of the creative process; the world of Briah (Atziluth is only touched by the tip of the yod).6

ARARITA is a Qabalistic divine name; a Notariqon (acronym) of a Hebrew phrase meaning "One [is] his Beginning; One [is] his Individuality; his Permutation [is] One."7

Let him go round to the South, make the Holy Hexagram, and say: MATER ET FILIUS UNUS DEUS ARARITA.

D.I.C.E. (translates): "Mother and Son [are the] one god ARARITA."

T.S.: In the South the hexagram is formulated by and vau, the Mother giving birth to the Son (AIMA = 52 = BN).  The creative energy acquires form.8

Let him go round to the West, make the Holy Hexagram, and say: FILIUS ET FILIA UNUS DEUS ARARITA.

D.I.C.E. (translates): "Son and Daughter [are the] one god ARARITA."

T.S.: Vau and final.  Yetzirah to Assiah – form becomes manifested.

Let him go round to the North, make the Holy Hexagram, and say: FILIA ET PATER UNUS DEUS ARARITA.

D.I.C.E. (translates): "Daughter and Father [are the] one god ARARITA."

T.S.: final and yod.  This is where it gets tricky.  Traditionally the creative formula of Tetragrammaton has a definite beginning and end, so final is the receptacle of the force which has been set in motion then given purpose and form.  Here you have a radically different spin on it, under the quaint symbol of "the incest of CHAOS with his daughter."9  In earlier works on Hermetic Qabala we find references to the idea of Malkuth ( final) being exalted to the throne of Binah (); from this we get a fresh impetus given to yod, kick-starting the process all over again.  Thus not a linear process but an eternal cycle.10

Let him then return to the Centre, and so to The Centre of All (making the ROSY CROSS as he may know how) saying: ARARITA ARARITA ARARITA.

D.I.C.E.: Again this bit's fairly obvious.  The Rosy Cross is the union of the Rood and Rose, as symbolised by the unicursal Hexagram with the 5 petalled rose in the centre.

T.S.: There's a little bit about it in chapter 12 of Magick in theory and practice.

D.I.C.E.: Why three ARARITAs?

T.S.: Maybe there's a dodgy gematria in there somewhere.  [lengthy digression by T.S. on dodgy gematria]  813 times 3 equals 2439... can't find anything.

D.I.C.E.: There's seven 'ARARITA's all told.11  The eucharist of seven elements is mystically identical with that of one.

(In this the Signs shall be those of Set Triumphant and of Baphomet.  Also shall Set appear in the Circle.  Let him drink of the Sacrament and let him communicate the same.)

D.I.C.E.: Sign of Set Triumphant = Mater Triumphans?12

T.S.: Not convinced.  [Ranting by T.S. about the editor of the "Blue Brick" edition of Magick omitted.]  When I was doing the group adaptation I changed it to Mentu, i.e. the sign Puer because of that bit in the Supreme Ritual.  Also why combine that with sign of Baphomet which is Mulier?13  Someone suggested Set Fighting which is tenuous;14  Apophis and Typhon another possibility but no obvious reason for that particular sign at this particular point in this particular ritual.15

???: Could be argued it's only at this point you've got past the Abyss and into Binah.16

T.S.: That bit about Set was one thing I had trouble fitting in with any consistent interpretation of this ritual.

D.I.C.E.: Maybe it's a bad pun?  Set in the form of the 'One-eyed-trouser-snake' (Lingam), appears in the Circle (Yoni) – an example of the point within the circle representing the conjunction of Nuit and Hadit.

T.S.: Set equals the 'Serpent' maybe but AC used that more often as a glyph for the spermatozoon.17  The other possibility has to do with a legend about Set and Horus,18 and the Circle is the Eye of Horus as described in Liber Aleph (= the anus)19 but that is difficult to square with the usual sex-magick reading of the rest of it.  Other than that, I agree with what you said.

[further digressions on Set and his attributions, not recorded in detail]

D.I.C.E.: Continuing, re the bit about the sacrament – the union of opposites produce the Eucharist of one element.  See Book 4 part 3 cap. XX.


D.I.C.E. (translates): "All in Two; Two in One; One in none; these are neither Four nor All nor Two nor One nor None."

T.S.: "all" is concentrated in "two", the Magick Rood and Mystic Rose.  Those two become One in the formulation of the Rosy Cross.  That One is flung "even to the abyss, annihilation" (the sign of Baphomet is the Babe of the Abyss sign).  "These are neither four nor all (etc)." – four in this context refers to the Tetragrammaton.


D.I.C.E. (translates): "Glory be to the Father and the Mother and the Son and the Daughter and the Holy Spirit without and the Holy Spirit within which was, and is, and is to come,20  for ever and ever,21 six in one through the seven in one name ARARITA."

T.S.: It's a pastiche of the Christian gloria.

D.I.C.E.: It's more than that; it's a celebration.  Like 'look at me, look what I've just done.'

Let him then repeat the signs of L.V.X. but not the signs of N.O.X., for it is not he that shall arise in the sign of Isis Rejoicing.

D.I.C.E.: Why not the signs of N.O.X.?  L.V.X. = Light in Extension, N.O.X. = Light in retention.  Maybe the latter is not appropriate since this is a Eucharistic formula and the Light must be shared.  Even if you do it in the opening it doesn't make sense for the closing.

T.S.: Agreed.  If LVX is the descent of the light and NOX its withdrawal, then the LVX signs at this point represent a return back towards the mundane world even if you've been – as it were – bungee jumping in the Abyss.22  Re the last bit, Isis Rejoicing is the sign of a Magister Templi and the M.T. is Nemo not the Adept he uses as a vehicle.


The Star Sapphire corresponds with the Star-Ruby of Chapter 25; 36 being the square of 6, and 25 is of 5.  This chapter gives the real and perfect Ritual of the Hexagram.  It would be improper to comment further upon an official ritual of the A\A\.

[It was decided that since none of us was in the A\A\ the last sentence would be ignored.]

D.I.C.E.: It's a sex magick ritual.

T.S.: The question I had most trouble with was – what's the point?  Why would you actually do this ritual?

D.I.C.E.: For fun.

T.S.: What's it supposed to achieve?

D.I.C.E.: You might want to do it for an exercise – and it is a lot of exercise – but other than that, I don't know.

T.S.: This was what I manage to come up with.  [reads from crib] The key is perhaps in section 8; "let him drink of the Sacrament and let him communicate the same."  This suggests some kind of eucharistic formula as discussed in MTP cap. XX.  If this indeed be the case, the intent of the ritual process in points 1-7 is to 'charge' some material basis which is not further described, although from the verb used it might be assumed that it was liquid, or at least not solid. [laughter]  So, in points 1-6, some kind of either general or specific force is invoked under two or possibly four aspects (omnia in duos).  In point 7 these are combined in the formulation of the Rosy Cross (duo in unum).  In point 8 this is consumed as a sacrament.  Points 9 and 10 seem to be a verbal recapitualation.

D.I.C.E.: Or a celebration.

T.S.: You can interpret the Star Sapphire in purely ceremonial terms.  It's just rather boring.

Dan: So is the Star Sapphire a banishing ritual then?

D.I.C.E.: It gets used as one, because people thought it corresponded with the Star Ruby.  But it isn't.  It's laid out similarly, but—

T.S.: There's nothing to particularly suggest it's a banishing.

D.I.C.E.: But people assume it's based on the Golden Dawn Greater Hexagram... that can be used as a banishing, can't it?

T.S.: In theory.  Greater Hexagram invokes or banishes specific planetary forces.  Lesser Hexagram is for general banishment of random planetary energies.  Hexagrams are also used with the Sephiroth; there's that bit in Liber Yod where you banish everything finishing with the Sephiroth from Malkuth up to Kether and for the Supernals you might want to use the heavenly hexagram centred in Daath.

[Further discussion, but nothing of consequence emerges, apart from:]

All: We don't know what it is supposed to be for.

Notes and references.

1: In his Magick of Thelema; this opinion is not necessarily that of Frater D.I.C.E.

2: Column CXXIV (column 81 in Appendix V of the "Blue Brick" edition of Magick).

3: Specifically the attributions of the crosses of ten squares in the Lesser Angles of the Watchtowers; the classical planets, excluding Saturn, are referred to the first six Sephiroth.  While different editions of the G.D. Enochian material disagree on the attribution of Chokmah through to Geburah to the cross squares, the planets are referred specifically to the Sephiroth rather than cross squares.

4: The NOX signs are referred to the grades thus: Puer – Adeptus Major (Geburah); Vir – Adeptus Exemptus (Chesed); Puella and Mulier – Babe of the Abyss (Daath); Mater Triumphans / Isis Rejoicing – Magister Templi (Binah).  The LVX signs are all referred to the grade of Adeptus Minor, in Tiphareth.

5: The "dire warnings" allude to the four "powers of the Sphinx" discussed by Levi and later by Crowley, most notably in Liber Aleph cap. 151-159.

6: To clarify; I here refer to the scheme of the Four Worlds which maps Atziluth to Kether and Briah to Chokmah and Binah rather than equating the worlds with the letters of Tetragrammaton; thus the creative formula of yod and takes place entirely inside Briah, with Kether only touched by the tip of the yod.  I am aware that there are schemes of the Qabalistic worlds which refer Atziluth to Kether and Chokmah and Briah to Binah alone; this is my personal interpretation – T.S.

7: I can't remember who actually said this, not that it really matters; I think it may have been Dan, who also quoted an alternate gloss on ARARITA from Crowley's Liber 813 where the first AR is made to stand for 'One [is his] Spirit.' (AChTh RVCh) – T.S.

8: Through the action of the Mother – O.B.

9: In The Vision and the Voice, 2nd Æthyr; see also the 4th Æthyr.

10: See chapter III of Magick in Theory and Practice – T.S.  It's not a cycle, it's a spiral – O.B.  A helix, rather – T.S.  That's what I meant – O.B.

11: Oops.  There's actually 8 (the last one in para. 10), but who cares – D.I.C.E.  The eighth is Octinomos – O.B.  You what? – T.S.

12: This identification was suggested by Lon DuQuette in Magick of Thelema and also in an editorial note to Liber XXXVI in the 1994 Weiser edition of Magick.  Frater D.I.C.E. does not necessarily agree with it.

13: This identification is based on the identification of Mulier as the attitude of Baphomet in Liber V vel Reguli – T.S.  It's the attitude of Baphomet, but is it the sign of Baphomet? – O.B.  Stop nit-picking – T.S.

14: It represents the erect phallus – O.B.  So does Mentu / Puer – T.S.

15: Apophis and Typhon represents destruction (of consciousness) but under a masculine form which would complement Babalon if that is what's meant by the sign of Baphomet here – O.B.

16: While this line actually turned out to be quoted from notes I had prepared before the meeting, it does not represent my opinion, or that of anyone else in the group as far as I can tell – T.S.

17: For example, in chapter XII of Magick; also in another text which it would probably not be appropriate to reference in this place.

18: The usual form is that Set falsely claimed to have sodomised Horus but was exposed as a liar when Thoth called forth the semen of Set to declare the truth of the matter.  While this version presumably post-dates the demonization of Set, and Set and Horus are frequently depicted together and not trying to kill each other, I am not aware of any evidence for the idea of an actual homosexual relationship between the two gods prior to Set's fall from favour (I am of course open to correction on this point, my knowledge of modern Egyptology being somewhat sketchy).  One version of the legend also involved lettuce, although I forget exactly how.  In the famous "deification of members" speech in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the buttocks of the deceased are said to be the buttock of the Eye of Horus – T.S.

19: Chapter 175 (Digamma-rho), De Oculo Hoor, where the "Eye of Hoor" or "Circle" is contrasted with the "Vesica" to the detriment of the latter.  Crowley connects it with the symbolism of the Devil in the Tarot and the path of Ayin (the Eye).  Curiously, in an earlier (1902) work, Ambrosii Magi Hortis Rosarum, next to a passage referring to the symbolism of this path and card appears the marginal commnet "Adest Rosa Secreta Eros" which might put a whole different spin on the "Mystic Rose" in paragraph 1.

20: This is a slightly loose translation; but Crowley uses this phrase in other places, e.g. in the Creed in Liber XV and the discussion of the Eucharist of one element in cap. XX of Magick, so it may have been what was intended.

21: This is the conventional gloss of in sæcula sæulorum in ecclesiastical Latin, although sæculum more literally means an age or generation.

22: I am indebted to Frater P.B. for this delightful phrase – T.S.

23: From the 1952 second edition of The Book of Lies.

"The Star Sapphire" is quoted from The Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley (second edition with commentary, Ilfracombe: Haydn Press, 1952), where it formed Chapter 36.  Key entry and HTML coding by Frater T.S. for Nu Isis Working Group.


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