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Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente Comments
Commentaries on Liber 65
by ?

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



Invocation of Kundalini

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

2 -- 11

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


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


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


Truth destroys the reason.


Life distrubs the placidity of the mind's acceptance of dead symbols as reality.


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


The process continues until complete.


Phenomena result from resistance to ``love.'' Perfect union is silent.

19 -- 21

V.V.V.V.V. being perfectly Adeptus Minor appears evil.


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

23 -- 24

They do so in secret ways.


Perdurabo hindered his own success by over eagerness.

26 -- 27

Union once made is permanent.


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


Stability has been fofund on a basis of change.


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


The Adept accepts this as a definite promise.

32 -- 33

Proposal to view phenomena from the new standpoint.

34 -- 36

Two points of view: as a girl's smile involves the death of many cells in her body.


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


He in his human mind, is distressed at this.

39 -- 40

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

41 -- 42

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


The mind demanded complete relief.

47 -- 48

Persephone, the earth-bound soul. Corn = material nourishment; its result is sorrow.

Narcissus = the sexual instinct flowering as Beauty.

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


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

50 -- 58

An elaborate Parable in dialogue.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


In a secret code the Adept affirms that he is of the same vox; (so to speak) as his Angel. It is not a union of opposites to produce a Tertium quid, but a realization of identity, like the return to consciousness from delirium, whose ecstasy bears no fruit involving new responsibilities, new possibilities of sorrow, but is all-sufficient to itself, with neither past nor future.

The ``peeleld wand'' is the creative Energy of the Angel, stripped of all veils, pointing to the Zenith, ready and eager to act. The Adept exclaims with joy that he has aspired to unite himself with this Idea, and has attained.

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


The previous chapter describes the effect wrought by the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel upon the outward appearances of things and the sensations caused and the corresponding part of the Soul, Nephesch. We now turn to the element of Air, the faculties called Ruach, that is, the mind considered as an instrument of intellectual apprehension, a machine proper to the analysis of impressions and their interpenetration in terms of conscious thought. The Work of attaining to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel being in Tiphereth, the Centre of the Ruach, the result of success is to harmonise, concentrate, and glorify the medley of loose ideas which are suggested by the meaningless multiplicity of mental concepts.


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


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


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


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


It accepts the formulae of

(a) Duality,i.e., life as vibration.
(a-1) Death.
(a-2) The illusion of Knowledge.
(b) Exile.
(b-1) The Hunger of Lust.
(b-2) Labour.

It acquiesces in the shame of being a God concealed in animal form.


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

7 -- 16

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

The boat is of steel; that is, the consciousness must be able to resist the intrusion of all undesired thoughts.

Loving this ideal, the Aspirant frees himself from all that binds him (shame, selfishness, etc. -- ``loosing my girdle'') and loses his ego in Thought itself (cast myself into the stream).


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


He consecrates his creative energy to the Ideal.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

17 -- 26


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


In Ecstasy time does not count.


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


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


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


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


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


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

The Adept demands that ecstasy shall be constant.


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

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

''O end of all things visible and invisible!'' This not only means that all things -- being imperfect -- are destroyed, but that this is their true end -- ;GREEK their perfection.

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

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


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


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


Horus will be recognised as the explanation of all those energies of the Universe which we know must exist, although our senses cannot perceive them.

Men shall perceive Horus when they explore the mysteries of Nature -- e.g., the Unconscious in Man, or the structure of the Atom. He shall compel them to admit that He is the ultimate principle underlying all manifestation, against their old theories.

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

30 -- 36

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


He is pale, as having given his blood to his Work.

He is sad, as understanding the Sorrow of the Universe. (His Work has itself made him aware of this).

He is lying down, as weary and in doubt whether it be worth while to work.

He is on the marble; that is, the hard bare facts of existence, despite all polish, hurt his flesh.

He is in the sunlight; he sees only too clearly into Nature. His Angel shines upon him, but from inaccessible heights.

We weeps; he whose duty is to pour wine for the Gods, can but shed forth salt water upon the bare ground.

He has laid down and even forgotten his lute. He cannot make music; he has even lost the memory that he could do so of old.


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

37 -- 44

This passage is a parable with several applications.

  1. It describes the method of attaining Concentration by ``the Ladders'' (See Liber Aleph).

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

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

The main idea in all three matters is that one must apply the appropriate remedy to whatever malady may actually exist, not some ideally perfect medicine.

The first matter must be brought step by step through each stage of the process; it is useless to try to obtain the Perfect Tincture from it by making the Final Projection.

  1. It describes the whole course of Initiation.

These four meanings demand detailed exposititon, verse by verse.



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


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


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


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

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


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

(A tree is an idea, being phallic and bearing branches.)


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


Men are ruled by pride and other passions.


39 -- 40

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

41 -- 42

Having instructed them till they are really complete and ready for true initiation, tell them Truth.


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


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



The dolphin signifies any state of mind that is uneasy, ill-content, and unable to escape from its surroundings.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



The dolphin is the profane.

38 -- 39

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


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


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

42 -- 43

He then understands all Things, and at last becomes the All.


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

45 -- 49

This passage describes the Adept's reaction to Rapture. The main point is that all articulate description is futile.


Extravagant phrases attempt to record the Event.


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


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


All this is altogether beyond expression.


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

50 -- 52

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


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


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


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


His presence must leave me no light of my own.


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


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

57 -- 60

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


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


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


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


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


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

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



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

1 - 2

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

The collar represents completeness -- the ``infinity'' or ``eternity'' symbolized by a ring. It is round the neck, i.e., the seat of knowledge (Death -- the Visuddhi cakkra) and made of silver -- the metal of the Virgin Isis-Urania, who informs Pure Aspirations.

The name of this Unicorn (whose horn signifies the creative power) is ``The Green Line winds about the Universe.'' Note the etymology of Viridis, connected with vir and vis; also the idea of gyrat, reminding one of the aphorism ``God is He with the Head of the Hawk, having a spiral force.''

The Green Line, here chosen to connote the Limit of the Universe, suggests the Girdle of Venus. The boundary of Existence is thus not a fixed idea, but an ever-growing Vegetable Principle of Life, of the nature of Love. Summing up the doctrine, one may say that the intelligible expression of the pure creative Idea is the omniform principle of Growth.


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


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

Theli: li means secret satisfaction -- an idea connected with shame.

Lilith: li reduplicated and so become tedious ending in material darkness.

5 - 12

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

13 - 14

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


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


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


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


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

19 - 20

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


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

21 - 26

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

27 - 30

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

28 - 29

These verses are especially obscure, and must to a certain extent so remain. For they contain an allusion to the most secret and critical issue of the Magical career of ;gkTO MEGA OHPION. ``The red three-angled heart'' is the peculiar symbol of Ra-Hoor-Khuit; and the Prophet objected to accepting the Book of the Law, which proclaims Him, as being incompatible with his Oath to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel. Not until nineteen years later did he fully realize that the Holy Guardian Angel was concealed in this symbol R.H.K. but with ostensibly hostile glyphs. He is to be found in all phenomena soever.

31 - 32

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

33 - 36

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


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


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


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

40 - 48


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


Hatred for other souls -- pain of receiving truths.


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


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


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

45 - 46

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


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


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

49 - 50

The above ideas are here repeated in another symbol. The ``fount'' is Salmacis. The positive Individuality becomes the Universal and perfect Virgin of the World. See again Liber 418.

51 - 52

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


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


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


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


By His Knowledge and Conversation this transmutation is accomplished.

57 - 59

The ``foolish man'' is the natural man, the uninitiate. ``Foolish'' is empty, vain full of wind (A = ;heA = the Fool). He is contrasted with ``The Great Fool'' Atu 0, ;heA who is the first path from Kether. (Explain and give references).


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


The Adept identifies himself with this Pure Fool. He is indifferent to the Illusion of Phenomenal existence caused by the Magician (Pekht, Extension, Atu I, ;heB, 2, ;pl;ME Mayan).

The woman of the Mysteries (Isis, Atu II, ;heG, 3, ;plMO) does not spoil his purity with her phantastic reflections of Truth.

He is no more at the mercy of the Empress Atu III, The Emperor Atu IV, ;heT, 90, ;zoA and the Hierophant Atu V, ;heV, 6, ;zoT.

That is, neither the subtle distinctions (I, II) of Truth nor their gross images (III, IV, V) injure his perfection of Zero.


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

The gallows is found in Atu XII, ;heM, 40, ;atW (Cf verse 55) and on it is suspended, free from earth, the joyously moving (''dance'') form of the extended or manifested man (Atu VIII, ;pl;SU, 30, ;zoL the positive or expressed form of Atu 0, ;heA Aleph and Lamed the Key of CCXX).

60 - 61

(These verses might be read as Strophe and Antistrophe; but before when the Angel speaks, we are told so.)

The ``black shining waters'' are those of the Akasa, the menstruum of manifestation: the ``pearl'' is the rounded perfection of the Angel, who is thus a tangible symbol of the Formlessness of Nuit. (For ``black,'' again, see I:18 - 20.)


Although thus ultimate, the Angel is also in close tough with the Man. This explains the policy of 666, as outlined below. (Quote China Record, my G.W.)


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

64 - 65

The chapter ends with an outburst of lyrical exaltation. ``Every number is infinite; there is no difference.'' ``Now therefore I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing and any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.'' (Liber CCXX I:4 and 22.)

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


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

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

1 - 10

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


He calls the Adept ``Crystal heart'' implying that he is a concentration of light, energy, love, lucidity, and purity. It is these qualities in the Adept with which he communicates. This is the object of the preparation. The Adept must present this image perfectly before the Knowledge and Conversation can operate. That is, purification and consecration must precede invocation. It is extremely difficult even for a Master of the Temple even after years of contemplation to get it firmly into his consciousness that his material part is not he at all any more than any other collection of phenomena.

The Angel describes Himself as the serpent. The serpent is, of course the symbol of wisdom, immortality, royalty, and other similar qualities.

The Angel not only winds himself about the heart of the Adept but drives His head into the centre. He addresses the Adept as ``God my beloved'' obviously any member of so high an order of being has long assimilated the truth of Pantheism.


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


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


The intensity of the passion of the Angel is so great that He cannot express it even in music. The boat is here the symbol of consciousness, as in II:7 - 16. The tongue is the Logos of the Angel, and the unknown rivers new spheres of thought. The everlasting salt is the sorrow which tinctures the great sea of Binah, and the hopes by the above method to transcend the Trance of Sorrow in reference to all these possibilities.


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

7 - 8

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


A garden usually symbolizes a place of cultivated beauty; Oriental poets use it to express a collection of poems or wise sayings. The immortal kisses are the tokens of the operation of ``love under will'' which is perpetual. The Angel calls upon the Adept to display his brilliance as if the Knowledge and Conversation were a transcendental sacrament beyond that implied in all acts.

The opium poppy is a symbol of peace, exaltation, and delight, the giver of sleep, by which is meant the silencing of all possible distractions. The mouth of the Adept, the organ by which he is nourished, expresses his thoughts, and symbolizes his passions; by the kiss of this mouth is meant its surrender to the Angel, the act of marriage, and this is the key to the infinite sleep and lucid. Sleep has been explained above. It is infinite, being freed from the limitations of condition, and lucid as being characterized by pure vision. Shi-loh-am: the word means peace.


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

11 - 14

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


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


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


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


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

15 - 21

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


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


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


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


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


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


The Magister replies that although apparently enjoying the good things of life (so to speak) he has never for one instant forgotten that he is enjoying the love of his Angel. Neither by action of the fingers which grasp the curls or spiral energies of the Angel, nor by loss of concentration upon the eye (symbol of sight, creative energy, unity, etc. See also ``Eye of Horus'') of his lover did he fall from the summit of his Samadhi.

The Magister is therefore shown as perfectly initiated: he deliberately embraced the terrible illusion which is the source of all sorrow, and made it part integrally of the Great Work. There being no other direction from which misfortune might touch him, since he is protected by the Guardians of the Abyss from the interference of the Paths of Zayin and Cheth, he is henceforth immune.


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

1900 Aiwass ;GREEK.
15-1600 Dee and Kelly, Christian Rosencreutz, Luther, Paracelsus 1490 - 1541.
1300 Jacobus Burgundus Molensis.
6-700 Mohammed.
0 Apollonius of Tyana.
BX 300 Gautama Buddha.

NOTE. Scale of Time -- resolved images dilated presentation. Racehorse legs. In a series of m events, none of which suggest n. Cf. glyphs of A. spelling of words, etc.

Therefore no gauge of reality. (LXV I:32 seq.)

Philae is an island in the Nile, now submerged by industrialism famous for its Temple of Ahathoor.

In Liber VII VII:27, the Bennu Bird is identified definitely with the Phoenix -- or Set the Wild Ass -- through the symbolism of the Wand of the Second Adept in the Ritual of Adeptus Minor of R.R. et A.C.

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

22-27 describes this Event.
28-29 describes the state of the scribe.
30-32 describes the preparation of the scribe for his Attainment.
33-37 describes the Threshold of his Initiation.
38-41 describes the Initiation itself.
42-44 describes the Understanding thereby given of the necessary relations of Spirit and Matter.
45-53 describes the results of Initiation.
54-56 brings together the Attainment and the Equinox of the Gods.
57-60 answers the question thus propounded.
61-65 a prophecy concerning the future of the individual scribe, the circumstances in which he shall come to the Perfection of his Attainment.


The scribe recalls his incarnation as a priestess of Ahathoor, goddess of Love and Beauty.

He calls upon the forces of the Nile and of Sebek the crocodile that is dweller thereof. They are to put an end to the regimen of the Mother (Aeon of Isis).


Apophis replaces Isis.


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


This Day of Vengeance is the Aeon of Horus -- beginning with the Spring Equinox of 1904 E.V. (Note CCXX III:3 and the Avenger.) The ``little secret bone'' is found in the Phallus of the Bear. (Heb 6). This is an anatomical fact. The Bear is symbolic of part of ;GREEK 666 according to the description given of Him in the Apocalypse:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Rev: Cap: XIII.)

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

Khephra, the Scarabaeus Beetle, is the Sun at midnight. He appears in Atu XVIII (The Moon, referred to Pisces in the Zodiac) at the bottom of the hieroglyph, in a pool (the firmament of the Nadir). Above this is a path leading between two mountains crowned by towers. Beneath the Moon symbolic of glamour and illusion as opposed to the Moon of the Path of Gimel symbolic of Purity, Aspiration, etc., where goes the Holy Guardian Angel. This Path is guarded by two dogs or jackals symbolic of Anubis, guarder of the Threshold (see verse 34).

The meaning of the verse is thus that AIWAZ (revealed ``as a mighty serpent'' -- see above) has destroyed the principle of illusion. In particular, the belief of man that he is mortal (Osiris) must yield to the consciousness that he is the Crowned Child (Horus). My ``heart'' -- i.e. the human will and consciousness of Aleister Crowley is identified with the essence of the life of AIWAZ (the blood of His body is used by Him as the physical basis of His manifestation in CCXX).


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


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


The ``soul'' means Nephesch. The scribe is supported, even in his conscious weariness, by the certainty of his ``Unconscious'' that he has come to his Attainment, despite his human conscious forgetfulness of the fact.

He appeals to the Angel to flood the human consciousness with the ``Bliss of the Beloved,'' as heretofore expressed in this Book.


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


Nature and perfection are Isis and Nephthys, who prepare Osiris (see Papyrus of Ani and The Book of the Dead generally) for Initiation. The Candidate is here represented as their brother (Aleister Crowley is Vau of ;heIHVH, ``the stone,'' the human consciousness in Tiphereth -- male) but decked out as a bride (for he is symbolically feminine towards his Holy Guardian Angel, the Heart about to meet the Embrace of the Serpent. See, too, III:49 - 50).


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


The Ego realizes that the Holy Guardian Angel will annihilate it. It trembles, and this shaking of its identity is the token of its surrender (Compare the ecstasy of fear of Amfortas at the onset of his Healing; and see II:60 and 62 with several similar passages elsewhere. The doctrine is everywhere implicit; but compare also Liber 418, 14th Aethyr, etc.)

Also, the first appearance of the Angel is necessarily misunderstood; for while the human Ego exists, it is bound by the conditions of its being; and this implies a certain falsity of apprehension, the root of which is in the very illusion of Separateness which makes the Idea of an Ego possible.


The ``threshold'' is before the ``door'' or ``pylon'' of Daleth. (Daleth means a door; its attribution is Venus, pure Love, and its Path is from Chokmah to Binah, the base of the Triangle of the Supernals. This ``door'' is thus in all ways a fit symbol of the entrance to Initiation). The ``threshold'' is then below the Path of Daleth on the Tree of Life; i.e., it is in the Abyss.

The above symbolism refers strictly to the Attainment of Master of the Temple; but its Truth is reflected into the technically correct account of the Initiation of the Dominus Liminis to Adeptus Minor. Here the ``door'' is the third Reciprocal or Transverse Path (Daleth is the first) Pe which means a mount -- the door of the vital organs. Pe is the letter of Atu XVI the ``House of God'' or ``Blasted Tower.'' The Hieroglyph represents a Tower -- symbolic of the Ego in its Phallic Aspect, yet shut up, i.e., separate. This Tower is smitten by the Lightning Flash of Illumination, the impact of the Holy Guardian Angel and the Flaming Sword of the Energy that proceeds from Kether to Malkuth. Thence are cast forth two figures forming by their [...] attitude the letter [...]: [...] these are the twins (Horus and Harpocrates) born at the breaking-open of the Womb of the Mother (the second aspect of the Tower as a ``spring shut up, a fountain sealed''). The represent in respect of the male aspect of the [...] Tower the spermatozoa ([...] is [...] the sign in which is the Sun at the Winter Solstice, when the New Year begins) emitted when the Phallus is smitten by the ecstasy of the Orgasm (Lightning Flash) and ``blasted'' by losing its erection.

On the ``threshold'' the Dominus Liminis is menanced by the Paths [...] of [...] and [...] the Atus XIII, XIV, XV. (Temperance or Restriction, Death, and the Devil, which issue from Tiphereth the abode of His Angel to ward off the profane of the Outer Order of GD.

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

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

In the Initiation to Adeptus Minor, the conditions are altogether other. The aim is the attainment of unity not negativity, and there is no such perfection in the Sephiroth of the Ruach, Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, which compose the Grades of the Inner Order (R.R. et A.C.) as necessarily excluding Choronzon from the three Grades of the AA. The student is now referred to the Elemental Watch-Towers of Sir Edward Kelly (See The Equinox I:7 - 8). The four Elemental Tablets (12 ;tm 13) are bound together by the little Tablet of Spirit ( 4 ;tm 5), or, when the Tablets are arranged to show them each as a sub-section of the unity of Tetragrammaton by a black cross containing the letters of this little Tablet of Spirit. The names of evil demons are found notably by taking some imperfect and unbalanced symbol for the Watch-Towers such as a bilateral name from beneath the bar of the Calvary Cross in any of the Lesser Angles -- and prefixing the appropriate letter from the Black Cross.

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

Spirit may therefore be manifested either as the Holy Guardian Angel or as the Evil Persona, the Dweller on the Threshold, portrayed sensationally for trade by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his romance Zanoni. The doctrine is also frequently found in folk-lore, where man is represented as attended by both a good and an evil genius. The horror of the latter is intensified by his function as the alternative to the Holy Guardian Angel. Now, in the case of Exempt Adept, should he be beaten back from the City of the Pyramids by failure to comply perfectly with the formula of ``love under will'' he remains lost in the Abyss with no future possibility than to identify himself in turn with each incoherent and unintelligible phenomenon that appears in the sensorium of the man, who has been disintegrated as the first to each and every imperfection which claims to be. Entirely different is the case of the Dominus Liminis whose operation, if unsucessful, may be a simple failure perhaps due to no serious error of his own. Apart from slight discouragement he should be able to try again without disadvantage. Indeed he should have used his failure as a means of instruction. But he may also fail from not having thoroughly assimilated the injunction of the Hieraeus in the ceremony of his initiation into the Grade of Neophyte: ``Fear is failure and the forerunner of failure. Be thou therefore without fear! for in the heart of the coward Virtue abideth not!''

Similarly, he may have been unable to fulfil the formula of the Hierophant in that ceremony: ``Remember that Unbalanced Force is evil. Unbalanced Mercy is but weakness: Unbalanced Severity is but oppression.'' Once more the fascination of evil may be no less perilous than the fear. In any case he may expect to be confronted first of all by his Evil Genius (cf., further, the ceremony of Zelator in GD -- the appearance of the Angels Samael, Metatron, and Sandalphon). He may fail to abide the onslaught. He may be thrust back from the threshold, and his defeat may be more or less damaging according to circumstances. But his fear may be so great as to induce him to transform it into fascination, or his exhaustion so complete that he is prepared to purchase rest at any price. In either case the result may be that he accepts his Evil Persona as his Guardian Angel. I should be loth to assert that even so fearful a form of failure is necessarily fatal and final although evidently it must always create a disastrous Karma as involving the assertion fortified by the most solemn oaths and sealed by the most intense ecstasy of the absolute existence of evil, in a sense of the word, actually and ad hoc defined by himself, i.e., he has acquiesced in duality, established an interior conflict in himself, and ceremonially blasphemed and denied the unity of his own True Will. Appalling as is such a catastrophe, it lacks the element of finality since the principles involved do not extend above Tiphereth. He has become a Black Magician no doubt, but this is far indeed from being a Black Brother. It cannot even be said that such an one thereby manifests any tendency to become a Black Brother when the time is ripe; for his union even with the personification of Evil is also an act of love under will, though that will be false and vitiated by every conceivable defect and error. His chief danger is presumably that the intensity of the suffering which results from this may, as in the case of Glyndon in Zanoni, lead him to seek to escape altogether from Magick, to refrain from any act of love for fear lest he stray still farther from his true path. Let him remember the words of my brother: ``If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.'' Let him resolutely continue in iniquity, invoking the vengeance of the Gods, so that at the end the excess of his love and its transcendence of anguish may bring him back into the way of truth.

From the above it should have become clear how it is that the Evil Genius is within the Sanctuary of the Temple of the Rosy Cross whose formula is ``love under will,'' while Choronzon is excluded alike from that shrine and from the City of the Pyramids whose law, although still ``love under will,'' understands both those terms as without limit.


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

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

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

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


His method of combat as distinct from that of the Angel which is to pierce with a spear or smite with a thunderbolt is to envelope with his demoniacal and therefore illusory tentacles. This method is to restrict the Aspirant well knowing that ``the word of Sin is restriction.'' He succeeds in communicating the ``eight fears,'' which are connected with the eight heads of the stooping dragon. (See, for this symbolism, ``The Temple of Solomon the King,'' The Equinox I:1 - 3) They are the restrictions to the Supernal Triad attempted by the seven lower Sephiroth and Daath. Hence the Stooping Dragon is shown on the Tree of Life below the Abyss after the Fall, and on the floor of the Vault of Christian Rosencreutz. In the older symbolism they are the eight Keys of Edom.


The Aspirant is ``anointed with the right sweet oil of the Magister.'' The Magister pertaining to Binah, this oil may be taken to symbolize his Neschamah or aspiration. See the account of the Holy Oil given in Book 4, Part II. (The Holy Oil is the Aspiration of the Magician; it is that which consecrates him to the performance of the Great Work; and such is its efficacy that it also consecrates all the furniture of the Temple and the instruments thereof. It is also the grace or chrism; for this aspiration is not ambition; it is a quality bestowed from above...It is the pure light translated into terms of desire. It is not the Will of the Magician, the desire of the lower to reach the higher; but it is that spark of the higher in the Magician which wishes to unite the lower with itself.) Also the essential property of oil is to diminish friction and increase ease of movement. It is therefore the precisely right reply to this type of attack.

Furthermore, the Aspirant compares himself to a stone, which refers to the cubic stone symbolic of perfect adeptship, being the squared and equilibrated perfection of the spiritual Masonry; it is bounded by six squares which signify protection by Macroprosopus. See also the symbolism of the Stone in the Zohar, a subject far too extensive to make more than this single indication practicable. There is, furthermore, an identification of the Stone with the Sacred Phallus and of the Sun as worshipped in the Temple of Diana at Ephesus and in the word ABRASAX. In our own holy books, see V:6 and 58 of this Book and Liber VII V:2. (We made as a temple of stones in the shape of the Universe, even as thou didst wear openly and I concealed). In this last connection note the proper juxtaposition of stones as symbolic of the Great Work. This is to be found also in The Voice of Silence, where those who have attained build themselves into a wall to protect mankind. See also Liber VII VII:6. (We know why all is hidden in the stone, within the coffin, within the mighty sepulchre, and we too answer Olalam! Imal! Tutulu! as it is written in the ancient book).

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


The aspirant is smooth; his qualities have been perfectly harmonised. He is hard, having perfected his resistance to extreme pressure. The analogy is with ivory. Ivory is the substance of the tooth, the letter Shin of the Holy Spirit and also of the substance of the skeleton on which his being is being built. The sound Sh moreover represents the power of silence as well as the activity and alertness which accompany the will to manifest oneself through one's True Will. I here quote from my original notes on the intrinsic meaning of the letter: ``S is the serpent-hiss, the sharp breath, teeth bared yet clenched, which is the natural token of alarm, hate, defiance, natural to a man who meets his fellow-aberration from legitimate monkeyhood. By it he recognizes his brother, and names him accordingly, when need was. (Later, when alarm had died, we have still ``sh!'' -- Hush! -- not a call for Silence, which it breaks, but a claim on the Attention of other men.) In S is this idea of fear and anger, combines these ideas; so the first S-gods were storm-gods.

Later, this breath, air moving in men, might be known for a proof that he lived; then this breath-letter, S, might come to mean ``life.'' For instance, God breathes on Adam to make him a ``living soul,'' and Elisha raises a boy to life by breathing on him. The Ruach Elohim again is a Breath that broods Chaos. At last we find a Holy Ghost begetting by dint of a breath. And was not Maut the Mother-Vulture impregnated by the wind? Perhaps too the hiss of the rain which fertilizes earth, as even a savage must observe in tropical lands where the result is so swift, may have helped him to the convention that S should mean life. This rain comes from the air which he breathes, though from beyond him; it seems then to him natural to make Zeus or Shu rain-gods and life-gods as well as air-gods, storm-gods, names for the fierce, the fearful anger which at first only meant ``an enemy'' -- his fellow-man!'' (Diary, June 1920).

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


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


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


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


Cf. II:15, similar passage. I:33 - 41 especially verses 33 and 39.

Immediately the Adept has attained to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel he loses no time, but goes on the way of his True Will, borne upon the flood of the physical life which he has spilt in order to enjoy the impersonal and effortless life in communion with his Angel.

42 - 44

Present a lyrical picture of the Mystery of Evil.


The bliss of the union of the Adept and his Angel appears to contain a flaw, in that being an operation of change ``the taint of generation'' it shares the impermanence of all complex phenomena and therefore the liability to sorrow. See verse 21.


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


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

45 - 53

This passage is the most difficult in the Chapter. It is difficult to consider its verses separately. Yet there seems to be no proper coherence in them, no single orderly idea is their diversity.

The solution seems to be in the direction of a realisation that the passage is in the nature of progressive discovery. It resembles the account of a mental journey. One of the keys to it is the sudden shifting of the point of view noted above, vv. 43 - 44. The contemplation of Beauty leads to the reflection upon the elements of Beauty which we do not recognise as beautiful because our sensorium is not adjusted to that stage of existence. Cf. my poem on ``Ovariotomy'', where the plastic beauty of woman seems to be destroyed by cutting her up. Yet the beauty reappears in a different form when the cells of which she is composed are examined under the microscope. Let us apply this key to the passage here under consideration.


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


The work of Saturn seems no longer mysterious and terrible because its nature changes and is lost in the admirable result of its operation.


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


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


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

50 - 51

Show the two forms in which this plan can be executed.


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Now, through the ruddy glow of the cup, I may perceive far above, and infinitely great, the vision of Babylon. And the Beast whereon she rideth is the Lord of the City of the Pyramids, that I beheld in the fourteenth Aethyr. (Twelfth Aethyr)

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

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

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

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

Not Thou, O God! (Liber VII VII:28 - 33.)

A principal symbol of Chokmah as the Phallic Mercury is the eye I quote from the vision of Him as observed in The Paris Working:

``He (Mercury) is essentially phallic, but he has a book in his hand, the Book which has one hundred and six pages. On the last page, as a colophon, is a four-pointed star, very luminous, and this is to be identified with the eye of Shiva, and the book pertains to the Grade of 7ø = 4;bx. The Sub-title of the Book is BIA, which is said to mean `force';th''.

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


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

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

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


``The old gray sphere that rolls in the infinite Far-off'' is the earth; for the place into which the Adept is caught up to hold communion with his Angel is remote from the material Universe. Nevertheless this wine which may symbolise CCXX itself or even the poetry or the biography of the man 666 is guaranteed to posses the virtue of intoxicating the inhabitants of this planet.

The final symbol is strangely and even formidably vivid. The reference to the dogs, the blood, and the swift rider suggest the story of Jehu and Jezebel, but the allusion is not accurate or altogether intelligible. The general symbolism is nevertheless sufficiently clear. Cf., in the first place, III:40, V:8, Liber VII VII:15 - 16. Cf. also the uniform representation of the Adept as a maiden or harlot. For the swift rider Cf. IV:38 - 39 and the general symbolism of the Angel as bearer of the sacred lance or phallus and as mounted on a horse to indicate his swiftness and his power over the animal nature.

Blood is constantly used as a symbol of the flowing life the vehicle of animal energy.

The meaning of the verse is then that this spilth of the orgia of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel becomes the nourishment and the means of intoxication of the dogs, i.e. of animals of a lower stage of evolution. It is however, hinted that they contain in themselves the hidden godhead. See CCXX II:19. They have only to reverse their magical formula to attain the divinity. Note also the use of the word `lap' which suggests their thirst, eagerness and enjoyment, but also is connected with the symbolism of the number 111. This implies the `thick darkness' and the `sudden death' involved in the process of Initiation. There is also the whole doctrine of ``The Fool.'' Besides all this, the word `lap' is in the Angelic Language. (See The Equinox I:8, The 48 Calls or Keys.'') Because thus indicating that the limitation and sorrow of these dogs is due to their subservience to the faculty of reason. ``There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason. Now a curse upon Because and his kin! May Because be accursed for ever! If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops and does nought. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite and unknown; and all their words are skew-wise. Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog! (Liber CCXX II:27 - 33.)

The student should mediate upon these considerations until he has thoroughly assimilated them, severally and in combination. He should then construct a visual projection of the scene described in this verse. In this way he should eventually arrive at a direct intuitive apprehension of the way in which the life work of 666 may avail him to become partaker of the sacrament of initiation. Cf. also Liber VII III:16, 20 - 25 (241), 49 - 50, 56 - 60, IV:17 - 24, VII:47 - 49. I have emphasised the importance of this passage on the following consideration:

My own magical career began by my taking an oath to attain Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel on entirely selfish and personal grounds. I had, it is true, experienced the Trance of Sorrow, but the motive power in this Trance to formulate the oath was strictly confined to my individual dissatisfaction with the [...] in which I found myself -- as far as I know without any intention of my own. In the course of preparing to carry out the Operation of the Sacred Magic of Abremelin the Mage, I discovered that my interests were inseparable from those of humanity at large. I however formulated my True Will in this way. My mission on earth was to teach men ``the next step,'' i.e. to induce them to devote themselves to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel as opposed to more philosophically universal tasks such as the Hindu and Buddhist sages proposed. It was my own attainment that compelled me to extend the scope of my Work to the function of the Logos of the Aeon much as has been explained in the passages of this Chapter just discussed. The two most important works of strictly inspired origin which I have produced are LXV and VII and it now becomes clear that it is natural and necessary that this should be so. For Liber LXV covers every possible point that may arise in connection with the Grade of Adeptus Minor, and Liber VII of Magister Templi.

61 - 63

Beginning with verse 54 the subject of this Chapter and indeed of the whole book has undergone a process of modification. Perviously it had been concerned almost exclusively with the relation between the Angel and the man, the only variety being due to the division of the man for convenience into Nephesch, Ruach, and so on. Indeed if we identify the Angel with Yechidah it might be fair to say that Liber LXV is nothing but an extended comment upon Column LXVII of Liber 777. But now we reach firstly the consciousness of the Universe in its totality and then the peculiar relation of 666 with his fellow men. We have seen that his function in the life of the Planet has been defined, and it is consequently not unnatural that the Angel should indicate the actual physical condition of His future relations with 666.


The Angel declares Himself to be the Soul of the Desert. This remark may be taken generally as a reference to His attribution to the Path of Gimel which joins Kether and Tiphereth crossing the Abyss or Desert whose essential characteristic is the absence of a soul. See Liber 418, 10th Aethyr. Choronzon is defined as soullessness. Protean as are the forms of his appearance this quality is common to them all that there is no essence behind them. They are the Qliphoth (shells or husks), devoid of meaning or substance because mere categories uninformed by any individuality. Gimel incidentally means a camel `the ship of the desert'. Cf. Liber VII VII:22 - 23, and Liber 333 Chapter 73:


Death rides the Camel of Initiation.;tx

Thou humped and stiff-necked one that groanest in Thine Asana, death will relieve thee!

Bite not, Zelator dear, but bide! Ten days didst thou go with water in they belly? Thou shalt go twenty more with a fire brand at they rump!

Ay! All thine aspiration is to death: death is the crown of all thine aspiration. Triple is the cord of silver moonlight; it shall hang thee, O Holy One, O hanged Man, O Camel-Termination-of-the-third-person-plural for thy multiplicity, thou Ghost of a Non-Ego!

Could but Thy mother behold thee, O thou Unt!

The Infinite Snake Anata that surroundeth the Universe is but the Coffin-Worm!

V.V.V.V.V. is the Motto of 666 in his Grade of Magister Templi. See Liber LXI 29 - 30. The function of the Magister Templi is to cause the desert to blossom by transmitting the Logos of the Aeon to those that are below the Abyss.

Apart from this general signification there is a personal allusion to 666 who is Alastor, the Spirit of Solitude. Foolish Rabbins have included this symbol in their list of demons. To the well-fed Pharisee as to the modern bourgeois nothing seems more frightful than solitude in which the mind is compelled to face reality. Such people fear nothing so much as the wilderness. The very legend of their tribe deals with the ``land of milk and honey'', the Promised Land, the wish phantasm of the sensual.

Observe that this is merely a matter of point of view. V:59 - 62. What is to the smug Jew with his Oedipus complex the extreme abomination is to us a ``land beyond honey and spice and all perfection,'' though we call it `Naught.' We consider them `weary ones' and their ideal of comfort and civilisation as `old grey land'. De gustibus non est disputandum. But there is a criterion in this case by which we can determine whether we or they have chosen the better part. For it is evident that no condition of existence can be really satisfactory if its joy is liable to be disturbed. The question is whether its nature is harmonious with that of the Universe. For stability depends thereon. We should find consequently that the ideal of the bourgeois is repose and his conception of the Cosmos static. Now we find that this is not the case. The Universe is a constant flux. To desire repose is thus contrary to Nature herself. We accept this fact and define the Black Brothers directly as those who seek to check the course of events. The bourgeois is for us therefore a clumsy ignorant amateur Black Magician. Our idea of joy is unchecked free motion, and the stability of our joy is assured by our very conception of Yesod. We find the change the more fixed we are in our joy. (Refer to the ?th and 3rd Aethyrs, and several similar passages in the Holy Books.) We are guaranteed by the nature of things in themselves whereas the bourgeois is constantly upset by such trivial matters as the efflux of time and the rate of exchange.

The hardships of desert life and in particular its psychological horror indicate the correspondence emphatically.

Apart from this reference to Alastor the word again recalls the historic events of the 3rd of December, 1909 E.V. at Bou Saada when 666 ceremonial underwent the Initiation into the Grade of Magister Templi. This points the allusion. From this it is evident that the import of these verses is entirely practical. They are not to be taken in a mystical sense, but as definitely predicting a Great Magical Retirement, to be undertaken by 666 at some period in the future. There do not seem to be any clear indications as to the date of this journey, but its conditions are laid down with considerable precision and the actual place the `consummation' is described in terms which should leave no room for doubt.

The student should refer to the accounts of such events as the finding of the Villa Caldarezzo if he would learn to interpret the instructions communicated by means of visions and oracles.

I have always taken this passage in this sense. I have expected to find sooner or later that my circumstances were such that afterwards it would be found to have been a precise and exact fulfilment of this prediction. At the moment of writing this Comment some such journey is actually in contemplation and it may be part of the preparation for that journey that I should have been moved to devote my energies to the analysis of this Book. It is therefore immediately pertinent to my own work and should be exceedingly useful in the most practical way to the student to trace out as minutely as possible the probable bearings of the symbolism of the text.

In view however of the extreme importance of this Great Magical Retirement it would be in the last degree improper to discuss it coram populo while yet inchoate. Moreover it is a well-known characteristic of all true prediction that while some of the allusions should be intelligible at the time of utterance so that its general bearing should be unmistakeable there should be other passages altogether beyond the possibility of interpretation until the occurence of the event foretold. In Macbeth and Part II of Henry VI, Act I, Scene 4 and Act IV, Scene 1, lines 30 - 35, and Act V, Scene II, lines 67 - 69 illustrate this condition. The student is also referred to the interpretation and fulfilment of CCXX III:47. (Put in a short account.) No amount of investigation would have enabled me to say in what sense the words of the prediction would justify themselves.

In the case of the Great Magical Retirement indicated in these verses the data are singularly precise. Even in the matter of the effect of the Work, verse 63, there are a number of unusual expressions -- `bedecked', `anointed', `Consummation' -- which are at present and must be, until the event, perfectly obscure. The verse is superficially the maximum of vagueness. These expressions might apply to almost any form of intercourse between Aiwass and the Beast. When the Retirement is a matter of history it will appear that these express with the almost mathematical precision the nature of the orgia, and that no other words exist which could replace them adequately. This circumstance should be irrefutable proof to those who understand anything of the laws of Nature expecially in regard to the doctrine of probability that Aiwass possesses the power of foretelling future events and bringing them to pass in conformity with His plans. The vagueness of the expression at present is evidently an essential part of this proof. For if I were able to interpret them with certainty in the striking and convincing way which time will permit me to do, I should be able by the exercise of prudence to arrange for the fulfilment of the prediction and thereby destroy its evidential character.

This paragraph was dictated by me to Frater O.P.V. on the evening of 17th July, 1923, E.V. (In fact 10-10.20 p.m. Tuesday, 17th July, 1923, at the Hotel Au Souffle du Zephir, Marsa Plage, Tunisia). (An XIX, Sol in 24ø Cancer, Luna in 14ø Virgo). The passage will be shown for confirmation to Eddie.


The language of this verse is curiously extravagant yet curiously exact. The impression is that the Angel is doing violence to the language by compelling ambiguous glyphs to assume definite form.

Refer to III:12 and my Comment upon them. Verses 64 - 65 apparently fix the connotation of the word `consummation' in verse 63.

It is difficult to assign any exact reason for my impression, but that impression is that the love will extend no more as hitherto merely to Tiphereth (Liber LXV) or to Binah (Liber VII) but to Kether and the Ain Soph (Limitless). The endless One seemed to be Kether. At least, I cannot think of any alternative. It may legitimately be described as endless on account of its unity. But in that case what meaning can we assign to `permitted end'? The suggestion is that there are really two ends, one permitted, i.e., arbitrarily assigned, the other inherent in its nature. The reference might then be either to Malkuth or to the Ain.

Alternative `end' may not represent `finis' but 
The permitted end may be paraphrased the lawful goal.

Again `endless' might be taken as equivalent to objectless. The canon of perfection of will is given in CCXX, I, 44: -- For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is in every way perfect.''

Kether as unity may be described as endless because it is itself a result, a product of `love under will,' the resolution of the Dyad.

The Universe is compared to a `girdle for the midst of the ray of our love,' as if that ray were a limitless line of light. The totality of manifested existence would then be the boundary of the simple) central)
section of this love.

This state of things will arise when each of the two lovers has become identified with the infinite idea of which he is naturally a (centralized or constricted) particular case. In other words, the Angel and the Adept will each have attained to self-annihilation or dissolution in the being of Nuit and Hadit respectively, and thus the point of junction, the bridal chamber, will be in the midst of the Universe of the finite phenomena precipitated by the union of the infinite complementaries. The Universe will in fact be determined by the ray which represents the will to love of these two. The phenomenon is therefore parallel with that of the fundamental act of creation. This formula is so profound and important that it must be apprehended and assimilated by study of the theories concerning it in CCXX before the student can expect to attach any truly definite meaning to the ideas which I have endeavoured to translate into the language of intellectual concepts.

Besides all this there is undoubtedly a Neschamic or Samadhic meaning to verse 64 which is not in any way susceptible of intellectual interpretation unless by a Magister Templi who has made a special effort to construct a language capable of being the Abyss between Neschamah and Ruach, between the Samadhic and the normal conditions of consciousness.


The conclusion -- and be it remembered that this whole chapter concerns itself with the expression of the Unconscious Will -- is that the 'Consummation' of the K. and C. of the H.G.A. whose connotation is fixed by verse 64 is the complete and irrevocable absorption of the human consciousness of the Adept in that of his H.G.A. The symbol of the heart i.e. of the passive passionate life of the Adept is consumed (consummation) in the divine and eternal life represented by the serpent. The serpent is a vibration of energy whose complementary curves appear as death and life. It is the change of direction at the solstitial points of the curves which produce the illusion of stasis and therefore invite nomenclature on the part of those who fail to understand the continuity of the line, seeing as they do only a minute arc of it. The idea is cognate when the serpent is taken as in verse 54. Whatever glyph be chosen the thought is the same. The consummation implies the transformation of the reverberatory vibration of human life into the continuous serpentine spiral vibration of that pure energy which is not assuaged by its results, which neither lusts for its results nor is assuaged by them.


This Chapter is attributed to the element of Spirit; it deals consequently with the harmonization, in terms of humanity, of the Four Blind Forms of Energy. In previous chapters the man 666, being so gross and complex an idea, had no natural right to any place in the relations of his Angel, and the Adept which he has selected and perfected in himself. 666, `the scribe' (etc., as he is called in various passages) must formulate a link between himself and those others. (See I:41 - 49, etc.)

But as Spirit, descending into the midst of Fire, Water, Air and Earth, constitutes them an Unity, Microprosopus, so this Chapter resumes the previous four; it applies them to 666. It explains how the Chymical Marriage of his Magical Self with his Angel affects the totality of his being. The language is consequently less technical; indeed, some passages are intelligible as they stand to quite uninitiated minds.


666 has begun to understand his relation with the Marriage in Chapter IV:54 seg. For the root of Yod (in Tetragrammaton) is in the `Unconscious' which connects the human consciousness with the Magical. Cf. Chapter I:41, `the echo of your kisses'; because the reality of such relations is beyond articulate apprehension; one can be conscious only of the reflection (in terms of the Ruach) of Neschamic intuition.

The fact accounts for the impotent babble of the Mystics of old time: they are compelled to rely on rhetorical devices like the use of such words as `ineffable' and of magnificently mysterious metaphors. But now at last S.H. Frater V.V.V.V.V., 8ø = 3;bx, has collaborated with G.H. Frater O.M., 7ø = 4;bx, to construct a true language with accurately defined symbols in which the [...] of the AA (above the Abyss) may be translated into those of the R.R. et A.C. (below the Abyss). See Liber DCCXIII vel Ararita: several passages, but especially V:1 - 8. The bulk of my writings upon the Orgia of the Holy Spirit of Man, from the Sword of Song, Konx Om Pax, and 777, to the Bagh-i-Muattar and my Magical Records are perhaps principally valuable to mankind as the first systematic essays in the interpretation of the Intuition of Neschamah to the Intellect of Ruach.

``The Treasure-House of Pearls'' -- See 777, Column 127, where Pearls are attributed to the First Palace (The Three Supernals) and to the Seventh (Yesod and Malkuth). But the symbolism of the Pearl -- or of Dew -- is peculiarly appropriate to descriptions of the Chymical Marriage. The Pearl is zro (see the Bagh-i-Muattar; The Lost Continent, etc. a cloudy Nebula containing the Rashith-ha-Gilgalim of the new Universe created of the Quintessence of the Substance of the Unity of the Angel and the Adept, expressed therefrom by virtue of ``love under will'' at the moment of Rapture.

In Chapter I, the Chapter of Earth, the scribe or prophet 666 is wroth, importunate, laborious, and ashamed. He had not succeeded in establishing the proper relations. He has now succeeded: ``let me listen'' is not a demand or request. It implies the power as in a true subjunctive. Cf. ``Let there be light.'' He does not wait for an answer.


He continues with absolute confidence to indicate the source of his powers. He notes that the starry heaven (Nuit) is `shaken' i.e., its continuum is disrupted by the Chymical Marriage. At the other extreme his own static condition is destroyed. He understands himself not as a fixed being of wrath but as the ``the flying spark of light'' -- a pure dynamic vibration. This conception, first formulated in Liber CCXX, and explained already in this Comment, is in fact the first condition of what the Buddhists call Samma Dithi -- right views. So long as a man thinks of himself as a being rather than as an energy he attributes to himself not, as the profane suppose stability, but stagnation, which is death. Moreover this spark is practically identified with the rapture of the Chymical Marriage.


It has been explained that the absolute surrender of the false self is the first condition of the existence of the True Self. While 666 seemed to himself a separate existence he remained impotent. Immediately he understands himself as ``whirled away by the great wind of your perfection.'' The Angel tells him of his success on just that plane of illusion which he has abandoned. The sorrow and failure of 666 arise from his contemplation of his fellow men, of the imperfection and wretchedness, the weariness of existence of this planet. He had found that his personal efforts, so far from remedying the mischief, tended rather to increase it. Now however, that his personality has been destroyed, it becomes efficient. It is impossible to change any fixed state by working upon it from the same level. At most one can rearrange its character by the formula of ;heALIM (see Book 4, Part III, Chapter IV), the formula of witchcraft. However one may manipulate the digits of a number divisible by 9, it remains a multiple of that number. (Consider attentively the whole doctrine connected with the number 9. The references have already been indicated in this Comment.).

The world of Assiah is a crystallization of the Atziluthic idea Briah and Yetzirah. It can be effectively modified by the import of some other Atziluthic quintessence. It is therefore useless for 666 as being of Assiah to attempt to redress it. He can only do so by exalting himself to Atziluth by the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the H.G.A., and approaching Assiah through Briah from Yetzirah.

The Angel spontaneously promises 666 that his True Will shall be made operative. The minute spark of his individuality shall be enkindled to a great light and this light shall consume the impurity of the `grey city in the old and desolate land'.

This Book was written down in London, and the apparent reference in the first instance is to that city. The text may mean that in some way or other 666 will become `a great light', a portentious phenomenon pregnant with destruction in the eyes of its inhabitants.

On this interpretation it is not clear what is meant by ``its great impurity'' or how the manifestation of 666 should ``cleanse it therefrom.'' The proper method of exegesis which immediately suggests itself is to collate the passages in the Holy Books which refer to that city, and to study them in the light of the historical events in which 666 has taken part. Even so, despite certain possibly significent incidents it would appear that some such event is still in the future.

There is of course no sure token that this interpretation is valid. An alternative might be sought in the numerical value of the Greek equivalent of ``grey city'' or it may transpire that some city has a peculiar right to be designated as grey.

Further, the allusion may be strictly poetic metaphor; ``grey city'' may mean no more than a place where men assemble, a gloomy, foggy place where men assemble. (Vide Chapter IV:59 - 60).


Cf. verse 21, Liber CCXX III:16, also Chapter I:44. It seems to be implied throughout that the work of 666 should be in a peculiar sense secret. See Liber CCXX I:10. I am to operate important changes in human society apart from the cardinal change affecting the onset of the Aeon of Horus and the proclamation of the Law of Thelma. I shall further see the results of my work at least in a certain measure, and it is important that I shall not permit myself to be disheartened by contemplation of them or satisfaction with them.


This verse confirms the interpretation of verse 3. There is a quite different reference to the Equinox of the Gods, ABRAHADABRA, the magical Formula of the Aeon (not to be confused with the Word of the Law of the Aeon) represents the establishment of the pillar or phallus of the 5 Alephs. Aleph is a void or kteis, being the Atu marked 0.

The general symbol is repeated in particular terms. Isis and Osiris govern respectively the two Aeons (of the Kether and the Dying God) through which we have passed. The fulfilment of Asi by Asar indicates that their operation is complete, their conjunction having resulted in the appearance of Horus (Heru-ra-Ha in his twin aspects (a) Force and Fire, and (b) Silence). 

The verse tells us that that has come to pass which it was the Great Work of 666, in his official relation to the AA as opposed to his personal career as a magician, to proclaim.

The ``Animal Soul of things'', i.e., the Nephesch of the World. The Lord of the Aeon represents more than a new stage in the progressive infiltration of the darkness of matter by light. He acts directly on the World of Assiah.

Note in particular the form which he assumes -- that of a ``fiery star that falleth upon the darkness of the earth.'' It is as a meteor or thunderbolt that he invades the planet. (Note that he is ``let down'' from the earth he appears as of terrific import, but from the point of view of the Gods he is imbued with all possible gentleness.


The symbolism of midnight and of the ``black gnarled glittering stone'' suggests a reference to Atu XVIII where Khephra the Beetle, the Sun of Midnight, appears travelling in his bark under the Heaven. (The stone is everywhere conventionally accepted as a symbol of Sol.) Despite the promise of the symbol -- ``there is a budding morrow in midnight'' -- this first appearance of Horus is obscure and frightful. Yet He is found in this form and worshipped.

The nature of the symbol is rendered unmistakable by the additional epithets; a ``child'' indicates the irresponsible and innocent mischievousness. ``My conqueror'' further defines Him as overcoming the opposition of the inertia or natural prejudice of the `old guard' of the profane. (Cf. Liber CCXX III as a whole, and in particular verses 3 - 9, II:17 - 18, 28, 32, 42, 46, 49 - 55, 59, 70 - 72.)

``My sword-girt'' captain. This emphasises the warrior aspect in which Horus is to make his first appearance.

Taking these verses as having direct reference to the first publication of The Book of the Law in London, observe that nine months after The Equinox I(10), the War broke out so that Horus was actually worshipped in exactly this aspect in the quite unreasonable way predicted.


``My prophet'', as in verse 4, refers to 666. Cf. Liber CCXX I:26, etc. This title is given to him more frequently than any other. The term `prophet' or `forth-speaker' is contrasted with `The Beast' which is connected with my function in Tiphereth, implying my manhood, kingship, my mastery of ecstacy, and as fulfilling the function referred to in the Apocalypse so far as the confusion caused by the corruption of the text of that Book permits us to calculate.

The title ``priest'' refers to the function of serving the Gods proclaimed in Liber CCXX, and administering the Sacrament (the new Magick, formula A...A, etc). The title ``prince'' may be connected with the attribution to Tiphereth, since Microprosopus is the Vau of Tetragrammaton, Vau having the value of 6, and corresponding to the four princes (sometimes called Emperors) of the Tarot.

The ``prophecy'' here mentioned is first of all CCXX Chapter III, this book itself, and various other poems, essays and rituals. Liber 418, Aethyr I.

The second paragraph indicates Horus in his active and adult aspects. The student is referred to the complete exposition of the meaning of the letter Aleph, in particular to that part of it in which it is explained that `the babe in the egg of blue, Harpocrates in whom all power is latent, he being Harpocrates, Bacchus Diphues, Zeus, Baphomet, Parzifal as the `pure fool', the Great Fool of the Celtic legends, the child Hermes, etc., in the first stage of pantomorphous innocence, develops at puberty into Parzifal the Knight-errant, who obtains the Crown by winning the King's daughter (a mystery on which the actual customs of many primitive races are founded). (See J.G. Frazer in The Golden Bough.) The phallic Hermes, the Baphomet of Atu XV, Zeus who assumes the form of a beast in order to impregnate various women (the Scarlet Woman) as in Atu XI. See also the legends of Beauty and the Beast, the Devil of the Sabbath, the Minotaur, Hercules (at first disguised as weaponless and ambisexual), many Asiatic legends.

The Lord of the present Aeon, two in one (Vau, He, Atu VI, born of union of Yod and He) has thus been subject of prophecy throughout history. His nature, function, and relation with the other Gods, is thus a matter of common knowledge among initiates or even the scholars. At the same time his present appearance is in a sense an original phenomenon. For He is represented in CCXX as the third to Nuit and Hadit, nay rather as the first, Nuit and Hadit being wholly beyond the comprehension of any but The Beast and his Bride and ``the winners of the Ordeal X'' (CCXX III:22). He is therefore shown as springing spontaneously. There is no reference to Isis and Osiris the traditional father and mother of Horus in the Egyptian theology.

``Around thee the maidens shall dance, and bright babes be born unto them.'' One is reminded of the almost universal practice of circumambulating or dancing round the lingam, Maypole, or other cognate symbol of the creative faculty. The voice of scandal suggests that the women who adopted this rite made it effective by physiological precautions. But even so the aptness (congruity) of the two methods is evident and philoprogenitiveness is justified of her children no less than Wisdom. The Puritans rightly asserted that the Maypole was a lingam and May-day a Priapic festival.

The remaining section of the verse is extremely obscure. Humility seems to be discountenanced by The Book of the Law as incompatible with the proper understanding of oneself as a star, a king, or sovereign being, no less than the greatest of the Gods. It is further likely to lead to Sin, i.e., Restriction, since the humble are liable to fail to assert their independence and their right. From this it would appear that in some sense or other humility must be a positive virtue whose climax in an ``ecstacy of abasement'' is no less worthy of respect than any other form of trance. See Yi, Chapter XV, on the Khien Hexagram. This Hexagram is composed of the trigram of the former principle modifying the symbol of earth. See the last Trigram in Liber Trigrammaton. ``Therefore was the end of it sorrow; yet in that sorrow a sixfold star of glory whereby they might see to return unto the stainless Abode; yea, unto the stainless Abode.'' (Liber XXVII.) Abasement means movement towards the base, towards the foundation, Yesod, which represents the resolution of the antinomy Stability -- Change. Observe the sympathetic harmony of all these symbols and compare them further with the doctrine of the Tao Teh King with regard to the supreme strength of water, low-lying and the apotheosis of weakness in the sense understood in the Tao Teh King throughout. I take this opportunity, moreover, to quote The Book of Lies.


Soft and hollow, how thou dost overcome the hard and full!
It dies, it gives itself; to Thee is the fruit!
Be thou the Bride; thou shalt be the Mother hereafter.
To all impressions thus. Let them not overcome thee; yet let them breed within thee. The least of the impressions, come to its perfection, is Pan.
Receive a thousand lovers; thou shalt bear One Child.
This child shall be the heir of Fate the Father.


Ex nihile N. I. H. I. L. fit.
N. the Fire that twisteth itself and burneth like a scorpion.
I. the unsullied ever-flowing water.
H. the interpenetrating Spirit, without and within.
Is not its name ABRAHADABRA?
I. the unsullied ever-flowing air.
L. the green fertile earth.
Fierce are the Fires of the Universe, and on their daggers they hold aloft the bleeding heart of earth.
Upon the earth lies water, sensuous and sleepy.
Above the water hangs air; and above air, but also below fire -- and in all -- the fabric of all being woven on Its invisible design, is


Cap: 86

From this it is manifest that the humility and abasement referred to have no relation to the Xth ``virtue'' to which that name is given. The humility of Uriah Heep and Pecksniff, of Tartuffe, the ``crucified Jesus'' of the Y.M.C.A., C.I.C.C.U., and similar associations of the herd, which goes with hypocrisy, envy, low, cunning, and that whole complex of fear qualities which are characteristic of those who know themselves inferior. It is curious to reflect that in England we associate this frame of mind with Christianity, especially with Romish Christianity, whereas on the Continent those precise recessions are attributed to Judaism.

The ``humble ones'' in this passage are evidently employing a definite magical formula with their absolute energy and confidence.

The results of the manifestation of Horus are now said ``to transcend the Known and the Unknown with somewhat that hath no name.'' It is quite clear that this is so, but far from obvious why the fact should be so firmly emphasised and explained, especially in such unusual and obscure terminology. The word ``it'' in the last sentence may refer to the nameless ``somewhat'' or to ``all this''.

The ``secret Place of Silence'' is the womb of Nuit or ``egg of blue'' which conceals the babe Harpocrates.

The ``Arcanum that is opened'' may perhaps be paraphrased ``the secret truth that is manifested.'' The Abyss may always be taken to signify ``absence of ground.'' It is the form or means of manifestation of anything which is not so manifested. Alternatively, it may be the abyss that is opened, that is to say made available for investigation.

``All this'' has no name because it is ``the unity uttermost showed'' (see CCXX III:37) of Horus. His identity absorbs these diverse phenomena with equal absoluteness. In the perfect purity of the child, or pure fool, (Parzifal, asked his name, answers ``Ich weiss nicht'') all differences vanish for ever; see CCXX I:4 and 22 - 23. This verse 7 may therefore be summarised somewhat as follows:

The proclamation of Horus by 666 will enable every person to fulfil his proper function of True Will, and by so doing to reach the perfection of his own nature, whereas the illusion of dividuality is entirely destroyed. As it is written in Liber CCXX I:44 - 51.

``For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.''

``The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!''


The essence of this rhapsody is clear; yet the plane on which it may best be interpreted will differ according to the degree of initiation which the reader has attained.

Roughly, however, for all alike, it may be paraphrased ``Thy soul has undergone the contamination of material and phenomenal illusion''. Cf. II:4 - 6, 7 - 16, III:4 - 12, 40 - 48, IV:2 - 3, 5, 33 - 37, 42 - 44. See also Liber VII, several passages, which may be discovered by the right ingenium of the Exempt Adept.


Despite the above, the Holy Guardian Angel has always indwelt the being of the Adept, not even needing the nourishment represented by ``oil.'' (For this symbol see Book 4, Part II, Chapter 5.)

The Angel exceeds alike Sol, Luna and Agni, the three principles which (in the Hindu symbolism) come into course successively during each twenty-four hours, thus determining the character of Dhyana attained at any given period of the day. (For full explanation see [...]).


The relation of the man with his Angel is independent of his acts qua man. His Nephesch, considered as in relation to the non-Ego, is incapable of interfering with his true Nephesch.


This being understood by the profane, they take the proper view of Man. They realise (e.g.) that the `vices' of Shakespeare and Shelley do not detract from their genius.


The profane being thus purified are capable of receiving the benefit of the Initiation of the Adept.


The reference seems to be a theory (at present unfashionable) of the formation of nebulae. The point here is simply that the intimate contact of two apparently `dark' or `evil' ideas leads to their transmutation into Light. It is ``love under will.''


Adonai: Aleph is the swastika or Thunderbolt by shape: Daleth means Door or Pylon: Nun refers to Scorpio, the Serpent: Yod is the Phallus (Yod of ;heIHVH -- considered as the inmost and simplest idea).


See Liber Ararita (DCCCXIII sub figura DLXX) for this. The symbolic mode of writing the Word is


A separate volume might be -- and should be and shall be! -- written upon the Arcana of this Hieroglyph.


The reference is to a material ring: see The Spirit of Solitude for some account of it. The lettering about the Eye is V.V.V.V.V. See Liber LXI verses 22 seq. These are the initials of the Motto of 666 as Magister Templi, 8ø = 3;bx ``Vi Veri Univers Vivus Vici'' also V is the Latin letter signifying 5, and its value ([...]) is 6. The allusion is thus to 5ø = 6;bx, the Great Work. Again, the arrangements of the letters on the lapis lazuli indicated the Pentagram.

17 - 18

The instruction in personal and practical. Cf. CCXX, I:10 and 50. The Magister Templi communicates, as such, only with [...] that is directly.


Again personal and practical to 666. I have done much mischief by insisting on making everything clear to people who were not ready for it.

Ghebers: fire-worshippers in Persia. See Compte d Gobineau: Trois Ans en Asie.

Generally, the abuse of a formula does not injure the passive party, who is unconcerned, and incurs no responsibility.


Still personal and practical. 666 is to continue to live his normal life as a man of the world, unrecognised for what He is save by the `just merchant' the man who can rightly assess values. It is the duty and privilege of some such man to bring to 666 his due measure of fame.


666 will (naturally) care as little for fame as he has always done for misunderstanding, abuse, and infamy. He will be wholly absorbed in His attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. This is the sempiternal. Change, sorrow, unsubstantiality: Anicca, Dukka, Anatta; The Three Characteristics. See my ``Science and Buddhism'' and other references.



Impression: Vrittis. The True Self is independent of all phenomena. See numerous explanations of these matters in very many of my writings. See, in particular, my Tao Teh King. The Magister Templi reacts with perfect elasticity to all impacts, appearing to be wholly passive to all alike, yet really uninfluenced in the slightest degree by any.


Compare this refrain with verses 5, 24, 25. In verse 5 the Great Work is announced impersonally. Here it is identified with the Attainment.


Being, Consciousness, Bliss: Sat, Chit, Ananda. See my writings on Hindu Philosophy. Contrast with verse 21. The Attainment emancipates the Adept from all conditions soever.


The human consciousness of Aleister Crowley is to be enlightened on this point. He is to be sanctified thereby, and `consumed' or `consummated'. This Chymical Marriage unites him with the Angel and the Adept, Three in One and One in Three: This is the final perfection of union. Hence the repetition of the fourth time of the symbol of the Pillar in the Void. Cf. the Four consecrations in the Neophyte Ritual of GD.

It must not surprise the Practicus -- ``him, even!'' -- to find the private affairs of 666 discussed in a Class A publication of AA purporting to deal with the Great Work of 5ø = 6;bx. This book is primarily concerned with the Attainment of 666 to that Grade; and it is only because all true Attainment is so almost wholly impersonal that its contents are actually valid for the Aspirant in general.


The Crown, Kether, the Abyss, either Daath or that which is beyond Malkuth. The limitless Sphere, the Ain Soph.

The general meaning is that the Attainment fills the whole Universe.


The pools, and the flame between them, refer to the Sephiroth and the Paths.

The general meaning is that the Attainment has fitted the Adept to perform creative work in all spheres.


It enables him, moreover, to perform transmutations: it is not clear why these special examples [...] poetic grounds. (They are in essence Air to Water, and Earth to Fire).


For the colours in this and the last verse, Cf. CCXX: ``Blue am I and gold in the light of my bride: but the red gleam is in my eyes; & my spangles are purple & green.''

``Purple beyond Purple: it is the light high than eyesight.''

``There is a veil: that veil is black. It the veil of the modest woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this none of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not you vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter.'' (II:50 - 52.)

The lord of the Gods is presumably Jupiter; he may be chosen because the whole transmutation refer to Chesed, or because of his position as the highest Sephira of Microprosopus.


The identification of the various elements into which Initiation has analysed the original individual is now complete.

The Great Work -- Solve et Coagula -- has been accomplished. There is no distinction between the personal Attainment of Aleister Crowley and the Proclamation of the Word of the Law of Thelema through him.

Those who realise what this means rightly assume that it marks the end of an Aeon.

34 - 40

This passage is perhaps the most obscure in the whole book.


``Parricidal''. They have slain their fathers; i.e., they have won to manhood and the consciousness of the Independence of the Individuality.

``Pomp''. They celebrate their attainment of Freedom by means of a Pageant. They manifest the Godhead which they have won. Atheists. ``Allah's the atheist! He owns no Allah!'' (Bagh-i-Muattar). They are free of the obsession of mortality and dependence. Coupled. They unite with their comrades in ``love under will'', being equal and identical despite their apparent difference. (See CCXX I:1 - 4, 22, 50 etc..) By virtue of the ecstasy of their common relation to Nuit. Laugh and rejoice. (See CCXX I:26, 58, II:9, 19 - 25, 35 - 44, 62 - 64, 70, III:46.)

``Purple''. See CCXX I:61, II:24, 50 - 51. Purple is the royal colour and that of ecstasy, in particular, of the Chymical Marriage of Nuit and Hadit.


This verse carries on the idea of `atheists'. Cf. too Chapter I:7 - 9, etc. Their natural place being Yesod (whose colour is purple) they, having destroyed the Foundation, are risen to Hod (whose colour is also purple). See Liber 777, Column XVII. The sword. Their weapon of Intellectual Destruction. Hope is a crawling worm, being the token of non-realisation of one's Self as supreme Enjoyment.


Cf. ``The City of Dreadful Night.''


In Persian Theology, the principles of Good and Evil. Cf. Nietzsche; and in our own doctrine, expressed in many ways in many places.

Unto the Ages. ``Le-Olahm.'' See Ritual of the Pentagram. The value of the word is 176; this is 8 ;tm 22 or 16 ;tm 11 and this means the Redemption of the Serpent (22 letters) or the Magical Power (11) applied to the Blasted Tower (Atu XVI) for whose significance see this Comment, above.




Doubt thyself.

Doubt even if thou doubtest thyself.

Doubt all.

Doubt even if thou doubtest all.

It seems sometimes as if beneath all conscious doubt there lay some deepest certainty. O kill it! Slay the snake!

The horn of the Doubt-Goat be exalted!

Dive deeper, ever deeper, into the Abyss of Mind, until thou unearth the fox THAT. On, hounds! Yoicks! Tally-ho! Bring THAT to bay!

Then wind the Mort!

(Liber 333, Chapter 51)


``Spear'': the weapon of Sol (and Mars).

``Dragon'': the Stooping Dragon: see ``The Temple of Solomon the King,'' diagram of the Fall, ;[The Equinox;] I(2), page 283.

``Stagnant Water'': the `soul', in its uninitiated state, passive, corrupt and motionless, reflecting wrongly the imagery of the non-ego. (The Buddhist idea of the Mind is identical with this). The Words ``sat'' and ``stagnant'' connect this with the doctrine of the Black Brothers, and the theory of CCXX of the Universe as Going, or Energy.

(Quote a few appropriate passages).


The destruction of this illusion releases the soul to Purity and Motion, to `ease', which is not idleness but freedom of action, for which men thirst. Pure water is the Principle of Elasticity, the Transmitter of Energy. The Pure Soul is identified with the Moving Spirit which informs it, reflecting it truly with perfect understanding. See the whole symbolism of the Cup. See Book 4, Part II, Chapter VII. See in particular Chapter III and my Comment.


The passage 34 - 40 was `in the spirit vision'. It follows 30 - 33. 34 - 40 thus become intelligible; it is my vision of mankind in the New Aeon of which I have proclaimed the Word. I now return to the contemplation of my personal relation with mine Angel.


I repeat the Invocation. He is the Image of Nuit. The propriety of these phrases becomes manifest on studying the account already given of this nature.


The first sentence is an acrostic of `Ada Laird'. This was one of the girls with whom I was intimate at the time of writing this Book.

In these verses I deliberately identify my sexual exhilaration with my spiritual ecstasy, thus finally denying any difference between any two parts of my conscious being.


This constitutes a profound Riddle of Holiness. (Note 781 = 71 ;tm 11. See authorities for special meanings of these words.

(Quote something useful). 

Those only understand it who combine in themselves the extremes of Moral idea, identifying them through transcendental overcoming of the antinomy. They must have gone further yet, beyond the fundamental opposition of the sexes. The male must have completed himself and become androgyne; the female, and become gynander.

This incompleteness imprisons the soul. To think ``I am not woman, but man'' or vice versa, is to limit one's self, to set a bar to one's motion. It is the root of the `shutting-up' which culminates in become ``Mary inviolate'' or a ``Black Brother.'' By ``the old Slime of Khem'' is meant the principle of stagnation which was symbolized in Egypt (Khem) by Sebek, the dweller in the mud of Nile -- see above, and in [...] for the full account. Note that this is not `evil', but merely the stoppage of the Energy of the Universe. The `contending forces' of Good and Evil are complementary, and to be united by ``love under will'' -- as I too often do, loosely and clumsily, thanks to my education and the limitations of language -- to mean ``that which is against my True Will,'' the implication is not of anything active, however, loathsome or terrible it might appear. Any such idea is to be assimilated by ``love under will'' with its contradictory, thus reaching, in ecstacy, to a new Conception transcending the plane of these opposites.

Thus, my chief obstacle is the belief that any active Idea soever is `evil' and it is therefore the main tenet of the Slave Gods, `Original Sin', the existence of a Personal `Devil' opposed to an Almighty Goodness -- Ahrimanes and Aormuzdi as above -- which threatens my Will.

Amennti -- the West -- the Place of Death -- is the quarter attributed to Osiris in his aspect as the Slain God, that is, in modern slang, to `Jesus'. To us ``The word of Sin is restriction.'' The only possibility of `evil' is that the Will may be hampered. On the contrary, to the slaves of `Jesus', there is scarce an act which is not of the nature of `sin'. Even our ``righteousness is as filthy rags.'' ``There is none good, no, not one,'' etc., etc., ad nauseam -- et praetor! To us, then, `Jesus' is the very fount and origin of all possible `evil', for he synonymous with the idea of Restriction on every plane. The Christian conception of sin as the will of the natural man, the `Old Adam', is the basis of all internal conflict -- of moral insanity.

It is true that some writers calling themselves Christian have declared for Antinomianism; but orthodoxy has always condemned these; it is evident that these doctrines imply Pantheism. The sophisms of Paul demonstrate clearly enough how deeply false to one's self one must be, even to make the essay to disengage the mind from the dilemma implicit in the theses that `Salvation' emancipates from `Sin', and that the `Saint' is morally bound by the `laws of God'. The passages here following would be laughable had not History stigmatized them as atrocious.


There is here an intentional identification of the very words of the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel with those appropriate to a fervent rhapsody addressed to an whore.


The land of the Elephant: India. The reference is to Dionysus -- to Bacchus Diphues. The symbol of Atu 0 has already been explained in detail. Note the emphasis laid upon his attributes -- the male animal lust, courage, and ferocity of the tiger, the voluptuous female passivity, sensual (garlanded) yet spiritual, of the lotus; yet from these -- whose Chymical Marriage is that of Nuit and Hadit -- He is immune. (He is Innocence and Silence -- the Babe in the Egg of Blue).

(Quote Hymn to Bacchus).

I invoke Him to `inebriate my Life' with His `madness'; to inspire me with his essential ecstasy.

Hail, child of Somele!

To her as unto thee

Be reverence, be diety, be immortality!

Shame! treachery of the spouse

of the Olympian house.

Hers! thy grime device against the sweet carouse!

Lo! in red [...] and flame

Did Zeus descend! What claim

To feel the immortal fire had then the [...] dame!

Caught in that fiery wave

Here love and life she gave

With one last kissing cry the unborn child to save.

And thou, O Zeus, the sire

of Bromius -- hunter dire!

Didst snatch the unborn babe from that Olympian fire:

In thine own thigh most holy

That offspring melancholy

Didst hide, didst feed, on light, ambrosia, and moly.

Ay! and with serpent hair

And limbs divinely fair

Didst thou, Dionysus, leap forth to the nectar air!

Ay! thus the dreams of fate

We dare commemorate,

Twinging in lovesome curls the spoil of mate and mate.

O Dionysus start

Be close, be quick, be near,

Whispering enchanted words in every curving ear!

O Dionysus start

As the Apollonian dart!

Bury thy horned head in every bleeding heart!


The last phrase ``that She leap at my passing'' is peculiarly obscure. ``She'' may be taken to refer to Ada Laird -- to I wot not what!


Finally pleasure and pain themselves must be mingled, identified, in a Chymical Marriage of their own. For all possible elements of sensation must take part in the supreme Sacrament. To omit aught thereof would be to leave it imperfect and therefore `evil' to exclude a guest from the Wedding Feast; to restrict the Universe in that particular dimension.

48 -- 52

Once more the plane of the Communion between the Adept and his Angel changes: This passage is simple instruction. It should be read in connection with Cap: I, v. 9 and similar texts where there is question of `that which is beyond.' I am told here, as first in my Initiation of 1905- 1906 (quote dates, and give essential passage in diary), that my Mission to Mankind concerns the Next Step on Jacob's Ladder of the Spiritual Ascent of the Race. They must progress in a sane and orderly manner, not soaring Icarus-like toward ill-defined perfections like Nibbana, but steadily and critically using their existing faculties to the best advantage, fulfilling each function adequately, accurately, with intelligent aspiration, not shirking the hard work of evolution, not trying to run before they can walk, making sure of every step as it is taken, and fortifying each position as it is won before proceeding to attach the next line of entrenchments.

Napoleon's campaign of 1812 -- Moscow -- should warn the Aspirant.

In my experience, I have found this error to be the most dangerous to which really promising young Magicians are liable; while making any progress at all.

I quote the case of Meredith Starr as instructive in the highest degree. (Quote from `Hag').


Cf. Cap: II, vv. 37-44 and Comment. Living in Thebes, seek your water in the Nile instead of wasting your time in vast vague vapourish vagaries about the Atlantic. In Plain English, follow out percisely and patiently the systematic course of Initiation prescribed by the AA Be THOROUGH. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves. Those who despise detail are eventually destroyed by these vary things which they thought trivial; and their discomfiture and disgrace are all the more humiliating.

Lord Nose-in-the-Air stumbled over his own door-stop. (Quote W. S. Gilbert ``The Haughty Actor'' (''Bab Ballads''). Verse 50. 


Every incident in life is of combined importance. No man can afford to lose the experience proper to his actual stage of initiation. Fulfil the formula of Isis -- never mind, for the moment, Isis being a `Lower' manifestation of the principle Yin than Nuit is! -- and you come immediately to be priest of Nuit, and receive Her infinite bounty. (See my ``Across the Gulf'' Equinox, I, vii, pp: 295-354). I refer the Aspirant to the diary of S.H. Frater O.I.V.V.I.O. who instead of plodding steadily through the appointed Task of a Zelator, took advantage of a subtle Regulation of the AA which permits any man, whatever his grade, to declare himself a Master of the Temple, and by mere virtue of the Oath, to become one. In this case the intense purity of the aspiration of our Brother, and the Magical Necessity -- in a matter not directly connected with his personal career in the Order -- that he should take this appalling step, with his eyes open to the responsibility and danger involved, saved him from the consequences which would have smashed any arrogant, insolent, or presumptuous pretender. Nevertheless, his ignorance of the details of the intermediate Grades, led him constantly into the most deplorable errors, from the devastating penalties of which he was saved by the loving vigilance of his Superior in the Order, at least insofar as the more critical catastrophes were concerned.


There is yet a third consideration to be made in connection with this doctrine of The Next Step. It does in fact seem far easier to wander in the Wonderland of the Supernal Triad than to dig one's way painfully through the Path of Tau, to make the Renunciation of a Dhamma-Buddha than to acquire Asana by dint of Anguished application and acutest agony of that detested and despised physical phantom, the very soul of Distraction, Dispersion, Degradation, Distress, and Despair!

But this is a `damnable heresy and a dangerous delusion' arising from the simple fact that nobody can possibly form any idea soever of the Nature of the Task of any grade beyond his own -- and I say this with every emphasis, despite by devotion and determination to describe the details of the Path of the Wise -- even being at the pains of inventing what is practically a new language for this very purpose.

True, I have succeded thus far, that the Initiate, on arriving at any given Grade, instantly recognizes the accuracy of my account, thus confirming his confidence in my knowledge of the matter, and his assurance that he has really attained thereto and is not being fooled by his own vanity. But, until he has actual experience of this part of the Faith, he is bound to misunderstand my plainest presentation of its most evident symptoms.

Unless the Aspirant fully comprehend and freely acquiesce in this inherent incapacity, he is only too likely to try to sneak through the dim dreary dreadful discipline of his Grade -- the more loathsome precisely because it represents his actual limitation of the moment, and have a perfectly lovely time fancying himself an Exempt Adept or an Arahat or even -- I have known one such unhappy expert in self-delusion -- an Ipsissimus! It was nothing to the great Him that the only reference to that Grade in all our Holy Books is to indicate a certain practice (itself beyond comprehension of any but the mightiest-minded Masters of the Temple!) as ``the opening of the Grade.''

The Parable of the Pyramid requires no commentary: it is as lucid as it is sublime.

The whole passage (vv. 48-51) may be summed as an appeal to ordinary Good Sense -- called ``Common Sense'' (Lucus a non lucendo) as being the rarest of Human qualities. Yet the truth lies deeper than this cynical apothegm. Good sense is in reality common to all men: it is the property of the Unconscious whose Omniscience matches its Omnipotence. The trouble is that in practically every particular case the Intellect insists on interfering: Vanity craves to be flattered by `improving' what is by nature perfect -- with uniformly disastrous results. This is one of the main interpretations of the repeated diatribes in The Book of the Law against ``the Reason,'' against ``because and his kin'' (CCXX, ii, 27-33, etc.) or any similar usurpation of the royalty of the Individual by his own self-created illusions. The intellect should be a machine whereby one can express the facts of Nature. But it cannot even interpret them; that is the function of Neschamah. Even its critical faculty is limited to the object of seeming internal coherence, of avoiding any appearance of conflict. When it arrogates to itself any further function it is ultra crepidam.

Note the word But in CCXX, ii, 34, marking the antithesis of the right course of action (vv. 34-51) against the wrong (vv. 27-33).

52 -- 56

The Parable of the Ibis, the Humming-Bird, and Uraeus Serpent.

Any comment would be impertinent: the signification of the Parable, deep though it be, is lucid as any passage in literature; and the language, exquisitely ornate as it is, a sublimity and a simplicity all its own.

The moral value, in particular, challenges that of the boasted parables of the Gospels. Contrast their sectarianism, their triteness, and (too frequently) their moral obliquity with this masterpiece.


This verse completes the conception of time set forth in the Parable. In the K. and C. of the H.G.A. the divisions of time cease to imply difference. To use the Roman metaphor, every day is marked with a white stone. But there is no difference between them; they seem all alike monuments of glittering candour unsoiled by the details of life. All ordinary events cease to perturb the even brilliance.

58 -- 65

The final passage summarizes the whole Book. It demands intimate study and adroit handling on the part of the Commentator; for each verse, while complete in itself, is an integral and necessary element of the whole.


``I'': the Scribe: CF. Verse 48.

The significance of the number LXV has been explained in the prefatory note. The metaphors in this text are peculiar. One is of gold -- fine gold -- beaten with fine gold to form a circlet to adorn a bride and queen. The reference is to the Adept in this relation with Adonai.

The metaphor of the stones is, on the other hand, of Tiphereth. (The text assumes that the Great Pyramid of Gizeh as in fact designed as a Temple of Initiation wherein right fitly he celebrated the Ritual of the Slain God). For the whole symbolism of the stone, see the Qabalah, the rituals of Freemasonry, etc.

Note that words and deeds, being rightly wrought into one, lose their grossness and become pure Thought. (The capital letters, Th, M.A. may be read wwwww Truth).


Intellectual criticism of this Book leads to barren controversy -- the wilderness of pedantry. It must be appreciated as a poem (sealed up into the blood) taken as the nourishment of the inmost life itself. Those who do this become chosen candidates for the K. and C. of the H.G.A. Their Aspiration (Thought) is then crystallized into Word and Deed: they accomplish the Operation of the Sacred Magick.

The ``Land:'' the reference is to Nuit. They become conscious that they are Stars in Space. For the whole interpretation of this symbol as equivalent to the achievement of the Great Work see wwwww (Quote authorities).


Here is the idea of the life of the Adept in itself: 


And here, in reference to his fellow-men. My own Magical career should be an adequate explanation of these two verses.

62 -- 64

This doctrine is the most deadly poison for the unworthy (even the Christian Mystics gathered some faint idea of this ``eating and drinking damnation unto themselves'')

It is strange that the text refrains from specifying the nature of the error: apparently the only point at issue is whether one is or is not ``chosen.'' (v. 63).

Note the word ``weary,'' and the symbols of stagnation and passivity (a) hath hold upon them, (b) thick, (c) black, (d) smoke, (e) abode. Contrast with these the stigmata of Attainment in v. 64 all fiery, active, and eager, even in the sphere ordinarily associated with the idea of repose -- ``eventide.'' The Crown of the Sun himself is their girdle (Cf. the Rosicrucian adjuration ``Be thy mind open, etc.) -- the girdle of the ``death-kisses'' this identifying death with love, the creative energy.

The mystery becomes clear on reference to verse 59. To be ``chosen'' is a matter for one's own Will to decide. If this Book be ailen to the student, it will poison him through and through; he must ``seal'' it up into his blood; then, drinking of it as a Wine which is identical with his life itself, it intoxicates them to the realization of themselves as the Lord Adonai, the Soul of the Book itself.


Cf. verse 14: meditate strictly upon the propriety of the first appearance of this particular symbol in just this place.

The symbol is now completed by the introduction of Nuit into its midst. Compare the similar appearance of Shin in IHVH. (If this is not explained, do so fully).

What letter, then significant of Nuit, will transmit as Shin does wwwww? The usual letter is He, ``The Star,'' Atu XVII, wwwww (Note that by the precession of the Equinoxes the sun is now in Aquarius instead of Pisces at the Vernal Equinox. In the Aeon of the Dying God men worshipped (the Virgin and) the Fish. We replace this by Nuit and (Babalon and the Beast conjoined). But as ``Y'' is not the Star'' and swing around as an about (Atus VIII and XI interchanged, and so Atus XVII and IV). But the Actual God worshipped has progressed from wwwww the laborious slain Bull of Mithras. 
in the North, to II the Children (R.H.K. and H.P.K.) We thus obtain a Pentagrammaton whose value is 70, Y, the Eye, Set or Saturn, Atu XV ``The Devil.'


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