Nothing is a secret key of this law.
Sixty-one the Jews call it; I call it
eight, eighty, four hundred & eighteen.
But they have the half: unite by thine
art so that all disappear.
“The word of the Law is Θελημα.” So we are told in verse 39 of the first chapter of Liber AL vel Legis, Liber 220, the Book of the Law. We find the Thelemic injunction, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” in verse 40. Here, in verse 46 of Nuit’s chapter, “this law” refers to the Law of Thelema. Nothing is a secret key of Do What Thou Wilt.
Those familiar with the writings of Aleister Crowley will recognise sixty-one as אין, Ain, which means ‘nothing’ or ‘not’. Ain represents the Veil of the Negative, described by the phrase אין סוף אור, Ain Soph Aur, or Nothing Limitless Light. See Aleister Crowley’s Naples Arrangement in The Book of Thoth.
Sixty-one is also the numeration of the word נוה, Naveh, meaning Habitaculum: habitation, abode, dwelling or home. Sixty-one means not, nothing, home and, figuratively, house.
The Jews call ‘nothing’ sixty-one.
Eight is Mercury, the planet, the metal and the god. Besides the sephira Hod, Mercury appears on the Tree of Life as Atu I The Juggler, which is the path between Kether and Binah represented by the letter ב, Bet or Beth. The second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, בית, literally means ‘house’. The Juggler is the Magus who unites duality, making it disappear: 2 = 0. Atus 0 and I are hermaphroditic and alchemical Mercury is bisexual. The Magus is a master of samadhi.
For I am perfect, being Not; and my number
is nine by the fools; but with the just I am
eight, and one in eight: Which is vital, for
I am none indeed. The Empress and the King
are not of me; for there is a further secret.
I am The Empress & the Hierophant. Thus
eleven, as my bride is eleven.
Nuit calls ‘nothing’ eight.
Eighty is the numeration of the letter פ, Pé or Phé, which means ‘mouth’. פ is Atu XVI The Tower of Tarot, the path between the sephiroth Hod and Netzach. This major arcanum was traditionally known as the “House of God.” בית אל, Bet-AL or bethel, literally means House [of] God: a temple or church. Atu XVI The Tower represents the war between the sexes. This war is caused by the misapprehension of the other’s perspective, which leads to misunderstanding and conflict. Hod’s calculus seems to conflict with Netzach’s aesthetic. The message is the same but the perspectives differ, making the message appear controversial. The house is divided and must be united to make it whole & balanced, and thus zero.
Atu XIV Art, the path between the Sun and the Moon, the sephiroth Tiphereth and Yesod, resolves the war. It is worthwhile noting the positions of Atu XVI The Tower and Atu XIV Art on the Tree of Life. When Hod and Netzach awaken to each other’s perspective, the Blasted Tower, a war-torn fortress, becomes a sacred temple of magick Art. The astrological attribute of the The Tower is Mars, god of war. Mars is the iron in our blood that transports oxygen to our muscles. Mars gets things done. Mars is where the rubber meets the road.
Eighty is also the numeration of יסוד, Yesod, the Moon, the ninth sephira, which means ‘foundation’. After having won through the Ordeal X, itself a war between the ego and the will, the aspirant assumes the mantle of Zelator and the perspective of Yesod, the Church of Luna. The law of the fortress and the great mystery of the House of God – which I have briefly explained here – lay before in the Order of the Golden Dawn.
There is division hither homeward; there is a
word not known. Spelling is defunct; all is not
aught. Beware! Hold! Raise the spell of
In this quote from the third chapter of the Book of the Law, the word ‘aught’ is used in its secondary sense, meaning ‘zero’. “There is division from here to home,” complains the Sun-god, “all is not zero.” When the home (house) is whole and united in balance (healthy and aware in the present), all does equal zero. When there is no dis-ease to distract attention from here and now, the Sun-god, who represents the true will, is no longer impeded by self-reference (333) and so is able to shine forth in the world. In the following verse, Ra-Hoor-Khuit announces himself as “a god of War,” and subsequently gives us a description of the war-engine with which we are to fight this war.
The war-engine is a ritual of sex-magic (magick) which is effective against neurotic divisions, partial identities (the peoples), within the psyche. In this war, subjective awareness faces off with the objective intellect, but neither portrays reality accurately on its own. Both subjective and objective awareness must work in harmony to serve the will with a balanced view. We cannot reason our way to initiation, nor can reason save us from the ordeals which make initiations real in the world. Reason can, however, bear witness to the cycles of initiation and ordeal, as we change our consciousness with ritual, meditation and love under will (the use of sex for prayer). Our subjective awareness is filled with our own ego / identity by default. We need to make this self-regard transparent, so we can perceive our own solar spirit within.
Nuit calls ‘nothing’ eighty.
Four hundred & eighteen is אבראהאדאברא (Abrahadabra): the Word of the Aeon, בולשכין, (Boleskine): Aleister Crowley’s house in Scotland, and the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet (ח) spelled out in full: חית, Het or Cheth.
ח is Atu VII The Chariot and the lunar sign Cancer. The Summer solstice begins the sign Cancer, which is Noon of the year, the domain of Ahathoor, Hat-Hor, Het-Hoor, the House of Horus. The bird inside the box is Horus, Hoor or Heru, a Sun god in the form of a hierofalcon. The box is Het, the Egyptian hieroglyph that means ‘house’. The small box inside the larger one represents a hearth or altar. The Egyptian hieroglyph Het is also 418. The secret name of Heru is 359. Together, they make 777, a Thelemite: a human incarnation consciously linked with his or her indwelling star.
418 is the number of the Great Work in the outer, which is to contact one’s own Holy Guardian Angel. The sexuality must be recruited and trained, along with every other aspect of awareness, to refine the Ka and unveil the Khu. The Khu is the incarnated temple of the Holy Guardian Angel (Khabs or star). The unveiling of the Khu is experienced as the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. The Great Work in the inner is to refine the Khu, with aid of the Thelemic method, until one is an adept servant to the Eternal Self and can honestly say, “I am not I; I am but an hollow tube to bring down Fire from Heaven.” – Book of Lies, verse 15.
“The Charioteer…is throned in the chariot rather than conducting it, because the whole system of progression is perfectly balanced. His only function is to bear the Holy Grail.”
– The Book of Thoth, page 85: Atu VII The Chariot
Aiwass, speaking from the persona of Hadit in the Book of the Law, said,
They shall worship thy
name, foursquare, mystic, wonderful, the
number of the man; and the name of
thy house 418.
Nuit calls ‘nothing’ four hundred & eighteen.
All four numbers, 61 • 8 • 80 • 418, are united in their meaning. They all mean ‘house’. They are gate houses to the palace of four gates, given in 220,1:51 – see Palace of Four Gates, below.
|House||Nuit calls nothing||The Jews call nothing||Tarot||Order||Ordeal of the Gate|
|61||אין, Ain: not, nothing
נוה, Naveh: habitation, dwelling, abode, home
|Veil of the Negative||אין סוף אור||A|
|8||Mercury, The Juggler, Magus, בית means house||ב - Bet - 2
Atu I The Juggler
|418||House 418, Abrahadabra, חית, The Chariot||ח - Het - 8
Atu VII The Chariot
|R.R. et A.C.||R|
|80||The Tower, פ, House of God||פ - Pé / Phé - 80
Atu XVI The Tower
The Jews call nothing אין: nothing and נוה: home. Nuit calls nothing eight (Bet = house), eighty (House of God), four hundred & eighteen (House 418, Het), which point to the three traditional orders represented by the three triads of the Tree of Life: the Order of the Silver Star (8), the Order of the Golden Dawn (80), and the Royal College of the Rosy Cross (418).
The veil of the negative is one half and the perceptible universe is the other half. When −1 and +1 are united, they disappear. Then all is aught.
The numerations of the letters associated with Nuit’s houses sum to 90. ב, Bet (2) + ח, Het (8) + פ, Pé (80) = 90. The Hebrew word for water is מים, Mem. Of course there are other significant ideas associated with the number 90, but in the context of Nuit’s houses, water is a more cogent attribute. The classical element Water is associated with Binah. In Liber CXI, The Book of Wisdom or Folly, Crowley indicates that the natural perspective of women is Binah. Although a gross generalisation, there is some truth to this view. Women, generally, validate subjective, contextual or aesthetic awareness more readily than men, who, generally, give much more weight to objective intellect. The initiations are provided to subjective awareness and the ordeals bring the initiations into objective awareness. By the end of the ordeal, the adept’s subjective and objective awareness, on the level of the initiation, are in harmonious balance.
My experience is that I have struggled mightily to come to terms with one aspect or another of my initiation cycle, only to discover that my wife took my hard won understanding for granted and wondered what all the fuss was about. I’m the one who needs to validate my subjective awareness and connect the objective to the subjective. She has everything she needs by simply connecting directly to her inmost being. In her psychotherapy practice, however, my wife objectifies her subjective awareness in practical terms every working day. Countertransference, her own emotional responses, gives her insights into her clients’ stuck positions. The fundamental difference in the approach of men and women explains why the Book of the Law, and its comment, address a distinctly male awareness.
Now, no man shall fight if he hath not the will, and no woman shall be denied the glory of battle if she preferreth to give me worship.
The sense of these four houses is of dwellings or containers. For example, Hadit says, in verse 2 of his chapter (2) in the Book of the Law, “…Khabs is the name of my House.” Hadit, who is everywhere the centre, is the seed at the core of every star. Khabs means ‘star’. A star is not a literal house but a figurative house. Nuit says, in verse 8 of her chapter (1) in Liber AL, “The Khabs is in the Khu.” That would make the Khu the house of the Khabs. The Khu is the bright shiny spirit body associated with the Anahata Chakra and the sephira Tiphereth. The Khabs, or star, is associated with the Sahasrara Chakra and the sephira Kether. “The stars are thine angels” says Aiwass from the mask of Tum in the third chapter of the Book of Codes, 718,3:8. The Khu is the temple of the Holy Guardian Angel. The Khu is the solar spirit body which is normally obscured by the Ka (personality). The Ka, ghost or astral body, is associated with the Svadhisthana Chakra and the sephira Yesod. The light of the Khu, filtered through the Ka, is seen as the aura.
There appears to be a nesting of houses in this symbolism, like matryoshka. Hadit (0) → Khabs (star) → Khu (solar spirit body) → Ka (astral body) → Ha (physical body) → earthly dwelling (literal house) → Planet Earth → solar system → galaxy → galactic cluster → known and imagined universe → Nuit (0).
The Khabs, or star, is the Holy Guardian Angel. The Angel is truly God to the incarnation. The temple (house) of the Angel, the Khu, is part of the incarnation. The Khu is obscured by the Ka, an astral body that holds the ego / identity, the personality of the incarnation. The Ka has no light of its own. The Ka, also part of the incarnation, is a shadow that filters the light of the Khu. The Ha is the physical manifestation, also part of the incarnation. Everything that is born dies, according to its life cycle. The Ha, Ka and Khu are born with the incarnation and they each return to the ground state of their level of existence after death. The Khabs, star, Holy Guardian Angel or Eternal Self remains constant across incarnations. The Ka can persist on the astral plane for some time after the death of the physical body, but reincarnation can’t occur until the previous incarnation has dissolved on all incarnated levels.
Kings and Queens are gods on Earth.
Know also that the Kings rise and set within their bodies as do the stars.
Each incarnation is a new day. Kings and Queens are incarnated stars, human houses for their Eternal Selves. The motif of god-within-house is a fractal pattern that appears throughout Liber 440. A symbol (god) without a context (house) is meaningless. A context without a symbol is sterile. Neither the god nor the house can exist separately, for they condition and change each other. So for every god or goddess there is a house and for every house there is a god or goddess, though they may not be visible or apparent.
The Khabs, Khu, Ka and Ha are the nested houses that represent the levels of consciousness available to the child of nature. There are moments when the thought-free mind synchronises with the Eternal Self, and we see reality from a different temporal perspective. The Book of Perfection, Liber 440, is a magic mirror. It reflects the Holy Guardian Angel and so the reader’s ability to be present. A reliable mirror is a useful reference when bringing each house to a state of balance.
There are four gates to one palace;
the floor of that palace is of silver and
gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there; and
all rare scents; jasmine & rose, and the
emblems of death. Let him enter in turn
or at once the four gates; let him stand
on the floor of the palace. Will he
not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy
servant sink? But there are means
and means. Be goodly therefore: dress ye
all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and
drink sweet wines and wines that foam!
Also, take your fill and will of
love as ye will, when, where and with
whom ye will! But always unto me.
If this be not aright; if ye confound
the space-marks, saying: They are one;
or saying, They are many; if the ritual
be not ever unto me: then expect
the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit!
Silver is Yesod and gold is Tiphereth. The floor of that palace is the Ruach. Lapis lazuli (Nuit) and jasper (Hadit) are there, jasmine (Wand) & rose (Cup).
The gross must pass through fire, and it shall be to him as silver. This is the first door and its letter is X. The fine shall be tried in intellect, and it shall be to him as gold. This is the second door and its letter is R. The lofty ones shall be chosen in the highest, and it shall be to them as mercury. This is the third door and its letter is B.
The first of the four gates is named X, which is Tzedeq, the Secret Fourfold Word. This gate provides entry to the third triad, the domain of the Order of the Golden Dawn (80). The second of the four gates is named R, , Heru-ra-ha, the Sun in the sky, the visible object of worship. This gate provides entry to the second triad, the domain of the Order of the Rosy Cross (418). The third of the four gates is named B, which is mercury, Bet: house, the Magus. This gate provides entry to the supernal triad (8), the domain of the Order of the Silver Star.
The one in three shall be to the Beast as the ultimate sparks of his own Daemon; he shall come to full knowledge of Godhood. He shall transcend the Three in order to become the One. He shall transcend the One to become the None. This is the fourth door, and its letter is A. Know that the Word of the ordeals is ABRAX, as it is hidden in the Book of the Law.
The first three of the four major ordeals open each of the first three gates in turn. However, the fourth ordeal, the Ordeal A, which is the ordeal of the Ipsissimus, being a summation of the three previous ordeals, opens all four gates at once. Not only is the whole Tree of Life, with its ladder of initiation, available to the Ipsissimus, but the Veil of the Negative is as well.
Now, a fool is of two types: he who is a Star, yet has not realized his Kingship, and going full circle, the King who has merged his Hadit-nature into the Sea of the Lady. He is Zero, as is the uninitiate, but after a different manner.
The really important feature of this card [Atu 0 The Fool] is that its number should be 0. It represents therefore the Negative above the Tree of Life, the source of all things. It is the Qabalistic Zero. It is the equation of the Universe, the initial and final balance of the opposites; Air, in this card, therefore quintessentially means a vacuum.
The Book of Thoth, page 53: Atu 0 The Fool
In each new lifetime in the world, the incarnation chosen by the Angel to be its worldly manifestation inherits the initiations attained by previous incarnations of the Angel. Initiations start things. In the case of spiritual initiations inherited from previous incarnations, they start ordeals. Ordeals are the method by which spiritual initiations are made real in the world of the initiate. All Thelemic initiation is concerned with links of awareness between the Eternal Self (Angel) and the temporal self (incarnation).
The initiations, which are provided by our Holy Guardian Angels, are awakenings to previously unknown consciousness. The ordeals are caused by our responses to those awakenings. Everyone experiences the same set of initiations but the details of the corresponding ordeals are unique to each adept.
For example: the present incarnation of an Angel whose previous incarnation was a fully initiated Hermit (Adeptus Major) would inherit the spiritual acumen of the Thelemite-grade Hermit. Fully initiated means that the cycle of initiation and ordeal for that grade has been completed. When the incarnation reached sexual maturity, the mind / body complex would have to cope with the magickal aptitude of a highly initiated Thelemite who had not yet worked through the ordeals that provide the skills to incorporate the consciousness revealed by the initiations. There may well be visions, including the vision and voice of the Angel, which direct and motivate the mind / body complex to learn the basics as a starting point to understand and cope with the reality at hand.
Since every man and every woman is a star (220,1:3), and the star is the Holy Guardian Angel (718,3:8), every man and every woman is his or her Angel. But the Angel and the incarnation appear to be separated in different temporal dimensions. We have the capacity to expand our consciousness to comprehend other temporal dimensions beyond the Arrow of Time. We can forge and refine links across dimensions to consciously connect our outer selves with our inner selves. This is not supernatural. It is simply becoming aware of aspects of nature which remain hidden from those who don’t care to know. The doorway to two-dimensional and three-dimensional time is to be found in our present. The origin of all temporal dimensions is the present.
The curious thing about the present is that there is no room here for the ego / identity.
The direful judgements of Ra-Hoor-Khuit result from undirected or misdirected magick. Through trial and error, and hopefully with help from the writings of Aleister Crowley, the incarnation of an adept learns to distinguish between helpful and harmful sexual expression, helpful or harmful ideation, while exploring new levels of consciousness. The essence of every step of every ordeal, up to the level achieved in the previous lifetime in the world, must be resolved and incorporated into the palace of four gates, the home of initiated consciousness. What remains from the experience of each lifetime is a greater ability to organise the palace of four gates more rapidly and effectively. Although spiritual acumen can be accrued from lifetime to lifetime, this is not Karma: it has no moral value.
The visions, revelations and initiations may come to the incarnation in any order, but the ordeals, including the major ordeals X, R and B, are worked through in strict order. Our exemplar would work out the Ordeal X and the Ordeal R, then use the war-engine to strengthen and refine links with his Angel. When the ordeals of the inherited initiations are complete, our exemplar would be challenged by the initiation to the grade of Lover (Adeptus Exemptus). It may be one or more further lifetimes before the Angel’s earthly manifestation would have gathered sufficient spiritual acumen to cross the Abyss.
Because we have the ability to choose, we can change bad habits, or vicious circles, into good habits, or virtuous circles. We can lead our brains to grow in ways that we choose. We can re-parent ourselves. We are not condemned to be the agents of other people’s programming. We can programme ourselves. Skill in self-programming would provide a survival advantage over those who go along to get along.
Deeper sinks the thoughtless mind. The point is like a little star on the tip of a penpoint. Yet that star is the Mother of galaxies.
We are symbol makers and symbol users. Gods & devils, heroes & villains, are symbols in the form of persons. Gods, et al., are symbols with which we identify. In some ways, we become what we worship. Houses include our bodies: physical (Ha), astral (Ka), spiritual (Khu) and transcendental (Khabs). Our houses are the psychological context of our experience in the world, our understanding of existence. We create our houses and our gods to cope with our reality, but they also create our reality. They are symbols, psychological tools which support and extend human consciousness. We can design those tools to help us find the present. The future is forged in the present. To change the future, simply change the present.
Jim Beck had been trained by his Holy Guardian Angel since childhood with the practical spiritual and temporal skills he would need to fulfil the rôle of amanuensis for the Book of Codes, the Book of Oz and Liber 75 vel Luciferi. Note the evidence of ritual practice in this quote from the beginning of the fifth chapter of the Book of Codes.
If thou hadst not done thine invocation according to Abrahadabra in thine well-etched radiant four-starred circle, I indeed would have remained in the Aethyr till thou hadst replenished thine energies with sleep. So be it! The message shall begin.
The well-etched radiant four-starred circle was a house or temple created on the astral plane by Jim Beck. It contained and amplified the magick, the invocation according to Abrahadabra (418). Note the result of the magickal practice in verse 4.
Ah! I see thou art not refreshed as thou shouldst be! My body is still digesting. Canst thou not feel the added energy gradually sifting into the bloodstream, filling thy being with lust of manhood? Write then, as the Word takes effect! Let this stand as a record of the miracle of the Mass!
Jim Beck and his wife Opal cooperated to produce the body of the god, the Word. The Word was eaten, causing Jim’s nervous system to synchronise with his Holy Guardian Angel. Together, the god (Aiwass) and the amanuensis (James Charles Beck) brought the Book of Codes into physical manifestation. Without Opal’s contribution, these texts would likely have remained internal communications. Would the Book of the Law have become a physical reality without the contribution of Rose Kelly Crowley?
The Sun-god Ra-Hoor-Khuit said, in the Book of the Law,
I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against
all gods of men.
The eleventh verse of Ra-Hoor-Khuit’s chapter of the Book of Codes (1) indicates that the secret fourfold word is Tzedeq. Tzedeq is a name of the eighteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, also known as Tzaddi. Tzedeq is not The Star of Tarot. Tzedeq is Atu IV The Emperor, the Latin X, alchemical sulphur, the male contribution to the magickal elixir. When we unpack “I am in a secret fourfold word,” we realise Ra-Hoor-Khuit is saying: I am in semen.
Hadit, whose house is the Eternal Self or Holy Guardian Angel, says, “‘Come unto me’ is a foolish word: for it is I that go.” – 220,2:7. Nuit, within whose body the known universe is a tiny fraction, says, “Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me!” – 220,1:61. The female contribution, Atu III The Empress, alchemical salt, is the power of manifestation.
Jim Beck inherited the initiation, which gave him the ability to contact his Holy Guardian Angel. Opal Beck had the magickal power to make the results of initiated consciousness real in the world. The Book of Codes, the Book of Oz and Liber 75 vel Luciferi are physically existing results of the magick of a 21-year-old Magus and his Alostrael (Mother of Stars). They were just kids, but they got the job done.
Aleister Crowley died an initiated Ipsissimus, but he did not have time in his incarnation to do much in the way of the Ordeal A. Jim Beck was born seven years to the day after Aleister Crowley died. (By contrast, I was born 49 weeks, to the day, after the death of the previous incarnation of my Holy Guardian Angel.) Usually, the turnarounds for higher adepts are shorter than for others, because they better understand the importance of identifying with the Angel rather than the ego, or the product of an ego such as a disowned god. Perhaps the seven year gap for Jim was needed to balance the material-world cause-and-effect so he could fulfil his rôle with only the training provided him as a child and teenager by his Angel. Real magickal skills came to him with ease, as if granted by a benevolent god. Jim was presented with initiation to the grade Ipsissimus in the Book of Oz, chapter 3: verse 26. Jim was 22 years old. From that point on, he was on his own.
This, the explanation, and this a further mystery. These three, 220, 718, and, lastly, 77, shall form the trinity of scripture at the heart of the Thelemic Vedas. I shall grant thee no more. Thou must now work with the wisdom, the understanding, and the Crown I now present unto thee. I shall speak with thee often, but the writing is finished.
Liber 75 vel Luciferi is one of those conversations.
The house that Opal provided was necessary. Without it, the writings of Aiwass would not have gained physicality and the Book of the Law would now stand alone without its revealed comment. As it turns out, the Book of Codes allows the Book of the Law to open like a flower to the minds of adepts. The Book of the Law remains tightly closed to those who are not adept. The house that Jim built through the sedulous practice of ritual on the astral plane provided a present-focused astral environment for the magick he did with Opal.
We can see here the god-house motif cascading on different levels. Crowley described The Emperor (alchemical sulphur) as “the initiative of all being.” Let me describe The Empress (alchemical salt) as the manifestation of all being. The god-house / initiative-manifestation / man-woman pattern is not the whole story. Alchemical mercury, represented by Atu I The Juggler (Magus) is hermaphrodite and bisexual. Mercury is the magical Word, a powerful agent of change.
The Dyad must be rectified! The two must become the Three that all may revolve into Naught!
Spiritual verities are meaningless if they are not grounded, that is: made real in the world. There are many truths hidden in The Book of Perfection. One must be intensely present to perceive them directly, i.e., subjectively. Objective awareness is always mediated, never direct. The writing’s defences are extremely effective at inflaming the ego, which draws attention away from the present, blocking access to anything of value. In practice, those unable to distinguish their true wills from their egos will project their own prejudices onto what they read in Liber 440 and assume – correctly for them – that Liber 440 is filled with frightening evil. Those who can distinguish their egos from their true wills will perceive scintillating brilliance, in Liber 440, illuminating those levels of consciousness they have liberated from self-referential projections (333).
There is no evangelism in Thelema. There is no point in trying to convince anyone of anything, for everyone’s truth is unique to them. Every Christian’s Jesus is a projection of their own ego. Everyone who self-identifies as a Thelemite creates a unique Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Since my Ra-Hoor-Khuit cannot be the same as your Ra-Hoor-Khuit, I can only offer my own understanding, such as it is, of which you may take what is useful to you and discard the rest.
Each of us creates his or her own gods, vessels of meaning with which we identify. Each of us builds his or her own houses, contexts of meaning in which we live. Each of us shines the light of the Sun in our own special way.
The Aeon is a New Way
The old Ways are but partial in their truthfulness.
The word ‘magick’ is a neologism coined by Aleister Crowley to refer to sex-magic. Crowley wrote in the Confessions, page 71, “‘The libido of the unconscious’ is really ‘the true, will of the inmost self’.” The unconscious of an average person is filled with neuroses, big and small. These neuroses are partial identities which confuse and distort the expression of the libido of the unconscious. The war-engine, mentioned below, is the primary method of ‘smiting’, i.e., defeating, the neuroses which restrict the true will. Once resolved, the brain cells that had been tied up with maintaining the neuroses are liberated – the restriction dissolved – and the neurons re-assigned to respond to ever-changing reality.
My favourite definition of magic is “the science we do not yet understand.” I typically use the spelling without the ‘k’ after the word ‘ritual’ or ‘ceremonial’. Modern science does not recognise the astral plane (Ka), spiritual plane (Khu), or the Holy Guardian Angel (Khabs), all of which I have perceived and which form the subject matter of Liber 440. Perhaps, when occult science is eventually recognised as reality, we can come up with better language to describe these levels of consciousness. For now we are stuck with hokey phrases like ‘astral plane’.
Suffice it to say, when I add the letter ‘k’ to the word magic – to make the word ‘magick’ – I am referring to the Science and Art of using sex to cause Change to occur in conformity with Will.
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See Aleister Crowley’s commentary on these verses from the third chapter of the Book of the Law, where he provides a psychological interpretation for understanding the war-engine in keeping with the self-psychotherapeutic view of magick evinced throughout his writing. Crowley intuitively understood the plastic nature of his brain. That the brain physically changes has been scientifically demonstrated in recent years. When challenged with new problems, our brains grow links to brain cells which are dedicated to the problems presented. The more we focus on any given problem, the more neuronal connections are made to cope with the challenge. Our brains change according to requirements. If we choose to hold an image clearly in the mind’s eye, for example, it seems impossibly difficult. With regular practice, however, clear visualisation can become a reality in the life of the practitioner. Crowley constantly challenged his brain to change and grow. He lead by example.
Ra-Hoor-Khuit comments in his chapter in the Book of Codes,
Know also that my island is my temple: most especially a particular House. Het. This is most needful, that my war-engine is of the magical kind, that the Blood of the Moon is its fuel and the priest’s Osiris is its motor. Thou mayest find thee an actual island if thou desirest, it doth not matter, but it behooves you to find out this Engine of War, perform my rituals with strength and beauty, and never to neglect the other type of battle as well.
In his commentary on the Book of the Law, Crowley identified the island as a chakra. Het is 418, the Anahata Chakra. This island is the Khu, the house or temple of the Holy Guardian Angel. The Blood of the Moon is menstrual blood, a powerful agent of manifestation. Osiris is not only a chthonic god of judgement, but a fertility god: his penis being ‘lost’ in the Nile river. Uninitiates copulating during menstruation will receive particularly harsh judgments of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, their experience in the world, for they manifest their neuroses rather than their true wills. They could not love unto Nuit (nothing: see 220,1:21). Thelemites, having sought and achieved resilient links with their Eternal Selves, are free to use this most sacred ritual with impunity, for they have largely sublimated their egos to the true wills, and thus they can love unto Nuit.
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I am writing this in the Fall of year 109 of the Aeon of Horus (2013 c.e.). The Earth’s climate is just beginning to show the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere changes that, in a much exaggerated way, have been happening in Northern latitudes for years. Climate change will become increasingly problematic in the next few decades and the human population will be reduced in traditional ways: war, disease and starvation. Shocking, isn’t it, that with all our science and communications technology, today’s governments are unable to act to soften the blows of, let alone avert, catastrophic climate change and consequent population loss. Nations on the verge of starvation always make war on their neighbours in an attempt to acquire resources. Failing that, all social contracts break down leaving each individual to fend for his or her self and family.
That which hath befallen Elvinland shall befall your own land. Thou understandest what this signifieth.
Behold! I come quickly! But not too quickly. Mine elect, those who are not only 12, but 12 times 12, shall survive to rule.
In this fractured human environment, a stochastic psychological technology like Thelema becomes a viable survival strategy. Those who practice old-aeon religion are bound together by social order: a glutinous mass referencing one another and sharing common beliefs. Some project a supernatural and therefore fictitious god to rally around. Some imagine that nature shares human moral value judgements and will exact retribution for ‘wrongdoing’ in the form of Karma, a confusion of the planes. Those who practice Thelema are not bound together at all, but share secrets of nature according to their degree of initiation. Science, not superstition, is the Thelemite’s touchstone. Thelema is a granular technology, not a glutinous religion. In a world of human tragedy, when most survivors have lost precious family members and stand alone & bereft in the world, Thelemites will reference their Eternal Selves for guidance. Thelemites will suffer the same grief at the loss of loved ones as everyone else, but their clearer understanding of reality will lift them up and help them to survive. They will be beacons of spiritual integrity to others, who will follow them out of simple self-interest.
Now, we shall have the broad masses at our feet who care not for learning; to them it is strife. It is they who shall serve; they shall build my cities, till my fields, fight in battle, according to the direction of their superiors. Let none seek to remold these children into that I have not made them. Let them rest in the joy of their labour. Ye shall care for them as my children, and shall watch closely for a King to be born of this lowly caste.
The second chapter of the Book of Codes was written by Aiwass via the mask, or persona, of Ahathoor. This Sun-goddess is the same Het-Hoor we saw when discussing the nothing that Nuit calls 418. Gods are symbols in the form of persons. Gods do not possess personal agency. Who, or what, possesses the agency indicated in 718,2:7? Ahathoor is a symbol of the Sun at Noon and in the afternoon. Ahathoor possesses no agency, but the Sun that Ahathoor represents possesses the impersonal agency of the midday Sun. Everything living on this planet owes its existence to the Sun. Thelemites identify with the Sun inside them, the energy of life. So, for example, ‘Let none seek to remold these children into that [the Sun has] not made them.’ The children of the Sun will survive. The children of supernatural gods will perish. Nature is not fair. Nature is prolific.
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The Hebrew letter ש, Shin, represents that which remains. When it appears in the Hebrew name of the Christian god, Joshua, it is normally interpreted to mean child. When parents pass away, children remain. So יהשוה means ‘child of Jehovah’ (KJV transliteration), or more usually, ‘son of god’: spirit crucified in matter (Fire, Water, Air and Earth). Using the same rationale, Satan, שטן, means ‘child of nature’. Tet, ט, the snake, represents procreation. Nun, נ, represents the twin horizons of birth and death: spirit manifested in cycles of birth, procreation, death and rebirth. A more traditional interpretation of נ is ‘continuance’, so, Shin-Tet-Nun would be the continuation of spirit by procreation.
All Sun gods are Satan, for all Sun gods are symbols of the cycles of nature. The main contrast between Jesus and Satan is that Jesus is a permanent and unchanging god: a Rock of Ages, while Satan is never ending change. The reality of nature is change. Permanence is a supernatural fiction.
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It may seem odd that the third ordeal is B, which is associated with Chokmah and the Magus, instead of a letter that points to Binah and the Master of the Temple. After all, Binah is the first sephira we come to in the Supernal Triad when we are climbing the Tree of Life. But Binah, absorbing and receiving with equanimity, is not expressive, unlike Chokmah which is highly dynamic and constantly expressive. The Master of the Temple is a nobody (nemo), while the Magus is emphatically a somebody. It’s a simple matter of visibility.
The planetary attribute of the sephira Chokmah is Neptune. Neptune is a creator god who is imagined to be arbitrary and capricious, like the moods of the great oceans. Neptune looks a lot like Mercury from below the Abyss, also apparently arbitrary and capricious due to his changeability. Of course the Magus is Atu I The Juggler, the letter B and Mercury among the major arcana. The second path and the second sepira are the same symbol in different contexts. Also note that because the mind cannot cross the Abyss, the Supernal Triad appears as a single sephira from a perspective in the second or third triad.
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Karma fills the same function in Dharmic religions that morality does in Abrahamic religions. Both are means of social control, often exercised by those claiming a supernaturally sanctioned authority over others. For example, a Catholic may confess a ‘moral failing’ to a priest, who has a closer relationship with the supernatural than the laity. (Remember that the supernatural exists only in fables, fantasy and fiction.) A Buddhist will be careful not to squash a bug for fear of a reprisal from the natural order. On examination, moral judgements and Karmic fates are arbitrary inventions of those trying to gain power over others, or, occasionally, those trying to avoid retaliation. In Thelema, the word of sin is restriction. Both morality and Karma are restrictions.
They shall condemn you for giving me worship, and shall cry aloud their folly, saying immorality, when in fact, they are witnessing immortality.
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