The Riddle of SebRa

Chapter One



The text of Liber AL plainly states that the contents of this Poem are to be expounded. This can only mean that the nature of the rituals themselves, especially Sex Magick, is to be revealed once and for all to the human race. Although anyone with a slight capacity for Magick can discover for himself the secrets of this Alchemy by simply perusing through a few well-known books. The mysteries have never been published in a really clear, systematic form. Although this essay does not fulfill the requirements of a complete exegesis of magical workings, it is a step in that direction.

SebRa is a composite form of the Egyptian gods of Earth (Seb) and Sun (Ra). This combination of solar-terrestrial energies suggests the passage in AL: “If I droop down mine head and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.” – AL II:26. It therefore represents the materializing aspect of the solar/phallic power, the venom of Hadit when He becomes one with earth, the world of Assiah. (Any attempt to interpret the word “venom” as “poison” will only lead to absurdities.)

The word EVE has a special connotation in this Poem, and a Qabalistic affinity with NUIT SKY EARTH RA and יחוח, YHVH, to be discussed in the fourth chapter. Here Eve is the goddess of the Moon, the Ninth sphere, and Atu II, the High Priestess. We are to lay Eve with SebRa, for heterosexual Magick provides us with potent magical powers. If these two are added together, their sum is the Eleventh Atu, Lust, depicting the Lady Babalon astride the Beast 666. As pictured on the Stélé of Revealing, this sexual posture is quite powerful in Magick. This is one of the reasons why the male deity incorporates Seb, the god of Earth, as a necessary characteristic of his function. (Other positions are useful for different purposes…)

The letter E is mentioned specifically, for when combined with the word EVE we have a word of immense Power. E or י, Yod, is the basis of the entire Hebrew alphabet, each letter being composed of one or more Yods in certain arrangements. The Word resulting from the union of these letters is EVEY.

We are to lay EVE with SebRa, for their union provides the Magick wherewith “miracles” are performed; they manifest the food which strengthens the body, illumines the mind, and unveils the soul. The whole purpose (if we can call it that) of the sexual act is the creation of this “child,” the quintessential form of the True Will. We are not to shun sex as being ostensibly unspiritual; sex is the holiest of all physical deeds. It unites the dyad into a unity which is NOT. The theory of the Brahmacharyins, wherein the projection of sexual fluids is regarded as a loss of vital energy, is correct enough, but needless in the light of Thelemic Magick.

It is true that the loss of sexual fluid implies a loss of prana, life-energy, but the Thelemic form of chastity turns this loss into a positive gain. The prana is reabsorbed into the psychophysical system in a more potent form than it had before it was made manifest. Practices such as karezza are likewise shown to be unnecessary by virtue of the composite deity EVEY (Y is used in this formula rather than E for although E is written in the Poem, it only represents the sound required. It is obvious that Y or Yod was intended, being the traditional letter of the Hermit, but when written by itself its sound, WI, is incorrect. However, the English use of the letter Y is almost identical with the Hebrew Yod). EVEY is a glyph of the union of the male/female sexual emanations, which, when used magically, are the actual incarnation of a spiritual being. EVEY is a child god, and as such, has the power to give birth to a new physical cosmos.

Atu IX, the Hermit, is attributed to the sign Virgo. Here, indeed, is the fertile earth (Seb) and the midnight sun (Ra). The Hermit is the spermatozoon (as the shape of his letter, י, suggests), lightening the depths of Mother Hell. He is ruled by Mercury, the alchemical symbol of the Elixir being the combination of the alchemical elements Sulphur (Y) and Salt (EVE), the masculine and feminine sexual fluids. His number, Nine, has a further association with the eleventh Atu, Lust, whose letter Teth (serpent) has this value. Eve, being the goddess of the ninth sphere on the Tree of Life, is also related to Lust in this manner.

In Lust we see a representation of the All-Powerful magical formula Love Under Will. The Ninth sphere, Yesod, is the Lunar Foundation of the Universe and corresponds to the animal, instinctual soul of Man, the Nephesch. Yesod states the formula Change in Stability. Every act of Love creates Change; without Love the Universe could not exist, and only through this act is the Universe capable of remaining stable. In an occult sense, sex brings forth all worlds, for thereby the Solar Power (SebRa), in conjunction with the Lunar (Eve), is enabled to create a physical environment. Not only is the body created through sex, but an act of Love Under Will has the power to destroy the existing environment in favor of that dictated by the Inner Daemon. The entire physical cosmos is rooted in Lust itself, and as Nuit explains in Liber AL: “For I am divided for Love’s sake, for the chance of union.” – AL I:29. This is one of the reasons why Buddhistic schools of thought advocate continence, for the Goal is beyond all phenomenal manifestation. Yet, because it is the destruction of the dyad, it is also conducive to the realization of the mystic Satan, the hidden child of Set (Had) and An (Nu). The formula of Love Under Will is all-embracing and omnipotent; it contains within itself all magical (willful, samsaric) and mystical (samadhic, nirvanic) Power.

SebRa is the secret name of the spermatozoon itself, the earthly manifestation of the Will. Eve is the secret name of the female fluids, which have the Power to stabilize the masculine energies, to give them the power of Manifestation. At the moment of orgasm, the physical vehicle projects the Elixir in order to form a living body which the astral child may inhabit. The magician, at this point, becomes completely united with the invoked Force, and that Spirit is henceforth ejected into the physical world of Assiah in the body of the living EVE!

This child is created in the image of the True Will, and the “bud” thereof, which is that aspect of the Will relevant to a particular circumstance. It enjoys all the powers and qualities of an “angel” or “god.” Cf. “The spermatozoon contains quite incalculable spiritual possibilities more in its milligram than the whole brain in its ounces…”

There are different varieties of the Elixir, and the sperm, as the alchemical Sulphur, may be described as the activating substance, the stamp of the Will. Yet an Elixir using the sperm alone has a very different effect than that composed of Sulphur and Salt conjoined, and still another quality altogether when the sperm is combined with the Blood of the Moon. By itself, the male secretion is best used to build up the psycho/physical organism of the Theurgist, according to Will. It can be used to alter the environment of the magician, but without the stabilizing effects of the feminine force, its effects on that plane can be unreliable (but not necessarily: concentrate…).

The combined forces of Eve and SebRa form a perfectly balanced Entity, whose function is at once both magical and mystical. This Elixir has the power to destroy and create anew the physical environment (including the planes not generally regarded as “physical”). Eve has the power to materialize, to give birth; SebRa provides the directional impetus which determines the actual nature of the materialization;

But in the Sacrament of the Gnosis, which is of the Spirit, is there naught hurtful, for its Elements are not only Food, but a true Incarnation and Quintessence of Life, Love, and Liberty, and at its Manifestation thy Lion is consecrated by pure Light of Ecstasy. Also, as this is the strongest, so also is it the most sensitive of all Things soever, and both proper and ready to take impress of Will, not as a Seal passively, but with true Recreation in a Microcosm thereof. And this is a God alive and puissant to create, and He is a Word of Magick wherein thou mayst read Thyself with all thine History and all thy Possibility. […] Yea, in good sooth, no Herb or Potion is like unto this, supreme in every Case, for it is the True Stone of the Philosophers, and the Elixir and Medicine of all Things, the Universal Tincture or Menstruum of Thine Own Will.
– The Book of Wisdom or Folly, chap. 95.

While the female gluten, Tears of the Eagle, does have mystical properties, the menstrual blood is most effective to alter the actual physical environment. For this reason, the combination of sperm and blood is entitled Red Gold. This form of the Elixir has also a quite distinct effect on the psyche, unlike any of the other Alchemical compounds. There is a feeling of strength, of confidence, of royalty, and that is why this sacrament is specifically sacred to the Lord of the Aeon, Ra Hoor Khuit. This substance is embodied in the formula Tzedeq which is mentioned in the Book of Codes and concealed in the Book of the Law. “…the priestesses shall donate their water; the Moon shall conceive and bear a child of strength, wisdom, and beauty. This child shall be eaten only if red, the white is of the others.” – The Book of Codes, I:8. And also: “Worship me with fire and blood…” – AL, III:11. According to the Qabalah and the description of the Four Elements in IHVH, Fire symbolizes the masculine sexual force, while Water is the feminine — particularly that which is called the Blood of the Moon.

The word Tzedeq, which is a capsulized formula of the entire content of the third chapter of the Book of the Law, is a perfect glyph of the sacrament of Ra Hoor Khuit, or the Red Gold. Spelled in Hebrew צדק, TzDQ, Tzaddi is the Emperor and the Element Sulphur, Daleth is the Empress and the Element Salt, and Qoph is the Moon and the Blood thereof. The last-mentioned card, Atu XVIII, is descriptive of Witchcraft (in the sense Crowley used the word), delusions, and the darkened moon. Balanced with the strength of the Emperor and the fertility of the Empress, however, this triune formula is perhaps the most potent of all. (Perhaps? Let’s give a definite is).

Used by itself, the menstrual blood is reputed to be dangerous, can cause mental instability and contact with the more unpleasant regions of the Astral:

Beware, o my Son, lest thou cling overmuch to this Mode of Magick; for it is lesser than That Other, and if thou neglect That Other, then is thy Danger fearful and imminent, for it is the Edge of the Abyss of Choronzon, where are the lonely Towers of the Black Brothers. Also, the Formulation of the Object in the Eagle is by a species of Intoxication, so that His Nature is of Dream or Delirium, and thus there may be Illusion.
– The Book of Wisdom or Folly, chap. 92.

And yet, “…if thou hast skill to control the Mood of the Eagle, then mayst thou work many an admirable Effect upon thine Environment. – The Book of Wisdom or Folly, chap. 92. The constant here is that the Blood is especially puissant in the sphere of Malkuth, for it is of Yesod, the source and foundation of Earth. The variable is that Luna (the Eagle) is moody, and it is imperative that the woman be in a stable psychological condition. The operation cannot be baulked of its effect, but the effect depends entirely on the state of the Priestess who is contributing her “water.”

Another form of the Elixir has nothing to do with Sex Magick per se, and that is the formula of the Phoenix. This type of Alchemy is the basis of magical operations such as the Mark of the Beast, in which the priest cuts his breast (for example), collects the blood on a Cake of Light, and consumes it. This is comparable to an initiation ceremony taught in the Book of Codes, after the manner of the Mithraic Mysteries. In that case, the sacrament is the fresh blood of a bull, and Aiwass proclaims that it shall “replenish and teach.” – Book of Codes, I:8

Finally, there is the magical vessel called the Eye of Hoor. This is that which Aleister Crowley termed the “vas nefandum” or the unmentionable vessel, and is simply the anus. This type of Magick has definite importance, for the Book of Codes states in no uncertain terms that it is an extremely powerful formula. Whereas the other formulae make use of Svadhisthana Chakra, the astral organ “behind” the genitals, anal intercourse awakens Muladhara Chakra at the root of the spine. This is homosexual, not heterosexual, and there is a decidedly different effect because of this. To quote our guru once more:

I say furthermore that this Path is of the Circle, and of the Eye of Horus that sleepeth not, but is vigilant. The Circle is all-perfect, equal every Way; but the Vesica hath bitter Need, and seeketh thy Medicine, that is of Right compounded for High Purpose, to ease her Infirmity. Thus is thy Will frustrated, and thy Mind distracted, and thy Work lamed, if indeed it be not brought to Naught. Also, thy Puissance in thine Art is minished, by a full Moiety, as I do esteem it. But the Eye of Horus hath no Need, and is free in his Will, not seeking a Level, not requiring a Medicine, and is fit and worthy to be the Companion and the Ally of thee in thy Work, as a Friend to thee, not Mistress and not Slave, that seek ever with Slyness and Deceit to encompass their own Ends.
– The Book of Wisdom or Folly, chap. 175.

The anus is called the Eye of Horus after the manner of the Egyptians. That subject will be dealt with more fully in the final chapter.

Alchemical substances are useful to the magician for they are living substances; the cells in the menstrual blood and the spermatozoa are life-filled emanations of the human organism. They therefore make fitting vehicles for a spiritual (i.e. astral) creature to use in its incarnation during the magical operation, much the same way as a human Ruach (soul) incarnates within a living fetus. Other secretions of the body, such as urine and feces, are not so endowed with life, and while there may be medicinal properties in these substances (as some maintain), they can hardly be as effective in Magick as the sexual fluids or the life-carrying blood. This thesis is based on the nature of prana, for prana, the vital force, makes the one great difference between living tissue and dead. Consumption of prana in large quantities is difficult, for there are few foods which contain a great deal of this “alchemical,” for by nature, food is almost invariably composed of dead organic tissues. The Elixir, then, is the perfect food. Not only does it embody the “child-spirit” which has the capacity to transform both the human organism and its environment, but it contains a concentrated amount of prana, granting health and happiness to those who wish to imbibe.

After a long digression, we come back to the original purpose of this essay. Line one in the Poem proclaims that we should not restrict ourselves in any way, and, moreover, that we should make the best use of the Power which the formula Love Under Will affords us. Waste of this Power, which is our life-giving energy, will surely drain us of prana. But the reabsorption of the Elixir not only remedies the situation, but increases our store, making us healthy, wealthy, and wise.

After a few more digressions, we shall return again to the subject of this essay. There are two more formulae related to SEBRA: ABRAX and AKARMA. These form a trinity of Qabalistic teachings, each becoming 263 by Gematria.

SEBRA: 60 + 2 + 200 + 1 = 263.
ABRAX: 1 + 2 + 200 + 60 = 263.
AKARMA: 1 + 20 + 1 + 200 + 40 + 1 = 263.

SEBRA is the word of the Will, ABRAX describes the ordeals of the Will, and AKARMA is a special aspect of the Law of the Will.


James Beck

Creative Commons Licence


A title of the Book of the Law.
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ed. note:
The Biblical Eve is חוה, ChVH (19), Chava, Chavah or Hava. Here, James Beck spells his version of Eve as הוה, HVH (16). EVEY moves the Yod from the beginning of Tetragrammaton to the end.
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ed. note:
see the Book of Oz, chapter 2: verse 12 (77,2:12).
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ed. note:
Equinox vol. 1 number 5, p. 98, An Essay Upon Number, states for 9 (Yesod), “Stability in Change.” The Book of Thoth says, “change is stability…stability is guaranteed by change.” Change in Stability is associated with Hod (Mercury) and Chockmah, the perspective of the Magus, also Mercury via Atu I.
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cf: “This is the creation of the world; that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.”
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The Magical Record of the Beast 666, p. 146.
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ed. note:
Tzedeq is the secret fourfold word of 220,3:49 and 718,1:11, arguably the Word of the Elixir.
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ed. note:
Tzedeq is another name for the 18th letter of the Hebrew alphabet צדי, Tsaddi or Tsade.
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ed. note:
The Ritual of the Mark of the Beast is Liber V vel Reguli which immediately follows the Mass of the Phoenix, in which one cuts one’s breast, in Magick in Theory and Practice, which is Book 4, Part III.
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ed. note:
718,1:8, read more carefully, indicates that it is the Elixir, the “consecrated substance” produced by the Ritual of the War Engine, which replenishes and teaches the Neophytes who consume it. The Ritual of the War Engine (see 718,1:15) is heterosexual magick using menstrual blood.
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ed. note:
James Beck drops the ‘e’ in SebRa and counts it Samekh-Bet-Resh-Aleph (60 + 2 + 200 + 1 = 263).
In Abrax, he treats ‘x’ as Samekh rather than as the traditional Tzedeq (Tsaddi), drops the second ‘a’ and counts it Aleph-Bet-Resh-Samekh (1 + 2 + 200 + 60 = 263).
Akarma is counted as Aleph-Kaph-Aleph-Resh-Mem-Aleph (1 + 20 + 1 + 200 + 40 + 1 = 263).
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