Saturday, April 5, 2008

Readings for April 4th

Reading 1: Liber Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente (LXV), Chapter II, by Saint Aleister Crowley

1. I passed into the mountain of lapis-lazuli, even as a green hawk between the pillars of turquoise that is seated upon the throne of the East.
2. So came I to Duant, the starry abode, and I heard voices crying aloud.
3. O Thou that sittest upon the Earth! (so spake a certain Veiled One to me) thou art not greater than thy mother! Thou speck of dust infinitesimal!
Thou art the Lord of Glory, and the unclean dog.
4. Stooping down, dipping my wings, I came unto the darkly-splendid abodes. There in that formless abyss was I made a partaker of the Mysteries Averse.
5. I suffered the deadly embrace of the Snake and of the Goat; I paid the infernal homage to the shame of Khem.
6. Therein was this virtue, that the One became the all.
7. Moreover I beheld a vision of a river. There was a little boat thereon; and in it under purple sails was a golden woman, an image of Asi wrought in finest gold. Also the river was of blood, and the boat of shining steel. Then I loved her; and, loosing my girdle, cast myself into the stream.
8. I gathered myself into the little boat, and for many days and nights did I love her, burning beautiful incense before her.
9. Yea! I gave her of the flower of my youth.
10. But she stirred not; only by my kisses I defiled her so that she turned to blackness before me.
11. Yet I worshipped her, and gave her of the flower of my youth.
12. Also it came to pass, that thereby she sickened, and corrupted before me. Almost I cast myself into the stream.
13. Then at the end appointed her body was whiter than the milk of the stars, and her lips red and warm as the sunset, and her life of a white heat like the heat of the midmost sun.
14. Then rose she up from the abyss of Ages of Sleep, and her body embraced me. Altogether I melted into her beauty and was glad.
15. The river also became the river of Amrit, and the little boat was the chariot of the flesh, and the sails thereof the blood of the heart that beareth me, that beareth me.
16. O serpent woman of the stars! I, even I, have fashioned Thee from a pale image of fine gold.
17. Also the Holy One came upon me, and I beheld a white swan floating in the blue.
18. Between its wings I sate, and the ├Žons fled away.
19. Then the swan flew and dived and soared, yet no whither we went.
20. A little crazy boy that rode with me spake unto the swan, and said:
21. Who art thou that dost float and fly and dive and soar in the inane? Behold, these many ├Žons have passed; whence camest thou? Whither wilt thou go?
22. And laughing I chid him, saying: No whence! No whither!
23. The swan being silent, he answered: Then, if with no goal, why this eternal journey?
24. And I laid my head against the Head of the Swan, and laughed, saying: Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging? Is there not weariness and impatience for who would attain to some goal?
25. And the swan was ever silent. Ah! but we floated in the infinite Abyss. Joy! Joy! White swan, bear thou ever me up between thy wings!
26. O silence! O rapture! O end of things visible and invisible! This is all mine, who am Not.
27. Radiant God! Let me fashion an image of gems and gold for Thee! that the people may cast it down and trample it to dust! That Thy glory may be seen of them.
28. Nor shall it be spoken in the markets that I am come who should come; but Thy coming shall be the one word.
29. Thou shalt manifest Thyself in the unmanifest; in the secret places men shall meet with thee, and Thou shalt overcome them.
30. I saw a pale sad boy that lay upon the marble in the sunlight, and wept. By his side was the forgotten lute. Ah! but he wept.
31. Then came an eagle from the abyss of glory and overshadowed him. So black was the shadow that he was no more visible.
32. But I heard the lute lively discoursing through the blue still air.
33. Ah! messenger of the beloved One, let Thy shadow be over me!
34. Thy name is Death, it may be, or Shame, or Love.
So thou bringest me tidings of the Beloved One, I shall not ask thy name.
35. Where is now the Master? cry the little crazy boys.
He is dead! He is shamed! He is wedded! and their mockery shall ring round the world.
36. But the Master shall have had his reward.
The laughter of the mockers shall be a ripple in the hair of the Beloved One.
37. Behold! the Abyss of the Great Deep. Therein is a mighty dolphin, lashing his sides with the force of the waves.
38. There is also an harper of gold, playing infinite tunes.
39. Then the dolphin delighted therein, and put off his body, and became a bird.
40. The harper also laid aside his harp, and played infinite tunes upon the Pan-pipe.
41. Then the bird desired exceedingly this bliss, and laying down its wings became a faun of the forest.
42. The harper also laid down his Pan-pipe, and with the human voice sang his infinite tunes.
43. Then the faun was enraptured, and followed far; at last the harper was silent, and the faun became Pan in the midst of the primal forest of Eternity.
44. Thou canst not charm the dolphin with silence, O my prophet!
45. Then the adept was rapt away in bliss, and the beyond of bliss, and exceeded the excess of excess.
46. Also his body shook and staggered with the burden of that bliss and that excess and that ultimate nameless.
47. They cried He is drunk or He is mad or He is in pain or He is about to die; and he heard them not.
48. O my Lord, my beloved! How shall I indite songs, when even the memory of the shadow of thy glory is a thing beyond all music of speech or of silence?
49. Behold! I am a man. Even a little child might not endure Thee. And lo!
50. I was alone in a great park, and by a certain hillock was a ring of deep enamelled grass wherein green-clad ones, most beautiful, played.
51. In their play I came even unto the land of Fairy Sleep.
All my thoughts were clad in green; most beautiful were they.
52. All night they danced and sang; but Thou art the morning, O my darling, my serpent that twinest Thee about this heart.
53. I am the heart, and Thou the serpent. Wind Thy coils closer about me, so that no light nor bliss may penetrate.
54. Crush out the blood of me, as a grape upon the tongue of a white Doric girl that languishes with her lover in the moonlight.
55. Then let the End awake. Long hast thou slept, O great God Terminus! Long ages hast thou waited at the end of the city and the roads thereof.
Awake Thou! wait no more!
56. Nay, Lord! but I am come to Thee. It is I that wait at last.
57. The prophet cried against the mountain; come thou hither, that I may speak with thee!
58. The mountain stirred not. Therefore went the prophet unto the mountain, and spake unto it. But the feet of the prophet were weary, and the mountain heard not his voice.
59. But I have called unto Thee, and I have journeyed unto Thee, and it availed me not.
60. I waited patiently, and Thou wast with me from the beginning.
61. This now I know, O my beloved, and we are stretched at our ease among the vines.
62. But these thy prophets; they must cry aloud and scourge themselves; they must cross trackless wastes and unfathomed oceans; to await Thee is the end, not the beginning.
63. Let darkness cover up the writing! Let the scribe depart among his ways.
64. But thou and I are stretched at our ease among the vines; what is he?
65. O Thou beloved One! is there not an end? Nay, but there is an end. Awake! arise! gird up thy limbs, O thou runner; bear thou the Word unto the mighty cities, yea, unto the mighty cities.

Reading 2: From The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz by Saint Johann Valentin Andreae

(The Fourth Day)

Supper being now almost ended, the young King commanded the book to be reached him from the little altar. This he opened, and caused it once again to be propounded to us by an old man, whether we resolved to abide by him in prosperity and adversity; which we having consented to with trembling, he further had us asked, whether we would give him our hands on it, which, when we could find no evasion, had to be so. Hereupon one after another arose, and with his own hand wrote himself down in this book.

When this also had been performed, the little crystal fountain, together with a very small crystal glass, was brought near, out of which all the Royal Persons drank one after another. Afterwards it was held out to us too, and so to all persons; and this was called the Draught of Silence. Hereupon all the Royal Persons presented us their hands, declaring that if we did not now stick to them, we should nevermore from now on see them; which truly made our eyes run over. But our president engaged herself and promised a great deal on our behalf, which gave them satisfaction.

Meantime a little bell was tolled, at which all the Royal Persons became so incredibly bleak, that we were ready to despair utterly. They quickly took off their white garments again, and put on entirely black ones. The whole hall likewise was hung about with black velvet, the floor was covered with black velvet, with which also the ceiling above was overspread (all this being prepared beforehand). After that the tables were also removed, and all seated themselves round about upon the form, and we also put on black habits. In came our president again, who had before gone out, and she brought with her six black taffeta scarves, with which she bound the six Royal Persons' eyes. Now when they could no longer see, six covered coffins were immediately brought in by the servants, and set down in the hall; also a low black seat was placed in the middle. Finally, there came in a very coal-black, tall man, who bore in his hand a sharp axe. Now after the old King had first been brought to the seat, his head was instantly whipped off, and wrapped in a black cloth; but the blood was received into a great golden goblet, and placed with him in this coffin that stood by; which, being covered, was set aside. Thus it went with the rest also, so that I thought it would at length have come to me too, but it did not. For as soon as the six Royal Persons were beheaded, the black man went out again; another followed after him, and beheaded him too just before the door, and brought back his head together with the axe, which were laid in a little chest. This indeed seemed to me a bloody Wedding, but because I could not tell what was yet to happen, for the time being I had to suspend my understanding until I had further resolved things. For the Virgin too, seeing that some of us were faint-hearted and wept, bid us be content.

"For", she said to us, "The life of these now stands in your hands, and if you follow me, this death shall make many alive."

(The Fifth Day)

Naught better is on earth
Than lovely noble love
Whereby we be as God
And no one vexeth his neighbour.
So let unto the king be sung
That all the sea shall sound.
We ask, and answer ye.

What hath to us life brought ?
'Tis Love
Who hath brought grace again ?
'Tis Love
Whence are we born ?
Of Love
How were we all forlorn ?
Without Love

Who hath us then begotten ?
'Twas Love
Wherefore were we suckled ?
For Love
What owe we to our elders ?
'Tis Love
And why are they so patient ?
From Love

What doth all things o'ercome ?
'Tis Love
Can we find Love as well ?
Through Love
Where letteth a man good work appear ?
In Love
Who can unite a twain ?
'Tis Love

So let us all sing
That it resound
To honour Love
Which will increase
With our lord king and queen,
Their bodies are here, their souls are fled.

And as we live
So shall God give
Where love and grace
Did sunder them
That we with flame of Love
May haply join them up again.

So shall this sorrow
To greatest joy
Though thousand generations come
Be transformed for eternity.
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