Monday, June 4, 2007

Liber A'ash and the Duck: Mystery Solved!

The 1996 Weiser edition of Commentaries on the Holy Books contains a commentary on Aleister Crowley's Liber A'ash written by Charles Stansfield Jones, also known as Frater Achad. Line 21 of the text reads:

These animals are sacred unto me; the goat, and the duck, and the ass, and the gazelle, the man, the woman and the child.

Jones arrives at interpretations for most of these, but writes:

"duck". I don't know why, unless on account of symbology connected with its eggs.

To this, Crowley replies "Nor do I."

Thanks to the wonders of modern science, I can now reveal the secret that eluded Crowley. It's actually quite simple.

Liber A'ash is essentially a piece of "phallic mysticism" in that it is written regarding the practice of sex magick with an emphasis on the "Gnarled Oak of God," the phallus. Well, as it turns out the duck has an enormous phallus! In fact, biologists have recently discovered that not only is the duck one of the few birds to have any sort of phallus, but a duck phallus can be as long as its entire body, as shown in the image above.

So did Aleister Crowley correctly predict what would become a current scientific discovery many years after his death? This aspect of duck reproduction was not well-understood by anyone in 1947 when Crowley died, let alone when Liber A'ash was written. If nothing else, it certainly makes you wonder. What else could Crowley turn out to be right about?

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