Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Office of the Readings

This article links to all of the components of the Office of the Readings for the Thelemic High Holy Days, March 20th through April 10th. It will serve as a general reference for anyone who would like to perform this series of rituals in upcoming years. The Rite of the Office of the Readings is performed for all of the readings following The Invocation of Horus on March 20th. It may also be used with The Prologue of the Unborn on March 19th at your own discretion. We've done it both ways over the years.


The Invocation of Horus
The Rite of the Office of the Readings


March 19th - The Prologue of the Unborn
March 20th - Saturn/Earth, The Universe
March 21st - Fire/Spirit, The Aeon
March 22nd - Sol, The Sun
March 23rd - Pisces, The Moon
March 24th - Aries, The Emperor
March 25th - Mars, The Tower
March 26th - Capricornus, The Devil
March 27th - Sagittarius, Art
March 28th - Scorpio, Death
March 29th - Water, The Hanged Man
March 30th - Libra, Adjustment
March 31st - Jupiter, Fortune
April 1st - Virgo, The Hermit
April 2nd - Leo, Lust
April 3rd - Cancer, The Chariot
April 4th - Gemini, The Lovers
April 5th - Taurus, The Hierophant
April 6th - Aquarius, The Star
April 7th - Venus, The Empress
April 8th - Luna, The Priestess
April 9th - Mercury, The Magus
April 10th - Air, The Fool

If you would like to perform this series and have questions, feel free to e-mail me here.

All Office of the Readings posts may also be viewed here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sorcery in the News

You've probably already seen this story because it's so weird, but I still wanted to comment on it. According to reports from Congo, evil magicians are using their magical powers to steal men's penises.

Yes, that's right. Most of us study esotericism to expand consciousness and gain control over the events of our lives, but these particular African magicians apparently study so that eventually at the height of their powers they can walk off with somebody else's cock. Nice.

I wonder if the penis-enlargement spammers have caught on. It seems like they could put together a solid business model if those same African magicians were able to incorporate Western ideas that allow spellcasting at a distance. A powerful African magician could then steal all of the penises in a given city and spammers could hit all the e-mail addresses there with herbal penis-enlargement promotions.

Then again, maybe a lot of Congolese men are just superstitious and anxious about their masculinity. There's certainly plenty of that in the rest of the world, so why should Congo be any different?

In other news, Christian sorcerers "pray for lower gas prices." Yes, praying for material things is sorcery, though not all Christian groups see it that way. Obviously as a ritual magician I don't see anything wrong with it, and the world economy is chaotic enough that magical practices might be able to shift it around relatively easily, but I always find it amusing when people rail against magick but use it freely to further their own interests.

Of course, seeing as it was put together by a community organizer and not a minister or any sort of spiritual worker, this may just be a publicity stunt to get media attention. It appears to have worked in that regard.

UPDATE: This article is also classic. It's a parody, but too funny to pass over. Apparently the Dalai Lama uses his evil magical powers to "cause crops to fail and pigs to exhibit remorseful expression." Is that like putting a "bad word" on your neighbor's cow?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Thoughts on Thelema and Abortion

In the last few months the discussion of Thelema and abortion has apparently been all over LiveJournal. I deliberately do not have a LiveJournal account and avoid participating in LiveJournal discussions (which is another story unto itself) so I'm a little late to the party, as it were, but seeing as the issue is so contentious and, after all, my blog could use more traffic, here I am.

The basic question is this: Seeing as Aleister Crowley was strongly opposed to abortion, which he clearly was, should Thelemites be opposed to it as well?

First off, here are my own biases on the issue. Politically, I'm strongly pro-choice. This is a largely utilitarian stance on my part because based on my study of the legal systems of various societies I have concluded that a society with options for legal abortion works better than one in which a legal prohibition scheme is in place. At the same time, I support comprehensive sex education and expanded access to contraception, both of which have been shown to bring down the abortion rate. I pretty much agree with the position advanced by the Clinton administration in the 1990's, that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

From the standpoint of personal ethics and values, the question of whether or not to have an abortion will always be moot for me - I'm male so I can't get pregnant. I'm not a big proponent of making judgments about other people's choices because I do tend to think that the practice of "Do what thou wilt" has a lot to do with minding my own business. I also think that using the legal system to advance my own beliefs regardless of the utilitarian consequences of the resulting laws is silly. Laws should make a society work better, and any law that doesn't should be done away with regardless of its moral foundations. So, in fact, even if I did believe abortion to be "the most shameful form of murder" (quoting Crowley) my political position would remain the same.

Nonetheless, there are serious ethical issues addressed by the abortion debate above and beyond the legal sphere and hardly anyone denies this be the case. The supposed "liberal who nonchalantly has abortions" is for the most part a strawman created by conservative commentators. I know of no one who has ever had an abortion without serious thought and consideration, liberal or conservative. Thelema as a spiritual system does provide a foundation for such thought and consideration, but as it is such a individualistic path contention between practitioners is hard to avoid. A conservative Thelemite I know once told me about an event he attended where it was automatically assumed that any Thelemite would be pro-choice when he in fact was not, and he found it ironic that this assumption would have excluded Crowley himself. Making blanket assumptions about other Thelemites is in my experience a good way to get into trouble.

Abortion is such a hot-button issue that the personal attacks pretty much fly from all directions when it comes up. For all that many of these attacks accuse the other side of "not understanding the material" there is one point that I have yet to see raised (at least outside of friends-locked LiveJournal discussions that I can't access without an account) and I think it is an important one. When Crowley talked about abortion, did he mean exactly what we mean today? According to British law, traditionally a fetus was seen as being alive following the "quickening," the moment at which independent movement of the child was first detected.

British legal scholar William Blackstone, writing in the eighteenth century, stated that:

Life ... begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother's womb. For if a woman is quick with child, and by a potion, or otherwise, killeth it in her womb; or if any one beat her, whereby the child dieth in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this, though not murder, was by the ancient law homicide or manslaughter. But at present it is not looked upon in quite so atrocious a light, though it remains a very heinous misdemeanor. (From Wikipedia)

I would be tempted to completely dismiss this concept as a legal artifact unrelated to Crowley's teachings, except that it appears he did not in fact believe that the soul entered the body at the moment of conception. Specifically, he wrote in Confessions that he believed himself to be the reincarnation of Eliphas Levi, who died on May 31st, 1875. Crowley was born on October 12th of the same year, four and a half months later, and he also wrote elsewhere that he believed that in some past life he must have taken a vow to reincarnate immediately after death. Quickening normally happens 20-some weeks into a pregnancy, so the timeline Crowley presents fits with the soul entering the body of an unborn infant at quickening rather than conception.

So does this matter to the debate at hand? Obviously I think it's relevant or I wouldn't be posting it, but I can also see the counterargument that abortion is still a violation of the formula of life and growth even if it happens before the child can be said to possess a soul, or in more scientific terms a complex nervous system that is capable of initiating movement and possibly has some degree of self-awareness. I do think it is a solid refutation of the statement that abortion of any sort denies the formula of the Minerval degree in OTO, which is specifically stated as "the soul, a wandering god, is attracted to the solar system." It would seem to me that only an abortion following the moment of quickening could really be viewed in those terms if indeed the soul isn't present for the first twenty or so weeks of pregnancy. These days, most abortions are done during the first trimester, well before quickening.

Crowley was actually kind of an odd duck as far as modern American politics goes. On the one hand, he was opposed to abortion and remained so throughout his life, and I do think anyone who contends otherwise should probably study the material in greater depth. On the other hand, it is equally clear that Crowley was strongly in favor of sexual freedom and expression. In today's politics those two beliefs rarely go together - supporters of the pro-life movement are usually opposed to homosexuality, pre-marital sex, and depictions of sexuality in just about any form. Crowley hated such beliefs, and I don't know that even his strong opposition to abortion would have allowed him much common ground with anti-sex advocates who also are pro-lifers.

Crowley's own resolution of the issue was to set up comprehensive social structures that would support women faced with unplanned pregnancies, and at one point he proposed that the OTO set up and operate an organization to do just that. Furthermore, he hoped to work at the societal level to eliminate the stigma attached to unplanned pregnancy, primarily through the promulgation of the Law of Thelema. Like many idealistic proposals, such a social system might work if the whole thing could be implemented at once, and if it could be shown to effectively reduce the demand for abortions I would be all for it. The problem is that politics doesn't usually work that way, and the OTO has never had anywhere near the funds controlled by fraternal groups like the Masons during Crowley's lifetime. Such a source of funds would be necessary for supporting such a large institution privately.

The bigger question in all of this is which of Crowley's personal beliefs are important to the practice of Thelema. I doubt anyone would contend that to be a good Thelemite you have to play chess or climb mountains. Crowley supported the British Empire - does that mean a Thelemite should be an imperialist? Crowley harshly criticized democracy as a political system - does that mean a Thelemite should be a monarchist? I certainly have met Thelemites of both descriptions, but in the end as Thelemites we are left to draw our own conclusions, "each for himself," and that really is in my opinion how it should be.

If someone is doing their practices diligently and following Crowley's spiritual system I think that is what makes them a "good Thelemite," not any particular political point of view. More to the point, I'm not even sure that we should be in the business of trying to define who is a good Thelemite and who isn't in any sort of general sense. I choose to surround myself with people who enrich my life and it just so happens that most of them are Thelemites - some with rather divergent political views on a whole variety of issues, not just this one.

I suppose now I get to find out if anyone is reading this blog. Comment away!

UPDATE: In the comments, Aish Mlchmh cited a section from Confessions in which Crowley comments on Rose trying to obtain an abortion because she believed herself to be pregnant even though she was not. He's clearly opposed to what would have been a very early term abortion, so I think any question regarding Crowley's use of the term is settled. He is using it in the contemporary sense.

I also have made a couple of changes to the original text. I removed "disreputable" from "conservative commentators" because even though when I wrote it I was trying to distinguish between reputable and disreputable conservative commentators (that is, to point out that I don't believe all conservative commentators make use of strawman arguments in the abortion debate) it reads as a cheap shot implying that all conservative commentators are disreputable. Also, I changed "the pro-life movement" to "supporters of the pro-life movement" because I was talking about particular individuals, not necessarily the organizations themselves. Finally, I changed "who is a Thelemite" in the second to last paragraph to "who is a good Thelemite" which is what I meant, but not what I first wrote.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thanks Everyone!

Thanks to everyone who helped make our fourth annual Office of the Readings a success.

We started with the Prologue of the Unborn on March 19th, performed the Invocation of Horus on March 20th, and went on to perform the ritual and readings as they appear on the blog each day until yesterday, April 10th, the Third Day of the Writing of The Book of the Law.

There's something about doing daily group rituals for a sustained period of time that isn't really matched by daily individual practice, and it's nice to do it at least once a year. And, of course, it's also a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to performing this series of rituals for many years to come.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Readings for April 10th

The Happy Third Day of the Writing of The Book of the Law!

Reading 1: Liber AL vel Legis (CCXX), Chapter 3


Reading 2: From Liber Sæculi (CCCXVIII), the 22nd Æthyr, by Saint Aleister Crowley

The voice of the Crowned Child, the Speech of the Babe that is hidden in the egg of blue: I have opened mine eye, and the universe is dissolved before me, for force is mine upper eye-lid and matter is my lower eye-lid. I gaze into the seven spaces, and there is naught.

I have gone forth to war, and I have slain him that sat upon the sea, crowned with the winds. I put forth my power and he was broken. I withdrew my power and he was ground into fine dust.

Rejoice with me, O ye Sons of the Morning; stand with me upon the Throne of Lotus; gather yourselves up unto me, and we shall play together in the fields of light. I have passed into the Kingdom of the West after my Father.

Behold! where are now the darkness and the terror and the lamentation? For ye are born into the new Æon; ye shall not suffer death. Bind up your girdles of gold! Wreathe yourselves with garlands of my unfading flowers! In the nights we will dance together, and in the morning we will go forth to war; for, as my Father liveth that was dead, so do I live and shall never die.

Reading 3: Vajrasattva, Primordial Buddha of Diamond or Rainbow Light, Tibetan Buddhist text adapted by Lalitha

The musicality of being is the sound of ice being shattered by lightning
The diamond prison of the rational mind
Burst by the power of Truth
The iron bars of selfhood
Cracked by the Infinite Mind

I am both creative and destructive, compassionate and ruthless
I create the rainbow relationships of the Awakened Ones
The interactions of their light and shade
I destroy illusion with the power of Truth
And kill the sense of the separate self
I am compassionate towards those that strive for perfection
And I aid them in the casting off of desires
I am ruthless towards the evil, the clinging, and the desperate
For only the pure may approach me

I hold the reins of creation in my hands
The first light of the Void and its wave of divine colors
I hold and store them, refract them within my crystal
The prisms of cut-glass within my symbolic waters
My power is the Indestructible Awakened Goddess, the diamond wisdom of the Void
She is the channel by which my energies of creation take form
She is the vessel which holds the light, the diamond which surrounds me
Whose true form is the crystal vajra

My music is ice and snow, wind and water
The victorious shout of the ascetic as he transcends the wrathful aspects
The moan of the tantrika as he is overcome by brilliance
The exploding dynamite of a man escaping from prison
The glorious silence when the chains of attachment to light have been left behind

To the seeker I say:
The Awakened Ones of the Indestructible Way are powerful, and one must be pure
Not only to approach and encounter them
But in order to escape once you have done so
Each has beings who live for him alone
And may never leave to travel higher
For they cling to the Awakened deities and cannot give up their light

Do not love beauty and do not cling
Or the rich rosy light will wind you a crimson shroud
Do not love power or striving, and do not conquer others
Or the emerald sword will spear you to the ground
Do not love sensual harmonies and the swaying of nature
Or the golden rows of grain will hide the sky
Do not love the icy purity of detachment and the isolation of space
Or the cold blue surfaces of the mind will prevent you from freedom

Follow the path of peace and tranquility
Renounce all attachments
And strive for Truth and Freedom alone
For the most high beings may yet act through personality
The light of the god is not yet free
The concept of enlightenment must yet be rejected
For the experience of freedom to dawn.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Readings for April 9th

Happy Second Day of the Writing of The Book of the Law!

Reading 1: Liber AL vel Legis (CCXX), Chapter 2


Reading 2: The Law of Liberty (Liber DCCCXXXVII), Section III, by Saint Aleister Crowley

IN THE NEXT CHAPTER of our book is given the word of Hadit, who is the complement of Nuit. He is eternal energy, the Infinite Motion of Things, the central core of all being. The manifested Universe comes from the marriage of Nuit and Hadit; without this could no thing be. This eternal, this perpetual marriage-feast is then the nature of things themselves; and therefore everything that is, is a crystallization of divine ecstasy.

Hadit tells us of Himself: "I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star." He is then your own inmost divine self; it is you, and not another, who are lost in the constant rapture of the embraces of Infinite Beauty. A little further on He speaks of us:

"We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk."
"Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us."

"Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.'' Later, concerning death, He says: "Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever." When you know that, what is left but delight? And how are we to live meanwhile?

"It is a lie, this folly against self." [...] "Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this."

Again and again, in words like these, He sees the expansion and the development of the soul through joy.

Here is the Calendar of our Church: "But ye, o my people, rise up & awake! Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy & beauty!'' Remember that all acts of love and pleasure are rituals, must be rituals. ``There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times. A feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride! A feast for the three days of the writing of the Book of the Law. A feast for Tahuti and the child of the Prophet--secret, o Prophet! A feast for the Supreme Ritual, and a feast for the Equinox of the Gods. A feast for fire and a feast for water; a feast for life and a greater feast for death! A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my rapture! A feast every night unto Nu, and the pleasure of uttermost delight! Aye! feast! rejoice! there is no dread hereafter. There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu." It all depends on your own acceptance of this new law, and you are not asked to believe anything, to accept a string of foolish fables beneath the intellectual level of a Bushman and the moral level of a drug-fiend. All you have to do is to be yourself, to do your will, and to rejoice.

"Dost thou fail? Art thou sorry? Is fear in thine heart?" He says again: "Where I am, these are not." There is much more of the same kind; enough has been quoted already to make all clear. But there is a further injunction. "Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein! But exceed! exceed! Strive ever to more! and if thou art truly mine--and doubt it not, an if thou art ever joyous!--death is the crown of all."

Lift yourselves up, my brothers and sisters of the earth! Put beneath your feet all fears, all qualms, all hesitancies! Lift yourselves up! Come forth, free and joyous, by night and day, to do your will; for "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt." Lift yourselves up! Walk forth with us in Light and Life and Love and Liberty, taking our pleasure as Kings and Queens in Heaven and on Earth.

Reading 3: Visvapani: The Bodhisattva and Spiritual Emanation of Amoghasiddhi, Tibetan Buddhist text

The musicality of being is the clash of sabers, the hero panting, the neighing war-horse
It is the noble struggle of man against man, arm against arm
It calls all beings to fight against stagnation
By sending them forward into battle.

How can one progress without change?
How can one evolve without strength?
There is always choice:
To be a dawdling child forever, dependent, self-satisfied,
Sucking its thumb, unwilling and unable to leave its mother
Or to be free, proud, noble, and self-sufficient
Blessed with the power of choice.

I shake off the sleep of living death
I rouse the dreamer into reality
I call him from his childhood nest
Saying: Look around you! The world awaits!

There is nowhere you can hide from yourself
In opium-filled rooms or sensual tangles
Sooner or later the voice must come:
Who am I? Why am I here?
My sack provides the strength and the weapons
To find the answer.

Why be swept about like a moth with no volition?
Why waste your time in hiding?
I am the voice of courage and I say unto you-
Adventure awaits you! Come forward!

There is death, but for the sake of life
There is slaughter, for one must survive
There is weakness and domination, there is defeat and conquest
A man may conquer his enemies, of sloth and alienation
Or he may die slowly.

The drums beat and the banners are waving
The call to self-assertion is everywhere
Fear your shadow or destroy it
Kill your fear, or have it kill you
March ever onwards, to grasp and hold
Your noble ideals.

Readings for April 8th

Happy First Day of the Writing of The Book of the Law!

Reading 1: Liber AL vel Legis (CCXX), Chapter 1


Reading 2: Maha Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra, Mahayana Buddhist text

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita
perceives that all five skandhas are empty
and is saved from all suffering and distress.

form does not differ from emptiness,
emptiness does not differ from form.
That which is form is emptiness,
that which is emptiness form.

The same is true of feelings,
perceptions, impulses, consciousness.

all dharmas are marked with emptiness;
they do not appear or disappear,
are not tainted or pure,
do not increase or decrease.

Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings,
perceptions, impulses, consciousness.

No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind;
no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,
no object of mind;
no realm of eyes
and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.

No ignorance and also no extinction of it,
and so forth until no old age and death
and also no extinction of them.

No suffering, no origination,
no stopping, no path, no cognition,
also no attainment with nothing to attain.

The Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita
and the mind is no hindrance;
without any hindrance no fears exist.
Far apart from every perverted view one dwells in Nirvana.

In the three worlds
all Buddhas depend on Prajna Paramita
and attain Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi.

Therefore know that Prajna Paramita
is the great transcendent mantra,
is the great bright mantra,
is the utmost mantra,
is the supreme mantra
which is able to relieve all suffering
and is true, not false.
So proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra,
proclaim the mantra which says:

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Readings for April 7th

Reading 1: Liber Lapidis Lazuli (VII), Chapter VII, by Saint Aleister Crowley

1. By the burning of the incense was the Word revealed, and by the distant drug.
2. O meal and honey and oil! O beautiful flag of the moon, that she hangs out in the centre of bliss!
3. These loosen the swathings of the corpse; these unbind the feet of Osiris, so that the flaming God may rage through the firmament with his fantastic spear.
4. But of pure black marble is the sorry statue, and the changeless pain of the eyes is bitter to the blind.
5. We understand the rapture of that shaken marble, torn by the throes of the crowned child, the golden rod of the golden God.
6. We know why all is hidden in the stone, within the coffin, within the mighty sepulchre, and we too answer Olalám! Imál! Tutúlu! as it is written
in the ancient book.
7. Three words of that book are as life to a new æon; no god has read the
8. But thou and I, O God, have written it page by page.
9. Ours is the elevenfold reading of the Elevenfold word.
10. These seven letters together make seven diverse words; each word is divine, and seven sentences are hidden therein.
11. Thou art the Word, O my darling, my lord, my master!
12. O come to me, mix the fire and the water, all shall dissolve.
13. I await Thee in sleeping, in waking. I invoke Thee no more; for Thou art in me, O Thou who hast made me a beautiful instrument tuned to Thy rapture.
14. Yet art Thou ever apart, even as I.
15. I remember a certain holy day in the dusk of the year, in the dusk of the Equinox of Osiris, when first I beheld Thee visibly; when first the dreadful issue was fought out; when the Ibis-headed One charmed away the strife.
16. I remember Thy first kiss, even as a maiden should. Nor in the dark byways was there another: Thy kisses abide.
17. There is none other beside Thee in the whole Universe of Love.
18. My God, I love Thee, O Thou goat with gilded horns!
19. Thou beautiful bull of Apis! Thou beautiful serpent of Apep! Thou beautiful child of the Pregnant Goddess!
20. Thou hast stirred in Thy sleep, O ancient sorrow of years! Thou hast raised Thine head to strike, and all is dissolved into the Abyss of Glory.
21. An end to the letters of the words! An end to the sevenfold speech.
22. Resolve me the wonder of it all into the figure of a gaunt swift camel striding over the sand.
23. Lonely is he, and abominable; yet hath he gained the crown.
24. Oh rejoice! rejoice!
25. My God! O my God! I am but a speck in the star-dust of ages; I am the Master of the Secret of Things.
26. I am the Revealer and the Preparer. Mine is the Sword -- and the Mitre and the Wingèd Wand!
27. I am the Initiator and the Destroyer. Mine is the Globe -- and the Bennu bird and the Lotus of Isis my daughter!
28. I am the One beyond these all; and I bear the symbols of the mighty darkness.
29. 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.
30. It shall swallow up that lesser darkness.
31. But in that profound who shall answer: What is?
32. Not I.
33. Not Thou, O God!
34. Come, let us no more reason together; let us enjoy! Let us be ourselves, silent, unique, apart.
35. O lonely woods of the world! In what recesses will ye hide our love?
36. The forest of the spears of the Most High is called Night, and Hades, and the Day of Wrath; but I am His captain, and I bear His cup.
37. Fear me not with my spearmen! They shall slay the demons with their petty prongs. Ye shall be free.
38. Ah, slaves! ye will not -- ye know not how to will.
39. Yet the music of my spears shall be a song of freedom.
40. A great bird shall sweep from the abyss of Joy, and bear ye away to be my cup-bearers.
41. Come, O my God, in one last rapture let us attain to the Union with the Many!
42. In the silence of Things, in the Night of Forces, beyond the accursed domain of the Three, let us enjoy our love!
43. My darling! My darling! away, away beyond the Assembly and the Law and the Enlightenment unto an Anarchy of solitude and Darkness!
44. For even thus must we veil the brilliance of our Self.
45. My darling! My darling!
46. O my God, but the love in Me bursts over the bonds of Space and Time; my love is spilt among them that love not love.
47. My wine is poured out for them that never tasted wine.
48. The fumes thereof shall intoxicate them and the vigour of my love shall breed mighty children from their maidens.
49. Yea! without draught, without embrace: -- and the Voice answered Yea! these things shall be.
50. Then I sought a Word for Myself; nay, for myself.
51. And the Word came: O Thou! it is well. Heed naught! I love Thee! I love Thee!
52. Therefore had I faith unto the end of all; yea, unto the end of all.

Reading 2: Liber Sæculi (CDXVIII) , the 7th Æthyr, by Saint Aleister Crowley

It is kindled into fire that was the blue breast of ocean; because this is the bar of heaven, and the feet of the Most High are set thereon.

Now I behold more fully: Each tongue of flame, each leaf of flame, each flower of flame, is one of the great love-stories of the world, with all its retinue of mise-en-scène. And now there is a most marvelous rose formed from the flame, and a perpetual rain of lilies and passion-flowers and violets. And there is gathered out of it all, yet identical with it, the form of a woman like the woman in the Apocalypse, but her beauty and her radiance are such that one cannot look thereon, save with sidelong glances. I enter immediately into trance. It seems that it is she of whom it is written, "The fool hath said in his heart 'there is no God.'" ... This fool is the fool of the Path of Aleph, and sayeth, which is Chokmah, in his heart, which is Tiphereth, that she existeth, in order first that the Wisdom may be joined with the Understanding; and he affirmeth her in Tiphereth that she may be fertile.

It is impossible to describe how this vision changeth from glory unto glory, for at each glance the vision is changed. And this is because she transmitteth the Word to the Understanding, and therefore hath she many forms, and each goddess of love is but a letter of the alphabet of love.


But I look upwards, seeing that she is called the footstool of the Holy One, even as Binah is called His throne. And the whole Aethyr is full of the most wonderful bands of light, -- a thousand different curves and whorls, even as it was before, when I spake mysteries of the Holy Qabalah, and so could not describe it.

Oh, I see vast plains beneath her feet, enormous deserts studded with great rocks; and I see little lonely souls, running helplessly about, minute black creatures like men. And they keep up a very curious howling, that I can compare to nothing that I have ever heard; yet it is strangely human.

And the voice says: These are they that grasped love and clung thereto, praying ever at the knees of the great goddess. These are they that have shut themselves up in fortresses of Love.


And now She cometh forth again, riding upon a dolphin. Now again I see those wandering souls, that have sought restricted love, and have not understood that "the word of sin is restriction."

It is very curious; they seem to be looking for one another or for something, all the time, constantly hurrying about. But they knock up against one another and yet will not see one another, or cannot see one another, because they are so shut up in their cloaks.

And a voice sounds: It is most terrible for the one that hath shut himself up and made himself fast against the universe. For they that sit encamped upon the sea in the city of the Pyramids are indeed shut up. But they have given their blood, even to the last drop, to fill the cup of BABALON.

These that thou seest are indeed the Black Brothers, for it is written: "He shall laugh at their calamity and mock them when their fear cometh." And therefore hath he exalted them unto the plane of love.
And yet again it is written: He desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his wickedness. Now, if one of these were to cast off his cloak he should behold the brilliance of the lady of the Aethyr; but they will not.

And yet again there is another cause wherefore He hath permitted them to enter thus far within the frontiers of Eden, so that His thought should never swerve from compassion. But do thou behold the brilliance of Love, that casteth forth seven stars upon thine head from her right hand, and crowneth thee with a crown of seven roses. Behold! She is seated upon the throne of turquoise and lapis lazuli, and she is like a flawless emerald, and upon the pillars that support the canopy of her throne are sculptured the Ram, and the Sparrow, and the Cat, and a strange fish. Behold! How she shineth! Behold! How her glances have kindled all these fires that have blown about the heavens! Yet remember that in every one there goeth forth for a witness the justice of the Most High. Is not Libra the House of Venus? And there goeth forth a sickle that shall reap every flower. Is not Saturn exalted in Libra? Daleth, Lamed, Tau.

And therefore was he a fool who uttered her name in his heart, for the root of evil is the root of breath, and the speech in the silence was a lie.

Thus is it seen from below by them that understand not. But from above he rejoiceth, for the joy of dissolution is ten thousand, and the pang of birth but a little.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Readings for April 6th

Reading 1: Liber Ararita (DCCCXIII), Chapter VI, by Saint Aleister Crowley

0. Deeper and deeper into the mire of things! Farther and farther into the never-ending Expansion of the Abyss.

1. The great goddess that bendeth over the Universe is my mistress; I am the winged globe at her heart.
2. I contract ever as she ever expandeth;
3. At the end it is all one.
4. Our loves have brought to birth the Father and Creator of all things.
5. He hath established the elements; the aether, the air, the water, the earth, and the fire.
6. He hath established the wandering stars in their courses.
7. He hath ploughed with the seven stars of his Plough, that the Seven might move indeed, yet ever point to the unchanging One.
8. He hath established the Eight Belts, wherewith he hath girdled the globes.
9. He hath established the Trinity of Triads in all things, forcing fire into fire, and ordering all things in the Stable Abode of the Kings of AEgypt.
10. He hath established His rule in His kingdom.
11. Yet the Father also boweth unto the Power of the Star 418 and thereby
12. In his subtlety He expandeth it all into twelve rays of the Crown.
13. And these twelve rays are One.

Reading 2: From The Thunder: Perfect Mind

I was sent from the Power
And I have come to those who think upon me.
And I was found among those who seek after me (13,2-5) .

Look at me, you who think upon me;
And you hearers, hear me!
You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves.
And do not pursue me from your vision.
And do not make your sound hate me, nor your hearing.
Do not be ignorant of me at any place or any time.
Be on guard!
Do not be ignorant of me. (13,5-15).
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored and the scorned,
I am the harlot and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one and the one with many children.
I am she whose marriage is multiple, and I have not taken a husband.
I am the midwife and she who does not give birth.
I am the comforting of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom.
It is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father and the sister of my husband.
And he is my offspring.
I am the servant of him who prepared me and I am the lord of my offspring.
But he is the one who begot me before time on a day of birth and he is my offspring in time, and my power is from him.
I am the staff of his power in his youth and he is the rod of my old age.
And whatever he wills happens to me.

I am the incomprehensible silence and the much-remembered thought.
I am the voice of many sounds and the utterance (logoß) of many forms.
I am the utterance of my name (13,15-14,15).

Why, you who hate me, do you love me
And hate those who love me?

You who deny me, confess me,
And you who confess me, deny me.
You who speak the truth about me, tell lies about me,
And you who have told lies about me, speak the truth about me.
You who know me, become ignorant of me; and may those who have been ignorant of me come to know me (14,15-25).

For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am unashamed, I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace (14,26-32).

Give heed to me (14,32-33)..
I am the disgraced and the exalted one (14,33-34)


[...] I know the fi[rst ones] and those after them know me.
But I am the [perfect] mind and the repose of the [...]
I am the gnosis of my seeking, and the finding of those who seek after me.
And the command of those who ask of me.

And the power of the powers by my gnosis
of the angels who have been sent by my logos,
And the gods in their seasons by my command,
And it is with me that the spirits of all humans exist,
and it is within me that women exist.


For many are the sweet forms that exist in numerous sins
And unrestrained acts and disgraceful passions, and temporal pleasures,
Which are restrained until they become sober
And run up to their place of rest.
And they will find me there,
And they will live and they will not die again (21,20-32).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Readings for April 5th

Reading 1: Liber Cordis Cincti Serpenti (LXV), Chapter V, by Saint Aleister Crowley

1. Ah! my Lord Adonai, that dalliest with the Magister in the Treasure-House of Pearls, let me listen to the echo of your kisses.
2. Is not the starry heaven shaken as a leaf at the tremulous rapture of your love? Am not I the flying spark of light whirled away by the great wind of your perfection?
3. Yea, cried the Holy One, and from Thy spark will I the Lord kindle a great light; I will burn through the great city in the old and desolate land; I will cleanse it from its great impurity.
4. And thou, O prophet, shalt see these things, and thou shalt heed them not.
5. Now is the Pillar established in the Void; now is Asi fulfilled of Asar; now is Hoor let down into the Animal Soul of Things like a fiery star that falleth upon the darkness of the earth.
6. Through the midnight thou art dropt, O my child, my conqueror, my sword-girt captain, O Hoor! and they shall find thee as a black gnarl'd glittering stone, and they shall worship thee.
7. My prophet shall prophesy concerning thee; around thee the maidens shall dance, and bright babes be born unto them. Thou shalt inspire the proud ones with infinite pride, and the humble ones with an ecstasy of abasement; all this shall transcend the Known and the Unknown with somewhat that hath no name. For it is as the abyss of the Arcanum that is opened in the secret Place of Silence.
8. Thou hast come hither, O my prophet, through grave paths. Thou hast eaten of the dung of the Abominable Ones; thou hast prostrated thyself before the Goat and the Crocodile; the evil men have made thee a plaything; thou hast wandered as a painted harlot, ravishing with sweet scent and Chinese colouring, in the streets; thou hast darkened thine eyepits with Kohl; thou hast tinted thy lips with vermilion; thou hast plastered thy cheeks with ivory enamels. Thou hast played the wanton in every gate and by-way of the great city. The men of the city have lusted after thee to abuse thee and to beat thee. They have mouthed the golden spangles of fine dust(mg)wherewith thou didst bedeck thine hair; they have scourged the painted flesh of thee with their whips; thou hast suffered unspeakable things.
9. But I have burnt within thee as a pure flame without oil. In the midnight I was brighter than the moon; in the daytime I exceeded utterly the sun; in the byways of of thy being I inflamed, and dispelled the illusion.
10. Therefore thou art wholly pure before Me; therefore thou art My virgin unto eternity.
11. Therefore I love thee with surpassing love; therefore they that despise thee shall adore thee.
12. Thou shalt be lovely and pitiful toward them; thou shalt heal them of the unutterable evil.
13. They shall change in their destruction, even as two dark stars that crash together in the abyss, and blaze up in an infinite burning.
14. All this while did Adonai pierce my being with his sword that hath four blades; the blade of the thunderbolt, the blade of the Pylon, the blade of the serpent, the blade of the Phallus.
15. Also he taught me the holy unutterable word Ararita, so that I melted the sixfold gold into a single invisible point, whereof naught may be spoken.
16. For the Magistry of this Opus is a secret magistry; and the sign of the master thereof is a certain ring of lapis-lazuli with the name of my master, who am I, and the Eye in the Midst thereof.
17. Also He spake and said: This is a secret sign, and thou shalt not disclose it unto the profane, nor unto the neophyte, nor unto the zelator, nor unto the practicus, nor unto the philosophus, nor unto the lesser adept, nor unto the greater adept.
18. But unto the exempt adept thou shalt disclose thyself if thou have need of him for the lesser operations of thine art.
19. Accept the worship of the foolish people, whom thou hatest. The Fire is not defiled by the altars of the Ghebers, nor is the Moon contaminated by the incense of them that adore the Queen of Night.
20. Thou shalt dwell among the people as a precious diamond among cloudy diamonds, and crystals, and pieces of glass. Only the eye of the just merchant shall behold thee, and plunging in his hand shall single thee out and glorify thee before men.
21. But thou shalt heed none of this. Thou shalt be ever the heart, and I the serpent will coil close about thee. My coil shall never relax throughout the aeons. Neither change nor sorrow nor unsubstantiality shall have thee; for thou art passed beyond all these.
22. Even as the diamond shall glow red for the rose, and green for the rose-leaf; so shalt thou abide apart from the Impressions.
23. I am thou, and the Pillar is 'stablished in the void.
24. Also thou art beyond the stabilities of Being and of Consciousness and of Bliss; for I am thou, and the Pillar is 'stablished in the void.
25. Also thou shalt discourse of these things unto the man that writeth them, and he shall partake of them as a sacrament; for I who am thou am he, and the Pillar is 'stablished in the void.
26. From the Crown to the Abyss, so goeth it single and erect. Also the limitless sphere shall glow with the brilliance thereof.
27. Thou shalt rejoice in the pools of adorable water; thou shalt bedeck thy damsels with pearls of fecundity; thou shalt light flame like licking tongues of liquor of the Gods between the pools.
28. Also thou shalt convert the all-sweeping air into the winds of pale water, thou shalt transmute the earth into a blue abyss of wine.
29. Ruddy are the gleams of ruby and gold that sparkle therein; one drop shall intoxicate the Lord of the Gods my servant.
30. Also Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V. saying: O my little one, my tender one, my little amorous one, my gazelle, my beautiful, my boy, let us fill up the pillar of the Infinite with an infinite kiss!
31. So that the stable was shaken and the unstable became still.
32. They that beheld it cried with a formidable affright: The end of things is come upon us.
33. And it was even so.
34. Also I was in the spirit vision and beheld a parricidal pomp of atheists, coupled by two and by two in the supernal ecstasy of the stars. They did laugh and rejoice exceedingly, being clad in purple robes and drunken with purple wine, and their whole soul was one purple flower-flame of holiness.
35. They beheld not God; they beheld not the Image of God; therefore were they arisen to the Palace of the Splendour Ineffable. A sharp sword smote out before them, and the worm Hope writhed in its death-agony under their feet.
36. Even as their rapture shore asunder the visible Hope, so also the Fear Invisible fled away and was no more.
37. O ye that are beyond Aormuzdi and Ahrimanes! blessed are ye unto the ages.
38. They shaped Doubt as a sickle, and reaped the flowers of Faith for their garlands.
39. They shaped Ecstasy as a spear, and pierced the ancient dragon that sat upon the stagnant water.
40. Then the fresh springs were unloosed, that the folk athirst might be at ease.
41. And again I was caught up into the presence of my Lord Adonai, and the knowledge and Conversation of the Holy One, and Angel that Guardeth me.
42. O Holy Exalted One, O Self beyond self. O Self-Luminous Image of the Unimaginable Naught, O my darling, my beautiful, come Thou forth and follow me.
43. Adonai, divine Adonai, let Adonai initiate refulgent dalliance! Thus I concealed the name of Her name that inspireth my rapture, the scent of whose body bewildereth the soul, the light of whose soul abaseth this body unto the beasts.
44. I have sucked out the blood with my lips; I have drained Her beauty of its sustenance; I have abased Her before me, I have mastered Her, I have possessed Her, and Her life is within me. In Her blood I inscribe the secret riddles of the Sphinx of the Gods, that none shall understand, --- save only the pure and voluptuous, the chaste and obscene, the androgyne and the gynander that have passed beyond the bars of the prison that the old Slime of Khem set up in the Gates of Amennti.
45. O my adorable, my delicious one, all night will I pour out the libation on Thine altars; all night will I burn the sacrifice of blood; all night will I swing the thurible of my delight before Thee, and the fervour of the orisons shall intoxicate Thy nostrils.
46. O Thou who camest from the land of the Elephant, girt about with the tiger's pell, and garlanded with the lotus of the spirit, do Thou inebriate my life with Thy madness, that She leap at my passing.
47. Bid Thy maidens who follow Thee bestrew us a bed of flowers immortal, that we may take our pleasure thereupon. Bid Thy satyrs heap thorns among the flowers, that we may take our pain thereupon. Let the pleasure and pain be mingled in one supreme offering unto the Lord Adonai!
48. Also I heard the voice of Adonai the Lord the desirable one concerning that which is beyond.
49. Let not the dwellers in Thebai and the temples thereof prate ever of the Pillars of Hercules and the Ocean of the West. Is not the Nile a beautiful water?
50. Let not the priest of Isis uncover the nakedness of Nuit, for every step is a death and a birth. The priest of Isis lifted the veil of Isis, and was slain by the kisses of her mouth. Then was he the priest of Nuit, and drank of the milk of the stars.
51. Let not the failure and the pain turn aside the worshippers. The foundations of the pyramid were hewn in the living rock ere sunset; did the king weep at dawn that the crown of the pyramid was yet unquarried in the distant land?
52. There was also an humming-bird that spake unto the horned cerastes, and prayed him for poison. And the great snake of Khem the Holy One, the royal Uraeus serpent, answered him and said:
53. I sailed over the sky of Nu in the car called Millions-of-Years, and I saw not any creature upon Seb that was equal to me. The venom of my fang is the inheritance of my father, and of my father's father; and how shall I give it unto thee? Live thou and thy children as I and my fathers have lived, even unto an hundred millions of generations, and it may be that the mercy of the Mighty Ones may bestow upon thy children a drop of the poison of eld.
54. Then the humming-bird was afflicted in his spirit, and he flew unto the flowers, and it was as if naught had been spoken between them. Yet in a little while a serpent struck him that he died.
55. But an Ibis that meditated upon the bank of Nile the beautiful god listened and heard. And he laid aside his Ibis ways, and became as a serpent, saying Peradventure in an hundred millions of millions of generations of my children, they shall attain to a drop of the poison of the fang of the Exalted One.
56. And behold! ere the moon waxed thrice he became an Uraeus serpent, and the poison of the fang was established in him and his seed even for ever and for ever.
57. O thou Serpent Apep, my Lord Adonai, it is a speck of minutest time, this travelling through eternity, and in Thy sight the landmarks are of fair white marble untouched by the tool of the graver. Therefore thou art mine, even now and for ever and for everlasting. Amen.
58. Moreover, I heard the voice of Adonai: Seal up the book of the Heart and the Serpent; in the number five and sixty seal thou the holy book.

As fine gold that is beaten into a diadem for the fair queen of Pharaoh, as great stones that are cemented together into the Pyramid of the ceremony of the Death of Asar, so do thou bind together the words and the deeds, so that in all is one Thought of Me thy delight Adonai.
59. And I answered and said: It is done even according unto Thy word. And it was done. And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught.
60. O land beyond honey and spice and all perfection! I will dwell therein with my Lord for ever.
61. And the Lord Adonai delighteth in me, and I bear the Cup of His gladness unto the weary ones of the old grey land.
62. They that drink thereof are smitten of disease; the abomination hath hold upon them, and their torment is like the thick black smoke of the evil abode.
63. But the chosen ones drank thereof, and became even as my Lord, my beautiful, my desirable one. There is no wine like unto this wine.
64. They are gathered together into a glowing heart, as Ra that gathereth his clouds about Him at eventide into a molten sea of Joy; and the snake that is the crown of Ra bindeth them about with the golden girdle of the death-kisses.
65. So also is the end of the book, and the Lord Adonai is about it on all sides like a Thunderbolt, and a Pylon, and a Snake, and a Phallus, and in the midst thereof he is like the Woman that jetteth out the milk of the stars from her paps; yea, the milk of the stars from her paps.

Reading 2: From Christ and Antichrist by Saint Hippolytus

For as the blessed prophets were made, so to speak, eyes for us, they foresaw through faith the mysteries of the word, and became ministers of these things also to succeeding generations, not only reporting the past, but also announcing the present and the future, so that the prophet might not appear to be one only for the time being, but might also predict the future for all generations, and so be reckoned a (true) prophet. For these fathers were furnished with the Spirit, and largely honoured by the Word Himself; and just as it is with instruments of music, so had they the Word always, like the plectrum, in union with them, and when moved by Him the prophets announced what God willed. For they spake not of their own power (let there be no mistake as to that), neither did they declare what pleased themselves. But First of all they were endowed with wisdom by the Word, and then again were rightly instructed in the future by means of visions. And then, when thus themselves fully convinced, they spake those things which were revealed by God to them alone, and concealed from all others.

For with what reason should the prophet be called a prophet, unless he in spirit foresaw the future? For if the prophet spake of any chance event, he would not be a prophet then in speaking of things which were under the eye of all. But one who sets forth in detail things yet to be, was rightly judged a prophet. Wherefore prophets were with good reason called from the very first "seers." And hence we, too, who are rightly instructed in what was declared aforetime by them, speak not of our own capacity. For we do not attempt to made any change one way or another among ourselves in the words that were spoken of old by them, but we make the Scriptures in which these are written public, and read them to those who can believe rightly; for that is a common benefit for both parties: for him who speaks, in holding in memory and setting forth correctly things uttered of old; and for him who hears, in giving attention to the things spoken.

Since, then, in this there is a work assigned to both parties together, viz., to him who speaks, that he speak forth faithfully without regard to risk, and to him who hears, that he hear and receive in faith that which is spoken, I beseech you to strive together with me in prayer to God.

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 æons 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 æons 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.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Readings for April 3rd

Reading 1: Liber Cheth (CLVI) by Saint Aleister Crowley

1. This is the secret of the Holy Graal, that is the sacred vessel of our Lady the Scarlet Woman, Babalon the Mother of Abominations, the bride of Chaos, that rideth upon our Lord the Beast.
2. Thou shalt drain out thy blood that is thy life into the golden cup of her fornication.
3. Thou shalt mingle thy life with the universal life. Thou shalt keep not back one drop.
4. Then shall thy brain be dumb, and thy heart beat no more, and all thy life shall go from thee; and thou shalt be cast out upon the midden, and the birds of the air shall feast upon thy flesh, and thy bones shall whiten in the sun.
5. Then shall the winds gather themselves together, and bear thee up as it were a little heap of dust in a sheet that hath four corners, and they shall give it unto the guardians of the abyss.
6. And because there is no life therein, the guardians of the abyss shall bid the angels of the winds pass by. And the angels shall lay thy dust in the City of the Pyramids, and the name thereof shall be no more.
7. Now therefore that thou mayest achieve this ritual of the Holy Graal, do thou divest thyself of all thy goods.
8. Thou hast wealth; give it unto them that have need thereof, yet no desire toward it.
9. Thou hast health; slay thyself in the fervour of thine abandonment unto Our Lady. Let thy flesh hang loose upon thy bones, and thine eyes glare with thy quenchless lust unto the Infinite, with thy passion for the Unknown, for Her that is beyond Knowledge the accursed one.
10. Thou hast love; tear thy mother from thine heart, and spit in the face of thy father. Let thy foot trample the belly of thy wife, and let the babe at her breast be the prey of dogs and vultures.
11. For if thou dost not this with thy will, then shall We do this despite thy will. So that thou attain to the Sacrament of the Graal in the Chapel of Abominations.
12. And behold! if by stealth thou keep unto thyself one thought of thine, then shalt thou be cast out into the abyss for ever; and thou shalt be the lonely one, the eater of dung, the afflicted in the Day of Be-with-Us.
13. Yea! verily this is the Truth, this is the Truth, this is the Truth. Unto thee shall be granted joy and health and wealth and wisdom when thou art no longer thou.
14. Then shall every gain be a new sacrament, and it shall not defile thee; thou shalt revel with the wanton in the market-place, and the virgins shall fling roses upon thee, and the merchants bend their knees and bring thee gold and spices. Also young boys shall pour wonderful wines for thee, and the singers and the dancers shall sing and dance for thee.
15. Yet shalt thou not be therein, for thou shalt be forgotten, dust lost in dust.
16. Nor shall the æon itself avail thee in this; for from the dust shall a white ash be prepared by Hermes the Invisible.
17. And this is the wrath of God, that these things should be thus.
18. And this is the grace of God, that these things should be thus.
19. Wherefore I charge you that ye come unto me in the Beginning; for if ye take but one step in this Path, ye must arrive inevitably at the end thereof.
20. This Path is beyond Life and Death; it is also beyond Love; but that ye know not, for ye know not Love.
21. And the end thereof is known not even unto Our Lady or to the Beast whereon She rideth; nor unto the Virgin her daughter nor unto Chaos her lawful Lord; but unto the Crowned Child is it known? It is not known if it be known.
22. Therefore unto Hadit and unto Nuit be the glory in the End and the Beginning; yea, in the End and the Beginning.

Reading 2: From Parsifal by Saint Richard Wagner

If you are pure,
the Grail will be meat and drink to you.

Who is the Grail?

That cannot be said;
but if you yourself are called to its service,
that knowledge will not remain withheld. --
And see!
I think I know you aright;
no earthly path leads to it,
and none could tread it
whom the Grail itself had not guided.

At this latest love-feast
prepared day after day,
as on the last occasion,
may it today refresh us.

The meal will renew him
who delights in doing good:
may he derive comfort,
and receive the supreme gift.

The faith endures;
the Dove hovers --
the Saviour's loving messenger.
Drink the wine
poured out for you
and take the bread of life!

Blood and body of that holy gift,
the loving spirit of blessed consolation,
now turn for your refreshment
into the wine poured out for you,
into the bread that feeds you today.

Take of the bread,
turn it confidently
into bodily strength and power;
true until death,
steadfast in effort,
to work the Savior's will!

Take of the wine,
turn it anew
into the fiery blood of life.
Rejoicing in he unity
of brotherly faith,
let us fight with holy courage!

Blessed in faith and love!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Readings for April 2nd

Reading 1: Liber Stellae Rubeae (LXVI) by Saint Aleister Crowley

1. Apep deifieth Asar.
2. Let excellent virgins evoke rejoicing, son of Night!
3. This is the book of the most secret cult of the Ruby Star. It shall be given to none, save to the shameless in deed as in word.
4. No man shall understand this writing -- it is too subtle for the sons of men.
5. If the Ruby Star have shed its blood upon thee; if in the season of the moon thou hast invoked by the Iod and the Pe, then mayest thou partake of this most secret sacrament.
6. One shall instruct another, with no care for the matters of men's thought.
7. There shall be a fair altar in the midst, extended upon a black stone.
8. At the head of the altar gold, and twin images in green of the Master.
9. In the midst a cup of green wine.
10. At the foot the Star of Ruby.
11. The altar shall be entirely bare.
12. First, the ritual of the Flaming Star.
13. Next, the ritual of the Seal.
14. Next, the infernal adorations of OAI

Mu pa telai,
Tu wa melai
a, a, a.
Tu fu tulu!
Tu fu tulu
Pa, Sa, Ga.
Qwi Mu telai
Ya Pu melai;
u, u, u.
'Se gu malai;
Pe fu telai,
Fu tu lu.
O chi balae
Wa pa malae: --
Ut! Ut! Ut!
Ge; fu latrai,
Le fu malai
Kut! Hut! Nut!
Rel moai
Ti -- Ti -- Ti!
Wa la pelai
Tu fu latai
Wi, Ni, Bi.

15. Also thou shalt excite the wheels with the five wounds and the five wounds.
16. Then thou shalt excite the wheels with the two and the third in the midst; even Saturn and Jupiter, Sol and Luna, Mars and Venus, and Mercury.
17. Then the five -- and the sixth.
18. Also the altar shall fume before the master with incense that hath no smoke.
19. That which is to be denied shall be denied; that which is to be trampled shall be trampled; that which is to be spat upon shall be spat upon.
20. These things shall be burnt in the outer fire.
21. Then again the master shall speak as he will soft words, and with music and what else he will bring forward the Victim.
22. Also he shall slay a young child upon the altar, and the blood shall cover the altar with perfume as of roses.
23. Then shall the master appear as He should appear -- in His glory.
24. He shall stretch himself upon the altar, and awake it into life, and into death.
25. (For so we conceal that life which is beyond.)
26. The temple shall be darkened, save for the fire and the lamp of the altar.
27. There shall he kindle a great fire and a devouring.
28. Also he shall smite the altar with his scourge, and blood shall flow therefrom.
29. Also he shall have made roses bloom thereon.
30. In the end he shall offer up the Vast Sacrifice, at the moment when the God licks up the flame upon the altar.
31. All these things shalt thou perform strictly, observing the time.
32. And the Beloved shall abide with Thee.
33. Thou shalt not disclose the interior world of this rite unto any one: therefore have I written it in symbols that cannot be understood.
34. I who reveal the ritual am IAO and OAI; the Right and the Averse.
35. These are alike unto me.
36. Now the Veil of this operation is called Shame, and the Glory abideth within.
37. Thou shalt comfort the heart of the secret stone with the warm blood. Thou shalt make a subtle decoction of delight, and the Watchers shall drink thereof.
38. I, Apep the Serpent, am the heart of IAO. Isis shall await Asar, and I in the midst.
39. Also the Priestess shall seek another altar, and perform my ceremonies thereon.
40. There shall be no hymn nor dithyramb in my praise and the praise of the rite, seeing that it is utterly beyond.
41. Thou shalt assure thyself of the stability of the altar.
42. In this rite thou shalt be alone.
43. I will give thee another ceremony whereby many shall rejoice.
44. Before all let the Oath be taken firmly as thou raisest up the altar from the black earth.
45. In the words that Thou knowest.
46. For I also swear unto thee by my body and soul that shall never be parted in sunder that I dwell within thee coiled and ready to spring.
47. I will give thee the kingdoms of the earth, O thou Who hast mastered the kingdoms of the East and of the West.
48. I am Apep, O thou slain One. Thou shalt slay thyself upon mine altar: I will have thy blood to drink.
49. For I am a mighty vampire, and my children shall suck up the wine of the earth which is blood.
50. Thou shalt replenish thy veins from the chalice of heaven.
51. Thou shalt be secret, a fear to the world.
52. Thou shalt be exalted, and none shall see thee; exalted, and none shall suspect thee.
53. For there are two glories diverse, and thou who hast won the first shalt enjoy the second.
54. I leap with joy within thee; my head is arisen to strike.
55. O the lust, the sheer rapture, of the life of the snake in the spine!
56. Mightier than God or man, I am in them, and pervade them.
57. Follow out these my words.
58. Fear nothing.
Fear nothing.
Fear nothing.
59. For I am nothing, and me thou shalt fear, O my virgin, my prophet within whose bowels I rejoice.
60. Thou shalt fear with the fear of love: I will overcome thee.
61. Thou shalt be very nigh to death.
62. But I will overcome thee; the New Life shall illumine thee with the Light that is beyond the Stars.
63. Thinkest thou? I, the force that have created all, am not to be despised.
64. And I will slay thee in my lust.
65. Thou shalt scream with the joy and the pain and the fear and the love -- so that the LOGOS of a new God leaps out among the Stars.
66. There shall be no sound heard but this thy lion-roar of rapture; yea, this thy lion-roar of rapture.

Reading 2: The Daughter of Fortitude by Saint Edward Kelly

I am the daughter of Fortitude, and ravished every hour from my youth. For behold I am Understanding and science dwelleth in me; and the heavens oppress me. They cover and desire me with infinite appetite; for none that are earthly have embraced me, for I am shadowed with the Circle of the Stars and covered with the morning clouds. My feet are swifter than the winds, and my hands are sweeter than the morning dew. My garments are from the beginning, and my dwelling place is in myself. The Lion knoweth not where I walk, neither do the beast of the fields understand me. I am deflowered, yet a virgin; I sanctify and am not sanctified. Happy is he that embraceth me: for in the night season I am sweet, and in the day full of pleasure. My company is a harmony of many symbols and my lips sweeter than health itself. I am a harlot for such as ravish me, and a virgin with such as know me not. For lo, I am loved of many, and I am a lover to many; and as many as come unto me as they should do, have entertainment.

Purge your streets, O ye sons of men, and wash your houses clean; make yourselves holy, and put on righteousness. Cast out your old strumpets, and burn their clothes; abstain from the company of other women that are defiled, that are sluttish, and not so handsome and beautiful as I, and then will I come and dwell amongst you: and behold, I will bring forth children unto you, and they shall be the Sons of Comfort. I will open my garments, and stand naked before you, that your love may be more enflamed toward me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Readings for April 1st

Reading 1: Liber Lapidis Lazuli (VII), Chapter V, by Saint Aleister Crowley

1. O my beautiful God! I swim in Thy heart like a trout in the mountain torrent.
2. I leap from pool to pool in my joy; I am goodly with brown and gold and silver.
3. Why, I am lovelier than the russet autumn woods at the first snowfall.
4. And the crystal cave of my thought is lovelier than I.
5. Only one fish-hook can draw me out; it is a woman kneeling by the bank of the stream. It is she that pours the bright dew over herself, and into the sand so that the river gushes forth.
6. There is a bird on yonder myrtle; only the song of that bird can draw me out of the pool of Thy heart, O my God!
7. Who is this Neapolitan boy that laughs in his happiness? His lover is the mighty crater of the Mountain of Fire. I saw his charred limbs borne down the slopes in a stealthy tongue of liquid stone.
8. And Oh! the chirp of the cicada!
9. I remember the days when I was cacique in Mexico.
10. O my God, wast Thou then as now my beautiful lover?
11. Was my boyhood then as now Thy toy, Thy joy?
12. Verily, I remember those iron days.
13. I remember how we drenched the bitter lakes with our torrent of gold; how we sank the treasurable image in the crater of Citlaltepetl.
14. How the good flame lifted us even unto the lowlands, setting us down in the impenetrable forest.
15. Yea, Thou wast a strange scarlet bird with a bill of gold. I was Thy mate in the forests of the lowland; and ever we heard from afar the shrill chant of mutilated priests and the insane clamour of the Sacrifice of Maidens.
16. There was a weird winged God that told us of his wisdom.
17. We attained to be starry grains of gold dust in the sands of a slow river.
18. Yea, and that river was the river of space and time also.
19. We parted thence; ever to the smaller, ever to the greater, until now, O sweet God, we are ourselves, the same.
20. O God of mine, Thou art like a little white goat with lightning in his horns!
21. I love Thee, I love Thee.
22. Every breath, every word, every thought, every deed is an act of love with Thee.
23. The beat of my heart is the pendulum of love.
24. The songs of me are the soft sighs:
25. The thoughts of me are very rapture:
26. And my deeds are the myriads of Thy children, the stars and the atoms.
27. Let there be nothing!
28. Let all things drop into this ocean of love!
29. Be this devotion a potent spell to exorcize the demons of the Five!
30. Ah God, all is gone! Thou dost consummate Thy rapture. Falútli! Falútli!
31. There is a solemnity of the silence. There is no more voice at all.
32. So shall it be unto the end. We who were dust shall never fall away into the dust.
33. So shall it be.
34. Then, O my God, the breath of the Garden of Spices. All these have a savour averse.
35. The cone is cut with an infinite ray; the curve of hyperbolic life springs into being.
36. Farther and farther we float; yet we are still. It is the chain of systems that is falling away from us.
37. First falls the silly world; the world of the old grey land.
38. Falls it unthinkably far, with its sorrowful bearded face presiding over it; it fades to silence and woe.
39. We to silence and bliss, and the face is the laughing face of Eros.
40. Smiling we greet him with the secret signs.
41. He leads us into the Inverted Palace.
42. There is the Heart of Blood, a pyramid reaching its apex down beyond the Wrong of the Beginning.
43. Bury me unto Thy Glory, O beloved, O princely lover of this harlot maiden, within the Secretest Chamber of the Palace!
44. It is done quickly; yea, the seal is set upon the vault.
45. There is one that shall avail to open it.
46. Nor by memory, nor by imagination, nor by prayer, nor by fasting, nor by scourging, nor by drugs, nor by ritual, nor by meditation; only by passive love shall he avail.
47. He shall await the sword of the Beloved and bare his throat for the stroke.
48. Then shall his blood leap out and write me runes in the sky; yea, write me runes in the sky.

Reading 2: From The Tabula Smaragdina (The Emerald Tablet) of Saint Hermes Trismegistus.

1. True, without error, certain and most true: that which is above is as that which is below, and that which is below is as that which is above, to perform the miracles of the One Thing.
2. And as all things were from One, by the meditation of One, so from this One Thing come all things by adaptation. Its father is the Sun, its mother is the Moon, the wind carried it in its belly, the nurse thereof is the Earth.
3. It is the father of all perfection and the consummation of the whole world. Its power is integral if it be turned to Earth.
4. Thou shalt separate the Earth from the Fire, the subtle from the coarse, gently and with much ingenuity. It ascends from Earth to heaven and descends again to Earth, and receives the power of the superiors and the inferiors.
5. Thus thou hast the glory of the whole world; therefore let all obscurity flee before thee. This is the strong fortitude of all fortitude, overcoming every subtle and penetrating every solid thing. Thus the world was created. Hence are all wonderful adaptations, of which this is the manner.
6. Therefore am I called Hermes the Thrice Great, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world. That is finished which I have to say concerning the operation of the Sun.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Readings for March 31st

Reading 1: Liber Lapidis Lazuli (VII), Chapter III, by Saint Aleister Crowley

1. I was the priest of Ammon-Ra in the temple of Ammon-Ra at Thebai.
2. But Bacchus came singing with his troops of vine-clad girls, of girls in dark mantles; and Bacchus in the midst like a fawn!
3. God! how I ran out in my rage and scattered the chorus!
4. But in my temple stood Bacchus as the priest of Ammon-Ra.
5. Therefore I went wildly with the girls into Abyssinia; and there we abode and rejoiced.
6. Exceedingly; yea, in good sooth!
7. I will eat the ripe and the unripe fruit for the glory of Bacchus.
8. Terraces of ilex, and tiers of onyx and opal and sardonyx leading up to the cool green porch of malachite.
9. Within is a crystal shell, shaped like an oyster -- O glory of Priapus! O beatitude of the Great Goddess!
10. Therein is a pearl.
11. O Pearl! thou hast come from the majesty of dread Ammon-Ra.
12. Then I the priest beheld a steady glitter in the heart of the pearl.
13. So bright we could not look! But behold! a blood-red rose upon a rood of glowing gold!
14. So I adored the God. Bacchus! thou art the lover of my God!
15. I who was priest of Ammon-Ra, who saw the Nile flow by for many moons, for many, many moons, am the young fawn of the grey land.
16. I will set up my dance in your conventicles, and my secret loves shall be sweet among you.
17. Thou shalt have a lover among the lords of the grey land.
18. This shall he bring unto thee, without which all is in vain; a man's life spilt for thy love upon My Altars.
19. Amen.
20. Let it be soon, O God, my God! I ache for Thee, I wander very lonely among the mad folk, in the grey land of desolation.
21. Thou shalt set up the abominable lonely Thing of wickedness. Oh joy! to lay that corner-stone!
22. It shall stand erect upon the high mountain; only my God shall commune with it.
23. I will build it of a single ruby; it shall be seen from afar off.
24. Come! let us irritate the vessels of the earth: they shall distil strange wine.
25. It grows under my hand: it shall cover the whole heaven.
26. Thou art behind me: I scream with a mad joy.
27. Then said Ithuriel the strong; let Us also worship this invisible marvel!
28. So did they, and the archangels swept over the heaven.
29. Strange and mystic, like a yellow priest invoking mighty flights of great grey birds from the North, so do I stand and invoke Thee!
30. Let them obscure not the sun with their wings and their clamour!
31. Take away form and its following!
32. I am still.
33. Thou art like an osprey among the rice, I am the great red pelican in the sunset waters.
34. I am like a black eunuch; and Thou art the scimitar. I smite off the head of the light one, the breaker of bread and salt.
35. Yea! I smite -- and the blood makes as it were a sunset on the lapis lazuli of the King's Bedchamber.
36. I smite! The whole world is broken up into a mighty wind, and a voice cries aloud in a tongue that men cannot speak.
37. I know that awful sound of primal joy; let us follow on the wings of the gale even unto the holy house of Hathor; let us offer the five jewels of the cow upon her altar!
38. Again the inhuman voice!
39. I rear my Titan bulk into the teeth of the gale, and I smite and prevail, and swing me out over the sea.
40. There is a strange pale God, a god of pain and deadly wickedness.
41. My own soul bites into itself, like a scorpion ringed with fire.
42. That pallid God with face averted, that God of subtlety and laughter, that young Doric God, him will I serve.
43. For the end thereof is torment unspeakable.
44. Better the loneliness of the great grey sea!
45. But ill befall the folk of the grey land, my God!
46. Let me smother them with my roses!
47. Oh Thou delicious God, smile sinister!
48. I pluck Thee, O my God, like a purple plum upon a sunny tree. How Thou dost melt in my mouth, Thou consecrated sugar of the Stars!
49. The world is all grey before mine eyes; it is like an old worn wine-skin.
50. All the wine of it is on these lips.
51. Thou hast begotten me upon a marble Statue, O my God!
52. The body is icy cold with the coldness of a million moons; it is harder than the adamant of eternity. How shall I come forth into the light?
53. Thou art He, O God! O my darling! my child! my plaything! Thou art like a cluster of maidens, like a multitude of swans upon the lake.
54. I feel the essence of softness.
55. I am hard and strong and male; but come Thou! I shall be soft and weak and feminine.
56. Thou shalt crush me in the wine-press of Thy love. My blood shall stain Thy fiery feet with litanies of Love in Anguish.
57. There shall be a new flower in the fields, a new vintage in the vineyards.
58. The bees shall gather a new honey; the poets shall sing a new song.
59. I shall gain the Pain of the Goat for my prize; and the God that sitteth upon the shoulders of Time shall drowse.
60. Then shall all this which is written be accomplished: yea, it shall be accomplished.

Reading 2: Liber Sæculi (CDXVIII), the 20th Æthyr, by Saint Aleister Crowley

Now behind the angels are archangels with trumpets. These cause all things to appear at once, so that there is a tremendous confusion of images. And now I perceive that all these things are but veils of the wheel, for they all gather themselves into a wheel that spins with incredible velocity. It hath many colours, but all thrilled with white light, so that they are transparent and luminous. This one wheel is forty-nine wheels, set at different angles, so that they compose a sphere; each wheel has forty-nine spokes, and has forty-nine concentric tyres at equal distances from the centre. And wherever the rays from any two wheels meet, there is a blinding flash of glory. It must be understood that though so much detail is visible in the wheel, yet at the same time the impression is of a single, simple object.

It seems that this wheel is being spun by a hand. Though the wheel fills the whole Aire, yet the hand is much bigger than the wheel. And though this vision is so great and splendid, yet there is no seriousness with it, or solemnity. It seems that the hand is spinning the wheel merely for pleasure, it would be better to say amusement.

A voice comes: For he is a jocund and a ruddy god, and his laughter is the vibration of all that exists, and the earthquakes of the soul.

One is conscious of the whirring of the wheel thrilling one, like an electric discharge passing through one.

Now I see the figures on the wheel, which have been interpreted as the sworded Sphinx, Hermanubis and Typhon. And that is wrong. The rim of the wheel is a vivid emerald snake; in the centre of the wheel is a scarlet heart; and, impossible to explain as it is, the scarlet of the heart and the green of the snake are yet more vivid than the blinding white brilliance of the wheel.

The figures on the wheel are darker than the wheel itself; in fact, they are stains upon the purity of the wheel, and for that reason, and because of the whirling of the wheel, I cannot see them. But at the top seems to be the Lamb and Flag, such as one sees on some Christian medals, and one of the lower things is a wolf, and the other a raven. The Lamb and Flag symbol is much brighter than the other two. It keeps on growing brighter, until now it is brighter than the wheel itself, and occupies more space than it did.

It speaks: I am the greatest of the deceivers, for my purity and innocence shall seduce the pure and innocent, who but for me should come to the centre of the wheel. The wolf betrayeth only the greedy and the treacherous; the raven betrayeth only the melancholy and the dishonest. But I am he of whom it is written: He shall deceive the very elect.

For in the beginning the Father of all called forth lying spirits that they might sift the creatures of the earth in three sieves, according to the three impure souls. And he chose the wolf for the lust of the flesh, and the raven for the lust of the mind; but me did he choose above all to simulate the pure prompting of the soul. Them that are fallen a prey to the wolf and the raven I have not scathed; but them that have rejected me, I have given over to the wrath of the raven and the wolf. And the jaws of the one have torn them, and the beak of the other has devoured the corpse. Therefore is my flag white, because I have left nothing upon the earth alive. I have feasted myself on the blood of the saints, but I am not suspected of men to be their enemy, for my fleece is white and warm, and my teeth are not the teeth of one that teareth flesh; and mine eyes are mild, and they know me not the chief of the lying spirits that the Father of all sent forth from before his face in the beginning.

(His attribution is salt; the wolf mercury, and the raven sulphur.)

Now the lamb grows small again, there is again nothing but the wheel, and the hand that whirleth it.