Liber AL and the Thelemic Tree of Life
By Frater 493
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Since early childhood I have been interest in psychology, dreams, paranormal phenomena, and the occult. I used to sit on my grandfather’s fishing boat, floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, controlling the waves and swells of the sea with simple magical words. It would be many atheistic years to pass before I would discover an interest in materia de spiritu. I was particularly fascinated by the relationship between ritual magick and the subconscious mind, what Crowley calls the Silent Self. This silent inner being indeed partakes of nature both universal and particular, the former effortlessly traversing time and space to bring us new weapons in our struggle to awaken to the true spectacle of the Universal Reality, the Lumen Dei (Light of God) proceeding from the Unmanifest. The conjunctio between these principles creates the Lapis Philosophorum and initiates revelations into the truth of our Personal Reality or personality, the particular nature of our selves, the Lumen Naturae. For Crowley, this alchemical Red Powder was Liber AL vel Legis, and the Lumen is none other than the L.V.X.
I must have read the Book of the Law a hundred times since I discovered Thelema in the 2001st year of the Vulgar Era. The beauty and sublime simplicity of the Book fascinated and astounded me every time I’d open its pages. Slowly, over the many years of study- sometimes intense, sometimes fleeting- the seed of an idea began to germinate within my being. I began to see the opening verses of Liber AL as a flash of creation, a flaming sword of words piercing the essences of the sephiroth with great precision and representing the dynamic consolidation of the Ain Soph, the everything and nothing, everywhere and nowhere, all potential but not manifest. The verses of Liber AL flow in and out of each path of the NHSh (Nehesh, Serpent), opening up the four worlds of the qabalah as interpreted from AL III; 63-68:
- The fool readeth this Book of the Law, and its comment; & he understandeth it not.
- Let him come through the first ordeal, & it will be to him as silver.
- Through the second, gold.
- Through the third, stone of precious water.
- Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire.
In short, it was a revelation of the Lumen Dei. While I find it quite obvious that the particular nature of the Scribe (or Author, if you do not subscribe to the idea of channeling, received scripture, or prophecy) necessarily influenced the Book, the psychic and qabalistic encryption beyond a doubt proves the influence of the Divine Light, the conjunctio in space-time that provides the foundation for revelation. The expression was such a radically non-complex exegesis of this Light that I was moved utterly to share my budding idea with others.
In The Book of Thoth, Crowley wrote regarding the Aeon Atu: “This new Taro may therefore be regarded as a series of illustrations to the Book of the Law; the doctrine of that Book is everywhere implicit.” It will appeal to the general interest of my audience to examine the Qabalistic significance of the individual verses of The Book of the Law. The first ten verses of Liber AL correspond first to the Ten Sephiroth, with the next twenty-two revealing the nature of the lesser paths of the Tree of Life- the Tarot trumps, the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and furthermore brought to bear witness upon the legitimacy of the English Qabalah as developed by Honored Frater Apollonius. Thus, we are defining the qabalistic Lightning Flash and the Return of the Serpent. After the first ten verses of the first chapter, we are left with fifty-six remaining verses (56 is the Number of NV by Hebrew gematria). As the first twenty-two of the remaining fifty-six are attributed to the twenty-two paths of the Tree of Life, the next twenty-two could be the Paths of the Qlippoth (or the Tunnels of Set, the night-side of the Tree, etc., cf. the work of Kenneth Grant) giving us then a remainder of twelve, which may or may not be significant when considering that twelve is the number of the constellations of stars, the Zodiac being the fabric of Nuit. Our research as covered by this paper has ended with the thirty-second verse of Liber AL. Further investigation and meditation is required to test the theory of the remaining verses and their relation to the Tunnels of Set and the zodiacal constellations. For those interested, please refer to Liber 231 Experiments by Frater 493.
In light of the English Qabalah, I have attempted to include the English equivalents of the corresponding Hebrew letters as I currently see them. And I have intentionally placed each English letter on the lesser paths of the Tree, aligned not with their Hebrew equivalents in Sound, but with their Hebrew equivalents in Value. This was also the approach taken by Frater Abraxas in his work, Liber XXVII. Crowley says in Liber 777 (and I paraphrase) that the relationships between the Sephiroth are not Numbers proper. This suggests, perhaps, that the Sounds are more relevant in between the Sephiroth than are the Values. Here, then, is another facet of this work that must be evaluated over time, through study and meditation.
With the assistance of Honored Frater Apollonius and Frater Abraxas, I have compiled my notes into vignettes for each of the first thirty-two verses of Liber AL. I can only trust in myself that I will succeed in presenting this material to you, the reader, in a succinct and cogent manner.
Ten Verses for the Ten Sephiroth
- Had! The manifestation of Nuit.
This is the first Emanation from the Ain Soph, which is Nuit. It is Kether, the First Movement, and is essentially the ‘perfect’ initiation of the new diagram of existence, presented to us by Aiwass. Further, Hadit is commonly associated with Kether. At first glance, it appears that the I and the T (IT) are omitted because Duality has not yet made its appearance. The value of the letters H-A-D is 10, which is of course the complete manifestation of the number One. HAD is the I, the One– Kether. This put H as the center of the magickal formula. Cf The Riddle Solved by Frater Centaurus. Nuit cannot be without the many HADs.
- The unveiling of the company of heaven.
Chokmah, the sphere of the Zodiac, is emanated from Kether but still within that Supernal Dyad. The “company of heaven” specifically is these fixed stars, which are the personalities of the Starry Gnosis (cf. The Starry Gnosis and Golden Dawn Skies by Frater Zephyros). This leads us back to the ancient knowledge that was all but destroyed by the Black Lodge and is yet unexplored by most who call themselves Thelemites. It is precisely these fixed stars- and specifically in the context of Liber AL– are a mirror Image of Kether and not yet given motion, per the number two, and therefore are fixed. Not just the Zodiac, but indeed all of the constellations seem to be doors to the deepest recessed of inner and outer space- the connection to distant galaxies and galaxy clusters.
The next verse gives us the definitions of this Company is Space, and the fourth verse then, gives us their definition in Motion. Of course, they are not truly ‘fixed’-everything is swirling motion. They appeared fixed to our ancestors- and to a lesser degree to ourselves in the current aeon- as a source of gnosis, because of our position on Earth. Should our position become that of the Sun, or any other star, our perception would be changed completely. This is truth both macro and micro-cosmically.
As a side-note, I am reminded of AL I;50:
There is a word to say about the Hierophantic task. Behold! there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest. Thus ye have star & star, system & system; let not one know well the other!
Each star has a system of planets and/or varying accumulations of gas and dust, but also, each star is part of a Company of its own- a constellation. Though, from the vantage point of that Star, it does not distinguish itself as part of any particular grouping. For some other intelligence on a distant glove, our Star is a component of a fixed yet versatile image of gnosis projected. The Task spoken of in this verse is the organizing and testing of Stars- every man and every woman.
- Every man and every woman is a star.
This, the first real Revelation of AL, is the more tangible but still abstract idea represented by Binah. Space is thus created and the Individual life is formatted as a potential. Binah as the Supernal Mother is both the All-Begetter and the All-Consumer of Life, hinting at the Immortality of Solar Consciousness. This is also PAN, the ALL-Begetter/Devourer.
Saturn, the planet associated with the sphere of Binah presents itself in exoteric mythology as Shaitan, whom Pan and the modern Devil (Goat of Mendes) was modeled upon. As a Guardian of the Abyss (along with Nuit and Choronzon), Pan or Saturn is the prosecutor (as in the original Hebrew religion) that tests one before the Godhead. More importantly, if we put every star together into a fabric, we have the Sea of Binah, which is obviously suggested by verse three.
- Every number is infinite; there is no difference.
Chesed is Jupiter and the idea of a tangible God. He is Zeus, who rules Olympus but forgets that he himself is but another creation. This indicates that while he (the Adeptus Exemptus) has reached the pinnacle of manifestation, he has yet to cross the abyss and mingle his life-blood with the Universal, essentially understanding that he is one God among Many, ie the Company of
Four is the number of the Square, which suggests the Elements of the Wise which, each contain particles of all the other, and bound together by the Spirit. All of manifestation can be described via a mathematical equation, and each integer thereof, while limited to certain qualities within a specific equation, assumes entirely different qualities in another.
To expand upon this idea- and there is more to come of it further below- each Number is an Idea or a God in itself, as are the Trumps of the Tarot. Then can they be viewed as Individual Stars. This gives new depth to the Equation analogy, viewing each number as an Individual, some more simply constituted, and some more complex.
Understanding the infinity of the Universe is a product of the nobility of the King, who cannot be hurt, and making difference between one thing and any other thing certainly brings hurt. This we know from AL I;22:
Now, therefore, I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby cometh hurt.
Also AL II;59:
Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him.
.Connecting these two verses seems quite natural in this light. If one is a King (Jupiter), one will see that all is infinite and thus cannot be hurt- a simple beauty here that brings truth. A connection can also be found with verse 4 of the present work, and has also a relation to the Trance of Indifference. I surmise that it is part of the work of the Exempt Adept to transcend reason and thus duality to successfully traverse the Abyss. To bring this down to another plane, it is an adjunct against pigeon-holing. A huge problem in our world is the strict Binding of ideas based on an artificial reality-construct.
Each number is a Being- or an Idea– in itself and thus its nature must be complex. This, as I have previously stated, pertains to the Trumps of the Tarot. In every moment of existence there is the perception of the duality and manifold levels of intricacy. Each number or idea is a universe whole, and so it is absurd to make black-and-white distinctions between anything. This is a partial meaning of the Yin and Yang.
- Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men!
Five is Geburah and Mars. Thebes is the land of the Initiates, and the Warrior Lord is none other than Horus, the prototype of the Adept. The Children of Men are the uninitiated, and in the New Aeon that this Holy Book inaugurated, Mars is especially implicated.
Five is the number of mankind, the Pentagram: humans have five physical extensions from their center (head, arms, legs), five senses, etc. War is the nature of humanity, which can be studied in an excellent article by Frater Zephyros called A Summation of War. It is for these reasons that Mars is attributed to the number five and Geburah. As evidence of the corruption of these universal truths we need only look at the ideas of Universal Love, “Good Samaritan” laws and the championing of the Loser.
- Be thou Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue!
Tiphareth is related to the heart chakra, the Anahata. The tongue refers to the idea that Tiphareth received the energy from the Supernal Triad and is therefore its mouthpiece. Six is the center of the Tree of Life and as such can be related to Hadit. Also here are the Paths of Samekh and Peh, from which every magician in the Thelemic School operates, but this is of a different matter.
Of course, there is the ‘tongue of love’ and the pearl tongue. Furthermore, Tiphareth is the Atman or Hadit. This verse is one of the many throughout Liber AL to suggest the sublime nature and mystery of sexual magick, the spiritual orgasm produced by the sexual union between Nuit and Hadit.
- Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat.
Netzach is where the Aspirant to “Enlightenment” directs all his or her forces toward Tiphareth and the Holy Guardian Angel. This is primarily a fiery Sephira, and it is naturally passionate and philosophical, and thus, revelatory. This emanation is then transmitted to Hod, the Mercurial sphere. The Wand is the weapon of the grade of Philosophus (4=7 A.`.A.`.) and passion is the emotional expression of the sphere of Netzach.
Hoor-paar-kraat is the god of Silence, the Greek Harpocrates, and this is, of course, the nature of Binah of which Netzach is the lower expression. That Aiwass then places himself here suggests the union of the above and the below. Netzach is the sphere of departure for Adepthood, where the gnosis supernal is at last directly communicated. Also, Netzach stands at the end of the path of Peh, which is the revelation and prophecy of which Aiwass is here conducting.
Aiwass was Frater Perdurabo’s Holy Guardian Angel and every adept could hypothetically substitute their own Angel for Aiwass. Hoor-paar-kraat is the archetype for what is to the aspirant, the Silent Self, the Subconscious as well as the Secret Center, the heart and the tongue of spiritual consciousness. The Death Atu is on this path, along with Mars and Kundalini. This hints at the nature of the transferring of consciousness to Tiphareth.
The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.
This is a technical and scientific ‘revelation’ by Aiwass and fits nicely in Hod, as the mercurial nature of Eight provides a diagram of Being– that the soul is but another sheath of the God within, and not the ‘spark’ of God that we are told by so much religious doctrine. Hod, being of an intellectual nature, teaches us that this Soul or sheath enshrouds the very God that is commonly believed to be with-out.
In Hod we reach the point of the assemblage of our spiritual paradigm. Our understanding (the Cup and ultimately, Binah) of the fundamental nature of our Self is formulated, and with that we are equipped to worship with integrity. In Hod is the intuition deciphered. The verse itself admits of an aspect of Hod; the vacillations, the presentation of the opposing definitions of Soul and Spirit. This verse sets that opposition aright.
Eight is the sign of infinity, standing upright, and the Khabs is the ‘infinite within’ as the Khu is aethyric- the ‘infinite without.’ Evolution comes about as man learns to stand upright, and so by placing things in their proper relationship, the Black Lodge having given us this idea that life is less than an illusion, and even that the Khu might be in the Khabs. On this point I refer the reader to Crowley’s commentary on this verse:
Why are we told that the Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs? Did we then suppose the converse? I think that we are warned against the idea of a Pleroma, a flame of which we are Sparks, and to which we return when we ‘attain’. That would indeed be to make the whole curse of separate existence ridiculous, a senseless and inexcusable folly. It would throw us back on the dilemma of Manichaeism. The idea of incarnations “perfecting” a thing originally perfect by definition is imbecile. The only sane solution is as given previously, to suppose that the Perfect enjoys experience of (apparent) Imperfection. (There are deeper resolutions of this problem appropriate to the highest grades of initiation; but the above should suffice the average intelligence.)
- Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!
This verse expounds the Foundation of spiritual understanding, yet it has an intimate relationship with Da’ath the Night Side of the Tree of Life. It seems to contain a subtle warning against over-analyzing Yesod, where the energy from all the sephiroth is congealed. Yesod is, moreover, the foundation of the Ruach and has a line of sight to Tiphareth, which is the Sun, and rains down upon Yesod. It is this light that is to be worshipped and seen as the starting point of the ascension of Consciousness. This light that is first seen at Yesod is the fractured light of the Veil of Qesheth. It is the source of the infinite diversity of life- the many stars and their systems. As such, it is a very practical instruction in Initiation. The first decad of Liber AL is then resolved in the next verse and the primary diagram of Nuit’s manifestation is thereby summarized.
- Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known.
The number ten and Malkuth present the manifested world of the elements. There are Aspirants, and then there are the sleeping gods- the individuals composing the general public. This verse established the placement of Nuit’s ‘servants’ upon Earth- and these are the initiates, the very awake ones, doing their will amongst the living. The servant is the worshipper, Hadit, who is a king of the noble cast, naturally ruling the ‘many and the known’ as he is able to assert his will in this sphere.
The verses corresponding to twenty-two lesser paths of the Tree-of-Life
- These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools.
This verse literally suggests that it should be connected to the Fool Atu. The Hebrew letter is Aleph. Using the English Qabalah, the letter is H. Both have a value of (1), suggesting Kether. The Fool Atu, as we know, is numbered (0). The interplay of One and Zero suggests the First Act of Magick in the universal sense.
Aleph is the element of Air, and H in English suggests the Breath. Interestingly enough, Crowley gave the letters symbols, as installed in Liber Trigrammaton, as follows:
H- Forcible addition of pure breath to other sounds. Represents effort.
I- Narrow breath. Represents concentration.
Both letters suggest the same principal and the breath, the Word, may contain either Truth or Falsehood, which are identical above the abyss. The path joins Kether and Chokmah, and the Magus in the grade structure of the A.`.A.`. utters the Word.
There are two types of fools: The fool who is ignorant of his or her true nature, and the Fool who, understanding the Cosmic Joke finds pleasure in existence. In The Book of Thoth, Crowley details the “Great Fool” of Celtic mythology, which essential notes that there is a fine line between Foolishness and Holiness:
They respect the wandering lunatic, as it may be that he is a messenger of the Most High.
This, however, is of men, Kings perhaps can perceive the subtle difference. Nevertheless, the Fool has been the most blessed of all men, holding fast to His place in the initiation of mankind throughout all cultures. I write specifically here of shamanism and note that initiates, enhancing their psychic sensitivity and gaining access to the highest potentials of human existence are the holy fools, “systematically putting the world on its head,” to quote Holger Kalweit, author of Dreamtime and Inner Space, a fantastic treatise on world shamanic traditions.
The English H is essentially two I’s linked together at their center, and the number of the verse (11) is the same H but without the link. This suggests to me the interconnectedness of all Individual Stars, but with a necessary discrimination between them. H is also the connection of I and Not-I, the uniting of equal opposites, and the identification of Nuit and Hadit being two aspects of the same Whole, which is Not. Note also that Heh in the Hebrew is the Star Atu and has certain implications for the Neophyte.
- Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!
Hebrew Beth and the English A both have a value of (2). The Magus Atu leads from Kether to Binah, and the number of the verse (12) which reduces to (3), Binah, suggests the entire Supernal Triad. With this in mind, the verse follows the procession of One, Two, Three and represents the Will and the flowing above the abyss that also brings to mind alchemical mercury, corresponding to the element of Water.
This verse summarizes the three alchemical principals of Salt, Mercury and Sulphur when we think of them as Earth/Body, Air/Soul and Fire/Spirit; consciousness coming forth from the Earth, appearing under the stars, ie in the air between earth and the sky, and partaking in the ultimate sacrament of the spirit.
The Magus Atu is Mercury and the God Hermes who, in His most ancient cults, was depicted as a rectangular pillar, many of which were placed to mark the boundaries of villages and temples sacred to Him. At the top of the pillar was a bust of a bearded Hermes, at the base an erect phallus. Hermes was, among other things, a God of boundaries, commerce, etc., and the pillar could represent the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life- the bearded Father at the top in the Supernal triad, and the Phallus in Yesod as the generative Sephira.
An important symbol here as in other verses, is the Caduceus, the weapon of Mercury/Thoth/Hermes, at which the shape of the number twelve hints. It illustrates the flowing of the Will around the Rod, Phallus or Middle Pillar, which links the above with the below. Mercury is this flow.
The English A displays a downward facing yoni with a Gate. One could speculate the nature of this Gate; perhaps the Guardian of the Abyss, the threshold of initiation/annihilation. Further, the English A suggests an upright triangle with extensions which is the decent of spirit into matter. This theme is also found in the Hanged Man Atu.
Also, “under the stars” suggests NOT and in taking one’s (‘I’) fill of love, one is acting with Will. The whole verse seems to say ‘love under will’, which is the work of the Magus. There is further a clue of sex magick implicit in this verse when considering that every man and every woman are the ‘stars’ that we are to come forth under. We are presented with this again in AL I;57:
Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God.
All of this and more is succinctly and beautifully expressed by this verse of AL. Frater Abraxas writes the following in his Liber XXVII:
Here the positive assertion of a nameless something, that idea of existence in general given in the last symbol is now equilibrated with its opposite idea. Crowley often asserts that above the abyss each idea contains and necessarily asserts its own contradiction: for instance one cannot have even the most basic undefined sensation of ‘I’ or ‘me’ without accepting the awareness of that which is ‘not I’. So here we have the idea of negative existence introduced as the condition of all positive existence. This is a different kind of ‘not’ however, unlike the silence of no-thing introduced by ‘nothing in its three forms’ we now have ‘not’ as the negation of a given thing. This however occurs on a much more universal and broader level since we are dealing with existence and non existence in general, the universal archetype informing the existence and non-existence of all particular things.
- I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to see your joy.
The Hebrew Gimel and the English D both have a value of (3). The number of the verse, Thirteen, is unity resulting from love. Also, the English B is formed by the uniting of (1) and (3). The English value of B is (300), which is Shin in Hebrew- Spirit. It is precisely that Spirit which is Above us and In us (Kether and Tiphareth).
The Priestess (Two) connects Kether with Tiphareth, and She tells us that she hails from the Supernals and she is within us, at our center. She reveals the nature of that realization, which by experiencing that sublime joy and ecstasy we are at the same time fulfilling Nuit in her joy and ecstasy. More about that in the next verse.
The Empress Atu is the ‘mother’ that provides the gateway to Initiation (as discussed in the previous verse with the description of the letter A), and as the letter D suggests we have the divisions of ‘above you and in you’ as well as the ‘I’ and ‘Not-I’ which are so aptly described by Frater Abraxas.
- Above, the gemmed azure is
The naked splendour of Nuit;
She bends in ecstasy to kiss
The secret ardours of Hadit.
The winged globe, the starry blue,
Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu!
Daleth, which is the Door, and the English T- the Light of the Cross, the Cross of the Elements, and more sublimely the Rose Cross- both have a value of (4) and are represented by the Empress. The number of the verse (14), while revealing the formula of the Rose Cross also gives a hint of Kether to Chesed by the numbers (1) and (4), though this path leads from Chokmah to Binah. It is by the union of these two sephiroth that the door to universe opens. (1) is the unity while (4) is the quaternity.
The English T is the cross of manifestation from which the process of initiation begins and the body is just as holy as the spirit. Also, Kether is in Malkuth, just as Malkuth is in Kether. The manifested Earth contains half of the necessary material for the ‘birth’ of spiritual consciousness. The soil is necessary for the plant to grow; the Rose cannot bloom without the Cross.
The T is a down-pointing phallus, diagrammatically. As a phallic symbol, it represents a positive emanation. If the horizontal line is Daleth, the vertical line is Gimel, the path through the abyss to Tiphareth. It symbolizes the supernal dyad emanating into manifestation. Further, the ‘gemmed azure’ is Nuit as the Ain Soph, and the secret ardors of Hadit describes the Priestess Atu reaching down to Tiphareth (the cross). In a different sense, the ‘azure’ is the ‘mauve’ of Kenneth Grant’s Mauve Zone.
Put it yet another way: above is Kether and the Zero idea (the ‘naked’ splendor). She bends, i.e. accepts, the entrance of the King, kissing (the secret ardours of) Hadit. (Note that Ardor is a sexual passion) High sexual magick is here implied. The resultant figures are the winged globe (the glyph of Hadit) and the starry blue (the glyph of Nuit), which are Mine (Ankh-af-na-khonsu- the Priest of the Princes). The glyphs are the formulated ideas in the mind (Ruach) of the highest aspects of male and female, active and passive. Note that the Princes are Vau, Air, Alchemical Mercury, and the Ruach, centered in Tiphareth.
It is the Priest of this collection of symbols (the Adeptus Minor, or perhaps even the Philosophus) who uses this formula to make sense of the existential crisis that is the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. The English T expresses this formula well, as it is the glyph of the Rose Cross and the emanation of the Supernals down the Tree of Life. While I don’t wish to assume to know about that which I certainly do not, I think the Knowledge and Conversation would be a very serious event and difficult for the mind (Ruach) to understand. I think to the conscious mind still seated in the astral triad, the experience would be traumatic, in a certain sense.
- Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.
The Hebrew letter Heh meaning Window and the English E, Energy and the “I” projecting that energy from three locations, and therefore suggesting the three Triads of the Tree. The value of both letters is (5). The Tarot gives us the Star, connecting Chokmah and Tiphareth. The Star, considering the value is none other but Man and Woman with the Spirit as the True Nature and Ruler of the Self.
(5) is the value of Reguli, know in this lineage of the A.`.A.`. as Liber H and detailed in The Riddle Solved. Also, you are recommended to study the Formula of ON, Liber Laiad and Liber VVVvV. All this is about Energy; yet another synchronicity for Liber 805.
The giving of this knowledge is the task of the Beast and the Scarlet Woman (Chokmah and Binah), as they are the avatars of the Ain Soph. One and Five equal Six, the Heart within which the Glory is brought. Chokmah, the Sphere of the Zodiac, the Logos and the ultimate nature of our True Will and the gnosis of the stars (so to speak) is delivered to us via our Holy Guardian Angel, and vice versa- the HGA delivers us to the constellations and beyond, as a window to those outer reaches of infinite space. The continuation from the previous verses is most peculiar. Liber XXVII has this to offer:
Thus we have the letter ‘E’ for energy and effort, since the process of projection has begun. The point of consciousness or bud will has unconsciously fixated itself on the idea of existence through its magnetic attraction to a particular archetype, and this results in that energy underlying all being. One should also consider that this imperfection is the dynmanic energy produced by the dis-equilibrium of the prime matter initiated by the H, the breath of the second trigram being the breath of the eternal spirit. Thus Hadit is manifesting since he is the core of every star, being the motion that interpenetrates infinite space. Note that this is the sixth trigram, being the number of Had in the EQ.
Had may be the central star of the Khabs itself as Hadit brings the Khu that surrounds it; also suggestive of the Beast for its archetype (and there’s the H again). The “dis-equilibrium of the prime matter initiated by the H…” is the nature of effective polarity between the genders in order to generate sexual energy. (Cf. Sexual Polarity in Magick)
As we are the ‘children’ of Nuit, she reveals the nature of the supernal triad- they bring us into their fold, ie the Company of Heaven via Initiation. The English E- “I” projecting from three locations relates the identification of the avatars + the gathering + bringing the glory of the stars [to Tiphareth]. In short this is another simplification of Initiation in the Aeon of Horus.
- For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight.
The Hebrew Vau and the English M. The value of both is (6) and thus suggests Tiphareth, which is key to understanding this verse. The path connects Chokmah and Chesed.
Referring to the graphic summary of the Formula of ON, we get the male and female formulae:
|Cheth/Chariot Atu||Vau/Hierophant Atu|
|Connects Binah to:||Connects Chokmah to:|
|Red Triangle (Descending Tongue of Grace)||Blue Triangle (Ascending Tongue of Prayer)|
|Mem (Water)/Hanged Man Atu||Kaph/Fortune Atu|
|Connects Geburah to Hod||Connects Chesed to Netzach|
|Devil Atu [joins Tiphareth to Hod] Divine Formula of Man||Death Atu [joins Netzach to Tiphareth]Divine Formula of Woman|
|Left Hand Pillar draws current downwards||Right Hand Pillar forces current upwards|
|Towards the root of Earth||To Tiphareth|
|Manifestation, via Shin, (Fire) the Aeon Atu||Exaltation|
|Red Lion <Sperm>||White Eagle <Gluten>|
Vau has a double duty being also attributed to Tiphareth, which is at the heart of the Formula of ON. ON itself, is the formula of Sex Magick in that it describes the functional nature of coitus. Also attributed here is the Blue Triangle: The Ascending Tongue of Prayer. The practice of the Formula of ON is a living, moving prayer.
It is the Hierophant of the Tarot. The Hierophant is one’s HGA, but yet in a more universal sense. He is describing both a formula for initiation (active and passive) and also He is detailing the nature of the Universe. Further, One plus Six is also a key as Netzach (seven) is the Point of Consciousness from which the Aspirant fervently directs the Will towards his or her HGA.
It is the Death Atu that joins Netzach to Tiphareth (crucifixion), which is the formula of a woman. I am reminded of Patti Smith proclaiming the cross to be “the true shape of a tortured woman.”
The verse here does not speak of the mundane nature of a man and woman but rather it gives yet another detail of Nuit and Hadit as related in verse 14. The archetypal male and female principals are the appearance of Nuit and Hadit in this verse.
- But ye are not so chosen.
The Hebrew Zain, the Lovers. The English N is yet again two “I”s connected, but this time they are connected at opposite points, which suggest Gemini, and the analytical nature of Zain, the Sword. The lower point is connected to the higher of its opposite, and vice-versa. The value of both letters is (7), and thus the passionate “love under will” that is but one aspect of Netzach.
N further denotes the idea of love, simply by the shape of the letter itself. It is the coming together of two Stars, in rapture. The rapture is incomplete from a mystical standpoint. The entire universe must be formulated into the Single Idea, and the Samadhi on that single idea is the Great Work. Thus Nuit, being Not, is so chosen as the object of the divine love, under will.
But, as much as Not is a key to it all, here, the ‘not’ of this verse might not be of that high caliber, as it is not a capitalized word. Yet still, the theory is supported by the N. The description in Liber XXVII supports this theory as well:
The seventh new letter in AL is ‘N’, attributed to the seventh Sephirah Netzach. Netzach translates as Victory (as in Nike), and in the Hindu system corresponds with Ananda (Bliss). Nun (transliterated as ‘N’) is the Death card in the Tarot. The Bliss of Death: The Crown of All; “the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.” AL I.26 …and actually, this is how Ouarda’s “whiter words” renders it. Further, Netzach is Venus or the Scarlet Woman. ‘N’ is the initial of the word Nuit and Netzach is the lower manifestation of this. Nuit is 49 or 7 squared by the English Qabalah. And Nuith equals 50 by the English Qabalah; which is the value of Nun. Further, Nuit can by symbolically examined as follows:
N = Sum
U = You
I = Myself
T = Light
Nuit can be said to be the sum of you and I which is pure light (LVX) or the Breath and Logos when spiritualized by adding ‘H’ (value of 1) to get 50, which is the number of the Gates of Understanding. This by AIQ BKR reduces to 5; a number of Hadit.
It also seems fitting here to examine the word ‘Light’ as it is connected with Nuit:
Tiphareth (T) is the intersection of all the Sephiroth but Malkuth and it is the Light (LVX) we Aspire to, the Logos or Breath of God, the Higher Self and the true perspective of being. This word equals 123 in the English Qabalah, which when adding the digits together, gives us the mystical number of Binah. And of course, reducing to 6 we get the number of Tiphareth. Interestingly enough, as a multiple of 3, we get the equation 41×3. 41 is the number of the Barren Mother and the Hebrew word for Mother. This suggests the Ordeal of the Abyss unto the Great Mother, which the Exempt Adept prepares for. And it is discussed in Chapter 41 of the Book of Lies. Tiphareth is the apex of the Ethical Triad with Chesed, the Sphere of the Exempt Adept being one of its other corners. The ThRShRQ of 41 (14) also works in accord with this as the Adeptus Exemptus trains the mind to equivocate opposites. But also there are the changing perceptions of the Universe that should be carefully studied in Chapter 14 of the Book of Lies.
- Burn upon their brows, o splendrous serpent!
The number (18) suggests the Caduceus, the weapon of Mercury. Visually, the (1) is the staff, the (8) is the twisting snakes. At the top of the Caduceus is the winged globe (glyph of Hadit). The Serpent, as a cherub of elemental water, is related to Cancer. Cancer, of course, is the zodiac sign attributed to the Chariot Atu- the path of Cheth.
Mercury is a primary aspect of the number (8), Hod. (8) is the English “I” and consciousness is traditionally placed in the center of the head, the Ajna Chakra, the symbol of which is also the winged globe. “I” is Hadit. Also, in the Egyptian culture, the Uraeus serpent wraps around the solar disk upon the heads of all holy figures, both protecting the solar disk, and indicating the nature of its function. Note also that all the work takes place in the 9th House (according to the Wake World), the astral plane where the inner eye sees.
The ‘I’ is also the ‘eye’, the Eye of Horus, as well as the Eye of Shiva. In Hindu mythology, the manifested world is said to be the dream of the sleeping Deity. Should Deity awaken and open his eyes (Eye, Ajna) the world of forms would be destroyed. This is one way to see the serpent, burning upon the brow. This is more eloquently expounded in the Upanishads, where Indra (Zeus) is confronted with the idea of the sleeping Vishnu, from whose navel issues forth a lotus. Brahma (the Hindu creator god, who is not unlike Zeus) sits upon the lotus, directing the manifested world. Vishnu represents the void or the Ain Soph, and should he awake from his slumber, the entire universe would be annihilated. Worlds are thus created and destroyed in the blinking of an eye.
The Hebrew gives us Cheth which means Fence, as in the fencing-in. This, the path of the Chariot Atu, leads from Binah to Geburah. The Serpent- water, blood- descends from Binah the Mother and creates Geburah, the fiery strong aspect of the Son.
- O azure-lidded woman, bend upon them!
Hebrew Teth and English F, both have a value of (9). The shape of the English F suggests an ‘I’ with two horizontal posts issuing forth, going, moving, establishing their presence in the Supernal Triad and the Ethical (so-called) Triad of the Tree, or the connection of Binah to Chokmah and Geburah to Chesed, between these two connections is the Fence, the Veil, the Abyss.
Teth means Serpent. This and the previous verse are intimately entwined, as I hope I’ve demonstrated. The Number here relates to the Serpent, while the previous verse related to the Fence, which begins with the English F. (9) is the eleventh Trump, the Lust Atu- Babalon astride the Beast. These synchronicities truly show the praeter-human nature of AL.
Here is a more ‘clothed’ form of Binah, the “mistress of All” holding her hand to the sky, collecting the Blood or life-force from above, as noted in the previous verse. As a compliment to the previous verse, the ‘azure-lidded woman’ is Nuit, but really that aspect of her as Initiatrix, thus it is not the interaction of Binah and Chokmah, but of Chesed and Geburah. It is that fiery rapture suggested in the previous verse. The Initiatrix “bends upon them” overcoming them as “the kisses of the stars, rain hard upon thy body” (AL II;62). The two verses are the formulae of initiation, which must be both active and passive.
The serpent is also that of Liber LXV, Chapter One, Verse One: “I am the heart and the snake is entwined…” The product of Chesed and Geburah is Tiphareth, the Center of the Tree and the Holy Guardian Angel.
- The key of the rituals is in the secret word which I have given unto him.
Hebrew Yod and English S, both a value of (10). Yod means hand, perhaps as the operational weapon. The Hermit Atu connects Chesed with Tiphareth. The card is associated with Virgo of the zodiac, and all virgin goddesses are here- the virgin Isis, Athena, Artemis, and Hestia in the Greek. This verse of AL reminds one of the Eleusinian Mysteries, which bestowed upon its Initiates the secret key to immortality which, in the Aeon of Horus, is ABRAHADABRA. This Word has been extrapolated much in Thelemic writings, so I will not digress. I will note, however, that HAD equals 10 via the Hebrew values (the remaining letters equal 408, which is 12). “Virgin” in the EQ is 223 or 7, Netzach and the sexual passion. The English S is the first letter of Sperm, value=201. Similarly, the shape of the Yod is not that different from our English S. Both suggest also a serpent. It seems again we have established the sexual nature of Initiation, but of course not the mundane intercourse such that the Nephesh seeks, but the more sublimated intercourse of Soul and Spirit. The Virgin is ever the Virgin; She awaits eternally the seed from Above, yet she contains a seed of her own. SEED in English is 23=5, the number of Man and Geburah. Seed in Hebrew is Zain Lamed Ayin=107=8, Cheth and the Chariot. The Key of the Rituals that is formulated in ABRAHADABRA, is also the formula of the Rose Cross. It is the most supreme ritual on all planes. From farmer planting seed in the moist earth, to the Holy Guardian Angel planting His own seed into the Virgin Aspirant, bringing Her thereby to the Throne of Binah, and Himself to the Throne of the King. Without Malkuth, there is no opportunity, or no need, for redintigration.
What actually does prove a bit sublime is that Yod is the key to the Hebrew alphabet. All the letters are really just complex organizations of the letter. That the serpent has an attributable connection to the spermatozoa and we know that sexual energy is the key to evolutionary enlightenment, there is a profound connection to this verse.
- With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit.
Hebrew Kaph and English O, value have a value of (20) which reduces to (2), Chokmah, the Sphere of the Zodiac, i.e. Heaven. Nuit says that it is She as well as Hadit who are the supreme Gods. Chesed (Jupiter and Zeus) connects to Netzach (Venus and Aphrodite) via the path of Fortune, Kaph, the Palm. The Palm suggests an offering and it is indeed the Philosophus who offers up all that he or she is to the Holy Guardian Angel. Chesed is also the frontier of the Abyss. The English O suggests a Wheel (the Wheel of Fortune, luck). Nuit is the infinitely expanded circumference, while Hadit is the Axle. AL II;7-8:
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.
8. Who worshipped Heru-pa-kraath have worshipped me; ill, for I am the worshipper.
The God and the Adorer could be Hadit, the unextended, infinitely contracted One whose house is the Khabs. To that “Being” Nuit would appear in all Her glory- the Ain Soph. It is said in Greek mythology that should any god reveal their true nature to a ‘mortal’, the glory would incinerate them. (This relates to the Christian Mysteries, also). Alternatively, from one’s position in Malkuth, God, i.e. Nuit, would appear as relative nothingness, or the absence of Things. Should one ascend to the conscious understanding of Things, i.e. Chesed, one would then have the potential to perceive Nuit in All Her Glory, and thus be ‘incinerated’ or ‘annihilated’, via the crossing of the Abyss.
- Now, therefore, I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.
Hebrew Lamed and the English U, both with a value of (30). This is the path of Adjustment (previously called Justice) in the Tarot, and connects Geburah with Tiphareth. It is also the feminine counterpart of the Fool, cf. The Book of Thoth. According to that book, also, Adjustment symbolizes the final operation of the Tetragrammaton, with the Daughter being set upon the throne of the Mother by the Son. The first line of this verse is prophetic of the entire Rosey Triad. Top down, it suggests the HGA issuing forth from above, into Tiphareth, bringing with Him those mysteries. Bottom up, it is the Adept conversing with the Angel, with the ultimate Work to be Union with Nuit (the Supernal Triad and perhaps even unto the Ain Soph). Lamed is Libra, balance, and the English U, while appearing to be two I’s balancing on an upward arch, the U is also a cup or container that hangs from the Scale of Justice. The letter could also be seen as a scale in itself. The remaining lines of this verse describe the essential nature of Adjustment. “Hurt” is brought about by the apparent duality of existence and the knowledge of pain, death and pleasure and life. Note AL;II:
6. I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death.
This verse (AL II;6) is the perfect complement of AL;I:
- Be thou Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue!
The Universe is perfect just the way it is; everything is as it should be. Nuit is instructing us to ‘bind nothing’. The first interpretation of this is non-discrimination between impressions of any kind (this relates to my comments on AL I;4) and the uniting of opposites (as well as the Samadhi on the entire universe which I have said in a previous comment) yet She is at the same time instructing us to be Hadit, a separate (while still identical) Being. The creation of this duality naturally brings about the perception of difference between Things and an apparent contradiction. “Bind nothing”, in the second interpretation, means to literally Bind Nothing, i.e. take the intangible Ain Soph and create Forms and Things, so that thereby we can come to know Nuit.
“… difference made among you…” suggests the “Company of Heaven”, and as infinite Stars in the body of Nuit, we are all to understand and assert with strength the infinite nature of all other Stars.
- But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!
Hebrew Mem and the English V. The value of both letters is (40). The English V is the sign of victory and he that ‘availeth’ is of course, the chief. The V is also the Roman numeral (), which is the sum of the digits of this verse (2+3).
The English V is the sign of Apophis and Typhon, according to the LVX signs. In this regard, the V (Apophis /Typhon) represents a rather transformative quality of the formula of the Rose Cross and the mysteries of Tiphareth per the symbolic Death undergone in that sphere. What is to be built must first be torn down.
Typhon is a Greek ‘monster’ to whom serpents are attributed. He is said to have battled Zeus, the Father of the Gods, after scaring off all the other Olympian Gods. In regards to the formula of LVX, note that Zeus triumphed in the battle with Typhon, who is Set, the shadowy brother of Horus, in the Egyptian mythos. Zeus, as a representative of Chesed and Jupiter, should bring this comment full-circle. Apophis is the adversary of the Sun god in the Egyptian mythos. Implied here is also the Hero’s Journey- the embarking on a journey, the tests and battles in the Underworld, and the victorious reemerging and returning home, usually then becoming a King. Both Apophis and Typhon are related to Water, specifically the Nile River, which was either Creative or Destructive in that ancient society. Both Gods were said to be opposed to the Sun god, attempting to hinder His rising in the East. Note that the tradition of the Old Aeon was the Sun dying each night (and each autumn) via a battle with the shadow God, the Serpent, the Water, etc. Also, it is Horus the Avenger that avails the death of Osiris at the hands of Set. Set/Typhon is not the winner in the end but the loser, and death is overcome.
The Hanged Man Atu. Here again is the Serpent, as cherub of Water connecting Geburah with Hod. In this aspect, the Serpent is the creator and the destroyer. Geburah is the martial aspect of the Cosmoses, suggesting war, destruction and discord. Hod is the sphere of structure, systems of all types, knowledge and order.
The Atu suggests Death, but not the Death we find in the next Trump. Instead, it is the Water of the Subconscious that must be confronted before any spiritual growth is possible. This verse of AL seems to delineate this mystery, and should the initiate understand and pass through this mystery, he or she shall attain to the pinnacles of Nuit’s blessing and a full initiation in to the new Aeon, where “God” is not the dying/resurrected Father, but the ever-brilliant and innocent Child. Also, the “chief of all” could be Chesed and Zeus, the Chief of all Gods.
- I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty.
Hebrew Nun and the English L, both have a value of (50), and the sum of the digits of the verse is (6). Nun phonetically, gives us none or Not– Nuit. Even the L gives us El, the Hebrew suffix for God and the title of this, The Book of the Law (Liber AL).
(50) of course, is the Death Atu and Scorpio of the Zodiac, both intimately connected to the alchemical process of putrefaction or fermentation. As the old reality construct or paradigm decomposes in the moist death, the spiritual seed planted by the Hermit sprouts. The Elements of Personality having been built up by one’s work in the Astral Triad are here used as a fertilizer for the spiritual seed, or Yod. It is here, in the moving of consciousness from Netzach to Tiphareth that this fermentation is undergone and the Philosophus becomes the Adept after piercing the veil of Paroketh.
The Death Atu is three-fold in nature. The Scorpion is the lowest form of this energy, symbolizing the passive acceptance of death and the initial stage of the putrefaction. Next is the Serpent, which is the mercurial stage, the stage where the base elements are converted to the more sublime and where a colored film collects on the surface of our Material, which relates to the alchemical Peacock’s Tail, and in a more hidden sense the Veil of Qesheth.
We have seen as a constant symbol throughout this commentary the Serpent. The Serpent is an important theme as it represents both life and death and the workings of each. In this commentary the Serpent has been linked with the Chariot Atu and verse eighteen, the Lust Atu and verse nineteen, the Hermit and verse twenty, the Hanged Man and verse twenty-three, and here in the Death Atu and verse twenty four. The number of each verse gives us (104), which is the law of the earth and reduces to (5). The value of the English and Hebrew letters gives us (117), the secret magick of Netzach. (117) reduces to (9), Teth, the Serpent. Nine is also Yesod, the generative Sephira, giving us the bottom-up source of our spiritual prowess. The third stage of putrefaction or fermentation is the Eagle, which soars in the air above the earth and represents the product of the preceding stages. The Eagle is the gaseous element that rises from the ruins, or the perfume of the gods.
The Paths of Samekh and Peh form an equilateral triangle with Nun, and this is suggested by the English L, but with Nun invisible, or non-existent. This is important as death indicates the lack of life, or the proceeding into what lies beneath (or beyond) the threshold. This intersection (Samekh and Peh) is where the magickian begins his rites, which ultimately culminate in the perception of the White Swan (cf., LXV II;17). He or she is thereby carried to Death (putrefaction) and the ascension to Tiphareth.
- Divide, add, multiply, and understand.
Hebrew Samekh and the English G, both letters have a value of (60). Sixty as Six and Zero is Tiphareth and the Ain. When we divide Nuit’s number, 65, we get 0.12, which suggests Her manifestation and the Company of Heaven. It is also 210, which is the number of verses left after the first ten numbers (Sephiroth). Note my comment to verse nine. The first Decad of AL is then resolved in the following verse and the primary diagram of Nuit’s manifestation summarized.
The work here is validated thereby. The original plan was fully delineated in the first ten verses of AL, the remaining verses are the elaboration upon the plan. The division, addition, and multiplication is based upon the first ten numbers (but really just the first nine), as we know from elementary mathematics. Everything that follows the first ten is used to understand the details of Her Word.
Samekh is a prop; the logical prop here being mathematics, and G is the Masonic letter of God and G in the EQ means to ‘aspire’- in this context- unto Nuit, and Binah/Understanding.
The English G represents the Sperm penetrating the Ovum, and thus shows the interconnectedness of the entire scheme. Note that in The Book of Thoth, the 9th degree O.T.O. is connected with the Art Atu, which connects Yesod to Tiphareth. This can be seen as a sexual-spiritual intercourse between the Prince and the Princess and that ecstasy is of Fire.
Sagittarius is further the Arrow that pierces the veil of Qesheth. Two plus Five is Seven, Netzach, which suggests again, love under will. The addition of six and five gives us eleven, the number of magick and the verse of AL attributed to the Fool. The multiplication gives us either thirty or three hundred. Thirty is Adjustment, the feminine counterpart of the Fool, and three hundred is Shin, the Aeon Atu.
- Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I, and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bending down, a lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.
Hebrew Ayin and the English C, which are both (70), and link Hod with Tiphareth. If we think of Yesod, Hod and Netzach as the Hindu Sat, Chit, Ananda, with Tiphareth as the spiritual consciousness itself, this path (and this verse) is a demonstration of the intellect infused with the intuition. In the Tarot we have the Devil, which is another symbol of Pan and ultimately Nuit as Pan is All, Nuit is Not-All. The Devil is further a glyph of the creative male energy, and teamed up with the Death and Art Trumps it completes the Being, Knowledge, Bliss that Nuit speaks of here. The addition of the Aeon and Moon Trumps, we see Her hands and feet upon the black earth.
Two and six are eight. It seems this verse describes the only way that Nuit way be “known” in the Ruach, and that is by knowing Her manifestations, All of them.
Ayin means Eye, and what does the eye do but “see”? The Eye, or I is Hadit, the Knower.
- Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space, kissing her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat: O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!
Hebrew Peh and the English P, and both are (80). Peh is Mouth, from which Prophecy is uttered. It is to be remembered that this Path is what must be crossed by Art to reach Tiphareth. In a simple sense, the gnosis which is only communicable through Tiphareth, is felt and then understood in the Ruach via Netzach and Hod.
Here we have the Tower Atu connecting Hod with Netzach. On these lower planes, this indicates the breaking down of one’s reality construct as well as the apparent war that exists between the reason and the emotion.
The number of the verse, twenty-seven, suggests Wisdom’s influence on Passion and I’m sure to any scholar of Greek mythology there will be synchronicity here. This number also gives us (9), Yesod, the generative Sephira which is as essential on the Tree as Kether and Tiphareth, for without it there could never be any manifestation of Will, and thus no opportunity for Will to return to its source. (The perfume of this verse relates a mystery of Yesod and the Zelator of the A.`.A.`.)
Certainly in this verse, Peh is the ‘speaking’. That we are to speak of Her not as One, but as None, reflects the nature of the Tower Atu. Crowley writes in The Book of Thoth, that “the ultimate reality (which is Perfection) is Nothingness.” This Verse and Path describe the operation of uniting opposites, the freeing of Consciousness from its dualistic chains. The Tower represents the breaking down of the manifested universe to reveal what is beyond.
That we should speak not of Her at all, indicates Silence, as Nuit is beyond speech (and silence, but silence is the closest we can get in our manifested world to describing Her).
- None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.
Hebrew Tzaddi and the English Y, both are (90). The Trump is the Emperor, linking Netzach to Yesod. The Emperor is the spiritual authority below the abyss, and it is Netzach which receives the influx of energy from Tiphareth. This influx must be harnessed and manifested via the Emperor and Yesod.
The verse seems to perhaps answer a subconscious question regarding the previous verse, “Why?” (This is a shadow of what is to come regarding Why in Chapter 3). Nuit’s answer is the elaboration of Her formula, 0=2, as suggested in the previous verse. This formula is what the Emperor administers to the lower manas and the subconscious.
- For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union.
Hebrew Qoph and the English R. Both letters are value (100) and the Moon Atu. The Moon connects Netzach with Malkuth. (29) hints at the Zelator of the A.’.A.’. who is seated in Yesod, the Moon). Qoph translates as the ‘back of the head’. It is written in various places including somewhere in the Equinox, that those who become Aspirants to the Mysteries had from their earliest memories some ‘thing’ in the back of their mind that pushed them to seek the beyond. I think this could be the influence of Netzach on Malkuth in Assiah. It is the sense of division from ‘something else’ or something higher, which is part of one’s aspiration.
Here Nuit continues the exegesis of Her formula from the previous verse. Remember also that Nuit’s division of number gives us 0.12 and 210, which is significant both in this commentary and in the context of Liber 805. Love is manifold. It could be the tender love of verse twenty-six, or the more stern form of love of verse twenty-two. These are both aspects of Her division. It is in the ‘back of the head’, the cerebellum from which our high mind springs, and the subconscious where this division is first realized. This Path, the Moon, is where the complexities of our psyche really start to rise up, at times quite agonizing. It is the experience of separateness- from the universe Itself as well as from our own True Self. The subconscious is the womb of the Higher Self, and through this path we reacquaint ourselves with those unknown aspects of our psyche. The ego is necessarily so isolated from such a great amount of what constitutes inner and outer- so called- reality. Without this, there would be no hero’s journey. All the wonderment, joy, melancholy, pain and ecstasy would never be, and life would be life-less, monotone and dross, as was the Christist Eden.
Pisces represents the nature of the Moon Atu. The zodiacal symbol of Pisces is the Fish, which connects this card and verse to Death and verse twenty-four, Nun=fish. Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, culminating with the vernal equinox and the beginning of the Thelemic holy season, March 20. The moon partakes of the higher and the lower; it receives the light of the sun, transmitting it to the earth during the hours of darkness.
- This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.
Hebrew Resh and the English W, both value (200). Here we have the Sun Atu, which is Ra-hoor-khuit and Hoor-pa-kraat. These are the dual aspects of the solar deity of the Thelemic pantheon and represent, albeit simplistically, the twin current of this aeon of manifestation- activity and passivity or, more accurately, attack and defense. The former is the embodiment of “the pain of division”, the latter “the joy of dissolution”. The two phrases also describe perfectly the active initiation (Magick) and the passive initiation (Yoga).
This path connects Hod with Yesod; the Inquiring mind illuminating the subconscious; the spiritual light becoming structured into a formula coherent and given to the sphere of generation, for its ultimate manifestation. This is the creation of the world- the ‘little world’ of AL I;53, which is Earth (man and woman of Earth) and the greater world of the Solar System. With this, division is absolutely necessary, as I have said before in these comments, because with this division, both micro and macro-cosmic, is born the necessary opportunity for Union. This is the Will of Nuit (and Hadit) symbolized by (3) and (0)- Binah, Daleth and the Ain Soph. In Daleth (verse thirteen) we have the unity resulting from Love. Verse twelve is also suggested hereby. The study of these verses will give further understanding of the nature of division.
The Sun Atu also relates to the formula of the Rose Cross. Crowley writes in The Book of Thoth that this card describes the Sun as the expansion of the Cross. The pain that was once associated with the Cross is now seen as the ecstatic union of the Solar Consciousness with the Earthy Consciousness. The English W suggests also the Hebrew Shin, which is both Fire and Spirit. Shin is the essential nature of the New Aeon, as we will see in the next verse.
- For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all! They feel little; what is, is balanced by weak joys; but ye are my chosen ones.
Hebrew Shin and the English B both have a value of (300) and the Aeon Atu. If we, just for a moment, consider the Sounds of the letters, the English B is Beth, the Magus Atu. Based on my comments to verse 2 of this chapter, the connection here seems to reveal the nature of the initiation of humankind, as does this verse. Here Nuit is giving us another clue to Initiation in this new Aeon, where Ra-Hoor-Khuit rules over the processes. He is the Lord of Force and Fire, the active/positive side of the Thelemic Current. This is a basic Law of the Strong, which is described throughout Liber AL.
The path of the Aeon connects Malkuth with Hod, and this is interesting considering this verse. The verse is an appeal to our intellect in its function as regulator of the emotions. We are instructed to keep our emotions in check, ie. caring not at all for the weak. (This relates to the Vice of Compassion, which is another topic altogether).
The number of the verse (31) is the Key to Liber AL which brings further significance to this verse and the associated Trump.
- Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain. This is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all.
The Hebrew Tau and the English K, both with a value of (400), the Universe Atu, the final Trump and perhaps the final elaboration of Nuit’s manifestation in this series of letters. It is the (2) in the 0=2 formula, which encapsulates the philosophy of Liber AL. Saturn is here, as the ruler of Time; old and slow yet powerful, he is feared and obeyed. Time is of the Essence, they say. Saturn is also of the nature of Binah, as Time is the giver and taker of life. The number of the verse, thirty-two, is Three and Two, Binah and Chokmah. These are the Mother and Father, or Queen and King of the Tetragrammaton and the original Water and Fire elements, responsible for the birth of the Universe- the manifestation of Nuit- as the union of Fire and Water gives us Air, the Fool, and the Prince of the Tetragrammaton. The Fool is of course the first appearance of “I”- as I commented in verse eleven- and the original division as described by Nuit. Remember also that Kether is associated with verse one of Liber AL. Verse One is the quintessential division as verse eleven is the elaboration thereupon.
This is the plane of Yetzirah, which is the Ruach in our little universes.
(Another personal validation as I read Crowley’s notes on the Universe Atu, given in The Book of Thoth: “The first and foremost characteristic of this card is that it comes at the end of all, and is therefore the complement of the Fool. It is attributed to the letter Tau. The two cards together accordingly spell the word Ath, which means Essence.”
As the thirty-second path is Saturn as well as Earth, it is appropriate that Nuit should give us instruction that seems to summarize what has come before. She swears by the vault of her body, which she described as her heart and tongue. All the verses preceding this are the word of Nuit. There are many descriptions pertaining to the ‘vault’ of Her body. She is instructing us to adhere to the practical application of Her manifestation. We are took seek the Universe, both Zero and Two, in the ultimate Samadhi. Only then can we experience Reality as both Nuit and Hadit would ‘see’ it. The infinite expansion and infinite contraction are functions of the twin god Heru-ra-ha, which rules over our Aeon and who guides us in our striving to repose in the bosom of the Great Mother of the Stars.