Magick Without Tears (A) - Aleister Crowley

November 13, 1988 e.v. key entry and first proof by Bill Heidrick T.G. O.T.O.
(c) O.T.O. disk 1/4
This is a XYWrite file. Additional proofing and supplimental material
required to produce complete and unabridged version. Germer omits still a


Key entry by Bill Heidrick, (415) 454-5176
P.O.Box 430
Fairfax, CA 94930

A l e i s t e r C r o w e y


Complete and Unabridged, edited with a Foreword by Karl J. Germer

(c) 1954 Karl J. Germer for Ordo Templi Orientis
Renewed 1982


Ordo Templi Orientis
JAF Box 7666
New York, NY 10116 USA


In 1943 Aleister Crowley met a lady who, having heard of his wide
knowledge and experience, asked his advice on occult, spiritual, and
practical matters.

This chance connection resulted in a stimulating exchange of letters.
Crowley then asked others to put similar questions to him. The result
was this collection of over eighty letters which are now being issued
over the title that he chose, "_MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS_".

Crowley did not keep copies of his early letters to the above-mentioned
lady, so was unable to include them in the collection that he planned
to publish. Fortunately they have been preserved and are now included
in the introduction to this book. Their original form has been retained
with the opening and closing formulae which Crowley used in all his

Crowley at first intended to call the book "_ALEISTER EXPLAINS EVERYTHING_",
and sent the following circular to his friends and disciples asking them
to suggest subjects for inclusion.



"Much gratified was the author of _THE BOOK OF THOTH_ to have so
many letters of appreciation, mostly from women, thanking him for
not 'putting it in unintelligible language', for 'making it all
so clear that even I with my limited intelligence can understand
it, or think I do.'

"Nevertheless and notwithstanding! For many years the Master
Therion has felt acutely the need of some groundwork-teaching
suited to those who have only just begun the study of Magick and
its subsidiary sciences, or are merely curious about it, or
interested in it with intent to study. Always he has done his
utmost to make his meaning clear to the average intelligent edu-
cated person, but even those who understand him perfectly and are
most sympathetic to his work, agree that in this respect he has
often failed.

"So much for the diagnosis --- now for the remedy!

"One genius, inspired of the gods, suggested recently that the
riddle might be solved somewhat on the old and well-tried lines
of 'Dr. Brewer's Guide to Science'; i.e., by having aspirants
write to the Master asking questions, the kind of problem that
naturally comes into the mind of any sensible enquirer, and getting
his answer in the form of a letter. 'What is it?' 'Why should I
bother my head about it?' 'What are it's principles?' 'What use
is it?' 'How do I begin?', and the like.

"This plan has been put into action; the idea has been to cover


the subjects from every possible angle. The style has been collo-
quiel and fluent; technical terms have either been carefully
avoided or most carefully explained; and the letter has not been
admitted to the series until the querent has expressed satisfaction.
Some seventy letters, up to the present have been written, but still
there seem to be certain gaps in the demonstration, like those white
patches on the map of the World, which looked so tempting fifty years

"This memorandum is to ask for your collaboration and support. A
list, indicating briefly the subject of each letter already written,
is appended. Should you think that any of those will help you in
your own problems, a typed copy will be sent to you at once ...
Should you want to know anything outside the scope, send in your
question (stated as fully and clearly as possible) ... The answer
should reach you, bar accidents, in less than a month ... It is
proposed ultimately to issue the series in book form."


This has now been done.

Karl J. Germer
Frater Saturnus X
Frater Superior, O.T.O.

January, 1954 e.v.
Hampton, N.J.








ETC., LIVE 163
HIM, ETC. 226








page xiv line 6 from below "These regulations operate _as_..." Not 'on'.
xxi -- 3 "and suddenly something struck me..." Not 'and suddenly
struck me...'.
xxvi -- 25 write "b-Schehalim" Not 'b-Schebralim'.
xxviii last line of Letter H, for 'diapantos' write "dia pantos".
14 line 27 delete 'onomato-Poetic'; write 'onomatopoeic".
17 line 7 "remember" not 'remeber'.
26 -- 11 insert after "Thi Yang, the Sun" the word "and".
- -- 14 from below should read "They go on to double", not 'in'
29 -- 29 in the passage . . "in which we hear the various Intelligences"
insert "voice of". It should read: "we hear the voice of
34 -- 16 for 'master' write "muster".
56 -- 5 the equation should read (a + b){2} = a{2} + 2ab = b{2}
59 -- 9 and 13 from below delete the periods after both verses.
63 -- 22 for 'Neshamic' write "Neschamic".
64 -- 19 from below 'dist' should be "didst".
79 -- 3 put quotation marks at end of..."to the aeons!"
-- -- 10 from below should be 'precautions'.
82 last line insert quotation mark thus:..."("horribilesque...
83 line 12 from below "venomous" instead of 'venoumous'.
90 -- 5 from below should be "Ottilia".
91 -- 8 should be {Thelema in Greek} replace "{lower case Gamma}" by "{lower case Lambda}".
102 -- 13 "should do harm" Not 'should do not harm'.
111 -- 12 "presents" Not 'present'.
112 -- 2 from below delete period after first 'H'. It should be
"H EIPHNH". {Keynote: may wish to convert into true Greek in a footnote}
129 -- 4 from below delete first ! after 'Hunchback'.
134 -- 7 from below after "Or is it" put ?.
138 Title "WHAT IS CERTAINTY" insert ?.
148 line 23 instead of 'half-quinea' write "half-guinea".
167 -- 7 from below insert dash after 'Wand'. It must read "and with
my Wand - I seem..."
180 -- 8 write "seven green withes" Not 'withs'.
225 -- 9 "in congressu cum Not 'in congressucum'.
226 footnote after "see Letter" add "IX, P. 48 and Letter LI, pp. 234-236
250 line 14 from below "gens" instead of 'yens".
258 -- 5 for 'hindu' read "Hindu".
264 -- 4 should read "REm acu tetigisti" Not 'Rem aeu...'.
- -- 7 should be "Metatron" Not 'Mebatron'.
265 -- 2 from below for 'lable' read "label".
301 -- 9 from below for point' (of Energy) read "form".
310 -- 19 and 18 from below: instead of 'Nw, Nuit, Ann, Noah...' write
"Nu, Nuit, Anu, Noah...".
316 -- 7 for 'ESOC' write EéOC". {Keynote: may wish to convert into true Greek in a footnote}
322 -- 6 "raison d'tre" instead of 'raison d'etre'.
345 -- 19 "ridiculous" Not 'ricidulous'.
380 -- 19 "Any given type of Yoga" Not 'Yogas'.



Letter No. A
March 19, 1943

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

I was very glad to gather from your conversation yesterday afternoon that
you have a serious intention of taking up the Great Work in the proper
spirit. Your criticisms of previous experience in the course of your ad-
ventures appeared to be singularly sane and just. As I promised I am
writing this letter to cover a few practical points which we had not time
to discuss and which in any case I think it better to arrange by correspon-

1) It is of the first importance that you should understand my personal
position. It is not actually wrong to regard me as a teacher, but it
is certainly liable to mislead; fellow-student, or, if you like, fellow-
sufferer, seems a more appropriate definition.

The climax of my life was what is known as the Cairo Working, described in
the minutest detail in the _Equinox of the Gods_. At that time most of _The_
_Book of the Law_ was completely unintelligible to me, and a good deal of it
- especially the third chapter - extremely antipathetic. I fought against
this book for years; but it proved irresistible.

I do not think I am boasting unfairly when I say that my personal researches
have been of the greatest value and importance to the study of the subject
of Magick and Mysticism in general, especially my integration of the vari-
ous thought-systems of the world, notably the identification of the system
of the _Yi King_ with that of the Qabalah. But I do assure you that the whole
of my life's work, were it multiplied a thousand fold, would not be worth
one tithe of the value of a single verse of _The Book of the Law_.

I think you should have a copy of the _Equinox of the Gods_ and make _The_
_Book of the Law_ your constant study. Such value as my own work may possess
for you should amount to no more than an aid to the interpretation of this

2) It may be that later on you will want a copy of _Eight Lectures on Yoga_
so I am putting a copy aside for you in case you should want it.

3) With regard to the O.T.O., I believe I can find you a typescript of
all the official documents. If so, I will let you have them to read,
and you can make up your mind as to whether you wish to affiliate to the
Third Degree of the Order. I should consequently, in the case of your de-
ciding to affiliate, go with you though the script of the Rituals and ex-
plain the meaning of the whole thing; communicating, in addition, the real
secret and significant knowledge of which ordinary Masonry is not possessed


4) The horoscope; I do not like doing these at all, but it is part of the
agreement with the Grand Treasurer of the O.T.O. that I should under-
take them in worthy cases, if pressed. But I prefer to keep the figure to
myself for future reference, in case any significant event makes consulta-
tion desirable.

Now there is one really important matter. The only thing besides _The Book_
_of the Law_ which is in the forefront of the battle. As I told you yester-
day, the first essential is the dedication of all that one is and all that
one has to the Great Work, without reservation of any sort. This must be
kept constantly in mind; the way to do this is to practice _Liber Resh vel_
_Helios, sub figura CC_, pp. 425-426 - _Magick_. There is another version
of these Adorations, slightly fuller; but those in the text are quite al-
right. The important thing is not to forget. I shall have to teach you
the signs and gestures which go with the words.

It is also desirable before beginning a formal meal to go through the fol-
lowing dialogue: Knock 3-5-3: say, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole
of the Law." The person at the other end of the table replies: "What is
thy Will?" You: "It is my Will to eat and drink." He: "To what end?"
You: "That my body may be fortified thereby." He: "To what end?" You:
"That I may accomplish the Great Work." He: "Love is the law, love under
will." You, with a single knock: "Fall to." When alone make a monologue
of it: thus, Knock 3-5-3. Do what, etc. It is my Will to, etc., that my
body, etc., that I may, etc., Love is, etc. Knock: and begin to eat.

It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of performing these small
ceremonies regularly, and being as nearly accurate as possible with regard
to the times. You must not mind stopping in the middle of a crowded thor-
oughfare --- lorries or no lorries --- and saying the Adorations; and you must
not mind snubbing your guest --- or your host --- if he or she should prove ig-
norant of his or her share of the dialogue. It is perhaps because these
matters are so petty and trivial in appearance that they afford so excellent
a training. They teach you concentration, mindfulness, moral and social
courage, and a host of other virtues.

Like a perfect lady, I have kept the tit bit to the last. It is absolutely
essential to begin a magical diary, and keep it up daily. You begin by an
account of your life, going back even before your birth to your ancestry.
In conformity with the practice which you may perhaps choose to adopt later,
given in _Liber Thisarb, sub figura CMXIII_, paragraphs 27-28, _Magick_,
pp. 420-422, you must find an answer to the question: "How did I come to
be in this place at this time, engaged in this particular work?" As you
will see from the book, this will start you on the discovery of who you
really are, and eventually lead you to your recovering the memory of pre-
vious incarnations.

As it is difficult for you to come to Town except at rare and irregular
intervals, may I suggest a plan which has previously proved very useful,
and that is a weekly letter. Eliphas Lvi did this with the Baron Spedalieri,
and the correspondence is one of the most interesting of his works. you
ask such questions as you wish to have answered, and I answer them to the


best of my ability. I, of course, add spontaneous remarks which may be
elicited by my observations on your progress and the perusal of your magi-
cal diary. This, of course, should be written on one side of the paper
only, so that the opposite page is free for comments, and an arrangement
should be made for it to be inspected at regular intervals.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. B
April 20, 1943

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

I was very glad to have your letter, and am very sorry to hear that you
have been in affliction. About the delay, however, I think I ought to tell
you that the original Rule of the Order of A.'. A.'. was that the introducer
read over a short lection to the applicant, then left him alone for a quar-
ter of an hour, and on coming back received a "yes" or "no." If there was
any hesitation about it the applicant was barred for life.

The reason for the relaxation of the rule was that it was thought better
to help people along in the early stages of the work, even if there was no
hope of their turning out first-class. But I should like you to realize
that sooner or later, whether in this incarnation or another, it is put up
to you to show perfect courage in face of the completely unknown, and the
power of rapid and irrevocable decision without without counting the cost.

I think that it is altogether wrong to allow yourself to be worried by
"psychological, moral, and artistic problems." It is no good your starting
anything of any kind unless you can see clearly into the simplicity of
truth. All this humming and hawing about things is moral poison. What is
the use of being a woman if you have not got an intuition, an instinct en-
abling you to distinguish between the genuine and the sham?

Your state of mind suggests to me that you must have been, in the past,
under the influence of people who were always talking about things, and
never doing any real work. They kept on arguing all sorts of obscure phil-
osophical points; that is all very well, but when you have succeeded in
analyzing your reactions you will understand that all this talk is just an
excuse for not doing any serious work.

I am confirmed in this judgment by your saying: "I don't know if I want to


enter into a great conflict. I need peace." Fortunately you save yourself
by adding: "Real peace, that is living and not stagnant." All life is con-
flict. Every breath that you draw represents a victory in the struggle of
the whole Universe. You can't have peace without perfect mastery of circum-
stance; and I take it that this is what you mean by "living, not stagnant."

But it is of the first consequence for you to summon up the resolution to
stamp on this sea of swirling thoughts by an act of will; you must say:
"Peace be still." The moment you have understood these thoughts for what
they are, tools of the enemy, invented by him with the idea of preventing
you from undertaking the Great Work --- the moment you dismiss all such con-
siderations firmly and decisively, and say: "What must I do?" and having
discovered that, set to work to do it, allowing of no interruption, you will
find that living peace which (as you seem to see) is a dynamic and not a
static condition. (There is quite a lot about this point in _Little Essays_
_Toward Truth_, and also in _The Vision and the Voice_.)

Your postscript made me smile. It is not a very good advertisement for the
kind of people with whom you have been associated in the past. My own posi-
tion is a very simple one. I obeyed the injunction to "buy a perfectly
black hen, without haggling." I have spent over 100,000 pounds of my in-
herited money on this work: and if I had a thousand times that amount to-
day it would all go in the same direction. It is only when one is built
in this way, to stand entirely aloof from all considerations of twopence
halfpenny more or fourpence halfpenny less, that one obtains perfect free-
dom on this Plane of Discs.

All the serious Orders of the world, or nearly all, begin by insisting that
the aspirant should take a vow of poverty; a Buddhist Bhikku, for example,
can own only nine objects - his three robes, begging bowl, a fan, tooth-
brush, and so on. The Hindu and Mohammedan Orders have similar regulations;
and so do all the important Orders of monkhood in Christianity.

Our own Order is the only exception of importance; and the reason for this
is that it is much more difficult to retain one's purity if one is living
in the world than if one simply cuts oneself off from it. It is far easier
to achieve technical attainments if one is unhampered by any such considera-
tions. These regulations operate as restrictions to one's usefulness in
helping the world. There are terrible dangers, the worst dangers of all,
associated with complete retirement. In my own personal judgment, moreover,
I think that our own ideal of a natural life is much more wholesome.

When you have found out a little about your past incarnations, you should
be able to understand this very clearly and simply.

Love is the law, love under will.




Letter No. C
April 30, 1943

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Thank you for your long letter of no date, but received two days ago. I am
very sorry you are still feeling exhausted. I am not too good myself, for
I find this weather very trying. I will answer your various points as best
I can.

I am arranging to send you the official papers connected with the O.T.O., but
the idea that you should meet other members first is quite impossible. Even
after affiliation, you would not meet anyone unless it were necessary for
you to work in cooperation with them. I am afraid you have still got the
idea that the Great Work is a tea-party. Contact with other students only
means that you criticize their hats, and then their morals; and I am not
going to encourage this. Your work is not anybody else's; and undirected
chatter is the worst poisonous element in human society.

When you talk of the "actual record" of the "Being called Jesus Christ," I
don't know what you mean. I am not aware of the existence of any such re-
cord. I know a great many legends, mostly borrowed from previous legends
of a similar character.

It would be better for you to get a copy of the _Equinox of the Gods_ and
study it. The Great Work is the uniting of opposites. It may mean the
uniting of the soul with God, of the microcosm with the macrocosm, of the
female with the male, of the ego with the non-ego --- or what not.

By "love under will" one refers to the fact that the method in every case
is love, by which is meant the uniting of opposites as above stated, such
as hydrogen and chlorine, sodium and oxygen, and so on. Any reaction what-
ever, any phenomenon, is a phenomenon of "love", as you will understand
when I come to explain to you the meaning of the word "point-event". But
love has to be "under will," if it is to be properly directed. You must
find your True Will, and make all your actions subservient to the one great

Rahoor is the Sun God; Tahuti is the Egyptian Mercury; Kephra is the Sun
at midnight.

About your problems; what I have to do is to try to teach you to think
clearly. You will be immensely stimulated by having all the useless trim-
mings stripped from your thinking apparatus. For instance, I don't think
you know the first principles of logic. You apparently take up a more or
less Christian attitude, but at the same time you like very much the idea
of Karma. You cannot have both.

The question about money does not arise. This old and very good rule (which
I have always kept) was really pertinent to the time when there were actual


secrets. But I have published openly all the secrets. All I can do is to
train you in a perfectly exoteric way. My suggestion about the weekly
letter was intended to exclude this question, as you would be getting full
commercial value for anything paid.

Your questions about the Spirit of the Sun, and so on, are to be answered
by experience. Intellectual satisfaction is worthless. I have to bring
you to a state of mind completely superior to the mechanism of the normal

A good deal of your letter is rather difficult to answer. You always seem
to want to put the cart before the horse. Don't you see that, if I were
trying to get you to do something or other, I should simply return you to
the kind of answer which I thought would satisfy you, and make you happy?
And this would be very easy to do because you have got no clear ideas a-
bout anything. For one thing, you keep on using terms about whose signifi-
cance we are not yet in agreement. When you talk about the "Christian
path," do you believe in vicarious atonement and eternal damnation --- or
don't you? A great deal of the confusion that arises in all these ques-
tions, and grows constantly worse as fellow-students talk them over --- the
blind leading the blind --- is because they have no idea of the necessity
of defining their terms.

Then again, you ask me questions like "What is purity?" that can be an-
swered in a dozen different ways; and you must understand what is meant
by a "universe of discourse." If you asked me --- "Is this sample of clo-
ride of gold a pure sample?" I can answer you. You must understand the
value of precision in speech. I could go on rambling about purity and
selflessness for years, and no one would be a penny the better.

P.S. --- or rather, I did not want to dictate this bit. --- Your ideas about
the O.T.O. remind me of some women's idea of shopping. You want to
maul about the stock and then walk out with a proud glad smile: NO. Do
you really think that I should muster all the most distinguished people
alive for your inspection and approval?

The affiliation clause in our Constitution is a privilege: a courtesy to
a sympathetic body. Were you not a Mason, or Co-Mason, you would have to
be proposed and seconded, and then examined by savage Inquisitors; and
then --- probably --- thrown out on to the garbage heap. Well, no, it's not
as bad as that; but we certainly don't want anybody who chooses to apply.
Would you do it yourself, if you were on the Committee of a Club? The
O.T.O. is a serious body, engaged on a work of Cosmic scope. You should
question yourself: what can I contribute?

Secrets. There is one exception to what I have said about publishing
everything: that is, the ultimate secret of the O.T.O. This is really
too dangerous to disclose; but the safeguard is that you could not use
it if you knew it, unless you were an advanced Adept; and you would not
be allowed to go so far unless we were satisfied that you were sincerely
devoted to the Great Work. (See _One Star in Sight_). True, the Black


Brothers could use it; but they would only destroy themselves.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. D
June 8, 1943

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Thanks for your letter. I couldn't find the O.T.O. typescript --- and then
it struck me that it would be useful to await your reactions. If I were
expecting some presumably important papers by post, I should get anxious
after 24 hours delay (at most) and start enquiries. Anyhow, I can't find
them for the moment; but Mr. Bryant said he would lend you his _Blue_
_Equinox_: pages 195-270 give what you require.

But the real point of your affiliating is that it saves me from constantly
being on my guard lest I should mention something which I am sworn not to
reveal. As in every serious society, members are pledged not to disclose
what they may have learnt, whom they have met; it is so, even in Co-Mason-
ry: isn't it: But one may mention the names of members who have died. (See
_Liber LII_, par. 2.) Be happy then; the late X... Y... was one of us.
I hope that he and Rudolph Steiner will (between them) satisfy your doubts.

The A.'.A.'. is totally different. _One Star in Sight_ tells you every-
thing that you need to know. (Perhaps some of these regulations are hard
to grasp: personally, I can never understand all this By-Law stuff. So
you must ask me what, and why, and so on.)

There is really only one point for your judgment. "By their fruits ye
shall know them." You have read _Liber LXV_ and _Liber VII_; That shows you
what states you can attain by this cirriculum. Now read "A Master of the
Temple" (_Blue Equinox_, pp. 127-170) for an account of the early stages of
training, and their results. (Of course, your path might not coincide with,
or even resemble, his path.)

But do get it into you head that "If the blind lead the blind, they shall
both fall into the ditch." If you had seen 1% of the mischief that I
have seen, you would freeze to the marrow of your bones at the mere idea
of seeing another member through the telescope! Well, I employ the figure
of hyperbole, that I admit; but it really won't do to have a dozen cooks
at the broth! If you're working with me, you'll have no time to waste on
other people.


I fear your "Christianity" is like that of most other folk. You pick out
one or two of the figures from which the Alexandrines concocted "Jesus"
(too many cooks, again, with a vengeance!) and neglect the others. The
Zionist Christ of Matthew can have no value for you; nor can the Asiatic
"Dying-God" --- compiled from Melcarth, Mithras, Adonis, Bacchus, Osiris,
Attis, Krishna, and others --- who supplied the miraculous and ritualistic
elements of the fable.

Rightly you ask: "What can I contribute?" Answer: One Book. That is the
idea of the weekly letter: 52 of yours and 52 of mine, competently edited,
would make a most useful volume. This would be your property: so that you
get full material value, perhaps much more, for your outlay. I thought of
the plan because one such arrangement has recently come to an end, with
amazingly happy results: they should lie open to your admiring gaze in
a few months from now. Incidentally, I personally get nothing out of it;
secretarial work costs money these days. But there is another great advan-
tage; it keeps both of us up to the mark. Also, in such letters a great
deal of odds and ends of knowledge turn up automatically; valuable stuff,
frequent enough; yes, but one doesn't want to lose the thread, once one
starts. Possibly ten days might be best.

But please understand that this suggestion arose solely from your own
statement of what you thought would help in your present circumstances.
Anyway, as you say, decide! If it is yes, I should like to see you before
June 15 when I expect to go away for a few days; better to give you some
groundwork to keep you busy in my absence.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. E
Aug. 18, 1943

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Much thought has gone into the construction of your Motto. "I will become"
can be turned neatly enough as "Let there be;" by avoiding the First Pro-
noun one gets the idea of "the absorption of the Self in the Beloved,"
which is exactly what you want.

"The creative Force of the Universe" is quite ready-made. Pyramis*, a
pyramid, is that Force in its geometrical form; in its biological form

* In the original in Greek


it is Phallus*, the Yang or Lingam. Both words have the same numerical
value, 831. These two words can therefore serve you as the secret object
of your Work. How than can you construct the number 831?

The Letter Kaph**, Jupiter (Jehovah), the Wheel of Fortune in the Tarot ---
the Atu X is a picture of the Universe built up and revolving by virtue of
those Three Principles: Sulphur, Mercury, Salt; or Gunas: Sattvas, Rajas,
Tamas --- has the value 20. So also has the letter Yod** spelt in full.

One Gnostic secret way of spelling and pronouncing Jehovah is IAO* and
this has the value 811. So has "Let there be," Fiat, transliterating into

Resuming all these ideas, it seems that you can express your aspiration
very neatly, very fully, by choosing for your motto the words FIAT YOD.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. Please study this letter, and these explanatory figures (the author,
BAPHOMET X O.T.O., in the original spells each word, giving the
numerical equivalent of each letter in puramis, etc. This is here not
copied.) and meditate upon them until you have fully assimilate not only
the matter under immediate consideration, but the general method of Qabal-
istic research and construction. Note how new cognate ideas arise to
enrich the formula.


Letter No. F
Aug. 20, 1943

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Let me begin by referring to my letter about the motto and make clear to
you the working of this letter.

In this motto you have really got several ideas combined, and yet they are
really, of course, one idea. Fiat, being 811, is identical with IAO, and
therefore FIAT YOD might be read not only as "let there be" (or "Let me
become"), the secret source of all creative energy, but as "the secret
source of the energy of Jehovah." The two words together, having the value

* In the original in Greek.
** In the original in Hebrew.


of 831, they contain the secret meanings Pyramis and Phallos, which is the
same idea in different forms; thus you have three ways of expressing the
creative form, in its geometrical aspect, its human aspect, and its divine
aspect. I am making a point of this, because the working out of this motto
should give you a very clear idea of the sort of way in which Qabalah should
be used. I think it is rather useful to remember what the essence of the
Qabalah is in principle; thus, in your correspondence for Malkuth, Yesod,
and Hod you are simply writing down some of the ideas which pertain to the
numbers 10, 9, and 8 respectively. Naturally, there is a great deal of re-
dundancy and overloading as soon as you get to ideas important enough to
be comprehensive; as is mentioned in the article on the Qabalah in _Equi_-
_nox_ Vol. I, No. 5, it is quite easy to prove 1 = 2 = 3 = 4, etc.

On the other hand, you must be careful to avoid taking the correspondences
given in the books of reference without thinking out _why_ they are so given.
Thus, you find a camel in the number which refers to the Moon, but the Tarot
card "the Moon" refers not to the letter Gimel which means camel, but to
the letter Qoph, and the sign Pisces which means fish, while the letter
itself refers to the back of the head; and you also find fish has the
meaning of the letter Nun. You must not go on from this, and say that the
back of your head is like a camel - the connection between them is simply
that they all refer to the same thing.

In studying the Qabalah you mention six months; I think after that time
you should be able to realize that, after six incarnations of uninterrupted
study, you may realize that you can never know it; as Confucius said about
the _Yi King_. "If a few more years were added to my life, I would devote a
hundred of them to the study of the _Yi_."

If, however, you work at the Qabalah in the same way as I did myself, in
season and out of season, you ought to get a very fair grasp of it in six
months. I will now tell you what this method is: as I walked about, I
made a point of attributing everything I saw to its appropriate idea. I
would walk out of the door of my house and reflect that door is Daleth,
and house Beth; now the word "dob" is Hebrew for bear, and has the number
6, which refers to the Sun. Then you come to the fence of your property
and that is Cheth - number 8, number of Tarot Trump 7, which is the Chariot:
so you begin to look about for your car. Then you come to the street and
the first house you see is number 86, and that is Elohim, and it is built
of red brick which reminds you of Mars and the Blasted Tower, and so on.
As soon as this sort of work, which can be done in a quite lighthearted
spirit, becomes habitual, you will find your mind running naturally in
this direction, and will be surprised at your progress. Never let your
mind wander from the fact that your Qabalah is not my Qabalah; a good
many of the things which I have noted may be useful to you, but you must
construct your own system so that it is a living weapon in your hand.

I think I am fair if I say that the first step on the Qabalah which may be
called success, is when you make an actual discovery which throws light on
some problem which has been troubling you. A quarter of a century ago I
was in New Orleans, and was very puzzled about my immediate course of action;
in fact I may say I was very much distressed. There seemed literally no-
thing that I could do, so I bethought myself that I had better invoke


Mercury. As soon as I got into the appropriate frame of mind, it naturally
occurred to me, with a sort of joy, "But _I am_ Mercury." I put it into
Latin --- Mercurius sum, and suddenly something struck me, a sort of nameless reaction
which said: "That's not quite right." Like a flash it came to me to put
it into Greek, which gave me "Hermes Eimi", {Keynote: may wish to convert to true Greek} and adding that up rapidly, I
got the number 418, with all the marvellous correspondences which had been
so abundantly useful to me in the past (See _Equ. of the Gods_, p. 138). My
troubles disappeared like a flash of lightning.

Now to answer your questions seriatum; it is quite all right to put ques-
tions to me about _The Book of the Law_; a very extended commentary has
been written, but it is not yet published. I shall probably be able to
answer any of your questions from the manuscript, but you cannot go on
after that when it would become a discussion; as they say in the law-
courts, "You must take the witness' answer."

II. The Qabalah, both Greek and Hebrew, also very likely Arabic, was used
by the author of _The Book of the Law_. I have explained above the proper
use of the Qabalah. I cannot tell you how the early Rosicrucians used it,
but I think one may assume that their methods were not dissimilar to our
own. Incidentally, it is not very safe to talk about Rosicrucians, because
their name has become a signal for letting loose the most devastating floods
of nonsense. What is really known about the original Rosicrucians is prac-
tically confined to the three documents which they issued. The eighteenth
century Rosicrucians may, or may not, have been legitimate successors of
the original brotherhood - I don't know. But from them the O.T.O. derived
its authority; The late O.H.O. Theodor Reuss possessed a certain number
of documents which demonstrated the validity of his claim according to him;
but I only saw two or three of them, and they were not of very great impor-
tance. Unfortunately he died shortly after the last War, and he had got
out of touch with some of the other Grand Masters. The documents did not
come to me as they should have done; they were seized by his wife who had
an idea that she could sell them for a fantastic price; and we did not
feel inclined to meet her views. I don't think the matter is of very great
importance, the work being done by members of the Order all over the place
is to me quite sufficient.

III. The Ruach contains both the moral and intellectual worlds, which is
really all that we mean by the conscious mind; perhaps it even includes
certain portions of the subconscious.

IV. In initiation from the grade of Neophyte to that of Zelator, one
passes by this way. The main work is to obtain admission to, and control
of, the astral plane.

Your expressions about "purifying the feelings" and so on are rather vague
to enter into a scientific system like ours. The result which you doubt-
less refer to is attained automatically in the course of your experiments.
Your very soon discover the sort of state of mind which is favourable or
unfavourable to the work, and you also discover what is helpful and harm-
ful to these states in your way of life. For instance, the practice like
the non-receiving of gifts is all right for a Hindu whose mind is branded
for ten thousand incarnations by the shock of accepting a cigarette or a


cup of tea. Incidentally, most of the Eastern cults fall down when they
come West, simply because they make no allowance for our different tempera-
ments. Also they set tasks which are completely unsuitable to Europeans -
an immense amount of disappointment has been caused by failure to recognize
these facts.

Your sub-questions a, b, and c are really answered by the above. All the
terms you use are very indefinite. I hope it will not take too long to
get you out of the way of thinking in these terms. For instance, the word
"initiation" includes the whole process, and how to distinguish between it
and enlightenment I cannot tell you. "Probation," moreover, if it means
"proving," continues throughout the entire process. Nothing is worse for
the student than to indulge in these mild speculations about ambiguous

V. You can, if you like, try to work out a progress of Osiris through
Amennti on the Tree of Life, but I doubt whether you will get any satis-
factory result.

It seems to me that you should confine yourself very closely to the actual
work in front of you. At the present moment, of course, this includes a
good deal of general study; but my point is that the terms employed in
that study should always be capable of precise definition. I am not sure
whether you have my _Little Essays Toward Truth_. The first essay in the
book entitled "Man" gives a full account of the five principles which go
to make up Man according to the Qabalistic system. I have tried to define
these terms as accurately as possible, and I think you will find them,, in
any case, clearer than those to which you have become accustomed with the
Eastern systems. In India, by the way, no attempt is ever made to use
these vague terms. They always have a very clear idea of what is meant by
words like "Buddhi," "Manas" and the like. Attempts at translation are
very unsatisfactory. I find that even with such a simple matter as the
"Eight limbs of Yoga," as you will see when you come to read my _Eight_

I am very pleased with your illustrations; that is excellent practice for
you. Presently you have to make talismans, and a Lamen for yourself, and
even to devise a seal to serve as what you might call a magical coat-of-
arms, and all this sort of thing is very helpful.

It occurs to me that so far we have done nothing about the astral plane
and this path of Tau of which you speak. Have you had any experience of
travelling in the astral? If not, do you think that you can begin by your-
self on the lines laid down in _Liber O_, sections 5 and 6? (See _Magick_,
pp. 387-9). If not you had better let me take you through the first gates.
The question of noise instantly arises; I think we should have to do it
not earlier than nine o'clock at night, and I don't know whether you can
manage this.

Love is the law, love under will.




Letter No. G
September 4.

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

"shall be" (instead of "Do what thou wilt is ... ") not "is". See _Liber AL_,
I, 36, 54, and II, 54. Not "Master Perdurabo": see _Magick_ p. XXIX. "Care
Frater" is enough.

_777_ is practically unpurchaseable: copies fetch 10 or so. Nearly all im-
portant correspondences are in _Magick_ Table I. The other 2 books are
being sent at once. "Working out games with numbers." I am sorry you
should see no more than this. When you are better equipped, you will see
that the Qabalah is the best (and almost the only) means by which an in-
telligence can identify himself. And Gematria methods serve to discover
spiritual truths. Numbers are the network of the structure of the Universe,
and their relations the form of expression of our Understanding of it. (He
gives the numerical value of the letters of the Greek alphabet - not copied
here. - ed.) In Greek and Hebrew there is no other way of writing numbers;
our 1, 2, 3 etc. comes from the Phoenicians through the Arabs. You need
no more of Greek and Hebrew than these values, some sacred words --- know-
ledge grows by use --- and books of reference.

One cannot set a pupil definite tasks beyond the groundwork I am giving
you, and we should find this correspondence taking clear shape of its own
accord. You have really more than you can do already. And I can only tell
you what the right tasks --- out of hundreds --- are by your own reactions to
your own study and practice.

"Osiris in Amennti" - see the _Book of the Dead_. I meant you might try to
trace a parallelism between his journeyings and the Path of Initiation.

Astral travel - development of the Astral Body is essential to research;
and, above all, to the attainment of "the Knowledge and Conversation of
the Holy Guardian Angel."

You ought to demonstrate your performance of the Pentagram Ritual to me;
you are probably making any number of mistakes. I will, of course, take
you carefully through the O.T.O. rituals to III as soon as you are fairly
familiar with them. The _plan_ of the grades is this: ---

0 Attraction to the Solar System
I Birth
II Life
III Death
IV "Exaltation"
P.I, "Annihilation"
V-IX Progressive comment on II with very special reference to
the central secret of practical Magick.


There is thus no connection with the A.'.A.'. system and the Tree of Life.
Of course, there are certain analogies.

Your suggested method of study: you have got my idea quite well. But no-
body can "take you through" the Grades of A.'.A.'.. The Grades _confirm_
your attainments as you make them; then, the new tasks appear. See _One_
_Star in Sight_.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. H

November 10 - 11. 11 p.m. - 2 a.m.

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Your's of yestere'en came to gladden me just when the whole evening lay
blank before me: the one job such a big job that I simply can't get down
to it until I get help: How annoying! Still, yours the gain!

1. That verse (AL. I, 44) condenses the whole magical technique. It makes
clear --- when you have understood it --- the secret of success in the Great
Work. Of course at first it appears a paradox. You must have an aim, and
one aim only: yet on no account must you want to achieve it!!!

Those chapters of the _Book of Lies_ quoted in my last letter* do throw some
light onto this Abyss of self-contradiction; and there is meaning much
deeper than the contrast between the Will with a capital W, and desire,
want, or velleity. The main point seems to be that in aspiring to Power
one is limited by the True Will. If you use force, violating your own
nature either from lack of understanding or from petulant whim, one is
merely wasting energy; things go back to normal as soon as the stress is
removed. This is one small case of the big Equation "Free Will = Necessity"
(Fate, Destiny, or Karma: it's all much the same idea). One is most rigid-
ly bound by the causal chain that has dragged one to where one is; but it
is one's own self that has forged the links.

Please refrain from the obvious retort: "Then, in the long run, you can't
possibly go wrong: so it doesn't matter what you do." Perfectly true, of
course! (There is no single grain of dust that shall not attain to Buddha-
hood:" with some such words did the debauched old reprobate seek to console

* A letter dated Oct. 12, '43 constituted No. 48 in _Magick Without Tears_
and the following chapters from the _Book of Lies_: - "Peaches", "Pilgrim-
Talk", "Buttons and Rosettes", "The Gun-Barrel and the Mountaineer".


himself when Time began to take its revenge.) But the answer is simple
enough: you happen to be the kind of being that thinks it does matter
what course you steer; or, still more haughtily, you enjoy the pleasure
of sailing.

No, there is this factor in all success: self-confidence. If we analyze
this, we find that it means that one is aware that all one's mental and
physical faculties are working harmoniously. The deadliest and subtlest
enemy of that feeling is anxiety about the result; the finest gauze of
doubt is enough to dim one's vision, to throw the entire field out of focus.
Hence, even to be aware that there is a result in prospect must militate
against that serenity of spirit which is the essence of self-confidence.
As you will know, all our automatic physiological functions are deranged
if one is aware of them. This then, is the difficulty, to enjoy conscious-
ly while not disturbing the process involved. The obvious physical case
is the sexual act: perhaps its chief importance is just that it is a type
of this exceptional spiritual-mental condition. I hope, however, that you
will remember what I have said on the subject in paragraphs 15 - 17 of my
3rd Lecture on _Yoga for Yellowbellies_ (pp. 71-72); there is a way of
obtaining ecstacy from the most insignificant physiological function. Ob-
serve that in transferring the whole consciousness to (say) one's little
finger or big toe is not trying to interfere with the normal exercise of
sits activities, but only to realize what is going on in the organism, the
exquisite pleasure of a function in its normal activity. With a little
imagination one can conceive the analogical case of the Universe itself;
and, still less fettered by even the mildest limitation which material
symbols necessarily (however little) suggest, "Remember all ye that exis-
tence is pure joy; ..." (AL, II, 9).

Is it too bold to suggest that the gradual merging of all these Ways into
an interwoven unity may be taken as one mode of presentation of the Accom-
plishment of the Great Work itself?

At least, I feel fairly satisfied the meditation of them severally and
jointly may help you to an answer to your first question.

2. Most people in my experience either cook up a hell-broth of self-induced
obstacles to success in Astral traveling, or else shoot forth on the wings
of romantic imagination and fool themselves for the rest of their lives in
the manner of the Village Idiot. Yours, luckily, is the former trouble.

But --- is it plain obstinacy? --- you do not exercise the sublime Art of Guru-
bullying. You should have made one frenzied leap to my dying bed, thrust
aside the cohorts of Mourning Archimandrites, and wrung my nose until I
made you do it.

And you repeatedly insist that it is difficult. It isn't. Is there, how-
ever, some deep-seated inhibition - a (Freudian) fear of success? Is there
some connection with that sense of guilt which is born in all but the very

But you don't give it a fair chance. There is, I admit, some trick, or


knack, about getting properly across; a faculty which one acquires (as a
rule) quite suddenly and unexpectedly. Rather like mastering some shots at
billiards. Practice has taught me how to communicate this to students; only
in rare cases does one fail. (It's incredible: one man simply could not
be persuaded that intense physical exertion was the wrong way to to it.
There he sat, with the veins on his forehead almost on the point of burst-
ing, and the arms of my favourite chair visibly trembling beneath his power-
ful grip!) In your case, I notice that you have got this practice mixed up
with Dharana: you write of "Emptying my mind of everything except the one
idea, etc." Then you go on: "The invoking of a supersensible Being is im-
possible to me as yet." The impudence! The arrogance! How do you know,
pray madam? (Dial numbers at random: the results are often surprisingly
delightful!) Besides, I didn't ask you to invoke a supersensible (what a
word! Meaning?) Being right away, or at any time: that supersensible is
getting on my nerves: do you mean "not in normal circumstances to be ap-
prehended by the senses?" I suppose so.

In a word: do fix a convenient season for going on the Astral Plane under
my eye: half an hour (with a bit of luck) on not more than four evenings
would put you in a very different frame of mind. You will soon "feel your
feet" and then "get your sea-legs" and then, much sooner than you think
"Afloat in the aethyr, O my God! my God!". . . . . "White swan, bear thou
ever me up between thy wings!"

3. Now then to your old Pons Asinorum about the names of the Gods! Stand
in the corner for half an hour with your face to the wall! Stay in after
school and write Malka be-Tharshishim v-Ruachoth b-Schebralim 999 times!

My dear, dear, dear sister, a name is a _formula of power_. How can you talk
of "anachronism" when the Being is eternal? For the type of energy is eter-

Every name is a number: and "Every number is infinite; there is no differ-
ence." (AL I, 4). But one Name, or system of Names, may be more convenient
either (a) to you personally or (b) to the work you are at. E.g. I have
very little sympathy with Jewish Theology or ritual; but the Qabalah is so
handy and congenial that I use it more than almost any --- or all the others
together --- for daily use and work. The Egyptian Theogony is the noblest,
the most truly magical, the most bound to me (or rather I to it) by some
inmost instinct, and by the memory of my incarnation as Ankh-f-n-Khonsu,
that I use it (with its Graeco-Phoenician child) for all work of supreme
import. Why stamp my vitals, madam! The Abramelin Operation itself turned
into this form before I could so much as set to work on it! like the
Duchess' baby (excuse this enthusiasm; but you have aroused the British

Note, please, that the equivalents given in _777_ are not always exact.
Tahuti is not quite Thoth, still less Hermes; Mercury is a very much more
comprehensive idea, but not nearly so exalted: Hanuman hardly at all. Nor
is Tetragrammaton IAO, though even etymology asserts the identity.

In these matters you must be catholic, eclectic, even syncretic. And you
must consider the nature of your work. If I wanted to evoke Taphthartharath,


there would be little help indeed from any but the Qabalistic system; for
that spirit's precise forms and numbers are not to be found in any other.

The converse, however, is not so true. The Qabalah, properly understood,
properly treated, is so universal that one can vamp up a ritual to suit
almost "any name and form." But in such a case one may expect to have to
reinforce it by a certain amount of historical, literary, or philosophic
study --- and research.

4. Quite right, dear lady, about your incarnation memories acting as a
"Guide to the Way Back." Of course, if you "missed an Egyptian Incarnation,"
you would not be so likely to be a little Martha, worried "about much serv-
ing." Don't get surfeited with knowledge, above all things; it is so very
fascinating, so dreadfully easy; and the danger of becoming a pedant ---
"Deuce take all your pedants! say I." Don't "dry-rot at ease 'till the
Judgment Day."

No, I will NOT recommend a book. It should not hurt you too much to browse
on condensed hay (or thistles) such as articles in Encyclopedias. Take
_Roget's Thesaurus_ or _Smith's Smaller Classical Dictionary_ (and the like) to
read yourself to sleep on. But don't stultify yourself by taking up such
study too seriously. You only make yourself ridiculous by trying to do at
50 what you ought to have done at 15. As you didn't --- tant pis! You can't
possibly get the _spirit_; if you could, it would mean merely mental indi-
gestion. We have all read how Cato started to learn Greek at 90: _but the_
_story stops there_. We have never been told what good it did to himself or
anyone else.

5. God-forms. See _Magick_ pp. 378-9. Quite clear: quite adequate: no
use at all without continual practice. No one can join with you --- off you
go again! No, no, a thousand times no: this is the practice par excellence
where you have to do it all yourself. The Vibration of God-names: that
perhaps, I can at least test you in. But don't you dare come up for a test
until you've been at it --- and _hard_ --- for at least 100 exercises.

I think this is your trouble about being "left in the air." When I "present
many new things" to you, the sting is in the tail --- the practice that vi-
talizes it. Doctrinal stuff is fine "Lazily, lazily, drowsily, drowsily,
in the noo-on-dye shaun!" An ounce of your practice is worth a ton of my
teaching. GET THAT. It's all your hatred of hard work:

"Go to the ant thou sluggard!
Consider her ways and be -----."

I am sure that Solomon was too good a poet, and too experienced a Guru, to
tail off with the anticlimax "wise."

6. _Minerval_. What is the matter? All you have to do is understand it:
just a dramatization of the process of incarnation. Better run through it
with me: I'll make it clear, and you can make notes of your troubles and
their solution for the use of future members.

7. _The Book of Thoth_. Surely all terms not in a good dictionary are


explained in the text. I don't see what I can do about it, in any case;
the same criticism would apply to (say) Bertrand Russell's _Introduction_
_to Mathematical Physics_, wouldn't it?

Is x an R-ancestor of y if y has every R-hereditary that x has, provided
x is a term which has the relation R to something or to which something has
the relation R? (Enthusiastic cries of "Yes, it is!") He says "A number
is anything which has the number of some class." Feel better now?

Still, it would be kind of you to go through a page or so with me, and tell
me where the shoe pinches. Of course I have realized the difficulty long
ago; but I don't know the solution --- or if there is a solution. I _did_
think of calling _Magick_ "_Magick Without Tears_"; and I _did_ try having my
work cross-examined as I went on by minds of very inferior education or
capacity. In fact, Parts I and II of _Book 4_ were thus tested.

What about applying the Dedekindian cut to this letter? I am sure you
would not wish it to develop into a Goclenian Sorites, especially as I
fear that I may already have deviated from the diapantos* Hapaxlegomenon.

Love is the law, love under will.



Letter No. I

January 27, 1944

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

It is very good hearing that these letters do good, but rather sad to re-
flect that it is going to make you so unpopular. Your friends will notice
at once that glib vacuities fail to impress, and hate you, and tell lies
about you. It's worth it.

Yes, your brain is quite all right; what is wanted is to acquire the habit
of pinning things down instantly. (He says 're-incarnation' --- now what
_exactly_ does he mean by that? He says "it is natural to suppose . . . ":
what is "natural", and what is implied by supposition?) Practice this style
of criticism; write down what happens. Within a week or two you will be
astounded to discover that you have got what is apparently little less than
a new brain! You must make this a habit, not letting anything get by the

Indeed, I want you to go even further; make sure of what is meant by even
the simplest words. Trace the history of the word with the help of Skeat's

* Greek letters in the original


_Etymological Dictionary_. E.g. "pretty" means tricky, deceitful; on the
other hand, "hussy" is only "housewife". It's amusing, too, this "tabby"
refers to Prince Attab, the grandson of Ommeya --- the silk quarter of
Baghdad where utabi, a rich watered silk was sold. This will soon give
you the power of discerning instantly when words are being used to hide
meaning or lack of it.

About A.'.A.'., etc.: your resolution is noble, but there is a letter ready
for you which deals with what is really a legitimate enquiry; necessary,
too, with so many hordes of "Hidden Masters" and "Mahatmas" and so on
scurrying all over the floor in the hope of distracting attention from the
inanities of their trusted henchmen.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. I must write at length about the Higher Self or "God within us," too
easy to get muddled about it, and the subject requires careful pre-




Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

What is Magick? Why should anyone study and practice it? Very natural;
the obvious preliminary questions of any subject soever. We must cer-
tainly get all this crystal clear; fear not that I shall fail to set
forth the whole business as concisely as possible yet as fully, as cogent-
ly yet as lucidly, as may prove within my power to do.

At least I need not waste any time on telling you what Magick is _not_; or to
go into the story of how the word came to be misapplied to conjuring tricks,
and to sham miracles such as are to this day foisted by charlatan swindlers,
either within or without the Roman Communion, upon a gaping crew of pious

First let me go all Euclidean, and rub your nose in the Definition, Postu-
late and Theorems given in my comprehensive (but, alas! too advanced and
too technical) Treatise on the subject. Here we are!


Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity
with Will.

(Illustration: It is my Will to inform the World of certain facts
within my knowledge. I therefore take "magical weapons," pen, ink,
and paper; I write "incantations" --- these sentences --- in the "magi-
cal language" i.e. that which is understood by people I wish to
instruct. I call forth "spirits" such as printers, publishers,
booksellers, and so forth, and constrain them to convey my message
to those people. The composition and distribution is thus an act
of --- MAGICK --- by which I cause Changes to take place in conformity
with my Will.*)


ANY required Change may be effected by application of the proper kind
and degree of Force in the proper manner through the proper medium to
the proper object.

(Illustration: I wish to prepare an ounce of Chloride of Gold. I
must take the right kind of acid, nitro-hydrochloric and no other,
in sufficient quantity and of adequate strength, and place it, in a
vessel which will not break, leak or corrode, in such a manner as

* By "intentional" I mean "willed". But even unintentional acts so seem-
ing are not truly so. Thus, breathing is an act of the Will-to-live.

- 1 -

will not produce undesirable results, with the necessary quantity
of Gold, and so forth. Every Change has its own conditions.

In the present state of our knowledge and power some changes are
not possible in practice; we cannot cause eclipses, for instance,
or transform lead into tin, or create men from mushrooms. But it
is theoretically possible to cause in any object any change of which
that object is capable by nature; and the conditions are covered
by the above postulate.)


1. Every intentional act is a Magical Act.*

(Ilustration: See "Definition" above.)

2. Every successful act has conformed to the postulate.

3. Every failure proves that one or more requirements of the postu-
late have not been fulfilled

(Illustrations: There may be failure to understand the case; as
when a doctor makes a wrong diagnosis, and his treatment injures
his patient. There may be failure to apply the right kind of force,
as when a rustic tries to blow out an electric light. There may be
failure to apply the right degree of force, as when a wrestler has
his hold broken. There may be failure to apply the force in the
right manner, as when one presents a cheque at the wrong window of
the Bank. There may be failure to employ the correct medium, as
when Leonardo da Vinci found his masterpiece fade away. The force
may be applied to an unsuitable object, as when one tries to crack
a stone, thinking it a nut.)

4. The first requisite for causing any change is thorough qualita-
tive and quantitative understanding of the condition.

(Illustration: The most common cause of failure in life is ignorance
of one's own True Will, or of the means by which to fulfill that Will.
A man may fancy himself a painter, and waste his life trying to become
one; or he may be really a painter, and yet fail to understand and
to measure the difficulties peculiar to that career.)

5. The second requisite of causing any change is the practical
ability to set in right motion the necessary forces.

(Illustration: A banker may have a perfect grasp of a given situa-
tion, yet lack the quality of decision, or the assets, necessary to
take advantage of it.)

6. "Every man and every woman is a star." That is to say, every

* In one sense Magick may be defined as the name given to Science by the

- 2 -

human being is intrinsically an independent individual with his own
proper character and proper motion.

7. Every man and every woman has a course, depending partly on the
self, and partly on the environment which is natural and necessary
for each. Anyone who is forced from his own course, either through
not understanding himself, or through external opposition, comes in-
to conflict with the order of the Universe, and suffers accordingly.

(Illustration: A man may think it his duty to act in a certain way,
through having made a fancy picture of himself, instead of investi-
gating his actual nature. For example, a woman may make herself
miserable for life by thinking that she prefers love to social con-
sideration, or vice versa. One woman may stay with an unsympathetic
husband when she would really be happy in an attic with a lover,
while another may fool herself into a romantic elopement when her
only true pleasures are those of presiding at fashionable functions.
Again, a boy's instinct may tell him to go to sea, while his parents
insist on his becoming a doctor. In such a case, he will be both
unsuccessful and unhappy in medicine.

8. A man whose conscious will is at odds with his True Will is
wasting his strength. He cannot hope to influence his environment

(Illustration: When Civil War rages in a nation, it is in no condi-
tion to undertake the invasion of other countries. A man with cancer
employs his nourishment alike to his own use and to that of the enemy
which is part of himself. He soon fails to resist the pressure of
his environment. In practical life, a man who is doing what his
conscience tells him to be wrong will do it very clumsily. At first!)

9. A man who is doing his True Will has the inertia of the Universe
to assist him.

(Illustration: The first principle of success in evolution is that
the individual should be true to his own nature, and at the same
time adapt himself to his environment.)

10. Nature is a continuous phenomenon, thought we do not know in all
cases how things are connected.

(Illustration: Human consciousness depends on the properties of
protoplasm, the existence of which depends on innumerable physical
conditions peculiar to this planet; and this planet is determined
by the mechanical balance of the whole universe of matter. We may
then say that our consciousness is causally connected with the re-
motest galaxies; yet we do not know even how it arises from --- or
with --- the molecular changes in the brain.)

11. Science enables us to take advantage of the continuity of Nature
by the empirical application of certain principles whose interplay
involves different orders of idea, connected with each other in a

- 3 -

way beyond our present comprehension.

(Illustration: We are able to light cities by rule-of-thumb methods.
We do not know what consciousness is, or how it is connected with
muscular action; what electricity is or how it is connected with
the machines that generate it; and our methods depend on calcula-
tions involving mathematical ideas which have no correspondence in
the Universe as we know it.*)

12. Man is ignorant of the nature of his own being and powers.
Even his idea of his limitations is based on experience of the past.
and every step in his progress extends his empire. There is, there-
fore, no reason to assign theoretical limits** to what he may be,
or to what he may do.

(Illustration: Two generations ago it was supposed theoretically
impossible that man should ever know the chemical composition of
the fixed stars. It is known that our senses are adapted to receive
only an infinitesimal fraction of the possible rates of vibration.
Modern instruments have enabled us to detect some of these supra-
sensibles by indirect methods, and even to use their peculiar quali-
ties in the service of man, as in the case of the rays of Hertz and
Roentgen. As Tyndall said, man might at any moment learn to per-
ceive and utilize vibrations of all conceivable and inconceivable
kinds. The question of Magick is a question of discovering and em-
ploying hitherto unknown forces in nature. We know that they exist,
and we cannot doubt the possibility of mental or physical instru-
ments capable of bringing us in relation with them.)

13. Every man is more or less aware that his individuality comprises
several orders of existence, even when he maintains that his subtler
principles are merely symptomatic of the changes in his gross vehicle.
A similar order may be assumed to extend throughout nature.

(Illustration: One does not confuse the pain of toothache with the
decay which causes it. Inanimate objects are sensitive to certain
physical forces, such as electrical and thermal conductivity; but
neither in us nor in them --- so far as we know --- is there any direct
conscious perception of these forces. Imperceptible influences are
therefore associated with all material phenomena; and there is no
reason why we should not work upon matter through those subtle ener-
gies as we do through their material bases. In fact, we use magnetic
force to move iron, and solar radiation to reproduce images.)

14. Man is capable of being, and using, anything which he perceives;
for everything that he perceives is in a certain sense a part of his
being. He may thus subjugate the whole Universe of which he is con-
scious to his individual Will.

* For instance, "irrational," "unreal," and "infinite" expressions.
** i.e. except --- possibly --- in the case of logically absurd questions,
such as the schoolmen discussed in connection with "God."


(Illustration: Man has used the idea of God to dictate his personal
conduct, to obtain power over his fellows, to excuse his crimes, and
for innumerable other purposes, including that of realizing himself
as God. He has used the irrational and unreal conceptions of mathe-
matics to help him in the construction of mechanical devices. He
has used his moral force to influence the actions even of wild ani-
mals. He has employed poetic genius for political purposes.)

15. Every force in the Universe is capable of being transformed
into any other kind of force by using suitable means. There is thus
an inexhaustible supply of any particular kind of force that we may

(Illustration: Heat may be transformed into light and power by
using it to drive dynamos. The vibrations of the air may be used
to kill men by so ordering them in speech as to inflame war-like
passions. The hallucinations connected with the mysterious energies
of sex result in the perpetuation of the species.)

16. The application of any given force affects all the orders of
being which exist in the object to which it is applied, whichever
of those orders is directly affected.

(Illustration: If I strike a man with a dagger, his consciousness,
not his body only, is affected by my act; although the dagger, as
such, has no direct relation therewith. Similarly, the power of my
thought may so work on the mind of another person as to produce far-
reaching physical changes in him, or in others through him.)

17. A man may learn to use any force so as to serve any purpose,
by taking advantage of the above theorems.

(Illustration: A man may use a razor to make himself vigilant over
his speech, by using it to cut himself whenever he unguardedly utters
a chosen word. He may serve the same purpose by resolving that every
incident of his life shall remind him of a particular thing, Making
every impression the starting point of a connected series of thoughts
ending in that thing. He might also devote his whole energies to
some particular object, by resolving to do nothing at variance
therewith, and to make every act turn to the advantage of that object.)

18. He may attract to himself any force of the Universe by making
himself a fit receptacle for it, establishing a connection with it,
and arranging conditions so that its nature compels it to flow to-
ward him.

(Illustration: If I want pure water to drink, I dig a well in a
place where there is underground water; I prevent it from leaking
away; and I arrange to take advantage of water's accordance with
the laws of Hydrostatics to fill it.)

19. Man's sense of himself as separate from, and opposed to, the


Universe is a bar to his conducting its currents. It insulates him.

(Illustration: A popular leader is most successful when he forgets
himself, and remembers only "The Cause." Self-seeking engenders
jealousies and schism. When the organs of the body assert their
presence otherwise than by silent satisfaction, it is a sign that
they are diseased. The single exception is the organ of reproduc-
tion. Yet even in this case self-assertion bears witness to its.
dissatisfaction with itself, since in cannot fulfill its function
until completed by its counterpart in another organism.)

20. Man can only attract and employ the forces for which he is
really fitted.

(Illustration: You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
A true man of science learns from every phenomenon. But Nature is
dumb to the hypocrite; for in her there is nothing false*.)

21. There is no limit to the extent of the relations of any man
with the Universe in essence; for as soon as man makes himself one
with any idea, the means of measurement cease to exist. But his
power to utilize that force is limited by his mental power and
capacity, and by the circumstances of his human environment.

(Illustration: When a man falls in love, the whole world becomes,
to him, nothing but love boundless and immanent; but his mystical
state is not contagious; his fellow-men are either amused or an-
noyed. He can only extend to others the effect which his love has
had upon himself by means of his mental and physical qualities.
Thus, Catullus, Dante, and Swinburne made their love a mighty mover
of mankind by virtue of their power to put their thoughts on the
subject in musical and eloquent language. Again, Cleopatra and
other people in authority moulded the fortunes of many other people
by allowing love to influence their political actions. The Magician,
however well he succeeds in making contact with the secret sources
of energy in nature, can only use them to the extent permitted by
his intellectual and moral qualities. Mohammed's intercourse with
Gabriel was only effective because of his statesmanship, soldier-
ship, and the sublimity of his command of Arabic. Hertz'; discovery
of the rays which we now use for wireless telegraphy was sterile
until reflected through the minds and wills of the people who could
take his truth, and transmit it to the world of action by means of
mechanical and economic instruments.)

22. Every individual is essentially sufficient to himself. But he
is unsatisfactory to himself until he has established himself in his
right relation with the Universe.

* It is no objection that the hypocrite is himself part of Nature. He
is an "endothermic" product, divided against himself, with a tendency to
break up. He will see his own qualities everywhere, and thus obtain a
radical misconception of phenomena. Most religions of the past have
failed by expecting Nature to conform with their ideals of proper conduct.

- 6 -

(Illustration: A microscope, however perfect, is useless in the
hands of savages. A poet, however sublime, must impose himself upon
his generation if he is to enjoy (and even to understand) himself, as
theoretically should be the case.)

23. Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one's condi-
tions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action.

(Illustration: A golf club is intended to move a special ball in a
special way in special circumstances. A Niblick should rarely be
used on the tee, or a Brassie under the bank of a bunker. But, also,
the use of any club demands skill and experience.).

24. Every man has an indefeasible right to be what he is.

(Illustration: To insist that anyone else shall comply with one's own
standards is to outrage, not only him, but oneself, since both parties
are equally born of necessity.)

25. Every man must do Magick each time that he acts or even thinks,
since a thought is an internal act whose influence ultimately affects
action, thought it may not do so at the time.

(Illustration: The least gesture causes a change in a man's own body
and in the air around him: it disturbs the balance of the entire
universe and its effects continue eternally throughout all space.
Every thought, however swiftly suppressed, has its effect on the
mind. It stands as one of the causes of every subsequent thought,
and tends to influence every subsequent action. A golfer may lose
a few yards on his drive, a few more with his second and third, he
may lie on the green six bare inches too far from the hole; but the
net result of these trifling mishaps is the difference of a whole
stroke, and so probably between having and losing the hole.)

26. Every man has a right, the right of self-preservation, to ful-
fill himself to the utmost*.

(Illustration: A function imperfectly performed injures, not only
itself, but everything associated with it. If the heart is afraid
to beat for fear of disturbing the liver, the liver is starved for
blood, and avenges itself on the heart by upsetting digestion, which
disorders respiration, on which cardiac welfare depends.)

27. Every man should make Magick the keynote of his life. He should
learn its laws and live by them.

(Illustration: The Banker should discover the real meaning of his

* Men of "criminal nature" are simply at issue with their true Wills.
The murderer has the Will-to-live; and his will to murder is a false
will at variance with his true Will, since he risks death at the hands
of Society by obeying his criminal impulse.

- 7 -

existence, the real motive which led him to choose that profession.
He should understand banking as a necessary factor in the economic
existence of mankind, instead of as merely a business whose objects
are independent of the general welfare. He should learn to distin-
guish false values from real, and to act not on accidental fluctua-
tions but on considerations of essential importance. Such a banker
will prove himself superior to others; because he will not be an
individual limited by transitory things, but a force of Nature, as
impersonal, impartial and eternal as gravitation, as patient and
irresistible as the tides. His system will not be subject to panic,
any more than the law of Inverse Squares is disturbed by Elections.
He will not be anxious about his affairs because they will not be
his; and for that reason he will be able to direct them with the
calm, clear-headed confidence of an onlooker, with intelligence un-
clouded by self-interest and power unimpaired by passion.)

28. Every man has a right to fulfill his own will without being
afraid that it may interfere with that of others; for if he is in
his proper path, it is the fault of others if they interfere with

(Illustration: If a man like Napoleon were actually appointed by
destiny to control Europe, he should not be blamed for exercising
his rights. To oppose him would be an error. Anyone so doing
would have made a mistake as to his own destiny, except in so far
as it might be necessary for him to learn the lessons of defeat.
The sun moves in space without interference. The order of Nature
provides a orbit for each star. A clash proves that one or the
other has strayed from its course. But as to each man that keeps
his true course, the more firmly he acts, the less likely are others
to get in his way. His example will help them to find their own
paths and pursue them. Every man that becomes a Magician helps
others to do likewise. The more firmly and surely men move, and the
more such action is accepted as the standard of morality, the less
will conflict and confusion hamper humanity.)

Well, here endeth the First Lesson.

That seems to me to cover the ground fairly well; at least, that is what
I have to say when serious analysis is on the agenda.

But there is a restricted and conventional sense in which the word may be
used without straying too far from the above philosophical position. One
might say: -

"Magick is the study and use of those forms of energy which are (a) subtler
than the ordinary physical-mechanical types, (b) accessible only to those
who are (in one sense or another) 'Initiates'." I fear that this may
sound rather _obscurum per obscurius_; but this is one of these cases ---
we are likely to encounter many such in the course of our researches ---
in which we understand, quite well enough for all practical purposes,
what we mean, but which elude us more and more successfully the more
accurately we struggle to define their import.

- 8 -

We might fare even worse if we tried to clear things up by making lists
of events in history, tradition, or experience and classifying this as
being, and that as not being, true Magick. The borderland cases would
confuse and mislead us.

But --- since I have mentioned history --- I think it might help, if I went
straight on to the latter part of your question, and gave you a brief
sketch of Magick past, present and future as it is seen from the inside.
What are the principles of the "Masters"? What are They trying to do?
What have They done in the past? What means do They employ?

As it happens, I have by me a sketch written by M. Gerard Aumont of Tunis
some twenty years ago, which covers this subject with reasonable adequacy.

I have been at the pains of translating it from his French, I hope not
too much reminiscent of the old _traduttore, traditore_. I will revise
it, divide it (like Gaul) into Three Parts and send it along.

Love is the law, love under will.



- 9 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Right glad am I to hear that you have been so thoroughly satisfied with
my explanation of what Magick is, and on what its theories rest. It is
good, too, hearing how much you were interested in the glimpse that you
have had of some of its work in the world; more, that you grasped the
fact that this apparently recondite and irrelevant information has an
immediate bearing on your personal life of today. Still, I was not sur-
prised that you should add: "But why should _I_ make a special study of,
and devote my time and energy to acquiring proficiency in, the Science
and Art of Magick?

Ah, well then, perhaps you have not understood my remarks at one of our
earliest interviews as perfectly as you suppose! For the crucial point
of my exposition was that Magick is not a matter extraneous to the main
current of your life, as music, gardening, or collection jade might be.
No, every act of your life is a magical act; whenever from ignorance,
carelessness, clumsiness or what not, you come short of perfect artistic
success, you inevitably register failure, discomfort, frustration. Luck-
ily for all of us, most of the acts essential to continued life are in-
voluntary; the "unconscious" has become so used to doing its "True Will"
that there is no need of interference; when such need arises, we call it
disease, and seek to restore the machine to free spontaneous fulfillment
of its function.

But this is only part of the story. As things are, we have all adventured
into an Universe of immeasurable, of incalculable, possibilities, of situ-
ations never contemplated by the trend of Evolution. Man is a marine
monster; when he decided that it would be better for him somehow to live
on land, he had to grow lungs instead of gills. When we want to travel
over soft snow, we have to invent ski; when we wish to exchange thoughts,
we must arrange a conventional code of sounds, of knots in string, of
carved or written characters --- in a word --- embark upon the boundless ocean
of hieroglyphics or symbols of one sort or another. (Presently I shall
have to explain the supreme importance of such systems; in fact, the
Universe itself is not, and cannot be, anything but an arrangement of
symbolic characters!)

Here we are, then, caught in a net of circumstances; if we are to do
anything at all beyond automatic vegetative living, we must consciously
apply ourselves to Magick, "the Science and Art" (let me remind you!) "of
causing change to occur in conformity with the Will." Observe that the
least slackness or error means that things happen which do not thus con-
form; when this is so despite our efforts, we are (temporarily) baffled;
when it is our own ignorance of what we ought to will, or lack of skill
in adapting our means to the right end, then we set up a conflict in our
own Nature: our act is suicidal. Such interior struggle is at the base

- 10 -

of nearly all neuroses, as Freud recently "discovered" --- as if this had
not been taught, and taught without his massed errors, by the great
teachers of the past! The Taoist doctrine, in particular, is most pre-
cise and most emphatic on this point; indeed, it may seem to some of us
to overshoot the mark; for nothing is permissible in that scheme but
frictionless adjustment and adaptation to circumstance. "Benevolence and
righteousness" are actually deprecated! That any such ideas should ever
have existed (says Lao-tse) is merely evidence of the universal disorder.
Taoist sectaries appear to assume that Perfection consists in the absence
of any disturbance of the Stream of Nescience; and this is very much like
the Buddhist idea of Nibbana.

We who accept the Law of Thelema, even should we concur in this doctrine
theoretically, cannot admit that in practice the plan would work out; our
aim is that our Nothing, ideally perfect as it is in itself, should enjoy
itself through realizing itself in the fulfillment of all possibilities.
All such phenomena or "point-events" are equally "illusion"; Nothing is
always Nothing; but the projection of Nothing on this screen of the phen-
omenal does not only explain, but constitutes, the Universe. It is the
only system which reconciles all the contradictions inherent in Thought,
and in Experience; for in it "Reality" _is_ "Illusion", "Free-will" _is_
"Destiny", the "Self" _is_ the "Not-Self"; and so for every puzzle of

Not too bad an analogy is an endless piece of string. Like a driving
band, you cannot tie a knot in it; all the complexities you can contrive
are "Tom Fool" knots, and unravel at the proper touch. Always either
Naught or Two! But every new re-arrangement throws further light on the
possible tangles, that is, on the Nature of the String itself. It is
always "Nothing" when you pull it out; but becomes "Everything" as you
play about with it*, since there is no limit to the combinations that
you can form from it, save only in your imagination (where the whole thing
belongs!) and that grows mightily with Experience. It is accordingly well
worth while to fulfill oneself in every conceivable manner.

It is then (you will say) impossible to "do wrong", since all phenomena
are equally "Illusion" and the answer is always "Nothing". In theory one
can hardly deny this proposition; but in practice --- how shall I put it?
"The state of Illusion which for convenience I call my present conscious-
ness is such that the course of action A is more natural to me that the
course of action B?"

Or: A is a shorter cut to Nothing; A is less likely to create internal

Will that serve?

Offer a dog a juicy bone, and a bundle of hay; he will _naturally_ take

* N ñ N = Two or Naught; one is the Magical, the other the mystical,
process. You will hear a lot about this one day!

- 11 -

the bone, whereas a horse would choose the hay. So, while you happen to
imagine yourself to be a Fair Lady seeking the Hidden Wisdom, you come to
me; if you thought you were a Nigger^ Minstrel, you would play the banjo,
and sing songs calculated to attract current coin of the Realm from a
discerning Public! The two actions are ultimately identical - see AL I,
22 - and your perception of that fact would make you an Initiate of very
high standing; but in the work-a-day world, you are "really" the Fair
Lady, and leave the minstrel to grow infirm and old and hire an orphan
boy to carry his banjo!

Now then, what bothers me it this: Have I or have I not explained this
matter of "Magick" - "Why should I (who have only just heard of it, at
;east as a serious subject of study) acquire a knowledge of its principles,
and of the powers conferred by its mastery?" Must I bribe you with pro-
mises of health, wealth, power over others, knowledge, thaumaturgical
skill, success in every worldly ambition - as I could quite honestly do?
I hope there is no such need - and yet, shall I confess it? - it was only
because all the "good things of life" were suddenly seen of me to be worth-
less, that I took the first steps towards the attainment of that Wisdom
which, while enjoying to the full the "Feast of Life," guarantees me against
surfeit, poison or interruption by the knowledge that it is all a Dream,
and gives me the Power to turn that dream at will into any form that hap-
pens to appeal to my Inclination.

Let me sum up, very succinctly; as usual, my enthusiasm has lured me into
embroidering my sage discourse with Poets' Imagery!

_Why_ should you study and practice Magick? Because you can't help doing
it, and you had better do it well than badly. You are on the links,
whether you like it or not; why go on topping your drive, and slicing
your brassie, and fluffing your niblick, and pulling your iron, and socket-
ing your mashie and not being up with your putt - that's 6, and you are
not allowed to pick up. It's a far cry to the Nineteenth, and the sky
threatens storm before the imminent night.

Love is the law, love under will.



- 12 -

^ WEH NOTE: Expound here a bit to clarify Crowley's attitude toward race.
refer to Chapter LXXIII.



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Very natural, the irritation in your last! You write: ---

"But why? Why all this elaborate symbolism? Why not say straight out
what you mean? Surely the subject is difficult enough in any case --- must
you put on a mask to make it clear? I know you well enough by now to be
sure that you will not fob me off with any Holy-Willie nonsense about the
ineffable, about human language being inadequate to reveal such Mysteries,
about the necessity of constructing a new language to explain a new
system of thought; of course I know that this had to be done in the case
of chemistry, of higher mathematics, indeed of almost all technical sub-
jects; but I feel that you have some other, deeper explanation in reserve.
After all, most of what I am seeking to learn from you has been familiar
to many of the great minds of humanity for many centuries. Indeed, the
Qabalah _is_ a special language, and that is old enough; there is not much
new material to fit into that structure. But why did they, in the first
place, resort to this symbolic jargon?"

You put it very well; and when I think it over, I feel far from sure
that the explanation which I am about to inflict upon you will satisfy
you, or even whether it will hold water! In the last resort, I shall
have to maintain that we are justified by experience, by the empirical
success in communicating thought which has attended, and continues to
attend, our endeavors.

But to give a complete answer, I shall have to go back to the beginning,
and restate the original problem; and I beg that you will not suppose
that I am evading the question, or adopting the Irish method of answer-
ing it by another, though I know it may sound as if I were.

Let me set out by restating our original problem; what we want is Truth;
we want an even closer approach to Reality; and we want to discover and
discuss the proper means of achieving this object.

Very good; let us start by the simplest of all possible enquiries --- and
the most difficult --- "What is anything?" "What do we know?" and other
questions that spring naturally from these.

I see a tree..
I hear it --- rustling or creaking in the wind.
I touch it --- hard.
I smell it --- acrid.
I taste it --- bitter.

Now all the information given by these five senses has to be put together,
although no two agree in any sort of way. The logic by which we build up

- 13 -

our complex idea of a tree has more holes than a sponge.

But this is to jump far ahead: we must first analyze the single, simple
impression. "I see a tree." This phenomenon is what is called a "point-
event." It is the coming together of the two, the seer and the seen. It
is single and simple; yet we cannot conceive of either of them as any-
thing but complex. And the Point-Event tells us nothing whatever about
either; both, as Herbert Spencer and God knows how many others have
shown, unknowable; it stands by itself, alone and aloof. It has happened;
it is undeniably Reality. Yet we cannot confirm it; for it can never
happen again precisely the same. What is even more bewildering is that
since it takes time for the eye to convey an impression to the conscious-
ness (it may alter in 1,000 ways in the process!) all that really exists
is a memory of the Point-Event. not the Point-Event itself. what then _is_
this Reality of which we are so sure? Obviously, it has not got a name,
since it never happened before, or can happen again! To discuss it at
all we must _invent_ a name, and this name (like all names) cannot possibly
be anything more than a symbol.

Even so, as so often pointed out, all we do is to "record the behaviour
of our instruments." Nor are we much better off when we've done it; for
our symbol, referring as it does to a phenomenon unique in itself, and
not to be apprehended by another, can mean nothing to one's neighbors.
What happens, of course, is that similar, though not identical, Point-
Events happen to many of us, and so we are able to construct a symbolic
language. My memory of the mysterious Reality resembles yours suffi-
ciently to induce us to agree that both belong to the same class.

But let me furthermore ask you to reflect on the formation of language
itself. Except in the case of onomato-poetic words and a few others,
there is no logical connection between a thing and the sound of our name
for it. "Bow-wow" is a more rational name than "dog", which is a mere
convention agreed on by the English, while other nations prefer _chien_,
_hund_, _cane_, _kalb_, _kutta_ and so on. All symbols, you see, my dear child,
and it's no good your kicking!

But it doesn't stop there. When we try to convey thought by writing, we
are bound to sit down solidly, and construct a holy Qabalah out of nothing.
Why would a curve open to the right, sound like the ocean, open at the
top, like you? And all these arbitrary symbolic letters are combined by
just as symbolic and arbitrary devices to take on conventional meanings,
these words again combined into phrases by no less high-handed a proce-

And then folk wonder how it is that there should be error and misunder-
standing in the transmission of thought from one person to another!
Rather regard it as a miraculous intervention of Providence when even
one of even the simplest ideas "gets across." Now then, this being so,
it is evidently good sense to construct one's own alphabet, with one's
own very precise definitions, in order to handle an abstruse and techni-
cal subject like Magick. The "ordinary" words such as God, self, soul,
spirit and the rest have been used so many thousand times in so many

- 14 -

thousand ways, usually by writers who knew not, or cared not for the
necessity of definition that to use them to-day in any scientific essay
is almost ludicrous.

That is all, just now, sister; no more of your cavilling, please; sit
down quietly with your _777_, and get it by heart!

Love is the law, love under will.



- 15 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Now you must learn Qabalah. Learn this Alphabet of Magick. You must
take it on trust, as a child does his own alphabet. No one has ever
found out why the order of the letters is what it is. Probably there
isn't any answer.

If you only knew what I am grappling with in the _Yi King_! the order of
the sixty-four hexagrams. I am convinced that it is extremely signifi-
cant, that it implies a sublime system of philosophy. I've got far enough
to be absolutely sure that there is a necessary rhythm; and it's killing
me by millimetres, finding out why each pair succeeds the last. Forgive
these tears!

But our Magical Alphabet is primarily not letters, but figures, not sounds
but mathematical ideas. Sir Humphrey Davy^, coming out of his famous
illumination (with some help from Nitrous Oxide he got in) exclaimed:
The Universe is composed solely of ideas. We, analyzing this a little,
say: The Universe is a mathematical expression.

Sir James Jeans might have said this, only his banker advised him to cash
in on God. The simplest form of this expression is 0 = 2, elsewhere
expounded at great length. This 2 might itself be expressed in an indefin-
itely great number of ways. Every prime number, including some not in the
series of "natural numbers", is an individual. The other numbers with
perhaps a few exceptions (e.g. 418^^) are composed of their primes.

Each of these ideas may be explained, investigated, understood, by means
very various. Firstly, the Hebrew, Greek and Arabic numbers are also
letters. Then, each of these letters is further described by one of the
(arbitrarily composed) "elements of Nature;" the Four (or Five) Elements,
the Seven (or Ten) Planets, and the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac.

All these are arranged in a geometrical design composed of ten "Sephiroth"
(numbers) and twenty-two "paths" joining them; this is called the Tree
of Life.

Every idea soever can be, and should be, attributed to one or more of
these primary symbols; thus green, in different shades, is a quality or
function of Venus, the Earth, the Sea, Libra, and others. So also abstract
ideas; dishonesty means "an afflicted Mercury," generosity a good, though
not always strong, Jupiter; and so on.

The Tree of Life has got to be learnt by heart; you must know it back-
wards, forwards, sideways, and upside down; it must become the automatic
background of all your thinking. You must keep on hanging everything
that comes your way upon its proper bough.

- 16 -

^ WEH NOTE: Option to add a comment of Humphrey Davy and the invention of
modern anesthesia to clarify the reference. On the occasion of a Nitrous
Oxide party, such as he catered, he chanced to note that one of the
participants had taken injury but felt no pain. This led to the practice
of administrating anesthetics to patients in operations, and gave the time
in surgery to perfect modern procedural medicine.
^^ WEH NOTE: 418 = give the prime factors.

At first, of course, all this is dreadfully confusing; but persist, and
a time will come when all the odd bits fit into the jig-saw, and you
behold --- with what adoring wonder! --- the marvellous beauty and symmetry
of the Qabalistic system.

And then --- what a weapon you will have forged!

What power to analyze, to order, to manipulate your thinking!

And please remember when people compliment you on your memory or the clarity
of your thought, to give credit to the Qabalah!

That's fine, I seem to hear you purr; that looks a lovely machine. The
Design is just elegant; that scarf-pin of yours is perfectly sweet.
There's only one point: how to make the damn thing work?

Ah yes, like the one in the Apocalypse, the sting is in your tail.

Honest, you needn't worry; it works on ball-bearings, and there's always
those "Thirteen Fountains of Magnificent Oil flowing down the Beard of
Macroprosopus" in case it creaks a little at first. But seriously, all
the mathematics you need is simple Addition and Multiplication.

"Yeah!" you rudely reply. "That's what _you_ think; but you haven't got
very far in the Qabalah!"

Too true, sister.

The _Book of the Law_ itself insists upon the fact that it contains a
Qabalah which was beyond me at the time of its dictation, is beyond me
now, and always will be beyond me in this incarnation. Let me direct
your spiritual attention to AL I, 54; I, 56; II, 54-55; II, 76; III,

Now there was enough comprehensible at the time to assure me that the
Author of the Book knew at least as much Qabalah as I did: I discovered
subsequently more than enough to make it certain without error that he
knew a very great deal more, and that of an altogether higher order, than
I knew; finally, such glimmerings of light as time and desperate study
have thrown on many other obscure passages, to leave no doubt whatever
in my mind that he is indeed the supreme Qabalist of all time . . . .

"I asked you how to work it."

Don't be so peevish, querulous, and impatient; your zeal is laudable,
but it's wasting your own time to hurry me.

Well, when you've got this Alphabet of Numbers (in its proper shape)
absolutely by heart, with as many sets of attributions as you can commit
to memory without getting confused, you may try a few easy exercises,
beginning with the past.

("How many sets of attributions?" - Well, certainly, the Hebrew and

- 17 -

Greek Alphabets with the names and numbers of each letter, and its mean-
ing: a couple of lists of God-names, with a clear idea of the character,
qualities, functions, and importance of each; the "King-scale" of colour,
all the Tarot attributions, of course; then animals, plants, drugs, per-
fumes, a list or two of archangels, angels, intelligences and spirits ---
that ought to be enough for a start.)

Now you are armed! Ask yourself: why is the influence of Tiphareth
transmitted to Yesod by the Path of Samekh, a fence, 60, Sagittarius,
the Archer, Art, blue - and so on; but to Hod by the Path of Ayin, an
eye, 70, Capricornus, the Goat, the Devil, Indigo, K.T.

Thirteen is the number of Achad {Hebrew option}, Unity, and Ahebah {Hebrew option}, Love; then what word
should arise when you expand it by the Creative Dyad, and get 26; what
when you multiply it by 4, and get 52? Then, suppose the Pentagram gets
busy, 13 x 5 = 65, what then?

Now don't you dare to come round crawling to me for the answers; work
it out yourself what sort of words they _ought_ to be, and then check
your result by looking up those numbers in the _Sepher Sephiroth_:
_Equinox_ Vol. I, No. 8, Supplement.

When you are a real adept at all these well-known calculations "prepare
to enter the Immeasurable Region" and dig out the Unknown.

_You must construct your own Qabalah_!

Nobody can do it for you. What is your own true Number? You must find
it and prove it to be correct. In the course of a few years, you should
have built yourself a Palace of Ineffable Glory, a Garden of Indescrib-
able Delight. Nor Time nor Fate can tame those tranquil towers, those
Minarets of Music, or fade one blossom in those avenues of Perfume!

Humph! Nasty of me: but it has just stuck me that it might be just as
well if you made a _Sepher Sephiroth_ of your own! What a positively
beastly thing to suggest! However, I do suggest it.

After all, it's simple enough. Every word you come across, add it up,
stick it down against that number in a book kept for the purpose. That
may seem tedious and silly; why should you do all over again the work
that I have already done for you? Reason: simple. Doing it will teach
you Qabalah as nothing else could. Besides, you won't be all cluttered
up with words that mean nothing to you; and if it should happen that you
want a word to explain some particular number, you can look it up in my
_Sepher Sephiroth_.

By this method, too, you may strike a rich vein of words of your own
that I have altogether missed.

No doubt, a Really Great Teacher would have said: "Beware! Use my
Dictionary, and mine alone! All others are spurious!" But then I'm not
a R.G.T. of that kind.

- 18 -

For a start, of course, you should put down the words that are bound to
come in your way in any case: numbers like 11, 13, 31, 37, and their
multiples; the names of God and the principal angels; the planetary
and geomantic names; and your own private and particular name with its
branches. After that, let your work on the Astral Plane guide you.
When investigating the name and other words communicated to you by such
beings as you meet there, or invoke, many more will come up in their
proper connections. Very soon you will have quite a nice little _Sepher_
_Sephiroth_ of your very own. Remember to aim, above all things, at

It is excellent practice, but the way, to do some mental arithmetic on
your walks; acquire the habit of adding up any names that you have come
across in your morning's reading. Nietzsche has well observed that the
best thoughts come by walking; and it has happened to me, more than
once or twice, that really important correspondences have come, as by
a flashlight, when I was padding the old hoof.

You will have noticed that in this curt exposition I have confined myself
to Gematria, the direct relation of number and work, omitting any refer-
ence to Notariqon, the accursed art of making words out of initials,
like (in profane life) Wren and Gestapo and their horrid brood, or to
Temurah, the art of altering the position of the letters in a word, a
sort of cipher; for these are almost always frivolous. To base any
serious calculations on them would be absurd.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. You should study the _Equinox_ Vol. I, No. 5, "The Temple of Solomon
the King" for a more elaborate exposition of the Qabalah.

- 19 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Yes, I admit everything! It is _all_ my fault. Looking over my past writ-
ings, I do see that my only one-opointed attempt to set forth a sound
ontology was my early fumbling letter brochure _Berashith_*. Since then,
I seem to have kept assuming that everybody knew all about it; referring
to it, quoting it, but never sitting down seriously to demonstrate the
thesis, or even to state it in set terms. Chapter 0 of _Magick in Theory_
_and Practice_ skates gently over it; the "Naples Arrangement" in _The_
_Book of Thoth_ dodges it with really diabolical ingenuity. I ask myself
why. It is exceedingly strange, because every time I think of the Equa-
tion, I am thrilled with a keen glow of satisfaction that this sempiternal
Riddle of the Sphinx should have been answered at last.

So then let me now give myself the delight, and you the comfort, of stat-
ing the problem from its beginning, and proving the soundness of the
solution --- of showing that the contradiction of this Equation is _unthink_-
_able_. --- --- Are you ready? Forward! Paddle!

A. We are aware.

B. We cannot doubt the existence (whether "real" or "illusory" makes no
difference) of something, because doubt itself is a form of awareness.

C. We lump together all that of which we are aware under the convenient
name of "Existence", or "The Universe". _Cosmos_ is not so good for this
purpose; that word implies "order", which in the present stage of our
argument, is a mere assumption.

D. We also tend to think of the Universe as containing things of which
we are not aware; but this is altogether unjustifiable, although it is
difficult to think at all without making some such assumption. For
instance, one may come upon a new branch of knowledge --- say, histology
or Hammurabi or the language of the Iroquois or the poems of the Herma-
phrodite of Panormita. It seems to be there all ready waiting for us;
we simply cannot believe that we are making it all up as we go along.
For all that, it is sheer sophistry; we may merely be unfolding the
contents of our own minds. Then again, does a thing cease to exist if we
forget it? The answer is that one cannot be sure.

Personally, I feel convinced of the existence of an Universe outside my
own immediate awareness; but it is true, even so, that it does not exist
_for me_ unless and until it takes its place as part of my consciousness.

* See Crowley, _Collected Works_.

- 20 -

E. All this paragrpah D is in the nature of a digression, for what you
may think of it does not at all touch the argument of this letter. But
it had to be put in, just to prevent your mind from raising irrelevant
objections. Let me continue, then, from C.

F. Something is*. This something appears incalculably vast and complex.
How did it come to be?

This, briefly, is the "Riddle of the Universe," which has been always the
first preoccupation of all serious philosophers since men began to think
at all.

G. The orthodox idiot answer, usually wrapped up in obscure terms in the
hope of concealing from the enquirer the fact that it is not an answer
at all, but an evasion, is: God created it.

Then, obviously, who created God? Sometimes we have a Demiurge, a creative
God behind whom is an eternal formless Greatness --- anything to confuse
the issue!

Sometimes the Universe is supported by an elephant; he, in turn, stands
on a tortoise . . . by that time it is hoped that the enquirer is too
tired and muddled to ask what holds up the tortoise.

Sometimes, a great Father and Mother crystallize out of some huge cloudy
confusion of "Elements" - and so on. But nobody answers the question;
at least, none of these God-inventing mules, with their incurably common-
place minds.

H. Serious philosophy has always begun by discarding all these pueril-
ities. It has of necessity been divided into these schools: the Nihilist,
the Monist, and the Dualist.

I. The last of these is, on the surface, the most plausible; for almost
the first thing that we notice on inspecting the Universe is what the
Hindu schools call "the Pairs of Opposites."

This too, is very convenient, because it lends itself so readily to ortho-
dox theology; so we have Ormuzd and Ahriman, the Devas and the Asuras,
Osiris and Set, _et_ _cetera_ and _da_ _capo_, personifications of "Good" and
"Evil." The foes may be fairly matched; but more often the tale tells
of a revolt in heaven. In this case, "Evil" is temporary; soon, espe-
cially with the financial help of the devout, the "devil" will be "cast
into the Bottomless Pit" and "the Saints will reign with Christ in glory
for ever and ever, Amen!" Often a "redeemer," a "dying God," is needed
to secure victory to Omnipotence; and this is usually what little vulgar
boys might call a "touching story!"

J. The Monist (or Advaitist) school, is at once subtler and more refined;
it seems to approach the _ultimate_ reality (as opposed to the superficial

* You must read _The Soldier an The Hunchback: ! and ?_ in the _Equinox_
I, 1.

- 21 -

examination of the Dualists) more closely.

It seems to me that this doctrine is based upon a sorites of doubtful
validity. To tell you the hideously shameful truth, I hate this doc-
trine so rabidly that I can hardly trust myself to present it fairly!
But I will try. Meanwhile, you can study it in the _Upanishads_, in the
_Bhagavad-Gita_, in Ernst Haeckel's _The Riddle of the Universe_, and
dozens of other classics. The dogma appears to excite its dupes to
dithyrambs. I have to admit the "poetry" of the idea; but there is
something in me which vehemently rejects it with excruciating and vin-
dictive violence. Possibly, this is because part of our own system
runs parallel with the first equations of theirs.

K. The Monists perceive quite clearly and correctly that it is absurd
to answer the question "How came these Many things (of which we are aware)
to be?" by saying that they came from Many; and "Many" in this connec-
tion includes Two. The Universe must therefore be a single phenomenon:
make it eternal and all the rest of it --- i.e. remove all _limit_ of any
kind --- and the Universe explains itself. How then can Opposites exist,
as we observe them to do? Is it not the very essence of our original
Sorites that the Many must be reducible to the One? They see how awk-
ward this is; so the "devil" of the Dualist is emulsified and evaporated
into "illusion;" what they call "Maya" or some equivalent term.

"Reality" for them consists solely of Brahman, the supreme Being "without
quantity or quality." They are compelled to deny him all attributes,
even that of Existence; for to do so would instantly _limit_ them, and so
hurl them headlong back in to Dualism. All that of which we are aware
must obviously possess limits, or it could have no intelligible meaning
for us; if we want "pork," we must specify its qualities and quantities;
at the very least, we must be able to distinguish it from "that-which-

But - one moment, please!

L. There is in Advaitism a most fascinating danger; that is that, up
to a certain point, "Religious Experience" tends to support this theory.

A word on this. Vulgar minds, such as are happy with a personal God,
Vishnu, Jesus, Melcarth, Mithras, or another, often excite themselves -
call it "Energized Enthusiasm" if you want to be sarcastic! --- to the
point of experiencing actual Visions of the objects of their devotion.
But these people have not so much as asked themselves the original
question of "How come?" which is our present subject. Sweep them into
the discard!

M. Beyond Vishvarupadarshana, the vision of the Form of Vishnu, beyond
that yet loftier vision which corresponds in Hindu classification to our
"Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel", is that called
Atmadarshana, the vision (_or apprehension_, a much better word) of the
Universe as a _single_ phenomenon, outside all limitations, whether of
time, space, causality, or what not.

- 22 -

Very good, then! Here we are with direct realization of the Advaitist
theory of the Universe. Everything fits perfectly. Also, when I say
"realization," I want you to understand that I mean what I say in a
sense so intense and so absolute that it is impossible to convey my
meaning to anyone who has not undergone that experience*.

How do we judge the "reality" of an ordinary impression upon conscious-
ness? Chiefly by its intensity, but its persistence, by the fact that
nobody can argue us out of our belief in it. As people said of Berkeley's
'Idealism' - "his arguments are irrefutable but they fail to carry con-
viction." No sceptical, no idealist queries can persuade us that a kick
in the pants is not 'real' in any reasonable sense of the word. More-
over memory reassures us. However vivid a dream may be at the time,
however it may persist throughout the years (though it is rare for any
dream, unless frequently repeated, or linked to waking impressions by
some happy conjunction of circumstances, to remain long in the mind with
any clear-cut vision) it is hardly ever mistaken for an event of actual
life. Good: then, as waking life is to dream, so --- yes, more so! --- is
Religious Experience as above described to that life common to all of
us. It is not merely easy, it is natural, not merely natural, but inevi-
table, for anyone who has experienced "Samadhi" (this word conveniently
groups the higher types of vision**) to regard normal life as "illusion"
by comparison with this state in which all problems are resolved, all
doubts driven out, all limitations abolished.

But even beyond Atmadarshana comes the experience called Sivadarshana***,
in which this Atman (or Brahman), this limit-destroying Universe, is
itself abolished and annihilated.

(And, with its occurrence, smash goes the whole of the Advaitist theory!)

It is a commonplace to say that no words can describe this final destruc-
tion. Such is the fact; and there is nothing one can do about it but
put it down boldly as I have done above. It does not matter to our
present purpose; all that we need to know is that the strongest prop of
the Monist structure has broken off short.

Moreover, is it really adequate to postulate an origin of the Universe,
as they inevitably do? Merely to deny that there ever was a beginning
by saying that this "one" is eternal fails to satisfy me.

What is very much worse, I cannot see that to call Evil "illusion" helps
us at all. When the Christian Scientist hears that his wife has been
savagely mauled by her Peke, he has to smile, and say that "there is a
claim of error." Not good enough.

* I have discussed this and the following points very fully in _Book 4_
Part I, pp. 63-89
** "Vision" is a _dreadfully_ bad word for it; "trance" is better, but
idiots always mix it up with hypnotism.
*** Possibly almost identical with the Buddhist Neroda-Samapatti.

- 23 -

N. It has taken a long while to clear the ground. That I did not
expect; the above propositions are so familiar to me, they run so
cleanly through my mind, that, until I came to set them down in order,
I had no idea what a long and difficult business it all was.

Still, it's a long lane, etc. We have seen that "Two" (or "Many") are
unsatisfactory as origin, if only because they can always be reduced to
"One"; and "One" itself is no better, because, among other things, it
finds itself forced to deny the very premises on which it was founded.

Shall we be any better off if we assume that "Ex nihilo nihil fit" is
a falsehood, that the origin of All Things is Nothing? Let us see!

O. Shall we first glance at the mathematical aspect of Nothing?
(Including its identical equation in Logic.) This I worked out so long
ago as 1902 e.g. in _Berashith_, which you will find reprinted in _The_
_Sword of Song_, and in my _Collected Works_, Vol. I.

The argument may be summarized as follows.

When, in the ordinary way of business, we write 0, we should really
write 0{n}^. For 0 implies that the subject is not extended in any dimen-
sion under discussion. Thus a line may be two feet in length, but in
breadth and depth the coefficient is Zero. We could describe it as
2f + 0b + 0d, or n{2f} + 0b + 0d.

What I proposed in considering "What do we mean by Nothing?" was to
consider every possible quality of any object as a dimension.

For instance, one might describe this page as being nf + n'b + n"d + 0
_r_edness + ) 0 _a_miability + 0 _v_elocity + 0 _p_otential and so on, until you
had noted and measured all the qualities it possesses, and excluded all
that it does not. For convenience, we may write this expression as
X{f+b+d+r+a+v+p} --- using the initials of the qualities which we call

Just one further explanation in pure mathematics. To interpret X{1},
X{1+1} or X{2}, and so on, we assume the reference to be to spatial dimen-
sions. Thus suppose X{1} to be a line a foot long, X{2} will be a plane a
foot square, and X{3} a cube measuring a foot in each dimension. But
what about X{4}? There are no more spatial dimensions. Modern mathemat-
ics has (unfortunately, I think) agreed to consider this fourth dimen-
sion as time. Well, and X{5}? To interpret this expression, we may
begin to consider other qualities, such as electric capacity, colour,
moral attributes, and so on. But this remark, although necessary,
leads us rather away from our main thesis instead of toward it.

P. What happens when we put a minus sign before the index (that small
letter up on the right) instead of a plus? Quite simple.
x{2} = X{1+1} = X{1} + X{1}. With a minus, we divide instead of multiplying.
Thus, X{3-2} = X{3} X{2} = X{1}, just as if you had merely subtracted the 2

^ WEH NOTE: Add comments to distinguish indices (Abstract Algebra) from
powers of numbers.
{Keynote: I shouldn't, but as a physicist, I have to say}
{that Crowley is giving an erroneous layman's opinion }
{and his usage of math notation cannot be considered }
{correct. These expressions are ok as text, but not as }
{math without redefinition through Abstract Algebra, a }
{field Crowley appears not to know by name. The ideas }
{are valid, but the expressions are misleading. It might}
{be wise to add a footnote about the notation being non-}
{traditional. Notably, this line defies Pythagoras! }
{Crowley's notation with superscripts is the problem. }
{It looks like powers of numbers instead of indices. }
{He probably intended indices, but didn't know how to }
{represent them or flag them in typography. }

- 24 -

from the 3 in the index.

Now, at last, we come to the point of real importance to our thesis:
how shall we interpret X{0}? We may write it, obviously, as X{1-1} or
X{n-n}. Good, divide. Then X{1} X{1} = 1. This is the same, clearly
enough, whatever X may be.

Q. Ah, but what we started to do was discover the meaning of _Nothing_.
It is not correct to write it simply as 0; for that 0 implies an index
0{1}, or 0{2}, or 0{n}. And if our Nothing is to be absolute Nothing, then
there is not only no figure, but no index either. So we must write it
as 0{0}.

What is the value of this expression? We proceed as before; divide.
0{n} 1
0 = 0{n-n} = 0{n} 0{n} = -- x --. Of course 0{n} 1 remains 0;
1 0{n}
but 1 0{n} = {Keynote: this last is an elongated infinity symbol}.

That is, we have a clash of the "infinitely great" with the "infinitely
small;" that knocks out the "infinity" (and Advaitism with it!) and
leaves us with an indeterminate but finite number of utter variety.
That is: 0{0} can only be interpreted as "The Universe that we know."

R. So much for one demonstration. Some people have found fault with
the algebra; but the logical Equivalent is precisely parallel. Suppose
I wish to describe my study in one respect: I can say "No dogs are in
my study," or "Dogs are not in my study." I can make a little diagram:
D is the world of dogs; S is my study. Here it is: {Keynote: Crowley uses } Ú¿ Ú¿
The squares are quite separate. The whole world out- {Set Theory diagrams-->} D S
side the square D is the world of no dogs: outside the square S, the
world of no-study. But suppose now that I want to make the Zero abso-
lute, like our 0{0}, I must say "No dogs are not in my study."

Or, "There is no absence-of-dog in my study." That is the same as saying:
"Some doge _are_ in my study;" diagram again: {Keynote: Same two labeled squares, but this time the}
{square with S overlaps lower right of D square at an angle}
{--gratuitious comment: Crowley's language is invalid but diagrams ok}
In Diagram 1, {Keynote: need to label these two figures} "the world where no dogs are" included the whole of my
study; in Diagram 2 that absence-of-dog is no longer there; so one
or more of them must have got in somehow.

That's that; I know it may be a little difficult at first; fortunately
there is a different way --- the Chinese way --- of stating the theorem in
very much simpler terms.

S. The Chinese, like ourselves, begin with the idea of "Absolute Nothing."
They "make an effort, and call it the Tao;" but that is exactly what
the Tao comes to mean, when we examine it. They see quite well, as we
have done above, that merely to assert Nothing is not to explain the
Universe; and they proceed to do so by means of a mathematical equation
even simpler than ours, involving as it does no operations beyond simple
addition and subtraction. They say "Nothing obviously means Nothing;
it has no qualities nor quantities." (The Advaitists^ said the same, and

- 25 -

^ WEH NOTE: Do an Arthur Avalon plug here, highlighting his "Garland of Letters"

then stultified themselves completely by calling it One!) "But," con-
tinue the sages of the Middle Kingdom, "it is always possible to reduce
any expression to Nothing by taking any two equal and opposite terms."
(Thus n = (-n) = 0.) "We ought therefore to be able to get any expres-
sion that we want _from_ Nothing; we merely have to be careful that the
terms shall be precisely opposite and equal." (0 = n + (-n). This then
they did, and began to diagrammatize the Universe as the {S.B. cap "I"} - a pair of
opposites, the Yang or active male, and the Yin or passive Female,
principles. They represented the Yang by an unbroken ( ------- ), the Yin
by a broken ( --- --- ), line. (The first manifestation in Nature of these
two is Thi Yang, the Sun, and the Thi Yin, the Moon.) This being a little
large and loose, they doubled these lines, and obtained the four Hsiang.
They then took them three at a time, and got the eight Kwa. These
represent the development from the original {S.B. cap "I"} to the Natural Order of
the Elements.

I shall call the male principle M, the Female F.

M.1. ------ _K_hien "Heaven-Father" F.1. -- -- Khwn "Earth-Mother"
------ -- --
------ -- --

M.2. ------ L The Sun F.2. -- -- Khn The Moon
-- -- ------
------ -- --

M.3. -- -- _K_n Fire F.3. -- -- Tui Water
-- -- ------
------ ------

M.4. ------ Sun Air F.4. ------ Kn Earth
------ -- --
-- -- -- --

Note how admirably they have preserved the idea of balance. M.1. and
F.1. are perfection. M.2. and F.2. still keep balance in their lines.
The four "elements" show imperfection; yet they are all balanced as
against each other. Note, too, how apt are the ideograms. M.3. shows
the flames flickering on the hearth, F.3., the wave on the solid bottom
of the sea; M.4., the mutable air, with impenetrable space above, and
finally F.4., the thin crust of the earth masking the interior energies
of the planet. They go in to double these Kw, thus reaching the sixty-
four Hexagrams of the _Y____ King_, which is not only a Map, but a History
of the Order of Nature.

It is pure enthusiastic delight in the Harmony and Beauty of the System
that has led me thus far afield; my one essential purpose is to show
how the Universe was derived by these Wise Men from Nothing.

When you have assimilated these two sets of Equations, when you have
understood how 0 = 2 is the unique, the simple, and the necessary solu-
tion of the Riddle of the Universe, there will be, in a sense, little
more for you to learn about the Theory of Magick.

You should, however, remember most constantly that the equation of the
Universe, however complex it may seem, inevitably reels out to Zero;
for to accomplish this is the formula of your Work as a Mystic. To
remind you, and to amplify certain points of the above, let me quote

- 26 -

from _Magick_ pp. 152-3 footnote 2.

"All elements must at one time have been separate --- that would be the
case with great heat. Now when atoms get to the sun, we get that immense
extreme heat, and all the elements are themselves again. Imagine that
each atom of each element possesses the memory of all his adventures in
combination. By the way, that atom (fortified with that memory) would
not be the same atom; yet it is, because it has gained nothing from
anywhere except this memory. Therefore, by the lapse of time, and by
virtue of memory, a thing could become something more than itself; thus
a real development is possible. One can then see a reason for any ele-
ment deciding to go through this series of incarnations, because so, and
only so, can he go; and he suffers the lapse of memory which he has
during these incarnations, because he knows he will come through un-

"Therefore you can have an infinite number of gods, individual and equal
though diverse, each one supreme and utterly indestructible. This is
also the only explanation of how a "Perfect Being" could create a world
in which war, evil, etc., exist. God is only an appearance, because
(like "good") it cannot affect the substance itself, but only multiply
its combinations. This is something the same as mystic monotheism; but
all parts of himself, so that their interplay is false. If we presuppose
many elements, their interplay is natural.

"It is no objection to this theory to ask who made the elements --- the
elements are at least there, and God, when you look for him, is not
there. Theism is _obscurum per obscurius_. A male star is built up from
the centre outwards; a female from the circumference inwards. This is
what is meant when we say that woman has no soul. It explains fully
the difference between the sexes."

Every "act of love under will" has the dual result (1) the creation of
a child combining the qualities of its parents, (2) the withdrawal by
ecstasy into Nothingness. Please consult what I have elsewhere written
on "The Formula of Tetagrammaton;" the importance of this at the
moment is to show how 0 and 2 appear constantly in Nature as the common
Order of Events.

Love is the law, love under will.



- 27 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Here is the first section of M. Gerard Aumont's promised essay*; it was
originally called "The Three Schools of Magick". (Don't be cross,
please, because it is not in the form of a personal letter!)

There is today much misunderstanding of the meaning of the term "Magick".
Many attempts have been made to define it, but perhaps the best for our
present purpose of historical-ideological exposition will be this --
Magick is the Science of the Incommensurables.

This is one of the many restricted uses of the word; one suited to
the present purpose.

It is particularly to be noted that Magick, so often mixed up in the
popular idea of a religion, has nothing to do with it. It is, in fact,
the exact opposite of religion; it is, even more than Physical Science,
its irreconcilable enemy.

let us define this difference clearly.

Magick investigates the laws of Nature with the idea of making use of
them. It only differs from "profane" science by always keeping ahead
of it. As Fraser^ has shown, Magick is science in the tentative stage;
but it may be, and often is, more than this. It is science which, for
one reason or another, cannot be declared to the profane.

Religion, on the contrary, seeks to ignore the laws of Nature, or to
escape them by appeal to a postulated power which is assumed to have
laid them down. The religious man is, as such, incapable of understand-
ing what the laws of Nature really are. (They are generalizations from
the order of observed fact.)

The History of Magick has never been seriously attempted. For one
reason, only initiates pledged to secrecy know much about it; for
another, every historian has been talking about some more or less con-
ventional idea of Magick, not of the thing itself. But Magick has led
the world from before the beginning of history, if only for the reason
that Magick has always been the mother of Science. It is, therefore,
of extreme importance that some effort should be made to understand
something of the subject; and there is, therefore, no apology necessary
for essaying this brief outline of its historical aspects.

There have always been, at least in nucleus, three main Schools of

* A few amendments - very few - have been necessitated by the lapse
of time.
^ WEH NOTE: Mention Fraser source, locate it in G.B.

- 28 -

Philosophical practice. (We use the word "philosophical" in the old
good broad sense, as in the phrase "Philosophical Transactions of the
Royal Society for the Advancement of Knowledge.")

It is customary to describe these three Schools as Yellow, Black, and
White. The first thing necessary is to warn the reader that they must
by no means be confounded with racial distinctions of colour; and they
correspond still less with conventional symbols such as yellow caps,
yellow robes, black magick, white witchcraft, and the like. The danger
is only the greater that these analogies are often as alluring as the
prove on examination to be misleading.

These Schools represent three perfectly distinct and contrary theories
of the Universe, and, therefore, practices of spiritual science. The
magical formula of each is as precise as a theorem of trigonometry.
Each assumes as fundamental a certain law of Nature, and the subject is
complicated by the fact that each School, in a certain sense, admits the
formulae of the other two. It merely regards them as in some way incom-
plete, secondary, or illusory. Now, as will be seen later, the Yellow
School stand aloof from the other two by the nature of its postulates.
But the Black School and the White are always more or less in active
conflict; and it is because just at this moment that conflict is
approaching a climax that it is necessary to write this essay. The
adepts of the White School consider the present danger to mankind so
great that they are prepared to abandon their traditional policy of
silence, in order to enlist in their ranks the profane of every nation.

We are in possession of a certain mystical document* which we may
describe briefly, for convenience sake, as an Apocalypse of which we
hold the keys, thanks to the intervention of the Master who has appeared
at this grave conjuncture of Fate. This document consists of a series
of visions, in which we hear the various Intelligences whose nature it
would be hard to define, but who are at the very least endowed with
knowledge and power far beyond anything that we are accustomed to regard
as proper to the human race.

We must quote a passage from one of the most important of these documents.
The doctrine is conveyed, as is customary among Initiates, in the form
of a parable. Those who have attained even a mediocre degree of enlight-
enment are aware that the crude belief of the faithful, and the crude
infidelity of the scoffer, with regard to matters of fact, are merely
childish. Every incident in Nature, true or false, possesses a spiritual
significance. It is this significance, and only this significance, that
possesses any philosophical value to the Initiate.

The orthodox need not be shocked, and the enlightened need not be contemp-
tuous, to learn that the passage which we are about to quote, is a parable
based on the least decorous of the Biblical legends which refer to Noah.
It simply captures for its own purposes the convenience of Scripture.

* _Liber CDXVIII_, _The Vision and the Voice_, edition with Introduction
and Commentary by 666. Thelema Publishing Co., Barstow, California.

- 29 -

(Here follows the excerpt from the Vision.)

"And a voice cries: Cursed be he that shall uncover the nakedness of
the Most High, for he is drunken upon the wine that is the blood of the
adepts. And BABALON hath lulled him to sleep upon her breast, and she
hath fled away, and left him naked, and she hath called her children
together saying: Come up with me, and let us make a mock of the naked-
ness of the Most High.

"And the first of the adepts covered His shame with a cloth, walking
backwards, and was white. And the second of the adepts covered his
shame with a cloth, walking sideways, and was yellow, And the third of
the adepts made a mock of His nakedness, walking forwards, and was black.
And these are the three great schools of the Magi, who are also the
three Magi that journeyed unto Bethlehem; and because thou hast not
wisdom, thou shalt not know which school prevaileth, or if the three
schools be not one."

We are now ready to study the philosophical bases of these three Schools.
We must, however, enter a caveat against too literal an interpretation,
even of the parable. It may be suspected, for reasons which should be
apparent after further investigation of the doctrines of the Three
Schools, that this parable was invented by an Intelligence of the Black
School, who was aware of his iniquity, and thought to transform it into
righteousness by the alchemy of making a boast of it. The intelligent
reader will note the insidious attempt to identify the doctrine of the
Black School with the kind of black magic {sic} that is commonly called
Diabolism. In other words, this parable is itself an example of an
exceedingly subtle black magical operation, and the contemplation of
such devices carried far enough beings us to an understanding of the
astoundingly ophidian processes of Magicians. Let not the profane
reader dismiss such subtleties from his mind as negligible nonsense.
It is cunning of this kind that determines the price of potatoes.

The above digression is perhaps not so inexcusable as it may seem on a
first reading. Careful study of it should reveal the nature of the
thought-processes which are habitually used by the secret Masters of
the human race to determine its destiny.

When everyone has done laughing, I will ask you to compare the real
effects produced on the course of human affairs by Caesar, Attila, and
Napoleon, on the one hand; of Plato, the Encyclopaedists, and Karl Marx*
on the other.

The Yellow School of Magick considers, with complete scientific and
philosophical detachment, the fact of the Universe as a fact. Being
itself apart of that Universe, it realizes its impotence to alter the
totality in the smallest degree. To put it vulgarly, it does not try to

* It is interesting to note that the three greatest influences in the
world today are those of Teutonic Hebrews: Marx, Hertz, and Freud.

- 30 -

raise itself from the ground by pulling at its socks. It therefore
opposes to the current of phenomena no reaction either of hatred or of
sympathy. So far as it attempts to influence the course of events at
all, it does so in the only intelligent way conceivable. It seeks to
diminish internal friction.

It remains, therefore, in a contemplative attitude. To use the terms
of Western philosophy, there is in its attitude something of the stoicism
of Zeno; or of the Pickwickianism, if I may use the term, of Epicurus.
The ideal reaction to phenomena is that of perfect elasticity. It
possesses something of the cold-bloodedness of mathematics; and for
this reason it seems fair to say, for the purposes of elementary study,
that Pythagoras is its most adequate exponent in European philosophy.

Since the discovery of Asiatic thought, however, we have no need to
take our ideas at second-hand. The Yellow School of Magick possesses
one perfect classic. The _Tao Teh __K__ing_*.

It is impossible to find any religion which adequately represents the
thought of this masterpiece. Not only is religion as such repugnant to
science and philosophy, but from the very nature of the tenets of the
Yellow School, its adherents are not going to put themselves to any
inconvenience for the enlightenment of a lot of people whom they consider
to be hopeless fools.

At the same time, the theory of religion, as such, being a tissue of
falsehood, the only real strength of any religion is derived from its
pilferings of Magical doctrine; and, religious persons being by defini-
tion entirely unscrupulous, it follows that any given religion is likely
to contain scraps of Magical doctrine, filched more or less haphazard
from one school or the other as occasion serves.

Let the reader, therefore, beware most seriously of trying to get a
grasp of this subject by means of siren analogies. Taoism has as little
to do with the _Tao Teh __K__ing_ as the Catholic Church with the Gospel.

The _Tao Teh __K__ing_ inculcates conscious inaction, or rather unconscious
inaction, with the object of minimizing the disorder of the world. A
few quotations from the text should make the essence of the doctrine

X 3 "Here is the Mystery of Virtue. It createth all and nourisheth
all; yet it doth not adhere to them. It operateth all; but
knoweth not of it, nor proclaimeth it; it directeth all, but
without conscious control."

* Unfortunately there is no translation at present published which is
the work of an Initiate. All existing translations have been garbled by
people who simply failed to understand the text. An approximately per-
fect rendering is indeed available, but so far it exists only in manu-
script. One object of this letter is to create sufficient public interest
to make this work, and others of equal value available to the public.
{Keynote: This footnote is obsolete. The "Tao Teh King" was published
as "Equinox" III - 8, 1975 e.v. by H.P.S.}

- 31 -

XXII 2 "Therefore the sage concentrateth upon one Will, and it is as
a light to the whole world. Hiding himself, he shineth;
withdrawing himself, he attracteth notice; humbling himself,
he gaineth force to achieve his Will. Because he striveth
not, no man may contend against him."

XLIII 1 "The softest substance hunteth down the hardest. The Unsub-
stantial penetrateth where there is no opening. Here is the
Virtue of Inertia."

2 "Few are they who attain: whose speech is Silence, whose
Work is Inertia."

XLVIII 3 "He who attracteth to himself all that is under Heaven doth
so without effort. He who maketh effort is not able to
attract it."

LVIII 3 "The wise man is foursquare and avoideth aggression; his
corners do not injure others. He moveth in a straight line,
and turneth not aside therefrom; he is brilliant, but doth
not blind with his brightness."

LXIII 2 "Do great things while they are yet small, hard things while
they are yet easy; for all things, how great or hard soever,
have a beginning when they are little and easy. So thus the
wise man accomplisheth the greatest tasks without undertaking
anything important."

LXXVI 2 "So then rigidity and hardness are the stigmata of death;
elasticity and adaptability of life."

3 "He then who putteth forth strength is not victorious; even
as a strong tree filleth the embrace."

4 "Thus the hard and rigid have the inferior place, the soft
and elastic the superior."

Enough, I think, for this part of the essay.

Love is the law, love under will.



- 32 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Hoping that you are now recovered from the devastating revelations in
the matter of the Yellow School, I must ask you to brace yourself for
disclosures even more formidable about the Black. Do not confuse with
the Black Lodge, or the Black Brothers. The terminology is unfortunate,
but it wasn't I that did it. Now then, to work!

The Black School of Magick, which must by no means be confused with the
School of Black Magick or Sorcery, which latter is a perversion of the
White tradition, is distinguished fundamentally from the Yellow School
in that it considers the Universe not as neutral, but as definitely a
curse. Its primary theorem is the "First Noble Truth" of the Buddha ---
"Everything is Sorrow." In the primitive classics of this School the
idea of sorrow is confused with that of sin. (This idea of universal
lamentation is presumably responsible for the choice of black as its
symbolic colour. And yet? Is not white the Chinese hue of mourning?)

The analysis of the philosophers of this School refers every phenomenon
to the category of sorrow. It is quite useless to point out to them
that certain events are accompanied with joy: they continue their ruth-
less calculations, and prove to your satisfaction, or rather dissatis-
faction, that the more apparently pleasant an event is, the more
malignantly deceptive is its fascination. There is only one way of
escape even conceivable, and this way is quite simple, annihilation.
(Shallow critics of Buddhism have wasted a great deal of stupid ingenuity
on trying to make out that Nirvana or Nibbana means something different
from what etymology, tradition and the evidence of the Classics combine
to define it. The word means, quite simply, cessation: and it stands
to reason that, if everything is sorrow, the only thing which is not
sorrow is nothing, and that therefore to escape from sorrow is the attain-
ment of nothingness.)

Western philosophy has on occasion approached this doctrine. It has at
least asserted that no known form of existence is exempt from sorrow.
Huxley says, in his _Evolution and Ethics_, "Suffering is the badge of
all the tribe of sentient things."

The philosophers of this School, seeking, naturally enough, to amend the
evil at the root, inquire into the cause of this existence which is
sorrow, and arrive immediately at the 'Second Noble Truth' of the Buddha:
"The Cause of Sorrow is Desire". They follow up with the endless conca-
tenation of causes, of which the final root is Ignorance. (I am not
concerned to defend the logic of this School: I merely state their
doctrine.) The practical issue of all this is that every kind of action
is both unavoidable and a crime. I must digress to explain that the

- 33 -

confusion of thought in this doctrine is constantly recurrent. That is
part of the blackness of the Ignorance which they confess to be the
foundation of their Universe. (And after all, everyone has surely the
right to have his own Universe the way he wants it.)

This School being debased by nature, is not so far removed from conven-
tional religion as either the White or the Yellow. Most primitive
fetishistic religions may, in fact, be considered fairly faithful
representatives of this philosophy. Where animism holds sway, the
"medicine-man" personifies this universal evil, and seeks to propitiate
it by human sacrifice. The early forms of Judaism, and that type of
Christianity which we associate with the Salvation Army, Billy Sunday
and the Fundamentalists of the back-blocks of America, are sufficiently
simple cases of religion whose essence is the propitiation of a malig-
nant demon.

When the light of intelligence begins to dawn dimly through many fogs
upon these savages, we reach a second stage. Bold spirits master cour-
age to assert that the evil which is so obvious, is, in some mysterious
way, an illusion. They thus throw back the whole complexity of sorrow
to a single cause; that is, the arising of the illusion aforesaid. The
problem then assumes a final form: How is that illusion to be destroyed.

A fairly pure example of the first stage of this type of thought is to
be found in the _Vedas_, of the second stage, in the _Upanishads_. But the
answer to the question, "How is the illusion of evil to be destroyed?",
depends on another point of theory. We may postulate a Parabrahm infi-
nitely good, etc. etc. etc., in which case we consider the destruction
of the illusion of evil as the reuniting of the consciousness with
Parabrahm. the unfortunate part of this scheme of things is that on
seeking to define Parabrahm for the purpose of returning to Its purity,
it is discovered sooner or later, that It possesses no qualities at all!
In other words, as the farmer said, on being shown the elephant: There
ain't no sich animile. It was Gautama Buddha who perceived the inutility
of dragging in this imaginary pachyderm. Since our Parabrahm, he said to
the Hindu philosophers, is actually nothing, why not stick to or original
perception that everything is sorrow, and admit that the only way to
escape from sorrow is to arrive at nothingness?

We may complete the whole tradition of the Indian peninsula very simply.
To the _Vedas_, the _Upanishads_, and the _Tripitaka_ of the Buddhists, we
have only to add the _Tantras_ of what are called the Vamacharya Schools.
Paradoxical as it may sound the Tantrics are in reality the most advanced
of the Hindus. Their theory is, in its philosophical ultimatum, a primi-
tive stage of the White tradition, for the essence of the Tantric cults
is that by the performance of certain rites of Magick, one does not only
escape disaster, but obtains positive benediction. The Tantric is not
obsessed by the will-to-die. It is a difficult business, no doubt, to
get any fun out of existence; but at least it is not impossible. In
other words, he implicitly denies the fundamental proposition that
existence is sorrow, and he formulates the essential postulate of the
White School of Magick, that means exist by which the universal sorrow

- 34 -

(apparent indeed to all ordinary observation) may be unmasked, even as
at the initiatory rite of Isis in the ancient days of Kehm. There, a
Neophyte presenting his mouth, under compulsion, to the pouting buttocks
of the Goat of Mendez, found himself caressed by the chaste lips of a
virginal priestess of that Goddess at the base of whose shrine is written
that No man has lifted her veil.

The basis of the Black philosophy is not impossibly mere climate, with
its resulting etiolation of the native, its languid, bilious, anaemic,
fever-prostrated, emasculation of the soul of man. We accordingly find
few true equivalents of this School in Europe. In Greek philosophy there
is no trace of any such doctrine. The poison in its foulest and most
virulent form only entered with Christianity*. But even so, few men of
any real eminence were found to take the axioms of pessimism seriously.
Huxley, for all of his harping on the minor key, was an eupeptic Tory. The
culmination of the Black philosophy is only found in Schopenhauer, and
we may regard him as having been obsessed, on the one hand, by the despair
born of that false scepticism which he learnt from the bankruptcy of Hume
and Kant; on the other, by the direct obsession of the Buddhist docu-
ments to which he was one of the earliest Europeans to obtain access.
He was, so to speak, driven to suicide by his own vanity, a curious
parallel to Kiriloff in _The Possessed_ of Dostoiewsky.

We have, however, examples plentiful enough of religions deriving almost
exclusively from the Black tradition in the different stages. We have
already mentioned the Evangelical cults with their ferocious devil-god
who creates mankind for the pleasure of damning it and forcing it to
crawl before him, while he yells with druken glee over the agony of his
only son**. But in the same class, we must place Christian Science, so
grotesquely afraid of pain, suffering and evil of every sort, that its
dupes can think of nothing better than to bleat denials of its actuality,
in the hope of hypnotizing themselves into anaesthesia.

Practically no Westerns have reached the third stage of the Black tradi-
tion, the Buddhist stage. It is only isolated mystics, and those men
who rank themselves with a contemptuous compliance under the standard
of the nearest religion, the one which will bother them least in their
quest of nothingness, who carry the sorites so far.

The documents of the Black School of Magick have already been indicated.
They are, for the most part, tedious to the last degree and repulsive to
every wholesome-minded man; yet it can hardly be denied that such books
as _The Dhammapada_ and _Ecclesiastes_ are masterpieces of literature. They
represent the agony of human despair at its utmost degree of intensity,
and the melancholy contemplation which is induced by their perusal is

* Anti-semite writers in Europe --- e.g. Weininger --- call the Black
theory and practice Judaism, while by a curious confusion, the same ideas
are called Christian among Anglo-Saxons. In 1936 e.v. the "Nazi" School
began to observe this fact.
** N.B. Christianity was in its first stage a Jewish Communism, hardly
distinguishable from Marxism.

- 35 -

not favourable to the inception of that mood which should lead every
truly courageous intelligence to the determination to escape from the
ferule of the Black Schoolmaster to the outstretched arms of the White
Mistress of Life.

Let us leave the sinister figure of Schopenhauer for the mysteriously
radiant shape of Spinoza! This latter philosopher, in respect at least
of his Pantheism, represents fairly enough the fundamental thesis of the
White tradition. Almost the first observation that we have to make is
that this White tradition is hardly discoverable outside Europe. It
appears first of all in the legend of Dionysus. (In this connection
read carefully Browning's _Apollo and the Fates_.)

The Egyptian tradition of Osiris is not dissimilar. The central idea
of the White School is that, admitted that "everything is sorrow" for
the profane, the Initiate has the means of transforming it to "Every-
thing is joy". There is no question of any ostrich-ignoring of fact,
as in Christian Science. There is not even any more or less sophisti-
cated argument about the point of view altering the situation as in
Vedantism. We have, on the contrary, and attitude which was perhaps
first of all, historically speaking, defined by Zoroaster, "nature
teaches us, and the Oracles also affirm, that even the evil germs of
Matter may alike become useful and good." "Stay not on the precipice
with the dross of Matter; for there is a place for thine Image in a
realm ever splendid." "If thou extend the Fiery Mind to the work of
piety, thou wilt preserve the fluxible body."*

It appears that the Levant, from Byzantium and Athens to Damascus,
Jerusalem, Alexandria and Cairo, was preoccupied with the formulation
of this School in a popular religion, beginning in the days of Augustus
Caesar. For there are elements of this central idea in the works of
the Gnostics, in certain rituals of what Frazer conveniently calls the
Asiatic God, as in the remnants of the Ancient Egyptian cult. The doc-
trine became abominably corrupted in committee, so to speak and the
result was Christianity, which may be regarded as a White ritual over-
laid by a mountainous mass of Black doctrine, like the baby of the
mother that King Solomon non-suited.

We may define the doctrine of the White School in its purity in very
simple terms.

Existence is pure joy. Sorrow is caused by failure to perceive this
fact; but this is not a misfortune. We have invented sorrow, which
does not matter so much after all, in order to have the exuberant satis-
faction of getting rid of it. Existence is thus a sacrament.

Adepts of the White School regard their brethren of the Black very much
as the aristocratic English Sahib (of the days when England was a nation)
regarded the benighted Hindu. Nietzsche expresses the philosophy of

* This passage appears to be a direct hint at the Formula of the IX
O.T.O., and the preparation of the Elixir of Life.

- 36 -

this School to that extent with considerable accuracy and vigour. The
man who denounces life merely defines himself as the man who is unequal
to it. The brave man rejoices in giving and taking hard knocks, and the
brave man is joyous. The Scandinavian idea of Valhalla may be primitive,
but it is manly. A heaven of popular concert, like the Christian; of
unconscious repose, like the Buddhist; or even of sensual enjoyment, like
the Moslem, excites his nausea and contempt. He understands that the
only joy worth while is the joy of continual victory, and victory itself
would become as tame as croquet if it were not spiced by equally contin-
ual defeat.

The purest documents of the White School are found in the Sacred Books
of Thelema. The doctrine is given in excellent perfection both in the
book of the _Heart Girt with the Serpent_ and the book of _Lapis Lazuli_.
A single passage is adequate to explain the formula.

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 abyss of Ages of Sleep, and her body
embraced me. Altogether I melted in 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.

_Liber LXV_, Cap. II.

We find even in profane literature this doctrine of the White School of
Magick: -

- 37 -

O Buddha! couldst thou nowhere rest
A pivot for the universe?
Must all things be alike confessed
Mere changes rung upon a curse?

I swear by all the bliss of blue
My Phryne with her powder on
Is just as false - and just as true -
As your disgusting skeleton.

Each to his taste: if you prefer
This loathly brooding on Decay;
I call it Growth, and lovelier
Than all the glamours of the day.

You would not dally with Doreen
Because her fairness was to fade,
Because you know the things unclean
That go to make a mortal maid.

I, if her rotten corpse were mine,
Would take it as my natural food,
Denying all but the Divine
Alike in evil and in good.

Aspasia may skin me close,
And Lais load me with disease.
Poor pleasures, bitter bargains, these?
I shall despise Diogenes.

Follow your fancy far enough!
At last you surely come to God.

There is thus in this School no attempt to deny that Nature is, as
Zoroaster said, "a fatal and evil force"; but Nature is, so to speak,
"the First Matter of the Work", which is to be transmuted into gold.
The joy is a function of our own part in this alchemy. For this reason
we find the boldest and most skillful adepts deliberately seeking out
the most repugnant elements of Nature that their triumph may be the
greater. The formula is evidently one of dauntless courage. It expresses
the idea of vitality and manhood in its most dynamic sense.

The only religion which corresponds to this School at all is that of
ancient Egypt; possibly also that of Chaldea. This is because those
religions are Magical religions in the strict technical sense; the
religious component of them is negligible. So far as it exists, it
exists only for the uninitiate.

There are, however, traces of the beginning of the influence of the
School in Judaism and in Paganism. There are, too, certain documents
of the pure Greek spirit which bear traces of this. It is what they
called Theurgy.

- 38 -

The Christian religion in its simplest essence, by that idea of over-
coming evil through a Magical ceremony, the Crucifixion, seems at first
sight a fair example of the White tradition; but the idea of sin and
of propitiation tainted it abominably with Blackness. There have been,
however, certain Christian thinkers who have taken the bold logical step
of regarding evil as a device of God for exercising the joys of combat
and victory. This is, of course, a perfectly White doctrine; but it
is regarded as the most dangerous of heresies. (Romans VI. 1,2, et al.)

For all that, the idea is there. The Mass itself is essentially a
typical White ritual. Its purpose is to transform crude matter directly
into Godhead. It is thus a cardinal operation of Talismanic Magick. But
the influence of the Black School has corroded the idea with theological
accretions, metaphysical on the one hand, and superstitious on the other,
so completely as to mask the Truth altogether.

At the Reformation, we find a nugatory attempt to remove the Black ele-
ment. The Protestant thinkers did their best to get rid of the idea of
sin, but it was soon seen that the effort could only lead to antinomian-
ism; and they recognized that this would infallibly destroy the religious
idea as such.

Mysticism, both Catholic and Protestant, made a further attempt to free
Christianity from the dark cloud of iniquity. They joined hands with
the Sufis and the Vedantists. But this again led to the mere denial of
the reality of evil. Thus drawing away, little by little, from clear
appreciation of the facts of Nature, their doctrine became purely
theoretical, and faded away, while the thundercloud of sin settled down
more heavily than ever.

The most important of all the efforts of the White School, from an exo-
teric point of view, is Islam. In its doctrine there is some slight
taint, but much less than in Christianity. It is a virile religion.
It looks facts in the face, and admits their horror; but it proposes
to overcome them by sheer dint of manhood. Unfortunately, the meta-
physical conceptions of its quasi-profane Schools are grossly material-
istic. It is only the Pantheism of the Sufis which eliminates the
conception of propitiation; and, in practice, the Sufis are too closely
allied to the Vedantists to retain hold of reality.

That will be all for the present.

Love is the law, love under will.



- 39 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

It has been a long --- I hope not too tedious --- voyage; but at last the
harbour is in sight.

Our Essay approaches its goal; the theory of Life to which initiation

Let us continue!

There is in history only one movement whose object has been to organize
the isolated adepts of the White School of Magick, and this movement
was totally unconnected with religion, except in so far as it lent its
influence to the reformers of the Christian church. Its appeal was not
at all to the people. It merely offered to open up relations with, and
communicate certain practical secrets of wisdom to, isolated men of
science through Europe. This movement is generally known by the
name of Rosicrucianism.

The word arouses all sorts of regrettable correspondences; but the
adepts of the Society have never worried themselves in the least about
the abuse of their name for the purposes of charlatanism, or about the
attacks directed against them by envious critics. Indeed, so wisely
have they concealed their activities that some modern scholars of the
shallower type have declared that no such movement ever existed, that
it was a kind of practical joke played upon the curiosity of the credu-
lous Middle Ages. It is at least certain that, since the original
proclamations, no official publications have been put forward. The
essential secrets have been maintained inviolate. If, during the last
few years, a considerable number of documents have been published by
them, though not in their name, it is on account of the impending crisis
to civilization, of which mention will later be made.

There is no good purpose, even were there license, to discuss the nature
of the basis of scientific attainment which is the core of the doctrines
of the Society. It is only necessary to point out that its correspondence
with alchemy is the one genuine fact on the subject which has been allowed
to transpire; for the Rosicrucian, as indicated by his central symbol,
the barren cross on which he has made a rose to flower, occupies him-
self primarily with spiritual and physiological alchemy. Taking for
"The First Matter of the Work" a neutral or inert substance (it is con-
stantly described as the commonest and least valued thing on earth, and
may actually connote any substance whatever) he deliberately poisons it,
so to speak, bringing it to a stage of transmutation generally called
the Black Dragon, and he proceeds to work upon this virulent poison until
he obtains the perfection theoretically possible.

- 40 -

Incidentally, we have an almost precise parallel with this operation in
modern bacteriology. The apparently harmless bacilli of a disease are
cultivated until they become a thousand times more virulent than at
first, and it is from this culture that is prepared the vaccine which
is an efficacious remedy for all the possible ravages of that kind of

. . . . . . . .

We have been obliged to expose, perhaps at too considerable a length,
the main doctrines of the three Schools. The task, however tedious,
has been necessary in order to explain with reasonable lucidity their
connection with the world which their ideas direct; that is to say,
the nature of their political activities.

The Yellow School, in accordance with its doctrine of perfectly elastic
reaction and non-interference, holds itself, generally speaking, entirely
apart from all such questions. We can hardly imagine it sufficiently
interested in any events soever to react aggressively. It feels strong
enough to deal satisfactorily with anything that may turn up: and
generally speaking, it feels that any conceivable action on its part
would be likely to increase rather than to diminish the mischief.

It remains somewhat contemptuously aloof from the eternal conflict of
the Black School with the White. At the same time, there is a certain
feeling among the Yellow adepts that should either of these Schools
become annihilated, the result might well be that the victor would
sooner or later turn his released energy against themselves.

In accordance, therefore, with their general plan of non-action, as
expressed in the _Tao Teh __K__ing_, of dealing with mischief before it
has become too strong to be dangerous, they interfere gently from time to
time to redress the balance.

During the last two generations the Masters of the Yellow School have
been compelled to take notice of the progressive ruin of the White
adepts. Christianity, which possessed at least the semblance of a
White formula, is in the agonies of decomposition, even before it is
actually dead. Materialistic science has overwhelmed the faith and
hope of the Christians (they never possessed any charity to overwhelm)
with a demonstration of the sorrow, transitoriness and cruel futility
of the Universe. A vast wave of pessimism has engulfed the fortress
of Mansoul.

It was indeed a deadly blow to the adepts of the White School when
Science, their own familiar friend in whom they trusted, lifted up
his heel against them. It was in this conjuncture that the Yellow
adepts sent forth into the Western world a messenger, Helena Petrowna
Blavatsky, with the distinct mission to destroy, on the one hand, the
crude schools of Christianity, and, on the other, to eradicate the
materialism from Physical Science. She made the necessary connection
with Edward Maitland and Anna Kingsford, who were trying rather

- 41 -

helplessly to put the exoteric formulae of the White School into th
hands of students, and with the secret representatives of the Rosicru-
cian Brotherhood. It is not for us in this place to estimate the
degree of success with which she carried out her embassy; but at
least we see today that Physical Science is at last penetrating to the
spiritual basis of material phenomena. The work of Henry Poincar,
Einstein, Whitehead, and Bertrand Russell is sufficient evidence of
this fact.

Christianity, too, has fallen into a lower degree of contempt than
ever. Realizing that it was moribund, it made a supreme and suicidal
effort, and plunged into the death-spasm of the first world-war. It
was too far corrupt to react to the injections of the White formula
which might have saved it. We see today that Christianity is more
bigoted, further divorced from reality, than ever. In some countries
it has again become a persecuting church.

With horrid glee the adepts of the Black School looked on at these
atrocious paroxysms. But it did more. It marshalled its forces
quietly, and prepared to clean up the debris of the battlefields. It
is at present (1924 e.v.) pledged to a supreme attempt to chase the
manly races from their spiritual halidom. (The spasm still [1945 e.v.]
continues; note well the pro-German screams of Anglican Bishops, and
the intrigues of the Vatican.)

The Black School has always worked insidiously, by treachery. We need
then not be surprised by finding that its most notable representative
was the renegade follower of Blavatsky, Annie Besant, and that she was
charged by her Black masters with the mission of persuading the world
to accept for its Teacher a negroid^ Messiah. To make the humiliation
more complete, a wretched creature was chosen who, to the most loath-
some moral qualities, added the most fatuous imbecility. And then
blew up!

. . . . . .

This, then, is the present state of the war of the Three Schools. We
cannot suppose that humanity is so entirely base as to accept Krishna-
murti; yet that such a scheme could ever have been conceived is a
symptom of the almost hopeless decadence of the White School*. The
Black adepts boast openly that they have triumphed all along the line.
Their formula has attained the destruction of all positive qualities.
It is only one step to the stage when the annihilation of all life and
thought will appear as a fatal necessity. The materialism and vital
scepticism of the present time, its frenzied rush for pleasure in total
disregard of any idea of building for the future, testifies to a condi-
tion of complete moral disorder, of abject spiritual anarchy.

The White School has thus been paralysed. We are reminded of the spider
described by Fabre, who injects her victims with a poison which paralyzes

* Note. This passage was written in 1924 e.v. The Master Therion arose
and smote him. What seemed a menace is now hardly even a memory.
^ WEH NOTE: Inject something about Krishnamurti here, and soften the racial
remark made above.

- 42 -

them without killing them, so that her own young may find fresh meat.
And this is what is going to happen in Europe and America unless some-
thing is done about it, and done in very short order.

The Yellow School could not remain impassive spectators of the abomina-
tions. Madame Blavatsky was a mere forerunner. They, in conjunction
with the Secret Chiefs of the White School in Europe, Chiefs who had
been compelled to suspend all attempts at exoteric enlightenment by the
general moral debility which had overtaken the races from which they
drew their adepts, have prepared a guide for mankind. This man, of an
extreme moral force and elevation, combined with a profound sense of
worldly realities, has stood forth in an attempt to save the White School,
to rehabilitate its formula, and to fling back from the bastions of moral
freedom the howling savages of pessimism. Unless his appeal is heard,
unless there comes a truly virile reaction against the creeping atrophy
which is poisoning them, unless they enlist to the last man under his
standard, a great decisive battle will have been lost.

This prophet of the White School, chosen by its Masters and his brethren,
to save the Theory and Practice, is armed with a sword far mightier than
Excalibur. He has been entrusted with a new Magical formula, one which
can be accepted by the whole human race. Its adoption will strengthen
the Yellow School by giving a more positive value to their Theory; while
leaving the postulates of the Black School intact, it will transcend them
and raise their Theory and Practice almost to the level of the Yellow.
As to the White School, it will remove from them all taint of poison of
the Black, and restore vigour to their central formula of spiritual al-
chemy by giving each man an independent ideal. It will put an end to
the moral castration involved in the assumption that each man, whatever
his nature, should deny himself to follow out a fantastic and impracti-
cable ideal of goodness. Incidentally, this formula will save Physical
Science itself by making negligible the despair of futility, the vital
scepticism which has emasculated it in the past. It shows that the joy
of existence is not in a goal, for that indeed is clearly unattainable,
_but in the going_ itself.

This law is called the Law of Thelema. It is summarized in the four
words, "Do what thou wilt."

It should not be necessary to explain that a full appreciation of this
message is not to be obtained by a hasty examination. It is essential
to study it from every point of view, to analyse it with the keenest
philosophical acumen, and finally to apply it as a key for every problem,
internal and external, that exists. This key, applied with skill, will
open every lock.

From the deepest point of view, the greatest value of this formula is
that it affords, for the first time in history, a basis of reconciliation
between the three great Schools of Magick. It will tend to appease the
eternal conflict by understanding that each type of thought shall go on
its own way, develop its own proper qualities without seeking to inter-
fere with other formulae, however (superficially) opposed to its own.

- 43 -

What is true for every School is equally true for every individual.
Success in life, on the basis of the Law of Thelema, implies severe
self-discipline. Each being must progress, as biology teaches, by
strict adaptation to the conditions of the organism. If, as the Black
School continually asserts, the cause of sorrow is desire, we can still
escape the conclusion by the Law of Thelema. What is necessary is not
to seek after some fantastic ideal, utterly unsuited to our real needs,
but to discover the true nature of those needs, to fulfill them, and
rejoice therein.

This process is what is really meant by initiation; that is to say, the
going into oneself, and making one's peace, so to speak, with all the
forces that one finds there.

It is forbidden here to discuss the nature of _The Book of the Law_, the
Sacred Scripture of Thelema. Even after forty years of close expert
examination, it remains to a great extent mysterious; but the little
we know of it is enough to show that it is a sublime synthesis of all
Science and all ethics. It is by virtue of this Book that man may
attain a degree of freedom hitherto never suspected to be possible, a
spiritual development altogether beyond anything hitherto known; and,
what is really more to the point, a control of external nature which
will make the boasted achievements of the last century appear no more
than childish preliminaries to an incomparably mighty manhood.

It has been said by some that the Law of Thelema appeals only to the
lite of humanity. No doubt here is this much in that assertion, that
only the highest can take full advantage of the extraordinary opportuni-
ties which it offers. At the same time, "the Law is for all." Each in
his degree, every man may learn to realise the nature of his own being,
and to develop it in freedom. It is by this means that the White School
of Magick can justify its past, redeem its present, and assure its
future, by guaranteeing to every human being a life of Liberty and of

Such, then, are the words of Grard Aumont. I should not like to endorse
every phrase; but the whole exposition is so masterly in its terse, tense
vigour, and so unrivalled by any other document at my disposal, that I
thought it best to let you have it in its own original form, with only
those few alterations which lapse of time has made necessary.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. Our own School unites the ruby red of Blood with the gold of the
Sun. It combines the best characteristics of the Yellow and the White
Schools. In the light of M. Aumont's exposition, it is easy to under-

To us, every phenomenon is an Act of Love, Every experience is necessary,

- 44 -

is a Sacrament, is a means of Growth. Hence, "...existence is pure joy;..."
(AL II, 9) "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!"
(AL II, 42-43).

Let this soak in!

- 45 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Very glad I am, since at one time I was obliged to be starkly stern
about impertinent curiosity, to note that your wish to be informed about
the Secret Chiefs of the A.'.A.'. is justified; it is most certainly of
the first importance that you and I should be quite clear in our minds
about Those under whose jurisdiction and tutelage we both work.

The question is beset with thickets of tough thorn; what is worse, the
path is so slippery that nothing is easier than to tumble head first
into the spikiest bush of them all.

You justly remind me that one of my earliest slogans was "Mystery is the
enemy of Truth;" how then is it what I acquiesce in the policy of con-
cealment in a matter so cardinal?

Perhaps the best plan is for me to set down the facts of the case, so
far as is possible, from them it may appear that no alternative policy
is feasible.

The first condition of membership of the A.'.A.'. is that one is sworn
to identify one's own Great Work with that of raising mankind to higher
levels, spiritually, and in every other way.

Accordingly, it stands to reason that those charged with the conduct of
the Order should be at least Masters of the Temple, or their judgment
would be worthless, and at least Magi (though not that particular kind
of Magus who brings the Word of a New Formula to the world every 2,000
years of so) or they would be unable to influence events on any scale
commensurate with the scope of the Work.

Of what nature is this Power, this Authority, this Understanding, this
Wisdom --- Will?

(I go up from Geburah to Chokmah.)

Of the passive side it is comparatively easy to form some idea; for the
qualities essential are mainly extensions of those that all of us possess
in some degree. And whether Understanding - Wisdom is "right" or "wrong"
must be largely a matter of opinion; often Time only can decide such

But for the active side it is necessary to postulate the existence of a
form of Energy at their disposal which is able "to cause change to occur
in conformity with the Will" --- one definition of "Magick".

- 46 -

Now this, as you know, is an exceedingly complex subject; its theory
is tortuous, and its practice encompassed with every kind of difficulty.

Is there no simple method?

Yes: the thaumaturgic engine disposes of a type of energy more adaptable
than Electricity itself, and both stronger and subtler than this, its
analogy in the world of profane science. One might say, that it is elec-
trical, or at least one of the elements in the "Ring-formula" of modern
Mathematical Physics.

In the R.R. et A.C., this is indicated to the Adept Minor by the title
conferred upon him on his initiation to that grade: Hodos Camelionis:
--- the Path of the Chameleon. (This emphasizes the omnivalence of the
force.) In the higher degrees of O.T.O. --- the A.'.A.'. is not fond of
terms like this, which verge on the picturesque --- it is usually called
"the Ophidian Vibrations", thus laying special stress upon its serpentine
strength, subtlety, its control of life and death, and its power to insin-
uate itself into any desired set of circumstances.

It is of this universally powerful weapon that the Secret Chiefs must be
supposed to possess complete control.

They can induce a girl to embroider a tapestry, or initiate a political
movement to culminate in a world-war; all in pursuit of some plan wholly
beyond the purview or the comprehension of the deepest and subtlest

(It should go without saying that the adroit use of these vibrations
enables one to perform all the classical "miracles.")

These powers are stupendous: they seem almost beyond imagination to

"Hic ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono;
Imperium sine fine dedi."

as Vergil, that mighty seer and magician of Rome at her perihelion says
in his First Book of the _Aenead_. (Vergil whose every line is also an
Oracle, the leaves of his book more sacred, more significant, more sure
than those of the Cumaean Sibyl!)

These powers move in dimensions of time and space quite other than those
with which we are familiar. Their values are incomprehensible to us.
To a Secret Chief, wielding this weapon, "The nice conduct of a clouded
cane" might be infinitely more important than a war, famine and pesti-
lence such as might exterminate a third part of the race, to promote
whose welfare is the crux of His oath, and the sole reason of His

But who _are_ They?

Since They are "invisible" and "inaccessible," may They not merely be

- 47 -

figments invented by a self-styled "Master," not quite sure of himself,
to prop his tottering Authority?

Well, the "invisible" and "inaccessible" criticism may equally be
leveled at Captain A. and Admiral B. of the Naval Intelligence
Department. These "Secret Chiefs" keep in the dark for precisely the
same reasons; and these qualities disappear instantaneously the moment
_They_ want to get hold of _you_.

It is written, moreover, "Let my servants be few & secret: they shall
rule the many & the known." (AL I, 10)

But are They then men, in the usual sense of the word? They may be
incarnate or discarnate: it is a matter of Their convenience.

Have They attained Their position by passing through all the grades of
the A.'.A.'.?

Yes and no: the system which was given to me to put forward is only
one of many. "Above the Abyss" all these technical wrinkles are ironed
out. One man whom I suspect of being a Secret Chief has hardly any
acquaintance with the technique of our system at all. That he accepts
_The Book of the Law_ is almost his only link with my work. That, and
his use of the Ophidian Vibrations: I don't know which of us is better
at it, but I am sure that he must be a very long way ahead of me if he
is one of Them.

You have already in these pages and elsewhere in my writings examples
numerous and varied of the way in which They work. The list is far
from complete. The matters of Ab-ul-Diz and of Amalantrah show one
method of communication; then there is the way of direct "inspiration,"
as in the case of "Hermes Eimi" in New Orleans*.

Again, They may send an ordinary living man, whether one of Themselves
or no I cannot feel sure, to instruct me in some task, or to set me
right when I have erred. Then there have been messages conveyed by
natural objects, animate or inanimate**. Needless to say, the outstand-
ing example in my life is the whole Plan of Campaign concerning _The_
_Book of the Law_. But is Aiwaz a man (presumably a Persian or Assyrian)
and a "Secret Chief," or is He an "angel" in the sense that Gabriel is
an angel? Is Ab-ul-Diz an Adept who can project himself into the aura
of some woman with whom I happen to be living, although she has no pre-
vious experience of the kind, or any interest in such matters at all?
Or is He a being whose existence is altogether beyond this plane, only

* I will remember to give you details of these incidents when the
occasion arises.
** One thing I regard from my own experience as certain: when you call,
They come. The circumstances usually show that the call had been fore-
seen, and preparations made to answer it, long before it was made. But
I suppose in some way the call has to justify the making.

- 48 -

adopting human appearance and faculties in order to make Himself sensible
and intelligible to that woman?

I have never attempted to pursue any such enquiry. It was not forbidden;
and yet I felt that it was! I always insisted, of course, on the strict-
est proof that He actually possessed the authority claimed by Him! But
I felt is improper to assume any other initiative. Just a point of good
manners, perhaps?

You ask whether, contact once made, I am able to renew it should I so
wish. Again, yes and no. But the real answer is that no such gesture
on my part can ever be necessary. For one thing, the "Chief" is so far
above me that I can rely on Him to take the necessary steps, whenever
contact would be useful; for another, there is one path always open
which is perfectly sufficient for all possible contingencies.

Elsewhere I will explain why they picked out so woebegone a ragamuffin
as myself to proclaim the Word of the Aeon, and do all the chores appur-
tenant to that particular Work.

The Burden is heavier as the years go by; but --- Perdurabo.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. Reading this typescript over for "literals," it struck me that you
would ask, very reasonably: "But if the Secret Masters have these bound-
less powers, why do They allow you to be plagued by printers, held up
for lack of secretaries, worried by all sorts of practical problems?
. . . Why, in a word, does anything ever go wrong?"

There are several lines of reply; coalescing, they suffice:

1. What is "wrong?" Since four wars is Their idea of "right," you may
well ask by what standard you may judge events.

2. Their Work is creative; They operate on the dull mass of unrealized
possibilities. Thus they meet, firstly, the opposition of Inertia;
secondly, the recoil, the reaction, the rebound.

3. Things theoretically feasible are practically impossible when (a)
desirable though their accomplishment may be, it is not the one feat
essential to the particular Work in hand and the moment; (b) the sum
total of available energy being used up by that special task, there is
none available for side-issues; (c) the opposition, passive or active,
is too strong, temporarily, to overcome.

More largely, one cannot judge how a plan is progressing when one has
no precise idea what it is. A soldier is told to "attack;" he may be

- 49 -

intended to win through, to cover a general retreat, or to gain time by
deliberate sacrifice. Only the Commander in Chief knows what the order
means, or why he issues it; and even he does not know the issue, or
whether it will display and justify his military skill and judgment.

Our business is solely to obey orders: our responsibility ends when we
have satisfied ourselves that they emanate from a source which has the
right to command.

P.P.S. A visitor's story has just reminded me of the possibility that
I am a Secret Chief myself without knowing it: for I have sometimes
been recognized by other people as having acted as such, though I was
not aware of the fact at the time.

- 50 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

You actually want to know how to distinguish gold from copper pyrites^ ---
"fool's gold" they called it in '49 California --- no! I wasn't there ---
or "absolute" alcohol and --- Liqueur Whisky from "alki" (commercial alcohol ---
see Jack London's _The Princess_, a magnificent story --- don't miss it!)
and Wartime Scotch as sold in most British pubs in 1944, _era vulgari_.

One pretty good plan is to take a masterpiece, pick out a page at random,
translate it into French or German or whatever language you like best,
walk around your chair three times (so as to forget the English) and then
translate it back again.

You will gather a useful impression of the value of the masterpiece by
noticing the kind of difficulty that arises in the work of translation;
more, by observing the effect produced on you by reading over the result;
and finally, by estimating the re-translation; has the effect of the
original been enhanced by the work done on it? Has it become more lucid?
Has it actually given you the information which it purported to do?

(I am giving you credit for very unusual ability; this test is not easy
to make; and, obviously, you may have spoilt the whole composition,
especially where its value depends on its form rather than on its sub-
stance. But we are not considering poetry, or poetic prose; all we
want is intelligible meaning.)

It does not follow that a passage is nonsensical because you fail to
understand it; it may simply be too hard for you. When Bertrand Russell
writes "We say that a function R is 'ultimately Q-convergent ' if
there is a member y of the converse domain of R and the field of Q such
that the value of the function for the argument y and for any argument
to which y has the relation Q is a member of ." Do we?

But you do not doubt that if you were to learn the meaning of all these
unfamiliar terms, you would be able to follow his thought.

Now take a paragraph from an "occult teacher."

What's more, I'll give you wheat, not tares; it seems terrifyingly easy
for sound instruction to degenerate in to a "pi-jaw." Here goes!

"To don Nirmanakaya's humble robe is to forego eternal bliss for
self, to help on man's salvation. To reach Nirvana's bliss but to
renounce it, is the supreme, the final step --- the highest on Renun-
ciation's Path."

Follows a common-sense comment by Frater O.M.

^ WEH NOTE: If Homer can nod, so can Crowley. The mineral called _fool's_
_gold_ is actually _iron pyrites_, not copper. It has a brassy look, and that
might account for this error.

- 51 -

"All this about Gautama Buddha having renounced Nirvana is apparently
all a pure invention of Mme. Blavatsky, and has no authority in the
Buddhist canon. The Buddha is referred to, again and again, as having
'passed away by that kind of passing away which leaves nothing what-
ever behind.' The account of his doing this is given in the
_Mahaparinibbana Sutta_; and it was the contention of the Toshophists
that this 'great, sublime Nibbana story' was something peculiar to
Gautama Buddha. They began to talk about Parinibbana, super-Nibbana,
as if there were some way of subtracting one from one which would
leave a higher, superior kind of a nothing, or as if there were some
way of blowing out a candle which would leave Moses in a much more
Egyptian darkness than we ever supposed when we were children.

"This is not science. This is not business. This is American Sun-
day journalism. The Hindu and the American are very much alike in
this innocence, this 'naivet' which demands fairy stories with ever
bigger giants. They cannot bear the idea of anything being complete
and done with. So, they are always talking in superlatives, and are
hard put to it when the facts catch up with them, and they have to
invent new superlatives. Instead of saying that there are bricks of
various sizes, and specifying those sizes, they have a brick and a
super-brick, and 'one' brick, and 'some' brick; and when they have
got to the end they chase through the dictionary for some other
epithet to brick, which shall excite the sense of wonder at the
magnificent progress and super-progress --- I present the American
public with this word --- which is supposed to have been made. Probably
the whole thing is a bluff without a single fact behind it. Almost
the whole of the Hindu psychology is an example of this kind of
journalism. They are not content with the supreme God. The other
man wishes to show off by having a supremer God than that, and when
a third man comes along and finds them disputing, it is up to him to
invent a supremest super-God.

"It is simply ridiculous to try to add to the definition of Nibbana
by this invention of Parinibbana, and only talkers busy themselves
with these fantastic speculations. The serious student minds his
own business, which is the business in hand. The President of a
Corporation does not pay his bookkeeper to make a statement of the
countless billions of profit to be made in some future year. It
requires no great ability to string a row of zeros after a signifi-
cant figure until the ink runs out. What is wanted is the actual
balance of the week.

"The reader is most strongly urged not to permit himself to indulge
in fantastic flights of thought, which are the poison of the mind,
because they represent an attempt to run away from reality, a dis-
persion of energy and a corruption of moral strength. His business
is, firstly, to know himself; secondly, to order and control him-
self; thirdly, to develop himself on sound organic lines little by
little. The rest is only leather and prunella.

"There is, however, a sense in which the service of humanity is


necessary to the completeness of the Adept. He is not to fly away
too far.

"Some remarks on this course are given in the note to the next verse.

"The student is also advised to take note of the conditions of member-
ship of the A.'.A.'.". (_Equinox_ III, Supplement pp. 57 - 59).

So much for the green tree; now for the dry!

We come down to the average popular "teacher," the mere humbug. Read
this: ---

"One day quite soon an entirely different kind of electricity will
be discovered which will bring as many profound changes into human
living as the first type did. This new electricity will move in a
finer ether than does our familiar kind, and thus will be nearer in
vibration to the fifth dimension, to the innermost source of things,
that realm of 'withinness' wherein all is held poised by a colossal
force, that same force which is packed within the atom. Electricity
number two will be unthinkably more powerful than our present elec-
tricity number one." (V.S. Alder, _The Fifth Dimension_, p. 132)

Exhausted; I must restring my bow.

Love is the law, love under will.



- 53 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I do not think that it was any new kind of electricity. I think it was
the passage itself that has given me neuralgia. It disgusts me beyond

To put the matter in a nutshell, tersely, concisely, succinctly, the
world is being corrupted by all this ---

Asthmatic Thinking Torpid Thinking Nauseous Thinking
Bovine T. Uncertain T. Old-maidish T.
Chawbacon T. Venomous T. Purgative T.
Diffuse T. Whelp T. Querulous T.
Excretory T. Yahoo T. Rat-riddled T.
Fog-bound T. Zig-zag T. Superficial T.
Gossiping T. Ambivalent T. Tinsel T.
Higgledy-piggledy T. Broken T. Unbalanced T.
Ill-mannered T. Corked T. Viscous T.
Jibbing T. Disjointed T. Windy T.
Kneeling T. Eight-anna T. Yapping T.
Leaden T. Flibberty-gibbet T. Zymotic T.
Moulting T. Glum T. Addled T.
Neurotic T. High-falutin' T. Blear-eyed T.
Orphan T. Invertebrate T. Capsized T.
Peccable T. Jazzy T. Down-at-heel T.
Queasy T. Knavish T. Evasive T.
Rococo T. Leucorrhoeic T. Formless T.
Slavish T. Motheaten T. Guilty T.
Hypocritical T. Unsystematic Lachrymose T.
Ignorant T. Void T. Maudlin T.
Jerry-built T. Waggly T. Neighing T.
Knock-kneed T. Atrophied T. Odious T.
Lazy T. Bloated T. Pedestrian T.
Messy T. Cancerous T. Quavering T.
Nasty T. Dull T. Ragbag T.
Oleaginous T. Eurasian T. Sappy T.
Purulent T. Futile T. Tuberculous T.
Slattern T. Immature T. Veneered T.
Unkempt T. Beige T. Woolly T.
Over-civilized T. Emaciated T. Flat T.
Gluey T. Dislocated T. Emetic T.
Crippled T. Slushy T. Insanitary T.
Foggy T. Teaparty T. Gloomy T.
Wordy T. Negroid T. Jaundiced T.
Opportunish T. Babbling T. Pedantic T.
Muddy T. Onanistic T. Flatulent T.

- 54 -

Unclean T. Hybrid T. Sluttish T.
Flabby T. Nebulous T. Stale T.
Unsorted T. Hurried T. Mangy T.
Prim T. Empty T. Portentous T.
Theatrical T. Vain T. Loose T.
Vaporous T. Loose T. Wooden T.
Myopic T. Bloodless T. Soapy T.
Flimsy T. Ersatz T. Gabbling T.
Unfinished T. Pontifical T. Wishful T.
Mongrel T. Unripe T. Frock-coated T.
Irrelevant T. Glossy T. Fashionable T.
Hidebound T. Officious T. Unmanly T.
Snobbish T. Misleading T. Slippery T. *

as we find in Brunton, Besant, Clymer, Max Heindl, Ouspensky and in the
catchpenny frauds of the secret-peddlers, the U.B., the O.H.M., the
A.M.O.R.C., and all the other gangs of self-styled Rosicrucians; they
should be hissed off the stage.

We want it dinkum!
Advance Australia!
Stick to your flag!
March to your National Anthem: ---
"Get a bloody move on!
Get some bloody sense
Learn the bloody art of

So much for Buckingham!

Now that we are agreed upon the conditions to be satisfied if we are to
allow that a given proposition contains a Thought at all, it is proper
to turn our attention to the relative value of different kinds of thought.
This question is of the very first importance: the whole theory of Edu-
cation depends upon a correct standard. There are facts and facts: one
would not necessarily be much the wiser if one got the _Encyclopaedia_
_Britannica_ by heart, or the Tables of Logarithms. The one aim of Mathema-
tics, in fact --- Whitehead points this out in his little _Shilling Arithmetic_
--- is to make one fact do the work of thousands.

What we are looking for is a working Hierarchy of Facts.

That takes us back at once to our original "addition and subtraction" remark
in my letter on Mind. Classification, the first step, proceeds by putting
similar things together, and dissimilar things apart.

One asset in the Audit of a fact is the amount of knowledge which it covers.
(2 + 5){2} = 49; (3 + 4){2} = 49; (6 + 2){2} =64; (7 + 1){2} = 64;

* [Note by editor: --- In the original Manuscript the list of adjectives
on page 54 and 55 contains about 1,000 words; a small selection
only has been used.]

- 55 -

(9 + 4){2} = 169 are isolated facts, no more; worse, the coincidences of
49 and 64 might start the wildest phantasies in your heard --- "something
mysterious about this." But if you write "The sum of the squares of any
two numbers is the sum of the square of each plus twice their multiple"
--- (a + b){2} = a{2} + b{2} --- you have got a fact which covers every
possible case, and exhibits one aspect of the nature of numbers them-
selves. The importance of a word increases as its rank, from the parti-
cular and concrete to the general and abstract. (It is curious that the
highest values of all, the "Laws of Nature," are never exactly "true" for
any two persons, for one person can never observe the _identical_ phenomena
sensible to another, since two people cannot be in exactly the same place
at exactly the same time: yet it is just these facts that are equally
true for all men.)

Observe, I pray, the paramount importance of memory. From one point of
view (bless your heart!) you are nothing at all but a bundle of memories.
When you say "this is happening _now_," you are a falsifier of God's sacred
truth! When I say "I see a horse", the truth is that "I record in those
terms my private hieroglyphic interpretation of the unknown and unknowable
phenomenon (or 'point-event') which has more or less recently taken place
at the other end of my system of receiving impressions."

(Is this clear? I do hope so; if not, make me go on at it until it is.)

Well, then! You realize, of course, how many millions or billions of
memories there must be to compose any average well-trained mind. Those
strings of adjectives all sprang spontaneously; I did not look them up
in books of reference; so imagine the extent of my full vocabulary!
And words are but the half-baked bricks with which one constructs.

Millions, yes: billions probably: but there is a limit.

See to it, then, that you accept no worthless material; that you select,
and select again, always in proper order and proportion; organize,
structuralize your thought, always with the one aim in view of accomplish-
ing the Great Work.

Well, now, before going further into this, I must behave like an utter
cad, and disgrace my family tree, and blot my 'scutcheon and my copy-
book by confusing you about "realism." Excuse: not my muddle; it was
made centuries ago by a gang of cursd monks, headed by one Duns Scotus ---
so-called because he was Irish --- or if not by somebody else equally
objectionable. They held to the Platonic dogma of archetypes. They
maintained that there was an original (divine) idea such as "greenness"
or a "pig," and that a green pig, as observed in nature, was just one
example of these two ideal essences. They were opposed by the "nominal-
ists," who said, to the contrary, that "greenness" or "a pig" were nothing
in themselves; they were mere names (nominalism from Lat. _nomen_, a name)
invented for convenience of grouping. This doctrine is plain common-
sense, and I shall waste no time in demolishing the realists.

All __ _priori_ thinking, the worst kind of thinking, goes with "realism"

- 56 -

in this sense.

And now you look shocked and surprised! And no wonder! What (you exclaim)
is the whole Qabalistic doctrine but the very apotheosis of this "realism"?
(It was also called "idealism", apparently to cheer and comfort the student
on his rough and rugged road!) Is not Atziluth the "archetypal world?"
is not ---

Oh, all right, all _right_! Keep your blouse on! I didn't go for to do it.
You're quite right: the Tree of Life _is_ like that, in appearance. But
that is the wrong way to look at it. We get our number two, for example,
as "that which is common to a bird's legs, a man's ears, twins, the cube
root of eight, the greater luminaries, the spikes of a pitchfork," etc.
but, having got it, we must not go on to argue that the number two being
possessed of this and that property, therefore there _must_ be two of some-
thing or other which for one reason or another we cannot count on our

The trouble is that sometimes we _can_ do so; we are very often obliged to
do so, and it comes out correct. But we must not trust any such theorem;
it is little more than a hint to help us in our guesses. Example: an
angel appears and tells us that his name is MALIEL (MLIAL) which adds to
111, the third of the numbers of the Sun. Do we conclude that his nature
is solar? In this case, yes, perhaps, because, (on the theory) he took
that name for the very reason that it chimed with his nature. But a man
may reside at 81 Silver Street without being a lunatic, or be born at
five o'clock on the 5th of May, 1905, and make a very poor soldier.

"No, no, my dear sister, how tempted soever,
To nominalism be faithful forever!"

(If you want to be very learned indeed, read up Bertrand Russell on

Enough, more than enough, of this: let us return to the relative value
of various types of thought.

I think you already understand the main point: you must structuralise
your thinking. You must learn how to differentiate and how to integrate
your thoughts. Nothing exists in isolation; it is always conditioned
by its relations with other things; indeed, in one sense, a thing is no
more than the sum of these relations. (For the only "reality," in the
long run, is, as we have seen, a Point of View.)

Now, this task of organizing the mind, of erecting a coherent and intel-
ligible structure, is enormously facilitated by the Qabalah.

When, in one of those curious fits of indisposition of which you periodi-
cally complain, and of which the cause appears to you so obscure, you see
pink leopards on the staircase, mmmmm "Ah! the colour of the King Scale
of Tiphareth - Oh! the form of Leo, probably in the Queen Scale" and
thereby increase your vocabulary by these two items. Then, perhaps,

- 57 -

someone suggests that indiscretion in the worship of Dionysus is respon-
sible for the observed phenomena --- well, there's Tiphareth again at once;
the Priest, moreover, wears a leopard-skin, and the spots suggest the
Sun. Also, Sol is Lord of Leo: so there you are! pink leopards are
exactly what you have a right to expect!

Until you have practiced this method, all day and every day, for quite
a long while, you cannot tell how amazingly your mnemonic power increases
by virtue thereof. But be careful always to range the new ideas as they
come along in their right order of importance.

It is not unlike the system of keys used in big establishments, such as
hotels. First, a set of keys, each of which opens one door, and one
door only. Then, a set which opens all the doors on one floor only.
And so on, until the one responsible person who has one unique key which
opens every lock in the building.

There is another point about this while System of the Qabalah. It does
more than merely increase the mnemonic faculty by 10,000% or so; the
habit of throwing your thoughts about, manipulating them, giving them
a wash and brush-up, packing them away into their proper places in you
"Crystal Cabinet," gives you immensely increased power over them.

In particular, it helps you to rid them of the emotional dirt which
normally clogs them*; you become perfectly indifferent to any implica-
tion but their value in respect of the whole system; and this is of
incalculable help in the acquisition of new ides. It is the difference
between a man trying to pick a smut out of his wife's eye with clumsy,
greasy fingers coarsened by digging drains, and an oculist furnished with
a speculum and all the instruments exactly suited to the task.

Yet another point. Besides getting rid of the emotions and sensations
which cloud the thought, the fact that you are constantly asking your-
self "Now, in which drawer of which cabinet does this thought go?"
automatically induces you to regard the system as the important factor
in the operation, if only because it is common to every one of them.

So not only have you freed Sanna (perception) from the taint of Vedana
(sensation) but raised it (or demolished it, if your prefer to look at
it in that light!) to be merely a member of the Sankhra (tendency)
class, thus boosting you vigorously to the fourth stage, the last before
the last! of the practice of Mahasatipathana.

Just one more word about the element of Vedana. The Intellect is a
purely mechanical contrivance, as accurate and as careless of what it
turns out as a Cash Register. It receives impressions, calculates,
states the result: that is A double L, ALL!

* I hope there is no need to repeat that whether any given thought is
pleasant, or undersirable, or otherwise soiled by Vedana, is _totally_

- 58 -

Try never to qualify a thought in any way, to see it as it is in itself
in relation to those other elements which are necessary to make it what
it is.

Above all, do not "mix the planes." A dagger may be sharp or blunt,
straight or crooked; it is not "wicked-looking," or even "trusty,"
except in so far as the quality of its steel makes it so. A cliff is
not "frowning" or "menacing." A snow-covered glacier is not "treacher-
ous:" to say so means only that Alpine Clubmen and other persons
ignorant of mountain craft are unable to detect the position of covered

All such points you must decide for yourself; the important thing is
that you should _challenge_ any such ideas.

Above all, do not avoid, or slur, unwelcome trains of thought or distres-
sing problems. Don't say "he passed on" when you mean "he died," and
don't call a spade a bloody shovel!

Thresh out such matters with Osiris' flail; on the winnowing-fan of

Truth in itself is beautiful, and the best bower-anchor of your ship;
every truth fits all the rest of truth; and the most alluring lies
will never do that.

"The toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in its head."

and the result of letting

"Two ghastly scullions concoct mess
With brimstone, pitch, vitriol, and devil's dung."

in the end repay investigation.

_The vision and the Voice_ again, please! That frightful Curse --- how every
phrase turns out to be a Blessing!

I shall break off this brief note at this point, so that you may have
time to tell me if what I have so far said covers the whole ground of
your enquiry.

Love is the law, love under will.



- 59 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

It is the introduction of the word "self" that has raised such prickly
questions. It really is a little bewildering; the signpost "Right-
hand Path", "Left-hand Path", seems rather indecipherable; and then,
for such a long way, they look exactly alike. At what point do they

Actually, the answers are fairly simple.

As far as the achievement or attainment is concerned, the two Paths are
in fact identical. In fact, one almost feels obliged to postulate some
inmost falsity, completely impossible to detect, inherent at the very
earliest stages.

For the decision which determines the catastrophe confronts only the
Adeptus Exemptus 7 = 4. Until that grade is reached, and that very
fully indeed, with all the buttons properly sewed on, one is not capable
of understanding what is meant by the Abyss. Unless "all you have and
all you are" is identical with the Universe, its annihilation would
leave a surplus.

Mark well this first distinction: the "Black Magician" or Sorcerer is
hardly even a distant cousin of the "Black Brother." The difference
between a sneak-thief and a Hitler is not too bad an analogy.

The Sorcerer may be --- indeed he usually is --- a thwarted disappointed
man whose aims are perfectly natural. Often enough, his real trouble
is ignorance; and by the time he has become fairly hot stuff as a
Black Magician, he has learnt that he is getting nowhere, and finds
himself, despite himself, on the True Path of the Wise.

"Invoking Zeus to swell the power of Pan,
The prayer discomfits the demented man;
Lust lies as still as Love."

Thereupon he casts away his warlock apparatus like a good little boy,
finds the A.'.A.'., and lives happily ever after.

The Left-hand Path is a totally different matter. Let us start at the

You remember my saying that only two operations were possible in Nature:
addition and subtraction. Let us apply this to magical progress.

What happens when the Aspirant invokes Diana, or calls up Lilith? He

- 60 -

increases the sum of his experiences in these particular ways. Some-
times he has a "liaison-experience," which links two main lines of
thought, and so is worth dozens of isolated gains.

Now, if there is any difference at all between the White and the Black
Adept in similar case, it is that the one, working by "love under will"
achieves a marriage with the new idea, while the other, merely grabbing,
adds a concubine to his harem of slaves.

The about-to-be-Black Brother constantly restricts himself; he is satis-
fied with a very limited ideal; he is afraid of losing his individuality
--- reminds one of the "Nordic" twaddle about "race-pollution."

Have you seen the sand-roses of the Sahara? Such is the violence of the
Khamsin that it whips grains of sand together, presses them, finally
builds them into great blocks, big enough and solid enough to be used
for walls in the oasis. And beautiful! Whew! For all that, they are
not real rocks. Leave hem in peace, with no possible interference ---
what happens? (I brought some home, and put them "in safety" as curio-
sities, and as useful psychometrical tests.) Alas! Time is enough.
Go to the drawer which held them; nothing remains but little piles of

"Now Master!" (What reproach in the tone of your voice!) All right,
all right! Keep your hair on! --- I know that is the precise term used
in _The Vision and the Voice_, to describe the Great White Brother or the
Babe of the Abyss; but to him it means victory; to the Left-Hander it
would mean defeat, ruin devastating, irremediable, final. It is exactly
that which he most dreads; and it is that to which he must in the end
come, because there is no compensating element in his idea of structure.
Nations themselves never grow permanently by smash-and-grab methods;
one merely acquires a sore spot, as in the case of Lorraine, perhaps
even Eire. (Though Eire is using just that formula of Restriction,
shutting herself up in her misery and poverty and idiot pride, when a
real marriage with and dissolution in, a real live country would give
her new life. The "melting-pot" idea is the great strength of America.)

Consider the Faubourg St. Germain aristocracy --- now hardly even a senti-
mental memory. The guillotine did not kill them; it was their own
refusal to adapt themselves to the new biological conditions of political
life. It was indeed their restriction that rotted them in the first
instance; had Lafayette or Mirabeau been trusted with full power, and
supplied with adequate material, a younger generation of virtue, the
monarchy might still be ruling France.

But then (you ask) how can a man go so far wrong after he has, as an
Adeptus Minor, attained the "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy
Guardian Angel"?

Recall the passage in the 14th Aethyr "See where thine Angel hath led
Thee", and so on. Perhaps the Black Brother deserts his Angel when he
realises the Programme.

- 61 -

Perhaps his error was so deeply rooted, from the very beginning, that
it was his Evil Genius that he evoked.

In such cases the man's policy is of course to break off all relations
with the Supernal Triad, and to replace it by inventing a false crown,
Dath. To them Knowledge will be everything, and what is Knowledge but
the very soul of Illusion?

Refusing thus the true nourishment of all his faculties, they lose their
structural unity, and must be fortified by continuous doses of dope in
anguished self-preservation. Thus all its chemical equations become

I do hope I am making myself clear; it is a dreadfully subtle line of
thought. But I think you ought to be able to pick up the essential
theorem; your own meditations, aided by the relevant passages in _Liber_
_418_ and elsewhere, should do the rest.

To describe the alternative attitude should clarify, by dint of contrast;
at least the contemplation should be a pleasant change.

Every accretion must modify me. I want it to do so. I want to assimi-
late it absolutely. I want to make it a permanent feature of my Temple.
I am not afraid of losing myself to it, if only because it also is modi-
fied by myself in the act of union. I am not afraid of its being the
"wrong" thing, because _every_ experience is a "play of Nuit," and the
worst that can happen is a temporary loss of balance, which is instantly
adjusted, as soon as it is noticed, by recalling and putting into action
the formula of contradiction.

Remember the _Fama Fraternitatis_: when they opened the Vault which held
the Pastos of our Father Christian Rosencreuz, "all these colours were
brilliant and flashing." That is, if one panel measured 10" x 40", the
symbol (say, yellow) would occupy 400 square inches, and the background
(in that case, violet) the other 400 square inches. Hence they _dazzled_;
the limitation, restriction, demarcation, disappeared; and the result
was an equable idea of form and colour which is beyond physical under-
standing. (At one time Picasso tried to work out this idea on canvas.)
Destroy that equilibrium by one tenmillionth of an inch, and the effect
is lost. The unbalanced item stands out like a civilian in the middle
of a regiment.

True, this faculty, this _feeling_ for equilibrium must be acquired; but
once you have done so, it is an unerring guide. Instant discomfort
warns one; the impulse to scratch it (the analogy is too apt to reject!)
is irresistible.

And oh! how imperative this is!

Unless your Universe is perfect --- and perfection _includes_ the idea of
balance --- how can you come even to Atmadarshana? Hindus may maintain
that Atmadarshana, or at any rate Shivadarshana, is the equivalent of

- 62 -

crossing the Abyss. Beware of any such conclusions! The Trances are
simply isolated experiences, sharply cut off from normal thought-life.
To cross the Abyss is a permanent and fundamental revolution in the whole
of one's being.

Much more, upon the brink of the Abyss. If there be missing or redundant
even one atom, the entire monstrous, the portentous mass must tend to
move with irresistible impact, in such direction as to restore the equi-
librium. To deflect it --- well, think of a gyroscope! How then can you
destroy it in one sole stupendous gesture? Ah! Listen to _The Vision and_
_the Voice_.

Perhaps the best and simplest plan is for me to pick out the most impor-
tant of the relevant passages and put them together as an appendix to
this letter. Also, by contrast, those allusions to the "Black Brothers"
and the "Left-hand Path." This ought to give you a clear idea of what
each is, and does; of what distinguishes their respective methods in
some ways so confusingly alike. I hope indeed most sincerely that you
will whet your Magical Dagger on the Stone of the Wise, and wield most
deftly and determinedly both the White-handled and the Black-handled
Burin. In trying to express these opinions, I am constantly haunted by
the dread that I may be missing some crucial point, or even allowing a
mere quibble to pass for argument. It makes it only all the worse when
one has become so habituated by Neschamic ideas, to knowing, even before
one says it, that what one is going to say is of necessity untrue, as
untrue as it is contradictory. So what can it possibly matter what one

Such doubts are dampers!

"Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!"

Here follow the quotations from _The Vision and the Voice._

"The Angel Re-appears"

"The blackness gathers about, so thick, so clinging, so penetrating, so
oppressive, that all the other darkness that I have ever conceived would
be like bright light beside it.

"His voice comes in a whisper: O thou that art master of the fifty gates
of Understanding, is not my mother a black woman? O thou that art master
of the Pentagram, is not the egg of spirit a black egg? Here abideth
terror, and the blind ache of the Soul, and lo! even I, who am the sole
light, a spark shut up, stand in the sign of Apophis and Typhon.

"I am the snake that devoureth the spirit of man with the lust of light.
I am the sightless storm in the night that wrappeth the world about with
desolation. Chaos is my name, and thick darkness. Know thou that the
darkness of the earth is ruddy, and the darkness of the air is grey, but
the darkness of the soul is utter blackness.

"The egg of the spirit is a basilisk egg, and the gates of the

- 63 -

understanding are fifty, that is the sign of the Scorpion. The pillars
about the Neophyte are crowned with flame, and the vault of the Adepts
is lighted by the Rose. And in the abyss is the eye of the hawk. But
upon the great sea shall the Master of the Temple find neither star nor

"And I was about to answer him: 'The light is within me.' But before
I could frame the words, he answered me with the great word that is the
Key of the Abyss. And he said: Thou hast entered the night; dost thou
yet lust for day? Sorrow is my name and affliction. I am girt about
with tribulation. Here still hangs the Crucified One, and here the
Mother weeps over the children that she hath not borne. Sterility is
my name and desolation. Intolerable is thine ache, and incurable thy
wound. I said, 'Let the darkness cover me;' and behold, I am compassed
about with the blackness that hath no name. O thou, who hast cast down
the light into the earth, so must thou do for ever. And the light of the
sun shall not shine upon thee and the moon shall not lend thee of her
luster, and the stars shall be hidden because thou art passed beyond
these things, beyond the need of these things, beyond the desire of these

"What I thought were shapes of rocks, rather felt than seen, now appear
to be veiled Masters, sitting absolutely still and silent. Nor can any
one be distinguished from the others.

"And the Angel sayeth: Behold where thine Angel hath led thee! Thou
didst ask fame, power and pleasure, health and wealth and love, and
strength and length of days. Thou didst hold life with eight tentacles,
like an octopus. Thou didst seek the four powers and the seven delights
and the twelve emancipations, and lo! thou art become as one of These.
Bowed are their backs, whereon resteth the Universe. Veiled are their
faces, that have beheld the glory Ineffable.

"These adepts seem like Pyramids --- their hoods and robes are like Pyramids.

"And the Angel sayeth: Verily is the Pyramid a Temple of Initiation.
Verily also is it a tomb. Thinkest thou that there is life within the
Masters of the Temple that sit hooded, encamped upon the Sea? Verily,
there is no life in them.

"Their sandals were the pure light, and they have taken them from their
feet and cast them down through the abyss; for this Aethyr is holy

"Herein no forms appear, and the vision of God face to face, that is
transmuted in the Athanor called dissolution, or hammered into one in
the forge of meditation, is in this place but a blasphemy and a mockery.

"And the Beatific Vision is no more, and the glory of the Most High is
no more. There is no more knowledge. There is no more bliss. There is
no more power, There is no more beauty. For this is the Palace of

- 64 -

Understanding; for thou art one with the Primeval things.

"Drink in the myrrh of my speech, that is bruised with the gall of the
roc, and dissolved in the ink of the cuttle-fish, and perfumed with the
deadly nightshade.

"This is thy wine, who wast drunk upon the wine of Iacchus. And for
bread shalt thou eat salt, O thou on the corn of Ceres that didst wax
fat! For as pure being is pure nothing, so is pure wisdom pure . . .*,
and so is pure understanding silence, and stillness, and darkness. The
eye is called seventy, and the triple Aleph whereby thou perceivest it,
divideth into the number of the terrible word that is the Key of the

"I am Hermes, that am sent from the Father to expound all things dis-
creetly in these the last words that thou shalt hear before thou take
thy seat among these, whose eyes are sealed up and whose ears are stopped,
and whose mouths are clenched, who are folded in upon themselves, the
liquor of whose bodies is dried up, so that nothing remains but a little
pyramid of dust.

"And that bright light of comfort, and that piercing sword of truth, and
all the power and beauty that they have made of themselves, is cast from
them, as it is written, 'I saw Satan like lightning fall from heaven.'
And as a flaming sword is it dropt though the Abyss, where the four
beasts keep watch and ward. And it appeareth in the heaven of Jupiter
as a morning star, or as an evening star. And the light thereof shineth
even unto the earth, and bringeth hope and help to them that dwell in
the darkness of thought, and drink of the poison of life. Fifty are the
gates of Understanding, and one hundred and six are the seasons thereof.
And the name of every season is Death." (_The Vision and the Voice_. 14th

And for his Work thereafter?

"So we enter the earth, and there is a veiled figure, in absolute dark-
ness. Yet it is perfectly possible to see in it, so that the minutest
details do not escape us. And upon the root of one flower he pours acid
so that the root writhes as if in torture. And another he cuts, and the
shriek is like the shriek of a Mandrake, torn up by the roots. And
another he sears with fire, and yet another he anoints with oil.

"And I said: Heavy is the labour, but great indeed is the reward.

"And the young man answered me: He shall not see the reward; he tendeth
the garden.

"And I said: What shall come unto him?

"And he said: This thou canst not know, nor is it revealed by the letters

* I suppose that only a Magus could have heard this word.

- 65 -

that are the totems of the stars, but only by the stars.

"And he says to me, quite disconnectedly: The man of earth is the
adherent. The lover giveth his life unto the work among men. The
hermit goeth solitary, and giveth only of his light unto men.

"And I ask him: Why does he tell me that?

"And he says: I tell thee not. Thou tellest thyself, for thou hast
pondered thereupon for many days, and hast not found light. And now
that thou art called NEMO, the answer to every riddle that thou hast
not found shall spring up in thy mind, unsought. Who can tell upon
what day a flower shall bloom?

"And thou shalt give thy wisdom unto the world, and that shall be thy
garden. And concerning time and death, thou hast naught to do with
these things. For though a precious stone be hidden in the sand of the
desert, it shall not heed for the wind of the desert, although it be
but sand. For the worker of works hath worked thereupon; and because
it is clear, it is invisible; and because it is hard, it moveth not.

"All these words are heard by everyone that is called NEMO. And with
that doth he apply himself to understanding. And he must understand
the virtue of the waters of death, and he must understand the virtue
of the sun and of the wind, and of the worm that turneth the earth, and
of the stars that roof in the garden. And he must understand the sepa-
rate nature and property of every flower, or how shall he tend his
garden?" (Ibid. 13th Aethyr.)

Thus for the Masters of the Temple; for the Black Brothers, how?

"For Choronzon is as it were the shell or excrement of these three paths,
and therefore is his head raised unto Dath, and therefore have the
Black Brotherhood declared him to be the child of Wisdom and Understand-
ing, who is but the bastard of the Svastika^. And this is that which is
written in the Holy Qabalah, concerning the Whirlpool and Leviathan,
and the Great Stone. (Ibid. 3rd Aethyr)

"Moreover, there is Mary, a blasphemy against Babalon, for she hath shut
herself up; and therefore is she the Queen of all those wicked devils
that walk upon the earth, those that thou sawest even as little black
specks that stained the Heaven of Urania. And all these are the excre-
ment of Choronzon.

"And for this is BABALON under the power of the Magician, that she hath
submitted herself unto the work; and she guardeth the Abyss. And in
her is a perfect purity of that which is above, yet she is sent as the
Redeemer to them that are below. For there is no other way into the
Supernal mystery but through her and the Beast on which she rideth; and
the Magician is set beyond her to deceive the brothers of blackness,
lest they should make unto themselves a crown; for it there were two
crowns, then should Ygdrasil, that ancient tree, be cast out into the

^ WEH NOTE: This cannot be taken as a direct reference to Hitler, as it was
written in 1909 e.v. Prophesy? Perhaps, but a close reading indicates a
different meaning.

- 66 -

Abyss, uprooted and cast down into the Outermost Abyss, and the Arcanum
which is in the Adytum should be profaned; and the Ark should be touched,
and the Lodge spied upon by them that are not masters, and the bread of
the Sacrament should be the dung of Choronzon; and the wine of the
Sacrament should be the water of Choronzon; and the incense should be
dispersion; and the fire upon the Altar should be hate. But lift up
thyself; stand, play the man, for behold! there shall be revealed unto
thee the Great Terror, the thing of awe that hath no name." (Ibid. 3rd

"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 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 again: ---

"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 how-
ling, 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." (Ibid. 7th Aethyr.)

Moreover, this also:

"And this is the meaning of the Supper of the Passover, the spilling of
the blood of the Lamb being a ritual of the Dark Brothers, for they have
sealed up the Pylon with blood, lest the Angel of Death should enter
therein. Thus do they shut themselves off from the company of the saints.
Thus do they keep themselves from compassion and from understanding.

- 67 -

Accursed are they, for they shut up their blood in their heart.

"They keep themselves from the kisses of my Mother Babylon, and in their
lonely fortresses they pray to the false moon. And they bind themselves
together with an oath, and with a great curse. And of their malice they
conspire together, and they have power, and mastery, and in their caul-
drons do they brew the harsh wine of delusion, mingled with the poison
of their selfishness.

"Thus they make war upon the Holy one, sending forth their delusion upon
men, and upon everything that liveth. So that their false compassion is
called compassion, and their false understanding is called understanding,
for this is their most potent spell.

"Yet of their own poison do they perish, and in their lonely fortresses
shall they be eaten up by Time that hath cheated them to serve him, and
by the mighty devil Choronzon, their master, whose name is the second
Death, for the blood that they have sprinkled on their Pylon, that is a
bar against the Angel Death, is the key by which he entereth in.*" (Ibid.
12th Aethyr.)


"Yet must he that understandeth go forth unto the outermost Abyss, and
there must he speak with him that is set above the four-fold terror, the
Prince of Evil, even with Choronzon, the mighty devil that inhabiteth
the outermost Abyss. And none may speak with him, or understand him,
but the servants of Babylon, that understand, and they that are without
understanding, his servants.

"Behold! it entereth not into the heart, nor into the mind of man to
conceive this matter; for the sickness of the body is death, and the
sickness of the heart is despair, and the sickness of the mind is mad-
ness. But in the outermost Abyss is sickness of the aspiration, and
sickness of the will, and sickness of the essence of all, and there is
neither word nor thought wherein the image of its image is reflected.

"And whoso passeth into the outermost Abyss, except he be of them that
understand, holdeth out his hands, and boweth his neck, unto the Chains
of Choronzon. And as a devil he walketh about the earth, immortal, and
be blasteth the flowers of the earth, and he corrupteth the fresh air,
and he maketh poisonous the water; and the fire that is the friend of
man, and the pledge of his aspiration, seeing that it mounteth ever up-
ward as a Pyramid, and seeing that man stole it in a hollow tube from
Heaven, even that fire he turneth into ruin, and madness, and fever, and
destruction. And thou, that art an heap of dry dust in the city of the
Pyramids, must understand these things.

* (I think the trouble with these people was, that they wanted to substi-
tute the blood of someone else for their own blood, because they wanted
to keep their personalities.)

- 68 -

"Beware, therefore, O thou who art appointed to understand the secret
of the Outermost Abyss, for in every Abyss thou must assume the mask
and form of the Angel thereof. Hadst thou a name, thou wert irrevocably
lost. Search, therefore, if there be yet one drop of blood that is not
gathered into the cup of Babylon the Beautiful: for in that little pile
of dust, if there could be one drop of blood, it should be utterly cor-
rupt; it should breed scorpions, and vipers, and the cat of slime.

"And I said unto the Angel: 'Is there not one appointed as a warden?'

"And he said:

"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani.

"Such an ecstasy of anguish racks me that I cannot give it voice, yet
I know it is but as the anguish of Gethsemane." (Ibit. 11th Aethyr)

Love is the law, love under will.



- 69 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

You inform me that the Earnest Inquirer of your ambit has been asking
you to explain the difference between the A.'.A.'. and the O.T.O.; and
that although your own mind is perfectly clear about it, you find it
impossible to induce a similar lucidity in his. You add that he is not
(as one might at first suppose) a moron. And will I please do what I
can about it?

Well, here's the essential difference _ab ovo usque ad mala_; the A.'.A.'.
concerns the individual, his development, his initiation, his passage
from "Student" to "Ipsissimus"; he has no contact of any kind with any
other person except the Neophyte who introduces him, and any Student or
Students whom he may, after becoming a Neophyte, introduce.

The details of this _Pilgrim's Progress_ are very fully set forth in
_One Star in Sight_; and I should indeed be stupid and presumptuous to
try to do better than that. But it is true that with regard to the
O.T.O. there is no similar manual of instruction. In the Manifesto,
and other Official Pronunciamenti, there are, it is true, what ought to
be adequate data; but I quite understand that they are not as ordered
and classified as one would wish; there is certainly room for a simple
elementary account of the origins of the Order, of its principles, of
its methods, of its design, of the Virtue of its successive Grades.
This I will now try to supply, at least in a brief outline.

Let us begin at the beginning. What is a Dramatic Ritual? It is a
celebration of the Adventures of the God whom it is intended to invoke.
(The _Bacchae_ of Euripides is a perfect example of this.) Now, in the
O.T.O., the object of the ceremonies being the Initiation of the Candi-
date, it is he whose Path in Eternity is displayed in dramatic form.

What is the Path?

1. The Ego is attracted to the Solar System.
2. The Child experiences Birth.
3. The Man experiences Life.
4. He experiences Death.
5. He experiences the World beyond Death.
6. This entire cycle of Point-Events is withdrawn into Annihilation.

In the O.T.O. these successive stages are represented as follows: ---

1. --- 0 (Minerval)
2. --- I (Initiation)
3. --- II (Consecration)

- 70 -

4. --- III (Devotion)
5. --- IV (Perfection, or Exaltation)
6. --- P.I. (Perfect Initiate)

Of these Events of Stations upon the Path all but three (II) ar single
critical experiences. We, however, are concerned mostly with the very
varied experiences of Life.

All subsequent Degrees of the O.T.O. are accordingly elaborations of the
II, since in a single ceremony it is hardly possible to sketch, even in
the briefest outline, the Teaching of Initiates with regard to Life. The
Rituals V --- IX are then instructions to the Candidate how he should
conduct himself; and they confer upon him, gradually, the Magical Secrets
which make him Master of Life.

It is improper to disclose the nature of these ceremonies; firstly,
because their Initiates are bound by the strictest vows not to do so;
secondly, because surprise is an element in their efficacy; and thirdly,
because the Magical Formulae explicitly or implicitly contained therein
are, from a practical point of view, both powerful and dangerous. Auto-
matic safeguards there are, it is true; but a Black Magician of first-
class ability might find a way to overcome these obstacles, and work
great mischief upon others before the inevitable recoil of his artillery
destroys him.

Such cases I have known. Let me recount briefly one rather conspicuous
disaster. The young man was a genius --- and it was his bane. He got
hold of a talisman of enormous power which happened to be exactly what
he wanted to fulfill his heart's dearest wish. He knew also the correct
way of getting it to work; but this way seemed to him far too long and
difficult. So he cast about for a short cut. By using actual violence
to the talisman, he saw how he could force it to carry out his design;
he used a formula entirely alien to the spirit of the whole operation;
it was rather like extracting information from a prisoner by torture,
when patient courtesy would have been the proper method. So he crashed
the gate and got what he wanted. But the nectar turned to poison even
as he drained the cup, and his previous anguish developed into absolute
despair. Then came the return of the current, and they brought it in
"while of unsound mind." A most accurate diagnosis!

I do beg you to mark well, dear sister, that a true Magical Operation is
never "against Nature." It must go smoothly and serenely according to
Her laws. One can bring in alien energies and compel an endothermic
reaction; but --- "Pike's Peak or bust?" The answer will always be BUST!

To return for a moment to that question of Secrecy: there is no rule
to prohibit you from quoting against me such of my brighter remarks as
"Mystery is the enemy of Truth;" but, for one thing, I am, and always
have been, the leader of the Extreme Left in the Council-Chamber of the
City of the Pyramids, so that if I acquiesce at all in the system of the
O.T.O. so far as the "secret of secrets" of the IX is concerned, it is
really on a point of personal honour. My pledge given to the late Frater
Superior and O.H.O., Dr. Theodor Reuss. For all that, in this particular

- 71 -

instance it is beyond question a point of common prudence, both because
the abuse of the Secret is, at least on the surface, so easy and so
tempting, and because, if it became a matter of general knowledge the
Order itself might be in danger of calumny and persecution; for the
secret is even easier to misinterpret that to profane.

Lege! Judica! Tace!

Love is the law, love under will.



- 72 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

You ask me what is, at the present time, the greatest obstacle to human

I answer in one word: NOISE.

You will recall that in Yoga the concise compendium of Initiated Instruc-
tion is:

Sit still
Stop thinking
Shut up, and
Get out.

The second of these postulates the third; for one can neither think nor
stop thinking with all that row going on.

Then again, the Fourth Power of the Sphinx is Silence; on this subject
I must refer you to _Little Essays Toward Truth_ (No. 14, p. 75).

We are really trying to discuss something totally different; something
practical in daily life. Very well, then; you remark that Goetia
actually means "howling", that we use officially the Bell, the Tom-Tom,
the Incantations, the Mantras and so on. All quite true, about Magick;
but none of it applies to Yoga, for even with the Mantra the practice
is to go faster and more quietly as one proceeds, until it becomes
"Mental Muttering." _M_ is the letter that is pronounced with the lips
firmly closed; and Silence is the meaning of the MU root of Mystery.

However, we must admit the value of rhythmical, one-pointed sound; that
is very different from Noise. Old French has _noise_, _nose_, a debate,
quarrel, noise; Provincal _noisa_, _nausa_, _nueiza_. But Diez claims the
derivation from _nausea_ --- and by the Living Jingo, I consider Diez a
hundred per cent white man!

Now, most modern talking is little better than a series of conventional
grunts; most people seem to aim deliberately at not saying anything
with meaning, at least in normal conversation. (James Branch Cabell is
exceedingly funny in his displays of this intolerable habit.)

I once had a most wholesome lesson: how diffuse and therefore unnecessary
is much of even our most would-be-compressed speech.

I had been charged by my Superior with the reconstruction of a certain
ritual. This was in 1912; already the tempo of the world had speeded

- 73 -

up mercilessly; to get people to learn even short passages by heart
would be no easy job. So, warned by the prolix, pious, priggish and
platitudinous horrors of Freemasonry (especially the advanced degrees
of the Scottish and Egyptian Rites), I resolved to cut the cackle and
come to the 'osses in the most drastic manner of which I was capable.

It was a great success.

But then we had a candidate who was stone deaf. (Not "a little hard of
hearing;" his tympana were burst.)

Obviously, one could show him slips of paper, as one did in talking to
him. But there in much of the ceremony the candidate must be hoodwinked!
Nothing for it but to communicate by the deaf and dumb alphabet on his
fingers. This I did --- and found that I could cut out on the spur of the
moment at least forty per cent of the "Irreducible minimum" without doing
any damage at all to the effect of the ritual. "That larned 'im!"

Of course, there is such a thing as the Art of Conversation; I have been
lucky enough to know three, perhaps four, of the world's best talkers;
but that is not to the point. As well object to impasto because it wastes

What I am out to complain of is what I seriously believe to be an organ-
ized conspiracy of the Black Lodges to prevent people from thinking.

Naked and unashamed! In some countries there has already been compulsory
listening-in to Government programmes; and who knows how long it will
be before we are all subjected by law to the bleatings, bellowings,
belchings of the boring balderdash of the B.B.C.-issies?

They boast of the freedom of religious thought; yet only the narrowest
sectarian propaganda is allowed to approach the microphone. I quite
expect censorship of books --- that of the newspapers, however vehemently
denied, is actually effective --- and even of private letters. This will
mean an enormous increase in parasitic functionaries who can be trusted
to vote for the rascals that invented their sinecures. That was, in fact,
the poison ivy that strangled the French poplar!

But these soul-suffocationg scoundrels know well their danger. There are
still a few people about who have learnt to think; and they are palsied
with terror lest, as might happen at any moment these people realized
the peril, organized, and made a clean sweep of the whole brood of scolex!

So nobody must be allowed to think at all. Down with the public schools!
Children must be drilled mentally by quarter-educated herdsmen, whose
wages would stop at the first sign of disagreement with the bosses. For
the rest, deafen the whole world with senseless clamour. Mechanize every-
thing! Give nobody a chance to think. Standardize "amusement." The
louder and more cacophonous, the better! Brief intervals between one din
and the next can be filled with appeals, repeated 'till hypnotic power
gives them the force of orders, to buy this or that product of the

- 74 -

"Business men" who are the real power in the State. Men who betray their
country as obvious routine.

The history of the past thirty years is eloquent enough, one would think.
What these sodden imbeciles never realize is that a living organism must
adapt itself intelligently to its environment, or go under at the first
serious change of circumstance.

Where would England be today if there had not been one man^, deliberately
kept "in the wilderness" for decades as "unsound", "eccentric", "dangerous",
"not to be trusted", "impossible to work with", to take over the country
from the bewildered "safe" men?

And what could he have done unless the people had responded? Nothing.
So then there is still a remnant whose independence, sense of reality,
and manhood begin to count when the dear, good, woolly flock scatter in
terror at the wolf's first howl.

Yes, they are there, and they can get us back our freedom --- if only we
can make them see that the enemy in Whitehall is more insidiously fatal
than the foe in Brownshirt House.

On this note of hope I will back to my silence.

Love is the law, love under will.



^ WEH NOTE: Winston Churchill.

- 75 -



Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Thank you! I am to cover the whole question of sex in a few well-chosen
words? Am I to suppose that you want to borrow money? Such fulsome
flattery suggests the indirect approach.

As a matter of fact, your proposal is not so outrageous as it sounds at
first; for as far as the English language goes, there is really hardly
anything worth reading. 98.138 per cent of it is what Frances Ridley
Ravergal used to call "fiddlesticks, blah, boloney, Bull-shit, and the

However, quite recently I issued an Encyclical to the Faithful with the
attractive title of _Artemis Iota_, and I propose that we read this into
the record, to save trouble, and because it gives a list of practically
all the classics that you ought to read. Also, it condenses information
and advice to "beginners," with due reference to the positive injunctions
given in _The Book of the Law_.

Still, for the purpose of these letters, I should like to put the whole
matter in a nutshell. The Tree of Life, as usual, affords a convenient
means of classification.

1. To the physical side of it psychological laws apply. "Don't
monkey with the buzz-saw!" as John Wesley might have put it,
though I doubt whether he did.

2. The "moral" side. As in the case of the voltage of a cissoid,
there isn't one. Mind your own business! is the sole sufficient
rule. To drag in social, economic, religious, and such aspects
is irrelevance and impurity.

3. The Magical side. Sex is, directly or indirectly, the most
powerful weapon in the armoury of the Magician; and precisely
because there is no moral guide, it is indescribably dangerous.
I have given a great many hints, especially in _Magick_, and _The_
_Book of Thoth_ --- some of the cards are almost blatantly revealing;
so I have been rapped rather severely over the knuckles for
giving children matches for playthings. My excuse has been that
they have already got the matches, that my explanations have been
directed to add conscious precautions to the existing automatic

The above remarks refer mainly to the technique of the business; and it
is going a very long way to tell you that you ought to be able to work
out the principles thereof from your general knowledge of Magick, but

- 76 -

especially the Formula of Tetragrammaton, clearly stated and explained
in _Magick_, Chap. III. Combine this with the heart of Chap. XII and
you've got it!

But there is another point at issue. This incidentally, is where the
"automatic safeguards" come in. "...thou hast no right but to do thy will."
(AL I, 42) means that to "go anwhoring after strange" purposes can only
be disastrous. It is possible, in chemistry, to provoke an endothermic
reaction; but that is only asking for trouble. The product bears within
its own heart the seed of dissolution. Accordingly, the most important
preliminary to any Magical operation is to make sure that its object is
not only harmonious with, but necessary to, your Great Work.

Note also that the use of this supreme method involves the manipulation
of energies ineffably secret and most delicately sensitive; it compares
with the operations of ordinary Magick as the last word in artillery does
with the blunderbuss!

I ought to have mentioned the sexual instinct or impulse in itself, care-
less of magical or any other considerations soever: the thing that picks
you up by the scruff of the neck, slits your weasand with a cavalry sabre,
and chucks the remains over the nearest precipice.

What _is_ the damn thing, anyway?

That's just the trouble; for it is the _first_ of the masks upon the face
of the True Will; and that mask is the Poker-Face!

As all true Art is spontaneous, is genius, is utterly beyond all conscious
knowledge or control, so also is sex. Indeed, one might class it as
deeper still than Art; for Art does at least endeavour to find an intel-
ligible means of expression. That is much nearer to sanity than the
blind lust of the sex-impulse. The maddest genius does look from Chokmah
not only to Binah, but to the fruit of that union in Dath and the Ruach;
the sex-impulse has no use for Binah to understand, to interpret, to
transmit. It wants no more than an instrument which will destroy it.

"Here, I say, Master, have a heart!"

Nonsense! (I continue) What I say is the plain fact, and well you know
it! More, damned up, hemmed in, twisted and tortured as it has been by
religion and morality and all the rest of it, it has learnt to disguise
itself, to appear in a myriad forms of psychosis, neurosis, actual insan-
ity of the most dangerous types. You don't have to look beyond Hitler!
Its power and its peril derive directly from the fatal fact that in it-
self it is the True Will in its purest form.

What then is the magical remedy? Obvious enough to the Qabalist. "Love
is the law, love under will." It must be fitted at its earliest mani-
festations with its proper Binah, so as to flow freely along the Path of
Daleth, and restore the lost Balance. Attempts to suppress it are fatal,
to sublime it are false and futile. But guided wisely from the start,

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by the time it becomes strong it has learnt how to use its virtues to
the best advantage.

And what of the parallel instinct in a woman? Except in (rather rare)
cases of congenital disease or deformity, the problem is never so acute.
For Binah, even while she winks a Chokmah, has the other eye wide-open,
swivelled on Tiphareth. Her True Will is thus divided by Nature from the
start, and her tragedy is if she fails to unite these two objects. Oh,
dear me, yes, I know all about "_spretae injuria formae_" and "_furens quid_
_femina possit_"; but that is only because when she misses her bite she
feels doubly baffled, robbed not only of the ecstatic Present, but of
the glamorous Future. If she eat independently of the Fruit of the Tree
of Life when unripe, she has not only the bad taste in the mouth, but
indigestion to follow. Then, living as she does so much in the world of
imagination, constantly living shadow-pictures of her Desire, she is not
nearly so liable to the violent insanities of sheer blind lust, as is the
male. The essential difference is indicated by that of their respective
orgasms, the female undulatory, the male catastrophic.

The above, taken all in all, may not be fully comprehensive, not wholly
satisfying to the soul, but one thing with another, enough for a cow to
chew the cud on.

Good night!

Love is the law, love under will,



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De coitu
Scholia Triviae

"Dianae sumus in fide Puellae et
pueri integri _Dianam pueri integri_
Puellaeque canamus."
--- Catullus.

"The word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will!
O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite the divided
but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it to the aeons!"

Consent or refusal are to be determined by the impulse itself, without
reference to any other motives such as commonly influence action.

"So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will." Every thought,
word, or act without exception is subject to this law. "Do what thou
wilt" does not give license to do anything else; lest this be not under-
stood, the doctrine is here explicit: "thou hast no right but to do thy

Every particle of energy must be built into this single-track machine of
will; directly or indirectly, it must serve the one purpose. A very small
hole in the hull may sink a very large ship.

Every act, therefore, with the thoughts and words which determine its
performance, is a sacrament.

. . . . . . . .

Now of all acts the most intrinsically important is the act of love.
Firstly, because the ecstasy which accompanies its due performance is a
physical image, or hint, of the state of Samadhi, since the consciousness
of the Ego is temporarily in abeyance; secondly, because its normal
effect of the material plane is, or may be, incalculably vast. (The
emphasis upon the word "due" is absolute.) Precisely because it is so
powerful a weapon, its use is hedged in with manifold precautions, and
its abuse deprecated in injunctions heavily charged with menace. . . .
"Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with
whom ye will! But always unto me."

"If this be not aright; if ye confound the space-marks, saying: They
are one; or saying, They are many; if the ritual be not ever unto me:
then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit!"

"This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart
& my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss." ". . . . But ecstasy be thine
and joy of earth: ever To me! To me!"

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" . . . Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall
wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour
& pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy.""

"There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest
woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none
of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not your vices
in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, &
I will reward you here and hereafter."

"There is help & hope in other spells. 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."

Here is confirmation in detail of AL I, 41. This act is a definite
electrical or magnetic phenomenon. No other considerations apply. (It
will therefore occasionally seem, to the outsider, unreasonable.) The
only exception --- it is only apparently so --- is when satisfaction of the
impulse would manifestly thwart the True Will more than it would help
to fulfill it; any such case must be judged on its merits.

"But always unto me." The word "always" admits to no exception; "unto
me" may be paraphrased as the "fulfillment of one possibility necessary
to the achievement of the Great Work." Every act is a sacrament, but
this pre-eminently so. The text continues with a plain threat: "if the
ritual be not ever unto me: then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor
Khuit!" To profane this sacrament of sacraments is the most fatal of
errors and offences; for it is high treason to the Great Work itself.

The next verse repeats: "if the ritual be not ever unto me:" and it is
emphasized and fortified with a threat. The offender is no longer in
free enjoyment of the caresses of the Goddess of Love; he is cast out
into the penal constraint of the merciless and terrible God of Chapter

" . . . Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods
and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill
and will of love as ye will, . . . . " This refers to the technique of
the art; it will be explained later in this essay.

"with whom ye will!" This repeats what has been said already above in
the notes to AL I, 41.

* This refers to _Liber Legis_, _The Book of the Law_, as do the preceding
and following quotations in this Chapter XV.

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Verse 53 asserts the importance of this dogma. Neglect of these pre-
scriptions has been responsible for the endless and intolerable agonies,
the hideous and unmitigable disasters of the past.

The Qabalist may note that "To me!" at the end of this verse not only
repeats the adjuration, but is a Magical Seal set upon the dogma. (Verse
54 is a hint to seek the secret.)

In Greek letters TO MH adds to 418; it is identical with Abrahadabra,
the cipher of the Great Work. Meditation should lead the student to
considerations even deeper and more fruitful.

. . . . . . . .

"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

"Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and
fire, are of us."

"I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and
stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and
strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They
shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The
exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things
of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this."

"Behold! these be grave mysteries; for there are also of my friends who
be hermits. Now think not to find them in the forest or on the mountain;
but in beds of purple, caressed by magnificent beasts of women with large
limbs, and fire and light in their eyes, and masses of flaming hair about
them; there shall ye find them."

"But ye, o my people, rise up & awake!"

"Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy & beauty!"

"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!"

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"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."

These verses refer once more to the concomitants of the act; they indi-
cate the adjuvants to the technique; and they indicate the spirit in
which it should be approached. The detached scientific attitude of en-
quiry and preparation is preliminary; the object is to foresee hindrances,
to facilitate and to direct the current: but the impulse itself is

. . . . . . . .

"There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest
woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none
of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not your
vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, &
I will reward you here and hereafter."

"Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste
women be utterly despised among you!"

"Also for beauty's sake and love's!"

The student should assimilate the doctrine of the "Black Brothers."*
To refuse to fulfill any of one's possibilities is the direct negation
of the Great Work.

"There is help & hope in other spells. 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."

Here, in a few simple phrases, is a complete guide --- in skeleton --- to
the Art of Love.

Genius without technique is often clumsy and unintelligible; but tech-
nique without genius is dry bones. Genius is there, or is not there;
nor wit nor work avail if it be absent. Yet one may maintain that it
is always there, since "Every man and every woman is a star." In any
case only technique responds to study and exercise; it has been written
that it "demands as much study as theology, and as much practice as
billiards." All one can do is (a) to unleash, (b) to direct, the latent
genus. In countries hostile to civilization (_horribilesque ultimosque_

* See Chapter XII of this book.

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_Brittanos_") and their colonies, past and present, the technique is almost
non-existent; individuals who possess it in any degree of perfection owe
their pre-eminence, in almost every case, to tuition and training under
the natives of happier and less barbarian parts of the world. Each type
of race or culture has its own especial virtues.

_A_. _Study_: The student should study, bear in mind, and take to heart,
such classics as the _Ananga-Ranga_, the _Bagh-i-Muattar_ of
Abdullah el Haji, the _Kama Shastra_, the _Kama Sutra_, the _Scented Garden_
of the Sheikh Nefzawi, and certain scientific or pseudo-scientific
treatises (usually upon the deformities of nature, or the abuses of ignor-
ance) by numerous authors, mostly French, German, Austrian, or Italian.
"Energized Enthusiasm," (_The Equinox_, Vol. I, No. 9) is of palmary virtue.
(_Liber LXVI_, _Liber CCCLXX_, _Liber DCCCXXXI_, _Liber CLXXV_, _Liber CLVI_ and
others, also in _The Equinox_ are official publications of the A.'.A.'.)
There are also various classics of the subject, helpful to assimilate
the romantic and enthusiastic atmosphere proper to the practice of the
Art; one may instance Catullus, Juvenal, (especially the "Sixth Satire"),
Martial, _Petronius Arbiter_, Apuleius, Boccaccio, Masucci, Franois Rabelais,
de Balzac ("Contes Drlatiques"), de Sade (_Justine_, _Juliette_, et al.), Andr
de Nerciat, Alfred de Musset et Georges Sand (_Gamiani:_ _ou Deux nuits_
_d'exc____s_), Sacher Masoch (_Venus in Furs_), with English and American too
numerous to list, but notably the poets in Holy Orders: Swift, Sterne,
Herrick, Donne and Herbert.

There is also a complete literature of mysticism which approaches or
implies this matter; but this type of work is, for the younger student,
as dangerous as it is superficially attractive. It encourages the sense
of guilt, teaches the venoumous art of self-exculpation, and extols that
very hypocrisy which Freedom notably condemns. "...Tear down that lying
spectre of the centuries:..." (AL II, 52).

_B_. _Practice_. No one teacher, however gifted, can possibly cover one
hundredth part of the groundwork of this Art. The best
tuition is that of trained and consecrated experts; next, that of men
and women of natural genius.

_C_. _Original Research_. This should be based upon the broadest possible
knowledge, and the deepest understanding of the
same; and upon the results of the scope and intensity of one's practice.

"But exceed! exceed!" (AL II,71)

. . . . . . . .

"But always unto me." (AL I, 51)

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