Magick Without Tears (B) - Aleister Crowley

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Cara Soror,

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

You wisely ask me for a special letter on Concentration; you point out
that I have implied it constantly, but never given plain instruction.

It hope I have not been so vague as to allow you to suppose that Concen-
tration Camps are evidence that benevolent and enlightened governments
are at last seriously concerned to educate the world to Yoga; but I do
agree that it cannot do great harm if I take a dose of my own medicine,
and gather into one golden sheaf all the ripe corn of my wisdom on this

For concentration does indeed unlock all doors; it lies at the heart of
every practice as it is of the essence of all theory; and almost all
the various rules and regulations are aimed at securing adeptship in
this matter. All the subsidiary work --- awareness, one-pointedness, mind-
fullness and the rest --- is intended to train you to this.

All the greetings, salutations, "Saying Will," periodical adorations, even
saying "apo pantos kakodaimonos" with a downward and outward sweep of the
arm, the eyes averted, when one sees a person dressed in a religious
(Christian) uniform: all these come under "Don't stroke the cat the wrong
way!" or, in the modern pseudo-scientific journalese jargon "streamlining

Let us see if Frater Perdurabo has anything to the point! Of course,
Part I of _Book 4_ is devoted to it; but there is too much, and not enough,
to be useful to us just now.

What your really need is the official Instruction in _The Equinox_, and the
very fullest and deepest understanding of _Eight Lectures on Yoga_; but
these lectures are so infernally interesting that when I look into the
book for something to quote, it carries me away with it. I can't put it
down, I forget all about this letter. Rather a back-handed advertisement
for Concentration!

The best way is the hardest; to forget all this and start from the begin-
ning as if there had never been anything on the subject written before.

I must keep always in mind that you are assumed to know nothing whatever
about Yoga and Magick, or anything else beyond what the average educated
person may be assumed to have been taught.

What is the problem? There are two.

_Beta_: To train the mind to move with the maximum speed and energy,

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with the utmost possible accuracy in the chosen direction, and
with the minimum of disturbance or friction. That is Magick.

_Alpha_: To stop the mind altogether. That is Yoga.

The rules, strangely enough, are identical in both cases; at least, until
your "Magick" is perfect; Yoga merely goes on a step further. In Beta
you have reduced all movements from many to One; in Alpha you reduce that
One to Zero.

Now then, with a sigh of relief, know you this: that every possible inci-
dent in the Beta training is _mutatis mutandis_, perfectly familiar to the

The material must be chosen and prepared in the kind and in the manner,
best suited to the design of the intended machine; the various parts
must be put together with the utmost precision; every obstacle to the
function must be removed, and every source of error eliminated. Now cheer
up, child! In the case of a machine that he has devised and constructed
himself with every condition in his favour, he thinks he is doing not too
badly if he gets some fifteen or twenty per cent of the calculated effi-
ciency out of the instrument; and even Nature, with millions of years
to adjust and improve, very often cannot boast of having done much better.
So you have no reason to be discouraged if success does not smile upon you
in the first week or so of your Work, starting as you do with material of
whose properties you are miserably ignorant, with means pitifully limited,
with Laws of Nature which you do not understand; in fact, with almost
everything against you but indomitable Will and unconquerable courage.

(I know I'm a poor contemptible Lowbrow; but I refuse to be ashamed for
finding Kipling's _If_ and Henley's Don't remember-the title; they may not
be poetry --- but they are honest food and damned good beer for the plebeian
wayfarer. It was such manhood, not the left-wing high-brow Bloomsbury
sissies, that kept London through the blitz. Pray forgive the digression!)

There is only one method to adopt in such circumstances as those of the
Aspirant to Magick and Yoga: the method of Science. Trial and error.
You must _observe_. That implies, first of all, that you must learn to ob-
serve. And you must record your observations. No circumstance of life
is, or can be irrelevant. "He that is not with me is against me." In
all these letters you will find only two things: either I tell you what
is bad for you, or what is good for you. But I am not you; I don't know
every detail of your life, every trick of your thought. You must do ninety
percent of the work for yourself. Whether it is love, or your daily avo-
cation, or diet, or friends, or amusement, or anything else, you must
find out what helps you to your True Will and what hinders; cherish the
one and eschew the other.

I want to insist most earnestly that concentration is not, as we nearly
all of us think, a matter of getting things right in the practices; you
must make every breath you draw subservient to the True Will, to fertilize
the soil for the practices. When you sit down in your Asana to quiet your

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mind, it is much easier for you if your whole life has tended to relative
quietude; when you knock with your Wand to announce the opening of an
Invocation, it is better if the purpose of that ceremony has been simmer-
ing in the background of your thought since childhood!

Yes indeed: background!

Deep down, on the very brink of the subconscious, are all those facts
which have _determined_ you to choose this your Great Work.

Then, the ambition, conscious, which arranges the general order and dispo-
sition of your life.

Lastly, the practices themselves. And my belief is that the immense
majority of failures have their neglect to brush up their drill to thank
for it.

For technical advice on all these subjects, I shall refer you to those
official works mentioned in the early part of this letter; I shall be
happy if you will take to heart what I am now so violently thrusting at
you, this Middle Work of Concentration.

Love is the law, love under will.



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Cara Soror,

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

There is no better way of training the memory than the practice of the
Holy Qabalah.

The whole mechanism of memory depends on joining up independent data.
You must go on adding a little to little, always joining the simple impres-
sions by referring them to others which are more general; and so on
until the whole of your universe is arranged like the brain and the
nervous system. This system in fact, _becomes_ the Universe. When you
have got everything properly correlated, your central consciousness
understands and controls every tiniest detail. But you must begin at
the beginning --- you go out for a walk, and the first thing you see is
a car; that represents the Atu VII, the Chariot, referred to Cancer.
Then you come to a fishmonger, and notice certain crustacea, very mala
chostomous. This comes under the same sign of Cancer. The next thing
you notice is an amber-coloured dress in Swan and Edgar's; amber also
is the colour of Cancer in the King's Scale. Now then you have a set
of three impressions which is joined together by the fact that they all
belong to the Cancer class; experience will soon teach that you can
remember all three very much more clearly and accurately than you could
any one of the three singly.

You have not increased the burden on your memory, but diminished it.

What you say about tension and eagerness and haste is very true. See
_The Book of the Law_, Chapter I, 44.

"For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of
result, is every way perfect."

This, from a _practical_ point of view, is one of the most important verses
in the book.

The unusual word "unassuaged" is very interesting. People generally
suppose that "will" is the slave of purpose, that you cannot will a thing
properly unless you are aiming at a definite goal. But this is not the
case. Thinking of the goal actually serves to distract the mind. In
these few words is included the whole method without all the bombastic
piety of the servile doctrine of mysticism about the surrender of the
Will. Nor is this idea of surrender actually correct; the will must be
identified with the Divine Will, so-called. One wants to become like a
mighty flowing river, which is not consciously aiming at the sea, and is
certainly not yielding to any external influence. It is acting in

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conformity with the law of its own nature, with the Tao. One can describe
it, if necessary, as "passive love"; but it is love (in effect) raised
to its highest potential. We come back to the same thing: when passion
is purged of any "lust of result" it is irresistible; it has become "Law."
I can never understand why it is that mystics fail to see that their
smarmy doctrine of surrender actually insists upon the duality which they
have set out to abolish!

I certainly have no intention of "holding you down" to "a narrow path of
work" or any path. All I can do is to help you to understand clearly the
laws of your own nature, so that you may go ahead without extraneous
influence. It does not follow that a plan that I have found successful
in my own case will be any use to you. That is another cardinal mistake
of most teachers. One must have become a Master of the Temple to annihi-
late one's ego. Most teachers, consciously or unconsciously, try to get
others to follow in their steps. I might as well dress you up in my cast-
off clothing! (_In the steps of the Master_. _At the feet of the Master_.

Please observe that the further you get on, the higher your potential,
the greater is the tendency to leak, or even to break the containing
vessel. I can help you by warning you against setting up obstacles, real
or imaginary, in your own path; which is what most people do. It is
almost laughable to think that the Great Work consists merely in "letting
her rip;" but Karma bumps you from one side of the toboggan slide to the
other, until you "come into the straight." (There's a chapter or two in
the _Book of Lies_ about this, but I haven't got a copy. I must find one,
and put them in here. Yes: p. 22)

O thou that settest out upon the Path, false is the Phantom that thou
seekest. When thou hast it thou shalt know all bitterness, thy teeth
fixed in the Sodom-Apple.

Thus hast thou been lured along that Path, whose terror else had
driven thee far away.

O thou that stridest upon the middle of the Path, no phantoms mock
thee. For the stride's sake thou stridest.

Thus art thou lured along that Path, whose fascination else had
driven thee far away.

O thou that drawest toward the End of The Path, effort is no more.
Faster and faster dost thou fall; thy weariness is changed into
Ineffable Rest.

For there is no Thou upon that Path: thou hast become The Way.

As in the _Yi King_, the 3rd hexagram has departed from the original perfec-
tion, and it takes all the rest of the hexagrams to put things right again.
The result, it is true, is superior; the perfection of the original has
been enhanced and enriched by its experience.

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There is another way of defining the Great Work. That explains to us the
whole object of manifestation, of departing from the perfection of "Nothing"
towards the perfection of "everything", and one may consider this advan-
tage, that it is quite impossible to go wrong. Every experience, whatever
may be its nature, is just another necessary bump.

Naturally one cannot realize this until one becomes a Master of the Temple;
consequently one is perpetually plunged in sorrow and despair. There is,
you see, a good deal more to it than merely learning one's mistakes. One
can never be sure what is right and what is wrong, until one appreciates
that "wrong" is equally "right." Now then one gets rid of the idea of
"effort" which is associated with "lust of result." All that one does is
to exercise pleasantly and healthfully one's energies.

It will not do to regard "man" as the "final cause" of manifestation.
Please do not quote myself against me.
"Man is so infinitely small,
In all these stars, determinate.
Maker and master of them all,
Man is so infinitely great."

The human apparatus is the best instrument of which we are, at present,
aware in our normal consciousness; but when you come to experience the
Conversation of the higher intelligences, you will understand how imper-
fect are your faculties. It is true that you can project these intelli-
gences as parts of yourself, or you can suppose that certain human vehicles
may be temporally employed by them for various purposes; but these specu-
lations tend to be idle. The important thing is to make contact with
beings, whatever their nature, who are superior to yourself, not merely
in degree but it kind. That is to say, not merely different as a Great
Dane differs from a Chihuahua, but as a buffalo differs from either.

Of course you are perfectly right about the senses, though I would not
agree to confine the meaning to the five which are common to most people.
There must, one might suspect, be ways of apprehending directly such
phenomena as magnetism, electrical resistance, chemical affinity and the
like. Let me direct you once more to _The Book of the Law_, Chapter II, vs.
70 - 72.

"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."

The mystic's idea of deliberately stupefying and stultifying himself is

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an "abomination unto the Lord." This, by the way, does not conflict with
the rules of Yoga. That kind of suppression is comparable to the restric-
tions in athletic training, or diet in sickness.

Now we get back to the Qabalah --- how to make use of it.

Let us suppose that you have been making an invocation, or shall we call
it an investigation, and suppose you want to interpret a passage of Bach.
To play this is the principal weapon of your ceremony. In the course of
your operation, you assume your astral body and rise far above the terres-
trial atmosphere, while the music continues softly in the background.
You open your eyes, and find that it is night. Dark clouds are on the
horizon; but in the zenith is a crown of constellations. This light
helps you, especially as your eyes become accustomed to the gloom, to
take in your surroundings. It is a bleak and barren landscape. Terrific
mountains rim the world. In the midst looms a cluster of blue-black crags.
Now there appears from their recesses a gigantic being. His strength,
especially in his hands and in his loins, it terrifying. he suggests a
combination of lion, mountain goat and serpent; and you instantly jump
to the idea that this is one of the rare beings which the Greeks called
Chimaera. So formidable is his appearance that you consider it prudent
to assume an appropriate god-form. But who is the appropriate god? You
may perhaps consider it best, in view of your complete ignorance as to
who he is and where you are, to assume the god-form of Harpocrates, as
being good defence in any case; but of course this will not take you very
far. If you are sufficiently curious and bold, you will make up your mind
rapidly on this point. This is where your daily practice of the Qabalah
will come in useful. You run through in your mind the seven sacred planets.
The very first of them seems quite consonant with what you have so far
seen. Everything suits Saturn well enough. To be on the safe side, you
go through the others; but this is a very obvious case --- Saturn is the
only planet that agrees with everything. The only other possibility will
be the Moon; but there is no trace noticeable of any of her more amiable
characteristics. You will therefore make up your mind that it is a
Saturnian god-form that you need. Fortunate indeed for you that you have
practiced daily the assumption of such forms! Very firmly, very steadily,
very slowly, very quietly, you transform your normal astral appearance
into that of Sebek. The Chimaera, recognizing your divine authority,
becomes less formidable and menacing in appearance. He may, in some way,
indicate his willingness to serve you. Very good, so far; but it is of
course the first essential to make sure of his integrity. Accordingly
you begin by asking his name. This is vital; because if he tells you the
truth, it gives you power over him. But if, on the other hand, he tells
you a lie, he abandons for good and all his fortress. He becomes rather
like a submarine whose base has been destroyed. He may do you a lot of
mischief in the meantime, of course, so look out!

Well then, he tells you that his name is Ottillia. Shall we try to spell
it in Greek or in Hebrew. By the sound of the name and perhaps to some
extent by his appearance one might plump for the former; but after all
the Greek Qabalah is so unsatisfactory. We give Hebrew the first chance ---
we start with Ayin Teth Yod Lamed Yod Aleph Hay {render in Hebrew}. Let us try this lettering for a start. It adds

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up to 135. I daresay that you don't remember what the _Sepher Sephiroth_
tells you about the number; but as luck will have it, there is no need
to inquire; for 135 = 3 x 45. Three is the number, is the first number
of Saturn, and 45 the last. (The sum of the numbers in the magic {sic} square
of Saturn is 45.) That corresponds beautifully with everything you have
got so far; but then of course you must know if he is "one of the beliv-
ing Jinn." Briefly, is he a friend or an enemy? You accordingly say to
him "The word of the Law is Thelema {spell it in Greek}" It turns out that he doesn't under-
stand Greek at all, so you were certainly right in choosing Hebrew. You
put it to him, "What is the word of the Law?" and he replies darkly.
"The word of the Law is Thora." That means nothing to you; any one might
know as much as that, Thora being the ordinary word for the Sacred Law of
Israel, and you accordingly ask him to spell it to make sure you have
heard aright; and he gives you the letters, perhaps by speaking them,
perhaps by showing them: Teth, Resh, Ayin. You add these up and get
279. This again is divisible by the Saturnian 3, and the result is 93;
in other words, he has been precisely right. On the plane of Saturn one
may multiply by three and therefore _he has given you the correct word_
_"Thelema" in a form unfamiliar to you_. You man now consider yourself
satisfied of his good faith, and may proceed to inspect him more closely.
The stars above his head suggest the influence of Binah, whose number also
is three, while the most striking thing about him is the core of his being:
the letter Yod. (One does not count the termination "AH": being a divine
suffix it represents the inmost light and the outermost light.) This Yod,
this spark of intense brilliance, is of the pale greenish gold which one
sees (in this world) in the fine gold leaf of Tibet. It glows with ever
greater intensity as you concentrate upon observing him, which you could
not do while you were preoccupied with investigating his credentials.

Confidence being thus established, you inquire why he as appeared to you
at this time and at this place; and the answer to this question is of
course your original idea, that is to say, he is presenting to you in
other terms that "mountainous Fugue" which invoked him. You listen to
him with attention, make such enquiries as seem good to you, and record
the proceedings.

The above example is, of course, pure imagination, and represents a very
favourable case. You are only too likely, and that not only at the begin-
ning, to meet all sorts of difficulties and dangers.

Love is the law, love under will.



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Cara Soror,

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

From time to time I have exhorted you with mine accustomed matchless
eloquence never to neglect the prescribed Greetings: but I think it just
as well to collect the various considerations connected with their use ---
and in "Greetings" I include "saying Will" before set meals, the four
daily adorations of the Sun (_Liber CC, vel Resh_) and the salutation of
Our Lady the Moon. I propose to deal with the general object of the
combined rituals, not with the special virtues of each separately.

The practice of _Liber III vel Jugorum_* is the complement of these grouped
customs. By sharp physical self-chastisement when you think, say, or do
whatever it is that you have set yourself to avoid doing, you set a sentry
at the gate of your mind ready to challenge all comers, and so you acquire
the habit of being on the alert. Keep this in mind, and you will have no
difficulty in following the argument of this letter.

When you are practicing Dharana** concentration, you allow yourself so
many minutes. It is a steady, sustained effort. The mind constantly
struggles to escape control. (I hope you remember the sequence of "breaks."
In case you don't, I summarize them.

(1) Immediate physical interruptions: Asana should stop these.

(2) Things that are "on you mind."

(3) Reverie, and "Wouldn't it help if I were to --- ?"

(4) Atmospherics --- e.g. voices apparently from some alien source.

(5) Aberrations of the control itself; and the result itself.
(Remember the practice of some Hindu schools: "Not that, not
that!" to whatever it is the presents itself as Tat Sat ---
reality, truth).

Need I remind you how urgent the wish to escape will assuredly become,
how fantastic are the mind's devices and excuses, amounting often to
deliberate revolt? In Kandy I broke away in a fury, and dashed down to
Colombo with the intention of painting the very air as red as the betel-
spittle on the pavements! But after three days of futile search for
satisfying debauchery I came back to my horses, and, sure enough, it was
merely that I had gone stale; the relaxation soothed and steadied me; I
resumed the discipline with redoubled energy, and Dhyana dawned before a

* See _Magick in Theory and Practice_, pp. 427 - 429.
** _Book 4_, Part I.

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week had elapsed.

I mention this because it is the _normal_ habit of the mind to organize
these counter-attacks that makes their task so easy. What you need is a
mind that will help rather than hinder your Work by its _normal_ function.

This is where these Greetings, and Will-sayings, and Adorations come in.

It is not a concentration-practice proper; I haven't a good word for it.
"Background-concentration" or "long-distance-concentration" are clumsy,
and not too accurate. It is really rather like a public school education.
One is not constantly "doing a better thing that one has ever done;" one
is not dropping one's eye-glass every two minutes, or being a little
gentleman in the act of brushing one's hair. The point is that one trains
oneself to react properly at any moment of surprise. It must become
"second nature" for "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." to
spring to the forefront of the mind when one is introduced to a stranger,
or comes down to breakfast, or hears the telephone bell, or observes the
hour of the adoration, (these are to be the superficial reactions, like
instinctively rising when a lady enters the room), or, at the other end,
in moments of immediate peril, or of sudden apprehension, or when in one's
meditation, one approaches the deepest strata.

One need not be dogmatic about the use of these special words. One might
choose a formula to represent one's own particular True Will. It is a
little like Cato, (or Scipio, was it?) who concluded every speech, whether
about the Regulations of the Roman Bath or the proposal to reclaim a marsh
of the Maremma, with the words: "And moreover, in my opinion, Carthage
ought to be destroyed."

Got it?

You teach the mind to push your thought automatically to the very thing
from which it was trying to wander. "Yes, I get you Stephen! . . . But,
Uncle Dudley, come clean, do you always do all this yourself? Don't you
sometimes feel embarrassed, or fear that you may destroy the effect of
your letter, or "create a scene" in the public street when you suddenly
stop and perform these incomprehensible antics, or simply forget about
the whole thing?"

Yes, I do.


_Mea culpa, mea macima culpa_.

I am _not_ your old and valued friend, Adam Qadmon, the Perfect Man.

I am a pretty poor specimen.

I am nothing to cable about to Lung Peng Choung, or Himi, or Monsalvat.

I do forget now and again; though, I am glad to say, not nearly as often

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as I used to do. (As the habit is acquired, it tends to strengthen
itself). But often I deliberately omit to do my duty. I do funk it.
I do resent it. I do feel that it's too much bother.

As I said above, Adam Qadman is _not_ my middle name.

Well now, have I any shadow of an excuse? Yes, I have, after a fashion;
I don't think it good manners to force my idiosyncrasies down people's
throats, and I don't want to appear more of an eccentric than I need.
It might detract from my personal influence, and so actually harm the
Work that I am trying to perform. . .

"Yes, that's all very well, Alibi Ike; you are exceedingly well know as
a Scripture-quoting Satan, as a Past-Master in self-justification.
Trained from infancy by the Plymouth Brethern, who for casuistry leave
the Jesuits at the post!" "Yes, yes, but --- --- ---."

"You needn't but me no buts, you old he-goat! Wasn't there once a Jonas
Hanway, the first man to sport an umbrella? Wouldn't your practice be
natural, and right, and the cream of the cream of good manners as soon
as a few hundred people of position took to doing it? And wouldn't
Thomas, Richard, and Henry, three months later, make a point of doing the
same as their betters?" (That was Conscience speaking.)

All right, you win.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours Fraternally,


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Cara Soror,

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

It seems that last Wednesday I so far forgot myself as to refer to the
"Act of Truth" in conversation, and never mentioned what it is when it's
at home, or why anyone should perform it, or what happens when one does
perform it!

All right, I will remedy that; luckily, it is a very simple matter;
very important, perfectly paradoxical and devastatingly effective.

Analysed, it is to make the assumption that something which seems very
wrong is actually all right, that an eager wish is an accomplished fact.
a reasonable anxiety, entirely unfounded --- and to act accordingly.

For instance, I'm in some desolate place, dependent for my food supply
on a weekly messenger. If he is a day late, it is awkward; if two, it
means hardship; if three, serious risk. One is naturally anxious as the
day approaches; perhaps the weather, or some similar snag, makes it
likely that he will be late. From one cause or another, I have rather
exceeded my ration. There is nothing I can do about it, materially.

The sensible course of action is to draw in my horns, live on the mini-
mun, necessary to life, _which involves cutting the day's work down to_
_almost noting_, and hope for the best, expecting the worst.

But there is a Magical mode of procedure. You say to yourself: I am
here to do this Work in accordance with my true Will. The Gods have got
to see to it that I'm not baulked by any blinking messenger. (But take
care They don't overhear you; They might mistake it for Hybris, or pre-
sumption. Do it all in the Sign of Silence, under the aegis of Harpocrates,
the "Lord of Defence and Protection"; be careful to assume his God-form,
as standing on two crocodiles. Then you increase your consumption, and
at the same time put in a whole lot of extra Work. If you perform this
"Act of Truth" properly, with _genuine_ conviction that nothing can go
wrong, your messenger will arrive a day early, and bring an extra large

This, let me say at once, is very difficult, especially at first, until
one has gained confidence in the efficacy of the Formula; and it is very
nastily easy to "fake." Going through the motions (as they say) is more
futile here than in most cases, and the results of messing it up are
commonly disastrous.*

* Do not be misled by any apparent superficial resemblance to "Christian
Science" and "Coueism" and their cackling kin. They miss every essential
feature of the formula.

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You must invent your act to suit your case, every time; suppose you
expect a cable next Friday week, transferring cash to your account. You
need $500 to make up an important payment, and you don't know whether
they will send even $200. What are you going to do about it? Skimp,
and save your expenses, and make yourself miserable and incapable of
vigorous thought or action? You _may_ succeed in saving enough to swing
the deal; but you won't get a penny beyond the amount actually needed ---
and look at the cost in moral grandeur!

No, go and stand yourself a champagne luncheon, and stroll up Bond Street
with an 8 1/2 "Hoyo de Monterey," and squander $30 on some utterly useless
bauble. Then the $500 will swell to $1000, and arrive two days early at

There are one or two points to consider very carefully indeed before you
start: ---

1. The proposed Act must be _absurd_; it won't do at all if by some
fluke, however unlikely, it might accomplish your aim. For
instance, it's no use backing an outsider. there must be no
causal link.

2. The Act must be one which makes the situation definitely worse.
E.g.: suppose you are counting on a new dress to make a hit at
a Reception, and doubt whether it is so much better than your
present best, or whether it will be finished in time. Then,
wear that present best to-night (wet, of course), knowing you
are sure to soil it.

3. Obviously, all the usual conditions of a Magical Operation apply
in this as in all cases; your aim must conform with your True
Will, and all that; but there is one curious point about an
Act of Truth: this, that one should resort to it only when there
is no other method possible. In the explorer's case, above, it
won't do if he has any means of hurrying up the messenger.

It seems to me that the above brief sketch should suffice an intelligent
and imaginative student like yourself; but if any point remains darkling,
let me know, and I will follow up with a postscript.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


P.S. --- I thought it might help you if I were to make a few experiments.
I have done so. Result: this is much more difficult and delicate an
affair than I had thought when I wrote this letter. For instance, one
single thought of a "second string" --- e.g. "if it fails, I had better do
so and so" --- is enough to kill the while operation stone dead. Of course,
I am totally out of practice; but, even so . . . . . .

- 96 -



Cara Soror,

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

Really you comfort me when you turn from those abstruse and exalted themes
with which you have belaboured me so often of late to dear cuddlesome
little questions like this in our letter received this morning: "_Do_
please, dear Master, give me some hints about how to make Talismans (that's
the same as Telesmata, isn't it? Yes, 666) and the Pantacle. The offi
cial instructions are quite clear, of course; but somehow I find them
just a little frightening."

Well, I think I know pretty well what you mean; so I will try to imitate
the style of Aunt Tabitha in "The Flapper's Fireside."

For one thing, you forgot to mention the Lamen. Now what _are_ these things
when they are at home? That's easy enough.

The Lamen is a sort of Coat of Arms. It expresses the character and powers
of the wearer.

A talisman is a storehouse of some particular kind of energy, the kind
that is needed to accomplish the task for which you have constructed it.

The Pantacle is often confused with both the others; accurately, it is a
"Minutum Mundum", "the Universe in Little"; it is a map of all that
exists, arranged in the Order of Nature. There is a chapter in _Book 4_,
Part II, devoted to it (pp. 117 - 129); I cannot make up my mind whether
I like it. At the best it is very far from being practical instruction.
(The chapter on the Lamen, pp. 159 - 161, is even worse.)

An analogy, not too silly, for these three; the Chess-player, the Open-
ings, and the Game itself.

But --- you will object --- why be silly at all? Why not say simply that the
Lamen, stating as it does the Character and Powers of he wearer, is a
dynamic portrait of the individual, while the Pantacle, his Universe, is
a static portrait of him? And _that_, you pursue flattering, is why you
preferred to call the Weapon of Earth (in the Tarot) the Disk, emphasizing
its continual whirling movement rather than the Pantacle of Coin, as is
more usual. Once again, exquisite child of our Father the Archer of Light
and of seaborn Aphrodite, your well-known acumen has "nicked the ninety and
nine and one over" as Browning says when he (he too!) alludes to the Tarot.

As you will have gathered from the above, a Talisman is a much more
restricted idea; it is no more than one of the objects in his Pantacle,
one of the arrows in the quiver of his Lamen. As, then, you would expect,
it is very little trouble to design. All that you need is to "make consi-
derations' about your proposed operation, decide which planet, sign,

- 97 -

element or sub-element or what not you need to accomplish your miracle.

As you know, a very great many desirable objects can be attained by the
use of the talismans in the Greater and Lesser Keys of Solomon the King;
also in Pietro di Abano and the dubious Fourth Book of Cornelius Agrippa.

You must on no account attempt to use the squares given in the _Book of the_
_Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage_ until you have succeeded in the Opera-
tion. More, unless you mean to perform it, and are prepared to go to any
length to do so, you are a fool to have the book in your possession at
all. Those squares are liable to get loose and do things on their own
initiative; and you won't like it.

The late Philip Haseltine, a young composer of genius, used one of these
squares to get his wife to return to him. He engraved it neatly on his
arm. I don't know how he proceeded to set to work; but his wife came
back all right, and a very short time afterwards he killed himself.

Then there are the Elemental Tablets of Sir Edward Kelly and Dr. John Dee.
From these you can extract a square to perform almost any conceivable
operation, if you understand the virtue of the various symbols which they
manifest. They are actually an expansion of the Tarot. (Obviously, the
Tarot itself as a whole is a universal Pantacle --- forgive the pleonasm!
Each card, especially is this true of the Trumps, is a talisman; and the
whole may also be considered as the Lamen of Mercury. It is evidently an
Idea far too vast for any human mind to comprehend in its entirety. For
it is "the Wisdom whereby He created the worlds.")

The decisive advantage of this system is not that its variety makes it so
adaptable to our needs, but that we already posses the Invocations
necessary to call forth the Energies required. What is perhaps still more
to the point, they work without putting the Magician to such severe toil
and exertion as is needed when he has to write them out from his own
ingenium. Yes! This is weakness on my part, and I am very naughty to
encourage you to shirk the hardest path.

I used often to make the background of my Talismans of four concentric
circles, painting then, the first (inmost) in the King (or Knight) scale,
the second in the Queen, the third in the Prince, and the outermost in
the Princess scale, of the Sign, Planet, or Element to which I was devoting
it. On this, preferably in the "flashing" colours, I would paint the
appropriate Names and Figures.

Lastly, the Talisman may be surrounded with a band inscribed with a suit-
able "versicle" chosen from some Holy book, or devised by the Magician to
suit the case.

In the British Museum (and I suppose elsewhere) you may see the medal
struck to commemorate the victory over the Armada. This is a reproduction,
perhaps modified, of the Talisman used by Dee to raise the storm which
scattered the enemy fleet.

You must lay most closely to your heart the theory of the Magical Link

- 98 -

(see _Magick_ pp . 107 - 122) and see well to it that it rings true; for
without this your talisman is worse than useless. It is dangerous; for
all that Energy is bound to expend itself somehow; it will make its own
links with anything handy that takes its fancy; and you can get into any
sort of the most serious kind of trouble.

There is a great deal of useful stuff in _Magick_; pp. 92 - 100, and pp.
179 - 189. I could go on all night doing nothing but indicating sources of

Then comes the question of how to "charge" the Talisman, of how to evoke
or to invoke the Beings concerned, and of --- oh! of so much that you need
a lifetime merely to master the theory.

Remember, too, please, what I have pointed out elsewhere, that the greatest
Masters have quite often not been Magicians at all, technically; they
have used such devices as Secret Societies, Slogans and Books. If you
are so frivolous as to try to exclude these from our discourse, it is
merely evidence that you have not understood a single word of what I have
been trying to tell you these last few hundred years!

May I close with a stray example or so? _Equinox_ III, 1, has the Neophyte's
Pantacle of Frater O.I.V.V.I.O. The Fontispiece of the original (4 vol-
ume) edition of _Magick_, the colors vilely reproduced, is a Lamen of my
own Magick, or a Pantacle of the Science, I'm sure I'm not sure which!

Most of my Talismans, like my Invocations, have been poems. This letter
must be like the _Iliad_ in at least one respect: it does not end; it

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 99 -



Cara Soror,

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

A few well-chosen words about Astrology? Madam, I am only too happy to
oblige: our aim is to serve. The customer is usually wrong; but statis-
tics indicate that it doesn't pay to tell him so.

It seems a long while since I set up your Nativity, and read it, but it
is very clear in my mind that you were astonished, as so many others
have been, by the simplicity and correctness of my reading. It began,
you remember, by your giving me the usual data when we dropped in for
tea at the Anglers' Rest,. I calculated the Ascendant on the spot, and
remarked "Rubbish!" I looked at you again very carefully; and, after
many grunts, observed, "More likely half-past ten --- within an hour one
way or the other." You insisted; I insisted. Unwilling to make a Fracas
in the Inn, we decided to put you to the trouble of writing to your
mother to settle the dispute. Back came the answer: "within a few
minutes of eleven. I remember because your father had hung on as long
as he could --- he had to take the morning service."

This occurrence is very common in my experience; I have contradicted
what sounded like ascertained fact and proved on enquiry to have been
right; so, considering that the statistics I made many years ago showed
me to have been right 109 times out of 120, I think two things are fairly
near probation; firstly, I am not guessing --- that doesn't matter much;
but, secondly, which is of supreme importance, there is a definite con-
nection between the personal appearance and manner of the native, and
the Sign of the Zodiac which was rising when he first drew air into his

Let me add, to strengthen the argument, that on the few occasions where
I have erred there has been a good astrological reason for it. E.g. I
might plump for Pisces rising when it was actually Capricornus; but in
that case Saturn would have been afflicted by being in Cancer, with
bad aspects from Venus and the Moon, thus taking away all his rugged,
male, laborious qualities, and in the Ascendant might have been Jupiter,
suggesting many of the qualities of Pisces: and so forth.

Now let me start! You want me to explain the system --- or no-system! ---
which I use. I do not "move in a mysterious way My wonders to perform;"
for nothing could be simpler. For its origin I have to thank Abramelin
the Mage, who empties the vials of his scorn upon the astrologers of his
time with their meticulous calculations of "the hours of the planets"
and so on. I think he goes too far when he says that a planet can have
no influence at all, or very little, unless it is above the horizon;
but he meant well, bless him! And, though he does not say so, I believe
that I do my stuff in very much the same way as he did.

- 100 -

Modern astrologers multiply their charts until their desks remind me of
a Bargain Basement in the rush hour! They compare and contrast until
they are in bat-eyed bewilderment bemused; and when the answer turns
out absolutely false, exclaim, what a shout: "By Ptolemy, I forgot to
look at the last Luniation for Buda-Pesth!" But then they can _always_
find something or other which will explain how they came to go wrong:
naturally, when you have several hundred factors, helplessly bound and
gagged, it would be just too bad if you couldn't pick out one to serve
your turn --- after the event! No, dear girl, it should be obvious to an
unweaned brat: (a) they can't see the wood for the trees, (b) they are
using Ruach on a proposition which demands Neschamah. Intellect is quite
inadequate; the problem requires mother-wit, intuition, understanding.

Here is my system in a Number 000 Ampoule.

Put up the figure at birth: study it, make notes of the aspects and
dignities, concentrate --- and turn on the Magical Tap!

Occasionally, when I began, I set up the "progressed figure" to see how
the patient was doing this week, but it never seemed to help enough to
compensate for the distraction caused by the complication. What I do
observe to examine the situation of to-day is Transits. These I have
found very reliable; but even with these I usually ignore aspects of
minor importance. Truth to tell, conjunctions mean very much more than
the rest put together.

Talking of aspects, I think it ridiculous to allow vast "orbs" like 15
for Luna, and 12 for Sol. Astrologers go to extreme lengths to calculate
the "solar revolution" figure not to a degree, not to a minute, but to a
second: and that when they don't know the exact time of birth within
half an hour or more! Talk about straining at a gnat and swallowing a
camel! Then what does an hour or so matter anyhow, if you are going to
allow an aspect, whether it is 2 or 10 off? This even with delicate
aspects like the quintile or semi-sextile. What would you think of a
doctor who had a special thermometer made to register -1/100 of a degree,
and never took notice of the fact that the patient had just swallowed
a cupful of scalding hot tea?

In my own work, I disallow a deviation of 5 or 6 from the exact aspect,
unless there is some alien reason for thinking that it is actually opera-
tive. With the minor aspects, I dislike reckoning with them if they are
even 3 away.

Nor do I see any sense in marking the odd minutes in the Ascendant, when
one is not sure even of the decan.

That seems to be about all that is necessary for my "morning hate;"
suppose we go on to the question of interpretation.

Thousands of books have been written on Astrology; nobody could possible
read them all thoroughly, and he would be a great fool to try. But he
may do little harm by going into them far enough to observe that hardly

- 101 -

any half-dozen are agreed even on the foundations of their system,
hardly any two upon the meaning of any given aspect, dignity, or posi-
tion; there is not always agreement even upon what questions pertain
to which houses.

There are a few completely quack systems, such as those which mix up
the science with Toshosophical^ hypotheses; naturally you discard these.
But even of generally acceptable forms of Astrology, such as Mundane
and Horary, I tend to be distrustful. I ask, for instance, why, if
Taurus rules Poland and Ireland, as is no doubt the case, the crash
and massacres of 1939 e.v. and later in the one did not take place in
the other. All the seaports of the world naturally come under one of
the three watery signs; but we do not find that an affliction of Pisces,
which hits Tunis, should do harm to all the other harbours similarly

This brings us to the first Big Jump in the steeplechase of the whole
science. We hear of thousands of people being killed at the same time
(within an hour or two, perhaps a minute or two) by earthquake, ship-
wreck, explosion, battle or other form of violence. Was the horoscope
of every one of the victims marked with the probability of some such
end? I have known very strange cases of coincidence, but not to _that_

The answer, I believe, is manifold. It might be, for example, that
Poland and Ireland are ruled by different degrees of Taurus; that there
are major and minor figures, the former overruling the latter, so that
the figure of the launching of the "Titanic" swallowed up the nativities
of the victims of her wreck.

Something of this sort is really an obvious truth. Flood in China,
famine in India, pestilence anywhere, evidently depend on maps of a
scale far more enormous than the personal.

Then --- on this point I feel reasonably sure --- there may be one or more
factors of which we know nothing at all, by which the basic possibilities
of a figure are set to work. (Just as a car with engine running will not
start until the clutch is put in.)

I will conclude by announcing a rather remarkable position.

1. I see no objection at all to postulating that certain "rays,'
or other means of transmitting some peculiar form or forms of
energy, may reach us from the other parts of the solar system;
for we can in fact point to perfectly analogous phenomena in
the discoveries of the last hundred years or so.

But that is no more than a postulate.

2. The objections to Astrology as such, indicated by what I have
already pointed out, and several others, would suffice to place
me among the most arrogant disbelievers in the whole study, were

^ WEH NOTE: By now this term has appeared several times, and it will be
going by more than a few times ahead. Crowley disdained to apply "Theosophical"
to the movement of Anne Besant, preferring to reserve the word for older
systems. He coined the word "TOSHosophical" to replace "Theosophical" in
these references.

- 102

it not for what follows.

3. The facts with regard to the Ascendant are so patent, so undeni-
able, and so inexplicable without the postulate in (1), that I
am utterly convinced of the fundamental truth of the basic
principles of the science.

I said, "I will conclude"; and I meant it. For now that (or so I hope)
you respect sufficiently my conviction that Astrology is a genuine science
and not a messy mass of _O_ld _W_ives' _T_ales, you will obviously demand
instruction as to how to learn it, that you may verify my opinion in the
light of your own experiments.

This will look much better if I put it in a separate letter.

'Till then ---

Love is the law, love under will.





Cara Soror,

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

"Up guards, and at 'em!" First, you must know your correspondences by
heart backwards and upside down (air connu.) They are practically all
in _The Book of Thoth_; but "if anyone anything lacks," look for it in

Then, get a book on Astrology, the older the better. Raphael's _Shilling_
_Handbook_ is probably enough for the present purpose. Get well into your
head what the menu says about the natures of the planets, the influence
of the aspects, what is meant by dignities, the scope of the houses, and
so on.

Dovetail all this with your classical knowledge; the character and
qualities, the powers and the exploits, of the several deities concerned.

Next, learn how to set up a figure of the heavens. This need not take an
average intelligent person more than an hour at the most. You can learn
it from a book. Lastly, get Barley's _1001 Notable nativities_ and _More_
_Nativites_. Also any other collections available. Practice setting up
the horoscopes. Use the Chaldean square system; it shows at the first
glance what is happening in the angular houses, which are the keys of
the whole figure.

compare and contrast what you know of the natives, from history, with
what is said of the aspects (and the rest) in the books you have read.

Put together similar horoscopes; e.g. a dozen which have Sagittarius
rising, another lot with Jupiter in the hid-heaven, and so on; see if
you can find a similarity in their lives with what the books will have
led you to expect.

Don't be afraid to criticise; on the contrary, do some research work on
your own, and find cases which seem to contradict tradition.

Instance: Saturn in the M.C. is said to cause a spectacular rise in a
man's career, ending in an equally notable crash. Examples: Napoleon I
and III, Oscar Wilde, Woodrow Wilson, Lord Northcliffe, Hitler. Look for
figures with Saturn thus placed, whose natives have jogged along equably
and died in the odour of sanctity. Find out why what worked in some
cases failed in the others.

By the time you have studied (say) 500 nativities you will be already a
fairly competent judge. Work your bloody guns! as Kipling says; get a
friend --- just this once I allow you human intercourse --- to set up for you
figures of historical importance, or with some outstanding characteristic

- 104 -

(e.g. murderers, champions of sport, statesmen, monsters, philanthropists,
heresiarchs) without telling you to whom it refers.

Build up the character, profession, story from the nativity. It sounds
incredible; but more than a score of times I have been actually able to
name him!

By the time you have got good at this game --- and a most amusing game it
is --- you may call yourself a very competent astrologer.

Sometimes, even now, you may assign the figure of the Archbishop of York
to Jabez Balfour or Catherine de Medici; or mix up Moody and Sankey with
Brown and Kennedy; don't be discouraged; perhaps there may be something
to be said for you after all!

I believe, as I hope, that you will be surprised at the speed with which
you acquire proficiency.

All this time, moreover, you have not been wholly idle. You will have
been running about like a demented rabbit, and trying to spot the rising
sign of everybody you know. Look at them full-face, then profile; and
note salient characteristics, pendulous lips, receding chins, bulbous
noses, narrow foreheads, stuck-out ears, pimples, squints, warts, shape
of face (three main types; thin, jutting, for cardinal signs; square,
steadfast for cherubic; weak, nondescript, for the rest); then the
stature, whether lithe, well-knit, sturdy, muscular, fat or what not;
in short every bodily feature in turn; make up your mind what sign was
rising at birth, and stick to it!

Now to verify your suspicions. The conversation may run thus:

You: "Can you answer a question without answering another which you were
not asked?"

It, surprised: "Why, yes, of course I can."

You: "Good. Then, do you know the date of the Battle of Waterloo?"

It: "1815."

You probably have to explain! In any case you begin all over again, when
he has contented himself with "Yes" or "No" you say "Do you know the hour
of your birth?" If he says "No," you ask if he can find out, and so on.
It he says "Yes;" "Then tell me either the hour or the day and month;
_but not both_." If he gives you the hour, you calculate a bit, and say:
"Then you were born on the nth of Xember, within a fortnight either way."

If he tells you his birthday, work it out as before and then: "You were
born at P in the morning within an hour either way." (This makes it
about 11 to 1 against your being right, in either case, on pure chance.)

Again, you can practise this in cafs, when you visit civilized countries,
and it is often possible to scrape acquaintance with people who look

- 105 -

specially interesting, and do not, as in England, instantly suspect you
of dishonourable advances, and get them to play up. This is sometimes
easier when you are already with that friend which I was so lax as to
allow you; and it is, I own, very helpful to discuss strange faces if
only to make it quite clear to your own mind why you decide on one as
Virgo, another as Taurus.

A strange thing happened once; I had explained all this to the girl
that I happened to be living with: that is, I taught her the names of
the signs; she knew no Astrology, net even the simple correspondences.
After about a month, she was better at it than I was! ("Why strange?"
you mutter rudely. "Quite right, my dear! I have always been a wretched
reader of character. Bless my soul! there was a time when I had hopes
of you," I savagely retort.) She had picked up the knack, the trick
of it; she could select, eliminate, re-compose, compare with past
experience, and form a judgment, without knowing the names of its

When you have got your sea-legs at both these parts of your astrological
education, you may (I think) put out to sea with some confidence. Perhaps
a fair test of your fitness would be when you got three people right out
of four, in a total of a score or so. Well, allow for my being in a
"mood" to-night; call it two out of three. If it were guesswork, after
all, that means you are bringing it off at seven to one. Obviously, when
you do go wrong, set up the figure, study it more carefully than ever,
and find out what misled you.

Remember constantly that the Statistical Method is your one and only
safeguard against self-deception.

Within the limits of a letter I could hardly hope to go into matters much
more fully or deeply than I have done; but 'pon my soul! I think that
what I have said should be enough for an intelligent and assiduous student.
Let me insist that _all_ that is worth while comes by experience. Learning
one thing will give you the clue to another.

Well do I know to my sorrow how hard it is, as a rule, to learn how to
do a thing solely from written instruction; so perhaps you had better
arrange to see me one day about the actual setting-up of a figure.
Probably, too, there will be a few points that you would like to discuss.

I will end by betting you six clothing coupons to a pound of sugar that
in two years' concentrated work on these lines you will become a better
astrologer than ever I was. (This is very cunning of me; in two years
we shall all be getting clothes without coupons.)

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 106 -



Cara Soror,

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

(This letter has been provoked by points discussed in your recent visit.)

As some of your daily practices are ceremonial, it should not come amiss
to vouchsafe a few hints of practical service. For in ritual Magick, it
will of course be the first care to get everything balanced and _tidy_.

If you propose to erect a regular Temple, the most precise instructions
in every detail are given in _Book 4_, Part II. (But I haven't so much
as seen a copy for years!) There is a good deal scattered about in
Part III (_Magick_, which you have) especially about the four elemental

But if circumstances deny you for the moment the means of carrying out
this Aedification as the Ideal would have it, you can certainly do your
best to create a fairly satisfactory --- above all, workable --- substitute.

(By the way, note the moral aspect of a house, as displayed in our language.
"Edification" -- "house-making": from Latin _Aedes_, "house". "Economy" --- "house-
ruling": from the Greek "OIKOC", "House" and "NOMOC", "law".)

I was often reduced to such expedients when wandering in strange lands,
camping on glaciers, and so on. I fixed it workably well. In Mexico,
D.F. for instance, I took my bedroom itself for the Circle, my night-
table for the Altar, my candle for the Lamp; and I made the Weapons
compact. I had a Wand eight inches long, all precious stones and enamel,
to represent the Tree of Life; within, an iron tube containing quick-
silver --- very correct, lordly, and damsilly. What a club! Also, bought,
a silver-gilt Cup; for Air and Earth I made one sachet of rose-petals
in yellow silk, and another in green silk packed with salt. In the wilds
it was easy, agreeable and most efficacious to make a Circle, and build
an altar, of stones; my Alpine Lantern served admirably for the Lamp.
It did double duty when required: e.g. in partaking of the Sacrament of
the Four Elements, it served for Fire. But your conditions are not so
restricted as this.

Let us consider what one can do with an ordinary house, such as you are
happy enough to possess.

First of all, it is of immense advantage to have a room specially conse-
crated to the Work, never used for any other purpose, and never entered
by any other person than yourself, unless it were another Initiate,
either for inspection or in case you were working together.

The aura accumulates with the regularity and frequency of Use.

- 107 -

The first point is the Banishing: Everything is to be removed from the
room which is not absolutely necessary to the Work.

in this country, one must attend to the heating. An electric stove in
the East or the South, is best: it must not need attention. One can
usually buy stoves with excellent appropriate symbolism. (Last time I
did this --- 13 e.v. --- I got a perfect Ferranti at Harrods. The circular
copper bowl, with the central Disk as the source of heat, is unsurpas-
sable.) The walls should be "self-coloured," a neutral tint --- green,
grey or blue-grey? and entirely bare, unless you put up, in the proper
quarters, the proper designs, such as the "Watch Towers" --- see _The_
_Equinox_ I, 7.

Remember that your "East," your Kiblah, is Boleskine House, which is as
near as possible due North from Plymouth. Find North by the shadow of
a vertical rod and noon, or by the Pole-Star. Work out the angle as

The Stl of Revealing may be just on the N. Wall to make your "East."

Next, your Circle. The floor ought to be "Earth" green; but white will
serve, or black. (A Masonic carpet is not at all bad.) The Circle it-
self should be as shown in _Book 4_, Part II; but as this volume is
probably unavailable, ask me to show you the large painted diagram in
my portfolio when next you visit me, and we can arrange for it to be

This should then be painted in the correct colours on the floor: the
Kether Square to the North, your "East."

The Altar must fit exactly the square of Tiphareth; it is best made as
a cupboard; of oak or acacia, by preference. It can then be used to hold
reserves of incense and other requisites.

Note that the height of the Altar has to suit your convenience. It is
consequently in direct relation with your own stature; in proportion,
it is a double cube. This then determines the size of your circle; in
fact the entire apparatus and furniture is a geometrical function of
yourself. Consider it all as a projection of yourself in terms of these
conventional formulae. (A convention does really mean "that which is
convenient." How abject, then to obey a self-styled convention which
is actually as inconvenient as possible!)

Next, the Lamp. This may be of silver, or silver-gilt, (to represent
the Path of Gimel) and is to be hung from the ceiling exactly above the
centre of the altar. There are plenty of old church lamps which serve
very well. The light is to be from a wick in a floating cork in a glass
of olive oil. (I hope you can get it!) It is really desirable to make
this as near the "Ever-burning Lamp of the Rosicrucians" as possible;
it is _not_ a drawback that this implies frequent attention.

Now for the Weapons!

- 108 -

_The Wand_. Let this be simple, straight and slim! Have you an Almond or
Witch Hazel in your garden --- or do I call it park? If so, cut (with the
magick knife --- I would lend you mine) a bough, as nearly straight as
possible, about two feet long. Peel it, rub it constantly with Oil of
Abramelin (this, and his incense, from Wallis and Co., 26 New Cavendish
Street, W.1) and keep wrapped in scarlet silk, constantly, I wrote, and
meant it; rub it, when saying your mantra, to the rhythm of that same.
(Remember, "A ka dua" is the best; ask me to intone it to you when you
next visit me.)

_The Cup_. There are plenty of chalices to be bought. It should be of
silver. If ornamented, the best form is that of the apple. I have seen
suitable cups in many shops.

_The Sword_. The ideal form is shown in the Ace of Swords in the Tarot.
At all events, let the blade be straight, and the hilt a simple cross.
(The 32 Masonic Sword is not too bad; Kenning or Spencer in Great Queen
Street, W.C.2 stock them --- or used to do.)

_The Disk_. This ought to be of pure gold, with your own Pantacle, designed
by yourself after prolonged study, graved thereupon. While getting ready
for this any plain circle of gold will have to serve your turn. Quite
flat, of course. If you want a good simple design to go on _interim_, try
the Rosy Cross or the Unicursal Hexagram.

So much for the Weapons! Now, as to your personal accoutrements, Robe,
Lamen, Sandals and the like, _The Book of the Law_ has most thoughtfully
simplified matters for us. "I charge you earnestly to come before me in
a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress." (AL I, 61) The Robe
may well be in the form of the Tau Cross; i.e. expanding from axilla to
ankle, and from shoulder to --- whatever you call the place where your hands
come out. (Shape well shown in the illustration _Magick_ face p. 360).
You being a Probationer, plain black is correct; and the Unicursal Hexa-
gram might be embroidered, or "applique" (is it? I mean "stuck on"), upon
the breast. The best head-dress is the Nemyss: I cannot trust myself to
describe how to make one, but there are any number of models in the British
Museum, on in any Illustrated Hieroglyphic text. The Sphinx wears one,
and there is a photograph, showing the shape and structure very clearly,
in the _Equinox_ I, 1, frontispiece to Supplement. You can easily make one
yourself out of silk; broad black-and-white stripes is a pleasing design.
Avoid "artistic" complexities.

Well, that ought to be enough to keep you out of mischief for a little
while; but I feel moved to add a line of caution and encouragement.

Faites attention!
Khabardar karo!

Just as soon as you start seriously to prepare a place for magical Work,
the world goes more cockeyed than it is already. Don't be surprised if

- 109 -

you find that six weeks' intense shopping all over London fails to provide
you with some simple requisite that normally you could buy in ten minutes.
Perhaps your fires simply refuse to burn, even when liberally dosed with
petrol and phosphorus, with a handful of Chlorate of Potash thrown in just
to show there is no ill feeling! When you have almost decided that you
had better make up your mind to do without something that seems really
quite unobtainable --- say, a sixty-carat diamond which _would_ look so well
on the head-dress --- a perfect stranger comes along and makes you a present
of one. Or, a long series of quite unreasonable obstacles or silly acci-
dents interfere with your plans: or, the worst difficulty in your way is
incomprehensibly removed by some extraordinary "freak of chance." Or, . . .

In a word, you seem to have strolled into a world where --- well, it might
be going too far to say that the Law of Cause and Effect is suspended;
but at least the Law of Probability seems to be playing practical jokes
on you.

This means that your manoeuvres have somehow attracted the notice of the
Astral Plane: your new neighbours (May I call them?) are taking an
interest in the latest Tenderfoot, some to welcome, to do all they can
to help you to settle down, others indignant or apprehensive at this
disturbance of routine. This is where your Banishings and Invocations
come to the rescue. Of course, I am not here referring to the approach
to Sanctuaries which of necessity are closely guarded, but merely to the
recognition of a new-comer to that part of the world in general.

Of course all these miracles are very naughty of you; they mean that your
magical power has sprung a few small leaks; at least, the water is oozing
between some planks not sealed as Hermetically as they should be. But oh
and this is naughtier still --- it is a blessed, blessed comfort that they
happen, that chance, coincidence and all the rest will simply _not_ explain
it all away, that your new vision of life is not a dream, but part and
parcel of Experience for evermore, a real as any other manifestation of
Reality through sense such as is common to all men.

And this brings us --- it has been a long way round --- from the suggestion of
your visit to the question (hitherto unanswered) in your letter.

You raise so vast and razor-edged a question when you write of the supposed
antinomy of "soul" and "sense" that it seemed better to withhold comment
until this later letter; much meditation was most needful to compress
the answer within reasonable limits; even to give it form at all is no
easy matter. For this is probably the symptom of the earliest stirring of
the mind of the cave-man to reflection, thereunto moved by other symptoms ---
those of the morning after following upon the night before. It is --- have
we not already dealt with that matter after a fashion? --- evidence of disease
when an organ become aware of its own modes of motion. Certainly the mere
fact of questioning Life bears witness to some interruption of its flow,
just as a ripple on an even stream tells of a rock submerged. The fiercer
the torrent and the bigger the obstacle, the greater the disturbance to
the surface --- have I not seen them in the Bralduh eight feet high?

- 110 -

Lethargic folk with no wild impulse of Will may get through Life in bovine
apathy; we may well note that (in a sense) the rage of the water seems to
our perturbed imagining actually to increase and multiply the obstructions;
there is a critical point beyond which the ripples fight each other!

That, in short, is a picture of you!

You have mistaken the flurry of passing over some actual snag for a snag
in itself! You put the blame on to your own quite rational attempts to
overcome difficulties. The secret of the trick of getting past the rocks
is elasticity; yet it is that very quality with which you reproach your-

We even, at the worst, reach the state for which Buddhism, in the East
presents most ably the case: as in the West, does James Thomson (B.V.) in
_The City of Dreadful Night_; we come to wish for --- or, more truly to
_think_ that we wish for "blest Nirvana's sinless stainless Peace" (or some
such twaddle --- thank God I can't recall Arnold's mawkish and unmanly
phrase!) and B.V.'s "Dateless oblivion and divine repose."

I insist on the "think that you wish," because, if the real You did really
wish the real That, you could never have come to exist at all! ("But I
don't exist." --- "I know --- let's get on!")

Note, please, how sophistically unconvincing are the Buddhist theories of
how we ever got into this mess. First cause: Ignorance. Way out, then,
knowledge. O.K., that implies a knower, a thing known --- and so on and so
forth, thought all the Three Waste Paper Baskets of the Law; analysed, it
turns out to be nonsense all dolled up to look like thinking. And there
is no genuine explanation of the origin of the Will to be.

How different, how simple, how self-evident, is the doctrine of _The Book_
_of the Law_!

There are any number of passages dealing with this matter in my writings:
let's forget them, and keep to the Text!

Cap. I, v. 26 ". . my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of
existence, the omnipresence of my body."

V. 30 "This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is
as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all." (There is a Qabalistic inner
meaning in this text; "the pain," for instance, {Greek caps: OmicronAlphaLambdaGammaOmicronSigma}, may be read
XVII x 22 "the expression of Star-love," and so on: all too complicated
for this time and place!)

V. 32. "Then the joys of my love" (i.e. the fulfillment of all possible
experiences) "will redeem ye from all pain."

V. 58. "I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while

- 111 -

in life, upon death; peace* unutterable, rest, ecstasy; . . ."

Cap. II, v. 9 "Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the
sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that
which remains."

(The continuation is amusing! vv. 10 and 11 read:

"O prophet! thou hast ill will to learn this writing. I see thee hate
the hand & the pen; but I am stronger."

At that time I was a hard-shell Buddhist, sent out a New Year's Card
"wishing you a speedy termination of existence!" And this as a young man,
with the world at my feet. It only goes to show . . . . .)

Vv. 19, 20. "Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. . . .
Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and
fire, are of us."

This chapter returns over and over again to this theme in one form or

What is really more significant is the hidden, the unexpressed, soul of
the Book; the way in which it leaps into wild spate of rhapsody on any
excuse or no excuse.

This is surely more convincing than some dreary thesis plodding along
doggedly with the "proof" (!) that "God is good," every sentence creaking
with your chalk-stones and squeaking with the twinges of your toe!

Yet just because I proclaim a doctrine of joy in the language of joy,
people -- dull camels --- say I am not "serious."

Yet I _have_ found pleasure in harnessing the winged horses of the Sun to
the ploughshare of Reason, in showing the validity of this doctrine in
detail. It satisfies my sense of rhythm and of symmetry to explain that
every experience, no matter what, must of necessity be a gain of grandeur,
of grip, of comprehension and enjoyment ever growing as complexity and
simplicity succeed each other in sublime systole and diastole, in strophe
and antistrope chanting against each other to the stars of the Night and
of the Morning!

Of course it is easy as pie to knock all this to pieces by "lunatic logic,"
saying: "Then toothache is really as pleasant as strawberry shortcake:"
You are hereby referred to _Eight Lectures of Yoga_. None of the terms I
am using have been, or can be defined. All my propositions amount to no
more than tautology: A. is A. You may even quote _The Book of the Law_

* "Peace": the glow of satisfaction at achievement. It is not "eternal,"
rather, it whets the appetite for another adventure. (Peace, {GK: H. EIPHNH} =
189 = 7 x 9 x 13 ' the Venusian plus Lunar form of Unity.)

- 112 -

itself: "Now a curse upon Because and his kin! . . . . Enough of Because!
Be he damned for a dog!" (AL II, 28-33). These things stink of
Ignoratio Elenchi, or something painfully like it: as sort of slipping up
a cog, of "confusing the planes" of willfully misunderstanding the gist of
an argument. (All magicians, by the way, ought to be grounded solidly in
Formal Logic.)

Never forget, at the least, how simple it is to make a maniac's hell-broth
of any proposition, however plain to common sense.

All the above, now: --- Buddhism refuted. Yet it is a possibility and
therefore one facet of Truth. "Rest" is an idea: so immobility is one
of the moving states. A certain state of mind is (almost by definition)
"eternal," yet it most assuredly begins and ends.

And so on for ever --- I fear it would be nugatory, pleonastic (and oh!
several other lovely long adjectives!) to try to guard you from these
hydra-headed and protean booby-traps; you must tackle them yourself as
they arise, and deal with them as best you can: always remembering that
often enough you cannot tell which is you and which is the Monkey Puzzle,
or who has won. ("Everybody's won; so everybody must have a prize"
applies beautifully). And none of it all matters a row of haricots verts
sauts; for the conclusion must always be Doubt (see that beastly _Book of_
_Lies_ again --- there's a gorgeous chapter about it) and the practical moral
is this: these contradictions don't occur (or don't matter) in Neschamah.

Also, it might help you quite a lot (by encouraging you when depressed, or
amusing you when you want to relax) to read _Sir Palamede the Saracen_;
Supplement to _The Equinox_, Vol. I, No. 4. I expect quite a few of his
tragi-comic misadventures will be already familiar to you in one disguise
or another.

And if the above remarks should embolden you to exclaim: "Perhaps a little
drink would do me no great harm" I shall feel that I have deserved well of
my country!

For --- see _Liber Aleph_, after Rabelais --- the Word of the Last Oracle is

. . . . . . . .

This plaint of yours tails off --- and perks up in so doing --- with confession
of Ambition, and considerations of what you must leave over to your next
life. Very right! but all that is covered by your general programme. It
is proper to assimilate these ideas with the fundamental structure of your
mind: "Perhaps I had better leave 'The Life and opinion of Battling Bill,
the Ballarat Bruiser' till, shall we say, six incarnations ahead" --- But
perhaps you have acquired that already.

No, better still, concentrate on the Next Step! After all, it is the only
one you can take, isn't it! Without lust of result, please!

- 113 -

And I shall leave anything else to the next letter.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


P.S. "Next letter," yes, they are running into one another more than some-
what; it is better so, for life is like that. And we have the bold bad
editor to sort them out.

- 114 -



Cara Soror,

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

Really, you make me ashamed of You! To write to ignorant me to wise you
up about necromancy, when you have at your elbow the one supreme classic ---
Lvi's Chapter XIII in the _Dogme et Rituel_!*"

What sublimity of approach! What ingenuity of "considerations!" With
what fatally sure steps marches his preparation! With what superb tech-
nique does he carry out his energized enthusiasm! And, finally, with
what exact judicial righteousness does he sum the results of his great
Evocation of Apollonius of Tyana!

Contrast with this elaborate care, rightness of every detail, earnestness
and intentness upon the goal --- contrast, I say, the modern Spiritist in
the dingy squalor of her foul back street in her suburban slum, the room
musty, smelling of stale food, the hideous prints, the cheap and rickety
furniture, calling up any one required from Jesus Christ to Queen Victoria,
all at a bob-a-nob!

Faugh! Let us return to clean air, and analyse Lvi's experiment; I
believe that by the application of the principles set forth in my other
letters on Death and Reincarnation, it will be simple to explain his par-
tial failure to evoke Apollonius. You had better read them over again,
to have the matter clear and fresh in your mind.

Now then, let me call you attention to the extreme care which Lvi took
to construct a proper Magical Link between himself and the Ancient Master.
Alas! It was rather a case of building with bricks made without straw;
he had not at his command any fresh and vital object pertaining intimately
to Apollonius. A "relic" would have been immensely helpful, especially if
it had been consecrated and re-consecrated through the centuries by devout
veneration. This, incidentally, is the great advantage that one may often
obtain when invoking Gods; their images, constantly revered, nourished by
continual sacrifice, serve as a receptacle for the Prana driven into them
by thousands or millions of worshippers. In fact, such idols are often
already consecrated talismans; and their possession and daily use is at
least two-thirds of the battle.

Apollonius was indeed as refractory a subject as Lvi could possibly have
chosen. All the cards were against him.

Why? Let me remind you of the sublimity of the man's genius, and the
extent of his attainment. Apollonius must certainly have made the closest
links between his Ruach and his Supernal Triad, and this would have gone

* _Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie_, by Eliphas Lvi.

- 115 -

seeking a new incarnation elsewhere. All the available Ruach left float-
ing around in the Akasha must have been comparatively worthless odds and
ends, true Qlippoth or "Shells of the Dead" --- just those parts of him, in
a word, which Apollonius would have deliberately discarded at his death.
So what use would they be to Lvi? Even if there were among them a few
such elements as would serve his purpose, they would have been devitalized
and frittered away by the mere lapse of the centuries, since they had lost
connection with the reality of the Sage. Alternatively, they might have
been caught up and adopted by some wandering Entity, quite probably some
malignant demon.

Qlipoth --- Shells of the Dead --- Obsessing Spirits! Here we are back in
the pestilent purlieus of Walham Green, and the frowsty atmosphere of the
frowsy "medium" and the squalid sance. "Look! but do not speak to them!"
as Virgil warned Dante.

So let us look.

No! Let us first congratulate ourselves that this subject of Necromancy is
so admirably documented. As to the real Art, we have not only Eliphas
Lvi, but the sublimely simple account in the Old Testament of the Witch
of Endor, her conjuring up of the apparition of Samuel to King Saul. A
third classic must not be neglected: I have heard or read the story else-
where --- for the moment I cannot place it. But it is so brilliantly told
in _I Write as I Please_ by Walter Duranty that nothing could be happier
than to quote him verbatim.

"It was the story of a Bolshevik who conversed with a corpse. He told it
to me himself, and undoubtedly believed it, although he was an average
tough Bolshevik who naturally disbelieved in Heaven and Hell and a Life
beyond the Grave. This man was doing 'underground' revolutionary work in
St. Petersburg when the War broke out; but he was caught by the police
and exiled to the far north of Siberia. In the second winter of the War
he escaped from his prison camp and reached an Eskimo village where they
gave him shelter until the spring. They lived, he said, in beastly condi-
tions, and the only one whom he could talk to was the Shaman, or medicine
man, who knew a little Russian. The Shaman once boasted that he could
foretell the future, which my Bolshevik friend ridiculed. The next day
the Shaman took him to a cave in the side of a hill in which there was a
big transparent block of ice enclosing the naked body of a man --- a white
man, not a native --- apparently about thirty years of age with no sign of
a wound anywhere. The man's head, which was clean-shaven, was outside
the block of ice; the eyes were closed and the features were European.
The shaman then lit a fire and burnt some leaves, threw powder on them
muttering incantations, and there was a heavy aromatic smoke. He said
in Russian to the bolshevik, 'Ask what you want to know.' The Bolshevik
spoke in German; he was sure that the Shaman knew no German, but he was
equally sure he saw the lips move and heard it answer, clearly, in German.
He asked what would happen to Russia, and what would happen to him. From
the moving lips of the corpse came the reply that Russia would be defeated
in war and that there would be a revolution; the Tzar would be captured
by his enemies and killed on the eve of rescue; he, the Bolshevik, would

- 116 -

fight in the Revolution but would suffer no harm; later, he would be
wounded fighting a foreign enemy, but would recover and live long."

"The Bolshevik did not really believe what he had seen although he was
certain that he had seen it. I mean that he explained it by hypnotism
or auto-suggestion or something of the kind; but it was true, he said,
that he passed unscathed through the Revolution and the Civil War and
was wounded in the Polish War when the Red Army recovered Kiev."

So also we are most fortunate in possessing the account almost beyond
Heart's desire of Spiritism, in Robert Browning's _Mr. Sludge the Medium_.
You see that I write "Spiritism" not "Spiritualism." To use the latter
word in this connection is vulgar ignorance; it denotes a system of
philosophy which flourished (more or less) is the Middle Ages --- read
your Erdmann if you want the gruesome details. But why should you?

The model for Mr. Sludge was David Dunbar (? Douglas) Home, who was really
quite a distinguished person in his way, and succeeded in pulling some
remarkably instructed and blue-blooded legs. Personally, I believe him
to have been genuine, getting real results through pacts with elementals,
demons or what not; for when he was in Paris, arrangements were made
for him to meet Eliphas Lvi; forthwith "he abandoned the unequal
contest, and fled in terror from the accursed spot."

What annoyed Browning was that he had added to his collection of "Femora
I have pulled", those appendages of Elizabeth Barrett; and where R.B.
was there was no room for anyone else --- as in the case of Allah!

R.B. was accordingly as spiteful as he could be, and that was not a little.
It is not fair to tar all mediums with the Sludge brush; there are many
who could advance quite sincerely some of the apologia of Sludge. Why
should a medium be immune to self-deception spurred by the Wish-Fiend?
While there are people walking about outside the Bug-house who can find
Mrs. Simpson and Generals de Gaulle, Franco, Allenby, Montgomery and who
else in the "Centuries" of Nostradamus, we should be stupid to assign
everything to conscious fraud.

In that case what about poor Tiny Aleister? Do please allow me the
_happy young Eagles_ of the _Old Testament_; what clearer prophecy of
psychoanalysis, it's only the English for Freud and Jung and Adler!

No, by no means always fraud. Yet at any sance the "investigators" take
no magical precautions soever --- against, say, the impersonation of Iophiel
by Hismael, or the Doves of Venus by the A'arab Zareq. All they attempt
especially at "demonstrations" and "materializations," is to guard with
great elaboration and (as a rule) complete futility against the deceptions
of the common conjuror. They are not expecting any genuine manifestation
of the "Spirit World;" and this fact makes clear their true subconscious

As for those mediums who possess magical ability, they almost always come
from the most ignorant classes --- Celts are an exception to this rule --- and

- 117 -

have no knowledge whatever of the technique of the business. Worse, they
are usually of the type that delights in the secret dirty affinities, and so
naturally and gladly attract entities of the Qliphothic world to their
magical circle. Hence tricksters, of the lowest elemental orders, at the
best, come and vitalize odds and ends of the Ruach of people recently
deceased, and perform astonishing impersonations. The hollow shells glow
with infernal fire. Also, of course, they soak up vitality from the
sitters, and from the medium herself.

Altogether, a most poisonous performance. And what do they get out of
it? Even when the "Spirits" are really spirits, they only stuff the party
up with a lot of trashy lies.

To this summary the Laws of Probability insist that there shall be occa-
sional exceptions.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 118 -



Cara Soror,

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

Dear me! dear me! The world's indeed gone topsy-turvy if you have to ask
_me_ for the secrets of Fascination! Altogether tohu-bohu and the Temurah
Thash raq!

So much for a display of Old-World Courtly Manners; actually rubbish,
for you might very well be fascinating without knowing how you worked the
trick. In fact, I think that is the case ninety-nine times in a hundred.

Besides, I read your letter carelessly; I overlooked the phrase in which
you mention that you use the word as Lvi did; i.e. to cover all those
types of "miracle" which depend on distracting the attention of, or other-
wise composing, the miraclee --- I invent a rather useful word, yes?

So let us see what sort of miracles those are.

To start with, I doubt if we can. Many of such thaumaturgic phenomena
contain elements of illusion in greater or less degree; if the maraclee's
mind is 100% responsible, I think the business becomes a mere conjuring

My dictionary defines the verb: "to charm, to enchant; to act on by some
irresistible influence; to captivate; to excite and allure irresistibly
or powerfully."

For the noun it gets even deeper into technical Magic {sic}: "the act or power
of fascinating or spell binding, often to one's harm; a mysterious, irre-
sistible, alluring influence." (Personally, I have always used, or
heard, it much less seriously: "attractive" hardly more). Skeat, sur-
prisingly, is almost dumb: p. part. of "to enchant" and "from L. _fascinum_,
a spell."

Yes, surprisingly; for the word is one of the many that means the Phallus.
The implication is that there is some sexual element in the exciting and
alluring quality, which lifts it altogether above mere "pleasing."

To my mind the implication is that there is some quality inherent which
is cognate to that too totally irrational quasimagnetic force which has
been responsible not only for innumerable personal tragedies --- and comedies
--- but for the fall of dynasties and even the wreck of Empires.

"Christ" is reported as having said: "If I be lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all men unto me." Interpret this in the light of the Cross
as a Phallic emblem, and --- how lurid a flash!

- 119 -

Compare AL II, 26. "I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in
my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one.
If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the
earth, and I and the earth are one."

This versicle is deep, devilish deep; and it is chock-a-block with the
mysteries of Fascination. Dig into this, dear sister! dig with your
Qabalistic trowel; don't blame me if you don't get a Mandrake with the
very first thrust!

But most certainly I shall say nothing here. Yes, indeed, nothing was
ever more sternly forbidden than prattle on subjects like this! Look!
It goes right on: "There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand
these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the
pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason."
(v. 27) The pit is of course the Abyss: see _The Vision and the Voice_,
Xth Aethyr. A very sticky --- or rather, unstuck! finish; so 'ware Hawk!

To business! Fascination No! Invisibility, is obviously penny plain S.A.
This is notably an affair of the subconscious; it often masters open
dislike and distaste; it never yields to reason. It destroys all sense
of values. Its origin is usually obscure. The least irrational base of
it is the sense of smell. It was, if I remember rightly, the Comte de
St. Germain who advised Loise de la Vallire to fix her exquisitely
broidered kerchief in such wise that it protected her from contact with
her saddle, and then, after a morning's hard gallop, to find an excuse
for using it to wipe the brows of the perspiring king. It took him years
to recover! The story is well known, and the plan widely adopted with
remarkably unvarying success. But be careful not to overdo it; for if
the source of the perfume is recognized the consciousness takes charge,
and the result is antipathy.

Many years ago I composed a scent based on similar principles, which I
intended to market under the title "Potted Sex Appeal." We tried it out
with the assistance of a certain noble Marquess, whose consequent mis-
adventures --- won't he laugh when he reads this!

But there are other senses: "_l'amour de l'oreille_" may refer not only to
Othello's way of snaring Desdemona, but subtleties of timbre in the voice...

Yes, yes, you say impatiently, but there isn't any miracle about all this
in the ordinary sense of the word.

True, but why the devil do you want me, so long as you're getting what you
need? Just being childlike, I suppose! No? Merely that you can explain
such matters to yourself well enough. All right; on to No. 2. Shall we
look at levitation for a change?

This power --- if it be one --- is very curious indeed. It connects more
directly with magnetism than almost any other. The first thing we think
of when someone says "magnet" is picking up iron filings as a child.

Age before honesty! Let Father Poulain S.J. speak first! He is obliged

- 120 -

to admit the phenomenon, because the Church has done so. But precisely
similar accounts of the levitation of pagans and heretics must be accord-
ing to him, lies, or Works of the Devil. As for the method, "God employs
the angels to raise the saint, so as to avoid the necessity of intervening
Himself." Lazy old parishioner!

Now for a douche of common sense. Hatha-Yoga is quite clear and simple,
even logical, about it. The method is plain Pranayama. Didn't I tell
you onetime of the Four Stages of Success? 1. Perspiration --- of a very
special kind. 2. Sukshma-Khumbakam: automatic rigidity. One stiffens
like a dog in a bell-jar when you pump in Carbon Dioxide (is it?) 3. The
Bhuchari-Siddhi, "jumping about like a frog." One is wafted, without one's
Asana being disturbed, about the floor, rather as fragments of paper, or
dry leaves, might be in a slight draught under the door. 4. If one is
quite perfectly balanced one cannot be moved sideways; so one rises.
And there you are!

Personally, I reached the Bhuchari-Siddhi quite a number of times; but I
never observed No. 4. On several occasions other people have seen me levi-
tated, though never to a height of more than a foot or so. Here is the
best account of such an incident, of those at my immediate disposal.

"Nearly midnight. At this moment we stopped dictating, and began to con-
verse. Then Fra. P. said: "Oh, if I could only dictate a book like the
_Tao Teh King_!" Then he close his eyes as if meditating. Just before I
had noticed a change in his face, most extraordinary, as if he were no
longer the same person; in fact, in the ten minutes we were talking he
seemed to be any number of different people. I especially noticed the
pupils of his eyes were so enlarged that the entire eye seemed black.
(I tremble so and have such a quaking feeling inside, simply in thinking
of last night, that I can't form letters). Then quite slowly the entire
room filled with a thick yellow light (deep golden, but not brilliant.
I mean not dazzling, but soft.) Fra. P. Looked like a person I had never
seen but seemed to know quite well --- his face, clothes and all were of
the same yellow. I was so disturbed that I looked up to the ceiling to
see what caused the light, but could only see the candles. Then the chair
on which he sat seemed to rise; it was like a throne, and he seemed to
rise; it was like a throne, and he seemed to be either dead or sleeping;
but it was certainly no longer Fra. P. This frightened me, and I tried
to understand by looking round the room; when I looked back the chair
was raised, and he was still the same. I realized I was alone; and
thinking he was dead or gone --- or some other terrible thing --- I lost

This discourse has been thus left unfinished: but it is only necessary
to add that the capacity to extract such spiritual honey from these un-
promising flowers is the mark of an adept who has perfected his Magick
Cup. This method of Qabalistic exegesis is one of he best ways of
exalting the reason to the higher consciousness. Evidently it started
Fra. P. so that in a moment he become completely concentrated and entranced.

Note that this has nothing at all to do with any Pranayama. It seems a

- 121

matter of ecstatic concentration, which chose this mode of expression
instead of bringing on Samadhi --- though that, too, occurred in some of
the cases.

By the way, there is a fairly full account of the whole business; I have
just remembered --- it is in my _Autohagiography_.

"Pranayama produced, firstly, a peculiar kind of perspiration; secondly,
an automatic rigidity of the muscles; and thirdly, the very curious
phenomenon of causing the body, while still absolutely rigid, to take
little hops in various directions. It seems as if one were somehow raised,
possibly an inch from the ground, and deposited very gently a short dis-
tance away.

I saw a very striking case of this at Kandy. When Allan was meditating,
it was my duty to bring his food very quietly (from time to time) into
the room adjoining that where he was working. One day he missed two
successive meals, and I thought I ought to look into his room to see if
all was well. I must explain that I have known only two European women
and three European men who could sit in the attitude called Padmasana,
which is that usually seen in seated images of the Buddha. Of these men,
Allan was one. He could knot his legs so well that, putting his hands
on the ground, he could swing his body to and fro in the air between them.
When I looked into his room I found him not seated on his meditation mat,
which was in the centre of the room at the end farthest from the window,
but in a distant corner ten or twelve feet off, still in his knotted
position, resting on his head and right shoulder, exactly like an image
overturned. I set him right way up, and he came out of his trance. He
was quite unconscious that anything unusual had happened. But he had
evidently been thrown there by the mysterious forces generated by

"There is no doubt whatever about this phenomenon; it is quite common.
But the Yogis claim that the lateral motion is due to lack of balance, and
that if one were in perfect spiritual equilibrium one would rise directly
in the air. I have never seen any case of levitation, and hesitate to say
that it has happened to me, thought I have actually been seen by others, on
several occasions, apparently poised in the air. For the first three
phenomena I have found no difficulty in devising quite simple physiologi-
cal explanations. But I can form no theory as to how the practice could
counteract the force of gravitation, and I am unregenerate enough to allow
this to make me sceptical about the occurrence of levitation. Yet, after
all, the stars are suspended in space. There is no priori reason why
the forces which prevent them rushing together should not come into
operation in respect of the earth and the body."

The Allan part of this is the best evidence at my disposal. He couldn't
have got where he did by hopping, and he couldn't have got into that
position intentionally; he must have been levitated, lost balance, and
dropped upside down. In any case, there is no trace of fascination about
it, as there may have been in Soror Virakam's observation.

About invisibility, now? Of this I have so much experience that the

- 122 -

merest outline could take us far beyond the limits of a letter. In Mexico
D.F., I worked at acquiring the power by means of ritual. I worked desper-
ately hard. I got to the point where my image in a pier-glass flickered,
rather like the very earliest films did. Possibly more work, after more
skill had come to me, might have done the whole trick. But I did not
persist when I found out how to do it by fascination. (Here we are at

Roughly, this is how to do it. If one is concentrated to the point when
what you are thinking of is the only reality in the Universe, when you
lose all awareness of who and where you are and what you are doing, it
seems as though that unconsciousness were in some way contagious. The
people around you just can't see anybody.

At one time, in Sicily, this happened nearly every day. Our party, strolling
down to our bathing bay --- the loveliest spot of its kind that I have ever
seen --- over a hillside where there wasn't cover for a rabbit, would lose
sight of me, look, and fail to find me, though I was walking in their midst.
At first, astonishment, bewilderment; at last, so normal had it become:
"He's invisible again."

One incident I remember very vividly indeed; an old friend and I were
sitting opposite each other in armchairs in front of a large fire, smoking
our pipes. Suddenly he lost sight of me, and actually cried out in alarm.
I said: "What's wrong?" That broke the spell; there I was, all present
and correct.

Did I hear you mutter "Transmutations? Werwolves? Golden Hawks?" Likely
enough; it's time we touched on that.

In certain types of animal there appears, if tradition have any weight, to
be a curious quality of --- sympathy? I doubt if that be the word, but can
think of none better --- which enables them to assume at times the human
form. No. 1 --- and the rest are also rans --- is the seal. There is a whole
body of literature about this. Then come wolves, hyaenas, large dogs of
the hunting type; occasionally leopards. Tales of cats and serpents are
usually the other way round; it is the human (nearly always female) that
assumes these shapes by witchcraft. But in ancient Egypt they literally
doted on this sort of thing. The papyri are full of formulas for operating
such transmutations. But I think that this was mostly to afford some relaxa-
tion for the spirit of the dead man; he nipped out of his sarcophagus,
and painted the town all the colours of the rainbow in one animal shape or

The only experience I have of anything of this sort was when I was in Pacific
waters, mostly at Honolulu or in Nippon. I was practising Astral projection.
A sister of the Order who lived in Hong Kong helped me. I was to visit her,
and the token of perfect success was to be that I should knock a vase off
the mantel-piece. We appointed certain days and hours --- with some awkward-
ness, as my time-distance from her was constantly growing shorter --- for me
to pay my visit. We got some remarkable results; our records of the inter-
view used to tally with surprising accuracy; but the vase remained intact!

- 123 -

This is _not_ one of my notorious digressions; and this is how transmu-
tation comes into it. I found that by first taking the shape of a golden
hawk, and resuming my own form after landing in her "temple" --- a room
she had fitted ad hoc --- the whole operation became incomparably easier.
I shall not indulge in hypotheses of why this should have been the case.

A little over four years later --- in the meantime we had met and worked
at Magick together --- we resumed these experiments in a somewhat different
form. The success was much greater; but though I could move her, and
even any objects which she was touching, I could make no impression on
inanimate objects at a distance from her. The behaviour of her dogs, and
of her cat, was very curious and interesting. Strangest of all, there
appeared those "kinks in Time" which profane science is just beginning
to discuss. Example: on one occasion our records of an "interview"
agreed with quite extraordinary precision; but, on comparing notes, it
was found that owing to some stupid miscalculation of mine, it was all
over in Hong Kong some hours before I had started from Honolulu! Again,
don't ask me why, or how, or anything!

Talking of kinks in Time, I shall now maintain my aforesaid evil notor-
iety --- the story is totally asynartete from fascinations of whatever
variety --- by recounting what is by far the most inexplicable set of facts
that ever came my way.

In the summer of 1910 e.v. I was living at 125 Victoria Street, in a
studio converted into a Temple by means of a Circle, an Altar and the
rest. West of the Altar was a big fireplace with a fender settee; the
East wall was covered with bookshelves. Enter the late Theodor Reuss,
O.H.O. and Frater Superior of the O.T.O. He wanted me to join that Order.
I recommended him, in politer language to repeat the Novocastrian Experi-
ment. Undeterred, he insisted: "But you _must_."

(Now we go back, or forward, I know not which, to a night when I found
myself stranded in London. I asked hospitality of a stranger; it was
readily afforded. Some hours later my hostess fell asleep; I could not
do so; something was nagging me. I suddenly took my notebook, and wrote
a certain passage in a certain book, since published.)

"Must, my foot!" He persisted: "You have published the secret of the
nth degree of O.T.O., and you must take the corresponding oaths." "I
have done nothing of the sort. I don't know the secret. I don't want
to know it. I don't . . . " He interrupted me; he strode across the
room; he plucked a book from the shelves; he opened it; he thrust it
under my nose; he pointed out a passage with a minatory index. I began
to stammer. "Yes, I wrote that. I don't know what it means; I don't
like it; I only put it in because it was written in rather curious cir-
cumstances, and I was too lazy --- or perhaps a little afraid --- to reject
it and write what I wanted." He fastened on one point: "_You don't know_
_what it means_?" I repeated that I did not, even now that he had claimed
it as important. He explained it to me, as to a child. I was merely
surprised; it didn't sound possible. (Sister, all this while I've been
lying to you like an Archbishop; it _is_ connected wit fascinations;

- 124 -

indeed, it has very little to do with anything else!)

Finally, he won me over, I went down to his G.H.Q., took the Oaths, was
installed in the Throne of the X of O.T.O. as National Sovereign Grand
Master General, and began to establish the Order as a going concern.

Well, you say, that is a very simple story, nothing specially hard to
believe in it.

True, but consider the dates.

That scene in Victoria Street, is as clear and vivid in my mind, in every
detail, as if it were yesterday. That secret is published only in that
passage of that book. And --- the book was not published until three
years later, and from an address of which in 1910 I had not so much as
thought of. The date of my adhesion to the O.T.O. (which, by the way,
upset every principle and plan that I had ever held) is equally certain
by virtue of subsequent published writings.

Now go away and explain that!

Well I've given you a fair account of some of the principal fascinations;
as to the rest, bewitchments, sorceries, inhibitions and all that lot, it
is enough if I say that they follow the regular Laws of Magick; in some,
fascination proper plays a prominent part; in others, it is barely more
than walking on to say "My lord, the carriage waits!" But --- even that
can be done well or ill, and a small mistake may work a mighty mischief.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 125 -



Cara Soror,

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

"Occult" science is the most difficult of them all. For one thing, its
subject-matter includes the whole of philosophy, from ontology and
metaphysics down to natural history. More, the most rarefied and recon-
dite of these has a direct bearing upon the conduct of life in its most
material details, and the simplest study of such apparently earthbound
matters as botany and mineralogy leads to the most abstruse calculations
of the imponderables.

With what weapons, then, are we to attack so formidable a fortress?

The first essential is clear thinking.

In a previous letter I have dealt to some extent with this subject;
but it is so important that you must forgive me if I return to it, and
that at length, from the outset, and in detail.

Let us begin but having our own minds clear of all ambiguities, ignoring
for the purpose of this argument all metaphysical subtleties.* I want
to confine it to the outlook of the "plain man."

What do we do when we "think?"

There are two operations, and only two, possible to thought. However
complex a statement may appear, it can always be reduced to a series of
one or other of these. If not, it is a sham statement; nonsense mas-
querading as sense in the cloak of verbiage and verbosity.

Analysis, and Synthesis; or,

Subtraction, and Addition.

1. You can examine A, and find that it is composed of B and C. A = B + C.

2. You can find out what happens to B when you add C to it. B + C = A.

As you notice, the two are identical, after all; but the process is

Example: Raise Copper Oxide to a very high temperature; you obtain
metallic copper and oxygen gas. Heat copper in a stream of oxygen; you

* I mean criticisms such as "Definition is impossible;" "All arguments
are circular;" "All propositions are tautological." These are true, but
one is obliged to ignore them in all practical discussions.

- 126 -

obtain copper oxide.

You can complicate such experiments indefinitely, as when one analyzes
coal-tar, or synthesizes complex products like quinine from its elements;
but one can always describe what happens as a series of simple operations,
either of the analytical or the synthetic type.

(I wonder if you remember a delightful passage in Anatole France where
he interprets an "exalted" mystical statement, first by giving the words
their meaning as concrete images, when he gets a magnificent hymn, like
a passage from the _Rig-Veda_; secondly, by digging down to the original
meaning, with an effect comical and even a little ribald. I fear I have
no idea where to find it; in one of the "odds and ends" compilations
most likely. So please, look somebody; you won't have wasted your time!)

This has been put in a sort of text, because the first stumbling-block
to study is the one never has any certainty as to what the author means,
or thinks he means, or is trying to persuade one that he means.

Try something simple: "The soul is part of God." Now then, when he
writes "soul" does he mean Atma, or Buddhi, or the Higher Manas, or
Purusha, or Yechidah,or Neschamah, or Nepheshch, or Nous, or Psyche, or
Phren, or Ba, or Khu, or Ka, or Animus, or Anima, or Seele, or what?

As everybody will he nill he, creates "God" in his own image, it is
perfectly useless to inquire what he may happen to mean by that.

But even this very plain word "part". Does he mean to imply a quantita-
tive assertion, as when one says sixpence is part of a pound, or a factor
indispensable, as when one says "A wheel is part of a motor-car", or . . .
(Part actually means "a share, that which is provided," according to
Skeat; and I am closer to the place where Moses was when the candle
went out than I was before!)

The fact is that very few of us know what words mean; fewer still take
the trouble to enquire. We calmly, we carelessly assume that our minds
are identical with that of the writer, at least on that point; and then
we wonder that there should be misunderstandings!

The fact is (again!) that usually we don't really want to know; it is
so very much easier to drift down the river of discourse, "lazily, lazily,
drowsily, drowsily, In the noonday sun".

Why is this so satisfactory? Because although we may not know what a
word means, most words have a pleasant or unpleasant connotation, each
for himself, either because of the ideas or images thus begotten, of
hopes or memories stirred up, or merely for the sound of the word itself.
(I have gone a month's journey out of my way to visit a town, just because
I liked the sound of the name!)

Then there are devices: style --- rhythm, cadence, rime, ornamentation
of a thousand kinds. I think one may take it that the good writer makes

- 127 -

use of such artifice to make his meaning clear; the bad writer to obscure
it, or to conceal the fact that he has none.

One of the best items of the education system at the Abbey in Cefal was
the weekly Essay. Everyone, including children of five or six, had to
write on "The Housing Problem," "Why Athens Decayed," "The Marriage
System," "Buddhist Ethics" and the like; the subject didn't matter much;
the point was that one had to discover, arrange and condense one's ideas
about it, so as to present it in a given number of words, 93 or 156, or
418 as like as not, that number, neither more nor less. A superb disci-
pline for any writer.

I had a marvellous lesson myself some years earlier. I had cut down a
certain ritual of initiation to what I thought were the very barest bones,
chiefly to make it easy to commit to memory. Then came a candidate who
was deaf --- not merely "a little hard of hearing;" his tympana were rup-
tured --- and the question was How?

All right for most of it; one could show him the words typed on slips.
But during part of the ceremony he was hoodwinked; one was reduced to
the deaf-and-dumb alphabet devised for such occasions. I am as clumsy
and stupid at that as I am at most things, and lazy, infernally lazy, on
top of that. Well, when it came to the point, the communication of the
words became abominably, intolerably tedious. And then! Then I found
that about two-thirds of my "absolutely essential" ritual was not neces-
asary at all!

That larned 'im.

Love is the law, love under will.



- 128 -



Cara Soror,

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

Was the sudden cloudburst at the end of my last letter somewhat of a
surprise, and more that somewhat of a shock? Cheer up! The worst is
yet to come.

This is where clean thinking --- a subject whose fringes I seem to remember
having touched --- wins the Gold Medal of the Royal Humane Society.

It is surely the wise course to accept the plain facts; to try to
explain them away, or to excuse them, is certain to involve one in a
maelstrom of sophistry; and when, despite these laudable efforts, the
facts jump up and land a short jab to the point, one is even worse off
than before.

This has to be said, because Sammasati is assuredly one of the most
useful, as well as one of the most trustworthy and most manageable,
weapons in the armoury of the Aspirant.

You stop me, obviously with a demand for a personal explanation. "How
is it," you write, "that you reject with such immitigable scorn the
very foundation-stones of Buddhism, and yet refer disciples enthusiasti-
cally to the technique of some of its subtlest super-structures?"

I laff.

It is the old, old story. When the Buddha was making experiments and
recording the results, he was on safe ground: when he started to
theorize, committing (incidentally) innumerable logical crimes in the
process, he is no better a guesser than the Arahat next door, or for
the matter of that, the Arahat's Lady Char.

So, if you don't mind, we will look a little into this matter of Samma-
sati: what is it when it's at home?

It may be no more than a personal fancy, but I think Allan Bennett's
translation of the term, "Recollection," is as near as one can get in
English. One can strain the meaning slightly to include Re-collection,
to imply the ranging of one's facts, and the fitting of them into an
organized structure. The term "sati" suggests an identification of
Being with Knowledge --- see _The Soldier and the Hunchback ! -- ! and ?_
(_Equinox_ I, 1). So far as it applies to the Magical Memory, it lays stress
on some such expedient, very much as is explained in _Liber Thisarb_
(_Magick_, pp. 415 - 422).

- 129 -

But is it not a little strange that "The Abomination of Desolation
should be set up in the Holy Place," as it were? Why should the whole-
bearted search for Truth and Beauty disclose such hateful and such
hideous elements as necessary components of the Absolute Perfection?

Never mind the why, for a moment; first let us be sure that it is so.
Have we any grounds for expecting this to be the case?

We certainly have.

This is a case where "clean thinking" is most absolutely helpful. The
truth is of exquisite texture; it blazons the escutcheon of the Unity
of Nature in such delicate yet forceful colours that the Postulant may
well come thereby to the Opening of the Trance of Wonder; yet religious
theories and personal pernicketiness have erected against its impact the
very stoutest of their hedgehogs of prejudice.

Who shall help us here? Not the sonorous _Vedas_, not the _Upanishads_,
Not Apollonius, Plotinus, Ruysbroeck, Molinos; not any gleaner in the
field of priori; no, a mere devotee of natural history and biology:
Ernst Haeckel.

Enormous, elephantine, his work's bulk is almost incredible; for us
his one revolutionary discovery is pertinent to this matter of Samma-
sati and the revelations of one's inmost subtle structure.

He discovered, and he demonstrated, that the history of any animal
throughout the course of its evolution is repeated in the stages of
the individual. To put it crudely, the growth of a child from the
fertilized ovum to the adult repeats the adventures of its species.

This doctrine is tremendously important, and I feel that I do not know
how to emphasize it as it deserves. I want to be exceptionally accurate;
yet the use of his meticulous scientific terms, with an armoury of
quotations, would almost certainly result in your missing the point,
"unable to see the wood for the trees."

Let me put it that the body is formed by the super-position of layers,
each representing a stage in the history of the evolution of the species.
The foetus displays essential characteristics of insect, reptile, mammal
(or whatever they are) in the order in which these classes of animal
appeared in the world's history.

Now I want to put forward a thesis --- and as far as I know it is personal
to myself, based on my work at Cefal --- to the effect that the mind is
constructed on precisely the same lines.

You will remember from my note on "Breaks" in meditation how one's
gradual improvement in the practice results in the barring-out of
certain classes of idea, _by_ classes. The ready-to-hand, recent fugi-
tive thoughts come first and first they go. Then the events of the
previous day or so, and the preoccupations of the mind for that period.

- 130 -

Next, one comes to the layer of reveries and other forms of wish-phanstasm;
then cryptomnesia gets busy with incidents of childhood and the like;
finally, there intrudes the class of "atmospherics," where one cannot
trace the source of the interruption.

All these are matters of the conscious rational mind; and when I explored
and classified these facts, in the very first months of my serious prac-
tice of Yoga, I had no suspicion that they were no more than the foam on
a glass of champagne: nay, rather of

"black wine in jars of jade
Cooled all these months in hoarded snow,
Black wine with purple starlight in its bosom,
Oily and sweet as the soul of a brown maid
Brought from the forenoon's archipelago,
Her brows bound bright with many a scarlet blossom
Like the blood of the slain that flowered free
When we met the black men knee to knee."

How apt the verses are! How close are wine and snow to lust and slaughter!

I have been digressing, for all that; let us return to our goats!

The structure of the mind reveals its history as does the structure of the body.

(Capitals, please, or bang on something; that has got to sink in.)

Just as your body was at one stage the body of an ape, a fish, a frog
(and all the rest of it) so did that animal at that stage possess a mind

Now then! In the course of that kind of initiation conferred by Samma-
sati, the layers are stripped off very much as happens in elementary
meditation (Dharana) to the conscious mind.

(There is a way of acquiring a great deal of strange and unsuspected
knowledge of these matters by the use of Sulphuric Ether, [C<2>H<5>]<2>O,
according to a special technique. I wrote a paper on it
once, 16 pp. 4{to}, and fearing that it might be lost had many copies made
and distributed. Where is it? I must write you a letter one day.)

Accordingly, one finds oneself experiencing the thoughts, the feelings,
the desires of a gorilla, a crocodile, a rat, a devil-fish, or what have
you! One is no longer capable of human thoughts in the ordinary sense
of the word; such would be wholly unintelligible.

I leave the rest to your imagination; doesn't it sound to you a little
like some of the accounts of "The Dweller on the Threshold?"

Love is the law, love under will.



- 131 -



Cara Soror,

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

Artless remark!* Oh you!

Well, I suppose it's a gift --- to stir Hell to its most abysmal horror
with one small remark slipped in at the end. Scorpion!

"Higher self" --- "God within us."

Dear Lady, you could never have picked five words from Iroquois, or Banti,
or Basuto or the Jargon of Master Franois Villon, or Pictish, which
severally and together convey less to my mind.

No, no, not _Less_: I mean _More_, so much more that it amounts to nothing
at all. Spencer Montmorency Bourbon Hohenstaufen sounds very exclusive
and aristocratic, and even posh or Ritzy; but if you bestow these names
upon every male child, the effect tends to diminish. The "Southern
Gentleman" Lee Davis^ recently hanged for rape and murder, was not a near
relation either of the General or the President: he was a Nigger.

Gimme the old spade, I've got to go digging again.

1. Higher. Here we fall straight into the arms of Freud. Why "higher?"
Because in a scrap it is easier to strangle him if you are on top. When
very young children watch their parents _in actu coitus_, a circumstance
exceedingly usual almost anywhere outside England, and even here where
houseroom is restricted, the infant supposes that his mother, upon whom
he depends entirely for nourishment, is being attacked by the intrusive
stranger whom they want him to address as "Dad." From this seed springs
an "over-under complex," giving rise later on, in certain cases to whole
legions of neuroses.

Now then make it a little clearer, please, just what you mean by "higher."

Skeat seems to connect it with hills, swellings, boils, the maternal
breast; is that reason enough for us to connect it with the idea of
advantage, or --- "superiority" merely translates it into Latin! --- worth,
or --- no, it's really too difficult. Of course, sometimes it has a "bad"
meaning, as of temperature in fever; but nearly always it implies a
condition preferable to "low."

Applied to the "self," it becomes a sort of trade name; nobody tells
me if he means Khu, or Ba, or Khabs, or Ut of the _Upanishads_ or Augoeides
of the Neo-Platonists, or Adonai of the Bulwer-Lytton, or --- --- here we are with
all those thrice-accurs't alternatives. There is not, cannot be, any

* Refers to a pious phrase at the end of her letter.
^ WEH NOTE: Crowley sometimes carries his despite for euphemism to a point
that obscures his purpose. The use of the term "nigger" here gives such
offense to the modern reader that the point can be missed! This was not so
in Crowley's youth, when this term was used without regard for its effect.
For the record, "nigger" does not derive from "negro" = "black" but from
"niggard" = "lazy". Crowley uses it here for the stereotype; but he also
uses it deliberately to shock, as a lazy way to make such an effect. That
makes Crowley a "nigger" at this point, as the word is properly defined!
{Research Lee Davis --- }

- 132 -

specific meaning unless we start with a sound skeleton of ontogenic
theory, a well-mapped hierarchy of the Cosmos, and define the term anew.

Then why use it? To do so can only cause confusion, unless the context
helps us to clarify the image. And that is surely rather a defeatist
attitude, isn't it?

When I first set myself to put a name to my "mission" --- the contempla-
tion carried me half-way across South-West China --- I considered these
alternatives. I thought to cut the Gordian Knot, and call it by
Abramelin's title the "Holy Guardian Angel" because (I mused) that will
be as intelligible to the villagers of Pu Peng as to the most learned
Pundits; moreover, the implied theory was so crude that no one need
be bound by it.

All this is rubbish, as you will see when we reach the discussion on
"self:" To explain now would lead to too unwieldy a digression.

2. "Within." If you don't mind, we'll tackle this now, while "higher"
is fresh in our minds; for it is also a preposition. First you want
to go up; then you want to go in. Why?

As "higher" gave the idea of aggression, of conquest, "within" usually
implies safety. Always we get back to that stage of history when the
social unit, based on the family, was little less than condition No. 1
of survival. The house, the castle, the fortified camp, the city wall;
the "gens," the clan, the tribe, the "_patrie_," to be outside means dan-
ger from cold, hunger and thirst, raiding parties, highway robbers,
bears, wolves, and tigers. To go out was to take a risk; and, your
labour and courage being assets to your kinsmen, you were also a bad
man; in fact, a "bounder" or "outsider." "Debauch" is simply "to go
out of doors!" St. John says: "without are dogs and sorcerers and
whoremongers and adulterers and idolaters and. ." --- so on.

We of Thelema challenge all this briskly. "The word of Sin is Restriction."
(AL I, 41). Our formula, roughly speaking, is to go out and
grab what we want. We do this so thoroughly that we grow thereby,
extending our conception of "I" by including each new accretion instead
of remaining a closely delineated self, proud of possessing other things,
as do the Black Brothers.

We are whole-hearted extroverts; the penalty of restricting one_self_ is
anything from neurosis to down right lunacy; in particular, melancholia.

You ask whether these remarks do not conflict with my repeated definition
of Initiation as the Way In. Not at all; the Inmost is identical with
the All. As you travel inward, you become able to perceive all the
layers which surround the "Self" from within, thus enlarging the scope
of your vision of the Universe. It is like moving from a skirmishing
patrol to G.H.Q.; and the object of so doing is obviously to exercise
constantly increasing control over the whole Army. Every step in rank
enables you both to see more and to do more; but one's attention is

- 133 -

inevitably directed outward.

When the entire system of the Universe is conterminous with your compre-
hension, "inward" and "outward" become identical.

But it won't do at all to seek anything within but a point of view, for
the simple reason that there is nothing else there!

It is just like all those symbols in _The Book of Thoth_; as soon as you
get to the "end" of anything, you suddenly find it is the "beginning."

To formulate the idea of "self" at all, you must posit limitations; any-
thing that is distinguishable is a mere temporary (and arbitrary)
selection of the finite from the infinite; whatever you chose to think
of, it changes, it grows, it disappears.

You have got to train your mind to canter through those leafy avenues of
thought upon the good green turf of Indifference; when you can do it
without conscious effort, so that up-down, in-out, far-near, black-white
(and so on for everything) appears quite automatically, you are already
as near an Initiate as makes no matter.

3. "Self." For a full discussion of this see Letter XLII.

4. "God." This is really to bad of you!

Of all the hopelessly mangled words in the language, you settle with
unerring Sadism on the most brutally butchered.

Crippen* was an amateur.

Skeat hardly helps us at all, except by warning us that "good" has nothing
whatever to do with it.^ _Dieu_ comes from Deus, with all its Sol-Jupiter
references, and _Deos_, which Plato thought meant a runner; hence, Sun,
Moon, Planets.

The best I can do for you, honest Injun! is the Russian word for god
_Bog_; connected probably, though the Lithuanian, with the Welsh _Bwq_
a spectre or hobgoblin. _Bugge_, too. Not very inspiring, is it, to
replace the Old Hundredth by "Hush! Hush! Hush! here come the Bogey
Man." Or is it.

Enough of this fooling! Out, trusty rapier, and home to the stone heart
of the audacious woman that wrote "God within us."

I know you thought you knew more or less what you meant when you wrote
it; but surely that was a mere slip. An instant's thought would have
warned you that the word wouldn't stand even the most superficial analysis

You meant "Something which seems to me the most perfect symbol of all

* Crippen was a famous English poisoner who was caught and hung.
^ WEH NOTE: Shipley's _Dictionary of Word Origins_ sneaks the following in
under the word "goodbye": "_God_, Goth. _guth_, may be traced to Aryan _ghut_,
_god_, from _ghuto_, to implore: _God_ is the one to whom we pray." "God" might
also be a contraction of "Odin", as "'Od" --- have the English speaking
Christians been praying to the Aesir all this time?

- 134 -

that I love, worship, admire" --- all that class of verb.

But nobody else will have the same set of qualities in his private museum;
you have, as every one has always done, made another God in your own image.

Then the Vedantists define God as "having neither quality nor quantity;"
and some Yogis have a practice of setting up images to knock them down
at once with "Not that! Not that!"

And the Buddhists won't admit any God at all in anything at all like the
sense in which you use the word*.

What's worse, whatever you may mean by "God" conveys no idea to me: I
can only guess by the light of my exceedingly small knowledge of you and
your general habits of thought and action. Then what sense was there in
chucking it at my head? Half a brick would have served you better.

You think you can explain to me _viva voce_, perhaps? Don't you dare try!
Whatever you said, I should prove to be nonsense, philosophically and in
a dozen other ways. And the County Council Ambulance would bundle you
off in your battered and bewildered dbris to the Bug-house, as is so
etymologically indicated.

Do see it simply; the word must in any event connote ideas of Neschamah,
not of Ruach.

"But you use the word all the time." Yes, I do, and rely on the context
to crystallize this most fluid --- or gaseous --- of expressions.

5. "Us". Why "Us"?

Is this a reference to the Old School Tie, or that Finishing School in
Brussels, and the ticket to the Royal enclosure at Ascot? I do not
suppose for a moment that you meant it that way: but it's there. And
so ---

Anecdote of Lao-Tze.

The Old One was surrounded as usual by a galaxy of adoring disciples,
and they were trying to get him to show them where the Tao was to be

It was in the Sun and Moon, he admitted; it was in the Son of Heaven
and in the Superior Man. (Not George Nathaniel Curzon, however). It
was in the Blossoms of Springtide, and in the chilling winds that swept
over from Siberia, and in the Wild Geese that it bore Southward when
their instinct bade them. In short, the catalogue began to look is if
it were going to extend indefinitely; and an impatient disciple, pointing

* One of the most amusing passages of irony is to be found in _The_
_Questions of King Milinda_ where the Arhat Nagasena demolishes Maha

- 135 -

to certain traces left by a mule in its recent passage, asked: "And is
the Tao also in that?" The Master nodded, and echoed: "Also in that."

. . . . . . . .

Then what becomes of this privileged "us"? We are obliged to extend it
to include everything. Then, as we have just seen, "God" also is un-
fettered by definitions.

Net result: "God within us" means precisely nothing at all.

And so it does, By Bradman!

"Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any
one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt. But
whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!" (AL I, 22 - 23)

I implore you not to point out that, this being the case, words like
"hurt" and "chief" cannot possibly mean anything. The fact is that if
we are to get on peaceably in the Club, we have to know when to take
any given expression in a Pickwickian sense.

In the Ruach all the laws of logic apply: they don't in Neschamah.

The real meaning of the passage is simple enough, if you understand
that it refers to a specific _result of Initiation_. You have to be able
to reckon up the Universe, as a whole and in every part; and to get
rid of all its false or partial realities by discarding everything but
the One Reality which is the sole truth in, and of Illusion.

There is one set of equations which express the relation of the Perceiver
and the Perceived, adjusted in accordance with the particular limitations
on both sides; another cancels out all the finite terms, and leaves us
with an ultimate x = o = O.


I know I'm a disheartening kind of bloke, and it does seem so unfriendly
to jump down a fellow's throat every minute or so when she tries to put
it ever so nicely, and it is so easy --- isn't it? --- to play the game of
Sanctimonious Grandiloquence, and surely what was said was perfectly
harmless, and . . . .

No, N.O., no: not harmless at all. My whole object is it train you to
silence every kind of hypothetical speculation, and formulae both reso-
nant and satisfying. I want you to ---

abhor them
abominate them
despise them
detest them
escew them

- 136 -

hate them
loathe them
and _da capo_.

and to get on with your _practice_. Then when you get the results, you
can try, albeit uselessly, to fit your own words to the facts, if you
should wish to communicate, for any good reason, your experiences to
other people.

Then, despairing of your impotence, how glad you will be that you have
been trained not to let anyone fob you of with phrases.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,


- 137 -



Cara Soror,

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

Well, I suppose I ought to have expected you to cock that wise left
eyebrow at me! Right you are to wonder precisely what I mean by
"certainty", in the light of:

"On Soul's curtain
Is written this one certainty, that naught is certain."

Then there is that chapter in _The Book of Lies_ (again!)

"The Chinese cannot help thinking that the Octave has five notes."

"The more necessary anything appears to my mind, the more certain
it is that I only assert a limitation."

"I slept with Faith, and found a corpse in my arms on awaking."

"I drank and danced all night with Doubt, and found her a virgin
in the morning."

I wouldn't start to argue with the Chinese, if I were you; they might
remind you that you exude the stench peculiar to corpses.

Again, that other "Hymn to St. Thomas", as I ought perhaps to have
called it:

Doubt Thyself
Doubt even if thou doubtest thyself.
Doubt all
Doubt even if thou doubtest all."

"It seems sometimes as if beneath all conscious doubt there lay
some deepest certainty. O kill it! slay the snake!"

"The horn of the Doubt-Goat be exalted!"

"Dive deeper, ever deeper, into the Abyss of Mind, until thou
unearth that fox THAT. On, hounds! Yoicks! Tally-ho!
Bring THAT to bay!"

"Then, wind the Mort!"

Once more --- what a book that is: I never realized it until now! it says
--- see that double page at the onset, one with "?" and the other with "!"

- 138 -

alone upon the blank. Moreover you should read the long essay "The
Soldier and the Hunchback: ! and?" in the first volume and number of
_The Equinox_.

But every one of those --- rather significant, nich wahr? --- slides into
a rhapsody of exaltation, a dithyramb, a Paean*. No good here. For
what you want is a penny plain pedestrian prose Probability-Percentage.
You want to know what the Odds are when I say "certain".

A case for casuistry? At least, for classification. It depends rather
on one's tone of voice? Yes, of course, and as to the classification,
off we jog to the Divine Pymander, who saw, and stated, the quiddity of
our query with his accustomed lucidity. He discerns three degrees of
Truth; and he distinguishes accordingly: ---

1. True
2. Certain without error
3. Of all truth.

Clear enough, the difference between 1 and 2: ask me the time, I say
half-past two; and that's true enough. But the Astronomer Royal is by
no manner of means satisfied with any approximation of that kind. He
wants it accurate. He must know the longitude to a second; he must
have decided what method of measuring time is to be used; he must make
corrections for this and for that; and he must have attached an (arbitrary)

* It seems natural to me --- apodeictic after a fashion --- to treat Doubt
as positive, even aggressive. There is none of the wavering, wobbling,
woebegone wail of the weary and bewildered wage-slave; it is a trium-
phant challenge, disagreement for its own sake. Irish!

Browing painted a quite perfect picture of my Doubt.

"Up jumped Tokay on our table,
Like a pigmy castle-warder,
Dwarfish to see but stout and able,
Arms and accoutrement all in order;
And fierce he looked North, then wheeling South
Blew with his bugle a challenge to Drouth,
Cocked his flap-hat with the tosspot feather,
Twisted his thumb in his red moustache,
Jingled his huge brass spurs together,
Tightened his waist with its Buda Sash,
And then, with an impudence nought could abash
Shrugged his hump-shoulder, to tell the beholder,
For twenty such knaves he should laugh but the bolder;
And so, with his sword-hilt gallantly jutting,
And dexter hand on his haunch abutting,
Went the little man, Sir Ausbruch, strutting!"

It's not the least bit like Tokay; rather the Bull's Blood its neighbor,
or any rough strong red wine like Rioja. Curious, though, his making him
a hunchbacked dwarf; there must be something in this deep down. I wonder
what! (Ask Jung!)

- 139 -

interpretation to the system; the whole question of Relativity pops up.
And, even so, he will enter a caveat about every single ganglion in the
gossamer of his calculations.

Well then, all this intricate differentiation and integration and verifi-
cation and Lord knows what leads at last to a statement which may be
called "Certain without Error".

Excuse me just a moment! When I was staying at the Consulate of Tengyueh,
just inside the S.W. frontier of China, our one link with England, Home,
and Beauty was the Telegraph Service from Pekin. One week it was silent,
and we were anxious for news, our last bit of information having been
that there was rioting in Shanghai, seventeen Sikh policemen killed.
For all we knew the whole country might rise en masse at any moment to
expel the "Foreign Devils". At last the welcome messenger trotted across
from the city in the twilight with a whole sheaf of telegrams. Alas,
save for the date of dispatch, the wording in each one was identical:
each told us that it was noon in Pekin!

They had to be relayed at Yung Chang, and both the operators had taken
ten days off to smoke opium, sensible fellows!

But Hermes Trismegistus is not content with any such fugues as the
Astronomer, however cunning and colossal his Organ; his Third Degree
demands much more than this. The Astronomer's estimate has puttied every
tiniest crack, he concedes it, but then waves it brusquely away: all
the time the door is standing wide open!

The Astronomer's exquisitely tailored figure stands in abashed isolation,
like a gawky young man at his first Ball; he feels that he doesn't
belong, For this D.S.T., or Greenwich, or what not, however exact in
itself, is so only in reference to some other set of measurements which
themselves turn out to be arbitrary; it is not of any ultimate import;
nobody can dispute it, but it simply doesn't matter to anybody, apart
from the particular case. It is not "Of all Truth."

What Hermes means by this it will be well to enquire.

May we call it "a truth of _Religion_?" (Don't be shocked! The original
word implies a binding-together-again, as in a "Body of Doctrine:" com-
pare the word "Ligature". It was only later by corruption, that the
word came to imply "piety;" re-ligens, attentive (to the gods) as opposed
to neg-ligens, neglectful.)

I think that Hermes was contemplating a Ruach closely knitted together
and anchored by incessant Aspiration to the Supernal Triad; just such
an one, in short, as appears in those remarks on the Magical Memory, a
God-man ready to discard his well-worn Instrument for a new one, bought
up to date with all the latest improvements (the movement of the Zeit-
geist during his past incarnation, in particular) well wrought and ready
for his use.

- 140 -

This being so, a truth which is "of all Truth" should mean any proposi-
tion which forms an essential part of this Khu --- this "Magical Identity"
of a man.

How how curious it must appear at the first glance to note that the
truths of this order should prove to be what we call Axioms --- or even
Platitudes ---
. . . . . . What's that noise?

. . . . . . I think I hear Sir Ausbruch!

And in full eruption too! And hasn't he the right? For all this time
we've bluffed our way breezily ahead over the sparkling seas, oblivious
of that very Chinese Chinese-puzzle that we started with, the paradox
(is it?) of the Chinese Gamut.

(We shan't get into doldrums; there's always the way out from "?" to
"!" as with any and every intellectual problem whatsoever: it's the
only way. Otherwise, of course, we get to A is A, A is not-A, not-A
is not-A, not-A is A, as is inevitable).

"The more certain I am of anything, the more certain it is that I am
only asserting a limitation of my own mind."

Very good, but what am I to do about it? Some at least of such certain-
ties must surely be "of all Truth". The test of admission to this class
ought to be that, of one were to accept the contradictory of the proposi-
tion, the entire structure of the Mind would be knocked to pieces, as is
not at all the case with the Astronomer's determination, which may turn
out to be wrong for a dozen different reasons without anybody getting
seriously wounded in his tenderest feelings.

The Statesman knows instinctively, or at worst, by his training and
experience, what sort of assertion, harmless enough on the surface,
may be "dangerous thinking", a death-blow to his own idea of what is
"of all Truth", and strikes out wildly in a panic entirely justifiable
from his own point of view. Exhibit No. 1: Galileo and that lot. What
could it possibly matter to the Gospel story that people should think
that the Earth moves round the Sun? (Riemann, and oh! such a lot of
things, have shewn that it didn't and doesn't! This sort of "Truth"
is only a set of conventions.)

"Oh, _don't_ gas away like this! I want to know what to _do_ about it. Am
I to accept this cauerwauling Gamut, and enlarge my Mind, and call it
an Initiation? Or am I to nail my own of-all-Truth Tonic Solfa to the
Mast, and go down into the Maelstrom of Insanity with colours flying?

Do you really need Massed Bands to lull Baby to sleep?

The Master of the Temple deals very simply and efficiently with problems
of this kind. "The Mind" (says he) of this Party of the First Part,

- 141 -

hereinafter referred to as Frater N (or whatever his 8 = 3 motto may
be) is so constructed that the interval from C to C is most harmoniously
divided into n notes; that of the Party of the Second Part hereinafter
referred to as --- _not_ a Heretic, an Atheist, a Bolshie, ad Die-hard, a
Schismatic, and Anarchist, a Black Magician, a Friend of Aleister Crowley,
or whatever may be the current term of abuse --- Mr. A, Lord B, the Duke
of C, Mrs. X, or whatever he or she may chance to be called --- into five.
The Structure called of-all-Truth in neither of us is affected in the
least, any more than in the reading of a Thermometer with Fahrenheit on
one side and Centigrade on the other.

You naturally object that this answer is little better than an evasion,
that it automatically pushes the Gamut question outside the Charmed of-
all-Truth Circle.

No, it doesn't really; for if you were able to put up a Projection of
those two minds, there would be, firstly, some sort of compensation
elsewhere than in the musical section; and secondly, some Truth of a
yet higher order which is common to both.

Not unaware am I that these conceptions are at first exceedingly diffi-
cult to formulate clearly. I wouldn't go so far as to say that one would
have to be a Master of the Temple to understand them; but it is really
very necessary to have grasped firmly the doctrine that "a thing is only
true insofar as it contains its contradiction in itself." (A good way to
realize this is by keeping up a merry dance of paradoxes, such as infest
Logic and Mathematics. The repeated butting of the head against a brick
wall is bound in the long run to shake up the little grey cells [as
Poirot might say], teach you to distrust any train of argument, however
apparently impeccable the syllogisms, and to seek ever more eagerly the
dawn of that Neschamic consciousness where all these things are clearly
understood, although impossible to express in rational language.)

The prime function of intellect is differentiation; it deals with marks,
with limits, with the relations of what is not identical; in Neschamah
all this work has been carried out so perfectly that the "rough working"
has passed clean out of mind; just so, you say "I" as if it were an
indivisible Unity, unconscious of the inconceivably intricate machinery
of anatomical, physiological, psychological construction which issues in
this idea of "I".

We may then with some confidence reaffirm that our certainties do assert
our limitations; but this kind of limitation is not necessarily harmful,
provided that we view the situation in its proper perspective, that we
understand that membership of the of-all-Truth class does not (as one is
apt to think at first sight) deepen the gulfs which separate mind from
mind, but on the contrary put us in a position to ignore them. Our acts
of "love under will," which express our devotion to Nuit, which multiply
the fulfillments of our possibilities, become continually more efficacious,
and more closely bound up with our Formula of Initiation; and we progres-
sively become aware of deeper and vaster Images of the of-all-Truth class,

- 142 -

which reconcile, by including within themselves, all apparent antinomies.

It is certain without error that I ought to go to bed.

Love is the law, love under will.



- 143 -



Cara Soror,

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

You are quite right, as usual. True, we have gone over a great deal of
the ground in various learned disquisitions of Gods, Angels, Elves, _et_
_hoc genus omne_.

But God with a capital "G" in the singular is a totally different pair of
Blchers --- _nicht wahr_?

Let me go back just for a moment to the meaning of "belief". We agreed
that the word was senseless except as it implies an opinion, instinct,
conviction --- what you please! --- so firmly entrenched in our natures
that we act automatically as if it were "true" and "certain without
error," perhaps even "of the essence of truth." (Browning discusses this
in _Mr. Sludge the Medium_.) Good: the field is clear for an enquiry into
this word "God".

We find ourselves in trouble from the start.

We must define; and to define is to limit; and to limit is to reduce
"God" to "_a_ God" or at best "_the_ God".

He must be omniscient ({symbol of alchemical mercury}) omnipotent, ({Al. Sulfur}) and omnipresent ({Al. Salt});
yet to such a Being no _purpose_ would be possible; so that all the apol-
ogies for the existence of "evil" crash. If there be opposites of any
kind, there can be no consistency. He cannot be Two; He must be One;
yet, as is obvious, he isn't.

How do the Hindu philosophers try to get out of this quag? "Evil" is
"illusion;" has no "real" existence. Then what is the point of it?
They say "Not that, not that!" denying to him all attributes; He is
"that which is without quantity or quality." They contradict themselves
at every turn; seeking to remove limit, they remove definition. Their
only refuge is in "superconsciousness." Splendid! but now "belief" has
disappeared altogether; for the word has no sense unless it is subject
to the laws of normal thought...Tut! you must be feeling it yourself;
the further one goes, the darker the path. All I have written is some-
how muddled and obscure, maugre my frenzied struggle for lucidity,
simplicity . . . .

Is this the fault of my own sophistication? I asked myself. Tell you
what! I'll trot round to my masseuse, and put it up to her. She is a
simple country soul, by no means over-educated, but intelligent; capable
of a firm grasp of the principles of her job; a steady church-goer on
what she considers worthwhile occasions; dislikes the rector, but
praises his policy of keeping his discourse within bounds. She has

- 144 -

done quite a lot of thinking for herself; distrusts and despises the
Press and the Radio, has no use for ready-made opinions. She shares
with the flock their normal prejudices and phobias, but is not bigoted
about them, and follows readily enough a line of simply-expressed
destructive criticism when it is put to her. This is, however, only a
temporary reaction; a day later she would repeat the previous inanities
as if they had never been demolished. In the late fifties, at a guess.
I sprang your question on her out of the blue, la "doodle-bug;"
premising merely that I had been asked the question, and was puzzled as
to how to answer it. Her reply was curious and surprising: without a
moment's hesitation and with great enthusiasm, "Quickly, yes!" The
spontaneous reservation struck me as extremely interesting. I said:
of course, but suppose you think it over --- and out --- a bit, what am I
to understand? She began glibly "He's a great big --- " and broke off,
looking foolish. Then, although omnipotent, He needed our help --- we
were all just as powerful as He, for we were little bits of each other
--- but exactly how, or to what end, she did not make clear. An exclama-
tion: "Then there is the Devil!"

She went on without a word from me for a long while, tying herself up
into fresh knots with every phase. She became irreverent, then down-
right blasphemous; stopped short and began to laugh at herself. And
so forth --- but, what struck me as curious and significant, in the
main her argument followed quite closely the lines which came naturally
to me, at the beginning of this letter!

In the end, "curiouser and curiouser," she arrived at a practically
identical conclusion: she believed, but what she believed in was

As to our old criterion of what we imply in practice when we say that
we believe, she began by saying that If we "helped" God in His mysterious
plan, He would in some fashion or other look after us. But about this
she was even more vague than in the matter of intellectual conviction;
"helping God" meant behaving decently according to one's own instinctive
ideas of what "decently" means.

It is very encouraging that she should have seen, without any prompting
on my part, to what a muddle the question necessarily led; and very
nice for me, because it lets me out, cara soror!

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


P.S. I thought it a good plan to put my fundamental position all by
itself in a postscript; to frame it. My observation of the Universe
convinces me that there are beings of intelligence and power of a far
higher quality than anything we can conceive of as human; that they are
not necessarily based on the cerebral and nervous structures that we
know; and that the one and only chance for mankind to advance as a
whole is for individuals to make contact with such Beings.

- 145 -



Cara Soror,

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

"Would you describe your system as a new religion?" A pertinent question,
you doubtless suppose; whether it may happen to mean anything is --- is ---
is --- well, is what we must try to make clear.

True, it's a slogan of A.'. A.'. "The method of science --- the aim of
religion." Here the word "aim" and the context help the definition;
it must mean the attainment of Knowledge and Power in spiritual matters
--- or words to that effect: as soon as one selects a phrase, one starts
to kick holes in it! Yet we both know perfectly well all the time what
we do mean.

But this is certainly not the sense of the word in your question. It
may clear our minds, as has so often happened, if we examine it through
the lens of dear old Skeat.

Religion, he says, Latin: _religio_, piety. Collection or paying atten-
tion to: _religens_ as opposed to _negligens_, neglecting; the attitude
of Gallio. But it also implies a binding together i.e. of ideas; in
fact, a "body of doctrine." Not a bad expression. A religion then, is
a more or less coherent and consistent set of beliefs, with precepts and
prohibitions therefrom deducible. But then there is the sense in which
Frazer (and I) often use the word: as in opposition to "Science" or
"Magic". Here the point is that religious people attribute phenomena
to the will of some postulated Being or Beings, placable and moveable
by virtue of sacrifice, devotion, or appeal. Against such, the scienti-
fic or magical mind believes in the Laws of Nature, asserts "If A, then
B" --- if you do so-and-so, the result will be so-and-so, aloof from
arbitrary interference. Joshua, it is alleged, made the sun stand still
by supplication, and Hezekiah in the same way cause it to "go back upon
the dial of Ahaz;" Willett did it by putting the clock back, and getting
an Act of Parliament to confirm his lunacy. Petruchio, too "It shall be
what o'clock I say it is!" The two last came close to the magical
method; at least, to that branch of it which consists of "fooling all
the people all the time." But such an operation, if true Magick were
employed, would be beyond the power of any magician of my acquaintance;
for it would mess up the solar system completely. (You remember how
this happened, and what came of it, in a rather clever short story by
H.G. Wells.^) For true Magick means "to employ one set of natural forces
at a mechanical advantage as against another set" --- I quote, as closely
as memory serves, Thomas Henry Huxley, when he explains that when he
lifts his water-jug --- or his elbow --- he does not "defy the Law of
Gravitation." On the contrary, he uses that Law; its equations form
part of the system by which he lifts the jug without spilling the water.

^ WEH NOTE: {Research it --- may be "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" --
also the British film made of the story about the time Crowley was writing.}

- 146 -

To sum up, our system is a religion just so far as a religion means an
enthusiastic putting-together of a series of doctrines, no one of which
must in any way clash with Science or Magick.

Call it a new religion, then, if it so please your Gracious Majesty;
but I confess that I fail to see what you will have gained by so doing,
and I feel bound to add that you might easily cause a great deal of
misunderstanding, and work a rather stupid kind of mischief.

The word does not occur in _The Book of the Law_.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 147 -



Cara Soror,

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

_That_ question I have been expecting for a very long time! And what _you_
expect is to see my middle stump break the wicket-keeper's nose, with
the balls smartly fielded by Third Man and Short Leg!

I admit that it looks like a strong case. Here (you put it in your more
elegant prose) we have a Yogi, nay more, a Paramahamsa, a Bodhisattva of
the best: yea, further, we have a Master of the Temple --- and is not his
Motto "_Vi veri vniversom vivus vici_?" and yet we find him fussing like
an old hen over the most trivial of troubles; we find him wrapped in the
lacustrine vapours of Avernus, fretting himself into a fever about imagi-
nary misfortunes at which no normal person would do more than cast a
contemptuous glance, and get on with the job.

Yes, although you can scarcely evade indictment for unnecessarily employ-
ing the language of hyperbole, I see what you mean. Yet the answer is
adequate; the very terms of his Bargain with Destiny not only allow for,
but imply, some such reaction on the part of the Master to the Bludgeon-
ings of Fate. (W. E. Henley*)

There are two ways of looking at the problem. One is what I may call
the mathematical. If I have ten and sixpence in the world and but a
half-guinea cigar, I have no money left to buy a box of matches. To
"snap out of it" and recover my normal serenity requires only a minute
effort, and the whole of my magical energy is earmarked for the Great
Work. I have none left to make that effort. Of course, if the worry
is enough to interfere with that Work, I must detail a corporal's file
to abate the nuisance.

The other way may be called the Taoist aspect. First, however, let me
explain the point of view of the Master of the Temple, as it is so
similar. You should remember from your reading what happens in this
Grade. The new Master is "cast out" into the sphere appropriate to the
nature of his own particular Great Work. And it is proper for him to
act in true accordance with the nature of the man as he was when he passed
through that Sphere (or Grade) on his upward journey. Thus, if he be
cast out into 3 = 8, it is no part of his work to aim at the virtues
of a 4 = 7; all that has been done long before. It is no business
of his to be bothering his head about anything at all but his Work; so
he must react to events as they occur in the way natural to him without
trying to "improve himself." (This, of course, applies not only to worry,
but to all his funny little ways.)

* An English poet.

- 148 -

The Taoist position differs little, but it is independent of all consi-
derations of the man's attainment; it is an universal rule based on a
particular theory of things in general. Thus, "benevolence and right-
eousness" are not "virtues;" they are only symptoms of the world-disease,
in that they should be needed. The same applies to all conditions, and
to all modes of seeking to modify them. There is only one proper reaction
to event; that is, to adjust oneself with perfect elasticity to whatever

That tiger across the paddy-field looks hungry. There are several ways
of dealing with the situation. One can run away, or climb a tree, or
shoot him, or (in _your_ case) cow him by the Power of the Human Eye; but
the way of the Tao is to take no particular notice. (This, incidentally,
is not such bad Magick; the diversion of your attention might very well
result in your becoming invisible, as I have explained in a previous
letter.) The theory appears to be that, although your effort to save
yourself is successful, it is bound to create a disturbance of equili-
brium elsewhere, with results equally disastrous. Even more so; it
might be that to be eaten by a tiger is just what you needed in your
career through the incarnations; at that moment there might well be a
vacancy somewhere exactly where it will do most good to your Great
Work. When you press on one spot, you make a corresponding bulge in
another, as we often see a beautiful lady, unhappy about her waist-line,
adopt drastic measures, and transform herself into the semblance of a
Pouter Puffin!

In theory, I am particularly pleased about this Method, because it goes
for everybody, requires no knowledge, no technical training, "no nuffin."
All the same, it won't do for me, except in a much modified form, and
in very special cases; because no course of action (or inaction) is
conceivable that would do great violence to my nature.

So let me worry along, please, with the accent on the "along;" I will
grin and bear it, or, if it gets so bad that I can't do my Work, I will
make the necessary effort to abate the nuisance, always most careful to
do as little damage as possible to the main current of my total Energy.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 149 -



Cara Soror,

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

You would think that one who like myself has the Sun, the Lord of His
Horoscope, in Libra, with Venus who rules that sign in close conjunction
with him, with Saturn trine, Uranus sextile, Mars square and Luna quincunx
to him, would wear the Golden Mean as a breastplate, flaunt it on my
banneret, quarter it on my escutcheon, and grave it on the two-edged blade
of my thrice trusty falchion!

Just so, objects that instinct itself! "Had you been born a few hours
earlier, with Aries rising, its lord Mars aggravated by the square of
Sol and Venus, you would indeed have bee a Wild Man of the Woods, arro-
gant, bigoted, domineering, incapable of seeing a second side to any
question, headstrong, haughty, a seething hell-broth of hate; and this
fact disables your judgment."

All perfectly true. My equable nature is congenitally hostile to extreme
measures, except in imagination. I cannot bear sudden violent movements.
Climbing rocks, people used to say that I didn't climb them, that I oozed
over them!

This explains, I think, my deep-seated dislike of many passages in _The_
_Boot of the Law_. "O prophet! thou hast ill will to learn this writing.
I see thee hate the hand & the pen; but I am stronger." (AL II, 10-11)

Well, what is the upshot of all this? It answers your question about the
value to be attached to this Golden Mean. There is no rule about it;
your own attitude is proper for yourself, and has no value for anybody
else. But you must make sure exactly what that attitude actually is,
deep down.

Let us go back for a moment to the passage above quoted. The text goes
on to give the reason for the facts. "Because of me in Thee which thou
knewest not. for why? Because thou wast the knower, and me." (AL II, 12
-13) The unexpected use or disuse of capitals, the queer syntax, the
unintelligibility of the whole passage: these certainly indicate some
profound Qabalistic import in these texts.

So we had better mark that Strictly Private, and forget it.

One point, however, we have forgotten: although my Libra inclinations
do bias me personally, they also make me fair-minded, "a judge, and a good
judge too" in the memorable phrase of the late William Schwenk Gilbert.
So I will sum up what is to be said for and against this Golden Mean.

As usual, nobody has taken the trouble to define the term. We know that

- 150 -

it was extolled by both the Greek and the Chinese philosophers; but I
cannot see that they meant much more than to counsel the avoidance of
extremes, whether of measures or of opinions; and to advocate modera-
tion in all things.

James Hilton has a most amusing Chinese in his _Lost Horizon_. When the
American 100% he-man, mixer, joiner, and go-getter, agrees with him
about broadmindedness in religious beliefs, and ends "and I'm dead sure
you're right!" his host mildly rebukes him, saying: "But we are only
moderately sure." Such thought plumbs the Abysses of Wisdom; at least,
it may quite possibly do so. Forgive me if I emulate the teacher!

But this is not as simple as it sounds. There is great danger in this
Golden Mean, one of whose main objects is to steer clear of shipwreck,
Scylla being as fatal as Charybdis. No, this lofty and equable attitude
is worse than wrong unless it derives from striking the balance between
two very distant opposites. One of the worst perils of the present time
is that, in the reaction against ignorant bigotry, people no longer dare
to make up their minds about anything. The very practice, which the
A.'. A.'. so strongly and persistently advocates, tends to make people
feel that any positive attitude or gesture is certainly wrong, whatever
may be right. They forget that the opposite may, _within the limit of_
_the universe of discourse_, amount to nothing.

They fall into flabbiness.

I avoid this --- see the example at the very outset of this letter --- by
saying: "Yes, I hate so-and-so like hell; I want to exterminate the
very memory of the bastard from the earth, after I have personally
superintended having him 'Seven years a-killing' winding up by hanging,
disembowelling, and quartering him. But of course I'm not necessarily
right about this in any sense; it is merely that I happened to be born
the kind of man that feels like that!"

Of course, in no case does the Golden Mean advise hesitating, trimming,
hedging, compromising; the very object of ensuring an exact balance in
your weapon is that its blow may be clean and certain.

You know how all our faults love to disguise themselves as virtues;
very often, as what our neighbours call virtues, not what we ourselves
think them. We are all ashamed to be ourselves; and this is sheer,
stark stultification. For we _are_ ourselves; we cannot get away from
it; all our hypocrisies and shams are just as much part of ourselves
as what we like to think is the real man. All that we do when we make
these pretenses is to set up internal strain and conflict; there is
nothing objective in it. Instead of adding to our experience, which
is the Great Work, we shut ourselves up in this citadel of civil tur-
moil; it is the Formula of the Black Brothers.

The Golden Mean is more valuable as the extremes which it summarizes
are distant from each other; that is the plain mechanics of the lever.

- 151 -

So don't pay too much attention to these remarks; they are no more than
the quiet fireside reflections of a man who has spent all his life
breaking records. The Golden Mean at its best can only keep you from
extravagant blunders; it will never get you anywhere.

_The Book of the Law_ constantly implies a very different policy; listen
to its climax-exhortation:

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

Remember that which is written: "Moderate strength rings the bell:
great strength returns the penny." It is always the little bit extra
that brings home the bacon. It is the last attack that breaks through
the enemy position. Water will never boil, however long you keep it at
99 C. You may find that a Pranayama cycle of 10-20-30 brings no result
in months; put it up to 10-20-40, and Dhyana comes instantly. When in
doubt, push just a little bit harder. You have no means of finding out
what are exactly the right conditions for success in any practice; but
all practices are alike in one respect; the desired result is in the
nature of orgasm.

I guess that's about what I think.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 152 -



Cara Soror,

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

This is the hardest question you have yet put to me: to explain the
Tao. The only proper answer would be Silence, trusting to the slow
dispersion and absorption of the disturbance created by your asking
it. In that sentence there lies, really, the whole explanation; but
I see well enough that it won't do for you. You are not yet old or
wise enough to understand that the only way to clear muddy water is
to leave it alone. Still, you doubtless expect me to tell you just
how that comes to pass; I will not disappoint you. First of all,
what is the Tao? No proposed equivalent in any other language comes
within a billion light-years of giving even an approximation. For one
thing, it is itself a paradox; for another, it has several meanings
which are apparently quite distinct. For instance, one sinologist
calls it "Reason"; another, "The Way"; another "Tat" or "Shiva".
These are all true in one sense or another. My own "White Hope" (see
_The Book of Thoth_) is to identify it with the Qabalistic Zero. This
last attribution is useful, as I will show presently, for hard practi-
cal reasons; it is an assumption which indicates the method of the
Old Wise One who approaches the Tao.

As you know, the supreme classic of this subject, is the _Tao Teh King_;
and I must suppose that you have read this in at least one of the several
translations, else I should have to start by pushing my own version at
you. (This has been ready for a quarter of a century, and I seem to be
unable to get it printed!) None of these published translations, learned
and admirable though they may be as such, can be of use except to famil-
iarize you with the terminology; for not one of these scholars has the
most nebulous idea of that Laotze was talking about. I can hardly hope
to emphasize sternly enough how deep and wide is the "Great Gulf fixed"
between the initiate and the profane, when questions of this kind are
on the Magic Carpet. Suppose you were transported (on that Carpet!) to
a planet where the highest means of reproduction was germination; try
to make the denizens understand Catullus, Shelley, Rossetti, or Emily
Bronte! It is, honestly, quite as bad as that. How can anyone grasp
the idea of perfect and absolute negation being at the same time the
sole motive force of all that exits?

"Tao hath no will to work;
But by its influence even
The Moon and Sun rejoice to run
Among the starry Seven."

_King Kang __K__hang_.

_The Book of the Law_ states the doctrine of Tao very succinctly:

- 153 -

"...thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say
nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of
result, is every way perfect." (AL I, 42-44)

"Thus also the Sage, seeking not any goal, attaineth all things; he
does not interfere in the affairs of his body, and so that body acteth
without friction. It is because he meddleth not with his personal aims
that these come to pass with simplicity." _Tao Teh __K__ing_, VII, 2.

The ideal analogy seems to be that of a planet in its orbit. It has
its "true motion;" it meets the minimum of friction from circumambient
space. When it suffers the attraction of another body, it sways slightly
to make the proper adjustment without effort or argument; it can, conse-
quently, continue indefinitely in its orbit.

This is roughly the plan of the Taoist in his attitude to life. Having
ascertained the Path which satisfies the equations of his Nature (as we
say, "found his True Will") he continues "without lust of result,"
acting only when it happens to be necessary to adjust himself to any
external stress that affects him, and so proceeds happily

"thinking of a way
To feed oneself on batter,
And so go on from day to day
Getting a little fatter."

--- assuming that his "True Will" is of that variety. Basil King Lamus
asserts this in _The Diary of A Drug Fiend_ when he says: "If I were a
dog, I should bark; if I were an owl, I should hoot." It is rather
like the pattern in the game of dominoes; you put the card that matches.
No other consideration comes into it at all.

It is the extreme simplicity of this idea which baffles people's minds,
and the universal quality of impatience which makes everybody fidget,
and so injure the delicacy of the "fine adjustment" which is the essence
of the work.

When I used to climb rocks, I never jumped, I never grabbed, I never
made a sudden or a violent movement; therefore, with thin smooth arms
like a young girl's, and legs, tough enough it is true but always slow
and steady, I used to find myself at the top of pitches that had beaten
all the gymnasts.

In every sport worth the name one may observe similar facts. Consider
the delicacy required for big breaks at billiards; the problem is always
to secure favourable readjustment with a minimum of disturbance. Of
course, there are positions which demand drastic treatment; but that
is the best evidence that the balls have got into the worst possible
mess from your point of view. But it was an exquisitely delicate "safety
shot" that got them like that. True, there are games in which brute
force is the way to victory; but such games never make progress in them-
selves. The "tug-of-war" or "tossing the caber" are exactly as they were

- 154 -

fifty --- or five hundred --- years ago. Contrast the advance in "positional"

Oh yes, this is all old stuff! Of course it is; but it remains a use-
ful sort of basis for meditation when you are seeking to understand one
aspect of the Way of he Tao.

Anyhow (you protest) this is getting away from the question as to what
Tao actually _is_. Good; but I want you to abstain from trying to make
an intellectual image of it, still less to visualize it. I tried at
one time to do something of the sort with the _Fourth Dimension_: Hinton
gives a practice involving complex patterns of cubes; and I was never
able to make anything of it.

As I said above, it is a matter of Neschamah; but what follows may help

Why is the Tao translated "Reason"? Because by "Reason" is here meant
the structure of the mind itself; a Buddhist who had succeeded with
Mahasatipat_th_ana might call it the Consciousnesss of the Tendency to
Perceive the Sensation of Anything. For in the last resort, and through
the pursuit of one line of analysis, this structure is all that we can
call our consciousness. Everything of which we can in any way be aware
may be interpreted as being some function of this structure.

Note! _Function_. For now we see why Tao may also be translated "The
Way"; for it is the _motion_ of the structure that we observe. There is
no Being apart from Going.

You are familiar with the Four Powers of the Sphinx, attributed by the
Adepts of old time to their Four Elements. Air is to Know, Scire; Fire
is to Will, Velle; Water is to Dare, Audere; and Earth is to Keep
Silence, Tacere. But now that a fifth Element, spirit, is generally
recognized in the Qabalah, I have deemed it proper to add a Fifth Power
corresponding: to Go, Ire. (_Book of Thoth_, p. 275)

Then, as Spirit is the Origin, the Essence, and the Sum of the other
four, so is to Go in relation to those powers. And to Go is the very
meaning of the name God, as elsewhere shewn in these letters; hence
the Egyptian Gods were signalized as such by their bearing the Ankh,
which is a Sandal-strap, and in its form the Crux Ansata, the Rosy
Cross, the means whereby we demonstrate the Godhead of our Nature. See
then how sweetly each idea slides into the next! How _right_ this is,
that the Quintessence should be dynamic and not static! For if there
were some form of Being separate from Going, it would necessarily be
subject to decay; and, in any case, a thing impossible to apprehend,
since apprehension is itself an Act, not an idea immobile which would
be bound to change in the very moment of grasping it.

As I have tried to shew in another letter, the "Point-Event" (or what-
ever it is) of which we are _aware_ is a change, or, less inaccurately,
the memory of one; the things that change remain relentlessly unknown.

- 155 -

It does seem to me, young woman, that you ought to go over these ideas
again and again, familiarizing yourself intimately with this process of
passing from one to another, so intimately that it becomes automatic
and spontaneous for you to run round the circle in perfectly friction-
less ease; for otherwise your mind will be for ever pestering you all
your life, and even your conscience reproaching you; they will say "But
you have never got a definite answer to any single one of your original
questions." We are all --- most of us, anyhow --- born with this hankering
after the definite; it is our weakness that yearns for repose. We do
not see that this is death; if any of these answers could be cut off
short and neatly trimmed with paper frills like a ham, it would no longer
be even an approximation to truth.

I am quite sure that this is the Doctrine of the Tao, and of opinion
that no other body of teaching puts forward its thought more clearly or
more simply.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 156 -



Cara Soror,

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

You are only one of a number of people who are interested in my transla-
tion of the _Tao Teh King_. Naturally, I want to publish it; but so many
other things come first. So I am sending you the Introduction, in the
hope that it will stimulate that interest to the point of getting some
other publisher to give it sea-room.

I bound myself to devote my life to Magick at Easter 1898 (era vulgari)
and received my first initiation on November 18 of that year.

My friend and climbing companion, Oscar Eckenstein, gave me my first
instructions in learning the control of the mind early in 1901, in
Mexico City. Shri Parananda, Solicitor General of Ceylon, an eminent
writer upon, and teacher of, Yoga from the orthodox Shaivite standpoint,
and Bhikkhu Ananda Metteya, (Allan Bennett) the great English Adept, who
was one of my earliest instructors in Magick, and joined the Sangha in
Burma in 1902, gave me my first groundings in mystical theory and prac-
tice. I spent some months of 1901 in Kandy, Ceylon with the latter,
until success crowned my work.

I also studied all varieties of Asiatic philosophy, especially with
regard to the practical question of spiritual development, the Sufi
doctrines, the _Upanishads_, the _Sankhra_, _Veda_ and _Vedanta_, the _Baghavad_-
_Gita_ and _Purana_, the _Dammapada_, and many other classics, together with
numerous writings on the Tantra and Yoga of such men as Patanjali,
Vivekananda, etc., etc. Not a few of these teachings are as yet wholly
unknown to scholars. I made the scope of my studies as comprehensive
as possible, omitting no school of thought however unimportant or

I made a critical examination of all these teachers in the light of my
practical experience. The physiological and psychological uniformity of
mankind guaranteed that the diversity of expression concealed a unity of
significance. This discovery was confirmed, furthermore, by reference
to Jewish, Greek, and Celtic traditions. One quintessential truth was
common to all cults, from the Hebrides to the Yellow Sea; and even the
main branches proved essentially identical. It was only the foliage
that exhibited incompatibility.

When I walked across China in 1905-6, I was fully armed and accoutred
by the above qualifications to attack the till-then-insoluble problem
of the Chinese conception of religious truth. Practical studies of the
psychology of such Mongolians as I had met in my travels, had already
suggested to me that their acentric conception of the universe might
represent the correspondence in consciousness of their actual psycho-
logical characteristics. I was therefore prepared to examine the

- 157 -

doctrines of their religious and philosophic Masters without prejudice
such as had always rendered nugatory the efforts of missionary sinolo-
gists; indeed, all oriental scholars with the single exception of Rhys
Davids. Until his time, translators had invariable assumed, with absurd
naivt, or (more often) arrogant bigotry, that a Chinese writer must be
putting forth either a more or less distorted and degraded variation of
some Christian conception, or utterly puerile absurdities. Even so
great a man as Max Mller, in his introduction to the _Upanishads_, seems
only half inclined to admit that the apparent triviality and folly of
many passages in these so-called sacred writings might owe their appear-
ance to our ignorance of the historical and religious circumstances, a
knowledge of which would render them intelligible.

During my solitary wanderings among the mountainous wastes of Yun Nan,
the spiritual atmosphere of China penetrated my consciousness, thanks
to the absence of any intellectual impertinences from the organ of
knowledge. The _Tao Teh __K__ing_ revealed its simplicity and sublimity to
my soul, little by little, as the conditions of my physical, no less than
of my spiritual life, penetrated the sanctuaries of my spirit. The
philosophy of Lao Tze communicated itself to me, in despite of the persis-
tent efforts of my mind to compel it to conform with my preconceived
notions of what the text must mean. This process, having thus taken
root in my innermost intuition during those tremendous months of wander-
ing Yun Nan, grew continually throughout succeeding years. When-
ever I found myself able once more to withdraw myself from the dissipations
and distractions which contact with civilization forces upon a man, no
matter how vigorously he may struggle against their insolence, to the
sacred solitude of he desert, whether among the sierras of Spain or the
sands of the Sahara, I found that the philosophy of Lao Tze resumed its
sway upon my soul, subtler and stronger on each successive occasion.

But neither Europe nor Africa can show any such desolation as America.
The proudest, stubbornest, bitterest peasant of deserted Spain, the most
primitive and superstitious Arab of the remotest oases, are a little more
than kin and never less than kind at their worst; whereas in the United
States one is almost always conscious of an instinctive lack of sympathy
and understanding with even the most charming and cultured people. It
was therefore during my exile in America that the doctrines of Lao Tze
developed most rapidly in my soul, ever forcing their way outwards until
I felt it imperious, nay inevitable, to express them in terms of conscious

No sooner had this resolve taken possession of me than I realized that
the task approximated to impossibility. His very simplest ideas, the
primitive elements of his thought, had no true correspondences in any
European terminology. The very first word "Tao" presented a completely
insoluble problem. It had been translated "Reason", "The Way", "TO On".
None of these convey any true conception of the Tao.

The Tao is reason in this sense, that the substance of things may be in
part apprehended as being that necessary relation between the elements
of thought which determines the laws of reason. In other words, the

- 158 -

only reality is that which compels us to connect the various forms of
illusion as we do. It is thus evidently unknowable, and expressible
neither by speech nor by silence. All that we can know about it is that
there is inherent in it a power (which however is not itself) by virtue
whereof all beings appear in forms congruous with the nature of necessity.

The Tao is also "the Way" --- in the following sense. Nothing exists
except as a relation with other similarly postulated ideas. Nothing can
be known in itself, but only as one of the participants in a series of
events. Reality is therefore in the motion, not in the thing moved.
We cannot apprehend anything except as one postulated element of an
observed impression of change.

We may express this in other terms as follows. Our knowledge of anything
is in reality the sum of our observations of its successive movements,
that is to say, of its path from event to event. In this sense the Tao
may be translated as "the Way". It is not a thing in itself in the sense
of being an object susceptible of apprehension by sense or mind. It is
not the cause of any thing; it is rather the category underlying all
existence or event, and therefore true and real as they are illusory,
being merely landmarks invented for convenience in describing our exper-
iences. The Tao possesses no power to cause anything to exist or to
take place. Yet our experience when analyzed tells us that the only
reality of which we may be sure is this path or Way which resumes the
whole of our knowledge.

As for To On, which superficially might seem the best translation of
Tao as described in the text, it is the most misleading of the three.
For To On possesses an extensive connotation implying a whole system
of Platonic concepts, than which nothing can be more alien to the
essential quality of the Tao. Tao is neither "being" nor "not being"
in any sense which Europe could understand. It is neither existence,
nor a condition or form of existence. Equally, TO MH ON gives no idea
of Tao. Tao is altogether alien to all that class of thought. From
its connection with "that principle which necessarily underlies the
fact that events occur" one might suppose that the "Becoming" of
Heraclitus might assist us to describe the Tao. But the Tao is not a
principle at all of that kind. To understand it requires an altogether
different state of mind to any with which European thinkers in general
are familiar. It is necessary to pursue unflinchingly the path of spirit-
ual development on the lines indicated by the Sufis, the Hindus and the
Buddhists; and, having reached the trance called Nerodha-Sammapati, in
which are destroyed all forms soever of consciousness, there appears in
that abyss of annihilation the germ of an entirely new type of idea,
whose principal characteristic is this: that the entire concatenation
of One's previous experiences and conceptions could not have happened
at all, save by virtue of this indescribable necessity.

I am only too painfully aware that the above exposition is faulty in
every respect. In particular, it presupposes in the reader considerable
familiarity with the subject, thus practically begging the question. It
must also prove almost wholly unintelligible to the average reader, him

- 159 -

in fact whom I especially aim to interest.

For his sake I will try to elucidate the matter by an analogy. Consider
electricity. It would be absurd to say that electricity _is_ any of the
phenomena by which we know it. We take refuge in the petitio principii
of saying that electricity is that form of energy which is the principal
cause of such and such phenomena. Suppose now that we eliminate this
idea as evidently illogical. What remains? We must not hastily answer
"Nothing remains". There is some thing inherent in the nature of con-
sciousness, reason, perception, sensation, and of the universe of which
they inform us, which is responsible for the fact that we observe these
phenomena and not others; that we reflect upon them as we do, and not
otherwise. But, even deeper than this, part of the reality of the
inscrutable energy which determines the form of our experience, consists
in determining that experience should take place at all. It should be
clear that this has nothing to do with any of the Platonic conceptions
of the nature of things.

The least abject asset in the intellectual bankruptcy of European thought
is the Hebrew Qabalah. Properly understood, it is a system of symbolism
indefinitely elastic, assuming no axioms, postulating no principles,
asserting no theorems, and therefore adaptable, if managed adroitly, to
describe any conceivable doctrine. It has been my continual study since
1898, and I have found it of infinite value in the study of the "_Tao Teh_
_K__ing_." By its aid I was able to attribute the ideas of Lao Tze to an
order with which I was exceedingly familiar, and whose practical worth
I had repeatedly proved by using it as the basis of the analysis and
classification of all Aryan and Semitic religions and philosophies.
Despite the essential difficulty of correlating the ideas of Lao Tze
with any others, the persistent application of the Qabalistic keys
eventually unlocked his treasure-house. I was able to explain to myself
his teachings in terms of familiar systems.

This achievement broke the back of my Sphinx. Having once reduced Lao
Tze to Qabalistic form, it was easy to translate the result into the
language of philosophy. I had already done much to create a new language
based on English with the assistance of a few technical terms borrowed
from Asia, and above all by the use of a novel conception of the idea
of Number and of algebraic and arithmetical procedure to convey the
results of spiritual experience to intelligent students.

It is therefore not altogether without confidence that I present this
translation of the _Tao Teh __K__ing_ to the public. I hope and believe that
careful study of the text, as elucidated by my commentary, will enable
serious aspirants to the hidden Wisdom to understand (with fair accuracy)
what Lao Tze taught. It must however be laid to heart that the essence
of his system will inevitably elude intellectual apprehension, unless it
be illuminated from above by actual living experience of the truth. Such
experience is only to be attained by unswerving application to the prac-
tices which he advocates. Nor must the aspirant content himself with
the mere attainment of spiritual enlightenment, however sublime. All
such achievements are barren unless they be regarded as the means rather

- 160 -

than the end of spiritual progress; allowed to infiltrate every detail
of the life, not only of the spirit, but of the senses. The Tao can
never be known until it interprets the most trivial actions of every
day routine. It is a fatal mistake to discriminate between the spiritual
importance of meditation and playing golf. To do so is to create an
internal conflict. "Let there be no difference made among you between
any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt." He who
knows the Tao knows it to be the source of all things soever; the most
exalted spiritual ecstasy and the most trivial internal impression are
from our point of view equally illusions, worthless masks, which hide,
with grotesque painted pasteboard false and lifeless, the living face
of truth. Yet, from another point of view, they are equally expressions
of the ecstatic genius of truth --- natural images of the reaction between
the essence of one's self and one's particular environment at the moment
of their occurrence. They are equally tokens of the Tao by whom, in
whom, and of whom, they are. To value them for themselves is to deny
the Tao and to be lost in delusion. To despise them is to deny the
omnipresence of the Tao, and to suffer the illusion of sorrow. To
discriminate between them is to set up the accursed dyad, to surrender
to the insanity of intellect, to overwhelm the intuition of truth, and
to create civil war in the consciousness.

From 1905 to 1918 the _Tao Teh __K__ing_ was my continual study. I constantly
recommended it to my friends as the supreme masterpiece of initiated
wisdom, and I was as constantly disappointed when they declared that it
did not impress them, especially as my preliminary descriptions of the
book had aroused their keenest interest. I thus came to see that the
fault lay with Legge's translation, and I felt myself impelled to under-
take the task of presenting Lao Tze in language informed by the sympa-
thetic understanding which initiation and spiritual experience had
conferred on me. During my Great Magical Retirement on Aesopus Island
in the Hudson River during the summer of 1918, I set myself to this
work, but I discovered immediately that I was totally incompetent. I
therefore appealed to an Adept named Amalantrah, which whom I was at
that time in almost daily communication. He came readily to my aid, and
exhibited to me a codex of the original, which conveyed to me with
absolute certitude the exact significance of the text. I was able to
divine without hesitation or doubt the precise manner in which Legge
had been deceived. He had translated the Chinese with singular fidelity,
yet in almost every verse the interpretation was altogether misleading.
There was no need to refer to the text from the point of view of scholar-
ship. I had merely to paraphrase his translation in the light of actual
knowledge of the true significance of the terms employed. Any one who
cares to take the trouble to compare the two versions will be astounded
to see how slight a remodeling of a paragraph is sufficient to disperse
the obstinate obscurity of prejudice, and let loose a fountain and a
flood of living light; to kindle the gnarled prose of stolid scholar-
ship into the burgeoning blossom of lyrical flame.

I completed my translation within three days, but during the last twenty
years I have constantly reconsidered every sentence. The manuscript has
been lent to a number of friends, scholars who have commended my work,

- 161

and aspirants who have appreciated its adequacy to present the spirit
of the Master's teaching. Those who had been disappointed with Legge's
version were enthusiastic about mine. This circumstance is in itself
sufficient to assure me that Love's labour has not been lost, and to
fill me with enthusiastic confidence that the present publication will
abundantly contribute to the fulfillment of my True Will for which I
came to earth. Let us wring from labour and sorrow the utmost of which
humanity is capable. Fulfill my Will to open the portals of spiritual
attainment to my fellowmen, to bring them to the enjoyment of that
realization of Truth, beneath all veils of temporal falsehood, which
has enlightened mine eyes and filled my mouth with song.

So there you are.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 162 -



Cara Soror,

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

We settled what Gods, angels, demons, elementals _were_ some little while
ago; we also wrote of _how_ they live, so now, insatiable Seeker, you ask

But surely, even as a child --- did you not sing that immemorial Gregorian

"There's a Friend for little children
Above the bright blue sky."

Simple enough. A nice flat earth: sun, moon, stars, planets, satellites
hung up to dry, with occasional meteorites and comets jazzing about to
vary the monotony; above all that, this bright blue floor based upon
Reckitts' and advertisements for the Riviera.

Just like that. And above that again, the Jew Jeweller's hashish dream
of heaven: see the Apocalypse. A vulgarization of Baudelaire's still,
shining, mirror world!

How right Rome was when she put her foot down on great Galileo and his
upstart kind! But she did not do the job properly. She should have
brewed a bogus bogey-tale to frighten people off astronomy for ever.
But perhaps it was already too late! The mischief had struck roots too
deep for her.

What had these wizards wrought?

Those lovely mediaeval Charts Celestial that still enchant us by sheer
beauty and sublimity had been made mockery by those sinister adepts of

No more flat earth on four pillars --- on? ---

In India the earth was supported by an elephant who stood on tortoise
--- who . . . .? No floor above. Nothing but empty space with swarming
galaxies; no _room_ for "heaven". Simpler to call Olympus or Meru the
home of the Gods --- believe it or not! don't ask questions!

Yet all the time the difficulty is of our own silly making. The most
elementary consideration of the nature of Gods, angels, demons, and the
rest, as shown by their peculiar faculties, stamps them all instantly
as Beings pertaining to more than three dimensions! Just as no number
of lines is enough to produce the smallest plain, as a cube is capable
of containing an infinite number of squares, so, far from there being

- 163 -

no room for heaven, there is absolutely nothing but room!

Yet of course the nature of that space is for ever incomprehensible,
nay inconceivable, by any being of a lower dimension. Only when we have
succeeded in uniting our Conscious (three-dimensional) with our Uncon-
scious (four-dimensional) Self can we expect even a symbolic conception
of how things go on "in them furrin parts."

Speculation on such points is unpardonably profitless; I have only
devoted these few paragraphs to the subject because it is useful to
rebut the somewhat soapbox type of critic who thinks to rebut the whole
thesis "Sunt Daemones" by the snook-cocking query "Quo Stet Olympus."

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 164 -



Cara Soror,

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

You ask me, very naturally, for details of the promise of Nuit (AL I, 58)
"...certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; ..."

In the first place, I think that it means what it says. There may be,
probably is, some Qabalistic inner meaning: Those four nouns most
assuredly look as if there were; but I don't feel at all sure what the
Greek (or Hebrew, or Arabic) words would be; in any case, I have not
yet made any attempt in this direction.

To the straightforward promise, then! Certainly no word more reassuring
could be given. But avoid anxiety, of course; remember "without lust
of result," and AL III, 16: "Deem not too eagerly to catch the promises; ..."
Now, full speed ahead!

Like most promises of this type, it is, one must suppose, conditional.

Such a power is clearly of the Siddhi; and my instinct tells me that
it is a result of devotion to Our Lady of the Stars. Somehow I can't
think of it as a sort of Birthday Present to a Favourite Nephew. "Why
not?" You're right, as usual: _anything_ may be a "Play of Nuit."
Still, I feel that this would be a rare case.

"But doesn't everything have to happen to everybody?" Yes, of course,
in a sense; but don't keep on interrupting! I was coming to something

I insist of putting forth the immediately useful point of view: "devo-
tion to Nuit" must mean the eager pursuit of the fulfillment of all
possibilities, however unpleasant.

Good: not see how logical this is. For how else could one have
reasonable "certainty," as contrary with "faith" (=interior conviction),
otherwise than by the acquisition of the "Magical Memory" --- the memory
of former lives. And this must evidently include that of former deaths.
Indeed "Freudian forgetfulness" is very pertinacious on such themes;
the shock of death makes it a matter of displaying the most formidable
courage to go over in one's mind the incidents of previous deaths. You
recall the Buddhist "Ten Impurities;" --- The Drowned Corpse, the Gnawed-
by-wild-beasts-Corpse, and the rest.

_Magick_ (though I says it as shouldn't) gives a very full and elaborate
account of this Memory, and _Liber CMXIII_ (_Thisarb_) a sound Official
Instruction on the two main methods of acquiring this faculty.

- 165 -

(None of my writings, by the way, deal with the First Method; this is
because I could never make any headway with it; none at all. F.'. Iehi
Aour, on the other hand, was a wizard at it; he thought that some people
could use that way, and others not: born so.

If it should happen that you have that faculty, and no gift at all for
the other, it's just too bad; you'd better buzz off, and get another
Holy Guru less one-legged.)

There are, however, as I find on reading over what I have written else-
where, quite a few lacunae in the exposition; and I may as well now do
my best to stop one or two obvious gaps.

The period of my life which was the climax of my work on this subject
is those weeks of Thaumaturgy on the Hudson River --- I fear the Magical
Diary _The Hermit of Aesopus Island_ is irretrievably lost --- when I was
shown the Codex of the _Tao Teh __K__ing_ from which my (still unpublished)
translation is taken, and when the veil was no more than a shimmering,
scintillating gossamer, translucent to the ineffable glory that glows
behind it. For in those weeks I was able to remember and record a really
considerable number of past lives. (I half believe, and hope, that the
relevant passages were copied into one of my Cefalu diaries; but who
will struggle through those still extant on the chance?)

"But what about the intervals?" you ask, Shabash! Rem acu tetigisti.

It strikes me with immense and poignant power a right shrewd blow --- what
of the other side? What of the periods between successive incarnations?

Let us look back for a moment to _Little Essays Toward Truth_ and see what
it says about the Fabric of a man. (No, I'm not dodging your query:
I'll get there in my own good time. Let a fellow breathe!) Nothing to
our purpose, as your smiling shake of the head advises me. And yet ---
The theory is that the Supernal Triad constitutes (or, rather, is an image
of) the "eternal" Essence of a man; that is, it is the positive expres-
sion of that ultimate "Point of View" which is and is not and neither is
nor is not etc. Quite indestructible.

Now when a man spends his life (a) building up and developing the six
Sephiroth of the Ruach so that they cohere closely in proper balance
and relation, (b) in forging, developing and maintaining a link of steel
between this solid Ruach and that Triad, Death merely means the dropping
off of the Nephesch (Malkuth) so that the man takes over his instrument
of Mind (Ruach) with him to his next suitably chosen vehicle. The ten-
dency of the Ruach is of course to disintegrate more or less rapidly
under the impact of its new experiences of after-death conditions.

(Hence the supposed Messages from the Mighty Dead, usually Wish-phantasms
or outbreaks of the during-life-suppressed Subconscious, often very nasty.
The "Medium" gets into communication with the "Shells of the Dead" ---
Qliphoth, the Qabalah calls them. A month or so, perhaps a year or so

- 166 -

in the case of minds very solidly constructed or very passionately
attached, and the Shells' "Messages" begin to be less and less coherent,
more and more fragmentary, more murderously modified by the experiences
it has met in its aimless wanderings. Soon it is altogether broken up,
and no more is heard of it.)

It is therefore of the very first importance to train the mind in every
possible way, and to bind it to the Higher Principles by steady, by con-
stant, by flaming Aspiration, fortified by the sternest discipline, and
by continuously reformulated Oaths.

Such a man will be fully occupied after his death with the unremitting
search for his new instrument; he will brush aside --- as he has made
a habit of doing during life --- the innumerable lures of "Reward" and
the like. (I am not going to ask you to waste any time on the fantas-
tic fairy tales of Devachan, Kama Loka and the rest; this must come up
if you want to know about Paccheka-Buddhas, Skooshoks, the Brahma-lokas
and so on --- but not now, please!)

There is one Oath more important than all the rest put together, from
the point of view of the A.'. A.'. You swear to refuse all the "rewards,"
to acquire your new vehicle without a moment's delay, so that you may
carry on your work of helping Mankind with the minimum of interruption.
Like all true Magical Oaths, it is certain of success.

So then we have a man not only very well prepared to reincarnate at
once --- this means about six months after his death, for his vehicle
will be a foetus about three months old, but to extirpate more deliber-
ately all impressions that may assail its integrity.

Alternatively, there may be something in the nature of such impressions
that is unsuitable for carrying over into the _conscious_ mind of the new
man. Or there may be a rule --- e.g. the draught of the waters of the
River Lethe --- and it might be possible for some Adept (whose initiation
is of a higher degree than, or of a different type to, mine) to make his
way through that particular barrier.

Enough of may, might, perhaps, and all that harpy brood! The plain
fact is that I remember nothing at all of any Post Mortem experiences,
and I have never known anyone else who does.

There is one exception. I do remember the _first_, almost momentary,
reaction. I am in my Astral Form, in my best Sunday-go-to-meeting
Ceremonial Vestments, and with my Wand I seem to hold this raised,
attaching great importance to the act --- looking down upon the corpse,
_exactly_ as one does at the outset of an "Astral Journey" in one's days
of learning how to do it.

I recall no impression at all made by this sight; neither regret nor
relief nor even surprise.

But there is one intensely strong reaction --- I fancy I have mentioned

- 167 -

this already --- when one first remembers one of one's deaths: "By Jove!
that _was_ a narrow squeak!"

What was it that one feared? I haven't the foggiest.

And that is what I had to tell you about the Magical Memory.

. . . . . . . .

No: just one point to go to sleep on: suppose two or more people claim
simultaneously to have been Julius Caesar, or Shakespeare, or --- oh!
always one very great gun! Well, fifty or sixty years ago or more there
was a regular vogue for this sort of thing, especially among women. It
was usually Cleopatra or Mary Queen of Scots or Marie Antoinette: some-
thing regal and tragic preferred, but unsurpassable beauty the prime
essential as one would expect.

Of the Mary Queen of Scots persuasion was old Lady Caithness, who seems
moreover to have had a sense of humour into the bargain, for she gave
a dinner-party in Paris to twelve other ladies, each of whom had also
been the luckless victim of Henry VIII's failure to produce of his own
loins a durable male succession. (His marriages were so many desperate
efforts to save England from a second innings of the devastation of the
Wars of the Roses, from which his father, who was _not_ a miser, but a
sound financier and economist, had rescued the country. You must under-
stand this if English History is to be at all intelligible to you. The
tragedy began with the early death of the Black Prince; the second
blow, that of Henry V coupled with the futility of his son and the mur-
der of Prince Edward at Tewkesbury.)

Well, that was a big laugh, of course; it tended to discredit the whole
theory of Reincarnation.

Quite unnecessarily, if one looks a little deeper.

What do I mean when I say that I think I was Eliphaz Lvi? No more
than that I possess some of his most essential characteristics, and
that some of the incidents in his life are remembered by me as my own.
There doesn't seem any impossibility about these bundles of Sankhara
being shared by two or more persons. We certainly do not know enough
of what actually takes place to speak positively on any such point.
Don't lose any sleep over it.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 168 -




Wine rots the liver; fever swells the spleen;
Meat clogs the belly; dust inflames the eye;
Stone irks the bladder: gout --- plague --- leprosy!
Man born of woman is most full of trouble;
God, a gorged fool that belches him, a bubble!
But of all plagues wherewith a man is cursed,
Take my word for it, woman is the worst!

_The World's Tragedy_.

Cara Soror,

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

"Pibrock of Dhonuil Dhu,
Kneel for the onset!"

for this letter is to put Woman once and for ever in her place.^

But (as usual!) let us first of all make clear what we are to mean by

Not that amorphous (or rather, as the poet says, "oniscoid with udders")
dull and clamorous lump, bovine, imbecile, giggling, truthless, nympho-
maniac yet sexless, malignant, interminable, of whom Schopenhauer
rhapsodized in his most famous panegyric: apparently his sentimental
softness understood only the best side of her. No! let us observe,
shudder, and lay down the pen.

That makes me feel better; my duty to conscience is done.

. . . . . . . .

The eternal antagonism between the sexes is mere illusion. As well
suppose the male the enemy of the female screw. Understand the spiritual
reality of each, grasp their magical formulae; the sublime necessity
of the apparent opposition will be apparent.

The _ultimate_ of Woman is Nuit; that of Man, Hadit. _The Book of the Law_
speaks very fully and clearly in both cases. I quote the principal

A. _Nuit_.

"Had! The manifestation of Nuit." (1)

^ WEH NOTE: Develop something here about Benny Hill to orient people toward
Crowley's sense of humor, et all.

- 169 -

"Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of

"I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to
see your joy.

"Above, the gemmed azure is
The naked splendour of Nuit;
She bends in ecstasy to kiss
The secret ardours of Hadit.
The winged globe,the starry blue,
Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu!" (12-14)

"...Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof,
do ye also thus. ..." (22)

"...And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of
the continuity of existence, _the omnipresence of my body_."* (26)

"...O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men
speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of
thee at all, since thou art continuous!" (27)

"None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.

"For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.

"This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as
nothing, and the joy of dissolution all." (28-30)

"Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me
only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain. This
is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and
tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all." (32)

"...the Law is for all." (34)

"I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in
life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I
demand aught in sacrifice.

"My incense is of resinous woods & gums; and there is no blood
therein: because of my hair the trees of Eternity.

"My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us. The Five
Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red.
My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen

* Dictated: "the unfragmentary non-atomic fact of my universality . . .
(Write this in whiter words, But go forth on)." Ouarda wrote into the
MS, later, the five words as in text.

- 170 -

of the seeing. Also I have a secret glory for them that love me.

"But to love me is better than all things: if under the night-stars
in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking
me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt
come a little to lie in my bosom. ...

"...I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous,
I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost
sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour
within you: come unto me!" (58-61)

B. _Hadit_.

"Nu! the hiding of Hadit.

"Come! all ye, and learn the secret that hath not yet been revealed.
I, Hadit, am the complement of Nu, my bride. I am not extended,
and Khabs is the name of my House.

"In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference,
is nowhere found.

"Yet she shall be known & I never." (1-4)

"I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core
of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is
the knowledge of me the knowledge of death.

"I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel,
and the cube in the circle. 'Come unto me' is a foolish word: for
it is I that go.

"Who worshipped Heru-pa-kraath have worshipped me; ill, for I am
the worshipper." (6-8)

"For I am perfect, being Not; and my number is nine by the fools;
but with the just I am eight, and one in eight: Which is vital,
for I am none indeed. The Empress and the King are not of me; for
there is a further secret.

"I am the Empress & the Hierophant. Thus eleven, as my bride is
eleven." (15-16)

"I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory,
and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. ..." (22)

"I am alone: there is no God where I am." (23)

"I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling
there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If
I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture
of the earth, and I and the earth are one.

- 171 -

"There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these
runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit
called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason."

"Dost thou fail? Art thou sorry? Is fear in thine heart?

"Where I am these are not.

"Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I
console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler.

"I am unique & conqueror. I am not of the slaves that perish. ..."

"Blue am I and gold in the light of my bride: but the red gleam is
in my eyes; & my spangles are purple & green.

"Purple beyond purple: it is the light higher than eyesight."

Lest it should all prove too difficult, I have not quoted several
passages which are completely beyond my comprehension; even in those
here set down, there is quite a little that I should not care to boast
that I had altogether clear in my own mind.

Leaving out nearly everything, the only way to simplify it is to call
Hadit the "Point-of-view", and "Anywhere" to be the radix of all possible
"Point-Events," or "experiences," or "phenomena;" Nuit is the comple-
ment, the total possibilities of any such radix. You can only get
this properly into that part of your mind which is "above the Abyss,"
i.e. Neschamah: even so, Neschamah must be very thoroughly fertilized
by Chiah, and illuminated by Jechidah, to make any sort of a job of it.

But to come down from the contemplation of Abstract Reality (which,
being static and "infinite," is ultimately immeasurable) to these Ideas
in their interaction (and thus directly observable), it is easy enough
to understand the Magical Formula of their interaction. Of course,
whatever I say can be no more than a rough approximation, even a sugges-
tion rather than a statement; but I cannot help the nature of the case.
Nuit is the centripetal energy, infinitely elastic because it must fit
over the hard thrust directed against it; Hadit, the centrifugal, ever
seeking to penetrate the unknown. Nuit is not to dissimilar from the
Teh described in _Lao-Tze_.

Nor would it be proper to ignore the _Book of Lies_:


Soft and hollow, how thou dost overcome the hard and full!
It dies, it gives itself; to Thee is the fruit!
Be thou the Bride; thou shalt be the Mother hereafter.

- 172 -

To all impressions thus. Let them not overcome thee; yet let them
breed within thee. The least of the impressions, come to its per-
fection, is Pan.
Receive a thousand lovers; thou shalt bear but One Child.
This child shall be the heir of Fate the Father.
(p. 12)

I want you to realize that this collaboration of the equal opposites is
the first condition of existence in any form. The trouble (I think) has
always been that nobody ever looked at things from outside; they were
always at one end or the other. This is because one haphazard collection
of Point-Events chooses to think of itself as a Male; another, as a
Female. It is totally absurd to think of Winnie as a woman, and Martin
as a man. The quintessence of each is identical: "Every man and every
woman is a star." It is only a superficial accident that has made one
set determine to function in one particular incarnation as the one or
the other. I say function; for there is no difference in the Quintessence.

Yet, since it is with a Being _in its present function_ that one has to
deal, it needs must that one acts in practice as if "does" were the same
as "was." You might be described as one instance of the 0 = 2 equation,
and I as another; and any 0 = 2 is indistinguishable from any other.
Yet you and I are not identical, because all that I can know of you, or
you of me, is a presentation of a part of that 0 = 2 "Universe;" if we
were both equally conscious of that Whole, there would be no means of
becoming aware, as we are in fact aware, of that distinction.

Somewhat of this is perhaps intended in _The Book of the Law_: "... Bind
nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one
thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt."

"But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!" (AL I, 22-23)

Whoso availeth (i.e. can put to practical service) is of "presidential
timber," so to speak, because he is able to understand the Being behind
the Function, and is accordingly not liable to be deceived by the facet
that happens to be presented to him in his Function corresponding.

The case is not wholly unlike that of a man on a mountain who should see
two other peaks jutting up from a paten of cloud. Those tips give little
indication of the great mass that supports each; both are equally of the
one same planet; they are in fact identical save for the minute spire
visible. Yet he, reconnoitering with intent to climb them observes closely
only that function of each crag and icefall which is relevant to his plan
to reach their summits. He also is of that One Quintessence; but he
must fit himself adroitly to each successive incident of the respective
Functions of these mountains if he is to make the contacts which will
finally enable him to realize the Point-Events which he will summarize
as "I climbed Mount Collon and the Aiguille de la Za."

I don't believe I can put it much better than that, and I'm too lazy to
try; but I do want to emphasize that Weininger (in _Sex and Character_)

- 173 -

merely scratched the surface. All of us, whether we are "full of strange
oaths and bearded like the pard" or "in our hours of ease Uncertain, coy,
and hard to please" do in every most minuscule sort of act exercise both
the male and female functions almost equally; the determination is rarely
more than a matter of a casting vote.

It is so even in the embryo. It is much less than 1/10 of 1% that
decides whether the foetus will turn out an Alexander or an Alice.
Nature delights in delicate touches of this sort; it is one part of
Sulphuric Acid in I don't remember how many million parts of water that
is enough to turn blue litmus red; and even with our own gross apparatus
we can arrange for a ten-thousandth part of a grain to send a scale down
with a bang. Think of a roulette ball hovering on the edge at the end
of a long spin! Think of Buridan's ass!

So, once for all, shut up, you screaming parrot! Gabble, gabble, gabble,
it's enough to break one's tympana, and drive a man stark staring mad.

Shut up!
Shut up!!

These women!

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


P.S. One ought, perhaps, to give an outline of how these facts work out
in the social system of Thelema.

It may be useful to classify women in three groups, (I exclude the fourth,
which anatomically woman, does not function in that capacity: the
"spinster.") corresponding to Isis, Osiris and Horus.

The Isis-Class consists of the mother-type. To them the man is no more
than the necessary creator and sustainer of her children.

The Osiris-Class comprises those women who are devoted to their man qua
man, and to his career. Her children, if any, she values as reproductions
of the Beloved; they carry him on into futurity by virtue of her death-
less love.

The Horus-Class is composed of those women who remain children, the play-
girls, who love only for pleasure. To them a child is dull at the best,
at the worst a nuisance.

Each of these classes has its qualities and its defects; each should be
held in equal, although dissimilar, honour.

And what, you ask, has the man got to say about all this? Nothing

- 174 -

simpler; all women are subordinate to his True Will. Only the Osiris-
Class, provided he can find one of them, are of more than transient use
to him; and even in this case, he must be careful to avoid being ensnared.

But the really important issue is the recognition of each type of True
Will in woman.

- 175 -



Cara Soror,

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

Now, now, now! I really had hoped that this at least you might have
spared me. Still, I have to admit that your reason for asking me to
go all pontifical about Prophecy is a good one; you want a chucker-
out for the loafers that come cadging into your Taverne de la Belle
Sibylle, and waste your time with piffle about Pyramids.

What a game!

So naturally you need a Book of the Rules, and a list of the classes of
offensive people, whether prostitutes, policemen, or verminous persons.
(I quote from the Regulations for secular Pubs!) who think the easiest
of all possible refuges from their Fear (see other letters!) is reliance
upon the mouldy mumblings of moth-eater mountebanks.

Perhaps it will be best to begin by setting down the necessary conditions
for a genuine prophecy. We shall find that most of the famous predic-
tions are excluded without need of more specific examination.

But --- priority, please, as usual, for the etymology. Prophesy means
"forth-speaking", more or less equal to "inspired". It has nothing to
do with foretelling the future, though it may do so, as it may do any-
thing, being only the ravings of a poet, drunkard, or madman. (You
remember how Saul came upon a company of youths all prophesying away
together to beat the hand, and joined the merry throng. So people said,
"Is Saul also among the Prophets?" meaning a man capable of the "divine"
intoxication of love, song, eloquence, or whatever else enthusiastic
might possess him. Men seized by the afflatus were found to be capable
of extraordinary exploits; hence the condition was admired and envied
by the average clod. Also, imitated by the average crook!)

For all that, I am going for once to yield to popular clamour, and use
words in their popular sense. That seems to me, roughly this: Predic-
tion is a forecast based on reason, prophecy one which claims the
warrant of "magical" powers. You agree? Then we can get on.

1. _The prophecy must announce itself as such_. We cannot have people
picking up odds and ends which may be perfectly irrelevant, and insist-
ing that they conceal forecasts. This excludes Great Pyramid lunatics;
it would be quite simple to do the same sham calculations with the
Empire State Building; when the architects protested, it is simple to
reply: why, but of course! God was most careful not to let them know
what they were really doing, or they would have died of fright!

This argument was actually put forward by the Spiritists when Zancig

- 176 -

confessed that his music-hall exploits* were accomplished by means of a
code. It is quite useless to get any sense whatever into the heads of
these bigoted imbeciles. Here, A.C! don't forget your best-beloved
Browning! In _Mr. Sludge the Medium_, the detected cheat --- it was D.D.
Home in real life --- offers this silly subterfuge:

Why, when I cheat
Mean to cheat, do cheat, and am caught in the act,
Are you, or rather, am I sure o' the fact?
(There's verse again, but I'm inspired somehow)
Well then I'm not sure! I may be perhaps,
Free as a babe from cheating; how it began,
My gift, --- no matter; what 'tis got to be
In the end now, that's the question; answer that!
Had I seen, perhaps, what hand was holding mine,
Leading me whither, I had died of fright
So, I was made believe I led myself.

2. _The date of the prophecy must antecede that of its fulfilment_.
The very greatest care must be taken to insure this. When both dates
are remote, as in the case of "fulfilled" Biblical prophecies, this is
often impossible.

3. _The prophecy must be precise_.
This rules out cases where alternative verifications are possible.

4. _The prophecy must be more than a reasonable calculation of probability_.
This rules out stuff like "The Burden of Nineveh" and the like. Inciden-
tally, "The Burden of Damascus" does not seem to have had much luck so
far! By latest accounts, the old burg wasn't feeling too badly.

We may also refer to the Second Advent: "Behold! I come quickly."
There have been quite a few false alarms to date. (It began with Jesus
himself, snapping off the disciple's head: "If I will that he tarry
till I come, what is that to thee?" Well, _somebody_ was disappointed.)

* Mrs. Zancig sat on the stage, blindfolded. Her husband wandered about
the audience, taking one object or another from one or another of them,
and asking her "Ready?" "What is this?" "And this?" "This now?"
"Right, what's this?" and so on. They had worked out a list of some
hundreds of questions to cover any probable article, or to spell its
name, or give a number, as when asked the number of a watch or 'bus
ticket --- and so on. One evening at Cambridge, I was explaining this to
a group of undergraduates; being doubted, I offered to do the same trick
with the help of one of them --- a complete stranger. I only stipulated
to ten minutes alone with him "to hypnotize him."

Of course I won easily. They cut out one possible way of communication
after another; but I always managed to exchange a few words with my
"medium" or slip him a note, so as to have a new code not excluded by
the latest precaution.

- 177 -

5. _The verification must be simple, natural, unique and unmistakable_.
Forced and far-fetched explanations, distortions of Qabalistic or other
mathematical reasoning, are barred.

6. _The prophecy itself must possess the complement of this precision_.
_It must be so perfectly unintelligible at the time that the elucidation_
_of the answer makes it certain that the prophet knew precisely the whole_

I feel that this condition is itself expressed in a somewhat oracular
form; I will try to clarify by citing what I consider a perfect example.

Perfect, I say, because the "must" is a little too strong; there are
degrees of excellence.

"That stele they shall call the Abomination of Desolation; count well
its name, & it shall be to you as 718." (AL III, 19)

(The Stl is that whose discovery culminated in the writing of _The_
_Book of the Law_.)

Here the first part is still quite unintelligible to me: I have tried
analysis of the original phrase in "Scripture," and nearly everything
else: entirely in vain: One can see dimly how people, recognizing that
Stl as the Talisman responsible for reducing half the cities of
Europe to rubble, might very well make reference to those original
prophecies. But, at the best, that's nothing to cable to Otaheite

Now the second part. This was even more baffling than the other. "Count
well its name"? how can I? it never had a name! So I tried all sorts
of experiments with 718. Shin, 300, the letter of Spirit, with our key-
number 418, looks promising. Only one more pie-crust! I kept attacking,
off and on, for many a long year, got out all sorts of fantastic solutions,
complex and confused; they simply shouted their derision at me.

It was one glorious night in Cefal, too utterly superb to waste in sleep;
I got up; I adored the Stars and the Moon; I revelled in the Universe.
Yet there was something pulling at me. It pulled eftsoons my body into
my chair, and I found myself at this old riddle of 718. Half-a dozen
comic failures. But I felt that there was something on the way. Idly,
I put down Stl in the Greek, 52, and said, "Perhaps we can make a 'name"
out of the difference between that and 718."

I jumped.

718 - 52 = 666

My own name!

Why, of course, quoth he, in glee; it is in fact the Stl of 666; for
it is the Stl of Ankh-f-n-khonsu, my name in those past days.

- 178 -

Oh, no! said Something, that's not good enough! "Count well its _name_"
--- the Stl of Ankh-f-n-khonsu: a _name_ is something to which it answers,
quite different from a title. That solution is clever, but it just won't
do, because that Stl never had a name!

You lie! I shouted, as the full light broke through the mists of my
mind: In these three Thousand years it has once, if only once, had a
_name_, by invoking which you could bring it up before you; its _name_ is
"Stl 666" in the Catalogue of the Museum at Boulak!

A single simple hammerstroke, and the nail is driven home to the head!

Compare this with the chaotic devices of the "bilateral-cipher" maniacs,
by the application of which it is easy to prove that Bernard Shaw wrote
Rudyard Kipling. Or anything else! you pay your money, and you take
your choice.

7. Another strong point is that the prophecy should on the surface
mean something vague and plausible, and, interpreted, possess this same
quality of unique accuracy.

For instance (although it is not prediction) consider "Love is the law,
love under will." Yes, that sounds very well; I dare say that is an
excellent point of philosophy. --- But! well, anyone might say that.
Oh, no! For when we use the Greek of the technical terms, we find
AAH, Love, and éE{lambda}HMA, Will, both of the value of 93 --- and these
only two blossoms of the Tree whose root is 31, and the entire numerical-
verbal system based thereupon organized with incredibly simple intri-
cacy; well, that is an Eohippus of an entirely different tint! It is
no more the chance (if happy) statement of any smooth-tongued philoso-
pher, but the evidence of, and the key to, an incalculably vast design.
As well attribute the Riemann-Christoffel Tensor to the "happy thought"
of some post-prandial mathematician.

Here is another case.

"Now then this two-in-One letter {2 symbols: Cres.Moon-horns right + Sun}, is the third Key to this Law;
and on the discovery of that fact, after years of constant seeking, what
sudden splendours of Truth, sacred as secret, blazed in the midnight of
my mind! Observe now; '...this circle squared in its failure is a key
also.' Now I knew that in the value of the letters {Heb. Aleph Lamed Heh Yod Mem}, 'the Gods',
the Jews had concealed a not quite correct value of , the ratio of a
circle's circumference to its diameter, to 4 places of decimals: 3.1415;
nearer would be 3.1416. If I prefix our Key, 31 putting {3 symbols: Sun-Cres.Moon overlap left + previous moon + sun}, Set or
Satan, before the old Gods, I get 3.141593, correct to six places,
Six being my own number and that of Horus the Sun." ^

And one more, this time an actual prediction.

Here again is what might at first seem almost an evasion! " commeth
after him,..." indeed! I suppose so. It fits anybody who discovers it or
claims to have done so.

^ WEH note: This Sun & Moon symbolism flows from Crowley's work with Greek,
Tarot and Hebrew. "Set" as Sigma-Theta or as Shin-Teth. Taking the numbers for
the corresponding Tarot Trumps from the Thoth Deck, we get XX + XI = 31.
See _O.T.O. Newsletter_, No. 7-8, p. 9 ff, "Liber MCCLXIV The Greek Qabalah"
and No. 9, p. 31.

- 179 -

Not one little bit!

For when the time came, and the Key was found, the finder's name in the
Order was --- and had been from the moment of his admission as a proba-
tioner --- Achad, the Hebrew word for "One". And he came "after him" in
the precise technical sense, that he was in fact the next person to
undertake the Adventure of the Abyss.

I hope you are not getting the idea that my Prophetic ambit is limited
to these high-falutin' metaphysical masterpieces of Runic Lore. In case
you do, I now propose to break your "seven green withs that were never
dried" altogether, Delilah; for I shall keep my hair on. I shall go
forth to war! From 1920 to 1923 my abode for a season was the house
called the Horsel of the Abbey of Thelema that lieth upon Santa Barbara,
overlooking the town of Telepylus --- see Homer and Samuel Butler II, but
called later by the Romans Cephaloedium, and now Cefal. There did I
toil to expand my little Part III of _Book 4_ to the portentous volume
now more generally known as _Magick in Theory and Practice_. After numer-
ous misadventures, it was published in 1928.

I refer you to that book, page 96.

"One last word on this subject. There is a Magical Operation of
maximum importance: the Initiation of a New Aeon. When it becomes
necessary to utter a Word, the whole Planet must be bathed in
blood. Before man is ready to accept the Law of Thelema, the Great
War must be fought. This Bloody Sacrifice is the critical point of
the World-Ceremony of the Proclamation of Horus, the Crowned and
Conquering Child, as Lord of the Aeon.*"

"The whole matter is prophesied in _The Book of the Law_ itself; let
the student take note, and enter the ranks of the Host of the Sun."

(It is a pity that I cannot prove my footnote, but this Chapter XII was
part of the original MS, advertised as to be published in 1912. You may
take my word for it, for once. And in any case we have the prophecy of
Bartzabel, the Spirit of Mars, in the early summer of 1910 that wars
involving the disaster of (a) Turkey and (b) Germany would be fought
within 5 years. See the _New York World_, December, 1914.)

We now proceed to _Magick_, page 112.

"But now observe how the question of the Magical Link arises! No
matter how mighty the truth of Thelema, it cannot prevail unless
it is applied to and by mankind. As long as _The Book of the Law_
was in Manuscript, it could only affect the small group amongst
whom it was circulated. It had to be put into action by the
Magical Observation of publishing it. When this was done, it was
done without proper perfection. Its commands as to how the work

* Note: This paragraph was written in the summer 1911, e.v., just
three years before its fulfilment. Second innings '38 e.v., sqq.

- 180 -

ought to be done were not wholly obeyed. There were doubt and
repugnance in FRATER PERDURABO's mind, and they hampered His work.
He was half-hearted. Yet, even so, the intrinsic power of the
truth of the Law and the impact of the publication were sufficient
to shake the world so that a critical war broke out, and the minds
of men were moved in a mysterious manner. The second blow was
struck by the re-publication of the _Book_ in September 1913, and
this time the might of this Magick burst out and caused a catastrophe
to civilization. At this hour, the Master THERION is concealed,
collecting his forces for a final blow. When _The Book of the Law_
and its Comment is published with the forces of His whole Will in
perfect obedience to the instructions which have up to now been
misunderstood or neglected, the result will be incalculably effec-
tive. The event will establish the kingdom of the Crowned and
Conquering Child over the whole earth, and all men shall bow to
the Law, which is 'love under will'."

This should be plain enough, and satisfactory. However, I thought it
was time to draw public attention to these matters more emphatically.

In fulfillment of my pledge given above, and of the instructions origin-
ally given to me by the Masters, I got out _The Equinox of the Gods_ at
6:22 a.m., Dec. 22. 1937, e.v.; and, to fulfill my condition No. 1 (above)
of a Prophecy, as well as to establish the date, I got a reporter on the
spot, with the result following:

"These Names Make News.

Mixed Bag of Early Birds.

An Englishman, a Jew, an Indian, a Negro, a Malayan --- no, it's not
one of those saloon-bar jokes --- assembled on the Embankment, by
Cleopatra's Needle, soon after 6 a.m. yesterday.

They were there to assist at the publication of a book by 62 year-
old magician, ALEISTER CROWLEY.

Publication occurred at 6:22 sharp, when the Sun entered Capricornus.

Crowley make a short speech; as "the Priest of the Princes" pro-
claimed the Law of Thelema; handed copies of book to white, red,
brown, black, yellow representatives.

Representative of the "black" race was a dancing-girl. Indian was
a non-English speaking Bengali Muslim, who seemed rather puzzled
by the whole business.

Book contains message dictated to Crowley at Cairo in 1904 'by
Aiwass, a Being whose nature he does not fully understand but who

- 181 -

described Himself as 'The Minister of Hoor-Paar-Kraat' (the Lord
of Silence).'

Prospectus of book says it's been published three times before;
adds, sinisterly, that first publication was nine months before out-
break of Balkan war, second, nine months before outbreak of world
war, third, nine months before outbreak of Sino-Japanese war.

No coincidence, it says: 'the might of this Magick burst out and
caused a catastrophe to civilisation.'

Well, we'll see next September . . . .

'It's a bit hard of you to wish another war on us,' I said to

'Oh, but if everyone will only do as I tell them to,' he replied,
'the catastrophe can be averted.'

'Somehow I fear they won't.'"

. . . . . . . .

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

Then I issued a prospectus for the book, giving the facts as to previous
publications and their results, and leaving blank a space after "The
Fourth Publication" to wait the event.


nine months before the outbreak of the Balkan War, which broke up
the Near East.

"When this was done it was done without proper perfection. Its
commands as to how the work ought to be done were not wholly
obeyed . . . Yet, even so, the intrinsic power of the truth of
the Law and the impact of publication were sufficient to shake the
world, so that a critical war broke out, and the minds of men were
moved in a mysterious manner."


nine months before the outbreak of the World War, which broke up
the West.

"The second blow was struck by the re-publication of the Book in
September, 1913, and this time . . . caused a catastrophe to
civilisation. At this hour, the Master Therion is concealed,
collecting his forces for a final blow. When _The Book of the Law_
_and its Comment_ is published . . . in perfect obedience to the
instruction . . . the result will be incalculably effective. The

- 182 -

event will establish the Kingdom of the Crowned and Conquering
Child over the whole earth, and all men shall bow to the Law,
which is love under will."


nine months before the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war, which
is breaking up the Far East.


6:22 a.m., December 22, 1937, e.v.

This series of actions complies perfectly with the condition of Prophecy.

Nine months elapsed, and I was able to overprint, also to reprint,
enlarged to four pages my remaining prospectuses in red ink. As follows:

nine months before the Betrayal, which stripped Britain of the last
rags of honour, prestige and security, and will break up civilisa-

I have always maintained that Munich marked the true outbreak of the
war, because Hitler's rape of Czecho-Slovakia, however justifiable, was
irreconcilably incompatible with our Foreign Policy; and Munich is
Nine Months to a day after my Gesture.

This then I consider a completely documented case of Prophecy.

And I shall be a completely documented case of Brain-Fag unless I shut
up NOW.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 183 -



Cara Soror,

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

When I was writing that letter about prophecy, I was hot and bothered
all the time by my faithful sentinel, the well-greaved Hoplite that
stands at the postern of my consciousness, ready to challenge every
thought --- and woe to the intruder who cannot give the countersign!
This time the dear old ruffian thought the matter serious enough to
report Higher Up. "It is put plainly enough, emphatically enough,
incontrovertibly enough" was the gist of his communication "that the
first and most irretrievable trick of the enemy is to dupe you into
passing Captain Coincidence as 'Friend,' whereas he is naturally the
most formidable of all your foes when it comes to a question of proof."

Quite right, Sergeant-Major! But it is not only about prophecy, but
about all sorts of things, in particular, of course, the identification
of angels and similar problems.

Well, we have captured quite a few lads of the company of Captain
Coincidence; let us have them up for examination and learn what we
can about their weapons and other warlike matters!

I take our first prisoner from _Magick_.

"The most famous novel of Fielding is called _Tom Jones_. It
happened that FRATER PERDURABO was staying in a hotel in London. He
telephoned a friend named Fielding at the latter's house, and was
answered by Mr. Fielding's secretary, who said that his employer had
left the house a few minutes previously, and could only be reached by
telephoning a certain office in the City at between 11 o'clock and a
quarter past. FRATER PERDURABO had an appointment at 11 o'clock with
a music-hall star, the place being the entrance to a theatre. In order
to remind himself, he made a mental note that, as soon as he saw the
lady, he would raise his hand and say, before greeting her: 'Remind me
that I must telephone at once to Fielding,' when he met her. He did
this, and she advance toward Him with the same gesture, and said in
the same breath, 'Remind me that I have to telephone to Tom Jones' ---
the name of a music-hall agent employed by her."

Here comes another, this time completely crazy! Nothing "Literary"
about it; no sense anywhere; a pure freak.

A friend of mine, A, rang up a friend of hers, B, at her flat in Holland
Park, some 3 or 4 miles west, and a p'int to the Nor'rard, of Piccadilly
Circus. After the usual series of "they don't answer", "line's engaged",
"unobtainable", "line's out of order", "line's temporarily disconnected
at the subscriber's request", an appeal to "Supervisor" got her connected

- 184 -

instantly. Yet another girl friend, C, appears in, and vanishes from,
the story; she said "Oh, what a pity, you've just missed her; she went
out five minutes ago. I think she'll be back in an hour's time, try

A waited impatiently, and rang up once more. Again the series of
nonsense-difficulties about getting the connection. At last the answer
came. This time yet one more girl friend D. "Oh, what a pity! You've
just missed her; she left the box not five minutes ago." "Box,"
screamed A, "what box? Have I got mixed up in a Trunk Murder?" "Why,
_this_ box," replied D, calmly. "What --- --- box?" shouted A. "Isn't that
her flat?" "Her flat! are you crazy? This is a call-box in Shaftes-
bury Avenue." Collapse of A's confidence in the sanity of Nature.

One may note that there was no similarity in the names of the exchanges,
or in the numbers.

It is the most grotesquely impossible case of "wrong number" that ever
came my way.

Now for one or two oddities. Recently, needing to relax, I borrowed
three "thrillers" from different sources. In every case, the plot turned
on two men being so alike that no one could tell them apart. (_Rupert of_
_Hentzau_, _John Chilcote, M.P._, _Melander's Millions_.)

I traveled from Louisville to Detroit by a railroad whose nickname was
the "Big Four", my object being some business connected with my _Book 4_.
The name of my express was the "Big Four" --- it left from No. 4 platform
at 4 p.m. My sleeping berth was No. 4 in Car No. 4; and my ticket was
No. 44,444. I ought to have been April 4, I suppose; but it wasn't.

Last week a letter from me appeared in the Sunday Dispatch with regard
to the Everest Mystery of 1921. I expressed my view that the two lost
climbers, last seen on an easy snow-slope near the summit, had simply
been blown into the air by one of the sudden gusts of incredible fierce
winds which are common at those heights, and dashed to earth perhaps a
mile away.

After reading this, I went to a friend's room to borrow a book, picked
up her Shakespeare's _Histories_, and, opening it at random, came upon:

"They that stand high have many blasts to shake them,
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces."
_Richard III_, Act I, Sc. 3.

Now here's a story that's too good to lose; not the mistiest phantasm
of an ideogram how to class it; for one thing, it's chock-a-block with
moral lessons and economic theories and political summats; but there's
coincidence in it somewhere, and under coincidence down it shall go.
Even if only by coincidence.

From 1895 e.v. onwards I dealt with Colin Lunn.

- 185 -

"Of all the tobacconists under the sun,
There is none, there is none, like the great Colin Lunn ---"

of Sidney Street, Cambridge. When I started round the world, alas for
fidelity! I began to forget him. By 1906 e.v. the operation was practi-
cally complete.

In '42 e.v. I spent a few days with friends in Cambridge. Sauntering
along K.P. (King's Parade to you, madam!) on my way back to the station
with half an hour or so to kill, I thought I would pop in to Lunn's new
shop there, and pass the time of day. He might have something to take
my fancy. So I did. Needless to say, I didn't know the shopman from
Adam, as he did not offer me a view of his identification mark. I asked
after old friends; we gossiped of old times and new; presently he
observed, putting a hand under the counter: "I think this is yours sir."
"How do you know who I am? I've never seen you before." "Oh, yes sir, I
was the odd-job boy at the old Sidney Street shop; I remember you quite
well." By this time there lay on the counter a strange familiar-unfami-
liar object --- a pipe that I had left for some minor repair before
hurrying off to the East 37 years before! I am smoking it now.

And you can draw your own beastly conclusion!

Here is a last, a passing strange account of a coincidence --- or should
it come under "Answers to Prayer."

A young enthusiastic "Heaven Born" (=I.C.S.)* parlous pious, was engaged
to an exquisite chaste damosel in Lutterworth. Praised and promoted by
his appreciative chiefs in Bombay, he felt his future sure enough to go
home on leave, marry her, and bring her out to India. At their parting,
she had given him a ring; naturally, he set great store by it. But the
climate had thinned him; it was loose; playing with it as he talked
with a friend on the ship, it slipped from his finger, and fell into the
harbour. He suppressed an expression of annoyance. "Well that's past
praying for," laughed the friend --- unhappily an infidel, not a _true_
friend at all. The young man stiffened. "It is?" he answered solemnly
and emphatically; "We shall see." And he retired to his cabin to lay
his grief before the Lord.

The ship arrived at Aden without incident. While she was coaling, it
was the idle habit of some sailors to bait a hook with a large piece of
pork, and fish for sharks. An hour later they caught a fine specimen,
and hauled it aboard. They cut it open. No ring.

I hope you don't think I'm letting my pen run away with me:

"Pens! Good Lord,
Who knows if you drive them or they drive you?"

No, I have not forgotten that I am here to instruct as well as to amuse:

* Indian Civil Servant.

- 186 -

also, to make certain observations which will, I flatter myself, be
rather new to you.

I plunge headlong.

Everything that happens, no matter what, is an inconceivably improbable
coincidence. You remember how you had to begin when you first came to
me for help. I said to you, "Here are you, and no other person, come to
see me, and no other person, in this room, and no other room, at this
time, and not other time. Hod did that come about?" The answer to that
question is the first entry in your Magical Diary: and, with a slightly
different object in view, the first step in the practice of _Liber Thisharb_
and the acquisition of Magical Memory.

Why, hang it all; the events of the last hour, even, might have gone
just an infinitesimally little bit different, and the interview would
not have taken place as it did. Consider then, that factors stretching
back into Eternity --- all the factors there are! --- have each one contrib-
uted in its degree to bringing this interview about. What a fantastic
improbability! Yet here we are.

Chance blindly rules the Universe. But what is Chance? And where does
purpose intervene? To what extent?

I shall now conduct you, no less firmly than Mr. E. Phillips Oppenheim,
to Monte Carlo.

(Excuse me! I was just called to the telephone. Somebody of whose
existence I was not aware has fallen ill in Ireland --- and bang went my
plans for tomorrow.)

You walk quietly into the Casino; it seems to you that the excitement
is even more noticeable than usual. You see a friend at the table
"Here in the nick of time!" he gasps. "Black has just turned up for the
24th time running." You press forward to plank the maximum on Red. The
wheel spins; Black again! "Forty thousand she-devils in the belfry of
St. Nicholas Rocambole-de-Ronchonot!"

"But --- but" (you stammer when spirits of hartshorn have revived you) "in
the whole history of the tables a colour has _never_ turned up more than
24 times running!"

My poor friend, what has that got to do with it? True, _from the start_
it is countless millions to 1 that there will not be a run of 24 on the
red or the black; but the probability on any single spin (ignoring zero)
is always one to one. The black compartments do not contract because the
ball has fallen into any one of them.

Anyone who gambles at all is either a dilettante, a crook, or a B.F. If
you could get the B.F.'s to understand the very elementary mathematics
set forth above, good-night to gambling! And a good riddance, at that!
Well, there is one advantage in the system; it does help the intelligent

- 187 -

man to steal a march on his neighbours!

In all this the important point for my present purpose is to show you
how entirely this question of probability and coincidence is dependent
on _your attention_.

The sequence B B B B B B B at roulette is most unlikely to occur; but so, in
exactly the same degree, is the sequence B R B R R B R or any other
sequence. The one passes unnoticed, the other causes surprise, only
because you have in your mind the idea of "a run on black."

Extend this line of thought a little, and link it up with what I was
saying about the Magical Diary; you realize that every phenomenon
soever is equally improbably, and "infinitely" so. The Universe is
therefore _nothing but_ Coincidence!

How then can any event be more improbable than any other? Why, very
simply. Go back to Monte; proclaim that at Table No. 3 Black will
turn up 7 times running, after this next spin. (Or, of course, any
other series of 7.) _Now_ you see how Coincidence links up with Prophecy!

A fortiori, Coincidence is destroyed by Purpose, if, wishing to enlighten
you on the subject, I write this letter and post it to your address, your
receipt of it is no longer Coincidence. So then coincidence must be
entirely both unforeseen and unintentional; in other words, absolutely
senseless. But we have just proved that the Universe is nothing _but_
Coincidence; it therefore is senseless.

So, having established the asymptote of our hyperbolic hyperbola, and
shewn it to be asynartete, why should we not acquiesce, and say olive

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 188 -



Cara Soror,

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

That accursed conscience of mine has been pricking me ever since I dashed
off that rather curt and off-hand letter card in answer to yours of the
18th. I had intended as a matter of fact to let you have the present
coruscation as soon as I could get my secretary in the offing, but I
thought I would snap your head off in the strength of your question as
salutary chastisement.

I do wish you would understand that all these speculations are not only
idle and senseless because you cannot possibly verify their accuracy,
but a deadly poison. You ask if we, meaning, I suppose, the English,
are now reincarnating the Egyptians. When I was a boy it was the Romans,
while the French undertook the same thankless office for the Greeks. I
say "deadly poison;" because when you analyse you see at once that this
is a device for flattering yourself. You have a great reverence for the
people who produced Luxor and the Pyramids; and it makes you feel nice
and comfortable inside if you think that you were running around in those
days as Rameses II or a high priest in Thebes or something equally

You may say that I am myself the chief of sinners in this respect because
of Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, but this was not my doing. It was imposed upon me
by _The Book of the Law_, and I do not feel particularly flattered or
comforted by this identification. The only interest to me is the remark-
able manner in which this is interwoven with the existence of the "Cairo

Your second and third questions are still worse. I should be ashamed of
myself if I were to do so much as to refer to them.

That must serve for that. But your fourth question I did answer after
a fashion. It has however struck me that I might have given you a more
detailed instruction with advantage.

When I was up the Mindoun Chong in Burma, I started an investigation of
my dreams; and the only way to catch them was to write down as much as
I could remember on waking, instantly. The result of doing this is
rather surprising. To begin with, I discovered, especially as the
practice progressed, that I was having many more dreams than I had
previously supposed. This might have come about in either of two ways.

(1) The practice might have actually increased my tendency to dream,
and (2) the habit of observation may have brought dreams to the surface
which would otherwise have gone unremarked. In either case the figures
were quite definite.

- 189 -

I found almost at once, that is to say after about a month, that practi-
cally every dream that I could remember, could be quite clearly ascribed
to one of two causes: (a) the events of the previous day or days, or
the subjects which had interested and excited me during that period, and
(b) the physical conditions of the moment. For instance, a good deal of
the time of the experiment I was sleeping in what might have been
euphemistically called a houseboat. It was liable to leak; and on such
occasions as I woke to find water trickling down my nose, I found that
the dream from which I had wakened was an adventure of some sort in
connection with water. (It is quite notorious, I believe, that many
asthmatic subjects are pestered by dreams of having been guillotined
in a previous incarnation. Alan Bennett, I may mention, was one such.)

As the practice proceeds, you should find not only that your dreams
increase in number per night, but also became very much fuller, clearer
and more coherent. I assume that the reason is that the fact of your
paying attention to them brings them to the surface.

I am not quite sure whether this is a complete and adequate answer to
your question 4, "How can I best bring my sleeping memory into my waking

I have studied, and my secretary has studied, and we can make no head or
tail of your remark about brain exercises with sketch.

Well, I must hope for the best, and leave you with my blessing.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 190 -



Cara Soror,

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

"...It is a lie, this folly against self...." (AL II, 22)

The English is very un-English, and the context hardly helpful. But
the meaning is clear enough; the idea is to dismiss, curtly and rudely,
the entire body of doctrine which insists on altruism as a condition of
spiritual progress.

Why do I jump in with this text without warning. Because at the end of
my letter on Sammasati the Dweller of the Threshold popped up, and that
brings us to the Black Brothers, and the Left-hand path, all of which
subjects are very generally supposed to depend for origin upon

This question is one of the most critical in the whole of Magical Theory;
for in one sense it is certainly true that every error without exception
is due to exacerbation of the Ego.

Yet _The Book of the Law_ flings at us disdainfully: "It is a lie, this
folly against self."

How then?

I fear there is nothing for it but to go thoroughly into the whole matter
of the "self". This may involve some recapitulation; but then didn't
the Buddha repeat three times every one of those extravagantly verbose
paragraphs which give the luckless Bhikku --- timens, not tumens, as
Catullus says --- permission to have (a) walls (b) roof (c) window (d) door
(e) hinge to door (f) fastening to door (g) h, and c. --- no, he didn't!
anyhow, all those ancient conveniences?

"Self" is one of the trickiest words afloat. Skeat gives merely the
equivalents, all practically the same in sound, in various Nordic lan-
guages; he doesn't say where it comes from, or what it means. I don't
know either, bless your heart!

Latin and Greek don't help us at all; and when we try Eastern languages,
it seems, dimly, to give the idea of the Ego, whatever that may be. Or
perhaps "that combination which is unified by Ahamkara, the "Ego-making

Decidedly not illuminating!

One can't use the word as an ordinary noun. Skeat doesn't even label it
as such. One can hardly say: Mr. Blenkinsop's self is good, or rheumatic,

- 191 -

or gone for a walk. It makes nonsense. Yet Philosophy has picked out
this hapless Tetragrammaton, and made endless mud pies with it!

When one says: "I fell and hurt myself", it's only a conventional
abbreviation. One means "my nose", or "my elbow", as the case may be!
No, I can't conscientiously admit it as a noun. More accurately: "my
body fell, and I am suffering from the injury thereby caused to my
whatever it was."

And so what?

(Oh dear, I _am_ tying ourselves into knots!)

So what? Ah me, nothing for it but to plunge head foremost into the
hybrid abyss of Babu-Blavatsky bak-abak!

Brahman --- don't confuse with the Brahma of the Trimurti, so so many
Nippies and Clippies are but too liable to do --- is the macrocosmic
Negative Absolute, when cross-examined; its microcosm is Purusha or
Atma. Very near our own Qabalistic Zero --- Nought in no dimensions ---
equals Infinity (air connu). Then comes Buddhi, which curates, book-
makers' clerks, miners and Privy Councillors so often mistake for Buddha
(Ha! Ha!), the faculty of discrimination. Pretty much like the 0 = 2
equation in our system.

Next, the Higher Manas, which is our Neschamah, as near as a toucher;
and the Lower Manas, which, as every Lovely and Cutie well Knows, is
our Ruach. The rest of the Hindu system can easily be fitted in.

Note, however, the Ahamkara, usually translated "Ego-making faculty",
which collects what it can from this dump, and labels it "I".

There seems not much point in elaborating all this. The Hindu Pandit
is a whale for swallowing numberless oceans, all swarming with Jonahs;
he duplicates and discriminates and invents at his own sweet will, in
order to get a pretty pattern with 84 or 108 crores of asankyas of lakhs
of anythings.

We have done enough for honour.

Enough if we see that the system is in its essence identical with our

Well, then, what is this "Higher Self" that you roll out upon me?

Actually, we are very far from being out of the wood. This Ut, of
Udgitha, who looms so large in the _Upanishads_; the God peculiar to
yourself, who appears in one of the _Darshanas_; some Individual con-
structed from the material listed above; are these all one? If not,
is the difference between them more than a quibble?

Really, all these speculations are based on priori considerations;

- 192 -

we had better drop the whole argument as little better than a waste of
time; nay, as worse, for it encourages one in loose thinking, and
especially in clinging to _names_ which have no counterpart in _things_.

There is only one point of theory which matters to our practice. We
may readily concur that the Augoeides, the "Genius" of Socrates, and
the "Holy Guardian Angel" of Abramelin the Mage, are identical. But
we cannot include this "Higher Self"; for the Angel is an actual Indi-
vidual with his own Universe, exactly as man is; or, for the matter
of that, a bluebottle. He is not a mere abstraction, a selection from,
and exaltation of, one's own favorite qualities, as the "Higher Self"
seems to be. The trouble is (I think) that the Hindu passion for analy-
sis makes them philosophize any limited being out of existence.

This matter is of importance, because it influences one's attitude to
invocation. I can, for instance, work myself up to a "Divine Conscious-
ness," in which I can understand, and act, as I cannot in my normal
state. I become "inspired;" I feel, and I express, ideas of almost
illimitable exaltation. But this is _totally_ different from the "Knowledge
and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel", which is the special aim
of the Adeptus Minor. It is ruin to that Work if one deceives oneself
by mistaking one's own "energized enthusiasm" for external communication.
The parallel on the physical plane is the difference between Onanism and
Sexual Intercourse.

Probably, my reason for insistence on this point is my antipathy to intro-
version in any form. The "mystic path" itself is packed with dangers.
Unless the strongest counter-irritants are exhibited, the process is
almost certain to become morbid. It is only one step from the Invoca-
tion of Zeus, or Apollo, or Dionysus, which does demand identification
of oneself with the object of one's worship, to a form of self-worship
which soon develops into a maniacal exacerbation of the Ego; and if
one persists in this involuted curve, one becomes a "Black Brother", or
departs for the local loony-bin.

Invocations of even the most positive Gods are dangerous, unless care
can be taken to keep the personality of the god distinct from one's own.

Athene is a superb deity; but one does not want to be nothing but
Athene, except in that supreme moment of Samadhi with Her which is the
climax of the invocation.

Do you remember one of Barbey d'Aurevilly's _Contes Cruels_ about a Spanish
nobleman who anticipated one of the privileges of marriage instead of
waiting for ecclesiastical licence? The Inquisitor simply had him tied
to his betrothed for 48 hours.

It is really rather like that! One of my mathematically-minded disciples
--- J.W.N. Sullivan, I think --- told me that his sinister science had one
peculiarly devilish pitfall; one is so satisfactorily equipped for work
if one had but a bit of paper and a pencil --- and a comfortable bed! He
had to make a point of severe physical exercise to escape becoming

- 193 -

bed-ridden in his early twenties!

So, even in divine invocation, one should insist on definite communica-
tion of knowledge (or what not) which is incontestably not one's own.
The fact that the self-begotten feelings and ideas are so eminently
satisfactory --- naturally, since there is nobody to oppose them --- is
damnably seductive.

Once started on that road, one can easily develop self-deception to a
fine art. One can imagine that one has undergone, or achieved, all
sorts of experiences "as described in the books," when all that one has
actually done is to work the results of one's reading into a bubble
inflated by imagination.

It should be obvious to you that the habit grows on one; every bad
quality, from vanity to laziness, lends most willing aid. One replaces
reality more and more continuously by these exciting and flattering
reveries, which by this time have no longer any shadow of a claim to
be called mystic experiences at all.

It is desperately difficult to cure such conditions; the patient resents
bitterly every touch of truth, for he feels it, accurately enough, as a
thrust to the very core of his being.

Parallel with this, in my psychoanalytic practice I have had excellent
success with all forms of sexual aberration, with the one exception of

In these cases, even though I have often been successful in "curing"
the condition, so that the man has been able to carry on with satis-
faction to himself and his family the normal functions of a husband,
I have never really got rid of the peculiar mental and moral charac-
teristics which have been, if not implanted, at least encouraged and
fostered, by this devastating habit.

Now do remember this; it is the guarantee of wholesomeness in any
Invocation that there should be _contact with another_. It is better to
conjure up the most obnoxious demons from the most noisome pit of Hell
than to take one's own exhilarations for Divine benediction; if only
because there was never a demon yet so atrocious as that same old Ego.

You will discover the truth of these remarks when you approach the
Frontier of the Abyss. Well, now, if that isn't too funny! The text
of this stupendous sermon was AL II, 22. I take this verse in its most
obvious and ordinary sense; for instance, the following sentence: "... The
exposure of innocence is a lie. ..."; for that means clearly enough Hypo
crisy. So "... It is a lie, this folly against self. ..." only means, "To hell
with sentimental altruism, with false modesty, with all those most
insidious fiends, the sense of guilt, of shame --- in a word, the 'infer-
iority complex' or something very like it."

The whole tenor of _The Book of the Law_, is to this effect. The very

- 194 -

test of worth is that one should be aware of it and not afraid to sock
the next man on the jaw if he disputes it!

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. But what do I mean when I say "myself" in normal speech? I mean
Tiphareth, the human self as determining the identity of the Supreme
Triad plus as much Ruach as I have succeeded in organising as extensions
of it.

Though your Supernal Triad is in essence identical with mine, your
Tiphareth is quite definitely not mine. It is like mine in its nature
and many of its sympathies, but your Ruach is altogether different from
mine in (at a guess) 80% of its components.

We must add Malkuth as the medium which crystallizes the characters of
our respective "Selves."

This is all horribly, hatefully difficult to put into words; there is
bound to be misunderstanding, however cleverly I concoct the potion.
But we understand pretty well for all that, at least so far as is
necessary for most practical purposes.

{The following note in handwriting may be a proper element of the text. This
will be cross-check from available materials:}

* 0 = 2 Because 2 comes from 0 --- itself is .... ---
2 High ... issue from Kether the Crown
_under_ ..... ....... the _Book of Thoth_.
thus _Nuit_ ... ... Hadit --- and as you
said yourself, ... _she_ .... --- never

- 195 -



Cara Soror,

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

On going over some recent letters I see that you question abut William
Gillette and the Angels was indeed "a red-hot twy-prong that you stick
to hiss i' the soft of" me. You meant not only to inquire into the
order of being to which angels belong, but as to whether they are liable
to accident, misfortune and the like.

The answer is that it depends on the Angel --- for the purposes of this
letter I propose to use the word "angel" to include all sorts of disem-
bodied beings, from demons to gods --- in all cases, they are _objective_;
a subjective "angel" is different from a dream only in non-essentials.

Now, some angels are actually emanations of the elements, planets, or
signs to which they are attributed. They are partial beings in very
much the same way as are animals. They are not microcosms as are men
and women. They are almost entirely composed of the planet (or what-
ever it is) to which they are attributed. The other components of
their being I take to be almost accidental. For example, the Archangel
Ratziel is lord of a company of angels called Auphanim; and one must
not imagine that all these angels are identical with one another, or
there would not seem to be much sense in it. They have some sort of
composition, some sort of individuality; and the character and
appearance of the Angel can be determined by its name.

I do not think that I have anywhere mentioned how this is done. To
take an example, let us have Qedemel --- the Hebrew letters as Q.D.M.A.L,
and the numeration is 175, which is that of the sum of the 1st 49
numbers, as is proper to Venus. We may then expect the head or head-
dress of the spirit to be in some way characteristic of the Sign of
Pisces. The general form of the body will be indicated by the Daleth,
the letter of Venus, and the lower part (or perhaps the quality) will
be determined by the watery Mem --- The termination Aleph Lamed is usually
taken to indicate appropriate symbols. For instance, the Aleph might
show a golden aura, and the Lamed a pair of balances, Some further
detail might be indicated by taking the letters Daleth and Mem together,
for Dam is the Hebrew word for blood. From such considerations one can
build up a pictorial representation in one's mind which may serve as a
standard to which any appearance of him should more or less conform.
The question then takes the form of inquiry into how far such beings are
immortal or eternal.

In the above case, evidently his existence depends on that of the planet
Venus; and one might suppose that, if that planet were stricken from
the solar system, there would be no more Qedemel. But this is to judge

- 196 -

too rashly; for Venus himself is only an emanation of the number 7,
and is therefore indestructible. {Handwritten note: Because she-he comes from
... who is  + , 3 + 4}

It is some such idea as the above which is at the back of the conven-
tional idea that elementals are immortal, that they incur mortality when
their ambition and devotion causes them to incarnate as human beings.
(Is this achieved by some sort of marriage with a reincarnating Ego?
Or how? All this is very obscure; we need more evidence.)

You will doubtless have read in many Eastern stories of the destruction
of dryads or Nats by the cutting down of the tree in which they have
made their habitation. A nymph, similarly, would be destroyed if her
fountain were to dry up.

Now, can an angel of this sort ever go wrong, by which one must mean,
can he ever be untrue to his own nature? I do not see how one can
imagine this to happen; for they are so completely creatures of the
elements of which they are composed that they must be regarded as com-
pletely devoid of will in any intelligible sense of the word. Their
actions in fact are merely re-actions.

They are, of course, entire lacking in the Supernal Triad. There is
therefore no question of anything in them which would persist through
change. Perhaps it would be better to say that changed does not really
affect them. Another way to put it would be that they are adjectives,
not nouns. They are merely sensible manifestations of the elements to
which they are attributed, and to the letters of their name.

Now, on the other hand, there is an entirely different type of angel;
and here we must be especially careful to remember that we include gods
and devils, for there are such beings who are not by any means dependent
one one particular element for their existence. They are microcosms in
exactly the same sense as men and women are. They are individuals who
have picked up the elements of their composition as possibility and
convenience dictates, exactly as we do ourselves. I want you to under-
stand that a goddess like Astarte, Astaroth, Cotytto, Aphrodite, Hathoor,
Venus, are not merely aspects of the planet*; they are separate indivi-
duals who have been identified with each other, and attributed to Venus
merely because the salient feature in their character approximates to
this ideal.

Now then, it is simple to answer the question of their development,
their growing old and dying; for, being of the same order of Nature as we
are ourselves, almost anything which is true of us is true also of them.

I have tended rather to elaborate this theme, because of the one person-
ally important question which arises in more recent letters; for I
believe that the Holy Guardian Angel is a Being of this order. He is
something more than a man, possibly a being who has already passed

* "Venus" is, of course, a "thing-in-itself;" the planet merely one
case of the idea.

- 197 -

through the stage of humanity, and his peculiarly intimate relationship
with his client is that of friendship, of community, of brotherhood, or
Fatherhood. He is not, let me say with emphasis, a mere abstraction
from yourself; and that is why I have insisted rather heavily that the
term "Higher Self" implies "a damnable heresy and a dangerous delusion."

It it were not so, there would be no point in _The Sacred Magic of_
_Abramelin the Mage_.

Apart from any theoretical speculation, my Sammasiti and analytical work
has never led to so much as a hint of the existence of the Guardian
Angel. He is not to be found by any exploration of oneself. It is true
that the process of analysis leads finally to the realization of oneself
as no more than a point of view indistinguishable _in itself_ from any
other point of view; but the Holy Guardian Angel is in precisely the
same position. However close may be the identities in millions of ways,
no complete identification is ever obtainable.

But do remember this, above all else; they are objective, not subjective,
or I should not waste good Magick on them.

Let me say in particular in regard to Gods, that the God Jupiter whom
you invoke is not necessarily the same as he whom I invoke. It is clear
in any case that the revelation of himself to you is modified in many
ways by your own particular sensitiveness; just as in ordinary life,
your idea of a friend may be very different from my own conception of
the same individual. Suppose, for example, he happens to be a musician,
there will be an entire side of his character to which I am practically
insensitive. You could talk to him for hours, and I would understand
little or nothing of what was said. Similarly, if he were a mountaineer,
it would be your turn to be odd man out.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 198 -

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