Magick Without Tears (C) - Aleister Crowley



Cara Soror,

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

Alas! It is unlikely that either you or I should come upon a copy of
Max Beerbohm's portrait of Mathew Arnold; but Raven Hill's famous car-
toon is history, and can be told as such without the illustration.

We shall have to go into the matter, because of your very just criticism
of my magical writings in general --- and these letters, being colloquial,
are naturally an extreme case.

Far-off indeed those sunny days when life in England was worth living;
when one could travel anywhere in Europe --- except Russia and Turkey,
which spiritually, at least, are in Asia --- or America, without a pass-
port; when we complained that closing time was twelve-thirty a.m.;
when there was little or no class bitterness, the future seemed secure,
and only Nonconformists failed to enjoy the fun that bubbled up on every

Well, in those days there were Music-halls; I can't hope to explain to
you what they were like, but they were _jolly_. (I'm afraid that there's
another word beyond the scope of your universe!) At the Empire, Leicester
Square, which at that time actually looked as if it had been lifted
bodily from the "Continong" (a very wicked place) there was a promenade,
with bars complete (_drinking_ bars, my dear child, I blush to say) where
one might hope to find "strength and beauty met together, Kindle their
image like a star in a sea of glassy weather." There one might always
find London's "soiled doves" (ass they revoltingly called them in the
papers) of every type: Theodora (celebrated "Christian" Empress) and
Phryne, Messalina and Thais, Baudelaire's swarthy mistress, and Nana,
Moll Flanders and Fanny hill.

But the enemies of life were on guard. They saw people enjoying them-
selves, (shame!) and they raked through the mildewed parchments of
obsolete laws until they found some long-forgotten piece of mischief
that might stop it. The withered husks of womanhood, idle, frustrated,
spiteful and malignant, called up their forces, blackmailed the Church
into supporting them, and began a senseless string of prosecutions.
Notable in infamy stands out he name of Mrs. Ormiston Chant.

So here we had the trial of some harmless girl for "accosting;" it was
a scene from this that inspired Raven Hill's admirable cartoon.

A "pale young curate" is in the witness box. "The prisoner," he drawled
"made improper proposals to me. The actual words used were: "why do
you look so sad, Bertie?'"

The magistrate: "A very natural question!"

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Now, fifty years later, here am I in the dock.

("How can you expect people to take your Magick seriously!" I hear from
every quarter, "when you write so gleefully about it, with your tongue
always in your cheek?")

My dear good sister, do be logical!

Here am I who set out nigh half a century ago to seek "The Stone of the
Wise, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness:" I get it,
and you expect me to look down a forty-inch nose and lament!

I have plenty of trouble in life, and often enough I am in low enough
spirits to please anybody; but turn my thoughts to Magick --- the years
fall off. I am again the gay, quick, careless boy to whom the world
was gracious.

Let this serve for an epitaph: Gray took eleven years; I, less.

_Elegy Written in a Country Farmyard_

Here lies upon this hospitable spot
A youth to flats and flatties unknown;
The Plymouth Brethren gave it to him hot;
Trinity, Cambridge, claimed him for her own.

He climbed a lot of mountains in his time
He stalked the tiger, bear and elephant.
He wrote a stack of poems, some sublime,
Some not. Tales, essays, pictures, plays my aunt!

At chess a minor master, Hoylake set
His handicap at two. Love drove him crazy.
Three thousand women used to call him pet;
In other matters --- shall we call him "lazy"?

He had the gift of laughing at himself;
Most affably he walked and talked with God;
And now the silly bastard's on the shelf,
We'll bury him beneath another sod.
- - - - -

In all the active moods of Nature --- her activity is Worship! there is
an element of rejoicing; even when she is at her wildest and most
destructive. (You know Gilbert's song "When the tiger is a-lashing of
his tail"?) Her sadness always goes with the implied threat of cessa-
tion --- and that we know to be illusion.

There is nothing worse in religion, especially in the Wisdom-Religion,

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than the pedagogic-horatory accents of the owlish dogmatist, unless it
be the pompous self-satisfaction of the prig. Eschew it, sister, eschew

Even in giving orders there is a virile roar, and the commander who is
best obeyed is he who rages cheerfully like an Eights Coach or a Rugger
Captain. "Up Guards and at 'em!" may not be authentic; but that is the
right spirit.

The curate's twang, the solemnity of self-importance, all manners that
do not disclose the real man, are abominations, "Anathema Maranatha" ---
or any other day of the week. These painted masks are devised to conceal
chicanery or emptiness. The easy-going humorous style of Vivekananda is
intelligible and instructive; the platitudinous hot potatoes of Waite
are neither. The dreadful thing is that this assumption of learning, of
holiness, of mysterious avenging powers, somehow deceives the average
student. He does not realise how well and wisely such have conned Wilde's
maxim: "To be intelligible is to be found out."

I know that I too am at times obscure; I lament the fact. The reason is
twofold: (a) my ineradicable belief that my reader knows all about the
subject better than I do myself, and (at best) may like to hear it tackled
from a novel angle, (b) I am carried away by the exultant exaltation of
my theme: I boil over with rapture --- not the crystal-clear, the cool
solution that I aimed at.

On the Path of the Wise there is probably no danger more deadly, no
poison more pernicious, no seduction more subtle than Spiritual Pride;
it strikes, being solar, at the very heart of the Aspirant; more, it is
an inflation and exacerbation of the Ego, so that its victim runs the
peril of straying into a Black Lodge, and finding himself at home there.

Against this risk we look to our insurance; there are two infallible:
Common Sense and the Sense of Humour. When you are lying exhausted and
exenterate after the attainment of Vishvarupadarshana it is all wrong to
think: "Well, now I'm the holiest man in the world, of course with the
exception of John M. Watkins;" better recall the words of the weary
sceptical judge in A. P. Herbert's _Holy Deadlock_; he makes a Mantram of
it! "I put it to you --- I put it to you --- I put it to you --- that you _have_
got a boil on your bottom."

To this rule there is, as usual with rules, an exception. Some states of
mind are of the same structure as poetry, where the "one step from the
sublime to the ridiculous" is an easy and fatal step. But even so,
pedantry is as bad as ribaldry. Personally, I have tried to avoid the
dilemma by the use of poetic language and form; for instance, in _AHA!_

It is all difficult, dammed difficult; but if it must be that one's most
sacred shrine be profaned, let it be the clean assault of laughter rather
than the slimy smear of sactimoniousness!

There, or thereabouts, we must leave it. "Out of the fullness of the heart

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the mouth speaketh;" and I cannot sing the words of an epithalamium to
the music of a dirge.

Besides, what says the poet? "Love's at its height in pure love? Nay,
but after When the song's light dissolves gently in laughter."

Oh! "One word more" as Browning said, and poured forth the most puerile
portentous piffle about that grim blue-stocking "interesting invalid,"
his spouting wife. Here it is, mercifully much shorter, and _not_ in
tripping trochees!

"Actions speak louder than words." (I positively leak proverbs this
afternoon --- country air, I suppose): and where actions are the issue,
devil a joke from Aleister!

Do you see what is my mark? It is you that I am going to put in the dock
about "being serious;" and that will take a separate letter --- part of the
answer to yours received March 10th, 1944 and in general to your entire
course of conduct since you came to me --- now over a year ago.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,


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Cara Soror,

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

Here pops us Zola again --- this time he says _J'Accuse_! To day's Hexa
gram for me is No. X. L, the Tiger: and the Duke of Chau comments on
the last line as follows: "The sixth line, undivided, tells us to
look at the whole course that is trodden, and examine the presage which
that gives. If it be complete and without failure, there will be great
good fortune." O.K.; Let's!

It is now well over a year since you came to me howling like a damned
soul in torment --- and so you should be! --- and persuaded me to take you
as my pupil. What have you done with that year?

. . . . . . . .

First, suppose we put down what you agreed to do: The essential prelim-
inaries of the work of the A.'. A.'. --- you are to be heartily congratu-
lated upon your swift perception that the principles of that august
body were absolute.

1. Prepare and submit your Magical Record. (Without this you are
in the position of a navigator with neither chart nor log.)
It would have been quite easy to get this ready in a week. Have
you done so in a year? No.

2. Learn to construct and perfect the Body of Light. This might
have required anything up to a dozen personal lessons. You were
urged to claim priority upon my time. What did you do?

You made one experiment with me fairly satisfactory, and got full
instructions for practice and experiment at home.

You made one experiment, ignoring every single one of the recom-
mendations made to you.

You kept on making further appointments for a second personal
lesson; and every one of them you broke.

3. Begin simple Yoga practices.

This, of course, cannot be checked at all in the absence of a
careful record and of instructed critical analysis. You do not
make the one, and are incapable of the other.

so I suppose you are very well satisfied with yourself!

4. Your O.T.O. work.

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You were supplied with copies of those rituals to which you were

You were to make copies of these.

Your were to go through them with me, so as to assimilate their
Symbolism and teaching.

Have you done any of this? No.

5. You were to write me a letter of questions once every fortnight.

Have you done so? No.

. . . . . . . .

Have you in thirteen months done as much as honest work would have
accomplished in a week? No.

. . . . . . . .

What excuses do you drag out, when taxed with these misdemeanors?

You are eager to make appointments to be received in audience; then you
break them without warning, explanation, apology or regret.

You are always going to have ample time to devote to the Great Work;
but that time is always somewhere after the middle of next week.

If you put half as much enthusiasm into what you quite rightly claim to
be the most important factor in life as other old ladies do into Culbert-
son Contract, you might get somewhere.

What you need, in the way of a Guru, is some fat, greasy Swami, who
would not allow you to enter or leave his presence without permission,
or address him without being formally invited to do so. After seven
years at menial household drudgeries, you might with luck be allowed to
listen to some of his improving discourse.

Pretentious humbug is the only appeal to which you can be relied on to
respond. Praxiteles would repel you, unless you covered the marble
completely with glittering gew-gaws, tinsel finery, sham jewels from
the tray of Autolycus! Yet it was precisely because you were sick of
all this that you came to me at all.

How can one take you as a serious student? Only because you do have
moments when the scales fall from your eyes, and your deep need tears
down the tawdry counterfeits which hide the shrine where Isis stands
unveiled --- but ah! too far. You must advance.

To advance --- that means Work. Patient, exhausting, thankless, often
bewildering Work. Dear sister, if you would but Work! Work blindly,

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foolishly, misguidedly, it doesn't matter in the end: Work in itself
has absolute virtue.

But for you, having got so far in this incarnation, there must be a
revolution. You must no longer hesitate, no longer plan; you must
leap into the dark, and leap at once.

"The Voice of my Higher Soul said unto me: Let me enter the Path of
Darkness; peradventure thus I may attain the Light."

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,


P.S. Let me adduce an example of the way in which the serious Aspirant
bends to the oar. This is not boasting as if the facts denoted super-
lative excellence; they speak. The only comment is that if such conduct
is not normal and universal, it ought to be. Yet no! I would add this:
that I have not yet heard of anyone who has attained to any results of
importance who does not attribute his success to devotion of quite
similar quality.

Here they are:

1. _The Cloud on the Sanctuary_. On reading this book, Mr. X., who was
desperate from the conviction that no success in life was worth a tinker's
_dam_, decided: "This is the answer to my problem; the members of the
Secret Fraternity which this book describes have solved the riddle of
life. I must discover them, and seek to be received amongst them."

2. X., hearing a conversation in a caf which made him think that the
speaker might be such an one as he sought, hunted him down --- he had gone
on his travels --- caught him, and made him promise an interview at the
earliest possible date.

3. This interview leading to an introduction to the Fraternity, he
joined it, pledging his fealty. But he was grievously shocked, and
nearly withdrew, when assured: "There is nothing in this Oath which
might conflict in any way with your civil, moral or religious obliga-
tions." If it was _not_ worth while becoming a murderer, a traitor, and
an eternally damned soul, why bother about it? was his attitude.

The Head of the Fraternity being threatened with revolt, X. when to him,
in circumstances which jeopardised his own progress, and offered his
support "to the last drop of my blood, and the last penny of my purse."

Deciding to perform a critical Magical Operation, and being warned that
serious opposition might come from his own friends, family, etc., he
abandoned his career, changed his name, cut himself off completely from
the past, and allowed no alien interest of any sort to interfere with

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his absorption in the Work. His journey to see the Head seemed at that
time a fatal interruption; at the least, it involved the waste of one
whole year. He was wrong; his gesture of setting the interests of the
Order before his personal advancement was counted unto him for right-

There should be no need to extend this list; it could be continued
indefinitely. X. had one rule of life, and one only; to do whatever
came first on the list of agenda, and never to count the cost.

Because this course of conduct was so rigidly rational, it appeared to
others irrational and incalculable; because it was so serenely simple,
it appeared an insoluble mystery of a complexity utterly unfathomable!

But --- I fear that you are only too likely to ask --- is not this system
(a) absurd, (b) wrong, as certain in the long run to defeat its own

Well, as to (a), everything is absurd. The Universe is not constructed
to gratify the mania of "social planners" and their tedipus kind. As
to (b), there you said something; the refutation will lead us to open
a new chapter. Ought not X. to have laid down a comprehensive scheme,
and worked out the details, so that he would not break down half-way
through for lack of foresight and provision for emergencies?

An example. Suppose that the next step in his Work involved the sacri-
fice of a camel in a house in Tooting Bec, furnished in such fashion as
his Grimoire laid down, and that the purchase of the house left him with-
out resources to but that furniture, to say nothing of the camel. What
a fool!

No, that does not necessarily follow. If the Gods will the End, They
also will the means. I shall do all that is possible to me by buying
the house: I shall leave it to Them to do Their share when the time

This "Act of Truth" is already a Magical Formula of infallible puissance;
the man who is capable of so thinking and acting is far more likely to
get what he wanted from the Sacrifice --- when at long last the Camel
appears on the premises --- then he who, having ample means to carry out
the whole Operation without risk of failure, goes through the ceremony
without ever having experienced a moment's anxiety about his ability to
bring it to a successful conclusion.

It think personally that the error lies in _calculating_. The injunction
is "to buy the egg of a perfectly black hen without haggling." You have
no means of judging what is written in Their ledger; so "...reason is a
lie;...", ..." & all their words are skew-wise...." AL II, 32.

Let me add that it is a well-attested fact of magical experience ---
beginning with Tarquin and the Sibylline books! --- as well as a fact of
profane psychology, that if you funk a fence, it is harder next time.

- 206 -

If the boy falls off the pony, put him on again at once: if the young
airman crashes, send him up again without a minute's avoidable delay.
If you don't, their nerve is liable to break for good and all.

I am not saying that this policy is invariably successful; your judg-
ment may have misled you as to the necessity of the Operation which
loomed so large at the moment. And so on; plenty of room for blunders!

But it is a thousand times better to make every kind of mistake than
to slide into the habit of hesitation, of uncertainty, of indecision.

For one thing, you acquire also the habit of dishonourable failure;
and you very soon convince yourself that"the whole thing is nonsense."

confidence comes from exercise, from taking risks, from picking your-
self up after a purler; finding that the maddest gambles keep oncoming
off, you begin to suspect that there is no more than Luck in it; you
observe this closely, and there forms, in the dusk dimly, a Shape; very
soon you see a Hand, and from its movements you divine a Brain behind
the whole contrivance.

"Good!" you say quietly, with a determined nod; "I'm watched, I'm
helped: I'll do my bit; the rest will come about without my worrying
or meddling."

And so it is.



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Cara Soror,

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

Selfishness? I am glad to find you worrying that bone, for it has
plenty of meat on it; fine juicy meat, none of your Chilled Argentine
or Canterbury lamb. It is a pelvis, what's more; for in a way the
whole structure of the ethics of Thelema is founded upon it. There is
some danger here; for the question is a booby trap for the noble, the
generous, the high-minded.

"Selfishness," the great characteristic of the Master of the Temple,
the very quintessence of his attainment, is not its contradictory, or
even its contrary; it is perfectly compatible (nay, shall we say
friendly?) with it.

The _Book of the Law_ has plenty to say on this subject, and it does not
mince its words.

"First, text; sermon, next," as the poet says.

AL II, 18, 19, 20, 21. "These are dead, these fellows; they feel not.
We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our

"Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. They shall
rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

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

"We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their
misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp
down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our
law and the joy of the world. ..."

That sets up a standard, with a vengeance!

(Note "they feel not," twice repeated. There should be something impor-
tant to the thesis herein concealed.)

The passage becomes exalted, but a verse later resumes the theme, setting
forth the philosophical basis of these apparently violent and arrogant

"...It is a lie, this folly against self...." (AL II, 22)

This is the central doctrine of Thelema in this matter. What are we to

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understand by it? That this imbecile and nauseating cult of weakness ---
democracy some call it --- is utterly false and vile.

Let us look into the matter. (First consult AL II, 24, 25, 48, 49, 58, 59.
and III, 18, 58, 59. It might be confusing to quote these texts in full;
but they throw much further light on the subject.) The word "compassion"
is its accepted sense --- which is bad etymology --- implies that you are a
fine fellow, and the other so much dirt; that is, you insult him by
pity for his misfortunes. But "Every man and every woman is a star.";
so don't you do it! You should treat everybody as a King of the same
order as yourself. Of course, nine people out of ten won't stand for
it, not for a minute; the mere fact of your treating them decently
frightens them; their sense of inferiority is exacerbated and intensi-
fied; they insist on grovelling. That places them. They force you to
treat them as the mongrel curs they are; and so everybody is happy!

The _Book of the Law_ is at pains to indicate the proper attitude of one
"King" to another. When you fight him, "As brothers fight ye!" Here
we have the old chivalrous type of warfare, which the introduction of
reason into the business has made at the moment impossible. _Reason_ and
_Emotion_; these are the two great enemies of the Ethic of Thelema. They
are the traditional obstacles to success in Yoga as well as in Magick.

Now in practice, in everyday life, this unselfishness is always cropping
up. Not only do you insult your brother King by your "noble self-sacri-
fice," but you are almost bound to interfere with his True Will. "Charity"
always means that the lofty soul who bestows it is really, deep down,
trying to enslave the recipient of his beastly bounty!

In practice, I begin afresh, it is almost entirely a matter of the point
of view. "That poor chap looks as if a square meal wouldn't hurt him;"
and you chuck him a half-crown. You offend his pride, you pauperize him,
you make a perfect cad of yourself, and you go off with a glow of having
done your good deed for the day. It's all wrong. In such a case, you
should make it the request for favour. Say you're "dying for someone
to talk to, and would he care to join you in a spot of lunch" at the
Ritz, or wherever you feel that he will be the happiest.

When you can do this sort of thing as it should be done, without embar-
rassment, false shame, with your whole heart in your words --- do it
_simply_, to sum up --- you will find yourself way up on the road to that
royal republic which is the ideal of human society.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


P.S. Let me insist that "pity" is nearly always an impostor. It is the
psychic consolation for fear, the "pitiful man" really is a pitiful man!
He has transferred his own fear of what may happen to himself to another:

- 209 -

for his is such a coward that he dare not face his fear, even in

P.P.S. The day after I had written the above postscript I came upon a
copy of Graham Greene's _The Ministry of Fear_ --- after a long search. He
points out that pity is a mature emotion; adolescents do not feel it.
Exactly; one step further, and he would have reached my own position
as set forth above. It is the twin of "moral responsibility," of the
sense of guilt or sin. The Hebrew fable of Eden and the "Fall" is clearly
constructed. But remember that the serpent Nechesh {Nun-Cheth-Shin} is equivalent
to Messiach, {Mem-Shin-Yod-Cheth}, the Messiah. The M is the "Hanged Man," the sinner;
and is redeemed by the insertion of the Phallic God.

P.P.P.S. An amusing coincidence. Just as I was polishing up this
letter the lady whom I had just engaged to help me with some of my work
irritated me to the point when my screams became so heartrending that
the village will never sleep again as smoothly as its wont. They split
the welkin in several places; and although invisible menders were immed-
iately put on the job it is generally felt that it will never more be
its original wholeness.

And why? Just because of her anxiety to please! She asked me if she
might do something; I said "Yes;" she then went on begging for my
consent, explaining why she had made the request, apologizing for her

She could not understand that all she had to do was to try and please
herself --- the highest part of herself --- to be assured of my full

P.P.P.P.S. "But the A.'. A.'. oath; aren't you --- we --- all out to improve
the race, not counting the cost to ourselves!"

Pure selfishness, child, with foresight! I want a decent place to live
in next time I come back. And a longer choice of firstrate vehicles for
my Work.

- 210 -



Cara Soror,

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

Don't I think I ought to write a book on the Four Last Things, or summat?
I do not. What's more, I'll see you in Yorkshire's most important sea-
port first.

But all the same you are within your rights when you insist on knowing
if I believe in Reincarnation; and, if so why; and how do I feel about
it. In other letters there is quite a lot of detail about the consti-
tution of Man, and there is my Essay No. 1, in _Little Essays Toward Truth_;
you had better get these well fixed in your mind, in case some of what
now follows should prove obscure. I can't be bothered to define all the
technical terms all over again.

Do I believe in it?



(1) Because I remember a dozen or so of my previous lives on earth.
(see _Magick_, Chapter VI.)

(2) Because no other theory satisfies my feeling for "justesse," for
equilibrium, for Newton's Third Law of Motion.

(3) Because every religion asserts, or at least implies, it in some
sense of other.

Even the Judaism --- Christianity --- Islam line of thought contains some
such element. The Jews were always expecting Elias to return; the
disciples of Christ constantly asked questions involving it; and I
feel that the Mohammedan doctrine of Antichrist and the Judgment at
least toys with the idea. Were I not so ignorant, I could dig up all
sorts of support for this thesis. But it doesn't matter so much in any
case; we do not trouble to find "authority;" we put our shirts on

Now as to (1) what is evidence for me is hearsay for you; so forget it!
But there is a clear method of obtaining these memories for yourself.
See _Liber Thisharb_ (_Magick_, pp. 415 - 422); and go to it!

As to (2) it seems to me fairly obvious. The doctrine of Karma is plain
common sense; and although a terrestrial set of causes might conceivably
have their effects in other spheres of action, as of course they do, it
seems less trouble for them to remain in their original ambit. As I

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pointed out long ago, the Law of Karma is the Law of Inertia.

Nor is it necessary to assert that it always works out in this way;
"sometimes" is quite good enough. Besides, to say "sometimes" explains
(or rather, avoids) most of the evident objections to the theory. I
grant you cheerfully that Reincarnation is a comparatively rare occur-
rence; and it throws upon the objector the onus of proving an A or an
E proposition.

What is it that reincarnates? We have had this before, in another
connection; it is the Supernal Triad of Jechidah, Chiah and Neschamah
that clothes the original Hadit or Point-of-View, with as much of the
Ruach as the Human Consciousness, Tiphareth, has been able during a
given life to attach to itself by dint of persistent Aspiration. If
there is not enough Ruach to ensure an adequate quota of Memories, one
could never become conscious of the continuity between one life and the

Briefly, the orthodox theory as put forth by H.P.B. is that one works
off one's Karma after death in Devachan, or Kama Loka, or some such
place; when the balance is exhausted, one may come back to earth, or
in some other way carry on the Great Work. One theory --- see Opus
Lutetianum, the _Paris Working_ --- says that when one has quite finished
with Earth-problems, one is promoted to Venus, where "bodies" are liquid,
and thence to Mercury, where they are gaseous, finally to the Sun,
where they are composed of pure Fire. Eliphaz Lvi says: "In the Suns
we remember; in the planets we forget."

Most of this is he merest speculation, useless and possibly harmful;
but I don't mind relaxing occasionally to that extent.

What is important is the Oath.

One who is vowed to the A.'. A.'. 's Mission for Mankind, who takes it
dead seriously, and who will be neither frightened nor bored from Its
majestic purpose, may at any time bind himself by an Oath to reject the
rewards of Devachan, and reincarnate immediately again and again. By
"immediately" is meant about 6 months before the birth of the new Adept,
about 3 months after his last death. It depends to some extent, no
doubt, on whether he can find a suitable vehicle. Presumably he will
make some sort of o preparation while still alive. It seems that I per-
sonally must have taken this Oath quite a long while ago; for the
Incarnations which I actually remember leave very few gaps to be filled
in the last dozen centuries or so.

Now, dear sister, I don't like this letter at all, and I am sorry that
I had to write it. For most of these statements are insusceptible of

And yet I _feel_ their truth much more strongly than I have ventured to
express. How many times have I warned you against "feelings?"

Love is the law, love under will.

- 212 -

"_Second Method_ --- Preliminary Practices. Let him seated in his
Asana, consider any event, and trace it to its immediate causes.
And let this be done very fully and minutely. Here for example,
is a body erect and motionless. Let the adept consider the many
forces which maintain it; firstly, the attraction of the earth,
of the sun, of the planets, of the farthest stars, nay of every
mote of dust in the room, one of which (could it be annihilated)
would cause that body to move although so imperceptibly. Also the
resistance of the floor, the pressure of the air, and all other
external conditions. Secondly, the internal forces which sustain
it, the vast and complex machinery of the skeleton, the muscles,
the blood, the lymph, the marrow, all that makes up a man. Thirdly
the moral and intellectual forces involved, the mind, the will,
the consciousness. Let him continue this with unremitting ardour,
searching Nature, leaving nothing out.

"Next, let him take one of the immediate causes of his position,
and trace out its equilibrium. For example, the will. What deter-
mines the will to aid in holding the body erect and motionless?

"This being discovered, let him choose one of the forces which
determined his will, and trace out that in similar fashion, and
let this process be continued for many days until the interdepen-
dence of all things is a truth assimilated in his inmost being.

"This being accomplished, let him trace his own history, with
special reference to the causes of each event. And in this prac-
tice he may neglect to some extent the universal forces which at
all times act on all, as for example, the attraction of masses,
and let him concentrate his attention upon the principal and
determining or effective causes.

"For instance, he is seated, perhaps, in a country place in Spain.
Why? Because Spain is warm and suitable for meditation and because
cities are noisy and crowed. Why is Spain warm? and why does he
wish to meditate? Why choose warm Spain rather than warm India?
To the last question: Because Spain is nearer to his home. Then
why is his home near Spain? Because his parents were Germans. And
why did they go to Germany? And so during the whole meditation.

"On another day let him begin with a question of another kind and
every day devise new questions, not concerning his present situa-
tion, but also abstract questions. Thus let him connect the
prevalence of water upon the surface of the globe with its necessity
to such life as we know with the specific gravity and other physical
properties of water, and let him perceive ultimately through all
this the necessity and concord of things, not concord as the school-
men of old believed, making all things for man's benefit or
convenience, but the essential mechanical concord whose final law
is inertia. And in these meditations let him avoid as if it were
the plague any speculations sentimental or fantastic.

- 213 -

"_Second Method_ --- The Practice Proper. Having then perfected in
his mind these conceptions let him apply them to his own career,
forging the link of memory into the chain of necessity.

"And let this be his final question: To what purpose am I fitted?
Of what service can my being prove to the Brothers of the A.'. A.'.
if I cross the Abyss and am admitted to the City of the Pyramids.

"Now that he may clearly understand the nature of this question
and the method of solution, let him study the reasoning of the
anatomist who reconstructed an animal from a single bone. To
take a simple example: Suppose, having lived all my life among
savages a ship is cast upon the shore and wrecked. Undamaged
among the cargo is a 'Victoria.' What is its use? The wheels
speak of roads, their slimness of smooth roads, the brake of hilly
roads. The shafts show that it was meant to be drawn by an animal,
their height and length suggest an animal of the size of a horse.
That the carriage is open suggests a climate tolerable at any time
of the year. The height of the box suggests crowded streets or the
spirited character of the animal employed to draw it. The cushions
indicate its use to convey man rather than merchandise; its hood
that rain sometimes falls, or that the sun is at times powerful.
The springs would imply considerable skill in metals; the varnish
much attainment in that craft.

"Similarly, let the adept consider of his own case. Now that he is
on the point of plunging into the Abyss, a giant Why? confronts him
with uplifted club.

"There is no minutest atom of his composition which can be with-
drawn without making him some other than he is, no useless moment
in his past. Then what is his future? The 'Victoria' is not a
wagon; it is not intended for carting hay. It is not a sulky;
it is useless in trotting races.

"So the adept has military genius or much knowledge of Greek. How
do these attainment help his purpose, or the purpose of the
Brothers? He was put to death by Calvin or stoned by Hezekiah;
as a snake he was killed by a villager, or as an elephant slain in
battle under Hamilcar. How do such memories help him? Until he
has thoroughly mastered the reason for every incident in this past,
and found a purpose for every item of his present equipment*, he
cannot truly answer even those Three Questions that were first put
to him, even the Three Questions of the Ritual of the Pyramid; he
is not ready to swear the oath of the Abyss.

* AS brother known to me was repeatedly baffled in this meditation. But
one day being thrown with his horse over a sheer cliff of forty feet,
and escaping without a scratch or a bruise, he was reminded of his many
narrow escapes from death. These proved to be the last factors in his
problem which, thus completed, solved itself in a moment.
(O. M. _Chinese Frontier_, 1905-6)

- 214 -

"But being thus enlightened, let him swear the Oath of the Abyss;
yea, let him swear the Oath of the Abyss.*"

* The above is quoted from _Liber Thisharb_; see _Magick in Theory and_
_Practice_. pp. 420 - 422.

- 215 -



Cara Soror,

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

No man alive can appreciate better than myself the difficulties
connected with _Book of the Law_.

You ask me, if I have rightly analysed your somewhat complicated series
of questions, to advise you as to your attitude towards that Book.

Naturally, if you wished for detailed explanations, I could no more than
refer you to that voluminous commentary, verse by verse, which still
awaits publication. But I think I can sum up the main business in a
letter of not too exorbitant length.

To begin: the Author is quite certainly both more than human, and
other than human.

His main aim seems to me to announce the Magical Formula of the Aeon of
Horus, and to lay down the funadmental principles of conduct that are
consistent with it.

I put this first, because your troubles belong to this part of the Book.

But let me sort out the principal parts of it.

(1) There is a system of the most sublime philosophy which stands
altogether apart forma any Aeon, or form any other limited condition.

(2) There is a considerable proportion of the contents which appears to
refer to "The Beast" and "The Scarlet Woman" personally; but these
titles may be assumed to refer to any one who happens to hold either of
those offices during the whole period of the Aeon --- approximately 2000

(3) The sex morality of the Book is not very different from that main-
tained secretly by aristocrats since the world began. It is the system
natural to any one who has psycho-analysed away all his complexes,
repressions fixations and phobias.

(4) As matriarchy reflected the Formula of the Aeon of Isis, and
patriarchy that of Osiris, so does the rule of the "Crowned and Conquer-
ing Child" express that of Horus. The family, the clan, the state count
for nothing; the Individual is the Autarch.

(5) The Book announces a new dichotomy in human society; there is the
master and there is the slave; the noble and the serf; the "lone wolf"

- 216 -

and the herd*.

(Nietzsche may be regarded as one of our prophets; to a much less
extent, de Gobineau.) Hitler's "Herrenvold" is a not too dissimilar
idea; but there is no volk about it; and if there were, it would
certainly not be the routine-looving, uniformed-obsessed, law-abiding,
refuge-seeking German; the Briton, especially the Celt, a natural
anarchist, is much nearer the mark. Britons will never get together
about anything unless and until each one of them feels himself directly

Now here I must tell you a story which may throw a good deal of light
on much that is obscure in the political situation of '25 to date. The
venerable lady (S.H. Soror I.W.E. 8 = 3) who, on the death of S.H.
Frater 8 = 3 Otto Gebhardi, succeeded him as my representative in
Germany (note that all this pertains to the A.'. A.'.; the O.T.O. is
not directly concerned) attained the Grade of Hermit (AL I, 40). Watch-
ing the situation in Europe, she became constantly more convinced that
Adolf Hitler washer "Magical child;" and she conceived it to be her
duty to devote her life (for the Hermit "gives only of his Light unto
men") to his Magical Education. Knowing that the hegemony of the world
would fall to the nation that first accepted the Law of Thelema, she
made haste to put the _Book of the Law_ in the hands of her "child."
Upon him it most undoubtedly made the deepest impression, especially
as she swore him most solemnly to secrecy as to the source of his power.
(Obviously, he would not wish to share it with other.). From time to
time, when circumstances suggested it, she wrote to him, enclosing
pertinent sections of my commentary, of which I had given her a copy
at the time of the "Zeugnis."**

Had Hitler been a less abnormal character, no great "Mischief," or at
least a very different kind of "mischief," might have come of it. I
think you have read _Hitler speaks_ --- if not, do so --- his private conver-
sation abounds in what sound almost like actual quotations from the
_Book of the Law_. But he public man's private conversation can be
repeated on the platform only at the risk of his political life; and
he served up to the people only such concoctions as would tickle their
gross palates. Worse still, he was the slave of his prophetic frenzy;
he had not undertaken the balancing regimen of the Curriculum of A.'.
A.'.; and, worst of all, he was very far indeed from being a full
initiate, even in the loosest sense of the term. His Weltanschauung
was accordingly a mass of personal and political prejudice; he had no
true cosmic comprehension, no true appreciation of First Principles;
and he was tossed about in every direction by the varied conflicting
forces that naturally concentrated their energies ever more strenuously

* The "Master" roughly denotes the able, the adventurous, welcoming
responsibility. The "slave:" his motto is "Safety first," with all
that this implies. Race, birth, breeding etc. are important but not
absolutely essential factors.
** "Zeugnis der Suchenden:" a declaration she had signed in 1925.

- 217 -

upon him as his personal position became more and more the dominating
factor, first in domestic and then in European politics. I warned our
S.H. Soror repeatedly that she ought to correct these tendencies; but
she already saw the success of her plans within her grasp, and refused
to believe that this success itself would alarm the world into combining
to destroy him. "But we have the Book," she confidently retorted, failing
to see that the other powers in extremity would be compelled to adopt those
identical principles. Of course, as you know, it has happened as Ifore-
saw; only a remnant of piety-purefied Prelates and sloppy sentimental-
ists still hold out against the _Book of the Law_, sabotage the victory,
and will turn the Peace into a shambles of surrender if we are fools
enough to give ear to their caterwauling --- as in the story of the highly-
esteemed tomcat, when at last one of his fans obtained an interview;
"all he could do was to talk about his operation."

Has this digression seemed too long? Ah, but it isn't a digression.
Rightly considered, it strikes at the heart of your "difficulties."

"The _Book of the Law_ takes us back to primitive savagery," you say. Well,
where are we?

We're at Guernica, Lidice, Oradour-sur-Glane, Rotterdam and hundreds of
other crimes, to say nothing of Concentration-camp, Stalag, and a million
lesser horrors and abominations, inconceivable by the most diseased and
inflamed Sadistic imagination forty years ago.

You disagree with Aiwass --- so do all of us. The trouble is that He can
say: "But I'm not arguing; I'm telling you."

Now then let us look a little more deeply (and I hope more clearly) into
his Ethics, with our minds undismayed by any human emotion.

Aiwass is of a different _Order_ of Being from ourselves. Consider a
gold-refiner. "Analysis shows 20 % of copper in this sample; I'll
beat it in a current of oxygen; that will oxidize the copper. Shake
it up with sulphuric acid; then we wash away the copper sulphate, and
that's that." he does not consider how the copper feels about it;
indeed, he doesn't believe that the copper knows about it at all.

Yes, yes, of course; I know that's an extreme case. I only bring it
in to sow what could be done as a last resort, if pushed to the wall.
Fortunately, we are not so ill situated. You will, I dare say, without
my prompting, think of the surgeon and the schoolmaster; but I can go
one better. We have in recent history a case almost precisely parallel.

How did I begin this letter? By defining the task of the Author: to
announce the Magical Formula of the Aeon of Horus and so on. In other
words, to train mankind to the use of a new source of power.

Page Professor Rntgen! Page the Curies!

How many "Martyrs to X-ray dermatitis?" Willing experimenters who knew

- 218 -

the risks? Not all of them; lots of patients got burnt in utmost agony
of death. How many victims were there of he "radium bomb?" (At Guy's,
wasn't it?) It always has to happen, even with well tried tools, and
despite utmost precautions. How many workmen's lives did the Forth
Bridge cost? You know, I suppose, that a certain number of fatal acci-
dents are always included in the calculations of any project of Public

But a new Magical Formula is on a vastly bigger scale. Cast your mind
for a moment back to the last occasion, when Osiris succeeded to Isis.
In that great cataclysm not only Empires, but civilizations crashed one
after another. Three quarters of the Aeon had elapsed before the wine
of that vintage was really drinkable.

I expect as I hope that this time (communication being universally
better established, the foundations better laid, and things in general
moving quicker) we may be able to enjoy the harvest in very much less
time. But hang it all! it's hardly reasonable to expect complete
fruition after only 40 years.

What seems to me the most encouraging symptom of all is this: the Book
itself, and the system of Magick based thereon, and the bankruptcy of
all previous systems (as set forth in _Eight Lectures on Yoga_, _Magick_,
_The Book of Thoth_, and other similar works) do furnish us all with a
clear, concise practical _Method_ (free from all contamination of the
humbug of faith and superstition) whereby any one of us may attain to
"the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel," and that
the many other Beings of intelligence and power indefinitely more exalted
than anything which we recognize as human --- and, let us hole, capable of
bestowing upon us a modicum of Wisdom adequate to get us out of the quag-
mire into which the crisis has temporarily plunged us all!

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,


P.S. It has seemed better to make a postscript of the most important
argument of all; for it is completely separate. It is this.

The Book's meaning is "...not only in the English..." etc. (AL I, 36; I, 46;
I, 54, 55; II, 76; III, 16; II, 39; III, 47; III, 63-68; and III,
73). These passages make it clear that there is a secret interpretation,
which, being hidden as it is hidden, is presumably of even graver impor-
tance than the text as it stands. Such passages as I have been able to
decipher confirm this view; so also does the discovery of the key number
31 by Frater Achad. We must also expect a genius to arise who will
accomplish all this work for us. Again we know that much information
of the utmost value has been given through the Hebrew, the Greek and
very probably the Arabic Qabalah.

- 219 -

There is only one logical conclusion of these premises. We know (a) the
Book means more than it appears to mean, (b) this inner meaning may
modify, or even reverse, the outer meaning, (c) what we do understand
convinces us that the Author of the Book is indeed what he claims to be;
and, therefore, we must accept the Book as the Canon of Truth, seeking
patiently for further enlightenment.

This last point is of especial virtue: see AL III, 63-68. The value
to you of the Book varies directly with the degree of your own initiation.

- 220 -



Cara Soror,

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

Right glad am I to hear that thy have so astutely detected the bulk of
my remarks on morals as little better than plain sophistry.

"After all," you tell me, "there is for every one of us an instinct, at
least, of what is 'right' and what is wrong," And it is plain enough
that you understand the validity of this sense in itself, in its own
right, wholly independent of any Codes or systems whatsoever.

Of what, then, is this instinct the hieroglyph? Our destructive criti-
cism is perfect as regards teleology; nobody knows what to do in order
to act "for the best." Even the greatest Chess Master cannot be sure
how his new pet variation will turn out in practice; and the chess-
board is surely an admirable type of a limited "universe of discourse"
and "field of action." (I must write you one day about Cause and Effect
in magical practice.)

I seem to have started up this rock chimney with the wrong leg! What I
am trying to write is a sort of answer to your remark about "Does the
end justify the means?" and I had better tackle it straightforwardly.

Cesspools in every theologian's back garden: sewers in every legislator's
garden city: there is no end to the literature of the subject. But one
point is amusing; the Jesuits have always been accused of answering that
question in the affirmative, apparently for no better reason than that
their doctrine is unanimously adverse to admitting it. (People are like
that! They say that I spent months in Yucatan --- the only province in
Mexico that I did _not_ visit. They say that my home is a Tibetan monas-
tery; and Tibet is almost the only country in East and Central Asia
that my feet have never trodden. They say that I lived for years in
Capri --- the only town in Italy, of those that I know at all, where I
spent less than 48 hours.)

The Law of Thelema helps us to deal with this question very simply and
succinctly. First, it obviates the need of defining the proper "End;"
for with us this becomes identical with the "True Will;" and we are
bound to assume that the man himself is the sole arbiter; we _postulate_
that his 'End" is self-justified.

Then as to his "Means:" as he cannot possibly know for certain whether
they are suitable or not, he can only rely on his inherited instincts,
his learning, his traditions, and his experience. Of these all but the
first lie wholly in the intellectual Sphere, the Ruach, and can accord-
ingly be knocked into any desired shape at will, by dint of a little
manipulation: and if Thelema has freed him morally, as it should have

- 221 -

done, form all the nonsense of Plato, Manu, Draco, Solon, Paul (with his
harpy brood), John Stuart Mill and Kant, he can make his decision with
purely objective judgment. (Where would mathematics be if certain solu-
tions were priori inadmissible?) But then, what about that plaguy
first weapon in his armoury? It must be these instincts, simply because
we have eliminated all the other possibilities.

What are they?

Two are their sources: the spiritual (Neschamah) and the physiological
(Nephesch). Note that both these are feminine. They pertain to H and
H final in Tetragrammaton respectively. That implies that they are, in
a sense, imposed on you from the beginning. Of course it is your own
higher principles, Yechidah and Chiah, that have saddled you with them;
but the "Human Consciousness," being in Tiphareth, cannot control Nes-
chamah at all; and it has to be admirably unified, fortified, and
perfected if it is to act efficiently upon Nephesch.

(How exquisitely keen is the Qabalah! How apt, how clear, how simple,
how pictorially assimilable are its explanations of the facts of Nature!
If you will only learn to use it, to refer your problems to it, you will
soon need no Holy Guru!)

In practice, we most of us do act upon Nephesch a great deal. All
learning, training, discipline, tend to modify our physiological reac-
tions in a thousand minor manners. A complete branch of Yoga, Hatha
Yoga, is occupied with nothing else. And you can have your face "lifted."
Apart from this, we nearly all of us attend to matters like our waist-
line, our hours of sleep, our digestion, or our muscular development.
Some men have even taught themselves to reduce the pulse-beat both in
rate and in volume: so much so that they have sometimes been credited
with the power to stop the heart altogether at will. (Wasn't it Colonel
Somebody --- no Blimp --- who used to show off to his friends, after dinner?
Did it once too often, in any case!)

Neschamah is an entirely different proposition. One of Tiphareth's prime
assets is the influence, through the path of "The Lovers," from Binah.
The son's milk from the Great Mother. (From his Father, Chiah, Chokmah,
he inherits the infinite possibilities of Nuit, through the path of H,
"The Star;" and from his "God," Kether, the Divine Consciousness, the
direct inspiration, guidance, and ward of his Holy Guardian Angel,
through the path of Gimel, the Moon, "The Priestess.")^

Neschamah, then, will not be influenced by Ruach, except in so far as it
is explained or interpreted by Ruach. These "instincts" are implanted
from on high, not from below; they would be imperative were one always
sure of having received them pure, and interpreted them aright.

But this is a digression, though an essential one; the point is how to
decide when one's equation is solved by "a + b", and one feels that "a + b"
is abhorrent to one's nature.

^ WEH: Note that in this paragraph Crowley settles an often asked question
about allocation of Tarot and Hebrew Letters on the Tree of Life in his
modified system. The letters stay in their traditional positions, and the
Tarot Atu's of "Star" and "Emperor" switch places. Crowley identifies the
influence of the HGA with the path of Gimel, and this is more remarkable
in some ways than the Tarot attribution. If the K & C of the HGA comes
from Neschamah, it would be expected to flow by the path of "The Lovers."
Perhaps there is a distinction between unconscious influence and conscious
Knowledge and Conversation. Crowley never completely resolved some questions
related to Aiwass and some related to the objective existence of the HGA.
Speculation on these matters is not closed, and this might be a good issue
for resumption of the discussion.

- 222 -

Now do you see the point of the digression? By "wrong" we mean anything
that evokes dissent or protest from either Neschamah or Nephesch, or

People spoke to me, people whose experience and judgment in all matters
of Sacrifice to Dionysus had my very fullest assent and admiration;
they told me that of all drinks, the best was Beer. So I have wanted
for many years to drink it. I can't. I once tasted a few drops on the
end of a teaspoon. They told me that wasn't quite the same thing!^

That's Nephesch.

I cannot bear to do any unkind action, however wise, necessary, and all
the rest of it. I do it, but "it hurts me more than it hurts you" is
actually true for me. (This only applies where the other party is
unable to retaliate: I love hurting a stout antagonist in a fair fight.)

That's Neschamah.

What one really needs to know is whether the protest of the Instinct
should override the decision of the Reason. Obviously, one must assume
that both are equally "right;" that one's interpretation of one's
Instinct is full and accurate, that one's solution of "how shall I act
for the best?" is uniquely correct.

First of all, one is tempted to argue that, that being so, there _can_ be
no disagreement; that is, on our general Theory of the Universe. True
enough! The farther one goes in initiation, the rarer will such inci-
dents become. Even a quite uninitiated person --- always provided that
Thelema has freed him morally --- should find that nine times in ten, the
inhibiting antagonism is accidental, or at least apparently irrelevant.
(Notice, please, that our conditions of the "rightness" of both sides
are rigid: the usual inhibition is a threat to vanity, or some instinct
equally false, and to be weeded out.)

Wilkie Collins has an excellent episode in _Armadale_; his "girl-friend"
or wife or somebody wants to poison him, and gives the stuff in brandy,
not knowing that the mere smell of it is enough to make him violently
sick. So he won't touch it. I'm not sure that I've got this quite
right, but you see the idea.

Occasionally it happens that an infinity of minute and meticulous calsu-
lation is necessary to decide between the duellists.

This is the sort of thing.

Suppose that by what is hardly fraud, but "undue influence" (as the
lawyers say) I could persuade a dying person to leave me a couple of
hundred thousand in his will. I shall use every penny of it for the
Great Work; it sounds easy! "Of course! Damn you integrity! Damn
_you_! The Work is all that matters."

^ WEH Note: This from the son of a Brewer!

- 223 -

All the same, I say NO. I should never be the same man again. I should
have lost that confidence in myself which is the spine of my work. No
need that the fraud should be discovered openly: it would appear in all
my subsequent work, a subtle contamination.

But suppose that it were not the matter of gulling a moribund half-wit;
suppose that the price was a straightforward honest-to-God Bank Robbery
under arms on the highway, should I hesitate then? Here I should risk
my head, and the dice are loaded against me; nor does the deed imply
"moral turpitude." Stalin's associates regarded him as a martyred hero
when the law of the country, less cogent that Thelema, sat heavily on
his devoted head.

It would really be a little difficult; my rough-and-tumble life was the
best possible training for such desperate adventures, so that Nephesch
could not enter a protest. As to Neschamah, we nearly all of us (Thank
God!) have a secret sympathy, with the nobler type of criminal, whence
the universal appeal of Arsne Lupin, Black Star, Raffles and Stingaree.
When they can make some show of justice-on-their-side, it is easier still:
Scarlet Pimpernel and his tribe. We are now almost within the marches
of those heroes of romance that enchanted our adolescence: Hereward the
Wake, Robin Hood, Bonnie Prince Charlie. And there are, on the other
hand, few of us who do not secretly gloat over the discomfiture of "Money-

My retort, however, is convincing and final. Robbery in any shape is a
breach of the Law of Thelema. It is interference with the right of
another to dispose of his property as he will; and if I did so myself,
no matter with what tactical justification, I could hardly ask others
to respect my own similar right.

(The basis of our criminal law is simple, by virtue of Thelema: to vio-
late the right of another is to forfeit one's claim to protection
in the matter involved.)

So much for my own position; but let us look at the original case with
another protagonist: let us say a young Thelemite, fanatically enthusia-
stic and not very far advanced in the Path of Initiation. Suppose he
argues: "To hell with my integrity, to hell with my spiritual develop-
ment: I don't give a hoot what happens to me: all I know is that I can
help the Order, and I'm jolly well going to do it."

Who is going to balance that entry in his Karmic account? Might not even
his willingness to give up his prospects of advance justify his title to
go forward? The curious, complex, obscure and formidable path that he
has chosen may quite conceivably be his best short cut to the City of
the Pyramids!

I have known strange, striking cases of similar "vows to end vows." But
not by any means such macabre fabrications as those of the ghouls at
Colonel Olcott's death-bed, or the patient web of falsehood spun by the
astrological-Toshophical spider about the dying dupe on whom he had

- 224 -

fastened, Leo --- I've forgotten the insect's name. Well, who hasn't?
No, I haven't: Alan Leo he called himself.

I need hardly say that these cases may be multiplied indefinitely;
nothing is easier, and few games more amusing, than to devise dilemmas
calculated to stump the Master, or to catch him bending.

In fact, the "Schoolmen" wasted several centuries on this agreeable
pastime; and they enjoyed the additional pleasure of torturing and
burning anybody who happened not to be quite up-to-date with his views
on Utrum Virgo Maria in congressucum Spiritu Sancto semen emiserit, or
some equally critical tickler.

Don't tease your pretty little head about it! Now you know the principles
upon which one must make one's decisions, you will not go very far wrong.

But --- one has to take all these things into consideration.

Then --- you ask --- am I saying that the End does _not_ justify the means?

Hardly that.

What I really mean is that these two terms are unconnected. One decides
about the "End" in one way: about the "Means" in another. But every
proposition in your sorites has got to justify itself; and, having done
so, to estimate its exact weight in relation to all the other terms of
your problem.

"Confusion worse confounded?" I dare say it is; it's the best I can
do with such a difficult question.

But I am perfectly happy about it; the one important thing (as Descartes
--- and Francis Bacon --- saw) is that you should acquire and assimilate the
METHOD of Thelemic thinking.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 225 -



Cara Soror,

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

"Details about _Book 4_?" This question lacks precision. I must pull a
trigger at a venture.

The idea of 4 was due to my observation of St. Peter's in Rome; it is
built with an eye unwavering from the number, as you will see when
next you go there, aware of the fact. Also, 4 means, on the political
plane, Temporal Power. (The Qabalistic Architect of St. Peter's knew
that, and designed his talisman _ad hoc_.) This book was then, according
to Ab-Ul-Diz*, to achieve worldly success. It is my fault if it did
not; still, these are early days to judge of that.

Soror Virakam insisted that I should write this in such language that
the charwoman and the chimney-sweeper could understand it easily. She
pulled my up at the first hint of obscurity.

This went well enough for Part I: Yoga. (And, indeed, that part did
sell rather well.) But when I had finished Part II, I discovered that
not only was the book an exceptionally recondite treatise on obscure
technical points, but was not even an exposition of Magick at all!
_Magick without Tears_, indeed!

This was my crazed humility; I honestly thought that everyone knew all
about Magick, and how it was done, and why, and so on. There was little
to do but to erect a superstructure of symbolism. This, by the way,
has hampered me all my life, in every way; I am so aware of my own
shameful ignorance on every subject --- there is _no_ mistake about this!
--- that I cannot conceive of any human being who is actually more igno-
rant than myself. How could such an one endure to live, with the
consciousness of his infamy gnawing his liver?

I know this sounds mad; but it's true. Well, then, I set myself to
repair the omission with Part III; this should be a really complete
treatise on the Art and Science of magick, and it should be worked out
from the beginning, a logical sequence like Euclid. Hence Axiom,
Postulate and Theorems. I supposed even then that I could cover the
field with another volume comparable in size with the former two.

I did indeed "finish" this, even announced publication; it was just
going to Press when War (also announced five years before by Bartzabel,
the Spirit of Mars) came along in 1914. I toted the rod around the
world with me (excuse my American!) and in a fatal hour of weakness,

* The Master (or Intelligence) who directed the writing of this Book;
see Letter.

- 226 -

self-mistrust, took to shewing it to some of my students. Of course ---
I might have known --- they all with one accord began: "Oh, but you
haven't said anything about --- " --- all the subjects in the world. So
I started to fill in the gaps. As I did so, I found any amount more
to do on my own. It went on like that for 14 years! Since it came
out the voices of detraction have been dumb. I really do believe that
I've covered the ground at last. Of course, time shewed that Part I,
although it did really give the essentials of Yoga in the simplest
possible language, was hardly more than an outline. More, it did not
correlate Yoga with general philosophy. _Eight Lectures_ have, I believe,
remedied this.

As to Part IV, _The Book of the Law_ section, the idea was that the volume
should comply with the instructions given in AL III,39, "All this and
a book to say how thou didst come hither and a reproduction of this ink
and paper for ever-for in it is the word secret & not only in the
English-and thy comment upon this the Book of the Law shall be printed
beautifully in red ink and black upon beautiful paper made by hand;
and to each man and woman that thou meetest, were it but to dine or to
drink at them, it is the Law to give. Then they shall chance to abide
in this bliss or no; it is no odds. Do this quickly!" I mistook
"Comment" for "Commentary" --- a word-by-word exposition of every verse
(and much of it I loathed with all my heart!) including the Qabalistic
interpretation, a task obviously endless.

What then about AL III, 40? (also see attached) This problem was
solved only by achieving the task. In Paris*, in a mood of blank
despair about it all, out came the Comment. Easy, yes; inspired,
yes; it is, as printed, the exact wording required. No further
cavilling and quibbling, and controversy and casuistry. All heresiarchs
are smelt in advance for the rats they are; they are seen brewing
(their very vile small beer) in the air (the realm of Intellect --- Swords)
and they are accordingly nipped in the bud. All Parliamentary require-
ments thus fulfilled according to the famous formula of the Irish M.P.,
we can get on to your other questions untroubled by doubt.

One Textus Receptus, photographically guaranteed. One High Court of
Interpretation, each for himself alone. No Patristic logomachies! No
disputed readings! No civil wars and persecutions. Anyone who wants
to say anything, off with his head, and On with the Dance; let Joy be
unconfined, You at the prow and Therion at the helm! Off we go.

. . . . . . . .

"The Masters contacted you." Can you by any chance mean "The Masters
made contact with you?" Assuming that such is the deplorable case, we
may proceed.

Firstly, the effort on my part was precisely nil, I resented Their

* Error: It was actually in Tunis, November 1925.

- 227 -

interference with proud bitter angry disbelief. The _Equinox of the Gods_
describes this in detail.

But of course Their victim did not have a fair chance of escape. After
all, They had had 2000 years to perfect Their plans. As for me, I had
a traitor in the heart of the citadel; my Karma for God knows how many
Incarnations. (The acquisition of the Magical Memory, fragmentary as
that is, has thrown a great deal of light on that matter. Your letter
does in fact surmise that this is so.)

You must understand that the arrival of a New Aeon knocks all the Rules
sideways. I imagine that even the very strict Magical Code of Ethics
looks like a cocked hat before They have done with it!

My theory is that They chose me for (a) my literary skill, knowledge
and judgment; (b) my scientific training; (c) my familiarity with
Eastern ways, habits of thought, and sympathetic predisposition; (d)
my stern adherence to Truth; (e) my moral courage; (f) my dour persis-
tence; and (g) my Karma as aforesaid.

They prepared me by (a) pushing me rapidly forward both in Magick and
in Yoga; (b) wearying me of both of them and making me despair of them
both as a solution to the problem of Life, and (c) fixing me both in
Buddhistic pessimism and scientific rationalism, so that their victory
over me might be as difficult and solid as achievement as possible. (I
am by no means proud of myself. Either I fought them or failed them,
at every turn.) Chapter V of _The Equinox of the Gods_ might have been
written with more emphasis; but there are passages elsewhere in that
volume which lay great stress upon the point.

Yet, after all, AL II, 10-11 should surely be enough. "O prophet! thou
hast ill will to learn this writing. I see thee hate the hand & the
pen; but I am stronger."

To interrupt the dictation of a supremely important document, merely
to jeer at the impotent resentment of the luckless scribe! It seemed
to me downright ungenerous, the spirit of the triumphant schoolboy bully!

But Their ways are not as our ways; this question leads us on quite
naturally to your next point, and the resolution of that know will
unravel that querulous criticism. Just as a learned Divine might
chuckle over a smoking-room story, or a heart overflowing with the
honey of human kindness wish to have the housemaid "seven years a-
killing," so may the greatest of the Masters --- even discarnate! --- have
a perverted sense of humour, or a gross error in taste, (see AL I,51)
"...sweet wines and wines that foam!..." --- wines, bar Chateau Yquem and very
full-bodied port, that I dislike and despise --- or any other eccentricity.
Look at H.P.B. --- hot stuff, if you like!

It is most necessary that you should understand what happens when on
goes from Adeptus Exemptus 7 = 4 to Magister Templi 8 = 3. As you
see from a glance at the Tree of Life, this advance entails the Crossing

- 228 -

of the Abyss; and _there is no Path_. That means that one must _jump_.
You must get rid of "all that you have, and all that you are" --- that
is one way to put it.

_The Vision and the Voice_, Aethyrs XVI --- end, gives an immense amount
of detail; it must be studied intensely, with diligence, with Will,
and with imagination. Not only the attainment of the grade, but the
events which go with, or come after, it; all these are described as
actual Experience. Even so, it is all extraordinarily difficult until
you have been through it yourself.

But that part which answers your question is not really very hard to
grasp; it is indeed most obvious. Ask yourself: then what happens
to he discarded elements of the Adept? They cannot be left as they
are, to disintegrate, or to become vehicles for obsession. This entity
which was the Exempt Adept has been built up in years of unremitting
toil, as worthy Workshop wherein the Great Work should be accomplished.
It has moreover been sanctified and glorified by the Knowledge and
Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

So as each Master has his own appointed Work to perform in the world,
he is cast down into the Sephira, suitable for that work. If his
function is to be that of a warrior, he would find himself in Geburah;
if that of a great poet or composer, in Tiphareth; and so on.

he, the Master, inhabits this dwelling; but, having already got rid
of it, he is able to allow it to carry on according to its nature
without interference from the false Self (its head in Dath) which
hitherto had hampered it. ("If I were a dog, I should bark; if I were
an owl, I should hoot," says Basil King Lamus in _The Diary of a Drug-_
_Fiend_.) He is totally indifferent to the Event; so then he acts and
reacts with perfect elasticity, This is the Way of the Tao; and that
is why you cannot grasp the very idea of that Way --- much less follow
it! --- unless you are a Master of the Temple.

Remember in any case, that not only the Adept, but anyone with the
smallest capacity for Adeptship, is fundamentally an Artist; he will
certainly not possess any of those bourgeois "virtues" which are just
so many reactions to Blue Funk.

Of course, practically all of us in the West get our _first_ knowledge
from the pious and pretentious drivel of most writers in general circu-
lation. So we start with prejudice.

Also, asceticism is all right when it is the proper means of attaining
some special end. It is when it produces eructations of spiritual
pride, and satisfied vanity, that it is poisonous. The Greek word
means an athlete; and the training of an athlete is not mortification
of the body. Nor is there any rule which covers all circumstances.
When men go "stale" a few days before the race, they are "taken off
training," and fed with champagne. But that is _part_ of the training.
Observe, too, that all men go "stale" sooner or later; training is

- 229 -

abnormal, and must be stopped as soon as its object is attained. Even
so, it too often strains vital organs, especially the heart and lungs,
so that few rowing "Blues" live to be 50. But worst of all is the
effect on the temper!

When it is permanent, and mistaken for a "Virtue," it poisons the very
soil of the soul. The vilest weeds spring up; cruelty, narrowminded-
ness, arrogance --- everything mean and horrible flowers in those who
"Mortify the flesh." Incidentally, such ideas spawn the "Black Brother."
The complete lack of humour, the egomaniac conceit, self-satisfaction,
absence of all sympathy for others, the craving to pass their miseries
on to more sensible people by persecuting them: these traits are

Well, this is a very brief synopsis, but I hope that it will answer
your question at least so far as to enable you to understand more easily
the account of these matters given in _The Vision and the Voice_.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. On reading this over, it has struck me that you may have meant
to raise a totally different issue; that of "abstract morality."
Rather an extensive battlefield; I will dispose my forces in array in
my next letter of "morality, heavenly link."

- 230 -



Cara Soror,

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

I have been thinking over what I wrote in my last letter with regard to
the verification of appearances in the Astral Plane.

I did not mention a parallel question of even greater immediate practi-
cal importance: that of one's relations with Astral or discarnate
intelligences or with Those whom we call "The Masters" or "The Gods":
the messages of gestures which reach us through the normal physical
channels. The importance is that they actually determine one's line
of conduct in critical situations.

It seemed therefore a good idea to give you three examples from _The_
_Spirit of Solitude_: and here they are!

The first extract refers to the "miraculous" discovery of the MS of
Liber AL some years after I had deliberately "lost" it.

The second, to the finding of a villa suited to the Work.

The third to my rescue from a state of despair.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


* "It was part of my plan for the Equinox to prepare a final edition
of the work of Dr. Dee and Sir Edward Kelly. I had a good many of the
data and promised myself to complete them by studying the manuscripts
in the Bodleian Library at Oxford --- which, incidentally, I did in the
autumn; but it struck me that it would be useful to get my large
paintings of the four Elemental Watch Towers which I had made in Mexico.
I thought these were probably in Boleskine. I decided to go up there
for a fortnight or so. Incidentally, I had the conveniences for con-
ferring upon Neuberg the degree of Neophyte, he having passed brilliantly
through this year as a Probationer.

I consequently asked him and an Emmanuel man named Kenneth Ward, to come
and stay with me. I had met Ward at Wastdale Head shortly before, having
gone there to renew my ancient loves with the creeds of the gullies. It

* The following is from Vol. 4 of "The Confessions", pp. 369 - 371

- 231 -

happened that Ward was very keen on skiing. I had several pairs and
offered to give him some. This casual circumstance proved an essential
part of the chain by which I was ultimately dragged behind the chariot
of the Secret Chiefs. At least I thought it was a chain. I did not
realize that steel of such exquisite temper might be beaten into a
sword fit for the hand of a free man.

To my annoyance, I could not find the Elemental Watch Towers anywhere
in the house. I daresay I gave up looking rather easily. I had got
into a state of disgusted indifference about such things. Rose might
have destroyed them in a drunken fit, just as she might have pawned them
if they had possessed any commercial value. I shrugged my shoulders
accordingly, and gave up the search. The ski that I had promised Ward
were not to be found any more than the Watch Towers. After putting
Neuburg through his initiation*, we prepared to go to London. I had
let the house, and my tenant was coming in on the first of July. We
had four days in which to amuse ourselves; and we let ourselves go for
a thorough good time. Thus like a thunderbolt comes the incident of
June 28, thus described in my diary:

"Glory be to Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Khuit in the Highest! A little
before midday I was impelled mysteriously (though exhausted by
playing fives, billiards, etc. till nearly six this morning) to
make a final search for the Elemental Tablets. And lo! when I
had at last abandoned the search, I cast mine eyes upon a hole in
the loft where were ski, etc., and there, O Holy, Holy, Holy!
were not only all that I sought, but the manuscript of _Liber Legis_."^

The ground was completely cut away from under my feet. I remained for
two whole days meditating on the situation --- in performing, in fact, a
sort of supplementary Sammasati to that of 1905. Having the knack of
it, I reached a very clear conclusion without too much difficulty. The
essence of the situation was that the Secret Chiefs meant to hold me
to my obligation. I understood that the disaster and misery of the
last three years was due to my attempt to evade my duty. I surrendered
unconditionally, as appears from the entry of July 1.

"I once more solemnly renounced all that I have or am. On depart-
ing (at midnight from the topmost point of the hill which crowns
my estate) instantly shone the moon, two days before her fullness,
over the hills among the clouds."

This record is couched in very general terms, but it was intended to
cover the practical point of my resuming the task laid upon me in Cairo
exactly as I might be directed to do by my superiors.

Instantly my burden fell from my back. The long crucifixion of home
life came to a crisis, immediately on my return to London. At the

* The preparation for this was in some ways trying to the candidate.
For instance, he had to sleep naked for seven nights on a litter of
^ The original manuscript of Liber AL vel Legis was again lost, following
the death of Shasha Germer, widow of Frater Saturnus. Ten years later
it came home again, this time found in the basement of a non-O.T.O. member.
The MS of The Book of the Law presently resides in a bank vault in the USA,
under control of Ordo Templi Orientis --- see The Magickal Link, July '84 e.v.

- 232 -

same time every other inhibition was automatically removed. For the
first time since the spring of 1904 I felt myself free to do my Will.
That, of course, was because I had at last understood what my Will was.
My aspiration to be the means of emancipating humanity was perfectly
fulfilled. I had merely to establish in the world the Law which had
been given me to proclaim: "...thou hast no right but to do thy will."
Had I bent my energies from the first to proclaiming the Law of Thelema
I should doubtless have found no obstacle in my path. Those which
naturally arise in the course of any work soever, would have been quiet-
ly removed by the Secret Chiefs. But I had chosen to fight against
myself for five years, and "If Satan shall be divided against Satan,
how shall his kingdom stand?" The more I strove, the more I encouraged
an internal conflict, and stultified myself. I had been permitted to
complete my initiation, for the reason that by doing so I was fitting
myself for the fight; but all my other efforts had met with a derisory
disaster. More, one does not wipe out a lustre of lunacy by a moment
of sanity. I am suffering to this day from the effects of having
wasted some of the best years of my life in the stupid and stubborn
struggle to set up my conscious self against its silent sovereign, my
true Soul. 'Had Zimri peace who slew his master?'"

. . . . . . . .

* "A boisterous party was in progress. The dancer's lifelong friend,
whom I will call by the name she afterwards adopted, Soror Virakam, was
celebrating her birthday. This lady, a magnificent specimen of mingled
Irish and Italian blood, possessed a most powerful personality and a
terrific magnetism which instantly attracted my own. I forgot every-
thing. I sat on the floor like a Chinese God, exchanging electricity
with her.

After some weeks' preliminary skirmishing, we joined battle along the
whole front; that is to say, I crossed to Paris, where she had a flat,
and carried her off to Switzerland to spend the winter skating. Arrived
at Interlaken, we found that Murren was not open, so we went on to
St. Moritz, breaking the journey at Zurich. This town is so hideous
and depressing that we felt that our only chance of living through the
night was to get superbly drunk, which we did . . .

(Let me emphasize that this wild adventure had not the remotest connec-
tion with Magick. Virakam was utterly ignorant of the subject. She had
hardly so much as a smattering of Christian Science. She had never
attended a sance or played Planchette.)

. . . _Lassati sed non Satiati_ by midnight, I expected to sleep; but was
aroused by Virakam being apparently seized with a violent attack of
hysteria, in which she poured forth a frantic torrent of senseless hallu-
cination. I was irritated and tried to calm her. But she insisted that
her experience was real; that she bore an important message to me from

* From Vol. 4 of _The Confession_, pp. 590 - 598.

- 233 -

some invisible individual. Such nonsense increased my irritation. But ---
after about an hour of it --- my jaw fell with astonishment. I became
suddenly aware of a coherence in her ravings, and further that they were
couched in my own language of symbols. My attention being thus awakened,
I listened to what she was saying. A few minutes convinced me that she
was actually in communication with some Intelligence who had a message
for me.

Let me briefly explain the grounds for this belief. I have already set
forth, in connection with the Cairo Working, some of the safeguards which
I habitually employ. Virakam's vision contained elements perfectly
familiar to me. This was clear proof that the man in her vision, whom
she called Ab-ul-Diz, was acquainted with my system of hieroglyphics,
literal and numerical, and also with some incidents in my Magical Career.
Virakam herself certainly knew nothing of any of these. Ab-ul-Diz told
us to call him a week later, when he would give further information. We
arrived at St. Moritz and engaged a suite in the Palace Hotel.

My first surprise was to find that I had brought with me exactly those
Magical Weapons which were suitable for the work proposed, and no others.
But a yet more startling circumstance was to come. For the purpose of
the Cairo Working, Ouarda and I had brought two abbai; one, scarlet, for
me; one, blue, for her. I had brought mine to St. Moritz; the other
was of course in the possession of Ouarda. Imagine my amazement when
Virakam produced from her trunk a blue abbai so like Ouarda's that the
only difference were minute details of the gold embroidery! The sugges-
tion was that the Secret Chiefs, having chosen Ouarda as their messenger,
could not use any one else until she had become irrevocably disqualified
by insanity. Not till now could her place be taken by another; and that
Virakam should possess a duplicate of her Magical Robe seemed a strong
argument that she had been consecrated by Them to take the place of her
unhappy predecessor.

She was very unsatisfactory as a clairvoyant; she resented these precau-
tions. She was a quick-tempered and impulsive woman, always eager to
act with reckless enthusiasm. My cold scepticism no doubt prevented her
from doing her best. Ab-ul-Diz himself constantly demanded that I should
show "faith," and warned me that I was wrecking my chances by my attitude.
I prevailed upon him, however, to give adequate proof of his existence,
and his claim to speak with authority. The main purport of his message
was to instruct me to write a book on my system of Mysticism and Magick,
to be called _Book 4_, and told me that by means of this book, I should
prevail against public neglect. I saw no objection to writing such a
book; on quite rational grounds, it was a proper course of action. I
therefore agreed to do so. But Ab-ul-Diz was determined to dictate the
conditions in which the book should be written; and this was a difficult
matter. He wanted us to travel to an appropriate place. On this point
I was not wholly satisfied with the result of my cross-examination. I
know now that I was much to blame throughout. I was not honest either
with him, myself, or Virakam. I allowed material considerations to
influence me, and I clung --- oh triple fool! --- to my sentimental obliga-
tions towards Laylah.

- 234 -

We finally decided to do what he asked, though part of my objection was
founded on his refusal to give us absolutely definite instruction.
However, we crossed the Passes in a sleigh to Chiavenna, whence we took
the train to Milan. In this city we had a final conversation with
Ab-ul-Diz. I had exhausted his patience, as he mine, and he told us
that he would not visit us any more. He gave us his final instructions.
We were to go to Rome, though he refused to name the exact spot. We
were to take a villa and there write _Book 4_. I asked him how we might
recognize the right Villa. I forget what answer he gave through her,
but for the first time he flashed a message directly into my own con-
sciousness. "You will recognize it beyond the possibility of doubt or
error," he told me. With this a picture came into my mind of a hillside
on which were a house and garden marked by two tall Persian Nuts.

The next day we went on to Rome. Owing to my own Ananias-like attempt
to "keep back part of the price," my relations with Virakam had become
strained. We reached Naples after two or three quarrelsome days in
Rome and began house-hunting. I imagined that we should find dozens of
suitable places to choose from, but we spent day after day scouring the
city and suburbs in an automobile, without finding a single place to let
that corresponded in the smallest degree with our ideas.

Virakam's brat --- a most god-forsaken lout --- was to join us for the
Christmas holidays, and on the day he was due to arrive we motored out
as a forlorn hope to Posilippo before meeting him at the station at
4 o'clock or thereabouts. But the previous night Virakam had a dream
in which she saw the desired villa with absolute clearness. (I had
been careful to say nothing to her about the Persian Nuts, so as to have
a weapon against her in case she insisted that such and such a place
was the one intended.)

After a fruitless search we turned our automobile towards Naples, along
the crest of Posilippo. At one point there is a small side lane scarcely
negotiable by motor, and indeed hardly perceptible, as it branches from
the main road so as to form an acute-angled "Y" with the foot towards
Naples. But Virakam sprang excitedly to her feet, and told the chauffeur
to drive down it. I was astonished, she being hysterically anxious to
meet the train, and our time being already almost too short. But she
swore passionately that the villa was down that lane. The road became
constantly rougher and narrower. After some time, it came out on the
open slope; a low stone parapet of the left protecting it. Again she
sprang to her feet. "There," she cried, pointing with her finger, "is
the Villa I saw in my dream!" I looked. No villa was visible. I said
so. She had to agree; yet stuck to her point that she saw it. I
subsequently returned to that spot and found that a short section of
wall, perhaps 15 feet of narrow edge of masonry, is just perceptible
through a gap in the vegetation.

We drove on; we came to a tiny piazza, on one side of which was a
church. "That is the square and the Church," she exclaimed, "that I
saw in my dream!"

- 235 -

We drove on. The lane became narrower, rougher and steeper. Little
more than 100 yards ahead it was completely "up," blocked with heaps
of broken stone. The chauffeur protested that he would be able neither
to turn the car nor to back it up to the square. Virakam, in a violent
rage, insisted on proceeding. I shrugged my shoulders. I had got
accustomed to these typhoons.

We drove on a few yards. Then the chauffeur made up him mind to revolt,
and stopped the car. On the left was a wide open gate through which we
could see a gang of workmen engaged in pretending to repair a ramshackle
villa. Virakam called the foreman and asked in broken Italian if the
place was to let. He told her no; it was under repair. With crazy
confidence she dragged him within and forced him to show her over the
house. I sat in resigned disgust, not deigning to follow. Then my eyes
suddenly saw down the garden, two trees close together. I stooped.
Their tops appeared. They were Persian Nuts! The stupid coincidence
angered me, and yet some irresistible instinct compelled me to take out
my note book and pencil and jot down the name written over the gate ---
Villa Caldarazzo. Idly I added up the letters. Their sum struck me
like a bullet in my brain. It was 418, the number of the Magical Formula
of the Aeon, a numerical hieroglyph of the Great Work. Ab-ul-Diz had
made no mistake. My recognition of the right place was not to depend on
a mere matter of trees, which might be found almost anywhere. Recogni-
tion beyond all possibility of doubt was what he promised. He had been
as good as his word.

I was entirely overwhelmed. I jumped out of the car and ran up to the
house. I found Virakam in the main room. The instant I entered I
understood that it was entirely suited for a temple. The walls were
decorated with crude frescoes which somehow suggested the exact atmos-
phere proper to the Work. The very shape of the room seemed somehow
significant. Further, it seemed as if it were filled with a peculiar
emanation. This impression must not be dismissed as sheer fancy. Few
men but are sufficiently sensitive to distinguish the spiritual aura
of certain buildings. It is impossible not to feel reverence in certain
cathedrals and temples. The most ordinary dwelling houses often possess
an atmosphere of their own; some depress, some cheer; some disgust,
others strike chill to the heart.

Virakam of course was entirely certain that this was the Villa for us.
Against this was the positive statement of the people in charge that it
was not to be let. We refused to accept this assertion. We took the
name and address of the owner, dug him out, and found him willing to
give us immediate possession at a small rent. We went in on the follow-
ing day, and settled down almost at once to consecrate the Temple and
begin the book."

. . . . . . . . . .

* "I knew in myself from the first that the revelation in Cairo was

* The following is from _The Confessions_, Vol. 4, pp. 379 - 384.

the real thing. I have proved with infinite pains that this was the
case; yet the proof has not strengthened my faith, and disproof would
do nothing to shake it. I knew in myself that the Secret Chiefs had
arranged that the manuscript of _The Book of the Law_ should have been
hidden under the Watch Towers and the Watch Towers under the ski; that
they had driven me to make the key to my position the absence of the
manuscript; that they had directed Kenneth Ward's actions for years
that he might be the means of the discovery, and arranged every detail
of the incident in such a way that I should understand it as I did.

Yes; this involves a theory of the powers of the Secret Chiefs so
romantic and unreasonable that it seems hardly worth a smile of con-
tempt. As it happens, an almost parallel phenomenon came to pass ten
years later. I propose to quote it here in order to show that the
most ordinary events, apparently disconnected, are in fact only intel-
ligible by postulating some such people as the Secret Chiefs of the
A,', A.'. in possession of some such prevision and power as I ascribe
to them. When I returned to England at Christmas, 1919, all my plans
had gone to pieces owing to the dishonesty and treachery of a gang
which was bullying into insanity my publisher in Detroit. I was pledged
in honour to look after a certain person; but I was practically penni-
less. I could not see any possible way of carrying on my work. (It
will be related in due course how this condition of things came about,
and why it was necessary for me to undergo it.)

I found myself at Mort, on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau,
with nothing to do but wait. I did not throw up the sponge in passion-
ate despair as I had done once before to my shame --- I had been rapped
sufficiently hard on the knuckles to cure me of that --- but I said to
the Gods "Observe, I have done my damnedest, and here I am at a dead
centre. I am not going on muddling through: I demand a definite sign
from you that I am still your chosen prophet." I therefore note in my
diary, on January 12, 1920, as follows:

"I am inclined to make my Silence include all forms of personal
work, and this is very hard to give up, if only because I am still
afraid of 'failure,' which is absurd. I ought evidently to be
non-attached, even to Avoiding --- the-Woes-Attendant-Upon-Refusing-
The-Curse-Of-My-Grade, if I may be pardoned the expression.

And why should I leave my efficacious Tortoise and look at people
till my lower jaw hangs down? Shall I see what the Yi says? Ay.
Question: Shall I abandon all magical work soever until the
appearance of a manifest sign?

Answer: ------ No symbol could be more definite and unambiguous.
-- --
-- --
-- --

I have invoked Aiwass to manipulate the Sticks; and, wishing to ask
"What shall be the Sign?" got instantly the reference in CCXX to our Lady
Babalon: "the omnipresence of my body." But this is not quite clear;

- 237

I took it mentally as referring to the expected arrival of Our Lady, but
it might mean a trance, or almost anything. So I will ask Yi, as my
last magical act for the time being.

-- --
-- --
-- -- I think this means the arrival of Our Lady.
-- -- I have serious doubts whether the hexagram

should not have been:
-- --
-- --
-- -- Which would have certainly meant that. That I should
------ doubt anything is absurd: I shall know the Sign, with-
out fail. And herewith I close the Record, and await that Sign.

The next entry is dated Sunday, February 1.

Kindly read over the entry of January 12 with care exceeding,. Now then:
On Friday, January 30, I went to Paris, to buy pencils, Mandarin, a
palette, Napoleon Brandy, canvases and other appurtenances of the artist's
dismal trade. I took occasion to call upon an old mistress of mine, Jane
Chron, concerning who see _Equinox_ Vol. I, "Three Poems." She has never
had the slightest interest in occult matters, and she has never done any
work in her life, even of the needlework order. I had seen her once
before since my escape from America, and she said she had something to
show me, but I took no particular notice, and she did not insist. My object
in calling on this second occasion was multiple: I wanted to see the
man with whom she is living, who has not yet returned from Russia; I
wanted to make love to her; and wanted to smoke a few pipes of opium
with her, she being a devotee of that great and terrible God.

Consider now: the Work whereby I am a Magus began in Cairo (1904) with
the discovery of the Stl of Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, in which the principal
object is the Body of our Lady Nuit. It is reproduced in colours in
the _Equinox_, Vol. I, No. 6. Jane Chron has a copy of this book. On
Friday afternoon, then, I was in her apartment. I had attained none
of my objectives in calling on her, and was about to depart. She
detained me to show me this "something." She went and took a folded
cloth from a drawer. "Shut your eyes," she said.

When I opened them they saw a cloth four feet or more in length, on which
was a magnificent copy, mostly in applique silk, of the Stl. She then
told me that in February 1917, she and her young man had gone to the
South of France to get cured of the opium habit. In such cases insomnia
is frequent. One night, however, he had gone to sleep, and on waking
in the morning found the she, wakeful, had drawn a copy of the Stl
on a great sheet of paper.

It is very remarkable that so large a sheet of paper should have been at
hand; also that they should have taken that special book on such a jour-
ney; but still more that she should have chosen that picture, nay that
she, who had never done anything of the sort before, should have done it
at all. More yet, that she should have spent three months in making a
permanent thing of it. Most of all, that she should have shown it to me

- 238 -

at the very moment when I was awaiting an "unmistakable" sign.

For observe, how closely the Words of my Entry of January 12 describe
the sign, "the omnipresence of my body." And there She was --- in the
last place in the world where one would have sought Her.

Note, too, the accuracy of the Yi King Symbol
-- --
-- --
-- -- -- --
------ for -- --
-- -- -- --
is of course the Symbol of our Lady, and the God below Her in the Stl
is ------ the Sun.
-- --
All this is clear proof of the unspeakable power and wisdom of Those
who have sent me to proclaim the Law.

I observe, after a talk with M. Jules Courtier yesterday, that all their
S.P.R.* work is proof only of extra-human Forces. We knew about them
all along; the universe is full of obscure and subtle manifestation of
energy; we are constantly advancing in our knowledge and control of
them. Telekinesis is of the same order of Nature as the Hertz Rays or
the Radium emanations. But what nobody before me has done is to prove
the existence of extra-human Intelligence, and my magical Record does
this. I err in the interpretation, of course; but it is impossible to
doubt that there is a Somebody there, a Somebody capable of combining
events as a Napoleon forms his plans of campaign, and possessed of powers
unthinkably vast.

If these events be indeed the result of calculation and control on the
part of the Secret Chiefs, it seems at first sight as if the people
involved had been prepared to play their parts from the beginning. Our
previous relations, the girl's to opium, my friendship with her lover,
and his interest in my work; omit any item and the whole plan fails.
But this assumption is unnecessary. The actual preparation need not go
back further than three years, when the Stl was embroidered. We may
allow the Secret Chiefs considerable option, just as a chess player is
not confined to one special combination for his attack. We may suppose
that had these people not been available, the sign which I demanded
might have been given me in some other equally striking way. We are
not obliged to make extravagant assumptions in order to maintain that
the evidence of purpose is irresistibly strong.

To dismiss this intricate concatenation of circumstances, culminating
as they do in the showing forth of the exact sign which I had demanded,
is simply to strain the theory of probabilities beyond the breaking
point. Here then are two complicated episodes which do to prove that
I am walking, not by faith but by sight, in my relations with the Secret
Chiefs; and these are but two links in a very long chain. This account
of my career will describe many others equally striking. I might, per-
haps, deny my inmost instinct the right to testify were any one case of
this kind in question; but when, year after year, the same sort of thing

* Society for Psychical Research.

- 239 -

keeps on happening, and, when, furthermore, I find myself able to predict,
as experience has taught me to do in the last three years, that they will
happen, and even how the pieces will fit into the puzzle, I am justified
in assuming a causal connection."

- 240 -



Cara Soror,

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

In your last letter you mention "family pressure." Horrid word, family!
Its very etymology accuses it of servility and stagnation.

Latin, _famulus_, a servant; Oscan, _Faamat_, he dwells.

It almost deserves the treatment it gets in that disreputable near-

Three was a young lady named Emily
Who was not understood by her femily,
She acted so rummily,
The head of the fummily,
Had her matched with a greyhound from Wem-b-iley.

They feared she would breed a facsimile ---
Bring utter disgrace on the fimilly,
So the head of the fommily,
Read her a homily ---
And the devil flew out of the Chim-b-illy!

A word ought to have more respect for itself!

Then, think what horrid images it evokes from the mind. Not only Victor-
ian; wherever the family has been strong, it has always been an engine
of tyranny. Weak members or weak neighbours: it is the mob spirit
crushing genius, or overwhelming opposition by brute arithmetic. Of
course, one must be of good family to do anything much that is worth
doing; but what is one to say when the question of the Great Work is

Bless you, the whole strength of the family is based on the fact that
it cares for the family only: therefore its magical formula thus concen-
trated is of necessity hostile to so exclusively individual an aim as

Its sentiments are reciprocated.

In every Magical, or similar system, it is invariably the first condition
which the Aspirant must fulfill: he must once and for all and for ever
put his family outside his magical circle.

Even the Gospels insist clearly and weightily on this.

Christ himself (i.e. whoever is meant by this name in this passage)
callously disowns his mother and his brethern (Luke VIII, 19). And he

- 241 -

repeatedly makes discipleship contingent on the total renunciation of
all family ties. He would not even allow a man to attend his father's

Is the magical tradition less rigid?

Not on your life!

The one serious grimoire of the Middle Ages is _The Book of the Sacred_
_Magic of Abramelin the Mage_. He makes no bone about it. He even con-
descends to point out the family as the most serious of all the obstacles
to the performance of the Operation, and he gives the correct psycholo-
gical reasons why this should be so. You said it yourself! "Family
pressure" was your pungent and pertinent expression. Just so.

It think that "family" should include any body of persons with common
interests which they expect or wish you to share. One's old school or
university, the regiment, the golf club, the business, the party, the
country: any of these may dislike very much your absorption in affairs
alien to their own. But the family is the classic type, because its
pull is so potent and persistent. It began when you gave your first
yell; your personality is deliberately wrenched and distorted to the
family code; and their zoology is so inadequate that they always feel
sure that their Ugly Duckling is a Black Sheep. Even for their Fool
they find a use: he can be invaluable in the Church of in the Army, where
docile incompetence is the sure key to advancement.

Curse them! They are always in the way.

Even centuries after one of them is dead, he exercises his abominable
craft; and you are only the less able to ward off the slaps of the
Dead Hand, because (after all!) there is a whole lot of him in you.
He appears at times as a sort of alien conscience; and, indebted as
you may be to him for your physical constitution --- I give him credit
for not having saddled you with gout, rheumatism, T.B., or other plague
--- and many of your most useful virtues, you want to handle your assets
yourself, without a subterranean current of criticism, or even active
interference through others in your sole preoccupation in the Great

I have not actually detected any ancestor of mine stealing my whiskey,
as the advertisement warns us may happen: but --- oh well! However you
like to look at it, he is always an influence upon you; and that,
good or bad, you quite rightly resent.

In the Brahmin caste, the aspirant to Yoga makes it a rule to fulfill
his duties to the family and the State; once those jobs are definitely
done, he cuts the painter, and becomes Sannyasi. Many a Maharajah, many
a Wazir, to say nothing of less responsible people, plan their lives
from their earliest days of wearing the sacred Cord as Brahmacharyi,

- 242 -

with these ambitions carefully mapped out; and when the right moment
comes for him to disappear into the jungle --- the rest is Silence.

A sound scheme: that is, provided that one has full confidence in the
General Theory. But we Caucasians happen not to believe in the _Vedas_,
at least not in the dyed-in-the-wool sense which comes natural to the
budding Brahmin; as to "our own" --- why our own? --- scriptures, no
intelligent person takes them seriously any more. Some folk whittle
away merrily, and fashion a Saviour in their own images; others strain
the text and concoct a symbolic interpretation which is more or less
satisfying --- as can be done with any bunch of legends. But such devices
leave us without Accepted Authority, and without that nobody is going
to gamble away his life. Thus the Path for men of spiritual integrity
begins with absolute scepticism. Our methods must be exclusively

"Gamble away his life," did I say? Indeed I did. If there is any truth
at all in anything, or even any meaning in life, in Nature herself; then
there is one thing, one thing only paramount: to find out who one is,
what is one's necessary Way.

The alternative to the Great Work is the hotchpot of dispersion, of
fatuity, or disconnected nonsense.

To the performance of this Work the nearest obstacle and the most obvious
is the Family. Its presumption is manifest, in that it expects every-
body to yield it first priority.

In the Russian troubles following the October Revolution, General Denikin,
who was trying to put Humpty-Dumpty back on the wall, captured the aged
parents of Leon Trotsky, in command of the enemy, and chivalrously tele-
graphed him to withdraw his troops to certain positions, otherwise the
old people would be shot. Trotsky replied "Shoot!"

The point of this story is that I hope it will answer your next question:
You are so very clear and firm about the family; then why don't you
insist on all your pupils starting with a domestic holocaust?

Why? Because a lot of my early rock climbing was done on Beachy Head.
Ask me something harder!

Look you now, chalk has every possible element of danger from the stand-
point of the cragsman. All the more glory to him who can master it!

It is an essential part of the Rosicrucian system that the Adept should
"wear the costume of the country in which he is travelling." I take this
in the widest sense. By that word "country" I understand this planet
and this social status "to which it has pleased God to call me." The
Brethren of the Rose and Cross depreciated monastic life or hermit life:
perhaps they thought such expedients cowardly, or at least as a confes-
sion of weakness.

- 243 -

I agree. One ought to be able to live the normal life of a member of
one's class, to all external seeming; at least sufficiently so as not
to appear unduly eccentric.

Perhaps "Let my servants be few & secret: ..." bears some such implication.
But the condition of allowing such apparent laxity is this: That one
should be as swift and terse as Trotsky in any similar situation.

If one's family were reasonable human beings, (But they never are, she
sighed) one could perhaps do wiseliest by explaining the situation.
"This Work of mine --- you don't understand it, no need that you should ---
is the only important part of my life. I mean to be scrupulously care-
ful of your feelings, and I see no reason why my chosen career should
damage our relations. There is only one thing to remember: IF I ever
get the faintest suspicion that you are opposing me, or condemning my
plans, or interfering in any way, even with the best intentions, THEN ---
with a single blow I sever our relations, and for ever." "Well, that's
really very nice of you, Holy One," you might say; "but you are not the
only one to be considered, what about the Masters? Do they ride us on
the snaffle? Tradition says not so."

This depends wholly on you. If you are a quite ordinary Aspirant, and
a few dozen incarnations one way or the other don't make such a differ-
ence, then They presumably won't bother about you at all. In the course
of centuries, Karma will roll out the creases.

But -- suppose you are of those specially chosen to execute some necessary
operation in the course of Their plans? Quite another pair of boots to
tread _that_ Path. Don't imagine that you are not on it yet, either, just
because you happen to be in a mood of humility. A pawn may be more
powerful than a Rook, in some positions.

However, even if you are not on it, you can start to-day. That is one
of the matters that depends exclusively on you.

If you have already taken the appropriate and adequate Oath, well and
good; if not, take it now!

What Oath?

To cross the Abyss, you have to give up "all that you have and all that
you are." This Oath is unconditional: see _The Vision and the Voice_
for details.

But for the present so much is neither desirable nor possible: in fact,
you cannot genuinely realize what it means.

So you may content yourself with a simple, reasonable and intelligible
Oath for the present: to devote "all that you have and all that you are"
to the service of the Order.

The advantage of so doing is that the Grand Auditor of the City of the

- 244 -

Pyramids takes immediate notice. He brings your account (Karma) up to
date, and starts you off with a Cash Ledger. That is, he arranges for
your errors to be paid for on the spot, instead of the customary credit
system that goes on for centuries. The advantage of _this_ is that you
know what you are being punished for, and learn your lesson at once.

This process is, naturally, very painful at times; for one thing, you
can't dope yourself with illusions about your being a grand-souled,
great-hearted, misunderstood saint, martyr, and hero.

And --- this I tell you from most bitter experience --- the agony is some-
times all but unendurable. The Masters (or the Lords of Karma, or
whatever you like: I have to put all this in a silly romantic language,
if I am to get the meaning across at all) see the position with absolute
accuracy; They know at once how so-and-so, which you made rather a point
of offering, is really that which you feel you can bear to surrender.
Believe me, it is a very thorough winnowing, "with which he shall thor-
oughly purge his floor," when Vannus Iacchi whirs in the mill.

My personal attitude to all this is, it may be, unduly positive. I may
be a bit of a fanatic. But I'm inclined to think that you will feel the
same, because of your detestation of the "elusive." Having decided to
gamble, there is no sense in fumbling with the dice. Anything that makes
for closer contact, prompter action, clearer vision, is to be welcome.

The deliberate swearing of such Oaths, and the passionate adherence to
them, is the surest method of approach to the Masters. You force the
gate of Their temple; if not actually one of Them, you are at least in
Their class.

Only one reminder: it is worse than useless to take these Oaths with
any such ambition. One of the most precious privileges thus gained is
the clean sweep that is made of all pretence.

This too is painful beyond words at first. Until the process starts,
you have not the faintest idea of how you have wrapped yourself in layers
of lies.

(The Baltis are like this, you know; they wrap the baby when it is born,
and add rag after rag, never removing any, until a prosperous citizen
at 40 is more like a bale of cloth than a human being!) May I add that
you are going to be shocked? Ideas of the most atrocious and abominable
nastiness, things literally unthinkable by your normal conscious appara-
tus, are discovered as the mainsprings of your character!

Those in attendance at confinements are always at first amazed and
horrified by the remarks of the most virtuous and refined ladies; but
that is the mere loosening of a few superficial layers, such as are
accessible to anaesthetics. These revelations amount to not 1/10 of 1%
of the grisly horrors that are revealed by Sammasati.

- 245 -

Now go ahead!

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 246 -


Cara Soror,

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

You enthusiastically remark that the love of the mother for the off-spring
is something that no man can understand: and you appear to prize it!

Well, some men have had a jolly good shot at it, notably Emile Zola. The
Usher goes into the corridor, and calls that name in strident and sten-
torian tones. In he waddles, the squat obese bespectacled studious Jew,
with the most devastating of all his thunderbolts under his arm --- _La Terre_,
and so what?

"How he will prologize, how he will perorate" about:

"The dewy musk-rose, mid-May's eldest child,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves!"

He will not.

_La Terre_ to him is indeed the mother of all men, sole source of our
essential nourishment, the earth to which we are all bound in chains by
our inexorable bodies, our ineluctable need of life --- and death.

Sublime the thesis? What does he make of it? Theme No. 1 in the first
chapter: rural love. How exquisite, how delicate, first flush of dawn
upon the glowing meadows! The young man who is courting is not idle,
either; he serves great nature in yet other ways. He is taking a prize
cow to be "served:" on him depend our milk, cheese, butter, veal and
beef. He also contributes to our Wienerschnitzel Holstein, or Filet de
Boeuf la Robespierre, our Sole au Gratin and our oeufs la Neige.

So then, our rustic idyll! "Rocked on the bosom of our Mother Nature."
Longus paints Daphnis and Chloe, Whowasit draws "Aucassin and Nicolette"
--- why, it's a root of literature itself all the way to Austin Dobson,
Norman Gale and Thomas Hardy, Theocritus --- er --- hum --- not so much of
"Mother-love" Trinacria way!

Where Zola failed, who can hope to succeed? To distinguish between
brute and brute: no, dear lady, that task I not regretfully relinquish!

But in "refined" strata? That cock won't fight, O thou Aspirant to the
Sacred Wisdom! It's very often worse; for under the anaesthetic, the
most delicately-minded ladies of high social position and religious
repute are apt to pour forth floods of filth which would disgust the
coarsest harridans of slum-land!

This is the final fact: so long as our life is bound to that of the

- 247 -

animal and vegetable worlds, so that we are bondslaves born to their
quite ineradicable habits, so long are we dragged back from every flight
of fancy or imagination such as would break the chains that anchor us to

The most far-seeing of our prophetically minded writers, Aldous Huxley,
brands this black fact upon our foreheads.

The first condition of a "Brave New World" must be the dissociation of
sexual from reproductive life. The word "mother" must be as nauseating
to all properly human minds as it now is to every one that has contem-
plated the subject with clear vision.

I know there is an answer to all this; in fact, _The Book of the Law_
enables us to take it in our stride.

But there is another aspect of "mother-love" which is urgent, practical,
and in no way dependent upon ideal considerations.

What do we find in practice as the immediate consequence of this "sublime,"
this "holy" instinct?

Quite a few species of animals habitually devour their offspring; but
women "know a trick worth two of that."

No, no, let Zola rhapsodize!

Time passes. Libitina smiles. But the conditions are not spacious;
both the "happy events" --- real ladies and gentlemen emphasize this
euphemism with a snigger and a smirk --- are expected the same night,
and the only place available is the barn.

Now Zola, well into his stride, gives us full details, hopping from one
corner of the barn to the other, so accurately and so judicially that
the reader very soon "loses his place," and doesn't know which birth is
being described in any given paragraph.

The accumulated hogwash of a billion sentimentalists dashes in vain
against that cliff of ugly truth.

Next witness: Dr. Doughty, who looked after the health of Trinity College,

A swift routine examination: then he tilted his chair backwards, thrust
his hands deep into his trousers pockets, fixed the patient with a glare
of ice; then these words dropped like vitriol from his lips: "You ---
young --- fool! You go and put the most tender part of your body where I
wouldn't put my umbrella!"

It is the magical formula of a man to push outwards, of a woman to close
upon from without.

- 248 -

This is commonly seen as the possessive instinct: it may often be
masked as "protective" but its essential truth is the impulse to devour.
Hence the death-like idea of "home," where she can digest her victims
in security and at leisure.

Hence, as even Jung saw in his very first book, and wrote in stated terms,
the first task of manhood --- of the "hero" --- is to escape from the mother.
Now the son, with his male formula, his formula of life, his instinct to
push out, to break down all that would restrain him, finds it perfectly
natural to "bite the hand that fed him," as the complaint might piteously
wail. But the daughter has no club to smash, no sword to cut; all she
can hope to do is to pass the buck. The amoeba, born of fusion, nour-
ished by wrapping its pseudopods around such drifting particles as come
within its scope, is but a parasite on its own dam until the fusion is

So, when a woman is "_so_ good," "_so_ devoted to her daughter," God help
the daughter!

She is never allowed to think for herself in the minutest matters; she
is bound hand and foot remorselessly to the routine of her "decent
Christian home;" a wageless kitchen-slut. No hope of escape unless the
mother's vampirism takes the form of selling her off to the highest

Need it be added that the "good mother" is usually quite unaware of all
this, will read these simple statements of plain fact in speechless rage?

But the truth stands: the woman-formula is Death: "return to the Great
Mother" is the catastrophe of the hero, whether he be Coriolanus or Peer

It is surely unnecessary to state the rider to this theorem; so perhaps
I had better:

Anyone who has not totally and for ever destroyed in himself every ves-
tige of this instinct, extirpating every root and charring it with Fire,
cannot take the first step on the Path of the Wise.

How nobly opposite is the Man-Formula! Its freight the wealth of the
whole Universe, that splendid Argosy leaps free upon the glittering
Ocean, to cast the very Soul of Life upon uncharted and enchanted isles!

It is not to these few but well-chosen words that I propose to look to
enhance my popularity in the Woman's Clubs of the United States.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 249 -

P.S. "Mother-Love" is, of course, a branch of family affection about
which I have already written to you in no uncertain terms. Of all its
sub-sections this is the worst because it is the strongest, the most
natural, that is to say, the most brutish. You have complained patheti-
cally on more than one occasion that I do not seem to know my own mind
about Nature; that I am always contradicting myself. Sometimes I tell
you that everything is in Nature; that everything moves by Nature:
that to oppose Nature is to provoke endothermic reaction, and then I
leap headlong through the hoop of my own construction and want you to
defy nature, to attack her, to overcome her. Really, dear Master, it is
too bad of you!

I know it sounds bad but there is not really the opposition that on the
surface there seems to be. Perhaps it is that we are talking about two
kinds of Nature. In one sense it might be asserted that the final for-
mula of Nature is Inertia; in other words, that the dyad of manifested
existence is an arbitrary and artificial development of the Zero to which
everything must always cancel out.

Now by saying that, we have to all intents and purposes, answered the
question which it poses; all positive development must be a conflict
with that Inertia. It is the opposition between the magical Path and
the Mystical; we may therefore say fearlessly that all forms of prog-
ress, although they make use of the formulae of nature which have brought
them to their present situation, are attempts to proceed further on the
way of the True Will.

It is particularly important to understand this at the present time when
the Aeon of Horus is just getting under way. For the Aeon of Isis, that
of the Mother, appears to have regarded the whole of Nature as a spon-
taneous growth of universal scope. In the Aeon Of Osiris, the restriction
of Family appears for the first time.

The world of sentient beings is separated into clusters, each family,
clan, gens, or nation, acting as a unit and standing upon armed nutral-
ity with respect to similar groups. But in the Aeon of Horus this system
has broken down. That such is the case is already abundantly manifest.

Totalitarianism in any of its forms tends to break down the family struc-
ture. It considers only the Individual, and him, merely as a unit in
the welter of the state.

Experience will doubtless prove that this idea simply will not work.
The Individual will come to his own, but it will be impossible to recon-
struct the Family System.

It will in particular be impossible to maintain the intimate relation
between Mother and Child, which has been so dominant a feature of past

The very social and economic causes which in the old time tended to
cement the relationship, have become centrifugal in their effect.

- 250 -



Cara Soror,

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

Yes, indeed! As you surmise, the injunction to "buy the egg of a
perfectly black hen without haggling" is another way of putting the
Parable of the Pearl of Great Price; a much better way. For the Pearl-
buyer did think of equating the values, which is precisely what one
must not do. That Egg is _incommensurable_ with money.

(Further, the saying teaches one to insist on perfection; the hen must
not have one tinge of aught but black in any feather.)

However, that is neither here not there; what you want me to do is to
discuss Economy in its magical aspects.

Very good: to begin, Economy does not mean thrift or cheeseparing. It
means: the law of the house. In practice, one may say "management."
Finances are only one branch of the science, just as truckling, black-
mail, graft, treachery and double-dealing are only components of modern

All the same, I propose to talk in terms of money, because everyone has
thought a good deal about it. Examples are abundant, ideas easy to
express, and one can be concise and clear without danger of misunder-

So let us call this letter Moralizing on Meanness!

Firstly (dearly beloved brethern) meanness is flat contradiction to the
Teaching of _The Book of the Law_. For "The word of Sin is Restriction...."
and meanness is plainly a most flagrant case of Restriction. Also, there
is nearly always an element of Fear in meanness; at least, I would like
to bet that 95% of mean people originally became so because they fore-
saw a friendless and penniless old age. And fear is particularly for-
bidden in the Book: II, 16 "...fear not to undergo the curses...." Waxing
in wrath, III, 17 goes on: "...Fear not at all; fear neither men nor
Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk
folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth...."
Then pretty well all the positive injunctions imply reckless enthusiasm.
"Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and
fire, are of us." (AL II,20)

What's more, meanness does not even pay! I propose to tell you why this
is, and how things work out.

What _is_ money? A medium of exchange devised to facilitate the transac-
tion of business. Oil in the engine. Very good, then; if instead of

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letting it flow as freely and smoothly as possible, you baulk its very
nature; you prevent it from doing its True Will. So every restriction"
(that word again!) on the exchange of wealth is a direct violation of
the Law of Thelema.

How stupid is this tightening of the purse-strings! Parable No. Three,
"The fairy Bank Note."

One evening a man walked into an inn and asked for hospitality. In the
morning, when his bill came, he found he had nothing but a 100 note.
"I'm afraid I've no change till the Banks open." "Oh, stick to it ---
I'll be back next week --- I've enough petrol to take me home."

"Handy," though Boniface, "that will just square my brewer." That
reminded the brewer to pay his cornchandler, who had been worrying him
to settle. He wasn't nasty about it; he really needed the money for
his farmer, a worthy man who wanted to build some new outhouses, and
the builder couldn't give any credit because he was being pressed by
the man who supplied his materials, a man in great trouble on account
of his wife's long illness, and the necessity of an immediate and very
expensive operation.

So the doctor went round, very lordly, to the local estate agent, and
made the first payment on the new house he had wanted for so long.
"Hullo! Hullo!" laughed the agent; "here we are again. It's curious,
but I paid out that note only ten days ago!"

So there were seven hampered and worried men all made happy, and the
Bank note was in the hands of its original holder.

Now then for True Story No. 1. It is my own experience. When, nearly
40 years ago, I walked through Spain, accompanied only by a single chela,
there was little paper money in use, at least in the rather primitive
places which we favoured. The currency was confined to the silver peso,
and its fractions. About 90 miles north of Madrid, we found, one fine
morning, that our well-meant attempt to pay our bill at the posada threw
a bombshell into the works: the people of the Inn jabbered and gesticu-
lated among themselves for about half an hour before they produced our
receipt, and bade us Hasta la vista!

Next day, the same thing, rather worse. The day after, worse still;
and we saw that they were disputing about the coins that we had handed
over. Finally, about 20 miles from Madrid, they wouldn't take our money
at all! Instead, the pointed out that we were English gentlemen, and
they would be eternally honoured and grateful if we would send the money
from Madrid!

On arrival at that city, we noticed long queues of people besieging the
Banks; I put my finger to my nose, and said Aha!

But, sitting down at a caf, oh no! not at all! Pesos were passing
without question. Well, well! So I got into conversation with a

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knowledgeable-looking bloke, and he told me the whole story. It seemed
that the Director of Customs had a brother in Mexico D.F. who manufactured
brass bedsteads. The uprights of these were packed with forged pesos of
Fernando VII and one other king --- I forget his name --- made of the same
standard silver alloy as the genuine coins, and so well executed that the
only way to tell the false was that they looked newer than they should
have been, in view of the date! And so (continued my informant) there
was a panic, and no one would take any money at all, and the city was
dying on its feet! So the Government gave orders to the Banks to change
any coins soever for their equivalent in freshly-minted money --- that's
what those queues are --- and "every one is happy again." "But," I objected,
"I see you have some old coins." He laughed. "Those one-eyed mules at
the Banks! All foolishness! Days ago we all agreed to take any money
without question --- and as long as we all do that, why, nobody's hurt!"

I am not pretending that there is anything new about any of this; the
whole theory of credit implies the probability of some such happenings.

(During the Skirmish [1914-1918 e.v.] some small town in Northern Mexico
got cut off by warring presidential brigands from the rest of the country,
and got on perfectly well for a year or more without any money or commerce
at all, on a basis of good-neighbourly feeling. Similar principles at
Cefal; three years without a single quarrel about money. We used to
say: "There's no harm in money until you begin to count it!") Trouble
comes from Fear, and from Restriction.

When I first landed in the U.S.A. (1900) I noticed instantly that practi-
cally everybody seemed to have money to burn, defying statistics. "Oh,
that's simple!" explained a banker to whom I mentioned it; "in this
country we reckon that money circulates 9 times as fast as in England.
One dollar does the work of nine." Then, a year later at San Francisco,
everything seemed very dear. Why? In S.F. one hardly ever saw a copper
coin; the nickel (2 1/2d) was the smallest in practical use. Going on
to Honolulu, it was twice as bad; and there the dime (5d) was the
smallest coin one ever saw. Somehow, it made for stickiness. When one
hesitates to pay money out, one cannot expect other people to feel other-
wise. So everything becomes increasingly constipated. I am not denying
the virtues of thrift, but it's a long and tedious business; and all the
big fortunes are made by shrewd gambling. Even if your policy be "small
profits," it is a failure unless it ensures "quick returns." This is the
deeper meaning of the proverb "time is money."

Then, isn't there a little Bonus? Isn't it worth something to have a
pleasant life, and to have people like you. It leaps to the eye if one
is a "tightwad;" the Saturnian constriction shows itself in a myriad
ways. "The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall
be watered also himself."

Now, then expand your thought; from he consideration of money (which
we chose merely for convenience of discussion) apply these principles
to the spheres of all the other planets. You will very soon heighten

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the enjoyment of life beyond all measure and belief!

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 254 -



Cara Soror,

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

You ask me for the initiated view about the power of money. As the poet
says: "O.k. oke; I'm yer bloke." F. Marion Crawford, a Victorian
novelist, now (I think deservedly) obsolescent, thought I saw one of his
books last week on the shelves of a tuppenny shark-library*, wrote a
tale _Mr. Isaacs_ based on the life of one Mr. Jacobs, the Indian Rothschild
of two generations ago, financing princes, little wars --- everything. One
night in Bombay the burden of his wealth broke his nerve; he stood at
the window of his hotel, and flung masses of money to the mob. Soon after
came a stranger, and said to him, "You have insulted the fourth of the
great powers that rule this world; it shall be taken from you." It was
so; he lost all. In the end he became, after a fashion, Sannyasi, and
died (I suppose) in the usual odour.

I thought of this incident in Paris in the twenties, when I saw American
tourists plaster the bonnets of their cars with 1000 franc notes, or tear
them up and strew the floors of banks with them. Grimly I prognosticated
Twenty-Nine. And it was so.

"Nice work!" you charmingly remark; but hardly what I sought to know."
Patience, child!

Money being the fourth great power, "what are the other three?" Come,
come, you can surely do that in your head. Four's Tetragrammaton, isn't

Very well, then! The First Great Power is Yod, the Father. Fire, the
Wand, the Flame of Creative Genius. The Second is H, the Mother, Water,
the Cup, the Sea to which all things tend; it is the gift of pleasing,
of absorbing, of drawing all things to oneself.

The Third is Vau, the Son, the Sword, the moving, penetrating element,
double in nature. For it is intellect, but also the result of Genius
absorbed, interpreted, transmuted and applied through the virtue of the
Cup to expand, to explain, to bring into conscious existence.

And the Fourth is the H final, the Daughter, Earth, the Disk, Pantacle,
or Coin --- the Coin on which is stamped the effigy of the Word that begat
it with the aid of the other forms of Energy. It is the Princess of the
Tarot of whom it is written: "Great indeed is her power when thus firmly

* No money-lender in the drukenness of guilt plus the delirium of
cocaine fortified by buckets of hashish would date dream of getting such
interest on his capital as these vampires.


It is a trite, and not quite true, saying that money can but nothing
worth having. But it can command service, the real measure of power,
and leisure; without these two advantages the most brilliant genius
is practically paralysed. It can do much to secure health, or to
restore it. The truth is that money is only troublesome when one begins
to count it.

(This epigram is copyright in Basutoland, the United States of America,
the Republic of San Marino, the Sanjak of Novibazar, Arabia Petraea,
and the Scandinavian countries.)

Then there is travel, by which I do not mean globe-trotting; and privacy,
less attainable every year as the Meddlesome Matties invade every corner
of life.

But this is by the way; the text, tenor and thesis of the illuminated
and illuminating discourse is the above Epigram, which is not merely one
of the extravagant absurdities for which I am justly infamous. It is
the Pearl of Great Price. Observe that, formally it is a generalization
of the principle of the old injunction "to buy the egg of a perfectly
black hen without haggling." I want you to realize the supreme impor-
tance of this. For one thing, it goes hand-in-hand with the whole
doctrine of so-called renunciation --- which is nothing of the sort. You
don't "renounce" five shillings if you pay that for a country house with
3000 acres of shooting, and the best salmon fishing on Deeside, do you?
This is the Greater Interpretation of the Injunction, that no _equation_
is possible: Magical Power is _immeasurably_ more valuable than any amount
of money. But the Epigram is severely practical. It may sound a little
romantic, but --- here goes! A community which thinks in terms of wealth
is rich; in terms of money, poor. How so? Because the former includes
the imponderables.

A couple of Japanese wrestlers may be worth more than Phidias, Robert
Browning, Titian and Mozart in terms of butchers' meat. We might alter
that incorrect truism "money cannot by anything worth having" to "things
worth having cannot be estimated in terms of money." You see, no _counting_.
The operation to save your child's life: do you care if the surgeon wants
five pounds or fifty? Of course, you may not have the fifty, or be
obliged to retrench in other ways to get it; but it makes no odds as to
what you feel about it. What is the value of a University Education?
The answer is that it is a pure gamble. The student may use his advan-
tages to make a rich marriage, to attract the wife of a millionaire, to
earn a judgeship or a post in the Cabinet, to earn 500 a year as a
doctor, 150 as a schoolmaster --- or he may die in the process. So with
all the spiritual values; they are, in the most literal sense, inesti-
mable. So --- don't start to count!

Most obviously of all, when it comes to The Great Work, money does not
count at all. I do not write of any Magical work, in the restricted
sense of the phrase. Shaw says: "Admirals always want more battleships"
and J.F.C. Fuller: "if a lawyer, more wretches to hang." It applies
to any one whose heart is in his job. (Of course, in this case, money

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is like all other things of value; nothing counts but the Job.) This,
too, is sound Magical doctrine.

_Lack_ of money is another matter altogether.

Isn't it about time you sent me a cheque?

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.

Directly or indirectly, you have already all you need about marriage in
its relation to Magical Traning. The Hindu proverb sums it all up:
"There are seven kinds of wife --- like a mother, a sister, a daughter, a
mistress, a friend, an enemy and a slave; of these the only good one
is the last."

But from your questions I gather that what you want is advice on how to
advise, how marriage as an institution is regarded by _The Book of the_
_Law_. Very good.

It is not actually mentioned; but that it is contemplated is shown by
the use of the word "wife" --- AL I, 41. The text confirms my own thesis
"There shall be no property in human flesh." So long as this is observed
I see no reason why two or more people should not find it convenient to
make a contract according to the laws of customs of their community.

But my above thesis is all important; note the fury of denunciation in
AL I, 41-42!

As to property in general, the Book lays down no law. So far as one can
see, it seems to adhere to "the good old rule, the simple plan that they
should take who have the power, and they should keep who can."

I think that your best course is to work out all such problems for your-
self; at least it is an admirable if arduous, mental exercise. One
ought, theoretically, to be able to deduce the ideal system from the
Magical Formula of the Aeon of Horus.

Now then, as to war. You need hardly have asked the question; the
whole Book is alive with it; it thrills, it throbs, it tingles on
almost every page. It even goes into details. Strategy: "Lurk! With-
draw! Upon them! ..." AL III, 9. Then AL III, 3 - 8. England, I suppose.
Verse 6 suggests the mine-layer to any one who has seen one in action.
Verse 7 might refer to the tank or the aeroplane --- or to something we
haven't yet got.

Notice also Verse 28, a surprising conclusion to the long magical
instruction about the "Cakes of Light." Then the mysterious opening of
Verse 46 demands attention and research! Can "...the Forties:..." refer to
the years '39 (e.v.) onward --- will this war last till '49 (e.v.)? Can
the "...Eighties..." be symbolic, as the decade in which universal peace seemed
to nearly everybody as assured for an indefinite period?

There are any number of other passages, equally warlike; but see II, 24.

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It is a warning against internecine conflict between the masters; see
also III 58,59. Hitler might well quote these two reminders that the
real danger is the revolt of the slave classes. They cannot rule or
build; no sooner do they find themselves in a crisis than mephitic
rubbish about democracy is swept into the dustbin by a Napoleon or a

There is just one exception to the general idea of ruthlessness; some
shadowy vision of a chivalrous type of warfare is granted to us in
AL III, 59: Significant, perhaps, that this and a restatement of
Thelema came immediately before "There is an end of the word of the God
enthroned in Ra's seat, lightening the girders of the soul." (AL III,
61) And this is "As brothers fight ye!" Perhaps the Aeon may give
birth to some type of warfare "under Queensbery rules" so to say. A
baptism of those who assert their right to belong to the Master class.
Something, in short, not wholly dissimilar from the jousts of Feudal
times. But on such points I should not care to adventure any very
positive opinion.

The last part of your question refers to politics. "The word politics
surprises by himself," as Count Smorltork observed. Practically all
those parts of the Book which deal with social matters may be considered
as political in the old an proper sense of the word; of modern politics
it disdains to speak.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours.


- 259 -



Cara Soror,

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

Well do you know my lifelong rule never to make any assertion that can-
not be verified, or at least supported by corroborative evidence, on any
subject pertaining to Magick.

When, therefore, you express curiosity as to how much of the normally
super-sensible world has been revealed to my senses, and especially that
of sight, you must take my answer as "without prejudice," "e. and o.e.",
"under the rose," and "in a Pickwickian sense." If you choose to call
me a lunatic and/or a liar, I shall accept the verdict with mine accus-
tomed imperturbability. Whether what I am about to tell you is "true"
or not doesn't matter, as in any case it proves nothing in particular.
What does matter is to accept nothing whatever from the "Astral Plane"
without the most conclusive and irrefragable internal evidence.

That is enough for the caveat part of it; now I plunge direct into the

I begin with my childhood. There is one incident, not quite relevant
in this place, but yet of such supreme significance that I dare not omit
it. I must have been about 6 years old. I was capering round my father
during a walk through the meadows. He pointed out a bunch of nettles in
the corner of the field, close to the gate (I an see it quite clearly
to-day!) and told me that if I touched them they would sting. Some word,
gesture, or expression of mine caused him to add: Would you rather be
told, or learn by experience? I replied, instantly: I would rather
learn by experience. Suiting the action to the word, I dashed forward,
plunged in the clump, and learnt.

This incident is the key to the puzzle of my character. But, as a child,
what did I see? I cannot think of any one person who subsequently
devoted his life to Magick who has not at least one early experience of
seeing angels, or fairies, or something of the sort. But A.C.? Nary a
one. I was brought up on the Bible, a literalist, fundamentalist --- all
that a Plymouth Brother could wish. It never occurred to me to doubt a
word of what I was told. Perhaps the Wolf's Tail of an healthy scepti-
cism gleamed pale at the age of 10, when I asked my form master how it
was that Christ managed to be dead for three days and three nights
between Friday night and Sunday morning. He said that he did not know,
and (to a further question) that no one had ever explained it. This
merely filled me with ambition to be the great exegetist who _had_
explained it. I never thought of doubting the story.

Well, all this time, and then through puberty, despite my romantic bent,
my absorption in the gramarye of Sir Walter Scott, my imaginative life

- 260 -

as one of his heroes, and the rest of it. I never had even a moment's
illusion that anything of the sort had ever happened to me. I went
through all the motions; I haunted all the places where such things
are reputed likely to happen, but nothing did happen.;

There is one exception, and one only.

It was in 1896, at Arolla in the Pennine Alps. I took my cousin, Gregor
Grant, a fine climber but with little experience beyond scrambles, and in
poor physical condition, for the second (first guideless) ascent of the
N.N.E. ridge of Mont Collon, a long and exacting climb of more than
average difficulty. I had to help him with the rope for most of the
climb. This made us late. I dashed for the quickest way down, a short
but very steep ridge with one decidedly bad patch, to the great snow-
field at the head of the valley. At the bottom of the last pitch a
scree-strewn slope, easy going, led to he snows. We took off the rope,
and I sat down to coil it and light a pipe, while he wandered down. By
this time I was as tired as 14 dogs, each one more tired than all the
rest put together; what I call "silly tired." I took a chance (for
nightfall was near) on resting 5 or 10 minutes. Restored, I sprang to
my feet, threw the coiled rope over my shoulder, and started to run
down. But I was too tired to run; I slackened off.

Then, to my amazement, I saw of the slopes below me, two little fellows
hopping playfully about on the scree. (A moment while I remind you that
all my romance was Celtic; I had never ever read Teutonic myths and
fables.) But these little men were exactly the traditional gnome of
German fold-tales; the Heinzelmnner that one sees sometimes on German
beer-mugs (I have never drunk beer in my life) and in friezes on the
walls of a Conditorei.

I hailed them cheerfully --- at first I thought they were some of the
local nobility and gentry of a type I had not yet encountered; but
they took no notice, just went on playing about. They were still at
it when I reached my cousin, sheltering behind some boulders at the
foot of the slope; and I saw no more of them.

I saw them as plainly as I ever saw anything; there was nothing ghostly
or semi-transparent about them.

A curious point is that I attached no significance to this. I asked
my cousin if he had seen them; he said no.

My mind accepted the incident as simply as if I had seen Chamois. Yet
even to-day when I have seen lots and lots of things more wonderful,
this incident stands out as the simplest and clearest of all my experi-
ences. I give myself full marks!

"Why?" Isn't it obvious? It means that I am not the semi-hysterical
type who takes wish-phantasms for facts. When I started seriously to
study and practise Magick in the Autumn of '98 e.v., I wished and wished
with all my might; but I never got anything out of it. With the

- 261 -

exception above recorded, my first experiences were the direct result
of intense magical effort on the traditional lines; there was no
accident about it; when I evoked N to visible appearance, I got N and
nobody else. But even so, there isn't much to splash!

The first definitely physical sight was due to the "evocation to visible
appearance" of the Goetia demon Buer by myself and V.H. Frater "Volo
Noscere." (Our object was to prolong the life, in imminent danger, of
V.H. Frater Iehi Aour --- Allan Bennett --- Bhikkhu Ananda Metteya --- and
was successful; he lived another 20 odd years. And odd years they

I was wide awake, keyed up, keenly observant at the time.

The temple was approximately 16 feet by 8, and 12 high. A small "double-
cube" altar of acacia was in the centre of a circle; outside this was
a triangle in which it was proposed to get the demon to appear. The
room was thick with the smoke of incense, some that of Abramelin, but
mostly, in a special censer in the triangle, Dittany of Crete (we
decided to use this, as H.P.B. once said that its magical virtue was
greater than that of any other herb).

As the ceremony proceeded, we were aware that the smoke was not uniform
in thickness throughout the room, but tended to be almost opaquely dense
in some parts of it, all but clear in others. This effect was much more
definite than could possibly be explained by draughts, of by our own
movements. Presently it gathered itself together still more completely,
until it was roughly as if a column of smoke were rising from the tri-
angle, leaving the rest of the room practically clear.

Finally, at the climax of the ritual --- we had got as far as the "stronger
and more potent conjuration" --- we both saw, vaguely enough, but yet
beyond doubt, parts of a quite definite figure. In particular, there
was a helmet suggesting Athene (or horror! Brittania!), part of a
tunic or chlamys, and very solid footgear. (I thought of "the well-
greaved Greeks.") Now this was very far from satisfactory; it corres-
ponded in no wise with the appearance of Buer which the Goetia had led
us to expect. Worse, this was as far as it went; no doubt, seeing it
at all had disturbed our concentration. (This is where training in Yoga
would have helped our Magick.) From that point it was all a wash-out.
We could not get back the enthusiasm necessary to persist. We called
it a day, did the banishings, closed the temple, and went to bed with
our tails between our legs.

(And yet, from a saner point of view, the Operation had been a shining
success. "Miraculous" things began to happen; in one way and another
the gates opened for Allan to migrate to less asthmatic climes; and
the object of our work was amply attained.)

I give prominence to this phenomenon because what we saw, little and
unsatisfactory as it was, appeared to our normal physical sight. I
learned later that there is a kind of sight half-way between that and

- 262 -

the astral. In a "regular" astral vision one sees better when the eyes
are shut; with this intermediate instrument, to close them would be
as completely annihilating as if the vision were an ordinary object of

It seems, too, as if I had picked up something of the sort as an after-
effect of the Evocation of Buer --- a Mercurial demon; for phenomena of
one sort or another were simple showered on me from this moment, pari
passu with my constantly improving technique in regular "astral visions."
Sometimes I was quite blind, as compared with Frater V.N.; for when the
circles was broken one night --- see the whole story in my Autohagiography
--- he saw and identified dozens and scores of Abramelin demons as they
marched widdershins around my library, while all I saw of them was a
procession of "half-formed faces" moving shadowy through the dimly-lit

When it was a matter of the sense of touch, it was far otherwise; I
got it good and hearty --- but that is not the subject of this letter.

I find all this excessively tedious; I resent having to write about it
at all; I wonder whether I am breaking some beastly by-law; in fact,
I shall ask you to be content with Buer as far as details go; I never
saw anything of importance with purely physical sight with anything like
the clarity of my adventure on Mont Collon.

Yes, as I think it over, that by-law is to thank. This Spring I saw
very plainly, on four separate occasions, various beings of another
order than ours. I was ass enough to tell one or two pupils about it...

And I've never been able to see any more. This, however, it is a posi-
tive duty to tell you. One can acquire the power of seeing, with this
kind of sight that is neither wholly normal nor wholly astral, all the
natural inhabitants of the various places that one reaches in one's
travels; one can make intimate contact with individual "elementals"
as closely as one can with human beings or animals, although the rela-
tion is rarely continuous or permanent.

The conditions of such intercourse are complex: (a) one must have the
necessary degree of initiation, magical efficiency, and natural ability;
(b) one must be at the time in the appropriate magical state, or mood;
(c) both parties must desire to make the contact, or else one must
be lawfully the superior, a master and slave relationship, (d) the magi-
cal conditions at the time must be suitable and propitious; e.g., one
would not make love to a salamandrine during a sandstorm. Of course,
like all operations, any such efforts must be justified by their conso-
ance with one's True Will.

On this note I end this abortive letter.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 263 -



Cara Soror,

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

A very witty way to put it! "Do angels ever cut themselves shaving?"
_Rem aeu tetigisti_, again. (English: you big tease?)

What sort of existence, what type or degree of reality, do we attribute
to them? (By angel, of course, you mean any celestial --- or infernal ---
being such as are listed in the Hierarchy, from Metatron and Ratziel to
Lilith and Nahema.) We read of them, for the most part, as if they were
persons --- although of another order of being; as individual, almost, as
ourselves. The principal difference is that they are not, as we are,
microcosmic. The Angels of Jupiter contain all the Jupiter there is,
within these limits, that their rank is not as high as their Archangel,
nor as low as their Intelligence or their Spirit. But their Jupiter is
pure Jupiter; no other planet enters into their composition.

We see and hear them, usually (in my own experience) as the result of
specific invocation. Less frequently we know them through the sense of
touch as well; sometimes their presence is associated with a particular
perfume. (This, by the way, is very striking, since it has to overcome
that of the incense.) I must very strongly insist, at this point, on
the difference between "gods" and "angels." Gods are macrocosmic, as we
microcosmic: an incarnated (materialised) God is just as much a person,
an individual animal, as we are; as such, he appeals to all our senses
_exactly_ as if he were "material."

But everything sensible is matter in some state or other; how then are
we to regard an Angel, complete with robes, weapons, and other impedi-
menta? (I have never known a god thus encumbered, when he has been
"materialised" at all. Of course, the mere _apparition_ of a God is sub-
ject to laws similar to those govering the visions of angels.)

For one thing, all the laws that we find in operation on various parts
of the "Astral Plane" are valid. Two things can occupy the same place
at the same time. They are "swift without feet, and flying without
wings." They change size, shape, appearance, appurtenances of all sorts,
at will. Anything that is required for the purpose of the vision is
there at will. They bring their own background with them. They are able
to transfer a portion of their energy to the seer by spontaneous action
without appreciable means.

But here is where you question arises --- what is their "life" like? In
the visions, they never do anything but "go through the motions" appro-
priate to their nature and to the character of the vision.

Are we to conclude that the whole set of impressions is no more than

- 264 -

symbolic? Is it all a part of oneself, like a daydream, but a daydream
intensified and made "real" because its crucial incidents turn out to be
true, as must always occur during the testing of the genuiness of the

Shall we infringe Sir William Hamilton's Law of Parsimony if we extend
our conception of our own powers, and conclude that the vision is but a
manifestation of our Unconscious, presented in a symbolic form convenient
for our understanding?

I'm sorry, but I can't let it go at that! Some of my own experiences
have been so confoundedly objective that it just won't work. So there
we are back to your original question about shaving and I fear me sorely
that "Occam's razor" will help us no whit.

It seems to me much simpler to say that these Angels are "real" indivi-
duals, although living in a world of whose laws we have no conception;
and that, in order to communicate with us, they make use of the symbolic
forms appropriate; employ, in short, the language of the Astral Plane.

After all, it's only fair; for that is precisely what we do the them when
we invoke them.

Ha! Ha! Ha! I suppose you think you've caught me out in an evasion
there! Not so, dear child, not so: this state of affairs is nothing

Ask yourself; "What do I know of Therion's mode of life? Whenever I see
him, he's always on his best behaviour. I've hardly ever seen him eat;
perhaps he does so only when I am there, so as not to embarrass me by a
display of his holiness. His universe touches mine at only a very few
points. The mere fact of his being a man, and I a woman, makes sympa-
thetic understanding over a vast range of experience almost impossible,
certainly imperfect. Then all his reading and his travels touch mine
at very few points. And his ignorance of music makes it an almost
grotesque extension of magnanimity for me to admit his claim to belong
to the human species . . .U.S.W.^" Then: "How do we manage to communi-
cate at all? There is bound to be an impassable gulf between us at the
best, when one considers that his connotation of the commonest words
like 'mountain', 'girl', 'school', 'Hindu', 'oasis', is so vastly dif-
ferent from mine. But to do it _at all_! What actually have we done?"

Think it out!

We have made a set of queerly-shapen marks on a sheet of paper, given
them names, attached a particular sound to each, made up (God knows how
and why!) combinations of these, given names and sounds to them too,
and attached a meaning --- hardly ever the same for you as for me --- to
them, made combinations of these too according to a set of quite arbi-
trary rules, agreed --- so far as agreement is possible, or even thinkable
--- to label a thought with some such arrangement: and there we are! You
have in this fantastically artificial way succeeded in conveying your

- 265 -

^ WEH NOTE: U.S.W is German for "etc."

thought to my mind.

Now, turn back to _Magick_; read there how we work to establish intelli-
gible intercourse between ourselves and the "angels."

If you can find any difference between that method and this, it is more
than I can.

Finally, please remember as a general rule that _all_ magical experience
is perfectly paralleled by the simplest and commonest phenomena of our
daily life!

People who tell you that it is "all quite different beyond the Veil" or
what not, are blithering incompetents totally ignorant of the nature of

Incidentally, Bertrand Russell has given us a superb mathematical proof
of this theorem; but I won't afflict you with it at this time of asking.

On the contrary, I will tell you more about "communication."

There is a method of using Ethyl Oxide which enables one (a) to analyse
one's thoughts with a most exquisite subtlety and accuracy, (b) to find
out --- in the French phrase --- "what is at the bottom of the bottle." By
this they mean the _final_ result of any project or investigation; and
this, surprisingly often, is not at all what it is possible to discover
by any ordinary means.

For instance, one might ask oneself "Do I believe in God?" and, after a
vast number of affirmative answers of constantly increasing depth and
subtlety, discover with a shock that "at the bottom of the bottle" one
believed nothing of the sort! Or vice versa.

On one occasion the following experiment was carried out. A certain
Adept was to make use of the Sacred Vapour, and when the time seemed
ripe, to answer such questions as should be put to him by his Scribe.
Presently, after about an hour's silence, the Scribe asked: "Is communi-
cation possible?"

But this he meant merely to enquire whether it would now be in order for
him to begin to ask his prepared list of questions.

But the Adept thought that this _was_ Question No. 1: meaning "Is there
any valid means of making contact between two minds?"

He remained intensely silent --- intensely, as opposed to his previous
rather fidgety abstention from talking --- for a very long time, and then
broke slowly into a long seductive ripple of hushed laughter, suggestive
of the possession of some ineffably delicious secret, of a moonlight
revel of Pan with his retinue of Satyrs, nymphs and fauns.

I shall say no more, save to express the hope that you have understood

- 266 -

this story, and the Truth and Beauty of this answer.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,




Cara Soror,

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

Your last letter has really put me up a gum tree. I do not see how I
can write you an account of Geomancy. At first sight it looks as if
all I could do was to refer you to the official text book of that sub-
lime and difficult art. You will find in the _Equinox_, Volume I, No.
2. (or am I mistaken and its is No. 4?) I cannot bother to refer to it,
and the books are not under my hand.^

There is, of course, a short account in _Magick_ and I do not think that
it is a very satisfactory one, certainly not in view of what you have
asked me. No, it certainly won't do at all.

The main point of your letter appears to be a question as to whether I
think it worth your while to devote a great amount of time to it;
whether its usefulness repays the pains required to master it.

Now here we come to a question of personality. The first thing to
remember about Geomancy is that although the various intelligences are
attributed to the twelve signs of the Zodiac they all appertain to the
element of earth. Anyone therefore who has got in his nativity an
earthy sign rising, or the sun in an earthly sign, or a good proportion
of planets in an earthy sign, is much more likely to find Geomancy
attractive than anyone the principal features of whose horoscope are
devoted to other elements, especially air, which of course is the enemy
of earth.

Now these remarks apply of course very much to the type of question
that is likely to be within the grasp of the Geomantic Intelligences,
that must certainly be considered as well as the natural faculty of the
practitioner to master the art.

I ought of course to emphasize that I am just the worst person in the
habitable globe that you could have asked about this matter, as my
rising sign and my planets are all in fire, air, or water, except
Neptune, which as Astrology teaches, refers not so much to the Native
as to the period of life.

It has accordingly been exceptionally difficult for me to be of much
use to people who have come to me with enquiries similar to yours, still
more when they have planted themselves down solidly at my feet and
insisted on my teaching them. There is, however, a certain meagre har-
vest to be gained from my experience. I should like to tell you what
happened to such a man.

A resident of Johannesburg and singularly gifted with the power of

^ WEH Note: The item on "Geomancy" is in Equinox, Vol I, No. 2. The method
provided there is the French adaptation of an African method like the Ifa
Oracle of the Yoruba people at Great Zimbabwe. This technique has superficial
similarities to the YI King, and four-line Geomancy was known in Europe from
late Medieval times. The Geomancy mentioned in The Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin
and in a few stories of the Arabian Nights is usually based on recognition of
shapes, including Arabic letters, in randomly disturbed sand. This French
method uses a count of odd or even in a series of random strikes against a
sand or earth surface to determine the figure.

- 268 -

getting physical results to take place as a result of Magical experiments.
This man was as strongly attracted to Geomancy as I was repelled, and I
do not know that it would be fair for me to claim that I had been of any
special use to him, though he was always kind enough to say so.

When I pointed out that the answers to Geomantic questions were so vague
and indeterminate he had already devised a method whereby this difficulty
(which he admitted as existing) could be overcome.

It is of course of the very first importance in Geomancy to frame your
questions accurately; for the Intelligences serving the Art delight in
tricksome gambols. If there is a possibility of assigning a double
meaning to the question you can bank on their finding it, and deceiving

Of all this my disciple was well aware; and he had become extremely
artful in allowing no ambiguity to spoil any of his questions.

But as to the further difficulty about their vagueness, what he did was
to arrange a series of questions narrowing the issue step by step until
he had succeeded in obtaining a precise instruction which would resolve
his original difficulty.

I do think, as a matter of fact, that I was able to help to some extent
on the purely theoretical side of the Art, and he went back to South
Africa feeling himself fully equipped to deal with any problem that
might arise.

At that time we were particularly anxious to wind up the first volume
of the _Equinox_ with a No. 10, which should be a really massive contri-
bution to Magical thought. That meant a very considerable increase in
the cost of production. All this my Disciple, of course, knew, and on
arriving in Johannesburg he said to himself "Well, here I am in a part
of the world where the earth teams with gold and diamonds. I will
procure the necessary funds for the _Equinox_ and various other financial
necessities of the Work by Geomantic divination.

Now, then, he thought, in and about Johannesburg we have both gold and
diamonds; that is exactly the chance for these tricky earth spirits to
take advantage of the ambiguity. I will therefore frame the question
so as to cover both sources of riches. I will not specify gold or
diamonds. I will say simply "mineral wealth."

The answers to his series of questions indicated that he was to go out
of the city where he would find a deposit.

The next questions in his series were directed to finding the direction
in which he should start his exploration. That was easy.

The next question was the distance involved, and he could think of no
way of framing questions which would inform him on that very important
point. He got at it indirectly, however, by asking as to his means of

- 269 -

transport, and as to that the answer was quite clear and unmistakable.
He was to use a horse.

Well, he had a Boer pony, and next morning he set forth with provisions
for a day's journey.

On and on he went and found no geological indication of any mineral
wealth. Presently he began to get tired and thought it was a little
late. He could see in every direction across the Veldt and there was
nothing at all. A mile or so in front of him, however, was a row of
small kopjes. He said, I may as well go on and get a view from the top.

This he did; and there was still no geological pointer. It struck him,
however, that he was getting short of water; and just below on the far
side of the kopje were a number of apparently shallow pools.

"I will fill my skin and give my horse a drink and get home feeling like
a fool."

But, when he got to the water, his horse turned sharply aside and refused
to drink. At that he dismounted and put his finger in the water to test
it. He had struck one of the most important deposits of alkali in South
Africa. Minerval wealth indeed!

He went home rejoicing and took the necessary steps to protect his find.
In the course of the formalities he found it necessary to come to London,
which he did, and told me the whole story.

Unfortunately we end with an anti-climax. The negotiations went wrong;
and the property was stolen from under his nose by one of the big alkali
firms. However, it was a good mark for Geomancy.

I am afraid that all this is a digression. As I indicated above, what
you want to know is to be found in the official instruction on the subject
in the _Equinox_.

Now far be it from me to cast any doubt on any official instruction, but
I cannot help saying that in this particular instance it does not give
very full details, and I think you would be well advised to investigate
the whole subject afresh, basing you enquiry on the general principles
of the science.

You will presumably have noticed that the Geomantic figures are derived
from taking the permutations of two things, four at a time, just as the
trigrams of Fu-Hsi are two things taken three at a time, and the Hexa-
grams of the _Yi_ are two things taken six at a time.

The system is consequently based upon 16 figures and no more. Of course
all systems of divinations which have any claim to be reasonable are
based upon a map of the universe, or at least the Solar system, and 16
is really rather a limited number of units to manipulate.

- 270 -

However, if you are the type of person who has a natural bent towards
this particular Art you will be able to develop it on your own lines,
guided by your own experience.

I do not think there is anything further to add to these scattered
remarks except that so far as I know none of the treatises on the sub-
ject (with the single exception of the official instruction) are any use
at all.

I feel rather acutely how unsatisfactory these remarks must sound to you,
but it is the best that I can do for you. You must regard it either as
an excuse, or a confession of incompetence, that I have always had this
instinctive distaste for the subject.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,




Cara Soror,

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

I am very glad that it has not been necessary in all this long corres-
pondence with you, to discuss the question of Knack. You seem to be
specially gifted; you were able to get the results directly from follow-
ing out the instructions, and I am glad that it is through you, on
behalf of other people, to whom you have communicated these instructions,
that this letter has become necessary.

When Otto Morningstar was trying (with indifferent success) to teach
me how to play French Billiards in Mexico City I found one particular
difficulty, and that was how to play the mass shot. He kept on
explaining and explaining and demonstrating and demonstrating, and
none of it seemed any good. I understood intellectually, well enough;
but somehow or other it never came off. Presently he said that he guessed
he knew what was the matter. Although I had the whole thing perfect in
my mind I had not made the link between my mind, my eye and my hand, and
what I must do was _not_ to go to him for teaching, of which I had had
already enough and more than enough. He told me if I went on trying it
would happen quite suddenly and unexpectedly one day that I found I could
do it. This was particularly decent of him because it was in direct
contradiction with his financial interest. But he was an all-round good

So I cut him out so far as the mass shot was concerned and redoubled my
practice of it. What he said came out right; one day I found that I
had acquired the knack of it.

Now with these semi-pupils of yours the same thing probably applies.
The point you raise in particular as baffling them is the getting on to
the astral plane. It is not much good explaining why the failure occurs,
or at what point it occurs; the only thing that is any use is for the
pupil to go on and on and on eternally. He must find out for himself
where the snag is, and he must continue his experiment until he acquires
the knack.

All this should be perfectly obvious; the same sort of thing applies to
every kind of game which you know. There is a particular knack for
instance in putting. It is not that your calculations are wrong, it is
not that your stance is wrong, it is not that your grip is wrong, it is
that for some reason or other you fail to co-ordinate all these various
factors in the problem; and sooner or later the moment comes when it
appears to you quite natural to succeed in getting out of the body, or
in opening the eyes on the astral plane, or in getting hold of the
particular form of elemental energy which has until that moment escaped

- 272 -

I have mentioned the question of astral journeys because that is one
which in your experience, as indeed it has been in mine, is the one
that most frequently occurs.

I do not know why it is that people should get so easily discouraged as
they do. I can only suggest that it is because they are touching so
sensitive a spot in their spiritual and magical organisation that it
upsets them; they feel as if they were completely hopeless in a much
more serious way than if it was a matter of learning some trick in some
such game as chess or billiards.

Of course, the worst of it is that failure in these early stages is liable
to destroy their confidence in the teacher, and I think it would be a
very wise plan on your part to warn them about that.

I ought incidentally to mention that this sudden illumination --- that is
not quite the right word but I cannot think of a better one --- is quite
different to the sudden confidence which takes hold of one in the Yoga
practices, the more I think of it the more I feel that the question of
sensitiveness is of the greatest importance.

In Yoga practices one does not, at least as far as my experience goes,
come against the delicacy that one does in all magical and astral prac-
tices. The reason for what is, I think, quite obvious. All the Yoga
practices are ultimately of the protective type, whereas with magical
and astral practices one is exposing oneself to the contact of exterior
(or apparently exterior) forces. In neither case however is there any
sort of reason at all for discouragement; and as I said above the cure
in all cases is apparently the same.

In one way or another the veil is rent, the pupil becomes the master,
and the reason for that is really rather beyond my analysis so far as
that has gone at present. I do not know whether it is some kind of
awakening of some faculty of the magical self, though that seems to me
the simplest and most probable explanation; but in any case there is no
doubt about the nature of the experience, and there can be no difficulty
about the recognition of it when it occurs.

Now, dear Sister, I hope that this letter may be of real use to you in
dealing with those difficult semi-pupils. In particular I hope that you
will make a point of insisting on how encouraging this doctrine is. Your
pupils must not calculate; that indeed is one point where the magical
record is rather a hindrance than otherwise.

It reminds me of the story of the Psychologist who wanted to judge the
difference in temperament between an Englishman, as Scotsman and an Irish-
man, in judging the amount of Whisky in a bottle in the next room. They
had to go in, report, and come back, and tell him what they thought about
it. He filled it 50% with great accuracy.

The Irishman came back fairly cheerful; he rubbed his hands; "Well,
there's half a bottle left, your honour."

- 273 -

When the Scotsman came back his face was full of gloom: "I'm afraid,"
he says, "that half a bottle has gone."

Then the Englishman had his turn. He came in all over smiles, rubbing
his hands, and said: "There's not a drop left, so that's that."

Moral --- Be English!

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally.





Cara Soror,

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

Thanks very much for your last letter. I expected no less. As soon as
anybody gets into a position of authority, even on a very small scale,
their troubles begin on a very large one.

Imagine, if you can, what I have been through in the last quarter of a
century or more. My subordinates are always asking me for advancement
in the Order; they think that if they were only members of the 266th
degree everything in the garden would be lovely. They think that if
they only possessed the secrets of the 148h degree they would be able
to perform all those miracles which at present escape them.

These poor fish! They do not understand the difference between Power
and Authority. They do not understand that there are two kinds of
degrees, altogether different.

For instance, in the theory of the Church of Rome a bishop is a person
on whom has been conferred the magical power to ordain priests. He may
choose a totally unworthy person for such ordination, it makes no dif-
ference; and the priest, however unworthy he may be, has only to go
through the correct formulae which perform the miracle of the Mass, for
that miracle to be performed. This is because in the Church we are
dealing with a religious as opposed to a magical or scientific qualifi-
cation. If the Royal Society elected a cobbler, as it could, it would
not empower the New Fellow to perform a boiling-point determination, or
read a Vernier.

In our own case, though Our authority is at least as absolute as that
of the Pope and the Church of Rome, it does not confer upon me any
power transferable to others by any act of Our will. Our own authority
came to Us because it was earned, and when We confer grades upon other
people Our gift is entirely nugatory unless the beneficiary has won his

To put it in a slightly different form of words: Any given degree is,
as it were, a seal upon a precise attainment; and although it may please
Us to explain the secret or secrets of any given degree or degrees to
any particular person or persons, it is not of the slightest effect un-
less he prove in his own person the ability to perform those functions
which all We have done is to give him the right to perform and the Know-
ledge how to perform.

The further you advance in the Order the more will you find yourself
pestered by people who have simply failed to understand this point of
Magical theory.

- 275 -

Another thing is that the business of teaching itself is a very tricky
one; even such simple matters as travelling on the astral plane are
not to be attained by any amount of teaching unless the pupil has both
the capacity and the energy as well as the theoretical and intellectual
ability to carry out successfully the practices. (I have already said
a good deal about this in my letter on Knack.)

I have thought it most important that you should impress upon everybody
these points. It is absolutely pitiful to watch the vain struggle of
the incompetent; they are so earnest, so sincere, so worthy in every
way of every possible reward and yet they seem unable to advance a
single step.

There is another side to this matter which is really approximating to
the criminal. There are any number of teachers and masters and bishops
and goodness knows what else running around doing what is little better
than peddling grades and degrees and secrets. Such practices are of
course no better than common fraud.

Please fix it firmly in you mind that with Us any degree, any position
of authority, any kind of rank, is utterly worthless except when it is
merely a seal upon the actual attainment or achievement.

It must seem to you that I am beating a dead dog, that it is little
better than waste of time for me to keep on insisting, as I am now doing,
upon what any ordinary person would think was patent to the meanest
intelligence; but as a matter of plain fact the further you advance in
the Order, and the more people you get to know, the more you find this
attitude, sometimes absurd and sometimes abominable, getting up and
kicking you in the face.

This is one of the reasons why the older I grow and the more experience
I have of human nature, the more am I convinced of the wisdom of the
Chiefs of the A.'. A.'., where association with any other person except
your immediate superior or the one of whom you are yourself in charge
is discouraged in every possible way.

There are of course exceptions. It is necessary, though regrettably so,
for personal instruction in the practices to be given or received.

For all that, I wish I could show you 200 or 300 letters that I have
received in the last twenty years or so: they tell me without a shadow
of doubt that anything like fraternization leads only to mischief. When
you wish instruction from your superior, it should be for definite points
and nothing else. Any breach of this convention is almost certain to
lead to one kind of trouble or another. It may in fact be regarded as
a defect of concentration if communication between any two members of
the Order should take place, except in cases of necessity.

I know that it must seem hard to the weaker brethren of the Order that
we should make so little appearance of success in the Great Work to which
we are all pledged. It is so universal a convention that success should

- 276 -

be measured by members. People like to feel that they have hundreds of
Lodges from whom they can obtain assistance in moments of discouragement.

But a far truer and deeper satisfaction is found when the student has
contentedly gone on with his work all by his own efforts. Surely you
have had sufficient example in these letters, where in moments of des-
pair one suddenly awakes to the fact the despite all appearances one
has been watched and guarded from a higher plane. I might say, in fact,
that one such experience of the secret guardianship of the Chiefs of the
Order is worth a thousand apparently sufficient witnesses to the facts.

I would have you lay this closely to your heart, dear Sister, and more-
over always to keep in mind what I have written in this letter so that
you may be able to recognise when the occasion arises how much better
evidence of the power and intelligence of the Order is this to being
constantly cheered up along the difficult way by incidents such as it
is possible to explain by what might be considered normal circumstances.

Finally, let me insist that it is a definite symptom of Magical ill-
health when the craving for manifestation of that power and intelligence
come between the worker and his work.

Love is the law, love under will.





Cara Soror,

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

You ask me what I mean by an "elastic mind" --- from our telephone conver-
sation on Friday.

It is hard to define; but let me give you an example of the bad kind:
an old riddle. "Why is a story like a ghost?" Because

"A story's a tale
a tail's a brush
a brush is a broom
a brougham is is a carriage
a carriage is a gig
a gig's a trap
a trap is a snare
a snare's a gin
gin is a spirit
and a spirit's a ghost."

You will have noticed a logical blunder --- usually non distributio medii
or Hobson Jobson --- at every step in the sorites. It is your instinctive,
or instructed, objection to commit these that prevents your mind from
actually moving on such lines.

But these "correspondences," such as they are, ought to present them-
selves, be judged as false or true, and rejected or accepted accordingly.

The inelastic mind, on the other hand, is tied by training to a rigid
sequence, so that it never gets a chance to think for itself.

To develop a mind properly it needs (a) "Lehrjahre" (a first-clas
public school and university education, or the equivalent) when it
learns all sides of a question, and is left free to judge for itself
and (2) "Wanderjahre," when it sees the world for itself, not by any
pre-arranged course (Cooks', Lunns', University Extension, Baedeker)
but built up on the results of the Lehrjhre, foot or horseback, and
avoid beaten tracks.

It is the Rosicrucian injunction to "wear the costume of the country in
which your are travelling;" this is only another way of saying "When in
Rome, do as the Romans do." The object of this is not merely to avoid
interference or annoyance, but to teach the mind to think down to the
roots of the local customs. You learn also the great lesson of Thelema,
that nothing is right or wrong in itself: as we say "Circumstances alter
cases." One trains oneself to adapt one's life to the impinging facts:
to "cut one's coat according to one's cloth." It leads one to the

- 278 -

understanding of that great Principle of Compromise which has kept
England's head above water through the tempests of a chiliad.

But always behind all these must be Will, the restraining and control-
ling purposefulness which prevents one getting flabby, as worn rubber
does. (This is why no one is surprised to hear an ultra-Socialist
minister deliver a speech that might have come from Pitt.) There must
be a perfect readiness of the mind to consider all the possible reac-
tions to any given situation, to judge exactly how far one should
yield, and in what direction, and to act accordingly; but always on
keen guard against the risk of snapping.

Remember that the slightest sign of inelasticity means that the rubber
has already "perished;" and that the test of perfection is that one
can "Snap back" to the original condition, with no trace of the stress
to which it has been subjected.

Beyond all, be armed against the "doctrinaire" type of mind, in yourself
or in another. One very soon falls into the habit of repeating ones
pet ideas; as the French say. "C'est enfoncer une porte ouverte;"
and, probably before you know it yourself, you have become that most
obscene, abhorred and incurable of human monsters, a BORE.

I perceive a slight danger of this kind in the letter: moral, SHUT

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,




Cara Soror,

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

Your letter of yesterday: so happy that my last was useful: but the
vision! I must have failed to make myself clear. We shall come to
that later in this letter.

It is reassuring to learn that you are two-thirds human! Greed, anger
and sloth are the three Buddhist bed-rock badnesses; and you have
certainly given the last a miss in baulk. It is my own darkest and
deadliest foe, and oh how mighty! With me he _never_ relaxes. Sounds
a paradox! but so it is.

Now as to fear. In the Neophyte ceremony of G.'. D.'. when the bandage
is first removed from the eyes of the Aspirant, Horus, who was in that
Aeon "the Lord in the West," tells him: "Fear is failure, and the fore-
runner of failure: be thou therefore without fear for in the heart of
the coward virtue abideth not."

Listen, my child! I, even I, _moi qui vous parle_, need no information
about fear. When I was twelve years old, it was discovered that I had
defective kidneys; the opinion, _nomine contradicente_, of the Medical
Profession was that I could certainly never live to be twenty-one.
(Some people think that they were right!) But after a couple of years
with tutors in the wildest parts of the country, I was found well enough
to go to a Public School. They soon found me out! This kidney weakness
causes depression and physical cowardice, and the other boys were not
sympathetic about kidneys, regarding them mostly as satisfactory parts
of the body to punch.

Imagine my misery! The most powerful of all my passions --- bar sloth ---
is Pride; and here was I, the object of universal contempt. So, when
I was able to determine my own way of life, I observed mildly "Pike's
Peak or bust!" and chose for my sports the two, mountain climbing and
big-game shooting, reputed the most dangerous. It was a desperate
remedy, but it worked. No half measures, either! I used to wander
into the jungle alone, looking for tigers, and trusting to my sense of
direction to take me back to camp. All my mountain climbing was guide-
less, and a very great deal of it solitary.

Well, this is not an example for you to copy, is it? But it gives an
idea of the principle "Take the bull by the horns." A practice easier
to imitate was this following. In most great cities, always in Eastern
cities, are black slums. Here one may find blind alleys, dark doorways
open to unlighted houses. One may explore such places, looking for
adventure --- and it was rather a point of honour to accept the challenge
in whatever form it took. Again, one may walk with deliberate

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carelessness into the traffic^; this practice does not in my consider-
able experience, conduce to one's personal popularity. Another idea
was to hasten to cholera-stricken cities, to places where Yellow Jack,
plague, typhoid and typhus, dysentery (_et haec turba malorum_) were
endemic; and (of course) big-game hunting takes one to the certainty
of malarial fever, with no doctors (or worse, Bengali doctors!) within
many a league.

The general principle seems to be "This boat carries Caesar and his
Fortunes!" and no doubt Pride in its most Satanic degree is one's
greatest asset. But the essence of the practice, as a practice, is to
seek out and to face what one fears. Do not forget that courage implies
fear --- what else should fear be useful for?

Of course, fears differ greatly both in quality and in degree; and one
must distinguish between rational fear, ignorance of which implies
stupidity, brutishness, imbecility, or what have you, and the pathologi-
cal fear which springs from mental or moral disorder. There are in fact
many types of fear which may be uprooted by some form of psycho-analysis.
Generally speaking, it is up to you to invent a practice to meet each
specific case.

One moment, though, about the fear of death. The radical cure is the
gaining of the magical memory. (See also AL I, 58) The more previous
incarnations one can remember, the less important appears the moment
when the curve of life dips below the horizon. (One _very_ curious point:
when one looks back at the moment of one of one's deaths, one exclaims:
"By Jove! that _was_ a narrow escape, and no mistake!" Escape from what?
Me no savvy; but such is the fact.) How to acquire that Memory? The
development of the Magical Record is by far the most important of one's
weapons. How to use the Record is not easy to explain; but there is a
sort of knack which comes to one suddenly. And there are certain types
of Samadhi during the exercise of which these memories appear spontan-
eously, without warning of any kind.

There is comfort in the thought that the persistent practice of seeking
out one's fears, analysing them and their causes, then deliberately
evoking them to "come out, you cad, and fight!" (W.S. Gilbert),
presently sets up a habit of mind which is a strong fortress against all
fear's modes of assault; one springs automatically to action when a
patrol sneaks up within range of one's guns.

Particularly useful against the fear of death is the punctual and vigor-
ous performance of _Liber Resh_. Meditate on the sun in each station:
his continuous and even way: the endless circle. That formula in the
Tarot book is _most_ valuable.

One excellent practice, the general idea of which can easily be adapted
to a host of particular cases, is the use of the imagination.

Let me tell you how it worked in those early Air Raids on London. First,
I looked at the question sensibly, taking the view that shelters and gas

^ WEH NOTE: The reader should bear in mind that traffic was primarily horses
in the era in which Crowley worked out this method!

- 281 -

masks were soothing syrup with an element of booby-trap in it.

(J. B. S. Haldane in Spain, running to escape a bomb, found himself
racing towards the exact spot where it fell.)

Let me tell you a fable from the East. It is one of those incomparably
sublime blossoms of the Spirit of Islam, infinite depth of wisdom
adorned with the most exquisite and delicate wit.

Contrast it with the poor thin propagandist stuff which passes for a
parable in the Gospels! There is hardly one to be found worth remember-

Isaak ben Hiddekel was a Jew of Baghdad. Though not in his first or
even second youth, he was in such health, enjoyed such prosperity, and
commanded such universal respect and devotion that every moment of his
life was dear to him. Among his pleasures one of the chief was the
friendship of the aged Mohammed ibn Mahmed of Bassorah, reputed a sage
of no common stature, for (it was said) his piety had been rewarded
with such gifts as the power to communicate with Archangels, angels,
the Jinn, and even with Gabriel himself. However this may have been,
he held Isaak in very great esteem and affection.

It was shortly after leaving his friend's house after a short visit to
Baghdad that he met Death. "Good morning," said the saint. "I do hope
you're not going to Isaak's, he is a very dear friend of mine." "No!"
said Death, "not just now; but since you mention it, I shall be with
him at moonrise on the thirteenth of next month. Sorry he's a friend
of yours; but no one knows better than you do that these things can't
be helped."

Mohammed set off sadly for Bassorah. Indeed, as the days passed, the
incident preyed upon his mind, until at last he resolved to risk the
breach of professional confidence and warn his friend. He sent accord-
ingly a letter of condolence and farewell.

But Isaak was a man of action. Prompt and stealthy, on the day appointed
he saddled his best horse and so passed through the silent streets of
the city in search of a refuge.

That evening Mohammed was returning from prayer "_Nowit asali fardh salat_
_al maghrab Allahu akbar_" slowly and mournfully, when hardly halfway from
the mosque to his house who should he meet but Death!

"Peace be with thee!" says Death. "And peace with thee," replied the
sage. "But I did not expect to see thee here to-night; I thought you
were to meet my friend Isaak, and he's in Baghdad." "It wants an hour
yet of the time," says Death briskly; "and he's galloping hither as fast
as he can."

At least, don't let the Gods have the laugh on you! Hello! Here's the
_Book of Lies_ again! What fun. Now I ring up POL 5410 and borrow the

- 282 -

book and get the chapter we need copied and -- oh! With luck we shall
get this space filled in a month or two!

"The Smoking Dog"

Each act of man is the twist and double of an hare.
Love and Death are the greyhounds that course him.
God bred the hounds and taketh His pleasure in the sport.
This is the Comedy of Pan, that man should think he hunteth,
while those hounds hunt him.
This is the Tragedy of Man, when facing Love and Death he
turns to bay.
He is no more hare, but boar.
There are no other comedies or tragedies.
Cease then to be the mockery of God; in savagery of love and
death live thou and die!
Thus shall His laughter be thrilled through with Ecstasy.

Very good! Now where were we? in the "blitz?" Oh, yes! No sense in
scuffling or slinking or skulking; so one decides to take no notice
so far as practical action is concerned.

So, the noise making work rather difficult, one lies down in Shavasana
(the "Corpse-Position" --- flat on the back, arms by sides, everything
relaxed) or the Templar (Sleep of Siloam) position, which is that of
the Hanged Man in the Tarot. One then imagines a bomb dropping first
in one place, then in another; one imagines the damage, and what one
then has to do to counteract the new dangers --- perhaps a wall of your
house has gone, and you must get clear before the roof falls in. And
so on --- close the practice by a block-buster hitting you accurately on
the tip of the nose^. This must be done realistically enough to make
you actually afraid. But presently the fear wears off, and you get
interested in your various adventures after each explosion: ambulance
taking you to hospital, getting tools and digging out other people and
so as far as your imagination takes you. After that comes yet another
stage; your interest declines; you find yourself indifferent to the
entire proceedings. After a few nights you can no longer distinguish
between the real thing and your own private and peculiar Brock's Bene-
fit. The fear will have vanished; familiarity breeds contempt.
Finally, one is no longer even aware that the boys are out again on a

Incidentally, one may draw a quite close parallel between these four
stages and those accompanying Samadhi (probably listed in Mrs. Rhys
David's book on Buddhist Psychology, or in Warren's bran-tub of trans-
lations from the _Tripitaka_, or _Three baskets of the Dhamma_. I haven't
seen either book for forty years or more, don't remember the exact
titles; scholars would help us to dig them out, but it isn't worth
while. I recall the quintessence accurately enough.

Stage 1 is Ananda, usually translated "Bliss". This is an intensity
of enjoyment altogether indescribable. This is due to the temporary

^ WEH NOTE: This letter may have been written in the early 40's before the
blockbuster hit behind Crowley's residence while he was out. A caution
regarding visualization is in order!

- 283 -

destruction of the pain-bearing Ahamkara, or Ego-making faculty.

Stage 2. Ananda wears off sufficiently to allow one to observe the
state itself: intense interest (objective) of a kind that suggests
approach to the Trance of Wonder. (See _Little Essays towards Truth_
pp. 24-28).

Stage 3. Interest exhausted, one just doesn't care. (once more
"Indifference" Op. cit. pp. 39-44. How simple, how serene, how inno-
cent a pleasure to write Op. cit.! It _does_ make one feel good!)

Stage 4. "Neither indifference nor not-indifference." One hardly knows
what to make of this translation of the technical Buddhist term:
probably no meaning is really illuminating to one who has not experienced
that state of mind. To me it seems a kind of non-awareness which is
somehow different from mere ignorance. Rather like one's feeling about
the automatic functions of physiology, perhaps: and acceptance so com-
plete that, although the mind contains the idea, it is not stirred
thereby into consciousness. These speculations are, perhaps, idle,
and so distracting, for you in your present path. Was it worth while
to make this analogy? I think so, vague and unscientific as it must
have seemed to you, as reminding you of the way in which unlike ideas
acquire close kinship as one advance on the path.

Enough of all this! I could not bear to hear you exclaim:

"_Di magni! Salaputtium disertum!_" as Catullus would certainly have done,
had I inflicted all these dry-as-dust dromedary-dropping upon him!

Let us get on to your white rages!

Well I do know them though I call them black --- no, I shall _not_ quarrel
about the colour.

To me they come almost every day. When I see the maid dust my mantel-
piece --- which I pay her to do --- I want not merely to slay her in the
extremity of torment; I want to abolish her, to annihilate her --- and
the mantelpiece too and everything on it! I can hardly keep from
roaring at her to get out and never darken my door again. This is not
because she is doing it badly; doing it at all is a token of the
unspeakable horror of existence. The actual feeling is that she is
somewhat disturbing my aura, which I had got so nice and clean and
quiet after the nuisance of "getting up." I feel as if I were being
pushed about in a crowd of swarming insect-citizens.

Then there is quite another kind, which is quite clearly penny-plain
frustration. Something one wants to do, perhaps a trifle, and one
can't. Then one looks for the obstacle, and then the enemy behind that
again; maybe one gets into one of those "ladder-meditations" (as
described in _Liber Aleph_, quoted in _The Book of Thoth_, when discussing
"The Fool" and Hashish, only the wrong way up!) which end by the concep-
tion of the Universe itself as the very climax, asymptote, quintessence

- 284 -

of frustration --- the perfect symbol of all uselessness. This is, of
course, the absolute contradictory of Thelema; but it is the sorites
on which both Hindu and Buddhist conclusions are based.

This kind of rage is, accordingly, most noxious; it is direct attack
from within upon the virgin citadel of Self. It is high treason to
existence. Its results are immediately harmful; it begets depression,
melancholy, despair. In fact, one does wisely to take the bear by the
ring in his snout; accept his conclusions, agree that it is all abject
and futile and silly --- and turn the hose-pipe of the Trance of Laughter
on him until he dances to your pleasure.

But --- is this any answer to your problem? It disturbs me little that
you should try to palm off "Peace" upon my sentries as the password.
Too often peace is merely the result of war-weariness, and the very
negation of victory. It is (or may be) the formula of sloth and the
gateway of stagnation.

Life is to be a continuous vibration of ecstasy; and so it is for the
Adept, whenever his work allows him time to consider the matter, con-
sciously; and even when his work pre-empts his attention, is an eternal
fountain of pure joy springing, a crystal fragrance of reverberation
light from the most inmost caverns of the Heart. It secretly informs
one's dullest thought with sparkling wine, radiant in the Aethyr --- see
well! the least excuse, since it is always there, and champing at its
bit, to turn the dreary cart-horse drudge into proud Pegasus himself!

This is where I want to have you, with us who are come thus far, in a
state utterly detached from the Ego, so that you appear the plain Jane
Wolfe^" doing your duty in that state of life to which it has pleased
God to call you" and consequently unremarked --- like a Rosicrucian,
"wearing the habit of the country in which you are travelling" --- but
trembling with interior illumination, so that the first relaxation of
the constant conscious burden of Jane Wolfe, Soror Estai is automatically
released, a pillar of Creative Light.

"I am Thou! and the Pillar is 'stablished in the Void!'"

(_Liber LXV_, as you know, is full of these explosions).

No: I am not at all sure that all this is the answer that you need
about white rages. Yet it is certainly contained herein, or, at the
least, implied. {following found written in:} (Of course,_ it is all here_, my love, and may God
bless you, whereever you are.)

Try another aspect.

We tracked the cause: it was frustration. Good: then we must counter
it. How? Only (in the last event) by getting the mind firmly fixed in
the complete philosophy of Thelema. There is no such thing as frustra-
tion. Every step is a step on the Path. It is simply not true that you
ware being baulked. The height of your irritation is a direct measure
of the intensity of your Energy. Again, you soon come to laugh at

^ WEH NOTE: {Insert a capsule bio of Jane}

- 285 -

yourself for your impatience. Probably (you surmise) your trouble is
exactly that: you are pushing too hard. Your mind runs back to AL I,
44; you realize (again!) that any result actually spoils the Truth and
Beauty of the Act of Will; it is almost a burden; even an insult.
Rather as if I risked my life to save yours, and you tipped me half-a-
crown! Here's that _Book of Lies_ popping out its ugly mug again: "Thou
has _become_ the Way." This is why the Ankh or "Key of Life" is a sandal-
strap, borne in the hand of every God as a mark of his Godhead: a God
is one who goes. (If I remember rightly, Plato derives "Theos" {Greek option} from a
verb meaning "to run", and is heartily abused by scholars for so doing.
But perhaps the dreary old sophist was not far wrong, for once.) What
you need to do, then, is to knit all these ideas into a very close
pattern; to make of them a consecrated Talisman. Then, when rage takes
you, it can be thrown upon the fire to stifle it: to thrust against the
Demon, to disintegrate him. The great point is to have this weapon very
firmly constructed, very complete. Your rage will pass in one of those
two ways, which are one: Rapture and Laughter.

I want you to go over this apparatus very carefully; to analyse the
argument, to make sure that there are no loose ends, to keep it keen
and polished and well-oiled, ever ready for immediate use: not only
against rage, but against any hampering or depressing line of thought.

Well, let us hope that I've got it all down fairly well this time, and
that you will find it work. For I confess to a touch of my Mariana-in-
the-moated-Grange complex: I've been umpteen hours on this letter, and
I must have killed a Cakkravarti-Rajah, or wounded the body of a Buddha,
in my last incarnation, or Tahuti (hang it all! I _have_ been most
devoted to him all my life) would have let me have a secretary. Well,
that's that: so now to turn the Flak on to your so-called "Astral
Flight." _What_ a Tail spin! (Here I dash my turban to the ground! Here
I deliver you to Eblis, and reserve a private box for you in Jehannum!
Here I melt into salt tears, and think of all the other Gurus that have
had to bear it.)

Astral Flight!!!!!!!!

Excuse me if I mention it, but --- no doubt the fault is mine --- you seem
to have failed to note any single one of all my prayerful injunctions,
either in the letter or on your visit.

Perhaps you thought that I should take circles and pentagrams etc. for
granted: but you give no hint of the object of your journey. (No don't
quote AL I, 44 at me: it doesn't mean that. I don't expect you to
answer the clerk at the booking-office "Where to, madam?" with "I don't
mind in the least." Though, even in that case it is _magically_ true, or
should be. As in the case of the young lady who got carried on to Crewe.
The unplanned adventure may have proved much more amusing.) How am I
to tell whether you were seeing correctly? Suppose your chosen hexagram
had been VI Sung Contention" of XXIX "Nourishing"? Where would be
the "vision"? You are to set out to explore a country unknown to you:
How can I be sure that you have actually been there? How can you be sure

- 286 -

yourself? You can't. {following written in:} You can, if you go to a place you have never heard of, and
then discover later on, that it actually exists. You have got to display the congruity of your
vision with the account of the country given in the Text. If you take
Khien I, which is all Lingams and Dragons, and you describe it as a
landscape in the Broads, I can only conclude that you did not get any-
where near it.

Then you produce a monk, and never get his name or office. Finally
after you return, you get this Caballero dropping in unasked.

Alas! I fear me much this was no Astral journey at all; it reads like
weak imagination tinged by desire. All you got of interest was the
answer to your question: and that you should have gripped, made more
precise, analysed, interpreted. Dear me, no!

Final shot: my instinct is all against the "lying in bed." These
visions are intensely active: the hardest kind of work. Read _Liber_
_CDXVIII_, 2nd Aethyr (and others) to understand the appalling physical
strain, when you reach remote, well-guarded, and exalted confines of
the Universe.

In every sense of the expression --- SIT UP!

(I'm "sitting up" myself to finish this letter. Here goes for the last

Music. Justifiable? Why not? A help to your great Work, an aspect of
your Will, _nicht wahr_? Go to it!

Apollo is the God of Music, pre-eminently; but He is too all-comprehen-
sive, all-pervading, to be much use in a Talisman except as a general
background. But there are the Muses: Polymina (or Polyhymnia) seems
the one you want: she inspires the sublime hymn. How to invoke her is
a matter for prolonged consideration. One would hardly see how to
tackle the problem at all, unless by digging out an Angel from one of
the Enochian Tablets. (See _Equinox_ I, 7 and 8). Perhaps there
is a square ruled by Sol (or Venus), Fire, Air and Water in the Tablet
of one of these, with an appropriate Character on the summit of the
Pyramid. If so, all would be plain sailing.

Of course, there are other Gods, notably Pan. (I must ask you to set
my "Hymn to Pan" to music). But I doubt if any of these are what you
want. Probably the most practical plan would be to make a musical
conjuration of Sol: use this as your invocation when you go on the
Astral Plane: there find a suitable guide to the proper authority ---
and so on!

And that, dear Sister, for to-night will be exactly and precisely that!

Love is the law, love under will.



- 287 -



Cara Soror,

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

Rightly you remark that most of these letters have dealt with self-
development in one form or another; now, what of the "_causa finalis_",
the "practical angle" some would call it. Are the outrageous quack
advertisements of the swindlers with their "Great Free Book" and so on,
all baseless? My dear child, then back to those letters that gave you
a glimpse of the History of Magick, and those in which I told you some-
thing of the ways in which the Masters work. Oh, I see! What you want
now is to learn how to apply the knowledge and power that you have
gained to the execution of your True Will, to accomplishment of the
Great Work.

Obviously, much must be left to your own common-sense; the one technical
point on which I insist above all others is the Magical Link.

You must lay to heart _Magick_ Chapter XIV (pp. 106-122) and never forget
one detail. More failure comes from neglect of this than from all other
causes put together. Most of the qualities that you need are inborn;
all the material is to your hand; and to develop them is a natural
process, equally your birthright. But the making of the Link is an
intellectual, even mechanical, task; success depends on purely objec-
tive considerations.

That granted, there are perhaps a few hints. Firstly, while of course
the Magical Theory supposes a kind of omnipotence, please remember that
Magick _is_ Science, that the Laws of Nature remain the same, however
subtle may be the material with which one is working. It is, to put it
brutally, a bigger miracle to destroy a fortress than an easy chair.
You know this well enough; but the corollary is that it is nearly always
a mistake to try to do things entirely off one's own bat. It is much
simpler to look for an existing force, in good working order, that is
doing the sort of stuff that you need, and take from it, or control in
it, just that bit of it that you happen to require.

You can, theoretically, walk from Cadiz to Vladivostock; but unless
there be some special reason, it will save time and waste of energy to
make use of a fraction of the machine-power that happens to be moving
in that direction.

This is particularly true of moral and political reform. Hitler would
have got exactly nowhere if he had been content to announce his evangel;
he became master of Germany, and, for a time, of nearly all Europe, by
playing upon existing instruments of human passion; the revenge-lust
of Central Europe, the panic of the Blimps and Junkers, the discontent
of the property-lacking classes, the pride and ambition of the Prussian

- 288 -

military clique, and so on. When he had used them to the full, he
callously flung them to the wolves. But make no mistake! The Magical
Power behind all his actions lay in himself. He had succeeded in
making himself a prophet, like Mohammed; even a symbol, like the Cross
of the Crusades. His magical technique was indescribably admirable;
he adopted the Swastika, the Hammer of Thor, the distinctive dress,
the slogan, the gestures, the greeting; he even imposed a Sacred Book
upon the people. If that book had only been more mystic and incompre-
hensible, instead of reasonable, diffuse, and intolerably dull, he
might have done better. As it was, he came within an ace of capturing
England, even before he came to power in Germany; and it was American
money that saved the Nazi party at the most critical moment. Cleverest
move of all, he gave the world something to hate; the Communist and
the Jew.

His only trouble was that he couldn't count on his fingers!

I perceive that I am turning into the late Samuel Smiles; having given
you an example to imitate --- but don't forget your arithmetic! --- let me
initiate you into one of two other secrets of power!

Um --- will I now? Perhaps you're hardly grown up enough. I suspect
that your question contemplated not so much Power as powers: things
like healing the sick, making oneself invisible, kindling a flame with-
out combustibles, bewitching the neighbours' cows, spoiling your friend's
honeymoon, fascinations of all kinds, levitation, lycanthropy, necromancy,
all the regular stuff of the legends and the fables.

Most of these matters are discussed in _Magick_, so all I need tell
you is the correct general attitude to all such thaumaturgies.

The best excuse for trying to acquire them is that one learns such a
lot in the process. Otherwise ---

Here is another of those Eastern stories for you! A certain Yogi thought
it would be an admirable achievement to walk across the Ganges. After
forty years he succeeded, and went off to his Guru to demonstrate his
power, and receive his due meed of praise. It so happened that this
Guru was rather like myself, at least in he matter of his Nasty Temper;
and when the disciple came gaily striding back across the Sacred Stream,
expecting compliments, he was met with: "Well, I think you're a perfect
fool all these years, your neighbours have been going to and fro on a
raft for a couple of pice!"

The moral, dear child, is that such powers are never to be considered
as the main object; it ought in fact to be obvious from the start that
any one's True Will must be deeper and more comprehensive than any mere
technical achievement. I will go further and say that any such endea-
vour must be a magical mistake, like cherishing a gun or a clock or a
fishing-rod for its own sake, and not for the use that one can make of
it. Indeed, that remark goes to the root of the matter; for all these
powers, if we understand them properly, are natural by-products of one's

- 289 -

real Great Work. My own experience was very convincing on this point;
for one power after another came popping up when it was least wanted,
and I saw at once that they represented so many leaks in my boat. They
argued imperfect insulation.

And really they are quite a bit of a nuisance. Their possession is so
flattering, and their seduction so subtle. One understands at once
why all the first-class Teachers insist so sternly that the Siddhi (or
Iddhi) must be rejected firmly by the Aspirant, if he is not to be side-
tracked and ultimately lost.

Nevertheless, "even the evil germs of Matter may alike become useful
and good" as Zoroaster reminds us. For one thing, their possession is
indubitably a sheet-anchor, at the mercy of the hurricane of Doubt ---
doubt as to whether the whole business is not Tommy-rot!

Such moments are frequent, even when one has advanced to a stage when
Doubt would seem impossible; until you get there, you can have no idea
how bad it is!

Then, again, when these powers have sprung naturally and spontaneously
from the exercise of one's proper faculties in the Great Work, they
ought to be a little more than leaks. You ought to be able to organize
and control them in such wise that they are of actual assistance to you
in taking the Next Step. After all, what moral or magical difference
is there between the power of digesting one's food, and that of trans-
forming oneself into a hawk?

That being the case, let me transform myself into a butterfly, and flit
on to other honeysuckles!

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 290 -



Cara Soror,

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

In previous letters I hope I have been able to give you some idea of
the initiated conception of the Macrocosm, and also to have made it
clear to you why we must all use a symbolic language, and the necessity
of constructing a special alphabet as the basis of our conversations
about Magick.

I have also furnished you with charts of this alphabet. It would of
course have been too clumsy and cumbersome to put all the different
systems of symbol on to the Tree of Life. That Tree is indeed the basis
of all our classification, and I hope by now you have got fairly familiar
with the process of sticking everything that turns up on its correct
branch of the Tree.

In your last letter you thank me for having made clear to you the
initiated teaching with regard to the Universe; and you now very right-
ly enquire "this being so, where do we come it?" You hold up to me
one of the oldest axioms of the Qabalah. "That which is above is like
that which is below," and you ask me for details. What, you enquire,
is the constitution of Man? With what parts of the Great System is the
Little System to coincide?

Perhaps I could hardly do better than call your attention to the descrip-
tion given in my essay on Man in my small book _Little Essays Toward_

In some respects indeed this description is not as clear as I could
have wished. The fact is that this Essay was written chiefly for the
benefit of those people who were already more or less familiar with the
Tree of Life and its correspondences. But I do not know even to-day,
twenty years later, and writing as I am to you who admittedly had no
previous knowledge of any of these subjects, how to set forth the facts
in more elementary terms. I warned you in the beginning that there was
an essential difficulty in these studies which is not to be by-passed
or dodged in any way whatever.

But, after all, it is the same difficulty which every child finds when
he begins any study of any kind. In Latin, for instance, he is told
that _mensa_ means a table, that it belongs to the first declension and is
feminine. There is no why about any of this; no explanation is possible;
the child has to pick up the elements of the language one by one, taking
what he is taught on trust. And it is only after accumulating a vast
collection of unintelligible details that the jig-saw pieces fall into
place, and he finds himself able to construe the classical texts.

- 291 -

You must be patient; you must go over and over again everything that is
presented to you, and by obeying you will not only come to a clear com-
prehension of the subject, but find yourself automatically thinking in
the language which you have been at such pains to acquire.

I feel then that I must leave you with these descriptions and these
charts until painfully at first, but at the end with intense pride and
gratification, you find yourself spontaneously grasping the more complex
combinations of these letters and words which are the anatomy of the
body of our Learning.

And do not forget the old and well-worn saw: "Drink deep, or taste not
the Pierian Spring! --- A little learning is a dangerous thing."

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


- 292 -


{Description of full-page illustration that goes here:

(NB: This is the same diagram that was published in _The Book of Thoth_,
page 266)

A Kircher Tree of Life, perfectly proportioned andsurrounded by an elliptical
band with the words "NOTHING AIN 0 (and in Hebrew letters) Aleph Yod
Nunfinal" at the top bend. Above this elliptical band is an ellipsoidal
arc band extending off the page in the upper third and having "THE BOUNDLESS
AIN SOPH OO (in Hebrew letters) Aleph Yod Nunfinal Samekh Vau
Pehfinal". Above this ellipsoidal arc is another such ellipsoidal arc-band,
extending off the page in the upper quarter of he page and having "THE
BOUNDLESS LIGHT AIN SOPH AUR 000 (in Hebrew letters) Aleph Yod Nunfinal
Samekh Vau Pehfinal Aleph Vau Resh).
In the lower left corner of the page is a rectangle titled "FINAL FORMS".
In this rectangle, the five Hebrew final letters are listed in order as:
standard letter shape final letter shape --- numeric value of final.
In the lower portion of this rectangle, a large letter Aleph is place, with
a dash following it and the number "1000". In the same section with the
large letter Aleph, the following words appear in three lines: "LARGE
In that portion of the diagram which is the Tree of Life Proper, the
Sephiroth are thusly represented: As two concentric circles, leaving a band
between them proportioned such that the diameter of the inner circle is about
2/3 the diameter of the outer circle. The Arabic numeral representing each
Sephira is placed within the inner circle, and nothing else. The band formed
between the two circles contains the following, moving clockwise from nadir:
English translation of the name of the Sephira, Hebrew spelling of the name
of the Sephira, English transliteration of the Hebrew name of the Sephira.
In that portion of the diagram which is the Tree of Life Proper, the
Paths between the Sephiroth are thusly represented: As straight strips defined
by two parallel lines connecting the outer circumference of the appropriate
pairs of Sephiroth. These strips are approximately the same width as the bands
formed between the two circles that represent each Sephira. Where these
straight strips cross oneanother, the horizontal strip is not broken, but any
off-horizontal strip is cleanly covered. Each strip representing a path has
the following information displayed: To the "left", the English translation
of the Hebrew letter corresponding. To the "right", beginning at the left-
most space necessary to get it in: the Hebrew spelling of the letter name
in full, the English transliteration of the Hebrew spelling of the letter
name, the actual Hebrew letter, the numeric value of the Hebrew letter.
On the verticals, the part usually to the left is at the bottom.

end of description}

- 293 -


{Description of full-page illustration that goes here:

(NB: This is the same diagram that was published in _The Book of Thoth_,
page 270)

This diagram is graphically identical to the one on page 293, except:
no rectangle in the lower left and all the data has been striped and

The ellipsoidal band surrounding the Tree of Life has "TAO" inside at
its top. The ellipsoidal arc-bands have nothing in them.
There is no writing in the straight strips that represent the Paths.
Each Sephira is marked thusly: a symbol in the center portion (no numbers)
and a word or words in the circumferential band. Except for the top three,
the symbol is the Yi King trigram named in the band. The exceptions, for
the Sephira Kether, is a dot in the center instead of a trigram. The 2nd and
third contain single horizontal whole and broken lines for Yang and Yin.
By the numbers of the Sephiroth (numbers not shown on diagram), the following
words are placed in the bands in such manner that they can be read without
turning the head or the page:
Number of Sephira: Top of band: Bottom of Band:

(note that 5 and 7 are confusing, five is the Yang line at top and 7 is two
Yin lines at top)

Below the lowest Sephira and curved to fit against its outer circumference:

Dead center in the median line between Sephira 1 and Sephira 6 is placed a
dashed circle of the same size as the inner circle used to represent the
Sephiroth. There is no outer circle here. Inside this dashed circle is
the trigram composed of three Yang lines. Arced above this dashed circle is
"KHIEN". Arced immediately below this dashed circle is "HEAD LINGAM".
Arced next below this is "HEA VEN".

end of description}

- 294 -


{Description of full-page illustration that goes here:

(NB: This is the same diagram that was published in The Book of Thoth,
page 268)

This diagram is graphically identical to the one on page 293, except:
no rectangle in the lower left and all the data has been striped and

Nothing is written in the ellipsoidal bands.

The outer ring making up each Sephira contains identification of the
lesser trumps of Tarot corresponding, in the top arch; e.g. "THE FOUR ACES";
and in the bottom arch, only the following Sephiroth have any words:
1st "ALL 22 TRUMPS (ATU)
3rd "ALL CUPS"

The center circle making up each Sephira is blank, except for the following:

The strips representing the paths contain the following data, from left to
right, with exceptions noted below:
switch, but as given in _Liber 777_)
Exceptions: THE STAR is on the path of Heh
THE EMPEROR is on the path of Tzaddi.
for Beth -- THE MAGUS
for Taw --- THE UNIVERSE
------- otherwise, the traditional names are used for the Trumps, not
the Thoth deck names.

The lettering in the vertical strips starts at the lower end.
The lettering in the diagonal strips always starts to the left.

end of description}

- 295 -


{Description of full-page illustration that goes here:

(NB: This diagram appears to be an adaptation of an unknown original.
it appears to have been drafted with good amateur skills, and hand lettered
in the main. Some over-typing was done to add the Qabalistic souls.)

This is a Kircher Tree of Life in good general proportion as to the
shape, but with disproportionately large circles for the Sephiroth and
disproportionately thin strips for the Paths connecting the Sephiroth.

Nothing is written on or about the Paths.

The circles that represent the Sephiroth have a small concentric circle
inside, with the Arabic numeral corresponding to each Sephira. The top
arch of each Sephira holds the Hebrew letter name of the Sephira. The
bottom arch of each Sephira holds the English Transliteration (not
translation) of the Hebrew in the top arch.
Written in curved lines about each circle (Sephira) are the following
correspondences: Translation of Hebrew name (near the top) A.'.A.'. grade
title and A.'.A.'. numeric equate ----- these are not cleanly done, but at

A horizontal strip defined between two rows of dashes crosses between the
top three and bottom seven Sephiroth with the words "THE VEIL OF THE ABYSS".

A horizontal strip defined between two rows of dashes crosses between the
top six and bottom four Sephiroth with the words "THE VEIL OF PAROKETH"

The following terms for the Qabalistic Souls (or parts of the soul) are
placed near the following Sephiroth:

1st Jechidah
2nd Chiah
3rd Neschamah
5th-9th Ruach (indicated by a bracket)
9th Nephesch (indicated by an arrow)

The following terms for the four Qabalistic Worlds, letters of Tetragrammaton
and elemental triangles are associated with the following Sephiroth by a
cluttered system of brackets, arrows and simple proximity:

2nd "ATZILUTH ARCHETYPAL WORLD", Hebrew letter Yod, Fire Triangle
3rd "BRIAH CREATIVE WORLD", Hebrew letter Heh, Water Triangle
5th-9th "YETZIRAH FORMATIVE WORLD", Hebrew letter Vau, Air Triangle
10th "ASSIAH MATERIAL WORLD", Hebrew letter Heh-mapiq, Earth Triangle

(NB: This duplicates the G.'.D.'. confusion of the parts of the soul with
the four Qabalistic worlds --- as started by Mathers through misinterpretation
of traditional Qabalah. The error of omitting the sixth traditional part,
the Guff, is also perpetuated here. No big issue, but I'm picky.--- WEH)

At the lower left, the Hebrew words for Tree of Life are given in
Hebrew letters (Tzaddi Ayinfinal Chet Yod Yod Memfinal)

end of description}

- 296 -

{blank page?}

- 297 -



Cara Soror,

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

So you want me to tell you all about Vampires? Vampire yourself!

I ask you, how does this come within the scope of your enquiries? Is
this information essential to your Accomplishment of the Great Work?
As the Government might say "Is your journey really necessary?"

So musing, I rang you up for details. Vampires, you say, might be a
temptation to yourself, or they might sap your energy. Very good. I
will tell you the little I know.

Listen to Eliphas Lvi! He warns us against a type of person, fearless
and cold-blooded, who seems to have the power to cast a sudden chill,
merely by entering the room, upon the gayest party ever assembled.
Tte--tte, they shake one's resolution, kill one's enthusiasm, devi-
talize one's faith and courage.

Yes, we all know such people. Mercury, by the way, is the planet
responsible. I have examined a considerable number of nativities, both
of murderers and of people murdered; in both cases it was not a "male-
fic" that did the dirty work, but poor tiny innocent silvery-shining

"Fie for same, you naughty planet!
You're the blighter that began it."

is it not John Henry Newman that sang of Lucifer? I doubt it.

You, however, are thinking more of the vampire of romance. Bram Stoker's
_Dracula_ and its kindred. This is a splendidly well-documented book, by
the way; he got his "facts" and their legal and magical surroundings,
perfectly correct.

It is easy enough to laugh at vampires if you live in Upper Tooting, or
Surbiton, or one of those places where no self-respection Vampire would
wish to be seen. But in a lonely mountain village in Bulgaria you might
feel differently about it! You should remember, incidentally, that the
evidence for vampires is as strong as for pretty well anything else in
the world. There are innumerable records extant of legal proceedings
wherein the most sober, responsible, worthy and well-respected citizens,
including the advocates and judges, investigated case after case with
the utmost minuteness, with the most distinguished surgeons and anato-
mists to swear to the clinical details.

Endless is the list of well-attested cases of bodies dug up after months

- 298 -

of burial which have been found not merely flourishing with all the
lines of life, but gorged with fresh blood.

I cannot help feeling that all the superior-person explanations --- which
explain nothing --- about collective hysteria and superstition and wish
fulfillment and the rest of the current tomfool jargon, are just about
as hard to believe as the original straight forward stories.

The man who shook his head on being shown a giraffe, and said "I don't
believe it," is quite on a par with he pontifical wiseacres of Wimpole

It is egomaniac vanity that prompts disbelief in phenomena merely
because they lie outside the infinitesimally minute pilule of one's own
personal experience.

When I crossed the Burma-China frontier for the first time, who should
I meet but our Consul at Tengyueh, the admirable Litton, who had by
sheer brains and personality turned the whole province of Yunnan into
his own Vice-royalty? We lunched together on the grass, and I hastened
to dig into the goldmine of his knowledge of the country. About the
third or fourth thing he said to me was this: "Remember! whatever
anyone tells you about China is true." No words have ever impressed
me more deeply; they sank right in and were illuminated by daily
experience until they had justified themselves a thousand times over.

That goes for Vampires!

Oh yeah! (you vulgarly interpolate) and how does it go with the Master's
unfathomably sage discourse on Doubt.

Sister, you're loopy! Sister, if I may doubt all the people who have
been to Africa or the Zoo and seen that giraffe, why must I cling with
simple childlike trust to the people that say they've been all over
Hell and parts of Kansas, and haven't seen one, and _therefore_ such
things cannot possibly be? Of the two dogmatic assertions, I should
unquestionably prefer the positive statement to the negative.

In 1916, I was the first trained scientific observer to record the
appearance commonly called "St Elmo's fire" indiscreetly revealing
this fact in a letter to the _New York Times_. I was pestered for the
next six months and more by professors of physics (and the rest) from
all over the U.S.A. The Existence of the phenomenon had been doubted
until then because of certain theoretical difficulties. That, sister,
is the point. If a statement is hard to reconcile with the whole body
of evidence on the laws of the subject, it is rightly received with

A moment with great Huxley, and his illustration of the centaur in
Piccadilly, reported to him (he humorously hypothesizes) by Professor
Owen. What occasions Huxley's doubt, and inspires the questions by
means of which he seeks to confirm or to discredit it? Just this, no

- 299 -

more: here is the head and torso of a man fitted to the shoulders of
a horse; how are the mechanical adjustments effected?

In the same strain, he pointed out that for an angel to have practicable
wings as in Mediaeval pictures, the breast-bone would have to stand out
some five feet in front of the body. (The poor fellow, of course, was
densely ignorant of the mechanics of the Astral Plane. I am, for once,
"on the side of the angels".)*

Am I digressing again? no, not really; I am just putting forward a
case for keeping an open mind on the subject of Vampires, even of the
Clan Dracula.

But certainly there is little or no evidence of the existence of that
species in England.

How then is the subject in any way important to you? Thus, that there
are actually people running about all over the place, who actually
possess, and exercise, faculties similar to those mentioned by Lvi, but
in much greater intensity, even of a kind far more formidable, and
directed by malignant will.

There is a mighty volume of theory and practice concerning this and
cognate subjects which will be open to you when --- and if --- you attain
the VIII of O.T.O. and become Pontiff and Epopt of the Illuminati.
Further, when you enter the Sanctuary of the Gnosis --- oh boy! Or, more
accurately, oh girl!

Not that the O.T.O. is a Young Ladies' and Gentlemen's Seminary for
Tuition in Vampirism, with a Chair (hardly suitable) for Werwolves,
and Beds of Justice --- that sounds more apt --- for Incubi and Succubi;
far from it! But the forces of Nature employed in these presumably
abominable practices are similar or identical.

The doctrine of "Vital Force" has been so long and so completely
exploded that I hardly need to tell you that in some still undiscovered
(or, rather, unpublished) and unmeasured form it is certainly a fact.
Haven't I told you one time how we nearly starved on Iztaccihuatl with
dozens of tinned foods all round us, they being ancient; of how one
can get drunk on half a dozen oysters; of how the best meat I have
ever eaten is half-raw Himalyan sheep, cut up and thrown on the glow-
ing ashes before rigor mortis had set in? There _is_ a difference between
living and dead protoplasm, whether the chemist and his fellow twilight-
gropers admit it or no. I do not blame the ignorance of these fumblers
with frost-bitten fingers; but they make themselves conspicuously
assinine when they flaunt that ignorance as the Quintessence of Know-
ledge; Boeotian bombast!

There _are_ forms of Energy, their Order too subtle to have been properly

* For all that, they move without flapping them. As Swinburn says:
"Swift without feet, and flying without wings."

- 300 -

measured hitherto, which underlie and can, within certain limits, direct
the gross chemical and physical changes of the body. To deny this is
to be flung headlong into the arms of Animal Automatism. Huxley's argu-
ments for this theory are precisely like those of Bishop Berkeley:
unanswerable, but unconvincing. This letter is _not_, to every comma,
the ineluctable, apodeictic, automatic, reaction to the stimulus of
your question; and no one can persuade me that it is. Of course that
unpersuadability is equally a factor in the equation; it is quite use-
less to try to "answer back." Only, it's silly!

(And, in the meanwhile, the mathematical physicists are knocking the
bottom clean out of their ship by shewing that causality itself is
little more than a maniac's raving!)

So then, we may --- at least! --- get busy. It is easy enough to bore one's
neighbour --- look how I bore you! But that is usually an unintentional
business. Is it possible to intensify the devitalizing process, so as
to weaken the victim physically, perhaps even almost to the point of
death? Yes.

How? The traditional method is to get possession of some object or
substance intimately connected with the victim. On this you work magic-
ally so as to absorb its virtue. It is best if it was as recently as
possible part of his living tissue; for instance, a nail-paring, a
hair plucked from his head. Something still alive or nearly so, and
still part of the complex of energies that he included in his concep-
tion of his body.

Best of all are fluids and secretions, notably blood and one other of
supreme importance to the continuity of life. When you can get these
still alive to their function, it is best of all. That is why it is
not so highly recommended to tear out and devour the heart and liver
of your next-door neighbour; you have gone far to destroy just that
which is of most importance to you to keep alive.

Doubtless you will reply with some apparent justice, indeed most plaus-
ible is such ratiocination, that by taking into your own body, and so
preserving the life of, his heart and liver, the whole of his "vital
energies" will desert the sinking ship of the physical tissue, and
rush to the lifeboat provided by the vampire. Never forget that you
confer an inestimable benefit upon the victim by absorbing his lower
point of Energy into your higher. Read your _Magick_, Chapter XII!

You say this strongly, my dear Sister in the Lord; your thesis is
impeccably stated, your arguments are cogent, plangent, not to be
repeated. But --- this I pout to you most solemnly --- _what experimental_
_evidence do you adduce_? How many hearts, how many livers, have been
your spiritual sustenance? Have you excluded every source of error?
Have you --- here, you know the routine; write it all down and send it
along to be vetted!

Be that as it may, I once knew a lady of some seventy summers. She

- 301 -

came of a noble Polish family; she was short, sturdy, rather plump but
singularly agile; good-looking in a brutal sort of way. But --- her eyes!
For fifty years she had lived nearly all the year round in her chateau
in Touraine. She had plenty of money, and had always surrounded her-
self with a dozen or more boys and young men. (By young I mean up to
forty). She not only looked twenty-five but she lived twenty-five. It
was a genuine, natural, spontaneous twenty-five, not a gallant effort.
She would dance the night through and go a long walk in the morning.
You may apply to her for details of the treatment; I dare say she is
still about, thought I did hear that she moved to South America when she
saw 1914 coming. In any case, you have had some fairly plain hints so
I can say in all simplicity, "Go thou and do likewise!"

I think my old friend Claude Farrre had more than an inkling of these
matters; the idea of using young cellular tissue to fortify the old
is plainly stated in _La maison des hommes vivants_; but as to the
method of transmission his water was drawn form Wells (H. G.)

After that --- you will agree that I have written enough.

Love is the law, love under will.



- 302 -



Cara Soror,

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

Dear me! dear me! this is very unexpected. I wrote you a long while
ago about doubt, and now I suppose the seed fell in fertile ground! My
chaste remarks have prompted a new question "arising out of the previous
answer, Sir."

You point out quite correctly that the doubt of which I wrote in pas-
sages of such burning eloquence is after all what used to be called
"philosophic" doubt; and by "philosophic" people apparently meant
something rather Like "Pickwickians."

Not the genuine McCoy, determining action, but --- well, rather like
scoring points in an intellectual game.

Now then (_air connu_) what _is_ Faith? There are two kinds; and they
are almost exact opposites. (N.B. The word is allied to Bide: there's
some idea of endurance (or perhaps repose) in it. Cf Peter!?!?!?)
Then the third kind, which is moral, not intellectual; as in "good
faith," _bona fide_, yours faithfully; and this is probably the hall-
marked sense, for it implies just that endurance which goes with bide,
and is not dependent in any way upon reason or conviction. This then
I may dismiss as impertinent to the question in your letter, and stick
to the other two.

Faith in its Meaning Number One was perfectly well defined by the
schoolboy: "the faculty of believing that which we know to be untrue."
It is at least the acceptance of any statement as true without criticism,
examination, verification, or any other method of test. Faith of this
sort is evidently the main symptom of the moron, the half-wit, the
village idiot. It is this kind of faith upon the possession and exer-
cise of which religious persons always insist as the first condition
of salvation.

Here is my own lamentable foresight on the subject!

"The Convert"

(A Hundred Years Hence)

There met one eve in a sylvan glade
A horrible Man and a beautiful maid.
"Where are you going so meek and holy?"
"I'm going to temple to worship Crowley."
"Crowley is God then? How did you know?"
"Why, it's Captain Fuller that told us so."

- 303 -

"And how do you know that Fuller was right?"
"I'm afraid you're a wicked man; good-night."

While this sort of thing is styled success
I shall not count failure bitterness.

sometimes, note well! they are even frank about it, and say plainly
that there would be no merit in it if there were any reasonable basis
for it! This position is at the worst both honest and intelligible;
the only trouble is that there is no possible means of deciding which
to two conflicting statements to accept.

In faith of this kind there are of course in practice delicately shaded
degrees; these depend mostly upon the authority of the speaker and
your relations with, and opinion of, him. In practice, moreover, faith
is usually tinged --- should I say clouded? --- by questions of probability.
I see no need to weary you with examples of varying degrees; it is
enough to dismiss the subject with the remark that faith is not true
faith if any considerations of any kind sully its virgin nullity.

To prop faith is to destroy it: I am reminded of Mr. Harry Price's
young lady of Brocken fame, who was so timorously careful of her
virginity that she never felt it safe unless she had a man in bed with

What is the other kind of faith? Like its hostile twin, it must have
no truck with reason, at least no conscious truck, or it ceases to
possess a moral meaning. It is that confidence* in oneself which
assures one that the long shot at the tiger will fly true to the mark,
that the tricky putt will go down, that the man one never beat before
will go down this time; also its horrid contrary, the moral certainty
that something will go wrong, even with the easiest problems, with one
hundred to one in one's favour.

I think the official answer is that one's certainty is in reality based
upon subconscious calculation, so that faith has nothing whatever to do
with it. If there is any answer to this, I don't know it.

After all, that is neither here nor there; there is but one material
issue: how to acquire that kind of faith. Suppose we hunt it up in
that precious _Book of Lies_! Any luck? Sure, kiddums, here we are!

"Steeped Horsehair"

Mind is a disease of semen.
All that a man is or may be is hidden therein
Bodily functions are parts of the machine;
silent, unless in disease.
But mind, never at ease, creaketh 'I',

* "Confidence" = _cum_, with; _fidere_, to trust = to trust fully. This
confidence of which I write is usually a sort of "hunch".

- 304 -

This I persisteth not, posteth not through generations,
changeth momently, finally is dead.
Therefore is man only himself when lost to himself in
The Charioting.

Nothing in that to contradict the official view, is there? Nothing in
biology either.

Or in Blake:

"If the Sun and Moon should doubt"
"They'd immediately go out."

Or in that other chapter of the _Book of Lies_:

"The Mountaineer"

Consciousness is a symptom of disease.
All that moves well moves without will.
All skilfullness, all strain, all intention is
contrary to ease.
Practise a thousand times, and it becomes difficult;
a thousand, thousand, and it becomes easy; a
thousand, thousand times a thousand thousand, and
it is no longer Thou that doeth it, but It that
doeth itself through thee. Not until then is that
which is done well done.
Thus spoke FRATER PERDURABO as he leapt from rock to
rock of the moraine without ever casting his eyes
upon the ground.

Or in _The Book of the Law_. You know the passage well enough.

Conclusion: this discussion has for ever abolished the use of the
word faith to imply conscious belief of any sort.

At least, if there should ever be an element of awareness, it is of
the nature of a sudden leap into daylight of the quintessence of a
mass of subconsciously selected and ordered experience.

Then what, if you please, did Paul mean when he wrote "Faith is the
substance of things hoped-for, the evidence of things unseen." Oh,
spot the Lady!

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours etc.

P.S. Don't take any wooden money.

P.P.S. I have a marvelous proposition for you; I wouldn't let in
anyone on it but my very best friend: there's a man in San Luis Potosi

- 305 -

in a mine there; he stole about $20,000 worth of gold dust and now
he's afraid to get rid of it, but he knows I'm safe and knows how to
handle it and I've been his very best friend for twenty years, and he's
as straight as a die, and I know he'd let us have it for $10,000 and
I've only got $4,000 --- and that is where _you_ come in!

- 306 -



Cara Soror,

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

Maybe it was Devanagri that began it! This "sacred" character, used
rightly for Sanskrit alone, is supposed (so Allan Bennett told me) to
be constructed on --- can one call them ideographic? --- principles. The
upright line is the soft palate; the horizontal the hard; and the
line between them shows the position of the tongue when one pronounces
the letter. He demonstrated this most elegantly for the letter T ({Sanskrit letter here: the "dental surd" consonant, not the
lingual. It is shaped a bit like a Dalet rotated about the vertical with a hook coming out from the vertical toward the left
and descending down toward the base. Crowley uses a "F" shape rotated about it's vertical and having the lower horizontal droop
downward. Better look it up. It's the only "dental surd consonant"});
but I was never able to follow this up with most of the other fifty-
five (isn't it?) letters.

However, it did start me thinking (why?) about the possibility of a
direct relation between the sound of a letter and its meaning in some
primitive manner of speech.

So I used to alarm my fellow-citizens, usually passengers on a liner,
by spending most of my time repeating some unhappy letter over and over,
while I looked into my mind to see if the sound suggested any particular
idea. (It was rather fun, you know; but it was most certainly one of
the most delicate, subtle, and difficult experiments that I have ever

Bound to flop, obviously, from the word "gun", if only because the same-
sounding word in different languages --- sometimes even in the same! --- has
often not merely diverse, but diametrically opposed meanings. Think of
Bog, or Bug, the Russian word for God (I do think "Bogey" comes from
this, though!); think of the dam of a stream, and of a young thing, and
damn. Think of all the different kinds of box and cock and rock. (G.
K. Chesterton must have made tens of thousands of pounds out of it!)
Think of "let", meaning both to prevent and to allow. Think of "check"
to a chess-player, a banker, a draper, a waitress, a fox-hunter and a

The importance of all this: I'm sure I've told you how Thoth, God of
all Magick, the Wisdom and the Word, is usually shown with style and
papyrus, as inventor of writing, which is the real Magical Art. Hence
"grimoire" is nothing but grammar; to cast a "spell" explains itself;
and the Angel (e.g. of a Church, see Revelations I, II) was merely the

Never mind! I was thinking of language in its (supposed) primal state,
when grunts and groans and moans and yells and squeaks and the like were
the nearest anybody ever got to:

"Sweet articulate words
Sweetly divided apart."

- 307 -

And yet I persisted. I wanted to go right back, before letters were
put together to make words at all. This is, I believe, almost wholly
original work, though I'm not sure that Fabre d'Olibet didn't skate
round the edges.

I put to myself this question: when I pronounce the letter so-and-so,
what thought or class of thought tends to arise in my mind? (If you
practise this in public, people may wonder!)

With the vowels, one does seem to find a natural correspondence. (I
wrote a ballet "The Blind Prophet" on these lines, long before it
struck me to investigate on scientific lines). The Hindus knew this
with their A-U-M: A is the open breath, O the controlled force, M no
breath at all. (See _Magick_, pp. 45-49). To me I is a shrill feminine
sound, as O is the roar of the male. U is pursed, E hardly significant.

As to Magick, the Gnostics were _chili con carne_ plus _molten platinum_
plus a few girls I have known on the vowels. Their incantations con-
sist almost entirely of combinations of these. Seven at a time is
very frequent; in fact it seems sometimes as if their theurgy depended
on variations of these combinations. Their theology, too. Never mind
that just now!

But the consonants? That is a harder nut to crack.

Students of language have been accustomed to group the consonants
exactly as we now happen to require. Here, in brief, is the list:
Dentals, Labials, Gutturals.

Various modifications extend them to fifty-nine and there are twenty-
seven vowels. I shall naturally concern myself only with those that
matter to the subject: in practice, the twenty-two letters of the
Hebrew Alphabet will serve for this preliminary study, especially as
in that case, we have already the attributions. I will begin by
classing them.

_Gutturals_: 1. G. Luna. {Option to included the actual letters}
2. Ch. Cancer, house of Luna; Jupiter here exalted.
3. K. Jupiter.
4. Q. Pisces, house of Jupiter. Atu XVII "The Moon."

You will note that either Jupiter or Luna occurs in every case; in two,
doubly. Guttur, moreover, is the Latin word for throat. Both planets
emphasize the soft open expansive aspects of Nature; they both refer
accordingly to the feminine throat, the tube either of present or of
future Life. (Jupiter, when in Sagittarius, has an aggressive, master-
ful, male side; but his letter when there is Samekh.) Now pronounce
these letters; observe the motions of opening and expulsion of the
breath. Well, then, you will no longer wonder at that list we had in
another letter of the words Cwm, coombe, quean, queen, and so on; also
(?) quill, queer, quaintest, curious, (?) quick, (?) quince: especially
with the U vowel, which sounds prehensile, ready to suck. Kupris (or

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Ctytto) the Greek or Syrian Aphrodite-Venus, is the outstanding example
in Theogony.

But, you ask, what has all this to do with the Gods? Patience, child;
this will develop as we proceed. Let us look at the dentals. These,
for the profane scholar, include the "sibilants," and "liquids."

_Dentals_: 1. D. Venus. {Option to include Hebrew letters}
2. Z. Gemini, house of Mercury.
3. T. Leo, house of Sol.
4. L. Libra, house of Venus; Saturn here exalted.
5. M. Water.
6. N. Scorpio, house of Mars.
7. S. Sagittarius, house of Jupiter.
8. R. Sol.
9. Sh. Fire.
10. Th. Saturn; the Earth.

Here, we see at one glance, there is no such simple obvious relation-
ship, as in the previous list. Nor indeed is there, to _my_ ear, any
close connection in the sounds.

Better luck, perhaps, with the last lot.

_Labials_: 1. B. Mercury. {Option to include Hebrew letters}
2. V. (or F{Gk: Digamma}) Vau. House of Venus; Luna exalted therein.
3. P. Mars.

Not a bit of it; almost worse than before. Here, then, I say it,
weeping, with agonized reluctance, the Holy Qabalah has let us down
with a bump! (It did look, too, didn't it, as if it was all going to
go so miraculously well!)

All is not lost --- not even honour! Suppose you reflect that (after all)
Hebrew is a late language, invented; far, far removed from the primi-
tive grunts and groans (with their corresponding motions) that we set
out to study. Let us take the high hand, and say that the Guttural
Correspondence doesn't rime with anything, that it is just an amazing
piece of sheer luck: nay, that it should serve us as a warning not to
be led away like Macbeth --- you remember how Banquo warned him that

"Oftentimes, to win us to our harms,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us
in deepest consequence."

--- and breaks off abruptly to speak with his cousins.

Never forget the abiding temptation of men of science, the hidden rocks
on which so many have been wrecked, to generalize on insufficient data.
May the gods keep us from that! I dread it more than all the other
snags put together.

- 309 -

With all due caution, therefore, let us attack our puzzle from the
other end; let us see what astral experiment tells us about the phil-
ology of it!

Good! We'll call it D-Day and drop our paratroops. D is a sharp,
sudden, forceful explosive sound, cut off smartly. Now then I can't
tell whether you will connect this with ejaculation, with the idea of
paternity. Whether or no, a vast number of people did so in the dawn
of speech. Even to-day children seem instinctively to say "Dad" for
"Father," though no allowance can be made for cases of mistaken iden-
tity. And the most ancient Father-Gods of the oldest and simplest
civilizations are thus named. In Sumer He was AD, or ADAD, whence the
later Egyptian Hadit, and the Semitic Adonai. (There are also words
like AVD, the creative Magick). So also the Greeks in Syria knew
Adonis, and the Latin Deus is itself the general word for God. Again,
Valhalla houses Odin, Woden; and there are others. When the dental
is complicated to a sibilant, as we shall see later, another idea is
introduced; while the lightening of the sound to T has yet another

Sanskrit also helps us with such roots as DETH, to show, DAM, to tame,
DEVK, to lead, DHEIGH, to knead, mould, DHER, to support, DO, to give,
DHE, to put and a while group of words like Deva, a divine being.

But that comes later: meanwhile, practise pronouncing these names,
as also English words such as Do, Deed, Dare, Drive, Doubt, Dig, Dog,
Dive, Duck, Dub while exploring the Abyss of your mind, and see whether
you do not soon associate the D-sound with a swift, hard, definite,
fertile and completed act. For a fair test, take only the oldest and
simplest words, words which might naturally be wanted in the Stone Age.

The next sound-group to be considered may conveniently be N. Here at
once we have innumberable Gods and Goddesses flocking up: Nw, Nuit,
Ann, Noah, John, Oannes, On, Jonah, _et al_. With the exception of On,
a special case, all these divine or semi-divine Beings refer to the
Night, the Starry Heavens, the Element of Water, the North, the Mother-
Goddess, as appears when we consider their legends and rituals. N,
Nun, means a fish and refers to the water sign of Scorpio. (Note,
later when we reach Sh, that Joshua was the Son of Nun.) To me the
sound gives the idea of a continuum, an eternal movement; and this is
of course our Thelemic conception of the Universe, the "Star-sponge,"
of which I have elsewhere written at such length.

But at the moment I am especially desirous that you should compare and
contrast this letter with the S Sound. (S or Sh combined with T is
discussed rather fully in _Magick_, pp. 336-8) You should find it child's
play to determine the significance of the sibilant. It is the one
letter which necessitates the exposure of the skeleton! (I.g., the
Subconscious). Hence "Hush!" it is the hiss of the snake, great Lord
of Life and Death --- (life? yes, the spermatozoon, child!) "Silence!
Danger! There is a _man_ somewhere about." The savage reaction. And,
sure enough, Ish is the Hebrew for man (Mankind is ADM, Adam, Sanskrit

- 310 -

_Admi_, the Father and Mother conjoined. "Male and Female created They

The S-gods are innumerable. Asar (Asi, Isis, is his female twin)
Astarte, Ishtar or Ashtoreth, Set, Saturn, Shu, Zeus, (into whom the
D intrudes, because S is the male as N the female, and D the father as
M the mother) and the Jesus group. Here is the idea of the South, or
East, both quarters referring, in ways very slightly divergent, to the
element of Fire, the Sun, the Father-God in his aspect as the Holy
Ghost. The ancient tradition appears in the Gospels: the Lesser
Mysteries of John, beheaded with the Sword, and consumed on a Disk,
and the Greater Mysteries of Jesus, pierced with a Wand, and consumed
in a Cup. All same Tarot!

I am not at all sure how far it is wise to take this letter. To make
it complete, we should need a Book about three times the size of _The_
_Book of Thoth_, and I should want another half-century of research
before I started to write it! As this seems for divers reasons a
little awkward in practice, I am rather afraid that we must content
ourselves with this very sketchy account: always, when one touches
the subject, one "goes all woolly." One lacks not only completeness,
but precision. Then there is the "over-lapping" nuisance, and the
fact that the natures and the names of the Gods change slowly as time
goes by. The confusion! The contradictions! I could wish to be the
proverbial bargee. Oh! I could go on making excuses for another
hour! I can't be helped; and I feel that I shall have rendered you
quite a bit of service by calling your attention to the existence of
the subject, by stimulating you to research, by suggesting certain
potential lines on which to attack the same, and perhaps even by
giving you a few tips which you may find useful in practical Magick.

The subject is closely bound up with Mantra-Yoga, and with Invocation.
You will doubtless have noticed (for instance) that many chapters of
the _Q'uran_ have the letter L for a leit-motif. Islam attaches immense
importance to this liquid L, as it appears in Allah (compare the
Hebrew L-Gods, AL, Aloah, Elohim, A'alion, etc., and look up the L-
idea in your _Book of Thoth_, and in _Magick_, pp. 331 sqq.) and other
peculiarly sacred names and words.

Before cursing my way to dinner --- oh! how I hate the need of food
unless I am practising the "Ninth Art" and disguise myself as a gourmet
--- I must mention the letter M. This is the only letter that can be
pronounced with the lips firmly closed; it is the beginning of speech,
and so the Mother of the Alphabet. (Distinguish from N, the letter of
the Female). Look up _Magick_ again; Chapter VII (pp. 45-49) gives a
good account of M in discussing AUM. Note, too, the root MU "to be
silent," form which we have the words Mystic, Mystery and others. As
the letter of the Mother it appears to this day in nature everywhere,
the first call of the child to "Mamma." In nearly every language,
moreover, the word for Mother is based on M. Madar, Mere, Mutter, Umm,
AMA or AIMA and the rest.

- 311 -

The vibrant R suggests light-rays: Ra, the Sun; the labials bring to
mind the curves in Nature --- you will soon discover the words with a
few little experiments; the T is a D, only lighter, quicker and younger
--- and so Good-night!

Love is the law, love under will.



- 312 -



Cara Soror,

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

It was at Dover. I had passed the Customs Inspector. Turning back, I
said: "But perhaps I ought to have declared my Browning?" Much agi-
tated, he muttered: "How ever did I come to miss that?" and began all
over again. I helped him out: "You see, you were thinking of pistols,
I of poetry." (There is a lesson in that!)

And now you --- of all people! --- fire him off at me. "Gold Hair you
write; "what about R.B's defence of Christianity?" You mean, of course,

"'Tis the faith that launched point-blank its dart
At the head of a lie, taught Original Sin,
The corruption of man's heart."

It is impossible to commit all the possible logical errors in the course
of a single syllogism; but he has an honest try.

1. It's not a man's heart, but a girl's.
2. He argues from an extravagantly rose case of aberration as if
it were an universal rule.
3. All his premises are false; and even at that, defective.
4. Non distributio medii.
5. Ignoratio elenchi
6. Need I go on?

For one thing, I have yet to learn who told the "lie." It was not
until Rousseau that we had the nonsense about the "noble savage." But
it is at least true that man's deepest instincts, being natural and
necessary, are, for him, "right." It _is_ true that an artificial society
creates artificial crimes; but this is not "Original" Sin; on the
contrary. What's that you say?

I laugh! I wondered when you were going to pull me up, and send me
packing to my Skeat about what "Sin" means. O.K. Police routine does
beat the gifted amateur. Sin, astonishingly, means _real_! Curtius tells
us "Language regards the guilty man as the man _who it was_." Then, what
is "guilt"? A.S. gylt, trespass; in our own Thelemic language, "devia-
tion from (especially in the matter of excess, _trespasser_) the True
Will. Please take notice that most of the words which denote misconduct
imply wandering, either from the home or from the path: error, debauch,
wrong (=twisted), wry, evil (excessive) _detraquer_, go astray, and
several others. So I too leap into the breach with Curtius, and point
out that "Language itself asserts the doctrine of the True Will." But
what says _The Book of the Law_? It is at pains to define Sin in plain
terms: "The word of Sin is Restriction. ..." (AL I, 41). From the context

- 313 -

it seems clear that this refers more especially to interference with
the will of another.

This statement is the first need of the world to-day for we are plagued
with Meddlesome Matties, male and female, whose one overmastering
passion is to mind other peoples' business. They can think of nothing
but "control." They aim at an Ethic like that of the convict Prison;
at a civilization like that of the Bees or the Termites. But neither
history nor biology acquaint us with any form of progress achieved by
any of these communities. Penal settlements and Pall Mall Clubs have
not even made provision for the perpetuation of their species; and all
such "well-ordered" establishments are quite evidently defenceless
against any serious change in their environment. They have failed to
comply with the first requirements of biology; at best, they stagnate,
they achieve nothing, they never "get anywhere."

A settled society is useful at certain periods; when, for instance, it
is advisable to consolidate the gains gotten by pioneer adventurers;
but history shows with appalling clarity that the very qualities which
serve to protect must inevitably destroy the very conditions which
they aim to preserve.

Hey! Hasn't the dear old _Book of Lies_ got its word on the subject?

Never known to fail!

"The Wound of Amfortas"

The Self-mastery of Percivale became the Self-Masturbatery
of the Bourgeois.
Vir-tus has become "virtue".
The qualities which have made a man, a race, a city, a caste,
must be thrown off; death is the penalty of failure.
As it is written: In the hour of success sacrifice that
which is dearest to thee unto the Infernal gods!
The Englishmen lives upon the excrement of his forefathers.
All moral codes are worthless in themselves; yet in every
_new_ code there is hope. Provided always that the code
is not changed because it is too hard but because it is
The dead dog floats with the stream; in puritan France the
best women are harlots; in vicious England the best
women are virgins.
If only the Archbishop of Canterbury were to go naked in the
streets and beg his bread!
The new Christ, like the old, is the friend of publicans and
sinners; because his nature is ascetic.
O if everyman did No Matter What, provided that it is the one
thing that he will not and cannot do.

That settles it.

- 314 -

We do progress; but how? Not by the tinkering of the meliorist; not
by the crushing of initiative; not by laws and regulations which
hamstring the racehorse, and handcuff the boxer; but by the innova-
tions of the eccentric, by the phantasies of the hashish-dreamer of
philosophy, by the aspirations of the idealist to the impossible, by
the imagination of the revolutionary, by the perilous adventure of
the pioneer. Progress is by leaps and bounds, but breaking from custom,
by working on untried experiments; in short, by the follies and crimes
of men of genius, only recognizable as wisdom and virtue after they
have been tortured to death, and their murderers reap gloatingly the
harvest of the seeds they sowed at midnight.

Damn it! All this is so trite that I am half ashamed to write it;
and yet --- everyone acquiesces with a smile, and goes off to vote
another set of fetters for his feet!

Sin? This is the sin of sins: Restriction. All boots from the one
last: all beautifully polished on parade; the March of Time will find
not much but hobbling!

More of this when I answer your letter (just in as I drew rein to read
this over) about Education.

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. On reading this, I note that I passed over with deserved contempt
the theory of "original sin" in the sense which you probably meant me
to take: the defect deliberately implanted in man by "Old Nobodaddy"
with no better object than to prepare the grotesquely tragic farce of
the "Atonement." I will merely remark that no idea at once so base and
so contemptible, so bestial and so idiotic, can challenge its ignoble

Rotten with sex-perversion, it is a noisome blend of sadism and maso-
chism based on the most abject form of fear.

The only argument for it is that it ever did exist; but it does _not_
exist for wholesome minds.

- 315 -

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