Liber L., Cap. 1, vv. 50-59

50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59  
1-9   10-19   20-30   31-39   40-49   60-66  

50. There is a word to say about the Hierophantic task. Behold! there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest. Thus ye have star & star[,] system & system[;] let not one know well the other.

The final verse in the series describing and defining the Order. (I have been unable to discern whether these last ten verses reflect more clearly Heh or Tzaddi.)

These three levels of Ordeals are often given concurrently, often in the same situation. That is, one is tested in Nephesh, Ruach, and Neshamah. They are by no means sequential; but, according to one's level of spiritual maturity, one will (on different occasions) be more or less aware of one level or another.

My brother, the T.H., T.I., & T.I. Fra. Hymenaeus Beta, who is also Frater Superior of O.T.O., once expressed to me the view that these "three ways" refer to the three Grades of H., L., and M.E. Within the identically named "Triads" in O.T.O., it is a good theoretical fit, and may even have been intentional on AC's part. Thus, the Man of Earth (0°-P.'.I.'.) works through a kundalini or chakra symbolism, and in other ways is passed "through fire." The Lovers (V°- VII°) should be "tried in intellect." The Hermit (VIII°-X°) should respond to... something higher. It is a good theory, and probably should be tried by them.

In real life — which is never so formal — I reassert that these ordeals are more typically concurrent and overlapping.

And underneath it all is the important and necessary understand that, where ordeals are concerned, there is no common rule for all. Each is unique in its own way. Each star — each being — ultimately has its own "system" (no matter how similar the outer plan or form looks). And, "let not one know well the other!" This is the basic formula of the Probationert of A.'.A.'..

Having discussed the form of the Order in vv. 31-50, a new phase is introduced with v. 51. By theory, vv. 51-60 should correspond symbolically either to Peh or to Vav. These verses begin by explaining the essential inner disciplines of the new system, and something of the results. The details of the worship of Nuit begin to be given, and are completed in the decade following. (4/5/95 EV)

51. There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold, lapis lazuli & jasper are there, and all rare scents jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in turn or at once the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the palace. Will he not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But there are means and means. Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam. Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will. But always unto me.

(Kether verse of the Vav section, marked by Amn.)

This extraordinary verse is subject to much potential interpretation. I have long felt sure that I know what it means. It describes a temple of Tiphereth, of the Sun, the Inner Sanctum of each and all. The “four gates” are the solar quarters — the “gates” of Liber Resh or (in the alternative) as in the Portal Ritual. (These two views are synthesized in the Opening of Liber CXX.)

Here is the wedding of the Sun and Moon in the sacrament of Samekh. The floor is of silver and gold. Jasmine and rose correspond to Yesod and Tiphereth. The “emblems of death” are also those of the Rosy Cross (and, I suppose, also the emblems of The Devil and Death, Atus XV and XIII). Each initiate enters these four gates “in turn or at once.”

“Amn” is, of course, AMN = 91; but it veils a secret Tetragrammaton (these “four gates”) because, with Nun-final, it enumerates to 741 = A M Sh Th, the letters attributed to the Four Elements.

The aspirant, in attaining to this palace, is to “stand,” and is apparently admonished not to “sink” (as on bent knee or in prostration). Then again, the remainder may be saying that, after all, there are many valid approaches.

Who is the “warrior”? The “warrior lord” was mentioned in v. 5, and there I believed it to refer to Horus. Although there has been prior mention of the servants of Nuit, here we first encounter reference to what is likely the servant of Horus. Why is this phrase here? Is it a mock, a query, or what?

GEMATRIA: AMN is 91 or 741, Kether and/or the Four Elements (A, M, Sh, Th). “Ho” may be HV, 11.

But we are then advised, for the first time, of the ways of worshiping Nuit. We are to take pleasure in every way, including in love (so long as it conforms to will), “But always unto me.” (4/5/95 EV; amended slightly 11/13/03 EV)

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

The general sense is completely clear, even if the details are not.

The last verse concluded that every love and every other pleasure is permitted and encouraged if it be but unto Nuit, an act holy and devoted. The present verse discusses the consequences if this is not so. These are self-inflicting penalties, the purest karma, and are labeled as the “direful judgments” of R.H.K.

I have no idea what “space-marks” are. They appear to refer to perceptions of duality. The essential thing is that “the ritual” — any act soever — be ever unto Nuit.

AC goes on for many pages in his N.C. Among the most interesting of his remarks: He summarizes a “general rule” whereby love may be celebrated “in full conformity with the principles here enunciated.”

He will choose the object of his passion at the nod of his Silent Self. He will not allow the prejudice, either of sense, emotion, or rational judgement, to obscure the Sun of his Soul. In the first place, mutual magnetism, despite the masks of mind, should be unmistakable. Unless it exists, a puissant purity of passion, there is no Magical basis for the Sacrament. Yet, such magnetism is only the first condition. Where two people become intimate, each crisis of satisfaction between the terminals leaves them in a proximity which demands mutual observation; and the intense clarity of the mind which results from the discharge of the electric force makes such observation abnormally critical. The higher the type of mind, the more certain this is, and the greater the danger of finding some antipathetic trifle which experience tells us will one day be the only thing left to observe; just as a wart on the nose is remembered when the rest of the face is forgotten.

The object of Love must therefore be one with the lover in something more than the Will to unite magnetically; it must be in passionate partnership with the Will of which the Will-to-love is only the Magical symbol. Perhaps no two wills can be identical, but at least they can be so sympathetic that the manifestations are not likely to clash. It is not enough to have a partner of the passive type who bleats “Thy will is done” — that ends in contempt, boredom, and distrust. One wants a passion that can blend with one's own. Where this is the case, it does not matter so much whether the mental expression is syndromic; it is, indeed, better when two entirely different worlds of thought and experience have led to sister conclusions. But it is essential that the habit of mind should be sympathetic, that the machinery should be constructed on similar principles. The psychology of the one should be intelligible to the other.

Social position and physical appearance and habits are of far less importance, especially in a society which has accepted the Law of Thelema. Tolerance itself produces suavity, and suavity soon relieves the strain on tolerance. In any case, most people, especially women, adapt themselves adroitly enough to their environment. I say “Especially women,” for women are nearly always conscious of an important part of their true Will: the bearing of children. To them, nothing else is serious in comparison, and they dismiss questions which do not bear on this as trifles, adopting the habits required of them in the interest of the domestic harmony which they recognize as a condition favourable to reproduction.

I have outlined ideal conditions. Rarely indeed can we realize even a third of our possibilities. Our Magical engine is mighty indeed when its efficiency reaches 50% of its theoretical horse-power. But the enormous majority of mankind have no idea whatever of taking Love as a sacred and serious thing, of using the eye of the microscopist, or the heart and brain of the artist. Their ignorance and their shame have made Love a carcass of pestilence; and Love has avenged the outrage by crushing their lives when they pull down the temple upon them.

The chance of finding a suitable object of Love has been reduced well nigh to zero by substituting for the actual conditions, as stated in the above paragraphs, a totally artificial and irrelevant series; the restrictions on the act itself, marriage, opinion, the conspiracy of silence, criminal laws, financial fetters, selections limited by questions of race, nationality, caste, religion, social and political cliqueishness, even family exclu siveness. Out of the millions of humanity the average person is lucky if he can take his pick of a couple of score of partners.

...we of Thelema, like the artist, the true lover of Love, shameless and fearless, seeing God face to face alike in our own souls within and in all Nature without, though we use, as the bourgeois does, the word Love, we hold not the word “too often profaned for us to profane it;” it burns inviolate in its sanctuary, being reborn immaculate with every breath of life. But by “Love” we mean a thing which the eye of the bourgeois hath not seen, nor his ear heard; neither hath his heart conceived it. We have accepted Love as the meaning of Change, Change being the Life of all Matter soever in the Universe. And we have accepted Love as the mode of Motion of the Will to Change. To us every act, as implying Change, is an act of Love. Life is a dance of delight, its rhythm an infinite rapture that never can weary or stale. Our personal pleasure in it is derived not only from our own part in it, but from our conscious apprehension of its total perfections. We study its structure, we expand ourselves as we lose ourselves in understanding it, and so becoming one with it. With the Egyptian initiate we exclaim and add the antistrophe: “There is no part of the Gods that is not also of us.”

Therefore, the Love that is Law is not less Love in the petty personal sense; for Love that makes two One is the engine whereby even the final Two, Self and Not-Self, may become One, in the mystic marriage of the Bride, the Soul, with Him appointed from eternity to espouse her; yea, even the Most High, God All-in-All, the Truth.

(4/5/95 EV; amended slightly 11/13/03 EV)

53. This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss. Also, o scribe and prophet though thou be of the princes it shall not assuage thee nor absolve thee. But ecstasy be thine and joy of earth: ever To me To me.

This attitude — this sanctification of enjoyment — is said to be the regeneration of the world; and, indeed, it may eventually do this. But the magnitude of the social changes necessary seem overwhelming. The gain is centuries away. In the meantime, the best we can do is for each person individually to make this commitment.

And, on inspection, we find that this may have been the intent all along. The words “little world” are literal for microcosm. It is not (it would seem) this planet, but each microcosm that Nuit references as Her “sister.” Whether the physical body is meant, or the PsYXH [psyche], it is the microcosm’s regeneration which is here intended and described.

If this is true, then the foregoing verses on the sanctification of pleasure — an enhancement of the basic practice of mindfulness — is the technical regenerative method of the Great Work.

This microcosm — if we here interpret correctly — is then referred to as “my heart & my tongue.” In verse 6, each of us was admonished to “be... Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue,” so we are on the right track.

GEMATRIA: The microcosm is referred to as “my heart & my tongue.” In Latin, “heart” + “tongue” = cor + lingua = 90. “heart & tongue” = cor et lingua = 113. In Hebrew, “my heart & my tongue” would be LBY VLShVNY = 444.

113 is interesting for other “et-pairs,” including Deus et homo, “God and (hu)man(ity);” and lux et amor, “light and love.” Its Hebrew correspondences include ABN BChN, ehben bokhan, “a tried stone.”

If 90 is selected, it immediately hints at all of the symbolism of Tzaddi and The Emperor. In Latin it further provides (in addition to Deus + Homo and Lux + Amor) phrases including cor lucis, “heart of light” (which, as a 1=10, I picked as my probable 5=6 motto for an important paper; it didn’t turn out to be the motto, though!); gloria arcana, “a secret glory;” Liber Legis, “The Book of the Law;” pax ardens, “passionate peace;” Perdurabo (AC’s First Order motto); Priapus; and more.

444 is interesting as RA-HVVR-KhV, the English word prophet (PROPhHT), a word meaning the “sanctuary” of the temple, &c.; and in Greek, ’OIDIPOS, Oedipus.

GEMATRIA: The Latin word microcosmus (“little world”) = 132. In Latin, this is the value of words meaning “solar gold,” “with fire and sword,” and Sagittarius. It is, in Hebrew, QBL, the root of “Qabalah” and literally meaning “to receive, accept, take” — which is quite apropos here. Also ChSIDIM, Khasidim, “godly men,” i.e., Adepts.

The doctrine taught especially in these verses 51-52 is that of Nuit’s kiss — a kiss blown to a young sister, a token of deep affection.

Then, as if to overcome his ego resistances, AC is told he is not exempt from this blessing. (Nor is any of us, even if we become Her “prophet;” but the world “scribe” seems to single out AC. Or does it? Is “scribe” perhaps a symbol of the Ruach here — in the bigger sense — in which case this instruction from Neshamah takes on an additional meaning?)

Again, the emphasis on “to Nuit!” But now the words used are “To me!” As AC recognized from the beginning — probably a detail already in his mind when this was written — “To Me” is cognate to the Greek TO MH, “the Not” = 418. Ecstasy and the “joy of earth” are ours — but ever within the ecstasy of relationship to Neshamah or superconsciousness.

GEMATRIA: AC interprets “this kiss” as the entire Book. Is there a clue in the word? ThYS KYSS = 470 + 150 = 620 = Chokmah Binah ve-Da’ath (ChKMH BYNH VDOTh), the first descending triad; and Kether (KThR), their Crown. Is this, the Supernal Light, not the kiss that Nuit sends unto the microcosm?

Astonishingly, AC’s interpretation of the second sentence is exactly the opposite of mine: he thought it excluded him from the reward. (What was it I wrote above concerning his “ego resistance?”)

[N.B. I have decided that Vav-Taurus describes these verses much better than Peh-Mars.] (4/3/95 EV)

54. Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold thou o prophet shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein.

[Note to myself: Does the original punctuation change the meaning?]

Has the subject changed? Or is there a bridging concept not immediately apparent? The instruction, on the surface, is eminently practical: Do not change anything, even the style of a letter. Leave it as it is for others to explore as well.

At one level, it seems to say that there are concrete things written here that AC would not understand, and that others would. (Is his commentary on the prior verse an example of this?) At the same time, the Book is like good poetry, is in fact a prose-poem; and the value of real poetry is the value it has for each reader, more or less independent of the poet's intent.

But "these mysteries" seems to refer to something already under discussion, something precedent to the present verse; presumably the teachings of the prior verses. (7/6/95 EV)

55. The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them.

Such a tempting promise for AC. So tremendously seductive and attractive. Yet never simple or clear.

What first was believed to be a literal statement on the physical plane came later to be understood by him to refer to a “magical son,” Frater Achad. Even this, I believe, is not so simple. The verse in Cap. II may more directly refer to Achad. But here is a deeper meaning and, I believe, one for all of the rest of us as well.

The phrase is very Biblical in style and usage. At the very least, it means that one (or more) of a later generation shall first witness some of the mysteries of this Book.

“child” is a powerful symbol; and “child of thy bowels” may mean anything from physical progeny to the inner redemptive consciousness born from the alchemical processes of the intestines, to one who arises, like the stone rejected by the builders, from one’s literal or metaphysical feces.

“He” is very specific, though — even underlined in the original. This either signifies a male successor for this prophecy, or (much more likely) refers to the Qabalistic “child” as Vav (rather than Heh). It could as well be an Edwardian wish phantasm for AC, though this would be pretty atypical of this Book.)

The chief psychological impact, as I wrote above, is to state that one or more of a later generation will be instrumental in the understanding of the mysteries of this Book. I believe it refers to all (or at least many) of us who dig through it. Note that AC in the N.C. stated that “there is more than one ‘child.’”

[Interestingly, this is verse 55. It may, therefore, have a specific relationship to Malkuth and to Heh-final.]

Many passages of Liber Legis cannot be understood correctly without considering that the King James translation of The Bible was the almost exclusive reading material of Aleister Crowley in his formative years. For example, Cap. II, v. 57 is a close paraphrase of Rev. 22:11. The contents of AC’s psyche cannot help but have been strongly imprinted with the language, passion, and allusions of the Old and New Testaments.

Accordingly, in this present verse, the phrase “child of thy bowels” had a strong Biblical ring to it. Having searched, I believe it was inspired by 2 Samuel 7:12: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.”

In the context of 2 Sam VII, this is a message sent to David from YHVH instructing him regarding the necessity of a new temple — what will become known as Solomon’s temple. YHVH, in the present verse, makes a pledge not for David or his own generation, but for the generation to follow. And, although the next generation seems intended on the surface, in traditional Jewish thought there would not have been a great deal of difference between such a promise for the next generation, or for any or all generations that followed.

In any case, this is the type of thought and context that would have influenced Crowley’s subconscious mind in formulating the wording of the present verse. Although the phrase “child of thy bowels” does not exactly appear anywhere in The Bible, there are many examples of similar usages. A good example of the opposite point of view — a curse on a following generation — is given in Isaiah 48:19. (4/3/95 EV; small tweaks 11/13/03 EV)

56. Expect him not from the East nor from the West for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some though not all in the dark.

[This is v. 56, theoretically of immense importance in the mysteries of Nuit. Furthermore, it is part of the Tiphereth set, a fact reflected by several items in the verse itself.]

There is much packed into this verse. It continues, and seems to conclude, the matter of vv. 54-55. It seems to discuss several topics.

There is further mysterious discussion of the “child” first mentioned in v. 55. One psychological significance of the first sentence is that AC should simply not try to expect where he would find the child. It was not within his rational capacity (or even, apparently, his intuitive capacity). It is almost given as a definition that this child shall not come from anyplace he is expected. Real intuition is like this, as are some other psychic processes or contents. This sentence remains ultimately obscure to me, but seems to take the idea of the child entirely out of the framework of a physical child and, nearly, out of the framework of a physically distinctive person.

The child comes from no expected house — beth may also be used to show a genetic line of descent, as in “the House of David” — for it comes from humanity as a whole. I suspect this verse was put here in part to keenly discriminate this prophecy from that of the Jewish Messiah who was to come from an “expected house.”

“He” also comes from neither East nor West because “he” comes from both — again, from all humanity. The Book is a gift to succeeding generations, a legacy of wisdom, power, and love.

“He” comes neither from sunrise nor sunset, neither from birth nor from death; for “he” is both inwardly and outwardly the eternally living One which neither rises nor sets. Within, the “child” is the Tipheric consciousness of the scribe; without, it is the ever-living continuity of humanity.

This interpretation is confirmed by the word Aum! — and this seal discloses a deeper and also more specific interpretation which I may not clearly write here.

Suddenly, by this interpretation, the entire verse becomes lucid and integrated. “All words are sacred and all prophets true” is a broad and important comment (“All religions have some truth,” as AC commented), which also specifically refers to the “words” that are to come, over the generations, from each and all Thelemites — “save only that they understand a little.” AC is then told to do what he can and leave the rest alone; to solve what he can, and leave the remainder “unattacked.” It seems that more than rituals shall be “half known and half concealed.”

But, he is told (or on a different level are we all eventually told?) that he has “all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.” I think “light” and “dark,” in this instance, refer to conscious (Ruach) vs. unconscious (Nephesh and Neshamah taken together) aspects of mind.

Later. I now see that AC agreed with my last view: “We possess all intellectual truth, and some, not all, mystic truth.” He also interpreted that, “The ‘equation’ is the representation of Truth by Word,” which I think is an excellent description of what I was “talking around.” (4/3/95 EV)

57. Invoke me under my stars. Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress and the great mystery of the House of God

All these old letters of my Book are aright; but צ is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise.

[A very clear example of a Netzach verse. Nearly the entire verse speaks of love.]

“Invoke me under my stars!” Probably to be taken literally. It resembles v. 12, “Come forth, o children, under the stars, and take your fill of love!” When working with verse 12, I gave several alternative meanings; but I am inclined to take this one very simply. Nuit is best invoked outside, at night, under a beautiful sky of stars.

“Love is the law, love under will.” One of the most important phrases in the entire Book, from which the technical recognition of ThELHMA = 93 = AGAPH emerged. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” and yet, also, “Love is the law,” so long as it is “love under will.” 7 words. 25 letters. Thelema and Agape form a basic polarity of our system, the Yod and Heh of our Mysteries — surely, at one level, related to Chokmah and Binah respectively. Thelema distinguishes each from the other; Agape unites all collectively. Nor are they at all dissimilar, since the most fundamental expression of the Will-nature in human personality is the love-urge and its propelling vehicle of creation, the sexual force. In its oldest meaning, thelema means “what one desires,” whereas agape is the conclusion and consummation of that desire.

(Some other time I need to examine the difference between agape, eros, philos, k.t.l.)

Yet to be true — true love? — these acts of love must be “under will,” which I take to mean that they must conform to True Will. There must be genuine and deep desire in order to complete this alchemy.

The verse then goes on to admonish care in perceiving love. (N.B. I have yet to find a place in this Book where I really believe the word “fool” has an Aleph meaning. The clearest reading is always given, so far, by the more common meaning.) Discrimination is warranted, “for there are love and love. There is the dove and there is the serpent. Choose ye well!” Compare this to Hadit's statement in II:26 where He expresses the difference between “lifting up” and “drooping down” his head — union with the earth, or union with Nuit. In the present verse, based on classic symbols, we can understand the dove and the serpent as referring to these two options. However, there is at least some room for debate about which route is the dove, and which is the serpent. The rule is simple: The dove descends; the serpent rises. This leaves room for confusion only between when we are receiving love, and when we are expressing it.

The dove is primarily (not exclusively) related to Venus, and the serpent to Mars. This gave me the original view that the mystically pure love was the dove, and the sexual-physical expression is the serpent. But the rising serpent of kundalini is that wherein Hadit “lifts up” His head unto Nuit; and the descending dove, though a symbol of the Holy Ghost and the descent of ecstasy, is the sexual expression. It is the dove that breeds life, that carries life from one home to another in the continuity of the generations.

Please note, however, that the Book does not tell us that one is better than the other. It only says we must choose, and choose well. And it specifically says that each is love. Each is “lawful” — but not necessarily for each star in each situation.

“Choose ye well!” There is a qabalistic mystery here, I am sure of it! These words say more than they seem to say on the surface. Of course, “ye” is again YH, Yod-Heh — we are to choose Yod-Heh, a true uniting of “self and other.” But my mind continues to be drawn to “well.” Is it so simple as enumerating it in Hebrew, VHLL = 71? Should it be rendered in another language? Does it refer to “a well?” I truly do not yet know. 71 is a dark and haunting number. Oh my gosh! 71 is the value of YNVH, “dove.” Is this to be taken so literally?

“ye well” is 15 + 71 = 86.

“Choose” (by the Anglo-Hebraic method) is ChVVSH = 85. The whole sentence is 85 + 86 = 171. Is this of any significance? It is Sum(0-18), so the Mystic Number of Cheth. In my notebook it appears also as AL NTz, “hawk god,” and as the Latin Præmonstrator (lit., “director, guide”) and there is, of course, one inner Guide, one bridge between interior Truth and conscious choice, in the “person” of the HGA.

I leave this without full satisfaction, but do note that the sentence can validly be read, “Choose YH, the Dove,” where YH, Yah, is expressive of Chokmah and True Will.

We are next told that AC himself has chosen. Good. Fine. Nice to know. However, the most useful part of this sentence, to most of us, is that since AC has already chosen, the instruction to “choose ye well!” must apply only to the rest of us. AC’s choices, we are told, were made based on his knowledge of the law of Peh, the Tower, the House of God. (Note: dove, serpent, Tower = 3 reciprocal paths, Daleth, Teth, and Peh = 93.) I do not know that it is necessary that the rest of us understand the part that may be private to AC; but, then, why not try? Peh, 80, corresponds to YSVD, Yesod; so it is clear what force is being employed. In Latin, 80 is both anima amore, “spirit of love,” and cor Nus, “heart of Nu.” There may also be some clues at 95, since this is the word Peh spelled in plenitude, and also MADIM, Madim, Mars; and turris, “tower.” AC’s knowledge of Peh up until that time was primarily from the H.O.G.D. 27th Path ritual, wherein some answers may be hidden (the ritual deals a lot with kundalini). The tarot card speech deals primarily with the descent of Divine Consciousness into the structure of human existence, the “fortress” of human ego.

A.C., in his O.C., elects (as though for all of us) “the serpent love, the awakening of the Kundalini.” He adds that, “The further mystery is of Peh and unsuited to the grade in which this comment is written.” (I suspect he then referred to a secret of S.S. IX° O.T.O.; but his 1912 commentary may have been a little too early for that.)

Soror Meral, putting the stops as she will, has read this, “Hé my prophet hath chosen.” She reads it as a clue to what is yet to come, the attribution of Heh to The Star. I am agnostic yet skeptical. For one thing, on April 8, 1904 e.v., AC had not yet chosen Heh! I do not think it matters much to me either way whether this is a valid interpretation.

Next comes the key sentence about Tzaddi. We now know the solution, that Tzaddi is The Emperor and that Heh is The Star. This fulfills every need, and regularly speaks its Naked Truth to us.

What is still confusing, however, is Nuit's statement that, “All these old letters of my Book are aright.” “Her Book” is presumably the Tarot. (It could be this Book of the Law — but then, what are its “old letters”? No, only the Tarot makes sense.) Perhaps this simply means that it is correct to keep employing Hebrew, the “old letters,” although a correction in attribution is necessary.

Anytime I get into a verse with so much technical stuff, I go away feeling I have lost the real thread; so let me backtrack and recapitulate. The essential message is of love. To love freely under the stars, to worship Nuit there. Any love, carnal or otherwise, is worship of Nuit. It breaks down the warded fortress, it transforms a crumbling structure into a House of God, BYTh AL (412 + 31 = 443, q.v.). (4/3/95 EV)

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

Take it literally. The promise of Nuit. The fulfillment of Her love. The reward of Her worship.

Some have debated the punctuation of “certainty, not faith,” &c. They have missed the point. Certainty (not requiring faith) is given both “while in life” and “upon death.” Everything here applies continuously. Continuity is the essential characteristic of Nuit, after all. This is the certainty, love, peace, joy, &c. of the HGA; and if there is a higher vision to be discriminated from this, I have yet to find it except in theory, but rest contented in the arms of She whose Wings encompass me. (4/3/95 EV)

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

This describes Nuit’s incense, in contrast to R.H.K.’s incense which is described in Cap. III and which does have blood therein. Thus there is a clear difference in their incenses, in their modes of worship, and in who their servants are. (In contrast, Hadit is not to be worshipped!)

I do not think this has ever been adequately articulated. Within Thelema there are at least two distinctive cults — the Cult of Nuit and the Cult of Horus — whose methods are distinguished within Liber Legis.

Nuit’s incense “is of resinous woods & gums.” Many incenses — including that of Abramelin — fit this description. Both “woods” and “gums” (i.e., resins) come from trees or tree-like bushes. In burning these substances we are magically commemorating trees, and thus what are here described as “the trees of Eternity,” which are said to be Nuit’s “hair.” Furthermore, the incense has in it “no blood,” apparently for a related reason. These are the mysteries to decipher.

I speculate that there is “no blood” because blood is an animal base, and invokes an animal aspect of consciousness. Nuit’s incense is not meant to stir a Nephesh reaction (even though all incense has its effect through the Nephesh), but rather a Neshamah reaction. This feels theoretically sound.

I also have opinions concerning “the trees of Eternity.” These are subject to different views, of course. Nuit is not represented as a “center” from which emanate “filaments.” Also, it would be excessively ethno-specific to think this referred only to the hair on her head, since she could be expected to have hair over her entire body. Her entire body is one with the whole of the Universe. I have accepted these “trees” as being each of us, each microcosm, as a separate Tree of Life, whose root (Kether) is Hadit within the body of Nuit (0).

In burning the body and blood of trees — the classic twofold Eucharist, but of the plant kingdom — we are commemorating that we are each a Tree of Life, all part of the Universal body of one lover; and we are raising our aspiration (incense) in adoration and worship of this Divine Love, even as Abraham and Abramelin did unto the Holy Guardian Angel.

AC, in his N.C., related the “tree” phrase to “the tree-like structures of the cosmos,” as depicted in his “Star-Sponge Vision.” This fits as well. Nature and supernature (down to the branching structure of our nervous systems) can as well be represented by ascending hierarchies of Trees as it can by ascending hierarchies of Wheels. This is a very wonderful concept, and says that in burning “tree incense” unto Nuit, we are commemorating the inherent structure of all reality.

(I note that AC’s “Star-Sponge Vision” began during his 9=2 initiation process. I particularly understand now how it is linked to the Mysteries of that Grade. I should probably make a note of this somewhere in my 9=2 notes.) (4/3/95 EV)

Return to TOP of page.
Continue to next verse.