Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:25 am

Chapter XXXVIII: Woman—Her Magical Formula


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

-- The World's Tragedy

Cara Soror,

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

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

for this letter is to put Woman once and for ever in her place.1

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

Not that amorphous (or rather, as the poet says, "oniscoid with udders") dull and clamorous lump, bovine, imbecile, giggling, truthless, nymphomaniac yet sexless, malignant, interminable, of whom Schopenhauer rhapsodized in his most famous panegyric: apparently his sentimental softness understood only the best side of her.2 No! let us observe, shudder, and lay down the pen.

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

. . . . . . . .

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

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

A. Nuit.

Had! The manifestation of Nuit. [1]

Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!
I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to see your joy.
Above, the gemmed azure is
The naked splendour of Nuit;
She bends in ecstasy to kiss
The secret ardours of Hadit.
The winged globe,the starry blue,
Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu! [12-14]

...Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. ... [22]

...And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.* [26]

...O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!
None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.
For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division3 is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all. [27-30]

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

...the Law is for all. [34]

I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy: nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.
My incense is of resinous woods & gums; and there is no blood therein: because of my hair the trees of Eternity.
My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us. The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red. My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the seeing. Also I have a secret glory for them that love me.
But to love me is better than all things: if under the night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. ...
...I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me! [58-61]

* Dictated: "the unfragmentary non-atomic fact of my universality . . . (Write this in whiter words, But go forth on)." Ouarda4 wrote into the MS, later, the five words as in text.

B. Hadit.

Nu! the hiding of Hadit.
Come! all ye, and learn the secret that hath not yet been revealed. I, Hadit, am the complement of Nu, my bride. I am not extended, and Khabs is the name of my House.
In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found.
Yet she shall be known & I never. [1-4]

I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death.
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. 'Come unto me' is a foolish word: for it is I that go.
Who worshipped Heru-pa-kraath have worshipped me; ill, for I am the worshipper. [6-8]

For I am perfect, being Not; and my number is nine by the fools; but with the just I am eight, and one in eight: Which is vital, for I am none indeed. The Empress and the King are not of me; for there is a further secret.
I am the Empress & the Hierophant. Thus eleven, as my bride is eleven. [15-16]

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

I am alone: there is no God where I am. [23]

I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.
There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason. [26-27]

Dost thou fail? Art thou sorry? Is fear in thine heart?
Where I am these are not.
Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler.
I am unique & conqueror. I am not of the slaves that perish. ... [46-49]

Blue am I and gold in the light of my bride: but the red gleam is in my eyes; & my spangles are purple & green.
Purple beyond purple: it is the light higher than eyesight. [50-51]

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

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

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

Nor would it be proper to ignore the Book of Lies:


Soft and hollow, how thou dost overcome the hard and full!

It dies, it gives itself; to Thee is the fruit!

Be thou the Bride; thou shalt be the Mother hereafter.

To all impressions thus. Let them not overcome thee; yet let them breed within thee. The least of the impressions, come to its perfection, is Pan.

Receive a thousand lovers; thou shalt bear but One Child.

This child shall be the heir of Fate the Father.

(p. 12)5

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

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

Somewhat of this is perhaps intended in The Book of the Law:

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

(AL I, 22-23)

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

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

I don't believe I can put it much better than that, and I'm too lazy to try; but I do want to emphasize that Weininger (in Sex and Character) merely scratched the surface. All of us, whether we are "full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard" or "in our hours of ease Uncertain, coy, and hard to please" do in every most minuscule sort of act exercise both the male and female functions almost equally; the determination is rarely more than a matter of a casting vote.

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

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

Shut up!
Shut up!!
Shut UP!!!

These women!

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


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

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

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

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

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

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

And what, you ask, has the man got to say about all this? Nothing simpler; all women are subordinate to his True Will. Only the Osiris-Class, provided he can find one of them, are of more than transient use to him; and even in this case, he must be careful to avoid being ensnared.

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



1: Develop something here about Benny Hill to orient people toward Crowley's sense of humor, et al. – WEH. I have left this note as I found it in the plaintext. I am not familiar with the works of Benny Hill (British comedian, fl. 1970s I believe) – T.S.

2: Arthur Schopenahauer (1788-1860), German philosopher. One of the first Western philosophers to emphasise the notion of the Will, he may have been an influence on Crowley's development of the concept of Thelema, although contra Crowley, Schopenhauer believed that the Will was evil and should be denied. The reference in this instance is probably to the essay "On Women" (in Schopenhauer's Parerga und Paralipomena) one of the most notoriously misogynistic rants in the history of Western philosophy. Crowley is presumably being ironic here – T.S.

3: In the MS the word "disunion" appears at this point but it has been crossed out and "division" written in above – T.S.

4: Actually the amended reading is in the same hand as the original. There are two points in the MS where Ourada (Crowley's wife Rose) has supplied a missing or indistinctly heard phrase, and the first is in one of the lines here quoted, to wit I.60 where before "My colour is black &c." is an insertion mark, with "(Lost 1 phrase)" in Crowley's hand above, and below, "The shape of my star is —" also in Crowley's hand, then in another hand "The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, and the circle is Red." (I am not convinced that the initial 'f' of 'five' is actually a capital, but it is impossible to be certain given the small sample of Rose's handwriting on the MS of AL, and it is the same shape as the initial 'f' in 'force' (III, 72) which is also transcribed as a capital) – T.S.

5: Cap. Δ (4); p. 18 of the second edition.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:30 am

Chapter XXXIX: Prophecy

Cara Soror,

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

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

What a game!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The prophecy must be precise. This rules out cases where alternative verifications are possible.

4. The prophecy must be more than a reasonable calculation of probability. This rules out stuff like "The Burden of Nineveh"1 and the like. Incidentally, "The Burden of Damascus" does not seem to have had much luck so far! By latest accounts, the old burg wasn't feeling too badly.

We may also refer to the Second Advent: "Behold! I come quickly."2

There have been quite a few false alarms to date. (It began with Jesus himself, snapping off the disciple's head: "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" Well, somebody was disappointed.)

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

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

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

6. The prophecy itself must possess the complement of this precision.
It must be so perfectly unintelligible at the time that the elucidation of the answer makes it certain that the prophet knew precisely the whole riddle.

I feel that this condition is itself expressed in a somewhat oracular form; I will try to clarify by citing what I consider a perfect example. Perfect, I say, because the "must" is a little too strong; there are degrees of excellence.

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

(The Stélé is that whose discovery culminated in the writing of The Book of the Law.)

Here the first part is still quite unintelligible to me: I have tried analysis of the original phrase in "Scripture,"3 and nearly everything else: entirely in vain: One can see dimly how people, recognizing that Stélé as the Talisman responsible for reducing half the cities of Europe to rubble, might very well make reference to those original prophecies. But, at the best, that's nothing to cable to Otaheite about!

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

It was one glorious night in Cefal, too utterly superb to waste in sleep; I got up; I adored the Stars and the Moon; I revelled in the Universe. Yet there was something pulling at me. It pulled eftsoons my body into my chair, and I found myself at this old riddle of 718. Half-a dozen comic failures. But I felt that there was something on the way. Idly, I put down Stélé in the Greek, 52,4 and said, "Perhaps we can make a 'name' out of the difference between that and 718."

I jumped.

718 - 52 = 666

My own name!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is another case.

Now then this two-in-One letter Image, is the third Key to this Law; and on the discovery of that fact, after years of constant seeking, what sudden splendours of Truth, sacred as secret, blazed in the midnight of my mind! Observe now; "...this circle squared in its failure is a key also."5 Now I knew that in the value of the letters ALHIM,6 'the Gods', the Jews had concealed a not quite correct value of π, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, to 4 places of decimals: 3.1415; nearer would be 3.1416. If I prefix our Key, 31 putting Image , Set or Satan, before the old Gods, I get 3.141593, π correct to six places, Six being my own number and that of Horus the Sun.7

And one more, this time an actual prediction.

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

Not one little bit!

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

I hope you are not getting the idea that my Prophetic ambit is limited to these high-falutin' metaphysical masterpieces of Runic Lore. In case you do, I now propose to break your "seven green withs that were never dried" altogether, Delilah; for I shall keep my hair on. I shall go forth to war! From 1920 to 1923 my abode for a season was the house called the Horsel of the Abbey of Thelema that lieth upon Santa Barbara, overlooking the town of Telepylus—see Homer and Samuel Butler II, but called later by the Romans Cephaloedium, and now Cefal. There did I toil to expand my little Part III of Book 4 to the portentous volume now more generally known as Magick in Theory and Practice. After numerous misadventures, it was published in 1928.8

I refer you to that book, page 96.

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

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

* Note: This paragraph was written in the summer 1911, e.v., just three years before its fulfilment. Second innings '38 e.v., sqq.9

(It is a pity that I cannot prove my footnote, but this Chapter XII was part of the original MS, advertised as to be published in 1912. You may take my word for it, for once. And in any case we have the prophecy of Bartzabel, the Spirit of Mars, in the early summer of 1910 that wars involving the disaster of (a) Turkey and (b) Germany would be fought within 5 years. 10 See the New York World, December, 1914.)

We now proceed to Magick, page 112.

But now observe how the question of the Magical Link arises! No matter how mighty the truth of Thelema, it cannot prevail unless it is applied to and by mankind. As long as The Book of the Law was in Manuscript, it could only affect the small group amongst whom it was circulated. It had to be put into action by the Magical Operation of publishing it. When this was done, it was done without proper perfection. Its commands as to how the work ought to be done were not wholly obeyed. There were doubt and repugnance in FRATER PERDURABO's mind, and they hampered His work. He was half-hearted. Yet, even so, the intrinsic power of the truth of the Law and the impact of the publication were sufficient to shake the world so that a critical war broke out, and the minds of men were moved in a mysterious manner. The second blow was struck by the re-publication of the Book in September 1913, and this time the might of this Magick burst out and caused a catastrophe to civilization. At this hour, the MASTER THERION is concealed, collecting his forces for a final blow. When The Book of the Law and its Comment is published with the forces of His whole Will in perfect obedience to the instructions which have up to now been misunderstood or neglected, the result will be incalculably effective. The event will establish the kingdom of the Crowned and Conquering Child over the whole earth, and all men shall bow to the Law, which is "love under will."

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

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

These Names Make News.
Mixed Bag of Early Birds.

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

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

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

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

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

Book contains message dictated to Crowley at Cairo in 1904 "by Aiwass, a Being whose nature he does not fully understand but who described Himself as 'The Minister of Hoor-Paar-Kraat' (the Lord of Silence)."

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

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

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

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

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

"Somehow I fear they won't."

. . . . . . . .

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

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


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

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


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

"The second blow was struck by the re-publication of the Book in September, 1913, and this time . . . caused a catastrophe to civilisation. At this hour, the Master Therion is concealed, collecting his forces for a final blow. When The Book of the Law and its Comment is published . . . in perfect obedience to the instruction . . . the result will be incalculably effective. The event will establish the Kingdom of the Crowned and Conquering Child over the whole earth, and all men shall bow to the Law, which is love under will."


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


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

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

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

nine months before the Betrayal, which stripped Britain of the last rags of honour, prestige and security, and will break up civilisation.
I have always maintained that Munich marked the true outbreak of the war, because Hitler's rape of Czecho-Slovakia, however justifiable, was irreconcilably incompatible with our Foreign Policy; and Munich is Nine Months to a day after my Gesture.

This then I consider a completely documented case of Prophecy.

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

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,



1: Nahum I.1

2: Apocalypse, XXII, 20.

3: See First Maccabees, I. 54, and the back-dated "prophecies" of pseudo-Daniel (XI. 31, XII. 11); the reference was to the erection of a statue to Zeus-Serapis in the Temple of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes following his conquest of Judea – T.S.

4: This enumeration depents on reading ST as the obsolete letter Stau or Stigma which has the value 6 – T.S.

5: AL III. 47.

6: Spelt in Hebrew letters in the original.

7: This Sun & Moon symbolism flows from Crowley's work with Greek, Tarot and Hebrew. "Set" as Sigma-Theta or as Shin-Teth. Taking the numbers for the corresponding Tarot Trumps from the Thoth Deck, we get XX + XI = 31. See O.T.O. Newsletter, No. 7-8, p. 9 ff, "Liber MCCLXIV The Greek Qabalah" and No. 9, p. 31 – WEH.
See also Liber V vel Reguli. To clarify: the Greek letter Sigma Σ can also be written as C, which approximates the symbol for the moon; a capital Theta, Θ, approximates the symbol for the Sun. Shin-Teth are the Hebrew equivalents. I am not quite clear on how Crowley reads 3.141593 from ShT + ALHIM: reducing each letter to units gives the sequence 3, 9, 1, 3, 5, 1, 4 and there is no way one can get the required order from that with a constant step. To get 3.1415 from ALHIM is not a simple reversal of the order but requires writing the numbers around an Invoking Pentagram and reading them in the order of the corresponding Banishing Pentagram. See A Note on Genesis – T.S.

8: sic., should be 1930 – T.S.

9: The postscript was apparently hand-written by Crowley into one of his copies of Magick in Theory and Practice.

10: See "An Evocation of Bartzabel the Spirit of Mars" in Equinox I (9), and "The Bartzabel Working" (Liber CCCXXV) in Equinox IV (2) – T.S.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:32 am

Chapter XL: Coincidence

Cara Soror,

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

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

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

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

I take our first prisoner from Magick.

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

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

A friend of mine, A, rang up a friend of hers, B, at her flat in Holland Park, some 3 or 4 miles west, and a p'int to the Nor'rard, of Piccadilly Circus. After the usual series of "they don't answer", "line's engaged", "unobtainable", "line's out of order", "line's temporarily disconnected at the subscriber's request", an appeal to "Supervisor" got her connected instantly. Yet another girl friend, C, appears in, and vanishes from, the story; she said "Oh, what a pity, you've just missed her; she went out five minutes ago. I think she'll be back in an hour's time, try then."
A waited impatiently, and rang up once more. Again the series of nonsense-difficulties about getting the connection. At last the answer came. This time yet one more girl friend D. "Oh, what a pity! You've just missed her; she left the box not five minutes ago." "Box," screamed A, "what box? Have I got mixed up in a Trunk Murder?" "Why, this box," replied D, calmly. "What — — box?" shouted A. "Isn't that her flat?" "Her flat! are you crazy? This is a call-box in Shaftesbury Avenue." Collapse of A's confidence in the sanity of Nature.

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

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

Now for one or two oddities. Recently, needing to relax, I borrowed three "thrillers" from different sources. In every case, the plot turned on two men being so alike that no one could tell them apart. (Rupert of Hentzau, John Chilcote, M.P., Melander's Millions.)

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

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

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

They that stand high have many blasts to shake them,
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.

-- Richard III, Act I, Sc. 3.

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

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

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

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

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

And you can draw your own beastly conclusion!

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

A young enthusiastic "Heaven Born" (=I.C.S.)* parlous pious, was engaged to an exquisite chaste damosel in Lutterworth. Praised and promoted by his appreciative chiefs in Bombay, he felt his future sure enough to go home on leave, marry her, and bring her out to India. At their parting, she had given him a ring; naturally, he set great store by it." But the climate had thinned him; it was loose; playing with it as he talked with a friend on the ship, it slipped from his finger, and fell into the harbour." He suppressed an expression of annoyance. "Well that's past praying for," laughed the friend—unhappily an infidel, not a true friend at all. The young man stiffened. "It is?" he answered solemnly and emphatically; "We shall see." And he retired to his cabin to lay his grief before the Lord.

The ship arrived at Aden without incident. While she was coaling, it was the idle habit of some sailors to bait a hook with a large piece of pork, and fish for sharks. An hour later they caught a fine specimen, and hauled it aboard. They cut it open. No ring.

I hope you don't think I'm letting my pen run away with me:

"Pens! Good Lord,
Who knows if you drive them or they drive you?"

* Indian Civil Servant.

No, I have not forgotten that I am here to instruct as well as to amuse: also, to make certain observations which will, I flatter myself, be rather new to you.

I plunge headlong.

Everything that happens, no matter what, is an inconceivably improbable coincidence. You remember how you had to begin when you first came to me for help. I said to you, "Here are you, and no other person, come to see me, and no other person, in this room, and no other room, at this time, and not other time. Hod did that come about?" The answer to that question is the first entry in your Magical Diary: and, with a slightly different object in view, the first step in the practice of Liber Thisharb and the acquisition of Magical Memory.

Why, hang it all; the events of the last hour, even, might have gone just an infinitesimally little bit different, and the interview would not have taken place as it did. Consider then, that factors stretching back into Eternity—all the factors there are!—have each one contributed in its degree to bringing this interview about. What a fantastic improbability! Yet here we are.

Chance blindly rules the Universe. But what is Chance? And where does purpose intervene? To what extent?

I shall now conduct you, no less firmly than Mr. E. Phillips Oppenheim, to Monte Carlo.

(Excuse me! I was just called to the telephone. Somebody of whose existence I was not aware has fallen ill in Ireland—and bang went my plans for tomorrow.)

You walk quietly into the Casino; it seems to you that the excitement is even more noticeable than usual. You see a friend at the table "Here in the nick of time!" he gasps. "Black has just turned up for the 24th time running." You press forward to plank the maximum on Red. The wheel spins; Black again! "Forty thousand she-devils in the belfry of St. Nicholas Rocambole-de-Ronchonot!"

"But --- but" (you stammer when spirits of hartshorn have revived you) "in the whole history of the tables a colour has never turned up more than 24 times running!"

My poor friend, what has that got to do with it? True, from the start it is countless millions to 1 that there will not be a run of 24 on the red or the black; but the probability on any single spin (ignoring zero) is always one to one. The black compartments do not contract because the ball has fallen into any one of them.

Anyone who gambles at all is either a dilettante, a crook, or a B.F. If you could get the B.F.'s to understand the very elementary mathematics set forth above, good-night to gambling! And a good riddance, at that! Well, there is one advantage in the system; it does help the intelligent man to steal a march on his neighbours!

In all this the important point for my present purpose is to show you how entirely this question of probability and coincidence is dependent on your attention.

The sequence B B B B B B B at roulette is most unlikely to occur; but so, in exactly the same degree, is the sequence B R B R R B R or any other sequence. The one passes unnoticed, the other causes surprise, only because you have in your mind the idea of "a run on black."

Extend this line of thought a little, and link it up with what I was saying about the Magical Diary; you realize that every phenomenon soever is equally improbably, and "infinitely" so. The Universe is therefore nothing but Coincidence!

How then can any event be more improbable than any other? Why, very simply. Go back to Monte; proclaim that at Table No. 3 Black will turn up 7 times running, after this next spin. (Or, of course, any other series of 7.) Now you see how Coincidence links up with Prophecy!

A fortiori, Coincidence is destroyed by Purpose, if, wishing to enlighten you on the subject, I write this letter and post it to your address, your receipt of it is no longer Coincidence. So then coincidence must be entirely both unforeseen and unintentional; in other words, absolutely senseless. But we have just proved that the Universe is nothing but Coincidence; it therefore is senseless.

So, having established the asymptote of our hyperbolic hyperbola, and shewn it to be asynartete, why should we not acquiesce, and say olive oil?

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,

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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:33 am

Chapter XLI: "Are we Reincarnations of the Ancient Egyptians?"

Cara Soror,

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

That accursed conscience of mine has been pricking me ever since I dashed off that rather curt and off-hand letter card in answer to yours of the 18th. I had intended as a matter of fact to let you have the present coruscation as soon as I could get my secretary in the offing, but I thought I would snap your head off in the strength of your question as salutary chastisement.

I do wish you would understand that all these speculations are not only idle and senseless because you cannot possibly verify their accuracy, but a deadly You ask if we, meaning, I suppose, the English, are now reincarnating the Egyptians. When I was a boy it was the Romans, while the French undertook the same thankless office for the Greeks. I say "deadly poison;" because when you analyse you see at once that this is a device for flattering yourself. You have a great reverence for the people who produced Luxor and the Pyramids; and it makes you feel nice and comfortable inside if you think that you were running around in those days as Rameses II or a high priest in Thebes or something equally congenial.

You may say that I am myself the chief of sinners in this respect because of Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, but this was not my doing. It was imposed upon me by The Book of the Law, and I do not feel particularly flattered or comforted by this identification. The only interest to me is the remarkable manner in which this is interwoven with the existence of the "Cairo working."

Your second and third questions are still worse. I should be ashamed of myself if I were to do so much as to refer to them.

That must serve for that. But your fourth question I did answer after a fashion. It has however struck me that I might have given you a more detailed instruction with advantage.

When I was up the Mindoun Chong in Burma, I started an investigation of my dreams; and the only way to catch them was to write down as much as I could remember on waking, instantly. The result of doing this is rather surprising. To begin with, I discovered, especially as the practice progressed, that I was having many more dreams than I had previously supposed. This might have come about in either of two ways.

(1) The practice might have actually increased my tendency to dream, and (2) the habit of observation may have brought dreams to the surface which would otherwise have gone unremarked. In either case the figures were quite definite.

I found almost at once, that is to say after about a month, that practically every dream that I could remember, could be quite clearly ascribed to one of two causes: (a) the events of the previous day or days, or the subjects which had interested and excited me during that period, and (b) the physical conditions of the moment. For instance, a good deal of the time of the experiment I was sleeping in what might have been euphemistically called a houseboat. It was liable to leak; and on such occasions as I woke to find water trickling down my nose, I found that the dream from which I had wakened was an adventure of some sort in connection with water. (It is quite notorious, I believe, that many asthmatic subjects are pestered by dreams of having been guillotined in a previous incarnation. Alan Bennett, I may mention, was one such.)

As the practice proceeds, you should find not only that your dreams increase in number per night, but also became very much fuller, clearer and more coherent. I assume that the reason is that the fact of your paying attention to them brings them to the surface.

I am not quite sure whether this is a complete and adequate answer to your question 4, "How can I best bring my sleeping memory into my waking hours?"

I have studied, and my secretary has studied, and we can make no head or tail of your remark about brain exercises with sketch.

Well, I must hope for the best, and leave you with my blessing.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,

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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:34 am

Chapter XLII: This "Self" Introversion

Cara Soror,

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

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

The English is very un-English, and the context hardly helpful. But the meaning is clear enough; the idea is to dismiss, curtly and rudely, the entire body of doctrine which insists on altruism as a condition of spiritual progress.

Why do I jump in with this text without warning. Because at the end of my letter on Sammasati the Dweller of the Threshold popped up, and that brings us to the Black Brothers, and the Left-hand path, all of which subjects are very generally supposed to depend for origin upon "Selfishness."

This question is one of the most critical in the whole of Magical Theory; for in one sense it is certainly true that every error without exception is due to exacerbation of the Ego.

Yet The Book of the Law flings at us disdainfully: "It is a lie, this folly against self."

How then?

I fear there is nothing for it but to go thoroughly into the whole matter of the "self." This may involve some recapitulation; but then didn't the Buddha repeat three times every one of those extravagantly verbose paragraphs which give the luckless Bhikku—timens, not tumens, as Catullus says—permission to have (a) walls (b) roof (c) window (d) door (e) hinge to door (f) fastening to door (g) h, and c.1—no, he didn't! anyhow, all those ancient conveniences?

"Self" is one of the trickiest words afloat. Skeat gives merely the equivalents, all practically the same in sound, in various Nordic languages; he doesn't say where it comes from, or what it means. I don't know either, bless your heart!

Latin and Greek don't help us at all; and when we try Eastern languages, it seems, dimly, to give the idea of the Ego, whatever that may be. Or perhaps "that combination which is unified by Ahamkara, the "Ego-making faculty."

Decidedly not illuminating!

One can't use the word as an ordinary noun. Skeat doesn't even label it as such. One can hardly say: Mr. Blenkinsop's self is good, or rheumatic, or gone for a walk. It makes nonsense. Yet Philosophy has picked out this hapless Tetragrammaton, and made endless mud pies with it!

When one says: "I fell and hurt myself", it's only a conventional abbreviation. One means "my nose," or "my elbow," as the case may be! No, I can't conscientiously admit it as a noun. More accurately: "my body fell, and I am suffering from the injury thereby caused to my whatever it was."

And so what?

(Oh dear, I am tying ourselves into knots!)

So what? Ah me, nothing for it but to plunge head foremost into the hybrid abyss of Babu-Blavatsky bak-abak!

Brahman—don't confuse with the Brahma of the Trimurti, so so many Nippies and Clippies are but too liable to do—is the macrocosmic Negative Absolute, when cross-examined; its microcosm is Purusha or Atma. Very near our own Qabalistic Zero—Nought in no dimensions—equals Infinity (air connu). Then comes Buddhi, which curates, bookmakers' clerks, miners and Privy Councillors so often mistake for Buddha (Ha! Ha!), the faculty of discrimination. Pretty much like the 0 = 2 equation in our system.

Next, the Higher Manas, which is our Neschamah, as near as a toucher; and the Lower Manas, which, as every Lovely and Cutie well Knows, is our Ruach. The rest of the Hindu system can easily be fitted in.

Note, however, the Ahamkara, usually translated "Ego-making faculty," which collects what it can from this dump, and labels it "I."

There seems not much point in elaborating all this. The Hindu Pandit is a whale for swallowing numberless oceans, all swarming with Jonahs; he duplicates and discriminates and invents at his own sweet will, in order to get a pretty pattern with 84 or 108 crores of asankyas of lakhs of anythings.

We have done enough for honour.

Enough if we see that the system is in its essence identical with our own.

Well, then, what is this "Higher Self" that you roll out upon me?

Actually, we are very far from being out of the wood. This Ut, of Udgitha, who looms so large in the Upanishads; the God peculiar to yourself, who appears in one of the Darshanas; some Individual constructed from the material listed above; are these all one? If not, is the difference between them more than a quibble?

Really, all these speculations are based on à priori considerations; we had better drop the whole argument as little better than a waste of time; nay, as worse, for it encourages one in loose thinking, and especially in clinging to names which have no counterpart in things.

There is only one point of theory which matters to our practice. We may readily concur that the Augoeides, the "Genius" of Socrates, and the "Holy Guardian Angel" of Abramelin the Mage, are identical. But we cannot include this "Higher Self"; for the Angel is an actual Individual with his own Universe, exactly as man is; or, for the matter of that, a bluebottle. He is not a mere abstraction, a selection from, and exaltation of, one's own favorite qualities, as the "Higher Self" seems to be. The trouble is (I think) that the Hindu passion for analysis makes them philosophize any limited being out of existence.

This matter is of importance, because it influences one's attitude to invocation. I can, for instance, work myself up to a "Divine Consciousness," in which I can understand, and act, as I cannot in my normal state. I become "inspired;" I feel, and I express, ideas of almost illimitable exaltation. But this is totally different from the "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel," which is the special aim of the Adeptus Minor. It is ruin to that Work if one deceives oneself by mistaking one's own "energized enthusiasm" for external communication. The parallel on the physical plane is the difference between Onanism and Sexual Intercourse.

Probably, my reason for insistence on this point is my antipathy to introversion in any form. The "mystic path" itself is packed with dangers. Unless the strongest counter-irritants are exhibited, the process is almost certain to become morbid. It is only one step from the Invocation of Zeus, or Apollo, or Dionysus, which does demand identification of oneself with the object of one's worship, to a form of self-worship which soon develops into a maniacal exacerbation of the Ego; and if one persists in this involuted curve, one becomes a "Black Brother," or departs for the local loony-bin.

Invocations of even the most positive Gods are dangerous, unless care can be taken to keep the personality of the god distinct from one's own. Athene is a superb deity; but one does not want to be nothing but Athene, except in that supreme moment of Samadhi with Her which is the climax of the invocation.

Do you remember one of Barbey d'Aurevilly's Contes Cruels about a Spanish nobleman who anticipated one of the privileges of marriage instead of waiting for ecclesiastical licence? The Inquisitor simply had him tied to his betrothed for 48 hours.

It is really rather like that! One of my mathematically-minded disciples—J.W.N. Sullivan, I think—told me that his sinister science had one peculiarly devilish pitfall; one is so satisfactorily equipped for work if one had but a bit of paper and a pencil—and a comfortable bed! He had to make a point of severe physical exercise to escape becoming bed-ridden in his early twenties!

So, even in divine invocation, one should insist on definite communication of knowledge (or what not) which is incontestably not one's own. The fact that the self-begotten feelings and ideas are so eminently satisfactory—naturally, since there is nobody to oppose them—is damnably seductive.

Once started on that road, one can easily develop self-deception to a fine art. One can imagine that one has undergone, or achieved, all sorts of experiences "as described in the books," when all that one has actually done is to work the results of one's reading into a bubble inflated by imagination.

It should be obvious to you that the habit grows on one; every bad quality, from vanity to laziness, lends most willing aid. One replaces reality more and more continuously by these exciting and flattering reveries, which by this time have no longer any shadow of a claim to be called mystic experiences at all.

It is desperately difficult to cure such conditions; the patient resents bitterly every touch of truth, for he feels it, accurately enough, as a thrust to the very core of his being.

Parallel with this, in my psychoanalytic practice I have had excellent success with all forms of sexual aberration, with the one exception of masturbation.

In these cases, even though I have often been successful in "curing" the condition, so that the man has been able to carry on with satisfaction to himself and his family the normal functions of a husband, I have never really got rid of the peculiar mental and moral characteristics which have been, if not implanted, at least encouraged and fostered, by this devastating habit.

Now do remember this; it is the guarantee of wholesomeness in any Invocation that there should be contact with another. It is better to conjure up the most obnoxious demons from the most noisome pit of Hell than to take one's own exhilarations for Divine benediction; if only because there was never a demon yet so atrocious as that same old Ego.

You will discover the truth of these remarks when you approach the Frontier of the Abyss. Well, now, if that isn't too funny! The text of this stupendous sermon was AL II, 22. I take this verse in its most obvious and ordinary sense; for instance, the following sentence: "... The exposure of innocence is a lie. ..."; for that means clearly enough Hypocrisy. So "... It is a lie, this folly against self. ..." only means, "To hell with sentimental altruism, with false modesty, with all those most insidious fiends, the sense of guilt, of shame—in a word, the 'inferiority complex' or something very like it." The whole tenor of The Book of the Law, is to this effect. The very test of worth is that one should be aware of it and not afraid to sock the next man on the jaw if he disputes it!

Love is the law, love under will.



P.S. But what do I mean when I say "myself" in normal speech? I mean Tiphareth, the human self as determining the identity of the Supreme Triad plus as much Ruach as I have succeeded in organising as extensions of it.

Though your Supernal Triad is in essence identical with mine, your Tiphareth is quite definitely not mine. It is like mine in its nature and many of its sympathies, but your Ruach is altogether different from mine in (at a guess) 80% of its components.

We must add Malkuth as the medium which crystallizes the characters of our respective "Selves."

This is all horribly, hatefully difficult to put into words; there is bound to be misunderstanding, however cleverly I concoct the potion. But we understand pretty well for all that, at least so far as is necessary for most practical purposes.

Note: The original key-entry also contained a transcription of a handwritten note which was made completely unintelligible by a number of omissions, either of illegible words or of symbols which could not be rendered in ASCII. It ran thusly:

{The following note in handwriting may be a proper element of the text. This
will be cross-check from available materials:}

* 0 = 2 Because 2 comes from 0 --- itself is .... ---
2 High ... issue from Kether the Crown
under ..... ....... the Book of Thoth.
thus Nuit ... ... Hadit --- and as you
said yourself, ... she .... --- never
There may be a reference to AL II, 4 in the last few words..



1: Probably "heroin and cocaine" – T.S.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:35 am

Chapter XLIII: The Holy Guardian Angel is not the "Higher Self" but an Objective Individual

Cara Soror,

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

On going over some recent letters I see that you question abut William Gillette and the Angels was indeed "a red-hot two-prong that you stick to hiss i' the soft of" me. You meant not only to inquire into the order of being to which angels belong, but as to whether they are liable to accident, misfortune and the like.

The answer is that it depends on the Angel—for the purposes of this letter I propose to use the word "angel" to include all sorts of disembodied beings, from demons to gods—in all cases, they are objective; a subjective "angel" is different from a dream only in non-essentials.

Now, some angels are actually emanations of the elements, planets, or signs to which they are attributed. They are partial beings in very much the same way as are animals. They are not microcosms as are men and women. They are almost entirely composed of the planet (or what- ever it is) to which they are attributed. The other components of their being I take to be almost accidental. For example, the Archangel Ratziel is lord of a company of angels called Auphanim; and one must not imagine that all these angels are identical with one another, or there would not seem to be much sense in it. They have some sort of composition, some sort of individuality; and the character and appearance of the Angel can be determined by its name.

I do not think that I have anywhere mentioned how this is done. To take an example, let us have Qedemel—the Hebrew letters as Q.D.M.A.L, and the numeration is 175, which is that of the sum of the 1st 49 numbers, as is proper to Venus.1 We may then expect the head or head-dress of the spirit to be in some way characteristic of the Sign of Pisces. The general form of the body will be indicated by the Daleth, the letter of Venus, and the lower part (or perhaps the quality) will be determined by the watery Mem—The termination Aleph Lamed is usually taken to indicate appropriate symbols. For instance, the Aleph might show a golden aura, and the Lamed a pair of balances. Some further detail might be indicated by taking the letters Daleth and Mem together, for Dam is the Hebrew word for blood. From such considerations one can build up a pictorial representation in one's mind which may serve as a standard to which any appearance of him should more or less conform.2 The question then takes the form of inquiry into how far such beings are immortal or eternal.

In the above case, evidently his existence depends on that of the planet Venus; and one might suppose that, if that planet were stricken from the solar system, there would be no more Qedemel. But this is to judge too rashly; for Venus himself is only an emanation of the number 7, and is therefore indestructible. {Handwritten note: Because she-he comes from ... who is [triangle] + [square], 3 + 4}

It is some such idea as the above which is at the back of the conventional idea that elementals are immortal, that they incur mortality when their ambition and devotion causes them to incarnate as human beings. (Is this achieved by some sort of marriage with a reincarnating Ego? Or how? All this is very obscure; we need more evidence.)

You will doubtless have read in many Eastern stories of the destruction of dryads or Nats by the cutting down of the tree in which they have made their habitation. A nymph, similarly, would be destroyed if her fountain were to dry up.

Now, can an angel of this sort ever go wrong, by which one must mean, can he ever be untrue to his own nature? I do not see how one can imagine this to happen; for they are so completely creatures of the elements of which they are composed that they must be regarded as completely devoid of will in any intelligible sense of the word. Their actions in fact are merely re-actions.

They are, of course, entirely lacking in the Supernal Triad. There is therefore no question of anything in them which would persist through change. Perhaps it would be better to say that changed does not really affect them. Another way to put it would be that they are adjectives, not nouns. They are merely sensible manifestations of the elements to which they are attributed, and to the letters of their name.

Now, on the other hand, there is an entirely different type of angel; and here we must be especially careful to remember that we include gods and devils, for there are such beings who are not by any means dependent one one particular element for their existence. They are microcosms in exactly the same sense as men and women are. They are individuals who have picked up the elements of their composition as possibility and convenience dictates, exactly as we do ourselves. I want you to understand that a goddess like Astarte, Astaroth, Cotytto, Aphrodite, Hathoor, Venus, are not merely aspects of the planet;* they are separate individuals who have been identified with each other, and attributed to Venus merely because the salient feature in their character approximates to this ideal.

Now then, it is simple to answer the question of their development, their growing old and dying; for, being of the same order of Nature as we are ourselves, almost anything which is true of us is true also of them.

* "Venus" is, of course, a "thing-in-itself;" the planet merely one case of the idea.

I have tended rather to elaborate this theme, because of the one personally important question which arises in more recent letters; for I believe that the Holy Guardian Angel is a Being of this order. He is something more than a man, possibly a being who has already passed through the stage of humanity, and his peculiarly intimate relationship with his client is that of friendship, of community, of brotherhood, or Fatherhood. He is not, let me say with emphasis, a mere abstraction from yourself; and that is why I have insisted rather heavily that the term "Higher Self" implies "a damnable heresy and a dangerous delusion."

It it were not so, there would be no point in The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

Apart from any theoretical speculation, my Sammasiti and analytical work has never led to so much as a hint of the existence of the Guardian Angel. He is not to be found by any exploration of oneself. It is true that the process of analysis leads finally to the realization of oneself as no more than a point of view indistinguishable in itself from any other point of view; but the Holy Guardian Angel is in precisely the same position. However close may be the identities in millions of ways, no complete identification is ever obtainable.

But do remember this, above all else; they are objective, not subjective, or I should not waste good Magick on them.

Let me say in particular in regard to Gods, that the God Jupiter whom you invoke is not necessarily the same as he whom I invoke. It is clear in any case that the revelation of himself to you is modified in many ways by your own particular sensitiveness; just as in ordinary life, your idea of a friend may be very different from my own conception of the same individual. Suppose, for example, he happens to be a musician, there will be an entire side of his character to which I am practically insensitive. You could talk to him for hours, and I would understand little or nothing of what was said. Similarly, if he were a mountaineer, it would be your turn to be odd man out.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,




1: Sic. The sum of the first forty-nine natural numbers is 1225 which is thus the fourth "magic number" of Venus; 175 is the third, being 1225 ÷ 7, hence the sum of the numbers on each row of the "magic square" of Venus – T.S.

2: This is basically Golden Dawn teaching, with slight elaborations by Crowley – T.S.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:36 am

Chapter XLIV: "Serious" Style of A.C., or the Apparent Frivolity of Some of my Remarks

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 cartoon 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 side.

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" (as 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 themselves, (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!"

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 cessation—and that we know to be illusion.

There is nothing worse in religion, especially in the Wisdom-Religion, than the pedagogic-horatory accents of the owlish dogmatist, unless it be the pompous self-satisfaction of the prig. Eschew it, sister, eschew it!

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 sanctimoniousness!

There, or thereabouts, we must leave it. "Out of the fullness of the heart 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.1

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,




1: See Chapter XLV.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:37 am

Chapter XLV: "Unserious" Conduct of a Pupil

Cara Soror,

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

Here pops us Zola again—this time he says J'Accuse! Today's Hexagram for me is No. X. Lî, 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 preliminaries of the work of the A.'. A.'.—you are to be heartily congratulated 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 recommendations 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.

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

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 Culbertson 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, 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."1

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 superlative 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.,2 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 café which made him think that the speaker3 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 obligations." 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 Fraternity4 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,5 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 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 righteousness.

. . . . . . . .

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 object.

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 sacrifice 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 without resources to buy 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 comes.

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. 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 judgment 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 yourself 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.





1: The quote is from the Golden Dawn Neophyte ritual – T.S.

2: Crowley is talking about himself, as usual – T.S.

3: Julian Baker, a member of the Golden Dawn – T.S.

4: S.L. "MacGregor" Mathers – T.S.

5: The reference is to the Abramelin operation – T.S.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:38 am

Chapter XLVI: Selfishness

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.

"Selflessness," 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 kinsfolk.

"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 important 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 remarks.

"...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 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 intensified; 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-sacrifice," 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 embarrassment, 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! for his is such a coward that he dare not face his fear, even in imagination!

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 Yod.

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 existence!

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 satisfaction.

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.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:38 am

Chapter XLVII: Reincarnation

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 seaport 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 constitution 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 Experience.

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 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 occurrence; and it throws upon the objector the onus of proving an A or an E proposition.1

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 next.

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 Lévi 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 personally 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 proof.

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.

Note: In the original a lengthy excerpt from Liber ThIShARB (CMXIII), from section 27 to end, was appended to this letter. It is here omitted; the entire work may be studied here.



1: From the context it appears Crowley means a universal (for all x, f(x)) or negative existential (there is no x such that f(x)), in which case we should perhaps real "an A or ~E proposition." The point is that on any empirical matter (as opposed to, say, mathematical expressions which can be proved by induction) to prove such a proposition involves examining every possible x to find out whether or not f(x) — T.S.
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