“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.”
– Aleister Crowley, Liber AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law)
Truth be told, Thelema, the religion created by Aleister Crowley, is one of the richest occult philosophies I have ever come across; perhaps because it is a syncretic religion building off the esoteric traditions of qabalah, tarot, gnosticism and more.
That being said, I am not a Thelemite and honestly I find Crowley’s personality to be pretty repulsive. He was sexist, racist and controlling – a bona fide cult of personality. Then again, he is undeniably attractive. One could not imagine a more true god embodiment of “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll” so to speak.
I won’t go into the events surrounding the writing of the Book of Law, because it is very easy to find online. But I should not that Crowley says that said that the study of the Book is forbidden; those who do, do so at their own “risk and peril.” Crowley also recommends that nobody should speak about the Book, but rather interpret it according to their Will and according to his works. So if you are a Thelemite, you might not want to read my overly simplified interpretation.
So without further ado, here is the Book of the Law, analyzed (to the best of my ability) line by line.
Liber AL vel Legis Chapter I
1. Had! The manifestation of Nuit.
The voice of this chapter is Nuit (see image), an Egyptian goddess synonymous with the continuous night sky.
2. The unveiling of the company of heaven.
This book is a revelation.
3. Every man and every woman is a star.
More on this throughout, but according Crowley the star is a person’s true, perfect, immortal, monist soul or self*.
4. Every number is infinite; there is no difference.
Pythagoras, a Greek philosopher, religious leader and mathematician said much the same thing. Essentially each number is a specific identity with qualities unique to it. The number 12 is not a 1-digit and a 2-digit made up of 5 and 7, but rather a unique entity. This same idea is reflected throughout history, especially in the qabala and Thelema.
5. Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men!
The spirit narrator (Aiwass) speaking through the voice of Nuit is referring to Crowley. This is the unveiling of Nuit to humankind.
6. Be thou Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue!
7. Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat.
Aiwass is the minister of Horus the Child (here in the passive aspect).
8. The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.
The “Khabs” (or star) is an individual’s true self in accordance with the Will. The “Khu” is one’s active consciousness or ego or “personality soul.” Since the Khabs is immortal, the true self lives on eternally, while the body, mind and personality pass away after death or are (possibily) reincarnated. More on this later*.
9. Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!
Crowley (or Aiwass/Nuit) is telling the reader to worship the Will; and to realize the “Khabs” as their true self.
10. Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known.
As with most occult religions, few are chosen. According to Crowley, his vision for a world government consists of initiated kings who rule over the masses, guiding them according to the Will.
11. These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools.
The Gods of the new Aeon spit on the gods and prophets of the old aeons.
12. Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!
Again, the stars or Khabs are the true self, contained within Nuit, the starry sky. Just as we should live in accordance with the Will. More on “love” soon.
13. I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to see your joy.
Nuit wants to see us happy. She wants us to live in the way most fulfilling to us.
14. 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!
And we see another name for Crowley here – Ankh-af-na-khonsu. According to Egyptian myth, Nuit is the starry sky, bending in an arch to kiss her lover, the earth. However, in Thelema, Nuit (the eternal and boundless) is in love with Hadit, a winged sphere representing a single point of experience.
15. Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.
“Chosen priest” is Crowley, as is “the Beast.” And the “Scarlet Woman” is of course Rose Edith Kelly.
16. For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight.
Comparing Crowley and Rose to Hadit and Nuit.
17. But ye are not so chosen.
Not totally sure what this means. Does this mean Crowley and Rose aren’t Hadit and Nuit? They weren’t chosen maybe? For some reason, I was reminded of this verse.
18. Burn upon their brows, o splendrous serpent!
Referring to Hadit.
19. O azure-lidded woman, bend upon them!
20. The key of the rituals is in the secret word which I have given unto him.
The Word of the Aeon – if you are a Thelemite, you already know it.
21. With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit.
Hadit is the point, the ‘eye with which the Universe beholds itself.’ There is no god above Nuit and Hadit. More on this throughout.
22. Now, therefore, I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.
Sometimes interpretation can’t do a passage justice. So stop and ruminate on this for awhile. Nuit is ‘the All.’ There’s an emotion you have when you think about something so large as infinity.
23. But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!
Nuit promises great punishment for those who do not understand. But she promises great blessings or great power for those who do – even to the point that you are ‘chief of all.’ Whether these words are figurative or literal is up to the reader.
24. I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty.
Now we start breaking to qabala (not to be confused with Jewish Kabbalah).
6 and 50.
25. Divide, add, multiply, and understand.
The text tells us to divide, add and multiple 6 and 50 to understand the nature of Nuit.
6 / 50 = 0.12; Zero is Nuit (as you’ll see) because she is everything, which is the same as nothing. The decimal is Hadit, the point within the circle. One is whole, Two is divided “for the chance of union.”
6+50=56 becomes 5+6=11; the magickal number of ritual.
6×50=300; the child within or Horus.
26. Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I, and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bendingdown, a lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.
[Image of Nuit]
27. Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space, kissing her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat: 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!
Nuit is the All. So there is no other or opposite to her. After all, what is up without down? Their existence depends on each other, so Nuit does not exist. The All does not exist. The All is Nothing. And Nothing is infinite.
28. None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.
Here 0=2. Nuit is zero, with her lover, the decimal Hadit, she becomes 1, but Hadit is observing her, so she is 2.
Just like in the above equation 0.12
29. For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union.
Nuit was divided so she could come back together in love. There can be no love, in fact, nothing at all without division (duality).
30. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.
We might feel pain in a world with duality, but don’t fear. It’s not separation, its the chance for union (a positive spin). And when duality comes back together, it is dissolution – oblivion, nothing at all.
31. For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all! They feel little; what is, is balanced by weak joys; but ye are my chosen ones.
Thelemites understand this mystery of Nuit. Non-initiates do not. Nuit promises intense joy for understanding this (and following the true Will), but instead fools entertain themselves with “weak joys.”
32. 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.
Obey Crowley, she says. Nuit makes a promise to release you from all suffering by virtue of following the Will.
33. Then the priest fell into a deep trance or swoon, & said unto the Queen of Heaven; Write unto us the ordeals; write unto us the rituals; write unto us the law!
Here, Crowley faints but is controlled by Aiwass to continue writing. Crowley asks Nuit to reveal the ordeals (which is hard to explain), the rituals and the Law of the new religion.
34. But she said: the ordeals I write not: the rituals shall be half known and half concealed: the Law is for all.
The ordeals are kept secret from the Book. Essentially the ordeals are obstacles on specific paths on qabalistic the tree of life. The rituals will be half-revealed in the Book of the Law (meaning they will likely be hidden in symbolic verses or they will need be expounded on by Crowley; both of which happen). And finally, the Law will be revealed because it is meant for everyone.
35. This that thou writest is the threefold book of Law.
The Book has three chapters spoken by three different ‘voices’ through Aiwass and is dictated over three days.
36. My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he shall comment thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
Crowley, the human author, will not change one letter (or even the shapes of the letters) of the Book because it is so holy. But if there are any errors, he will comment on it through the power of Horus.
37. Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and teach.
Basically means Crowley will make up rituals for the new religion.
38. He must teach; but he may make severe the ordeals.
Crowley will be the teacher for the new religion. But he too must go through the ordeals (or barriers to realizing their True Will, as guided by their Holy Guardian Angel, along the initiator path of the Tree of Life), as will anyone else who progresses through this religions
39. The word of the Law is THELEMA.
The word of the Law is Will or 93.
40. Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close into the word. For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
And now we see the infamous command. Let’s pick through this. Adherents of the new religions are called, Thelemites or those who follow the Will. There are three grades of Thelemites which correspond to the Tree of Life (see verse 34, click “the ordeals”). These represent major achievements in mastering your own soul, understanding the Law, getting in contact with your Holy Guardian Angel and living according to the Will rather than your own ego.
41. The word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will! O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it to the aeons! Hell.
There’s a lot to unpack here. First, Crowley clarifies that the word of the old aeons was sin and restriction. He relates this to sex, marriage and monogomy as a form of restriction. In the new Aeon of Horus, there are no restrictions or sins as long as the individual listens to their true Will. Nuit then curses restriction.
42. Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will.
Again, the old aeon was restrictive and odious. The new Aeon says that you have no right, except to live in accordance with the Will.
43. Do that, and no other shall say nay.
Obviously, if you are living according to Thelema (a philosophy that bascially requires members to break social mores), you will get some push back from the followers of the word of restriction. So what is Crowley saying here? Well, according to Thelema, every man and woman is a star with an appropriate course (in the same way that a star has a course). If you living according to your Will, or inner star, then you will live – not in opposition to the universal Will – but rather with it. None shall say nay because you are living the life that you should be – and the universe will reward you.
44. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.
[Stolen from Reballas?] You should want to live with the Will because it is perfect for you as an individual. Not because it will grant you anything or give you the results you want. It’s just the right way to live.
45. The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!
Again we see Nuit as the perfected Nothing. Divided into two for the chance of union; which is, again, nothing.
46. Nothing is a secret key of this law. Sixty-one the Jews call it; I call it eight, eighty, four hundred & eighteen.
And here’s where things get really complicated; but I will try to keep it short since I could spend entire blog posts on this and most Thelemites spend their lives studying these mysteries. What we see here is a culmination of tarot, qabala and the new religion.
According to Hebrew geometria 61 is Ain, meaning ‘nothing’ or ‘not.’ It is the Veil of the Negative, a Nothing Limitless Light (Ain Soph Aur). But 61 is also the ‘Naveh’ which is a habitat or house (more on this).
But Nuit has other names for ‘nothing’ including 8, 80 and 418. I’ll run through this quickly: 8 relates to the planet Mercury, the juggler/magus in the tarot, the Path of Sephiroth and again a ‘house.’ 80 is the tower or house of God. 418 is the secret word Abrahadabra, and relates to ‘the chariot,’ the Great Work and the Holy Guardian Angel. (for more on this see the link).
One possible interpretation is the Nuit is describing the path of initiation, along the Tree of Life, to the godhead – perfect union with one’s Will.
47. But they have the half: unite by thine art so that all disappear.
Again we see Crowley discussing the nature of Nuit. Half of 2 is 1, 1 united is 0 “so that all disappear.” As far as I can tell, we are seeing a reversal of creation from the formula 0.12
Another interpretation is that “their half” refers to the Hebrew 61, which when added to 8+80+418 equals 567 – the Transparent Light above the Tree of Life. But things go even further since 8+80+418=506, which becomes 605 when reversed. If 61 is added back to 605, we find 666 aka the number of the beast – and the beast is, of course, Crowley.
48. My prophet is a fool with his one, one, one; are not they the Ox, and none by the Book?
Here we again see one of Crowley’s names, as well as an allusion to the tarot in ‘ox’ and ‘fool’. 111 represents the fool who’s value in tarot is zero.
49. Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs. Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods; and let Asar be with Isa, who also are one. But they are not of me. Let Asar be the adorant, Isa the sufferer; Hoor in his secret name and splendour is the Lord initiating.
All laws and customers are repealed. Horus the Child has taken his seat in the East (where the sun rises, and Thelema is a solar religion) at the Equinox of the Gods. The Equinox is the end of the old Aeon of the Resurected God (think of the various dead-and-resurections myths including Christianity) which is replaced with the Aeon of Horus which is “innocent” like a child. A child can do a gentle or harmful act, but he or she may not understand the ramifications for doing it or whether it is good or evil. If we follow our Will in this new Aeon (lasting roughly 2,000 years beginning with the completion of the Book of the Law), we too will be “innocent” in our actions – divorced from the stigmas of the past or the lust for result.
50. There is a word to say about the Hierophantic task. Behold! there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest. Thus ye have star & star, system & system; let not one know well the other!
A hierophant is someone who brings the congregation into the presence of the divine (Crowley) and in a card within the tarot. The “ordeals” are tests of devotion for occult followers, which Nuit has hidden in occult language. (the link in verse 46 has some great information on the topic). In Thelema, the ordeals are often revealed through cultist organizations like the OTO. They can also be thought of as barriers within the training of the development of the individual to unite with the Will.
51. There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there; and all rare scents; jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in turn or at once the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the palace. Will he not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But there are means and means. Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me.
The first part is a description of the Tree of Life, which I won’t get into here. But basically the floor and four gates of the palace relate to the center pillar of the Tree of Life, which can be traveled up or down until the initiate realizes their Will.
The second part is pretty unique to Crowley. He didn’t just come up with another esoteric faith honoring bread and water, he came up with a rich ideology filled with passion, fine clothes, drugs, alcohol, wild sex, poetry and ritual. While these things might just be sex, drugs and rock n’ roll for the unititated, the Thelemite will perform these actions to get closer to the divine (much in the same way as Tantra). Or, as Crowley says in The Law of Liberty Liber 837: “make your self- indulgence your religion.”
52. If this be not aright; if ye confound the space-marks, saying: They are one; or saying, They are many; if the ritual be not ever unto me: then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit!
There is no value in performing any action outside of one’s Will. Sure, some of the noninitates or powers that be (space-marks) might say their is one god or many gods. But it doesn’t matter if the rituals or actions are not performed according to the Will. They will suffer the wrath of Horus, as will anyone living outside of the Will, outside of the path best fit for an individual by the universe.
53. This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss. Also, o scribe and prophet, though thou be of the princes, it shall not assuage thee nor absolve thee. But ecstasy be thine and joy of earth: ever To me! To me!
Remember, Nuit is the sky bending to kiss the earth. If humankind chooses to accept the Will, the world will be healed of discontent and disagreement as each star (or person) will follow their perfect path.
54. Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold! thou, o prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein.
Again, even the shapes of the letters are said to hold secret meanings of which not even Crowley is privvy.
55. The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them.
Crowley’s magickal child will solve these puzzles; which is not the same as a biological child as revealed in the next verse.
56. Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.
One feature of the occult is that the mysteries are never satisfied… and that’s kind of the point. Something as complex as the hidden construction of the universe or that nature of the soul can’t possibily be summed up in a nice neat package. Future occultists will need to reinterpret Crowley’s words and will inevitably expand on his work.
57. Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God.
The stars are again representative of the universe Will within Nuit, the totality of everything.
But what does “love is the law, love under will” mean? In Thelema, the star is something like a monad which can attach itself to any possibility. This connection is Love in the same way that Nuit has divided “for the chance of union.” Anything and everything that happens becomes a part of Nuit, but it is always best to move according to the Will “love under will.”
Crowley says “While will is the law, the nature of that will is love. But this love is as it were a by-product of that will; it does not contradict or supersede that will.”
The dove and serpent is probably a reference to Hadit; or it could represent peace and violence.
The “fortress” relates back to the idea of a “house” as in verse 46, or “house of God” as in verse 57. But what is god in Thelema? The star, of course. This is the eternal and true self, according to Crowley, lasts outside of space and time. It is perfect and unchanging – however, it can imagine itself as a human if it chooses (for a chance of union). The House of God is the soul (Khu) in which the star (khabs) resides. And the soul, of course, is within the body.
Not to mention that Thelema is furiously individualistic. Many of Crowley’s rituals require that the magickian visualize themselves as a divinity (a practice similar to the path of Tantra).
All these old letters of my Book are aright; but [Tzaddi] is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise.
In this instance, the “Book” is the tarot; which Nuit confirms is correct save the “star” which is switched with the Emperor. Crowley will reveal this to his followers in the Book of Thoth (or tarot).
58. I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.
Here Crowley butts heads against the Abrahamic faiths back asserting that Nuit is superior to the God of the Bible. Nuit gives joys here on earth, rather than some promised reward you only receive after death She offers certainty in life, not faith. She offeres peace unutterable upon death (when the star returns to its everlasting perfection). She does not demand anything at all in sacrifice.
59. My incense is of resinous woods & gums; and there is no blood therein: because of my hair the trees of Eternity.
From what I can tell this is alluding to ritual.
60. 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.
Again, Nuit prescribes a sigil for ritual, which she promised to do earlier in the chapter. The number 11 means ritual, so that’s a dead giveaway.
Crowley closes the verse saying the blind see Nuit as black (the night sky) but the faithful see her in full detail (the night sky is really deep blue with glittering stars). A secret glory for Thelemites.
61. 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. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in spendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress. 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!
Prescriptions for ritual.
62. At all my meetings with you shall the priestess say — and her eyes shall burn with desire as she stands bare and rejoicing in my secret temple — To me! To me! calling forth the flame of the hearts of all in her love-chant.
Passion in poetry.
63. Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Wear to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you!
Nuit loves us.
64. I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky.
Again, a description of Nuit as the arched body of the night sky.
65. To me! To me!
Always according to the Will.
66. The Manifestation of Nuit is at an end.
And Crowley stops writing for the day (as do I).
Liber AL vel Legis Chapter II
1. Nu! the hiding of Hadit.
In this chapter, Aiwass speaks for Hadit.
2. 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.
Hadit will reveal more secrets. Hadit is the complement of Nuit, the observer which allows the universe to know itself. “I am not extended” Unlike Nuit (who is boundless), Hadit is a mathematical point without extention. The Khabs or star is his ‘house.’
3. In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found.
Image. Nuit is boundless, Hadit is infinitesimal. Both require the other to “exist.”
4. Yet she shall be known & I never.
Hadit can not be “known” because he is the observer though which Nuit is known.
5. Behold! the rituals of the old time are black. Let the evil ones be cast away; let the good ones be purged by the prophet! Then shall this Knowledge go aright.
Here we see the first inklings of Thelema’s militant side. Do away with the old aeon religions and rituals, says Crowley.
6. 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.
Hadit has the ability to give life or take it away. He is the core of the star, or ultimate perfect self, which guides us.
7. 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.
Again, Hadit is the giver of life (magician) and the taker of life (excorcist). He is the core of our star, the cube in the circle. You cannot come to Hadit, because Hadit is energy which allows us to move about the world and experience anything.
8. Who worshipped Heru-pa-kraath have worshipped me; ill, for I am the worshipper.
Whoever worships Horus the Child (the ruler of the Aeon), worships Hadit, who manifests through us.
9. Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.
Thelemites are thankful to be alive, even if that leads to pain. Because they know that the ability to experience life at all, is a gift. Similarly, they are not afraid of death. While this body, ego and personality might fade away, there is something that remains beyond death (the star or true Will).
10. O prophet! thou hast ill will to learn this writing.
Crowley is unlucky to have learned this Book.
11. I see thee hate the hand & the pen; but I am stronger.
Because Crowley is not the author. Aiwass is. This is an example of alleged automatic writing. Crowley can’t even stop writing, though he wants to.
12. Because of me in Thee which thou knewest not.
Aiwass is pulling knowledge from within Crowley that Crowley did not know he had. Although it is debated among Thelemites whether Aiwass was an external supernatural entity or a manifestation of Crowley’s own subconscious.
13. for why? Because thou wast the knower, and me.
This is one of the part of the Book which seems to indicate that Crowley’s thoughts are being anticipated by the entity.
14. Now let there be a veiling of this shrine: now let the light devour men and eat them up with blindness!
Seems intentionally contradictory. The light of Hadit’s truth should be veiled, because it is to bright to bold. Reveal it, and let the light devour men and eat them up with blindness.
15. 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.
Nine is the number of change and return; multiply any number by nine and add the digits and you will once again return to nine.
Nine by the fools refers to the fool tarot card which is zero, just as Hadit is “none indeed.”
“Not” is 31, “none” is 61. These relate to Ain, the highest level of non-existence (the ultimate existence) by the sephiroth Kether.
The letters in Empress and King add up to 11, which is a magical number and the number of ritual.
16. I am The Empress & the Hierophant. Thus eleven, as my bride is eleven.
In the tarot, the Empress is 3 and the Hierophant is 5 which becomes 8, as Hadit mentions in the last verse. Its probably an intended mystery why these two sums are switched in these two verses.
17. Hear me, ye people of sighing!
The sorrows of pain and regret
Are left to the dead and the dying,
The folk that not know me as yet.
The world is full of suffering, and those they abide by the religions of Restriction and Sin are suffering and causing suffering. Knowledge of Hadit can relieve that pain.
18. These are dead, these fellows; they feel not. We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk.
For those that know Hadit and follow the true Will, the rest of humanity will appear as dead zombies, unfeeling, poor and sad. The lord of the earth are fellow Thelemites.
19. 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.
Thelemites see themselves (or more accurately their stars) as gods. This is not the case for the dead masses who are little more than dogs in Crowley’s eyes. Crowley described his perfect political system to be a monarchy of initiated kings ruling over the masses, to help them achieve the Will (‘the slaves shall serve.’)
20. Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.
Joy and ecstasy can be found in Thelema.
21. 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. Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever. Nuit! Hadit! Ra-Hoor-Khuit! The Sun, Strength & Sight, Light; these are for the servants of the Star & the Snake.
Essentially, Hadit is the master of life and death. The king (the awoken star within the Thelemite) does not die. Even when the body of the king decomposes and the personality dies, the star lives on in a state of eternal, unperturbed bliss until it decides to incarnate itself again.
22. I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this.
The Snake is very similar to the serpent in the Garden of Eden, promising knowledge and glory.
Hadit encourages his followers to live life to the fullest and experiement with drugs and drunkeness; promising that it will not harm them at all (similar to Mark 16:18). Crowley, of course, was a heavy drug user and an inspiration to counter cultural figureheads like Timothy Leary.
Hadit goes on to say that Restriction is a lie, and that any God that demands passion, pleasure and ecstasy in this life are liars.
23. I am alone: there is no God where I am.
There can be no God without Hadit. When Hadit and Nuit are joined, there is nothing.
24. Behold! these be grave mysteries; for there are also of my friends who be hermits. Now think not to find them in the forest or on the mountain; but in beds of purple, caressed by magnificent beasts of women with large limbs, and fire and light in their eyes, and masses of flaming hair about them; there shall ye find them. Ye shall see them at rule, at victorious armies, at all the joy; and there shall be in them a joy a million times greater than this. Beware lest any force another, King against King! Love one another with burning hearts; on the low men trample in the fierce lust of your pride, in the day of your wrath.
Hermits of of Hadit, but don’t look for them in caves like the ascetics. Instead look for them in the throws of passion.
But the Kings (Thelemites) must be certain not to force one another to do anything, because the perfect Will implies no conflict or contradiction for anyone on the path. But rather, those who do not obey the Will will be trampled by the new aeon.
25. Ye are against the people, O my chosen!
Here we find the inklings of a form of spiritual warfare. The Thelemites are somehow chosen to be above the uninitiated.
26. I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.
The serpent conjures up images of the tree of knowledge, the kundalini and the phallus. But don’t forget that Hadit is the image of the serpent wrapped around the sun. When the phallus is erect it meets with Nuit for spiritual union, but if is spits forth is venom in the material realm, the two are one. Heaven and earth are brought together in sexual union, aka ‘magick.’
27. 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.
Those who do not understand this will waste much of the spiritual energy and waste their lives. Most of the time this is because they try to analyze the Will with Reason and logic. This becomes their pit an prison (Choronzon).
28. Now a curse upon Because and his kin!
Hadit curses Because and Reason.
29. May Because be accursed for ever!
30. If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.
Will does not need a Reason to act. Will just acts. It is Horus the Child. And a child acts with pure innocence whether or not he/she causes joy or harm.
Or as Damien says in The Omen III, “Most people confuse evil with their own trivial lusts and perversions. Now, true evil is as pure as innocence.”
Will cannot ask Why or Because, because then it would cease to be Will, its very nature.
31. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.
Power never needs to ask for permission.
32. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.
Human reason cannot fathom the infinite and unknown. Those that try to use Reason to assess the ultimate truth as deceived.
33. Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!
Because is a dog, and God cannot be expected to live in a dog.
34. But ye, o my people, rise up & awake!
This has several meanings. The most obvious being that Thelemites should awaken to the truth, but it could also relate to the initiates ascent through the sephiroth.
35. Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy & beauty!
In Thelema, rituals aren’t some dull church services, but rather a celebration of life, passion and the union of the self with the divine.
36. There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times.
Here Crowley is setting up the holidays for his new religion. In this case, the equinoxes and solstices.
37. A feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride!
August 12th to commemorate the marriage of Crowley and Rose Kelly.
38. A feast for the three days of the writing of the Book of the Law.
April 8th, 9th and 10th to commemorate the write of the Book of the Law as dictated by Aiwass.
39. A feast for Tahuti and the child of the Prophet–secret, O Prophet!
This holiday is something of a secret only revealed to initiates. But taking a wild stab at interpretation, Tahuti is probably a reference to Thoth; or it could have something to do with the birth one of Crowley’s children or even “magickal children” which isn’t the same as a biological child.
40. A feast for the Supreme Ritual, and a feast for the Equinox of the Gods.
March 20th to invoke Horus, the god of the new aeon.
41. A feast for fire and a feast for water; a feast for life and a greater feast for death!
A celebration at the puberty of a boy or girl, respectively. Along with a feast for the birth and death of an individual.
42. A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my rapture!
Every moment is a celebration of life in Thelema.
43. A feast every night unto Nu, and the pleasure of uttermost delight!
44. Aye! feast! rejoice! there is no dread hereafter. There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu.
Death is not some dreary state for the Thelemite. But rather extereme and eternal ecstasy as their star resides in the perfection of Nuit.
45. There is death for the dogs.
Dogs again refers to the uninitiated.
46. Dost thou fail? Art thou sorry? Is fear in thine heart?
The Thelemite has nothing to fear.
47. Where I am these are not.
Where Hadit is, there is not fear or regret.
48. Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler.
Pity not the trampled uninitiated. Having pity for them is not part of the true Will. Consolation will only hold back the Thelemite and king.
49. I am unique & conqueror. I am not of the slaves that perish. Be they damned & dead! Amen. (This is of the 4: there is a fifth who is invisible, & therein am I as a babe in an egg. )
Hadit is a conqueror, he is warlike. The “4” and “fifth” are mysteries, but could refer to the four doorways of the soul (center pillar of the tree of life), the four elements including a secret fifth element, the tarot in which 4 if the militant emperor and 5 is the hierophant Horus, etc.
50. Blue am I and gold in the light of my bride: but the red gleam is in my eyes; & my spangles are purple & green.
Gold is the stars of Nuit, red is Hadit’s warlike nature, purple is royalty and green is rebirth.
51. Purple beyond purple: it is the light higher than eyesight.
Purple beyond purple is possibly the crown chakra or the Ain Soph beyond the tree of life.
52. There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not your vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter.
Modesty is death, according to Crowley. And the modest woman is the Restriction of the old aeon which is now superseded by the Scarlett Woman of Crowley’s religion.
Crowley says “veil not your vices in virtuous words” because these vices are actually religious sacraments unto Hadit. This includes activities associated with the Left Hand Path including sex magick and drug use. Ironically, Crowley veiled much of Thelema’s vices in virtuous language.
53. Fear not, o prophet, when these words are said, thou shalt not be sorry. Thou art emphatically my chosen; and blessed are the eyes that thou shalt look upon with gladness. But I will hide thee in a mask of sorrow: they that see thee shall fear thou art fallen: but I lift thee up.
Fear not, because you are in the good graces of Hadit.
54. Nor shall they who cry aloud their folly that thou meanest nought avail; thou shall reveal it: thou availest: they are the slaves of because: They are not of me. The stops as thou wilt; the letters? change them not in style or value!
Fear not the “slaves of because” because you are beyond them. Also do not change the letters of this Book, but publish them as there were written since even the shapes of the letters have hidden intent.
55. Thou shalt obtain the order & value of the English Alphabet; thou shalt find new symbols to attribute them unto.
The old aeons provided useful kabbalah in Hebrew and Greek, but English kabbalah will be important in the new aeon.
56. Begone! ye mockers; even though ye laugh in my honour ye shall laugh not long: then when ye are sad know that I have forsaken you.
People who mock the Will will suffer because of it, possibly be fading away forever in death.
57. He that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is filthy shall be filthy still.
Very similar to Revelation 22:11. In this case the Thelemites are chosen and pure, no matter how many times they return, while the filthy will remain that way as well.
58. Yea! deem not of change: ye shall be as ye are, & not other. Therefore the kings of the earth shall be Kings for ever: the slaves shall serve. There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was. Yet there are masked ones my servants: it may be that yonder beggar is a King. A King may choose his garment as he will: there is no certain test: but a beggar cannot hide his poverty.
The kings of the earth are meant to rule and the slaves are meant to serve. Each star is in its own path and only when we discover our true Natures can we see the perfection of this system. However, this is alarmingly authoritarian.
It goes on to say that a King (initiate) can appear as a slave (a non-initiate) without losing his or her power and authority. However a slave can only be a slave (non-initiate). If a King is in hiding, another initiate needs not worry how they treat the “King in slave’s clothing” because a King cannot be harmed.
59. Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him.
60. Therefore strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master!
Similar to a Buddhist saying: “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the Buddha.” Embracing or cherishing something, even the image of the Buddha, is a stumbling block on our path to enlightenment.
Similarly, pity or compassion are stumbling blocks on the path to Will.
61. There is a light before thine eyes, o prophet, a light undesired, most desirable.
Hadit speaks of truth as a blinding light; undesired by the uninitiated and desired by the initiate.
62. I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body.
63. Thou art exhaust in the voluptuous fullness of the inspiration; the expiration is sweeter than death, more rapid and laughterful than a caress of Hell’s own worm.
In Hadit, fullness and pleasure are found in life and in death. This is comparable to orgasm.
64. Oh! thou art overcome: we are upon thee; our delight is all over thee: hail! hail: prophet of Nu! prophet of Had! prophet of Ra-Hoor-Khu! Now rejoice! now come in our splendour & rapture! Come in our passionate peace, & write sweet words for the Kings.
Commanding Crowley to write the Book, which calls for rejoicing.
65. I am the Master: thou art the Holy Chosen One.
Hadit is the master, Crowley is the chosen one.
66. Write, & find ecstasy in writing! Work, & be our bed in working! Thrill with the joy of life & death! Ah! thy death shall be lovely: whososeeth it shall be glad. Thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our age long love. Come! lift up thine heart & rejoice! We are one; we are none.
Commands Crowley to find joy in his writing (compared to the previous chapter in which Crowley nearly fainted while writing). The Book is compared to a bed, which implies sex and creation.
Death is again mentioned as a great blessing. This can be interpreted in a number of ways. For Thelemites, death could be the fulfillment of a life well lived; or this could have been a failed prophesy for Crowley saying that his death would be something great.
Again we see the themes of union and dissolution.
67. Hold! Hold! Bear up in thy rapture; fall not in swoon of the excellent kisses!
More pleasure poetry.
68. Harder! Hold up thyself! Lift thine head! breathe not so deep — die!
Aiwass seems to be addressing Crowley in a state of exhaustion for the writing of the Book of the Law.
69. Ah! Ah! What do I feel? Is the word exhausted?
70. There is help & hope in other spells. Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!
Be overcome by joy. But don’t be overcome by your animal nature. All action should be taken as a ritual under Will. Enjoy excess, but only with dignity. That is the subtly of the Law.
71. But exceed! exceed!
72. Strive ever to more! and if thou art truly mine — and doubt it not, an if thou art ever joyous! — death is the crown of all.
Strive for this fullness of life, until you die. This is Kether, the crown of all.
73. Ah! Ah! Death! Death! thou shalt long for death. Death is forbidden, o man, unto thee.
More of the same.
74. The length of thy longing shall be the strength of its glory. He that lives long & desires death much is ever the King among the Kings.
More of the same.
75. Aye! listen to the numbers & the words:
And here comes one of the greatest puzzles of the Book of the Law.
76. 4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L G M O R 3 Y X 24 89 R P S T O V A L. What meaneth this, o prophet? Thou knowest not; nor shalt thou know ever. There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it. But remember, o chose none, to be me; to follow the love of Nu in the star-lit heaven; to look forth upon men, to tell them this glad word.
Crowley will never understand this, says Aiwass / Hadit. Another will come to interpret this mystery (sometimes called the “Riddle of AL“).
According to one translation, it reads: “Father (of) Manhood and Sexuality! O King (of) Fortune! Mighty (Beast) 666! The Second (Beast) (is come to) manhood, the youth [or child], the Perfection, the Fulfillment (of the promise), O King! Master (of the Temple), Anointed One (who hath achieved) Hadith, (long) implored, called upon and invoked, (in the name of) Athoth (shut up in silence). Tier of this Gordian Knot, the Antichrist, (thy) most Beloved One, the second beast, (thy Sword, the Sword of Horus, is here!)”
77. O be thou proud and mighty among men!
Be proud of being a Thelemite.
78. Lift up thyself! for there is none like unto thee among men or among Gods! Lift up thyself, o my prophet, thy stature shall surpass the stars. They shall worship thy name, foursquare, mystic, wonderful, the number of the man; and the name of thy house 418.
Thelemites, through their practice, raise themselves above humankind and even the gods. 418 is of course Abrahadabra. A foursquare name might either refer to the fourfold name of Tetragrammaton or magickal squares. The house might refer to the soul in which the star (or Hadit) is contained.
79. The end of the hiding of Hadit; and blessing & worship to the prophet of the lovely Star!
Liber AL vel Legis Chapter III
1. Abrahadabra; the reward of Ra Hoor Khut.
Abrahadabra is the word of the Aeon, delivered by Horus as promised by Aiwass. Its sum is 418 and it has 11 letters (both numbers should make sense to you by now). It is a magickal formula with many interpretations. Of course, Thelemites would agree you can learn more by sussing out the meaning yourself.
2. There is division hither homeward; there is a word not known. Spelling is defunct; all is not aught. Beware! Hold! Raise the spell of Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
All is not all. Our forms of spelling and mathematics cannot fully comprehend what Horus is about to tell us.
3. Now let it be first understood that I am a god of War and of Vengeance. I shall deal hardly with them.
Horus the child is a terrifying god of war.
4. Choose ye an island!
The island is not dissimilar to a state of mind, consciousness or soul that is spiritually able to connect with the star. It is likened to an island because it is singular and unrelated to the invading energies, ideas, restrictions, etc.
5. Fortify it!
Strengthen it, likely through magick and meditation.
6. Dung it about with enginery of war!
The island must declare war against invading forces, energies, ideas, biases, ego trips, restrictions… anything outside of the true Will.
7. I will give you a war-engine.
Luckily, Horus will supply the war engine.
8. With it ye shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before you.
Crowley claimed Horus’ chapter was too militant for him, however Israel Regardie (the Beast’s secretary) said it was very much inline with Crowley’s thinking.
9. Lurk! Withdraw! Upon them! this is the Law of the Battle of Conquest: thus shall my worship be about my secret house.
The secret house of Horus is the star or true Will expressing itself through an individual soul. Horus demands that you conquer the ambiguous enemies in various ways (lurk, withdraw, attack, etc.)
10. Get the stele of revealing itself; set it in thy secret temple — and that temple is already aright disposed — & it shall be your Kiblah for ever. It shall not fade, but miraculous colour shall come back to it day after day. Close it in locked glass for a proof to the world.
Horus commands Crowley to use the Stele of Revealing (the museum icon that inspired a new religion) as proof of his claims and an object of worship.
11. This shall be your only proof. I forbid argument. Conquer! That is enough. I will make easy to you the abstruction from the ill-ordered house in the Victorious City. Thou shalt thyself convey it with worship, o prophet, though thou likest it not. Thou shalt have danger & trouble. Ra-Hoor-Khu is with thee. Worship me with fire & blood; worship me with swords & with spears. Let the woman be girt with a sword before me: let blood flow to my name. Trample down the Heathen; be upon them, o warrior, I will give you of their flesh to eat!
The stele is proof enough. Horus again forbids Because and Reason. Then things turn eschatological.
Horus will make Thelemites a force against the ill-ordered Vatican. There will be great danger. But don’t worry, Horus is with you. There will be blood, Horus commands it. The woman girt with sword could be the Whore of Babylon. The non-Thelemites will be trampled.
Of course, as with anything written by Crowley – blood could very well mean semen. Often things like blood and death are used as symbols for sex magick.
12. Sacrifice cattle, little and big: after a child.
Spare none. Sacrifice masses of people, big and little, even children. It could also be a prophesy about Crowley’s own life.
13. But not now.
This is a future event.
14. Ye shall see that hour, o blessed Beast, and thou the Scarlet Concubine of his desire!
A prediction for Crowley and Rose.
15. Ye shall be sad thereof.
Some believe this to be a prophesy regarding the untimely death of Lilith Crowley (by typhoid), Crowley’s daughter. He was very distraught by this.
16. Deem not too eagerly to catch the promises; fear not to undergo the curses. Ye, even ye, know not this meaning all.
Don’t look to eagerly for reward. Do not fear difficulties. Not even Crowley understand the meaning of it all.
17. Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth. Nu is your refuge as Hadit your light; and I am the strength, force, vigour, of your arms.
Horus says not to fear anything in the universe. Nuit is our refuge. Hadit is our light. And Horus is our strength. Each play a necessary role in our lives.
18. Mercy let be off; damn them who pity! Kill and torture; spare not; be upon them!
Pity and mercy have nothing to do with the true Will. These are obstacles that will divert you from your path. You cannot lift anyone up in Thelema. You can only go about your course and hope that other discover the Will.
19. That stele they shall call the Abomination of Desolation; count well its name, & it shall be to you as 718.
Thelema, as represented by the stele, will be called an abomination because it will decimate the false philosophies. 718 -> 7+1+8 = 16 -> 1+6 = 7 -> the chariot, the tarot for victory.
20. Why? Because of the fall of Because, that he is not there again.
Horus will defeat Because. Magick transcends the restrictions of Because and Reason.
21. Set up my image in the East: thou shalt buy thee an image which I will show thee, especial, not unlike the one thou knowest. And it shall be suddenly easy for thee to do this.
Set up a religious image to Horus in the East. It will be like the sun. It will be easy.
22. The other images group around me to support me: let all be worshipped, for they shall cluster to exalt me. I am the visible object of worship; the others are secret; for the Beast & his Bride are they: and for the winners of the Ordeal x. What is this? Thou shalt know.
Set up other idols and images. Ritual magick is made stronger by adding more symbolism. Horus is the object of worship, the rest is secret.
Ordeal X is quiet complicated, but essential relates to one of the difficulties or mental blocks encountered by Thelemites as the progress through the Tree of Life to better connect their personal wills to the true Will.
23. For perfume mix meal & honey & thick leavings of red wine: then oil of Abramelin and olive oil, and afterward soften & smooth down with rich fresh blood.
Basically Crowley is setting up a recipe for anointing oil, not dissimilar to the ritual for conjuring one’s Holy Guardian Angel.
24. The best blood is of the moon, monthly: then the fresh blood of a child, or dropping from the host of heaven: then of enemies; then of the priest or of the worshippers: last of some beast, no matter what.
Here we find the recipe for the Cakes of Light. Crowley believes that the sexual fluids contain magick and power; and that is the essential secret of all the worlds religions and rituals. Crowley believes that every part of the body (even the gross parts) are of the Gods. By feeding oneself Cakes of Light, the participant feeds their soul, finds connection with the divine through Left Hand Path-style rituals and breaks Restriction and Sin implanted biases.
The recipe calls for menstrual blood, semen and other less salacious ingredients.
25. This burn: of this make cakes & eat unto me. This hath also another use; let it be laid before me, and kept thick with perfumes of your orison: it shall become full of beetles as it were and creeping things sacred unto me.
This cake can be eaten to make the soul sacred, burned as an offering to the gods or fed to bugs as an offering to the gods.
26. These slay, naming your enemies; & they shall fall before you.
Also useful for hexes.
27. Also these shall breed lust & power of lust in you at the eating thereof.
These cakes should fill you with power and lust. Both essential ingredients for magick.
28. Also ye shall be strong in war.
These cakes will make you strong in either a metaphorical or literal war.
29. Moreover, be they long kept, it is better; for they swell with my force. All before me.
The longer you keep these (or the more they rot) the better.
30. My altar is of open brass work: burn thereon in silver or gold!
Prescriptions for an altar.
31. There cometh a rich man from the West who shall pour his gold upon thee.
Not really sure what this is referring to. A prophesy?
32. From gold forge steel!
Gold is great, but Horus is a god of war.
33. Be ready to fly or to smite!
Be ready to do what must be done.
34. But your holy place shall be untouched throughout the centuries: though with fire and sword it be burnt down & shattered, yet an invisible house there standeth, and shall stand until the fall of the Great Equinox; when Hrumachis shall arise and the double-wanded one assume my throne and place. Another prophet shall arise, and bring fresh fever from the skies; another woman shall awakethe lust & worship of the Snake; another soul of God and beast shall mingle in the globed priest; another sacrifice shall stain the tomb; another king shall reign; and blessing no longer be poured To the Hawk-headed mystical Lord!
Your star should be untouched even if you body and soul die. At least until the dawning of the new Aeon. The equinox of the gods where Horus sets and Hrumachis arises. The old aeon will die. The new god will be conceived and born. Horus will be no more.
35. The half of the word of Heru-ra-ha, called Hoor-pa-kraat and Ra-Hoor-Khut.
Horus is found in both the active and passive, vengeful and innocent, but always like a child.
36. Then said the prophet unto the God:
Crowley says to Aiwass…
37. I adore thee in the song —
I am the Lord of Thebes, and I
The inspired forth-speaker of Mentu;
For me unveils the veiled sky,
The self-slain Ankh-af-na-khonsu
Whose words are truth. I invoke, I greet
Thy presence, O Ra-Hoor-Khuit
Unity uttermost showed!
I adore the might of Thy breath,
Supreme and terrible God,
Who makest the gods and death
To tremble before Thee: —
I, I adore thee!
Appear on the throne of Ra!
Open the ways of the Khu!
Lighten the ways of the Ka!
The ways of the Khabs run through
To stir me or still me!
Aum! let it fill me!
Crowley writes a poem to Horus praising him and asking for him to strengthen his mind, body and soul to better align with the Khabs, Star, Will.
38. So that thy light is in me; & its red flame is as a sword in my hand to push thy order. There is a secret door that I shall make to establish thy way in all the quarters, (these are the adorations, as thou hast written), as it is said:
The light is mine; its rays consume
Me: I have made a secret door
Into the House of Ra and Tum,
Of Khephra and of Ahathoor.
I am thy Theban, O Mentu,
The prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu!
By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat;
By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell.
Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit!
Bid me within thine House to dwell,
O winged snake of light, Hadit!
Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
Horus will give Crowley a secret path through the Tree of Life, Tarot, etc. to access what Horus needs him to. Essentially, the secret door is the Left Hand Path which isn’t exactly a path, but rather the only way to connect with the divine.
39. All this and a book to say how thou didst come hither and a reproduction of this ink and paper for ever — for in it is the word secret & not only in the English — and thy comment upon this the Book of the Law shall be printed beautifully in red ink and black upon beautiful paper made by hand; and to each man and woman that thou meetest, were it but to dine or to drink at them, it is the Law to give. Then they shall chance to abide in this bliss or no; it is no odds. Do this quickly!
The deity even has instructions for the printers and publishers.
40. But the work of the comment? That is easy; and Hadit burning in thy heart shall make swift and secure thy pen.
Crowley will leave a comment on the book as guided by divine inspiration.
41. Establish at thy Kaaba a clerk-house: all must be done well and with business way.
Aiwass tells Crowley to establish a kaaba accordingly.
42. The ordeals thou shalt oversee thyself, save only the blind ones. Refuse none, but thou shalt know & destroy the traitors. I am Ra-Hoor-Khuit; and I am powerful to protect my servant. Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much! Them that seek to entrap thee, to overthrow thee, them attack without pity or quarter; & destroy them utterly. Swift as a trodden serpent turn and strike! Be thou yet deadlier than he! Drag down their souls to awful torment: laugh at their fear: spit upon them!
Crowley is to administer many of the ordeals himself, except for those beyond human administration. Do not refuse any applicants to Thelema. If there are phonies and traitors, you will know them and destroy them. Horus, of course, will protect his servants.
Success is proof that you are worthy of Horus. Attack those who oppose you without pity. Do not stoop to their level. You are above them in every way.
43. Let the Scarlet Woman beware! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses; then shall my vengeance be known. I will slay me her child: I will alienate her heart: I will cast her out from men: as a shrinking and despised harlot shall she crawl through dusk wet streets, and die cold and an-hungered.
Two interpretations: First, the Scarlet Woman should not show mercy because power does not allow for pity or Because. If she succumbs to pity she loses her power and her child dies and cannot be given birth to in the City of Pyramids and instead falls into the abyss with Choronzon.
Another interpretation is the Rose will fail as a Scarlet Woman and will lose her daughter because of it. Doomed to wander the streets in poverty.
44. But let her raise herself in pride! Let her follow me in my way! Let her work the work of wickedness! Let her kill her heart! Let her be loud and adulterous! Let her be covered with jewels, and rich garments, and let her be shameless before all men!
Revelation 17. The Scarlet Woman is the Whore of Babylon and indulges in the richest decadence and depravity.
45. Then will I lift her to pinnacles of power: then will I breed from her a child mightier than all the kings of the earth. I will fill her with joy: with my force shall she see & strike at the worship of Nu: she shall achieve Hadit.
The Scarlet Woman will give birth to the Antichrist.
46. I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the Eighties cower before me, & are abased. I will bring you to victory & joy: I will be at your arms in battle & ye shall delight to slay. Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on, in my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any!
Even Crowley said he was confused by this. As far as I can tell, the forties is death. Eighty is the worshipers of the old Aeon. Most people tend to think this is a reference to the 1940s and the 1980s.
More war talk.
47. This book shall be translated into all tongues: but always with the original in the writing of the Beast; for in the chance shape of the letters and their position to one another: in these are mysteries that no Beast shall divine. Let him not seek to try: but one cometh after him, whence I say not, who shall discover the Key of it all. Then this line drawn is a key: then this circle squared in its failure is a key also. And Abrahadabra. It shall be his child & that strangely. Let him not seek after this; for thereby alone can he fall from it.
Again Crowley talks about the secrets hidden in the shape of his letters. Of course, another will come an elucidate the Book and its mysteries. Aiwass goes on to offer a vague key for the operation.
48. Now this mystery of the letters is done, and I want to go on to the holier place.
49. I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men.
Horus is the the new secret fourfold word, thereby making tetragrammaton obsolete. Crowley then goes on to blasphemy the gods.
50. Curse them! Curse them! Curse them!
51. With my Hawk’s head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross.
Horus the hawk claws out the eyes of Jesus. The dead-and-rising god is no more. Now is the time for Horus.
52. I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him.
Moving from Christianity to Islam.
53. With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongol and Din.
As well as the eastern religions.
54. Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds.
Curses only found in The Book of the Law.
55. Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you!
Blasphemy against the Virgin Mary. Curses chastity as a Restriction, therefore against the law of Thelema.
56. Also for beauty’s sake and love’s!
True beauty is found under Will and Love.
57. Despise also all cowards; professional soldiers who dare not fight, but play; all fools despise!
Despise cowards, fools and those armed with strength who dare not follow their Will to fight. As Aiwass mentioned before, pity and mercy are not permissible.
58. But the keen and the proud, the royal and the lofty; ye are brothers!
Instead, be proud of yourselves Thelemites.
59. As brothers fight ye!
Thelemites are brothers and sisters under the Law.
60. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.
61. There is an end of the word of the God enthroned in Ra’s seat, lightening the girders of the soul.
The Book of the Law is almost finished. Horus the Child is seated upon the throne of Ra, the sun god. His light guards our souls.
62. To Me do ye reverence! to me come ye through tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss.
Come to Horus through “the ordeals”. It will be hard, but the reward is bliss.
63. The fool readeth this Book of the Law, and its comment; & he understandeth it not.
Fools will not understand Aiwass’ message, the Book of the Law, or the comment Crowley writes.
64. Let him come through the first ordeal, & it will be to him as silver.
The ordeals are barriers on the path the self identification with the Will. The silver, gold and precious stones of water all represent sepheroth on the Tree of Life.
65. Through the second, gold.
66. Through the third, stones of precious water.
67. Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire.
Basically we have gone up the center pillar of the Tree of Life and connected with Kether.
68. Yet to all it shall seem beautiful. Its enemies who say not so, are mere liars.
The Book of the Law is beautiful, even to those who do not understand it. Those who say otherwise are liars.
69. There is success.
70. I am the Hawk-Headed Lord of Silence & of Strength; my nemyss shrouds the night-blue sky.
Horus is the hawk-headed god. He is silent and strong. Nuit is his nemyss, meaning the ritual Egyptian headdress of the pharaohs.
71. Hail! ye twin warriors about the pillars of the world! for your time is nigh at hand.
The pillars are likely references to Boaz and Jachin. The time prophesied is soon.
72. I am the Lord of the Double Wand of Power; the wand of the Force of Coph Nia–but my left hand is empty, for I have crushed an Universe; & nought remains.
Crowley himself says in The Law Is for All that the double wand of power controls forces active and passive. Coph Nia is a reversal of Ain Soph, the emanations of God above the manifestations in the Tree of Life.
73. Paste the sheets from right to left and from top to bottom: then behold!
If you make a grid of all the pages from the Book of the Law, it should reveal some secret.
74. There is a splendour in my name hidden and glorious, as the sun of midnight is ever the son.
Horus is the son and the sun.
75. The ending of the words is the Word Abrahadabra.
The ending of the Book of the Law is Abrahadabra.
The Book of the Law is Writtenand Concealed.