In paragraphs 5 and 6 the author frankly identifies himself with the BEAST referred to in this book, and in the Apocalypse, and in LIBER LEGIS. In paragraph 6 the word “angel” may refer to his mission, and the word “lion-serpent” to the sigil of his ascending decan. (Teth = Snake = spermatozoon and Leo in the Zodiac, which like Teth itself has the snake-form. Q first written ! = Lingam-Yoni and Sol.)
Paragraph 7 explains the theological difficulty referred to above. There is only one symbol, but this symbol has many names: of these names BABALON is the holiest. It is the name referred to in Liber Legis, 1, 22.
It will be noticed that the figure, or sigil, of BABALON is a seal upon a ring, and this ring is upon the forefinger of IT. This identifies further the symbol with itself.
It will be noticed that this seal, except for the absence of a border, is the official seal of the AA. Compare Chapter 3.
It is also said to be the seal upon the tombs of them that she hath slain, that is, of the Masters of the Temple.
In connection with the number 49, see Liber 418, the 22nd Æthyr, as well as the usual authorities.
THE VIGIL OF ST. HUBERT
In the forest God met the Stag-beetle. “Hold! Wor- ship me!” quoth God. “For I am All-Great, All- Good, All Wise The stars are but sparks from
the forges of My smiths ”
“Yea, verily and Amen,” said the Stag-beetle, “all this do I believe, and that devoutly.”
“Then why do you not worship Me?”
“Because I am real and your are only imaginary.”
But the leaves of the forest rustled with the laughter of the wind.
Said Wind and Wood: “They neither of them know anything!”
St. Hubert appears to have been a saint who saw a stag of a mystical or sacred nature.
The Stag-beetle must not be identified with the one in Chapter 16. It is a merely literary touch.
The chapter is a resolution of the universe into Tetragrammaton; God the macrocosm and the microcosm beetle. Both imagine themselves to exist; both say “you” and “I”, and discuss their relative reality.
The things which really exist, the things which have no Ego, and speak only in the third person, regard these as ignorant, on account of their assumption of Knowledge.
Doubt even if thou doubtest thyself. Doubt all.
Doubt even if thou doubtest all.
It seems sometimes as if beneath all conscious doubt there lay some deepest certainty. O kill it! Slay the snake!
The horn of the Doubt-Goat be exalted!
Dive deeper, ever deeper, into the Abyss of Mind, until thou unearth the fox THAT. On, hounds! Yoicks! Tally-ho! Bring THAT to bay!
Then, wind the Mort!
The number 51 means failure and pain, and its subject is appropriately doubt.
The title of the chapter is borrowed from the health-giving and fascinating sport of fox-hunting, which Frater Perdurabo followed in his youth.
This chapter should be read in connection with “The Solider and the Hunchback” of which it is in some sort an epitome.
Its meaning is sufficiently clear, but in paragraphs 6 and 7 it will be notices that the identification of the Soldier with the Hunchback has reached such a pitch that the symbols are interchanged, enthusiasm being represented as the sinuous snake, scepticism as the Goat of the Sabbath. In other words, a state is reached in which destruction is as much joy as creation. (Compare Chapter 46.)
Beyond this is a still deeper state of mind, which is THAT.
Fourscore and eleven books wrote I; in each did I expound THE GREAT WORK fully, from The beginning even unto The End thereof.
Then at last came certain men unto me, saying: O Master! Expound thou THE GREAT WORK unto us, O Master!
And I held my peace.
O generation of gossipers! who shall deliver you from the Wrath that is fallen upon you?
O Babblers, Prattlers, Talkers, Loquacious Ones, Tatlers, Chewers of the Red Rag that inflameth Apis the Redeemer to fury, learn first what is Work! and THE GREAT WORK is not so far beyond!
52 is BN, the number of the Son, Osiris-Apis, the Redeemer, with whom the Master (Fra. P.) identifies himself. he permits himself for a moment the pleasure of feeling his wounds; and, turning upon his generation, gores it with his horns.
The fourscore-and-eleven books do not, we think, refer to the ninety-one chapters of this little masterpiece, or even to the numerous volumes he has penned, but rather to the fact that 91 is the number of Amen, implying the completeness of his work.
In the last paragraph is a paranomasia. “To chew the red rag” is a phrase for to talk aimlessly and persistently, while it is notorious that a red cloth will excite the rage of a bull.
Once round the meadow. Brother, does the hazel twig dip?
Twice round the orchard. Brother, does the hazel twig dip?
Thrice round the paddock, Highly, lowly, wily, holy, dip, dip, dip!
Then neighed the horse in the paddock—and lo! its wings.
For whoso findeth the SPRING beneath the earth maketh the treaders-of-earth to course the heavens.
This SPRING is threefold; of water, but also of steel, and of the seasons.
Also this PADDOCK is the Toad that hath the jewel between his eyes—Aum Mani Padmen Hum! (Keep us from Evil!)
A dowser is one who practises divination, usually with the object of finding water or minerals, by means of the vibrations of a hazel twig.
The meadow represents the flower of life; the orchard its fruit.
The paddock, being reserved for animals, represents life itself. That is to say, the secret spring of life is found in the place of life, with the result that the horse, who represents ordinary animal life, becomes the divine horse Pegasus.
In paragraph 6 we see this spring identified with the phallus, for it is not only a source of water, but highly elastic, while the reference to the seasons alludes to the well-known lines of the late Lord Tennyson:
“In the spring a livelier iris changes on the burnished dove,
In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”
In paragraph 7 the place of life, the universe of animal souls, is identified with the toad, which
“Ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head”
—Romeo and Juliet—
this jewel being the divine spark in man, and indeed in all that “lives and moves and has its being.” Note this phrase, which is highly significant; the word “lives” excluding the mineral kingdom, the word “moves” the vegetable kingdom, and the phrase “has its being” the lower animals, including woman.
This “toad” and “jewel” are further identified with the Lotus and jewel of the well-known Buddhist phrase and this seems to suggest that this “toad” is the Yoni; the suggestion is further strengthened by the concluding phrase in brackets, “Keep us from evil”, since, although it is the place of life, the means of grace, it may be ruinous.
Five and forty apprentice masons out of work! Fifteen fellow-craftsmen out of work!
Three Master Masons out of work!
All these sat on their haunches waiting The Report of the Sojourner; for THE WORD was lost.
This is the Report of the Sojourners: THE WORD was LOVE;23 and its number is An Hundred and Eleven.
Then said each AMO;24 for its number is An Hundred and Eleven.
Each took the Trowel from his LAP,25 whose number is An Hundred and Eleven.
Each called moreover on the Goddess NINA,26 for Her number is An Hundred and Eleven.
Yet with all this went The Work awry; for THE WORD OF THE LAW IS QELHMA.
The title of this chapter refers to the duty of the Tyler in a blue lodge of Freemasons.
The numbers in paragraphs 1 to 3 are significant; each Master-Mason is attended by 5 Fellow-Crafts, and each Fellow-Craft by 3 Apprentices, as if the Masters were sitting in pentagrams, and the Fellow-Craftsmen in triangles. This may refer to the number of manual signs in each of these degrees.
The moral of the chapter is apparently that the mother- letter a is an inadequate solution of the Great Problem. a is identified with the Yoni, for all the symbols connected with it in this place are feminine, but a is also a number of Samadhi and mysticism, and the doctrine is therefore that Magick, in that highest sense explained in the Book of the Law, is the truer key.
(23) L=30, O=70, V=6, E=5=111.
(24) A=1, M=40, O=70=111.
(25) The trowel is shaped like a diamond or Yoni.
L=30, A=1, P=80=111
(26) N=50, I=10, N=50, A=1=111.
THE DROOPING SUNFLOWER
The One Thought vanished; all my mind was torn to rags: —— nay! nay! my head was mashed into wood pulp, and thereon the Daily Newspaper was printed.
Thus wrote I, since my One Love was torn from me. I cannot work: I cannot think: I seek distraction here: I seek distraction there: but this is all my truth, that I who love have lost; and how may I regain?
I must have money to get to America.
O Mage! Sage! Gauge thy Wage, or in the Page of Thine Age is written Rage!
O my darling! We should not have spent Ninety Pounds in that Three Weeks in Paris! . . . Slash the Breaks on thine arm with a pole-axe!
The number 55 refers to Malkuth, the Bride; it should then be read in connection with Chapters 28, 29, 49.
The “drooping sunflower” is the heart, which needs the divine light.
Since Jivatma was separated from Paramatma, as in paragraph 2, not only is the Divine Unity destroyed but Daath, instead of being the Child of Chokmah and Binah, becomes the Abyss, and the Qliphoth arise. The only sense which abides is that of loss, and the craving to retrieve it. In paragraph 3 it is seen that this is impossible, owing (paragraph 4) to his not having made proper arrangements to recover the original position previous to making the divisions. In paragraph 5 it is shown that this is because of allowing enjoyment to cause forgetfulness of the really important thing.
Those who allow themselves to wallow in Samadhi are sorry for it afterwards.
The last paragraph indicaed the precautions to be taken to avoid this.
The number 90 is the last paragraph is not merely fact, but symbolism; 90 being the number of Tzaddi, the Star, looked at in its exoteric sense, as a naked woman, playing by a stream, surrounded by birds and butterflies. The pole-axe is recommended instead of the usual razor, as a more vigorous weapon. One cannot be too severe in checking any faltering in the work, any digression from the Path.
TROUBLE WITH TWINS
Holy, holy, holy, unto Five Hundred and Fifty Five times holy be OUR LADY of the STARS!
Holy, holy, holy, unto One Hundred and Fifty Six times holy be OUR LADY that rideth upon THE BEAST!
Holy, holy, holy, unto the Number of Time Necessary and Appropriate be OUR LADY Isis in Her Millions-of-Names, All-Mother, Genetrix- Meretrix!
Yet holier than all These to me is LAYLAH, night and death; for Her do I blaspheme alike the finite and the The Infinite.
So wrote not FRATER PERDURABO, but the Imp Crowley in his Name.
For forgery let him suffer Penal Servitude for Seven Years; or at least let him do Pranayama all the way home—home? nay! but to the house of the harlot whom he loveth not. For it is LAYLAH that he loveth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And yet who knoweth which is Crowley, and which is FRATER PERDURABO?
The number of the chapter refers to Liber Legis I, 24, for paragraph 1 refers to Nuit. The “twins” in the title are those mentioned in paragraph 5.
555 is HADIT, HAD spelt in full. 156 is BABALON.
In paragraph 4 is the gist of the chapter, Laylah being again introduced, as in Chapters 28, 29, 49 and 55.
The exoteric blasphemy, it is hinted in the last paragraph, may be an esoteric arcanum, for the Master of the Temple is interested in Malkuth, as Malkuth is in Binah; also “Malkuth is in Kether, and Kether in Malkuth”; and, to the Ipsissimus, dissolution in the body of Nuit and a visit to a brothel may be identical.
THE DUCK-BILLED PLATYPUS
Dirt is matter in the wrong place. Thought is mind in the wrong place. Matter is mind; so thought is dirt.
Thus argued he, the Wise One, not mindful that all place is wrong.
For not until the PLACE is perfected by a T saith he PLACET.
The Rose uncrucified droppeth its petals; without the Rose the Cross is a dry stick.
Worship then the Rosy Cross, and the Mystery of Two-in-One.
And worship Him that swore by His holy T that One should not be One except in so far as it is Two.
I am glad that LAYLAH is afar; no doubt clouds love.
The title of the chapter suggest the two in one, since the ornithorhynchus is both bird and beast; it is also an Australian animal, like Laylah herself, and was doubtless chosen for this reason.
This chapter is an apology for the universe.
Paragraphs 1-3 repeat the familiar arguments against reason in an epigrammatic form.
Paragraph 4 alludes to Liber Legis I, 52; “place” implies space; denies homogeneity to space; but when “place” is perfected by “t”—as it were, Yoni by Lingam—we get the word “placet”, meaning “it pleases.”
Paragraphs 6 and 7 explain this further; it is necessary to separate things, in order that they might rejoice in uniting. See Liber Legis I, 28-30, which is paraphrased in the penultimate paragraph.
In the last paragraph this doctrine is interpreted in common life by a paraphrase of the familiar and beautiful proverb, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” (PS. I seem to get a subtle after-taste of bitterness.)
(It is to be observed that the philosopher having first committed the syllogistic error quaternis terminorum, in attempting to reduce the terms to three, staggers into non distributia medii. It is possible that considerations with Sir Wm. Hamilton’s qualification (or quantification (?)) of the predicate may be taken as intervening, but to do so would render the humour of the chapter too subtle for the average reader in Oshkosh for whom this book is evidently written.)