Haggard am I, an hyaena; I hunger and howl. Men think it laughter—ha! ha! ha!

There is nothing moveable or immovable under the firmament of heaven on which I may write the symbols of the secret of my soul.

Yea, though I were lowered by ropes into the utmost Caverns and Vaults of Eternity, there is no word to express even the first whisper of the Initiator in mine ear: yea, I abhor birth, ululating lamentations of Night!

Agony! Agony! the Light within me breeds veils; the song within me dumbness.

God! in what prism may any man analyse my Light? Immortal are the adepts; and yet They die—They die of SHAME unspeakable; They die as the Gods

die, for SORROW.

Wilt Thou endure unto The End, O FRATER PERDURABO, O Lamp in The Abyss? Thou hast the Keystone of the Royal Arch; yet the Apprentices, instead of making bricks, put the straws in their hair, and think they are Jesus Christ!

O sublime tragedy and comedy of THE GREAT WORK!


Haggai, a notorious Hebrew prophet, is a Second Officer in a Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons.

In this chapter the author, in a sort of raging eloquence, bewails his impotence to express himself, or to induce others to follow him to the light. In paragraph 1 he explains the sardonic laughter, for which he is justly celebrated, as being in reality the expression of this feeling.

Paragraph 2 is a reference to the Obligation of an Entered Apprentice Mason.

Paragraph 3 refers to the Ceremony of Exaltation in Royal Arch Masonry. The Initiate will be able to discover the most formidable secret of that degree concealed in the paragraph.

Paragraphs 4-6 express an anguish to which that of Gethsemane and Golgotha must appear like whitlows.

In paragraph 7 the agony is broken up by the sardonic or cynical laughter to which we have previously alluded.

And the final paragraph, in the words of the noblest simplicity, praises the Great Work; rejoices in its sublimity, in the supreme Art, in the intensity of the passion and ecstasy which it brings forth. (Note that the words passionand ecstasymay be taken as symbolical of Yoni and Lingam.)




There is no help—but hotch pot!—in the skies When Astacus sees Crab and Lobster rise.

Man that has spine, and hopes of heaven-to-be, Lacks the Amoeba’s immortality.

What protoplasm gains in mobile mirth Is loss of the stability of earth.

Matter and sense and mind have had their day: Nature presents the bill, and all must pay.

If, as I am not, I were free to choose,

How Buddhahood would battle with The Booze! My certainty that destiny is “good”

Rests on its picking me for Buddhahood. Were I a drunkard, I should think I had Good evidence that fate was “bloody bad.”


The title is a euphemism for homo sapiens.

The crab and the lobster are higher types of crustacae than the crayfish.

The chapter is a short essay in poetic form on Determinism. It hymns the great law of Equilibrium and Compensation, but cynically criticises all philosophers, hinting that their view of the universe depends on their own circumstances. The sufferer from toothache does not agree with Doctor Pangloss, that “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.Nor does the wealthiest of our Dukes complain to his cronies that “Times is cruel ard.




The Self-mastery of Percivale became the Self- masturbatery of the Bourgeois.

Vir-tus has become “virture.”

The qualities which have made a man, a race, a city, a caste, must be thrown off; death is the penalty of failure. As it is written: In the hour of success sacrifice that which is dearest to thee unto the Infernal Gods!

The Englishman lives upon the excrement of his forefathers.

All moral codes are worthless in themselves; yet in every new code there is hope. Provided always that the code is not changed because it is too hard, but because if is fulfilled.

The dead dog floats with the stream; in puritan France the best women are harlots; in vicious England the best women are virgins.

If only the Archbishop of Canterbury were to go make in the streets and beg his bread!

The new Christ, like the old, it the friend of publicans and sinners; because his nature is ascetic.

O if everyman did No Matter What, provided that it is the one thing that he will not and cannot do!


The title is explained in the note. The number of the chapter may refer to the letter

Samech (s), Temperence, in the Tarot.

In paragraph 1 the real chastity of Percivale or Parsifal, a chastity which did not prevent his dipping the point of the sacred lance into the Holy Grail, is distinguished from its misinterpretation by modern crapulence. The priests of the gods were carefully chosen, and carefully trained to fulfill the sacrament of fatherhood; the shame of sex consists in the usurpation of its function by the unworthy. Sex is a sacrament.

The word virtus means the quality of manhood.” Modern virtueis the negation of all such qualities.

In paragraph 3, however, we see the penalty of conservatism; children must be weaned.

In the penultimate paragraph the words the new Christalluded to the author.

In the last paragraph we reach the sublime mystic doctrine that whatever you have must be abandoned. Obviously, that which differentiates your consciousness from the absolute is part of the content of that consciousness.


  1. Chapter so called because Amfortas was wounded by his own spear, the spear that had made him king.




O Fool! begetter of both I and Naught, resolve this Naught-y Knot!

O! Ay! this I and O—IO!—IAO! For I owe “I” aye to Nibbana’s Oe.28

I Pay-Pe, the dissolution of the House of God—for Pe comes after O-after Ayin that triumphs over Aleph in Ain, that is O.29

OP-us, the Work! the OP-ening of THE EYE!30

Thou Naughty Boy, thou openest THE EYE OF HORUS to the Blind Eye that weeps!31 The Up- right One in thine Uprightness rejoiceth—Death to all Fishes!32


The number of this chapter refers to the Hebrew word Ain, the negative and Ani, 61. The foolis the Fool of the Tarot, whose number is 0, but refers to the letter Aleph, 1.

A fools knot is a kind of knot which, although it has the appearance of a knot, is not really a knot, but pulls out immediately.

The chapter consists of a series of complicated puns on 1 and I, with regard to their shape, sound, and that of the figures which resemble them in shape.

Paragraph 1 calls upon the Fool of the Tarot, who is to be referred to Ipsissimus, to the pure fool, Parsifal, to resolve this problem.

The word Naught-y suggests not only that the problem is sexual, but does not really exist.

Paragraph 2 shows the Lingam and Yoni as, in conjunction, the foundation of ecstasy

(IO!), and of the complete symbol I A O.

The latter sentence of the paragraph unites the two meanings of giving up the Lingam to the Yoni, and the Ego to the Absolute. This idea, “I must give up”, I owe, is naturally completed by I pay, and the sound of the word paysuggest the Hebrew letter Pe (see Liber XVI), which represents the final dissolution in Shivadarshana.

In Hebrew, the letter which follows O is P; it therefore follows Ayin, the Devil of the Tarot. AYIN is spelt O I N, thus replacing the A in A I N by an O, the letter of the Devil, or Pan,

the phallic God.

Now AIN means nothing, and thus the replacing of AIN by OIN means the completion of the Yoni by the Lingam, which is followed by the complete dissolution symbolised in the letter P.

These letters, O P, are then seen to be the root of opus, the Latin word for work”, in this case, the Great Work. And they also begin the word opening.In Hindu philosophy, it is said that Shiva, the Destroyer, is asleep, and that when he opens his eye the universe is destroyed—another synonym, therefore, for the accomplishment of the Great Work. But the eyeof Shiva is also his Lingam. Shiva is himself the Mahalingam, which unites these symbolisms. The opening of the eye, the ejaculation of the lingam, the destruction of the universe, the accomplishment of the Great Work—all these are different ways of saying the same thing.

The last paragraph is even obscurer to those unfamiliar to the masterpiece referred to in the note (for the eye of Horus see 777, Col. XXI, line 10, “the blind eye that weepsis a poetic Arab name for the lingam).

The doctrine is that the Great Work should be accomplished without creating new Karma, for the letter N, the fish, the vesica, the womb, breeds, whereas the Eye of Horus does not; or, if it does so, breeds, according to Turkish tradition, a Messiah.

Death implies resurrection; the illusion is reborn, as the Scythe of Death in the Tarot has a crosspiece. This is in connection with the Hindu doctrine, expressed in their injunction, Fry your seeds.Act so as to balance your past Karma, and create no new, so that, as it were, the books are balanced. While you have either a credit or a debit, you are still in account with the universe.

(N.B. Frater P. wrote this chapter—61—while dining with friends, in about a minute and a half. That is how you must know the Qabalah.)


  1. Oe = Island, a common symbol of Nibbana.
  2. }ya Ain. }yu Ayin.
  3. Scil. of Shiva.
  4. Cf. Bagh-i-Muattar for all this symbolism.
  5. Death = Nun, the letter before O, means a fish, a symbol of Christ, and also by its shape the Female principle



TWIG? 23

The Phoenix hat a Bell for Sound; Fire for Sight; a Knife for Touch; two cakes, one for taste, the other for smell.

He standeth before the Altar of the Universe at Sunset, when Earth-life fades.

He summons the Universe, and crowns it with MAGICK Light to replace the sun of natural light.

He prays unto, and give homage to, Ra-Hoor-Khuit; to Him he then sacrifices.

The first cake, burnt, illustrates the profit drawn from the scheme of incarnation.

The second, mixt with his life’s blood and eaten, illustrates the use of the lower life to feed the higher life.

He then takes the Oath and becomes free—un- conditioned—the Absolute.

Burning up in the Flame of his Prayer, and born again—the Phoenix!


This chapter is itself a comment on Chapter 44.


  1. Twig? = dost thou understand? Also the Phoenix takes twigs to kindle the fire in which it burns itself.




I love LAYLAH. I lack LAYLAH.

“Where is the Mystic Grace?” sayest thou?

Who told thee, man, that LAYLAH is not Nuit, and I Hadit?

I destroyed all things; they are reborn in other shapes.

I gave up all for One; this One hath given up its Unity for all?

I wrenched DOG backwards to find GOD; now GOD barks.

Think me not fallen because I love LAYLAH, and lack LAYLAH.

I am the Master of the Universe; then give me a heap of straw in a hut, and LAYLAH naked! Amen.


This chapter returns to the subject of Laylah, and to the subject already discussed in Chapters 3 and others, particularly Chapter 56.

The title of the chapter refers to the old rime:

See-saw, Margery Daw,

Sold her bed to lie upon straw. Was not she a silly slut

To sell her bed to lie upon dirt?

The word see-sawis significant, almost a comment upon this chapter. To the Master of the Temple opposite rules apply. His unity seeks the many, and the many is again transmuted to the one. Solve et Coagula.




I was discussing oysters with a crony: GOD sent to me the angels DIN and DONI.

“A man of spunk,” they urged, “would hardly choose To breakfast every day chez Laperouse.”

“No!” I replied, “he would not do so, BUT Think of his woe if Laperouse were shut! “I eat these oysters and I drink this wine Solely to drown this misery of mine.

“Yet the last height of consolation s cold: Its pinnacle is not to be consoled!

“And though I sleep with Janefore and Eleanor I feel no better than I did before,

“And Julian only fixes in my mind Even before feels better than behind. “You are Mercurial spirits-be so kind As to enable me to raise the wind.

“Put me in LAYLAH S arms again: the Accurst, Leaving me that. elsehow may do his worst.” DONI and DIN, perceiving me inspired, Conceived their task was finished: they retired. I turned upon my friend, and, breaking bounds, Borrowed a trifle of two hundred pounds.


  1. is the number of Mercury, and of the intelligence of that planet, Din and Doni.

The moral of the chapter is that one wants liberty, although one may not wish to exercise it: the author would readily die in defence of the right of Englishmen to play football, or of his own right not to play it. (As a great poet has expressed it: We don’t want to fight, but, by Jingo, if we do—”) This is his meaning towards his attitude to complete freedom of speech and action. He refuses to listen to the ostensible criticism of the spirits, and explains his own position. Their real mission was to rouse him to confidence and action.




“At last I lifted up mine eyes, and beheld; and lo! the flames of violet were become as tendrils of smoke, as mist at sunset upon the marsh-lands.

“And in the midst of the moon-pool of silver was the Lily of white and gold. In this Lily is all honey, in this Lily that flowereth at the midnight. In this Lily is all perfume; in this Lily is all music. And it enfolded me.”

Thus the disciples that watched found a dead body kneeling at the altar. Amen!


  1. is the number of Adonai, the Holy Guardian Angel; see Liber 65, Konx Om Pax, and other works of reference.

The chapter title means, “So may he pass away,” the blank obviously referring to N E M O.

The moon-pool of silveris the Path of Gimel, leading from Tiphareth to Kether; the “flames of violetare the Ajna- Chakkra; the lily itself is Kether, the lotus of the Sahasrara. “Lily” is spelt with a capital to connect with Laylah.