Step 1, the illumination of Ain as Ain Soph Aour; step 2, the concentration of Ain Soph Aour in Kether; step 3, duality and the rest of it down to Malkuth; step 4, the stooping of Malkuth to the Qliphoth, and the consequent ruin of the Tree of Life.

Part 2 show the impossibility of stopping on the Path of Adeptship.

The final couplet represents the first step upon the Path, which must be taken even although the aspirant is intellectually aware of the severity of the whole course. You must give up the world for love, the material for the moral idea, before that, in its turn, is surrendered to the spiritual. And so on. This is a Laylah-chapter, but in it Laylah figures as the mere woman.




Spring beans and strawberries are in: goodbye to the oyster!

If I really knew what I wanted, I could give up Laylah, or give up everything for Laylah.

But what I want” varies from hour to hour.

This wavering is the root of all compromise, and so of all good sense.

With this gift a man can spend his seventy years in peace.

Now is this well or ill?

Emphasise gift, then man, then spend, then seventy years, and lastly peace, and change the intonations

—each time reverse the meaning!

I would show you how; but—for the moment!

—I prefer to think of Laylah.


The title is explained in the note, but also alludes to paragraph 1, the plover’s egg being often contemporary with the early strawberry.

Paragraph 1 means that change of diet is pleasant; vanity pleases the mind; the idée fixe is a sign of insanity. See paragraphs 4 and 5.

Paragraph 6 puts the question, Then is sanity or insanity desirable?” The oak is weakened by the ivy which clings around it, but perhaps the ivy keeps it from going mad.

The next paragraph expresses the difficulty of expressing thought in writing; it seems, on the face of it, absurd that the the text of this book, composed as it is of English, simple, austere, and terse, should need a commentary. But it does so, or my most gifted Chela and myself would hardly have been at the pains to write one. It was in response to the impassioned appeals of many most worthy brethren that we have yielded up that time and thought which gold could not have bought, or torture wrested.

Laylah is again the mere woman.


  1. These eggs being speckled, resemble the wandering mind referred to.













Hail! all you spavined, gelded, hamstrung horses! Ye shall surpass the planets in their courses.

How? Not by speed, nor strength, nor power to stay, But by the silence that succeeds the Neigh!


Phaeton was the charioteer of the Sun in Greek mythology.

At first sight the prose of this chapter, though there is only one dissyllable in it, appears difficult; but this is a glamour cast by Maya. It is a compendium of various systems of philosophy.

No = Nihilism; Yes = Monism, and all dogmatic systems; Perhaps = Pyrrhonism and Agnosticism; O! = The system of Liber Legis. (See Chapter 0.)

Eye = Phallicism (cf. Chapters 61 and 70); I = Fichteanism; Hi! = Transcendentalism; Y? = Scepticism, and the method of science. No denies all these and closes the argument.

But all this is a glamour cast by Maya; the real meaning of the prose of this chapter is as follows:

No, some negative conception beyond the IT spoken of in Chapters 31, 49 and elsewhere.

Yes, IT.

Perhaps, the flux of these.

O!, Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Eye, the phallus in Kether.

I, the Ego in Chokmah.

Hi!, Binah, the feminine principle fertilised. (He by Yod.) Y?, the Abyss.

No, the refusal to be content with any of this.

But all this is again only a glamour of Maya, as previously observed in the text (Chapter 31). All this is true and false, and it is true and false to say that it is true and false.

The prose of this chapter combines, and of course denies, all these meanings, both singly and in combination. It is intended to stimulate thought to the point where it explodes with violence and for ever.

A study of this chapter is probably the best short cut to Nibbana. The thought of the Master in this chapter is exceptionally lofty.

That this is the true meaning, or rather use, of this chapter, is evident from the poetry.

The master salutes the previous paragraphs as horses which, although in themselves worthless animals (without the epithets), carry the Charioteer in the path of the Sun. The question, How? Not by their own virtues, but by the silence which results when they are all done with.

The word neighis a pun on nay”, which refers to the negative conception already postulated as beyond IT. The suggestion is, that there may be something falsely described as silence, to represent absence-of- conception beyond that negative.

It would be possible to interpret this chapter in its entirety as an adverse criticism of metaphysics as such, and this is doubtless one of its many sub-meanings.





L. A. L. Y. A. H.


77 is the number of Laylah (LAILAH), to whom this chapter is wholly devoted.

The first section of the title is an analysis of 77 considered as a mystic number.

7, the septenary; 11, the magical number; 77, the mani- festation, therefore, of the septenary.

Through matter, because 77 is written in Hebrew Ayin Zayin (OZ), an He-Goat, the symbol of matter, Capricornus, the Devil of the Tarot; which is the picture of the Goat of the Sabbath upon an altar, worshipped by two other devils, male and female.

As will be seen from the photogravure inserted opposite this chapter, Laylah is herself not devoid of Devil”, but, as she habitually remarks, on being addressed in terms implying this fact, “Its nice to be a devil when you’re one like me.

The text need no comment, but it will be noticed that it is much shorter that the title.

Now, the Devil of the Tarot is the Phallus, the Redeemer, and Laylah symbolises redemption to Frater P. The number 77, also, interpreted as in the title, is the redeeming force.

The ratio of the length of title and text is the key to the true meaning of the chapter, which is, that Redemption is really as simple as it appears complex, that the names (or veils) of truth are obscure and many, the Truth itself plain and one; but that the latter must be reached through the former. This chapter is therefore an apology, were one needed, for the Book of Lies itself. In these few simple words, it explains the necessity of the book, and offers it—humbly, yet with confidence—as a means of redemption to the world of sorrowing men.

The name with full-stops: L.A.Y.L.A.H. represents an analysis of the name, which may be left to the ingenium of the advanced practicus (see photograph).




The Great Wheel of Samsara.

The Wheel of the Law [Dhamma]. The Wheel of the Taro.

The Wheel of the Heavens. The Wheel of Life.

All these Wheels be one; yet of all these the Wheel of the TARO alone avails thee consciously.

Meditate long and broad and deep, O man, upon this Wheel, revolving it in thy mind

Be this thy task, to see how each card springs necessarily from each other card, even in due order from The Fool unto The Ten of Coins.

Then, when thou know’st the Wheel of Destiny complete, mayst thou perceive THAT Will which moved it first. [There is no first or last.}

And lo! thou art past through the Abyss.


The number of this chapter is that of the cards of the Tarot. The title of this chapter is a pun of the phrase “weal and woe.” It means motion and rest. The moral is the

conventional mystic one; stop thought at its source!

Five wheels are mentioned in this chapter; all but the third refer to the universe as it is; but the wheel of the Tarot is not only this, but represents equally the Magickal Path.

This practice is therefore given by Frater P. to his pupils; to treat the sequence of the cards as cause and effect. Thence, to discover the cause behind all causes. Success in this practice qualifies for the grade of Master of the Temple.

In the penultimate paragraph the bracketed passage reminds the student that the universe is not to be contemplated as a phenomenon in time.




Some men look into their minds into their memories, and find naught but pain and shame.

These then proclaim “The Good Law” unto mankind.

These preach renunciation, “virtue”, cowardice in every form.

These whine eternally.

Smug, toothless, hairless Coote, debauch-emascu- lated Buddha, come ye to me? I have a trick to make you silent, O ye foamers-at-the mouth!

Nature is wasteful; but how well She can afford it! Nature is false; but I’m a bit of a liar myself.

Nature is useless; but then how beautiful she is! Nature is cruel; but I too am a Sadist.

The game goes on; it y have been too rough for Buddha, but it’s (if anything) too dull for me.

Viens, beau négre! Donne-moi tes levres encore!


The title of this chapter is a place frequented by Frater P. until it became respectable.

The chapter is a rebuke to those who can see nothing but sorrow and evil in the universe.

The Buddhist analysis may be true, but not for men of courage. The plea that “love is sorrow, because its ecstasies are only transitory, is contemptible.

Paragraph 5. Coote is a blackmailer exposed by The Equinox. The end of the paragraph refers to Catullus, his famous epigram about the youth who turned his uncle into Harpocrates. It is a subtle way for Frater P. to insist upon his virility, since otherwise he could not employ the remedy.

The last paragraph is a quotation. In Paris, Negroes are much sought after by sportive ladies. This is therefore presumably intended to assert that even women may enjoy life sometimes.

The word Sadistis taken from the famous Marquis de Sade, who gave supreme literary form to the joys of torture.




The price of existence is eternal warfare.39

Speaking as an Irishman, I prefer to say: The price of eternal warfare is existence.

And melancholy as existence is, the price is well worth paying.

Is there is a Government? then I’m agin it! To Hell with the bloody English!

“O FRATER PERDURABO, how unworthy are these sentiments!”

“D ye want a clip on the jaw?”40


Frater P. continues the subject of Chapter 79.

He pictures himself as a vigorous, reckless, almost rowdy Irishman. He is no thin-lipped prude, to seek salvation in unmanly self-abnegation; no Creeping Jesus, to slink through existence to the tune of the Dead March in Saul; no Cremerian Callus to warehouse his semen in his cerebellum.

New Thoughtistis only Old Eunuch writ small.

Paragraph 2 gives the very struggle for life, which disheartens modern thinkers, as a good enough reason for existence.

Paragraph 5 expresses the sorrow of the modern thinker, and paragraph 6 Frater P.s suggestion for replying to such critics.


  1. ISVD, the foundation scil. of the universe = 80 = P, the letter of Mars.
  2. P also means a mouth.




I am not an Anarchist in your sense of the word: your brain is too dense for any known explosive to affect it.

I am not an Anarchist in your sense of the word: fancy a Policeman let loose on Society!

While there exists the burgess, the hunting man, or any man with ideals less than Shelley’s and self- discipline less than Loyola’s—in short, any man who falls far short of MYSELF—I am against Anarchy, and for Feudalism.

Every “emancipator” has enslaved the free.


The title is the name of one of the authors of the affair of the Haymarket, in Chicago. See Frank Harris,The Bomb.

Paragraph 1 explains that Frater P. sees no use in the employment of such feeble implements as bombs. Nor does he agree even with the aim of the Anarchists, since, although Anarchists themselves need no restraint, not daring to drink cocoa, lest their animal passions should be aroused (as Olivia Haddon assures my favourite Chela), yet policemen, unless most severely repressed, would be dangerous wild beasts.

The last bitter sentence is terribly true; the personal liberty of the Russian is immensely greater than that of the Englishman. The latest Radical devices for securing freedom have turned nine out of ten Englishmen into Slaves, obliged to report their movements to the government like so many ticket- of-leave men.

The only solution of the Social Problem is the creation of a class with the true patriarchal feeling, and the manners and obligations of chivalry.




Witch-moon that turnest all the streams to blood, I take this hazel rod, and stand, and swear

An Oath—beneath this blasted Oak and bare That rears its agony above the flood

Whose swollen mask mutters an atheist’s prayer.

What oath may stand the shock of this offence:

“There is no I, no joy, no permanence”?

Witch-moon of blood, eternal ebb and flow

Of baffled birth, in death still lurks a change; And all the leopards in thy woods that range,

And all the vampires in their boughs that glow, Brooding on blood-thirst-these are not so strange

And fierce as life’s unfailing shower. These die, Yet time rebears them through eternity.

Hear then the Oath, with-moon of blood, dread moon!

Let all thy stryges and thy ghouls attend! He that endureth even to the end

Hath sworn that Love’s own corpse shall lie at noon Even in the coffin of its hopes, and spend

All the force won by its old woe and stress In now annihilating Nothingness.

This chapter is called Imperial Purple and A Punic War.


The title of this chapter, and its two sub-titles, will need no explanation to readers of the classics.

This poem, inspired by Jane Cheron, is as simple as it is elegant.

The poet asks, in verse 1, How can we baffle the Three Characteristics?

In verse 2, he shows that death is impotent against life. In verse 3, he offers the solution of the problem.

This is, to accept things as they are, and to turn your whole energies to progress on the Path.