feasts of the times

Feast for the Supreme Ritual & the Equinox of the Gods

A Feast for the Supreme Ritual & the Equinox of the Gods

Feast for the Supreme Ritual & the Equinox of the Gods

NOTE: This ritual is not “official” in any way: It is not traditional in any form nor is it the official ritual of any organization whatsoever. It is simply a way that one might celebrate these Feasts of the Times. 

BACKGROUND

This dramatic ritual combines two feasts, the feast for the Supreme Ritual and the feast for the Equinox of the Gods. The Equinox of the Gods is celebrated on the Vernal Equinox and – since the Supreme Ritual is celebrated on March 20 – they will virtually never fall more than 2 days apart from one another. Since they fall close together on the calendar, since they share a single line in The Book of the Law, and since they are both related to the shift from the Old Aeon to the New, I have combined them into a single ritual and feast.

The Supreme Ritual celebrates the invocation of Horus that was performed on March 20, 1904 and the Equinox of the Gods celebrates the changing of the Aeons from Old, where Osiris ruled, to the New, where Horus now rules. Crowley comments, “The Supreme Ritual is the Invocation of Horus, which brought about the Opening of the New Aeon. The date is March 20. The Equinox of the Gods is the term used to describe the Beginning of a New Aeon, or a New Magical Formula. It should be celebrated at every Equinox…”1

This combined feast has five parts. The first four parts or scenes show important semi-historical events that are relevant to the revelation of the New Aeon, and the last scene involves audience participation in a renunciation of the slave-ideals of the Old Aeon:

  1. The first scene goes back approximately 2,600 years to the time when the Stele of Revealing was created as a funerary stele for Ankh-af-na-khonsu. Since this Stele is an important symbol for Thelema, this scene involves a reading of the content of the Stele of Revealing. There is then a list of the seven Magi that have come to Earth and give their Words since that time. This scene therefore serves to educate the People about the Stele of Revealing and the Magi of the past.

  2. The second scene jumps forward to March of 1904 when Crowley tried to invoke the sylphs, the elementals of Air, through the preliminary invocation of the Goetia (also known as the “Bornless Ritual”), which put Rose into a trance who has vague messages that foreshadow the coming of the New Aeon. Crowley then questions Rose to ascertain the accuracy of her message. He then leads Rose through the Boulaq Museum in Cairo where she points to Stele #666, the Stele of Revealing.

  3. In the third scene, Crowley performs the Invocation of Horus, which “brought about the Opening of the New Aeon.”2

  4. The fourth scene dramatically re-enacts the Equinox of the Gods itself. Osiris’s seat in the East is taken by Ra-Hoor-Khuit and the New Aeon is established.

  5. The fifth scene involves the renunciation of the slave-gods by everyone present who wills to do such. Crowley wrote in a letter to Karl Germer, “You can take outsiders; but everyone who has anything to do with us at all must make a formal renunciation of ideas denounced in AL 49-56. Cap III.”3 He also wrote to Frater Achad, “I am inclined to propose that you should prepare a formula, to be presented at your lectures, by which any person can publicly renounce the errors of Christianity and so on, and accept the Law. Such a person should at that time burn a copy of his old ‘sacred book’, Bible, Mrs. Eddy, or what not, and be marked by you with The Mark of The Beast, to wit, the Acid on the Pulse of the Left Wrist.”4 The renunciation is based on rituals developed by T Polyphilus and T Omphalos.

PERSONS

: Master of Ceremonies

Dressed in white robe with yellow stole, i.e. as a Deacon. He performs the role of narrator and conductor of the People.

A: Ankh-af-na-khonsu

Dressed in Egyptian garb, or a plain white robe.

: The Magi

Dressed in white robes or in garments proper to the culture of the Saints.

: The Beast

Dressed in blue/azure. He performs the role of Aleister Crowley.

: Rose

Dressed in red/scarlet dress. She performs the role of Rose Crowley.

: Osiris/ Jesus

Dressed as Osiris, as Jesus, or in a black robe, representing the Aeon of Osiris.

: Horus

Dressed as Ra-Hoor-Khuit, or in scarlet and gold.

d : Ma’at

Dressed as Ma’at, representing the Aeon of Ma’at/Thmaist in the future.

c : Isis

Dressed as Isis, representing the Aeon of Isis of the past.

: The People

Dressed as they will. They participate when appropriate.

PART I: Ankh-af-na-khonsu in Egypt & the Seven Magi

[☿ stands in the East]

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

: Love is the law, love under will.

: We are gathered here tonight to celebrate the feast for the Supreme Ritual and the feast for the Equinox of the Gods. Crowley wrote, “The Supreme Ritual is the Invocation of Horus, which brought about the Opening of the New Aeon. The date is March 20. The Equinox of the Gods is the term used to describe the Beginning of a New Aeon, or a New Magical Formula. It should be celebrated at every Equinox.” To understand the Supreme Ritual and the Equinox of the Gods, we must go back in time over two and a half millenia.

[He says the following while moving to the West where A stands in Osiris Risen in front of the Tomb]

: Over 2,500 years before the reception of The Book of the Law , Ankh-af-na-khonsu, a high priest of Mentu, lived in the Egyptian city known as Thebes. As was customary, a funerary stele was prepared for Ankh-af-na-khonsu.

[☿ moves behind A and holds up the front of the Stele over A ‘s head]

On the front it said:

A:

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!

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!

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!

[☿ then holds the back of the Stele up] 

: …And on the back it said:

A:

Saith of Mentu the truth-telling brother
Who was master of Thebes from his birth:
O heart of me, heart of my mother!
O heart which I had upon earth!
Stand not thou up against me a witness!
Oppose me not, judge, in my quest!
Accuse me not now of unfitness
Before the Great God, the dread Lord of the West!
For I fastened the one to the other
With a spell for their mystical girth,
The earth and the wonderful West,
When I flourished, o earth, on thy breast!

The dead man Ankh-f-n-khonsu
Saith with his voice of truth and calm:
O thou that hast a single arm!
O thou that glitterest in the moon!
I weave thee in the spinning charm;
I lure thee with the billowy tune.
The dead man Ankh-f-n-khonsu
Hath parted from the darkling crowds,
Hath joined the dwellers of the light,
Opening Duaut, the star-abodes,
Their keys receiving. The dead man Ankh-f-n-khonsu
Hath made his passage into night,
His pleasure on the earth to do Among the living.

[☿ then steps away, gives the Stele to A , and A backs into the Tomb, which is then covered]

: There was then great darkness as the Aeon of Osiris took hold upon the earth. Throughout these times of darkness, the Secret Chiefs send forth certain men to bring Light to the world know as Magi. There are many magical teachers but in recorded history we have scarcely had a dozen Magi in the technical sense of the word. They may be recognized by the fact that their message may be formulated as a single word, which word must be such that it overturns all existing beliefs and codes.5 The essential characteristic of the Grade is that its possessor utters a Creative Magical Word, which transforms the planet.6 He then is called the Logos, or Logos Aionos, that is to say, he Word of the Aeon or Age, because he is verily that Word.7

[Pause]

First, there was Lao-Tzu, whose word was TAO.

[Lao-Tzu comes out with a candle and a copy of the Tao Teh Ching. He places the Tao Teh King on the High Altar and turns to face the People while holding the candle.]

This Tao is the true Nature of Things, being itself a Way or Going, that is, a kinetic and not a static Conception. Also He taught this Way of Harmony in Will… So then this Tao is Truth, and the Way of Truth, and therefore was He Logos of His Aeon, and His true Name or Word was Tao.8

(Lao-Tzu): The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao The name that can be named is not the eternal name The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth The named is the mother of myriad things Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations These two emerge together but differ in name The unity is said to be the mystery Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders.9

[Lao-Tzu turns to place his candle on the High Altar, which he then kneels and adores]

(led by ☿): So mote it be.

: Next came he whom Men call Gotama, or Siddartha, or the Buddha, and His Word was ANATTA. [Siddhartha comes out with a candle and either a statue of Buddha,a copy of sutras, or a copy of the Dhammapada. He places the object on the High Altar and turns to face the People while holding the candle.]

The Root of His whole Doctrine was that there is no Atman, or Soul, as Men ill translate it, meaning a Substance incapable of Change. Thus, He, like Lao-Tze, based all upon a Movement, instead of a fixed Point. And His Way of Truth was Analysis, made possible by great Intention of the Mind toward itself, and that well fortified by certain tempered Rigour of Life. And He most thoroughly explored and Mapped out the Fastnesses of the Mind, and gave the Keys of its Fortresses into the Hand of Man. But of all this the Quintessence is in this one Word ANATTA, because this is not only the foundation and the Result of his whole Doctrine, but the Way of its Work.10

(Siddhartha): There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.11

[Siddhartha turns to place his candle on the High Altar, which he then kneels and adores]

(led by ☿): So mote it be.

: Next there was Krishna who has Names and Forms innumerable, and we know not His true Human Birth, for His Formula is of the Major Antiquity.

[Krishna comes out with a candle and a copy of the Bhagavad Gita. He places the Bhagavad Gita on the High Altar and turns to face the People while holding the candle.]

The true Word of Krishna was AUM, importing a Statement of the Truth of Nature.12 The word AUM is the sacred Hindu mantra which was the supreme hieroglyph of Truth, a compendium of the Sacred Knowledge. It represents the complete course of sound. Symbolically, this announces the course of Nature as proceeding from free and formless creation through controlled and formed preservation to the silence of destruction. The three sounds are harmonized into one; and thus the word represents the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva; and the operations in the Universe of their triune energy.13

(Krishna): The Supreme Self is eternal, and the visible world including the physical body is transitory. The reality of these two is indeed certainly seen by the seers of truth. The Supreme Self by which all this universe is pervaded is indestructible. No one can destroy the imperishable Self. One who thinks that the Self is a slayer, and the one who thinks Self is slain, are both ignorant. Because Self neither slays nor is slain. (2.19) The Supreme Self is neither born nor does it die at any time. It does not come into being, or cease to exist. It is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval.14

[Krishna turns to place his candle on the High Altar, which he then kneels and adores]

(led by ☿): So mote it be.

: There was also Tahuti, or Thoth, whose word was AMOUN.

[Tahuti comes out with a candle and a papyrus or a statue of himself. He places the object on the High Altar and turns to face the People while holding the candle.]

Amoun was “the concealed one” from whom the Hebrews borrowed their holy word “Amen.”15 The true Word of Tahuti, AMOUN, therefore made Men to understand their secret Nature, that is, their Unity with their true Selves, or, as they then phrased it, with God.16

(Tahuti): True, without Deceit, certain and most true. As Above, so Below, and as Below, so Above, in the Accomplishment of the Miracle of the One Thing. And just as all things have come from One, through the Mediation of One, so all things follow from this One Thing in the same Way. Its Father was the Sun, the Moon its Mother. It was carried in the Womb of Air, and the Earth was its Nurse. It is the Father of every Willed Thing in the whole World. Its Power is perfected if it becomes as Earth. Separate the Earth from Fire: the Fine from the Gross, gently and with great skill.17

[Tahuti turns to place his candle on the High Altar, which he then kneels and adores]

(led by ☿): So mote it be.

: There was then a follower of Tahuti was an Egyptian whose Name is lost; but the Jews called Him Mosheh, or Moses, and their Fabulists made Him the Leader of their Legendary Exodus. Yet they preserved His Word, and it is IHVH [Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh].

[Tahuti comes out with a candle and the Old Testament or Tanakh. He places the Old Testament on the High Altar and turns to face the People while holding the candle.]

This Word is itself a Plan of the Fabrick of the Universe, and upon it hath been elaborated the Holy Qabalah, whereby we have Knowledge of the Nature of all Things soever upon every Plane of By-coming, and of their Forces and Tendencies and Operations, with the Keys to their Portals.18

(Mosheh):  And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.19

[Mosheh turns to place his candle on the High Altar, which he then kneels and adores]

(led by ☿): So mote it be.

There was also Dionysus.

[Dionysus comes out with a candle and statue of himself or a papyrus. He places the object on the High Altar and turns to face the People while holding the candle.]

His Word hath spread into many Lands, and we know it today as INRI with the secret IAO concealed therein. And the Meaning of this Word is the Working of Nature in Her Changes; that is, it is the Formula of Magick whereby all Things reproduce and recreate themselves.20 This formula is the principal and most characteristic formula of Osiris, of the Redemption of Mankind. I is Isis, Nature, ruined by A, Apophis the Destroyer, and restored to life by the Redeemer Osiris.21

(Dionysus): I call upon loud-roaring and revelling Dionysus, primeval, double-natured, thrice-born, Bacchic lord, wild, ineffable, secretive, two-horned and two-shaped. Ivy-covered, bull-faced, warlike, howling, pure, You take raw flesh, you have feasts, wrapt in foliage, decked with grape clusters. Resourceful Eubouleus, immortal god sired by Zeus When he mated with Persephone in unspeakable union. Hearken to my voice, O blessed one, and with your fair-girdled nymphs breathe on me in a spirit of perfect agape.22

[Dionysus turns to place his candle on the High Altar, which he then kneels and adores]

(led by ☿): So mote it be.

Then, Mohammed, who followed, is darkened and confused by His Nearness to our own Time, so that we say not save with diffidence that His Word ALLH may mean this or that.

[Mohammed comes out with a candle and a copy of the Qur’an. He places the Qur’an on the High Altar and turns to face the People while holding the candle.]

But we are bold concerning His Doctrine of the Unity of God, for God is Man, and he said therefore: Man is One.

(Mohammed): There is no god but Allah.23 Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.24

[Dionysus turns to place his candle on the High Altar, which he then kneels and adores]

(led by ☿): So mote it be.

[Pause]

: All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little.25

[The veil is drawn to encompass the Magi and the candles]

It was not for over a millenium that another Magus arose…

PART II: The Discovery of the Stele

: For over 2,500 years, the Stele of Revealing laid undisturbed until it was discovered by a French archaeologist and placed in the Boulaq Museum in Cairo, Egypt under the inventory number 666. In March of the year 1904 era vulgaris, Rose and the Beast were on their honeymoon in Cairo, Egypt when the Beast decided to try to show Rose the elementals of Air known as the “sylphs.”

: Thee I invoke, the Bornless one. Thee, that didst create the Earth and the Heavens: Thee, that didst create the Night and the day. Thee, that didst create the darkness and the Light. Thou art Osorronophris: Whom no man hath seen at any time. Thou art Iabos: Thou art Iapos: Thou hast distinguished between the just and the Unjust. Thou didst make the female and the Male. Thou didst produce the Seed and the Fruit. Thou didst form Men to love one another, and to hate one another. I am Ankh-af-na-Khonsu Thy Prophet, unto Whom Thou didst commit Thy Mysteries, the Ceremonies of Khem: Thou didst produce the moist and the dry, and that which nourisheth all created Life. Hear Thou Me, for I am the Angel of Apophrasz Osorronophris: this is Thy True Name, handed down to the Prophets of Khem.26

[A brief pause]

: Hmmm… no sylphs in sight at all…

[☽ sways as if in a trance]

: They are waiting for you.

: What’s that?

: They are waiting for you.

: Who is waiting for me?

: It’s all about the child.27

: What nonsense is this?

: You have neglected and offended him. You must invoke him!

: I make a sport of exposing people who claim clairvoyance, my dear. You should beware.

: He is waiting for you.

: Well, then, let’s prove the identity of this waiter and your authenticity as his messenger. What are his moral qualities?

: Force and fire.

: Describe the conditions caused by him.

: Deep blue light.

: Who is his enemy?

: Forces of the waters – the Nile.

: What is his lineal figure?

: A triangle pointing downwards.

: Its color?

: Red.

: What is his planetary nature?

: Mars.

: What is his weapon?

: The double wand of power.

: What is his place in the temple?

: The West, but it will soon change.

: Out of this list of names, which one is he?

: Horus.

: [aside] Here is a novice to magick, a woman who should never have been allowed outside a ballroom, but she is now speaking with the authority of God, and proving her clairvoyance by unhesitating correctness. [To Rose] Come with me to the Boulaq Museum, and you will pick out his image.

: They traveled to the Boulaq Museum in Cairo so that Rose could pick out the image of the god she saw. She passed by several images of Horus and the Beast smiled with glee at thinking he had disproved Rose’s message. They went upstairs, and a glass case stood in the distance, too far off for its contents to be recognized, but Rose instantly recognized it.

: There! There he is!

: The Beast approached the case and saw that it was marked as Stele #666. At that moment he could not debate the authenticity of Rose’s message, and he resolved to immediately rectify his previous scorn of Horus through an invocation.

PART III: The Invocation of Horus

: Unprepared and uninvoking Thee, I, Perdurabo, Brother of Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis, am here in Thy Presence – for Thou art Everywhere, O Lord Horus! – to confess humbly before Thee my neglect and scorn of Thee.28

How shall I humble myself enough before Thee? Thou art the mighty and unconquered Lord of the Universe: I am a spark of Thine unutterable Radiance.

How should I approach Thee? but Thou art Everywhere. But Thou hast graciously deigned to call me unto Thee, to this Exorcism of Art, that I may be Thy Servant, Thine Adept, O Bright One, O Sun of Glory!

Thou hast called me – should I not then hasten to Thy Presence? With unwashen hands therefore I come unto Thee, and I lament my wandering from Thee –but Thou knowest!

Yea, I have evil! If one blasphemed Thee, why should I therefore forsake Thee? But Thou art the Avenger; all is with Thee. I bow my neck before Thee; and as once Thy sword was upon it, so am I in Thy hands. Strike if Thou wilt: spare if Thou wilt: but accept me as I am. My trust is in Thee: shall I be confounded?

This Ritual of Art; this Forty and Fourfold Invocation; this Sacrifice of Blood – these I do not comprehend. It is enough if I obey Thy decree; did Thy fiat go forth for my eternal misery, were it not my joy to execute Thy Sentence on myself? For why? For that All is in Thee and of Thee; it is enough if I burn up in the intolerable glory of Thy presence.

Enough! I turn toward Thy Promise. Doubtful are the Words: Dark are the Ways: but in Thy Words and Ways is Light. Thus then now as ever, I enter the Path of Darkness, if haply so I may attain the Light. Hail!

[Drums begin a slow war-like beat or some other war-like music is played]

[People are prompted to ‘sing along’ for the occurences of ‘Thee, Thee I invoke!’ ‘I invoke Thee!’ and ‘ABRAHADABRA’]

Strike, strike the master chord! Draw, draw the Flaming Sword! Crowned Child and Conquering Lord, Horus, avenger!

O Thou of the Head of the Hawk! Thee, Thee, I invoke! [At every ‘Thee I invoke,’ throughout whole ritual, give the sign of Apophis; Rose can also put incense on the censer]
Thou only-begotten-child of Osiris Thy Father, and Isis Thy Mother. He that was slain; She that bore Thee in Her womb flying from the Terror of the Water. Thee, Thee I invoke!
O Thou whose Apron is of flashing white, whiter than the Forehead of the Morning! Thee, Thee, I invoke!
O Thou who hast formulated Thy Father and made fertile Thy Mother! Thee, Thee, I invoke!
O Thou whose garment is of golden glory with the azure bars of sky! Thee, Thee, I invoke!
Thou, who didst avenge the Horror of Death; Thou the slayer of Typhon! Thou who didst lift Thine arms, and the Dragons of Death were as dust: Thou who didst raise Thine Head, and the Crocodile of Nile was abased before Thee! Thee, Thee, I invoke!
O Thou whose Nemyss hideth the Universe with night, the impermeable Blue! Thee, Thee, I invoke!
Thou who travellest in the Boat of Ra, abiding at the Helm of the Aftet boat and of the Sektet boat! Thee, Thee, I invoke!
Thou who bearest the Wand of Double Power ! Thee, Thee, I invoke!
Thou about whose presence is shed the darkness of Blue Light, the unfathomable glory of the outmost Ether, the untravelled, the unthinkable immensity of Space. Thou who concentrest all the Thirty Ethers in one darkling sphere of Fire! Thee, Thee, I invoke!
O Thou who bearest the Rose and Cross of Life and Light! Thee, Thee, I invoke! The Voice of the Five. The Voice of the Six. Eleven are the Voices. ABRAHADABRA!

Strike, strike the master chord! Draw, draw the Flaming Sword! Crowned Child and Conquering Lord, Horus, avenger!
By thy name of Ra, Hawk of the Sun, the glorious one, I invoke Thee! [At every ‘I invoke Thee,’ throughout whole ritual, give the sign of Apophis; Rose can also put incense on the censer]
By thy name Harmachis, youth of the Brilliant Morning, I invoke Thee!
By thy name, Mau, Lion of the Midday Sun, I invoke Thee!
By thy name Tum, Hawk of the Even, crimson splendour of the Sunset, I invoke Thee!
By thy name Khep-Ra, O Beetle of the hidden Mastery of Midnight, I invoke Thee!
By thy name Heru-pa-Kraat, Lord of Silence, Beautiful Child that standest on the Dragons of the Deep, I invoke Thee!
By thy name Apollo, O man of Strength and splendour, O poet, O father, I invoke Thee!
By thy name of Phoebus, that drivest thy chariot through the Heaven of Zeus, I invoke Thee!
By thy name of Odin, O warrior of the North, O Renown of the Sagas, I invoke Thee!
By thy name of Jeheshua, O child of the Flaming Star, I invoke Thee!
By Thine own, Thy secret name Hoori, Thee I invoke!
The Names are Five. The Names are Six. Eleven are the Names! ABRAHADABRA!

Behold! I stand in the midst. Mine is the symbol of Osiris; to Thee are mine eyes ever turned. Unto the splendour of Geburah, the Magnificence of Chesed, the mystery of Daath, thither I lift up mine eyes. This have I sought, and I have sought the Unity: hear Thou me!

In my hand is thy Sword of Revenge; let it strike at Thy Bidding! By the Sword I invoke Thee! The Voice of the Five. The Voice of the Six. Eleven are the Voices. ABRAHADABRA!

Mine is the Head of the Hawk! Abrahadabra!

[Give Sign of Apophis at each ‘Abrahadabra’]

I am the only-begotten-child of Osiris and Isis! Abrahadabra!
Mine is the Apron of flashing white! Abrahadabra!
I have formulated my Father and made fertile my Mother! Abrahadabra!
Mine is the garment of golden glory with the azure bars of the sky! Abrahadabra!
I have avenged the Horror of Death, I raised mine Head and the Crocodile of the Nile was abased before me! Abrahadabra!
Mine Nemyss hideth the Universe with night! Abrahadabra!
I travellest in the Boat of Ra, abiding at the helm! Abrahadabra!
I bearest the Wand of Double Power! Abrahadabra!
About me is shed the darkness of Blue Light! Abrahadabra!
I concentratest all the Thirty Ethers in one darkling sphere of Fire! Abrahadabra!
Mine is the Rose and Cross of Life and Light! Abrahadabra!

[Remain in the sign until the conclusion of the invocation; drums/music ceases]

Therefore I say unto thee: Come forth and dwell in me; so that every my Spirit, whether of the Firmament, or of the Ether, or of the Earth or under the Earth; on dry land or in the Water, or Whirling Air or of Rushing Fire; and every spell and scourge of God the Vast One may be THOU. ABRAHADABRA!

[Sounds of storms: rain, lightning, thunder, etc]

PART IV: The Equinox of the Gods

[♄ as Osiris/Jesus is in the East on a Throne that is within the opened veil of the High Altar; d as Ma’at is in the North; c as Isis is in the South; ♂ as Horus/Ra-Hoor-Khuit is in the West. The Holy Bible with Old & New Testament is on the superaltar in the East. The sounds of the storm continue.]

: The Voice of the Lord upon the Waters: the Terror of God upon Mankind. The voice of the Lord maketh the Skies to tremble: the Stars are troubled: the Aires fall. Cursed, cursed be the Earth, for her iniquity is great. Oh Lord! Let Thy Mercy be lost in the great Deep! Open thine eyes of Flame and Light, O God, upon the wicked! Lighten thine Eyes! The Clamour of Thy Voice, let it smite down the Mountains! Let us not see it! Cover we our eyes, lest we see the End of Man. Close we our ears, lest we hear the cry of Woman. Let none speak of it: let none write it!29 No!

d : No!

c : No!

: All is changed!

d : All is confounded!

c : Naught is ordered!

: The white is stained with blood!

d : The black is kissed of the Christ!

c : Return!

: Return!30 Tremble ye, O Pillars of the Universe, for Eternity is in travail of a Terrible Child; she shall bring forth an universe of Darkness, whence shall leap forth a spark that shall put his father to flight.

d : The Obelisks are broken!

c : The stars have rushed together!

d : T he Light hath plunged into the Abyss:

c : The Heavens are mixed with Hell!

: My Father shall not hear their Noise: His ears are closed: His eyes are covered with the clouds of Night.

d : The End!

c : The End!

: The End! For the Eye of Shiva He hath opened: the Universe is naked before Him: for the Aeon of Saturn leaneth toward the Bosom of Death!31

: It is a new chaos that thou findest here: chaos for thee: for us it is the skeleton of a New Truth!32 I have opened mine eye, and the universe is dissolved before me, for force is mine upper eye-lid and matter is my lower eye- lid. I gaze into the seven spaces, and there is naught.33

[♂ chases ♄ out of his Throne to the West and then to the South and then to the North where he sits]

: I have gone forth to war, and I have slain him that sat upon the sea, crowned with the winds. I put forth my power and he was broken. I withdrew my power and he was ground into fine dust. Rejoice with me, O ye Sons of the Morning; stand with me upon the Throne of Lotus; gather yourselves up unto me, and we shall play together in the fields of light. I have passed into the Kingdom of the West after my Father. Behold! where are now the darkness and the terror and the lamentation? For ye are born into the new Aeon; ye shall not suffer death. Bind up your girdles of gold! Wreathe yourselves with garlands of my unfading flowers! In the nights we will dance together, and in the morning we will go forth to war; for, as my Father liveth that was dead, so do I live and shall never die!34

[♂ takes the different books and objects from the High Altar that were set thereupon by the Magi and with each, ♂ holds them up and says:]

Curse them!35

[After all have been thrown down, ♂ says:]

Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds.36

[♂ spits on them and tramples them underfoot; d takes the Stele of Revealing and places it on the superaltar and then sits in the West; c takes The Book of the Law, places it below the Stele on the superaltar, and then she sits in the South; ♂ sits in the throne in the East]

: Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs!

d : Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods!

c : And let Asar be with Isa, who also are one!

: But they are not of me!

d : Let Asar be the adorant, Isa the sufferer!

c : Hoor in his secret name and splendour is the Lord initiating!37

[A pause. ♂ gets up and stands before his throne]

: The word of the law is Θελημα .38

cd ☿: A ka dua / Tuf ur biu / Bi a’a chefu / Dudu nur af an nuteru!

: Every man and every woman is a star.39

cd ☿: A ka dua / Tuf ur biu / Bi a’a chefu / Dudu nur af an nuteru!

: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.40

cd ☿: A ka dua / Tuf ur biu / Bi a’a chefu / Dudu nur af an nuteru!

: The word of Sin is Restriction.41

cd ☿: A ka dua / Tuf ur biu / Bi a’a chefu / Dudu nur af an nuteru!

: So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.42

cd ☿: A ka dua / Tuf ur biu / Bi a’a chefu / Dudu nur af an nuteru!

: Love is the law, love under will.43

cd ☿: A ka dua / Tuf ur biu / Bi a’a chefu / Dudu nur af an nuteru!

: There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.44

[ ♂ takes his seat in the throne]

cd ☿: A ka dua / Tuf ur biu / Bi a’a chefu / Dudu nur af an nuteru!

PART V: The Renunciation of the Slave-Ideals of the Old Aeon

[☿ passes out slips of paper and pens, and generally acts as the facilitator of the People]

: If it is your Will to renounce the slave-ideals of the Old Aeon, Please write upon this paper, silently, and as briefly as you can, the name of the religion that you grew up with and the essential falsehood or wrong conduct taught by that religion.

[Pause for ~1 minute]

: Is there anyone present who wishes to disavow their previous ties to slave-ideals of Old Aeon religion with the ambition of embracing the Law of Thelema? Please rise.

: Hoor hath a secret fourfold name; it is Do What Thou Wilt. Four words: Naught—One—Many—All… Thou—Child! Thy Name is holy. Thy Kingdom is come. Thy Will is done. Here is the Bread. / Here is the Blood. / Bring us through Temptation! Deliver us from Good and Evil! That Mine as Thine be the Crown of the Kingdom, even now. ABRAHADABRA.

[brief pause]

: Brothers and sisters, is it your will to renounce the superstitious oppression of the Old Aeon?

: It is.

: We have to fight for Freedom against oppressors, religious, social, or industrial; and we are utterly opposed to compromise. Every fight is to be a fight to the finish; each one of us for himself, to do his own will; and all of us for all, to establish the Law of Liberty. Let every man bear arms, swift to resent oppression, generous and ardent to draw sword in any cause, if justice or freedom summon him! [Pause] Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

: Love is the law, love under will.

: I am come against sorrow, against weariness, against them that seek to enslave you. I pour you lustral wine, that giveth you delight both at the sunset and the dawn. Come with me, and I will give you all that is desirable upon the earth. Because I give you that of which Earth and its joys are but as shadows. They flee away, but my joy abideth even unto the end. Only those who fear shall fail. Those who have bent their backs to the yoke of slavery until they can no longer stand upright; them will I despise. But you who have defied the law; you who have conquered by subtlety or force; you will I take unto me, even I will take you unto me. Only if ye are sorrowful, or weary, or angry, or discomforted; then ye may know that ye have lost the golden thread, the thread wherewith I guide you to the heart of the groves of Eleusis. My disciples are proud and beautiful; they are strong and swift; they rule their way like mighty conquerors. The weak, the timid, the imperfect, the cowardly, the poor, the tearful – these are mine enemies, and I am come to destroy them. This also is compassion: an end to the sickness of earth. A rooting-out of the weeds: a watering of the flowers. O my children, ye are more beautiful than the flowers: ye must not fade in your season.45

: Please come forward and place your slip of paper in the fire. [☿ aids the People in accomplishing this, while ♂ says: ]

: I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men. Curse them! Curse them! Curse them! With my Hawk’s head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross. I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him. With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongol and Din. Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds. Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you! Also for beauty’s sake and love’s!46 There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.47

: You will now stand in the posture that we call dieu garde, with your feet together at a right angle, and your thumbs linked before you. [ ☿ demonstrates]

: It is in this position that we break the bonds of slavery and forge those that lead to Freedom. You will now renounce the slave-ideals of the religions of the Old Aeon and their superstitions. At each query, make the loud declaration, “I renounce it!”

[Pause]

♂ Do you renounce the superstition of the Old Aeon?

: [lead by ☿] I renounce it.

Do you renounce the tyranny of the Old Aeon?

: I renounce it.

♂ Do you renounce the oppression of the Old Aeon?

: I renounce it.

♂ : Repeat after me… BAHLASTI!

: BAHLASTI!

♂ : OMPEHDA!

: OMPEHDA!

♂ : The word of the law is Θελημα. Every man and every woman is a star. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. The word of Sin is Restriction. Thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect. Love is the law, love under will.

[Pause and hold up Mark of the Beast stamp]

: By the Sign of the Mark of the Beast, I applaud your renunciation of the slave-ideals and celebrate that you have broken the bonds of the slave-gods of the Old Aeon.

[♂ puts the Mark of the Beast on the inner left wrist of each individual with ☿ attending him if needed. After marking an individual, ♂ says to each:]

: There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

[When finished with the last person, ♂ goes up to the throne in the East]

: Conquer! That is enough. Thou shalt have danger & trouble. Ra-Hoor-Khu is with thee. 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. 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! I am the God enthroned in Ra’s seat, lightening the girders of the soul. To Me do ye reverence! to me come ye through tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss. There is success.48

[The veil is drawn]

: I witness and commend your renunciation of slave-ideals of the Old Aeon. A feast has been prepared to celebrate the Supreme Ritual that invoked Horus and the Equinox of the Gods, when the world entered a New Aeon of the Law of Liberty, ruled by the Crowned and Conquering Child.

[☉ or ☽ stands at the head of the table and knocks 3-5-3]

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

: What is thy Will?

: It is my Will to eat and to drink.

: To what end?

: That I may fortify my body thereby.

: To what end?

: That I may celebrate the feast of the Supreme Ritual and the feast for the Equinox of the Gods.

: To what end?

: That I may accomplish the Great Work.

: Love is the law, love under will.

[☉ knocks once, makes toasts if (s)he wills]

References

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1 New Comment to Liber AL, II:40.

2 New Comment to Liber AL, II:40.

3 Letter from Aleister Crowley to Karl Germer, March 14, 1942.

4 Letter from Aleister Crowley to Charles Stansfield Jones, a.k.a., Frater Achad, April 1, 1919.

5 Confessions, chapter 49.

6 From Crowley’s “One Star in Sight.”

7 Liber Aleph, “De Magis Ordinis A∴A∴ Quibus Caro Fit Verbum.”

8 Liber Aleph, “De Magis Tempori Antiqui: Imprimis, De Lao-Tze.”

9 Chapter 1 from Tao Teh Ching.

10 Liber Aleph, “De Gautama.”

11 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, translated by Thanissaro Bhikku.

12 Liber Aleph, “De Sri Krishna et de Dionyso.”

13 Magick in Theory and Practice, chapter 7.

14 An adaptation of chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita.

15 Liber ABA, part II.

16 Liber Aleph, “De Tahuti.”

17 Adapted from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes.

18 Liber Aleph, “De Quodam Mago Aegyptiorum, Quem Appelunt Judaei Mosheh.”

19 Exodus 20:1-6, King James Version

20 Liber Aleph, “De Sri Krishna et de Dionyso.”

21 Magick in Theory and Practice, chapter 7.

22 Adapted from the “Invocation of Dionysus” from Orphic hymns.

23 The first part of the “shahada” of Islam.

24 Sura 112 of the Qur’an.

25 Liber AL vel Legis, II:56.

26 From the “Preliminary Invocation of the Goetia,” which is more likely similar to what Crowley actually performed rather than Liber Samekh, which has changes that obviously occurred after the revelation of the New Aeon.

27 These are both things that Rose reportedly said to Crowley after the Bornless Invocation.

28 This entire invocation is adapted from the one used by Crowley as reported in The Equinox of the Gods, chapter 6.

29 The Vision and the Voice, 29th Aethyr.

30 This entire exchange also comes from The Vision and the Voice, 29th Aethyr.

31 This exchange comes from The Vision and the Voice, 30th Aethyr.

32 The Vision and the Voice, 29th Aethyr.

33 The Vision and the Voice, 22nd Aethyr.

34 The Vision and the Voice, 22nd Aethyr.

35 Liber AL vel Legis, III:50.

36 Liber AL vel Legis, III:54.

37 Liber AL vel Legis, I:49.

38 Liber AL vel Legis, I:39.

39 Liber AL vel Legis, I:3.

40 Liber AL vel Legis, I:40.

41 Liber AL vel Legis, I:41.

42 Liber AL vel Legis, I:42-44.

43 Liber AL vel Legis, I:57.

44 Liber AL vel Legis, III:60.

45 Liber Tzaddi, lines 10-14, 18-19, 23-27

46 Liber AL vel Legis, III:49-56, as stated in the letter from Crowley.

47 Liber AL vel Legis, III:60.

48 Liber AL vel Legis, III:11, 17, 42, 61-62, 69.

 

 

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Feasts of the Times: A Feast for the First Night of the Prophet and his Bride

A feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride

by Frater IAO131

BACKGROUND

This feast is celebrated on August 12, and its primary purpose is to celebrate the anniversary of Crowley’s marriage to Rose that made possible the reception of The Book of the Law. Crowley comments, “There should be a special feast on the 12th day of August in every year, since it was the marriage of The Beast which made possible the revelation of the New Law. (This is not an Apology for Marriage. Hard Cases make Bad Law).”

In terms of E.G.C., this ceremony represents the Collect of Marriage, which involves the union of all things, not only the legal proceedings of marriage. In terms of M.M.M., this ceremony represents II° insofar as this shows the soul “how it may best carry out its object in the eucharist of life. It partakes, so to speak, of its own godhead in every action, but especially through the typical sacrament of marriage, understood as the voluntary union of itself with each element of its environment” (Confessions, ch.72).

This feast has five scenes that follow the basic 5-act structure. Each scene refers not only to semi-historical events but also to important parts of each star’s journey in accomplishing their Wills:

  1. The first scene involves Rose, who is the hero of this story and symbolizes each aspirant, and her Father, who symbolizes the “great dragon” of tradition and authority, being a microcosm of the Old Aeon of slave religion in general. This scene symbolizes the oppression of the values of the Old Aeon, both historically as well as individually in terms of the various constraints, beliefs, habits, and values of youth that must be discarded and transcended in the process of growth.

  2. The second scene involves the arrival of the Beast, who represents Crowley historically and the Holy Guardian Angel of each individual symbolically. Rose confides in the Beast about her arranged marriage and he resolves to marry her to absolve her of her obligation. This represents, more generally, the Trance of Sorrow where the aspirant becomes dissatisfied with the world and is given the motive to start upon the Path of the Great Work.1

  3. In the third scene, Rose is then given a choice to adhere to the security of tradition and authority as symbolized by the Father on the one hand or the Liberty and Light of the path of the Great Work as symbolized by the Beast on the other hand. Rose chooses to follow her own True Will, and leaves with the Beast. This represents every aspirant’s choice to begin the journey out of the Darkness of ignorance and into the Light, out of the Old Aeon and into the New. The scenes therefore get more and more comedic as the Laughter of the Child slowly overtakes the Sorrow of the Dying Father.

  4. The fourth scene involves the marriage of the Beast and Rose. Before being married, the Beast or Holy Guardian Angel teaches that she must be balanced in herself before uniting with him. “Equilibrium is the basis of the Work.”2 The Beast tests Rose in the Four Powers of the Sphinx as a form of acquiring balance or equilibrium of the Four Elements.

  5. The fifth scene involves the marriage of the Sphinx and Pyramid, Rose and the Beast, which is the act of conception that will eventually lead to the birth of the Child of The Book of the Law. This can be seen as symbolically reflective of the task of all individuals in uniting with their Gods or Holy Guardian Angels so they may bring forth their own Word to the world.

PERSONS

: Master of Ceremonies – Dressed in white robe with yellow stole, i.e. as a Deacon. He performs the role of narrator and conductor of the People. 

: Rose – Dressed in red/scarlet dress. She performs the role of Rose Kelly who is symbolic of the soul of the aspirant.

: The Beast – Dressed in blue/azure. He performs the role of Aleister Crowley who is symbolic of the Holy Guardian Angel/Beast.

: The Father – Dressed in black garments or a black robe. He performs the role of the father of Rose who is symbolic of the “great dragon (c.f. Zarathustra) of authority, obligation, and the Old Aeon in general.

: The People – Dressed as they will. They participate when appropriate.

* * * * *

SCENE I: Rose & her Father

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

: Love is the law, love under will.

: Upon all that this day unite with love under will let fall success; may strength and skill unite to bring forth ecstasy, and beauty answer beauty.

: So mote it be.

: In the eucharist of life, the soul partakes of its own godhead in every action, but especially through the typical sacrament of marriage, understood as the voluntary union of itself with each element of its environment. Every mundane marriage is therefore symbolic of the union of the soul and the elements of its world, and – on a higher level – the union of the Adept with her God.

[pause, focus shifts to ♄ and ]

: We are gathered here tonight to celebrate the feast for the first night of the Prophet and his bride, which made possible the revelation of the New Law. We must therefore go back in time, 110 [change accordingly] years ago, before Rose and Aleister were married.

[A pause]

: My dear Rose, I have tended this garden with careful watch for many seasons. The weeds of temptation have been uprooted so they could not corrupt you; pure waters of the Lord’s word were gathered for you to be fed. I have labored for years so that you, my flower, could one day be plucked to be worn as boutonnière.3 My dear Rose, you are like the red, red rose that’s newly sprung in June. O my girl’s like the melody that’s sweetly played in tune.4

: Your words are kind and full of lightness, Father, yet I hear a dark and heavy drone that weighs down my soul.

: What mean thing could possibly besmirch your fair bosom with weight at such a joyous time? I have arranged for you to be married to a noble man, noble and gold-endowed! All the preparations have been made; there is no reason left for you to fret.

: It is just that, my lord. Make no mistake. To you I am bound for life and education. My life and education both taught me how to respect you: you are the lord of duty. I am hitherto your daughter.5 I wish I could profess such undying duty to my future husband.

: Do you doubt my judgment in selecting a suitor? I have called in every favor to make for the most profitable and secure arrangement for you.

: Yes, profitable and secure, indeed. With that I can agree.

: What else would could one wish for in the future father to one’s children?

: I would that my heart was as well-endowed as my purse.

: A heart requires health, and the greatest health is gained through comfort and security.

: [aside, said sarcastically about her father] Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art!6

: What is that, my dear?

: Nothing, father, you are kind in your care for me, and you know me well.

: Aye, of course I know you well, and you are a worthy daughter for honoring your father. A thought almost occurred that you might be balking at my carefully cultivated arrangements.

[The father walks off mumbling to himself]

: Nobody knows this little Rose… I might a pilgrim be.7

SCENE II: The Arrival of the Beast

: Later that night, Rose attended a gathering organized by her brother Gerald Kelly. There she met the Beast in whom she confided her secret suffering.

: …and he is arriving from America in no less than a week. Though I am indebted to my father through duty, I cannot in good faith accept the suitor arranged for me. I don’t love him; I barely know him! Oh, what a troubling song my heart-strings play!

: My fair Rose, duty that is imposed by others is naught but tyranny. A rose is rightly colored with love’s strong pulse, never by the bloody stains from traitorous refusal of your soul’s decrees. [Rose is distressed] Don’t upset yourself about such a trifle.8 Luckily for such a damsel as yourself, I am pledged through a solemn oath to battle all forms of oppression.

: Such wise benevolence and incorruptible justice9 you display! What must I do to acquire your aid?

: All you must do is marry me.10 I will absolve you of your obligations, and you will be responsible only for your own conduct.

: But my father will never accept our treacherous tryst!

: I would only that your fate were free, not for any benediction of paternity.

: Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art!11

: Ah, you speak in sweet poetry that bewitches even the Beast! Yes, we will confront your father soon, when the sun next rises! There is a budding morrow in midnight12… who knows what species of fortune may flower?

SCENE III: The Confrontation

: The next morning, Rose and the Beast went to confront her father.

[Rose enters the Father’s room]

: Good morning! What signs do your petals unfold to tell today, young Rose?13

: Father, my lord, I have come with my bridegroom.

: Here already? What great fortune! Bring him in!

[The Beast enters]

: What? Who is this ghastly beast of a man?

: Great and wild Beast to you, good sir. Although my friends may call me Little Sunshine.14 I am to wed your Rose today.

: What sins have you committed to be indebted to such a devil?

: I owe no debt but undying gratitude. I marry him of my own free will!

: How dare you! Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother!15

: Ah, Father, every scale on your serpentine skin glitters a golden “Thou shalt.” The values of ages long-since past are etched in your scales. You are the great dragon that I am no longer inclined to call Lord. “Thou shalt,” you say, and “Thou shalt not.” To that, this man lent me a portion of his lion-spirit and now I say to you, “I will.”16

: You are indebted to me for life and education, remember? I own you and you will marry as arranged!

: There is no property in human flesh.17

: I own myself and answer only to myself!

: O Rose, you are sick. The invisible worm that flies in the night in the howling storm has found out thy bed of crimson joy, and his dark secret love does your life destroy.”18

: O Rose! Who dares to name thee! I can see you no longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet, but pale, and hard, and dry, as stubble-wheat. Kept twenty-eight years in a drawer…

: Twenty-nine!19

: Kept twenty-nine years in a drawer, I’m not surprised your name shames thee.20

: Where is the modest woman I raised so carefully?

: The veil of the modest woman is the veil of sorrow and the pall of death! She has torn down that lying spectre of the centuries and veils not her vices in virtuous words any more!21

: I fear that my own shock and sorrow have paralyzed me. [He leans against a table or bed] Go now, Rose. Go now, you miserable Beast! I must lie down and hopefully awake from this horrible nightmare.

[Rose starts to exit]

: A Woman under Tabu is loathsome to Life, detested by her fellows, and wretched in herself.22 To me, a woman is Herself, absolute, original, independent, free, self-justified, exactly as a man is.23

:[Rose grabs the Beast] That is enough! Indignation may stir the dragon out of his cave and we will miss our chance. Let’s go!

[They exit]

SCENE IV: The Equilibration

: Having chosen liberty over obligation, Rose set upon a dangerous path. Before the marriage, the Beast described the preliminaries that would need to be undertaken.

: Through my extensive travels in the lands of mysticism and magick, I have fashioned myself four-fold as a proud Pyramid. My sides are life, love, liberty, and light, and my apex is poised to receive the kisses of the stars.24 Being that I am such a monument of man, I will have no bride but a spotless Sphinx.25

☽: Ah, I know this riddle!26

☉: This is no riddle as there is no sure solution. I speak of the four powers of the Sphinx. One must find and learn and re-learn these: to know, to will, to dare, and to keep silence.

☽: Though these ideas are new to me, I pray that you would test my present ability.

☉: Fine then, let’s jump right in! I will put four questions before you and let’s see if you sink or swim.

☽: Although I’ve been cloistered, I believe I’ve still learned my fair share. Do your worst, ‘you miserable Beast!’

☉: First, what is true knowledge?

☽: True knowledge is not known but what’s felt as innately right, the heart’s subtle understanding is one’s sole guiding light.27

☉: A bit sentimental and a bit unclear, but I’ll accept your answer and press on, my dear. Now, tell me, what is true will?

☽: When the heart’s understanding is wed to the brain’s bright wisdom, the foot walks with a solemn swiftness towards the Lord’s kingdom.28

☉: Though harmony of the soul’s faculties is the prerequisite thereof, you will one day find that the star you seek is within and not above.29 Now, pray tell, what is true daring?

☽: A will that desires demons and dangers on all sides,30 not sett’ling in security of what comfort decides.

☉: Though father Friedrich31 said living dangerously’s the secret of success,32 even Liberty’s greatest warriors require repose and recess. Your answers are satisfactory but I require a final proof; now with Pontius Pilate33 I ask most solemnly of you… What is Truth?

[Rose takes a breath with her finger in the air to give another answer, but she hesitates, looks puzzled, and puts her forefinger to her lips in deep thought]

☉: Wise you are, indeed! Wise beyond your years! Beyond my highest hopes you’ve dispelled my fears. Who knew that a lotus and not a rose sprung, from the dark mire of your education’s dung, that your roots in blackened depths produce fruit fresh and new, that your petals hide Harpocrates in his egg of blue!34

[The Beast laughs]

Ah! this lyrical exchange has quelled all my insecurities about this arrangement. Let us defy convention and pre-emptively consummate our marriage, at least until the evening star arises35 to preside over the proper legalities.

[They exit]

SCENE V: The Marriage

[☿ stands behind the Beast and Rose but not out of sight, presiding at the priest for the marriage]

: For the many years of your youth, you have beared the weight of tradition and custom as a camel. You then defied law and convention as a lion, replacing the “Thou shalt” of tradition with the “I will” of independence. Now, having created freedom for yourself, you must become as a little Child,36 and find your own way with a holy Yea unto one’s new life.

: What a heavy burden has been lifted from me! I can feel the lightness of liberty that this new life allows!

: On the contrary, my dear Rose, for freedom is the greatest restriction of all. Having extricated yourself from the web of obligations to others, one must re-affirm with equal intensity one’s duty to oneself. Though the Child of the spirit is free from all convention, he is bound with equal obligation to his own law. You must find your true destiny, the purpose on this earth for which you were fitted, and adhere solely to it. This is the apotheosis of Freedom but it is also the strictest possible bond,37 for having begun to tread the path of the Great Work, you are bound to continue walking thereupon and never swerve therefrom.

: What a strange and terrible oath I have unknowingly taken!

: Terrible, indeed, the most daunting task that one can possibly attempt. Yet it is also the path to complete peace, true wisdom, and perfect happiness.

: What is my goal upon this long and winding road of attainment?

: One must never ask or ponder about the final goal but always focus one’s energies upon taking the Next Step.38

: My love for you is undeniable and unconquerable. Lead me to take this Next Step!

: Love is indeed the right motive and fuel for this path, yet your marriage to me is but a symbol of your true goal. Even as you wed me today, you must seek the inward marriage of the soul with your God. With all the love you love me today, it must be inflamed a thousandfold towards the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Though I vow to guide you in whatever way may be of use, you must do the work and it is only you that may take the final plunge. No one can ever do that for you, nor can any man ever know the Name of another’s God. It is the most universal and unique of all goals, it is the Holy of Holies.39

: I vow to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of my Holy Guardian Angel. Nothing will deflect me from this most holy and austere obligation.

: May this ring be a seal of your solemn oath, forever reminding you of the promise you made today.

[☿ approaches to stand between the Beast and Rose]

: With your vows being made, I now proclaim you man and wife!

[The Beast whispers in ‘s ear]

: Excuse me… I now proclaim you Beast and whore! You may kiss the harlot.

: It is accomplished, the marriage is complete. What Child this union may bring we know not yet. There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered.40 For our honeymoon we will travel to the land of the Sun. To Egypt, where the other Sphinx and Pyramid stand as we now do!

[The Beast and Rose exit]

: It was on this day of August 12, the first night of the Prophet and his bride, that the events were set in motion which would lead to the revelation of the New Aeon several months later with the reception of The Book of the Law. Even as Rose’s marriage to the Beast led to the birth of the Child of the New Aeon, so too must each individual come to unite with their own Gods and give their Words to the world. So mote it be.

[Applause]

THE FEAST

: But ye, o my people, rise up & awake!

[☿ motions for all to stand]

Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy & beauty! There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times.41 Tonight there is a feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride!42

[☿ motions for the feast to be brought out and for everyone to sit at the table or stand around the table with food]

Aye! feast! rejoice! there is no dread hereafter. There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu.43

[☽ stands at the head of the table and knocks 3-5-3]

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

: What is thy Will?

: It is my Will to eat and to drink.

: To what end?

: That I may fortify my body thereby.

: To what end?

: That I may celebrate the feast of the first night of the Prophet and his Bride.

: To what end?

: That I may accomplish the Great Work.

: Love is the law, love under will.

[☽ knocks once]

: Now please direct your attention to the Beast.

: I’d like to make a toast, so everyone please get a drink.

[☿ and other appointed helpers give everyone a glass and pours drinks]

: First, as always, to Nuit, our Lady of the Stars!

: To Nuit!

: To Rose, who played an integral part in the revelation of the New Aeon!

: To Rose!

: To the prophet of the lovely star, the Beast!

: To the Beast!

: To our great Thelemic fraternity, the O.T.O.!

: To O.T.O.!

: To [insert local body name]!

: To [insert local body name]!

: And finally, to all of us!

: To all of us!

: You may now feast and rejoice!

Finis.

Notes

1 

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Crowley wrote in Little Essays Toward Truth, “The Aspiration to become a Master is rooted in the Trance of Sorrow.”

2 Liber Librae sub figura XXX.

3 A boutonnière is the flower worn by men at formal occasions in general and worn on the chest of a bridegroom in particular.

4 Adapted from Robert Burns’ poem, “A Red, Red Rose.”

5 Adapted from Shakespeare’s Othello, Act I, Scene 3, lines 182-185.

6 The first line of a sonnet by John Keats, which Crowley notes in his Confessions (chapter 46) is a line that Rose often quoted.

7 Adapted from Emily Dickinson.

8 A direct quotation of what Crowley claims he said to Rose in his Confessions, chapter 45.

9 A reference to Confessions, chapter 45, where Crowley writes, “There is something in my character which makes people confide in me. I think the bottom of it is my chastity. They instinctively understand that I have no personal axe to grind; that I shall display a wise benevolence and incorruptible justice, being detached from every form of desire.”

10 Another adapted quotation of what Crowley claims he said to Rose in his Confessions, chapter 45.

11 The first line of a sonnet by John Keats, which Crowley notes in his Confessions (chapter 46) is a line that Rose often quoted. It is here said truly, to be contrasted with its sarcastic tone when directed at Rose’s father in the previous scene.

12 From Keats’ poem, “Ode to Homer.”

13 An obscure reference to the first lines of “AHA!”, “Master, ere the ruby Dawn / Gild the dew of leaf and lawn, / Bidding the petals to unclose / Of heaven’s imperishable Rose, / Brave heralds, banners flung afar / Of the lone and secret star.”

14 Crowley tried to explain this name in court when he testified in a 1934 lawsuit. He was asked, ‘Did you take to yourself the designation of ‘the Beast 666′?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you call yourself the ‘Master Therion’?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘What does ‘Therion’ mean?’ ‘Great wild beast.’ ‘Do these titles convey a fair impression of your practice and outlook on life?’ ‘It depends on what they mean.’ ‘The Great Wild Beast and the Beast 666 are out of the Apocalypse?’ ‘It only means sunlight; 666 is the number of the sun. You can call me ‘Little Sunshine.”

15 One of the Ten Commandments of the Old Aeon.

16 This entire speech is adapted from the first chapter of Thus Spake Zarathustra, “The Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit.”

17 Adapted from Crowley’s Liber Aleph where he writes, “There shall be no property in human flesh.”

18 Adapted from William Blake’s poem “The Sick Rose.”

19 Rose was 29-years-old when she married Crowley, who was 28.

20 Adapted from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “A Dead Rose.”

21 Adapted from The Book of the Law, II:52.

22 Quoted from Crowley’s New Comment to Liber AL, II:52.

23 Quoted from Crowley’s New Comment to Liber AL, III:55.

24 A reference to Liber Aleph where Crowley writes, “Now then at last art thou made ready to confront the Pyramid, if thou art established as a Sphinx. For It also hath the foursquare Base of Law, and the Four Triangles of Light, Life, Love and Liberty for its Sides, that meet in a Point of Perfection that is Hadith, poised to the Kiss of Nuith.”

25 Crowley writes in Liber Aleph, “Now then this Sphinx, being perfect in true Balance, yet taketh the Aspect of the Feminine Principle that so She may be partner of the Pyramid, that is the Phallus, pure Image of Our Father the Sun, the Unity Creative.”

26 A reference to the Riddle of the Sphinx to which Oedipus famously gave a solution with the answer, “Man.”

27 This refers to the distinction between Knowledge which is below the Abyss (Da’ath), and Understanding which is above the Abyss (Binah).

28 Qabalistically, “Wisdom” is Chokmah, “Understanding” is Binah, and “the Lord’s kingdom” is Malkuth.

29 A reference to Crowley’s poem “One Star in Sight” where the last stanza is “To man I come, the number of / A man my number, Lion of Light; / I am The Beast whose Law is Love. / Love under will, his royal right— / Behold within, and not above, / One star in sight!”

30 A reference to Thus Spake Zarathustra, chapter 7, where Nietzsche writes, “The atmosphere rare and pure, danger near and the spirit full of a joyful wickedness: thus are things well matched. I want to have goblins about me, for I am courageous. The courage which scareth away ghosts, createth for itself goblins – it wanteth to laugh.”

31 A reference to Friedrich Nietzsche who Crowley claimed was a Prophet of Thelema and who is listed as a Saint in the Gnostic Mass.

32 Adapted from Crowley’s reference to Nietzsche in Liber Aleph where he writes, “Yet this I charge thee with my Might: Live Dangerously. Was not this the Word of thine Uncle Friedrich Nietzsche?” This is itself a reference to what Nietzsche wrote in his book The Gay Science, “For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and greatest enjoyment is — to live dangerously.”

33 Pontius Pilate asked Christ “What is Truth?” as in John 18:38.

34 Harpocrates or Hoor-paar-kraat is the god of Silence who is often depicted with his finger on his lips. He is also, in the Western Hermetic tradition, often depicted in an egg of blue or Spirit on top of a lotus.

35 The evening star is actually the planet Venus, which is the planet of Love and Union.

36 A reference to (1) Matthew 18:3 (“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”), (2) to the “Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit” in Thus Spake Zarathustra, and (3) to the fact that the New Aeon is that of the Crowned and Conquering Child of Horus.

37 A quotation from “Liber II: The Message of the Master Therion” by Aleister Crowley. This entire speech is an adaptation or paraphrase thereof.

38 The Next Step is a reference to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Crowley wrote in The Vision and the Voice that he “became aware of his True Will, of the purpose for which he had undertaken Incarnation. And this was expressed thus: to aid Mankind to take the Next Step. And at the time he understood this as meaning: to lead them to aspire to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.”

39 A paraphrase of “One Star in Sight” where Crowley writes, “It is impossible to lay down precise rules by which a man may attain to the knowledge and conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel; for that is the particular secret of each one of us; as secret not to be told or even divined by any other, whatever his grade. It is the Holy of Holies, whereof each man is his own High Priest, and none knoweth the Name of his brother’s God, or the Rite that invokes Him.”

40 A quotation from Othello, Act I, Scene 3, lines 369-370.

41 Liber AL vel Legis, II:34-36.

42 Adapted from Liber AL vel Legis, II:37.

43 Liber AL vel Legis, II:44.