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The Rituals of the Elements: Summer Solstice

Introduction

It is written in Liber AL vel Legis II:36, “There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times.” Crowley comments, “The entry of the Sun into the cardinal signs of the elements at the Equinoxes and Solstices are suitable for festivals. The difference between ‘rituals’ and ‘feasts’ is this: by the one a particular form of energy is generated, while there is a general discharge of one’s superfluous force in the other. Yet a feast implies periodical nourishment.” This cycle of dramatic rituals are therefore invocations. They are intended to generate energy at the entrance of the Sun into the cardinal signs of elements at the four quarters of the year, i.e. the Equinoxes and Solstices.

The entire cycle of rituals simultaneously show:

  1. The macrocosmic cycle of the Sun going through the seasons
  2. The microcosmic cycle of Man going through the generations/Incarnation (birth/youth-adulthood-old age-death).
  3. The process of Attainment from 0=0 to 8=3 and back again.

The energies of each ritual correspond to each of these planes at once:

Equinox and Solstice rituals

Each ritual invokes a particular energy. Each ritual has a particular Word of Power associated therewith and it is intoned in between the scenes. The Word also appears once in each ritual within a particular Scene.

Each of the four rituals has 3 scenes for a total of 12 scenes for the entire cycle, one for each of the signs of the Zodiac. The middle scene of each ritual is the sign of the Equinox or Solstice – for example, the middle scene in Autumn is Libra. The first scene is therefore Virgo, the sign before Libra, and the last scene is Scorpio, the sign after Libra. In general, the first scene represents events leading up to the Equinox or Solstice, the middle scene represents the actual turning-point, and the last scene represents events leading to the next Equinox or Solstice.

The Basic Characters

  • (☉/♂) Priest/King – the conscious Self. The Child who grows to become King who attains and becomes a Priest and then dies and is reborn as the Child.
  • (☽/♀) Priestess/Queen the Non-Self (the unconscious self, the “higher self,” etc.)The  Mother of the Child, the Queen/Beloved of the King, the High Priestess of the Priest.
  • (+ and -) 2 Children – the duality of the World. Various roles throughout the entire cycle.
  • () The People (participants) – the inhabitants of the World; they identify (at least their conscious selves) with the Priest.


Summer SolsticeTHE SUMMER SOLSTICE CEREMONY

Also known as “The Chymical Wedding”

The Word of this ceremony is ‘ABRAHADABRA.’ It is repeatedly intoned in between scenes by the People/Congregants. The Incense of this ceremony is Sandalwood.1 The Talisman of this ceremony is the Mark of the Beast2.

SCENE I: Gemini.
The Maturation of the Child, the strengthening of the Mind, and the King’s approach to the Lower Kingdom.

The Queen sits enthroned in the East3 behind the Veil. She is wearing a white robe with no tabard, is crowned with twelve flowers, and she holds a wilted Lotus flower. + and – stand in the center of the Temple; + holds a censer with incense4 and – holds a cup of salt and water.5 The King is in the West with the Lance, wearing only a white robe with no tabard. The body of the King has been equilibrated6 and now the mind7 requires equilibration.

[INTRO MUSIC: The end of Holst’s “Mars, the Bringer of War” continuing from the end of the Vernal Equinox ceremony]

The King begins to approach the East from the West.

KING: I have balanced the Elements within myself and become worthy to seize my Father’s Sacred Lance of power. I travel into the Lower Kingdom to seek the Daughter of the King, that she may become my bride and be set upon the Throne of my Mother.

+ and – approach the King and stop him.

+ and : Halt!

They attach a garotte to his throat.8

–: Child of Earth, un-purified, you cannot enter the path to the Lower Kingdom.9

makes three crosses with the cup of salt and water in the shape of a downward triangle10 over the chest of the King while saying:

–: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.11

+: Child of Earth, unconsecrated, you cannot enter the path to the Lower Kingdom.

+ makes three crosses with the censer in the shape of an upright triangle12 over the chest of the King while saying:

+: I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body.13

In the following back-and-forth, the lines are spoken fairly quickly, with the King turning his head back and forth to face + or – as they speak, giving the sense of being bounced back-and-forth between two extremes of duality.

+: Thoughts are false.14

–: All thought is dis-ease.15

+: All this is true and false.

–: And it is true and false to say that it is true and false.16

+: Now a curse upon Because and his kin! May Because be accursèd for ever!

–: If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.

+: If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.

–: Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.17

The King then looks straight ahead, the head tipped slightly upwards to expose the neck.18

+: Strain forth thine Intelligence, O man, for thus thy reason shall at last break down.

–: As the fetter is struck from a slave’s throat.19

The garotte is removed from the King’s throat.20

+: Balance against each thought its exact opposite!

–: For the Marriage of these is the Annihilation of Illusion.21

QUEEN: The Oracle of the Gods is the Child-Voice of Love in thine own Soul! hear thou it!

She pauses briefly.

QUEEN: Heed not the Siren-Voice of Sense, or the Phantom-Voice of Reason: rest in Simplicity, and listen to the Silence!22

The King gives the Sign of Silence. + and – move to the sides of the King, allowing him passage into the Lower Kingdom.23 The King proceeds to the East and passes through the Veil.

END SCENE.

[MUSIC: Gustav Holst’s “Uranus, the Magician” from op.32, “The Planets”]

SCENE II: Cancer.
The Union of the Upper and Lower Kingdoms, and the re-ascent of the Man to Kingship.

The King stands in the West, approaching the Lower Kingdom.24 The Queen sits enthroned in the East with the Veil open. She appears as the Empress25, bearing the Lotus flower and wearing a crown of 12 white flowers26; she wears only a pure white robe.27 The Lotus flower is dying as it has lacked sunlight for it to flourish. The Man approaches and the Queen questions whether he is worthy. + and – stand on either side of the Queen in the sign of Osiris Risen.

The King walks towards the East.

+: A man approaches.

–: It is the young King of the Upper Kingdom.

QUEEN: Assure yourselves that he is purified and consecrated.

approaches the King and touches his forehead, mouth, and chest.28

–: He is pure of body and soul.29

QUEEN: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.30 To the pure, all things are pure.31

+ approaches the King and touches his forehead, mouth, and chest.

+: He is fervent of body and soul.32

QUEEN: Blessed are they that seek God with the whole heart and walk in his ways.33 The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.34

The Queen approaches the King and touches his chest with her left hand.

QUEEN: Kαθαροσ!35

+ touches the King’s right arm with his right hand.

+: Fortis!36

touches the King’s left arm with her left hand.

–: TAN!37

The Queen touches the King’s head with her right hand.

QUEEN: Samajh!38

The Queen, +, and – step back from the King.

QUEEN: To what end do you journey into this Lower Kingdom?

KING: To seek you, the Daughter of the King, that you may become my bride and be set upon the Throne of my Mother.

QUEEN: By what power do you approach my Lower Kingdom to take me as your bride?

The King raises his Lance.39

KING: By the power of the lifted lance!40

+ and – both give the Hailing sign of the Magician.41 The Lotus is transformed, blooming, and beautiful. The Queen holds it up, looks at it, and recognizing the Man’s authority and right as the King, gives the Hailing sign of the Magician as well.

+: It beams!

–: It burns!

QUEEN: It blooms!42

The Queen sets the Lotus on the altar in the East and clothes the King in a red robe/tabard.43 In the center of the robe is a golden cross; above the cross is written, “BLASFHMIA44 and at the groin is a sun.45.

QUEEN: Who is like unto thee? Who is able to make war with thee?46 Blessing unto the name of the Beast, for thou hast let loose a mighty flood of fire from thy manhood, and from thy womanhood hast thou let loose a mighty flood of water.

She turns and speaks to the People.

QUEEN: Great is the Beast that cometh forth like a lion, the servant of the Star and of the Snake. He is the Eternal one; He is the Almighty one. Blessed are they upon whom he shall look with favour, for nothing shall stand before his face. Accursed are they upon whom he shall look with derision, for nothing shall stand before his face… Who shall strive with his might? Hath he not the spear of the Warrior Lord of the Sun? Who shall contend with him? Who shall lift himself up against him? For the latchet of his sandal is more than the helmet of the Most High.47 The Beast whereon I shall ride is the Lord of the City of the Pyramids!48 By your might as King of the earth, you shall cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark.49

The King gives the Mark of the Beast50 to the People. The King returns and then clothes the Queen in a green robe/tabard, being Venus the Beloved; in the center of the robe is a silver circle51; just above this is written, “MUSTHRION52 and at the groin is a moon.53

KING: Beautiful art thou, O Babalon, and desirable, for thou hast given thyself to everything that liveth, and thy weakness hath subdued their strength. For in this union thou dost understand. Therefore art thou called Understanding, O Babalon, Lady of the Night!

He turns and speaks to the People.

KING: This is the Mystery of Babalon, the Mother of abominations, and this is the mystery of her adulteries, for she hath yielded up herself to everything that liveth, and hath become a partaker in its mystery. And because she hath made herself the servant of each, therefore is she become the mistress of all. Not as yet canst thou comprehend her glory.

The King turns back to the Queen.

KING: O Babalon, Babalon, thou mighty Mother, that ridest upon the crowned beast, let me be drunken upon the wine of thy fornications; let thy kisses wanton me even unto death!54

END SCENE.

Congregants repeatedly intone ‘ABRAHADABRA’ in between scenes.

[MUSIC: The first part of Tchaikovsky’s Op.45 “Capriccio Italiano,” stopping before ~1:30]

SCENE III: Leo.

The Marriage of King and Queen, and the Conception of the Demi-God Redeemer.

The King and Queen are in the East in front of the Veil and below the dais. The Queen stands to the right and the King stands to the left.55

bears a Chalice, not the one used earlier for purification, to the King and Queen, and + fills this with wine or champagne.

+: Wisdom is the Man.

–: And Understanding the Woman.56

The wine is shared between the King and Queen as is traditionally seen at marriages.57 The King then leads the Queen up the dais to the East where he stands on the right and the Queen stands on the left.58 The King and Queen face one another; the Queen holds the Lance in the King’s right hand with her right and the King holds the Chalice in the Queen’s left hand with his left (right hands over left), forming a lemniscate, a symbol of interlocked opposites and infinity.

[MUSIC: Fade in Tchaikovsky’s Op.45 “Capriccio Italiano,” starting from approximately ~1:45]

+: Hallelujah, for the Lord omnipotent reigneth!59

–: Hallelujah, for the Lady omnipresent reigneth!

+: Let us give honor to them!

–: Let us be glad and rejoice!60

+ and –: Hallelujah!

The King then moves to the center of the East, facing outwards, and sits in full-lotus (or cross-legged). He holds the Lance with the point upwards in his right hand. The Queen mounts the King while bearing the Cup61 in her right hand.

KING and QUEEN: ABRAHADABRA.62

+ and – close the Veil as the song reaches ~3:15 where there is a short break in the music.

END SCENE.

1 In 777, Sandalwood is attributed to Venus and generally refers to Love. This ceremony deals with the union of Father and Mother, King and Queen, in the sign of Cancer whose symbol shows the union of opposites (♋). Insofar as Sandalwood is attributed to Venus, it corresponds with Atu III: The Empress in the Tarot which shows a mature female who is often shown wearing or being adorned with flowers; this is the character of the new Queen that appears in this Solstice ceremony.

2 The Mark of the Beast is, symbolically, the union of Sol and Luna, which is the basic alchemical process at work throughout the Summer Solstice ceremony.

3 This is the Daughter of Tetragrammaton, the Final Heh of YHVH. She is explicitly called “the Daughter of the King” in the third scene (Taurus) of the Vernal Equinox ceremony. She is not yet raised to be the Mother/Queen, which requires the union of the Son with the Daughter in the second scene (Cancer) of this Summer Solstice ceremony.

4 These represent the “active” elements of Fire (censer) and Air (incense), reflecting the censer used by the Positive Child in the Gnostic Mass.

5 These represent the “passive” elements of Earth (salt) and Water (water), reflecting the pitcher of water and cellar of salt used by the Negative Child in the Gnostic Mass.

6 The body refers more abstractly to the Elements in general, and the Child has passed through the equilibration of the 4 Elements in the third scene (Taurus) of the Vernal Equinox ceremony.

7 Gemini is an Air sign and is ruled by Mercury which both represent the Mind in Elemental and Planetary symbolism, respectively.

8 The garotte is a symbol of the restraint of thought and speech. Crowley writes in The Book of Lies, “The reason is situated in Daath, which corresponds the the throat in human anatomy.”

9 This line comes almost directly from the Golden Dawn Neophyte initiation ceremony.

10 This downward triangle is a symbol of the Element of Water.

11 Liber AL, I:44. In Magick in Theory & Practice, chapter 14, Crowley writes, “The words of purification are: Asperges me, Therion, hyssopo, et mundabor; lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor. Those of consecration are: Accendat in nobis Therion ignem sui amoris et flammam aeternae caritatis. These may now advantageously be replaced by (a) ‘… pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.’ (CCXX, I, 44) to banish; and (b) ‘I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body.’ (CCXX, II, 62) to consecrate. For the Book of the Law contains the Supreme Spells.”

12 This upright triangle is a symbol of the Element of Fire.

13 Liber AL, II:62. See note 98(???) above.

14 The Book of Lies, chapter 5.

15 The Book of Lies, chapter 85.

16 This exchange comes from The Book of Lies, chapter 31, which is titled “The Garotte.”

17 This exchange is a quotation from Liber AL, II:28-32.

18 The neck is the place of Da’ath, “Knowledge,” that is the crown of the Ruach but also what prevents passageway to the Abyss.

19 This exchange comes from The Book of Lies, chapter 31, which is titled “The Garotte.”

20 Crowley writes in his commentary to chapter 31 of The Book of Lies, “As soon as the reason is vanquished, the garotte is removed; then the influence of the supernals (Kether, Chokmah, Binah), no longer inhibited by Daath, can descend upon Tiphareth, where the human will is situated, and flood it with the ineffable light.”

21 These two lines come from The Heart of the Master under the section for Libra, which here represents the balance of the King’s mind.

22 From the section for Gemini in The Heart of the Master, which is proper to this scene as being of Gemini.

23 This represents the culmination of Adolescence in the expansion and fortification of the mind/Ruach.

24 The Lower Kingdom represents the unconscious and therefore the marriage between Kingdoms symbolizes a harmony between the conscious and unconscious self.

25 Atu III: The Empress. The Queen is the Empress, the Beloved, bearing the Lotus of femininity.

26 These 12 white flowers are the Earthly reflection of the High Priestess’ crown of 12 stars that is seen in the Winter Solstice ceremony, showing the identity of Queen and Priestess.

27 This reflects the fact that she is, at this point, the “Virgin, pure, without spot” from the Gnostic Mass who will be uplifted by the Priest to become the Queen/Mother. It also is a reference to Revelation 19:8, “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of saints.”

28 The forehead represents thought, the mouth represents speech, and the chest represents deed or action.

29 This line is adapted from the Gnostic Mass.

30 Matthew 5:8.

31 Titus 1:15.

32 This line is adapted from the Gnostic Mass.

33 Adapted from Psalm 119:2-3.

34 James 5:16.

35 Pronounced “ka-tha-rahs.” Kαθαροσ or “katharos” is Greek for “purity,” which pertains to the 6th Sephirah of Tiphareth, or Sol, in the Heart. As Crowley writes in the 15th Aethyr, “This Adept guards Tiphareth and tests the heart (which pertains thereto) for its purity. (kαθαροσ = pure).”

36 Fortis is Latin for “strength” or “strong,” which pertains to the 5th Sephirah of Geburah or Mars. As Crowley writes in the 15th Aethyr, “Fortis means strong,”

37 Pronounced “tahn.” TAN is Enochian for “justice” or “mercy,” which pertains to the 4th Sephirah of Chesed, or Jupiter. The 17th Aethyr is named “TAN” and within the Aethyr it is said, “TAN is that which transformeth judgment into justice. BAL is the sword, and TAN the balances… this word TAN meaneth mercy.” Crowley comments thereupon, “TAN is given in above as meaning the Balances. Thus… the truth of Justice is Mercy.”

38 Pronounced “sah-mahj.” Samajh means “understanding” in Sanskrit, which pertains to the 3rd Sephirah of Binah. All the previous words ([urity, strength, mercy, and understanding) all come from The Vision and the Voice, 15th Aethyr.

39 This is an invocation of the King’s solar power and an assertion of his having obtained the sexual-procreative powers of maturity.

40 From the Gnostic Mass.

41 The sign of Life (II°) that is given in the Gnostic Mass.

42 This exchange comes from The Vision and the Voice, 5th Aethyr. It refers to the Rose-Cross.

43 This goes over the white robe, virtually identical to the Priestess clothing the Priest in the radiance or ambience of the flame of the Sun at the beginning of the Gnostic Mass. This signifies his ascent to Kingship and being Lord on Earth.

44 A reference to Revelation 13:1.

45 A symbol of the masculine-generative power.

46 Adapted from Revelation 13:4 where it refers to the Beast.

47 Adapted from The Vision and the Voice, 16th Aethyr.

48 The Vision and the Voice, 12th Aethyr.

49 A reference to Revelation 13:16.

50 This Mark of the Beast is also the Mark of Cain, i.e. the mark of initiation. The people receiving this mark refers to 6=5 in Geburah, the martial expansion of power to the kingdoms of the earth, the leading and enlightening of others. It also refers to the attainment of the Grade of Lover whereof it is said in the 13th Aethyr, “The lover giveth his life unto the work among men.” The Mark of the Beast can either be rubber stamp bearing the Mark of the Beast (either Sol-Luna with 2 Testes, or the Cross-in-the-Circle) pressed onto the hands of the People or it can also be a coin bearing the same symbol.

51 The silver circle of the Queen complements the golden cross of the King, together they form the Rose-Cross.

52 A reference to Revelation 17:5.

53 A symbol of the feminine-generative power.

54 The Vision and the Voice, 12th Aethyr. Note that the original text has “Babylon” because the correct spelling as “Babalon” was not revealed until the 10th Aethyr. The term is switched to “Babalon” in this ritual, for To Mega Therion discovered the true spelling of Her name for us.

55 That is, the Queen stands in the place of Chesed and the King stands in the place of Geburah on the Tree of Life. The path between them is that of Leo to which is attributed the Tarot trump Atu XI: Lust that depicts Babalon astride the Beast.

56 The Vision and the Voice, 12th Aethyr.

57 This refers to 5=6 in Tiphareth.

58 That is, the Queen stands in the place of Binah and the King stands in the place of Chokmah on the Tree of Life. Their switching positions shows the change from being Prince/Princess to King/Queen. The path between them is that of Venus, i.e. Supernal Love.

59 Revelation 19:6.

60 Adapted from Revelation 19:7.

61 This is Shiva-Shakti in Hindu imagery and Babalon astride the Beast as seen in Atu XI: Lust in the Thoth Tarot, which is ruled by Leo.

62 ABRAHADABRA refers to the interlocking unityof opposites, specifically the 5 of the Microcosm with the 6 of the Macrocosm. As it is written in The Vision and the Voice, 12th Aethyr, “this is the word of double power in the voice of the Master, wherein the Five interpenetrateth the Six.” 

 

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The Rituals of the Elements: Winter Solstice

Introduction

It is written in Liber AL vel Legis II:36, “There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times.” Crowley comments, “The entry of the Sun into the cardinal signs of the elements at the Equinoxes and Solstices are suitable for festivals. The difference between ‘rituals’ and ‘feasts’ is this: by the one a particular form of energy is generated, while there is a general discharge of one’s superfluous force in the other. Yet a feast implies periodical nourishment.” This cycle of dramatic rituals are therefore invocations. They are intended to generate energy at the entrance of the Sun into the cardinal signs of elements at the four quarters of the year, i.e. the Equinoxes and Solstices.

The entire cycle of rituals simultaneously show:

  1. The macrocosmic cycle of the Sun going through the seasons
  2. The microcosmic cycle of Man going through the generations/Incarnation (birth/youth-adulthood-old age-death).
  3. The process of Attainment from 0=0 to 8=3 and back again.

The energies of each ritual correspond to each of these planes at once:

Equinox and Solstice rituals

Each ritual invokes a particular energy. Each ritual has a particular Word of Power associated therewith and it is intoned in between the scenes. The Word also appears once in each ritual within a particular Scene.

Each of the four rituals has 3 scenes for a total of 12 scenes for the entire cycle, one for each of the signs of the Zodiac. The middle scene of each ritual is the sign of the Equinox or Solstice – for example, the middle scene in Autumn is Libra. The first scene is therefore Virgo, the sign before Libra, and the last scene is Scorpio, the sign after Libra. In general, the first scene represents events leading up to the Equinox or Solstice, the middle scene represents the actual turning-point, and the last scene represents events leading to the next Equinox or Solstice.

The Basic Characters

  • (☉/♂) Priest/King – the conscious Self. The Child who grows to become King who attains and becomes a Priest and then dies and is reborn as the Child.
  • (☽/♀) Priestess/Queen the Non-Self (the unconscious self, the “higher self,” etc.)The  Mother of the Child, the Queen/Beloved of the King, the High Priestess of the Priest.
  • (+ and -) 2 Children – the duality of the World. Various roles throughout the entire cycle.
  • () The People (participants) – the inhabitants of the World; they identify (at least their conscious selves) with the Priest.


Mucha Winter SolsticeTHE WINTER SOLSTICE CEREMONY

Also known as “The Gate of Life”

The Word of this ceremony is ‘AUMGN.’ It is repeatedly intoned in between scenes, i.e. between Scenes 1 & 2 and between Scenes 2 & 3, by the People/Congregants. The Incense of this ceremony is Myrrh.1 The Talisman of this ceremony is the goblet(s) of Wine.

SCENE 1: Sagittarius.
The Wandering in the Wilderness.

The King is in the West, facing East. + and – are on either side of the King, holding the staff and lantern. The High Priestess sits behind the Veil in the East. The King circumambulates2 the Temple clockwise/deosil to symbolize his wandering in the wilderness.

[INTRO MUSIC: Frédéric Chopin’s Sonata, op. 35, Part III: “Marche funèbre” a.k.a. “Funeral March”]

The King approaches the East from the West in a winding or serpentine manner. + and – follow behind the King, + behind the King and in front of –.

KING: I have left my Beloved and my Kingdom in search for the Elixir of Immortality; I have wandered alone in the wilderness; I have endured the travails of the desert… The footprints of the Camel lead up this winding way to the Summit of the Mountain.

The King stops a few steps in front of the Veil, as if he was in front of the small altar in the Gnostic Mass. + and – stand on either side of the King, slightly behind him.

PRIESTESS: I am the Soul of the Desert; thou hast sought me in the wilderness of sand.3

The King turns to his right (deosil) and heads towards the West, starting his first circumambulation with + and – behind him in a line,.

KING: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the Way of my Will!4

The King, halfway done with his circumambulation in the West, turns deosil back towards the East, + and – still following behind in a line, and finishes his first circumambulation while the Priestess says:

PRIESTESS: With courage conquering fear shall ye approach me.5

The King turns to his right (deosil) and heads towards the West with + and – behind him, starting his second circumambulation.

KING: By the word and the will, by the penance and the prayer, let me behold thy face.6

The King, halfway done with his circumambulation in the West, turns deosil back towards the East with + and – behind him, and finishes his second circumambulation while the Priestess says:

PRIESTESS: Fear not for aught; turn not aside for aught, eremite of Nuit, apostle of Hadit, warrior of Ra Hoor Khu!7 Only those who fear shall fail!8

The King turns to his right (deosil) and heads towards the West with + and – flanking him, starting his third circumambulation.

KING: I fear no power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth.9 Success is my proof; courage is my armor; I shall turn not back for any!10

The King is halfway complete with his third circumambulation and stops in the West, facing East.

PRIESTESS: Many are the champions of life, but all are unhorsed by the lance of death.11

The King is stripped of his staff so that he has no support, i.e. + snaps the staff in two or throws it away and stands next to the King in the attitude of Resurrection (Osiris Risen).

PRIESTESS: Many are the children of the light, but their eyes shall all be put out by the Mother Darkness12

The King is then stripped of his lantern so he cannot see at night, i.e. – blows out the flame of the lantern and stands next to the King in the attitude of Resurrection (Osiris Risen). + and – then approach the King and remove his scarlet robe, throwing it on the floor, showing he is stripped of everything extraneous and unnecessary, i.e. the purging fire13 of asceticism. + and – then go to the sides of the Veil, and face outwards towards the West in the sign of Osiris Risen.

The King is exhausted but he persists to the East to finish his third and final circumambulation while saying:

KING: “Mighty and erect is this Will of mine [he lifts the Lance], this Pyramid of fire whose summit is lost in Heaven. Upon it have I burned the corpse of my desires!”14

PRIESTESS: “He who endures unto the end will have eternal life.”15

END SCENE.

No Music. A light is turned out to make the Temple slightly darker. Congregants repeatedly intone ‘AUMGN’ in between scenes.

SCENE 2: Capricorn.
The Temptation of the Buddha-Christ King and the Rending of the Veil of the High Priestess

Everyone is in the same position as the end of the first scene. + now holds a “false Grail” filled with jewels, jewelry, coins, and other things indicating material wealth. holds a “false Grail” filled with a potion (although not necessarily filled with anything, the symbolism remains). The King is three steps away from the Veil16, and with each step he undergoes a Temptation.17

The King takes his first step towards the Veil/on the dais.

+ steps down to the first step on the dais and turns to face the King, offering the “false Grail” full of coins, jewels, etc.

+: You have finished your quest. I will give you the endless pleasure of the most beautiful women of the world; I will grant you rulership over all the kingdoms of the Earth.

KING: It has been written, ‘Thou hast no right but to do thy will.’18 I am not swayed by your appeal to petty lusts. Neither pleasure nor power shall satisfy me. I seek only Nuit and will turn not aside for anything.

The King extends his Lance forward towards + (towards the South if the High Altar is in the East) to make a horizontal arm of a Cross of Light. + spins away, puts the “false Grail” away, and retreats back to the former position at the Veil in the Sign of Osiris Risen.

The King takes his second step.

descends to the second step, turns to face the King, and offers another “false Grail” containing a potion.

–: It is also written, ‘To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all.’19 Therefore, drink this concoction and you will not be harmed.

KING: We have been warned to shun those who would interpret the Law for us as centres of pestilence.20 I have “certainty, not faith,”21 the certainty of my own Understanding won through my own struggles. I seek not to be deceived into swaying from my own path by resting content in adhering to others’ beliefs. I seek only Nuit and will turn not aside for anything.

The King extends his Lance forward towards – (towards the North if the High Altar is in the East) to make the second horizontal arm of a Cross of Light. – spins away, puts the “false Grail” away, and retreats back to the former position at the Veil in the Sign of Osiris Risen.

The King takes his third step.

Both + and – stand outward, questioning the King on the third step.

+: O man, who art thou that wouldst penetrate the Mystery?22

–: What makes you think you are worthy to speak to the High Priestess Nuit?

+: Who attests to your authority?

–: Who attests to your attainment?

KING: I am the Holy Chosen One.23 The very Earth testifies to my attainment.

The King raises the Lance and there is the sound of a lightning strike; he then strikes the ground with the Lance and there is the sound of loud thunder; he thereby makes the two vertical portions of the Cross of Light, therefore completing the entire Cross; the Earth trembles and thunders.24

+ and – retreat to the Veil, face one another, and are ready to rend the Veil.

KING: I seek only Nuit and will turn not aside for anything!

The Veil is then rent by + and –. The High Priestess sits enthroned. She has the moon under her feet, and upon her head is a crown of twelve stars.25 The golden Holy Grail is hidden behind her.26

PRIESTESS: Lonely am I and cold in the wilderness of the stars. For I am the queen of all them that dwell in Heaven, and the queen of all them that are pure upon earth, and the queen of all the sorcerers of hell. I am the lady of the stars, the Bride of them that are vowed unto loneliness.27

KING: O Lady of the Stars! I have left my Beloved and my Kingdom; I have wandered alone in the wilderness; I have endured the travails of the desert; I have followed the footprints of the Camel to the summit of the Earth… all in search for the Elixir of Immortality.

PRIESTESS: I alone have the Wisdom wherewith the Elixir may be produced… yet it requires a sacrifice.28

The High Priestess retrieves the hidden Holy Grail that was hidden behind her, and she holds it before the King.

KING: I have been stripped of all I have. What could I give as a sacrifice?

PRIESTESS: The Elixir may only work upon those who have sacrificed their body and blood.

KING: How could eternal life be given unto them who are no longer alive? I pray that you explain this paradox.

PRIESTESS: The reasoning mind cannot pass this threshold. “If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.”29 What spurned thee to this quest?

KING: Naught but Love.

PRIESTESS: Have you no Love left?

KING: The beat of my heart is the pendulum of love. The songs of me are the soft sighs: The thoughts of me are very rapture: And my deeds are the myriads of Thy children, the stars and the atoms. Let there be nothing! Let all things drop into this ocean of love!30

PRIESTESS: Give your last particle of dust31 in the ecstasy of sacrifice! Consummate Thy rapture!32

The King stabs himself in the side33 with the Lance.

KING AND PRIESTESS: Falutli!34

The Priestess and King kiss.

The King staggers and falters, and is almost dead. The Priestess fills her Cup with the blood from the King’s wound.35

PRIESTESS: It is done!36

+: He hath drunk of the waters of death!

PRIESTESS: Not otherwise could he water the Rose.

–: He hath burnt himself at the Fires of life!

PRIESTESS: Not otherwise could he sun the Rose.37

The Priestess raises the Chalice, and the King looks up at it.

Let him look upon the cup whose blood is mingled therein, for the wine of the cup is the blood of the saints. I have spilt their blood in every corner of the earth and lo! I have mingled it in the cup of my whoredom. With the breath of my kisses hath I fermented it, and it hath become the wine of the Sacrament, the wine of the Sabbath.38

The Priestess descends to fill the Congregant’s goblets with some wine from the Grail.

[MUSIC: Benedictine monks chanting of “Ave Maria” and “Alma Redemptoris Mater”39]

PRIESTESS: In the Holy Assembly hath I poured it out for my worshipers, and they had become drunken thereon, so that face to face they beheld my Father.

+: Thus are they made worthy to become partakers of the Mystery of this holy vessel.

–: For the blood is the life!40

PRIESTESS: Death is no catastrophe; it is Love.

The High Priestess raises her Grail and motions as if drinking from it, signaling to the People that they may drink the wine in their goblets.

PRIESTESS: Death is not the end; it is Life to come!41

The Priestess, +, and – all turn to face the King with arms extended towards one another to form a Hexagon.42

PRIESTESS, +, and –: AUMGN.

[MUSIC: While this is being intoned, begin to play Gustav Holst’s “Saturn” from “The Planets,” starting around ~4:15 so the crescendo comes right after the last line]

The Priestess crowns the King.

PRIESTESS: The King is dead! Long live the King!

END SCENE. 

[MUSIC: Let Holst’s ‘Saturn’ play out]

Congregants repeatedly intone ‘AUMGN’ in between scenes.

SCENE 3: Aquarius.
The Mourning of the Mother and the Portend of the Child-Savior.

The Queen (divested of her Priestess garments, now wearing her Green robe and crown of flowers) is back at the Kingdom; she is in the throne and mourning the absence of the King.

+ and – stand to the West and look concerned and distressed.

+: She is weeping…

–: Weeping…43

QUEEN: I sit solitary; I have become a widow! I weepeth sore and there is none that can comfort me! There is naught but treachery and affliction!44

The Queen gets up and starts to move towards the West.

I can neither strive nor wait. There is agony in my ears, and in my throat, and mine eyes have been so long blind that I cannot remember that there ever was such a thing as sight45. The Obelisks are broken; the stars have rushed together: the Light hath plunged into the Abyss: the Heavens are mixed with Hell… I am lost in the night of infinite pain: no hope: no God: no resurrection: no end: I fall: I fear.46

The Queen turns back towards the East and falls to her knees. + and – approach and kneel to comfort her, facing the West.

QUEEN: My mind is distraught by the bitterness of my heart.47 I doubt whether I may endure this winter storm.

The Eightfold Star48 [a Unicursal Hexagram can be substituted] then rises on the horizon (in the West) as a portend of the birth of the Child-Savior. The Queen is given Hope49 to persist through the final hours of Midnight/Winter50.

+ looks up, points with fear, and stands up.

+: Look! A great star falling from heaven, burning as if it were a lamp; it is falling upon the waters.51

+ starts to back away a few steps. – gets up and starts to back away as well while saying:

–: Beware: that is the Star called Wormwood!52 Many men will die of the waters, because they are made bitter.53

The Queen turns to look at the Star in the West, rises to her feet, and says:

QUEEN: Fear not my brothers and sisters… This is the world of the waters of Maim; this is the bitter water that becometh sweet!54

+ and – walk together to stand next to the Queen while + says:

+: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.55

–: They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.56

QUEEN: I have dreaded this midnight of the soul, for I thought it was the end. Now I welcome the herald.57 Ay! It is the end!

[MUSIC: The beginning of Glazunov’s “Winter”]

QUEEN: …the gate of the beginning!58

END SCENE.

[OUTRO MUSIC: Play out the first ~6 minutes of Alexander Glazunov’s “Winter” from “The Seasons,” starting from ~0:45]

1 Myrrh is attributed to Saturn. In the story of Christ, “myrrhbearers” were said to be those involved in the burial of Christ or finding his tomb, which corresponds to the Winter Solstice ceremony insofar as the King (who is identified with Christ) dies and the world enters into complete darkness of the middle of Winter.

2 These three circumambulations are seen in the Gnostic Mass before his three steps of approaching the Veil.

3 Liber LXV, IV:61.

4 A reference to Mark 1:3 and John 1:23 where it is put in the mouth of Christ, which is itself a reference to a similar line in the Old Testament, i.e. he is fulfilling the prophecy of the Redeemer.

5 Liber Tzaddi, line 16.

6 The Vision and the Voice, 20th Aethyr.

7 The Vision and the Voice, 20th Aethyr.

8 Liber Tzaddi, line 18.

9 Liber AL, III:17.

10 Adapted from Liber AL, III:46.

11 The Vision and the Voice, 19th Aethyr.

12 The Vision and the Voice, 19th Aethyr.

13 It is like the Sagittarian Arrow of aspiration soaring upwards, leaving behind the chaff.

14 The Book of Lies, chapter 15.

15 An adaptation of Matthew 10:22 and 24:13; it is also a reference to the motto of 666, “Perdurabo,” i.e. he who endures unto the End.

16 This is seen in the Gnostic Mass in the Three Steps of the Priest toward the Altar before rending the Veil.

17 These refer to the three Temptations of Christ by Satan on the Mount as well as the three Temptations of Buddha by Mara.

18 Liber AL, I:42.

19 Liber AL, II:22.

20 A reference to the Tunis Comment to The Book of the Law.

21 Liber AL, I:58.

22 The Vision and the Voice, 28th Aethyr.

23 Liber AL, I:65.

24 A form of Buddha in his pose of defying Mara, i.e. in Lotus position with one hand on the ground.

25 Revelation 12:1.

26 The Cup of Babalon that is mentioned in Book of Revelation as well as in The Vision and the Voice; it is seen in the Gnostic Mass.

27 Adapted from The Vision and the Voice, 27th Aethyr. At this point, the King believes he has found the mythical “High Priestess Nuit” mentioned in the Autumn Equinox ceremony.

28 This line shows a sinister turn of the character of the High Priestess. At first we think she is the benevolent Nuit, lady of the stars, but she is actually Babalon, the Mother of Abominations, the Great Whore, who has the blood of the saints in her Cup upon which she is intoxicated.

29 Liber AL, II:30.

30 Liber VII, V:21-28.

31 Liber AL, I:61, “For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour.”

32 Liber VII, V:30.

33 The final wound of Christ on the Cross, c.f. John 19:34, “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.”

34 Liber VII, V:30; Also called “The outburst of the orgasm” in The Vision and the Voice, 2nd Aethyr, and is therefore identical to “HRILIU” as seen in the Gnostic Mass.

35 This is similar to the Crucifixion scene where Christ is stabbed in the side. His blood, in this ceremony, is collected into the Chalice by the Priestess who would be Mary Magdalene in the Crucifixion (who is often identified as a prostitute).

36 A reference to Revelation 16:17 that is itself referring to Armageddon, the End, which is here identified with the death of the self, the dissolution of the ego in the Absolute whereby 8=3 may be attained.

37 This exchange comes from The Vision and the Voice, 14th Aethyr.

38 This entire exchange comes from The Vision and the Voice, 12th Aethyr.

39 These are two of the four “Marian hymns” dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Mother Mary was the Old Aeon version of the Divine Feminine, which is equivalent to Babalon, the Whore, in the New Aeon. MARIE in Greek (Marie) = 156 = BABALON in Hebrew (n(l)b)b) as well as Greek (Babalon).

40 This entire exchange comes from The Vision and the Voice, 12th Aethyr.

41 An adaptation of The Book of Lies, chapter 18, “Verily, love is death, and death is life to come.”

42 The hexagon is a 6-sided figure, which relates it to the 6th Sephirah on the Tree of Life, Tiphareth, that is attributed to Sol, Death-and-Rebirth gods (e.g. Osiris, Christ, Orpheus, Dionysus, etc.), and the Son in whom the Father is reborn (which can be seen in the Vernal Equinox ceremony). Alternately, they form a triangle with the King in the center, representing the axle of the Wheel of Jupiter or Fortune that moves not yet undergoes the triplicity symbolized by the Sphinx, Hermanubis, and Typhon (i.e. Rajas, Tamas, and Sattvas or Sulphur, Salt, and Mercury, etc.)

43 The Vision and the Voice, 27th Aethyr.

44 Adapted from Lamentations 1:1-3.

45 The Vision and the Voice, 2nd Aethyr.

46 The Vision and the Voice, 30th Aethyr.

47 Adapted from The Heart of the Master.

48 The Star of Mercury, i.e. of the Redeemer; the Morning Star.

49 As seen in Atu XVII: The Star to which is attributed the sign of Aquarius.

50 That which is depicted in Atu XVIII: The Moon.

51 Adapted from Revelation 8:10.

52 From The Heart of the Master, also a reference to Revelation 8:11, “And the name of the star is called Wormwood…”

53 Revelation 8:11.

54 Liber LXV, III:55.

55 Psalm 30:5.

56 Psalm 126:5.

57 Adapted from AHA!, “Olympas: I dread this midnight of the soul. / Marsyas: Welcome the herald!”

58 The Vision and the Voice, 29th Aethyr.