Verses 75 and 76 of chapter 2 of Liber L vel Legis, The Book of the Law, comprising the Riddle of Aiwass, have as yet remained a mystery. They read as follows:
“Aye! listen to the numbers & the words:
“4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L G M O R 3 Y X 24 89 R P S T O V A L. What meaneth this, o prophet? Thou knowest not; nor shalt thou know ever. There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it. But remember, o chosen one, to be me; to follow the love of Nu in the star-lit heaven; to look forth upon men, to tell them this glad word.”
As prophesied, Aleister Crowley, the first Prophet of Thelema, never discovered the solution to the problem of these baffling verses. His first “magical child” — or Dynasthai — i.e. C.S. Jones, a.k.a. Frater Achad, also failed to apprehend their meaning. Many others, including myself, have made their attempts, but each one has fallen flat. They have presented recondite, rambling torrents of elaborate Qabalistic theses on the matter, thinking that they had stumbled upon Truth; but none has issued much more than a disappointing flood of numerical vagaries.
I, myself, utilized the simple, uncontrived system of AQBL (or Angloqabalah) to arrive at the value of 395 as the sum of the meaningless numbers and words in the string at the beginning of the second verse, and presented this as the solution in my book of Gematric examination of Liber Legis entitled The AQBL Key (a PDF of which can be found in the sidebar library of this site). I arrived at this over twenty years ago; but little did I know — until now — that I had stumbled upon only the half of it. And this too was prophesied, way back in 1904 e.v., in v.56 of ch.1, which states:
“Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked.”
But I jump the gun. I need to provide some of the vital historical information — and to briefly explain the system used to arrive at the very simple solution to the verses in question — before divulging the solution itself.
I: History of the Riddle
In his “Old Comment” to the first verse, L 2:75, Crowley writes:
“A final revelation. The revealer to come is perhaps the one mentioned in [ch.] I, 55 and III, 47. The verse goes on to urge the prophet to identify himself with Hadit, to practice the Union with Nu, and to proclaim this joyful revelation unto men.”
In the “New Comment” to v.75, he writes:
“This passage following appears to be a Qabalistic test (on the regular pattern) of any person who may claim to be the Magical Heir of The Beast. Be ye well assured all that the solution, when it is found, will be unquestionable. It will be marked by the most sublime simplicity, and carry immediate conviction.
“(The above paragraph was written previous to the communication of Charles Stansfeld Jones with regard to the ‘numbers and the words’ which constitute the Key to the cipher of this Book. See the Appendix to these comment. I prefer to leave my remark as it originally stood, in order to mark my attitude at the time of writing.)”
He was wrong about Jones, as he would eventually come to realize, so he came to anticipate the arrival of yet another. In his “New Comment” to the second verse, he expressed his disappointment with Achad, leaving it pretty much at that. In his Djeridensis Comment, he writes two paragraphs of interest:
“75-76: With this the Angel changes His theme yet again with brusque swiftness, and propounds a final riddle. The object of this cipher is to furnish proof that the man destined to succeed me is my rightful heir. The test is that he is able to make clear the meaning of these ‘the numbers & the words.‘
“This brief passage stops as it began—on a sudden, and Aiwass goes on at once to issue a last command to myself. I am to keep in constant mind that I am Hadit, that I am ever to aspire to make myself one with all things that may be, yet also to keep watch over mankind, for whose sake I first started on the path of Magick. My mission is ‘to tell them this glad word.'”
And that was that. The solution — as simple as it was — would remain an enigma to all for decades to come.
II: The Sphinx is Undone
As explained in The AQBL Key, I have always made use of the Gematria of Angloqabalah — or AQBL for short — to analyze English words Qabalistically. Unlike all other forms of English Gematria that have emerged previously, AQBL is not some artificially contrived system of arbitrarily assigned values for the letters of the English Alphabet, but simply the natural order and value that has been obvious all along. In the Gematria of AQBL, a letter bears the value of its place in the Alphabet. Using it, I arrived at 395 as the sum of “the numbers & the words” in the second verse containing the Riddle of Aiwass. I was impressed by the fact that, in Hebrew, the word MShNH, which means “second born child”, carries this value by Hebrew Gematria. But, as aforesaid, I had only the half of the equation, “leaving the second unattacked”. And for over a score of years this remained so, until just yesterday, on 10-10-10 e.v., I chanced upon the other half as I prepared to write up my article here, crunching the numbers again one last time to see if I could gather up any additional little gems for the final thesis.
I did find some additional Qabalistic gems that I had not noticed previously, and they are interesting enough in their own right; but they are as nothing compared with what I was to find next, right there under my nose — right in front of us all — all these years.
Again, I cannot stress enough the value of AQBL as a means of English Gematria. Unlike all other forms of English Qabalah, the attribution of the numbers to the letters is not something that I or anyone else invented, for that attribution has been there all along. It is utterly simple: A=1 through Z=26. That Crowley never even considered it in all his years is amazing. But, as a thorough analysis of The AQBL Key makes clear, its correspondences are nothing short of extraordinary.
I was just finishing up my last preparations when something made me stop to take another look at the verses themselves. I had never paid it any mind before, but suddenly I was struck by the odd way in which verse 75 ended — not with a period but with a colon. The string of meaningless numbers and words at the start of the following verse is actually the continuation — the second half in other words — of the riddle, not the whole of the riddle as I had assumed.
All of a sudden I was hit with an inspiration, as it were a whisper in my ear, saying: “Add them together”. And so I did, not really expecting much to come of it. Then my jaw dropped and I was utterly aghast.
Look carefully at the words of Aiwass following the riddle itself:
“What meaneth this, o prophet? Thou knowest not; nor shalt thou know ever. There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it.”
Note that Crowley’s primary Thelemic name was To Mega Therion, which numerates as 666 by Greek Gematria. He referred to himself, therefore, as 666. I myself have gone by the name of Aleisterion since it was given to me in a vision over a decade ago. Its numeration, by Hebrew Gematria — i.e. Aleph-Lamed-He-Yod-Samekh-Tau-He-Resh-Yod-Vau-Nun — is 777. This value was also used by Fra.’.Achad : for it signifies the one (or 111) to follow after 666.
What other solution more fitting, then, could be found, than that which I discovered once I totalled the numbers of the other half of the equation, in light of the words, “There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it”. This “one” (or 111) has always been referred to numerically as 777.
Aye! listen to the numbers & the words
4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L G M O R 3 Y X 24 89 R P S T O V A L
The solution to this decades-old riddle of Aiwass, which was designed to serve as a test to prove the validity of the person meant to succeed 666 as 777, is none other than his own number, and the number of his name. How fitting indeed!
Recall once more Crowley’s own words, from his commentary on the verses in question:
“Be ye well assured all that the solution, when it is found, will be unquestionable. It will be marked by the most sublime simplicity, and carry immediate conviction.”
Not only is it unquestionable, not only is it marked by the most sublime simplicity, carrying immediate conviction, but it also satisfies the prediction of vs.54-56 of ch.1, as already explained. Recall again those verses:
“Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold! thou, o prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein.
“The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them.
“Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.”
The emphasis in bold is mine, to highlight that this is exactly what happened. I had, for over twenty years, presented only half of the solution, failing to recognize that the existence of that colon meant that the riddle consisted not just of the string of numbers and words of the opening part of v.76, but of the words of v.75 as well.
III: The Other Qabalistic Gems
While nothing can exceed the simple sublime perfection of what is presented above, there are numerous other Gematric gems to be found in the verses relevant to this matter. Below, I present a brief Qabalistic examination of the passages from The Book of the Law that apply to the one known as 777, or the “child of the Prophet”. The value of these gems is that they illustrate why various idiosyncratic words and phrases may have been used by Aiwass, conveying as they do additional profound meaning.
The verses that fall under our examination here are: 1:54-56; 2:39; 2:75-76; 3:38; and 3:47. They are presented in order as they appear in Liber Legis.
“Change not as much as the style of a letter”: style=81=letter.
“thou, o prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein”:
behold all=71=Thoth. Thoth, under the name Tahuti, is referenced in 2:39 as being associated with the “child of the Prophet”. This is because the source of the dynamis that inspired this second child or Dynasthai was Leah Hirsig, a.k.a. Soror Alostrael 31-666-31, whose title was “The Ape of Thoth”. She died in the 71st year of the Thelemic Age, which began with the reception of the Law of Thelema in 1904 e.v.
mysteries hidden=177=The Scarlet Woman
“The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them”:
he shall behold=111=secret key (see 1:46 and 1:48)
of thy bowels=150=expected house (“Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child”)
“Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark”:
Aum=35=Nu (the Sakti-force which manifests in the Scarlet Woman)
of the equation=156=knowest not. This is also the value of Babalon in Hebrew; and Babalon is of course another name for the universal force of the Scarlet Woman.
the clear light=128=expound it (see 2:76)
in the clear light=151=tell them this (see again 2:76)
“A feast for Tahuti and the child of the Prophet— secret, O Prophet!”
for Tahuti and the child of the Prophet=358=awake the lust & worship of the Snake (see 3:34; this “lust & worship of the Snake” is the phallic “sex magick” that breeds the dynamis that motivates and energizes the “magical child” with its Current).
The entire verse numbers 593=H KOKKINE GYNE + THE SCARLET WOMAN + TO MEGA THERION + THE GREAT BEAST.
“Aye! listen to the numbers & the words”:
Aye! listen to the numbers & the words: 4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L G M O R 3 Y X 24 89 R P S T O V A L = 777, the one to follow 666.
Aye=31=the Key of the Law, AL, in Hebrew and Greek.
“What meaneth this, o prophet? Thou knowest not; nor shalt thou know ever”:
o prophet=113=know ever
Thou knowest not=220=the number of verses in The Book of the Law.
nor shalt thou=171=numbers+words
“There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it”:
There cometh one to follow=272=Into the House of Ra and Tum (see below, 3:38)
to follow thee=156=Thou knowest not
“But remember, o chosen one, to be me; to follow the love of Nu in the star-lit heaven; to look forth upon men, to tell them this glad word”:
to be me=60=Aiwaz
of Nu=56=Nu in Hebrew
star-lit heaven=154=There cometh one
the love of Nu in the star-lit heaven=353=secret that hath not yet been revealed (see 2:2)
tell them this=151=in the clear light (see 1:56)
“So that thy light is in me; & its red flame is as a sword in my hand to push thy order”:
thy order=113=o prophet
as a sword in my hand=188=child of the Prophet
“There is a secret door that I shall make to establish thy way in all the quarters”:
door=52=stele in Greek (see Crowley’s commentary to 3:19)
a secret door=123=Bes-na-Maut. This is also the value of “the Sphinx”.
“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 wingèd snake of light, Hadit!
Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit”:
a secret door Into the House of Ra and Tum=395, the value of the string of numbers and words constituting half of the riddle of Aiwass.
snake of light=127=Hadit burning. Also the value of the phrase, “That is easy”. (See Crowley’s commentary to 3:40 for both of these significant phrases.)
“This book shall be translated into all tongues: but always with the original in the writing of the Beast; for in the chance shape of the letters and their position to one another: in these are mysteries that no Beast shall divine”:
in the chance shape of the letters=292=thy way in all the quarters (3:38)
“Let him not seek to try: but one cometh after him, whence I say not, who shall discover the Key of it all. Then this line drawn is a key: then this circle squared in its failure is a key also. And Abrahadabra. It shall be his child & that strangely. Let him not seek after this; for thereby alone can he fall from it”:
this line drawn=156=of the equation. Also Babalon in Hebrew.
circle squared=135=H Kokkine Gyne (“The Scarlet Woman” in Gr.)
a key also=89=Therion (“Beast” in Gr.)
strangely=121=to follow (see 2:76) This is also the value of “Beast & his Bride” from 3:22, thus suggesting sex magick again. As does the following computation:
his child & that strangely=242=lust & power of lust (from 3:27)
Let him not seek after this=262=the spell of Ra-Hoor-Khuit (from 3:2)