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There is much discussion of late questioning the veracity of the prophet, with the aim of discrediting the revelation he transmitted, which ushered in the age of divinity in the beast that is man, putting an end to the superstitions and outrageous errors of the old-age thinking surrounding the silly belief in external deities with impossible “spiritual” ideals (along with their consequent unnatural and harmful impositions). This is hardly surprising, given that the new era is one of scepticism and not of faith. We are cautioned, in the Book of the Law itself, to be certain, as opposed to making blind leaps of faith (L, I:58). Crowley actually anticipated argumentative discord of the kind we have now in the Thelemic community. In ch.68 of the Book of Lies, we find the following prediction:

“Be not sad at heart, O prophet; the babble of the apes will presently begin.

“Nay, rejoice exceedingly; for after all the babble of the apes the Silence of the Night.”

From this we may glean that the prophet was unbothered by what he foresaw: for success is inevitable, as all prophets are given to see in time. His mission, as ours, simply cannot fail, no matter how bleak it may appear in times of trouble.

The problem I have is not with the notion that the revelation on which the New Law and its sacred mission are founded might be a lie, but that this would invalidate the message or make powerless the work based thereon. The message applies to humanity now more than ever before, and there is no way that Aleister Crowley or Rose Kelly (the ones that channeled the writing) could have anticipated just how much way back in the utopian glamour of the early 1900s. As for the system of work propounded in its oft-times cryptic verses, it can without doubt advance the mind and strengthen the will when adhered to intelligently and regularly.

The New Law teaches that God is not an external being, totally apart from the consciousness, but is instead buried beneath the myriad layers of the conscious and subconscious mind. This is all-important, as it heralds not merely another religion, but rather an overarching religious Law — in harmony with natural law and science — which holds the potential to reform all religions at odds with science, and in time, with a great deal of effort (and a little good fortune), to lead humanity out of the dark times of extremist error and the disasters concomitant therewith, into a brighter future of religious understanding and freedom from the ridiculous idea that we are, or are expected to be, enslaved to immaterial beings that would deny us happiness as we are.

The human mind has evolved greatly over a vast period of time, and continues to do so. What began as a primitive monkey brain has gradually developed into something vastly superior: i.e. a mechanism of loftier awareness, with the ability to tap great insight (leading to fantastic inventions and solutions), profound levels of reason (leading to brilliant scientific discoveries), and extraordinary creativity (producing incredible art, music, and literature). And as we continue to evolve, so too does the potential of the mind increase.

Pondering the imponderables is problematic, and wild speculation can be dangerous (as history has demonstrated time and again), but quantum science is now beginning to grasp the truth of Liber Legis, II:32, which reads:

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

There are a couple of problems that seem to be obsessing and greatly bothering some. One stems from that sin of Restriction known as the lust of result. Many are swept away in the rapture of the lust of result; in fact, all of us are at some point, at least until we learn to fully divest ourselves of it.

However, it is a difficult thing to learn, and hard to keep firmly in mind even after we do learn. Each moment in time has such a tight grip on us; and worse yet, those moments which present us with tragedy and trouble, forcing us to struggle as if caught in quicksand, unleash on us such ferocious winds of the lust of result that we feel as if we were facing violent storms of hellish despair. It is moments such as these that tend to test rather severely our resolve not to worry or be bothered.

Some, though, are so hopelessly mired in the moment that they simply cannot envisage being at some level in all moments of time, transcending the limitations of expectation. They are always obsessed with success, so that failure destroys them. Even small failures may set them off into a rage, or send them sinking into a pit of hopeless depression.

Those who labor against the Law in this way, finding it difficult or even impossible to act with blissful passion without the fear of failure, even in the face of certain calamity, simply fail to realize that there is no consequence of failure as long as we never give up. Death itself cannot stop us, if as it seems that death is but a transition — and even were it not so, our greatest efforts will be admired by others, serving as an inspiration.

The second problem that appears to be perplexing or driving some, is the possibility that the prophet of the Law of Thelema may have fabricated all or some of the revelation story surrounding the Advent of the Law. The details driving their speculations hardly matter much, flimsy as they are. Was it the full conscious mind of the scribe that wrote of his own “ill will” and hatred for “the hand & the pen” (c.f. L, II:10-13) that were supposedly dragged along by a stronger will than that of which he was, in his moment of time, consciously possessed? Maybe. Was it he, in a carefully calculating frame of mind, that cast himself in such a slavish role, even referring to himself as “slave”? Possibly, though not too likely. For the book shows the signs of a hastily written work of inspiration; and it seems unlikely that a young man, puffed up in ego as he clearly was, and atop the world as it were, would exhibit himself as one so slavish and weak.

But let us at least admit the possibility. After all, Crowley had a propensity for playing tricks. He pretended to be sympathetic towards Nazi Germany; he faked his death; and he was willing to lie in order to gain funds for the furtherance of his mission. He praised Madame Blavatsky, recognizing her exalted attainment as Magister Templi (a transcendent, Supernal level of awareness) — but more, he also conferred on her the extraordinary title of Forerunner of the Aeon. What is even more extraordinary is that he did all this knowing full well that she had been fraudulent many times herself. His justification for her behaviour was clearly and openly expressed in writing: i.e., she did what she had to do to draw attention to herself and to the Great Work. She was justified, he explained, because she succeeded in getting that attention, and did not waste valuable subtle energy on producing mundane miracles to do it. She had instead reserved those precious powers on far more important, more far-reaching works of Magick — such as the birthing of a prophet by subtle means, and vesting him with the same force that had guided her in her way; and paving his way via her writings, the inspiration of which obviously moved him deeply.

In Crowley’s Book of Thoth, in the section examining Atu I, “The Magus” — also called the Juggler or Trickster — he penned the following in reference to the Logos or Word (or prophet) of an Aeon:

“Logically also, being the Word, he is the law of reason or of necessity or chance, which is the secret meaning of the Word, which is the essence of the Word, and the condition of its utterance. This being so, and especially because he is duality, he represents both truth and falsehood, wisdom and folly. Being the unexpected, he unsettles any established idea, and therefore appears tricky. He has no conscience, being creative. If he cannot attain his ends by fair means, he does it by foul. The legends of the youthful Mercury are therefore legends of cunning. He cannot be understood, because he is the Unconscious Will.”

This is telling. Like Blavatsky before him, he would do whatever was required to accomplish his Great Mission. So even if Crowley did fabricate the revelation story, that would not necessarily invalidate the message itself. It should be obvious that he did not fabricate the writing of the verses of the Law themselves in a consciously-crafted manner; for had he done so, he would certainly have changed it a great deal from its current form — and he most certainly would not have allowed Rose Kelly, whom he called “an empty-headed woman of society”, to channel any of it.

In any event, we should probably consider carefully the implications of L, II:11, in reference to “the hand & the pen” being directed by an iron-fisted hidden will. This would mean that, no matter how faulty the fool, his own occult genius may push him forward. Sir Edward Kelly was one such charlatan, and yet his genius, expressed so powerfully throughout his channeled works, cannot be denied.

Let us bear in mind that Aleister Crowley laughed at Rose when she insisted that she was in subtle contact with a superior intelligence with the name (i.e. formula) of Aiwass. And it was the two of them that accessed, and were driven by, the deep-seated genius that resides in all. He disliked the message; she took no interest in it, yet was obsessed with getting it out.

We need not believe in angels or djinn, anymore than gods or demons. But the genius inherent in the mind is seated, in some form, in all moments of time, ad infinitum (as any beginning necessarily follows on the heels of an end, “nothingness” being impossible). It is logical that a more highly evolved form of mind might influence our own, directing it to ends we cannot yet fathom, possibly to save us from disaster, and with time, assisting our evolution.

One is reminded of Balaam’s ass. It was Balaam, whose ego was great, that insisted on a course of action which would have destroyed him. But it was a mere ass that refused to take him where he wished to go; and no ill will of Balaam’s could make it otherwise. Even an ass, it would seem, may serve as the instrument of the greater will.

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Postcard c.1904 E.V.

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Throughout the latter half of March and the early part of April, the Holy Thelemic Church (and many Thelemites) commemorate the remarkable event that unfolded in the lives of Aleister Crowley and Rose Kelly at Cairo, Egypt in 1904 Era Vulgari (Common Era) — a momentous spiritual event that culminated in the Advent of the New Thelemic Age. The Vernal Equinox is, therefore, the time at which Thelemites celebrate the Thelemic New Year.  Through photographs and postcards from the period, we might evoke something of the Spirit of that critical era in human history.  It is a time distant posterity may well view with no small amount of awe and wonderment; for this extraordinary Manifestation of transmundane Genius ultimately produced a literary monument both profound and sublime: Liber L vel Legis, The Book of the Law.

Above: View of Cairo, Egypt, photographed from a balloon at about 500 metres above ground. Left of the Nile are the Botanical Gardens and the race track, right are the British barracks and the Egyptian Museum. July 21, 1904; first published in Spelterini, E.: Über den Wolken/Par dessus les nuages, Brunner & Co, Zürich 1928, p. 81. By Eduard Spelterini, (1852–1931), Swiss pioneer of ballooning and of aerial photography. Below: More views of the enviorns of Cairo captured by the camera of Spelterini.

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Crowley leaves us a fairly decent account of the circumstances in Cairo that led up to the Thelemic Advent, in his book, The Equinox of the Gods.  The young couple headed into Cairo on February 9th, 1904.  He then proceeded to Helwan in the guise of Mid-Eastern nobility on the 19th, with the intent of learning Islam from within as he had done with Hinduism when in India.  He enjoyed a little golf on the 20th.  For fun during the previous year, he had performed the Preliminary Invocation of the Goetia — a majestic spiritual ceremony also known as the Invocation of the Bornless One — to entertain his newlywed bride.  Rose, however, now became oddly inspired, claiming that a superior intelligence wished to communicate with him.  She was having the first Holy Epiphany of the New Thelemic Age.  He was having none of it; he had become disillusioned with serious magical pursuits and was interested in further exploring the esoteric systems of Buddhism, Taoism and Sufism.

Rose Edith Kelly & Aleister Crowley.

Crowley (in The Equinox of the Gods) recounts:

“Began INV. (invocation) IAO (Given in Liber Samekh: see Magick.)”

“March 16. Tried to shew the Sylphs to Rose. She was in a dazed state, stupid, possibly drunk; possibly hysterical from pregnancy. She could see nothing, but could hear. She was fiercely excited at the messages, and passionately insistent that I should take them seriously.

“I was annoyed at her irrelevance, and her infliction of nonsense upon me.

“She had never been in any state even remotely resembling this, though I had made the same invocation (in full) in the King’s chamber of the Great Pyramid during the night which we spent there in the previous autumn.

“March 17. More apparently nonsensical messages, this time spontaneous. I invoke Thoth, probably as in Liber LXIV, and presumably to clear up the muddle.

“March 18. Thoth evidently got clear through to her; for she discovers that Horus is addressing me through her, and identifies Him by a method utterly excluding chance or coincidence, and involving knowledge which only I possessed, some of it arbitrary, so that she or her informant must have been able to read my mind as well as if I had spoken it.

“Then she, challenged to point out His image, passed by many such to fix on the one in the Stele.”

The Stele to which he refers is, of course, Cairo Stela A9422 — then exhibited as Stele 666.  The same exhibition card — that must have struck him like lightning to behold — appears below along with a photo of the Stela itself.

The display card for the Stela of Ankhefenkhons I, bearing the infamous “number of a Man”.

The Stele of Revealing.

Crowley was impressed with the appearance of this number.  There is of course no such thing as the Christian devil; but in the Qabalistic system this value signifies the spiritual force of Tiphareth (6) that transmits its Holy Current  — the Supernal Triunity of Wisdom, Understanding and Transcendence-without-Withdrawal (x111=666) — to the Adeptus in the Attainment of the Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Supernal Will (Thelema) and in the Samadhis beyond that.  The formula of Horus (or Heru-Ra-Ha) is analogous to Tiphareth (Ra-Hoor-Khuit) and Kether (Hoor-pa-kraat); and both are a conjunction of the twofold Consciousness of Matter and Energy, i.e. Nuit and Hadit, the Supernals called Binah and Chokmah in the Qabalistic system — Tiphareth being the outer form (i.e. below the Abyss of Duality and Thought) and Kether being the inner form thereof.

Crowley’s account continues:

“March 20.  Success in my invocation of Horus, by ‘breaking all the rules’ at her command.  This success convinced me magically, and encouraged me to test her… I should certainly have referred to the Stele in my ritual had I seen it before this date.  I should fix Monday, March 21, for the Visit to [the museum].

“Between March 23 and April 8 the Hieroglyphs on the Stele were evidently translated by the assistant-curator at [the museum], into either French or English–I am almost sure it was French–and versified (as now printed) by me.

“Between these dates, too, my wife must have told me that her informant was not Horus, or Ra Hoor Khuit, but a messenger from Him, named Aiwass.

“I thought that she might have faked this name from constantly hearing ‘Aiwa,’ the word for ‘Yes’ in Arabic.  She could not have invented a name of this kind, though; her next best was to find a phrase like ‘balmy puppy’ for a friend, or corrupt a name like Neuberg into an obscene insult.

“The silence of my diaries seems to prove that she gave me nothing more of importance.  I was working out the Magical problem presented to me by the events of March 16-21.  Any questions that I asked her were either unanswered, or answered by a Being whose mind was so different from mine that we failed to converse.  All my wife obtained from Him was to command me to do things magically absurd.  He would not play my game: I must play His.

“April 7.  Not later than this date was I ordered to enter the ‘temple’ exactly at noon on the three days following, and write down what I heard during one hour, nor more nor less.”

The photographs shown below depict the hotel at which they most likely stayed during this event.  It is now known as the Baehler Building and is no longer a hotel, though one can eat at a restaurant on its ground floor there today.

La Bodega, aperitivo and bistro in the former Savoy-Hotel.

[ http://www.labodegaegypt.com/ ]

“The three days [April 8th, 9th and 10th] were precisely similar, save that on the last day I became nervous lest I should fail to hear the Voice of Aiwass. They may then be described together.

“I went into the ‘temple’ a minute early, so as to shut the door and sit down on the stroke of Noon.

“On my table were my pen — a Swan Fountain — and supplies of Quarto typewriting paper, 8″ x 10”.

“I never looked round in the room at any time.

“The Voice of Aiwass came apparently from over my left shoulder, from the furthest corner of the room.  It seemed to echo itself in my physical heart in a very strange manner, hard to describe.  I have noticed a similar phenomenon when I have been waiting for a message fraught with great hope or dread.  The voice was passionately poured, as if Aiwass were alert about the time-limit.  I wrote 65 pages of this present essay (at about my usual rate of composition) in about 10 1/2 hours as against the 3 hours of the 65 pages of the Book of the Law.  I was pushed hard to keep the pace; the MS. shows it clearly enough.

“The voice was of deep timbre, musical and expressive, its tones solemn, voluptuous, tender, fierce or aught else as suited the moods of the message. Not bass –perhaps a rich tenor or baritone.

“The English was free of either native or foreign accent, perfectly pure of local or caste mannerisms, thus startling and even uncanny at first hearing.

“I had a strong impression that the speaker was actually in the corner where he seemed to be, in a body of  ‘fine matter,’ transparent as a veil of gauze, or a cloud of incense-smoke.  He seemed to be a tall, dark man in his thirties, well-knit, active and strong, with the face of a savage king, and eyes veiled lest their gaze should destroy what they saw.  The dress was not Arab; it suggested Assyria or Persia, but very vaguely.  I took little note of it, for to me at that time Aiwass and an  ‘angel’  such as I had often seen in visions, a being purely astral.”

A few paragraphs along in the account, he writes:

“There was…no actual voice audible save that of Aiwaz.  Even my own remarks made silently were incorporated by him audibly, wherever such occur.”

The result was this message — of vastly superior intelligence to that with which we are normally familiar — to all humanity, announcing the transition to a new spiritual formula for an Aeon of Light, Life, Love and Liberty.  This spiritual formula is Gnostic, not propitiatory; i.e., its process involves the realization of the infinite potential of human Genius, in knowledge, talent and ability — as opposed to propitiation, which holds that one has to sacrifice, whether literally or by proxy (e.g. via acts of asceticism — abstinence, fasting, scourging, martyrdom and the rest ad nauseum), to an external god in exchange for grace.  It is ignoble and insults the Divinity inherent in Humanity.  Although our Thelemic doctrine affirms the existence of a superior eternal Mind, it is actually an atheistic one: for this Mind is ultimately that of man himself, on a level of pan-dimensional awareness well beyond ordinary apprehension.  Deus est Homo:  “God is Man”.  It is only temporarily praeterhuman: with the Gnosis of Samadhi the divide is bridged.

The Book of the Law is a work of total Genius, with depths of subtle meaning and hidden wisdom — esoteric and Qabalistic — that can revive and unite the many sects of the various primitive religions currently at one another’s throats in various locales of our troubled world.  For it contains, in its veils of wisdom, the naked beauty of an overarching spiritual Law in harmony with science and healthy for the human condition, being as it is worshipful of the happiness of the natural state and of the Divine Perfection of genuine Talent, not of some unnatural god at odds with scientific fact.

The following images are from postcards that were circulated before, during and after the time of the Advent of the Aeon (March 21st, 1904) and the Epiphany of the Holy Law (April 8th, 9th and 10th, 1904).

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We of the Holy Thelemic Church wish all of our brothers and sisters across the globe a very happy Thelemic New Year.  May your celebrations be bountiful and joyous; may you come to the realization of the Holy Supernal Will and to the accomplishment of the Great Work, Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness; may 93 be with ye.

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Here is a red-letter digital edition of the main holy book of the Holy Thelemic Church, with its original title restored:  Liber L vel Legis, The Book of the Law, as dictated by Aiwass to Rose Kelly and Aleister Crowley in 1904 e.v., with the utterance of Aiwass in red and that of the scribe and editor in black.  This edition is based on the 1912 publication.  It includes footnotes with vital information for beginners and a copy of the original manuscript.

Download the pdf free of charge either by clicking on the image above or by going to the sidebar library.

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