An adumbration of LDP 34-2
by T Polyphilus
In the gospels of Christian scripture, Jesus prescribes only one piece of verbal liturgy--the prayer known as the "Our Father" or "Lord's Prayer." The magical power of this prayer has been widely attested. Aleister Crowley's magical mentor Allan Bennett is supposed to have successfully frightened himself at the age of sixteen (c. 1887) by conjuring the Devil with a recitation of the prayer in reverse--a practice long ascribed to witches by Christian sources. The Lord's Prayer was the sine qua non of ritual among the Medieval Cathar heretics. The neo-Cathar Eglise Gnostique of Jules Doinel gave a correspondingly pivotal position to the original Greek of the prayer. (Christian scripture was originally in the Greek of its authors, rather than the Aramaic of the putative Jesus.)
Crowley wrote two different "Thelemicizations" of the Our Father, changing the mode of address from Father to Child, in keeping with his doctrine of the Great Equinox. The first of these is the substance of "The Cry of the Hawk," Chapter 2 of The Book of Lies. The second is in rhyming verse, and it appears as a component of the ritual of the Mass of the Phoenix. (End rhyme is also a feature of the original Greek prayer of "Jesus.") I refer to either of these prayers and their ritual use as the Nepios, from a Greek word meaning "child," which has the isopsephic sum value of 418.
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.
|Now I begin to pray: Thou Child,
Holy Thy name and undefiled!
Thy reign is come: Thy will is done.
Here is the Bread; here is the Blood.
Bring me through midnight to the Sun!
Save me from Evil and from Good!
That Thy one crown of all the Ten
Even now and here be mine. AMEN
Christian liturgists customarily anatomize the Lord's prayer into an address, followed by six petitions, and a conclusion. In "The Cry of the Hawk," Crowley describes the Nepios as consisting of "ten words." Functionally, the first six of these are recognitions (the first of which may be termed an address), and the last four are exhortations (including the closing). The following paragraphs provide a brief discussion of these ten words, after which I will offer some brief remarks regarding the ritual use of this prayer in the Latrant Deity Project.
Now I begin to pray: Thou Child! (XLIV)
As mentioned earlier, the Christian appeal to the Father has been changed to a Thelemic address to the Child. Horus has succeeded Osiris, and our aspiration is to the necessary creativity of the future, rather than the supposed originality of the past.
We give life to the god. To know what it is to have a child (human or otherwise) is an accomplishment, not a passive given. The act of speech in addressing the Child is a creative assertion of the relationship between the human and the divine.
Thy Name is holy. (CCCXXXIII)
Holy Thy name and undefiled! (XLIV)
Just like the Our Father, the Nepios declines to speak the Name which it exalts. In the Christian case, this fact may have been a vestige of the Jewish avoidance of pronouncing the Tetragrammaton which had been supposed to be the proper name of the godhead. In the context of Thelema, the "proper" name is indeterminate and/or secret. The Great Invocation of the Cairo Working used eleven different names for the Child. Liber XXX instructs the aspirant to "blaspheme not the name by which another knoweth his God." Indeed, it is a spiritual impertinence even to presume to know the name by which another would best apprehend the Highest.
In parallel form with the other words of the Nepios that derive from the "spiritual petitions" of the Christian prayer, this one shifts from a plea for or anticipation of the sanctification of the name to a straightforward acknowledgement that the name is holy. To fully divulge the name of the Child would be to profane it--yet "an indicible arcanum is an arcanum that cannot be revealed." Merely human thought and action cannot desecrate the True Name.
Alternatively, the word holy may itself be taken as a god-name. For details of this line of thinking, see the later portions of this essay.
Thy Kingdom is come. (CCCXXXIII)
Thy reign is come: (XLIV)
The reign of the Child is not some deferred eschatological event. It is happening now, in keeping with the lore that avers the Equinox of the Gods to have transpired in 1904. The destruction of the old world by fire is accomplished.
Like the turn of a page, or a change of gear,On neither the social nor the individual level do we promise or plead for pie in the sky when you die. "There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was." This moment is your eternal destiny, limned in tragic finitude for the accomplishment of your True Will.
A brand new age is already here.
And even while men pursue their doom,
A magical child is kicking in the womb.
--Mike Scott, "Good News" (on the Waterboys album Dream Harder)
The reign is not merely a regime, but a proper kingdom with a sovereign, emblemized in the cults of the sun and the phallus. In the world of the individual soul, the Holy Guardian Angel is sovereign. In the world known to those who have fully attained, there is God alone and unique, God the immanently indispensable, who has begotten no one and is begotten of none, without any peer.
There is also a significant pun in this word: the reign of the Child is come in the sense of the orgasmic quality of the presence of the angel, and the concentrated power of the substances of human generation.
Thy Will is done. (CCCXXXIII)
Thy will is done: (XLIV)
The world manifests the will of the Child, which is also hidden within the speaker of the prayer. The pure will of the Child, which is perfect, i.e. done-through, complete, accomplished.
The Nepios lacks the conditional "on earth as it is in heaven" found in the Our Father, because the two have already been brought into alignment by the turn of the Aeon. In our Masses, the celestial virgin proclaims the greeting of earth and heaven. Earth is a planet in the starry heaven. We are both on earth and in heaven.
The second, third, and fourth words correspond to the three elements of the masculine trinity which is expressed as Ra-hoor-khuit. "Thy name" reflects the Understanding which is the martial Son Hoor. "Thy kingdom" preserves the Memory which is the solar Father Ra. "Thy will" illuminates the Desire which is the Sanctifying Spirit Khuit. "Love is the law, love under will."
Here is the Bread. (CCCXXXIII)
Here is the Bread; (XLIV)
We are not requesting the necessity of daily bread from a Father, but rather providing it to a Child. We have within ourselves all that is needful to bring forth and nourish God. We sacrifice, not as to a stern parent, but as indulgent parents ourselves of a god we will never fully understand, although he is created through us.
Here is the Blood. (CCCXXXIII)
here is the Blood. (XLIV)
We also offer blood, like the pelican in its piety. The addition of blood demonstrates a sense of eucharistic transubstantiation that is not present in the Our Father. Note that it is neither "Here is the Bread; here is the Wine," nor "Here is the Body; here is the Blood." Instead, the two words demonstrate the transition across the boundary from the material of the two eucharistic elements to the living god within us. Thus, the speaker of this prayer affirms his own sacerdotal power and filiation from the saints of the true church of old time: "Touto esti to poterion tou haimatos mou."
The sense of transformation involved in the eucharistic consecration also informs the transition from this last of the six recognitions to the first of the four exhortations.
Bring us through Temptation! (CCCXXXIII)
Bring me through midnight to the Sun! (XLIV)
The version which exhorts the passage through (rather than avoidance of) Temptation--note the cruciform capital T!--is explained by Crowley's peroration in Liber V:
[M]astery cometh by measure: to him who with labour, courage, and caution giveth his life to understand all that doth encompass him, and to prevail against it, shall be increase. "The word of Sin is Restriction": seek therefore Righteousness, enquiring into Iniquity, and fortify thyself to overcome it.
The version which exhorts passage to the reappearance of the Sun implies the knowledge of the Sun's constancy, even as the planet turns us temporarily from his rays. It evokes a liturgical passage as intrinsic to Thelema as the Our Father is to Christianity, "the holiest of all mantras" which appears on the Stele of Revealing in Egyptian, in English verse paraphrase in Liber Legis, and in the Gnostic Mass when the priest addresses that "uttermost being whose radiance enlightening the worlds is also the breath that maketh every God even and Death to tremble before Thee."
Deliver us from Good and Evil! (CCCXXXIII)
Save me from Evil and from Good! (XLIV)
What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil. (St. Friedrich Nietzsche)The one praying does not desire only to be between good and evil, like the Hegemon in the old Ritual of the Equinox who is "the reconciler between them.") He not only desires the enantiodromian "method of equilibrium," but the ultimate results of the method. These results are figured in the speech of the Child in the crowning vision of Liber CDXVIII:
I am light, and I am night, and I am that which is beyond them.The true attainment is thus beyond Good and Evil, as it is beyond life and death, yet enfolding and embracing these contraries as its own "self-realization through projection in conditioned Form" (Liber Samekh, II:A).
I am speech, and I am silence, and I am that which is beyond them.
I am life, and I am death, and I am that which is beyond them.
I am war, and I am peace, and I am that which is beyond them.
I am weakness and I am strength, and I am that which is beyond them.
That Mine as Thine be the Crown of the Kingdom, even now. (CCCXXXIII)
That Thy one crown of all the Ten / Even now and here be mine. (XLIV)
This word reflects the doxological closing of the Our Father that Christian tradition added to its biblical presentation--an expression that also persists in the Cabalistic Cross of the Lesser Pentagram Ritual: "For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory for ever and ever." The Sephirothic allusions in the Nepios serve to emphasize the whole of the Middle Pillar (Kether and Malkuth), rather than balance across the moral triad (Geburah and Gedulah/Chesed) in the Our Father. The temporal condition of the doxology of the Our Father is eternity, while that of the ninth word of the Nepios is immediacy ("even now").
This word is thus reminiscent of Virgil's proclamation of Dante's attainment on the threshold of the Earthly Paradise at the end of Canto XXVII of the Purgatorio (Durling trans.):
No longer await any word or sign from me: Free, upright, and whole is your will, and it would be a fault not to act according to its intent.
Therefore you over yourself I crown and mitre.
"ABRAHADABRA," the opening word of the third chapter of Liber Legis, is sometimes identified as "the Word of the Aeon." Like "Nepios" it has the value of 418, and Crowley's translation of it is "the Voice of the Chief Seer." Its eleven letters represent the Great Work as the union of the human five (pentalpha) and the divine six. It is spoken by the adept and the angel together in their interpenetration.
The word Amen means “So be it” in Hebrew. When we say “So mote it be” in the Gnostic Mass, it is really just an English version of “Amen.” In early Christian liturgies, each communicant would reply after tasting of the eucharist, “Amen”--so that it was used as a formula in the place where we say, "There is no part of me that is not of the gods."
In The Book of Lies, Crowley makes the word A.M.E.N. into the entire text of the final chapter. He puts periods after each letter, to suggest a formula concealed, but he does not explain the formula, proposing instead in his commentary that “The final Mystery is always insoluble.”
Note also that the four Powers of the Sphinx appear distributed in sequence through the Nepios: to know (second word), to will (fourth word), to dare (seventh word), and to keep silence (tenth word).
The Nepios is a part of approved rituals for baptism and confirmation in E.G.C. It is also suitable for daily use as a practical sacrament, and as such it has long been a part of the Latrant Deity Project. I have worked through several evolutions of its magical "choreography," with the attribution of various signs to the ten words. My present rubric is necessarily confidential--but although I must keep the outward actions secret, I may freely discuss the inner attitudes involved with the ritual execution. Each word involves a mood or psychological posture, as well as concentration on a particular chakra.
Vigorous Food & Divine Madness