Service Celebrating the Feast for
the First Night of the Beast and His Bride
T Polyphilus, Ep. Gn.
The following ceremony is intended for the purpose of celebrating the feast decreed in Liber Legis II:37. It should be held after sunset on August 12. The officers are designated as the MINISTER, BEAST and SEER, and since the ritual is not a proprietary sacrament of the Church, no clergy status is required in order to preside at it. The officers should wear simple white robes. The MINISTER adds a black cincture. The SEER adds a black mantle, with a silver crescent thereon. The BEAST adds a black mantle, with a gold sunblaze.
If this ceremony is held in a space modified from a Gnostic Mass temple, the shrine should be kept closed throughout. There must be a simple altar, centrally placed (a double-cube is ideal), and no font. On the central altar is a single rose in a vase, also a burning censer, and a bell. There are two thrones in the west, raised if possible upon a dais, and between them is another small altar. Upon the western altar are a dagger (ideally a highland dirk), a lit black candle, an empty cup, and an open bottle of champagne in an ice bucket. The coverings of both altars should be pink.
The BEAST and SEER are seated in the thrones, BEAST to the south, SEER to the north.MINISTER: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. I proclaim the Law of Light, Life, Love, and Liberty, in the name of THERION and of OUARDA.
The MINISTER admits the congregation to the temple and stands in the East.
PEOPLE: Love is the law, love under will.
The MINISTER goes to the west of the altar, faces East, and gives the step and sign of a Man and a Brother. All imitate him.ALL: I believe in one secret and ineffable LORD; and in one Star in the Company of Stars of whose fire we are created, and to which we shall return; and in one Father of Life, Mystery of Mystery, in His name CHAOS the sole viceregent of the Sun upon the Earth; and in one Air the nourisher of all that breathes.
And I believe in one Earth, the Mother of us all, and in one Womb wherein all men are begotten, and wherein they shall rest, Mystery of Mystery, in Her name BABALON.
And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET.
And I believe in one Gnostic and Catholic Church of Light, Life, Love and Liberty, the Word of whose Law is THELEMA.
And I believe in the communion of Saints.
And, forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the Miracle of the Mass.
And I confess one Baptism of Wisdom whereby we accomplish the Miracle of Incarnation.
And I confess my life one, individual, and eternal that was, and is, and is to come.
AUMGN. AUMGN. AUMGN.
The People sit.MINSTER: We are met to commemorate the Feast of the First Night of the Beast and His Bride, since it was the marriage of the Beast that made possible the revelation of the New Law.
The MINSTER sounds seven upon the bell: 1-5555-1.
II. INVOCATION OF HYMENAEUS
The BEAST and SEER stand, face one another, join hands, and recite (from Catullus LXI):BEAST and SEER: Collis o Heliconii
Ut lubentius, audiens
se citarier ad suum
munus, huc aditum ferat
dux bonae Veneris, boni
Ille pulveris Africi
subducat numerum prius,
qui vestri numerare vult
multa milia ludi.
The MINISTER sounds seven upon the bell: 22-333-22.BEAST: O Hymen Hymenaee!
BEAST raises dagger aloft, kisses it dramatically.
MINISTER moves to left hand of BEAST, places his own right hand upon dagger.MINISTER: O Hymen Hymenaee!
MINISTER takes dagger from beast and brings it around the people, offering it so that each may place the right hand open upon the hilt and say: “O Hymen Hymenaee!”
BEAST meanwhile pours a glass of champagne, and gives it to SEER to drink.
SEER drinks half, and hands it back to BEAST, who finishes the glass.
MINISTER returns to left hand of BEAST and returns the dagger, which BEAST replaces upon the western altar.
III. INVOCATION OF THERION & OUARDA (from Crowley's "Rosa Mundi")
SEER advances to the East.BEAST: ROSE of the World!
SEER: Ah! when the minutes grew to hours,
And yet the beast, the fool, saw flowers
And loved them, watched the moon rise, took delight
In perfumes of the summer night,
Caught in the glamour of the sun,
Thought all the woe well won.
How hours were days, and all the misery
Abode, all mine: O thou! didst thou regret?
Wast thou asleep as I?
Didst thou not love me yet?
For, know! the moon is not the moon until
She hath the knowledge to fulfil
Her music, till she know herself the moon.
So I, so thou! The stone unhewn,
Foursquare, the sphere, of human hands immune,
Was not yet chosen for the corner-piece
And key-stone of the Royal Arch of Sex;
Unsolved the ultimate “x”;
The virginal breeding breeze
Was yet of either unstirred;
Unspoken the Great Word.
MINISTER: It may be in the centuries of our life
Since they were man and wife
There stirs some incarnation of that love.
Some rosebud in the garden of spices blows,
Some offshoot from the Rose
Of the World, the Rose of all Delight,
The Rose of Dew, the Rose of Love and Night,
The Rose of Silence, covering as with a vesture
The solemn unity of things
Beheld in the mirror of truth,
The Rose indifferent to God’s gesture,
The Rose on moonlight wings
That flies to the House of Fire,
The Rose of Honey-in-Youth!
Ah! No dim mystery of desire
Fathoms this gulf! No light invades
The mystical musical shades
“Of a faith in the future, a dream of the day”
“When athwart the dim glades”
“Of the forest a ray”
“Of sunlight shall flash and the dew die away!”
SEER: Let there then be obscurity in this!
There is an after rapture in the kiss.
The fire, flesh, perfume, music, that outpaced
All time, fly off; they are subtle: there abides
A secret and most maiden taste;
Salt, as of the invisible tides
Of the molten sea of gold
Men may at times behold
In the rayless scarab of the sinking sun;
And out of that is won
Hardly, with labour and pain that are as pleasure,
The first flower of the garden the stored treasure
That lies at the heart's heart of eternity.
This treasure is for thee.
BEAST: Ah! Love! the hour is over!
The moon is up, the vigil overpast.
Call me to thee at last,
O Rose, O perfect miracle lover,
Call me! I hear thee though it be across
The abyss of the whole universe,
Though not a sign escape, delicious loss!
Though hardly a wish rehearse
The imperfection underlying ever
The perfect happiness.
Thou knowest that not in flesh
Lies the fair fresh
Delight of Love; not in mere lips and eyes
The secret of these bridal ecstasies,
Since thou art everywhere,
Rose of the World, Rose of the Uttermost
Abode of glory, Rose of the High Host
Of heaven, mystic, rapturous Rose!
The extreme passion glows
Deep in this breast; thou knowest (and love knows)
How every word awakes its own reward
In a thought akin to thee, a shadow of thee;
And every tune evokes its musical Lord;
And every rhyme tingles and shakes in me
The filaments of the great web of Love.
MINISTER returns to central altar and adds incense to the censer.MINISTER: Upon all that this day unite with love under will let fall success; may strength and skill unite to bring forth ecstasy, and beauty answer beauty.
The PEOPLE: So mote it be.
MINISTER: Lady of Knowledge, who art the mother of Mind at the heart of the coils of the serpent, and the sister of Love in the savor of the milk of the stars, distinguishing life and joy in human congress, thou celebrated by us in beds of purple, and fields of war, on thrones of the mighty, and in the festival riot, in the oratory of the magician, and the laboratory of the alchemist, as in the speech of our mouths and the works of our hands, we worthily commemorate them worthy that did of old keep thy secrets and communicate them duly: especially Rose Edith Kelley and Aleister Crowley. May their words inspire us, and their acts encourage us, in the perfection of our feasts.
The PEOPLE: So mote it be.
MINISTER: Perfect majesty of earth and heaven, divided for the chance of union, bless unto us the Law, that is love under will. AUMGN. AUMGN. AUMGN.
The PEOPLE: So mote it be.
The MINISTER sounds seven upon the bell: 333-1-333. All rise.SEER: Come away! Our chariot is drawn by doves. Of mother-of-pearl and ivory is our chariot and the reins thereof are the heart-strings of men. Every moment that we fly shall cover an aeon. And every place on which we rest shall be a young universe rejoicing in its strength; the meadows thereof shall be covered with flowers. There shall we rest but a night, and in the morning we shall flee away, comforted.
The BEAST advances to the East, joining the SEER. The PEOPLE make the Hailing Sign, the MINISTER leading.
The MINISTER and all the PEOPLE: Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.
The MINISTER sounds the bell a single time. The PEOPLE sit.BEAST: There shall be no property in human flesh. Regardless of its history, neither marriage nor any other institution can justify the tyranny of social convention over the reality of love and its carnal expression.
Love is a sport, an art, a religion, as you will.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The MINISTER and all the PEOPLE: Love is the law, love under will.
VI. BLESSINGS & CURSES
SEER: Burn upon their brows, o splendrous serpent!
BEAST: O azure-lidded woman, bend upon them!
BEAST and SEER return to thrones, and remain standing there.MINISTER: There is no bond that can unite the divided but love, all else is a curse.
BEAST and SEER: AMOR VINCIT OMNIA.
BEAST: Go forth forth with mirth and thanksgiving.
SEER: There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.
MINISTER leads the congregation out of the temple. A light banquet with champagne follows.
Vigorous Food & Divine Madness