On the Nepios

by T Polyphilus

first delivered by T Polyphilus
to a congregation of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica
at Aum Ha Oasis
in a Liturgy of the Word of the Law
on the Feast of Cattle, Anno IV xv

I do not know your daily prayers
but this evening I will share with you
one that belongs to us all
when we dare to use it.

Thelema affords many rituals
for our daily use and enjoyment:
The ritual of the pentagram,
The fourfold adoration of the Sun,
The Mass of the Phoenix,
The Ritual of the Mark of the Beast,
and others besides.

The true formula
whose virtues sufficed the Beast in his Attainment
was thus:

In homelier words,
in order to be true magicians
we must pray daily,
unto whatsoever power
we may hold to be most high.

That sense of OFTEN in invoking,
the iterative power
of a holy work
done from everlasting to everlasting,
that sense can come
not only from your own repetitions
not only from the discipline of the individual
but also from the great momentum
of community
and culture
and history.

Thus the Prophet called upon his Angel
with the daily repetition
of the Invocation of the Bornless One,
a ritual constructed from an ancient text:
a Greco-Egyptian spell of god-mastery

And thus we spoke in unison
early in this ceremony
a Prayer to the Aeon
that is my own chief daily prayer.

It is perhaps the single prayer
most repeated by human lips
in the last two thousand years,
but rewritten by our Prince-Priest the Beast.

Many have proclaimed the magical power
of the old form of this prayer.
One of the Prophet’s teachers,
The magician Allan Bennett,
as a youth of sixteen
spoke it in reverse to conjure the Devil
and gave himself an enduring fright.

The old prayer was the sacramental key
of the medieval Cathar heretics
who are one of the primal wellsprings
of our Gnostic and Catholic Church.

This prayer is the only piece of verbal liturgy
that the Bible puts in the mouth of Jesus.
So Bible-worshipping Protestants have called it “The Lord’s Prayer”
While Catholics call it by its first words: “Our Father”
Or in the days of Latin liturgy: “Pater Noster.”

The Post-Protestant magus Aleister Crowley
called his version “The Cry of the Hawk,”
after Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child,
whom we adore.
And I call it “Nepios”
a Greek word for Child
with the same numeric value
as the name of thy house four hundred and eighteen.

And our prayer is not merely a parody of the older one
but a profound appropriation and conversion
of the forces bound into that form.
If the old prayer has the power to delight or enthrall you
the new one should do it so much more.
If the old prayer disgusts or repels you
the new one should transform woe into weal.

In addition to the prose version that we recited together
Crowley also wrote a “Nepios” in verse
That we often use in ceremonies of our Church:

Now I begin to pray: Thou Child,
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
Our Brother the Prophet analyzed this prayer
into ten words
and while I could never,
never exhaust the meaning of the “Nepios,”
I want to briefly reflect
on each of these ten words
and their significance to us as Thelemites.

The first word:

In our new prayer
In our New Aeon
the Child Horus has succeeded his Father Osiris.
We aspire to the necessary creativity of the future,
not the supposed originality of the past.
We give life to the god!
As the Prophet says:

We ignore what created us;
we adore what we create.
The god may be of clay:
adore him;
he becomes GOD.
Let us create nothing but GOD!
To know what it is to have a child
is an accomplishment
it is not a passive given.
Is your child a girl? a boy?
a painting? a symphony? a theorem?
Not all works are children,
but every Child is WORK.

When we speak this prayer
we assert our creative relationship to GOD.

The Second Word:
Thy Name is holy.

Just as Christians never name their Father,
the Nepios proclaims holy
a name which it does not speak.
The Great Invocation of the Cairo Working
used eleven different names for the Child.
The Book of the Balance instructs us
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.

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.

In parallel with other parts of the Nepios,
this Word shifts from the future tense to the present.
We do not merely request or anticipate
that the Child’s name will be sanctified.
We forthrightly acknowledge that it is holy.

The Third Word:
Thy Kingdom is come.

The reign of the Child is not a utopian hope.
not a fairytale about the end of time.
It is happening now.
The old world was destroyed by fire
in Nineteen-oh-four,
and our eyes gleam with the white of the ash
prepared by Hermes the Invisible.

The Kingdom of the Child
is not 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.

The reign is not merely a regime,
it is a proper kingdom
with a sovereign,
emblemized as our Lord the Sun
and his viceregent the Phallus.
In the world of the individual soul,
the Holy Guardian Angel is sovereign.
And the Kingdom is come,
in the orgasmic rapture of angelic union
and the magick power
of the elements
of human generation.

The Fourth Word:
Thy Will is done.

“There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.”
The world manifests the will of the Child,
which is also hidden
in the heart of the speaker of the prayer.
The pure will of the Child
is done,
complete, accomplished, perfect.

The Nepios does not say “on earth as it is in heaven”
because the turn of the Aeon has already
brought these two into alignment.
In our Gnostic Masses,
the virgin proclaims
the greeting of earth and heaven.
Earth is a planet in the starry heaven.
We are all both on earth and in heaven.

The Fifth Word:
Here is the Bread.

We do not plead to a Father,
that he might give us the bread we need.

We ourselves provide bread to the 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 caring parents ourselves
of a god we will never fully understand,
although he is created in us and through us.

The Sixth Word:
Here is the Blood.

We also offer blood.
Note the transformation
from the last word to this one.
It is neither “Here is the Bread; here is the Wine,”
nor “Here is the Body; here is the Blood.”
Instead, the two words show a transition
from the material of the meat and drink
to the spirit of the living god within us.
Thus, the speaker of this prayer
affirms his own priestly power
and his filiation from the saints
of the true church of old time.

As our priests say:
“Touto esti to poterion tou haimatos mou.”
This is the cup of my blood.

The Seventh Word:
Bring us through Temptation!

We seek to pass through Temptation,
not to avoid it!
The capital T of that Temptation
is the real Cross of each Thelemite’s Passion.
“The word of Sin is Restriction”
therefore we seek Righteousness,
exploring the interior of Iniquity,
and fortifying ourselves to overcome all.

The Eighth Word:
Deliver us from Good and Evil!

Saint Friedrich Nietzsche assures us:
“Whatever is done from love takes place beyond good and evil.”
And we know that “Love is the law,
love under will.”

We do not seek to be between Good and Evil,
in the path of hapless, lukewarm compromise.

we seek balance,
by the Method of Equilibrium,
so that we might pass beyond Good and Evil,
and yet enfold and embrace these contraries
as our own “self-realization
“through projection in conditioned Form.”

This attainment is the one
pronounced by the Crowned and Conquering Child
in the ultimate Aethyr of the Vision & the Voice,

I am light, and I am night,
and I am that which is beyond them.
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.

The Ninth Word:
That Mine as Thine be the Crown of the Kingdom, even now.

The “power and the glory” of the “Our Father”
reflects the Moral Triad of the Kabbalistic Tree:
ve-geburah ve-gedulah
as we say in the old Pentagram Ritual.
But the Nepios emphasizes the Middle Pillar,
from the Crown at its top
to the Kingdom at its base.

the doxology of the “Our Father”
ends “for ever and ever”
calling for eternity, le-olam.
But the Nepios calls for immediacy:
“Even now.”

It is the sentiment of Dante’s Virgil
at the threshold of the Earthly Paradise:

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.

The Tenth Word:

This last word of the Nepios
is also the first word of Chapter Three
of the Book of the Law.
ABRAHADABRA is sometimes called “the Word of the Aeon.”
Like ‘Nepios’ it has the value of four hundred and eighteen.
The Prophet translated this word into English as
“the Voice of the Chief Seer.”
Its eleven letters represent the Great Work
as the union of the human five
and the divine six.
It is spoken by the adept and the angel together
in their consummated interpenetration.

In order to accomplish our True Wills,
to achieve the Great Work,
the Summum Bonum,
True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness,

And may the one who invoketh often
behold the Formless Fire,
with trembling and bewilderment;
and in the lengthening of that meditation,
resolve it into coherent and intelligible symbols,
and hear the articulate utterance of that Fire,
interpret the thunder thereof
as a still small voice in the heart.
And may the Fire reveal to the eyes
the aspirant's own image in its own true glory;
and speak in the ears
the Mystery that is the adept’s own right Name.

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