An Analysis of the Gnostic Mass

by Fr. V.I.T.R.I.O.L.
with assistance and additional commentary by Sr. A.R.G.M.

Liber XV, the Gnostic Mass, is the central public and private ritual of the OTO and EGC, being itself a IX° operation. All of the secrets of the Order are contained within it, in symbol and ceremony. Yet it strikes me that a little bit of pre-production analysis would be of great benefit to everyone who has seen it. Aleister Crowley was a gifted ritualist, but the full extent of those gifts can really only be appreciated if we study and analyze the rituals that he wrote. In order to gain a fuller understanding of them we must not only observe or read about them, but we must also, of necessary, perform them. Let the phrase "Theory and Practice" be kept always uppermost in mind!

"While Liber XV is hardly a Class A publication, explaining and interpreting any of Crowley's writings is always risky business." – from The Gnostic Mass: Annotations and Commentary by Helena and Tau Apiryon,, i.e. the Invisible Basilica of Sabazius (hereafter referred to as IBS.). What is the Gnostic Mass about? Here are a few opinions:


"Harry Furlong XXIII of the Cabal of Cabbage Enthusiasts has to say of Al Crowley's Gnostic mass.. ‘well..when i wear my hermetic goggles i see a symbolic representation of the attainment of K&CofHGA and the crossing of the ABYSS. when i wear my catholic goggles i see a diabolical abomination of the mass. when i wear my liberal catholic goggles i see a devotional rite for the BVM (as long as the priestess keeps her robe on..) when i wear my THELEMA goggles i see NUIT and HADIT getting it on and AIWASS telling us all the juicy details. when i wear my magician goggles i see a rite to be used to manifest a desire. when i wear my materialist goggles i see a symbolic enactment of the sex act. when i wear my astrophysicist goggles i see the formation of a solar system. when i wear my sci-fi goggles i see our frog brothers from the star system SIRIUS calling us home. i don't know what magick IS. i don't have a fucking clue what religion IS. and i REALLY don't know what the gnostic mass IS. it seems (along with everything else in all the universes i've visiting) to have the qualities of a fractal creature with a highly reflective surface. monkeys suffering from the ARISTOTLE SYNDROME tend to look at these reflective fractal creatures and mistake their monkey reflections for qualities in the creature itself.’ but Harry tends to BE full of shit so i wouldn't take him seriously." – Fr. O.G.

"Thelema is a law of nature. It does not require faith, service, devotion, worship, commitment, institutions, attitudes, practices, conformity, causes, principles, or beliefs. (See dictionary definition of religion.) Christianity requires most (if not all) of these things. … Thelema is not a religion. The confusion arises because religious praxis (i.e. practice) is often used in order to understand Thelema and to live in harmony with it. … The Mass has all these things. Thelema does not require them. The fact that the Mass has these elements does not mean that those elements must be present in order to "typify" Thelema … Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica is a religion which celebrates Thelema by way of the Gnostic Mass. Thelema is not a religion." – Joe Theibes


Various purposes the Gnostic Mass may serve: 

We can learn everything that we need to know about the Gnostic Mass by studying the Lovers card in the Thoth deck, and then its completion in the Art card.

The Mass is a solar-phallic rite. The Sun is seen as the (active) life-giving force for the (passive) Earth, and the phallus is seen as the life-giving force for humankind. "The PHALLUS, then, in its capacity as ‘the sole viceregent of the Sun upon Earth,’ represents the creative and life-giving Fire as it manifests itself in living beings who dwell on the surface of this planet. … In the context used in the Gnostic Mass … the name "PHALLUS" or "PHALLE" should not be confused with the word "penis …The term "Phallicism" as used by Sir Richard Payne Knight and others does not refer to penis-worship, but to the worship of the Generative Power – a Power which dwells in sexually mature individuals of both sexes. … Israel Regardie, in The Eye in the Triangle, quotes Crowley as having said, ‘When you have proved that God is merely a name for the sex instinct, it appears to me not far to the perception that the sex instinct is God.’" – IBS



A Brief Outline of the Gnostic Mass




An Outline derived from IBS



The information used in the following step-by-step analysis of the Gnostic Mass has been derived from a variety of sources, including, but not limited to: Lon and Constance DuQuette, IBS and Red Flame No. 2, the works of Aleister Crowley, and my own experience and study as a Priest of the Gnostic Mass. It is by no means a complete analysis (if such a thing is even possible!) and is meant only as a guide to further studies. Study, analyze, observe, and perform!

The symbolism of the Mass simultaneously takes place on many levels, Assiah, Yetzirah, Briah and Atziluth, and the various interpretations reflect this. An action can be seen as having meaning and effect on all these levels, depending on what set of "glasses" you have on. My analysis will jump levels from one phrase to another, so don’t let the contradictions throw you.

Interpretations of quotations from Liber AL are mainly left to the individual. Any interpretations that I do are prefaced by the anagram C.O.P. which stands for Center Of Pestilence.

Alterations I have made to the stage directions are mainly a matter of clarification, or reflect my own preferred practice. For those who would say that it can only be Liber XV if the script is followed exactly, I respectfully submit that they study the works of Shakespeare and the performance practices involved therewith.


by To Mega Therion

My comments and quotes from other sources are in bold, Sr. Viktoria’s comments are in <<italics>> and my stage directions are surrounded by [square brackets]. Crowley instructions that have been replaced or altered are crossed out.


The temple is setup on the Tree of Life format, with emphasis on the middle pillar. It may also be seen as a representation of the Lamen. (See end illustration.)

In the East, that is, in the direction of Boleskine, which is situated on the south-eastern shore of Loch Ness in Scotland, two miles east of Foyers, is a shrine or High Alter. It's dimensions should be 7 feet in length the 7 lower sephirah, 3 feet in breadth the 3 supernals, 44 inches in height the height of the double cube altar, also the 4 elements in the 4 worlds (44). "The Altar is sized to be of the dimensions of a typical Egyptian sarcophagus." – IBS It should be covered with a crimson altar-cloth, on which may be embroidered fleur-de-lys in gold, or a sunblaze, or other suitable emblem. Solar-Phallic symbology.

On each side of it should be a pillar or Obelisk, with countercharges in black and white. The pillars of Severity and Mercy, the light and dark pillars, Boaz and Jochim, etc.

Below it should be the dais of three steps, in black and white squares. The 3 steps may represent IAO, the 3 Triads, the 3 Triangles, the 3 Stages of Life and Initiation, Salt—Sulfur—Mercury, the 3 chapters of the Book of the Law, the aeonic progression of Isis, Osirus, Horus, etc. The Black and White squares are yin/yang, +1(-1), etc.

Above it is the super-alter, at whose top is the Stele of Revealing in reproduction, with four candles on each side of it. The Stele is raised above all other furniture and Officers, where it "presides" over the Temple. The Aeon card in the Thoth deck is based on the Stele, linking the image of the Stele with the concept of the Aeon of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Thus, its position may be seen as representing the presiding current or energy of the Aeon. This current is manifested within the matrix of space/time by the 8 candles, 4 to a side: the 4 elements in the 4 worlds. They also may be seen as the 8 paths above the Abyss. The Stele occupies the position of Kether. Below the stele is a place for The Book of the Law, with six candles on each side of it. The "Word" or "Logos" is in Chokmah, the position of V.V.V.V.V, or the Magus. See Liber B vel Magi for further information. It is held within the belt of the Zodiac as represented by the 12 candles, 6 to a side. Also, 6 and 6 could be seen as the exterior Sun and the interior Sun, the BoL being the "conduit" or communication between the two, the link between objective and subjective. Below this again is The Holy Graal, with roses on each side of it. The Ace of Cups. The Graal is Binah, Specific Water or Water on the highest octave, the feminine principle (yoni on the physical plane), the cup of Babalon into which the blood (thoughts, semen, etc.) of the Saints is poured. The roses can be linked to Geburah (red English 5 petal roses) or Netzach (the flower of Venus). There is room in front of the Cup for the Paten. The Paten is the Ace of Disks, the body itself, Malkuth, also the womb. The Hosts are Yesod, the female eggs. Together, Paten and Hosts are the qabalistic Guph. The Cup and Paten taken together are the alchemical Sun and Moon. On each side beyond the roses, are two great candles. Usually one black and one white, a recapitulation of the 2 pillars.

The Cup, roses, Paten, Hosts, and Candles together form a glyph of the Chariot card. The Altar itself is Binah, the roses symbols of Geburah. The Grail of Babalon is borne by the charioteer (paten and hosts) by the two polar animals (candles)along the path of Cheth between Binah and Geburah.

From IBS – "All 5 elements are symbolically represented … Air is represented by the roses, Water is represented by the Cup, Fire is represented by the candles, Earth is represented by the Paten and Hosts, Spirit is represented by the Stele … The arrangement of the implements on the super-altar and High Altar recapitulates the Tree of Life. In this case, the Stčle, atop the super-altar, is at Kether, the Book of the Law (as Logos) is one step below at Tiphareth, the Cup is at Yesod, and the space for the Paten in front of the Cup is at Malkuth. The Priestess completes this Tree when she places the Paten on the Altar in front of the Cup. It may also be noted that the Stčle, Book, and Cup correspond to the three principal elements of the Lamen of the O.T.O.: the Eye in the Triangle, the descending Dove, and the Holy Graal, respectively."

There are a total of 22 candles, 2 x 11, the total number of the Paths, and the rays on the Lamen.

All this is enclosed within a great Veil. The Veil of the Abyss, or on a lower octave, the Veil of Paroketh.

Forming the apex of an equilateral triangle whose base is a line drawn between the pillars, is a small black square altar, of superimposed cubes. The fire altar, Tiphereth.

Taking this altar as the middle of the base of a similar and equal triangle, at the apex of this second triangle is a small circular font. The water altar, Yesod.

Repeating, the apex of a third triangle is an upright tomb. The Malkuth altar. "Entombed in flesh."

This gives us the 3 triangles, Supernal, Ethical, Astral, and the form of the Lamen.


The Priest. Sulfur, Emperor, the Beast, Chokmah, Hadit, Yod. The Black King on the Lovers card. Bears the Sacred Lance penis, the phallic force, and is clothed at first in a plain white robe a burial shroud in the Tomb, i.e. night, winter, death, etc.

The Priestess. Salt, Empress, Babalon, Binah, Nuit, Heh. The White Queen on the Lovers Card. Should be actually Virgo Intacta, or specially dedicated to the service of the Great Order. See Little Essays Towards Truth for Crowley’s take on Chastity. She is clothed in white, blue, and gold. "My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the seeing." – Liber AL. White indicates purity of purpose. She bears the Sword the weapon of intellect and discernment "Let the woman be girt with a sword before me: let blood flow to my name" – Liber AL. Also a reference to sex magick, i.e. sword = penis from a red girdle the blood of life, indicates fertility, and a Paten and Hosts, or Cakes of Light. Womb and eggs.

The Priest and Priestess together = the Hermit Triad.

The Deacon. Mercury, Magician, Aiwaz, Tiphereth, Vav. The Angel on the Lovers Card. He is clothed in white and yellow. Yellow = Sun, white = purity or yellow on a higher octave, i.e. Kether He bears The Book of the Law. The bearer of the Logos. The Lovers Triad.

Two Children. Guph, Heru Ra Ha & Hoor-paar-kraat, Heh final. The Children on the Lovers card, also the spheres on the Devil Card. They are clothed in white and black. Yin/yang One the black child bears a pitcher of water water and a cellar of salt earth, and the other the white child a censer of fire fire and a casket of perfume air. They represent the Priest and Priestess of the future, or the Priest and Priestess on a lower octave. The Man of Earth Triad.

The Congregation also represents the MoE Triad.


The Deacon, opening the door of the Temple, admits the congregation, and takes his stand between the small altar and the font. In the position of Air (see Temple diagram), on the path of Samekh (There should be a doorkeeper to attend to the admission.)

The Deacon advances and bows before the open shrine where the Grail is exalted. Note that the Grail is already in place before the paten & cookies appear. This is the "pre-incarnate" state, so to speak. He kisses The Book of the Law three times, once for each grade, or for Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Kuit. In some traditions, "knocks" (here kisses) on altars and magical weapons serves to "wake them up", make them ready for use opens it so the word of the Law may "speak", and places it upon the super-alter in Chokmah, the position of the Magus, or Magician. He turns West. He stays at the top step to bring the "word" down from "on high" to the people. Think Moses and the 10 commandments.

Deacon -

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. I proclaim the Law of Light, Life, Love, and Liberty <<four "L’s" make a swastika, also Breath of Deacon, his "weapon" (air, words, Aleph) declares the Law (Lamed), Aleph + Lamed = AL>> see Liber L-L-L-L-L for further details in the name of IAO. Again the tripartite formula. I am the A lpha and the Ô mega.

Congregation -

Love is the law, love under will.

The Deacon goes to his place between the altar of incense and the font, faces east the direction of the rising (born) sun, and gives the step and sign of a Man and a Brother. All imitate him. Theoretically this would indicate that only I° and above should be present, however, we use obsolete Masonic signs for public Masses instead. Common practice is for the congregation to omit the step and only do the sign. Indicates being born into the Mysteries.

Deacon and Congregation -

I believe in one secret and ineffable LORD Kether, more or less; and in one Star in the Company of Stars of whose fire we are created i.e. the Sun, and to which we shall return this talks about the highest samadhi, as well as the physical fact that all matter on Earth was born from the Sun and will eventually return there when the Earth falls into the Sun; and in one Father of Life, Mystery of Mystery, in His name CHAOS Chokmah, the sole vice-regent of the Sun upon the Earth phallus ; and in one Air chi the nourisher of all that breathes.

And I believe in one Earth Malkuth, the Mother of us all, and in one Womb wherein all men are begotten <<Malkuth/Yesod>>i.e. matter or the physical womb, and wherein they shall rest <<Binah or Shabbathai, which means "rest">> the grave, or the timeless deathless trance, or as the Mind with capital M rests during the supreme moment of orgasm, Mystery of Mystery, in Her name BABALON Binah.

And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion i.e. spermatozoon, also Leo, also Gnostic compound deity, also penis and orgasm, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET compound deity of the Templars here identified with the Lion/Serpent or Lion/Fish compound deity.

And I believe in one i.e. not two, no schisms here! Gnostic i.e. direct knowledge and Catholic i.e. comprehensive, universal, broad in sympathies, tastes or interests Church of Light, Life, Love and Liberty, the Word of whose Law is THELEMA. The EGC in the outer. Or in the inner, the "invisible college", the "inner church."

And I believe in the communion the act or instance of sharing, the sacrament, or bread and wine of Saints. As listed in the "Saints" section. Could be seen as implying that we are ourselves on the same level as the Saints, that we are ourselves Saints. <<In vodou, the "communion of the Saints" is any ritual of worship in which the Gods descend into the physical flesh of the devotees, essentially a direct and literal gnosis>>

And, for as much as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the Miracle of the Mass. We are naught but spiritual substance, that is all we can truly know, i.e. the doctrine of subjectivity. Also lead to gold.

And I confess one Baptism of Wisdom fucking, whereby we accomplish the Miracle of Incarnation. Being born.

And I confess my life one, individual, and eternal that was, and is, and is to come. <<The Oak and Acorn chain – the idea of the present creature being the bearer of the genetic information through ALL his parents stretching back to the beginning, and also the idea of the individual (reproductive) creature being the Father or Mother of all that are ever to come of his/her "line"; the reality of physical immortality, the "DNA" continuity>>

AUMGN. AUMGN. AUMGN. The Thelemic Amen x3. For a full analysis of the word "aumgn" see Magick in Theory and Practice.

For more on the Creed, also see Red Flame #2 Chapter 3.

Music is now played. The [black] child enters with the ewer and the salt. The Virgin enters with the Sword and the Paten. The [white] child enters with the censer and the perfume. They face the Deacon, deploying into a line, from the space between the two altars. [i.e. between the fire altar and the Veil. They should end up with the Black Child on stage right, and the White Child on stage left, regardless of what part of the Temple they enter from.] Note that the Priestess enters from outside of the Temple, from outside of the Tree of Life, from outside of the normal phenomenal universe. She is the magickal agent that is beyond normal perception, "thou beyond speech and beyond sight," that which alone can effect change. The Priestess may be seen as the very embodiment of Magick.

Virgin -

Greeting of Earth and Heaven! Malkuth and Kether. Stresses middle pillar, also identification of the highest with the lowest "Kether is in Malkuth and Malkuth in Kether after another fashion." From IBS: "The Priestess exhibits dual feminine aspects, corresponding to Babalon (Earth) and Nuit (Heaven), the Empress (Earth) and the High Priestess (Heaven)." Also, in I Ching, the Earth Trigram and the Heaven Trigram are on opposite ends of the spectrum:

——   ——      —————
——   ——      —————
——   ——      —————

All give the Hailing sign of a Magician, the Deacon leading. Another old Masonic sign. Indicates Life and capability in the Mysteries.

The Priestess, from IBS: "The Virgin is now referred to as the Priestess. The only event that has happened is that all have greeted her with the Hailing Sign, and she has turned away from the congregation in order to ascend the steps of the High Altar. She becomes Priestess both through the recognition of the People, and through her own self-dedication to the Highest." Also she may be seen as having always been a Priestess, with Virgin being simply an alternative title. See comment above where she first enters the Temple the negative [black] child on her left, the positive [white] on her right, ascends the steps of the High Altar, they awaiting her below. [i.e. the Children do not ascend the steps, but wait at the bottom.] She places the Paten before the Grail. Having adored it, she descends, and with the children following her, the positive [white] next her, she moves in a serpentine manner involving 3 1/2 circles of the Temple. This indicates the serpents path up the Tree, the motion of Shakti, the movement of energy up the spine (the straight line of the temple as the spine.) By this action, she makes herself a Priestess, capable of wakening the "Eld" of the Priest. In the Tetragrammaton formula, it is the Princess (Heh final) that rejuvenates the dying God (Yod) and which thus makes the formula cyclic, instead of a static one-way trip. In the Thoth deck, all of the Princesses are Priestesses. From IBS: "The Kundalinî is said to be coiled 3 1/2 times around the Svayambhu Linga located in the Mulâdhâra Chakra at the base of the spine." (Deosil about altar, widdershins about font, deosil about altar and font, widdershins about altar and so to the Tomb in the West.) [The Black Child on her left and the White Child on her right.] She draws her Sword, and pulls down the Veil, therewith. Indicative of the action of discernment in the physical world, and it’s use in pulling down the veil to the "inner life." <<"dividing for the sake of union">>

Priestess -

By the power of + the sign of light, LVX, crosses indicate an "infusion" of light. <<in some traditions (vodou, the toltecs, etc.), crosses are used not only to sanctify, but to open up a "gateway-mark" for the divine energy to come through. Crosses can likewise be used to "seal-up," depending on the manner made and the intent>> Iron besides the sword, also indicates blood, incarnation, reproduction, <<menstrual blood/womb lining as waiting nourishment for the fertilized egg to come>> From IBS: "Iron is the metal of Mars, Ra Hoor Khuit, the initiatory force. Mars is attributed to the Svâdisthâna Chakra, located in the pelvic region. I say unto thee, Arise come into life, into erection, into "inner life" In the name of our Lord the + Sun Tiphereth, and of our Lord + ... Kether that thou mayst administer the virtues a beneficial quality or power of a thing to the Brethren.

She sheathes the Sword.

The Priest, issuing from the Tomb not unlike the child from the womb, or the penis from the zipper ;-), holding the Lance erect with both hands, right over left active over passive in the attitude of Ptah, against his breast, takes the first three regular steps. This indicates his status as a Master Magician. The Master Magician has experienced the cycle of Birth – Life – Death, and therefore is in a position to act with knowledge. All subsequent degrees are pendants to the mysteries of the first three. Old Masonic steps are used.

He then gives the Lance to the Priestess, and gives the three penal signs. Old Masonic signs are used.

He then kneels, and worships the Lance with both hands. The adoration of the (as of yet only potential) generative force.

Penitential music. Penitential = "of or relating to penitence or penance" "sorrow for sins or faults" – Webster’s

Priest -

I am a man among men. i.e. I am not a priest yet, just a dude.

He takes again the Lance, and lowers it. [I like to actually tap the butt of the lance on the ground at this point.] The lance is thus put in its inactive, passive position, i.e. flaccid. He rises.

Priest -

How should I be worthy to administer the virtues to the Brethren? How shall I become a priest? One could just as easily say god here in place of priest.

The Priestess takes from the [black] child the water and the salt, and mixes them in the font. [If there are no Children, the water and salt are already on the water altar, and the Priestess simply goes there.]

Priestess -

Let the salt of Earth passive element earth, Malkuth admonish the Water passive element water, the element of primal birth to bear the virtue of the Great Sea Binah, or the Sea of evolution. (Genuflects.) Mother, be thou adored. Binah, the Great Mother, the Goddess. In sum, the activation of the passive elements, earth and water.

She returns to the West. + on Priest with open hand Yod means open hand doth she make, over his forehead Mind – Hod, or 3rd Eye Chakra, breast Spirit – Tiphereth or Emotions – Netzach, or Heart Chakra, and body. Body – Malkuth or Root/Genital Chakra/s. This is all done with the passive elements.

Priestess -

Be the Priest pure a passive virtue of body and soul!

[She returns the ewer to the Black Child.] She takes the censer from the [white] child, and places it on the small altar. She puts incense therein. [If there are no Children, she simply replaces the ewer on the water altar on her way to the fire altar, where the censer and incense already are.]

Priestess -

Let the Fire active element fire and the Air active element air make sweet the world! The perfumes are attributed to Yesod. (Genuflects.) Father, be thou adored. Chokmah, the Sky Father, the Horned God. In sum, the activation of the active elements, fire and air.

She returns West and makes + with the censer before the Priest, thrice as before. As before, only with the active elements.

Priestess -

Be the Priest fervent an active virtue of body and soul! [She returns the censer to the White Child.] [If there are no Children, the Priestess returns the censer to the fire altar, and then returns to the West.]

This concludes the full activation of the 4 elements on the Priest, the full Tetragrammaton formula. Done as a 2-fold operation.

(The children resume their weapons as they are done with.)

The Deacon now takes the consecrated Robe from the High Altar and brings it to her. She robes the Priest in his Robe of scarlet and gold.

Priestess -

Be the flame of the Sun thine ambiance, O thou Priest of the SUN! Now has the Priest been actually made a Priest, and a Priest of the Sun (Tiphereth) at that.

The Deacon brings the crown from the High Altar. (The crown may be of gold or platinum, or of electrum magicum; but with no other metals, save the small proportions necessary to a proper alloy. i.e. the crown of the Sun King, as in Persia and the cult of Mithras, anointed of the gods, so it needs to indicate Tiphereth and/or Kether. It may be adorned with divers jewels about it, at will. But it must have the Uraeus serpent twined about it indicative of Kundalini, and the cap of maintenance must match the scarlet of the Robe.) <<"I charge you to come before me in a single robe, and covered in a rich headdress.">>. Its texture should be velvet. Fashion statements.

Priestess -

Be the Serpent thy crown, O thou Priest of the LORD! i.e. may enlightenment sit on your brows. The Lord in this case could mean Kether, as in the Lord … <<Serpent Kundalini awakened and ascended up the spine to the crown, the preliminary energy-movement goal>> Kundalini is up the spine, the crosses are down the front. In Taoist practices, this is the microcosmic orbit of energy up the spine and then down the front of the body to the "Sea of Chi" in the Hara, or space about an inch below the belly button.

Kneeling, she takes the Lance between her open hands and runs them up and down upon the shaft eleven times the number of magick, very gently. don’t want to pull that dick out by the roots! This activates the phallic energy, turning the lance to its erect, active state. It is common practice for the Priest at this point to bring the lance to some sort of upright position. This has been done by virtue of the actions of the Priestess, not the Priest.

Priestess -

Be the LORD the phallic principle present among us! At this point, the Priest has been appointed representative of Tiphereth (Sun), Kether (Lord…) and Yesod (Phallae, the generative principle). The Phalle symbol in itself also represents the entire course of the ToL.

All give the Hailing Sign.

People -

So mote it be. An old Masonic formula that means "So may it be." I like to think of it as "Make it so!"


Priest -

Thee therefore whom we adore we also invoke. This is the formula of Bahkti yoga. By the power of the lifted Lance! This is an invocation of Tiphereth by the power of the phallus, not an invocation of the phallus itself. <<By the power of my Desire! By the power of the awakened Will>>>

He raises the Lance. Woo-hoo! The Priest is potent and capable of producing an heir. All repeat Hailing Sign. A phrase of triumphant music.

The Priest takes the Priestess by her right hand with his left [she is still kneeling], keeping the Lance raised. The active lance is kept in the active hand, the passive hand joins the Priestesses active hand, ensuring a proper flow of energy.

Priest -

I. PRIEST and KING, take thee Virgin pure without spot; I upraise thee [he raises the Priestess to her feet]; I lead thee to the East [spoken as they are walking to the Altar]; I set thee upon the summit of the Earth [spoken when they arrive at the Altar]. "This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss." – Liber AL Malkuth is the little sister to Binah, so Malkuth is upraised to Binah. "And this is that which is written: Malkuth shall be uplifted and set upon the throne of Binah." -- Liber 418, 4th Ćthyr

He thrones the Priestess upon the altar. The Deacon and the children follow, they in rank [i.e. single file, Deacon leading], behind him.

The Priestess takes The Book of the Law [turns around and sits], resumes her seat and holds it open on her breast with her two hands, making a descending triangle with thumbs and forefingers. Descending fire triangle, the sign of Ra-Hoor-Kuit over the BoL. Also the water triangle. I prefer that the print be facing outwards, so that the "word" or "logos" is being focused out towards the congregation.

The Priest gives the lance to the Deacon it should be noted that the lance never touches the ground nor should it touch the altar later on to hold and takes the ewer from the [black] child and sprinkles the Priestess, making five crosses, forehead, shoulders, and thighs. [First 3 crosses standing, last 2 kneeling.] [If there are no Children, the Deacon brings the ewer to the Priest and trades it for the lance. When the Priest has finished, they trade back, and the Deacon returns the ewer to the water altar.] Note that the pattern is that of the first 5 sephira, which leaves the "Cup of Babalon" (yoni) in the Abyss. This is the consecration with the passive elements.

The thumb of the Priest is always between his index and medius <<In some Wiccan traditions, symbolic of the male and female conjoined, or of the female genitalia>> if the fingers are thought of as the four elements, and the thumb as spirit, this makes the pentagram, also creates a substitute lance whenever he is not holding the Lance. The Priest takes the censer from the [white] child and makes five crosses, as before. [If there are no Children, the Deacon brings the censer from the fire altar when he returns the ewer to the water altar and trades the censer for the lance. When the Priest has finished, they trade back, and the Deacon returns the censer to the fire altar.] This is the consecration with the active elements.

The children replace their weapons on their respective altars [and return to the main altar, the black child on the left and the white child on the right.]

[At this point the Priest could hand the lance back to the Deacon, or he could simply perform the following actions while holding the lance.] The Priest kisses The Book of the Law three times. Once for each chapter He kneels for a space in adoration with joined hands, knuckles closed, thumbs in position aforesaid. [If holding the lance, obviously the thumbs bit is irrelevant.]

He rises and draws the veil over the whole altar. Remember the bit about "I set thee upon the summit of the Earth"? It could be thought of that the first set of actions happen in the qabalistic world of Assiah (attributed to the element of earth), which is why the Veil is open. When the Veil is closed, the following speeches cause it to "rise" to the Yetziratic or Briatic world, like an elevator. Also reminiscent of pre-qabalistic Merkabah, or "Chariot" mysticism. I’m also reminded of the metamorphosis trick.

All rise and stand to order.

The Priest takes the lance from the Deacon [or already has it] and holds it as before, as Osirus or Pthah. He circumambulates the Temple three times this rises the appropriate amount of energy, everyone in the congregation should focus energy on the Priest and the lance. It’s a procession, a showing off of the phallic god, also an indication of the aeons of Isis, Osirus and Horus, followed by the Deacon and the children as before. (Those, when not using their hands, keep their arms crossed upon their breasts.) This is the sign of Osiris risen.

At the last circumambulation they leave him and go to the place between the font and the small altar where they kneel in adoration, their hands joined palm to palm and raised above their heads. [Black Child on the left, White Child on the right.]

All imitate this motion. Hands joined palm to palm indicates union of the opposites and is the Anjali mudra, which when done above the head indicates a salute to deity. <<I have heard this asana referred to as the "flame" before- raising the arms above the head in this fashion concentrates energy in the Heart area, according to practitioners of at least one branch of Kundalini Yoga>> From IBS: "In the Roman Catholic Church, genuflection is a gesture both of adoration and of humble supplication. In the Thelemic EGC, it is a gesture only of ecstatic adoration."

The Priest returns to the East and mounts the first step of the altar. Birth, I° or the MoE triad, the Astral triangle, 1st chapter, Isis.

Priest -

O circle of Stars Nuit, also see the first gesture in Liber V whereof our Father is but the younger brother the Sun, marvel beyond imagination, soul of infinite space before whom Time is ashamed, the mind bewildered and the understanding dark there is no way to really understand infinity, not unto Thee may we attain unless Thine image be Love. i.e. we attain the image of infinity (the crossing of the Abyss and beyond) through the action of Love, the Uniting of the Opposites. Therefore by seed and root and stem and bud and leaf and flower and fruit do we invoke Thee. The path must be followed in correct order. You cannot simply bypass any of the steps, just as a fruit requires all of the previous stages of growth in order to manifest. The fruit is present in potential in the seed, but will not appear until all of the other stages come first.

Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space, kissing her lovely brows and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat; O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous. Liber AL I:27

This speech is the Priest’s invocation to Nuit. Could be seen as invoking the Goddess into the Priestess at this point, powering the "elevator."

During this speech the Priestess must have divested herself completely of her robe. (See CCXX, I:62)

Priestess -

But to love me is better than all things; if under the night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of earth in splendor and pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe and covered with a rich headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendor within you: come unto me! To me! To me! Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you. I am the blue-lidded daughter of sunset; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky. To me! To me! Liber AL I:61 – 64

This speech is the Priestess’ declaration as Nuit. Could be seen as invoking Hadit into the Priest at this point.

The Priest mounts the second step. Life, II° or the Lovers triad, the Ethical triangle, 2nd chapter, Osirus.

Priest -

O secret of secrets that art hidden in the being of all that lives, not Thee do we adore, for that which adoreth is also Thou. Thou art That, and That am I. A description of Hadit, and the Priest’s identification with and as Hadit.

I am the flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star. C.O.P. – In Setian terminology, this could be likened to the "Black Flame." I am Life and the giver of Life; yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death. Liber AL II:6 C.O.P. – To live is to die. I am alone; there is no God where I am. Liber AL II:23 C.O.P. – The infinite point has no space for anything whatsoever to exist.

The Deacon and all rise to their feet with the Hailing sign.

Deacon -

But ye, O my people, rise up and awake. C.O.P. – Kundalini and samahdi
Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy and beauty. C.O.P. – i.e. well done
There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times.
A feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride. Aug. 12
A feast for the three days of the writing of The Book of the Law. Apr. 8 – 10
A feast for Tahuti and the children of the Prophet - secret, O Prophet! Secret.
A feast for the Supreme Ritual and a feast for the Equinox of the Gods. Mar. 20
A feast for fire and a feast for water; Puberty of boys (fire) and girls (water)
A feast for life and a greater feast for death. Birth and death.
A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my Hadit rapture.
A feast every night unto Nu and the pleasure of uttermost delight.
Liber AL II:34 – 43 The Thelemic ritual schedule. See "The Law is for All" for additional commentary.

[All sit or all remain standing.]

The Priest mounts the third step. Death, III° or the Hermit Triad, the Supernal triangle, 3rd chapter, Horus.

Priest -

Thou that art One if Nuit = (-1) and Hadit = (+1) then RHK = 1, or the actual in the union of the infinite opposites, our Lord in the Universe the Sun the representation of RHK in the phenomenal universe, our Lord in ourselves whose name is Mystery of Mystery the generative force, also Tiphereth and the HGA, the Sun of the subjective universe, uttermost being whose radiance enlightening the worlds the four qabalistic worlds is also the breath that maketh every God even and Death to tremble before Thee - By the Sign of Light + appear Thou glorious upon the throne of the Sun.

Invocation of Ra-Hoor-Khuit.

Make open the path of creation and of intelligence between us and our minds. The path of Kundalini

Enlighten our understanding. Encourage our hearts. Let thy light crystallize itself in our blood, fulfilling us of Resurrection. Mind – Spirit – Body

A ka dua
Tuf ur biu
bi a'a chefu
Dudu nur af an nuteru.

From the Stele. Crowley’s paraphrase:
"Unity uttermost showed!
I adore the might of Thy breath,
Supreme and terrible God,
Who makest the gods and death
To tremble before thee: –
I, I adore thee!"

Priestess -

There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

The Priest parts the veil with his lance. i.e. with the phallic force. This is the first glimpse beyond the cycle of Birth – Life – Death. Birth into the "inner life." Also can be seen as opening the Veil of the Abyss. During the previous speeches the Priestess has, if necessary, as in savage countries, resumed her robe. [Priest kneels. Most of the additional kneeling I have listed is for line-of-sight reasons. This way the congregations isn’t just staring at the Priest’s back all of the time.]

Priest -

IO IO IO IAO SABAO yo, yo, yo Gnostic deity
KURIE ABRAXAX KURIE MEITHRAS KURIE PHALLE. Lord Gnostic deity, Lord Mithras, Lord Phallus
IO PAN IO PAN PAN yo Pan, yo Pan Pan
IO ISCHURON IO ATHANATON IO ABROTON IO IAO. yo mighty one, yo deathless one, yo invincible one, yo IAO
CHAIRE PHALLE CHAIRE PAMPHAGE CHAIRE PANGENETOR. Hail phallus, hail all-devourer, hail all-begetter

The Priest is here pumping himself up even more by calling on all of these phallic forces.

The Priestess is seated with the Paten in her right hand and the cup in her left. This is the view of the Supernals from Below the Abyss. Later the Cup gets switched to the right hand, which could indicate the successful crossing into Binah.

The Priest presents the Lance, which she kisses eleven times. [the Priestess should set the paten and cup down, paten to the left, cup to the right, and guide the lance with both hands so she doesn’t accidentally get poked in the eye by the Priest.] She magickally inflames the phallic force for herself. She then holds it to her breast while the Priest, falling at her knees, kisses [her knees] them, his arms stretched along her thighs. Eye level with the yoni, the Cup of Babalon, the object of adoration. He remains in this adoration while the Deacon intones the collects. At this point, the Priest is "traveling" across the Abyss towards Binah.

All stand to order, with the Dieu Garde, that is, feet square, hands, with linked thumbs, held loosely. This is the universal position when standing unless other direction is given. [Or, if already standing, all sit. Performance practice varies.]

OF THE OFFICE OF THE COLLECTS from IBS: "A ‘Collect’ is a short prayer uttered at a gathering of worshippers" WHICH ARE ELEVEN IN NUMBER

(The Sun)

Deacon -

Lord visible and sensible of whom this earth is but a frozen spark turning about thee with annual and diurnal motion, source of light, source of life, let thy perpetual radiance hearten us to continual labor and enjoyment; so that as we are constant partakers of thy bounty we may in our particular orbit give out light and life, sustenance and joy to them that revolve about us could be seen as not only the people around us, but also the astral menagerie within us without diminution of substance or effulgence for ever. The identification of the functions of the physical sun with the internal sun.

People -

So mote it be.

(The Lord)

Deacon -

Lord secret and most holy, source of life, source of love, source of liberty, be thou ever constant and mighty within us, force of energy, fire of motion; with diligence let us ever labor with thee, that we may remain in thine abundant joy. Kether or Tiphereth, the interior sun. The God.

People -

So mote it be.

(The Moon)

Deacon -

Lady of night, that turning ever about us art now visible and now invisible in thy season, be thou favourable to hunters, and lovers, and to all men that toil upon the earth, and to all mariners upon the sea. The Goddess. King Sun/Queen Moon of alchemy. The practical consideration of the importance of the lunar cycle throughout history.

People -

So mote it be.

(The Lady)

Deacon -

Giver and receiver of joy, gate of life and love the yoni, be thou ever ready, thou and thine handmaiden the breasts, in thine office of gladness.

People -

So mote it be.

(The Saints)

Deacon -

Lord of Life and Joy the phallus, that art the might of man, that art the essence of every true god that is upon the surface of the Earth the generative force, continuing knowledge from generation unto generation the biological fact of reproduction, thou adored of us upon the heaths and in woods, on mountains and in caves, openly in the marketplaces and secretly in the chambers of our houses, in temples of gold and ivory and marble as in these other temples of our bodies a litany of the aspects of the cult of phallic worship, we worthily commemorate them worthy that did of old adore thee and manifest thy glory unto men,

(at each name the Deacon signs + with thumb between index and medius as the Deacon makes the crosses he is infusing the Priest with the phallic energy of the names invoked. At ordinary mass it is only necessary to commemorate those whose names are italicized, with wording as is shown.)

From IBS: "This Collect proclaims our historical current throughout its various phases. The italicized names represent the main thread of the current. These men were the keepers of the sacred flame, whether they knew it (or desired it) or not. In a personal sense, this collect represents the acknowledgment of our own magical currents, our own past lives, ancestors, teachers and heroes."

Laotze and Siddartha and Krishna and Tahuti, Mosheh, Dionysus, Mohammed and To Mega Therion, with these also Hermes, Pan, Priapus, Osiris and Melchizedek, Khem and Amoun and Mentu, Heracles, Orpheus and Odysseus; with Vergilius, Catullus, Martialis, Rabelais, Swinburne and many an holy bard; Apollonius Tyanaeus, Simon Magus, Manes, Pythagoras, Basilides, Valentinus, Bardessanes and Hippolytus, that transmitted the Light of the Gnosis to us their successors and their heirs; with Merlin, Arthur, Kamuret, Parzifal, and many another, prophet priest and king, that bore the Lance and Cup, the Sword and Disk, against the Heathen; and these also, Carolus Magnus and his paladins, with William of Schyren, Frederick of Hohenstaufen, Roger Bacon, Jacobus Burgundus Molensis the Martyr, Christian Rosencreutz, Ulrich von Huttun, Paracelsus, Michael Maier, Roderic Borgia Pope Alexander the Sixth, Jacob Boehme, Francis Bacon Lord Verulam, Andrea, Robertus de Fluctibus, Johannes Dee, Sir Edward Kelly, Thomas Vaughan, Elias Ashmole, Molinos, Adam Weishaupt, Wolfgang von Goethe, Ludovicus Rex Bavariae, Richard Wagner, Ludwig von Fischer, Alphonse Louis Constant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hargrave Jennings, Carl Kellner Forlong dux, Sir Richard Payne Knight, Paul Gaugin, Sir Richard Francis Burton, Doctor Gerard Encausse, William Blake, [Salvador Dali] Doctor Theodor Reuss, and Sir Aleister Crowley

May their Essence be here present, potent, puissant and paternal to perfect this feast! P = phallus

People -

So mote it be.

(The Earth)

Deacon -

Mother of fertility this collect is the actual ideal of procreative fertility, the feminine generative force, as opposed to the more purely sexual act listed in the Lady section on whose breast lieth water, whose cheek is caressed by air, and in whose heart is the sun's fire, womb of all life these four, water, air, fire, and womb as earth are the physical composition of the Earth, recurring grace of seasons, answer favorably the prayer of labour, and to pastors and husbandmen be thou propitious.

From IBS: "This Collect may be viewed as the feminine counterpart to the masculine Saints."

(The following is not a part of Liber XV)

With love we honor them that did of old adore thee and manifest thy Victory unto the World:

Sheba, the wisdom of Solomon

With these also:
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Lady Jane Wolfe
Marie Curie
Amelia Earhart and many an Holy Adventuress

Anais Nin
Ouarda the Seer
Marie Laveau
Mary Shelley
Ananda Moyi Ma
Gala Dali
Lady Frieda Harris

and all other Holy Women of Thelema, workers of the Obeah and the Wanga.


O boundless ecstasy of the Naught, who gatherest the blood of all saints into thy Cup! With all thy Daughters of the Sangraal, we honor and love Her that is above, within, and about us. May their Essence be here measureless, mystical, mysterious and maternal to manifest this feast!

(End of inserted section)

People -

So mote it be.

(The Principles)

Deacon -

Mysterious Energy, triform salt –sulfur – mercury, IAO, etc., mysterious Matter, in fourfold <<elements>> and sevenfold division the seven lower sephira , the seven planets <<four elements plus the intermediaries of the three principles>>, the interplay of which things weave the dance of the Veil of Life upon the Face of the Spirit, let there be Harmony and Beauty in your mystic loves, that in us may be health and wealth and strength and divine pleasure according to the Law of Liberty; let each pursue his Will as a strong man that rejoiceth in his way, as the course of a Star that blazeth for ever among the joyous company of Heaven.

People -

So mote it be.


Deacon -

Be the hour auspicious, and the gate of life open in peace and in well-being, so that she that beareth children may rejoice, and the babe catch life with both hands.

People -

So mote it be.


Deacon -

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.

People -

So mote it be.


All stand, Head erect, Eyes open. [If already standing, this instruction is superfluous.] <<special attention and reverence for Death>>

Deacon -

Term of all that liveth, whose name is inscrutable, be favourable unto us in thine hour.

People -

So mote it be.

(The End)

Deacon -

Unto them from whose eyes the veil of life hath fallen this might also be seen as a reference to the time-less, deathless trance may there be granted the accomplishment of their true Wills, whether they will absorption in the Infinite, or to be united with their chosen and preferred, or to be in contemplation, or at peace, or to achieve the labour and heroism of incarnation of this planet or another, or in any Star, or aught else, unto them may there be granted the accomplishment of the wills; yea, the accomplishment of their Wills. Could also be seen as the options available on the return from the trance. See Vision and the Voice, the vision of NEMO for further information. AUMGN, AUMGN, AUMGN.

People -

So mote it be.

All sit. [In many locations, it is common to remain seated throughout the entirety of the Collects, or to remain standing throughout the Collects. Choose what fits best.]

The Deacon and the children attend the Priest and Priestess, ready to hold any appropriate weapon as may be necessary. [Black Child on the left, White Child on the right. They remain outside of the veil. The Deacon will be able to handle any necessary handoffs, and should move inside the veil, to more easily hold items for both Priest and Priestess.]


[The Priest rises and takes back the lance from the Priestess, the Priestess picks up the cup with her right hand, the paten with the left.]

The Priest makes the five crosses.

+3 +2
on paten and cup; The 3 supernals

+5 on cup alone; +4 on paten alone. Geburah and Chesed, Love and Will. [The Priestess can hold the paten over the cup for the first 3 crosses, then separate them back out for the last 2 crosses.]

Priest -

[Kneels on one knee] Life of man upon earth, fruit of labour, sustenance of endeavour physical food, thus be thou nourishment of the Spirit! turn to "spiritual" food, symbolic flesh.

He touches the host with the Lance.

Priest -

By virtue of the Rod! Be this bread the Body of God! [The lance is removed from the host.] The phallic force is infused into the cookie, and turns it into a consecrated host. I like to hold the paten with the Priestess, in this way, both forces are conjoined into the host for the consecration, both the Hadit force and the Nuit force. The action of touching the host and declaring the lines should be at the same time, or considered as the same action. I actually like to declare, then touch.

He takes the host.

Priest -

Touto esti to soma mou. This is my body. The "immortal fetus" or "thought-form", or "desire", etc. is being offered a physical host.

He kneels, adores, rises, turns, shows Host to the People it is at this point that the congregation infuses the energy for themselves into the host, taking darsan, infusing the juju, turns, replaces Host and adores [kneels].

Music. He takes Cup.

Priest -

[Still kneeling] Vehicle of the joy of Man upon Earth, solace of labour, inspiration of endeavour physical wine or intoxicant, thus be thou ecstasy of the Spirit! turn to "spiritual" wine, symbolic blood.

He touches the Cup with the Lance. Zap! I prefer to touch the wine, not the cup.

Priest -

By virtue of the Rod! Be this wine the Blood of God! [The lance is removed from the Cup.] The phallic force is infused into the wine and turns it into consecrated wine. As with the paten, I like to have the Priestess hold the cup as well so that both may consecrate the wine. It takes two to tango. Touching and declaring should again be at the same time.

He takes the Cup.

Priest -

Touto esti to potherion tou aimatos mou. This is the cup of my blood. This completes the "vehicle" for the "immortal fetus" or "thought-form." Flesh and blood.

He kneels, adores, rises, turns, shows the Cup to the People it is at this point that the congregation infuses the energy for themselves into the wine, taking darsan, infusing the juju, turns, replaces the Cup and adores [kneels]. Music.

Priest -

For this is the Covenant of Resurrection. i.e. birth or rebirth <<there it (she) is - right here on the altar>>

He makes five crosses on the Priestess. [First 3 crosses standing, last 2 kneeling.] The invocation of the supernals with love under will. Makes sure the Priestess is infused with light.

Priest -

[Still kneeling] Accept, O LORD, this sacrifice of life the cookies <<sacrifice of life may also mean the spilled seed for non-procreative objectives>> and joy the cup, the yoni, true warrants guarantees of the Covenant of Resurrection the biological facts. Also, ‘may the god indwell this golem or homunculus of bread and wine, so that we may later consume him and thus turn meat and drink into spiritual substance.’

The Priest [still kneeling] offers the Lance to the Priestess, who kisses it she makes sure it’s sanctified: he then touches her between the breasts and upon the body. Feels ‘er up. These are also the reproductive areas, the "body" meaning the yoni, and the breasts for feeding of the offspring. He then flings out his arms upward, as comprehending the whole shrine.

Priest -

Let this offering be borne upon the waves of Aethyr to our Lord and Father the Sun that travelleth over the Heavens in his name ON.

He closes his hands, [rises] kisses the Priestess between the breasts the courtship escalates and makes three great crosses over the paten, the Cup, and himself [with the lance] more infusions of light. He strikes his breast. A gesture of fellowship with the saints. All repeat this action.

Priest -

Hear ye all, saints of the true church of old time now essentially present i.e. present in spirit, as invoked in the Collects, that of ye we claim heirship, with ye we claim communion, from ye we claim benediction in the name of IAO. Those folks who we think were cool, by calling on you we will partake of that coolness essence ourselves.

He makes three crosses on Paten and Cup together more infusions of light. [He hands the lance to the Deacon.] He uncovers the Cup [I prefer to do away with the lid altogether, i.e. never use it in the first place], genuflects [kneels], takes the Cup in his left hand passive and the Host in his right active. With the Host he makes the five crosses on the Cup. [The Priestess keeps her right hand on the Cup, and holds the Paten beneath it with her left. The Cup should be just above the Priest’s head so everyone can see the crosses.]

+3 +2
+5 +4 the invocation of the supernals with love under will.

[The Priestess releases the Cup, and supports the Paten with both hands, beneath the Cup.] He [brings the Host and Cup below line of sight, then] elevates the Host and the Cup [Host directly over the Cup, high above his head]. The Host is lifted directly above the cup, as the bird in the Lamen is above the cup moving downwards, spirit descending into matter. The Bell strikes. Here it comes! Also, a single knock is an invocation to Kether and other aspects of the number 1.

Priest -


He replaces the Host and the Cup, and adores. [He rises and takes the lance back from the Deacon.] Suddenly, the supreme moment is put on hold for the anthem. <<look at Liber Capricornus Pneumatici, also AL II:67.68: "Hold! Hold! Bear up in thy rapture; fall not in swoon of the excellent kisses! Harder! Hold up thyself! Lift thine head! Breathe not so deep – die!">>


Priest –

Thou who art I, beyond all I am, Kether, Hadit
Who hast no nature, and no name, "The name that can be named is not the eternal name" – Lao Tzu
Who art, when all but thou are gone,
Thou, centre and secret of the Sun, Kether is the secret center of Tiphereth.
Thou, hidden spring of all things known "It is the mother of the 10,000 things" – Lao Tzu
And unknown, Thou aloof, alone,
Thou, the true fire within the reed the actual, original spark of life that comes through the generative force
Brooding and breeding, source and seed the iteration of the fractal strange attractor
Of life, love, liberty, and light, the nature of the iteration
Thou beyond speech and beyond sight, the words are not the things themselves
Thee I invoke, my faint fresh fire
Kindling as mine intents aspire. "Inflame thyself in praying" – MTP
Thee I invoke, abiding one, eternal
Thee, centre and secret of the Sun, <<all about Kether, "center & secret of the Sun", Sun = HGA>>
And that most holy mystery
Of which the vehicle am I. We are the vehicle whereby Hadit experiences Nuit, so to speak <<priest tells the invoked where to incarnate – namely, in himself. Another way to look at it - "Holy Mystery" = Babalon, "Of which (as in " from which") the vehicle of am I"= the physical body of the Priest>>
Appear, most awful and most mild,
As it is lawful, in thy child! Child of the infinite is the finite <<Child = Ra Hoor Khuit = the result of the combination of Priest & Priestess>>

Chorus -

For of the Father and the Son
The Holy Spirit is the norm; the commonality of continuity
Male-female, quintessential, one, a description of the "holy spirit"
Man-being veiled in woman-form. the sexual act, and the result of the sexual act. The active elements of fire and air, "male", are veiled in the passive elements, earth and water, which are "female". Spirit indwells the flesh. In Taoist cosmology, this could be described as heaven entwined in earth, and vice versa. The "star" is drawn towards incarnation.
Glory and worship in the highest,
Thou Dove, mankind that deifiest, a reference to Mary and the impregnating dove<<Dove as symbolic of the Holy Spirit proceeding on its journey through space-time, descending to the flesh. This Holy spirit makes Gods of men. Also, the "doves of Venus", the Lady of Love (love/desire as the inspiration of all action, all movement)>>
Being that race, most royally run,
To spring sunshine through winter storm. A comment on the survival of the species through the disaster of the individual death, and the resulting continuity of the race
Glory and worship be to Thee,
Sap of the world-ash, wonder-tree! The vehicle of that continuity, the Phallus

First Semichorus, Men -

Glory to thee from Gilded Tomb!

Second Semichorus, Women -

Glory to thee from Waiting Womb!

Men -

Glory to Thee from earth unploughed!

Women -

Glory to Thee from virgin vowed!

Men -

Glory to Thee, true Unity
Of the Eternal Trinity! IAO

Women -

Glory to Thee, thou sire and dam
And Self of I am that I am! The A of IAO

Men -

Glory to Thee, beyond all term,
Thy spring of sperm, thy seed and germ!

Women -

Glory to Thee, eternal Sun,
Thou One in Three, Thou Three in One! The supernals

Chorus -

Glory and worship unto Thee,
Sap of the world-ash, wonder-tree!

It seems to me that this entire poem is a reference to the "Holy Spirit", or original spark of life, being in the sperm, or more broadly, the generative force, of which the sperm is a symbol. That force itself is "male-female" or of the power of both genders, it itself being "genderless" power. This is the power that allows reproduction to work, that allows the life of the race to continue through the tragedy of the death of the individual.

(These words are to form the substance of the anthem; from IBS: "This Anthem was taken from ‘The Ship,’ a play written by Crowley which represents, in allegorical form, the legend of the Third Degree of Masonry." but the whole or any part thereof shall be set to music, which may be as elaborate as art can devise. But even should other anthems be authorized by the Father of the Church, this shall hold its place as the first of its kind, the father of all others.)


The Priest [hands the lance to Deacon] takes the Paten between the index and medius of the right hand. This replaces the thumb, and indicates that the phallic force has been successfully transferred to the paten and hosts. The Priestess clasps the Cup in her right hand. Both are in the active hand.

Priest -

Lord most secret, bless this spiritual food unto our bodies, bestowing upon us health and wealth and strength and joy and peace, and that fulfillment of will and love under will that is perpetual happiness. A litany of good things that can be assigned to the sephiroth or planets.

He makes + with Paten and kisses it. [He then hands the Paten to the Deacon, who hands the Lance to the Priestess. She holds it with her left hand, Cup in her right.] He uncovers the Cup, genuflects, rises [kneels]. Music. He takes the Host and breaks it over the Cup. He replaces the right-hand portion in the Paten [which the Deacon is holding]. He breaks off a particle of the left-hand portion. <<particle may represent that one in ten-thousand seeds that actually reaches the destination, the one-pointed singular will that succeeds, where ten-thousand random thoughts do not & re-dissolve into aethyic substance>>

Priest -

Touto esti to sperma mou. This is my seed (sperm) O patr estin o hyos dia to pneuma hagion. The father is the Son through the Holy Spirit. Aumgn. Aumgn. Aumgn. <<Father(Yod) is/becomes Son (Vav) is/becomes Father is Son is Father is infinitum thru the medium of the Mother/Daughter (the Heh’s)>>

He replaces the left-hand part of the Host. [The Host should always be directly above the Cup. When the Priest replaces the left-hand part, he should cross his left hand over his right, keeping the right hand part of the Host over the Cup. The Deacon should move the Paten in close so that this maneuver is easy to accomplish.] This cuts the host into 3 sections, with the Kether section being kept for use, the 3 in 1 formula. It all happens over the Cup. The Priestess extends the Lance-point with her left hand to receive the particle [the Priest holds the particle onto the end of the Lance.] The Priest clasps the Cup in his left hand [the Priestess with her right]. Together they depress the Lance-point in the Cup. Whee! From IBS: "The Particle plunged into the Wine represents the Union of Hadit and Nuit, the dissolution of the King, the ‘Baptism of Wisdom’ and the casting of the last drop of blood into the Cup of Babalon. It is both the process of incarnation and of illumination."

Priest and Priestess -

Hriliu. The (supposed) cry of orgasm. The (supposed) sound of the mating dove. Again, the Lamen figures in.

The Priest [rises] takes the Lance takes it out. The Priestess covers the Cup pulls ‘er panties up [the Deacon hands the Paten to the Priestess, who takes it in her left hand.] <<the deed is done, the united male and female separate back into individuals now>> The Priest genuflects, rises, bows, [hands lance to Deacon] joins hands. He strikes his breast. From IBS: "…it symbolizes the opening of the heart to receive (or emit) the influence of a particular force being invoked: the force of Baphomet, the Lion and Serpent ‘that destroys the destroyer,’ the dialectic union of opposites that conquers death."

Priest -

O Lion and O Serpent that destroy the destroyer, be mighty among us.
O Lion and O Serpent that destroy the destroyer, be mighty among us.
O Lion and O Serpent that destroy the destroyer, be mighty among us. From IBS: "The Elements being conjoined within the Cup, the Lion and Serpent are called to manifest therein. The Lion is Meithras, the Serpent is Abraxas. Together, they become Chnoubis, the Agathodaimon, the Great Magical Agent: Azoth, Baphomet, Kundalini, Shakti. The Destroyer is that which imposes limitations. That which destroys the Destroyer is Babalon, ecstasy of experience." The analysis that the mind constantly performs is in it’s basic nature a destructive one. Just as pulling a watch apart to see how it works destroys the original wholeness of the watch, so does the discursive mind destroy that which it analyzes. That which destroys the destroyer is that which stops the discursive mind from functioning, at least during the moment of the experience.

The Priest joins hands upon the breast of the Priestess and takes back his Lance [from the Deacon]. I like to make a fire triangle on the breast of the Priestess at this point to complete the hexagram with the earlier downward pointing triangle (when the Priestess holds the BoL to her breast.) He turns to the People, lowers and raises the Lance this shows that the Priest has complete control of the Kundalini force, the phallic force and makes + upon them.

Priest -

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

People -

Love is the law, love under will.

He lowers the Lance and turns East [hands lance to Deacon]. The Priestess takes the Lance in her right hand, with her left hand she offers the Paten [the cup still in the right hand.] The Priest kneels.

Priest -

In my mouth be the essence of the life of the Sun!

He takes the Host with the right hand, makes + with it on the Paten the nearest representative of the "active" force, the stand-in for the Priest in some ways <<child-devouring! Baby-eating!>> and consumes. Silence. The Priestess takes, uncovers and offers the Cup [with the right hand] as before.

Priest -

In my mouth be the essence of the joy of the Earth!

He takes the Cup [with the left hand], makes + on the Priestess, drains it and returns it [to the Priestess]. Silence. He rises, takes the Lance [from the Deacon] and turns to the People.

The Host and the Wine have been infused with the generative energy, at this point. The "etheric field" generated by the sexual energy raised by the rite can then be stamped with the desire of the operator and transferred to the physical basis of the Host and Wine – magickal body and blood, the magickal child or homonculus – there to be ingested and refined in the alchemical furnaces of our bodies to do its work.

Priest -

There is no part of me that is not of the Gods. [In the sign of Osirus Risen.] If there is no part of me that is not of the Gods, then ipso facto the Priest (and communicants) must at this point be a god. The assumption of godforms is the traditional method to gain the overview and position of power necessary to successfully perform a magickal operation.

(Those of the People who intend to communicate, and none other should be present, having signified their intention, a whole Cake of Light and a whole goblet of wine, have been prepared for each one. The Deacon marshals them; they advance one by one to the altar. The children take the Elements and offer them. The People communicate as did the Priest, uttering the same words in a attitude of Resurrection: "There is no part of me that is not of the Gods." The exceptions to this part of the ceremony are when it is of the nature of a celebration, in which case none but the Priest communicate; or part of the ceremony of marriage, when none other, save the two to be married, partake; part of the ceremony of baptism when only the child baptized partakes; and of Confirmation at puberty when only the persons confirmed partake. The Sacrament may be reserved by the Priest, for administration to the sick in their homes.)


Communication can be a complicated theoretical affair. When the congregate goes to the altar, and "communicates as did the Priest," what happens here is the communicant IS the Priest, i.e. the magical operator. Who can perform the magick for you? No one. The act of consuming the host and wine is a micro version of the more complicated procedure the Priest has performed. This is the point at which the "transubstantion" takes place.

From IBS: "The actual mechanism by which the Miracle of the Mass is effected is declared in the Creed: ‘...and, forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the Miracle of the Mass.’ It is the internal Alchemy of each individual communicant which ultimately effects the transmutation of the Elements they consume -- informed and inspired by that Miracle performed by the officers of the ceremony, but not entirely dependent upon it. If the communicants were to wholly rely on the Priest and Priestess to perform, vicariously, the Miracle of the Mass for them, it would be a contradiction of the very words spoken during their own communion: ‘There is no part of me that is not of the Gods.’"

Whether you turn to the congregation, or remain facing the Priestess, regardless, it seems to me important to ascend the 3 steps. Remember what the 3 steps represent, as well as what the main altar represents, and what the Priestess represents. Gnostic ideals indicate that we receive "knowledge" directly from the source, not through an intermediary. This means that we cross the abyss to Binah ourselves, not relying on second hand information, on someone else’s account. Going to the third step acknowledges this symbolism, acknowledges this factual form: only we for ourselves can grasp the Holy Grail of transcendental knowledge. It indicates our intent to stay the length of the initiatory course, to persevere to the end, to ascend those stages of life and initiation ourselves. I prefer to make the declaration from the top of the third step, from the position of Binah, i.e. from the position of Magistar Templi (not that I am claiming such a grade!) Others prefer to descend the steps before making the declaration (the position of NEMO, tending his garden.)

The Priest closes all within the veil. With the Lance he makes + on the people thrice, thus.

Priest -

+ The LORD bless you.
+ The LORD enlighten your minds and comfort your hearts and sustain your bodies.<<the three principles, parts of a human being, again>>
+ The LORD bring you to the accomplishment of your true Wills, the Great Work, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness. [I like to again tap the butt of the lance on the ground at this point.]

He goes out, the Deacon and children following, into the Tomb of the West. The cycle resets for another go, the sun sets only to rise again, spring follows winter, life proceeds from death, etc.

Music. (Voluntary.)

NOTE: The Priestess and other officers never partake of the Sacrament, they being as it were part of the Priest himself. The entire play of the elements, the consecration, the actions of all of the officers may be interpreted as the play of the male/female energies within the body of the single initiate. The ceremony itself a play of maya. In this way, the other officers are an "illusion" conjured by the Priest to enable an easier grasp of the energies involved. "For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union." – Liber AL I:29 This is a form of "dual cultivation" in Taoist alchemical practices, where the yin and yang energies may be interpreted at either a physical male and female or as the male and female energies within the individual.

NOTE: Certain secret Formulae of this Mass are taught to the Priest in his Ordination. From IBS: "Some commentators have alleged that these are the secrets of the Ninth Degree O.T.O. Obviously, this cannot be the case if the Priest being ordained is not an initiate of the Ninth Degree of O.T.O." I will say that the formula taught to me at my ordination is spelled out plainly in this analysis, and is by no means secret.

Gnostic Mass Temple Layout


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