Eidolons of Ash

An Ideal Temple

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Sacred River explores spirituality grounded in religious naturalism & progressive ethics that is both non-theistic and non-supernatural.

A temple based on Crowley’s description and the Tree of Life.

From Liber XV:

In the East...is a shrine or High Altar. Its dimensions should be 7 feet in length, 3 feet in breadth, 44 inches in height...On each side of it should be a pillar or obelisk, with countercharges in black and white. Below it should be the dais of three steps, in black and white squares. Above it is the super-altar, at whose top is the Stèle of Revealing in reproduction, with four candles on each side of it...All this is enclosed within a great Veil. 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. 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. Repeating, the apex of a third triangle is an upright coffin, or Tomb.

To make my ideal temple, I assume that Crowley made an error regarding the placement of the water font in respect to the black altar. Where he says, “taking this altar as the middle of the base of a similar and equal triangle...” it should rather say, “taking this altar as the middle of a similar and equal triangle...” With this small correction, we are able to lay out a Liber XV temple on a perfect Tree of Life.

With this layout, there is only one absolute—the size of the high altar, which is 7′ by 3′. I made some arbitrary decisions about a few other things. The first is the size of the steps, which I made 14 inches. This is a good, safe length for those of us with big feet. The other is the placement of “Daath”—the “false” sephera on the Tree. In this case, I put it on the second step, which I interpret to be the symbolic center of the Abyss. Thirdly, I placed “Kephera” on the Stele and “Malkuth” in the center of the Tomb. Finally, I made the entire length of the temple a nice Thelemic 31 feet. With these determinations made, the final measurements we get are:

The black altar and the water font are not exactly correct with these measurements, but they’re off only by a few inches. Also, the exact size of the dais is not mentioned, because it doesn’t affect the placement of the temple furniture. In this particular case, it is 15′ wide in order to hold the Pillars. However, the width needs only be as wide as is comfortable for one person to stand on (about 4′).

This is certainly not the only way to lay out a Liber XV temple. However, I find it particularly satisfying to place it on the Tree of Life in this way.