Kill Me!

The OTO Grand Lodge released a news statement recently that sheds light on a particular verse in Liber CCXX, better known as Liber AL vel Legis, or The Book of the Law. (You will want to scroll down to “Archival News” for this particular topic.) There are a lot of great updates in this particularly long posting, but the one that has garnered the most attention is the receipt of a complete Holy Books of Thelema that belonged to Crowley, and later Thomas Windram.

In that book, there is a versification of the Stele of Revealing that appears in The Book of the Law, III:37, where in the manuscript there is a penciled note (included after the original authorship but in Crowley’s hand), that states he should complete the verse up to the line “…fill me!” The trouble is that the versification reads “kill me!” and not “fill me!” It appears, based on the recently discovered copy of The Holy Books of Thelema in which there is also a penciled annotation, that the line should have read “…kill me!” after all, and that Crowley simply – and apparently without reference? – did not remember the line correctly in Liber Legis manuscript note. However, it’s the note that stuck when it came to publication of The Book of the Law, with “fill” instead of “kill”.

This discovery brings up some interesting questions, but I agree with the current authoritative stance that “kill” is the correct rendering of the text. It is definitely the versification given in The Equinox of the Gods, and it seems most likely that Crowley did not recall the exact phrase in a one-off note. Since the idea was to complete the verse at a later time, the inclusion of the passage itself is most important, not necessarily the marginalia. Had the annotation been made at the time of writing, it might hold more weight for me as a purposeful correction, but it was not. Chalk it up to prophetic error.

For those of you kind enough to have purchased The Concordance of the Holy Books of Thelema, all of the proceeds of which go to USGL, incidentally, this means striking verse III:37 from page 248 and adding it to the bottom of 258 under “kill”. For those of you that have not yet obtained a copy, there are more available, so you should definitely purchase one and then make the correction.

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