Hermetic.com | Crowley | Equinox | Vol I No ii


“The First Part” This Ritual is particularly attributed to the Element of Fire, and refers to the planet Venus, and the Twenty-ninth, Twenty-eighth, and Twenty-seventy paths of Qoph, Tzaddi and P‚.

The Adoration commences by the Hierophant saying: “TETRAGRAMMATON TZEBAOTH! BLESSED BE THOU! THE LORD OF THE ARMIES IS THY NAME!” To this all answer “Amen.” The Hierophant then orders all present to adore their Creator in the Name of Elohim, mighty and ruling, in the Name of Tetragrammaton Tzebaoth, and in the Name of the Spirits of Fire. Then in the Name of TETRAGRAMMATON TZEBAOTH he declares the Temple open.

After the Adoration has taken place, the Advancement ritual of the Path of HB:Qof is celebrated. The “Hegemon” leads the Practicus through the pillars and then circumambulates the Temple. As they approach the Hierophant, he rises, holding aloft the red lamp, and says: {275}

“The Priest with the mask of Osiris spake and said: 'I am the water, stagnant, and silent, and still; reflecting all, concealing all. I am the Past! I am the inundation. He that ariseth from the great waters is my name. Hail unto ye! O dwellers in the land of Night. Hail unto ye! for the rending of the darkness is nigh!'”

The Hiereus says:

“The Priest with the mask of Horus spake and said: 'I am the Water, turbid, and troubled, and deep. I am the Banisher of Peace in the vast abode of Waters! None is so strong that can withstand the Strength of the great Waters: the Vastness of their Terror: the Magnitude of their Fear: the Roar of their thundering Voice. I am the Future, mist-clad and shrouded in gloom. I am the recession of the torrent, the Storm veiled in Terror is my Name. Hail unto the mighty Powers of Nature and the chiefs of the whirling Storm.'”

The Unificatio nof the Planets in Mercury.

The Hegemon then says:

“The priestess with the mask of Isis spake and said: 'The traveller through the gates of Anubis is my Name. I am the water perfect, and limpid, and pure, ever flowing out towards the silver sea. I am the everpassing Present, which stands in the place of the Past; I am the fertilized land. Hail unto the dwellers of the wings of the Morning!'”

The Hierophant then delivers the following oration:

“I arise in the Place of the Gathering of the Waters through the rolled- back clouds of Night. From the Father of Waters went forth the Spirit rending asunder the veils of the Darkness. And there was but a vastness of Silver and of Depth in the place of the Gathering of Waters. {276}

“Terrible was the silence of an uncreated world. Immeasurable the depth of that Abyss. And the Countenances of Darkness half-formed arose.

“They abode not; they hasted away; and in the vastness of vacancy the Spirit moved; and the light-bearers were for a space.

“I have said: Darkness of the Darkness; are not the Countenances of Darkness fallen with the kings that were? Do the Sons of the Night of Time endure for ever? Not yet are they passed away.

“Before all things are the waters; and the Darkness and the Gates of the land of Night.

“And the Chaos cried aloud for the unity of Form, and the Face of the Eternal arose.

“And before the Glory of That Countenance the Night rolled back, and the Darkness hasted away.

“In the Waters beneath was that Face reflected in the Formless Abyss of the Void.

“Forth from those eyes darted rays of terrible splendour which crossed with the currents reflected.

“That Brow and those Eyes formed the Triangle of the measureless Heavens, and their reflection formed the Triangle of the measureless waters.

“And thus was formulated in Eternity the External Hexad; and this is the number of the Dawning Creation!”

The Hegemon having illuminated the Temple, the “Hierophant” then explains to the Practicus the Calvary Cross of twelve squares:

“The Calvary Cross of twelve squares fitly represents the Zodiac; which embraces the Waters of Nu, as the Ancient Egyptians termed the Heavens, the waters which be above the Firmament. It also alludes to the Eternal River of Eden, divided into four heads, which find their correlation in the four triplicities of the Zodiac.”

After which he explains to him the Eighteenth Key of the Tarot. It represents the Moon in its increase in the side of Gedulah; it has sixteen principal, and sixteen secondary rays. Four Hebrew Yodhs fall from it. There are also two Watch-towers, two dogs, and a cray-fish. “She is the Moon at the feet of the Woman of the Revelations, ruling equally over the cold and moist natures, and the passive elements of Water {277} and Earth.” The four Yodhs refer to the four letters of the Holy Name. The dogs are the jackals of Anubis guarding the gates of the East and the West symbolised by the two Towers. The cray-fish is the sign Cancer, the Scarabaeus or God Kephera. “The emblem of the Sun below the horizon, as he ever is when the Moon is increasing above.”

The Hierophant then leads the Practicus to the Serpent of Brass, and says:

“This is the Serpent Nehushtan, which Moses made. 'And he set it upon a Pole' — that is, he twined it about the middle pillar of the Sephiroth, because that is the reconciler between the fires of Geburah (Seraphim, fiery serpents) or Severity, and the Waters of Chesed or Mercy. This serpent is also a type of Christ the Reconciler, also it is known as Nogah amongst the Shells, and the Celestial Serpent of Wisdom. 'But the Serpent of the Temptation was the Serpent of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and of Evil, and not the Serpent of the Tree of Life.'”


After which the “Hiereus” shows the Practicus “The Qabalah of Nine Numbers,” and the tablet of the “Forming the Tree of Life in the Tarot.” And the “Hegemon:” The tablet representing the Formation of the Hexagram, and known as “The tablet of the Three Columns”; and also explains to him the mode of using the Talismanic Forms drawn from the Geomantic Figures.

The “Hierophant” then confers upon the Practicus the title of “Lord of the Twenty ninth Path,” and the first part of the Ritual is ended. {278}

The Second Part

The Second Part, the passage of the Path of HB:Tzaddi begins by the Hierophant saying to the Practicus:

“Frater Monokeros de Astris, the Path now open to you is the Twenty- eighth, leading from the 2ø = 9ø of Theoricus to the 4ø = 7ø of Philosophus. Take in your right hand the Solid pyramid of the Elements and follow your guide through the Path.”

Then, as before, the Hierophant raises his red lamp, and cries:

“The Priestess with the Mask of Isis spake and said: 'I am the rain of Heaven descending upon the Earth, bearing with it the fructifying and germinating power. I am the plenteous yielder of Harvest; I am the cherisher of Life.'”

   .     .     .     .     .     .

“The Priestess with the Mask of Nephthys spake and said: 'I am the dew descending, viewless, and silent, gemming the Earth with countless Diamonds of Dew, bearing down the influence from above in the solemn darkness of Night.'”

After which the Hegemon says:

“The Priestess with the Mask of Athoor spake and said: 'I am the ruler of mist and of cloud, wrapping the Earth as it were with a garment, floating and hovering between Earth and Heaven. I am the giver of the mist-veil of Autumn: the Successor unto the dew-clad Night.'”


Shortly after this, the Hierophant explains to the Practicus the truncated Pyramid:

This pyramid is attributed to the four elements; on its apex is the word HB:Taw HB:Aleph (Ath) composed of the first and last letters of the Alphabet, it signifies Essence. The square base represents the material universe.

And then the Seventeenth Key of the Tarot:

This Key represents a Star with seven principal and fourteen secondary rays, altogether twenty-one, the number of the divine name Eheieh. In the Egyptian sense it is Sirius, the Dog-Star, the star of Isis-Sothis. Around it are the seven planets. The nude figure {279} is the synthesis of Isis, Nephthys, and Hathoor. She is Aima, Binah, and Tebunah, the great Supernal Mother Aima Elohim pouring upon Earth the Waters of Creation. In This Key she is completely unveiled, whilst in the twenty-first she was only partially so. The two urns contain the influences of Chokhmah and Binah. On the right springs the Tree of Life, and on the left the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and of Evil, whereon the bird of Hermes alights; therefore this Key represents the restored World.

The Lineal Figures.


This finished, the “Hierophant” shows him the method of writing the Holy Name in each of the four Worlds; *

* See 777, cols. lxiii., lxiv., lxv., lxvi., pp. 16 and 17.

and also explains to him the method of writing Hebrew words by Yetziratic attribution of the Alphabet. The “Hiereus” unveils “The Lineal Figures attributed to the Planets,” showing dekagrams, hendekagrams, and dodekagrams; and explains to him the number of possible modes of tracing the lineal figures. The “Hegemon” informs him that the Sepher Yetzirah divides the ten numbers into a tetrad and hexad; also he explains the Geomantic Figures arranged according to their planetary attribution on the Tree of Life. *

* See 777, col. xlix. and note, also “Handbook of Geomancy.”

This finishes the second part of this ritual, and the Hierophant confers upon the Practicus the title of: “Lord of the Twenty-eighth Path.”

The Third Part

At the beginning of the Third Part the Hierophant says: “Frater Monokeros {280} de Astris, the Path now open to you is the Twenty-seventh, which leads from the 3ø = 8ø degree of Practicus to the 4ø = 7ø degree of Philosophus. Take in your right hand the Calvary Cross of ten squares and follow your guide through the Path of Mars.”

After which the “Hierophant” explains the Calvary Cross of ten squares: “The Calvary Cross of ten squares refers to the ten Sephiroth in balanced disposition; before which the formless and the void rolled back. It is also the opened-out form of the double cube, and of the Altar of Incense.” And the Sixteenth Key of the Tarot:

It represents a Tower struck by a lightning-flash proceeding from a rayed circle and terminating in a triangle. It is the Tower of Babel. The flash exactly forms the Astronomical symbol of Mars. It is the Power of the Triad rushing down and destroying the Column of Darkness. The men falling from the tower represent the fall of the kings of Edom. “On the right-hand side of the Tower is Light, and the representation of the Tree of Life by Ten Circles. On the left-hand side is Darkness, and Eleven Circles symbolically representing the Qliphoth.”

The Alchemical Symbols of Sulphur and of Salt on the Tree of Life are then shown. After which the “Hiereus” explains the tablet of the Trinity operating through the Sephiroth; and the “Hegemon” that of the seven Yetziratic palaces *

* See 777, col. xc., p. 18.

containing the ten Sephiroth; and {281} the Qliphoth *

* See 777, col. viii., p.2.

with their twelve princes, who are the heads of the Evil of the twelve months of the year. The Hierophant then confers upon the Practicus the title of “Lord of the Twenty-seventy Path,” and the third part of the Ritual comes to an end.

The Trinity Operating through the Sephiroth.

The Fourth Part

In the Advancement Ceremony the Practicus seeks admission by the sign of the Calvary Cross of six squares within a circle. The “Hierophant” tells him:

“This cross embraces, as you will see, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod and Yesod, resting upon Malkuth. Also the Calvary Cross of six squares forms the Cube unfolded, and is thus referred to the six Sephiroth of Microprosopus, which are: Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, Hod, Netzach and Yesod.”

And then explains to him the symbolic representation of the fall:

“The Great Goddess, who in the 3ø = 8ø degree, was supporting the Columns of the Sephiroth in the form of the sign of Theoricus (“i.e.”, of Atlas supporting the World) being tempted by the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, stooped down to the Qliphoth … the Columns were unsupported, and the Sephirotic Scheme was shattered; and with it fell Adam the Microprosopus. Then arose the Great Dragon with seven heads and ten horns, cutting by his folds Malkuth from the Sephiroth, and linking it to the Kingdom of the Shells. The Seven lower Sephiroth were cut off from the Three Supernals in Da„th, at the feet of Aima Elohim. And on the head of the Dragon are the names of the eight Edomite kings, and on the horns the names of the eleven dukes of Edom. And because in Da„th was the utmost rise of the Great Serpent of Evil; therefore there is as it were another Sephira, making eight heads according to the number of the eight Kings; and for the Infernal and Averse Sephiroth eleven instead of ten, according to the number of the eleven dukes of Edom. The infernal waters of D„ath rushed from the mouth of the Dragon — and this is the Leviathan. Tetragrammaton Elohim placed four letters of the Holy Name, and also the flaming sword, that the uppermost part of the Tree of Life might not be involved in the Fall of Adam.”

The Fall.

The Altar Symbol in the 4=7 Ritual.


The Hierophant then explains the symbolism of the Temple, and says:

“I now congratulate you on having passed through the ceremony of the 4ø = 7ø of Philosophus and in the recognition thereof, I confer upon you the mystic title of 'PHAROS ILLUMINANS' which signifies — the Illuminating Tower of Light, and I give you the symbol of HB:Shin HB:Aleph (Ash), which is the Hebrew name for fire.

Having passed through this grade, the newly made Philosophus earns the title of Honoured Frater and is eligible for the post of Hiereus.

The closing then takes place, the adoration of the King of Fire is made, and the Prayer of the Salamanders is rehearsed, and in the name of TETRAGRAMMATON TZEBAOTH the Temple is closed in the grade of 4ø = 7ø.

In the space of seven months from a mere student in the Mysteries, P. had risen to the grade of Philosophus in the Order of the Golden Dawn. A light had indeed been {283} winnowed from the husks of darkness, and now as an eye of silver it glided over the dark face of the waters. Chaos was taking form — red, vague and immense.

He had passed through the Ritual of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire, and now it was left to him to pass through the Ritual of the Portal, or the Ritual which completes the four elemental rituals by a fifth, the Ritual of the Spirit, before he could pass from the First Order to the Second.

This ritual is an important one, as it is the connecting-link between the first two orders, and in an abridged form is as follows:


Leading from the First Order of the G.'. D.'. in the Outer to the 5ø = 6)
Officers: V. H. Hierophant Inductor; V. H. Associate Adept.


The Hierophant Inductor first asks the Fratres and Sorores present to assist him to open the Portal of the Vault of the Adepts. The Fratres and Sorores then give the signs of the various grades from 0ø = 0ø to 4ø =7ø.

The Hierophant Inductor then says to the Associate Adept:
V. H. Associate Adept, what is the additional mystic title bestowed upon a Philosophus, as a link with the Second Order?
Associate Adept: Phrath.
Hierophant Inductor: To what does it allude?
Associate Adept: To the fourth River of Eden.
Hierophant Inductor: What is this Sign?
Associate Adept: The Sign of the rending of the Veil (gives it). *

* For these signs see Liber O, No. II., vol. i., THE EQUINOX.

Hierophant Inductor: What is the answering sign?
Associate Adept: The Sign of the closing of the Veil (gives it). *

* For these signs see Liber O, No. II., vol. i., THE EQUINOX.

Hierophant Inductor: What is the Word?
Associate Adept: Pe. HB:Peh .
Hierophant Inductor: Resh. HB:Resh .
Associate Adept: Kaph. HB:Koph .
Hierophant Inductor: Tau. HB:Taw .
Associate Adept: The whole word is Paroketh HB:Taw HB:Koph HB:Resh HB:Peh , meaning
the Veil of the Tabernacle. {284}

In and by this word the Hierophant Inductor declares the Portal of the Vault of the Adepts duly opened.

Arrangement of the Temple for the 24th, 25th and 26th Paths in the Portal Ritual.



At the bidding the the Hierophant Inductor the Associate Adept places the Candidate in the West between the Banner and the Black Pillar, before the Elemental Tablets, but facing the West. After which he presents him to the Hierophant Inductor.

The Hierophant Inductor then addresses the Philosophus and points out to him that if in the previous grades much information was imparted to him; it was done as a test of his trustworthiness. Continuing he says: “I therefore now ask you before proceeding further in the Order, to pledge yourself to the following, laying your hand upon the Central Tablet in the midst of the four Elemental Tablets.”

The Philosophus then promises never to reveal the Secrets of this Ritual; never to use his practical Occult Knowledge for Evil; to use his influence only for the honour of God, not to stir up strife; and to uphold the authority of the Chiefs of the Order.

After which he confirms his obligation by saying, “I undertake to maintain the Veil between the First and Second Orders and may the powers of the elements bear witness to my pledge.”

The Associate Adept then explains to the Philosophus the admission badge, which is the peculiar emblem of the Hiereus of a Temple of the first Order. And the Hierophant Inductor explains the Hierophant's Lamen and the Banner of the East, thus completing his knowledge of the Emblems appropriate to the Officers of a Temple of the First Order.

The Diagram of the Paths is then explained to the Candidate, after which the Hierophant Inductor says:

“Before you in the East are represented the Five Portals of the 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th and 23rd Paths; thus shadowing forth by their number the Eternal Symbol of the Pentagram; for five will divide without remainder the number of the letter of each of these Paths, that is, its numerical value, as it will those of all the paths from HB:Yod , the 20th, to HB:Taw , the 32nd, inclusive; and also the sum of their numbers. {285}

“Regarding these five Paths, I will now ask you to observe that the Tarot Keys attached to four of them, viz., The Wheel of Fortune, Death, the Devil, and the Hanged Man, are of more or less sinister and terrible import, and that only the symbol of Temperance appears to promise aid. Therefore by this straight and narrow Path of HB:Samekh let the Philosophus advance like the arrow from the centre of HB:Taw HB:Shin HB:Qof (Qsheth) the Bow of Promise; for by this hieroglyphic of the arrow hath Sagittarius ever been represented. And as this sign of Sagittarius lieth between the signs Scorpio (Death) and Capricornus (the Devil) so hath Jesus to pass through the wilderness tempted by Satan. But Sagittarius the Archer is a Bi- corporate sign, the Centaur, the Man and the Horse combined. Recall what was said unto thee in the passage of the 31st Path of Fire leading into the 3ø = 8ø of Practicus. 'Also there is the vision of the Fire-flashing Courser of Light, or also a child borne aloft on the shoulders of the Celestial Steed, fiery and clothed with Gold, or naked, and shooting from the Bow shafts of Light, and standing on the shoulders of the horse. But if thy meditation prolongeth itself thou shalt unite all these symbols into the form of the Lion.' *

* See Preface.

For thus wilt thou cleave upwards by the Path of HB:Samekh , through the sixth Sephira unto the Path of HB:Tet answering unto Leo, the Lion, the Reconciling Path between Mercy and Severity, Chesed and Geburah; beneath whose centre hangs the Glorious Sun of Tiphereth.

“V.H. Associate Adept, will you explain to the Philosophus the 13th Key of the Tarot.”

Associate Adept: The 13th Key of the Tarot represents the figure of a skeleton. The five extremities of the Body, delineated by head, hands and feet, allude to the powers of the Number five, the letter HB:Heh , the Pentagram comprehending the concealed Spirit of Life and the four Elements, the originators of all living forms.

The sign Scorpio especially alludes to stagnant and fetid water; and to that property of the moist nature which initiates putrefaction and corruption.

The eternal change from Life to Death, and through Death to Life, is symbolised in the grass which springs from and is nourished by putrefying and corrupting carcasses. The top of the scythe forms the T, Tau-Cross of Life, showing that what destroys also renews.

The Scorpion, Serpent and Eagle delineated before the figure of Death in the more ancient form of the Key, refer to the mixed transforming (therefore deceptive) nature of this emblem.

The Scorpion is the emblem of ruthless destruction, the Snake is the mixed and deceptive nature, serving alike for good and evil, and the Eagle is the Higher and Divine nature yet to be found herein, the alchemical Eagle of Distillation, the Renewer of Life. As it is said: “Thy youth shall be renewed like the Eagle's.” Great indeed and many are the Mysteries of this Terrible Key!

After explaining a symbol of Typhon the Associate Adept turns to the 15th Key of the Tarot.

The 15th Key of the Tarot represents a goat-headed Satyr-like demon standing upon {286} a cubical altar. In his left hand, which points downwards, he holds a lighted torch, and in his right hand, which is elevated, a horn of water.

The cubical Altar represents the Universe. The whole figure shows the gross generating powers of nature on the material plane, and is analogous to the Pan of the Greeks and the Egyptian Goat of Mendes.

As his hands bear the torch and the horn, the symbols of Fire and Water, so does his form unite the Earth in his hairy and bestial aspect, and the Air in his bat-like wings. The whole would be an evil symbol were it not for the Pentagram of Light above his head which regulates and guides his movements.

The figure of Pan is then explained, after which the Hierophant Inductor shows the Philosophus the 14th Key of the Tarot.

The more ancient form shows us a female figure crowned with a crown of five rays symbolising the five Principles of Nature, the Concealed Spirit and the four Elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. About her head is a halo of Light. On her breast is the Sun of Tiphereth. The five-rayed crown further alludes to the five Sephiroth of Kether, Chokmah, Binah, Chesed and Geburah. Chained to her waist are a lion and an eagle, between which is a large cauldron whence arise steam and smoke. The Lion represents the Fire of Netzach, the Blood of the Lion; and the Eagle represents the Water of Hod, the Gluten of the Eagle; whose reconcilement is made by the Air in Yesod uniting with the volatised Water rising from the cauldron though the influence of the Fire beneath it. The chains which link the Lion and the Eagle to her waist are symbolic of the paths of HB:Nun and HB:Ayin , Scorpio and Capricornus as shown by the Scorpion and the Goat in the background. In her right hand she bears the torch of solar fire, elevating and volatizing the Water in Hod by the fiery influence of Geburah; while with her left hand she pours from a vase the waters of Chesed to temperate and calm the fire of Netzach.

This explanation being ended, the Associate Adept places the red lamp, from the altar, in the right hand of the Philosophus and the cup of water in his left, and says:

“Let this remind you once more that only in and by the reconciliation of opposing {287} forces is the pathway made to true occult knowledge and practical power. Good alone is mighty, and Truth alone shall prevail; Evil is but weakness, and the power of evil; magic exists but in the contest of unbalanced forces, which in the end will destroy and ruin him who hath subjugated himself thereto. As it is said: “stoop not down, for a precipice lieth beneath the Earth; a descent of Seven steps; and therein is established the throne of an Evil and Fatal force. Stoop not down unto that dark and lurid world, defile not thy brilliant flame with the earthy dross of Matter. Stoop not down, for its splendour is but seeming, it is but the habitation of the sons of the unhappy.”

The lamp and cup are then replaced, after which the following symbols are explained to the Philosophus: The Image of Nebuchadnezzar's Vision; The Symbol of the Great Hermetic Arcanum; The Tablet of Union between the four Elements; The tablet of the Symbolic Latin Names; The Seven Palaces of the Briatic World; and the Kerubim in the Visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel and St. John.

The Hierophant Inductor now congratulates the Philosophus on the progress he has made, and proclaims him Master of the 24th, 25th, and 26th Paths in the Portal of the Vault of the Adepts. After which the Closing of the Portal takes place, the Hierophant Inductor saying:

“In and by that word Paroketh I declare the Portal of the Vault of the Adepts duly closed. Unto thee O Tetragrammaton be ascribed Malkuth, Geburah, and Gedulah unto the Ages. Amen.

So finishes the Ritual of the Portal of the Vault of the Adepts, the connecting ritual between the grades of Philosophus and Adeptus Minor, between the First and the Second Order. But before we close this chapter, it will be necessary, briefly though it may be, to trace out the effect these six rituals and the mass of occult knowledge which appertains to them, had upon P., and further might be expected to have on the ordinary seeker in the mysteries of Truth.

To even the most casual student it must be apparent, once he has finished reading these rituals, that though they contain much that is scholarly and erudite, besides much that is essential and true, they, however, are bloated and swollen with much that is silly and pedantic, affected and misplaced, so much so that wilful obscurity taking the place of a lucid simplicity, the pilgrim, ignorant as he must be in most cases, {288} is spontaneously plunged into a surging mill-race of classical deities and heroes, many of whom thrust themselves boisterously upon him without rhyme or reason.

Ushered as it were into a Judgment Hall in which the law expounded to him is not only entirely unknown but is written in a language which he cannot even read, he is cross-questioned in a foreign tongue and judged in words which at present convey not a symptom of sense to him. As the Rituals proceed it might be expected that these difficulties would gradually lessen, but this is far from being the case; for, as we have seen, the complexities already involved by the introduction of Ancient Egyptian deities, concerning whom it is probable the candidate has but little knowledge, are further heightened by a general intrusion on the part of Hebrew, Christian, Macedonian and Phrygian gods, angels and demons, and a profuse scattering of symbols; which, unitedly, are apt either so to bewilder the candidate that he leaves the temple with an impression that the whole ritual is a huge joke, a kind of buffoonish carnival of Gods which in the sane can only provoke laughter; or, on account of it being so utterly incomprehensible to him, his ignorance makes him feel that it is so vastly beyond him and above his own simple standard of knowledge, that all that he can do is to bow down before those who possess such an exalted language, concerning even the words and alphabet of which he can get no grasp or measure.

The result of this obscurity naturally is that in both cases the Rituals fail to initiate — in the first case they, not being understood, are jeered at; in the second they, though equally incomprehensible, are however revered. Instead of teaching the Alphabet by means of simple characters they teach it by grotesque and all but impossible hieroglyphics, and in the {289} place of giving the infant adept a simple magic rag doll to play with, intrust to his care, with dire prognostication and portent of disaster, a gargoyle torn from the very roof of that temple on the floor of which he, as a little child, is as yet but learning to crawl. The result being, as it proved in most cases, as disastrous as it was lamentable.

There is a time and a place for everything, and there is a right use for the affectation of knowledge just as there is a wrong one. When a child has learnt the simple rules of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; it is legitimate to ask it to solve some simple little problem; but it is sheer waste of time to ask it: “If twenty-four sprats cost a shilling, and one sprat will make a meal for two children, how many children can you feed for twopence halfpenny?” before it knows that one plus one equals two. If a child is never taught to add one to one it is possible that even when grown up, the man to his dying day will look upon the setter of the twopenny-halfpenny sprat question as an advanced mathematician, perhaps even as an “advanced occultist.” But when he has learnt the meaning of one plus one equals two, he will find this vast unthinkable problem to be after all but as simple as adding one to one or two to two.

The affectation of knowledge and the piling on of symbols is only legitimate to the ignorant when the purpose is to bewilder by a flashing image and not to instruct. In the present case the seeker after Truth is called the Child of Earth and Darkness, and instead of being shown the beautiful garment of light he will one day be called upon to wear, is at once rolled in a heap of tinselled draperies, in mummy wrappings, outgrown togas and the discarded underwear of {290} Olympus and Sinai, the result being that unless his understanding is as clear as these rituals are obscure, all he obtains is a theatrical impression of “make-up” and “make- believe,” and a general detachment from the realities of Consciousness. The words obsess him; he cannot see that Typhon is as necessary in the Egyptian Scheme as Osiris; in the Christian, that Satan is but the twin of Christ. They fetter the freedom which they are supposed to unbind, producing not only a duality but a multiplicity of illusions; so that, in the end, the chances are, instead of conversing face to face with Adonai, he becomes a prig addressing a mass meeting in the Albert Hall, rationalising about irrational qualities.

Fortunately in the case of P. the result was somewhat different; already master of a vast storehouse of knowledge and learning he was less likely to gasp “Oh my!” at the display of Egyptian pyrotechnics than many of the others; he was in fact enabled by their help to weld to his knowledge a catalogue of disruptive learning, and from it add many words to the great dictionary of magical language he was at this time eagerly attempting to construct.

This construction of a language should be the object of all rituals; they should bring the seeker step by step nearer to his quest, that is to say, to perfect him in the tongue he one day hopes to speak. Each Ritual, be it a letter, a word, a sentence, or a volume, should contain a lesson clear and precise, it should leave behind it so bright and dazzling a picture that the very thought of it will at once conjure up the power dressed in its simple yet luminous symbols.

In the 0ø = 0ø Ritual this is much more clearly carried out than in the following four. The candidate, the would-be {291} Neophyte, is led up to the Portal of the First Grade, the Grade of Neophyte, and is momentarily revealed a flashing vision of Adonai, as it were a tongue of blinding flame out of the depths of darkness, to show him that there is light even in this dreadful night through which he has to journey. He learns that though Adonai is in Kether, Kether also is in Malkuth; but the Rituals which follow the 0ø = 0ø, excepting the Portal, which consists more of symbols and their explanations than of rites and ceremonials, are more inclined to obsess than to illuminate. Of course it may be urged that as they constitute four great trials, it is after all a greater test to be placed under a false guide than an honest one. But indeed, if this be so, then most certainly should the Neophyte, Zelator, Theoricus or Practicus travel his own road unhelped by others; further, he should not be tempted by others, and when he is hopelessly entangled be relieved of his trials like the reader of a fairy-tale who invariably finds that after the most monstrous difficulties the hero and heroine always marry and live happily ever afterwards. It is a better trial of the powers of a swimmer to let him swim without a cork jacket, notwithstanding the fact that it is a greater trial by far if you order him to leap into the water with a millstone round his neck; but this is scarcely “cricket,” even if at the last moment you pull him out of the water and restore life by artificial respiration. Further, it is not teaching him how to swim, or how to improve his powers of swimming.

In the 1ø = 10ø Ritual the Neophyte enters the first sphere of the Elements, the Element of Earth, and is at once liable to fall prey to the terrible worldly obsessions of the path of HB:Taw . This dark path he journeys up only to become child of the {292} fickle element of Air whose sign is the ever-changing moon. The next step brings him under the unstable condition of Water and the seemingly unbalanced influences of Mercury. But if he has passed through the paths of HB:Shin and HB:Resh with cunning and earnestness he will understand why it is necessary to enter the grade of the Element of Water by the paths of the Sun and of Fire, as he will in his next step understand why it is that the paths of HB:Qof and HB:Tzaddi , that is, of Pisces and Aquarius, lead him to the fire of Netzach and not to the Water of Hod.

The path which connects Hod with Netzach is the 27th path of the Sepher Yetzirah which answers to the letter HB:Peh . It is the reflection of the Sphere of Mars and is the lowermost of the reciprocal paths. The Tarot Key attributed to this path is very rightly the 16th Key — the Tower; which we have seen in the 4ø = 7ø Ritual represents a tower struck by a flash of lightning, symbolising the Tower of Babel struck by the wrath of Heaven, and also the Power of the Triad rushing down and destroying the columns of darkness, the light of Adonai glimmering through the veils and consuming the elementary Rituals of the 1ø = 10ø, 2ø = 9ø, 3ø = 8ø, and 4ø = 7ø grades.

In many cases the candidate, it is to be feared, can never have realised the necessity of this destruction of superficial knowledge, and the harnessing of the Bull, Eagle, Man and Lion under the dazzling lash of the Spirit. And we find that though these rituals enabled P. to master a language, they in many ways hindered his otherwise natural progress by helping largely to obsess his Nephesh by the Qliphoth — his passions and emotions being stirred up by a continuous pageant of {293} naked Gods; his Ruach by the phantom of dead words — by the duality of the shell and of the fruit of things; and his Neschamah by Tetragrammaton, “i.e.”, he aspired chiefly to magic powers, not so that they might light him like the flame of a lamp along his road, but that they might consume, like the fire on the altar, his propitiations and sacrifices to a personal God.

Thus we find him, as it were, figuring before him a Pentagram and saying: “It is not complete without its top point.” This is undoubtedly correct, but at this time he still failed to realise that when once the Supernal Triad has descended and is resting on the topmost point of the Pentagram, this being now the point of juncture becomes the most important of all points, and that the lower four are little better than supports, legs and arms to the body whose head now wears the Crown.

When the pilgrim realises that the four characteristics of the Sphinx, the four elements, the four letters of the Name, are only answerable in the fifth; then may it be said that the Ritual has succeeded in its purpose and has initiated him, otherwise that it has failed. It is no good (even if you are the Hierophant himself) pretending to represent HB:Heh HB:Vau HB:Heh HB:Yod before you have realised what is meant by HB:Heh HB:Vau HB:Shin HB:Heh HB:Yod .

The real knowledge acquired by P. at this time, as we shall find in a subsequent chapter, was gained by his workings with Fras. C.S., V.N. and I.A.; and so ardent was he in his search after knowledge that he even went so far as to invoke Mercury by obtaining access to and copying the 5ø = 6ø Rituals and Knowledges belonging to Fra. F.L., saying to himself:

“All for Knowledge, even life, even honour, All!”


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