Astron Argon

The Living Tradition of Thelema

by Frater Zephyros

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

What Crowley began, others must continue and develop or Thelema will become but a memory in the history of the Western Mystery Tradition. Yes, he was a Prophet and the Ipsissimus that one could say invented Thelema by adapting the mysteries of the Great White Brotherhood into a coherent system of Theurgy by which the Aspirant can engage in the work of his or her own evolutionary development. But is he to be the only one? Marcelo Motta wrote that 'Religion is the death of Theurgy' and he has a strong point except for the fact that a religion can be Theurgic rather than Dogmatic.

With the prophecies of Liber AL vel Legis, we begin to approach fulfillment with the initial discovery of the Key to the Book of the Law by Charles Stansfeld Jones. But he was not to be nor do I believe that he ever should be considered a Prophet; only one who came along to fulfill a prophecy. And the work of Kenneth Grant (adding to the corpus of Knowledge) even with the Cult of Lam, is both Theurgic and Religious in nature. But again, there's no prophecy here; only the seeming fulfillment of a direction by Crowley to rearrange the structure of the O.T.O.

But whether or not prophecy will come by way of Theurgy or any other type of communication, is a matter of speculation. And in the meantime, there's so much in the Canon that Aleister Crowley has put before us that has yet to be digested and investigated. In my book, Thelemic Commentaries, I write:

Personally, I believe that eventually, more prophets will arise and add to the corpus of Thelemic culture. New Holy Books have yet to be created. And yet, so many of the works of Thelema that are now extant, lack a shared understanding by which a community can establish itself. As Thelemic contacts are few and far between, it becomes productive to take the insights of one and share these with others. This will hasten the work of others so that they may more aptly master the contemporary canon and move onto even greater work.

There are those who read the Comment to Liber AL in Class A as an injunction against commenting on not only Liber AL, but also even all works by the Master Therion. And the most major exponent of violating this unholy chastity Marcello Motta, is said to have flaunted his egocentric arrogance in producing such works. This couldn't be more ridiculous to the author of the present volume. There is a big difference between a Class A and a Class C commentary. Class A implies an 'ex-Cathedra' or official pronouncement from the Secret Chiefs; who are the sacred guardians presiding over the initiation of the Human Race. Class C merely implies the work of scholarship.

As such, for an official explanation of any of the Holy Books of Thelema, it is prudent for the student to refer solely to the works of the Master Therion as the channel of wisdom emanating from those Secret Chiefs of the Great White Brotherhood; also known as the Fraternity of Christian Rosencreutz in another manifestation. And it is hoped that there will yet arise other Ipsissimus' to channel yet more Class A information for the benefit of Mankind. In the meantime, there is so much that already exists and yet needs further comprehensive insight. For this there is work for another type of Thelemic expurgation. This would be the work of those scholars whom can add to the collective experience by sharing their research with the ever burgeoning Thelemic Community.

Besides the work of commenting on the Holy Books of Thelema, there are many other channels of investigation. While one can quite easily argue that Charles Stansfeld Jones expurgated a Theurgically incongruous system in his reversal of the Tree-of-Life, his work did produce some strong inspiration for Kenneth Grant; whom would develop an initially brilliant Theurgic career in spite of what many see as going too far in its more recent phase.

But back-pedaling just a little, we have not really found fulfillment of another important prophecy in the Book of the Law. There is the question of Order, Value and Symbols for the English Alphabet. And there's one system that has reached a certain popularity and seems not to have met with any challenge. However, it seems that it would be prudent to present just such a challenge for the sake of growth and development; two essential aspects of a living system. And so with this in mind, I'd like to present here a brief excerpt from my book, Thelemic Qabalah:

The first problem and perhaps the only real problem in handling religious riddles, is that once they are established as such, people tend to want them to remain as a permanent part of the established dogma. For example, in the supposed `Revelations' of John, it has been echoed throughout the centuries that these mysterious symbols are incomprehensible and only will become apparent with the `Second Coming'.

A seemingly identical situation seems to have arisen in the innovative realm of Thelema. First there's the `riddle' in the second chapter of Liber AL vel Legis. And of course, the focus of this work, the uncovering of the order and value of the English alphabet along with the discovery of attributed symbols attached to each letter.

Now there are plenty whom would simply give up before even trying to attack this problem. And of those who do, they have their critics whom go out of their way to denounce their work as a flight of fancy. The editor here confesses to having fallen into both traps at one time during his development. "Thou shalt obtain the order & value of the English Alphabet; thou shalt find new symbols to attribute them unto." AL II.55

`Thou' can mean the universe itself as in Nuit; in this case such verbal axioms as they creep into a culture become significant. These symbols come to us from the collective unconscious of English speaking peoples. Further, in the English Qabalah put forth in the present work, `Thou' equals 55 and is the mystic number of 10 which represents the totality of experience as delineated by the 10 Sephiroth contained in the Tree-of-Life.

The only Qabalah that tradition has handed to us as whole and complete is the Hebrew Qabalah. Yes, there are other Qabalah's; the Greek and Enochian come to mind. But none other than the Hebrew Qabalah has heretofore been so thoroughly explored and utilized. And one of the first things that a beginning Qabalist is taught in the Western Mystery Tradition, is the meaning of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. There must also be symbols that are attributed to the letters of the English alphabet as alluded to in AL II.55. Well, this has already manifested by virtue of the collective consciousness of English speaking people if we but take a moment to think about it. These symbols have evolved in our culture over time and have become quite fixed in our consciousness. What follows is a compilation of these symbols in the traditional order of the English letters:

A – One, Excellence, First, Beginning, Most Important, Initiation, Scarlet Letter, Anti-oxidents (such as Beta Carotene)
B – Alternative, Drill (as in spelling `Bee'; which is the letter `B' in its full spelling; or even fire drill–practice.), vitamins for the brain, to `be' or exist, a bumble bee.
C – Average, Middle of the Road, Mediocre, Lowest Common Denominator, vitamin found in orange juice.
D – Below Average, Dunce, vitamin found in milk and in sunlight.
E – Effort, Energy (E=MC2), vitamin for skin and hair.
F – Failure (Lunar in nature as fear and failure surround as taboos; also the menstruum as a failed or potential pregnancy), abbreviation for the word F— (which is already an anagram `for unlawful carnal knowledge).
G – Sigh (Gee whiz), to aspire
H – Breath
I – Self, Eye
J – Improper Move (J-Walking), Jail (J-bird), Marijuana (cigarettes are referred to as J's).
K – Strike or Knock Out (as in KO)
L – Perpendicular, Corner—angle/perspective.
M – Wave, tidal ebb and flow; delicious (MMM) or note of recognition.
N – Answer or Sum (1+2=n)
O – Gasp (O my heavens!); Hail (O Thou…), Orgasm/Ecstasy (Orgone), Whole or complete circle or cycle.
P – Excrete (discharge of energy) or Anger (as in Piss Off; in England: Drunk; also Pea is a part of English currency); Legume
Q – Total Capacity (I.Q.)
R – Existence (`are'); Rudimentary Knowledge (3 R's)
S – Curve or double U-turn, ($) Currency; snake with corresponding symbolism; Superman (hence the `Overman of Nietzche).
T – Intersection; Square, World of the Elements, Time Out (in athletic competition).
U – Reverse Direction (U-turn); Not-I, Pictorial representation of the open womb.
V – Victory; Peace (to the British it is not a Peace sign but an insult), Penis pointing down, Vow.
W – Audience (double `Not-I')
X – Remove; Discontinue; Variable or Product (as in Algebra), Chromozone, Axis point.
Y – Question; Choice [fork in the road], Chromozone, Axis point.
Z – Zig-zag; End; Sleep; lightening flash (which is also a symbol for orgasm).

The Reader should clearly be able to link these symbols with the collective associations that are given to their corresponding letters. But there is herein no direct clue to any numerical value, which seems to have been the research of all the primary English Qabalists to date. Aleister Crowley would be the one exception to this with his publication of Liber Trigrammaton. However, he concludes that this does not lead to a working Qabalah.

While the symbols that we have attributed to the letters of the English alphabet were derived from the collective consciousness of our larger more mundane culture, the order and value do not have such a luxuriant ease of derivation. Still there is justification for this by virtue of the fact that our holiest of holy books, Liber AL vel Legis was revealed to us by Aiwass in this language and through the fabric of this consciousness. Therefore, it seems simply credible to seek the order and value in the revelation itself. This is very much akin to the technology employed by the Hebrews in their utilization of the Torah.

The Hebrews started at the beginning (Berashith). By comparison, we have the first verses to the Book of the Law. The sequential order of the English letters as they make their first appearance in the tome is now a parallel idea. We are left with the following sequence from the first chapter of Liber AL:


Note that this is the only chapter of the book wherein all twenty-six letters are utilized. The other two chapters omit only the letter `Z'. And further, there is no embedding of this ordered arrangement at any other point in the book. However, because of the missing letter in the other two chapters, this presented order can be deemed significant. What remains is for values to be assigned to them. With a numeration of only 1-26, many

important values cannot be obtained with just one word, no matter how long. Though no one ever said this is a must, it does not make comparisons with other systems (Greek and Hebrew, mainly) readily possible.

Yet again, applying the Hebraic method, this problem is solved. And we are given the following numeration:
H=1 A=2 D=3 T=4 E=5 M=6 N=7 I=8 F=9 S=10 O=20 U=30 V=40 L=50 G=60 C=70 P=80 Y=90 R=100 W=200 B=300 K=400 J=500 Z=600 X=700 Q=800

Yet there are no `Mother Letters' or `Final' forms to further articulate the numeration. We are left with the above structure. Still, the Hebrew goes up to 900 utilizing these principles as it is an alphabet of only 22 letters compared to the English 26. We have here a strong parallel system of numeration.

With numeration patterned in this manner, 1 to 10, 20 to 90, 100, 200, etc., the 26 letter English Alphabet goes up to 800. Now, the Greek Alphabet goes up to 800 as well, yet the final 3 letters, Chi, Psi, and Omega, are not very common. Relative to the Hebrew system, there are some huge tabulations as such, but in general the 2 systems are very compatible in their Gematria ranges.

One of the previously attempted "English Qabalah"'s was based on Liber AL, III.47:

"This book shall be translated into all tongues: but always with the original in the writing of the Beast; for in the chance shape of the letters and their position to one another: in these are mysteries that no Beast shall divine. Let him not seek to try: but one cometh after him, whence I say not, who shall discover the Key of it all. Then this line drawn is a key: then this circle squared in its failure is a key also. And Abrahadabra. It shall be his child & that strangely. Let him not seek after this; for thereby alone can he fall from it."

Not only did this system seem to fail as it was based on deriving a string of letters from a zigzagged line game with A.C.'s handwritten manuscript which has no blatant relation to the source of this mystery expressed in AL II.55.

AL III.47, however, has been used to verify the key of the Book of The Law by Frater Achad's discovery of the use of the number 31 and its triune relation to the number 93; so important in the Gamatric analysis of Liber AL. We will demonstrate that this further validates our own system contained herein. But the use of a textual foundation for the English Qabalah seemed the perfect theoretical start. Now all that was needed was a theory thus based that worked in practice. While any random schema can produce various `wow' number correspondences, it is quite worthless as a system unless it be based on the key principle revealed by Frater Achad derived from AL III.47. To that end note the value of the word NOT as it equals 31.

Other correspondences also serve to validate this new technology:

TO MH = 31 (The Greek for `The Not'; symbolic for Nuit and equal to 418 in the Greek Qabalah; 418 is also one of the numbers that Nuit gives to nothing in AL I.47) BAPHOMET = 418 (ABRAHADABRA) ABRAHADABRA = 814 (A ThRAShRQ of 418) The essential point is in the word NOT and it's fitting equivalence in both Achad's key and our system. This we will elaborate on further. Symbolically, the letters N, O and T are worked out as follows:
N = Sum, Whole, Completion
O = Ecstasy, Orgasm, Hail, Gasp
T = Cross of Light, World of Elements, Intersection, Square

Note that non-being is the mystery of the Ipsissimus which is an end to the Great Work; its final (N) mystery and ultimate ecstasy (O) of the ultimate light (T). Numerically and symbolically, we have verification and validation.

As an aside, from AL II.55, please note the word "unto" equals 61 in the English Qabalah which is equivalent to Nun, Yod, Aleph meaning `nothing' in Hebrew. Moreover, the three capital letters in this verse equate to 11. For that matter, `two and fifty-five' (the numbers of the verse stated grammatically) is equal to 418 which of course, is the number of the Great Work; especially Crowley's magnum opus which is the transmission of Liber AL from Aiwass to the world.

[Note: In addition to this, I should have quoted the following verse from Liber AL to support this last paragraph. "Nothing is a secret key of this law. Sixty-one the Jews call it; I call it eight, eighty, four hundred & eighteen."]

Moreover, "they have the half" AL I.47 (referring to the Hebrews) equals 220 and is the number of lines contained in Liber AL; thus combining the two systems into an homogenous whole. "half" equals 62; which is a ThRAShRQ of 26—the number of letters in the English alphabet!

106 is also the Hebrew letter Nun (meaning Fish and also the Death Atu) spelled in full (Nun Vav Nun). Adding the value of `N' (50 in the English Qabalah) to 106, we get 156; which is the value of Babalon in the Hebrew Qabalah. 106 is also the value of the word Hell by the English Qabalah. Hell is Hadit as per Motta's commentary on AL II.63 "Hell's own worm". [Note: This also should've been added: 156=Osiris; Pan is Nuit; Man of Earth; Forties With this as well from my article The Third Covenant to soon be found on 'N' and 'O' in NOT also hint at the formula of ON (described so eloquently in the Epistles of J. Edward Cornelius and Red Flame: Vol. VII) as the work of light 'T']

This last editorial note brings me to the most fundamental concept in Thelemic Theurgy. On the issue of sexuality, there is a great need for maturity and sobriety that seems all too rare at present. Should we ever get to this point as a community, then perhaps my comments in my introduction to Thelemic Sutras won't seem so far a field, and I quote:

For the Thelemite, there is yet another dimension to sexuality. Theurgy derived from sexual technique is the central 'secret' of Thelemic Magick. All early studies are but preparations for this Great Work. Just such an Alchemy demands a moral fortitude and sincere aspiration that override the vanity and voyeurism that so many have brought to the fore in this first century under the guidance of Liber AL vel Legis. It is important that this be understood or the student will make a great miss as prophesied in our holiest of Holy Books.

"There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss." AL II.27

However, there is also great difficulty in understanding these runes. The Master of the Temple gains a perfect understanding and perfect control over the mind/body/spirit complex. Until then, Thelemic couplings endure the added stress of the ordeals of the grades. It is important to understand that strain as a magickal attack by forces that can't accept the formula that change equals stability.

So there must be also a transformation of approach to relationships that would take into account these forces. This is in contrast to the choice of the early Roman Church against sexuality for anything other than propagation of the species in its reaction to the degradation of Pagan sexual practices. However, the following two paths are relevant. Denial of the senses to bypass them and sensory over- stimulation to bypass them both are valuable methods and both have abuses. And in sexual Magick there are yet two separate approaches; one that works with orgasmic energy and the other that while working the alembic of arousal, denies the climax. The former is the Thelemic approach while the latter also has roots in Tantric tradition.

Also anathema to Thelemic perspective is the idea of using sex to earn money. Sexual contact is then not a spontaneous interaction between two stars whose nature is love. Rather, it is a contractual business venture alienated from all that is holy in the nature of union. No Thelemic Sutra could espouse this as is found in the Kama Sutras. For those that may be interested in an introduction to Thelemic studies and need more rudimentary work in the Qabalah, I also recommend my book: The Whole Tarot Workbook. It's a practical instruction manual designed to help the Student understand how the Tarot is put together and how the meanings that are assigned to each card are arrived at. The introduction to this book adds to the point I'm trying to make here:

Tarot and Astrology together hold the keys to the core concepts of the Western Mystery Tradition. And only in the Tarot do both disciplines work directly in tandem with each other. With serious and earnest study in the deployment of these wonderful tools, the aspirant to the knowledge of one's own higher genius simultaneously develops an essential rudimentary understanding of the Hermetic Qabalah.

It is this structured cosmology, stripped of the cultural attributes of the Hebrews, Greeks & Romans as well as other isolated cultural overlays, that reveals the nature of self and universe alike in a more technical than religious format. By virtue of this, the aspirant is guided into a more graduated revelation of areas of the soul that beg a more objective investigation without the prejudice of religious or cultural bias. Of course, there are still certain biases that are larger in scope and more generalized for the western world in general. But the Hermetic Qabalah makes these tools more accessible for all cultures and religions.

Still, it should be remembered, even after these elementary disciplines are mastered; and with great effort required, there is so much work still to be done before the nobility of one's own individual spirit may be blessed with the fruits of `Enlightenment' or `Gnosis'. But even at the beginning of one 's aspiration to these lofty heights, the direct experience that is required for any true Gnosis is mandatory. The techniques provided in the publication will lead to a greater understanding of what I've just stated. All that is asked of the student is an open mind and a sincere dedication to this, the commencement of one's career in aspiring to the Great Work! … that work of wonder and mystery that adepts of all ages have attempted to demonstrate to humanity.

In closing, I hope this brief essay inspires debate which leads to new work that will augment the Canon of Thelema in an wholesome and intelligent manner. Without sober and rational intelligence (which also means debating without the intent to win; starting all sorts of 'flaming' that is so popular on the web as people seem to take everything so virulently personal), there can be no growth; hence, no living tradition.

Love is the law, love under will.