Astron Argon


Frater Zephyros

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

I came to Thelema after a long, arduous search for truth.  Being raised a very devout Roman Catholic, I ultimately rejected the teachings of the church with the impetus of having read the Bhagavad-Gita.  However, I also found the restrictions against sexuality and marijuana in the purports of the Hari-Krishna cult that produced the version that I read, to be disturbing; especially for a teenager in the mid-seventies.  This would ultimately lead me to authors such as Herman Hesse and ultimately Andre Breton and the Surrealists.

The west would come to my view, to express its mystical bend through art; particularly Surrealism.  And I saw an active meditation as compared to the passive meditation of the eastern schools.  In this, was permissiveness and the ability to explore consciousness without the heavy strictures that seemed to belong to every religion I ever came upon.  And so I became the artist; writing poetry and music, and producing paintings and drawings that all reflected the various elements of my psyche.

Perchance, in working an apprenticeship with a sculptor, we decided one day, to take a Tarot course at a famous shop in New York City.  And I fell in love with the modern paintings contained in Crowley’s ‘Thoth’ deck.  A while later, I attended my first Gnostic Mass.  That was a numinous event for me.  For all the formalism of my Roman Catholic upbringing contained an element of the sacred that I had not found in art.  But I found nothing sacred in what I now perceived as the lie that was Jesus.  Everything would now come together for me in the most profound way and in a single moment inside the production of this wondrous mass.

Working the Thelemic system of the A.’.A.’. brought me through many internal changes and forged in me a sense of self-reliance that I had espoused previously in my studies of native aboriginal peoples while in college.  I went through the narcissistic stages that beset the beginning Aspirant upon his or her initial embarkation onto any spiritual path.  But I so loved the Gnostic Dialogue found in Crowley’s ‘Liber Cordis Cincte Serpente’ and I began to cultivate my awareness of my Holy Guardian Angel.

With each passing day since that numinous moment in the mid-eighties, I have grown in my perception of this divine being.  The observations of myself and those in the world around me, have become more and more thorough.  And I’ve evolved from that beginning narcissism to a certain sense of loneliness (the fool on the hill) with an inner joy that I can only wish to communicate to others, but compassionately understand and accept why I can’t.  Still, I work for that complete union with my Angel that we as Thelemites call Adonai.  And my eyes grace the stars of the night skies for the revelation of that beauty, which is the soul of all life.

For the ‘mainstream’ spiritual community, authenticity is primarily given to ancient teachers and the secret instruction of time-proven systems.  There’s a number of schools that comprise that most ancient of brethren; the Great White Brotherhood.  And each of the schools within this universal community corresponds with the number of ethnic lines in the human race and contains the same sidereal gnosis expressed in diversity.  But the masters of this great colloquium of saints are provided for each generation and each epoch or aeon.  And we in the twentieth century of the common era (era vulgaris) have been blessed with the presence of several great teachers.

Aleister Crowley was a prophet of the contemporary age, and instituted the science and art of Thelema (also known as Scientific Illuminism). It has been less than one hundred years since he first prophesied and just a little over fifty years since his death.  In his day, Thelemites numbered by the handful; just a few devotees of the Master Therion and a few other members in the various orders he founded.  Today, there are hundreds, possibly thousands around the globe and found on all continents.  It could be compared to the growth of Christianity, which itself took three hundred years to foment and was quite controversial in its initial period, Thelema draws a strong parallel, if not even a continuation of the original impulse.  This impulse is a Gnostic awareness that has pervaded even the most ancient religions known to mankind and has been thwarted by dark and politically oriented forces each and every time it has emerged within human society.

Thelema is, to me, the modern revelation of the ancient ‘Starry Gnosis’ that prophecies the destiny of humanity; having encoded it originally into all the world’s religions.  It’s modern expurgation given to us by a praeter-human intelligence, Aiwass, who is purported to be one of the Secret Chiefs or Nephilim and is to be found in Liber AL vel Legis and the Holy Books of Thelema along with Liber CDXVIII.  This also combines the mystical/magickal and Alchemical system of the A.’.A.’. for the evolutionary development of the individual and as supported by the genius of several modern Avatars, including:  Aleister Crowley, Charles Stansfield Jones, C.F. Russell, Kenneth Grant, Dion Fortune, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, G.I. Gurdjieff and Carlos Casteneda.  Central to this development is the development of Gnosis and contact with one’s Holy Guardian Angel along with the social ideals of Light, Life, Love and Liberty encoded into two very special mantras:  “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” and “Love is the law, love under will”; the latter being a special magickal formula for the working of Thelemic Magick.

What makes Thelema so controversial, even to this very day, is its individualistic and libertarian purview of consciousness, which was considered evil by the tribal-oriented ancients who interpreted the book of Revelations in the New Testament.  Such an idea was something that most probably would have aroused great fear for the socio-economic structure in the ancient world and brought down charges of heresy (an ‘heretic’ is someone who thinks for his or herself).  And fear really ruled the roost, as the fearsome Jehovah would win control of the human race over his more merciful and benignly sublime brother Adonai (Enlil and Enki respectively, of Sumeria).  However, the zeitgeist of our race is rapidly changing as we do no longer fear Jehovah’s puritanical enslavement.  Nor do we continue to accept any form of servitude to any of the forces on the earth; above or below it.  This is of course, clearly remonstrated in Liber AL vel Legis:

I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! Lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this. AL II.22 

Dost thou fail? Art thou sorry? Is fear in thine heart? Where I am these are not. AL II.46-47 

Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth. Nu is your refuge as Hadit your light; and I am the strength, force, vigour, of your arms. AL III.17

Unconsciousness is unmanifested existence; a walking through life being limited to mere instinctual awareness without the facility of full consciousness.  The work of the Outer College of the A.’.A.’. (called the Golden Dawn) is geared to developing the capacity to become fully conscious.  The Inner College of the A.’.A.’. (called the Rosy Cross) begins with the work of combining the physical to the spiritual; clearly channeled through a fully developed and properly functioning mind and then onto an even greater Alchemy.  The Supernal College is incomprehensible to any but those of the College of the Silver Star.  And yet Crowley gives us some hints in his descriptions of this order.  He describes what could on one level be summarized as a body of caretakers involved in overseeing the Initiation of humanity; much as the Royal Courts before the political usurpation by the Rabbins of old and their later counterparts, the Roman Patriarchs. 

Crowley builds a practical system of instruction that removes the dogmas of the past.  He would incorporate this into an order that claims to be the inheritor of the ancient starry wisdom and the expounder of the original formula of attainment as it has evolved into the present age.  The order is composed of three colleges, each comprised of several grades.  He encodes this into the scheme of Alchemy in creating his qabalistic science.

The Seven Stages of the Alchemical Operation
and the Outer Grades of Our Order


Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem


Visit the innermost parts of the earth; by setting things right (‘rectifying’), you will find the hidden Stone.
1. Calcination

Probationer Grade

“His principal business is to begin such practices as he my prefer, and to write a careful record of the same forone year.”

The burning away of pre-existing structures in an intiatory and open fire. The Study of Liber LXV inaugurates this process.

Dr. Isreal Regardie, whom was initiated by Crowley, recommends that one choosing to enter a mystico-magickal path, first proceed with an extensive course of psychotherapy. This I fulfilled; learning to become conscious of my thinking patterns and pre-judmental assumptions.
2. Dissolution

Neophyte Grade

“Has to acquire perfect control of the Astral Plane.” The egocentric nervous energy is brought out from the subconscious through the medium of astral visions and psychic impressions.

I proceeded then to a deep study of the Holy Tarot and Astrology as well as keeping a dream journal along with an investigation into Astral Projection. This helped me to develop my intuitive capacities, which of course is what we call psychic phenomenon.
3. Separation

Zelator Grade

“His main work is to achieve complete success in Asana and Pranayama. He also begins to study the formula of the Rosy Cross.” The various components of the personality are identified and re-enforced. Those elements which don’t serve the Aspiration are eliminated.

I ultimately learned to accept myself for who and what I am; accenting my strengths and balancing my weaknesses; impeccably.
4. Conjunction

Practicus Grade

“Is expected to complete his intellectual training, and in particular to study the Qabalah.” Essential elements of the personality are recombined in a passionate act of inner love. The intuitive and intellectual faculties are merged along with the other personal paradoxes.

This is my present work; to attain a level of self-empowerment that I’ve never had before; nor do I suspect most people ever get to.
5. Fermentation

Philosophus Grade

“Is expected to complete his moral training. He is tested in Devotion to the Order.” A two-stage process of ‘Putrefaction’ and ‘Spiritization’. Putrefaction is the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ as the Aspirant realizes the futility and illusion of life. Spiritization then follows as the lower ego acquiesces to the ‘Secret Fire’ that begins to rise from deep within the Aspirant.

The Alchemical process is not necessarily a linear process, as I’ve come to discover. So though I see myself working on the ‘Conjunction’, there’s a certain ‘Putrefaction’ that I’m also simultaneously going through.
6. Distillation

Dominus Liminis

“Is expected to show mastery of Pratyahara and Dharana.”

Purity is obtained by perfect concentration on the ‘Secret Fire’ until absolute ‘Clarity’ arises in the Aspirant. Because of what I am going through; described in the previous two stages, I can honestly say that I have a strong foreshadowing of what this process stage holds for me.
7. Coagulation

Adeptus Minor


“Is expected to perform the Great Work and to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.” The Aspirant elicits a truly unexpected presence within an incorruptible state of consciousness.

Within “Is admitted to the practice of the formula of the Rosy Cross on entering the College of the Holy Ghost.” The genetic code of the Aspirant is activated; crating an hormonal elixir that ultimately incarnates with the body being made spiritual and the spirit being made corporeal.

And for this final stage of the outer college, I am beginning to strongly sense an intuitive connection with what I call my Holy Guardian Angel. This is becoming so strong in my life that I am beginning to perceive of everything that I experience in my day-to-day life as a communication from my Angel. And I am coming to understand the nature of the ‘Gnostic Dialogue’.

Crowley explains the nature of Thelema in Liber II as: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” AL I.40; with the further admonition from Liber AL: “There is no Law beyond Do what thou wilt.” AL III.60. In this small document, he writes the following…

{THELEMA} – Thelema – means Will.

The Key to this Message is this word – Will. The first obvious meaning of this Law is confirmed by antithesis; “The Word of Sin is Restriction.”

Again: “… thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.”

Take this carefully; it seems to imply a theory that if every man and every woman did his and her will – the true Will – there would be no clashing. “Every man and every woman is a star.”, and each star moves in an appointed path without interference. There is plenty of room for all; it is only disorder that creates confusion.

From these considerations it should be clear that “Do what thou wilt” does not mean “Do what you like.” It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond.

Do what thou wilt – then do nothing else. Let nothing deflect thee from that austere and holy task. Liberty is absolute to do thy will; but seek to do any other thing whatever, and instantly obstacles must arise. Every act that is not in definite course of that one orbit is erratic, an hindrance. Will must not be two, but one.

Note further that this will is not only to be pure, that is, single, as explained above, but also “unassuaged of purpose”. This strange phrase must give us pause. It may mean that any purpose in the will would damp ti; clearly, the “lust of result” is a thing from which it must be delivered.

But the phrase may also be interpreted as if it read “with purpose unassuaged” – i.e. with tireless energy. The conception is, therefore, of an eternal motion, infinite and unalterable. It is Nirvana, only dynamic instead of static – and this comes to the same thing in the end.

The obvious practical task of the magician is then to discover what his will really is, so that he may do it in this manner, and he can best accomplish this by the practices of Liber Thisarb (see Equinox I, VII, 105) or such others as may from one time to another be appointed.

It should not be perfectly simple for everybody to understand the Message of the Master Therion.

Thou must (1) Find out what is thy Will, (2) Do that Will with (a) one-pointedness, (b) detachment, (c) peace.

Then, and then only, art thou in harmony with the Movement of Things, thy will part of, and therefore equal to, the Will of God. And since the will is but the dynamic aspect of the self, and since two different selves could not possess identical wills; then, if thy will be God’s will, Thou art That.

There is but one other word to explain. Elsewhere it is written – surely for our great comfort – “Love is the law, love under will.”

This is to be taken as meaning that while Will is the Law, the nature of that Will is Love. But this Love is as it were a by-product of that Will; it does not contradict or supersede that Will; and if apparent contradiction should arise in any crisis, it is the Will that can guide us aright. Lo, while in the Book of the Law is much Love, there is no word of Sentimentality. Hate itself is almost like Love! Fighting most certainly is Love! “As brothers fight ye!” All the many races of the world understand this. The Love of Liber Legis is always bold, Virile, even orgiastic. There is delicacy, but it is the delicacy of strength. Mighty and terrible and glorious as it is, however, it is but the pennon upon the sacred lance of Will, the damascened inscription upon the swords of the knightmonks of Thelema.

For students of Thelema, there is much that is suggested in the Oaths and Tasks of our system that has derivations from Buddhist, Hindu and Tantric canons. The system then further relies on the experience and wisdom of the Teacher for information that is verbally communicated to the student. And further, there is a tradition of developing ‘archives’ for every student so that research, insight and information may be passed along from generation unto generation.

This is an organic process that adapts to a sense of place in history. Any dogmatic adherence to principles, techniques, beliefs and speculations of our predecessors is not only limiting, but a dangerous stifling to spiritual development by its very intractable lack of spontaneity-a necessary component of ‘love under will’. Love needs spontaneity for its subsistence; ‘all else is a curse’.

Yet do not believe for one moment that each generation must reinvent the wheel. There is that which is learned and recorded in the archives of the ‘Great White Brotherhood’; appended to the collective body of inquiry bequeathed to us as their descendants of which we claim heirship, communion and benediction. From this body, we may benefit from what is already known and we can modify this through experimentation and analysis as we synthesize the canon that belongs to our place in time.

It is important to note that every generation has its emissary who speaks to those that can hear. That voice may come from quarters that could not be anticipated or expected. For example, Dion Fortune and Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky have much to teach the Thelemite. Yet both of them eschewed our most holy of holy books. Indeed, Crowley was a Buddhist when he first received this sacred tome. And he was initially appalled by what he had received. Syncretism is a modus operandi in Thelema. Anyone who is a student of spiritual and religious history can see how obvious this is when carefully reading Liber AL vel Legis.

A person’s early social environment from one’s youngest age, contains factors that determine one’s original response to the developing knowledge of the distinction between ‘self’ and ‘not-self’. Society presents the first response to the existential crisis created by this distinction as it imposes a set of moralistic doctrines designed to impel the individual to acquiesce to its own ends.

It’s role in this situation is to institute laws and behavioral patterns that are considered to be characteristic and expected of the individual. One’s adherence to the moral structure is enforced by both brute force; jail and persecution, and its religious institutions.

Religious preaching, indoctrination, and moralizing serve to shift the direction of the individual’s behavior away from personal, selfish goals toward those ends that are necessary to perpetuate society. Our religious beliefs and experiences are then initially determined by our social environment. The individual gets his or her religion through a graduated social process of reinforcement by means of reward and punishment. Hence, compliance becomes a means of securing reward and avoiding punishment.

This compliance has no personal value beyond reinforcement and is initially and almost completely an unconscious development. The individual next encounters the second phase of the existential crisis as one seeks to assert the repressed individualistic energy. This lends itself to a rejection of the religious doctrine taught by society. It is then nurtured by an identification with another individual or icon as a role model that represents this kind of success to the individual. The behavior of the role model is imitated until the individual is in complete conformity with his or her chosen heroic icon. And at this point, the punishments of society fail to produce compliance.

With the third phase of the existential crisis comes new ways of thinking that inaugurate a transformational process of internalization that leads the personality towards its own unique expression. The new behavior transcends reinforcement and identification; becoming an end unto itself. Religion is now a deeply internalized construct. The individual has matured to the point that he or she can hear one’s own inner voice as an expression of this newfound individuation.

The three phases moving from the socially instituted religion to the personal construct again, is initiated by a personal existential crisis involving a discrepancy between individual needs and desires that clash with social needs and desires. Within this process, religious experience involves a cognitive restructuring toward a superior level of personality integration and organization. This period of restructuring involves the individual opening oneself up to the non-logical aspects of experience.

However, the danger here is that instead of such a wholistic integration of personality becoming the net result, the individual may respond by escaping into “otherworldly” fantasies as a way of avoiding the struggle. Hence, games like ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ and virtual environments or Multi-User Dimensions (MUDs). Another danger is in arresting the process at the first transference onto the hero or icon. In this case, the individual attaches oneself to a dependence on a religious leader or group; which explains the prevalence of the many cults in our society. The emotional development of the individual is completely arrested at this point and usually dominated by the whims of a megalomaniacal and charismatic leader who can sometimes also be quite psychotic.

One final mistake can be brought about when religion does become internalized. The new and resultant belief structure is seen as an absolute truth and the individual will rigidly adopt arbitrary and often incongruent beliefs and rules of conduct that he or she then expects society to recognize and adhere to. This can quickly degenerate into a strong psychosis that can become quite self-destructive. And if you add strong leadership qualities (megalomania) to the personality, you have the cult leader discussed in the previous paragraph.

In every system of attainment, the human body has been considered an integral partner in the process of development that is more obviously mental, emotional and spiritual. In the eastern school, Hatha Yoga is taught as a way of preparing the body for the onslaught of illumination. And the Thelemic system suggests a testing of physical limitations as Crowley warns that such duress will accompany any success the Aspirant may have.

Attunement of the body is also an integral part of all systems of attainment. Again, in the eastern school there is a focus on the Chakkra centers as well as work in asana and pranayama that is also an integral component of the Thelemic system. And in Casteneda’s system, specific Gaits and Passes are offered in much the same way as the Yantras and Tai Chi of the eastern school are used to acquire personal power. The Middle Pillar exercise of the Golden Dawn is also indicative of serious attention being paid to this by a western system.

Magnetism is an energy that flows through the etheric dimension of western occultism that is also integral in the Tantric systems of the east. And in Thelema, work in Physical Clairvoyance is a preparation for a physical grounding of this energy. The viewing of Auras in the east and west also correlates with Casteneda’s ‘Seeing’ of the Luminous Body and its manipulation of the energy center not too much unlike the raising of the Kundalini through the Chakkras. All seem concerned with vibrations or frequencies and the body as a receptor of such.

Gurus in the east and west have inflicted ardent physical duress on their disciples to hone the energy of their Aspiration and to also prove and strengthen the purity and resolve of their Aspiration. Casteneda was subjected to great fear in the presence of a don Genaro. Thelema produces the idea of “Magickal Attack’ and a corresponding physical edginess; so well delineated by Dion Fortune in her own system.

Direct physical transformation is acquired through moods and invocations that are then converted to energy and implanted in physical substances for ingestion. This is the western concept of Alchemy and the Eucharist. This again is a harvesting and storing of energy that is an integral part of both the higher and lower ‘Gnostic Mass’ of Thelema. Casteneda’s ‘Power Food’ is also a corollary to this and akin to other Shamanic and aboriginal systems that in this case seem to be specifically limited to the west without eastern corollary with the possible exception of the Tantric school or the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Love is the law, love under will.