Liber XV



Of the ceremony of the opening of the Veil

The priest.

Thee therefore whom we adore we also invoke. By the power of the lifted Lance!

He raises the Lance. All repeat Hailing Sign.

A phrase of triumphant music.

The priest takes the priestess by her right hand with his left, keeping the Lance raised.

I, priest and king, take thee, Virgin pure without spot; I upraise thee; I lead thee to the East; I set thee upon the summit of the Earth.

He thrones the priestess upon the altar. The deacon and the children follow, they in rank, behind him. The priestess takes the Book of the Law, resumes her seat, and holds it open on her breast with her two hands, making a descending triangle with thumbs and forefingers.

The priest gives the lance to the deacon to hold; and takes the ewer from the child, and sprinkles the priestess, making five crosses, forehead, shoulders, and thighs.

The thumb of the priest is always between his index and medius, [2] whenever he is not holding the Lance. The priest takes the censer from the child, and makes five crosses as before.

The children replace their weapons on their respective altars.

The priest kisses the Book of the Law three times. He kneels for a space in adoration, with joined hands, knuckles closed, thumb in position as aforesaid. He rises and draws the veil over the whole altar. All rise and stand to order.

The priest takes the Lance from the deacon and holds it as before, as Osiris or Phthah. He circumambulates the Temple three times, followed by the deacon and the children as before. (These, when not using their hands, keep their arms crossed upon their breasts.) At the last circumambulation they leave him and go to the place between the font and the small altar, where they kneel in adoration, their hands joined palm to palm, and raised above their heads.

All imitate this motion.

The priest returns to the East and mounts the first step of the Altar.

The priest.

O circle of Stars whereof our Father is but the younger brother, marvel beyond imagination, soul of infinite space, before whom Time is ashamed, the mind bewildered, and the understanding dark, not unto Thee may we attain, unless Thine image be Love. Therefore by seed and root and stem and bud and leaf and flower and fruit we do invoke Thee.

Then the priest answered and said unto the Queen of Space, kissing her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat; O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus, that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!

During this speech the priestess must have divested herself completely of her robe, See CCXX.I.62. [6]

The priestess.

"But to love me is better than all things: if under the night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour and pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me!

"To me! To me!

"Sing the raptuous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Wear to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you!

"I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset. I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky.

"To me! To me!"

The priest mounts the second step.

The priest.

O secret of secrets that art hidden in the being of all that lives, not Thee do we adore, for that which adoreth is also Thou. Thou art That, and That am I.

I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death. I am alone; there is no God where I am.

(The deacon and all rise to their feet with Hailing Sign.)

The deacon.

But ye, O my people, rise up and awake. Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy and beauty!
There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times.
A feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride!
A feast for the three days of the writing of the Book of the Law.
A feast for Tahuti and the Children of the Prophet—secret, O Prophet!
A feast for the Supreme Ritual, and a feast for the Equinox of the Gods.
A feast for fire and a feast for water; a feast for life and a greater feast for death!
A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my rapture!
A feast every night unto Nu, and the pleasure of uttermost delight!

(The priest mounts the third step.)

The priest:

Thou that art One, our Lord in the Universe, the Sun, our Lord in ourselves whose name is Mystery of Mystery, uttermost being whose radiance, enlightening the worlds, is also the breath that maketh every God even and Death to tremble before thee — by the Sign of Light appear thou glorious upon the throne of the Sun.

Make open the path of creation and of intelligence between us and our minds. Enlighten our understanding.

Encourage our hearts. Let thy light crystallize itself in our blood, fulfilling us of Resurrection.

A ka dua
Tuf ur biu
Bi a'a chefu
Dudu nur af an nuteru![11]

The priestess.

There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

(The priest parts the veil with his Lance.)

(During the previous speeches the priestess has resumed her robe.)

(The priestess is seated with the Paten in her right hand and the Cup in her left. The priest presents the Lance which she kisses eleven times. She then holds it to her breast while the priest falling at her knees, kisses them, his arms stretched along her thighs. He remains in this adoration while the deacon intones the collects. All stand to order, with the Dieu Garde, that is: feet square, hands, with linked thumbs, held loosely. This is the universal position when standing, unless other direction is given.)


[in rank] In rank: that is, side by side. In rank and file, the ranks go across where the files go up and down.

[2] Note 1, p. 426:
A phallic sign.

[kneel in adoration] kneel in adoration

[above their heads] With the palms held thus, one places them at the chest to acknowledge one's equals; at the head for superiors; and above the head for the Divine.

[CCXX.I.62] At all my meetings with you shall the priestess say — and her eyes shall burn with desire as she stands bare and rejoicing in my secret temple — To me! To me! calling forth the flame of the hearts of all in her love-chant.

[6] CCXX = 220, The Book of the Law, chapter I, verse 62.

[But to love me] This text is from Liber CCXX, I:61-65.

[Thou art That] Tat Tvam Asi, "Thou Art That," is a statement of the ineffability of Being. See here for more information.

[no God] This text, from CCXX II:23, is not a refutation or denial of God. For more context, refer to the Fifth Aethyr of The Vision and the Voice: "For all that thou thinkest is but thy thought; and as there is no god in the ultimate shrine, so there is no I in thine own Cosmos." And later in the same Aethyr: "And the barb thereof is the star that thou sawest in the place where was No God."

[rise up and awake] This text is from the Book of the Law, Chapter II, verses 34-43. Note, though, that this ritual uses "children" of the Prophet, not "child".

[11] Note 1, p. 428:
Unity uttermost showed
I adore the might of Thy Breath
Supreme and Terrible God
Who makest the gods and Death
To tremble before Thee
I, I, adore Thee.
(Paraphrased by Crowley from 'The Stele of Revealing.' See The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Cape 1969.)

[Do what thou wilt] This quote is from CCXX.III.60

[resumed her robe] This instruction is changed in other versions to read: "During the previous speeches the priestess has, if necessary, as in savage countries, resumed her robe."

We prefer that reading, that when the veil opens it is the Priestess' privilege to be clothed or not, according to her will.

IAO SABAO is the Gnostic rendering of יהוה צבאות‎, YHVH Tzabaoth, LORD of Hosts.

Lord Abraxas

Lord Mithras

Lord Phallus



"Ischuros" means "strong one".

"Athanaton" means "deathless one".

"Abroton" means "woundless one" (i.e., one who cannot be wounded).


Hail Phallus

Hail All-devourer

Hail All-begetter. Note that "paggenetor" is pronounced "pan-genetor".

Holy, holy, holy IAO

[28] Note 1, p. 429:
Io, Io, Io IAO Sabao, Lord Abrasax, Lord Mithras, Lord Phallus. Io Pan, Io Pan, Pan, Io Strong One, Io Immortal, Io Divine, Io IAO. Hail Phallus, hail All-devourer, hail All-begetter. Holy, Holy, Holy IAO.

[stand to order] Yes, really: stand up now, in Dieu Garde: feet at a 90° angle, arms down, hands side by side, fingers outstretched with the thumbs linked. Others claim this is wrong because there's a second instruction to stand, later in the Collects; but the two instructions are different. See the tenth Collect, Death, to see what we mean.

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