The Vision and the Voice


The Cry of the 26th Aethyr


There is a very bright pentagram: and now the stone is gone, and the whole heaven is black, and the blackness is the blackness of a mighty angel.[2] And though he is black (his face and his wings and his robe and his armour are all black), yet is he so bright that I cannot look upon him. And he cries: O ye spears and vials of poison and sharp swords and whirling thunderbolts that are about the corners of the earth,[3] girded with wrath and justice, know ye that His name is Righteousness in Beauty?[4] Burnt out are your eyes, for that ye have seen me in my majesty. And broken are the drum-heads of your ears,[5] because my name is as two mountains of fornication, the breasts of a strange woman;[6] and my Father is not in them.
Lo! the pools of fire and torment mingled with sulphur! Many are their colours, and their colour is as molten gold, when all is said. Is not He one, one and alone, in whom the brightness of your countenance is as 1,728 petals of fire.[7]
Also he spake the curse, folding his wings across and crying: Is not the son the enemy of his father? And hath not the daughter stolen the warmth of the bed of her mother?[8] therefore is the great curse irrevocable. Therefore there is neither wisdom nor understanding nor knowledge in this house, that hangeth upon the edge of hell.[9] Thou art not 4 but 2, O thou blasphemy spoken against 1![10]
Therefore whoso worshippeth thee is accursed. He shall be brayed in a mortar and the powder thereof cast to the winds, that the birds of the air may eat thereof and die; and he shall be dissolved in strong acid and the elixir poured into the sea, that the fishes of the sea may breathe thereof and die. And he shall be mingled with dung and spread upon the earth, so that the herbs of the earth may feed thereof and die; and he shall be burnt utterly with fire, and the ashes thereof shall calcine the children of flame, that even in hell may be found an overflowing lamentation.
And now on the breast of the Angel is a golden egg between the blackness of the wings, and that egg[11] grows and grows all over the aethyr. And it breaks, and within there is a golden eagle.
And he cries: Woe! woe! woe! Yea, woe unto the world! For there is no sin, and there is no salvation.[12] My plumes are like waves of gold upon the sea. My eyes are brighter than the sun. My tongue is swifter than the lightning.
Yet am I hemmed in by the armies of night, singing, singing prases unto Him that is smitten by the thunderbolt of the abyss. Is not the sky clear behind the sun? These clouds that burn thee up, these rays that scorch the brains of men with blindness; these are heralds before my face of the dissolution and the night.
Ye are all blinded by my glory; and though ye treasure in your heart the sacred word that is the last lever of the key to the little door beyond the abyss, yet ye gloss and comment thereupon; for the light itself is but illusion. Truth itself is but illusion. Yea, these be the great illusions beyond life and space and time.
Let thy lips blister with my words! Are they not meteors in thy brain? Back, back from the face of the accursed one, who am I; back into the night of my father, into the silence; for all that ye deem right is left, forward is backward, upward is downward.[13]
I am the great god adored of the holy ones. Yet am I the accursed one, child of the elements and not their father.[14]
O my mother! wilt thou not have pity upon me? Wilt thou not shield me? For I am naked, I am manifest, I am profane. O my father! wilt not thou withdraw me? I am extended, I am double, I am profane.
Woe, woe unto me! These are they that hear not prayer. It is I that have heard all prayer alway, and there is none to answer me. Woe unto me! Woe unto me! Accursed am I unto the aeons!
All this time this brilliant eagle-headed god has been attacked, seemingly, by invisible people,[15] for he is wounded now and again, here and there; little streams of fresh blood come out over the feathers of his breast. And the smoke of the blood is gradually filling the Aethyr with a crimson veil. There is a scroll over the top, saying: Ecclesia abhorret a sanguine,[16] and there is another scroll below it in a language of which I do not know the sounds. The meaning is, Not as they have understood.[17]
The blood is thicker and darker now, and it is becoming clotted and black, so that everything is blotted out; because it coagulates, coagulates. And then at the top there steals a dawn of pure night-blue,[18] — Oh, the stars, the stars in it deeply set! — and drives the blood down; so that all round the top of the oval gradually dawns the figure of our Lady Nuit, and beneath her is the flaming winged disk, and below the altar of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, even as it is upon the Stele of Revealing.[19] But below is the supine figure of Seb, into whom is concentrated all that clotted blood.[20]
And there comes a voice: It is the dawn of the aeon. The aeons of cursing are passed away. Force and fire, strength and sight, these are for the servants of the Star and the Snake.
And now I seem to be lying in the desert, exhausted.[21]


November 25, 1909. 1.10 - 2 p.m.

[1] DES = Spirit Wheel, Virgo, Gemini = Zayin, Yod, Daleth = 31 + 10 + 7 = 48 = Kokab (Caph, Vau, Caph, Beth) = the Sphere of Mercury. This Aethyr describes the supersession of the Aeon of Jehovah and Jesus. The Stele of Revealing, which led to The Book of the Law, whose key number is 31.
Daleth = D = Wheel of the Spirit = 31. (It appears that Crowley takes Aleph Lamed, AL, part of the title of The Book of the Law, which adds to 31. 3 and 1 make 4, and thus 4 = Daleth = Wheel of the Spirit.)
Yod = E = Virgo = Nuit and the point, Hadit.
Zayin = S = Gemini = The Twins, Ra Hoor Khuit and Hoor Paar Kraat combined in Heru-Ra-Ha, the Lord of the Aeon. (Zayin is really Z, not S. But it suited Crowley's convenience to use S at this particular moment.) Also Virgo and Gemini are the houses of Mercury, the Logos. Thus the name of the Aethyr actually means: The sacred secret key letter of The Book of the Law of Thelema, appearing through the operation of Mercury as well as giving a complete symbolical description of the Stele of Revealing itself. The Arcanum is of Atu XX — New Aeon = Shin = Spirit = Fire "The Last Judgment" or "The Angel". The old form of Atu XX shows the Resurrection formula of the Old Aeon. The new form shows the Stele of Revealing = 718.

[2] The Pentagram indicates that the subject of the vision is to be the destiny of man. The blackness, which is bright, is solar. The context shows that Binah is not here implied.

[3] All symbols of division and destruction, also extending only to the blind Four Elements.

[4] Righteousness = Jupiter = Jehovah = Beauty = Osiris = Jesus. These are the qualities they claimed. Their failure is that they never had the idea of the Supernals beyond the Abyss.

[5] Hearing pertains to the element Spirit, as sight to the element of Fire. These gods have deprived man of his highest faculties.

[6] See the 10th Key.

[7] The Zodiac brought down to the material plane.

[8] The Oedipus complex. Christianity.

[9] The cult of Jehovah cannot even reach to Daath.

[10] Meaning, Jehovah is not even the true Chesed, but the evil dyad (as opposed to the true dyad of Chokmah, which interprets Kether in terms of vibration, the Logos).

[11] The promise of breaking the tyranny of Jehovah, who was the evil 4 in the Aeon of the true 4, Isis, by the solar (golden) Jesus. He appears as an eagle (the bird of Jupiter) so that despite the glittering hope, it was only the Old Aeon all over again.

[12] He knows this truth, which destroys the whole idea of his formula. Nobody will bother about him, if he is a sinner and needs no saviour.

[13] Observe the loud words, the confusion of the thought, throughout this excited passage.

[14] He knows that he is not an image of the simple, sublime self, but an ill-concocted mess of blind forces.

[15] Jesus has been destroyed by myriads of minute historical and other facts; the observations of nature which have broken down the theories on which his existence depended. His blood is spilt, and veils truth; whereas the blood of the Master of the Temple is gathered in the Cup of Babalon and floods the world with life and beauty. (See 27th Aethyr, Note 26.) (In this connection, Crowley should have insisted on the reading of his own, as yet unpublished book on Jesus and the New Testament entitled, The Gospel According to St. Bernard Shaw. It is without equal.)

[16] The Christian, incapable of the formula of the Master of the Temple, abhors the shedding of blood. He fears to lose his vile life (despite the biblical promise that he who loses his life shall find it).

[17] The meaning of the Latin is that given in Note 16, not the traditional ecclesiastical interpretation. See also Liber AL vel Legis, I, vv. 45-48.

[18] Not only symbolic, but actually visible even to the physical eyes, when Nuit is manifested. Also when Ra-Hoor-Khuit is invoked, or Aiwass.

[19] See the various special aqccounts of the Stele — in Equinox VII and The Equinox of the Gods. The new Tarot Card XX — The Aeon = 718, really depicts the Stele of Revealing. (For Crowley's rendition of the Crowley-Harris Tarot Pack, his book The Book of Thoth — Weiser, New York, 1969 — should be consulted. A pack of the cards drawn by Lady Frieda Harris has been published by Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minn.

[20] Earth has absorbed the ruin wrought by Jesus, to rebuild life through putrefaction, by her regular formula — as opposed to the higher magick.

[21] This vision, being so close to the physical plane, required no intermediate stations on the way back. The exhaustion was due to the same cause. Communion with high spiritual forces renews the vitality of the Seer.

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