Liber L., Cap. 1, vv. 1-9
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10-19 20-30 31-39 40-49 50-59 60-66
1. Had! The manifestation of Nuit
In the point-experience of a moment — any moment, any event — is disclosed the whole of the universe — both its meaning and its actuality.
DEFINITION: Manifestation. A demonstration of the existence, reality, or presence of someone or something. (From Latin manifestus, lit. palpable, “gripped by the hand.”)
I use “manifestation” quite a lot, especially in places that Qabalistically indicate the externalization of a subtler idea into sensory reality at Malkuth. I note, though, that the word is defined as the demonstration of the existence, reality, or presence of someone or something. A “manifest destiny” is not merely an extant destiny; it is an evident one, a disclosed one. Much more than I had ever realized before, this is the opposite of the “hiding” of II:1. This is saying, “Look! See, here She is,” rather than, “Don’t look! No, you can’t see Him;” for, “she shall be known & I never.”
“To manifest” is the literal meaning of the Hebrew ChVH — the name we know as “Eve.” Similarly, Had, the Hidden One, is a variant of the name ADM, Adam.
Therefore, Had — the point-experience — is disclosed as the “making evident” of Nuit. The particular is the manifestation of the general (a form of the primary doctrine of Hermes). I have certainly long understood that Nuit’s manifestation can be perceived from Hadit’s point of view; but is something else being said here? Is He not being declared to be that manifestation? This certainly cannot be interpreted to mean that Hadit is “known.” It must be kept, rather, in the framework of Him being the Knower. But is the self-experience of Existence the disclosure, or evidence, of the Universe, of Reality? Experience inclines one to say “Yes.”
Finding Hadit (the “secret Centre”) discloses the inner night (Fr. nuit) which I described in the poem “October Dawn.”
The purpose of Cap. I, therefore, is to make Nuit known, to reveal Her, to unveil Her (v. I:2), even as that of Cap. II is to hide Hadit, i.e., to find the most suitable veil by which to disclose the Invisible. Verses I:1 and II:1 cannot effectively be discussed apart from each other.
GEMATRIA: Latin manifestus = 105. (The variant manufestus, from manus, is 115; manus = 60.) 105 is an important number of the geometry of the Pentagram, and shows up in the symbolism of the [...] ritual. It is the value of H.P.K., the notariqon of Hoor-Paar-Kraat, and several very descriptive words that result from rearranging these three letters. In Latin it is also Mercurius, rosa lucis, and habes verbum.
AC’s discussion of the primal meanings of the names Had and Nu, is both relevant and important. Surprisingly, he says Nuit is the speaker, invoking her lover. (Updated 11/12/03 EV)
2. The unveiling of the company of heaven
(Verse 1 was themed to Had = Kether. Verse 2, agreeing with zodiacal Chokmah, speaks toward Malkuth.)
As discerned in verse 1, this “unveiling” is the whole purpose of the first chapter. It is also the natural consequence of what is described in verse 1, the disclosure of the universe in the point-experience of event. The “company of heaven” unveiled is Nuit who is being “manifested.” It is also composed of “Every man and every woman,” for they (we) are stars.
It requires the direct experience of Cosmic Consciousness to perceive the scope of this unveiling. On a lesser scale, the image resembles that of the angelic Elohim, and even of the Beni Elohim. Unveiled are the Tzavaoth, the “heavenly hosts.” More broadly, the verse could mean, “Here come the gods!” But the interpretation given above is much better. (AC concurred.)
AC then added the important microcosmic interpretation: “...as Khabs... is ‘Star,’ there is a further meaning; this Book is to reveal the Secret Self of a man, i.e. to initiate him.” (Updated 11/12/03 EV)
3. Every man and every woman is a star
This sentence is the real essence of Thelema. This is the fundamental teaching of The Book of the Law. Eight words; 28 letters. Every 93-key of our doctrine exists as a corollary of this, the first overt teaching of Liber Legis.
Notice the reversal of perspective between v. 2 and v. 3. In v. 2, Chokmah, the male perspective, is witnessing the whole of the body of the heavens. In v. 3, Binah, the feminine, is witnessing all of the individual components, each individual element.
I have already, this morning, begun employing this verse as a point-of-view to adopt; or, rather, to consciously witness in each person I meet. The consciousness of this teaching is the practice. Much that is observed is too subtle to write. Many people veil themselves heavily — as is their right. But many do not.
If every person is a star, what of that star’s planets? Within the microcosm, the chakras are the “7 interior planets.” Other types of beings may be stars with different planetary compositions, but human stars have (at least primarily) these 7 planets. This is subtler than the chakras, though; they are but one important example of something broader. I have long felt that the planetary forces — the 7 Elohim — were chief among the primary magical forces that we were created to command. I now see this from the perspective of the Sun. There is much more to develop here, but the basics now seem clear to me. (Notice, by the way, that the greatest classic of planetary magick is the so-called “Greater Key” of SOL-OM-ON, 6 6 6, the Sun.)
“Star” is here, apparently, Khabs. Each of us is, at our core, Khabs; but our lives, our veils etc., are Khabs am Pekht, “Light in extension.” (I have developed this more extensively for initiates of the Artisan Degree of Temple of Thelema.) This, as 451 (the Greek Konx Om Pax), is of course the central idea of the name A.'.A.'.. Knowledge of self, and of our way, and of the world, is encompassed in the phrase, “Light in extension,” and our ability to witness that L.V.X. “Khabs” is related to Kokav, Mercury, “star” (hence the eight words of this verse?). Every man and every woman is Kokav.
NOTE — Crowley’s differentiation between “a male star” and “a female star,” which he claims, “explains fully the difference between the sexes,” is pure crap! There is no fundamental difference at the stellar level that is perpetuated into the physical. One of the most certain observations of reincarnation is that a being (and this is probably true of all beings) is incarnated variously as male and female. Physical gender is a convenience of the occasion. Anything that implies the contrary is simply wrong. This is not to say that every star is identical. In fact, such “male stars” and “female stars” (and numerous other varieties) may well exist as such — but that differentiation is irrelevant to physical gender. It is my observation that all beings incarnate variously as male or female until they can understand and embrace all such combinations.
My phrase “the stellar level” above has me asking, what is the stellar level? I believe it is Briatic. Khabs is the “house” of Hadit, the Yod. “The Star” in Tarot is attributed to Heh. Khabs is, therefore, at least referable to Binah, and perhaps to Briah. Exactly how we formulate this will determine whether we attribute Khu to Tiphereth or Yesod. I am tentatively inclined to the former. It also may be significant that KhV = 26, the value of the Divine Name of Tiphereth.
I have at least to consider an alternate meaning; not that each man or woman is a star, but only that every man and woman is a star; that Sun + Moon = Truth. Despite its doctrinal correctness on one plane, it is not what is taught here. A critical reading of the verse precludes this interpretation. There may, however, be a vastly more exalted idea, viz., that the sum of all the combinations and permutations of every Yang and every Yin compose, in the aggregate, is One Star. This is worthy of future meditation. Nonetheless, the simple interpretation, first given above, is surely the “functional” one. (4/3/95 EV; updated 11/14/03 EV)
4. Every number is infinite: there is no difference
Each thing whatsoever is ultimately itself. No matter how similar or related two things appear, they are actually distinct to an immeasurably vast degree. This is the idea that makes verse 4 inseparable from verse 3, one sliding effortlessly into the other. (If “number” and “star” somehow meant the same thing, there would be no apparent loss of continuity between them at all.)
These mathematics are very exalted. I think, for present purposes, that one cannot think of numbers as existing to differentiate the quantity of items (the purpose for which numbering was first created). Abstracting from this one detail (which anchors numbers in Assiah), the present verse becomes a simple mathematical truism: Each number is a universe unto itself. Every “number” — every discrete idea — has a truly infinite amount to be learned about it. This, as well, is how individuals are to go about relating to this present Book (and, for that matter, to themselves and each other).
There is likely, in addition, a classic Qabalistic significance to these words. For example, Sepher Yetzirah I:1 says that the Universe was created by Yah with three sepharim. These are sepher, sephar, and sippur. The second, sephar (SPR), is translated “number” (cf. English cipher). It also seems to mean “dimension,” or quantitative extension. The root SPR literally means, “to scratch, scrape” (like most ancient root words that relate to writing). This meaning evolved into the secondary meaning, “to inscribe”; specifically the inscription of letters on a stone! It then also meant, “to number,” and “to speak or utter.” SPR, sephar, means, “numbering.” Interestingly, SPRH, is, literally, “a book.” It is the same word as SPRH, recognizable to us as sephirah.
So, in part, we are being told that every “notch” or “nitch” of the universe is infinite. Each extant thing — by which we also include ideas — is a truly infinite well of possible experience. Furthermore, a brief meditation on these three letters in sequence — S, P, R — is very productive. It becomes readily clear why each sephar is “infinite.”
GEMATRIA: SPR = 340. It is composed of the intersecting paths of Samekh and Peh, with the Sun mounted thereon. It is a rosy cross! (340 is Shin-Mem, Shem, “name.” AC said, therefore, that it “Connects with 6 [the hexagram] through ShM, the fire and the water conjoined in the Name. Thus useful as a hint in ceremonial.” This confirms its equation to the Rosy Cross.)
The phrase “there is no difference” cross references to verse 22, where it applies to all things soever (presumably, every aspect of Nuit).
(This is a subtle Chesed reference, since “the chief of all” in that v. 22 is a 7=4 function as an expression of Chokmah. This verse 4, and the one that follow, would be related in theory to Chesed and Geburah. Verse 5 is unmistakable; this one more subtle. The basic idea in v. 4 is in greatness, infinitude, etc., plus the tolerance that comes from “no difference.”)
(Last revised 11/14/03 EV)
5. Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men
On the Stélé of Revealing is the phrase, “Osiris [i.e., the deceased], slave (or prophet) of Mentu, Lord of Thebes, opening the doors of the sky in Thebes: Ankh-af-na-Khonsu.” In translation this is an ambiguous apositive. Crowley evidently read this stélé passage to mean that Ankh-af-na-Khonsu — Crowley himself — was being addressed as this “warrior lord.” There seems no doubt, though, that AC misunderstood the passage.
It is Mentu, an Egyptian solar deity, who is here addressed as “Lord of Thebes,” just as he often was in ancient Egyptian texts. The other deity thus referenced, according to Budge (Vol. I, p. 492), was the similar god Horus.
Whatever else this verse might mean on deeper inspection, the simple surface meaning is a petition for Horus (or Mentu) to help further the unveiling — the disclosure — of Nuit “before the children of men.”
In conjunction with the next verse, though, I am inclined to think it something more. Within this Book, Ra-Hoor-Khuit not only serves as a “generic,” or “stand-in,” for the Holy Guardian Angel, but also for a particular spiritual experience. My best understanding of this verse is that Aiwass/Nuit is evoking an adept having the experience symbolized by Ra-Hoor-Khuit to “be Hadit” and provide the assistance requested. This likely was a specific instruction to Crowley, i.e., a communication of True Will. I think it equally as likely to be an instruction to adepts in general.
“Thebes” raises many questions in my mind — not the least of which is its relationship to AC’s Oedipus complex!
There were two Thebeses in the ancient world. One was an ancient religious and political capital of Upper Egypt, the governing triad of which was Amen-Ra, Mut, and Khensu (Khonsu). The other was in east-central Greece, the chief city of ancient Boeotia until destroyed by Alexander in 336 B.C., and the primary locaiton of the Oedipus legend. (Budge’s discussion of the origin of the name “Thebes.” (Vol. II, p. 3) add nothing of value.)
GEMATRIA: In Greek, the name is ThHBAI = 30. Treated as Coptic, ThEBAI = 418.
(Clearly a Geburah verse.) (4/3/95 EV; revised 11/15/03 EV)
6. Be thou Hadit, my secret centre my heart & my tongue
I interpret this verse substantially differently from To Mega Therion; and I have always felt quite clear about its basic meaning.
T.M.T. has read this verse as referring to three separate anatomical locations: genitals, heart, and tongue. (See Hadit as depicted on stélé 666.) The one thing I do find really interesting about this is that the name Nu, spelled Nun Vav, is Scorpio-Taurus: Scorpio ruling the genitals, and Taurus the throat and speech centers related to the Visuddha chakra. (The tongue extends down the throat and has ancient specific association with Taurus.) Scorpio Taurus Leo (genitals, throat/tongue, heart) = NVT, Nu’t = 65!
But Hadit is always the very (geometric) center of Nuit. See Cap. II, v. 3. In an infinite space, every point is, by definition and function, the mathematical center. This is, in fact, the very definition of Hadit. To “Be... Hadit” is to be conscious of being at the very center of Her. This Center is the “heart” (in both the geometrical and allegorical senses of the word). It is also, then, able to serve as her “tongue.” “Heart” and “tongue” may be the centripetal and centrifugal aspects.
To whom is She speaking? I believe she is speaking to every one of us, despite the use of the singular “thou.” This is arguably the most fundamental practical instruction in the entire Book. It is echoed in Cap. II, v. 76, where it is more pointedly aimed at the Prophet; but here, despite the singular “thou,” I firmly believe that every reader is being instructed to Be Hadit, as a central instruction of Thelema. Based upon the identification, in the prior verse, of the “warrior lord of Thebes” with either Horus or Mentu, She is specifically calling upon a solar deity (a star) to be Her center, Her heart, and Her tongue. (This is a Tipheric verse, especially if the Scorpio-Leo-Taurus = 65 interpretation is employed.)
If “Nu” is treated as a Latin word, it appears as a Fourth Declension noun, though admittedly atypical: Nu, Nus. “Heart of Nu” is, therefore, Cor Nus. (“Nuit,” in contrast, is not recognizable as a Latin form, nor readily adapted into one.) [A very great deal of theoretical gematria, both Latin and Hebrew, ensues, examining this phrase to extract its gold. I am not sure it would be of any value to anyone else, so I have not included them.] (4/3/95 EV; updated 11/15/03 EV)
7. Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat
Apparently a simple verse, and one I have addressed previously. Aiwass, of course, is [Hebrew] OYVZ = 93 and [Greek] AIFASS = 418. He is 93 and 418. In a macrocosmic sense He is a direct agent of the Child-god of the New Aeon. In a microcosmic sense, He is “the Voice of the Silence,” representing the HGA function in general, and AC’s HGA in particular. His name discloses that He is the living essence of 93 and 418, that they are the formulae of his being.
This Book, therefore, is an HGA communication to AC, yet carrying the message of a universal force (which is neither strange nor rare for such communications).
There is wonderful language by AC in his commentary here, on the HGA. I have used it in another paper for the Order...
P.S. — Netzach, because it is the Hidden Consciousness that is revealed. (8/22/96 EV)
8. The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs
Another verse with which I have worked much in the past. Note that AC considers that the text per se begins here.
Budge (Gods of the Egyptians, Vol. I, p. 39) gave the following:
- ba, a soul
- kau, a double
- khu, a spirit [he gives “spirits”]
He says the last two are difficult to translate, “but they are rendered with approximate correctness by ‘spiritual body,’ and ‘power.’”
Ba we have seen elsewhere from Fagan’s discussion of the Benu-bird. Budge says it “was intimately connected with the heart, and was supposed to be gratified by offerings...” The “double” sounds like a kind of astral body, a “shadow” aspect connected to the physical body (see p. 39 for other details). The Khu “was the seat of the spiritual part of man, and gods and divine personages were credited with the possession of several spirits [Khus].” Sahu sounds like the etheric body. Sekhem was not a body, but seems to have vitalized the sahu etc.
AC calls khu “the magical entity of a man.” What does this mean?
I have previously proposed Khabs as Briatic. Khu is probably somehow Yetziratic; but at which level?
The bottom line meaning of the verse is that the Khabs, or light, or star, is within what we usually call “us.” The Khu is something closer to what we usually call “us,” “ourselves.” AC uses “mind and body” very roughly to allude to this, although Khu is clearly not the guph. If Khabs is Chiah, is Khu the highest aspect of Ruakh? (I need a better way to subdivide Ruakh.) AC calls Khu a “form,” a “garment” woven by the Khabs by which it can gain self-consciousness and thus experience.
(Later:) I realized today an interesting corollary to Liber Legis I:8. There is a general principle that the outer is the symbol of the inner, not the other way around. This is one special case of the general statement. It also teaches us, therefore, that the Khu is symbolic of the Khabs. By observing our personality manifestations, life events, etc., we may witness and come to understand the Reality of ourselves that lies behind these outer manifestations.
[These notes, remarks, and thoughts should be compared, and reconsidered in light of, my remarks on Florence Farr’s writings, included in the Notes of 776½.]
AC wrote (Equinox of the Gods) that this verse shows that her message is to humanity in general.
(Interesting Hod verse for Kokav.) (8/22/96 EV)
9. Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you
Again, this has been adapted and integrated into the [—] initiation. It is one of the most important, basic practical cues in the entire Book, the basic Raja Yoga method of adoring the Self within. (4/3/95 EV)
Return to TOP of page.
Continue to next verse.