The Vision and the Voice


The Cry of the 3rd Aethyr


There is an angry light in the stone; now it is become clear.
In the centre is that minute point of light which is the true Sun, and in the circumference is the Emerald Snake. And joining them are the rays which are the plumes of Maat, and because the distance is infinite, therefore are they parallel from the circumference, although they diverge from the centre.
In all this is no voice and no motion.
And yet it seems that the great Snake feedeth upon the plumes of Truth as upon itself, so that it contracteth.[3] But ever so little as it contracteth, without it gloweth the golden rim, which is that minute point in the centre.
And all this is the sigil of the Aethyr, gold and azure and green. Yet also these are the Severities.
It is only in the first three Aethyrs that we find the pure essence, for all the other Aethyrs are but as Malkuth to complete these three triads, as hath before been said. And this being the second reflection, therefore is it the palace of two hundred and eighty judgments.[4]
For all these paths[5] are in the course of the Flaming Sword from the side of Severity. And the other two paths are Zayin, which is a sword; and Shin, which is a tooth. These are then the five severities which are 280.
All this is communicated to the Seer interiorly.
"And the eye of His benignancy is closed. Let it not be opened upon the Aethyr, lest the severities be mitigated, and the house fall."[6] Shall not the house fall, and the Dragon sink? Verily all things have been swallowed up in destruction; and Chaos hath opened his jaws and crushed the Universe as a Bacchanal crusheth a grape between her teeth. Shall not destruction swallow up destruction, and annihilation confound annihilation? Twenty and two are the mansions[7] of the House of my Father, but there cometh an ox[8] that shall set his forehead against the House, and it shall fall. For all these things are the toys of the Magician[9] and the Maker of Illusions, that barreth the Understanding from the Crown.
O thou that hast beheld the City of the Pyramids, how shouldst thou behold the House of the Juggler?[10] For he is wisdom, and by wisdom hath he made the Worlds, and from that wisdom issue judgements 70 by 4, that are the 4 eyes of the double-headed one; that are the 4 devils, Satan, Lucifer, Leviathan, Belial, that are the great princes of the evil of the world.[11]
And Satan is worshipped by men under the name of Jesus; and Lucifer is worshipped by men under the name of Brahma; and Leviathan is worshipped by men under the name of Allah; and Belial is worshipped by men under the name of Buddha.
(This is the meaning of the passage in Liber Legis, Chap. III.)[12]
Moreover, there is Mary, a blasphemy against Babalon, for she hath shut herself up;[13] and therefore is she the Queen of all those wicked devils that walk upon the earth, those that thou sawest even as little black specks that stained the Heaven of Urania. And all these are the excrement of Choronzon.
And for this is Babalon under the power of the Magician, that she hath submitted herself unto the work; and she guardeth the Abyss.[14] And in her is a perfect purity of that which is above; yet she is sent as the Redeemer to them that are below. For there is no other way into the Supernal Mystery but through her, and the Beast on which she rideth; and the Magician is set beyond her to deceive the brothers of blackness, lest they should make unto themselves a crown;[15] for if there were two crowns, then should Ygdrasil, that ancient tree, be cast out into the Abyss, uprooted and cast down into the Outermost Abyss, and the Arcanum which is in the Adytum should be profaned; and the Ark should be touched, and the Lodge spied upon by them that are not masters, and the bread of the Sacrament should be the dung of Choronzon; and the wine of the Sacrament should be the water of Choronzon; and the incense should be dispersion; and the fire upon the Altar should be hate. But lift up thyself; stand, play the man, for behold! there shall be revealed unto thee the Great Terror, the thing of awe that hath no name.
And this is the mystery that I declare unto thee: that from the Crown itself spring the three great delusions; Aleph is madness, and Beth is falsehood, and Gimel is glamour.[16] And these three be greater than all, for they are beyond the words that I speak unto thee; how much more therefore are they beyond the words that thou transmittest unto men.
Behold! the Veil of the Aethyr sundereth, and is torn, like a sail by the breath of the tempest, and thou shalt see him as from afar off. This is that which is written, "Confound her understanding with darkness," for thou canst not speak this thing.[17]
It is the figure of the Magus of the Taro;[18] and in his right arm the torch of the flames blazing upwards; in his left the cup of poison, a cataract into Hell. And upon his head the evil talisman, blasphemy and blasphemy and blasphemy, in the form of a circle. That is the greatest blasphemy of all.[19] On his feet hath he the scythes and swords and sickles; daggers; knives; every sharp thing,[20] — a millionfold, and all in one. And before him is the Table that is a Table of wickedness, the 42-fold Table. This Table is connected with the 42 Assessors of the Dead, for they are the Accursers, whom the soul must baffle; and with the 42-fold name of God, for this is the Mystery of Iniquity, that there was ever a beginning at all.[21] And this Magus casteth forth, by the might of his four weapons, veil after veil; a thousand shining colours, ripping and tearing the Aethyr, so that it is like jagged saws, or like broken teeth in the face of a young girl, or like disruption, or madness. There is a horrible grinding sound, maddening. This is the mill in which the Universal Substance, which is ether, was ground down into matter.
The Seer prayeth that a cloud may come between him and the sun, so that he may shut out the terror of the vision. And he is afire; he is terribly athirst; and no help can come to him, for the shew-stone blazeth ever with the fury and the torment and the blackness, and the stench of human flesh. The bowels of little children are torn out and thrust into his mouth, and poison is dropped into his eyes. And Lilith,[22] a black monkey crawling with filth, running with open sores, an eye torn out, eaten of worms, her teeth rotten, her nose eaten away, her mouth a putrid mass of green slime, her dugs dropping and cancerous, clings to him, kisses him.
(Kill me! kill me!)[23]
There is a mocking voice: Thou art become immortal. Thou wouldst look upon the face of the Magician and thou hast not beheld him because of his Magick veils.
(Don't torture me!)
Thus are all they fallen into the power of Lilith, who have dared to look upon his face.
The shew-stone is all black and corrupt. O filth! filth! filth!
And this is her great blasphemy: that she hath taken the name of the First Aethyr,[24] and bound it on her brow, and added thereunto the shameless yod and the tau for the sign of the Cross.
She it is that squatteth upon the Crucifix, for the nastiness of her pleasure. So that they that worship Christ suck up her filth upon their tongues, and therefore their breaths stink.[25]
I was saved from that Horror by a black shining Triangle, with apex upwards,[26] that came upon the face of the sun.
And now the shew-stone is all clear and beautiful again.
The pure pale gold of a fair maiden's hair, and the green of her girdle, and the deep soft blue of her eyes.
Note. — In this the gold is Kether, the blue is Chokmah, the green is Binah.
Thus she appeareth in the Aethyr, adorned with flowers and gems. It seems that she hath incarnated herself upon earth, and that she will appear manifest in a certain office in the Temple.
I have seen some picture like her face; I cannot think what picture. It is a piquant face, with smiling eyes and lips; the ears are small and pink, the complexion is fair, but not transparent; not as fair as one would expect from the hair and eyes. It is rather an impudent face, rather small, very pretty; the nose very slightly less than straight, well-proportioned, rather large nostrils. Full of vitality, the whole thing. Now very tall, rather slim and graceful; a good dancer.
There is another girl behind her, with sparkling eyes, mischievous, a smile showing beautiful white teeth; an ideal Spanish girl, but fair. Very vivacious. Only her head is visible, and now it is veiled by a black sun, casting forth dull rays of black and gold.
Then the disk of the sun is a pair of balances, held steady; and twined about the central pole of the balance is the little green poisonous snake, with a long forked tongue rapidly darting.[27]
And the Angel that hath spoken with me before, saith to me: The eye of His benignancy is opened; therefore veileth he thine eyes from the vision. Manfully hast thou endured; yet, hast thou been man, thou hadst not endured; and hadst thou been wholly that which thou art, thou shouldst have been caught up in the full vision that is unspeakable for Horror. And thou shouldst have beheld the face of the Magician that thou hast not been able to behold, — of him from whom issue forth the severities that are upon Malkuth, and his name is Misericordia Dei.
And because he is the dyad, thou mayest yet understand in two ways. Of first way, the Mercy of God is that Mercy which Jehovah showed to the Amalekites;[28] and the second way is utterly beyond thine understanding, for it is the upright, and thou knowest nothing but the averse, — until Wisdom shall inform thine Understanding, and upon the base of the Ultimate triangle arise the smooth point.[29]
Veil therefore thine eyes, for that thou canst not master the Aethyr, unless thy Mystery match Its Mystery. Seal up thy mouth also, for thou canst not master the voice of the Aethyr, save only by Silence.
And thou shalt give the sign of the Mother, for Babalon is thy fortress against the iniquity of the Abyss, of the iniquity of that which bindeth her unto the Crown,[30] and barreth her from the Crown; for not until thou art made one with Chaos[31] canst thou begin that last, that most terrible projection, the three-fold Regimen which alone constitutes the Great Work.
For Choronzon is as it were the shell or excrement of these three paths, and therefore is his head raised unto Daath, and therefore have the Black Brotherhood declared him to be the child of Wisdom and Understanding, who is but the bastard of the Svastika. And this is that which is written in the Holy Qabalah, concerning the Whirlpool and Leviathan, and the Great Stone.[32]
Thus long have I talked with thee in bidding thee depart, that the memory of the Aethyr might be dulled; for hadst thou come back suddenly into thy mortal frame, thou hadst fallen into madness or death. For the vision is not such that any may endure it.
But now thy sense is dull, and the shew-stone but a stone. Therefore awake, and give secretly and apart the sign of the Mother, and call four times upon the name of Chaos,[33] that is the four-fold word that is equal to her seven-fold word. And then shalt thou purify thyself, and return into the World.
So I did that which was commanded me, and returned.


December 17, 1909. 9.30 - 11:30 a.m.

[1] The last three Aethyrs are so tremendously sublime that comment is only too likely to mar the effect upon the reader. They must be read as masterpieces of Art, and their full magical import apprehended as such. This remark, indeed applies to the whole series, though not so formidably. The proper way is first to study the book in detail, so as to assimilate perfectly its intellectual content, and then to read it (so to say) ceremonially.

[2] ZON. Leo, Libra, Scorpio — The Sun, the Balance, and the Snake. See text of Aethyr.

[3] See the doctrine of the Snake Ananta. (See Liber LXV in The Holy Books.)

[4] The letters of Judgment, those that have a final form, כ מ נ פ צ‎, all add to 280.

[5] ר‎, ל and נ (Sol, Libra and Scorpio) = the Sun, the Balance or plumes of Maat, and the Snake. Added they make 280.

[6] Note this. If the Seer had seen this vision truly, he should have become a Magus right then. The vision following was really a Guard to the Aethyr.

[7] ב‎, an house.

[8] The letter א.

[9] The path of Mercury (ב) which joins and separates Kether and Binah.

[10] Atu I — the Magus.

[11] See the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

[12] 666's later annotation to this: "My own silly note."

[13] She seeks to resist Change, which is Life, she refuses the Formula, "love under will." Yet ΜΑΡΙΕ (Greek) = 156.

[14] She is Binah, ruled by the path of ב.

[15] Meaning, to construct a true Tree, of which Daath should be the summit. This is in fact the great error of the rationalists — both in science, like Büchner, and in religion, like Buddha. Knowledge is not, and cannot be, the crown of Consciousness, if only because the logic beyond the Abyss convicts it of essential self contradiction. Daath, as seen by the Magister Templi, is so far from being the opposite of ignorance that it is actually a demonstration that the Intellect is incapable of truth.

[16] The evil and averse counterparts of the three highest faculties of the soul are: א‎, incapacity to apprehend — the absence of any steady truth. (א‎ = Air, the volatile); ב‎, the assertion of false relations, even in the illusion of the dyad. (ב‎ = Mercury); ג‎, the clouding of aspiration by the marsh miasma of desire (ג‎ = Luna). The three highest faculties of the Soul are: א‎, the inspiration of the soul in ecstasy; ב‎, the virtue of Truthfulness without care of other issues; and ג‎, the direct link of the human with the divine Consciousness.

[17] The Seer was being warned all the time that he was seeing only a Guard.

[18] Atu I — the Magus. This is Mayan, the great magician, he who has created the dyad (ב‎ = 2) and thus made possible the conception of opposition, and hence of evil. He is to be distinguished from Chokma, the creative Mercury who transmits the essence of Kether as a logos, that Kether may become intelligible to Himself through Binah. This lower Mercury asserts the dyad as reality, and denies alike Kether and the Ain. Hence its issue is in materialism.

[19] That is, that the circle should be profaned. The evil circle is of three concentric rings. The circle demands the square or cross to fulfill it.

[20] Curiously, for his retirement in New Hampshire (An XII) the Seer bought an axe, knife, and a saw for his magical weapons. He had completely forgotten this passage.
P.S. (Sun in Leo, Moon in Cancer, An XII) I have just realized (after some days woodcarving) that the use of a knife is just to fashion shapeless things into beauty. This is then the task of a Magus which, in my then Grade, I could not see. Now, O Lord, let me behold the true vision of the Magus as he is.

[21] 42 = 2 x 21. 21 = אהיה‎, God-name of Kether; thus 42 asserts the Dyad as against the Monad, and denies Love. 42 = אמא, the mother unfertilized (as opposed to Aimah, אימה, the fertilized mother), the virgin-on-principle — the feminine equivalent of the Black Brothers.

[22] Lilith (לילית‎) = 480. 480 also equals עית‎ = Malkuth, of the 42-fold name in Yetzirah. Also it is Daath (דעות‎) in the Plural. Lilith is etymologically "the woman of night"; but is diversely described by different authorities. To one she is, "from the head to the navel, a woman — from the navel to the feet of her, a man". To another, "lovely shape that concealeth a black monkey, even as a figure that draweth with her hands small images of men down into hell" (Liber Ararita II, 10). She is also the "first wife of Adam" i.e. the succubus who visits in their sleep those boys and men who have not previously purified themselves by right coitus. The whole world of demons was in fact created (according to Rabbinical tradition) by the nocturnal pollutions of Adam. This is a true parable. For every sexual act produces its natural effect on all planes. All forms of spiritual experience may be obtained in this manner, according to the magical knowledge and skill of the operator. And there is always a child begotten on some plane or other, as the conditions of the experiment decide. (Note. — A.C. added the following here in his copy of Eqx. I, No. 5. "Doris Gomez who came just before Jeanne Foster. It's a perfect description of her normal nature. Add Laura Brown for the sake of completeness. What about Alostrael?")

[23] The Seer was physically overwhelmed by the horror of this experience. It may seem surprising that such phenomena should occur above the Abyss. But this Lilith is a positive form created by the Magus; whereas, Choronzon is the breaking up of all coherence. Here also is a mystery of mysteries. Lilith is truly Babalon, as imagined by this energy of Mayan.

[24] LIL.

[25] For the Christian, obsessed by Mayan, sees Love in this obscene form. It is all a matter of the point-of-view.

[26] This is the Sigil of Binah in one of Her forms. It instantly destroys the illusion of Lilith, who now appears in her true shape as an avatar; a corporeal imagine of Babalon, recalling the maiden of the 9th Aethyr. (Note. — in A.C.'s Eqx. here to the para. beginning "I have seen some picture" he notes in the margin "Hilarion, Jeanne Robert Foster". — To the para. beginning "then the disk of the sun", he notes "Alice Ethel Coomaraswamy. She has Libra rising and Sol in Scorpio and she is mad about green." — To the para. beginning "There is another girl", he notes "Helen Westley? — or Myriam Deroxe.")

[27] It would be improper in this place to comment upon these prophecies. The student may seek enlightenment in "The Urn", a diary of the late American period (now unfortunately lost, or so I have learned. I.R.).

[28] Atu XII — the Hanged Man. Now I understand. It is the fashioning I missed. All my life I have been cutting to destroy. Now I will cut to create.

[29] All this passage is typical of the supernal Logic.

[30] The path of ב.

[31] The mystery of Chaos is beyond the comprehension of any but Masters of the Temple. One can only hint that this is at once the Formula of the feminine Trinity and of the all-Father.

[32] The student is advised to study these matters in the original documents.

[33] Chaos = כעוס‎ = 156.

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