THE BOOK OF THE LAW
the Order of the
Thelemic Golden Dawn
(Order of the T\G\D\)
By David Cherubim
(Frater Aurora Aureae)
Copyright © 1991 e.v.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Greetings and Salutations to all brothers and sisters of our Holy Order of Thelema, to all of you who revel and rejoice in the New Law of Liberty, and who, by that Great Law, are made true partakers of the new Golden Dawn of Thelema, to live as free men and women upon the earth, to take your pleasure among the legions of the living. It is now upon Us to deliver unto you knowledge and insight regarding our Sacred Book of the New Aeon, which, as you shall duly discover, is our Supreme Talisman and Magical Link to Freedom. May what is to follow bestow upon you all a greater understanding of the New Law of Thelema which the Book of the Law announces as the Sole Rule of Life, the one worthy Code of Conduct; and may you all attain to the Great Fulfillment of our Royal Way of the Magick of the Will. In the Name of the Crowned and Conquering Lord of the New Aeon, Amen.
It is first necessary, my dear brothers and sisters, to communicate unto you a brief account of the history of the Book of the Law. The Book of the Law (called Liber Legis in the Latin tongue), was dictated to Aleister Crowley by a Praeter-human Intelligence named Aiwass, between noon and 1 p.m. on April 8th, 9th and 10th, in the year 1904 e.v. The Book of the Law announces to mankind the New Aeon of Horus, which commenced on the Vernal Equinox of March, 1904 e.v., and which shall remain for a period of 2,000 years. After its dictation, Crowley dismissed the Book of the Law as being of no great value and in the course of time he simply lost the original manuscript. It was not until five years after its dictation that he inevitably came across it, and this without the conscious intent to do so. It was then that Crowley began to study and comprehend the revolutionary wisdom of the Book of the Law. He inevitably acknowledged the Book of the Law as the supreme charter to Universal Freedom, by which humanity could take a great step upward upon the Ladder of Evolution, to attain the Great Work of the True Adepti of the Magick of Light.
Aiwass, the Angel who dictated the Book of the Law, defined himself as "the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat". Hoor-Paar-Kraat, called Harpocrates in the Greek tongue, is the Egyptian God of Silence. He represents the Secret Self of every man and every woman, that is, their Silent Self or Holy Guardian Angel. True understanding of this Silent Self is the Universal Key to every mystery of Magick and Mysticism. Hoor-Paar-Kraat, when manifested, appears in the active form of his Twin Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the Crowned and Conquering Child of Force and Fire. Hoor-Paar-Kraat is the Lord of Silence, whereas Ra-Hoor-Khuit is the Lord of the Word. And Heru-Ra-Ha is the true name of that Great Unity who is represented by these Twins of the New Aeon of Horus.
Crowley came to identify Aiwass as one of the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order of the A\A\, a discarnate entity of superhuman intelligence and power. The Third Order of the A\A\ is the Supreme Invisible Order of the Universe, and Aiwass is the principal Messenger from that Most Holy Order at this stage in our evolution. The God symbolic of the Third Order is Hoor-Paar-Kraat, the Lord of Silence. Hoor-Paar-Kraat is the Babe in the Egg of Blue, or the Crowned Child upon the Lotus, and He is a universal symbol of the Holy Guardian Angel. He is the Virginal God within who represents true innocence. His letter in the ancient Angelic Alphabet is Aleph and he is the Fool of Atu 0 of Tarot who represents the Free Spirit of Life.
The Book of the Law is a revelation of paramount importance from the Third Order of the A\A\; it is the Supreme Link to the Great White Brotherhood, by which we may participate in the excellent knowledge and lofty administration of the Great Work of the A\A\, and become as one of the children of that Most August Order, to be nourished in our souls with the Celestial Wisdom, and to receive the Divine Kiss of the Stars by which we may experience the Supreme Rapture of Illumination. The A\A\, or the Great White Brotherhood, is a Body of High Initiates who are pledged to the service of mankind. The Book of the Law originated from the interior Sanctuary of the Holy Order of the A\A\, and the Law of Thelema as expounded in that book is the True Law which emanates from the A\A\, which We of Thelema accept as the One Law of the Universe, by which every man and every woman is made a master in his/her own right. The Novus Ordo Aurora Aurea, also called the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn (Order of the T\G\D\), is the Outer College of the A\A\, dedicated to the works of Scientific Illuminism, whose method is Science and whose aim is Religion. The Golden Dawn now embraces and upholds the Law of Thelema and seeks to extend that Law in the world, to establish the New Kingdom of Horus upon earth. Thus are we now called the New Order of the Golden Dawn, and we have transformed the Old Temple into a New Temple for our Lord Horus to indwell, that His Kingdom may prevail on earth, and that the Great Work of the A\A\ may be accomplished in His Name.
The Book of the Law contains three chapters that are sacred communications from three Egyptian Gods called Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit. The first chapter is the Voice of Nuit, our Lady of the Starry Heaven -- the Star-Goddess; the second chapter is the Voice of Hadit, the flame that burns in every heart of WoMan and in the core of every Star; and the third chapter is the Voice of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the Child of Nuit and Hadit, the Crowned and Conquering Lord of our New Aeon of Thelema.
Nuit can be defined as space, infinite extension or matter in its deepest metaphysical sense. Hadit can be defined as that which occupies space, infinite contraction, eternal motion or energy. Nuit is the infinite expansion of the Rose and Hadit is the infinite contraction of the Cross. Ra-Hoor-Khuit is the product of the interplay of these two infinities that give birth to finity.
In the magical symbolism of the Novus Ordo Aurora Aurea, the Circle symbolizes Nuit and the Cross symbolizes Hadit. The uniting of the Circle and Cross is the accomplishment of the Great Work. The dual-symbol of the Cross within the Circle is the appropriate occult glyph of our Lord Ra-Hoor-Khuit. This dual-symbol of the Circle and Cross is the same as the Rosicrucian symbol of the Rose-Cross and of the Sun and Moon Conjoined in our Holy Order. In the Book of the Law, the Circle and the Cross are Qabalistically indicated in the magical words COPH NIA of chapter III, verse 72. COPH is the Cross and NIA is the Circle.
The principal message of the Book of the Law is the Law of Thelema, that is, "Do what thou wilt." This is our perfect code of conduct, our sole means to accomplish the Great Work in absolute freedom. According to this New Law, we are now to assume complete responsibility for ourselves, to advance forward in freedom, to realize and pursue our own paths in life unto the ultimate attainment of the supreme realization of our True Self.
We are to develop and realize our True Self by way of our True Will; for the True Will is the True Self in action; it is the dynamic aspect of our true natures by which we rend the dark veils which blind us to the magnificent truth within. Until we take responsibility for ourselves, to understand and act out our True Will, we are bound to fail in the lofty task of establishing the Law of Thelema upon earth, which, as initiates, we are bound to accomplish. But if we take responsibility for our lives, and cultivate love and freedom by the proper application of the Law of Thelema, then will we establish that Law, for in such manner we are living in harmony with the One Will of the Universe, moving with the New Current, uniting with all in perfect joy and harmony.
We of Thelema must be strong and free to know our True Will; then, and only then, can we act aright. Only those who fear shall fail. Therefore we must be without fear, to exalt ourselves in strength and freedom, to do our True Will with all manner of energy and endurance. This is our Great Work by which we are brought to the Supreme Perfection, and by which we participate in the Cosmic Order of the Starry-Heaven of our Lady Nuit.
When we are doing our True Will, there is nothing that can hinder us from going forth with indefatigable energy and endless ecstasy in our chosen course of endeavor; we are free to interpret every phenomenon as an essential part of our True Will; we may use every force of the universe to serve our means to accomplish the Great Work; we may use any act to achieve our magical end, yet all this without lust of result. In the Book of the Law, I: 42-44, it is proclaimed by our Lady Nuit: "So with thy all; 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." Engrave this on your hearts, my dear brothers and sisters, in puissant and penetrating letters of subtle fire that shall guide you aright, to enlighten your life with Liberty!
In the Book of the Law, II: 30-31, it is further stated, under the figure of our Lord Hadit: "If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness." We are not to obstruct our true natures by indulging ourselves in useless points of philosophy; we are not to allow reason to interfere with the free course of our true natures. Rather we must go forth in freedom to do our True Will, with complete confidence in ourselves to accomplish the task for which we have incarnated in the flesh. It is the act of a foolish man to ask why a star travels in its appointed orbit. It is like trying to discover a reason for the existence of Nature herself! It is philosophical nonsense and mere mental waste, which inevitably leads to confusion and disorder.
The Book of the Law also proclaims, under the figure of our Lady Nuit: "Love is the law, love under will." This defines further the nature of "Do what thou wilt", which is the whole of the Law. To love is to unite, to join together. We are to unite ourselves passionately with all things, and thereby do we annihilate our false sense of separateness from the Universe; and we are to accept everything as it is in itself, as one of the elements of our own nature. Doing one’s True Will is a sacramental act of love; it is the uniting of oneself with the Universe, with the infinite All. It is the formula of Change by the sacramental dedication of the Will, and the sacramental dissolution of the self in the Universal All. The nature of our Will is Love, but it is very necessary to understand that this Love of which We speak is like the golden flower of our Will, the sacred fruit of our pure aspiration to accomplish the Great Work without lust of result. It is not the master of our Will, rather is it the child of our going, the product of uniting ourselves with one of the infinite possibilities of Our Lady Nuit.
Love is to be magically directed; it is to be the Serpent Love of Liber Legis, I: 57. Every act of Love must be under Will, that is, in accordance with one’s True Will. This is the Excellent Way of Infinite Delicacy, by which we are made partakers of the Sacrament of the Wine that is the Blood of the Sun in the Holy Graal of Love. By the proper application of the Law of Love -- under Will -- we drink of the delicious Wine of the Sabbath of the Adepts, by which we take delight in the Mystick Rapture of the Stars. What better delight can there be than this, for us to drink the Wine which is the Life of our Lord the Sun, to become like unto the Sun Itself, radiant Centers of Light, Life, Love and Liberty?
Thelema is the Greek word for Will. It -- like Agape, the Greek word for Love -- has the numerical value of 93. Aiwaz (Aiwass) also has the numerical value of 93. According to the Qabalistic Science of Gematria, words that have the same numerical value are descriptions of each other or they are indications of a single phenomenon. Thelema is "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law"; Agape is "Love is the law, love under will." Aiwass is the Angel of Thelema -- the New Law of Will and Love. This New Law is the Sole Commandment of Nature; it is our Law of Liberty, by which we perfect ourselves in Nature, to accomplish our True Will. We should all learn to apply this Law to our every problem in life and to determine our every action or question of conduct in accordance with it. The proper application of this One Law increases our efficiency on all levels of existence and it offers to us the complete fulfillment of all our true spiritual and material aspirations. By its application we can come to understand our own true natures, and to express in our lives the creative Will of our beings, to make joy and victory our lot.
In the Book of the Law, I: 3, it is proclaimed by our Lady Nuit: "Every man and every woman is a star." We are all individual Centers of the Infinite, each with our own unique and essential orbit to pursue in the Cosmic Order. We are to be free of all standard ways and codes; we are to exist by our own light and truth in this Illustrious Way of Liberty. We are to calculate our own orbits, and to transcend all accidental phenomena. We are to come forth from our thick veils of darkness which blind us to the Truth, to lift ourselves up from the messy muddled mire of the mind, and to do our Will with all manner of ecstasy and delight. Freedom is now the One Law of Life; every man and every woman must now be free to realize their own True Self and to do their own True Will.
Freedom is the power to determine your own path at Will; it is perfect self-control and emancipation from the false paths that lead us astray into the darkness of ignorance and the weakness of slavery. When we are fortified by Liberty, we are able to fashion ourselves according to our own True Will. We then make for our own progress and power as independent Centers of our own universe. Freedom is the Sweet Ambrosia of the Gods, by which we nourish ourselves to prosecute the Master Work of our Royal Art of the Magick of Light.
The magical doctrine of the Book of the Law asserts that every man and every woman has a proper course in life -- a True Will -- just as every star has its own orbit, and that the duty of each person is to pursue his own course, just as every star must move in its own orbit. It further states that we have no right but to do our own True Will; and that any deviation from this path is a direct violation of the Law of Thelema which is the Law of Liberty. If we all did our True Will there would be no conflict, and no interference with one another. Any act that is not in harmony with one’s True Will is a hindrance to one’s freedom. We must know our True Will and do it with one-pointedness, and without lust of result. Every act is to be a sacrament unto Nuit, a ritual of Love under Will. We should not restrict ourselves or repress any true part of our natures; on the contrary, we should be free to revel and rejoice in all that we are, and to devote ourselves and every part of our natures to the supreme task of doing our True Will. Therefore let us all arise and awaken ourselves in the New Law, to live in the majestic universe of the glorious stars, and to flame forth free with Light and Liberty!
As Initiates of Thelema, We of the new Golden Dawn are dedicated to the essential task of extending the New Law in the world, to help develop a New Race of free men and women who are consecrated to that One Law, and to establish the New Kingdom of Horus upon earth. Those of us who are initiates of the New Order are obligated to that grand task by way of the development of our own individual freedom; our principal work is to uphold that obligation by fulfilling the Law itself, that is, by doing our own True Will. We all need to express our own unique natures, to fulfil our individual tasks in life, to do our own True Will, and indeed we will be the makers of a New Race which will live and reign like the wondrous stars of the beautiful night-sky, in universal harmony, without clash or conflict, free and mighty to flame forth on their own unique orbits in the Celestial Order.
Now the Book of the Law contains 220 verses in all. 220 = 10 x 22. There are 10 Sephiroth and 22 Paths on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is a scientific diagram of the various macrocosmic and microcosmic forces that govern the Universe and WoMan. It is the Qabalistic glyph of the Universal All. Thus in the Book of the Law is contained the Mysteries of The All. Moreover, 220 = 20 x 11. Now observe that 20 + 11 = 31. The number 31 is of great importance in the Qabalah of the Book of the Law. It is the number of the Hebrew God Name "AL". The Book of the Law is otherwise called "Liber AL". "AL" is an appropriate Qabalistic name of the God of the Book of the Law. The God "AL" is The All, Pan, otherwise called Set in Egyptian Mythology. In Hebrew the name Set is Shin-Teth. In Tarot, Shin is Atu 20 and Teth is Atu 11, and 20 + 11 = 31. Observe also that 31 is the number of the Path of Shin on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Shin is the letter of Set and the letter of our New Aeon of Force and Fire.
The original manuscript of the Book of the Law contained 65 pages. 65 is the number of NU (Nuit) and HAD (Hadit) united (Nun-Vav + Heh-Daleth = 65). It is also the number of Adonai, the Lord. Ra-Hoor-Khuit is the Lord of the New Aeon, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit (Set) is the Child of the Marriage of Nuit and Hadit. Now 65 (Samekh-Heh), when translated by Tarot is "Temperance" (Atu XIV) and "The Star" (Atu XVII). 14 + 17 = 31. Again 31 is the numerical value of AL (Aleph-Lamed), who is the God of the Book of the Law.
It is very important to understand that the magical formula of the Book of the Law is not founded on an absolute truth but on one that is relative to the Spirit of the Times. The Book of the Law makes no false claim to solve all the problems of humanity; it merely indicates a particular stage in the course of evolution. This particular stage is called the New Aeon of Horus. Horus, the Lord of the New Aeon, is the Child of Osiris and Isis, and S/He partakes of the elements of both his Father and Mother. S/He is bisexual, a combination of male and female; S/He is a Twin-God, that is, two in One. Like all true gods, Horus is an archetypal symbol of a certain force of Nature, particularly of the true nature of WoMan; for, as we shall discover in our progress, there is no god but WoMan. Men and women are now free to be what they are in truth, that is, self-sufficient gods of infinite space, free to flame forth in the cosmos of infinity as bright and glorious stars, unique and supreme. We are to live like gods, crowned and conquering, free to do our own Will.
Truly this is our Magical Heritage from the Stars, by which we make of the Dance of Life a veritable Thrill and an Ecstasy Sublime; the Sacrament of Incarnation becomes a sublime source of great joy and pleasure. As gods we must live, in Light, Life, Love and Liberty, not as mere mortals who determine no path for their life, who are but simple slaves yet without even a master to rule them. We must master our own destinies, and ourselves, and verily we will make of the Sacrament of Life a Grand Celebration of the Limitless Freedom of Existence!
It is also very important to understand -- when we approach the Book of the Law -- that it is not the letter that counts, but rather the Spirit of the letter. Words are designed to indicate essence and meaning; other from this they are meaningless. There are certain verses in the Book of the Law which are not to be interpreted literally, but rather magically, in spirit and essence. For instance, when the Book of the Law speaks of stamping down the wretched and the weak it may in fact be referring to the essential operation of banishing those wretched and weak elements in yourself which hinder you from knowing and doing your True Will. When it speaks of violent actions, this does not mean that we should be violent and do those brutal things that are often described in horrible detail. Rather it may be indicating certain revolutionary formulae.
The language of the Author of the book, who was Crowley’s Holy Guardian Angel, may on the surface appear violent and abominable, but this is only so in our limited world of thought. Aiwass, the Author of the book, is of another world and reality, and his ways are not our ways; and it is a very possible fact that Aiwass was using such a revolutionary language to bar the profane from the realization of certain recondite truths of the Universe which were revealed in the Book of the Law, lest the profane abuse those sacred truths.
This is the New Aeon of Horus; the Old Aeon of Osiris is dead! But Horus is just a babe and He is still clinging to Old Aeon principles, in fear of the unknown. We are Horus, the Child, and there is no escape from the fact that we are still clinging childishly to the false doctrines of Christianity and other Old Aeon rubbish. We fear the unknown and thereby remain bound to the old. But we must grow in freedom; it is the law of our nature.
My point is this: We should take a jump into the Unknown, putting aside all Old Aeon ways of thinking, and by such a process it will become more possible for us to comprehend the revolutionary language of the Book of the Law. The language of the Book of the Law is not the language of a man; it is the language of a Praeter-human Intelligence, a being of a transcendent kind. The Book of the Law contains a new language making way for a new epoch in thought. It is the language of a New Aeon, concealing an inner meaning that may in fact be the reverse of its outer meaning.
Let us penetrate beyond the mere letter, and perceive instead the Spirit, essence and secret meaning of the letter. There is more than meets the eye in the Book of the Law! As Hadit states in the second chapter: "There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason." Hadit further states: "Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown."
Let us go beyond the limited operations of mere reason when we approach the Book of the Law. Let us rather read it and experience the essence, the inner meaning of its symbolism and characters. It is designed to inform us concerning principles of universal and practical importance, to assist us in our cosmic evolution, and to help us progress in the spirit of freedom and joy. Let us therefore put aside our useless prejudices and beliefs based on Old Aeon principles, and let us advance forward in the Rising Light of the new Golden Dawn, to partake of the freedom and joy, which the Book of the Law announces as essential to progress. If we are to understand anything correctly in this New Aeon of Horus we must cast aside all systems, ways and beliefs of the Old Aeon, and be willing to judge things in the Spirit of the Times, free from the false notions of the dead past.
When we approach the Book of the Law and become appalled by some of its verses, we should ask ourselves whether or not we are doing so in the light of the New Aeon or if we are simply projecting our old ways of thinking. For the New Aeon of the Crowned Child is here! Begone with the old; let us make way for the new! Let Change, which is Love, work its Mighty Miracle in the world, bringing with it joy and liberty and success!
Receive now, my dear brothers and sisters of the New Aeon, the supreme and sublime benediction of the Book of the Law: the New Life of Freedom -- the True Path of Liberty -- by which all men and women are brought to the Supreme Illumination, made sublime in the Cosmic Rapture, and transformed into veritable Stars that flame forth on their own majestic orbits with eternal motion and endless ecstasy, supreme and unconquerable in this infinite Universe of Perpetual Delight. All this to the Glory of Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Khuit, and for the establishment of the Dominion of His New Law; yea, for the establishment of the Dominion of His New Law.
Love is the law, love under will.