Sacred texts  Thelema 

The Cry of the 1st Aethyr,
Which is Called LIL

First, let praise and worship and honour and glory and great thank be given unto the Holy One, who hath permitted us to come thus far, who hath revealed unto us the ineffable mysteries, that they might be disclosed before men. And we humbly beseech His infinite goodness that he will be pleased to manifest unto us even the Mystery of the First Aethyr.

(Here followeth the Call of the Aethyr.)2

The veil of the Aethyr is like the veil of night, dark azure, full of countless stars. And because the veil is infinite, at first one seeth not the winged globe of the sun that burneth in the centre thereof. Profound peace filleth me, --- beyond ecstasy, beyond thought, beyond being itself, IAIDA. (This word means "I am", but in a sense entirely beyond being.)

(Note. --- In Hebrew letters it adds to 26. In Hebrew letters the name of the Aethyr is 70, ayin; but by turning the Yetziratic attributions of the letters into Hebrew, it gives 663, is the sum of the numbers from 0 to 11.)

Yes; there is peace. There is no tendency of any sort, much less any observation or feeling or impression. There is only a faint consciousness, like the scent of jasmine.

The body of the Seer is rested in a waking sleep that is deeper than sleep, and his mind is still; he seems like a well in the desert, shaded by windless palms.

And it is night; and because the night is the whole night of space, and not the partial night of earth, there is no thought of dawn. For the light of the Sun maketh illusion, blinding man's eyes to the glory of the stars. And unless he be in the shadow of the earth, he cannot see the stars. So, also, unless he be hidden from the light of life, he cannot behold Nuit. Here, then, do I abide in unalterable midnight, utterly at peace.

I have forgotten where I am, and who I am. I am hanging in nothing.

Now the veil opens of itself. (To Scribe. Come nearer; I don't want to have to speak so loudly.)

It is a little child covered with lilies and roses. He is supported by countless myriads of Archangels. The Archangels are all the same colourless brilliance, and every one of them is blind. Below the Archangels again are many, many other legions, and so on far below, so far that the eye cannot pierce. And on his forehead, and on his heart, and in his hand, is the secret sigil of the Beast.4 And of all this the glory is so great that all the spiritual senses fail, and their reflections in the body fail.

It is very strange. In my heart is rapture, holy and ineffable, absolutely beyond emotion; beyond even that bliss called Ananda, infinitely calm and pure. Yet at the gates of mine eyes stand tears, like warriors upon the watch, that lean on their spears, listening5.

The great and terrible Angel keeps on looking at me, as if to bar me from the vision. There is another forcing my head down in sleep.

(It's very difficult to talk at all, because an impression takes such an immense time to travel from the will to the muscles. Naturally, I've no idea of time.)

I have gone up again to the child, led by two Angels, abasing my head.

This child seems to be the child that one attempted to describe in "The Garden of Janus".6

Every volition is inhibited. I have tried to say a lot, but it has always got lost on the way.

Holy art thou, O more beautiful than all the stars of the Night!

There has never been such peace, such silence. But these are positive things. Singing praises of things eternal amid the flames of first glory, and every note of every song is a fresh flower in the garland of peace.

This child danceth not, but it is because he is the soul of the two dances, --- the right hand and the left hand, and in him they are one dance, the dance without motion.

There is dew on all the fire. Every drop is the quintessence of the ecstasy of stars.

Yet a third time am I led to him, prostrating myself seven times at every step. There is a perfume in the air, reflected down even to the body of the seer. That perfume thrills his body with an ecstasy that is like love, like sleep.

And this is the song:

I am the child of all who am the father of all, for from me come forth all things, that I might be. I am the fountain in the snows, and I am the eternal sea. I am the lover, and I am the beloved, and I am the first- fruits of their love. I am the first faint shuddering of the Light, and I am the loom wherein night weaveth her impenetrable veil.

I am the captain of the hosts of eternity; of the swordsmen and the spearmen and the bowmen and the charioteers. I have led the armies of the east against the armies of the west, and the armies of the west against the armies of the east. For I am Peace.

My groves of olive were planted by an harlot, and my horses were bred by a thief. I have trained my vines upon the spears of the Most High, and with my laughter have I slain a thousand men.

With the wine in my cup have I mixed the lightnings, and I have carved my bread with a sharp sword.

With my folly have I undone the wisdom of the Magus, even as with my judgments I have overwhelmed the universe. I have eaten the pomegranate in the House of Wrath, and I have crushed out the blood of my mother between mill-stones to make bread.

There is nothing that I have not trampled beneath my feet. There is nothing that I have not set a garland on my brow. I have wound all things about my waist as a girdle. I have hidden all things in the cave of my heart. I have slain all things because I am Innocence. I have lain with all things because I am Untouched Virginity. I have given birth to all things because I am Death.

Stainless are my lips, for they are redder than the purple of the vine, and of the blood wherewith I am intoxicated. Stainless is my forehead, for it is whiter than the wind and the dew that cooleth it.

I am light, and I am night, and I am that which is beyond them.

I am speech, and I am silence, and I am that which is beyond them.

I am life, and I am death, and I am that which is beyond them.

I am war, and I am peace, and I am that which is beyond them.

I am weakness, and I am strength, and I am that which is beyond them.

Yet by none of these can man reach up to me. Yet by each of them must man reach up to me.

Thou shalt laugh at the folly of the fool. Thou shalt learn the wisdom of the Wise. And thou shalt be initiate in holy things. And thou shalt be learned in the things of love. And thou shalt be mighty in the things of war. And thou shalt be adept in things occult. And thou shalt interpret the oracles. And thou shalt drive all these before thee in thy car, and though by none of these canst thou reach up to me, yet by each of these must thou attain to me. And thou must have the strength of the lion, and the secrecy of the hermit. And thou must turn the wheel of life. And thou must hold the balances of Truth. Thou must pass through the great Waters, a Redeemer. Thou must have the tail of the scorpion, and the poisoned arrows of the Archer, and the dreadful horns of the Goat. And so shalt thou break down the fortress that guardeth the Palace of the King my son. And thou must work by the light of the Star and of the Moon and of the Sun, and by the dreadful light of judgment that is the birth of the Holy Spirit within thee. When these shall have destroyed the universe, then mayest thou enter the palace of the Queen my daughter7.

Blessed, blessed, blessed; yea, blessed; thrice and four times blessed is he that hath attained to look upon thy face. For I will hurl thee forth from my presence as a whirling thunderbolt to guard the ways, and whom thou smitest shall be smitten indeed. And whom thou lovest shall be loved indeed. And whether by smiting or by love thou workest, each one shall see my face, a glimmer through a thousand veils. And they shall rise up from love's sleep or death's, and gird themselves with a girdle of snake-skin for wisdom, and they shall wear the white tunic of purity, and the apron of flaming orange for will, and over their shoulders shall they cast the panther's skin of courage. And they shall wear the nemyss of secrecy and the ateph crown of truth. And on their feet shall they put sandals made of the skin of breasts, that they may trample upon all they were, yet also that its toughness shall support them, and protect their feet, as they pass upon the mystical way that lieth through the pylons. And upon their breasts shall be the Rose and Cross of light and life, and in their hands the hermit's staff and lamp. Thus shall they set out upon the never-ending journey, each step of which is an unutterable reward8.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy; yea, thrice and four times holy art thou, because thou hast attained to look upon my face; not by my favour only, not by thy magick only, may this be won. Yet it is written: "Unto the persevering mortal the blessed Immortals are swift."

Mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty; yea, thrice and four times mighty art thou. He that riseth up against thee shall be thrown down, though thou raise not so much as thy little finger against him. And he that speaketh evil against thee shall be put to shame, though thy lips utter not the littlest syllable against him. And he that thinketh evil concerning thee shall be confounded in his thought, although in thy mind arise not the least thought of him9. And they shall be brought unto subjection unto thee, and serve thee, though thou willest it not. And it shall be unto them a grace and a sacrament, and ye shall all sit down together at the supernal banquet, and ye shall feast upon the honey of the gods, and be drunk upon the dew of immortality --- FOR I AM HORUS, THE CROWNED AND CONQUERING CHILD, WHOM THOU KNEWEST NOT!

Pass thou on, therefore, O thou Prophet of the Gods, unto the Cubical Altar of the Universe; there shalt thou receive every tribe and kingdom and nation into the mighty Order that reacheth from the frontier fortresses that guard the Uttermost Abyss unto My Throne.

This is the formula of the Aeon, and with that the voice of LIL, that is the Lamp of the Invisible Light, is ended. Amen.

Biskra, Algeria.
December 19, 1909. 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

  1. LIL = {Cancer}{Aquarius}{Cancer} = 76 = {HEB:Nun- final}{HEB:Vau} {HEB:Yod}{HEB:Bet}{HEB:Chet} = Secret, a refuge; {HEB:Chet}{HEB:Chet} {HEB:Yod}{HEB:Nun} rest, peace; and {HEB:Dalet}{HEB:Bet}{HEB:Ayin}, a Servant (in the noble sense). In Hebrew LIL would be 70, the eye of Horus, {HEB:Ayin}. But see a previous note on the twelvefold table, 15th Aethyr, where these letters rule the Universe. (scil. that of the present Aeon.)
  2. The Seer was only too well aware that, considering the dire straits to which he was put to obtain the Second Aire, he was surely incapable of penetrating the First. In fact, only a full Magus could pierce the Second properly, and for the First, none but an Ipsissimus would be competent. This apprehension was in fact justified. Only now and then was he able to live at the level of LIL; much of the Vision and the Voice here printed is but a pale reflection in Rauch (and even that at the cost of infinite effort) of the Word of the Angel of the Aethyr. These "Ersatz-words" are indicated in the present edition by square brackets.
  3. i.e. by taking L as Luna. In the note in the title, we have taken it as {Cancer}, experience having shewn that this mode is more accurate. L is {Moon} in her decrease, and {Cancer} her house. But the Enochian alphabet is referred to the Zodiac and the Elements; only indirectly to the planets; and it is imprudent to make any exception.
  4. Sun and moon conjoined
  5. There are long intervals between many of these paragraphs, the Seer having been lost to Being. The reader will note that "The Great and Terrible Angel" has not been mentioned, but comes in suddenly. This was because the Seer's speech was inaudible, or never occurred. This angel was the "Higher Genius" of the Seer.
  6. See the Winged Beetle and Eqx. I, No. 3, where this poem is given at length.
  7. This passage is quite spurious, a vague and false reflection of the true voice, which was a lyrical sequence of the Atus of Thoth{WEH Note: In this Word lurks a Pun that is Key to all the Work.}
  8. This passage is not wholly wrong; it is the poor expression, which is to be deplored.
  9. This prophecy has proved true in many cases, often in the most strange and unexpected ways.

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