Sacred texts  Thelema 

In nomine BABALON Amen.

Restriction unto Choronzon1.

The Tenth Aethyr2 is Called ZAX3.

This Aethyr being accursèd, and the seer forewarned, he taketh these precautions for the scribe.

First let the scribe be seated in the centre of the circle in the desert sand, and let the circle be fortified by the Holy Names of God --- Tetragrammaton and Shaddai El Chai and Ararita.

And let the Demon be invoked within a triangle, wherein is inscribed the name of Choronzon, and about it let him write ANAPHAXETON --- ANAPHANETON -- PRIMEUMATON, and in the angles MI-CA-EL4: and at each angle the Seer shall slay a pigeon5, and having done this, let him retire to a secret place, where is neither sight nor hearing, and sit within his black robe, secretly invoking the Aethyr6. And let the Scribe perform the Banishing Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram7, and let him call upon the Holy Names of God, and say the Exorcism of Honorius8, and let him beseech protection and help of the Most High.

And let him be furnished with the Magick Dagger9, and let him strike fearlessly at anything that may seek to break through the circle, were it the appearance of the Seer himself. And if the Demon pass out of the triangle, let him threaten him with the Dagger, and command him to return. And let him beware lest he himself lean beyond the circle. And since he reverenceth the Person of the Seer as his Teacher, let the Seer bind him with a great Oath to do this.

Now, then, the Seer being entered within the triangle, let him take the Victims and cut their throats, pouring the blood within the Triangle, and being most heedful that not one drop fall without the Triangle; or else Choronzon should be able to manifest in the universe.

And when the sand hath sucked up the blood of the victims, let him recite the Call of the Aethyr apart secretly as aforesaid. Then will the Vision be revealed, and the Voice heard.

The Oath

I, Omnia Vincam, a Probationer of A{.·.} A{.·.}, hereby solemnly promise upon my magical honour, and swear by Adonai the angel that guardeth me, that I will defend this magic circle of Art with thoughts and words and deeds. I promise to threaten with the Dagger and command back into the triangle the spirit incontinent, if he should strive to escape from it; and to strike with a Dagger at anything that may seek to enter this Circle, were it in appearance the body of the Seer himself. And I will be exceeding wary, armed against force and cunning; and I will preserve with my life the inviolability of this Circle, Amen.

And I summon mine Holy Guardian Angel to witness this mine oath, the which if I break, may I perish, forsaken of Him. Amen and Amen.

The Cry of the 10th Aethyr,
Which is Called ZAX

There is no being in the outermost Abyss, but constant forms come forth from the nothingness of it10.

Then the Devil of the Aethyr, that mighty devil Choronzon, crieth aloud, Zazaz11, Zazas, Nasatanada Zasas.

I am the Master of Form12, and from me all forms proceed.

I am I. I have shut myself up from the spendthrifts, my gold is safe in my treasure-chamber, and I have made every living thing my concubine, and none shall touch them, save only I. And yet I am scorched, even while I shiver in the wind. He hateth me and tormenteth me. He would have stolen me from myself, but I shut myself up and mock at him, even while he plagueth me. From me come leprosy and pox and plague and cancer and cholera and the falling sickness. Ah! I will reach up to the knees of the Most High, and tear his phallus with my teeth, and I will bray his testicles in a mortar, and make poison thereof, to slay the sons of men13.

(Here the Spirit stimulated the voice of Frater P., which also appeared to come from his station and not from the triangle.)

I don't think I can get any more; I think that's all there is.

(The Frater was seated in a secret place covered completely by a black robe14, in the position called the "Thunderbolt". He did not move or speak during the ceremony.)

Next the Scribe was hallucinated, believing that before him was a beautiful courtesan whom previously he had loved in Paris. Now, she wooed him with soft words and glances, but he knew these things for delusions of the devil, and he would not leave the circle.

The demon then laughed wildly and loud.

(Upon the Scribe threatening him, the Demon proceeded, after a short delay.)

They have called me the God of laughter, and I laugh when I will slay. And they have thought that I could not smile, but I smile upon whom I would seduce. O inviolable one, that canst not not be tempted15. If thou canst command me by the power of the Most High, know that I did indeed tempt thee, and it repenteth me. I bow myself humbly before the great and terrible names whereby thou hast conjured and constrained me. But thy name is mercy, and I cry aloud for pardon. Let me come and put my head beneath thy feet, that I may serve thee. For if thou commandest me to obedience in the Holy names, I cannot swerve therefrom, for their first whispering is greater than the noise of all my temptests. Bid me therefore come unto thee upon my hands and knees that I may adore thee, and partake of thy forgiveness. Is not thy mercy infinite?

(Here Choronzon attempts to seduce the Scribe by appealing to his pride.

But the Scribe refused to be tempted, and commanded the demon to continue with the Aethyr.

There was again a short delay.)

Choronzon hath no form, because he is the maker of all form; and so rapidly he changeth from one to the other as he may best think fit to seduce those whom he hateth, the servants of the Most High.

Thus taketh he the form of a beautiful woman, or of a wise and holy man, or of a serpent that writheth upon the earth ready to sting16.

And, because he is himself, therefore he is no self; the terror of darkness, and the blindness of night, and the deafness of the adder, and the tastelessness of stale and stagnant water, and the black fire of hatred, and the udders of the Cat of slime; not one thing, but many things. Yet, with all that, his torment is eternal. The sun burns him as he writhes naked upon the sands of hell, and the wind cuts him bitterly to the bone, a harsh dry wind, so that he is sore athirst. Give unto me, I pray thee, one drop of water from the pure springs of Paradise, that I may quench my thirst.

(The Scribe refused.)

Sprinkle water upon my head. I can hardly go on17.

(This last was spoken from the triangle in the natural voice of the Frater, which Choronzon again simulated. But he did not succeed in taking the Frater's form --- which was absurd!

The Scribe resisted the appeal to his pity, and conjured the demon to proceed by the names of the Most High. Choronzon attempted also to seduce the faithfulness of the Scribe. A long colloquy ensued. The Scribe cursed him by the Holy Names of God, and the power of the Pentagram.17)

I feed upon the names of the Most High. I churn them in my jaws, and I void them from my fundament. I fear not the power of the Pentagram, for I am the Master of the Triangle. My name is three hundred and thirty and three, and that is thrice one18. Be vigilant, therefore, for I warn thee that I am about to deceive thee. I shall say words that thou wilt take to be the cry of the Aethyr, and thou wilt write them down, thinking them to be great secrets of Magick power, and they will be only my jesting with thee.

(Here the Scribe invoked the Angels, and the Holy Guardian Angel of the Frater P. . . . The demon replied:)

I know the name of the Angel of thee and thy brother P. . . ., and all thy dealings with him are but a cloak for thy filthy sorceries.

(Here the Scribe averred that he knew more than the demon, and so feared him not, and ordered the demon to proceed.)

Thou canst tell me naught that I know not, for in me is all Knowledge: Knowledge is my name. Is not the head of the great Serpent arisen into Knowledge19?

(Here the Scribe again commanded Choronzon to continue with the call.)

Know thou that there is no Cry in the tenth Aethyr like unto the other Cries, for Choronzon is Dispersion, and cannot fix his mind upon any one thing for any length of time. Thou canst master him in argument, O talkative one; thou wast commanded, wast thou not, to talk to Choronzon? He sought not to enter the circle, or to leave the triangle, yet thou didst prate of all these things.

(Here the Scribe threatened the demon with anger and pain and hell. The demon replied:)

Thinkest thou, O fool, that there is any anger and any pain that I am not, or any hell but this my spirit? Images, images, images, all without control, all without reason. The malice of Choronzon is not the malice of a being; it is the quality of malice, because he that boasteth himself "I am I", hath in truth no self, and these are they that are fallen under my power, the slaves of the Blind One that boasted himself to be the Enlightened One. For there is no centre, nay, nothing but Dispersion.

Woe, woe, woe, threefold to him that is led away by talk, O talkative One.

O thou that hast written two-and-thirty books of Wisdom, and art more stupid than an owl, by thine own talk is thy vigilance wearied, and by my talk art thou befooled and tricked, O thou that sayest that thou shalt endure. Knowest thou how nigh thou art to destruction? For thou that art the Scribe hast not the understanding20 that alone availeth against Choronzon. And wert thou not protected by the Holy Names of God and the circle, I would rush upon thee and tear thee. For when I made myself like unto a beautiful woman, if thou hadst come to me, I would have rotted thy body with the pox, and thy liver with cancer, and I would have torn off thy testicles with my teeth. And if I had seduced thy pride, and thou hadst bidden me to come into the circle, I would have trampled thee under foot, and for a thousand years shouldst thou have been but one of the tape-worms that is in me. And if I had seduced thy pity, and thou hadst poured one drop of water without the circle, then would I have blasted thee with flame. But I was not able to prevail against thee.

How beautiful are the shadows of the ripples of the sand!

Would God that I were dead.

For know that I am proud and revengeful and lascivious, and I prate even as thou. For even as I walked among the Sons of God, I heard it said that P. . . . could both will and know, and might learn at length to dare, but that to keep silence he should never learn. O thou that art so ready to speak, so slow to watch, thou art delivered over unto my power for this. And now one word was necessary unto me, and I could not speak it. I behold the beauty of the earth in her desolation, and greater far is mine, who sought to be my naked self. Knowest thou that in my soul is utmost fear? And such is my force and my cunning, that a hundred times have I been ready to leap, and for fear have missed. And a thousand times am I baulked by them of the City of the Pyramids, that set snares for my feet. More knowledge have I than the Most High, but my will is broken, and my fierceness is marred by fear, and I must speak, speak, speak, millions of mad voices in my brain.

With a heart of furious fancies, Whereof I am Commander, With a burning spear And a horse of Air To the wilderness I wander.

(The idea was to keep the Scribe busy writing, so as to spring upon him. For, while the Scribe talked, Choronzon had thrown sand into the circle, and filled it up. But Choronzon could not think fast and continuously, and so resorted to the device of quotation.

The Scribe had written two or three words of "Tom o'Bedlam," when Choronzon sprang within the circle (that part of the circumference of which that was nearest to him he had been filling up with sand all this time), and leaped upon the Scribe, throwing him to the earth. The conflict took place within the circle. The Scribe called upon Tetragrammaton, and succeeded in compelling Choronzon to return into his triangle. By dint of anger and of threatening him with the Magick Staff did he accomplish this. He then repaired the circle. The discomfited demon now continued:)

All is dispersion. These are the qualities of things.

The tenth Aethyr is the world of adjectives, and there is no substance therein.

(Now returneth the beautiful woman who had before tempted the Scribe. She prevailed not.)

I am afraid of sunset, for Tum is more terrible than Ra, and Khephra the Beetle is greater than the Lion Mau.

I am a-cold.

(Here Choronzon wanted to leave the triangle to obtain wherewith to cover his nakedness. The Scribe refused the request, threatening the demon. After a while the latter continued:)

I am commanded, why I know not, by him that speaketh. Were it thou, thou little fool, I would tear thee limb from limb. I would bite off thine ears and nose before I began with thee. I would take thy guts for fiddle- strings at the Black Sabbath.

Thou didst make a great fight there in the circle; thou art a goodly warrior!

(Then did the demon laugh loudly. The Scribe said: Thou canst not harm one hair of my head.)

I will pull out every hair of thy head, every hair of thy body, every hair of thy soul, one by one. (Then said the Scribe: Thou hast no power.)

Yea, verily I have power over thee, for thou hast taken the Oath, and art bound unto the White Brothers, and therefore have I the power to torture thee so long as thou shalt be.

(Then said the Scribe unto him: Thou liest.)

Ask of thy brother P. . . ., and he shall tell thee if I lie!

(This the Scribe refused to do, saying that it was no concern of the demon's.)

I have prevailed against the Kingdom of the Father, and befouled his beard; and I have prevailed against the Kingdom of the Son, and torn off his Phallus; but against the Kingdom of the Holy Ghost shall I strive and not prevail. The three slain doves are my threefold blasphemy against him; but their blood shall make fertile the sand21, and I writhe in blackness and horror of hate, and prevail not.

(Then the demon tried to make the Scribe laugh at Magick, and to think that it was all rubbish, that he might deny the names of God that he had invoked to protect him; which, if he had doubted but for an instant, he had leapt upon him, and gnawed through his spine at the neck.

Choronzon succeed not in his design.)

In this Aethyr is neither beginning nor end, for it is all hotch- potch, because it is of the wicked on earth and the damned in hell. And so long as it be hotch-potch, it mattereth little what may be written by the sea-green incorruptible Scribe.

The horror of it will be given in another place and time, and through another Seer, and that Seer shall be slain as a result of his revealing. But the present Seer, who is not P. . . ., seeth not the horror, because he is shut up, and hath no name.

(Now was there some further parleying betwixt the demon and the Scribe, concerning the departure and the writing of the word, the Scribe not knowing if it were meet that the demon should depart.

Then the Seer took the Holy Ring, and wrote the name BABALON, that is victory over Choronzon, and he was no more manifest.)

(This cry was obtained on Dec. 6, 1909, between 2 and 4:15 p.m., in a lonely valley of fine sand, in the desert near Bou-Sada. The Aethyr was edited and revised on the following day.)

After the conclusion of the Ceremony, a great fire was kindled to purify the place, and the Circle and Triangle were destroyed.


Almost from the beginning of the ceremony was the Scribe overshadowed, and he spoke as it were in spite of himself, remembering afterwards scarcely a word of his speeches, some of which were long and seemingly eloquent.

All the time he had a sense of being protected from Choronzon, and this sense of security prevented his knowing fear.

Several times did the Scribe threaten to put a curse upon the demon; but ever, before he uttered the words of the curse, did the demon obey him. For himself, he knoweth not the words of the curse.

Also is it meet to record in this place that the Scribe several times whistled in a Magical manner, which never before had he attempted, and the demon was apparently much discomforted thereat.

Now knoweth the Scribe that he was wrong in holding much converse with the demon; for Choronzon, in the confusion and chaos of his thought, is much terrified by silence. And by silence can he be brought to obey.

For cunningly doth he talk of many things, going from subject to subject, and thus he misleadeth the wary into argument with him. And though Choronzon be easily beaten in argument, yet, by disturbing the attention of him who would command him, doth he gain the victory.

For Choronzon feareth of all things concentration and silence: he therefore who would command him should will in silence: thus is he brought to obey.

This the Scribe knoweth; for that since the obtaining of the Accursed Tenth Aethyr, he hath held converse with Choronzon. And unexpectedly did he obtain the information he sought after having long refused to answer the demon's speeches.

Choronzon is dispersion; and such is his fear of concentration that he will obey rather than be subjected to it, or even behold it in another.

The account of the further dealings of Choronzon with the Scribe will be found in the Record of Omnia Vincam.

  1. Choronzon is described by Sir Edward Kelly as "that mighty devil", as the first and deadliest of all the powers of evil. Rightly so, for although he is not a person, he is the metaphysical contrary of the whole Process of Magick.
  2. The three Governors of this Aethyr, Lexarp, Comanan, and Tabiton, are drawn from the "little Black Tablet" of Spirit, which united the four watchtowers of the elements. (See Equinox I, No. VII, Plate III; facing p. 234). The one extra letter, L, is the eighth of the reversed letters beneath the bars of the Calvary Crosses in the watch-towers to form trilateral names which designate malignant forces. These letters are thus impurities introduced into the perfection of the Elementary Schema. (That they should be attributed to the element of spirit, which harmonizes and sanctifies the four, is a sublime mystery. The arcanum is declared --- as far as may be --- in this book 418 itself). The other 7 letters form the name PARAOAN, which is the central governor of the 22nd Aire; but here is a correspondence with I, the center letter of LIN; this Aire discloses the glory of the Table 7 x 7, which is pure spirit, the rose which is the heart of Babalon.
  3. ZAX = {Caput Draconis}{Taurus}{Spirit}. Z is the Sun in His southern declination, i.e. at his weakest effect on an hemisphere. Follows the Bull, the type of the "Dying Gods", and the element of Earth. This letter X occurs only in this, the 15th and 30th Aires. In the 15th, water is the prima materia which is treated by being placed between the pillars of judgement. In the 30th, it represents the reduction to mere matter of the false structure of the Aeon of the false formula. Here X is the basis, without constructive possibilities, of the universe; thus the whole formula represents the weakening of the energy of the Sun, and the falling into incoherent elements of all that is organized.
  4. For this arrangement see the Geotia of Lemegeton of Solomon the Kin
  5. Concerning the bloody sacrifice, see Book 4, part 3, cap. 12. For the pigeons see the text.
  6. The greatest precautions were taken at the time, and have since been yet further fortified, to keep silence concerning the rite of evocation. The Major Adept is warned most seriously against attempting to emulate this operation, which is (in any case) improper for him to perform. To call forth Choronzon, unless one be wholly above the Abyss, is to ensure the most appalling and immediate catastrophe.
  7. These are given in the Equinox Vol. I, No. 2.
  8. Given in the French translation by Eliphaz Levi: and in the English by Aleister Crowley in "The Winged Beetle." ("The Magician" is the title of that poem, see p. 228.)
  9. See Book 4, part 2, caps. 4 and 8.
  10. It is very difficult to give a good metaphysical interpretation of this statement. But to one who is given this perception, the words will appear to be the natural and inevitable expression of the facts.
  11. These words are from some vision of old time: by them Adam was said to have opened the gates of Hell. These are the traditional words which open the Abyss.
  12. This (and many following assertions) must not be taken as true. Choronzon is in no sense the master of anything. It is the personification of a moral idea in a much more far-fetched way than that in which we say "Venus is the Lady of Love". For one can imagine Venus as a living individual being, while Choronzon is essentially not any sort of person.
  13. Various elements had been bound up into a "bundle" by the energy of the Call, and thus constituted a momentary unity capable of sensation and of expression. The obsessing idea of any such being, conscious that it is not a true organism, and threatened with immediate dissolution, which in its rudimentary psychology it is bound to dread, is of necessity, fear; and fear breeds pain, malice, and envy. Above all there is an insane hatred for the supposed creator because the supposed blessing of creation has been withheld from the "bundle".
  14. That of modesty, none less.
  15. Here the assumed character of this courtesan who was a marvelous mistress of irony as of fascination, intrudes upon that of the demon proper.
  16. He actually assumed these forms at the time.
  17. In this Aethyr are certain silences maintained.
  18. {HEB:Nun- final}{HEB:Vau}{HEB:Zain}{HEB:Nun}{HEB:Vau}{HEB:Resh} {HEB:Vau}{HEB:Chet} = 333 = 3 x 111, and 111 = {HEB:Peh- final} {HEB:Lamed}{HEB:Aleph} = {HEB:Aleph} = 1. 333 also is {GRK:alpha} {GRK:kappa} {GRK:rho} {GRK:alpha} {GRK:sigma} {GRK:iota} {GRK:alpha}, impotence, lack of control; and {GRK:alpha}{GRK:kappa} {GRK:omicron}{GRK:lambda}{GRK:alpha}{GRK:sigma}{GRK:io ta}{GRK:alpha}, dispersion. The seer had no idea of these correspondences: nor had Dr. Dee and Sir Edward Kelly, from whom we have the name.
  19. Dath. The doctrine of the "Fall" and the "Stooping Dragon" must be studied carefully. Equinox Vol. I, Nos. 2 and 3, have much information, with diagrams, in the "Temple of Solomon the King". See also Liber 777. This question of the Abyss must be thoroughly understood. The entire system of initiation of the A{.·.} A{.·.} depend on these theorems. (See "One Star in Sight").
  20. Originally, for "understanding" was written "power". Choronzon was always using some word that did not represent his thought, because there is no proper link between his thought and speech. Note that he never seems able to distinguish between the Frater and the Scribe, and addresses first one, then the other, in the same sentence.
  21. This actually happened. On returning to Bou-Sada on another journey this spot had begun to show signs of vegetation.