Thursday, July 14, 2011

Other Methods

The magical basis for the relevance of the "68" ideogram mentioned last post appears in one of Crowley's more important works: The Paris Working.

The Paris Working saw Crowley working with his main student at the time, Victor Neuberg
in a series of magical operations to contact and receive Higher Intelligence of a particular kind.

To give a flavor of this experiment:

O.S.V.: The god has appeared to me in his character as a messenger, but as a robust adult, rather than a slim youth. He has the winged helmet and sandals, and bears a Caduceus of gold. (Frater L.T. confirms this description in every respect.)

O.S.V.: Hear the words which I bear through the ambient air. The Father of All hath girt Himself with a many-coloured robe; the Father of All hath spilt his seed on galaxy and globe. The formation of Nebulae is like the bursting of the seed pods of flowers. (These are not his words; but it is his meaning. I can't get his words at all.) What we call light he calls wind. Our highest spiritual experiences are what he calls light. That is why one gets the phenomenon of the Opalescent Universe, so to call it, in the Sacrament of the Ninth Degree.) (It is most important.... Never mind about that.) All this is the key to the meaning of the Latin invocation in the Vision of the Universal Mercury which I have never understood. (Memo; obtain a copy and confirm this) We shall shortly be given someone who will be of great help to us in our working.

The initials O.S.V. and L. T. stand for their magical mottos. The data forming the basis for the "68" meme:

O.S.V.: I haven't got that.... I want to lie here, and see Mercury. It seems that Hermes is my particular deity at present. The golden sparks of which the Universe is composed, are shot with silver lightnings. In his next aspect he should reveal to us a great deal of the inner meaning of this particular Rite.

In the beginning was the Word, the Logos, who is Mercury; and is therefore to be identified with Christ. Both are messengers; their birth-mysteries are similar; the pranks of their childhood are similar. In the Vision of the Universal Mercury, Hermes is seen descending upon the sea, which refers to Mary. The Crucifixion represents the Caduceus; the two thieves, the two serpents; the cliff in the Vision of the Universal Mercury is Golgotha; Maria is simply Maia with the solar R in her womb. The controversy about Christ between the Synoptics and John was really a contention between the priests of Bacchus, Sol, and Osiris, also, perhaps, of Adonis and Attis, on the one hand, and those of Hermes on the other, at that period when initiates all over the world found it necessary, owing to the growth of the Roman Empire and the opening up of means of communication, to replace conflicting Polytheisms by a synthetic Faith. (This is absolutely new to me, this conception of Christ as Mercury.) Some difficulty about the [....]<>

It goes on to elaborate in detail starting with:

To continue the identification, compare Christ's descent into hell with the function of Hermes as guide of the Dead...

How it relates to 68 - Christ = Tiphareth = 6; Mercury = Hod = 8


Temurah is permutation. Traditionally, it is an elaborate method involving rearranging lines and letters in the Bible described in detail in the Intro to Kaballah Unveiled. I only use its most basic form of rearranging letters or words and phrases to find different but cognate meanings.

The cut-up method of literary solve coagula popularized by Gysin and Burroughs describes a form of Temurah. David Bowie is one artist who has used this technique to invoke lyrics.

Through Temurah, all anagrams of a particular group of letters have equivalency - equal valence ie equal electrical charge - to one another.

For example, The initials of James Joyces' archetypal character from Finnegans Wake, Anna Livia Plurabelle, ALP can get rearranged as LAP, APL, or PLA. All of them add to 111, (A=1)+(L=30)+(P=80).

APL suggests apple by its sound so in our lexicon, the word "apple" used in some contexts refers to the same idea suggested by 111. I'll let anyone interested discover that idea on their own but here's a hint, Robert Anton Wilson references the same idea almost immediately in Illuminatus!

I discovered in Wilson's Tales of the Tribe class that this same idea signified a major theme of Finnegans Wake.

Assigning "apple" this place in our lexicon may shed light and give insight to various myths such as the so-called temptation in the Garden of Eden, and the Golden Apple of Kallisti.

Knowledge of Temurah gives the qabalistic key for unlocking the data found in the Marx Bros. film, Animal Crackers, in the scene when they discover the painting has been stolen.


Etymology, the study of the origins of words, serves as an important qabalistic type tool. We try to be precise and knowledgeable with the language we use because of the awareness that language alters our perception of reality.

Take the word Shakti, for example, a word co-opted and banalized into a kind of vague goddess worship type of energy by some of the more credulous fanatics of the New Age movement.

Looked at etymologically:

The word Shakti comes from the root word-Shak, ableness. The complete word translates to force of ableness.

from Alchemical Sex by E. J. Gold, p. 181

This gives a much clearer picture.

A second good example of etymological analysis was recently given by Jerry Cornelius in the promotion of his new book Altheia:

My book is named ALETHEIA (αληθεια) after the Greek Goddess of Truth; the daughter of Zeus. Etymologically Aletheia’s name is derived from the Greek word alethus which means “true” or “not concealing.” The name Aletheia signifies many things. For instance, the letter “A” when added in front of a Greek word as a prefix can denote “not” or "non" while the
next five letters of her name spell out Lethe (λήθη); Lethe being the name of the mythological River of Forgetfulness which the dead must pass before reincarnating. Greek scholars have always acknowledged that Aletheia is the Goddess who helps us undo the forgetfulness of Lethe; which is why her name is often translates simply as “remembering.”

Cornelius is one of my favorite post-Crowley Thelemic writers along with Lon Milo Duquette and Kenneth Grant.

This explanation for the title of the book is a main reason why I will purchase it.


Puns appear a method for communicating or viewing multiple levels of reality, and by extension information. It has been said that James Joyce tried to pack as many meanings as possible in words and phrases in Finnegans Wake.

Crowley often codes occult data in puns. We can go back and look at ch.68 from The Book of Lies and see some obvious puns. If we've begun to learn some of Crowley's lexicon we see the pun of the word "place" in the 2nd line because we noticed that in Ch. 57 he describes a magical formula (ie method of working) represented by "place."

In The Sufis by Idries Shah he says Sufi masters put 7 levels of meaning in their communications.

Of course, numbers can be puns too. When I remember a good example, I'll demonstrate this.

Time Release

Sometimes significant qabalistic information can get received but not understood for some time, perhaps years later. This is where the importance of keeping a diary comes in.

Soon I'll post the story of how I first received the Tree of Life image and how it took years for what it was communicating to me to get accepted.


  1. A great post about modern literary devices. I have annotated my copy of FW heavily and intend to repeat my annotating on a second reading of the book, perhaps next year. ALP (1st letter of English alphabet + 12th + 16th) also has many ties to the number 29, what with references within the work to February in a leap year and cribbage. ALP in Greek numbers = 1 + 30 + 80 = 101. There are a good deal many of ways we can tackle the mathematical projections of her initials. I am wondering how geometric formulae for circles (2πr, πr^2, &c.) apply to page 293.