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Showing posts with label Scripture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scripture. Show all posts

Monday, 23 March 2020

I Read The Book Of The Law (by Aleister Crowley) So You Don't Have To

I Read The Book Of The Law (by Aleister Crowley) So You Don't Have To

PLEASE NOTE: This is my fifth consecutive year of consuming and analysing a religious scripture.
From 2016 - 2018, I asbsorbed The Quran, The Satanic Bible, and Dianetics (Scientology 1).
The reason why I tell you this is because of last year's chosen book, the Christian Bible, in 2019.
This monumental endurance test was surprisingly enjoyable but it also wore me down until the thought of anything Abrahamic produced nausea. I decided right then that the following year would gravitate towards something shorter. Something weirder. Something far less popular than what I had just forced myself through. And that's when The Book Of The Law (aka Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX, as delivered by XCIII=418 to DCLXVI) fell upon my radar, seemingly ticking all of those boxes as a short, eerie, and obscure set of beliefs. Perfect!
Little did I know that this brief read was only a sliver of the battle and it would take every shred of mental energy I could muster just to understand the most basic of its teachings (and even then I would never be completely sure). By the end of it, this book had messed with my mind on such a profound level and it's going to take some time before I can normalise my thoughts again. I hope you appreciate what I have done, is what I'm getting at.
This book sits in the public domain, so if you'd like to give it a chance yourself, you can read it online here.

What I enjoy most about Aleister Crowley is that he was not your average "religious leader". While so many scriptures emphasise the importance of abstinence and moral intentions, Crowley was running around with his dick out, preaching about how the unrestrained pursuit of promiscuous sexual activities and excessive drug use were encouraged as paths for those looking to advance their ceremonial magick powers. His loud occultist ideas of debauchery quickly provoked the press to dub Aleister "the wickedest man in the world," a title that the eccentric writer wore proudly, utilizing this panicked platform to conjure a larger audience, showering them with his endless rambles of poetic words, documenting his every step then forcing the confusing pages down into the open hands below. It seemed he was always rushing ahead whilst even his audience kept their distance until his fast-forward lifestyle caught up to his manic feet and he lost everything, dying a junkie, broke and unknown.

On the off-chance that the dead are still aware of our earthly communications, it's safe to say that Aleister would be proud of how his reputation managed to crawl up inside of the glocal psyche. He's now a firm fixture in popular culture, achieving household name status for all the wrong reasons even if very few understood what he was all about. But for those of us who have taken the time to dig deeper, there is no stone positioned higher in Crowley's crown than that of Thelema. This is considered a "religion" by many but is more accurately a spiritual philosophy, one that this self-proclaimed "prophet" started himself then dedicated the rest of his life to sharpening. So what is Thelema, exactly? And how did it come about? These are questions that I am not only happy to answer but am happier still that the answers themselves are just as fantastic as the crazy mind behind them.

After eloping with Rose Edith Crowley in 1903, Aleister and his wife embarked on their honeymoon to Cairo, the capital of Egypt. During this excursion, Rose started acting strange until a brand new entity introduced itself through her mouth. It called itself Aiwass and announced its arrival as a medium within Rose, here to dictate the teachings of three other deities over three consecutive days. And that's what happened. From the 8th to the 10th April 1904, Crowley was visited through Rose/Aiwass by otherwordly entities as if this was a Christmas film. These deities were respectively named Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit, and each one of them came with their own unique set of cryptic instructions that Aleister furiously scribbled down, coming out the other side with the book we are discussing now.

It may also be worth mentioning that these handwritten pages were reprinted in the back of my edition of the book too. This does help to validate the imaginative tale even if there are small differences noted against the final product.

Evaluated as a whole, The Book of the Law offered a plethora of perplexing materials. By utilising an obscure combination of different languages and complex studies (such as numerology, Tarot, Kabbalah, the practice of Magick, and ancient Egyptian mysticisms) any satisfying interpretation is yet to be agreed upon, and instead, every trail leads to further unsolvable questions and open-ended ideas. That said, there are some fundamental guidances that every Thelemite does concur with. One of the most important conclusions is that this book signalled in a new stage of human spiritual evolution which became known as the Æon of Horus (following on from our previous ages, the prehistoric female Æon of Isis and the classical/medieval male Æon of Osiris). In our current child Æon, we have entered a phase of self-realisation. Keeping in mind that this shift is said to have occurred in 1904, I'm unconvinced that "self-realisation" is the correct term. But, then again, I didn't live in the 1800s. I have nothing to compare it to. Perhaps we have progressed as a spiritual society, I would not know.

More crucial to the teachings of Thelema is one single sentence which has become synonymous with the philosophy: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law". Scholars are still debating the finer details of what this means but most agree that it's not some simplistic cop-out to the likes of "do whatever you want". Rather, it is instructions to discover what it is you are meant to be doing, and as a result, uncovering your true path (or True Will, as it has come to be known). Once you locate this individualistic energy, you will be in sync with the Universe and life itself shall collaborate with you, using all of its power to propel you forward if you choose to follow its guidance. This is a plan I have subscribed to for a while now, placing myself and Aleister on the same page before I'd opened the book. Good start!!

As much as these revelations defined Crowley's life, he claims to have initially turned his back on these writings as they contradicted so many of his already well-established beliefs. However, as the years ticked on, the words continuously bounced louder within his skull and, eventually, he surrendered to the book, publishing it in 1909, some six years after the authorship. Crowley then committed the rest of his life to the study of his book, writing many texts on the matter which have come to be collectively known as The Holy Books of Thelema. What's really interesting about this, however, is that many Thelemites consider Crowley to be full of shit, and they disregard his interpretations as utter nonsense. Their belief in Crowley begins and ends with the dictation from Aiwass, fully accepting the original scripture as holy messages from the divine, not accepting Crowley as the best interpreter. These followers have their own interpretations of the material and nobody agrees with anybody else, hence why we currently have multiple branches of Thelema to choose from (just like any good religion should). But whichever way you choose to investigate it, it's obvious that something was working, as these teachings have been said to inspire much more famed spiritual works such as modern-day Wicca, Satanism, and Scientology.

And now I am honoured to have joined the ranks of those who have taken the steps to digest this book with a hungry stomach and an open mind, which brings us to the million-dollar question... did this scripture gain access to my dashboard and fiddle with my spiritual dial accordingly? Or does this outlandish waffle only stand to chip corners until we expose Aleister Crowley's narcissistic madness beneath? And, much like the backstory, my answer is as extraordinary as the pathway itself.

My relationship with The Book Of The Law moves in stages. The first stage was predictably one of "face value". When first approaching this book, anyone will be surprised at how compact it is. At only 38-pages, anyone could rush through the entire publication within a single sitting. This review is perhaps longer than the book and it would have been far easier for me to simply type the text out word for word, allowing you to read it yourself.

However, the tricky part comes with the content. None of it is self-explanatory. Every utterance is borderline indecipherable. Having read the Bible and the Quran in my time, I am no stranger to vague understandings and ambiguous messages but this was on a different level. It's frustrating because the aforementioned scriptures had the excuse of thousands of years of translations behind their inconclusiveness whereas The Book of the Law was just over a century old. If you wished to change the world with some profound administration of enlightenment, why would you intentionally create a work so unclear? I closed the cover convinced that I had just suffered through the most ridiculous waste of time my hands had ever held.

Then again, I was well aware that this would be the case. So instead of shitting out a review that disregarded the pretentious garble this was, I did the right thing and moved onto the research stage. And this is where things got infinitely more interesting.

One of the great appeals of this book is the abundance of theories attached to just about every single line on these pages. In fact, most people pick apart the religion from that exact standpoint: line by line by line. This takes the brief nonsensical text and suddenly flips it into a daunting task of wading through an overdose of contradicting ideas, each coming from unique angles and voices and different levels of website aesthetics. Some approach the lessons from a pure numerology background, others from a mystical history point of view, while even Crowley has altered his overall reflection multiple times, sometimes split into what's known as the "Old and New Commentaries".

During this research phase, my perception enlarged whilst I began to feel very tiny indeed. I was out of my element! I had minimal understanding when it came to the core topics and I was struggling to grasp even the most basic of terms. Meanwhile, other people were writing essays upon essays about the capitalisation of certain nouns or the shapes of the punctuation and I was like... what!? My little brain cowered, overwhelmed by the overflowing data. But! I missioned forward and I eventually arrived at my own theory: that Aleister was a genius who had been taking his followers for a fool.

Arguably the most interesting component of the Occult is the demographic. Here you have people who are often incredibly educated on very intricate matters, turning their backs on the "stupidity" of organised religion yet not the magical inner workings of some spiritual source code. The lone fact that intelligent freethinkers have no problem accepting ancient Egyptian gods channelling through a human being is something that floods my veins with the happiest feeling because nobody likes a cynic. That said, it does leave a certain avenue open for exploitation. I began to wonder if Crowley had used his thorough understanding of Tarot and religion and numerology to simply regurgitate a bunch of disconnected notions on paper. If so, this could function as an ambiguous puzzle without any achievable solution leaving the occultism groupies to salivate as they desperately filled in any blanks they could, counting the letters in sentences, reversing words for secrets, drawing diagrams over diagrams in hopes of cracking a greater purpose, essentially doing Crowley's work better than he could have possibly achieved himself. Make no mistake, the meaning of this book is not in this book. It is found elsewhere, and as the movement encourages individualism, everyone has free reign to prioritise their analyses above others, dropping the causal researcher into an impossibly deep pool, drowning from loose opinions that froth off in every direction. It's a small yet mindblowing community, somehow joined by a separation of ideas which I admittedly enjoyed more the further I sunk.

The next phase of my journey was even more curious. It was when everything started to click, faster, louder, lower. I developed mental relationships with certain interpretations, discarding the rest as blatant misunderstandings. My notes grew, becoming less amused, more convinced, dedicated, and in-depth. Now and then I'd trip over a unique proposal which would punch the base of my comprehension like a stack of Jenga and I was forced to start from the beginning and rewrite everything from that newfound awareness. I want you to know that there have been multiple iterations of my written findings. I have read every line of this book time and time again, each one attached to pages upon pages of external research just to find my own footing. And eventually, I was hooked. The obsession became stronger as the dots linked up, a higher picture solidifying in my mind. In times like these, I was beyond grateful that this book was as short as it is. The dedication required to unlock these secrets would not be feasible with a publication the size of, say, The Bible. You'd lose your whole life on that journey. I guess that's why so many have.

And then... another, final phase of my study revealed itself out of nowhere. It was a step which I had never imagined possible. I became the scripture. Which is an exaggerated way of saying that my individualism took over, a step that this book had promised would happen anyway. Many of the outside interpretations I had grown dependent on suddenly appeared very wrong. They mistook what was being taught here! I was discovering things which nobody else was writing about! Even Crowley's analysis frequently missed the mark. It felt as though I was born to be here, unravelling these instructions on a level that no one else had before and suddenly I knew... I needed to get to Cairo! Like, right now! They're waiting for me!

As strange as this all is, and as much as I adored the sweeping feeling of a force greater at work, I must confess that I remain a healthy sceptic at heart. My potential conclusions may be life-changing but I hold them out at arm's length. Do I legitimately believe that Aleister Crowley was visited by Egyptian deities who turned him into a prophet? I mean, how could I? And even if true, they did a shoddy job of it. Thelema isn't exactly threatening the fibres of society's spiritual belief system, is it? And we must remember that Crowley was a weird dude. Inventing a religion was probably a primary goal of his since he touched his first Tarot card and it seems a tad convenient that these messages were delivered to a man who was already well versed in their central topics. If someone without any prior knowledge in Egyptian mysticism started rambling about sun gods, then I'd be more inclined to accept this as a metaphysical intervention.

Then again, perhaps it was his former studies that lined him up as the ideal candidate to understand the message? Was Aleister the chosen one because he was the best man on the planet to receive the knowledge? I cannot lie that each chapter does feel as if they were written by a different personality, and the words do come wrapped up in an ethereal aura, unlike anything I've delved into before. So, once again, like everything in life, I just... don't know.

But what I am happy to conclude with, is this: these teachings, no matter how gorgeous, did not convince me enough to label myself as a Thelemite (even if I am committed to many of the core positions on offer). Various principles did not gel with mine and there was this inescapable energy of darkness that slid between the words which didn't do me any favours. Crowley was never really the beacon of goodness, was he? And while something in here brushed my soul in a new place far removed from my brain or body, I am satisfied to call this exploration over and move on.

However, where I shall move will probably be dictated by this book anyway. Shamefully, I only now realise how deep traditional Jewish mysticism goes. Judaism is criminally underrated, its roots go far down into some very trippy regions and I look forward to wiggling around in that soil when the opening presents itself. Unsurprisingly, I have also developed a thirst for ancient Egyptian Gods. Thelema clawed at that surface until several doors I hadn't noticed crept open, and for those guiding blessings, I am eternally grateful. But for now, I leave The Book of the Law as the perfect holy scripture for my life at this time and place. It helped to reinforce many of my fundamental philosophies. It watered then evolved other important conceptual seeds. And, finally, it pushed me into a greater position of understanding without any desire to pursue its world further, our two journeys going their separate ways, my quest for answers continuing with stronger legs but a thirstier throat than ever. Thanks, everyone!

Now, as is customary with my annual religious unweavings, below you shall find a deeper analysis on certain verses that I have deemed of additional interesting followed by a conglomerated harvest of research that has become my own core theories. I'm willing to bet for the vast majority of people reading this, the text following will be brand new education, granting you an easier entry point into understanding Thelema, fully equipped to join the conversation with the best of them. On the flip side of this, there might be those Thelemites themselves who scoff at certain proposals, drilling holes into my interpretations despite the individualism encouraged within the belief system. Whichever side of that fence you are on, just appreciate that I took the time to do this. It's not as easy as it looks. And it looks really difficult.

Finally, I opted against relaying this book to you in a line-by-line fashion even if the number of pages meant this approach would have been wholly feasible. But why force that? Some lines hit me hard while other lines felt repetitive and fell limp so I omitted them with a clear conscience (ignoring that the book explicitly tells you not to do that). In the end, the line-by-line analysis has been done all over the place, multiple times by multiple sources, and so I would rather spend a moment linking you to the favourites that I used during my process. As follows:
  • ParadigmGrind - a rudimentary but easy-to-follow resource. A decent place to start!
  • Crowley & the True Will - a slight step into deeper regions but also a solid place for beginners.
  • This nameless(?) source - at the other side of the spectrum, we have this resource which is difficult to read, difficult to navigate, and difficult to understand. However, I often found the most interesting of theories here, especially in regards to numerology. Whoever wrote this analysis seems to have a better Thelemic grasp than Crowley himself.
  • Speaking of Crowley - he has written many line-by-line interpretations himself which are easily googled. The best presented source I found was on nofaithinthehumanrace.com, just click the verse and away you go!
  • Aiwass.com - Thelema has a ton of specific numerology to it. This article takes a deeper look into some of the most important of those values.
  • Thelemapedia - lastly, if you ever find yourself lost as you've forgotten a diety's purpose or the magick of a certain number, do not fear! You can find most things on this site.
Ok, introductions are over. Now it's time for the big game.


I

1 - Had! The manifestation of Nuit.

This first chapter is credited to Nuit. She is speaking now.
Nuit (aka Nut) is a sky goddess according to Egyptian mythology (ruler over the stars, the cosmos, astronomy, the universe, you name it, she is it). Sometimes she is seen as a nude woman covered in stars, arching over the Earth. Other times, she is a cow. Nuit is also known to wear a water-pot for a hat. Besides swallowing stars then rebirthing them, she is also responsible for all deaths and resurrections.
In more modern scientific explanations (sometimes called The New Comment) Nuit is recognised as all matter or, more specifically, the absence yet potential of matter. On the other hand, Had (aka Hadit, the voice of the second chapter, more on him later) is the motion or the manifestation of matter. Together, they represent the proton and electron, two infinities that cannot exist without one another.
Welcome to Thelema. That was the first line.

3 - Every man and every woman is a star.
4 - Every number is infinite; there is no difference.

This is one of those immensely important Thelemic quotes that you hear everywhere. Crowley and the like consider the "star" as a person's true self which is more commonly referred to as the "True Will". This is the ultimate goal that every Thelemite strives for, a place where you discover your calling/destiny and work in perfect harmony with nature down this path, free from the ego.
On a physics level, it's also important to note that we are made of stardust. Every planet is a result of stars dying then exploding into rocks, ultimately evolving into the life we see now. It's quite a literal phrasing too.
As for the number thing, that makes logical sense too. We assign values to numbers and they all rely on one another to work. Sure, they are unique but they are also equal and infinite in their collaborative uses. That's what I got from it anyway.
The overall point is clear: that we are all of the same value, not only to one another but also to the stars and to the gods. A lot of this connects to Pantheism, the idea that everything is an extension of "god". We are god. We are our own personal gods. This is a hypothesis I've followed on a different timeline since forever.

5 - Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men!
6 - Be thou Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue!

Nuit is talking directly to Crowley here, which is trippy in itself. She is telling him that he must be her Hadit which (as described on line 1) as the piece required to complete her. Simply put, he is the chosen prophet.
One again, Hadit is the voice of the second chapter, so we'll explore that name in deeper detail then, don't you worry.

7 - Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar kraat.

As a casual reader with zero background in anything, these are the lines annoy the most. It's like... who?
And so you look it up and then the can explodes into so many worms that you're unsure which one to chase.
Aiwass is the name given to the voice that Rose Edith Crowley was channelling, now speaking through Nuit, reciting this very book. Include Aleister in this sandwich and that's five layers: a god speaking through a spiritual medium speaking through a human medium translated by the hand of Aleister and now presented here for you and me to read.
There is much debate between followers/critics about the nature of Aiwass. Certain antagonists have noted similarities between this book's literacy style and some of Crowley's earlier works, which doesn't do much for the "divine messager" declaration. This has led some Thelemites to consider Aiwass to be nothing more than a manifestation of Crowley's personality.
Meanwhile, others believe (as Aleister has himself stated) that this is a separate entity, the minister of "Hoor-paar-kraat", which goes by many other names such as "Harpocrates", “Babe in the Egg of Blue”, the "God of Silence", but most importantly of all, "Horus the Child". This suggests some relation (or incarnation or combinations) of Horus, one of the most famous Egyptian deities ever, yet another god of the sky. A looooooot of Thelema relates to this dude, so remember him and we'll get deeper into that later.
Finally, there are those new-age kids who believe that this is simply the name of pure Intelligence talking. We're on the 7th line here and we've already split into multiple multiples.
What I will say from a personal perspective is that the ludicrous suggestion of Aiwass eventually made complete sense to me. Entities like Nuit and Hadit are concepts, beyond physical expressions that adhere to our laws of matter. In order to communicate with Rose/Crowley, they'd need to dumb themselves down into a personified form, reaching our level of language by filtering through Aiwass. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it makes some logical sense, far more than raw divinity speaking directly through Rose. Right? Or have I been brainwashed? I can't tell anymore.

8 - The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.

Once again, the first time I read this without any prior studies I was like... c'mon, man. What is this.
But it checks out, if you know ancient Egyptian. And, like, who doesn't?
"Khabs" means "star".
"Khu" means "light".
The star is not in the light, the light is in the star. I'd agree with that statement but why even make it?
And that's the debate, much like everything in this book. However, the proposed translation that works best for me is that the Khabs/star in an individual's true self and the Khu/light is what's generated by this "electricity", i.e. one's ego/mind. The energy of a star (and indeed of all things) lasts forever (first law of thermodynamics; energy can neither be created nor destroyed) while the "light" produced by this energy will ultimately pass away. The true self is driving and that is eternal.

9 - Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!

Soooo worship your true inner self. Follow the star within you and it will guide the way.

Nuit then goes on to emphasise that other gods have it wrong, this is the only path, everything will be amazing if you follow her teachings etc. It directly addresses Crowley then describes a bunch of stuff, none of which I deemed too important. I'm sure some would argue that the teachings fall apart if you don't produce the text in its entirety (in fact, this book itself says so) but I have to exercise a touch of restraint or I'll be reciting the entire book which is not what I'm here to do.

20 - The key of the rituals is in the secret word which I have given unto him.

Many texts were very cryptic about this, saying "if you're a true Thelemite then you'd already know the secret word blah blah" as if Aiwass had been whispering into their ears individually. Instead, they probably each did what I did and dug a little deeper where Crowley concluded the word was Abrahadabra, a variation of the stock magician's Abracadabra.
Disappointed? For the super-secret ritual word of the stars, it does seem slightly comedic and childlike. But there are some fascinating analyses done behind the meaning of it all.
First of all, Abracadabra translates to "I will create as I speak" in Hebrew or "I create like the word" in Aramaic. Already that's way more powerful. The H instead of the C in Thelema's Abrahadabra is possibly to include Hadit, who we've spoken about and will speak much more about during the succeeding chapter.
Secondly, and as per usual, there's some insane mathematics proposed behind everything always.
Primarily, this word contains 11 letters which is a massively significant number in Thelema, often considered "the magickal number of ritual". The combination of the points between the Pentagram and the Hexagram is one example. 1 + 1 = 2 is also the ultimate equation of duality (Nuit and Hadit). It also connects to a variation of the Jewish Kabbalah Tree of Life that Crowley was fond of, featuring 11 spheres (see or wait for Chapter 3, Verses 64 - 68). The list goes on.
Back to Abrahadabra as a word, and when this is written out in Hebrew, you get אבראהאדאברא. Running this through the process to find its Gematria number (a method for calculating numerical values associated to words according to Kabbalah), it equals 418. This is a Gematria value shared between plenty of other Thelemic terminologies such as הרו-רא-הא (the Hebrew spelling of Heru-Ra-Ha, more on that later) and ΑΙϜΑΣΣ (the Greek spelling of Aiwass). For more examples, look here.

After that, we continue on with some typical godly ramblings about how Nuit encompasses everything and they are infinite and if you don't understand this, you're in big trouble, mister! But if you do, you will be greatly rewarded. The Bible says similar stuff.

24 - I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty.
25 - Divide, add, multiply, and understand.

Here comes another thick layer of numerology to smother you in further trickiness, for this book is but a seed of complexities. The true weave of mathematics comes from the endless amounts of clever people who offer hundreds of interpretations as to what this means, because every number means something, whether it be astrological or geometrical or ancient mystical... you can always find what you're looking for if you're willing to run free with your equations and/or your chosen historical explanation.
One number these lines offer us without ambiguity is 56. When added as per instruction (5 + 6), you get 11, which we covered extensively one noted verse back (20).
As for the division, you get 0.12, which is quite satisfactory in that consecutive number type of manner. Zero is used several times in this text as a representation for Nuit (skip to or wait for 45 - 47 for more) while (as above) the 1 + 1 = 2 unity between Nuit and Hadit could be loosely argued.
As for multiplication, all theories seem far too vague and accidental for me to include, but you go ahead. It's 300. Read into that however you wish because everyone else already has.

26 - Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I, and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bendingdown, a lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.

Have you ever seen Nuit? She looks like this.

28 - None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.
29 - For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union.

These lines work more to support the maths from 24 &amp 25. It mentions "none" (0) and "two" (2) which sorta connects to the equation of 6 / 50 = 0.12
The 29th line is actually really beautiful. If you are one and a whole, there is no partnership, it's just a singular unit. Nuit is divided into different parts so that a union of these parts is possible. That's the only way love can exist, a unification of two separate pieces. It may be my favourite line in the whole book. We are God divided for reasons of love. So potent I actually get goosebumps.

32 - Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain. This is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all.
33 - Then the priest fell into a deep trance or swoon, & said unto the Queen of Heaven; Write unto us the ordeals; write unto us the rituals; write unto us the law!
34 - But she said: the ordeals I write not: the rituals shall be half known and half concealed: the Law is for all.

Obey Aleister Crowley! Follow the "ordeals"! And then Crowley faints here but he continues to write in a trance... or so says the writing that he wrote. Can I get a witness?
Regardless, this unconscious man requested that Nuit details all of the ordeals/rituals and she's like... "Nah, I'll tell you like half of them but I'll make them really hard to understand so that everyone can make up their own minds and have a wholly unique experience whilst forever unsure whether or not they are correct".
I have looked deeper into and have long contemplated the "ordeals" term, and I have come to understand that they are obstacles in your life that you must overcome in order to gravitate closer to your True Will. While they may appear to be opposing challenges, they are instructions that will differ from person to person. Pursue your path according to your True Will and, when you're ready to receive them and level-up, they will present themselves to you. It's nice. It turns hardships into conquerable hurdles.

36 - My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he shall comment thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit.

I made a jokey note at this point suggesting that maybe we should change some letters to make the book easier to understand lololol
Ankh-af-na-khonsui is a name given to Crowley back on line 14, which I didn't document for time's sake. In Egyptian mythology, Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu was a priest under the god Mentu, so I guess that's why it was chosen as a title for him?
Ra-Hoor-Khuit is the speaker for the third chapter so don't worry about that name too much just yet. All you need to note for now is this: if there are any mistakes in the text, it probably has some deeper meaning, you simply don't get it. At the same time, Crowley is allowed to go back and alter this text, claiming he did so under the guidance of a deity. Sure! Excellent "get out of jail free" clause, right? Cover your back from every form of attack!

39 - The word of the Law is Θελημα.

Θελημα is Greek for Thelema, and hereby the religion's name has been formally announced, albeit in the most difficult manner possible, as per usual.

40 - Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close into the word. For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

This verse is arguably the most crucial in all of these teachings, so prepare yourself.
The proposal that there are three so-called "grades" is very interesting, as each are different representatives in the stages of connecting to one's "True Will". I've looked into what these groups mean and have gathered up something to the effect of:

The Man of the Earth represents those who have found spiritual self-discipline and are dedicated to the Thelema practice.
The Lover is one who can communicate directly with divinity. Thelema is their life, there is nothing else they care for, they would die for the belief.
And, finally, the Hermit is one who has completely got rid of their ego and now gives nothing but light to the world. Chapter II Verse 24 will explain this in more detail, so just wait for that.

However, it is the final sentence which is of the highest significance. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law is usually the first line anyone will uncover when seeking Thelema knowledge even if its meaning is very seldom understood.
As I noted in the introduction (and I quote me):
"Scholars are still debating the finer details of what this means but most agree that it's not some simplistic cop-out to the likes of "do whatever you want". Rather, it is instructions to discover what it is you are meant to be doing, and as a result, uncovering your true path (or True Will, as it has come to be known). Once you are able to locate this individualistic energy, you will be in sync with the Universe and life itself shall collaborate with you, using all of its power to propel you forward if you choose to follow its guidance."

41 - The word of Sin is Restriction. 0 man! refuse not thy wife, if she will! 0 lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it to the aeons! Hell.

From here and for a few lines following it talks about how previous belief systems were too restrictive in regards to sexual exploration and monogamy. Crowley himself was always a loud advocate of using sex to reach a stronger plain of magick, so it's not surprising this wangled its way in here.
There are those who believe that the sexual element of this text is a narrow-minded understanding, and this is more about the fair treatment and equality of the woman. For me, it's a disappointing issue. On paper, it may seem as if The Book of the Law is attempting to be all-inclusive of genders, but as we can see in black and white, it is wholly addressing the male. Like so many problematic scriptures, this is not written for a female audience in mind, which is something you'd hope a "progressive" philosophy and a "divine dictation" would have risen above. But noooo...

45 - The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!
46 - Nothing is a secret key of this law. Sixty-one the Jews call it; I call it eight, eighty, four hundred & eighteen.
47 - But they have the half: unite by thine art so that all disappear.

Numbers numbers numbers! Mathematical operations! And yet, unlike maths, there is no one-size-fits-all solution! Everything is open to interpretation! Yiphee!
However, the importance of one number everyone agrees upon is the almighty zero.
If you recall, Nuit is eternal matter. Now think about zero. Is there any greater numerical representative of such a concept? No.
Zero is the midpoint of all numbers if you include the negatives, expanding in both directions for infinity.
Add zero to anything and it's like it wasn't even there.
Zero is indivisible by anything.
Multiply zero with anything or add it to itself and you get the same result.
The wonderful world of zero is undeniable.

Looking at the next line (46), we see it said that the "Jews" call it "61", which works perfectly. According to the Jewish tradition of Kabbalah mysticism AYN = 61, which literally translates to "No Thing", right back to zero.

From there is gets uber tricky especially if you don't have the patience. 8, 80, 418 are all causally mentioned. The significance of 418 was already covered back over at verse 20, so that's fine. Beyond that, you have an endless amount of scholars executing different equations to spurt out results that loosely connect to deeper symbolism, all of which sounds very clever as well as indulgent as well as inconclusive.
A personal favourite sum of mine is where you add those three numbers (8 + 80 + 418) to get 506. Reverse that for no reason whatsoever and now you have 605. Add the Kabbalah AYN 61 back into the mix and ta-dah! 666! The freakin' number of the beast! A number that Crowley has always had a soft spot for.

If you're interested in some deeper studies on those numbers, check out this resource. I liked the page a lot, I referred to it several times over my journey.

SIDE STEP: JARED AND NUMEROLOGY

During my second evaluation round (of many) during this article's creation, it was right at this point that something clicked inside of me then opened up. The relationship between mysticism and numerology is nothing new and, as a true universal language, it could perhaps be the Universe's language. One of logic. The simplest form of communication between all things. How we are being spoken to.

It's fascinating but it's also infinitely frustrating due to the vagueness of the contexts. You could research the topic to death and still never reach the bottom because a large majority of theories are up to personal perception. What's more, to make any progress whatsoever, you have to dedicate to a certain path of thought and kinda just swallow what you're being fed. The abundance of directions leave little space for uncertainty otherwise you'll end up stuck at the crossroads, squinting down different roads in the dark, unable to move without commitment.

On the other side of this, it was here where I found myself worrying that Crowley was taking everyone for a fool. He was well-versed in these topics, placing him in a powerful position of manipulation. He above anyone would know that if you shove a bunch of numbers onto paper without any binding information, the intellectual masses would cover the hypothetical work for you. They'll debate the meanings, they'll calculate a fancy method to reach somewhere else, and they'll come to some relatively satisfying conclusion. All the while the writer has simply spat out values mixed with some hazy mystical terminology and watched the fun unfurl. It's a difficult argument to prove or disprove. I doubt I'll ever be the one to crack these answers.

I'm also unsure how to use all of these numbers. Ok cool, I get it, 11, 418, 666, powerful stuff. So what now? Are we looking out for how these numbers manifest in our lives, giving us direction? Do we need to write these numbers down then set them on fire to summon a genie? At what point are we staying at home because we noticed the clock struck 12:34? The whole thing reminds me of astrology, really. I wholeheartedly believe that there may be some mechanics behind it all but it runs the risk of going too far, where people consent too readily, and ultimately alter their lives to appease something that has yet to be challenged properly.

I think these contemplations are very important and I will be taking them with me, away from The Book Of The Law. I'm excited to study these ideas further.


51 - There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold, lapis lazuli & jasper are there, and all rare scents jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in turn or at once the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the palace. Will he not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But there are means and means. Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam. Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will. But always unto me.

I struggled to find some coherent interpretation that the general people agreed upon with this one. The simplest suggestion was that the first half was describing a metaphorical place of initiation, loaded with so much symbolism that I wouldn't even try to stitch it together. I'd do it wrong.
However, the second part (Be goodly therefore...) is a much clearer address albeit suspiciously close to Crowley's general philosophies predating the book. Basically, do what you want. Get as intoxicated as you want, have sex with who you want, buy the material stuff you want, wherever your pleasure is headed, it's all good. Just make sure you do so in the name of Nuit, i.e in line with your True Will.
The teachings of Aleister (and, indeed, Thelema as a whole) were always about self-indulgence because it is said to bring us closer to divinity. Because we are divinity ourselves. Meaning that our wants are the shared wants of the divine, that's why we want them. You can't lose.
LaVeyan Satanism relays much of the same instructions, and you have to wonder just how much of Anton's work was directly inspired by (aka stolen from) these exact teachings. A large portion, guaranteed.

54 - Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold! thou, o prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein.

Even the shapes of the book's letter have additional meaning. If this is true, then more props to what's going on here. This helps to support the decision of including the handwritten notes in my edition.

56 - Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.

Harking back to what we touched on around 34, it's verses like this which settle my own position within the book. It's explaining that not even Crowley will ever completely unravel the mysteries of the universe through these words, and it's not up to him to do so anyway. You and I can add to this, running with certain interpretations, coming up with our own ideas, placing the pieces in new positions for others to move forward or back from. The heart of Thelema is individualism. It's ok to be confused and uncertain, for no one person is meant to understand The Book of the Law in full.
It also appears to suggest that all religions have some truth in them, which makes sense as well.

57 - Invoke me under my stars. Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress and the great mystery of the House of God.
All these old letters of my Book are aright; but צ is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise.

"Love is the law, love under will" is one of the most repeated and therefore crucial lines in the book. We've already established that "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law", and that True Will is your destiny found within the harmonious existence between yourself and nature. Hence why it makes sense that it's love that drives everything. A love for life and a love for your fellow earthly creatures and a love for the source mechanics behind the curtain. Love feels right because it is right. It is the path that calls the loudest.
That is the "dove" love, whereas the "serpent" love could be interpreted as the "love" that other religions have offered, tainted by rules and ulterior motives. Although, it is worth mentioning that there are plenty of other interpretations for those metaphors.
Moving on: צ is the eighteenth letter of the "Semitic abjads" (languages), known as "Tsade" or "Tzaddi". This has something to do with the rearrangements of the Tarot, which Crowley ("my prophet") did eventually reveal to his readers ("the wise"), stating that Tzaddi who was the Star card, is now The Emperor card which he traded with the Heh, card. Oooh. I am obviously not wise because I feel nothing, but people all over the internet have accepted this as a completely logical and satisfying move.

58 - I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.

Also cool: unlike so many other (oft-Abrahamic) religions, the rewards of Nuit do not come after death. They come during your lifetime, which is obvz way better, I'm sure you'll agree.

60 - My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us. The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red. My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the seeing. Also I have a secret glory for them that love me.

11!
People have a lot of varying numerological and geometrical explanations for this, but I get it on a higher level. Nuit is describing their logo! Business branding is important, yo! We need our markings to be consistent according to set company guidelines!
It's just a fucking pentagram anyway. So original! Although, considering this book was first published in 1909, it actually was...

SIDE STEP: QUICK PENTAGRAM HISTORY LESSON

While the pentagram has an extensive timeline behind it, there was a period when the (upright) symbol was primarily considered holy to Christianity, representing the five senses and/or the five wounds of Jesus. So, naturally, if you opposed Christ, you'd flip it around, a much more popular practice with the crucifix but it happened here too.

Around 1854, it was occult author/magician Éliphas Lévi who noted that the star should always be upright, "with the topmost triangle pointing to heaven, for it is the seat of wisdom", while a "reversed pentagram, with two points projecting upwards, is a symbol of evil and attracts sinister forces because it overturns the proper order of things and demonstrates the triumph of matter over spirit. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns, a sign execrated by initiates."

50 years after that notable quote, and here we have Nuit praising the power of the shape, but there is some confusion. On the cover of my edition, the pentagram is inverted in that evilly-weavely way, but that could easily be a cheap marketing ploy. Almost everywhere else I look, the Thelemic use of the symbol is presented upright, which is generally associated with Wicca above anything sinister (representing the five elements including the spirit).

And, anyway, the more common symbol associated with Thelemites today is the six-pointed unicursal hexagram. The shape is said to represent the dynamic between Nuit and Hadit lifting one another up, as well as the planetary bodies of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercury, and our moon, Luna. Although it must be noted that there's a five-petalled flower in the centre which is what holds the place for the five-pointed pentagram, giving us the aforementioned 5 + 6 = 11. Abrahadabra!

Regardless, this is not what Nuit ordered! There is no mention if the hexagram in The Book of the Law! Blasphemy!!

Moving on and, around 1966, Anton LaVey got his grubby little paws on the pentagram design and shoved it to the forefront of his bastardised (yet immensely popular) version of Satanism, provoking pentagram panic in the parents ever since.


63 - Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Wear to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you!

Nice god though!
If you're interested in some ritual instructions, check out 61 and 62 in your own time. I did not include them.

66 - The Manifestation of Nuit is at an end.

Due to Crowley's obsession with the Number of the Beast, it seems highly convenient that this first part of the book ends on Verse 66. Something about an "all-knowing divine energy" concluding at this exact number feels like a wink too loud for me to be comfortable with.

Anyways, Nuit has had her say and we move onto Chapter 2...
II

1 - Nu! the hiding of Hadit.
2 - Come! all ye, and learn the secret that hath not yet been revealed. I, Hadit, am the complement of Nu, my bride. I am not extended, and Khabs is the name of my House.

You have unlocked a new character! Entering, Hadit!
When Aiwass was speaking for Nuit through Rose Edith written out by Aleister, there was already much mention of Hadit. But who is Hadit? I wish I had some simple answer for you, but deep down you knew I did not.
In early Egyptian beliefs, Hadit is also known as the Horus of Behdet, the sun-god as well as the god of every other star. I have also read many who refer to Hadit as the "inner spirit of man", argued as the Holy Ghost.
Regardless of historic details, Hadit is the counterpart to Nuit. After picking apart various interpretations and meandering between debates on the internet, how I've come to understand their dynamic is like this: Nuit is all of space, an existence consisting of essentially nothing but the emptiness required for other matter to grow. Hadit is the power to initiate and facilitate that growth, which would have nowhere to grow if not for the space of Nuit.
If you're a millennial, another way to put it is like this: Nuit is Instagram, a platform of invisible code which allows content to exist without actually producing any content itself. Hadit is what happens when your thumb hits the post button. It is the content running through the code until producing that unique result on the other end.
Nuit is the blank slate of possibility, all-encompassing of everything, the ZERO.
Hadit is the manifestation process of these things into reality, the universal energy observing itself and realising itself into existence, the on-switch to Nuit's circuit board, the ONE.
And here he is, "not extended" (like the infinite Nuit) but a singular manifested point of many manifested points.
He lives in the Khabs, which is the star, which is within you, which is you. And he's promising us more secrets.

5 - Behold! the rituals of the old time are black. Let the evil ones be cast away; let the good ones be purged by the prophet! Then shall this Knowledge go aright.

Basically saying that the religions that came before are wrong (but every religion says that!) and Crowley needs to sort it out.

6 - I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death.
7 - I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

Lines like this are what supports the theory that Hadit is the "inner spirit of man" or your soul/energy. And this is the same energy of everything, the core of every star both literally (as in the sun and the like) and figuratively (as in you and me, every man and woman, as we are stars). This energy is what keeps us alive, and this is the energy we lose when we die.
Meanwhile, the line '“Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.' is one of my top favourites phrases from the entire book. Surely a potent backhand to other scripture too.

10 - O prophet! thou hast ill will to learn this writing.
11 - I see thee hate the hand & the pen; but I am stronger.

Here Hadit is speaking directly to Crowley, acknowledging that the man is unable to stop writing these words because Haidt/Aiwass is controlling the pen. If true, this is actually hilarious. The diety is trying to explain to Aleister what's happening, but because everything it says gets documented, even these words are now part of the book, read and followed by Thelemites around the globe. I almost like to think Hadit realised his mistake here and thought, "Oops! Look what I made him write!" then continued preaching as if nothing happened.

15 - For I am perfect, being Not; and my number is nine by the fools; but with the just I am eight, and one in eight: Which is vital, for I am none indeed. The Empress and the King are not of me; for there is a further secret.
16 - I am The Empress & the Hierophant. Thus eleven, as my bride is eleven.

Hadit is also a number ninja, no surprises. And, annoyingly, I can't seem to find any satisfactory explanations for these chosen values. Even texts written by Crowley were very vague on this part.
Some little bits I picked up: in occult Tarot, the Fool card is often numbered as a 0. This number's significance has already been explained back with Nuit (Chapter 1, 45 - 46) hence why, as part of Nuit, Hadit can also be considered "none indeed". He's the spirit, after all.
Looking back at those same lines by Nuit (Chapter 1, 45 - 46), number 8 is mentioned there as it is here. That might mean something, I'm unsure, and I'm not convinced anyone else is either.
Thankfully, the next line is much easier. 11 is already established as an important number by Nuit, and she is referred to here as Hadit's "bride" which is certainly symbolic. Furthermore, in Tarot land, the Empress' number is III while the Hierophant is V.
3 + 5 = 8, so once again, we're establishing this as a significant digit for Hadit and Thelema.
Another interesting fact that people have pointed out is that the letters E M P R E S S K I N G from line 15 are 11 in number. This might mean something but also COME ON.

19 - Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

To say Thelema is essentially Pantheistic in its fundamental teachings (that everything is an extension of a collective all-encompassing God) is somewhat inaccurate. Rather, it leans more towards a Panentheistic point of view (that everything is part of that same collective but God is greater than the sum of its parts).
In terms of this line (and I guess Thelema as a whole), the chosen Thelemites are a closer form to God than the people who are not. The dog (an ananym of God, intentional, I'm sure) is chosen as the comparison point for such people, used to illustrate their position as a lower point. This ignores the hard fact that dogs are the coolest beings ever.

This was the first major point in the book that contradicted my belief when it came to the Universe and, indeed, my understanding of Hadit/Thelema. Is he not the manifestation of all things? Perhaps once a being is manifested, Hadit's job is done? But he continues to reside/thrive in those who follow their True Will? By serving said Will, is that how we activate our inner Hadit? Could we argue that those who move closer to their True Will are more alive than others?

Regardless, I'm not crazy about this and my core path disagrees with this teaching on a fundamental level. All energy is equal in all creatures. Dogs are stars too.

21 - We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world. Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever. Nuit! Hadit! Ra-Hoor-Khuit! The Sun, Strength & Sight, Light; these are for the servants of the Star & the Snake.

More personal trouble: As Chapter II went on and I started to find my place in all of it, bit by bit I grew less agreeable with what Hadit was saying. The fundamentals click with my philosophies perfectly (the energy within us lives forever) but this "survival of the fittest" concept is horrifically outdated in many respects (even during the time it was written).
By the "unfit" and "weak" does this mean physically? Because some of our greatest minds are housed in the frailest bodies. Or does it mean mentally? Or weak-willed? None of this matters, for if every man and woman is a star, then we must recognise that each of them has value to offer to the collective, right? Weakness is in the eye of the beholder, is it not?
Even worse is if Hadit is referring to non-Thelemites and/or those who are not pursuing "True Will". Let those die in misery? Stamp down on them? These aggressive suggestions, no matter how literal or figurative, are the problems I have with every other (usually Abrahamic) scripture I have read. Smite those who believe differently? Fuck off.

22 - I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this.

This is a fun one! I mean, how often does a religious scripture not only encourage getting messed up on drugs and alcohol, but does so with the promise that it shall never harm you?
Some of the more cautious interpretation I've read are quick to point out that this only applies to those following their True Will. Most people will find that drugs/alcohol are not in accordance with their best path. And even when considering those who have destroyed their lives with intoxicants, its true that their energy can not be harmed, as energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
One point worth noting is that "wine" and "strange drugs" were very much part of Crowley path of True Will (according to, well, Crowley) so it's no surprises that some justification for his debauchery would find its way into these texts. Just once I'd love for a committed non-drug user to receive a divine message to pursue naughty chemicals. That would be a wonderful little sacrifice on their part.
Finally, we cannot ignore the repeated connection between Hadit and the snake, certainly an intentional allusion to the Biblical creature promising much of the same outcomes. As an excellent researcher pointed out, this verse is strikingly similar to Mark 16:18 which states "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

23 - I am alone: there is no God where I am.

This is a strong line which I have found no satisfactory explanation for. It feels like it comes out of nowhere. If a person said this to me, it would sound like a cry for help.
Why is Hadit alone? Where is Nuit? Is this because Nuit is zero? It doesn't connect.
Probably the most pleasing answer I read was that God has no God, but from where I am within these teachings, this does not vibrate quite right with me.

24 - Behold! these be grave mysteries; for there are also of my friends who be hermits. Now think not to find them in the forest or on the mountain; but in beds of purple, caressed by magnificent beasts of women with large limbs, and fire and light in their eyes, and masses of flaming hair about them; there shall ye find them. Ye shall see them at rule, at victorious armies, at all the joy; and there shall be in them a joy a million times greater than this. Beware lest any force another, King against King! Love one another with burning hearts; on the low men trample in the fierce lust of your pride, in the day of your wrath.

If you remember Chapter 1 Verse 40, the "hermits" are the highest "grade" of Thelemites. I didn't fully understand why they were named as such until this very point in the book (after the third or fourth time I read it).
To be a hermit is an undesirable trait as far as standard society is raised to believe, but in this context, the actions of a hermit does not always equate into hiding. Rather, it speaks of individuals who have broken away from those who surrounded them, now growing on their own path, no longer influenced by or dependent on the company they once kept. Christ, do I get this.

27 - 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.

My initial notes jotted down this verse because I thought it was "poetic". I stand by this reason for inclusion.
The basic meaning is to not overthink these teachings because they exist outside of the realms of logic. Kinda like most religious texts, but I get it. The spirit is not logical nor should it ever have to be. Logic is the brain's problem. Leave divinity to the soul.

30 - If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.
31 - If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.

I'm quite into the capitalisation of words like Because and Reason and Will. It's personifying them, no?
Regardless, this makes sense too. If you're following your True Will, do not stop to question it, just go with it. If you second guess or hesitate, the Will may cease its motion. It needs no reason. The fastest way to lose your power is to debate your power. You immediately become powerless in the action of doubt.

From here it repeats much of the same stuff I feel we've covered before. Don't question the infinite but rise up and perform the rituals. Hadit then lists the dates that are sacred to the religion and must be feasted, which are as follows:

March 20th: The Equinox of the Gods.
April 8th, 9th, 10th: the dates that the Book of the Law were written/dictated.
August 12th: "The first night of the Prophet and his Bride" i.e: when Aleister and Rose Kelly got married.
Any date that a boy or girl hits puberty.
Any date that coincides with a birth or a death.
Plus a feast every day and night anyway, which negates everything that was just instructed.

39 - A feast for Tahuti and the child of the Prophet–secret, O Prophet!

Among all of these dates of celebration, Hadit casually drops this mysterious feast which is so secret that nobody is willing to disclose it. Most Thelemites confess they have no idea what it is. Crowley has refused to divulge any information to the uninitiated. I did find some people who claim that it was revealed to them but they will not go any further. It's more than likely my birthday.

48 - Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler.

Once again, don't show any sympathy/empathy for those who suffer or die. Let the weak perish, it'll only slow you down to give them attention. As per before, this is far removed from my belief system. Perhaps pity is a waste of energy but only if it stops there. We can use pity to take action.
Although one small justification I could maybe accept is that once someone has passed, Hadit has essentially left their presence (their soul electricity has gone) and so he is no longer a part of that narrative, they do not concern him.

49 - I am unique & conqueror. I am not of the slaves that perish. Be they damned & dead! Amen. (This is of the 4: there is a fifth who is invisible, & therein am I as a babe in an egg. )

A babe in an egg though, you guys!
If you remember Chapter 1 Verse 7, we discussed the voice of Aiwass who is speaking through Rose. He was referred to as the minister of Hoor-paar kraat. Hoor-paar kraat is Harpocrates, a Greek adaptation of the Egyptian god Horus, known as the "Babe in the Egg of Blue that sits upon the lotus flower in the Nile".
No surprises but there are multiple ways to look at this. As Horus/Harpocrates are said to be in control of the skies/stars/sun (the ultimate manifestation of energy, another responsibility of Hadit), and these principles could be considered "invisible" Spirit elements, it's talking about the 5th point of the Wiccan pentagram, ruling over (or under!) the four classical elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air.
This does appear somewhat disconnected from Hadit's previous ramblings about how people can die and he doesn't care, but they are in parentheses so the break is somewhat clean. Maybe?

52 - There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not your vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter.

A straightforward message to women, instructing them to forsake their modesty and be free from the sexual shackles that society has placed upon them. On the one hand, I agree, the repression of women in this regard is long outdated and is disappearing fast. Then again, I am always wary of a man who tells women to do this. It's exactly what you'd say to a group of women when you wanted to fuck them all. Trust me, I'm a man, I know how we work, we're the worst.

55 - Thou shalt obtain the order & value of the English Alphabet; thou shalt find new symbols to attribute them unto.

A new alphabet is coming, which Crowley understood as being an "English Qabalah". He never got round to creating this before his death and it's unlikely anyone ever will.

56 - Begone! ye mockers; even though ye laugh in my honour ye shall laugh not long: then when ye are sad know that I have forsaken you.

Such a tangent, but the last sentence of this verse is quite similar to Marilyn Manson's lyric "When you are suffering, know that I have betrayed you" from the hidden Track 99 on the artist's acclaimed 1996 album Antichrist Superstar. This is the final line from the entire record. I googled it and other people have made this connection before me, so I'm not special once again.

The text then goes on an ego trip for a few more lines. Thelemites are the best, no one can harm them, everyone else is below them, everyone should serve you or go to Hell, pay them no mind blah blah.

62 - I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body.
63 - Thou art exhaust in the voluptuous fullness of the inspiration; the expiration is sweeter than death, more rapid and laughterful than a caress of Hell’s own worm.

I really like how this is written. Everyone agrees that it's quite a sexually suggestive choice of words.

66 - Write, & find ecstasy in writing! Work, & be our bed in working! Thrill with the joy of life & death! Ah! thy death shall be lovely: whososeeth it shall be glad. Thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our age long love. Come! lift up thine heart & rejoice! We are one; we are none.

A lot of varying details in this one verse.
Firstly, Hadit is addressing Crowley directly again. As some have pointed out, there appears to be a substantial mood shift in Aleister from yesterday. In Chapter 1 Verse 32, he was fainting from the work, but here he is scribbling in ecstasy. Improvement!
Secondly is the matter of Crowley's death that Hadit is assuring will be "lovely" and whoever sees it "shall be glad". Now while I'm sure many people would have wanted to see Crowley die for assorted reasons, the truth is that he died penniless as a hopeless junkie. That said, maybe what he experienced in his mind during the passing could have been lovely, none of us will truly know. I can't find any reputable reports that anyone witnessed this death and could attest to the nature of the atmosphere. There are also those who believe this part has nothing to do with Crowley whatsoever and is instead a general addressing all Thelemites.
Finally, we have references to ONE and ZERO again. The sex theme from those documented lines previous are also alluded to here with the suggestion of the bed.

67 - Hold! Hold! Bear up in thy rapture; fall not in swoon of the excellent kisses!
68 - Harder! Hold up thyself! Lift thine head! breathe not so deep — die!
69 - Ah! Ah! What do I feel? Is the word exhausted?

And, again, Hadit gets super sexual for some reason. I don't know why this happened at the end of this chapter. It reads like he orgasmed during Verse 69 too which is just... hilarious.

70 - There is help & hope in other spells. Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!
71 - But exceed! exceed!

For a philosophy (and a man) famed for excess, this verse took me by surprise.
Sure, it encourages one to drink and love in abundance but we must not become like an animal. The key is on 71. It's not about excess. It's about excelling in all walks of life. Learn what it is that brings you joy and get better at it. Progress the art of it rather than bury yourself beneath it in a repetitive fashion. It's sound advice.

73 - Ah! Ah! Death! Death! thou shalt long for death. Death is forbidden, o man, unto thee.
73 - The length of thy longing shall be the strength of its glory. He that lives long & desires death much is ever the King among the Kings.

As straightforward as these lines appear on paper, I feel like there's something here that everyone is missing, but not a damn do I know what that would be. Noting that "death is forbidden" probably ties into the notion that we can't die because our star energy is eternal.
As for the next line, it's confusing. It almost appears as if it's encouraging suicidal thoughts but we know that's not the case. I read one interpretation that, once again, drew similarities to this and sex, where death is the same as an orgasm, a result that one should desire but also delay as long as possible to maximise the relief. I like that so I'll go with that one.

76 - 4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L G M O R 3 Y X 24 89 R P S T O V A L. What meaneth this, o prophet? Thou knowest not; nor shalt thou know ever. There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it. But remember, o chose none, to be me; to follow the love of Nu in the star-lit heaven; to look forth upon men, to tell them this glad word.

So here's the biggest splurge of crypticness from Hadit, the Riddle of AL, a secret code that even Crowley will never understand, meant for someone else to come along and crack, according to the diety. Is it me??
Some people have given it a good go, others reckon that it's a bunch of nonsense used primarily to take power away from Aleister, ensuring that the rest of us understand that this is each our own personal journeys of individualism, that there will always be mysteries for us to discover. Personally, I can only currently accept that suggestion. No supposed translation has satisfied me and how could it? What could it possibly say that would justify such an obscure delivery? Some things are most effective when left in the dark.
But Hadit is quick to soften the blow regardless of how deep into the riddle you manage to get. He addresses his "prophet" directly but it seems likely to me that he's talking to all people. And his message is clear: remember "to be me" and follow the "love of Nu in the star-lit heaven". We are the manifestation of divinity (Hadit), so be that. And the all-encompassing Nuit is our collective source code, the "higher power" so many scriptures talk about, and we must put our faith into her with love.

78 - Lift up thyself! for there is none like unto thee among men or among Gods! Lift up thyself, o my prophet, thy stature shall surpass the stars. They shall worship thy name, foursquare, mystic, wonderful, the number of the man; and the name of thy house 418.

It appears many Thelemites skew everything addressed to Crowley towards themselves, taking it as a general message rather than specifics to the "prophet". This one seems particularly tailored towards the man who is essentially writing about himself, having a wonderful time in the fantasy of his future of worship, but if you want to water this down as if we are all special, then you're not alone.
418 comes up again here which we covered in Chapter 1 Verse 20 as a very special number, often tied into the magick of Abrahadabra.

79 - The end of the hiding of Hadit; and blessing & worship to the prophet of the lovely Star!

And that's all from Hadit. Thanks for coming!

III

1 - Abrahadabra; the reward of Ra Hoor Khut.

Enter Ra Hoor Khut, hello. This is the third and final entity in the book.
We've already discussed the similarly named Hoor-paar-kraat in Chapter 1 Verse 7. The connection between the two has never been fully established but as Ra Hoor Khut translates to "Ra, Horus on the Horizon" it does appear like it's another manifestation of Horus, probably with a mix with Ra (as was often the process in ancient Egyptian religion), another sky God. For reasons of conciseness I, like many, shall often refer to this entity as Horus, especially as this is the representative for our current Æon of the same name.
What's also interesting about this line is the use of the word "Abrahadabra". We've discussed it in great deal as we've gone along with it as the "secret word"(aka "the key of rituals") of Thelema, but this is the first time the book has explicitly used the term itself. I suppose when searching for the word in question, Crowley scanned the text for clues and concluded this was it due to its 11 letters and 418 Gematria number value. Personally, I am not convinced this is the word and I'm surprised everyone has so easily accepted it as so.

3 - Now let it be first understood that I am a god of War and of Vengeance. I shall deal hardly with them.

Almost immediately we come to realise that Ra Hoor Khut/Horus isn't exactly the friendliest of entities. In fact, many scholars (including Crowley) have expressed difficulty in understanding this chapter, often for reasons just like this. Oh, how far we have strayed from Nuit's Love is the law style of teachings.
I've read some attempts at blurring the literal, where the war could be an internal one for each of us, but I don't buy it. A more popular suggestion is that such a blunt approach is necessary for our new age to move forward, a demand for change. But how can anyone in their right mind support such a violent notion? It's a tough one.
Another point of interest is how the use of the word "hardly" has been debated in two contrary contexts. Hardly as in scarcely or harshly? This is going to be a long chapter.

4 - Choose ye an island!
5 - Fortify it!
6 - Dung it about with enginery of war!
7 - I will give you a war-engine.
8 - With it ye shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before you.
9 - Lurk! Withdraw! Upon them! this is the Law of the Battle of Conquest: thus shall my worship be about my secret house.

This is an uncharacteristically straightforward series of statements right here. Horus will help you to build a strong structure from where you can destroy those who oppose you.
Thankfully, a lot of scholars warn to not take this too literally, as these teachings could be referring to an internal fortress which one must strengthen via means of meditation or magick or whatever, fighting off forces within you or outside of you that interfere with your True Will (otherwise known as the ordeals). I can get on board with this, although the use of the word "peoples" on Verse 8 is suspicious.

11 - This shall be your only proof. I forbid argument. Conquer! That is enough. I will make easy to you the abstruction from the ill-ordered house in the Victorious City. Thou shalt thyself convey it with worship, o prophet, though thou likest it not. Thou shalt have danger & trouble. Ra-Hoor-Khu is with thee. Worship me with fire & blood; worship me with swords & with spears. Let the woman be girt with a sword before me: let blood flow to my name. Trample down the Heathen; be upon them, o warrior, I will give you of their flesh to eat!

Of all the verses in the book, this is possibly the one I have the greatest issue with. It reminds me too much of God's maniacal ramblings in the Old Testament. It sounds like madness and the words are beyond troublesome.
Do not argue with the instructions, just obey, go and kill people with weapons, make them bleed, eat their flesh, do not worry for Horus shall protect you. The parallels between this and the Bible are undeniable but also unforgivable due to the millennia that separate the texts. It puts me off the whole thing.
The only enjoyment I got from this verse was the writings of those placid Thelemites who do their best to swing these teachings into a positive light. They struggle and they get nowhere but they try very hard. Props to them.

12 - Sacrifice cattle, little and big: after a child.
13 - But not now.

"But not now", that's probably for the best.
Once again, many Thelemites have attepted to quickly dust these lines in a more socially acceptable direction, to varying degrees of success... (see below)

14 - Ye shall see that hour, o blessed Beast, and thou the Scarlet Concubine of his desire!
15 - Ye shall be sad thereof.

On May the 1st, 1906 (about two years after this book's writing, according to the writer), Aleister and Rose's one-year-old daughter, Lilith, died of typhoid. Many Thelemites (Aleister included) now consider lines 12-15 to be a prophecy foreshadowing this moment which not only eases our concerns over line 12 and weirdly fits in with the wording, but is also really horrible.

17 - Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth. Nu is your refuge as Hadit your light; and I am the strength, force, vigour, of your arms.

The last line here is a concise summary of each entity's role within this book. Nuit is the universe which homes and nurtures you, keeping you safe from essentially herself. Hadit is the energy or light within that can guide you. Meanwhile, Ra Hoor Khut is your power to remove obstacles by any means necessary, which I think has been made abundantly clear already.

19 - That stélé they shall call the Abomination of Desolation; count well its name, & it shall be to you as 718.

Another number!
Annoyingly, after many years of struggle, Aleister Crowley concluded that 718 = 666. How he arrived at that predictable solution is fucking impossible to decipher. I actually posted on the Thelema subreddit looking for an explanation and no one could give it to me. But I tried my best and below is as far as I got.

So a "stélé" is an ancient stone (or wooden) slab erected as a monument, usually with some text on it.
The “Stélé of Revealing” (aka the Stele of Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu) plays a considerable role in Thelema. When Rose started receiving revelations, Aleister took her to the Egyptian Museum to see if she could recognise any of the deities. She pointed out Horus in this exact Stele. And wouldn't you know it? The catalogue's number was 666.

Quoting Crowley exactly:
"I scribbled the word CTHAH and added it up. the result is 546, when CT counts as 500, or 52, when CT is 6, a frequent usage, as in CTAYPOS, whose number is thus 777."

So from CTHAH he got the number 52, which is great, because 666 + 52 = 718. Solved!
Except... how did he get 52???

It starts with the Greek word for "stele", which is Στηλη. As above, Aleister noted that this looks similar to CTHAH using the English alphabet.
What appears Crowley did then was change CT/Στ to ϛ which is a commonplace move in Greek, known as a "stigma".
This stigma ϛ is also the numerical symbol for 6, so there's the "when CT is 6" Crowley said! We've cracked that part of the code.
Beyond that... I have very little idea. If we remove the CT/Στ/ϛ from CTHAH/Στηλη, we get HAH/ηλη.
On a side note, Google translates the Greek ηλη into the English word Sun. That's crazy in itself, but I have no idea how that connects.
Meanwhile, if you drop an H from either side of HAH and run HA or AH through English Gematria you get 54. That's almost a eureka moment because 54 and 6 together is 546 which Crowley also mentioned in his quote.
BUT, that's the wrong number from the sentence. We need the 52 in order to turn 666 into 718. 6 - 4 = 2 added to the 5 is 52? Does that make sense? No? Damnit, Crowley! Why don't you just show your work!

And then I was like... why am I spending so much time on this? What does it actually matter? So I stopped there. I haven't found another source on the internet that even came as close as I did to working this out though. Come at me, bro.

22 - The other images group around me to support me: let all be worshipped, for they shall cluster to exalt me. I am the visible object of worship; the others are secret; for the Beast & his Bride are they: and for the winners of the Ordeal x. What is this? Thou shalt know.

Like any delicious verse, this piece comes with an abundance of ambiguous statements which has left the door wide open for various teeth of interpretation to slide in any which way they like.
The "other images" referred to could be an encouragement to use as much symbolism as possible in your rituals. Any additional items included will make the connection stronger, which goes for most Paganistic traditions too.
Where Ra Hoor Khut claims he is the "visible object of worship" this can be put into two ways as far as I can evaluate.
On one hand, it could be a reference to the gods of other religions, never visible, their very presence questionable.
On the other, this could be talking about Nuit and Hadit. Nuit being the all-encompassing universe while Hadit is the energy which has propelled matter forward into the physical realm, both invisible entities.
Either way, this clarifies Horus' role in the sequence. He is right there, the figure of the final step in manifestation: the manifested. Horus is the physical form that you are; visible and tangible.
Moving on, Ordeal X is another one of those complicated topics that is said to mean something different to everyone and which even Aleister Crowley refused to write much about. It seems obvious to me that this would the Final Ordeal, as in the last hurdle one has to conquer in order to slip into the middle of the True Will stream. You won't know what this is for you personally until you suddenly reach it but, once you cross over, you will be the "winner" much like the "Beast and his bride" (Aleister and Rose).

23 - For perfume mix meal & honey & thick leavings of red wine: then oil of Abramelin and olive oil, and afterward soften & smooth down with rich fresh blood
24 - The best blood is of the moon, monthly: then the fresh blood of a child, or dropping from the host of heaven: then of enemies; then of the priest or of the worshippers: last of some beast, no matter what.
25 - This burn: of this make cakes & eat unto me. This hath also another use; let it be laid before me and kept thick with perfumes of your orison: it shall become full of beetles as it were and creeping things sacred unto me.

Right, so, Thelemites have some interesting recipes for you to do at home, including anointing oil (Verse 23) and "Cakes of Light".
Focusing on the cakes and we have already run into some concerns. The main ingredient is blood which can be sourced from multiple places.
The best blood to use is menstrual blood, which is a refreshing change from the Abrahamic religions which consider this monthly period to be "unclean". Crowley is like, nah, eat that shit, it's the greatest!
The second is "the fresh blood of a child". Now there are very few places in time where this troublesome suggestion would be acceptable, hence why everyone (including Aleister) have rushed to clean up the definition. And, to be fair, they did a good job. This is not blood from a baby, but rather, the blood (or general fluid) from the act of fornication, i.e: the making of the child, a "dropping from the host of heaven". Semen, female arousal fluid and, yes, even penetration blood are all welcome in this cake, yum yum! That said, maybe Horus was like "No, I meant baby blood, how much clearer can I be!" we don't know.
Next up, the blood of your enemies, then of a priest/worshipper and then, finally, when there are no other options, any old blood will have to do, I guess.
And then you eat it! Hooray! Although if you're not keen on that, you can burn it or feed it to bugs as a similar offering to the gods. Interesting side fact: "creeping things" as a blanket term for insects was used in the Bible too, which I always thought was adorable.

26 - These slay, naming your enemies & they shall fall before you.
27 - Also these shall breed lust &amp power of lust in you at the eating thereof.
28 - Also ye shall be strong in war.
29 - Moreover, be they long kept, it is better; for they swell with my force. All before me.

But why would anyone make these blood cakes in the first place? Here's why. They will make you horny and help you to slay your enemies. But remember: the longer you can keep these cakes rotting on your shelf, the stronger their power will be! I won't be trying this at home.

34 - But your holy place shall be untouched throughout the centuries: though with fire and sword it be burnt down & shattered, yet an invisible house there standeth, and shall stand until the fall of the Great Equinox; when Hrumachis shall arise and the double-wanded one assume my throne and place. Another prophet shall arise, and bring fresh fever from the skies; another woman shall awake the lust & worship of the Snake; another soul of God and beast shall mingle in the globed priest; another sacrifice shall stain the tomb; another king shall reign; and blessing no longer be poured To the Hawk-headed mystical Lord!

This long verse is (almost) certainly referring to the energy of Hadit within us, which is "an invisible house" that lives independent of our physical form. For while our bodies can be broken until they no longer function and die, this energy is indestructible and eternal.
That is... until the next Æon! I automatically took this on face value, that following on from Horus would be the age of Hrumachis, but my research has put me in my place. The problem is that names get very confusing in Thelema (or Ancient Egyptian mythology) and I've found people referring to Hrumachis by many additional names, such as Horakhte, Heru-Khuti, Hormaku, Horakhty, and Ra Hoor Khuit (among others). These titles all boil down to the same role, that as Horus "of the Horizon” or "the Dawning Sun", otherwise recognised as an "officer of initiating". Hrumachis will change the Æon but not rule it. So simple and easy to understand, right?
Instead, many scholars agree that the next Æon will be the Age of Ma'at. She's the goddess of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Certain people believe we are already living in this age, currently experiencing an overlap taking place between Horus and her. I am wholeheartedly unconvinced. Either which way, if someone new suddenly claims the prophet throne of Thelema, Chapter IV will more than likely be written under Ma'at's name.

35 - The half of the word of Heru-ra-ha, called Hoor-pa-kraat and Ra-Hoor-Khut.

Honestly, I grew kinda bored of all this name swapping business by this point. Maybe it has some profound implications but it seemed unnecessary to me. Regardless, Heru-ra-ha is a combo-god of Horus and Ra, which (as I read on Wikipedia) is not the first time this has been done. Ancient Egyptians performed this merger all the time, naming it Ra-Horakhty.

From 36 - 38, the tables turn as Crowley addresses Aiwass/Horus/Whoever and has the audacity to write the god a poem/song, shoving his own words into this otherwise divine text. Although some do question... is this Aiwass addressing Horus? The narrative's point of view also appears to shift during the second verse.
Either which way, you can go check that out and sing it in whatever style you want, but the gist is Crowley sending such high praise to the gods that he is then granted a secret path to get closer to the divine. Some people love this part, I could have easily done without it. It was like when someone picks up a guitar around a campfire. It's non-consensual.

39 - All this and a book to say how thou didst come hither and a reproduction of this ink and paper for ever — for in it is the word secret & not only in the English — and thy comment upon this the Book of the Law shall be printed beautifully in red ink and black upon beautiful paper made by hand; and to each man and woman that thou meetest, were it but to dine or to drink at them, it is the Law to give. Then they shall chance to abide in this bliss or no; it is no odds. Do this quickly!

Printing instructions. Needless to say, my copy did not abide by this presentation. Normal paper here, boy. No red ink. Sacrilegious.

42 - The ordeals thou shalt oversee thyself, save only the blind ones. Refuse none, but thou shalt know & destroy the traitors. I am Ra-Hoor-Khuit; and I am powerful to protect my servant. Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much! Them that seek to entrap thee, to overthrow thee, them attack without pity or quarter; & destroy them utterly. Swift as a trodden serpent turn and strike! Be thou yet deadlier than he! Drag down their souls to awful torment: laugh at their fear: spit upon them!

All nice and good that this religion must "refuse none" but the other stuff? Look, I can forgive the Bible or Quaran for their violent texts, it was a different time, but this? Now? There is no excuse for it.
Surprisingly very few scholars try to metaphor their way out of this one. Horus was evidently not a loving deity. We accept.

43 - Let the Scarlet Woman beware! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses; then shall my vengeance be known. I will slay me her child: I will alienate her heart: I will cast her out from men: as a shrinking and despised harlot shall she crawl through dusk wet streets, and die cold and an-hungered.
44 - But let her raise herself in pride! Let her follow me in my way! Let her work the work of wickedness! Let her kill her heart! Let her be loud and adulterous! Let her be covered with jewels, and rich garments, and let her be shameless before all men!
45 - Then will I lift her to pinnacles of power: then will I breed from her a child mightier than all the kings of the earth. I will fill her with joy: with my force shall she see & strike at the worship of Nu: she shall achieve Hadit.

Noticing a pattern as Horus slowly lets his guard down and exposes the true darkness within his teachings.
Many people (including Crowley) consider the "Scarlet Woman" to be Rose and in that case, it's easy to interpret the first verse as a prophecy anticipating Rose's spiral into alcoholism and ill-health, as well as the death of their daughter. And while anything could mean anything in the world of Thelema, the instructions appear relatively clear here: traits such as pity, compassion, tenderness and sweetness will be punished with cold, hunger, and the death of a child. Meanwhile, wickedness and adultery are rewarded with fancy material items. Who reads this and goes "ah, yes, I like this, I'm a Thelemite now".
And then, if all goes according to plan, a new child will be born, ushering in the next Æon, I suppose. I read one interpretation calling this the birth of the Antichrist signalling the end of the world but that appears far too specific to me.
A quick note that some associate Mother Nature as the Scarlet Woman. This makes less sense except for the child part. If there is a mighty baby born, of course Mother Nature would be responsible. She births all children. They don't call her Mother Nature for nothing.

43 - I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the Eighties cower before me, & are abased. I will bring you to victory & joy: I will be at your arms in battle & ye shall delight to slay. Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on, in my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any!

The main point of interest here is the numbers, "forties" and "eighties". It seems everyone has a different opinion on what these mean and even Crowley flat-out confessed that he did not understand them.
In context, it appears to be referencing the decades of the 1940s and the 1980s.
Most of the 40s were dominated by World War II, which could be what this "prediction" was referring to in regards to a warrior form.
The 1980s is even less certain, but potentially this was when the turn of the Æon peaked at least in terms of the curve gradually altering direction. I could buy it.
Then, of course, there are those who go full-maths and connect random dots with their mouth froth. There's that tricky "80" from Chapter 1 Verse 46, omg, does that mean something? Also if we add 40 + 80 we get 120. Remember 0.12 from Chapter 1 Verses 24 - 25? This is all in heavy collaboration with Nuit's teachings! Like almost!

49 - I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men.
50 - Curse them! Curse them! Curse them!
51 - With my Hawk’s head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross
52 - I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him
53 - With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist Mongol and Din.
54 - Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds.
55 - Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you.

Damn, way to be the small kid on the playground and make enemies with literally everyone. I mean, it's all very easy to attack Christianity, those dudes can take a punch, but to diss the holy prophet of Islam? You're either brave or stupid or a dangerous mix of those two things.
There is some interesting conversation which revolves around the "secret fourfold word" comment on line 49. "Do What Though Wilt" is the most obvious answer, and Aleister himself taught this to be true. Others consider this to be the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה (the Biblical God of Israel) known as the Tetragrammaton.
After which, the promised blasphemy comes hard and fast, as we previously noted. One could argue that Horus (if this is, indeed, Horus) has some right at doing so. The origins of the Sun God have been dated back to as early as 2400BC, whereas many disbelievers theorise that certain facts about Jesus were altered to coincide with alternate (often Pagan) mythologies. The parallels between Horus' and Jesus' stories have been heavily documented, so following on from that thought pattern, Horus could be dissing Jesus (or the writers thereof) for stealing his swagger?
On that note, once we get over the gasp of controversy, it is worth discussing how Horus "pecks at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross" which is a brutal fate. Meanwhile, he merely flaps his wings into Mohammed's face, perhaps only momentarily blinding him? It's a far difference between the two attacks either way, perhaps because Horus favoured the Muslims? Or perhaps because Aleister Crowley is rightfully cautious about disrespecting a religion as protective as Islam? It's a tricky game no matter how you roll it.

SIDE STEP: RELIGION AND THE ÆONS

I wasn't sure where to place this block but moments before I hit the publish button for this article, I had one final "revelation" as to why I may have been too hard on Horus/Ra Hoor Khut and his violent wordings.

This is nothing more than the bouncing of a hypothesis, but let's consider that this Horus is not the deity we must necessarily follow from our current Æon, but rather, the reflection of it. It's where organised religion has begun to crumble. People have witnessed supposed holy men commit atrocious acts and are no longer relating to the segregated "spiritualism" of the past. Instead, we are now turning inwards, away from former scriptures and seeking our personal energies for answers. Sometimes this energy is the electricity of the brain, as we often see in atheism or other such science-based movements. Sometimes this energy is focused on a Universal connection of nature, everything working as an extension of God. But regardless of differences, these teachings all correlate on a self-centred platform which is causing conflict and unrest within an individual as well as on an individual vs. individual basis. The group mentalities that agreed upon religious forms of spirituality have dwindled substantially, fewer minds able to accept these larger teachings anymore. And now the battles once fought from land to land have intensified into specific thoughts of a singular person, leaking out further as disagreements between singular people, arguing over more minute details, coming to conclusions influenced by (but wholly independent of) one another, no two belief systems existing in quite the same manner.

So here is Ra Hoor Khut, the god manifested behind this notion, encouraging individualism and the destruction of former constraints through hard conflict, creating barriers around each lone person as a necessary step in ultimately breaking down much bigger organisations and borders. And once we've reached a place where there are hardly any agreements about the nature of the universe, we can then finally move into the Æon of Ma'at, living in harmony as separated entities, free from the conditioning that has been forced upon us by the larger society.

There are many flaws in this theory but perhaps I am simply doing my part by putting this piece out there for someone else to move forward or back within their own studies.


60 - There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

I mean, in all honesty, what else is needed? This is the entire philosophy here and yet the book does very little in terms of focusing upon and articulating the point. That's all this book should be. It's the only thing that matters. All the numbers and ancient deities load us with fun puzzles and intricate debates but if this is all we're trying to get to (and I believe it is) then why are we confusing the issue?

63 - The fool readeth this Book of the Law, and its comment & he understandeth it not.

Harsh. I'm willing to bet nobody has read this book and said, "I understand this". Even Crowley dedicated his life to decoding its mysteries and he didn't complete anything nor satisfy everyone. Then again, perhaps it's more a comment on those who read it then disregard it as nonsense? The fool would be the person who does not dedicate the necessary time to untangling the knots.
I do find it interesting that the name of the book was given here and here only. Considering the endless poetic cryptics Aiwass offers, it's surprising how self-explanatory this chosen title is.

64 - Let him come through the first ordeal, & it will be to him as silver.
65 - Through the second, gold.
66 - Through the third, stones of precious water.
67 - Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire.
68 - Yet to all it shall seem beautiful. Its enemies who say not so, are mere liars.

Just like Chapter 1 Verses 32-34, we are looking at the ordeals again, the transitional process one goes through as they gradually align with their True Will. Horus is laying this out in stages and I suddenly realise how much this echoes my own stages that I highlighted in the intro (even if I am probably nowhere near the levels described here, but who is to say?).
The chosen materials to represent these ordeals (silver, gold, stones of precious water, and ultimate sparks of the intimate fire) have been said (by Crowley and others) to be the central spheres from the Kabbalah Tree of Life, rising directly up through the middle to reach Keter, a concept so completely incomprehensible to man that there is no way anyone has ever been able to describe it.
By the way, the Tree of Life itself is a diagram drawn up in 9BC and used as a map offering 22 different paths one can go to connect the relationship between God and their mind. Just in case you weren't aware.
Finally, I have to laugh at line 68. Sure, I'd agree that anyone who reads these teaching would find them to be a beautiful use of language. But to say those who oppose it "are mere liars" feels like playground logic. Be a little more constructive with your feedback, please.

72 - I am the Lord of the Double Wand of Power; the wand of the Force of Coph Nia–but my left hand is empty, for I have crushed an Universe; & nought remains.

The Double Wand of Power is a phrase that comes up regularly in various Thelemic studies which meant I felt obliged to dig deeper even if by this late stage I'd rather have pretended that I didn't see it.
It's about duality, forces that are both "active" and "passive", so says the writer. I also read that Ra-Hoor-Khuit is the active aspect of Heru-ra-ha while Hoor-pa-kraat as the passive. Like Nuit and her static zero, and Hadit with his forward motion. Like 1 + 1 = 11.
It is this symbol that gives Horus his ability to destroy and create.
The Force of Coph Nia has plenty of unknowns associates. I've read one clever analysis that points out the similarities between the term and some reversal of the Kabbalah concept Ein Sof, which is basically God before any manifestation has taken place—exactly how I have interpreted Nuit. And on that note, Horus is claiming to have crushed the Universe and "nought remains". Nought is the number zero, which is Nuit's number, plus Nuit and Nought are too similar in sound to ignore as a coincidence. This could be argued as a fancy way of saying the previous Æons are gone as Horus takes control.
What's even more interesting about this, however, is that the original handwritten texts had Coph Nia left out because Aleister couldn't hear it properly. At a later date, Rose filled in the blank which is questionable but could also explain why this is all frustratingly close without completely connecting. Silly things like this support the case that this all happened true to Aleister's word. Writing holy texts with intentional mistakes would be genius but I doubt this is often the approach (if ever).

73 - Paste the sheets from right to left and from top to bottom: then behold!

Another treasure hunt for the Thelemites to lose their minds to, right at the finish line.
The instructions are straightforward enough: take the (assuming original) pages from Crowley's hand, put them down in a grid-like fashion and there will be something there for you. As it stands, nobody has solved this one, even Aleister stating that "so far I have noticed nothing remarkable". Cool idea though!

75 - The ending of the words is the Word Abrahadabra.

The Book of the Law is Written
and Concealed.
Aum. Ha.

And with the so-called "secret word" the book closes itself

The final two phrases are also notable.
"Aum" (or "Om") is the sacred Indian symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It's the word of God, the sound he made that created the universe, or so they say.
Meanwhile, "Ha" is probably the greatest way to conclude any religious textbook, denoting laughter at the foolishness of its followers. Of course, this is probably not what this means here.
These two letters, HA, are rife throughout this book, for example, at the end of Heru-ra-ha (the combination of Horus and Ra) or the Greek spelling of stélé as Στηλη reinterpreted into English as CTHAH (see Chapter 3 Verse 19) or even the first two letters of Hadit's name.

In fact, someone cleverly and correctly pointed out that the last two letters of The Book of the Law are the same as the first two. Now that's the kind of patterns we like around here!


THE COMMENT

The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading.
Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril. These are most dire.
Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence.

The final page of my edition ends with a brief note from Crowley himself. Above are a few select lines which appear to be a direct threat against what I have just done. Oops! The thing is though... this analysis was pursued completely in line with my True Will. So what now, Horus?