LIBER CORDIS CINCTI SERPENTE
- I am the Heart; and the Snake is entwined
About the invisible core of the mind.
Rise, O my snake! It is now is the hour
Of the hooded and holy ineffable flower.
Rise, O my snake, into brilliance of
On the corpse of Osiris afloat in the
O heart of my mother, my sister, mine
Thou art given to Nile, to the terror
Ah me! but the glory of ravening storm
Enswathes thee and wraps thee in frenzy
Be still, O my soul! that the spell may
As the wands are upraised, and the aeons
Behold! in my beauty how joyous Thou art,
O Snake that caresses the crown of mine
Behold! we are one, and the tempest of
Goes down to the dusk, and the Beetle
O Beetle! the drone of Thy dolorous note
Be ever the trance of this tremulous
I await the awaking! The summons on high
From the Lord Adonai, from the Lord
- Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V., saying: There must
ever be division in the word.
- For the colours are many, but the light is one.
- Therefore thou writest that which is of mother of
emerald, and of lapis-lazuli, and of turquoise,
and of alexandrite.
- Another writeth the words of to˙az, and of deep
amethyst, and of gray sapphire, and of deep
sapphire with a tinge as of blood.
- Therefore do ye fret yourselves because of this.
- Be not contented with the image.
- I who am the Image of an Image say this.
- Debate not of the image, saying Beyond! Beyond!
One mounteth unto the Crown by the moon and by
the Sun, and by the arrow, and by the Foundation,
and by the dark home of the stars from the black
- Not otherwise may ye reach unto the Smooth Point.
- Nor is it fitting for the cobbler to prate of the
Royal matter. O cobbler! mend me this shoe, that
I may walk. O king! if I be thy son, let us speak
of the Embassy to the King thy Brother.
- Then was there silence. Speech had done with us
There is a light so strenuous that it is not
perceived as light.
- Wolf's bane is not so sharp as steel; yet it
pierceth the body more subtly.
- Even as evil kisses corrupt the blood, so do my
words devour the spirit of man.
- I breathe, and there is infinite dis-ease in the
- As an acid eats into steel, as a cancer that
utterly corrupts the body; so am I unto the
spirit of man.
- I shall not rest until I have dissolved it all.
- So also the light that is absorbed. One absorbs
little and is called white and glistening; one
absorbs all and is called black.
- Therefore, O my darling, art thou black.
- O my beautiful, I have likened thee to a jet
Nubian slave, a boy of melancholy eyes.
- O the filthy one! the dog! they cry against thee.
Because thou art my beloved.
- Happy are they that praise thee; for they see
thee with Mine eyes.
- Not aloud shall they praise thee; but in the
night watch one shall steal close, and grip thee
with the secret grip; another shall privily cast
a crown of violets over thee; a third shall
greatly dare, and press mad lips to thine.
- Yea! the night shall cover all, the night shall
- Thou wast long seeking Me; thou didst run forward
so fast that I was unable to come up with thee.
O thou darling fool! what bitterness thou didst
crown thy days withal.
- Now I am with thee; I will never leave thy being.
- For I am the soft sinuous one entwined about
thee, heart of gold!
- My head is jewelled with twelve stars; My body is
white as milk of the stars; it is bright with the
blue of the abyss of stars invisible.
- I have found that which could not be found; I
have found a vessel of quicksilver.
- Thou shalt instruct thy servant in his ways, thou
shalt speak often with him.
- (The scribe looketh upwards and crieth) Amen!
Thou hast spoken it, Lord God!
- Further Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V. and said:
- Let us take our delight in the multitude of men!
Let us shape unto ourselves a boat of
mother-of-pearl from them, that we may ride upon
the river of Amrit!
- Thou seest yon petal of amaranth, blown by the
wind from the low sweet brows of Hathor?
- (The Magister saw it and rejoiced in the beauty
of it.) Listen!
- (From a certain world came an infinite wail.)
That falling petal seemed to the little ones a
wave to engulph their continent.
- So they will reproach thy servant, saying: Who
hath set thee to save us?
- He will be sore distressed.
- All they understand not that thou and I are
fashioning a boat of mother-of-pearl. We will
sail down the river of Amrit even to the
yew-groves of Yama, where we may rejoice
- The joy of men shall be our silver gleam, their
woe our blue gleam -- all in the mother-of-pearl.
- (The scribe was wroth thereat. He spake:
O Adonai and my master, I have borne the inkhorn
and the pen without pay, in order that I might
search this river of Amrit, and sail thereon as
one of ye. This I demand for my fee, that I
partake of the echo of your kisses.)
- (And immediately it was granted unto him.)
- (Nay; but not therewith was he content. By an
infinite abasement unto shame did he strive. Then
- Thou strivest ever; even in thy yielding thou
strivest to yield -- and lo! thou yieldest not.
- Go thou unto the outermost places and subdue all
- Subdue thy fear and thy disgust. Then -- yield!
- There was a maiden that strayed among the corn,
and sighed; then grew a new birth, a narcissus,
and therein she forgot her sighing and her
- Even instantly rode Hades heavily upon her, and
ravished her away.
- (Then the scribe knew the narcissus in his heart;
but because it came not to his lips, therefore
was he shamed and spake no more.)
- Adonai spake yet again with V.V.V.V.V. and said:
The earth is ripe for vintage; let us eat of her
grapes, and be drunken thereon.
- And V.V.V.V.V. answered and said: O my lord, my
dove, my excellent one, how shall this word seem
unto the children of men?
- And He answered him: Not as thou canst see.
It is certain that every letter of this cipher
hath some value; but who shall determine the
value? For it varieth ever, according to the
subtlety of Him that made it.
- And He answered Him: Have I not the key thereof
? I am clothed with the body of flesh; I am one
with the Eternal and Omnipotent God.
- Then said Adonai: Thou hast the Head of the Hawk,
and thy Phallus is the Phallus of Asar. Thou
knowest the white, and thou knowest the black,
and thou knowest that these are one. But why
seekest thou the knowledge of their equivalence?
- And he said: That my Work may be right.
- And Adonai said: The strong brown reaper swept
his swathe and rejoiced. The wise man counted his
muscles, and pondered, and understood not, and
Reap thou, and rejoice!
- Then was the Adept glad, and lifted his arm.
Lo! an earthquake, and plague, and terror on the
A casting down of them that sate in high places;
a famine upon the multitude!
- And the grape fell ripe and rich into his mouth.
- Stained is the purple of thy mouth, O brilliant
one, with the white glory of the lips of Adonai.
- The foam of the grape is like the storm upon the
sea; the ships tremble and shudder; the
shipmaster is afraid.
- That is thy drunkenness, O holy one, and the
winds whirl away the soul of the scribe into the
- O Lord God! let the haven be cast down by the
fury of the storm! Let the foam of the grape
tincture my soul with Thy light!
- Bacchus grew old, and was Silenus; Pan was ever
Pan for ever and ever more throughout the ĉons.
- Intoxicate the inmost, O my lover, not the
- So was it -- ever the same! I have aimed at the
peeled wand of my God, and I have hit; yea, I
- I passed into the mountain of lapis-lazuli, even
as a green hawk between the pillars of turquoise
that is seated upon the throne of the East.
- So came I to Duant, the starry abode, and I heard
voices crying aloud.
- O Thou that sittest upon the Earth! (so spake a
certain Veiled One to me) thou art not greater
than thy mother! Thou speck of dust
Thou art the Lord of Glory, and the unclean dog.
- Stooping down, dipping my wings, I came unto the
darkly-splendid abodes. There in that formless
abyss was I made a partaker of the Mysteries
- I suffered the deadly embrace of the Snake and of
the Goat; I paid the infernal homage to the shame
- Therein was this virtue, that the One became the
- Moreover I beheld a vision of a river. There was
a little boat thereon; and in it under purple
sails was a golden woman, an image of Asi wrought
in finest gold. Also the river was of blood, and
the boat of shining steel. Then I loved her; and,
loosing my girdle, cast myself into the stream.
- I gathered myself into the little boat, and for
many days and nights did I love her, burning
beautiful incense before her.
- Yea! I gave her of the flower of my youth.
- But she stirred not; only by my kisses I defiled
her so that she turned to blackness before me.
- Yet I worshipped her, and gave her of the flower
of my youth.
- Also it came to pass, that thereby she sickened,
and corrupted before me. Almost I cast myself
into the stream.
- Then at the end appointed her body was whiter
than the milk of the stars, and her lips red and
warm as the sunset, and her life of a white heat
like the heat of the midmost sun.
- Then rose she up from the abyss of Ages of Sleep,
and her body embraced me. Altogether I melted
into her beauty and was glad.
- The river also became the river of Amrit, and the
little boat was the chariot of the flesh, and the
sails thereof the blood of the heart that beareth
me, that beareth me.
- O serpent woman of the stars! I, even I, have
fashioned Thee from a pale image of fine gold.
- Also the Holy One came upon me, and I beheld a
white swan floating in the blue.
- Between its wings I sate, and the ĉons fled
- Then the swan flew and dived and soared, yet no
whither we went.
- A little crazy boy that rode with me spake unto
the swan, and said:
- Who art thou that dost float and fly and dive and
soar in the inane? Behold, these many ĉons have
passed; whence camest thou? Whither wilt thou go?
- And laughing I chid him, saying: No whence! No
- The swan being silent, he answered: Then, if with
no goal, why this eternal journey?
- And I laid my head against the Head of the Swan,
and laughed, saying: Is there not joy ineffable
in this aimless winging? Is there not weariness
and impatience for who would attain to some goal?
- And the swan was ever silent. Ah! but we floated
in the infinite Abyss. Joy! Joy!
White swan, bear thou ever me up between thy
- O silence! O rapture! O end of things visible and
invisible! This is all mine, who am Not.
- Radiant God! Let me fashion an image of gems and
gold for Thee! that the people may cast it down
and trample it to dust! That Thy glory may be
seen of them.
- Nor shall it be spoken in the markets that I am
come who should come; but Thy coming shall be the
- Thou shalt manifest Thyself in the unmanifest; in
the secret places men shall meet with thee, and
Thou shalt overcome them.
- I saw a pale sad boy that lay upon the marble in
the sunlight, and wept. By his side was the
forgotten lute. Ah! but he wept.
- Then came an eagle from the abyss of glory and
overshadowed him. So black was the shadow that he
was no more visible.
- But I heard the lute lively discoursing through
the blue still air.
- Ah! messenger of the beloved One, let Thy shadow
be over me!
- Thy name is Death, it may be, or Shame, or Love.
So thou bringest me tidings of the Beloved One, I
shall not ask thy name.
- Where is now the Master? cry the little crazy
He is dead! He is shamed! He is wedded! and their
mockery shall ring round the world.
- But the Master shall have had his reward.
The laughter of the mockers shall be a ripple in
the hair of the Beloved One.
- Behold! the Abyss of the Great Deep. Therein is a
mighty dolphin, lashing his sides with the force
of the waves.
- There is also an harper of gold, playing infinite
- Then the dolphin delighted therein, and put off
his body, and became a bird.
- The harper also laid aside his harp, and played
infinite tunes upon the Pan-pipe.
- Then the bird desired exceedingly this bliss, and
laying down its wings became a faun of the
- The harper also laid down his Pan-pipe, and with
the human voice sang his infinite tunes.
- Then the faun was enraptured, and followed far;
at last the harper was silent, and the faun
became Pan in the midst of the primal forest of
- Thou canst not charm the dolphin with silence, O
- Then the adept was rapt away in bliss, and the
beyond of bliss, and exceeded the excess of
- Also his body shook and staggered with the burden
of that bliss and that excess and that ultimate
- They cried He is drunk or He is mad or He is in
pain or He is about to die; and he heard them
- O my Lord, my beloved! How shall I indite songs,
when even the memory of the shadow of thy glory
is a thing beyond all music of speech or of
- Behold! I am a man. Even a little child might not
endure Thee. And lo!
- I was alone in a great park, and by a certain
hillock was a ring of deep enamelled grass
wherein green-clad ones, most beautiful, played.
- In their play I came even unto the land of Fairy
All my thoughts were clad in green; most
beautiful were they.
- All night they danced and sang; but Thou art the
morning, O my darling, my serpent that twinest
Thee about this heart.
- I am the heart, and Thou the serpent. Wind Thy
coils closer about me, so that no light nor bliss
- Crush out the blood of me, as a grape upon the
tongue of a white Doric girl that languishes with
her lover in the moonlight.
- Then let the End awake. Long hast thou slept, O
great God Terminus! Long ages hast thou waited at
the end of the city and the roads thereof.
Awake Thou! wait no more!
- Nay, Lord! but I am come to Thee. It is I that
wait at last.
- The prophet cried against the mountain; come thou
hither, that I may speak with thee!
- The mountain stirred not. Therefore went the
prophet unto the mountain, and spake unto it. But
the feet of the pro˙het were weary, and the
mountain heard not his voice.
- But I have called unto Thee, and I have journeyed
unto Thee, and it availed me not.
- I waited patiently, and Thou wast with me from
- This now I know, O my beloved, and we are
stretched at our ease among the vines.
- But these thy prophets; they must cry aloud and
scourge themselves; they must cross trackless
wastes and unfathomed oceans; to await Thee is
the end, not the beginning.
- Let darkness cover up the writing! Let the scribe
depart among his ways.
- But thou and I are stretched at our ease among
the vines; what is he?
- O Thou beloved One! is there not an end? Nay, but
there is an end. Awake! arise! gird up thy limbs,
O thou runner; bear thou the Word unto the mighty
cities, yea, unto the mighty cities.
- Verily and Amen! I passed through the deep sea,
and by the rivers of running water that abound
therein, and I came unto the Land o
- Wherein was a white unicorn with a silver collar,
whereon was graven the aphorism Linea viridis
- Then the word of Adonai came unto me by the mouth
of the Magister mine, saying: O heart that art
girt about with the coils of the old serpent,
lift up thyself unto the mountain of initiation!
- But I remembered. Yea, Than, yea, Theli, yea,
Lilith! these three were about me from of old.
For they are one.
- Beautiful wast thou, O Lilith, thou
- Thou wast lithe and delicious to the taste, and
thy perfume was of musk mingled with ambergris.
- Close didst thou cling with thy coils unto the
heart, and it was as the joy of all the spring.
- But I beheld in thee a certain taint, even in
that wherein I delighted.
- I beheld in thee the taint of thy father the ape,
of thy grandsire the Blind Worm of Slime.
- I gazed upon the Crystal of the Future, and I saw
the horror of the End of thee.
- Further, I destroyed the time Past, and the time
to Come -- had I not the Power of the Sand-glass?
- But in the very hour I beheld corruption.
- Then I said: O my beloved, O Lord Adonai, I pray
thee to loosen the coils of the serpent!
- But she was closed fast upon me, so that my Force
was stayed in its inception.
- Also I prayed unto the Elephant God, the Lord of
Beginnings, who breaketh down obstruction.
- These gods came right quickly to mine aid. I
beheld them; I joined myself unto them; I was
lost in their vastness.
- Then I beheld myself compassed about with the
Infinite Circle of Emerald that encloseth the
- O Snake of Emerald, Thou hast no time Past, no
time To Come. Verily Thou art not.
- Thou art delicious beyond all taste and touch,
Thou art not-to-be-beheld for glory, Thy voice is
beyond the Speech and the Silence and the Speech
therein, and Thy perfume is of pure ambergris,
that is not weighed against the finest gold of
the fine gold.
- Also Thy coils are of infinite range; the Heart
that Thou dost encircle is an Universal Heart.
- I, and Me, and Mine were sitting with lutes in
the market-place of the great city, the city of
the violets and the roses.
- The night fell, and the music of the lutes was
- The tempest arose, and the music of the lutes was
- The hour passed, and the music of the lutes was
- But Thou art Eternity and Space; Thou art Matter
and Motion; and Thou art the negation of all
- For there is no Symbol of Thee.
- If I say Come up upon the mountains! the
celestial waters flow at my word. But thou art
the Water beyond the waters.
- The red three-angled heart hath been set up in
Thy shrine; for the priests despised equally the
shrine and the god.
- Yet all the while Thou wast hidden therein, as
the Lord of Silence is hidden in the buds of the
- Thou art Sebek the crocodile against Asar; thou
art Mati, the Slayer in the Deep. Thou art
Typhon, the Wrath of the Elements, O Thou who
transcendest the Forces in their Concourse and
Cohesion, in their Death and their Disruption.
Thou art Python, the terrible serpent about the
end of all things!
- I turned me about thrice in every way; and always
I came at the last unto Thee.
- Many things I beheld mediate and immediate; but,
beholding them no more, I beheld Thee.
- Come thou, O beloved One, O Lord God of the
Universe, O Vast One, O Minute One! I am Thy
- All day I sing of Thy delight; all night I
delight in Thy song.
- There is no other day or night than this.
- Thou art beyond the day and the night; I am
Thyself, O my Maker, my Master, my Mate!
- I am like the little red dog that sitteth upon
the knees of the Unknown.
- Thou hast brought me into great delight. Thou
hast given me of Thy flesh to eat and of Thy
blood for an offering of intoxication.
- Thou hast fastened the fangs of Eternity in my
soul, and the Poison of the Infinite hath
consumed me utterly.
- I am become like a luscious devil of Italy; a
fair strong woman with worn cheeks, eaten out
with hunger for kisses. She hath played the
harlot in divers palaces; she hath given her body
to the beasts.
- She hath slain her kinsfolk with strong venom of
toads; she hath been scourged with many rods.
- She hath been broken in pieces upon the Wheel;
the hands of the hangman have bound her unto it.
- The fountains of water have been loosed upon her;
she hath struggled with exceeding torment.
- She hath burst in sunder with the weight of the
waters; she hath sunk into the awful Sea.
- So am I, O Adonai, my lord, and such are the
waters of Thine intolerable Essence.
- So am I, O Adonai, my beloved, and Thou hast
burst me utterly in sunder.
- I am shed out like spilt blood upon the
mountains; the Ravens of Dispersion have borne me
utterly away. Therefore is the seal unloosed,
that guarded the Eighth abyss; therefore is the
vast sea as a veil; therefore is there a rending
asunder of all things.
- Yea, also verily Thou art the cool still water of
the wizard fount. I have bathed in Thee, and lost
me in Thy stillness.
- That which went in as a brave boy of beautiful
limbs cometh forth as a maiden, as a little child
- O Thou light and delight, ravish me away into the
milky ocean of the stars!
- O Thou Son of a light-transcending mother,
blessed be Thy name, and the Name of Thy Name,
throughout the ages!
- Behold! I am a butterfly at the Source of
Creation; let me die before the hour, falling
dead into Thine infinite stream!
- Also the stream of the stars floweth ever
majestical unto the Abode; bear me away upon the
Bosom of Nuit!
- This is the world of the waters of Maim; this is
the bitter water that becometh sweet. Thou art
beautiful and bitter, O golden one, O my Lord
Adonai, O thou Abyss of Sapphire!
- I follow Thee, and the waters of Death fight
strenuously against me. I pass unto the Waters
beyond Death and beyond Life.
- How shall I answer the foolish man? In no way
shall he come to the Identity of Thee!
- But I am the Fool that heedeth not the Play of
the Magician. Me doth the Woman of the Mysteries
instruct in vain; I have burst the bonds of Love
and of Power and of Worship.
- Therefore is the Eagle made one with the Man, and
the gallows of infamy dance with the fruit of the
- I have descended, O my darling, into the black
shining waters, and I have plucked Thee forth as
a black pearl of infinite preciousness.
- I have gone down, O my God, into the abyss of the
all, and I have found Thee in the midst under the
guise of No Thing.
- But as Thou art the Last, Thou art also the Next,
and as the Next do I reveal Thee to the
- They that ever desired Thee shall obtain Thee,
even at the End of their Desire.
- Glorious, glorious, glorious art Thou, O my lover
supernal, O Self of myself.
- For I have found Thee alike in the Me and the
Thee; there is no difference, O my beautiful, my
desirable One! In the One and the Many have I
found Thee; yea, I have found Thee.
- O crystal heart! I the Serpent clasp Thee; I
drive home mine head into the central core of
Thee, O God my beloved.
- Even as on the resounding wind-swept heights of
Mitylene some god-like woman casts aside the
lyre, and with her locks aflame as an aureole,
plunges into the wet heart of the creation, so I,
O Lord my God!
- There is a beauty unspeakable in this heart of
corruption, where the flowers are aflame.
- Ah me! but the thirst of Thy joy parches up this
throat, so that I cannot sing.
- I will make me a little boat of my tongue, and
explore the unknown rivers. It may be that the
everlasting salt may turn to sweetness, and that
my life may be no longer athirst.
- O ye that drink of the brine of your desire, ye
are nigh to madness! Your torture increaseth as
ye drink, yet still ye drink. Come up through the
creeks to the fresh water; I shall be waiting for
you with my kisses.
- As the bezoar-stone that is found in the belly of
the cow, so is my lover among lovers.
- O honey boy! Bring me Thy cool limbs hither! Let
us sit awhile in the orchard, until the sun go
down! Let us feast on the cool grass! Bring wine,
ye slaves, that the cheeks of my boy may flush
- In the garden of immortal kisses, O thou
brilliant One, shine forth! Make Thy mouth an
opium-poppy, that one kiss is the key to the
infinite sleep and lucid, the sleep of
- In my sleep I beheld the Universe like a clear
crystal without one speck.
- There are purse-proud penniless ones that stand
at the door of the tavern and prate of their
feats of wine-bibbing.
- There are purse-proud penniless ones that stand
at the door of the tavern and revile the guests.
- The guests dally upon couches of mother-of-pearl
in the garden; the noise of the foolish men is
hidden from them.
- Only the inn-keeper feareth lest the favour of
the king be withdrawn from him.
- Thus spake the Magister V.V.V.V.V. unto Adonai
his God, as they played together in the starlight
over against the deep black pool that is in the
Holy Place of the Holy House beneath the Altar of
the Holiest One.
- But Adonai laughed, and played more languidly.
- Then the scribe took note, and was glad. But
Adonai had no fear of the Magician and his play.
For it was Adonai who had taught all his tricks
to the Magician.
- And the Magister entered into the play of the
Magician. When the Magician laughed he laughed;
all as a man should do.
- And Adonai said: Thou art enmeshed in the web of
the Magician. This He said subtly, to try him.
- But the Magister gave the sign of the Magistry,
and laughed back on Him: O Lord, O beloved, did
these fingers relax on Thy curls, or these eyes
turn away from Thine eye?
- And Adonai delighted in him exceedingly.
- Yea, O my master, thou art the beloved of the
Beloved One; the Bennu Bird is set up in Philĉ
not in vain.
- I who was the priestess of Ahathoor rejoice in
your love. Arise, O Nile-God, and devour the holy
place of the Cow of Heaven! Let the milk of the
stars be drunk up by Sebek the dweller of Nile!
- Arise, O serpent Apep, Thou art Adonai the
beloved one! Thou art my darling and my lord, and
Thy poison is sweeter than the kisses of Isis the
mother of the Gods!
- For Thou art He! Yea, Thou shalt swallow up Asi
and Asar, and the children of Ptah. Thou shalt
pour forth a flood of poison to destroy the works
of the Magician. Only the Destroyer shall devour
Thee; Thou shalt blacken his throat, wherein his
spirit abideth. Ah, serpent Apep, but I love
- My God! Let Thy secret fang pierce to the marrow
of the little secret bone that I have kept
against the Day of Vengeance of Hoor-Ra. Let
Kheph-Ra sound his sharded drone! let the jackals
of Day and Night howl in the wilderness of Time!
let the Towers of the Universe totter, and the
guardians hasten away! For my Lord hath revealed
Himself as a mighty serpent, and my heart is the
blood of His body.
- I am like a love-sick courtesan of Corinth. I
have toyed with kings and captains, and made them
my slaves. To-day I am the slave of the little
asp of death; and who shall loosen our love?
- Weary, weary! saith the scribe, who shall lead me
to the sight of the Rapture of my master?
- The body is weary and the soul is sore weary and
sleep weighs down their eyelids; yet ever abides
the sure consciousness of ecstacy, unknown, yet
known in that its being is certain. O Lord, be my
helper, and bring me to the bliss of the Beloved!
- I came to the house of the Beloved, and the wine
was like fire that flieth with green wings
through the world of waters.
- I felt the red lips of nature and the black lips
of perfection. Like sisters they fondled me their
little brother; they decked me out as a bride;
they mounted me for Thy bridal chamber.
- They fled away at Thy coming; I was alone before
- I trembled at Thy coming, O my God, for Thy
messenger was more terrible than the Death-star.
- On the threshold stood the fulminant figure of
Evil, the Horror of emptiness, with his ghastly
eyes like poisonous wells. He stood, and the
chamber was corrupt; the air stank. He was an old
and gnarled fish more hideous than the shells of
- He enveloped me with his demon tentacles; yea,
the eight fears took hold upon me.
- But I was anointed with the right sweet oil of
the Magister; I slipped from the embrace as a
stone from the sling of a boy of the woodlands.
- I was smooth and hard as ivory; the horror gat no
hold. Then at the noise of the wind of Thy coming
he was dissolved away, and the abyss of the great
void was unfolded before me.
- Across the waveless sea of eternity Thou didst
ride with Thy captains and Thy hosts; with Thy
chariots and horsemen and spearmen didst Thou
travel through the blue.
- Before I saw Thee Thou wast already with me; I
was smitten through by Thy marvellous spear.
- I was stricken as a bird by the bolt of the
thunderer; I was pierced as the thief by the Lord
of the Garden.
- O my Lord, let us sail upon the sea of blood!
- There is a deep taint beneath the ineffable
bliss; it is the taint of generation.
- Yea, though the flower wave bright in the
sunshine, the root is deep in the darkness of
- Praise to thee, O beautiful dark earth, thou art
the mother of a million myriads of myriads of
- Also I beheld my God, and the countenance of Him
was a thousandfold brighter than the lightning.
Yet in his heart I beheld the slow and dark One,
the ancient one, the devourer of His children.
- In the height and the abyss, O my beautiful,
there is no thing, verily, there is no thing at
all, that is not altogether and perfectly
fashioned for Thy delight.
- Light cleaveth unto Light, and filth to filth;
with pride one contemneth another. But not Thou,
who art all, and beyond it; who art absolved from
the Division of the Shadows.
- O day of Eternity, let Thy wave break in foamless
glory of sapphire upon the laborious coral of our
- We have made us a ring of glistening white sand,
strewn wisely in the midst of the Delightful
- Let the palms of brilliance flower upon our
island; we shall eat of their fruit, and be glad.
- But for me the lustral water, the great ablution,
the dissolving of the soul in that resounding
- I have a little son like a wanton goat; my
daughter is like an unfledged eaglet; they shall
get them fins, that they may swim.
- That they may swim, O my beloved, swim far in the
warm honey of Thy being, O blessed one, O boy of
- This heart of mine is girt about with the serpent
that devoureth his own coils.
- When shall there be an end, O my darling, O when
shall the Universe and the Lord thereof be
utterly swallowed up?
- Nay! who shall devour the Infinite? who shall
undo the Wrong of the Beginning?
- Thou criest like a white cat upon the roof of the
Universe; there is none to answer Thee.
- Thou art like a lonely pillar in the midst of the
sea; there is none to behold Thee, O Thou who
- Thou dost faint, thou dost fail, thou scribe;
cried the desolate Voice; but I have filled thee
with a wine whose savour thou knowest not.
- It shall avail to make drunken the peo˙le of the
old gray sphere that rolls in the infinite
Far-off; they shall lap the wine as dogs that lap
the blood of a beautiful courtesan pierced
through by the Spear of a swift rider through the
- I too am the Soul of the desert; thou shalt seek
me yet again in the wilderness of sand.
- At thy right hand a great lord and a comely; at
thy left hand a woman clad in gossamer and gold
and having the stars in her hair. Ye shall
journey far into a land of pestilence and evil;
ye shall encamp in the river of a foolish city
forgotten; there shall ye meet with Me.
- There will I make Mine habitation; as for bridal
will I come bedecked and anointed; there shall
the Consummation be accomplished.
- O my darling, I also wait for the brilliance of
the hoineffable, when the universe shall be like
a girdle for the midst of the ray of our love,
extending beyond the permitted end of the endless
- Then, O thou heart, will I the serpent eat thee
wholly up; yea, I will eat thee wholly up.
- Ah! my Lord Adonai, that dalliest with the
Magister in the Treasure-House of Pearls, let me
listen to the echo of your kisses.
- Is not the starry heaven shaken as a leaf at the
tremulous rapture of your love? Am not I the
flying spark of light whirled away by the great
wind of your perfection?
- Yea, cried the Holy One, and from Thy spark will
I the Lord kindle a great light; I will burn
through the great city in the old and desolate
land; I will cleanse it from its great impurity.
- And thou, O prophet, shalt see these things, and
thou shalt heed them not.
- Now is the Pillar established in the Void; now is
Asi fulfilled of Asar; now is Hoor let down into
the Animal Soul of Things like a fiery star that
falleth upon the darkness of the earth.
- Through the midnight thou art dropt, O my child,
my conqueror, my sword-girt captain, O Hoor! and
they shall find thee as a black gnarl'd
glittering stone, and they shall worship thee.
- My pr&127;phet shall pro˙hesy concerning thee;
around thee the maidens shall dance, and bright
babes be born unto them. Thou shalt inspire the
proud ones with infinite pride, and the humble
ones with an ecstasy of abasement; all this shall
transcend the Known and the Unknown with somewhat
that hath no name. For it is as the abyss of the
Arcanum that is opened in the secret Place of
- Thou hast come hither, O my prophet, through
grave paths. Thou hast eaten of the dung of the
Abominable Ones; thou hast prostrated thyself
before the Goat and the Crocodile; the evil men
have made thee a plaything; thou hast wandered as
a painted harlot, ravishing with sweet scent and
Chinese colouring, in the streets; thou hast
darkened thine eyepits with Kohl; thou hast
tinted thy lips with vermilion; thou hast
plastered thy cheeks with ivory enamels. Thou
hast played the wanton in every gate and by-way
of the great city. The men of the city have
lusted after thee to abuse thee and to beat thee.
They have mouthed the golden spangles of fine
dust wherewith thou didst bedeck thine hair; they
have scourged the painted flesh of thee with
their whips; thou hast suffered unspeakable
- But I have burnt within thee as a pure flame
without oil. In the midnight I was brighter than
the moon; in the daytime I exceeded utterly the
sun; in the byways of of thy being I inflamed,
and dispelled the illusion.
- Therefore thou art wholly pure before Me;
therefore thou art My virgin unto eternity.
- Therefore I love thee with surpassing love;
therefore they that despise thee shall adore
- Thou shalt be lovely and pitiful toward them;
thou shalt heal them of the unutterable evil.
- They shall change in their destruction, even as
two dark stars that crash together in the abyss,
and blaze up in an infinite burning.
- All this while did Adonai pierce my being with
his sword that hath four blades; the blade of the
thunderbolt, the blade of the Pylon, the blade of
the serpent, the blade of the Phallus.
- Also he taught me the holy unutterable word
Ararita, so that I melted the sixfold gold into a
single invisible point, whereof naught may be
- For the Magistry of this Opus is a secret
magistry; and the sign of the master thereof is a
certain ring of lapis-lazuli with the name of my
master, who am I, and the Eye in the Midst
- Also He spake and said: This is a secret sign,
and thou shalt not disclose it unto the profane,
nor unto the neophyte, nor unto the zelator, nor
unto the practicus, nor unto the philosophus, nor
unto the lesser adept, nor unto the greater
- But unto the exempt adept thou shalt disclose
thyself if thou have need of him for the lesser
o˙erations of thine art.
- Accept the worship of the foolish people, whom
thou hatest. The Fire is not defiled by the
altars of the Ghebers, nor is the Moon
contaminated by the incense of them that adore
the Queen of Night.
- Thou shalt dwell among the people as a precious
diamond among cloudy diamonds, and crystals, and
pieces of glass. Only the eye of the just
merchant shall behold thee, and plunging in his
hand shall single thee out and glorify thee
- But thou shalt heed none of this. Thou shalt be
ever the heart, and I the serpent will coil close
about thee. My coil shall never relax throughout
the ĉons. Neither change nor sorrow nor
unsubstantiality shall have thee; for thou art
passed beyond all these.
- Even as the diamond shall glow red for the rose,
and green for the rose-leaf; so shalt thou abide
apart from the Impressions.
- I am thou, and the Pillar is 'stablished in the
- Also thou art beyond the stabilities of Being and
of Consciousness and of Bliss; for I am thou, and
the Pillar is 'stablished in the void.
- Also thou shalt discourse of these things unto
the man that writeth them, and he shall partake
of them as a sacrament; for I who am thou am he,
and the Pillar is 'stablished in the void.
- From the Crown to the Abyss, so goeth it single
and erect. Also the limitless sphere shall glow
with the brilliance thereof.
- Thou shalt rejoice in the pools of adorable
water; thou shalt bedeck thy damsels with pearls
of fecundity; thou shalt light flame like licking
tongues of liquor of the Gods between the pools.
- Also thou shalt convert the all-sweeping air into
the winds of pale water, thou shalt transmute the
earth into a blue abyss of wine.
- Ruddy are the gleams of ruby and gold that
sparkle therein; one drop shall intoxicate the
Lord of the Gods my servant.
- Also Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V. saying: O my
little one, my tender one, my little amorous one,
my gazelle, my beautiful, my boy, let us fill up
the pillar of the Infinite with an infinite kiss!
- So that the stable was shaken and the unstable
- They that beheld it cried with a formidable
affright: The end of things is come upon us.
- And it was even so.
- Also I was in the spirit vision and beheld a
parricidal pomp of atheists, coupled by two and
by two in the supernal ecstasy of the stars. They
did laugh and rejoice exceedingly, being clad in
purple robes and drunken with purple wine, and
their whole soul was one purple flower-flame of
- They beheld not God; they beheld not the Image of
God; therefore were they arisen to the Palace of
the Splendour Ineffable. A sharp sword smote out
before them, and the worm Hope writhed in its
death-agony under their feet.
- Even as their rapture shore asunder the visible
Hope, so also the Fear Invisible fled away and
was no more.
- O ye that are beyond Aormuzdi and Ahrimanes!
blessèd are ye unto the ages.
- They shaped Doubt as a sickle, and reaped the
flowers of Faith for their garlands.
- They shaped Ecstasy as a spear, and pierced the
ancient dragon that sat upon the stagnant water.
- Then the fresh springs were unloosed, that the
folk athirst might be at ease.
- And again I was caught up into the presence of my
Lord Adonai, and the knowledge and Conversation
of the Holy One, the Angel that Guardeth me.
- O Holy Exalted One, O Self beyond self. O
Self-Luminous Image of the Unimaginable Naught, O
my darling, my beautiful, come Thou forth and
- Adonai, divine Adonai, let Adonai initiate
refulgent dalliance! Thus I concealed the name of
Her name that inspireth my rapture, the scent of
whose body bewildereth the soul, the light of
whose soul abaseth this body unto the beasts.
- I have sucked out the blood with my lips; I have
drained Her beauty of its sustenance; I have
abased Her before me, I have mastered Her, I have
possessed Her, and Her life is within me. In Her
blood I inscribe the secret riddles of the Sphinx
of the Gods, that none shall understand, -- save
only the pure and voluptuous, obscene, the
androgyne and the gynander that have passed
beyond the bars of the prison that the old Slime
of Khem set up in the Gates of Amennti.
- O my adorable, my delicious one, all night will I
pour out the libation on Thine altars; all night
will I burn the sacrifice of blood; all night
will I swing the thurible of my delight before
Thee, and the fervour of the orisons shall
intoxicate Thy nostrils.
- O Thou who camest from the land of the Elephant,
girt about with the tiger's pell, and garlanded
with the lotus of the spirit, do Thou inebriate
my life with Thy madness, that She leap at my
- Bid Thy maidens who follow Thee bestrew us a bed
of flowers immortal, that we may take our
pleasure thereupon. Bid Thy satyrs heap thorns
among the flowers, that we may take our pain
thereupon. Let the pleasure and pain be mingled
in one supreme offering unto the Lord Adonai!
- Also I heard the voice of Adonai the Lord the
desirable one concerning that which is beyond.
- Let not the dwellers in Thebai and the temples
thereof prate ever of the Pillars of Hercules and
the Ocean of the West. Is not the Nile a
- Let not the priest of Isis uncover the nakedness
of Nuit, for every step is a death and a birth.
The priest of Isis lifted the veil of Isis, and
was slain by the kisses of her mouth. Then was he
the priest of Nuit, and drank of the milk of the
- Let not the failure and the pain turn aside the
worshippers. The foundations of the pyramid were
hewn in the living rock ere sunset; did the king
weep at dawn that the crown of the pyramid was
yet unquarried in the distant land?
- There was also an humming-bird that spake unto
the horned cerastes, and prayed him for poison.
And the great snake of Khem the Holy One, the
royal Urĉus serpent, answered him and said:
- I sailed over the sky of Nu in the car called
Millions-of-Years, and I saw not any creature
upon Seb that was equal to me. The venom of my
fang is the inheritance of my father, and of my
father's father; and how shall I give it unto
thee? Live thou and thy children as I and my
fathers have lived, even unto an hundred millions
of generations, and it may be that the mercy of
the Mighty Ones may bestow upon thy children a
drop of the poison of eld.
- Then the humming-bird was afflicted in his
spirit, and he flew unto the flowers, and it was
as if naught had been spoken between them. Yet in
a little while a serpent struck him that he died.
- But an Ibis that meditated upon the bank of Nile
the beautiful god listened and heard. And he laid
aside his Ibis ways, and became as a serpent,
saying Peradventure in an hundred millions of
millions of generations of my children, they
shall attain to a drop of the poison of the fang
of the Exalted One.
- And behold! ere the moon waxed thrice he became
an Urĉus serpent, and the poison of the fang was
established in him and his seed even for ever and
- O thou Serpent Apep, my Lord Adonai, it is a
speck of minutest time, this travelling through
eternity, and in Thy sight the landmarks are of
fair white marble untouched by the tool of the
graver. Therefore Thou art mine, even now and for
ever and for everlasting. Amen.
- Moreover, I heard the voice of Adonai: Seal up
the book of the Heart and the Serpent; in the
number five and sixty seal thou the holy book.
As fine gold that is beaten into a diadem for the
fair queen of Pharaoh, as great stones that are
cemented together into the Pyramid of the
ceremony of the Death of Asar, so do thou bind
together the words and the deeds, so that in all
is one Thought of Me thy delight Adonai.
- And I answered and said: It is done even
according unto Thy word. And it was done. And
they that read the book and debated thereon
passed into the desolate land of Barren Words.
And they that sealed up the book into their blood
were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of
Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in
the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught.
- O land beyond honey and spice and all perfection!
I will dwell therein with my Lord for ever.
- And the Lord Adonai delighteth in me, and I bear
the Cup of His gladness unto the weary ones of
the old grey land.
- They that drink thereof are smitten of disease;
the abomination hath hold upon them, and their
torment is like the thick black smoke of the evil
- But the chosen ones drank thereof, and became
even as my Lord, my beautiful, my desirable one.
There is no wine like unto this wine.
- They are gathered together into a glowing heart,
as Ra that gathereth his clouds about Him at
eventide into a molten sea of Joy; and the snake
that is the crown of Ra bindeth them about with
the golden girdle of the death-kisses.
- So also is the end of the book, and the Lord
Adonai is about it on all sides like a
Thunderbolt, and a Pylon, and a Snake, and a
Phallus, and in the midst thereof he is like the
Woman that jetteth out the milk of the stars from
her paps; yea, the milk of the stars from her
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