Liber E vel Exercitiorum
sub figura IX
WEH NOTE: There are quite a few
differences in text between this version and that
published in EQUINOX I, 1. Most of these appear to be
typo's or to be minor changes, especially to
modernize punctuation or usage.
- It is absolutely necessary that all experiments
should be recorded in detail during, or
immediately after, their performance.
- It is highly important to note the physical and
mental condition of the experimenter or
- The time and place of all experiments must be
noted; also the state of the weather, and
generally all conditions which might conceivably
have any result upon the experiment either as
adjuvants to or causes of the result, or as
inhibiting it, or as sources of error.
- The A.·. A.·. will not take official notice of
any experiments which are not thus properly
- It is not necessary at this stage for us to
declare fully the ultimate end of our researches;
nor indeed would it be understood by those who
have not become proficient in these elementary
- The experimenter is encouraged to use his own
intelligence, and not to rely upon any other
person or persons, however distinguished, even
- The written record should be intelligently (WEH NOTE: EQUINOX I, 1 has
so that others may benefit from its study.
- The Book John St. John published in the first
number of the "Equinox" is an example
of this kind of record by a very advanced
student. It is not as simply written as we could
wish, but will show the method.
- The more scientific the record is, the better.
Yet the emotions should be noted, as being some
of the conditions.
Let then the record be written with sincerity and
care; thus with practice it will be found more
and more to approximate to the ideal.
- Take a pack of (78) Tarot playing cards. Shuffle;
cut. Draw one card. Without looking at it, try to
name it. Write down the card you name, and the
actual card. Repeat, and tabulate results.
- This experiment is probably easier with an old
genuine pack of Tarot cards, preferably a pack
used for divination by some one who really
understood the matter.
- Remember that one should expect to name the right
card once in 78 times. Also be careful to exclude
all possibilities of obtaining the knowledge
through the ordinary senses of sight and touch,
or even smell.
There was once a man whose fingertips were so
sensitive that he could feel the shape and
position of the pips and so judge the card
- It is better to try first the easier form of the
experiment, by guessing only the suit.
- Remember that in 78 experiments you should obtain
22 trumps and 14 of each other suit; so that
without any clairvoyance at all, you can guess
right twice in 7 times (roughly) by calling
trumps each time.
- Note that some cards are harmonious.
Thus it would not be a bad error to call the five
of Swords ("The Lord of Defeat")
instead of the ten of Swords ("The Lord of
Ruin"). But to call the Lord of Love (2
Cups) for the Lord of Strife (5 Wands) would show
that you were getting nothing right.
Similarly a card ruled by Mars would be
harmonious with a 5, a card of Gemini with
- These harmonies must be thoroughly learnt,
according to the numerous tables given in 777.
- As you progress you will find that you are able
to distinguish the suit correctly three times in
four and that very few indeed inharmonious errors
occur, while in 78 experiments you are able to
name the card aright as many as 15 or 20 times.
- When you have reached this stage, you may be
admitted for examination; and in the event of
your passing you will be given more complex and
Asana - Posture
- You must learn to sit perfectly still with every
muscle tense for long periods.
- You must wear no garments that interfere with the
posture in any of these experiments.
- The first position: (The God). Sit in a chair;
head up, back straight, knees together, hands on
knees, eyes closed.
- The second position: (The Dragon). Kneel;
buttocks resting on the heels, toes turned back,
back and head straight, hands on thighs.
- The third position: (The Ibis). Stand, hold left
ankle with right hand, (WEH
NOTE: The EQUINOX version adds: "(and
alternately practise right ankle in left hand,
&c.)".) free forefinger on
- The fourth position: (The Thunderbolt). Sit; left
heel pressing up anus, right foot poised on its
toes, the heel covering the phallus; arms
stretched out over the knees; head and back
- Various things will happen to you while you are
practising these positions; they must be
carefully analysed and described.
- Note down the duration of practice; the severity
of the pain (if any) which accompanies it, the
degree of rigidity attained, and any other
- When you have progressed up to the point that a
saucer filled to the brim with water and poised
upon the head does not spill one drop during a
whole hour, and when you can no longer perceive
the slightest tremor in any muscle; when, in
short, you are perfectly steady and easy, you
will be admitted for examination; and, should you
pass, you will be instructed in more complex and
Pranayama - Regularisation of the
- At rest in one of your positions, close the right
nostril with the thumb of the right hand and
breathe out slowly and completely through the
left nostril, while your watch marks 20 seconds.
Breathe in through the same nostril for 10
seconds. Changing hands, repeat with the other
nostril. Let this be continuous for one hour.
- When this is quite easy to you, increase the
periods to 30 and 15 seconds.
- When this is quite easy to you, but not before,
breathe out for 15 seconds, in for 15 seconds,
and hold the breath for 15 seconds.
- When you can do this with perfect ease and
comfort for a whole hour, practice breathing out
for 40 and in for 20 seconds.
- This being attained, practice breathing out for
20, in for 10, holding the breath for 30 seconds.
- When this has become perfectly easy to you, you
may be admitted for examination, and should you
pass, you will be instructed in more complex and
- You will find that the presence of food in the
stomach, even in small quantities, makes the
practices very difficult.
- Be very careful never to overstrain your powers;
especially never get so short of breath that you
are compelled to breathe out jerkily or rapidly.
- Strive after depth, fullness, and regularity of
- Various remarkable phenomena will very probably
occur during these practices. They must be
carefully analysed and recorded.
Dharana - Control of Thought
- Constrain the mind to concentrate itself upon a
single simple object imagined.
The five tatwas are useful for this purpose; they
are: a black oval; a blue disk; a silver
crescent; a yellow square; a red triangle.
- Proceed to combinations of simple objects; e.g. a
black oval within a yellow square, and so on.
- Proceed to simple moving objects, such as a
pendulum swinging, a wheel revolving, etc. Avoid
- Proceed to combinations of moving objects, e.g. a
piston rising and falling while a pendulum is
swinging. The relation between the two movements
should be varied in different experiments.
Or even a system of flywheels, eccentrics, and
- During these practices the mind must be
absolutely confined to the object determined
upon; no other thought must be allowed to intrude
upon the consciousness. The moving systems must
be regular and harmonious.
- Note carefully the duration of the experiments,
the number and nature of the intruding thoughts,
the tendency of the object itself to depart from
the course laid out for it, and any other
phenomena which may present themselves. Avoid
overstrain; this is very important.
- Proceed to imagine living objects; as a man,
preferably some man known to, and respected by,
- In the intervals of these experiments you may try
to imagine the objects of the other senses, and
to concentrate upon them.
For example, try to imagine the taste of
chocolate, the smell of roses, the feeling of
velvet, the sound of a waterfall or the ticking
of a watch.
- Endeavour finally to shut out all objects of any
of the senses, and prevent all thoughts arising
in your mind. When you feel you have attained
some success in these practices, apply for
examination, and should you pass, more complex
and difficult practices will be prescribed for
- It is desirable that you should discover for
yourself your physical limitations.
- To this end ascertain for how many hours you can
subsist without food or drink before your working
capacity is seriously interfered with.
- Ascertain how much alcohol you can take, and what
forms of drunkenness assail you.
- Ascertain how far you can walk without once
stopping; likewise with dancing, swimming,
- Ascertain for how many hours you can do without
- Test your endurance with various gymnastic
exercises, club swinging, and so on.
- Ascertain for how long you can keep silence.
- Investigate any other capacities and aptitudes
which may occur to you.
- Let all these things be carefully and
conscientiously recorded; for according to your
powers will it be demanded of you.
A Course of Reading
- The object of most of the foregoing practices
will not at first be clear to you; but at least
(who will deny it?) they have trained you in
determination, accuracy, introspection, and many
other qualities which are valuable to all men in
their ordinary avocations, so that in no case
will your time have been wasted.
- That you may gain some insight into the nature of
the Great Work which lies beyond these elementary
trifles, however, we should mention that an
intelligent person may gather more than a hint of
its nature from the following books, which are to
be taken as serious and learned contributions to
the study of Nature, though not necessarily to be
implicitly relied upon.
The Yi King (S.B.E. Series, Oxford
The Tao Teh King (S.B.E. Series.)
Tannhauser, by A. Crowley.
The Voice of the Silence.
Raja Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda.
The Shiva Sanhita.
The Aphorisms of Patanjali.
The Sword of Song.
The Book of the Dead.
Rituel et Dogme de la Haute Magie.
The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the
The Hathayoga Pradipika.
The Spiritual Guide of Molinos.
Erdmann's History of Philosophy.
The Star in the West (Captain Fuller).
The Dhammapada (S.B.E. Series, Oxford
The Questions of King Milinda (S.B.E.
777 vel Prolegomena, etc..
Varieties of Religious Experience
Konx Om Pax.
- Careful study of these books will enable the
pupil to speak in the language of his master, and
facilitate communications with him.
- The pupil should endeavour to discover the
fundamental harmony of these very varied works;
for this purpose he will find it best to study
the most extreme divergencies side by side.
- He may at any time that he wishes apply for
examination in this course of reading.
- During the whole of this elementary study and
practice he will do wisely to seek out and attach
himself to, a master, one competent to correct
him and advise him. Nor should he be discouraged
by the difficulty of finding such a person.
- Let him further remember that he must in no wise
rely upon, or believe in, that master. He must
rely entirely upon himself, and credit nothing
whatever but that which lies within his own
knowledge and experience.
- As in the beginning, so at the end, we here
insist upon the vital importance of the written
record as the only possible check upon error
derived from the various qualities of the
- Thus let the work be accomplished duly; yea, let
it be accomplished duly.
(If any really important or remarkable results
should occur, or if any great difficulty presents
itself, the A.·. A.·. should be at once
informed of the circumstances.)