The Cry of the 16th Aethyr,
There are faint and flickering images in a misty landscape, all very transient. But the general impression is of moonrise at midnight, and a crowned virgin riding upon a bull2.
And they come up into the surface of the stone. And she is singing a chant of praise: Glory unto him that hath taken upon himself the image of toil. For by his labour is my labour accomplished.
For I, being a woman, lust ever to mate myself with some beast. And this is the salvation of the world, that always I am deceived by some god, and that my child is the guardian of the labyrinth that hath two-and-seventy paths3.
Now she is gone.
And now there are Angels, walking up and down in the stone. They are the Angels of the Holy Sevenfold Table. It seems that they are waiting for the Angel of the Aethyr to come forth.
Now at last he appears in the gloom. He is a mighty King4, with crown and orb and sceptre, and his robes are of purple and gold. And he casts down the orb and sceptre to the earth, and he tears off his crown, and throws it on the ground, and tramples it. And he tears out his hair, that is of ruddy gold tinged with silver, and he plucks at his beard, and cries with as terrible voice: Woe unto me that am cast down from my place by the might of the new Aeon. For the ten palaces are broken, and the ten kings are carried away into bondage, and they are set to fight as the gladiators in the circus of him that hath laid his hand upon eleven5. For the ancient tower is shattered by the Lord of the Flame and the Lightning. And they that walk upon their hands shall build the holy place6. Blessed are they who have turned the Eye of Hoor unto the zenith, for they shall be filled with the vigour of the goat7.
All that was ordered and stable is shaken. The Aeon of Wonders is come. Like locusts shall they gather themselves together, the servants of the Star and of the Snake8, and they shall eat up everything that is upon the earth. For why? Because the Lord of Righteousness delighteth in them.
The prophets shall prophesy monstrous things, and the wizards shall perform monstrous things. The sorceress shall be desired of all men, and the enchanter shall rule the earth.
Blessing unto the name of the Beast, for he hath let loose a mighty flood of fire from his manhood, and from his womanhood hath he let loose a mighty flood of water. Every thought of his mind is as a tempest that uprooteth the great trees of the earth, and shaketh the mountains thereof. And the throne of his spirit is a mighty throne of madness and desolation9, so that they that look upon it shall cry: Behold the abomination10!
Of a single ruby shall that throne be built, and it shall be set upon a high mountain11, and men shall see it afar off. Then will I gather together my chariots and my horsemen and my ships of war. By sea and land shall my armies and my navies encompass it, and I will encamp round about it, and besiege it, and by the flame thereof shall I be utterly devoured. Many lying spirits have I sent into the world that my Aeon might be established, and they shall be all overthrown.
Great is the Beast that cometh forth like a lion, the servant of the Star and of the Snake. He is the Eternal one; He is the Almighty one. Blessed are they upon whom he shall look with favour, for nothing shall stand before his face12. Accursed are they upon whom he shall look with derision, for nothing shall stand before his face.
And every mystery that hath not been revealed from the foundation of the world he shall reveal unto his chosen. And they shall have power over every spirit of the Ether; and of the earth and under the earth; on dry land and in the water; of whirling air and of rushing fire. And they shall have power over all the inhabitants of the earth, and every scourge of God shall be subdued beneath their feet. The angels shall come unto them and walk with them, and the great gods of heaven shall be their guests.
But I must sit apart, with dust upon my head, discrowned and desolate. I must lurk in forbidden corners of the earth. I must plot secretly in the by-ways of great cities, in the fog, and in marshes of the rivers of pestilence. And all my cunning shall not serve me. And all my undertakings shall be brought to naught. And all the ministers of the Beast shall catch me and tear out my tongue with pincers of red-hot iron, and they shall brand my forehead with the word of derision, and they shall shave my head, and pluck out my beard, and make a show of me.
And the spirit of prophecy shall come upon me despite me ever and anon, as even now upon my heart and upon my throat; and upon my tongue seared with strong acid are the words: Vim patior13. For so must I give glory to him that hath supplanted me, that hath cast me down into the dust. I have hated him, and with hate my bones are rotten. I would have spat upon him, and my spittle hath befouled my beard. I have taken up the sword against him, and I am fallen upon it, and mine entrails are about my feet.
Who shall strive with his might? Hath he not the sword and the spear of the Warrior Lord of the Sun? Who shall contend with him? Who shall lift himself up against him? For the latchet of his sandal is more than the helmet of the Most High. Who shall reach up to him in supplication, save those that he shall set upon his shoulders? Would God that my tongue were torn out by the roots, and my throat cut across, and my heart torn out and given to the vultures, before I say this that I must say: Blessing and Worship to the Prophet of the Lovely Star14!
And now he is fallen quite to the ground, in a heap, and dust is upon his head; and the throne upon which he sat is shattered into many pieces.
And dimly dawning in this unutterable gloom, far, far above, is the face that is the face of a man and of a woman, and upon the brow is a circle, and upon the breast is a circle, and in the palm of the right hand is a circle15. Gigantic is his stature, and he hath the Uraeus crown, and the leopard's skin, and the flaming orange apron of a god. And invisibly about him is Nuit, and in his heart is Hadit, and between his feet is the great god Ra Hoor Khuit. And in his right hand is a flaming wand, and in his left a book16. Yet is he silent; and that which is understood between him and me shall not be revealed in this place. And the mystery shall be revealed to whosoever shall say, with ecstasy of worship in his heart, with a clear mind, and a passionate body: It is the voice of a god, and not of a man17.
And now all that glory hath withdrawn itself; and the old King lies prostate, abject.
And the virgin that rode upon the bull cometh forth, led by all those Angels of the Holy Sevenfold Table, and they are dancing round her with garlands and sheaves of flowers, loose robes and hair dancing in the wind. And she smiles upon me with infinite brilliance, so that the whole Aethyr flushes warm, and she18 says with a subtle sub-meaning, pointing downwards: By this, that19.
And I took her hand and kissed it, and I say to her: Am I not nearly purged of the iniquity of my forefathers20?
With that she bends down, and kisses me on the mouth, and says: "Yet a little, and on thy left arm shalt thou carry a man-child21, and give him to drink of the milk of thy breasts. But I go dancing.22"
And I wave my hand, and the Aethyr is empty and dark, and I bow myself before it in the sign that I, and only I, may know. And I sink through waves of blackness, poised on an eagle, down, down, down.
And I give the sign that only I may know.
And now there is nothing in the stone but the black cross of Themis23, and on it these words: Memento: Sequor. (These words probably mean that the Equinox of Horus is to be followed by that of Themis.)