Sacred texts  Thelema 

The Cry of the 17th Aethyr,
Which is Called TAN

Into the stone there first cometh the head of a dragon, and then the Angel Madimi2. She is not the mere elemental that one would suppose from the account of Casaubon. I enquire why her form is different.

She says: Since all things are God, in all things thou seest just so much of God as thy capacity affordeth thee3. But behold! Thou must pierce deeply into this Aethyr before true images appear4. For TAN is that which transformeth judgment into justice5. BAL is the sword, and TAN the balances6.

A pair of balances appears in the stone, and on the bar of the balance is written: Motion about a point is iniquity7.

And behind the balances is a plume, luminous, azure8. And somehow connected with the plume, but I cannot divine how, are these words: Breath is iniquity9. (That is, any wind must stir the feather of truth.)

And behind the plume is a shining filament of quartz, suspended vertically from the abyss to the abyss10. And in the midst is a winged disk11 of some extremely delicate, translucent substance, on which is written in the "dagger" alphabet: Torsion is iniquity12. (This means, that the Rashith Ha-Gilgalim is the first appearance of evil.13)

And now an Angel appears, like as he were carven in black diamonds. And he cries: Woe unto the Second, whom all nations of men call the First14. Woe unto the First, whom all grades of Adepts call the First15. Woe unto me, for I, even as they, have worshipped him. But she is whose paps are the galaxies16, and he that never shall be known17, in them is no motion. For the infinite Without filleth all and moveth not18, and the infinite Within goeth indeed19; but it is no odds, else were the space-marks confounded20.

And now the Angel is but a shining speck of blackness in the midst of a tremendous sphere of liquid and vibrating light, at first gold, then becoming green, and lastly pure blue21. And I see that the green of Libra is made up of the yellow of air and the blue of water, swords and cups, judgment and mercy22. And this word TAN meaneth mercy23. And the feather of Maat is blue because the truth of justice is mercy24. And a voice cometh, as it were the music of the ripples of the surface of the sphere: Truth is delight 25. (This means that the Truth of the universe is delight.)

Another voice cometh; it is the voice of a mighty Angel, all in silver; the scales of his armour and the plumes of his wings are like mother-of-pearl in a framework of silver26. And he sayeth: Justice is the equity that ye have made for yourselves between truth and falsehood. But in Truth there is nothing of this, for there is only Truth. Your falsehood is but a little falser than your truth27. Yet by your truth shall ye come to Truth. Your truth is your troth with Adonai the Beloved one28. And the Chymical Marriage of the Alchemists beginneth with a Weighing, and he that is not found wanting hath within him one spark of fire, so dense and so intense that it cannot be moved, through all the winds of heaven should clamour against it, and all the waters of the abyss surge against it, and all the multitude of the earths heap themselves upon it to smother it. Nay, it shall not be moved29.

And this is the fire of which it is written: "Hear thou the voice of fire!" And the voice of fire is in the second chapter of The Book of the Law30, that is revealed unto him that is a score and half a score and three that are scores, and six, by Aiwass, that is his guardian, the mighty Angel that extendeth from the first unto the last, and maketh known the mysteries that are beyond. And the method and the form of invocation whereby a man shall attain to the knowledge and conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel shall be given unto thee in the proper place31, and seeing that the word is deadlier than lightning, do thou meditate straitly thereupon, solitary, in a place where is no living thing visible, but only the light of the sun. And thy head shall be bare32. Thus mayest thou become fitted to receive this, the holiest of the Mysteries. And it is the holiest of the Mysteries because it is the Next Step. And those Mysteries which lie beyond, though they be holier, are not holy unto thee, but only remote. (The sense of this passage seems to be, that the holiness of a thing implies its personal relation with one, just as one cannot blaspheme an unknown god, because one does not know what to say to annoy him. And this explains the perfect inefficiency of those who try to insult the saints; the most violent attacks are very often merely clumsy compliments.)

Now the Angel is spread completely over the globe, a dewy film of silver upon that luminous blue.

And a great voice cries: Behold the Queen of Heaven, how she hath woven her robes from the loom of justice33. For as that straight path of the Arrow cleaving the Rainbow became righteousness in her that sitteth in the hall of double truth34, so at last is she exalted unto the throne of the High Priestess, the Priestess of the Silver Star, wherein also is thine Angel made manifest35. And this is the mystery of the camel that is ten days in the desert, and is not athirst, because he hath within him that water which is the dew distilled from the the night of Nuit36. Triple is the cord of silver, that it may be not loosed; and three score and half a score and three is the number of the name of my name37, for that the ineffable wisdom, that also is of the sphere of the stars, informeth me38. Thus am I crowned with the triangle that is about the eye, and therefore is my number three39. And in me there is no imperfection, because through me descendeth the influence of TARO40. And that is also the number of Aiwass the mighty Angel, the Minister of Silence.

And even as the shew-stone burneth thy forehead with its intolerable flame, so he who hath known me, though but from afar, is marked out and chosen among men, and he shall never turn back or turn aside, for he hath made the link that is not to be broken, nay, not by the malice of the Four Great Princes of evil of the world, nor by Chorozon, that mighty Devil, nor by the wrath of God, nor by the affliction and feebleness of the soul.

Yet with this assurance be not thou content; for though thou hast the wings of the Eagle, they are vain, except they be joined to the shoulders of the Bull. Now, therefore, I send forth a shaft of my light, even as a ladder let down from the heaven upon the earth, and by this black cross of Themis that I hold before thine eyes, do I swear unto thee that the path shall be open henceforth for evermore.

There is a clash of a myriad silver cymbals, and silence. And then three times a note is struck upon a bell, which sounds like my holy Tibetan bell, that is made of electrum magicum41.

I am happily returned unto the earth.

December 2, 1909. 12:15 - 2 a.m.

  1. TAN = {Leo}{Taurus}{Scorpio} = {HEB:Gemel}{HEB:Vau}{HEB:Nun} = 59. This number is a prime, representing the Yoni demanding "justice". This Aethyr instructs the candidate in the formula of justice, of Equilibrium.
  2. See Casaubon's edition of the Sixth book of Dr. Dee's "Conversations with some Spirits."
  3. A profound truth of universal application. The master-key to any man's character is his appreciation of the universe. To one, Pan means terror and madness, to another, the All-God.
  4. This is more and more the case as we progress.
  5. Judgment --- the unmitigated feminine, the severity of sterility. Justice --- she is satisfied by the sword (phallus) and balances (testes) as shown in Atu XIII. The symbolism of the letter Lamed must be very thoroughly studied. It represents the flux of the universe in extension. Contrast this positive equilibrium with the negative, Aleph. The two together form AL (the title of The Book of the Law ) which expresses the universe in its phases, 0 and 2.
  6. The Enochian word for Justice used at the end of the Call of the 30 Aethyrs is BALATANU, (the 2nd A and the U merely support their constonants L and N). Bal is Hebrew for Lord, i.e. the phallus. See previous note.
  7. It disturbs the simplicity, introducing a new dimension.
  8. The blue feather is Maat, the Goddess of Truth.
  9. Breath implies duality, vibration. It thus disturbs peace and silence.
  10. The middle pillar of the Tree of Life. Quartz, perhaps as auriferous.
  11. The winged disk = Hadit, i.e. any point which one chooses to consider as being the centre from which to contemplate the universe.
  12. To twist one's point of view is to obtain a false idea.
  13. The "Beginning of Whirling Motions" introduces duality.
  14. The Demiurgos, Microprosopus, the Black Reflected Countenance, the Creator. He must be distinguished from the Logos. The difference is that the Demiurge creates on his own account; he is not like the Logos, the transmitter of Energy of Kether, and its formulation in a Word.
  15. Macroposopus himself. For in the ontology of the New Aeon, he is no longer the unique and supreme Point-of-View, to which every ego is subsidiary and must conform.
  16. Nuit (See Liber LXV, V, v. 65.)
  17. Hadit (See AL, II, v. 4)
  18. Space cannot move, being an idea invented to explain motion. 9. See AL, II, v. 7)
  19. See Liber AL vel Legis, II, v. 7.
  20. i.e. it does not matter what mode we choose to represent these ideas for if it did, we should be unable to measure phenomena at all.
  21. The outburst is realized as Love (Venus = green). The green light that comes through thin lamin of gold. And this is absorbed in the true blue of Nuit --- its goal.
  22. Severity and Mercy (Geburah and Chesed) are joined by the reciprocating path of Leo. This is Atu IX {WEH Note: SIC. Should be Atu XI} countercharged with Atu VIII (Libra). Thus Leo, the strength of the Sun, life itself, is one with Libra, justice; for the letter Lamed signifies the Universe in extension.
  23. TAN is given in above as meaning the Balances. Thus, as shown in the previous note, the truth of Justice is Mercy. Hence, to aim at Mercy, which is an idea without measure, and therefore incommensurable with Truth, is to invoke Justice. The injunction is: Be strictly just, and you will find that you have accomplished the true Work of Love.
  24. See previous note. The blue is again that of Nuit. Justice is only complete when the disturbance of positive existence is annulled by absorption into the Body of Our Lady of the Stars.
  25. See AL, II, v.9. "Remember all ye that existence is pure joy;" et al.
  26. This silver is the queen scale of Luna, the reflection in positive material nature of the personified idea of Nuit. The angel appears in the path of Gimel uniting Tiphareth with Kether. He is Atu II. See infra.
  27. Human justice is a compromise intended to meet an admittedly false situation. Cf. Lao-tse: Benevolence and righteousness only appear when all naturalness is gone.
  28. Hence the justice of making the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is the next step. The original evil is the separation from Him; so the only approximation to truth is one's oath to Him.
  29. This spark is Hadit; (hence the reference to Lib. AL, II) he cannot be moved because he is already in motion at the limit of velocity.
  30. The Oracle of Zoroaster says: "And when, after all the phantoms are vanished shall appear that holy and formless fire, that fire which darts and flashes throughout the depths of the universe --- hear thou the voice of the fire!" And this is the utterance of Hadit, the deepest expression of one's inmost point of view.
  31. See 8th Aire.
  32. This I performed in a sort of cave upon the ridge of a great mountain in the Desert near Bou-Sada at 12-3 p.m. on Dec. 2.
  33. This blue and silver of Luna, the "queen of heaven" (in King and Queen scales) are said to be derived from the justice in her true nature. This justice refers to her point on the Tree; the troth with Adonai.
  34. The arrow = Sagittarius = blue. Its ruler = Jupiter = blue (Queen scale) = Righteousness. The plumes of Maat, are blue.
  35. Here we are asked to note a certain correspondence of ascending vibration. {HEB:Samekh} = {Sagittarius}, {HEB:Lamed} = {Libra}, {HEB:Gemel} = {Moon}. {GRK:Lambda} {GRK:Gamma} {GRK:Sigma} are the consonants of Logos. We shall see later an important doctrine drawn from this special association of these three letters. The Holy Guardian Angel appears as {HEB:Gemel} because of its position on the Tree.
  36. {HEB:Gemel} means camel. The ten days are the 7x10 years of normal life. Man can go through that desert, nourished by the Knowledge and Conversation of the H.G.A.
  37. 73 = {HEB:Lamed}{HEB:Mem}{HEB:Gemel}, a camel. Triple, for {HEB:Gemel} = 3. The cord of silver; the lunar path descending from Kether.
  38. Wisdom = {HEB:Heh}{HEB:Mem}{HEB:Koph}{HEB:Chet} = 73. Mazloth, the sphere of the Stars, pertains to Chokmah.
  39. The Eye --- {HEB:Ayin} = 70. 3 + 70 = 73. 73 is is here explained as the Eye in the Triangle. So Aiwass is the Eye in the Star of Hermes, the messenger, whose formula is 418 = {HEB:Chet}
  40. TARO has 78 symbols and 78 = {HEB:Aleph}{HEB:Lamed}{HEB:Zain} {HEB:Mem}, the influence that descends from the Most Holy Ancient One, Kether, and therefore referred to {HEB:Gemel}. The equation 78 = Aiwass; at this time, the Seer thought that Aiwass was spelled {HEB:Samekh} {HEB:Aleph} {HEB:Vau}{HEB:Yod}{HEB:Aleph} = 78 {WEH Note: TS has "418"}, Whereas, as he found later, {HEB:Zain}{HEB:Vau} {HEB:Yod} {HEB:Ayin} = 93 and {GRK:Alpha} {GRK:iota} {GRK:digamma} {GRK:alpha}{GRK:sigma}{GRK:sigma} = 418. But 78 is actually the number of Aiwass in another way.
  41. Electrum magicum is an alloy of the seven sacred metals, each being added at a moment chosen for its astrological advantages.