Sacred texts  Thelema 


I have begotten thee, o my Son, and that strangely, as thou knowest, upon the Scarlet Woman called Hilarion, as it was mysteriously foretold unto me in The Book of the Law. Now therefore that thou art come to the Age of Understanding, do thou give ear unto my Wisdom, for that therein lieth a simple and direct Way for every Man that he may attain to the End.

Firstly, then, I would have thee to know that Spiritual Experience and Perfection have no necessary connection with Advancement in our Holy Order. But for each Man is a Path: there is a Constant, and there is a Variable. Seek ever therefore in thy Work of the Promulgation of the Law to discover in each Man his own true Nature, that he may in due Season accomplish it not only for himself, but for all who are bound unto him. There are very many for whom in their present Incarnations this Great Work may be impossible; since their appointed Work may be in Satisfaction of some Magical Debt, or in Adjustment of some Balance, or in Fulfilment of some Defect. As is written: Suum Cuique.

Now because thou art the Child of my Bowels, I yearn greatly towards thee, o my Son, and I strive strongly with my Spirit that by my Wisdom I may make plain thy Way before thee; and thus in many Chapters will I write for thee those things that may profit thee. Sis benedictus.


Do thou study most constantly, my Son, in the Art of the Holy Qabalah. Know that herein the Relations between Numbers, though they be mighty in Power and prodigal of Knowledge, are but lesser Things. For the Work is to reduce all other conceptions to these of Number, because thus thou wilt lay bare the very Structure of thy Mind, whose rule is Necessity rather than Prejudice. Not until the Universe is thus laid naked before thee canst thou truly anatomize it. The Tendencies of thy Mind lie deeper far than any Thought, for they are the Conditions and the Laws of Thought; and it is these that thou must bring to Nought.

This Way is most sure; most sacred; and the Enemies thereof most awful, most sublime. It is for the Great Souls to enter on this Rigour and Austerity. To them the Gods themselves do Homage; for it is the Way of Utmost Purity.


Know, son, that the true Principle of Self-Control is Liberty. For we are born into a World which is in Bondage to Ideals; to them we are perforce fitted, even as the Enemies to the Bed of Procrustes. Each of us, as he grows, learns Repression of himself and his true Will. "It is a lie, this folly against self.": these Words are written in The Book of the Law. So therefore these Passions in ourselves which we understand to be Hindrances are not part of our True Will, but diseased Appetites, manifest in us through false early Training. Thus the Tabus of savage Tribes in such matter as Love constrain that True Love which is born in us; and by this Constraint come ills of Body and Mind. Either the Force of Repression carries it, and creates Neuroses and Insanities; or the Revolt against that Force, breaking forth with Violence, involves Excesses and Extravagances. All these Things are Disorders, and against Nature. Now then learn of me the testimony of History and literature as a great Scroll of Learning. But the Vellum of the Scroll is of Man's Skin, and its Ink of his Heart's Blood.


The Fault, that is Fatality, in Love, as in every other Form of Will, is Impurity. It is not the Spontaneity thereof which worketh Woe, but some Repression in the Environment.

In the Fable of Adam and Eve is this great Lesson taught by the Masters of the Holy Qabalah. For Love were to them the eternal Eden, save for the Repression signified by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Thus their Nature of Love was perfect; it was their Fall from that Innocence which drove them from the Garden.

In the Love of Romeo and Juliet was no Flaw; but family Feud, which imported nothing to that Love, was its Bane; and the Rashness and Violence of their Revolt against that Repression, slew them.

In the pure Outrush of Love in Desdemona for Othello was no Flaw; but his Love was marred by his consciousness of his Age and his Race, of the Prejudices of his Fellows and of his own Experience of Woman-Frailty.


Now as Literature overfloweth with the Murders of Love, so also doeth History, and the Lesson is ever the same.

Thus the Loves of Abelard and of Heloise were destroyed by the System of Repression in which they chanced to move.

Thus Beatrice was robbed of Dante by social Artificialities; and Paolo slain on account of Things external to his Love of Francesca.

Then, per contra, Martin Luther, being a Giant of Will, and also the Eighth Henry of England, as a mighty King, bent them to overturn the whole World that they might have satisfaction of their Loves.

And who shall follow them? For even now we find great Churchmen, Statesmen, Princes, Dramamakers, and many lesser Men, overwhelmed utterly and ruined by the conflict between their Passions and the Society about them. Wherein which Party errs is no matter of Moment for our Thought; but the Existence of the War is Evidence of Wrong done to Nature.


Therefore, o my Son, be thou wary, not bowing before the false Idols and ideals, yet not flaming forth in Fury against them, unless that be thy Will.

But in this Matter be prudent and be silent, discerning subtly and with acumen the nature of the Will within thee; so that thou mistake not Fear for Chastity, or Anger for Courage. And since the fetters are old and heavy, and thy Limbs withered and distorted by reason of their Compulsion, do thou, having broken them, walk gently for a little while, until the ancient Elasticity return, so that thou mayst walk, run, and leap naturally and with Rejoicing.

Also, since these Fetters are as a Bond almost universal, be instant to declare the Law of Liberty, and the full Knowledge of all Truth that appertaineth to this Matter; for if in this only thou overcome, then shall all Earth be free, taking its Pleasure in Sunlight without Fear or Phrenzy. Amen.


Understand, o my Son, in thy Youth, these Words which some wise One, now nameless, spake of old; except ye become as little Children ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. This is to say that thou must first comprehend thine original Nature in every Point, before thou wast forced to bow before the Gods of Wood and Stone that Men have made, not comprehending the Law of Change, and of Evolution Through Variation, and the independent Value of every living Soul.

Learn this also, that even the Will to the Great Work may be misunderstood of Men; for this Work must proceed naturally and without Overstress, as all true Works. Right also is that Word that the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth Violence, and the violent take it by Force. But except thou be violent by Virtue of thy true Nature, how shalt thou take it? Be not as the Ass in the Lion's Skin; but if thou be born Ass, bear patiently thy Burdens, and enjoy thy Thistles; for an Ass also, as in the Fables of Apuleius and Matthias, may come to Glory in the Path of his own Virtue.


Sayest thou (methinks) that here is a great Riddle, since by Reason of much Repression thou hast lost the Knowledge of thine original Nature?

My son, this is not so; for by a peculiar Ordinance of Heaven, and a Disposition occult within his Mind, is every Man protected from this Loss of his own Soul, until and unless he be by Choronzon disintegrated and dispersed beyond power of Will to repair; as when the Conflict within him, rending and burning, hath made his Mind utterly desert, and his Soul Madness.

Give Ear, give Ear attentively; the Will is not lost; though it be buried beneath a life-old midden of Repressions, for it persisteth vital within thee (is it not the true Motion of thine inmost Being?) and for all thy conscious Striving cometh forth by Night and by Stealth in Dream and Phantasy. Now is it naked and brilliant, now clothed in rich Robes of Symbol and Hieroglyph; but always travelleth it with thee upon thy Path, ready to acquaint thee with thy true Nature, if thou attend unto its Word, its Gesture, or its Show of Imagery.


Therefore deem not that thy lightest Fancy is insignificant. Thy most unconscious Acts are Keys to the Treasure-Chamber of thine own Palace, which is the House of the Holy Ghost. Consider well thy conscious Thoughts and Acts, for they are under the Dominion of thy Will, and moved in Accord with the Operation of thy Reason; this indeed is a necessary work, enabling to comprehend in what manner thou mayst adjust thyself to thine Environment. Yet is this Adaptation but Defence for the most Part, or at the best Subterfuge and Stratagem in the Tactics of thy Life, with but an accidental and subordinate Relation to thy true Will, whereof by Consciousness and by Reason thou mayst be ignorant, unless by Fortune great and rare thou be already harmonized in thyself, the Outer with the Inner, which Grace is not common among Men, and is the Reward of previous Attainment.

Neglect not simple Introspections, therefore; but give yet greater Heed unto those Dreams and Phantasies, those Gestures and Manners unconscious, and of undiscovered Cause, which betoken thee.



As all diseases have two conjunct causes, one immediate, external and exciting, the other constitutional, internal, and predisposing, so it is with Dreams, which are Dis-Eases, or unbalanced States of Consciousness, Disturbers of Sleep as Thoughts are of Life.

This exciting Cause is commonly of two kinds: videlicet, imprimis, the physical Condition of the Sleeper, as a Dream of Water caused by a shower without, or a Dream of Strangulation caused by a Dyspnoea, or a Dream of Lust caused by the seminal Congestions of an unclean Life, or a Dream of falling or flying caused by some unstable Equilibrium of Body.

Secundo, the psychic condition of the Sleeper, the Dream being determined by recent Events in his Life, usually those of the Day previous, and especially such Events as have caused Excitement of Anxiety, the more so if they be unfinished or unfulfilled.

But this exciting Cause is of a superficial Nature, as it were a Cloke or a Mask; and thus it but lendeth Aspect to the other Cause, which lieth in the Nature of the Sleeper himself.



The deep, constitutional, or predisposing Cause of Dreams lieth within the Jurisdiction of the Will itself. For that Will, being alway present, albeit (it may be) latent, discovereth himself when no longer inhibited by that conscious Control which is determined by Environment, and therefore of times contrary to himself. This being so, the Will declareth himself, as it were in a Pageant, and showeth himself thus apparelled, unto the Sleeper, for a Warning or Admonition. Every Dream, or Pageant of Fancy, is therefore a Shew of Will; and Will being no more prevented by Environment or by Consciousness, cometh as a Conqueror. Yet even so he must come for the most Part throned upon the Chariot of the exciting Cause of the Dream, and therefore is his Appearance symbolic, like a Writing in Cipher, or like a Fable, or like a Riddle in Pictures. But alway does he triumph and fulfil himself therein, for the Dream is a natural Compensation in the inner World for any Failure of Achievement in the outer.



Now then if in a Dream the Will be always triumphant, how cometh it that a Man may be ridden of the Nightmare? And of this the true Explanation is that in such a case the Will is in Danger, having been attacked and wounded or corrupted by the Violence of some Repression. Thus the Consciousness of the Will is directed to the sore Spot, as in Pain, and seeketh comfort in an Externalisation, or shew, of that Antagonism. And because the Will is sacred, such dreams excite an Ecstacy or Phrenzy of Horror, Fear or Disgust. Thus the true Will of Oedipus was toward the bed of Jocasta, but the Tabu, strong both by Inheritance and by Environment, was so attached to that Will that his Dream concerning his Destiny was a Dream of Fear and of Abhorrence, his Fulfilment thereof (even in Ignorance) a spell to stir up all the subconscious Forces of all the People about him, and his Realization of the Act a madness potent to drive him to self-inflicted Blindness and fury-haunted Exile.



Know firmly, o my son, that the true Will cannot err; for this is thine appointed course in Heaven, in whose order is Perfection.

A Dream of Horror is therefore the most serious of all Warnings; for it signifieth that thy Will, which is Thy Self in respect of its Motion, is in Affliction and Danger. Thus thou must instantly seek out the Cause of that subconscious Conflict, and destroy thine Enemy utterly by bringing thy conscious Vigour as an Ally to that true Will. If then there be a Traitor in the Consciousness, how much the more is it necessary for thee to arise and extirpate him before he wholly infect thee with the divided Purpose which is the first Breach in that Fortress of the Soul whose Fall should bring it to the shapeless Ruin whose Name is Choronzon!



The Dream delightful is then a Pageant of the Fulfilment of the true Will, and the Nightmare a symbolic Battle between it and its Assailants in thyself. But there can be only one true Will, even as there can be only one proper Motion in any Body, no matter of how many Forces that Motion be the Resultant. Seek therefore this Will, and conjoin with it thy conscious Self; for this is that which is written; "Thou hast no right but to do thy Will. Do that, and no other shall say nay." Thou seest, o my Son, that all conscious Opposition to thy Will, whether in Ignorance, or by Obstinacy, or through Fear of others, may in the end endanger even thy true Self, and bring thy Star into Disaster.

And this is the true Key to Dreams; see that thou be diligent in its Use, and unlock therewith the secret Chambers of thine Heart.


Concerning thy Travellings in thy Body of Light, or Astral journeys and Visions so-called, do thou lay this Wisdom to thy Heart, o my Son, that in this Practice, whether Things Seen and Heard be Truth and Reality, or whether they be Phantoms in the Mind, abideth this Supreme Magical Value, namely: Whereas the Direction of such Journeys is consciously willed, and determined by Reason, and also unconsciously willed, by the true Self, since without It no Invocation were possible, we have here a Cooperation of Alliance between the Inner and the Outer Self, and thus an Accomplishment, at least partial, of the Great Work.

And therefore is Confusion or Terror in any such Practice an Error fearful indeed, bringing about Obsession, which is a temporary or even it may be a permanent Division of the Personality, or Insanity, and therefore a defeat most fatal and pernicious, a Surrender of the Soul to Choronzon.


Now, o my Son, that thou mayst be well guarded against thy ghostly Enemies, do thou work constantly by the Means prescribed in our Holy Books.

Neglect never the fourfold Adorations of the Sun in his four Stations, for thereby thou doest affirm thy Place in Nature and her Harmonies.

Neglect not the Performance of the Ritual of the Pentagram, and of the Assumption of the Form of Hoor-pa-Kraat.

Neglect not the daily Miracle of the Mass, either by the Rite of the Gnostic Catholic Church, or that of the Phoenix. Neglect not the Performance of the Mass of the Holy Ghost, as Nature herself prompteth thee.

Travel also much in the Empyrean in the Body of Light, seeking ever Abodes more fiery and lucid.

Finally, exercise constantly the Eight Limbs of Yoga. And so shalt thou come to the End.


And now concerning Meditation let me disclose unto thee more fully the Mystery of the Key of Dreams and Phantasies.

Learn first that as the Thought of the Mind standeth before the Soul and hindereth its Manifestation in consciousness, so also the gross physical Will is the Creator of the Dreams of common Men, and as in Meditation thou doest destroy every Thought by mating it with its Opposite, so must thou cleanse thyself by a full and perfect Satisfaction of that bodily will in the Way of Chastity and Holiness which has been revealed unto thee in thy Initiation.

This inner Silence of the Body being attained, it may be that the true Will may speak in True Dreams; for it is written that He giveth unto His Beloved in Sleep.

Prepare thyself therefore in this Way, as a good Knight should do.


Now know this also that at the End of that secret Way lieth a Garden wherein is a Rest House prepared for thee.

For to him whose physical Needs of whatever Kind are not truly satisfied cometh a Lunar or physical Sleep appointed to refresh and recreate by Cleansing and Repose; but on him that is bodily pure the Lord bestoweth a Solar or Lucid Sleep, wherein move Images of pure Light fashioned by the True Will. And this is called by the Qabalists the Sleep of Shiloam, and of this doeth also Porphyry make mention mention, and Cicero, with many other Wise Men of Old Time.

Compare, o my Son, with this Doctrine that which was taught thee in the Sanctuary of the Gnosis concerning the Death of the Righteous; and learn moreover that these are but particular Cases of an Universal Formula.


My Son, if thou fast awhile, there shall come unto thee a second State of physiological Being, in which is a delight passive and equable, without Will, a contentment of Weakness, with a Feeling of Lightness and of Purity. And this is because the Blood hath absorbed, in its Need of Nutriment, all foreign Elements. Such also is the Case with the Mind which hath not fed itself on Thought. Consider the placid and ruminent Existence of such Persons as read little, are removed from worldy Struggle by some sufficient Property of small and unexciting Value, stably invested, and by Age and Environment are free from Passion. They live, according to their own Nature, without Desire, and they oppose no Resistance to the Operations of Time. Such are called Happy, and in their Way of Vegetable Life it is so; for they are free of any Poison.


Learn then, o my Son, that all Phenomena are the effect of Conflict, even as the Universe itself is a Nothing expressed as the Difference of two Equalities, or, an thou wilt, as the Divorce of Nuit and Hadit. So therefore every Marriage dissolveth a more material, and createth a less material Complex; and this is our Way of Live, rising ever from Ecstasy to Ecstasy. So then all high Violence, that is to say, all Consciousness, is the spiritual Orgasm of a Passion between two lower and grosser Opposites. Thus Light and Heat result from the Marriage of Hydrogen and Oxygen; Love from that of Man and Woman, Dhyana or Ecstasy from that of the Ego and the non-Ego.

But be thou well grounded in this Thesis corollary, that one or two such Marriages do but destroy for a Time the Exacerbation of any Complex; to deracinate such is a Work of long Habit and deep Search in Darkness for the Germ thereof. But this once accomplished, that particular Complex is destroyed, or sublimated for ever.


Now then understand that all Opposition to the Way of Nature createth Violence. If thine excretory System do its Function not at its fullest, there come Poisons in the Blood, and the Consciousness is modified by the conflicts or Marriages between the elements heterogeneous. Thus if the Liver be not efficient, we have Melancholy; if the Kidneys, Coma; if the Testes or Ovaries, loss of Personality itself. Also, an we poison the Blood directly with Belladonna, we have Delirium vehement and furious; with Hashish, Visions phantastic and enormous; with Anhiolonium, Ecstasy of colour and what not; with diverse Germs of Disease, Disturbances of Consciousness varying with the Nature of the Germ. Also with Ether, we gain the Power of analysing the Consciousness into its Planes; and so for many others.

But all these are, in our mystical Sense, Poisons; that is, we take two Things diverse and opposite, binding them together so that they are compelled to unite; and the Orgasm of each Marriage is an Ecstasy, the Lower dissolving in the Higher.


I continue then, o my son, and reiterate that this Formula is general to all Nature. And thou wilt note that by repeated Marriage cometh Toleration, so the Ecstasy appeareth no more. Thus his half grain of Morphia, which first opened his Gates of Heaven, is nothing worth to the Self-poisoner after a Year of daily Practice. So too the Lover findeth no more Joy in Union with his Mistress, so soon as the original Attraction between them is satisfied by repeated Conjunctions. For this Attraction is an Antagonism; and the greater this Antinomy, the more fierce the Puissance of the Magnetism, and the Quality of Energy disengaged by the Coition.

Thus in the Union of Similars, as of Halogens with each other, is no strong Passion of explosive Force, and the Love between two Persons of the like Character and Taste is placid and without Transmutation to higher Planes.


O my Son, how wonderful is the Wisdom of this Law of Love! How vast are the Oceans of uncharted Joy that lie before the Keel of thy Ship! Yet know this, that every Opposition is in its Nature named Sorrow, and the Joy lieth in the Destruction of the Dyad. Therefore, must thou seek ever those Things which are to thee poisonous, and that in the highest Degree, and make them thine by Love. That which repels, that which disgusts, must thou assimilate in this Way of Wholeness. Yet rest not in the Joy of the Destruction of each complex in thy Nature, but press on to that ultimate Marriage with the Universe whose Consummation shall destroy thee utterly, leaving only that Nothingness which was before the Beginning.

So then the Life of Non-Action is not for thee; the Withdrawal from Activity is not the Way of the Tao; but rather the Intensification and making universal every Unit of thine Energy on every Plane.


Go forth, o my Son, o Son of the Sun, rejoicing in thy Strength, as a Warrior, as a Bridegroom, to take thy Pleasure upon the Earth, and in every Palace of the Mind, moving ever from the crass to the subtle, from the coarse to the fine. Conquer every Repulsion in thy self, subdue every Aversion. Assimilate all Poison, for therein only is there Profit. Seek constantly therefore to know what is painful and to cleave thereunto, for by Pain cometh true Pleasure. Those who avoid Pain physical or mental remain little Men, and there is no Virtue in them. Yet be thou ware lest thou fall into the Heresy which maketh Pain, and Self-sacrifice as it were Bribes to corrupt God, to secure some future Pleasure in an imagined After-life. Nay, also of the other Part, fear not to destroy thy Complexes, thinking dreadfully thereby to lose the Power of creating Joy by their Distinction. Yet in each Marriage be thou bold to affirm the spiritual Ardour of the Orgasm, fixing it in some Talisman, whether it be Art, or Magick, or Theurgy.


Say not then that this Way is contrary to Nature, and that in Simplicity of Satisfaction of thy Needs is perfection of thy Path. For to thee, who hast aspired, it is thy Nature to perform the Great Work, and this is the final Dissolution of the Cosmos. For though a Stone seem to lie still on a Mountain Top, and have no care, yet hath it an hidden Nature, a Task Ineffable and Stupendous; namely, to force its Way to he Centre of Gravity of the Universe, and also to burn up its Elements into the final Homogeneity of Matter. Therefore the Way of Quiet is but an Illusion of Ignorance. Whoever thou mayst be now, thy Destiny is that which I have declared unto thee; and thou art most fixed in the true Way when, accepting his consciously as thy Will, thou gathereth up thy Powers to move thy Self mightily within it.


But, o my Son, although thine ultimate Nature be Universal, thine immediate Nature is Particular. Thy Way to the Centre is not oriented as that of any other Being, and thine elements are no kin, but alien, to his. For Shame! Is it not the most transcendent of all the Wisdoms of this Cosmos, that no two Beings are alike? Lo! This is the Secret of all Beauty, and maketh Love not only possible, but necessary, between every Thing and every other Thing. So then, lest thou in thine Ignorance take the false Way, and divigate, must thou learn thine own particular and peculiar Nature in its Relation to all others. For though it be Illusion, it is by the true Analysis of Falsehoods that we are able to destroy them, just as the Physician must understand the Disease of his Patient if he is to choose the fitting Remedy. Now therefore will I make yet more clear unto thee the Value of thy Dreams and Phantesies and Gestures of thine unconscious Body and Mind, as Symptoms of thy particular Will, and show thee how thy mayst come to their Interpretation.