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The Book of The Law Study Group 3.26

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The Book of The Law Study Group 3.26


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiwass
26. These slay, naming your enemies; & they shall fall before you.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/index.htm
http://hermetic.com/crowley/index.html
http://lib.oto-usa.org/libri/liber0220.html

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I wonder how does one slay a cracker? I find it fascinating that a wafer containing oil of Abramelin is used in this type of practice, given the context of that book.

So I name my cracker (Joseph, or perhaps Cowardice or something like that), I slay it (I assume its not appropriate to slay a cracker the usual way, by eating, in the case of a ritual operation designed to remove something from your sphere... Burning it seems counter-intuitive also given the previous lines. Perhaps drowning is better eh? ) and the named one falls before me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grigori
I wonder how does one slay a cracker? I find it fascinating that a wafer containing oil of Abramelin is used in this type of practice, given the context of that book.

So I name my cracker (Joseph, or perhaps Cowardice or something like that), I slay it (I assume its not appropriate to slay a cracker the usual way, by eating, in the case of a ritual operation designed to remove something from your sphere... Burning it seems counter-intuitive also given the previous lines. Perhaps drowning is better eh? ) and the named one falls before me.
Hmm, no-one took the bait, so I will. At the risk of completely ignoring your satirical thrust (someone once said satire doesn't translate into print well anyway), it's the beetles and creeping things that are to be slain while naming one's enemies, eh? Think of Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. Actually, it's 3.27 that disturbs me. I'm not sure if it harks back to 3.25 and the eating of the cakes with the menstrual blood in them, or to 3.26, implying that it's the beetles that are to be eaten for the acquisition of "lust & power of lust" (or whether it's before or after they're slain). A third possibility I can't rule out is that it means the enemies should be eaten after they "fall before you." (Well now, who can I make an enemy of so I can cop their mojo?) Anyway, bon apetit!

But seriously, this (3.26) looks like a straightforward example of sympathetic magic, in which something you CAN obtain (the bugs and maggots) is substituted for something you CAN'T (the presence of your enemies, who know better than to keep company with a magus) to achieve the desired result. Or substituting a cat for a virgin in a ritual sacrifice (see, I speak satire too!)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grigori
I wonder how does one slay a cracker?
You don't. It's the bugs you're meant to stomp. But I still don't believe it means literal beetles.

Consider the fact that the incense/cake mix contains blood. In which magical context would blood be useful? Evocation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleister Crowley
For evocations it would be more convenient to place the blood of the victim in the Triangle --- the idea being that the spirit might obtain from the blood this subtle but physical substance which was the quintessence of its life in such a manner as to enable it to take on a visible and tangible shape.
Ok, so you're offering up your prayers and invocations to R.H.K., but can you honestly say that your aspiration is completely focused. Or are there distracting enemies in your own camp? Where would such "spirits" naturally manifest? Once there you can burn them or turn them into cakes and eat 'em.

The real enemies are always a part of yourself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grigori
in the case of a ritual operation designed to remove something from your sphere...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine
Hmm, no-one took the bait, so I will.
Thanks for the nibble Though I now share your concern about the next verse!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418
Once there you can burn them or turn them into cakes and eat 'em.
It still seems counter intuitive to consume a witness of an enemy, I think I'd prefer the burning version. Especially if there are maggots in it!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418
You don't. It's the bugs you're meant to stomp. But I still don't believe it means literal beetles.

Consider the fact that the incense/cake mix contains blood. In which magical context would blood be useful? Evocation.
Interesting point. But if you're going to evoke something, why would it be an astral beetle that you have to ritually slay to get your result? After all the trouble of making the cakes, why not summon a more purposeful servant that could directly take your enemies to task? (Or do you mean inviting an astral surrogate of your enemy to visit your magkical abode and pummel him there?) Personally, I just use the "three-fold return" approach (I forget exactly how he termed it) mentioned in Moonchild that mentally sends their negative energy back on my enemies thrice over (how does the phrase go, "hoisting them with their own petard?"). It's slightly more benign and I'm not dabbling in something that might get me in over my head rather quickly. Also, it has worked for me several times, "slaying" my attacker's offensive by visiting a comparable retribution on them (although not always exactly in kind with what they tried to do to me, it was still delicious despite in each instance having to wait awhile for gratification).

Crowley seemed to like the concept of a "cleansing corruption," so it's not out of character that he might interpret this passage to mean letting the cakes physically corrupt (assuming you don't negligently let them dry out first) to the point that they produce little chitinous dopplegangers of your dear friends to let loose some sympathetic magic on (or maybe to munch on if I consider 3.27 in a willfully near-sighted manner - but that's a topic for our consideration of that passage). But your point is well-taken; this could just as effectively be accomplished on the subtle planes via some "creative visualization" bolstered by ritual. (And you wouldn't have to wipe the bug juice off your altar or perhaps pick still-twitching mandibles out of your teeth!)

This thread is stimulating and vastly entertaining. Keep it up!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine
Interesting point. But if you're going to evoke something, why would it be a beetle that you have to ritually slay to get your result?
Pushed for time at the moment. So I will just quickly point out again that the previous verse says "it shall become full of beetles as it were".
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418
Pushed for time at the moment. So I will just quickly point out again that the previous verse says "it shall become full of beetles as it were".
Yes, very good point and it reinforces your interpretation. So how would you proceed with the operation? Something along the lines I was envisioning in my earlier post or something completely different?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine
Yes, very good point and it reinforces your interpretation. So how would you proceed with the operation? Something along the lines I was envisioning in my earlier post or something completely different?
Personally I think the "operation" is just a further elaboration on what has gone before. In verse 25 R.H.K. gives two alternate uses for the ingredients. Incense to burn or Cakes to eat. Later in the same verse he tells us that the incense/cake ingredients have another use. I interpret this to mean that you don't have to burn or eat the stuff right away. You can hold off for a while and charge them with the "perfume of your orison".

The result is that "it shall become full of beetles as it were and creeping things sacred unto me." Like I said before, I don't think this is meant to be taken literally. (Indeed this applies to so much of the third chapter where the symbolism seems to seduce the reader into literal interpretation on many points.) I think it is most probably a reference to Atu XVIII The Moon. The metaphorical beetles may indicate those inner enemies that automatically rise to the surface of consciousness in anyone who tries to pursue the Great Work. The symbolism may also indicate the qliphoth too. These can slain by naming and then burning the incense. Or, if it is a cake, eaten. After all tradition is full of lore concerning the power of consuming an enemy. In this case it is not quite so literal as eating the liver of a dead enemy, but the intent is still the same.
But why should the incense/cakes be a magnet for these "beetles"? For some reason 1 Corithians 15:50 comes to mind.
Quote:
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God
I'm sure P.F.Case links this verse to Atu XVIII somewhere.

I know that Crowley mentioned a literal manifestation of this verse (AL III:25). But I believe he never said anything about beetles appearing in his Cakes of Light. He just said that on one occasion strange beetles appeared around Boleskine.

Just out of curiosty this question is aimed at anyone who favours a literal interpretation. In the absence of beetle eggs or larvae, how are beetles able to spontaneously manifest in anything? (Please don't say magick. )
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418
Personally I think the "operation" is just a further elaboration on what has gone before. In verse 25 R.H.K. gives two alternate uses for the ingredients. Incense to burn or Cakes to eat. Later in the same verse he tells us that the incense/cake ingredients have another use. I interpret this to mean that you don't have to burn or eat the stuff right away. You can hold off for a while and charge them with the "perfume of your orison".

The result is that "it shall become full of beetles as it were and creeping things sacred unto me." Like I said before, I don't think this is meant to be taken literally. (Indeed this applies to so much of the third chapter where the symbolism seems to seduce the reader into literal interpretation on many points.) I think it is most probably a reference to Atu XVIII The Moon. The metaphorical beetles may indicate those inner enemies that automatically rise to the surface of consciousness in anyone who tries to pursue the Great Work. The symbolism may also indicate the qliphoth too. These can slain by naming and then burning the incense. Or, if it is a cake, eaten. After all tradition is full of lore concerning the power of consuming an enemy. In this case it is not quite so literal as eating the liver of a dead enemy, but the intent is still the same.
But why should the incense/cakes be a magnet for these "beetles"? For some reason 1 Corithians 15:50 comes to mind.
I'm sure P.F.Case links this verse to Atu XVIII somewhere.

I know that Crowley mentioned a literal manifestation of this verse (AL III:25). But I believe he never said anything about beetles appearing in his Cakes of Light. He just said that on one occasion strange beetles appeared around Boleskine.

Just out of curiosty this question is aimed at anyone who favours a literal interpretation. In the absence of beetle eggs or larvae, how are beetles able to spontaneously manifest in anything? (Please don't say magick. )
I like the ATU XVIII connection very much in this context and will pursue it a bit further to solidify it in my understanding of 3.26. I was mainly interested in your earlier equating of the use of blood in the cakes to evocation. My (mostly academic) understanding is that evocation generally works outwardly, "on" something (hence all the wards and protections in case it gets out of control), while invocation works inwardly, "in" the practitioner to accomplish transformation. I was interested in what you were suggesting should be "evoked" using the cakes as a catalyst (the figurative "beetles," a spirit of some sort, a manifestation of the target enemy within the triangle, or something completely different).

Regarding beetle propagation, I'm quite sure it can't happen spontaneously. My assumption in the literal sense was that anything left out for so long that it becomes corrupted would naturally draw the attention of insects that would likely leave their eggs behind to hatch (consider the blue bottle fly as an example). There was no indication that the offering is to be sealed in any way.

But I agree fully after considering your observations that a deeper meaning and intent lie behind the outward mechanics of nurturing, naming and slaying the "beetles." The next verse makes it clear that "empowerment" is the goal and that leads me to concur that an inner working is intended, not the sympathetic magic that at first seemed to be indicated in a more literal reading. When it's read correctly, I can see that the the entire evolution would unfold on a higher arc than merely causing the physical demise of a few enemies. But where Crowley is concerned, I'm never entirely sure (as I'm quite sure he intended).
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