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Liber 418 study group - 26th Aethyr: DES

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Liber 418 study group - 26th Aethyr: DES


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleister Crowley
26. DES - The Slave-Gods superseded (The Vision of Atu XX, the Stele) The Vision of the Stele of Revealing, abolishing the Aeon of the Slave-Gods. - The death of the past Ĉon, that of Jehovah and Jesus; ends with adumbration of the new, the vision of the Stele of Ankh-f-n-khonsu, whose discovery brought about in a human consciousness the knowledge of the Equinox of the Gods, 21.3.04.
Quote:
The Cry of the 26th Aethyr,
Which is Called DES


1. There is a very bright pentagram: and now the stone is gone, and the whole heaven is black, and the blackness is the blackness of a mighty angel. And though he is black (his face and his wings and his robe and his armour are all black), yet is he so bright that I cannot look upon him. And he cries: O ye spears and vials of poison and sharp swords and whirling thunderbolts that are about the corners of the earth, girded with wrath and justice, know ye that His name is Righteousness in Beauty? Burnt out are your eyes, for that ye have seen me in my majesty. And broken are the drum-heads of your ears, because my name is as two mountains of fornication, the breasts of a strange woman; and my Father is not in them.

2. Lo! the pools of fire and torment mingled with sulphur! Many are their colours, and their colour is as molten gold, when all is said. Is not He one, one and alone, in whom the brightness of your countenance is as 1,728 petals of fire.

3. Also he spake the curse, folding his wings across and crying: Is not the son the enemy of his father? And hath not the daughter stolen the warmth of the bed of her mother? therefore is the great curse irrevocable. Therefore there is neither wisdom nor understanding nor knowledge in this house, that hangeth upon the edge of hell. Thou art not 4 but 2, O thou blasphemy spoken against 1.

4. Therefore whoso worshippeth thee is accursed. He shall be brayed in a mortar and the powder thereof cast to the winds, that the birds of the air may eat thereof and die; and he shall be dissolved in strong acid and the elixir poured into the sea, that the fishes of the sea may breathe thereof and die. And he shall be mingled with dung and spread upon the earth, so that the herbs of the earth may feed thereof and die; and he shall be burnt utterly with fire, and the ashes thereof shall calcine the children of flame, that even in hell may be found an overflowing lamentation.

5. And now on the breast of the Angel is a golden egg between the blackness of the wings, and that egg grows and grows all over the aethyr. And it breaks, and within there is a golden eagle.

6. And he cries: Woe! woe! woe! Yea, woe unto the world! For there is no sin, and there is no salvation. My plumes are like waves of gold upon the sea. My eyes are brighter than the sun. My tongue is swifter than the lightning.

7. Yet am I hemmed in by the armies of night, singing, singing praises unto Him that is smitten by the thunderbolt of the abyss. Is not the sky clear behind the sun? These clouds that burn thee up, these rays that scorch the brains of men with blindness; these are heralds before my face of the dissolution and the night.

8. Ye are all blinded by my glory; and though ye treasure in your heart the sacred word that is the last lever of the key to the little door beyond the abyss, yet ye gloss and comment thereupon; for the light itself is but illusion. Truth itself is but illusion. Yea, these be the great illusions beyond life and space and time.

9. Let thy lips blister with my words! Are they not meteors in thy brain? Back, back from the face of the accursed one, who am I; back into the night of my father, into the silence; for all that ye deem right is left, forward is backward, upward is downward.

10. I am the great god adored of the holy ones. Yet am I the accursed one, child of the elements and not their father.

11. O my mother! wilt thou not have pity upon me? Wilt thou not shield me? For I am naked, I am manifest, I am profane. O my father! wilt not thou withdraw me? I am extended, I am double, I am profane.

12. Woe, woe unto me! These are they that hear not prayer. It is I that have heard all prayer alway, and there is none to answer me. Woe unto me! Woe unto me! Accursed am I unto the aeons!

13. All this time this brilliant eagle-headed god has been attacked, seemingly, by invisible people, for he is wounded now and again, here and there; little streams of fresh blood come out over the feathers of his breast. And the smoke of the blood is gradually filling the Aethyr with a crimson veil. There is a scroll over the top, saying: Ecclesia abhorret a sanguine; and there is another scroll below it in a language of which I do not know the sounds. The meaning is, Not as they have understood.

14. The blood is thicker and darker now, and it is becoming clotted and black, so that everything is blotted out; because it coagulates, coagulates. And then at the top there steals a dawn of pure night- blue,—Oh, the stars, the stars in it deeply set!—and drives the blood down; so that all round the top of the oval gradually dawns the figure of our Lady Nuit, and beneath her is the flaming winged disk, and below the altar of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, even as it is upon the Stele of Revealing. But below is the supine figure of Seb, into whom is concentrated all that clotted blood.

15. And there comes a voice: It is the dawn of the aeon. The aeons of cursing are passed away. Force and fire, strength and sight, these are for the servants of the Star and the Snake.

16. And now I seem to be lying in the desert, exhausted.

The Desert, near Sidi Aissa.
November 25, 1909. 1:10 - 2 p.m.
Plain text versions of Liber 418 with Crowley's footnotes:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/418/418.htm
http://hermetic.com/crowley/the-vision-and-the-voice/

Liber 418 in PDF format with images:

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/cr...s/Liber418.pdf
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General observations.


DES. Pronounced 'Day-ess' in the Golden Dawn Enochian dialect.

Tiphareth in Yetzirah.

D = Spirit, Shin, Atu XX - The Aeon.
E = Virgo, Yod, Atu IX - The Hermit.
S = Gemini, Zain, Atu IV - The Lovers.

Sh(300) + Yod(10) + Zain(7) = 317. This doesn't seem to be a particularly significant number. One Hebrew word that might fit is, ChDShH, which means 'new.'
In Greek it is the value of Bebelos, βεβηλος, which means profane. This is what the Eagle of Jove calls himself in the vision. But I'm not particularly convinced by either of these.

The letters of DES may indicate the Thelemic gods on Atu XX. D-Spirit/Akasha is Nuit. Atu IX is Hadit. And Atu VI is the twin brothers Ra-Hoor-Khuit and Hoor-Paar-Kraat.

Lines:

1. The vision opens with the image of a pentagram which symbolises the four elements and spirit. The angel is black but at the same time so bright he cannot be looked at. This may be the brilliant-black of Akasha - Spirit. Spears, vials of poison, sharp swords, and whirling thunderbolts are symbols of the four elements, but they appear to be destructive.

"His name is Righteousness in Beauty?" (Chesed in Tiphareth?) I think this refers to the Eagle god who appears later. Crowley attributes him to Jesus and Jehovah, the old demiurge who must be deposed. (The 16th Aethyr, Tiphareth in Briah, repeats this on a higher arc.)
Each Sephirah on the Tree of Life is said to contain a Tree of it's own. If the Eagle god represents Chesed on this sub-Tree, then maybe his destruction represents the passage to Binah in Tiphareth. As such it may represent the crossing of an abyss (not The Abyss) in consciousness symbolised by the appearance of the Stele, Atu XX.

The rest of this line is obscure. Sight is "burnt out" and hearing has been impaired. Sight is attributed to Fire, and hearing to Spirit which both correlate with the letter Shin. But sight is also attributed to the letters Heh and hearing to Vau. His name is "as two mountains of fornication" and his father is not in them. So he is the Son? This suggests the letter Vau between the Heh's (the breasts of a strange woman). The Father is not 'in them' because he precedes them in the name IVHV. But the with the link to the pentagram and Shin-Spirit is I suspect this angel is meant to represent IHShVH.

2. This line seems to refer to the Father. "He" is a title of Kether spelt, HVA, in Hebrew. It's gematria value is 12. The number 1728 is merely 12 cubed. This suggests the 'manifestation' of Kether in Tiphareth.

3. The crossing of the angels wings suggests a barrier. What is about to be brought forth (the Eagle) is cut off from what he represents. He utters the tetragrammaton as a curse because there is no link to the Supernal Triad. Wisdom, understanding and knowledge are Chokmah, Binah, and Daath. The House is Beth - Mercury, the Mind. It is the intellect without the influence of the supernals that is the blasphemy against One. In this sense it also represents the Demiurge.

4. The penalty for worshipping the Demiurge is presented via symbols of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. But there is no Spirit here, and that's the problem.

5. This 'cut off' Demiurge-Mind is now brought forth as golden Eagle. The eagle corresponds to Jupiter and is also the elemental kerub of Air. Gold is the colour of Tiphareth. Crowley makes the link to Jehovah and Jesus via this symbolism.

6. His cry of woe declares that his purpose has come to an end. With no sin or salvation there's no need for a saviour. But immediately after this, and in typical egoic style, he tries to 'big himself up'.

7. But he comes back down to earth from this flight of fancy and admits his limitation. A promising sign!

8. The intellect is blinding. Glory is the sephira Hod and elemental water. The waters of illusion?
This line also seems to denigrate theory for it's own sake. It's not real.
The sacred word is possibly NOX. But the actual experience is different from illusory ideas dreamed up beforehand.

9. The eagle admits that he is the accursed one and a reversal in consciousness is required. Atu XII?

10. The realization if his dualistic nature and his own limits.

11. An appeal to Mother-Binah and Father-Chokmah. Where's this guy's big ego gone? The truth hurts.

12. Only a double 'woe' this time. He is beginning to accept his situation as the accursed two. The intellect begins to lose it's rigid grip, which is necessary for further progress.
In some respects this may also mirror the current state of exoteric religion in the West where Christianity has rapidly lost it's relevance in many people's lives. While the followers of Islam seem to be desperately trying to 'shore up the walls' in a last act of self defence that is angry and militant.

13. The eagle is attacked. The transformation begins and the life force, once dammed up within the eagle, now begins to flow once more. The colour crimson relates to Binah.
Ecclesia abhorret a sanguine, ("The Church abhors blood"), is symbolic of the formula of the Old Aeon. But in order to grow one must move beyond one's self imposed boundaries.

14. Solve et coagula! The appearance of the Stele of Revealing and the dawn of the New Aeon. The new Vision. Atu XX The Aeon replacing Judgement.

15. With the Vision returns the Voice with a message inspired by Liber AL II:21.
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Quote:
The vision opens with the image of a pentagram which symbolises the four elements and spirit. The angel is black but at the same time so bright he cannot be looked at. This may be the brilliant-black of Akasha - Spirit.
I didn't realise that black could symbolise spirit, Akasha, that is new for me. I like this description I have just read about this as 'the silent void of creation', the spirit element.

"Space has been described as infinite and endless, into which all things lose their distinction. Similarly all colours, all light, lose its distinction in black. Akasha embraces the co-existence of opposites within the void. This can be understood as the void being the field from which everything manifests and into which all eventually dissolves. Akasha has no beginning and no end; it is directionless and yet is the source of all directions. Akasha gives life to, and nourishes the other elements. It provides the foundation for air, fire, water and earth to perform the dance of creation."

This Aeythr feels very confusing and full of (apparent) loss. I guess that is part of the theme as well.. I am not sure whether the old Jesus/Osiris? figure has been replaced or whether it is a transformation. It is mentioned that he is realising he is the double accursed one possibly representing in someway two major religions both stemming from the old testament. But he is still also seems to be 'the son' calling out to his mother and father, who are the gods/supernals...and so he is aware of them? it also seems like he is ashamed with the awareness of his own manifestation, (Malkuth).
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I think I got muddled too by the references to his dualistic nature - black with golden light, feathers and golden egg etc and that he is 'the great god adored of the holy ones. 'Yet am I the accursed one, child of the elements and not their father'.

This does not seem so dissimilar for Horus the double god solar with golden light and references to the double wanded one ..both elements together...maybe...ahem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smw View Post
This Aeythr feels very confusing and full of (apparent) loss. I guess that is part of the theme as well.
I think a sense of loss is part of the theme of this vision. It's kind of like that feeling that occurs during any growth process when a dearly held ideal is exposed as a fiction and a limitation. Even when this state is acknowledged it can still be hard to let go. Sometimes, like the eagle, we have to suffer a 'death by a thousands cuts' until we're ready to take the next step.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smw View Post
I am not sure whether the old Jesus/Osiris? figure has been replaced or whether it is a transformation.
I view it as a transformation of something that is obsolete into something new. The body of the eagle is repeatedly wounded releasing the life blood. The old deific image of Tiphareth has served it's purpose, but from it's coagulated blood a new image is born - Atu XX.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smw View Post
But he is still also seems to be 'the son' calling out to his mother and father, who are the gods/supernals...and so he is aware of them?
He may be aware of them in some sense, but he's isolated from them and has no direct contact. As it says in line 12: "These are they that hear not prayer." But his isolation seems to be self imposed. In line 7 he describes himself as "hemmed in by the armies of night." For a solar image he doesn't sound very sun-like. The sun shines out into the darkness of space and is always in perpetual darkness. Being 'hemmed in by the night' sounds restrictive and is a perfect picture of the dualistic human intellect. The same 'proud intellect' that will begin to feel threatened and insecure during the growth process of initiation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smw View Post
it also seems like he is ashamed with the awareness of his own manifestation, (Malkuth).
This may be a result of the eagle's grandiose view of himself being shattered. He's been exposed for what he is and is coming to terms with it. Compare the boasting in line 6 with the pitiful expressions of inadequacy in line 11. It speaks of stages in a growth process.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smw View Post
I think I got muddled too by the references to his dualistic nature - black with golden light, feathers and golden egg etc and that he is 'the great god adored of the holy ones. 'Yet am I the accursed one, child of the elements and not their father'.
I think it's important to remember that even though this vision pertains to Tiphareth, it is Tiphareth in the world of Yetzirah. In the Tarot we're still in the dualistic suit Swords. Contradictions are very appropriate here. And with the death of the eagle the contradictions are resolved into a new unity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smw View Post
This does not seem so dissimilar for Horus the double god solar with golden light and references to the double wanded one ..both elements together...maybe...ahem
But Horus is a Hawk which is a Kether symbol. (See 777) I think the main difference between the Horus Hawk and the Eagle in this vision is that Horus is a Unity expressed in an active and passive form. The Eagle in the present vision describes himself as double and can't reconcile each aspect. He's division whereas Horus is a Unity.
Horus as such doesn't appear until the final Aethyr, but here's part of this speech:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horus
I am light, and I am night, and I am that which is beyond them.

I am speech, and I am silence, and I am that which is beyond them.

I am life, and I am death, and I am that which is beyond them.

I am war, and I am peace, and I am that which is beyond them.

I am weakness, and I am strength, and I am that which is beyond them.
One interesting thing to note about this Aethyr is that it's general theme is repeated again in the 16th Aethyr which corresponds to Tiphareth in Briah. But instead of an Eagle it is a bearded Ruler (the Ego-King) who is dethroned.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter...-_Jupiter2.jpg
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Thanks Aeon that is helpful.

I looked at the link, Jupiter still has his eagle though? and it is the symbol for the Roman legions...rational organised, with Christianity becoming the powerful official religion... Zeus king of the Gods
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418
I think a sense of loss is part of the theme of this vision. It's kind of like that feeling that occurs during any growth process when a dearly held ideal is exposed as a fiction and a limitation. Even when this state is acknowledged it can still be hard to let go. Sometimes, like the eagle, we have to suffer a 'death by a thousands cuts' until we're ready to take the next step.
Yeah, I didn't enjoy this vision so much.
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