ARTICLES & RITUALS

BY FRATER LVX/NOX

(LEIGH BLACKMORE)

 

 

 

HORUS
IN THE SUCESSION
OF THE AEONS

PREPARED BY FR. LVX/NOX as a session of OTO Oceania Lodge Magical Study Group, 1996.
© 1996
2500 words

Drury p. 4 defines what is meant in occultism by the several different usages of the word Aeon:

An enduring period of time. Sometimes aeons are linked to the procession of the Zodiac - the Christian aeon being associated with the astrological cycle of Pisces.
Some magical groups, especially those influenced by Aleister Crowley, refer to aeons in terms of characteristic patterns of mythic and ceremonial worship; the Aeon of Isis (worship of lunar goddesses); the Aeon of Osiris (worship of solar gods); and the Aeon of Horus (worship of the magical child who combines male and female forces in the androgyne).

Aeons were also an important feature of Gnostic and Mithraic cosmology. The Greek God Aion is related to the Gnostic Abraxas, and was amalgamated into Mithraism in the second and third centuries AD@.

The third definition above is quite a separate meaning; the Gnostic Aeons were conceived of as worlds intermediate between the world of divinity and matter - there were 30 of them, somewhat comparable to the 30 Aethyrs of Dee & Kelly's Enochian system.

BOOK 4 p. 82: AA doctrine - At the end of an Aeon, an Equinox of the Gods, at which a Magus utters a Creative Magical Word which transforms the planet on which he lives. The word of our Aeon is Thelema. AC perceived himself as the prophet of the New Aeon of Horus.

In EQUINOX OF THE GODS Crowley says (p. 134):
Ain this revelation is the basis of the future Aeon. Within the memory of man we have had the Pagan period, the worship of nature, of Isis, the Mother, of the Past; the Christian period, the worship of Man, of Osiris, of the Present. The first period is simple, quiet, easy and pleasant; the material ignores the spiritual; the second is of suffering and death: the spiritual strives to ignore the material. Christianity and all cognate religions worship death, glorify suffering, deify corpses. The new Aeon is the worship of the spiritual made one with the material, of Horus, of the Child, of the Future. Isis was liberty; Osiris, bondage; but the new Liberty is that of Horus. Osiris conquered her because she did not understand him. Horus avenges both his Father and his Mother. The child Horus is a twin, two in one. Horus and Harpocrates are one, and they are also one with Set or Apophis, the destroyer of Osiris. It is by the destruction of the principle of death that they are born. The establishment of this new Aeon, this new fundamental principle, is the great work now to be accomplished in the world. (Italics mine)

From Crowley, Book 4:
The Aeons represent the 3 great steps of human evolution.

AEON OF ISIS (p. 164 & p. 688)
Matriarchal age. Great Work conceived as simple straightforward affair.
Parthenogenesis (virgin birth) supposed to be true. The worship of the Mother, continually breeding by her own virtue
I - The Virgin - yod = Virgo - contains in herself the Principle of Growth.
A= Harpocrates (the Babe in the Egg) is produced by virtue of A = Air/Spirit

O (omega) really = F (vav) the Son or Sun.

AEON OF OSIRIS (p. 164 & p. 688)
Patriarchal age. Two sexes [separate] The worship of the Son, reproducing himself by virtue of voluntary death and resurrection.

I conceived as Father-Wand - the yod of J HVH
A - see p. 164 - much more complex formula. A as the Dragon/Mother, as Harpocrates threatened by the crocodile, the ark and coffin, A as the wandering Fool who winds the Princess etc.
F - Vau the Sun-Son. He is supposed to be mortal. AC calls this a "lie, the essence of the great Sorcery".

The parthenogenesis idea persists but is now the formula for incarnating demi-gods or divine kings; these must be slain and raised from the dead in one way or another.

"Osirian religion is a Freudian fantasy fashioned of man's dread of death and ignorance of nature."

AEON OF HORUS (p. 165-67 & p. 688)
Two sexes in one person throughout - so that each person is self-procreative sexually.
The worship of the Crowned and Conquering Child

Thelemic expansion of the Formula as FIAOF "recognising the Sun as the Son (Star), as the pre-existent manifested Unit from which all springs and to which all returns" (my italics).

F is the manifested Star
I is the powers of the yod, the Hand whereby man does his will
A is the Babe as before, but he develops to
O - see pp. 165/66 for AC's full explanation but this is Baphomet throned and adored by Male & Female, the exalted "Devil" (Saturn, Set, Abrasax etc: ShT is the formula of this particular Aeon
see BK 4 p. 566-67), Capricornus, "the Goat who leaps upon the loftiest mountains", the Sun in the South ("he enters this sign when he turns to renew the year in the North", man made god, exalted, eager, conscious of his full stature.
F - Man is explained to himself. "In the Aeon of Horus we know that every event is a death; subject and object slay each other in 'love under will'; each such death is life itself, the means by which one realises oneself in a series of episodes...the formula is now Love in all cases; and the end is the beginning, on a higher plane.

OSIRIS - ISIS

HORUS THE CHILD/ HERU-RA-HA


HOOR-PAAR-KRAAT RA-HERAKHTY=RA HOOR KHUIT
(Gk. HARPOCRATES) Extraverted form: The Crowned & Passive form (silence/innocence) Conquering Child

AIWASS
(Minister of HPK)

Herakhty's name in Egyptian means "Horus-of-the-horizon" and he was a form of the sun when rising and setting. His cult-centre was Heliopolis. Note in the spelling Ra Hoor Khuit the Khu element - Ra is the Sun, Hoor the warrior Mars, Khuit the man becoming God

Hoor-Paar-Kraat's name means "Horus-the-child". Identified with the Sun god who, newborn every morning, is shown emerging from a lotus upon the celestial waters.


Gematria
HERU = 211/ RA = 201/ HA = 26 = 418 (number of the Great Work), of Aiwass, of Abrahadabra (the Formula of the New Aeon), of Parzival, of Pallas Athene, of TO MH ('The Not', a name of Nuit) etc.

Various Forms of the Judgement card (Atu XX)

The card is called the Spirit of Primal Fire. It symbolises Mercury acting through Fire on the Cosmic Elements (hence its path on the Tree of Life is that connecting Hod and Malkuth = Path 31). Practically, this is a card indicating an eschatological age of individual awakening and collective spiritual rebirth and also represents our creative gift being used to open the window of the minds of others.

PICTURES OF THE OLD AEON: Atu XX in Traditional Tarot.

The Destruction of the World by Fire, which is simultaneously the Renewal of the World and the Enlightenment of the Mind. In the Rider deck designed by AE Waite, dead men, women and children arise from their graves as above them a yellow-haired angel (equivalent to the Holy Guardian Angel of each individual) blows a trumpet, to which is attached a white banner with a red cross (symbol of the Aeon of Osiris, particularly of its Christian phase). The middle figure, by the position of his arms, represents Shin, which refers to Fire. Their blue hair is taken to represent desire, the object of which is: life in Spirit. We also have the Scorpio symbolism, which is often thought of as the sign of the tomb but is more properly that of a triumphal way - the mystery of birth in death.

PICTURE OF THE NEW AEON: Atu XX in Crowleyean Tarot:

The card is an adaptation of the Stele of Revealing, representing the 'catastrophic transition' from the age of Osiris to that of Horus, and is renamed 'The Aeon'. Note that in the Gnostic Mass, the Stele is on the superaltar, at the position of Kether. In a general sense in the mass we are celebrating the New Aeon of Horus.

The angel equivalent to that on the traditional packs is Aiwass, the messenger of the new Aeon, here not pictorially represented. As on the Stele, around the top of the card is Nuit, the star-goddess, who is the category of unlimited possibility. Beneath her is Hadit, "the ubiquitous point-of-view, the only philosophically tenable conception of reality" Hadit's body is a globe of Fire; winged to show his power of Going".


The centre of the card depicts the child Horus, born as a result of the marriage of Nuit and Hadit - his special name is Heru-Ra-Ha. As Crowley points out, he is double god - the large figure of the child with its finger to its lips is Hoor-par-Kraat; the figure in the background, throned as on the Stele, is Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Surrounding him is the golden light that represents his solar character. BOOK OF THOTH p. 24: AC considers that on 21 March 12904 "the world was destroyed by fire" as depicted in the traditional Judgement Card of the Tarot, when the fiery God Horus took the place of the airy God Osiris in the East as Hierophant".

Crowley notes: " the name Heru is identical with Hru, who is the great angel set over the Tarot." This gives Crowley the rationale for reconfiguring the Tarot as a series of illustrations to the Book of the Law. [Speculation: is HRILIU related to HRU?]

The figure at the bottom, which AC considers "suggestive of a flower" [this is the Lotus of Harpocrates), is a Shin with three Yods occupied by three human figures "arising to partake in the essence of the New Aeon". ("Man reborn, o deed divine!")

The coloured bands behind the Shin are representative of Libra, "the forthshadowing of the Aeon which is to follow this one presumably in about 2000 years"."when Hrumachis shall arise and the double-wanded one assume my throne and place" (AL III: 34).

Shin (Atu XX) is triple, thus 31 x 3 = 93 (Thelema)
T (Atu XI) = Lion; Serpent, Sun, Courage, Sexual Love
Atu XX + Atu XI = ShT & 31

The Next Aeon

We should heed Crowley's caution that
" the present Aeon is too young to give a definite representation of this future event" (BOOK OF THOTH
p.116).
While he refers in several places to the period of around 2,000 years as an approximate time for each Aeon, e.g. EQUINOX OF THE GODS p. 76 (footnote), he also says:
It may be presumptuous to predict any details concerning the next Aeon after this.... It may be a hundred or
ten thousand years from now; for the computation of time is not here as there. (LAW IS FOR ALL, p. 288, 290).

Hrumachis (aka Harmakhis, Heru-em-akhet) also seems to be a name of Horus, and occurs in the Invocation of Horus that preceded reception of Liber AL. "By thy name Harmachis, youth of the Brilliant Morning, I invoke thee!" (BK 4, p. 415). Its meaning is identical with that of Ra-Hoor-Khuit - "Horus-in-the-horizon", that is, the Dawning Sun. The Great Sphinx at Gizeh was considered to be the image of Hrumachis. In 777 Hrumachis is closely associated with Ra and Harpocrates and On, gods attributed to Tiphareth/the Sun (whereas Horus is attributed to Geburah/Mars). Note the Hru prefix of this name, which identifies this god with the great angel of the Tarot as well as with Heru-Ra-Ha.

Regarding: the double-wanded one", in note 40, p. 235 of THE VISION AND THE VOICE Crowley refers to Thmaist, whose Aeon will succeed that of Horus. She is Atu VIII - Adjustment - Libra (house of Venus)@. Again in "On the Reception of the Book of the Law" [an excerpt from AC's CONFESSIONS, reprinted in the new edition of BOOK 4), AC says:
A I may now point out that the reign of the Crowned and Conquering Child is limited in time by the Book of the Law itself. We learn, III: 34, that Horus will be in his turn succeeded by Thmaist, the Double-Wanded One, She who shall bring the Candidate to full initiation, and though we know little of Her particular characteristics, we know at least that Her name is Justice (Bk 4, p. 689).


[AL III: 34 is generally taken to refer to - Maat (Egypt), Themis (Greek)= Thmaist, Lady of the Balance. In 777, Maat = 22/Libra/Justice /Equilibrium. The Egyptian Maat was a woman wearing a feather upon her head and personified Truth and Justice. The feather placed in the scales of truth at the weighing of the heart ceremony as depicted in THE BOOK OF THE DEAD was hers. Since the Sun-God Ra was said to live upon Truth (Maat), there was a close association between the Sun God and the principle of Truth, Justice & correct ordering of the universe. [See LAW IS FOR ALL p.289 and the extensive note 608 in new BK 4 for further elaboration].

Recommended for Study

Achad, Frater. "Stepping Out of the Old Aeon into the New". Equinox III, No. 1 (An XV - 1919 e.v.)

Crowley, Aleister. THE LAW IS FOR ALL: AN EXTENDED COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF THE LAW. Phoenix, AZ: New Falcon Press, 1986. See especially the commentaries to the Third Chapter of Liber AL.

Crowley, Aleister. MAGICK: LIBER ABA: BOOK 4. New edition, Weiser, 1994. See especially
pp. 164-67 in the chapter "The Formula of IAO", pp. 686-89:"The Historical Conception on which The Book of the Law is Based", and "Genesis Libri AL": pp. 387-445, which reprints in toto THE EQUINOX OF THE GODS.

Crowley, Aleister. THE BOOK OF THOTH: A SHORT ESSAY ON THE TAROT OF THE EGYPTIANS. (EQUINOX III/5). [First published 1944]. York Beach, ME: Weiser, 1969 (13th printing 1988). See especially pp. 115-16.

Crowley, Aleister. THE EQUINOX OF THE GODS. (EQUINOX III/3). [First published by OTO, London]. Scottsdale, AZ: New Falcon Publications/OTO Inc [corrected facsimile ed] 1991.
[The text is included as AGenesis Libri AL@ in the new edition of MAGICK: BOOK 4].

LVLS, Frater. "Some Aspects of the Symbolism of the Stele of Revealing". Sorath 1, No 1 [Shemeth Lodge OTO, UK], 1996.

Other References

Carroll, Peter J. LIBER NULL & PSYCHONAUT. York Beach, ME: Weiser, 1987. See pp. 173-177 for an explanation of the Gnostic conception of the Aeons.

Clark, R.T. Rundle. MYTH AND SYMBOL IN ANCIENT EGYPT. NY: Thames & Hudson
1959 (pbk ed reprinted 1993).

Drury, Neville. DICTIONARY OF MYSTICISM AND THE OCCULT. San Francisco: Harper
& Row, 1985.

Shorter, Alan W. THE EGYPTIAN GODS: A HANDBOOK. London: RKP, 1937 (paperback
reprinted 1983).

IAO-
A magical
FORMULA OF THE HIGHEST:
A Source Study from Origins to New Aeon Symbology

A Paper presented at the
1ST ANNUAL AUSTRALASIAN THELEMIC CONFERENCE
University of Technology, Sydney, 1996
By Fr. LVX/NOX (Leigh Blackmore)
© 1996
Approx 7545 words (October 1996 e.v.)

Part 1:ORIGINS

A. Introduction: What is a Magical Formula?

DuQuette’s is a handy and simple definition:
AA magical formula is a statement of perceived cosmological fact or theory. It can be as simple as an axiom:
Love thy neighbour as thyself. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
It can be a statement or a set of symbols revealing the mechanism of a natural law:
As above, so below. All is sorrow. Love is the law, love under will. E = MC2. YHVH. INRI. AUM.
It can even be a single word that initiates an entire age:
TAO; ANATTA; IAO; Thelema. (P. 6)

To preface briefly what this paper is about, I would suggest that IAO as it occurs in Thelemic magic is a formula combining the “set of symbols revealing a mechanism” (or we could say a cycle or process) and the “single initiating word”, containing in its three letters various aspects of the Great Work, and summing up (heiroglyphing) the essence of the Highest - that is, the ultimate goal of the spiritual aspirant.

However, it is a formula by no means easy to define and this study, by drawing together historical threads with examples of magical usages of the formula, is primarily meant to be a suggestive elaboration of verifiable and possible correspondences or a deconstruction of the formula, particularly with regard to the symbolism of IAO in relation to Liber XV, The Gnostic Mass. Since the significance of Thelemic symbolism is revealed only gradually in the OTO through the initiatic process, the interpretations of an individual will more than likely reflect only the insights of the grade to which they have attained.

Nevertheless by looking at usages of IAO and their context in various printed texts it ought to be possible for any of us to gain some understanding. In Book 4 Pt 3 Ch 9: “Of Silence and Secrecy and of the Barbarous Names of Evocation”, Crowley points out that IAO is a supreme word of the kind which enshrines the complete formula of the God invoked (as are also Tetragrammaton and Abrahadabra)(see Bk 4, p. 189). Given this information, we ought to be able to apprehend, even if only dimly, the nature of the God invoked.


Most of who have been to a Mass are probably aware that IAO was originally a deity of the Gnostics, but may be unaware of the extent to which IAO features in other Thelemic ritual, both textual and practical. My own attraction to researching this was through participation in the Gnostic Mass, and wondering just what energies calling on “the name of IAO” should be evoking.

So we can start from the historical Gnostic context and come up to the present, after which we’ll approach or examine applications of the formula from the perspective of several different esoteric traditions (alchemy, Enochian and so on).

I have to presume reasonable familiarity on your part with Thelemic magic in general as I can’t hope in the time limit to delve fully into the content of each Crowleyean liber that gets a mention. However in support of each point I’ll quote reasonably extensively from writers other than myself, Crowley in particular, mainly so that you know I’m not just making this up as I go along! The handout also contains detailed references for further reading which will be helpful to initiates and non-initiates alike. I’ll be happy to answer questions at the end if there are any.

B. The Gnostic Schools

The Gnostic schools were a very loose grouping of philosophical and in some cases organised religious systems incorporating many influences from Indian Buddhism, Persian Zoroastrianism, and Graeco-Roman philosophy. They gained prominence during the first centuries AD and continued in some instances to survive for many centuries as organised systems and as philosophical concepts which exerted not only great influence on the development of classical Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but have continued into modern times where they have been incorporated into such religious movements as the Rosicrucians, Christian Science and the modern
Gnostic Church. I’ll just comment here that in talking about the transmission of the Gnostic current we should clearly distinguish between transmission of gnosis and transmission of Gnosticism. The relevance of this will probably become obvious later in discussion of the Mass, which to some extent raises the question of just how >Gnostic= is the Gnostic Mass.

C. The Gnostic , Graeco-Egyptian and Hermetic IAO

In The Secret Book According to John (from the literature known as the “apocryphal acts of the apostles”, author and composition unknown though probably between AD c. 180 and AD 350), Iao is given as the name of a demon with the face of a serpent and having seven heads. This demon is the fourth of seven demons created by Ialtabaoth, the production of Wisdom’s offspring.
Each of these seven demons possibly corresponds to a day of the week and a planet. Blavatsky, quoting Origen’s account of the Egyptian Gnostic attributions attributes them as: Adonai (of the Sun), Iao (as the genius of the moon), Eloi (Jupiter), Sabao (Mars), Orai (Venus), Astaphoi (Mercury) and finally Ialdabaoth (Saturn). (Secret Doctrine p. 538)Iao is seen to correspond to the power of Lordship. Note here that the lunar attribution of IAO as later it is attributed to the Sun
(Blavatsky has a whole trip about IO and the moon and its relationship to the Theban triad Amoun, Mout and Khonsu - see Secret Doctrine pp. 465-66- this is extremely interesting and would be relevant to a study of the Lord of Thebes and Ankh-af-na-Khnosu (which means “my life is in the moon”) but we can’t dwell on it here.

Parallels between this sevenfold (heptarchic) conception of Iao, and with Revelations= account of the Beast with seven heads could fruitfully be pursued. See especially in this connection Ch. 49 of THE BOOK OF LIES, “Waratah Blossoms”. [Kenneth Grant’s analysis in ALEISTER CROWLEY AND THE HIDDEN GOD of the 7 heads of the Beast as the seven stations of the Pole Star which make up the Great Year is also suggestive but perhaps too personal a speculation on Grant’s part].

St Iranaeus of Lyon (c.130-200 A.D.) in his Against Heresies, wherein he summarises what is known of the Gnostics’ beliefs, makes Iao the second of the seven demons; it appears he knew a different version of the Secret Book According to John than the one whose manuscript has come down to us. [Another early Christian writer, St Ephiphanius of Salamis (AD c. 315-403) in a similar work (The Panarion), in contrast gives Iao as the ruler of the first of seven heavens.]

Iranaeus also gives a summary of Ptolemy=s version of the Gnostic myths (Ptolemy being one of the first and most brilliant students of Valentinus, whose Gnostic teachings spread throughout Italy and the East from AD 150-692). In this summary, the meaning of the name Iao is related as follows: Achamoth, who represented the thinking of Sophia (higher wisdom), had been cast forth in a region of shadow and emptiness, but the anointed (Christ) took pity on this female being and stretched out along the cross, forming her as a concrete formation. ”Now, once she had been formed and come to her senses, and then been immediately emptied of the Word that was invisibly with her, i.e. the anointed (Christ), she rushed to search for the light that had left her; and she could not comprehend it, being prevented by the boundary. It was here that the boundary, in preventing her form the impulse to forward motion, said “Iao!” This - they say - is the origin of the name Iao.”

Iranaeus further recounts that each of the seven demonic beings or deities (known as the holy septet) chose its own herald to glorify it and to proclaim that it was God amongst the Jews. To Iao in this hierarchy of prophets belong the prophets Samuel, Nathan, Jonah and Micah.

Godwin (p. 119ff) constructs a “Gnostic Ritual of Self-Development” based on the myth-structure of the Apocryphon of John. In it, Iao is the planetary Archon relating to the sun, and Ain this context represents false and unworthy authority - specifically, your own ego, although here he is externalised and objectified. He has no head as such, but seven hissing serpents sprout from his neck, an apt analogy for the usual fragmentation of the conscious mind.

In a diagram called “The Mount Lebanon Diagram”, (which I don’t have a copy of to display)(display Tree of Life] which represents a Tree of Life system formulated by the Gnostic Ophites (one of the earliest sects of Gnosticism, known as “the Brotherhood of the Serpent”, and active in Egypt in the second century) IAO corresponds to the position of Chokmah (Wisdom), the second emanation on the conventional qabalistic Tree of Life. In some Ophite placements, however, IAO is shown as a spirit corresponding to Yesod - the sphere whose ruling planet is the Moon. The Aurum Solis magical tradition also associates Iao with the Moon (ref. Godwin p. 210.)
Blavatsky gives a complicated etymology too long to detail here, which basically relates how IAO was often confounded with that of Yahweh. “But the name IAO neither originated with, nor was it the sole property of the Jews”. She then traces it back to an old mystic name of the Shemites, which was communicated to Moses when he was initiated at Hor-eb. In an old religion of the Chaldeans [Southern Babylonians] whose remains are to be found among the neo-Platonists, the highest divinity, enthroned above the seven heavens, representing the Spiritual Light-Principle...and also conceived of as Demiurgus, called Iaw. who was, like the Hebrew Yaha, mysterious and unmentionable, and whose name was communicated to the initiated. The Phoenicians had a Supreme God, whose name was trilateral and secret, and he was Iaw.” (Isis Unveiled and Secret Doctrine p. 541).

If time, read directly from ISIS UNVEILED p.298 para 2 -299 last full para..

IAO is discussed in the Pistis Sophia, an extremely important Gnostic scripture normally attributed to Valentinus. Pistis Sophia I, vii reads, in part:

“So the power of the little Iao, who is in the Midst, and the soul of the prophet Elias, they were bound into the body of John the Baptizer”.
Blavatsky comments that in other Gnostic contexts IAO, far from being referred to as “little”, is referred to as the great Leader of the Midst whom the Rulers of the Aeons call the Great IAO, and that this apparent dualism is quite in keeping with all esoteric systems.

A variant version of the derivation of Iao is an Egyptian anti-Semitic tradition whereby the god worshipped by the Jews had to be an ass, because they spoke of him (in Greek) as “Iao” (cf. Yahu, Yahweh) and the old Coptic word for “ass” was eio or iao. (While this indicates a possible path of study of the relationship between IAO and JHVH, the Tetragrammaton, Crowley emphasises the same view as Blavatsky in MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS p.24: “Nor is Tetragrammaton IAO, even though etymology asserts the identity”. [Re: eio one could have some fun constructing a Crowleyean qabalistic analysis [along the lines of Crowley’s analysis of “Humpty Dumpty” in “An Interlude” - see Bk 4 pp. 81-85 - of the childrens’ song “Old Macdonald Had a Farm” with its chorus “ee-i-ee-i-o”]. Frater Numa has also pointed out to me that the ass is sacred to Priapus etc. Jesus rides in on the ass, and Crowley considers the Templars to have worshipped an ass-headed deity. There are many other correspondences here.

We should also note from the Red Flame commentary on Greek names used in the Gnostic Mass: AIAO is the Hellenized version of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton. However, it has an independent linguistic association with Dyaus, the name of the ancient Indo-European Sky God, with the Greek Divine Names Zeus and Chaos, and with the Latin Deus. Qabalistically, it pertains to Tiphareth: the Divine Name of Tiphareth in Atziluth is ???? ???? ???? [YHVH ELOAH VEDATH], the notariqon of which is I.A.V. ??? or I.A.V., which can be pronounced IAO.”(Red Flame p. 76)
Hargrave Jennings describes some Gnostic gems wherein the name ???, [note small omicron] usually in conjunction with that of the Gnostic divinity Abraxas, is engraved over or around some symbolic figures (see p. 181). Kenneth Grant and other writers since Jennings, including Crowley, are wont to refer to IAO as “the Supreme Divinity of the Gnostics” we have seen from Blavatsky that this might well have been the case, though Crowley takes this a given and evidence for this supremacy is rarely adduced. (There are other Gnostic deities whose names appear in Thelemic magick, and whose significance would be interesting to investigate, e.g. Sabao, Abraxas, - Red Flame p. 76 gives interesting background - etc but IAO seems generally regarded as the most important of the Gnostic deities). [show transparency of gems]

Duquette: “IAO, the great God of the Gnostics, even announces the magical formula of life, death, and resurrection in the letters of its name: Isis (Nature) is ruined by Apophis (the forces of destruction and decay), but is cyclically resurrected in Osiris” (p. 9). In this sense the name is seen as an acronym or (loosely) as a notariqon of one of the main symbolic truths which it represents.

IAO also occurs as one of the “Barbarous Names of Evocation” in that Greek-derived rite which appears as the Preliminary Invocation of the Goetia (see the Legemeton - the Lesser Key of Solomon) and its adaptation as “The Bornless Ritual”. It is therefore also significant in the context of Crowley’s Liber Samekh, where for instance the barbarous name Aphen-IAF is recited along with Athou treasure of IAO and SA-BA-FT is followed by a phrase which links “Hail IAO” with the Thelemic deities Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Khuit and the Great Wild Beast. However but a full exploration of this would be a study in itself, involving detailed attention to Crowley’s Scholion on the ritual. (See however note 601 in Book Four for further light on qabalistic interpretations of this Formula).

IAO according to Eliphas Levi’s HISTORY OF MAGIC occurs in the Egyptian sacred calendars: “where it is known that each month was placed under the protection of three decani or genii of ten days, the first decanate in the sign of Leo is represented by a human head with seven rays; the body has a Scorpio-tail and the sign of Sagittarius is under the chin. Beneath the head is the name of IAO, and the figure was called Khnoubis, and Egyptian word which signifies gold and light”. We see here obvious associations with the sphere of Tiphareth – we’ll touch on this again later.

??? by Greek Qabalah enumerates to 811, which is equivalent to (according to Liber MCCLXIV, the Greek Qabalah): -

????? - needle
?????? - breast
????? - Attis (Eng.) (Note: Attis was a dying and resurrected vegetation god of Phrygia, widely worshipped throughout the Roman Empire).
???? - to fart (relates the Nephesch or animal nature to the highest - Kether is in Malkuth; is God to be found in a dog? etc). Also compare this with the Moon/Yesod attribution.
??? - to perceive, to know
???? - (Fiat) Let there be (Latin) (cf with Michelle’s comments on the imperatives in the Enochian calls). MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS p. 13: Crowley suggests, discussing his student’s Magical Motto, “Fiat, being 811, is identical with IAO, and therefore FIAT YOD might be read not only as “let there be” (or “Let me become”), the secret source of all creative energy, but as “the secret source of energy of Jehovah”. [Cf with the imperatives in the Enochian calls]

Godwin (p. 236) gives the further correspondences for 811: tessera (holy symbol in Aurum Solis); and asteres (stars).

In 777, Column CLXXXVII (Magical Formulae) IAO:INRI equates to Key Scale 30, 200 by the Arabic Alphabet Numeration and 100 by Greek Alphabet Numeration. Its correspondence in “Typical Diseases” is Repletion.
See also 777, where in the chart “The Vital Triads of the Tarot”, the first is “The Three Gods IAO”=, corresponding to Atu 0 (The Holy Ghost), Atu I (The Messenger) and Atu IX (The Secret Seed). Valuable amplification of the components of the formula may therefore be obtained by studying those chapters of THE BOOK OF THOTH which explicate these particular Atus, commonly known as The Fool, The Juggler, and The Hermit.


D. IAO in the Golden Dawn System of Magick (as Heiroglyph of the Great Work)

In the opening and closing of the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, (LRH) we first analyse the word INRI, then invoke the names of certain Egyptian gods (and their zodiacal/planetary attributions) by saying:

Virgo, Isis, Mighty Mother.
Scorpio, Apophis, Destroyer,
Sol, Osiris, Slain and Risen.
Isis, Apophis, Osiris, IA0.


And we perform, as prescribed in Liber O, the LVX signs that are appropriate thereto - Osiris slain (the cross +), Isis Mourning - the Svastika (L), Typhon (Apophis) (V) - the Trident, and Osiris Risen - the Pentagram (X).

This symbolism is derived from that of the Ceremony of the Grade of Adeptus Minor (5=6 ritual)
in the Golden Dawn. (The complete ceremony can be found in Regardie, Volume 7, pp. 30-61). In this ceremony IAO is invoked at various points - firstly, in close association with explanations of the Mystic Mountain of Abiegnus (p. 34); further on in the analysis of the Key Word (pp. 36-37) and later again where the great avenging angel HUA is invoked “in the divine name IAO” (p. 41).

Duquette p. 117:
“Considered by the Adepts of the Aeon of Osiris to be the “new, improved” magical formula of the day, the Latinised/Christian formula of resurrection (INRI) is seen to conceal the great formulae of the Egyptians and the Gnostics (IAO)”.


Crowley elucidates the connection of INRI with IAO in the Book of Thoth (p. 276):
“INRI, the inscription on the Cross, becomes Yod Nun Resh Yod, which are in the heavens Virgo, the Virgin Mother; Isis, Scorpio, Apophis the Dragon, the Destroyer; Sol, Osiris, the Slain and Risen. The initials of these three divine beings thus make the more ancient name of Jehovah - IAO. In this way the initiates of old expressed their understanding of the fact that the Universe was after all perfect, even if requiring a little manipulation; but as explained previously, this doctrine is for the weaker brethren, for those who are suffering from the illusion of imperfection; it enables them to make their way to the illimitable Light”.

For the symbolism of INRI see also Rowe.

The paper “Qabalistic Dogma” from Crowley’s COLLECTED WORKS I (written prior to 1905) describes the IAO formula and its relationship to the LVX signs as employed in the Golden Dawn which formed the basis for the LRH in Liber O. Here Crowley takes a morphological approach to the formula. :
“I is the Straight Line or Central Pillar of the Temple of Life; also it stands for Unity, and for the Generative Force. A is the Pentagram, which means the Will of Man working Redemption. O is the Circle from which everything came, also Nothingness, and the Female, who absorbs the male. The Progress of the Name shows then the Way from Life to nirvana by means of the Will: and is a Hieroglyph of the Great Work... (italics mine)...their initials form the sacred Word of the Gnostics”.

Blavatsky (Secret Doctrine p. 463) “Now Euthanasius declares that IO means the moon, in the dialect of the Argians; and it was one of the names of the same in Egypt.... The pillar and Circle (IO), now constituting the first decimal number, and which with Pythagoras was the perfect number contained in the Tetractis [Tetrad] became later a pre-eminently phallic Number - amongst the jews, foremost of all, with whom it is the male and female Jehovah”

This morphological explanation of I0 if applied to IAO does not define the “A”. I was going to do a whole rave about A as the “excluded middle”. This is the third term that many modern academics since the 1920's and the advent of quantum uncertainty feel needs to be added to the Aristotelian logic of either/or. For instance, mathematician John von Neumann, who proposed in 1933 discussing the new paradoxes of quantum mechanics in a three-valued logic of false, true and maybe; and others such as semanticist Alfred Korzybski - yes + no + a many-probabilitied middle; and in 1964 mathematician Lofti Zadeh invented fuzzy logic. (See Robert Anton Wilson, COSMIC TRIGGER VOL III). All these could be applied to the middle term of the IAO formula but let’s just make passing mention of that. The phrase “centre and secret of the Sun” springs to mind as well....

PART 2: IAO IN THELEMIC MAGICK

A. As invocation of the Old Aeon formula

REFER TO OTHER PAPER ON AEONS....

In Crowley’s work, IAO is sometimes mentioned simply in the context of the Old Aeon formula. For instance, IAO is discussed in “The Master Therion: A Biographical Note” (a paper by AC reprinted in THE HEART OF THE MASTER) where it appears as that word uttered by Dionysus (cf Buddha’s word ANATTA, Laotze TAO, Mohammed ALLAH):

“For the function of the Magus is to proclaim a new Law by virtue of one Word in which resides a Formula of Wisdom” (p.19 OTO revised ed 1992).
Similarly in LIBER ALEPH p. 71:
“Krishna hath names and forms innumerable, and I know not His true human Birth. For his formula is of the major Antiquity. But His Word hath spread into many Lands, and we know it today as INRI with the secret IAO concealed therein” (and so on).

And LIBER ALEPH p. 208 re the Pure Fool:
“yea, and more also, I have known Thee who Thou art, Bacchus Diphues, none and two, in thy Name IAO!”.

IAO also in section 49, The Benediction of Liber Astarte: “And so may the Love that passeth all Understanding keep your hearts and minds through IAO Adonai Sabao” (Book 4 p. 627).

Vision and the Voice p. 74, NOTE 31: “Osiris, tricked into the belief in death, had to overcome it by Magick, the formula IAO”.

However, clearly Crowley intended the Thelemic recontextualisation of IAO within the Aeon of Horus to be plainly understood. “The Heart of the Master” (a visionary paper written 1925 by AC in Tunisia) itself, in section III: The Temple of Truth indicates “But above that extract, the whole width of the chart, the word IAO” (p.110) and later: “So, when the time was ripe, appeared the Brethren of the Formula of Osiris, whose word is IAO...Now, this great formula being fulfilled, and turned into abomination, [italics mine] this Lion came forth to proclaim the Aeon of Horus, the crowned and conquering child, who dieth not, nor is reborn, but goeth radiant ever upon his way...Of this Prophet the word is Thelema” (p. 116).

In Fuller’s 963 (The Treasure House of Images) in the section “The 169 Cries of Adoration of God” “I adore Thee IAO!” forms part of the refrain to every cry - a typical paeanic usage within Thelemic usage where the divinity/supremacy of IAO is taken for granted.

In CONFESSION (p. 795) Crowley comments: “The old pagan worship of the Mother-idea was superseded by the word IAO or its equivalents, which asserted the formula of the Dying God, and made the Male, dying to himself in the act of love, the engineer of the continued life of the race. This revolution cut at the root of all previous custom. Matriarchy vanished; self-sacrifice became the cardinal virtue...this idea of accomplishing the Great Work by a voluntary death was bound up with the belief that the sun died, and was reborn with the hours and the seasons....My own word, Thelema, supplies a new and scientifically sound basis for ethics. Self-sacrifice is a romantic folly; death does not end life; it is a temporary phase of life as night and winter are of terrestrial activity...Already, in a thousand ways, the principles involved have replaced those of the Dying God.”


“To one who understands this chain of the Aeons from the point of view of the Sorrowing Isis and of the triumphant Osiris, not forgetting their link in the destroyer Apophis, there remains no secret veiled in nature. He cries that name of God which throughout History has been echoed by one religion to another, the infinite swelling paean I.A.O.!” (Bk 4 p. 149)

Also, Crowley states that IAO is Qabalistically identical with that of the BEAST and with his number 666, so that he who invokes the former invokes the latter. (Bk 4 p. 149)

Charles Stansfeld Jones (Parzival X0) discusses the IAO formula in the Aeonic context in his “Horus, Isis and Osiris in the Q.B.L.” (Ref. EQUINOX 3/10, pp. 217-18) showing how Horus “appears as the avenger Apophis to those who try to go back, or retrogress. He has to destroy them in order that they may be renewed”.


B. Combined with the Formula of the New Aeon

I. IAO in the Reception of the Book of the Law
Equinox of the Gods p. 68 and p. 70 give in detail the IAO invocation performed by Crowley on March 16, 1904 as a prelude to the Reception of Liber AL.

ii. ??? in the Gnostic Mass

In the Gnostic Mass (Liber VX), the Deacon invokes the sacred Gnostic word IAO in the Introit: “I proclaim the Law of Light, Life, Love and Liberty in the name of IAO”. (italics mine). Note the Greek capitals literation of the word as: ???.Note 21 to the Red Flame text of the Mass points out:
Note – “I am the Alpha and the Omega” - since ??? in the Mass is spelt with the Greek letters throughout. This is Crowley’s emphasis on the End and the Beginning of the Great Work.

The Priest invokes this sacred word again during the “Ceremony of the Opening of the Veil” where he chants in Greek “Io Io Io ???...Io ???....Agios, Agios, Agios ???. [Io Io Io ??? ...Io ???...Holy, Holy, Holy ???]. Note that IAO occurs triply in this invocation - at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the invocation - the tripartite nature of Spirit manifested (Shin) may likely be attributed to this. Possibly there is also a correspondence here to the priest’s triple advance up the steps from below to above the Abyss, to the realm of the Supernal Sephiroth.

Later again in the Mass, at the conclusion of “The Consecration of the Elements” the priest again invokes in the sacred Gnostic word – “hear ye all, saints of the true church of old time now essentially present, that of ye we claim heirship, with ye we claim communion, from ye we claim benediction in the name of ???”. As he elevates the Host and the Cup, and the Bell strikes, he again invokes “Agios, Agios, Agios, ???!”

My main assertion or suggestion is that in the Mass the IAO formula has both a historical function (Old Aeon formula) in bringing before us the sacred word of the Gnostics (since in celebrating the Mass we are, in part, celebrating our heirship to the Light of the Gnosis), but more importantly, a specifically Thelemic connotation in which it holds an intimate connection with the Eucharist.

Although the name doesn’t occur in the text, IAO could therefore be possibly considered an underlying formula of such Eucharistic rituals as “The Mass of the Phoenix”(Liber 44).


To some extent, I haven’ resolved some of the questions raised on these matters. According to Frater Numa, “C slams the cosmology [of the Gnostics] in the commentary to Liber AL [see LAW IS FOR ALL p. 82] where in commenting on I: 8 “The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs”
he says:

“I think that we are warned against the idea of a Pleroma, a flame of which we are sparks, and to which we return when we ‘attain’...the idea of incarnations ‘perfecting’ a thing originally perfect by definition is imbecile. The only sane solution is...to suppose that the Perfect enjoys experience of (apparent) imperfection”.

but in a type of contradiction he wrote the mass to correspond with the Roman Rite (which did, in turn, borrow an enormous amount from Valentinian Gnosticism). (How should we see this in relation to the Creed?: “I believe in one Star in the company of stars, of whose fire we are created and to which we shall return”). We might also wonder why, if the Gnostic Mass is principally a Thelemic rite, the Thelemic amplification of the formula FIAOF is not used rather than IAO.

iii. IAO in Other Thelemic Rituals

IAO crops up again in Liber Arcanorum (Liber CCXXXI). Verse 0 reads: “A, the heart of IAO, dwelleth in ecstasy in the secret place of the thunders. Between Asar and Asi he abideth in joy”.
Here again we have the middle element of the formula assuming a great importance, especially considered alchemically as the transmutational element.

LIBER XVII (Liber 17 - note the number) is called LIBER IAO. According to the Curriculum of AA, this work “gives three methods of attainments through a willed series of thoughts. This book has not been published. (My italics). It is the active form of Liber HHH. The article “Energised Enthusiasm” is an adumbration of this book”.

VISION AND THE VOICE p. 192, note 9: “The Swastika has 17 squares. 17 = IAO, the triune Kether”. (Petra touched on this in her paper on the Swastika). Once again is emphasised that IAO is a tripartite formula which makes a unity at the loftiest point of the Tree of Life. Also, A ? (yod) ? (aleph) ? (vav) add to 17 and, by the Golden Dawn formula, disclose LVX, the Light of the Cross” - this is Regardie’s note 7, p.29 of VV

LIBER HHH (Liber CCCXLI - Liber 341) according to the Curriculum of the AA “Gives three methods of attainment through a willed series of thoughts”. Working out what IAO means could involve determining which of these methods is the “active form” and applying this to the fact that Liber 17 is mysteriously ‘unpublished/non-extant’ - intentionally so from Crowley’s point of view.

“Energised Enthusiasm: A Note on Theurgy” (written 1912)(Liber DCCCXI) first appeared in The Equinox 1, No. 9 (1913). It gives a more direct suggestion as to the Thelemic aspect of the formula envisioned by Crowley. When we turn to it, we find that the first sentence is “IAO the supreme One of the Gnostics, the true God, is the Lord of this work”. The content of the work will not be discussed here; suffice it to say that in the account of the rite that Crowley witnessed, the chorus of those present is “Evoe Ho, Iacche! Epelthon, Epelthon, Evoe, IAO!”

LIBER LXVI (Liber 66) - Liber Stellae Rubeae or the Book of the Ruby Star. According to the Curriculum of the AA is “a secret ritual, the Heart of IAO-OAI, delivered unto VVVVV for his use in a certain matter of Liber Legis”. Verse 34 of this ritual reads: “I who reveal the ritual am IAO and OAI; the Right and the Averse”. To understand the averse we first must understand the usual form of the formula.

As another practical application of the formula, Crowley’s magical record John St John is records how he used it in mantric fashion - that is, the cyclic repetition of IAO used in conjunction with pranayama breathing, along with such practices as the Middle Pillar exercise, the Augoeides invocation, etc. King/Skinner p. 150 draw attention to this usage.

C. Significance of the formula

I have to agree with someone who suggested to me that this is “one of the most abstruse and veiled of Crowley’s formulae”. Nevertheless we can obtain understanding of it through study of its usage in context within Thelemic ritual, and by application of what is originally an old-Aeon formula to Crowley=s specifically Thelemic rituals, that is to rituals of the Aeon of Horus. .

As DuQuette points out: “Obsolete formulae of the past aren=t necessarily discarded completely, but are often amended or fine-tuned to better harmonize with a new, expanded understanding of natural or spiritual law”. (p. 6)

In the BOOK OF LIES are several elucidations of Crowley’s interpretation of the IAO formula. Ch. 61 “The Fool’s Knot” has a note that reads: “Paragraph 2 shows the Lingam and the Yoni as, in conjunction, the foundation of ecstasy (IO!) and of the complete symbol IAO. It’s interesting to consider, in this light, the use of IAO as the concluding formula of the Thelemic cross performed in the Star Ruby ritual, and its connection with the paean in the middle of the Star Ruby where the Night of Pan is invoked through the NOX signs in conjunction with the words “Io Pan” etc. Cf Barry’s comments on Attic language consisting of mainly I’s and 0's. (Lines and circles). And Io as supreme god in the Maori cosmogony.

We may also study especially Book 4 (Magick) Part 3: Magick in Theory and Practice Ch. 5: The Formula of IAO, of which a brief summary is here given: [SHOW TRANSPARENCY]

I = Isis/Nature
ruined by
A = Apophis the Destroyer
.& restored to life by
O = Osiris the Redeemer

Crowley notes: “There is a quite different formula in which I is the father, O the Mother, A the child - and yet another, in which IAO are all fathers of different kinds balanced by HHH, 3 Mothers, to complete the Universe. In a third, the true formula of the Beast 666, I and O are the opposites which form the field for the operation of A” [see Liber Samekh, p. 521 of Book 4].

As Frater Numa points out, “for the relationship of Wagner’s Parsifal to the redeeming gods see Crowley’s “the Formula of IAO” in Bk 4, especially the table on p. 163". (Waratah, p. 23). Understanding of the Parzival symbolism is another way of gaining insight into the IAO formula.

Ii. IAO as formula of meditation
Crowley considers IAO essentially the formula of yoga or meditation. To paraphrase him (Bk 4 pp 160-61) the meditation process is threefold: it always begins with quiet pleasure, is succeeded by depression, and concludes with the arising of Osiris. The process is one whereby “the ancient condition is not restored, but a new and superior condition is created, a condition only rendered possible by the process of death”.

We may compare this with his diary notes in John St John - see Wasserman p. 23, reprinted from EQUINOX 1 No.1 of 1909:
“Certainly the first two days were Isis - natural, pleasant, easy events. Most certainly too today has been Apophis! Think of the wild cursing and black magic etc...we must hope for the Osiris section tomorrow or next day. Birth, death, resurrection! IAO!”.

Again, BOOK OF THOTH p. 274: “The ‘formula of the dying god’, as this is usually called, does actually exist, but it represents a stage in human development which is now past as far as external theology is concerned. It has a sort of shadowy vitality in psychology; for instance, in taking up a new task of any importance, one begins very pleasantly, the period of Isis; the task becomes tedious and baffling, one begins to despair, the period of Apophis; then suddenly, the subject is mastered and one comes to a triumphant conclusion, the period of Osiris. But the whole of this formula depends upon ignorance of the laws of nature; there is in fact no catastrophe”.

I. IAO as Alchemical formula

The parallel between this formula and that of Alchemy is strong, and can advantageously be considered, where:

I = The first matter
A = The Black Dragon (corrupt or dark stage)
O = The Pure and Perfect Gold; or the glorified body resurrected from the Abyss.

It is very much in this synergetic context that Crowley used the formula of IAO in his workings of 1914 recorded in his diary for that year (see MAGICAL RECORD OF THE BEAST 666) where invocations to IAO are linked to Mercury.

Crowley’s comments that a “ceremonial self-initiation may be constructed with advantage on this formula...The essence of it consists in robing yourself as a king, then stripping and slaying yourself, and rising from that death to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel” (p. 161) may be illuminated by considering the actions of the High Priest of the Sun in “The Ship”. Give careful consideration to Old John as I (the first matter), to his death as A (the Black Dragon), and his reappearance/rebirth birth as the Young John as 0 (The Gold). This may profitably be studied in conjunction with Crowley’s discussion in Book 4 Pt 3, Ch 22: “Of the Eucharist, and of the Art of Alchemy”.

Iii. IAO as formula of Tiphareth

Israel Regardie on the “Tree and Hierarchies” section of the Golden Dawn tapes simply attributes IAO to Tiphareth as the Sephira’s divine name, shorter and more suitable for practical work than the long and clumsy YHVH Eloah Vedath.

Crowley also points out that IAO is a formula of Tiphareth. It is, he says, a proper Hieroglyph of the Ritual of Self-Initiation in this Aeon of Horus. Note that on the earlier interpretation of I as the Middle Pillar, that this pillar stretches from Kether through Tiphareth to Malkuth.

Iv. FIAOF as amplified Thelemic form of IAO

Crowley later modified the spelling of IAO to Qabalistically equate it with 93 (the number of the Thelemic current) by his transliteration of the Hebrew as FIAOF - see Book 4 p. 162 for the full detail of how Crowley arrives at this, and pp 163-165 for his full analysis and interpretation of IAO as it has been conceived in the various historical Aeons.


FIAOF is used as an invocatory formula, or Word of Power, of the magician in such rituals as Liber V vel Reguli, where as Crowley states “the Energies of the Aeon of Horus work his will in the world”. (Bk 4 p. 562).

V The Enochian IAO

According to Schueler p. 44, the number of this formula is 48, corresponding to the phrase
L-AHA-LAS-A, which significantly translates as “supreme treasure zones”. This phrase appears in each of the Great Crosses of the Watchtower in the Enochian system.

Schueler p. 177 also interprets (via the acronym or notariqon method) the IAO letters (also p. 174) to stand for IADNAH ATH OLORAT, which means “the highest work is man” (which is, if speculative, fairly congruent with traditional and Thelemic usages). His gematria, on the other hand, leads to correspondences including 326, 314 and especially 96 related to “improving karma, cancelling karmic debts”; “IAO is the formula for a passive acceptance of life in the sense of karma-less action.” Schueler pp. 300-303 gives an Enochian ritual of IAO for use in dispelling karmic debts. He says this invokes a “typical feminine current and then uses the masculine current of [the aethyr] MAZ for balance and completeness”.
Schueler adduces no support for treating the formula in this manner. I’m dubious of its value as in this interpretation he seems out on his own) although we may note that 314 by Godwin’s Greek Qabalah is magos (magician).

IAO in Enochian letters = [show transparency] . Given that there are four systems of Enochian gematria which assign different numerical values to the letters, various values can be obtained from any Enochian word. By Crowley’ gematria IAO spelled in Enochian is equivalent to 96 (60 + 6 + 30). By the Golden Dawn Geomantic method it also 96. By the Golden Dawn Greek/Hebrew method it is 81 (10 + 1 + 70). By the Aurum Solis method it is 85 (9 + 6 + 70).

From Laycock’ dictionary we may compare with IAO such words as “iaod” (ya-od), and “iaodaf” (ya-o-daf) meaning “beginning” (found at 1.61 of the First Enochian Call or key - James p. 67) and also “Iad” (yad) and “iado”, meaning “God”.

In Enochian this latter stem forms the words “Iaida” (yai-da), which is a title of God meaning “The Highest” and “Iaidon” (yai-don) which is a title of God meaning “The All-Powerful” (Laycock pp. 120-21) as in the Eleventh to the Eighteenth Enochian Calls, which all end with the words:
...”for I am the servant of the same God as you, the true worshipper of the Highest” (Iaida) and the Call of the Thirty Aethyrs in which the heavens of each Air being invoked is said to “execute the judgement of the Highest” (Iaida).

Compare also “iadnah” (yad-na) and “iadnamad” (yad-na-mad= which mean knowledge, divine knowledge.


d. Conclusion


In summary, it is at least clear that IAO is a symbolically complex and rich formula of magick. It seems to me that Crowley used it both to invoke its traditional historical and psychological associations of Godhead - that is, of the Highest - (especially given that he invokes in this name in Liber Samekh where he was obtaining the Knowledge and conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel) and also reinterpreted the formula in the light of the Equinox of the Gods as a central formula of Thelemic Magick, where it carries various specific codings of aspects of the Great Work on physiological (material) and elevated (astral and other) planes.


References

 

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INITIATION. NY: Destiny Books, 1976.
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DIARY. Phoenix, AZ: New Falcon, 1993.
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AZ: New Falcon, 1995.IAO – In Heart of the Master, p. 39 IAO comes under “the Voice of the Pelican” – “all that liveth is blood of the Heart of the Master; all stars are at feast on that Pasture, abiding in Light.” At top of triangle – Horus/The Perfected Man (freedom form polarity; in Jung’s terms, a ‘conjunctio oppositorum’, a higher union). At bottom left, Isis (Physical man) forms a polarity with Osiris (Spiritual Man). Also the points of the triangle represent the Supernals, and don’t forget the Eye in the Triangle.
IAO is The Word of Dionysus – see Heart of the Master p. 9

AN ELEMENTARY ANALYSIS OF
BATHYLLIC -

THE LANGUAGE OF THE SAPPHO-CALYPSO ANGEL
IN
LIBER XXX AERUM VEL SECULI SUB FIGURA CDXVIII
THE VISION AND THE VOICE -2ND AETHER

By Fr. LVX/NOX
© 1996
July 1996 e.v.
1500 words

PART I. THE BATHYLLIC TEXTS IN PARALLEL

A. First Song from the 2nd Aether

Crowley's translation

OMARI (I am) the harlot
TESSALA (that) shaketh
MARAX, Death,
TESSALA (this) shaking
DODI giving
PHORNEPAX. The Peace of Satiate Lust.
AMRI There jetteth
RADARA Immortality
POLIAX (From my) skull
AMARNA (And) music
PILIU. (From my) vulva.
AMRI There jetteth
RADARA Immortality
PILIU (From my) vulva
SON; Also.
MARI (For my) whoredom
NARYA (is a) sweet scent
BARBITON (like a ) seven-stringed instrument
MADARA played (unto)
ANAPHAX God the Invisible
SARPEDON the all-ruler
ANDALA that goeth along (giving)
HRILIU the shrill scream of orgasm. [also >The Voice of the Dove=attributed
To Netzach=]


b. BRIEF PASSAGE IN BATHYLLIC
Crowley's translation
AN NOW (IT)
OLVAH GLIDES
NU (INTO THE) HEAVEN
ARENU HOME,
OLVAH. GLIDES.

DIRAESEU SEDUCINGLY [note the Sappho connection]
ADIKA THE MENTRILA [definition?]
VA OF
PARETANU THE BEGOTTEN ONE
POLIAX OF THE HOLY HEAD
POLIAX OR SKULL
IN TAKES
VAH HOLD
RAH (OF THE) SOFT TISSUES
AHUM SUBTLY
SUBRE PLYING
FIFAL. (ITS) SHUTTLE
LERTHEXENAX. LIGHT FOLLOWS THE EXPLOSION.
MAMA THE SOFT
RA-LA TISSUES
HUM CLEAVING (TO)
FIFALA SHUTTLE
MAHA. PUMP OUT EVERY DROP OF WATER FROM THE WELL.
[appears to be a technical term not easily translated to English]

Note: this passage evidently refers to a high mystical process but full explication would have to be undertaken in reference to the entire experience of the 2nd Aethyr, which is beyond the scope of this current study.

c. 2ND SONG OF THE 2ND AETHYR

Part I Crowley's translation
MU SILENCE
PA THE MOON
TELAI CEASETH (HER MOTION)
TU THAT
WA ALSO
MELAI (WAS) SWEET
A,A,A. IN THE AIR, IN THE AIR, IN THE AIR


TU WHO
FU WILL
TULU SHALL ATTAIN
TU WHO
FU WILL
TULU SHALL ATTAIN
PA (BY) THE MOON
SA (&) BY MYSELF
GA (&) BY THE ANGEL OF THE LORD.

Part II
QWI NOW

MU SILENCE
TELAI CEASETH
YA AND
PA THE MOON
MELAI (WAXETH) SWEET
U,U,U (IN THE HOUR) OF INITIATION (etc)
> SE THE KISS
GU (OF) ISIS
MELAI (IS) HONEYED
PE MY OWN
FU WILL
TELAI IS ENDED
FU (FOR) WILL
TU HAS
LU ATTAINED

Part III
O BEHOLD
CHI THE LION-CHILD
BALAE SWIMMETH (IN THE HEAVEN)
WA AND
PA THE MOON
MALAE REELETH.
UT! UT! UT! (IT IS) THOU! (IT IS) THOU! (IT IS) THOU!
GE; TRIUMPH;
FU THE WILL
LATRAI STEALETH AWAY (LIKE A THIEF)
LE THE
FU STRONG WILL
MALAI (THAT) STAGGERED
KUT! (BEFORE) RA-HOOR-KHUIT!
HUT! HADIT!
NUT! NUIT!

Part IV
AL TO THE GOD
OAI OAI [note: reversal of formula of IAO implies roughly the general mystical
As opposed to the general magical process - Crowley's note]
REL BE
MOAI PRAISE
TI! TI! TI! IN THE END & THE BEGINNING! (Etc)
WA AND
LA MAY NONE
PELAI FALL
TU WHO
FU WILL
LATAI ATTAIN
WI THE SWORD
NI THE BALANCES

BI THE CROWN


Note: The 2nd Song as above is incorporated wholesale into LIBER LXVI (STELLAE RUBAE) where it is designated as "the infernal adorations of OAI". In that context OAI appears to represent the Averse (as opposed to the Right), rather than the Mystical vs the Magical.


PART 2. COMMENTARY

Sappho-Calypso.

Calypso was a figure (in the astral plane?) in Homer's Odyssey, in the episode involving the Sirens. Crowley's comment in VISION AND THE VOICE indicates he takes Sappho and Calypso to represent all such seductive and deadly things, and since this is part of the nature of BABALON (the magician's marriage with whom is the subject of ARN, the 2nd Aethyr), the Angel of this Aethyr takes a similarly seductive form. Crowley remarks of the song that "once one has heard it he is lost".

Bathyllic and Enochian


Bathyllic is an angelic language that occurs only in the 2nd Aethyr of the 30 Aethyrs traversed by Crowley. The existing passages in the language appear to consist of two songs plus one other brief passage of speech.

Crowley in his note says the language he recorded is "commonly referred to" as Bathyllic but I cannot locate a reference to this language either in his BK 4, CONFESSIONS, or a general occult dictionary. The Shorter Oxford provides no clue to the word stem "bathy".(?)

No record exists of any Bathyllic (non-English) alphabet - Crowley transcribed his vision directly from the language he heard into English letters. His exploration of the Aethyrs however was based on (and expanded on) those of Dee and Kelly, and some connection between the language spoken by the 2nd Aethyr Angel and Enochian seems likely. In particular the -ax suffix of some words recalls Enochian. Further research is required to elucidate any similarities or overlaps which may exist.

No indication of Bathyllic pronunciation is given in Crowley's text and this may be also a matter for experimentation and possibly comparison with Enochian and/or the Barbarous Names of Evocation.


Bathyllic Grammar

The suffix - ax seems to denote nouns, e.g. Anaphax, marax, phornepax, poliax - but not all nouns are so denoted, e.g. piliu, omari.

Note that Whoredom is Mari and Harlot is Omari. The >O= prefix may possibly denote a specific relating to general concept of the word without the prefix.


Generally connectives (a, the, of, in, etc), though some correlates to these words exist, appear to be used infrequently in Bathyllic. This constitutes a similarity with Enochian (though the same could be said of many languages including Coptic etc)

An ending in >a= appears to denote some verbs, e.v Andala, Madara, Tessala, but some nouns end with >a= as well - Amara, Narya, Radara.

The high preponderance of short 2- and 3-letter words in the second song is curious and may indicate a more >poetic= or >condensed= form of Bathyllic than that found in the 1st Song. However, this is speculative.

Arranger's Notes

Crowley provides complete translations of each Bathyllic passage, in English, but not word-for-word. This was attempted by the present writer in order to create the Bathyllic dictionary.

In the analysis of the First Song we were helped considerably by the fact that some words appear twice in this short passage. From the repetition of Tessala, the phrase Amri Radara, and Piliu it was easy to deduce that these represented Shaking, (there) Jetteth Immortality, and Vulva respectively. The similarity of Mari and Omari and their cognate meanings further solved the equation. Phornepax suggested itself as a portmanteau construction - the suffix "pax" is also peace in Latin, and "Phorne" suggests the Latin fornix, fornicatio - to fornicate, which carries the idea of Satiate Lust. Hriliu was already known to mean "the shrill scream of orgasm" from its context in the Gnostic Mass. With these words identified, it was a comparatively simple matter to fill in the gaps.

Analysis of the passage and the Second Song proceeded along similar lines. Herewith we present the first known comprehensive compilation of Bathyllic words with their English equivalents, which may form the basis for further experiments with Bathyllic vocabulary in relation to 2nd-Aethyr explorations.

In the second song there are some inconsistencies. It seems strange that there are three different words for attain -LATAI, LU and TULU - and this may be due either to defective analysis of the text, or to partial ignorance of Bathyllic grammatical construction.


PART 3. BATHYLLIC-ENGLISH DICTIONARY

A IN THE AIR
ADALA GOETH [note: probably refers to "going" as the Active power]
ADIKA MENTRILA
AHUM SUBTLY
AL (TO THE) GOD [obvious correlations to CCXX]
AMARNA MUSIC
AMRI JETTETH
AN NOW
ANAPHAX GOD THE INVISIBLE
ARENU HOME
BALAE SWIMMETH (IN THE HEAVEN)
BARBITON SEVEN-STRINGED INSTRUMENT; [possibly denotes the
subtle body]
BI CROWN [as in Kether]

CHI LION-CHILD
DIRAESEU SEDUCINGLY
DODI GIVING
FIFAL SHUTTLE
FIFALA SHUTTLE
FU (STRONG) WILL; WILL (as subjunctive)
GA THE ANGEL OF THE LORD
GE TRIUMPH
GU ISIS
HRILIU THE SHRILL SCREAM OF ORGASM
HUM CLEAVING
HUT HADIT
IN TAKES
KUT RA-HOOR-KHUIT
LA (MAY) NONE [obvious correlation to NOT of CCXX]
LATAI ATTAIN
LATRAE STEALETH AWAY (LIKE A THIEF)
LE THE
LERTHEXENAX LIGHT FOLLOWS THE EXPLOSION
LU ATTAINED
MADARA PLAYED
MAHA PUMP OUT EVERY DROP OF WATER FROM THE WELL
MALAE REELETH
MALAI STAGGERED
MAMA SOFT
MARAX DEATH
MARI WHOREDOM
MELAI SWEET, HONEYED
MOAI PRAISE
NARYA SWEET SCENT
NI BALANCES [ie Scales, as in Libra]
NUT NUIT
O BEHOLD
MU SILENCE
NU HEAVEN
OLVAH GLIDES
OMARI HARLOT
PA THE MOON
PARETANU THE BEGOTTEN ONE
PE MY OWN
PELAI FALL
PHORNEPAX THE PEACE OF SATIATE LUST.
PILIU VULVA
POLIAX SKULL, HOLY HEAD
QWI NOW
RADARA IMMORTALITY
RAH SOFT TISSUES (see also MAMA and RA-LA)
RA-LA TISSUES
REL BE

SA MYSELF
> SE KISS
SARPEDON (GOD) THE ALL-RULER
SON ALSO
SUBRE PLYING
TELAI CEASETH (HER MOTION), ENDED
TESSALA SHAKETH, SHAKING
TI IN THE END & THE BEGINNING
TU THAT, WHO, HAS
TULU ATTAIN
U (IN THE HOUR OF) INITIATION
UT! (IT IS) THOU!
VA OF
VAH HOLD
WA ALSO, AND
WI SWORD
YA AND

A RITUAL TO
INVOKE THE HIGHER SELF
by
Fr LVX/NOX
© 1999
July 1999


On the altar, the Balance, a scales with Earth (Disc/Pentacle) & Water in one measure, and Air (Rose petals) & Fire (Incense) in the other. Black and white candles, respectively Left and Right, with between them a red candle for the Middle Pillar.

Banish (LBR).

Concentrating on the flame of the red candle, invoke as follows:

Master & Mistress of my being!
Mystic centre of my True Self!
Outflowing of all potential!
Satisfaction of the senses!
Dweller in the Uttermost!
Transcender of duality!
I adore thee & I invoke thee!
Thou whose breath is as a triple tongue of fire!
Thou whose hands have wrought marvels upon the earth!
Thou whose eyes sparkle with lustre of Love & Light!
O thou stooper from the skies!
O thou aspirant from the ashes!
O thou reconciler of the Heavens & the Hells!
I adore thee & I invoke thee!
Unity beyond all duality!
Tongue of flame that lickest up all impurity!
Flood of waters that representeth Intelligence!
Rush of air that inspireth all intelligence!
Compound of matter that clothes the visible!
Appear thou visible unto me!
O thou Maker & Destroyer of Worlds!
O thou whose feet treadeth the stars & descendeth to the cortices!
O thou whose hands mould all as they will!
O thou whose head is whiter than white!
By the thirty-two paths I invoke thee!
By the eleven Sephira I invoke thee!
By the Serpent & the Sword I invoke thee!
By the descent into manifestation
& by the ascent into ecstasy of dissolution I invoke thee!
O thou who uniteth the I and the O!
O thou Magical Child who art the Androgyne!
O thou who confusest not the Planes!
O thou who transcendeth the Abyss!
In the names of Nuit and of Hadit I invoke thee!
In the name of Ra-Hoor-Khuit I invoke thee!
By Isis, by Apophis & by Osiris I invoke thee!
By Horus the Hawkheaded Lord I invoke thee!
Order in Chaos and Chaos in Order!

Lie that is Truth and Truth that is Lie!
Sorrow that is Joy and Joy that is Sorrow!
Tragedy that is Comedy and Comedy that is Tragedy!
O thou who aspirest not, for that thou hast already attained!
O thou who continually aspirest for that the universal energy is ever flowing!
O thou who risest and settest!
O thou who yieldeth and yet yieldeth not!
Hear thou me where I stand!
Hear thou me where I cry out!
Hear thou me in waking and in dream!
Hear thou me both here and now!
O Bornless one, may I be Bornless by thy grace!
O mighty & powerful, may I be mighty & powerful by thy favour!
O pinnacled & All-visioning- One, grant me penetration of insight!
O small and inactive One, may thy Tao grant me the way of inaction!
O thou secret & hidden who ever revealest!
O thou proclaimer of Life and Liberty!
O thou very God of very God!
O thou whose heart speakest truth!
I adore thee and I invoke thee!
By the Sun & the Moon I invoke thee!
By the seven planetary forces I invoke thee!
By the Alpha and the Omega I invoke thee!
By the twelve sidereal signs I invoke thee!
Hear me now and be thou present!
Attend me now and attend me always!
Be thou all the colours in my tapestry!
Be thou all the blood in my veins!
Be thou all the cells in my body!
Be thou all the energy in my Body of Light!
By the seven chakras I invoke thee!
By the fourfold and the fivefold and the sixfold I invoke thee!
In the name of all holy intelligences!
By the secret name whose identity is concealed within!
Thee, thee, thee I invoke!
Come forth & take your seat in the sanctuary of my soul!
Granter of wisdom, bestower of peace!
Giver of visions, seer of the essence!
Come thou forth & fill me with your beneficence!
From the abodes of the angels!
From the habitations of the demons!
Come thou forth & inspire me, guiding me in all my ways!
Thou art the One and thou art the All!
By thy power I am One and All!

Banish (LBR).

NOTES ON THE MAGICAL SYMBOLISM
OF THE HARE & THE RABBIT


Fr LVX/NOX
© 2001 e.v

Latin word for rabbit is ‘cunniculus’ (which also means ‘underground passage’ or ‘mine’). Latin word for hare is ‘lepus’.

In the Western Zodiac the rabbit is not represented, but it is in the Chinese. There seems to be no traditional Qabalistic attribution for this animal and it is not mentioned in Crowley’s 777.

There seems to be no mention of the rabbit or hare in Aboriginal mythology (hardly surprising as it is not an animal native to Australia).

Check TH White’s BOOK OF BEASTS for medieval symbolism.

Many cultures around the world, including Tibet, China, Africa, Ceylon and some Native Americans, said that a hare lived on the Moon along with the ruling Moon deity. The hare is therefore especially associated with lunar goddesses. There is a hare companion to the moon goddess in the ancient Mayan culture.

Re: an Egyptian connection see The PERT EM HRU (or THE BOOK OF THE DEAD) specifically Vignette Seven of Chapter CXLVII, in that part of the Book of the Dead known as “The Book of the Gates”.

According to Budge, the lords of the Tuat, or other world, were grouped together in that region in sections called “Arits” (Mansions or Halls), which were seven in number. The door, or gate, or entrance of each was guarded by a Watcher, and a Herald, and a Porter. The first of these reported the coming of a soul, the second repeated its name to Osiris (lord of the Underworld or Tuat), and the third admitted it if ordered to do so.

In Vignette Seven of The Book of the Gates, the first god has the head of a hare, the second the head of a lion, and the third the head of a man. The first and second each hold a knife, and the third a whisk.

The hare-headed one, whose name is “Sekhem-metenusem”, is the Porter or Doorkeeper to the Seventh Arit. His name means “one who prevails over knives”. There may also be a connection to the city of Sekhem (the Greek Letopolis) , one of the most important religious centres in Ancient Egypt where Osiris was worshipped. Sekhem in Egyptian also means ‘Inner mastery’.

The seventh vignette is depicted in Plate XI of the Book of the Dead. (See James Wasserman’s edition of Raymond Faulkner’s translation: THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD/The Papyrus of Ani) San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1994.

Additionally, Schwaller de Lubicz suggests that the ears of the hare have the same symbolism as the ears of the donkey, in the old Hermetic sense.

Also, the hare was the emblem of the fifteenth nome (district) of Upper Egypt. (A picture of this hare emblem is in THE TEMPLE OF MAN p. 284).

Also, the Egyptian word “un” or “wn” meaning “to be, to exist” was written with a hare hieroglyph. (See examples in Budge, HEIROGLYPHIC VOCABULARY TO THE BOOK OF THE DEAD, pp. 105-06).