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15

ΚΕΦΑΛΗ     ΙΕ
THE GUN-BARREL

Mighty and erect is this Will of mine, this Pyramid
    of fire whose summit is lost in Heaven. Upon it
    have I burned the corpse of my desires.
Mighty and erect is this Φαλλοσ of my Will. The
    seed thereof is That which I have borne within me
    from Eternity; and it is lost within the Body of
    Our Lady of the Stars.
I am not I; I am but an hollow tube to bring down
    Fire from Heaven.
Mighty and marvelous is this Weakness, this
    Heaven which draweth me into Her Womb, this
    Dome which hideth, which absorbeth, Me.
This is The Night wherein I am lost, the Love
    through which I am no longer I.


COMMENTARY ({ΙΕ})

          The card 15 in the Tarot is "The Devil", the medieval blind for Pan.
          The title of the chapter refers to the Phallus, which is here identified with the will. The Greek word Πυραμισ has the same number as Φαλλοσ.
          This chapter is quite clear1, but one may remark in the last paragraph a reference to the nature of Samadhi.
          As man loses his personality in physical love, so does the magician annihilate his divine personality in that which is beyond.2
          The formula of Samadhi is the same, from the lowest to the highest. The Rosy-Cross is the Universal Key. But, as one proceeds, the Cross becomes greater, until it is the Ace, the Rose, until it is the Word.


XCthulhu's Notes

          (1) And for those who do not see this chapter clearly, Aleister Crowley is remarking on his penis, and it's performance during sexual intercourse. No one ever said that he wasn't a dirty, dirty man. This Chapter is arguably as nasty as Chapter 69, except that I think he may have used more euphemisms in this one.
          (2) Don't mistake this as mysticism, not bullshit. You can give a similar argument for The Song of Solomon, but that doesn't hide the fact that both are in fact pornography, cleverly disguised as a spiritual text.

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Original text by Aleister Crowley
Commentary by Karl Germer
I need your help! This stuff is very cryptic, feel free to provide your own commentary.

With all due respect XCthulhu, I couldn't disagree more.

This particular chapter should be read with The Book of Lies: Chapter 27, The Sorcerer, because the two so well contrast each other.

"Mighty and erect is this Will of mine, this Pyramid
of fire whose summit is lost in Heaven. Upon it
have I burned the corpse of my desires."

The Pyramid in this part of the verse refers to the Will, Thelema, which is also identified with Hadit and the Lingam or active masculine force. It is certainly an allusion to sexual intercourse. "-whose summit is lost in Heaven," is a reference to intercourse with Nuit, who is the goddess of the sky, Agape the divine love, and the Yoni or passive feminine force. By acting out Hadit's deepest desire in joining with Nuit the magician destroys his own desires.

"Mighty and erect is this Öáëëïó of my Will. The
seed thereof is That which I have borne within me
from Eternity; and it is lost within the Body of
Our Lady of the Stars."

"-The seed thereof is That which I have borne within me from Eternity," the seed spoken of here is the guidance of The Holy Guardian Angel which is acted out upon the world through the mighty, erect Will. Being "lost within the Body of Our Lady of the Stars" is another reference to losing oneself through the joining of Love and Will.

"I am not I; I am but an hollow tube to bring down
Fire from Heaven.
Mighty and marvelous is this Weakness, this
Heaven which draweth me into Her Womb, this
Dome which hideth, which absorbeth, Me.
This is The Night wherein I am lost, the Love
through which I am no longer I."

"I am but a hollow tube," references how all of us, as both bodies and people, are simply vessels of our greater Wills, our Holy Guardian Angels. The two references to "I not being I" is the most important part of this chapter. It is in the ritual or spontaneous union with that which we are not that brings us closest to the final marriage.

Two very important though rarely well-explained characters are Hadit and Nuit, Hadit is all that we are and Nuit is all that we are not. Hermetics, indeed as all religions are, is a system of metaphor and code through which we seek union with others, ideas, ourselves and the world. Hadit is the journeyman who undertakes a fantastic quest but must return to his home where he and his beautiful wife, Nuit will annihilate eachother through union. In this chapter Hadit is "the Pyramid" and Nuit is the "Lady of the Stars." Note, also, how Hadit is described simply as a Pyramid while Nuit has many names reflecting the single-pointedness of the Lingam and the infinitely broad spectrum which is enveloped by the Yoni.

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