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The Book of Lies (full title: Which is also Falsely Called BREAKS. The Wanderings or Falsifications of the One Thought of Frater Perdurabo, which Thought is itself Untrue. Liber CCCXXXIII [Book 333]) was written by English occultist and teacher Aleister Crowley (using the pen name of Frater Perdurabo) and first published in 1912 or 1913 (see explanation below). As Crowley describes it: "This book deals with many matters on all planes of the very highest importance. It is an official publication for Babes of the Abyss, but is recommended even to beginners as highly suggestive."
Aleister Crowley was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life.
In Thelemic mysticism, the Abyss is the great gulf or void between the phenomenal world of manifestation and its noumenal source.
The book consists of 91 chapters,each of which consists of one page of text. The chapters include a question mark, poems, rituals, instructions, and obscure allusions and cryptograms. The subject of each chapter is generally determined by its number and its corresponding Qabalistic meaning. Around 1921, Crowley wrote a short commentary about each chapter, assisting the reader in the Qabalistic interpretation.
Hermetic Qabalah is a Western esoteric tradition involving mysticism and the occult. It is the underlying philosophy and framework for magical societies such as the Golden Dawn, Thelemic orders, mystical-religious societies such as the Builders of the Adytum and the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, and is a precursor to the Neopagan, Wiccan and New Age movements.The Hermetic Qabalah is the basis for Qliphothic Qabala as studied by left hand path orders, such as the Typhonian Order.
Several chapters and a photograph in the book reference Leila Waddell, who Crowley called Laylah, and who, as Crowley's influential Scarlet Woman, acted as his muse during the writing process of this volume.
Leila Ida Nerissa Bathurst Waddell, also known as Laylah, was a violinist, daughter of Irish immigrants to Australia, David Waddell of Bathurst and Randwick. She became a famed Scarlet Woman of Aleister Crowley, and a powerful historical figure in magick and Thelema in her own right. While Creswell states Leila was part-Maori, he provides no evidence of this; in fact NSW birth deaths and marriages records show she was the granddaughter of John Crane (Coventry) and Janet McKenzie and John Waddell (Monaghan) and Elizabeth McAnally (Monaghan).
Babalon is a goddess found in the occult system of Thelema, which was established in 1904 with English author and occultist Aleister Crowley's writing of The Book of the Law, her name being later given in other works. In her most abstract form, she represents the female sexual impulse and the liberated woman. In the creed of the Gnostic Mass she is also identified with Mother Earth, in her most fertile sense. At the same time, Crowley believed that Babalon had an earthly aspect in the form of a spiritual office, which could be filled by actual women—usually as a counterpart to his own identification as "To Mega Therion" —whose duty was then to help manifest the energies of the current Aeon of Horus. He believed in his life the Lady of Babalon was personified as Lady Leah Hirsig, who, after several portraits, was consecrated, taking the name Alostrael.
The title page contains the following quotation from Tennyson:
An explanation of the title on the facing page ends with the sentence, "There is no joke or subtle meaning in the publisher's imprint." [ according to whom? ] an ironic joke-reference to the fact that every word on the frontispiece apart from the name of the publishing-house had been subjected to tortuous qabalistic self-exegesis, yet according to Robert Anton Wilson in his 1977 book Cosmic Trigger I: The Final Secret of the Illuminati :This seems to be
Robert Anton Wilson was an American author, novelist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognized by Discordianism as an Episkopos, Pope, and saint, Wilson helped publicize the group through his writings and interviews.
Cosmic Trigger I: The Final Secret of The Illuminati is the first book in the Cosmic Trigger series, first published in 1977 and the first of a three-volume autobiographical and philosophical work by Robert Anton Wilson. It has a foreword by Timothy Leary, which he wrote in the summer of 1977. The first volume was published without numbering, as the second volume did not appear for nearly 15 years.
This might have been a veiled warning about what will follow, but is actually the first lie in the book; occult historian Francis King has carefully determined the date on the imprint is inaccurate by at least a year.
In his Confessions , Crowley discusses how the book was to lead to his joining Ordo Templi Orientis. He wrote each chapter at lunch or dinner "by the aid of Dionysos," with one chapter that was especially troubling. He eventually was able to get it written after much effort, but he remained dissatisfied and angry with it. Not too long after it had been published, he was visited by Theodor Reuss, then head of the order.
[Reuss] said that since I was acquainted with the supreme secret of the Order, I must be allowed the IX° and obligated in regard to it. I protested that I knew no such secret. He said, "But you have printed it in the plainest language." I said that I could not have done so because I did not know it. He went to the bookshelves and, taking out a copy of The Book of Lies, pointed to a passage in the despised chapter. It instantly flashed upon me. The entire symbolism, not only of freemasonry but of many other traditions, blazed upon my spiritual vision. From that moment the O.T.O. assumed its proper importance in my mind. I understood that I held in my hands the key to the future progress of humanity.
Aleister Crowley sometimes saidthat this could not have happened the way he remembered it, since The Book of Lies had not yet come out when he joined the O.T.O. As previously mentioned, however, Wilson claims that the book lies about its publication date.
Assuming this event did take place, readers have suggested various possible chapters that might contain the secret. Wilson points to Chapter 69, "The Way to Succeed—and the Way to Suck Eggs!" (sucking seed and sucking eggs referring to mutual oral sex), while Crowley's book De Arte Magica names Chapter 36, "The Star Sapphire", a ritual related chapter.
Chapter 44 of the book is a ritual named the Mass of the Phoenix. The ritual has been performed by many practitioners during the years, including Robert Anton Wilson, who describes his experience with it in Cosmic Trigger .
Liber AL vel Legis, commonly known as The Book of the Law, is the central sacred text of Thelema, allegedly written down from dictation mostly by Aleister Crowley, although his wife Rose Edith Crowley is also known to have written two phrases into the manuscript of the Book after its dictation. Crowley claimed it was dictated to him by a discarnate entity named Aiwass. However, the three chapters are largely written in the first person by the Thelemic deities Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit respectively, rather than by Aiwass/Aiwaz.
Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) is an international fraternal and religious organization founded at the beginning of the 20th century by Carl Kellner and Theodor Reuss. English author and occultist Aleister Crowley is the best-known and most influential member of the order.
777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley is a collection of papers written by Aleister Crowley. It was edited and introduced by Dr. Israel Regardie, and is a reference book based on the Hermetic Qabalah.
Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.), or the Gnostic Catholic Church, is a Gnostic church organization. It is the ecclesiastical arm of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), an international fraternal initiatory organization devoted to promulgating the Law of Thelema.
Azoth was considered to be a universal medication or universal solvent, and was sought for in alchemy. Similar to another alchemical idealized substance, alkahest, azoth was the aim, goal and vision of many alchemical works. Its symbol was the Caduceus. The term, while originally a term for an occult formula sought by alchemists much like the philosopher's stone, became a poetic word for the element mercury. The name is Medieval Latin, an alteration of azoc.
The Equinox is a series of publications in book form that serves as the official organ of the A∴A∴, a magical order founded by Aleister Crowley. Begun in 1909, it mainly features articles about occultism and magick, while several issues also contain poetry, fiction, plays, artwork, and biographies. The last issue was published in 1998.
Sex magic is any type of sexual activity used in magical, ritualistic or otherwise religious and spiritual pursuits. One practice of sex magic is using the energy of sexual arousal or orgasm with visualization of a desired result. A premise posited by sex magicians is the concept that sexual energy is a potent force that can be harnessed to transcend one's normally perceived reality.
Abrahadabra is a word that first publicly appeared in The Book of the Law (1904), the central sacred text of Thelema. Its author, Aleister Crowley, described it as "the Word of the Aeon, which signifieth The Great Work accomplished." This is in reference to his belief that the writing of Liber Legis heralded a new Aeon for mankind that was ruled by the god Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Abrahadabra is, therefore, the "magical formula" of this new age. It is not to be confused with the Word of the Law of the Aeon, which is Thelema, meaning "Will".
Cosmic Trigger II: Down to Earth is the second book in the Cosmic Trigger series, a three-volume autobiographical and philosophical work by Robert Anton Wilson.
Charles Stansfeld Jones (1886–1950), aka Frater Achad, was an occultist and ceremonial magician. An early aspirant to A∴A∴ who "claimed" the grade of Magister Templi as a Neophyte. He also became an O.T.O. initiate, serving as the principal organizer for that order in British Columbia, Canada. He worked under a variety of mottos and titles, including V.I.O., O.I.V.V.I.O., V.I.O.O.I.V., Parzival, and Tantalus Leucocephalus, but he is best known under his Neophyte motto "Achad", which he used as a byline in his various published writings.
Magick, Liber ABA, Book 4 is widely considered to be the magnum opus of 20th-century occultist Aleister Crowley, the founder of Thelema. It is a lengthy treatise on Magick, his system of Western occult practice, synthesised from many sources, including Eastern Yoga, Hermeticism, medieval grimoires, contemporary magical theories from writers like Eliphas Levi and Helena Blavatsky, and his own original contributions. It consists of four parts: Mysticism, Magick, Magick in Theory and Practice, and ΘΕΛΗΜΑ—the Law. It also includes numerous appendices presenting many rituals and explicatory papers.
The Book of Thoth: A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians is the title of The Equinox, volume III, number 5, by English author and occultist Aleister Crowley. The book is recorded in the vernal equinox of 1944 and was originally published in an edition limited to 200 numbered and signed copies.
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is a ceremonial magic ritual devised and used by the original order of the Golden Dawn that has become a mainstay in modern occultism. This ritual is considered by many to be a basic preliminary to any other magical work, so much that it was the only ritual, besides initiation rituals, taught to members of the Golden Dawn before they advanced to the Inner Order.
The Blue Equinox, officially known as The Equinox: Volume III, Number I, is a book written by the English occultist Aleister Crowley, the founder of Thelema. First published in 1919, it details the principles and aims of the secret society O.T.O. and its ally the A∴A∴, both of which were under Crowley's control at the time. It includes such topics as The Law of Liberty, The Gnostic Mass, and Crowley's Hymn to Pan.
Therion is a deity found in the mystical system of Thelema, which was established in 1904 with Aleister Crowley's writing of The Book of the Law. Therion's female counterpart is Babalon, another Thelemic deity. Therion, as a Thelemic personage, evolved from that of "The Beast" from the Book of Revelation, whom Crowley identified himself with since childhood, because his mother called him that name. Indeed, throughout his life he occasionally referred to himself as “Master Therion” or sometimes “The Beast 666”. He wrote:
Before I touched my teens, I was already aware that I was THE BEAST whose number is 666. I did not understand in the least what that implied; it was a passionately ecstatic sense of identity.
James Wasserman is an American author and occultist. A member of Ordo Templi Orientis since 1976 and a book designer by trade, he has written extensively on spiritual and political liberty.
Cecil Frederick Russell (1897–1987) was a 20th-century American occultist. Russell was a member of the A∴A∴ and Aleister Crowley's O.T.O. magical order. Russell later founded his own magical order, the G.B.G..