Writer: Notes from the Editor of Magick (Book Four – Liber Aba) by Aleister Crowley
Subject: Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law
Link: Tumblr / 18.02.2023
Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law
This edition brings all four parts of Book 4 into one volume, as Aleister Crowley intended the work to be read as a whole. Each part complements the others in important ways. As might be expected of Crowley’s major life work, Book 4 is sweeping in scope and complex in parts; it exceeds the entire first volume of The Equinox in the sheer amount of information presented. The 1994 E.V. first one-volume edition was flawed by readability problems resulting from an attempt to fit the book to a physical format that was too small for its requirements. Crowley loved long discursive foot notes; a few are the length of short essays. These dictated certain typographic parameters that proved impractical in the smaller page size of the 1994 E.v. edition; the present edition has a larger page format to aid readability. The earlier edition was also marred by numerous typographical errors, although few passages had errors that affected comprehension. As against these problems, it restored dozens of lines of text inadvertently dropped in Crowley’s first editions.
Besides preserving and in some instances restoring the integrity of the text, the principal concern with this edition has been to provide a reliable, readable edition, with an editorial apparatus that simplifies the use of such a large and complex work.
This new edition differs from the 1994 E.V. edition in more than size and accuracy. The O.T.O. was able to purchase (at what is probably a record price for a Crowley manuscript) Crowley’s hand-corrected and an notated typescript for Part Ill, Magick in Theory and Practice (cited as TS2). We have also been able to use Crowley’s corrected and annotated typescript for Part IV for the first time. These sources have yielded still more material inadvertently dropped from Crowley’s first editions; these latest additions are corrected silently in the text as cited in unnumbered endnotes.
The previous edition was prepared using an early original manuscript and two uncorrected typescripts for Part III, but only published editions and scanty marginalia for Parts I, II and IV, little of which was handled by Crowley. Such secondary source material suggested a cautious editorial approach. The 1994 E.v. edition is therefore a transitional text between Crowley’s first editions and the present edition. Variant readings and restored lacunre from manuscript and typescript were indicated in the previous edition by a system of sigla, ortextual markers. This system of markers has generally been dropped in this new edition, and readings confirmed in Crowley’s type scripts have been incorporated silently, including details not noted in the previous edition. Punctuation and capitalization have been greatly improved, and to some ex tent standardized, throughout the four parts. Important variant readings are noted in the end notes in unnumbered notes keyed to the page number to which they refer. ~ [Editor] Hymenaeus Beta.
So why are unpublished notes and materials from Crowley for Magick Book IV so interesting
It appears that these unpublished materials have allowed the editor, aka William Breeze, to bring into clarity the original source of Crowley’s quote: “Our work is therefore historically authentic, the rediscovery of the Sumerian Tradition.“ ~1977 Simon Necronomicon which was published in 1977 in the Simon Necronomicon and also previously in 1972 in Kenneth Grant’s Magical Revival.
The Star of Horus is also the Star of Babalon – the seven-rayed star of the planet Saturn (or Set) which rules Aquarius, the eleventh house of the Zodiac. Aquarius is the constellation through which the influence of Horus (the Sun) reaches man during the present Aeon. Saturn, therefore, is the power behind Venus, as Sirius is the power behind the Sun. These two great Stars (Set and Horus) are therefore symbolically identical, and in this way also is Venus transcended in Sirius, in a celestial sense.
Crowley unequivocally identifies his Holy Guardian Angel with Sothis (Sirius), or Set Isis:
“Aiwaz is not a mere formula, like many Angelic names, but it is the true, most ancient name of the God of the Yezidi, and thus returns to the highest antiquity. Our work is therefore historically authentic; the rediscovery of the Sumerian tradition. I have italicized the last dozen words because they form the crux of Crowley’s system, without which it is both incomprehensible and unfathomable; incomprehensible in its magical significance for the present magical revival, and unfathomable without the key supplied by the Sumerian tradition which involved the worship of Shaitan, the astronomical vehicle of which was Sirius.”
Crowley, speaking for The Beast 666, declares that:
“Aiwaz solar-phallic -hermetic Lucifer – is His (i.e. the Beast’s) own Holy Guardian Angel, and The Devil, Satan, or Hadit, of our particular unit of the Starry Universe. This serpent, Satan, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade Know Thyself and taught Initiation. He is The Devil of the Book of Thoth, and his emblem is Baphomet, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection. The number of his Atu (Key) is XV, which is Yod He,3 the Monogram of the Eten1al, the Father one which the Mother, the Virgin Seed one with all-containing Space. He is therefore Life, and Love. But moreover his letter is Ayin, the Eye; he is Light, and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty.” ~ 1972 in Kenneth Grant’s Magical Revival.
Khem Caigan (an illustrator of Sigils used in the Simon Necromonicon) points out that Daniel Harms & John Wisdom Gonce, authors of Necronomicon Files: The Truth Behind Lovecraft’s Legend (also published in 1998) asked Peter Levenda aka “Simon” of Necronomicon where the above quote came from.
When we [Harms & Gonce] asked Peter Levenda, who edited the Simon Necronomicon, where the quote came from, he said it was taken from one of Kenneth Grant’s early books. Perhaps there is no greater Living scholar on the subject of Aleister Crowley than Kenneth Grant, who once served as Crowley’s secretary, and, thanks to his working relationship with Crowley literary executor, John Symond, has access to all of Crowley’s written works, both published and unpublished. If the “Sumerian Tradition” quote came from Grant, it could easily be from one of Crowley’s unpublished letters or magickal diaries, which only further underscores its insignificance.
Presumably, we are to believe that the Simon Necronomicon represents the ultimate grail of Crowley’s alleged quest, the supposed rediscovery of the Sumerian Tradition.
The introduction itself continuously attempts to link Lovecraft to Crowley on the “common soil” of Sumeria, even though ancient Sumer was a time and place.
‘Simon’ [aka Peter Levenda] was unable to supply a clear citation, but he did tell them that the quote in question could be found in one of Kenneth Grant’s early books.
William Breeze, in his Editor’s Introduction and footnotes of Magick Book Four, [Read Breeze’s Editors Introduction from Magick Book Four Here], via Crowley’s own unpublished words, brings into focus Crowley’s connection of Aiwass (his Holy Guardian Angel) to Sumerian tradition, along with his views on Shaitan, Saturn & Set.
THE FOLLOWING ARE KEY EXCERPTS FROM William Breeze, in his Editor’s Introduction and footnotes of Magick Book Four,
Crowley is alluding to the transition from the Æon of Isis, or paganism, to the Æon of Osiris. But did the Æon of Horus call for a restoration of the original tradition, or a new formula? At Cefalu he identified Saturn with Set, Shaitan, or Satan, as epitomized in Atu XV of the Tarot, the trump entitled “The Devil”:
This “Devil” is called Satan or Shaitan, and regarded with horror by people who are ignorantof his formula, and, imagining themselvesto be evil, accuse Nature herself of their own phantasmal crime. Satan is Saturn, Set, Abrasax, Adad, Adonis, Artis, Adam, Adonai, etc. The most serious charge against him is only that he isthe Sun in theSouth.
Later in Part III he stresses that “the Devil does not exist,” terming it “a false name invented by the Black Brothers to imply a Unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions.” But when discussing Saturn years later in The Book of Thoth, Crowley again refers to a lost tradition, and again distinguishes Set from Saturn:
It was only the corruption of the Tradition, the confusion with Set, and the Cult of the Dying God, misunderstood, deformed and distorted by the Black Lodge, that turned him into a senile and fiendish symbol
But later inthe same work, in his discussion of Atu XV, he states that:
Saturn, the ruler of the sign Capricornus, is Set the ass-headed god of the Egyptian deserts; he is the god of the south.The name refers co all gods containing these consonants, such as Shaitan, or Satan:·
He thus kept the resolve expressed in Book 4 to “let names stand as they are”:
“We have therefore no scruple in restoring the “ devil-worship” of such ideas as those which the laws of sound, andthe phenomena of speech and hearing, compel us to connect with the group of “Gods”whose names are based uponShT,or D, vocalized by the free breath A. For these Names imply the qualities of courage, frankness, energy, pride, power and triumph;they are the words which express the creative and paternal will.”
The basis for Crowley’s identification of Aiwass with Sumer is not apparent from the text of Book4, but is discussed elsewhere:
LXXVlil. The number of Aiwass, the Intelligence who communicated this Book. Having only hearing to guide me, I spelt it ON1’ N, LXXVill, refe rring it to Mezla, the Influence from Kether, which adds to the same number. But in An. XIV  there came unto me mysteriously a Brother, ignorant of all this Work, who gave me the spelling which is XCIII, 93, the number of Thelema and Agape, which concentrates the Book itself in a symbol. Thus the Author secretly identified him self with his message.
Aiwaz is not (as I had supposed ) a mere formula, like many angelic names, but is the true most ancient name of the God of the Yezidis, and thus returns to the highest Antiquity. Our work is therefore historically authentic, the rediscovery of the Sumerian Tradition. (Sumer is in Lower Mesopotamia, the earliest home of our race.)
Another Brother informs me that Aiwaz means “servitor” or “messenger,”especially a “cup-bearer”; and this is in strict accordance with His function of logos:
When discussing Saturn in reference to the ZoSo Sigil or discussing Jimmy Pages display of Saturn on his commissioned stage/perfromance outfits, or how SET/Shaitan the availability of Crowley insights via the 1997 “Magick” begin to place these symbols into the context of Crowley.
Was this unpublished Crowley content mentioned by Breeze acquired by Jimmy Page and then provided to O.T.O.? Did Jimmy Page have access to this content in the late 60′s early 70′s? Did this unpublished content of Crowley’s regarding Sumer’s role in his Holy Guardian Angel have any mystical or Talismanic magical influence on Jimmy Page?
One thing is for certain, Kenneth Grant had access to Crowley’s Sumerian association of Aiwass.
Typhon is “The feminine aspect of Set; sometimes typified as the Mother of Set in her role of Goddess of the Seven Stars, of which Set is the Eighth.” ~ Kenneth Grant
Is the Pre-Dragon Telecaster really a nod to Syd Barrett or SET / Typhoon?
“Typhon was the god in Greek mythology who when appearing before the other gods was so ugly he changed into a fire-eating monster; he waged a terrible war and was eventually killed by one of Zeus’ thunderbolts. Thus, Typhonian is synonymous with fire and force, also means the Opposer. Typhon’s Egyptian counterpart is Set or Seth.”
Do you see Thunderbolts, a Red Dragon who is also a Serpent and swirling winds of fire on Jimmy Page’s Dragon Telecaster?
Jimmy Page’s interests are rarely associated to works of Kenneth Grant.
Most of Page’s responses to questions regarding his interests in the Occult have often been in response to questions regarding Aleister Crowley. It’s hard to believe Page didn’t at least know who Kenneth Grant was or read John Symonds work on Crowley edited by Kenneth Grant. Also considering the claim by Phil Hine that Page owns the worlds largest collection of Austin Osman Spare artwork, the possible link between Zos & ZoSo, Page’s Sigil, Page’s claim that “The Great Beast” was the first book about Crowley he had ever read, Chris Welsh’s observation of copies of Man, Myth and Magic laying around Page’s Pangbourne boathouse in his February 1970 interview..
Welch: “We continued a tour of the low-ceilinged rooms with sloping floors and muddied piles of valuable paintings, records, model trains, and books. Copies of Man, Myth, and Magic [Note; Kenneth Grant was a contributing editor] lay around and a huge volume of the works of mystic Aleister Crowley. In one room was a Mutoscope, a hand-cranked seaside peepshow featuring “a gentleman’s downfall”, involving a lissome lass wearing not unsexy 1926 underwear and a healthy smile. Parts of the house were freezing cold where central heating had not yet been deployed to combat the creeping river air. But all held the warmth of personality – and a welcome return to traditional English eccentricity.“ 1970 February, 14 Melody Maker [Chris Welch] “Jimmy Page: Paganini of the Seventies,” (February 14, 21, 28, 1970), pp. 17–18; 12; 10.
Page’s access to unpublished notes of Crowley’s Magick Book Four as it pertains to Sumer, may have come from Kenneth Grant. Page’s fascination with Pre-Raphaelite artwork is well known, but Page’s interest in the Sorcery & use of Sigil Magick by Austin Osman Spare is lesser known or discussed by Page.
“Formula of Zos vel Thanatos” Austin Osman Spare made this magical stele for Kenneth and Steffi Grant NU-ISIS Lodge in 1954. The design incorporates portraits of the artist, Kenneth Grant and Steffi Grant represented as the goddess Isis. The stele also features the ANZU bird who stole the Tablet of Destinies, but prior to 1954 was thought to be TIAMAT.
Another Stele incorporating a Sumarian eagle-headed winged protective spirit ‘Djinn’ known as an “Apkallu” spirit in the center top.
Jimmy Page’s Guitars where decorated in 1966 with mirror circles possibly referring to SET / Typhon and again in 1967 potentially referring to an entire pantheon of Typhonian mystical references originating in Sumeria.
But could this access to Grant’s knowledge of Sumer have influenced Page in 1966 & 1967, years before Grant published any of this content for the first time?
Does the solace you’ve achieved in any way spring from your reading Aleister Crowley? I read Crowley’s technical works. I read those a number of years back and still refer to them from time to time just because of his system. I read Magic In Theory And Practicewhen I was about 11 but it wasn’t for some years till I understood what it was about. Most of his stuff was unobtainable and by the time I was able to get hold of it I was able to understand more. The more I was able to obtain of his own, as opposed to what other people wrote about him, I realized he had a lot to say.
1976, October 12th – Zeus Of Zeppelin: An Interview with Jimmy Page Mick Houghton Circus Magazine
Is Jimmy Page referring to “the more he was able to obtain of his own” as in Crowley’s unpublished material, also be what he may have provided to the O.T.O.? Could he also be referring to Crowley’s insights on Aiwass as depriving from the Sumerian Tradition? Was this Crowley’s unpublished what influenced the painting of the Dragon Telecaster? Is the Dragon, The Sumerian Tiamat? Are Draco, Typhoon, The Great Bear, The Bid Dipper, Set and The Stairway to Heaven all one in the same? Has the tune come to us at last? More on this to come … Stay Tuned.
William Breeze (born August 12, 1955) is an American author and publisher on magick and philosophy. He is the current international leader of Ordo Templi Orientis. Under the name Hymenaeus Beta he is a leading editor of the occult works of English author Aleister Crowley, the founder of the philosophy and religion of Thelema.
Since 21 September 1985, Breeze served as the Head of Ordo Templi Orientis.
Following the death of Grady McMurtry who was heading the Order at the time, Breeze was elected as Frater Superior of Ordo Templi Orientis in a special election by all the active IX° members of OTO. He assumed the name Hymenaeus Beta, and later in that capacity became widely acknowledged as an expert on the life and works of Aleister Crowley.
Breeze devoted much of his time working in the preservation of the Order’s heritage materials relating to Boleskine House (manor house in the Scottish Highlands previously owned by Aleister Crowley, who bought it for the purpose of performing a magical working based on The Book of Abramelin) and OTO’s archival materials in England. Devoting much of his time in administering the Order, Breeze also devoted a lot of time to development of the corpus of Thelemic literature and preservation of OTO’s archival heritage.