LAShTAL – More Notes Towards a Definition

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For as long as LAShTAL.COM has existed, I’ve received emails and calls asking what the term LAShTAL “means”…

In the past, I’ve always suggested that it is a Hebrew composite, meaning, in effect, “to plant without expectation of a harvest” – or, “pure will, unassuaged of purpose”.

Which strikes me as a decent summary, in some ways, of Thelema…

As usual, though, Bill Heidrick – who must be approaching Thelemic sainthood – comes up with a better form of words…
In a post to t93, Bill discusses Graham Bond’s “LAShTAL chant”.

The first lines quote someone else:

> When Graham Bond starts into the LaShtal chant…he gives it away that
>he is steeped in Thelemic Magick. Lashtal is a word that only exists in
>the Thelemic Tradition of Alister Crowley.

No, it’s a spelling variation on a term from regular Jewish religious practice, not even limited to Kabbalah. La-stal is a qualifier for an action that is considered holy in itself, not done for merit or ulterior purpose. In other words: “For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.” — AL I,44. I don’t know why Crowley used this particular spelling, but I conjecture that he either tried to reproduce the word phonetically or wanted to design a variant with letters arranged in a symbolic pattern. Although the spelling is decidedly different from Jewish usage, the sound is close enough and the meaning is obviously the same. Crowley attributes LASTAL to zero on the Key Scale of Liber 777 Revised. It is also characterized as the formula of the Abyss, as indeed it is — to pass the Abyss, one must be as a babe, without attachment, taking every impression as a direct communication of the divine with the soul. Choronzon is the opposite in Crowley’s usage, the tendency to attach mundane or personal meaning to such impressions.

And there are several correspondents that I tolerate here for whom the final sentence is uncannily apposite. You know who you are…

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