Two fruits of the Holy Days
Hoping these thoughts might intrigue somebody. They are two reflective or interpretative pieces on different important parts of Thelema I worked on during the last three days - the meaning of "The Comment" and an interpretation of the image of the Stele of Revealing as an XI° formula.
A comment on The Comment
The four injunctions of "The Comment in Class A" or "Tunis Comment" can be seen as magical and moral tests, and as interpretative keys to some passages of the Book of the Law. That is, each is one of the Powers of the Sphinx or Magical Virtues, each an element, and each also explains one of the "Ordeals" of AL III: 64-67, as well as to the "grades" of "thelemites" in I:40, followed by the summary command of the Law.
1. Each of the four admonitions or injunctions corresponds to one of the four Powers of the Sphinx - "To Know" (Scire), "To Will" (Velle), "To Dare" (Audere), and "To Stay Silent" (Tacere).
The first admonition, "The study of this book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading", corresponds to Scire, to know. Those who know their Wills will be in agreement with the essential moral message of the book, and have no further need to read it. Those who either do not know, or know but are curious and courageous anyway, will disobey the admonition and dare to walk in a dangerous place.
Thus the second admonition, "Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril. These are most dire", corresponds to "Audere", to dare. It is daring to read it a second time, and thereupon to study it.
The third admonition concerns the Power of Silence, Tacere: "Those who discuss the contents of this book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence." Thus they do not discuss it, but remain in silent contemplation, or do they do not mind being shunned by all, and become like Hermits.
The final injunction therefore corresponds to Velle, to Will: "All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself." Thus this final sentence of The Comment presumes that the reader has dared to know, to have questions, to have respected silence in regards to others' interpretations, and finishes with an appeal to the primacy of the individual Will.
2. Each Power corresponds to one of the four elements:
Scire - Air - Fool
Audere - Water - Hanged Man
Tacere - Earth - Hermit (Virgo)
Velle - Fire - New Aeon ("Do What Thou Wilt")
(cfr. Liber D, s.v. 741 "(Sum of) 1-38; AMThSh, the letters of the elements, hence a concealed YHVH")
3. The Ordeals of reading AL III:64-67 can be read in the light of The Comment.
First Ordeal - Silver - To Know
Second Ordeal - Gold - To Dare
Third Ordeal - Stones of precious water - To Stay Silent
Fourth Ordeal - Ultimate sparks of the intimate fire - To Will
To Know the Book makes it the reflection of Silver (the Moon); to Dare to study the Book makes it the achievement of Gold (the Sun). To Keep Silence about the Book makes it the alchemical transmutation of Stones of Precious Water (the Secret). To Will the Book makes it the highest Initiation, Ultimate Sparks of the Intimate Fire (the Highest in the Lowest).
4. The Three Grades of Thelemites, with the final Power of the Sphinx.
Man of Earth
Man of Earth
S("Ites" - "Going" or "Let us go!". Cfr. "Come unto me is a foolish word, for it is I that go")
Thus the Man of Earth subsumes the other grades (by the letter "e"="earth" between all of them), and prepares for the final step, "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law", which is synonymous with the Fifth Power of the Sphinx, and the Fourth Ordeal of III:67. Note that the final sentence of the verse I:40 is not a grade, but an explanation of the word Thelema, which in itself has three grades, but is summed up in the last "word" of eleven words.
The word Thelema as three grades and "Do What Thou Wilt…" thus corresponds to the last Ordeal, "To Will", in which the Book will be seen as "ultimate sparks of the intimate fire."
That intimate fire is the Great Work, and the ultimate sparks are the creations flung out of the furnace of its activity.
Love is the Law, Love under Will
An interpretation of the Stele of Revealing as the YH(Sh)VH formula
The four actors in the image represent a particular form of the YHVH formula where the final Heh is bisexual:
Hadit - Yod
Nuit - Heh
Ankh-af-na-Khonsu - Vau
Ra-Hoor-Khuit - Heh
Ra-Hoor-Khuit is in the receptive role in this image; he is seated and accepts the offering of the standing and active Ankh-af-na-Khonsu. Crowley's remarks in Chapter 5 of Book 4 part 3 (on the formula of IAO) are pertinent: while the formula of the Aeon of Isis is female and that of Osiris male, the Aeon of Horus is "Two sexes in one person." Further on this formula is given in Liber Aleph Chapter 175, "On the Eye of Hoor." Lastly, when he versified the text, Crowley has Ankh-af-na-Khonsu say "I have made a *secret door* into the house of Ra and Tum, of Khephra and of Ahathoor." The secret door in this context is the Eye, the Anus, the entry to the nether regions.
The offering table then represents the Sh, Spirit, Sun or Purpose in the completed formula YHShVH - the Spirit descending and consuming the offerings on the altar. The four offerings are Bread, Beer, Cattle and Fowl.
Beer - Water
Cattle - Earth
Fowl - Air
Bread - Fire (because baked)
The offerings are for each of the four gods of the house - Ra, Tum, Khephra, Ahathoor.
These two sets of four represent completion in time (the gods of the stations of the day) and space (the things of which creation is composed).
These offerings are numbered 12 on the offering table. Since he is making his gesture towards Ra-Hoor-Khuit in the West, the realm of the dead, the first thing this twelve-fold complete offering represents is the 12 hours of the Sun's journey through the underworld (only exactly so on an equinox). But since the house of Ra and Tum, Khephra and Ahathoor is the whole course of the sun, it also represents the 12 hours of daylight, the world of the living, of "coming forth by day" - the higher aim of the rite being depicted.
Thus interpreted by the YH(Sh)VH formula, and including the incantations on both sides, the Stele represents a ritual of initiation into death and rebirth by the worship of Ra-Hoor-Khuit.