Home Forums Thelema Magick Crowley’ motto O.M.

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    Michael Staley

    O.M. was I think Crowley Adeptus Exemptus motto. Can anyone tell me what the motto is in full, and the language?



    According to Kaczynski’s Perdurabo (p. 162), O.M. is “OY MH”; i think it is Greek, as the “Y” is actually an upsilon, according to the index. As to the translation, i can be of no help there.



    According to Eshelmans A.’.A.’. book Crowley’s 7=4 motto O.M. translates as ‘The Not’, but the translation he gives doesn’t match up when translating on google translate into Greek.



    From wiktionary:

    οὐ is the indicative negator (i.e. of facts, statements), where μή (mḗ) is the subjunctive negator (i.e. of will, thought). It usually immediately precedes the word (most often a verb) which it negates. Negative concord (also known as double negatives) is frequent in Ancient Greek.

    NB οὐ is the lower case of OY, and μή of MH.

    We seem to be tying ourselves in Nots.


    Michael Staley

    Many thanks to all who replied to this. As Greek the motto enumerates as 518, and in the expanded version of Crowley’s dictionary of Greek gematria the motto is listed there as “Not” The two constituent words (enumerated as 470 and 48 respectively) are each listed as “Not”, which of course accords with Bedazzled’s post.

    At present I’m in the final stages of footnoting the Achad-Yorke correspondence of 1948/1949 for publication in a few months from now, so I’ll no doubt be posting more such queries over the next few weeks.


    Serpent 252

    Michael, if it is of any help to you, the motto (all letters in lower cases) appears in Liber DCCCXIII vel Ararita, Chapter V, verse 1.


    Michael Staley

    Many thanks, Serpent 252.



    So is the translation

    a) “Not”, as suggested by Eshelman as cited by AbulDiz, and AC’s dictionary as cited by Michael,

    or else

    b) “Not Not”, ie something like “I am”, as suggested by Bedazzled’s translation, and the fact that AC’s dictionary defines each word separately as meaning “Not”?

    I suppose the 0=2 formula resolves this apparent paradox.


    Michael Staley


    In Crowley’s Greek gematria dictionary, the two constituent words are each translated as ‘not’, and the phrase formed by both together are also translated as ‘not’. As indicated by Bedazzled, the constituent words are each particular forms of ‘not’, or have different contexts.

    A bit reminiscent of Shen Hui’s ‘Double Negative’? Probably not, but here it is anyway:



    Serpent 252

    Michael & ignant666, I’ve found this in the AC’s The New Comment on the AL I.53:

    ” (…) The last words “ever To me! To me!” have a double sense. My motto at that time was OY MH – “No! certainly not,” the “Not That! Not That!” of certain very exalted Hindu mystics. Our Lady of the Stars not only calls me to Her, but bestows upon me as a name ‘To me’ – To MH – “The Not”, the Attainment of that Aspiration expressed in my motto. And To MH adds to 418! (…)”

    (I’ve been sure I’ve seen this in The Law is for All, but these few sentences have been omitted by Regardie, at least in my copy, published by New Falcon Publications, in 1991. They are included in the online version on Hermetic, here.)


    Michael Staley

    Thank you again, Serpent 252, for pointing that out. I’ve checked, and the passage appears in the Grant/Symonds edition (Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on The Book of the Law, 93 Publishing, Montréal, 1974), p.161.

    There’s a very interesting point in this passage about Crowley expressing the phrase ‘To me’ in Greek letters to arrive at 418. In later life, in the course of his 1936 correspondence with Achad, he took Achad to task for what he considered his eccentricities of gematria:

    “One thing I will say: that I do not expect anything to come of qabalistic speculations. I think that they may even be extremely mischievous at times like the present. Our sole business should be to use the Law to reconstruct the world from the chaos into which it is already half tumbled. The work requires the cooperation of tens of thousands of people who have never heard of the Qabalah, and they have to be addressed in language which they can understand.”



    So you’ve found some word that set you back on your heels.
    Neti-neti. Neti-neti.

    (Sung to the tune of the oldie, “Goody, goody.)”


    Serpent 252

    Michael, thank you from the quote from the AC-Achad correspondence. AC’s musings have made me brooding and a bit pensive, as the actress said to the bishop.

    I’ve found, over the course of years of work, gematria useful, but it’s always been my own gematria (i.e., Qabala) which has been most useful for me. One can call it “private Qabala.”

    “Our sole business should be to use the Law to reconstruct the world (…) The work requires the cooperation of tens of thousands of people (…)”

    Yes, of course. Cakewalk.



    We also know how AC pronounced it, from his 1906 diary where he writes “Jones says ου’ με is 8 °= 3▫; I say Mollie Lee rhymes with both.” (December 10; I don’t know if the epsilon is correct, I haven’t seen the original, only transcripts).

    The phrase is well-known in both classical and Hellenistic/Koine Greek, e.g. Plato, Apology 29d –

    οὐ μὴ παύσωμαι φιλοσοφῶν – “no, I am certainly not going to give up being a philosopher”
    More fully –
    έωσπερ άν έμπνέω καὶ οίός τε ιό, οὐ μὴ παύσωμαι φιλοσοφῶν “As long as I’m alive and fit, I just won’t quit philosophizing.” (Socrates speaking)

    From Anne Groton,

    From Alpha to Omega: A Beginning Course in Classical Greek

    lesson 50, pp. 371-2.

    • This reply was modified 12 months ago by  belmurru.


    Thanks to belmurru, and others, all is now clear to me as to the meaning: Not a “not not”, but rather “not”.

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