Saying Will

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Saying Will is a short ritual practiced by many Thelemites before meals, serving a similar purpose as saying Grace does for many Christians. Its earliest appearance in print is in Aleister Crowley's novel Moonchild.

The ritual of Saying Will is intended to maintain the focus of those who practice it on The Great Work by reminding them that even so mundane an act as eating a meal is an essential part of that Work. In this reminding function, it is similar to the four daily solar adorations of Liber Resh.

Expanding on the practice of Saying Will in Book 4 (Ch. XIII, footnote), Crowley writes:

One may also add the inquiry "What is the Great Work?" and answer appropriately, when it seems useful to specify the nature of the Operation in progress at the time. The point is to seize every occasion of bringing every available force to bear upon the objective of the assault. It does not matter what the force is (by any standard of judgment) so long as it plays its proper part in securing the success of the general purpose.

On a more esoteric level, comparison may be made to a tenet of the Creed of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica: "And forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the miracle of the Mass."

There are several variant forms of this ritual. In the simplest and most common, the leader begins, the participants call out the questions, and the leader provides the answers and closes. This form is suitable for use even when the participants are unfamiliar with the ritual. The type of knock used and wording may be varied according to local custom or particular purposes.

The Common Form

Leader: (knocks 3-5-3) Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
All: What is thy will?
Leader: It is my will to eat and to drink.
All: To what end?
Leader: That I may fortify my body thereby.
All: To what end?
Leader: That I may accomplish the Great Work.
All: Love is the law, love under will.
Leader: (knocks once) Fall to!

An Alternate Method

When all present are familiar with the ritual, it is possible to have the leader ask the questions and the participants give the answers:

Leader: (knocks 3-5-3)
All: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Leader: What is thy will?
All: It is my will to eat and to drink.
Leader: To what end?
All: That I may fortify my body thereby.
Leader: To what end?
All: That I may accomplish the Great Work.
All: Love is the law, love under will.
Leader: (knocks once) Fall to!

References

  • Crowley, Aleister. Liber XV, The Gnostic Mass. Retrieved Oct. 17, 2004.
  • Crowley, Aleister. Magick: Book 4, second edition. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1997.

Document Source

  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.