d2u2nINT-1u80l12.5icf37Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
xpTitl1u2 HE HOLY BOOKS OF THELEMA are the chief legacy of their scribe, Aleister Crowley (1875-1947 E.V.). Their principal value to us, his heirs, lies not in their considerable literary merit, but rather in the insight and illumination these books yield on each reading. Written, as they were, on the most exalted planes of spiritual experience, they have a way of unfolding within the reader, of not only retaining, but increasing their relevance. Since these works were written through Crowley, they cannot be classed with those books of magical and mystical instruction consciously written by Crowley. They afford far more than information or instruction they give access to the source of the scribe's genius, and can awaken, as if by sympathetic resonance, promptings toward similar experiences in the receptive reader.
The most important liber (or book) is the founding document of Thelema: Liber AL Vel Legis Sub Figurap CCXX. Originally titled Liber L, it was later retitled Liber AL (also pronounced el ), and is often called Liber Legis, or The Book of the Law. The reception of this book in Cairo, Egypt, signalled the expiration of the aeon of Osiris, and inaugurated the new aeon of Horus; thus 1904 E.V. (Era Vulgaris, or common era) is year 0 of the Thelemic calendar.
The three chapters of Liber Legis were literally dictated to Crowley, during three one-hour sessions, from noon to 1 P.M. on April 8, 9 and 10, 1904 E.V. The entity giving dictation was a << praeter-human intelligence >> called Aiwaz, or Aiwass, a being demonstrating knowledge and prescience beyond anything hitherto associated with human faculties. Crowley describes this messenger, and the circumstances surrounding the dictation of the book, in the following excerpt from his writings:
i2li2rThe Voice of Aiwass came apparently from over my left shoulder, from the furthest corner of the room. The voice was passionately poured, as if Aiwass were alert about the time-limit. I was pushed hard to keep the pace; the MS. shows it clearly enough. I had a strong impression that the speaker was actually in the corner where he seemed to be, in a body of << fine matter,>> transparent as a veil of gauze, or a cloud of incense-smoke. He seemed to be a tall, dark man in his thirties, well-knit, active and strong, with the face of a savage king, and eyes veiled lest their gaze should destroy what they saw. The dress was not Arab; it suggested Assyria or Persia, but very vaguely. I took little note of it, for to me at that time Aiwass was an << angel >> such as I had often seen in visions, a being purely astral.