u80icf36nINT-3 The stŠlŠ (or stela) referred to in D above is a funerary monument of Ankh-f-n-khonsu, a Theban priest of Month (or Mentu) who flourished (according to modern scholarship) circa 670 B.C.E., in Egypt's 25th Dynasty. It figured largely in the events leading up to the reception of Liber Legis, as did the Scarlet Woman, Crowley's wife Rose. It was her discovery of the StŠlŠ in Cairo's Boulaq Museum that (in Crowley's words) << led to the creation of the ritual by which Aiwass, the author of Liber L Liber AL, was invoked. >>
It is referred to as the StŠlŠ of Revealing in Liber Legis, and according to Crowley, indicates << a certain continuity or identity of myself with Ankh-f-n-khonsu, whose StŠlŠ is the Link with Antiquity of this Revelation.>> Crowley's comment is of interest when considering the observations of the Egyptologist Abd el Hamid Zayed, who gave the StŠlŠ its first publication in the archaeological literature, in 1968 E.V.:
i2li2rp10l11.5The back of the stela is occupied by eleven horizontal lines of inscription, the first part of which is a version of The Book of the Dead , chap. 30. This chapter was usually engraved upon a large scarab. It is very unusual to find it inscribed upon a stela. The second half of the inscription is part of The Book of the Dead , chap. 2 and, in the Theban Recension, it was entitled: << The chapter of coming forth by day and living after death >>. Its object was to allow the astral form of the deceased to revisit the earth at will. emphasis added
ic Certain other observations by Zayed are of interest. He notes that painted wooden stelae are uncommon, since stelae were usually carved in stone. The StŠlŠ of Revealing is doubly unusual in that the reverse side, usually undecorated, is also painted, with the texts cited in the above-quoted excerpt. Concerning painted wooden stelae in general, he remarks that << it is noteworthy that they all seem to originate from Thebes and its neighbourhood, and that their owners are mostly persons attached to the cults of Month and Amon. >> He also notes that << a very interesting point about these stelae is the evidence they afford for the religious views of the period. Most noteworthy is the identification of the forms of Rap-Horakhty Ra-Hoor-Khuit with Soker-Osiris.>>
The curator of the Boulaq Museum, M. Brugsch Bey, arranged for a French translation of the Egyptian text of the StŠlŠ in the weeks preceding the writing of Liber Legis in 1904 E.V. Crowley translated the French into English, in verse form, and had this English versification of the hieroglyphic text at hand during the dictation of Liber Legis. In two instances (Liber Legis I:14, III:37-38) he had occasion to use it, but these verses do not appear in the MS. itself, having been inserted into the typescript prepared after the book's reception. Since the original Egyptian-French translation of the StŠlŠ (from which Crowley made his versified paraphrase) has a direct bearing upon the text of Liber Legis, it is given its first publication in Appendix A, with a new English translation by a qualified Egyptologist (Ph.D., Columbia) who chooses to remain anonymous. An actual photograph of the StŠlŠ is also included; all previous appearances of the StŠlŠ in Thelemic publications have been modern painted reproductions. References for Egyptological studies of the StŠlŠ will be found in Appendix C.
The above-cited injunctions concerning the editing of the book serve to underscore the salient feature of Liber Legis, when considering it in context with the other books in this volume it is not the work of Aleister Crowley, as Crowley himself emphasizes:
i2li2rp10l11.5I claim authorship even of all the other A...A... Books in Class A, though I wrote them inspired beyond all I know to be I. Yet in these Books did Aleister Crowley, the master of English both in prose and in verse, partake insofar as he was That. Compare those Books with The Book of the Law! The style of the former is simple and sublime; the imagery is gorgeous and faultless; the rhythm is subtle and intoxicating; the theme is interpreted in faultless symphony. There are no errors of grammar, no infelicities of phrase. Each Book is perfect in its kind.
I, daring to snatch credit for these dared nowise to lay claim to have touched The Book of the Law, not with my littlest finger-tip.
ic In his Commentaries on Liber Legis Crowley enlarges on this important point:
i2li2rp10l11.5The use of such un-English expressions makes a clear-cut distinction between AIWAZ and the scribe. In the inspired Books such as LXV, VII, DCCCXIII and others, written by The Beast 666 directly, not from dictation, no such awkward expressions are to be found. The style shows a well-marked difference.
ic There are many subtleties among these Holy Books, both of degree of inspiration and mode of reception. All were penned during high trance, but some, especially Liber LXV and Liber VII, were produced during major spiritual transformations. Crowley's Diary for 1907 E.V. records the writing of Liber LXV during the period 30 October-3 November, and the following excerpt sheds further light on the process by which such books are written:
i2li2rWrote Chapters I & II Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente Liber LXV again no shadow of Samadhi; only a feeling that V.V.V.V.V. was in His Samadhi, and writing by my pen, i.e. the pen of the scribe, and that scribe not who reasons etc. nor Aleister Crowley who is a poet & selects; but of some perfectly passive person.