DE ARTE MAGICA
The supreme secret of the O.T.O. is written in detail in the Book called
Agape and is also written plainly in Liber CCCXXXIII, Cap. XXXVI.
But now also do We think it fitting to add Our own comment to this book
Agape which We wrote in Our own words for the proper setting-forth of this
Secret taught Us at Our Initiation to the IX by the O.H.O. And this Book
has received His official approbation in every word thereof.
But in this comment do We not set forth the Secret itself (rather on the
contrary guarding it by certain subtilties even from the conjecture of the
unworthy) but only Our own ideas as to its right use, with other matters
germane, thinking that those into whose hands it may come may thereby
understand more fully the utter importance of this Secret as having been
the Pivot of Our working for so long a period, and further that it may aid
such persons to attain perfectly the mastery of this Holy and Imperial Art.
Of the Importance of the Secret
This secret is the true Key to Magick; that is, by the right use of this
secret man may impose his Will on Nature herself, as will appear hereafter
in this comment.
In this way, although all recorded Knowledge were destroyed, it would be
possible for an adept of this secret to restore it.
Of the Mind of the Adept
In Our holiest isle Ierne is found a being called Leprechaun. This
creature, once seen, is easy to catch; and once caught must lead his
captor to great treasure, provided that never for an eye-wink doth he
relax viligance; and the Leprechaun by all manner of tricks doth seek ever
to divert the attention of him that hath made him prisoner.
Now this is a Magical Apologue or Fable of the utmost abyss of Truth.
For in the preperation of the Sacrament, and in its consummation also,
the mind of the Initiate must be concerned absolutely in one rushing flame
of will upon the determined object of his operation.
For there is no act more easy and natural to man than this preperation,
none which requires less auxiliary. And yet by far the most part of man-
kind is ignorant and incapable of its proper performance; so that it is
said that perfection in it as both science and art requires no less study
than the most abstruse of philosophies, and no less practice than the most
difficult of dexterities. But it is utterly in vain unless this first
condition be fulfilled; and so difficult is this, not only because of the
Overcoming of the Bodily Trance, but because of the wandering nature of
the mind itself. And thereafter only by long and hard training preliminary
in the art of meditation, and by constant practice and experience, can
this Act become fruitful in Magick.
Of Times and Seasons
Although no instruction has been given on this matter, yet it is
evident, not only from considerations of the nature of things, but from
Our own experience of these two years, that the fruitfulness of this
Sacrament varies constantly, as it seems without rational cause.
Nor have We fully understood the best conditions. But it is Our Opinion
that the Adept should suffer inward premonition whether the hour be pro-
pitious or no.
Yet it hath also been observed, and that often, that by extreme violence
to Nature results are obtained equal to those garnered when Nature herself
urges vehemently to the Act by enthusiasm.
But mediocre states of body and mind are to be avoided. As it is written
"I would thou wert cold or hot; but because thou art lukewarm I shall spew
thee out of My mouth."
Nor is it necessarily to be disregarded as superstition to assert that
certain hours of the day and certain aspects of the stars are more favour-
able than others, but rather to be criticised and investigated according
to the methods of true science.
Of Bodily States
There is here a certain difficulty, in that the body being full of meat
and wine is more apt for the preperation, as it is said, Sine Cereri et
Baccho Venus friget, while for the consumation the body should be empty of
all gross nutriment, so that the Elixir may be sucked up eagerly, and,
running nobly into every part, revivify the whole.
It will in Our opinion be best if a full meal be taken not less than
three hours before the beginning of the Ceremony, and after that no food,
although stimulants whether of wine or subtler agents may be continued,
so as to raise the body from excitement to excitement, and thus fit it for
the proper exaltation suitable to the Work.
But in all this men may differ, and there is no rule but what may be
engraven upon her Tracing Board by the burin of Experience.
Of Operations of this Art,
whether they should be
Single or Multiple
We have doubt also in this matter whether, if an operation fail, it be
wise to reiterate.
A Single Act implieth perfection, and full faith, in the Adept, if he
repeat, that is Fear, and argueth imperfection in the first Trial.
Yet possibly for great cosmic operations it may be well to perform a
series of Sacraments; but in this case the series should be arranged
beforehand, and carried out regularly. As for example the 16 operations of
Jupiter done in the city of Paris during the passage of the Sun from 10`
Capricorn to 22` Aquarius An Ix.
In Our experience, repititions undertaken because of apparent failure
have sometimes seemed fatal, actually stopping what might reasonably have
been expected to occur, and which has occured only some time after the
cessation of such attempts.
But we have also noted that in such cases the result hath been great and
favourable, as if the repeated operations had built a dam restraining the
the natural current of the favourable forces, thus keeping them back so as
to make them more effective in the end. But this may be false interpreta-
tion of the observed phenomena.
And, again, a series of such Sacraments has been futile until one last
Work has landed in success.
Yet this again may be coincidence, the result of the first working, but
The Adept will develop Intuition in all these questions; it is likely
that the personal equation is very important, and that no absolute Rule
Catholic, always everywhere, and by all men to be observed, exists.
Of certain unknown Inhibitions,
and their Effect
We have marked subtly and regularly, the conditions and results of
divers Workings of this Art, and this is the marvel now the Result follows
swift and perfect, now again a group of lesser Results symapthetic to the
Result willed, now but slight movements imitative of that Result, and now
not only perfect failure, but the sudden reversal of all hopes in despair
More plainly, if X be the Object __of the Work, the__result is sometimes
X, sometimes x x x x, sometimes \/(x), sometimes -\/(x), or -x x x x, or
In the concrete, suppose that one worketh this Art to obtain a great
sum. Then at one time that sum will arrive that same night or within (say)
48 hours after, or an event occur involving the gain of that sum; at
another time there will merely arise a group of circumstances favourable;
at another time again a lesser sum will arrive; but also these may be
reversed, in the worst case the loss of the sum proposed or the occurance
of an event which might involve that loss, or at least disappoint some
reasonable expectation of that gain.
In the particular case of employing this Sacrament for the Elixer of
Life, its misuse might cause premature old age, disease, or even death, as
it is said; We do not think that these results would follow the miscar-
riage of any other operation; We think that retribution is to be the evil
and adverse reflection of reward, and on its plane. Adepts will then shew
prudence by experimenting thoroughly in minor operations, where failure
does not imply irreparable disaster, until they have the knowledge and
Experience of this Art which will give a reasonable confidence.
Of a Theory of this Art Magical
The theory of this Art appears to Us to involve certain cosmic hypoth-
eses to which it is perhaps not impossible to assent at least tentatively,
but which are certainly unproven.
The idea of Prana in some form more mystical than that which identifieth
it with the Motion of the physicist is perhaps inherent.
In the mere consumation of the Sacrament for health and vitality is no
violation of reason, but at most an exaggeration of anticipation; for the
Matter of the Sacrament is indubitably a Microcosm; but in the extension
of this Sacrament to validity in Magick is an hiatus comparable to that
which exists in the theory of Astrology. Even granting that an angle of
120 degrees subtended at the eye of the observer on Earth between Sol and
Saturn (exempli gratia) is accompanied by certain fortunes, this may be
casual and not causal.
However, in this matter We have no doubt of the efficacy of the process,
and are therefore fain to toy with any hypothesis, investigating as prob-
ablity may determine us to do.
Thus we may assume an Ether or Akasa, inflamed or stressed by a partic-
ular Prana. And all stresses in this Akasa being of one kind ultimately,
though mediately diverse, it may be as easy to arrest the course of the
Earth as to destroy a worm. For the Work is taking place in a World of
Causes fluid and not soild, in Yetzirah (or even Briah) rather than in
It will be impossible or very difficult to move infantry from one wing
of the engaged line to the other, but in the Quarters of the Staff it is
indifferent whether that body, being at the base, is pushed forward to
either. One cannot easily oxidize gold precipated from the chloride, but
having the chloride, it is easy to prepare the oxide rather than the
And in all these matters reason must be the guide, and experience the
teacher, so that the adept seek not to perform things impossible in
Nature, and so blaspheme the Sacrament and bring it to comtempt.
Yet let this be said, that to the consumate and sublime Initiate it may
seem that of Himself was it written: "With God all things are possible."
However, God Himself is not found to interfere arbitrarily with the
course of Nature, but to work within His laws.
Let the Adept act not otherwise.
Of the Course of the Moon,
and her Influence
It is said that the second party is useless, even dangerous, when the
influence of the Moon first shews itself. [Yet the motion of the Earth
implying great causes in Briah and Yetzirah, must be difficult to check,
unless by Briatic forces of much intensity.] But on the second day and
after, though perhaps not on the last day, the Sacrament is more effica-
cious than at any other time, as is figured by our ancient Brethren the
Alchemists in their preference of the Red Tincture to the White.
This We also beleive, though We hold it hitherto not proven.
Of the Second Party to this Art,
to that of the IX`
If the other party to the Sacrament be also of the Ninth degree an
Initiate of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis, it seems to Us urgent that the
Object of both be one only, also that the general interest and nature of
them be but one; else cometh division the enemy of Will, and utter failure
following. And, the whole being considered carefully, We do opine that it
is better and easier that the other party should be in ignorance of the
sacred character of the Office.
It is enough if that the assistant be formed by Nature signally for the
physical task, robust, vigorous, eager, sensible, hot and healthy; flesh,
nerve and blood being tense, quick, and lively, easily enflamed, and nigh
Of certain Rites analogous
to that of the IX`
It is said by certain Initiates that to obtain Spiritual gifts, and to
aid Nature, the Sacrament should be as it were a Nuptial of the Folk of
Earth; but that Magick is of the Demon, and that by a certain Perversion
of the Office, may be created Elementals fit to perform the Will of the
Now herein is a difficulty, since in this case the Matter of the Sacra-
ment cannot exist, for that there is no White Eagle to generate the
Howbeit, We hold that in this rite is great efficacy; it may be that for
certain operations it is equal or superior to that explained to Initiates
of the IX`.
But We hold that in this case the Priest must be an Initiate, for that
it is his will which determineth the magical character of his Lion; so
that if he hath no purpose but that of the goddess Adonai he cannot raise
agape to her Lord Thelema, nor will the Intention of the Priestess,
although a lofty Initiate, replace this essential Power of the Priest over
that of which he is but the vehicle and guardian.
For this reason the Ninth degree is not so easy to be made effective by
Of what may be the result of a development parallel to that indicated
above among the Noble and Chaste Ladies of the Order, it is at present im-
possible for Us to declare; but a priori it seems that, though the Lion
and the Eagle are best in combination, the Lion is more likely to be able
to dispense with the assistance of the Eagle, than the Eagle to make shift
in the absence of the Lion. For the Gluten is but a menstruum or solvent,
and containeth nothing in itself. The tradition also of certain lesser
initiations confirmeth this. Yet considerations of divinity and of Philo-
sophy, and even of physics, do assure that our Way excelleth others even
as spring tides exceed the neap. Water burneth the skin not at all, and
the Oil of Vitriol but slowly but add a drop of water to the drop of Oil,
and instantly cometh Heat and a pang intense and sharp. This is but anal-
ogy, yet just, and pleasing to the philosopher.
Of the Choice of an Assistant
With regard to the choice of one to serve this Sacrament, man is so
confused in mind, and so easily deceived as to this matter, that it seems
to Us not unreasonable to allow full sway to the Caprice of the Moment.
For this caprice so-called is in truth perhaps the Voice of the Sub-Con-
sciousness; that is, it is the deliberate choice of the Holy Phallus it-
self. "The Phallus is the physiological basis of the Oversoul." For this
very reason are these many men led astray, lost in unchastity and ruin.
But let the conscious Will be devoted wholly to the Great Work, then
shall the Subconscious Will choose inevitably the Appointed Vehicle of the
It is for this reason that already in the Seventh Degree the Sir Knights
are sworn to Chastity. And this Chastity is an Abstinence from all gross
sexual acts of every kind.
Moreover, this is further to be observed in the choice, that the second
party must be consenting enthusiastically to co-operate physically with
the Priest, so that the Lion be perfectly dissolved in a full portion of
the Gluten. And whether this preparation be truly and duly done is known
by the appearance of the Matter of the Sacrament, and also by its taste.
For not idly is it written in the Book of Judges, "What is sweeter than
honey, and what is stronger than a Lion?" And that this secret is here
manifested by the Holy Ghost is clear from the rejoinder of Samson, "If ye
had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle."
Of certain Jewish theories
Among the Jews are certain instructed Initiates of their Qabalah who
hold, as We understand, the view that in the Zraa or Semen itself lies a
creative force inherent which cannot be baulked. Thus they say that before
Eve was made, the dreams of Adam produced Lilith, a demon, and that from
his intercourse with her sprang evil races.
Now then they mine the Roads of the Harbour of conjugal love with many
restrictions; as these (1) it must be an holy act, preceded by ablutions,
and by prayer (2) all lustful thoughts must be rigidly excluded (3) the
purpose must be solely that of procreation (4) the blessing of God must be
most earnestly invoked, so that the child shall be under His special pro-
In other language, this is their theory: the act of love causes a magic-
al disturbance in the Aether of Akasa of such a nature as to attract or
create a discarnate human spirit.
All other sexual acts involving emission of semen therefore attract or
other spirits, incomplete and therefore evil. Thus nocturnal pollutions
bring succubi, which are capable of seperate existance, and of vampirising
But voluntary sterile acts create demons, and (if done with concentra-
tion and magical intention), such demons as may subserve that intention.
Thus, as Levi testifieth, to graft a tree successfully, the graft is fixed
by a woman while the man copulateth with her per vas nefandum.
We also narrate for the sake of completeness their method---perfected by
modern Adepts---let us here give honour and worship to the name of Our
lay-sister Ida Nelidoff---of attaining spiritual ecstasy by sexual means.
And this method We have called Erotocomatose Lucidity.
Of the Cosummation of the Element diune,
whether Quantity be as important as Quality,
and whether its waste be Sacrilege
It is said by the O.H.O. that of this perfect medicine a single dewdrop
sufficeth, and this may be true. Yet it is humbly and with all deference
and worship Our opinion that every drop generated (so far as may be
possible) should be consumed. Firstly, that this most precious of all
gifts of Nature be not lost or profaned---indeed the Roman heresy hath
appointed most excellent instructions for the treatment in all respects of
the consecrated Host.
Let the adepts of this degree study`Missale Romanum---Ritus servandus in
celebratione Missae'and`De defectibus in celebratione Missarum occurrenti-
bus'---and gather therefrom the ceremonial adjuncts, the mental attitude,
and so forth as a guide to their own working in this higher Sacrament.
And also do We think that the Consummation should be complete on this
consideration, that if indeed it be the contained Prana that operateth the
miracle, then the Quantity is as important as the Quality, just as in
working with electricity amperage is as important as voltage.
And this We beleive especially to be true in the case of great miracles;
for We hold that it is the pitting of the David Spirit against the Goliah
Matter. And although this proportion be small, it is not indefinitely
But it may be that the Action of this Divine Substance is catalytic,
and comparable of transmuting an unlimited quantity of base and blind
matter into the plastic and docile image of the Will. And this theory is
certainly more in accordance with the tradition of the Stone and of the
Of Eroto-comatose Lucidity
The Candidate is made ready for the Ordeal by general athletic training,
and by feasting. On the appointed day he is attended by one or more chosen
and experienced attendants whose duty is (a) to exhaust him sexually by
every known means (b) to rouse him sexually by every known means. Every
device and artifice of the courtesan is to be employed, and every
stimulant known to the physician. Nor should the attendants reck of
danger, but hunt down ruthlessly their appointed prey.
Finally the Candidate will into a sleep of utter exhaustion, resembling
coma, and it is now that delicacy and skill must be exquisite. Let him be
roused from this sleep by stimulation of a definitely and exclusively
sexual type. Yet if convenient, music wisely regulated will assist.
The attendants will watch with assiduity for signs of waking; and the
moment these occur, all stimulation must cease instantly, and the
Candidate be allowed to fall again into sleep; but no sooner has this
happened than the former practice is resumed. This alteration is to
continue indefinitely until the Candidate is in a state which is neither
sleep nor waking, and in which his Spirit, set free by perfect exhaustion
of the body, and yet prevented from entering the City of Sleep, communes
with the Most High and the Most Holy Lord God of its being, maker of
heaven and earth.
The Ordeal terminates by failure---the occurence of sleep invincible---
or by success, in which ultimate waking is followed by a final performance
of the sexual act. The Initiate may then be allowed to sleep, or the
practice may be renewed and persisted in until death ends all. The most
favourable death is that occurring during the orgasm, and is called Mors
As it is written: Let me die the death of the Righteous, and let my last
end be like his!
Of certain Hindu theories
Like the Jews, the wise men of India have a belief that a certain
particular Prana, or force, resides in the Bindu, or semen. But all their
theory of magick and meditation being a reverbatory, so that their
"communing with God", is but a "communing with Self", and all their
artifice directed to development of the powers in their own bodies and
minds, as opposed to the Western idea of extending those powers to bear
sway over others, we find naturally that just as they seek to restrain
the breath altogether, or to avoid its violent extrusion from the
nostrils, lest the Prana thereof be lost to them, and as they even
practice to suck up water into the rectum, so that in defaecation they may
be able to retain the Apana, or particular virtue thereof, and replace it
in the Svadistthana-cakkra, so also much more do they extravagantly labour
to retain the prime Prana of life, the Bindu.
Therefore they stimulate to the maximum its generation by causing a
consecrated prostitute to excite the organs, and at the same time
vigorously withhold by will. After some little exercise they claim that
they can deflower as many as eighty virgins in a night without losing a
single drop of the Bindu. Nor is this ever to be lost, but reabsorbed
through the tissues of the body. The organs thus act as a siphon to draw
constantly fresh supplies of life from the cosmic reservior, and flood the
body with their fructifying virtue.
The Initiate is asked to compare and contrast this chapter with chapter
XIV, observing in particular, underlying both systems, this one postulate:
in the semen itself exists a physical force which can be turned to the
magical or mystical Ends of the Adept.
Initiates will notice also that these heathen philosophers have made one
further march towards the truth when they say that the Sun and Moon must
be united before the reabsorption (see almost any Tantra, in particular
Shiva Sanhita). But the full glory of the Sun, the simple and most
efficacious and most Holy Sacrament, is reserved for the Elect, the
Illuminated, the Initiates of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis.
Of a suggested Course of Experiment
Here is a series of Operations of this Art Magick of the IX` suggested
for the Use of any Initiate as he begins his Working.
I. Sex-force and sex-attraction
(To ensure the regular course of these operations)
II. Understanding the Mysteries of the IX` and Wisdom in their use
(To ensure the right performance of these operations)
III. Increase of the O.T.O.
(As a duty, and to ensure a suitable heir to the Secret. This is
especially important if the Initiate be of the X`)
IV. (If necessary) Ease of circumstances
(To ensure leisure for these operations, and to enlarge the field of
choice of second parties)
V. Establishment of a protective bodyguard of invisible warriors
(To secure freedom from interruption in the course of these
operations. This may include preservation of the health)
VI. The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel
VII. Spiritual attainment: e.g. devotion to Nuit-Babalon-Baphomet
VIII. Further insight into Nature and her laws
IX. The foundation of an Abbey of O.T.O.
X. The establishment of the Kingdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit upon the earth.
Also divers matters, as the Rejuvenation of one's own body, if
desired, the power of healing, and the like.
It will be seen that these few operations appear to fill every Lotus of
the Universe with their Buddhas. But it may be that each operation must be
worked in detail, with digital probe rather than palmary grasp, so that
each practical act of the Initiate might need a seperate consecration.
Or for great operations like the X in the above list it might be
arranged to make a specially elaborate Sacrament every Sunday (for
example) in the year, the intervening days being devoted to the details of
But the Initiate will soon develop a Method of his own for extracting
the most efficiently the honey from this Comb.
Of a certain other method of Magick
not included in the instruction of O.T.O.
It may not be altogether inappropriate to allude to a method of
vampirism commonly practised.
The Vampire selects the victim, stout and vigourous as may be, and, with
the magical intention of transferring all that strength to himself,
exhausts the quarry by a suitable use of the body, most usually the mouth,
without himself entering in any other way into the matter. And this is
thought by some to partake of the nature of Black Magic.
The exhaustion should be complete; if the work be skilfully executed, a
few minutes should suffice to produce a state resembling, and not far
removed from, coma.
Expets may push this practice to the point of the death of the victim,
thus not merely obtaining the physical strength, but imprisoning and
enslaving the soul. This soul then serves as a familiar spirit,
The practice was held to be dangerous. (It was used by the late Oscar
Wilde, and by Mr. and Mrs. "Horos"; also in a modified form by S.L.
Mathers and his wife, and by E.W. Berridge.
The ineptitude of the three latter saved them from the fate of the three
Of the Adept of this Art
In armour of leaping flame let the Adept rage through the Universe,
majestic and irresistible as the Sun.
Let no eye behold him unblasted; let him strike upon the necks of the
Let him be a mighty light of comfort, and the father of all fertility.
Let him send forth rain in due season, and the earth grow green at his
Let his planets whirl upon his wheel; let him send forth his comets as
angels unto his brethren; and let him give light to all his realm.
Let no eye behold him unblasted; let him strike upon the necks of the
Of the Thesaurus of the O.T.O.
Remember these chief treasures to be preserved:
1. This Secret of the IX`.
2. The Secret of the VIII` concerning Universal Brotherhood: in the
Macrocosm the Sun lord of all life; in the Microcosm the Sun lord of
all life; in the Microcosm the Phallus lord of all-life; indubitable,
undeniable, a basis for the faith of all men.
3. The secret of the VII`: our particular method of instruction,
selection, governance, and initiation.
4. The secret of the VI`, the history of the Temple, the mystery of
Baphomet, our war on those never wholly subdued foes of humanity,
tyranny and superstition.
5. The secret of the V`: the mystery of the Rose and Cross; and the One
Law Do What Thou Wilt.
6. The secret of the lesser degrees: the cycle of existence--- ex nihil
7. The secret of these things reverenced: the Sun, the Moon, the Phallus,
the Tree, the Ancestor, the Fire, the Lion, the Snake, and the
Mountain. [Of these is Discourse in Our Epistle `De Natura Deorum'.]
Now therefore all is said, most
Holy, most Illuminated, most
Illustrious and most Dear
Brother. In the Name of the
Secret Master Hail and fare well.
Given from the Throne of
Ireland Iona and All the Britains
this day of Jupiter An X
Sol in 0` Libra 35'21''
Luna in Sagittarius 28'6'
Valley of London.