THE MASTER THERION
Khabs am Pekht
This Epistle first appeared in The Equinox I(3) (Detroit: Universal, 1919),
and is important in that it helps place the work of the O.T.O. as a temporal
organization in perspective. Addressed by Therion to his magical Son Frater
V.I.O. 8=3BOX! (Parzival X O.T.O.), it has a special relevance to modern
times. Many of the quotations are from Liber LegisThe Book of the Law.H.B.
AN Epistle of Therion 9=3BOX, a Magus of A...A... to His Son, being an
Instruction in a matter of all importance, to wit, the means to be taken to
extend the Dominion of the Law of Thelema throughout the whole world.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Firstly, let thine attention be direction to this planet, how the Aeon of
Horus is made manifest by the Universal War. This is the first great and
direct result of the Equinox of the Gods, and is the preparation of the
hearts of men for the reception of the Law.
Let Us remind you that this is a magical formula of cosmic scope, and that
it is given in exact detail in the legend of the Golden Fleece.
Jason, who in this story represents the Beast, first fits out a ship guided
by Wisdom or Athena, and this is his aspiration to the Great Work.
Accompanied by many heroes, he comes to the place of the Fleece, but they can
do nothing until Medea, the Scarlet Woman, puts into his hands a posset
"drugged with somnolence, Sleepy with poppy and white hellebore" for the
dragon. Then Jason is able to subdue the bulls, sacred to Osiris, and
symbolical of his Aeon and of the Magical Formula of Self-Sacrifice. With
these he plows the field of the world, and sows therein "the dreadful teeth
of woe, Cadmean Stock of Thebes' old misery," which refers to a certain
magical formula announced by The Beast that is familiar unto thee, but
unsuited to the profane, and therefore not further in this place indicated.
From this seed armed men sprung to life; but instead of attacking Him,
"mutual madness strikes The warriors witless, and fierce wrath invades Their
hearts of fury, and with arms engaged, They fell upon each other silently,
And slew, and slew." Now then, the Dragon being asleep, we may step quietly
past him, and "rending the branches of that wizard Oak, With a strong grasp
tear down the Fleece of Gold."
Let us only remember not to repeat the error of Jason, and defy Ares, who is
Horus in his warrior mood, that guardeth it, lest He strike us also with
madness. Nay! but to the glory of Ra-Hoor-Khuit and the establishment of His
perfect kingdom let all be done!
Now, O my son, thou knowest that it is Our will to establish this Work,
accomplishing fully that which We are commanded in The Book of the Law, "Help
me, O warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the children of men!"and
it is Thy will, manifesting as thou hast done in the Sphere of Malkuth the
material world, to do this same thing in an even more immediate and practical
way than would naturally appeal to one whose manifestation is in the Heaven
of Jupiter. So therefore We now answer Thy filial petition that asketh good
counsel of Us as to the means to be taken to extend the Law of Thelema
throughout the whole world.
Direct therefore now most closely thine attention to The Book of the Law
itself. In It we find an absolute rule of life, and clear instruction in
every emergency that maybefall. What then are Its own directions for the
fructification of That Ineffable Seed? Note, pray thee, the confidence with
which we may proceed. "They shall gather my children into their fold; they
shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men." They `shall';
there is no doubt. Therefore doubt not, but strike with all thy strength.
Note also, pray thee, this word: "The Law is for all." Do not therefore
`select suitable persons' in thy worldly wisdom; preach openly the Law to all
men. In Our experience We have found that the most unlikely means have
produced the best results; and indeed it is almost the definition of a true
Magical Formula that the means should be unsuited, rationally speaking, to
the end proposed. Note, pray thee, that We are bound to teach. "He must
teach; but he may make severe the ordeals." This refers, however, as is
evident from the context, to the technique of the new Magick, "the mantras
and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of the wand and the work of the
Note, pray thee, the instruction in CCXX I:4144, 51, 61, 63 k.t.l. on which
We have enlarged in Our tract The Law of Liberty, and in private letters to
thee and to others. The open preaching of this Law, and the practice of these
precepts, wil arouse discussion and animosity, and thus place thee upon a
rustrum whence thou mayst speak unto the people.
Note, pray thee, this mentor: "Remember ye that existence is pure joy; that
all the sorrows are but shadows; they pass and are done; but there is that
which remains." For this doctrine shall comfort many. Also there is this
word: "They shall rejoice, our chosen; who sorroweth is not of us. Beauty and
strength, leaping laughter and delicious langour, force and fire, are of us."
Indeed in all ways thou mayest expound the joy of our Law; nay, for thou
shalt overflow with the joy thereof, and have no need of words. It would
moreover be impertinent and tedious to call again thine attention to all
those passages that thou knowest so well. Note, pray thee, that in the matter
of direct instruction there is enough. Consider the passage "Choose ye an
island! Fortify it! Dung it about with enginery of war! I will give you a
war-engine. With it ye shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before
you. Lurk! Withdraw! Upon them! This is the Law of the Battle of Conquest:
thus shall my worship be about my secret house." The last phrase suggests
that the island may be Great Britain, with its Mines and Tanks; and it is
notable that a certain brother obligated to A...A... is in the most secret
of England's War Councils at this hour. But it is possible that all this
instruction refers to some later time when our Law, administered by some such
Order as the O.T.O. which concerns itself with temporal affairs, is of weight
in the councils of the world, and is challenged by the heathen, and by the
followers of the fallen gods and demigods.
Note, pray thee, the practical method of overcoming opposition given in CCXX
III:2326. But this is not to Our immediate purpose in this epistle. Note,
pray thee, the instruction in the 38th and 39th verses of the Third Chapter
of The Book of the Law. it must be quoted in full.
"So that thy light is in me; and its red flame is as a sword in my hand to
push thy order."
That is, the God himself is aflame with the Light of The Beast, and will
himself push the order, through the fire (perhaps meaning the genius) of The
"There is a secret door that I shall make to establish thy way in all the
quarters (these are the adorations, as thou hast written) as it is said:;ql
The Light is mine; its rays consume
Me: I have made a secret door
Into the House of Ra and Tum,
Of Khephra, and of Ahathoor.
I am thy Theban, O Mentu,
The prophet Ankh-f-na-khonsu!
By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat;
By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell.
Show thy star-splendour, O Nuith!
Bid me within thine House to dwell,
O winged snake of light, Hadith!
Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuith!"
In the comment in Equinox I(7) this passage is virtually ignored. It is
possible that this "secret door" refers to the four men and four women spoken
of later in The Paris Working, or it may mean the child elsewhere predicted,
or some secret preparation of the hearts of men. It is difficult to decide
on such a point, but we may be sure that the Event will show that the exact
wording was so shaded as to prove to us absolute foreknowledge on the part
of That Most Holy Angel who uttered the Book.
Note, pray thee, further, in verse 39, how the matter proceeds:
"All this"i.e. The Book of the Law itself.
"and a book to say how didst come hither" i.e. some record such as that in
The Temple of Solomon the King."
"And a reproduction of this ink and paper for ever" i.e. by some mechanical
process, with possibly a sample of paper similar to that employed.
"for in it is the word secret and not only in the English"
Compare CCXX III:47, 73. The secret is still a secret to Us.
"And thy comment upon this the Book of the Law shall be printed beautifully
in red ink and black upon beautiful paper made by hand;" i.e. explain the
text "lest there be folly" as it says above, CCXX I:36.
And to each man and woman that thou meetest, were it but to dine or to drink
at them, it is the Law to give. Then they shall chance to abide in this bliss
or no; it is no odds. Do this quickly!"
From this it is evident that a volume must be prepared as signifiedPart IV
of Book 4 was intended to fulfil this purposeand that this book must be
distributed widely, in fact to every one with whom one comes into social
We are not to add to this gift by preaching and the like. They can take it
or leave it.
Note, pray thee, verse 41 of this chapter:
Establish at thy Kaaba a clerk-house; all must be done well and with business
This is very clear instruction indeed. There is to be a modern centralized
business organization at the Kaabawhich, We think, does not mean Boleskine,
but any convenient headquarters.
Note, pray thee, in verse 42 of this chapter the injunction: "Success is thy
proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch." This is not any bar to an
explanation of the Law. We may aid men to strike off their own fetters; but
those who prefer slavery must be allowed to do so. "The slaves shall serve."
The excellence of the Law must be showed by its results upon those who accept
it. When men see us as the hermits of Hadit described in CCXX II:24, they
will determine to emulate our joy.
Note, pray thee, the whole implication of the chapter that sooner or later
we are to break the power of the slaves of the slave-gods by actual fighting.
Ultimately, Freedom must rely upon the sword. It is impossible to treat in
this epistle of the vast problems involved in this question; and they must
be decided in accordance with the Law by those in authority in the Order when
the time comes. Thou wilt note that We have written unto thee more as a
member of the O.T.O., than in thy capacity as of the A...A..., for the former
organization is coACCENT!ordinate and practical, and concerns itself with
material things. But remember this clearly, that the Law cometh from the
A...A..., not from the O.T.O. This Order is but the first of the great
religious bodies to accept this Law officially, and its whole Ritual has been
revised and reconstituted in accordance with this decision. Now then, leaving
The Book of the Law, note, pray thee, the following additional suggestions
for extending the Dominion of the Law of Thelema throughout the whole world.
1.All those who have accepted the Law should announce the same in daily
intercourse. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" shall be the
invariable form of greeting. These words, especially in the case of
strangers, should be pronounced in a clear, firm, and articulate voice, with
the eyes frankly fixed upon the bearer. It the other be of us, let him reply
"Love is the law, love under will." The latter sentence shall also be used
as the greeting of farewell. In writing, wherever greeting is usual, it
should be as above, opening "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the
Law.", and closing "Love is the law, love under will."
2.Social gatherings should be held as often as is convenient, and there the
Law should be read and explained.
3.The special tracts written by Us, or authorized by Us, should be
distributed to all persons with whom those who have accepted the Law may be
4.Pending the establishment of other Universities and Schools of Thelema,
scholarships and readerships and such should be provided in existing Schools
and Universities, so as to secure the general study of Our writings, and
those authorized by Us as pertaining to the New Aeon.
5.All children and young people, although they may not be able to understand
the more exalted heavens of our horoscope, may always be taught to rule their
lives in accordance with the Law. No efforts should be spared to bring them
to this emancipation. The misery caused to children by the operation of the
law of the slave-gods was, one may say, the primum mobile of Our first
aspiration to overthrow the Old Law.
6.By all manner of means shall all strive constantly to increase the power
and freedom of the Headquarters of the O.T.O.; for thereby will come
efficiency in the promulgation of the Law. Specific instructions for the
extension of the O.T.O. are given in another epistle.
Constant practice of these recommendations will develop skill in him or her
that practiseth, so that new ideas and plans will be evolved continually.
Furthermore, it is right that each and every one bind himself with an Oath
Magical that he may thus make Freedom perfect, even by a bond, as in Liber
III it is duly written. Amen.
Now, son, note, pray thee, in what house We write these words. For it is a
little cottage of red and green, by the western side of a great lake, and it
is hidden in the woods. Man, therefore, is at odds with Wood and Water; and
being a magician bethinketh Himself to take one of these enemies, Wood, which
is both the effect and the cause of that excess of Water, and compel it to
fight for Him against the other. What then maketh He? Why, He taketh unto
himself Iron of Mars, an Axe and a Saw and a Wedge and a Knife, and He
divideth Wood therewith against himself, hewing him into many small pieces,
so that he hath no longer any strength against His will. Good; then taketh
He the Fire of our Father the Sun, and setteth it directly in battle array
against that Water by His army of Wood that he hath conquered and drilled,
building it up into a phalanx like unto a Cone, that is the noblest of all
solid figures, being the Image of the Holy Phallus Itself, and combined in
himself the Right Line and the Circle. Thus, son, dealeth He; and the Fire
kindleth the Wood, and the heat thereof driveth the Water afar off. Yet this
Water is a cunning adversary, and He strengthened Wood against Fire by
impregnating him with much of his own substance, as it were by spies in the
citadel of any ally that is not wholly trusted. Now then therefore what must
the Magician do? He must first expel utterly Water from Wood by an invocation
of the Fire of the Sun our Father. That is to say, without the inspiration
of the Most High and Holy One even We ourselves could do nothing at all.
Then, son, beginneth the Magician to set His Fire to the little dry Wood, and
that enkindleth the Wood of middle size, and when that blazeth brightly, at
the last the great logs, through they be utterly green, are nevertheless
Now, son, hearken unto this Our reproof, and lend the ear of thine
understanding unto the parable of this Magick.
We have for the whole Beginning of Our Work, praise be eternally unto His
Holy Name, the Fire of our Father the Sun. The inspiration is ours, and ours
is the Law of Thelema that shall set the world ablaze. And We have many small
dry sticks, that kindle quickly and burn through quickly, leaving the larger
Wood unlit. And trhe great logs, the masses of humanity, are always with us.
But our edged need is of those middle fabots that on the one hand are readily
kindled by the small Wood, and on the other endure until the great logs
(Behold how sad a thing it is, quoth the Ape of Thoth, for one to be so holy
that he cannot chop a tree and cook his food without preparing upon it a long
and tedious Morality!)
Let this epistle be copies and circulated among all those that have accepted
the Law of Thelema.
Receive now Our paternal benediction: the Benediction of the All-Begetter be
Love is the law, love under will.
VHRIONpt91] 9=BOX! A...A...
Given under Our hand and seal this day of An XII, the Sun our Father being
in 12 42' 2" of the sign Leo, and the Moon in 25 39' 11" of the sign Libra,
from the House of the Juggler, that is by Lake Pasquaney in the State of New