Original key entry by Bill Heidrick, GTG OTO Extracted from EQX-7.AS2 by Fr. Nachash, Urae
Original key entry by Bill Heidrick, GTG OTO
Extracted from EQX-7.AS2 by Fr. Nachash, Uraeus-Hadit Camp
Fairfax, CA 94930
(415) 454-5176 ---- Messages only.
ACROSS THE GULF
At last the matter comes back into my mind.
It is now five years since I discovered my stele at Bulak, but now
until I obtained certain initiation in the city of Benares last year
did the memory of my life in the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty when I was
prince and priest in Thebai begin to return. Even now much is obscure;
but I am commanded to write, so that in writing the full memory may be
recovered. For without the perfect knowledge and understanding of
that strange life by Nilus I cannot fully know and understand this
later life, or find that Tomb which I am appointed to find, and do
that therein which must be done.
There fore with faith and confidence do I who was -- in a certain
mystical sense -- the Priest of the Princes, Ankh-f-na-khonsu, child
of Ta-nech, the holy and mighty one, and of Bes-na-Maut, priestess of
the Starry One, set myself to tell myself the strange things that
befell me in that life.
At my birth Aphruimis in the sign of the Lion was ascending, and in it
that strange hidden planet that presides over darkness and magic and
forbidden love. The sun was united with the planet of Amoun, but in
the Abyss, as showing that my power and glory should be secret, and in
Aterechinis the second decanate of the House of Mast, so that my
passion and pleasure should likewise be unprofance. In the House of
Travel in the Sign of the Ram was the Moon my sweet lady. And the
wise men interpreted this as a token that I should travel afar; it
might be to the great temple at the source of mother Nile; it might
Foolishness! I have scarce stirred from Thebai.
Yet have I explored strange countries that they knew not of: and of
this also will I tell in due course.
I remember -- as I never could while I lived in Khemi-land -- all the
minute care of my birth. For my mother was of the oldest house in
Thebes, her blood not only royal, but mixed with the divine. Fifty
virgins in their silver tissue stood about her shaking their sistrons,
as if the laughter of the Gods echoed the cries of the woman. By the
bed stood the Priest of Horus with his heavy staff, the Phoenix for
its head, the prong for its foot. Watchful he stood lest Sebek should
rise from the abyss.
On the roof of the palace watched the three chief astrologers of
Pharaoh with their instruments, and four armed men from the corners of
the tower announced each god as it rose. So these three men ached and
sweated at their task; for they had become most anxious. All day my
birth had been expected; but as Toum drew to His setting their faces
grew paler than the sky; for there was one dread moment in the night
which all their art had failed to judge.
The gods that watched over it were veiled.
But it seemed unlikely that Fate would so decide; yet so they feared
that they sent down to the priest of Thoth to say that he must at all
costs avoid the threatening moment, even if the lives of mother and
child should pay for it; and still the watchmen cried the hour. Now,
now! cried the oldest of the astrologers as the moment grew near --
now! Below in answer the priest of Thoth summoned all his skill.
When lo! a rumbling of the abyss. The palace reeled and fell; Typhon
rose mighty in destruction, striding across the skies. The world
rocked with earthquake; every star broke from its fastening and
And in the midst lo! Bes-na-Maut my mother; and in her arms myself,
laughing in the midst of all that ruin. Yet not one living creature
took the slightest hurt! But the astrologers rent their robes and
beat their faces on the ground; for the dread moment, the Unknown
Terror, had gone by; and with it I had come to light.
In their terror, indeed, as I learnt long after, they sent messengers
to the oldest and wisest of the priests; the High-priest of Nuit, who
lived at the bottom of a very deep well, so that his eyes, even by
day, should remain fixed upon the stars.
But he answered them that since they had done all that they could, and
Fate had reversed their design, it was evident that the matter saw in
the hands of Fate, and that the less they meddled the better it would
be for them. For he was a brusque old man -- how afterwards I met him
shall be written in its place.
So then I was to be brought up as befitted one in my station, half-
prince, half-priest. I was to follow my father, hold his wand and
ankh, assume his throne.
And now I begin to recall some details of my preparation for that high
and holy task.
Memory is strangely fragmentary and strangely vivid. I remember how,
when I had completed my fourth month, the priests took me and wrapped
me in a panther's skin, whose flaming gold and jet-black spots were
like the sun. They carried me to the river bank where the holy
crocodiles were basking; and there they laid me. But when they left
me they refrained from the usual enchantment against the evil spirit
of the crocodile; and so for three days I lay without protection.
Only at certain hours did my mother descend to feed me; and she too
was silent, being dressed as a princess only, without the sacred
badges of her office.
Also in the sixth month they exposed me to the Sun in the desert where
was no shade or clothing; and in the seventh month they laid me in a
bed with a sorceress, that fed on the blood of young children, and,
having been in prison for a long time, was bitterly an-hungered; and
in the eighth month they gave me the aspic of Nile, and the royal
Uraeus serpent, and the deadly snake of the south country, for
playmates; but I passed scatheless through all these trials.
And in the ninth month I was weaned, and my mother bade me farewell,
for never again might she look upon my face, save in the secret rites
of the Gods, when we should meet otherwise than as babe and mother, in
the garment of that Second Birth which we of Khemi knew.
The next six years of my life have utterly faded. All that I can
recall is the vision of the greatness of our city of Thebai, and the
severity of my life. For I lived on the back of a horse, even eating
and drinking as I rode; for so it becometh a prince. Also I was
trained to lay about me with a sword, and in the use of the bow and
the spear. For it was said that Horus -- or Men Tu, as we called him
in Thebai -- was my Father and my God. I shall speak late of that
strange story of my begetting.
At the end of seven years, however, so great and strong had I waxen
that my father took me to the old astrologer that dwelt in the well to
This I remember as if it were but yesterday. The journey down the
great river with its slow days! The creaking benches and the sweat of
the slaves are still in my ears and my nostrils. Then swift moments
of flying foam in some rapid or cataract. The great temples that we
passed; the solitary Ibis of Thoth that meditated on the shore; the
crimson flights of birds; -- but nothing that we saw upon the journey
was like unto the end thereof. For in a desolate place was the Well,
with but a small temple beside it, where the servants -- they too most
holy! of that holy ancient man might dwell.
And my father brought me to the mouth of the well and called thrice
upon the name of Nuit. Then came a voice climbing and coiling up the
walls like a serpent, "Let this child become priestess of the Veiled
Now my father was wise enough to know that the old man never made a
mistake; it was only a question of a right interpretation of the
oracle. Yet he was sorely puzzled and distressed, for that I was a
boy child. So at the risk of his life -- for the old man was
brusque! -- he called again and said "Behold my son!"
But as he spoke a shaft of sunlight smote him on the nape of the neck
as he bend over the well; and his face blackened, and his blood gushed
forth from his mouth. And the old man lapped up the blood of my
father with his tongue, and cried gleefully to his servants to carry
me to a house of the Veiled One, there to be trained in my new life.
So there came forth from the little house an eunuch and a young woman
exceeding fair; and the eunuch saddled two horses, and we rode into
the desert alone.
Now though I could ride like a man, they suffered me not; but the
young priestess bore me in her arms. And though I ate meat like a
warrior, they suffered me not, but the young priestess fed me at her
And they took from me the armour of gilded bronze that my father had
made for me, scales like a crocodile's sewn upon crocodile skin that
cunning men had cured with salt and spices; but they wrapped me in
soft green silk.
So strangely we came to a little house in the desert, and that which
befell me there is not given me of the gods at this time to tell; but
I will sleep; and in the morning by their favour the memory thereof
shall arise in me, even in me across these thousands of years of the
whirling of the earth in her course.
So for many years I grew sleek and subtle in my womans attire. And the
old eunuch (who was very wise) instructed me in the Art of Magic and
in the worship of the Veiled One, whose priestess was I destined.
I remember now many things concerning those strange rituals, things
too sacred to write. But I will tell of an adventure that I had when
I was nine years of age.
In one of the sacred books it is written that the secret of that
subtle draught which giveth vision of the star-abodes of Duant, whose
sight is life eternal in freedom and pleasure among the living, lieth
in the use of a certain little secret bone that is in the Bear of
Syria. Yet how should I a child slay such an one? For they had taken
all weapons from me.
But in a garden of the city (for we had now returned unto a house in
the suburbs of Thebai) was a colony of bears kept by a great lord for
his pleasure. And I by my cunning enticed a young bear-cub from its
dam, and slew it with a great stone. Then I tore off its skin and hid
myself therein, taking also its jaw and sharpening the same upon my
stone. Then at last the old she-bear came searching me, and as she
put down her nose to smell at me, taking me for her cub, I drove my
sharpened bone into her throat.
I struck with great fortune; for she coughed once, and died.
Then I took her skin with great labour; and (for it was now night)
began to return to my house. But I was utterly weary and I could no
longer climb the wall. Yet I stayed awake all that night,
sharpening again upon my stone the jaw-bone of that bear-cub; and
this time I bound it to a bough that I tore off from a certain tree
that grew in the garden.
Now towards the morning I fell asleep, wrapped in the skin of the
old she-bear. And the great bear himself, the lord of the garden,
saw me, and took me for his mate, and came to take his pleasure of me.
Then I being roused out of sleep struck at his heart with all my
strength as he rose over me, and quitting my shelter ran among the
trees. For I struck not home, or struck aslant. And the old bear,
sore wounded, tore up the skin of his mate; and then, discovering the
cheat, came after me.
But by good fortune I found and wedged myself into a narrow pylon, too
deep for him to reach me, though I could not go through, for the door
was closed upon me. And in the angle of the door was an old sword
disused. This was too heavy for me to wield with ease; yet I lifted
it, an struck feebly at the claws of he bear. So much I wounded him
that in his pain he dropped and withdrew and began to lick his paws.
Thus he forgot about me; and I, growing bolder, ran out upon him. He
opened his mouth; but before he could rise, I thrust the sword down
it. He tossed his head; and I, clinging to the sword-hilt, was
thrown into the air, and fell heavily upon my shoulder. My head too
struck the ground; and I lay stunned.
When I came to myself it was that a party of men and women had thrown
water in my face and uttered the spells that revive from swoon.
Beside me, close beside me, lay mine enemy dead; and I, not forgetful
of my quest, took the blade of the sword (for it was snapt) and cut
off the secret parts of the bear and took the little bone thereof; and
would have gone forth with my prize. But the great lord of the house
spake with me; and all his friends made as if to mock at me. But the
women would not have it; they came round me and petted and caressed
me; so that angry words were spoken.
But even as they quarrelled among themselves, my guardian, the old
eunuch, appeared among them; for he had traced me to the garden.
And when they beheld the ring of the holy ancient man the astrologer
they trembled; and the lord of the house threw a chain of gold around
my neck, while his lady gave me her own silken scarf, broidered with
the loves of Isis and Nephthys, and of Apis and Hathor. Nor did any
dare to take from me the little bone that I had won so dearly; and
with it I made the spell of the Elixir, and beheld the starry abodes
of Duant, even as it was written in the old wise book.
But my guardians were ashamed and perplexed; for though I was so sleek
and subtle, yet my manhood already glowed in such deeds as this -- how
should I truly become the priestess of the Veiled One?
Therefore they kept me closer and nursed me with luxury and flattery.
I had two negro slave-boys that fanned me and that fed me; I had an
harp-player from the great city of Memphis, that played languorous
tunes. But in my mischief I would constantly excite him to thoughts of
war and of love; and his music would grow violent and loud, so that
the old eunuch, rushing in, would belabour him with his staff.
How well I recall that room! Large was it and lofty; and there were
sculptured pillars of malachite and lapis-lazuli and of porphyry and
yellow marble. The floor was of black granite; the roof of white
marble. On the Southern side was my couch, a softness of exotic furs.
To roll in them was to gasp for pleasure. In the centre was a tiny
fountain of pure gold. The sunlight came through the space between
the walls and the roof, while on the other sides I could look through
and up into the infinite blue.
There was a great python that inhabited the hall; but he was very old,
and too wise to stir. But -- so I then believed -- he watched me and
conveyed intelligence to the old magus of the well.
Now then the folly of my guardians appeared in this; that while all
day I slept and languished and played idly, at night while they
supposed I slept, I slept not. But I rose and gave myself to the most
violent exercises. First, I would go into my bathing-pool and hold my
breath beneath the water while I invoked the goddess Auramoth one
hundred times. Next, I would walk on my hands around the room; I even
succeeded in hopping on one hand. Next, I would climb each of the
twenty-four smooth pillars. Next, I would practise the seventy-two
athletic postures. Also in many other ways I would strive to make
my strength exceeding great; and all this I kept most secret from
At last on one night I resolved to try my strength; so, pushing aside
the curtain, I passed into the corridor. Springing upon the soldier
that guarded me, I brought him to the ground; and with my right hand
under his chin, my left on his right shoulder, and my knee at the nape
of his neck, I tore his head from his body before he could utter a
I was now in my fifteenth year; but the deed was marvelous. None
suspected me; it was thought a miracle.
The old eunuch, distressed, went to consult the magus of the well;
whose answer was; "Let the vows of the priestess be taken!"
Now I thought this old man most foolish-obstinate; for I myself was
obstinate and foolish. Not yet did I at all understand his wisdom or
It often happens thus. Of old., men sent their priests to rebuke Nile
for rising -- until it was known that his rising was the cause of the
fertility of their fields.
Now of the vows which I took upon me and of my service as priestess of
the Veiled One it shall next be related.
It was the Equinox of Spring, and all my life stirred in me. They led
me down cool colonnades of mighty stone clad in robes of white
broidered with silver, and veiled with a veil of fine gold web
fastened with rubies. They gave me not the Uraeus crown, nor any
nemyss, nor the Ateph crown, but bound my forehead with a simple
fillet of green leaves -- vervain and mandrake and certain deadly
herbs of which it is not fitting to speak.
Now the priests of the Veiled One were sore perplexed, for that never
before had any boy been chosen priestess. For before the vows may be
administered, the proofs of virginity are sought; and, as it seemed,
this part of the ritual must be suppressed or glossed over. Then said
the High Priest: "Let it be that we examine the first woman that he
shall touch with his hand, and she shall suffice." Now when I heard
this, I thought to test the God; and, spying in the crowd, I beheld in
loose robes with flushed face and wanton eyes, a certain courtesan
well-known in the city, and I touched her. Then those of the priests
that hated me were glad, for they wished to reject me; and taking
aside into the hall of trial that woman, made the enquiry.
Then with robes rent they came running forth, crying out against the
Veiled One; for they found her perfect in virginity, and so was she
even unto her death, as latter appeared.
But the Veiled One was wroth with them because of this, and appeared
in her glittering veil upon the steps of her temple. There she stood,
and called them one by one; and she lifted but the eye-piece of her
veil and looked into their eyes; and dead they fell before her as if
smitten of the lightning.
But those priests who were friendly to me and loyal to the goddess
took that virgin courtesan, and led her in triumph through the city,
veiled and crowned as is befitting. Now after some days he that
guarded the sacred goat of Khem died, and they appointed her in his
place. And she was the first woman that was thus honoured since the
days of the Evil Queen in the Eighteenth Dynasty, of her that wearied
of men at an age when other women have not known them, that gave
herself to gods and beasts.
But now they took me to the pool of liquid silver -- or so they called
it; I suppose it was quicksilver; for I remember that it was very
difficult to immerse me -- which is beneath the feet of the Veiled
One. For this is the secret of the Oracle. Standing afar off the
priest beholds the reflection of her in the mirror, seeing her lips
that move under the veil; and this he interprets to the seeker after
Thus the priest reads wrongly the silence of the Goddess, and the
seeker understands ill the speech of the priest. Then come forth
fools, saying "The Goddess hath lied" -- and in their folly they
While, therefore, they held me beneath the surface of the pool, the
High Priestess took the vows on my behalf saying:
I swear by the orb of the Moon;
I swear by the circuit of the Stars;
I swear but the Veil, and by the Face behind the Veil;
I swear by the Light Invisible, and by the Visible
On behalf of this Virgin that is buried in thy water;
To live in purity and service;
To love in beauty and truth;
To guard the Veil from the profane;
To die before the Veil; ...
-- and then came the awful penalty of failure.
I dare not recall half of it; yet in it were these words: Let her be
torn by the Phallus of Set, and let her bowels be devoured by Apep;
let her be prostituted to the lust of Besz, and let her face be eaten
by the god ----.
It is not good to write His name.
Then they loosed me, and I lay smiling in the pool. They lifted me up
and brought me to the feet of the goddess, so that I might kiss them.
And as I kissed them such a thrill ran through me that I thought
myself rapt away into the heaven of Amoun, or even as Asi when Hoor
and Hoor-pa-kraat, cleaving her womb, sprang armed to life. Then they
stripped me of my robes, and lashed me with fine twigs of virgin hazel,
until my blood ran from me into the pool;. But the surface of the
silver swallowed up the blood by some mysterious energy; and they took
this to be a sign of acceptance. So then they clothed me in the right
robes of a priestess of the Veiled One; and they put a silver sistron
in my hand, and bade me perform the ceremony of adoration. This I
did, and the veil of the goddess glittered in the darkness -- for
night had fallen by this -- with a strange starry light.
Thereby it was known that I was indeed chosen aright.
So last of all they took me to the banqueting-house and set me on the
high throne. One by one the priests came by and kissed my lips: one
by one the priestesses came by, and gave me the secret clasp of hands
that hath hidden virtue. And the banquet waxed merry; for all the food
was magically prepared. Every beast that they slew was virgin; every
plant that they plucked had been grown and tended by virgins in the
gardens of the temple. Also the wine was spring water only, but so
consecrated by the holy priestesses that one glass was more
intoxicating that a whole skin of common wine. Yet this intoxication
was a pure delight, an enthusiasm wholly divine; and it gave strength,
and did away with sleep, and left no sorrow.
Last, as the first gray glow of Hormakhu paled the deep indigo of the
night, they crowned and clothed me with white lotus flowers, and took
me joyously back into the temple, there to celebrate the matin ritual
of awakening the Veiled One.
Thus, and not otherwise, I became priestess of that holy goddess, and
for a little while my life passed calm as the unruffled mirror itself.
It was from the Veiled One herself that came the Breath of Change.
On this wise.
In the Seventh Equinox after my initiation into her mystery the High
Priestess was found to fail; at her invocation the Veil no longer
glittered as was its wont. For this they deemed her impure, and
resorted to many ceremonies, but without avail. At last in despair
she went to the temple of Set, and gave herself as a victim to that
dreadful god. Now all men were much disturbed at this, and it was not
known at all of them what they should do.
Now it must be remembered that the ceremonies are always performed by
a single priestess alone before the goddess, save only at the
Initiations. The others also had found themselves rejected of her; and
when they learnt of the terrible end of the High Priestess, they became
fearful. Some few, indeed, concealed their failure from the priests;
but always within a day and a night they were found torn asunder in
the outer courts; so that it seemed the lesser evil to speak truth.
Moreover, the affair had become a public scandal; for the goddess
plagued the people with famine and with a terrible and foul disease.
But as for me, I wot not what to do; for to me always the Veil
glittered, and that brighter than the ordinary. Yet I said nothing,
but went about drooping and sorrowful, as if I were as unfortunate as
they. For I would not seem to boast of the favour of the goddess.
Then they sent to he old Magus in the well; and he laughed outright
at their beards, and would say no word. Also they sent to the sacred
goat of Khem, and his priestess would but answer, "I, and such as I,
may be favoured of Her," which they took for ribaldry and mocking. A
third time they sent to the temple of Thoth the Ibis god of wisdom.
And Thoth answered them by this riddle: "On how many legs doth mine
And they understood him not.
But the old High priest determined to solve the mystery, though he
paid forfeit with his life. So concealing himself in the temple, he
watched in the pool for the reflection of the glittering of the Veil,
while one by one we performed the adorations. And behind him and
without stood the priests, watching for him to make a sing. This we
knew not; but when it fell to me (the last) to adore that Veiled One,
behold! the Veil glittered, and the old Priest threw up his arms to
signal that which had occurred. And the flash of the eye pierced the
Veil, and he fell from his place dead upon the priests without.
They buried him with much honour, for that he had given his life for
the people and for the temple, to bring back the favour of the Veiled
Then came they all very humbly unto me the child, and besought me to
interpret the will of the Goddess. And her will was that I alone
should serve her day and night.
Then they gave me to drink of the Cup of the torment; and this is its
virtue, that if one should speak falsely, invoking the name of the
goddess, he shall burn in hell visibly before all men for a thousand
years; and that flame shall never be put out. There is such an one in
her temple in Memphis, for I saw it with these eyes. There he burns
and writhes and shrieks on the cold marble floor; and there he shall
burn till his time expire, and he sink to that more dreadful hell
below the West. But I drank thereof, and the celestial dew stood
shining on my skin, and a coolness ineffable thrilled through me;
whereat they all rejoiced, and obeyed the voice of the Goddess that I
had declared unto them.
Now then was I alway alone with that Veiled One, and I must enter
most fully into that secret period of my life. For, despite its
ending, which hath put many wise men to shame, it was to me even as
an eternity of rapture, of striving and of attainment beyond that
which most mortals -- and they initiates even! -- call divine.
Now first let it be understood what is the ritual of adoration of our
Lady the Veiled One.
First, the priestess performs a mystical dance, by which all beings
whatsoever, be they dogs or demons, are banished, so that the place
may be pure. Next, in another dance, even more secret and sublime, the
presence of the goddess is invoked into her Image. Next, the
priestess goes a certain journey, passing the shrines of many great
and terrible of the Lords of Khem, and saluting them. Last, she
assumes the very self of the Goddess; and if this be duly done, the
Veil glittereth responsive.
Therefore, if the Veil glittereth not, one may know that in some way
the priestess hath failed to identify herself with Her. Thus an
impurity in the thought of the priestess must cause her to fail; for
the goddess is utterly pure.
Yet the task is alway difficult; for with the other gods one knoweth
the appearance of their images; and steadily contemplating these one
can easily attain to their imitation, and so to their comprehension,
and to unity of consciousness with them. But with Our Veiled One,
none who hath seen her face hath lived long enough to say one word, or
call one cry.
So then it was of vital urgency to me to keep in perfect sympathy with
that pure soul, so calm, so strong. With what terror then did I
regard myself when, looking into my own soul, I saw no longer that
perfect stillness. Strange was it, even as if one should see a lake
stirred by a wind that one did not feel upon the cheeks and brow!
Trembling and ashamed, I went to the vesper adoration. I knew myself
troubled, irritated, by I knew not what. And in spite of all my
efforts, this persisted even to the supreme moment of my assumption of
And the? Oh but the Veil glittered as never yet; yea more! it shot
out sparks of scintillant fire, silvery rose, a shower of flame and of
Then was I exceedingly amazed because of this, and made a Vigil before
her all the night, seeking a Word. And that word came not.
Now of what further befell I will write anon.
So it came to pass that I no longer went out at all from the presence
of the goddess, save only to eat and to sleep. And the favour of her
was restored to the people, so that all men were glad thereof.
For if any man murmured, he was slain incontinent, the people being
mindful of the famine and the disease, and being minded to have no
more of such, if it could by any means be avoided. They were
therefore exceeding punctual with their gifts.
But I was daily more afraid, being in a great sweat of passion, of
which I dared to speak to no man. Nor did I dare to speak even
privily in mine own heart thereof, lest I should discover its nature.
But I sent my favourite, the virgin Istarah (slim, pallid, and
trembling as a young lotus in the West Wind), with my ring of office,
to enquire of the old Magus of the well.
And he answered her by pointing upward to the sky and then downward to
the earth. And I read this Oracle as if it were spoken "As above, so
beneath." This came to me as I had flung myself in despair at the
feet of my Lady, covering them with my tears; for by a certain
manifest token I now knew that I had done a thing that was so dreadful
that even now -- these many thousand years hence -- I dare hardly
I loved the Veiled One.
Yea, with the fierce passion of a beast, of a man, of a god, with my
whole soul I loved her.
Even as I knew this by the manifest token the Veil burst into a
devouring flame; it ate up the robes of my office, lapping them with
its tongues of fire like a tigress lapping blood; yet withal it burnt
me not, nor singed one hair.
Thus naked I fled away in fear, and in my madness slipped and fell into
the pool of liquid silver, splashing it all over the hall; and even as
I fled that rosy cataract of flame that wrapt me (from the Veil as it
jetted) went out -- went out ----
The Veil was a dull web of gold, no more.
Then I crept fearfully to the feet of the goddess, and with my tears
and kisses sought to wake her into life once more. But the Veil flamed
not again; only a mist gathered about it and filled the temple, and hid
all things from my eyes.
Now then came Istarah my favourite back with the ring and the message;
and thinking that she brought bad news, I slit her lamb's-throat with
the magic sickle, and her asp's-tongue I tore out with my hands, and
threw it to the dogs and jackals.
Herein I erred sorely, for her news was good. Having reflected
thereon, I perceived its import.
For since the Veil flamed always at my assumption, it was sure that I
was in sympathy with that holy Veiled One.
If I were troubled, and knew not why; if my long peace were stirred --
why then, so She!
"As above, so beneath!" For even as I, being man, sought to grasp
godhead and crush it in my arms, so She, the pure essence, sought to
manifest in form by love.
Yet I dared not repeat the ceremony at midnight.
Instead I lay prone, my arms outstretched in shame and pain, on the
steps at her feet.
And lo! the Veil flamed. Then I knew that She too blamed Herself
alike for her ardour and for her abstinence. Thus seven days I lay,
never stirring; and all that time the Veil flamed subtly and softly, a
steady bluish glow changing to green as my thought changed from
melancholy to desire.
Then on the eight day I rose and left the shrine and clad myself in
new robes, in robes of scarlet and gold, with a crown of vine and bay
and laurel and cypress. Also I purified myself and proclaimed a
banquet. And I made the priests and the citizens, exceeding drunken.
Then I called the guard, and purged thoroughly the whole temple of all
of them, charging the captain on his life to let no man pass within.
So that I should be absolutely alone in the whole precincts of the
Then like an old gray wolf I wandered round the outer court, lifting
up my voice in a mournful howl. And an ululation as of one hundred
thousand wolves answered me, yet deep and muffled, as though it came
from the very bowels of the earth.
Then at the hour of midnight I entered again the shrine and performed
As I went on I became inflamed with an infinite lust for the Infinite;
and now I let it leap unchecked, a very lion. Even so the Veil glowed
red as with some infernal fire. Now then I am come to the moment of
the Assumption; but instead of sitting calm and cold, remote, aloof, I
gather myself together, and spring madly at the Veil, catching it in
my two hands. Now the Veil was of woven gold, three thousand twisted
wires; a span thick! Yet I put out my whole force to tear it across;
and (for she also put out her force) it rent with a roar as of
earthquake. Blinded I was with the glory of her face; I should have
fallen; but she caught me to her, and fixed her divine mouth on mine,
eating me up with the light of her eyes. Her mouth moaned, her throat
sobbed with love; her tongue thrust itself into me as a shaft of
sunlight smites into the palm-groves; my robes fell shrivelled, and
flesh to flesh we clung. Then in some strange way she gripped me body
and soul, twining herself about me and within me even as Death that
devoureth mortal man.
Still, still my being increased; my consciousness expanded until I was
all Nature seen as one, felt as one, apprehended as one, formed by me,
part of me, apart from me -- all these things at one moment -- and at
the same time the ecstasy of love grew colossal, a tower to scale the
stars, a sea to drown the sun ...
I cannot write of this ... but in the streets people gathered apples
of gold that dropped from invisible boughs, and invisible porters
poured out wine for all, strange wine that healed disease and old age,
wine that, poured between the teeth of the dead (so long as the
embalmer had not begun his work), brought them back from the dark
kingdom to perfect health and youth.
As for me, I lay as one dead in the arms of the holy Veiled One --
Veiled no more! -- while she took her pleasure of me ten times, a
thousand times. In that whirlwind of passion all my strength was as a
straw in the simoom.
Yet I grew not weaker but stronger. Though my ribs cracked, I held
firm. Presently indeed I stirred; it seemed as if her strength had
come to me. Thus I forced back her head and thrust myself upon and
into her even as a comet that impales the sun upon its horn! And my
breath came fast between my lips and hers; her moan now faint, like a
dying child, no more like a wild beast in torment.
Even so, wild with the lust of conquest, I urged myself upon her and
fought against her. I stretched out her arms and forced them to the
ground; then I crossed them on her breast, so that she was powerless.
And I became like a mighty serpent of flame, and wrapt her, crushed
her in my coils.
I was the master! ...
Then grew a vast sound about me as of shouting: I grew conscious of
the petty universe, the thing that seems apart from oneself, so long
as one is oneself apart from it.
Men cried "The temple is on fire! The temple of Asi the Veiled One is
burning! The mighty temple that gave its glory to Thebai is aflame!
Then I loosed my coils and gathered myself together into the form of
a mighty hawk of gold and spake on last word to her, a word to raise
her from the dead!
But lo! not Asi, but Asar!
White was his garment, starred with red and blue and yellow. Green
was his Countenance, and in his hands he bore the crook and scourge.
Thus he rose, even as the temple fell about us in ruins, and we were
left standing there.
And I wist not what to say.
Now then the people of the city crowded in upon us, and for the most
part would have slain me.
But Thoth the mighty God, the wise one, with his Ibis-head, and his
nemyss of indigo, with his Ateph crown and his Phoenix wand and with
his Ankh of emerald, with his magic apron in the Three colours; yea,
Thoth, the God of Wisdom, whose skin is of tawny orange as though it
burned in a furnace, appeared visibly to all of us. And the old
Magus of the Well, whom no man had seen outside his well for night
threescore years, was found in the midst: and he cried with a loud
"The Equinox of the Gods!"
And he went on to explain how it was that Nature should no longer be
the centre of man's worship, but Man himself, man in his suffering and
death, man in his purification and perfection. And he recited the
Formula of the Osiris as follows, even as it hath been transmitted
unto us by the Brethren of the Cross and Rose unto this day:
"For Asar Un-nefer hath said:
He that is found perfect before the Gods hath said:
These are the elements of my body, perfected through suffering,
glorified through trial.
For the Scent of the dying rose is the repressed sigh of my
The Flame-Red fire is the energy of my undaunted Will;
The Cup of Wine is the outpouring of the blood of my heart,
sacrificed to regeneration;
And the Bread and Salt are the Foundations of my Body
Which I destroy in order that they may be renewed.
For I am Asar triumphant, even Asar Un-nefer the Justified One!
I am Her who is clothed with the body of flesh,
Yet in Whom is the Spirit of the mighty Gods.
I am he Lord of Life, triumphant over death; he who partaketh with me
shall arise with me.
I am the manifestor in Matter of those whose abode is in the
I am purified: I stand upon the Universe: I am its Reconciler with
the eternal Gods: I am the Perfector of Matter; and without me the
Universe is not!"
All this he said, and displayed the sacraments of Osiris before them
all; and in a certain mystical manner did we all symbolically
partake of them. But for me! in the Scent of the dying Rose I beheld
rather the perfection of the love of my lady the Veiled One, whom I
had won, and slain in the winning!
Now, however, the old Magus clad me (for I was yet naked) in the dress
of a Priest of Osiris. He gave me the robes of white Linen, and the
leopard's skin, and the wand and ankh. Also he gave me the crook and
scourge, and girt me with the royal girdle. On my head he set the
holy Uraeus serpent for a crown; and then, turning to the people,
"Behold the Priest of Asar in Thebai!
"He shall proclaim unto ye the worship of Asar; see that ye follow
Then, ere one could cry "Hold!" he had vanished from our sight.
I dismissed the people; I was alone with the dead God; with Osiris,
the Lord of Amennti, the slain of Typhon, the devoured of Apophis ...
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank