Daleth - Initiation Pt. 3

The King Gold must be killed and buried, in order that he may awake again to life, and who, ascending through the seven regimes, attains his full glory.

The First Matter has many names, among them, "Venus". I had made a mistake in trying to interpret my experience with Venus by looking at the Sephira Netzach. Of course, that was essential, but I should have been looking more closely at the path corresponding to Venus - Daleth - Door. The tarot card is The Empress, Atu III. How incredibly stupid I was. The Fool. God I was so confused and desperate for any type of answers at all. I have persisted in foolishness.

I am so incredibly humbled, because this was the most real thing to ever happen in my life, and has brought me to the realization of who I am meant to be. I think of the preternatural howling of the dead. How they are tortured by their decisions in life. What they would give to live again, now knowing what they know. And I, yet living, now know. I have purpose. As mundane as this world seems, as boring as day to day life can be, we are here not by accident. 

The fourth Path of Daleth is the axis between the Spheres Chokmah - Wisdom - Universal Self-Consciousness, and Binah - Understanding - Universal Subconscious. This is the foundation of the Supernal Triad. Crowley summed up Atu III by saying it was the Gateway to Heaven. I never got near the Door. The Threshold of Initiation is below the Supernals. It is the Abyss. Carl Jung once said that the Work could not begin without first experiencing the Shadow. Agrippa describes the alchemical process of Nigredo as a "melancholic state so powerful that, according to scientists and doctors, it can attract demons to the body, even to such an extent that one can get into mental confusion or get visions". He describes it perfectly. I could easily see a person with lesser mental fortitude going insane. I'm sure there are those who believe I am insane. Far from it.


There is no mistaking my experience as anything but that which was terrifying and infernal. In the very least, extremely Chthonic a matter... I approached the Threshold, and found it guarded. By what I did not know. The Devil. Set. Anubis. Lucifer. Amaymon. The Faceless God. Perhaps names aren't particularly important. The point is that it was a face to face encounter with a terrifying black goat-head atop my mother's body, which spoke to me the words "They are all liars". But there too was a woman, sickly. Wearing a wig, bald, something wrong with her eye. I believe now that Venus, or her attendant, or my Anima - again names aren't helpful here - she was helpful to me. She embraced me, gave me advice, made me aware that time with my mother, who has dementia, is very important, and that I will regret it very much if I did not act, from love, now.

I trembled at Thy coming, O my God, for Thy messenger was more terrible than the Death-star. On the threshold stood the fulminant figure of Evil, the Horror of emptiness, with his ghastly eyes like poisonous wells. He stood, and the chamber was corrupt; the air stank. He was an old and gnarled fish more hideous than the shells of Abaddon. He enveloped me with his demon tentacles; yea, the eight fears took hold upon me.
— Aleister Crowley, Liber LXV Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente, IV, 33-35

What Hermetic, Alchemical and Jungian wisdom tells me that Goat was, was my own Shadow. But he was so much more than a psychological term. No. A better term is the Evil Genius. My Evil Genius. It so turns out, being myself a Capricorn, he is also the Universal Symbol for THE Evil Genius. 

Frater Parzival, if you are reading this - you were right. What was preventing me from listening to you or anyone else, was the power my own Evil Genius had over me. I believed him. 

God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
— Romans 3:4

If the Evil Genius is real. If he can stand before me, a void horror, and speak with a voice, then I know too, the Holy Guardian Angel is more real. I will forever be grateful to Anael, to Aphrodite, to Venus Calva. Reader, go carefully over Crowley's own commentary to Liber LXV. Within it, after all my desperate attempts down multitudinous rabbit holes, I have found understanding and wisdom. Too, the last I saw Goat, he was in the form of a quadrupedal black goat with beautiful peacock wings slowly, shyly, backing up into a cavern. Reading some of DuQuesne's commentary on the Pyramid Texts, Goat isn't just an Evil Genius to be cast out or exorcised or something. Goat gave me a face to face encounter that I can never forget. I cannot but be in awe as well as horror. And I know that his influence is not gone.

The ``threshold’’ is before the ``door’’ or ``pylon’’ of Daleth. (Daleth means a door; its attribution is Venus, pure Love, and its Path is from Chokmah to Binah, the base of the Triangle of the Supernals. This ``door’’ is thus in all ways a fit symbol of the entrance to Initiation). The ``threshold’’ is then below the Path of Daleth on the Tree of Life; i.e., it is in the Abyss.

The above symbolism refers strictly to the Attainment of Master of the Temple; but its Truth is reflected into the technically correct account of the Initiation of the Dominus Liminis to Adeptus Minor. Here the ``door’’ is the third Reciprocal or Transverse Path (Daleth is the first) Pe which means a mount — the door of the vital organs. Pe is the letter of Atu XVI the ``House of God’’ or ``Blasted Tower.’’ The Hieroglyph represents a Tower — symbolic of the Ego in its Phallic Aspect, yet shut up, i.e., separate. This Tower is smitten by the Lightning Flash of Illumination, the impact of the Holy Guardian Angel and the Flaming Sword of the Energy that proceeds from Kether to Malkuth. Thence are cast forth two figures forming by their [...] attitude the letter [...]: [...] these are the twins (Horus and Harpocrates) born at the breaking-open of the Womb of the Mother (the second aspect of the Tower as a ``spring shut up, a fountain sealed’’). The represent in respect of the male aspect of the [...] Tower the spermatozoa ([...] is [...] the sign in which is the Sun at the Winter Solstice, when the New Year begins) emitted when the Phallus is smitten by the ecstasy of the Orgasm (Lightning Flash) and ``blasted’’ by losing its erection.

On the ``threshold’’ the Dominus Liminis is menanced by the Paths [...] of [...] and [...] the Atus XIII, XIV, XV. (Temperance or Restriction, Death, and the Devil, which issue from Tiphereth the abode of His Angel to ward off the profane of the Outer Order of GD.

The main difference (in essence) between the formulae of the two Initiations, into the R.R. et A.C. and the AA, respectively, are that the Adeptus Exemptus is below Daleth altogether, though he has crossed the Second Reciprocal Path Teth on his way to become an Adeptus Exemptus, and has no Path by which he may travel (save Gimel, which leads from Tiphereth to Kether, not from Chesed, to Binah, whither he is bound. This is to ward off the profane of the Inner Order of R.R. et A.C.) while the Dominus Liminis has already traversed the Path of Pe to attain the Grade of Philosophus, and the threshold is within, instead of without, the Pylon.

In crossing the Abyss the aim is to annihilate the Ego and its appurtenances altogether. In Qabalistic symbolism to attain to Zero. The peril is therefore that of identification with any of the products of disingegration. Choronzon, therefore, by which same we signify the idea of Dispersion, has no place within the Supernal Triad. The threshold of initiation, the Abyss, lies wholly without the door Daleth. The completeness of the disintegration, the impotence ([...]) and idleness ([...]) is guaranteed by the absence of the love (Daleth) which might otherwise bind together the dissipated events to form a unity (in the 7th Aethyr, Liber 418, we learn that if the Black Brothers were only able to look up to the Goddess of Love (Daleth) above them they might yet attain to Understanding.)

In the Initiation to Adeptus Minor, the conditions are altogether other. The aim is the attainment of unity not negativity, and there is no such perfection in the Sephiroth of the Ruach, Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, which compose the Grades of the Inner Order (R.R. et A.C.) as necessarily excluding Choronzon from the three Grades of the AA. The student is now referred to the Elemental Watch-Towers of Sir Edward Kelly (See The Equinox I:7 - 8). The four Elemental Tablets (12 ;tm 13) are bound together by the little Tablet of Spirit ( 4 ;tm 5), or, when the Tablets are arranged to show them each as a sub-section of the unity of Tetragrammaton by a black cross containing the letters of this little Tablet of Spirit. The names of evil demons are found notably by taking some imperfect and unbalanced symbol for the Watch-Towers such as a bilateral name from beneath the bar of the Calvary Cross in any of the Lesser Angles — and prefixing the appropriate letter from the Black Cross.

The doctrine implied is that the nature of Spirit is not only represented by Shin, the Holy Spirit, whose descent into the midst of Tetragrammaton sanctifies and illuminates the blind forces of the Elements, but is also soulless matter, dark, formless and void, the mere basis or background for the manifestation of all phenomena indifferently; and this truth is also symbolized by the blackness and undeveloped potentiality of Akasa as explained by the legend of Shiva mentioned in a previous paragraph.

Spirit may therefore be manifested either as the Holy Guardian Angel or as the Evil Persona, the Dweller on the Threshold, portrayed sensationally for trade by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his romance Zanoni. The doctrine is also frequently found in folk-lore, where man is represented as attended by both a good and an evil genius. The horror of the latter is intensified by his function as the alternative to the Holy Guardian Angel. Now, in the case of Exempt Adept, should he be beaten back from the City of the Pyramids by failure to comply perfectly with the formula of ``love under will’’ he remains lost in the Abyss with no future possibility than to identify himself in turn with each incoherent and unintelligible phenomenon that appears in the sensorium of the man, who has been disintegrated as the first to each and every imperfection which claims to be. Entirely different is the case of the Dominus Liminis whose operation, if unsucessful, may be a simple failure perhaps due to no serious error of his own. Apart from slight discouragement he should be able to try again without disadvantage. Indeed he should have used his failure as a means of instruction. But he may also fail from not having thoroughly assimilated the injunction of the Hieraeus in the ceremony of his initiation into the Grade of Neophyte: ``Fear is failure and the forerunner of failure. Be thou therefore without fear! for in the heart of the coward Virtue abideth not!’’

Similarly, he may have been unable to fulfil the formula of the Hierophant in that ceremony: ``Remember that Unbalanced Force is evil. Unbalanced Mercy is but weakness: Unbalanced Severity is but oppression.’’ Once more the fascination of evil may be no less perilous than the fear. In any case he may expect to be confronted first of all by his Evil Genius (cf., further, the ceremony of Zelator in GD — the appearance of the Angels Samael, Metatron, and Sandalphon). He may fail to abide the onslaught. He may be thrust back from the threshold, and his defeat may be more or less damaging according to circumstances. But his fear may be so great as to induce him to transform it into fascination, or his exhaustion so complete that he is prepared to purchase rest at any price. In either case the result may be that he accepts his Evil Persona as his Guardian Angel. I should be loth to assert that even so fearful a form of failure is necessarily fatal and final although evidently it must always create a disastrous Karma as involving the assertion fortified by the most solemn oaths and sealed by the most intense ecstasy of the absolute existence of evil, in a sense of the word, actually and ad hoc defined by himself, i.e., he has acquiesced in duality, established an interior conflict in himself, and ceremonially blasphemed and denied the unity of his own True Will. Appalling as is such a catastrophe, it lacks the element of finality since the principles involved do not extend above Tiphereth. He has become a Black Magician no doubt, but this is far indeed from being a Black Brother. It cannot even be said that such an one thereby manifests any tendency to become a Black Brother when the time is ripe; for his union even with the personification of Evil is also an act of love under will, though that will be false and vitiated by every conceivable defect and error. His chief danger is presumably that the intensity of the suffering which results from this may, as in the case of Glyndon in Zanoni, lead him to seek to escape altogether from Magick, to refrain from any act of love for fear lest he stray still farther from his true path. Let him remember the words of my brother: ``If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.’’ Let him resolutely continue in iniquity, invoking the vengeance of the Gods, so that at the end the excess of his love and its transcendence of anguish may bring him back into the way of truth.

From the above it should have become clear how it is that the Evil Genius is within the Sanctuary of the Temple of the Rosy Cross whose formula is ``love under will,’’ while Choronzon is excluded alike from that shrine and from the City of the Pyramids whose law, although still ``love under will,’’ understands both those terms as without limit.

The Evil is now described. The language is of course symbolic. At the same time the appearance here given might correspond very closely with the actual expressions of experience.

We are twice told that he ``stood’’ which is to be contrasted with the activity of ``going’’ of the Holy Guardian Angel (see verses 37 - 41). It is the peculiar token of any God that he should go. For this reason he bears the Ankh or sandal-strap in the Egyptian monuments. This antithesis is connected with the conception of the Black Brothers as shutting themselves up, or resenting change. The thelemic conception of the Universe is dynamic, so that stasis is inevitably the symbol of conflict with Nature. It is the equivalent of Death; for Death being a change, it is an event, i.e., a phenomenon of activity of life. This doctrine should be studied very thoroughly in CCXX.

Let the student attend, moreover, to the contrast between the symbols of the Holy Guardian Angel and those of the Evil Genius. The former, (See verses 38 - 41) are positive, active, solid, dynamic; of chariots, horseman, spearmen, the weapons of Jupiter and Pan are tremendously vital in his hands. Per contra the Evil Genius is vague, unreal and inactive. His characteristics are horror and emptiness. His eyes are ghastly, which I take in its strict sense as connected with geist. And this epithet is peculiarly abhorrent since the sense of sight is attributed to Fire, and should be clear-cut and luminous. Such activities as he commands are slow, cozy and vermicular. They resemble wells of poisoned water, i.e. they lurk and receive as little light as possible, whereas the ideal eye should dart forth flame. He causes even the air about him to stagnate and stink. Anatomically he resembles a fish, a cold-blooded inhabitant of the passive element. (Note the fish as the accepted symbol of Jesus). Even so, he is old, slow-moving, while the chief virtue of fish is to be quickly gliding. And he is gnarled, offering unnecessary resistance to his own movement, and increasing its friction. Hideous!

Shells or Qliphoth are lifeless excrement; and Abaddon is the destroyer or disperser — the destroyer by dispersion.

His method of combat as distinct from that of the Angel which is to pierce with a spear or smite with a thunderbolt is to envelope with his demoniacal and therefore illusory tentacles. This method is to restrict the Aspirant well knowing that ``the word of Sin is restriction.’’ He succeeds in communicating the ``eight fears,’’ which are connected with the eight heads of the stooping dragon. (See, for this symbolism, ``The Temple of Solomon the King,’’ The Equinox I:1 - 3) They are the restrictions to the Supernal Triad attempted by the seven lower Sephiroth and Daath. Hence the Stooping Dragon is shown on the Tree of Life below the Abyss after the Fall, and on the floor of the Vault of Christian Rosencreutz. In the older symbolism they are the eight Keys of Edom.

The Aspirant is ``anointed with the right sweet oil of the Magister.’’ The Magister pertaining to Binah, this oil may be taken to symbolize his Neschamah or aspiration. See the account of the Holy Oil given in Book 4, Part II. (The Holy Oil is the Aspiration of the Magician; it is that which consecrates him to the performance of the Great Work; and such is its efficacy that it also consecrates all the furniture of the Temple and the instruments thereof. It is also the grace or chrism; for this aspiration is not ambition; it is a quality bestowed from above...It is the pure light translated into terms of desire. It is not the Will of the Magician, the desire of the lower to reach the higher; but it is that spark of the higher in the Magician which wishes to unite the lower with itself.) Also the essential property of oil is to diminish friction and increase ease of movement. It is therefore the precisely right reply to this type of attack.

Furthermore, the Aspirant compares himself to a stone, which refers to the cubic stone symbolic of perfect adeptship, being the squared and equilibrated perfection of the spiritual Masonry; it is bounded by six squares which signify protection by Macroprosopus. See also the symbolism of the Stone in the Zohar, a subject far too extensive to make more than this single indication practicable. There is, furthermore, an identification of the Stone with the Sacred Phallus and of the Sun as worshipped in the Temple of Diana at Ephesus and in the word ABRASAX. In our own holy books, see V:6 and 58 of this Book and Liber VII V:2. (We made as a temple of stones in the shape of the Universe, even as thou didst wear openly and I concealed). In this last connection note the proper juxtaposition of stones as symbolic of the Great Work. This is to be found also in The Voice of Silence, where those who have attained build themselves into a wall to protect mankind. See also Liber VII VII:6. (We know why all is hidden in the stone, within the coffin, within the mighty sepulchre, and we too answer Olalam! Imal! Tutulu! as it is written in the ancient book).

This stone is a missile in the ``sling of a boy of the woodlands’’ who may be taken to represent the most youthful and active form of Pan, i.e. the aspirant considers himself as flung forth from the infinite and released from his swathings. (Cf. Liber XVII, VII:3 - 5) that he may perform the Great Work.

The aspirant is smooth; his qualities have been perfectly harmonised. He is hard, having perfected his resistance to extreme pressure. The analogy is with ivory. Ivory is the substance of the tooth, the letter Shin of the Holy Spirit and also of the substance of the skeleton on which his being is being built. The sound Sh moreover represents the power of silence as well as the activity and alertness which accompany the will to manifest oneself through one’s True Will. I here quote from my original notes on the intrinsic meaning of the letter: ``S is the serpent-hiss, the sharp breath, teeth bared yet clenched, which is the natural token of alarm, hate, defiance, natural to a man who meets his fellow-aberration from legitimate monkeyhood. By it he recognizes his brother, and names him accordingly, when need was. (Later, when alarm had died, we have still ``sh!’’ — Hush! — not a call for Silence, which it breaks, but a claim on the Attention of other men.) In S is this idea of fear and anger, combines these ideas; so the first S-gods were storm-gods.

Later, this breath, air moving in men, might be known for a proof that he lived; then this breath-letter, S, might come to mean ``life.’’ For instance, God breathes on Adam to make him a ``living soul,’’ and Elisha raises a boy to life by breathing on him. The Ruach Elohim again is a Breath that broods Chaos. At last we find a Holy Ghost begetting by dint of a breath. And was not Maut the Mother-Vulture impregnated by the wind? Perhaps too the hiss of the rain which fertilizes earth, as even a savage must observe in tropical lands where the result is so swift, may have helped him to the convention that S should mean life. This rain comes from the air which he breathes, though from beyond him; it seems then to him natural to make Zeus or Shu rain-gods and life-gods as well as air-gods, storm-gods, names for the fierce, the fearful anger which at first only meant ``an enemy’’ — his fellow-man!’’ (Diary, June 1920).

The Evil Genius is accordingly unable to dominate the aspirant. He having proved his virtue is now ready to receive the Holy Guardian Angel. Firstly is the noise of His coming. ``For the Lord shall descend from Heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God.’’ ``The Lord’’ is Adonai — which is the Hebrew for `my Lord’; and He descends from Heaven, the supernal Eden, the Sahasrara Cakkra in man, with a `shout,’ a `voice’ and a `trump,’ again airy symbols, for it is air that carries sound. These sounds refer to those heard by the Adept at the moment of rapture.’’ (Book 4, Part II). This by itself is sufficient to destroy the illusion of the Evil Genius. The ``abyss of the great void’’ is unfolded before the aspirant, i.e., all positive phenomena disappear. What remains is the ``infinite space’’ of Nuit. The continuous body of infinite possibilities.