Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Monday, November 23, 2015

On Liber V vel Reguli

Liber V vel Reguli – the “Book of the Princes” or “The Ritual of the Mark of the Beast” – is, in Crowley’s words, “an incantation proper to invoke the Energies of the Aeon of Horus, adapted for the daily use of the Magician of whatever grade."

On first glance, the ritual looks something like a “Thelemicized” version of the Supreme (aka Greater) Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram. On deeper inspection, this ritual is an enactment of Thelemic cosmology that functions by dramatizing the LAShTAL formula. It thus expands and deepens the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram as the Star Ruby does the LBRP.

The ritual is a symbolic means of saturating one’s consciousness in a “Thelemic” view of the world, as summarized in the word LAShTAL. It thus indeed “invoke[s] the Energies of the Aeon of Horus” in the truest sense of those words. No supernatural energies are stirred by this ritual: as in the LBRP and Star Ruby, the mechanism and effects are purely psychological. As Crowley put it in Magick in Theory and Practice, “The sincere student will discover, behind the symbolic technicalities of this book [i.e. behind the symbols of ritual magick], a practical method of making himself a Magician. The processes described will enable him to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be.”

In what follows I examine the performance and function of Liber V by reading it against the essay Crowley appended to it.

You should consider reading my articles on the LBRP and the Star Ruby as preliminaries to this article.

If you intend to perform Liber V, I recommend a solid grounding in the standard pentagram rituals first and some significant experience with invoking.

Read on for more.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gems from the Forums: The Benefits of Religion and Spirituality?

I’m reproducing below part of a conversation I had on Lashtal earlier this year. My interlocutor’s words are in italics, and mine appear below. The initial question he put to me was whether I think people are “lesser” simply because they “use religion or spirituality or even metaphysics and praeterhuman entities to better their thinking, to help them improve (even in their own minds), or even just to help them cope.”

As I go on to explain, such people are not “lesser” – in fact, the idea of “lesser” is an incoherent concept, especially in the context of Thelema – but the assumption of the question (that “spirituality,” broadly defined, actually does benefit people) needs to be questioned.