There appears in the stone immediately the Kamea**2** of the Moon. And it is rolled up; and behind it there appeareth a great Host of Angels. Their backs are turned towards me, but I can see how tremendous are their arms, which are swords and spears. They have wings upon their helmets and their heels: they are clad in complete armour, and the least of their swords is like the breaking forth of a tremendous storm of lightning. The least of their spears is like a great water-spout. On their shields are the eyes of Tetragrammaton, winged with flame, — white, red, black, yellow and blue. On their flanks are vast squadrons of elephants, and behind them is their meteor-artillery. They that sit upon the elephants are armed with the thunderbolt of Zeus.
Now in all that host there is no motion. Yet they are not resting upon their arms, but tense and vigilant. And between them and me is the God Shu, whom before I did not see, because his force filleth the whole Aethyr**3**. And indeed he is not visible in his form. Nor does he come to the seer through any of the senses; he is understood, rather than expressed.
I perceive that all this army is defended by fortresses, nine mighty towers**4** of iron upon the frontier of the Aethyr. Each tower is filled with warriors in silver armour**5**. It is impossible to describe the feeling of tension; they are like oarsmen waiting for the gun.
I perceive that an Angel is standing on either side of me; nay, I am in the midst of a company of armed angels, and their captain is standing in front of me. He too is clad in silver armour; and about him, closely wrapped to his body, is a whirling wind**6**, so swift that any blow struck against him would be broken.
And he speaketh unto me these words:
Behold, a mighty guard against the terror of things, the fastness of the Most High, the legions of eternal vigilance; these are they that keep watch and ward day and night throughout the aeons. Set in them is all force of the Mighty One, yet there stirreth not one plume of the wings of their helmets.
Behold, the foundation of the Holy City, the towers and the bastions thereof! Behold the armies of light that are set against the outermost Abyss, against the horror of emptiness, and the malice of Choronzon. Behold how worshipful is the wisdom of the Master, that he hath set his stability in the all-wandering Air and in the changeful Moon**7**. In the purple flashes of lightning hath He written the word Eternity, and in the wings of the swallow hath He appointed rest.
By three and by three and by three hath He made firm the foundation against the earthquake that is three. For in the number nine is the changefulness of the numbers brought to naught. For with whatsoever number thou wilt cover it, it appeareth unchanged**8**.
These things are spoken unto him that understandeth, that is a breastplate unto the elephants, or a corselet unto the angels, or a scale upon the towers of iron; yet is this mighty host set only for a defense, and whoso passeth beyond their lines hath no help in them.
Yet must he that understandeth go forth unto the outermost Abyss, and there must he speak with him that is set above the four-fold terror, the Princes of Evil, even with Choronzon, the mighty devil that inhabiteth the outermost Abyss. And none may speak with him, or understand him, but the servants of Babylon, that understand, and they that are without understanding, his servants.
Behold! it entereth not into the heart, nor into the mind of man to conceive this matter; for the sickness of the body is death, and the sickness of the heart is despair, and the sickness of the mind is madness. But in the outermost Abyss is sickness of the aspiration, and sickness of the will, and sickness of the essence of all, and there is neither word nor thought wherein the image of its image is reflected.
And whoso passeth into the outermost Abyss, except he be of them that understand, holdeth out his hands, and boweth his neck, unto the chains of Choronzon. And as a devil he walketh about the earth, immortal, and be blasteth the flowers of the earth, and he corrupteth the fresh air, and he maketh poisonous the water; and the fire that is the friend of man, and the pledge of his aspiration, seeing that it mounteth ever upward as a pyramid, and seeing that man stole it in a hollow tube from Heaven, even that fire he turneth unto ruin, and madness, and fever, and destruction. And thou, that art an heap of dry dust in the city of the pyramids, must understand these things.
And now a thing happens, which is unfortunately sheer nonsense; for the Aethyr that is the foundation of the universe was attacked by the Outermost Abyss, and the only way that I can express it is by saying that the universe was shaken. But the universe was not shaken. And that is the exact truth; so that the rational mind which is interpreting these spiritual things is offended; but, being trained to obey, it setteth down that which it doth not understand. For the rational mind indeed reasoneth, but never attaineth unto Understanding; but the Seer is of them that understand.
And the Angel saith:
Behold, He hath established His mercy and His might, and unto His might is added victory, and unto his Mercy is added splendour**9**. And all these things hath He ordered in beauty, and He hath set them firmly upon the Eternal Rock, and therefrom He hath suspended His kingdom as one pearl**10** that is set in a jewel of threescore pearls and twelve**11**. And He hath garnished it with the Four Holy Living Creatures for Guardians, and He hath graven therein the seal of righteousness**12**, and He hath burnished it with the fire of His Angel, and the blush of His loveliness informeth it, and with delight and with wit hath He made it merry at the heart, and the core thereof is the Secret of His being, and therein is His name Generation. And this His stability had the number 80, for that the price thereof is War**13**.
Beware, therefore, O thou who art appointed to understand the secret of the Outermost Abyss, for in every Abyss thou must assume the mask and form of the Angel thereof. Hadst thou a name, thou wert irrevocably lost. Search, therefore, if there be yet one drop of blood that is not gathered into the cup of Babylon the Beautiful, for in that little pile of dust, if there could be one drop of blood, it should be utterly corrupt; it should breed scorpions and vipers, and the cat of slime**14**.
And I said unto the Angel:
Is there not one appointed as a warden?
And he said:
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani.
Such an ecstasy of anguish racks me that I cannot give it voice, yet I know it is but as the anguish of Gethsemane. And that is the last word of the Aethyr. The outposts are passed, and before the seer extends the outermost Abyss.
I am returned.
December 5, 1909. 10:10-11:35 p.m.