At first there is a black web over the face of the stone. A ray of light pierces it from behind and above. Then cometh a black cross**2**, reaching across the whole stone; then a golden cross, not so large. And there is a writing in an arch that spans the cross, in an alphabet in which the letters are all formed of little daggers**3**, cross-hilted, differently arranged. And the writing is: Worship in the body the things of the body; worship in the mind the things of the mind; worship in the spirit the things of the spirit**4**.
(This holy alphabet must be written by sinners, that is, by those who are impure.)**5**
“Impure” means those whose every thought is followed by another thought, or who confuse the higher with the lower, the substance with the shadow. Every Aethyr is truth, though it be but a shadow, for the shadow of a man is not the shadow of an ape**6**.
(Note. — All this has come to me without voice, without vision, without thought.)
(The shew-stone is pressed upon my forehead and causes intense pain; as I go on from Aethyr to Aethyr, it seems more difficult to open the Aethyr.
The golden cross has become a little narrow door, and an old man like the Hermit**7** of the Taro has opened it and come out. I ask him for admission: and he shakes his head kindly, and says: It is not given to flesh and blood to unveil the mysteries of the Aethyr, for therein are the chariots of fire**8**. and the tumult of the horsemen; whoso entereth here may never look on life again with equal eyes. I insist.
The little gate is guarded by a great green dragon. And now the whole wall is suddenly fallen away; there is a blaze of the chariots and the horsemen; a furious battle is raging. One hears nothing but the clash of steel and the neighing of the chargers and the shrieks of the wounded. A thousand fall at every encounter and are trampled under foot. Yet the Aethyr is always full; there are infinite reserves.
No; that is all wrong, for this is not a battle between two forces, but a mle in which each warrior fights for himself against all the others. I cannot see one who has even one ally. And the least fortunate, who fall soonest, are those in the chariots. For as soon as they are engaged in fighting, their own charioteers stab them in the back**9**.
And in the midst of the battlefield there is a great tree, like a chinar-tree**10**. Yet it bears fruits. And now all the warriors are dead, and they are the ripe fruits that are fallen – the ground is covered with them.
There is a laugh in my right ear: “This is the tree of life**11**.”
And now there is a mighty god, Sebek**12**, with the head of a crocodile. His head is gray, like river mud, and his jaws fill the whole Aire. And he crunches up the whole tree and the ground and everything.
Now then at last cometh forth the Angel of the Aethyr, who is like the Angel of the fourteenth key of Rota**13**, with beautiful blue wings, blue robes, the sun in her girdle like a brooch, and the two crescents of the moon shapen into sandals for her feet. Her hair is of flowing gold, each sparkle as a star. In her hands are the torch of Penelope and the cup of Circe**14**.
She comes and kisses me on the mouth**15**, and says: Blessed art thou who hast beheld Sebek my Lord in his glory. Many are the champions of life, but all are unhorsed by the lance of death. Many are the children of the light, but their eyes shall all be put out by the Mother Darkness. Many are the servants of love, but love (that is not quenched by aught but love) shall be put out, as the child taketh the wick of a taper between his thumb and finger, by the god that sitteth alone**16**.
And on her mouth, like a chrysanthemum of radiant light, is a kiss, and on it is the monogram I.H.S. The letters I.H.S. mean In Homini Salus and Instar Hominis Summus, and Imago Hominis deuS. And there are many, many other meanings, but they all imply this one thing; that nothing is of any importance but man; there is no hope or help but in man**17**.
And she says: Sweet are my kisses, O wayfarer that wanderest from star to star. Sweet are my kisses, O householder that weariest within four walls. Thou art pent within thy brain, and my shaft pierceth it, and thou art free. Thine imagination eateth up the universe as the dragon that eateth up the moon. And in my shaft is it concentrated and bound up. See how all around thee gather my warriors, strong knights in goodly armour ready for war. Look upon my crown; it is above the stars. Behold the glow and the blush thereof! Upon thy cheek is the breeze that stirs those plumes of truth. For though I am the Angel of the fourteenth key, I am also the Angel of the eighth key**18**. And from the love of these two have I come, who am the warden of Pop and the servant of them that dwell therein. Though all crowns fall, mine shall not fall; for my plumes reach up unto the Knees of Him that sitteth upon the holy throne, and liveth and reigneth for ever and ever as the balance of righteousness and truth. I am the Angel of the moon. I am the veiled one that sitteth between the pillars veiled with a shining veil, and on my lap is the open Book of the mysteries of the ineffable light**19**. I am the aspiration unto the higher; I am the love of the unknown. I am the blind ache within the heart of man. I am the minister of the sacrament of pain. I swing the censer of worship, and I sprinkle the waters of purification. I am the daughter of the house of the invisible. I am the Priestess of the Silver Star**20**.
And she catches me up to her as a mother catches her babe, and holds me up in her left arm, and sets my lips to her breast**21**. And upon her breast is written: Rosa Mundi est Lilium Coeli**22** squares in the midst. It radiates a blaze of light, too dazzling to make out the characters, and a voice says: Non haec piscis omnium**23**.
(To interpret that, we must think of 'Ιχθ 'σ, which does not conceal Iesous Christos Theon Uios Soter as traditionally asserted, but is a mystery of the letter Nun and the letter Qoph, as may be seen by adding it up**24**.)
('Ιχθ'σ is only connected with Christianity because it was a hieroglyph of syphilis, which the Romans supposed to have been brought from Syria; and it seems to have been confounded with leprosy, which also they thought was caused by fish- eating.)
(One important meaning of 'Ιχθ 'σ: it is formed of the initials of five Egyptian deities and also of five Greek deities: in both cases a magic formula of tremendous power is concealed**25**.
As to the Holy Table itself, I cannot see it for the blaze of light; but I am given to understand that it appears in another Aethyr, of which it forms practically the whole content. And I am bidden to study the Holy Table very intently so as to be able to concentrate on it when it appears.
I have grown greater, so that I am as great as the Angel. And we are standing, as if crucified, face to face, our hands and lips and breasts and knees and feet together, and her eyes pierce into my eyes like whirling shafts of steel, so that I fall backwards headlong through the Aethyr**26** —and there is a sudden and tremendous shout, absolutely stunning, cold and brutal: Osiris was a black god**27**! And the Aethyr claps its hands, greater than the peal of a thousand mighty thunders.
I am back.
November 30, 1909 10-11:45 p.m.