There is an angel with rainbow wings, and his dress is green2 with silver, a green veil3 over silver4 armour. Flames of many-coloured fire dart from him in all directions. It is a woman of some thirty years old, and she has the moon for a crest, and the moon is blazoned on her heart, and her sandals are curved silver, like the moon.
The Cry of the 27th Aethyr, Which is Called ZAA1
And she cries: Lonely am I and cold in the wilderness of the stars.5 For I am the queen of all them that dwell in Heaven,6 and the queen of all them that are pure upon earth, and the queen of all the sorcerers of hell.7
I am the daughter of Nuit, the lady of the stars. And I am the Bride of them that are vowed unto loneliness.8 And I am the mother of the Dog Cerberus.9 One person am I, and three gods.10
And thou who hast blasphemed me shalt suffer knowing me. For I am cold as thou art cold, and burn with thy fire.11 Oh, when shall the war of the Aires and the elements be accomplished?12
Radiant are these falchions of my brothers, invisibly about me, but the might of the aethyrs beneath my feet beareth me down. And they avail not to sever the Kamailos.13 There is one in green armour, with green eyes, whose sword is of vegetable fire.14 They shall avail me. My son is he,15 - and how shall I bear him that have not known man?
All this time intolerable rays are shooting forth to beat me back or destroy me; but I am encased in an egg of blue-violet, and my form is the form of a man with the head of a golden hawk.16 While I have been observing this, the goddess has kept up a continuous wail, like the baying of a thousand hounds;17 and now her voice is deep and guttural and hoarse, and she breathes very rapidly words that I cannot hear. I can hear some of them now.
UNTU LA LA ULULA UMUNA TOFA LAMA LE LI NA AHR IMA TAHARA ELULA ETFOMA UNUNA ARPETI ULU ULU ULU MARABAN ULULU MAHATA ULU ULU LAMASTANA.18
And then her voice rises to a shriek, and there is a cauldron19 boiling in front of her; and the flames under the cauldron are like unto zinc flames,20 and in the cauldron is the Rose, the Rose of 49 petals,21 seething in it. Over the cauldron she has arched her rainbow wings; and her face is bent over the cauldron, and she is blowing opalescent silvery rings on to the Rose; and each ring as it touches the water bursts into flame, and the Rose takes new colours.22
And now she lifts her head, and raises her hands to heaven, and cries: O Mother,23 wilt thou never have compassion on the children of earth? Was it not enough that the Rose should be red with the blood of thine heart,24 and that its petals should be by 7 and by 7?
She is weeping, weeping.25 And the tears grow and fill the whole stone with moons.26 I can see nothing and hear nothing for the tears, though she keeps on praying. "Take of these pearls,27 treasure them in thine heart. Is not the Kingdom of the Abyss accurst?" She points downward to the cauldron; and now in it there is the head of a most cruel dragon,28 black and corrupted. I watch, and watch; and nothing happens.
And now the dragon rises out of the cauldron, very long and slim (like Japanese Dragons, but infinitely more terrible), and he blots out the whole sphere of the stone.29
Then suddenly all is gone, and there is nothing in the stone save brilliant white light and flecks like sparks of golden fire; and there is a ringing, as if bells were being used for anvils. And there is a perfume which I cannot describe; it is like nothing that one can describe, but the suggestion is like lignum aloes.30 And now all these things are there at once in the same place and time.31
Now a veil of olive and silver32 is drawn over the stone, only I hear the voice of the angel33 receding, very sweet and faint and sorrowful, saying: Far off and lonely in the secret stone is the unknown, and interpenetrated is the knowledge with the will and the understanding. I am alone. I am lost, because I am all and in all; and my veil is woven of the green earth and the web of stars. I love; and I am denied, for I have denied myself. Give me those hands, put them against my heart. Is it not cold? Sink, sink, the abyss of time remains. It is not possible that one should come to ZAA. Give me thy face. Let me kiss it with my cold kisses. Ah! Ah! Ah! Fall back from me. The word, the word of the aeon is MAKHASHANAH.34 And these words shalt thou say backwards:35 ARARNAY OBOLO MAHARNA TUTULU NOM LAHARA EN NEDIEZO LO SAD FONUSA SOBANA ARANA BINUF LA LA LA ARPAZNA UOHULU. when thou wilt call my burden unto appearance, for I who am the Virgin goddess am the pregnant goddess, and I have cast down my burden even unto the borders of the universe.36 They that blaspheme me are stoned, and my veil37 is fallen about me even unto the end of time.37
Now there arises a great raging of thousands and thousands of mighty warriors flashing through the aethyr so thickly that nothing is to be seen but their swords, which are like blue-gray plumes. And the noise is confused, thousands of battle-cries harmonizing to a roar, like the roar of a monstrous river in flood. And all the stone is dull, dull gray. The life is gone from it.38
There is no more to see.
Sidi Aissa, Algeria.
November 24, 1909, 8-9 p.m.