Aleister Crowley “Liber CDXIV vel De Arte Magica” (IX°)

Aleister Crowley

Liber CDXIV vel De Arte Magica (IX°)

Secundum ritum
Gradus Nonae O.T.O.
anno belli universalis
ne perdat arcanum


Baphomet X° Rex Summus Sanctissimus O.T.O.

National Grand Master General ad vitam of Ireland, Iona and all the Britains, in the Name of the Secret Master, Aumn. Greeting and Peace to Our Most Holy, Most Illuminated, Most Illustrious, and Most Dear Brother, his Excellency Sir James Thomas Windram X° O.T.O., Our Viceroy in the Union of South Africa, and sendeth these for his pleasure and instruction, and for communication at utmost extremity of need to selected Initiates of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis IX° who have either (a) shewn by power their fitness for that degree, or (b) shewn by wisdom their suitability to ward the Arcanum Arcanorum. Also to certain trusty Brethren of the VIII°, VII°, and VI° chosen for this moment of peril.

For at this hour the clouds gather again upon the face of the Sun our father; all Those Who Know may perish in the world-war; even as it is written in the Ritual of the V°:

“It is the hour when the Veil of the Temple was rent in twain,
When darkness began to overspread the earth,
When the altar was thrown down,
The star called Wormwood fell upon the earth,
When the Blazing Star was eclipsed,
The Sacred Tau was defiled with blood and water,
Despair the tribulation visited us,
And the Word was lost.”

Now therefore that the floods menace the Earth, and the Winter of Civilisation is upon us, it is fitting that an Ark of the Sanctuary be builded wherein the sacred Phallus may be hidden, a Field sown wherein the Germ of Life may be preserved; so that although the Tradition be destroyed in the destruction of the Brains that bear it, it shall be possible for those that may be worthy coming after us to recover the Lost Word.


Of Ararat

The supreme secret of the O.T.O. is written in detail in the Book called Agape and is also written plainly in Liber CCCXXXIII, Cap. XXXVI.

But now also do We think it fitting to add Our own comment to this book Agape which We wrote in Our own words for the proper setting-forth of this Secret taught Us at Our Initiation to the IX° by the O.H.O. And this Book has received His official approbation in every word thereof.

But in this comment do We not set forth the Secret itself (rather on the contrary guarding it by certain subtilties even from the conjecture of the unworthy) but only Our own ideas as to its right use, with other matters germane, thinking that those into whose hands it may come may thereby understand more fully the utter importance of this Secret as having been the Pivot of Our working for so long a period, and further that it may aid such persons to attain perfectly the mastery of this Holy and Imperial Art.

Of the Importance of the Secret

This secret is the true Key to Magick; that is, by the right use of this secret man may impose his Will on Nature herself, as will appear hereafter in this comment.

In this way, although all recorded Knowledge were destroyed, it would be possible for an adept of this secret to restore it.

Of the Mind of the Adept

In Our holiest isle Ierne is found a being called Leprechaun. This creature, once seen, is easy to catch; and once caught must lead his captor to great treasure, provided that never for an eye-wink doth he relax vigilance; and the Leprechaun by all manner of tricks doth seek ever to divert the attention of him that hath made him prisoner.

Now this is a Magical Apologue or Fable of the utmost abyss of Truth.

For in the preparation of the Sacrament, and in its consummation also, the mind of the Initiate must be concerned absolutely in one rushing flame of will upon the determined object of his operation.

For there is no act more easy and natural to man than this preparation, none which requires less auxiliary. And yet by far the most part of mankind is ignorant and incapable of its proper performance; so that it is said that perfection in it as both science and art requires no less study than the most abstruse of philosophies, and no less practice than the most difficult of dexterities. But it is utterly in vain unless this first condition be fulfilled; and so difficult is this, not only because of the Overcoming of the Bodily Trance, but because of the wandering nature of the mind itself. And thereafter only by long and hard training preliminary in the art of meditation, and by constant practice and experience, can this Act become fruitful in Magick.

Of Times and Seasons

Although no instruction has been given on this matter, yet it is evident, not only from considerations of the nature of things, but from Our own experience of these two years, that the fruitfulness of this Sacrament varies constantly, as it seems without rational cause.

Nor have We fully understood the best conditions. But it is Our Opinion that the Adept should suffer inward premonition whether the hour be propitious or no.

Yet it hath also been observed, and that often, that by extreme violence to Nature results are obtained equal to those garnered when Nature herself urges vehemently to the Act by enthusiasm.

But mediocre states of body and mind are to be avoided. As it is written: “I would thou wert cold or hot; but because thou art lukewarm I shall spew thee out of My mouth.”

Nor is it necessarily to be disregarded as superstition to assert that certain hours of the day and certain aspects of the stars are more favourable than others, but rather to be criticised and investigated according to the methods of true science.

Of Bodily States

There is here a certain difficulty, in that the body being full of meat and wine is more apt for the preparation, as it is said, “Sine Cereri et Baccho Venus friget,”(“Without Ceres and Bacchus” (i.e. corn and wine) “there is coldness”. Note from F. King edition) while for the consummation the body should be empty of all gross nutriment, so that the Elixir may be sucked up eagerly, and, running nobly into every part, revivify the whole.

It will in Our opinion be best if a full meal be taken not less than three hours before the beginning of the Ceremony, and after that no food, although stimulants whether of wine or subtler agents may be continued, so as to raise the body from excitement to excitement, and thus fit it for the proper exaltation suitable to the Work.

But in all this men may differ, and there is no rule but what may be engraven upon her Tracing-Board by the burin of Experience.

Of Operations of this Art, whether they should be Single or Multiple

We have doubt also in this matter whether, if an operation fail, it be wise to reiterate.

A Single Act implieth perfection, and full faith, in the Adept; if he repeat, that is Fear, and argueth imperfection in the first Trial.

Yet possibly for great cosmic operations it may be well to perform a series of Sacraments; but in this case the series should be arranged beforehand, and carried out regularly. As for example, the 16 operations of Jupiter done in the city of Paris during the passage of the Sun from 10° Capricorn to 22° Aquarius An IX.

In Our experience, repetitions undertaken because of apparent failure have sometimes seemed fatal, actually stopping what might reasonably have been expected to occur, and which has occurred only some time after the cessation of such attempts.

But we have also noted that in such cases the result hath been great and favourable, as if the repeated operations had built a dam restraining the natural current of the favourable forces, thus keeping them back so as to make them more effective in the end. But this may be false interpretation of the observed phenomena.

And, again, a series of such Sacraments has been futile until one last Work has landed in Success.

Yet this again may be coincidence, the result of the first working, but delayed.

The Adept will develop Intuition in all these questions; it is likely that the personal equation is very important, and that no absolute Rule Catholic, always everywhere, and by all men to be observed, exists.

Of certain unknown Inhibitions, and their Effect

We have marked subtly and regularly, the conditions and results of divers Workings of this Art, and this is the marvel now the Result follows swift and perfect, now again a group of lesser Results sympathetic to the Result willed, now but slight movements imitative of that Result, and now not only perfect failure, but the sudden reversal of all hopes in despair and ruin.

More plainly, if X be the Object of the Work, the result is sometimes X, sometimes x x x x, sometimes v(x), sometimes -v(x), or -x x x x, or -X.

In the concrete, suppose that one worketh this Art to obtain a great sum. Then at one time that sum will arrive that same night or within (say) 48 hours after, or an event occur involving the gain of that sum; at another time there will merely arise a group of circumstances favourable; at another time again a lesser sum will arrive; but also these may be reversed, in the worst case the loss of the sum proposed or the occurrence of an event which might involve that loss, or at least disappoint some reasonable expectation of that gain.

In the particular case of employing this Sacrament for the Elixir of Life, its misuse might cause premature old age, disease, or even death, as it is said; but We do not think that these results would follow the miscarriage of any other operation; We think that retribution is to be the evil and adverse reflection of reward, and on its plane. Adepts will then shew prudence by experimenting thoroughly in minor operations, where failure does not imply irreparable disaster, until they have the Knowledge and Experience of this Art which will give a reasonable confidence.

Of a Theory of this Art Magical

The theory of this Art appears to Us to involve certain cosmic hypotheses to which it is perhaps not impossible to assent at least tentatively, but which are certainly unproven.

The idea of Prana in some form more mystical than that which identifieth it with the Motion of the physicist is perhaps inherent.

In the mere consummation of the Sacrament for health and vitality is no violation of reason, but at most an exaggeration of anticipation; for the Matter of the Sacrament is indubitably a Microcosm; but in the extension of this Sacrament to validity in Magick is an hiatus comparable to that which exists in the theory of Astrology. Even granting that an angle of 120° subtended at the eye of the observer on Earth between Sol and Saturn (exempli gratia) is accompanied by certain fortunes, this may be casual and not causal.

However, in this matter We have no doubt of the efficacy of the process, and are therefore fain to toy with any hypothesis, investigating as probability may determine us to do.

Thus we may assume an Ether or Akasa, inflamed or stressed by a particular Prana. And all stresses in this Akasa being of one kind ultimately, though mediately diverse, it may be as easy to arrest the course of the Earth as to destroy a worm. For the Work is taking place in a World of Causes fluid and not solid, in Yetzirah (or even Briah) rather than in Assiah.

It will be impossible or very difficult to move infantry from one wing of the engaged line to the other, but in the Quarters of the Staff it is indifferent whether that body, being at the base, is pushed forward to either. One cannot easily oxidize gold precipitated from the chloride, but having the chloride, it is easy to prepare the oxide rather than the metal.

And in all these matters reason must be the guide, and experience the teacher, so that the adept seek not to perform things impossible in Nature, and so blaspheme the Sacrament and bring it to contempt.

Yet let this be said, that to the consumate and sublime Initiate it may seem that of Himself was it written: “With God all things are possible.”

However, God Himself is not found to interfere arbitrarily with the course of Nature, but to work within His laws.

Let the Adept act not otherwise.

Of the Course of the Moon, and her Influence

It is said that the second party is useless, even dangerous, when the influence of the Moon first shews itself. [Yet the motion of the Earth, implying great causes in Briah and Yetzirah, must be difficult to check, unless by Briatic forces of much intensity.] But on the second day and after, though perhaps not on the last day, the Sacrament is more efficacious than at any other time, as is figured by our ancient Brethren the Alchemists in their preference of the Red Tincture to the White.

This We also believe, though We hold it hitherto not proven.

Of the Second Party to this Art, whether Initiation is Desirable

If the other party to the Sacrament be also of the Ninth degree an Initiate of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis, it seems to Us urgent that the Object of both be one only, also that the general interest and nature of them be but one; else cometh division the enemy of Will, and utter failure following. And, the whole being considered carefully, We do opine that it is better and easier that the other party should be in ignorance of the sacred character of the Office.

It is enough if that assistant be formed by Nature signally for the physical task, robust, vigorous, eager, sensible, hot and healthy; flesh, nerve and blood being tense, quick, and lively, easily enflamed, and nigh inextinguishable.

Of certain Rites analogous to that of the IX°

It is said by certain Initiates that to obtain Spiritual gifts, and to aid Nature, the Sacrament should be as it were a Nuptial of the Folk of Earth; but that Magick is of the Demon, and that by a certain Perversion of the Office, may be created Elementals fit to perform the Will of the Magician.

Now herein is a difficulty, since in this case the Matter of the Sacrament cannot exist, for that there is no White Eagle to generate the Gluten.

Howbeit, We hold that in this rite is great efficacy; it may be that for certain operations it is equal or superior to that explained to Initiates of the IX°.

But We hold that in this case the Priest must be an Initiate, for that it is his will which determineth the magical character of his Lion; so that if he hath no purpose but that of the goddess Adonai he cannot raise agape to her Lord Thelema, nor will the Intention of the Priestess, although a lofty Initiate, replace this essential Power of the Priest over that of which he is but the vehicle and guardian.

For this reason the Ninth degree is not so easy to be made effective by Woman initiates.

Of what may be the result of a development parallel to that indicated above among the Noble and Chaste Ladies of the Order, it is at present impossible for Us to declare; but a priori it seems that, though the Lion and the Eagle are best in combination, the Lion is more likely to be able to dispense with the assistance of the Eagle, than the Eagle to make shift in the absence of the Lion. For the Gluten is but a menstruum or solvent, and containeth nothing in itself. The tradition also of certain lesser initiations confirmeth this. Yet considerations of divinity and of philosophy, and even of physics, do assure that our Way excelleth others even as spring tides exceed the neap. Water burneth the skin not at all, and the Oil of Vitriol but slowly but add a drop of water to the drop of Oil, and instantly cometh Heat and a pang intense and sharp. This is but analogy, yet just, and pleasing to the philosopher.

Of the Choice of an Assistant

With regard to the choice of one to serve this Sacrament, man is so confused in mind, and so easily deceived as to this matter, that it seems to Us not unreasonable to allow full sway to the Caprice of the Moment. For this caprice so-called is in truth perhaps the Voice of the Sub-Consciousness; that is, it is the deliberate choice of the Holy Phallus itself. “The Phallus is the physiological basis of the Oversoul.” For this very reason are these many men led astray, lost in unchastity and ruin.

But let the conscious Will be devoted wholly to the Great Work, then shall the Subconscious Will choose inevitably the Appointed Vehicle of the Work.

It is for this reason that already in the Seventh Degree the Sir Knights are sworn to Chastity. And this Chastity is an Abstinence from all gross sexual acts of every kind.

Moreover, this is further to be observed in the choice, that the second party must be consenting enthusiastically to co-operate physically with the Priest, so that the Lion be perfectly dissolved in a full portion of the Gluten. And whether this preparation be truly and duly done is known by the appearance of the Matter of the Sacrament, and also by its taste. For not idly is it written in the Book of Judges, “What is sweeter than honey, and what is stronger than a lion?” And that this secret is here manifested by the Holy Ghost is clear from the rejoinder of Samson, “If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.”

Of certain Jewish theories

Among the Jews are certain instructed Initiates of their Qabalah who hold, as We understand, the view that in the Zraa or Semen itself lies a creative force inherent which cannot be balked. Thus they say that before Eve was made, the dreams of Adam produced Lilith, a demon, and that from his intercourse with her sprang evil races.

Now then they mine the Roads of the Harbour of conjugal love with many restrictions: as these (1) it must be an holy act, preceded by ablutions, and by prayer (2) all lustful thoughts must be rigidly excluded (3) the purpose must be solely that of procreation (4) the blessing of God must be most earnestly invoked, so that the child shall be under His special protection.

In other language, this is their theory: the act of love causes a magical disturbance in the Aether or Akasa of such a nature as to attract or create a disincarnate human spirit.

All other sexual acts involving emission of semen therefore attract or excite other spirits, incomplete and therefore evil. Thus nocturnal pollutions bring succubi, which are capable of separate existence, and of vampirising their creator.

But voluntarily sterile acts create demons, and (if done with concentration and magical intention), such demons as may subserve that intention. Thus, as Levi testifieth, to graft a tree successfully, the graft is fixed by a woman while the man copulateth with her per vas nefandum.

We also narrate for the sake of completeness their method — perfected by modern Adepts — let us here give honour and worship to the name of Our lay-sister Ida Nelidoff — of attaining spiritual ecstasy by sexual means. And this method We have called Eroto-comatose Lucidity.

Of the Consummation of the Element Diune, whether Quantity be as important as Quality, and whether its waste be Sacrilege

It is said by the O.H.O. that of this perfect medicine a single dew-drop sufficeth, and this may be true. Yet it is humbly and with all deference and worship Our opinion that every drop generated (so far as may be possible) should be consumed. Firstly, that this most precious of all gifts of Nature be not lost or profaned — indeed the Roman heresy hath appointed most excellent instructions for the treatment in all respects of the consecrated Host.

Let the adepts of this degree study Missale Romanum — Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae and De defectibus in celebratione Missarum occurrentibus, — and gather therefrom the ceremonial adjuncts, the mental attitude, and so forth as a guide to their own working in this higher Sacrament.

And also do We think that the Consummation should be complete on this consideration, that if indeed it be the contained Prana that operateth the miracle, then the Quantity is as important as the Quality, just as in working with electricity amperage is as important as voltage.

And this We believe especially to be true in the case of great miracles; for We hold that it is the pitting of the David Spirit against the Goliath Matter. And although this proportion be small, it is not indefinitely small.

But it may be that the Action of this Divine Substance is catalytic, and capable of transmuting an unlimited quantity of base and blind matter into the plastic and docile image of the Will. And this theory is certainly more in accordance with the tradition of the Stone and of the Medicine.

Of Eroto-comatose Lucidity

The Candidate is made ready for the Ordeal by general athletic training, and by feasting. On the appointed day he is attended by one or more chosen and experienced attendants whose duty is (a) to exhaust him sexually by every known means (b) to rouse him sexually by every known means. Every device and artifice of the courtesan is to be employed, and every stimulant known to the physician. Nor should the attendants reck of danger, but hunt down ruthlessly their appointed prey.

Finally the Candidate will sink into a sleep of utter exhaustion, resembling coma, and it is now that delicacy and skill must be exquisite. Let him be roused from this sleep by stimulation of a definitely and exclusively sexual type. Yet if convenient, music wisely regulated will assist.

The attendants will watch with assiduity for signs of waking; and, the moment these occur, all stimulation must cease instantly, and the Candidate be allowed to fall again into sleep; but no sooner has this happened than the former practice is resumed. This alternation is to continue indefinitely until the Candidate is in a state which is neither sleep nor waking, and in which his Spirit, set free by perfect exhaustion of the body, and yet prevented from entering the City of Sleep, communes with the Most High and the Most Holy Lord God of its being, maker of heaven and earth.

The Ordeal terminates by failure — the occurrence of sleep invincible — or by success, in which ultimate waking is followed by a final performance of the sexual act. The Initiate may then be allowed to sleep, or the practice may be renewed and persisted in until death ends all. The most favourable death is that occurring during the orgasm, and is called Mors Justi.

As it is written: Let me die the death of the Righteous, and let my last end be like his!

Of certain Hindu theories

Like the Jews, the wise men of India have a belief that a certain particular Prana, or force, resides in the Bindu, or semen. But all their theory of magick and meditation being reverbatory, so that their “communing with God” is but a “communing with Self,” and all their artifice directed to development of the powers in their own bodies and minds, as opposed to the Western idea of extending those powers to bear sway over others, we find naturally that just as they seek to restrain the breath altogether, or to avoid its violent extrusion from the nostrils, lest the Prana thereof be lost to them, and as they even practice to suck up water into the rectum, so that in defaecation they may be able to retain the Apana, or particular virtue thereof, and replace it in the Svadistthana-cakkra, so also and much more do they extravagantly labour to retain the prime Prana of life, the Bindu.

Therefore they stimulate to the maximum its generation by causing a consecrated prostitute to excite the organs, and at the same time vigorously withhold by will. After some little exercise they claim that they can deflower as many as eighty virgins in a night without losing a single drop of the Bindu. Nor is this ever to be lost, but reabsorbed through the tissues into the body. The organs thus act as a siphon to draw constantly fresh supplies of life from the cosmic reservoir, and flood the body with their fructifying virtue.

The Initiate is asked to compare and contrast this chapter with chapter XIV, observing in particular, underlying both systems, this one postulate: in the semen itself exists a physical force which can be turned to the magical or mystical Ends of the Adept.

Initiates will notice also that these heathen philosophers have made also one further march toward the truth when they say that the Sun and Moon must be united before the reabsorption (see almost any Tantra, in particular Shiva Sanhita). But the full glory of the Sun, the simple and most efficacious and most Holy Sacrament, is reserved for the Elect, the Illuminated, the Initiates of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis.

Of a suggested Course of Experiment

Here is a series of Operations of this Art Magick of the IX° suggested for the Use of any Initiate as he begins his Working.

I. Sex-force and sex-attraction
(To ensure the regular course of these operations)

II. Understanding of the Mysteries of the IX° and Wisdom in their use
(To ensure the right performance of these operations)

III. Increase of the O.T.O.
(As a duty, and to ensure a suitable heir to the Secret. This is especially important if the Initiate be of the X°)

IV. (If necessary) Ease of circumstances
(To ensure leisure for these operations, and to enlarge the field of choice of second parties)

V. Establishment of a protective bodyguard of invisible warriors
(To secure freedom from interruption in the course of these operations. This may include preservation of the health)

VI. The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel

VII. Spiritual attainment: e.g. devotion to Nuit-Babalon-Baphomet

VIII. Further insight into Nature and her laws

IX. The foundation of an Abbey of O.T.O.

X. The establishment of the Kingdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit upon the earth. Also divers matters, as the Rejuvenation of one’s own body, if desired, the power of healing, and the like.

It will be seen that these few operations appear to fill every Lotus of the Universe with their Buddhas. But it may be that each operation must be worked in detail, with digital probe rather than palmary grasp, so that each practical act of the Initiate might need a separate consecration.

Or for great operations like the X in the above list it might be arranged to make a specially elaborate Sacrament every Sunday (for example) in the year, the intervening days being devoted to the details of the Building.

But the Initiate will soon develop a Method of his own for extracting the most efficiently the honey from this Comb.

Of a certain other method of Magick not included in the instruction of O.T.O.

It may not be altogether inappropriate to allude to a method of vampirism commonly practised.

The Vampire selects the victim, stout and vigorous as may be, and, with the magical intention of transferring all that strength to himself, exhausts the quarry by a suitable use of the body, most usually the mouth, without himself entering in any other way into the matter. And this is thought by some to partake of the nature of Black Magic.

The exhaustion should be complete; if the work be skilfully executed, a few minutes should suffice to produce a state resembling, and not far removed from, coma.

Experts may push this practice to the point of the death of the victim, thus not merely obtaining the physical strength, but imprisoning and enslaving the soul. This soul then serves as a familiar spirit.

The practice is held to be dangerous. (It was used by the late Oscar Wilde, and by Mr. and Mrs. ‘Horos’; also in a modified and marred form by S.L. Mathers and his wife, and by E.W. Berridge.

The ineptitude of the three latter saved them from the fate of the three former.)

Of the Adept of this Art

In armour of leaping flame let the Adept rage through the Universe, majestic and irresistible as the Sun.

Let no eye behold him unblasted; let him strike upon the necks of the ungodly.

Let him be a mighty light of comfort, and the Father of all fertility.

Let him send forth rain in due season, and the earth grow green at his coming.

Let his planets whirl upon his wheel; let him send forth his comets as angels unto his brethren; and let him give light to all his realm.

Let no eye behold him unblasted; let him strike upon the necks of the ungodly.

Of the Thesaurus of the O.T.O.

Remember these chief treasures to be preserved:

1. This Secret of the IX°.

2. The Secret of the VIII° concerning Universal Brotherhood: in the Macrocosm the Sun lord of all life; in the Microcosm the Phallus lord of all life; indubitable, undeniable, a basis for the faith of all men.

3. The secret of the VII°: our particular method of instruction, selection, governance, and initiation.

4. The secret of the VI°, the history of the Temple, the mystery of Baphomet, our war on those never wholly subdued foes of humanity, tyranny and superstition.

5. The secret of the V°: the mystery of the Rose and Cross; and the One Law Do What Thou Wilt.

6. The secret of the lesser degrees: the cycle of existence — ex nihil nihil fit.

7. The secret of these things reverenced: the Sun, the Moon, the Phallus, the Tree, the Ancestor, the Fire, the Lion, the Snake, and the Mountain. [Of these is Discourse in Our Epistle De Natura Deorum.]


Now therefore all is said, most
Holy, most Illuminated, most
Illustrious and most Dear
Brother. In the Name of the
Secret Master Hail and fare well.

Given from the Throne of

Ireland Iona and All the Britains
this day of Jupiter An X
Sol in 0° Libra 35’21”
Luna in Sagittarius 28’6″
Valley of London.



(The following occurs on a loose page in the Japanese vellum bound note-book in which De Arte Magica was written)

Man is God therefore can create Spirits by ceremonial masturbation on talismans as God first did.

To be done peri ton broton tais abrotais erotos:

“O thou who hast formulated thy father and made fertile thy mother”

1. Great Adepts Babalon — Nuit.

2. Isis — Venus — Aphrodite — Astarte.

3. Artemis — Vesta — Maria.

4. Nymphs.

In all cases death to be entrance into copulation, begetting yourself on them for new incarnation.

Woman adepts use corresponding male gods.