Aleister Crowley “Liber XXIV vel De Nuptiis Secretis Deorum cum Hominibus”

Aleister Crowley

Liber XXIV vel De Nuptiis Secretis Deorum cum Hominibus


An Instruction of the Eighth Degree


De Nuptiis Secretis


Baphomet X° O.T.O. from the Throne of Ireland, Iona, and All the Britains that are in the Sanctuary of the Gnosis to the Perfectly Illuminated Adepts of the Secret Areopagus of the Eighth Degree, Pontiffis and Epopts of the Illuminati, Greeting and Peace.


Of Chastity

Dearly Beloved, in that war of the Brethren of the Left Hand Path against the Gnosis whose first phase ended in the establishment of that tyranny and superstition which is called Christianity, much Truth was stolen by the Black Lodge, and perverted to its vile uses. And most noxious in its corruption is that castration of man called Chastity, the atrophy of those noblest parts of the body which are the proper organs of Redemption both Gaian and Ouranian.

We then who in the Seventh Degree were sworn most solemnly to Chastity in the Inmost as in the Outermost, who have now as Epopts of the Illuminati beheld with our eyes, and as Perfect, Pontiffs of our noble Order administered with our members, the Initiation whose name is Resurrection unto the Light, we therefore are able to lighten the darkest places of the Earth, and to consider wisely what lieth in the empire of the Evil Ones. Read therefore these passages in the forgery called the Epistle of Paul to the Romans:

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof: Neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness unto sanctification. For when ye were servants of sin, ye were free in regard of righteousness. What fruit then had ye at that time in the things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end eternal life.

(Romans VI, 12-13 and 19-22)

Consider also these passages of the Old Testament:

And the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great tablet, and write upon it with the pen of a man, For Maher-shalal-hash-baz; And I will take upon me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the Son of Jeberechiah. And I went unto the prophetess and she conceived and bare a son. Then said the Lord unto me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

(Isaiah VIII, 1-4)

When the Lord spake at the first by Hosea, the LORD said unto Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom: for the land doth commit great whoredom, departing from the LORD. So he went and took Goher the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived and bare him a son.

(Hosea I, 2-3)

And the LORD said unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend and an adulteress, even as the LORD loveth the children of Israel, though they turn unto other gods, and love cakes and raisins. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be any man’s wife: so will I also be toward thee.

(Hosea III, 1-3)

It is then certain even out of the mouth of the enemy that there is a sacred use, even as an abuse, of the Sanctuaries of Life, and although there be rites so sacrosanct and so secreted that even to the Perfectly Illuminated Adepts of the VIII° they may not be disclosed, yet to them is due a full declaration of many Mysteries almost surpassing speech.


Of the Rites of Blood

It is said that there is a sect of the Jewish Brethren called Chassidim whose practice is the sacrifice of man. Thus preferably a child, but also an adult, is taken from among the Gentiles, and ceremonially slain so that not a drop of blood is lost, lest the spirit of the victim, taking refuge in that drop, escape the Exorcist. This blood is then consumed as a sacrament, or employed for talismanic purposes. For once the spirit of the slain one is sealed up into the spilt and gathered blood, it is multiplied in every part thereof, even as in the Mass the Body of Christ is said to be equally in all the myriad consecrated hosts, and His Blood in every drop of consecrated wine, everywhere and for all efficacious.

Consider this.


Of Certain Rites Secretly Practised in Russia

There is a body within the Greek Church which holds an esoteric doctrine and practises a Secret Rite.

At the meetings of this body the lights being extinguished, the worshippers, led by the Priest and a chosen and consecrated Priestess, seek out each other by touch and by subtle attraction; then they consummate the pure charity of their hearts in holy zeal.

If by the favour and indwelling of the Holy Ghost the Priestess (that is unto this Rite espoused, and else virgin) do conceive and bring forth, then is the child baptized by its father the Priest for the Purification by water, and for the Consecration by fire is roast and divided among the worshippers for use as a sacrament, as a talisman and as a medicine against all diseases. This also is said of the Knights of our own Holy Order of the Temple, that the offspring of any one of them by a virgin was roast and an unguent made of its fat wherewith to anoint the Magian and Ineffable figure of BAPHOMET.

Consider this.


Of the Black Mass

Within the Roman Church have been found ever from the beginning to this day, persons and societies conforming outwardly to that base and materialistic cult, inwardly revolting against it; yet often are such so ignorant of our Light and of our Truth, that to them the attainment of Life, Liberty and Love seemed only possible through a profanation of their own Mysteries. For they knew not that these Mysteries were themselves but profanation and corruption of the true and perfect Mysteries of the Adepts.

They established therefore a cult whose fundamental formula was the defilement of the consecrated Host.

The Priest therefore having made the bread into the Body of Christ (as he could theoretically do by virtue of his Apostolic power) did, as he thought, defile that Body by using it as the object and vehicle of lust.

Heroic children of Liberty, but thrice blind! Samsons that perish with the Philistines!

For if the ecclesiastical theory be true, in fact they do incur damnation, if false, verily they lose their labour. But at least they set up Man against the foul demon of the Christians, and let this be accounted unto them for righteousness. But see, my Brethren Perfectly Illuminated Adepts, how great is their error, that they revolt who should be Kings. For it is in truth not the apish antics of the Priest that consecrate the bread, but his male power that should make holy all his deeds.

Consider of this.


Of the Sabbath of the Adepts

In the black hours of earth, when the Christian superstition with fell blight withered most malignantly the peoples of Europe, when our own Holy Order was dispersed and the sanctity of its preceptories lay violate, there were yet found certain to hold Truth in their hearts, and, loving Light, to bear the Lamp of Virtue beneath the Cloak of Secrecy. And these at certain seasons went at night by ways open or hidden to heaths and mountains, and there dancing together, and with strange suppers and spells diverse, did call forth Him, whom the enemy called ignorantly Satan, and was in truth the Great God Pan, or Bacchus, or even that Baphomet whom the Templars worshipped secretly, and yet worship as in the VI° all Illustrious Knights of the Holy Order of Kadosch, all Dame Companions of the Holy Grail are taught to do, or BABALON the Beautiful, or even Zeus Apollo of the Greeks.

And each when first inducted to the revel was made partner of that Incarnate One by the Consummation of the Rite of Marriage.

Consider of this.


Of Classical Fables

The Ancients of every nation report their heroes to have been born of the marriage of Gods with mortals. As, Romulus and Remus begotten of the God Mars upon a vestal Virgin, Hercules of Jove, Buddha of Vishnu in the form of a white elephant with six tusks, Jesus of Jehovah upon a virgin, and many another. Even true Gods were born of mortal mothers, as Dionysius of Semele.

Also they recount many loves of heaven for earth, Diana for Endymion, Zeus for Leda, Danae, Europa, and the rest; even Hades issued from his gloomy kingdom to ravish the maid Persephone.

There are also loves of Gods for nymphs, Bacchus for the Ariadne, Zeus for Io, Pan for Syrinx; there is no end of these. And satyrs, fawns, centaurs, dryads, a thousand gracious tribes, leap lightly and lustfully through their legends.

Again we have the loves of fairies for mankind, and the commerce of the Beni Elohim with the daughters of men; and yet again the marriage of Orpheus with Eurydice a nymph, and the fatal nets that Laura, Melusina, the Sirens, Lilith and many another cast for men.

It is even said that to every Neophyte of the Order of A.’.A.’. appeareth a demon in the form of a woman to pervert him; within Our own knowledge have not less than nine brethren been utterly cast out thereby.

There are also vain loves, as that of Ixion for Hera, of Actaeon for Artemis.

Consider of this.


Of Certain Greek Rites

Among the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula and especially the Greeks, beneath the bush of their false Christianity, is hidden the wheat of Demeter. And even as the Muslim trust to be united by death to the Hur al’ Ayn of Paradise, so do these others yet think that earthly marriage is but fornication, for that Death is a nuptial wherein the soul is united to that God or Goddess to whom on earth his lust aspired. Thus, even in the embraces of their lovers, their hearts were fixed on Artemis or on Aphrodite or on Ares or on Apollo, as the inner tendency urges and the intuition thereof proclaims.

Consider of this.


Of Succubi and Incubi

From all time the life of man has now and again overflowed, in sleep, without will, and only reflected itself dimly and fantastically by dream into his knowledge. Now since naught can be lost on any plane, but only changed in appearance, the inner substance of this life-stuff does indeed beget monsters in part material, which the doctors of the Middle Ages called Incubi or Succubi according as they performed the functions of male or female. These, too, begat children upon women; but not the reverse, for the succubus, for all his female function, is as male as his brother. Of these monstrous lovers some even became famous on earth; as that one who tempted San Antonio, and the angel that wrestled with Jacob at the place called Paniel. Also Merlin was the child of an incubus, and thus also were many heroes of old time begot.

Consider of this.


Of the Work of Adepts

Not only as a probation, and as a preparation, for the far greater Key of Magick Art that is given to Initiates of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis in the IX°, but for its own sake, and the practical and permanent value of its effects is a lesser work to be undertaken by Epopts — and how much more by Pontiffs! — of the Illuminati.

And this work is threefold.

I. Devotion to the Highest intensified on all planes until it culminates in Conjugal Union ratified by every God so firmly that Death itself is the gate to its fullest and permanent enjoyment.

And the soul is to beget itself as a child for a new incarnation upon the Body of the Great Goddess. As it is written, so be it spoken unto you! ‘O thou who hast formulated thy father and made fertile thy mother!’

II. Acceptance of the devotion of a lower or partial being such as a nymph or elemental in such wise that it is thereby redeemed and made a perfect soul through the death which it must pay as the price of union with man.

III. The deliberate and well-considered creation of new Orders of Being.


Of Great Marriages

1. The supreme means is declared fully in the Publications of the August Fraternity Most Holy the A.’.A.’. Liber XI and Liber DLV.

2. This other method is suggested.

On every occasion before sleep let the Adept figure his goddess before him, wooing her ardently in imagination and exalting himself with all intensity toward her.

And let him consider all involuntary movements of the mind as adulteries vile and criminal.

Therefore, with or without an assistant, let him purge himself freely and fully, at the end of restraint trained and ordered unto exhaustion, concentrating ever ardently upon the Body of the Great Goddess, and let the Offering be preserved in Her consecrated temple or in a talisman especially prepared for this practice. And let no desire for any other enter the heart. Then shall it be in the end that the Great Goddess will descend and clother Her beauty in veils of flesh, surrendering her chaste fortress of Olympus to that assault of thee, O Titan, Son of Earth! Or at the least, this being denied thee, yet all thy life in heart and spirit being Hers, thy death shall be the consummation of these ‘betrothals’, an entry into the Closed Palace of thy Lady.

And of such Espousals mayst thou read in Liber CCCCXVIII, more especially in the Ninth and in the Second Aethyrs.

It is to be noted in all this that both God and the Soul are male or female as convenience requires. See, for a curious example, the mystic treatise called the Bagh-i-Muattur.


Of Lesser Marriages

This matter is easy, for the souls of the elements desire constantly this salvation. But let the Adept beware:

1. That he choose wisely a reasonable soul, docile, apt, beautiful, and in all ways worthy of love.

2. That he fall not ever from love of the Great Goddess into love of this inferior, but give only as a master and of his pity, knowing that this also is Service to His High Lady above.

3. That of such familiar spirits he have but four. And let him regulate their service, appointing hours for each.

4. That he treat them with kindliness and firmness, being on guard against their tricks.

This being said, it is enough; for to have them is but the pains to call them forth from their homes. And the Spirits of the Elemental Tablets given by Dr. Dee and Sir Edward Kelly are the best, being very perfect in their nature and faithful, affectioning (sic) the human race. And if not so powerful as, they are less dangerous than, the planetary Spirits; for these are more boisterous, and by distraction stars are easily perturbed and afflicted. Call them therefore by the Keys of Enoch as is written in the Book ye know of; and let there be after the Calls an Evocation by the Wand; and let the Marrow of the Wand be preserved within the pyramids of the letters that make up the name of the Spirit.

Now unless ye be well skilled in Art Magick, ye will not dare call forth the Three Great Gods of the whole Tablet, or the King Serpent thereof, or the Six Seigneurs majestical, or even the Gods of the Calvary Crosses in the lesser angles. But the Cherubic rulers, yea verily and amen, these are your mates; and ye may yet more safely summon the Lesser assistant angles.

And those that are in this Art novices should wiselier call forth only the Trigrammaton of the Sub-Elements.


Of the New and Holy Kingdom

It is written in the Papyrus of Nes-Min that the Sun spake in his name Toum and said:

‘… I copulated with my fist, I emitted semen into my shadow, I ejaculated into my own mouth, I sent forth issue as Shu, I poured myself out as Tefnut. Shu and Tefnut … brought to me my eye … I wept over them: mankind came into being from the tears which came forth from my eye. Shu and Tefnut brought forth Keb and Nut, and Keb and Nut brought forth Osiris and the Blind Horus and Set and Isis and Nephthys from the belly, one after another, and they brought forth their multitudes upon this earth.’

And again:

‘I copulated with my fist, my heart came to me into my hand, the semen fell into my mouth. I sent forth issue as Shu, I poured myself out as Tefnut: from one God I was three Gods….’

Thus then did the Sun formulate Male and Female, whose children are Earth and Heaven, whose children are the Five Elements or Tatwas, of which all visible things are made.

Let then the Adept make two talismans, pure Male and Female, with no admixture of any lesser principles; and let him consecrate himself as the Sun, and pour out Life upon them, vivifying them therewith. Then shall they conjoin, making unto themselves a new Heaven and a new Earth, whose union shall breed Elements, and multitudes of Beings to Live and Love in Liberty beneath thy Light, an house of Virgins singing praises among the flames of Glory wherein the Lord hath opened his mouth; whose works shall be a song of honour and the praise of your God in your creation!


Of Damnation

Remember, dearly beloved, perfectly illuminated Adepts of this secret Areopagus, that from the beginning of all, the vows of your Initiation have invoked upon you the most fearful penalties of disobedience.

For as soon as ye erect any natural and common thing into a Formula of Magick, so soon do ye excite also the contrary current. Thus while every child reads and speaks freely of the Pillars of the Temple of King Solomon by name, the Mason dare not so much as letter them without precaution. And while the private man may speak evil of the King, and blaspheme God without risk, yet the servant of the King, and the Minister of God, must cloke (sic) themselves with reverence, even though it be not in their hearts, for this reason, that they have invoked the King, and God, as sword and shield of their own authority.

To you, then, if you have dared to use this Force of the Holy Phallus, is its abuse fatal and deadly.

To the man of earth it matters but little if he suffer nocturnal pollution, or indulge in wantonness; to you that are Adepts it is ruin absolute.

For all that Force which passeth from under your control, unless so directed and fortified by your Will that it is but as a loyal soldier faithful unto death is as artillery abandoned that is seized upon by the enemy and turned against you. And because it is of your own substance, therefore has it, as it were, by nature a link with you, a right upon you, and all the fortresses, that your inheritance of God, and your own Holy Art, have built about you are of no force to resist this treasonable assault. Be wary therefore, for obsession, bodily wasting and disease, madness and even murder upon you may be inflicted by the engines that ye, having forged for the service of mankind and for the glory of the Lord, leave to the malignancy of the demon that he may turn them to your own destruction.


A Reproof

Hear then, dearly beloved, this reproof.

First, strengthen to the uttermost the power of restraint by daily practice as is taught by the Hindus and Arabs, masters of this science, in their books

Shiva Sanhita

Hathayoga Pradipika

Kama Sutra

Ananga Ranga

The Scented Garden of the Sheikh Nefzawi

and many others.

Secondly, avoid the dangers of inadvertence by constant and regular practice (a) of the Greater and (b) the Lesser Works of an Epopt and Pontiff of the Illuminati and (c) of the Mystery of the New Holy Kingdom.

Thirdly, sleep always in a consecrated circle or in a room full of holy images before whose glory the powers of darkness tremble every day. Such images are:

1. The Sun.

2. The Holy Phallus.

3. The Great Seal of Babalon.

4. The Stele of Revealing.

5. The Great Seal of the O.T.O.

6. The Great Seal of Baphomet.

7. The Image of Baphomet./The Image of Babalon.

8. The Eye within the Triangle.

9. The Rosy Cross.

10. The Image of Harpocrates upon the Lotus, or standing upon Crocodiles.

11. The Image of Babalon with the Phallic reference Om mani padme hum.

12. The figure of Isis with Horus.

13. The Crucifix, but only if its solar-phallic significance be most firmly grasped, and if it be a shield of secrecy against the vulgar.

14. Talismans appropriate to this matter.

15. A living flame.

16. The symbols and insignia of the O.T.O. which your degree entitles you to bear.

Magical rings and neck-jewels should also be worn by night and day.

The Rituals of defence and protection should also be practised in perfection. All bodily excrements, such as cut nails, and hair, should be burnt; spittle should be destroyed or exposed to the Sun; the urine and faeces should be so disposed of that it is unlikely that any other person should obtain possession of them. It is even desirable in theory that linen should not be washed by strangers, and that old clothes should not be given to the poor until some time after the last occasion of wearing them.

But at most times these precautions are not necessary; only if engaged in operations of the greatest importance is it indispensable to observe them.


Of the Cunning of this Instruction

Now concerning this charge, it may be that certain deem therein to be contained things monstrous and extravagant; let them consider this as a defect of their own intuition and apprehension, and moreover as a thickness of that Veil that is yet betwixt this Areopagus and the Sanctuary of the Gnosis. For perfectly Illuminated as ye are, beloved Brethren, think this, that there may be a Darkness that is more than all your Light.



Amen, and Amen, and Amen of Amen.

I greet you by the sign: I exchange with you the token: I whisper the Word even as I received it and in no other manner.

I invoke upon you the Light of our Lord the Sun; I bestow upon you the blessing of the Lord IQFALLOS in the Name ON and in the name AMEN I call down the powers of Life, of Love, and of Liberty upon you.

And may the Glory of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis shine forth through the Veil thereof, and the Pageant of the Grail-feast pass again before your eyes!

Hail, Brethren beloved of the Most High, hail, perfectly Illuminated Adepts of our Secret Areopagus, thrice hail, Pontiffs and Epopts of the Illuminati, hail and farewell!

In the name of Babalon and the Beast conjoined, of the Secret Saviour and of IAO.


In the Sacred Books of Thelema is hymned constantly the Nuptial of God and Man, See:

Liber LXV I 20, 22-8, 47-8, 64-5; II 4-16, 30-9, 45-6, 50-4, 57-61; III 31-6, 40-54, 60, 63-5; IV 1-5, 7-9, 24, 30-40, 42-44, 48-56, 61-5; V 8-12, 21-4.