IX° O.T.O.: Emblems and Mode of Use

Aleister Crowley

IX° O.T.O.: Emblems and Mode of Use

Read Magick Cap. XII. The “initiated interpretation” in footnote 4 on that page is nonsense — dust in the eyes of the profane. See also Liber Astarte (CLXXV) pp. 390-404 for hints as to how to acquire the mental state necessary to prepare for the work. Also, for the same reason, Liber Capricorni Pneumatici (A’Ash CCCLXX) pp. 432-434 and Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni (CLVI) pp. 430-431. But it all adds up to “inflame thyself in praying”.

Emblem I: The Egg

This is said to be laid by the White Eagle, whose number is (in this case I suppose) 156. Its vehicle or menstruum is what the Alchemists call the Gluten. It may be fertilized by any kind of “Serpent” which is congenial, and the nature of the eaglet will depend upon the Will of the “Serpent”. The hatching and subsequent career will depend on the original energy, the right ordering of the surrounding circumstances, and so on. But you get nothing at all, or something you don’t want at all (because the Egg, ill cared for, can collect a poisonous “Serpent” from hostile and malignant elements) unless you are extremely careful to get the “Magical Link” properly formed and guarded. See Magick, Cap. XIV pp. 106-122.

Emblem II: The Serpent

This is the principle of immortality, the self-renewal through incarnation, of persistant will, inherent in the “Red Lion” who is, of course, the operator. It is said to swim in the “Blood of the Red Lion”. The lion must determine what kind of serpent he needs as a vehicle of the particular Will demanded by the proposed operation. It must, of course, be a necessary element of his total “True Will”; and otherwise, there would be an eternal conflict between the part and the whole; the operation would be a failure or worse. (e.g. if you did an operation to harm Smith, it would fail and reflect on yourself; because deeper than any personal antagonism, you are sworn brothers in the O.T.O.) The properly trained and vitalized serpent is found in the acts of Concentration upon the Object of the Operation preliminary to starting: that is, to impose the image of your particular Will upon the actually existing physical serpents which you possess, eager to reproduce and manifest the Image of your Will. (Their “natural” Will is of course, to continue their “lion” through the “floods”, i.e. the fertilization of a suitable “egg” will appear as the original Lion modified by that particular Eagle, or as an Eagle similarly constituted.) But the technique of the Operation prevents (or should prevent) this issue; so, as the Will to Create and Transmit cannot be baulked — Law of the Conservation of Energy — the material basis of the Operation are prepared to produce the Image of the Will impressed upon them by the preliminary studies and practices by bringing to pass the Object of the Operation.

Conditions of the Operation

Both Lion and Eagle must be robust, in good health (as a rule; but a sick Lion can often heal himself), overflowing with energy, magnetically attracted to one another, and in absolute understanding harmony about the object of the operation. (Note: It is possible, and unfortunately often necessary, to employ an Eagle altogether ignorant of the theory, or even what is being done. I have found this works perfectly; indeed, when the Eagle is aware, a thousand difficulties crop up. It is horrifyingly rare to find an Eagle genuinely capable of initiated cooperation. The late O.H.O. told me he had found perfection twice in his whole life! Even so, the result was bad, causing a violent reaction of antipathy! I have been more fortunate.) There should be no worries of distractions; the current of thought should flow freely and forcibly towards attainment of the Object. And then “Inflame thyself in praying”.

The Operation Proper

As the actual work proceeds, the mind-will must be directed more and more intensely towards the Object of the Operation. Physical phenomena, obviously with constantly increasing insistence, will do their utmost to attract the attention of the operators themselves. It is of absolute necessity for the success of the work that at the last moment — which may be prolonged to several minutes! — when the intensity of the conflict between physical stress produces (as it should, of course, when there is no question of conscious achievement) a complete “Black-Out”.

When the Ego-consciousness itself is abolished, the Will should still continue to create, stopping only when “The Blood of the Red Lion is one with the Gluten of the White Eagle”; and the “Serpent” and the “Egg” have fused completely. The result of this fusion is called the Elixir — and numerous other names, e.g. the Stone of the Philosophers, the Medicine of Metals, etc., especially the Quintessence.

Perfect simultaneity between the Lion and the Eagle is important. To assist this very difficult work the use of a mantra, either universal (like A Ka Dua — or Aumn Mane Padme Hum) or suited to the objects of the working, is often valuable. e.g. in the Paris Working, the verses were composed specifically in invoking Mercury. “Jungiter in vati vates: rex inclyte hermes tu venius, verba nefanda ferens”. In English: “Behold! the Priest is joined to the Priest: illustrious King of the Staff (Wand, Caduceus) mayest thou come, Hermes, bearing unutterable words!” (*perhaps forbidden is a better translation.)

There is one further point. The Lion must be enraged before he can cope with the Eagle, and during this process it is quite impossible to think of the ceremony. To do so would stop the whole process, whose beginning may be announced by the prayer “Accedendat in nobis, Dominus ignem sui amoris et flamman aeternae caritatis”. In English: “May the lord kindle in us the Fire of his Love and the flame of eternal charity!” (This last word here has a special technical meaning). See Magick pp. 325-326. This is the signal to forget altogether the purpose of the whole Operation. But immediately that all things are ready, the apparatus in the proper position, the Mantra and the contest between the Creative Will and the physical phenomena should begin. Success depends largely on the smartness and completeness of this control.

The Elixir

This being thus duly prepared, it must be administered as follows: The Lion must collect it — the best method is by suction, so as to avoid waste, and share it with the Eagle. It should be absorbed by the mucous membrane. A portion is reserved and placed in physical contact with the Magical Link, or with a talisman specially prepared for the Operation, & consecrated accordingly. At the very least, some suitable symbol. e.g. if you are making an opus for $$, smear the Elixir on a gold coin, or ring; if for health, touch the bare earth, or the patient with it. In any case, be careful to consume it by absorption; for it restores with interest any virtue that may have been expended in the work itself. The effect of any opus aught to be refreshing; if not, error somewhere.

Read Judges, Sampson’s riddle: “What is sweeter than honey, and stronger than a Lion?” Here bees — identical symbolically with the Eagle — swarm in the carcass of the Lion slain by Sampson. But this Lion is our “Serpent” and Sampson our “Red Lion”. A strange and potent sweetness characterizes the Elixir when properly prepared. See also Liber 333 Cap. 36; Magick p. 328; St. John’S Gospel, Chap. 4:13-16, 31-32; Chap. 6:27 and 48-58; Cap. 7:38. First Corinthians 10:1-4, 16-17, 11:23-30. Also Little Essays Towards Truth pp. 70-74. This last is important — this mode of work must never be used except as a sacrament; if you do, all kinds of horrid things can get hold of you through the undetermined, unguarded, wasted menstruum.

You must prepare the Quintessence on every occasion.

This is the great danger; hence the universal insistence of all Magi upon the Virtue which gives its title to this “Little Essay” above mentioned.

That should be enough: some of it sounds hard, but work on it constantly, and there is no limit to your possible success.