AN OPEN EPISTLE
ON THE GUN BARREL

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. – AL I:40

The following chapter from The Book of Lies, or Liber 333, was placed at the top of my blog on Sunday April 26th 2009 and all week long I asked anyone who wished to partake in the discussion to feel free to join in and send me their views, ideas and interpretations. The end result is this Epistle.
15
ΚΕΦΑΛΗ  ΙE

THE GUN BARREL

Mighty and erect is this Will of mine, this Pyramid
of fire whose summit is lost in Heaven.  Upon it
have I burned the corpse of my desires.
Mighty and erect is this Φαλλος of my Will.  The
seed thereof is That which I have borne within me
from Eternity; and it is lost within the Body of
Our Lady of the Stars.
I am not I; I am but an hollow tube to bring down
Fire from Heaven.
Mighty and marvellous is this Weakness, this
Heaven which draweth me into Her Womb, this
Dome which hideth, which absorbeth, Me.
This is The Night wherein I am lost, the Love
through which I am no longer I.


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INTERPRETATIONS:

Sunday April 26th 2009 - 6:30am Well dear readers, after last weeks little discussion on ‘Dewdrops’ it is now time to move on. In the original typed manuscript of Liber De Natura Deorum, Sub Figvra CCXXVIII (228) – Of the Nature of the Gods, it gives eight specific chapters from Liber 333, The Book of Lies which are mandatory to study. One is a Ritual; seven are theory. Since I was a full Seventh Degree OTO Initiate I had the opportunity to question Grady McMurtry about these chapters and he made it very clear that “Failure to understand these Chapters means failure as a IXth.” The Chapters are KE, A, H, IA, IE, IF, IH, ΛB. ... So far on this blog we’ve started with discussing Cap. IH or Dewdrops which is by far one of the most intricate for a Seventh Degree to understand and so today I am posting IE or The Gun-Barrel, the 15th Chapter. It is simpler, more direct and hopefully it will not confuse you all too bad. A major clue to keep in mind is that it builds off what we already discussed in the previous discussion. You must focus on both; do not assume that simply because I’ve posted a ‘new’ Chapter that the old can now be ignored or placed behind you. Be that as it may; Aleister Crowley's brief COMMENTARY (ΙE) on The Gun Barrel is as follows - "The card 15 in the Tarot is 'The Devil', the mediaeval blind for Pan. The title of the chapter refers to the Phallus, which is here identified with the will. The Greek word Πυραμις has the same number as Φαλλος. This chapter is quite clear, but one may remark in the last paragraph a reference to the nature of Samadhi. As man loses his personality in physical love, so does the magician annihilate his divine personality in that which is beyond. The formula of Samadhi is the same, from the lowest to the highest. The Rosy-Cross is the Universal Key. But, as one proceeds, the Cross becomes greater, until it is the Ace, the Rose, until it is the Word." .... The two Greek words that Crowley mentions refer to a Pyramid (Πυραμις) and the Phallus (Φαλλος), both of which add numerically to 831 but oddly; both words are not even mentioned in Crowley's own Greek Qabalistic dictionary Liber MCCLXIV. I am perplexed. ... finally, if any of you have an ‘epiphany’ regarding Dewdrops while focusing on the new chapter, which could well happen, be sure to send it on. ... So, my little cowboys and cowgirls, put on your thinking sombreros, throw a saddle on the Stag-beetle, slap its ass, scream "Yippie yi yo kayah" and ride the little bugger off into the mid-night hours but be sure and tell me what you think about your journey!

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4:00pm We got our first interpretation of The Gun Barrel - "93, Br. Cornelius, Here is my present take on the Book of Lies chapter 15. ... “A gun barrel is the tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases is released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at great speed.” – From Wikipedia

Mighty and erect is this Will of mine, this Pyramid of fire whose summit is lost in Heaven.  Upon it
have I burned the corpse of my desires.

Mighty and erect is this Φαλλος of my Will.  The seed thereof is That which I have borne within me
from Eternity; and it is lost within the Body of Our Lady of the Stars.

Crowley is noted as having said that “the Phallus is the physiological basis of the over soul.” While traditionally the Phallus has been directly associated with the male sex gland, or penis, its symbolic associations suggest something more universal. The female sex glands have always been associated with mystery and concealment, while the penis being most ready visible, especially in its excited state, has been directly related to the act of creation. The Phallus as penis was therefore more easily and directly associated by the ancients with the universal creative process. However, as a more universal symbol the Phallus is emblematic of the creative energy or libido present in all living things. That being said of course this particular piece seems to be directly associating the Phallus with the penis as evidence in the title, use of the word erect, and the reference to the hollow tube. The Phallus is also simultaneously identified with the Will thereby making it a magical Wand. The wand is the elemental weapon of fire which element is mentioned.
The “summit” being “lost in heaven” suggests identification of one’s mate with the “Queen of heaven” Nuit.  Given my own studies of the O.T.O. degree papers as published by King it doesn’t matter if the partner is physical.
The Pyramid is composed of a square and four triangles suggesting the circle squared symbolism of the A.·.A.·. degrees as well as the rose cross which is confirmed in later lines. It is to noted that Pyramids are hollow and mountainous suggesting relationship with the mountain of initiation (Abeignus) and the hollow tube which will be discussed as this interpretation proceeds.
The seed is that which we have already discussed by way of Dewdrops.  The last line of the second verse however seems to suggest an association of Nuit with Chokmah as Masloth, “the starry firmament”. I feel I should note that the numerical value of 831 derived from the Greek words for Pyramid and Phallus when reduce 8+3+1= 12 further reduction to 3 suggest the unity of the supernal triad as the source from which all we are discussing issues forth.
This line “The seed thereof is That which I have borne within me from Eternity; and it is lost within the Body of Our Lady of the Stars.” Refers me back to many of the ideas presented in connection with Dewdrops. More specifically “eternity” can be said to be embodied in Binah who gives context to the content of Chokmah, once again Masloth, “the body of stars” wherein lies the potential of all things.
I would like to make special reference to the number 15 and its association to the Devil card in Tarot. By reduction 1+5=6 the sun of Tiphareth to which the Atu is linked and 6 the Vau of the Hierophat Atu V the revealer of the mysteries of Chokmah as contained in the sun/son. Much more can be said here relative to 18 being a Moon of illusion and the Devil being the “lord of illusion,” but I think I will defer to chapter H at this time; certainly it will be discussed when we get to chapter ΛΒ.

I am not I; I am but an hollow tube to bring down Fire from Heaven.

I will not recount the myth of Promethius the Titan champion of men here. Cirlot’s dictionary of symbols give a great account of it alchemical implications as might be suggested in connection with this verse. I would like to add the interpretation though that with bring fire down from Olympus we get a similar story to that told of the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis. Some primordial figure grants humanity with knowledge reserved for the Gods and both are punished for the transgression with death. However, both stories also “end” with humanity being redeemed by uniting with a divine figure in a process that mimics death.

Mighty and marvellous is this Weakness, this Heaven which draweth me into Her Womb, this Dome
which hideth, which absorbeth, Me.

This is The Night wherein I am lost, the Love through which I am no longer I.

Woe, woe, woe, the corpses of my desire.
“For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.” AL:I:29
“This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.” AL: I:30
“Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain. This is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all.” AL:I:32
[…]Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me. AL:I:51.
“The length of thy longing shall be the strength of its glory. He that lives long & desires death much is ever the King among the Kings.” AL:II:74
The king is dead long live the king!
93;93/93
Gnothi Seauton, moE

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Reply: Reply: Slightly amusing but might I remind you that despite 'studying' OTO Grade papers in Francis King's book, unless you are initiated into that degree your interpretation can often be seem as babblings from Malkuth. You made a couple of really good comments but I'd like to warn my readers to ignore most of what you wrote and the best advice I can give to you and other individuals who want to write their interpretation of this chapter is to stay 'focused' and stop trying to write a perfect analogy of the entire Mysteries; we're not looking for instant definitive Truths. Pick one point and let us all slowly unravel it during the course of the week ...... and then you end with utter Thelemic folly by simply quoting The Book of the Law as if everyone who reads your quotes will automatically be on the same page. Aughhh! ... All in all, your email is what we would like to see toward the end of the week as a 'summation'; after we’ve had a chance to discuss some of the chapters finer points; all of which you seemingly missed. ...... So, to all my readers, please start by picking one of the most obvious avenues of disclosure like, what does The Devil card mean since it has a connection to 'The Gun Barrel' ?

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6:35pm Here is a clue to The Gun Barrel from Aleister Crowley's Liber Aleph:

136
DE ECSTASIA SAMADHI, QUO ILLIS DIFFERIT
'On the Ecstasy of Samadhi and how it differs from Others'
Confuse thou not this beatific vision with the Trances called Samadhi; yet is Samadhi the Pylon of the Temple hereof. For Samadhi is the orgasm of the coition of the Unlike, and is commonly violent, even as the lightning cometh of the discharge between two vehicles of extreme difference of potentials. But as I shewed formerly concerning love, how each such discharge bringeth either component more nigh to equilibrium, so is it in this other matter, and by experience thou comest constantly to integration of love (or what not) within thyself, just as all effort becometh harmonious and easy by virtue of practice. Rememberest thou the first time thou wast thrown into water, thy fear and thy struggles, and he vehemence of thy joy when first thou didst swim without support? Then, little by little all violence dieth away, because thou art adjusted to that condition. Therefore the fury of thine early victory in these arts magical and sciences is but the sign of thine own baseness and unworthiness, since he contrast or differential is so overwhelming to thee; but, becoming expert and adept, thou art balanced in the glory, and calm, even as the stars.

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8:00pm Regarding The Gun Barrel: Jay writes under the subject title of "Capricorn on the Cob" - "93 Jerry, Well today I've especially been thinking about Saturn since we're dealing with The Devil ruled by Capricorn as well as Our Lady of Stars Babalon in Binah, Saturn. Both Saturn and Capricorn have always been very mysterious to me; A.A. Bailey: "The symbol of this sign is indecipherable and intentionally so. It is sometimes called the 'signature of God'. I must not attempt to interpret it for you, partly because it has never yet been correctly drawn and partly because its correct delineation and the ability of the initiate to depict it produces an inflow of force which would not be desirable except after due preperation and understanding." This inflow of energy, this "hollow tube to bring fire from heaven" seems to be precisely what Crowley is talking about. I'm also very interested in the idea of the Devil as an illusion, an illusion of evil that itself leads us to god, finding god through deception perhaps. (It leads me to believe that we should be especially hesitant in making hasty interpretations of this chapter.) I think that this deception is the logos or word below the Abyss. Our symbol systems are illusions we create, tapestries we weave out of smoke and reflections and yet it is only by means of symbolic thought that we accomplish anything as magicians. Inevitably the ladder has to be thrown away once we've climbed it. Above the Abyss is the Word as received by Babalon (and back to Saturn who eats his children). Perhaps Saturn, above the Abyss, consumes those illusive structures which hold the ego together; "This is The Night wherein I am lost, the Love through which I am no longer I." .... A couple of other disconnected thoughts: Crowley says somewhere that the pyramid of the magician needs to have the broadest base to remain stable with the highest peaks. Perhaps the warning againt unloosing the inflow of energy implied in the path of The Devil. ... Also, a line I've been wondering about: "Mighty and marvellous is this Weakness". Does anyone have an idea as to his use of Weakness in this line? ...as usual I perceive many pieces of puzzle but am unsure as to the image I'm supposed to be building... Love, Jay. 93 93/93." ........... Reply: Not bad, at least you've taken the time to write our clear and concise thoughts rather just dropping ‘tidbits’ of numerous random ideas and expecting the reader to know what you're talking about. Let us review the obvious regarding The Devil card which has a deep symbolic undertone in The Gun Barrel. This tarot card represents ‘bondage’ in a sense like Maya; which is often interpreted as Illusion but this can be misleading. It truth, bondage is merely the loss of our faculty of discrimination whereby we focus outward into superficial matters where we can become deluded by the importance of this world on a moment to moment basis. Of the five senses the one which most aids us in focusing outward is ‘sight’ and The Devil card is ruled by the Hebrew letter ayin (ע) which means the ‘eye.’ ... The ‘eye’ is also a reference for the tiny portal of pure Gold; the opening of a man’s penis, which is also why Crowley states that “The title of the chapter refers to the Phallus.” Crowley is clearly aware that at the moment our ‘gun’ discharges one’s Will can become deluded due to improper focus. Crowley also acknowledges a secret by informing us that The Gun Barrel is “a reference to the nature of Samadhi" and then adding "As man loses his personality in physical love, so does the magician annihilate his divine personality in that which is beyond. The formula of Samadhi is the same, from the lowest to the highest.” In a generalization, Paul Foster Case reiterates this when he states that the “ancients declared that the devil is God inverted” and in a way; he’s correct. The card refers to our ‘Wants’ over our ‘Will’; or matter over spirit and when we get caught up in the throws of bondage one often loses sight to the fact that they are both one and the same thing. We incarnated in order to gain a specific experience which we call our True Will but every aspect of our experience as dictated by our ‘Wants’ is also part our ‘True Will.’ Thus, in orgasm, from the loftiest to the lowest, is Samadhi. But fear not at the loss of Self because the Intelligence of this card is called ‘renewal’ ... and from a phallic perspective; I need not point out the obvious.

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Monday April 27th 2009 – 6:15am And Jay replied to yesterday's comments - "93 Jerry, Okay okay so the path of the Devil is energy coming downward from Tipareth to Hod, but from where? The path of Gimel's where-- ah! those Lunar dewdrops! I've always thought of Capricorn, being cardinal earth, as especially manifesting on this plane. If the Devil is the erect phallus receiving the word it's easy to see how it implies the earthly manifestation through the path of shin-- or! it can be united to Netzach by the path of Pe where it can die along the path of Death to be reborn in the Sun instead of dying or birthing a material child in Malkuth. It seems that Crowley is talking about the process of uniting the Word with Binah (lost within the Body of Our Lady of the Stars) so it may birth below the Abyss (but a hallow tube to bring down fire from heaven) by the formula of ON. The phallus is the perfect metaphor. In both Dewdrops and The Gun Barrel we get the impression that this process has nothing to do with the ego, as the dewdrops come from above the Abyss, not even the higher Ruach; thus the lack of self in both chapters. How this all plays out in practical terms I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect it has to do with the Muladhara chakra (back to the Moon). Love, Jay 93 93/93." .............. Reply: Very good. First, remember that The Devil card is in our Ruach. Second, it works through two chakras, the Anahata or Heart Chakra and the Svadhisthana; study these well and remember that a path is useless that leads nowhere; it is merely the channel from point A to Point B but often in one's mundane journey throughout life, due to the path that you travel, you change. But how did you change? In our internal Self the nature of The Devil card depicts how the energy will move; changing either in a positive or negative manner. Keep in mind that the path of The Devil rules Ayin, or the letter 'O' of the Formula of ON. The 'O' is the masculine or positive current found in both the man and women on their Left Hand or Descending Pillar. If the Illusions of the Devil are not taken under control and moved correctly into the Manipura, it draws our Dewdrops downward into the Muladhara wherein dwells the Sun which exudes the poison [remember the Dewdrops lessons] which will kill the Dewdrops and at the point of orgasm we become one with the Earth; no higher.

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7:15am Frank sent in an email; part of which he writes – “You seemed hard on your student who sent in yesterday’s 4:00pm posting about the Gun-Barrel. I thought he did a good job.” ......... Reply: I am a harsh task master; all my student’s know this. If they repeatedly make the same mistake I give them no quarter. In my view, I do not want to see mostly quotes from my students without explanation or ‘name dropping’ of examples of what they are too lazy to put into their own words. Such behavior should not be the main part of one's email as much as supporting data. It is not my job to decipher what a student is thinking. Furthermore, this discussion regarding The Book of Lies is meant to drag the thoughts of our Ruach, which are bathed in archetypal and symbolic imagery, into the Light of Day. Therefore, if a student writes like the Ruach, let them stay in the Ruach and don't bother me with their babblings. Yes, I am harsh but these are extremely important lessons to learn. I am trying to make magicians; new Aeonic thinkers and the A.’.A.’. is a College not a High School. ... Frank, as for your comment - "Didn't you once tell me that you carefully review what your student's write to detemine where they are coming from on the Tree?"  ..... Reply: Damn it, I hate it when you guys quote my own stuff back at me! Yes, you are correct and in a 'one on one' private correspondence this is a very helpful tool so I let students babble at their own discretion. But on the blog I must be harsher as not to let other students think such a behavior is acceptable in a public forum. Furthermore, from a psychological point-of-view, if you write an email bathed in archetypal and symbolic imagery without much serious explanation it DOES reveal more about yourself than you realizes. Sometimes too much.

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9:15am Ok, Ok, I just got an idiot email not worth posting! Let me tell my readers who are trying to interpret the latest posting of Crowley's The Gun Barrel to stop thinking about your penis and phallic magick; The Book of Lies is not all about your equipment as much as the Divine Lies about 'male and female essence' found in all of us; both men and women. Let me give you all a few good reference books to keep at hand during these discussions :

1. The Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley
2. Liber Aleph by Aleister Crowley
3. The Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley
4. 777 by Aleister Crowley
5. Magick Without Tears by Aleister Crowley
6. The Tarot by Paul Foster Case
7. Yoga by J. F. C. Fuller
8. The Middle Pillar by Israel Regardie
9. The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune

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5:25pm To answer a brief question in a lengthy email on an unrelated topic but which indirectly relates to The Gun Barrel. I wrote how 'mirth' is the function of our consciousness attributed to The Devil card and in the previous Aeon amusement, laughter or hilarity of any kind was generally frowned upon as being one of the Devil’s gift which bestows weakness; especially in women. But remember, Crowley has stated - “The Common defect of all mystical systems previous to that of the Aeon whose Law is Thelema is that there was no place for Laughter.”

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Tuesday April 28th 2009 – 8:30am Our student Andy from Japan is temporarily moving but he writes - "I have to say that I love the Book of Lies discussion. I'm hoping that once I get more settled I can really play catch up in it, taking the time to really absorb what has been discussed and start throwing in my two cents (or hopefully a few bucks) towards the forthcoming postings. I need to contemplate it more but my first musings about the Gun Barrel would be that it's talking about either the kundalini or the Middle Pillar. 93 93/93 Andy.” .........Reply: Very good; Carl Jung has long ago established that what is called the Kundalini in the east the Greeks refer to as the daimon; Christianity then took the daimon, made it evil and started calling it a demon, or The Devil. Although on the one level this card might appear to be 'phallic', on another it refers to our ability to tap into a specific type of energy found mutually in the man and the woman who, after all, both have this quality on their internal Tree of Life. Those dirty little school child who reads the word 'phallus' in Crowley's books and who immediately thinks sex magick and their own mundane equipment miss this point entirely.

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10:50am Jay writes - " ... it seems that discussion on The Gun Barrel has been rather quiet. I've got some more thoughts on it, but have been waiting to see if anyone else might offer something." ....... Reply: I wonder if everyone has reached their comfy zone? If you don’t drop your tidbits to me in emails how is this discussion ever going to get off the ground? Dewdrops offered you all a lot of food for thought; the Gun-Barrel can be elusive. The obvious parody, like the name Gun-Barrel, over and over again takes the uninitiated mind to seek in Malkuth for answers while obscure names like Dewdrops often forces them to think more. My best advice is always to study the attributes and terms mentioned in each chapter before trying to make profound statements; then, as you come up with each new epiphany, send it along. One Truth will build onto another and so forth. If you send in forty brief emails in a single day ... who am I to complain?

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3:50pm I just got back from time spent with my son and also with having coffee with Ben Hance at the Mediterranean Café and I found this gem waiting for me from Jerri in Sacramento. She writes - "Hi Jerry, 93 To get the ball rolling here, I thought I would share some of my thoughts on The Gun Barrel from a more general and philosophical level before bringing in more specific, practical magickal concepts into the discussion.
In many ways, this piece in particular, makes me think about the concept of the want and the Will. The want is a necessary extension of the Will (after another manner). “This Pyramid of fire, whose summit is lost in Heaven”— suggests that it is through our wants, the Will spills forth (our wants are a mirror of our Will… a corpse…a shadow of the Will, ultimately because everything is an extension of Her…) The Pyramid, a representative of our initiation, can be the way toward embodying our Will...if only our “eye” could see. It is ours to choose, the Serpent or the Dove.
“Upon it I have burnt the corpse of my desires.” To read it closely, it states that it is the corpse of my desire that is burnt and not our desire itself. This suggests that it is the want which is transformed by fire, offered up almost as a sacrifice, as it is a corpse, or shadow of our True Will, which the want reflects (but is not). Hadit is not Nuit, but he (or, we as individuals) is ever of Her.
“I am not I; I am but an hollow tube to bring down Fire from Heaven” I am a vehicle of the body of Nuit and my body is a vessel within which I receive her dewdrops. “Mighty and marvelous is this Weakness, this Heaven which draweth me into Her Womb, this Dome which hideth, which absorbeth, Me.” Hadit, myself, is the dome which hideth Her, and her Womb (Nuit), is the All which absorbeth me." I am always of Her…but, also am Hadit, mighty in all of my glorious sunny splendor, weak, because I die in Love. This is "The Night wherein I am lost, the Love through which I am no longer I.” and implies the experience of ecstasy which accompanies this act of union. “I” am lost in the body of Her darkness…
93 93/93 Jerri."

Reply: Damn, Jerri, you're good. Now these are the types of ideas that I like to see from our students; precise, articulate and insightful. Well all you guys out there, da girl has thrown down the gauntlet to get the ball rolling, are you up to the challenge of adding to her views? 

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Wednesday April 29th 2009 – 8:40am Ed Wormuth writes - "93 Jerry, This new direction in which you are now taking your blog is wonderful and frightening. It is a delight to see such obscure passages brought up for discussion and to read the knowledgeable and insightful comments from followers of this blog.  At the same time it is scary to have the gauntlet thrown in my direction pushing me to comment and expose my ignorance of much of the technical magickal theory some of your students obviously possess.  Also my time to attend to this is so small at present, but the pull to come into the conversation no less strong. That being said, while rereading the "Gun Barrel" and your comments about the "Devil" card and couldn't help but think of the Biblical story of Adam and Eve; the snake in the garden of Eden was perhaps also a reference top a hollow tube through which the will to action brought down "fire from heaven" and the "innocent creation" is awakened to the freedom and horror of "knowledge ". forgive me if I babel. 93 93/93, Ed." ........... Reply: Babble no, another piece of the puzzle, perhaps. The Gnostics believe that the Serpent was good and like Prometheus, the Serpent came down to Earth via the Tree to give humanity Knowledge; a gift from beyond the Abyss. Remember; in Chapter 0 (ΚΕΦΑΛΗ Η ΟΥΚ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΕΦΑΛΗ) of The Book of Lies it lists the The First Triad which is GOD as: I AM, I utter The Word and I hear The Word. Last years, on Sunday March 2nd 2008, I broke down Aleister Crowley's full interpretation to this Chapter in relationship to The Tree of Life in this blog. The First Triad refers to Kether (knowledge), Chockmah (the knower) and Binah (the known) or aspects of the Child Daath (Knowledge) unmanifested. Knowledge is but the essence of the Dewdrop as it descends and transforms below the Abyss into Gnosis.

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9:52am Mary writes, "So Dewdrops is what the Qabalists call the unmanifest 'I Am' Knowledge from Kether; wow. It seems so easy. If you receive it below the Abyss you have Gnosis, right? And the Gun Barrel is then the Promethian tube that carries this fire, knowledge or dewdrops down to mankind, right?" ....... Reply: I like this interpretation. Thoughtful and direct.

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Thursday April 30th 2009 – 6:50am Oddly, our discussion on The Book of Lies seems to have hit a stumbling block this week. Besides a few really good gems I thought the The Gun Barrel has fired blanks but then I received this email from Frater Orpheus:

"Jerry,
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
If the Gun-Barrel is the XV path on the Tree of Life where is the Gun Pointed? Who pulls the trigger and what are his bullets???…
It has already been established well enough that this Chapter is related to that path of the Devil(O) like the path of the Moon they represent, in part, either the Solar or Lunar currents manifested. Crowley wrote, “This card represents creative energy in its most material form." (Book of Thoth pg.105)
The Paths on the Tree of Life are mirrored in your Psychic body and whereby the Kundalini energies move from one Chakra to another… in other words the Tree is your road map or the “Ships Code Book”, as Grady would say.
That being the case it is easy enough to see that the Devil path works between the Anahata and Svadisthana Chakras.  In the OTO system this path is the III° in which the initiate is instructed on Death and its proper course.
The Devil is the lord of all illusion and therefore key in understanding the Maya we create.  But this Devil is also HAD, Set and Satan.  In Liber AL Hadit identifies himself with the Kundalini energies, “I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight” and states that He is also “the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star…I am Life and the giver of Life; yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death… Had is never known as he is motion.
To understand how this path works we must grasp  how the left hand Pillar of 418 works to draw down currents through Tiphereth via the path of the Devil and into Hod. 
Consider this… the HGA manifests just as the Word is made flesh or the True Spirit enters the body…they all follow the same course which you symbolically traverse as an OTO initiate? 
In the Minerval the candidates Psyche is drawn into the Ajna or Chockmah which is the Seed of man and the Word of the Magus.  In the I° the candidate is placed within the Womb of his Mother Binah or the Vishuddha; then in the II° the Spirit descends into Life via “The pathway of Perfection” into the Anahata Chakra.  From there the “Solar energies” are drawn down into the Svadisthana (Hod) via our path of the DEVIL. ( III°)
However this Devil is the Lord of illusion and while he may serve as a conduit for That which is divine, He exists within the Ruach, bathed in the Duality of the Ego.  In other words, we may easily use this path to manifest our Wants over our true Wills.  “there is the dove and there is the serpent, choose ye well” We ourselves are simply conduits for That which is divine.
Man is continually struggling to keep himself from Earth-ing out the energies.  He must constantly fight the natural inertia downward of the left hand Pillar.  J.C. says this perfectly when he states “If the Illusions of the Devil are not taken under control and moved correctly into the Manipura, it draws our Dewdrops downward into the Muladhara wherein dwells the Sun which exudes the poison [remember the Dewdrops lessons] which will kill the Dewdrops and at the point of orgasm we become one with the Earth; no higher. “
When the Kundalini energies are in the Svadisthana there are only two places it can go… it can raise up into the Manipura Chakra or it can fall back down into the Muladhara and the Serpent droop down his head and shoot forth Venom where he and the Earth are one…but should the Kundalini energies continue to rise and the Serpent lift up his head then the energies will move into the Manipura Chakra which is Venus.  So your Seed is either Earth bound or Like the Dove in the OTO lamen headed for the Cup of Venus…“there is the dove and there is the serpent, choose ye well”
In regards to certain OTO mysteries and most certainly in the case of the Knowledge and Conversation of our HGA the object would clearly be to NOT earth out the Solar essence, or Magically charged “semen”, our word into anything Malkuthian…or we will have squandered our own purpose.
So how do you keep your Gun from shooting off?
Consider this; Crowley calls Tiphereth the conscious mind and the Father; while Mercury is the Phallus and the Son.  Our DEVIL card lies right between these two and is simply that which is transpiring between the mind and Phallus. With this in mind do you see why Crowley calls mind the disease of semen and that consciousness is its symptom.
So where are the Bullets….Sperm right??
Well consider this… Crowley says in Book of THOTH that the Hermit is the Spermatozoon and the Unconscious Will, or Word.  That Yod is the foundation of all other letters. He is the Father, the Logos and the highest form of Mercury being both ruled and exalted in Virgo.  The Fire of his lamp is the “Secret Flame” ….”For he is not only creative, but is the fluidic essence of Light, which is the life of the Universe.” (Book of Thoth PG 89)
The Hermit card is between Chesed and Tiphereth and Chesed is connected above to Chockmah. These 4 “Phallic’ spheres (Seed-Jupiter-Sun-Mercury) are joined by three ‘Phallic’ Paths. (Devil-Hermit-Heirophant) These can be seen to represent The male creative energy…the Lion and the Serpent that destroy the destroyer…(IAO: I = Yod - A = Vav - O = Ayin) In our particular study that’s Father/Tiphereth - DEVIL - Son/Hod or ABRA-HAD-ABRA.
Love is the law, love under will.
                                                   Frater Orpheus

Reply: Very good, there are a few things I'd like to elaborate on but I'll do it a little later today.

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7:35am A thought; more to come later: So far, these chapters from The Book of Lies have been a great success and hopefully for years to come the epistles surrounding all of these chapters will continually offer our readers insights. I have always tried to say to my students that there is no real right or wrong when discussing magickal theory, only one's inability to express what is in the depths of their mind clearly. Too often magicians forget that the goal of the A.'.A.'. is not about themselves but in assisting humanity forward in the New Aeon and if you are incapable of articulating the Mysteries to the lowest of turtles then you have failed. This exercise in interpreting The Book of Lies is revealing each individual's 'New Clothes', just as it did with the Emperor. ... Remember, the man of earth is the chela or the student whose main task is to learn about the Law of Thelema first, himself second and magick third. Crowley then informs us in Liber 418 that "The lover giveth his life unto the work among men." But if you cannot bring down the fire of knowledge to Earth outside of white-light idiocy or psych-babble then what kind of students will you create? Yes, the A.'.A.'. is harsh, we are not a horizontal school which tolerates students stamping their feet, whining and throwing ego-fits; we are creating New Aeonic thinkers; each, as Grady McMurtry would often say, is a single building block and it is far better to create twelve good apostles who know the Mysteries than hundreds who drool out of desire.

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10:25am Under the subject "Satan! :: chuga chuga chug chuga chug ::" ... one of my favorte Scorpios, Jay, writes -"93 Jerry, Once more, pure gold from Frater Orpheus... It's very interesting to me how The Devil seems to be the fulcrum between Will and Want. His energy is very powerful and in itself doesn's necessarily cause us to earth out and yet the temptation is there (only fools know what it means). You've pointed out that The Devil is in the Ruach; it seems to be in the lower Ruach and yet as it represents the descent of energy from Tipareth it seems that it could be guided by either the higher self or lower self in Tipareth-- once again the Will and Want, or the higher aspirations of the Higher Ruach vs. the ego aspirations of the Lower Ruach. I also remember that in Kundalini yoga they tend to place the will in the Manipura chakra. And while they may not mean the same thing we mean by Will, it suggests to me the persistence of will power required to successfully move that energy from Hod to Netzach. Thus the emphasis: "Mighty and erect is this Will of mine," the snake that droops not as well as the burnt corpse of desire or want. This sort of discussion always lead me to wonder exactly how this all plays out in women. I suppose they are just as tempted to earth out, just not via the phallus. Or is it as difficult for women to work the path of The Devil as it is for men to successfully work the Tower...? Love, Jay 93 93/93." ............ Reply: Most men know the basic theories easy enough but rarely do they know how they function on a practical nature in themselves; stay focused ... don't worry about women. Besides, here is a Secret about the Formula of ON : Male adepts easily work N and Female Adepts easily work O. Both often fail where they most commonly walk.

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10:30am Ben Hance writes - "93 Here are some thoughts of mine regarding "The Gun Barrel."  In the "Hatha Yoga Pradipika"  there is an interesting yogic posture called siddhasana related to the stimulation of the Svadistana and Anahata chakras.  Wherein the heels of the feet are placed on either side of the genitals while the chin is brought to the chest.  Depending upon the "focus" of the thoughts different effects may be occur.  Not the least of which is the stimulation of the Manipura Chakra (also Netzach, or the path of Peh between Hod and Netzach).  It is clear that the danger inherent within the VII degree O.T.O. is the "earthing" out of the energy descending (via the path of Shin) into Malkuth, rather than raising this energy, funnelled from Tiphareth, into Netzach, where it can continue to manifest.  The posture referenced above, seems to imply the subjugation of the basic sex response, stimulating both the Svadistana and Anahata chakras, while at the same time inhibiting the descent of the Lunar fluids from being destroyed by the Solar fluids.  In order to fully describe the above I have moved slightly affield of my point.  I agree that "there is the dove and the serpent" and I believe it is most puissant here.  The eye in question is located in Tipareth, but its linking to Hod allows both insight and/or illusion.  The Qabalah describes the path of Ayin as "the Renewing Intelligence" and to me this seems quite apt here.  As the magician is lost in the ecstacy of his focus his word, or "logos," can become the voice of his Angel, or his own rantings of his own illusions.  The danger here seems to be blinding of the Magician by his own illusions, the benefit seems to be the ability to rechannel those forces descending into the Ruach and above. Anyway, just a thought, more coming. 93/93 Ben." ...... Reply: Great thoughts ... and yes, keep them coming! You guys are all on a roll; it's good to see you've picked up the gaunlet from Jerri (see the 29ths entry at 3:50pm) and run with it!

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6:30pm Ricky writes - "Jerry 93, Mr. Hance and Frater Orpheus really set the bar high here, but I would like to venture a few thoughts of my own. Looking at these chapters together as a sort of unfolding theme I see what I think to be a clue. From 'Dewdrops' we learned that it spoke of the Ida and Pingala and how energy flows through them. The title of 'The Gun Barrel' immediately brings to mind Sushumna. So taking the 'Pyramid' as a symbol of Sushumna 'whose summit is lost in Heaven' we may venture to say that the 'corpse of my desires' speaks of the Lower ego being burnt. It is a corpse or already dead because of the filling of the Cup of Babalon. If we consider this approach then it would seem fitting that the 'bullet' passing through the 'barrel' would be the Kundalini Serpent and thus the Phallus symbolism of the second paragraph and once this 'seed' becomes 'lost within the Body of Our Lady of the Stars' or the Svadistana chakra and a sort of Samahdi is made on the Sushumna Nadi seen in the next paragraph speaking of the Hollow tube. This also brings back to mind the Yods of the Moon card with an emphasis on the 'fiery' quality of the Yod in general. That's all I have for now. Did I fall off the Mountain? 93 93/93 Ricky." ............... Reply: Not bad ... you haven't fallen yet.

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7:40pm Jay writes - "93 Jerry, Nice to hear from Frater P., always keen on the practical points. Though it leads me to wonder about the Yoni Mudra; Fuller: "With a strong inspiration fix the mind on the Adhar Lotus; then engage in contracting the yoni (the space between the lingam and anus [or pireneum-- Fr. VA]). After which contemplate that the God of Love resides in the Brahma-Yoni, and imagine that an union takes place between Shiva and Shakti." It seems like in the bigger picture he's getting at forming the hexagram, but the mudra itself: is this working the energy between the Muladhara and the Svadisthana, the path of Resh? Love, Jay 93 93/93." ........ Reply: I'm not sure I understand the question; perhaps Frater P might handle this one? 

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Friday May 1st 2009 – 7:15am Regarding Jay's last night's 7:40pm posting; I was to brain dead having been up since the early hours of the morning and I decided to let Frater Petros field it! He writes - "Dear Jay, 93 A very interesting question indeed, I might actually say that it is “tricky.”  If you were someone else’s student I would do the “hand off” too.  I do not have Fuller’s book handy, so I’m going to respond to the context of the question.  If this does not answer your question let me know (I know you will). ... Before I get into your question I think it might be germane to quote from “The Hatha Yoga Pradipika” regarding our original discussion of Siddhasana, “(35) Press one heel into the place below the sex organs [the perineum] and put the other heel just above this region [close to the abdomen].  Press the chin upon the chest, sit up straight, with controlled organs, and fasten the eyes between the eyebrows.  This is siddhasana, whereby all obstacles on the path to perfection are removed.” (Rieker, Hans-Ulrich, The Yoga of Light, p. 54.)   There are several variations on this particular posture.  I would like to point out that the eyes should be focused on the Ajna chakra, or Pineal Gland, and the eyes should be closed. ...  By “mudra” I believe that you are referring to an exercise in pratyahara, and not a position for holding one’s fingers (a more common interpretation).  In this exercise the eyes, ears, mouth, and nose are closed manually to direct the senses inward.  In either sense a physical manipulation of the Kundalini is anticipated.  Anytime we are looking at the “God of Love” we are talking about the Anahata chakra (or, Tiphareth).  If we are looking to unite the Shiva and Shakti it can be seen as a metaphor for the Holy Hexagram.  This is not a perfect analogy, but good enough.  In the Indian system this is as follows “In the two nadis, prana and apana have been united into one continuous flow, and neither a separation of the two nor a reversal of the current can occur after this point.  From the nostrils to the muladhara chakra a current-bearing path now extends, or rather two paths, which unite at the lower end of the sushumna.  From there the path again goes upward to the “moon.”  The flow of nectar is diverted by the upcurled tongue, so that the “sun” can now unfold its fiery power.” (Rieker, Hans-Ulrich, The Yoga of Light, p. 121.)  This is somewhat complicated within the Hindu system, but it will be somewhat illuminated by reference back to the “Dewdrops” discussion.  Another approach is to look at the “bandhas” especially the “Uddiyana bandhas.”  I don’t mean to make this any more complicated than it already is, but the union of the bandhas relates to the Ida and Pingala of Hatha Yoga.  This may also be seen as the Solar tides that are discussed within the “Liber Resh” discussions within our Order, or a Solar/Lunar ebb and flow.  I believe this more analogous to the discussion of “The Stag-Beetle,” but that is for others to determine. ... Jay, I’m not sure that I have addressed your question directly, feel free to let me know if I may be of any other help.  I think this should give you plenty to think about. 93 93/93 Fr. Petros."

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7:25am Andy West writes - "Jerry 93! The blog has been hopping with great interpretations. I read "The Oyster" and "Peaches" after your reply to what I wrote on "Dewdrops". They both opened my mind to the interpretation below and showed me how this exercise itself is very much in line with their contents. From the many (all of us sendng in our interpretations) you (as the one mother) are creating but one child (the resulting epistles woven together from the many with your comments and editing uniting them). Well played, Cornelius. ... It seems like the "Gun Barrel" taken in conjunction with what we learned from "Dewdrops" shows how the Lunar energy of Nuit is brought down by the magician from Binah through the male side of the self, the Pillar of 418 to Hod. Instead of earthing out the energy and manifesting it on Malkuth along the path of Shin (upon it have I burned the corpses of my desires) and completing the male formula of 418, the magician becomes a vehicle for the energy, reverses "his" formulae to that of the feminine side of the self, the Pillar of 156, and "she" then absorbs the energy from Hod along the path of Pe to Netzach and up. (I am not I: I am but a hollow tube to bring down Fire from Heaven, Mighty and marvelous is this weakness, this heaven which draweth me into her womb). Interesting that the Devil card usually depicts a hermaphroditic Satan or Baphomet. Also interesting that the Secret Master said: "Therefore do I make the female male and the male female, that ye may be on earth as your fathers in heaven." How the energy moves up the Pillar of 156 to Chockma and then flows over into Binah creating Daath, through which the Gnosis descends, is probably covered in another chapter but it seemed important to mention as the next logical step. Loving this series. 93, 93/93 -Andy." ....... Reply: Very good grasshopper!

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Saturday May 2nd 2009 – 6:15am And today is the last day of our discussion on The Gun Barrel from The Book of Lies; tomorrow we shall begin a new chapter. If you have any last minute ideas, today is the day to vomit them my way! Like the previous week, this week’s discussion has proved very fruitful and I’m pleased with what has been achieved by all of you. To read all the entries on The Gun Barrel click HERE.

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Sunday May 3rd 2009 - 6:45am Regarding The Gun Barrel, Frater Orpheus concludes our weekly discourse with another gem. He writes - "Jerry, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. There are few points I would like to elaborate upon.
The “Divine” Solar and Lunar currents are carried throughout the body of both sexes on both the Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Trees.  The source of both these currents lies beyond Kether.  In other words from the highest to the lowest there is an interplay of “opposites” who on the Microcosmic Tree can be seen as reflected in the mysteries of ON; Yet, as above so below.  “Nu! is the hiding of Hadit.” and “Had is the manifestation of Nuit.”  Hadit is the Knower and Nuit is the Known, their marriage births Knowledge, a “Child” which is of the Nature of both. 
Prana (Hadit) and Akasha (Nuit) come through the macrocosmic Star/Sun bound together as one and inseparable.  The Ida and Pingala currents within our psychic bodies represent that interplay of opposites reflected throughout the Tree as the Kundalini snake climbs up through the Chakras.
Then if it is true that the initiate of the OTO, the HGA and the Word of the Magus all traverse the same course then it is easy enough to see this as the path of the Sun; by that I mean to say that everything which “is“…is born, lives and dies in a continuous cycle….O-N!
Our DEVIL (O) is one half of this formula and our mutable MOON (N), in another manner, is the other.  Yet these two paths are within the Ruach and reflected through our own STAR.  One is external and the other internal.  One projected out from your Star and downwards towards Malkuth (Devil) and the other one internal back into our Star (N). 
On the Microcosmic Tree this all happens with the Ruach of man and therefore “creates” his “reality” below.  “Upon it I have Burned the corpse of my desires” that is your own personal Venus!  These two paths are united in Peh and unite the sacred trilogies of Father, Son and Holy Ghost or Tiphereth, Mercury and Venus. (Liber Aleph pg.87)
The Angel and the Solar tides unite with our body in Yesod.  The source of which, on the macrocosmic Tree, is quite literally the Sun in the sky which gives life to everything on this plane; but on the microcosmic Tree it is our own heart center or the Anahata Chakra….in other words we pull from our own star at the center of our universe.  Now do you understand why the Pillar of 418 pulls downward from Tiphereth, your own star to create all that which lies below. (your Clerk House)
This left hand Pillar which pulls from Tiphereth via our DEVIL is an external projection from our own star.  Note that the spheres of Binah, Geburah, Hod and Tiphereth are united Malkuth via the paths of Cheth, Mem, DEVIL, Shin which = 418 and ABRA - HAD - ABRA.
This formula of ABRA - HAD - ABRA can therefore be seen as everything that transpires between Binah and Malkuth on one level or as Crowley clearly points out in Liber Aleph, It is that which transpires between Tiphereth and Hod; mind and Phallus.  That is ABRA/Tiphereth - HAD/Devil - ABRA/Hod.  (Mind - Libido - Phallus)  Here HAD is that un-manifested aspect between Father and Son and yet internally connected to the divine.  Note that on the Devil card we see HAD the goat erected upon twin squares, and at the point of Ajna/Chockmah we see the EYE; that’s Hadit from the highest to the lowest yet his true Creative nature is unknown.
Once again we are left with the question… so how do we stop from Earthing out this ‘energy’ or in other words how does the WORD survive DEATH?  This is the real ‘secret’ laid out in the III°  and in the path of Peh.  Consider this the Master Magician is expected to apply the 4 powers of the Sphinx, Knowledge, Will, Courage and Silence to obtain full control over his “subtle” body…with this and a 4-fold WORD he escapes Death…Long live the King!
Love is the law, love under will
                                                   Frater Orpheus

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Love is the law, love under will.AL I:57




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93