RAP WITH THE CALIPH
While trying to work out a plan to catch up on O.T.O. correspondence at one of our regular Tuesday-night meetings, we read a letter asking for instruction. The point raised dealt with a verse in the Book of the Law. In as much as this was rather a sizeable problem of interpretation, we went into a discussion. The following is a verbatim (almost!) transcript of the tape of the discussion. Editing has been kept to a necessary minimum in order to better share the fraternal experience.
“All these old letters of my Book are aright:
but Tzaddi is not the Star.” Liber AL: I, 57
Arden: …(Tzaddi) doesn’t correspond to the Star. Am I right?
Caliph: Who knows who’s right? All we know for sure, is that Crowley found this statement in The Book of the Law to be a puzzle. In meditating upon it, thinking about it,-whatever other trips he did about it, he came to the conclusion that the Hey card and the Tzaddi card should be transposed, at least as established in the Golden Dawn Tree of Life. That meant transposing the Aries card, which was on the Hey path, and the Aquarius card, which was on the Tzaddi path. Now, the next question is: Should the 2 paths be transposed? If you take a look at the final arrangements in The book of Thoth, that’s what it looks like…He was the guy who supposedly knew what he was doing…”
Caliph: Yes, therefore I at least respect his right to do so…
Kathy: Bill, what do you think about that?
Bill: I think that there is something there worthy of study. If you want to change the paths on the tree…This would not change the primary quality of the paths, but it would change the manner in which they are observed, or seen to act. If the Star is the outer visible form of the path between Chokmah and Tiphereth in the Dawn Tree, instead of energy from Chokmah being imposed on the structure of life in t Tiphereth through Order, it would form-emerge in life without evident order. Under that view, it would form-emerge in life without evident order. Under that view, one would not take about the Laws of the Universe, one would talk about the Nature of the Universe-without being iron-clad and legalistic.
Kathy: So this is some indication toward the changing into the Age of Aquarius.
Bill: Presumably that is why this distinction has to be made. There are many ways of signaling the World-Age…Sometimes a correspondence is shifted. One thing that the Golden Dawn did back in the Age of Pisces was to assign color associations to Pisces. The change involving Aquarius and Aries (traditional starting sign of the Zodiac) can be made to signal the Aquarian Age. It’s interesting and bears a lot of thinking. “Another insight—into Ancient Egypt: There is a picture on a papyrus…of Nuit in the sky over Geb (Hadit?). Geb has a colossal erection. On the side there is a Ram and a Bird. The Star is like Nuit, but the Ram is nearest Nuit. Geb is like the Emperor; but the bird like the one on the Star Trump is near Geb. Something was represented or studied with these things back in Ancient Egypt. There may a current of energy that re-manifests every so often, maybe once every half of the Great Age of the Universe in either the time of Aquarius or Leo. Maybe this is the gate that opens whenever a World-Age begins. Here is something that should be looked into with metaphysical study and speculation, study of historical documents relating these two things (Aries and Aquarius). That’s a good area for somebody to work in.
Steve: I got the Thoth deck from Grady (Caliph) last week. I went home, sat down, and started transposing the two cards. It just completely opened up a door in my head. I got so many insights out of it that the next night I called both Grady and Bill and said ‘What does it all mean?’ And they both said, ‘Figure it out for yourself.’ So I spent the week figuring it out as best I could for myself. The whole thing became, I found, much more logical again—down at the bottom you are changing from the Tower,…It seemed much more likely that the next step after that extreme experience would be…
Arden: To impose control.
Steve: To impose control rather than go into meditation. They always say in the teachings that you go from seeing that there is more to it, to meditating on it. It sounded logical, but it sounds more logical to me the other way around. I did some reading then, and for what it’s worth, the Tarot readings confirmed this pretty definitely. I found that after a week of studying this, I like it a lot better with Tzaddi in the 4th position and the Emperor below.
Arden: Is it Tzaddi or is it the Star in the 4th position?
Steve: The Star. Pardon me.
Bill: This in itself must be settled.
Steve: As you said, it must be worked out…Crowley numbers his deck in the traditional manner with Strength as XI and Justice as VIII. It seems logical to me from a couple of years of study that you should switch those. Well, he makes the point on that whole wheel he’s drawn in The Book of Thoth that has the two things on the end (The Book of Thoth, page 11. diagram of the double loop in the zodiac). If you switch these two, why not switch the other two, which just happened to be Hey and Tzaddi? When you do that, you switch two of the traditional middle cards, and it gives you an entirely different picture on the way the Universe is structured.
Arden: It would seem to me that you should leave Hebrew letters where they occur and simply switch the cards.
Steve: …It seemed to me that the current running from Chokmah, which is above the Abyss, down to Tiphereth is much more likely to be meditation than reason, because one supercedes the other. Whereas, down below…
Kathy: Knowledge would be the result of reasoning.
Bill: One part of knowledge
Kathy: Let’s put it this way: (if) reason is the stage before knowledge—I’m coming from above like on your pillar—when you are switching it from the Emperor to the Star, you gone from reason and judgment to a conscious knowledge.
Bill: Here’s a hypothesis, just to see what it does: (what) if this is not just the characteristic of the whole World Age, it’s philosophy should be pretty tight…you can speak meaningfully of the great Emperor up in the sky that brings things down in a orderly fashion, and of the Laws of the Universe. When a World Age changes, it’s as thought there is no ruler in the sky…
Arden: When it begins, you mean?
Bill: Yes…and there must be that openness that we see in the Star card. You must be able to see just how the stars are moving and re-aligning. For those who are really weird and Qabbalistic, these two letters, Hey and Tzaddi, are one of the 231 gates—a method of Temurah (the particular one called ATHBASH). Temurah is a type of alphabet substitution code. There are 24 of these codes. If you know of a pair of letters, in this case Hey and Tzaddi, that are associated, you can take anything that is written in Hebrew and find one of these 24 Temurah codes that will be keyed in by that pair of letters. You can substitute there given letters in that code and see if it makes sense in the Old Testament or anything that yields something that makes sense, that should be interpreted as something that is valid in this Era.
Kathy: Have you done it?
Bill: God, no!
Kathy: It sounds like a large project.
Bill: It’s a life-time project. Even something as big as the Old Testament…it would take the better part of a lifetime just to diddle your way through the first five books of that.
Kathy: It sounds like a good code during war-time.
Erin: What’s the pass-work? Tzaddi is not the Star…
Arden: I once saw an advertisement in the classified section of the Berkeley Barb that said something like: This month the center of the Universe ends—This month the skin sheds it’s snake—head for the center of the Universe—excuse me, the serpent sheds it’s skin.
Bill: I like it better the other way.
Caliph: Head for the center of the serpent? Well, somebody mentioned this business of ending a World-Age, beginning a World Age. Of course in The Book of the Law, the primary function is in terms of establishing the Aeon of Horus, the transition from an old Aeon to a new Aeon. In an article I wrote for In the Continuum, a newsletter for the Order, the basic premise came in terms of this very concept—of switching of the Aquarius card and the Aries card. The reason was as follows: greatest poet in the English language was that he had in this life-time activated the Leo card of the Tarot deck. That is to say—in terms of the psychic body in the cosmic sense, viewed whether as the Yogic Chakra system or as the Qabbalah or whatever system you want to use—in that system he had, by his incarnation as Aleister Crowley, activated the Leo card. If so, this is of extreme importance in terms of the psychic body in the Universal or Cosmic Sense: because, if this is true, then—in other words, this is his claim as the Great Wild Beast of the Aeon and so forth—he as activated a path in the Tree of Life which is above the Anahara Chakra—or to put It another way, it is above the Sun. If that is the case, then the path between Mars and Jupiter is now open and active, whereas before it was passive. It was there, but it was passive. Why would that be significant? Just take a look at it from the point of view of any particular individual, a yogin, a qabbalist, an alchemist,--anyone who is operating in terms of an activation of a psychic body—if you were to activate a psychic body, your own individual one, before this came down, before this universal trip was laid on the Universal Psychic Body, well then, you would simply activate a psychic body. But you wouldn’t necessarily run into any particular form of energy at that particular path because that particular path hadn’t been activated. Therefore, you would go ahead and do your trip and go ‘choggying’ out on whatever plane of existence you have been ‘choggying’ out on; but now, Aleister Crowley has lived, has had his incarnation, has activated the path on the cosmic level. Ok, now you come along and activate your psychic body; and you run into the fact that this path is now active. It’s like before it was a wire that somebody had forgotten to throw the switch—it was there, simply not active…Now let’s say that you have activated your psychic centers at this time, on this level of the psychic centers at this time, on this level of the psychic body, with the Leo path activated. What kind of energy is the Leo energy? Usually, it is considered to be a heavily masculine trip…Let’s say from the point of view of the ordinary person turning on to the psychic body, it is a heavy masculine vibration. Alright now, Crowley has activated it—‘The Big Red Lion’ as he called himself as Cefalu. The Great Wild Beast of the Aeon. –Whatever you want to call it, now that Leo trip is just buzzing with energy. That being the case, you come along with an old Aeon psychic body and you turn on the Aries vibration from the Ajna Chakra down to the Anahara Chakra, you’ve got now, all of a sudden, Aries is a fiery energy, Leo is a fiery energy. You have two fire energies crossing each other—you will blow a fuse. From the point of view of the psychic body, it is the best possible sense that Nuit should point out for our benefit (The Book of the Law, Ch I, v57) that Crowley is in the process—of course it’s 1904—and will in his incarnation activate the Leo path in the Cosmic Psychic body: therefore, you are going to have to take the inner fiery energy of the Aries card from here and put it down below the Abyss, down there at the Tzaddi level, and put the Aquarius, female feminine type of energy, the Star, up here, coming from the Ajna Chakra down to the Anahara Chakra (note: hand gestures at this point to the different charkas), so that when you have activated your psychic body, you will be in harmony; and you won’t be blown in pieces…
Kathy: He’s initiating a path like the Christianized versions of the Qabbalah indicate—that Christ activated the sixth Sephiroth on the Tree?
Caliph: Tiphereth? Well, yes. Now of course you are speaking in terms of Sephiroth, and I was speaking in terms of the paths. Possibly, the paths have more energy than we are used to thinking of because paths tend to be positive and Sephiroth are considered to be negative. Basically you are right.
... I wish to thank Jerri Judd for making this page possible. ...
From the O.T.O. Newsletter, Berkeley, California
Vol. I, No.1 An. LXXIIIe.n. May 1977, pgs. 3-7