Aleister Crowley ~ The Vision and the Voice ~ 10th Æthyr

 

THE CRY OF THE 10TH ÆTHYR,

THAT IS CALLED ZAX

THERE IS NO BEING in the outermost Abyss, but constant forms come forth from the nothingness of it.

Then the Devil of the Æthyr, that mighty devil Choronzon, crieth aloud, Zazas, Zazas, Nasatanada Zazas.

I am the Master of Form, and from me all forms proceed.

I am I. I have shut myself up from the spendthrifts, my gold is save in my treasure-chamber, and none shall touch them, save only I. And yet I am scorched, even while I shiver in the wind. He hateth me and tormenteth me. He would have stolen me from myself, but I shut myself up and mock at him, even while he plagueth me. From me come leprosy and pox and plague and cancer and cholera and the falling sickness. Ah! I will reach up to the knees of the Most High, and tear his phallus with my teeth, and I will bray his testicles in a mortar, and make poison thereof, to slay the sons of men.

(Here the Spirit simulated the voice of Frater P., which also appeared to come from his station and not from the triangle.)

I don’t think I can get any more; I think that’s all there is.

(The Frater was seated in a secret place covered completely by a black robe, in the position called the "Thunderbolt." He did not move or speak during the ceremony.)

Next the Scribe was hallucinated, believing that before him was a beautiful courtesan whom previously he had loved in Paris. Now, she wooed him with soft words and glances, but he knew these things for delusions of the devil, and he would not leave the circle.

The demon then laughed wildly and loud.

(Upon the Scribe threatening him, the Demon proceeded, after a short delay.)

They have called me the God of laughter, and I laugh when I will slay. And they have thought that I could not smile, but I smile upon whom I would seduce, O inviolable one, that canst not be tempted. If thou canst command me by the power of the Most High, know that I did indeed tempt thee, and it repenteth me. I bow myself humbly before the great and terrible names whereby thou hast conjured and constrained me. But thy name is mercy, and I cry aloud for pardon. Let me come and put my head beneath thy feet, that I may serve thee. For if thou commandest me to obedience in the Holy names, I cannot swerve therefrom, for their first whispering is greater than the noise of all my tempests. Bid me therefore come unto thee upon my hands and knees that I may adore thee, and partake of thy forgiveness. Is not thy mercy infinite?

(Here Choronzon attempts to seduce the Scribe by appealing to his pride.

But the Scribe refused to be tempted, and commanded the demon to continue with the Æthyr.

There was again a short delay.)

Choronzon hath no form, because he is the maker of all form; and so rapidly he changeth from one to the other as he may best think fit to seduce those whom he hateth, the servants of the Most High.

Thus taketh he the form of a beautiful woman, or of a wise and holy man, or of a serpent that writheth upon the earth ready to sting.

And, because he is himself, therefore he is no self; the terror of darkness, and the blindness of night, and the deafness of the adder, and the tastelessness of stale and stagnant water, and the black fire of hatred, and the udders of the Cat of slime; not one thing, but many things. Yet, with all that, his torment is eternal. The sun burns him as he writhes naked upon the sands of hell, and the wind cuts him bitterly to the bone, a harsh dry wind, so that he is sore athirst. Give unto me, I pray thee, one drop of water from the pure springs of Paradise, that I may quench my thirst.

(The Scribe refused.)

Sprinkle water upon my head. I can hardly go on.

(This last was spoken from the triangle in the natural voice of the Frater, which Choronzon again simulated. But he did not succeed in taking the Frater’s form - which was absurd!

The Scribe resisted the appeal to his pity, and conjured the demon to proceed by the names of the Most High. Choronzon attempted also to seduce the faithfulness of the Scribe. A long colloquy ensued. The Scribe cursed him by the Holy Names of God, and the power of the Pentagram.)

I feed upon the names of the Most High. I churn them in my jaws, and I void them from my fundament. I fear not the power of the Pentagram, for I am the Master of the Triangle. My name is three hundred and thirty and three, and that is thrice one. Be vigilant, therefore, for I warn thee that I am about to deceive thee. I shall say words that thou wilt take to be the cry of the Æthyr, and thou wilt write them down, thinking them to be great secrets of Magick power, and they will be only my jesting with thee.

(Here the Scribe invoked Angels, and the Holy Guardian Angel of the Frater P…. The demon replied:)

I know the name of the Angel of thee and thy brother P…., and all thy dealings with him are but a cloak for thy filthy sorceries.

(Here the Scribe averred that he knew more than the demon, and so feared him not, and ordered the demon to proceed.)

Thou canst tell me naught that I know not, for in me is all Knowledge: Knowledge is my name. Is not the head of the great Serpent arisen into Knowledge?

(Here the Scribe again commanded Choronzon to continue with the call.)

Know thou that there is no Cry in the tenth Æthyr like unto the other Cries, for Choronzon is Dispersion, and cannot fix his mind upon any one thing for any length of time. Thou canst master him in argument, O talkative one; thou wast commanded, wast thou not, to talk to Choronzon? He sought not to enter the circle, or to leave the triangle, yet thou didst prate of all these things.

(Here the Scribe threatened the demon with anger and pain and hell. The demon replied:)

Thinkest thou, O fool, that there is any anger and any pain that I am not, or any hell but this my spirit?

Images, images, images, all without control, all without reason. The malice of Choronzon is not the malice of a being; it is the quality of malice, because he that boasteth himself "I am I," hath in truth no self, and these are they that are fallen under my power, the slaves of the Blind One that boasteth himself to be the Enlightened One. For there is no center, nay, nothing but Dispersion.

Woe, woe, woe, threefold to him that is led away by talk, O talkative One.

O thou that hast written two-and-thirty books of Wisdom, and art more stupid than an owl, by thine own talk is thy vigilance wearied, and by my talk art thou befooled and tricked, O thou that sayest that thou shalt endure. Knowest thou how nigh thou art to destruction? For thou that art the Scribe hast not the understanding that alone availeth against Choronzon. And wert thou not protected by the Holy Names of God and the circle, I would rush upon thee and tear thee. For when I made myself like unto a beautiful woman, if thou hadst come to me, I would have rotted thy body with the pox, and thy liver with cancer, and I would have torn off thy testicles with my teeth. And if I had seduced thy pride, and thou hadst bidden me to come into the circle, I would have trampled thee under foot, and for a thousand years shouldst thou have been but one of the tape-worms that is in me. And if I had seduced thy pity, and thou hadst poured one drop of water without the circle, then would I have blasted thee with flame. But I was not able to prevail against thee.

How beautiful are the shadows of the ripples of the sand!

Would God that I were dead.

For know that I am proud and revengeful and lascivious, and I prate even as thou. For even as I walked among the Sons of God, I heard it said that P…. could both will and know, and might learn at length to dare, but that to keep silence he should never learn. O thou that art so ready to speak, so slow to watch, thou art delivered over unto my power for this. And now one word was necessary unto me, and I could not speak it. I behold the beauty of the earth in her desolation, and greater far is mine, who sought to be my naked self. Knowest thou that in my soul is utmost fear? And such is my force and my cunning, that a hundred times have I been ready to leap, and for fear have missed. And a thousand times am I baulked by them of the City of the Pyramids, that set snares for my feet. More knowledge have I than the Most High, but my will is broken, and my fierceness is marred by fear, and I must ever speak, speak, speak, millions of mad voices in my brain.

With a heart of furious fancies,

Whereof I am Commander,

With a burning spear

And a horse of Air

To the wilderness I wander.

(The idea was to keep the Scribe busy writing, so as to spring upon him. For, while the Scribe talked, Choronzon had thrown sand into the circle, and filled it up. But Choronzon could not think fast and continuously, and so resorted to the device of quotation.

The Scribe had written two or three words of "Tom o’Bedlam," when Choronzon sprang within the circle (that part of the circumference of which that was nearest to him he had been filling up with sand all this time), and leaped upon the Scribe, throwing him to the earth. The conflict took place within the circle. The Scribe called upon Tetragrammaton, and succeeded in compelling Choronzon to return into his triangle. By dint of anger and of threatening him with the Magick Staff did he accomplish this. He then repaired the circle. The discomfited demon now continued:)

All is Dispersion. These are the qualities of things.

The tenth Æthyr is the world of adjectives, and there is no substance therein.

(Now returneth the beautiful woman who had before tempted the Scribe. She prevailed not.)

I am afraid of sunset, for Tum is more terrible than Ra, and Khephra the Beetle is greater than the Lion Mau.

I am a-cold.

(Here Choronzon wanted to leave the triangle to obtain wherewith to cover his nakedness. The Scribe refused the request, threatening the demon. After a while the latter continued:)

I am commanded, why I know not, by him that speaketh. Were it thou, thou little fool, I would tear thee limb from limb. I would bite off thine ears and nose before I began with thee. I would take thy guts for fiddle-strings at the Black Sabbath.

Thou didst make a great fight there in the circle; thou art a goodly warrior!

(Then did the demon laugh loudly. The Scribe said: Thou canst not harm one hair of my head.)

I will pull out every hair of thy head, every hair of thy body, every hair of thy soul, one by one.

(Then said the Scribe: Thou hast no power.)

Yea, verily I have power over thee, for thou hast taken the Oath, and art bound unto the White Brothers, and therefore have I the power to torture thee so long as thou shalt be.

(Then said the Scribe unto him: Thou liest.)

Ask of thy brother P…., and he shall tell thee if I lie!

(This the Scribe refused to do, saying that it was no concern of the demon’s.)

I have prevailed against the Kingdom of the Father, and befouled his beard; and I have prevailed against the Kingdom of the Son, and torn off his Phallus; but against the Kingdom of the Holy Ghost shall I strive and not prevail. The three slain doves are my threefold blasphemy against him; but their blood shall make fertile the sand, and I writhe in blackness and horror of hate, and prevail not.

(Then the demon tried to make the Scribe laugh at Magick, and to think that it was all rubbish, that he might deny the names of God that he had invoked to protect him; which, if he had doubted but for an instant, he had leapt upon him, and gnawed through his spine at the neck.

Choronzon succeeded not in his design.)

In this Æthyr is neither beginning nor end, for it is all hotch-potch, because it is of the wicked on earth and the damned in hell. And so long as it be hotch-potch, it mattereth little what may be written by the sea-green incorruptible Scribe.

The horror of it will be given in another place and time, and through another Seer, and that Seer shall be slain as a result of his revealing. But the present Seer, who is not P…., seeth not the horror, because he is shut up, and hath no name.

(Now was there some further parleying betwixt the demon and the Scribe, concerning the departure and the writing of the word, the Scribe not knowing if it were meet that the demon should depart.

Then the Seer took the Holy Ring, and wrote the name BABALON, that is victory over Choronzon, and he was no more manifest.)

(This cry was obtained on Dec. 6, 1909, between 2 and 4:15 P.M., in a lonely valley of fine sand, in the desert near Bou-Saada. The Æthyr was edited and revised on the following day.)

After the conclusion of the Ceremony, a great fire was kindled to purify the place, and the Circle and Triangle were destroyed.

NOTE BY SCRIBE

Almost from the beginning of the ceremony was the Scribe overshadowed, and he spoke as it were in spite of himself, remembering afterwards scarcely a word of his speeches, some of which were long and seemingly eloquent.

All the time he had a sense of being protected from Choronzon, and this sense of security prevented his knowing fear.

Several times did the Scribe threaten to put a curse upon the demon; but ever, before he uttered the words of the curse, did the demon obey him. For himself, he knoweth not the words of the curse.

Also is it meet to record in this place that the Scribe several times whistled in a Magical manner, which never before had he attempted, and the demon was apparently much discomfited thereat.

Now knoweth the Scribe that he was wrong in holding much converse with the demon; for Choronzon, in the confusion and chaos of his thought, is much terrified by silence. And by silence can he be brought to obey.

For cunningly doth he talk of many things, going from subject to subject, and thus he misleadeth the unwary into argument with him. And though Choronzon be easily beaten in argument, yet, by disturbing the attention of him who would command him, doth he gain the victory.

For Choronzon feareth of all things concentration and silence: thus is he brought to obey.

This the Scribe knoweth; for that since the obtaining of the Accursèd Tenth Æthyr, he hath held converse with Choronzon. And unexpectedly did he obtain the information he sought after having long refused to answer the demon’s speeches.

Choronzon is Dispersion; and such is his fear of concentration that he will obey rather than be subjected to it, or even behold it in another.

The account of the further dealings of Choronzon with the Scribe will be found in the Record of Omnia Vincam.

 

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