! Cap. I ?
Cap. II ! Cap. III ? Cap. IV !
Do what thou wilt shall be the hole of the LA
The Riddle of AL Unveiled
The "wandering prince" was closely examined as to his credentials; unless he were an escaped criminal he was not eligible to compete; nor was it sufficiant for him to win the king's daughter in open competition, live in the lap of luxury until the old king died, and succeed him in peace; he was obliged to murder the old king with his own hand.
Liber AL & Qabalah on the Regular Pattern
¶ In Liber AL vel Legis II,76, (The Book of the Law), there is a cipher commonly referred to as the Riddle AL. In his commentaries on this passage published in Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on the Book of the Law, Aleister Crowley writes,
This passage . . . appears to be a Qabalistic test (on the regular pattern) of any person who may claim to be the Magickal Heir of the Beast. Be ye well assured all that the solution, when it is found, will be unquestionable. It will be marked by the most sublime simplicity, and carry immediate conviction.
The solution carries immediate conviction in more than one way. To ascertain the solution of this passage, the student should use the Hebrew Qabalah, which is Kabbalah on the regular pattern.
Aiwass instructs the Beast & the reader to listen to the numbers and the words. This indicates that the cipher is foremost heard more than seen. The emphasises the phonetic quality of the verse. If the reader is familiar with Hebrew, then he is able to hear most of these words.
In his explanation on the use of his work 777, Crowley provides the following as an example, writing,
We take this Book, and look at 17. We find that 17 is the number of Squares in the Swastika, which is the Whirling Disc or Thunderbolt. Also there is [ChVG], as Circle or Orbit; [ZVD], to seethe or boil, and some other Words, which we neglect in this Example, though we should not dare to do so if we were really trying to find out a Thing we none of us knew. To help our Deduction about Redemption, too we find [HDH], to brighten or make glad. (777, p.15,16)Crowley often times makes use of this sort of Theological hinting and jesting in his writings. Albeit, the number 17 is a key to the cipher—there are 17 words in it. Also 17 is the numeric (gematria) value of the Hebrew word TVB (good, blessed, glad), which is a significant word in Liber AL II, 76.
The Hebrew transliteration below follows that of 777 and The Kabbalah Unveiled. All of the words (except for the phonetic symbols x and Ɠ) within the cipher of Liber AL II, 76 may be found in the book Sepher Sephiroth within the volume of 777. When the the student reads a number in Liber AL II,76, let him find the first word under the same number in Sepher Sephiroth. When the student reads letters, let him separate the letters into their respective Hebrew words.
AL: The Glad Word Reversed
¶ For example, RPSTOVAL, is a sentence composed of three Hebrew words RPS, TVB, & AL. In English, the sentance is translated as "The glad word (reversed) is AL." The student may ask how the translation glad word is obtained from RPSTOV. TOV (correctly transliterated TVB), means good, blessed, glad. RPS is written backwards and is the word sepher (i.e., book, writing, a written word), or sapher (i.e., number, word) depending on the context and how the translator decides to point it. Concerning the various meanings that the root SPR may take in Hebrew, Alfred Edersheim writes the following in his translation of Sepher Yetzirah,
In thirty-two wonderful paths of wisdom, Jah, Jehovah Tsebhaoth, the God of Israel, the Living God, and King of the World, God merciful and gracious, High and Exalted, Who dwelleth to Eternity, high and holy is His Name, hath ordered [established, created?] (the world) by three Sepharim [books]: by Sepher [the written Word], Sephar [number, numeral] and Sippur [spoken word]. Others, pointing the words differently, render these mysterious terms: Number, Word, Writing; others, Number, Numberer, Numbered; while still others see in it a reference to the threefold division of the Hebrew alphabet . . . . (Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol II, p. 692)Thelemic scholar, Bill Heidrick, transliterates these words in Yetzirah as Sfor, Sippur and Sapher. He defines them as "Numbers, Letters and Words" in his edition of Sepher Yetzirah. RPS, being sepher and translated as a (written) Word, is completed by its direct object AL, and, contextually, this sheds light upon the proceeding verse instructing the prophet to tell the "glad word" (LA) unto men.
Because RPS is written aversely, this indicates that the meaning should be understood by the rules of Qabalistic exegesis as explained in 777: "...there is a method called ThShRQ, Thashraq, which is simply writing a word backwards." (777, p. 4) RPS should be translated as word in this context as opposed to book. It is for this reason that the "prophet" (Crowley) is instructed to tell this "glad word" to men, which in Liber AL is the Hebrew word LA (Not)—the Thashraq of AL (God).
Concerning the word LA, Crowley writes,
LA the reply to AL, who is the God of Chesed, 4. The passionate denial of God, useful when other methods fail. (777, p.44)The student may also contemplate the connections between the Hebrew words sepher/sapher and the English word cypher.
The Key of It ALL
¶ The following Key to Liber AL II, 76 may be obtained by a study of Crowley's Sepher Sephiroth within 777. Liber AL II,75-76 reads,
Aye! listen to the numbers & the words: 4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L Ɠ M O R 3 Y x 24 89 R P S T O V A L. What meaneth this, o prophet? Thou knowest not; nor shalt thou know ever. There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it. But remember, o chosen one, to be me; to follow the love of Nu in the star-lit heaven; to look forth upon men, to tell them this glad word.The key to the cipher is discovered in the following definition list:
Hebrew Transliteration of Liber AL II, 76ABA GBA
AB ABH ABCh
A:A: ABA AL GMR
AB Y K AHVBY GVP
RPS TVB AL
Some points concerning the Hebrew transliteration of the cipher may be contemplated by the student: 1) Alef appears 13 times, 2) the cipher contains 17 words, 3) the cipher contains 44 characters.
English Translation of Liber AL II, 76The Father to bind
The Father to will to conceal
A:A:, the Father, God to finish
The Father, the Power, the Kingdom, the Beloved to silence
The glad word reversed is AL
The Father to Will to Conceal
¶ The cipher itself is a direct attack upon the Qabalistic Tree of Life. It attempts to raise a binding spell against God the Father, and his "beloved" Son. Concerning the Qabalah, Crowley avers this of the task of the Master of the Temple,
He finds no satisfaction in contemplating the Tree of Life, and the orderly arrangement of the numbers; rather does he enjoy the Qabalah as a means of juggling with these numbers. He can leave nothing undisturbed; he is the Anarchist of Philosophy. He refuses to acquiesce in merely formal proofs of the Excellence of things, "He doeth all things well, "Were the world understood Ye would see it was good," "Whatever is, is right," and so on. To him, on the contrary, whatever is, is wrong. (The Temple of Solomon the King, p.39)Therefore, the cipher in Liber AL II, 76 confirms this statement by Crowley. The cipher reveals that the core Will of the Book of the Law is to oppose the Tree of Life diametrically; to bind, conceal, finish, and silence God the Father.
Furthermore, Crowley writes in his Commentary concerning Liber AL II, 76,
It is the prophet, the 'forth-speaker' who is never to know this mystery. But that does not prevent it from lying within the comprehension of the Beast, kept secret by him in order to prove any one who should claim sonship. (Cf. the note in brackets to the new comment on verse 75.Therefore, it becomes clear that Crowley knew the meaning of the cipher. He knew that the "glad word" was AL (God) reversed—LA (Not). This is what Liber AL means by the statement "thou knowest not". This difference here is that Crowley never revealed the cipher, though he did speak forth the "glad word" (LA). The prophecy in this passage states that one should come to expound it.
The cipher is also evocative of the Lord's Prayer:
After this manner therefore pray yee: Our father which art in heauen, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will (GK, το θελημα) be done, in earth, as it is in heauen. Giue vs this day our daily bread. And foriue vs our debts, as we forgiue our debters. And lead vs not into temptation, but deliuer vs from euill: For thine is the kingdome, and the power, and the glory, for euer, Amen.(Matt. VI,9-14)In contrast with the Lord's Prayer, the cipher of Liber AL seeks to bind the will of God the Father that it not be done.
Again, the idea of binding & and concealing the Father appears to be opposed to the prayer of Iesus Christ in the Gospel of John. Here, Christ speaks forth to manifest the Father as "the only true God":
These words spake Iesus, and lift vp his eyes to heauen, and said, Father the houre is come, glorifie thy Sonne, that thy Sonne also may glorifie thee. As thou hast giuen him power ouer all flesh, that he should giue eternall life to all many as thou has giuen him. And this is life eternall, that they might know thee the onely true God, and Iesus Christ whom thou hast sent. I haue glorified thee on the earth: I haue finished the worke which thou gauest me to doe.