Tag Archives: Choronzon

“Yet must he that understandeth go forth unto the outermost Abyss, and there must he speak with him that is set above the four-fold terror, the Prince of Evil, even with Choronzon, the mighty devil that inhabiteth the outermost Abyss. And none may speak with him, or understand him, but the servants of Babylon, that understand, and they that are without understanding, his servants.”
DEO, the 7rd Aethyr

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“For Choronzon is as it were the shell or excrement of these three paths, and therefore is his head raised unto Daäth, and therefore have the Black Brotherhood declared him to be the child of Wisdom and Understanding, who is but the bastard of the Svastika. And this is that which is written in the Holy Qabalah, concerning the Whirlpool and Leviathan, and the Great Stone.”
ZON, the 3rd Aethyr

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“The name of the Dweller in the Abyss is Choronzon, but he is not really an individual. The Abyss is empty of being; it is filled with all possible forms, each equally inane, each therefore evil in the only true sense of the word — that is, meaningless but malignant, in so far as it craves to become real. These forms swirl senselessly into haphazard heaps like dust devils, and each such chance aggregation asserts itself to be an individual and shrieks, “I am I!” though aware all the time that its elements have no true bond; so that the slightest disturbance dissipates the delusion just as a horseman, meeting a dust devil, brings it in showers of sand to the earth.”
Chapter 66, Confessions

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“by a peculiar Ordinance of Heaven, and a Disposition occult within his Mind, is every Man protected from this Loss of his own Soul, until and unless he be by Choronzon disintegrated and dispersed beyond power of Will to repair; as when the Conflict within him, rending and burning, hath made his Mind utterly desert, and his Soul Madness.”
ζ Altera de Via Naturae

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“Somewhere along the way from one side to the other, Crowley says, the magician must also confront and temporarily become the ‘Demon of the Abyss’, whose nature is Dispersion. Crowley named this demon Choronzon, a name for Satan from the works of Dr. John Dee; but the characteristics he assigns to the demon owe more to the ‘Dweller on the Threshold’ from Bulwer-Lytton’s Zanoni novels. It is unclear how this confrontation relates to the destruction of the magician’s human self.”
— Benjamin Rowe, The Illusion of the Abyss

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“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 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.”
Choronzon speaking in ZAX, the 10th Aethyr

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The Book of Lies

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley, from Samuel Weiser.

Aleister Crowley The Book of Lies from Samuel Weiser

Its author wrote that The Book of Lies, Which Is Also Falsely Called Breaks should serve as the text-book for a Babe of the Abyss, i.e. an aspirant to Perfection who has irrevocably committed himself to “interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with his soul,” but who has not yet attained to Mastery on that basis. He assigned it the number 333, which is the number of Choronzon, the “mighty devil” who assails the Babe of the Abyss with the carrot of ego-attachment and the stick of cosmic fear. At the same time, he recommends the book even to beginners as containing useful wisdom regarding “many matters on all planes of the very highest importance.”

It is a short book, made up of many short chapters. Nearly all posthumous editions include the author’s later commentary to the original text, chapter by chapter. While these commentaries often contain useful instruction in their own right, they also frequently serve to misdirect the reader regarding the central message coded into a given chapter. And indeed, it is a highly cryptic book—sometimes whimsical, and often baffling.

There are certain conflicts of fact between the two stories that Aleister Crowley wrote regarding this book’s relationship to his status in O.T.O. (one in his Confessions, reproduced in the foreword to most of the later editions of The Book of Lies, and the other in Magick Without Tears chapter 25). It seems fitting that a volume called Lies should produce two irreconcilable stories from the author about its significance. Leaving aside Crowley’s hardly credible protestations of innocence, it has long been my surmise that The Book of Lies served as Crowley’s de facto “application” for the office of Grand Master General of the English O.T.O., since the book tidily synthesizes such topics as sex, metaphysics, qabalah, yoga, esoteric freemasonry, and original magical ritual. The facts that O.T.O. is never mentioned in the text itself, and that Lies includes several official rituals of Crowley’s own A∴A∴ initiatory system, actually serve to support this contention. At the time, O.T.O. Frater Superior Theodor Reuss, the Order’s international Head, was in the habit of recruiting as Grand Masters individuals who a) shared his propensity for esoteric synthesis, and b) had a proven track record as organizers of other initiatory societies. (A sterling but hardly isolated example would be Gerard “Papus” Encausse, whose Martinist Order was eventually listed among the bodies contributing their wisdom to O.T.O. in the latter’s Manifesto.)

In his accounts of his induction to the Ninth Degree, Crowley seems to tease the reader by claiming that the chief secret of O.T.O. is written in plain language in one of the chapters of The Book of Lies. Be that as it may, not only one, but most of the chapters contain doctrines relevant to O.T.O. mysteries. And considering that he equated the fully instructed and proficient O.T.O. initiate to an Adeptus Major, two full grades shy of the Babe of the Abyss in the A.∴A∴ system, one must infer that the best readers can get rewards from The Book of Lies that surpass the innermost Truths of O.T.O. [via]