Chapter XXI

Of Black Magic
of the Main Types of the Operations of Magick Art
and of the Powers of the Sphinx


As was said at the opening of the second chapter, the Single Supreme Ritual is the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. It is the raising of the complete man in a vertical straight line.

Any deviation from this line tends to become black magic. Any other operation is black magic.

In the True Operation the Exaltation is equilibrated by an expansion in the other three arms of the Cross. Hence the Angel immediately gives the Adept power over the Four Great Princes and their servitors.[1]

If the magician needs to perform any other operation than this, it is only lawful in so far as it is a necessary preliminary to That One Work.

There are, however many shades of grey. It is not every magician who is well armed with theory. Perhaps one such may invoke Jupiter, with the wish to heal others of their physical ills. This sort of thing is harmless,[2] or almost so. It is not evil in itself. It arises from a defect of understanding. Until the Great Work has been performed, it is presumptuous for the magician to pretend to understand the universe, and dictate its policy. Only the Master of the Temple can say whether any given act is a crime. "Slay that innocent child?" (I hear the ignorant say) "What a horror!" "Ah!" replies the Knower, with foresight of history, "but that child will become Nero. Hasten to strangle him!"

There is a third, above these, who understands that Nero was as necessary as Julius Caesar.

The Master of the Temple accordingly interferes not with the scheme of things except just so far as he is doing the Work which he is sent to do. Why should he struggle against imprisonment, banishment, death? It is all part of the game in which he is a pawn. "It was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory."

The Master of the Temple is so far from the man in whom He manifests that all these matters are of no importance to Him. It may be of importance to His Work that man shall sit upon a throne, or be hanged. In such a case He informs his Magus, who exerts the power intrusted to Him, and it happens accordingly. Yet all happens naturally, and of necessity, and to all appearance without a word from Him.

Nor will the mere Master of the Temple, as a rule, presume to act upon the Universe, save as the servant of his own destiny. It is only the Magus, He of the grade above, who has attained to Chokhmah, Wisdom, and so dare act. He must dare act, although it like Him not. But He must assume the Curse of His grade, as it is written in the Book of the Magus.[3]

There are, of course, entirely black forms of magic. To him who has not given every drop of his blood for the cup of Babalon all magic power is dangerous. There are even more debased and evil forms, things in themselves black. Such is the use of spiritual force to material ends. Christian Scientists, Mental Healers, Professional Diviners, Psychics and the like, are all ipso facto Black Magicians.

They exchange gold for dross. They sell their higher powers for gross and temporary benefit.

That the most crass ignorance of Magick is their principal characteristic is no excuse, even if Nature accepted excuses, which she does not. If you drink poison in mistake for wine, your "mistake" will not save your life.

Below these in one sense, yet far above them in another, are the Brothers of the Left Hand Path.[4] These are they who "shut themselves up", who refuse their blood to the Cup, who have trampled Love in the Race for self-aggrandisment.

As far as the grade of Exempt Adept, they are on the same path as the White Brotherhood; for until that grade is attained, the goal is not disclosed. Then only are the goats, the lonely leaping mountain-masters, separated from the gregarious huddling valley-bound sheep. Then those who have well learned the lessons of the Path are ready to be torn asunder, to give up their own life to the Babe of the Abyss which is — and is not — they.

The others, proud in their purple, refuse. They make themselves a false crown of the Horror of the Abyss; they set the Dispersion of Choronzon upon their brows; they clothe themselves in the poisoned robes of Form; they shut themselves up; and when the force that made them what they are is exhausted, their strong towers fall, they become the Eaters of Dung in the Day of Be-with-us, and their shreds, strewn in the Abyss, are lost.

Not so the Masters of the Temple, that sit as piles of dust in the City of the Pyramids, awaiting the Great Flame that shall consume that dust to ashes. For the blood that they have surrendered is treasured in the Cup of our Lady Babalon, a mighty medicine to awake the Eld of the All-Father, and redeem the Virgin of the World from her virginity.


Before leaving the subject of Black Magic, one may touch lightly on the question of Pacts with the Devil.

The Devil does not exist. It is a false name invented by the Black Brothers to imply a Unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions. A devil who had unity would be a God.[5]

It was said by the Sorcerer of the Jura that in order to invoke the Devil it is only necessary to call him with your whole will.

This is an universal magical truth, and applies to every other being as much as to the Devil. For the whole will of every man is in reality the whole will of the Universe.

It is, however, always easy to call up the demons, for they are always calling you; and you have only to step down to their level and fraternize with them. They will tear you in pieces at their leisure. Not at once; they will wait until you have wholly broken the link between you and your Holy Guardian Angel before they pounce, lest at the last moment you escape.

Anthony of Padua and (in our own times) "Macgregor" Mathers are examples of such victims.

Nevertheless, every magician must firmly extend his empire to the depth of hell. "My adepts stand upright, their heads above the heavens, their feet below the hells."[6]

This is the reason why the magician who performs the Operation of the "Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage", immediately after attaining to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, must evoke the Four Great Princes of the Evil of the World.

"Obedience and faith to Him that liveth and triumpheth, that reigneth above you in your palaces as the Balance of Righteousness and Truth" is your duty to your Holy Guardian Angel, and the duty of the demon world to you.

These powers of "evil" nature are wild beasts; they must be tamed, trained to the saddle and the bridle; they will bear you well. There is nothing useless in the Universe: do not wrap up your Talent in a napkin, because it is only "dirty money"!

With regard to Pacts, they are rarely lawful. There should be no bargain struck. Magick is not a trade, and no hucksters need apply. Master everything, but give generously to your servants, once they have unconditionally submitted.

There is also the questions of alliances with various Powers. These again are hardly ever allowable.[7] No Power which is not a microcosm in itself — and even archangels reach rarely to this centre of balance — is fit to treat on an equality with Man. The proper study of mankind is God; with Him is his business; and with Him alone. Some magicians have hired legions of spirits for some special purpose; but it has always proved a serious mistake. The whole idea of exchange is foreign to magick. The dignity of the magician forbids compacts. "The Earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof".


The operations of Magick art are difficult to classify, as they merge into each other, owing to the essential unity of their method and result. We may mention:

1. Operations such as evocation, in which a live spirit is brought from dead matter.

2. Consecrations of talismans in which a live spirit is bound into "dead" matter and vivifies the same.

3. Works of divination, in which a live spirit is made to control operations of the hand or brain of the Magician. Such works are accordingly most dangerous, to be used only by advanced magicians, and then with great care.

4. Works of fascination, such as operations of invisibility, and transformations of the apparent form of the person or thing concerned. This consists almost altogether in distracting the attention, or disturbing the judgment, of the person whom it is wished to deceive. There are, however, "real" transformations of the adept himself which are very useful. See the Book of the Dead for methods. The assumption of God-Forms can be carried to the point of actual transformation.

5. Works of Love and Hate, which are also performed (as a rule) by fascination. These works are too easy; and rarely useful. They have a nasty trick of recoiling on the magician.

6. Works of destruction, which may be done in many different ways. One may fascinate and bend to one's will a person who has of his own right the power to destroy. One may employ spirits or talismans. The more powerful magicians of the last few centuries have employed books.

In private matters these works are very easy, if they be necessary. An adept known to The Master Therion once found it necessary to slay a Circe who was bewitching brethren. He merely walked to the door of her room, and drew an Astral T[8] ("traditore", and the symbol of Saturn) with an astral dagger. Within 48 hours she shot herself.[9]

7. Works of creation and dissolution, and the higher invocations.

There are also hundreds of other operations;[10] to bring wanted objects — gold, books, women and the like; to open locked doors, to discover treasure; to swim under water; to have armed men at command — etc., etc. All these are really matters of detail; the Adeptus Major will easily understand how to perform them if necessary.[11]

It should be added that all these things happen "naturally".[12] Perform an operation to bring gold — your rich uncle dies and leaves you his money; books — you see the book wanted in a catalogue that very day, although you have advertised in vain for a year; woman — but if you have made the spirits bring you enough gold, this operation will become unnecessary.[13]

It must further be remarked that it is absolute Black Magic to use any of these powers if the object can possibly be otherwise attained. If your child is drowning, you must jump and try to save him; it won't do to invoke the Undines.

Nor is it lawful in all circumstances to invoke those Undines even where the case is hopeless; maybe it is necessary to you and to the child that it should die. An Exempt Adept on the right road will make no error here — an Adept Major is only too likely to do so. A thorough apprehension of this book will arm adepts of every grade against all the more serious blunders incidental to their unfortunate positions.


Necromancy is of sufficient importance to demand a section to itself.

It is justifiable in some exceptional cases. Suppose the magician fail to obtain access to living Teachers, or should he need some especial piece of knowledge which he has reason to believe died with some teacher of the past, it may be useful to evoke the "shade" of such a one, or read the "Akasic record" of his mind.[14]

If this be done it must be done properly very much on the lines of the evocation of Apollonius of Tyana, which Eliphas Lévi performed.[15]

The utmost care must be taken to prevent personation of the "shade". It is of course easy, but can rarely be advisable, to evoke the shade of a suicide, or of one violently slain or suddenly dead. Of what use is such an operation, save to gratify curiosity or vanity?

One must add a word on spiritism, which is a sort of indiscriminate necromancy — one might prefer the word necrophilia — by amateurs. They make themselves perfectly passive, and, so far from employing any methods of protection, deliberately invite all and sundry spirits, demons, shells of the dead, all the excrement and filth of earth and hell, to squirt their slime over them. This invitation is readily accepted, unless a clean man be present with an aura good enough to frighten these foul denizens of the pit.

No spiritualistic manifestation has ever taken place in the presence even of Frater Perdurabo; how much less in that of The Master Therion![16]

Of all the creatures He ever met, the most prominent of English spiritists (a journalist and pacifist of more than European fame)[17] had the filthiest mind and the foulest mouth. He would break off any conversation to tell a stupid smutty story, and could hardly conceive of any society assembling for any other purpose than "phallic orgies", whatever they may be. Utterly incapable of keeping to a subject, he would drag the conversation down again and again to the sole subject of which he really thought — sex and sex-perversions and sex and sex and sex and sex again.

This was the plain result of his spiritism. All spiritists are more or less similarly afflicted. They feel dirty even across the street; their auras are ragged, muddy and malodorous; they ooze the slime of putrefying corpses.

No spiritist, once he is wholly enmeshed in sentimentality and Freudian fear-phantasms, is capable of concentrated thought, of persistent will, or of moral character. Devoid of every spark of the divine light which was his birthright, a prey before death to the ghastly tenants of the grave, the wretch, like the mesmerized and living corpse of Poe's Monsieur Valdemar, is a "nearly liquid mass of loathsome, of detestable putrescence."

The student of this Holy Magick is most earnestly warned against frequenting their séances, or even admitting them to his presence.

They are contagious as Syphilis, and more deadly and disgusting. Unless your aura is strong enough to inhibit any manifestation of the loathly larvae that have taken up their habitation in them, shun them as you need not mere lepers![18]


Of the powers of the Sphinx much has been written.[19] Wisely they have been kept in the forefront of true magical instruction. Even the tyro can always rattle off that he has to know, to dare to will and to keep silence. It is difficult to write on this subject, for these powers are indeed comprehensive, and the interplay of one with the other becomes increasingly evident as one goes more deeply into the subject.

But there is one general principle which seems worthy of special emphasis in this place. These four powers are thus complex because they are the powers of the Sphinx, that is, they are functions of a single organism.

Now those who understand the growth of organisms are aware that evolution depends on adaptation to environment. If an animal which cannot swim is occasionally thrown into water, it may escape by some piece of good fortune, but if it is thrown into water continuously it will drown sooner or later, unless it learns to swim.

Organisms being to a certain extent elastic, they soon adapt themselves to a new environment, provided that the change is not so sudden as to destroy that elasticity.

Now a change in environment involves a repeated meeting of new conditions, and if you want to adapt yourself to any given set of conditions, the best thing you can do is to place yourself cautiously and persistently among them. That is the foundation of all education.

The old-fashioned pedagogues were not all so stupid as some modern educators would have us think. The principle of the system was to strike the brain a series of constantly repeated blows until the proper reaction became normal to the organism.

It is not desirable to use ideas which excite interest, or may come in handy later as weapons, in this fundamental training of the mind. It is much better to compel the mind to busy itself with root ideas which do not mean very much to the child, because you are not trying to excite the brain, but to drill it. For this reason, all the best minds have been trained by preliminary study of classics and mathematics.

The same principle applies to the training of the body. The original exercises should be of a character to train the muscles generally to perform any kind of work, rather than to train them for some special kind of work, concentration of which will unfit them for other tasks by depriving them of the elasticity which is the proper condition of life.[20]

In Magick and meditation this principle applies with tremendous force. It is quite useless to teach people how to perform magical operations, when it may be that such operations, when they have learned to do them, are not in accordance with their wills. What must be done is to drill the Aspirant in the hard routine of the elements of the Royal Art.

So far as mysticism is concerned, the technique is extremely simple, and has been very simply described in Part I of this Book 4. It cannot be said too strongly that any amount of mystical success whatever is no compensation for slackness with regard to the technique. There may come a time when Samadhi itself is no part of the business of the mystic. But the character developed by the original training remains an asset. In other words, the person who has made himself a first-class brain capable of elasticity is competent to attack any problem soever, when he who has merely specialized has got into a groove, and can no longer adapt and adjust himself to new conditions.

The principle is quite universal. You do not train a violinist to play the Beethoven Concerto; you train him to play every conceivable consecution of notes with perfect ease, and you keep him at the most monotonous drill possible for years and years before you allow him to go on the platform. You make of him an instrument perfectly able to adjust itself to any musical problem that may be set before him. This technique of Yoga is the most important detail of all our work. The Master Therion has been himself somewhat to blame in representing this technique as of value simply because it leads to the great rewards, such as Samadhi. He would have been wiser to base His teaching solely on the ground of evolution. But probably He thought of the words of the poet:

"You dangle a carrot in front of her nose,
And she goes wherever the carrot goes."

For, after all, one cannot explain the necessity of the study of Latin either to imbecile children or to stupid educationalists; for, not having learned Latin, they have not developed the brains to learn anything.

The Hindus, understanding these difficulties, have taken the God-Almighty attitude about the matter. If you go to a Hindu teacher, he treats you as less than an earthworm. You have to do this, and you have to do that, and you are not allowed to know why you are doing it.[21]

After years of experience in teaching, The Master Therion is not altogether convinced that this is not the right attitude. When people begin to argue about things instead of doing them, they become absolutely impossible. Their minds begin to work about it and about, and they come out by the same door as in they went. They remain brutish, voluble, and uncomprehending.

The technique of Magick is just as important as that of mysticism, but here we have a very much more difficult problem, because the original unit of Magick, the Body of Light, is already something unfamiliar to the ordinary person. Nevertheless, this body must be developed and trained with exactly the same rigid discipline as the brain in the case of mysticism. The essence of the technique of Magick is the development of the body of Light, which must be extended to include all members of the organism, and indeed of the cosmos.

The most important drill practices are:

1. The fortification of the Body of Light by the constant use of rituals, by the assumption of god-forms, and by the right use of the Eucharist.

2. The purification and consecration and exaltation of that Body by the use of rituals of invocation.

3. The education of that Body by experience. It must learn to travel on every plane; to break down every obstacle which may confront it. This experience must be as systematic and regular as possible; for it is of no use merely to travel to the spheres of Jupiter and Venus, or even to explore the 30 Aethyrs, neglecting unattractive meridians.[22]

The object is to possess a Body which is capable of doing easily any particular task that may lie before it. There must be no selection of special experience which appeals to one's immediate desire. One must go steadily through all possible pylons.

Frater Perdurabo was very unfortunate in not having magical teachers to explain these things to Him. He was rather encouraged in unsystematic working. Very fortunate, on the other hand, was He to have found a Guru who instructed Him in the proper principles of the technique of Yoga, and He, having sufficient sense to recognize the universal application of those principles, was able to some extent to repair His original defects. But even to this day, despite the fact that His original inclination is much stronger towards Magick than towards mysticism, he is much less competent in Magick.[23] A trace of this can be seen even in His method of combining the two divisions of our science, for in that method He makes concentration bear the Cross of the work.

This is possibly an error, probably a defect, certainly an impurity of thought, and the root of it is to be found in His original bad discipline with regard to Magick.

If the reader will turn to the account of his astral journeys in the Second Number of the First Volume of The Equinox, he will find that these experiments were quite capricious. Even when, in Mexico, He got the idea of exploring the 30 Aethyrs systematically, He abandoned the vision after only 2 Aethyrs had been investigated.

Very different is His record after the training in 1901 e.v. had put Him in the way of discipline.[24]

At the conclusion of this part of this book, one may sum up the whole matter in these words: There is no object whatever worthy of attainment but the regular development of the being of the Aspirant by steady scientific work; he should not attempt to run before he can walk; he should not wish to go somewhere until he knows for certain whither he wills to go.

1See the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

2There is nevertheless the general objection to the diversion of channels of Initiation to the Sea of Attainment, into ditches of irrigation for the fields of material advantage. It is bad business to pay good coin for perishable products; like marrying for money, or prostituting poetic genius to political purposes. The converse course, though equally objectionable as pollution of the purity of the planes, is at least respectable for its nobility. The ascetic of the Thebaid or the Trappist Monastery is infinitely worthier than the health-peddler and success-monger of Boston or Los Angeles; for the one offers temporal trash to gain eternal wealth, while the other values spiritual substance only as enabling him to get better bodily conditions, and a firmer grip on the dollars.

3The Equinox I, VII, 5-9.

4See Liber 418, and study it well, in this matter. The Equinox I, V, Supplement.

5"The Devil" is, historically, the God of any people that one personally dislikes. This has led to so much confusion of thought that The Beast 666 has preferred to let names stand as they are, and to proclaim simply that Aiwaz — the solar- phallic-hermetic "Lucifer" is His own Holy Guardian Angel, and "The Devil" Satan or Hadit of our particular unit of the Starry Universe. This serpent, Satan, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade "Know Thyself!" and taught Initiation. He is "the Devil" of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is Baphomet, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection. The number of His Atu is XV, which is Yod He, the Monogram of the Eternal, the Father one with the Mother, the Virgin Seed one with all-containing Space. He is therefore Life, and Love. But moreover his letter is Ayin, the Eye; he is Light, and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty. (Note that the "Jehovah" of the Hebrews is etymologically connected with these. The classical example of such antinomy, one which has led to such disastrous misunderstandings, is that between Nu and Had, North and South, Jesus and John. The subject is too abstruse and complicated to be discussed in detail here. The student should consult the writings of Sir R. Payne Knight, General Forlong, Gerald Massey, Fabre d'Olivet; etc. etc., for the data on which these considerations are ultimately based.)

6Liber XC, verse 40. See The Equinox I, vi.

7Notwithstanding, there exist certain bodies of spiritual beings, in whose ranks are not only angelic forces, but elementals, and even daemons, who have attained to such Right Understanding of the Universe that they have banded themselves together with the object of becoming Microcosms, and realize that their best means to this end is devotion to the service of the true interests of Mankind. Societies of spiritual forces, organized on these lines, dispose of enormous resources. The Magician who is himself sworn to the service of humanity may count upon the heartiest help of these Orders. Their sincerity may always be assured by putting them to the test of the acceptance of the Law of Thelema. Whoso denies "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" confesses that he still clings to the conflict in his own nature; he is not, and does not want to be, true to himself. A fortiori, he will prove false to you.

8T is the letter attributed to Saturn.

9As explained above, in another connexion, he who "destroys" any being must accept it, with all the responsibilities attached, as part of himself. The Adept here in question was therefore obliged to incorporate the elemental spirit of the girl — she was not human, the sheath of a Star, but an advanced planetary daemon, whose rash ambition had captured a body beyond its capacity to conduct — in his own magical vehicle. He thereby pledged himself to subordinate all the sudden accession of qualities — passionate, capricious, impulsive, irrational, selfish, short-sightedness, sensual, fickle, crazy, and desperate, to his True Will; to discipline, co-ordinate and employ them in the Great Work, under the penalty of being torn asunder by the wild horses which he had bound fast to his own body by the act of "destroying" their independent consciousness and control of their chosen vehicle. See His Magical Record An XX, Sun in Libra and onward. [Autumn 1924.]

10Examples of Rituals for several such purposes are given in The Equinox.

11Moral: become an Adeptus Major!

12The value of the evidence that your operations have influenced the course of events is only to be assessed by the application of the Laws of probability. The Master Therion would not accept any one single case as conclusive, however improbable it might be. A man might make a correct guess at one chance in ten million, no less than at one in three. If one pick up a pebble, the chance was infinitely great against that particular pebble; yet whichever one was chosen, the same chance "came off". It requires a series of events antecedently unlikely to deduce that design is at work, that the observed changes are causally, not casually, produced. The prediction of events is further evidence that they are effected by will. Thus, any man may fluke a ten shot at billiard, or even make a break of a few strokes. But chance cannot account for consistent success, even if moderate, when it extends over a long period of time. And the ability of the expert to "name his shot" manifests a knowledge of the relations of cause and effect which confirms the testimony of his empirical skill that his success is not chance and coincidence.

13This cynical statement is an absurdity of Black Magic.

14The only minds likely to be useful to the Magician belong to Adepts sworn to suffer reincarnation at short intervals, and the best elements of such minds are bound up in the "Unconscious Self" of the Adept, not left to wander idly about the Astral Plane. It will thus be more profitable to try to get into touch with the "Dead Teacher" in his present avatar. Moreover, Adepts are at pains to record their teaching in books, monuments, or pictures, and to appoint spiritual guardians to preserve such heirlooms throughout the generations. Whenever these are destroyed or lost, the reason usually is that the Adept himself judges that their usefulness is over, and withdraws the forces which protected them. The student is therefore advised to acquiesce; the sources of information available for him are probably selected by the Wardens of Mankind with a view to his real necessities. One must learn to trust one's Holy Guardian Angel to shape one's circumstances with skill. If one be but absorbed in the ardour of one's aspiration toward Him, short indeed is the time before Experience instils the certain conviction that His works and His ways are infinitely apt to one's needs.

15See Dogma et Rituel de la Haute Magie; Rituel, ch. XIII.

16Even the earliest Initiations confer protection. Compare the fear felt by D. D. Home for Eliphas Lévi. See The Equinox I, X, "The Key of the Mysteries".

17W. T. Stead. This is hardly an accurate summary of Stead.

18It occurs in certain rare cases that a very unusual degree of personal purity combined with integrity and force of character provides even the ignorant with a certain natural defence, and attracts into his aura only intelligent and beneficent entities. Such persons may perhaps practise spiritualism without obvious bad results, and even with good results, within limits. But such exceptions in no wise invalidate the general rule, or in any way serve as argument against the magical theory outlined above with such mild suasion.

19In Liber CXI (Aleph) the subject is treated with profound and all-comprehensive wisdom.

20Some few forms of exercise are exempt from these strictures. Rock-climbing, in particular, trains every muscle in an endless variety of ways. It moreover compels the learner to use his own judgment, to rely on himself, to develop resource, and to depend upon his own originality to attack each new problem that presents itself. This principle may be extended to all departments of the education of children. They should be put into contact with all kinds of truth, and allowed to make their own reflections thereon and reactions thereto, without the least attempt to bias their judgment. Magical pupils should be trained on similar lines. They should be made to work alone from the first, to cover the whole ground impartially, to devise their own experiments and draw their own conclusions.

21This does not conflict with the "go-as-you-please" plan put forward in the previous note. An autocratic Adept is indeed a blessing to the disciple, not because he is able to guide the pupil "aright" in the particular path which happens to suit his personality, but because he can compel the beginner to grind away at the weariest work and thus acquire all-round ability, and prevent him from picking out the plums which please him from the Pie of Knowledge, and making himself sick of a surfeit of sweets to the neglect of a balanced diet of wholesome nourishment.

22The Aspirant should remember that he is a Microcosm. "Universus sum et Nihil universi a me alienum puto" should be his motto. He should make it his daily practice to travel on the Astral Plane, taking in turn each of the most synthetic sections, the Sephiroth and the Paths. These being thoroughly understood, and an Angel in each pledged to guard or to guide him at need, he should start on a new series of expeditions to explore the subordinate sections of each. He may then practice Rising on the Planes from these spheres, one after the other in rotation. When he is thoroughly conversant with the various methods of meeting unexpected emergencies, he may proceed to investigate the regions of the Qliphoth and the Demonic Forces. It should be his aim to obtain a comprehensive knowledge of the entire Astral Plane, with impartial love of truth for its own sake; just as a child learns the geography of the whole planet, though he may have no intention of ever leaving his native land.

23Reconsideration of these remarks, at the request of a loyal colleague, compels Him to admit that this may not be the case, It is true that He has been granted all Mystical Attainment that is theoretically possible, while His powers in Magick seem to be uneven and imperfect. Despite this, it may yet be that He has compassed the Possible. For Mystical Attainments are never mutually exclusive; the trance of Sorrow (for example) is not incompatible with the Beatific Vision, or the "Universal Joke". But in Magick any one Operation debars its performer from accomplishing some other. The reason of this is that the Oath of any Work bonds the Magician once and for all to be the principles implied therein. See Chapter XVI Part I. Further, it is obviously possible to reach the essence of anything without interfering with other things which obstruct each other. Cross-country journeys are often scarcely practicable.

24Recent developments have enabled Him to correct these conditions, so that this Book (as now finally revised for the Press) may be considered practically free from serious defect in this particular.

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