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Commentary on AC's Liber Astarte vel CLXXV

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,,alt.pagan.magick,alt.thelema,talk.religion.newage,talk.religion.misc,alt.consciousness.mysticism
From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Commentary on AC's Liber Astarte vel CLXXV
Date: 13 Jan 1999 02:53:14 -0800

49980525 aa2 Hail Satan!

# 93 [nigris],

well met.  today's date is very dear to me for personal reasons.
it is portentious that you should ask this question today in
many ways and serves my reflection and recognition of parameters
that I will soon be changing as my relationship with my goddess
evolves into something more complex.

# I have been pondering over Liber CLXXV (Astarte vel Berylli) lately and
# since you are my favorite "anti-everything anyone blindly does/says"
# brethren, I was wondering if you have an exegesis or a muse of ponderings
# yourself over this Liber. 

it is my absolute favorite and one I recommend strongly for those of
bhaktic (devotional) temperament.  I would personally treat the god
in no different manner (as regards authority over me) as I would any
other lover (and this has been my experience of my practical
application -- prior to really ever reading the liber).  should the
deity attempt this, I suggest a cessation of communication or inquiry
as to why it was being so rude to you.

# Being one of the few rituals of Crowley's I haven't attempted, 

I'd call it a discipline or yoga more than a ritual, though no
doubt Crowley probably makes a rite out of it.  for me it is a
manner of lifestyle, a development of relation to the Unseen, 
and of the devotional enthusiasmos.

# I was curious as to your take on blinds, idiocies, great
# ideas, or whatnot in this one. Care to share your thoughts?

a long liber to which I'd previously made no comment, so I 
create one for you on the spot.  I'm skipping the simple 
agreement with the author and I am posting this to the public 
without the previous text sometime soon after sending it your way.

[find the original text at the following URL:	

 written by Aleister Crowley and available as an appendix in
 _Book Four_ as well as other compendia -- 333]

Commentary on Liber Astarte vel Berylli sub figura CLXXV 
by 333

om krim namah kaliya

0 - this need not prerequire the absolute separation of the two
1 - emphasis on 'anywise of love'
2 - Crowley's extremity here is beyond me; temper the ritual
    activity to your particular taste, whatever their theme;
    challenging popular notions should only be done when it arises 
    internally, intuitively, geared toward traditional gods; the
    pancultural ideal is not necessary, but can be helpful
3 - I have never needed the division between 'sacred' and the
    'profane', though I treat the Tools with utmost reverence
    and, when seeing others who do not do likewise, request this
    of them (esp. those around whom I live); my rather solitary
    style of living does not require seclusion, but I have found
    that privacy is a valuable portion of the worship
4 - I would underscore Crowley's suggestions here
5 - unless you have yourself found _777_ to be your correspondence
    system of preference, I do not feel that orientation to it (or
    indeed to any conscious system of this sort) is a necessity,
    though I have found some system of association, even discovered
    during temple construction, to be valuable; a good deal of this
    as other particular preparations depends on the needs of the
    individual so undertaking the Work
6 - valuable but not necessary
7 - attention to the detail of the deity's altar/temple is important;
    if you have ideas about purification, employ these
8 - emphasis on last paragraph
9 - wrathful deities may require the use of the Sword or Dagger, yet
    this may be for advanced practice
10- valuable, not necessary
11- those who glean not benefit from the routine may find that
    spontaneous worship (or that surrounding certain sacred days,
    as I have constructed) may work best; for some Astarte will
    no doubt become a discipline within which to discover the
    devotion; for others it will be a guideline or suggestion set
    which enhances the devotional activities; relationship with
    the particular deity in question should determine the 
    specifics in question; if such a relation is not determined
    beforehand (as it was for me, so I me biased here), then it
    may be very helpful to begin detailed, as strongly as AC
    suggests here and elsewhere
12- agreed strongly
13- heavily emphasized; I feel that Astarte should lead to a
    profound change of life for any who was not previously
    dedicated to a deity in this manner; my bias as regards 
    making no TEMPORARY dedication (mine was intentionally
    permanent) will of course skew my commentary
14- again agreed strongly; be sure of the *sources* when setting
    about a determination of what is 'hateful to the deity';
    there are many false ideas about what gods like and dislike,

    many differences of taste and culture; this is perhaps made
    simpler (and perhaps therefore more extreme and potentially
    more difficult and dangerous) in the utilization of such
    simplistic guides as a correspondence table per _777_
15- heavy emphasis (as should be obvious by now) to first sentence
    as well as the description of how to initiate and proceed;
    consecrating Tools in service to the Deity is very valuable,
    and fear not for the means in which these be constructed
    should there be difficulties or limitations to the Art;
    the greater the investment, the greater the return, of course;
    for me 'profaning' is more of a dispersion of power, and at
    times it is valuable for me to decide (it should be a
    conscious decision I feel, with intuitive direction) to 
    choose this in some way (as when I just used the rim of the
    Chalice on Kali's altar to construct the circle of a tattoo
    I will have upon my chest -- some actions are important to
    tie into the worship, some may SEEM unrelated but intuitively
    perfect, and this may depend on the proximity to the god
16- invoke often!  explore the methods; it may prove valuable to
    steal, borrow from, or wholesale learn the methods utilized
    in historical worship; it may prove valuable to construct an
    entirely new liturgy based on inspiration from meditating
    upon the image of the god; also, somewhat in CONTRAST to AC
    here, I feel that there may be a *rate* which is best to
    close the gap between the worshipper and worshipped; such
    that invocation becomes taboo at times, detrimental to the
    relationship, etc., just as for any other relationship
17- the emphasis Crowley has on "Unity" is, by my perception,
    obsessive; for him it was valuable, for many it is very
    important, for some of us it may be *problematic*, as per
    the rate mentioned previously; compare the 'speed' of the
    development of a relationship with any person; the Marriage
    of god with human succeeds when both are willing, properly 
    prepared, trusting of the Other, and sufficiently imbued 
    in the very character and nature of the love that the 
    indwellingness arises spontaneously or in response to the 
    perfect conjunction at the perfect timing; sex should not 
    be one-sidedly hurried, esp. with gods!; ALSO here I think 
    that AC's obsession with internals gets the better of his
    recommendations for those like myself (more prone to the
    Indian bhaktic than the Vendantic or Neopagan desire to
    become or 'channel' or 'manifest' the deity); as Vivekananda
    said, we may not wish to BECOME sugar, but to *taste it*!
    and I feel that this is a particular stage or phase of a
    relationship with a deity that may or may not lead to a
    full and complete integration; my experience is that Kali
    has assisted me in moving toward this conjunction, that I
    have had to ask Her for suggestions in this regard, that
    I am best to achieve satisfaction where we are, leaving any
    thought of Unity (in experience, not cosmology) to the 
    monists, finding the outer temple to be THE VERY ESSENCE OF 
    THE INNER TEMPLE rather than, as AC says "but an image"; 
    for those such as me we want to smell, taste, see, the 
    divine; and investment in this can return the experience 
    directly where an intellectual projection (as the 
    construction of the astral temple or the association of the 
    material with a 'divine internal reality') can seem false, 
    a role-play, chimeraic; some depends on the specific deity 
    in question I'm sure -- Kali is to me the goddess of the 
    Manifest, the Multiplicity, Maya, of the Destruction of the
    Ideal, the One, or the Monad, so to take AC's words into 
    practice seems the OPPOSITE of that he recommends; as
    I have at times invoked Allah, these feelings and manifes-
    tations were left behind or integrated into a Unity that
    included and transcended the individual parts, but this was
    a transitory experience for me, and never as intense as has
    upon occasion been a blissful union with Kali (at that point
    I probably could not have distinguished them in any case)
18- valuable, if intentional and not merely routine; for this
    reason I have not routinized, preferring to let such acts
    and assertions of devotion (I occasionally read of them
    when learning of the bhaktic gurus and have idealized the
    instructions of masters such as Ramakrishna -- it helps to
    have living or recent exemplars!) come naturally, a full
    disclosure of the condition of my heart; there is also some
    extreme value in communication and communion with those who
    are attempting to the same conjunction with the same god;
    alternative to this, visits with bhaktics can be extremely
    influential also -- the Krishna Consciousness Movement
    were extremely inspiring to me, as have been many devotees
    of Indian gurus and gods, as has sharing time and intimacy
    with those who were dedicated to a particular deity at that
    time in their lives (priestesses of Kali, Aphrodite,
    Babalon, etc.); for perfectionists like me I would take some
    of the emphasis off the last paragraph, though I do think it
    it is valuable to reflect upon this
19- this may be an antidote for over-obsession; those who have
    a full grasp of the Law and know their true will at least
    so far as a feel for its course need not abide this
    suggestion, as I see it, and its following may even prevent
    the vulnerability and openness necessary for the union to
    culminate; Thelema as a philosophy provides a protection
    against aggressive, abusive, or misidentified entities and
    their possibly self-destructive suggestions (consider well the 
    possibility in what AC writes about with regard to the identity            of Love and Death in such essays as 'Good Hunting!'); instead 
    I have found love poetry and the imagery associated with the 
    deity of more profound and lasting value; again, the 
    temperament of the aspirant will influence this greatly;
    I am from an *areligious* background, so need severe goads
20- with this I generally agree, not just for Astarte; it is part
    of the Four Noble Truths (8-fold Path to Nirvana)
21- absolutely necessary; not only this would I suggest but also
    a meditation upon the notion of 'marriage' and what this can
    and does mean to a host of those who supposedly partake of it
22- I'm not sure that this is necessary, as I had obtained the
    Knowledge and Conversation prior to devotional activities
    (in some ways I backed into this liber); why not let the
    course of the devotion bring up the encounter or no as we
    find occurs, rather than 'imagining success'?  I am not sure
    my commentary is valuable for those unlike my approach
23- I am not quite sure what 'three methods' AC is talking
    about here; all I can come up with is Devotions, Lections
    and Meditations: devotion to the deity in ceremony,
    lections read to inspire greater intensity of attraction
    or the bolstering of the Law within, and meditations
    upon the relations and results of the Work; seeing these
    three as a woven combination attaining toward unity is,
    it seems to me, a comparative to taking the Oath of the
    Abyss, and while potentially hazardous, should yield very
    excellent results (my own experience of this is slightly
    complicated as Unity is itself contrary to my goddess,
    thus She also encloses a paradox as I understand Her to
    be All That Is)
24- somewhat extreme, but a VERY valuable practice
25- while potentially difficult (it has been for me -- not
    to do it intentionally but while simultaneously failing
    to experience the conjunction!), this could prove very
    liberating, like alternately indulging and asceticizing,
    or alternately speaking for long periods and then engaging
    in silence for long periods; the essence of renunciation
26- the latter portion of this paragraph is to what I was
    referring above; these times of silent stasis, what AC
    calls 'yearning' have been very instructional to me,
    pointing out my dependency (as Crowley might say it 'upon
    the Grace of God')
27- AC is extreme here, but in a well-meaning way; alleviating
    the pain, while possible, through distraction for example,
    is seldom if ever productive for the Work; his extreme
    characterization strikes me as perfect for the dedicated;
    those who undertake Astarte in a trivial sense or without
    the entirety of will thrust into the Work are better off
    never beginning it
28- I hesitate to add or caveat anything here, since AC's
    expression is very important to the subjective experience;
    his emphasis on "the Discipline of thine Oath" (whatever
    one may choose) is something I would underscore, however
29- for those who need (or can maintain) the routine, I agree 
    with AC here that perpetuation is of very great value;
    disputation in this situation is indeed to no avail; for the
    dispute is not outside the relation between the god and thee
30- as I have not (nor may not) achieve the End of this Magick
    Art I can have no comment here except to mention that the
    instructions of the masters under whose hand I have studied
    (few directly) has reflected this precise expression, though
    as a descriptor, not an actuator -- AC here foretells of the
    results of sincere application, not something which, as I
    understand it, we are to bring about on our own; from all
    perspectives we will encounter the perception of our Acts
31- underscored, as I have mentioned before; also I would add
    that preliminary indulgence in the symbolism of the deity
    can lead to a state wherein such symbolism is no longer
    necessary; necessity may not dictate practice if intensity
    of application is the goal, however, or if the carriage of
    the rudimentary acts of the devotion preclude this (as if
    it is suddenly necessary to dispense with all symbolism in 
    the preparation for that of a new relationship between 
    oneself and the god, the movement of which I spoke above)
32- I am unsure of the absolute necessity of this passage;
    where the identifications of which AC speaks are ABSOLUTE
    I am agreed; at times I find such an identification (what
    the Vaisnavites call an 'avatar' and which idea I used in
    a manner indicating 'the manifestation of the Prophet' as
    regards my devotion to Allah as muslim) in a material 
    sense to be very important, revelatory
33- here I would only quibble with AC's association between
    the Perfect and the One; surely important to some (esp.
    pantheists and monists), but not to all (depending on our
    placement or maturity
34- lovely advice here; if the torture abides in the strict
    symbolism of the devotee and deity, I think that this may
    constitute an exception where it does not compromise the
    health or safety (long-term) of the devotee; sometimes
    gods will best manifest in or for us when pain is
    involved (hanging on a tree invoking Odhinn, for e.g.)
35- seems rather extreme to me, perhaps without the guidance
    of the guru or Perfect God this is best, however
36- good for Crowleyites; not necessary
37- emphasis on the last sentence
38- potentially quite valuable; if there is a specific
    counterpart to the deity (e.g. Radha to Krishna, Sita
    or Lakshmana to Rama, Mary Magdelene to Jesus Christ,
    Asherah to Jehovah, etc.) this may also be taken up in 
    dramatic enactment as a more distant and sensual approach
39- I cannot comment here except to say that this method
    conflicts violently with my own applications
40- AC is overgeneralized here as I understand it; he writes
    in a manner of mystical psychologists and thus must also
    be accused of oversimplification; otherwise I find great
    value in what he says
41- agreed strongly; consider, if your preferences also be
    those of the psychologist, the implications attendant
    to these recommendations and the models of the mind set
    forth by those such as Freud and Jung (wrt Id and Shadow)
42- underscored; the relation changes as the state changes;
    love, marriage, mean different things as one matures
43- again as AC's method and my own differ slightly in our
    preferences of cosmology (mine less unity-obsessed),
    I have less trouble with the Demon; however, what seems
    rational in relation to his caution here is the avoidance
    of some incentive to proselytize or convert; the caution
    against letting a step become a goal may be somewhat
    over-stated here, given the level of intensity that
    can be included in the Work; the last sentence in section
    30 again comes to mind as a remedy to any notions that
    such might be the case (the End yielding the next step)
44- regarding secrecy I have not found this necessary, perhaps
    because my relation to secrecy is much different than it
    seems to AC (more alike that to Blake, I despise it); as
    I have certain compassions and values I support AC's
    recommendations about blood sacrifice here, though I
    could not sustain his presumptions about 'evil things'
45- bragging about one's particular devotional activities (as
    compared to merely recounting them to the interested) is
    very hazardous
46- nor do I see how they can fit within the method as AC has
    outlined it wherewithin a focus on the Law of Thelema is
    a part of the Work; if such sections as 19 do not, for
    the aspirant, include this but instead the religious 
    liturgies of the religion of Thelema so-called, or some
    tangental matters unrelating to the preserving and support
    of the self and individual, then such descriptions as AC
    lends here are indeed quite accurate
47- in my own variation on this within almost a full cycle of 
    7 years (my life seems to fun in septiannual segments), I 
    engaged other workings simultaneous to it which had an 
    impact on me and those around me and it was quite 
    impossible to refrain from at least some withdrawal on
    account of them, though I don't feel that they were as a
    directly a result of over-obsession as AC describes (to 
    the contrary, it seems to me that the effect of my dedication
    has been a broadening of the relationship and myself in its 
    wake; I feel that this marriage was undertaken with the 
    preliminary and consistent intent of intensifying and 
    nurturing the relationships I had at the time (of those 
    kindred whom I invited to participate in its inception so 
    as to seal it, most of them have withdrawn from *me*); the 
    caution regarding the spouse is very important; if strong 
    of character (as have been my partners or lovers) they can 
    seriously dissolve any such working as Astarte might 
    include; so much so that minor withdrawal on account of 
    this interference may be necessary (possibly inspiring a 
    complete change in the human relationship as it stands, 
    depending on its integrity -- as my path no longer includes 
    contracted relationships beyond that to my God, it could 
    not help but influence the response I would receive from 
48- I see no reason that this may not be combined and/or
    come to include such as the K&C of the HGA; in fact it
    seems to me that AC's preconceptions about what are the
    proper precautions and objectives of the invocations
    being mentioned contribute to his wise counsel that
    they not be confused; for those such as he this is
    probably a very important proscription; however, for the
    aspirant of different temperament or background, this may
    be a serious limitation, preventative of the attainment
    of a singularly important and momentous experience
49- Hail Satan!  Om Smashanakali!  Jai Mahakali!  

blessed beast!
nigris (333) 

-- (emailed replies may be posted); cc me replies;;

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