Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law –AL I:40
Shortly after Grady McMurtry’s arrival in England during World War II, Aleister Crowley expressed a belief that he needed a magical motto. We know that Grady asked Crowley for help in this matter, admitting that he did not fully understand what the term ‘motto’ implied. According to Grady, Crowley simply asked, “What is your Will?” Grady thought for a second and then answered with a quick, brief comment, “… to unite that which is above with that which is below.” Crowley, lowering his head back to the chessboard, simply replied that he would think on it. End of subject. Later, after doing some thinking on the subject, Grady drafted a letter and sent it to Aleister Crowley. It was dated November 6th 1943 and contained some of his ideas on the subject of what he was looking for in a magical motto. He wrote, “I have been thinking about your suggestion that I determine my motto. As I visualize it – my purpose is the unification of the universe – internal and external. The balancing of the mundane with the spiritual. The Great Work as you have shown it and more – much more. Quite a task.” Grady continues to elaborate, “How I shall go ahead just as if I had a good sense and allow my force (overdrive) to determine my course. To determine a concise statement of my aim is, however, something else.”
It was not long before Grady received a letter from Crowley, dated November 19, 1943, in which Crowley wrote, “… Ah! United. Yes: Sometimes I sat and thunk, and sometimes I just sat. But no nearer to your motto. Then a flash! Well, yes, I think it may do. Hymenaeus Alpha (=Aleph) (You know the Greek Alphabet & its values of course?) Hymenaeus, the Graeco-Roman God of Marriage; and Alpha (Aleph) with all its meanings – see Essay on Atu O in the Tarot. And the whole show adds up to 777. Good enough?” Grady immediately sent Crowley back a letter, which was dated November 25th, “Is 777 good enough? I should argue with Jack Pot! This Alpha business. A bi-lingual pun asserts itself, i.e. ‘Liber Aleph’ which could mean anything from ‘Greetings, o perfect Fool’ to ‘Hi, Chump’. Yes, I think that it will do. And I think that I am the boy for the job.” … and thus, Hymenaeus Alpha was born.
Yet the full implications of this motto has rarely been understood, or even told to the public. Years later Grady would comment in a letter to Phyllis Seckler, dated January 28th 1969, that Crowley gave him the number 777 to signify his belief that Grady was his magickal if not “adopted son.” In the same letter, Grady typed a question, asking; “why didn’t he ‘publicly’ say so?” He answers this himself saying that he believes the answer is found in Crowley’s November 21st 1943 letter in which the Beast laments, “It has been hell; so many have come up with amazing promise, only to go on the rocks.” The reference is to the failure of such promising students as Frater Achad (C. S. Jones) and Norman Mudd. Grady admits that Crowley knew that in “the ordinary course of events, finding a student, training, schooling him, had not produced the heir.” Grady adds, that in the past, Crowley’s proclaiming the son, “may have even have prevented it by letting loose Goetic forces that destroyed the ‘crown prince’.” Grady uses the ancient Chinese parable of the Grandmother who, “when confronted with some idiot complimenting her on the beauty of her latest grandchild, immediately throws the demons off the scent by proclaiming loudly how ugly it is, how deformed, how poor in appearance, etc., for she knows, from ancient wisdom, that the maleficent forces only attack the rare, the good, and the beautiful, for why should they attack that which is already ugly, deformed and of no value?”
How did Crowley learn to circumvent this problem? Grady claims, that in his “opinion, he [Crowley] adopted the role of indirection.” Further adding that this explains why Crowley told him, “he could not establish the order of the Caliphate.” In his November 21st 1944 letter Crowley has a ‘note’ at the very end where he acknowledges the “Caliphate is not mine” followed by a supposed quote by John Bunyan – “My Sword to him that can get it.” In other words, as Grady would put it, Crowley “simply left it open ended. I had certain advantages. If I could establish myself in the order of succession, fine and good.” But Grady felt that Crowley did not want “to blast my chances, and possibly me, by holding forth his hand [to acknowledge Grady as his son, 777] because he knew by then, from very sad experience, what frightening, and unknown, forces could be set in motion simply by the holding forth his hand.” In other words, “He could help an individual create certain possibilities, but he could not complete those possibilities. That was up to the individual involved.” … He merely wanted to plant the ‘magickal seed’ of 777 in order to let it grow. Grady would acknowledge this belief by writing that Crowley had “actually, accepted me as his magical son, but felt that, for various reasons, it would be best not to say so at the time … I think that he did, on pronouncing my number to be 777, accepted me as the magical son he had been talking to when he wrote LIBER ALEPH.” Crowley originally wrote this book for Frater Achad in 1918. Unfortunately, Achad failed him as his magickal heir, or son. Throughout his life, Grady would be torn between trying to live up to Crowley’s view of placing no importance on 777 while, at the same time, grooming his tree to stand tall in order to fulfill a prophecy.
Love is the law, love under will –AL I:57
The rest of the letter is not included … it contains simply personal data.