From the O.T.O. Newsletter, Berkeley, California Vol. II, #2 Autumnal Equinox, An. LXXIV e.n. September 1978, pgs. 3-9.
One of the most important documents in the Archives of the Caliph is the letter from Aleister Crowley to Hymenaeus Alpha dated Nov 21, ’44 e.v. Some minor difference between Grady (Hymenaeus Alpha) and his friend, Jack Parsons (who would later manifest the Anti-Christ) had arisen, and Grady queried Crowley concerning this. The answer is given in the pages following this account.
One of the many benefits of having access to Crowley’s personal correspondence is that it gives an entirely different view of the man as a human being than one gets in his published works. For instance, one would never expect from the public material that Aleister Crowley was capable of saying; “One of the (startling few) commands given to me was this: ‘Trust not a stranger: fail not of an heir.’” –or for him to make a mea culpa. Yet here he says, on page 3 of the letter, “I don’t quite know what you mean by ‘Jack’s program’ or by mine, which ‘did not succeed. –I myself am unable to say what mine was, or is, and whether it succeeded or not. I know that I failed badly in my duty; but that may have been part of the Plan! So may anything. The only course is to do what seems right at the time, so far as one can; and ‘unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result’ –Yes, I know how too bewildering it all is!”
There is a very great lesson for the student of Magick here. In another place in the letter, A.C.’s comment concerning Karl Germer’s blind spots (Frater Saturnus) is also interesting, indicated that Crowley knew beforehand that Germer would fail in his mission. But anyway…
The important point is that Aleister Crowley, as Magus of the Aeon, could see down the time lines, as any master Magician of Yogin or Alchemist can, and he pinpointed our present situation and our place in it. Remember THE BOOK OF THE LAW, Chapter III, v. 46: “I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the Eighties cower before me, & are based.’ I remember the ‘40’s only too vividly. Pearl Harbor and instant paranoia. In fact, at the time I received this letter, having survived the Invasion of Normandy and the Battle of Northern France, we were preparing for the assault on the Rhine. As you can see from the envelope (reproduced here in placed of the 4th page of the letter-the 4th page contains instruction on the IXth Degree, and thus cannot be published), I was in Belgium at the time.
Now, considering that the 1980’s are towering over us like a tidal wave, it is interesting to note that in 1944 Aleister Crowley could say to me, “Your actual life, or ‘blooding,’ is the sort of initiation which I regard as the first essential for a Caliph. (+ Saturnus has lots of it: Iron Cross twice wounded: rose from ranks to 1st Lieut=our Major) For – say 20 years hence the Outer Head of the Order must, among other things, have had the experience of war as it is in actual fact to-day. 1965 e.v. should be a critical period in the development of the Child of Horus!” And what came down in 1965? We all know, from acid to rock, etc. In other words, Aleister Crowley could foresee the future. People would say that he was wrong are simply not at home upstairs.
…That’s why I am Caliph. Not merely because I am a poet (I belong to that vanishing breed known as the “Warrior-troubador”-when the battle is gover you take off your piss-pot (which is what we call our helmet) and sit down in your muddy combat boots and write a poem about it (see my “Normandy in June” for example), but also because I know what it is like to “go in”, as we say. Some time I must tell you what it was like to going in to Normandy…but that is another Grady story (As Lonnie in San Franscisco has said, “One of the ordeals of the Minerval year is listening to Grady stories.”). But, anyway…the 1980’s
Basically, I am Caliph because I am a soldier: First, last and always (Mars in Sagittarius). This is why I have been greatly misunderstood by the “weak sisters” who flake off when they discover that there is some serious work to be done. I am not your “Groovy Guru” who is here to perform while you sit around and are entertained. I am here to find that iron core of dedicated Thelemites who are going to get it together before the shit hits the fan in the 1980’s. You children who have been raised in affluence and peace and the stupidity of the Viet Nam trip have no idea what a Pearl Harbor is like. Just wait until some Weatherman group has its own home-made atomic bomb and holds New York City in ransom. Or the earthquakes start shaking California into the sea. Or the economic chaos of our absurd economic policies starts coming home. But, enough of that. Just read what Alesi8ter Crowley has to say; and remember that he said it 40 years ago. Sorry that page 4 had to be excised, but it is personal instruction to me concerning IXth Degree…which, by the way, is nothing at all like Francis King’s THE SECRET RITUALS OF THE O.T.O. — again, a bonus from knowing Aleister Crowley personally.
Bell InnNov 21’44 e.v.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Yours of Nov6: this reply being mostly official, I use the formal style
As nearly always in correspondence, there is misunderstanding.
“The Caliphate”. You must realize that no matter how closely we may see eye-to-eye on any objective subject, I have to think on totally different premises where the Order is concerned. One of the (startling few) commands given to me was this: “Trust not a stranger: fail not of an herir.” This has been the very devil for me. Fr. .’. Saturnus .’. is of course the natural Caliph; but there are many details concerning the actual policy or working which hit his blind spots. In any case, he can only be a stopgap, because of his age; I have to look for his successor. It has been Hell; so many have come up with amazing promise, only to go on the rocks. No it never occurred to me to regard you & Jack as rivals. (Bays, by the way, the wreath of Apollo, not Lays.) The subject was poetry. I think.
But — now here is where you have miised my point altogether — I do not think of you as lying on a grassy hillside with a lot of dear sweet lovely wolly lambs, capering to your flute! On the contrary. Your actual life, or “blooding,” is the sort of initiation which I regard as the first essential for a Caliph. For–say 20 years hence the Outer Head of the Order must, among other things, have had the experience of war as it is in actual fact to-day. 1965 e.v. should be a critical period in the development of the Child Horus! (I don’t quite know what you mean by “Jack’s program” or by mine, which “did not succeed.” I myself am unable to say what mine was, or is, and whether it succeeded or not. I know that I failed badly in my duty; but that may have been part of the Plan! So may anything. The only course is to do what seems right at the time, so far as one can; and “unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result” …Yes, I know how bewildering it all is!)
Now about IXth Degree. The theory is simple, and I think I told you enough at 93 for you to work on. Just in case: —
You prepare the Medicine by mixing the two ingedients, into your usual concentrated … [page deleted for the security of the secret.]
I trust the above will have confirmed rather than instructed. If any point is in doubt, let me know.
I will send you a copy of De Arte Magica under separate cover. (Note that I treat you as a full member of the IXth degree: only sorry that the grades could not be given in the form originally prescribed) This book (30 pp.) gives you a lot of extra hints, and is besides a good springboard for you own research you may discover all sorts of new things for yourself; the only thing that never alters is the basic formula xxxx
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours fraternally, Baphomet O.H.O.
I wish to thank Jerri Judd for making this page possible.