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The man who writes books on a Thelema that no beast shall divine. Founding member of Ordo Astri, Thelemic Magical Collegium. Member of Ordo Typhonis since 2000 e.v. More articles and essays are posted at https://ordoastri.org/ and https://tantrika.co.uk/

Friday, 22 January 2016

Prophecy of Liber AL Fulfilled

On the night of the solstice, 22nd December 2015, Boleskine House, Aleister Crowley’s ‘holy place’ burnt to the ground. The prophecy encrypted in Liber AL vel Legis, III: 34 was thus fulfilled.

Prophecy of Liber AL: Thoth Tarot Atu The Aeon XX
But your holy place shall be untouched throughout the centuries: though with fire and sword it be burnt down and shattered, yet an invisible house there standeth, and shall stand until the fall of the Great Equinox; when Hrumachis shall arise and the double-wanded one assume my throne and place.

We now know that the Ankh-af-na-khonsu priest of the Stele of Revealing was an initiate of a cult of Theban scribes that had existed for centuries at least before the 26th Dynasty. The nature of prophecy is such that a true oracle can never be understood completely until it comes to pass.

It is the same with divination. Prophecy and divination are commonly confused with mere prediction. A weather forecast is a prediction, based on knowledge, facts, guesswork and perhaps a little intuition. Prophecy, as with divination, is ‘divine utterance’. If it concerns future events at all then it will not be understood fully until after the event. Now that the prophecy contained in the third chapter of the Book of the Law has come to pass exactly as written in the book, we can construe the meaning. In Liber AL, I: 2, Nuit declares,
The unveiling of the company of heaven.
The Initiate of Thelema must be Ankh-af-na-khonsu or Horus made Ma’at. Such an Initiate is a true-speaker, a master of prophetic utterance—in life and upon death. As Horus manifests on the throne of Ra, his light consumes the prophet.
The light is mine, its rays consume me, for I have a made a secret door into the house of Ra, Tum, Khephra and Ahathoor. I am thy Theban, o Mentu, the prophet Ankh f-n-khonsu.[1]
The ‘secret door’ is a fourfold mystery of the chakras outside the body. These power zones open the way to achieve Hadit and know the joys of Nuit.[2] The Door of Daleth, figured by the Egyptian Tau (‘Way’) or Ankh, is the epitomy of the sevenfold spell of Thelema: Love is the law, love under will. The Stele of Revealing and its song indicate the door leading to the eternal life of Nuit, her ‘company of heaven’. According to the prophecy of the third chapter of Liber AL, the burning down of Boleskine, the ‘holy place’ revered by the scribe Crowley, signifies the arising of the star called Hrumachis or Hormaku. This marks the splitting apart of the shell or shadow-self called Khaibet by the ancient Egyptians. This is an initiatory test or ordeal for every magician, since the dual principles, Set and Horus, are released. On release, they seek to arise in the column as described in Liber AL, III: 2.
There is division hither homeward; there is a word not known. Spelling is defunct; all is not aught. Beware! Hold! Raise the spell of Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
A report in Science magazine on the 8th January 2016 declared that the earth has entered a new era—termed in an earlier study as the Anthropocene—which is the most significant global event since the ice age. Our current era began, as according to the ancient Egyptians, around 12,000 years ago, when the ice began to recede and new life forms emerged. The beginning of our era corresponds to the astrological Age of Leo. We are now on the Descendant or ‘fall’ of that clock of the Great Aeon. The prophecy of the Book of the Law and the scientific study are in exact agreement.

Since two centuries ago man found ways to vastly accelerate travel, industry, commerce and warfare. He achieved this by plundering the earth for carbon resources, especially in the form of oil—the blood of ancient rain forests that nourishes our body the earth. The acceleration has been marked by catastrophic warfare and industrial pollution. Man has therefore lived on borrowed time. Through inexorable climate change and modifications to the geosphere, Nature is busily recovering that which has been stolen from her. Such modifications may, or may not, be inclusive of man.

On earth, in human life, the first manifestation of a new star rising is polarisation and conflict. The world has existed in a state of unceasing war since the splitting of the atom. This war takes place on every front, in terms of military invasion or so-called ‘defence strategies’, and in terms of the propaganda war of lies and misinformation spooned out to the masses through multiple media platforms. Contrary as to how it appears in the media and as according to government agencies, we in the Western world are not at war with terrorists or terrorism. Mankind is at war with itself.

There is a certain line of thought that has existed within mainstream Thelema, inspired by some of Crowley’s more excitable remarks. Such remarks were written when he was a young man, fuelled by the same energy of conquest that drove the 19th century industrial expansion through to the twentieth century and beyond. Crowley adopted a wiser, less bombastic tone towards the end of his life, after living in London through the bombing of the blitz. In the early days, he saw Thelema as a new type of consciousness that would, with the help of a few skilled occultists, eventually become the ‘norm’ for the whole human race. Such evolutionist theories, inspired by Darwin, were very common among occultist of the time. The Law of Thelema would become the dominant mode of consciousness in what Crowley called the ‘Aeon of Horus’.

Horus is in fact the lord of every Aeon, for Horus is the initiator of the soul or ‘Scarlet Woman’, as termed in the Book of the Law. Thelema is the summation of the secret Setian tradition among the ancient Egyptians. Through the breaking open of the seal of the Stele of Revealing in 1904, this knowledge is revealed for those with the strength to overcome the prevailing trend of materialism and become truth-speakers, self-slain and risen masters.

It is no more likely that mankind will collectively adopt the Law of Thelema—which is a spiritual and magical path—than businessmen, bankers and industrialists give up their careers and become farmers in remote places. The missionary interpretation of ‘establishing the Aeon of the Crowned and Conquering Child of the Gods’ easily becomes a snare for the unwary. If we imagine that Thelema is a law of human liberty that will supersede previous models for political and religious control of the masses, then we only succeed in continuing the war as a shadow projection, outside and beyond the self. Power, instead of being given to the Scarlet Woman or soul, bleeds away along with the earth’s resources. Let us examine the relevant verses in the Book of the Law more closely, five of them from the third chapter.
III: 10 Get the stele of revealing itself; set it in thy secret temple—and that temple is already aright disposed—and it shall be your Kiblah for ever. It shall not fade, but miraculous colour shall come back to it day after day. Close it in locked glass for a proof to the world.
III: 11 This shall be your only proof. I forbid argument. Conquer! That is enough. I will make easy to you the abstruction from the ill-ordered house in the Victorious City. Thou shalt thyself convey it with worship, o prophet, though thou likest it not...
III: 19 That stele they shall call the Abomination of Desolation; count well its name, and it shall be to you as 718.
III: 21 Set up my image in the East: thou shalt buy thee an image which I will show thee, especial, not unlike the one thou knowest. And it shall be suddenly easy for thee to do this.
III: 34 But your holy place shall be untouched throughout the centuries: though with fire and sword it be burnt down and shattered, yet an invisible house there standeth, and shall stand until the fall of the Great Equinox; when Hrumachis shall arise and the double-wanded one assume my throne and place. Another prophet shall arise, and bring fresh fever from the skies; another woman shall awake the lust and worship of the Snake; another soul of God and beast shall mingle in the glob├Ęd priest; another sacrifice shall stain the tomb; another king shall reign; and blessing no longer be poured To the Hawk-headed mystical Lord!
The word ‘abstruction’ was not liked by Crowley; he very much wanted to change it, and that is why the text of III: 11 reads, “though thou likest it not”. In the holograph manuscript it is clear that either Aleister or Rose Crowley put four short lines under the word, to indicate the query. Eventually, Rose was persuaded by her husband to change ‘unfragmentary’ in the first chapter for the conventional and somewhat dull theological term, ‘omnipresence’.

For some reason the instruction of the book to “change not so much as a letter” was obeyed in the case of III: 2, and ‘abstruction’ was left exactly as it was given, even though the word does not exist in any dictionary. We know from his autobiography that Crowley toyed with the literal interpretation of the verse—that it might mean he should somehow seize the original Stele from the Cairo museum, take it back to England and install it in Boleskine. He never took this beyond conjecture and contented himself with the replica of the Stele he had commissioned during the Cairo working.

The neologistic ‘abstruction’ conveys a good deal. The word literally means, ‘Take out from a building’. The word’s construction is suggestive of taking the idea or essence completely out of its form, then dispensing with the form altogether. Therein is a key to the spiritual meaning of some of the most obscure verses in the Book of the Law. It is an error to think that the alchemical essence or philosophic gold may be produced from the prima materia or base elements of the psyche through psychological ‘process’. The gold is extracted (abstructed) from the base matter, which would otherwise obscure it.

The verses in the third chapter refer to the shrine of the heart, the true inner sanctum and seat of all magick. When the Stele of Revealing is discovered therein, it must be known, remembered, affirmed and reaffirmed, as in the way of Egyptian magick. The “fall of the Great Equinox” is not a future age; it refers to the present time.

We can construe from this that Aiwass wishes us to pay attention to the fact that the fall of the Great Equinox and Aeon of Hrumachis is truly here and now, an actual event in time that coincides with certain inner plane activities that were foreseen aeons ago. Furthermore, that the true image (‘phallus’) of the Stele, which is the repository of the sum total of the knowledge of Thelema, is now released from its confines in matter. It has become available to any Initiate that is able to make genuine contact with the inner planes.


Notes

1. Liber AL, III: 38.
2. See the article, Dual Nature of the Soul.

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Friday, 8 January 2016

The Law of Thelema – Quantum Yoga

We are magicians, not Advaitan; we are alchemists, here to turn dross into gold. What better fulcrum than the atomic analogy can we use to lift souls out of the conceptual, atomic world itself?
Ordo Astri Books: The Law of Thelema – Quantum Yoga
This forthcoming  book publication is an ‘unofficial’ commentary on Liber AL vel Legis, the Egyptian Book of the Law. We do not appeal to the “writings of the Beast” for interpretation of the Law of Thelema. Instead, we turn to the source of the transmission and examine Thelema in the light of the Hermetic tradition from which it emerged. The book, first published as The Ending of the Words—Magical Philosophy of Aleister Crowley (2007 e.v.), is in every way a received work, and needs to be treated as such by the reader. Fourteen years have passed since we completed the book’s first draft, and it is now time to disclose the Quantum Yoga treatise, or “Reification of Starlight”, that was not included in The Ending of the Words. This work was tempered by correspondence with Kenneth Grant, who inspired the experimental magical operations that led to the book's conception. The section entitled, Quantum Yoga, resulted from Grant’s suggestion that a commentary be written on his Liber 29 or Book of the Spider. With The Law of Thelema, we can now present “the secret teachings of the Typhonian Tradition, heretofore never revealed”. The text to The Ending of the Words has been updated to include the events of 2015 e.v. that fulfilled the prophecy encrypted in the third chapter of the Egyptian Book of the Law, Liber AL vel Legis.

Law of Thelema and the Atom

Using the atom as an analogy is an expedient means—a finger pointing at the moon. Everything in the book ultimately refers to Mind. The atom represents the root of mind formally manifesting the illusion of space-time. A Thelemic atom is an atom of consciousness, the smallest ‘unit’ thereof. Observing the atomic structure of matter is therefore a magical doorway, a mirror reflecting the secrets of the mind. The Adept of Thelema simply has to look at the atom’s structure and shed its material shell to understand himself—to understand his mind. The atomic body is thereby understood and realised as non-atomic—a realisation that the Egyptian Book of the Law calls the “Reward of Ra-Hoor Khut”:
Abrahadabra; the reward of Ra Hoor Khut.

Liber AL vel Legis, III: 1
The reader is left to play and ponder on the analogy. The Law of Thelema is one body of work; although we may be inclined to like or dislike various parts of it, it is a received totality that cannot be cut through or dismembered. Over time our understanding changes, and perhaps we develop better means for expressing the knowledge that has been passed on to us for the benefit of others. This is a natural occurrence.

The book emphasises the polymorphic, time-bound nature of form. Today, in our world system, atomic theory is a global collective delusion of the highest qliphothic order. Hence, it is a tantrik and magical means of the highest order also. We are magicians, not Advaitan; we are alchemists, here to turn dross into gold. What better fulcrum than the atomic analogy can we use to lift souls out of the conceptual, atomic world itself? Like cures like. The atomic analogy can help souls see through the atom and take the leap from matter to Mind by understanding clearly the Hermetic axiom, As Above, So Below. Void is everywhere, nothing but Mind—but Mind is spontaneously present as Form. Thus there is no seeking, everything is already there. The fact that ultimately nothing at all has any reality has sufficiently been established by countless schools. And yet, there is Magick and there is Love and there is Will! Yes, all things are empty, void, mere mental shells; but the Void creates. All it takes to emerge from the Great Darkness is to truly see that the shells are in themselves Words of Truth. That, no doubt, is very hard for reason to accept. Reason happily swaps one concept for another; reason will pretend to have passed beyond the concept of causality, while clinging to nihilism!

In conclusion, let us be sure that the meaning of our book is clear and unambiguous. The atom we speak of is non-objective—wholly beyond dualities such as existence and non-existence, delusion and enlightenment.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Aleister Crowley Legacy – Boleskine Tribute

But your holy place shall be untouched throughout the centuries: though with fire and sword it be burnt down and shattered, yet an invisible house there standeth, and shall stand until the fall of the Great Equinox.
Liber AL vel Legis, III: 34

When it comes to determining the nature of reality, science is hard pressed to come up with anything useful at all. Science, as with any theology, soon becomes superstition. There is a common belief, for example, that the universe all began with a gigantic explosion called the ‘big bang’. This cosmic explosion was preceded by, well, nothing as it turns out. Otherwise it would not be the beginning. And then we would be plunged once more into the horrors of philosophical speculation. That would be unscientific, so most persons are content to believe in a big bang—big enough and violent enough to persuade even the most intransigent non-believer of its truth.

Science is supposedly a system of thought, not a system of belief, yet dogma prevails wherever there are human minds. There is one little fly in the soothing ointment of scientism: it all rests on causation, that one thing causes another thing in an endless chain of consequences. This will always lead us back precisely to that mythological big bang, as improbable an explanation of the universe as there ever was.

Science has it there are things in the universe called “black holes”. Nothing is known about what goes on inside them, but we can be fairly certain that causation cannot take place, for there is nothing to cause anything else to happen. The scientist smiles reassuringly, and says to the child, “There are many things in the universe that we do not understand, but one day we will.” In the meantime, we are also told that the universe is stuffed full to the brim with black holes. We tend to agree with this last point.

So much for determining reality. When it comes to determining the nature of a human being, other human beings turn out to be very unreliable witnesses. Jesus was a human being, or at least that is the belief of his followers. One of the biggest attractions of Christian theology has always been that believers will not themselves have to stand in the witness box and face the prosecution, and will be let off the hook when it comes to the great Judgement on the day-of-be-with-us. Eternal smugness seems to have been the reward. The one thing absolutely central to the doctrine is that Jesus was a human being (and is now the Holy Spirit). And yet he is also said to have been born without conception like an Egyptian god, that he raised the dead from their graves, performed miracles of healing, turned water into wine, and on special occasions flew through the air. This does not sound much like any human being that we have encountered, and yet we are asked to believe it as literal fact. It turns out that human beings are such unreliable witnesses that they cannot even agree what a human being is. How much more unreliable when it comes to judging character?

Aleister Crowley the Magician: Star and Snake Thelema Boleskine Tribute
Aleister Crowley as Adeptus Minor

Let us take the case of one Aleister Crowley (1875–1947). On 23rd December 2015, a news report informed us that Boleskine House on the shores of Loch Ness had burnt to the ground. Boleskine House was a beautiful and historic building, but it would never have been known beyond the shores of Loch Ness if Crowley had not purchased the house and lived in it. He only lived in it on and off for a few years, but such is his reputation that the house was purchased in more recent times by a famous rock guitarist. The news item, in typical contemporary style, had many photographs of the place burning down but was very thin on the ground with factual information. Apparently, the house was at one time owned by a certain Aleister Crowley, described as a “black magician”. The press has always been consistent on one point. Those who do not like the press, and that make this known, are never forgotten by the press. The punishment will be unending. Thus the Telegraph gleefully proclaimed:
Former home of ‘most evil man in Britain’ burns down.
The report goes on to describe Crowley as a “black witch” but later refines this by quoting from historic press reports, as if the newspaper headlines of yesteryear might somehow add a seal of authenticity: “He was a self proclaimed magician and the press of the day reported accounts of black magic, devil worship and human sacrifice.” From this we at least learn that the “press of the day” were obviously no different than the press of today.

As with science and religion, opinion is much divided on Crowley, the historic personage. One view has it that Crowley was a scandalous fraud, traitor and all round psychopath. On the other hand, there is an evangelical wing within the modern cults of Thelema that truly believes the man, born in Leamington Spa and educated at Cambridge University, to be a prophet and demigod no less—perhaps more so—than Jesus Christ.

Will the real Aleister Crowley please stand up? Well, the problem is, he died in 1947, so that is not going to happen. However, he left behind a lot of books and writing. Among the more accessible works of Crowley is a collection of letters, entitled Magick Without Tears. When we read of Boleskine burning down—the place that Crowley referred to as his “Kiblah”—it felt almost as though the Beast had died a second death. As a tribute then, it seems apt to quote him on something from the aforesaid book of letters. Here is the letter, written in 1945, Serious Style of A.C. or the Apparent Frivolity of Some of My Remarks. To place it in context, the previous two letters, in more serious vein, explored the nature of the Self and went on examine the possibilities of a mystical being termed as the “Holy Guardian Angel”. Like a professional, Crowley then takes us into the lounge for brandy, Peruvian cigars, and a sample of his wit.
Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Alas! It is unlikely that either you or I should come upon a copy of Max Beerbohm’s portrait of Mathew Arnold; but Raven Hill’s famous cartoon is history, and can be told as such without the illustration. We shall have to go into the matter, because of your very just criticism of my magical writings in general—and these letters, being colloquial, are naturally an extreme case.

Far-off indeed those sunny days when life in England was worth living; when one could travel anywhere in Europe—except Russia and Turkey, which spiritually, at least, are in Asia—or America, without a passport; when we complained that closing time was twelve-thirty a.m.; when there was little or no class bitterness, the future seemed secure, and only Nonconformists failed to enjoy the fun that bubbled up on every side.

Well, in those days there were Music-halls; I can’t hope to explain to you what they were like, but they were jolly. (I’m afraid that there’s another word beyond the scope of your universe!) At the Empire, Leicester Square, which at that time actually looked as if it had been lifted bodily from the “Continong” (a very wicked place) there was a promenade, with bars complete (drinking bars, my dear child, I blush to say) where one might hope to find “strength and beauty met together, Kindle their image like a star in a sea of glassy weather”. There one might always find London’s “soiled doves” (as they revoltingly called them in the papers) of every type: Theodora (celebrated “Christian” Empress) and Phryne, Messalina and Thais, Baudelaire’s swarthy mistress, and Nana, Moll Flanders and Fanny Hill.

But the enemies of life were on guard. They saw people enjoying themselves, (shame!) and they raked through the mildewed parchments of obsolete laws until they found some long-forgotten piece of mischief that might stop it. The withered husks of womanhood, idle, frustrated, spiteful and malignant, called up their forces, blackmailed the Church into supporting them, and began a senseless string of prosecutions.

Notable in infamy stands out the name of Mrs. Ormiston Chant. So here we had the trial of some harmless girl for “accosting”; it was a scene from this that inspired Raven Hill's admirable cartoon.

A “pale young curate” is in the witness box. “The prisoner”, he drawled “made improper proposals to me. The actual words used were: “Why do you look so sad, Bertie?”

The magistrate: “A very natural question!”

Now, fifty years later, here am I in the dock. (“How can you expect people to take your Magick seriously!” I hear from every quarter, “when you write so gleefully about it, with your tongue always in your cheek?”) My dear good sister, do be logical! Here am I who set out nigh on half a century ago to seek “The Stone of the Wise, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness”. I get it, and you expect me to look down a forty-inch nose and lament! I have plenty of trouble in life, and often enough I am in low enough spirits to please anybody; but turn my thoughts to Magick—the years fall off. I am again the gay, quick, careless boy to whom the world was gracious. Let this serve for an epitaph: Gray took eleven years; I, less.

Elegy Written in a Country Farmyard

By Cock-a-doodle-doo

Here lies upon this hospitable spot
A youth to flats and flatties unknown;
The Plymouth Brethren gave it to him hot;
Trinity, Cambridge, claimed him for her own.

He climbed a lot of mountains in his time
He stalked the tiger, bear and elephant.
He wrote a stack of poems, some sublime,
Some not. Tales, essays, pictures, plays my aunt!

At chess a minor master, Hoylake set
His handicap at two. Love drove him crazy.
Three thousand women used to call him pet;
In other matters—shall we call him “lazy”?

He had the gift of laughing at himself;
Most affably he walked and talked with God;
And now the silly bastard’s on the shelf,
We'll bury him beneath another sod.

In all the active moods of Nature—her activity is Worship! there is an element of rejoicing; even when she is at her wildest and most destructive. (You know Gilbert's song “When the tiger is a-lashing of his tail”?) Her sadness always goes with the implied threat of cessation—and that we know to be illusion.

There is nothing worse in religion, especially in the Wisdom-Religion, than the pedagogic-horatory accents of the owlish dogmatist, unless it be the pompous self-satisfaction of the prig. Eschew it, sister, eschew it! Even in giving orders there is a virile roar, and the commander who is best obeyed is he who rages cheerfully like an Eights Coach or a Rugger Captain. “Up Guards and at ‘em!” may not be authentic; but that is the right spirit.

The curate’s twang, the solemnity of self-importance, all manners that do not disclose the real man, are abominations, Anathema Maranatha—or any other day of the week. These painted masks are devised to conceal chicanery or emptiness. The easy-going humorous style of Vivekananda is intelligible and instructive; the platitudinous hot potatoes of Waite are neither. The dreadful thing is that this assumption of learning, of holiness, of mysterious avenging powers, somehow deceives the average student. He does not realise how well and wisely such have coined Wilde’s maxim: “To be intelligible is to be found out.”

I know that I too am at times obscure; I lament the fact. The reason is twofold: (a) my ineradicable belief that my reader knows all about the subject better than I do myself, and (at best) may like to hear it tackled from a novel angle, (b) I am carried away by the exultant exaltation of my theme: I boil over with rapture—not the crystal-clear, the cool solution that I aimed at.

On the Path of the Wise there is probably no danger more deadly, no poison more pernicious, no seduction more subtle than Spiritual Pride; it strikes, being solar, at the very heart of the Aspirant; more, it is an inflation and exacerbation of the Ego, so that its victim runs the peril of straying into a Black Lodge, and finding himself at home there. Against this risk we look to our insurance; there are two infallible: Common Sense and the Sense of Humour. When you are lying exhausted and exenterate after the attainment of Vishvarupadarshana it is all wrong to think: “Well, now I'm the holiest man in the world, of course with the exception of John M. Watkins”; better recall the words of the weary sceptical judge in A. P. Herbert’s Holy Deadlock; he makes a Mantram of it! “I put it to you—I put it to you—I put it to you—that you have got a boil on your bottom.”

To this rule there is, as usual with rules, an exception. Some states of mind are of the same structure as poetry, where the “one step from the sublime to the ridiculous” is an easy and fatal step. But even so, pedantry is as bad as ribaldry. Personally, I have tried to avoid the dilemma by the use of poetic language and form; for instance, in AHA! It is all difficult, dammed difficult; but if it must be that one’s most sacred shrine be profaned, let it be the clean assault of laughter rather than the slimy smear of sanctimoniousness!

There, or thereabouts, we must leave it. “Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh”; and I cannot sing the words of an epithalamium to the music of a dirge. Besides, what says the poet?

“Love's at its height in pure love? Nay, but after

When the song’s light dissolves gently in laughter”.

Oh! “One word more” as Browning said, and poured forth the most puerile portentous piffle about that grim blue-stocking “interesting invalid”, his spouting wife. Here it is, mercifully much shorter, and not in tripping trochees!

“Actions speak louder than words.” (I positively leak proverbs this afternoon—country air, I suppose): and where actions are the issue, devil a joke from Aleister!

Do you see what is my mark? It is you that I am going to put in the dock about “being serious”; and that will take a separate letter—part of the answer to yours received March 10th, 1944 and in general to your entire course of conduct since you came to me—now over a year ago.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,

666

Notes

© Oliver St. John, 2016, 2018

Related articles:

Prophecy of Liber AL Fulfilled
Law of Thelema, Quantum Yoga
The Priest-Kings of Thelema