Thelema and the Equinox of the Gods in Literature

by Soror S.O., B.A.

Ave sorores et fratres and Do what thou Wilt. This shall be the first of many articles yet to come in which I will present to you perceptions and predictions of Thelema and the Equinox of the Gods (1904 E.V.) incorporated into the works of famous men and women in literature. This first article concerns two fantastic titles in literature: LE MORTE D'ARTHUR by Sir Thomas Malory and GARGANTUA by Rabelais. 

It must be noted that I am in no way claiming that these two men were in any way connected with the A.·.A.·., nor that they even had any conception of what they were doing when these premonitions were incorporated into their works by their hands. But let us instead look for the answer to this mystery in the "occult theories" of the Astral Light. It is quite well known, among the knowledgable, that this plane of consciousness, known by various names, is a very fluid and creative plane. It is on this plane that true artists, of any form of art, begin their creations, from whence they "bring down" these creations and materialize them upon canvas, paper, or, ay! even film. It is also upon this plane that many of these very same artists, acting as the best of mediums, receive perceptions of what is commonly called "the future" and then transmit them to the world below. Quite often these perceptions are thought of as merely imaginings or even more frequently are these glimpses into the Workings of the Universe translated into man-made words and upon translation much of the original meaning is lost or confused. 

We shall take only a few quotations from LE MORTE D'ARTHUR first. In Book XIII, Chapter 11, it was told that Joseph, the son of Joseph of Arimathea, advised King Evelake that all would be well for him if "he left his belief of the old law and believed upon the new law." Now, chances are that this does not refer to the New Law of Thelema, however, it does illustrate that the compiler of these ancient stories, older than Christianity, did indeed realize that the world, the universe, goes through periods known as æons approximately every 2,000 years, and that at the Equinox of the Gods, the change of æons, the old law is superseded by the new law. In this case the new law probably refers to that of the Æon of Osiris, that which was before the New Æon of Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child. 

Book XIV, Chapter 6, speaks of Sir Percival as "one of the men of the world at that time which most believed in Our Lord Jesu Christ, for in those days there were but few folks that believed in God perfectly." Obviously this refers to the æon as being a very young æon which had not yet quite gained supremacy among humanity of this time, much as the Æon of Horus is today, only 74 years old. 

Book XIV, Chapter 7, explains a dream that Sir Percival had. "'She which rode upon the lion betokeneth the new law of the holy church...For she seemed younger than the other it is great reason, for she was born in the resurrection and the passion of Our Lord Jesu Christ...And she that rode on the serpent signifieth the old law, and that serpent betokeneth a fiend...'" Now this particular quotation could very well be one of those confused perceptions I had mentioned earlier. The young woman being Babalon and the Lion the Beast...yet the Lion was a symbol of Mithras, a Sun-God, applicable to both Osiris ("Jesus") and Horus in one of his aspects. As for the other woman, she rode upon a Serpent--Set; the Phallus; Kundalini, the Serpent Power. I will leave it up to the reader to decide upon which was the old law and which the new law referred to. 

Book XVII, Chapter 20: "...the holy spear even upright upon the vessel." This seems to me to be a very clear symbol of a certain form of magick enthusiastically performed by every true Thelemite! The spear, forgive me, the "holy" spear, is another form of the Wand which in turn is a symbol of the phallus. And the vessel is the Portal of Ecstasy and Initiation, the kteis. It continues: "...there came a figure in likeness of a child, and the visage was as red and as bright as any fire, and smote himself into the bread, so that they all saw it that the bread was formed of a fleshly man; and then he put it into the holy vessel again..." This "child" can only be Horus for red is the colour of Mars, the warrior-aspect of Horus, who is a god of War and Vengence, and his is also Force and Fire, which is the nature of Thelema and Thelemites. As for the return of that Child into the vessel I will again leave this as food for thought. And DO think about it! 

I will say no more about this literary and magical masterpiece except that, remember thou that Sir Galahad (g ALA had), by all "Christian" standards, was a true Bastard and that he, of all the Knights of the Order of the Round Table, was the only one to attain the Sangraal, the Holy Grail, Union with the Holy Guardian Angel! 

And now we come to Francois Rabelais and his GARGANTUA (and PANTAGRUEL). I shall not dwell too long here, for it has been well treated in other works. However, it should be noted that in the First Book, Chapter 52, THE ABBEY OF THELEME was "to institute (a) a religious order in an exactly contrary way to all others." That is, to abandon the ways of poverty, chastity and other restrictive vows and to be free to experience and Know All. Very Thelemic, don't you think? This order was to admit both men and women, and not, as with the orders of the old æon, the castouts of society, but true Kings and Queens of the Earth. In Chapter 57 it is said that "In their rules there was only one clause: DO WHAT YOU WILL because people who are free, well-born, well-bred, and easy in honest company have a natural spur and instinct which drives them to virtuous deeds and deflects them from vice; and this they called honour." Quoted in full for many critics stop at "Do what you will" and misunderstand it as "Do as you like". 

Did Our Father Aleister Crowley borrow from such things to "create" Thelema and the A.·.A.·.? Come now, only an intellectual moron would ask such a question. A.C. merely found the truth, transmitted to humankind in many ways, and revealed it. He did not "create" Thelema nor the A.·.A.·.. The Adepts, the Secret Chiefs of the "Great White Brotherhood" have existed since the dawn of time and they have been conditioning humankind, always readying us for the next step and the advent of a new Logos, of a New Æon... 

...and IT has come. Aumgn. 

(TNN.I.2,10-11, 2/19/78 E.V.)