The Holy Books of Thelema
Liber CCXX – Liber AL vel Legis, although the most important of all, it is not the only Holy Book. Some call it “the Bible” of Thelema. After all, the word bible only means “book” or “books”. Crowley denies having any part in the creation of this most important Holy Book other than writing down the words per the instructions of a dis-incarnate intelligence. Debate over this claim is rather common. Additionally, many believe it is not completely true.
Liber AL vel Legis expresses its importance within itself. In chapter III, verse 47 we read:
This book shall be translated into all tongues: but always with the original in the writing of the Beast; for in the chance shape of the letters and their position to one another: in these are mysteries that no Beast shall divine.
Written between 1907 and 1911, the rest of the works in this collection consist of “inspired texts”. Crowley claimed these other works were not so much written by him as through him.
While some may argue the “holiness” of these works, there is no denying their mystical beauty.
The descriptions of these works come directly from a document found in The Equinox Vol I, No. 10 (An IX No. X Sun in Libra) named A SYLLABUS OF THE OFFICIAL INSTRUCTIONS OF A ∴ A ∴ HITHERTO PUBLISHED
ΘΕΛΗΜΑ published by Crowley in 1909
Liber LXI vel Causæ. Explains the actual history and origin of the present movement. This text, being in Class D, is not technically a Holy Book, but was included in “ΘΕΛΗΜΑ” as an Introduction, and is thus listed here.
Liber LXV. Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente. An account of the relations of the Aspirant with his Holy Guardian Angel. This book is given to Probationers, as the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is the Crown of the Outer College. Similarly Liber VII is given to Neophytes, as the grade of Master of the Temple is the next resting-place, and Liber CCXX to Zelator, since that carries him to the highest of all possible grades. Liber XXVII is given to the Practicus, as in this book is the ultimate foundation of the highest theoretical Qabalah, and Liber DCCCXIII to the Philosophus, as it is the foundation of the highest practical Qabalah.
Liber VII Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli. Being the Voluntary Emancipation of a certain Exempt Adept from his Adeptship. These are the Birth Words of a Master of the Temple. The nature of this book is sufficiently explained by its title. Its seven chapters are referred to the seven planets in the following order: Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Sol, Mercury, Luna, Venus.
Liber XXVII: Liber Trigrammaton sub Figura XXVII. Being the Book of the Trigrams of the Mutations of the Tao with the Yin and the Yang. An account of the cosmic process: corresponding to the stanzas of Dzyan in another system.
Liber CCXX: Liber AL vel Legis sub Figura CCXX. This book is the foundation of the New AEon, and thus of the whole of our Work.
Liber DCCCXIII vel Ararita. This book is an account of the Hexagram and the method of reducing it to the Unity, and Beyond.
Additional Texts included in The Holy Books of Thelema
Combine the original texts of ΘΕΛΗΜΑ with additional Holy Books and the result is 1983’s publication of The Holy Books of Thelema by Ordo Templi Orientis. This edition included Liber LXI vel Causæ as introductory material.
Currently out of print, even in used papberback format, the 1983 edition price is outrageous. Hence out of reach to some. However, you can find a reasonably priced “portable” sized edition published under the original name Thelema from our friends at Conjoined Creation. Published in 2015, this edition is a 5in x 7in hardbound book is almost small enough to fit in a pocket. Additionally, it contains a nice ribbon book mark. Finally, re-classed as a Class D document, Liber LXI vel Causæ does not appear in this edition.
Liber I: Liber B vel Magi. This is an account of the Grade of Magus, the highest grade which it is ever possible to manifest in any way whatever upon this plane. Or so it is said by the Masters of the Temple.
Liber X: Liber Porta Lucis. This book is an account of the sending forth of the Master by the A ∴ A ∴ and an explanation of his mission.
Liber LXVI: Liber Stellae Rubeae. This book is sufficiently described by the title.
Liber XC: Liber Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus. An account of Initiation, and an indication as to those who are suitable for the same.
Liber CLVI: Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni. This book is a perfect account of the task of the Exempt Adept, considered under the symbols of a particular plane, not the intellectual.
Liber CCXXXI: Liber Arcanorum. This is an account of the cosmic process so far as it is indicated by the Tarot Trumps.
Liber CCCLXX: Liber A’ash vel Capricorni Pneumatici. Contains the true secret of all practical magick.
Liber CD: Liber Tau vel Kabbalae Trium Literarum. A graphic interpretation of the Tarot on the plane of initiation.