…in shadowy places, by running streams

The Cry of the 2nd Æthyr (Part 4), which is called ARN  ARN

Of all the things ever written or received by Aleister Crowley in his lifetime – of all the words that embody both the sacred and the secular literature of Thelema – no passage, not even Chapter 1 of The Book of the Law, so expresses the means of religious worship of the Divine Feminine as does this short hour of vision and voice. It is a liturgy for the worship of Babalon. (It might well serve as the foundation of a true new Æon goddess worship; i.e. one that is not merely an atavistic retrenchment to the formulæ of the Isis Æon dressed up in Horus clothing)

In a note to this vision, Crowley recognized its divergence from anything else he had ever written:

“The Magical Fascination of the whole Æthyr is something quite apart from, and beyond, almost anything else in the experience of the seer. The effect upon him, 31 equinoxes [15½ years] later, of writing these notes is quite extraordinary. The memory of it diminishes the value of the rest of his life, with few excepted incidents, almost to nothing.”

—James A. Eshelman, Visions & Voices (Los Angeles, CA: The College of Thelema, 2010) 485-6.

  1. An olvah nu arenu olvah. Diræseu adika va paretanu poliax poliax in vah rah ahum subre fifal. Lerthexanax. Mama ra-la hum fifala maha.

    Translation: Now it glides into the heaven-home, glides. Seducingly the mentula of the begotten one of the Holy Head [or ‘Skull’] takes hold of the soft tissues, subtly plying its shuttle. Light follows the explosion. The soft tissues, cleaving to the shuttle, pump out every drop of water from the well.

  2. All this is the melody of a flute, very faint and clear. And there is sort of a sub-tinkle of a bell.
  3. And there is a string instrument, somewhat like a zither. And there is a human voice.
  4. And the voice comes: this is the Song of the Sphinx, which she singeth ever in the ears of men.
  5. And it is the song of the syrens. And whoever heareth it is lost.
  6. And that which thou hearest is but the dropping of the dews from my limbs, for I dance in the night, naked upon the grass, in shadowy places, by running streams.
  7. Many are they who have loved the nymphs of the woods, and of the wells, and of the fountains, and of the hills. And of these some were nympholept. For it was not a nymph, but I myself that walked upon the earth taking my pleasure. So also there were many images of Pan, and men adored them, and as a beautiful god he made their olives bear double and their vines increase; but some were slain by the god, for it was I that had woven the garlands about him.
  8. Now cometh a song.

    Mu pa telai,
    Tu wa melai
    A, a, a
    Tu fu tulu!
    Tu fu Tulu
    Pa, Sa, Ga.

    Qwi Mu telai
    Ya Pa melai;
    u, u, u.
    ‘Se gu melai;
    Pe fu telai,
    Fu tu lu.

    O chi balæ
    Wa pa malæ: —
    Ut! Ut! Ut!
    Ge; fu latrai,
    Le fu malai
    Kut! — Hut! — Nut.

    AI OAI
    Rel moai
    Ti — Ti — Ti!
    Wa la pelai
    Tu fu latai
    Wi, Ni, Bi.

    Translation: I. Silence! the moon ceaseth (her motion),/ That also was sweet./ In the air, in the air, in the air!/ Who Will shall attain!/ Who Will shall attain/ By the Moon, and by Myself, and by the Angel of the Lord!
    II. Now Silence ceaseth/ And the moon waxeth sweet;/ (It is the hour of) Initiation, Initiation, Initiation./ The kiss of Isis is honeyed;/ My own Will is ended,/ For Will hath attained.
    III. Behold the lion-child swimmeth (in the heaven)/ And the moon reeleth: —/ (It is) Thou! (It is) Thou! (It is) Thou!/ Triumph; the Will stealeth away (like a thief),/ The Strong Will that staggered/ Before Ra Hoor Khuit! — Hadit! — Nuit!
    IV. To the God OAI/ Be praise/ In the end and the beginning!/ And may none fall/ Who Will attain/ The Sword, the Balances, the Crown!

  9. So sweet is this song that no one could resist it. For in it is all the passionate ache for the moonlight, and the great hunger of the sea, and the terror of desolate places, — all things that lure men to the unattainable.

    Ōmări tēssălă mărāx,
    Tēssălă dōdĭ phōnĕpāx.
    Āmrĭ rādără pōliăx
    ármănă pīliŭ.
    āmrĭ rādără pīliŭ sōn’;
    mārĭ nāryă bārbĭtōn
    mādărā ānăphăx sārpĕdōn
    āndălă hrīlīu.

    Translation: I am the harlot that shaketh Death./ This shaking giveth the Peace of Satiate Lust./ Immortality jetteth from my skull,/ And music from my vulva./ Immortality jetteth from my vulva also,/ For my Whoredom is a sweet scent like a seven-stringed instrument,/ Played unto God the Invisible, the all-ruler,/ That goeth along giving the shrill scream of orgasm.

  10. Every man that hath seen me forgetteth me never, and I appear oftentimes in the coals of the fire, and upon the smooth white skin of woman, and in the constancy of the waterfall, and in the emptiness of deserts and marshes, and upon great cliffs that look seaward; and in many strange places, where men seek me not. And many thousand times he beholdeth me not. And at last I smite myself into him as a vision smiteth into a stone, and whom I call must follow.
  11. Now I perceive myself standing in a Druid circle, in an immense open plain.
  12. A whole series of beautiful visions of deserts and sunsets and islands in the sea, green beyond imagination . . . . But there is no subsistence in them.
  13. A voice goes on: this is the holiness of fruitless love and aimless toil. For in doing the thing for the things’s sake is concentration, and this is the holiest of them that suit not the means to the end. For therein is faith and sympathy and a knowledge of the true Magick.
  14. Oh my beloved, that fliest in the air like a dove, beware of the falcon! oh my beloved, that springest upon the earth like a gazelle, beware of the lion!
  15. There are hundreds of visions, trampling over one another. In each one the Angel of the Æthyr is mysteriously hidden.
  16. Now I will describe the Angel of the Æthyr until the voice begins again.
  17. He is like one’s idea of Sappho and Calypso, and all seductive and deadly things; heavy eye-lids, long lashes, a face like ivory, wonderful barbaric jewellery, intensely red lips, a very small mouth, tiny ears, a Grecian face. Over the shoulders is a black robe with a green collar; the robe is spangled with golden stars; the tunic is a pure soft blue.
  18. Now the whole Æthyr is swallowed up in a forest of unquenchable fire, and fearlessly through it all a snow-white eagle flies. And the eagle cries: the house also of death. Come away! The volume of the book is open, the Angel waiteth without, for the summer is at hand. Come away! For the Æon is measured, and thy spans allotted. Come away! For the mighty sounds have entered into every angle. And they have awakened the Angels of the Æthyrs that slept these three hundred years.
  19. For in the Holy letter Shin, that is the Resurrection in the Book of Thoth, that is the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, that is three hundred in the tale of the years, hath the tomb been opened, so that this great wisdom might be revealed.
  20. Come away! For the Second Triad is completed, and there remaineth only the Lord of the Æon, the Avenger, the Child both Crowned and Conquering, the Lord of the Sword and the Sun, the Babe in the Lotus, pure from his birth, the Child of suffering, the Father of justice, unto whom be the glory throughout all the Æon!
  21. Come away! For that which was to be accomplished is accomplished, seeing that thou hadst faith unto the end of all.
  22. In the letter N the Voice of the Æthyr is ended.


Biskra, Algeria.
December 20, 1909. 8:35 – 9:15 p.m.

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Author of Speculative & Erotic Fiction, Contrarian Essayist, Freethinker, Feminist, Free Expression Absolutist, Proud Child of the Enlightenment, Elf.