The Eastern Image
"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. The other images group around
me to support me: let all be worshipped, for they shall cluster to exalt me. I am the visible object of worship; the others
are secret; for the Beast & his Bride are they: and for the winners of the Ordeal x. What is this? Thou shalt know." Liber
al vel Legis 3:21-22
The Book of the Law is a book filled with riddles. Each person reading the verses might find a revelation
unique to his or her own life experiences. This was the case with Aleister Crowley, who thought of himself as the Beast and
believed many of the passages were directed to him alone.
This may have been partly true. Crowley lost a son two years after receiving the prophetic words:
"Sacrifice cattle, little and big: after a child." Before revealing these marvelous writings to
the world, Crowley went on a personal pilgrimage in China, walking with breadth of that country and learning the ways of its
people. In his own way, he believed this was a fulfillment of the command in Verse 21. He, indeed, set up his image in the
But is there more to this verse? The word "image" means a projection of a vision, concept or impression
of oneself without actually being there. Thus a statue, or photograph of a person is an image. So would an appearance in a
television show, a movie or perhaps a holographic projection.
Crowley was correct in that the verse seems to be directed toward a unique individual. Could it
be that the work begins in an Eastern country? "Thou shalt buy thee an image which I will show thee"
and "it shall be suddenly easy for thee to do this." Something happens that makes the message very
popular among the Eastern cultures.
Why do we think this is about the Beast? There is yet another character that appears here. Horus,
speaking through the messenger Aiwass, says in Verse 22: "The other images group around me to support
me: let all be worshipped, for they shall cluster to exalt me. I am the visible object of worship; the others are secret;
for the Beast & his Bride are they. . ."
Horus, the image of Ra the God of the Sun, speaks of Himself in this verse.
Something strange seems to be happening at this moment. There are other images involved but they
cluster to exalt Horus, while the Beast and his bride remain cloaked in secrecy. Who or what are the other images?
Crowley thought this was a reference to the other established world religions, all spun from the
ancient cult of the Sun that is rising again to a New Aeon. He wrote: "Our religion, therefore, for the people, is the cult
of the Sun, who is our particular star in the Body of Nuit, from whom, in the strictest scientific sense, come this Earth."
He concluded that Ra-Hoor-Khuit, like all true Gods, is therefore a solar-phallic deity. But we regard Him as He is in truth,
eternal; the solar-phallic deities of the Old Aeon, such as Osiris, "Christ," Hiram, Adonis, Hercules, etc., were supposed,
through our ignorance of the cosmos, to "die" and "rise again."
Lastly we have the mystery of "Ordeal x." The final part of Verse 22: "I am
the visible object of worship; the others are secret; for the Beast & his Bride are they: and for the winners of the Ordeal
x. What is this? Thou shalt know." I have a sense that those who follow the new order, especially during his early
years, will be tested. This for them will be the unknown "ordeal."
Copyright - James Donahue