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Casting Out Black Rituals Of Old
"Behold! the rituals of the old time are black. Let the evil ones be cast away; let the good ones be purged by the prophet! Then shall this Knowledge go aright." Liber al vel Legis 2:5
Other writers, including Crowley, have used this verse to argue for change in the new Aeon of Horus. They link it with Verses 1:34-36 to say the Book of the Law calls for an elimination of religious and even the old black magick ritualistic methods of doing things.
There may be a deeper message in this verse.
We are in the midst of an introduction to the other half of a great universal energy that not only created the universe, but also puts it in motion. It seems strange that this declaration falls within the verses in which Had explains his identity.
Yet there is a pattern to the Book. The companion verses in each of the three chapters seem to have information that helps us interpret the others. In other words, verses five in all three chapters are, in some way, alike.
Nuit, in 1:5 asks: "Help me, O warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men!" The unveiling is a declaration of a new (ancient) law of will by which the creator, Nuit would have us live.
Had describes the work that must be done so that the Law of Thelema can become reality. This His declaration for purging false, black magickians "by the prophet" so that "this Knowledge go aright" is correctly placed.
Horus, the personality in Chapter Three, orders us to fortify an island and prepare for warfare. His arrival signals a carrying out of the work described by Had, the energy of the universe.
In each chapter, verse five declares purpose behind the message. Had's message calls for severity:
"Behold!" is the opening word of the verse. It is a signal that something important is about to be said and the reader, or listener, should pay attention.
Had declares: "the rituals of the old time are black." The old teachings, the old eulogies of religious organizations, the old magick formulas, are in darkness. They are incorrect now, and probably always were. They are twisted black creations of misleading angelic energies that have enslaved mankind and prevented natural human evolution for thousands of years.
"Let the evil ones be cast away, let the good ones be purged by the prophet!" This is a harsh message. It calls for the casting away, or destruction of the old system and the ones that would battle to keep it in place. It is a declaration of spiritual warfare, and perhaps even physical warfare on the planet.
Even those who understand and seek to follow the light must first be purged. While Had calls them "the good ones," he understands that the teachings of the old system are deeply implanted in the personalities of each star. For example, the concept of dancing nude in the open night, drinking wine that foams, and taking love from whom ever and where ever we will, sounds good. But when it comes down to actually doing this, many will resist the action. That is because these actions were always regarded as sin by the church. Nudity, free love and drunkenness are against the law nearly everywhere in the world. The implanting runs deep. Thus even when the will is correct, the ability to follow the teachings of Nuit are difficult. Until purging, we will always experience a sense of guilt.
Who is the prophet? I believe it is probably the Beast, who comes to set things right.
After the casting away of the old ones, and the purging of the good ones, "Then shall this Knowledge go aright."
Notice the word Knowledge is capitalized. Had speaks here of the Word of the Creators, both Nuit and Hadit. I believe the Knowledge is their instruction as given forth in the Book of the Law.
Crowley notes that Had uses the word "go," which he says is a key to understanding Knowledge. He wrote: "It cannot 'be,' as we have seen."
He wrote that "it may be observed that knowledge, so far as it exists at all, even as a statement of relation, is no more than a momentary phenomenon of consciousness. It is annihilated in the instant of its creation."
Crowley is saying that truth and reality are impossible to "know" because they are always based upon the mind of the individual star that creates them. For example, evil to one person might be perceived as good to another. Thus, there can be no good or evil. Yet the occultists depend upon these two extremes to bring balance. If too much good exists, it becomes evil. And visa-versa.
These conclusions are the reason the ancients called Knowledge Daath, the Child of Chokmah. His place was in the Abyss. This is, of course is a symbolism that declares true knowledge an impossibility.
Thus the best we can do, in this instance, is to trust in Had's formula for making the Knowledge He gives us "go aright." But to understand, our minds must be made right.
Copyright - James Donahue

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