So, Mighty Mother! Pure, Eternal Spouse,
Isis, thou Star, thou Moon, thou Mightiest,
Lead my weak steps to thine Eternal House!
Rest my vain head on thine Eternal Breast!
Arise, arise, arise,
Give passage to mine eyes,
Ye airs, ye veils; ye bucklers of the Snake!
I knew the deepest cells,
Where the foul spirit dwells;
Called to the dead, the drowsed, arise! awake!
Their dark profoundest thought
Was less than She I sought,
It was as nought!
Whose poor abode
Is the mean body, prey to all distemperature?
Yet, mortal, in the Light and Way divine,
Gird on the armour of the Holy One:
Seek out the secret of the inmost shrine,
Strong in the might and spirit of the sun.
These are my passions that my feet must tread;
This is my sword, the fervour of my soul;
This is my Will, the crown upon my head.
WHERE, in the coppice, oak and pine
With mystic yew and elm are found,
Sweeping the skies, that grow divine
With the dark wind’s despairing sound,
The wind that roars from the profound,
And smites the mountain-tops, and calls
Mute spirits to black festivals,
And feasts in valleys iron-bound,
Desolate crags, and barren ground; —
There in the strong storm-shaken grove
Swings the pale censer-fire for love.
The foursquare altar, rightly hewn,
And overlaid with beaten gold,
Stands in the gloom; the stealthy tune
Of singing maidens overbold
Desires mad mysteries untold, {169B}
With strange eyes kindling, as the fleet
Implacable untiring feet
Weave mystic figures manifold
That draw down angels to behold
The moving music, and the fire
Of their intolerable desire.
For, maddening to fiercer thought,
The fiery limbs requicken, wheel
In formless furies, subtly wrought
Of swifter melodies than steel
That flashes in the fight: the peal
Of amorous laughters choking sense,
And madness kissing violence,
Rings like dead horsemen; bodies reel
Drunken with motion; spirits feel
The strange constraint of gods that dip
From Heaven to mingle lip and lip.
The gods descent to dance; the noise
Of hungry kissings, as a swoon,
Faints for excess of its own joys,
And mystic beams assail the moon,
With flames of their infernal noon;
While the smooth incense, without breath,
Spreads like some scented flower of death,
Over the grove; the lover’s boon
Of sleep shall steal upon them soon,
And lovers’ lips, from lips withdrawn,
Seek dimmer bosoms till the dawn.
Yet on the central altar lies
The sacrament of kneaded bread
With blood made one, the sacrifice
To those, the living, who are dead —
Strange gods and goddesses, that shed
Monstrous desires of secret things
Upon their worshippers, from wings
One lucent web of light, from head
One labyrinthine passion-fed
Palace of love, from breathing rife
With secrets of forbidden life.
But not the sunlight, nor the stars,
Nor any light but theirs alone,
Nor iron masteries of Mars,
Nor Saturn’s misconceiving zone,
Nor any planet’s may be shone, {170A}
Within the circle of the grove,
Where burn the sanctities of love:
Nor may the foot of man be known,
Nor evil eyes of mothers thrown
On maidens that desire the kiss
Only of maiden Artemis.
But horned and huntress from the skies,
She bends her lips upon the breeze,
And pure and perfect in her eyes,
Burn magical virginity’s
Sweet intermittent sorceries.
When the slow wind from her sweet word
In all their conched ears is heard.
And like the slumber of the seas,
There murmur through the holy trees
The kisses of the goddess keen,
And sighs and laughters caught between.
For, swooning at the fervid lips
Of Artemis, the maiden kisses
Sob, and the languid body slips
Down to enamelled wildernesses.
Fallen and loose the shaken tresses;
Fallen the sandal and girdling gold,
Fallen the music manifold
Of moving limbs and strange caresses,
And deadly passion that possesses
The magic ecstasy of these
Mad maidens, tender as blue seas.
Night spreads her yearning pinions;
The baffled day sinks blind to sleep;
The evening breeze outswoons the sun’s
Dead kisses to the swooning deep.
Upsoars the moon; the flashing steep
Of heaven is fragrant for her feet;
The perfume of the grove is sweet
As slumbering women furtive creep
To bosoms where small kisses weep,
And find in fervent dreams the kiss
Most memoried of Artemis.
Impenetrable pleasure dies
Beneath the madness of new dreams;
The slow sweet breath is turned to sighs
More musical than many streams
Under the moving silver beams, {170}
Fretted with stars, thrice woven across.
White limbs in amorous slumber toss
Like sleeping foam, whose silver gleams
On motionless dark seas; it seems
As if some gentle spirit stirred
Their lazy brows with some swift word.
So, in the secret of the shrine,
Night keeps them nestled; so the gloom
Laps them in waves as smooth as wine,
As glowing as the fiery womb
Of some young tigress, dark as doom,
And swift as sunrise. Love’s content
Builds its own mystic monument,
And carves above its vaulted tomb
The Phoenix on her fiery plume,
To their own souls to testify
Their kisses’ immortality.
Ah! under his protection, in his love,
With my abasements emulating his,
We surely should attain to that which is,
And lose ourselves, together, far above
The highest heaven, in one sweet lover’s kiss,
So sweet, so strong,
That with it all my soul should unto him belong.
"Then I perceived the stars to reflect a single sun— Not burning suns themselves, in furious regular race, But mirrors of midnight, lit to remind us of His face. Thus I beheld the truth: ye are stars that give me light; But I read you aright and learn I am walking in the night. Then I turned mine eyes away to the Light that is above you: The answering splendid Dawn arose, and I did not love you. I saw the breaking light, and the clouds fled far away: I was the resurrection of the Golden Star of Day. And now I live in Him; my heart may trace the years In drops of virginal blood and springs of virginal tears."

Synthesis in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

"Then I perceived the stars to reflect a single sun—
Not burning suns themselves, in furious regular race,
But mirrors of midnight, lit to remind us of His face.
Thus I beheld the truth: ye are stars that give me light;
But I read you aright and learn I am walking in the night.
Then I turned mine eyes away to the Light that is above you:
The answering splendid Dawn arose, and I did not love you.
I saw the breaking light, and the clouds fled far away:
I was the resurrection of the Golden Star of Day.
And now I live in Him; my heart may trace the years
In drops of virginal blood and springs of virginal tears.” [via]

"Many, so many, were ye to make one Womanhood— A thing of fire and flesh, of wine and glory and blood, In whose rose-orient texture a golden light is spun, A gossamer scheme of love, as water in the sun Flecked by wonderful bars, most delicately crossed, Worked into wedded beauties, flickering, never lost— That is the spirit of love, incarnate in your flesh! Your bodies had wearied me, but your passion was ever fresh: You were many indeed, but your love for me was one."

Synthesis in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

"Many, so many, were ye to make one Womanhood—
A thing of fire and flesh, of wine and glory and blood,
In whose rose-orient texture a golden light is spun,
A gossamer scheme of love, as water in the sun
Flecked by wonderful bars, most delicately crossed,
Worked into wedded beauties, flickering, never lost—
That is the spirit of love, incarnate in your flesh!
Your bodies had wearied me, but your passion was ever fresh:
You were many indeed, but your love for me was one.” [via]

"It is ill to blaspheme the silence with a wicked whispered thought— How still they were, those nights! when this web of things was wrought! How still, how terrible! O my dolorous tender brides, As I lay and dreamt in the dark by your shameful beautiful sides! And now you are mine no more, I know; but I cannot bear The curse—that another is drunk on the life that stirs your hair: Every hair was alive with a spark of midnight’s delicate flame, Or a glow of the nether fire, or an old illustrious shame."

Synthesis in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

"It is ill to blaspheme the silence with a wicked whispered thought—
How still they were, those nights! when this web of things was wrought!
How still, how terrible! O my dolorous tender brides,
As I lay and dreamt in the dark by your shameful beautiful sides!
And now you are mine no more, I know; but I cannot bear
The curse—that another is drunk on the life that stirs your hair:
Every hair was alive with a spark of midnight’s delicate flame,
Or a glow of the nether fire, or an old illustrious shame.” [via]

"For a moment cease the winds of God upon the reverent head; I lose the life of the mountain, and my soul is with the dead; Yet am I not unaware of the splendour of the height, Yet am I lapped in the glory of the Sun of Life and Light:— Even so my heart looks out from the harbour of God’s breast, Out from the shining stars where it entered into rest— Once more it seeks in memory for reverence, not regret, And it loves you still, my sisters! as God shall not forget."

Synthesis in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

"For a moment cease the winds of God upon the reverent head;
I lose the life of the mountain, and my soul is with the dead;
Yet am I not unaware of the splendour of the height,
Yet am I lapped in the glory of the Sun of Life and Light:—
Even so my heart looks out from the harbour of God’s breast,
Out from the shining stars where it entered into rest—
Once more it seeks in memory for reverence, not regret,
And it loves you still, my sisters! as God shall not forget.” [via]

"Nay! But the promise of the centuries, The certain pledge of immortality, Child-cry of Man at the eternal Breast."

The Law of Change in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

"Nay! But the promise of the centuries,
The certain pledge of immortality,
Child-cry of Man at the eternal Breast.” [via]

“‘Out, out, adulteress!’? These be the furies, and the harpies these? That discontent should sum the happiest sky? That of all boons man lacks the greatest—rest!”

The Law of Change in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

“‘Out, out, adulteress!’?
These be the furies, and the harpies these?
That discontent should sum the happiest sky?
That of all boons man lacks the greatest—rest!” [via]

"This passion we possess Necessitous; insistent none the less Because we know not how its purpose brands Our lives. Even on God’s knees and in His hands: The Law of Change."

The Law of Change in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

"This passion we possess
Necessitous; insistent none the less
Because we know not how its purpose brands
Our lives. Even on God’s knees and in His hands:
The Law of Change.” [via]

"SOME lives complain of their own happiness. In perfect love no sure abiding stands; In perfect faith are no immortal bands Of God and man."

The Law of Change in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

"SOME lives complain of their own happiness.
In perfect love no sure abiding stands;
In perfect faith are no immortal bands
Of God and man.” [via]

"I am plain? ‘Blasphemer! Damned!’? Undoubtedly — I know!"

A Religious Bringing-Up in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

"I am plain?
‘Blasphemer! Damned!’? Undoubtedly
— I know!” [via]