Horus Maat


Liber Ipsement The Book of the True Self, & A New Commentary

By Shade Oroboros 817

Greetings to all!

Quite some time ago (in the spring of 1979) the Horus Maat Lodge was founded during a visit to Soror Nema by the four members of the Grove of the Star & the Snake, who included Aion, Noctua, Khreb ent Ptah, and myself. At that point in human history the four of us New Yorkers were all in our early twenties and deeply influenced by Crowley, Spare, Grant, Achad, Parsons, and of course Nema. We had evolved out of a Welsh Trad Wiccan coven into an eclectic esoterrorist cabal, and were all in one way or another invoking the Knowledge and Conversation of our Holy Guardian Angels at the time (aka the HGA).

I had been doing an ever-more-intense HGA practice for a number of months (using both personal rituals and Crowley’s version of the invocation of the Bornless One, Liber Samekh), and in addition to my lifelong wyrd obsession with the western magickal traditions, witchcraft, the Tarot, and many pagan mythologies (Egyptian, Greek, Norse, Celtic, Gnostic, and Voudon) I was nearing the end of my college years as an Anthropology major. I studied sociology and psychology and also took a history of science course on Alchemy that sent me deeply into the work of C.G. Jung (whose own vital transmission is Seven Sermons to the Dead) and I was also engulfed in Asian religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Tantra.

All of this was whirling around inside me while we had our magical retreat in Ohio, and a great deal of energy was released with the founding of our chaotic order at the new moon. Right after I got home I did my HGA rite and had a truly hair-raising and cosmic Holy Guardian Spirit contact which remains among the most intense moments of my entire life, an experience that was earthed in a text which I have studied and played with ever since. As the marathon all-night ritual progressed I reached a point where I seemed to be listening to my body invoking by itself, while my consciousness shifted to a separate observer-point in the back of my head. The climax where all the flashes of understanding I was having came together and emerged in written form occurred with the golden light of dawn, as I soared like a hawk into the heart of the sunrise.

Unfortunately or not, this was in the primitive era of typewriters and xeroxing, so almost no one has seen it. Frankly, I have tons of exotic writing from this time, propelled as I was by youthful hormones, some sinister sacraments, devotion to both the transitory and Eternal Feminine Spirit, and late night fun with my fellow diabolists. In many ways it was probably the most consistently creative time in my life, and this event was one of my most extreme changes in consciousness. For many days afterwards I remained in a rather altered state, with the usual internal babble of the monkey-mind almost completely silent.

It is not easy for anyone to face their poetry 25 years later, and I have just slightly tweaked a few lines for the sake of clarity, but this is still almost exactly what I wrote down at the time in my attempt to record a very rapid stream of concepts entering my consciousness. Many of my odd artistic influences are probably clear, but one does need some sort of symbolic language to transcribe mystical experiences. I essentially had an orgasm of revelations expressing my sorcery, most of which centered on resolving dualities to release energy (in part but not limited to sex magick), mythic, qabalistic and double current cosmology, occult techniques and formulae, and images of possible past lives.

Much of my HGA imagery was of my Angel as the female twin of my own DNA, myself reflected in All Otherness, and as the perfected Future Self identical with N’Aton. A full-length mirror was an essential part of the working, as mirrors are gateways. Another part of my breakthrough was that this ‘Angel’ is an activating ray of light or link to GOD or KIA, a triggering of an opening or awakening, the illumination that is the arcane version of Jung’s alchemical individuation process. The True Cosmic Self became identical with my individual self, as in Hindu terms the soul-spark or human atman is the same as the universal Atman or Brahman, the Unknown God Hirself, Spirit, the Numen. Macrocosm, microcosm, no difference.

Qabalistically speaking, I also had the meaningful discovery that the ‘reciprocal paths’ of the Tree (the only three horizontal ones, connecting the spheres of the two side pillars, Daleth, Teth, and Pe) totaled Thelema’s 93, and this structured most of my experience. Pe corresponded to Mysticism or Yoga, the inward-turning path of withdrawing from the world. Teth was the outward-directed path of Magick, of enchantment, ecstasy and experience. Daleth combines and transcends these in ultimate cosmic Gnosis.

I also had the profound realization that the SELF = 101 = ATMAN, and that SELF (spirit) is FLESh (body) spelled backwards. Many personal insights were happening very fast, and I was doing my best to catch them. Throughout the rite I had the ever-growing sense of a work of Art trying to emerge, and the writing itself was very spontaneous and rapid. As I later numbered the verses I realized that they actually corresponded in sequence to ascent of the Tree of Life. I wrote a short commentary explaining that, which I have now expanded with a somewhat more detailed analysis.

In writing this comment I was moved to count the names of the gods who appeared in the text, and I found that there are 36, and 6 x 6 is a number of the Sun. There are 11 from Egypt and 11 from Greece, 6 Thelemic and 6 Hindu, 1 Babylonian and 1 Gnostic: Abraxas, the secret name that for me most perfectly expresses the inexpressible nature of the Ultimate Reality. There is great power in the names of gods, and in the worship of the Goddess.

This is perhaps purely a personal transmission, but I venture to hope that other magi may find moments of interest in it. I recently reread my journal of these events, and recovered a quote from Soror Nema: “Yesterday, Tomorrow, but most of all Now! To see N’Aton, look in a mirror. ” So welcome to my Liber, I hope you enjoy it!

Fay ce que vouldras,

<+O(  ~   Shade Oroboros 817



(0. Ain/Ain Soph/Ain Soph Aur. )

I. I begin again the song of all songs. I am the Voice of Ages, memory of the future, the prophet Man, free star.

II.   I fashion these words offered to the Beloved in the black flame touch of ink upon snow-white parchment, of blood-runes on the skin of the soul, of the stars that stain the purity of Night.
I called you as a priest to his god,
I adored you as a lover with his bride,
I became you as a single angel.
Now Tahuti and the Ape are one, and I scribe sweet words for the children of the Sun.

III. Seed of black pearl, I blossom forth in crystal petals of ecstasy. Secret silent center, I thrill with waves of spirit’s fire. The Ape speaks, and the words of the God are flesh.

(1-3. Kether in the sphere of Malkuth the Kingdom. Centering. The Serpent in the Egg. Aidonaios, Hadit, Abraxas. Alpha & Omega, beginning & ending. The Ape or baboon is an aspect of Thoth, patron of the Tarot. )

IV. I offer this Word to the world. Here I write the secrets I have found, and the paths I know, and all that I have seen in the way of eternal returning.
And to whom is it offered, and by what breath spoken?

V. Ever unto Her I offer this, a blazing star, a jewel upon her brow: the Sothis-light that shines on wings that soar upon the wind’s breath, whose rays conceal the Mother unmanifest and reveal the Daughter triumphant.

VI. Before the first dream was the Mother Nuit, veiled Isis, immaculate void. Time was not measured within her, and the silence held no names.
‘She is Not’. Infinite Space.

VII. I exploded within her, in pain and blood and joy of birth. I tore the primal veil, I became the unutterable word, first and only Child of eternity.
My form was the god Geb and my soul the god Ra; my name was Chaos. I gave birth to my Self, in the darkness of millions of years I named all names.

VIII. I was enthroned in infinite power, I became the Mountain at the center and the Tree of all worlds. Then I awoke, and looked around me.
I beheld you, and my endless quest began.

(4-8. The ‘World’ path, Tau, ascending to the lunar sphere of Yesod. Creation. Adam Kadmon is the Tree of Life and the Primal Human, and also N’Aton. By the Universal Goddess is the Solar Child manifested. ‘She is Not’ affirms the Via Sinistra, the Negative Way of the TAO and is one of a number of models of reality that would emerge. )

IX. Thou art She, my Lover, mirror-twin and yet far more. Thou, all otherness, the waves in which I wander, the opposites with whom I merge, matrix in which my planted seeds grow new images of form, new bodies through which my spirit shall pass from age to age, from life to life, being eternal as the earth and sky.

X. And wherever I wander in the maze, I find you dancing, dancing.
A stranger in an alien time, I see you dancing, dancing.
And my heart shall sound the drumbeat of your music, and I will sing all my songs to you forever, as you go dancing, dancing.

XI. Hathor revealed, Isis unveiled, Babalon risen, you dance, reflecting eye, left to my right. How beautiful you are, in your lust and innocence and languor; and in your ugliness and death and anger, lovely still!
We whirl endlessly, ever wed, growing closer, entwined together as the veils burn away. In the end as in the beginning, we two shall be one and naught again. Siva and Shakti are we.

(9-11. Yesod itself, Foundation. The lunar realm/astral plane, the form of the triple goddess. The magick mirror. Goddess-worship, primal Shakti. )

XII. A third thing is birthed from our union, a Child is born to return to the source.  My Angel offers these words to the future.

(12. The ‘Art’ path of the Angel, Samekh intersecting with the ‘Tower’ path, Pe. The word ‘angel’ means ‘messenger’. The vision of Pe was the way of yogic meditation and passive gnosis, of mastering and controlling the gates of the senses. The Tower of the Tarot as the Tantric spinal channel of Kundalini ascending the chakras, and as the fiery destruction contained in the sacred Siva-Lingam. )

XIII. The Dream is all you possess, be then the Dreamer and not the Dreamed. Siva may slay this illusion of the universe of Brahman. He does so by becoming the whole world, then dying.

XIV. And this is the yoga of the first veil, the Tower that is the Self. Through the seven gates of the senses enter the initiation of alchemy.

XV. With the sense of sight perceive supreme artistry, the touch of the mind of light upon matter; then pass from meaning to beyond, where Ptah creates alone.

XVI. With the sense of listening receive the music, the lyre of Orpheus and the pipes of Pan, the notes that resound through time and space; then enter the silence.

XVII. With the taste of lust receive the purple wine of ripe grapes, elixir of Bacchus, intoxication divine. Eat again of the sacred apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then pass between the pillars.

XVIII. With the rush of the four winds and the soul of life receive the bliss of the sacred herbs, and let Euphoria enter your nostrils. Be filled by the feather kiss of the Dancer, then cease to breathe.

XIX. Let all these melt in the consuming embrace of touch, the beingness of utmost Flesh, primal matter that secretes the perfect Stone. Living body of truth, holy temple of experience: this form control.

XX. And the single light of which these senses are but shadows is undying fire of immortal Spirit. The force invisible moves with my passion, I guide it with my thought, and it takes me to those things that I know as my own of old. It is by these gates that the pyramid is entered, and the tomb of rebirth that waits within.
It is yesterday, today and tomorrow.

XXI. This is the Tower that forever rises and falls, the single Mouth that births and devours. Here is revealed the way of incarnation, for life like all other hungers is addictive. The world of sensation holds two paths, of silence and of speech. The first is that of the sorrow of the mystic: all is renounced, for it seems not Self, and when all the alien dreams are abandoned then only God remains. The second is that of the constant-changing joys of the magician: all experience is grasped, intensified, absorbed, transformed. Turning inward and outward, they are alike. Banishment and evocation, they are the same.

XXII. This method of old was renunciation by cutting the root of desire for illusion: each pain and pleasure left behind is a death, and the death of the body is the crown of this practice. Aum. Ha! for the dissolution in mother Kali! Will your serpent’s wandering never end?

(13-22. The ‘Art’ path of the Angel, Samekh intersecting with the ‘Tower’ path, Pe = 80 = Mouth. Verse 20 in particular shows the link between Hod and Netzach. Verses 22-24 are essentially the Buddhist Vision of Sorrow and the Four Noble Truths. Or possibly the Tibetan Chod Rite or the Maatian Feast of the Hive. )

XXIII. Perhaps. Perhaps Not.

(23. Again, the ‘Art’ path. 23 is the sacred number of Eris Discordia. Verses 24-34 express the experience of Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel in Tiphareth, the sphere of the Sun. )

XXIV. Now I pass beyond the ordeal of the grieving Buddha, now I tear the virgin’s veil. The chains of the ages are broken, and sorrow is slain by joy. The trance of the double aeon reveals the royal art. I speak now of my Self.

XXV. I am Man, I am Pan! I am the soul that walks through millennia, the prophet who beholds the vision and hears the voice. I am the Peacock Angel of many lives and countless eyes, and this is my secret: I am All to her Naught. I read a book and it is as if I had written it. I see a work of art and it is part of my memory. I hear a song, and it becomes my own in the ecstasy of No Difference.

XXVI. Two currents of wisdom have I joined together and a double star birthed. Twin initiations have I had.

XXVII. A man came out of the past with the head of a Hawk and the word of AL, Ankh-f-n-Khonsu the priest of the princes. With him I climbed the limbs of the Tree of the Dream called Life, and I bore a shining angel in the naked deserts of the sun.

XXVIII. A woman came on Vulture wings, Nema the scribe, speaking of the time-to-come. I danced with her toward the future, and opened the tunneled caverns in the roots of the Nightmare Tree Death. In the storm-driven forest of moon-drenched night, I birthed a demon of darkness.

(26-28. Links with the prophets of the dual current or twinned aeon of Horus & Maat, via the revelations of Liber AL vel Legis and Liber Pennae Praenumbra. )

XXIX. These twin spirits are the modes of my being, active and passive, positive and negative, reversal turning out then in. By one I draw near to ‘I am that I am’, by the other I know ‘She is Not’. They are the souls black and bright, the ways of my going by day and by night, hollow masks through which course the aethyrs we two breathe.

(29. The mantras or formulas of Hadit & Nuit: ‘I am that I am’ and again, ‘She is Not’. The double spiral to the infinite Void within found by the Silence of the Child Hoor-par-kraat, or to the myriad outer worlds conquered by the Strength of the Word spoken by the Logos of the Aeon, hawk-headed Ra-hoor-khuit. They are the Twins. )

XXX. Now I stand between these dual forces, where Eros and Thanatos writhe. In the contending of Horus and Set a universe is destroyed and new worlds are birthed from the ashes of old, seeds born of the teeth of the slain dragon Tiamat.
Lead becomes gold and coal diamond. Scale to feather, fin to wing, the Dragon evolves from the Deep and soars as the Highest.

XXXI. And the battle of hatred is a ritual of love, while twin hands struggle and strive and join the single Eye is open in the freedom and frenzy of passion. For the circus of Maya is joy, and Eris is play, and the kingdom is carnival.

(31. The essential nature of the Universe is JOY. The Hand is ZOS, the open Eye is KIA. Sorrow is the past, Joy is the future. )

XXXII. Between my two halves is the ‘One who is Not’: ABRAXAS, the hidden star, the terrible and invincible god who dwells alone in the void place of the spirit. In the center is the doorway out, the heart Hadit that beats the burning phoenix wings, the Beast who adores Babalon.

(32. The secret name is ABRAXAS, an ancient solar/cosmic/gnostic deity usually represented with Serpents for legs and the head of a Hawk or cockerel, who emits the 365 aeons of time/space and whose name totals 365 in both greek and hebrew qabala. The ‘One who is Not’. ‘The Many & the One’. In more recent years I received another name in a dream so powerful that it abruptly shocked me into waking in the middle of the night. Thirty-two is the number of the Tree of Life as a whole, 10 spheres & 22 paths. )

XXXIII. This eternal game of my selves is a rending of veils, a glory and a revealing, mere shadow-play of the random Dancer. For in the mingling of all otherness, the reconciling of opposites, soul with god and lover with love, the reason for being is found. This is the hero’s quest and the second veil. ‘The Many & the One’.

XXXIV. The stone of my heart is firmly set, and the firmament stands unshaken; yet fire and water strive to merge, and their love gives rise to whirling winds.

(24-34. The dual solar alchemy of Tiphareth Dayside & Nightside, the Black Sun. The twin masks of Angelos & Daemon, Ka & Shadow expressed as the wings of the sun-disk Hadit. The double word ABRAHADABRA. )

XXXV. Hear now the tantra of communion and the mystery of the fire-snake, the forces of the seven rays and the Lion-headed eighth concealed. The force of your lust is the power of Life, mighty in joy, torn and divided by the tattered shroud of sorrow. The silent child in the chill within is touched by every hot caress, the seed Hoor-par-kraat wears the rainbow masks of Ra-Hoor-khuit, meets many reflections returning. The Mystery of Magick illuminates, and by Kore is all wonder given.

(35. Opens the path of Teth = 9, the Fire-Snake, the power of wild primal Magick to embrace, create and intensify all experience. )

XXXVI. I remember the palace of Crete and the dancing with the bulls, I remember the journey of the Prince through the labyrinth and the double ax that waited at the ending of the year. And there I loved you, slender Princess, radiant as the dawn.

XXXVII. I remember the green jungles where we swayed and trembled to the thunder of the drums at noon, and the blood that sang hot in our veins as we lay down love in the night.

XXXVIII. I remember the wide plains, the lightning and the rainbow. You stood beside me at the rising and the setting of the sun, laughing with children.

XXXIX. I remember the columned temple in Khem and the solitary life of the dark priesthood. I remember the starlit blackness of the desert when I died alone in longing for you, and the vultures tore my flesh and ground my bones to dust.

XL. I remember stranger lives: a gnostic carving signs upon a gem of power, an alchemist transforming spirit and matter, a singer of runes in a circle of stones, a sorcerer in the cremation ground.

XLI. And all my quests the single search for you.

(36-41. Recapitulation of my possible earlier or future incarnations, genetic memories or atavistic resurgences. This records a vivid dream-like series of visions of lives throughout history, in Greece, Africa, America, Egypt, Europe and India. Whether these are genuinely personal or the merging with the group-mind consciousness of N’Aton is unknown, but this may have been the portion of the experience when I felt N’Aton most strongly. )

XLII. I know War, the blades and battles where I fell a hundred times defending you, and spilled the flower of my youth upon the earth in waves of blood so very red in golden sunlight. Too many times, to die and not to live.

XLIII. I know Love, soft beds and sweet-scented nights where I adore you endlessly, and the fountains of dew that you draw forth from my source in the silver moon’s ecstasy of whiteness. Too many times, to live and not to die.

XLIV. And all these times and aeons found in a single soul, the Babe in the diamond Egg of eternity. ‘I am That’: together we reach out to ecstasies of incest with Thee.

(42-44. War & Love, Death & Life transcended. ‘I am That’. )

XLV. For you have always been with me, just beyond reach, the priestess of the arrow star, the opposite side of the looking-glass world. And your image is Woman and Goddess eternal, whose hair is flame, who is gowned in veils of cloud and crowned with circling stars, who bears the triangle of desire between her smooth thighs, gateway through which the world is entered, womb and empty tomb.

XLVI.The essence of Sun & Moon must unite, gold & silver must form the Stone, we two make halves of a single whole. Lion & Eagle, Flower & Bee, Star & Void of ageless Space: we two shall end all separation.

XLVII. I sing unto Thee as virgin and harlot, jeweled Babalon given up to all in the ecstasy of the endless moment. I sing of Yoni & Lingam, the Grail & Spear: Phallos & Kteis, the Hand & the Eye.

I dream of the milk that flows from your breasts: the right filled with turning stars that my angel sister drinks at the full of the moon, and from the left my demon brother sucks venomous poison at the dark lunar time.

(45-47. The secret alchemy of sexual magick, of active gnosis and erotic tantra. Especially shows the oracular nature of the Priestess. The Virgin is the Void, Nuit the Night-Sky Goddess; the Harlot/Bride is Isis/Hathor, Goddess in Manifestation. )

XLVIII. Of two reciprocal paths on the Tree have I now spoken. The first is the mouth Pé, and herein lives the mystery of death and dissolution, for the Vulture slays in the sign of the Tower. The second is Teth, where the Fire-Snake dances the opening magick of many aeons in synthesis. With Lust she brings life and love and laughter to hatch the egg of the soaring Hawk, who cries out the sacred law of freedom that is Thelema.
These two are twin secrets, the ways of the ascetic and the ecstatic, of Apollo & Dionysos. The first is the veil that hides Self behind destruction, the second is the veil that masks Not-Self with joy. In life, death. In death, life.
Beyond these there is a third that transcends them.

(35-48. The intersection of the ‘Priestess’ path of Gimel with the ‘Lust’ path of Teth the Fire Snake. The reconciliation of paired Opposites and the willed release of their combined energy. )

XLIX. This final path is Daleth, doorway across and above the Abyss, universal love through which all events occur, masked face of the unsleeping Eye. And here between wisdom and understanding, in the pulse of cosmic adoration, I am come home again. For in all things this Mystery is the love-feast of Agape.

(48-49. Expresses the key formula of the Reciprocal Paths of the Tree (the only three horizontal ones, connecting the six spheres of the two side pillars: Pe, Teth, and Daleth (the atu of the ‘Empress’ or Great Enchantress) or Doorway = 4.  Together 80 + 9 + 4 = form the mystic 93 of the Thelemic current.  49. Shows universal ‘Love Under Will’ as the method of crossing the non-sphere of Abyss. )

L. This book that is a flame and a sword has been an offering unto my Beloved, and a coding of the highest Art into a pantacle for my brethren. Here in the ending that is the beginning, I reveal how we Two became One in eternal striving of Therion toward Babalon.

LI. In the secret temple of invisible flame, between the breaking of the egg of the scarab-beetle and the rising of the sun, through the long night of my soul, I invoked our Lady and the great wild Beast she rides, and the Bornless One of spirit.
By the lion of flame and the dragon of the waters, by the raven of air and the horned bull of earth, I have birthed Man the Child of the silence. The Ape chants, but it is the god that hears his voice.
I set fire to my winged wand in the darkness, and spilled my seed in the ocean-chalice with the brightness of the rays of dawn. All otherness arousing drew me on.

LII. Within the Holy Grail I saw the shining dew of pearls, seeds of light floating in shadow, star-sparks of space in the substance of time and the flow of matter. My face was reflected in the empty mirror of galaxies, my Truth gazed up at me.
I whisper ‘Abrahadabra’, the Other murmurs ‘Ipsos’.

(51-52. The rituals used to attain this vision, in addition to works by Nema and an ever-evolving invocation process of my own, included the Star Ruby, Liber Cheth, Liber A’ash, a very passionate Liber Samekh and Liber Resh vel Helios by the Master Therion. The communion was autosexual in nature. )

LIII. We are One in the salutation of the dawn, and the Name is given.
It is the riddle of the sphinx and the paradox of the absolute. It is the Word of my Great Work. It is the serpent Oroboros swallowing its tail and the hourglass ever reversed. It is the Stone and the Elixir and the Tetragrammaton. It is the Alpha and Omega.
When I return as a Child again I shall know this Word as my own, and begin again the quest: the endless ending of the masquerade, the stilling of the zodiac-wheel called TAROT of which I am the center and the non-existing empty hub.

LIV. And the name I am given is this:


Herein are the Angel and the Star, the feather-dancer Maat and Hoor in his splendor initiating. The number is 101, which is Joy.
As I go onward in the world I may find other names, but all my names shall be this Name until I become ‘I am She who is Not’.

(53-54. The revelation and receiving of the identity/formula of the SELF = 101 = ATMAN. IOI can be seen as Yod/Ayin/Yod (hand/eye/hand, again the winged globe Hadit), 10 + 70 + 10 = 90 = Tzaddi, the ‘Star’. This spells JOY in english, and the 101st verse in Liber AL vel Legis is “Let the rituals be rightly performed in joy & beauty!” (AL II, 35). Joy and Beauty are aspects of Tiphareth. SELF reversed is FLESh, spirit and body are a unity. As the goddess this is ‘I am She who is Not’. )

LV. Now am I drawn together into singleness, and my many voices stilled. Now am I a perfect sacrifice to go out in your Night.

LVI. As Had and unto Nu, I offer up this scroll. By the Great Beast Chaos is it conceived, and by Babalon newly born. Be strong in rapture, all children of Man, and rise in your time to the throne of God!
That same mouth speaks words of flame, that in silence shall inhale the ash of my being.   Aum. Ha!

(55-56. Malkuth in Kether, the Crown. )


(0. Ain Soph Aur/Ain Soph/Ain. )

A ka dua
Tuf ur biu
Bi aa chefu
Dudu ner af an nuteru!

Black Pearl within the Crystal Lotus.
Om Mani Padme Hum.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
Love is the law, love under will.

~ Shade Oroboros 817
New York City, 4/29/79