Sunday, 18 September 2011

Aleister Crowley: Liber L vel Legis (1904)

Scans of the Original Manuscript from 1904

Liber AL vel Legis is the central sacred text of Thelema, written by Aleister Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in the year 1904. Its full title is Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX, as delivered by XCIII=418 to DCLXVI, and it is commonly referred to as The Book of the Law.

Liber AL vel Legis contains three chapters, each of which was written down in one hour, beginning at noon, on 8 April, 9 April, and 10 April. Crowley says that the author was an entity named Aiwass, whom he later referred to as his personal Holy Guardian Angel (analagous to but not identical with "Higher Self"). Biographer Lawrence Sutin quotes private diaries that fit this story, and writes that "if ever Crowley uttered the truth of his relation to the Book," his public account accurately describes what he remembered on this point.

Crowley's drawing of LAM (Aiwass?)

The original title of the book was Liber L vel Legis. Crowley retitled it Liber AL vel Legis in 1921, when he also gave the handwritten manuscript the title Liber XXXI. The book is often referred to simply as Liber ALLiber Legis or just AL, though technically the latter two refer only to the manuscript.

"Love is the law, love under will."

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