Jim Eshelman wrote:(v. 179) 34. But your holy place shall be untouched throughout the centuries: though with fire and sword it be burnt down & shattered, yet an invisible house there standeth, and shall stand until the fall of the Great Equinox; when Hrumachis shall arise and the double-wanded one assume my throne and place. Another prophet shall arise, and bring fresh fever from the skies; another woman shall awake the lust & worship of the Snake; another soul of God and beast shall mingle in the globéd priest; another sacrifice shall stain the tomb; another king shall reign; and blessing no longer be poured To the Hawk-headed mystical Lord!
Now we come to one of the longest and most interesting verses of the entire Book, one which - among other things - characterizes this new Aeon, even at its beginning, as finite, and alerts us to what is to come later, at its climax.
Having (in the verses immediately preceding) risen to the Mars current, we next encounter a verse that is closely related in symbolism to the letter Peh and its Tarot trump, The Tower or House of God.
We learn that the present Aeon shall fall, but not for “centuries.”
The “holy place” is primarily
an inner reality. Its physical shell is fairly inconsequential; for “an invisible house there standeth” regardless of the physical status of the place. “Holy place” is, of course, the name of the outermore of the two chambers of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, before the veil of the Holy of Holies.
It first seems that the reference to it being “burnt down & shattered” merely refers to the physical shell’s destruction; but “fire & sword” are devices by which we were told, in verse 11, to worship Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Its destruction through fire and sword is a ritual sacred unto Horus, a fulfillment of the Mars current as represented in Atu XVI, The Tower. And, with absolute clarity, this verse makes plain that the “holy place” is an inner place, an astral center; for it shall be untouched even if burned and shattered.
This inner sacred space is, so to speak, the “astral temple” of all of Thelema, the unifying and broadcasting station of its spiritual current, a Lamp of Invisible Light. It shall stand so long as the Aeon stands, then shall fall at the next Equinox of the Gods.
We now come to a very tricky part, the identity and meaning of Hrumachis. More than a few students have thought this passage meant that the next Aeon is that of Hrumachis. No, we know from other passages that the next Aeon is that of Maat.
The Greek name Hrumachis
is the Egyptian Horakhte
For a time, Egyptologists translated it “Horus of the Two Horizons,” but more recent Egyptologists (primarily Faulkner) corrected this grammatical error: It simply means “Horus of the Horizon,” a particular form of the Sun god, virtually the Egyptian redeemer deity.This is not even a separate God than the one who is Lord of the present chapter. Ra-Hoor-Khuit
is a variation of Ra-Heru-Khuti, or Ra-Horakhty. In fact, the identity is even closer: On Stélé 666, the figure we normally identify as Ra-Hoor-Khuit is labeled by hieroglyphics first transliterated (in 1904 at the Cairo Museum) as Râ Hor Khut, who was given the description her nuteru, “Chief of the Gods.” It was this that Crowley had in hand when he wrote his poetic paraphrase of the stélé sometime before
the dictation of The Book of the Law.
That is, he had invented
the name “Ra-Hoor-Khuit” prior
to the dictation, from the “Ra-Hor-Khut” he‣d been given by the museum translator. Then, sometime after the dictation and before 1912, he commissioned two leading British Egyptologists - Sir Alan Gardiner and Battiscombe Gunn - to translate the stélé anew. They transliterated the same name as Ra-Horakhti. That is, Ra-Hoor-Khuit is
Ra-Horakhti or Hrumachis.
So Hrumachis, or Horakhty, or Heru-Khuti, is representative (almost generically) of the rising Sun of spiritual renewal. (Crowley, in the N.C., confirms his understanding that, “Hrumachis is the Dawning Sun.”) Ra-Hoor-Khuit is a specific form of this, especially applicable to the present Aeon, and uses this thoroughly self-referential name to describe the next of a series of new sunrises that shall replace the present “day” - the spiritual forces of renewal of the next Aeon, even as of this one, which shall paint the day afresh and inaugurate a new beginning.What a remarkable and wondrous teaching!
For,,,,, unlike the scientific views at the dawning of the Osiris Aeon, we now know that each day is not the birth of a new Sun that dies but, rather, our refreshed return to the same
Sun, eternally shining and pouring forth its life-giving rays. The REALITY represented by Ra-Hoor-Khuit - both as Spiritual Sun (Holy Guardian Angel) and as a symbol of change inaugurating this present so-called revolutionary Aeon - is the same eternal spiritual REALITY that led and inspired humanity in all prior Aeons, and shall inspire them in all yet to come. In this sense there is nothing at all “revolutionary” about this new Aeon - it is not something entirely new but, rather, the invariable and eternal Truth of all times - except in the sense that what is revolving
is the Earth. We,
as a species, have changed since our last collective spiritual sunrise thousands of years ago so that now, when again we view together a new dawn, it looks altogether different than it ever did before. What is more, standing together to greet this new sunrise, we look altogether different to ourselves and to each other. Yes, it has been a long night awaiting this dawn. Perhaps they are all long nights. But somehow, in the glistening dew of this particular sunrise, it is hard to remember that there has ever been one before, or to keep in our minds that there will be a further one tomorrow. Our focus for now is on the rising Sun and how beautiful each of our companions looks in the morning light.
The spiritual principles of the new aeon are, thus, the eternal principles of all times, but viewed afresh. The Holy Guardian Angel has always been the central doctrine, no matter how labeled. The Order by day has ever been that of the Golden Dawn. In time, another sunrise will appear in the East - the “throne and place” of the Hierophant.
The “double-wanded one” is Themis = Maat. Thus, this present verse explicitly
names the Lady of the next Aeon. * * * * * * *
The remainder of the verse, poetic and lyrical, merely describes the recurrent circumstances. There are perhaps, in these, some important doctrinal ideas, especially since they tend to refer to recurrent ideas from one aeon to another. The “fresh fever” implies fire from heaven, and resembles certain alchemical doctrines. Ideas of “fire” and “heaven” probably mean renewed spiritual forces represented by the Interior Fire. The prophet - here implicitly male - draws this down from “the skies” as we would invoke Nuit. The “woman” reciprocates by awakening “the lust & worship of the Snake,” as the female would raise Hadit; and this also is cognate to the symbolism of Shakti to controlling and directing and arousing kundalini. The reference to a “globéd” priest is interesting, as implying Chesed perhaps; but the important part is that the Divine and the animal are linked and united in the Adept. The “sacrifice” staining “the tomb” is a symbol of sunset. The new “king” who “shall reign” is a symbol of noon.
Or, thus do I read these now. These “prophecies,” on one hand, would not be expected to be understood for many centuries. On the other hand, they are but a notation of an eternally-repeating process which we have witnessed in this century as well.
Note that the “Hawk-headed... Lord” — Horus — is explicitly called “mystical.” This is not an attribution most Thelemites probably think to attribute to Ra-Hoor-Khuit. But it is explicitly
given. As Lord of the Aeon, he is a “mystical Lord, ” the sempiternal Spiritual Sun accessed by mystical-spiritual means.