The Heart of the Master – Suggested Reading

Atu I - Duquette

There are so many ways of understanding regarding what has been narrate by the poetic and magickal genius of Aleister Crowley: from a pleasant dreamlike reading to an intricate symbolism, into “The heart of the Master” he is able to describe, and make perceivable, a world of archetypes far from reality but near to the experience of every true initiated into the Great Work.

Firstly there are visions understandable exclusively by the subconscious inasmuch this symbolism in most cases is unknown; I´m sure that with more understanding on esoterism, symbolism, cabalism and Thelema I could read into the novel more deep aspects. The Cabalistic Commentary of Fra.’. AL AVR TzCh SOR ( ex Lodge Master of the Italian OTO) helps to untie some knots but it´s surely a valid but personal point of view and, for this reason, it´s arguable.

I promise myself to browse this novel again during this studies, I will be able to get every nuance that pleases me more in order to understand on this majestic vision of Crowley regarding the initiation path of Khaled Khan, his pseudonym.

And it was following this scholar intuition and my passion for reading that I write this suggestion of reading, as “young” initiated in Thelema, I´ll try to tell you something about this brief journey that you starts reading this short booklet (class B) published in September 23, 1938 . [see source]


The novel is divided into 3 parts, sections that refers to the same structure of the Great White Brotherhood:


1° part: The Vision = External Order of the Golden Dawn (G∴D∴)

2° part: The Voice = Internal Order of the Ruby Rose and Golden Cross (R∴R∴ et A∴C∴)

3° part: The Temple of True = Supreme Order of Astrum Argentium (A∴A∴)

Khaled Khan is Crowley that tells us, using symbolic images, all regarding the different phases of rise into this Mystics orders, the same experience made by everyone who wants to undertake this path.

-The Visions-
Initially there is the dark (“penumbra”), the unknown in which anyone gropes, in which someone as like protagonist is waking up scared and suddenly shocked by the existential revelations heard from a mysterious voice (“vox”) coming from East. Yet he has to deal with the structure of the knowledge, the same structure of the Universe, based upon the dualism without which there couldn´t be any notion. The pronounced words –Zero is Two- are the base of Thelemic mystery and lets us remember that nothing could be understand without the idea of his opposite and contrary which sum brings always to zero.
The mind perceives this unreality as a bad dream (“umbra”) as it is not ready to accept this bewildering revelation. The will of comprehension is manifested in a more reassuring way when appear a human form (“phantasma”). In order to enlighten understanding and to lead into the unknown, disappear all clouds in the skies (“lux”) to make us see the path that brings to the knowledge, the hill which the protagonist was directed and that which finally realizes his true human nature.
The True has been disclosed through a Blessed (“homo”): a majestic being that spreads him through the 4 elements incarnated, through cherubs that are praising the Master together with every little part of the Creations that surround them. From the time wheel above his head comes out a snake with a sphinx’s head that proclaims: “The Word of the law is Θελημα”.

..for Then is all Heaven aflame with a great blast of trumpets; and the world is alight with one flash, that sundereth every spirit that liveth, branding this Sign upon them:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Then it appears 8 birds that start to sing the Magickal formulae of the new Eon, all belonging from the heart of the Master. The sublime truths bring Khaled Khan to identify himself with the teacher and “the Seer being one with the Seen”.

-The Voice-
Into the visions narrated from Khaled Khan we meet the “10 Joys”, that is to say the Majors Mysteries hiding suggestions about meditation on the Sephirot. Offering his blood to the heart of the Master, the air is enriched also by the “22 Instructions” representing the Minor Mysteries which, together with the Joys, symbolize the 32 paths of the Tree of Life.
“The Four Virtues of the Heart of the Master” are the 4 ethical principles that combine with the Law of Thelema. “Syrinx and Pan” and “Carmen” are cabalistic parts easy to understand like the Liber 777 could be for a neophyte.

-The Temple of True-
The main character becomes aware of the Temple in which he stays, the same lexicon of the story changes to become more easy and almost without symbolisms. All starts to be more comprehensible. Khaled Khan tell us about his initiation to the Great White Brotherhood, from the first meeting with his instructor unto the history of the humanity that was always drawn upon the line of the Law of Thelema, as though this pages were wrote from the author that now wants to take his pseudonym back (“To mega Therion”) to narrate his own self as Guardian Angel and Instructor in the same time, in the end he is the very author of the novel.

He is mixing the writer into the written, the story of Khaled Khan doesn´t want to appear fantastic but wants to stir into the reality that clarifies the Secret leading it back to Crowley and the A∴A∴, the Order of Mystics that he has created and today still alive between the indifference of the most.


Artwork by Lon Milo DuQuette – Tarot of Ceremonial Magick – Atu I


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