Back to Home Page or Contents Page or Other or Index

Stele of Revealing


The Stele of Revealing plays a prevalent role in the formation of The Book of the Law. In one version Aleister Crowley takes his wife Rose to the Boulaq Museum in Cairo where she recognized the stele showing Horus as Ra-Hoor-Khuit with the museum number 666 beneath it. Her recognition convinced Crowley that she had genuinely perceived the correspondences of the god Horus when he had previously tested her. Another version says Rose had viewed the stele before her husband tested her should she might have known the answers to his questions.
In either case is seems she recognized Horus.

The future text of The Book of the Law would be based upon the central image of the stele which was to become the divine triumvirate of Thelema: Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Framing the scene is the sky-goddess Nuit, her arching body forming the heavens while her hands and feet touch the earth. Below her is a Winged Globe-the Solar Horus or Horbehuter; Crowley called this god-form Hadit. Beneath thse figures is an Egyptian priest, Ankh-af-na-khonsu, addressing an enthroned Horus in his form of Ra-Hoor-Khuit-a hawk-headed king surrounded be a cobra headband and a solar disk.

However, if Rose did view the stele previously to Crowley's questioning, this was not her only impetus. Upon arriving in Cairo in 1904, Crowley and she visited the Great Pyramid. During their stay they playacted; he took the Egyptian name Chioa Khan-the former transliteration of the Hebrew for "beast," an honorific title. Choia Khan also may be translated as Great Beast. His wife shared a role too, then unbeknown a prophetic role. Crowley named her Quarda, Arabic for "Rose," the role would become Quarda the Seer.

The prophetic role became enviably clear when announced to her husband, "They are waiting for you," meaning the gods of Horus. After observing The Book of the Law it seems appropriate that she would recognize Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the most extreme form of Horus. The descriptive cosmos of the work makes this clear. The goddess Nuit, infinite space, contains the god Hadit. As Hadit states through Aiwass in Chapter 2, "In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference is nowhere found." The cosmos or universe is manifested as the constant interplay of Nuit and Hadt, or Energy and Matter. This interplay becomes sexual in nature, especially in later Thelemic teachings. Therefore, if this is the cosmos of a new religious Aeon under the stewardship of Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child, then the god's totality would be involved from Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the ultimate war-god symbolizing male energy, to Hoor-Poor-Kaat, Harpocrates of the ancient Greeks, pictured as a Babe in and Egg of Light sucking his thumb symbolizing Wisdom in Silence.

Again the questions for scholars remain, where these events divine inspiration or figments of imagination or both. Whether Rose had seen the stele before or after Crowley tested her seems partially immaterial when considering events prior to that. Even mentioning that she was not very interested in his magic but asked him to do some small feat for her seems trifle if not important at all. By assuming the names of Choia Khan and Quarda the future events were most likely set into action. One knows most likely the origination of Choia Khan, Crowley's mother had called him the Beast, referring to the Beast in the Biblical Book of Revelation. Quarda, Arabic for Rose, may well came from previous studies, especially the Koran. These are possibly some of the materials which Crowley could have built upon. If so, one can see how negativity of religion can affect a life. Or, as Crowley asserted, all of this was divine inspiration, who can say; but either way, it left a lasting influence on his life. A.G.H.


Sources:

Stele of Revealing. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St%C3%A8le_of_Revealing>.
Sutin, Lawrence. Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley. New York. St. Martin's Griffin. 2000. p. 122