by Kenneth Grant
Crowley’s portrait of Lam is a curious drawing which
he included in his Dead Souls exhibition held in Greenwich
Village, New York, in 1919. In that same year it was published as a
frontispiece to Crowley’s Commentary to Blavatsky’s The Voice of
the Silence. That there is a connection between the portrait and
the Commentary, sub-titled Liber LXXI, may be inferred from the
inscription accompanying the frontispiece, which was entitled The
LAM is the Tibetan word for
Way or Path, and LAMA is He who Goeth,
the specific title of the Gods of Egypt, the Treader of the
Path, in Buddhistic phraseology. Its numerical value is 71, the
number of this book.
Crowley left no record as to the
origin of this portrait, although he remarked many years later that
it was drawn from life. It is certain, however, that the drawing
arose from the Amalantrah Working, a series of magical
visions and communications received in 1918 through the mediumship
of The Camel, Roddie Minor. This was in many ways a
continuation of the Abuldiz Working of several years previous. In
both of these Workings, the symbolism of the egg featured
prominently. One of the earlier visions of the Amalantrah Working
ended with the sentence "It’s all in the egg". During the final
surviving vision of this Working, in reference to a question about
the egg, Crowley was told that "Thou art to go this Way".
Examining the portrait, we can see the connections. The head of
Lam is egg-shaped, and of course the drawing is called The
Way. In the whorlings of the face can clearly be seen a
stylized ankh, the Egyptian symbol for Going; as a matter
of interest, ankh can best be transliterated into Hebrew as
kaph nun aleph, 71. The main theme of The Voice of the
Silence, clearly brought out by Crowley, is the need to
establish contact with the Silent Self. The corresponds to
the Dwarf Self, the phallic consciousness, Harpocrates, Hadit; and
the theme runs through much of Crowley’s writing. It is noteworthy
in this context that ALIL, ’the image of Nothingness and Silence’,
enumerates as 71.
Crowley gave the drawing to Kenneth Grant in May 1945,
following an astral working in which they were both involved. Since
then it has become apparent that Lam is in fact a
trans-mundane or extra-terrestrial entity, with whom several
groups of magicians have established contact, most notably Michael Bertiaux in the 1960’s and a group of O.T.O. initiates in the
1970’s. Much remains unclear, however, hence the need for further
investigation of this entity.
The idea of extra-terrestrial entities seems to cause difficulties
with some people, associating it as they may do with the wilder
shores of science-fiction. There is however a wealth of material on
this matter to suggest the old cliché that truth is stranger than
fiction. See, for instance, Robert temple’s The Sirius
Mystery. Whether these visitors are regarded as visitors from
outer space, or as welling up from the depths of some inner space,
is neither here nor there. The dichotomy of ’inner’ and ’outer ’ is
purely conceptual, arising from the dualist notion of an individual
being somehow separate from the rest of the universe, which is
somehow ’out there’. There is in fact nothing outside consciousness,
which is a continuum. This position is explored in the article
Going Beyond, which appeared in the first issue of Starfire.
Lam is discussed in many places in the works of Kenneth
Grant, most notably Cults of the Shadow and Outside
the Circles of Time, and the interested reader is referred to
these. A more lengthy account of Lam is planned for a future
issue of Starfire. In the meantime, the following paper
issued by the O.T.O. will be of interest, giving as it does a method
of attempting rapport with Lam by using the portrait as a gateway.
click image to
I - Preliminary
It has been considered
advisable by the Sovereign Sanctuary to regularize and to examine
results achieved by individual members of the O.T.O. who have
established contact with the Magical Entity known as Lam.
We are therefore founding an inner Cult of this dikpala for
the purpose of amassing precise accounts of such contacts.
Records of rapport should be detailed after the manner suggested in
Liber E vel Exercitiorum and should contain any researches
into the qabalistic interpretation of the Name and Numbers of Lam,
and a study of their relationship to key concepts of the Double
It has also been considered advisable to regularize the mode of
rapport and to construct a magical formula for establishing
communion with Lam.
The portrait of the dikpala which is reproduced in The
Magical Revival may be used as the visual focus, and can serve
as the Yantra of the Cult; the Name Lam is the Mantra;
and the Tantra is union with the dikpala by entering the
Egg of Spirit represented by the Head. Entry may be effected by
projecting consciousness through the eyes.
It will be noted that the entity is depicted without ears, which
suggests that Lam is in some sense connected with the
Silent of Wordless Aeon of Zain. The fact that the portrait was
used by Therion as a frontispiece to The Voice of the
Silence (H.P. Blavatsky) may have a precise magical
significance. It was originally reproduced in The Equinox, volume 3,
number 1, after a five-year ’volume of silence’ during which no
issues of The Equinox appeared. The Equinox was the
Official Organ of the A\A\ (Argenteum Astrum), the Silver Star
represented astronomically by Sirius, the Star of Set.
II - The
The mode of Entering the Egg may proceed as follows. Each
votary is encouraged to experiment and to evolve his own method from
this basic procedure:
Sit in silence before the
Invoke mentally by silent
repetition of the Name.
If response is felt to be
positive, but not before, enter the Egg and merge with That
which is within and look out through the entity’s eyes on
what appears now to the votary an alien world. (Adumbrations
of identity with Lam may be experienced as a strong
sense of the unreality, or unfamiliarity, of the ’objective’
Seal the Egg, i.e. close the
eyes of Lam and await developments.
At the first sign of stress or
fatigue, return to mundane consciousness by opening the eyes
and by oozing out of the Egg in a form determined by the
Perform, astrally, the
Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram of Earth, at the Eight
Spaces, and record all experiences in detail, paying
particular attention to lunar phases (celestial and, where
applicable, terrestrial), and any physiological phenomena
accompanying the experience.
The invocation of Lam should be
performed only in a fully protected Circle, which involves Banishing
in the Eight Directions of Space with the Lesser Banishing Ritual of
the Pentagram of Earth, followed by the Invoking Ritual of the
Hexagram of Earth. Then, proceed with a silent invocation of
Aiwass, and intense aspiration to Yuggoth (Kether) and
the Great Old Ones, before actual LAMeditation commences.
It is suggested that votaries experiment with this technique and
submit their Records to appointed members of the Sovereign Sanctuary
of the O.T.O. Synchronicities that are considered significant
may help to facilitate future Workings, and may be incorporated
therein with the object of establishing a more profound rapport.
Group working is considered inadvisable. Each votary should work in
isolation or only with his or her magical partner, although IX°
Working is held to be extremely dangerous in this area, even if both
parties are officially IX°. A similar observation applies to VIII°
Workings, and, most emphatically, to Lunar Workings, which should on
no account be performed in this context.
Each votary should work independently, and should be unaware of the
identities of other Cult members. This is important if ’objective’
or so-called ’scientific’ evidence of Contact is to be obtained.
It may take years to accumulate significant evidence of
contact with Lam, and - if Lam is the Gateway - with
Those who lie Beyond. It may be that communion with the dikpala
lies through congress with a Priestess chosen by Lam, or with one
who possesses certain characteristics peculiar to this office, in
which case new procedures will have to be devised. At the present
time, however, it is advisable to confine experiments to mental
and/or astral modes of intercourse. An Inner Order of the Cult
can - and will, if necessary - be formed to accommodate other modes
Why the Cult has been Founded at this Time
The Cult has been founded because very strong intimations have been
received by Aossic Aiwass, 718’.’ to the effect that the
portrait of Lam (the original drawing of which was given by 666’.’
to 718’.’ under curious circumstances) is the present focus of an
extra-terrestrial - and perhaps trans-plutonic-Energy which
the O.T.O. is required to communicate at this critical period, for
we have now entered the Eighties mentioned in The Book of the Law.
It is Our aim to obtain some insight not only into the nature of
Lam, but also into the possibilities of using the Egg as an astral
space-capsule for travelling to
Lam’s domain, or for exploring
extra-terrestrial spaces in the sense in which O.T.O. Tantric Time-Travellers
are exploring the Tunnels of Set in intra-cosmic and chthonian
Members of the O.T.O. who feel strongly attracted to this
Cult of Lam are invited to apply for participation therein. It
is open only to Order members. They should contact Frater Ani Asig,
375’.’ of the Sovereign Sanctuary, O.T.O. and submit a formal,
typewritten and signed acceptance of the conditions of Working
It should be understood that proficiency in the magical formulae of
this Cult does not necessarily comport eligibility for advancement
in the O.T.O., its parent Order.
© Kenneth Grant (image right)/ Aossic Aiwass, 718’.’
O.H.O. of O.T.O.
London and Miami; Spring Equinox, 1987 e.v.