The Key to the Order & Value of the English Alphabet
by D G Mattichak jr
Several verses in the Book of the Law indicate that there is a hidden ‘key’ somewhere in the text. In Ch. I vs. 54 there is an indication that ‘mysteries’ are hidden in the script itself and that these secrets will be revealed by the ‘child of thy bowels’. Ch. II vs. 76 again refers to ‘one to follow thee’ who will reveal the mystery of the text. In this verse an apparently random string of letters and numbers seems to be connected to these hidden secrets. Finally, in Ch. III vs. 47 the key is defined by three distinct points of reference and again ‘one chosen’ is prophesied to come to elucidate upon the mysteries of this key.
Page 16 of the Third Chapter of the Book of the Law is unique in that it has a grid, 8 x 10 (inches presumably as the original page was quarto), across this is a diagonal line near which is a small circle with a cross drawn in it. One must assume that the grid was drawn after the line and circle. The MSS refers to the line and the ‘circle squared’ as keys. The third point of reference is the word ABRAHADABRA. The grid is further marked along the top of the page with the letters a through h and down the left edge with the numbers 2 to 10, with the initial top left square left un-numbered (yet implying a value of 1). From all of this I deduced that the ‘key of it all’ mentioned in the text was the key to the ‘order & value of the English alphabet’, as is indicated in Ch. II vs. 55.
When I first saw this key on the page it was immediately obvious to me that I was looking at a simple graph of a very simple algebraic expression. Taking the top of the page and the left edge of the page as representing a null value, or as no letter, each line can be easily assigned a literal and numerical value. The first point of reference for the key is ‘this line drawn’ which passes through the grid in two places: D=5 and C=3. Mathematically a line is able to be extrapolated indefinitely from two points of reference and thus, working backwards B=1, and forwards E=7. This is where the second point of reference comes into play. The ‘circle squared’ indicates that the value of seven is not applied in the sequence of letters as they stand, indicated in the text which describes the circle squared ‘in its failure’, thus indicating that E≠7.
Also, the letter A is not given an integral value on the grid, if any mathematical value is indicated it may be ½. In this case it would seem common sense to attribute to it a value of zero in line with the numbers of the Tarot Atus. Ch. II vs. 55 indicates that there is another order to the English alphabet and only a small amount of work is required to learn that the alphabet is a work in progress that has endured many changes throughout history. In fact since the Romans Latinized it about half of the vowels have been late inclusions, or are mere variations on existing letters. In addition, the Holy Qaballah assigns integral values to only consonants, vowel sounds being indicated in texts by a ‘dagesh’ mark, diacritical marks that are not literary characters. From all of this it seems not unreasonable to assign numerical values to only the consonants of the Latin alphabet also, supporting the indication in the MSS that E≠7.
From the ‘line drawn’ and the ‘circle squared’ I surmised the following equation for calculating the integral values of the letters of the English alphabet: For (the alphabet)- (the vowels) [or A,E,I,O & U = 0], and B=1, the next letter is +2, giving the following values for the English alphabet: A=0, B=1, C=3, D=5, E=0, F=7, G=9, H=11, I=0, J=13, K=15, L=17, M=19, N=21, O=0, P=23, Q=25, R=27, S=29, T=31, U=0, V=33, W=35, X=37, Y=39, Z=41. The first two points define what is (the line) and what is not (the circle squared) the correct value of the English alphabet. The third point of reference ABRAHADABRA is the proof of the correctness of the new values.
Aleister Crowley was aware of the word ABRAHADABRA and of its symbolism as the Great Work completed the method of union of the microcosm with the macrocosm (see The Confessions of Aleister Crowely pp. 212). It follows then that because ABRAHADABRA expresses this known quality that it is the perfect test of the key’s efficacy. When the values derived from the key are applied to this word it must in some way express the completion of the Great Work, Qaballistically and by Gematria. The total enumeration of ABRAHADABRA=72. By Qaballah 72 represents the circumference of the circle of the Zodiac as well as the Shemhamporesch- the divided name of God, a symbol of the totality of the universe.
It is upon yet closer inspection that the key is confirmed, this time by the text of the Book of the Law. Looking at the word it is obvious that it has three syllables with only two forms: ABRA and HAD. Even Crowley noted that HAD formed the centre of the word (cf. The Old Comment on the Book of the Law– Aleister Crowley). Surrounding HAD on either side is ABRA, and symbolically that which is not HAD is NUIT, therefore ABRA+ABRA=NUIT. Ch. I vs. 24 states that Nuit’s word has a value of ‘six and fifty’; ABRA=0+1+27+0=28, 28×2=56. This also implies that ABRAHADABRA is a symbol of the union of Nuit and Had, or of the Great Work accomplished. Further, HAD=11+0+5=16, foursquare, another significant number in the Book of the Law (cf. Ch. II vs. 78) indicating the knowledge of Hadit and the potential for union with Nuit, and so of the completion of the Great Work.
Lastly, there is a final qaballistic puzzle in Ch. III vs. 74 and by the application of the values of the English letters from this key it is solved. Splendour has a value of 122 as also does Ra-Hoor-Khuit, therefore the equality has been a hidden glory. There are many similar gematric puzzles in the MSS, many more than I can ever hope to fathom, but my researches to date have seemed to confirm the veracity of the values of the letters that is given by this key.
Returning to Ch. II vs. 55, the verse indicates that along with the order and numerical values of the English alphabet there will also be new symbols to attribute to them. As the whole key is a problem in Qaballah it seems certain that the best symbols to attribute the letters to is the Tarot Atus and thence to the Holy Qaballah. If the letters are assigned to the corrected order of the Tarot Trumps (cf. Ch. I vs. 57 & The Book of Thoth– Aleister Crowley) the following table of correspondences can be extrapolated:
|A||0||Air||t sxh||0 The Fool/ The Swords|
|B||1||Mercury||c||I The Magus|
|C||3||Luna||D||II The Priestess|
|D||5||Venus||s||III The Empress|
|E||0||Earth||– wufkn||The Disks|
|F||7||Aquarius||v||XVII The Star|
|G||9||Taurus||u||V The Hierophant|
|H||11||Gemini||z||VI The Lovers|
|I||0||Fire||– jtmb||The Wands|
|J||13||Cancer||j||VII The Chariot|
|L||17||Virgo||h||IX The Hermit|
|P||23||Water||n||XII The Hanged Man|
|S||29||Capricorn||g||XV The Devil|
|T||31||Mars||p||XVI The Tower|
|U||0||Water||– sv||The Cups|
|V||33||Aries||m||IV The Emperor|
|W||35||Pisces||e||XVIII The Moon|
|X||37||Sol||r||XIX The Sun|
|Y||39||Fire||a||XX The Aeon|
|Z||41||Saturn||w||XXI The Universe|
Beyond the numerous problems of Gematria within the text of the Book of the Law there is one verse that stands out as unique and as an obvious test of Qaballah along traditional lines. In his comment Crowley refers to Ch. II vs. 76 as: a Qaballistic test on the regular pattern of any person who may claim to be the Magickal Heir of the Beast. With the symbols attributed to the letters by the key this verse can be easily interpreted by anyone with only the most rudimentary knowledge of Qaballah and of magick.
This portion of the text calls particular attention to a string of characters, both letters and numbers, and also predicts that ‘one’ will come who will expound the meaning of it. I connected this ‘one’ with the ‘one chosen’ to find the key and thus encouraged I examined the verse more closely:
4638 ABK 24 ALGMOR 3 Y X 24 89 RPSTOVA L
In the manuscript this string of characters seems to be spaced so as to suggest eleven distinct groups- implying a connection with ABRAHADABRA and so to the Great Work. The characters are also quite obviously some sort of cipher or code designed to be easily remembered. Ch. I vs. 56 states that Aleister Crowley has half of the solution in the ‘clear light’ and ‘some, though not all in the dark’. The numerical part of the cipher is clearly the Sephiroth of the Tree of Life which Crowley would have understood perfectly (i.e. in the clear light). The letter’s correspondences to the Tarot Atus and thence to the Paths of the Tree of Life are also obvious, but without the correct order the attributions of the symbols of the letters is unclear, save for a few that Crowley may have deduced (i.e. The Fool=A, The Magus=B) because of their obvious correspondence to their Hebrew attributions. By dividing the sections of the cipher into their groups and interpolating their most basic correspondences the following is revealed:
Correspondences of the Secret Word Ch. II vs. 76
|A||4 6 3 8||Chesed, Tiphareth, Binah, Hod|
|B||ABK||Fool, Magus, Adjustment|
|R||2 4||Chokmah, Chesed|
|A||ALGMOR||Fool, Hermit, Hierophant, Fortune, O, Art|
|R||RPSTOVA||Art, Hanged Man, Devil, Tower, O, Emperor, Fool|
Words of power such as YHVH, ADONAI and ABRAHADABRA are all magickal formulae, thus ABRAHADABRA may be made to form the basis of ceremonies and rituals for the accomplishment of the Great Work. The eleven portions of the formula is in consonance with the Neophyte Formula of the Golden Dawn at its most basic level of interpretation. This being so it would then seem that the cipher would outline the process of each of these eleven stages of the ceremony. By interpolating along traditional qaballistic lines the following deductions can be reached:
A: 4: The Elements- separated into their quarters
6: The Hexagram- the influence of Tiphareth
3: Nuit- as LVX, the extended Light
8: Hod- analysis of that extended LVX (Khabs)
B: A: The Fool, Air, the Word- ABRAHADABRA
B: The Magus- direction of the Will by that Word
K: Adjustment- harmonizing action with the True Will
R: 2: Chokmah, the Word, Breath, Wisdom
4: Chesed, Form, Law
A: A: ABRAHADABRA (vide supra)
L: The Hermit- the Holy Guardian Angel
G: The Hierophant- the Oath of Obligation
M: Fortune- the Wheel of Life; True Will
O: Spirit/Aethyr- The Magick Circle itself
R: Art- the synthesis of forces
H: 3: Binah, Nuit
A: Y: The Aeon- True Will, Perfect (Divine) Will
D: X: The Sun- rebirth, enlightenment
A: 24: invocation of authority (number of elders in Revelation)
B: 89: bindings or constraints- containing the Solar force
R: R: Art- synthesis of spiritual and material forces
P: The Hanged Man- sacrifice for the material manifestation of force (i.e. from potential to kinetic)
S: The Devil- the secret force, the material directive
T: The Tower- Breakthrough- the materialization of the force
O: The Magick Circle (vide supra)
V: The Emperor- the discipline- the obligations
A: ABRAHADABRA (vide supra)
A: L: The Hermit- the Holy Guardian Angel (vide supra)- enlightenment from within.
All of this seemed very suggestive to me and so I set about constructing a ceremony based upon the formula, the object of which appeared to be the invocation or evocation of the Holy Guardian Angel, symbolized by the final L. Over a period of many years I have continued to experiment with this ritual form, refining it but remaining strictly within its parameters until I reached an adaptable and practical format:
The Ceremonial Formula of the Secret Word Ch. II vs. 76
4: The Pentagram rituals of the Elements
6: The Hexagram rituals of the Planets
3: Invocation of the Trinity- NUIT: HADIT: RA-HOOR-KHUIT
8: Ritual invocation or extension of Khabs (LVX)
A: Invocation to ABRAHADABRA (inner)
B: Conjuration of ABRAHADABRA (outer)
K: Announcement of the balance between inner and outer
2: Invocation of NOT as ABRAHADABRA
4: Conjuration of Nuit’s Palace of Four Gates
A: Invocation of HAD of ABRAHADABRA
L: Invocation to Hadit within
G: the Hierophantic address
M: The Oath
O: Mystic Circumambulations
R: Synthesis of the invoked NUIT and HADIT
3: The Primary Invocations
Y: Consecration of the Candidate
X: Rending the Veil
24: Conjuration/ invocation of authority- of the Word to take manifest form
89: Conjuration/ invocation of binding of the force of the operation into the Yetzirac world
R: synthesis of spiritual force with material form- bindings
P: Purification of the new arrangement
S: the conjuration of the spirit of the operation
T: breakthrough- the Sign of the Enterer
V: the statement of authority over the conjured force
A: Invocation to ABRAHADABRA as the Word of Power
L: Invocation to the Holy Guardian Angel
Using this rudimentary outline I have been able to construct many dozens of ceremonies in consonance with the ‘secret word’ with some degree of success. In addition as I have grown in experience and achieved higher grades of initiation the formula has grown and evolved with me so that my interpretation of it as a 7°=4▫ Exempt Adept was more refined then it was as a 0°=0▫ Neophyte whilst still remaining totally relevant to the work of my higher grade. As an Adeptus I used this formula to perform the Sacred Magick to its successful completion. To date this formula is yet to fail me in its operation.
By the application of the values of the letters to English words especially those of the Book of the Law, an English Qaballah can now be easily constructed. The Gematria of the words and phrases in the Book of the Law that is revealed by this key remains very suggestive- at least as suggestive as that of the Hebrew. There are obviously many more qaballistic puzzles in the MSS than I can explore in this essay but one very persuasive example is in the unusual name given to the ‘Minister of Hoor-Paar-Kraat’. In the three major western scripts that have a Qaballah associated with them the name AIWASS = 93, thus the name of this angel is itself a key to the Order & Value of the English Alphabet.
The outline of the Key that is given above is very rudimentary and there are many, many more magick puzzles that remain concealed even from me in the MSS of the Book of the Law allowing every student the opportunity of discovering his own magick in the text. I have discovered enough hidden secrets in the MSS to establish a new Hermetic Order of Adepts who by the use of the Key are able to attain to the highest levels of initiation and enlightenment. All who use this Key will have those same opportunities and may thereby attain to their own enlightenment and come to know the Dread Lord of the West for themselves.