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 Way:
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
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 stylised 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
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 clichÚ 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.
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 Current
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 Magical Procedure
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
Sit in silence before the portrait.
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' universe.)
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 experiences within.
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
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
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 wil l, if necessary - be formed to
accommodate other modes of Working.
III 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 capsules.
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 outlined here.
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.
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