“The nature of true Alchemy is that
it changes not alone the substance of the Work, but also changes thence
- Liber Pennae
Paul Huson’s excellent The Devil’s Picture-Book, a pagan
study of the Tarot, speaks of a Gnostic cult that “…celebrated the
Eucharist using two chalices instead of one. By pouring the contents of
one into the other, he mixed water with wine, the water being equated
in his scheme with Sophia, ‘divine wisdom’, which had fallen to earth
and been whirled about in the dark empty spaces, and the wine with the
fiery spirit of the Savior Christ. This was compared to the descent of
a bridegroom to a bride, who would in his embrace save her from the
prison of matter and reascend with her once more to the heavenly
This resonated for me with the Thelemic concept of the
Double-Wanded One, and the image of the XIVth tarot trump known
variously as Art, Temperance (in the sense of tempering a sword in the
heat of fire and cooling by water), Alchemy, or the Angel of Time. It
also seemed appropriate for solo or dyadic workings. This is an
extensive revision of what I wrote in 1978.
The twin cups can be identical or not; if two mages are
working together each should contribute their own. In sexual workings
this can be used to mingle secretions. In magical workings sigils can
be burned and their ashes also mingled. Adapt freely!
(part the Veil and say)
‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!’
(light the candle and say)
‘Burn upon their brows, o splendrous serpent!’
(light the incense and say)
‘O azure-lidded woman, bend upon them!’
(take up the cups of water and wine, and say)
In the beginning there was the dark Void of Nuit,
and no difference.
In the beginning there was the brilliant Light of Hadit.
and all things were seen.
Division was made for the sake of union,
thus silver and gold were parted.
In the ending, the Two are Naught.
‘The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are
(raise the cup of water and say)
The infinite ocean of Nuit is silent,
The stars burn Time away.
Dissolved in chill waters the seed is concealed,
The Child in the Lotus, Hoor-par-kraat.
(raise the cup of wine and say)
In phoenix fire the Sun is risen,
Hadit revealed in breath of life.
All hearts are touched by spreading wings
Of the Warrior Hawk-Lord, Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
(holding the cups level, say)
Lion-blood and Eagle-tears merge in the Sothis-gift,
Opposites whirl patterned dance across the in-betweeness.
As moving horizons of East and West the Twins are manifested,
At the height and depth of South and North Maat weaves balance.
Many becomes Two, Two One, One Naught.
(pour the sacraments back and forth from cup to cup,
repeatedly mingling them and saying)
Light melts in Darkness,
Night gives birth to Day.
The Hidden God speaks the Word of Silence,
The Sacred Fire is seen in the Eye.
The Secret Serpent of a million forms
Coils ceaselessly through Eternity.
(embrace if there is more than one celebrant, drink all of
the sacrament, pour out the last drops as an offering, and say)
‘For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret
flame, and to her the stooping starlight.’
Now are two made naught and the Twins reborn.
Now the past is ended and the Aeon begun.
A new thing is birthed in the cup of Babalon
And the alchemy of Therion is complete
In the Double Word of Heru-Ra-Ha.
OLUN! KAOS! ABRAXAS!