As one of three Thelemic core deities Ra-Hoor-Khuit “is the manifestation of Horus of the Two Horizons. As the son of Isis and Osiris he became the warrior-slayer of Seth (Set) or Typhon, the serpent of the Nile. Crowley affirms that Horus in his many forms was the spiritual child of the former mother and father; the act of slaying his father’s murderer is symbolic of destroying the former Aeon in which Christianity ruled and destroyed religions before it. Therefore Horus would rightly govern the new Aeon as the Crowned and Conquering Child; the Aeon that would put an end to the worshiping of death as Christianity demanded and worship the joining together the spiritual and material in Horus, the Child and the Future”. More detailed description can be found on the site this quote comes from http://deity-of-the-week.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/ra-hoor-khuitheru-ra-ha-thelema.html
Crowley, famous “Great Beast” and “Wickedest Man in the World” has earned himself a bad fame. To this day Thelema is considered to be a satanic religion and Ra-Hoor-Khuit is considered a manifestation of the devil.
“Now let it be first understood that I am a god of War and of Vengeance. I shall deal hardly with them… Also ye shall be strong in war… I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the Eighties cower before me, & are abased. I will bring you to victory & joy: I will be at your arms in battle & ye shall delight to slay. Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on, in my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any!”
Well, yeah that sounds pretty violent… Soon after Liber Al vel Legis was created, humanity faced two World Wars. On top pf that Nazism was largely inspired by the Occult symbolism. I attach a link on Wikipedia, but there’s much more information out there for those who are interested. Especially symbol of the Black Sun (Schwartze Sonne) has been linked with Theosophical Society symbols. To this day many claim that Rudolf Steiner was himself a fascist. As an ex member of the Rosicrucian school Lectorium Rosicrucianum I can confirm that an overlap in the line of thought is quite striking. Obviously Gnosticism appears to teach about universal love, but to this day I am not sure what the ultimate goals of these teachings are. Excess love in itself is demonic. Love and war are two sides of one coin. “Love me or I’ll destroy you”- that’s the nature of Ra-Hoor-Khuit as I perceive it. That’s also nature of madness and obsession. I have experienced both of them repeatedly.
Is it a good idea to mess with that kind of energy? Good question. I personally became fascinated with Thelema as a teenager. Ra-Hoor-Khuit gave me a promise of a victory in times when I felt like a total loser.
“Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth. Nu is your refuge as Hadit your light; and I am the strength, force, vigour, of your arms.”
Just like myself back then, many Thelemites are highly neurotic with hunger for power and desire to destroy things.
” Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”
became such a common catchphrase of the occult, many forget the second line of this quote:
Love is the Law. Love under Will
That’s why Sam Webster’s interpretation of Liber Al as a Tantric poem is so appealing to me. Sam Webster considers Ra-Hoor-Khuit to be a Wrathful Buddha and he explores nature of these deities in Buddhism. Buddhist Wrathful deities and Bodhisattvas (enlightened beings)* are often portrait as mad warriors.
“In Buddhism there are roughly three classes of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas: peaceful, joyous and wrathful and the Wrathful Buddhas are seen as the most compassionate ones. This is because they are specifically active to transform situation from worse to better. […] They come in forms with flangs and flames , swords and skull-bowls bromming with blood, roaring with laughter and rage at stupidity and suffering. This may seem odd, but the Wrathful ones are not as terrifying as Peaceful ones“.
Doesn’t that sound crazy? Not necessarily if you think about your every day life experiences. Think of a time when you saw your loved one walk into danger and you cried or screamed in terror. You grabbed them and yelled at them. Perhaps you even threatened them. That’s nature of passionate love as we know it. Now think of a stoical monk who stands unmoved watching their student getting hurt. Which one of them appears more compassionate? Even though a monk could tell you that people need to learn from their own mistakes, in practice very few of us will allow our loved ones to learn in that way. In our culture we became obsessed with politeness and so called “tolerance” towards other people’s choices. Being nice is considered to be a good person. How many of these “nice” people stand up when their friends are being bullied? Not many. Compassion and niceness don’t always go in pair.
“Compassion is the Vice of Kings”
How can compassion be a vice?? It will get you in trouble, that’s my answer. It always gets me in trouble, that’s for sure. “Nice” people often side up with oppressors because they don’t want to “disturb peace”. Compassion is not wisdom though. Wisdom can be cruel. There’ll be times when it is better to remain quiet. As for kings, Ra-Hoor-Khuit claims to be a king and monarchs rarely get the privilege to stay out of trouble.
Sam Webster believes that Ra-Hoor-Khuit’s anger is driven by compassion towards the world and its suffering. If he’s wrong about that, he will have us walking into a very dangerous trap indeed. A Wrathful Buddha ( Buddha Heruka ) practice is considered to be one of the highest forms of Tantra where practitioner’s mind enters the union of Great Bliss (look at my previous article) and understands the emptiness of all forms. This practice is considered very dangerous and it is not allowed unless one receives a special blessing from an experienced teacher. I wonder if that’s why Sam Webster expressed some concern in his book introduction when he said ” I am not a lama. I am nobody’s guru. […] If you want to learn Vajrayana, go find a competent teacher and do the work”. A magical operation described in Webster’s book sounds to me like a variation of Heruka practice**. A student who understands the emptiness of all forms, understands that whatever form a Buddha takes in his mind, it is only a mirage. Real Buddha has no form. Heruka, whose name in Sanskrit translates as “blood drinker” appears as a wrathful warrior. Their manifestation in a student’s mind is believed to bring them immediate blessing. Why that is, I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps one day I will find an answer. I believe that Ra-Hoor-Khuit was Crowley’s personal vision of Heruka and this vision was widely misinterpreted.
Remember that whatever I said in here, these are just ideas. Now, more than ever I begin to realise they are dangerous ideas. It’s very easy to justify ourselves in our anger. It is easy to believe we act out of compassion when we act out of self pity. It is easy to believe we protect justice, when we protect our self-interest. You can never tell what hides in the hearts of our fellow humans. Some people believed Hitler to be a “dark messiah”. I heard similar things said about Donald Trump. Therefore we need to be cautious.
Other Thelemic deities can not do much to help us stay on the track. Nuit- the Infinite Space, The Great Mother and Source of All things appears in the form of a beautiful woman, but that too is a mirage. What she really represents is the Emptiness, the Void present all around us. It’s the Voice of Silence we can hear when we enter the Crossroads. Hadit- the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star often manifests in a song that appears to fill Space all around us. When the spark of Hadit lights up in our minds it brings us ecstasy.
To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all
I have taken Hadit’s advice to my heart a long time ago…
As I mentioned in my previous article, we can happily spend our whole lives trying to chase the bliss. To me personally Nuit and Hadit represent the spirit of the 1960s. They’re gods of the hippies. What happens when they give birth to Ra-Hoor-Khuit? Ra-Hoor-Khuit is the embodiment of Great Union, they’re no longer formless. Whatever form this embodiment takes it all depends on the surrounding environment.
During my magick operation I performed daily meditations for a few months before I was ready to perform Arising As to unite with Ra-Hoor-Khuit. I had doubts. I realised that Great Union could choose thousands different forms to arise as. “Should I choose a wrathful warrior then?”- was my question. It was risky. I knew it would have dire consequences in case if it went wrong. Once again I decided to trust the teaching of Sam Webster. He claimed that as a self-proclaimed “destroyer of the universe” Ra-Hoor-Khuit was a destroyer of the world of illusions, who would aid your path by constantly destroying even their own forms. Just like Tara, self-combusting deity, they destroy the illusion of ego. They will not allow you to crystallise and stagnate in your personal development. Now, two years later, I can say that I don’t regret my choice even though I have suffered a mental breakdown. On a plus side I have gained great personal strength and clarity of mind. For the first time in my life I don’t need to search for answers. I know what I want. I am in the process of recreating myself and I like what I am experiencing. I have also gained a special gift, which I am going to describe in my next article, fourth and last article on Tantric Thelema
*Bodhisattva was allegedly the first man who decided that enlightenment could be reached outside a monastery setting, living among people. His choice was driven by compassion towards their suffering. Just like with Buddha, his name refers to to a state of mind more than the actual person. In paintings Boddhisatva is shown to wear royal robes and a crown, just like Ra-Hoor-Khuit a Crowned Child King.
** I have not been initiated by anyone else than myself, so I can’t really tell for sure. I find also many similarities between that operation and rituals descried in Crowley’s Liber Astarte.