Some Qabalistic notes on Liber AL or: English Gematria

(or: Stones of Precious Water 25 years on....)

(or: Fun with numbers and letters....)

These manipulations of numbers and letters were first published by me 25 years ago. There were three little papers written:

Stones of Precious Water

The Hunting of the Snark

The Bellman's Speech

Since then I have not given much thought to all of this. Life intervened and led me on my own path. That is the whole point of the "do what thou wilt" thing....

However, as my life is now coming to a split of two equal halves, interesting things are happening. One of which is the happy circumstance I have for revisiting these things.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction to "The Hunting of the Snark".


I view Gematria as a technique to exhaust the mind. This may lead to inspiration, intuition and/or the unveiling of relative truth. It is also a method whereby one can encode information within a text. It is a language of shadow and twilight, as subtle as they who use it. Methods are arbitrary. If one messess with letters and numbers long enough, using any method consistently, one will begin to see things. That is what I refer to as "snark hunting".

Gematria, with enough persistence, wit and inspiration, may also be a method of "proving" almost anything. Be vigilant. These letters and words are but skeletons of thought. Their only value lies in what they may communicate to the reader. In this sense, all writing is Qabalistic. With ingenuity, one may work wonders.


In the manuscript of Liber AL two alphabets besides English are used. The word "thelema" is in Greek letters. Also in chapter one, the Hebrew letter Tzaddi is used. Both of these alphabets are Qabalistic - the letters have number values. These shall be my weapons.


Primarily I have been using Hebrew values of English letters.

a=1, b=2, g=3, d=4, e/h=5, o/u/v/w/f =6, z=7, ch=8, t=9, i/y/j=10, k=20, l=30, m=40, n=50, s=60, o=70, p/ph/f=80, tz=90, q=100, r=200, sh=300, th=400

A may be Aleph or Ayin, E may be Heh or Aleph, O may be Vau, Aleph or Ayin. T may be Teth, Tau or Tzaddi. SH may be Shin or broken down into Samekh Heh. TH may be Teth Heh or Tau.

Investigation of Hebrew with some imagination will suggest other alternatives. O and A may be ZERO, as well.

Greek values may be used as a sub-system - Hebrew values come to my mind first.

These values give one variables from the beginning. The point is not in having variables but in the intuitive nudges which urge one to use them. To be consciously imaginative is overkill.

Let us begin with the numbers mentioned in the text itself.

Only four numbers are written as numerals in Liber AL. In chapter one: 11, chapter two : 4, 418, chapter three: 718. (I am, of course leaving out ii:76 with the line of numbers and words.....)

Other numbers mentioned in the text are spelled out:

six and fifty; none.... and two; one; eight, eighty four hundred & eighteen; one, one, one; none; nine; eight, and one in eight; eleven; eighties; forties; four; nothing; three; the number of the man; eight and ninety; foursquare; fifth..... (I may have missed some...)


Chapters one and two are parts of a whole, the silent voice of understanding; the voice of Hoor Paar Kraat. Chapter three is the voice of Ra Hoor Khuit. The book is the voice of HerU Ra Ha.

Crowley departed from the verse divisions in chapter one when putting the manuscript into typescript. This chapter may have anywhere from fifty eight to sixty five verses, depending upon how one arranges it.

(end excerpt)


i:24-25: "I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty"

"Divide, add, multiply, and understand."

i:28-29 "None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two."

"For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union."

In the manuscript, this is one verse....


A + G = D, Daleth, the Empress, III

the Empress
the Lovers

4 + 20 + 7 = 31

(4 x 2 x 7 - 56)

i:46 "Nothing is a secret key of this law. Sixty-one the Jews call it. I call it eight, eighty, four hundred & eighteen."

eight: VIII: Adjustment 8
eighty: Pe: XVI: the Tower 16
four hundred & eighteen: Cheth: VII: the Chariot: 7

8 + 16 + 7 = 31

(Note the progrssion. The number of a trump, the number of the letter of a trump, the number of the name of a letter of a trump.)

i:21 "With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit."

The capitals in this passage draw attention. Leaving out the initial W gives G twice, A, I twice, Th and H twice.

Taking each captal once and A = zero:

G (3) + I (10) _ Th (400) _ H (5) = 418

Greek letters, taking each capital once including A: (A = 1 and H is Greek eta = 8 - a long E, arbitrarily assigned for its resemblance to H when written as a capital. Greek has no H, save for ', which is assigned no numeration.)

G (3) + A (1) + I (10 + Th (9) + H (8) = 31

i:8-9 "The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs."
"Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!"

K + h + b + s = 20 + 5 + 2 + 60 = 87

K + h + u = 20 + 5 + 6 = 31

"not the Khu in the Khabs" suggests subtracting the Khu from the Khabs: 87 - 31 - 56 ("behold my light shed over you!")

Now put the Khu in the Khabs:

K + h + u + b + s = 20 + 5 + 6 + 2 + 60 = 93

i:61 "But to love me is better than all things."

L + O + V + E + M + E = 30 + 70 + 6 + 5 + 40 + 5 = 156

ii:15-16 "For I am perfect, being Not; and my number is nine by the fools; but with the just I am eight, and one in eight: Which is vital, for I am none indeed; for there is a further secret."

"I am The Empress and the Hierophant. Thus eleven as my bride is eleven."

" nine by the fools"
"just I am eight"
"one in eight"

Okay, turn these numbers into Tarot Trumps, but "fools" and "one" are taken as naught. Add up the numbers of the Trumps and the numbers of the letters.

IX, Yod 10 "nine"
VIII Lamed 30 "just"
VII Cheth 8 "eight"
VII Cheth 8 "eight"

"Which is vital, for I am none indeed."

v + i + t + a + l = 6 + 10 + 9 + 1 + 30 = 56


"nine by the fools" IX = 0 = 9, Yod + Aleph = 11

Then we are left with:

just, eight, one, eight, none:



Lamed + Lamed + Beth + Lamed + Aleph = 93

" The Empress and the Hierophant"


Heh (spelt fully: heh, aleph) Aleph Daleth

6 + 1 + 4 = 11

Turn these numbers into Trumps:

the Hierophant, Vau, V

the Fool, Aleph, 0

the Empress, Daleth, III

V + 0 + III = VIII



i:60 "My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us."

11 + 10 + 9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 66

us = 66 as Vau, Samekh

ii:76 "4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L G M O R 3 Y X 24 89 R P S T O V A L"

K B A 8 3 6 4 = 44 Either/Or
O M G L A 4 2 = 150 Either/Or
R 89 24 X Y 3 R = 776 Greek
L A V O T S P = 186 Hebrew
= = = = = = = =  
2 1 3 9 4 7 1 1156  
2 3 4 3 1 3 8    
0 2     8   6    

By transposing the 8 and the 3 in the top line the numbers 418 and 93 are unveiled. Also notice the 8, AYT (eighty), 418. The third central column adds to 34. 34 squared = 1156.

Note that "union" - 186:

U (vau), N (nun), I (yod), O(ayin), N(nun)

6 + 50 + 10 + 70 + 50 - 186

Also 186 = 31 x 6

It should be noted that the first O = 70 while the second O = 0

iii:72 "I am the Lord of the Double Wand of Power, the wand of the Force of Coph Nia - but my left hand is empty, For I have crushed an Universe & nought remains."

C is Cheth = 8
O is zero = 0
P is Pe = 80
H is He = 5

C is Cheth spelt in full = 418
O is zero, nothing = 0
P is Pe = 80
H is Greek Eta = 8

Notice once again, 8, 80, 418....

Remembering "none..... and two."

Substituting two for zero in Coph = 95.

Adding Coph and Nia : 95 + 61 = 156.

There is more in my files and notebooks, but that shall have to remain in the past.

I will just end this with a quote from Lewis Carroll from the final paper, "The Bellman's Speech".

"He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand."