The Scroll of ThothEssay 0
This is the manual of the Order of Setne Khamuast. It contains the practices of that Order which, when applied, lead to eternal Life and Prosperity on this World. It is a very fearsome Book and misuse of it will bring ruin and madness.
The Secret to use of the Book is to always remember two things:
1. That there is no god, spirit or demon outside yourself that will aid you in any way—only by your own power, exercised in all domains of your life, will you Become a god.
2. You are not a god yet. You must strive, you must Work and Play, Learn and Teach.
There is only one enemy to Initiation. Its name is Boredom. It has an ally called “laziness”. Learning to defeat these will keep your feet on the Path of the Left.
Our role model, Setne Khamuast, was the first Egyptologist. He was interested in the past both in terms of accuracy and magical efficacy. In the City of London in the Year XXIX, I called his Ak from a Ka statue in the British Museum. He was present at the first Working of our Order, and His magical Purpose remains among us.
I would like to comment on the founder's name, Setne Khamuast, whose name means “Set is Beautiful, a Power Appears in Thebes.” Most books will tell you that the name Setne just means “Sem Priest”. Better books will mention that Setne was the poetic description of the leopard skin, but neglect to say anything about Set. Setne is the name for the leopard skin that Sem Priests wore during the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony. It was the garment they wore to visit the Pool of Kepheru to bring back the deceased and to gain their own power.
The reason that “Setne” came to mean leopard skin is in a variation of the “Tale of the Two Brothers”. In one version, when Anubis is chasing Bata, Bata turns himself into a leopard. Now, in those days, leopards had no spots. Anubis caught his brother Set (Bata) and branded him. This is how the leopards got their spots, and how leopard skins came to be known as “setne”. Set was branded by false accusations, and then wore those brands as a sign of his beauty. It was in that garment Sem Priests visited the Pool of Transformations.
Now, there's a job here for Order members. I want you to think about some things. Why does being falsely accused and branded Become a Sign of beauty? I mean, after all, Set could have just changed his shape and went on about his business. Most people would want to forget a branding. Why does such an experience allow people to have more power in moving in the other world? Why does being a figure of hatred give one a great enough strength of being to resist the outward forces of change that pool up in the Pool of Xepheru? And, as always in an Order exploration, look to the details of your own life as well. I want you think about these ideas, explore them ritually, and publish your thoughts in the Scroll of Set or TempleSet1, or some other Temple fora.
I will not tell you a great deal about this fourth son of Ramses II. It is the first job of each Order member to look up hard data on this fellow by him– or herself. But there are some questions to consider while reading about this person:
1. Why was he a Priest of Ptah? (See Essay 10)
2. Why was he a Sem-Priest?
During Setne Khamuast’s life, he revitalized the Per–Ankh tradition. Per–Ankh means “House of Life”. It was the name given to the place where scribes learned how to write.
In the Pergamon Working, we know that the whole of a successfully self-deified individual’s Life brings to Ta (the Earth) the forces of Consciousness used in the battle against the forces of naturalization. We use this knowledge in the Order by saying that we belong to the “House of Life”, a subtle commandant to Learn how to Live our own lives to the fullest, so that the Forces that resonate with Set's Eternal Purpose in this world may be Strengthened by our passing through it. Since this same action brings us Eternal Life and Prosperity, we readily accept this Bond with Set. Picture, if you will, a tent out in the desert night. It is a small tent, without much room for the person inside. The one who lives inside decides to make it larger. She raises the roof pole, and she adds fabric to the outside. A simple picture.
Now, think of this. As we become more godlike on this plane, we have to raise the roof pole—we have to increase our purely rational mental states. When we do this, we have more room for Consciousness, real consciousness, rather than the sleep–like state that most of humanity spends all of its time in. We have more Freedom. But each question we have answered has, of course, led to fourteen more, so we have produced more Shta-tu in the world. Shta-tu is the covering of the tent, whose surface area increases, so that there is more Shta-tu in the Objective Universe, which in turn allows more people to awaken.
So, here’s our job: to increase our rationality, which gives us more Freedom (Thelema), and more Awakened Consciousness (Xeper), while increasing the Mystery in the Objective Universe—which leads to more people finding Xeper.
This job has come forth from behind the Constellation of the Thigh, manifest by the particular actions of many people in our Aeon. Its placement in the stream of world history, when certain Freedoms can be gained by hard Work, and when certain means and media of Casting Forth of the Black Flame have appeared, is no accident. This is the time—through hard Work on ourselves—that we are able to escape from some of the hazard that is the lot of the race of humans. Think on this, picture your tent, and talk with your Setian colleagues on ways to further the job in our lives.
I will tell you a little about the title of this Book and about the Order's lineage, but first...
How To Use this Book
1. When you get the book, spend a period of time reading it through, cover to cover. You will notice the first section of the book has 15 essays number 0-14. Fourteen, twice the number of Set (7), is a number of royal power. The number fourteen is the lucky number of the Order; as you Work with Order concepts, fourteen will Become synchronistically important. Don't go overboard with this, like wagering your life savings on number 14 on the roulette wheel. Just note its significant occurrences in your magical journal. The second section of the Book holds the entrance essays for people who have entered the Inner Court; each of these is there to both inspire and inform.
2. Pick a time when you'll wish to begin to reread the Book more slowly. Read essay by essay. Think about them, talk to other Order members about them. Pay particular attention to essays 1, 3, 9, and 13, as they will help get you started.
3. Begin to pick topics to research that interest you for the newsletter. As you practice what you'll find in essays 1, 3, 9, and 13—reread the other essays and your Crystal Tablet. These actions will begin to open certain Doors for you.
4. Share what you find with Order members, your Pylon, First Degrees you write to, your non–Setian friends (be wise and cautious). Watch how what you share comes back to you. You may share any part of this book with any Setian you wish, except for parts 1 and 9, which are the magical engines of the Order.
The Order's Lineage
The Per–Ankh tradition included most of Egypt's scribes. A few of these we Recognize as either Grandmasters or Djassu (Masters of the Order).
In the first category, we have Hypatia, Jeu the Hieroglyphist, and the unknown fellow who buried the magical papyri.
In the second, we have Horapollo, Cagliostro, Dhul Nun, Dr. Pascal Beverly Randolph, Max Theon, and Wallis Budge (who may have founded an “Egyptian Lodge” of the Golden Dawn). If you're looking for some research topics to start with, you might find out who these people were.
The Scroll of Thoth
The name “the Scroll of Thoth” appears in the Tale of Setne, which was written a thousand years after his death. This papyrus (Cairo Museum 30646) tells the story of Prince Setne's desire to obtain a book of magic written by Thoth himself. This was the idea of a supreme book of magic which had the power to awaken the consciousness. The first account of the book was published in English in 1900 (F. Ll. Griffith, Stories of the High Priests of Memphis) and this book so impressed Aleister Crowley that he took its title and applied it to his Tarot deck. The best account of the Tale of Setne appears in Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume III, edited by Miriam Lichtheim.
With this Book and an immense amount of hard Work you can become as powerful as Setne.