Aleister Crowley discovered the Seven Palaces within a riddle of the Sefer Dtzeniouthia in 1900. By 1904 he was using the gates of the Seven Palaces as a checksum for the riddle of Liber Al vel Legis and thereafter he keyed (or otherwise based) several of his best A.’.A.’. works to the Palaces – in effect creating a hidden system for the Inner Order of the A.’.A.’. and hiding the whole in plain sight.
Sadly, Crowley died before any of his students had proven their metal by finding the Seven Palaces and unlocking the foundation of his system, so the A.’.A.’. system as most know it today contains some substantial holes in it.
The Tree of Life is rarely appreciated as a cipher. It was created during the early middle ages due to a prohibition upon Jews (still in effect today) that prevents them from talking about the Seven Palaces or other elements of the Merkabah with any other person. The creation and derivation of the Tree of Life from the Seven Palaces was an ingenious way around this prohibition. Essentially, early Kabbalah is simply the enciphered study of the Merkabah.
The Seven Palaces uses a numbering system for the letters (gematria) that was first attributed to the Paleohebrew script. The Hebrew bible was composed with this original form of gematria and it was known and employed by Aleister Crowley in numerous of his works. For example, in Liber Ararita there is the verse “One is His Beginning; one is His Individuality; His Permutation One”;
אחד ראש: אחדותו ראש ייחודותו: תמורתו אחד
AChD RASh: AChDVThV RASh YYChVDVThV: ThMVRThV AChD = 777
In subsequent essays I shall proceed through the relevant Crowley material according to the date of their composition – starting first with the Riddle of Liber Al vel Legis.
Liber Al vel Legis sub figurâ 220:
as delivered by 93 = 418
The Book of the Law is the foundation of the Thelemic system, and the sub figura number of 220 corresponds to the name of the first book of the Hebrew Bible (Bereshith) and the Hebrew word for ‘The Law’.
Bereshith בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית = 220 ‘In the Beginning’
HaTorah התורה = 220 ‘The Law’
The following gates of the Seven Palaces provide the checksum for the Liber Al riddle:
1. The Inner Temple = 217
2. Cheth & Teth = 11
3. Vau = 9
4. Mem = 45
5. Peh = 88
6. Resh = 209
7. Lamed = 231
8. Ayin = 274
The gates of Samekh, Yod, Nun and Kaph (SINK) as well as the gate with four letters (Shin, Tav, Tsade & Qoph) are not included in the checksum, as indicated by verses AL I: 51 and AL II: 49.
The handwritten riddle includes two brackets around 24 and 89 which indicated that these values should be rounded up or down making 0.24 and 890 respectively. The x is a multiplication sign and the odd looking Y is a final Tsade. Aleister Crowley said the Liber Al puzzle was a “qabalistic test on the regular pattern”, therefore we use standard gematria values when we convert all the letters of AL II:76 into numbers until it looks like this:
4, 6, 3, 8, 1, 2, 20, 2, 4, 1, 30, 3, 40, 70, 200, 3, 900 x 0.24, 890, 200, 80, 60, 9, 70, 6, 1, 30
And we produce the checksum for the gates with simple math (as indicated by AL I:25) using all these values:
1. 900 x 0.24 + 1 = 217 (Heh)
2. 8 + 3 = 11 (Cheth & Teth)
3. 9 (Vau)
4. 890 + 4 + 6 / 20 = 45 (Mem)
5. 80 + 6 + 2 = 88 (Peh)
6. 200 + 3 + 4 + 2 = 209 (Resh)
7. 200 + 30 + 1 = 231 (Lamed)
8. 70 + 70 + 40 + 60 + 30 + 1 + 3 = 274 (Ayin).