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Mars Kamea English Gematria

"You say 'But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and all the rest.' But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself."

Jelaluddin Rumi

     The following is a preliminary report on a system of thelemic English Kabbalah that I have been working out over the last few weeks. I'd like to start out by saying that I do not feel that I've discovered the "one true system" of English Kabalah suited to working with the thelemic "Holy Books." There are more systems of English Kabbalah than I could count on my fingers and toes, and I suspect this is as it should be.

     It is for each individual to determine her relationship to the Book of the Law and the other thelemic Holy Books. This relationship may include kabbalistic methods like gematria, or it may entirely exclude them. For those who find the arithmological kabbalah evocative and meaningful, the process of developing an idiosyncratic system can be intensely engaging and rewarding. I feel strongly that any activity that helps to bring one's proclivities, skills, potentials, beliefs, and so on, into sharper focus and greater synthesis is a worthy one. Arithmological kabbalah carries the potential to be such an activity, and this potential is more fully activated in the process of invention than in that of following systems set up by others.

     The sensible objection to this line of argument is that a diversity of systems is confusing and discourages group work. This need not be the case; there are many good reasons for taking an interest in the work of others. Confusion, of course, is a relative position.


     Of the several passages in the Book of the Law consisting of riddles or tests, the one that has always stood out for me is AL III, 73: "Paste the sheets from right to left and from top to bottom: then behold!" This passage seems to imply that one should place the pages of the Book of the Law in a regular array "from right to left and from top to bottom." Since there are 65 manuscript pages, there are only two arrangements that will give us a full array by such a method: we can "paste" them into five rows and 13 columns or vice versa.

     Unfortunately, carrying out this instruction revealed little of use, yet I felt that the numbers five and thirteen must be important to solving the riddle. Five, of course, is the number of Mars, and by extension, the number of the Lord of the Aeon, Horus. In meditating on this fact, it occurred to me that the Kamea or magic square of Mars consists of a 5x5 array, whose rows, columns, and diagonals total 65. Furthermore, the number in the central square of the figure is 13. Thus, the Kamea of Mars captures mathematically some of the structural features of the manuscript of the Book of the Law itself. Further consideration of this figure led to the interpretation that it is not the actual pages of the manucript that should be "pasted from left to right and top to bottom," but the number of the pages that should be distributed into rows and columns.

     The implications of the above findings for an English Kabbalah hit me almost at once. The Kamea of Mars contains 25 squares -- a close fit to the 26 letters of the English alphabet. A passage from the first book of the Book of the Law (AL I, 11) implied to me that the proper number of the letter A should be zero; thus, the 25 remaining letters can be placed into the Kamea "from right to left and from top to bottom" to obtain their proper values. This results both in a new order for the English alphabet and a new value (cf AL II, 55). The resulting table is shown below.

     The Kamea of Mars with the letters of the alphabet inserted.

The Line Drawn and the Circle Squared

     With this new arrangement and numbering of the alphabet, I sought confirmation in another enigmatic passage from the third Chapter of the Book of the Law, AL III, 47. In manuscript, this passage contains a line drawn through the text and a cross within a circle near the termination of the line. The passage states "Then this line drawn is a key: then this circle squared in its failure is a key also. And Abrahadabra."

     The line drawn through the text touches on 11 letters: STBETISAYFA. Using the above key, these letters add to 107, the same value as "line drawn." 107 is also the value of "letter," "mars square," and "fivefold."

     The circle squared is a more difficult case, but also gives interesting results. First, according to the technical terminology of Pythagorean arithmology, the number 25 (the number of squares in the Mars Kamea) is both a circular number and a square. (A circular number is a square that ends in the same numeral as the root; thus 25 and 36 are both circular, but 49 is not. All circular numbers must end in 1, 5, or 6). Second, although the cross and circle overflows into an adjacent square, it primarily falls into the "d7" square in the grid traced over the page of the manuscript. In the Mars Kamea, the letter D has a value of seven. The "failure" of the "circle squared" is twofold. First, the number 25 falls short of the 26 required to include all the letters of the alphabet (thus A equals zero), and part of it falls outside the "d7" square of the grid. The second result is ironic since I've never accepted the grid drawn over this page as belonging to "class A." It did not appear in the original publication of Liber AL in The Equinox, and is not referred to in the book itself.

Some Results

     The following are some results derived from the Mars Kamea values given above. I have had little opportunity to do much practical work with them. As I compile more results, I will continue to post them here.


31 = AUM, kiss, door, wanga, fools

33 = Babalon, a star, she, want

38 = Nu + Had, My Law

45 = will, sweat, red, hard & low, dare

53 = love, starry, thy body, proud, flesh

65 = Naught, hearts, flame, pure, wines, thy star

69 = And Abrahadabra, this book, a child, the son, life, an egg, soul of God, first, blessed, unto Nu, locked, sweet, whole body, money, weakness, a curse, folk folly, lying, poor and sad, grave

79 = Alphabet, the Gods, the Words, Tahuti, RPSTOVAL

88 = nothing, pure joy, ending

93 = Lord Hadit, My Nuit, the Aeons, the East, Key of it, any force, shoot forth, Queen, my Nemyss

98 = Love + Will, Nothing, breathed, my chosen, seek me, the whole, the house, love me, give all, remains, virtuous, sweet words, holy place, thy Theban, ending

107 = Therion, the adorant, the wings, the cube, the globe, in life, delight, for ever, let blood flow, desolation, gold forge, garments, line drawn, letter

109 = eleven, warrior lord, starlight, the kings, the Ordeal, red wine, Abramelin, my throne, divine

111 = Ra Hoor Khuit, is the lord, serpent, the wisdom, at the East, Hermits, Supreme, exhausted, refine, delicacy, foursquare, the reward, your light, I invoke, worship of Nu, Key of it All, discover

124 = Nuit + Hadit, the warrior, the force, ecstasy to kiss, be my ecstasy, my rapture, nothing is, drunkenness, rejoice, unto the God, adore thee

131 = six and fifty, the trees, unto me burn, drink to me, invoke me, for I am none, my knowledge, be not animal, a war engine, I am the lord, strike hard & low

135 = Do what thou wilt, the Law is for all, a secret key, Red my color, is eleven, pure ecstasy, style or value, O my prophet, the number, soul of God and Beast, mystical Lord

140 = Babalon + Therion, Love is the Law, the little world, sacrifice, the coiled, my coiling, to worship me, revealing, tribulation

172 = thelemites, the chief of all, the order & value, vigor of your arms

264 = these old letters of my book, mystery of the letters

418 = secret centre, my heart & my tongue; All this and a book to say how thou didst come hither; Swift as a trodden serpent turn and strike; one cometh after him whence I say not; warrior lord of Thebes in my unveiling; my servants be few & secret they shall rule; and in the core of every star I am Life

813 = the sum of planetary names (including the outer planets) plus fortuna; this number represents the planetary formula ARARITA in Hebrew Qabalah.