Konx om Pax

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Cover of Konx om Pax by Aleister Crowley.

Konx Om Pax: Essays in Light is a publication by British occultist Aleister Crowley, first published in 1907. The name Konx Om Pax is a phrase said to have been pronounced in the Eleusinian Mysteries to bid initiates to depart after having completed the tests for admission to the degree of epopt (seer).

This phrase, written in Greek as Κόγξ ὀμ πὰξ (in the original 1514 publication of Hesychius' Lexicon, it is two words, separated by a comma, Κὸγξ, ὂμπαξ [1]) , is not immediately intelligible in that language, and a number of theories have been advanced as to its origin and meaning.

S. L. MacGregor Mathers[2] claimed it to have been derived from Khabs Am Pekht, which in the Egyptian language means roughly "Light in extension" or "Light rushing out in a single ray", which is used in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn's Vernal and Autumnal Equinox ceremonies.

Dudley Wright[3] also claimed the phrase to be of Egyptian origin, but with the meaning "Watch, and do no evil".

Captain Francis Wilford[4] claimed the phrase came from Canscha Om Pacsha, in Sanskrit.

Augustus le Plongeon[5] proposed that the phrase derived from the Mayan language, as Con-ex Omon Panex, meaning "Go, strangers; scatter!".

The front cover image, portraying the title Konx Om Pax in stretched letters, is said to have been designed by Crowley while smoking hashish.

Partial contents[edit]


Syncretic materials introduce the work:

Three full pages of quotations introduce this work, signaling the syncretic intention of the author.[6] Many sacred texts and sources such as Dante, Catullus, and Jesus are quoted.

The Wake World[edit]

An allegory for the ascent of a magickal practitioner through the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, accompanied by her Holy Guardian Angel. It was originally written by Crowley as a bedtime story for his daughter, Lola Zaza, with Crowley relating himself as the "Fairy Prince", a guide through the schema and sounding much like Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Thien Tao, or, the Synagogue of Satan[edit]

This parodic essay casts a Crowley character (Master Kwaw) as a Taoist advisor to the Japanese "Daimio" (daimyō) in a time of crisis. Kwaw advises a course of study in which people shall be taught the antithesis of their natural tendencies: the prostitute to learn chastity, the prude to learn sexual expression, the religious bigot to learn Huxley's materialism, the atheist to learn ceremonial magick.

Ali Sloper, or, the Forty Liars: A Christmas Diversion[edit]

A play that is over-presented with title credits, but is generally a simple dialogue based on Crowley's conversation with a friend and his wife on Christmas Day. With only two main speakers Crowley satyrizes himself as "Bowley", with the whole a means to present his inserted essay Ameth. The title is a mock of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, a tale from the classic One Thousand and One Nights.

Stone of the Philosophers Which Is Hidden in the Mountain of Abiegnus[edit]

A satirical conversation between a number of men, including "a socialist" and "a doctor", each one contributing a poem into their philosophical debate. Here Crowley takes the stance as "Basil Gray"; the work contains La Gitana, his popular love poem. It is thought[by whom?] that this work was inspired by the Zohar, where each Rabbi would contribute a commentary on the Tanakh.


  • Yoga Publication Society. June 1982. ISBN 0-911662-49-9
  • Teitan Press. Reprint edition, March 1990. ISBN 0-933429-04-5

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marcus Musurus, editor, ΗΣΥΧΙΟΥ ΛΕΞΙΚΟΝ HESYCHII DICTIONARIUM, Aldus 1514 (first edition) http://archive.thulb.uni-jena.de/hisbest/receive/HisBest_cbu_00003536 Page 225 of site browser (the pages are unnumbered)- http://archive.thulb.uni-jena.de/hisbest/rsc/viewer/HisBest_derivate_00001239/BE_0395_0217.tif
  2. ^ S. L. MacGregor Mathers. Address on the Pillars
  3. ^ Dudley Wright. The Eleusinian Mysteries and Rites
  4. ^ Captain Francis Wilford. Remarks on the Names of the Cabirian Deities, and on Some Words Used in the Mysteries of Eleusis, Asiatick Researches, v. 5
  5. ^ Augustus le Plongeon. Sacred Mysteries Among the Mayas and the Quiches
  6. ^ Gordan Djurdjevic. The Great Beast as a Tantric Hero, collected in Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism, ed. Henrik Bogdan, Martin P. Starr