Therion (Thelema)

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Therion[pronunciation?] (Greek: θηρίον, beast) is a deity found in the mystical system of Thelema, which was established in 1904 with Aleister Crowley's writing of The Book of the Law. Therion's female counterpart is Babalon, another Thelemic deity. Therion, as a Thelemic personage, evolved from that of "The Beast" from the Book of Revelation, whom Crowley identified himself with since childhood, because his mother called him that name.[1][2] Indeed, throughout his life he occasionally referred to himself as “Master Therion” or sometimes “The Beast 666”. He wrote:

Before I touched my teens, I was already aware that I was THE BEAST whose number is 666. I did not understand in the least what that implied; it was a passionately ecstatic sense of identity.[3]

The word "therion" is mentioned in several Thelemic rituals, such as The Star Ruby. In total, there are five mentions of The Beast in Liber AL vel Legis, the first being in 1:15, and the remaining four are all in the third chapter—verses 14, 22, 34, and 47, respectively—although the word “beast” can be found elsewhere therein. Aleister Crowley believed that the references to The Beast and the Scarlet Woman (Babalon) in the book “do not denote persons but are titles of office”.[4] The first mention reads thus:

Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given.[5]

The Number of Therion and the numerology thereof[edit]

The Number of the Beast is 666. The number is of prominent significance in the system of Thelema. It is the sum of the numbers inside the 6-by-6 magic square, which is associated with the sun by some Kabbalists, astrologists, and numerologists, who still use it today.[6] According to Crowley, it is a solar number.[7] The Stele of Revealing bore the catalogue number 666 at the time when Crowley discovered it, which was one of the events that led to the writing of the Book of the Law.

It can be said that the Hebrew letter shin (ש), which is written at the beginning and end of the Hebrew word for "sun" (shemesh [8]), conceals in itself the number of The Beast, because its shape is like three vavs (ו) conjoined together, whose gematrical value is 6. It has been noted by some that the abbreviation W.W.W. may be interpreted as 666,[9][not in citation given] for the Latin letter “W” formed out of the Phoenician letter waw, whose value is 6. This can be explained by saying that the rise of the internet is one of the events by which the beginning of the Age of Aquarius has been marked,[10][need quotation to verify] which is strongly tied with the concept of the Aeon of Horus in Thelema.[11] The following words and phrases have 666 for their gematrical value:

  • Το Μεγα Θηριον — Greek for “The Great Beast”. Koine Greek is the Greek dialect by which the books of the New Testament were written, including the Book of Revelation, where the original mention of The Beast's number is recorded (13:17-18).
  • תריון — ThRYWN; a Hebrew spelling of “θηριον” / “therion”, Greek for “beast”.
  • שמש יהוה — ShMSh YHWH; shemesh Yahweh; Hebrew for “sun of Yahweh”. It is the value of the tetragrammaton (26; 10+5+6+5) added to the value of the Hebrew word for “sun” (640; 300+40+300).[12]
  • סורת — SWRTh; Sorath; the evil spirit of the sun.[13]
  • נכיאל multiplied by 6 (111x6) — NKYAL; Nachiel; the intelligence of the sun.[13]
  • נשימירון — NShYMYRWN; Nashimiron; the qliphoth of Pisces.[14]
  • פרי שלום — PRY ShLWM; priy shalom; Hebrew for “fruit of peace”.
  • אליסטיר קרולי — ALYSTYR QRWLY; a Hebrew spelling of the name “Aleister Crowley”. (ALYSTYR QRAWLAYDEE is also accepted as the same name. But different version)
  • השטן שב — HShTN ShB; HaSatan shab; Hebrew for “The Satan has returned”.[12]
  • נמרוד מכוש - NMRVD MKUSh; Nimrod M'kush; Hebrew for "Nimrod from Cush".


  1. ^ Booth, Martin (2000). A Magick Life: The Biography of Aleister Crowley. London: Coronet Books. ISBN 978-0-340-71806-3; page 3
  2. ^ Sutin, Lawrence (2000). Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley. New York: St Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-25243-4; pages 18-21
  3. ^ Crowley, Aleister. Magick: Liber ABA, Book 4. Part III (Magick in Theory and Practice). Definition and Theorems of Magick. York Beach, ME : S. Weiser. ISBN 0-87728-919-0
  4. ^ Crowley, Aleister. The Law is for All. Commentary on III:15.
  5. ^ Liber AL vel Legis I:XV
  6. ^ Drury, Nevill (1992). Dictionary of Mysticism and the Esoteric Traditions. Bridport, Dorset: Prism Press. ISBN 1-85327-075-X.
  7. ^ Crowley, Aleister. 777 and other Qabalistic writings of Aleister Crowley. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, 1977. ISBN 0-87728-222-6.
  8. ^ A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Hebrew Bible, entry 8121, James Strong
  9. ^ Watkins, Terry (1999). "Is "www" in Hebrew equal to 666?". Dial-the-Truth Ministries. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  10. ^ Spencer, Neil (2000). True as the Stars Above: Adventures in Modern Astrology. Victor Gollancz Limited. pp. 126–127. ISBN 9780575067691.
  11. ^ DuQuette 2003. p. 14.
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ a b Admon, Bashemeth; Mordekai, Admon; Morg, Eli. Spells, Incantations and Sigils According to the Jewish Kabbalah. 2005 edition. p.111.
  14. ^ Crowley, Aleister. Sepher Sephirot. The gematria of 666.

Further reading[edit]

  • Crowley, Aleister. The Book of the Law. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser.
  • Grant, Kenneth. Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God.
  • Grant, Kenneth. Cults of the Shadow.
  • Grant, Kenneth. Hecate's Fountain.
  • Grant, Kenneth. The Magical Revival.
  • Grant, Kenneth. Outside the Circles of Time.