The Star of Egypt

George Gheverghese Joseph has produced a radical revision of the globally accepted Eurocentric view of history in his book, The Crest of the Peacock.[1] Joseph is not concerned with religion or esotericism; his subject is the history of mathematics. With mathematics came science, astronomy, agriculture, irrigation, architecture, spiritual philosophy, fine arts and working with metals. These designations include the profane sciences, which came along at a relatively late stage in the cycle of manifestation, as well as the sacred science, for example yoga and theurgy. The notion that all learning has its source among the classical Greeks and Romans is a myth. The source is Egypt.

Nebhet and the Star of EgyptThe facts have been suppressed down the ages, wittingly or no, through deep-seated prejudice. A canine corpus has been produced, and is served up every day in schools and universities. It has become part of our language; it is in the very terms that we use. The cunning fictional narrative insists on a pristine lineage, a fountain of knowledge that springs not from Africa, the ‘dark’ continent, but to the hallowed halls of an ‘Indo-European’ heritage. The Indo-European source of language—which includes ancient Greece as part of the European continent—is a complete fantasy that was made to fill a gap in the explanation of language, when that explanation excludes Egypt.

To contrast this, we could posit Shambala, which is thought by profane scholars to be ‘mythical’ and not really existing, or having existed. Shambala is a type of the ‘holy city’; its validity surpasses all profane or ‘historical’ considerations. Historical fact is an illusion created by profane science, which regards the Indo-European notion as ‘real’ and Shambala as ‘myth’, by which it means ‘not existing’—whereas the original meaning of ‘myth’ is that of spiritual truth that is not directly communicable by words, and which can only be conveyed in any way through symbolism, for example, the holy city that exists in all cultures and traditions.

Egypt and Pythagoras

To return to the historical narrative: in times of great antiquity the knowledge of Egypt travelled first to Mesopotamia, which was the purest stream as it was closest to the source. Much later, the Greeks took it out of Egypt—though Egypt was by then already in decline and much had been forgotten. We may suppose that those who had progressed further than the Outer Court kept their esoteric knowledge to themselves, having sworn oaths of strictest secrecy. Pythagoras, for example, did not write down what he knew. In short, the external framework of the mysteries was rationalised, reduced and from there promulgated to the world through war and conquest.

The rejection of the plain facts about the Egyptian heritage was reinforced through the sheer cultural prejudice of the ‘learned gentlemen’ of Europe and America, all of whom were infected by what Guénon termed as the ‘modern mentality’. By this, we do not mean to exclude Britain and America.[2] It was unacceptable to historians, Egyptologists and the rest, that Egypt could have had a civilisation far more intelligently organised than ours, and which had spiritual and scientific knowledge that makes our civilisation look utterly primitive by comparison. Consequently, Egyptologists and historians have always focussed on the later Dynastic period of Egyptian history, when the real knowledge was already being fast forgotten and the rituals had degraded as far as the mummification of the dead, animal sacrifices and so on. This satisfied the learned gentlemen that the Egyptians could not inconvenience such notions as ‘progress’ and ‘evolution’.

The Mesopotamian Influence

In very ancient times, India received the knowledge from Mesopotamia, close to the source. Later, the Hindus received the rational Greek influence. Some of the Tantrik schools, especially the Vamacharya, retained elements of the earlier Mesopotamian version of the Egyptian mysteries.[3] When the Vamacharya gurus did write or teach anything, they used what is called in the Sanskrit of Hindu scholars, the ‘twilight language’.[4] Both Crowley and later Grant and the postmodern Left-hand path schools of thought assumed the most exoteric practices of the Vamacharya cults, the preliminaries, to be methods of ‘high initiation’. Consequently, the so-called advanced practices adopted by Crowley, for example, were only used by real Vamacharya cults to test and prepare the veriest beginners.

If we persist in thinking we can understand the ancient Egyptian legacy as filtered through the minds of Western philosophers, Egyptologists and egocentric occultists, we have no hope of understanding what Thelema is really all about. Egypt will not come to us. We must first visit Egypt in our hearts and minds. Then she will come to us. Only then can we break the shackles of causal determinism.[5] At the last we may come to know Nuit, not through the veils of abstract conception such as ‘emptiness’ or ‘one’, ‘spaciousness’ or ‘ground of all’, but as Nuit truly is.


1. The Crest of the Peacock, George Gheverghese Joseph. Of particular interest is his historical map, ‘A non-Eurocentric historical timeline of Mathematics’ (pp. 45).

2. Modern America was founded by European apostates, who sailed there in ships looking for a ‘promised land’. They found what they were looking for, but there happened to be an indigenous, nomadic people already inhabiting the place. The fictional fabric of the ‘American Dream’ veiled the resultant genocide. The cover-up was achieved with remarkable success for the lie is told and retold in a countless variety of ways on a daily basis. Belief is self-perpetuating, for its function is to gratify the concealed wish-desire.

3. Vamacharya means literally, ‘Left-hand path’. Profane commentators have distorted the meaning of this, so that it is supposed to indicate some kind of ‘enlightenment through sex’—a typical modernist reversal of spiritual knowledge.

4. By which is meant, symbol and metaphor.

5. Esoteric Thelema is explained in ‘Lapis Philosophorum’, Babalon Unveiled [Ordo Astri Books]. This includes a concise guide to the influence of causal determinism, and the remedy for the ill.

© Oliver St. John 2019, 2021 (revised). The illustration of Nebhet (or Nephthys) and the Star of Egypt is a detail from the Esoteric Tarot of Thelema trump Isis IX.

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Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs

Babalon Unveiled! We are pleased to announce the release of this long-awaited book. This collection of 36 monographs serves as a well-rounded introduction to the Law of Thelema. It is also a luminous esoteric study to widen the horizons of those familiar with the rationalist explanations that have prevailed until now. [Please note: a Second Eidtion of this book is in preparation spring 2023.]

Babalon Unveiled! Cover art from Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs‘Lapis Philosophorum’ liberates Thelema from the accretions of the modern age. The philosophy of the West only understands consciousness in terms of a supreme demiurge, pristinely ‘one’ and therefore alone, or as the isolating confinement of the self as its own God in its own reality. Both points of view posit an atomistic intelligence that cannot be. They excuse the impossibility of the premise by insisting that true reality can never be known. They allure the faithful with promises of a hereafter reward for those obedient to dogma or otherwise draw the proud ones with the glamour of unlimited power in self-created worlds. Both projections are based on the paranoia of self-isolation.

Babalon, Lion of Truth

While the text of the (Egyptian) Book of the Law transmission carries great value for some, for most it will remain a disturbing enigma. The Law of Thelema will not be grasped by intellect alone, or by merely studying the text of the Cairo transmission, yet the doctrine can be explained in clear and simple terms. For those that are able to receive it, initiatic transmission is possible. Pure knowledge was expressed in the language of the alchemists as the ‘philosophic stone’. The mode of thought is not the stone itself; the stone is a symbol. All thought is symbolic. Consciousness is.

Babalon Unveiled! Rose Edith Kelly, Ouarda the Seer The book is dedicated to the memory of Rose Edith Kelly, Ouarda the Seer. Rose was the medium and intelligence for the transmission activated through the Stele of Revealing in the Cairo museum in 1904.

‘Babalon Unveiled!’ forms the centrepiece of this collection and is part of seven related studies on the mystery of the Scarlet Woman of Thelema. Each shows an aspect of her oracular voice as it has been heard and recorded down the ages. ‘Angels of Sacred Dance, Love and Whoredom’ examines how the divine feminine of antiquity was demonised, resulting in a host of ‘fallen angels’ whose identity is yet preserved, albeit heavily disguised, in traditional texts.

View / order book from the author’s website here

Format: 6 x 9 hardbound dustjacket; blue linen boards; gold foil stamp lettering on spine; black on cream pages, white end-papers.


Read an abridged version of the article, Babalon Unveiled, from the book of the same name at Tantrika Arts here.

Read abridgement of the Esoteric Doctrine of Thelema here at Ordo Astri.

Visit Ordo Astri (or return to home): Universal Gnostic Collegium
Subscribe to Metamorphosis monthly Journal
Temple of Babalon YouTube Channel (podcast)