The Serpent Tongue: Liber 187

A workbook of English Qaballa by Jake Stratton-Kent, with an introduction by Lon Milo DuQuette and cover art by Stuart Littlejohn.

The Serpent Tongue: Liber 187 was first published online in 2000 by Ye Olde Goat’s Shoppe and made available for personal use only. With the 2008 reappearance of The Equinox: British Journal of Thelema, in whose earlier incarnation much of the writing contained herein was first published, and subsequent renewed interest in the English Qaballa, permissions were obtained for the publication of a newly revised edition.

The idea that the letters of the alphabet can be equated to numbers, and that meaningful correspondences and values can be attained by way of those numbers, has teased humanity for centuries. Ceremonial magicians appropriated the Hebrew Kaballah — one of the oldest of such systems — so long ago that to question its use by non-native Hebrew speakers is almost a blasphemy, but question it we do. For some of us, finding meaning in an unfamiliar language has never sat well. Historically the problem was a lack of any other viable system, in particular one devised from the English language. With the discovery of the English Qaballa, that problem was solved.

The subject of an English qaballa is a controversial one. The idea that a group of English magicians had discovered a solution to the cipher of chapter 2, verse 76 of Liber AL: The Book of the Law was met with disbelief and, in some cases, scorn. The fact of its discovery, however, could not be overlooked. As more proofs were revealed and a consistent and coherent system of magick unfolded, the English Qaballa cemented its place in the annals of occult history. Liber AL’s puzzle may have no singular solution, and we do not present the English Qaballa as such. All we can claim is that this solution works.

By publishing The Serpent Tongue we aim to make public some of the mysteries surrounding the EQ, and to make the system available to any who would follow this arrangement of the English alphabet, wherever it might lead.

6 thoughts on “The Serpent Tongue: Liber 187

  1. Great release! And I personally feel this is a Very necessary work indeed which IS “breaking new ground.”
    It is only those unfamiliar with gauging artistic value that may “perceive” otherwise. BOTH the content AND the perception of the creator makes this artistically very significant.-Despite our own safe havens, the incessant & unjust criticism of art in all mediums continues.

    Whenever an artist or author creates anything, we’re granted with but a fleeting moment, a glimpse of their very unique perceptions, talents & epiphanies.
    When I read J.S.K.’s works they merit repeated study which also transcends the content alone, being more akin to returning to a museum to appreciate a painting I’ve already seen many times.-I’m genuinely ravenous for more, often feeling that even if Jake wrote the same exact information twice but using different adjectives & verbs, that it would be comparable in value to having had Dali or Picasso paint the same basic image twice. But then again, that’s my perception…Very few authors today possess the skill of elucidating whilst making such eloquent profound use of our beautiful English language. Creating in any medium which repeatedly reveals new perspectives is truly an art-form in and of itself and a necessity especially today. It seems that technology has diluted integrity…(?)The inevitable peril accompanying the promise…-Authors of 100-150 years ago seemed to truly emanate a wisdom & technical ability that is nearly lost now that anyone can produce what would have required great efforts & resources. Publishers had to be extremely selective & wise in all of their ventures. Authors faced severe social consequences if their works were anything less than stellar. There was a stern atmosphere of pride & accountability regardless of culture. This has all changed and people are now more passive & polite than ever before when they should be preoccupied from tripping over the heads that roll. There is no excuse for the total disregard for quality with the many great examples we’ve been left with. The current best of the best has been neatly assembled to the right, no doubt out of sheer Necessity thanks to the integrity of Hadean Press.

    Jake can write one sentence in such a way that I’d love to see him expound upon it into an entire chapter.
    *That is his individual creative genius in concert with his experience which cannot ever be emulated by another, making this work entirely Original.

    Art is precious & “fleeting” which seems to be greatly misunderstood by an overwhelming majority.
    There is great value, emotion, substance & wisdom guided by the creator, transmitted, which is always initially fugacious and leaving us with but one tangible account of it’s profound essence trapped in nonlinear “time.”
    -This is why we (some of us) cherish various works of art.

    Some art is also misunderstood or caustically judged Totally out of context, as it’s Only purpose may have been relative to and reflective of, the very moment in which it was created in and nothing more. We should all applaud those involved with productions such as this, appreciate the values of all artistic mediums & the majestic impetus which makes them flourish.

    Please also pay homage to Austin Osman Spare & Rosaleen Norton as well as Professor Ernst Fuchs & H.R. Giger who both remain the greatest living legends we have today.
    -R.A.D.
    Carpe noctem

  2. We absolutely need more written on the subject; If you think in English, the way you perceive and interact with the World are strongly affected by the language’s structure. A natural-language Qabalah is a wonderful gift, and there’s a dearth of information about it when you compare it to the Hebrew Qabalah.

  3. People who dont think this work is important dont understand its value. Even if one can make the argument that its not strictly a “necessity” he cant dispute the fact that it is definitely a luxury and one of inestimable value. Maybe we dont *need* an English Qabalah, but we are damned lucky to have one and I think it will be a useful tool for those who use it

  4. I don’t know. Do we really need another book on the subject? JSK is a dedicated writer in the scholarly sense and LMD is a wizard in his own rite -a thousand times over but still, can’t we break new ground in new land??

    1. Hello John,

      Thank you for your comment. Obviously our answer is yes, we do need more books on the subject, and many of our customers seem to agree. There are hundreds of books on the Hebrew Kabbalah, and all of them useless to those of us who would prefer a Qaballa in a language we actually use. For us the EQ does offer new ground. We don’t expect everyone to agree with this sentiment, but that’s what publishing is about. Not everyone will love all of our books all of time.

    2. @ John. Another book on the subject?

      There’s been another primer of GD generic qabalah about every year since I remember. The reason for sticking with the formula? Hebrew was God’s Lego set. (What Umberto Eco called ‘the crusty old myth of Hebrew as the original language).

      This is very far from being another.

      It is indeed breaking new ground in a new land. It is hard to conceive a more radical idea than rendering the everyday language of our own consciousness magical.

Comments are closed.