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.