The Scarlet Letter
Volume II, Number 3 | Feburary 1995
Part IV: December 14–29, 1924
The Magical Record of The Scarlet Woman
By Leah Hirsig, Alostrael 31-666-31
PM I take this (sip of white wine) to Nuit.
5:27 PM While finishing typing above telegram from 666 arrived. "Strongly advise against American. Letter follows explaining."
5:45 PM I see quite clearly that all I have been doing for the last few months was to "hate," not to "love." I mistook this for "the work of wickedness" —O.P.V. set me right on this, though, I more or less suspected that wickedness was akin to witchery—be-witching. Didn't I call myself "Hag" and Witch and all the rest of them. Perspective is absolutely necessary. Copies of this for 666.
7:13 PM Take first meal I have really eaten for a week. 1 cigarette with coffee because I looked human. Now, no more.
10:10 Pentagram completed (after nice hot wash),
11:40 But its all no use—my mind keeps whirling round & round.
12:50 M.sbtd. Magical (partner)
2:05 Been reading over Visions and also state of my life I started on Hoble's suggestions
Midnight K Dec 15—E Dec 16
Dec 16 E
6:25 PM Wrote to 666, O.P.V. and Ninette, but I can't get going on the House business at all. Tried to write to Marion but can't do that either. I thought my walk and meal at the little restaurant would clear my mind. It has, but not for this particular job.
Dec 18 F 5 PM
5:08 I light the candle, I burn the incense
5:20-5:35 Asana—Thou who art I & Pan (This after Pentagram, creed, and collects). Great peace, but thought of having cut up blue robe bothered me.
7:45 PM Typed hipta Poems—I must concentrate off the House business for a bit. But nerves, nerves! And its all Magical—but what to do, I don't know. I await 666's word but will I get it and if I do, will I understand? I will sit calmly and smoke a cigarette and drink my coffee.
10:50 I did it —I danced alone in my cafe —I danced with a lesbian and I kissed the waiter —that's that! We'll see how it turns out. But I'm out to get hard cash & I'll get for my Big Lion Baby Snake —There are no ifs —I'll bloody well get it.
12:00 —To Bed —Typed 2 oaths and had some soup. Now we'll Invoke, invoke! and then to sleep
Dec 19 C
The dress is—just not right. No work in me —Pentagram -9 PM.
11:10—I did "Pan" it—it was great! And then I found myself between just ordinary thoughts, paying all sorts of things, ending with I am. I weep. I wail, I know (Thought about Hause possibly being on his way, etc.)
Dec 20 G
It was midnight when I slept and I never woke till 10 this morning. Dreams—dreams—Astrid & Beast worried—Beast very obscure—going somewhere but didn't seem to know. I so uncertain, quite beyond myself. Two other men in the party.
My general impression is that I am not ready to take the Oath properly yet. Am I trying to get out of it? I don't know.
Got my coat and saw Suzanne—Heaven only knows what this will lead to—but I did it. Anyway, the cook's a beauty and the bed will be too.
Dec 21 A
Nothing doin' & get! think I am doing something. What? Then Pentagram and Pan Mantra—used Z's wand instead of Sword. Cup of tea—bed.
3:40 AM Not a wink of sleep in me—not a bit of work in me—What the hell shall I do—Just bad breathing & tummy ache, but I can't be hungry. Perhaps I am—I've been day dreaming about America and sensational landing. Those things never come off.
I could bet most anything (except my new coat) that there is something devilish going on somewhere among the Brethren tonight. It may simply be A entering R. if this is the time, if so, he's entering on a gallop. What news tomorrow? Very excitement is that of operation, not of fear—But all sorts of precautions arise.
12:30 PM A Slept from 6 to 10—wake heavy, hot, dazed, and generally miserable. Up at 11:30—out for coffee and milk.
Things to do
1 PM—Pentagram Asana and Mantra(?) Thou who art I
1:03-1:05 Asana—back gives way—I find myself all bent up—3 times I straightened myself out—also—mind wanders to all the things I've to do and didn't do—exp. the Stewart Waiter failures. But as soon as get over these something else pops up. It is really much easier to bean Episenpalise and get it all out in a ready-made prayer.
Started to get ready to go to Ella B. & Dome, but couldn't do it. Blvd clicking—2 grog Americans & home. Ate 3 huge Mortadel sandwiches.
Dec 21 A
"I hereby take an Oath to refrain from smoking for a period of 7x9 days." (This brings us to Feb 22).
Dec 22 K
Then sleep till 9 AM—Went for milk and Dubonet and my friend called me—Mme. treated me to a Dubonet. (Typewriter man came! new ribbon). Later to tele.—I met the old antique and his wife—They didn't ask me to sit down
1. Fleishman—wrong no.
E 1:10AM Well, I'm getting on or off—I don't know which? Went to my original cafe—entered dancing and had 3 drinks and desert for nothing.
Then to Mere Catharine—danced like hell—no drinks except 1 coffee. One police officer there! Told me that bronze wand was too heavy—Date with him at 10 tomorrow evening. Wonder?
1:31 AM Finish Call to invoke Chaos.
Dec 24 B
Dec 25 F
11:15 PM A peaceful day—just happy and calm and quiet.Dec 26 C Still shaky—Msbtd again this AM?? Mnstrn- 2nd day. Calm but not?
8:45 PM 3 dr Aoh. Lew. in 1/4 glass wine—after dinner and walk (cigaretts not got) To worship Hadit.
2:40-2:48 Preliminary Invocation. Peaceful but not sleepy. Breathing difficult.
3:55-3:58 (3 minutes) Prana
What happens at the end of this 3 day period doesn't matter. Nothing matters—now or ever. I drink the red wine with 4 dr. of AL. in it, and read the Stele poetry from Cap. III
To Dome at 9—after smoking 4 cigarettes and destroying—I am a ... Another at Dome. Kennedy backing out of painting me. A grog and sandwich and oh how Willy loves me Souisse!! Abortions! Death! Came home chilled—2 grogs and I'm as warm as toast.
Dec 28 A
Dec 29 K
12:25 AM This is the 3rd day. Wrote letters re Hause—Drank—danced and now I'm ready for anything. Worries began again—but not badly. To Dome at 12:45—Met one Moissey Kogan—Artist, Russian.
We went to Mlle. Selfers, studio (20 rue Boissonade)—she weaves, then to his hotel, then to 2 exhibitions and finally I came home. He's coming tomorrow—We'll see.
3:55 left ... and 1/2 glass cognac.
* * * * *
[This concludes our serialization of The Diaries of Leah Hirsig. As we can see from the diary entries, it was not just one big super-magical retreat at the Abbey as one might conclude from reading Moonchild; or from Crowley 's own accounts in his autohagiography. I hope this helps shed some insight and a different perspective on a very shaded portion of A.C.'s and Leah's life at the Abbey of Thelema at Cefalu, Italy.—ED.]