The simplest and yet the most misunderstood of Crowley’s Libri

Marco Visconti
3 min readAug 20


Liber Oz is often discussed, largely out of context, online.

I touched on this tendency to make of it whatever one wants in my book, but this morning I mused on it a little more.

The original printed edition of Liber Oz

Crowley wrote the piece in order to convey as simply as possible the “O.T.O. plan in words of one syllable” broken down into “five sections: moral, bodily, mental, sexual, and the safeguard tyrannicide…” It was based on a lecture found in the II Degree of O.T.O.

So, Liber Oz is not just a reaction to the upheavals of WWII; it also addresses the utopia of a never-realised O.T.O.-like society that, in his mind, was supposed to supplant the conventional modes of government.

This is one of the reasons why it became relatively popular amongst its writings: it’s been used by O.T.O. Inc. since the 80s to push its own version of Thelema to the masses. Not to a great deal of success, I should add. Still, it’s made of one-syllable sentences, it’s catchy, and it seems incredibly obvious on the face of it.

The Liber also starts with a series of quotes from Liber AL that are often ignored but add very important context to its message. For instance, it actually starts with one of the most reviled passages from it:

the law of

the strong:

this is our law

and the joy

of the world.

AL. II. 2

I would meditate on why it does so.

Often, one of its lines is exemplified by making comments on the travel restrictions imposed by the government lockdowns of recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the one about “man having the right to move as he will upon the face of the earth”.

This is disingenuous. True Will is a vector generated by the opposing forces of Will-to-Live and Will-to-Die. Crowley is incredibly clear on this. Only he states it often in footnotes and odd paragraphs across his entire corpus, thus requiring someone to be familiar with it — a task I don’t really wish on anyone else, but I digress.

The point is that during a worldwide deathly pandemic (or any similar traumatic event), the Will-to-Live would, for most people, surpass the Will-to-Die, thus assuring compliance with stay-at-home rules.

And, again, Will with Crowley always means True Will, the Tipheret realisation completely achieved. So, a teensy tiny percentage of those living at any given moment. Linking that passage to a very inflammatory point of discussion can stir the attention of the conspirituality-addicted masses, but it’s problematic, to say the least.

Rather, the same passage is better applied to the ongoing issue of migrants and those who’d rather see them die than host them in their countries.

However, this is obviously a talking point that won’t get you the support of the same masses mentioned above.



Marco Visconti

⟁ “The Aleister Crowley Manual: Thelemic Magick for Modern Times” out now.