Xeper: The Eternal Word of Set
by Don Webb V°, High Priest
I am the Magus of the Word Xeper (pronounced Khefer), an English language
coinage expressing an Egyptian verb written as a stylized scarab and meaning
"I Have Come Into Being." This Word generates the Aeon of Set, and is the
current form of the Eternal Word of the Prince of Darkness. To Know this
Word is to know that the ultimate responsibility for the evolution of your psyche
is in your hands. It is the Word of freedom, ecstasy, fearful responsibility, and
the root of all Magic.
An Aeon is a world. As human beings we are familiar with many "worlds." We
can talk about the "world of Thomas Jefferson" or the "world of Newton."
Magical worlds are created by Words -- by the verbal power of mankind to
express a divine principle -- which through the effect of that Utterance on the
objective universe brings about the creation of the world. The Word serves as
a gateway for the mind seeking to enter the world it defines, and the effect of
an Utterance of a Word will cause many worlds to be reconfigured in order to
Hear it. The Aeon of Set is Created by the Word "Xeper." Xeper is an Egyptian
verb meaning "I Have Come Into Being." Xeper is the experience of an
individual psyche becoming aware of its own existence and deciding to expand
and evolve that existence through its own actions. Xeper has been
experienced by anyone who has decided to seek after his or her own
Awareness of Xeper usually begins with a moment of rebellion against the
spiritual status quo. In this sense Xeper is a "Satanic" word, and the condition
that led to its re-emergence on this Earth began in the Working called the
Church of Satan. Its properties transcend and are in some ways opposed to
that matrix. It is the nature of Self-Creation that it continually Re-creates its
matrix in the objective universe so that the subjective universe can evolve and
expand. To experience that moment of Xeper, of emergent self-divinity one
must Love two things with all of one's heart. The first of these is Freedom,
because only in Freedom can one take the steps (if initially only mentally) that
create and limit the Self. The second thing one must Love is Knowledge. This
isn't the same thing as information; this a transformative Understanding of
those things within us and beyond us that determine who we are.
The symbols of Xeper are the scarab beetle and the dawning sun. The beetle
is symbolic of self trust and hard work. The beetle goes through very different
stages from egg to larva to pupa to beetle. Each stage has its own Work, a
particular way of gathering energy and materials, particular ways of
transforming them. It senses its own evolution and works toward it -- even
though the momentum of that evolution will change its shape radically -- taking
it at the appropriate time into unknown worlds and new modes of Being. The
dawn is symbolic of the way the world is perceived. Unlike the followers of
conventional religion who posses guidebooks that explain the world away, the
Seeker after Xeper is looking for an intensification of his or her own Being so
that the world may be made intelligible in his or her own light. In this darkling
universe there are no lights save for those you create through your hard work,
your spiritual rebellion, your seeking after the mysteries of your own choosing.
When that light dawns, it will by its very nature not only give you moments of
clarity about the things in your life closest to you, it will likewise show you new
horizons -- horizons for you and you alone to explore. This Secret was known
symbolically to the Egyptians -- they identified their god Xepera, the
Self-Created One with Hrumachis, the god of the Horizon. This Secret was
also known (at a divine level) by Aleister Crowley, who predicted that the Aeon
of Hrumachis would surpass his own.
Set, the Egyptian god of Darkness, is the Divine origin of the Word. Set's name
ultimately means the "Separator" or "Isolator." His chief enemies are the gods
of Stasis and Mindlessness. The first of these is Osiris, Death himself. Set's
slaying of Osiris has a twofold significance for the seeker of Xeper. Firstly this
represents the slaying of old thought patterns, the dethroning of those internal
gods that we have received from society. On a second level this was the act
by which Set, alone of all the gods of ancient Egypt, became deathless. The
Left Hand Path is a quest to Become an immortal, potent, and powerful
Essence. Set's other enemy is the demon of mindless chaos, Apep. Set is
said to slay this creature every night just before dawn. This symbolizes
overcoming self doubt and delusion, of acting at the times of greatest despair,
or not being lulled to sleep by the powerful self-hypnotizing engines of mankind.
Set achieves (on a divine level) this isolation from the universe so that he may
say, "Xeper" = "I Have Come Into Being." Each of these breaks -- the break
from the dead past (by slaying Osiris) and the break from the confused
present (by slaying Apep) -- is done for the sake of a self-determined future.
One of Set's cult titles, Set-Heh, means God of Unending Futurity.
Set did not receive the aid of other gods in his two quests, nor does Set give
aid to those who seek to emulate these quests on a human level. Those who
struggle (like Set) with the principle of Xeper are of his Essence. Their actions
are essentially the same. Those who want to share their quests and pool their
knowledge seek after Set's chief tool of His Aeon, the Temple of Set. It is the
most concentrated environment for the study of Xeper, both as noun and verb.
Xeper can not be studied as an abstract intellectual idea, it must be
experienced. One can read about Justice, or one can hope for it, but to truly
Know Justice you must bring it into Being. One can read about Xeper, as your
interest in secret things has brought you to do. You can hope for it. Or you can
seek the solitary self-transformation that will cause you to experience it. The
Temple of Set represents a concentration of the Aeon; like Set himself, it does
not answer prayers, and by its very Being provides challenges for those who
would seek after the Word of Xeper. It is the embodiment of the Emerald Dawn
enVisioned by the Fraternitas Saturni. We are not necessarily a "Satanic"
order, other than we Understand that for Initiation on the Left Hand Path to be
effective for those who have just begun Work on that path, the antinomian
aspect of the Work does Need to be fulfilled by some means. The imagery of
the Black Arts provides that Need for many, but it likewise can be limiting as it
is mastered. Our predecessor was caught by this trap, and we hope by
exploring the manifestations of the principle of Xeper in many cultures and
times and in our own creations to have much further horizons. Diabolical
imagery is useful only in a culturally bound antinomian sense; beyond this it
represents a new stasis to be discarded.
Xeper. Now an Egyptian verb, like an English verb, can have several forms
depending on its number, tense, voice, and mood. (Unlike an English verb,
Egyptian verbs also have gender.) You can have a verb such as run which can
be conjugated (I run; you run; he, she or it runs; we run -- I am running -- I ran
-- etc.). There are about 140 forms for an English verb (I remember this
because my Junior High School Latin teacher often made us write the full
conjugation of English verbs when he was mad at us). We happen to know the
tense and person of the verb Xeper from the sentence Xepera Xeper Xeperu. It
is first person, stative. Now while you're trying to remember your High School
grammar as to what tense "stative" is -- you won't. We don't have the tense in
English. It refers to a past event that modifies a current state. We do have first
person, of course; that means that "I" did it.
The proper translation of the verb Xeper is "I Have Come Into Being." Now
there are some implications of this that we in the Temple have not yet
considered. Firstly the verb refers to a moment that *HAS* happened that
explains why we are here. When you write or speak or think the word "Xeper"
you are talking about something that has taken place. You are not talking about
something taking place at the moment of the speech act. Xeper is *NOT* a
continuous process. It is a series of events, whose presence we sense either
through reason, or through divine apprehensions. We are aware that
*something* has occurred to give the particular Being we have at any moment.
We are aware that whatever the great shaping potential of that *something* we
don't have that potential at this moment. In short we are aware that we have
had a moment wherein we acted as gods. We did something divine -- we had
some peak experience -- we made some life-altering choice -- and it has
produced the creatures we are now. Now this produces two great realizations.
First, we are aware that we have a capacity beyond wherever and whenever
we are right now to both Limit and Create ourselves. All moments of Xeper
both Limit and Create ourselves -- or to use both of those ideas at the same
time, all moments of Xeper Isolate ourselves from the Cosmos. Second, we
want to do this again. Humankind wants the Divine. In erroneous religions this
desire is a return to the Divine in one way or another (either by union or by
being in the divine presence in some place with far too much harp music).
Well that doesn't work -- you can't go back to the state where Xeper last
occurred. You can't go back to a previous divine state any more than you can
fold an oak back into an acorn. You can only go forward to another divine state.
If you want to both achieve and experience your godhood, you've got to go
forward. In our Earthly incarnation we never fully experience the divine
moment, only through magical introspection do we discover that we have
passed through them, and can therefore say (with both happiness and terror) "I
Have Come Into Being." In the Bremmer-Rhind papyrus this idea is reflected in
the fact that Xepera's first two children are Shu (Reason) and Tefnut (Peak
Emotions). Through these two *Human* experiences we can detect the divine,
and having detected it learn to Work with it to have more divine experiences.
Now the first question is -- how do I have more divine experiences? Xeper
happens to every sapient being (note I didn't say every intelligent being, I'll
return to that point in a future article). Most humans (and most of us most of
the time) stumble across those experiences that would set up the conditions
so that they could later say, "Xeper" if they had a large enough brain to hold the
concept. The experience might be going into a drugstore to buy a malted milk
and meeting the person that becomes your spouse for the next fifty years. Well
that was divine moment, it both Limited and Created your Life. A Christian
would say it was the hand of God, a Hindu would invoke Karma. But we know
who did it -- that man or woman we face in the mirror everyday. The scary
thing for all humans -- and in fact the reason they/we invented religion in the
first place -- is that *most* divine experiences occur blindly. So most humans
either ask some fairy tale on bended knee not to give them bad experiences, or
if they're a little braver try to influence them with magic, or try to deny them by
exerting the meaningless nature of the Cosmos. But the Setian, knowing that
only through such experiences can he or she find the metamorphosis that our
philosophy finds both achievable and desirable, seeks out the divine
experience. I can't tell you where to find yours. If you did what I did, you would
mainly find that it didn't work. That is because of the individualistic nature of
Xeper (remember? -- First Person verb).
This tells you many things about Xeper, the verb. It is *NOT* continuous. All
events do not feed it equally. It is not fully under conscious control, rather
consciousness and emotion arise from it; but can and must be used to seek
more of it. This means that Xeper is *NOT* simple self-development or
self-improvement, but that those things chosen rationally can put us in the
place where Xeper can occur. All sapient beings experience Xeper, but those
who can name it and Understand its purpose have a much better chance of
achieving it. The paths to it are absolutely personal, but some of its properties
(such as being fed/triggered by peak experiences) lead to certain group
functions as facilitators. It Limits you -- Divine decisions always involve a road
not taken. It Creates you -- Divine decisions always lead to much more than
can be rationally deduced. When you can say "Xeper" you are in some way a
The noun "Xeper" -- that thing we speak of us as our "Xeper" -- is likewise an
Egyptian noun. It is usually translated into English as manifestation. Or "The
thing that happened." The plural of the noun is Xeperu. When we talk about our
"Xeper" we are talking about a very large thing indeed -- and we usually (in our
normal sluglike mode) give very little thought to it. Yet if we simply Become
aware of Xeper -- our personal magical and philosophical horizons greatly
expand. Many magicians in the Temple of Set take justifiable pride in the
magical items they create. It's easy to see one's magic in a necklace one
makes. However as magicians what we do is a make a very large magical
object, existing on many levels of reality. Our entire lives considered at any
moment is a Xeper, a manifestation. If you can think of all the things that you've
wrought -- changes in your mind/body complex, your recognition, your
reputation -- all of those things that represent what you have brought to this
Earth -- as a giant talisman -- then you've got a handle on Xeper, the noun.
Many of you may have written a Rune to pull something -- gold or love -- out of
the Unmanifest. That Rune is a tiny, tiny version of the great talisman your
Xeper is. The creation of Xeper is the Working whereby we attract what we're
going to get in this life, and the divine memory we will have of this life.
Xeper, the noun, is *the extension of existence to a further level of Being*.
These extensions can be a thought that you've pulled to a developed
conscious level from an intuition -- which would represent two levels of being in
your Subjective Universe. These extensions can be what others think of you.
The extensions are particularity evident in actions that represent a first or
personal best effort at some thing. Hence if you really want to Xeper, conquer
fear by doing something you didn't think you could. Or find a mystery and bring
it to the surface of your understanding -- or better yet the understanding of
others. Or create something new (the last would be an example of the verb for
Create, S'Xeper). Since Xeper exists as a noun, you can interact with the
Xeper of others -- you are effected (usually blindly) by the Work of past
magicians, or if you have learned the art of Shaping and Seeking your own
Xeper *first* you can consciously Work with other's products -- an excellent
example of this would the Wewelsburg Working.
I'll leave you with one other word for your word-hoard -- the dual noun Xeperi.
Egyptian nouns can be singular (one cat), dual (two cats) or plural (too many
cats). The noun Xeperi can best be translated by synchronicity; although the
standard translation is miracle. The Egyptians knew the Sign of something
Coming Into Being was the meaningful co-incidence. We know too -- either bu
Shu ("What were the odds of that happening?") or by Tefnut ("It sent shivers
down my spine."). The noun Xeperi shows that manifestations are not
continuous, but discrete -- actions at a distance -- or more simply, magic.
Xeper has occurred when two discrete systems resonate with one another.
Another form of Xeperi is that moment of communication of wordless magical
information with one another. The most familiar form of this is through our
interactions with the Aeon, and as before the more adept you are at Seeking
and Shaping your own Xeper, the more you can positively interact with the
Xeper of the Aeon, and help fulfill her purpose of exporting Xeper into the
Think about these things. Think about them till that shiver runs down your back.
Then put this aside for awhile and come back to it. Then, after the most
personal and individual of experimentation you too can Know and Heed the
Law: Xepera Xeper Xeperu = I Have Come Into Being, and by the Process of
my Coming Into Being, the Process of Coming Into Being is Established.
I will speak on the Word's history, and I will ask you all to think on this Evolution
in the objective universe, and then upon the Evolution of your own subjective
universe -- how you, the reader, has experienced Xeper. With each evolution of
the Word, note how it doesn't lose meaning, but gains through each historical
test -- just as Xeper in your self gains as you gain new being.
The formula "Xepera Xeper Xeperu" has been traced by French Egyptologists
back to the First Intermediate period. There it was a formula of power for
finding meaning when the Divine Kingship, the most important source of order,
had collapsed. This was probably the birth of the Left Hand Path -- the idea that
meaning can only come from the individual. "Xeper" was the last fortress -- the
mind and body of the individual. "Xeper" was the word of anyone who would not
let the divine principle of Isolation and Evolution fail.
The second appearance was in Ramses III's time. The formula was used to
empower travelers through the desert. "Xeper" was a touchstone for those
who extend existence by passing boundaries. "Xeper" was the word of the
extender of Egypt -- of the Known Order.
The third appearance was at the beginning of the Hermetic tradition. "Xeper"
became the word of the individual magician seeking two types of power: power
to see through the illusions of this world, and power for a coherent afterlife.
These practitioners began a magical practice that went beyond the state goals
of Egypt or Greece or Rome.
The fourth appearance -- connected with the purchase of Budge's _Egyptian
Language_ by a Priest of Mendes -- was very different. The Left Hand Path
was up and running. The Word Worked on a matrix of its own making. Michael
Aquino had to find the word (cast in Roman and Greek letters) in a translation
from its last appearance. He didn't write the Rhind papyrus, any more than its
author came up with the spell of Continuous Re-Creation. But his Utterance of
that Word -- in a matrix conditioned by its last appearance -- produced a new
access to energy and power beyond any previous utterances. Aquino's
Utterance in 1975 e.v. was the Utterance of the Word of Aeons, defining the
process that each sapient being must experience in order to change him- or
herself. Xeper is the concept upon which the cycles of manifestation are
actualized (in both the noumenological and phenomenological worlds). The
actual activity of cyclical dynamism is generated by the formula of Xepera
Xeper Xeperu, and my Remanifestation of the Word with my own Utterance of
Xeper on the Spring Equinox of 1996 e.v. will raise and attune the imagination
of the world to a new and permanent understanding of the principle.
My Utterance of the Word is in the tradition of Michael Aquino's. I am Uttering
the Word into a Matrix of its own conditioning. The results should be stronger
and further reaching than Michael Aquino's Utterance -- just as he or she that
follows me will extend the Word further.
Each Pharaoh attempted to extend the borders of the country further than his
predecessor. I am extending the possibilities for Xeper further than Michael
Aquino. My accomplishments will be less, the time of seeing an Aeon being
born is very rare. My job will be to find and articulate more of the properties of
Xeper, so that each student of the Black Arts will have new *types* of tools for
their collaboration with Set.
If I manage to extend the boundaries and make there my Oath of Truth, then I
will be seen as a successful Magus. If I fail, others will Utter "Xeper," just as
mankind has been doing for the last four thousand years. It is the job of the
Temple to keep the connections of the Word alive, so that long periods of
ignorance come not again. In fact, if we fail utterly then the Word will not be
heard on this earth again.
To those that dare the Black Magic, that will take up the uniquely personal
challenge of Xeper, both as a spiritual quest for Self-deification and a
psychological exploration of antinomianism, I send greetings, and the sure
Knowledge that when you think of Set, He thinks of you.