My Grave

 

Theodor_Kittelsen_-_Fattigmannen,_1894-95_(The_Pauper)
The Pauper – Theodor Kittelson

No, dear God, do not let me be deceased
under blankets and sheets
and at my bedside all that crying.
Let me be struck down one day unexpected
and fall in the forest someplace neglected,
where no one can find me while I lay dying.

As a son of the forest who knows it well,
it will not deny my humble request to dwell
at long last upon some mossy mound.
There will I give back to all its animals thus,
my great corpse without speeches or fuss,
and by the crows, the rats and flies so found.

Yes, I will host a grand meal when I am deceased
for those beaks and claws and teeth a feast,
for one and all a generous serving.
And from above a squirrel will look on askance
watching with eyes alert from his branch,
almost human eyes, so unnerving.

An ample portion for each to feed,
enough to satisfy an army in need
and at the table they pick me apart.
An eagle to strip my bones bare,
staying until no more is there,
and then with talons drawn in depart.

And into late evening and all night long
the glorious sounds of a corpse in song
as lovely as when bells are rung.
Then in tribute to me a final word,
from the owl herself it is heard,
hooted as a simple oath is sung.

When the little left of me the earth receives
and at dawn is hidden under a grave of leaves,
the end of this joyous night will be near.
My friends! I have fed you all! Goodbye!
— But all these leaves about me, why?
It must be the wind that swept them here.

– Knut Hamsun

(Translated by Moraline Free)

Pesta5web
The Plague on the Stairs

V. A Beautiful Palace

IMG_4568.JPG

V ATSARAH

Servitors: Alogil, Liriol, Ragaras, Igilon, Sigis, Igarag, Haragil, Oroya (Oroia), Aril, Isagas

The Vision

All around me was the black of night, and from it a series of stars fell from the sky to form a dagger-shaped palace of starlight. It stood translucent until the sun rose in the East behind it, which made it shimmer with golden light and assume a more solid shape. Then Venus rose fast in the sky until it sat like a jewel on the crown of the palace’s peak. I walked towards the palace through the half-light of dawn, walking through a circular garden that bloomed with red roses at its borders.

Entering the palace, I found it to be bare, silent and dimly lit with the only light being that of the blue-grey of the early morning outside. I looked up to the tapering roof of the palace high above me to see the star of morning glowing bright there. Then I began to float towards it, gathering speed. Except I wasn’t floating at all, I realised, but growing in size so that my body began to fill the palace. When I stood fully grown, the light of the Morning Star sat upon my brow, where it emanated three equidistant beams of light into the sky around me. After this, I found myself growing again, getting larger and larger until I could see all of the world beneath me. Soon, the whole planet lay below me as I floated in space to look down upon its globe.

While in space, I looked directly at the sun as it sat distant in its black shroud and noticed it beginning to shimmer, as if it were in water. Then I discovered I was indeed looking at the sun’s reflection in a dark pool that lay back in the gardens of the palace. The light of the sun’s reflection grew brighter until the entire pool shone like liquid gold. A thought came to me to drink from the water, but I was warned from doing so by a sense that doing so would be perilous. Then a well at the edge of the pool drew my attention and I perceived that if I drew water from it, which would surely come from the same source, then I could drink it safely because wells were built to provide drinking water. I drew a wooden bucket from the well on the end of an old, brown rope and saw that the water it contained was ink black, thick and unpalatable. Thinking of purifying it, I took the bucket to the edge of the pool and scooped up a handful of golden water, which I poured into the bucket.

On doing this, the water in the bucket grew tumultuous, as if dark, violent storm clouds swelled within it. From the billowing clouds, white horses appeared which looked like those carved into the Trevi fountain in Rome. Behind the horses, however, was not Oceanus, but Apollo being drawn upon his chariot. The thought then came to me to pour the bucket into the golden pool to make it safe to drink from, but I was forbidden to do so by a foreboding sense of wrongness. Instead, prompted by the same urge, I covered myself with the hybridised water in the bucket with the sense that I could bathe in the golden waters if I did such a thing. After pouring it over myself, my skin shone with a golden film and I plunged into the pool. Rather than becoming deified by the water however, the water became polluted by the darkness I had brought into it. In such a state, the mixture of the pure solar pool and the turbulent sky-water represented the world as it was – a place of darkness and obscurity with enough light in its essence to absolve it from non-existence, but not enough to purify it entirely. Bathing in its waters, however, did seem to brighten the opaque folds that obfuscate the vision of the divine self in our day-to-day routines and experiences.

As the vision came to an end, I heard a voice describing the pool as ‘The Solar Fountain,’ followed by the words ‘his soul remembers,’ coming first as a song then as a spoken voice. The same voice then asked ‘do you play music like your dad used to?’ which made no immediate sense. Before completing the session a final flash came of a flag with a red triangle protruding sideways from the edge of the side where the pole would be threaded through from which four or five vertical red and yellow lines emanated.

For the first time, this vision appeared to be directly connected to one of the previous visions, with the clear glass palace that became solid with the light of the rising sun being the same as that which appeared in the vision of A Pumpkin. Its cited function in that vision—which was giving clear-sightedness—appeared to be fulfilled in the brightness of the Morning Star that adorned my brow and enabled me to experience a vision of the Divine Light and its obfuscation through the veils of the material senses.

Of the spirit names present in this Square, all except Oroya (spelled Oroia in the LBA manuscript) appear in the second square relating to A Beautiful Lawn, with Aril and Liriol also appearing in the fourth square relating to A Beautiful Garden. The name of Oroia was pertinent to the vision due to its origin in it the Ancient Greek word ὡραῖος, meaning ‘beautiful’ or ‘lovely.’ The name of the servant Alogil, who is a possible cognate of the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum’s Eligos and the Book of Offices’ Algor (due to his appearance in the second square of Chapter XXIX of the Abramelin’s fourth book, which makes armed soldiers appear), is apparent in the square’s central cross, while the words around its edge relate to the Hebrew עצרה (atsarah), meaning ‘assembly’ or its root עצר (atsar), meaning ‘restrain,’ ‘stop,’ ‘retain’ and ‘hinder.’ This appeared relevant to the vision due to the sense of foreboding that stopped me from performing certain actions when I was tempted to.

Of the remaining names present, I have tried to account for the meaning of the rest as follows:

• Ragaras – Hebrew רגע (raga’a), ‘break,’ ‘disturb.’ Mathers suggests a Coptic word denoting ‘to bow the head.’
• Igilon – Possibly from Ικελος (Ikelos), the name of a son of Nyx and Erebus, who was a Greek god of nightmares and often appeared in an animal or monstrous form.
• Sigis – Palindromic representation of the Hebrew סיג (sig), meaning ‘dross’ or ‘restriction.’
• Igarag – Possibly from Hebrew קרח (qarach), ‘frost,’ ‘ice,’ ‘cold,’ ‘crystal.’ This may account for the crystalline quality of the palace. Mathers suggests the Celtic carac, meaning ‘terrible,’ which is rather dubious.
• Isagas – Maybe from שאגה (shagah) meaning ‘roar,’ ‘shout,’ ‘yell.’ Mathers cites שגיאה (shagiah) meaning ‘error.’

IV. A Beautiful Garden

IV SELAC

Servitors: Liriol, Mara, Sarasim, Aril, Amillis

The name forming the central cross of the square, LIRIL, relates to the name of the servitor Liriol and the Greek word λειριο, meaning ‘lily.’ The word around the outside of the square, SELAC, has its origins in the Hebrew שלח (shelakh), meaning ‘shoot,’ ‘branch,’ ‘sprout,’ ‘slough’ and ‘to send away.’

The Vision

I stood in the grounds of a park, with a great manor house visible in the distance. A large lawn lay before me which was surrounded by trees, but few flowers. Then I spotted a river off to one side of the lawn and approached it. In the middle of the river was a small island, upon which a beautiful garden grew. I decided to wade across the narrow river to visit the island, tearing a branch from a nearby tree to use as a staff to help me get across. As soon as I entered the waters, they grew turbulent, forcing me to swim over to the island even though they had seemed narrow and mild when I first encountered them.

On arriving on the garden island, I was only able to explore it for only a brief moments before I suddenly found myself far away from it, with no river or garden in sight and nothing but loose stones beneath my feet. Realising I had been transported far beyond the opposite bank of the river, I made my way back towards it on foot with the impression that I was heading south. When I came to the river again, the waters again seemed very narrow and shallow, but as soon as I entered them I realised they were horrendously deep and after only a few steps found I had to swim to the island. On arriving there this time, I found only a small, plain grove present there, then planted my staff into the ground in order to not be expelled from the island again. Two forks appeared at its end as I stabbed it into the soil, wedging it into the earth as I prepared for a struggle to remain on the island.

I sensed a shift in the world as the staff entered the earth and sent deep roots into the ground below and transformed into a great tree with a wide, thick canopy. I sought refuge under its boughs as I perceived that there were many malignant entities forming a circle around me. Night came in an instance as I sheltered beneath the eaves, with a gibbous moon peeking through the branches above. I cast a protective circle to keep the malign presences away and noticed how the waters of the river either side of the island grew turbulent again. It then dawned on me that I needed to keep myself in a still, silent state in order to make my environment serene. On doing this, the river grew gentle and the island began to bloom with flowers. All seemed calm now, with no other presences there but my own.

Then I noticed a woman appear, great in beauty and wearing a red robe. She peeled the robe from her body and revealed that she was not human at all, but a great snake. She slithered towards me and wrapped her body around my wrists, binding them tight. She spoke to me, though none of the words she spoke were familiar, being in a tongue so unusual that I was not able to even approximate their sounds, which were guttural and spoken with a harsh and loud voice. She seemed more human again as she spoke but had the presence of a vampire or of the spurned Lilith seeking to torment Adam in the days before Eve came to Eden. The garden we were in was no paradise however, but a silent, lonely place standing as a precarious bastion against the world’s perils. I focussed my mind on becoming more still and calm again and the garden flourished with florae as the balance resumed. Then I dropped into a deeper state of meditation, finding new passivity in the silence in which I heard a voice saying ‘the sacrifice has been commenced. Proceed and you will not know death.’ On those words, which did not seem obviously related to the vision, I meditated in silence for a few minutes before completing the session.

It was obvious throughout that the island garden, with its tree and snake, had taken on some of the qualities of Eden. There was no perfect state to fall from though, with its various fluxes and turmoils being connected to my own ability to still my mind and be receptive. When these peaceful states came, the garden appeared as a beautiful, serene place, but before long the peace was shattered by the coming of the serpent. Yet with its departure, I was left with the knowledge that the garden represented the illusory and impermanent nature of the sensory world, which is but a small, shifting island in the violent torrents of Being. This understanding, rather than any kind of ‘temptation,’ was the gift she gave. Although her words could not be made out, she brought a wisdom that was raw, direct Gnosis, rather than that of the intellectual faculties, which cannot adequately perceive the nature of reality of which the serpent spoke.

Throughout the vision, I could hear a female neighbour humming a strange, sombre tune, which fitted the slightly sorrowful feel of the vision rather well and didn’t distract me in the ways that noise disturbances often do. The end of her song coincided with the end of the session rather well too, accompanying the ‘active,’ visual parts but ending not long after the more meditative, ‘passive’ parts began.

After writing up the account of what I saw, I set about working out the names of the servitors present in the square, which it is always best to do after the event to prevent knowledge of the names’ meanings influencing the contents of the vision. This also allows one to determine how much objective, or at least synchronistic, reality there may be in the visions shown. Such was certainly the case in this vision, with the name of the spirit Sarasim coming from the Hebrew שרשים, which is the plural of שרש (sharash) meaning ‘a deep root,’ ‘origin,’ ‘source,’ or ‘basis.’ This was relevant due to the ‘deep roots’ the staff I held bore into the earth, with the branch that I crafted it from being directly related to the meaning of the word SELAC described above.

The name Mara also has some significance with its meaning coming from the Hebrew מערה (ma’arah) – ‘cave,’ ‘cavern,’ ‘grotto,’ ‘den’ and מער (ma’ar), meaning ‘naked,’ ‘nudity,’ ‘bare place,’ which represents the ‘grotto’ or ‘den’ of the tree I sought refuge under, the bareness of the island as I arrived there and the disrobing of the serpent woman to reveal her true form. Interestingly, Mara is also that of the death goddess who tried to tempt the Buddha with visions of beautiful women, who also represents the illusory state of the world, and therefore forms a connection to the symbolism revealed by the island that appeared in the vision. With there being no basis whatsoever for any linguisitic connection between the Sanskrit Mara and the Hebrew ma’arah, the symbolic similarity present in this particular vision cannot be entirely discounted. Also symbolically relevant was the fact that this vision’s ‘enlightenment’ took place beneath the eaves of a tree, which reflects not only the location where mankind tasted enlightenment in Genesis, but also that of Gautama’s achievement beneath the eaves of the Boddhi tree.

Liriol’s translation to ‘lily’ that I purported above did not seem very significant here, but the appearance of a spirit akin to Lilith may have been evident due to the phonological similarities between these words, with the repetition of the letters L and I in the Square indicating the Hebrew ליל, denoting the ‘night’ from which Lilith takes her name, which roughly means ‘night monster.’ That her appearance came after day turned to night beneath the canopy of the tree appears to confirm this connection.

Of the other spirits that appear in this Square, the name of Aril may be connected to the Hebrew ערל (a’aril), ‘uncircumcised,’ which reflect the spirits being seen as ‘pagan’ and therefore inimical to God in the Jewish context of the Abramelin. Amillis, meanwhile, resembles עָמֵל (a’amil), ‘worker,’ ‘labourer,’ ‘exertion,’ ‘toil,’ and is possibly named as such due to the servant spirits’ functional aspects as the ‘slaves’ of the Four Kings.

Corvid Offerings

Magpie

A pleasant synchronicity relating to the vision of a Pumpkin occurred this morning when a magpie landed at my window ledge to indulge in an offering of cake and honey I’d left there after some ongoing work with the spirit Naberius last week. The cake had been left untouched until today, so the timing of this bird appearing now, following a vision in which I flew to a window ledge in the form of a crow, is quite interesting. Also relevant, perhaps, was the appearance of a woman with equally black and white hair in the vision and the fact that Naberius, who the offering was left for, comes in the form of a crow in the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum.

The magpie’s appearance made me jump a little as he was quite bold, peering in at me through a gap in the window as if he was thinking of inviting himself in. Once I saw him, he proceeded to rip a large chunk off the cake and fly away. About an hour later, he returned for more.

It’s a known phenomenon that corvids like to bring gifts to people who feed them, and it’s been a long-standing desire of mine to receive such a treasure. I think I’ll start leaving more stuff out for this cheeky chap with the hope of receiving something shiny he’s picked up on his travels in return.

On Hidden Names

The appearance of the name FOLAK (Volac) in the square used to obtain a vision of a Pumpkin presents a notable phenomenon that is consistent among the squares of the Abramelin. That phenomenon is the appearance of the names (or close approximations of them) of spirits that can be found within other Grimoires, such as the Lemegeton. Looking at the Square used to obtain the vision of A Hunting Party for instance, it can be seen that the names AGAROS, STOLAS, ZAGAN (as SAGAN) and OSE appear in plain, scattered or anagrammed form, as do those of the Elemental Kings ORIENS and ARITON and the Book of Offices spirit SESON (an alias of Purson). While these manifestations seem vague, the pattern of their appearances are consistent with those of the servitors that are professed to be associated with the squares within the texts of the Abramelin, so this is a consideration worth bearing in mind when analysing the squares. As it is evident that it is not only spirit names that appear in the squares, but also the Greek, Latin and Hebrew words that are consistent with the themes of the Squares’ powers, it should also be considered that other meaningful words may also be hidden within them. Looking at the square for the Hunting Party again, it is apparent that it also contains the letters of the word GOETIA in close proximity to each other and fittingly—considering the nature of the astral visions they induce—the letters of the word ERGOT appear in such a fashion, too, suggesting a possible shamanic and entheogenic element in this form of magic.

III. A Pumpkin

Servitors: Apolion, Nascelon (Naskelon), Nasi, Afolop (Afokop), Kilik, Kokolon, Alpas, Ipakol.

The word found on the Square’s outer edges, KIKAION, comes from the Hebrew קיקיון (see Jonah 4:6-11), which relates to a gourd, which belongs to the same family¹ as the pumpkin.
The Vision

A tall cedar appeared on a brown, marshy, windswept landscape. In its boughs hung a pumpkin, which rocked violently in the wind. In the surrounding branches bells tinkled and electric lights hung, which grew dim with the stronger gusts. As I watched, the pumpkin in the tree rotated to reveal the carved face of a jack-o-lantern which I fully expected to find appearing in this vision. As soon as its ‘face’ was visible, the pumpkin rocked back and forth with such strength that it fell to the ground and smashed into hundreds of pieces. I looked down to inspect its ruin and saw black seeds amidst the slivers of orange flesh that had scattered over the marsh. Rotten hands emerged from the ground to grasp at the seeds, which they took into the earth with them. As I saw their hands return to the world below, I imagined the place their bearers resided in to be akin to Dante’s description of the Vestibule of Hell, where the grasping, self-serving, noncommittal souls dwelled. As I looked down, I saw that I had no physical form, and realised that this was the reason why I didn’t sink unto the earth to join the spirits beneath. Thinking this, I wondered how the huge tree stayed so perfectly upright in such terrain and perceived that it was because its roots ran deep into the bones of the earth.

With my attention coming back to the shard of pumpkin flesh, I saw that one of the pieces had the ‘eye’ of the jack-o-lantern in it. Then I saw another, and decided to wear the pieces over my face to construct a mask out of them. When I did this, a pale, translucent tunnel appeared, which I was prompted to follow through the marshy landscape. It led to a small village with two wind turbines on its edge, and a tall, wooden house with a wedge-shaped roof rising over it on a small hill. I flew up to one of its windows, where I noticed I now wore the form of a crow. At the window, a black figure awaited me, whose name formed in my mind as the image of a doll, which led to me perceiving his name to be Adolon. As I landed, he spoke to me with a harsh whisper, asking ‘do you have it?’ In response, I dropped one of the black pumpkin seeds into his hand. He devoured the seed and prompted me to do the same. I held a seed in my beak and listened to the spirit’s instructions on how to eat it. As I did so, I became aware of a faint kundalini response which came with an explanation from the spirit about what the seeds actually were. They were souls, he said, that one devours into one’s being just as one takes a soul into the body upon birth then passes out of it again upon death. After eating his seed, he thanked me and asked what I wished for in return. I told him I wished for an increase in daemonic and spiritual awakening in the world, but he denied this as it was beyond his capability to assist with and bade me to ask for something else. I stated that I did not have any great desire and was content to act as his intermediary. In response, he directed me to go to a castle that lay to the west (explaining that he was in the North) and speak with its tenant. This I did, where I found the castle to be entirely made of glass.

Inside, an old woman with grey skin, hair that was equally black and white and a face that had a large mouth but no eyes, greeted me. She explained that the crystalline castle represented clear sight, which she pointed out to be a great irony as she lived there but was blind. She stated she would allow me to take refuge there and visit whenever I wanted to. So, in human form, I entered and took residence in a small cell of stone and wood which was filled with a moderate collection of books. Before long, a face appeared in the square glass window of the blue metal door that barred entry to the room. It belonged to a spirit with a grief-stricken expression, who said ‘do open the door and let me in, would you.’ Having had many experiences in astral travel and at the edge of sleep where I am asked to ‘open the door’ and allow entities to enter something (myself, I assume), I refused and said ‘what is your name, wretched spirit?’ It replied, ‘I am called Doolas, for I am sorrowful.’ I opened the door slightly, still barring entry to the cell, and saw that its body was thin with starvation. Recognising the name of this spirit, I asked it to confirm more about its identity, asking ‘art thou Volac?’ At the mention of this name, the spirit grew furious and tried to grab one of the pumpkin seeds from me, which I now held one of in my hand, demanding that I gave it to him. In response, I slammed the door shut and it disappeared.

Then the vision began to fade and my mind grew still and silent. In this state, I grew aware of the Square I held in my right hand growing heavy, then felt something heavy in my left hand too and perceived that I was holding a book. In my mind’s eye I saw that it had a worn orange cover, with words that I could barely read marked all over it. Then, after scouring the cover, I found that I could just about make out the title, which was ‘The Historical Approach to Magic,’ and this is where the vision ended.

Due to the time of year, there was little chance for synchronicities involving pumpkins to present themselves. However, allowing YouTube to play recommended videos beforehand involved one in which a graphic of three pumpkins appeared while I was in the final stages of preparation.

The received name Adolon comes from the Greek ἄδολον, meaning ‘sincere,’ ‘true’ or ‘honest,’ while the similarly named Doolas is a Book of Offices cognate of the Lemegeton spirit Volac and has a likely etymological origin in the Latin Dolorosus, ‘painful’ or the Greek Δούλος, ‘slave.’ Notably, a phonetic variation of the name Volac appears in the Square with the spelling FOLAK, as does the English word ‘pain’ and the Greek PEINA (Πείνα), meaning ‘hunger’ or ‘starvation.’

Of the names of the servitors apparent in this Square, the most prominent is that of Apolion, whose name appears in the line spelling ONAPOLI. This name is derived from Apollyon, the Angel of the Abyss in the Book of Revelations, and means ‘destroyer.’ In the vision, the ‘destroyer’ was the great wind which caused the pumpkin to fall from the tree and disintegrate. Also present is the name Nascelon (here spelled Naskelon), which is reminiscent of the name of the Philistine city Ashkelon, which was denigrated in Zephaniah 2:4 for its prominent idolatry and was cited by Herodotus as being the site of the most ancient temple of the goddess Ashtoreth. The name Nasi derives from the Hebrew נשי meaning ‘womanly’ or ‘effeminate’ and may have been reflected in the feminine entities that appeared in both this and the vision of the Square relating to A Hunting Party. Another name that appeared in both this and the last Square, Kilik, possibly comes from the Hebrew חַיִל (khil) meaning ‘power,’ ‘strength,’ ‘bastion,’ ‘army’ and ‘wealth.’ This spirit may be an alias of the Grimorium Verum spirit Khil who is connected in function to the Lemegeton spirit Agares—whose name also appears in this square with the spelling Agaros—due to their shared ability to cause Earthquakes. The appearance of the spirit Alpas is also of note, as his Lemegeton cognate Malphas appears as a crow and causes the construction of houses and castles, which all form pertinent aspects of this vision. Other evident names include Kokolon, which has a possible origin in קלון (qlon) meaning ‘shame,’ ‘infamy,’ ‘disgrace,’ ‘prostitution,’ and Afolop, which may come from אפל (afol) meaning ‘dark,’ ‘leaden,’ ‘gloomy,’ ‘black,’ ‘dim,’ ‘obscure.’ With the alternative spelling Afokop found in this square, however, the latter of these two final names also has the additional meaning אפק (afoq) denoting ‘strength,’ ‘restraint’ or ‘a stronghold or fortress,’ and אופק (aofoq), meaning ‘vista’ or ‘horizon,’ to consider.


¹ Cucurbitaceae.