V. A Beautiful Palace

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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.’

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