XVII: Bridges

Chinvat

XVII DOBERAH

Servitors: Ekalak, Liriol, Nabhi, Laralos, Badad, Helel, Nasi, Aril, Kilik, Kokolon, Balabos

The word DOBERAH at the outer edges of the square comes from the Hebrew root דִבר (dabar), meaning ‘to speak’ or ‘pronounce,’ and is related to the variations דבור – ‘speech,’ ‘word,’ ‘saying,’ ‘commandment;’ דברה – ‘cause,’ ‘reason,’ ‘manner;’ and דבורה – ‘bee,’ which also relates to the name of the Biblical prophet and judge Deborah. The name of the spirit in the central square is that of Ekalak, whose name may originate in the Hebrew חלק (khelaq), meaning ‘portion,’ ‘part,’ ‘lot,’ ‘share,’ ‘fragment.’

The Vision

It was night and I came to a stop on a rusting suspension bridge spanning a river after running some distance on an asphalt road. I climbed on the metal railings that ran along its side and seemed to have the choice to either climb to its top or jump over the edge into the river below. I paused unsure of which of the two I should do before realising that the bridge acted as a crossroads with the river below and led to another world. Looking up and down the river to my left and right I saw that many other bridges had been constructed. Above me, I saw a waning gibbous moon and realised that I should be crossing the bridge not ascending it or jumping from it. I stood upon the road again and had the impression that a car was coming down the road with its headlights on.

As soon as I got to the other side of the bridge it became day and I stood in the midst of a landscape which looked very Greek. Around me was yellow grass, like that of a savannah or otherwise arid landscape, and at the crest of a small hill in front of me appeared a baby elephant that seemed to be happy to see me. I thought about approaching it but got the sense that its mother or father would be nearby and would trample me if I came anywhere near it. Instead, I waited a moment to see what would happen next, then trudged carefully through a track in the grass while being careful to maintain my distance from the calf. As I neared the top of the slope, the Land Rover from the vision of Farm Buildings appeared and drove over the grass, as it also had in that vision, and pulled to a halt near the elephant. As it approached, the elephant changed into a woman of middle-years wearing a velvet, burgundy dress and with long brown hair with slight curls in it which was bedecked by a crown of laurel leaves. As her form changed, the driver of the Land Rover exited his vehicle. He was a man of late middle age with sharp features and was wearing clothes that were typical of a British farmer, being a green wax jacket, green trousers and hat, and he had a shotgun with its barrel popped open resting over the crook of his right arm. On seeing the woman, he placed his gun on the floor and it flew off into the distance behind him as they both disrobed and his Land Rover also vanished.

The couple then began to have sex in front of me, which made me feel rather uncomfortable, so I scanned the surrounding environment while they got on with it and saw many eyes, like pinpricks of yellow light, were watching both me and they from a great distance. When the two had finished their act of lust, I saw the co-mingled deposit of their union left on the floor where they had lain, pink in colour and in the shape of a Vesica. From it, an enormous rose grew, as quickly and as tall as the beanstalk in the tale of Jack the Giant Killer, and a great vine twisted around its stem. When it finished growing, it stood high in the sky, penetrating the clouds. I felt the same temptation to ascend then as I had at the bridge, but once again paused before doing so. As I lingered, I sensed the surrounding watchers coming closer. Then, confirming my suspicions, a vicious black wolf stepped out from the forest close to where the Land Rover had been parked. Knowing this was the time to ascend, I climbed.

On my ascent, I noticed that the stem between the huge thorns was covered in sticky sap which made the ascent easier as it was so tacky I knew I had no chance of falling back to earth. By the time I reached the base of the flower’s head, which was as far as I could travel, I was high above the clouds and saw the sun and the moon on either side of the petals above me, the sun to the left of it and the moon to the right. Beyond them, I could see the forms of a few scattered, distant mountains rising above the soft cloud-line. As I pondered what I should do next, a beam of rainbow light appeared in the distance, beaming its rays from some unknown point in the blue sky above to break through the clouds below projecting to an unseen location on the Earth. I understood that this to be a signal of where I should now head, and transported myself there by taking one of the huge vines that twisted around the rose’s stem and projecting its end to the base of the rainbow before sliding down it in a dizzying descent that felt realistic enough to give me a touch of vertigo.

At the base of the vine, where it met the rainbow and mingled with its rays, was a sandy beach and a great sea set in a bay of cliffs, coves and caves. Written in the wet sand was the word DOBERAH, which then extended to form the rest of the square in its entirety. Behind me, in a cave, I could hear the sound of ethereal female voices singing, which I followed to find a pool of dark sea water. I sat on a rock and let my feet dangle into the pool, but got a sense of dark, shadowy entities swimming under its surface, so removed them and rose to my feet again. As I stood there listening to the song, the light of the setting sun flooded into the cave bring the music to a stop. In the water, I could see a female spirit guarding its eyes from the light of the sun. She asked me if I could block the light of the sun with my body as he found the light intolerable. I adhered to her request and asked if she had any messages she wished to deliver to me. In response, she gave the following words:

“The seal has been broken. You stand on the edge of All, at the twilight shore of Time. Cross the Sea and be No More.”

After receiving this message, I returned to the beach and watched the sea come in with the tide to wash the words of the square away from the sand. I placed a stick into the area where the word had been in order to mark its place, and with that act the sun vanished and was replaced by the moon, which then set into the sea to leave me in total darkness. From the cave, I heard the sounds of the spirits’ echoing song beginning again. In the blind darkness that was left in my mind I saw a gravestone wrapped in ivy that I recognised from a graveyard close to where I live in the ‘real’ world. Instead of the name that usually appeared on it however was an inscription which read ‘Here Lies No More.’ After noting this, I walked away from the grave and up the hill to the path that leads to my home. This marked the end of the vision.

Notes

There was lots of polarity between dark and night, moon and sun and female and male in this vision, as well as lots of aspects of liminality, such as the twilight, the shore, bridges, a crossroad and a river. The appearance of a rainbow acting as a guiding light to show me where to head next when I had ascended the heights of the rose was akin to the Chinvat Bridge of Zoroastrianism which, like Bïfrost which separated the realms of Midgard and Asgard in Norse mythology, marked the realm between the worlds of the living and dead.

One of the most striking parts of this vision was the act of sex magick between the male and female spirits that appeared. The rose they produced symbolised that of the Rosy Cross formula, while the sun and moon that flanked each side of its head represented the culmination of male and female energies into alchemical gold. The place where I came to rest in my ascent of the rose’s thorny stem was akin to the veil of Paroketh, while the rainbow that appeared in the distance represented the paths of Qoph, Shin and Tau that emanate from the Sephirah of Netzach, Yesod and Hod which come together (pun somewhat intended) to form the word Qesheth, meaning ‘bow.’ The product of this bow is the upward flying arrow of the path of Samekh, which is associated with the sign of Sagittarius and, in the Thoth Tarot, the comingled energies of The Lovers becoming united as one in Art.

What the astrological association of this formula may point to is a connection between the position of the moon when I had constructed the square, due to it being in Sagittarius at that time. This is not the first time this has occurred, as when I constructed the square pertaining to Flowers, the moon was in Scorpio and that vision featured imagery relating to Scorpion Grass and an eagle, both of which symbolise the influence of that sign. This suggests that in future I should note where in the Zodiac the Moon is when I create these squares, just to see if this hypothesis bears any fruit.

Also of interest was the female spirit who sang in the dark, watery cave. Her message related the notion of crossing the sea in order to be No More. This relates to the great Sea of Binah with the connotations of crossing it relating to the traversing the Abyss into the realms where the personal ego is disintegrated.

While I have good knowledge of the Qaballistic system of Magic I would not primarily identify myself as a Qaballist, so these are not associations I am actively looking for in working with the Squares. What it does suggest, however, is that the Squares themselves are very much a Qabalistic expression and therefore their forms very much relate to such modes of communication. This does not mean that the spirits that appear rely on such forms to exist, hey merely use the Qaballah as the ‘language’ through which they communicate, as it was in this language that the squares they swore their oaths upon were created.

Of the spirits present, Badad is of note due to the connected ways the letters ‘B’ and ‘A’ interconnect with each other in a perpendicular fashion in this square, while the two ‘D’s present in the top left and bottom right corners mirror each other and the letters B and A in a fashion that suggests a sigil of that spirit’s name could be easily formed from this square. The meaning of this name finds its origin in the Hebrew word בדד (badad), meaning ‘alone,’ ‘apart’ or ‘solitary.’

Mathers’ translation of the name Aril to ‘thorny’ appears accurate here considering the thorns that appeared on the giant rose.

Kokolon may be relevant due to its name relating to the word ‘shame,’ as I felt a degree of embarrassment while watching the two spirits in congress.

The feminine qualities in the spirits present, the first being she who first appeared as the baby elephant and the second being the underwater spirit singing in the cave, may be connected to the presence of the spirit Nasi, whose name means ‘feminine.’ This is only the sixth square this spirit has appeared in so far, but the overall tone of most of the squares has been biased far more towards feminine entities than masculine ones. This leads me to believe that the qualities of this kind of magical work is definitely one in which the feminine entities act as the dominant initiators.

Confirming this in this particular square is the name of the spirit Nabhi, which Mathers states comes from the Hebrew root נבא (naba), ‘to prophesy.’ What he failed to notice however is the fact that the feminine noun of this word נביאה (nabiah), is much closer to the mark. More precisely, this word means ‘prophetess’ or ‘sibyl,’ and is therefore pertinent to the name of the prophet Deborah that the square was constructed from as well as the presence of the female spirit in the cave who delivered a spoken prophecy. The presence of this prophetic spirit also fits well the root word דבר from which this square was constructed which, meaning ‘to speak’ or ‘pronounce,’ verifies its sibylline nature. The relevance of this root also correlates with the presence of another name found in this square, Barak, who was the ancient ruler of Israel whose victory in war the prophet Deborah was the key to. Barak’s name translates to ‘lightning,’ and is also formed of the same root as the name of the Watcher Baraqiel in the Book of Enoch.

Also present is the word שיר (shir), meaning ‘sing.’ This may relate to the singing that was heard coming from the cave, but also has a relevance to the biblical verse of Judges 5:1: ‘Then sang Deborah and Barak.’ Considering the male-female polarity present in this square, the appearance of the combined actions of this ancient pairing—in which the feminine force was the key to victory—might be seen as further confirmation of the spiritual superiority of the female powers associated with the squares.

XVI: Flowers

Green Spirit

XVI PERAC

Servitors: Parek, Gesegas, Mara, Asorega, Permases, Ragaras, Ramoras (Ramaratz)

The word at the outer edges of the square, PERAC originates in the Hebrew פרח (parekh), meaning ‘flower,’ and is also evident in the name of the spirit Parek. The name in the central cross relates to the spirit Ramoras (named Ramaratz in the Mathers edition), whose name means ‘thunder.’

The Vision

I saw a yellow tulip in the midst of the dew-drenched grass of a sunny meadow. Other wild flowers were scattered around the area and the clouds above moved disconcertingly quick considering that there was not a breath of wind in the air. Examining the stem of the tulip, I saw a worm burrowing its way out of the earth only to be snatched up by a sparrow which flew off with it into a dark, thick forest that appeared out of nowhere. I approached the forest’s edge with caution and considered entering but was met with the sense that bears and other dangerous animals lay waiting inside. As I lingered, the meadow behind me turned barren and brown and the fast-moving clouds grew heavy and black, blotting out all but a silver disc of sun. I captured the remnant of the light within myself and used it to illuminate my path through the wood. Inside, I saw a trail of florae, including nightshade, strange mushrooms and white forget-me-nots marking a trail that I should follow.

Eventually, the flowers led me to a snow globe that lay resting in the boughs of a tree. I shook the globe and it glowed white in response before dimming to a misty grey. Then, through the mist, I saw the image of a huge worm with a gaping maw, though as the mist faded it was replaced by the image of a small, bright lake covered in water lilies that looked like they could be walked over to get from one side of the lake to the other. Beyond the lake lay a small hut that looked like a perfect refuge from the gloomy wood. Pressing on, I continued through the woods until the pall around me began to lift, then I came to the lake, which I crossed in the manner suggested in the snow globe.

On the other side the sun shone full again and I discovered a beautiful grove of vivid grass and wild flowers in which a middle-aged woman with green hair sat on a wooden chair. Her face contorted as she glanced sidelong at me until it altered into that of a hunting hound. At the boundaries of the grove stood a huge, muscular giant with a shock of black hair and a thick black beard with no moustache. The woman, in human form again, spat out some kind of seed—maybe that of a pumpkin or a sunflower—onto the ground and asked if I wanted to go into the hut. I stated I had found good enough refuge in the grove and didn’t seek to enter the hut unless she found it acceptable. She confirmed this and said I could enter if I wished, so I did.

Inside, a golden eagle stood guard, perching motionlessly above a cauldron in which some unknown concoction was boiling. On a rectangular table were set some pieces of simple cake, though I didn’t eat any of them as no permission to do so had been granted. Little else happened in the hut, which had a similar feel to it as the vestibule of the Castle on a Mountain—in which a scorpion spirit stood guard—due to the strange, almost hallucinogenic, images that presented themselves to my mind as I tried to get a grasp on the location. After a while, the woman and the giant entered the hut. The giant, whose presence in the small hut seemed impossible, remained silent, but the woman spoke to give me permission to eat the cake. As I did this, I understood that doing so enabled me to leave the grove without suffering harm from the dangers of the wood, and on departing, I walked carefree to the other side of the forest where I once again saw the river that appeared in the vision of A Rose Garden. As I stood close to its banks, the vision ended.

Notes

Parts of the vision were very prominent and far more vivid than the ones preceding it, rather like watching a film through a keyhole. The part where this was most pronounced was that where I arrived at the grove and saw the green-haired woman and the giant, who were reminscent of depictions of nature spirits such as the Wild Man of the Woods, the water hag Jenny Greenteeth or the entities encountered during experiences with Salvia Divinorum. The ‘blockage’ I experienced in the hut appeared to be linked to the guardian spirit that watched over me there, which was similar in function to the scorpion spirit in the vision of A Castle on a Mountain. The Eagle and the Scorpion are linked in their imagery, as both have been used to represent the constellation of Scorpio, with the Eagle commonly being cited as representing a more evolved representation of that constellation’s associations. It was unknown to me until I begun my analysis of the vision that the appearance of a trail of forget-me-nots may also have a link to Scorpio, as these flowers were once known as scorpion grass due to the hooks on their stems.

The other spirits relevant to this vision are:

Mara, meaning ‘grotto,’ ‘cave’ or ‘den,’ who also featured in the square relating to the vision of A Rose Garden, where I took refuge under a tree in a grove due to it being encircled by malign entities.

Permases, which may derive either from the Greek πέρασμα (perasma), meaning ‘passage,’ ‘course,’ ‘way’ or ‘ford,’ or the Latin permanere, meaning ‘to linger’ or ‘to remain,’ both of which are concepts that have a degree of relevance to the events of this vision.

XV: A Mountain

four kings

XV KEKASIM

Servitors: Asorega, Mara, Liriol, Losimon, Lomiol, Alogil, Ragaras, Irminon, Sarasim, Ogologon, Igilon, Sigis, Gorilon, Laralos, Gesegas, Kosem, Milon, Nasi, Morilon, Ramoras, Igarag, Ekalak, Geloma, Aril, Ilekel, Lagasas, Kilik, Kokolon, Isagas, Romoron, Negen, Nolom, Nagar.

KEKASIM appears to come from Hebrew קסם (qesem), ‘magic’ at the top and right, while in MISAGER there lies the possibility of the reversal of the Hebrew רגש (regas), meaning ‘tumult,’ ‘commotion,’ ‘noise,’ ‘emotion,’ making the word REGASIM when affixed with the collectivised suffix –im. The spirit name in the central cross is that of Asorega, coming from סריג (soreg) relating to the ‘boundary wall’ that came in the form of a fence of reticulated or weaved sticks that closed the inner Temple of the Hebrews off from Gentiles or the ritually impure. The meaning of this word is the same as that of the Hebrew for ‘grid,’ ‘grill’ or ‘grate,’ which may account for the ‘grid’ pattern evident in the squares. ELISONI resembles the Greek ἐλέησον (eleison), which denotes the quality of ‘mercy.’

The Vision

The mountain revealed itself as the same high, snowy peak I saw in the vision of A Snow. What was left of my old body lay contained by the clothes I was wearing. From one of the pockets, I pulled a golden talisman that resembled an Ankh, the strap of which was like the wings of an angel, while the face of a cherub or female angel lay in the cross’s interection. I pushed the remains of the body into a narrow hole it had been lying over, sending it plummeting down a narrow shaft into the roots of the mountain. Looking down, I could see a deep, blue, light glowing far below and considered exploring it, but decided against it because of how narrow it was. Looking around the vista, I could see the bluish mountains that the previous vision of A Castle on a Mountain was set in far away to the south, and beyond it was the Lake. Looking around at the landscape I asked what the name of this strange land was and received an answer from a disembodied voice which gave an answer that sounded like Kariouna. After hearing this name, I flew into a pall of clouds that lay before me in the west and rose above them before coming to rest on a much higher peak. Only a small portion of this peak was visible above the clouds, but all was cloudless and blue in that highest place.

Then I became aware of the presence of a spirit floating in the air before me in the east, its face skull-like with the remnants of its flesh flapping in the wind, while its strands of thin hair and its ragged black cloak billowed similarly. Then another three spirits identical in appearance to the first came from the other three cardinal directions. With me in the centre, they locked their hands together around me and flew me high into the sky with them. It was explained that these high airs were their dwelling place, and they were taking me up so that I can see all of the Earth below me, revolving as they flew. When they finished moving, they told me that they were intermediaries between that which was celestial and that which was not, and each of them ruled a portion of the world and governed the boundaries between the above and the below—microcosm and macrocosm—giving power over the elements in the material or external world while granting gnosis of the spiritual or internal world.

After they explained this, I saw one of them appear with the face of a lion, but the veils the others wore were not put aside in this way. The one with the lion face informed me that the golden, angel ankh I had been given was also a dagger and instructed me to pull it out, which I did to find a short, tapering, razor-sharp blade sliding free of its golden scabbard. Then I was told that this tool was the means to ‘unlock’ the four spirits as it was also a key which should be borne to obtain their favour and that of all of the spirits under their sway. With their consent, I inserted the dagger into each of their bodies and turned it, beginning with the one in the east, then the ones in the north, west and south.

Then I was back on the ground and the Four Great Spirits were gone. I went back to the spot lower down where I had pushed my old corpse into the heart of the mountain and decided to descend to see what was down there. Once I had reached the bottom I saw that the blue light I had seen emanating from its depths came from a beautiful lagoon lit by rays of bright sunlight burning down from above. On the shore of the underground pool lay a rowing boat which, having nowhere else to go, I boarded and began to row. As I approached the centre of the small lake, a maelstrom appeared and sucked my boat into it, casting me onto the wet floor of a cave far below where the boat was smashed to pieces but I somehow remained unhurt. Then I left the cave through a fissure in the rock to find a car waiting for me outside, which I entered and drove away in.

Notes

In this vision, the nexus of ‘above’ and ‘below’ could be thought of as the same kind of ‘boundary’ suggested in the name of the spirit Asorega. The mountain or high place as the terrestrial location where the boundaries between worlds are notoriously thin and permeable is long established, with connections between mountains and ‘peak-numinosity’ being well attested as the space where the celestial and earthly realms intersect across the spectrum of the world’s myths and religions. These are evident in the experiences of Moses on Mount Sinai, of Christ at the high place Satan showed him the vision of the four corners of the Earth (and later the Mount of Transfiguration and Golgotha), in the ascent made to high places such as Gorsedd Arberth in order to enter the Otherworld in the Mabinogion, in the depictions of Mount Olympus and Mount Zaphon as the abodes of the gods in Greek and Canaanite myth and in the figurative Mountain of the Adepts, Mount Abiegni, in the Thelemic and Rosicrucian traditions.

By virtue of their revelations and cardinal attributions, the four spirits I conversed with were probably the Four Kings—Oriens, Amaymon, Paymon and Egyn—whose presence has been hinted at in many of the previous visions, with the most overt being that of Oriens in the vision of Farm Buildings, though they were also represented by four beams of light in the vision of A Castle on a Mountain. In concurrence with that vision, only one of those spirits spoke and revealed more of itself, being the one in the East, Oriens.

The name Kariouna I received, which was that given to the world I was looking upon, may have its origins in the Ancient Greek κάρυον (karyon), meaning ‘head.’ This backs up a notion I had during the vision of Wild Animals where I had the sense, from the hemispheric nature of the amphitheatre, that I was in communication with some aspect of my brain. Together, these visions suggest that this astral world I have been exploring is a product of my mind and therefore of my brain. This is certainly the case to an extent with magical tools such as scrying and astral travel and is not something I would seek to dispute. What is interesting about such experiences however is the way that certain images, words and symbols take shape in the mind, suggesting that some kind of deep-level communication is taking place, either with extraneous spiritual entities or with some impersonal and unfathomable part of the psyche which possesses the same kind of preternatural that extraneous entities or daemons would. The argument about which of the two these and other magical phenomena can be attributed to is ultimately moot and will never be one that all practitioners agree upon, but my experience with such things leads me to believe that this sort of ‘astral’ work takes place on the threshold; the intersection of what is self and what is not-self. It is self-communication, yes, but it also takes place both at and beyond the borders of self, in a liminal area where other intelligences have influence over the contents of the unconscious mind which in turn comes to present awareness through the media of the personal psyche.

That the answer κάρυον, ‘head,’ I was given to my question about the nature of this world came in an ancient language I have no great knowledge of, while others have come in Hebrew and Latin or Kabbalistic, mythological or other symbolic correspondences, appears to provide proof that it is not just ourselves we are communicating with when we work with such things. Nor can it be some unexplainable process of depth-psychology that is being experienced unless such unaccountable knowledge can be said to be intrinsic to one’s psyche through theoretical constructs such as the collective unconscious or morphic fields. Ultimately then, I would postulate that the ‘liminal’ space such experiences take place in is that of the intersection between self and not-self and represents the same kind of boundary or veil between one ‘realm’ and another—one worldly and functional, the other invisible and mysterious—that the name Asorega and the Soreg stone of the ancient Jewish Temple represent.

Aside from the words and names already explored above, names with some relevance to this vision include: Sarasim, meaning ‘deep roots’ which relates to the deep cavern beneath the mountain; Mara, whose name relates to caves and grottoes and therefore ties in with the ‘deep roots’ of Sarasim; Nagar, meaning ‘fluid’ or ‘liquid,’ which relates to the lagoon in that grotto; Igarag, whose name pertains to the frost and cold associated with the upper reaches of the mountain; and Nolom, from the Hebrew נעלם (nolom) meaning ‘hidden’ or ‘concealed.’

XIV: A Castle on a Mountain

Treasureparcel

XIV AKROPOLIS
Servitors: Parusur, Alpas, Apolion, Trapis, Aril, Ipakol, Iuar, Kilik, Kokolon, Laralos, Liriol, Nasi, Pliroky (Pliroki), Soterion.

The word on the outer edge of the square clearly relates to Acropolis, denoting a stronghold atop a hill or mountain, while the spirit name in the central cross is that of Parasur, whose name either comes from the Latin paras meaning ‘to provide,’ or the Hebrew פרס (peras), meaning ‘reward’ or ‘prize.’

The Vision

A small, brown, rocky mountain appeared in the midst of a ring of much higher blue-stoned peaks. As I regarded the scene, I saw four beams of light appear from each of the cardinal directions to merge at a central point close to the peak. When they vanished, a cavern filled with gems and treasure was briefly visible under the stone of the hilltop, which hosted an abandoned-looking castle. I followed a stony path towards the top and after a few moments found a stone on the floor with the Hebrew letters, פיוס written upon it. I bent down to pick it up and found it resistant to being prized free, but after a few seconds of grappling it with my fingers, came loose. I picked it up and headed towards the castle which had birds that appeared at once to be both ravens and vultures circling its parapets.

On reaching the castle, I saw a hole in the masonry of its porch, where a closed portcullis barred my entry. This, along with its general shape and high altitude made it seem passingly similar to the arena I saw in the vision of the Wild Animals, but it was by no means the same place. The hole in the wall, I noticed, was exactly the same shape as the stone with the writing on that I had pulled free of the pathway to the door, and upon slotting it into place, the portcullis opened and I was able to approach the large wooden doorway beyond and knock it. The door swung open to reveal a gloomy, stone-floored, circular vestibule that was empty and had no other doorways or passages from which I could pass. On entering, a black, ethereal spirit in the shape of a scorpion appeared. It uttered a nonsense-word that sounded like Usadandy or something similar, which forced me to stop in my steps. I found myself trapped in a room for a while with lots of strange faces and images including a man with a fox’s head appearing in its furnishings and ornaments until I decided to leave the vestibule and fly up to an upstairs chamber where I left a bone as an offering to the spirits that were clearly defending this place from curious explorers. My exchange was obviously received well, for on my descent to the entryway, I found the earth opening up to me, allowing me into the great treasure hoard that was hidden beneath the castle. I was permitted to take as much loot as my arms could carry before finding myself back in my home locking my newly gained wealth into a cabinet.

Notes

Considering the meaning of the spirit name Parasur in the central cross, which possibly means ‘reward’ or ‘prize’ and the presence of the spirit Kilik, whose name means ‘wealth,’ it is interesting to note that the meaning of the Hebrew word carved into the stone I gained entry to the castle with, פיוס (piyas) means ‘lottery.’ Both words seem relevant in the context of the exchange and reward that occurred in the vision with my offering being rewarded to a small portion of the vast wealth that lay beneath the castle. With its hidden treasures and guardian spirits who barred the way to them, there appears to be a classic ‘treasure-spirit’ scenario locked into this square. A previous working with this square proved it to be impossible to enter beyond its facades or outer edges too, as the following account shows.

The meditative experience didn’t yield the results I’d hoped for with the castle I’d hoped to revisit, but, on the verge of sleep—which having the square on your head stops you from falling fully into—I noticed the perspective change and the imagery become that which was not by my own design. This involved seeing myself flying high above the clouds with a human shape but crow’s wings, until I saw a castle on a high mountain jutting through the cloud. I headed there and found faceless medieval soldiers operating machinery of war, which appeared like wooden cannons (no metal). A voice quizzed me for a while, asking me questions that required a degree of analysis to answers, pulling deep honesty from my secret thoughts, before asking me who I wanted them to fire a cannonball at. I answered that there was no one I maligned enough to want to cause serious harm to.

While the soldiers on the roof in this vision didn’t appear to be treasure guardians as such, their presence appears pertinent to the person of the Lemegeton spirit Malphas, who appears as a crow, builds high towers, will send armed men to vanquish one’s foes and gladly receives sacrifices. Between both visions, elements of the character of this spirit appear to be present, with the name Alpas—which also appears in this square—possibly relating either to he or to his near-namesake Halphas, who also builds great towers and commands military matters but appears in the shape of a stock dove rather than a crow.

The word that sounded like Usadandy made little sense and analysing it in retrospect reveals nothing of use. It does however feature quite a lot of the letters present in the square, as does the word פיוס (lettered P I U S).

Other spirit names in the square that have not yet been analysed elsewhere include:

Kokolon – possibly from קעקע (koko) – ‘incision,’ ‘imprint,’ ‘tattoo,’ ‘mark branded into the skin.’ May relate to the Hebrew letters imprinted into the stone I found on the pathway to the castle.

Pliroki – difficult to trace. Mathers suggests may be Coptic for ‘burning up.’

Iuar – another difficult one. Closest match with any semantic relevance is the Latin iurandum, ‘an oath.’

XIII: Farm Buildings

musee-gustave-moreau

XIII Farm Buildings

Servitors: Ugesor, Peresh, Asorega, Saraph, Ragaras, Parusur, Alluph, Nogah, Alagas, Ogologon, Adon, Laralos, Gesegas, Aherom, Helel, Ramoras, Holop, Romages, Geloma, Lagasas, Alpas, Romoron, Negen, Nolom, Nagar.

The word at the outer edges of the square, MELUNAH, comes from the Hebrew מלונה (melunah), meaning ‘doghouse’ or ‘kennel.’ The word in the central cross derives from the name of the spirit Ugesor, which may come from the Hebrew גשר (gesor), meaning ‘bridge.’

The Vision

A field being furrowed by an old-fashioned plough appeared. Alongside it was an old Land Rover with an ‘R’ suffix in its licence plate. When they reached the edge of the field they headed into a large barn, the door of which closed behind them and were locked shut with a padlock and chain. Moving away from the barn, I moved towards a central courtyard of a farm that I recognised as one I spent much time on with my Aunt and Uncle as a child, though the buildings that surrounded it were not the same.

The first building was the locked barn I had left behind me. The second, to my left, was a chicken coop. Going clockwise from there, the third building consisted of a barred door which a German Shepherd stood behind. It had the appearance of a guard dog, but cried in excitement when it saw me, as though I were known to it. The fourth place, in front of me, was a house, the door of which was open and revealed a seductive woman hiding in the shadows inside. The fifth was a pen containing many cows and the sixth, to my right, was a church with a great shining cross glowing through its doorway. The seventh and final building, which was positioned behind me and just to the right of the barn, was a long, single-storeyed hall that was thick with shadows inside. This was the building I decided to enter.

Once I was inside, the door slammed shut behind me and I saw a table that almost ran the length of the hall. It was covered with a feast, with the most prominent food being the bunches of grapes that lay either side of a single candle, which was the room’s only source of light. I sat at the table, but before I could decide whether I wished to eat any of the food provided, a rasping female voice filled the darkness.

‘It’s interesting that you come here, to the only place where you didn’t know what lay inside,’ it said. ‘This is why you are suitable for this purpose.’ It proceeded to speak of many things with me, both asking questions and giving guidance, and I felt a sense of snakes crawling all over the floor whenever I spoke back to her.

Then, the bearer of the voice told me to take the candle that lay on the table, as it would be my only guide in the world of darkness ahead. First however, I had to burn my hand with its flame to prove my courage. As a point of synchronicity, there really was a single candle on a table before me in the ‘real’ world in which I sat in a chair performing this work, so, in both the astral and material planes, I picked up a candle with my left hand and slowly passed my right hand through it three times making the hair on the side of my hand burn. The smell created by that burning, the spirit told me, made an effective fumigation that would be suitable as an offering to spirits of an infernal nature, as would the smell of burning flesh. One of the questions it asked was why I didn’t descend into the spiral staircase ‘they’ had shown me in the vision of the Wild Animals. I answered that I had to wade through enough shit in my mundane life every day so didn’t wish to further taint myself needlessly. She told me that the filth of the material world was nothing to be concerned about as it could be washed away with ease and did not affect you once it was gone. The filth of the spiritual kind, however, was indelible and made one grow darker and more stained with every contact with it and nothing in existence could remove it.

The voice, though female, was deep and rasping, and I felt a large python winding its way up my right leg as she spoke again. Then she asked me to burn my hand again, and this time until I felt a degree of pain. I did this by placing my hand about six inches above the flame, where I left it for a few moments until I whipped it away.

‘One day,’ the voice spoke, ‘when your tolerance to fire becomes great enough, you will willingly set your whole body aflame to obtain what we offer. You would burn yourself into nothing to attain it, and in doing so you would become one with the infinite and know all the secrets that lie hidden in the great darkness.’

Then, in an instant, I found myself within the church I had seen in the western quarter of the farm’s courtyard. Inside, a black woman with short hair and wearing a silk garb the colour of lapis lazuli was leaning over a wooden rail near the altar and reaching to retrieve something from a bag. After a few seconds, she pulled out an egg and hurled it to the floor. A baby snake wriggled in its ruin, with the splattered albumen being the colour of blood. The black woman then turned to me and said ‘stamp on it!’ I refused and she asked me why with anger and annoyance in her tone. I stated that I believed the serpent was sacred, representing healing and wisdom and was the symbol and means for our path to gnosis. As I said this I noticed that there was a huge white statue behind the altar rail and the sun from a window to the east of the church was shining on its face to form a letter ‘T’ over its brow and nose. The woman, regarding the statue said that as I was in the church of He Who Trod The Snake Underfoot, it was my duty to do him honour and stamp on the snake. Again I refused and saw that the rest of the body’s statue took the form of a great giant with its sandalled foot crushing the head of a large serpent. The woman then fled from the church laughing maniacally and telling me I would regret my disobedience.

After she left, I noticed that the T-shaped shaft of sunlight came from a window of the same form high above. I stood in the centre of a circular chamber at the church’s centre and let the letter fall upon my face. Then, the letters I, S, A and S all beamed through another four windows spaced equidistantly around the dome that encircled the roof, with an equal amount of sunlight shining through each. All of the beams that came from these letters shone at once upon my face, writing the word TISAS on me, each letter merging into a single mass of sunlight. With the light blinding me, another female voice spoke, demanding that I place my candle down in the east before her and burn some item close at hand in its flame as an offering to her. This I did, and she instantly gave me some of her teachings though I can’t reveal more of the what she taught me here. Following her tutorage, a chorus of spirits danced and chanted lines the main female spirit prompted them to repeat in the church’s undercroft before I exited into sunlight to see a brief vision of a Magpie and a Swift before the vision came to an end.

Notes

The volume of information coming from this Square was copious, possibly due to its containing the names of twenty-six different spirits. The most dominant voice was that of a powerful female spirit, which appeared consistent throughout but grew significantly stronger when the five-lettered beam of sunlight shone through the church windows to illuminate my face. The word given in this part, TISAS, appears to form the outer edges of a new word square, with the name SIGIS fitting quite naturally into the central cross. Considering the appearance of dancing, chanting spirits in the church’s crypt after the appearance of these letters, it is possible that TISAS may derive from the Ancient Greek θίασος (thiasos) and the Latin derivation thiasus which denotes a congregation of singers and dancers gathered together in celebration.

TISAS

A mild synchronicity occurred after the vision, which ended with images of a Magpie and a Swift, when I hit the shuffle button on my music player to find the song Black Swift coming on.

At the beginning of the vision, an old Land Rover with an ‘R’ suffix appeared. In the UK, vehicles with this suffix would have been registered new between September 1976 and August 1977, which was the period in which I was born.

The appearance of the word Melunah in the square is interesting because the spirit who appeared as a horse in the previous vision gave its name as Melenhor, which was also the name of an old familiar of mine who I previously recalled demanding a human or animal bone to dwell within while it was in my service. It wasn’t until I began the preparatory work for this square the day after working with the one which caused Paddocks and Fields to be seen that I put this connection together. Melenhor’s name would therefore appear to be a derivation of this word which, meaning ‘kennel’ is relevant to a vision in which hunting dogs were prominent and is also befitting of a vision in which the images of farm buildings are evoked. A solitary dog appeared in the vision, but it seemed to bear no relation to the hunting hounds that appeared in the visual content of the previous square.

The interpretations I made of the meanings of the prominent names and words of the square didn’t seem to express themselves very overtly, with the dog kennel appearing only briefly and no real connection to the word ‘bridge’ appearing at all. Of the new names that appeared in this square, the following meanings may be attributed.

Holop – חלוף (cholup) – ‘transitory,’ ‘ephemeral.’
Alagas – Possible derivation of λαγάς (lagas) – ‘a hare hunter.’ See tags for Lagasas.
Alluph – אלוף (alup) – ‘domestication.’
Nogah/Nagar – נגר (nogar) – ‘fluid,’ ‘liquid,’ ‘flowing.’
Nolom – נעלם (nolom) – ‘unknown,’ ‘hidden,’ ‘disappeared.’
Parasur – Possibly from the Latin paras meaning ‘to provide.’ May also originate from פרס (peras) – ‘reward,’ ‘prize.’
Peresh – פרש (peresh) – ‘horseman,’ ‘knight,’ ‘rider.’ Also possibly of the same origins as the above, Parasur.

Review: Hereditary

hereditary-hdy_screenshot_6_crop_-_h_2018

The hunt for horror films that are absorbing enough to stir the right mix of atmosphere, fascination, disgust and tension usually proves as fruitful as tracking unicorn prints through a boggy wood. Some recent efforts, however, have seen an increase in game for those who stalk the forests of dread. Of the most interesting of these have been those which have made the effort to push occult subjects to the fore in ways that seem neither contrived nor sensationalised. A Dark Song and The VVitch, for instance, have represented some of the high points of these efforts, with the former giving an alternative rendering of the Abramelin Operation in a situation soaked in claustrophobic desperation, while the latter presents an equally suffocating portrait of a family with little to separate them from the horrors of loss, the wild woods and the Devil save for the reprieve that their slow deaths from starvation may offer. Combining both of these elements, as well as the much-cited comparisons with The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby, is Hereditary. As a point of interest to those who may be inspired by such things, it comes among the increasing number of films to feature the spirits of the Goetia of Solomon as their airy-bodied antagonists. However, while the depictions of Volac, Baal and Agares in The Conjuring films, The Rite and The Crucifixion are somewhat bland and generic, Hereditary’s treatment of the demon-king Paimon (see this post for more) pays attention to the detail behind the name and the whole project reaps the rewards of it. With that rare attention comes a visceral, unsettling series of horrors and tragedies that make this a truly fascinating watching experience. The build-up is slow and at time tortuous, but the payment received when the pact is finally signed and sealed in blood makes for the kind of movie that those who seek something genuine and original from their horror will return to with devotion.

XII. Paddocks and Fields

Death horse

XII JAGEB

Servitors: Gesegas, Sigis, Isagas, Igarag.

The word at the outer edges of the Square, IAGEB/JAGEB, may be formed from the root עגב (ageb), signifying ‘lust’ or ‘lovers,’ while the name formed in the central cross is that of the spirit Gesegas, which may derive from a palindromic expression of געש (ges) – ‘eruption,’ ‘quaking,’ ‘storm,’ with the common demonic suffix ‘gas’ also resembling this word (as ga’as).’

The Vision

A ghastly horse appeared before me in an open, frost-covered field beneath a bright moonlight sky. The horse was thin and almost skeletal in appearance with what appeared to be horns protruding from its head where its ears should have been. It made a request that I ride with it, which I accepted. We headed off by flying over scenery similar to that of the English countryside where we followed a small pack of hounds, were chasing something through some fields which were bordered by trees. The horse descended to the earth as the hounds caught their quarry and I saw them tearing at the spectral form of an old woman who was suffering greatly. She had escaped her perdition, I was informed, and the hounds who were hunting her would now take her back to her prison. The horse then instructed me to take hold of the woman and position her in front of me. I did this and received an impression of the soul I had gathered having died of natural causes after living an unremarkable life, the nothingness and triviality of which was being repaid to her in the form of unending restriction.

With the hounds’ baying and breath vapours filling the air, they disappeared into a shroud of mist as the horse and I flew through the skies to return to an area close to where I had first seen it appear. We landed at the edge of a graveyard, where I asked the horse its name. The name Orobas formed in my head due that spirit’s appearance being that of a horse, but this was denied. ‘I am more of the nature of fire,’ it explained. On further prompting it gave the name Melenhor, which I rejected as this was the name of a familiar I was given by the spirit Buer who I eventually dismissed for being troublesome a few years ago. It confirmed, however, that this was so.

It stated it was now in the service of the spirit Bune and worked with her to reclaim souls who had escaped the temporary reprieve they were occasionally granted whereby they could return to places they knew in life for a while in order to remember and reflect upon them. It then told me that with me having now been blooded, I would receive a boon in the powers of necromancy. Then, in the graveyard we were stood next to, a small congregation of the dead could be seen, all pale and ethereal like the woman we had captured, who was now being dragged away to some terrible place. Leading this congregation was a black-robed figure with its back to me and arms outstretched in the shape of a cross. With its departure, the vision ended.

Because of its theme, there was an obvious overlap with this square’s vision and that which related to A Hunting Party which began with a huntsman upon a horse and featured all four of this square’s servitors within its host. Of these, Igarag was the most apparent here due to his name’s meaning relating to ‘frost,’ ‘ice’ and ‘cold’ and the ground in the vision was covered in frost and the breath of the hunting hounds was visible in the air. The sense of restriction and perdition suffered by the souls of the dead, as well as constraining aspects of the hunters may be symbolised by the name of the spirit Sigis, which means ‘restriction.’