And Death Shall Have No Dominion

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And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down
And death shall have no dominion.

– Dylan Thomas

On the Magical Use of the Psalms

Psalms

Like many modern occultists, I’m not the biggest fan of the exoteric doctrines of the Judeo-Christian religions. Despite this, I do recognise that all three of its branches have a certain depth and profundity in them and can happily take whatever of their aspects have value to me without any cognitive dissonance or strain. Christianity can be of use for its understanding of the solar myth as a means of enlightenment, its concept of the Logos as an intercessory force between man and his innate divinity (rather like the Thelemic concept of the HGA) and the mysticism of saints such as Francis, John of the Cross and Theresa of Avila. Islam, meanwhile, has the ecstatic gnosis of the Sufis and their poetic understanding of the Transcendent Divine to its credit, while Judaism is favoured by the commentaries of the Talmud and Midrash, the Kaballah and its Merkabah mysticism.

Of their most imminent forms of magical expression however are the syncretism seen in the cults of various saints throughout Europe and the new world and the use of the Psalms as seen in the works of Albertus Magnus, the Enchiridon of Pope Leo III, the Ars Notoria and the syncretic folk traditions of Powwow and Hoodoo and their incorporation of the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses. The Book of Abramelin, possibly Pseudo-Judaic in origin, features the use of Psalms too, and with that book featuring prominently in my current work, my interest in the Psalms as magical keys has been renewed.

The Abramelin recommends the daily recitation of the seven penitential psalms in order to strengthen the effect of magical work in general, which are:

• Psalm 6 – Domine, ne in furore tuo arguas me. (Pro octava). (O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation).
• Psalm 31 (32) – Beati quorum remissae sunt iniquitates. (Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven.)
• Psalm 37 (38) – Domine ne in furore tuo arguas me. (in rememorationem de sabbato). (O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation. (For a remembrance of the Sabbath.))
• Psalm 50 (51) – Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam. (Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy.)
• Psalm 101 (102) – Domine, exaudi orationem meam, et clamor meus ad te veniat. (O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto thee.)
• Psalm 129 (130) – De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine. (Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord.)
• Psalm 142 (143) – Domine, exaudi orationem meam: auribus percipe obsecrationem meam in veritate tua. (Hear, O Lord, my prayer: give ear to my supplication in thy truth.)

* Parentheses denote Hebrew numbering.

Comparing these to their position in Hoodoo (highlighted in bold), as recounted in Godfrey Selig’s, Secrets of the Psalms, A Fragment of the Practical Kabala, reveals little overlap between the penitential Psalms and their usefulness in folk magic, suggesting that the Abramelin’s use of the Psalms was devotional in nature or for general spiritual defence rather from the magical purposes later attributed to them.

Psalms and their Magical Purposes

1 – Dangerous confinement, Premature birth
2 – Storms at sea. Life threatened by water
3 – Severe headache or backache
4 – Good luck
5 – Fortune in business
6 – All eye diseases
7 – Defence against your enemies
8 – Love and goodwill of others in business
9 – Restoration of male child’s health
10 – Protection against unclean spirits
11 – Safe from persecution, fear
12 – Safe from persecution
13 – Protection from unnatural death or suffering punishments for twenty-four hours
14 – Favour with all men, freedom from slander
15 – Against presence of an evil spirit, insanity, melancholy
16 – Sorrows to joy, enemies to friends, to discover the name of a thief
17 – Secure from evil for twenty-four hours.
18 – Against theft
19 – Assist in dangerous delivery
20 – Free from danger and suffering
21 – Storm at sea
22 – Against misfortune
23 – Receive instruction in dreams
24 – Danger and flood
25 – Danger and flood
26 – Danger from land or water, severe imprisonment
27 – To be kindly received in a strange city
28 – Reconciliation with an enemy
29 – Cast out an evil spirit
30 – Freedom from evil
31 – Escaping slander
32 – Receive grace, love, mercy
33 – Protect children from death
34 – To receive friends favourably
35 – Lawsuit in which you are opposed by unrighteous people
36 – Against evil and slanderous libel
37 – Against loss of reason by drink
38 – Against Slander
39 – Against Slander
40 – Free from evil spirits
41 – Against enemies that cause loss
43 – Against enemies that cause loss
44 – Safety from enemies
45 – To make peace between man and wife
46 – To make peace between man and wife
47 – To be beloved, respected, by fellow men
48 – Stop enemies from harming you
49 – Against severe or incurable fever
50 – Against severe or incurable fever
51 – If burdened with heavy sin
52 – Against slander
53 – To still open or secret enemies
56 – To free oneself from passion
57 – For fortune in undertakings
58 – From the attacks of vicious dogs
59 – To prevent sinful passions which can overcome
60 – Safety for soldiers
61 – Blessings before occupying a new dwelling
62 – Pardon of sins
63 – Against unfair business partners
64 – To complete voyage in good health. Against the perils of water.
65 – Fortune in all undertakings
66 – Driving out an evil spirit
67 – Against fevers/evil spirits
69 – Against slavery to sinful passions
71 – Liberation from prison
72 – Favour and escape from poverty
73 – Not to be induced to deny faith
74 – Defeat persecutions by embittered enemies
75 – To effect forgiveness of sins
76 – Protection against fire and water
77 – Against want or danger
78 – For respect
79 – Fatal to enemies
80 – To save friends from errors
82 – Assist to attract business
83 – Abide safely in war, avoid captivity
84 – Against bad odour
85 – Reconcile an old friend
89 – Recovery of patient
90 – Against deception, evil spirits or ghosts, or being cheated
91 – Against incurable disease or evil spirit
92 – To attain high honours
96 – Bringing contentment and happiness to your family
98 – Establish peace and unity between families
99 – To become pious
100 – To overcome all enemies
101 – To secure from persecution against evil spirits or persons
102 – That barren women may find favour
104 – Thwart the influence of the devil
105 – Cures a three-day fever
107 – Cures a one day-fever
108 – Secure great success in business.
109 – Against a mighty enemy
110 – Compel enemies and oppressors to beg
112 – To increase in might and power
114 – Success in business
115 – To dispute with infidels
116 – Safe from violent or unexpected death
117 – If you failed to perform an act of charity that was promised
118 – To silence heretics
119 – See below

Aleph – Over one whose limbs shake-To keep promises
Beth – Good memory and extended intelligence
Gimel – To restore the eye
Daleth – Eye problems Lawsuit
He – Refrain from sin
Vau – Rule over servants
Zain – Against melancholy, spleen disorders, to withdraw from evil undertakings
Cheth – Relieve upper body pains
Teth – Kidney and liver complaints Pain in hips
Jod – Grace and favour from God
Caph – Swelling or pain in nose
Lamed – For favour from a judge
Mem – Pain or paralysis in limbs, right arm or hand
Nun – For travel
Samech – For favour from a superior
Ain – Pain in right arm
Pe – Pain or boil in left side of the nose
Tsaddi – Against making erroneous decisions
Koph – Pain or injury to left leg
Resh – Boil or pain in right ear
Shin – Severe or burning headache
Tau – Boil in left ear

120 – Find favour from a judge
121 – Travel alone by night
122 – To address superiors
123 – Retrieve a slave
124 – Journey by water
125 – Travel in enemy country
126 – So infant will live
127 – Prevent evil to a newborn
128 – For fortunate pregnancy
129 – To live piously and virtuously
130 – Escape a besieged city
131 – Protection against the sin of pride
132 – Punctuality
133 – Love and friendship of your friends
134 – Increase of intelligence
135 – Repenting from sin
136 – Penitent confessions
137 – Against hate envy and malice
138 – Produce love and friendship
139 – Increase and preserve love among married people
140 – To remove a growing hatred between man and wife
141 – To remove heartfelt fears
142 – Pain in thighs, legs, hips.
143 – Pain in arms
144 – To cure a broken arm
145 – Against fear of ghosts and evil spirits
146 – Restoration from wounds
147 – Wounds bites and stings of scorpions and salamanders
148 – Protection against fire
150 – Thanksgiving for escaping danger

Noticeable in these attributions are the similarity of some magical effects to those of the spirits of Grimoires such as the Lemegeton. Also significant is the protection they offer from ill-fortune, mental affliction and evil spirits, which may be seen as useful prophylactics against some of the potential negative effects of spirit work—as well as works other magicians may be attempting to use against oneself—which every magician should be aware of.

In summary, their greatest usefulness appears to lie in their ability to purify the negative balances in one’s environment, ease suffering and promote balance and harmony making them as vital to the concept of ‘banishing’ as rituals such as the LBRP and Star Ruby.

IX. A Grape or Grape Plant

Red Dragon

IX GRAPE

Servitors: Helel, Moreh, Myrmo, Mara, Helmis, Liriol, Asmiel, Lomiol, Losimon, Sarasim, Iuar, Laralos, Aherom, Ramoras, Aril, Amillis

The words at the top and right-hand side of the square relate to the Hebrew עללה (olelah), ‘gleaning,’ meaning ‘to gather after harvest,’ as in ‘the gleaning of the grapes’ in Isaiah 24:13— ‘the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.’ The reversing of this word in the bottom and left-hand edges resembles the name of the spirit Helel which refers to a ‘cavity’ or ‘hollow’ but also implicates the Hebrew הלל (halel), a ‘song of praise.’ ERISOL may refer to the Greek ἐριστικός – ‘eager for strife,’ after the goddess Eris, while the words LOSOME and LASOME may derive from the Hebrew לשים (loshim) meaning ‘to put,’ ‘deposit,’ ‘lay down,’ or ‘brand,’ and points towards the presence of the spirit Losimon, which comes from the word לסימן (losimon), ‘sign,’ mark.’

The Vision

The first thing I saw was a grape in very close proximity, which I entered through the skin of to reside inside of, becoming one with the seed that lay inside of it. As a disembodied spirit, I perceived its germ to be no different than that of the embryo of any human or mammal, though I had no volition over my choice of host. Whilst inside of it I was conscious that I was imprisoned in it until it either decayed into the earth or was devoured by some creature. Before long a creature did come, and it was a phoenix, though it was in the form it takes as a mortal bird before resurrection, with red, blue and yellow feathers, a scruffy appearance and eyes that looked like something you would associate with a negative psychedelic experience. The phoenix ate the grape I lay dormant within, but soon I was passed out in its droppings and merged with the soil. I grew into shoots and then a whole vine and then an entire network of vines that spread over the earth until, eventually, I found a large tree to wind the outer tendrils of my vast body around. As I became settled into my new dwelling, I saw the same reddish-brown dragon that I had seen in the vision of A Big Lake, come down to nestle in the upper boughs of the tree. The tree could support any life, I realised as the dragon landed, for its boughs did not bend or shake an inch despite the dragon’s huge weight. On noticing me, it seemed disgruntled that I had invaded its home.

‘I don’t know if I preferred this tree before you came to it or whether I prefer it now,’ it said. ‘I may have to kill you in order to find out.’ I told him destruction would be welcome as I wasn’t enjoying such an existence, then he said it didn’t matter if he let me live or not, as I would die soon anyway, whether it be from a fire, an ash, a flood or by the hunger of some other great beast.

‘Worse still,’ he said ‘man may come and harvest you for his own gain.’ As it spoke, I became aware of the lake I had first seen this dragon flying over through the eaves of the great tree far off away in the distance. It wound its tail down around the trunk to merge with the uppermost part of my vine.

I asked the dragon its name and it replied that it was Tharson, though there was a sense that it may have been saying Tharuson, and that the name had a hermetic origin. I asked if it knew my name in this plant form, and it replied Bonab though he told me my true name was closer to Jerusay. He spoke again of how that existence as we knew it in bodily form was short and inconsequential and that life would end soon. He pointed to the sun after saying this, and I saw that it was pale and obscured by dark, rushing clouds.

‘Its light is running out,’ he said.

Following these words, I saw a man with a monk’s habit and tonsure approaching from a distance. A streak of lightning descended from the dark clouds and struck him dead and I witnessed his soul departing from his body. As this happened, the phoenix who had devoured me earlier appeared close to his body and I thought it was going to feed on the carcass. Instead, it laid a black egg on top of the body, which then sank in through his cassock and flesh and revived his corpse to life, though on rising he was dark-eyed and zombie-like as his soul had already fled.

‘We must be careful what we allow to enter us,’ the dragon said as the monk walked by.

Then, as the monk faded from view, I noticed the crocodile I had seen while experimenting with the square that makes visions appear in crystal and glass. It came close to the tree and snapped off the part of my body with where my thoughts seemed to be coming from and took my consciousness to the lake I had once sailed a small boat over. It swam out to the centre and dived down to the floor where a sealed treasure chest lay. As it opened I saw that the chest was full of gold, then the crocodile put me inside of it and closed the lid. It was glorious inside, like bathing in pure sunlight and, aside from the knowledge that large fish were swimming in the dark waters above me, I felt at peace. I knew, however, that this state was only a temporary one and that I would soon be released into the world in bodily form again.

The grape I saw was green, the type used to make the white wine the dragon spoke of in the earlier vision of the lake, while the crocodile was the same as the one who previously acted as an underworld guide. Here his role was to guide me to the parts of the underworld that the sun passes through in the twelve hours of the Duat as recounted in the Book of Gates, where it passes when it is in its northern position in its diurnal cycle. As my sense in the vision suggested, this is only a temporary phenomenon as the sun rises in the East after dawn, though the imagery of the sun in the underworld has symbolic resonance with the Elemental King Egin/Ariton—who I believed to the spirit which the dragon served in the vision of A Big Lake—who rules that direction. With the sun dying in the sky yet preserved in a pure state in the treasure chest, I believe the crocodile’s role was that of a guide or helper in this vision, which is concordant with the protective role the god Sobek played to the afflicted dead of the underworld. The act of being put away or deposited for safe keeping in such a chest may be the influence of the spirit Losimon, whose name—as revealed above— means ‘to put’ or ‘deposit.’

The phoenix has obvious connotations with the cycle of death and rebirth, though its appearance in the vision as the physical medium of that process is unusual. Its later role as the layer of a black egg into a corpse represents something I can’t quite explain, though the dragon’s warning appeared to relate to the dangers of unwanted entities entering one’s sensorium.

The closest term I could find to the name Tharson or Tharuson, was the Greek Θαρρος (tharros), meaning ‘courage,’ ‘mettle,’ ‘heart,’ ‘elation.’ However, a more significant, if less accurate rendering, is the word κάνθαρος (kantharos) which relates either to a boat or a drinking vessel, probably named as such due to its shape representing that of an inverted beetle. This would be very significant in relation to its other appearance if this is the case, especially considering that the beetle Khephra represented the sun’s passage through the Duat in the religion of the Egyptians. Of additional significance is the name of a worm which bears this name, the cantharis, which is known for the damage it causes to vines and roses. That ‘worm’ is a word commonly used to refer to a dragon and the fact that I appeared as a large vine in this vision may reveal more of uncanny accuracy I have come to experience while experimenting with these squares.

The name Bonab I was given by the Dragon was particularly unsettling to discover the meaning of, as it translates directly from the Ancient Hebrew word for ‘grape,’ בענב (bonab). This name may have been the one that the spirit with the leopard’s head may have been calling me by in the vision of the big lake when it called me ‘Bob.’

Jerusay was a little more difficult to find cognates for, with the closest match being the Hebrew word ירושה (jeruseh) meaning ‘inheritance,’ ‘legacy,’ or ‘heritage.’

Of the names that appear in this square, Aherom is a reversal of the name of Moreh, and is possibly derived from the Hebrew אחר – Akhar – ‘to remain behind,’ ‘tarry,’ ‘to come from behind,’ ‘hind part,’ ‘another,’ ‘strange.’ Another possible etymology for this name lies in it being another expression of the word רעם (ra’am) – ‘thunder,’ as seen in the names of spirits such as Ramoras and Romages.

Curiously, considering the possible meanings behind the name Tharuson cited above, the name of the spirit Helmis comes from the Ancient Greek ‘ελμις, meaning ‘worm.’

VIII. A Snow

Snow

VIII SELEG

Servitors: Laralos, Lagasas, Alpas, Saraph (Sarap), Parek (Pareg)

The word at the edges of the square, SELEG, represents the Hebrew word שלג (sheleg), ‘snow,’ while the central cross is formed from the name of the spirit Laralos. Also present is EGAPE, which resembles the Greek αγάπη, ‘love.’

The Vision

I saw a thick blizzard with a figure in a brown arctic coat walking in its midst. Then the sky cleared to a brilliant blue to reveal a long plateau at the very top of a large mountain. I followed the figure from above in the form of an eagle, keeping my distance from him. As he reached the top of the peak, a gibbous moon appeared in the bright sky, with the sun directly opposite it, at our backs. At the summit, the figure took out a silver chalice and a dagger and cut his wrist to fill the cup which he offered to the moon. I soared higher, then descended to perch, wings spread, on his shoulders. Then he died, which I knew he went there to do. I saw, on seeing his face for the first time, that the man was me, leaving me looking upon my own corpse as a detached spirit. Then I landed upon the body and ate its flesh and drank the blood in the chalice until there was nothing left but bones. Satiated, I descended from the mountain to a copse at its lower regions, where the snow was thin and sparse. I looked back up at the mountain and sensed the stripped bones I left there dispersing in some kind of explosion, the skull rolling down the mountain and gathering snow as it gained momentum. Then a great red spirit rose from the mountain’s peak, bringing the heat of the sun and melting the snow with it. At my place at the foot of the mountain, where I was now incarnated as a human again, I heard voices chanting and singing the word Lemepaeon. As the voices swelled, snakes rose from the thicket of tangled branches to twist themselves around my limbs. Then, just before the end of the vision, I saw some vague female faces, one of which looked rather like a gorgon.

This vision was somewhat briefer than the others so far and had obvious themes of sacrifice and resembled both the Christian Eucharist and the Tibetan Sky Burial ceremony. The sacrifice appeared to be made to the moon which, by its shape and position in the sky, was waning gibbous. The word being chanted, Lemepaeon, made no immediate sense to me, though Paeon is an epithet of Apollo and the Ancient Greek words λέμβος (lembos) refers to a small boat, bringing a connection to the vision of A Big Lake, while ἐπαινέω (epaineo). means ‘praise.’ Together, the first half of both of these received words may be an expressed to form a Greek neologism λέμ + ἐπαιν which may refer to the rite of devotion suggested to me by the dragon in the same vision in which I rowed a small boat.

The eagle I took the form of is a solar symbol, while the heat that melted the snow appeared to have a huge red spirit as its cause, which may relate to the name of the spirit Saraph apparent in this square, whose name relates to the Hebrew שרף (seraph), meaning ‘the burning one.’

Other spirits present include Alpas, whose name is derived from that of the spirit Alphasis, who is found in the invocations to the Elemental Kings in the Book of Offices and is connected to the names of the Lemegeton spirits Malphas and Halphas. This name appears to be a portmanteau of the Ancient Greek words αλφειός (alpheios), meaning ‘whitish’—a descriptive term given to the Classical god and river of the same name—and φάσις (phasis), meaning ‘appearance,’ or ‘manifestation.’ The name of the spirit Parek – פרח (parekh), meaning ‘flower,’ may relate to the melting of the snow being indicative of the coming of Spring, the season associated with Aries, the sign of Cardinal Fire, and the Elemental King Oriens. The name of the another spirit present here, Lagasas, which means ‘hare’ or ‘hare hunter,’ also has vernal connotations.

Visions in Glass, Mirrors and Crystals

sobek-01

The following is a diary account relating to the first square of Book IV Chapter IV of the Book of Abramelin, in which the Scarecrow in the vision of A Lake first appears.

 

Gilionim

The aim of scrying will be to receive visions relating to the realms beyond. Gilion is Hebrew for ‘tablets,’ but in the context of Isaiah 3:23, is ‘tablets of polished metal,’ and therefore akin to ‘mirrors’ with most mirrors in the ancient period being made of polished stone or metal rather than glass.

I began by calling to the Four Kings to ask for their assistance in sending the spirits, then sat facing South, as is correct for the time of day I worked at and held the square in my hand beneath the scrying glass. As often occurs, I saw darkness and water, this time it fell into a gutter at the side of the road before following it down a storm drain. Below the grounds, surrounded by brickwork, a crocodile greeted me. I followed it, commenting internally upon my actions as I did so, until we came to the end of the sewer, where there lay a night-time oasis at each side with a huge river, maybe the Nile, before me.

Behind me, I saw the city I had left, looking dark, jagged and nightmarish, and set up somewhat higher than the shoreline I stood upon, with the conduit I had exited set into the banks of the earth. I followed the crocodile to the beach-like shore riverside and saw a boat. I expected to see a ferryman there, but there was only a grinning scarecrow with crosses over its eyes, I dug into my pockets for coins to place in its dead eyes as payment for the boat, then sailed into the river. As I bobbed over the water, I understood the river to represent the current of the universe flowing around the soul following death. Beneath its surface, venomous serpents with rotten human faces sailed, but they were deterred from harming me by the crocodile.

On the far shore I had a sense of a black, invisible sun and I saw a vague flash of a raven or crow flying towards me. I conversed with the crocodile for a while, coming to the understanding that the upstream direction represented time flowing from the past to the present and the downstream represented the flow from present to future. Some dead may choose to attain rebirth upstream, in the past, but this was difficult due to the strength of the current, and usually meant you couldn’t go too far back unless you were particular good at fighting the current. Others, following the easier flow opted for rebirth in the future, in the chronological time following their death.

On the opposite bank, now getting closer, I noticed some battered old cars parked up, and realised that the crocodile was leading me back to an incarnated state on the other side of the river. I told him I didn’t want to be incarnated again, but he responded by telling me that I didn’t know what was on the other side. I was then aware that some souls had no boat and sank into the river, where they stayed in a dead state, like the serpents I had seen earlier, with no chance of escape. Some however, like the raven I saw, had the ability to fly over the river and had the freedom to go wherever they wanted to. This, the crocodile informed me, was the aim: to become like a bird after death as this was the key to freedom from the ebbs of the river.

We eventually arrived on the opposite shore, and the thing he had to show me was the nature of my next incarnation. Having earned better karmic circumstances and my next life would be blessed and golden in the material sense, which the glow of the rising sun seemed to confirm. I told the crocodile I still had no desire for rebirth and that it was the freedom of the bird that I sought. I then felt that my experience was over and looked for physical objects in the scrying glass before my face. In it I saw the face of a sleeping dog.

VII. A Big Lake

misty_lake_display

VII AGAMAGA

Servitors: Alogil, Amillis, Aril, Asorega, Asmiel, Geloma, Gesegas, Gorilon, Igarag, Isagas, Lagasas, Laralos, Liriol, Lomiol, Mara, Morilon, Myrmo (Mirmo), Oroia, Ragaras, Ramoras, Romages, Romoron, Sarasim, Sigis.

The word AGAMAGA at the outer edge of the square is a palindromic expression of the Hebrew אגם (agam), ‘lake,’ while the word forming the central cross relates to the spirit Morilon, whose name relates to the Latin Mori, ‘to decay,’ ‘die,’ ‘wither,’ ‘fade away’ ‘be forgotten.’ Although the Squares as a whole are not without errors of transmission, the fact that the letters in the square are not always perfectly symmetrical should not necessarily be considered as evidence of flaws, as the expression of the ‘titles’ of the square and of the spirit names contained within it—especially the spirit featured in the central cross—are more vital to their operations than lexicographical symmetry.

The Vision

This vision began with a voice from the darkness speaking the words ‘white wine,’ before the image of a golf club was seen striking a golf ball that lay on a lawn to send it flying a long distance away to splash into a lake. Looking down at the lake from above, I saw that it was still and shrouded in mist. I descended upon it and found myself in a small coracle-like boat armed with only a short paddle to navigate its expanses with. As I rowed at a ponderous rate, I became aware of large, placid fish swimming close to the surface and knew that there were hoards of treasure abandoned by wrecked ships on the lake’s floor. I realised, from this, that the lake must have been very large if trade ships sailed over it, so rose up over the scene to take stock of its scope and found myself on the edge of space before I could see all of its shores.

Left bobbing slowly on the vast lake, I found myself wishing that my boat had an engine but realised that although I knew such things existed, they didn’t exist in the world I was experiencing this vision in. It was then that I became aware of a deep, low rumbling noise, like that of a large earthquake, coming from the bottom of the lake. I grew afraid that I would be devoured by a tsunami, so looked around for some kind of refuge, should one come. Doing this, I saw a small island of shale rising up from the surface a short distance away so headed for it and climbed to its top in case the great tidal wave I expected came. At the summit, the shale slid away to reveal a large, lidless eye that was embedded within a toe where the toenail should have been. Attempting to avoid its gaze, I walked around to the back of the eye-toe but saw, from a third-party perspective, that the eye had rotated a full one-hundred and eighty degrees to keep following. I continued in my circle and witnessed the eye complete its rotation with me. With no more deep rumbles coming from the bed of the lake and feeling more afraid of the toe than of the tsunami in any case, I got back in my boat and continued rowing.

After a short time, I saw a large galleon sailing towards me. As it approached, I saw that its crewmen all had the faces of lobsters and shrimps—unclean animals in Judaism—whose gaze followed me in the same way that the eye on the island had. As the ship had almost passed, the last of its crewmen pointed out the direction in which I should sail, doing so as if he needed to keep his actions secret from the rest of his shipmates. Taking his advice, I altered my course until I came to some rocks. After reaching the shore and realising I had not been tricked into wrecking my boat and becoming stranded, I hauled my small vessel onto my shoulder and reached solid land. On the shore I saw the back of a scarecrow that I recognised as a mute, motionless ferryman who I had borrowed a boat from in a previous vision. This vision was experienced during a work which utilised the first square of Book IV Chapter IV of the Abramelin, which is used to create visions in mirrors, glass and crystals. Such was the scarecrow’s redundancy of power that a crow rested fearlessly on his shoulder, but I laid the boat at his feet anyway, noticing as I moved away from it that it now had a pumpkin for a head.

Moving inland, I had a flash of a vivid spirit with the head of a leopard. It called me ‘Bob’ and said words that sounded similar to ‘fonscor scollion,’ which made no sense to me at all. Then the image of the leopard-headed entity faded and I saw a dragon flying towards me over the lake. In fear, once again, that I would suffer harm from, I stood my ground and waited as it flew in to speak with me. It repeated the words I had heard at the beginning of the vision: ‘white wine,’ with which came the image of a chalice with a devil’s head carved upon it. Then the dragon spoke again.

‘When you drink this, you drink his guile and his wisdom,’ it said, then flew away.

As it departed, the pall that had hung over the lake lifted, revealing a bright sunset. From the position of the sun, I realised that the dragon had come from the south and was heading north. I thought of heading into its waters to retrieve the treasures I had sensed lying beneath its surface, but was prevented from doing so by a feeling of trepidation. Then, with the impression of a net of some kind being cast, the vision ended.

The leopard that appeared reminded me of the form of the spirits Haures, Sitri and Ose in the Lemegeton, and on inspecting the square, the name of the spirit Ose—who comes under the power of Amaymon, the King of the South, in the Book of Offices—is clearly represented in it. The phrase it spoke, ‘fonscor scollion,’ made little sense at the time, but may have been a transmission of the following Latin and Greek words: Fons – ‘fresh water,’ ‘a spring or fountain,’ ‘a source,’ ‘a well;’ Cor – ‘heart,’ or ‘soul,’ ‘mind;’ and Scolion – a type of Greek lyric poetry performed as a drinking song accompanied by a lyre. In combination with the appearance of the dragon advising me to drink the white wine that was mentioned at the beginning of the vision from a chalice with a devil’s head carved into, I believe this was an instruction of how rites to a certain spirit should be performed.

I feel this spirit may be Egin, the King of the North, who rides on a dragon. That the dragon flew away in the direction is relevant, but also telling, perhaps, are the names of two of the spirits that appear in this square and the name of one of Egin’s attendant spirits. The square’s servitors Ramoras and Romages have names that may equate to the Hebrew root word רעם (Ra’am), meaning ‘thunder’ ‘rumble,’ or ‘boom’ which account for the deep tremors I felt emanating from the bottom of the lake. Mathers, however, suggests that the former of these names related to the word ramaratz, meaning ‘raised ground’ which might relate to the mound of shale that appeared in the midst of the lake.

This possible etymology is also reflected in the name of the spirit Rodabell or Radabelbes, who is one of the servants of Egin in the Book of Offices. This name, like the ones mentioned above, relates to a Hebrew word רעדב (ra’adab), which has the meaning ‘tremor,’ and thus fits with the deep, rumbling quake that I felt and heard pervading the early parts of this vision. Considering this, it is possible that the dragon that came was the mount and servant of that King delivering instructions on how to pay him homage.

When the North Solstice and the Sun’s entry into Cancer that marks it arrives, an experiment will be conducted test these theories.

Other spirit names that appeared in this square and their meanings are:

Geloma – גלום (gelom) – ‘personification’ or ‘embodiment.’
Lomiol – לעמול (lomul) – ‘work,’ ‘toil’, ‘travail,’ ‘make effort,’ ‘take pains.’
Moreh – מרה (moreh), ‘bile,’ ‘gall.’
Romoron – from Latin Remoror, ‘delay,’ ‘linger,’ ‘loiter,’ ‘hold back,’ ‘hinder,’ ‘remain quiet.’
Asmiel – ‘destroyer,’ or ‘wrath’ of God. Possible truncation of Asmodiel, King of the East in the Grimoire of Honorius.

VI. A Rose Garden

Venus_botticelli_detail

VI RODONIA

Servitors: Adon, Afolop (Apolop), Alogil, Alpas, Amillis, Apolion, Aril, Asorega, Gesegas, Gorilon, Igarag, Igilon, Isagas, Lagasas, Laralos, Liriol, Nagar, Nagid, Nasi, Negen, Ogologon, Oroia, Ragaras, Sigis.

The word around the outside of the square, RODONIA, has its origins in the Greek ῥόδον ‘rose,’ while the word in the central cross, OGOLOGO, apparent in the name of the spirit Ogologon, may represent a palindromic expression of the Hebrew root לעג (gol) – ‘scorn,’ ‘derision.’

The Vision

It began with a single red rose spinning in a black void. As it spun its petals peeled back until it became a phallus, then a heart. The heart explodes, scattering fire and blood in the darkness and making many other roses grow out of the darkness. They formed a circular boundary made of tangled thorns which then begin to spin, just as the first rose did, emanating sparks of fire as it spun like a Catherine Wheel. From the borders, rivulets of blood ran to a concave in the centre of the circle which, when collected, formed a vortex beneath my feet which I was compelled to descend into. I refused, as it was not my will to do so, and rose high above it. From above, I saw the channels from which the blood flowed, and saw them forming a cross of iron with a channel cut into the centre of each beam. This then doubled its arms to become an eight-sided cross, then sixteen, then thirty-two, then sixty-four. Then it became a circle and began to spin, yet again. Growing tired with the constant lack of control I was feeling over this tumultuous place, I banished the entire vision from my sight and stilled myself. I stated an affirmation in the stillness that I came to see a vision of a rose garden and that’s what I expected to see.

After doing this, I found myself in a bare and barren field and had the notion that roses required manure to grow and I would have to provide it out of my own being in order to make the land fertile. After fertilising the earth in my own way, a new rose garden started to form, but it was like a thick labyrinth of tightly bound rose bushes with vicious thorns. At this point, I told myself, ‘I am in control of this. This is happening in my own mind and I can put myself anywhere I want to,’ then transported myself far away, only to find that the exact same scene established itself around me again. The temptation, again, was to go downwards, beneath the earth, but I resisted and rose up into the sky again to look down upon what looked like a great, unending maze of rose bushes below me.

With nowhere else to go, I erased the scene again and floated in darkness. In that place, the name of the spirit Gesegas came to me, followed by an announcement that a Nigerian lady wanted to speak with me. I consented to speak with her and her voice came through in a soft, pleasant voice.

‘Don’t resist when I stroke you, sweetie,’ she said. ‘It won’t hurt much and won’t last long at all, I promise.’ I replied that she was not to touch me and had no consent to do so. I formed the intent to banish her, but was instantly met with the sense that doing so would not be possible as she was far superior to me. This was a point of some disturbance for me as, like I mentioned in the vision of A Pumpkin, I have had quite a few experiences on the edge of sleep or during Astral Meditation when entities or thoughtforms appear to want to ‘ride’ me in the manner of the lwa of Vodou. Often, they are female and of African appearance and speech. Resisting this as a threat—for I was not seeking to be ridden—I recalled the starry diadem I had received in the vision of A Beautiful Palace and made it appear on my brow, sending three beams of light into the surrounding darkness. I aimed the light at the place in the darkness where I felt the woman to be and illuminated her, making her yelp in pain. Sensing my advantage, I commanded her to depart in the name of the Four Kings. A sense then came to me that she could be commanded to go into the world and perform works according to my will. I gave her an instruction as a firm command and told her that when the work was done, she would be free of any obsession of me and, being liberated from it, would not return to me again.

Pushing my will forward again, I reaffirmed my intention and formed a new scene, making a pleasant lawn of grass appear with roses all around it. At the end of it stood a marble statue of Aphrodite. I was compelled to give a rose as an offering to her, but being unable to take one of the roses that surrounded me due to the thickness of their thorns, I produced one from my own being and laid it at her feet. The white stone of the statue took a flesh-like hue at this and she became animated with life, though she remained curiously statue-like. As I looked upon her, I saw that she wore a golden sash that looked like a wreath from her right shoulder to her left hip that appeared to drip with a golden dew. I looked at her face and saw that she looked a little like Raphael’s Venus. Then she spoke.

‘What do you want from us?’ she said. ‘Why do you keep coming to us?’ I answered that I came to learn from them and to witness them for what they were in order to elevate myself. The response came not from her but from a night-black figure, male with a heavy neck, shaved head and a face that appeared to have white symbols painted upon it. He spoken into my right ear, in a deep, harsh voice, that I couldn’t have spiritual and worldly growth at the same time. Then another male, identical to the first, leaned into my left ear and said: ‘He is material growth, I am spiritual. We are twins, but we cannot speak at the same time.’ With that, I saw the female statue, whose body was now entirely golden stood between the two, her hands clutching the backs of their heads, as though she controlled them as her slaves. At her bidding, the two men turned into black and brown dogs akin to Dobermann Pinschers and curled up at my feet.

‘Would you lie with the dogs?’ she said. I replied that I would, and sunk, supine to the grass. As I did so, one of them marked his territory on my leg.

After a short rest, a hole in the ground appeared again, and no longer resisting an underworld descent of some kind, I walked into the hole, which took shape as a spiral staircase of an old castle that led down to a dungeon. Lighting my way with the starry diadem of the Morning Star once again, I lit the bleak corridors and saw abandoned hanging torture cages lining the corridor, though this part of the castle had not been used for many years. After passing some large but docile spiders, I came to a grotto with large but scattered agaric mushrooms lining parts of the walls. Above, a shaft of sunlight burned through a fissure in the roof, illuminating a round patch of grass with a few red roses adorning it. As I stood on the grass patch, it began to ascend to the gap in the roof above like a great elevator, and I realised that this grotto was the underside of the great lawn I had seen in the vision of A Beautiful Lawn. As I rose into the sunlight, I noticed that it had a rainbow hue to it, and that I was now approaching the same scene I had witnessed in that vision but from an entirely different perspective. As the patch of grass I stood upon slotted back into place in the world above, I saw that this was indeed the same Lawn as that previous vision and that I had journeyed back in time to witness the same scene from the viewpoint of one rising from the world below back into the light of day.

In the final moments of the vision, I saw the face of the Nigerian woman again, but as a memory this time rather than as a present form. Her name, I recalled, was akin to Falino or Paleno. This name is a possible reflection of the Italian Palino, which derives from the Latin Palare, and its origin Palor, meaning ‘I wander up and down or about,’ ‘straggle,’ ‘stray’ or ‘I am dispersed,’ which fits in with some of the aimless wandering I found myself doing here as well as the dispersal she herself became subject to. This name may also be related to that of the spirit Apolion, who appears in the square and whose name means ‘destroyer.’ Women of African origin also appeared in A Hunting Party, though they were more benevolent and curious than this manifestation, who was malign in nature but pretending not to be.

The name of the spirit Gesegas, which came forth as a disembodied name in the darkness, possibly derives from געש (ga’ash) – ‘eruption,’ ‘quaking,’ ‘storm.’

The theme of holes appearing in the ground occurred in A Beautiful Lawn and A Hunting Party, marking a continuation of the themes of previous visions that only became apparent in the vision of A Beautiful Palace, in which I received the protective, light-emanating diadem of starlight that was of use to me here.

Of the twenty-three Servitors appearing in this square, all have already appeared in the other visions, with the exception of  Adon and Nagid, with Adon’s name being derived from אדון meaning ‘lord,’ ‘master,’ ‘ruler’ and Nagid coming from נגיד, similarly meaning ‘lord,’ governor,’ ‘leader,’ ‘ruler.’ These may be names used to invoke the appearance of the Elemental Kings, as the image of Aphrodite that appeared was similar, but not identical, to my visualisation of Oriens. Whatever her identity, this spirit certainly had an aura of command about her, which was evident in the way she required a sacrifice—as gods do, and indeed as Oriens does in the Book of Offices—by the way that she controlled the two servants who spoke on her behalf, by the way she held their hands fast in her hands and finally by the way that she turned them into dogs. It is also known that when Oriens appears, she comes in the presence of other great kings, including the spirit Baall and her messenger Femell.

An alternative etymology of the name of the servitor Aril (as Haril) given by Mathers is ‘thorny,’ which is more than accounted for by the thorny obstacles that barred physical progress at various stages of this vision.

The name of the spirit Laralos may be from that of Lara, the Greek nymph who had her tongue cut out for not being able to keep secrets, who was seduced by Hermes as he took her to Averna on the threshold of the underworld, which saw her giving birth to the Lares, or household spirits, as a result. Avernus was a volcanic crater in Cumae, the entrance of the underworld in Magnae Grecia, and fits thematically with bowl into which blood ran at the start of this vision as well as the constant pull to places beneath the Earth.

Other points of note about the square are the prevalence of the letter ‘O’ which may signify the double-repetition of the Hebrew word AIN meaning ‘Nothing’ in the upper right and low left-hand corners of the square. Also apparent in its corners are repetitions of the word ORO, which is similar to the Greek ούρο, ‘urine,’ which was represented in the vision by the dog relieving itself on my leg. Oύρο also forms a connection with the concept of the self-devouring serpent Ourobouros, which gets its name from its eating of its own tail and feeding on its own recycled effluence in order to survive. Symbolically, this occurred in this vision with the amount of repetitive scenes and cycles in its early stages, with its ultimate return to the first vision of the Beautiful Lawn, and with the requirement for me to defecate on barren ground in order to encourage roses to grow from it. The Venusian qualities apparent form a connection to the light of the Morning Star in the vision of  A Beautiful Palace and the Venusian symbolism inherent in the Rose.