XX: All Sorts of Trees

evil_roots_by_gixajin

XX ESAHEL

Servitors: Aril, Iuar, Loriol, Laralos, Helel.

The word ESAHEL at the outer edges of the square may derive from the root אישה (eishah), ‘a burnt offering.’ There is no central cross in this square, but the name of the spirit Aril, meaning ‘thorny’ appears in four interlocking forward and reverse forms to culminate in a central square based around the a repetition of the letters L and I in the centre to form a rotating expression of the word ליל (lil), meaning ‘night.’

The Vision

The vision began with the image of a Fir tree on a slope of thin earth. Some of the earth gave way at the base of the tree to reveal the root underneath, which suddenly turned into the neck of a vulture with its head buried under the earth. Then I saw that the leaves of the tree were in fact the plumage of a peacock. The strange, vulture-peacock hybrid freed itself of the earth, stared at me threateningly for a moment, then flew away over a large body of water.

Overhead, a large storm stirred with much lightning and gave birth to a deluge of rain. I entered a thick forest to take shelter where the storm was completely blotted out. I could hear nothing but the song of the forest’s birds inside and neither the rain leaked nor the sounds of thunder could pierce the wood’s veil. After walking for a while, I smelled roasting meat and followed the scent to a cosy-looking den set in the roots of a tree. Inside were a family of anthropomorphised pigs cooking one of their own. I was invited in to get out of the dark wood, and the pigs implied that something terrible was stalking me. Fully suspecting something bad to happen as soon as I got inside, I entered the hatch and found the door in the roof instantly locked itself behind me, while the pigs, their fire and everything else in the hole disappeared as the candles that had lit the den were all snuffed out.

Through an iron-trellised window, I could see the nighttime moon over the sea outside, and a wind-blasted palm tree rocked savagely at the water’s edge. There was, however, no way out, for the crisscrossed bands of iron across the window’s pane made it impossible to destroy and climb out of. Then, through the darkness, I became aware of movement. The roots of the surrounding trees began to poke through the earth walls of my prison and moved closer and closer to me, threatening to entangle me in their limbs and trap me in their embrace. I reached out to touch the roots and felt that they were covered in slime, having the same unpleasant feel as a slug or snail. Although trapped, I did not feel any real fear or desperation, knowing that if I was patient, the light of the rising sun coming from the east at dawn would disperse them. With the roots encroaching, however, I decided that instead of waiting that long, I would produce my own light from within.

The roots leapt back at the touch of my light, the appearance of which caused the sun to suddenly rise behind me, flooding the prison with golden rays. My growing shadow was the only place the dark spirits it shone upon could hide from it, and they appeared in my umbra as nothing but lidded, disembodied eyes. I spoke to them, telling them that they were prisoners of no one but themselves and redeemed each of them by touching them with the golden light that came from my hands. As each found its peace, the encroaching roots withdrew and the prison became flimsy enough for me to kick its walls in and move into the daylight outside.

Coming down to the shore of the sea I had seen through the window, I saw a rowing boat bobbing serenely at the water’s edge, but knew that wasn’t time to board it. Looking back at the forest, it seemed very normal, but in front of it, at the edge of the beach, was a small cave with a huge, white, worm-like larva poking its head out of it. I approached the worm, which looked tortured and forlorn, and pulled it free of its tight prison. It too was had been trapped and on my freeing it, the shadowy shape of a man came plopped out of it. He said he had become ‘trapped within his own larvae,’ and so I cast the gelatinous pupae he had been stuck inside into the sea. Then the shadowy shape revealed its form to be that of a wild man, similar to the one who was imprisoned in a cage near the shore in the vision of Bridges.

On taking this shape, the wild man spotted the boat on the sea and rowed it into the west to find his liberation. Following this, the wind-blasted palm tree I had seen from the underground lair of the pigs dropped a golden cone onto the floor which I picked up and removed the outer scales from, causing them and the seeds within it to scatter over the sands of the beach. The sands turned gold as they fell, then the entire sea shone with the light of the rising sun as the old man on the departing boat changed his form to something that looked divine and godlike. Then I saw angels dancing in the sky, singing a chorus and hailing the sun with golden trumpets. Then a huge cloud formed appeared which resembled the head of a ram and the vision ended.

Notes

The ‘burnt offering’ hinted at in the square’s outer edges was manifested in the pork being cooked by a family of pigs. Given the purported Jewish origins of the Abramelin Squares, the fact that this meat was pork and represented a form of cannibalism reveals this sacrifice to have had an averse, unclean nature. The transformation of the pigs into bodiless eyes squirming in the darkness came with the suggestion that the spirits trapped in the underground den had trapped themselves, or each other, there, and were now seeking to do likewise to me, by trying to trap me within the clutches of encroaching tree roots. The wild man trapped in a wormlike larva that was stuck in a stony hole was also suggestive of some kind of trapped entities. In his case, the larvae or shells of the Roman religion, which were the forgotten or trapped souls of the dead, were being hinted at. After he appeared as an old man, his sailing into the west across sunlit waters represented his salvation. I was my own salvation in this vision, invoking the solar force to save myself (Synchronistically, ‘Save Me’ by Muse was playing in the background as I wrote this), which, I then used to liberate others who had become lost in the entanglements of shadow.

With this experiment now passing its halfway point, there seem to be more elements of the ascent from the underworld appearing. I was no longer afraid of anything in this vision, and showed a greater degree of mastery over the forces surrounding me, who had all damned themselves and were awaiting liberation from another before they could move on to peace.

The square was constructed with the Moon at 13º Pisces forming a conjunction with Retrograde Neptune. It was worked with, however, when the Moon was at 7º Aries, which may have worked its way into the vision in the form of the ram’s head that appeared in the cloud at the end.

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