XXI: A Lion

Lion

XXI ARIEH

Servitors: Ibulon, Liriol, Iuar, Helel, Oroia, Aril.

The word at the outer edge of the square is ARIEH and directly originates from the Hebrew word for ‘lion,’ אריה (arieh). The word populating the central square, IBOLI comes from the Hebrew יבול (ibol) which means ‘crops’ or ‘harvest’ and relates to the name of the spirit Ibulon. which also has the alternative meaning ‘a gathering of fruit.’ While the square purportedly grants visions of a lion, the word Ibol has more in common with the Hebrew root ארה (arah), meaning ‘to pick’ or ‘to gather,’ suggesting an alternative or coterminous meaning for the outer word and therefore the entire symbolism for the square.

The Vision

A cactus protruded from the centre of a rough, circular brush which became a vicious thicket of brambles as I neared its middle. Once I reached the cactus, which was about six inches in length and somewhat resembled a miniaturised Omphalos, I noticed a pride of lions gathering around the edge of the circle. Most of them were lionesses except for one noble-looking beast with a magnificent mane. With the intention of cutting myself free of the growing tangle I produced a scythe and proceeded to hack at the thicket. The blade of the scythe burned with flame as I flailed, so I ceased swinging it before I incinerated myself. Instead, I cut a small circle through the thorns around my feet, which would allow me to free myself while keeping the lions at the edge of the circle at bay.

Having no other place to go, I decided to wait for the beasts to give up and go away. It didn’t take long for them to grow more disinterested in me, but they refused to depart and continued to watch me with hungry, beady eyes. With the need to act decisively building within me again, I tugged at the small cactus to see if there was any mystery to it. Although its spines dug sharply into my hands, I reasoned that this pain was preferable to being chewed up by lions so pulled hard on it until it began to dislodge from the ground. As it kept loosening, it grew to the same length and breadth as my whole body and I was forced to embrace it, spines and all, to keep pulling it up. Underneath, dark subterranean caverns began to reveal themselves, but the girth of the cactus made it impossible to squeeze past and descend. Instead, I kept hoisting it upwards until it grew so long that it began to form a bridge which the lions behind me would soon be able to cross. Perceiving this dilemma, I corrected the angle of the elongated cactus, propping it upright so that it pointed straight up to the sky rather than towards the land.

Suddenly, the whole of the cactus was free of the earth and it stood about thirty or forty feet tall, though the effort in extracting it led to me becoming completely covered in blood, lacerations and cactus spines. Then, the body of the cactus transformed from green, spiny flesh to the brown and scaly skin of a tree. Looking up, I saw that the cactus had transformed into a great yew with a large, hollow crack at the base of its trunk. Noting that the surrounding brambles were dissipating due to the light of of a celestial body that looked like the sun and moon perfectly conjoined as one, I climbed the yew until I was at its very top, then felt my bloody, perforated body becoming one with the green needles of the yew. As my body merged with the needles and branches, I felt myself become one with the entire tree and knew, at last, that in such a state the lions could not consume me.

My business with them wasn’t finished however. Gathering my intent, I squeezed my bodiless essence through the limbs of the tree and pushed my myself back out into the world through the crack at the base of the trunk. With my airy body, I headed towards the male lion, which acknowledged me with a look of wisdom and intelligence, before I climbed upon its back. Our wills entwined, we ran to the beach with the golden shore I had created in the vision of All Sorts of Trees where I dismounted the lion and entered into a conversation with him. He gave thanks for bringing him to this place as he hadn’t seen such a sight for some time. Then he gave me his name, which cannot be written here as it was very familiar and personal to me; but when he said it, the golden sand and the sea into which it slipped grew bright and swallowed us, and a clarion chord of brass resounded throughout its glow.

When the brightness subsided, the lion told me he had been observing my struggles and, despite not making his presence known very often, reassured me that he was always there, watching, and all I needed to be done to gain his attention was tospeak his name. I felt warmed and comforted by his words in a very real sense; and when the vision of him began to dissipate, I discovered that he had left me a small, leather pouch on top of a nearby rock. On it were inscribed the letters BZBZ and tucked inside was a folding knife with an exquisite wooden handle. This is where the vision ended.

Notes

Imagery relating to both ‘gathering’ or ‘harvesting’ and lions were evident in the vision and it was no surprise that the leonine aspect expressed itself as a manifestation of Tiphereth. Thorns and spines were also prominent, suggesting the influence of the spirit Aril as reflected in Mathers’ translation of that name to the word ‘thorny.’ The gathering of threatening entities or creatures at the edges of circles or around the horizon is a repeated theme throughout these visions, as are holes, cracks, crevices, animals, trees and the principles of transmutation and ascent. Elements of this vision which continued from that of the last included freeing things that were trapped in the earth, a large crack at the base of a tree trunk and the golden shoreline which appears to represent the attainment of an exalted state.

The trumpet music that played there also resembled that which the angels played to greet the sun in the previous vision.

The letters BZBZ on the leather pouch may represent the Hebrew בזבז – (bizbez), meaning ‘to go to waste’ or ‘spent.’ I have no what this alludes to, but note that the numerical value of these letters is 18, a number which returns to the 9 of ‘black magic’ and sorcery, but also bears a Qaballistic correspondence to the words זוה (zoah), ‘to shine’ and חי (chi), ‘to live.’ Gematric devices such as this are not usually adopted in this work as it is this author’s opinion that they should be used only as a last resort, but with no obvious meaning apparent in this word’s context, a more esoteric approach was adopted.

The Moon was at 13º Taurus (the sign of its exaltation) at the time of the square’s construction and at 0º Gemini at the time of the vision itself.

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