XXX: Bears

Herne

XXX DOBIH

Servitors: Balabos, Badad, Holop.

The word at the outer edge of the Square, DOBIH, derives from the Hebrew דוב (dob), ‘bear.’ The spirit name apparent in the central cross relates is that of Balabos, which comes from the Hebrew term בעל הבית‎ (ba’al ha-beth), meaning ‘Master of the House.’

The Vision

The vision began with a focus on the word DOBIH which then became further focussed on the letter B (for ‘Bear,’ I sensed) in its centre. Then a cave appeared with a large bear wearing a crown standing on its hind legs guarding its entrance. The bear approached me, making me fear it would maul me, but it only wished to sniff out the Square that I held in my hand. It turned away from me peaceably when I allowed it to inspect what I held, then it departed into the cave. I followed it inside and was greeted by the stench of rotting meat. Around me were the cadavers of many dead animals, with the most prominent being the skull of a horse.

I descended into the cave, where a soft, chiming, echoing choir of voices could be heard in the distance below. I came to a gentle blue river with a milky white sheen to its surface in that deep place and entered the water. I became aware that this was a reflection of the Milky Way and was washed along on its flow until it came to a waterfall. Instead of plunging to the ground far below, however, I remained breathless and bodiless in silent space and glided at will to the ground below.

Awaiting me was an old man driving a rickety wooden cart. He was quite old and wore a ruined top hat, and donned a wispy beard without a moustache, had ruddy red cheeks and had squinting, watery eyes. We were in a dark, rocky landscape quite unsuitable for driving a wagon over, and above me in the sky was a full moon and the constellations of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, with the latter clearly orbiting the Pole Star. He offered me a ride in his cart and we headed North with Polaris before us. I noticed that the horses that pulled it, one of which was brown and the other black, were very thin and gave off the cold aura of death. He chided me for accepting a ride in such a land, as it was a place I knew nothing about. I asked him what sort of place it was and once again the word DOBIH appeared in my mind’s eye. From this, I accepted that this was the astral landscape unlocked by the Square.

As we trundled on, I became aware that we were being followed by bears, but the wagon driver informed me that I was quite safe as long as I remained in his vehicle. Then we came to a ford which was set down a bank that was too steep and rocky for the wagon to descend. He let the horses off their leashes and asked if I would assist him in pushing the cart down the bank, which I did, noticing that it was strangely light. Then the driver reattached it to the horses so that they could pull it across the shallow waters of the river, but on the other side, he asked once again if I would help him pull it back up the other bank. Doing this was somewhat harder than leading it down the bank, and led to me receiving wounds to my right hand from the splinters of the wood of its pull-handle. Looking at the wound after we got the cart up the opposite bank, I saw that the splinters had caused seven wounds which formed the shape of the Hebrew letter Zayin. The driver instructed me to mix the blood with the waters of the river we had just passed, and on doing this, the sky lightened to that of dawn. In the sky, the Sun lit the sky and Mercury and Venus could both be seen rising with it. Heading towards them, we continued eastward over the rocky land.

After a short distance I noticed a large, primitive-looking, large-toothed skull on the horizon that looked like a fortress at first, but as we approached it, it seemed to reduce in size to that of a small house and it had the appearance of the skull of a crow or raven rather than the fanged, hominid shape I had first seen. When we reached the skull, the driver informed me to leave the cart and go and take refuge inside the skull. I did this and sat inside waiting for something to come. Shortly afterwards, the seven trailing bears appeared and formed a circle outside the skull. Inside, on the floor I spotted a large rock which I picked up and inspected. On it was engraved the symbol for alchemical Sulphur.

After a brief period, the eighth figure appeared outside the skull-house, coming in the form of a man with the skeletal, antlered head of a stag. The figure came to the entrance of the skull-house and drew a sword. With it, he drew the sign of Alchemical Salt in the Earth and then thrust his sword into the centre of it. On doing this, all of the Earth around the skull-house disappeared into a void of nothingness. I stepped from my refuge into the stillness, where the stag-headed figure informed me that it was this state of Nothingness that I should be aiming for in my Work, and that the visions of the Squares were all guides in same way of how to achieve this state. On hearing this, I found myself on a cold shore, over which the sun set. Facing West, I saw a rickety boat, similar in its state of disrepair as the wagon I had earlier travelled. I thought about heading out towards the boat but was told that this was not the time to do such a thing, as the boat and the sea represented the journey to the lands beyond life. I sat patiently at the shore waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. After a few more moments, an Eagle flew towards me from over the sea and told me that there was nothing else to see in this vision. Accepting that, I ended the session.

Notes

The wound I received in the shape of the letter Zayin represents the number seven and has the meaning ‘Sword,’ both of which are relevant to this vision. Zayin is also related to Gemini in the Tarot, so this may also be a signal to pay attention to something relating to Gemini. See the visions pertaining to A Lion and A Wild Cat for specific references to Gemini, though the relevance may relate to a future rather than past vision.

Alchemical Sulphur represents the active male principle, being concordant with Fire and the Sun.

The appearance of the Sun with Mercury and Venus after I mixed my blood with the waters of the river may represent the feminine principle, with Alchemical Mercury representing the passive female element, as does the planet Venus.

Alchemical Salt represents the element of Earth that becomes purified through the interaction of Sulphur and Mercury. The striking of the Earth by the sword in the centre of the symbol for Salt represents the purification of matter in such a way, with the Sword being used to do so being reflected in the letter Zayin appearing in the wounds on my hand. Seven also relates to Venus in Qabalistic Magic, the number of stars in Ursa Minor as well as the number of stars in the Big Dipper asterism of Ursa Major.

The boat on the sea was similar to the one seen in the vision of Trees, in which the spirit in the form of an old man departed over the sea.

The names of the two ‘new’ spirits seen in this vision are Badad – בדד (badad), whose name means ‘alone’ or ‘solitary’ and Holop – חלוף (cholop), whose name means ‘transitory’ or ‘ephemeral.’

The Square was constructed with the Moon at 3º Taurus and scried with the Moon at 22º Scorpio. Venus was transiting the sign of Scorpio at the time of the scrying, where she is in her Detriment, as was the other benefic, Jupiter, Together they represent the male and female benefics resident in a Marsian, malefic sign, though the general energies of Scorpio, being the sign that Mars rules ‘at night’ are those of his passive, ‘inner’ qualities.

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