XXXIX: Dogs

Cerberus

XXXIX KELEF

Servitors: Lagasas, Ekalak, Kelen.

The word at the outer edge of the square, KELEF, derives from the Hebrew כלב (kaleb), meaning ‘dog.’ The spelling given here, with an ‘F’ as the final character reflects the soft ‘v’ pronunciation of the Hebrew letter beth, the word KELEB would be more accurate. If this variation is accounted for, the reversal of this word in the bottom row, FELEK, may be seen as an expression of the name of the Moabite King Balak, who commissioned the Mesopotamian sorcerer Balaam to curse the migrating Hebrews. Phonically, it also resembles the name of the Lemegeton spirit Valak. The name in the Central Square is a palindromic truncation of that of the spirit Lagasas, whose name derives from the Greek Λαγός (lagos), meaning ‘hare.’ EMAGE in the second row may be a variation of the Greek μαγεία (mageia), ‘magic,’ while its reversal EGAME may come from the Hebrew אגם (agam), ‘lake.’

Other notable meanings attached to the word in the first line are found in Mathers’s interpretations of Greek and Hebrew, with the spirit name Kelen being cited coming from the Greek ‘going swiftly, as in a race’ (though it is closer to Κελεός meaning ‘to order’ or ‘urge’), while a spirit named Kele, who comes under the joint rulership of Asmoday and Astaroth, is purported to come from the Hebrew for ‘to consume,’ which may come from the word לכלות (lakaloth).

The word KALEF is also found in Chapter 5 of the LBA manuscript, appearing in the Square that causes familiars to appear in the form of an ape, though the LBW manuscript associates it with the appearance of a lion in a Square that closely resembles the one that causes visions of dogs. As the following Square in Chapter 5 of the LBW causes familiars to take canine form, it is possible that the associations made between this Square with either apes or lions are erroneous.

KELEF2

The Vision

A small black and white dog was seen wandering alone across a moor at night. Larger, more dangerous dogs were hunting it, their howls and barks loud on the wind. Then the small dog uncovered a human corpse lying in the grass and proceeded to feast upon its flesh until it was stripped bare, growing braver and stronger with every bite. When it had finished, the dogs gave up their hunt, for the distant scent of human flesh had faded. The small dog was fearless now and proceeded to eat the eyes of the corpse from out of its sockets, then consumed the brain from out of its cranium. Having eaten the brain, the dog developed a human perception of the world. With my own conscious thoughts now melding with those of the dog, I took the skull from the ground and looked into its hollow sockets and saw small flames flickering in them for a few seconds.

When the flames were extinguished, I walked into a forest grove and lay the skull upon a stone altar there. As in the vision of Vultures, there was an inscription visible on the stone that was carved into it in Runic script: this time it read PEIRIOS. After this inscription appeared three Tyr runes, which prompted me to look up into the sky in the direction that their ‘arrows’ were facing. Lying on my back, I watched the heavens turn and the most prominent constellation was that of Orion. With him were his dogs, Canis Major and Minor, and they were chasing the Hare, Lupus, around the sky. I realised this scene to be the true representation behind the repeated hunting scenes evident in these visions. They represented the celestial hunt of the underworld giant and his psychopomps, the rotation of the Earth, the seasons and the cycle of day and night.

Then I saw the chase of the hunter, the dogs and the hare continue into the underworld as the constellations dropped below the horizon and the Sun rose with the dawn. I watched the Sun in silence and understood, as its rays shone upon me, that the Squares in this chapter reveal means to uncover the gateways into the underworld. With this understanding came the instruction that I should ‘invoke the dog,’ the guardian of the gates of the underworld—Cerberus—to pass into that domain.

Notes

Checking the diary I kept before starting this project revealed that the Moon was in Cancer when the initial prompting came to explore all thirty-nine Squares of this chapter through the medium of scrying. The Moon’s appearance in this sign is my prompt to conduct regular work with the spirit Naberius, which the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum reveals to be an alias name of the daemon Cerberus, the guardian of the entrance of Hades. That the sequence of visions ended with a referral back to this work may be a verification of the influence of the spirit on the entire exercise.

The morning on which I made that decision came with memories of a dream in which I had died in a plane crash and was wandering at the peripherals of the underworld and was searching for the correct door through which full entry to that domain could be gained. Of the edges of the underworld I noted:

There was a happy feel about the place, as I was with good, but anonymous, companions who I was working with to get to the correct destination.  With them, I climbed a wooden stairway from a low level in the place between heaven and hell. As I climbed, I wondered if N was dreaming about me as I was dead and she was still alive, so decided to send her a dream message to her to pass on to family stating that I was OK and was just looking for the right door, so they should not be concerned about me as I was in the company of good friends and as long as I remained true to my own heart I would make it to the right place. Emotional music played which sounded like the opening piece of a Bach violin concerto.

Later that day, on working with Naberius, I noted:

Performed thirty minutes meditation with the seal of Naberius carved into the altar skull as the meditation object. After knocking at the castle gates and entering the chamber, there appeared a strong, flashing mauve aura all around the altar and the skull seemed to move around and become very ‘alive’ as the visual effects kicked in. I was aiming for stillness and only making note of the phenomena that occurred, which involved seeing leaves in the eyes of a skull which became a forest floor concealing a dead body. Soon after, a female voice, slightly northern, said ‘Where were Jack and Jason found?’

Visuals in the surface of the skull included two different men’s faces, a prominent cat, a horse and, briefly a fish or whale. The wall behind the altar took on a reflective quality and I could see the outline of two human shapes in it… I recalled that Jason was the captain of the Argo and was ultimately found in Colchis, the land of Medea and the golden fleece, so his name perhaps represented underworld traverses… and that Jack the Giant Slayer was found in a castle set high in the sky.

The received word PEIRIOS engraved on the tombstone may come from the Greek Πειραιεύς (Peraieus), which roughly means ‘the place over the passage’ and is a famous port.

The Square was constructed with the Moon at 3º Sagittarius and scried with the Moon at 21º Aquarius.

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