The Serpent Dove

I recently discovered a post from an old blog of mine that I completely forgot I wrote. On re-reading it, I remembered that it was the seed that would gradually evolve into my forthcoming book Stellas Daemonum. The post itself came 10 days after a group Lunar Ritual that led to a sharp shift in my focus towards the huge influence that astrology had on Western Magic.

The aim of Stellas Daemonum is to reveal the line of evolution from the celestial magic apparent in the cultures of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece, which, via the Gnostics, the Neoplatonists, the Byzantines and the Arabs, went on to influence much of what we recognise in Grimoires such as the Key of Solomon. Following those introductory chapters, the bulk of the material found in the book is dedicated to presenting a much-elaborated list of entries for ninety-three of the spirits found in texts such as the Testament of Solomon, the Lemegeton, the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, the Book of the Offices of Spirits, the Livre des Esperitz and several more. Then, by explaining the magical, linguistic, physical and cultural origins of the names and forms of each of the spirits found in this grimoiric volume in detail, running conclusions are drawn regarding the infernal, elemental, lunar, planetary and stellar principles that each of them resonate with.

An initial link to the book, which is due for release via Red Wheel/Weiser in 2020, can be found here.

In the meantime, although the tone and content of Stellas Daemonum are completely different in nature to it, here’s the old post that started the whole project rolling.

“And I Solomon, having heard this, glorified God. And though I marvelled at the apology of the demons, I did not credit it until it came true. And I did not believe their words; but when they were realized, then I understood, and at my death I wrote this Testament to the children of Israel, and gave it to them, so that they might know the powers of the demons and their shapes, and the names of their angels, by which these angels are frustrated. And I glorified the Lord God of Israel, and commanded the spirits to be bound with bonds indissoluble.”

– Testament of Solomon, 66.

My recent learning processes have led me to the conclusion that the origin of all religion, magical and spiritual phenomenon, like everything else that exists, is stellar in nature, and the ideas I’ve expressed about the Zodiac being a manifestation of ‘God,’ alludes to that stellar totality. The trillions of stars that surround us are a reflection of the vast plurality of divine forces that their existence symbolises. And just as we can call that collective of galaxies, constellations, stars, planets, moons and asteroids ‘the Cosmos,’ so may we also call it ‘God.’ If we dislike that term through reasons of conditioning, however, we can call it ‘the Divine,’ ‘the All,’ or ‘the Universe’ instead. It really doesn’t make a difference.

As per the maxim of Hermes, what goes on out there in the universe also goes on in here, inside of us, and vice-versa. This maxim is also the basis of astrology in which the movement of celestial bodies is reflected in the world around us as well as within our own psyches. The division between the ‘higher’ (or divine influence) and the ‘lower’ (that which is observably manifest), however, is ultimately an illusion, though due to our inherent ignorance, we maintain this separation until we experience Gnosis. A convenient but temporary bridge that can connect these illusory states into something resembling unity lies in what we name the sub-lunar aspects of the internal and external manifestation of the Divine which is both unseen and physically manifest at the same time.

This borderlands between the realms of the sub-lunar is named as ‘Qesheth,’ meaning ‘bow,’ in the Qaballah. This signifies the paths of Qoph, Shin and Tau that connect Malkuth to the Sephirah of Yesod, Hod and Netzach, which represent the Unconscious, the Lower Intellect and the Aesthetic senses. Elsewhere, another such bridge is called Bïfrost, the Rainbow Bridge that connects Midgard, the realm of men, with Asgard, the realm of the gods. In Persian lore a bridge with the exact same function was the Chinvat Bridge, which was guarded by two canine sentinels which not only act as the gatekeepers to the celestial realms beyond the bridge, but also to the chthonic chasms below it. Working with such liminal spaces, therefore, grants access to both the celestial and chthonic realms, as is seen in the myth of Odin hanging himself from the heights of the World Tree before descending to its lowest roots to sacrifice a portion of himself to the Waters of the Well of Wyrd. This sacrifice is reflected across the human cultural spectrum in the myth of the Descent into the Underworld, the reward of returning alive from brings the gift of divine insight.

By working with the denizens between the material and invisible realms, one realises the nature of the vertical pillar that begins in the depths of the underworld and rises like a serpent to the celestial crown of the heavens, as symbolised by the fixed star Polaris at its apex, around which the Great Dragon, flying free, sets its guard. In such paradigms, the angels that Solomon set over the demons he conjured reflect our own innate, if obfuscated, sense of unified consciousness. As stated above though, the division between the concepts of ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ expressed here is ultimately an illusion. By ‘reconnecting’ the ‘angels’ and ‘demons,’ one does nothing but realise their true, unified nature.

A Gnostic cognate in which a similar concept of wholeness is found in the name of Abrasax. This name represents a complete and undivided circle and signifies time, the cosmos and the Self in a single, unified form. By understanding the essential oneness of these allegedly ‘high’ and ‘low’ aspects of extraneous entities into a single Unity (and, by extension, the ‘celestial’ and ‘chthonic’ aspects of our own natures), one comes to realise what the core of the Great Work is all about.

Ruru Bhairava

Ruru

I salute the Bhairava with the deer,
Who is like pure crystal and a destroyer,
Who has three eyes, blesses, and is peaceful, young and nude,
Who holds a hatchet, a deer, a drinking goblet and a sword in his hands,
Who has the armed Mahesvari by his side who is smiling and rides on a bull.

Ruru Bhairava is the Bhairava who is a Teacher. He is the Divine Educator and can make people strong, helping them to overcome enemies and hold sway over others. His colour is pure white and he is adorned with ornaments set with rubies. He carries an akshamala, an elephant goad, a book and a veena. He rules the South East, rides an Ox and is associated with the Sun and the Nakshatras Krittika, Uttaraphalguni and Uttarashadha, which begin at 26º 20 of the three Fire signs in the Sidereal Zodiac. His mantra should be repeated 9, 21, 108 or 1008 times, and is as follows:

“Om Hreem Shreem Kleem Shreem Shreem Kleem Shreem Sarvaraja
Vasheekaraya Sarva Jana Mohanaya Sarva Vashyam Sheeghram
Sheeghram Shreem Kleem Shreem Swaaha”

The eight manifestations of this aspect of Bhairava, with translations of their names, are:

Ruru – A dog, deer or other wild creature
Kroḍadaṃṣṭra – The Tusk of a Hog
Jaṭādhara – An Ascetic with Matted Hair
Viśvarūpa – One who Exists in All Forms
Virūpākṣa – Deformed or unusual number of Eyes
Nānārūpadhara – In the form of Gnosis
Vajrahasta – Impenetrable Hand
Mahākāya – Large-bodied

His consort is the Matrika Mahesvari, a manifestation of Parvati and the shakti of Shiva. She helps one overcome the forces of Degeneration and Dissipation, is depicted seated on the Bull, Nandi, having two or four hands and three eyes and holds a trident and a drum in two of her hands, while the other two are held in the Abhaya and Varada mudras. She is adorned with serpent bracelets, the crescent moon, a headdress formed of piled, matted hair with a serpent on it and wears a serpent around her neck. Her mantra is:

“Om Sri Siddha-linga Prasanna Subhamastu Durni mantra-vu Beem Namo Bhagavatey Maha Pra-laya-kaala Durgi Shakini Brahmhi Maheshvari Sarva Maarita Sarva Duurita Nivaarini Bheem Hraam Hreem Hruum Hrtem Hrom Hroum Hram Hrah Mama Raksha Raksha Huum Huum Hum Hum Mama Shallamya-siddhi Beem Patuu Svahaa”

Mahesvari

Asitanga Bhairava

Asitanga

I meditate on the Dark Bhairava who fulfils all desires,
Who is forever, who has three eyes, who blesses and is peaceful,
Who wears a skull garland, is golden, and is the Lord of Mercy,
Who shines in his ear globes, and holds a mace and skull,
Who is young and nude,
And holds an arrow, vessel, conch, bead chain and ear globes,
Who wears a snake as a sacred thread, and is well-ornamented,
Who is with the Goddess Brahmani,
Who rides on a swan and is good to look at.

Asitanga Bhairava is the Bhairava who has Dark Limbs. He has a golden complexion, gives creative ability, fulfils all desires, removes curses and guards the East. He rides a swan and is associated with the planet Jupiter and the Nakshatras Punarvasu, Vishaka and Poorvabhadrapada which begin at 20º Libra, Aquarius and Gemini in the Sidereal Zodiac. His mantra should be repeated 9, 21, 108 or 1008 times, and is as follows:

“Om Hreem Hraam Hreem Hrum Jam Klaam Kleem Klum Brahmi Devi Samethaya Asithaanga Bhairavaya Sarva Shaapa Nivarthitaya Om Hreem Phat Swaaha.”

The eight manifestations of this aspect of Bhairava, with translations of their names, are:

Asitāṅga – Black-limbed
Viśālākṣa – Large-Eyed
Mārtāṇḍa – The Sun
Modakapriya – Lover of Pleasure
Svacchanda – One’s own will
Vighnasantuṣṭa – Satisfactory Removal of Obstacles
Khecara – Moving in the Ether
Sacarācara – Comprehending Everything

His consort is the Matrika Brahmani, who is the shakti of Brahman. She is an aspect of Sarasvati, is yellow in colour, has four heads, holds a rosary or noose, a water pot, a lotus stalk, a book, a bell and is either seated on a swan, or is shown seated on a lotus with a swan on her banner. She wears various ornaments and is distinguished by her basket-shaped crown called a karaṇḍa mukuṭa. She represents the overcoming of Desire, and her mantra is “Om Brahmayai Namah.”

Brahmani

Ashta Bhairava and the Nakshatras

Ashta Bhairava
Starting with the next Full Moon and continuing daily until the celebration of Bhairava Ashtami, I’ll be posting a nine-part series on the connections between Shiva in his form as Mahakala Bhairava and the Vedic Lunar Mansions or Nakshatras. This series will reveal the forms of the Ashta Bhairavas (the eight major manifestations of Bhairava), the Nakshatras they are associated with, their consorts, their mantras and the seven other Bhairavas that each of the Ashta Bhairavas in turn manifests.

Before that, here’s some details about the Nakshatras themselves that will assist with aligning each of the Ashta Bhairavas to their corresponding Asterisms and Mansions. As most of us westerners tend towards using the Tropical Zodiac, the equivalent Tropical degrees have been included. Note also that the Vedic Mansions are twenty-seven in number and divided into segments of 13º 20′ rather than the twenty-eight mansions of 12º 51′ our own system inherited from the Arabic Manzils. With the Moon’s transit averaging about 13º 12′ each day, each Nakshatra lasts about a day give or take up to around five hours either way depending on the ‘speed’ of the Moon.

Nakshatra Meaning Asterism Sidereal º Tropical º
Ashwini The Heavenly Twins β and γ Arietis (Sheratan) 0º Aries 26º Aries
Bharani The Bearer 35, 39 and 41 Arietis 13º 20′ Aries 9º 20′ Taurus
Krittika Pleiades Alcyone 26º 40′ Aries 22º 40′ Taurus
Rohini The Red One Aldebaran 10º Taurus 6º Gemini
Mrigshirsha The Deer’s Head λ and φ Orionis (Meissa) 23º 20′ Taurus 19º 20′ Gemini
Ardra The Moist One Betelgeuse 6º 40′ Gemini 2º 40′ Cancer
Punarvasu Two Restorers of Goods Castor & Pollux 20º Gemini 16º Cancer
Pushya The Nourisher Asellus Borealis & Asellus Australis 3º 20′ Cancer 29º 20′ Cancer
Ashlesha The Embrace Alphard & Minchur 16º 40′ Cancer 12º 40′ Leo
Magha The Bountiful Regulus 0º Leo 26º Leo
Purvaphalguni First Reddish One Zosma 13º 20′ Leo 9º 20′ Virgo
Uttaraphalguni Second Reddish One Denebola 26º 40′ Leo 22º 40′ Virgo
Hasta The Hand Alchiba, Kraz, Algorab & Minkar 10º Virgo 6º Libra
Chitra The Bright One Spica 23º 20′ Virgo 19º 20′ Libra
Swati Very Good Arcturus 6º 40′ Libra 2º 40′ Scorpio
Vishaka Forked (Radha) Zub’genubi & Zub’schemali 20º Libra 16º Scorpio
Anuradha Following Radha Akrab & Dschubba 3º 20′ Scorpio 29º 20′ Scorpio
Jyeshta The Eldest/Most Excellent Antares & Palhaukale 16º 40′ Scorpio 12º 40′ Sagittarius
Mula The Root Shaula 0º Sagittarius 26º Sagittarius
Purvashadha First of the Invincible Ones Kaus Media & Kaus Australis 13º 20′ Sagittarius 9º 20′ Capricorn
Uttarashadha Second of the Invincible Ones Nunki 26º 40′ Sagittarius 22º 40′ Capricorn
Shravana Hearing Altair 10º Capricorn 6º Aquarius
Dhanishtha Most Benevolent δ Delphinum 23º 20′ Capricorn 19º 20′ Aquarius
Sathabhistha A Hundred Healers γ – λ Aquarii 6º 40′ Aquarius 29º 40′ Aquarius
Poorva Bhadrapada The First with Lucky Feet Markab & Scheat 20º Aquarius 16º Pisces
Uttara Bhadrapada The Second with Lucky Feet Algenib 3º 20′ Pisces 29º 20′ Pisces
Revati Prosperous ζ Piscium 16º 40′ Pisces 12º 40′ Aries

The Ashta Bhairavas each rule over three Nakshatras, with the exception of Bheeshana Bhairava, who rules over six. As well as being necessary for eight Bhairavas to have rulership over twenty-seven Nakshatras, this also occurs due to Bheeshana’s planetary association with both the South (Ketu) and North (Rahu) Lunar Nodes. Details of their Consorts and the directions of their Guardianships are also given below.

Nakshatra Bhairava Planet Consort Direction
Ashwini Bheeshana Ketu Chamundi North
Bharani Kapala Venus Indrani Northwest
Krittika Ruru Sun Mahesvari Southeast
Rohini Krodha Moon Vaishnavi Southwest
Mrigshirsha Chanda Mars Koumari South
Ardra Bheeshana Rahu Chamundi North
Punarvasu Asitanga Jupiter Brahmani East
Pushya Unmattha Saturn Varahi West
Ashlesha Samhara Mercury Chandika Northeast
Magha Bheeshana Ketu Chamundi North
Purvaphalguni Kapala Venus Indrani Northwest
Uttaraphalguni Ruru Sun Mahesvari Southeast
Hasta Krodha Moon Vaishnavi Southwest
Chitra Chanda Mars Koumari South
Swati Bheeshana Rahu Chamundi North
Vishaka Asitanga Jupiter Brahmani East
Anuradha Unmattha Saturn Varahi West
Jyeshta Samhara Mercury Chandika Northeast
Mula Bheeshana Ketu Chamundi North
Purvashadha Kapala Venus Indrani Northwest
Uttarashadha Ruru Sun Mahesvari Southeast
Shravana Krodha Moon Vaishnavi Southwest
Dhanishtha Chanda Mars Koumari South
Sathabhistha Bheeshana Rahu Chamundi North
Poorva Bhadrapada Asitanga Jupiter Brahmani East
Uttara Bhadrapada Unmattha Saturn Varahi West

Here, the Bhairavas are also restored to the order of their directional guardianship, which starts in the East and revolves clockwise.

Bhairava Meaning of Name Direction Colour
Asitanga Black-limbed East Gold
Ruru A Dog or Deer South East Pure White
Chanda Fierce South Blue
Krodha Wrathful South West Smoke
Unmattha Mad, intoxicated West White
Kapala Skull North West Yellow
Bheeshana Dreadful, Horrible North Red
Samhara Annihilation North East Lightning

From what’s been presented above, it’s clear that each Bhairava aligns with a specific celestial body and portion of the Moon’s transit around the Zodiacal signs. With each Bhairava forming a part of the greater whole of Mahakala Bhairava,  all twenty-seven mansions and nine planets (each of which is represented three-times) can be seen as aspects of the greater whole of that great and terrifying form of Shiva that is Lord over Time, Death and the Universe. The rest of this series will look into each of the Ashta Bhairavas in more detail and will conclude, on Bhairava Ashtami, with a summary of That which they constitute a part of.

Mars Conjunct Aldebaran

Notre Dame

The tragic news of a fire destroying parts of a wonder of art and architecture like Notre Dame Cathedral yesterday, as well as the simultaneous fire that destroyed part of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, saw a tight conjunction between Mars and the Fixed Star Aldebaran at 10º Gemini. Traditionally, Aldebaran’s conjunction with Mars is wont to bring destruction and accidents, and with both celestial bodies sitting in House IX, the House of Religion and Philosophy, at the place and time of the French fire’s outbreak (approximately 18:30, Paris time) the auspicious activation of a major destructive event instigated by fiery Mars and Marsian Aldebaran is credible. Furthermore, in the Sidereal Zodiac—which is that deemed most relevant to Mundane Astrology—the Lunar Mansion Al Dabaran, named after its leading star, is particularly associated with the destruction of buildings. That there were two such fires simultaneously could be seen as a manifestation of the twin or dual aspect of Gemini.

Jupiter, the planet which represents religion, gods and worship, stationed retrograde at 24º 21′ Sagittarius on 10th April, just 30′ shy of the face of the fixed star Shaula, and was positioned at 24º 19′, a small orb of 0º 32′ away from this star (which the Arabs named ‘the tail of the Scorpion’ and is known for its  Marsian and Mercurial properties) at the time the fire was detected. In Paris, Jupiter’s position in House III where it formed a loose departing square with Shaula’s other resonant planet, Mercury—the ruler of both Gemini and House III, which was in its detriment and fall in the twenty-ninth degree of Pisces, in that sign’s Marsian decan—may have assisted with the quickness with which the fire spread.

In Jerusalem, the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque—the third most revered place of worship  for Muslims—Mars and Aldebaran were located in House VIII, which is strongly influenced by Mars and Scorpio.

The fate of Notre Dame (which has some personal significance to me as I proposed to my wife while sailing past it on the Seine back in September 2016), brought to mind the lightning strike that destroyed the roof of York Minster on July 9th, 1984. Mars sat conjunct with the star Zubenelgenubi, the Southern Claw of the Scorpion—a star of the nature of Mars and Jupiter—at 14º Scorpio at that time, though more fitting to that event was the conjunction of the shocking sky god Uranus with Antares, then at 9º Sagittarius, which sits almost exactly opposite Aldebaran and is also destructive and Marsian in nature. Aldebaran was conjunct the Ascendant at the time that the fire brigade arrived on the scene at York Minister (approx 02:15, meaning the fire probably broke out around 02:00), while Antares was approaching the Descendant and Aquarius, the sign of Uranus’s domecile, was on the cusp of the Midheaven. Jupiter was also retrograde at the time of the York Minster fire, as it was at the time of yesterday’s twin fires.

I hope both of these mighty examples of human culture and endeavour will recover from the unpleasant setbacks that have befallen them, and I express sympathy and goodwill to all  those impacted by the fires. York Minster was eventually repaired and thrives today and hopefully Notre Dame and Al-Aqsa will recover too.

Jupiter in Sagittarius

Jupiter giving fire to Vesuvius - Joseph Heim

Tomorrow, November 8th,  sees Jupiter entering Sagittarius at 12:39 pm GMT. Not only does this occur on the day of Jupiter but also within its planetary hour, making it a highly auspicious day for works with this planet. This transit begins with Jupiter exactly at the point of the Midheaven, meaning that just two minutes later Jupiter also enters the Ninth House, which is influenced by both Sagittarius and Jupiter and governs matters relating to religion, philosophy, dreams and long journeys.

The Greater Key of Solomon gives Jupiter the following qualities: Obtaining honours; Acquiring riches; Contracting friendships; Preserving health; Arriving at all that one Desires; Invisibility; all Extraordinary, Uncommon and Unknown Operations.

On the day this transit begins, I plan to construct a Talisman made of tin, the metal that resonates Jupiter’s qualities, in the first planetary hour of that day (07:05 – 07:52 GMT), which will then be consecrated as Jupiter enters Sagittarius during the second planetary hour of Jupiter. That day’s third Jupiterian hour (18:49 – 20:03 GMT), also sees the Moon entering Sagittarius at 18:58 and going precisely conjunct with Jupiter at 19:05. This would therefore be a good time to further internalise the effects of the Talisman into one’s unconscious strata, particularly the realm of dreams due to the influences Sagittarius has over them.

The final Jupiterian hour of the day (03:26 – 04:40 GMT) would then be a fitting time to set one’s alarm for with the intent of meditating on or reciting a prayer or devotion to Jupiter in order to complete the day’s work and hopefully result in some relevant dreams.

The Greater Key also gives seven planetary seals for Jupiter with more specific effects attached to them, which are:

1. Possessing treasures
2. Acquiring glory, honours, dignities, riches, and all kinds of good, together with great tranquillity of mind; also to discover Treasures and chase away the Spirits who preside over them
3. Defends and Protects against spirits, causing them to be obedient.
4. To acquire riches, honour and wealth (when Jupiter is in Cancer).
5. Granting Visions
6. Protecting against all earthly dangers
7. Power over poverty and driving away all spirits that defend treasures.

It is the second seal that I shall inscribe onto the tin.

Second Talisman of Jupiter

In the centre of the Hexagram are the letters of the Name AHIH, Eheieh; in the upper and lower angles of the same, those of the Name AB, the Father; in the remaining angles those of the Name IHVH. I believe the letters outside the Hexagram in the re-entering angles to be intended for those of the first two words of the versicle, which is taken from Psalm cxii. 3:– ‘Wealth and Riches are in his house, and his righteousness endureth for ever.’ The verse is from Vulgate, Ps.111:3: gloria et divitiae in domo eius et iustitia eius manet in saeculum saeculi. (Joseph Peterson).

The sigils of Jupiter, the Archangel Zadkiel, the Intelligence Jophiel and the Spirit Hismael are also engraved onto the tin.

Tzadkiel
Seal of Zadkiel

Jupiter

In the Second Hour of Jupiter, the ritual is performed.

Suitable robes are worn, Cedar is burnt and four blue candles light the temple.

  1. LBRP
  2. Invoking Hexagram Ritual of Jupiter
  3. Invocation

The Invocation of Jupiter

(4 knocks)

Procul, O procul este profani!

O Jove, much-honour’d, Jove supremely great,
To thee our holy rites we consecrate,

“Our pray’rs and expiations, king divine,
For all things to produce with ease thro’ mind is thine.
Hence mother Earth and mountains swelling high
Proceed from thee, the deep and all within the sky.
Saturnian king, descending from above,
Magnanimous, commanding, sceptred Jove;
All-parent, principle and end of all,
Whose pow’r almighty shakes this earthly ball;
Ev’n Nature trembles at thy mighty nod,
Loud-sounding, arm’d with light’ning, thund’ring God.
Source of abundance, purifying king,
O various-form’d, from whom all natures spring;
Propitious hear my pray’r, give blameless health,
With peace divine, and necessary wealth.”

The Talisman is then uncovered and fumigated with cedar with great intent to call down the forces of EL through the Heavenly Sphere of TZADDIQ to be divested into the Archangel ZADKIEL, the Intelligence JOHPHIEL and the Spirit HISMAEL into the Talisman.

Then over it is recited:

  1. The Emerald Tablet

“Here is a true explanation, concerning which there can be no doubt.

It attests: The above from the below, and the below from the above -the work of the miracle of the One.

And things have been from this primal substance through a single act. How wonderful is this work! It is the main (principle) of the world and is its maintainer.

Its father is the sun and its mother the moon; thewind has borne it in its body, and the earth has nourished it.

The father of talismen and the protector of miracle, whose powers are perfect, and whose lights are confirmed,a fire that becomes earth.

 Separate the earth from the fire, so you will attain the subtle as more inherent than the gross, with care and sagacity.

It rises from earth to heaven, so as to draw the lights of the heights to itself, and descends to the earth; thus within it are the forces of the above and the below;

Because the light of lights within it, thus does the darkness flee before it.

The force of forces, which overcomes every subtle thing and penetrates into everything gross.

The structure of the microcosm is in accordance with the structure of the macrocosm.

And accordingly proceed the knowledgeable.

And to this aspired Hermes, who was threefold graced with wisdom.”

The talisman is then covered and hidden.

During the Third Planetary Hour of Jupiter the Talisman is combined with a Talisman of Luna at the precise time where the Moon and Jupiter form their conjunction and a statement of intent is made to both talismans that they join forces to bring the benefits of Jupiter into the dominion of Luna. Fumigations to each planet are burnt, being Cedar and Jasmine.

During the Fourth Planetary Hour of Jupiter sleep is broken and prayer and meditation is entered into to complete the day’s petitions. Banishing and Licenses to depart are performed the following morning when the day of Jupiter has passed.

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.