XI. Wild Animals

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XI CAIOT

Servitors: Igilon, Liriol, Alogil, Igarag, Aril, Oroia.

The word CAIOT at the edges of the Square comes from the Hebrew חיות (chaiot), ‘animals,’ while the name present in the central cross relates to the spirit Igilon, which may derive from the Greek god of nightmares Ikelos, who often appeared in the form of an animal or a monster.
The Vision

The vision began with the image of an Abramelin Square turning into a portcullis which slammed down hard behind me as I entered the antechamber of an old ruin. The ruin was large with an open roof and sat atop a large hill with a dramatic view over the world below. Ahead of me was a narrow passageway at the end of which stood a lion. Beyond it, I saw a dusty, circular bowl which was like the pit of a long-abandoned amphitheatre with the arena being surrounded by bare stone benches. It was filled with an assortment of animals including dogs, wolves, birds, reptiles, snakes, crocodiles and boars, which had wandered in from the wilderness that lay beyond it. The pit they gathered in was divided into two halves, with all the mammals gathered to the left and all the birds and reptiles gathered on the right. Above them, perched by itself on a beam of stone, was a blue and yellow pelican with a shock of yellow plumage atop of its head.

Between the two halves of the pit, a pathway was left clear which I walked up, without any bother from the lion, with the intent of leaving the ruin to get to the wilderness beyond. Guarding the exit, however, was a great minotaur, giving me the impression that this arena  was also a labyrinth though there was no puzzle as to how one got through it. Stepping closer to it, I saw that the space beyond the mammals on the left-hand side consisted of a deep blue sea under strong daylight, and beyond the birds and reptiles on the right-hand side was the darkness of a deep, black night. I walked up the pathway slowly and cautiously in case any of the animals attacked me but found them disappearing into the darkness that lay beyond the birds and reptiles. By the time I got to the arena’s edge, the whole pit behind me was empty and the great minotaur that had stood before me was dead on the ground with his flesh already rotting. With all now completely abandoned and with no life present anywhere in this silent, sun-kissed landscape, I exited from the amphitheatre and passed into the lands that led to the coast.

The world beyond the arena revealed a broad plateau, the ground of which was rocky but green with foliage. I followed a long path down the steep hillside until I reached a square, grey building at the bottom, right next to the shoreline. As I stood outside the building, I realised that the building was the pen from which all of the wild animals that swarmed into the amphitheatre had escaped. None were left there now, but their excrement was piled high upon the floor and the place stunk. I had a vague impression that this was what Noah’s Ark would have been like. In the midst of the excrement I spotted a spiralling staircase going deep underground, but as getting to it meant wading through all that shit to get there, and because there was probably much more filth down in the hole, I declined the mental suggestion to descend. Because of this decision, the vision ended prematurely.

The sequences apparent in the first ten visions appear to have ended, with the portcullis closing behind me appearing to represent a turning point with no way back. With no apparent influence from any of the named servants aside from Igilon—whose name is suggestive of the nightmare-god Ikelos, who often appears in animal form—this seemed like quite a disconnected vision, with no communication of names or speech being present as has been the case with the others. I had the impression that the circular arena seemed to represent the brain with its two hemispheres divided by a channel, the Corpus Callosum, that ran down its middle.

That it was day and was populated by mammals on one side of the arena, and night and populated by the more ancient life-forms of birds and reptiles on the other, may suggest a symbolism of conscious and unconscious processes. I am not a proponent of the psychological approach to magic, but this was an undeniable aspect of this vision and indeed of astral work, dreamwork and scrying. All of the animals present disappeared into the dark hemisphere, while I, retaining conscious control, forged on into the ‘enlightened’ half. The lion appeared to represent the guardian to the ‘solar’ side of this process, and allowed me entry to that place without any challenge, while the minotaur, being half human and half beast, guarded the more primitive dark side. Its death appeared to back up this theory as its guardianship was no longer necessary if I was not choosing to enter the region it stood guard over. Had I entered into the darkness there or where it was later offered in the winding, shit-covered staircase, I’m sure the nature of the vision would have been much different.

Despite these thoughts about how the experience associated with this square seemed more psychological than spiritual, examining the other words present in the square reveals that the line AIGRO may have its origin in the Hebrew אגר (agar, also attributable to the name of the spirit Nagar), meaning ‘gather,’ ‘accumulate,’ which might account for the large cumulation of faeces in the pen or ‘storehouse’ from which the animals had escaped. ORLIA, meanwhile, may come from the Latin ora signifying a border of some kind, but more specifically a coastline. Considering the coastline that the storehouse appeared upon, it seems that these words may have formed the basis of extrinsic communication in this instance, embedding themselves in my unconscious mind via the prompting of the spirits associated with this square, then forming the conscious mental images related with them in the same mysterious manner that they have in the other squares.

Visions in Glass, Mirrors and Crystals

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The following is a diary account relating to the first square of Book IV Chapter IV of the Book of Abramelin, in which the Scarecrow in the vision of A Lake first appears.

 

Gilionim

The aim of scrying will be to receive visions relating to the realms beyond. Gilion is Hebrew for ‘tablets,’ but in the context of Isaiah 3:23, is ‘tablets of polished metal,’ and therefore akin to ‘mirrors’ with most mirrors in the ancient period being made of polished stone or metal rather than glass.

I began by calling to the Four Kings to ask for their assistance in sending the spirits, then sat facing South, as is correct for the time of day I worked at and held the square in my hand beneath the scrying glass. As often occurs, I saw darkness and water, this time it fell into a gutter at the side of the road before following it down a storm drain. Below the grounds, surrounded by brickwork, a crocodile greeted me. I followed it, commenting internally upon my actions as I did so, until we came to the end of the sewer, where there lay a night-time oasis at each side with a huge river, maybe the Nile, before me.

Behind me, I saw the city I had left, looking dark, jagged and nightmarish, and set up somewhat higher than the shoreline I stood upon, with the conduit I had exited set into the banks of the earth. I followed the crocodile to the beach-like shore riverside and saw a boat. I expected to see a ferryman there, but there was only a grinning scarecrow with crosses over its eyes, I dug into my pockets for coins to place in its dead eyes as payment for the boat, then sailed into the river. As I bobbed over the water, I understood the river to represent the current of the universe flowing around the soul following death. Beneath its surface, venomous serpents with rotten human faces sailed, but they were deterred from harming me by the crocodile.

On the far shore I had a sense of a black, invisible sun and I saw a vague flash of a raven or crow flying towards me. I conversed with the crocodile for a while, coming to the understanding that the upstream direction represented time flowing from the past to the present and the downstream represented the flow from present to future. Some dead may choose to attain rebirth upstream, in the past, but this was difficult due to the strength of the current, and usually meant you couldn’t go too far back unless you were particular good at fighting the current. Others, following the easier flow opted for rebirth in the future, in the chronological time following their death.

On the opposite bank, now getting closer, I noticed some battered old cars parked up, and realised that the crocodile was leading me back to an incarnated state on the other side of the river. I told him I didn’t want to be incarnated again, but he responded by telling me that I didn’t know what was on the other side. I was then aware that some souls had no boat and sank into the river, where they stayed in a dead state, like the serpents I had seen earlier, with no chance of escape. Some however, like the raven I saw, had the ability to fly over the river and had the freedom to go wherever they wanted to. This, the crocodile informed me, was the aim: to become like a bird after death as this was the key to freedom from the ebbs of the river.

We eventually arrived on the opposite shore, and the thing he had to show me was the nature of my next incarnation. Having earned better karmic circumstances and my next life would be blessed and golden in the material sense, which the glow of the rising sun seemed to confirm. I told the crocodile I still had no desire for rebirth and that it was the freedom of the bird that I sought. I then felt that my experience was over and looked for physical objects in the scrying glass before my face. In it I saw the face of a sleeping dog.

My Grave

 

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The Pauper – Theodor Kittelson

No, dear God, do not let me be deceased
under blankets and sheets
and at my bedside all that crying.
Let me be struck down one day unexpected
and fall in the forest someplace neglected,
where no one can find me while I lay dying.

As a son of the forest who knows it well,
it will not deny my humble request to dwell
at long last upon some mossy mound.
There will I give back to all its animals thus,
my great corpse without speeches or fuss,
and by the crows, the rats and flies so found.

Yes, I will host a grand meal when I am deceased
for those beaks and claws and teeth a feast,
for one and all a generous serving.
And from above a squirrel will look on askance
watching with eyes alert from his branch,
almost human eyes, so unnerving.

An ample portion for each to feed,
enough to satisfy an army in need
and at the table they pick me apart.
An eagle to strip my bones bare,
staying until no more is there,
and then with talons drawn in depart.

And into late evening and all night long
the glorious sounds of a corpse in song
as lovely as when bells are rung.
Then in tribute to me a final word,
from the owl herself it is heard,
hooted as a simple oath is sung.

When the little left of me the earth receives
and at dawn is hidden under a grave of leaves,
the end of this joyous night will be near.
My friends! I have fed you all! Goodbye!
— But all these leaves about me, why?
It must be the wind that swept them here.

– Knut Hamsun

(Translated by Moraline Free)

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