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.

XXXVII: Griffins

Griffin

XXXVII GIRIPES

Servitors: Isagas, Trapis, Parelit, Liriol, Asorega, Alogil, Ragaras, Sigis, Pliroki, Laralos, Gesegas, Tolet, Igarag, Ekalak, Ilekel, Aril, Lagasas, Kilik, Elzegar, Alpas

The word at the edge of the Square, GIRIPES, comes from the Hebrew גריפין (giripin) meaning ‘griffin.’ The name in the Central Cross is not traceable to a specific spirit, but closely resembles a mixture of the names Gesegas, Isagas and Igarag. Also notable is the appearance of the word ELOGAPI, which appears to be a derivation of the Grimorium Verum spirit Elelogap and the Lesser Key of Solomon spirit Gaap.

The Vision

I saw a black sky, twilit at its edges, from which a great star fell and ripped the heavens asunder. Beneath the fabric of the torn skies lay another sky, all of which was of the same twilit red and blue as the edges of the sky before it was. Then this sky was torn apart to reveal a brilliant blue dome. This tearing away continued until all that was left was the bare dark of a world of nothingness.

Then a single flame appeared and I saw that I was in a wood at night and the fire was my light and warmth. The Moon glinted white between a gap in the trees and a new world was formed from its light. In this world I found myself sat in a hollow with leaves all about me, beneath which lay a wooden trap door, which opened as soon as I became aware of it and plummeted me down into a musty storage room that laid buried in the earth. In the rooms were many cages housing lifeless sphinxes and harpies which were guarded by a motionless leopard that was sat in the corner of the room.

I noted that these creatures were all chimeras of some form and was prompted to choose one of them to set free. In a gap between the cages I saw the head of an eagle and touched its head. A glyph marked the spot on its head where I touched it which was like a broken square intersected by a triangular arrowhead. The creature came to life at my touch and flew up to the ground where it revealed itself to be a griffin. Behind it dangled a chain that I hauled myself up to the surface with, then used to control the griffin like a hawk is controlled by its handler’s tether. I pulled myself close to it and saw that its right eye was a Moon and its left eye a Sun. Then the Moon went through its phases until it was New and faded to black. In its place another Sun appeared so that both of its eyes shone with a great light that caused the darkened world to become awash with sunlight.

Seeing this, I let the griffin free of its leash and it flew into the skies before descending to a sandy beach where it wrote the word MARIM in the sand in the form of a Cross. Then the sea came in and washed over the letters, but only the letter ‘R’ was removed by the spume, leaving the word MAIM written twice.

MARIM

As the ‘R’ disappeared, so too did the griffin fade over the distant ocean which glittered with a sparkling golden light as it reflected the Sun’s rays.

Notes

The ‘R’ that was washed away by the sea I understood to be a representation of the Hebrew letter Resh, which symbolises the Sun in Hermetic magic, while the word ‘Maim,’ means ‘Water.’ The word left by the griffin in the sand also had the Hebrew ארי (Ari) meaning ‘Lion’ at its heart. The Lion, as well as being a Solar symbol, is the creature that the Griffin’s body is composed of. The word ‘Marim’ also bears a certain similarity to the Latin ‘maris’ meaning ‘sea.’

The new spirits to feature in this square are Parelit and Elzegar. The name of Parelit may have its origins in the Hebrew words פער (pa’ar) – ‘opening,’ ‘gap,’ ‘gulf’ and הליט (halit), ‘cover,’ giving the name the meaning ‘to cover a gulf.’ Mathers suggests the meaning of the name Elzegar is to be found in the Hebrew for ‘turning aside.’

The Square was constructed with the Moon at 28º Cancer and performed with the Moon at 6º Leo.

XXVIII: Peacocks

Golden Idol

XXVIII MIDIKON

Servitors: Ilekel, Manties, Losimon, Asmiel, Lomiol, Katsin, Apolion, Pakid, Adon, Pattid, Kosem, Milon, Iparkas, Izozon, Nasi, Tolet, Ekalak, Kilik, Kokolon, Alpas, Ipakol, Soterion, Nolom, Amillis.

The word at the outer edge of the square derives from the Greek μυδεικών (mydeikon), meaning ‘mystical,’ while the name forming the central cross refers to the spirit Ilekel, whose name possibly derives from the Hebrew לחלל (lechalel) meaning ‘to desecrate,’ ‘violate’ or ‘defile.’ The lower case letters represent those altered by me to correct the errors that are evident in it in the original text.

The Vision

A long, thick baton made of plant matter and covered with needle-sharp spines appeared. Each of the baton’s spines had a tiny, lidless eye at its end, each of which turned to look at me at the same time, then started shifting around in a way that was quite unsettling to look upon. As I looked at the baton, a peacock came running towards me telling me I shouldn’t be holding it and instructed me to put it down. Entranced, I kept looking at it, and found it opening out into a blue fan that, with its eyes now spread all over its surface, resembled the tail of a peacock. As I noticed this, the peacock standing before me opened his tail in response then proceeded to run past me, telling me to put the fan down and run with him as something was coming. I folded it back up so it resembled the spiked baton again and ran with him.

Then it was apparent that we were in a thinly-wooded forest. Between, or rather above, the trees came a huge giant, crushing everything it trod on beneath its feet. Then, as the giant came to the baton I left on the floor, the eye-spines that ran up its length pierced the flesh of its feet and turned the giant to stone. Then, after a few moments, the stone giant crumbled to dust and revealed a golden statue of a man, somewhat like Michelangelo’s David, but carrying an axe over its shoulder. The Peacock and I approached the statue and the Peacock joyfully declared the freedom of the idol that had been encased within the giant’s great body. Then the arm holding the axe dropped down to its side for a moment then moved again to strike the ground with it, causing a small crack to appear in the earth. As the earth opened, I saw a pool of very blue water in which hundreds of frogs eggs had been laid. This, I realised, was the point where the spiked baton had been crushed into the ground by the giant’s foot, and had now changed from being a baton/tail/fan into a blue pool full of eggs. On inspection, each of the eggs contained tiny, swimming embryos.

Then, from the water, a large, shark-like monster leaped, its maw raised to the heavens, which peeled back lay by layer to reveal a bald-headed figure garbed in a robe of the same blue as the pool and tail feather had been. Its eyes, however, had skin growing over them which opened by the skin being split open into vertical slits with no visible eyeballs within them. As it gazed upon me, it said ‘speak what you wish, or rather, chant it.’ Doing so, I demanded, in a chant, to be shown the true visions of the square. It told me I was already seeing them, but then explained that none of what I was seeing was real, for nothing around us was actually there. The wood around me and everything in it was an illusion fabricated from the matter of my mind, it said, and this illusion could come in the form of castles, buildings, towns, banquets or anything else one could imagine.

The entity then told me that the mechanics by which spirits worked was through influencing the physical matter of the mind to produce symbolic communications. But, he asked me, how could I truly distinguish what was the work of my own mind and what was the work of the spirits communicating with me. As he spoke, I noticed that his feet became those of an ostrich that dug into the ground and that he appeared to be wearing a pink tutu around his waist. On noting my incredulity about such a ridiculous image, it laughed a bellowing laugh. It explained that they could encourage the mind to see anything they wished it to by the power of suggestion, it said and produced random images of foods like pineapples and carrots appeared for no discernible reason. The point of doing this, it told me, was that I had the mind couldn’t control the formation of these images once they had been suggested to it. This being the case, how could one truly determine whether the images impressed by the mind was the product of one’s own communications with the unconscious or some other extraneous entity. It prompted me then to form whatever images I wished in my own mind. On doing this, I noticed that everything I thought of came easily enough but that the things I was deciding to form images of now also seemed to be influenced by something that may or not be of my own mind.

The entity reiterated again that this was how spirits worked. They could manipulate any matter that they wished to by such power, and did so by working at the subatomic level, as they could range in their sizes from that of a particle, to a microbe or to a great giant. In such forms they could alter the forms and movements of anything physical in unseen, invisible ways, being able to effect the actions of viruses and bacteria, the movements of animals, storms, seas and buildings. Even, it seems, the synapses of the brain that produce various thoughts, images, predilections or emotional responses could be manipulated by them. The veils between the unconscious influence of the mind and the activities of spirits, it seems by such explanations, is thin and indistinguishable. To test this, I asked whether I could be made to see things I had never physically seen if this was the case, and the answer was affirmative. I asked it, for some reason, for it to show me a vision of Byzantium, and it proceeded to show me an image of a city with small white houses and red-brown sloping rooves surrounded by larger buildings with great golden domes. I stated to it that this place could be anywhere, and there was no proof that this illusion was Byzantium at all. That, it said, was my dilemma. How could I ever know if any of the things shown to me were ‘real’ in an objective sense if I couldn’t prove it either way. Ultimately, there is no way to tell if one is being deceived or not by the actions of mind, be it due to the actions of one’s own brain or by spirits who, in this vision, claimed that they worked by manipulating it.

Leaving me to consider such things, I sensed its impending departure and asked it to give me its name before it left. In response, the image of a highly intricate red and yellow banner appeared before me with various heraldic images such as lions and dragons stitched into it. In this centre, around a crest of some kind, two flowing ribbons had two letters stitched into them in red, AF on the left side and AS on the right, spelling out the name AFAS. With this, the vision ended.

Notes

The Square in question appears to have been corrupted in the original text and so was amended by myself to make its proportions even. The original, uncorrected Square appears as follows.

XXVIII CORRECTED

New Spirits apparent in this square are: Izozon, Katsin, Manties, Pakid, Pattid. Possible origins for these names are:

Izozon – יזוז (izoz), ‘move,’ ‘stir,’ ‘go away.’
Katsin – חצי (chatzi), ‘middle’ or ‘half,’ though the most interesting possibility is ‘moiety,’ which refers to something a single thing being split into two halves.
Manties – possibly from the term -mancy, related to divination, which ultimately comes from the Greek μαντεία (manteia).
Pakid – from Hebrew פחד (pechad), ‘fear,’ ‘dread,’ ‘terror.’
Pattid – possibly from Hebrew יפעת (ipat), ‘splendour,’ ‘brilliance.’

The bottom line of the square reveals a backward expression of the word MIDIKON to give the word NOKIDIM – נגידים – ‘Governors,’ which is suggestive of the influence of the Four Kings, Oriens, Amaymon, Paymon and Ariton, but may refer to any entity in a position of authority over others. NOKIDIM also represents the principle of averse mysticism due to the word it derives from mydeikon, meaning ‘mystical,’ and the aura of averse mysticism evident in the square, with its explanations on how spirits interfere with the laws of cause and effect in invisible ways in the physical world, appeared to confirm this. about it.

The nature of the communications in it had a degree of what a psychiatrist would probably call examples of schizotypal or psychotic thinking, due to the postulated statement that external entities may have an effect on thoughts. Such explanations are not entirely inaccurate, as when uncontrolled through the veils of mental illness and a lack of mystical or magical intent this can certainly be the case. However, most human experiences that can be called religious or spiritual, including visions, shamanic experiences, kundalini or other ecstatic states can quite easily be attributed to forms of temporary psychosis. The key here is the ability to acknowledge that mystical experiences are wilful experiments with the fabric of one’s psychic substance that can be used to tap into alternative states of consciousness by communicating with one’s deep and unconscious self. As the entity, Afas, in the vision stated however, there is a quandary involved in this in that one can no longer truly tell what is the product of one’s unconscious, which has been given free reign to act as it wills for a short time, and what is the product of the encouragement or manipulation of forces that exist beyond it.

The true key to understanding whether what we experience in such states is down to us or something extraneous to us lies in receiving proofs that point to something beyond the self. In these experiments this has happened rather consistently with the reception of words that I have had no prior knowledge off in ancient languages that I only have passing familiarity with. In this vision, this happened too, as the name given, Afas, appears to correlate with the Hebrew word אפש (afas), which means ‘wish’ or ‘desire,’ which is objectively relevant due to the entity informing me I could ‘speak what I wished for’ when it first appeared. It’s nature, then, was the granting of wishes or desires in the way that is mythically expressed in the persons of the djinn that emerge from magical lamps in Arabian lore. Another alternative explanation for this sort of phenomena is that the self has the ability to tap into an objective pool of information that lies beyond it, such as that represented by the Collective Unconscious postulated by the eminent sage Carl Jung. This possibility, however, is no less magical in its postulations than the idea of spirits or daemons having an element of influence over us, but I personally believe that the human mind cannot access information beyond its own experiences, but can be prompted and communicated with by preternatural entities that are extraneous to it.

The Square was created with the Moon at 12º Sagittarius and performed with the Moon at 25º Sagittarius.

XXIV: Owls

Hermit

XXIV KIKIMIS
Servitors: Igarag, Mara, Liriol, Lomiol, Asorega, Asmiel, Alogil, Ragaras, Ismerek, Sarasim, Sigis, Girmil, Laralos, Gesegas, Kosem, Iparkas, Erimites, Tolet, Ramoras, Ekalak, Oroia, Romages, Geloma, Ilekel, Aril, Lagasas, Kilik, Isagas, Ipakol, Amillis.

The word KIKIMIS on the outer edges of the square comes from the Ancient Greek κικυμίς (kikumis) meaning ‘a screech owl.’ The name in the central square is that of the spirit Igarag, whose name means ‘frost,’ ‘ice’ or ‘cold.’

The Vision

A small, brown owl appeared sitting alone in a dead tree in a brightly lit but desolate landscape. Sitting in the daylight was painful to it, and caused it to muster its rage at the light, making the outer shell of the sun split into two to reveal a smaller, darker sun that was concealed inside of it. Then this sun split in half too, revealing a black neutron star it which cast no light at all,. With the coming of darkness, the landscape changed to that of a graveyard set in the midst of a circular grove of thirteen dead trees, and on each of these trees perched an owl similar to the one which darkened the sun. Then a voice came from one of the owls declaring that theirs was the time in which the dead would rise to walk the earth, and then, from each of the graves rose a foul revenant. Then, beams of light emanated from each of the owls, connecting them together to form a thirteen-sided star. In its centre stood a black, vertical column with the black star sitting at its pinnacle. I panned out of this scene to see the graveyard become a circular platform which the rising column stood in the centre of giving the landscape the appearance of a spinning top or kaleidoscope. As I noticed this similarity, it began to rotate, then spun faster and faster until the individual owls and trees became an invisible blur and combined their collective image into the vision of a single owl bearing a golden crown which was flying towards me. On its arrival at the edge of the blurred, spinning world it proceeded to try to tear at my eyes and face with its beak, but could not make physical contact due to its being contained within a world that I stood beyond.

Then, the scene changed entirely and I saw the entrance to a cave lying beyond a green marsh. I sensed that there was a bear or other wild animal inside, but on getting further inside I discovered a ruined old hermit in a blue robe wearing a gold crown who was weeping inconsolably. No words came from his mouth, and it couldn’t be determined why he was so mournful. As I approached him he cast himself into a hole in the stone which formed the gullet that lay between the mouth of the cave and a belly-like cavern below. I followed him into the cave’s gut and found him lying in a pile of crowns with sharp prongs that cut into his skin causing his pain to grow worse, though in the midst of his agony he stopped for a second to adjust his crown which sat askew on his head, as if to maintain his pride. Then, as he resumed his wailing, a slew of crowns came rushing down through the stone sphincter of the gullet above us and buried him beneath them, their sharpened prongs piercing his body with a thousand more wounds.

Then the scene changed again. It was night, and all was still and calm with a fresh, sweet-scented breeze. Atop a distant hill stood a windmill, its sails gliding gently through the air, and in a window at its top sat another owl, or perhaps the same one as before. I entered through the window and saw that the owl had moved inside to sit upon a wooden beam that spanned the top of a bare room with a wooden floor. Then the owl transformed its shape into that of a golden-haired woman wearing a blue dress. She climbed down from the beam and moved to a wooden crank-handle, which she turned to cause the sails of the windmill spin with a great speed, birthing a new wind in the air which travelled at speed across the land to the graveyard encircled by trees. All was peaceful there before the wind arrived, with no signs of the risen dead, and the owls slept upon their perches. But when the wind arrived, it disturbed them from their sleep and they woke as one and seemed to grow wrathful again. And this is where the vision ended.

Notes

The Screech Owl cited in the word KIKIMIS is one of the wilderness demons of the Hebrew tradition and an alternative Hebrew name for an owl is a ‘Lilith’ or a ‘night spirit.’ Their desire for darkness and apocalypse reflects their averse nature and their reverting to the form of a single owl after being separated into thirteen separate ones may reflect the numeration of the Hebrew word אחד (achad) – ‘unity.’

The name Erimities present in the square comes from the Greek ἐρημίτης (eremites), meaning ‘hermit.’ This appeared to relate to the appearance of the weeping old man who dwelt within the cave. His blue robe and gold crown are consistent with the colour scheme I’ve noted in previous spirit-work, which also manifested again in the female entity who appeared in the windmill with her blue dress and golden hair.

The servitor Iparkas might be related to the Livre des Esperitz spirit Parcas, known as Partas in the Book of Offices and Foras or Forcase in the Lemegeton. This spirit comes in the form of a fierce bear, a creature I thought I detected the presence of in the cave. He also reveals the location of hidden treasures which may account for the cavern full of golden crowns.

The square was constructed with the Moon at 16º Libra with the sound of owls filling the midnight air, and was performed with the Moon at 17º Scorpio.

XVII: Bridges

Chinvat

XVII DOBERAH

Servitors: Ekalak, Liriol, Nabhi, Laralos, Badad, Helel, Nasi, Aril, Kilik, Kokolon, Balabos

The word DOBERAH at the outer edges of the square comes from the Hebrew root דִבר (dabar), meaning ‘to speak’ or ‘pronounce,’ and is related to the variations דבור – ‘speech,’ ‘word,’ ‘saying,’ ‘commandment;’ דברה – ‘cause,’ ‘reason,’ ‘manner;’ and דבורה – ‘bee,’ which also relates to the name of the Biblical prophet and judge Deborah. The name of the spirit in the central square is that of Ekalak, whose name may originate in the Hebrew חלק (khelaq), meaning ‘portion,’ ‘part,’ ‘lot,’ ‘share,’ ‘fragment.’

The Vision

It was night and I came to a stop on a rusting suspension bridge spanning a river after running some distance on an asphalt road. I climbed on the metal railings that ran along its side and seemed to have the choice to either climb to its top or jump over the edge into the river below. I paused unsure of which of the two I should do before realising that the bridge acted as a crossroads with the river below and led to another world. Looking up and down the river to my left and right I saw that many other bridges had been constructed. Above me, I saw a waning gibbous moon and realised that I should be crossing the bridge not ascending it or jumping from it. I stood upon the road again and had the impression that a car was coming down the road with its headlights on.

As soon as I got to the other side of the bridge it became day and I stood in the midst of a landscape which looked very Greek. Around me was yellow grass, like that of a savannah or otherwise arid landscape, and at the crest of a small hill in front of me appeared a baby elephant that seemed to be happy to see me. I thought about approaching it but got the sense that its mother or father would be nearby and would trample me if I came anywhere near it. Instead, I waited a moment to see what would happen next, then trudged carefully through a track in the grass while being careful to maintain my distance from the calf. As I neared the top of the slope, the Land Rover from the vision of Farm Buildings appeared and drove over the grass, as it also had in that vision, and pulled to a halt near the elephant. As it approached, the elephant changed into a woman of middle-years wearing a velvet, burgundy dress and with long brown hair with slight curls in it which was bedecked by a crown of laurel leaves. As her form changed, the driver of the Land Rover exited his vehicle. He was a man of late middle age with sharp features and was wearing clothes that were typical of a British farmer, being a green wax jacket, green trousers and hat, and he had a shotgun with its barrel popped open resting over the crook of his right arm. On seeing the woman, he placed his gun on the floor and it flew off into the distance behind him as they both disrobed and his Land Rover also vanished.

The couple then began to have sex in front of me, which made me feel rather uncomfortable, so I scanned the surrounding environment while they got on with it and saw many eyes, like pinpricks of yellow light, were watching both me and they from a great distance. When the two had finished their act of lust, I saw the co-mingled deposit of their union left on the floor where they had lain, pink in colour and in the shape of a Vesica. From it, an enormous rose grew, as quickly and as tall as the beanstalk in the tale of Jack the Giant Killer, and a great vine twisted around its stem. When it finished growing, it stood high in the sky, penetrating the clouds. I felt the same temptation to ascend then as I had at the bridge, but once again paused before doing so. As I lingered, I sensed the surrounding watchers coming closer. Then, confirming my suspicions, a vicious black wolf stepped out from the forest close to where the Land Rover had been parked. Knowing this was the time to ascend, I climbed.

On my ascent, I noticed that the stem between the huge thorns was covered in sticky sap which made the ascent easier as it was so tacky I knew I had no chance of falling back to earth. By the time I reached the base of the flower’s head, which was as far as I could travel, I was high above the clouds and saw the sun and the moon on either side of the petals above me, the sun to the left of it and the moon to the right. Beyond them, I could see the forms of a few scattered, distant mountains rising above the soft cloud-line. As I pondered what I should do next, a beam of rainbow light appeared in the distance, beaming its rays from some unknown point in the blue sky above to break through the clouds below projecting to an unseen location on the Earth. I understood that this to be a signal of where I should now head, and transported myself there by taking one of the huge vines that twisted around the rose’s stem and projecting its end to the base of the rainbow before sliding down it in a dizzying descent that felt realistic enough to give me a touch of vertigo.

At the base of the vine, where it met the rainbow and mingled with its rays, was a sandy beach and a great sea set in a bay of cliffs, coves and caves. Written in the wet sand was the word DOBERAH, which then extended to form the rest of the square in its entirety. Behind me, in a cave, I could hear the sound of ethereal female voices singing, which I followed to find a pool of dark sea water. I sat on a rock and let my feet dangle into the pool, but got a sense of dark, shadowy entities swimming under its surface, so removed them and rose to my feet again. As I stood there listening to the song, the light of the setting sun flooded into the cave bring the music to a stop. In the water, I could see a female spirit guarding its eyes from the light of the sun. She asked me if I could block the light of the sun with my body as he found the light intolerable. I adhered to her request and asked if she had any messages she wished to deliver to me. In response, she gave the following words:

“The seal has been broken. You stand on the edge of All, at the twilight shore of Time. Cross the Sea and be No More.”

After receiving this message, I returned to the beach and watched the sea come in with the tide to wash the words of the square away from the sand. I placed a stick into the area where the word had been in order to mark its place, and with that act the sun vanished and was replaced by the moon, which then set into the sea to leave me in total darkness. From the cave, I heard the sounds of the spirits’ echoing song beginning again. In the blind darkness that was left in my mind I saw a gravestone wrapped in ivy that I recognised from a graveyard close to where I live in the ‘real’ world. Instead of the name that usually appeared on it however was an inscription which read ‘Here Lies No More.’ After noting this, I walked away from the grave and up the hill to the path that leads to my home. This marked the end of the vision.

Notes

There was lots of polarity between dark and night, moon and sun and female and male in this vision, as well as lots of aspects of liminality, such as the twilight, the shore, bridges, a crossroad and a river. The appearance of a rainbow acting as a guiding light to show me where to head next when I had ascended the heights of the rose was akin to the Chinvat Bridge of Zoroastrianism which, like Bïfrost which separated the realms of Midgard and Asgard in Norse mythology, marked the realm between the worlds of the living and dead.

One of the most striking parts of this vision was the act of sex magick between the male and female spirits that appeared. The rose they produced symbolised that of the Rosy Cross formula, while the sun and moon that flanked each side of its head represented the culmination of male and female energies into alchemical gold. The place where I came to rest in my ascent of the rose’s thorny stem was akin to the veil of Paroketh, while the rainbow that appeared in the distance represented the paths of Qoph, Shin and Tau that emanate from the Sephirah of Netzach, Yesod and Hod which come together (pun somewhat intended) to form the word Qesheth, meaning ‘bow.’ The product of this bow is the upward flying arrow of the path of Samekh, which is associated with the sign of Sagittarius and, in the Thoth Tarot, the comingled energies of The Lovers becoming united as one in Art.

What the astrological association of this formula may point to is a connection between the position of the moon when I had constructed the square, due to it being in Sagittarius at that time. This is not the first time this has occurred, as when I constructed the square pertaining to Flowers, the moon was in Scorpio and that vision featured imagery relating to Scorpion Grass and an eagle, both of which symbolise the influence of that sign. This suggests that in future I should note where in the Zodiac the Moon is when I create these squares, just to see if this hypothesis bears any fruit.

Also of interest was the female spirit who sang in the dark, watery cave. Her message related the notion of crossing the sea in order to be No More. This relates to the great Sea of Binah with the connotations of crossing it relating to the traversing the Abyss into the realms where the personal ego is disintegrated.

While I have good knowledge of the Qaballistic system of Magic I would not primarily identify myself as a Qaballist, so these are not associations I am actively looking for in working with the Squares. What it does suggest, however, is that the Squares themselves are very much a Qabalistic expression and therefore their forms very much relate to such modes of communication. This does not mean that the spirits that appear rely on such forms to exist, hey merely use the Qaballah as the ‘language’ through which they communicate, as it was in this language that the squares they swore their oaths upon were created.

Of the spirits present, Badad is of note due to the connected ways the letters ‘B’ and ‘A’ interconnect with each other in a perpendicular fashion in this square, while the two ‘D’s present in the top left and bottom right corners mirror each other and the letters B and A in a fashion that suggests a sigil of that spirit’s name could be easily formed from this square. The meaning of this name finds its origin in the Hebrew word בדד (badad), meaning ‘alone,’ ‘apart’ or ‘solitary.’

Mathers’ translation of the name Aril to ‘thorny’ appears accurate here considering the thorns that appeared on the giant rose.

Kokolon may be relevant due to its name relating to the word ‘shame,’ as I felt a degree of embarrassment while watching the two spirits in congress.

The feminine qualities in the spirits present, the first being she who first appeared as the baby elephant and the second being the underwater spirit singing in the cave, may be connected to the presence of the spirit Nasi, whose name means ‘feminine.’ This is only the sixth square this spirit has appeared in so far, but the overall tone of most of the squares has been biased far more towards feminine entities than masculine ones. This leads me to believe that the qualities of this kind of magical work is definitely one in which the feminine entities act as the dominant initiators.

Confirming this in this particular square is the name of the spirit Nabhi, which Mathers states comes from the Hebrew root נבא (naba), ‘to prophesy.’ What he failed to notice however is the fact that the feminine noun of this word נביאה (nabiah), is much closer to the mark. More precisely, this word means ‘prophetess’ or ‘sibyl,’ and is therefore pertinent to the name of the prophet Deborah that the square was constructed from as well as the presence of the female spirit in the cave who delivered a spoken prophecy. The presence of this prophetic spirit also fits well the root word דבר from which this square was constructed which, meaning ‘to speak’ or ‘pronounce,’ verifies its sibylline nature. The relevance of this root also correlates with the presence of another name found in this square, Barak, who was the ancient ruler of Israel whose victory in war the prophet Deborah was the key to. Barak’s name translates to ‘lightning,’ and is also formed of the same root as the name of the Watcher Baraqiel in the Book of Enoch.

Also present is the word שיר (shir), meaning ‘sing.’ This may relate to the singing that was heard coming from the cave, but also has a relevance to the biblical verse of Judges 5:1: ‘Then sang Deborah and Barak.’ Considering the male-female polarity present in this square, the appearance of the combined actions of this ancient pairing—in which the feminine force was the key to victory—might be seen as further confirmation of the spiritual superiority of the female powers associated with the squares.

XV: A Mountain

four kings

XV KEKASIM

Servitors: Asorega, Mara, Liriol, Losimon, Lomiol, Alogil, Ragaras, Irminon, Sarasim, Ogologon, Igilon, Sigis, Gorilon, Laralos, Gesegas, Kosem, Milon, Nasi, Morilon, Ramoras, Igarag, Ekalak, Geloma, Aril, Ilekel, Lagasas, Kilik, Kokolon, Isagas, Romoron, Negen, Nolom, Nagar.

KEKASIM appears to come from Hebrew קסם (qesem), ‘magic’ at the top and right, while in MISAGER there lies the possibility of the reversal of the Hebrew רגש (regas), meaning ‘tumult,’ ‘commotion,’ ‘noise,’ ‘emotion,’ making the word REGASIM when affixed with the collectivised suffix –im. The spirit name in the central cross is that of Asorega, coming from סריג (soreg) relating to the ‘boundary wall’ that came in the form of a fence of reticulated or weaved sticks that closed the inner Temple of the Hebrews off from Gentiles or the ritually impure. The meaning of this word is the same as that of the Hebrew for ‘grid,’ ‘grill’ or ‘grate,’ which may account for the ‘grid’ pattern evident in the squares. ELISONI resembles the Greek ἐλέησον (eleison), which denotes the quality of ‘mercy.’

The Vision

The mountain revealed itself as the same high, snowy peak I saw in the vision of A Snow. What was left of my old body lay contained by the clothes I was wearing. From one of the pockets, I pulled a golden talisman that resembled an Ankh, the strap of which was like the wings of an angel, while the face of a cherub or female angel lay in the cross’s interection. I pushed the remains of the body into a narrow hole it had been lying over, sending it plummeting down a narrow shaft into the roots of the mountain. Looking down, I could see a deep, blue, light glowing far below and considered exploring it, but decided against it because of how narrow it was. Looking around the vista, I could see the bluish mountains that the previous vision of A Castle on a Mountain was set in far away to the south, and beyond it was the Lake. Looking around at the landscape I asked what the name of this strange land was and received an answer from a disembodied voice which gave an answer that sounded like Kariouna. After hearing this name, I flew into a pall of clouds that lay before me in the west and rose above them before coming to rest on a much higher peak. Only a small portion of this peak was visible above the clouds, but all was cloudless and blue in that highest place.

Then I became aware of the presence of a spirit floating in the air before me in the east, its face skull-like with the remnants of its flesh flapping in the wind, while its strands of thin hair and its ragged black cloak billowed similarly. Then another three spirits identical in appearance to the first came from the other three cardinal directions. With me in the centre, they locked their hands together around me and flew me high into the sky with them. It was explained that these high airs were their dwelling place, and they were taking me up so that I can see all of the Earth below me, revolving as they flew. When they finished moving, they told me that they were intermediaries between that which was celestial and that which was not, and each of them ruled a portion of the world and governed the boundaries between the above and the below—microcosm and macrocosm—giving power over the elements in the material or external world while granting gnosis of the spiritual or internal world.

After they explained this, I saw one of them appear with the face of a lion, but the veils the others wore were not put aside in this way. The one with the lion face informed me that the golden, angel ankh I had been given was also a dagger and instructed me to pull it out, which I did to find a short, tapering, razor-sharp blade sliding free of its golden scabbard. Then I was told that this tool was the means to ‘unlock’ the four spirits as it was also a key which should be borne to obtain their favour and that of all of the spirits under their sway. With their consent, I inserted the dagger into each of their bodies and turned it, beginning with the one in the east, then the ones in the north, west and south.

Then I was back on the ground and the Four Great Spirits were gone. I went back to the spot lower down where I had pushed my old corpse into the heart of the mountain and decided to descend to see what was down there. Once I had reached the bottom I saw that the blue light I had seen emanating from its depths came from a beautiful lagoon lit by rays of bright sunlight burning down from above. On the shore of the underground pool lay a rowing boat which, having nowhere else to go, I boarded and began to row. As I approached the centre of the small lake, a maelstrom appeared and sucked my boat into it, casting me onto the wet floor of a cave far below where the boat was smashed to pieces but I somehow remained unhurt. Then I left the cave through a fissure in the rock to find a car waiting for me outside, which I entered and drove away in.

Notes

In this vision, the nexus of ‘above’ and ‘below’ could be thought of as the same kind of ‘boundary’ suggested in the name of the spirit Asorega. The mountain or high place as the terrestrial location where the boundaries between worlds are notoriously thin and permeable is long established, with connections between mountains and ‘peak-numinosity’ being well attested as the space where the celestial and earthly realms intersect across the spectrum of the world’s myths and religions. These are evident in the experiences of Moses on Mount Sinai, of Christ at the high place Satan showed him the vision of the four corners of the Earth (and later the Mount of Transfiguration and Golgotha), in the ascent made to high places such as Gorsedd Arberth in order to enter the Otherworld in the Mabinogion, in the depictions of Mount Olympus and Mount Zaphon as the abodes of the gods in Greek and Canaanite myth and in the figurative Mountain of the Adepts, Mount Abiegni, in the Thelemic and Rosicrucian traditions.

By virtue of their revelations and cardinal attributions, the four spirits I conversed with were probably the Four Kings—Oriens, Amaymon, Paymon and Egyn—whose presence has been hinted at in many of the previous visions, with the most overt being that of Oriens in the vision of Farm Buildings, though they were also represented by four beams of light in the vision of A Castle on a Mountain. In concurrence with that vision, only one of those spirits spoke and revealed more of itself, being the one in the East, Oriens.

The name Kariouna I received, which was that given to the world I was looking upon, may have its origins in the Ancient Greek κάρυον (karyon), meaning ‘head.’ This backs up a notion I had during the vision of Wild Animals where I had the sense, from the hemispheric nature of the amphitheatre, that I was in communication with some aspect of my brain. Together, these visions suggest that this astral world I have been exploring is a product of my mind and therefore of my brain. This is certainly the case to an extent with magical tools such as scrying and astral travel and is not something I would seek to dispute. What is interesting about such experiences however is the way that certain images, words and symbols take shape in the mind, suggesting that some kind of deep-level communication is taking place, either with extraneous spiritual entities or with some impersonal and unfathomable part of the psyche which possesses the same kind of preternatural that extraneous entities or daemons would. The argument about which of the two these and other magical phenomena can be attributed to is ultimately moot and will never be one that all practitioners agree upon, but my experience with such things leads me to believe that this sort of ‘astral’ work takes place on the threshold; the intersection of what is self and what is not-self. It is self-communication, yes, but it also takes place both at and beyond the borders of self, in a liminal area where other intelligences have influence over the contents of the unconscious mind which in turn comes to present awareness through the media of the personal psyche.

That the answer κάρυον, ‘head,’ I was given to my question about the nature of this world came in an ancient language I have no great knowledge of, while others have come in Hebrew and Latin or Kabbalistic, mythological or other symbolic correspondences, appears to provide proof that it is not just ourselves we are communicating with when we work with such things. Nor can it be some unexplainable process of depth-psychology that is being experienced unless such unaccountable knowledge can be said to be intrinsic to one’s psyche through theoretical constructs such as the collective unconscious or morphic fields. Ultimately then, I would postulate that the ‘liminal’ space such experiences take place in is that of the intersection between self and not-self and represents the same kind of boundary or veil between one ‘realm’ and another—one worldly and functional, the other invisible and mysterious—that the name Asorega and the Soreg stone of the ancient Jewish Temple represent.

Aside from the words and names already explored above, names with some relevance to this vision include: Sarasim, meaning ‘deep roots’ which relates to the deep cavern beneath the mountain; Mara, whose name relates to caves and grottoes and therefore ties in with the ‘deep roots’ of Sarasim; Nagar, meaning ‘fluid’ or ‘liquid,’ which relates to the lagoon in that grotto; Igarag, whose name pertains to the frost and cold associated with the upper reaches of the mountain; and Nolom, from the Hebrew נעלם (nolom) meaning ‘hidden’ or ‘concealed.’

X. A Vineyard

ixion

X SOREK

Servitors: Ragaras, Laralos, Gesegas, Ekalak, Lagasas.

The word at the outer edge of the square, SOREK, comes from the Hebrew שורק (soreq), which means ‘a vine,’ and was also the name of the valley in which the biblical Delilah lived (Judges 16:4). The central cross is formed from the name of the spirit Ragaras, which may come from the Hebrew רגע (raga’a), ‘break,’ ‘disturb.’

The Vision

The first image that came was of a dark red-brown heart surrounded by darkness. My form appeared, which was just as black as the surrounding pitch, and I saw that I was carrying the heart over my shoulder as if it were a shoulder bag with a string attached. Then I realised I was in a cave and could hear the sound of dripping water and could smell the earthy dampness of the stones that encased me. On seeing an aperture in the ceiling of a cave I set my intent on reaching it and saw a rope ladder descend from it, which I climbed. At the surface I saw a lush and leafy landscape, though the earth around the vegetation was rough and rocky. In the distance was the lake I have seen in previous descended from the promontory I was stood upon, and I sensed that the tree with the dragon in it was nearby too though couldn’t see it. I looked at myself and saw that I was wearing black robes and thought for a moment that I was the monk who had been struck by lightning in the previous vision, but unlike him I was wearing a hood and the skies above me were blue with no sign of any coming storm.

Moving across the landscape, my attention was drawn to the heart I was carrying over my shoulder. I considered eating it but saw that it was aged, tough-looking and falling apart with decay. It was split all along one side which I prized apart with my fingers to pull out something that looked like an avocado stone. This too, was corrupted by time and age so I pulled that apart too, then discarded the heart onto the ground. From the stone, a beautiful butterfly with wings that sparkled with sunlight emerged, as though from a cocoon. In wonder, I followed it, knowing it was leading me somewhere I had to go. In an instant I was there. A small grotto with a waterfall shrouded in thick vines. Drawing them to one side I entered a small cave in which a woman stood. She was surrounded with red and white grapes and was pressing the white ones into wine with her feet. She gestured at a bowl full of red grapes on the floor next to her and bade me to join in with her. I pressed the grapes with my feet until all that was left of them was liquid and mulch. Then, looking at the mulch in a big, congealed pile, I couldn’t help noticing how much it looked like a heart. I picked it up and looked at it and saw that it definitely was a heart, so slung it over my shoulder to replace the old one I had discarded. The woman then spoke to me, but I couldn’t comprehend anything she said as her speech was that of birds. Then, as in the first cave, a shaft of light appeared in the roof and I ascended through it and found myself on yet another small hill with the lush and leafy landscape surrounding me.

I headed towards the edge of the lake, where the skies were growing dark. The sun, I noticed, was undergoing an eclipse. I sensed that, like in the vision of A Snow, a sacrifice had to be made to the moon, so I took the new heart I had been given, climbed to the highest part of the cliff via another rope ladder with the cry of a nightjar filling the air as I climbed, then laid the heart on the floor as an offering, and realising I no longer had a heart, took the stone I had retrieved out of the old one and slotted it into a hole in my chest. As I departed the place of sacrifice, I was aware that many dark spirits were feasting on the heart. As this occurred, I had a strong sense that there were also lots of miniature black clouds dancing all over the square that I held I my hand in the ‘real world.’ In sacrificing to the moon, I understood that I was sacrificing to the spirits under its influence, the sub-lunar spirits, and they would reward me greatly for doing so. After noticing this, I saw a bright and golden angel standing before me. It looked at me, shook its head sadly and played a sad chord on a lyre. I asked it for its name and it replied that it was called Keranda. Then I asked for it to reveal its nature to me and it responded by ripping its chest wide open to reveal its true form. It had a red body, as though scalded by boiling water and a long neck with a horse’s head sitting atop of it. In the cavity of its chest was a flaming wheel where its heart should be. Its inner edges were lined with tongues of flame that made the wheel resemble the maw of a shark from the viewpoint of its victim, or of the tongues of flame that surround the outer edge of the wheel that Shiva dances in, only inverted, appearing on the inside of the wheel. In the centre of the wheel was a Chi Rho upon which a naked, bearded man was affixed, his limbs aligned with the ‘X’ of the Chi.

As he stood there with his burning heart exposed, the ‘angel’ spoke, telling me that the wheel represented desire and that it was the ‘ordinary man’ who was impaled upon it. By sacrificing my new heart and replacing it with the remains of the stone from the old one, I had undone its work. It told me that this sacrifice had been a mistake as although the spirits who received it would indeed be glad and grateful and repay me efficaciously, it was angered by my action. The butterfly inside my old heart, he said, was a manifestation of his light but having set it free and sacrificed the new heart it had led me too, I would now have to rebuild it anew. With that explanation, the angel was gone and I felt like the entire world was spinning on a great axis in the same way that the angels fiery heart had.

I looked over to the landscape I had ascended out of and realised it was all part of the underworld. The lake, the tree, the caves, the waterfalls. Everything of the past few visions had been the same chthonic place. Then I saw the land, all set between two high plateaus, becoming healed, with the mighty cleft being filled in with earth with sweet grass growing over it until the landscape became the same one that I had seen in the vision of A Beautiful Lawn and A Rose Garden. As I contemplated the world above again, the words ‘and Death shall have no dominion,’ formed in my mind. Then the image of a constellation shaped like a lobster appeared in the sky close to where I saw the eclipse. The moon was there alone now, for it was night and the constellations were bright, though it had not reached it yet. Then a fiery lion appeared briefly, and finally, beneath the Earth, I sensed the image of the dragon, now asleep, with the tip of its tail resting in its mouth.

The ‘angel,’ Keranda may have derived its name from Hebrew חרד (kharad), ‘anxious,’ ‘fearful,’ ‘to treble or quake,’ ‘to drive in terror,’ ‘afraid,’ ‘in awe,’ which also features in the square under the name KERAD or KERADA. Alternatively, considering the context, it may be related to the Greek καρδία (kardia), ‘heart.’ The name of the poem it seemed to quote, And Death Shall have no Dominion, is one I am minimally familiar with, having heard it being recited once, but I had never actually read it. It’s possible that an unconscious memory of it was grasped upon at the imagery of the man fixed to a wheel due to the poem’s lines ‘twisting on racks when sinews give way, strapped to a wheel.’ This is also the case with the legend of Ixion, which I was familiar with, though his being the father of Centaurus who shares a degree of similarity in his nature to the spirit Barbatos is of note as I have renewed an old relationship with this spirit recently. Just as Orpheus played a lyre to sooth Ixion’s suffering for a while, so too did the angel strum a lyre, establishing some further archetypal link to the legends of Ixion and Centaurus. The lightning that struck a monk dead in the vision of A Grape or Grape Plant may represent the fate of Ixion, whom Zeus eventually struck down with a thunderbolt. The name of Ixion (Ἰξίων) is of unknown origin but possibly comes from ἱκέτης (iketos), ‘suppliant,’ possibly due to his being the first murderer who would have then had to beg Zeus for mercy. Zeus granted him entry to Olympus by purifying him, but later sentenced him to an eternity on a flaming wheel due to his desire to seduce Hera. He is equated to the first murderer Qayin here, whose name is reflected in the Lemegeton in the form of the spirit Raum, who is called Kayne and has the form of a Raven, a bird with whom Qayin shares some folkloric qualities. Centaurus, the progeny of the mating of Ixion and the cloud, spawned the race of Centaurs after mating with the mules of Mount Pelion, where he exiled himself away from civilisation.

The lobster may have represented the sign of Scorpio, which it has sometimes been depicted as, with its claws, or those of the Scorpion, actually being the sign of Libra. With the vision of A Big Lake seeming to inform me of the importance of the north solstice to some kind of ritual offering I should perform, I checked the position of the moon out at the time of the solstice and found that it would be a waxing first-quarter, close to half, in the sign of Libra. While the phase doesn’t fit with that which I saw in this or the vision of the Lake, the fact that it is in Libra at this time—the sign which precedes Scorpio—may have been a confirmation that some rite should take place at this time. The eclipse suggests this rite should have both solar and lunar significance.

The only spirit name that appears in the square that has not already been covered elsewhere is Ekalak, whose name may derive from the Hebrew חלק (khelaq), meaning ‘portion,’ ‘part,’ ‘lot,’ ‘share,’ ‘fragment.’