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.

Book Review: Testament of Solomon: Recension C

Recension C

TESTAMENT OF SOLOMON: RECENSION C
Brian Johnson
Hadean Press

Alongside the works of researchers and writers such as Joseph Peterson, Jake Stratton-Kent, Daniel Harms, Clare Fanger and Richard Kieckheffer, this release provides us with another vital key in the understanding of the true scope of a magical tradition that, until recent decades, has seemed disparate and fractured. With the release of Recension C, which Johnson’s masterly translation enables us to peruse in English for the first time, the lines of descent between current modes of practice and their ancient origins in texts such as the Greek Magical Papyri become less obscure. While the effect of this ever-broadening synopsis allows for greater academic understanding of the subject matter, the importance of this broadening scope to practitioners comes with the increasing likelihood that the overwhelming reliance on a text as flawed in its redacted presentation of goeteia as the Lemegeton might soon seem like a thing of the past as truer ‘keys’ to such methods of working are revealed.

The true value of this work can be found in its drawing together of the textual traditions and spirit names found in the older versions of the Testament of Solomon (such as Onoskelis and Asmodeo) with names recognisable from other medieval texts (Belet, Oriens, Boul, Astaroth, Latzepher and Magot) in order to reveal a snapshot of the evolution of an ‘independent demonological tradition’ that formed somewhere between Byzantium and Renaissance Italy. With this done, the link between the original versions of the text, the traditions expressed in the Hygromanteia, Liber Juratus, Folger v.b.26 and Les Livre des Esperitz and the Italian textual conglomerate known as Recension C. presents us with another important glimpse into the historical evolution of this field of magical study.

Johnson’s opening Introduction and essay opens this short but essential book in an accessible manner that reveals an excellent academic standard which transcends the boundaries of most modern occult texts. As well as reinforcing the older texts’ presentation of the entities summoned as essentially astrological in their origins, the assignment of various spirits to the four elemental quarters in the manner that finds its best expression in Folger v.b.26, reveals another possible progression from the works that initially assigned each elemental quarter to the four kings, Oriens, Amaymon, Paymon and Egin first mentioned by William of Auvergne (though certainly older in its origins) to reveal another connection to the astrological principles that are generally incomplete or obfuscated in later texts such as the Lemegeton. While operative instructions are only alluded to in the opening and closing sections of the Recension, the descriptions of the spirits’ legions, their powers and the depictions of their seals also provide another important link between the medieval and Renaissance texts and their more ancient forebears. While, ultimately, it is not a ‘true’ derivation of the Testament, what this publication of Recension C reveals in terms of tradition is the drawing together of older Hellenistic magical methods into a single text that proves a vital addition to our current understanding of the development of Solomonic magic.

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 MSA manuscript, appearing in the Square that causes familiars to appear in the form of an ape, though the MSW 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 MSW 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.

XXXVIII: Rabbits

Centaur Hunting Rabbit

XXXVIII ARNEB

Servitors: Nagar, Negen, Mara, Igarag.

The word on the outer edges of the Square, ARNEB, comes from the Hebrew ארנב (arneb), ‘rabbit.’ The spirit name evident in the Central Cross can be interpreted as either that of Nagar or Negen, though the perfect use of palindromes throughout this Square suggests the that the letters NAG, representing Nagar, are the most meaningful. Nagar’s name derives from the Hebrew נגר (nagar) denoting ‘liquid’ or ‘flowing,’ while Negen derives from נגן (negen) meaning ‘a musician.’ RIAME may be a derivative of ראים (raim), meaning ‘seeing’ and has a connotation linked with mirrors, scrying and visions.

The Vision

I saw a white rabbit, more suitable as a family pet than a wild animal, alone in a wood. Knowing that predators were after it, it sniffed the air and grew afraid. It dug a hole in the ground to hide and made its way into a warren where other rabbits told it that it needed to change its skin if it wanted to survive. These words of advice were followed by what looked like a great mound of white flesh being ripped open by a grotesque, yawning wound from which no blood flowed, as though it was the flesh of a corpse. From inside the pale, fleshy mass, a pallid face was visible which had milky-white, lidless eyes. The torn flesh that surrounded the head of this being enveloped its chin and scalp like a grotesque helmet before changing its appearance to that of a gaping shark. The figure that wore this apparel around its head then stood to its full length, its mouth by the lower jaw of the shark’s head and said ‘I am your nature’ to me in a whispering voice, and communicated that it was a god of the sea. It then towered up above me and, looking up, I saw the inside of the shark’s mouth, its rows of vicious teeth lining the inside of its skull like thousands of rows of white stalactites in a cave.

Then I was standing in the wood again and before me was a centaur. Gesturing to the ground it said to me ‘shall we get that thing out of there?’ and I agreed that we should. It then caused a small explosion on the forest floor and revealed something akin to an underground laboratory rather than the warrens that the rabbit had fled into in the space below the earth. The place was old-fashioned and ruined and bundles of loose wires were strewn from the archaic machinery that furnished the lab. I asked the centaur if it could fix the place and it said that it could and after a short delay filled with strange, disconnected visions—which included me looking into the lens of a pair of mirrored sunglasses and seeing someone else’s reflection looking back at me—the centaur announced that the equipment was now in working order. All over the floor were scores of small robots, which proceeded to flicker into life with LEDs flashing and with gaits like those of clockwork toys as they walked. The spirit prompted me to command the toy robots out into the world and give them a task to accomplish. This I did, and once this was done, I found myself standing behind a tall man in a hotel lobby whose presence was causing great fear to the guests and staff there, and some sort of havoc started to be broken loose just as the vision ended.

Notes

Like the previous experiment, there was something hidden beneath the forest floor in this vision. This time however, the lifeless automatons that were there were brought to life with the assistance of a greater spirit, who, considering his appearance as a centaur in the woods, may have represented the Lemegeton spirit Barbatos. The loosing of the robots found in the underground laboratory was akin to the releasing of many spiders from a cleft in the Earth in the first of these experiments, which gave visions of A Beautiful Lawn. The appearance of a shark-like spirit was similar to the monstrous water spirit that appeared in the visions of A Vineyard and Peacocks. That this foul-looking monster was submerged in flesh and said ‘I am your nature’ on being released from it may be of some kind of significance. Also significant was the assisting spirit asking me if we should ‘get that thing out of there,’ which may have been a form of exorcism ridding me of a parasitic entity or emotion. The fixing of broken machinery inside an underground lair may have referred to inner processes of the mind or brain and the coming to life and sending forth of small robots may have been the releasing of a magical force designed to assist with a specific worldly objective. The underground machinery and clockwork motions connected with it is also reminiscent of some of the events seen in the vision of A Village.

The Square was constructed with the Moon at 5º Scorpio and scried with the Moon at 14º Scorpio. Notably, this is a malefic water sign.

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.

XXXVI: Foxes

Fox Luring Birds

XXXVI SUHAL

Servitors: Holop, Lagasas, Schalluah Alagas.

The word at the outer edge of the Square, SUHAL, derives from the Hebrew שועל (shua’al), meaning ‘fox’ and ‘cunning.’ The name in the Central Square is a palindromic expression of that of the spirit HOLOP, which originates in the Hebrew חלוף (cholup), meaning ‘transitory’ or ‘ephemeral.’ The word in the second line, UGOMA, may be a derivation of עגמה (ogmah), meaning ‘grief,’ ‘sorrow,’ ‘distress’ or ‘anguish,’ while the reversal of SUHAL, LAHUS, may relate to the root word לחש (lachesh), denoting a ‘spell,’ ‘whisper,’ ‘hiss’ or ‘murmur.’

The Vision

The vision was slow to come, which has not been the case with any of the previous thirty-five experiments. When it came, it began in the same room I was performing the scrying in, with my attention being drawn to an empty bottle of wine on my windowsill. In the vision, I moved to the window in my subtle body, picked up the bottle, then placed it on the floor before me. With it moved away from the window, I was now able to leave exit through it and explore the neighbourhood.

The area I live in has wild foxes living nearby, which I often hear them crying at night and have seen the large dog fox wandering around scavenging several times. In the vision, I found him in one of the places I have seen him before and followed him to the heath a few hundred yards away and followed him into his den. His vixen and cubs were all inside, as were the bones of the dead birds they had feasted upon. On leaving the foxes den, I found myself in the most remote parts of the Heath looking south towards the city. It looked abandoned and seemed to be behind a grey gauze of mist that froze it in time. No people were anywhere to be seen on the Heath either, which is usually busy with runners and dog-walkers.

Standing alone in this desolate version of my familiar world, I realised that foxes and crows were approaching me from all around. I found myself in possession of the wine bottle from the beginning of the vision again and now found it to be full, so I emptied its contents around me in a large circle and sat inside it and waited for the animals to arrive. They confirmed, as they came, that they were not animals, as none of the beasts in these visions have been, but were the spirits and daemons of the land which had been drawn to me because of the magical activities I’d performed in the area. I realised that the circle of wine I had poured on the ground was also an offering to them and that I should ensure to make such offerings to the spirits of the places I work to appease them. This is something I have done for specific spirits in the past, but here I was informed that I should do likewise for the non-specific ones too. As part of my works, I have left offerings of raw meat in certain places, and on one occasion, my doing so was followed very quickly by the appearance of the local dog fox, which no doubt tucked into the meat I had left out. I have also found myself feeding some friendly crows on the Heath on one occasion, so believe the appearance of foxes and crows in this vision very much represents the food I have given those precise creatures on occasion.

Once I had understood that I was being guided towards doing such practices, I had a vision of the Hebrew letters מון which quickly transformed into the letters סון as soon as I attempted to inspect them.

Then the vision changed somewhat, and I found the Heath had changed its appearance into a wilder landscape where I stood on the slopes of a long hill. There, the form of the letter ן from the previous part of the vision transformed into a wooden signpost that pointed to the bottom of the hill. From the signpost to the hill’s base ran a long fence which led to a white rabbit. Seeing it, I turned into a fox and chased it into a hole in the ground that ran beneath the fence. Rather than turning into some wild pursuit of ‘following the white rabbit’ however, I cornered it and devoured it straight away. Once it was eaten, I exited the hole on the opposite side from that which I had entered it through and found myself on the other side of the fence. There, the skies were not grey as they had been on the western side of this divide but were blue and clear. I transformed myself back into human shape and walked along the lush green and damp vegetation until I came to an electricity pylon. The air around it darkened, and it buzzed with the sound of water drops landing on its conductors. In response to the sudden change of climate around the pylon, I changed my form to that of a crow and flew to its top. There I saw that the grey mist only gathered around the pylons that had been built across this landscape, forming a criss-crossing network of misty streaks. Looking to the south I saw a human settlement coming to life, but it was no longer that of the city but of a small town set within a wide valley.

Then, all turned black and the white face of a devil appeared from the darkness and projected the name Agrim to me. Then the image of a goat appeared, and an inner voice spoke of its importance due to it being able to devour and digest all kinds of things. It then trotted away and pacified itself in a bed of leaves where it took on the form of a lamb. And this is where the vision ended.

Notes

Of the servitors who appeared in this vision, Alagas—like Lagasas, who also appears here—has a name that comes the Greek λαγάς (lagas), meaning ‘a hare hunter,’ which fits well with the appearance of a rabbit being devoured by a fox. A spirit previously unseen in this sequence is Schalluah, whose name may derive from the Hebrew שלוה (shaluah), meaning ‘peace’ or ‘serenity.’

The Hebrew words מון (mun/mon) and סון (sun/son) are nonsensical, but appear to be rough transliterations of the English words Moon and Sun.

The name Agrim given by the white-faced devil towards the end of the vision may reflect the Greek word άγριος (agrios) meaning ‘wild,’ ‘savage,’ ‘ferocious’ or ‘lupine.’ The goat becoming the lamb appears to relate to the satiation of the spirits from being fed offerings, which led to their pacification.

The Square was constructed with the Moon at 26º Pisces and was scried with the Moon at 3º Aries.

XXXV: Vultures

Carrington

XXXV Vultures

Servitors: Izozon, Iuar.

The word in the top row, AIIAH, resembles the Hebrew איה (aiah), meaning ‘falcon,’ ‘hawk’ or ‘kite,’ while that of the bottom row, RAIAH, resembles ראה (riah), meaning ‘vulture.’ The word in the first column, AIIGR, may derive from אגור (agor) ‘hoarded,’ ‘accumulated,’ or ‘collected,’ while the word in the fifth column, HAIIH, may come from חיה (chiah), meaning ‘animal,’ ‘beast,’ ‘brute’ or ‘life force.’ The name in the Central Cross is that of the spirit Izozon and takes its meaning from the word זוז (zoz), meaning ‘move,’ ‘stir’ or ‘go away.’

The Vision

I saw a vulture sitting in the branches of a dead tree that looked as though it had been struck by lightning. The tree was set atop a bald hill which looked like the crown of a skull from which the flesh had been stripped away, while the vulture looked fat and satiated. Around the foot of the hill grew wide stemmed grass, almost as thick as reeds, and strewn among that grass were fresh entrails. Above the scene, high in blue skies with white and grey clouds, circled other vultures, though they did not dare approach the pickings of this mighty bird.

In the midst of the entrails lay a wolf, dying, its innards strewing forth from a rent in its abdomen. I approached the wolf as it lay at the edge of death and took mercy upon it, healing its wound and bringing it back to life. I asked what creature had done this to him and he replied that it had eaten one of the vulture’s young, which then proceeded to tear its way out from inside of him. The vulture sat in the tree above him waiting for him to die so it could feast on him. I saw a clock at this point and its hands stopped at the moment I healed the wolf. The time on that clock read 5:29:27. The vulture informed me that in thirty-three seconds time, at 5:30 exactly, the wolf would have died and it would have feasted upon its carcass, and that I had made a great error in depriving it of its meal. I said that it looked well fed enough as it had feasted on the flesh of the hill, leaving nothing but bare bone there, but it replied that it had not taken any sustenance from this great banquet, but had only eaten of it to open the gateways of death. As the lands were bare of all other life, the vulture told me that I would now be its next meal and it would stalk me until my death, which would now be hastened greatly. I informed it that my death was far away and that my ally the wolf would help preserve me. ‘But see how he slinks away’ said the vulture, and I turned to see that the wolf was departing.

I caught up with it and found that it was not fleeing from me, and that the vulture was trying to remove my hope and faith in my new ally. To prove this, the wolf bade me ride upon its back and took me to a grove where he and his fellows lived. There, I could take refuge from the stalking vulture who could not enter that place. In the centre of the grove was a well, the waters of which shone with the golden light of the Sun. On the stones of the well, each character set one-sixth of its circumference apart, were written the runes ᚴᛁᚦᚭᚱᚭ which the wolf informed me should be engraved onto a drinking vessel containing water drawn from a spring. This would keep the vulture and the forces of death at bay and would keep me healthy and rejuvenated.

After this, the sky grew dark and the wolf and his kin departed the grove to hunt by the light of the Moon. Left alone, I saw the vulture in the eaves of a cedar tree high above me, though its guard was down and it had fallen asleep. Seeing this, I departed the grove, escaping my hunter, and the vision ended.

Notes

While the runes were Germanic, the word they spelled was Greek, being κιθάρα, (kithara), the word from which ‘guitar’ comes. This was traditionally the instrument of the sun god Apollo, who exchanged it with Hermes for his Caduceus. It is therefore a solar instrument and relates well to the well-water that shone with the light of the Sun. The appearance of wolves and birds may also prove related to the spirit Barbatos, who knows the languages of dogs, birds, oxen and other beasts, and who is also associated with the woods, hunting, stringed instruments (the name Barbatos may derive from the words Barbiton and Barbat, both of which are stringed instruments) and the principles of magical protection. This I take as the fulfilment of the promise of a message delivered to me by that spirit in a previous work that he would deliver me a meaningful message at a designated place or point in time. The magical formula given will therefore be incorporated in a practical manner to obtain the benefits described. Runes were developed as a writing system by the Etruscans and were based on Greek characters, so a link between Runic and Greek script is not unfeasible.

It is also notable that the name of the Book of Offices spirit Ozia appears in the Square. Ozia comes under the rulership of Egin and can teach all manner of arts or sciences, invisibility, grant the favour of enemies and can carry one from one place to another, so there are also connections between his abilities and the events that occurred in this vision.

The Square was constructed with the Moon at 8º Aquarius and was scried with the Moon at 13º Aquarius, where it was conjunct with Mars. With the wolf being a Marsian creature, it is possible that the appearance of the wolf was a manifestation of the influence of that planet over the vision.