XXI: A Lion

Lion

XXI ARIEH

Servitors: Ibulon, Liriol, Iuar, Helel, Oroia, Aril.

The word at the outer edge of the square is ARIEH and directly originates from the Hebrew word for ‘lion,’ אריה (arieh). The word populating the central square, IBOLI comes from the Hebrew יבול (ibol) which means ‘crops’ or ‘harvest’ and relates to the name of the spirit Ibulon. which also has the alternative meaning ‘a gathering of fruit.’ While the square purportedly grants visions of a lion, the word Ibol has more in common with the Hebrew root ארה (arah), meaning ‘to pick’ or ‘to gather,’ suggesting an alternative or coterminous meaning for the outer word and therefore the entire symbolism for the square.

The Vision

A cactus protruded from the centre of a rough, circular brush which became a vicious thicket of brambles as I neared its middle. Once I reached the cactus, which was about six inches in length and somewhat resembled a miniaturised Omphalos, I noticed a pride of lions gathering around the edge of the circle. Most of them were lionesses except for one noble-looking beast with a magnificent mane. With the intention of cutting myself free of the growing tangle I produced a scythe and proceeded to hack at the thicket. The blade of the scythe burned with flame as I flailed, so I ceased swinging it before I incinerated myself. Instead, I cut a small circle through the thorns around my feet, which would allow me to free myself while keeping the lions at the edge of the circle at bay.

Having no other place to go, I decided to wait for the beasts to give up and go away. It didn’t take long for them to grow more disinterested in me, but they refused to depart and continued to watch me with hungry, beady eyes. With the need to act decisively building within me again, I tugged at the small cactus to see if there was any mystery to it. Although its spines dug sharply into my hands, I reasoned that this pain was preferable to being chewed up by lions so pulled hard on it until it began to dislodge from the ground. As it kept loosening, it grew to the same length and breadth as my whole body and I was forced to embrace it, spines and all, to keep pulling it up. Underneath, dark subterranean caverns began to reveal themselves, but the girth of the cactus made it impossible to squeeze past and descend. Instead, I kept hoisting it upwards until it grew so long that it began to form a bridge which the lions behind me would soon be able to cross. Perceiving this dilemma, I corrected the angle of the elongated cactus, propping it upright so that it pointed straight up to the sky rather than towards the land.

Suddenly, the whole of the cactus was free of the earth and it stood about thirty or forty feet tall, though the effort in extracting it led to me becoming completely covered in blood, lacerations and cactus spines. Then, the body of the cactus transformed from green, spiny flesh to the brown and scaly skin of a tree. Looking up, I saw that the cactus had transformed into a great yew with a large, hollow crack at the base of its trunk. Noting that the surrounding brambles were dissipating due to the light of of a celestial body that looked like the sun and moon perfectly conjoined as one, I climbed the yew until I was at its very top, then felt my bloody, perforated body becoming one with the green needles of the yew. As my body merged with the needles and branches, I felt myself become one with the entire tree and knew, at last, that in such a state the lions could not consume me.

My business with them wasn’t finished however. Gathering my intent, I squeezed my bodiless essence through the limbs of the tree and pushed my myself back out into the world through the crack at the base of the trunk. With my airy body, I headed towards the male lion, which acknowledged me with a look of wisdom and intelligence, before I climbed upon its back. Our wills entwined, we ran to the beach with the golden shore I had created in the vision of All Sorts of Trees where I dismounted the lion and entered into a conversation with him. He gave thanks for bringing him to this place as he hadn’t seen such a sight for some time. Then he gave me his name, which cannot be written here as it was very familiar and personal to me; but when he said it, the golden sand and the sea into which it slipped grew bright and swallowed us, and a clarion chord of brass resounded throughout its glow.

When the brightness subsided, the lion told me he had been observing my struggles and, despite not making his presence known very often, reassured me that he was always there, watching, and all I needed to be done to gain his attention was tospeak his name. I felt warmed and comforted by his words in a very real sense; and when the vision of him began to dissipate, I discovered that he had left me a small, leather pouch on top of a nearby rock. On it were inscribed the letters BZBZ and tucked inside was a folding knife with an exquisite wooden handle. This is where the vision ended.

Notes

Imagery relating to both ‘gathering’ or ‘harvesting’ and lions were evident in the vision and it was no surprise that the leonine aspect expressed itself as a manifestation of Tiphereth. Thorns and spines were also prominent, suggesting the influence of the spirit Aril as reflected in Mathers’ translation of that name to the word ‘thorny.’ The gathering of threatening entities or creatures at the edges of circles or around the horizon is a repeated theme throughout these visions, as are holes, cracks, crevices, animals, trees and the principles of transmutation and ascent. Elements of this vision which continued from that of the last included freeing things that were trapped in the earth, a large crack at the base of a tree trunk and the golden shoreline which appears to represent the attainment of an exalted state.

The trumpet music that played there also resembled that which the angels played to greet the sun in the previous vision.

The letters BZBZ on the leather pouch may represent the Hebrew בזבז – (bizbez), meaning ‘to go to waste’ or ‘spent.’ I have no what this alludes to, but note that the numerical value of these letters is 18, a number which returns to the 9 of ‘black magic’ and sorcery, but also bears a Qaballistic correspondence to the words זוה (zoah), ‘to shine’ and חי (chi), ‘to live.’ Gematric devices such as this are not usually adopted in this work as it is this author’s opinion that they should be used only as a last resort, but with no obvious meaning apparent in this word’s context, a more esoteric approach was adopted.

The Moon was at 13º Taurus (the sign of its exaltation) at the time of the square’s construction and at 0º Gemini at the time of the vision itself.

XX: All Sorts of Trees

evil_roots_by_gixajin

XX ESAHEL

Servitors: Aril, Iuar, Loriol, Laralos, Helel.

The word ESAHEL at the outer edges of the square may derive from the root אישה (eishah), ‘a burnt offering.’ There is no central cross in this square, but the name of the spirit Aril, meaning ‘thorny’ appears in four interlocking forward and reverse forms to culminate in a central square based around the a repetition of the letters L and I in the centre to form a rotating expression of the word ליל (lil), meaning ‘night.’

The Vision

The vision began with the image of a Fir tree on a slope of thin earth. Some of the earth gave way at the base of the tree to reveal the root underneath, which suddenly turned into the neck of a vulture with its head buried under the earth. Then I saw that the leaves of the tree were in fact the plumage of a peacock. The strange, vulture-peacock hybrid freed itself of the earth, stared at me threateningly for a moment, then flew away over a large body of water.

Overhead, a large storm stirred with much lightning and gave birth to a deluge of rain. I entered a thick forest to take shelter where the storm was completely blotted out. I could hear nothing but the song of the forest’s birds inside and neither the rain leaked nor the sounds of thunder could pierce the wood’s veil. After walking for a while, I smelled roasting meat and followed the scent to a cosy-looking den set in the roots of a tree. Inside were a family of anthropomorphised pigs cooking one of their own. I was invited in to get out of the dark wood, and the pigs implied that something terrible was stalking me. Fully suspecting something bad to happen as soon as I got inside, I entered the hatch and found the door in the roof instantly locked itself behind me, while the pigs, their fire and everything else in the hole disappeared as the candles that had lit the den were all snuffed out.

Through an iron-trellised window, I could see the nighttime moon over the sea outside, and a wind-blasted palm tree rocked savagely at the water’s edge. There was, however, no way out, for the crisscrossed bands of iron across the window’s pane made it impossible to destroy and climb out of. Then, through the darkness, I became aware of movement. The roots of the surrounding trees began to poke through the earth walls of my prison and moved closer and closer to me, threatening to entangle me in their limbs and trap me in their embrace. I reached out to touch the roots and felt that they were covered in slime, having the same unpleasant feel as a slug or snail. Although trapped, I did not feel any real fear or desperation, knowing that if I was patient, the light of the rising sun coming from the east at dawn would disperse them. With the roots encroaching, however, I decided that instead of waiting that long, I would produce my own light from within.

The roots leapt back at the touch of my light, the appearance of which caused the sun to suddenly rise behind me, flooding the prison with golden rays. My growing shadow was the only place the dark spirits it shone upon could hide from it, and they appeared in my umbra as nothing but lidded, disembodied eyes. I spoke to them, telling them that they were prisoners of no one but themselves and redeemed each of them by touching them with the golden light that came from my hands. As each found its peace, the encroaching roots withdrew and the prison became flimsy enough for me to kick its walls in and move into the daylight outside.

Coming down to the shore of the sea I had seen through the window, I saw a rowing boat bobbing serenely at the water’s edge, but knew that wasn’t time to board it. Looking back at the forest, it seemed very normal, but in front of it, at the edge of the beach, was a small cave with a huge, white, worm-like larva poking its head out of it. I approached the worm, which looked tortured and forlorn, and pulled it free of its tight prison. It too was had been trapped and on my freeing it, the shadowy shape of a man came plopped out of it. He said he had become ‘trapped within his own larvae,’ and so I cast the gelatinous pupae he had been stuck inside into the sea. Then the shadowy shape revealed its form to be that of a wild man, similar to the one who was imprisoned in a cage near the shore in the vision of Bridges.

On taking this shape, the wild man spotted the boat on the sea and rowed it into the west to find his liberation. Following this, the wind-blasted palm tree I had seen from the underground lair of the pigs dropped a golden cone onto the floor which I picked up and removed the outer scales from, causing them and the seeds within it to scatter over the sands of the beach. The sands turned gold as they fell, then the entire sea shone with the light of the rising sun as the old man on the departing boat changed his form to something that looked divine and godlike. Then I saw angels dancing in the sky, singing a chorus and hailing the sun with golden trumpets. Then a huge cloud formed appeared which resembled the head of a ram and the vision ended.

Notes

The ‘burnt offering’ hinted at in the square’s outer edges was manifested in the pork being cooked by a family of pigs. Given the purported Jewish origins of the Abramelin Squares, the fact that this meat was pork and represented a form of cannibalism reveals this sacrifice to have had an averse, unclean nature. The transformation of the pigs into bodiless eyes squirming in the darkness came with the suggestion that the spirits trapped in the underground den had trapped themselves, or each other, there, and were now seeking to do likewise to me, by trying to trap me within the clutches of encroaching tree roots. The wild man trapped in a wormlike larva that was stuck in a stony hole was also suggestive of some kind of trapped entities. In his case, the larvae or shells of the Roman religion, which were the forgotten or trapped souls of the dead, were being hinted at. After he appeared as an old man, his sailing into the west across sunlit waters represented his salvation. I was my own salvation in this vision, invoking the solar force to save myself (Synchronistically, ‘Save Me’ by Muse was playing in the background as I wrote this), which, I then used to liberate others who had become lost in the entanglements of shadow.

With this experiment now passing its halfway point, there seem to be more elements of the ascent from the underworld appearing. I was no longer afraid of anything in this vision, and showed a greater degree of mastery over the forces surrounding me, who had all damned themselves and were awaiting liberation from another before they could move on to peace.

The square was constructed with the Moon at 13º Pisces forming a conjunction with Retrograde Neptune. It was worked with, however, when the Moon was at 7º Aries, which may have worked its way into the vision in the form of the ram’s head that appeared in the cloud at the end.

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.

XIII: Farm Buildings

musee-gustave-moreau

XIII Farm Buildings

Servitors: Ugesor, Peresh, Asorega, Saraph, Ragaras, Parusur, Alluph, Nogah, Alagas, Ogologon, Adon, Laralos, Gesegas, Aherom, Helel, Ramoras, Holop, Romages, Geloma, Lagasas, Alpas, Romoron, Negen, Nolom, Nagar.

The word at the outer edges of the square, MELUNAH, comes from the Hebrew מלונה (melunah), meaning ‘doghouse’ or ‘kennel.’ The word in the central cross derives from the name of the spirit Ugesor, which may come from the Hebrew גשר (gesor), meaning ‘bridge.’

The Vision

A field being furrowed by an old-fashioned plough appeared. Alongside it was an old Land Rover with an ‘R’ suffix in its licence plate. When they reached the edge of the field they headed into a large barn, the door of which closed behind them and were locked shut with a padlock and chain. Moving away from the barn, I moved towards a central courtyard of a farm that I recognised as one I spent much time on with my Aunt and Uncle as a child, though the buildings that surrounded it were not the same.

The first building was the locked barn I had left behind me. The second, to my left, was a chicken coop. Going clockwise from there, the third building consisted of a barred door which a German Shepherd stood behind. It had the appearance of a guard dog, but cried in excitement when it saw me, as though I were known to it. The fourth place, in front of me, was a house, the door of which was open and revealed a seductive woman hiding in the shadows inside. The fifth was a pen containing many cows and the sixth, to my right, was a church with a great shining cross glowing through its doorway. The seventh and final building, which was positioned behind me and just to the right of the barn, was a long, single-storeyed hall that was thick with shadows inside. This was the building I decided to enter.

Once I was inside, the door slammed shut behind me and I saw a table that almost ran the length of the hall. It was covered with a feast, with the most prominent food being the bunches of grapes that lay either side of a single candle, which was the room’s only source of light. I sat at the table, but before I could decide whether I wished to eat any of the food provided, a rasping female voice filled the darkness.

‘It’s interesting that you come here, to the only place where you didn’t know what lay inside,’ it said. ‘This is why you are suitable for this purpose.’ It proceeded to speak of many things with me, both asking questions and giving guidance, and I felt a sense of snakes crawling all over the floor whenever I spoke back to her.

Then, the bearer of the voice told me to take the candle that lay on the table, as it would be my only guide in the world of darkness ahead. First however, I had to burn my hand with its flame to prove my courage. As a point of synchronicity, there really was a single candle on a table before me in the ‘real’ world in which I sat in a chair performing this work, so, in both the astral and material planes, I picked up a candle with my left hand and slowly passed my right hand through it three times making the hair on the side of my hand burn. The smell created by that burning, the spirit told me, made an effective fumigation that would be suitable as an offering to spirits of an infernal nature, as would the smell of burning flesh. One of the questions it asked was why I didn’t descend into the spiral staircase ‘they’ had shown me in the vision of the Wild Animals. I answered that I had to wade through enough shit in my mundane life every day so didn’t wish to further taint myself needlessly. She told me that the filth of the material world was nothing to be concerned about as it could be washed away with ease and did not affect you once it was gone. The filth of the spiritual kind, however, was indelible and made one grow darker and more stained with every contact with it and nothing in existence could remove it.

The voice, though female, was deep and rasping, and I felt a large python winding its way up my right leg as she spoke again. Then she asked me to burn my hand again, and this time until I felt a degree of pain. I did this by placing my hand about six inches above the flame, where I left it for a few moments until I whipped it away.

‘One day,’ the voice spoke, ‘when your tolerance to fire becomes great enough, you will willingly set your whole body aflame to obtain what we offer. You would burn yourself into nothing to attain it, and in doing so you would become one with the infinite and know all the secrets that lie hidden in the great darkness.’

Then, in an instant, I found myself within the church I had seen in the western quarter of the farm’s courtyard. Inside, a black woman with short hair and wearing a silk garb the colour of lapis lazuli was leaning over a wooden rail near the altar and reaching to retrieve something from a bag. After a few seconds, she pulled out an egg and hurled it to the floor. A baby snake wriggled in its ruin, with the splattered albumen being the colour of blood. The black woman then turned to me and said ‘stamp on it!’ I refused and she asked me why with anger and annoyance in her tone. I stated that I believed the serpent was sacred, representing healing and wisdom and was the symbol and means for our path to gnosis. As I said this I noticed that there was a huge white statue behind the altar rail and the sun from a window to the east of the church was shining on its face to form a letter ‘T’ over its brow and nose. The woman, regarding the statue said that as I was in the church of He Who Trod The Snake Underfoot, it was my duty to do him honour and stamp on the snake. Again I refused and saw that the rest of the body’s statue took the form of a great giant with its sandalled foot crushing the head of a large serpent. The woman then fled from the church laughing maniacally and telling me I would regret my disobedience.

After she left, I noticed that the T-shaped shaft of sunlight came from a window of the same form high above. I stood in the centre of a circular chamber at the church’s centre and let the letter fall upon my face. Then, the letters I, S, A and S all beamed through another four windows spaced equidistantly around the dome that encircled the roof, with an equal amount of sunlight shining through each. All of the beams that came from these letters shone at once upon my face, writing the word TISAS on me, each letter merging into a single mass of sunlight. With the light blinding me, another female voice spoke, demanding that I place my candle down in the east before her and burn some item close at hand in its flame as an offering to her. This I did, and she instantly gave me some of her teachings though I can’t reveal more of the what she taught me here. Following her tutorage, a chorus of spirits danced and chanted lines the main female spirit prompted them to repeat in the church’s undercroft before I exited into sunlight to see a brief vision of a Magpie and a Swift before the vision came to an end.

Notes

The volume of information coming from this Square was copious, possibly due to its containing the names of twenty-six different spirits. The most dominant voice was that of a powerful female spirit, which appeared consistent throughout but grew significantly stronger when the five-lettered beam of sunlight shone through the church windows to illuminate my face. The word given in this part, TISAS, appears to form the outer edges of a new word square, with the name SIGIS fitting quite naturally into the central cross. Considering the appearance of dancing, chanting spirits in the church’s crypt after the appearance of these letters, it is possible that TISAS may derive from the Ancient Greek θίασος (thiasos) and the Latin derivation thiasus which denotes a congregation of singers and dancers gathered together in celebration.

TISAS

A mild synchronicity occurred after the vision, which ended with images of a Magpie and a Swift, when I hit the shuffle button on my music player to find the song Black Swift coming on.

At the beginning of the vision, an old Land Rover with an ‘R’ suffix appeared. In the UK, vehicles with this suffix would have been registered new between September 1976 and August 1977, which was the period in which I was born.

The appearance of the word Melunah in the square is interesting because the spirit who appeared as a horse in the previous vision gave its name as Melenhor, which was also the name of an old familiar of mine who I previously recalled demanding a human or animal bone to dwell within while it was in my service. It wasn’t until I began the preparatory work for this square the day after working with the one which caused Paddocks and Fields to be seen that I put this connection together. Melenhor’s name would therefore appear to be a derivation of this word which, meaning ‘kennel’ is relevant to a vision in which hunting dogs were prominent and is also befitting of a vision in which the images of farm buildings are evoked. A solitary dog appeared in the vision, but it seemed to bear no relation to the hunting hounds that appeared in the visual content of the previous square.

The interpretations I made of the meanings of the prominent names and words of the square didn’t seem to express themselves very overtly, with the dog kennel appearing only briefly and no real connection to the word ‘bridge’ appearing at all. Of the new names that appeared in this square, the following meanings may be attributed.

Holop – חלוף (cholup) – ‘transitory,’ ‘ephemeral.’
Alagas – Possible derivation of λαγάς (lagas) – ‘a hare hunter.’ See tags for Lagasas.
Alluph – אלוף (alup) – ‘domestication.’
Nogah/Nagar – נגר (nogar) – ‘fluid,’ ‘liquid,’ ‘flowing.’
Nolom – נעלם (nolom) – ‘unknown,’ ‘hidden,’ ‘disappeared.’
Parasur – Possibly from the Latin paras meaning ‘to provide.’ May also originate from פרס (peras) – ‘reward,’ ‘prize.’
Peresh – פרש (peresh) – ‘horseman,’ ‘knight,’ ‘rider.’ Also possibly of the same origins as the above, Parasur.

IX. A Grape or Grape Plant

Red Dragon

IX GRAPE

Servitors: Helel, Moreh, Myrmo, Mara, Helmis, Liriol, Asmiel, Lomiol, Losimon, Sarasim, Iuar, Laralos, Aherom, Ramoras, Aril, Amillis

The words at the top and right-hand side of the square relate to the Hebrew עללה (olelah), ‘gleaning,’ meaning ‘to gather after harvest,’ as in ‘the gleaning of the grapes’ in Isaiah 24:13— ‘the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.’ The reversing of this word in the bottom and left-hand edges resembles the name of the spirit Helel which refers to a ‘cavity’ or ‘hollow’ but also implicates the Hebrew הלל (halel), a ‘song of praise.’ ERISOL may refer to the Greek ἐριστικός – ‘eager for strife,’ after the goddess Eris, while the words LOSOME and LASOME may derive from the Hebrew לשים (loshim) meaning ‘to put,’ ‘deposit,’ ‘lay down,’ or ‘brand,’ and points towards the presence of the spirit Losimon, which comes from the word לסימן (losimon), ‘sign,’ mark.’

The Vision

The first thing I saw was a grape in very close proximity, which I entered through the skin of to reside inside of, becoming one with the seed that lay inside of it. As a disembodied spirit, I perceived its germ to be no different than that of the embryo of any human or mammal, though I had no volition over my choice of host. Whilst inside of it I was conscious that I was imprisoned in it until it either decayed into the earth or was devoured by some creature. Before long a creature did come, and it was a phoenix, though it was in the form it takes as a mortal bird before resurrection, with red, blue and yellow feathers, a scruffy appearance and eyes that looked like something you would associate with a negative psychedelic experience. The phoenix ate the grape I lay dormant within, but soon I was passed out in its droppings and merged with the soil. I grew into shoots and then a whole vine and then an entire network of vines that spread over the earth until, eventually, I found a large tree to wind the outer tendrils of my vast body around. As I became settled into my new dwelling, I saw the same reddish-brown dragon that I had seen in the vision of A Big Lake, come down to nestle in the upper boughs of the tree. The tree could support any life, I realised as the dragon landed, for its boughs did not bend or shake an inch despite the dragon’s huge weight. On noticing me, it seemed disgruntled that I had invaded its home.

‘I don’t know if I preferred this tree before you came to it or whether I prefer it now,’ it said. ‘I may have to kill you in order to find out.’ I told him destruction would be welcome as I wasn’t enjoying such an existence, then he said it didn’t matter if he let me live or not, as I would die soon anyway, whether it be from a fire, an ash, a flood or by the hunger of some other great beast.

‘Worse still,’ he said ‘man may come and harvest you for his own gain.’ As it spoke, I became aware of the lake I had first seen this dragon flying over through the eaves of the great tree far off away in the distance. It wound its tail down around the trunk to merge with the uppermost part of my vine.

I asked the dragon its name and it replied that it was Tharson, though there was a sense that it may have been saying Tharuson, and that the name had a hermetic origin. I asked if it knew my name in this plant form, and it replied Bonab though he told me my true name was closer to Jerusay. He spoke again of how that existence as we knew it in bodily form was short and inconsequential and that life would end soon. He pointed to the sun after saying this, and I saw that it was pale and obscured by dark, rushing clouds.

‘Its light is running out,’ he said.

Following these words, I saw a man with a monk’s habit and tonsure approaching from a distance. A streak of lightning descended from the dark clouds and struck him dead and I witnessed his soul departing from his body. As this happened, the phoenix who had devoured me earlier appeared close to his body and I thought it was going to feed on the carcass. Instead, it laid a black egg on top of the body, which then sank in through his cassock and flesh and revived his corpse to life, though on rising he was dark-eyed and zombie-like as his soul had already fled.

‘We must be careful what we allow to enter us,’ the dragon said as the monk walked by.

Then, as the monk faded from view, I noticed the crocodile I had seen while experimenting with the square that makes visions appear in crystal and glass. It came close to the tree and snapped off the part of my body with where my thoughts seemed to be coming from and took my consciousness to the lake I had once sailed a small boat over. It swam out to the centre and dived down to the floor where a sealed treasure chest lay. As it opened I saw that the chest was full of gold, then the crocodile put me inside of it and closed the lid. It was glorious inside, like bathing in pure sunlight and, aside from the knowledge that large fish were swimming in the dark waters above me, I felt at peace. I knew, however, that this state was only a temporary one and that I would soon be released into the world in bodily form again.

The grape I saw was green, the type used to make the white wine the dragon spoke of in the earlier vision of the lake, while the crocodile was the same as the one who previously acted as an underworld guide. Here his role was to guide me to the parts of the underworld that the sun passes through in the twelve hours of the Duat as recounted in the Book of Gates, where it passes when it is in its northern position in its diurnal cycle. As my sense in the vision suggested, this is only a temporary phenomenon as the sun rises in the East after dawn, though the imagery of the sun in the underworld has symbolic resonance with the Elemental King Egin/Ariton—who I believed to the spirit which the dragon served in the vision of A Big Lake—who rules that direction. With the sun dying in the sky yet preserved in a pure state in the treasure chest, I believe the crocodile’s role was that of a guide or helper in this vision, which is concordant with the protective role the god Sobek played to the afflicted dead of the underworld. The act of being put away or deposited for safe keeping in such a chest may be the influence of the spirit Losimon, whose name—as revealed above— means ‘to put’ or ‘deposit.’

The phoenix has obvious connotations with the cycle of death and rebirth, though its appearance in the vision as the physical medium of that process is unusual. Its later role as the layer of a black egg into a corpse represents something I can’t quite explain, though the dragon’s warning appeared to relate to the dangers of unwanted entities entering one’s sensorium.

The closest term I could find to the name Tharson or Tharuson, was the Greek Θαρρος (tharros), meaning ‘courage,’ ‘mettle,’ ‘heart,’ ‘elation.’ However, a more significant, if less accurate rendering, is the word κάνθαρος (kantharos) which relates either to a boat or a drinking vessel, probably named as such due to its shape representing that of an inverted beetle. This would be very significant in relation to its other appearance if this is the case, especially considering that the beetle Khephra represented the sun’s passage through the Duat in the religion of the Egyptians. Of additional significance is the name of a worm which bears this name, the cantharis, which is known for the damage it causes to vines and roses. That ‘worm’ is a word commonly used to refer to a dragon and the fact that I appeared as a large vine in this vision may reveal more of uncanny accuracy I have come to experience while experimenting with these squares.

The name Bonab I was given by the Dragon was particularly unsettling to discover the meaning of, as it translates directly from the Ancient Hebrew word for ‘grape,’ בענב (bonab). This name may have been the one that the spirit with the leopard’s head may have been calling me by in the vision of the big lake when it called me ‘Bob.’

Jerusay was a little more difficult to find cognates for, with the closest match being the Hebrew word ירושה (jeruseh) meaning ‘inheritance,’ ‘legacy,’ or ‘heritage.’

Of the names that appear in this square, Aherom is a reversal of the name of Moreh, and is possibly derived from the Hebrew אחר – Akhar – ‘to remain behind,’ ‘tarry,’ ‘to come from behind,’ ‘hind part,’ ‘another,’ ‘strange.’ Another possible etymology for this name lies in it being another expression of the word רעם (ra’am) – ‘thunder,’ as seen in the names of spirits such as Ramoras and Romages.

Curiously, considering the possible meanings behind the name Tharuson cited above, the name of the spirit Helmis comes from the Ancient Greek ‘ελμις, meaning ‘worm.’

I. A Beautiful Lawn

Servitors: Lagasas, Helel.

The relevant servitors are determined by considering which of the 114 spirits under the joint rulership of the Elemental Kings given in Georg Dehn’s edition of the Abramelin fit into the square in their entirety. In this case, just two of those spirits could be attributed to it, with Helel’s name being present due to the repeated appearance of the letters H, E and L in the square. Lagasaf, however, was determined to be relevant due to the common scribal confusion of the letters ‘s’ and ‘f,’¹ making the alternative name ‘Lagasas’ apparent. As far as spirit names go, the suffix -as is quite common—as seen in the names of Pseudomonarchia Daemonum spirits such as Pruflas, Malphas, Halphas, Stolas, Orobas, Furcas and Amduscias—while the suffix -af is not. The linguistic origin of the word HESEB found in the outer lines of the square is likely to derived from the Biblical Hebrew עשב (eseb), signifying ‘grass’ or ‘herbage.’

Method

After anointing the brow with Oil of Abramelin, the banishing was performed and the Four Kings called in a rudimentary fashion in their respective quarters followed by a verbal request to Lagasas and Helel to assist with the experiment. A time period of thirty minutes was then observed in a state of astral meditation with the square held in the right hand. Once completed, rough notes were taken, which were written up as follows.
The Vision

On sitting down to meditate after the banishing and invocation of the Four Kings, I formed the image of the lawn of a nearby stately home as the object of meditation. This location was visualised due to a synchronicity that occurred earlier today when a friend told me he had visited the place in question yesterday after I had recommended he visit it for a family day out a couple of weeks ago. My own visits to this house have involved me going to sit and read on its lawn on sunny days, so this was quite naturally the scene I found myself setting.

As soon as the lawn’s visual image became solid and clear, dark clouds blotted out the sun overhead. Then a strange, poisonous rain began to fall, and where it landed on the lawn, the perfect grass became blackened by a corrosive stain. In the midst of the new blot, mushrooms began to grow, and as their roots spread underground the colour of the sky around me changed to a strange mixture of orange, yellow and purple, with the air it hung in growing heavy with a deep silence. Beneath me, the mushrooms had now spread into a vast, underground network that pulled apart the stones of the earth as it grew until a large, circular fissure lay before me. Around the ledge of the chasm, a congregation of small, black-bodied spirits held hands and danced in a circle, singing a guttural chant as they did so.

As their song concluded, I rose higher into the air and saw thousands of large, black spiders pouring out of the hole in the ground, escaping into the world at large to do whatever mischief the gnome-like spirits had conjured them to do. As the spiders disappeared, I noted that the hole in the earth now had the shape of a Vesica Piscis and that the clouds that obscured the sun were now clearing. As the sun began to shine again, a rainbow formed and its end moved across the surface of the grass until it shone directly into the yoni-shaped fissure, filling its darkness with its rays. Hundreds of small, golden lights then flowed down the beams of the rainbow, healing the earth of its wound and leaving the lawn beautiful and unmarred under a red-gold sunset.

As the sun disappeared below the horizon, I noted that the grass where the rainbow had shone was covered in a beautiful, diamond-like dew which reflected the brightness of the stars above, with traces of the rainbow I had seen lingering in its light. I scooped up a handful of the dew and drank it. Noticing that it tasted like honey, I let myself fall into a passive state in which I held the form of a single, silver dewdrop in my mind. In that state, no further visualisations came, though shortly before the end of the session a voice from the depths of my mind commented that I had ‘strange friends.’

In addition to the synchronicity that occurred with my friend telling me of his visit to the house with the lawn, another synchronicity came while writing this summary of my experience up when an app I had installed yesterday delivered its daily notification to my phone. Having a feeling that I would see something significant on it, I browsed through the app—which delivers strange and curious news stories—and discovered the following article as the eleventh item down the list.³

https://curiosity.com/topics/this-giant-mushroom-is-the-largest-organism-ever-curiosity?utm_source=androidapp

What I found to be of subtle interest here was how alike the description of mushroom colonies are to previous thoughts I’ve had about collectives of spirits. Every distinct cap of a fungus colony is described as being in communication with the others through their rhizomorphs, through which they work towards a singular collective purpose. In the case of many of the overlapping spirits of the Grimoires, such as Furcas, Partas, Ansoryor and Anaboth, or those such as Baël, Berith and Balaam—who clearly derive from Belzebuth, the Prince of Devils, and the Baalim of the Ancient Near East—there often appears to be a single common emanatory source underpinning the names, forms and purposes and natures of the collective.

In all, this was rather a good start to the experiment, with strong and strange visual elements throughout it as well as marked synchronicities preceding and following it.

I do wonder what mischief those spiders might get up to, though.


¹ Cited as a common scribal error by Takato Kato in Corrected Mistakes in Cambridge University Library MS Gg.4.27 in Design and Distribution of Late Medieval Manuscripts in England, ed. Margaret Connolly, Linne R. Mooney. Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2008.

² See Deuteronomy 11:15: ונתתי עשב בשדך לבהמתך ואכלת ושבעת. “I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.”

³ With eleven being the Qaballistic ‘number of magic,’ this proved to be another pleasant coincidence.