Servitors: Adon, Afolop (Apolop), Alogil, Alpas, Amillis, Apolion, Aril, Asorega, Gesegas, Gorilon, Igarag, Igilon, Isagas, Lagasas, Laralos, Liriol, Nagar, Nagid, Nasi, Negen, Ogologon, Oroia, Ragaras, Sigis.
The word around the outside of the square, RODONIA, has its origins in the Greek ῥόδον ‘rose,’ while the word in the central cross, OGOLOGO, apparent in the name of the spirit Ogologon, may represent a palindromic expression of the Hebrew root לעג (gol) – ‘scorn,’ ‘derision.’
It began with a single red rose spinning in a black void. As it spun its petals peeled back until it became a phallus, then a heart. The heart explodes, scattering fire and blood in the darkness and making many other roses grow out of the darkness. They formed a circular boundary made of tangled thorns which then begin to spin, just as the first rose did, emanating sparks of fire as it spun like a Catherine Wheel. From the borders, rivulets of blood ran to a concave in the centre of the circle which, when collected, formed a vortex beneath my feet which I was compelled to descend into. I refused, as it was not my will to do so, and rose high above it. From above, I saw the channels from which the blood flowed, and saw them forming a cross of iron with a channel cut into the centre of each beam. This then doubled its arms to become an eight-sided cross, then sixteen, then thirty-two, then sixty-four. Then it became a circle and began to spin, yet again. Growing tired with the constant lack of control I was feeling over this tumultuous place, I banished the entire vision from my sight and stilled myself. I stated an affirmation in the stillness that I came to see a vision of a rose garden and that’s what I expected to see.
After doing this, I found myself in a bare and barren field and had the notion that roses required manure to grow and I would have to provide it out of my own being in order to make the land fertile. After fertilising the earth in my own way, a new rose garden started to form, but it was like a thick labyrinth of tightly bound rose bushes with vicious thorns. At this point, I told myself, ‘I am in control of this. This is happening in my own mind and I can put myself anywhere I want to,’ then transported myself far away, only to find that the exact same scene established itself around me again. The temptation, again, was to go downwards, beneath the earth, but I resisted and rose up into the sky again to look down upon what looked like a great, unending maze of rose bushes below me.
With nowhere else to go, I erased the scene again and floated in darkness. In that place, the name of the spirit Gesegas came to me, followed by an announcement that a Nigerian lady wanted to speak with me. I consented to speak with her and her voice came through in a soft, pleasant voice.
‘Don’t resist when I stroke you, sweetie,’ she said. ‘It won’t hurt much and won’t last long at all, I promise.’ I replied that she was not to touch me and had no consent to do so. I formed the intent to banish her, but was instantly met with the sense that doing so would not be possible as she was far superior to me. This was a point of some disturbance for me as, like I mentioned in the vision of A Pumpkin, I have had quite a few experiences on the edge of sleep or during Astral Meditation when entities or thoughtforms appear to want to ‘ride’ me in the manner of the lwa of Vodou. Often, they are female and of African appearance and speech. Resisting this as a threat—for I was not seeking to be ridden—I recalled the starry diadem I had received in the vision of A Beautiful Palace and made it appear on my brow, sending three beams of light into the surrounding darkness. I aimed the light at the place in the darkness where I felt the woman to be and illuminated her, making her yelp in pain. Sensing my advantage, I commanded her to depart in the name of the Four Kings. A sense then came to me that she could be commanded to go into the world and perform works according to my will. I gave her an instruction as a firm command and told her that when the work was done, she would be free of any obsession of me and, being liberated from it, would not return to me again.
Pushing my will forward again, I reaffirmed my intention and formed a new scene, making a pleasant lawn of grass appear with roses all around it. At the end of it stood a marble statue of Aphrodite. I was compelled to give a rose as an offering to her, but being unable to take one of the roses that surrounded me due to the thickness of their thorns, I produced one from my own being and laid it at her feet. The white stone of the statue took a flesh-like hue at this and she became animated with life, though she remained curiously statue-like. As I looked upon her, I saw that she wore a golden sash that looked like a wreath from her right shoulder to her left hip that appeared to drip with a golden dew. I looked at her face and saw that she looked a little like Raphael’s Venus. Then she spoke.
‘What do you want from us?’ she said. ‘Why do you keep coming to us?’ I answered that I came to learn from them and to witness them for what they were in order to elevate myself. The response came not from her but from a night-black figure, male with a heavy neck, shaved head and a face that appeared to have white symbols painted upon it. He spoken into my right ear, in a deep, harsh voice, that I couldn’t have spiritual and worldly growth at the same time. Then another male, identical to the first, leaned into my left ear and said: ‘He is material growth, I am spiritual. We are twins, but we cannot speak at the same time.’ With that, I saw the female statue, whose body was now entirely golden stood between the two, her hands clutching the backs of their heads, as though she controlled them as her slaves. At her bidding, the two men turned into black and brown dogs akin to Dobermann Pinschers and curled up at my feet.
‘Would you lie with the dogs?’ she said. I replied that I would, and sunk, supine to the grass. As I did so, one of them marked his territory on my leg.
After a short rest, a hole in the ground appeared again, and no longer resisting an underworld descent of some kind, I walked into the hole, which took shape as a spiral staircase of an old castle that led down to a dungeon. Lighting my way with the starry diadem of the Morning Star once again, I lit the bleak corridors and saw abandoned hanging torture cages lining the corridor, though this part of the castle had not been used for many years. After passing some large but docile spiders, I came to a grotto with large but scattered agaric mushrooms lining parts of the walls. Above, a shaft of sunlight burned through a fissure in the roof, illuminating a round patch of grass with a few red roses adorning it. As I stood on the grass patch, it began to ascend to the gap in the roof above like a great elevator, and I realised that this grotto was the underside of the great lawn I had seen in the vision of A Beautiful Lawn. As I rose into the sunlight, I noticed that it had a rainbow hue to it, and that I was now approaching the same scene I had witnessed in that vision but from an entirely different perspective. As the patch of grass I stood upon slotted back into place in the world above, I saw that this was indeed the same Lawn as that previous vision and that I had journeyed back in time to witness the same scene from the viewpoint of one rising from the world below back into the light of day.
In the final moments of the vision, I saw the face of the Nigerian woman again, but as a memory this time rather than as a present form. Her name, I recalled, was akin to Falino or Paleno. This name is a possible reflection of the Italian Palino, which derives from the Latin Palare, and its origin Palor, meaning ‘I wander up and down or about,’ ‘straggle,’ ‘stray’ or ‘I am dispersed,’ which fits in with some of the aimless wandering I found myself doing here as well as the dispersal she herself became subject to. This name may also be related to that of the spirit Apolion, who appears in the square and whose name means ‘destroyer.’ Women of African origin also appeared in A Hunting Party, though they were more benevolent and curious than this manifestation, who was malign in nature but pretending not to be.
The name of the spirit Gesegas, which came forth as a disembodied name in the darkness, possibly derives from געש (ga’ash) – ‘eruption,’ ‘quaking,’ ‘storm.’
The theme of holes appearing in the ground occurred in A Beautiful Lawn and A Hunting Party, marking a continuation of the themes of previous visions that only became apparent in the vision of A Beautiful Palace, in which I received the protective, light-emanating diadem of starlight that was of use to me here.
Of the twenty-three Servitors appearing in this square, all have already appeared in the other visions, with the exception of Adon and Nagid, with Adon’s name being derived from אדון meaning ‘lord,’ ‘master,’ ‘ruler’ and Nagid coming from נגיד, similarly meaning ‘lord,’ governor,’ ‘leader,’ ‘ruler.’ These may be names used to invoke the appearance of the Elemental Kings, as the image of Aphrodite that appeared was similar, but not identical, to my visualisation of Oriens. Whatever her identity, this spirit certainly had an aura of command about her, which was evident in the way she required a sacrifice—as gods do, and indeed as Oriens does in the Book of Offices—by the way that she controlled the two servants who spoke on her behalf, by the way she held their hands fast in her hands and finally by the way that she turned them into dogs. It is also known that when Oriens appears, she comes in the presence of other great kings, including the spirit Baall and her messenger Femell.
An alternative etymology of the name of the servitor Aril (as Haril) given by Mathers is ‘thorny,’ which is more than accounted for by the thorny obstacles that barred physical progress at various stages of this vision.
The name of the spirit Laralos may be from that of Lara, the Greek nymph who had her tongue cut out for not being able to keep secrets, who was seduced by Hermes as he took her to Averna on the threshold of the underworld, which saw her giving birth to the Lares, or household spirits, as a result. Avernus was a volcanic crater in Cumae, the entrance of the underworld in Magnae Grecia, and fits thematically with bowl into which blood ran at the start of this vision as well as the constant pull to places beneath the Earth.
Other points of note about the square are the prevalence of the letter ‘O’ which may signify the double-repetition of the Hebrew word AIN meaning ‘Nothing’ in the upper right and low left-hand corners of the square. Also apparent in its corners are repetitions of the word ORO, which is similar to the Greek ούρο, ‘urine,’ which was represented in the vision by the dog relieving itself on my leg. Oύρο also forms a connection with the concept of the self-devouring serpent Ourobouros, which gets its name from its eating of its own tail and feeding on its own recycled effluence in order to survive. Symbolically, this occurred in this vision with the amount of repetitive scenes and cycles in its early stages, with its ultimate return to the first vision of the Beautiful Lawn, and with the requirement for me to defecate on barren ground in order to encourage roses to grow from it. The Venusian qualities apparent form a connection to the light of the Morning Star in the vision of A Beautiful Palace and the Venusian symbolism inherent in the Rose.