XXIV: Owls

Hermit

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

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

The Vision

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

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

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

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.

XI. Wild Animals

Wild Animals.jpg

XI CAIOT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VII. A Big Lake

 

misty_lake_display

VII AGAMAGA

Servitors: Alogil, Amillis, Aril, Asorega, Asmiel, Geloma, Gesegas, Gorilon, Igarag, Isagas, Lagasas, Laralos, Liriol, Lomiol, Mara, Morilon, Myrmo (Mirmo), Oroia, Ragaras, Ramoras, Romages, Romoron, Sarasim, Sigis.

The word AGAMAGA at the outer edge of the square is a palindromic expression of the Hebrew אגם (agam), ‘lake,’ while the word forming the central cross relates to the spirit Morilon, whose name relates to the Latin Mori, ‘to decay,’ ‘die,’ ‘wither,’ ‘fade away’ ‘be forgotten.’ Although the Squares as a whole are not without errors of transmission, the fact that the letters in the square are not always perfectly symmetrical should not necessarily be considered as evidence of flaws, as the expression of the ‘titles’ of the square and of the spirit names contained within it—especially the spirit featured in the central cross—are more vital to their operations than lexicographical symmetry.

The Vision

This vision began with a voice from the darkness speaking the words ‘white wine,’ before the image of a golf club was seen striking a golf ball that lay on a lawn to send it flying a long distance away to splash into a lake. Looking down at the lake from above, I saw that it was still and shrouded in mist. I descended upon it and found myself in a small coracle-like boat armed with only a short paddle to navigate its expanses with. As I rowed at a ponderous rate, I became aware of large, placid fish swimming close to the surface and knew that there were hoards of treasure abandoned by wrecked ships on the lake’s floor. I realised, from this, that the lake must have been very large if trade ships sailed over it, so rose up over the scene to take stock of its scope and found myself on the edge of space before I could see all of its shores.

Left bobbing slowly on the vast lake, I found myself wishing that my boat had an engine but realised that although I knew such things existed, they didn’t exist in the world I was experiencing this vision in. It was then that I became aware of a deep, low rumbling noise, like that of a large earthquake, coming from the bottom of the lake. I grew afraid that I would be devoured by a tsunami, so looked around for some kind of refuge, should one come. Doing this, I saw a small island of shale rising up from the surface a short distance away so headed for it and climbed to its top in case the great tidal wave I expected came. At the summit, the shale slid away to reveal a large, lidless eye that was embedded within a toe where the toenail should have been. Attempting to avoid its gaze, I walked around to the back of the eye-toe but saw, from a third-party perspective, that the eye had rotated a full one-hundred and eighty degrees to keep following. I continued in my circle and witnessed the eye complete its rotation with me. With no more deep rumbles coming from the bed of the lake and feeling more afraid of the toe than of the tsunami in any case, I got back in my boat and continued rowing.

After a short time, I saw a large galleon sailing towards me. As it approached, I saw that its crewmen all had the faces of lobsters and shrimps—unclean animals in Judaism—whose gaze followed me in the same way that the eye on the island had. As the ship had almost passed, the last of its crewmen pointed out the direction in which I should sail, doing so as if he needed to keep his actions secret from the rest of his shipmates. Taking his advice, I altered my course until I came to some rocks. After reaching the shore and realising I had not been tricked into wrecking my boat and becoming stranded, I hauled my small vessel onto my shoulder and reached solid land. On the shore I saw the back of a scarecrow that I recognised as a mute, motionless ferryman who I had borrowed a boat from in a previous vision. This vision was experienced during a work which utilised the first square of Book IV Chapter IV of the Abramelin, which is used to create visions in mirrors, glass and crystals. Such was the scarecrow’s redundancy of power that a crow rested fearlessly on his shoulder, but I laid the boat at his feet anyway, noticing as I moved away from it that it now had a pumpkin for a head.

Moving inland, I had a flash of a vivid spirit with the head of a leopard. It called me ‘Bob’ and said words that sounded similar to ‘fonscor scollion,’ which made no sense to me at all. Then the image of the leopard-headed entity faded and I saw a dragon flying towards me over the lake. In fear, once again, that I would suffer harm from, I stood my ground and waited as it flew in to speak with me. It repeated the words I had heard at the beginning of the vision: ‘white wine,’ with which came the image of a chalice with a devil’s head carved upon it. Then the dragon spoke again.

‘When you drink this, you drink his guile and his wisdom,’ it said, then flew away.

As it departed, the pall that had hung over the lake lifted, revealing a bright sunset. From the position of the sun, I realised that the dragon had come from the south and was heading north. I thought of heading into its waters to retrieve the treasures I had sensed lying beneath its surface, but was prevented from doing so by a feeling of trepidation. Then, with the impression of a net of some kind being cast, the vision ended.

The leopard that appeared reminded me of the form of the spirits Haures, Sitri and Ose in the Lemegeton, and on inspecting the square, the name of the spirit Ose—who comes under the power of Amaymon, the King of the South, in the Book of Offices—is clearly represented in it. The phrase it spoke, ‘fonscor scollion,’ made little sense at the time, but may have been a transmission of the following Latin and Greek words: Fons – ‘fresh water,’ ‘a spring or fountain,’ ‘a source,’ ‘a well;’ Cor – ‘heart,’ or ‘soul,’ ‘mind;’ and Scolion – a type of Greek lyric poetry performed as a drinking song accompanied by a lyre. In combination with the appearance of the dragon advising me to drink the white wine that was mentioned at the beginning of the vision from a chalice with a devil’s head carved into, I believe this was an instruction of how rites to a certain spirit should be performed.

I feel this spirit may be Egin, the King of the North, who rides on a dragon. That the dragon flew away in the direction is relevant, but also telling, perhaps, are the names of two of the spirits that appear in this square and the name of one of Egin’s attendant spirits. The square’s servitors Ramoras and Romages have names that may equate to the Hebrew root word רעם (Ra’am), meaning ‘thunder’ ‘rumble,’ or ‘boom’ which account for the deep tremors I felt emanating from the bottom of the lake. Mathers, however, suggests that the former of these names related to the word ramaratz, meaning ‘raised ground’ which might relate to the mound of shale that appeared in the midst of the lake.

This possible etymology is also reflected in the name of the spirit Rodabell or Radabelbes, who is one of the servants of Egin in the Book of Offices. This name, like the ones mentioned above, relates to a Hebrew word רעדב (ra’adab), which has the meaning ‘tremor,’ and thus fits with the deep, rumbling quake that I felt and heard pervading the early parts of this vision. Considering this, it is possible that the dragon, which is the creature that Egin rides, that came was the mount and servant of that King delivering instructions on how to pay him homage.

With the North Solstice and the sun’s entry into Cancer, the sign of Cardinal Water approaching, an experiment will be made on that day to test these theories.

Other spirit names that appeared in this square and their meanings are:

Geloma – גלום (gelom) – ‘personification’ or ‘embodiment.’
Lomiol – לעמול (lomul) – ‘work,’ ‘toil’, ‘travail,’ ‘make effort,’ ‘take pains.’
Moreh – מרה (moreh), ‘bile,’ ‘gall.’
Romoron – from Latin Remoror, ‘delay,’ ‘linger,’ ‘loiter,’ ‘hold back,’ ‘hinder,’ ‘remain quiet.’
Asmiel – ‘destroyer,’ or ‘wrath’ of God. Possible truncation of Asmodiel, King of the East on the Grimoire of Honorius.

VI. A Rose Garden

Venus_botticelli_detail

VI RODONIA

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.’

The Vision

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.