Timing – I’m off the elixir bandwagon because we don’t have a quiet space at the office, which means either getting up at crap-o-clock or trying to do astral tourism… on the toilet in the men’s room. I could have just drank the stuff but it seems like a short change. Also I didn’t want to be swigging from a flask in the middle of the office, so this project really needs to be put on hold for a bit.
The Sphinx – it occurred to me on the train that the riddle of the sphinx is not to literally “be man”, or that the powers of the sphinx are literally to know, to will, to dare, to keep silent. It just doesn’t make much sense on the face of it. I was reading Crowley’s Occult Symbolism in Childrens Stories, and it occurred to me that for one, the powers are linked as day is to night (the second riddle no-one remembers) but that both the answers are the same. First man crawls on all fours, then man walks, then man walks with a crutch, and then he is dead. In this way we also have the magicians coming of age. First he is born, and this universe becomes superficially known to him. Then he learns as a child and tests his boundaries and susses out his Will or the occult mysteries – as he dares to know them. After that he is master, of his Will. And, upon crossing the abyss or dying, he is silent.
Ugaritic Poetry – If you haven’t seen me plug the book elsewhere, Ugaritic Narrative Poetry by Simon B Parker (ed) is a gold mine. The poetry was written shortly before Moses and documents the rise of Bull El and his interaction with Baal. Similar to the Eddas, sometimes things are confused and it seems like players switch names (and genders) fairly freely. However, there’s also a neat glimpse into religious ideas before the Old Testament was even put on paper. That being said, when I read the book I took notes in Keep and promptly forgot about them. But, here’s the high points…
Lebanon Cedar is explicitly mentioned as sweetwood, but also as bow wood. The bow was a coveted item and the tree and the bow were both given to man and coveted by the Gods who couldn’t take it by force. My grossly layman reading of it (assisted by Google) is that the bow might have been a staff, pillar, or spear. The writing is clear that this item “projects” but the writing is not explicit in how far or by what means. Either way there is a neat tie in here to Dee.
Raphesh is the God of Pestilence, who was called on by Baal to both inflict and cure disease. Raphesh-Baal would have been his name commanded by Baal, and Raphesh-El would have been the spirits name when commanded by El. This is fairly clearly a nod to Raphael, but I would be at a total loss to track the evolution of the name across languages.
In that same vein, Kothar Wa-Hasis works and sounds a lot like (Kothar) Aiwass. But, this idea would require the new Aeon to be essentially Islamic in nature, which isn’t something I’m completely comfortable with and certainly don’t have the language chops to figure out. Islam in the present day would essentially have all us magi killed, but there’s no country in the world today practicing Islam by-the-book. I sort of hope one of the existing Islamic states decides to be tolerant of the Occult but what I’ve seen in the periphery of Facebook, HainnaTV, and so forth hasn’t been encouraging.