Monday, June 27, 2011

Coming Soon: Even More About the Ring of Solomon and Demons

That's right, I'm not done writing about the Ring of Solomon. There are more sources mentioning King Solomon and his magic Ring. I have not been able to get ahold of many sources, but still I have more information to write on the subject. Like the other articles, I will be writing things you might never see in those Amazon books.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wonderland Chess

As some of you may know, I have gone through some changes lately. A couple nights ago, while unpacking some boxes, I came across two little boxes of what look like small playing cards. They are actually chess pieces.

Each piece is made of four cards. They are four of the same card and they are taped together and cut in such a way that they can stand straight up and be seen from all angles as the same card. From the top each piece looks like an X.

There should be four boxes of pieces like this; one for each suit. I can only find two.

I know, this is supposed to be about chess and those look like cards. So let me explain.

Back in high school I had these dreams about Wonderland. Actually, the dreams continued for several years past high school. The most memorable Wonderland inspired dream starred the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter driving a Ford Model T through the streets of Lake Havasu City. Of course they were going way too fast and overturned the car. I tried to talk to the Rabbit, but he kept tapping his watch. The two used the hand crank so vigorously that they righted the car and sped off.

There was often a chess theme in these Wonderland dreams. Floors were black and white or black and red and the cards would move about in what I thought to be random directions. Or that is what I believed after the first two or three of these dreams. Upon further reflection and more dreams I realized the cards were moving about Wonderland using the movements of the Kings, Queens, Knights, and pawns of chess.

One day I was about to leave a store when I saw party favors on sale. I reached into the bin with the tiny bicycle decks, and pulled one deck out. There was a furious spinning in my mind and then I could see my red and black folding chess board with the cards moving on it in place of my usual chess pieces.

I did the quick math and threw the four tiny decks in my cart (how many kids would appreciate playing cards anyway?). About an hour later I had my chess board all set up with my new pieces. I made a special game of chess with four players. I modeled Wonderland Chess after Enochian Chess.

I had read about the symbolism of playing cards. The four suits are the four seasons (four Elements) and the 52 cards are the 52 weeks in the year, and this amazing surreal game made much more sense to me than that convoluted Golden Dawn creation.

What I didn't realize until years later... I had recreated Four Seasons Chess. Four Seasons Chess is, ironically, the game Enochian Chess was based upon.

Now I want to make a new set of pieces using a four-color deck.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Ring of Solomon in The Testament of Solomon

So, lately I've taken to reading old books. Alright, I've always liked reading old books, but now I seem to be reading even more of them than usual. I'm mostly looking for magical lore. Right now I'm focusing on the magic of King Solomon. You know, the books, incantations, and magical artifacts attributed to Solomon.

I find myself reading giant collections of Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha and the complete works of Josephus. Nobody reads Pseudepigrapha. I mean, it's so obscure a subject that it's not even in blogger's spell check.

I am wading through mountains of ancient lore for juicy morsels of magic. Right now I'm looking for an English translation of Codex pseudepigraphus Veteris Testamenti (1713) by Johann Albert Fabricius. Then I'll trace the sources listed in that work, and so on. You see what I do for you, my loyal readers? Actually google tells me I have no readers, but this is what I have decided to do and I hope the occasional reader finds this blog useful and interesting some day.

Anyway, yesterday I got to reading an interesting piece of  Pseudepigrapha called The Testament of Solomon. As the title suggests, it is attributed to King Solomon. You can find an English translation of the text at Esoteric Archives.

I believe I first encountered this text at Esoteric Archives a couple years ago, but didn't think much of it. Recently though, I became interested in Solomonic magic and The Testament of Solomon fits nicely into this tradition.

The Testament of Solomon, much like the Goetia, lists demons and Solomon's interactions with these demons. This Testament is a composite work of several authors and has elements of Christian, Jewish, Arab, Greek, and Roman lore.

Of special interest to me is the description of the Ring which King Solomon used to control the demons:
5. Now when I Solomon heard this, I entered the Temple of God, and prayed with all my soul, night and day, that the demon might be delivered into my hands, and that I might gain authority over him. And it came about through my prayer that grace was given to me from the Lord Sabaoth by Michael his archangel. [He brought me] a little ring, having a seal consisting of an engraved stone, and said to me: "Take, O Solomon, king, son of David, the gift which the Lord God has sent thee, the highest Sabaoth. With it thou shalt lock up all demons of the earth, male and female; and with their help thou shalt build up Jerusalem. [But] thou [must] wear this seal of God. And this engraving of the seal of the ring sent thee is a Pentalpha."

Here the text gives a pentagram to illustrate the pentalpha.

With this Ring Solomon commands demons and even Beelzeboul (Beelzebub), the Prince of all the demons.

This Ring has a stone engraved with a pentagram. Using this Ring, Solomon is told to "lock up all demons of the earth... and with their help... build up Jerusalem." Despite what you may have heard, the pentagram was a Holy symbol and used in the seal of Jerusalem. Here is a picture of the seal of Jerusalem on an ancient pitcher:

The vessels mentioned in the Testament of Solomon would have had such pentagrams marked on them or sealed using the stone on the Ring. This type of pentagram seal was used at least until the second century and would look like this:
(Image snagged from HERE)

The Testament of Solomon gives examples of how Solomon made use of demons to build up Jerusalem and also how he captured and contained demons in jars, vials, and wine skins. If you have not read it, you should.

Talmudic lore also gives Solomon a ring with a stone and the Name of God. The lore mentions the Ring of Solomon is set with a stone called Shamir. This stone called Shamir can cut stone and was used in the building of the Temple so that the mishna against using stone tools in the Temple would not be broken. I believe the Stone in Solomon's Seal (Ring) is based on the Seal of Jerusalem you see on the two items above. If you hold your thumb over the letter Lamed and then read around the pentagram starting with the letter Shin, you can plainly see the word Shamir (Shin Mem Yud Resh).

Note: While reading over the description of the ring I noticed something that may just be coincidental. Here I give part of the description of Solomon's ring again, highlighting what I am seeing:
And it came about through my prayer that grace was given to me from the Lord Sabaoth by Michael his archangel. [He brought me] a little ring...

And look again at the Ring of Solomon I devised previously from my contemplation of the Triangle of Solomon:

That's YHVH Sabaoth and Michael written in the same type of Hebrew script as the Seal of Jerusalem. Intresting... Very Interesting.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Goetic Ring of Solomon

After my recent post about the Triangle of Solomon, I remembered that there was another item in the Goetia that used the words Tetragrammaton and Anaphaxeton. That item is the Ring of Solomon.

The ring appears in the Mathers/Crowley edition of the Goetia. It is presented as a kind of disc with concentric rings.

Many people have used this design as a bezel on a ring or a disc that hangs as an amulet of sorts.

The illustrations of the ring which appear in the original manuscripts look like this:
I once saw a diagram like this used in a book describing finger rings. The diagram was laid out the same, but with different words. The description revealed that the diagram was of a plain band with writing on the outside and also the inside of the band. If we assume the Ring of Solomon shown here is a similar design, we see Tetragrammaton is engraved on the inside of the band and the words "Anapheneton (or Anaphaxeton) + Michael" are written on the outside of the band.

The Ring is to be made of Silver and worn on the middle finger of the left hand. It is to be held to the nose of the Master when confronted with the "stinking fumes of spirits".

Many people claiming to have great Goetic experience say the Ring is useless because the spirits have no odor. One could argue the spirits don't have bodies either. Yet we see them anyway.

Even if you are of the belief that spirits only affect the sense of sight, there is another, more practical use for the ring.

In The Key of Solomon, Book 2 Chapter 10, we read:
There are many kinds of Incense, Suffumigations, and Perfumes, which are made for and offered unto the Spirits; those which are of sweet odour are for the good, those which are of evil savour are for the evil.

The Key of Solomon and the Goetia of Solomon may be different, but they follow the same reasoning. In the GoS, when the spirit is being conjured, the exorcist goes through a series of appeals and threats. The exorcist starts with the first and second conjuration. If that fails, he reads a stern "constraint". If even that fails, the exorcist demands the spirit's boss (or King, as it were) send the spirit right away. If that fails, the exorcist recites the "Spirits Chaine" and threatens to send the spirit to the depths of hell bound "in chaines of fire and Brimstone unquenchable, unless you dost forthwith appear before this circle in This Triangle to doe my will..."

After the Spirit Chain the spirit had better be there with bells on. If the spirit still isn't there (or your scryer is no good), the GoS instructs the exorcist:
Then write his name and seal in [on] virgins parch [parchment] and put it into a black Box with Brimstone aquafateda [assafoetida] and such things that have a stincking strong smell and bind the Box round with a wire and hang it on ye swords point and hold it over the fire of Charcoles...
There follows "The Conjuration of the Fire". With the spirit's seal in a black box bound with chains along with "such things that have a stincking strong smell", the exorcist holds the spirit over hot coals and threatens it with eternal suffering starting right about now.

If even this threat and torture does not work, the exorcist recites "The Curse" and drops the black box into the hot coals. That's right, 'it just got real up in the chamber. The exorcist is now making good on his promise to send this rebellious spirit to the fiery pit of Hell! If the spirit does not appear, I suppose he gets sent to Hell forever and crossed out of everyone's grimoires.

Luckily, the GoS tells us:
Here the Exorcist must put the box into the fire and by and by he will come. But as soone as he is come quickly quench the fire that the Box is in and make a sweet perfume and give him a kind entertainment shewing him the pentacle that is at ye bottom of ye vesture covered with linnen cloath, saying. 

So, what does this have to do with the Ring of Solomon?

In Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus writes:
God also enabled him (Solomon) to learn that skill which expels demons, which is a science useful and sanative to men. He composed such incantations also by which distempers are alleviated. And he left behind him the manner of using exorcisms, by which they drive away demons, so that they never return; and this method of cure is of great force unto this day; for I have seen a certain man of my own country, whose name was Eleazar, releasing people that were demoniacal in the presence of Vespasian, and his sons, and his captains, and the whole multitude of his soldiers. The manner of the cure was this: He put a ring that had a Root of one of those sorts mentioned by Solomon to the nostrils of the demoniac, after which he drew out the demon through his nostrils; and when the man fell down immediately, he abjured him to return into him no more, making still mention of Solomon, and reciting the incantations which he composed. And when Eleazar would persuade and demonstrate to the spectators that he had such a power, he set a little way off a cup or basin full of water, and commanded the demon, as he went out of the man, to overturn it, and thereby to let the spectators know that he had left the man; and when this was done, the skill and wisdom of Solomon was shown very manifestly: for which reason it is, that all men may know the vastness of Solomon's abilities, and how he was beloved of God, and that the extraordinary virtues of every kind with which this king was endowed may not be unknown to any people under the sun for this reason, I say, it is that we have proceeded to speak so largely of these matters.  

As you can see, the exorcist's ring is treated with an herb (Root).  The herb and the ring work together with incantations handed down from Solomon in order to command the demon. In the Goetia of Solomon, the Exorcist is to hold the Ring to his own nose. The powerful herbs on the Ring counters not only the odor of demons, but also the odor of the foul smelling substances used while conjuring demons. The exact words in my GoS are "This Ring is to be held before the face of the Exorcist to preserve him from The stinking fumes of spirits &c." I think this includes sulfur, brimstone, and assafoetida.

I have heard of crime scene investigators rubbing different salves and creams with menthol and similar substances on their nose and upper lip when investigating foul crime scenes. The menthol makes the odor more bearable. The herbs used on the Exorcist's ring may have a similar effect.

Now, I'm not saying to use Vicks VapoRub in place of the Ring of Solomon. I'm just pointing out the fact that the Ring of Solomon may need to be treated with a powerful herbal concoction to render it useful against foul suffumigations.

In closing this post I give you my version of the Goetic Ring of Solomon:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Reconstructing Solomon's Triangle

I have been discovering occult blogs the last few days. You have the usual spells/home remedy type stuff. These have become more of a curiosity with all the over the counter remedies you can get these days. You have your harmonic alien chakra crystals. You have Thelemic treacle. There's the same introductory Runic lore you can find in old '80s paperbacks. And then...

Yesterday I read a blog post about the Triangle of Solomon. I highly recommend reading the post HERE.

The goal is to understand the Triangle of Solomon as it appears in the Goetia. The theory is that the original Triangle was in Hebrew.

While reading the blog I was reminded of a time back in the late '90s (on further reflection I believe it was '94 or 95) when I and a friend of mine decided we would attempt to reconstruct the original Magical Triangle of Solomon. Our reasoning was much like that in the article linked to, but with one difference.

For those of you who have clicked the link to read the article and comments, let me risk some redundancy.

We start the reconstruction of Solomon's Triangle with the word Tetragrammaton. Tetragrammaton is the unspeakable four letter name of God. Many books and websites detail this fact. Far too many sources to list here.

Since all three words around the triangle of Art have a similar ending, they probably represent three names of God.

Primeumaton is probably God's Prime (first or primary) name. The first and most commonly used name of God (in the Hebrew Old Testament) is Elohim.

This is the line of reasoning I followed and which seems to be the line of reasoning for the others who have tried to decipher the Triangle.

The last word of the Triangle is Anaphaxeton. Gilbert, in his excellent article breaks down the word Anaphaxeton into its separate parts and suggests AHYH as the possible original Hebrew name of God.

As I was in public high school at the time, and knew only the smattering of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew I could pick up from grimoires, I came to a very different conclusion about Anaphaxeton.

My only copy of the Goetia had a little section called "An Explanation of Solomon's Triangle". The line describing Anaphaxeton reads:
Anephezeton.  Thou great God of all the Heavenly Host:

This implied to me that Anaphaxeton was related to the Heavenly Host. The one word that comes to mind is Tzabaoth.

The resulting Triangle of Solomon looks like this:

Back then I was using modern Hebrew characters, but thanks to Carroll "Poke" Runyon, I know to use older characters. When the words are substituted and read from the Tetragrammaton we have the words "YHVH Elohim Tzabaot". There is the ineffable Name and the Alpha and Omega (Aliph is the first letter of Elohim, and Tau is the last letter of Tzabaoth).

In The Key of Solomon the King (Clavicula Salomonis),  Book 1, Chapter 5 there is a conjuration in which spirits are commanded by the many Names of God. After the list of names, the spirits are conjured
"by the troops of Angels who cease not to cry day and night, QADOSCH, QADOSCH, QADOSCH, ADONAI ELOHIM TZABAOTH"

In Chapter 9 of Book 1 there is an oration which reads in part:
Thou Who art seated upon the Kerubim and the Seraphim, in the high places, whereunto human understanding cannot penetrate: Thou Who hast created all things by Thine agency, in Whose Presence are the Living Creatures, of which four are marvellously volatile, which have six wings, and who incessantly cry aloud:
"QADOSH, QADOSH, QADOSH, ADONAI ELOHIM TZABAOTH, Heaven and Earth are full of Thy glory";
Both of these passages refer to Isaiah 6:1-4
1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD (YHVH) sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
 2Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD (YHVH) of hosts (Tzabaoth): the whole earth is full of his glory.
 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

The Adonai of the Key of Solomon is YHVH. You will notice the passage in Isaiah lacks the word Elohim while the Key of Solomon includes it, twice. I do not think that is a mistake. It is my belief that the magic circle is a symbolic representation of this vision of Isaiah.

The YHVH is in the center, surrounded by the Seraphim (four hexagrams).  The 24 triangles (or wings) are the 24 hours of day and night (24 x 3 = 72).

Or that's the way I imagined it as a teenager. I still think it's a solid reconstruction. Let me know what you think.

Since writing this post I came across a thread at
THIS post clearly shows a triangle strikingly similar to my own. I have conversed with the creator of this other Triangle. He also formulated his Triangle of Art in the '90s.

I also just found THIS cool picture of the Triangle at a blog I need to subscribe to. Very crafty stuff there.

I can now think of a couple slight changes that would make the Triangle even better. I don't know if or when I'll get around to drawing them up, but here's a quick explanation:
YHVH should form the base or foundation of the Triangle, opposite the K of MI-K-AL
ALHIM is now on the left with the A in some way highlighted so it stands out
TzBAUTh is on the right hand side of the Triangle with Th highlighted

This is your first and last, the ox and a cross (use the older letters).

All three names should be easily read from within the Circle.

Here's the updated version:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Astrolabe Video on

While writing my recent article on Elemental Shields I noticed how out of touch people have become with the cycle of the year and even the progression of the seasons. We have come to such a point in social evolution that I even felt I had to explain why I chose green to represent spring and therefore the element of air. As you can see in the article, most people have become detached from the cycle of the year and the elements. They have removed themselves from the night sky and the elements so far that they cannot seem to name the seasons in the proper order or even point out polaris.

In my attempt to educate myself further on this subject I came across a book in Google Books written by Geoffrey Chaucer. The book is called Treatise on the Astrolabe. I started reading the book with the intention of building an astrolabe using cardboard and parchment. I have not gotten around to building the device yet, but I hope to get to it soon.

What struck me while reading Chaucer (I ended up reading more than the book linked to above) was that Chaucer knew the seasons, four winds, stars, constellations, and elemental attributes that confused Agrippa and Levi. Not only that, these things were better known by children in Chaucer's time than by so-called occultist today. While reading Chaucer's Treatise on the Astrolabe, bear in mind it was written for a boy who was ten or eleven years old (sources vary on this point).

I find I've written more than I planned to write. So, here's the video about the astrolabe on Hope you enjoy it.

After seeing the astrolabe in the video I now want to cast an astrolabe in clear or translucent resin.