martes, 14 de marzo de 2017

Hastur the Stranger

“He mentioned the establishment of the Dynasty in Carcosa, the lakes which connected Hastur, Aldebaran and the mystery of the Hyades.”
-Robert W. Chambers


Way back when, through both “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” (1891) and “Haïta the Shepherd” (1891), both published in the book Can Such Things Be?, Ambrose Bierce may, or may not, have given us a brief, vague intertextual mythology which actually tells us very little: there is an ancient city named Carcosa, a prophet called Hali, a god of shepherds whose name is Hastur. Or did he? There is actually no true connection between both stories, other than having appeared in the same book.

Years later, Robert W. Chambers borrowed all these names for his sole, unforgettable, incursion in weird fiction, in the series of stories which comprise his book The King in Yellow (1895). Here, the stories are loosely connected by these elements; a few stories allude to a strange play also titled The King in Yellow, which describes Carcosa as an unnatural city whose spires rise beyond the Moon, Hali not as a prophet but apparently as a cloudy lake, Hastur ambiguously may be a place, a deity, or –in yet another story- a human character. Other equally-ambiguous characters and places join the cast: Demhe, Yhtill, Aldones, and Camilla and Cassilda, who –in one of the few quotes from the mysterious play- talk to a Stranger during a masquerade:

Camilla: You, sir, should unmask.
Stranger: Indeed?
Cassilda: Indeed, it's time. We have all laid aside disguise but you.
Stranger: I wear no mask.
Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!

I am going over some of the elements in Bierce and Chambers’ stories only briefly, in order to set the cards upon the table, so to speak; much more can be said –and has been said-about these stories and their contents, and the grouped elements and names have given birth to several literary storylines, vastly different between each other, such as the straightforward Lovecraftian horror in August Derleth’s development of Hastur as a Lovecraftian “Old One,” the sword & sorcery dynasties developed from Chambers by Marion Zimmer Bradley who chose, in her endless Darkover series, to filter out any and all horrifying overtones, or the Chambers-inspired reconstructions of the King in Yellow Mythos in such diverse hands and styles as James Blish, Thomas Ryng, Joseph S. Pulver, and many others (even my own El último relato de Ambrose Bierce / El grito de la máscara), including attempts at reconstructing the fabled play.

Now, besides the fascinating, suggestive names juggled by Bierce and Chambers, other elements are found in these stories: certain star cluster from the constellation of Taurus, the Hyades, and the bright star Aldebaran, which are specifically seen in plain day on the sky by Bierce’s inhabitant of Carcosa, and are later mentioned alongside Carcosa, Hastur, Cassilda and the Stranger in some of Chambers’ stories, where they are apparently mentioned in the cursed play.

I wish to stress certain key elements in both Bierce and Chambers: Hastur the god of Shepherds, Aldebaran and the Hyades, and the Stranger. And I now suggest that what follows may be Ambrose Bierce’s inspiration for Hastur and mentioning said stars, and that Chambers was aware of this source and expanded upon it when he added the Stranger to his personal mythology.

Allow me to stray a bit from our main subject in order to introduce you to J.M. Ragón. José María Ragón was a French erudite, a Freemason of great renown and particularly of note as a Masonic writer. Born in Braysur-Seine (Seine et Marne) on February 25, 1781 and died in Paris in 1862 when he was 81 years old and at 60 years after his initiation to Freemasonry. After being a very Young tax collector in Bruges (Lys), where he was initiated in 1803, he became chief of the Inner Ministry in 1814, then moving to Paris, where he would later found the three Trinosophos Masonic workshops, which would develop into one of the foremost lodges in Paris, with Ragón as Venerable president for many years. Ragón was well-traveled and worked hard on networking with Freemasons worldwide, especially in America; he eventually collected over 400 rituals and other documents, which he drew from to write abundant essays and books which have also been widely read in Latin America. Ragón contributed actively to all the reformations in the Grand Orient, which he strongly endorsed, and particularly those reformations focused in the introduction and propagation of the Rite of Misraim in France.

Now, allow me to quote extensively from J.M. Ragón’s Philosophical Course of Ancient and Modern Initiations (my translation from the Spanish version; cursives are Ragón’s, bolds are mine; I’ll rejoin you after you read this passage:

“For the same reason, it is said that the Greater Bear, the Lion and Bacchus’ Tiger, or the celestial Wolf spoken of in the ancient rites, walk in concert westward with the sun, that is with the Scorpion, and guard the entrance to the cavern, because they are still on the edge of the horizon when the sun is no longer seen.

“When discussing the degree of master we have demonstrated the identity between the sun and Hiram; starting off from this undeniable starting point we may easily find in all the accessory elements of the degree of elect a perfect astronomical theme, which will tell us in an obvious manner the time of the year with which it is related and will facilitate the understanding of useful truths.

“We have seen already that the three assassins are none but the three signs of autumn which cause the death of the sun. The name Abi Balah (the father’s murderer) with which the one with greater guilt is known, sufficiently designates the Saggitarius, constellation which slays the sun, itself father of all things (rerum omnium pater). Let us follow along the path we’ve started, which shall lead us to the complete interpretation of the allegory.

“The culprits retreat after performing the crime to the edge of the sea, near Joppé, city situated West of Jerusalem. Now, everybody knows that all the ancient peoples  believed the Western sea to be the lower portion of the skies, where the stars end their race and disappear from sight. The cavern spoken of in this degree’s legend receives the name Benacar, abode of sterility, because the Western portion of the sky, which looks like an abyss into which the stars plunge, was of old considered the dwelling place of death and the place of sterility. Therefore the Egyptian Serapis and the Greek Pluto reigned in the West, and the Gauls believed that Britain and, therefore, the isle of Saín, situated West of the Armorican peninsula, was the refuge of death and the dwelling place of shades.

“In this story there is a stranger who plays a most important role. This character is astronomical, like all the rest; he is the star whose appearance causes the death or disappearance into the West of Hiram’s murderers, in the same way as the mysterious star of the magi announced the birth or appearance of the savior-god. Now, if we look up which is the notorious star that appears in the East of the horizon at the precise moment when the Saggitarius is about to disappear in the West, we shall see that it is Aldebaran, which is one of the most beautiful luminaries in the sky and the most outstanding in the constellation of the Bull.

“The stranger was a guardian of herds, and Aldebaran is surrounded by Hyades, which form a group around it, while the Pleiads, situated upon the neck of the celestial Bull, form a second flock at its sides.

“Nine masters are elected to go in search of the killers; Y have previously stated that these nine masters correspond to the nine signs of winter, spring and summer, since, even though in this number are included three lower signs, these are not considered baneful, because they do not cause the death of the sun like the autumn signs do. The dead Christ spent only three days in the tomb, which is to say, in the abode of death, that is in hell (the underworld), and those three days again correspond to the three killers, or the three signs of autumn.

“The nine elects go in search of the culprits led by the stranger and traveling along twisted, scarcely-trodden paths. This route reminds us of that of the Zodiac described by Ovid. Does it not seem, indeed, as if Aldebaran, which is the brightest star on the horizon, towed the zodiacal constellations in pursuit of the Balance and the Scorpion, which disappeared at the moment when the Ram appeared on the horizon and after the Saggitarius, which dies when the Bull appears?
“Who leads Johaben along the perilous road? A dog. Here too the astronomical interpretation is perfect, since, upon the moment when the Scorpion disappeared, rose Phocion or Can minor over the horizon opposing the Western constellation; while the Eridán occupies the meridional portion of the sky. Effectively, after the death of Abibala, Johaben drinks from a nearby fountain.

“Therefore, according to its symbols, the degree of elect is related to the springtime sky, a time in which the King of Nature exacts revenge upon his enemies and rises in triumph in his sky after having succumbed to his opposers’ blows, that is, after having descended to the lowest point in his course and disappeared from the sight of many peoples and after having been born anew to again begin his renewed race, which is here represented by the honors and tribute commanded by Solomon in the memory of Hiram. Meanwhile his enemies are plunged into the abyss. This sun is the Osiris who, traitorously slain by his brother, descends unto hell, and resurrects triumphant, himself, over Typhon, who is the ruler of darkness and the spirit of autumn, whose main abode is the Scorpion. This sun if Horus, who is born, dies, and resurrects like his father; he is Hercules, who goes down into hell after having imprisoned Cerberus therein; he is the mystical Christ Sun, who descends likewise into hell and returns therefrom as defeater of Satan and death in the times of Easter, that is, of the passing of the sun from the lower signs unto the higher signs.  

“Everything serves here to complete the allegory: the place where we find ourselves, due to its somber sadness, evokes the Winter we now approach.

“Nine weeks passed before the crime was punished; indeed, the vengeance begins halfway through the third month, when the celestial Ram or lamb begins to appear above the horizon. At the same time the Balance and the Scorpion sink beneath the horizon, over which Abibala or the Sagittarius reigns still, and does not disappear until the Bull approaches.”

I apologize for the overlong quote, but I thought it best to cover most of the mythical and astrological context (there is more, but this will suffice to adequately place the stranger, Aldebaran, within its mythical role).

I propose, then, that we connect the dots. Ambrose Bierce describes, in “Haïta the Shepherd” Hastur as a god of shepherds, “Hastur, who never disclosed himself;” it is in “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” that he describes “through a sudden rift in the clouds Aldebaran and the Hyades.” Truly, although he sometimes loosely connected his stories (for example, the prophet Hali is not only mentioned in “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” but also in “The Death of Halpin Frayser”), there is nothing truly connecting Hastur and Aldebaran in Bierce’s own stories; however, the connection is explicitly made by Robert W. Chambers when, drawing from all these stories, pieces together his own ambiguous mythology. Chambers’ fictitious play, The King in Yellow, is supposed to be a French play, and some of his stories which deal with this subject are actually set in France, so, given that the Hiram myth and astrological symbolism described by Ragón is presumably found in various Masonic rites the world over, it is hardly a stretch to assume that Chambers might have been acquainted with it –perhaps even through Ragón’s very book!- and he might either have recognized Bierce’s vague allusions or, otherwise, having read Bierce’s stories in a row, might have seen the parallels between the mentions of a shepherd and those of Aldebaran and the Hyades.

In Chambers’ stories, a Stranger plays an essential, if unclear, role, and thus, when he brings together Bierce’s perhaps separate allusions along with this additional Stranger, it would be a stretch to believe that he didn’t have the Masonic myth above described in mind! If this is so, then Hastur, the shepherd god, would be the shepherd star Aldebaran, followed by the herd of the Hyades, as well as the mysterious Stranger himself who so terrifies Camilla and Cassilda. If this is so, then Lovecraft might have been right when, in spite of the vague mentions by Chambers of Hastur as both a human groundskeeper in “The Demoiselle d’Ys” and possibly a city or place, he identifies Hastur as the object of an "accursed cult" in The Supernatural Horror in Literature. At any rate, he would be a terrible supernatural entity who needs no mask to participate in a masquerade. And what then is his role? A role of revenge and punishment, like the original myth states concerning the Stranger representing the star Aldebaran? It is a terrible thing to fall in the hands of the living God, says Chambers. Perhaps the myth of Hiram might somehow shed light upon Chambers’ original conception of what the never-described plot of the cursed play, The King in Yellow, might have been about?

Quite in the spirit of both Chambers and Bierce, definite links between their stories and the myth and symbolism described by Ragón are vague and ambiguous; concrete meaning elude us. Even though the existence of such links appears obvious, once we attempt to trace or define them, they escape our grasp like mirages.

sábado, 18 de febrero de 2017

The Dho Chant

I have elsewhere (in the now-dead Necronomicon Files website) stated my opinion that, regardless of their use and form in earlier sources, Abdul Alhazred may have intended the three formulae called Dho, Dho-Nha and Dho-Hna as progressive ritual steps. This is partly confirmed by various sources, including such diverse authors as Charles Stross and Edward Pickman Derby. However, although said formulae have been published –never together- in various versions of the Necronomicon, I have always felt that something was missing from the Dho Formula, which appears as a meditative visionary rite in the Delomelanicon and other older sources, but I always held that in the complete version of Alhazred’s Kitab Al-Azif he had provided a Chant to go along with the procedure. My contention was mainly based in the following quote as published by Lin Carter

“Some there be the which employ the Dho formula which doth, with a full many repetitions thereof, permit the Inner Eye to penetrate to realms remote and far away, contiguous to ultra-mundane spheres and to abysmal gulfs profound.”
- The Necronomicon: The Dee Translation, Book 3, Chapter II

Now, was this merely an indication of constantly performing the Dho meditation, or as I suspected, did this refer to a spoken formula to be used as a sort of mantra? Further research finally led me to a very straightforward confirmation of my suspicions, in the scribblings of a late practitioner which Donald A. Wollheim quoted in a text first published in an old issue of Magazine of Horror and later reprinted in Robert M. Price’s Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos:

"Tuesday must say the Dho chant and widdershin six times. Hastur is ascendant. Dagon recumbent? Must investigate. See Lovecraft on the proper incantation for Yog-Sototl."
-Donald A. Wollheim, "The Horror out of Lovecraft" (1969)

This set me on the track of this Dho Chant, and the following clue which I found would turn out to be far more important than I suspected at the time. It was the following post by the blogger PsychedelicLobster, “Dho-Na Curve of the Sleeper” where he follows mathematically the various clues given by Charles Stross in his Laundry / Atrocity Archives series of stories:

“A Dho-Na curve is a modern elaboration on several ideas of magical geometry, and while its clear that there are several subsets of the Curve, some of them discovered in the far past (Alhazred,738), but most of them computationally discovered. If they are iteratively or formulaicly derived is an exercise left to the readers imagination, but we can make some inferences.

“In Stross's 1940's, German necromancers were calculating subsets of the Curve using Konrad Zuse's stolen Z-1 mechanical computer. This was a rather sophisticated machine, capable of 22-bit operations on a 64 -bit register.”

“To a mathematician, a curve is not necessary smooth and curvy, the Koch Snowflake being my favorite holotype.

“In the spirit of the old 'ABRACADBRA' magic squares, or the Sator Square, I started tinkering with this rule:

“10      Write the letter of the seed.
“20      Write up to three copies of the next letter of the seed, in any of the four cardinal directions EXCEPT when it would touch an already written letter( diagonal contacts are permitted).
“30      GOTO 20”

Using the phrase “Cthulhu fhtagn,” he actually produced a diagram which contained different R’lyehian words! Now, PsychedelicLobster never does say just why he chose “the Phrase of the Sleeper” to work the experiment; eventually, I would realize that he, like Stross, was giving away clues that would prove essential. Cthulhu, you might say, is in this instance a keyword, since the purpose of the Dho formula is to bring visions, much as those which are caused by his dream-sendings; in fact, the connection of the Dho procedures to the Sleeper might prove a fruitful, if dangerous, direction for reckless researchers.

But I am getting ahead of myself. At that point, I thought the article merely an intriguing side note, as I continued my search. But I soon found a tantalizing clue of the nature of the Chant in a brief but fascinating piece which analyzed the evidence in Shakespeare’s works of his having been acquainted with the Necronomicon, which I had fortunately printed out over fifteen years ago and and forgotten all about, which I found serepinditously among my papers… as if the Fates had led me to it! Which just might be the case, if we consider what the quote reveals:

“In Macbeth a formula (too long to quote here) is chanted to buy the three witches. This formula is merely a re-statement of the central portion of Dho.”
- Lee and Torrie, Hector S. Hoffmann, “Shakespeare and the Old Ones” in Quandry Fanzine, December, 1950

Now, this led my research in a very different direction; I sought the Book of Eibon and some obscure compilations dedicated to the Goddesses who had inspired the Weird Sisters; the Fatae or Norns, within the Xothic and Alhazredic mythos, are sometimes known as the Mothers of Sorrow, warders of the Beyond, and Eibon was the first to reveal their names; readers will probably remember them from Thomas de Quincey’s Suspiria.

In the end, it was again a fortuitous (could it be otherwise?) and tragic occurrence which brought my search to success. I cannot give names and details, for reasons which I expect will be evident, but it was as I visited the family of an elderly poet from Montecruz, Jalisco, whose passing in awful circumstances occurred only days ago, that I was shown his journal, which detailed his inexorable descent into despair as his poetic and visionary pursuits proved too much for his spirit. There, transcribed in full, was what I sought, taken from one of the chapters missing from the incomplete copy of the Latin Necronomicon held in the Montecruz library. My late poet friend stated in his journal that it had been him who, back in 1986, had stolen away several pages of the Book, including the one which contained this formula! His sons allowed me to transcribe the Chant but were adamant about burning the journal, wishing understandably to erase all traces of the tragic final months of their father. However, I managed to extract from them a promise of keeping an eye out for the stolen pages from the Necronomicon, so that if they are still among his belongings, they won’t be thrown away or burned. If fortune ever strikes, and the pages survive, they will contact me and I will forward them to the “Antonio Hernán” Library, so that their copy of the Book may be restored –after copying them down for myself, of course!

At any rate, here is, at long last, the Dho Chant, with the caveat that this is a translation made by the late poet from the Latin text and there is no way to know –yet- how faithfully or loosely did he translate the verses. Personally, I suspect that he too noticed the similarity to Macbeth’s salute to the Weird Sisters and used it as a cue:

‘Umr at-Tawil f'thagn!
Ng’ag n’gat  htagn ‘hf!
Uf’hfuh lhuf ngn!
Hfh lu hu fufh gha gn’gath fuh’luht!
Iä! Thusa!
Iä! Okkokoku!
Iä! Aulaniis!

Thou Secret, Black, and Midnight Mothers!
Thy hands do weave a deed without a name.
I conjure Thine Arte which binds and smothers,
Heed my call along thy strands and answer me!
Thou that doth release Ithaqua’s winds that they may rage
Against the spires of mosques; Thou that stir the tides
that Dagon may lead a ship to harbor or sink it on a wage;
Thou that bless the hills and burn down forests at their sides;
Warders of Nitokris’ Pyramid and Koth’s great tower;
Witnesses to the Shining Lady’s rise from Shadows’ Kingdom,
And Who causeth the graves of Sk’tai and Astir to bloom with flowers,
Mothers of the Web of Fate and the Tapestry of Wisdom,
Mother of Tears, Thusa ever young, clear my sight!
Mother of Sighs, pale Okkokoku, breathe in mine eyes!
Mother of Darkness, pale Aulaniis, dispel Thy shadows!
Three Mothers, send Thy blessing high and send it low;
That visions of the worlds Between to my sight be shown!

‘Umr at-Tawil f'thagn!
Ng’ag n’gat  htagn ‘hf!
Uf’hfuh lhuf ngn!
Hfh lu hu fufh gha gn’gath fuh’luht!
Iä! Thusa!
Iä! Okkokoku!
Iä! Aulaniis!


Again, use with care. 

martes, 27 de diciembre de 2016

The Powder of Ibn Ghazi – The Full, Never Before Revealed Formula

A full Chapter of Abdul Alhazred’s Necronomicon, reconstructed from existing fragments

(Now complete with the missing formulae)

This is generally thought of as a well-known chapter of Alhazred’s ill-famed Book. However, knowledgeable readers will scarcely be surprised when I mention that, upon consulting various versions and texts of the Necronomicon, some of its contents prove to be bafflingly divergent, even contradictory at times. This is not particular of the work in question; a similar comparison of the various existing versions of Solomon’s Clavicles will offer similar results.
I have chosen the following text as particularly representative of the problem faced by researchers of Alhazredic Daemonology. This is one particularly famous formula, and it is found in many, if not most, versions of the Book, but the fact remains that the best-known version is that found in Dr. John Dee’s Liber Logaeth. Now, the text published by Hay, Wilson, Turner et al. is certainly a classic of its type, but it must be kept in mind that Liber Logaeth represents but the beginning of Dr. Dee’s lifelong obsession with the Necronomicon. Across the years, the Elizabethan magician and scholar gathered several fragmentary copies of the Necronomicon in various languages, and worked feverishly on them.
Dr. Dee obtained a copy, possibly of the 1472 edition, and set down a series of notes which included a shortened translation of several chapters; for unknown reasons, Dee codified these notes in 1583, as the cipher manuscript Liber Logaeth. Dee would produce a fuller translation in 1586, working mainly on a copy of the Arabic Kitab al-Azif which he had found in Prague three years earlier, and including material from the Greek and Latin texts (he had access to the Greek copy in the library of Carpathian Baron Hauptmann), as well as from some Alhazredic material reproduced by Alkindi in his great compilation of magical treatises Kitab ma'ani al-nafs or Book of the Essence of the Soul (c. 850). Lin Carter (1930-1988) obtained in the 1950's Dr. Dee’s original 1586 manuscript, and began a laborious annotated transcription of which he published a few fragments —from 1971 onwards—, but his work was truncated when a great number of his notes for the rituals’ section was stolen and his work was left incomplete.
His literary executor, Robert M. Price, published the entire transcription as left by carter in 1990, in the respected academic journal Crypt of Cthulhu, and has since continued the labor of transcription of a few further chapters of the manuscript.
In 1589, Dee had privately printed a copy of his 1586 manuscript with further notes and revisions; no more than two copies were apparently produced.
Upon his death in 1608, Dee had an even more complete manuscript version of the Necronomicon, but it was never printed and is now considered lost.
Going back to Liber Logaeth, which Robert Turner deciphered and published in two volumes, beginning in 1978, I cannot stress enough that its translations from Alhazred are obviously shortened and incomplete; while it is common for transcribers and translators of old times to liberally abuse the source texts, omitting and adding as they saw fit, Dee did not attempt a full translation of the passages included but more of a lengthy synopsis; besides, being a devout Christian (which is the reason that his continuing interest in the Necronomicon baffles his biographers), he no doubt omitted and censored several aspects which he found particularly disturbing (something, it must be acknowledged for his benefit, he clearly attempted to do far less in his subsequent works).
Therefore, the widely accepted version of the famous formula for the powder of Ibn Ghazi, noted because of the work done by Dr. Francis Morgan from Miskatonic University in the early decades of the XXth Century, is not the full formula he found in Wormius’ full, Latin version, but a sorely fragmentary fragment of it!
What follows is a careful reconstruction, drawing from the Arabic copy partially translated by Professor Venustiano Carranza, Sergio Basile and Giampero de Vero for Necronomicon, il Libro Segreto di H.P. Lovecraft (Fanucci Editore, 1994), the Spanish copy or “Algazife” published by Fernando Pérez-Vigo as El Necronomicón y Tarot Necronómico (Casa de Horus, 1992), the Italian manuscript found in the Vatican Library by Pietro Pizzari in Necronomicon, Magia Nera in un Manoscritto della Biblioteca Vaticana (Atanor, 1993) and the Polish manuscript Necronomicon Czyli Księga Zmarłego Prawa edited by Krzysztofa Azarewicza (FOX, 2000), as well as the copy of Olaus Wormius’ 1228 Latin version kept at “Antonio Hernán” Library in the Universidad Valencia de Montecruz special collections.
Among the many questions this text is certain to raise, far from the least is, why is this identified as “the Formula of Ib”? Is this an odd corruption derived from the casual similarity of Ibn Ghazi´s initial letters with the name of the legendary city, described elsewhere in the Necronomicon, which caused the Doom of the inhabitants of Sarnath? Or was the powder originally used in Ib, perhaps by its inhuman dwellers or by their human neighbours, as it is perhaps explained in some yet-missing passage? Maybe further exploration of the Book will render an answer.
A final caveat remains: read with care, and use with every possible caution.

Yog-Sothoth Neblod Zin,

Luis G. Abbadie
Dec. 27, 2016
al-azrad.blogspot.com


To Make the Powder of Ibn Ghazi, or the Powder of Materialization, which is the Formula of Ib


I am the Scribe of the Old Ones, Those who were, are and shall be indifferent; blessed be Their secret Names.
This is how thou shalt obtain the powder with which the great Ibn Ghazi —may none doth meet an end like the end which claimed him! —, could make visible the Other Gods and the infamous beings by Them spawned among humanity.

The way to prepare the powder
Atop an isolated hill in the countryside thou mayest happen to find a clearing where there remaineth but the bare ground and it seems that nothing alive might be able to sustain itself therein. Note well: it shall not be merely a place with dry grass but an actual clearing with no trace of grass, with soil, dust, rocks and nothing else, ‘twill be a place which birds and foxes and even insects doth seem to avoid, a strangely silent place that would seem like the throne of death.
Take note of the place and return there on the first night of the New Moon. If thy wicked Spirit doth assist thee, thou wilt find that upon the center of the clearing stands, barely perceptible in the darkness, something that doth resemble a vapour —strange in such a barren place— visible even in the dark because it will give off a slight greenish glow.
Thou shalt then know that thou hast had the ill luck to have found one of the places where the remains of the monstrous beings spawned by the Other Gods among men are buried. Thou dost already know that their being “buried” does not necessarily mean, certainly and definitely with no more life; however, even if thou were to feel panic, run not away or ‘twould be worse for thee. Sit instead in the clearing at ten paces from the vapour, facing in the direction of the setting Sun in order to watch the vapour. Gaze upon it, observe the shapes it doth assume and discard endlessly, meditate and tremble not. Close not thine eyes, no matter how horrendous may seem to thee those forms or the memories they will arouse. Close not thine eyes even if the rising wisps of steam doth always appear on the verge of coalescing unto Something whose mere vision may be able to snatch away thy reason and leech thy brain. Close not thine eyes, run not away or ‘twill be thy end. Meditate until the Sun doth not yet rise behind thee. Then rise, and go home and no matter the reason never look back. In this way dost thou establish the proper link between thee and the One that, in some manner, not dead and not alive, doth inhabit the clearing: in this way dost thou establish thy right to use Its powers.
Three days before the next New Moon, return to the clearing after the Sun has set bringing with thee the black candle and the Ardhamme of the Great Goddess. Set thyself in the same position as before and trace with the Ardhamme, on the ground in front of thee, the Sigil of Yhrr, with the tip of the triangle facing thee.
And this is the Sigil of Yhrr, whereof I shall speak further at another time:


With the Ardhamme do then cut thyself in the shape of a cross on thy left arm, let the blood drop on the Sign and speak the words of the Third Formula of Ibn Ghazi:

Uaaah quy-j’gh Ch'nal ci-T'klan nhi Syla
A'nhash Baharri-aka uh'Yog-Sothoth Hu-ehn1

After the blood has been absorbed by the ground place on the same place the grains of Aglaophotis and burn them while speaking the words of the Seventh Formula of Ibn Ghazi:

Y'Toklan, a'nhash Thkhu-aka!
Orr'ep Lym, goka eha-h’rrnhai
Orr'ep Pylan, lash'n-aka-trog!
Orr'ep Lash, n’fhtagni
Nhashantab ekh’shft! 2


Following this, pass thou again the night in meditation and go away at dawn without looking back.
Head back to the clearing on the day following the New Moon and pick up the lump of soil on which thou didst perform the ritual, bring it to thy chambers, put it in a leaden crucible and roast it for three days with cypress wood.
When it cools, thou shalt obtain a bluish-gray powder: speak upon this the words of the Tenth Formula of Ibn Ghazi:

Ha’jynd-math'ungl,
Zara, y'hfl'aeeh
Hastur, y'othaag yh'ehn’hflgh
Orr'ep Zara, y'xhith aeeh3

Reduce to dust a human bone which hath remained uncovered by flesh for at least two centuries, and from this, thou hast the first and the second components of the powder, using three parts of soil from the shunned clearing and three parts of the ground bone; thou dost need only prepare the third component thereof.
To complete it, use one part of Amaranth, one of salt finely ground, and one of very fine leaf of ground leaves of Ivy, completely dry. Compound all together in an open mortar, better be it at the day and hour of Saturn, until everything is uniformly grained, then dampen it with oil in which thou shalt have dissolved a medium-sized pearl.
Keep it, covered with a cloth of wool, within a sealed urn, from dawn to dusk. Open the urn, every night, raise the cloth, make over the urn the Voorish Sign, and breathe upon the mortar the words, 

Hastur ah’ftahas4

then expose it to the night winds, taking it away before the first light appears.
When the oil is fully dry, store the powder in a new, round copper casket —although Ibn Shacabao doth recommend a leaden casket—. After pouring the powder in the box, thou shalt close it, then carve with thy Ardhamme on the lid of the casket, the Tenth Sigil of Koth which Closes, as used by the Scribes of Kutha, who called it the Seal of the Enumah Ehli, which in the ancient Chaldean tongue means “When Opposed”, for the powder creates a contrast between the Shape unseen and its suffusions of purity, enabling the eyes to see the unseen.
This is the Ninth Seal of Koth, or of the Enumah Ehli: 5


Afterwards, wrap the casket in a cloth retrieved from a shroud.

The way of using the powder
This powder shall allow thee to observe the aerial manifestations of the spirits, if thou blow it in the direction of their coming; used after a summoning, it compels That Which was Called to show itself. A small pinch of powder should be blown in the direction of Its appearance from the palm of thy left hand, or otherwise from upon the Enumah Ehli, or with the blade of the Ardhamme.
Mark thee well that thou art prepared for Their apparition with the appropriate words, lest the tendrils of darkness enter thy soul causing slow agony.
Its efficacy does not survive the fourth successive full Moon to the complete drying. When thou blow it from the palm of thy hand, take care that a malicious wind does not throw it in thy eyes, for otherwise thou shalt forever be a slave to Hastur.
When thou desirest that Those Whom thou hast invoked disappear, chant the words of the Thirteenth Formula of Ibn Ghazi:

Imas, weghaymnko,
Quahers xevefaram6

Forget not to make the Elder Sign upon the moment of Its apparition, else the tendrils of darkness may make away with thy soul.
With the Ardhamme thou shalt close the Gate, and thou shalt then seal it with the Closing Sign of Koth.
Thus is the Formula of Ib, which was recovered by Hamurtash Ibn Ghazi himself, from the very Testament of Kish which he did render unto our language.


NOTES:

1. I have attempted a translation of Ibn Ghazi’s quoted Formulae from the sometimes corrupted (and conjecturally restored) R’lyehian; the results are at times quite easy, but in other instances (such as Notes 3 and 5) I offer my conclusions with some reticence. Here follows the Third Formula:
May the Double Crossroads of Blood and Land
Empower this Seal in the Name of Yog-Sothoth.
(This formula had somehow been deleted from my files when I posted the text; here it is, re-translated; I apologize for the misstep)

2. This is the Seventh Formula:
My own spilt Blood, empower this Magick!
Spirit of the Soil, grant thy aid!
Spirit of Fire, these Grains transform!
Spirit of the Grain, awaken!
Increase power together!

3. In the service of the Unspeakable One,
Powder, I consecrate thee.
Hastur, I speak of Thy Holy Names unto the perpetual consecration of fear.
Spirit of the Dust, I bless thee.

4. Hastur, may the Power concentrates perpetually (tentative, but then, words in Thothic languages a grouping coined by Fred L. Pelton which includes R’lyehian, as well as Aklo, Arkandian, Enochian, and Tsath are more conceptual than literal)

5. The identification of the Enumah Ehli as one of the Sigils of Koth has been a personal breakthrough; it is the final missing Sigil of the Thirteen Sigils of Koth which I had been tracking down since Ángel Luis Sucasas set me on their trail with the allusions in his “El Sueño de R’lyeh”, found in Los Nuevos Mitos de Cthulhu (Edge, 2011), and it was not without chagrin that I realized it had been there all along, in Pérez-Vigo’s book, merely not identified as a Sigil of Koth except in the missing text from the other sources! In a near future I expect to present my paper on the Thirteen Sigils and their various sources and purposes.

6. Obstruct! The lapse of time dies unto dawn,
Driven away, back, in acquiescence!



domingo, 11 de diciembre de 2016

The “Kandarian Passages”

It is only after great difficulty and with reluctance that I now present my tentative advances in rescuing a particularly controversial chapter of the Necronomicon, after careful research and comparison of the surviving notes by the late Necronomicon scholar professor Raymond Knowby, for which I am indebted to Mr. Pablo S. Bolivar and –I promised to him to emphasize, after his emphatic insistence- to the Ghostbeaters. Prof. Knowby’s notes and transcriptions have been carefully contrasted with various quotes and references found in the works by reliable scholars including Ramsey Campbell, Tom Sullivan, Sam Raimi, James Kuhoric, John Layman, Fede Alvarez, et al.
Also, a young woman by the name of Mia has repeatedly emailed me to demand that I at least include this most emphatic exhortation to all readers: “DON’T SAY IT DON’T WRITE IT DON’T HEAR IT!” Ms. Ruby Knowby agrees, in fact she promised to “rip my lungs out through my ears” if I didn’t comply. So there.
The author consulting Prof. Knowby's copy of the book, currently in possesion of Mr, Ashley J. Williams. No pictures of the corresponding pages were possible due to the hasty retreat of Williams and his associates off-city after the controversial El Refugio Halloween bloodshed.
Here follows Chapter I of the Necronomicon’s Liber X: Mortis or Book Ten: Of Death,” being, as Ambrose Bertram Hunter rightly points out, “from which the corrupted name “Necronomicon Liber Ex Mortis” most likely was derived.” (Bertram, Ambrose; Necronomicon: An annotated new verse rendition with supplementary materials,” 2008); this chapter transcribes the surviving text of the Sumerian grimoire titled, in R’lyehian, Naturom Demonto (Nekritebyblos in Greek; loosely translated, Book of the Deadites). Further chapters, such as those concerning the use of the Kandarian Dagger and the summoning of Goetic demon Eligos, will hopefully surface in the future.
Translation and transcription is somewhat speculative at various points; any and all suggestions or corrections will be greatly appreciated.

 Concerning the Gate of Kanda

I am the Scribe of the Old Ones, Those who were, are and shall be indifferent; blessed be Their secret Names.
This Book, is a gateway to Hell; its pages constitute a way to summon forces of evil into our earthly realm. Know that, in ancient times, there were those known as the Dark Ones, neither dæmon nor fully human. They created this Book as a weapon against humanity. These pages, were cut from the bodies of the damned, upon which the Dark Ones inked their passages in human blood. Passages that contain the power to create portals, connecting our world, to the underworld, where evil resides. The Dark Ones use this Book to hold power over all mankind.
The life that sprouts and grows from putrefaction is but the shallowest soil of a vast, profound vale of strange and sometimes unwholesome life. As Sheik Ibn Schacabac, wisely known as “the Boaster”, learned much to his disgrace, our land is but a hollow veneer cast upon a vast geography of lands and beings and spaces undreamt of by the prophets of old, and glimpsed barely by madmen, the day before they were touched by madness. Yet such unknown lands and places may be explored by the wise Traveler and Necromancer, therein to plunder the wonders and wisdom that lieth beyond the life of men; but only the fools have ever attempted to chart the unchartable seas Outside, to trace the Three Veils of Varloorni upon parchment, to forge the Spheres of Yog-Sothoth in copper, to set down the Voor unto words.
Only the vaguest charts of that which lieth Beyond, can be found, not in the scribblings of men, but on the great parchment of the skies, traced with stars. Truly, as the star Mismar [Polaris] serves as a valued sign for seafaring travelers knowledgeable in the movements of the stars, and likewise is Mismar a guide for the astrologer, wise in the seasons of the stellar signs, and the courses of the Zoned stars, and of the Azonei, the Northern star is also the celestial Pharos for those who would venture in the worlds and spheres not only above, but beneath the Earth, as well. Therefrom doth the twisting Serpent unwind its body from Mismar on high unto the Pit of Y’qaa beneath the Mountains. Yet forget not that Kadath can also be Voormithadreth, and that the pyramid that scrapes the heavens is also the one whose hollow shade plumbs the depths of the Pit. Where there is life there is always corruption. And likewise, where there is death, there is also life. Flesh decays. Every creature must eat, and if it eats, it defecates. And wherever death gives way unto life, or life is surrendered unto death, there may a doorway gape, if one but knows the keys. Death is but a doorway to another life. And there are ways to keep the door closed so that one wilt never lose those one loves. The doorway can go in both directions; however, to draw one back from death, a sacrifice must be made. Beware lest you may lament having lived to watch the outcome of thy endeavour. 
Manifold is the life which unfolds and thrives in the tombs of man, unknown and unheeded by all save those who know the Hours and Signs, or otherwise the unwary prey of the unknown.
Bewhilst a tomb as yet untenanted is no more than a ditch in stirred soil, a sepulchre seeded with a corpse and left to root, grow, and sprout, soon festers with abundant life of every sort. Such life, however, is but the apparent visage of teeming death, for, as I have written before, a corpse buried in the soil is a lock, and its tomb is a doorway unto the land beneath the hills; and much is there that comes, drawn by the smell of the living, when such a doorway is opened, be it by the unwary, or by those foolish enough to pay obeisance to the offspring of the tomb.
The tomb-herd confer no benefits upon their worshippers. Their powers are few, for they can but disarrange space in small regions and make tangible that which cometh forth from the dead in other dimensions. They have power wherever the chants of Yog-Sothoth have been cried out at their seasons, and can draw to them those who will open their gates in the charnel-houses. They have no substance in this dimension, but enter earthly tenants to feed through them while they await the time when the stars become fixed and the gate of infinite sides opens to free That Which Claws at the barrier.
And the herd casts itself in flesh to besiege, and seeks to sate its unending hunger by swallowing the souls of the living, which are then lost unto the shifting pits of Kanda, where the spheres of Yog-Sothoth steal those who have opened the Gate unprepared, while the things that were and shall be again turn their bodies unto Deadite shells for themselves.
This is an easily opened Gate, for its key is a human key; ‘twas sealed away in order to impede the hunger of the Deadites from harrowing the flesh of the living in the times before the reign of the Watchers in old Babylon, when the seas ran red with blood. And said Gate mayest be flung open at those places where the spheres meet, and the Veils of Varloorni are very thin. The peoples of Albion know the Gate of the tomb-herd, for there was the Mirror broken of old and its crack permits the resurrection of the old Daemons, and of those forces which roam the forests and the dark recesses of man’s domains. These beings abide in their slumber, yet may be brought when the aproppriate Rites are performed, and through the words which the ancient sorcerers of Albion forbade in vain to ever be set down in writing, much less to be pronounced aloud; those words which grant the Daemons license to possess the living.
And this is the Conjuration for Daemon resurrection from Kanda, which has only once been set in writing, and then with a man’s blood, in the past, which I now reveal it to thee:

Katra a’mistrobeen
A’santa tande’ea manoan
Manseez
O’han on’sopar
Soman’ta rosa
Kanda

Kanda es-tratta
Mon’tose
Er-grets gatt’nos
Veratoos Amantos
Kanda

Kanda es-tratta
Ta-thun hazan sobbar
Er-grets gatt’nos
Veratoos Amantos
Kanda

Kunda astratta
Montosse Kanda
Kanda tranya
Verata mesartra
Mistrobeen


Once the words are recited, the Being will be released and wil seek out the weakest soul to host the Evil. The wise Necromancer may allow some of the Kandarian Daemons to rise and work his Will by means of the Deadite shapes which grant them matter, however, thou shalt do well in acting prudently and guarding these words well, because even a bumbling halfwit mayest speak with true effect yet in blunder the Conjuration of Kanda, and then the entire Army of Darkness mayest escape forth through the smashed Mirror until it becomes more numerous than the ranks of the living. For thus has it been written in the Book of Magan:

I shall cause the dead to rise and devour the living,
I shall grant the dead power over the living,
That they become more numerous than the living.

Unto Kanda shall arrive the one Promised by the oracle of the old priests of Albion, the Ez’nadril n’Altornos’n, the Chosen One of the Old Ones, him who has been prophesied that he shall fall from the skies and deliver them from the terrors of the Deadites. However, his arrival is also a promise of further storms, since the oracle consulted by the priests of Albion is the very Prophet of Hell, and he hath also said that when the obsidian instrument of destruction has fed its sharpness upon sufficient lives, a Wizard from olden Hyboria shall rise, from times past unto the present days, and summon out of himself phantasms, emanations of destruction. Unopposed, they shall poison the world and tear it asunder, and the Earth shall be no more. Yet opposers there shalt ever be, and these from among those who stand for life and against it, as well as those who seek to master it, or to feed atrociously from its core. For many are the shapes and substances of those who now doth walk upon the Earth, and multiform the lips that doth breathe the air above its surface, and Earth makes no distinction among their ranks. The Hyborian curse shall be concealed in a dead city at the Country of Life’s Silence. Time shall devour itself. The present shall return unto the past, and be drowned in blood. The instrument of destruction shall be discarded, then found, and finally lost forever.
Other, greater Gates shall be found along the barrier that awaits to be broken through when the Spheres conjoin and twelve Moons cross the skies over the eternal ices. The Promised One’s soul is the key. His blood, the answer. Likewise, for a reversal to be achieved, the annulment lies inside the origin of the man. For the Chosen One is also the Ore Magnus Necronomicon, the Great Mouth of the Book. Wisely is it said in the axioms of Zeghel Bliel:

Tempered in torment, consumed in flame,
Chosen remnant which bears the name.
Cloaked in darkness Thy servant lies,
Hiding from light’s prying eyes;
If Thy will is to be done,
Draw to me Thy Chosen One.
Upon Revelation,
 From the temple of the Sun of Suns,
The seven phantasms of ruin shall be sent in haste.
Deliver us, from this Wickedness,
That we may bring an End unto the End.
Do as I demand now, to set down the world’s fortune.

Unwise it is to open every door with no further motivation than a foolish confidence footed in pride; poor indeed is in wisdom him whose creed is quoth as the common sayings doth consign it, that

every door is to be passed, every liquor is to be drunk.

For those who reason thusly shall only know a very brief time in their journey through the winding paths of Hidden Knowledge.
Truly there are doors, grilles and passageways that were sealed in order to safekeep treasures of wisdom and forces of high value to the Sorcerer; indeed, with sufficient wisdom and strength, even the Abyss of the dead shall keep no secrets for thee; the Sorcerer who holds the keys may even laugh at the challenge before which the prophet Ayoub (Job) remained speechless:

Hast thou penetrated unto the sources from which the seas sprang?
Hast thou wandered the bottom of the abyss?
Hath the gateways of Death been shown to thee?
Hast thou gazed upon the threshold to the Shadow land?
(Job 38:16-17)

Yet there are others which were shuttered with beams and chains with which to barely contain things whose sole reward for their impudent liberator shall be one of agony, rending of the entrails, torture of the spirit, and madness. Furthermore there are to be found, among these, Gates and passageways that were sealed by Elder hands as well as some others which, mayhap, do not even require for a hand, human or divine, to cause their Seals to fall away in pieces before That Which they contain on the other side. And other Fences were furthermore set merely to obstruct and hide something as ephimeral as light, yet as inexorable as the stars. The Gate of Al-Gibar (Orion) was bound by the Lord of the Great Abyss in the stars, and the Gate of Athtar (Venus) was bound by N’tse-Kaambl, that Al-Ghul (Algol) and Shi’ra (Sirius) might not pour their putrescent light upon the ancient abodes of Those who came first. But, although the keys were cast unto the Great Abyss, the Crawling Chaos observed the place where they were left buried, and ‘tis Him Who has placed this secret within the reach of men’s grasp, so that they, in their ignorance and foolish ambition, find the keys and the locks and remove the bolts from the Gates, allowing the forbidden light of cursed stars to again reach the secluded, unknown reaches of the world’s darkness, and things which abideth for Aeons to be stirred, readying themselves to rise forth again. For some of the words which were spoken to Ayoub do guard a valuable warning:

May’st thou fasten the restraints of the Athorai'e (Pleiads),
Or loosen the bindings of Al-Gibar?
Shalt thou cause Athtar (Venus) to rise at its appointed time?
Wouldst thou lead Dobh (Ursa Major) with Her young?
Dost thou know the ardanes of the heavens?
Shalt thou dispose of their might upon the earth?
(Job 38:31-33)

Because even the Sorcerer who hath trod the Abyss knows that the Aeons cannot be hastened in their course, and that the Fences shall fall when the stars are right, with scarce need of human guides intent upon sheperding them, and the Dogs which are to shepherd the stars when they weigh upon the body, snort ever impatient in the angles awaiting the hour, and the Watchers out of time wait for the Fence of Stars to break open at the Scorpion’s wake, at the appointed hour.
The elemental forces giveth more than they take away, and never return to the depths wherefrom they were invoked. Truly, whomsoever desireth to call upon that which is better left to abide in the abode of nightmares shalt be wise to heed my final warning:
Call None whom thou may’st not banish. Summon the Lesser Daemon, lest the Greater commands thee more than thyself.