A full Chapter of Abdul Alhazred’s Necronomicon, reconstructed from existing fragments
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 incomplete 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
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. *
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! 1
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:
Hastur, y'othaag yh'ehn’hflgh
Orr'ep Zara, y'xhith aeeh2
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,
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: 4
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:
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.
* It was just pointed out to me that the Third Formula is missing. I seem to have accidentally deleted it from the original document, so I will have to re-translate and add it here as it should be; come back and you'll find it soon. I apologize for the inconvenience; Necronomicon researchers are no doubt nodding in sympathy, these things seem to happen with annoying regularity when working on the Book.
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 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!
2. 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.
3. 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)
4. 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.
5. Obstruct! The lapse of time dies unto dawn,
Driven away, back, in acquiescence!