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

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:

Ha’jynd-math'ungl,
Zara, y'hfl'aeeh
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, 

Hastur ah’ftahas3

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:

Imas, weghaymnko,
Quahers xevefaram5

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:

* 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!


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.

sábado, 3 de septiembre de 2016

Elly Kedward manifests?

You may count me in among those thrilled by the imminent new entry in the decades-long research of the Black Hills, Maryland, legendry, as the new film Blair Witch. So much so, that I have found something that may of course amount to mere coincidence but, since any venue is worth being pursued in such a tangle of mysteries, I'm pushing my long-delayed new entry on Necronomical texts a bit in order to share this.

A new piece of footage, rumored to have been found in the Black Hills forest, has been uploaded anonymously, which some believe may shed further light over the fate of the three film students who vanished back in 1994 while working on a film project about the Blair Witch legend; James Donahue is said to believe that it portrays his sister Heather -perhaps showing what occurred after the known footage ends? You may watch it here:



Now, the clip ends with a set of broken images which has been found to be a puzzle-like piece which, as Reddit user damienjohn has discovered, when put together, reveals an unidentified face which he tentatively suggests might be child murderer Rustin Parr, but to me it does not look at all like him:


(Image edited by damienjohn

Now, since this image is quite obviously a negative, I inverted it, slightly darkened it in order to increase the contrast, and obtained a clearer picture of the mysterious person. As you may notice, the right eye is blurred, which brought to my memory an old engraving which I'd just seen hours earlier as I watched again the much-maligned film Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows. So I looked up the engraving, the sole known portrait said to have been made of Elly Kedward, the Blair Witch, supposedly made not long before her fatal exile to the wintry forest, in 1786.

Compare and judge for yourselves:



Could this be Elly Kedward herself, or the resemblance, which is admittedly inconclusive, is coincidental? What do you think? I wonder if Lisa Arlington and James Donahue noticed this.


sábado, 3 de octubre de 2015

The Day The Earth Was To Be Cleared

Note: This is a factual story. And the previous sentence is not a facetious claim. No, really. All relevant events are accurately narrated with no liberties.

Merely a couple of names and references have been changed, according to the conventions of the Cthulhu Mythos, but the concealed truths will easily be recognized by those familiar with this field.

As I walked out of the library, I was unable to repress the impulse; I opened my portfolio and looked at the newly-printed pages. The greenish ink notwithstanding, I read the first few lines as I walked away. I had just printed them out from the O’Khymer Academic Journal found in Pierre De Hammais’ restricted online files “A Guide to Alhazredic Daemonology”. I had heard of the unexpected treasures one might find in that trove, but back in those days, the internet was not what it is now, and I had been somewhat skeptic. However, when I used the code I was given and started browsing the listings, I was drawn to this journal reputed to contain contributions from the most noted researchers from Miskatonic University. My attention had been instantly captured by a single word: Eibon.

I opened the folder, and I found, indeed, no less than three files under this heading; all of them were actual chapters from the fabled, obscure Book of Eibon, which legend had as penned by an Hyperborean wizard in times before the Ice Age, here translated by a Joseph S. Pulver. While I gave little credit to such tales, I was well aware of the book’s darksome repute, as one of the main sources used by no less than Alhazred himself in the writing of his own forbidden book. And out of the three files, I recognized one of their titles, and I clicked on it without delay, holding my breath.

Truly, there it was, in plain, unassuming letters on the monitor, a series of verses which I had never dreamed I would ever read, since I was acquainted with the Black Litany only through the vaguest rumors and whispers. And yet it was rendered in English. My hand trembled as I clicked on the printer. The library clerk annoyed me by warning that the black ink had run out; I snapped at him to go on and print it no matter how it came out, and moments later he handed me two pages with small type on pale green ink. I hastened out of the library, putting them away in my portfolio, but as I said already, impatience got the best of me.

I walked along the street and crossed it in order to get across the park; I wanted to hurry back home and study the Black Litany at my leisure. My years of research had produced but the vaguest references to the entities these verses were dedicated to, Nug of the Burning Gloom and Yeb of the Whispering Mist; twin progeny of entities known allegorically as Yog-Sothoth, the All-in-One, and Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat with a Thousand Young; Nug and Yeb were said in ancient legendry to one day, when the stars came right, clear off the Earth for the return of terrible Elder Gods. And here it was now, in my hand! The very Litany which the mad Arab had sung prostrated before their altar in the fabled city of Irem! Assuming it was no forgery, of course. My eyes raced along the greenish lines as I hurried across the small downtown park, not really absorbing so much of their content since my mind was racing as well, going through everything I knew about Eibon and the Black Litany.

A potent voice called my name, stopping me short. I turned around and saw Fernando approaching. He was a friend I had not seen in months; like me, he had a longtime interest in forbidden lore, although his interests were mostly focused in those days on the most esoteric aspects of angelology –in fact, the last time I’d seen him, we had sustained a lengthy discussion of Dr. John Dee’s Enochian workings. He was particularly focused, both in theory and in practice, on an obscure entity from old Gnostic fragments, the archangel Zasbidakiel. Such things held little interest for me, yet our conversations were often fruitful. Now, however, I was not so keen on meeting him, since all I wanted was to focus myself on the study of the Litany.

I shook his hand all the same, exchanged greetings, I mentioned that I was coming back from the library, and then he pointed at the sheets of paper still in my hand.

“Take a look,” I said, shrugging, and showed them to him; in all likelihood he would already be familiar with the Black Litany. The way his eyebrows rose as he took in the title proved my assumption right.

“How about that!” He said, and read the first few lines. Then he looked at me, grew quiet for a moment as something occurred to him, and looked back at the pages. Then he said to me: “Well, if it’s gonna blow, let it blow already, right?”

Before I came up with a suitable answer, he began to intone:

“Äma bl-Nug ol Äma bl-Yeb! Ttak cls iro Züür. Ttak cls iro Züür…”

Still with my mouth half-open, I was unsure whether to interrupt him. After all, there was no rational reason to expect any reaction from merely speaking aloud the lines of an ancient text, now was there? However, in the back of my mind another part of me reminded me of my previous experiences with Enochian calls, which told me otherwise.

“O Masters of the Black Fires Concealed,” called Fernando in that deep voice that I’d always felt would work quite well on a radio show; “Rise o'er the flights of dim mortals sleeping.” His tone grew stronger as he intoned: “Nug and Yeb, Great Dragons black and red, come prepare thy Fathers' table!”  

One could hardly think of an unlikelier setting for intoning a call that would reputedly bring forth the clearing of the Earth from all that we take for granted: at noon, in the middle of a park that was more of a plaza, right beside the colonial building of the El Carmen church, with thick traffic going by on the other side of the park, a couple of dogs tugging at their leash as a tall elderly man walked them, a group of excited young people in suits and dresses approaching the church presumably for an imminent wedding or some such event. Fernando’s intoning of the Black Litany went unnoticed.

“O Great Hammers of the Scouring,” he went on; his hand shook slightly as his voice rose the slightless bit, but I could tell he was getting really absorbed in the summoning. “Arrive with thy Black Fires wild, clearing all spaces for the Terrible Masters Outside deprived. Nug and Yeb, Great Dragons black and red, come prepare thy Fathers' table!

“O Angers Fuller Than Thunder whose concordant verdict crashes as a wave, The frail earth lays ripe for thy age of starry-fire…”

A few feet behind Fernando, a lady walked toward the church, holding the hands of two young girls in white dresses; one of the girls looked right past us toward the trees, probably spotting a bird. At my right, an old man came carrying over his shoulder a basket full of flowers, a few yellow and white blossoms in his hand; his sandaled feet walked with the slow, patient dedication of advanced age. Again I looked at Fernando: his eyes, half-closed, remained fixed on the pale ink.

“O shadowy Nug, uncover thy cauldron-black torch at pole North that the Divine Punishment may be born in all glory. Nug and Yeb, Great Dragons black and red, come prepare thy Fathers' table! O Servant of Abhoth, Yeb of the Whispering Mists, bring forth burning, thy…”

“Excuse me,” said a gentle, calm voice.

Fernando’s voice halted, his right hand still raised with the palm heavenwards, and I too, feeling as if I was coming out of a daze, looked at the old man who was raising the flowers in his hand toward him, a placid smile in his lips and his eyes squinting, his hat insufficient to protect him from the constant sunlight.

“Would you wish to buy some flowers?,” he said with a gentle, low voice, drawing out the sentences as a man of the country who knows nothing of the urban scourges of time; “I have flowers of various kinds, and I will fix them up for a gift if you want. Or you may want a particular type of flower?”

His hand and the sheets still raised, Fernando replied:

“Thank you very much, we don’t really need flowers right now.”

The old man’s smile widened a bit in courteous acknowledgment. “Thank you,” he said, bowing his head, and turned on his very slow feet, which very nearly scraped the floor as he began to walk off toward the growing group of people gathering outside the church; it would be a couple of minutes before he reached them. Fernando and I watched his pausing retreat for a while.

“And he walked off,” I then said, “wandering across the plaza, offering his flowers to any who would hear, unaware that thanks to him, the world would continue to exist.”

And with this, we both laughed heartily for a long time.

-Luis G. Abbadie

Oct. 3, 2015

lunes, 28 de abril de 2014

Further Data on Ibn Khallikan!

After reading this tantalizing article in The Illuminerdy blog, I knew I had to look for Arkay Tilghman's small book The Secret History of the Necronomicon. The good news? this costs less tan two dollars and it's a fascinating read for anybody with interest in Lovecraft Mythos and Alhazredica. The downside for technophobes like me? It comes only as digital edition, so I was forced to read it in Kindle (fortunately it's short, because Kindle dulls my enjoyment of books so much I have dozens of potentially great reads gathering virtual dust because I just don't feel moved to read that way).

I was amazed by the information uncovered by Tilghman, but first and foremost, one must be thankful that his book is not a mere recording of cold facts and lukewarm speculations: while showing due care for straightforward, concrete data, bibliography and other sources, the small fifty-page book reads like an adventure worthy of any Mythos anthology, as the autor shares with us his discovery of ancient Egyptian records and episodes related to the Knights Templar, as well as adding new pieces to the puzzle of Dr. John Dee's obsessive work on the Necronomicon (a subject which has fed many a headache for me, as some of you may know).
However, what caused me a greater shock was the chapter dedicated to the life of Abdul Alhazred; several peculiar facts were mentioned and unexpectedly attributed to none other than biographer Ibn Khallikan! As readers of this blog know, I was not long ago thrilled to uncover here Ibn Khallikan's previously unpublished record of the life of the Sa'hir Majnun Alhazred. Imagine my amazement at finding out that this varying account was attributed to a full edition of Ibn Khallikan's work! Tilghman refers to Ebn (sic) Khallikan's The Life of Alhazred, Madman of the Empty Quarter, translated by Gene E. Matthews (Vermont, Fisher Press, 1921). I immediately set about tracking down this edition, and Matt Arnold, one of my contacts at Miskatonic University wrote back only today: "Paydirt! The book is listed in the private library of the Foundation. You know how they are, but at the Armitage Library we maintain a record of their acquisitions because they are handled by Professor Chandler in our staff, and it isn't in their restricted index, so I expect I'll be able to get a set of photocopies soon enough. Be patient! God knows I'm anxious enough to set my eyes on that piece. How is it that it differs so much from the version you published? It's likely that it's an apocryphal versión, you know; but it might also be that some copies were adulterated or cut down. I'm already getting permission to consult the fragmentary copy in our archives to compare the text as much as its frailty makes it possible."

Indeed, so many possibilities! And the Spanish publication of Ibn Khallikan is already slated for later this year, as part of a book (but I can't give out further details just yet) -I truly hope the Foundation people prove to be helpful (if you read this, gentlemen, pay no heed to Matt's quip about "the way you are!" he, he!).

What will come out of this? Stay tuned; I expect to have news very shortly.

(Also, I just corrected a few minor mistakes in my essay on Ibn Khallikan -why didn't anybody point out I'd uploaded the unfinished draft with ugly XX's in place of a couple of the dates in the notes? damn!) 

...And furthermore, as soon as I posted this, somebody sent me a link to a Siyah Qalam's Kindle edition of Ibn Khallikan's Biography of Alhazred which appears to be a very different text! I'm Reading this right away. Just what's going on? Only a couple of years ago, the text seemed irretrievable; now, as many versions of it as there are published versions of supposed Necronomicons are jumping out of the woodwork!


miércoles, 26 de febrero de 2014

The Much-Discussed Couplet

Alhazred's couplet handwritten by Cliff Burton from Metallica


The Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred's pseudobiblium, Al-Azif or Necronomicon, has been translated, mistranslated and falsified many times. I'll collect here various versions of his most famous couplet. I will be updating with other intriguing versions - I have the XIIIth-Century Spanish version somewhere, and I'd like to get the Greek version too. If you know of a good one, let me know!

The couplet is best known in the version used by H.P. lovecraft within his fiction, first published in his short story "The Nameless City" (1921):

"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange Aeons even Death may die"

This was presumably translated from Olaus Wormius’ Latin version, or perhaps adapted from Dr. John Dee’s Old English. But let us go back in time and consider the possibility, proposed by various authors, that Abdul Alhazred merely translated himself a ritual text from some older source. Robert M. Price has suggested the possibility that it was originally rendered in Greek, either by some earlier author or Alhazred himself, due to the structure and characteristics of the verses; but we will discuss his thesis later on.

Within the pages of the Sussex Manuscript, also known as Cultus Maleficarum, its author, Baron Frederic I of England –which, as is well known by pseudobibliographers, is actually a garbled partial translation of the Necronomicon-, attributes the couplet to the mythical Atlantean poet Klarkash-Ton, chronicler of the Commoriom and Hyperborean Myth-Cycles. This is troublesome in many ways, particularly because it sets the source of the verses in a completely mythical time. Still, it does point the way toward finding a possible source used by Alhazred for his couplet: the Book of Eibon, a Greek book generally acknowledged as one of the main sources of the Necronomicon which purports to contain accounts and rituals from the ancient, pre-glacial country of Hyperborea, and is actually attributed to Eibon of Mhu Thulan, a magician said to have lived in this fabled land.

Consulting the fragmentary Book of Eibon, we find, in Book Four, Chapter 13, “Eibon’s Prophecy,” in which Eibon predicts the fall of the mythical country, which concludes with the following verses:

“…grim and dark Voormithadreth,
King of the high Eiglophian peaks, whence icy rills
Once flowed through caverns black where now the Old Ones lie,
Awaiting that new Day when even death may die”.
(Eibon, translated by Richard L. Tierney)

While Eibon is no less a mythical character then Klarkash-Ton, his book, its actual origins notwithstanding, is an actual document, one known to have been extensively drawn upon by the Mad Poet when writing the Kitab Al-Azif. Therefore, I submit that this may be what Baron Frederick I referred to when he misattributed the couplet to that other chronicler of Hyperborean mythos, Klarkash-Ton. The few surviving epistles and writings attributed to the Atlantean scribe quote Eibon frequently, therefore the Baron might have seen a then-existing fragment which quoted “Eibon’s Prophecy” and noticed the similitude to Alhazred’s quote. The structure of the verses is similar enough: something –the Old Ones in Eibon’s case; undefined in Alhazred’s- awaits the coming time -“that new Day” or the “strange Aeons”-when “even death may die.”

Alhazred’s couplet is noticeably complete in itself, and shows the greatness of his poetry, as he borrows certain elements and the closing phrase from Eibon and creates a short, powerful pair of verses of much wider and deeper meaning. Therefore, he can clearly be considered the true author of the couplet, even if the influence of Eibon is noticeable.

Let us now consider Alhazred’s own version of the verses.

Thanks to the author of the blog Alhazret we have two possible renderings of Alhazred’s original Arabic couplet:

لا ميتاً ما قادراً يتبقى سرمدى
فإذا يجئ الشذاذ الموت قد ينتهي

Or perhaps:

لا ميتاً ما قادر يتبقى سرمدي
فإذا يجئ الشذاذ الموت قد ينتهي

-Abdul Al-Hazred, Kitab Al-Azif (735) would be the source of one of these, the other probably belonging to one of the various unreliable copies circulated after the mad poet’s passing.

William Hamblin’s and Phileas P. Sadowsky’s famous article “Further Notes on the Necronomicon” has popularized an Arabic couplet purporting to be the original:

ما ميتا ما قارد يتبقي
سر مدي فانا يجي الشذاذ الموت
"La mayyitan ma qadirun yatabaqa sarmadhi
fa itha yaji Ash-Shuthath al-mautu qad yantahi"

It’s since become clear that the late professor Sadowsky was far from fluent  in Arabic, and this was probably a recent scribble of no historical importance whatsoever, as I’ve explained in my article Sadowsky's Couplet Re-Translated

Yet another Arabic variant was authored by Abdul Yásar, better known as Abdelésar, a stray disciple of Alhazred who pretended to be Alhazred himself at Al-Andalus, in the Spanish Peninsula, after the death of the poet, and liberally rewrote an incomplete copy of his book. Rafael llopis has authored a book on Abdelésar’s life and philosophy, El Novísimo Algazife, o Libro de las Postrimerías.

Here follows the couplet as found in the Aljavir Manuscript. This was a handwritten copy of Abdelésar’s version of the Kitab Al Azif, found around 1978 by the American pilot Nureddin Ellis at Aljavir, a village about 50 miles northeast from Toledo, which he flaunted before sensationalist occult magazines as “The Nureddin Ellis Necronomicon” and later sold to a collector from Madrid.

The above reads:

"No está muerto quien yace en la Casa de la Eternidad
pues cuando llegue el tiempo hasta la muerte morirá"
-Abdul Yasar/Abdelesar (Traducción de Rafael Llopis), "El novísimo Algazife o Libro de las Postrimerías" (c.740)

The verses vary enough to merit an English rendering:

That is not dead who lies at the House of Eternity
For when the time comes even death shall die

The reference to the House of Eternity makes sense when one considers that Abdelésar claimed to be the son of a pure-blooded Egyptian priestess and having authored Al-Azif as a concealed recreation of the religion of ancient Khem, so he included generous smatterings of Egyptian names and concepts in his handwritten copy. Llopis states that Abdelésar’s mother was a priestess of Ptah-Seker, and my personal studies of the Narratives of the Mad Poet have led me to identify her tentatively with the woman mentioned in the chapters translated by Robert C. Culp for E.O.D.A.P.A, where Alhazred says: “Read of the defilement of the temple of Ptah-Seker, Creator of Heaven and Earth. By corruption of the attendant virgins, I did gain entrance to the inner-most sanctuary”. Alhazred refers at various times to secret sects which preserve certain Egyptian rites –the brotherhood of necromancers, the keepers pf the temple of Ptah-Seker, the archives of Heru-khuti; his very servant and apprentice Martala was a devout of Bast. Nonetheless, let us not go astray considering the the reality and historicity of such survivals; what matters is that Al Burux of Játiva, biographer of Abdelésar, speaks of a surviving secret cult of Ptah-Sokar-Usir his parents raised him into; and when Alhazred refers to just such a cult, it is with contempt, claiming to have “corrupted” the “attendant virgins.” Is it too much to speculate that  Abdelésar could have been brother or child to one such priestess, or perhaps even their offspring?

(I believe this to have occurred before Alhazred’s well-known mutilation and castration, as described by Ibn Khallikan and Theodorus Philetas. While Donald Tyson’s excellent biographical novel Alhazred does not allow for this to have occurred, it must be kept n mind that he greatly condensed the most important periods in the poet’s life for the sake of narrative efficacy).

The following may be a rendering of the couplet, or then again, it may be derivative text altogether:

“Thou shalt conjure the dead, using the names of their evil gods. They shall come forth, for they are not dead, but lie eternal, unto the time when death is vanquished. And they will come forth when thou callest them by their gods.”
-Al Rashid of Sothis, The Book of Shades (ca. Xth Century), translated by Mrs. Ruzo.

This book was published by Elizabeth Ann St. George as possibly a part of the Necronomicon. While it may well be so –St. George never explained at length her reasons to believe so- this is a prose translation from an Arabic text which, while similar enough to be clearly influenced by Alhazred’s couplet, may or may not be a rendition from the original Arabic verses. Certainly, those transcribed above are both similar enough both between each other and to Al Rashid’s.

We are indebted to Deinolithos for discovering the Greek version of the couplet:

οκ λαχον θανάτοιο μέρος κατακείμενοι αεί·
καινοτέρων τέων κα θάνατος θάνεται.
(ouk elakhon thanatoio meros katakeimenoi aiei
kainoterōn eteōn kai thanatos thanetai.)
.Theodorus Philetas (ca. 950)

Deinolithos translates the verses as follows:

They have no share of death who always lie:
In stranger years to come, e'en death shall die.

Also, Denolithos makes the following comments:

“The verb thanetai, "will die," is quite unusual. This form occurs only once in all of Greek literature, in one of the Sibylline oracles where it's part of a prophecy. So the wording of the Greek couplet suggests it's making a prediction: death will die during the ‘stranger years.’

“Theodorus's choice of meter reflects the revival of interest in the elegiac couplet during the reign of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. That he didn't quite attain to Classical standards of versification is understandable: he produced his translation under severe constraint, with continuous threat of persecution if he were discovered, and of madness if he were too successful in unlocking the book's secrets.”

What surprises me is the absence of the word αιώνες (aió̱nes) –the “strange Aeons” in both Lovecraft’s, Dr. John Dee’s and Baron Frederick I’s versions. Was then the term’s inclusion entirely the work of Dee? I had previously found a Latin version which included a latinization of the term, but it has since surfaced that it may have been a false rendering (see below).

The concept of Aeons, which has recently come to signify exclusively periods of time, had in the Middle Ages much more complex connotations, as Robert M. Price rightly observes in his monograph “A Critical Commentary on the Necronomicon”, perhaps derived from Jewish apocalypticism:

“there were to be two successive world ages (aions), the present one ruled by Satan, with the future Golden Age to be ruled by God. Eventually, the word aion may have come to be used derivatively to indicate not only the world age, but also the power who ruled it. The Gnostics may have picked up the term in this way. Alternatively, the term may have come from the lion-headed Iranian god of Time, called Aion.”

 Price goes on to describe the similarities between Alhazredic Daemonology and Gnosticism, concluding:

“In light of these parallels, it is hard to resist the conclusion that the religion of Alhazred was one of the lesser known branches of the Gnostic religion. The Old Ones were known in that context as Aions.”

Later on, when performing a directly analysis of the conceptual parallels within the structure of the couplet, Price suggests that it was “originally composed, not in Alhazred’s Arabic, but in Greek, where the words ‘eternal’ and ‘aeon’ are simply different forms of the word aion, or ‘age.’ English ‘eternal’ would then translate into the Greek phrase eis tous aionus, literally ‘unto the ages’, ‘always’ or ‘forever.’ This would, in classical fashion, allow a double meaning or pun, using Aion as both a period of time and a divine entity:

“According to this interpretation, to ‘lie eternal’ (meinai eis tous aionus) means not ‘to abide forever’ (as does Cthulhu in R’lyeh), but rather ‘to await the Aions’, i.e., the Old Ones.”

Of course, Price works speculatively here, without having access to Philetas’ text; still, his points are valid, and a great richness in significance is lost if we discard the word Aion or Aeon as a late English interpolation. The question may be set forth, though: could more than one version of the couplet be found within a single version of the book, be it Arabic, Greek or Latin? After all, not only the couplet is reiterated at various times throughout the Necronomicon corpus, deliberate variant versions might exist, displaying similar concepts through careful nuances that shift their meaning, and have been misconstrued by later translators as clumsy attempts to repeat the same verses. I invite readers to keep in mind this possibility as we continue to explore these variants.

There was a second, previously unknown,  Greek translation (not by Psellus, this is a common misconception popularized by the pseudonymously-named Justin Geoffry in recent years, although Psellus seems to have owned a copy); it was translated by Teofilatto o Pissarios, a Byzantine mystic who endeavored to re-translate the book from the original Arabic  for his Euchite cult after finding Philetas’ version incomplete and unreliable in various ways.

We have only Pietro Pizzari’s Italian translation of Teofilatto’s Greek, from the manuscript found in the Vatican Library:

"Non è morto ciò che in eterno può attendere.
Con il passare di strane ere anche la morte può morire"
-Teofilato o Pissarios (1070)
(That is not dead which in eternity may wait.
With the passing of strange eras even death may die)

Intriguingly enough, we find no mention of “aeons” in this version either; unfortunately, Pizzari does not reproduce the original Greek version.

This is a good moment to discuss the version of the couplet found in Necronomicon: Nuova edizione con sconvolgenti revelazioni e le Tavolette di Kutu (Dr. V. Carranza & Prof. Z. Shah, Fanucci, 1994). The version, rendered by the translator Sergio Basile, is all too close to Pizzari’s:

"Non è morto Ciò che in eterno può attendere.
E con il passare di strane ere anche la morte muore"
(That is not dead which in eternity may wait.
With the passing of strange eras even death dies)

While Carranza and Basile seem to have worked from a scanned copy of what appeared to be the original Kitab Al-Azif, composed of an Arab manuscript and various Greek sections of earlier origin, their rendering of the couplet is too modern, and probably attempts to be as close as possible to the Italian translation of Lovecraft’s version (it bears wondering whether that is also the case for Pizzari).

We also have two Latin versions of the couplet. Deinolithus offers a rendering found in a XVIIth-Century edition of Celsus Olaus Wormius the Elder’s translation of the Necronomicon:

“Illud non moritur quod polleat usque morari:
temporibus miris, Mors, potes ipsa mori”
-Olaus Wormius the Elder, "Necronomicon, vel De Normis Necium" (1228)

A literal translation would be:

That does not die which may linger for aye:
In strange times, Death, e'en you can pass away.

Deinolithus also has the following observations about this version:

“Notice that the Latin version addresses a personified Death in the second line. There's a play on the sound of the word for ‘death,’ mors: that which escapes death has the power to ‘linger,’ morari, continuously; in times that are ‘strange,’ miris, Death itself can die.

“The two words that end the first line, usque morari (‘linger continuously’), are a reminiscence of Vergil's Aeneid, book 6, line 487, where Aeneas wishes to linger in the underworld to speak with the ghosts of his dead countrymen (…) The Latin translator of the Necronomicon must have perceived a connection between the mad Arab's couplet, and Vergil's description of the realm of the dead.”

However, Dr. Arias, from Universidad Valencia de Montecruz, had previously given me the following transcription, found in Stéphane Gesbert’s monograph “Cthulhu Dark Ages” (Miskatonic Paramythology Journal Nº 7, Summer 2010):

"Mortuus non credite illud quin latet aeterno,
Quum per Saecula mira Mors etiam pereat"
-Celsus Olaus Wormius the Elder, (1228)

In my earlier compilation, which I posted on my Livejournal years ago, I transcribed a nearly identical couplet which read “per Aeones mira” instead of “per Saecula mira”; the dubious inflection makes me suspect that the document I copied it from –an old letter at the Universidad Valencia de Montecruz collections- was adulterated; however, the question does  come up again: at which point was the concept of “Aeons” brought into the couplet? Bewfore the mad poet’s times as suggested by Price, perhaps as a verse found in the collection of magickal papyri stolen from the library of Alexandria which, according to Dr. Andrés Venustiano Carranza, became the core of Alhazred’s opus? By Philetas’ or Teofilatto’s hand, in one of their Greek recensions?  As a barbarism on Olaus Wormius’ behalf?

Or did Dr. Dee draw from his extensive studies of the Gnostic writings?

"That 'tis not dead the which mayest for-everr lye,
& with ye advent of strange Aeons, even Death mayest die"
-Dr. John Dee, Necronomicon (1586)

Dee worked for many years in his obsessive translation of the Necronomicon, something which defies reason due to the decidedly un-Christian character of the book; he worked from a Latin copy, at least two fragmentary Greek texts, and possibly a few portions of an Arabic manuscript. Here, the polemical term is clearly present, and we approach the most familiar of all translations, the modern English version which became a staple of twentieth century weird fiction:

"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange Aeons even Death may die"
-H.P. Lovecraft, "The Nameless City" (1921)

It has surfaced that Lovecraft had access to both the corrupt Dee translation kept by the Freemasonic Egyptian Rite Boston Lodge and the Latin copy at Miskatonic University, and it is strongly rumored that his grandfather Whipple Phillips kept yet another Latin copy in his library. Stories of Lovecraft finding the Necronomicon at an Umyadi monastery in New York City are just as hard to prove or disprove.

The finest Spanish translation is owed to Lovecraftian scholar and definitive translator Francisco Torres Oliver, and there are two versions with one minor variation (the second lacks rhyme but is preferred by many, me included):

"Que no está muerto lo que puede yacer eternamente,
Y con los evos extraños puede morir aun la muerte"
or,
"Que no está muerto lo que puede yacer eternamente,
Y con los evos extraños aun la muerte puede morir"
-Francisco Torres Oliver, Relatos de los mitos de Cthulhu, Bruguera, c.1960)

But it is not the first time these verses have been rendered unto Spanish. It is known that the Necronomicon has been translated to this language several times:

The crusader José Luis de Ancona translated at León, Simancas, between 1274 and 1300 –as found out by researcher Inti Meza V.- an Arabic copy he found in Abisinia under the title Libro de lo que dizen los espíritus del desyerto (Book of What the Spirits of the Desert Speak); only one handwritten copy of this never printed version survives at the Simancas Historical Archive. Francisco Torres Oliver and Rafael Llopis were preparing an annotated edition slated for 1981, but it was cancelled due to the polemics when reputed author Joan Perucho was accused of plagiarizing parts of his book Botánica oculta o el falso Paracelso (Taver, Varcelona, 1969) from the Necronomicon.

Necronómicon ó el Libro de los Árabes (Necronomicon or the Book of the Arabs), printed by Miguel Plata (Toledo, 1647) is the translation mentioned in Lovecraft’s “History and Chronology of the Necronomicon;” it was produced by the philosopher Hugo Sempilio (Hugh Semple) from a Latin copy.

According to Joan C. Stanley in her Ex Libris Miskatonici, none other than Miguel de Cervantes authored another translation, also from the Arabic, titled Libro de los Nombres de los Perdidos (Book of the Names of the Lost) during his imprisonment in Algeria (1576-1579). For reasons I’ve been unable to ascertain, there appear to be existing copies of this version mistitled Libro de los Normos de los Perdidos, “Normos” being a nonexistent word in ancient or modern Spanish. I propose that at some point, copies of the book were printed or at least bound by a printer unfamiliar with Spanish.

Only recently a reference to yet another Spanish edition has come to my attention: Necronomicon, el libro de los nombres de los muertos (Necronomicon, the Book of the Names of the Dead), translated by a priest Pedro de Perreras and printed at León, ca. 1498.  Notice that León is the same place where the 1274-1300 translation was done, so it might well be an instance of misattribution. Still, I have as yet been unable to confirm the existence of this previously unknown edition.

I have yet to obtain any of these copies; if anybody has access to one of them, and would be so kind as to transcribe their version of the couplet, it goes without saying that many of us will no doubt be enormously thankful.

Here is, however, the version quoted by Martín Diaz in the extensive treatise he wrote, trying to correlate the contents of the Necronomicon to Mesoamerican indigenous traditions and geography, as transcribed by Mauricio-José Schwarz for the science journal Umbrales:

"Lo que muerto no está puede yacer eternamente.
Con las extrañas eras la muerte acaso muere"
-Martín Diaz, "Vera historia de los bolcanes de la Nueva España" (1710)
(What dead is not may eternal lie,
Wth the strange eras death mayhap dies)



A Russian translation has come up, part of a collection of translated fragments of the Necronomicon, of unknown authorship. Patricia Mason suggests these may be part of the personal notes of Rasputin which he is said to have lost, along with his Latin copy of the book, in 1908 when he disappeared for several weeks near the Podkamennaya Tunguska river in Siberia, when his belongings were stolen frm his lodgings in the meantime. Whatever the truth, here is the couplet:

то не мертво, что вечность охраняет,
смерть вместе с вечностью порою умирает.
to ne mertvo, chto vechnost' okhranyayet,
smert' vmeste s vechnost'yu poroyu umirayet.

As with the Arabic versions, I confess my knowledge of the language is too scarce to be able to make any further comment.

Lastly, we  have a couple of much stranger renditions.

“Mgw’ngh naflwgah shugg fhtagn,
Y’ai’ng’ngah y’haa g’kthun cfay’, wgah n’gh nagl”

This would be a R’lyehian language translation of the couplet, found in February 1998 by John L. Smith jotted down on the margins of the Miskatonic University’s copy of the Necronomicon. Whether the anonymous scribbler copied it from an earlier source or simply attempted a translation “on the spot” is impossible to tell.

The aforementioned Teofilato’s I Sette Libri dei Nomi dei Morti, detti anche il Necronomicon (The Seven Books of the Names of the Dead, also called the Necronomicon) offers us a very different version:

"Yi yibuly hy'm bji nwyb im hjcuj otlmuji rack'jo yijrr
A'yoyb kbm'ea uriy rukniu ijrj'ob yesov bll'ruc'oxii ljvij"

-Abd al-Azraq (Abdul Alhazred), in the "sacred language of R'lyeh" según Teofilato (1070)

 This language is very different from R'lyehian as found in Lovecraft or in Philip Marsh's essay R'lyehian as a toy language, yet they do share a few words while structure seems very different –actually, Teofilatto’s language appears to lack any structure whatsoever, and the chants, although accompanied by supposed translations, hardly ever reproduce the same words beyond a few consecutive verses at most, as if the language itself shifted in continuous transition as the text progresses. This is perhaps a hieratic or symbolic language and the other one, the Deep Ones' common tongue; if so, rather than a literal translation, the non-human language is meant as a cipher of some kind, containing further secrets that expend from the ordinary verses.

Lastly, I again request the aid of fellow researchers; if you know of other available variants of the couplet that deserve discussion, do not hesitate to contact me either here or through my Facebook page.

Bibliography:

ABBADIE, Luis G: El Necronómicon: un comentario. La otra orilla, 2000
ALHAZRET, comments on “Sadowsky’s Couplet Re-Translated” (q.v.) See his blog Alhazred in Cultural Context
CARRANZA, V., & SHAH, Z.: Necronomicon: Nuova edizione con sconvolgenti revelazioni e le Tavolette di Kutu. Fanucci, 1994
CULP, Robert C.: “Necronomicon”, in Robert M. Price (ed.)’s The Necronomicon: Selected Stories and Essays Concerning the Blasphemous Tome of the Mad Arab (Chaosium, 2002)
GESBERT, Stéphane: Cthulhu DarkAges. Chaosium, 2004
HAMBLIN, William: “Further Notes on the Necronomicon”, in Call ofCthulhu, Chaosium, 1994
LLOPIS, Rafael: El Novísimo Algazife, o Libro de las Postrimerías. Hiperión, 1980
PELTON, Fred L.: A Guide to the Cthulhu Cult. Armitage, 1998
PRICE, Robert M.: “A Critical Commentary on the Necronomicon”, in Robert M. Price (ed.)’s The Necronomicon:Selected Stories and Essays Concerning the Blasphemous Tome of the Mad Arab (Chaosium, 2002)
SCHWARZ, Mauricio-José: “En la hora del volkán”, in Umbrales Nº 14, Feb. 1996
SMITH, John L. Lovecraftian Qabalah (website dead)
STANLEY, Joan C.: Ex Libris Miskatonici. Necronomicon Press, 1995
ST. GEORGE, E.A. (ed.): The Necronomicon, or the Book of Shades. Corvus, 2006
TIERNEY, Richard L.: “Hyperborea; or, Eibon’s Prophecy” in Robert M. Price (ed.) The Book of Eibon (Chaosium, 2006)
TYSON, Donald: Alhazred. Llewellyn, 2006
     -Necronomicon: The Wanderings ofAlhazred. Llewellyn, 2005

Also, thanks to Ryan Parker, the staff at Miskatonic University in Arkham, Mass. (USA), Universidad Valencia de Montecruz, Jalisco (México) and priest Atal from Ulthar at the temple of Elders.

“The Much-Discussed Couplet” Copyright © 2014 Luis G. Abbadie