heavens, that didst divide the light from the darkness, the great regulative mind, that disposeth everything, eye of the world, spirit of spirits, god of gods, the lord of the spirits, lord of spirits, the immovable aeon, iaoouei, hear my voice.
I call upon thee, the ruler of the gods, high-thundering Zeus, Zeus, king, Adonai, lord, Iaoouee. I am he that invokes thee in the
Syrian tongue, the great god, Zaalaer, Iphphou, do thou not disregard the Hebrew appellation, Ablanthanalb, Abrasiloa.
For I am Silthakhookh, Lailam, Blasaloth, Iao, Ieo, Nebouth, Sabiothar, Both, Arbathiao, laoth, Sabaoth, Patoure, Zagoure, Baroukh Adonai, Eloai, Iabraam, Barbarauo, Nau, Siph" (72).
The advantage of this spell, we are told, is that it compels the spirit to listen to the instructions of the sorcerer, and to carry out his h
9b ukx£m i'ali mavrh, wishes. Other advantages are that it "chains, blinds, brings dreams, creates favour. It may be used in common for what you will."
This spell is also interesting because of the mixed content of Hebrew, Greek, Syriac and other words.
Another process says that the exorcist should stand within his circle, consecrate it by dedicating the whole experiment in a suitable speech, and then call upon the Good Spirit that he wishes to appear. When he is sure that he is concentrating well, and that no other thought is in his mind, he must address the spirit in a low voice. First he must call his name thrice, and promise that no harm shall befall him. Then, "the spirit should appear".
"Wait for him for the space of a full minute and if the spirit does not appear, repeat the invocation. Pray earnestly during the period of waiting. If the spirit does not materialize within five minutes, strong invocations can be made.
If the spirit appears, greet him courteously, saying how glad you are to welcome him, and ask him to help you with your problems."
The spirit will then tell the operator the best times to contact him, and may give a 'thought-name', which is used to summon him. Some writers say that he must be asked to sign his name in a Book of the Spirits, and to give his sign as well.
"Should you by any ill chance raise an evil spirit, the word 'bast' will cause him to disappear. This is a word of ancient Egyptian origin, and will make him go without causing any harm."
It is said to be important to ask the spirit to become your guardian angel, and "do not leave the circle for two whole minutes after the spirit's departure. Then say a prayer of thankfulness that he came and went and promised to help you, exactly as you had desired when preparing for his coming. Destroy the circle and the figures, lest a devil or any of his familiars use it against you, which they can do easily. If the circle be not destroyed and an elemental spirit uses it, the former user will never again be able to raise good spirits."
Perhaps the oldest record of the formula for consecrating a circle is the following, taken from the Assyrian Surpu (73) Series of tablets.
"BanI Ban! Barrier that none can pass, Barrier of the gods, that none may break, Barrier of heaven and earth that none can change, Which no god may annul, Nor god nor man can loose,
A snare without escape, set for evil,
A net whence none can issue forth, spread for evil.
Whether it be evil Spirit, or evil Demon, or evil Ghost,
Or evil Devil, or evil God, or evil Fiend,
Or Hag-demon, or Ghoul, or Robber-sprite,
Or Phantom, or Night-wraith, or Handmaid of the Phantom,
Or evil Plague, or Fever sickness, or unclean Disease,
Which hath attacked the shining waters of Ea,
May the snare of Ea catch it;
Or which hath assailed the meal of Nisaba,
May the net of Nisaba entrap it;
Or which hath broken the barrier,
Let not the barrier of the gods,
The barrier of heaven and earth, let it go free;
Or which reverenceth not the great gods,
May the great gods entrap it,
May the great gods curse it;
Or which attacketh the house,
Into a closed dwelling may they cause it to enter;
Or which circleth round about,
Into a place without escape may they bring it;
Or which is shut in by the house door,
Into a house without exit may they cause it to enter;
Or that which passeth the door and bolt,
With door and bolt, a bar immovable, may they withhold it;
Or which bloweth in at the threshold and hinge,
Or which forceth a way through bar and latch,
Like water may they pour it out,
Like a goblet may they dash it in pieces,
Like a tile may they break it;
Or which passeth over the wall,
Its wing may they cut off;
Or which (lieth) in a chamber,
Its throat may they cut;
Or which looketh in at a side chamber,
Its face may they smite;
Its mouth may they shut;
Or which roameth loose in an upper chamber,
With a bason without opening may they cover it;
Or which at dawn is darkened,
At dawn to a place of sunrise may they take it." (74)
What if no spirit appears, even after repeated concentration? Most books do not envisage the possibility. One of them, however, tells us that the failure means that some mistake or omission has to be remedied. The experiment may be repeated again and again, until successful.
The dynastic (and probably predynastic) Egyptians, the Babylonians and Assyrians believed that the soul could return to earth. Under certain circumstances, too, it could reinhabit the body. Elaborate magical ceremonies were practised, in order that the soul should be happy, and should not need to return, thus becoming an uneasy spirit. These spirits were invoked and it was thought that they could be used in magical rituals.
In a similar way, the spirits of revered but departed witch-doctors are conjured, to give advice to their tribes in times of stress, in many parts of Africa, especially the central portion of the Continent. Their bones have been preserved and soaked in the blood of the newly dead, mixed with honey, milk and perfumes. This is supposed to cause the soul to return to the earth. Just as the ceremonies of the spirits were carried out in Egypt in the pyramid burial-places, so elsewhere are grave- and churchyards, or the place where death has taken a violent form, specially revered as sites for this kind of exorcism.
Spirits other than those of the dead may be raised in a similar manner. The following Christianized consecration of a circle is typical of the Chaldaeo-Semitic rites:
After the circle is made, the invocant intones
"In the name of the holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, proceed we to our work, in these mysteries to accomplish that which we desire: we therefore, in the Names aforesaid, consecrate this piece of ground for our defence, so that no spirit whatsoever shall be able to break these boundaries, neither be able to cause injury nor detriment to any here assembled." (It was usual for magicians to be accompanied by one or more helpers.)
"But that they may be compelled to stand before the circle, and answer truly our demands, so far as it pleaseth Him who liveth for ever and ever, and who says, I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. I am the First and the Last, who am living and was dead: and behold I live for ever and ever: and I have the Keys of Death and hell. Bless, O Lord! This creature of earth wherein we stand. . . ." (The earth, like all other elements, has its own spirit, referred to as the Creature of Earth.)
"Confirm, O God! thy strength in us, so that neither the adversary nor any evil thing may cause us to fail, through the merit of Christ. Amen."
A certain amount of information, however, must be at the disposal of the magician, apart from the invocations and words of power. There are, for a start, the names of the hours. These, as given in one Western magical text, form a strange mixture of Arabic, Semitic and Egyptian names, together with some Greek. They are as follows, and it is probable that they are in fact the names of the spirits of the hours:
Names of the Hours
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