Monday, December 25, 2006


While coloring with my daughter, I got a little goofy with the help of photoshop.

Merry Christmas All!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Testament of Solomon

The Testament of Solomon
(translated from the codex of the Paris Library, after the edition of Fleck, Wissensch. Reise, bd. ii. abth. 3)

Greek title:--
1. Testament of Solomon, son of David, who was king in Jerusalem, and mastered and controlled all spirits of the air, on the earth, and under the earth. By means of them also he wrought all the transcendent works of the Temple. Telling also of the authorities they wield against men, and by what angels these demons are brought to naught.

Of the sage Solomon.

Blessed art thou, O Lord God, who didst give Solomon such authority. Glory to thee and might unto the ages. Amen.
2. And behold, when the Temple of the city of Jerusalem was being built, and the artificers were working thereat, Ornias the demon came among them toward sunset; and he took away half of the pay of the chief-deviser's little boy, as well as half his food. He also continued to suck the thumb of his right hand every day. And the child grew thin, although he was very much loved by the king.
3. So King Solomon called the boy one day, and questioned him, saying: "Do I not love thee more than all the artisans who are working in the Temple of God? Do I not give thee double wages and a double supply of food? How is it that day by day and hour by hour thou growest thinner?"
4. But the child said to the king: "I pray thee, O king. Listen to what has befallen all that thy child hath. After we are all released from our work on the Temple of God, after sunset, when I lie down to rest, one of the evil demons comes and takes away from me one half of my pay and one half of my food. Then he also takes hold of my right hand and sucks my thumb. And lo, my soul is oppressed, and so my body waxes thinner every day."
5. Now when I Solomon heard this, I entered the Temple of God, and prayed with all my soul, night and day, that the demon might be delivered into my hands, and that I might gain authority over him. And it came about through my prayer that grace was given to me from the Lord Sabaoth by Michael his archangel. [He brought me] a little ring, having a seal consisting of an engraved stone, and said to me: "Take, O Solomon, king, son of David, the gift which the Lord God has sent thee, the highest Sabaoth. With it thou shalt lock up all demons of the earth, male and female; and with their help thou shalt build up Jerusalem. [But] thou [must] wear this seal of God. And this engraving of the seal of the ring sent thee is a Pentalpha."
6. And I Solomon was overjoyed, and praised and glorified the God of heaven and earth. And on the morrow I called the boy, and gave him the ring, and said to him: "take this, and at the hour in which the demon shall come unto thee, throw this ring at the chest of the demon, and say to him: 'In the name of God, King Solomon calls thee hither.3' And then do thou come running to me, without having any misgivings or fear in respect of aught thou mayest hear on the part of the demon."
7. So the child took the ring, and went off; and behold, at the customary hour Ornias, the fierce demon, came like a burning fire to take the pay from the child. But the child according to the instructions received from the king, threw the ring at the chest of the demon, and said: "King Solomon calls thee hither." And then he went off at a run to the king. But the demon cried out aloud, saying: "Child, why hast thou done this to me? Take the ring off me, and I will render to thee the gold of the earth. Only take this off me, and forbear to lead me away to Solomon."
8. But the child said to the demon: "As the Lord God of Israel liveth, I will not brook thee. So come hither." And the child came at a run, rejoicing, to the king, and said: "I have brought the demon, O king, as thou didst command me, O my master. And behold, he stands before the gates of the court of thy palace, crying out, and supplicating with a loud voice; offering me the silver and gold of the earth if I will only bring him unto thee."
9. And when Solomon heard this, he rose up from his throne, and went outside into the vestibule of the court of his palace; and there he saw the demon, shuddering and trembling. And he said to him: "Who art thou?" And the demon answered: "I am called Ornias."
10. And Solomon said to him: "Tell me, O demon, to what zodiacal sign thou art subject." And he answered: "To the Water-pourer. And those who are consumed with desire for the noble virgins upon earth . . . . . [there appears to be a lacuna here], these I strangle. But in case there is no disposition to sleep, I am changed into three forms. Whenever men come to be enamoured of women, I metamorphose myself into a comely female; and I take hold of the men in their sleep, and play with them. And after a while I again take to my wings, and hie me to the heavenly regions. I also appear as a lion, and I am commanded by all the demons. I am offspring of the archangel Uriel, the power of God."
11. I Solomon, having heard the name of the archangel, prayed and glorified God, the Lord of heaven and earth. And I sealed the demon and set him to work at stone-cutting, so that he might cut the stones in the Temple, which, lying along the shore, had been brought by the Sea of Arabia. But he, fearful of the iron, continued and said to me: "I pray thee, King Solomon, let me go free; and I will bring you all the demons." And as he was not willing to be subject to me, I prayed the archangel Uriel to come and succour me; and I forthwith beheld the archangel Uriel coming down to me from the heavens.
12. And the angel bade the whales of the sea come out of the abyss. And he cast his destiny upon the ground, and that [destiny] made subject [to him] the great demon11. And he commanded the great demon and bold Ornias, to cut stones at the Temple. And accordingly I Solomon glorified the God of heaven and Maker of the earth. And he bade Ornias come with his destiny, and gave him the seal, saying: "Away with thee, and bring me hither the prince of all the demons."
13. So Ornias took the finger-ring, and went off to Beelzeboul, who has kingship over the demons. He said to him: "Hither! Solomon calls thee." But Beelzeboul, having heard, said to him: "Tell me, who is this Solomon of whom thou speakest to me?" Then Ornias threw the ring at the chest of Beelzeboul, saying: "Solomon the king calls thee." But Beelzeboul cried aloud with a mighty voice, and shot out a great burning flame of fire; and he arose, and followed Ornias, and came to Solomon.
14. And when I saw the prince of demons, I glorified the Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth, and I said: "Blessed art thou, Lord God Almighty, who hast given to Solomon thy servant wisdom, the assessor of the wise, and hast subjected unto me all the power of he devil."
15. And I questioned him, and said: "Who art thou?" The demon replied: "I am Beelzebub, the exarch of the demons. And all the demons have their chief seats close to me. And I it is who make manifest the apparition of each demon." And he promised to bring to me in bonds all the unclean spirits. And I again glorified the God of heaven and earth, as I do always give thanks to him.
16. I then asked of the demon if there were females among them. And when he told me that there were, I said that I desired to see them. So Beelzeboul went off at high speed, and brought unto me Onoskelis, that had a very pretty shape, and the skin of a fair-hued woman; and she tossed her head. And when she was come, I said to her: "Tell me who art thou?" But she said to me: "I am called Onoskelis, a spirit wrought ...[?shabtai/Saturn?], lurking upon the earth. There is a golden cave where I lie. But I have a place that ever shifts. At one time I strangle men with a noose; at another, I creep up from the nature to the arms [in marg: "worms"]
17. But my most frequent dwelling-places are the precipices, caves, ravines. Oftentimes, however, do I consort with men in the semblance of a woman, and above all with those of a dark skin. For they share my star with me; since they it is who privily or openly worship my star, without knowing that they harm themselves, and but whet my appetite for further mischief. For they wish to provide money by means of memory (commemoration?), but I supply a little to those who worship me fairly."
18. And I Solomon questioned her about her birth, and she replied: "I was born of a voice untimely, the so-called echo of a man's ordure20 dropped in a wood."
19. And I said to her: "Under what star dost thou pass?" And she answered me: "Under the star of the full moon, for the reason that the moon travels over most things." Then I said to her: "And what angel is it that frustrates thee?" And she said to me: "He that in thee [or "through thee"] is reigning." And I thought that she mocked me, and bade a soldier strike her. But she cried aloud, and said: "I am [subjected] to thee, O king, by the wisdom of God given to thee, and by the angel Joel."
20. So I commanded her to spin the hemp for the ropes used in the building of the house of God; and accordingly, when I had sealed and bound her, she was so overcome and brought to naught as to stand night and day spinning the hemp.
21. And I at once bade another demon to be led unto me; and instantly there approached me the demon Asmodeus, bound, and I asked him: "Who art thou?" But he shot on me a glance of anger and rage, and said: "And who art thou?" And I said to him: "Thus punished as thou art, answerest thou me?" But he, with rage, said to me: "But how shall I answer thee, for thou art a son of man; whereas I was born an angel's seed by a daughter of man, so that no word of our heavenly kind addressed to the earth-born can be overweening. Wherefore also my star is bright in heaven, and men call it, some the Wain, and some the dragon's child. I keep near unto this star. So ask me not many things; for thy kingdom also after a little time is to be disrupted, and thy glory is but for a season. And short will be thy tyranny over us; and then we shall again have free range over mankind, so as that they shall revere us as if we were gods, not knowing, men that they are, the names of the angels set over us."
22. And I Solomon, on hearing this, bound him more carefully, and ordered him to be flogged with thongs of ox-hide, and to tell me humbly what was his name and what his business. And he answered me thus: "I am called Asmodeus among mortals, and my business is to plot against the newly wedded, so that they may not know one another. And I sever them utterly by many calamities, and I waste away the beauty of virgin women, and estrange their hearts."
23. And I said to him: "Is this thy only business?" And he answered me: "I transport men into fits of madness and desire, when they have wives of their own, so that they leave them, and go off by night and day to others that belong to other men; with the result that they commit sin, and fall into murderous deeds."
24. And I adjured him by the name of the Lord Sabaôth, saying: "Fear God, Asmodeus, and tell me by what angel thou art frustrated." But he said: "By Raphael, the archangel that stands before the throne of God. But the liver and gall of a fish put me to flight, when smoked over ashes of the tamarisk." I again asked him, and said: "Hide not aught from me. For I am Solomon, son of David, King of Israel. Tell me the name of the fish which thou reverest." And he answered: "It is the Glanos by name, and is found in the rivers of Assyria; wherefore it is that I roam about in those parts."
25. And I said to him: "Hast thou nothing else about thee, Asmodeus?" And he answered: "The power of God knoweth, which hath bound me with the indissoluble bonds of yonder one's seal, that whatever I have told thee is true. I pray thee, King Solomon, condemn me not to [go into] water." But I smiled, and said to him: "As the Lord God of my fathers liveth, I will lay iron on thee to wear. But thou shalt also make the clay for the entire construction of the Temple, treading it down with thy feet." And I ordered them to give him ten water-jars to carry water in. And the demon groaned terribly, and did the work I ordered him to do. And this I did, because that fierce demon Asmodeus knew even the future. And I Solomon glorified God, who gave wisdom to me Solomon his servant. And the liver of the fish and its gall I hung on the spike of a reed, and burned it over Asmodeus because of his being so strong, and his unbearable malice was thus frustrated.
26. And I summoned again to stand before me Beelzeboul, the prince of demons, and I sat him down on a raised seat of honour, and said to him: "Why art thou alone, prince of the demons?" And he said to me: "Because I alone am left of the angels of heaven that came down. For I was first angel in the first heaven being entitled Beelzeboul. And now I control all those who are bound in Tartarus. But I too have a child, and he haunts the Red Sea. And on any suitable occasion he comes up to me again, being subject to me; and reveals to me what he has done, and I support him.
27. I Solomon said unto him: "Beelzeboul, what is thy employment?" And he answered me: "I destroy kings. I ally myself with foreign tyrants. And my own demons I set on to men, in order that the latter may believe in them and be lost. And the chosen servants of God, priests and faithful men, I excite unto desires for wicked sins, and evil heresies, and lawless deeds; and they obey me, and I bear them on to destruction. And I inspire men with envy, and [desire for] murder, and for wars and sodomy, and other evil things. And I will destroy the world."
28. So I said to him: "Bring to me thy child, who is, as thou sayest, in the Red Sea." But he said to me: "I will not bring him to thee. But there shall come to me another demon called Ephippas38. Him will I bind, and he will bring him up from the deep unto me." And I said to him: "How comes thy son to be in the depth of the sea, and what is his name? "And he answered me: "Ask me not, for thou canst not learn from me. However, he will come to thee by any command, and will tell thee openly."
29. I said to him: "Tell me by what angel thou art frustrated." And he answered: "By the holy and precious name of the Almighty God, called by the Hebrews by a row of numbers, of which the sum is 644, and among the Greeks it is Emmanuel. And if one of the Romans adjure me by the great name of the power Eleéth, I disappear at once."
30. I Solomon was astounded when I heard this; and I ordered him to saw up Theban marbles. And when he began to saw the marbles, the other demons cried out with a loud voice, howling because of their king Beelzeboul.
31. But I Solomon questioned him, saying: "If thou wouldst gain a respite, discourse to me about the things in heaven." And Beelzeboul said: "Hear, O king, if thou burn gum, and incense, and bulb of the sea1, with nard and saffron, and light seven lamps in an earthquake, thou wilt firmly fix thy house. And if, being pure, thou light them at dawn in the sun alight, then wilt thou see the heavenly dragons, how they wind themselves along and drag the chariot of the sun."
32. And I Solomon, having heard this, rebuked him, and said: "Silence for this present, and continue to saw the marbles as I commanded thee." And I Solomon praised God, and commanded another demon to present himself to me. And one came before me who carried his face high up in the air, but the rest of the spirit curled away like a snail. And it broke through the few soldiers, and raised also a terrible dust on the ground, and carried it upwards; and then again hurled it back to frighten us, and asked what questions I could ask as a rule. And I stood up, and spat on the ground in that spot, and sealed with the ring of God. And forthwith the dust-wind stopped. Then I asked him, saying: "Who art thou, O wind?" Then he once more shook up a dust, and answered me: "What wouldst thou have, King Solomon?" I answered him: "Tell me what thou art called, and I would fain ask thee a question. But so far I give thanks to God who has made me wise to answer their evil plots."
33. But [the demon] answered me: "I am the spirit of the ashes (Tephras)." And I said to him: "What is thy pursuit?" And he said: "I bring darkness on men, and set fire to fields; and I bring homesteads to naught. But most busy am I in summer. However, when I get an opportunity, I creep into corners of the wall, by night and day. For I am offspring of the great one, and nothing less." Accordingly I said to him: "Under what star dost thou lie?" And he answered: "In the very tip of the moon's horn, when it is found in the south. There is my star. For I have been bidden to restrain the convulsions of the hemitertian fever; and this is why many men pray to the hemitertian fever, using these three names: Bultala, Thallal, Melchal. And I heal them." And I said to him: "I am Solomon; when therefore thou wouldst do harm, by whose aid dost thou do it?" But he said to me: "By the angel's, by whom also the third day's fever is lulled to rest." So I questioned him, and said: "And by what name?" And he answered: "That of the archangel Azael." And I summoned the archangel Azael, and set a seal on the demon, and commanded him to seize great stones, and toss them up to the workmen on the higher parts of the Temple. And, being compelled, the demon began to do what he was bidden to do.
34. And I glorified God afresh who gave me this authority, and ordered another demon to come before me. And there came seven spirits, females, bound and woven together, fair in appearance and comely. And I Solomon, seeing them, questioned them and said: "Who are ye?" But they, with one accord, said with one voice: "We are of the thirty-three elements of the cosmic ruler of the darkness." And the first said: "I am Deception." The second said: "I am Strife." The third: "I am Klothod, which is battle." The fourth: "I am Jealousy." The fifth: "I am Power." The sixth: "I am Error." The seventh: "I am the worst of all, and our stars are in heaven. Seven stars humble in sheen, and all together. And we are called as it were goddesses. We change our place all and together, and together we live, sometimes in Lydia, sometimes in Olympus, sometimes in a great mountain."
35. So I Solomon questioned them one by one, beginning with the first, and going down to the seventh. The first said: "I am Deception, I deceive and weave snares here and there. I whet and excite heresies. But I have an angel who frustrates me, Lamechalal."
36. Likewise also the second said: "I am Strife, strife of strifes. I bring timbers, stones, hangers, my weapons on the spot. But I have an angel who frustrates me, Baruchiachel."
37. Likewise also the third said: "I am called Klothod, which is Battle, and I cause the well-behaved to scatter and fall foul one of the other. And why do I say so much? I have an angel that frustrates me: "Marmarath."
38. Likewise also the fourth said: "I cause men to forget their sobriety and moderation. I part them and split them into parties; for Strife follows me hand in hand. I rend the husband from the sharer of his bed, and children from parents, and brothers from sisters. But why tell so much to my despite? I have an angel that frustrates me, the great Balthial."
39. Likewise also the fifth said: "I am Power. By power I raise up tyrants and tear down kings. To all rebels I furnish power. I have an angel that frustrates me, Asteraôth."
40. Likewise also the sixth said: "I am Error1, O King Solomon. And I will make thee to err, as I have before made thee to err, when I caused thee to slay thy own brother. I will lead you into error, so as to pry into graves3; and 1 teach them that dig, and I lead errant souls away from all piety, and many other evil traits are mine. But I have an angel that frustrates me, Uriel."
41. Likewise also the seventh said: "I am the worst, and I make thee worse off than thou wast; because I will impose the bonds of Artemis. But the locust will set me free, for by means thereof is it fated that thou shalt achieve my desire . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . For if one were wise, he would not turn his steps toward me."
42. So I Solomon, having heard and wondered, sealed them with my ring; and since they were so considerable, I bade them dig the foundations of the Temple of God. For the length of it was 250 cubits. And I bade them be industrious, and with one murmur of joint protest they began to perform the tasks enjoined.
43. But I Solomon glorified the Lord, and bade another demon come before me. And there was brought to me a demon having all the limbs of a man, but without a head. And I, seeing him, said to him: "Tell me, who art thou?'' And he answered: "I am a demon." So I said to him: "Which?" And he answered me: "I am called Envy. For I delight to devour heads, being desirous to secure for myself a head; but I do not eat enough, but am anxious to have such a head as thou hast."
44. I Solomon, on hearing this, sealed him, stretching out my hand against his chest. Whereon the demon leapt up, and threw himself down, and gave a groan, saying: "Woe is me! where am I come to? O traitor Ornias, I cannot see!" So I said to him: "I am Solomon. Tell me then how thou dost manage to see." And he answered me: "By means of my feelings." I then, Solomon, having heard his voice come up to me, asked him how he managed to speak. And he answered me: "I, O King Solomon, am wholly voice, for I have inherited the voices of many men. For in the case of all men who are called dumb, I it is who smashed their heads, when they were children and had reached their eighth day. Then when a child is crying in the night, I become a spirit, and glide by means of his voice. . . . In the crossways also I have many services to render, and my encounter is fraught with harm. For I grasp in all instant a man's head, and with my hands, as with a sword, I cut it off, and put it on to myself. And in this way, by means of the fire which is in me, through my neck it is swallowed up. I it is that sends grave mutilations and incurable on men's feet, and inflict sores."
45. And I Solomon, on hearing this, said to him: "Tell me how thou dost discharge forth the fire? Out of what sources dost thou emit it?" And the spirit said to me: "From the Day-star. For here hath not yet been found that Elburion, to whom men offer prayers and kindle lights. And his name is invoked by the seven demons before me. And he cherishes them."
46. But I said to him: "Tell me his name." But he answered: "I cannot tell thee. For if I tell his name, I render myself incurable. But he will come in response to his name." And on hearing this, I Solomon said to him: "Tell me then, by what angel thou art frustrated?" And he answered: "By the fiery flash of lightning." And I bowed myself before the Lord God of Israel, and bade him remain in the keeping of Beelzeboul until Iax should come.
47. Then I ordered another demon to come before me, and there came into my presence a hound, having a very large shape, and it spoke with a loud voice, and said, "Hail, Lord, King Solomon!" And I Solomon was astounded. I said to it: Who art thou, O hound?" And it answered: "I do indeed seem to thee to be a hound, but before thou wast, O King Solomon, I was a man that wrought many unholy deeds on earth. I was surpassingly learned in letters, and was so mighty that I could hold the stars of heaven back. And many divine works did I prepare. For I do harm to men who follow after our star, and turn them to . . . . And I seize the frenzied men by the larynx, and so destroy them."
48. And I Solomon said to him: "What is thy name?" And he answered: ''Staff" (Rabdos). And I said to him: "What is thine employment? And what results canst thou achieve?" And he replied: ''Give me thy man, and I will lead him away into a mountainous spot, and will show him a green stone tossed to and fro, with which thou mayest adorn the temple of the Lord God."
49. And I Solomon, on hearing this, ordered my servant to set off with him, and to take the finger-ring bearing the seal of God with him. And I said to him: "Whoever shall show thee the green stone, seal him with this finger-ring. And mark the spot with care, and bring me the demon hither. And the demon showed him the green stone, and he sealed it, and brought the demon to me. And I Solomon decided to confine with my seal on my right hand the two, the headless demon, likewise the hound, that was so huge; he should be bound as well. And I bade the hound keep safe the fiery spirit so that lamps as it were might by day and night cast their light through its maw on the artisans at work.
50. And I Solomon took from the mine of that stone 200 shekels for the supports of the table of incense, which was similar in appearance. And I Solomon glorified the Lord God, and then closed round the treasure of that stone. And I ordered afresh the demons to cut marble for the construction of the house of God. And I Solomon prayed to the Lord, and asked the hound, saying: "By what angel art thou frustrated?" And the demon replied: "By the great Brieus."
51. And I praised the Lord God of heaven and earth, and bade another demon come forward to me; and there came before me one in the form of a lion roaring. And he stood and answered me saying: "O king, in the form which I have, I am a spirit quite incapable of being perceived. Upon all men who lie prostrate with sickness I leap, coming stealthily along; and I render the man weak, so that his habit of body is enfeebled. But I have also another glory, O king. I cast out demons, and I have legions under my control. And I am capable of being received in my dwelling-places, along with all the demons belonging to the legions under me." But I Solomon, on hearing this, asked him: "What is thy name?" But he answered: "Lion-bearer, Rath in kind." And I said to him: "How art thou to be frustrated along with thy legions? What angel is it that frustrates thee?" And he answered: "If I tell thee my name, I bind not myself alone, but also the legions of demons under me."
52. So I said to him: "I adjure thee in the name of the God Sabaoth, to tell me by what name thou art frustrated along with thy host." And the spirit answered me: "The 'great among men,' who is to suffer many things at the hands of men, whose name is the figure 644, which is Emmanuel; he it is who has bound us, and who will then come and plunge us from the steep under water. He is noised abroad in the three letters which bring him down."
53. And I Solomon, on hearing this, glorified God, and condemned his legion to carry wood from the thicket. And I condemned the [29] lion-shaped one himself to saw up the wood small with his teeth, for burning in the unquenchable furnace for the Temple of God.
54. And I worshipped the Lord God of Israel, and bade another demon come forward. And there came before me a dragon, three-headed, of fearful hue. And I questioned him: "Who art thou?" And he answered me: "I am a caltrop-like spirit, whose activity in three lines. But I blind children in women's wombs, and twirl their ears round. And I make them deaf and mute. And I have again in my third head means of slipping in. And I smite men in the limbless part of the body, and cause them to fall down, and foam, and grind their teeth. But I have my own way of being frustrated, Jerusalem being signified in writing, unto the place called 'of the head." For there is fore-appointed the angel of the great counsel, and now he will openly dwell on the cross. He doth frustrate me, and to him am I subject."
55. "But in the place where thou sittest, O King Solomon, standeth a column in the air, of purple... The demon called Ephippas hath brought [it] up from the Red Sea, from inner Arabia. He it is that shall be shut up in a skin-bottle and brought before thee. But at the entrance of the Temple, which thou hast begun to build, O King Solomon, lies stored much gold, which dig thou up and carry off." And I Solomon sent my servant, and found it to be as the demon told me. And I sealed him with my ring, and praised the Lord God."
56. So I said to him: "What art thou called?" And the demon said: "I am the crest of dragons." And I bade him make bricks in the Temple. He had human hands.
57. And I adored the Lord God of Israel, and bade another demon present himself. And there came before me a spirit in woman's form, that had a head without any limbs, and her hair was dishevelled. And I said to her: "Who art thou?" But she answered: "Nay, who art thou? And why dost thou want to hear concerning me? But, as thou wouldst learn, here I stand bound before thy face. Go then into thy royal storehouses and wash thy hands. Then sit down afresh before thy tribunal, and ask me questions; and thou shalt learn, O king, who I am."
58. And I Solomon did as she enjoined me, and restrained myself because of the wisdom dwelling in me; in order that I might hear of her deeds, and reprehend them, and manifest them to men. And I sat down, and said to the demon: "What art thou?" And she said: "I am called among men Obizuth; and by night I sleep not, but go my rounds over all the world, and visit women in childbirth. And divining the hour I take my stand; and if I am lucky, I strangle the child. But if not, I retire to another place. For I cannot for a single night retire unsuccessful. For I am a fierce spirit, of myriad names and many shapes. And now hither, now thither I roam. And to westering parts I go my rounds. But as it now is, though thou hast sealed me round with the ring of God, thou hast done nothing. I am not standing before thee, and thou wilt not be able to command me. For I have no work other than the destruction of children, and the making their ears to be deaf, and the working of evil to their eyes, and the binding their mouths with a bond, and the ruin of their minds, and paining of their bodies."
59. When I Solomon heard this, I marvelled at her appearance, for I beheld all her body to be in darkness. But her glance was altogether bright and greeny, and her hair was tossed wildly like a dragon's; and the whole of her limbs were invisible. And her voice was very clear as it came to me. And I cunningly said: "Tell me by what angel thou art frustrated, O evil spirit?" By she answered me: "By the angel of God called Afarôt, which is interpreted Raphael, by whom I am frustrated now and for all time. His name, if any man know it, and write the same on a woman in childbirth, then I shall not be able to enter her. Of this name the number is 6401." And I Solomon having heard this, and having glorified the Lord, ordered her hair to be bound, and that she should be hung up in front of the Temple of God; that all the children of Israel, as they passed, might see it, and glorify the Lord God of Israel, who had given me this authority, with wisdom and power from God, by means of this signet.
60. And I again ordered another demon to come before me. And the came, rolling itself along, one in appearance like to a dragon, but having the face and hands of a man. And all its limbs, except the feet, were those of a dragon; and it had wings on its back. And when I beheld it, I was astonied, and said: "Who art thou, demon, and what art thou called? And whence hast thou come? Tell me."
61. And the spirit answered and said: "This is the first time I have stood before the, O King Solomon. I am a spirit made into a god among men, but now brought to naught by the ring and wisdom vouchsafed to thee by God. Now I am the so-called winged dragon, and I chamber not with many women, but only with a few that are of fair shape, which possess the name of xuli, of this star. And I pair with them in the guise of a spirit winged in form, coitum habens per nates4. And she on whom I have leapt goes heavy with child, and that which is born of her becomes eros. But since such offspring cannot be carried by men, the woman in question breaks wind. Such is my role. Supposed then only that I am satisfied, and all the other demons molested and disturbed by thee will speak the whole truth. But those composed of fire 5 will cause to be burned up by fire the material of the logs which is to be collected by them for the building in the Temple."
62. And as the demon said this, I saw the spirit going forth from his mouth, and it consumed the wood of the frankincense-tree, and burned up all the logs which we had placed in the Temple of God. And I Solomon saw what the spirit had done, and I marvelled.
63. And, having glorified God, I asked the dragon-shaped demon, and said: "Tell me, by what angel art thou frustrated?" And he answered: "By the great angel which has its seat in the second heaven, which is called in Hebrew Bazazeth. And I Solomon, having heard this, and having invoked his angel, condemned him to saw up marbles for the building of the Temple of God; and I praised God, and commanded another demon to come before me.
64. And there came before my face another spirit, as it were a woman in the form she had. But on her shoulders she had two other heads with hands. And I asked her, and said: "Tell me, who art thou?" And she said to me: "I am Enêpsigos, who also have a myriad names." And I said her: "By what angel art thou frustrated?" But she said to me: "What seekest, what askest thou? I undergo changes, like the goddess I am called. And I change again, and pass into possession of another shape. And be not desirous therefore to know all that concerns me. But since thou art before me for this much, hearken. I have my abode in the moon, and for that reason I possess three forms. At times I am magically invoked by the wise as Kronos. At other times, in connexion with those who bring me down, I come down and appear in another shape. The measure of the element is inexplicable and indefinable, and not to be frustrated. I then, changing into these three forms, come down and become such as thou seest me; but I am frustrated by the angel Rathanael, who sits in the third heaven. This then is why I speak to thee. Yonder temple cannot contain me."
65. I therefore Solomon prayed to my God, and I invoked the angel of whom Enépsigos spoke to me, and used my seal. And I sealed her with a triple chain, and (placed) beneath her the fastening of the chain. I used the seal of God, and the spirit prophesied to me, saying: "This is what thou, King Solomon, doest to us. But after a time thy kingdom shall be broken, and again in season this Temple shall be riven asunder; and all Jerusalem shall be undone by the King of the Persians and Medes and Chaldaeans. And the vessels of this Temple, which thou makest, shall be put to servile uses of the gods; and along with them all the jars, in which thou dost shut us up, shall be broken by the hands of men. And then we shall go forth in great power hither and thither, and be disseminated all over the world. And we shall lead astray the inhabited world for a long season, until the Son of God is stretched upon the cross. For never before doth arise a king like unto him, one frustrating us all, whose mother shall not have contact with man. Who else can receive such authority over spirits, except he, whom the first devil will seek to tempt, but will not prevail over? The number of his name is 6442, which is Emmanuel. Wherefore, O King Solomon, thy time is evil, and thy years short and evil, and to thy servant shall thy kingdom be given."
66. And I Solomon, having heard this, glorified God. And though I marvelled at the apology of the demons, I did not credit it until it came true. And I did not believe their words; but when they were realized, then I understood, and at my death I wrote this Testament to the children of Israel, and gave it to them, so that they might know the powers of the demons and their shapes, and the names of their angels, by which these angels are frustrated. And I glorified the Lord God of Israel, and commanded the spirits to be bound with bonds indissoluble.
67. And having praised God, I commanded another spirit to come before me; and there came before my face another demon, having in front the shape of a horse, but behind of a fish. And he had a mighty voice, and said to me: "O King Solomon, I am a fierce spirit of the sea, and I am greedy of gold and silver. I am such a spirit as rounds itself and comes over the expanses of the water of the sea, and I trip up the men who sail thereon. For I round myself into a wave, and transform myself, and then throw myself on ships and come right in on them. And that is my business, and my way of getting hold of money and men. For I take the men, and whirl them round with myself, and hurl the men out of the sea. For I am not covetous of men's bodies, but cast them up out of the sea so far. But since Beelzeboul, ruler of the spirits of air and of those under the earth, and lord of earthly ones, hath a joint kingship with us in respect of the deeds of each one of us, therefore I went up from the sea, to get a certain outlook in his company.
68. "But I also have another character and role. I metamorphose myself into waves, and come up from the sea. And I show myself to men, so that those on earth call me Kuno[s]paston, because I assume the human form. And my name is a true one. For by my passage up into men, I send forth a certain nausea. I came then to take counsel with the prince Beelzeboul; and he bound me and delivered me into thy hands. And I am here before thee because of this seal, and thou dost now torment me. Behold now, in two or three days the spirit that converseth with thee will fail, because I shall have no water."
69. And I said to him: "Tell me by what angel thou art frustrated." And he answered: "By Iameth." And I glorified God. I commanded the spirit to be thrown into a phial along with ten jugs of sea-water of two measures each. And I sealed them round above the marbles and asphalt and pitch in the mouth of the vessel. And having sealed it with my ring, I ordered it to be deposited in the Temple of God. And I ordered another spirit to come before me.
70. And there came before my face another enslaved spirit, having obscurely the form of a man, with gleaming eyes, and bearing in his hand a blade. And I asked: "Who art thou? But he answered: "I am a lascivious spirit, engendered of a giant man who dies in the massacre in the time of the giants." I said to him: "Tell me what thou art employed on upon earth, and where thou hast thy dwelling."
71. And he said: "My dwelling is in fruitful places, but my procedure is this. I seat myself beside the men who pass along among the tombs, and in untimely season I assume the form of the dead; and if I catch any one, I at once destroy him with my sword. But if I cannot destroy him, I cause him to be possessed with a demon, and to devour his own flesh, and the hair to fall off his chin." But I said to him: "Do thou then be in fear of the God of heaven and of earth, and tell me by angel thou art frustrated." And he answered: "He destroys me who is to become Saviour, a man whose number, if any one shall write it on his forehead, he will defeat me, and in fear I shall quickly retreat. And, indeed, if any one write this sign on him, I shall be in fear." And I Solomon, on hearing this, and having glorified the Lord God, shut up this demon like the rest.
72. And I commanded another demon to come before me. And there came before my face thirty-six spirits, their heads shapeless like dogs, but in themselves they were human in form; with faces of asses, faces of oxen, and faces of birds. And I Solomon, on hearing and seeing them, wondered, and I asked them and said: "Who are you?" But they, of one accord with one voice, said: "We are the thirty-six elements, the world-rulers of this darkness. But, O King Solomon, thou wilt not wrong us nor imprison us, nor lay command on us; but since the Lord God has given thee authority over every spirit, in the air, and on the earth, and under the earth, therefore do we also present ourselves before thee like the other spirits, from ram and bull, from both twin and crab, lion and virgin, scales and scorpion, archer, goat-horned, water-pourer, and fish.
73. Then I Solomon invoked the name of the Lord Sabaoth, and questioned each in turn as to what was its character. And I bade each one come forward and tell of its actions. Then the first one came forward, and said: "I am the first decans of the zodiacal circle, and I am called the ram, and with me are these two." So I put to them the question: "Who are ye called?" The first said: "I, O Lord, am called Ruax, and I cause the heads of men to be idle, and I pillage their brows. But let me only hear the words, 'Michael, imprison Ruax,' and at once I retreat."
74. And the second said: "I am called Barsafael, and I cause those who are subject to my hour to feel the pain of migraine. If only I hear the words, 'Gabriel, imprison Barsafael,' at once I retreat."
75. The third said: "I am called Arôtosael. I do harm to eyes, and grievously injure them. Only let me hear the words, 'Uriel, imprison Aratosael' (sic), at once I retreat . . . . ."
76. The fifth said: "I am called Iudal, and I bring about a block in the ears and deafness of hearing. If I hear, 'Uruel Iudal,' I at once retreat."
77. The sixth said: "I am called Sphendonaêl. I cause tumours of the parotid gland, and inflammations of the tonsils, and tetanic recurvation. If I hear, 'Sabrael, imprison Sphendonaêl,' at once I retreat.''
78. And the Seventh said: "I am called Sphandôr, and I weaken the strength of the shoulders, and cause them to tremble; and I paralyze the nerves of the hands, and I break and bruise the bones of the neck. And I, I suck out the marrow. But if I hear the words, 'Araêl, imprison Sphandôr,' I at once retreat."
79. And the eight said: "I am called Belbel. I distort the hearts and minds of men. If I hear the words, 'Araêl, imprison Belbel,' I at once retreat."
80. And the ninth said: "I am called Kurtaêl. I send colics in the bowels. I induce pains. If I hear the words, 'Iaôth, imprison Kurtaêl,' I at once retreat."
81. The tenth said: "I am called Metathiax. I cause the reins to ache. If I hear the words, 'Adônaêl, imprison Metathiax,' I at once retreat."
82. The eleventh said: "I am called Katanikotaêl. I create strife [36] and wrongs in men's homes, and send on them hard temper. If any one would be at peace in his home, let him write on seven leaves of laurel the name of the angel that frustrates me, along with these names: Iae, Ieô, sons of Sabaôth, in the name of the great God let him shut up Katanikotaêl. Then let him wash the laurel-leaves in water, and sprinkle his house with the water, from within to the outside. And at once I retreat."
83. The twelfth said: "I am called Saphathoraél, and I inspire partisanship in men, and delight in causing them to stumble. If any one will write on paper these names of angels, Iacô, Iealô, Iôelet, Sabaôth, Ithoth, Bae, and having folded it up, wear it round his neck or against his ear, I at once retreat and dissipate the drunken fit."
84. The thirteenth said: "I am called Bobêl (sic), and I cause nervous illness by my assaults. If I hear the name of the great 'Adonaêl, imprison Bothothêl,' I at once retreat."
85. The fourteenth said: "I am called Kumeatêl, and I inflict shivering fits and torpor. If only I hear the words: 'Zôrôêl, imprison Kumentaêl,' I at once retreat."
86. The fifteenth said: "I am called Roêlêd. I cause cold and frost and pain in the stomach. Let me only hear the words: 'Iax, bide not, be not warmed, for Solomon is fairer than eleven fathers,' I at [once] retreat."
87. The sixteenth said: "I am called Atrax. I inflict upon men fevers, irremediable and harmful. If you would imprison me, chop up coriander and smear it on the lips, reciting the following charm: 'The fever which is from dirt. I exorcise thee by the throne of the most high God, retreat from dirt and retreat from the creature fashioned by God.' And at once I retreat."
88. The seventeenth said: "I am called Ieropaêl. On the stomach of men I sit, and cause convulsions in the bath and in the road; and wherever I be found, or find a man, I throw him down. But if any one will say to the afflicted into their ear these names, three times over, into the right ear: 'Iudarizê, Sabunê, Denôê,' I at once retreat."
89. The eighteenth said: "I am called Buldumêch. I separate wife from husband and bring about a grudge between them. If any one write down the names of thy sires, Solomon, on paper and place it in the ante-chamber of his house, I retreat thence. And the legend written shall be as follows: 'The God of Abram, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob commands thee -- retire from this house in peace.' And I at once retire."
90. The nineteenth said: "I am called Naôth, and I take my seat on the knees of men. If any one write on paper: 'Phnunoboêol, depart Nathath, and touch thou not the neck,' I at once retreat."
91. The twentieth said: "I am called Marderô. I send on men incurable fever. If any one write on the leaf of a book: 'Sphênêr, Rafael, retire, drag me not about, flay me not,' and tie it round his neck, I at once retreat."
92. The twenty-first said: "I am called Alath, and I cause coughing and hard-breathing in children. If any one write on paper: 'Rorêx, do thou pursue Alath,' and fasten it round his neck, I at once retire..."
93. The twenty-third said: "I am called Nefthada. I cause the reins to ache, and I bring about dysury. If any one write on a plate of tin the words: 'Iathôth, Uruêl, Nephthada,' and fasten it round the loins, I at once retreat."
94. The twenty-fourth said: "I am called Akton. I cause ribs and lumbic muscles to ache. If one engrave on copper material, taken from a ship which has missed its anchorage, this: 'Marmaraôth, Sabaôth, pursue Akton,' and fasten it round the loin, I at once retreat."
95. The twenty-fifth said: "I am called Anatreth, and I rend burnings and fevers into the entrails. But if I hear: 'Arara, Charara,' instantly do I retreat."
96. The twenty-sixth said: "I am called Enenuth. I steal away men's minds, and change their hearts, and make a man toothless (?). If one write: 'Allazoôl, pursue Enenuth,' and tie the paper round him, I at once retreat."
97. The twenty-seventh said: "I am called Phêth. I make men consumptive and cause hemorrhagia. ,If one exorcise me in wine, sweet-smelling and unmixed by the eleventh aeon, and say: 'I exorcise thee by the eleventh aeon to stop, I demand, Phêth (Axiôphêth),' then give it to the patient to drink, and I at once retreat."
98. The twenty-eighth said: "I am called Harpax, and I send sleeplessness on men. If one write 'Kokphnêdismos,' and bind it round the temples, I at once retire."
99. The twenty-ninth said: "I am called Anostêr. I engender uterine mania and pains in the bladder. If one powder into pure oil three seeds of laurel and smear it on, saying: 'I exorcise thee, Anostêr. Stop by Marmaraô,' at once I retreat."
100. The thirtieth said: "I am called Alleborith. If in eating [38] fish one has swallowed a bone, then he must take a bone from the fish and cough, and at once I retreat."
101. The thirty-first said: "I am called Hephesimireth, and cause lingering disease. If you throw salt, rubbed in the hand, into oil and smear it on the patient, saying: 'Seraphim, Cherubim, help me!' I at once retire."
102. The thirty-second said: "I am called Ichthion. I paralyze muscles and contuse them. If I hear 'Adonaêth, help!' I at once retire."
103. The thirty-third said: "I am called Agchoniôn. I lie among swaddling-clothes and in the precipice. And if any one write on fig-leaves 'Lycurgos,' taking away one letter at a time, and write it, reversing the letters, I retire at once. 'Lycurgos, ycurgos, kurgos, yrgos, gos, os.'"
104. The thirty-fourth said: "I am called Autothith. I cause grudges and fighting. Therefore I am frustrated by Alpha and Omega, if written down."
105. The thirty-fifth said: "I am called Phthenoth. I cast evil eye on every man. Therefore, the eye much-suffering, if it be drawn. frustrates me."
106. The thirty-sixth said: "I am called Bianakith. I have a grudge against the body. I lay waste houses, I cause flesh to decay, and all else that is similar. If a man write on the front-door of his house: 'Mêltô, Ardu, Anaath,' I flee from that place."
107. And I Solomon, when I heard this, glorified the God of heaven and earth. And I commanded them to fetch water in the Temple of God. And I furthermore prayed to the Lord God to cause the demons without, that hamper humanity, to be bound and made to approach the Temple of God. Some of these demons I condemned to do the heavy work of the construction of the Temple of God. Others I shut up in prisons. Others I ordered to wrestle with fire in (the making of) gold and silver, sitting down by lead and spoon. And to make ready places for the other demons in which they should be confined.
108. And I Solomon had much quiet in all the earth, and spent my life in profound peace, honoured by all men and by all under heaven. And I built the entire Temple of the Lord God. And my kingdom was prosperous, and my army was with me. And for the rest the city of Jerusalem had repose, rejoicing and delighted. And all the kings of the earth came to me from the ends of the earth to behold the Temple which I builded to the Lord God. And having heard of the wisdom given to me, they did homage to me in the Temple, bringing gold and silver and precious stones, many and divers, and bronze, and iron, and lead, and cedar logs. And woods decay not they brought me, for the equipment of the Temple of God.
109. And among them also the queen of the South, being a witch, came in great concern and bowed low before me to the earth. And having heard my wisdom, she glorified the God of Israel, and she made formal trial of all my wisdom, of all love in which I instructed her, according to the wisdom imparted to me. And all the sons of Israel glorified God.
110. And behold, in those days one of the workmen, of ripe old age, threw himself down before me, and said: "King Solomon, pity me, because I am old." So I bade him stand up, and said: "Tell me, old man, all you will." And he answered: "I beseech you king, I have an only-born son, and he insults and beats me openly, and plucks out the hair of my head, and threatens me with a painful death. Therefore I beseech you avenge me.
111. And I Solomon, on hearing this, felt compunction as I looked at his old age; and I bade the child be brought to me. And when he was brought I questioned him whether it were true. And the youth said: "I was not so filled with madness as to strike my father with my hand. Be kind to me, O king. For I have not dared to commit such impiety, poor wretch that I am." But I Solomon on hearing this from the youth, exhorted the old man to reflect on the matter, and accept his son's apology. However, he would not, but said he would rather let him die. And as the old man would not yield, I was about to pronounce sentence on the youth, when I saw Ornias the demon laughing. I was very angry at the demon's laughing in my presence; and I ordered my men to remove the other parties, and bring forward Ornias before my tribunal. And when he was brought before me, I said to him: "Accursed one, why didst thou look at me and laugh?" And the demon answered: "Prithee, king, it was not because of thee I laughed, but because of this ill-starred old man and the wretched youth, his son. For after three days his son will die untimely; and lo, the old man desires to foully make away with him."
112. But I Solomon, having heard this, said to the demon: "Is that true that thou speakest?" And he answered: "It is true; O king." And I, on hearing that, bade them remove the demon, and that they should again bring before me the old man with his son. I bade them 40 make friends with one another again, and I supplied them with food. And then I told the old man after three days to bring his son again to me here; "and," said I, "I will attend to him." And they saluted me, and went their way.
113. And when they were gone I ordered Ornias to be brought forward, and said to him: "Tell me how you know this;" and he answered: "We demons ascend into the firmament of heaven, and fly about among the stars. And we hear the sentences which go forth upon the souls of men, and forthwith we come, and whether by force of influence, or by fire, or by sword, or by some accident, we veil our act of destruction; and if a man does not die by some untimely disaster or by violence, then we demons transform ourselves in such a way as to appear to men and be worshipped in our human nature."
114. I therefore, having heard this, glorified the Lord God, and again I questioned the demon, saying: "Tell me how ye can ascend into heaven, being demons, and amidst the stars and holy angels intermingle." And he answered: "Just as things are fulfilled in heaven, so also on earth (are fulfilled) the types of all of them. For there are principalities, authorities, world-rulers, and we demons fly about in the air; and we hear the voices of the heavenly beings, and survey all the powers. And as having no ground (basis) on which to alight and rest, we lose strength and fall off like leaves from trees. And men seeing us imagine that the stars are falling from heaven. But it is not really so, O king; but we fall because of our weakness, and because we have nowhere anything to lay hold of; and so we fall down like lightnings in the depth of night and suddenly. And we set cities in flames and fire the fields. For the stars have firm foundations in the heavens like the sun and the moon."
115. And I Solomon, having heard this, ordered the demon to be guarded for five days. And after the five days I recalled the old man, and was about to question him. But he came to me in grief and with black face. And I said to him: "Tell me, old man, where is thy son? And what means this garb?" And he answered: "Lo, I am become childless, and sit by my son's grave in despair. For it is already two days that he is dead." But I Solomon, on hearing that, and knowing that the demon Ornias had told me the truth, glorified the God of Israel.
116. And the queen of the South saw all this, and marvelled, glorifying the God of Israel; and she beheld the Temple of the Lord being builded. And she gave a siklos of gold and one hundred myriads of silver and choice bronze, and she went into the Temple. And (she beheld) the altar of incense and the brazen supports of this altar, and the gems of the lamps flashing forth of different colours, and of the lamp-stand of stone, and of emerald, and hyacinth, and sapphire; and she beheld the vessels of gold, and silver, and bronze, and wood, and the folds of skins dyed red with madder. And she saw the bases of the pillars of the Temple of the Lord. All were of one gold ... apart from the demons whom I condemned to labour. And there was peace in the circle of my kingdom and over all the earth.
117. And it came to pass, which I was in my kingdom, the King of the Arabians, Adares, sent me a letter, and the writing of the letter was written as follows: --
"To King Solomon, all hail! Lo, we have heard, and it hath been heard unto all the ends of the earth, concerning the wisdom vouchsafed in thee, and that thou art a man merciful from the Lord. And understanding hath been granted thee over all the spirits of the air, and on earth, and under the earth. Now, forasmuch as there is present in the land of Arabia a spirit of the following kind: at early dawn there begins to blow a certain wind until the third hour. And its blast is harsh and terrible, and it slays man and beast. And no spirit can live upon earth against this demon. I pray thee then, forasmuch as the spirit is a wind, contrive something according to the wisdom given in thee by the Lord thy God, and deign to send a man able to capture it. And behold, King Solomon, I and my people and all my land will serve thee unto death. And all Arabia shall be at peace with thee, if thou wilt perform this act of righteousness for us. Wherefore we pray thee, contemn not our humble prayer, and suffer not to be utterly brought to naught the eparchy subordinated to thy authority. Because we are suppliants, both I and my people and all my land. Farewell to my Lord. All health!"
118. And I Solomon read this epistle; and I folded it up and gave it to my people, and said to them: "After seven days shalt thou remind me of this epistle. And Jerusalem was built, and the Temple was being completed. And there was a stone, the end stone of the corner lying there, great, chosen out, one which I desired lay in the head of the corner of the completion of the Temple. And all the workmen, and all the demons helping them came to the same place to bring up the stone and lay it on the pinnacle of the holy Temple, and were not strong enough to stir it, and lay it upon the corner allotted to it. For that stone was exceedingly great and useful for the corner of the Temple."
119. And after seven days, being reminded of the epistle of Adares, King of Arabia, I called my servant and said to him: "Order thy camel and take for thyself a leather flask, and take also this seal. And go away into Arabia to the place in which the evil spirit blows; and there take the flask, and the signet-ring in front of the mouth of the flask, and (hold them) towards the blast of the spirit. And when the flask is blown out, thou wilt understand that the demon is (in it). Then hastily tie up the mouth of to flask, and seal it securely with the seal-ring, and lay it carefully on the camel and bring it me hither. And if on the way it offer thee gold or silver or treasure in return for letting it go, see that thou be not persuaded. But arrange without using oath to release it. And then if it point out to the places where are gold or silver, mark the places and seal them with this seal. And bring the demon to me. And now depart, and fare thee well."
120. Then the youth did as was bidden him. And he ordered his camel, and laid on it a flask, and set off into Arabia. And the men of that region would not believe that he would be able to catch the evil spirit. And when it was dawn, the servant stood before the spirit's blast, and laid the flask on the ground, and the finger-ring on the mouth of the flask. And the demon blew through the middle of the finger-ring into the mouth of the flask, and going in blew out the flask. But the man promptly stood up to it and drew tight with his hand the mouth of the flask, in the name of the Lord God of Sabaôth. And the demon remained within the flask. And after that the youth remained in that land three days to make trial. And the spirit no longer blew against that city. And all the Arabs knew that he had safely shut in the spirit.
121. Then the youth fastened the flask on the camel, and the Arabs sent him forth on his way with much honour and precious gifts, praising and magnifying the God of Israel. But the youth brought in the bag and laid it in the middle of the Temple. And on the next day, I King Solomon, went into the Temple of God and sat in deep distress about the stone of the end of the corner. And when I entered the Temple, the flask stood up and walked around some seven steps and then fell on its mouth and did homage to me. And I marvelled that even along with the bottle the demon still had power and could walk about; and I commanded it to stand up. And the flask stood up, and stood on its feet all blown out. And I questioned him, saying: "Tell me, who art thou?" And the spirit within said: "I am the demon called Ephippas, that is in Arabia." And I said to him: "Is this thy name?" And he answered: "Yes; wheresoever I will, I alight and set fire and do to death."
122. And I said to him: "By what angel art thou frustrated?" And he answered: "By the only-ruling God, that hath authority over me even to be heard. He that is to be born of a virgin and crucified by the Jews on a cross. Whom the angels and archangels worship. He doth frustrate me, and enfeeble me of my great strength, which has been given me by my father the devil." And I said to him: "What canst thou do?'' And he answered: ''I am able to remove mountains, to overthrow the oaths of kings. I wither trees and make their leaves to fall off." And I said to him: "Canst thou raise this stone, and lay it for the beginning of this corner which exists in the fair plan of the Temple?'' And he said: "Not only raise this, O king; but also, with the help of the demon who presides over the Red Sea, I will bring up the pillar of air, and will stand it where thou wilt in Jerusalem.''
123. Saying this, I laid stress on him, and the flask became as if depleted of air. And I placed it under the stone, and (the spirit) girded himself up, and lifted it up top of the flask. And the flask went up the steps, carrying the stone, and laid it down at the end of the entrance of the Temple. And I Solomon, beholding the stone raised aloft and placed on a foundation, said: "Truly the Scripture is fulfilled, which says: 'The stone which the builders rejected on trial, that same is become the head of the corner.' For this it is not mine to grant, but God's, that the demon should be strong enough to lift up so great a stone and deposit it in the place I wished."
124. And Ephippas led the demon of the Red Sea with the column. And they both took the column and raised it aloft from the earth. And I outwitted these two spirits, so that they could not shake the entire earth in a moment of time. And then I sealed round with my ring on this side and that, and said: "Watch." And the spirits have remained upholding it until this day, for proof of the wisdom vouchsafed to me. And there the pillar was hanging of enormous size, in mid air, supported by the winds. And thus the spirits appeared underneath, like air, supporting it. And if one looks fixedly, the pillar is a little oblique, being supported by the spirits; and it is so to day.
125. And I Solomon questioned the other spirit which came up with the pillar from the depth of the Red Sea. And I said to him: "Who art thou, and what calls thee? And what is thy business? For I hear many things about thee.'' And the demon answered: "I, O King Solomon, am called Abezithibod. I am a descendant of the archangel. Once as I sat in the first heaven, of which the name is Ameleouth -- I then am a fierce spirit and winged, and with a single wing, plotting against every spirit under heaven. I was present when Moses went in before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and I hardened his heart. I am he whom Iannes and Iambres invoked homing with Moses in Egypt. I am he who fought against Moses with wonders with signs."
126. I said therefore to him: "How wast thou found in the Red Sea?" And he answered: "In the exodus of the sons of Israel I hardened the heart of Pharaoh. And I excited his heart and that of his ministers. And I caused them to pursue after the children of Israel. And Pharaoh followed with (me) and all the Egyptians. Then I was present there, and we followed together. And we all came up upon the Red Sea. And it came to pass when the children of Israel had crossed over, the water returned and hid all the host of the Egyptians and all their might. And I remained in the sea, being kept under this pillar. But when Ephippas came, being sent by thee, shut up in the vessel of a flask, he fetched me up to thee."
127. I, therefore, Solomon, having heard this, glorified God and adjured the demons not to disobey me, but to remain supporting the pillar. And they both sware, saying: "The Lord thy God liveth, we will not let go this pillar until the world's end. But on whatever day this stone fall, then shall be the end of the world."
128. And I Solomon glorified God, and adorned the Temple of the Lord with all fair-seeming. And I was glad in spirit in my kingdom, and there was peace in my days. And I took wives of my own from every land, who were numberless. And I marched against the Jebusaeans, and there I saw Jebusaean, daughter of a man: and fell violently in love with her, and desired to take her to wife along with my other wives. And I said to their priests: "Give me the Sonmanites (i.e. Shunammite) to wife." But the priests of Moloch said to me: "If thou lovest this maiden, go in and worship our gods, the great god Raphan and the god called Moloch." I therefore was in fear of the glory of God, and did not follow to worship. And I said to them: "I will not worship a strange god. What is this proposal, that ye compel me to do so much?" But they said: ". . . . . by our fathers."
129. And when I answered that I would on no account worship strange gods, they told the maiden not to sleep with me until I complied and sacrificed to the gods. I then was moved, but crafty Eros brought and laid by her for me five grasshoppers, saying: "Take these grasshoppers, and crush them together in the name of the god Moloch; and then will I sleep with you." And this I actually did. And at once the Spirit of God departed from me, and I became weak as well as foolish in my words. And after that I was obliged by her to build a temple of idols to Baal, and to Rapha, and to Moloch, and to the other idols.
130. I then, wretch that I am, followed her advice, and the glory of God quite departed from me; and my spirit was darkened, and I became the sport of idols and demons. Wherefore I wrote out this Testament, that ye who get possession of it may pity, and attend to the last things1, and not to the first. So that ye may find grace for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple

Having determined that the original ("operative") Masons were the Magi, and that they were mental builders, let us inquire into the nature of the edifice upon which these wisest of all men bestowed so much constructive effort. Tradition informs us that the Masonic Brethren laboured in the erection of Solomon’s Temple. Sol is the Latin name of the Sun-God, Phoebus. Om is the Hindu name of Deity. On is the Sun-God of Heliopolis, Egypt. And while combining these words from different languages undoubtedly is far-fetched, yet nevertheless, as will be shown in detail later, Sol-Om-On certainly represents the Grand Master of the Universe, whose most fitting symbol is the majestic and all-commanding Sun, from Whom comes all Life, Love, Energy, and Power. The Masonic Temple thus is the mansion of the Sun; the universe itself; a spangled canopy of blue, so situated and so arranged as to prove the most suitable lodge room for the initiation of the candidate: the Human Soul.

But how? We are led to inquire, could any body of men, howsoever wise, work to build the jewelled mansion of the Sun, seeing that the very stars shining at their birth sang before the dawn of life upon the earth, and will join in the funeral requiem when the world is cold and gray, wrapped in the icy mantle of death? Certainly no earthly hands ever placed those blazing diamonds in the sky.

In what manner, then, could the early Masons have assisted in the construction of the Temple? Now remembering that Mason and Imagination are derived from the same root-word, a little light begins to dawn upon our perplexity. The early Mason was not a worker in stone, but a mental builder, in whose work Imagination played the most important part.

With the first glimmer of intelligence, man’s mind, elevating itself above those of lower forms of life, must have been attracted to celestial phenomena. He watched the blazing orb of day peep over the eastern rim of the world, then soaring upward traverse the azure arch, and later sink, declining into the darkening west. He learned that night followed day, and that day followed night; necessity teaching him to start his labours with the rising Sun, and to seek shelter at the approach of night. Thus became he an observer of time.

Still wider experience brought the conviction that there was an orderly succession of the seasons. The rains of winter were followed by the droughts of summer. Cold followed heat, and heat followed cold. To the huntsman these were periods when game was scarce or plentiful, and he must learn to obtain enough food in the times of abundance to nourish him during those of famine. And how eagerly he looked forward to the return of the more fruitful days, and thus he became an observer of seasons.

As a herdsman, our early forefathers watched the shortening and the lengthening of the days; and when the Sun in its annual pilgrimage entered a certain cluster of stars, he knew from experience that the green grass soon would be starting on the mountain side, and he drove his flocks from the valley to those more luxurious pastures. So, also, the farmer learned to till the ground and sow his grain when certain stars rose with the morning sun. The time of harvest was at hand when certain other groups were seen, and winter’s bleak scarcity was heralded by the wending southward of the orb of the day. Thus, early man became the astronomer, his sustenance depending in great measure upon his ability to interpret, upon climate and the denizens of the earth, the effects of celestial phenomena.

Having seen what powerful influences were exerted by the heavenly bodies upon all things external to himself, it was only natural that those studiously inclined should wish to ascertain their influence upon man himself. As a general rule, it was found that people born in the spring, just after the days and nights became of equal length, were more energetic and had more initiative than people born at some other times of the year. People born with the same group of stars rising upon the horizon were observed to possess characteristics in common. Likewise, the portion of the heavens occupied by the Moon was found to influence the brain capacity. From these observations, covering immense periods of time, whose aim was to ascertain the relation existing between man and the stars, arose the sublime science of Astrology. Astronomy was studied, and observations were carefully and systematically recorded, only as factors in determining the effects of celestial influence upon man-kind. And as a factor necessary in the study of astronomy, there was developed the science of Mathematics.
Astrology Also is a Sacred Science

Astrology was not studied merely as a means whereby man might profit materially, but as a Sacred Science. The material universe, even as man’s physical body is his material expression, was considered to be the manifestation of an All-Wise Intelligence. Man manifests his will through acts; so were the heavenly motions thought to be manifestations of the Will of Deity.

As year rolled into year, and century into century, a class of men developed who were peculiarly fitted by natural endowments to pursue the study of the starry heavens and formulate the result of their observations of celestial and mundane phenomena into a scientific system. These were the Magi, the original Masons. Just as at the same time a distinct military class separated itself from the mass of the people by virtue of their superior physical prowess, their love of power, their aggressiveness and disregard of all save might, and became the temporal rulers of the people – the Kings and their immediate associates – so, by virtue of their superior mental and spiritual endowments, the Masons, as a class, separated from the populace and become the sages, philosophers, scientists, the spiritual advisers and priests; dictators in matters religious.

And as persistent culture developed mighty warriors, so the rigid discipline from childhood to which the priests were subjected developed mental and spiritual giants whose keen minds and lucid soul faculties penetrated the innermost recesses of nature. These Masons early perceived a sympathetic relation existing between the organism of man and the fiery points in the firmament above, a definite correspondence between certain sections of Solomon’s Temple and the human body. They found that there are certain principles pervading nature that express themselves in the influence of the stars, on the earth, in the sea, in the air, and in the body of man-kind.

Slowly, by degrees, and with infinite patience, these correspondences were sought out between the things representing a given principle on the earth and that portion of the celestial sphere having the same influence. As these correspondences were ascertained it became the duty of the Mason to inscribe them in the sky, that their meaning might not be lost to future generations.

In this work of building the Temple of the Sun, his imagination played an important part. With it he wove the fanciful pictures among the stars; for often the actual outlines of the constellations bears no resemblance to the animals or objects they are designed to represent. They do, however, invariably signify an influence in mundane affairs well denoted by the things so pictured. To be more precise, the signs of the zodiac and the decanates of the zodiac, of the same names as the constellations have such influences; for the constellations but picture the various reactions of sections of the zodiac. Thus, gem by gem, that which was found imbedded in the soul of man had its corresponding jewel added to the dome above; the whole being formulated by the early Masons into the famed Science of the Soul and the Stars.
How King Solomon’s Temple Was Built

Astrology was studied not merely for its material profit, but also as a religion. The early Mason cast about for an explanation of the visible universe. In his experience he had found no higher type of active agent than the mind. It was the one thing in his experience that could voluntarily create. The mind of man could build a house in imagination, then cause its construction of wood and stone. Yet what was finite mind? It was an invisible, intangible cause about which he could only think in abstract terms; an unknowable director of human actions.

Having found each visible portion of man, each organ and each physical function, to have a correspondence in the sky, what was more natural than to conclude that there must also be a correspondence to his invisible estate! And as finite mind is the most potent of all agents to create below, it logically follows that Infinite Mind is the most potent creative agent in the whole universe. Carrying this line of reasoning a step further, he was forced to conclude that as man is composed of an invisible mind and a visible body, so God likewise has an invisible and a visible domain; the invisible portion being Infinite Mind and the visible portion being the Material Universe, infinite both in extent and in complexity.

Being convinced that the universe, including man, is the result of creative design, it became the endeavour of the Magi to fathom its purport, or at least so much of it as relates to man, that he might conform his life and efforts harmoniously to that purpose. Man’s actions are symbolic of his will and purpose. Thus was it legitimate to conclude that God’s Will is revealed in the movements of nature to those who have sufficient penetration to grasp the meaning of their symbology.

Therefore, the early Masons sought out the correspondences in nature, and built their pictured symbols in the sky, as the Temple of Solomon, Grand Architect of the Universe. And this grand edifice, erected by the Ancient Masons; is of most perfect design, revealing as it does to the discerning, the Will of Deity; for what wiser thing could man do than to imitate the building of this ancient structure, and build for his own indwelling soul a mansion as perfect in its proportions, and as harmonious in its arrangements, as the Temple of King Solomon!

In time the Mason, as a priest, became only an interpreter of the ideas symbolically built into the Temple by his wiser forefathers. The word “religion” is derived from the Latin “re” (back), and “ligare” (to bind), and means literally, to bind back. This, then, became the work of later Masons; to collect truths discovered in times past and bind them together in such a manner that they might be preserved for future generations. These truths, in their symbolic form, are found woven more or less into all important religion the world has ever known. The earliest religions were purely astronomical, and it is safe to say that every important religion that ever has been entertained by the mind of man has had an astrological foundation.

Man’s body is not the real man/woman, nor is the material universe God. The real man is the invisible controlling ego, and God is the invisible and unknowable Infinite Mind that directs and controls the mighty Cosmos. The Ancient Masons ever sought to find a fitting symbol to represent each principle and function of nature, and to build it into the Temple. What more fitting symbol could be found to represent the Infinite Ego, the true King, than the glorious orb of day!

Sol, therefore, was elected as the symbol of the controlling power of the universe – Deity – it being recognized by those of inner vision that the physical orb was but the external covering for the grander and more ethereal Spiritual Sun Who stands exactly in the same relation to the Solar System as does the human ego to its body. Thus originated Solar Worship, one of the most ancient forms of religion.

To the mind of the Ancient Mason, the physical Sun, the centre of our system, from which the earth receives the requisite grade of force necessary for every terrestrial manifestation of power, organic and inorganic, vital and physical; was but the emblem of the Spiritual Sun which exerts that degree of celestial energy, which in matter becomes occult force, and in man becomes Will and Mental Power.

from Ancient Masonry

by C.C. Zain

Monday, November 13, 2006

Free Masonry

Freemasonry, though not a religion, is essentially religious. Most of its legends and allegories are of a sacred nature; much of it is woven into the structure of Christianity. We have learned to consider our own religion as the only inspired one, and this probably accounts for much of the misunderstanding in the world today concerning the place occupied by Freemasonry in the spiritual ethics of our race. A religion is a divinely inspired code of morals. A religious person is one inspired to nobler livi ng by this code. He is identified by the code which is his source of illumination. Thus we may say that a Christian is one who receives his spiritual ideals of right and wrong from the message of the Christ, while a Buddhist is one who molds his life into the archetype of morality given by the great Gautama, or one of the other Buddhas. All doctrines which seek to unfold and preserve that invisible spark in man named Spirit, are said to be spirit ual. Those which ignore this invisible element and concent rate entirely upon the visible are said to be material. There is in religion a wonderful point of balance, where the materialist and spiritist meet on the plane of logic and reason. Science and theology are two ends of a single truth, but the world will never receive the full benefit of their investigations until they have made peace with each other, and labor hand in hand for the accomplishment of the great work - the liberation of spirit and in telligence from the three-dimensional prison-house of ignorance, superstition, and fear. That which gives man a knowledge of himself can be inspired only by the Self - and God is the Self in all things. In truth, He is the inspiration and the thing inspired. It has been stated in Scripture that God was the Word and that the Word was made flesh. Man's task now is to make flesh reflect the glory of that Word, which is within the soul of himself. It is this task which has created the need of religion - not one faith alone but many creeds, each searching in its own way, e ach meeting the needs of individual people, each emphasizing one point above all the others. Twelve Fellow Craftsmen are exploring the four points of the compass. Are not these twelve the twelve great world religions, each seeking in its own way for that which was lost in the ages past, and the quest of which is the birthright of man? Is not the quest for Reality in a world of illusions the task for which each comes into the world? We are here to gain balance in a sphere of unbalance; to find rest in a restless thing; to unveil illusion; and to slay the dragon of our own animal natures. As David, King of Israel, gave to the hands of his son Solomon the task he could not accomplish, so each generation gives to the next the work of building the temple, or rather, rebuilding the dwelling of the Lord, which is on Mount Moriah. Truth is not lost, yet it must be sought for and found. Reality is ever-present - dimensionless yet all-prevailing. Man - creature of attitudes and desires, and servant of impressions and opinions - cannot, with the wavering unbalance of an untutored mind, learn to know that which he himself does not possess. As man attains a quality, he discovers that quality, and recognizes about him the thing newborn within himself. Man is born with eyes, yet only after long years of sorrow does he learn to see clearl y and in harmony with the Plan. He is born with senses, but only after long experience and fruitless strivings does he bring these senses to the temple and lays them as offerings upon the altar of the great Father, who alone does all things well and with understanding. Man is, in truth, born in the sin of ignorance, but with a capacity for understanding. He has a mind capable of wisdom, a heart capable of feeling, and a hand strong for the great work in life - truing the rough ashlar into the perfect sto ne. What more can any creature ask than the opportunity to prove the thing he is, the dream that inspires him, the vision that leads him on? We have no right to ask for wisdom. In whose name do we beg for understanding? By what authority do we demand happiness? None of these things is the birthright of any creature; yet all may have them, if they will cultivate within themselves the thing that they desire. There is no need of asking, nor does any Deity bow down to give man these things that he desires. Man i s given by Nature, a gift, and that gift is the privilege of labor. Through labor he learns all things. Religions are groups of people, gathered together in the labor of learning. The world is a school. We are here to learn, and our presence here proves our need of instruction. Every living creature is struggling to break the strangling bonds of limitation - that pressing narrowness which inhabits vision and leaves the life without an ideal. Every soul is engaged in a great work - the labor of personal liberation from the state of ignorance. The world is a great prison; its bars are the Unknown. And eac h is a prisoner until, at last, he earns the right to tear these bars from their moldering sockets, and pass, illuminated and inspired, into the darkness, which becomes lighted by that presence. All peoples seek the temple where God dwells, where the spirit of the great Truth illuminates the shadows of human ignorance, but they know not which way to turn nor where this temple is. The mist of dogma surrounds them. Ages of thoughtlessness bind them in. Limitation weakens them and retards their footsteps. They wander in darkness seeking light, failing to realize that the Light is in the heart of the darkness. To the few who have found Him, God is revealed. These, in turn, reveal Him to man, striving to tell ignorance the message of wisdom. But seldom does man understand the mystery that has been unveiled. He tries weakly to follow in the steps of those who have attained, but all too often finds the path more difficult than he even dreamed. So he kneels in prayer before the mountain he cannot climb, from whose top gleams the light which he is neither strong enough to reach nor wise enough to comprehend. He lives the law as he knows it, always fearing in his heart that he has not read aright the flaming letters in the sky, and that in living the letter of the Law he has murdered the spirit. Man bows humbly to the Unknown, peopling the shadows of his own ignorance with saints and saviors, ghosts and spectres, gods and demons. Ignorance fears all things, falling, terror-stricken before the passing wind. Superstition stands as the monument to ignorance, and before it kneel all who realize their own weakness; who see in all things the strength they do not possess; who give to sticks and stones the power to bruise them; who change the beauties of Nature into the dwelling place of ghouls and ogres. Wisdom fears no thing, but still bows humbly to its own Source. While superstition hates all things, wisdom, with its deeper understanding, loves all things; for it has seen the beauty, the tenderness, and the sweetness which underlie Life's mystery. Life is the span of time appointed for accomplishment. Every fleeting moment is an opportunity, and those who are great are the ones who have recognized life as the opportunity for all things. Arts, sciences, and religions are monuments standing for what humanity has already accomplished. They stand as memorials to the unfolding mind of man, and through them man acquires more efficient and more intelligent methods of attaining prescribed results. Blessed are those who can profit by the experiences of others; who, adding to that which has already been built, can make their inspiration real, their dreams practical. Those who give man the things he needs, while seldom appreciated in their own age, are later recognized as the Saviors of the human race. Masonry is a structure built upon experience. Each stone is a sequential step in the unfolding of intelligence. The shrines of Masonry are ornamented by the jewels of a thousand ages; its rituals ring with the words of enlightened seers and illuminated sages. A hundred religions have brought their gifts of wisdom to its altar. Arts and sciences unnumbered have contributed to its symbolism. It is more than a faith; it is a path of certainty. It is more than a belief; it is a fact. Masonry is a university, teaching the liberal arts and sciences of the soul to all who will attend to its words. It is a shadow of the great Atlantean Mystery School, which stood with all its splendor in the ancient City of the Golden Gates, where now the turbulent Atlantic rolls in unbroken sweep. Its chairs are seats of learning; its pillars uphold the arch of universal education, not only in material things, but also in those qualities which are of the spirit. Up on its trestleboards are inscribed the sacred truths of all nations and of all peoples, and upon those who understand its sacred depths has dawned the great Reality. Masonry is, in truth, that long-lost thing which all peoples have sought in all ages. Masonry is the common denominator as well as the common devisor of human aspiration. Most of the religions of the world are like processions: one leads, and the many follow. In the footsteps of the demigods, man follows in his search for truth and illumination. The Christian follows the gentle Nazarene up the winding slopes of Calvary. The Buddhist follows his great emancipator through his wanderings in the wilderness. The Mohammedan makes his pilgrimage across the desert sands to the black tent at Mecca. Truth leads, and ignorance follows in his train. Spirit blazes the trail, and matter follows behind. In the world today ideals live but a moment in their purity, before the gathering hosts of darkness snuff out the gleaming spark. The Mystery School, however, remains unmoved. It does not bring its light to man; man must bring his light to it. Ideals, coming into the world, become idols within a few short hours, but man, entering the gates of the sanctuary, changes the idol back to an ideal. Man is climbing an endless flight of steps, with his eyes fixed upon the goal at the top. Many cannot see the goal, and only one or two steps are visible before them. He has learned, however, one great lesson - namely, that as he builds his own character he is given strength to climb the steps. Hence a Mason is a builder of the temple of character. He is the architect of a sublime mystery - the gleaming, glowing temple of his own soul. He realizes that he best serves God when he joins with the Great Architect in building more noble structures in the universe below. All who are attempting to attain mastery through constructive efforts are Masons at heart, regardless of religious sect or belief. A Mason is not necessarily a member of a lodge. In a broad sense, he is any person who daily tries to live the Masonic life, and to serve intelligently the needs of the Great Architect. The Masonic brother pledges himself to assist all other temple-builders in whatever extremity of life; and in so doing he pledges himself to every living thing, for they are all temple-builders, building more noble structures to the glory of the universal God. The true Masonic Lodge is a Mystery School, a place where candidates are taken out of the follies and foibles of the world and instructed in the mysteries of life, relationships, and the identity of that germ of spiritual essence within, which is, in truth, the Son of God, beloved of His Father. The Mason views life seriously, realizing that every wasted moment is a lost opportunity, and that Omnipotence is gained only through earnestness and endeavor. Above all other relationships he recognizes the universal brotherhood of every living thing. The symbol of the clasped hands, explained in the Lodge, reflects his attitude towards all the world, for he is the comrade of all created things. He realizes also that his spirit is a glowing, gleaming jewel which he must enshrine within a holy temple built by the labor of his hands, the meditation of his heart, and the aspiration of his soul. Freemasonry is a philosophy which is essentially creedless. It is the truer for it. Its brothers bow to truth regardless of the bearer; they serve light, instead of wrangling over the one who brings it. In this way they prove that they are seeking to know better the will and the dictates of the Invincible One. No truer religion exists than that of world comradeship and brotherhood, for the purpose of glorifying one God and building for Him a temple of constructive attitude and noble character.

Manly P Hall

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wisdom From Brother Pike


“The swarming of the unworthy into the Temples is only one symptom of the disease, which itself is the lessening of the spirit of loving kindness, the lessening of kindly interest in the welfare of each other, the mere acquaintanceship that has so largely and regrettably has taken the place of the old Masonic Brotherhood. Masons assemble, and part as they met, not better friends, not even better acquainted, sometimes not knowing each other. They assemble and make Masons and go away not remembering their faces. There are real brotherly relations between few members. One seldom makes any sacrifice for another; and fighting and contentions arise on as slight grounds and upon petty provocations, as among the profane ever to the shame of Masonry, out of the lust for office, the lust for control and the pitiful rivalries that it creates, in which all our obligations are forgotten.

Where these things are found Masonry is dead, and a lesser Order lives in its steed, usurping the name of Masonry. Masonry cannot live without a soul, and its soul is loving-kindness. It is time for the work of regeneration to begin; and in this work, by the restoration of this spirit, every man has it in his power to do something. Let the regeneration begin here. Live together here, all of you, as Masons should; for the Life of Masonry, is but a useless life, so long as this work remains undone.”

Lodge of Perfection Inauguration Ritual 1882

By Albert Pike

Now, sir, you know what are the principal duties of a Mason. You may say that Masons too generally do not perform those duties: that their charities are small and rarely bestowed: that their moneys, received for initiations and by contributions, are spent in show and parade: that they rarely assist or advise each other: that they defame and malign one another: that rival rites and rival bodies quarrel: that Masons prove to be no better and no wiser than other men: and that a Mason is often the last man to whom a Mason will apply for assistance in distress, or for encouragement and support when maligned or persecuted. You may therefore say to yourself, that the obligations of the Order are unreal, and its pretensions unfounded; and that you, too, may safely take those obligations, because you may, with the same impunity as others, neglect or violate them.

In part, at least, this is true. The populace has invaded the sanctuaries, and the true initiation, in the prevailing popular Rites, has died out. It has its Lodges in every little, obscure corner. It teaches little to its Initiates, and requires little of them. Too often it receives any one who offers, in order to supply its treasuries. Even its Higher Degrees have ceased to be exlusive. Populous beyond example, it is powerless. Teaching morality only, it has ceased, even in that, to enforce its lessons: well-intentioned, knowing that the great majority of those whom they call their Brethren, will not perform their obligation to them, cease to consider themselves bound to succor or assist that majority. Thus it is that Masonry has ceased to exist there, except for the excellent and enlightened few, who lament, but cannot cure the deadly disease of which the Order dies, decaying at the root, and hollow, while fuller of leaf than ever.

However it may be elsewhere, it cannot be justly charged that such is the condition of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite. There is no Order or Church that has not Members who do not practise what they profess. It is because such is the condition of Masonry, that the authorities of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite have resolved to form select bodies of Masons, by initiation according to their own forms, and by selection of the best among Master Masons already made such in the other Rites; and within this limited circle to insist on the full performance of all Masonic duty; to lop off, without mercy all dead and decayed branches, and no longer to permit the presence of the faithless, the lukewarm, or the apathetic in their Temples. Here, Masonic obligations are serious, solemn, and real. Imagine not that they can be lightly taken and as lightly disregarded, with impunity. It would be a fatal mistake.

Albert Pike, 1871

"...If all men had always obeyed with all their hearts, the mild and gentle teachings of Masonry, that world would always have been a paradise; while Intolerance and Persecution make of it a hell. For this is the Masonic creed: BELIEVE, in God's infinite benevolence, wisdom and justice; HOPE, for the final triumph of good over evil, and for the Perfect Harmony as the final result of all the concords and discords of the Universe; and be CHARITABLE, as God is, towards the unfaith, the errors, the follies and the faults of men; for all are one great Brotherhood."

Albert Pike, The Meaning of Masonry, 1858

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mysticism of Masonry

"Only the Perfect Master [he who has lived the life according to the Law
until the Soul is brought into Consciousness] can so chip away the stone as to
reveal in all its grandeur and beauty the Divine Ideal, and endow it with the
breath of life [Immortality]. Such is the building of character. The fable of
Pygmalion and Galatea is, after all, more real than history. The thread of
history is not in isolate facts, joined by conjecture and warped to the
ignorant, bigoted and time-serving opinions of men. The real thread is to be
sought in the theme that runs through the symphony of creation; in the lofty
ideals that inspire the life of man and that lead him from the clod and the
lowlands where hover the ghosts of superstition and fear, to the mountains of
light where dwell forever inspiration and peace. Such ideals are the Christ
[of the true church], Hiram [of the Masonic Order] and the Perfect Masters [of
the Occult Fraternities].
"No genuine Mason, imbued with the spirit of liberality, will treat any
religion [or religious belief, even if it has but one sincere adherent] with
derision or contempt, or exclude from fellowship any Brother who believes in
the existence of God, the Brotherhood of Man and the Immortality of the Soul.
This catholic Liberal and all-embracing spirit is the very foundation of
Masonry and any departure from it is un-Masonic and subversive of the ancient
Landmarks and Genius of Masonry. True Masonry has, for ages, held aloft the
torchlight of Toleration, Equity and Fraternity. The bigoted sectarian,
whoever he may be, divides the world into two classes: those who, with zeal
and blind faith, accept his dogmas and those who do not.
"In its ritualism and monitorial lessons, Masonry teaches nothing in
morals, in science, in religion or in any other department of human knowledge
or human interest, not taught elsewhere in current forms of thought or by the
sages of the past. In these directions it has no secrets of any kind. It is in
the ancient symbols of Freemasonry that its real secrets lie concealed and
these are as densely veiled to the Mason as to any other, unless he has
studied the science of symbolism in general and Masonic symbolism in
particular. In place of the term Mystic Masonry, the term Symbolic Masonry
might as well have been used; but just there lies the whole secret - a
profound mystery - and few Masons up to the present time have had the interest
or the patience necessary to such investigation as might bring revealment.
This is a fact and not intended as either a criticism or a reproach. If,
lacking a knowledge of the profound meaning of Masonic symbolism and its
transcendent interest and importance, Masons have allowed the whole
organization not only to fail in all real progress but to degenerate, that is
indeed a reproach.
"There never was greater need than at the present time, never so great an
opportunity as now, for Masonry to assume its true place among the
institutions of man and to force recognition by the simple power of Brotherly
Love, Relief and Truth, based upon philosophy such as nowhere else exists
outside of its ancient symbols. If the majority of Masons do not realize the
true significance and value of their possessions, there is all the more need
for those who do to speak out, even in the face of discouragement and
detraction, and do their utmost to demonstrate the truth. Does any intelligent
Mason imagine that the guilds of practical Masons of a century and a half ago
originated the order of Freemasons? There were indeed Architects and Master
builders among them but the great majority of Masons were far more
ignorant, as manual servants, than the majority of such builders are today.*
"Freemasonry is modeled on the plan of the Ancient [Osirian]# Mysteries,
with their glyphs and allegories. This is no mere coincidence; the parallels
are too closely drawn. Albert Pike came to the conclusion, after long and
patient investigation, that certain Hermetic Philosophers had a hand in the
construction of the organization of Free and Accepted Masons and, if they
embodied in its symbolism more than appears on the surface and far deeper
truths than the superficial student readily discerns, it was evidently
designed that future generations should uncover and use these profounder
"In brief, then, the real secrets of Freemasonry lie in its symbols, and
the meaning of the symbols reveals a profound philosophy and a Universal
Science, that have never been transcended by man.
"There is a thread of tradition connecting modern Masonry with the most
ancient Mysteries of Antiquity. The ancient landmarks may be discovered in
every nation and time. `Notwithstanding the connection that so evidently
exists,' says Dr. Rebold, `between the Ancient Mysteries and the Freemasonry
of our day, the latter should be considered an initiation rather than a
continuation of those ancient Mysteries; for initiation into them was the
entering of a school, wherein were taught art, science, morals, law,
philosophy, philanthropy and the wonders and worship of nature.'" -Dr. Buck,
Mystic Masonry.
The universal science and sublime philosophy once taught in the Greater
Mysteries of Atlantis, Egypt, Chaldea, Persia and India, have undoubtedly been
a dead letter in the lodges of modern Freemasonry but this science and
philosophy have not been either lost or destroyed as so many, even among the
scholars, seem to think. They are carefully conserved in the Archives of the
older Fraternities and ever at the command of the sincere aspirant who is
willing to study, to learn to live the life. Nothing of the Ancient Mysteries
will be withheld from the true student if he is liberal enough and of
sufficiently pure mind, to see the beauties in the grossest shell. Only man's
unworthiness can prevent him from rending the veil of the Mysteries, bringing
to mind the ancient and very true maxim: "Naught from without can harm you;
fear only that which is within yourself." How well it would be if all men were
to comprehend the spirit of this saying and were they to live in that spirit;
what a "shelving" there would be of twentieth century reformers - those
fanatics and hypocrites, who would make men good (external white-washing) by
the enactment of countless legislative acts which require an army - in the
parlance of the street of grafters and political hangers-on who must be
maintained at the expense of an unfortunate but honest citizenry.
"It should be borne in mind that in modern Freemasonry, in the Ancient
Mysteries and in all the truly great Religions, there always was an exoteric
portion given out to the masses - the uninitiated, and an esoteric doctrine
reserved for the initiate [who could appreciate and respect it] and revealed
in the degrees, according as the candidate demonstrated his fitness to
receive, conceal and rightly use the knowledge so imparted.