Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Page 76: The Goetia vs. Robert’s Rules of Order

This scene humorously juxtaposes Nicholas Young’s overblown and ominous verbiage from the Goetia with those of his associates, who are far more interested in Robert’s Rules of Order.

For those unfamiliar with one or both texts, the Goetia refers generally to magical practices designed to summon demons to do your bidding, particularly those practices based on the seventeenth-century grimoire The Lesser Key of Solomon, whose first section is called the Ars Goetia. British occultist Aleister Crowley famously published an edition of the Goetia in 1904.  While it remains a popular text, more scholarly editions have appeared in recent years, including those by Joseph Peterson (2001),  and Stephen Skinner & David Rankine (2007). . In addition, Colin Campbell’s Of the Arte Goetia (2015) is an invaluable analysis of the primary texts.

A magician conjures a demon in this image from the frontispiece
to the 1620 edition of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus).
Here is an example of “The Second Conjuration” (of three) for a spirit who is reluctant to appear upon the first summons. Some phrases turn up in Nicholas Young’s rant in this chapter of The Billionth Monkey:
I DO invocate, conjure, and command thee, O thou Spirit N., to appear and to show thyself visibly unto me before this Circle in fair and comely shape, without any deformity or tortuosity; by the name and in the name IAH and VAU, which Adam heard and spake; and by the name Of GOD, AGLA, which Lot heard and was saved with his family; and by the name IOTH, which Jacob heard from the angel wrestling with him, and was delivered from the hand of Esau his brother; and by the name ANAPHAXETON which Aaron heard and spake and was made wise; and by the name ZABAOTH, which Moses named and all the rivers were turned into blood; and by the name ASHER EHYEH ORISTON, which Moses named, and all the rivers brought forth frogs, and they ascended into the houses, destroying all things; and by the name ELION, which Moses named, and there was great hail such as had not been since the beginning of the world; and by the name ADONAI, which Moses named, and there came up locusts, which appeared upon the whole land, and devoured all which the hail had left; and by the name SCHEMA AMATHIA which Ioshua called upon, and the sun stayed his course; and by the name ALPHA and OMEGA, which Daniel named, and destroyed Bel, and slew the Dragon; and in the name EMMANUEL, which the three children, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, sang in the midst of the fiery furnace, and were delivered; and by the name HAGIOS; and by the SEAL 1 OF ADONI; and by ISCHYROS, ATHANATOS, PARACLETOS; and by O THEOS, ICTROS, ATHANATOS; and by these three secret names, AGLA, ON, TETRAGRAMMATON, do I adjure and constrain thee. And by these names, and by all the other names of the LIVING and TRUE GOD, the LORD ALMIGHTY, I do exorcise and command thee, O Spirit N., even by Him Who spake the Word and it was done, and to Whom all creatures are obedient; and by the dreadful judgments of GOD; and by the uncertain Sea of Glass, which is before the DIVINE MAJESTY, mighty and powerful; by the four beasts before the throne, having eyes before and behind; by the fire round about the throne; by the holy angels of Heaven; and by the mighty wisdom of GOD; I do potently exorcise thee, that thou appearest here before this Circle, to fulfil my will in all things which shall seem good unto me; by the Seal of BASDATHEA BALDACHIA; and by this name PRIMEUMATON, which Moses named, and the earth opened, and did swallow up Kora, Dathan, and Abiram. Wherefore thou shalt make faithful answers unto all my demands, O Spirit N., and shalt perform all my desires so far as in thine office thou art capable hereof. Wherefore, come thou, visibly, peaceably, and affably, now without delay, to manifest that which I desire, speaking with a clear and perfect voice, intelligibly, and to mine understanding.
You get the idea.
This popular meme (from a photo by Marcus Ranum) shows a young woman performing a ritual
while reading from the Dover paperback of Aleister Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice,
a reprint edition which introduced a whole new generation to "magick."
Robert’s Rules of Order, on the other hand, is a guide for conducting meetings. Originally penned by Brigadeer General Henry Martyn Robert, it was first published in 1876. Deliberative bodies use it for meeting procedures that are not covered by the society’s by-laws or other procedural rules. And if ever there was a deliberative body that needed rules for conducting meetings, it’s a deliberative body of occultists!

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