The Papers In The Attic administration appreciates all the comments and suggestions from our wide audience of readers. Many of our readers are adepts in their own tradition and stop by from time to time to share and interact with others who walk the steps of ancient wisdom. Recently, I had a chance to talk with Serapis, founder of the Open-Magick Blog Page, which features information pertinent to ancient Mesopotamian spirituality. This page can be accessed here: http://open-magick.blogspot.com/ You will find the wisdom of Serapis intriguing to say the least.
Warlock Asylum: I have enjoyed your work and insights since visiting your website. For our readers who may not be familiar with your person, how would you describe yourself?
Serapis: A question I find difficult to explain even to myself, but in a word ‘Urelean’ (UR.EL.E.AN) a name that was given to me in a vision (on the night of my 7th birthday) and which I’ve been attempting to fully understand ever since.
I guess I could describe myself as an ‘Postmodern-Syncratic-Traditional-Revisionist-Hermeticist’, I focus on a pragmatic synthesis of ancient and modern ‘technology’ and attempt to weave it together into my own tradition ( which I hope will be of some usefulness to others).
I study everything and take what I find useful (currently), the rest I set to the side to revisit again (there’s always something to be missed or that only make sense later). My greatest interests are: cosmology and the mythological texts that explain it, symbology, epigraphy, and vocalic formula’s (incantations). My favorite cultural interests are of course Mesopotamia (primarily from the ‘Old Babylonian’ period), Khemet (Egypt, the land the Acadians called ‘Mitzri’), Germania (and their neighbors: Norse, Finnish, Slavic), Celtia (primarily the ‘insular’ branch: Welsh, Scottish, Irish), and our ‘internet’ meta-culture. My Other favorite traditions being: Hermeticism and Alchemy, the Kabbalah, and Enochian. I’ve been a ‘Watcher in the Web’ in the Occult world since I started exploring Netland daily in 1988, on UseNet, IRC, and various eList groups, the only one I could say I was every really a part of was the once great ‘Tools of Chaos’.
Warlock Asylum: What inspired you to learn magic, and what forms of divination do you really enjoy?
Serapis: I’ve always known that Magick is real, before my ‘vision’ I worked the craft unconsciously, after the ‘awakening’ I started to consciously seek to understand and verify what was revealed (a never ending quest). The primary forms of divination I use are natural: Areomancy (mainly observing cloud formations), Pyromancy, ‘real’ Geomancy (observing patterns in geological formations like shapes that appear in a river bed), and Xylomancy (observing the shapes formed by tree branches). What most people think of as Divination is actually termed Sortilege (divination by the casting of lots), of which my favorite form are the sacred Rune’s (FUTHARK), and of course the Tarot.
Warlock Asylum: What attracted you to ancient Mesopotamian spirituality?
Serapis: In my ‘awakening’ vision I received many names that have echoed through my being ever since, I have found some of them from various cultural traditions, but most are from the Germanic (Odhinn, Baldur, Thor, Freya, Heimdel, Jord, Ziu), and Babylonia (Anu, Enki, Tiamu, Anshar, Gishzidda, Urta, Bashamu, Innana, Nannanu, Kigallu, Shamshi, Zarpanitu, Nushiku, Adapa, Pabilsagu, Nintarra).Throughout all my studies I have always been interested in the origin of the material, and in every instance there are fragments of Mesopotamia. Asatru and the Rune’s have been of great importance to me, and in seeking their origins (at the direction of All Father ‘Odhinn’ himself) the path lead to Babilu. The Kaballah, what needs to be explained there, the He-Ba-Ru are the direct cultural and genetic descendants of the Acadians.
Another reason is that of all the greater esoteric and cultural traditions that are represented in print, Mesopotamia is rarely mentioned, until just the past couple of years the only practical text of Babylonian magick has been the Simon Necronomicon, everything else is either purely incidental, academic, or a (flimsy) criticism of the S.N.
Warlock Asylum: Are there any unique experiences that stand out in your mind since you have explored the occult?
Serapis: All of them…, everything is a unique experience. The most interesting are those odd times when something just ‘clicks’, might be something that’s been ‘calculating’ in the depths of my mind that just completes in one of those “A’ Ha!!” moment’s of instant understanding. One experience that I would like to share, as it says a lot about how Magick works, even when it seems not to: While at the 1990 Heartland Pagan Festival, a friend and myself went to the cliff point below the main ritual site, I was trying to recite the first three Enochian keys (in the Angelic) while the wind kept trying to blowing over the page, put out the candle and spill wax on my book, the words on the page were blurring together and swirling around, it was impossible, a complete disaster we thought and eventually gave up. Other then the annoyances neither of us felt or saw anything and considered it just a wasted effort.
However just below where we stood were a group of people sitting and laughing their arses off, of course we were sure that we were the butt of their joke, until the next day when I overheard a couple of them talking about what they had seen and experienced, describing various spirits and creatures flying around us, and every time we complained about the wind they said the spirits were ‘making it happen’ (the spirits) were pointing at us and laughing.(mischievous tricksters they are) So whenever you think thematic is not working, chances are it is, it’s just that you are not the one experiencing it.
Warlock Asylum: What is your opinion of the Simon Necronomicon?
Serapis:I think it is a great book, as noted above it is one of the only practical manuals of Babylonian magick available. It was also one of the first books I discovered (It was recommended by the first person to point me in the right direction). Once I did find it, it had all these names I recognized and it ‘felt’ (and had the look) of a ‘real’ book of magick. Of all the books I have, few are what I would consider my Sacred Books, The S.N. is definitely high on the list.
However, as with all the books I’ve studied and systems I’ve worked with, I cannot say I completely agree with its content, but these are mostly philosophical and theological differences based on my personal ‘feelings’ of what should be correct, and the academically verifiable material that I have studied. As to its authenticity I’m not certain, most of the lore within the text has been available for over a hundred years, though certainly hard to come by in the mid-seventies, It’s not impossible that it could be a masterful reconstruction, and if it is I think Simon is doing himself a greater disservice denying that he is the real author.
But from my research the internal consistency of the lore and the supposed date of composition agree, and would account for most of the questionable points that I disagree with, and those that the critics often point to, like the degraded or incomplete state of the Maklu Text. Tt bares little resemblance to the ‘canonical’ Maklu series from the Neo-Assyrian period, but it is consistent with what was ascribed to Maklu and Uttuku/Lemnutu series from the earlier periods (especially the OB/Ur III archives of Nippur, Lagash, Erech, and Ebla, but also from late period texts from Ugarit, and Hattusha).
The Magan text is obviously a syncretic form of the ‘Enuma Ellish’ and the Descent of Ishtar’, and the ‘Fifty names of Marduk’ is close to Tablet VII of the EE, the seals look like they might be stylized versions of cuneiform signs, some of the other glyphs in the book are very obviously cuneiform and a couple of Sumerian logograms, others are Greek and Syriatic. The Gate system has numerous parallels in Mesopotamian lore, the ‘Descent of Ishtar’, ‘Nanna-Suen’s journey to Nippur’, and the ‘Etana Epic’ being the best examples. The ‘Urillia Text’ is interesting to me, perhaps it’s the same name as Urelia, and as it deals with the ‘Great Dragon’ Tiamat, I have always been deeply connected to Draconian things (I Am Dragon!).
One point I find curious is the lack of mentioning Etana and Gilgamesh, two epics that were very popular from the Babylonian period up to the end of the Roman Empire. Another would be that although the S.N points to the stars there is very little that resembles ‘MUL.Apin’ or the ‘Shumma Allu’ series, or the ‘Menologies’, for instance it holds the ‘Great Bear’ constellation as very important, this is a Greek creation, and the Babylonians did not have any single Kakkabanu composed of the same stars, they did have several in the region of which the ‘Plough’ sign is the ‘Bull’s Thigh’ that Simon focuses on in ‘Gates of the Necronomicon’.
The biggest question mark on the book as a whole is that the original manuscript cannot be verified, supposedly destroyed by Simon’s partner in crime, and then all the ink rubbed off Simon’s Xerox copy, modern digital restoration can lift the invisible text of Roman period books that were scrubbed and reused numerous times, high resolution photography can pull interesting imagery of the ‘Shroud of Turin’, I would think these could restore a Xerox too. And what about the translators, they all meet some horrid fate or drop of the edge of the earth ?
Warlock Asylum: What advice would you give to the Gate-Walking Community, and those interested in the workings of the Necronomicon Tradition?
Serapis: Follow your heart, seek the ‘Throne of your Soul’ where shines the ‘Sacred Star’ and forever burns the ‘Holy Flame’, which will never lead you astray! Whatever path you choose to walk, make it your own, there are enough slaves in this world following what their masters have given them, receive what they give, but don’t stop there, be your own master and a slave only to your true divine self.
Warlock Asylum: Any Final thoughts?
Serapis: Knowledge alone is useless, it must be Experienced directly, only then do you gain true Understanding, degree by degree until it becomes the Wisdom that you seek. Remember: “We are the Many, Becoming the One.”
(NAGA Drackanna Zarantu Ansharu)
‘Nitu Ek Welu Ek Ra’
“Blessings of the Rising Up of the Sun”