The ancient Sumerians, as well as the Babylonians and Assyrians, sought to protect themselves from evil spirits and sickness through various measures. The measures being used by these ancient races came in the form of amulets, tablets, plaques, and cylinder-seals that usually had protective incantations or exorcisms inscribed on them. Another much used protective measure came in the form of prophylactic figures. These prophylactic figures are little statues of gods and goddesses, men and women, and various animals and hybrids. These figurines have been found all over, what used to be, ancient Mesopotamia. This means that these “prophylactic figures” played an important role in the societies of these ancient races. These figurines were not only found in excavated palaces and temples, but also in the dwellings of the common man, and while some of these figurines may have served as children’s toys, others were certainly used in rituals, as is obvious from the inscriptions thereon.
George Smith tells us in his “Assyrian Discoveries” (P.78, year unknown) of a brick box he found below a late pavement that contained six terra-cotta figures. He described these figures as having human bodies, the heads of lions, and having large wings. These obviously belong to the class of hybrid figures that were so often depicted on the walls of temples and palaces. The most famous of these carven images must be the figure that is known as the “Griffin-Demon.” A picture of this human-like figure, with large wings and a bird’s head can be found in most good books on Mesopotamian mythology. I am sure that many readers are already very familiar with the image of this “Griffin-Demon, as they should be. When we take a closer look at the picture of this strange bird-like creature, we can see that it is performing a rite. We can find this rite in the Simon Necronomicon in the form of the Exorcism “XILQA XILQA BESA BESA.”
Here follows the exorcism:
“ISA YA! ISA YA! RI EGA! RI EGA!
BI ESHA BI ESHA! XIYILQA XIYILQA!
DUPPIRA ATLAKA ISA YA U RI EGA
LIMUTTIKUNU KIMA QUTRI LITILLI SHAMI YE
INA ZUMRI YA ISA YA
INA ZUMRI YA RI EGA
INA ZUMRI YA BI ESHA
INA ZUMRI YA XIYILQA
INA ZUMRI YA DUPPIRA
INA ZUMRI YA ATLAKA
INA ZUMRI YA LA TATARA
INA ZUMRI YA LA TETIXXI YE
INA ZUMRI YA LA TAQARRUBA
INA ZUMRI YA LA TASANIQA
NI YISH SHAMMASH KABTU LU TAMATUNU
NI YISH ENKI BEL GIMRI LU TAMATUNU
NI YISH MARDUK MASHMASH ILANI LU TAMATUNU
NI YISH GISHBAR QAMIKUNU LU TAMATUNU
INA ZUMRI YA LU YU TAPPARRASAMA!”
Now, you may think; “What the hell is he talking about?!” How does this “Griffin-Demon” connect to the Exorcism “XILQA XILQA BESA BESA?” Well, as I said before, take a close look at the picture of the “Griffin-Demon.” You will discover that it holds a bucket of some sorts in its left hand, presumably filled with “purefying” water. In its right hand the creature holds a pine cone. Does this sound familiar? Yes, it does! Take a look at the following, which is the instruction given to perform the Exorcism “XILQA XILQA BESA BESA.”
“May be chanted while walking around the circumference of the Circle, and sprinkling the vicinity with sweet water, using a pine cone or golden brush. An image of a Fish may be at hand, and the incantation pronounced clearly, every word, either whispered softly, or shouted loudly.”
The items mentioned in this instruction are the very same items that the “Griffin-Demon” is holding.
The main subject of this article is, ofcourse, the Prophylactic Figures. According to the instruction, an image of a Fish may be at hand. This image is a Prophylactic figure. So you see that this ancient custom of using such protective figurines has survived the ravages of time, as we still use them in our Workings. But why use the image of a Fish, instead of the image of some powerful Deity?
The Fish and the sweet (purefying) water are representations of just such a Deity. That Deity is, ofcourse, Master ENKI.
Offerings of fish were frequently made in ancient Mesopotamia. Because the fresh water of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, which teemed with fish, was believed to well up from the ABZU, Enki’s Abode, it was natural for the fish to become associated with the Water God Enki. Enki is also the God of Wisdom, so the fish is also a symbol for wisdom. On Seals, of old Babylonian date, the image of the Fish is often placed close to figures and elements of ill omen for mankind, such as Gods and Demons attacking men. It may be that in such contexts the fish was intended to give a certain balance, as a sign of beneficence, to malevolent forces. This meaning may well be applied to the reason why the image of a Fish is included in the Exorcism.
For this article I used the following sources of information:
-The Necronomicon, written by Simon.(P.91,92)
-Amulets and Superstitions, written by Sir E.A. Wallis Budge.(P.79,98)
-Gods,Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia, written by Jeremy Black and Anthony Green.(P.65,81,82)