I must say that interviewing Ashnook was a very insightful experience. Part One of this Interview can be found at the following link:
However, we have decided to merge the whole interview into one in this article. I am sure that you will enjoy this treat. Ashnook was probably one of the first individuals to discuss some aspects of the Necronomicon Tradition in public. Now we get to hear in his own words about his initiation into the Necronomicon Tradition.
Warlock Asylum: For our readers who are unaware of who you are; can you please tell us about yourself and your role in the Necronomicon Tradition?
Ashnook: When I discuss occult related knowledge via the web I often go by the name “Ashnook” although my name within the Order of the Necronomicon is “Shunka Sapa” or “Abba En Shunka Sapa” to be more precise and so a few will know me by that name. When I came across the Necronomicon, and I will extrapolate on that in a moment, I was absolutely fascinated by its rituals and within a few years I came across several occult forums. I was astonished at how little information was available and so what meagre knowledge I had at the age of 15 I handed out as freely as I could. I worked several projects with various occultists from chaos magickians, Golden Dawn members, to the more Left-Hand Path types. The experiments were at the time fairly publicized, although after the demise ofoccultforums.com the archives exist only as such in the bowels of the internet. At any rate, I had been a part of, and in some small ways a catalyst for a shift in how the occult community views the Necronomicon. No longer were its writings to sit on the shelves of chaos magickians to be regarded with about as much reverence as a book on summoning comic book figures. Now in a somewhat public capacity more and more people were at least beginning to understand that the Necronomicon is an exceedingly powerful vehicle for spiritual death and growth. After the death of my first mentor, to be discussed more in depth in response to your second question, I was quite lost and for a time I had learned as much as I could without the aid of another teacher. New Years some time ago I received an email from a man in New York who stated his master told him to teach me how to gate walk. He explained that his master was Enki. Now at this point, having for several years run my own websites concerning the Necronomicon and having been an Admin and moderator for various popular occult sites, I was not new to people making outlandish claims to me. I was a bit intrigued though and something about the mysterious email caught my attention. I spoke to him via yahoo voice chat for what must have been hours and the next day I began Gate-Walking. After some time working together we began to attract others and shortly after we formed with a third to create the Order of the Necronomicon: Disciples of Enki. Through this organization I have taught many people Necronomicon magick. Some were ready to begin Gate-Walking and others only ready for slivers of knowledge. A few were initiated into the order and in turn began teaching others. While it may appear as though I have been a force within the Necronomicon Current, such thoughts are incorrect. It does not work that way, the current that is. It has used me, not the other way around. It has used me to expand the occult community’s overall knowledge of the system and also to teach its magick both publicly and on an individual basis. I have taught some only one or two rituals which were so necessary for their development at that time, but they were not yet ready for the rest. Others I have taught who have gone all the way through the underworld and back, to that place so close to the outside and so close to insanity, to that place of awakening. For this I am very grateful to have been a part of and to still be a part of. In my personal life I have just finished a four-year degree from a university in Texas and will be very soon returning to higher education to seek additional degrees as a graduate. I am about to get married to another Gate-Walker in a couple of months and hopefully will begin starting a family in the next few years.
Warlock Asylum: How did you come across the Simon Necronomicon and what inspired you to work with it? Also I remember an older man who you mentioned was influential in learning more about the Necronomicon; Can you describe a little bit about this?
Ashnook: About a decade ago I was in a bookstore peering at the spines on all of the books in the occult section when one fell on me from the top shelf. I picked it up and across the cover was written the word “Necronomicon” with what I now know to be the sigil of the gateway. Unlike the other books in the store it was wrapped in plastic in such a manner that it could not be opened until purchased. I was moved by a force I had never felt and a moment later I had the book purchased and was outside the store flipping though the pages. The illustrations and ancient language spoke to me and putting the book down became an impossibility. I soon after acquired a copy of the spellbook and began experimenting. The results from those early experiments were always fast and very noticeable. Soon after I moved back to the book itself working through the exorcisms and incantations. Each provides in differing ways what feels like an explosion of energy and such results served to press me forward. I had reached a point though where I was having much difficulty understanding many aspects of the text when I came across a now defunct forum called occultforums.com On that board a man named Robert Hendricks, or Bob as his friends knew him, posted under the name “IAM”. Long before I met his acquaintanceship he had worked through the system in its entirety, Gate-Walking and all. I had not yet come across anyone who had done so and at first he guarded his secrets quite heavily although encouraged experimentation. As I continued to progress through the book he became a mentor to me, teaching me many things about magick, the Necronomicon and otherwise. He taught me how to travel through the mind and eventually how to enter the plane of existence many call the astral….NOT DONE WILL CONTINUE LATER SORRY HAVE TO RUN OUT THE DOO
Ashnook continues: In short, Bob not only guided my work with the Necronomicon but also taught me all of the things that an aspiring practitioner of the occult should know. He introduced ceremonial theory to me and instructed me on how to apply its use in practice. He stressed the importance of ritual and ritual well done but showed the absolute necessity of the development of the Will, something vastly more important than even ritual. Ritual, he taught me, was a vehicle for the journey every wizard, sorcerer, and magickian takes. However, such a vehicle is useless without an iron Will. Although a mentor he worked mostly in the background with more of a guiding hand than a directing one until about the last six months of his life. During this time we talked almost daily and he pressed the application of what he had taught me. He introduced me to planetary magick as well as other systems and in general taught me quite a number of occult techniques. When he died I spoke with his brother who stated that Bob had been planning for his death and had made preparations for a year. My escalated education seems to have been part of that. I am so very thankful to have known him and had the time with him that I did.
Warlock Asylum: How has your life changed since Gate-Walking?
Ashnook: I remember being about thirteen and reading through the section in the Necronomicon pertaining to the Gate-Walking rituals. Oh the thoughts that ran through my mind! I imagined that once having finished the initial gates, the ones written about in the Necronomicon, I could at last become a powerful Wizard who would be able to bend the universe the my will. Some years later when I started and finished walking the gates set forth in the written part of the system it was less fantastical than I had considered it might be all those years ago. It was more psychological than I considered although I must admit that walking the first Gate was quite an eerie experience. I had worked with magick and with the Necronomicon’s current for almost five years before I started Gate-Walking but still opening the first Gate was quite a shift for me and indeed one that I could feel quite readily. It is a difficult feeling to describe, perhaps aptly described like the feeling one gets when they start at a new school or a new job but elevated a hundred fold. The five years I spent around the current barely prepared me for jolt I felt when I fell upon Nanna’s gate on my floor. When one walks a gate there are many things taking place, partly involving an invocation of the Gate God. Evocation involves drawing out, as in what takes place when one conjures a spirit. Invocation, and the Simon Necronomicon has far more to do with invocation that it does evocation, draws in a thing. I had once asked Bob when he was still around what it felt like to invoke a god. He described it as the feeling one might get when a train hits you. The night I walked the first Gate I found out firsthand. The initial process of Gate-Walking, which took me around a year and a half to finish, produced a psychological state that a professional might describe as bi-polar. I do not mean to say that the time I spent Gate-Walking the written gates caused me to become bi-polar but rather that one going through the process might be diagnosed as such while they are working through it. It was difficult to say the least and I surmise that there are those that the Gate-Walking journey is simply not meant for, at least not in this lifetime. That is not to discourage, not by any means, but to state quite plainly that theGate-Walking experience is exceedingly trying. I believe it is Dan Harms that discusses the Necronomicon system as being similar to what some Kabbalists refer to as the Tree of Death. While I would say the Lovecraftian works have a clear cut and dry relation to the Tree of Death, Simon’s Necronomicon is a bit different. However, if I had to compare the Gate journey to more western forms of high magick I would certainly say it relates more to the kind of work involved in some of the Tree of Death operations than it does the Tree of Life. At the very least it is far more harsh than I initially expected. I do not want to get pinned down in comparing Simon’s Necronomicon system to Kabbalistic works but in passing allow me to say that whereas in Kabbalistic works one works through the Tree of Life first then only perhaps the Tree of Death as an adept the opposite is true for Simon’s Necronomicon. While only useful for a passing reference it should give some magickians more used to the western flavor of high magick some food for thought. The Gate system prepares one of the “attack that will surely come from the outside” and so it is a preparation for walking through the Underworld. Afterwards one does not move to a more holy place but rather exceedingly close to the outside. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote a work titled “Thus spoke Zarathustra” wherein Nietzsche’s prophet Zarathustra is told by life “Break Zarathustra Break, for what do you matter!” Many other forms of magick initiation take bits and pieces of ego and work at them over a prolonged period of time giving the operator back the pieces, albeit more cleansed and more attuned to the Higher Self, as he or she moves forward. In the Gate-Walking system the ego is torn asunder. It is not worked with little by little. It is quite possible at that point, that point so close to the outside, for the lower parts of the self to overwhelm. This is why it is so important for the Operator of the Gate system to work with his or her Watcher. In part the Watcher prevents the lower parts of the self from flooding in. What are you given though at the end of the journey? What have I been given? Not an end to be sure but rather just a beginning wherein communication amongst the Higher parts of the self are made abundantly easier. That does not mean easy, but easier. A lot of layers inherent between the waking self, our everyday self so to speak, and the Higher Self are removed. To be sure self-doubt, loathing, and many other problems that every day people face are still present. The gate system has nothing to do with removing all of life’s problems rather it serves to cause our relationship to those problems to become much more clear and easy to confront. It allows one to work at one’s affairs much easier and coherent than before. It is not a way toward power, toward destruction of all of one’s enemies, nor is it a conduit for unlimited success. It is a journey that helps one begin to master the self.
Warlock Asylum: What is the most important thing you ave learned since becoming a Gate-Walker?
Ashnook: There are a lot of things that I have learned about myself and about those close to me that are of a personal nature although in general becoming initiated through the Necronomicon Tradition has revealed myself to me. That has been very important. I have learned also that the warnings given in the introduction and indeed those given by the book’s narration are not ones to be taken for granted. There are real dangers inherent in the work and their confrontation can push a person to their limits at times. It is worth it, however one should know what they are getting into when they begin working with the system.
Warlock Asylum: What advice would you give to newcomers who are trying to learn the system?
Ashnook: Find someone who has worked through the system faithfully to help you along your way. It will shave quite a bit of danger away. Experiment with the current before committing yourself to the Gates and afterwards if you feel like the current has something to offer then press forward with all courage and vigor. Know that this system of magick is unlike most others and results are often immediate for better or worse. Hesitation cannot exist and at times its appearance serves only to hurt. The book itself is an amulet which serves the Operator in times of need. When the howling of the hounds loudly penetrates your mind, and they will, the book serves one quite well. Learn well the exorcisms and conjurations of power. I cannot stress enough the importance of the power raised by the “Great Mystical Conjuration” nor can I stress enough the importance of working with the Fire God, the Watcher, and the Three Great Watchers as they are called. The spellbook is a great way to work with the system’s current, but for the full show use the method outlined in the Necronomicon. I am speaking now about the conjuring of spirits. You should also know that when you are conjuring a spirit you are in part invoking the spirit. The spellbook provides a way to conjure the spirit’s essence into a talisman or sigil and at times even allow the spirit to appear. This is not always good nor does it always produce positive results although nearly always immediate. When ready, move on to using the outline in the book for conjuring. Something of an invocation will occur. If you are not comfortable with this leave the system immediately. I am not saying that the spellbook should be avoided, quite the contrary. It does however work with the spirits in ways they were not necessarily designed to operate with. Experiment, experiment, experiment. Only know that if you cannot handle the idea of an outside force entering upon yourself, this work is not for you. I speak now not only about conjuring the fifty names but about the use of the callings of power and even the exorcisms. Ritualistically it may appear similar to other working however differences abound. For example in the Goetia the triangle of art is often used not only to cause the spirit to manifest but to bind. Such contraptions are not used in the Necronomicon Tradition. For a long time I considered the theoretical location of the spirit when called via the book’s method. In practice I quickly discovered, inside the circle of power the Operator has already constructed. NOT outside of it. The Watcher necessarily watches but more so watches and keeps the Operator protected from the denizens of negative energies that these operations sometimes attract. I add that the relationship with one’s Watcher is so vastly important to the work. From Kur, from the underworld, from deep beneath the black earth, does the Watcher come from and represents aspects of the lower self at times. These aspects manifested through the Watcher MUST be taken through the journey alongside the Operator or they will swallow one entirely when he or she works through Adar. Have confidence in yourself and your work. If called to the work continue faithfully.
Warlock Asylum: Any closing thoughts?
Ashnook: I love it, the Necronomicon, the Order, the Gates, all of it. It is so much apart of life for me even when I have to take a hiatus away from ritual. Here I shall add a warning to fools seeking to Operate the Book of the Worm. It contains more blinds than any other chapter from an occult manual that I have ever read. Its use contains gems available to those initiated through the Gate system. Here is a hint, it has nothing to do with conjuring Kutullu, Tiamat, and ghastly Abominations. Those that use it for purposes of such evil will have their psyche ripped apart by what they conjure. The Urilla Text can open many doors but there is only one door opened for the uninitiated. Insanity…Worked faithfully the Necronomicon system of initiation has the ability to open up within the Operator so much love and devotion. It is a truly wonderful journey. While events in my movement through the world have quited public work with the Necronomicon for me over the past few years, it is time for my involvement to once again regain its old level and hopefully with more wisdom than before.
Warlock Asylum: How many people have you taught Gate-Walking to?
Ashnook: I have taught the Necronomicon in varying degrees to quite a number of people, more than I can count. Indeed the Necronomicon has much to offer independent of the Gate-Walking system, although that is of course the most potent and I would say rewarding part of the system. Gate-Walking requires a person to be at a particular point in their spiritual growth that many simply are not at. I do not wish to elevate myself above anyone else or elevate Gate-Walkers above other practitioners. However, that some are ready for a basic introduction to faery magick and other ready for pathworking is not great secret. Both are perhaps worthy endeavors if they bring the Operator happiness but it is quite irresponsible to teach Gate-Walking to those not ready for the journey. To that end I have taught Gate-Walking to around forty people. Some have been exclusively my students, some I helped teach alongside other Gate-Walkers, and some I have met so ready for the journey that my presence was more of a guide than a teacher after working through their first Gate. Right now I am working with two students both who are just a few months away from the Underworld. I have also been informed that an old student of mine just recently in the past month completed the written initiation passing through Adar. To receive such news brings joy to my heart. I am now at a place in my life where I am ready to begin teaching Necronomicon again so may take on more students in the near future…..Thank you for the time.
Warlock Asylum: Thank you very much indeed! Regardless if you agree with the Necronomicon Tradition or not, I must say that it has worked for you as seen in your personal growth and maturity. I wish you all the best in your endeavors. Stay blessed!