Thursday, February 22, 2018
Subject to Interpretation? You Be the Judge
In an online occult forum, someone asked whether spirits in the Goetia were considered to be speaking literal or figuratively especially where their powers were concerned. I have my own thoughts on this subject and decided it was time I spoke up and gave my nickel’s worth instead of just letting everyone else say their piece while I was quiet.
“The Thirty-second Spirit is Asmoday, or Asmodai. He is a Great King, Strong, and Powerful. He appeareth with Three Heads, whereof the first is like a Bull, the second like a Man, and the third like a Ram; he hath also the tail of a Serpent, and from his mouth issue Flames of Fire. His Feet are webbed like those of a Goose. He sitteth upon an Infernal Dragon, and beareth in his hand a Lance with a Banner. He is first and choicest under the Power of AMAYMON, he goeth before all other. When the Exorcist hath a mind to call him, let it be abroad, and let him stand on his feet all the time of action, with his Cap or Headdress off; for if it be on, AMAYMON will deceive him and call all his actions to be bewrayed. But as soon as the Exorcist seeth Asmoday in the shape aforesaid, he shall call him by his Name, saying: “Art thou Asmoday?” and he will not deny it, and by-and-by he will bow down unto the ground. He giveth the Ring of Virtues; he teacheth the Arts of Arithmetic, Astronomy, Geometry, and all handicrafts absolutely. He giveth true and full answers unto thy demands. He maketh one Invincible. He showeth the place where Treasures lie, and guardeth it. He, amongst the Legions of AMAYMON governeth 72 Legions of Spirits Inferior. His Seal is this which thou must wear as a Lamen upon thy breast, etc.”
Dealing With Asmoday
First realize that Asmodeus, Asmodai or Asmoday has a couple of other names not found in the Goetia. Chammadai or Sydonai are other names for Asmoday. I’ve even seen His name spelled Chasmadai or Chasmodai before. While I have not summoned the spirit using these names I am willing to bet He would submit to Them as well.
Thus far we know Asmoday is first under Amaymon, who is a ruler of the East. We also see that it is not a good idea to wear any sort of head covering and always standing while summoning this spirit lest Amaymon deceive the karcist (re: summoner). Notice too that it states when you have mind to summon him, “let it be abroad” which implies this is not a spirit to summon into your home or on your property as you should be abroad or not home. However IF you do as the grimoire suggests, it seems Asmoday will bow down to the ground before you especially if you ask Him if He is Asmoday.
What You Can Get From Asmoday? Plenty!
This spirit is loaded for bear as they say and He offers the Karcist a lot for the effort and time. Here is what the book says you get:
1) He gives the Ring of Virtues - this is rather an unknown I’m sorry to say. I neglected to ask this spirit about this when I summoned Him the first couple of times. I was on a quest for something else and didn’t bother to ask about any ring of virtues. In Wier’s “Pseudomonarchia Daemonum”, this ring is referred to as the “Ring of Venues”. Colin de Plancy states that Asmoday “gives rings influenced by astronomical bodies”. Thus most likely this has more to do with Asmoday teaching you how to make rings according to medieval astrology wherein the virtue & power of a planetary body or fixed star can be coalesced into a stone then set into a ring. This makes far more sense because as we will see, Asmoday is a teacher.
2) He teaches the Arts of Arithmetic, Astronomy, Geometry - He is fond of teaching the sciences. While I cannot state my mathematical skills are exemplary, they are far better than when I was in college struggling to make it. His version of teaching seems to be as you study the material seems to come to you easier and easier. My understanding of earth sciences has truly grown under this spirit’s tutelage. This is ideal for anyone who wishes to amp up their science knowledge.
3) He teaches all handicrafts absolutely - handicraft is a term first used in 1523 according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary the definition for this archaic term are:
1a: manual skill; b: an occupation requiring skill with the hands;
2: the articles fashioned by those engaged in handicraft
thus the idea is any skill where you work with your hands from basket weaving to sewing to brick laying to welding because they’re all ones where you work with your hands. Thus the idea of handy-crafts.
4) He gives true and full answers to thy demands - “Ask me a question, any question!” like the old mentalists used to shout to audiences. Here the spirit is saying He will be honest and give full answers to your questions.
5) He makes one Invincible - this one has vexed many practitioners for quite some time. Some seem to think this is a misprint and instead of invincible the scribe really meant ‘invisible’ but I tend to think Asmoday can make you invincible though not bulletproof. There are many ways of viewing invincibility such as an icon or martyr who died for a cause and whose memory lives on. Is he speaking purely of physical invincibility? Or figuratively? I tend to think it’s more in the magical combat arena. The spirit will help you overcome things that hold you back, educate you and even help you with magical rings so why not confer magical invincibility? With the idea being you can weather the onslaught of some mean practitioner’s spells or curses slung at you with the help of Asmoday’s invincibility.
6) He shows the place where treasures lie and what guards it - sometimes the dead guard the treasure they hoarded and died with. Once you know what guards a treasure and what the treasure is, then you can determine if the treasure is worth your time to procure via magic spells to shoo off the guardian spirit. Another meaning for treasures are the ones that lie deep within each of us. Those untapped powers, talents and abilities we all have that we do nothing to uncover until someone like Asmoday comes along and says, “Hey look what you can do here!” Knowing skills and talents can seriously amp up your financial standing in the business community. I mean perhaps you have a penchant for foreign languages? Why not tap into that and use into help you make some money? Or maybe you have a talent for other things that the spirit can help you uncover?
You get the idea yet? Things are not always cut and dried with spirits let alone the scribe who cobbled together the 72 names and seals to become the most popular grimoire of all time, the Goetia. With the 72 listed, we have to go hunting for Them in other places in medieval history to find more about Them such as alternate names, alternate seals and even clarification on things the spirit offers or can do for the karcist.
Spirits can do many things both inside as well as outside of us. They can work on our psyches to calm fear and emotions or stir up our courage make us invincible or show us talents we may possess or where we can find a hidden money stash. Honestly don’t try the latter unless you live in a place like Louisiana where people buried their money in the past especially pirates who would hide out there in the bayous. What’s the point of treasure hunting if there’s no hidden/buried treasure in your neighborhood?
Be open minded about interpretation as to what grimoires state. Gods for the love of Mike, do NOT become like a born-again xian who states, “The Bible said it, I believe it, that settles it!” and yes there are those who work grimoires with that exact mindset! Do you really want to be known as a “Fundamentalist Magician?” Things are not cut and dried especially today where there are few exceptions to the black and white viewpoint because most of us live in varying shades of gray so knowing we live in more modern times where things are far more complex than they were 500 years ago, don’t expect spirits to be like that either.