Dead Names, Dead Dog: Those Zany Ziggurats

As Necronomicon practitioners are well aware, the central operation of the book is the Walking of the Gates, or the Gates of the Necronomicon. The initiate of the Necronomicon system must pass through seven gates, each one tied to a specific deity, color, metal, and planet to become a powerful magician capable of commanding all aspects of the cosmos. In Dead Names, “Simon” is anxious to point out the antiquity of this system.

This association of the seven planets with seven deities and a complex of colors, numbers, etc., was not unknown to ancient Sumer and Babylon. As Rawlinson, an early archaeologist working in Iraq in the middle of the nineteenth century – points out in his work on the temple of Nebo at Borsippa (south of Babylon on the Euphrates River), the seven-staged ziggurat found there had been covered in different colors, one for each stage and one for each planet, in the same order as the planets are given in the Necronomicon… It provides an early matrix of correspondences— between planets, gods, colors, metals, numbers, etc.—that will eventually influence the creation of later occult systems, such as the Qabala, the memory systems of Giordano Bruno and others, and the alchemy of Paracelsus.

Between those dots above, “Simon” takes us to task for speculating that the color scheme in the Necronomicon might be based on that in modern ceremonial magic instead of that used above. We’ll admit that “Simon” is right to this attribution, and we’ve put it in the errata.

Besides, accepting “Simon’s” version will make this much more entertaining.

The source “Simon” is quoting – though, as we’ll show, he hasn’t bothered to look at it himself – is H. C. Rawlinson, one of the pioneers of Mesopotamian archaeology. Rawlinson’s article on Borsippa can be viewed here through the Google Books project. It’s from 1861, so the question becomes if a more recent source contradicts him. (We’ll get to its actual content later.)

As a matter of fact, the Austrian team working at Borsippa has come up with quite a different view of the ziggurat, as told in an AP story from a few years ago:

Their picture of the temple’s exterior is almost complete. The first two levels were covered with bitumen and were black. The third, fourth and fifth were decorated with blue-glazed bricks and possibly adorned with bulls and lions.

The sixth and seventh terraces, close to the sanctuary, were wholly made of mud brick.

Thus, the historical evidence that supposedly validates “Simon’s” position on the Gates – and, I would argue, that served as the basis for the procedure he invented – has since been proven completely erroneous.

This is going to get worse. Come back in two days for more.

Published in: on August 4, 2006 at 12:28 pm  Comments (7)  

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  1. […] In our last two installments, we discovered that “Simon’s” supposed Mesopotamian origin for the Gates of the Necronomicon wasn’t really Mesopotamian.  Further, Simon seems to have deliberately ignored evidence that the entire color scheme was highly dubious, to say the least. […]

  2. […] In our last three installments, we examined the Gates of the Necronomicon and their complete and utterly embarrassing lack of correspondence to the Temple of Borsippa, as “Simon” discusses in Dead Names. […]

  3. […] of Adonai, a Hebrew name of God) and Nebou (possibly Nebo, the Babylonian god of writing honored at the ziggurat of Borsippa).   Still, much work remains to be done to tease out the meanings of these seeminly nonsensical […]

  4. […] To find more information from the source here […]

  5. Rawlinson says the color scheme corresponds to that of the Sabaeans and then says he thinks Nebuchadnezzar built the tower at Borsippa. If Sabaean here means Mandaean (and it might not, it might mean Idumaean), it’s interesting to note the Mandaeans have a tradition that Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter adopted their religion and his reign marked a time of greatness for their nation. He only perceives three colors but thinks they are in the correct place to represent the planets Saturn, Mars and Mercury. He seems to think the identification of colors isn’t a done deal and the tower was probably repainted over the years, so further archaeology is anticipated. If the Austrians are correct, the colors are out of sequence, with Saturn occupying the first two floors, Mercury lodging on floors 3, 4 and 5 and an unknown on the 6th and 7th floors, since presumably mud bricks could be varnished almost any color.

    Sorry to restate the obvious, just trying to get clear on this.

  6. o my god… I told myself I wouldn’t post any more but this one is just insane. ok, whether or not simon invented the necronomicon gate system we shall clear from our heads just for a second. I am not going to look up the source, but it is easy as hell to find, and if you are really into anthropology of the magic, witchcraft, and religion area, then you should have already read the book that I am thinking of. anyway, in this book, which was written by an anthropologist about a certain meso-american shaman tradition, the author describes information about certain initiation processes (also mentioning that they are related to the chakras) that is extremely similar in essence to what the necronomicon instructs. the colors, which meso-american that most likely had no contact with babylonions matched (almost) perfectly. compared to modern chakra systems, which have no initiations and terrible (that is unhealthy and dangerous) instructions as well as many of the numbers and colors being way off. I personally would trust the systems that two cultures somehow both developed on their own without ever contacting each other, if I was going to work with “chakras”, that is. what was this about again??? oh yea, I just have to point out again that walls can be painted over. and that there is indeed more evidence, if have the basic research skill to look, that at one point, at least the Babylonian ziggurat was intended to be used in a fairly similar fashion to that proposed by the author, are very well could have had the walls painted whatever colors on whatever step. we don’t know for sure though because the tower of Babylon has been completely decimated at least once, but I would guess twice as a minimum. if you read the Egyptian texts that they have found, as well as at least an overview of the bardo todol of Tibetan Buddhism, maybe you will perceive a glimpse of the mindset and ultimate reality the necronomicon attempts to unveil to you. is it a coincidence both are alleged to have been written in the 8th century? and then the both mysteriously come back to earth in the 15th only to slowly make their way into the minds and souls of millions??? (talking about the bardo and the necro of course) and what about the fact that the mandeans are the only culture ( that I have come across in research) to use seals and amulets in the fashion of the necronomicon (they have found lead seals from the 1-3 centuries that are mandaic) and Tibetan Buddhists are the only ones to have (oh no hear is some new stuff) used mandalas and chanting very similar ways and for similar purposes as the necronomicon attempts to explain? MANDALA. MANDEAN. MANDA means MIND.TRUTH.KNOWLEDGE. and what about the Magan??? who come from the west (aka Egypt) and have been vanquished a long time ago but held great power and knowledge and at the time of the writing of the necro. still lived, outside of the mad arabs world??? MAGAN.- MAYAN. and that the Tibetans (and hindus) seem to have records of a people called mayan which means illusion and went away and were not heard from again. (and that the Tibetan and mayan religions actually bear more similarities in many ways to much of Egyptian religion than any other, including Sumerian). and that occording the the Egyptians there was an Osiris of the “underworld” with a “hawk head” that conveniently describes a very common character of meso-american deities. and that magan was to the WEST, and BENEATH the middle east at the same time. anyone with a brain can clearly see that the sumerians (priests at least.) 1. knew the earth was round. 2. knew about the mayans and where they where and admitted that some of their knowledge came from them. too much for tonight, stop tricking me into this. you probably don’t care anyway. bye.

  7. Love this blog. As to Simons’ Necronomicon, you may like my thoughts on this most eldritch of subjects;

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