Dead Names, Dead Dog: A Magical Muddle, Part 6

Last time, we noted the curiously un-magical contents of Dead Names.  This time, I explore this further.

As long-time readers will know, I had the opportunity to interview “Simon” at length on the Sacred-Magick forums.  A number of interesting points emerged from that discussion, but here’s one of the most intriguing:  “Simon” was completely unwilling to discuss any aspect of his magical background, or any of his experiences with using the magic of the Necronomicon.  He stated that this was because he didn’t want to influence anyone else’s practice.

As Gunn’s book is ample proof, one key feature of occult rhetoric is an emphasis upon secrecy.  This may occur on several different levels.  Certain experiences might be beyond the capacity for language.  Oaths might prevent a practitioner from revealing particular information or practices.  A person may not reveal their status as a practitioner to others for fear of censure.  Secrets may be maintained to safeguard a particular procedure from outside influence, or used to create or keep power for means good or ill.

Still, “Simon’s” position is an unusual one.  He is willing to declare himself a practitioner, but he absolutely refuses to discuss any aspect of his practice.  Not all of his experiences can lie beyond attempts at explanation.  He never says an oath is laid upon him, and his anonymity should preserve his identity. He has no clear reason for his silence after all this time.

Further, if “Simon” really doesn’t want his opinion to affect his readers, he should perhaps avoid expressing opinions that affect his readers.  Take this passage from Dead Names:

While I was involved with the book, it haunted me:  my dreams and my nightmares became a stage on which bizarre spectacles took place in a language I could not understand.  I – and those around me – continued to experience strange visions and odd occurrences throughout the period the book was being printed and bound.  And now, thirty years after its completion, most of those involved with the book from the very beginning are dead; none from natural causes… It was perhaps this sensitivity to the Other World that doomed them; I cannot say for sure.

Yes, this does appear to be another example of a “magical” passage in the book that I didn’t remember when I posted last time.  Mea culpa.  On the other hand, “this book sent me strange dreams and most people involved died from unnatural causes which might have had something to do with magic” is really a passage you shouldn’t be writing if you don’t want to influence people.

(For the sake of accuracy, “Simon” tells us that he doesn’t think that the Necronomicon was the cause of any of this.  Of course, it does take him almost three hundred pages to get there.)

Let’s not forget the Necronomicon Spellbook, a book dedicated to the practice and effects of the various Names of Marduk. One would think that such a work would be exactly the sort one would avoid if one didn’t want their experiences to taint those of others.  Nonetheless, back into print it came.

“Simon’s” reasoning for his silence on these issues seems to have some curious gaps and lapses.  This indicates that something else might be going on.  But what?

Next, even more strangeness on Coast to Coast.

Published in: on October 11, 2006 at 11:52 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. […] As best I can tell, this is the sole passage in the entire 316-page book that describes a magical operation involved in the Necronomicon.  [EDIT:  I found another, as we’ll see in the next post.  Still, two paragraphs out of three hundred pages is pretty amazing.  Let me know if you notice others.]  As a matter of fact, it’s the only passage I found that suggests that “Simon” himself was actually involved in practicing magic of any variety, and it’s blurry on what exactly his part of all of this was. […]

  2. […] It’s all right to talk about your experiences with the Necronomicon, and in fact it’s more helpful to others if you do.  That is, unless you’re making a special point not to do it to avoid influencing people.  Or maybe it’s because of a mysterious custom of which nobody’s ever heard and that you’ve never mentioned until that instant. […]

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