The Testament of Solomon, Part 16

Following his brush with Lix Tetrax, Solomon conjures up another demon.  Imagine his surprise when he gets seven!

“We are heavenly bodies of this world of darkness.” The first said, “I am Deception.” The second said, “I am Strife.” The third said, “I am Fate.” The fourth said, “I am Distress.”  The fifth said, “I am Error.”  The sixth said, “I am Power.”  The seventh said, “I am the Worst.”

This pattern of seven spirits is quite common throughout history.  During Mesopotamian civilization, seven spirits were seen as the servants of the gods, or demons bringing illness and misfortune, or possibly both at the same time.  (Simon uses this in the Necronomicon, but he gets it via Pritchard’s Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament.)  Some Gnostics believed in seven archons, or celestial spirits, each of which must be bypassed using the proper password to gain one’s heritage.  In much later eras, such works as the Arbatel and the grimoires attributed to Faust featured seven spirits with different powers who must be treated with.  I’d hesitate to suggest that the later instances in the series derive from the former – there’s just not enough evidence – but it’s a striking similarity nonetheless.

“Our stars in heaven look small, but we are named like gods.  We change our position together and we live together, sometimes in Lydia, sometimes on Olympus, sometimes on the great mountain.”

That’s just confusing.  I’ve heard people suggest both the Big Dipper and the Pleiades as the stars mentioned here.  It’s also not clear why the seven spirits spend so much time commuting…

Solomon interrogates each individually.  From their responses, it’s clear that Solomon is not a man who takes a hint, even when delivered with a club:

“I am Error, King Solomon, and I am leading you into error, and I led you into error when I made you kill your brothers…” “I am Power.  I raise up tyrants, I depose kings…” “I am the Worst, and you, King, I shall harm when I order (you to be bound) with the bonds of Artemis… For if anyone is wise, he will not follow in my footsteps.”

No, I have no clue what the “bonds of Artemis” might be.

Being done with them, Solomon puts these spirits to work digging the foundation of the temple.  Given that we just saw Lix Tetrax tossing up stones to men on the walls, we have a slight inconsistency here, showing that perhaps the writers weren’t paying as close attention to the narrative aspect of the text as they could have been.

Saturday:  You know it’s – murder?

Published in: on January 3, 2008 at 9:59 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Papers Falling from an Attic Window Dan Harms: Barber, Dentist, Purveyor of Fine Curios, And Official Franchisee of ‘Abramelins World Famous Cobra Oil Elixir’ « The Testament of Solomon, Part 16 […]

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