The Testament of Solomon, Part 17

After the seven demons are put to work, Solomon calls up another figure – who appears with no head!  Who is this?

“I am called Murder; for I devour heads, wishing to get a head for myself, but I do not consume enough.  I long for a head to do exactly what you do, O King.”

Solomon will have none of this, and quickly binds him.   After complaining about Ornias’ treachery, Murder gets down to answering Solomon’s obvious questions, such as, how does he see what’s going on?

“Through my breasts!”

And how can he answer questions, anyway?  He explains, afterward going into his particular proclivities.

“My voice has taken over voices from many men; for I have closed up the heads of those among men who are called dumb.  When infants are ten days old, and if one cries during the night, I become a spirit and I rush in and attack (the infant) through his voice… I grab hold of heads, cut (them) off, and attach (them) to myself; then, by the fire which is continually (burning) in me, I consume (them) through my neck…”

This terrifying figure is actually a common motif in many of the writings in the magical papyri and elsewhere.   Sometimes connected with the slain-and-risen Osiris and at others with the dwarf-jokester Bes, this being is known there as the Headless One, and he often appears as a target for powerful incantations.

The Headless One is significant for the history of modern occultism, as a 19th century ritual translating the spirit’s name as “the Bornless One” was picked up by Aleister Crowley and incorporated into his version of the Goetia.   You can read more about that, as well as about Simon’s attempt to prove that the ritual is Sumerian because Jack Parsons said it was, here.

Returning to the passage, Solomon asks what can stop this demon.  The answer is not encouraging:

“It is by a fiery flash of lightning that I am thwarted.”

Solomon apparently doesn’t have lightning nearby, so Murder gets to hang out in the courtroom, apparently “until the time when a friend might arrive.”

Whose friend?  Solomon’s?  The head-eating baby-attacking demon’s?  We’ll find out on Monday.

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Published in: on January 5, 2008 at 8:55 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Testament of Solomon, Part 18 What do you do for an encore after calling up the headless spirit of Murder? It’s time to bring out the big dogs – or rather, one really big dog. …he spoke to me […]


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