Continuing our series on the Simon Necronomicon‘s Gatewalking procedure, we were searching for a corresponding cosmology in Mesopotamia that would correspond to the seven layers of the Necronomicon. Is there proof of any of this?
Wayne Horowitz’s Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography asks this question. As it turns out, there are a few texts that do seem to include the notion of a seven-fold heaven, all of them being exorcisms against the demons that seem to have plagued Mesopotamia. I’ll quote one of his texts briefly here:
Seven evil lamastu-demons
Seven evil infectious lamastu demons
Heaven seven, earth seven.
This might be proof of a seven-fold heaven – or is it? Horowitz is open to the possibility, but he also observes that it would be unusual for a cosmology to only appear in exorcisms. In some texts, terms such as “seven” are translated as “all”, while later glosses often imply that it is seven demons that are referred to in heaven and earth rather than seven heavens and earths.
Thus, this is the evidence on the side of the Gatewalkers. But there’s quite a bit missing nonetheless. The “seven heavens” are never located, and might appear in some arrangement other than being stacked on top of each other. They are never associated with any gods, or planets, or minerals. Further, what tales we do have of the ascension – such as that of Etana – mention an entirely different cosmology than what is described here. In short, it’s unlikely that any Mesopotamian would have come up with the Gatewalking procedure as described in the Simon Necronomicon.
In fact, if we were looking for the whole complex that defines the Gatewalking – a seven-fold cosmos, encompassing the seven traditional planets, that could be ascended by a person armed with the right incantations and the right seals – it best corresponds to the sort of magic practiced in Gnostic circles just after the time of Christ. That sort of ascent through the Neoplatonic realms of the archons is really a late phenomenon in antiquity.
Now, I certainly don’t have any problem with people taking Mesopotamian names and concepts, inserting them into a Gnostic framework, and pursuing a strategy of personal growth. Still, it’s not a route of reconstructing or practicing ancient Mesopotamian knowledge. In fact, those who advocate Gatewalking ignore much of the genuine information we have on the Moespotamian cosmology and tales of ascent in favor of speculation and blind adherence to the words of a reconstructionist whose stances were passed by long ago.