It’s been a while since our last post in this series, so let’s get to our next contestant on our examination of spirit dictionaries – Vassago. Here’s what Mathers/Crowley had to say about him in the Goetia:
The Third Spirit is a Mighty Prince, being of the same nature as Agares. He is called Vassago. This Spirit is of a Good Nature, and his office is to declare things Past and to Come, and to discover all things Hid or Lost. And he governeth 26 Legions of Spirits, and this is his Seal.
Vassago shows up in a few other contexts, including other lists of spirits, the spirit scrying manuscripts of Frederick Hockley, and the serial killer villain in the movie Hideaway. He’s a good example of a low-profile grimoire spirit who nonetheless appears in multiple contexts.
To begin with, we have nothing in Mack or Lurker, which is not horribly surprising. He’s also not present in de Plancy, which is a bit more unexpected, although the Goetia hadn’t attained its preeminent position in Western grimoire literature until the following century.
Bane – A brief summary of his description in the Goetia, along with bibliographic references to both the Crowley Goetia and Peterson’s Lemegeton.
Belanger – Notes his appearance in the Goetia, including that of “Dr. Rudd,” as well as his lack of appearance in Wier and Scot.
Davison – Includes the Goetia, as well as references to Shah’s Secret Lore of Magic and Christian’s The History and Practice of Magic.
Gettings and Guiley – Little more than the information from the Goetia.
I’m somewhat disappointed in the coverage in all of these, I have to say. Given how peripheral much of the material I was seeking is, though, I suppose I couldn’t be surprised. Still, it bears noting that many of these sources don’t seem to include much beyond the Goetia. It’s important to realize that these sources are not exactly comprehensive, or that they explore magical sources to any great extent on their own. It just makes me appreciate matters more when they do.
My next post in the series will be the last, with a famous spirit rounding out our half dozen.