Babalon Diaries: The Consecration of a Grimoire

This is the fourth in a series of posts about my adventures during 2005, leading up to the performance of Paul Green’s play Babalon. The story is full of cloak and dagger, initiatory strangeness, chaos, and hysteria. It shows what can happen on the Magical path if one is not careful…(as if one has choice…)

Directed by Alison Rocbrand, Babalon was performed on December 16, 2005 at the John Gielgud Theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts to a sold out audience of London’s finest occultists and magicians. If you want to listen to it, click Radio QBSaul: Archives: Babalon. I play Marjorie Cameron/Babalon. I am called Angela Murrow because I had to hide my identity.


Treadwells Bookshop

Treadwells Bookshop

Treadwells Bookshop, Covent Garden

Treadwells Bookshop in Covent Garden is gathering place for esoteric people of all stripes. The owner, Christina Oakley-Harrington, holds fascinating talks and workshops in a small open space in the basement.  Often transformed with draperies, altars, ritual tools, even a coffin when the vampires want to do a reading, this Temple of Arte is the venue for weekly lectures, workshops and events that attract magical people from all over the world..
One August night, Christina was hosting an interesting event that would bring me into contact with an unexpected destiny. This event was to be a consecration of a Grimoire dedicated to the Infernal Powers called Liber Niger Legionis, Grimoir of Phaoron.

Grimoire

Before this I had steered clear of the dark powers, but I was working on a novel, Dark Night, Lily Bright, in which the Sorceress Lianna Hedegwicke, was a practitioner of the Elizabethan Magic and demonology. I wanted to learn as much as possible about the psychology of those attracted to the Left Hand Path, and find out what techniques they used to invoke spirits. The consecration of a Grimoire was an opportunity to do a little research. Naughty me, but the writer’s mentality is such.

As I descended the narrow Georgian stairs of Treadwells the smell of incense told me preparations were being made. I had never seen the room decked out like this before! The walls were hung with long swathes of red and black cloth, the black draped altar was facing the South wall, placing the Magician in the North, facing the fiery South. (The desire of the Magician to bring the Fire Element to him in order to invoke infernal spirits is obvious. In Left Hand cosmology, Fire is the element of Satan).

There were a few people sitting in a half circle of chairs facing the altar.  At the center of the altar was frightening horned mask, and on its horns lay the Grimoire, bound in black leather with a reversed red pentagram embossed in the center. Candle branches illuminated the darkness with sputtering and smoky lights. A slim girl in tight black clothes, with a cloud of dark curls around her pale pretty face, paced around the room trying to keep us entertained, while some creepy ambient music clashed and thrummed to create an atmosphere of incipient chaos.

Liber Niger Legionis

Liber Niger Legionis

Phaoron was late, as I was his habit I would learn….The guests sat patiently. One man kept talking to me about something to do with sigils — a subject I didn’t understand very well at the time.   His chatting me up his was wearing  thin when Phaoron finally arrived flustered, but with no need of a wardrobe change.

The Ritual began with Pharaon reading from the Introduction to his little black book.
It was worth waiting for, for Pharaon’s writing was sheer poetry, his deep connection to the demonic world that would inspire my research.

Babalon

Babalon sigil

Review

Here is a  review of the Grimoire  from  the website of the Chaos Magical Theatrical Group, Foolish People. Their director, John Harrigan, is a talented magician himself.

They often perform at the Horse Hospital in London.

The Grimoire of Pharaon:

Sorcery, Chumbley, Spare, Chaos

Liber Niger Legionis, The Grimoire of Pharaon

£350
First Edition: Octavia Press 2005. Hardback 162pp. Author: Pharaon. This copy is Number 4 of the numbered limited edition of only 36 copies. It is signed and sigilised by the author. In this first edition, sigils to 36 daemons were individually produced. Copy 4 is dedicated to Samael; this unique sigil is starkly remarkable. The book’s content consists of an original grimoire, though it is evident that inspirations are drawn from Austin Osman Spare, Kenneth Grant and Andrew Chumbley. The grimoire presents an original system of Gnostic sorcery, which is both practical and cosmological. Eschewing the traditional esoteric cosmology that describes the Supernal or Divine that is in opposition to the Infernal, it instead it regards the ‘hostile’ or ‘demonic’ forces as being inherently illusory, indeed that which is the illustory itself. The response to this insight is the spiritual aim, what Pharaon calls ‘Black Gnosis’. In it, the sorcerer apprehends mystically the transience of identity. As the infernal (illusory) nature of reality is identified, one is enabled to ford the currents that underlie it, recognizing their sentience and power. In this system, the sorcerer becomes a mirror for that which is beyond. As the author draws upon the entire magical tradition, the Daemons summoned are traditional ones, ones that most will recognize. It is their relevance to postmodern reality that is emphasized, however. The author is transgressive, fiercely iconoclastic, and solitary; despite the fact that Infernal Sorcery is explicitly referred to as Cainite and relates to the work of Andrew Chumbley, the author is not a member of his Cultus Sabbatai, but instead works independently. The book, after outlining and instructing the system of Gnosis and magical practice, lists the 36 daimons, with their natures, their meaning and relevance to the system and sigil. The first edition, in which only 36 copies were printed, has become highly sought after even within the first six months after its release. Issue points distinguishing it from the second edition are the upright direction of the cover pentagram, and the particular decoration of the endpapers.

Liber Niger Legionis, The Grimoire of Pharaon

Author: Pharaon
£60.00
Second Edition: Octavia Press 2005. Hardback 162pp. This copy is Number 22 of the numbered limited second edition of only 72 copies. It is signed and sigilised by the author. This second edition features a different decorated end paper to the first edition. Also, compared to the first edition, the pentagram on the cover is inverted, which in fact was the author’s original intent.

Liber Niger Legionis, The Grimoire of Pharaon
Another copy of the second Edition: Octavia Press 2005
£60.00 – Number 36, of the numbered limited edition of 72 only copies

I just saw one of these for sale on Ebay for $1250.00.

To listen to the Radio Show, Babalon, click here:

Babalon: Part One

Babalon: Part Two

by Andrew Chumbley

by Andrew Chumbley

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