Tag Archive | John Zorn

Book of Angels Vol 12: Stolas

StolasStolas is the 36th of the 72 Spirits of Solomon in the 17th century grimoire Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis or The Lesser Key of Solomon Ars Goetia (from Latin: something like ‘The Howling Art’). The book contains descriptions of the seventy-two demons that King Solomon is said to have evoked and confined in a bronze vessel sealed by magick symbols, and that he impelled to work for him. It details instructions on summoning and binding (rather than asking for favours) the demons into obedience. The book also references material dating back to the 14th century or earlier, unsurprisingly it didn’t just appear out of a vacuum.

Stolas is a day demon and Great Prince of Hell commanding twenty-six legions of demons. He teaches astronomy and the properties of plants and herbs as well as precious metals. He is also known as Stolos and Solas. He is depicted as either being a wise crowned owl with long legs, a raven, or a man. As a man he apparently has silky long dark brown curly hair and blue eyes. His wings are cream colored and laced with gold trim. He is supposedly calm and peace seeking generally but troublesome and at times antagonistic when drunk, perhaps from playing with the indulgent spirits of humans for too long. He has also been known to prey on young ladies that get drunk too easily when he himself is sloshed.
Personally I like the image of a long legged owl king.

Stolas also governs the following: The zodiac position of 25-29 degrees of Virgo, dates of September 18th-22nd, 10 of Pentacles and the Planet Venus.

Zorn’s volume 12 in the Book of Angels has been reviewed by one obvious fan as the single most beautiful album in the Book of Angels series so far. As nice as it is, I still prefer those whacked out Klezmer hybrids. I’m just not a huge jazz man, sorry.

Book of Angels Vol 9: Xaphan

ukobach_XaphanAccording to the Dictionnaire Infernal, Xaphan was one of those misbegotten fallen angels who rebelled against God alongside Satan. He is a demon of the 2nd rank who has a supposed creative and rather inventive mind, coming up with the idea to set fire to heaven, before he and the other apostates were speared down to the eternal bowels of fire. He carries a bellows as an emblem, but, poor bugger, must fan the flames of the abyss with his mouth and hands. He is sometimes known as the Angel of Invention (just for wanting to burn down heaven..?, now every damn arsonist will be claiming genius).

I’ve also heard it whispered that Xaphan himself is rather shy and self effacing. Thus, if you ever encounter him and find him to be glum and unresponsive, be nice, the poor thing has spent eons blowing air into the fallen Archangel’s belly and involuntarily bursting into flame whenever he tries to talk, not to mention having to passively listen to many other demons’ jibes and jokes about having to fan the fires for eternity with his mouth. He may even regret the untold lengths of time he has been without wings and God’s gracious prescence. All in all Xaphan probably just wants some half decent company who can show him round the playground he was never able to explore himself since bypassing it entirely on the way to hell.

On the flipside, ‘…one should never mistake a shy & wary nature for weakness, or take such characteristics for granted, this is game-play fit only for idiots who don’t know they are idiots, pretend zen monkeys masquerading as rice stick charmers and the like…’ (as quoted from The Diabolical Book of Idiocy as Uttered from a Nebulous Etheric Heretic, 2012).

Lastly, you really shouldn’t be reading these things, it’s terribly dangerous, since calling an Angels Name (fallen or no) is asking this angelic energy to make itself known to you. Glad I dropped that in at the end. The song below will however clear the decks of any and all stickiness related above.

Book of Angels Vol 8: Volac

Volac (Valac, Ualac, Valak, Valax, Valu, Valic). The Sixty-second Spirit and mighty Great President of Hell, having thirty something legions of demons under his command. Volac is said to give true answers about hidden treasures and the position of the planets. He is also a snake catcher of sorts; revealing the whereabouts of serpents and delivering them to the magician or exorcist in a benign state. He appears as a small poor boy with angel wings riding on a two-headed dragon.

Book of Angels Vol 7: Asmodeus

Asmodeus or Asmodai is a king of demons mostly known from the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit, in which he is the primary antagonist, ‘a raging fiend’. He is referred to as one of the seven princes of Hell, the demon of lust responsible for twisting people’s sexual desires and condemning them to the second level of hell. His name is believed to be derived from the East Iranian language Avestan (the language of Zoroastrian); aēšma-daēva, meaning wrath-demon. As such Asmodeus is a Persian, rather than Jewish devil devil in origin. According to the Kabbalah and some other sources, a succubus mated with King David and bore a cambion son Asmodeus. He has also been recorded as the off-spring of the union between Adam and the angel of prostitution, Naamah, sister of Tubal Cain. A cambion is the half-human offspring of the union between a human and succubus/incubus. Merlin from the Arthurian legend is also a cambion, as is Caliban, the son of the witch Sycorax in The Tempest by William Shakespeare¡

Asmodeus is mentioned in other Christo-Judean and Occult works including the Talmud, the Testament of Solomon (where he was compelled to aid in the construction of the Temple), Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of the Witches – a book primarily responsible for the systematic persecution of witches), the Dictionnaire Infernal (concerning demonology), the Lesser Key of Solomon and Francis Barrett’s The Magus (not the novel). On the flip side, he was long ago named as an angel of the Order of Thrones by Pope Gregory I in C6th AD.

Asmodeus’ reputation as the personification of lust continued into later writings of the The Renaissance after the invention of the printing press. His reputation and credits widened to include that of being the inventor of carousels, music, dancing, drama, ‘and all the new French fashions’. He’s perfectly at home in modernity I’m sure, since the days of Descartes and the west’s emancipation from Church doctrine.

Lastly, Asmodeus has once or twice also gone by the name of Saturn, which is again staring down at us now, hanging loosely to the east just below Spica, tucked inside the virgin’s underwear, a fitting place for him, or so our self flagellatorical history would tell us 🙂

Book of Angels Vol 6: Moloch

Moloch from Molech/Melech, rooted in the Hebrew letters mllk (מלך): King. A divinity worshipped by idol loving pagans and arguably Sun god of the Ammonites in present day Jordan. An apparently malevolent God of child sacrifice, firstborn children were sacrificed to him to renew the strength of the sun fire. That’s me finished then. As the Bible puts it “Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon [1 kings 11:7]”. Some heavily weighted Christians compare the ancient rites of Moloch to modern time ‘abortion massacres’, innocent life discarded for the gain of the parent. Such practices were also common throughout certain surrounding areas including as far afield as Carthage and parts of North Africa. According to some sources, the Moloch in the Old Testament is not a god, but a specific form of sacrifice.

As an aside to religio-historical arguments, the Australian Thorny Devil’s scientific or latin name is also Moloch horridus; horrible Moloch. But actually they’re really cool and cute when they’re sitting in the palm of your hand.

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