The Meaning of AZAG-THOTH
in Simon’s Necronomicon
By WARLOCK ASYLUM
in Simon’s Necronomicon
By WARLOCK ASYLUM
Στον πυρήνα του Χάους, ο Μαύρος Τυφλός Θεός Αζαθώθ κάθετε στον θρόνο του παίζοντας την φλογέρα που η μουσική της γεννά κάθε μορφή. Αυτή είναι η μυστικιστική εικόνα του «άρχοντα» των Μεγάλων Παλαιών και ο απόλυτος στόχος του μάγου που ασκείτε στο Ρεύμα του Νεκρονομικόν. Παρόλ’ αυτά, η φιγούρα αυτή εμφανίζεται διαφορετικά τόσο στο Λαβκραφτικό έργο, όσο και στις εργασίες άλλων μάγων, όπως για παράδειγμα, του συγκεκριμένου συγγραφέα ο οποίος ανήκει στο Τάγμα του Νεκρονομικόν της Νέας Υόρκης. Αξίζει να μελετήσετε την ανάπτυξη της εννοιολογίας του Μαύρου Θεού, αν και περιορίζεται μονάχα στα πλαίσια του Simonomikon. Το άρθρο αναδημοσιεύεται από το εν λόγω web blog.
One of the more mysterious entities mentioned in the Simon Necronomicon is AZAG-THOTH. In his introduction, Simon describes AZAG-THOTH in the following words:
“Although a list is appended hereto containing various entities and concepts of Lovecraft, Crowley, and Sumeria cross-referenced, it will do to show how the Editor found relationships to be valid and even startling. AZATOT is frequently mentioned in the grim pages of the Cthulhu Mythos, and appears in the NECRONOMICON as AZAG-THOTH, a combination of two words, the first Sumerian and the second Coptic, which gives us a clue as to Its identity. AZAG in Sumerian means “Enchanter” or “Magician”; THOTH in Coptic is the name given to the Egyptian God of Magick and Wisdom, TAHUTI, who was evoked by both the Golden Dawn and by Crowley himself (and known to the Greeks as Hermes, from whence we get “Hermetic”). AZAG-THOTH is, therefore, a Lord of Magicians, but of the “Black” magicians, or the sorcerers of the “Other Side””
It is interesting to note that Simon mentions that “THOTH” was evoked by the Golden Dawn and Crowley. However, before we go further into this discussion, we should review the references to AZAG-THOTH, in the Simon Necronomicon itself.
The First Testimony of the Mad Arab mentions the following:
“I have summoned the ghosts of my ancestors to real and visible appearance on the tops of temples built to reach the stars, and built to touch the nethermost cavities of HADES. I have wrestled with the Black Magician, AZAG-THOTH, in vain, and fled to the Earth by calling upon INANNA and her brother MARDUK, Lord of the double-headed AXE.”
“But now, after One Thousand-and-One moons of the journey, the Maskim nip at my heels, the Rabishu pull at my hair, Lammashta opens her dread jaws, AZAG-THOTH gloats blindly at his throne”
We find another mention of AZAG-THOTH, in the INVOCATION OF THE SHAMMASH GATE:
“AZAG-THOTH is fallen off His Throne before Thee!”
We later find mention of AZAG-THOTH in the MAKLU Text, within the EXORCISM AGAINST AZAG-THOTH AND HIS EMISSARIES:
“AZAG-THOTH TA ARDATA! IA MARDUK! IA MARDUK! IA ASALLUXI!
You have chosen me for a corpse.
You have delivered me to the Skull.
You have sent Phantoms to haunt me.
You have send vampires to haunt me.
To the wandering Ghosts of the Wastes, have you delivered me.
To the Phantoms of the fallen ruins, have you delivered me.
To the deserts, the wastes, the forbidden lands, you have handed me over.
Open Thy Mouth In Sorceries Against Me No More!
I have handed thine image over
Into the flames of GIBIL!
Burn, Mad Fiend!
Boil, Mad God!
May the Burning GIRRA untie thy knots!
May the Flames of GIBIL untie your cord!
May the Law of the Burning seize your throat!
May the Law of the Burning avenge me!”
This is a very interesting passage. It reveals that AZAG-THOTH has the power and ability to send evil spirits to an individual, appoint that we will come back to later in our discussion.
The Book of Calling also makes reference to AZAG-THOTH:
“Know, thirdly, that by the Power of the Elder Gods and the submission of the Ancient Ones, thou mayest procure every type of honour, dignity, wealth and happiness, but that these are to be shunned as the Purveyors of Death, for the most radiant jewels are to be found buried deep in the Earth, and the Tomb of Man is the Splendour of ERESHKIGAL, the joy of KUTULU, the food of AZAG-THOTH.”
“Invocation of the North Gate
“Thee I invoke, Silver Hunter from the Sacred City of UR!
Thee I call forth to guard this North Place of the Most Holy Mandal against the vicious warriors of Flame from the Principalities
Be thou most vigilant against the UTUKKI of TIAMAT
The Oppressors of ISHNIGARRAB
The Throne of AZAG-THOTH!
Draw Thy bow before the fiends of ABSU
Loose Thy arrow at the hordes of Dark Angels that beset the beloved of ARRA on all sides and in all places.
Be watchful, Lord of the North Ways.”
He appears again in the INVOCATION OF THE FOUR GATES:
“AZAG-THOTH, TA KALLA!”
Later, we find another reference in the IA ADU EN I:
In the Book of Fifty Names, we find the following under the Thirty-Sixth Name LUGALLABDUBUR:
“Destroyer of the Gods of TIAMAT. Vanquisher of Her Hordes. Chained KUTULU to the Abyss. Fought AZAG-THOTH with skill”
Next we come to the MAGAN Text. Section 4 entitled the Sleep of ISHTAR gives us a few references to the name:
Blind AZAG-THOTH rejoiced
IAK SAKKAK rejoiced
The MASKIM gave praise to the Queen of Death
The GIGIM gave praise to ERESHKIGAL, Queen of Death
And the Elder Ones were rent “
Later we find the following:
“The demons of all the Abyss lay there
Dead but Dreaming, they clung to the walls
Of the House of Death
Faceless and terrible
The ANNUNAKI stared out
Blind and Mad AZAG-THOTH reared up”
Another reference is made here:
“The Dark Waters trembled and roiled. AZAG-THOTH screamed upon his throne”
Now we move on to the URILLA Text:
“Of all the Gods and Spirits of Abomination, there can be no use or gain to call upon AZAG-THOTH, as he is Surely Mad. Rendered sightless in the Battle, he is Lord of CHAOS, and the priest can find little use for him. He is also too powerful to control once called, and gives violent struggle before sent back to the Gate, for which only a strong and able magician may dare raise him. Thus, for that reason, his seal is not given.”
“And with these incantations, and with others, the sorcerers and the she-sorcerers call many things that harm of the life of man. And they fashion images out of wax, and out of flour and honey, and of all the metals, and burn them or otherwise destroy them, and chant the civilisations. And they cause plagues, for they summon PAZUZU. And they cause madness, for they call AZAG-THOTH. And these Spirits come upon the Wind, and some upon the Earth, crawling. And no oil, no powder, suffices to save a man from this inquity, save that exorcisms handed down and recited by the able Priest. And they work by the Moon, and not by the Sun, and by older planets than the Chaldaens were aware. And in cords, they tie knows, and each is a spell. And if these knots be found, they may be untied, and the cords burnt, and the spell shall be broken, as it is written:”
We now come to the last part of the Text entitled, The Second Testimony of the Mad Arab:
“And I have seen them in their Rites, and the awful Things they call forth from the Lands beyond Time. I have seen the Signs carved upon their stones, their altars. I have seen the Sign of PAZUZU, and ZALED, and those of XASTUR and AZAG-THOTH, and similarly those of ISHNIGARRAB and the awful Offspring of the Goat, and the terrible musicks of their Race.”
We can see that AZAG-THOTH is referred to numerous times in the Text. What I also found out is that the term “AZAG”, which appears in various part of the Text is also a reference to AZAG-THOTH. Yet AZAG-THOTH appears 14 times in the Text. If we include Simon’s reference we arrive at the number 15, a number that corresponds to the Devil in the Major Arcana. We must also keep in mind that AZAG-THOTH is also mentioned in the CHART OF COMPARISONS, which appears in the introduction of the Simon Necronomicon. It is here that we find AZAG-THOTH being compared to AIWASS. When we begin to approach AZAG-THOTH from the perspective of AIWASS, we should consider that AIWASS was the messenger who gave Crowley his revelation in 1904, but also considered by Crowley to be his HGA. In the book entitled Magick Liber Book Four, we find some interesting observations in the book’s introductory notes:
“I now incline to believe that Aiwass is not only the God or Demon or Devil once held holy in Sumer, and mine own Guardian Angel, but also a man as I am, insofar as he uses a human body to make his link with Mankind whom He loves…Aiwaz is not (as I had supposed) a mere formula, …but is the true most ancient name of the God of the Yezidis, and thus returns to the highest Antiquity. Our work is therefore historically authentic, the rediscovery of the Sumerian Tradition.
Crowley’s words indicate the depth of Aiwass, as ones’ higher self, but also as a deity. AIWASS’ appearance in the Book of the Law reveals yet another attribute:
“Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat”
We see from these words that AIWASS was a messenger for the “Child of Horius” or Hoor-paar-kraat. This brings into play the meaning of the term THOTH.
THOTH is a Greek corruption of the Egyptian term “TEHUITI.” Attributes of TEHUTI vary depending on what time period in Egyptian history you are dealing with. However, one aspect that seems to reveal itself in our studies in the designation of TEHUTI as a Scribe of the deities. E. A. Wallis Budge mentions this in his writings Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 page 409. This description of TEHUTI/THOTH seems to be the most appropriate in view of Aleister Crowley’s experiences with the energies of TEHUTI. Crowley received the Book of the Law only after invoking “THOTH” ( god of knowledge ). This would best explain why Simon connected AZAG-THOTH with AIWASS. Yet is also reveals something deeper. The Mad Arab, in his First Testimony, recounts for us his initiation and how he came to understand what was revealed to him. If we compare some of the passages in his Testimony, we can see that this revelation woild best be attributed to the deity AZAG-THOTH. Let us take a brief look at his Testimony:
“I picked it up and saw that it also was carved, as the stone, but very intricately, after a fashion I could not understand. I did not bear the same markings as the stone, but I had the feeling I could almost read the characters, but could not, as though I once knew the tongue but had since long forgotten. My head began to ache as though a devil was pounding my skull, when a shaft of moonlight struck the metal amulet, for I know now what it was, and a voice entered into my head and told me the secrets of the scene I had witnessed in one word:
In that moment, as though whispered fiercely into my ear, I understood.”
The above pasasage informs us that it was only after hearing the vooice of KUTULU that the Mad Arab understood the events that took place in the mountain. We will come back to this passafe after we look further in his account of what happened.
“Of the three carved symbols, the first is the sign of our Race from beyond the Stars, and is called ARRA in the tongue of the Scribe who taught it to me, an emissary of the Elder Ones. In the tongue of the eldest city of Babylon, it was UR. It is the Sigil of the Covenant of the Elder Gods, and when they see it, they who gave it to us, they will not forget us. They have sworn!”
Here we see a reference to a “scribe” who taught the Mad Arab the meaning of the Signs. This is a science that is attributed ti TEHUTI/THOTH. The passage goes on to state that “it is the Sigil of the Covenant of the Elder Gods,” Interestingly, the ARRA is said to describe the ‘Race from beyond the Stars.’ This is a reference to those who have been reborn in the blood of the Dragon, or the Ancient Ones. See the Elder Gods represent many things such as planetary energies and etc. However, one thing the Elder Gods represent that is not discussed in puplic circles are magicians, who were human at one time, and later became immortal gods. We see evidence of this in the Simon Necronomicon Tradition for it state in the Tome:
“THIS is the Book of the Ceremonies of Calling, handed down since the time the Elder Gods walked the Earth, Conquerors of the Ancient Ones”.
The above passage, while often misunderstood, is very clear. The Elder Gods were individual or a clan of magicians and mystics who were able to harness the powers of darkeness and remain alive after physical death consciously. This is the purpose of the Greater Mysteries. This is why the War between the Elder Gods and Ancient Ones can only be understood when read as a metaphore. Let us look at what the The Encyclopædia Britannica edited by Hugh Chisholm says on page 55:
“..gods of fire, wind and water, gods of the sea, and above allgods of the sky, show no signs of having been ghost gods at any period in their history. They may, it is true, be associated with ghost gods, but in Australiait cannot even be assertedthat the gods are spirits at all…,they are simply magnified magicians, super-men who have never died, we have no ground, therefore, for regarding the cult of the dead as the origin of religion in this area;”
The above quote is further evidence that the Elder Gods were deified magicians. In Christian Mythology, the whole theme of the life of Jesus Christ is an example of this. Now lt us get back to our discussion at hand. How can we be certain that AZAG-THOTH is the “Scribe” who revealed the “dark mysteries” to the Mad Arab? Let us make one more comparison to confirm this point. The Mad Arab mentions something very interesting in his description of the “amulet” he recovered from the fire:
“Wherefore, the amulet must be engraved upon pure silver in the full light of the moon, that the moon shine upon it at its working, and the essence of the moon incantations must be performed, and the prescribed rituals as given forth in this Book. And the amulet must never be exposed to the light of the Sun, for SHAMMASH called UDU, in his jealousy, will rob the seal of its power. In such a case, it must be bathed in water of camphor, and the incantations and ritual performed once again. But, verily, it were better to engrave another.”
Here we see something interesting. If the “amulet” that the Mad Arab recovered from the fire, was a sign of the Elder Gods, such as NEBO, then it would make no sense as to why SHAMMASH would rob the “amulet” from its power. However, when we consider all that we have discussed thus far, we can find some answeers by reviewing the INVOCATION OF THE SHAMMASH GATE. Notice what it states:
“KUTULU is burned by Thy Might! AZAG-THOTH is fallen off His Throne before Thee! ISHNIGARRAB is scorched black by Thy rays!”
Here tis the only Gate Incantation that makes reference to KUTULU (Cult of the Dragon), AZAG-THOTH ( Cult of the Dog ) , and ISHNIGARRAB ( Cult of the Goat ). Out of these three Ancient Ones, we know for certain that AZAG-THOTH is the messenger. Therefore, the “Scribe” that taught the Mad Arab via telepathy was AZAG-THOTH. We cannot conclude this discussion as of yet. We must also define the term “AZAG.”
AZAG is a derivative of the Sumerian term asg, which means “one who causes sickness.” This demon is often depicted as serpent of dragon. Simon mentions that AZAG-THOTH is a derivative of Azathoth, often mentioned in Lovecraft lore. Wikipedia mentions the following under the topic Azathoth:
“In “The Dreams in the Witch House” (1932), the protagonist Walter Gilman dreams that he is told by the witch Keziah Mason that “He must meet the Black Man, and go with them all to the throne of Azathoth at the centre of ultimate Chaos…. He must sign in his own blood the book of Azathoth and take a new secret name…. What kept him from going with her…to the throne of Chaos where the thin flutes pipe mindlessly was the fact that he had seen the name ‘Azathoth’ in the Necronomicon, and knew it stood for a primal horror too horrible for description.”
This description seems to give us another insight into how AZAG-THOTH is define in the Simon Necronomicon, as the Mad Arab often describes him sitting upon a Throne. It seems that AZAG-THOTH serves the purpose of being an Initiator into the “dark mysteries.” This is how Simon was able to compare AZAG-THOTH with AIWASS. I would have to agree with John Allee and his Book of Aiwass. He assigns AIWASS as being able to grant the ability of astral projection and to THOTH the ability to see and hear spirits. These attributes combined in what we have in the energies of the deity AZAG-THOTH.