The council were trying to close down Wilson Marriage again, saying it was too small to justify its costs. They proposed the students be redistributed to Philip Morant, St. Helena’s and Thomas Lord Audley. They wanted to tear the school down and build some kind of leisure centre, or something. The defence was that Wilson Marriage was a historical listed building. The meeting to decide all our fates was this very evening, although we would have to wait until tomorrow to hear the conclusion. The school day had finished and I had gone straight to the station to catch the first available bus home. I heard fire engines blaring their sirens, barging their way through the traffic along the nearby Head Street.
I thought nothing of it until I heard someone close by say to someone else; “Have you heard? Wilson Marriage is on fire!”
I rushed to the top of the multi-story car park to get a view across town. There were huge clouds of thick black smoke rising from ‘Upper School’. I could even see the ladders from the fire trucks, the firemen at their tops disappearing into the smoke as they doused with their hoses.
I sprinted back to the ground floor and from there through the streets, taking every short cut I knew and reaching school in record time. Cutting through a hole in the fence and approaching from the playing field I saw a large gathering had formed, kids from the school who lived locally and a few teachers, one or two of whom were looking at me as if they thought I might be responsible.
There was a moment where it looked like a back wall might fall down, crashing into the lower playground and potentially crushing a whole load of slack jawed kids, but so far everything remained standing.
Mr. Whigg was there, looking up at the fire with shock and disbelief. The smoke must have been stinging his eyes because he looked like he was crying. A pair of suits, which I presumed to be council officials, called him aside and had a chat with him around the corner. When he came back he was almost beaming. I later found out he had been promised a place on the East Anglia education board, where he would earn a much higher wage than he had as headmaster of Wilson Marriage. The timing of all this was, as they say in Essex, “Shady as fuck.”
It looked like the fire had done as much damage as it was going to and my bus pass ran out at 6.30pm, or I might have stuck around for longer. When I got home the fire had already been on the local news. There was no school the next day, for obvious reasons. It turned out the fire had started in the art room. A workman had accidentally dropped a blow torch through a gap in the roof. From there the fire had spread through the roofing and the top floor of the building. It was decided that the lower years wouldn’t be coming back, despite that they mostly went to a different building anyway, and would be sent to different schools as had been the council’s original plan. My year would return once repairs had been made and a set of pre-fab classrooms constructed.
It was several weeks before we returned to lessons. For most of that time Greg had me working in the garden, digging up weeds from between the lettuces, or fixing windows he had smashed when in a bad mood, the scaffolding still doing a constant circle around the house. Meanwhile, on days when he wasn’t around or on which I dared to disobey, I still had my bus pass..
“This plan aims to address certain kinds of child abuse linked to faith or belief. This includes: .. use of belief in magic or witchcraft to create fear in children to make them more compliant when they are being trafficked for domestic slavery or sexual exploitation.”
“The beliefs which are the focus of this action plan are not confined to one faith, nationality or ethnic community. Examples have been recorded worldwide among Europeans, Africans, Asians and elsewhere as well as in Christian, Muslim, Hindu and pagan faiths among others. Not all those who believe in witchcraft or spirit possession harm children. Data on numbers of known cases suggests that only a small minority of people with such beliefs go on to abuse children. Under-reporting of abuse is, however, likely.”
From our own experience not only is under-reporting likely, but under-investigation is a certainty.
Excellent report by the East Anglian Daily Times. I’m really pleased it’s out there because it raises awareness about the De La Salle connection, especially locally.
Finally the modern day St Jo’s have commented:
Current school bosses say they “acknowledge the gravity of the questions being raised” adding that at the college, they are “absolutely committed to the safeguarding and wellbeing of every student in our care”.
“As a community, we have the greatest sympathy for anyone who has been a victim of abuse, wherever and whenever it has occurred,” a spokeswoman said.
College chiefs said that due to a change of ownership in 1996, and with active police investigations ongoing into the historical claims, they are unable to comment further.
They said the allegations relate to a period of time “prior to the current college structure”.
It’s as I predicted. What I take away from their response is…
“How long is it going to take before lawyers realize that the simple act of trying to repress something they don’t like online is likely to make it so that something that most people would never, ever see is now seen by many more people? Let’s call it the Streisand Effect.”
The Streisand effect is a phenomenon that occurs when an attempt to hide, remove, or censor information has the unintended consequence of increasing awareness of that information, often via the internet. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt to suppress the California Coastal Records Project photograph of her residence in Malibu, California, taken to document California coastal erosion, inadvertently drew greater attention to it in 2003.
Attempts to suppress information are often made through cease-and-desist letters, but instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity, as well as media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, which can be mirrored on the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.
The Streisand effect is an example of psychological reactance, wherein once people are aware that some information is being kept from them, they are significantly more motivated to access and spread that information.
In many cases taking out a legal injunction—or even a “super-injunction”, whose mere existence may not be reported, ultimately leads to much increased publicity.
“You’ll hear how brilliant a manipulator he was, and how he was able to get me on the back foot. Epstein crossed boundaries most people don’t cross, discussing my vaginal canal, for instance, and put a curse on my unborn children.”
Epstein claimed the power to curse? As in.. black magick?
Rumours, alleged disclosures, and ‘conspiracy theories’ abound that Epstein was involved in some form of ‘Satanic’ black magic cult, perhaps a continuation or modern revival of the Sabbataens. It is alleged he had an underground Temple on his island, with alleged leaked footage of a meeting of a white robed cult. As with similar claims against Jimmy Savile, alleged to have been a ‘Satanist’ of the Ordo Templi Orientis, it should be no surprise that such claims are most often dismissed without investigation. Nevertheless, such ‘sex cults’ do exist and wealthy powerful people often rise quickly through their ranks. Given his proclivities, and obsession with gaining power over others, why would the likes of Savile and Epstein not be attracted to such ‘sex cults’?
Please use caution while listening to this video. Some of the information may be heavy for survivors. If in doubt, please wait to listen to it until you are with your therapist or a trusted support person. None of the material on this page, on linked pages or from the conference is meant as therapy, or to take the place of therapy.
The Orkney child abuse case, a notorious and highly publicised case in the UK from 1991 – 1992, had the 30th anniversary in February this year of nine children being removed into care in “dawn raids” by police and social workers. After claims by three children from another family on South Ronaldsay, part of these northerly Scottish islands, about strange outdoor rituals and organised sexual abuse, grounds for action against their middle class parents and a clergyman referred to “group sexual activity, including ritualistic music, dancing and dress”.
Six weeks later a Scots sheriff called the charges “fatally flawed” and dismissed the case without even hearing the evidence. The children were returned home in a blaze of international publicity. The evidence has never been tested to this day in any criminal or civil court; the parents were considered innocent, receiving an apology and financial compensation afterwards.
The case delivered a hammer blow to child protection against sexual abuse from which it has still not recovered. Anniversaries of the case are replayed in most media complete each time with substantial disinformation, and ridicule and dismissal of “satanic abuse” allegations. This presentation will summarise the main features of the case and describe the elaborate untruths and disinformation created around it from the start. It will also describe Inquiries into child sexual abuse cases which do, in contrast, put the children in the centre of the case at their heart.
Dr. Sarah Nelson OBE (University of Edinburgh) has written and presented widely for decades on sexual abuse issues. Her research and publications include the voices of young survivors, critiques of current child protection systems, community prevention, ritual and organised abuse, media representations of abuse cases, and adult survivors’ experiences of mental and physical health services. She has also been a professional adviser to the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament. Her book Tackling Child Sexual Abuse: Radical approaches to prevention, protection and support (Policy Press, UK and University of Chicago press, USA).
Survivors of ritual and organised abuse have increasingly broken silence to protect children, raise awareness, challenge abusers and institutions and demand services for recovery with varying success worldwide. Her presentation will focus on the challenges, experiences and perspectives of ritual abuse survivors in the UK and parts of Europe over the past 30 years and explore the current situation in the UK.
Dr. Laurie Matthew OBE is founder and Manager of Eighteen And Under an award winning charity providing confidential support services to young people who have been abused. She is also a founder member and advisor to Izzy’s Promise the UK’s leading charity for survivors of organised and ritual abuse and of the Ritual Abuse Network Forum (RANS). She is the author of several books about ritual abuse and the Violence Is Preventable abuse prevention programmes for children and young people. She has over 40 years experience of directly supporting abuse survivors. Her recently published research has included participatory research with adult ritual abuse survivors and participatory research with young survivors of sexual abuse who were unknown to authorities.
It is a common misconception to equate occultism and Satanism but they are in no way the same thing. It is not even true to say that Satanism is a form of occultism.
Occultism means the study of the hidden, by which is meant ultimately the study of what we in modern times call ‘consciousness’, and that which is hidden from conscious awareness, which is to say the subconscious. The symbol systems of occultism are the language of the unconscious mind, which expresses itself symbolically. For example, we can easily understand that the language of dreams is symbolic. Occultism is not opposed to religion, indeed it is the understanding that all religions ultimately began with the esoteric mystery schools and that all religions therefore have something valid to offer. The ‘occult’, in the broadest sense, encompasses such phenomena involving otherworldly agency as mysticism, spirituality, and magic. It can also refer to supernatural ideas like extra-sensory perception and parapsychology. The term occult sciences was used in the 16th century to refer to astrology, alchemy, and natural magic.
Satanism, by comparison, is the immature rejection of religion in favour of an atheistic psuedo-philosophy of self indulgence and hedonism. In this sense it is the very opposite of occultism.
‘Satanism’ is a group of ideological and philosophical beliefs based on Satan. Contemporary religious practice of Satanism began with the founding of the atheistic Church of Satan in America in 1966. Prior to the public practice, Satanism existed primarily as an accusation by various Christian groups toward perceived ideological opponents, rather than a self-identity.
Although Satanists may use symbolism drawn from occultism this does not mean that Satanism is a path of occultism. Modern psychology also draws from occultism, far more than most people might recognise. The Jungian concept of the archetypes, for example, is drawn from Hermeticism, where the 7 archetypes are recognised as the 7 rays of God’s Light (see my previous article, The 7 Rays).
Occultists do not hold orgies, and occultism is not a pseudo-philosophy used to justify hedonism. Occultism leads to deeper spiritual discipline and maturity while Satanism leads only to a cul-de-sac of criminality and is an immature egoistic defence against the humility of genuine insight.
Occultism has a great deal to offer society. Satanism is antinomian, selfish, and indulges in fantasies of being ‘outside’ society.
Occultism is a genuine tradition that may be traced back centuries. Satanism is fake American culture.
Occultism is otherwise referred to as the Arte. Satanism masquerades as occultism but is just another pile of knocked off Jackson Pollocks.
Occultism genuinely requires higher intellect, and leads to a connection with the Higher Self, or Guardian Angel, through which one realises the One. Satanism requires atavistic descent, and leads to an antinomian disconnect, or spiritual narcissism / nihilism, through which one eventually realises what a waste you have made of your life.
Nor is Satanism the true Left Hand Path, as comparable to Infernal Witchcraft, the Macaya, Petwa Voudon, Obeah, Macumba, Zhēnyán, Vajrayana, or Mantramārga. It seems incapacity in comprehending the true Left Hand Path has infected most of modern occultism and has lead to many great travesties – specifically, a huge problem with paedophiles, their apologists, and those covering up for their crimes.
It has also lead to extreme right, openly pro-paedophile and pro-rape TERRORISM in the name of SATANISM. Such travesties have no place in genuine occultism, and anyone who ever allows themselves to be compromised by such corrupt individuals has no right to call themselves a genuine occultist.
Nor is occultism compatible in any way with the travesties of modern Paganism. Occultism leads to Unity with the Absolute, which men have called God, the Dao, which is the creative principle of Consciousness undivided by Time or Space. Modern Paganism is, by comparison, a bunch of swingers and perverts pretending to be spiritual: Satanism lite as opposed to Esoteric Light.
And as for Chaos Magic.. Peter J Carroll‘s hubris seems to blind him to the fact that nobody out there calling themselves a Chaos magician gives two flying monkeys about his ‘mathesis’, and it is easy to see he has failed to add things up. Their relatavism is simply a denial that anyone else has anything worth teaching – an excuse for wilful ignorance: to believe that ‘Nothing is True’ means one becomes incapable of Wisdom.
Chaos Magic amounts to little more than an excuse to dabble with different forms of Paganism and Satanism and has no place in genuine occultism. Occultism is the Humility to accept Guidance, and the seeking of Wisdom. Chaos Magic is just a bunch of wide boys making it up as they go along, and an excuse for the worst displays of teenage narcissism on Facebook and Reddit.
So what IS the true Left Hand Path?
The true Left hand Path is the service to the feminine principle of the Divine; the rejected and the Hidden (ie the ‘Occult’). Such was understood by the likes of Kenneth Grant and Austin Osman Spare, even if ‘The Beast’ Crowley failed to truly know it. Sadly, what has become of the Typhonian Order seems to have devolved into something akin to Chaos Magic rather than anything Grant might have recognised as occultism, and Chaos Magic’s claim to inspiration from Spare just shows how far its founders missed the point in the first place.
The relativism of Chaos Magic seems to have infected both Paganism and Satanism, making them even worse than they were to begin with.
Crowley’s religion Thelema is little more than Satanism plus ignorant posturing with the symbolism of occultism. Its results are often of the worst kind and Thelema does not require taking seriously as an genuine occultist, but should be taken extremely seriously by child protection agencies and police. If you cross Thelema and Chaos Magic you get Colin Batley.
And what is true Occultism? It is the continuous revelation of the Divine: of the One, and the Seven.
Genuine occultism is THE NEURONOMICON. It has not taken any kind of Genius to make the first genuine advance in occultism for 100 years – all it has ultimately taken is integrity. It is my hope that the success of my work will inspire other genuine occultists to stand up against the great tide of misconceptions propagated by the PSEUDS: from sleazy Pagans to paedophile Satanists, and all their naive dupes embarrassing themselves over the internet.
“The endless diversity of forms hides a subjective synthesis. Man can therefore eventually see, expressing itself through all forms in all kingdoms, a universal septenate, and when this happens, he is entering into the world of subjective unity, and can proceed on his way consciously towards the One. He cannot as yet enter into the consciousness of that basic essential Unity, but he can enter into that of his own ray-life, of the emanating source of his own temporarily specialised life.” – Alice Bailey.
I have received several queries regarding the origins of the “7 Rays” concept explained in The Neuronomicon, with many assuming it is merely a simplified version of the Kabbalistic Sephiroth, or that the idea originates with Theosophy. While both Kabballah and Theosophy do reflect this concept its origins arguably predate either. That so many modern occultists seem ignorant of this says a great deal about what the movement has become. I was, myself, introduced to the concept by a teacher known to me only as Baba Dirt, a New York (and sometimes visitor to London and Bristol) ‘street sorcerer’ who was an initiate of Haitian Voudon, Makaya sorcery, Palo, Obeah, and Hindu Tantra, all learned by him from pure sources, and all of which recognise the concept of the 7 Rays. It is significant, I think, that Baba Dirt was not another white guy culturally appropriating such ideas for their ‘Chaos magic’, and that he refused to publish any teachings during his life.
The 7 RAYS is a concept that has appeared in several religions and esoteric philosophies in Western culture and in India since at least the sixth century BC, as well as in the African mystery traditions commonly grouped together as ‘Vodu’. They are also known as the seven angels from heaven. In occidental culture, it can be seen in early Western Mystery tradition, such as Gnosticism and Mithraism, and in texts and iconic art of the Catholic Church as early as the Byzantine Empire. In India, the concept has been part of Hindu religious philosophy and scripture since at least the Vishnu Purana, dating from the post-Vedic era. In African Orissa traditions they are most often referred to as the 7 African Powers.
In ancient Greek mythology, Zeus takes the bull form known as Taurus in order to win Europa. The face of Taurus “gleams with seven rays of fire.” The Chaldean Oracle of the 2nd century CE feature the seven rays as purifying agents of Helios, symbolism also featured in Mithraic liturgy. Later, in the 4th century, Emperor Julian Saturnalia composed a Hymn to the Solemn Sun, and in his Hymn to the Mother of the Gods spoke of “unspeakable mysteries hidden from the crowd such as Julian the Chaldean prophesied concerning the god of the seven rays.” In Greek Gnostic magic of the same era, coloured gemstones were often used as talismatia for medicine or healing; they were often engraved with a symbol borrowed from the Egyptian deity Chnuphis- a lion headed serpent from which emanated seven rays, usually with the seven Greek vowels engraved at the tips of the seven rays. Gnostic gems of ABRAXAS also featured the seven rays.
In early Christian iconography, the dove of the Holy Ghost is often shown with an emanation of seven rays, as is the image of the Madonna, often in conjunction with a dove or doves.The Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai, circa 565 CE, shows the Transfiguration of Christ in the apse mosaic, with “seven rays of light shining from the luminous body of Christ over the apostles Peter, James and John. During the 12th century, Saint Norbert of Xanten, founder of the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, discovered the spot where the relics of Saint Ursula and her companions of Saint Gereon and of other martyrs lay hidden while in a dream. In the dream that led him to this location, he was guided by “the seven rays of light … surrounding the head of the crucified Redeemer.” In the 15th century artist Jan van Eyck’s oil painting The Annunciation, depicting the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit descends on seven rays of Light. The 17th century secret society Knights of the Apocalypse, founded to defend against the coming of the Anti-Christ, wore a seven rayed star on their breast.
The seven rays also appear in Hindu scripture and should be known to any occultist professing to knowledge of Tantra. The most obvious example is the Vedic deity Agni, often depicted in three forms: fire, lightning and the sun. In Hindu art, Agni is depicted with two or seven hands, two heads and three legs. On each head, he has seven fiery tongues, with which he licks sacrificial butter. He rides a ram or a chariot harnessed by fiery horses. His attributes are an axe, a torch, prayer beads and a flaming spear. Agni is represented as red and two-faced, suggesting both his destructive and his beneficent qualities, and with black eyes and hair. Seven rays of light emanate from his body. The post-Vedic scripture Vishnu Purana describes how Vishnu “enters into the seven solar rays which dilate into seven suns.” These are the “seven principal solar rays,” the source of heat even to the planet Jupiter, and the “seven suns into which the seven solar rays dilate at the consummation of all things….”.
These 7 RAYS are reflected in the physical anatomy as the seven chakras.
In the ORISSA traditions originating in central to east Africa we find the 7 POWERS. In in Afro-Cuban spiritual system Palo Mayombe, initiation requires the taking of seven cuts upon the shoulder, referred to also in Haitian Voudon as taking seven ‘pointes’.
The number seven features prominently in the human perception of structure of the world: the seven colours of the rainbow, seven notes of an octave; in occult cosmology the seven major planes and subplanes of existence, and in the calculation of time the seven days of a week. Then there are the seven sisters of the Pleiades, the seven Rishis of the Great Bear, and the seven Spirits before the Throne of God. All are essentially living forces carrying the one Life into expression – seven great interpreters of the One Essence as it takes on form. So, when I see modern occultists refer to the 7 RAYS as a younger concept than the Sephiroth, or see them attempting to claim I took the concept from Theosophy, Kabbalah, or even Chaos Magic, I can only laugh at their display of hubris, ignorance, and sheer stupidity.
A student of Sosyete Mouton Nwa recently conversed with me concerning their work with eight pygmy Spirits described in The Harrowing of Hell, a grimoire allegedly transcribed by none other that Dr. Johann Faust, 1505. Despite any misgivings we might have about its author’s existence, as with the authorship of the Solomonic cycles, the rituals described are nevertheless wholly valid. I admit to not having worked this grimoire myself, but am given to understand it is popular among practitioners of Palo Mayombe, and the attribution of the Spirits as Ancestral (dead) Pygmy Lords arguably has sound founding. The most important aspect is of course whether the rituals in the grimoire work, and of what confirmation we might expect to see of our success. In the case of our Sosyete child this was seen almost immediately through dream, as is not uncommon with Spirit work, but exceptionally in this case the dream was not one experienced by our summoner but by a friend of theirs; they dreamed firstly on witnessing the summoner throwing around snakes, and then of a group of pygmies who shouted her name to wake her up – which she did.
The popularity of certain grimoires among practitioners of African magick should be no surprise to us. Although some might argue that these are ‘outside’ influences there is also a strong argument that much knowledge passed through the grimoire traditions has its roots in African magic. Consider, for example, the Goetic evocations with their sacred names and the Graeco-Egyptian (ultimately the Neteru of Khemet ie the ‘gods’ of ancient Egypt) formulae of the Bornless (or ‘Headless’) One, popularized as an alternative Goetic ritual by ‘The Great Charlatan SickSickSick’ Al Crowley (Edward Alexander) but originally published in 1852 by Charles Wycliffe Goodwin for the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. Wycliffe’s translation is as follows (some of the original text is missing):
An address to the god drawn upon the letter. I call thee, the headless one, that didst create earth and heaven, that didst create night and day, thee the creator of light and darkness. Though art Osoronnophris, whom no man hath seen at any time; though art Iabas, though art Iapos, though has distinguished the just and the unjust, though didst make female and male, though didst produce seeds and fruits, though didst make men to love one another and to hate one another. I am Moses thy prophet, to whom thou didst commit thy mysteries, the ceremonies of Israel; though didst produce the moist and the dry and all manner of food. Listen to me: I am an angel of Phapro Osoronnophris; this is thy true name, handed down to the prophets of Israel. Listen to me, …………. ………………………………………………….. hear me and drive away this spirit. I call thee the terrible and invisible god residing in the empty wind,……………….. thou headless one, deliver such an one from the spirit that possesses him…………………. ……………………………………………….. strong one, headless one, deliver such an one from the spirit that possesses him ……………………………………………………… deliver such an one…………………………………….. This is the lord of the gods, this is the lord of the world, this is whom the winds fear, this is he who made voice by his commandment, lord of all things, king, ruler, helper, save this soul ………………………………………………………………… angel of God ……… ……………………………………………….. I am the headless spirit, having sight in my feet, strong, the immortal fire; I am the truth; I am he that hateth that ill-deeds should be done in the world; I am he that lighteneth and thundereth; I am he whose sweat is the shower that falleth upon the earth that it may teem: I am he whose mouth ever burneth; I am the begetter and the bringer forth (?); I am the Grace of the World; my name is the heart girt with a serpent. Come forth and follow.—The celebration of the preceding ceremony.— Write the names upon a piece of new paper, and having extended it over your forehead from one temple to the other, address yourself turning toward the north to the six names, saying: Make all spirits subject to me, so that every spirit of heaven and of the air, upon the earth and under the earth, on dry land and in the water, and every spell and scourge of God, may be obedient to me.—And all the spirits shall be obedient to you. . . .
The eight pygmy Spirits might be rooted in the role of Besz, a mystery I have a deep affinity to and have worked with through invocation to possession and through dream incubation.
The most common depictions of Besz were as a bearded dwarf with pronounced bow legs, prominent genitals and a tail, who is sticking out his tongue while shaking a rattle (‘cha- cha’?). He usually wears a plumed crown and the lion or panther skin associated with the priestcraft. Occasionally he wears the Atef crown and is depicted as a winged deity. He is always, almost uniquely among the Neteru, depicted facing forwards, since full-faced figures were marginal to the normal, ordered world. His demon/animal-human hybrid of characteristics is also appropriate. While it was not uncommon for there to be animalistic associations with Neteru, being depicted as dwarf-like and imperfect is highly unusual. Dwarves were far from ridiculed in Khemt, however.In the ancient necropolises of Giza and Saqqara, dwarves hailing from various professions were depicted on at least 50 tombs. They included jewelry makers, animal or pet handlers, fishermen, entertainers and
dancers, nurses and midwives. Some held more important positions. There were several elite dwarves, who worked for the pharaohs and had lavish burials. One dwarf, named Seneb, was one was honoured with a lavish tomb in a royal cemetery close to the pyramids when he died. The high value placed on dwarfs in ancient Egypt is highlighted by the praise and honour heaped upon Harkhuf, an army general and a high profile official who served two pharaohs, when he returned from an African expedition with precious treasures and a pygmy who performed exotic dances. The child pharaoh at the time was so delighted by this last acquisition that he appointed people to guard the pygmy on his ship voyage back to Egypt, lest he fall into the water.
The dwarf-god Besz had no temples and there were no priests ordained in his name but his worship goes back at least as far as the 1700s BCE, Egypt’s Middle Kingdom. He was one of the most popular gods of Khemet, often depicted on household items such as furniture, mirrors and cosmetics containers and applicators as well as magical wands and knives. He was a complex being who during different periods was seen both a deity and a demon. He was a god of war, yet he was also a god of childbirth, protector of children and guard against nightmares, at other times a god of music, dance, merriment, and of the nuptial bed, and was believed to bring good luck to newly married couples. At other times, Besz also was a deity presiding over inebriation. It was very common for people to wear an amulet with Besz’s image. Archeologists have recovered numerous Besz masks and costumes that may have been the property of professional entertainers. His cult spread all around the Mediterranean, reaching its peak during the Roman era; Besz became the mascot of the Roman military, who depicted him in armour with a sword and shield. After the advent of Christianity Besz finally got his own priesthood; the oracles of Abydos, where he was said to have guarded the corpse of the Osiris. Besz’s popularity continued to grow exponentially throughout this period until Emperor Constantius II banned his cult in 359 CE.
Dream incubation chambers (for communing with the Neteru in dream) often had images of Besz and a naked goddess on the walls, making him perhaps also the first erotic ‘incubus’. Prostitutes were known to get tattoos of Besz on their thighs as protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
Ten or so deities and demons sharing characteristics with Besz became conflated with him. In one of his earlier forms, Besz was known as Aha, meaning Warrior, and is shown strangling snakes with his bare hands. Besz also sometimes appeared on amulets and stele alongside the young Horus and inscriptions intended to protect against cippi (snake bites). The two gods also formed the composite deity Hor-Besz, even although Beset – Besz’s wife during the Roman era – was also described as Horus’ mother. He became part of the Horus myth, protecting the falcon-headed infant from Set. In another protector role, the dwarf god adorned mammisi, the birth houses that honored infant deities such as Horus. A prayer called simply The Spell of the Dwarf was spoken four times over a clay dwarf by a woman in labour: “O good dwarf, come, because of the one who sent you…come down placenta, come down placenta, come down!”
Besz was also married with Hathor, who was also described as the mother or wife of Horus, and is among the few other Neteru to be commonly depicted as facing towards us. Hathor was known as the Lady of Punt, and was also a mystery of childbirth, dancing and music who shared many iconographic symbols with Besz. If a baby laughed or smiled for no reason, it was said that Besz must be nearby, pulling funny faces.
Besz was also sometimes depicted with feline or leonine features, giving him a further link to Hathor who was herself very closely associated with Bast, Sekhmet, and the Eye of Ra. Furthermore, his name may be derived from the Nubian word for cat, besa. In Voodoo we understand that the Mysteries are older than humankind and so first had animal forms. It may be that Besz was traditionally understood to have shape-changing abilities.
Besz was often also married to Tawret, the hippo goddess who offered protection during labour). Besz was also associated with a number of other powerful Neteru including Amun, Min, and Reshep. His likeness is even found in the ruins of Amarna, where Pharaoh Akhenaten forbid all worship besides that of the sun disk, Aten. It may have been that the Neterus each had their own Besz, just as we understand that each Mystery can be said to have its own Exu-Legba. Indeed, in my own work Besz has manifested as an Exu messenger, correlating also in Neuromancy with the amygdala, sometimes called the ‘dwarf brain’, understood to be the integrative centre for emotions, emotional behaviour, and motivation..
The London magician and accomplished artist Austin Osman Spare also had an affinity with Besz. Kenneth Grant, writing in his introduction to Spare’s 1949 exhibition, referred to Spare’s concept of Besz as follows; “.. Spare’s ability to see unflinchingly the vision of the Soul of Form – the Besz Mass of Matter with which he is, and has been, continually preoccupied. He is not looking to unmask the soul of spirit, but the soul of sense, of the earth-lust essence which goes to compose the faces, the eyes, the lips..”
Although the ritual from The Harrowing of Hell follows the classical formulae of evocation I have not personally found in necessary to bully Besz with divine names or words of power. Instead my approach has been simply to build a small shrine to him by my bedside. Prayers to him for erotic dreams, virility, health, and general hedonism have often been answered swiftly, and he can also carry messages to other Mysteries asking for their intercession.