Arbatel & Ellisor

After a long set of Zelator rituals and a ‘Body in Assiah’ exercise, where I used an improvised pranayama; something akin to Austin Osman Spare’s ‘death posture’ where I held my breath for as long as possible then flooded my brain with oxygen by doing ‘fire breath’, making me sweat and tremble. I found myself in an ‘astral’ landscape. There’s a subtle difference between something merely imaginary and ‘spirit vision’ which is more like a waking dream where the mind doesn’t jump around and the vision is constant and narrative. So, there I was, the plane looked very like my native Scotland, green valleys of grass with no sign of roads or human presence and, on a hillside, craggy slate like rocks. I stood on the outside of a cave, dark and dreary and stepped inside. I met there a rather pathetic looking figure. An old man, skinny, unkempt, in a tattered robe and a long matted grey beard. He seemed slightly afraid of me. Unlike the wizards ‘pet’ animal that can only be described as a griffin and who behaved like an excited dog, running around in dizzying circles, he, at least seemed glad of some company. Being rather inexperienced in astral travel I thought I should ask the sorry looking sorceror a question which I could check later. “What’s my name?” I asked, seemingly telepathically. The answer came back instantly “Shabbatai”, this meant nothing to me at the time. While there was no conversation as such, information passed between myself and the shabby mage. His name was Arbatel and I felt that he was somehow stuck in this place, exiled perhaps, for what, I do not know. I also learned that the excitable griffin was called Ellisor. I was aware that there was no fire in the cave but in the middle of the floor was a thin pile of kindling. I somehow knew that the tiny, delicate white feather I found in my hand had a purpose. I held it over the sticks and they burst into flames!
The whole atmosphere of the cave changed, the fire fizzed and cracked disproportionately to the small bundle of sticks, blazing away and causing shadows on the cave walls. Ellisor was almost doing back flips in excitement… Arbatel immediately changed form and became very Gandalf like, in fact as I remember he was more like Saruman, Christopher lee’s character in ‘Lord of the Rings’. He held out his arms in the shape of a tau cross and levitated emanating power. His robes were now immaculate and white, his beard dark with just a hint of grey… he emitted a long deep sound, his face dark and intense. At this point the vision started to fade and before long I was back in my painted circle, the candles giving the room a pleasant warm glow, the incense had burned out. I felt utterly exhausted and barely had the strength to lift my dagger for the final banishing and kabbalistic cross.
The next day I checked my diary and Googled the name Shabbatai. To my great interest I discovered a Jewish Kabbalist called Shabbatai Zevi (1626-1676). An extraordinary personality who claimed to be the “long awaited Jewish Messiah”… (Reading this almost seven years later I’m amused I hadn’t heard of Zevi. The internet is full of information on this figure but his career is beyond the scope of this post. I’m also slightly embarrassed I hadn’t heard of the classic grimoire ‘The Arbatel of Magic’! This doesn’t invalidate the information I received. In fact The Arbatel became very important in my praxis years later). Over the next couple of Assiah sessions I was able to access the cave again, but only fleetingly. I now consider Arbatel and Ellisor as valuable astral allies. Just to add a slight anti-climax when working my way up the Tree in Assiah, I read the Assiatic House a couple of pages on was ‘Shabbatai’! so it is possible the name had entered my subconscious, although I had not yet read that page but I prefer to believe that my connection with Rabbi Zevi is valid. Oh yes, as synchronicity would have it,months later a member of my facebook group gave me a link to a medieval grimoire he thought I might be interested in, it’s name Arbatel!



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