The Horned Moon

AS MENTIONED, the God of the Moon was called NANNA by the Sumerians. By the later Sumerians and Assyrians, he was called SIN. In both cases, he was the Father of the Gods (of the planetary realm, the zonei), and was depicted as wearing horns, a symbol familiar to the Witches as representative of their God. The horn shaped crown is illustrative of the crescent phases of the Moon, and were symbolic of divinity in many cultures around the world, and were also thought to represent certain animals who were horned, and worshipped for their particular qualities, such as the goat and bull. They also represent sexual power.

The fact that, in ancient Sumeria and Egypt, horns were solely representative of evil gods, but of many different deities, was used by the Christian Church in their attempt to eradicate pagan faiths. It was a simple enough symbol to identify with the Author of Evil, Satan, which the Church depicted as a half-animal, half-human creature with horns, claws, and sometimes a tail. The Church's use of the horns as a sort of archetype of Evil is quite similar to the feeling many people have today with regards to the swastika used by the Nazis, a symbol which has become the archetype of an evil sigil in the West. The fact that it is a highly valued mystical and religious symbol in the East is something that is not well-known. What is worse, the image of the Devil as perpetrated by the Church is simultaneously representative of sexual energy, and can be safely compared to Jung's archetype of the Shadow, the psychic repository of a man's innate maleness, as the anima represents that part of a man which is feminine. Truly, the pictures painted of a Satanic ritual by the pious Catholic clergymen was one of sexual orgies and "perversions", and the handbook of the Inquisitors, the Malleus Maleficarum - which has been responsible for the deaths of many more people than even Hitler's Mein Kampf - is full of detailed sexual imagery and reveals the nature of the souls of the monks who wrote it, rather than of the innocents it was used to massacre. Eventually, Satanism, Protestantism and Judaism were inextricably woven together to form a patchwork quilt of Evil that the Church attempted to destroy during the Middle Ages, with fire and sword.

As a matter of fact, a certain type of devil worship did exist during those times but, ironically, the acolytes of Hell were usually never brought to trial; something which stems from the fact that many of those who celebrated and attended the infamous Black Masses of the period were Roman Catholic clergymen, many of whom has been pressed into His Service at a young age by their parents, who wished to see their sons brought up well-fed and educated in those uncertain times, where the Church was the sole power and refuge. The frustration at being "condemned" to a life that demanded the abandonment of society and a "normal" life led many priests to express their hostilities through the Office of the Demon, the Black Mass. Often, this was also a means of political demonstration, as the Church controlled virtually all the political life of the period. In a way, as though in a test tube at a philosophical laboratory, Aleister Crowley was brought up under similar circumstances - although ver far removed in time from the days of the Church's immense temporal power. Coming from a fanatically religious Christian family, and suddenly freed upon the neighbourhood of Cambridge, Crowley did, in a sense, turn Satanist. He identified strongly with the underdog, politically as well as spiritually, and came eventually to take the Name of the Beast as his own, and expound a philosophy that he hoped would rip apart the worn tapestry of the established moral Christian atmosphere of Victorian England, and expose it for what it really was, a carpet made of many ingenious threads and not God - or eternal happiness - at all; only nap.

Therefore, it seemed almost logical that he should seek in the defeated, Old Religions of the world for the basis of his new philosophy and, some say, his new "religion". He raised the female aspect back up to one of equality with the male, as it was in the rites of Egypt, and of Eleusis. "Our Lady Babalon" (his spelling) became a theme of many of his magickal writings, and he received he Credo, the Book of the Law, through a Woman, his wife Rose Kelly. The lunar element, as well as the Venusian, are certainly accessible in his works. It has even been said in occult circles that he had a hand in putting together the grimoire of one Gerald Gardner, founder of a contemporary Witchcraft movement, called the Book of Shadows.

The Moon has an extremely important, indeed indispensable, role in the tantrick sex magick rites that so preoccupied Crowley and the O.T.O. There can be no true magick without woman, nor without man, and in the symbolic language of the occult there can be no Sun without the Moon. In alchemy, ceremonial magick, and Witchcraft, the formula is the same, for they all deal with identical properties; whether they are called the Sun and Moon of the Elixir Vitae, the male and female participants in a rite of Indian or Chinese tantricism, or the Shadow and the Anima of Jungian depth psychology.

For many years, the Moon remained the prime deity of the Sumerians, constituting the essential Personum of a religious and mystical drama that was performed roughly 3000 B.C. amid the deserts and marshes of Mesopotamia. Side by side with the worship of the Moon, NANNA, there was fear of the Demon, PAZUZU, a genie so amply recreated in the book and the movie by Blatty, The Exorcist, and similarly recognised as the Devil Himself by the Church. PAZUZU, the Beast, was brought to life by Aleister Crowley, and the Demon walked the Earth once more.

With publicity provided by H.P. Lovecraft. | Necronomicon | Simon's Necronomicon | Introduction | The Horned Moon