Originally published in Peacock Goat Review Vol. 1 No. 8
Enki, Lord of the Abzu, god of wisdom. He created the order of the world in his most famous myth and the me of the gods. His symbols are the fish and the goat and the bird. He is called upon when creating holy water used in purification rites. He is the Sumerian god associated with Saturn.
Continuing my Trithemian work in my typical Sumerist way, I performed a Saturn initiation following my Mars one (written about in previous issues). My saturn initiation on March 9th went the same as the previous ones; the ritual was performed and the deity appeared. Enki, showed himself in my scrying surface like Nergal and Nanna had done before. I sketched his image as I had seen it just as I had done the others. Just like as with Nergal/Mars; the lesson was not what I expected.
Saturn is the chthonic sphere; the sphere of darkness and the line between life and death. The lesson I expected to learn was acceptance of death, and acceptance of the inevitability of evil. However the lesson I got was more related to order, truth and justice. In retrospect this makes sense given who Enki is but my misconceptions made my lesson in this sphere take awhile to grasp.
Soon after my initiation, I started thinking about my childhood trip to Ohio Caverns. I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head, I kept thinking about it over and over. I would try to distract myself and would come back into my mind. Eventually I gave up and asked my partner “Hey hon, do you wanna take a trip to visit Ohio Caverns?” She was onboard and so we made plans to do just that.
The place was wonderful and more beautiful than I remembered. The feeling of being deep underground and seeing the amazing formations was something wondrous. When you think of a cavern, you think of something musty, creepy and foreboding but this place was calm, vibrant and inviting. The walls were of a porous stone that meant the place was constantly dripping wet. It had a feeling like being in some kind of natural bath house full of flowing underground freshwater waterfalls and creeks.
I very much enjoyed the trip and when I was finished I couldn’t help but buy some things from the gift shop. I immediately felt drawn to a stone chalice. I purchased it, and a photo. The chalice turned out to come in a set of two. I have since started using the chalice in place of the one I had been using as an offering cup for my alter.
That trip in many ways set the stage for what was to come. Not long after, I had a series of nights where I woke up from nightmares with a horrible buzzing feeling that made me feel dizzy. What follows is the dream journal entries of the first nightmares. The imagery is somewhat horrific so be warned.
Started off with this dream of eating expensive cheese with friends then things started getting weird. The cheese turned moldy then the dream shifted and it turned into this narrative about this janitor who started going insane but I could tell this dream wasn’t really mind it was being inflicted on me so I kept trying to change the dream or break it’s boundaries. Eventually the dream reached a crescendo and there were all these dead creatures and stuff and it looked like a really bad B or C movie. Then the room started spinning and trying to do this effect like 2001 A Space Odyssey but it was like I could see through the noise and it was really just the inside of a car. I had this intense buzzing and tinnitus, and feeling of pressure like some kind of been of energy was on me. I immediately started calling on deities to cast it away. Then I realized what the clay sigil is for; it’s an anti-grey/anti-remote viewing sigil so I charged the sigil and put it under my pillow and it was like the pressure was pulled away from me and towards it. After talking about it with my girlfriend and some grounding techniques I felt satisfied it was thwarted and went back to sleep. Had more normal dreams that didn’t even stand out enough to remember. Woke up by alarm wishing I’d had more time to sleep.
I didn’t write about the details of the dream at the time because I was pretty upset by them and did not want to deal with the darkness of the imagery and what was happening. The janitor was luring girls up into the staff-only area in upper level of the skyscraper he worked in and murdering them. It happened over and over such that the walls and floors started getting covered in blood. It was an absolutely horrific sight. I couldn’t accept the dream which is why I fought it so adamantly. I didn’t want to deal with the concept, even on an intellectual level.
The next night, I had a dream relating to Enki, but I was so tired from my lack of sleep from the night before, that I couldn’t retain the details. Here is that dream journal entry:
My dreams were just a series of disjointed images and short narratives, many of which centered on Enki but none of which stood out enough to remember.
The next few nights after were filled with saturnine imagery:
Dreamed of being at some kind of family gathering for a family member on dad’s side. my girlfriend and I were looking at old pictures of us on her phone and we realized that a year and a week from the previous year we had gone on a trip as well. Then for whatever reason they wanted us to stand up and read this prayer from the table. I made it very clear I would stand but I wouldn’t be reading it unless I was allowed to adapt it to the Mesopotamian Pantheon. It was written on a series of tiles on the table. A white tile with black writing of some kind of white stone that looked like onyx. Then a black tile with white writing which looked like obsidian. Then a blue tile with goldish writing that was definitely lapis lazuli. My dad took my refusal to read it as his queue to be more obnoxious about it. Aunt my aunt came over to read from our table because hers was still covered in plates and cutlery from the dinner but ours had already been cleared. After they finished reading the prayer, my uncle started putting his feet on our table trying to be annoying for a laugh. my aunt mentioned it out loud like she expected me to get on to him for it or something but I said he could do whatever he liked because we had already finished eating so we were done using the table. I went out into the lobby of the place we were at to make some kind of phone call and there was a businessman in a suit also making a phone call. He gave me a weird look as if I was out of place and annoying him by being there but I started making my phone call and made a point to show I didn’t care what he thought.
Dreamed I decided I was too smart so I cut my skull cap off with a knife to scoop out some of my brain but then thought better of it and put it back on. Then woke up freezing so put more blankets on. Then dreamed I went with Dad and my sister my sister to my cousin’s to help her move because her and her partner had two daughters and they needed a bigger place. In the backyard of the place there was this old dilapidated Apple tree that had dropped rotten apples all over the yard and it smelled really strongly and I was worried it was releasing some kind of poisonous gas. We moved all her stuff out and then the dream shifted to her new house with was on the property of my maternal grandma’s old house but they had built a two story (which I was later told was a two and a half story) house in place of the old one and put a big privacy fence around the yard. We had to wait for some reason and couldn’t go inside yet so I decided to walk around town. The part of Mumford street that used to go out into the farm land had been blocked off by a large privacy fence because some company had bought all that land and turned it into massive farm. After I was most of the way around the block I passed two cowboys on horseback carrying a gun. They told me good morning which I thought was odd because it was the evening and said they were going hunting. I told them hello back and they passed me. I got back to the front gate of the property and they got the gate open. I woke up cold and needing to pee.
Dreamed of helping a teacher prepare a lesson plan for an ESL foreign language class on money. I was helping her setup a surface pro tablet. She was particularly worried she wasn’t going to be able to use it and that her district would be upset with her for ordering it because she had done so without even considering it or really knowing what it was or what it could do. I helped her transfer her power point presentation to it and get it working on her projector. She was unhappy with the brightness of the screen so I helped her adjust it to be brighter. Then I was going to visit a friend and somehow ended up falling in the middle of the road. A nearby police officer came over and looked me over and I was pretty scraped up but nothing was broken. I was unable to walk well though because of the soreness so I called my friend to come pick me up. When she arrived she started asking me how I managed to get myself so banged up but I didn’t have an answer.
Woke up from a nightmare. Then had some kind of dream related to Enki but the details faded.
Dreamed I worked with a bunch of various Egyptian deities to try to heal the world ruined this robot attack.
Around this point the nightmares had become a regular occurance and my sleep deprivation got to the point where I couldn’t really handle dealing with them anymore.
Had a nightmare about this organization that was abusing kids. Woke up but decided I was going to just let the dream play out this time. Fell back asleep into the same dream. The dream shifted to being about Utu coming down and using magic to bring this organization to justice for their crimes using a saw and sympathetic magic; cutting their heads off without even being there in person with his saw which took the form of a bone saw. The organization started trying to frame him for various crimes after they figured out what was going on but they failed at it and ended up getting arrested for their crimes instead.
I stopped trying to avoid dealing with the subject because it was uncomfortable. I decided instead to face it head on and see how the story played out, and in so doing the dream was transmuted – from a nightmare about watching horrible things happening and being able to do nothing about it, to the triumph of the god of justice by literally letting heads roll.
I have since learned that in ancient Mesopotamia, Saturn was called the Star of Truth and Justice. This was the moment I finally figured out the lesson that Enki was trying to teach me – discipline is a great thing and one must choose one’s battles to avoid becoming overextended, but choosing pacifism can be as exhausting and harmful as choosing to always attack – if you let those who have done wrong get away with it, the wrong continues. Looking away from injustice because it is uncomfortable doesn’t help. You know it’s there, and it eats at you. Worse, you, by doing nothing, are playing into it; you’ve become a de facto accomplice by virtue of your complacency, your unwillingness to act. Magick is all well and good to bring about good things, but it is useless unless you can also use it to halt that which is bad. Curse your enemies. Hold nothing back. If they are just, what do they have to fear from justice?
“Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him. Therefore strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master!” (Al II:59-60)
Complacency is death. Ambition is not just ambition to raise one’s status – ambition is also the willingness to crush those who have done wrong. To use one’s power when they have it. To raise up more than a complaining voice – raise a saw and cut the head off those who do evil. It’s a twisted world where seeking to stand up against that which is wrong is seen as more wrong than doing nothing. Complacency kills. Looking the other way is a death sentence to the innocent. If they be cruel, you must be as cruel in retaliation or you shall stand no chance against them; but where they are cruel for cruelty’s sake, devoid of compassion for the least – you must be cruel for justice’s sake – only to right wrongs. To stop violence being done to the innocents who have no voice.
This lesson has been one hard for me to parse – so much is western society permeated with the supposed virtue of cowardice. Between Jesus the martyr who died for his unwillingness to use his power when he had it, to the endless Buddhas who sit around in pointless enlightenment and do nothing to heal the hurt in the world. (Though of course not all are so.) But what of the example of great men of renown who used their resources to end the fighting? What of the great heroes of old who were unafraid to take up the blade and cut off the head of the corrupt king without remorse – for he had shown none in his reign?
This lesson wasn’t the only one saturn had to teach; the other was how to plunge into the depths – one that I am still learning, but one that will be an invaluable resource in the future I am sure. This lesson started as with the other; with a series of dreams full of powerful imagery.
Dreamed I was staying at my godparents place and was helping out with an animal and plant habitat conservation project. While working I discovered I was a waterbender. I was able to use that ability to pull water into plants to help them turn green if they were starting to look brown. In one of the habitats were these armored elephants that got perturbed by my being too close and one of them rolled up like a pill bug and rolled into the fence giving everyone a scare. In the background in the enclosure beyond them I saw some kind of huge dinosaur like crocodile thing with a big fin sticking out of the water swim by. Then these two really fluffy cats followed me back to the house. It was dinner time so I sat down at the table to have food but there was some kind of confusion about dinner.
I have since learned that the elephant creature and the dinosaur like crocodile thing I described matched the depiction of Behemoth from a well known painting and the image of the Leviathan was the same as the one from Carl Jung’s The Red Book. The cats are Norwegian Forest cats; the same breed of cats which pull Freyja’s sled in the Norse myths.
The next dream I had ended up being the most significant;
Dreamed I was helping renovate this house which had a secret door down to the underworld in it and they needed be to keep the goblins from sneaking out. I put a lot of spells on it to prevent them from getting out and to curse any that did. A couple tried it but went back when they realized they had gotten cursed. One though was apparently also a magician because he was able to negate my magick and escape. I grabbed two swords, one ornate ritualistic looking one, and one mundane looking one, and I ran outside. I hopped on my skateboard and started following the trail of mayhem to get to the goblin. When I caught up with him he tried to knock me off my skateboard but I saw it coming and managed to land on me feet and keep running after him out near a beach. When I caught up to him we grappled a bit and I dragged him out into the water and I kept dunking him under and then holding him in the full sunlight and calling on Utu to bind him. After about 4 times of this he went under and didn’t come back up. He had been bound and turned into a very shoddy looking metal ring on my finger covered in magical symbols. I headed back to the house and to the entrance of the passage. I pointed to my finger and said to the other goblins that’s what happens when they try to escape. Then I went into the caves and when I felt I was sufficiently down I threw the ring down there. I went back up and out of the doorway. I saw one of the construction workers with his phone out. He told me he had filled the whole thing. I had him email me a copy. Then I went outside and started trying to find a restaurant to eat at because I was hungry. I ran into my godmother who asked me what I’d been up to so I showed her the video. After she had watched it she recommended a hole in the wall restaurant and we went there. My sister was already there eating so we all joined to have dinner together. My sister wondered why I had been hanging out with my godmother and I explained I had just run into her on the street looking for a place to eat at. Woke up kinda hungry.
This dream not only connected back to my descent into the cavern at the start of this sphere, but also became the catalyst for the work I’m still doing in my path – shamanic journeying. The cave from this dream inside this witch’s house is where I begin my journeying sessions using the methods detailed in Michael Harner’s The Way of The Shaman. Here is what I wrote concerning the experience immediately after it happened:
After I got down deeper than my dream went I hit a passage that seemed to go on forever but I couldn’t go any further. I kept trying but I couldn’t. Then I realized it was a glass wall and I found a latch in it and opened a door but behind the door wasn’t more cave, it was a passage to another place entirely and an ornate dressed Man who looked like he was from the Renaissance stepped out. He introduced himself as William then said he must be on his way and left up the passage I had come down. I went through the doorway and inside was a forest at dusk with a red moon hue to the place. I started down the path and the door behind me slammed shut. I turned around to look but the door was gone and instead was more forest path. I decided to keep going in the forest. It had a lot of furs at first but then turned to Maple, oak and some apple. Then the passage was blocked and before me was this…. Man… Thing with a donkey’s head. He told me “You can not pass”. I told him “By Utu’s light you will let me through” as I did the trees parted a little and let some sunlight through down on him. His face looked even more grotesque and his eyes started glowing red and he chuckled at me. It freaked me out so much I threw off the eyemask and took off the headphones.
I have since come to the conclusion that the entity that I met in the forest was the Egyptian God Set. After doing some searching one of the first images of him I came across looked like how he appeared almost exactly. For copyright reasons I have not included that image here, however at the time of this writing it is among the first results on Google Images using the search term “egyptian god set”. I am still trying to figure out what to do next in this practice, but I have been told that the first journeying experience usually has some kind of trial that you must pass.
I can already feel the spirits shifting me towards my next initiation…
Had a dream I was collecting correspondences for some planet with this British girl.
Captivating History. Sumerians: A Captivating Guide to Ancient Sumerian History, Sumerian Mythology and the Mesopotamian Empire of the Sumer Civilization. Narrated by Duke Holm, Audible, 2018. Audiobook.
Black, Jeremy Alan. The Literature of Ancient Sumer. Oxford University Press, 2006.
Finkel, Irving L. The Ark before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood. Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2014.