After watching a documentary about a tribe of remote Amazonian indians who believe the world is full of spirits I ask the class: Do you believe in ghosts? A few hands go up. Do you believe because you have experienced them? - nearly all the hands drop, perhaps one stays up - they have sensed a presence, or temperature drop. The ones who believed but hadn't experienced I ask to justify their belief - they 'want to believe' because it seems the universe is a more interesting place with ghosts in it. Fair enough I say.
Another question follows: Do you believe in spirits? More hands but still very few. Why spirits and not ghosts? It seems the definition is looser, people can play more freely with the word - there is a spirit of 'happiness', and a spirit of 'misfortune' - whether its an intelligence or a pattern/current in space-time few seem to want to pry into, but more of them have experienced such spirits, be they personal or not.
One more: Do you believe in aliens? Not here necessarily but generally in their existence? Most hands go up. Why, I ask, if you've never seen them? Well the universe is so big they must exist somewhere, they say - then why so readily dismiss spirits and ghosts? - I retort.
I am not a materialist, but the lesson goes this way from here: In medieval times demonologists and sorcerers believed that you were under attack from legions of invisible demons that were attacking you and your soul at all times, constantly trying to crack open your body and mind - such possessions resulted in lesions, frothing at the mouth, deliriums, etc. There were even hierarchies of such demons, associated with an 'inverse' Tree of Life, logically then there were demons that attacked the head and demons that attacked the genitals or liver, etc. I ask them if they believe in such demonic assaults. No one puts their hand up, no one wants to live in that paranoid a world I guess. I tell them I *know* they are under assault from legions of invisible demons at all times and then show them images of microbes.
|EBOLA - A DEADLY DEMONIC SERPENT|
|YERSINIA PESTIS - DEMON LIKELY RESPONSIBLE FOR BLACK DEATH |
COUPLED PERHAPS WITH AN EBOLA LIKE HAEMORRHAGIC FEVER
|NECROTIZING FASCIITIS - FLESH-EATING DEMONS|
Why do highly intelligent students of the international World, ruthlessly mock their alchemical and shamanic forebears as superstitious or charlatans when there is no justification? Much of the advice given by such alchemists or shamans such as burning dead bodies, or advising ritual baths for cleansing, or praying in order to help 'fight off the disease' is sensible. The idea that there is a demonic hierarchy that attacks different parts of the 'human soul' makes perfect sense - herpes simplex type 1 attacks the lips, and herpes simplex type 2 attacks the 'other lips'.
We then focus on three powers traditionally linked to battling the undead: garlic, silver and sunlight. Garlic ( in the form of allicin its active principle) is antibacterial against a wide-range of bacteria, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-viral - it gains this power from the chemical reaction between allicin and important enzymes the microbes use for their own metabolism. Silver ions, literally burst the membranes of microbes - causing them to leak out their life fluids - and silver is used in plasters, hospital washing machines, socks (I have silver technology socks!!!) and it can also be taken orally, as I do myself, in the form of colloidal silver. Vitamin D ('sunlight') activates the immune system, making it alert rather than sleepy - so there is evidence that the increase of illness (demonic attack) in the Winter is as much to do with lack of light as it is with temperature change. These three, sunlight, silver and garlic form a holy trinity in the battle with undead and demonic forces. The alternative is to use medicine largely made from petrochemicals, petrochemicals that have been essentially drawn from ancient necropolises of concentrated death - if you'll excuse my figurative language. Or vaccines. I had to make vaccines as part of my Biochemistry course. *Nasty nasty process*. As anitbiotics begin to lose their effect due to the evolution of superbugs, these traditional weapons of garlic, silver and sunlight will come back to the fore - perhaps souped up by technology.
I want to state again that I am not a materialist - my actual philosophy is currently something between Neopythagorean and Panpsychism. I do believe these diseases are 'manifestations' and that everything is interconnected. To what extent these demons are somehow conscious or the manifestation of a consciousness that is attacking you, I do not know - but a troubled psyche (mind-soul) will have a weaker immune system for sure. And burning death for power, or using medicine derived from death seems more than a little bit necromantic to me. I'd rather go with herbs and minerals, if I can.
Which brings us neatly to iron. The Apotropaic Use of Iron was an article I read many years ago from a then colleague of mine Bryan Gendler. I don't know whether the article here has been copied from him or its his new pseudonym (http://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/the-apotropaic-use-of-iron/)
but Jason Miller quotes the article in Protection and Reversal Magick when he discusses the use of iron in warding off demonic influence. One thing that leapt out at me was the information I had learned about 'iron-stealing' bacteria during my course on the pathogenesis of infectious disease. If you look at the questions at the end of the article and my own thoughts above, perhaps the use of iron in protecting against demons especially during childbirth (infant mortality due to unhygienic surroundings) and marriage (perhaps risk of STDs) is because they were aware somehow that the 'demons' wanted their iron (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731140223.htm)
Why iron? Why is iron just so important from a more esoteric perspective? Iron has an atomic number of 26 - qabalistically this has a lot of significance. 26 for instance is Alef, by the well known Qabalistic idea that Alef consists of two Yods (2 x 10) and a Vav (6). ADM - could be considered to be oxygenated blood - in the sense that Alef or Air is married to DM which in hebrew means red earth - the soil that 'God' blew life into. What is the important molecule in this oxygenation of the blood? Haemoglobin.
Haemoglobin utilizes the oxidative properties of iron to carry oxygen around the body to all the cells via the blood. Haemoglobin's structure, as a protein, consists of four subunits, in two pairs, just like Alef. Pathogenic iron-stealing bacteria, remember the ones we are trying to fight off are then quite literally 'drinking your blood' - in that they are extracting the iron for their nutrition in an otherwise hostile environment. Blood, is life's way of using rusting to beneificent effect. 26 is more than that - its twice 13 (prime), the meaning of which is 'unity' - our blood being an inescapable form of our bondage to the environment in that we breathe its air and we breathe into its air. It is the full value of YHVH (10 + 5 + 6 + 5) - I am that I am - in that we are made up of it, a bag of mainly water, blood and various interstitial fluids (there are 'two waters' which 'Elohim' separated by breath, the intercellular fluids (i.e. the water inside the cell) and the extracellular fluids such as the blood, i.e. plasma carrying the lifeforce.*) Remember that behind all the surface ideas there are deeper ideas - when I evoke atomic number I am not trying to reduce to matter, i am actually looking for a Neopythagorean reduction to number. I think '26ness' is something in the same way I think the properties of silver are explained by its '47ness'.
*Another funny double use of the word plasma in cells and the Sun is strangely justified qabalistically by investigation into the links between iron and the Sun. Go google them and have fun.