I summon thee, the Headless One

I summon you, Headless One,

who created Earth and Heaven

who created Night and Day / you who created light and darkness;

you are OSORONNOPHRIS, whom none has ever seen;  you are IABAS, you are IAPOS,

you have distinguished the just and the unjust; you have made female and male

you have revealed seed and fruits; you have made men love each other and hate each other.

These are the first enigmatic sentences of the Rite of the Headless One which was found in the Stele of Jeu the Hieroglyphist in the Greek Magical Papyri, dating from approx. 350 CE. In this post we will be looking at some of the different uses of the term ‘headless’ in mythology and the occult, in order to situate Bataille’s specific use of headless or acéphale. Besides that we will also pay attention to Bataille’s emphasis on certain aspects of this term, namely the Gnostic origin and its overtly Numinous nature.

The Rite of the Headless One

This exorcism rite might have remained unknown were it not that A. Crowley was quite taken by the power of the Rite, and it became his favourite ritual for invoking the Holy Guardian Angel. Crowley used an adaptation (probably written by A. Bennett) and entitled it: The Invocation of the Heart Girt with a Serpent, or The Bornless Ritual.

p-oslo-1-1-magical-papyrus-roll

Remark: interestingly the term ‘bornless’ was used in Crowley’s version instead of the original ‘headless’. In my research and in the excellent blog post ‘Akephalos – The Rite of the Headless One‘ (here you will find more details on the Rite, its history, the etymology and so) it is said that  Israel Regardie made a go of suggesting “In many primitive languages, the word ‘head’ is often used as an equivalent of ‘beginning’ . . .Therefore headless and bornless can be seen as synonyms referring to a deity without beginning.

Headless?

You may ask yourself the question why did they refer to this Deity as being Headless? How was the term headless used in mythology and the occult?

  • Headless beings were known in mythology: various species of mythical headless men “were rumored to inhabit remote parts of the world. They are variously known as akephaloi (Greek ἀκέφαλοι, “headless ones”) or Blemmyes (Latin: Blemmyae; Greek: βλέμμυες) and described as lacking a head, with their facial features on their chest.” 

800px-nuremberg_chronicles_-_strange_people_-_headless_xiir

A Blemmyae from Schedel’sNuremberg Chronicle (1493).

  • Beheading or the punishment of decapitation is an ancient one which had significantly more meaning in Traditional societies (as opposed to our derailed way of living in the Kali Yuga). In ancient pagan faiths executed criminals were rumored to become Akephaloi after their beheading and to roam around as spirits. Celts believed that the soul resided in the head of their ennemies and therefore they practiced headhunting: capturing a head meant capturing the soul of an opponent. This violent tradition is still visible through the ONA with the depiction of Baphomet, the Mistress of the Earth, as a dark violent Goddess to whom human sacrifices were (and are) made. You can see her holding the head of a young man. One of her chosen victims…

mousa-of-swords

Agios O Baphomet, our Mistress of Blood

  • In his interesting blog post Akephalos (no longer available as it seems) the author refers to a possible identity of the Headless God, namely  research done by John Colman, Professor of Egyptology at John Hopkins University and The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. “He  tells us in The Enigmatic Netherworld Books of the Solar-Osirian Unity, in which he deciphers hieroglyphic content from the tombs of Tutankhamun, Ramesses VI, and Ramesses IX, that Akephalos refers to the Egyptian Osiris, but not in the form of the mummified god of the Underworld – rather as a deity of solar-reunification, Ra-Osiris. Darnell provides evidence, based on archaeological finds and Egyptological research, which shows that the head of the headless form of Osiris is the Sun, and that the solar Osiris is one with Ra.” So, the Headless One is here understood to be the decapitated Osiris. A claim which I have read in other texts as well.

isis-and-nephtys-with-re-osiris-litanie-of-re-from-the-tomb-of-nefertari-xix-dynasty-ancient-egypt-685x1024

Isis and Nephtys with Re-Osiris. Tomb of Nefertari. XIX Dynasty.

  • The concept of a headless God is however not just literally a question of decapitation, but it refers to its ontology, namely the acausal nature of this God. The Headless One cannot be causally grasped: there is not a single reference to his origin, his name, his representation and this brings us to the Gnostic nature of this particular Deity.  The Headless One should not be seen as a seperate or eminent being, but he is imminent and thus he is the mystical source from which everything and everybody originates (ref. Ecclesia Mysteria). In the Rite however the word ‘created’ is used, and this must be the Christian influence on this syncretic text, namely the Headless One as a creator God. From a Gnostic point of view this would be impossible. The Gnostic tradition refers to the deity as the Deus Absconditus, the One who is absent. Absent as a seperate being, but ontologically everywhere as an imminent presence.

The Headless God as being Gnostic: Bataille’s AcéphaleThis brings us to the very core of our Acephalic mysticism: why did Bataille choose a Headless monster (as he himself described it) and headlessness as his main mystical principle. How did he come up with this?

tumblr_my7jtxnlwn1smc06wo1_1280

The Acéphale (2013). New version byDenis Forkas(his copyright!) for Behemoth’s The Satanist

You should know that Bataille was a librarian and had access to a vast amount of books and research. In his never-ending quest he encountered old amulets with depictions of Gnostic deities and the Headless One. Being an iconoclast and an anti-modernist he was immediately attracted to the Gnostic Weltanschauung. Bataille’s view is also determined by a profound dualism: the Profane versus the Sacred. Just like Heidegger, Spengler and Evola, Bataille was highly critical towards the ‘modern’ evolution and the profound lack of connectedness: modern man lived in a discontinuum obsessed with their identity and mundane projects. Bataille however regarded the contact with the Continuum/Sacred (Numinous if you will) as a fundamental Being-present-in-the-World, but it was being denied and suppressed in the name of ‘progress’. Unlike the magian beliefs Bataille did not choose to ‘escape’ to another and morally better world, Bataille saw the Sacred as imminent, as ever-present in matter.

foto-bataille

Georges Bataille (10.09.1897 – 09.07.1962)

While Bataille liked the antinomian, heretical stance of the Gnostic currents his interpretation was itself one of the most radical: while many Gnostic sects cursed matter as being the creation of Jahwe, the Demiurg, Bataille favoured matter and looked for the Sacred within matter itself:

“the severed ass’s head of the acephalic personification of the sun undoubtedly represents, even if imperfectly, one of materialism’s most virulent manifestions”. (Base Materialism and Gnosticism)Bataille here refers to one of the presentations of ancient deities on the amulets and he regards the acephalic God as a virulent manifestation of materialism. Bataille recognizes the Gnostic’s principle of matter as being active and having “its own autonomous existence as darkness and as evil” and evil as a creative action. Bataille actually recognizes his own point of view in the antinomianism of the Gnostics. They were heretical because they did not see matter and evil as “degradations of superior principles” (magian point of view). Bataille realized that not all Gnostics did agree on this as a majority saw matter as a creation of the Demiurg and matter was seen as a prison from which gnosis or insight should free them. There were however antinomian cults that practised evil rituals (sodomy for instance) in order to show that they were liberated from the enslavement by matter.

Bataille however did not see matter as a sin (magian belief) or a prison (gnostic), but he actually located the Sacred in matter. As a practitioner of Tantric sexuality the flesh and matter were something Sacred and therefore Bataille regarded transgressions as a portal towards the Continuum. Nevertheless, Gnosticism did appeal to Bataille:

“it is difficult to believe that on the whole Gnosticism does not manifest above all a sinister love for darkness, a monstrous taste for the obscene and lawless archontes, for the head of the solar ass […]. The existence of a sect of licentious Gnostics and of certain sexual rites fulfils this obscure demand for a baseness that would not be reducible which would be owed the most decent respect: black magic has continued this tradition to the present day.” (Base Materialism and Gnosticism)Despite the fact that the Gnostic in the end aimed for something good and perfected (liberation from matter), Gnosticism  questioned monotheistic idealism and its practice of submitting matter to the spirit. Through their licentiousness the Gnostics aimed at disconcerting the human spirit and idealism. In the illustrious footsteps of the Gnostics Bataille refused to submit himself and his reason

“to whatever is more elevated, to whatever can give a borrowed authority to that being [he is], and to the reason that arms this being.” (Base Materialism and Gnosticism)

Therefore he submits himself to matter or what he calls base matter:

“base matter is external and foreign to ideal human aspirations, and it refuses to allow itself to be reduced to the great ontological machines resulting from these aspirations.” (Base Materialism and Gnosticism)

Base matter is an important concept in Bataille’s Weltanschauung and indicates clearly that the mystic has no wish to serve any ontological machine. Non Serviam is the central message here. It also shows that, just like the Gnostics, Bataille does not advocate anthropocentrism. In his view matter and energy go hand in hand, and actually the human Geist does not rule them. We can refer to Myatt’s vision about humility, compassion and empathy. Just like base matter the Acausal cannot be judged from a causal point of view. They may coincide, for instance a Nexion, but the Acausal cannot be reduced to anything rational.

I have already describedthe drawing by Breton. Bataille explains his choice for the Acephalic ‘monster’ as follows:

“Man has escaped from his head just as the condemned man has escaped from his prison. He has found beyond himself not God, who is the prohibition against crime, but a being who is unaware of prohibition. Beyond what I am, I meet a being who makes me laugh because he is headless; this fills me with dread because he is made of innocence and crime; He holds a steel weapon in his left hand, flames like those of a Sacred Heart in his right. He reunites in the same eruption Birth and Death. He is not a man. He is not a god either. He is not me but he is more than me: his belly is the labyrinth in which he has lost himself, loses me with him, and in which I discover myself as him, in other words as a monster.” (The Sacred Conspiracy)

The Acephalic Monster is not here to serve or establish for that reason any hierarchy, nor does it aim at laying down new laws. It headlessness sets him free from the prison of calculated reason, if only momentary because Bataille is well aware that a society does need order and laws. However in order to reconnect with the Sacred, one must be able to escape from one’s head. This is what Bataille calls transgression. The Acephalic One is neither God nor man; he is a monster which can be compared to the Minotaur that roams the labyrinth. Although Bataille’s will to transgress  may seem as a “call for chaos”, Bataille re-introduces the Acephalic One, following the example of the Gnostics, to question the ruling majority, the ontological machines at work crafting ‘our’ reality. The Gnostics challenged the dominant religions with their patriarchy and absolute hierarchies based on reason and logic.

acephale

The Acephalic One however cannot be approached through reason as he resides beyond the Causal, beyond the seven spheres. In the post Azal and the Nine Angles  V.K. Jehannum refers to Azal, a concept in Arabic theology and it is derived from Pahlavi a-sar meaning “without head”. As we have already discussed “without head” could also mean bornless, or without beginning, therefore Azal refers “to an absolute past, an eternity with no beginning. Ergo, Azal would be a suitable descriptor for the realm of Ogdoadic physis which lies beyond the planetary spheres.” Bataille did not put it down in these words, but his interest in ancient practices such as human sacrifice, decapitation, torture with a specific focus on the history of the Aztecs, Gnosticism, Christianity, Satanism and Tantrism shows his anti-modernist stance, and the fact that the past meant much more to him. It is a Continuum beyond Time which he called the Sacred realm, and perhaps we could say that this is what we find in the ONA, namely the realm of Ogdoadic physis beyond the Seven Spheres, beyond the Causal.

Bataille also earthened The Acephalic One by introducing Base Matter. In alchemical terms we could compare this to the Prima Materia which offers the energy to channel and presence the Sacred (or Numinous) in one Causal form or another. The Adept of Acephalic Mysticism searches within the labyrinth of the Prima Materia, and during this search he encounters the Acephalic Monster which has always been present within him, in-the-world, in the Abyss and the Cosmos.

adam

Adam as Prima Materia

Afterthought: Causal, Acausal, bornless…

We can conclude that the Acephalic One must be understood as a formula, a portal which introduces the Acausal within the Causal. It is not a man nor a god, but an entity which cannot be conceived, named, grasped by us, for we stand outside its realm. The Rite of the Headless One was an instrument to Crowley to invoke his Holy Guardian Angel, but would have been useless to Bataille’s Cosmic interests. Bataille utterly despite the instrumental. In the Rite the Headless One is being described as a God being able to undertake causal actions and this makes him a Creator God or a God of Work. The Acephalic One for Bataille is Omnipresent and Absent (deus absconditus) and does not undertake actions: a most sovereign UR-power whose gnosis can only be felt or communicated acausally.

Bataille clearly wanted to avoid a new ‘human’ construct, a new ‘god’ to be worshipped, for he was well aware of the inherent dangers and limitations. For such a God is only the mirror of man’s Ego. Bataille wanted to be ferociously religious: religare; to connect through presencing the Numinous without human intervention and without the trappings of time. I would like to point at Myatt’s textPersonal reflections on Some Metaphysical questions(Brought to my attention through one of the posts of the Misanthropic Nexion).  Myatt asked some important metaphysical question with regard to the causal/acausal, the Born-less and our human position. He concludes:

What, therefore, is the wordless knowing that empathy and pathei-mathos reveal? It is the knowing manifest in our human culture of pathei-mathos. The knowing communicated to us, for example, by art, music, literature, and manifest in the lives of those who presenced, in their living, compassion, love, and honour. Germane to this knowing is that – unlike a form or an abstraction – it is always personal (limited in its applicability) and can only be embodied in and presenced by some-thing or by some-one which or who lives. That is, it cannot be abstracted out of the living, the personal, moment of its presencing by someone or abstracted out from its living apprehension by others in the immediacy-of-the-moment, and thus cannot become ‘an ideal’ or form the foundation for some dogma or ideology or supra-personal faith. (Myatt, Personal reflections on Some Metaphysical questions)

In my humble opinion communication is the very keyword here: a wordless knowing which is an understanding beyond reason, an understanding with the heart and without the head. Myatt mentions art, music, literature, a modus vivendi (friendship, love) and operandi (honourful living, Sinister practice- as a means of communicating the Acausal and thus becoming a living Nexion. Furthermore Myatt defends a wordless and timeless (without beginning) knowing (ref. Azal, Dhar & Zamal as concepts of time within Islamic Alchemy) that cannot become the foundation for some dogma or supra-personal faith. Bataille’s quest was different, but he ended up with the same insights. 

In this respect Myatt and Bataille agree with each other. They both call upon an acephalic knowing and taking part in the imminent. Both their rites are wordless ones. 

img_8854

All that remains is Silence

Which was and will always be Eternal and Ever-Present

Sources (hyperlinks provided in the text):

  • Wikipedia
  • Blogs by V.K. Jehannum, Whollybooks, Sinister Polemics, Misanthropic Nexion)
  • David Myatt: Personal reflections on Some Metaphysical Questions
  • Georges Bataille: Base Materialism and Gnosticism – The Sacred Conspiracy
  • Ecclesia Mysteria

Von S, 127yf

_____________________________________________________________________

Addendum: the complete text of the Rite of the Headless One (source: Whollybooks)

I summon you, Headless One,

who created Earth and Heaven

who created Night and Day / you who created light and darkness;

you are OSORONNOPHRIS, whom none has ever seen;  you are IABAS, you are IAPOS,

you have distinguished the just and the unjust; you have made female and male

you have revealed seed and fruits; you have made men love each other and hate each other.

I am Moses your prophet, to whom you have transmitted your mysteries celebrated by Israel; you have revealed the moist and the dry and all nourishment; hear me!

I am the messenger of Pharoh OSORONNOPHRIS;  this is your true name which has been transmitted to the Prophets of Israel.

Hear me, ARBATHIAO REIBET ATHELEBERSETH [ARA] BLATHA ALBEU EBENPHCHI CHITASGOE IBAOTH IAO; listen to me and turn away this daimon.

I call upon you, awesome and invisible god with an empty spirit,

AROGOGROROBRAO SOCHOU MODORIO PHALARCHAO OOO

Holy Headless One, deliver me, (your name), from the daimon which restrains me,

ROUBRIAO MARI ODAM BAABNAOTH ASS ADONAI APHNIAO ITHOLETH ABRASAX AEOOY

Mighty Headless One, deliver me, (your name), from the daimon which restrains me,

MABARRAIO IOEL KOTHA ATHOREBALO ABRAOTH

deliver me, (your name),

AOTH ABRAOTH BASYM ISAK SABAOTH IAO

He is the Lord of the gods; He is the Lord of the inhabited world

He is the one whom the winds fear; He is the one who made all things by the command of his voice.

Lord, King, Master, Helper,

Deliver this Soul

IEOU  PYR  IOU  PYR  IAOT  IAEO  IOOW  ABRASAX  SABRIAM  OO  YY  AY  OO  YY  ADONAIE

quickly, quickly, good Messenger of God!

ANLALA LAI GAIA APA DIACHANNA CHORYN

I am the Headless daimon with my sight in my feet; I am the mighty one who possesses the immortal fire;

I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world; I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll;

I am the one whose sweat is the heavy rain which falls upon the earth that it might be  inseminated; I am the one whose mouth burns completely; I am the one who begets and destroys;

I am the Grace of the Aion; My name is a heart encircled by a serpent;  Come Forth and Follow.

Published by

Von Sanngetall

My Mystical Path devoted to the Acephalic God. The body and mind can be a nexion for the Dark Gods. Joy before Death! 333!

One thought on “I summon thee, the Headless One”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s