As part of the ritual for his Evocation of Bartzabel, the Spirit of Mars, Aleister Crowley conjured up what was referred to as “The Dog of Evil.” The question naturally arises “why?” and “where did this portion of ritual come from?” The first part may be partially answered by looking at its place in the context of the ritual. Crowley and his chums are busy building up a powerful wall of protection against the potentially dangerous forces they intend to evoke – hence they call upon a magical Guard Dog – the eponymous Dog of Evil – to protect them.
The original source is one of the Papyri (? 501?) in the Harris collection. Israel Regardie referred to it in his book The Tree of Life as a method of banishment used by Egyptian priests, and then purported to transcribe it “verbatim from the Papyrus.”
However, I now have reason to doubt that Regardie was being entirely accurate when he said that he got it verbatim from the Papyrus – for two reasons. The first is the obvious one – his description of the ritual is in English, a language unknown to the ancient Egyptians! I was not actually aware that Regardie was able to read Hieroglyphics – but this is by the by.
I also have evidence which I am not at liberty to publicly reveal.
A RITUAL OF BANISHMENT
To be performed in the South, North, West and East, with the formulation of a guardian in the shape of a dog that was to be terrible to all attacking forces:
“Arise, Dog of Evil, that I may instruct thee in they present duties. Thou art imprisoned. Confess thou that it is so. Horus it is who has given this commandment. Let thy face be terrible as the storm-parted sky. Let thy jaws close pitilessly. Make sacrifice as the God Her-Shafi. Massacre as the Goddess Anata. May thy hair stand up like rods of fire. Be thou great as Horus and terrible as Set.
Equally to the South, to the North, to the West and to the East.
The whole land belongs unto thee. Nothing shall stop thee, whilst thou settest thy face in my defence: while thou settest thy face against savage beasts; while thou settest thy face to protect my paths, opposing thyself to the enemy.
I bestow upon thee the power of vanishing, of becoming noiseless and invisible. For thou art my guardian, courageous and terrible.”
5 responses to “Dog of Evil”
Awesome. That is all.
The text is taken from page 24 of Florence Farr’s book, Egyptian Magic, published in 1896.
I spotted it when reading the book back in the late 1980s, and guess that Regardie and Crowley spotted it before me. It’s a great wee piece!
I rather suspect that Farr got it from the same place that Regardie & Crowley did.
Hi, Alex. Sorry this is half a dozen years after the post; I’m afraid I’m not much of a blog-browser. You’re right that it is from Harris Papyrus 501, which is a hieratic papyrus in the British Museum (London BM Papyrus 10042). I’ve got a copy of Chabon’s 1860 book on the papyrus, *Le Papyrus Magique Harris* (Chalon-sur-Saône: printed by J. DeJussieu for the Société d’Histoire et d’Archéologie de Chalon-sur-Saône). This would surely have been in the British Library, and equally surely would have been read there or at the Bibliotheque nationale at least by the early Order’s most devoted Egyptophiles SSDD, DDCF, and VNR. It would also have certainly been known by the Order’s best Egyptian student (MWTh, Blackden), who actually worked for a couple of seasons as a transcriber of inscriptions in Egypt, but he didn’t join the Order until 1896 and the Inner Order in 1897 (and I think SSDD would have credited him if he were the source of the translation in her book). Chabon gives an analysis of the text and an interlinear translation (phonetic Egyptian with French below). Whichever Adept made the translation, it should have been actually translated “Wolf of Evil,” as the original is Egyptian (Manuel de Codage)*wnS bin* or (Gardiner Signlist) *G43 N35 N27 det. E17 D58 M17 N35 det. G37*. Both words survive into Coptic: Ouônsh Bôôn, so we can even pronounce it : Wonesh Bo-on.
Thank you. 🙂