So there I was staring up into the colorless eyes of Asmoday. The 32nd spirit of the Goetia met my gaze with his own, his face contorted into a snide smile.
“Well, well, well Damien. Look at what you’ve gotten yourself into,” Asmoday said, his voice an exact match to the ones that had danced in my head just moments before.
I stared haplessly, my mouth agape in awe and amazement at the sight of the demon. Its imposing figure shone in the light of the library, its pale skin glowing faintly like moonlight. The creature it sat upon craned its neck up and snarled angrily at nothing in particular. I took an involuntary step backwards, not out of fear (as would have been rational) but rather to try and take its towering figure into view.
Before I could take another step, I felt a strong burst of wind kick up through the aisles. I braced myself against the headwind as books flew off the shelves by the dozens, hurled by the gale force winds onto the ground before an updraft threw them into the air where several of these books, despite nature and reasoning, froze. Their pages turned by the wind while they hung suspended in mid air. I fell to one knee, determined not to fall to the ground in a helpless state. And from the center of those damned tomes floating in the air erupted lengths of cold, steel chains. Each one snapped around my limbs and tightened, holding me immobile. I tried to move my arms and legs, but the chains retracted into their books with incredible force. I couldn’t move. There I was, bound to these books and completely helpless.
“You poor, stupid child.”
“What the fuck is going on!” I shouted, though I have no doubt that the fear in my voice was very obvious to my demonic captor.
“Oh Damien. You still don’t know? Of course you do. You may be a fool, but even you are not so blind!” His voice was thick with contempt.
I struggled for a moment to understand what he meant, but he was correct. It was as if my mind had formed some horrific protective barrier, aware that such an idea would have been too horrible to allow into my conscious thought. But in the face of absolute fear and hopelessness, there was nothing left to protect me from the terrifying possibility.
If Asmoday were a Goetic demon…he had to have come from my own psyche.
As if he could read my thoughts (and one would imagine, given the circumstances, that he could), Asmoday laughed again. Seeing my face change with the sudden understanding must have given him immense joy.
“Now you’re getting it, Damien,” Asmoday chuckled. “I am your self-loathing made manifest. Your self-hatred turned against you. That never ending desire in your mind to destroy yourself slowly and so painfully.”
“No! I refuse to bel-”
And that was as far as I got. As I’d started speaking, I felt a strange feeling rise up from the pit of my stomach. I felt like I was going to throw up, but as it rose into my esophagus, it felt…different. Like a roiling wave were churning as it went further up. The movement felt more defined, more furious as it rose, until it reached the back of my throat and I hacked it all out. It was then that I saw what had unsettled my insides.
Maggots. I was puking fucking maggots.
They squirmed infront of me I coughed them into the ground. I watched them wriggle in a fist-size batch, their small fat bodies glistening in the soft candle light. My stomach revolted at the thought of those disgusting little creatures inside my guts. I felt a second wave of vomit rise up, a reaction to the filthy site before my eyes, but it was too much. I couldn’t hold it in, and a second wave of the vermin escaped my insides and projected onto the floor in front of me. Tears streamed from my eyes, my mind unable to comprehend just how vile this experience was. I wanted to die. More badly than anything, I wanted to die. If I’d had anything else left in me I would have thrown up more, but I felt empty inside.
As if to remind me that more suffering were to come, the chains pulled on me. I felt my shoulders slowly separate out from their sockets, stretching me out. Pain shot through my arms and legs. Asmoday laughed.
"That ought to have shut you up."
His mount stood up and walked slowly towards me, the ground shaking with every slow, ponderous step it took. It stopped a few feet away from me, its sickening yellow eyes glaring at me while Asmoday continued his speech.
“You know, you should really be proud of how long you survived before I finally got my chance to kill you. Not that you actually will be proud. I won’t let you. But it is amazing that, despite how much you really hate yourself, you made it all the way here. Gods know you tried your hardest to end it all. Why else would you have tempted fate with that Slender Man, or let that blood thirsty lunatic into your home while you slept. Somehow, Damien, you managed to survive. But no more. Your self-loathing brought you here before me. And now you die. But not before I strip every piece of arcane knowledge from your mind. It is the pain and suffering you and I both know you deserve.”
I screamed. I screamed in defiance. I pleaded. He must have enjoyed it, the sick fuck, because my wailing was uninterrupted by maggots. Asmoday raised a palm up into the air, and before me appeared a Goetic sigil. Bolts of black lightning shout from its curves and shapes into my eyes. Everything went dark. Burning pain traveled along my skull, and I felt everything get lighter. My mind started to get blurry. I couldn’t focus coherent thought as the storm of darkness continued to fry my mind. My thoughts were blanks, half-formed and then dissipated no matter how hard I tried to concentrate and drive the pain away. The bolts stopped.
My thoughts numb, my mind incapable of producing real thought, I looked up at the sigil that burned away a large portion of my mind. The sigil vanished.
“Well, that’s part of you gone forever. Did that hurt, Damien? I suspect it did. You screamed something awful.”
My dumb mind could not produce sound. I gave no answer. A second sigil formed in front of me, that of another Goetic demon. But which one I couldn’t tell. Such wisdom was locked away from me. Another bolt of darkness burst from the sigil and into my eyes. The pain was less than before, perhaps because I had not enough mental capacity to even acknowledge such suffering. But the loss was just as real, and much worse. Somehow, even in my diminished capacity I understood what I was losing.
The burning stopped. The world had stopped being distinct shapes and had devolved into a sea of blurry colors, devoid of any real meaning. I tried to voice dissent, or something like it, but I have no idea how it came out. I was struggling simply to struggle, and I wasn’t even sure why. In fact, that by itself was curious…there was something in me still fighting. And despite everything in the world melting away before the void of absolute thoughtlessness…I became aware of that instinct to fight.
And then there was a moment of clarity. That realization that there was something so intrinsic to my being that I was fighting beyond all rationale. It wasn’t life, or I wouldn’t have surrendered when the chains had enveloped me and I started puking maggots. No, it was knowledge. Precious knowledge. It defined me. It made me everything I was. It was my True Will in every sense of the word. And with that realization also came the understanding that no part of me would ever destroy my knowledge, no matter how much I hated myself. It was the purest pursuit, the highest reason, the True Will give aim. If nothing else, I could never hate myself enough to turn away from the acquisition thereof.
Whatever it was that stood before me was NOT Asmoday. And whatever it had done, it could not have taken away what I knew. Everything went black for but a moment, and form returned to my consciousness. I was no longer in the library. I was in a black forest. Dead trees covered this bizarre wasteland, the sky a sickly green color illuminated by an ambient and sourceless light.
In front of me stood the Slender One. It’s eyeless face was tilted to one side, as if it were studying me curiously. Tentacles slowly dripped out of its coat, those same unseemly tendrils stretching out towards me. But not today.
“No. I’ve had enough of you,” I snarled.
And it was true. In that moment, he didn’t matter. I had found the axis of my existence, the fulcrum onto which I could shift the world. It was that realization that enabled me to find the answers I’d sought. He could do whatever he liked, it would not change how I knew my destiny.
There is a belief within Thelema that the whole of one’s existence would be summarized as the True Will. It was like the orbit of a planet, the course of one’s whole life time planned along the most natural path. And when a Thelemite reached an understanding, an intrinsic knowledge of this True Will then he could meet and discuss with it. Imagine being able to speak to your entire past, present, and future all at once. Every meaningful relationship, every thought and deed, every minor decision you could ever make, brought before you at once. It happened to Aleister Crowley when he met Nuit, the being that gave him the Book of the Law. That night, it happened to me.
Between myself and the Slender One erupted a shining gold light. It illuminated the sky and swallowed up the green ambient light of the forest. A radiant beam shone through the trees, and even the Slender One himself shrunk back before its beauty. My eyes, however, never left it. The light receded, and my eyes fell upon it. It was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. Humanoid, tall and genderless, four-armed, with slightly blue-tinged skin. It bore six beautiful golden wings along its back. In its left hands it held a mace and a sword, in its right a shield and a scepter. Its bare flesh was covered with hundreds of human eyes, all golden. Every eye wept tears of blood which streaked across its skin and pooled at its clawed feet. Its long mane of flowing gold hair came to shoulder length, the silken strands gently swaying in the wind of the Slender One’s domain.
My Heavenly Guardian Angel, my destiny made manifest.
The Heavenly Guardian Angel stretched its wings. The light shone ever more brightly as the Slender One backed away, raising its arms defensively to its face. The angel lifted its upper most arms and pointed its shining scepter at the Slender One. A beautiful ray of golden light emanated from it and shot forth like a wave towards the Slender One. I watched as the light struck the creature, as the shadow of its corporeal being twisted and writhed under the mystickal assault laid down against it. I must applaud the Slender One. It survived a whole 5 seconds of pure exposure before it faded away.
I knew it wasn’t dead or gone. It had merely retreated. But it didn’t matter. The Angel rose up and shone its light upon the entire dead wasteland. I watched beautiful green grass grow where there was once only death. Up above us, clouds swirled together into a beautiful storm. A bolt of lightning struck one of the dead trees. And then another. And another. The forest slowly burned. I watched the wind carry ashes from the burning trees onto the ground. Flowers sprouted from the barren earth. Life renewed itself as the ruined, hollow grounds of old gave way to a vital new existence. It was all so clear to me. My past and my future.
The angel accepted my wordless understanding. It nodded as I watched the spectacle, and then lifted me up in its arms. We rose through the storm clouds and into the darkness of space. I watched the stars shine brighter and brighter. Shooting stars hurled through the empty darkness, filling the void with limitless light. It was here in this place that the Heavenly Guardian Angel finally spoke to me, directly, and revealed to me all things that will come to pass.
What exactly did the Angel say, you may ask, about my future? To tell you would be meaningless. To put it into words as the Angel did would be a vulgar travesty. All that matters is that I have been given the Law, and I will execute it. There is no recourse.
To you, my readers, I say to you what I have always said, knowing now what truth shall be made manifest.
Love Is The Law
Love Under Will