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VMs: f57v - compass spirits...?
I've recently been going through "Magic in the Middle Ages" by R.Kieckhefer
(there's a fairly recent revised edition in paperback) - highly recommended!
On p.169, Kieckhefer mentions Cecco d'Ascoli (the astrologer, burnt at the
stake for the heresy of astrological determinism) as invoking the (dark)
spirits of the four compass directions:
A similar set is mentioned on the web, in a Harry Potter-style kids website
I also found a description of Paymon (Paimon) on the web:
A high-ranking devil, Paimon takes the form of a young woman
wearing a crown and riding a camel.
On the circular diagram on f57v: I can't make out a camel, but would you
all agree that the character on the left appears to be a young woman
wearing a crown?
Further reading indicated that the four directional spirits were often
placed inside magic circles to enhance their power - there's a magic circle
in the British Library with five concentric rings (MS Sloane 3556, f1v)...
it might be interesting to compare this with f57v...
Has anyone here specifically looked at magic circles and directional
spirits before? I couldn't find anything in the mailing list archives
(though that's far from foolproof), so this appears to be new. :-)
Alternatively, descriptions of the other three directional spirits would be
interesting, though I haven't had any luck so far - only Paymon appears to
merit any description... perhaps that's why two of the other four are
turned away on (f57v).
Alternatively, may I ask if anyone here can point me towards any books or
papers on the history of magic circles?
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
PS: the corresponding direction set for white magic (angels) is given as:
PPS: the fullest description of Paimon I found (which I now can't find the
URL for, sorry) reads like this (this appears to have been cut and pasted
from a number of overlapping sources):
King and a Powerful Demon. He appears as a robust man with the face of a
woman, mounted on a camel. Great King, and very obedient unto LUCIFER. He
appears in the form of a Man sitting upon a Dromedary with a Crown most
glorious upon his head. There goeth before him also an Host of Spirits,
like Men with Trumpets and well sounding Cymbals, and all other sorts of
Musical Instruments. He has a great Voice, and roareth at his first coming,
and his speech is such that the Magician cannot well understand unless he
can compel him. This Spirit can teach all Arts and Sciences, and other
secret things. He can discover unto you what the Eart is, and what holdeth
it up in the Waters; and what Mind is, and where it is; or any other thing
thou mayest desire to know. He gives Dignity, and confirmeth the same. He
bindeth or makes any man subject unto the Magician if he so desire it. He
gives good Familiars, and such as can teach all Arts. He is to be observed
towards the West. He is of the Order of Dominations. He has under him 200
Legions of Spritis, and part of them are the Order of Angels, and the other
part of Potentates. Now if thou callest this Spirit Paimon alone, thou must
make him some offering; and there will attend him two Kings called LABAL
and ABALIM, and also other Spirits who be of the Order of Potentates in His
Host, and 25 Legions. And those Spirits which be subject unto them are not
always with them unless the Magician do compel them. The Master of
Ceremonies of Hell. A high-ranking devil, Paimon takes the form of a young
woman wearing a crown and riding a camel. He is the master of ceremonies in
Hell and commands two hundred legions of fiends. He supplants mortal
thoughts with his own.