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To: alt.magick,alt.mythology
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: necronomicon
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 23:19:40 GMT

x-posted to alt.mythology in hope that further (and more expert)
notations may be added by the mythographers resident there.

In alt.magick Andralphus wrote:
> The Simon "Necronomicon" takes a bunch of stuff from classical 
> ritual magick, dumbs it down, and paints a veneer of Sumerian 
> mythology over it.
> The idea of opening the seven gates (or was it nine gates?  gave my
> copy away a long time ago) is obviously a knock-off of scrying the 
> 30 ethers in Enochian magick.

You may be right on that, but i always thought that this part of the
Simon N"Necronomicon" was a specific rip-off of the opening of the seven
gates to the netherworld in the Sumerican story called "The Descent of
Inanna." The Sumerian text has been translated by Samuel Noah Kramer and
appears both in his academic publications and in the popular book on
Inanna that he co-wrote with Diane Wolkstein, "Inanna, Queen of heaven
and Earth." 

A "plot synopsis" (if a religious hymn can be said to have a "plot") of
"The Descent of Inanna" can be found at:
and there we find a list of the progressive stripping of Inanna's
garments at each gate: 

  At the first she must remove her shugurra, the Crown of the Steppes 
  At the second, the small lapis beads from around her neck 
  At the third, the double strand of beads from her breast 
  At the fourth, her breastplate 
  At the fifth, her gold ring 
  At the sixth, her lapis measuring rod and line 
  At the seventh gate, the last, her royal robe.

The relationship between this sequence of disrobings at the seven gates
and a Kabbalistic tree of life system or a Hindu chakra system or a
Chinese chi-meridian system should be obvious. I am not saying there is
a direct correlation between these four systems, simply that human
speculation about how sequenced alignments along human body points might
relate to a near-death / after-death / out-of-body / immortality /
underworld / heaven scenario existed in ancient Sumer. 

From a book review of the Kramer-Wolkstein text at:
comes this sample of the verses relating to Inanna's passage through the
sven gates and the removal of one piece of jewelry or clothing at each

        When she entered the first gate,
        From her head, the shugurra, 
        the crown of the steppe, was removed.

        Inanna asked:
             "What is this?"

        She was told:
             "Quiet, Inanna, the ways of the underworld are perfect.
             They may not be questioned."

        When she entered the second gate,
        From her neck the small lapis beads were removed.

        Inanna asked:
             "What is this?"

        She was told:
             "Quiet, Inanna, the ways of the underworld are perfect.
             They may not be questioned."

For a Jungian (glak) psycho-analytical view of the text as myth, see:

> The thing is, why bother with a thrown-together literary hoax when 
> you can go to the original?  Try "Aleister Crowley's Illustrated 
> Goetia" or "The Enochian World of Aleister Crowley" by Lon Milo 
> Duquette.  Or "The Book of Solomon's Magick" by C. R. Runyon.

Note that i am not saying that Simon was not heavily influenced by
Enochian themes and texts, simply that when he added his notorious
"Sumerian overlay," to his Lovecraftian pastiche, he actually pulled
some part of his references from Sumerian hymns. 

Your book recommendations are very good; i would merely add that one
should also consult the fictional works of H. P. Lovecraft and the
Kramer-Wolkstein Inanna book in order to attempt a "study" of Simon's
fake Necronomicon. 


cat yronwode 

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