Warlock Asylum Part 1: Kiss of The Immortal Album Art

May 18, 2009

WARLOCK ASYLUM ALBUM ARTWORK PART 5: SHADOWS

HEY!

I would like to wlecome everyone here to my blog page. I am a good big fan of the musical expertise of Steve Berson and Messiah-el Bey, as well as, a personal friend of the two, also known as Warlock Asylum. I am happy to welcome each and everyone of you to my blog page featuring some deeper insghts about the album artwork presented on their Kiss of The Immortal album.

The following illustration appears as part of the insert:

insertwarlock

The illustration that appears above is different than the other images that we have reviewed so far. This is evidently due to the fact that a diferent artist was used for the insert, none other than Anderson Luna.

Although this image has a different feel than the other images discussed, it still drives home the central them of the album, which is Messiah-el’s search for Lilith.

What is most striking about this image is the centerpiece of the whole picture- the Sigil of the Simon Necronomicon. Interestingly,  Messiah-el Bey is one of the few people in this world that has undergone training and initiation in this controversial form of spirituality. For those who are interested, Messiah-el shares his thoughts about this system of spirituality here:

www.warlockasylum.wordpress.com

We see a “dove” on the upper left part of the illustration. The “dove” has always been a symbol of Ishtar in her aspect of when she descends into the Underworld. This is a very intriguing aspect of this illustration. Although we see Messiah-el’s character dressed in Egyptian garb, the surrounding aspects brings us to an ancient world where the priesthoods of Egypt and Sumeria were united.

The staff that appears in the illustrration is the Egyptian symbol for everlasting life-The Ankh. The Ankh is not just a symbol for everlasting life, but life emanating from the Divine Womb. The Ankh is synonmous with the eight-pointed star of Ishtar.

We can also see the character here is driven between tow worlds, one modern and one that is ancient. This symbolizes the “twilight” condition. it also represents remembering oneself in all worlds and keeping the material and spiritual aspects of ourselves in balance.

Simon Magus

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April 16, 2009

WARLOCK ASYLUM ALBUM ART PART 3: SYMBOLIC INSERT

Greetings!

 

I would like to welcome everyone to Sacred Beat! Our current topic over the pass few weeks has been about the artwork of Warlock Asylum’s first musical project entitled “Kiss of The Immortal.”

 

Over the past few weeks we have spent time discussing the album cover, now we are approaching the insert.

 

back_dark

 

We see in the above photo a depiction of Kendra Phillips standing next to an underpass, which separates the Eanna from the modern world, wherein Messiah-el finds himself heading towards. The symbol of the Underpass can sometimes represent the veil that stands between two societies, one which is metaphysical and one that is material. One is ironic about this illustration is the question of whether or not Messiah-el is approaching Kendra? Or is he departing into the dust of the city? Another interesting look at this picture and we can see that based on the Moon’s position, it seems as if the Sun would be rising on the east. This would represent a time that is known as the Twilight.

 

 

 

The Twilight is relative o the Morning Star. The Morning Star we can easily identify with the planet Venus or Ishtar. Once again we see a link to the Rites of Inanna. The Morning Star is also called Lucifer, a term that is often perceived as something negative, but it actually means “light bringer.”  The book of revelation Chapter 22 verse 16, Jesus is spoken of as being the “morning star’

 

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

 

Simon Maguc 

March 30, 2009

WARLOCK ASYLUM ALBUM ART PART 2: THE THREE PYRAMIDS OF GIZA

Greetings! I would like to welcome everyone to The “Kiss Of The Immortal Page.” If this is your first time visiting us here, I would suggest that you start your journey into the musical world of Warlock Asylum by reviewing some of our previous articles listed on the far right.

 

In our last discussion we were able to come to some deeper insights as to the meaning of the eyes on the front cover of the Kiss of The Immortal album art. Today we will review the meaning of the pyramids as they appear on the cover of the album.

 

Although the Kiss of The Immortal album is based highly on the Mesopotamian epic of Ishtar and Dumuzi, Warlock Asylum fans may question the appearance of an Egyptian relic on the front cover. We will take a deeper look into the meaning of the Pyramids of Giza, which may give us some understanding as to their relationship with the rest of the album art

 

three-pyramids

 

It has been theorized that the three Pyramids of Giza are a reflection of three stars that exist in the constellation of Orion.

 

The three pyramids of Giza are a perfect reproduction of the 3 stars of Orion’s belt:

·      Like the pyramids, the three stars of Orion are not perfectly aligned, the smallest of them is slightly offset to the East.

·      All three are slanted in a Southwesterly direction (Note the exact match in the animation).

·      Their orientation to the Nile recreates Orion’s orientation to the Milky Way.

·      The layout of the pyramids, and their relative sizes were a deliberate design plan, and not the result of three king’s enormous egos as been preached as dogma by the so-called Egyptologists.

 

Interestingly, in a book entitled, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, by Richard H. Allen written in 1889, Allen observes the following on page 304::

 

“The derivation of the word has been in doubt, but Brown refers it to the Akkadian Uruanna [Note at end of page 304:This divinity was the later Chaldaeo-Assyrian sun-god Dumuzi, the Son of Life, or Tammuz, widely known in classical times as Adonis. Aries also represented him in the sky], the Light of Heaven, originally applied to the sun, as Uru-ki, the Light of Earth, was to the moon; so that our title may have come into Greek mythology and astronomy from the Euphrates. The Ourion, Ouron, or Urion, of the Hyriean, or Byrsaean, story, the Urion of the original Alfonsine Tables, graphically explained by Minsheu, is in no sense an acceptable title, although Hyginus and Ovid vouched for it, thus showing its currency in their day. Caesius’ derivation from Ora, as if marking the Seasons, seems fanciful.”

 orionp2

We can easily see that the album cover art is still consistent with the Ancient Mesopotamian scheme that we spoke of in our first article, which can be found at this link:

https://simonmagus.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/warlock-asylum-album-art-meanings-part-1-the-eyes/

 

front2

The woman that is sitted above the pyramids is Kendra, love of messiah-el. Ironically, Kendra and Messiah-el met through his mentor Eddie Birchmore. They soon discovered that they had a very similar background, both being raised in the Jehovah’ Witness religion, and were best friends before getting into a romantic relationship. Over the years they started studying Eastern Philosophy and some works of Gurdjeiff. They are also Reiki Masters, or involved in the work of Reiki. I am not sure if anyone is a Master unless they feel they completed the learning process of a particular field, which to me seems endless. Messiah-el and Kendra started dating shortly after some of the first recordings were completed. They also began studying some Sumerian Mythologies. Messiah-el began to see some links between the legend of Inanna and Dumuzi with there own relationship over the years. During this time Steve Berson also began dating the love of his life Megan. It seems that the “love theme” in the Warlock Asylum Epic is more than just fictional, and in some ways have affected the lives of those who are involved in the project.

 Simon Magus

March 3, 2009

WARLOCK ASYLUM ALBUM ART MEANINGS PART 1: The Eyes

Greetings! I would like to welcome everyone to The “Kiss Of The Immortal Page.” If this is your first time visiting us here, I would suggest that you start your journey into the musical world of Warlock Asylum by reviewing some of our previous articles listed on the far right.

 

There is something very distinct and unique not only in the music of Warlock Asylum, but also the artwork of Asylum’s Kiss of The Immortal Album. When I spoke to Messiah-el (Warlock Asylum’s lead vocalist) he told me that the cover art for the album was done by company in the UK known as Unholy Vault Design. Here is a link to there website:

 

http://unholyvault.magan.superhost.pl/

 

Messiah-el (mee-sigh-el) mentioned that Steve Berson and himself were having quite a time in finding what they felt was a good representation of the music that would work for an album cover. Messiah-el states:

 

“I think we must have worked on the artwork for quite sometime. I mean it got to the point were we were even using sandbox ideas. Nothing was really working out. I came across this website that had some really good art, though I felt that the pieces that I saw were a little too dark for an album cover, I did like the style. So I contacted them and gave them a few ideas about what we wanted and everything worked out. I didn’t realize the depth of what the cover represented until later, but like everything else on this album, the significance of what we were doing and meaning didn’t occur to us until after the work was done.”

 

Many fans of the “Warlock Asylum Movement” may be wondering if there is a deeper meaning to the cover art and the art throughout the package. Well let me be the first to tell you that this is truly an adventure as it took some time to really find out the meaning of the album’s artwork. Let us take a step by step review of some of the album’s artwork, starting with the cover:

albumcover1

 

  1. One of the first things that we notice is the “eyes” looking back at the viewer. These are actually the eyes of Messiah-el Bey. It was Steve Berson’s idea to have a cover with some sort of three-dimensional effect. Steve took the picture and used it in a prior idea that the duo had for a previous cover. It seems to fit here very well. The eyes in space reflect an aspect of the Greater Mysteries. The Ancient Sumerians viewed “outer space” as the Abzu, or Outer Space, also called Nar Mattaru. In this case, Messiah-el’s eyes layin in the horizon would represent Dumuzi. For those of you who are not familiar with the who Dumuzi is, I found a helpful link on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammuz_(deity)

 

 

In Babylonia, the month Tammuz was established in honor of the eponymous god Tammuz, who originated as a Sumerian shepherd-god, Dumuzid or Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna and, in his Akkadian form, the parallel consort of Ishtar. The Levantine Adonis (“lord”), who was drawn into the Greek pantheon, was considered by Joseph Campbell among others to be another counterpart of Tammuz,[1] son and consort. The Aramaic name “Tammuz” seems to have been derived from the Akkadian form Tammuzi, based on early Sumerian Damu-zid. The later standard Sumerian form, Dumu-zid, in turn became Dumuzi in Akkadian.

Beginning with the summer solstice came a time of mourning in the Ancient Near East as in the Aegean: the Babylonians marked the decline in daylight hours and the onset of killing summer heat and drought with a six-day “funeral” for the god. Readers in four-season temperate cultures may doubt shepherd-god as a vegetation god: “He was no dying and resurrecting vegetation demon, as James George Frazer wanted him to be (for one thing no vegetation demon dies in the spring, in April),” Miroslav Marcovich observed.[2] though recent discoveries reconfirm him as an annual life-death-rebirth deity: tablets discovered in 1963 show that Dumuzi was in fact consigned to the Underworld himself, in order to secure Inanna’s release,[3] though the recovered final line reveals that he is to revive for six months of each year (see below).

In cult practice, the dead Tammuz was widely mourned in the Ancient Near East. A Sumerian tablet from Nippur (Ni 4486) reads

She can make the lament for you, my Dumuzid, the lament for you, the lament, the lamentation, reach the desert — she can make it reach the house Arali; she can make it reach Bad-tibira; she can make it reach Dul-šuba; she can make it reach the shepherding country, the sheepfold of Dumuzid

“O Dumuzid of the fair-spoken mouth, of the ever kind eyes,” she sobs tearfully, “O you of the fair-spoken mouth, of the ever kind eyes,” she sobs tearfully. “Lad, husband, lord, sweet as the date, […] O Dumuzid!” she sobs, she sobs tearfully.[4]

These mourning ceremonies were observed even at the very door of the Temple in Jerusalem, to the horror of the Israelite prophet Ezekiel:

“Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto to me, ‘Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.” —Ezekiel 8:14-15

Ezekiel’s testimony is the only direct mention of Tammuz in the Hebrew Bible.

Dumuzid in the Sumerian king list

In the Sumerian king list two kings named Dumuzi appear:

Other Sumerian texts showed that kings were to be married to Inanna in a mystical marriage, for example a hymn that describes the mystical marriage of King Iddid-Dagan (ca 1900 BCE).[5]

Dumuzid and Inanna

Today several versions of the Sumerian death of Dumuzi have been recovered, “Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld”, “Dumuzi’s dream” and “Dumuzi and the galla“, as well as a tablet separately recounting Dumuzi’s death, mourned by holy Inanna, and his noble sister Geštinanna, and even his dog and the lambs and kids in his fold; Dumuzi himself is weeping at the hard fate in store for him, after he had walked among men, and the cruel galla of the Underworld seize him.[6]

A number of pastoral poems and songs relate the love affair of Inanna and Dumuzid the shepherd. A text recovered in 1963 recounts “The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi” in terms that are tender and frankly erotic.

According to the myth of Inanna’s descent to the underworld, represented in parallel Sumerian and Akkadian[7] tablets, Inanna (Ishtar in the Akkadian texts) set off for the netherworld, or Kur, which was ruled by her sister Ereshkigal, perhaps to take it as her own. She passed through seven gates and at each one was required to leave a garment or an ornament so that when she had passed through the seventh gate she was entirely naked. Despite warnings about her presumption, she did not turn back but dared to sit herself down on Ereshkigal’s throne. Immediately the Anunnaki of the underworld judged her, gazed at her with the eyes of death, and she became a corpse, hung up on a nail.

Based on the incomplete texts as first found, it was assumed that Ishtar/Inanna’s descent into Kur occurred after the death of Tammuz/Dumuzid rather than before and that her purpose was to rescue Tammuz/Dumuzid. This is the familiar form of the myth as it appeared in M. Jastrow’s Descent of the Goddess Ishtar into the Lower World, 1915, widely available on the Internet. New texts uncovered in 1963 filled in the story in quite another fashion,[8] showing that Dumuzi was in fact consigned to the Underworld himself, in order to secure Inanna’s release.

Inanna’s faithful servant attempted to get help from the other gods but only wise Enki/Ea responded. The details of Enki/Ea’s plan differ slightly in the two surviving accounts, but in the end, Inanna/Ishtar was resurrected. However, a “conservation of souls” law required her to find a replacement for herself in Kur. She went from one god to another, but each one pleaded with her and she had not the heart to go through with it until she found Dumuzid/Tammuz richly dressed and on her throne. Inanna/Ishtar immediately set her accompanying demons on Dumuzid/Tammuz. At this point the Akkadian text fails as Tammuz’ sister Belili, introduced for the first time, strips herself of her jewelry in mourning but claims that Tammuz and the dead will come back.

There is some confusion here. The name Belili occurs in one of the Sumerian texts also, but it is not the name of Dumuzid’s sister who is there named Geshtinana, but is the name of an old woman whom another text calls Bilulu.

In any case, the Sumerian texts relate how Dumuzid fled to his sister Geshtinana who attempted to hide him but who could not in the end stand up to the demons. Dumuzid has two close calls until the demons finally catch up with him under the supposed protection of this old woman called Bilulu or Belili and then they take him. However Inanna repents.

Inanna seeks vengeance on Bilulu, on Bilulu’s murderous son G̃irg̃ire and on G̃irg̃ire’s consort Shirru “of the haunted desert, no-one’s child and no-one’s friend”. Inanna changes Bilulu into a waterskin and G̃irg̃ire into a protective god of the desert while Shirru is assigned to watch always that the proper rites are performed for protection against the hazards of the desert.

Finally, Inanna relents and changes her decree thereby restoring her husband Dumuzi to life; an arrangement is made by which Geshtinana will take Dumuzid’s place in Kur for six months of the year: “You (Dumuzi), half the year. Your sister (Geštinanna), half the year!” This newly-recovered final line upset Samuel Noah Kramer‘s former interpretation, as he allowed: “my conclusion that Dumuzi dies and “stays dead” forever (cf e.g. Mythologies of the Ancient World p. 10) was quite erroneous: Dumuzi according to the Sumerian mythographers rises from the dead annually and, after staying on earth for half the year, descends to the Nether World for the other half”.[9]

The “Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi”

Aside from this extended epic “The Descent of Inanna,” a previously unknown “Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi” was first translated into English and annotated by Sumerian scholar Samuel Noah Kramer and folklorist Diane Wolkstein working in tandem, and published in 1983.[10] In this tale Inanna’s lover, the shepherd-king Dumuzi, brought a wedding gift of milk in pails, yoked across his shoulders.

The myth of Inanna and Dumuzi formed the subject of a Lindisfarne Symposium, published as The Story of Inanna and Dumuzi: From Folk-Tale to Civilized Literature: A Lindisfarne Symposium, (William Irwin Thompson, editor, 1995).”

The above quote gives us a useful perspective of some of the subconscious motives behind that album, an ancient story channeled through the MINDS OF Steve Berson and Messiah-el Bey What is interesting about the above comparison to Dumuzi, is that experienced occultist view this world as the Underworld, or underneath the seas. Maybe Berson and Bey might have been tapping into these currents earlier in their lives. The name Messiah-el actually means the Dragon. However, we must also consider that the CD’s central them is Messiah-el’s search for Lilith. Messiah-el is Bey’s legal name and attribute that he changed over 15 years ago. Bey comments:

 

“ I was involved heavily into Moorish Mystism and the name came to me in a dream. It was my first initiation. Years later, I thought of changing it and as soon as my mind entertained the question, a book fell off the shelf Geoffrey HigginsAnacalypsis. The book was written in the mid-1800’s and it was the only time I saw my name written as it is today. I’d figure I better keep it the same.”

Whatever forces were guiding the Warlock Asylum Project were probably apparent earlier in the lives of Berson and Bey. However getting back to the album’s theme, it seems to also echo another story, which is held in Jewish Mystism and is a key in understanding the root link between the name Messiah-el and Lilith. In an online article entitled Lilith in Jewish Mystism, which can be found at this site:

http://www.nightwing.awebspider.com/lilith.htm

we find the following observation:

This story became intertwined with that of the Lesser or Younger Lilith, married to the Demon King Asmodeus. Asmodeus was the son of the mortal Naamah, the sister of Tubal-Cain, and the Angel-Demon Shamdan. The Lesser Lilith was the daughter of the Demon King Qafsefoni and Matred; her name was Mehetabel, from ‘mabu tabal,’ meaning ‘something immersed.’ She was a beautiful woman from head to waist, but burning fire down below. This Lilith was evil and constantly causing trouble between the Demons and the Angels. Asmodeus and the Lesser Lilith ruled in Edom, the sixth of the six imperfect Earths created before ours. They had twin sons, one good and one evil. The good son was named Meshihi’el and Kokhvi’el; his root is in heaven and he was called the “sword of the Messiah.” The evil son was named Alefpene’ash and Gurigar; he is a war-demon ruling eighty thousand destructive demons, and he is called the “sword of King Asmodeus.” Isaiah prophesized that the good son would wreak havok among the demons: “For my Sword shall be drunk in the heavens; Lo, it shall come down upon Edom.” This is the Secret Knowledge of the Lesser Palaces. “

 

From the above comment we can see that the name Messaih-el is probably a derivative of the name Meshihi’el. Yet in the storyline of the CD we find that Messiah-el was together with Lilith and also is psending his life looking for her like she is some benevolent spirit. Another quote about the history of Lilith, found at the same site above may give us some more in-depth meaning to this:

“In ancient Sumerian belief, the primal gods, the ZU, originally emerged from the Great Chaos of the ABYSS. This Chaos was characterized as an endless Great Sea located in the heavens. The primal gods themselves, the Deep Ones, were called the Ab-Zu (Ap-Su), stellar powers who were connected directly with the Great Deep. Their servitors, who carried out their will, were called the An-Zu, lunar powers who were connected with the air of the night sky. Primary among these were the Abgal, seven wise demi-gods who also emerged from the Waters of the ABYSS, and each of the seven were created male-female.

Lilith was the female aspect of one of the night wind spirits, one of a group of benevolent spirit guides called Lili (Lilitu) or Lama (Lamastu). These spirits were originally associated with guarding the gateway between the spiritual and physical realms and were found on temple doorways. Lilith, being a guide to the wisdom of immortality, is represented holding the Rings of Shem; these are the oldest symbols used to show one who has gained immortality by passing through the Underworld to gain the sacred wisdom of the Tree of Knowledge.

As a guardian and dispenser of the Temple Mysteries, Lilith was the original Scarlet Woman, and her priestesses engaged in sex magick with the priesthood and nobles to bring about spiritual transformation that led to illumination, along with the regeneration of the physical body to prolong life. These Mysteries included a type of physical alchemy involving the menstrual blood of the priestesses. While the term Scarlet Woman originally referred to menstrual blood, it became interwoven with another ancient symbol of divine power, red hair. Many ancient cultures believed that red hair denoted one whose ancestors intermarried with demons or angels, thus giving a greater than average psychic/spiritual power.

One representation of a Lamastu shows her with a lioness head, holding a serpent in each hand and riding in the Boat of the Gods that traverses the Underworld.

This directly links her to the ancient Egyptian god of magick, Heka, and his later manifestations as Hekat, the frog-headed goddess of transformation, Egyptian and Cretan serpent goddesses, and the Phoenician goddesses Astarte and Tanith.”

 

A quick view of history can easily explain why this “protective deity’ was later demonized. “Past religions have had their gods demonized by newer religions, and newer religions have contributed to the rich symbolism of culture with their own interpretations of what evil is.”

We will continue our discussion in our next issue.

SIMON MAGUS

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