As Eros draws life from Thanatos, in merging with dark Plutonian
energies we find transformation, regeneration, energy, sexual power exaltation, joy,
"Also Asar was hidden in Amenti; and the Lords of Time swept him with the sickle
Aleister Crowley, Liber CCXXXI
"The 24th Tunnel is under the influence of Scorpio and sentinelled by Niantiel
whose number is 160. The name of this Qlipha should be intoned in 'G' (lower register) in
a manner suggestive of a bubbling cauldron of molten lava . . . "
". . . depicted in the sigil of Niantiel [is] an image of Death with a five-rayed
crown bearing a cross handled scythe beside the Cross of Set."
Kenneth Grant, Nightside of Eden
The Shadow Tarot
© Linda Falorio, 1995
An assortment of magickal images gaily dance the Dance of Death in the Nightside Tunnel
of Niantiel, reminding us of "plague parties" as seen in the movie Nosferatu,
where victims spend their last remaining days as guests at endless banquets laid out at
trestle tables in streets through which wagons rumbled, overflowing, to foul charnel
houses, yet they laughed, and wore flowers in their hair. Here Death is no gaunt robed
skeleton with a scythe, but the Joker, the Jester crowned with droll three-cornered cap
and bells upon his dancing toes. He is Baron Samedi, Legba, guardian of the crossroads
between the worlds, the place where witches meet, where the dead are buried, and from
whence they may be constrained to rise.
Here Eros draws her life from Thanatos, the water of purification has stagnated,
putrefied, and strange unwholesome life forms grow and feed upon the slime. It is
Halloween, Day of Masks, eve of the Day of the Dead. Depicted in the East, a lion with a
dog's head and a man's holds aloft an icon which is a woman's severed head, half a Death's
Head. The left hand waves the brazen serpent of the worshipers of the Dark Gods, servants
of the ruthless Feminine, Lilith-Kali-Mars, giver-of-life, bringer-of-death, whimsical
first arbiter, to be appeased by blood-sacrifice monthly at the Dark of the Moon with the
blood of nascent life. A nocturnal wolf laps greedily at the gushing blood.
In the West is a creature suggestive of the amphibious gods with fishes tails that came
from the star Sirius and founded the Dogon civilization. In the south is a golden angel, a
type of Lilith, with goose-feet, and a cat's head, with rainbow plumes and cape. While in
the north, presiding over all floats AKRABU, the Sumerian demon known as "scorpion
man,@ delighting in
the savage Dance of the Masks of Death-in-Life.
Here is Black Temple Work of Atlantean Magicks, devolved into death cults which survive
into the present time. Here are cults of magical cannibalism, of shrunken heads, of
necrophilia with souls newly released by death for creation of astral zombies; here too,
we find "AIDS
ecstasy at the moment of orgasm is bought by their silent, private knowledge of
transmission of their death. And here are Piscean religions offering eternal life through
death—death of leaders, death of martyrs, death of saints—offering escape from life
through eternal living death, which poses as the promise of life-after-death, the ultimate
reason for being.
The need to work with the energies of Niantiel is suggested when we find fascination
with, or fear of death, old age, illness, infirmity, decay, and corruption. One may also
experience an obsession with youth, newness, perfection, and immortality, as well as with
objects of human manufacture that seem to defy the laws of entropy. There may be
discomfort with rawness, with wildness, and with the savageness of the natural world; this
may be accompanied by an abhorrence of natural cycles of change, and squeamishness at the
bare facts of animal nature and earthly existence. Here we also encounter Existential fear
in the face of our ultimate alone-ness as we gaze into the naked Void.
Yet Death is but one curve of the serpent Death-in-Life. Death is the Feminine, there
is life in putrefaction, with energy released through breaking the bonds of life. Nuclear
energy mutates DNA to create new forms of anti-life, creates deadly orgone radiation—ORANUR—devitalizes bions, proliferates cellular structure into cancers, disorganizes
ego-structure into schizophrenia.
Powers associated here are those of reincarnation, of conscious acceptance of the
lover's embrace of Death.