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Choronzon

From Academic Kids

This page is about the demon; for the album by Akercocke, see Choronzon (album).

Choronzon is a demonic entity, described by Edward Kelley as 'that mighty devil'. It is associated with the tenth Aethyr in the system of Enochian Magic devised by John Dee, and is the Dweller in the Abyss in the magickal system(s) developed by Aleister Crowley.

Contents

Choronzon according to Crowley

Otherwise known as the Demon of Dispersion, Choronzon is described by Crowley as a temporary personification of the raving and inconsistent forces that occupy the Abyss. In this system, Choronzon is given form in evocation only in order that it may be mastered.

Crowley states that he and Victor Neuburg evoked Choronzon in the Sahara Desert. In Crowley's account, it is unclear whether Choronzon was invoked into an empty Solomonic triangle while Crowley sat elsewhere, or whether Crowley himself was the medium into which the demon was evoked, though the footnotes suggest the latter. In the account, Choronzon is described as changing shape, which is read variously as an account of an actual metamorphosis, a subjective impression of Neuburg's, or fabrication on Crowley's part.

The account describes the demon throwing sand over the triangle in order to breach it, following which it attacked Neuburg 'in the form of a naked savage' (i.e. Crowley) and had to be driven back at the point of a dagger. Crowley's account has been criticised as unreliable, as the relevant original pages are torn from the notebook in which the account was written. This, along with other inconsistencies in the manuscript, has led to speculation that the event was heavily embroidered in order to support Crowley's own belief system. Moreover, according to Arthur Calder-Marshall's The Magic of my Youth, Neuburg gave a quite different account of the event, claiming that he and Crowley evoked the spirit of an Egyptian workman.

Choronzon is deemed to be held in check by the power of the Goddess Babalon, inhabitant of Binah, the third Sephirah of the Tree of Life.

Interpretations after Crowley

As with all invisible, intangible entities, it is impossible to document objective facts about Choronzon; the researcher is thus limited to documenting what has been written and theorised concerning it. As one often finds in matters of religion and magic, multiple schools of thought exist concerning Choronzon.

In one post-Crowleyan interpretation, Choronzon represents the internal chaos experienced when the ego confronts a higher mode of being which, the ego feels, threatens its destruction. It is the bargaining and trickery of the ego trying (desperately) to retain control of the self.

Its appearance as a strange, demonic entity can thus be seen as a matter of perspective. In experiencing the so-called Abyss, one may suddenly and jarringly identify with a part of oneself that is not the ego, yet find oneself drawn back toward ordinary consciousness through what seems like demonic (and external) threats and manipulation -- through words and sleights that are not (are no longer) one's own. From this point of view, Choronzon is, in a sense, one's normal mind, at a distance.

This understanding contends that Choronzon can be psychologically dangerous to encounter as an external 'entity,' because it has perfect knowledge of one's hurts and terrors, and in a sense personifies them. But Choronzon is also, in a sense, that part of us that we normally think of as our 'self,' which guards and takes care of us in the world through its vigilance. The terror of losing that part is a quite real and understandable terror, and we can think of Choronzon, so-called, as being in horror of losing us as well -- of letting go of the control that keeps and protects us, and being 'nobody.'

The astral experience of the Abyss is a pageant of that, and an arena in which opposed parts of the self can contend and damage each other.

Yet despite Choronzon's apparent agitation, the crossing of the 'Abyss' does not destroy the ego or any part of the self, but only shifts perspective (and control). It is the ego's watchfulness and fear of abandonment that makes 'destruction' seem possible.

Non-Thelemic views of Choronzon

In much the same way that Satan has been championed by those who object to Christianity, Choronzon has been turned into a positive figure by some iconoclastic occultists, in particular chaos magicians who object to what they see as the stultifying and restrictive dogma of Thelema. Pete Carroll's "Mass of Chaos" includes such a reference to Choronzon.

Choronzon in Popular Culture

Choronzon appears in Neil Gaiman's Sandman, as a demon who has taken possession of Dream's mask. He duels with Dream in an odd verbal battle, where each names a form to counter each other's previous. In the end, Choronzon names Anti-Life, the destroyer of all things, but is defeated when Dream names hope.

Choronzon is also featured in an episode of the TV series Hammer House of Horror entitled Guardian of the Abyss[1] (http://www.nealb.f2s.com/).

Choronzon also appears as a minor demon in one or more games of the Megami Tensei series, depicted as a floating monochromatic orb with many faces.

The musical entity Choronzon utilises Industrial music tools and ritualistic elements to invoke chaos. The first album was released ohn the Black Metal label Nocturnal Art Productions, and contained a few traces of Thelemic views of the entity. Later on the project would move firmly in the direction of Chaos Magick and saw Choronzon as a positive part of the project.m

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