J.F.C. Fuller and the Black Arts

4

June 24, 2013 by weekiwitch

MP_1021806

Recently, I was doing some light research on the history of the classic “Eko, Eko, Azarak” chant. After some digging, I finally found a copy of it’s original source and thought I’d share. The chant comes from a beautiful article entitled “The Black Arts” by J.F.C. Fuller (1921). Where Fuller got it, who knows…if you have any info on that front, please feel free to pass it my way.

“Eko, Eko, Azarak” has become somewhat ubiquitous since 1921, exploding into many and varied forms from it’s use in “High Magic’s Aid,” into the 1970’s and onwards. Many people have put forth theories on meanings and linguistic origins, but none so far that I give any serious credence to.

This chant has long held a real fascination for me. I am completely enamored with it, not only for it’s weird history but because it feels powerful to me, and not something I employ without care.

It is often paired with lines from the play, Le Miracle de Théophile (such as “Bazabi lacha bachabe”). However, I prefer it in it’s original, unedited form.

The article in question has this to say about it:

In the Middle Ages of Christian rule did once again the spirit of man break the shackles which bound him, and it broke them by an
alliance with Satan. Mad, if not insane, would the sorcerer creep
forth to some heath or grove, far away from monastery or church,
and, bereft of his senses through the gloom of those desolate places,
would he shriek to the stars:

Eko! eko! Azarak. Eko! eko! Zomelak!
Zod-ru-kod e Zod-ru-koo
Zod-ru-koz e Goo-ru-moo!
Eo! Eo! Oo … Oo … Oo!

Though the words be different, it is the same chant of the Assyrian
seer, for it is the conjuration of freedom, freedom which was to
beget the arts and sciences of today, that consciousness which, though latent, was unconsciousness when these words were uttered. They were the love murmurings of a new betrothal.

Fuller could write, I am besotted by this. The whole thing is beautifully done. So for posterity, here’s the rest of the article:

 

THE BLACK ARTS

Major-General J.F.C. Fuller

Man is human and a mystery; herein is to be sought all our sorrows,
all our joys, all our desires, all our activities. Man is a troublesome
creature, inwardly troubled by his consciousness, outwardly troubled
by the unconscious, the things which surround him, the “why” and
“wherefore” of which fascinate his mind and perplex his heart. We
cannot fathom the origin of life nor can we state its purpose; we can
but judge of it by inference, and inferences, if we probe them deeply,
dissolve into an unknowable ether, an all-pervading miracle. Yet,
such as these shadows are, we follow them, and as day creeps out of
night so does the conscious emanate from out of the vast and formless body of that unconsciousness which softly enfolds us in its gloom.

Some lie still in the coffin of existence; these are the human
sheep who, where the grass of life is green, browse peacefully, and,
where it is dust, die or bleat helplessly to others. These others are
those who tear their shrouds and hammer at the lid, and with
bleeding brow loosen the nails of oblivion, and, through the chinks
between mind and soul, peer into the beyond.

“Follow me,” cries the priest, the king, the lawyer and the
physician, and the human flock follows. Herein is to be revealed a
mystery; nul of the seeing leading the blind, for all are ultimately
sightless, but of a spirit intangible, mysterious, which impels gross
human flesh to flow onwards in streamlets and rivers to some
unknown and seemingly unknowable sea. This impulse towards
movement, whether it be between star and star, atom and atom, or
brain and brain, is the ultimate source of that ancient and yet ever
youthful magic which, like a dark and wanton courtesan, decked in
immortality, dances down the centuries, luring man through cloud
and sunshine, Letheanwards, a shadow cast on a shadow.

He who can impel any creature or thing, living or dead, to move,
is a magician; whether it be a speck of dust brushed from the table,
or the mind of another deranged by his will; for he has made use of
an incomprehensible power – gravity or thought. When this power
is named, and when this name can be pronounced by all, and all
have accepted the shadow for the substance, the image for the reality, hallucinated by the commonplace, man ceasing to think ceases to live intellectually. If a human being should arise, one who can tear away illusion, who can breathe a new life into the corpse, who can grope into the darkness, then his art is called black. Dark to him, it is still darker to others, and, disturbed from their slumbers, they pronounce him to be a harbinger of evil, a black magician, shrouded as he stands before them in the mystery of a little light.

What is the source of this impulse which, while millions slumber
fitfully, awakens the few? This is indeed a difficult question. Yet,
from a search through history, it would appear to be sometimes
love, sometimes fear, sometimes ambition and more than sometimes
despair. Nevertheless, whatever its source may be, the valleys through which the river of magic flows are built of the slothfulness of others, those who like sheep browse, but who possess not the understanding to plough, sow and reap, to rend conventions, to awaken the imagination and to compel it to take form, tangible or intangible, real or ideal, it matters not which, for each is but a different aspect of the same shadow.

Thus history will tell us that the black arts are in reality but a
revolt against convention, an insurrection against the satiety of
images – a war against accepted words. They are black because they
are unknown, evil because they unfrock the commonplace and take
the bread from the mouths of mumbling priests. Sometimes these
arts are terrible and infernal, sometimes they are sublime and
celestial, but always they are powerful, compelling hostility or
allegiance. Separating the goats from the sheep, they sound a “Deus
Vult” and emblazon a new crusade: a crusade against ignorance and
oppression, which like a living wind raises the dust of the unconscious
and casts it mote by mote into that beam of light which we call the
intelligence of man.

An animal is born into this world, it lives and it dies, and its life
is its eternity. Man also is an animal, but he differs from the brute in that he knows that there was a time when he was not and that there
will be a time when he, as he is, will be no more. The secret of good
and evil is the secret of time. I was not, I am, I shall not be, and he
who first discovered the truth of time was the first of all the magicians.

Naked and bestial, crouching in the shadows of the twilight, we
watch this ancient seer rise in terror as in his mind this truth is
born. Now, like a god, he realizes, dimly though it may be, that
there are a beginning and an end – two voids spanned by a human
arch without abutments. Yet, unlike a god, he cannot fathom what
they hold, these twin abysses of eternity. Henceforth man measures
himself against God, not for love but for envy; hence do we too
measure ourselves against God, not for love but for understanding.
Then, as God would not appear, did man invoke him, call upon
him, and demons were born, the powers which vibrate from the
Pleroma of unconsciousness. Some are pleasant to look upon, and
others fill our nostrils with their stench. Thus are angels and devils
created from the inert as it ferments into the active. They are the
reflections of a consciousness which to some is without and material,
and to others deep within and secret; but, whether they be tangible
beings or ideas, it matters not, for in either form they are equally
potent.

Then, as the demoniacal hierarchy takes shape, are all things
endowed with a semblance of immortality, that is a power over
time and consequently over space, and all that space includes, for
these are the visible attributes of God, the Timeless One. There are
the gods of the rivers and the woods, the mists and the mountains,
there are sun gods and moon gods, and star gods and gods of music,
of dance, of death and of marriage, of love and of hate. All things
become demoniacal, they possess the power to change, that is to
quaff from the cup of time. Like unto men are they, eat, drink and
wive do they, yet they are not men but the powers of men which,
through things material, entice men onwards to states immortal,
ultimately, that is, towards the timeless, the conquest of time and
the accomplishment of godhood.

As demons walk the earth, so do those who follow nearest become
priests, and those who follow at a distance, the congregations of the
creeds. Propitiations grow into rituals, for there is an art in giving
food and in offering prayer. Canons are evolved and inexorable
laws are written. Thus are the Great God and all his servitors, his
forces in time, planted in Vedas, Bibles, Zend-Avestas and Korans,
and the followers are spoon fed on the narcotics of faith, and time
and the knowledge of what time holds secret is wrenched from their
minds by obedience to the word of the priest, the terrestrial peddler
of celestial chattels.

But thought is a combustible: leave it to man’s will and like
scattered gunpowder it burns with a little flame; but tamp it by
oppression and it explodes, and sometimes wiU blast an epoch.

As the priest kneaded man’s mind into his bread and trod out
man’s heart into his wine and on human woe and terror fed, some
there were, men and also women, old and young, who fled his grasp,
and, in the solitude of desert and mountain and forest, offered their
souls as a eucharist to the demoniacal rulers of these places. They
called upon them, and called not in vain, for in their calling they
awoke within themselves the very powers which could set them
free.

Wherever we look, from time to time do we hear the bugle note
of the magical revolt against priestcraft and the enslavement of
thought summoning the devils to form phalanx against the priest conscripted angelic hosts. Thus were the wizard and the witch born,
searchers after evil powers, for the good had deserted them, and evil
enslaved them and made them what they were. Whither else could
they turn? Living in dark places they turned to the spirits of night,
for the spirits of goodness lay enchained in temples and in mosques,
in the churches and in the cathedrals of the priests.

In Assyria, the cradle of sorcery, we hear the cry mount upwards:

Urndu-Gar-Ug-Ga Ur-Sag An-Na-Ge
Za-Pa-Ram Me-Ne-A-Ni Hu-Luh-Ha
Gar-Hul Ba-Ab-Sir-Ra Su-U-Me-Ti
Ki Za-Pa-Ram Sum-Mu U-Me-Ni-De-A

Dah-Zu-Hi-A
Tu-Dug-Ga I Dingir-En-Ki-Ga-Ge
Urudu-Gar-Lig-Ga Ur-Sag An-Na-Ge Za-Pa
Ram Me-Ne-A-Ni Hu-Mu-Ra-Ab-Dah-E
Utug-Hul A-La-Hul Ha-Ba-Ra-E

“Take thou the potent meteorite of heaven, which by rhe roar of
its awful might removeth all eviL. Place him where the thunder roar
is uttered, that it may help thee, by the magic of the word Ea may
the potent meteorite of heaven with its awful roar help thee.”

And help them it did, for it awoke within their hearts a faith in
their destiny. Now they were no longer alone in their struggle against
the throttling rituals of convention. The words leaped from their
throats, begotten of their hearts: no longer need they listen to the
mumbling of the priest and fearfully tremble, for now they could
tremble with joy.

Seven are they! Seven are they!
In the Ocean Deep – seven are they!
Battening in Heaven – seven are they,
Bred in the depths of Ocean.
Not male nor female are they,
But as the roaming wild wind blast.
No wife have they, no son can they beget;
Knowing neither mercy nor pity,
They hearken not to prayer or supplication,
They are as horses reared among the hills ….

Evil was at least their leaguer, and evil though these forces were, they were something, something to rely on and something better
than the pauperizing of thought, and, through thought, of action:
they breathed freedom like a devastating storm.

In the Middle Ages of Christian rule did once again the spirit of
man break the shackles which bound him, and it broke them by an
alliance with Satan. Mad, if not insane, would the sorcerer creep
forth to some heath or grove, far away from monastery or church,
and, bereft of his senses through the gloom of those desolate places,
would he shriek to the stars:

Eko! eko! Azarak. Eko! eko! Zomelak!
Zod-ru-kod e Zod-ru-koo
Zod-ru-koz e Goo-ru-moo!
Eo! Eo! Oo … Oo … Oo!

Though the words be different, it is the same chant of the Assyrian
seer, for it is the conjuration of freedom, freedom which was to
beget the arts and sciences of today, that consciousness which, though latent, was unconsciousness when these words were uttered. They were the love murmurings of a new betrothal.

Yet there was method in this madness: it was not all froth and
frenzy, it was at times methodical, as methodical as the ritual of the
priest, so methodical that the mind became entranced in the
operation, carried out of itself and concentrated on the spell, until
what was desired was born and to the adept became tangible and
alive. Here then is a picture of the witch at her work, and, from it,
it will be realized that hers was no light task.

Thrice the brindled cat hath mew’d
Thrice and once the hedge-pig whin’d,
Pour in sow’s blood, that hath eaten
Her nine farrow: grease that’s sweaten
From the murderer’s gibbet throw
Into the flame ….

And yet, these “secret, black and midnight hags,” according to
the story, were not impotent, for the third apparition which they
evoked spake out saying:

Macbeth shall never vanqutsh’d be until
Great Bimam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him.
– and we all know how the story ended.

Witchcraft of the above type was, in its day, a reality, a power
which, through horror, accomplished what the priest should have
accomplished through charity. Witchcraft was the grating of the
file of truth against the ecclesiastical chains which shackled the
reason, it was also a hissing acid which ate into and rotted
convention.

From the crude cauldron with its bubbling offal, collected in
secrecy and danger and hence potentized by faith and fear, even if
but faith in Sabazios-Adonai, or fear of Zabrodax, we rise one rung on
the ladder of the black arts and find ourselves partaking in the
Witches’ Sabbath and the Black Mass. He who has read Michelet’s
La Sorciere needs no introduction to this subject, yet he must
understand that the true sorceress, with all that she symbolizes, is
not the simple witch – she is not so much a seeker after evil as a
seeker after truth. In the hut of the sorceress are the arts and sciences re-discovered.

Listen to these murmurings of the past:

There under the stars, while the bats cirde the moon, and the
toad hops through the thicket, and the frogs splash in the mere, the
shepherd whispers to her: how green were the eyes of the wild wolf,
how sharp were his claws, how white his teeth, how the entrails
wriggled on the ground, and the pink brains bubbled out their blood.
Then both are silent, for awe fills them as they crouch trembling
amongst the hemlock and the foxgloves before the mystery of death.

A little while and she rises and, pulling her hood over her head,
sets out alone through the trackless forest, here and there lit by the
moon, and, guided by the stars, she reaches the city.

At a small postern by the tower of the castle, known as the “lover’s
gate,” she halts and whistles thrice, and then, in shrill clear notes,
as of some awakened night-bird, calls: “Brother, brother, brother
mine!” Soon a chain clanks against the oaken door, and a bolt
rumbles back from its staple, and before her, in his red shirt, and his
leathern apron, stands her brother, the hangman.

There under the stars she whispers to him, and for a moment he
trembles, looking deep into her eyes; then he turns and leaves her.

Presently, there is a creaking of chains overhead…An owl,
awakened from the gibbet above, where it had been blinking, perched
on the shoulder of a corpse, flies shrieking into the night.

Soon he returns; his footsteps resounding heavily along the stone
passage, and in his arms he is carryin~ the dead body of a young
man. “Hé, my little sister,” he pants, and for a moment he props his
heavy load up against the door of the postern. Then these two, the
sorceress and the hangman, silently creep out into the night, back
into the gloom of the forest, carrying between them the slumbering
spirit of science and an sleeping in the corpse of a young man,
whose golden hair streams gleaming in the moonlight, and around
whose white throat glistens a snake-like bruise of red, of purple and
of black.

There, under the oaks by an age-worn dolmen, did they celebratt:
their midnight mass…. “Look you ! I must needs tell you, l love you
well, as you are tonight; you are more desirable than ever you have
been before…you are built as a youth should be…Ah! how long,
how long have I loved you! …But, today, I am hungry, hungry for
you!”

Thus under the Golden Bough in the moonlight was the host
uplifted, and the shepherd and the hangman and the sorceress broke
the bread of necromancy and drank deep of the wine of witchcraft,
and swore secrecy over the eucharist of art.

Others swore secrecy too, Friar Bacon in his laboratory, who hid
the secret of the discovery of gunpowder in a cryptogram; and others
more fervently still as they watched Giordano Bruno blazing at the
stake.

Between auto da fé and in pace the black arts throve in desolate
huts and in out-of-the-way caverns, and thriving they grew grey,
not with age but with a light which one day would glow into the
brilliance of an increased consciousness. It was in this dull chill
twilight of the great awakening that the Middle Ages passed into
the licence of the Renaissance, and into the sobriety of the
Reformation.

What do we see in these spiritually troublesome times? The
sorcerer and sorceress still practise their arts and indulge in their
incantations, but we see others working near them, not on heath
and in desolate cavern, but in the great cities and at the courts of
kings. Paracelsus is half medicine-man, half scientist. Agrippa travels
from university to university seeking weird things, but things with a
meaning: he has a rational objective, the witch had none. Dr. Dee
develops clairvoyance, he moulds panticles in wax, he calls upon a
whole hierarchy of angels and angelic forces. Now the magical
ceremony, the forging of swords in the moonlight, the compounding
of incense, the fashioning of wands and sigils, are all endowed with
a meaning, and they concentrate the thoughts of the adept on the
work at hand: the elixir of life, the philosopher’s stone, the
transmutation of the metals, of evil into good. And as thought
conglobes around desire, so does desire take form, warmed as is an
egg by the body of a brooding hen.

The power of talismans and panticles is a reality when believed
in, and little can be accomplished without belief. They stimulate
the faith of man in the powers which are ever latent in his great
unconscious mind, and “atom” by “atom” they endow this
unconsciousness with a conscious existence.

These arc the spells by which to re-assume
An empire o’er the disentangled doom;
and again:
To suffer woes which hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy power which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates.

While these strange spells were being cast, and while hope in the
spiritual world was dominating power, also was hope dominating
power in the material. Here strange men arise, manipulating the
elements of earth and water as if they also were panticles of wax and
wood. Columbus, Cabot, Vasco da Gama brave the terrors of the
ocean – “fighting immensity with a needle.” Giovanni della Porta
re-discovers the power of steam, Copernicus a new solar system,
Newton the force we call gravity. In their day, all these men were
still more or less black magicians.

With the unleashing of steam, the world is re-cast; that is,
humanity attains a higher consciousness, the latent powers of the
mind move. A new priesthood arises – the mechanical engineer – and
the world is enslaved by the oppression of a stinking smoke. It
is no longer so much the soul of man which is harrowed as his body,
the interdict is replaced by the furnace, and excommunication by
the jig and tool. The transmutation of metals changes, but only in
detail, for greed is ever with us. No longer is it sought to transmute
lead into silver, bur instead blood, the blood and sweat of man, into
gold.

During the Black Age of the steam epoch, we see the old world
pageant re-enacted, the oppression of the soul of man, not by fear of
heaven but by terror of earth, and, as hope dies, despair is born, a
dank wet mist under the cloak of which the sorcerer creeps forth in
the form of the anarchist. He is persecuted, and he thrives on
persecution; he is a black magician whose heart has swallowed his
reason; he is truly mad, but a power to be reckoned with, for, however
horribly bubbles his cauldron, it is destined to fertilize another epoch.

From science based on reason arises the rationalist. The black
magician of the sixteenth century is now a white-robed priest in the
Secular Hall, for his mind has swallowed his heart. Thus it is that
we watch, materializing from the backwash of his cold calculations,
strange forms- spiritualism, psychical research, theosophy and all
the clatter and baby prattle of “higher thought.” To the rationalist
these are little tumbling urchins, who may be laughed aside; but
like children they grow into strapping boys and girls, and some into
black magicians. Lake Harris and Daniel Douglas Home are
undoubtedly of this type, and, morally, they are burnt at the stake.
Then, as years speed by, some enter the “Royal Societies” of the
world; they are no longer morally burned for being charlatans, but
instead are proclaimed mad, a word which may be intoned in many
ways.

What is Madness, what are Nerves? (bellows forth Carlyle). Ever
as before, does Madness remain a mysterious-terrific, altogether
infernal boiling up of the Nether Chaotic Deep, through this fair
painted Vision of Creation, which swim therein, which we name
the Real, was Luther’s picture of the Devil less a reality, whether it
were formed within the bodily eye or without it? In every all of the
wisest soul lies a whole world of internal Madness, an authentic
Demon-Empire; out of which, indeed, his world of wisdom has been
creatively built together, and now rests there, as in its dark
foundations does a habitable flowery Earth-rind.

What indeed is madness but the orgasm between consciousness
and unconsciousness; yet today psychology has passed this chaotic
union between mind and soul: it is taking form, and one day it will
be brought to the bed of a new priesthood. Already have the heralds
of the last illusion blazoned forth the coming of the magicians. Freud
and Jung and a host of followers have invented psycho-analysis,
which today is still pure black magic, the anatomization of the mind
by thought potentized by theories in place of panticles, mantras and
spells.

In the black cabinet, in place of the cave, the modern Witch
squats. The cauldron has gone, and in its place Dr. Schrenk-Notzing
crouches behind his camera, while Gustave Geley scribbles in his
notebook – Dynamo-Psychisrn, which is but Urudu-Gar-Lrg-Ga over
again, or Zod-ru-koz e Goo-ru-moo – words, letters arranged according
to the grammatical conventions of the days in which they are uttered.

Words, words, yet they are the philters of the emanations of reality,
those beams which smite through the shadowy land of unconsciousness and lend to it a little borrowed light .. Humanity, in part or whole, loves an ideal, as a man loves a woman. There is the chase and the capture and the kill, and from the spell of kisses, in agony, is born the child which in its day will do as its parents did. Thus it seems that, in the great heart of hearts of things unknowable, the black arts are in reality white, lucid and limpid, capricious will-o-the-wisps which beckon us on over heath and through hut, through cathedral, city and study.

O dim, far-lifted, and mighty dome, Mecca of many minds,
mausoleum of many hopes, sad house where all desires fail! For there
men enter in with hearts uplifted, and dreaming minds, seeing in
those exalted stairs a ladder to fame, in that pompous portico the
gate of knowledge, and going in, find but vain vanity, and all but in
vain. There, when the long streets are ringing, is silence, there
eternal twilight, and the odor of heaviness. But there the blood
flows thin and cold and the brain burns adust; there is the hunt of
shadows, and the chase of embattled phantoms; a striving against
ghosts, and a war that has no victory. Oh dome, tomb of the quick!
Surely in thy galleries, where no reverberant voice can call, sighs
whisper ever, and mutterings of dead hopes, and there men’s souls
mount like moths towards the flame, and fall scorched and blackened
beneath thee, O dim, far-lifted, and mighty dome!

Thus writes Arthur Machen of the reading-room of the British
Museum, that circle of the modern sorcerer who searches for the
“why” and the “wherefore,” not beneath the stars but under the
buckram and leather of printed books. Thus in the laboratory of
hallucinations has the black magician toiled, while down the
centuries dances Illusion – a dusky courtesan, enticing, entrancing,
beckoning we know not whither.

(Found in Austin Osman Spare’s “Form” Journal in 1921 as well as The Occult Review, 1923.)

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4 thoughts on “J.F.C. Fuller and the Black Arts

  1. Raven says:

    That’s one of my favourite chants, too, though I never knew the source until now. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. In Triumph of the Moon, Professor Ronald Hutton says the eko eko azarak chant comes from a french medieval play about a magician/wizard who uses the chant to conjure the devil.

    • weekiwitch says:

      You’ve missed a key line from the article…

      “It is often paired with lines from the play, Le Miracle de Théophile (such as “Bazabi lacha bachabe”), or has “Eko, eko, Cernunnos/Aradia” tacked on the end. However, I prefer it in it’s original, unedited form.”

      Also, you are recalling Hutton incorrectly. In “Triumph of the Moon” he discusses the cobbling together of the two chants, but they existed separately before Gardner. There is nary an “Eko” to be found before 1921.

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