I’m turning to fallen angels for advice.
I ran across both these items quite by accident, and naturally had to have them. I’ll discuss the book more over at my other blog, Filling Spaces.
Now what, you may ask, does a pagan/sometime-atheist care about these things? My belief system is somewhat eclectic, so the short answer is I don’t think angels and demons are exactly as the Abrahamic faiths teach. The fallen angels are now found listed in tomes on demons, but I don’t see them as demons (if we stick to the medieval construct of grotesque imps and misshapen horrific beings from Hell) . You know how it is – the victors write the histories. The gods of the old religion become the demons of the new. So there is lots of room in my pantheon for these guys and gals, including the Watchers, and the Nephilim.
The Fallen Angels Oracle Cards deck and companion book are by Nigel Suckling, who also created the Dragon Tarot. A quick read of the demon book and the small book that came with the cards shows many similarities. There are certain books that are pretty much canon in the magical world, including Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, the Goetia, the Lemegeton, and the Key of Solomon, and from what I can tell and have read both authors drew on the same sources. The introduction to the Dictionary of Demons states that there are over 1500 entries. That ought to keep me busy for awhile. There’s an appendix of infernal correspondences, listing which demons are associated with what activity, for instance Agares, Barbatos, Caim, Forneus, Hael, Ronove, and Sucax are associated with language, both human and non-human (animals and birds, in the case of Barbatos).
I’m already familiar with A.E. Waite’s Book of Black Magic, in which he lists 72 fallen angels. The Fallen Angel Oracle conveniently has 72 cards (although the apocryphal Enoch I says there were 200 fallen angels, only a few were named). Oddly, Vassago is not one of the cards, although according to Waite he is invoked during divinations and ‘white magic’ operations. In addition to the name of the angel each card has a keyword printed on it. The stock is good, and the cards have a gloss to them. I really like them, the overall color scheme is somewhat dark, but some cards are almost cheery. The images are photo collage, using statues of angels and tombstones combined with all sorts of things. The cards are a good size at 3 1/8” x 5 1/8”, and NO BORDERS! Yay! I hate big ugly borders on cards. Not wild about the box, though. It’s a two piece arrangement, quite sturdy and seems well-made, but the way the book and cards are stored inside allows the cards to slip down the side of the cardboard frame in it. I’m afraid the cards may get damaged this way, so I’ll have to look for some way to secure them better.
In many cases, angels (fallen or otherwise) have more than one name. For instance, Metatron (he’s pretty much the big cheese in the angelic heirarchy among the ones still in Heaven) has 76 names. Below I have the card for Marbas, who is also known as Barbas. (Fans of the tv series Charmed will recognize that name, along with a couple others – Shax, Andras and Dantalian come to mind). Paimon, Eligor and Murmur all appear in my vampire novel.
It’s a nice little book, with color pictures of the cards and has pages of correspondences as to which fallen angel is associated with which planet, element, zodiac sign, and lists keywords to associate with them. However, it seems to be trying to make it all positive and light and warm and fuzzy. Some of these fallen angels are pretty badass, you don’t summon them for tea on a whim. These are the original rebels and free-thinkers, don’t try to turn them into drones and cupids and a flower delivery service. If you’ve read other sources on the fallen angels you know there’s no glitter or sparkling going on with this gang. I’ll let you know how we get on.