Gaap

This is a culmination of thought rising from once again allowing contact. Seeking contact. Rather than finding myself running around in the graveyards cutting myself, as the Gaderene demoniac, I rather find myself enlisted in that which is of planetary importance. That something is an understanding, a re-connection. This is not at all what I had expected of ceremonial magic. I cannot say for certainty that the spirits I encounter are real, nor can I say they are solely representative of unconscious psychological processes evolutionarily purposed at inducing individuation, growth, and maturity within the mind of the only presently extant human species, Homo sapiens sapiens. That is above my current pay-grade. I can say with certainty that the latter have consistently been the measurable result and that I am not today who I was yesterday. I am much more.

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Satyr, Silenos, Faun. Woodland spirit.

Nothing other than these words could better describe the way in which I perceived whom I believe is Gaap, or Goap, or Coap, Tap, or Toab, depending on spirit list. By informing of ghost box, I believe this spirit’s name is pronounced “Guhp”. The way in which is was spoken was as I imagine that the now-extinct primates of past geological ages may have spoken. It was a single syllable. I think the pronunciation I heard would perfectly explain the different spellings of Gaap. Said in this indistinct manner, any of them could fit.

He stood to my kneecaps. His face was gnomish, with beard, and he had a particular quality of “oldness”. I perceived no horns. He wore gnomish clothing, complete with hat. These did not seem cartoonish in the least, but perfectly authentic. His legs were those of an animal. I did not perceive this until the end of the dream as the spirit left, moving away at a distance. If I had to say what animal the legs most reminded me of I would say a fawn, as in young deer. His quadrupedal retreating into the woods reminded me very much of the agile leaping movement of a deer, so well equipped to wilderness terrain.

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In this dream this wee gnomish fellow “took me up in the air”. He was before me and below us was all of Asheville. This was not alarming in the least, but rather incited exhilaration. Though the imp did not speak, I was made to understand that he was “causing trouble in Asheville”. I remember seeing a steeple or bell-tower below us.

We came back down to the ground in a wooded area. There was a red armchair facing me. The spirit turned and ran towards the woods. I can only describe it as a circular portal opening in the woods, beyond which were only more woods. I watched his hind-legs as he bounded on all fours through this circular opening in the trees. My immediate thought was that I should have to very soon give chase to that creature, and the feeling was that I must find the courage to pass through and explore unknown territory.

At this point there appeared a flaming seal upon the backrest of the armchair. It was actually on fire. And I woke up.


When these types of dreams visit, I usually awaken from them with an incredulously mundane attitude towards them. It is only later into the day, and the following days, that revisiting the details of the dreams, they become more and more worthy of examination.

By far the most interesting thing was the seal. This is a spirit’s calling card. The grimoires of the Western esoteric tradition are filled with the names and seals comprising spirit lists, and these are surprisingly similar across time and place. And so my quest began to identify the seal I had beheld. I had collected books and had surface knowledge of such material, but I’d never really dug in. I went to Peterson’s The Lesser Key, the Grimoirium Verum, Dr. Rudd’s Goetia, Jake Stratton-Kent’s Pandemonium and Waite’s Book of Black Magic. A specific seal jumped off the pages at me - it was the most similar seal to what I had seen, and it belonged to Gaap.

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While interesting, I was yet doubtful, though coupled with the spirit’s description, I was most persuaded. Gaap is a spirit with an incredibly complex presence in the grimoires, and gleaming any depth of understanding from his text requires a prerequisite of understanding hierarchy of grimoiric spirit ranks. Gaap is King in Libra. Prince in Virgo. President in Virgo. The Golden Dawn assigns him to the decan of Aquarius. He appeared to me in the last days of Aquarius. To make matters more complex, I realized that Kelly’s vision pertaining to the “Aquarian Spellcube” had a similarity in appearance to Gaap’s seal (in the Peacock Goat Review I have been writing cube spells for each zodiacal sign, based on the visions Kelly has within the context of this purpose).

Kelly had a vision of the winter herb called, spotted prince’s pine, or striped wintergreen or serpent’s tongue. Most interestingly Chimaphila maculata is also called King’s Cure. The day prior to her vision I had handled some of this plant up our mountainside. She drew me this picture of her vision, which astoundingly resembles the shapes within Gaap’s seal:

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She would go on to have a second and third vision pertaining to this snake, which are detailed in the Peacock Goat. My opinion is that in lieu of these visions Gaap is of the nature of Saturn, Mercury and Venus as well the signs of Aquarius, Libra and Virgo. He is also assigned to the 2nd decan of Virgo, ruled by Saturn and the cadent ruled by Mercury:

OK - now let’s get to the text from Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft:

Gaap, alias Tap, a great president and a prince, he appeareth in a meridionall signe, and when he taketh humane shape he is the guide of the foure principall kings, as mightie as Bileth. There were certeine necromancers that offered sacrifices and burnt offerings unto him; and to call him up, they exercised an art, saieng that Salomon the wise made it. Which is false: for it was rather Cham, the sonne of Noah, who after the floud began first to invocate wicked spirits. He invocated Bileth, and made an art in his name, and a booke which is knowne to manie mathematicians. There were burnt offerings and sacrifices made, and gifts given, and much wickednes wrought by the exorcists, who mingled therewithall the holie names of God, the which in that art are everie where expressed. Marie there is an epistle of those names written by Salomon, as also write Helias Hierosolymitanus and Helisæus. It is to be noted, that if anie exorcist have the art of Bileth, and cannot make him stand before him, nor see him, I may not bewraie how and declare the meanes to conteine him, bicause it is abhomination, and for that I have learned nothing from Salomon of his dignitie and office. But yet I will not hide this; to wit, that he maketh a man woonderfull in philosophie and all the liberall sciences: he maketh love, hatred, insensibilitie, invisibilitie, consecration, and consecration of those things that are belonging unto the domination of Amaymon, and delivereth familiars out of the possession of other conjurors, answering truly and perfectly of things present, past, & to come, & transferreth men most speedilie into other nations, he ruleth sixtie six legions, & was of the order of potestats.

Aquarius would be a “meridionall”, or southern sign. If you read Kent’s Pandemonium you begin to understand the complexity and perhaps conflation that lay between Bileth and Gaap. For instance, this image of Bilet’s seal is from Fasciculus Rerum Geomanticarum (ms Plut 89 Sup 38):

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And again, Kelly’s drawing of her vision:

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All of these things on their own amount to nothing, but together, in the short span of a week, they all are very curious to me.

This is Toab’s text from Codex Latinus Monacensis 849 (CLM 849), aka The Munich Handbook of Necromancy:

Toab is a great prince. He appears in the form of a doctor when he takes on human form; is the best teacher/doctor of women and he makes them burn with love for men. If they are told he is [?], makes them to be transformed into another form, and those who have come before the beloved. The end makes them sterile. He hath under him 25 legions, etc.

His text from the Livre des Espertiz:

Coap is a great prince who gives use of women and brings them where one wants and makes them beside themselves if one commands him; he has 27 legions.

His text from the Lesser Key:

The 33rd spirit is Gaap. he is a great president and a mighty Prince, he appearth when ye Sun is in som of ye Southern Signes, in a humane shape, goeing before 4 great and mighty kings, as if he was a guide to conduct them along in their way. his office is to make men knowing in Phylosophy and all ye Liberall siences; he can cause love or hatred, and make men Insensible he can Teach yu how to consecrate those Things that belong to ye dominion of Amaymon his king and can dilever familiers out of the custody of other Magicians; and answareth Truly and perfectly of Things past present and to come, and can carry and recarry most speedily from one kingdome to another, at ye will and pleasure of Exorcist, he ruleth over 66 Legions of spirits he was of ye order of potestates; his seal is thus to be made and worne as a Lamen &c.
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No with that out of the way, we can begin some fun speculation.

After I recognized these things altogether I went about making the seal of Gaap on a Saturday in the hour of Jupiter, cast in tin. This is the result, using Dr. Rudd’s seals:

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Of special note is his early appearance in text as a doctor, especially of women. The healing nature of Spotted Prince’s Pine, called by the Creek Native Americans Pipsissewa, meaning to break into pieces, is noted in folklore but not well studied. Experimentation required. Luckily I live on 160 acres of Appalachian wilderness covered in the stuff. Chimaphila maculatum goes by many other common names including prince’s cone, prince’s plume, dragon’s tongue, lion’s-tongue, piperidge, ratsbane, rat’s-vein, rheumatism-root, waxflower, whiteleaf and wild-arsenic.

The most notable part of my dream was being carried up into the air over the City of Asheville. The phrase, “causing trouble in Asheville”. The Mercurial airy nature of the correspondences - trickery, mischief. The following is an entry from wikipedia on satyrs:

One of the earliest written sources for satyrs is the Catalogue of Women, which is attributed to the Boeotian poet Hesiod. Here satyrs are born alongside the nymphs and Kouretes and are described as “good-for-nothing, prankster Satyrs”. Satyrs were widely seen as mischief-makers who routinely played tricks on people and interfered with their personal property. They had insatiable sexual appetites and often sought to seduce or ravish both nymphs and mortal women alike, though these attempts were not always successful. Satyrs almost always appear in artwork alongside female companions of some variety. These female companions may be clothed or nude, but the satyrs always treat them as mere sexual objects. A single elderly satyr named Silenus was believed to have been the tutor of Dionysus on Mount Nysa.

I’d say that that description fits well — basically a woodland nature spirit that likes to get up to some shit. This particular little satyr called Gaap ranks with Bilet (Beleth) among the high-ranking spirits he is listed with. It is my perception that I was being called higher up the mountain where we live into yet unexplored territory - I have a very specific area in mind that seems to link to the area in my dream. This is the area that I was approaching when I took notice of a patch of spotted prince’s pine, which was the event that seemed to set this chain of events off.

Since those last days of February 2019, I have come into two conundrums in the City of Asheville pertaining to two of the most important things I have to deal with in life, and I am somewhat stressed over it. I almost feel like this spirit approached me as if to say, “We can get up to some stuff together”. His being a teacher of philosophy and the liberal arts is noteworthy, and this would not at all be the first satyr I have come up together with that has a pension for sophistry and political interests. By this I mean that I have found many wizened professor-types to be somewhat satyrs in their character.

I have begun the construction of tools found in the Lesser Key. Though I have well-used Trithemian tools, I wish to follow the text as closely as possible.