(The Four Philosophical Elements – Source)
Ahh, the Elemental Kings… I’m just going to jump into this with minimal preamble. It’s been a long week already.
In the Second Book of Occult Philosophy, Chapter 7, Agrippa provides a table that presents the Scale of the Number Four. In this Table, the Kings of the elements are listed as the Four Angels ruling over the corners of the world. Under them are the Four Rulers of the Elements, the Four Princes of Spirits, and the Four Princes of “Divels, offensive in the Elements.”
2.4.1 – Four Angels – The Kings
Personally, when I work with the Kings of the Elements, I prefer to work with these Angels. I’ve got an angelic connection in general with my Work, and I figure if it’s working as well as it is, why mix things up?
For years, I’ve thought the LBRP got the angels from the Bedtime Sh’Ma, a Jewish version of “now I lay me down to sleep.” I was very pleased to discover they are also considered the angels of the corners of the Earth in Agrippa’s system. The GD got most of their stuff from Francis Barrett’s The Magus anyway, and that was plagiarized from Agrippa almost 100%. Seeing the angels here as the Kings of the Elements has helped me further understand that Angels can share names without sharing their personage. I mean, Michael, King of Fire isn’t going to be the same as Michael Governor of the Sun. There are similitudes, of course, but that doesn’t make them the “same” being. Even if they were the same being, in the office of the King of Fire, Michael will not be behaving as the Governor of the Sun.
One nice thing about discovering these guys are the Kings of the Elements is that I’ve been doing the LBRP in ignorance for years. I’ve managed to build up as decent a relationship with them as can be hoped for, considering the depths of ignorance I was wallowing in.
2.4.2 – Four Rulers of the Elements – Angelic Orders
If you look at the sigils of the ten countenances of God in the Magical Calendar, you’ll see that the names of the angels ruling the planet/sphere are written on one side of the talismans along with the names of their respective Angelic Orders. I believe these are the Orders from which each Angelic King draws their legions of helpers. In working with these spirits, I’m placing the names of the Angels on their talisman along with the name of the Order of Angels presented here.
2.4.3 – Four Princes of “Divels,” Offensive in the Elements
These spirits represent the malefic aspects of the elements. While Michael might represent a controlled flame, like a candle or a hearth, Samael would represent a burning house. Both are aspects of Fire, and it is important to note that the Princes of Divels are under the authority of the Kings of the Elements.
2.4.4 – Four Princes of Spirits
These four Princes represent the “neutral” spirits of the elements. They are like the worker bees of the elements, in my experience. They, and their assigned legions, are the ones that oversee the manifestation of the elemental manifestations of the directives of the spirits higher up in, uhm, hierarchy.
2.4.5 Working with the Elemental Kings and their Princes
Now, with the above overview in mind, and remembering the way magicians work with the hierarchies of the spirits, a multitude of possibilities becomes available to the resourceful magician. In terms of the Great Work, we know from the Divine Pymander chapter of the Corpus Hermeticum that the Logos (manifested as the HGA in my interpretation of this system) abides with the righteous and sends an evil Daemon to confound the impious through their sphere of sensation, causing them to be further removed from their memories of their race and value as manifestations of God.
Later in the series, I’ll be getting into more practical work with the Kings that specifically relates to the topic of the four Kings and the eight Princes listed by Agrippa.
I did a ritual the other day with the Four Kings that has shed a lot of light on the subject in general in my personal Work, and I’ll be posting about it separately.