SHARRUKIN THE SECOND AND THE DATU
The Information contained in this book originates among a sect of sorcerer's known as the Datu. The word Datu is of Assyrian origin, it implies 'one who is ordained' and in the older Sumerian language, it implies a pendulum, or an object that wanders a circular course.
The Datu were established as special bodyguards to the kings of Assyria in 719 B.C. by Sharrukin the second, then ruler of Assyria.
In 721 B.C. he ascended the throne of Assyria (modern Iraq) after deposing his half brother (Shalmanesser the fifth).
. Sharrukin means 'true king', and indeed Sharrukin the second was the rightful heir to the throne, but Shalmanesser had been put upon the throne following the death of their father, Tiglathpileser the third.
Tiglathpileser had named his second born son as the heir due to the influence of his second wife, Sharrukin's step mother.
Sharrukin's stepmother had been the favorite of Tiglathpileser and had held sway over Tiglathpileser's judgment.
The Second wife had demanded that Tiglathpileser kill both his wife his first born son, but the old king loved them and refused to kill them. The first born heir was rechristened as Sagi (cupbearer) and his true name was 'stricken from the tablets and the heart of Assur ', and is lost for all time. Tiglathpileser had sent his first wife (Sharrukin's mother) to serve in the temple of the moon god Nanna, as her vengeance, the queen - priestess took and hid the symbol of kingship, the Tablet of Fate, in the inner sanctum of the moon god's temple.
In the mythology of ancient Mesopotamia, the Young Gods fought a battle against the Elder gods. During this battle, a vast amount of damage had been unleashed on the heavens and earth. This damage was 'repaired' by Enlil the king of the gods (or variously Ninurta, Assur, Marduk etc. depending on who was considered king of the gods at different times in different city states.). When all things had been set to right and put in their proper places, the 'Order of the Many Things' was set down on a clay tablet referred to as the 'Tablet of Fate'.
The Tablet of Fate was worn on the breast of the king of the gods as a sign of his authority, and many legends exist concerning the various gods, monsters, and demons that sought to somehow wrest the tablet from the king of the gods.
While the concept of the Tablet of Fate was associated with the king of the gods, it also had an earthly equivalent that was associated with the mortal kings of Mesopotamia. In most places this was a copy of the Tablet of Fate. The Tablet was a symbolic representation of the order of the many things and was worn on certain occasions of importance.
The first wife had known that without the tablet, Shalmanneser would never be the true king. She hid it away and prayed a servant to claim that an Aramaic slave who had fled the king's household stole it.
Sagi was put in the position of Cupbearer to Shalmanesser and most likely would have been lost to history if not for a number of events that can be found in 'The Writ of Enlil' in the main body of this book.
With the help of his mother, Sharrukin took his rightful place on the throne and set about the task of ruling Assyria. At his mothers request Sharrukin spared the life of Shalmanesser and his wife Yaba, and sent them to work as field hands in the fields owned by the temple of the Moon, but Shalmanesser was likewise 'stricken from the hearts and Tablets of Assur '.
An examination of ancient Mesopotamian society will quickly reveal that the people of Mesopotamia were inseparable from their gods. Their entire society was based on the pious worship of the deities of heaven and earth, and they believed that the gods walked amongst them. These people truly believed that they were responsible for the 'care and feeding' of the gods. They believed that the land was the property of the gods, and that the Mesopotamian rulers were the divinely ordained caretakers of the property of the gods. The kings were the highest of the high priests and as such, they were responsible for the rituals that insured the land's well being, and Sharrukin as a 'divinely appointed king' was no exception to this traditional responsibility.
The first year of Sharrukin's rule was spent settling domestic matters; he released the citizens of Assur from any taxation, dismissed the military draft and soothed the people to peace. This accomplished little more that freeing his hands to face Assyria's current Foes. Assyria had managed over the previous centuries, to take most of Mesopotamia in its grip, but the various subject states were constantly being prompted to rebel by the various enemies of Assur.
The first of these rebellions was a harsh dose of reality for Sharrukin. The king of Babylon, who had accended his throne in the same year as Sharrukin, united with the Elemites and refused to kneel to the Assyrians. When Sharrukin rode against the combined Babylonian and Elemite forces, he was routed by the Elemites and didn't even see battle against the Babylonians (720 B.C.).
Almost immediately the Syrian provinces revolted with the assistance of an Egyptian army, but Sharrukin tasted his first victory against them. He went home, stabilized his borders as they stood, and took up his duties as king.
As a new king ruling a country surrounded by traditional enemies, Sharrukin was at risk of assassination attempts and other political intrigues. Sharrukin could secure his safety in most instances, but in the temples he was at a much higher level of risk. Death or even injury in the temple represented a tacit denial of Sharrukin's divine right to rule. It must be understood that it was forbidden to bear weapons in the temples, and it would be an insult and a demonstration of a lack of piety to bring a body of armed guards into the temples of the gods that had set Sharrukin on the throne. In his first three years of rule there were eleven attempts on Sharrukin's life. What was Sharrukin to do?
Sharrukin's solution is said to have come to him in a dream.
Sharrukin dreamed that he stood in a temple upon the Tablet of Fate, and faced all the 'arrayed enemies of Assur '. They beset him at every side, and he thought that he was lost for certain. Suddenly a large pendulum appeared swinging in a wide circle around Sharrukin, every enemy that approached to strike Sharrukin and steal the Tablet, was driven back by the pendulum stone.
If an enemy tried to stop the pendulum, the decelerating pendulum drew closer to the center, and wove a tighter circle of protection around Sharrukin. In time the enemies pressed closer, but even as they seemed certain of victory, another pendulum appeared and drove them back. In the end seven pendulums swung around Sharrukin and kept him safe.
Sharrukin went to his mother and sought an interpretation of the dream; this is what she told him:
"The Datu (pendulums) represent seven body guards, they are to be drawn from all corners of the kingdoms, even as the pendulums danced to save you, these Datu will dance in the temple to save you from the enemies of Assur. If the enemies of Assur press close to you, the Datu will press closer. If the Datu are with you, none will take the Tablet of Fate from beneath your feet ".
The stories of how each of the first Datu was found can found under the chapter heading THE EIGHT.
Sharrukin instituted the Datu as the king's temple dancers, he gave them the right to choose 'apprentices' and instruct them in secret. To insure the silence and cooperation of the apprentices, the apprentices were told that the Datu had been instituted by Sharrukin the first, in this way the neophytes would believe that they served an ancient tradition in noble silence.
The Datu were kept secret from everyone except Sharrukin, his mother, and the dancers themselves, it was decided that not even Sharrukin's heirs should know of them lest they compromise Sharrukin's safety. It was believed that if the Datu did their work well, Sharrukin could tell the secret to his heir. If misfortune took Sharrukin, his mother could perhaps pass word along. It should be obvious that if no one knew of the Datu's existence, there had to be a way for the Datu to prove their legitimacy when the time came to serve the next king of Assur.
Many ideas presented themselves but none of them were guaranteed to work. There was only one way that the Datu could be certain to gain the trust of an heir to the throne, they would need to be in possession of knowledge that was held only by the king's themselves. The Datu would be given the secrets of the Tablet of Fate.
A whole body of esoteric knowledge was associated with the Tablet, and this knowledge (the 'Art of Master Adapa' and the Signs of Heaven and Earth') was taught to the kings in the Bit Reduti, the 'house of succession'. The secrets of the Tablet were forbidden to everyone but the kings, and it would be sure proof that the Datu had been educated by the king. This along with the claim of an origin attributed to Sharrukin the First, would hopefully insure the cooperation of Sharrukin's heirs.
The Tablet was a wondrous base for the Datu's newly born system. The ability to create a "long suffering tradition' from scratch put the Datu in a unique position. The position to innovate mystically.
Innovation was a trait among the Mesopotamians. When they first came to their land they found a mix of swamp and desert surmounted by mountains to the north. There was a complete lack of any of the most commonly used natural materials. There was no stone, no wood, and no metal! These people had to become masters of making a living out of mud and reeds, yet they not only survived, they went on to master mathematics, writing, and architecture. They brought water to the desert and created blossoming farmlands and built high walled city-states. They loved lists with a joyous passion and composed lists of every thing from cows to gods.
The one place that the Mesopotamians lacked real innovation was with their gods. All over the land the various city states had their own gods and goddesses, but they were all tied together by the three great gods, Ea, Enlil, and Anu (the gods of abyss, the sky, and the heavens). All the other gods and goddesses were the same, only the names and ranks varied according to whom the patron god or goddess of the city-state was.
Initially the Mesopotamians worshiped a mother goddess of the heavens and her male adversary / lover, along with them came the earth their daughter and her lover the waters. From them, sprang all life. Next came the seven children, Sun, moon, mars, mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn.
The Datu sought to recapture the old secrets and to blend the underlying principles of the gods. This Gnostic approach allowed them to define the archetypes of the primary deities and their powers; they went to the most ancient accounts of the creation and sought the underlying principles of existence. They sought the unchanging principles in order to be able to grasp constantly shifting particulars.
The Datu served Sharrukin in the temples, and when the king went on the road to war in his eighth year of reign, they accompanied him. By the 708 B.C. Sharrukin took back Babylon and united most of Mesopotamia. He built a mighty fortress in Korsabad and inaugurated it in 706 B.C. but just a year later Sharrukin fell in Battle against Tabal.
The Datu served Sharrukin, Sennacherab, Esarhaddon, Ashurbanipal, Ashur-etil-ilani, Sin-shumu-lishtar, Sin-shar-ishkun, and 'Assur-ubalit the Last'. 'Assur-ubalit the Last' was defeated by the combined forces of the Medes and Babylonians in 610 B.C.
With nowhere left to go, the Datu brought their services (and the legitimacy of possession of the Tablet) to Nebuchadrezzar II in Babylon. The Datu continued to protect the kings of Babylon till the conquest of Mesopotamia by the Persians (lead by Cyrus) in 539 B.C.
The Invasion of the Persians spelled the end of the Mesopotamian kings, and the resultant exodus of the Datu. At first the Persians were unexspectantly indulgent of the Babylonians. Cyrus the Persian allowed the people to worship in the temples and he even 'took the hand of Bel ' (claimed to worship Marduk the national god of the Babylonians). He barred his soldiers from carrying weapons in the temples, and claimed to be the true successor to the Mesopotamian kings.
Cyrus allowed Gobryas the Chief general of Nebuchadrezzar II to govern over Babylon, but only a year later, Cyrus set his own son Cambyses on the throne. The Datu watched Cambyses for almost ten years, and considered approaching him in order to serve him, but in 328 B.C. Cyrus died in battle and Cambyses left to ascend the throne of Persia. He died only a few years later (522 BC...) and was replaced by his brother Bardiya the Usurper. In the uproar that followed a young prince named Darius began to rise to power.
Darius the Great defeated Bardiya a short eight months later and became king of Persia, but a number of the Satraps (governors set in place by Cambyses) refused to obey him. Both a false Bardiya and a false Nebuchadrezzar appeared and began rallying followers.
In the resulting discord, the Babylonians revolted. The revolt in Babylon was put down rapidly and the freedoms of the Babylonians were considerably narrowed. A uniform common law was set over all of Darius' subject peoples. Aramaic became the common tongue for the empire, and only scribes studied the old languages. The gods were still worshiped but the temples were not as well maintained. When the rule of Persia passed to Xerxes it was only four years before the Babylonians revolted again. Xerxes suppressed the revolt and shortened the Babylonian leash even more. The Temples began to be neglected, and the worship of the Chaldean gods began to be replaced by the Persian deities, Ahura Mazda (the god of Light) and Ahriman (the god of Darkness). Eventually Xerxes outlawed the worship of the Chaldean gods completely.
Several more conquerors came through Mesopotamia, including Alexander the Macedonian. Alexander had the ambition to make Babylon and Alexandria the joint capitals of his empire but died before Babylon could be reborn. It became clear that there would never be a true Mesopotamian monarch again.
Ironically it was not military reasons that led to the fall of Babylon. When invaded by the Persian, and later the Macedonians, and Scythians, Babylon became part of the 'back yard' of larger empires. It ceased to be a central place of government or an important economic trading city. With no kings, the traditional responsibilities of maintaining the temples and irrigation canals went unfulfilled. The temples crumbled and the canals silted up, the towns of importance moved to the Royal Road that bypassed Mesopotamia into Syria. The great city-state of Babylon crumbled away and the duties of the Datu were no more.
By 100 AD. there were only seven Datu left. Over the previous 250 years, Datu had slowly left the temples to live in common society, these merchants and wanderers were unable to actively teach younger generations of Datu, it was only through the dedication of a few of the Datu, their knowledge went on.
During the centuries, the Datu developed a system of unarmed defense based on dance, they created the flame script, and they developed a religeo-philosophical system based on the Tablet of Fate and the Art of Master Adapa. They practiced the 'Chaldean' science of Astrology. Most importantly, they practiced a unique form of divination called 'shub-ni-garash' (to cast the oracle of the self) and developed a corpus of magical knowledge and techniques. The Datu had codified the knowledge of the Tablet of Fate, and their system absorbed and integrated pieces of Sumerian, Acadian, Assyrian, Persian and Greek mysticism. Thankfully the cumbersome cuneiform writing had fallen into general disuse, being replaced by the Aramaic and Greek alphabets. The Datu chose to maintain the tradition of secrecy and passed the tradition down to close friends and family. The numbers of the Datu slowly grew and in time some of the Datu went forth into other parts of the world. Hu the wanderer went to the British Isles, Hiram the Scribe went to Rome. Others went to Syria, Egypt, India, Asia and Africa. They held conclave every seven years and they absorbed and infused the things that they learned into the Tablet of Fate. It was common for a Datu to have a 'circuit' of students, to wander a circle that brought him to a new student each week. Not all Datu choose their students wisely and one of the misfortunes of the tradition was the rise of the Hanochem (eaters of sin) a sect that twisted the Datu's tradition in to something akin to Satanism. The two paths came together and fought with magic, fire, and sword and the eaters of sin were defeated. But even their knowledge was absorbed into the Tablet, though now it is taught only to fully educated masters of the Datu's path.
Eventual the majority of the Datu ended up in the cities of harran and edessa, there they encountered the Syraic alpabet and developed the flame script. Aramaic was still spoken in this region and the dialect (syraic) is still spoken today.
A complete history of the Datu after 440 AD. is beyond the scope of this book, and is not presented here for several practical reasons. Firstly a history of the Datu after 400 A.D is not required to understand the traditions of the Datu or the Tablet of fate. Secondly our order feels that the system should be judged by its usefulness rather than on hierophantic blathering about ancient traditions and rosters of historical figures that have taught or followed it. Lastly, it is preferable to our order to maintain a closed door policy in regards to the personal lives of our current or past adepts and a further history of the Datu could potentially prove to be an invasion of that privacy.
By the end of WW II, only three Datu remained, They died in 1954, 1961, and 1979. The last of them had only one apprentice (my master). I was my master's Datu apprentice and also his Hanochem apprentice. My master had three Datu students and Two Hanochem students. My fellow Hanocheth (female form of Hanochem) was Belladonna, "Bel for short."
While I will give no information about the other students that my master had (by their request), I mention Bel because she introduced me to my master
I met Bel in Chicago. I had moved to Skokie Ill. after being discharged by the United State Marine Corp. My life long interest in the occult drew me to the Covenant of the Goddess festivals that were held by the local Wiccan groups. During that time I developed an interest in the Simon edition of the Necronomicon and I desired above all else to learn more of Mesopotamian Magic.
I met a man who claimed to have all the answers; he invited me to spend a weekend at his temple. I agreed and was led on a merry adventure through the land of "relax! You need to understand the realm of Venus!" (grope, grope).
The next C.O.G. festival led me to a few fellow 'Venusians' and I made contact with an eclectic Wiccan group led by a merry mother goddess named Christa and her brilliant albino husband.
While they were both knowledgeable and respected, I was young and impatient. I had little patience for the step by step chaos that flourished there, so I checked out other covens as well. I joined another coven but still didn't find what I was seeking. One night I was invited to a gathering of Gnostics and ceremonial mages by a member of the first coven I had joined. As I wandered from conversation to conversation and examined the varied magical artifacts that were present in every direction, I heard a woman discussing the shortcomings of the Simon Necronomicon.
I turned and walked chest first into a raven-haired goddess. Bel was good-natured about it, and drugs me off to a couch. She effectively used me to ward off multiple hovering males and rewarded me handsomely with her attentions. We spoke of the Necronomicon and it's variants, as well as the dirty little secrets of the man that I had had the encounter with. It seemed that we had both been his victims. Before I knew it I had told her more about me than I had ever really shared with any one. Quite frankly she made me dopey.
Much to my suprise she called me the next day (I hadn't given her the number) and we met regularly and I became quite attached.
Even more than the relationship, I stuck to her because she knew so much about everything I wanted to know. In time she introduced me to her 'family' of students and apprenticed me as Hanochem. Through out the process she spoke of our ancient hated enemies, the Datu. She potrayed them as self-rigious aesthetics that were droll and pompous. I worshiped Bel, did my studies and hated the Datu, Bel and I attended lots of parties and rubbed elbows with lots of people.
At a Halloween party Bel pulled me aside and pointed out a man sitting in the dinning room. She told me his name was Inez and that he was Datu. Of course, the first thing I did was slither over to him and try to feel him out. He watched me sit down and pleasantly listened to me prattle on importantly.
He listened for about a minute, and then told me in no uncertain terms that he knew who I was and whom I was associated with. He proceeded to rattle off my strengths and flaws with an unearthly precision. He disparaged me for having become Hanochem and clearly showed me how ignorant I was. I was both amazed and angered by it all. All I could do was back off fast, and reassemble my brain. The more I thought of it, the worse I felt. I ended up in the bathroom vomiting.
After my encounter with Inez, Bel regaled me with stories of the man's exploits and cunning. I feared him despite my self and it gnawed at me constantly. I threw myself into my studies and waited for another chance to face him. Months passed and he never appeared.
My obsessive focus launched me ahead at full speed, and I accomplished seven levels of initiation in record time. After a year and a day, Bel approached me to tell me that it was time for me to go to Minneapolis and meet the master of the Hanochem.
I'm sure your not suprised to read that it was Inez that met us at the door. I on the other hand was floored! I was so flustered that my well-rehearsed speech went into the void and I just stood there like an idiot. He invited us in and gave us a seat. Inez and Bel gained no end of amusement from my consternation and shock.
After two days of adjustment and frustration, I finally came to terms with the situation and got back ahold of my desire to learn everything. I was given the history of the Datu and the Hanochem, and I spent two weeks studying intensely with Bel and Inez. The Night before we left, Inez and Bel did a complex ritual, the majority of which was above my head. Any inquiries were met with silence and stern looks. I left cowed and confused.
On the way back to Chicago, Bel filled in the blanks.
" Inez has given you the Entrance into the House of Ascension. The ritual was your entrance rite. Inez says that you can stay in Chicago and study under me, or you can move to Minneapolis and study under him."
After tremendous vacillation and a great deal of pushing from Bel, I moved to Minneapolis and studied under Inez.
A Datu functions in three educational capacities. The first is as a consultant, a diviner. He casts the fortunes of his patrons and helps them with their problems. He is a combination of psychologist, priest and sounding board. The second is as a teacher of outer sanctum students. These are people that are studying the path but are students not future teachers. The Datu educes the latent potential within them and provides them with the tools to deal with the world around them. The third is as a teacher of inner sanctum students. These are apprentices that are learning in order to teach.
A Datu will take up to sixty-four clients, sixteen outer sanctum students and eight inner sanctum students. Of the eight he will choose two apprentices, one male and one female. The apprenticeship is lengthy and complex. It is essential that there be sufficient time for study because much of the information was recorded in oral form. All written information is copied by hand one section at a time. Inez had four outer sanctum students and his apprentices (Bel and me).
After successful completion of my underworld rite, I took the position of assistant to Inez and all seemed well.
Inez began to suffer severe discomfort in his throat; he quickly developed aberrant growths and was diagnosed with cancer. Prior to his passing he transferred the title of Abba (father) of the Datu and Master of the Hanochem to me. In exchange for this, I swore a solemn oath.
It is the tradition of the Datu that human kind has the right to possess the secrets of the Tablet of fate, and that we were only keepers and watchers. It is said that the time would come when our race, the children of the fire will move forward in wisdom and become the children of the wind. It is believed that when certain prophecies were fulfilled, we, the keepers and watchers, are to give the tablet of fate to all that seek it.
Inez swore that the time had come. He made me swear to pass on the traditions, but more than that, I promised to write down all the oral information, arrange it within the written information in an appropriate fashion and give it to the children of the fire.
Inez succumbed to his cancer. Bel never walked the Datu's path, she became addicted to heroin and two years after my master's death overdosed herself and was declared dead upon arrival.
This is a record of all that I have learned of the Tablet of Fate and the arts sorcerous. I have left nothing out nor have I marred it in any way. This is for you, the children of the fire. May it serve you and enhance your journey.
Reverend W C. P
Abba of the Datu, Master of the Hanochem, He That Remembers, and Protector of the Elders