Song of the Ancients

The Watchers, the Original Fallen

Sometimes called angels, sometimes called demons (daemons), the Grigori or Watchers of the Old Testament are ambiguous and misunderstood. Depending on which side of the theological fence you stand, they are the blessings of the Ages, the Ancient Ones, who passed down their knowledge to Witches and wise men and women from ages past.  For Christians and Jews however, they are an abomination, destroyers of the way of the World as their god originally created it.

The Grigori (Those Who Never Sleep) were created to be ‘watchful’ over the burgeoning species of humans.  They were physically much larger than humans; their demeanor kind, gentle and silent. They were not created to interfere in human affairs but merely to observe and quietly assist when needed.  Some remained in Heaven, watching and guarding the new Earth from afar.  Others decided to descend (the apocryphal Book of Enoch states around 200 took the plunge) and have a better look around.  It is from these ‘fallen’ or descended Watchers that many believe our power as Witches, Workers of the Way and Pagans evolved.

For a time, all went well. The human species was flourishing, increasing in population, power and intelligence.   According to the book of Enoch, the Watchers found the female humans ‘fair’ and so, they desired and lusted after them and lay with them, ‘taking wives of all They chose’.  The resulting children of these ‘unholy’ unions were the Nephilim, those giants of the Ancient myths, who pillage, plunder and endanger the World.

As recounted in the Dead Sea Scrolls: ‘…..In the days of Jared’, two hundred Watchers ‘descended’ on ‘Ardis’, the summit of Mount Hermon – a mythical location equated with the triple peak of Jebel esh Sheikh (9,200 feet), placed in the most northerly region of ancient Palestine.

On this mountain the Watchers swear an oath and bind themselves by ‘mutual imprecations’, apparently knowing full well the consequences their actions will have, both for themselves and for humanity as a whole. It is a pact commemorated in the name given to the place of their ‘fall’, for in Hebrew the word Hermon, or harem, translates as ‘curse”.

‘In time, each of the 200 took an earthly spouse. These unions produced children of extraordinary size, who quickly devoured the world’s food. To satisfy their enormous appetites, the angel-children roamed the earth, slaughtering every species of bird, beast, reptile and fish. Finally, the ravenous creatures turned on one another, stripping flesh from the bones of their fellows and slaking their thirst in rivers of blood.

As this wave of destruction washed over the earth, the anguished cries of humankind reached four powerful Archangels – Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael – who upon orders from God enacted a swift retribution.

First, Uriel descended to earth to warn Noah of a coming deluge, advising him to prepare an ark to carry his family and a menagerie of creatures to safety. Raphael then fell upon the leader of the Watchers (called Shemyaza), bound him hand and foot, and thrust him into eternal darkness. Next, Gabriel charged with slaying the dissenters’ offspring, encouraged the monstrous angel-children to fight one another. Finally, Michael trussed up the remaining Watchers, forced them to witness the deaths of their progeny, and condemned them to eternal torment. Only then did the heavens open up and wash away the last traces of the destruction that the fallen angels had wrought.’ {1}

During this licentious time, the Watchers shared ‘restricted’ information with their wives and other humans, much to the dismay of the celestial Lords.

This restricted knowledge included root working, herbalism, astrology, divination, alchemy, metalsmithing and enchantments of all kinds.  Yahweh had forbade the Watchers to communicate this wisdom, as the result would be that ‘men would then be as Gods’.  Yahweh was displeased and saw the desolation and desecration of the Earth and humankind by both the Nephilim and the Watchers. He decided to purge the Earth by a flood which would end the sacrilege, then, begin anew. Enter Noah.

This ‘forbidden’ knowledge is the occult wisdom and symbolism that we today as Witches, as Workers of the Old Ways, as Shamans and Pagans embrace and cherish.  Truly, the occult sciences are meant to make us as ‘gods’.  In my tradition, we are to become as powerful, as knowledgeable, as lustful and strong and rebellious as our Ancient Observers.  We are to honour the Ancient Path, the Path which was not permissible, and in this honouring and reverence, become the “Chosen” of the Gods; wise, influential and strong in the Craft. The Gods of the old religion become the Demons of the new.

Honour the Old Ways. Pay heed to the knowledge given to you by the Timeless Ones.  Respect it, show reverence and continue to learn. Become as you were meant to be: Become a God.


{1} http://www.fabrisia.com/thewinds.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watcher_ (angel)


Image: ”The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Man that they were Fair” by Daniel Chester (1923). Corcoran Gallery.