Passing the Gates is a series of initiatory rites within the Necronomicon, a grimoire of highly dubious origins (the best grimoires usually are) supposedly chronicling the ancient Sumeria-Babylon rituals and arcanum. Contrary to popular misunderstanding, The Necronomicon has little to do with Necromancy or consulting the human dead. Instead, it is a book of dead names. Names of the Elder Gods. Dead to human memory, mostly. Probably wise if left unspoken. They could begin to stir in their graves and focus their attention on the speaker.
I am unconvinced the Necronomicon survived the vast passage of time to be reprinted and sold in the New-Age section of Barnes & Noble. But I concede that Lovecraft and Simon may have channeled a forgotten but authentic sorcery lineage for consumption by the present-day Western occult enthusiast. The tradition outlined in the Necronomicon can rouse the slumbering forces from humanity’s past into the here and now.
Passing the Gates is the second of three essential initiation rites. The first is “Star Stepping.” The third needs no mention here. The apparent connection between the Necronomicon and Western occultism reveals the Kabbalistic structure for the zona or zones. Each zona’s gate conceals the Qliphothic shadow cast by the Tree of Life. I can attest to invisible presences detailed in the Necronomicon, belligerently answering my summons and who would not depart without leaving significant psychic turbulence in their wake.
The gate swings both ways. Sometimes the sorcerer astrally projects into their worlds rather than the entity being summoned to the sorcerer’s world. In this way, the sorcerer gains uncommon familiarity with alien landscapes and exo-cultural knowledge. This helps to facilitate pacts between a sorcerer and the beings they evoke.
Entering into these realms (each manifesting atop the point of seven planetary influences) and interacting with its denizens, the sorcerer plays an often rigged game of risk vs. reward. The further the sorcerer passes the gates, the longer they stay. The deeper the bond between themselves and that particular zona can be formulated. But, this comes at the price of leaving more of themselves behind when they return to waking consciousness, causing fissures in their psyche.
“I have raised armies against the Lands of the East, by summoning the hordes of fiends I have made subject unto me, and so doing found the NGAA, the God of the heathens, who breathes flame and roars like a thousand thunders.
-The Necronomicon (the Mad Arab describing deals he made with summoned entities)
Passing the Gates is instrumental for the sorcerer to attain more profound, some say terrifying, knowledge concerning occult practices, spiritus-loci, or entities associated with the zona itself. Among the perilous interdimensional landscapes sit lost temples to dead and forgotten gods. Obscure, arcane libraries containing secrets that cannot be fully transmitted via conjuration. Secrets of this caliber may only be learned through direct pilgrimage, besting its guardians and pilfering their treasures.
“For this is the Book of the Dead, the Book of the Black Earth, that I have writ down at the peril of my life, exactly as I received it, on the planes of the IGIGI, the cruel celestial spirits from beyond the Wanderers of the Wastes.”
-The Necronomicon (the Mad Arab describes his journey past the gate and his tutelage under arguably malevolent spirits to receive and scribe the Necronomicon).
Like all trips, these sojourns have an inherent cost. The sorcerer’s resolve is heavily taxed, and their sanity is leveraged. There is no guarantee the sorcerer will come back intact, if at all. There is every assurance the sorcerer will leave behind pieces of themselves with each Passing of the Gate until nothing is left. Now morally bankrupt, their soul is extracted as the ultimate price. Methods of soul retrieval are paramount. The path laid out by the Necronomicon is crooked at best and at its widest, the width of a razor’s edge. Treading this path, one discovers very quickly what they are made of. The weak are corrupted and ruined, while the strong find infinite ways to get stronger.
The Necronomicon serves as a dire warning. Knowledge and initiation always come only at a cost. Not all gates should be opened, and not all paths wandered down. As cautious as I am in Passing the Gates, I am smart enough to know that I am only so smart. The deeper I venture, the lighter my steps become.