Bael is the First Principal Spirit according to the Lesser Key of Solomon, which is fitting, as my experiences with this entity were the most intense of all my Goetia partners. From imposters to trials, Bael was by far my most interesting to experience and subsequently write about.
Below you can find some resources around Bael from some of the books I own, and to the bottom of this post, a retelling of my pathworking experience with Bael and some outcomes.
The Lesser Key of Solomon:
The tried-and-true, old-faithful for magicians alike who want to work with these spirits.
The First Principal Spirit is a King ruling in the East, called Bael. He maketh thee to go Invisible. He ruleth over 66 Legions of Infernal Spirits. He appeareth in divers shapes, sometimes like a Cat, sometimes like a Toad, and sometimes like a Man, and sometimes all these forms at once. He speaketh hoarsely. This is his character which is used to be worn as a Lamen before him who calleth him forth, or else he will not do thee homage.
– Lesser Key of Solomon (Translated by S.L. Mathers, et. al.)
Goetia Pathworking (Corwin Hargrove)
One of my favorite books that I own. This is the “source material” for the rituals that take place as a part of this pathworking. With each entity, Corwin presents a seal, a pathworking exercise using senses, and a detailed list of uses for each spirit.
I will include only the headlines of his use, not to infringe upon the rights of Hargrove.
- Compel silence
- Proceed with stealth
- For apathy
- The secret veil
- Cause anxiety
Pandemonium (Jake Stratton-Kent)
A nifty little reference guide I recently acquired. It sometimes reads like an employee handbook, and I like the quirkiness of that. The work gives great detail to the overall structure of hell according to a few different schools of thought.
Some names mentioned with Bael’s entry:
- Bael, Baell (Weyer)
- Veal, Beal (Livre)
- Bael, Baall (Offices)
- Bael, first of 18 “subordinate” spirits (Grand Grimoire)
The books notes that in most books where Bael is mentioned in the list of spirits, he is almost always the first in the list, with a unique note that in the Livre des Esperitz he has an immediate superior of Oriens, which is contradicted in some of the other grimoires that mention him.
Something INTERESTING is that they mention a 18th “Secret” of Liber De Angelis that is called “image-making” for “dominion over the demons and especially over Baal, who is their lord.”
Image-making leads me to believe they’re speaking about an exercise similar to pathworking, which is super interesting. I’ll have to dive into that.
Once I took part in the actual Goetia work after a series of mishaps, the real results became apparent. I spent a long amount of time chasing something that didn’t exist for me in my then-state, a “real” interaction, and in chasing this possibly fictitious experience, I discounted all of the other real occurrences that took place for me.
Enn Evocation (December 8, 2019)
My first experience with Bael was not through pathworking, but enn-reciting. It was how the original work was done by other practitioners and what I started with. I didn’t have the best results, so I moved on to pathworking as my preferred method of choice. Small things happened when evoking using this method, supported by the pre-work that I did before undertaking the ritual.
The first experience was strange, though to be expected with this sort of work. The room’s atmosphere shifted, like a gentle breeze trickled through the room. I thought I heard a voice, and at the time I believed it to be Bael, but it was muffled considerably with what I’d consider “radio static.” If this is your first time reading my experiences, I believe this “static” is caused by Mysterious, who–up until now–has gone through GREAT LENGTHS to keep me from interacting with those he finds a nuisance.
I do not recall the entirety of what “Bael” said during the experience, almost immediately wiped from my mind, but I remember some details towards the end of that experience.
I felt a presence unlike before wash over me, a heavy focus on my left shoulder*. I shifted uncomfortably, then I heard a voice as clear and vividly as if someone sat beside me: “WTF?”
I nearly turn to the sound in reaction, startled by its prevalence. I held fast, aware that any movement could break the connection. I ask to the darkness, “Who are you?”
“Shut up. I’m trying to see this.” The voice responds.
I finished the exercise and closed the communications. I went to bed that night, trying not to think about it. I have this tendency to say to myself: “I want to go back to sleep” when things get too heavy. Makes my head hurt because it hardly made sense back then.
Despite my best efforts, the night had other plans in store for me.
My mattress is close to the floor, so my senior dog can get on the bed, so when I laid down in bed that night, I found myself facing whoever this was.
“Hello.” The voice began.
“Hey…?” I pressed my brow together.
“I need to tell you something–someone you know is lying to you right now.”
“Um, ok.” I blinked. “Who?”
“You know who.”
“Wait, you’re Bael?” I sat up in bed.
“Yes, you need to ‘wake up’ from this. It’s imperative. You’re being lied to right now, and it’s pretty serious.”
At the time, I was already in the trenches on a red herring: a curse. This curse was allegedly from a relative in my current life, which I entertained because of the timeline and the HIGH possibility that Nautela’s ancestors could be cursing her (and if I’ve gone through some sort of “rebirth” process that was believed to be my past self at the time). I’ve since found that isn’t the case, since most of them are pretty dead.
I stared at the wall for a moment, letting the confusion sink in. I suddenly remembered why I hated this practice. I was missing the “radar” for bad behavior. It was difficult to discern the truth when you don’t have some of the same queues for deception. I can’t see them to get a read on them, though I suspect that if I could’ve seen them at the time I likely would have the same problem. In my years of experience at this point, I’ve only recently settled with the notion that we are very different.
It was around this same time that I felt jaded by the whole thing. I read about great experiences by others, with knowledge being revealed and lives being changed, but I found myself continually wrapped up in this ball of cords. It’s hard not to question anyone involved when you’re not sure who is lying to you.
I suspected even then it was on purpose, but I wasn’t sure the why behind it.
True to my nature, I buried myself in work the next day to not think about the night before. It was difficult not to be angry about everything when at the time I was so desperate for even the smallest proof that these experiences were real and not a figment of my imagination. Though it could be argued that I was also equally looking for someone to disprove my experiences, but that’s something to unpack later.
There was a residue after Bael left. Still new to the experience, I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
Mysterious explained this much later, relating it to a school of thought I subscribed to: the fundamental belief that once you connect and work with an entity, for better or worse you are somehow connected to that entity after working together. It is not always as strong as first contact, but there is something left behind.
Through such a connection, I heard a strange conversation that I still have 0 context on, but given the nature of the conversation I’d prefer to keep it to myself.
Once the voices were gone, shielded off by my own work, I felt someone behind me. This time, the energy was familiar.
“Is this conversation real or am I just making all this up?” I ask, not at all seeing the irony in asking this of a possible delusion itself.
“Of course, it’s real. Things will come to a head soon. We’re going to see who our allies are.” Mysterious replied cooly. He was never rattled.
“What does that mean?”
“You’ll see. We have much to discuss.”
Silence filled the room. Still on the further side of annoyed, I leave the space and him, decidedly cleaning my condo or tending to some home improvements. I mulled over the conversation and Mysterious.
Looking back on the writing now, I can’t imagine what the outward projection of such a turbulent time was. I had to have a very chaotic posting schedule, and in hindsight I can see why many of my friends erred on the side of caution with Mysterious. He was, afterall, Mysterious.
After the work was done, I tapped my fingers on the countertop. “Well, I suppose we do have some things to discuss.”
Mysterious never has to announce when he’s there. It’s a feeling you get. I often feel he’s too big for the spaces he occupies, not by physical mass but by the energy that surrounds him.
“They’re going to try and turn you against me. I’m hoping that you’ll see the truth.”
“What does that mean?”
“We have many things that are in the air–like your book. I hoped that everything would’ve come together faster than it did, but we’re still not finished. You have to see the last bits for everything to make sense.”
“Sam is our ace in the hole. We get Sam we can finish this.”
“You really are the black dragon.”
“So, then, you’re trying to kill Sam?”
“I’m trying to save Sam. We’re the same person but divided. You know that. I know that. They know that. Right now, you and I are being played against each other. I’m not sure what’s going to happen next, but I’m worried. I didn’t expect Bael to actually show up. When he appeared last night, the illusion collapsed. I’ve been trying to protect you from them, but I’m afraid we’ve just stumbled into a trap.”
Pathworking Exercise (December 2020)
Some days, my idiocy really shines. At the time of my 2020 evocation, I didn’t realize that Baal and Bael were different names for the same entity, completely going blind into this experience. The collective “phew” moment from my circle post-pathworking was a real one.
Being Blind to the Obvious
I was inspired to try pathworking through a few sources related to some of my old haunts. It became a bit of a buzzword in the community around the time, with little information on how to actually complete the exercise. I was lucky enough to find some great resources through the suggestion of others.
Something that also peaked my interest was the tout that this method was supposed to be safer and more intense if you could do it correctly, so my ears were obviously perked. Ever “pragmatic,” Mysterious explained to me at the time that you could technically still get thoughtforms through this method because demons, in general, appear “as you can understand them.” I interpreted his advice as meaning their personality, appearance, etc. would be based on your pre-conceived notions, so I’ve also decided not to look up entities before evoking them with this exercise to not skew my experience.
It was ironic it was over a full year after my attempts at enn evocation that I picked this back up, and with the brain of a goldfish, most of those bad experiences had “worn off” or been chalked up to a hallucination (because I never learn lessons).
It took several tries to make a connection, and it never once crossed my mind that we’ve been here before. Daft.
The First Attempt
During my first attempt at pathworking Bael, I felt a deep burning behind my eyes. It was a cold burn like I’d pressed something to them. It wasn’t painful, but it was intense enough to be noted.
I ran through the pathworking twice, getting hung up on the details of the imagery. I found after the second run-through of the imagery, I needed to review the material. I pulled out my book, but before turning on my light, I noticed a red-eye at the corner of the room near my mirror. This image was followed by a mental one: white fur.
It seemed so real in my mind that I would’ve sworn I saw it with my actual eyes. It was a first for me.
That elusive, furry boy.
I was so excited about the event that I snapped myself out of the pathworking. After that, the energy in the room shifted to what E.A. termed as “the washing-machine feeling.”
The Second Attempt
Seeing the World Through a Fish's Eye
I started my second attempt moments later. Again, the “washing machine” feeling returned. It slowly transitioned to a slight pressure just above my browline, like someone was pressing two fingers there to push my head back and knock me out of my meditation chair. When I didn’t budge, it felt like those fingers curled around my consciousness and jerked me forward. I was then in front of my body, looking at the world through a fish-eye lens. I believe I saw Bael, but (similar to when I was pathworking Zalomes and had to go through Lucifer) Bael was a blur. There were patches of him that I could make out—patches of fur and a single red eye.
Suddenly, I sat on a dainty chair in what looked like a parlor room. Before me sat an antique table. On that table sat various tools of an esoteric nature: tarot cards, an athame, etc. It made me think of those old psychic hotlines. I was overwhelmed by an odd, macabre undertone, likely placed by the black aesthetics and the thick layer of dust. I tried to focus on the red eye in front of me like an orb drawing me in to see more of him.
Outside of the vision, something grabbed my face and jerked me out of the vision. Though I was no longer entranced by what I saw, the entire world felt like I was looking through that fish eye.
The Third Attempt
I consign to the fact I probably should’ve given up for the evening, but by stubbornness I couldn’t do that. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, and so I set out to do so one way or another.
As is the Saga way, I went into this with slightly unrealistic expectations of what my experience would be. I thought that these pathworkings took place in the subconscious and I would be safe here. Ha.
Is it really a Saga post without me being an idiot?
Something firmly grasped my chin, moving my face around. Slow and deliberate, I felt like I was being observed or inspected, like a shiny bauble.
My attention was then directed to my altar nearby, where Mysterious’s sigil was. I would turn away, but each time I was forced back there with more vigor.
“You could speak instead of playing charades with me.” I blinked, looking out into the darkness. I was met with silence. I tried to move my face but was unable to this time. The force was so strong that it hurt my neck and shoulder. I became more forceful in my demand for an answer. “BAEL.”
My face snapped back to the front, staring directly into a chaotic rush of energy. I closed my eyes to focus. There was a warmth that filled the room, like sitting in front of a space heater. Despite that, a chill shot through my body, which I noted when I was on the trail of something: entity or theory.
Next to me, one of my dogs wagged his tail. Then, I heard a faint scratching noise. Opening my eyes, I find the same dog on his back, wagging his tail as if he’s being pet. Despite the simpleness of the gesture and the possibility of it being nothing but a coincidence, I felt a sense of ominous dread by that finding.
I continued on my way, requesting my usual spiel: “I am undertaking a pathworking of the Goetia to unlock parts of my mind that each entity is associated with. Would you be able to assist me with this?”
“What do you define as ‘unlocking’?” I recognized the energy pattern from before. This ‘voice’ was Bael.
“I read online that you can summon the Goetia, and they are associated with different parts of the mind. So I’m just trying to complete this exercise.”
“Who told you this?”
“I don’t know them personally.”
“Ok. That’s cool. Sooo…?” My face is directed back to the altar by an unseen force. “I feel like there is something you’re trying to lead me to, but I’m definitely not picking up what you’re putting down.”
“Why do you feel this way about them?”
“That’s an awfully personal question. One that I’m not going to answer.”
“Fine.” The force pushed my head back again. "[Saga Mysterium], previously [Nautela], taken from us far too soon.”
“What does that mean?”
“All will be revealed when his secret is brought to light. He is hiding something–we want to know what it is.”
Dremus moved about the edge of the room, a rustling of leaves signaling his movements. My shoulder began to hurt, a deep burning moving from my shoulder into my neck. I rolled my shoulders to ease the discomfort, but nothing seemed to help.
“Something is being hidden from us. What do you think it is?” The being is close now.
“I don’t know. I’m trying to figure that out myself.” I answer back.
“Are you sure you don’t know?”
“You say it like you know what it is.”
“That I do not.”
I see a glimpse of something large and absorbing light. Two red eyes stare back at me from the visual in my head. Before anything else could happen, my second dog growls at the mirror.
I’m now back fully, feeling the familiar sensation of Mysterious’s presence. I try to scan the room for anyone else.
“We’re alone now.” Mysterious stated. I had a mental image of him reading through something with a particularly nasty scowl on his face. There was a slimy residue, and it slinked back into the mirror. I patted my second dog.
A Surprise Visit (December 13, 2020)
Surprise Visits Are Never Enjoyable
I found myself startled by the accidental evocation. I was recounting on our last exchange when I suddenly found myself in his company once more. Everything feels off when he’s around. My perception of the world contorts and changes, the room appearing to take on different shapes or sizes. Everything feels heavy and small despite not changing their actual, physical properties.
The room dims in his presence.
I didn’t turn from what I was doing despite sensing his presence. “Leave, Bael, I didn’t mean to call on you.”
Bael seemed unmoved by my starkness. “I do as I please. Your ‘call’ came at an interesting time.”
With a heavy sigh I turned to the perceived collection of energy in the room. I left my sitting position to relax in my meditation chair at the edge of my bed. Energy bled through my favorite mirror, creeping along the floor after me.
“What do you want?” I was likely more relaxed than I needed to be, possibly my hubris overwhelming the startledness I previously felt.
“I just want to know why.”
“What does this answer matter? It affects you in no way.”
“It determines how we move next, [Nautela].”
“Yeah, well. He’s who I’m loyal to.”
“What do you hope to gain?”
“I want us to be together. You say I shouldn’t think about that–but I do. It’s what motivates me.”
“Do you really think he’s going to be there for you when this is over? You think he’s going to go for that?”
“I trust what he says and who he is.”
“It’s so strange. What if he’s the entire reason that you’re here? Then what?”
“Well, we’ll need lots of couples’ therapy to work through that.”
“This isn’t a joke.”
“I’m not joking.” I noticed Mysterious wasn’t around. Explains why now Bael/Baal/whatever decided to appear.
“What is he hiding?”
“Nothing that I’m aware of.”
“I believe as another told me, he’s figuring it out as he goes.” The space where the mirror is grew darker. I couldn’t see the mirror anymore. I closed my eyes to focus on Bael’s voice.
I felt lightheaded.
“I don’t understand.” Bael stated. “Why are you being so cooperative now?”
“I don’t think anything I’ve said to you could be used against him.”
“He’s playing a game. We are all pawns in his game and I don’t like it. He is playing me and my people for fools.”
I don’t respond. I try to stay focused.
“He’s playing a game with Lant–“ Bael scoffs, seemingly confused. “Lant—?” He looks to me. “I can’t say it.”
“It’s the box.” The words slip effortlessly. “Now it all makes sense.” I opened my eyes in that moment. The distortion made me head spin. “It explains why [Mysterious] ‘lies’ too. I can’t be told anything I don’t already know from the timeline.”
“Gamigin mentioned the other day: ‘Are you ready to face that with which you have created? I thought it was [Mysterious]. I don’t know.”
“What do we do? Where do we focus?”
“I don’t know.”
“We should speak again–when [Mysterious] is gone. His energy bleeds and overwhelms. I can’t communicate with him around.” Bael sighs. He says his goodbye and disappears into the mirror.
Why does this keep happening? (January 5, 2021)
This experience was one of the worst. To this day, it was one of the scarier experiences I had and likely the most vivid and real (likely why it was so scary). I had just completed the path of Marbas, and things were chaotic.
Straight Up Not Having A Good Time
I paced around the room, caught up in a fantasy of some sort while I listened to music. I moved to the window and looked out over the yard. I felt a great deal of anxiety about some things at work, which seemed to amplify in that moment beyond control. It felt external to myself, but overwhelming.
I turned from the window to find red eyes everywhere. I stopped, requesting that the entity reveal itself. Bael confirmed his presence there. Something was wrong. The spirit paced at the other end of the room like a caged animal, extremely aggressive.
Mysterious, ever watchful, assured me of his own presence. He requested, in a whisper in the back of my mind, that I “be cool” and see how this plays out.
Now that I reflect back on this, that asshole has put me in some really stressful situations.
Bael continued to insist that I was lying. I need to share what I know about Mysterious. Confused, I keep asking for more specific questions.
I can’t recall the exact questions, because I didn’t write all of the details down about this encounter. I was pretty freaked out, but captured what I could.
Things began to escalate when Bael accused me of hiding Mysterious’s plan, and suggested that he knew what the plan was.
Eyes open, I saw all sorts of red “eyes” around the room. A dark fog filled the space, though it could’ve been a trick of the eye in the dark. Bael said the weirdest thing to me: “I will show you what you really are and what your purpose is.”
THIS PRESENTATION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT LATER.
Of course, never happy someone wants to interfere with his game, Mysterious reveals himself to have been listening this entire time. There is a panic in the room, but it’s not from Bael. Mysterious is panicked.
“[Saga] will see the truth.” Bael states.
“[Saga] won’t be going or seeing anything.” Mysterious snaps. “While you’re here, take note that we are terminating our agreement with you.”
Bael stated that he wasn’t leaving, and Mysterious gestures that he will force him out. The fight continues to escalate, which Mysterious clouds out so I can’t hear it, and as it does the room gets heavier. Energy formed droplets on the wall, and they dripped down the walls and furniture in the room, pooling at the floor. My ears feel like they’re going to burst and the world feels like it’s viewed through the fish-eye lens (it’s really hard to describe–my actual vision doesn’t change but my perception changes).
I remember a reaction from Dremus and the guardian “Watch,” but it was a bit of a blur.
Mysterious does something. No words can describe the sensation. I feel a jerk, then there is a pop. Similar to the sudden release of pressure when you pop your ears–but it was my whole head. Things were weird in an awkward sort of way after that, with Mysterious and I the only ones left in the room.
Mysterious apologized profusely right after, but his voice is distant and weak, masked by the sudden migraine that took over. I laid in bed, unsure of how to properly respond, and instead doing what “[Saga] always does.”
I asked what he is hiding. What is SO BAD that I can’t know? Mysterious, ever elusive, emphasizes over and over how he’ll tell me when I’m ready and how I shouldn’t worry about it now.
Instead of following true Saga-protocal, I doubled-down. I told him that I really should know, and that just because he doesn’t want to tell me doesn’t mean he shouldn’t tell me. I told him that if he really believed we’re a team, he’d trust me enough to tell me.
He remained apprehensive and left.
The next day, I received a phone call from K about her mom. K recounted what her mother told me about the same night of the fight, where she was at the airport:
K’s mom has an interesting experience when reaching for her purse at the airport. She said to K that she heard a “POP” that seemed to come from somewhere else, followed by a tug on her shoulder, and suddenly an immense amount of pain.
I don’t talk to K about my Goetia work, mostly cause she isn’t really into that. She likes to hear about Tarot and the dream timeline. That’s about it. We talked about the event and how odd it was. She didn’t injure her shoulder and her purse isn’t heavy. I asked her the time it happened and she said the exact time that the “pop” happened at the house.
Could be a coincidence, but I thought it was really interesting.
Even further away, to the northern part of my home state, my boyfriend is woken up by a very loud, male voice calling his name. It was “unlike any voice he’d heard before” and “sounded like they needed help.”
My boyfriend mentioned this after I mentioned K’s mom, so I can’t verify if the conversation about the events didn’t alter his memory of the time this happened.
When I confronted Mysterious, he made a statement to me:
“I saw all of the strings and I just pulled them.”
This was a reference to a statement that he made to my boyfriend a month or so prior. Mysterious claimed that those we shared a close connection with formed “strings” and that “those strings complicated things.” It’s still hella vague and I can’t even guess what he means by this. Though the fact he just decided in a moment of rage to pull on all of those strings really seemed ballsy, if you don’t mind me saying.
Take it with a grain of salt. Could be coincidences. I could just be crazy.
I have not seen or heard hide nor tail of Bael since this happened, though he’s been about or speaking of things, as Paimon alluded to in his pathworking.
Even More Surprise Visits (Sometime late February 15, 2021)
When You Call
I accidently call upon Bael again. This time, I accidently do so in a conversation with Mysterious, or it is presented that way.
I have noted some interesting occurrences with Mysterious. While outwardly super agreeable and easygoing, I suspect at times he’s much more powerful than he presents himself as. I have noted some instances when he’s able to “greater than just influence” certain things happening. It’s one of a few reasons why I have (as of late) believed he might actually be who he claims to be.
I haven’t spoken on it before because it sounds LARP-y or fictitious, but we’re living our truth since I’ve distanced myself from my online presence. Continue to take with a pinch of salt, though.
Bael enters the room: “Why did you call me while [Mysterious] is here?”
“It was an accident.” Is my intended response, but I am interrupted by Mysterious.
“Since you’re here, Bael, let’s talk Lantith.”
I already know where this is going, and instead ready myself for bed, not interested in whatever it is they’re about to get into a pissing match about.
“Right now?” Mysterious scoffs.
“It’s my house. I do what I want.” I continue.
“Anyway,” Mysterious turns his attention back to Bael. “We’ve had an interesting turn of events. ‘Lantith’ was able to get into this place. How do you suppose that happened?”
Important background: When trying to pathwork Valefar, a spirit appeared before I could finish my pathworking disguised as Valefar. Will cover in more detail in my Valefar experience post.
I am fully anticipating something like last time, now fully under the blankets and covered head-to-toe, quietly tapping away at a game on my phone.
“[Saga] used to be Lantith?” Bael states.
“Close.” Mysterious quips. I have now placed my phone back on the end table. “Lantith is a fragment of [Nautela].”
“[Another spirit] said this.” I mutter to myself.
“No surprise, [same spirit] is loose-lipped.” Bael responds, apparently hearing my statement.
“Ain’t that the truth.” Mysterious agrees. “That will be all.”
Bael doesn’t have to be told twice. He disappears through the mirror. We are alone now.
“Is this what the illness is?” I surface from the blankets.
“Something like that.” Code in Mysterious for this is quite possibly a stretch of the truth.
“Why did Bael have to be here for you to tell me this?”
“I’m testing something.”
“The box?” Because I think I’m clever.
“Not yet. I’m interested to see what happens as a result of him hearing this information.”
EDIT [JULY 12, 2023]: Vassago was misquoted in my journal. Gamigin actually said “Face the beast” quote on December 5, 2020.
EDIT [OCTOBER 3, 2023]: Updated to add additional formatting, details from new sources, and interjournal links.