The Ars Almadel completes the major sections of the Lemegeton; the remaining
section, Ars Nova, is more an appendix than a book in itself. Among them, these four
sections provide a reasonably comprehensive system of access to the powers of the
magickal universe; demonic (Goetia), terrestrial (Theurgia Goetia), planetary (Ars
Paulina) and zodiacal (Ars Almadel).
It is interesting to note that as the powers to be invoked has become progres-
sively more exalted, the method of invocation becomes progressively simpler. One
prepares to invoke a Goetic spirit as if for a minor magickal war; a single work of the
Almadel can be accomplished before breakfast. This accords with the medieval idea
that spirits who are servants of God want to assist mankind, and will readily come if
properly called; the threats and force used on the Goetic spirits are not required for
the higher spirits, and would in fact be an insult to them.
The four Altitudes of the Almadel are not exactly cognate with the four direc-
tions, or with the Elements. Rather they seem to be representatives of the equinox
and solstice points, viewed as the anchor points of the zodiac and the seasons. They
are called “corners”, in much the same way that the horizon and vertical points of an
astrological chart are called “angles”. Their colors as well appear seasonal rather than
elemental; white the pure unsullied freshness of the spring breeze, the red heat of
summer, the green of mature plants invigorated by the fall rains, and the darkness of
Each Altitude in turn rules a season and the three zodiac signs therein, not, as
suggested by Carroll “Poke” Runyon, the three signs of a single element or the Car-
dinal signs alone. This is clear from the described timing of the invocations: the first
two Princes of an Altitude rule the Cardinal sign of the season, the second two rule
the Fixed sign, and the last rules the Mutable. Runyon’s idea of substituting the
names of the four Archangels of the Elements for the Princes would be inappropri-
ate; likely it would produce some sort of result, but probably not what was intended
by this work.
Runyon also states that the candles are intended to go through the holes in the
Almadel, but this is clearly not the case from the description. Rather, little ledges are
to be built into the candles, so that (with the additional height provided by the
candle-holders) it is raised enough to fit a small incense-bowl underneath. For prac-
tical considerations, the candles should support the Almadel at the corners rather
than along the sides, but the ledges should not be so large as to block the holes.
The powers mentioned for these angels are rather vague, and in the case of three
of the Chora, rather pointless as well. But the first paragraph of the document is
careful to note that “every one of these [twelve] parts hath their particular virtues and
powers.” Given their explicit association with the signs, it would follow that their
powers are associated with the signs they rule. E.g., trade and wealth under Taurus,
crafts and communications under Gemini or Virgo, diplomacy and relationships
under Libra, construction and government under Capricorn, and so on.