I. MAGIC IN THEORY
A. Origins of the word Magic
1. Derived from the greek "Magike Techne" meaning the art of the
a. The Magi were priests of ancient Persia (Iran) who also
practiced in Chaldea and Babylon.
(1) They were similar to the Druids, in that they wore white
robes and favored a simple mode of life and a vegetarian diet.
(2) The Magi worshipped no idols.
(a) They chose the Divine and Sacred Fire as the symbol of
their Divine Being.
(b) The Divine Fire burned in their sanctuaries and was
never allowed to go out.
(c) Parallels to this exist in the practices of the Vestal
Virgins in ancient Rome and the Presence Lamps that are always kept
burning over the altars of some Roman Catholic churches.
2. The Greeks were unaware of any other caste of priests that
practiced the magical arts so they thought the Magi were responsible
a. This shows how isolated and ill-informed the ancient peoples
were of their own world.
(1) The Egyptians had quite a formidable magical system based
on the Egyptian Book of the Dead many years before the Magi appeared
in Persia. There is also a Tibetan Book of the Dead, which details a
magical system derived from Tibetan funeral rites.
3. The Greeks may have gained their root word for magic from the
Indo-European root word MAGH (meaning to be able, to have the power to
4. Aleister Crowley started the custom of spelling magic as MAGICK
as he felt it would help in differentiating between the illusions that
are the stock in trade of stage magicians and real magic as practiced
by serious students of the occult.
B. Working Definition of Magic
1. The ability to recognize and understand the underlying forces
of nature and the laws which govern them.
a. Starhawk pares this down to the ability to change
consciousness at will.
(1) To someone who understands these laws, magic is a very
natural part of the Universe.
(a) People who do not understand these laws or who refuse
to recognize them, see magic as a supernatural act performed against
God and therefore unnatural.
C. Foundation of Magical Theory
1. All of magical theory is based on the development of the human
brain and subsequent attempts to gain control over a hostile
a. The single most important development in the evolution of
humankind was the development and subsequent use of the cerebellum.
(1) Until humans developed a 'higher brain' they had only
their 'animal brain' to guide them through life.
(a) This 'animal brain' is responsible for those functions
that people sometimes call instincts, but are really functions of the
autonomic nervous system.
(b) The autonomic nervous system monitors and maintains
vital functions such as heartbeat, digestion, circulation, hormone
production and immediate responses to dangerous situations.
(c) Recent research in Biofeedback and Cybernetics have
revealed that the autonomic nervous system (known commonly as the
automatic nervous system, because it takes no conscious thought to
operate) is actually capable of being directly controlled by conscious
b. With the development of the 'higher brain', early humanity
was able to see the world as an integrated whole in which they played
an independent role.
(1) The development of this 'higher brain' led to self-
consciousness and started us on the road to questioning how our world
worked and how we could gain control of our environment.
(2) The subsequent development of the cerebrum into two
specialized organs interconnected so that they could work
independently or co-operatively as needed, led to the ability to
examine the world from two different viewpoints.
(a) The right half of the brain enabled humankind to form
holistic concepts of the interactions of the forces of nature in a
(b) The left half of the brain allowed the development of
verbal skills which ensured the transmission of knowledge learned
through trial and error and thus gave humanity the peculiar ability to
learn without the need to directly experience.
II. MAGIC IN PRACTICE.
A. The early magical systems were based on the observation that all
of reality is based on the interaction of various natural forces.
1. The two basic magical powers that are taught to all humans as
their birthright are the ability to embody complex concepts in
symbolic words and to divide the world into 'pieces' so that they can
examine it for short periods of time as though it were caught in a
a. We dismiss the ability to embody complex concepts in symbolic
words as being too fundamental to consider, but it is the basis for
(1) This process, which we call naming, is vital to our
understanding of the world around us.
(a) By creating names that embody specific concepts, we
create a vocabulary by which 'initiates' in the subject can manipulate
the relationships between the different concepts to reveal new truths
that lead to a better understanding of the world around us.
(2) Gaining control over something by learning its name is one
of the oldest forms of magic.
(a) In the Christian Bible, God instructs Adam and Eve to
name all the plants and creatures and to exercise dominion over all of
(b) In societies which practice magic, mothers give their
children 'true names' and 'public names' to protect them from harm by
someone wishing the child ill.
(c) Most people have heard the story of Rumplestiltskin,
where the heroine must guess the villains name, otherwise she will be
unable to stop him from carrying out his evil deeds.
(d) Or the story of the wizard who manages to summon a
demon to do his bidding, only to wind up becoming a slave to the demon
because he did not know the demons proper name.
b. Once humankind began to exert its influence on the world, the
need to differentiate its parts and count them became very important.
(1) We differentiate the world through the use of
DISCRIMINATION and this allows us to count the separate parts.
(a) Discrimination is the ability to separate an object
from its shadow, trees from a forest, your child from a group of
children, and your friends from your enemies.
(2) Counting took on additional significance when trading
surplus food for finished goods became the basis of early commerce.
(a) The merchants needed to develop a method of keeping
track of their transactions. At first they used a picture code similar
to Egyptian hieroglyphics, which involved drawing a picture that
represented the goods traded and which were then assigned a numerical
value in accordance with how much could be traded for the goods.
(b) This was before the concept of money and allowed
merchants to trade for credits of non-tangible assets.
(c) As competition grew the merchants started abbreviating
the pictures of their trade goods and the symbols became the letters
of the various alphabets, with the number values still attached.
(3) As astronomy and astrology were developed, the people who
were learning to recognize these interactions of the forces of nature
needed to record their knowledge, and they seized upon the merchants
secret trade codes, or alphabets (named after the first two letters in
the Phoenician script.)
(a) Because they placed great importance on the measuring
of things they also adopted the numerical values of the letters as
representing the numerical truth of the symbols they were using to
record their new knowledge.
(b) This led to the magical system called GEMATRIA, which
is based on reducing the letters of someones name, etc to a number
which is assigned special sig- nificance.
c. Gematria was especially popular with biblical scholars. In
the thirteenth chapter of Revelations in the Christian Bible, a beast
"comes up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns and ten
crowns, and on its heads the name of blasphemy". One of the heads had
been 'wounded to death', but the wound had healed. "Let him that hath
understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a
man; and his number is Six hundred, threescore and six."
(1) It is generally accepted now that the Beast was meant to
stand for the Roman Empire and its seven heads for the seven Emperors.
(a) The head which was wounded to death but healed, looks
like an oblique reference to Nero, who took great delight in
persecuting the new Christian faith and its followers, one of the more
well known of which was letting them fight lions bare handed in the
Coliseum. He was murdered in 68 AD, but there were persistent rumors
that he had risen again and had escaped to the East, and would soon
return with an army to take his revenge.
d. Aleister Crowley adopted the name of The Great Beast which,
when reduced from greek into numbers using gematria, equals 666. He
did this partly to shock the good people of the late Victorian era and
partly as an exercise in imitative magic.
e. Another story told of the importance placed on the
interpretation of the Christian Bible through gematria involves the
same chapter of Revelations and the Social Security Administration in
the United States of America.
(1) In chapter 13:16-17, the author speaks of a second beast
which comes after the first. 'Also it causes all, both small and
great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to marked on the right
hand or the forehead,' 'so that no one can buy or sell unless he has
the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.'
(2) These verses were quoted over and over from pulpits in the
United States when it was announced that everyone was to be issued a
Social Security number for purposes of identification, and that all
government files would require the populace to submit their Social
Security number along with their name, to be sure they were properly
(a) The citizens, whipped into a fury by the clergy,
deluged their Congressmen with letters of protest.
(b) The Congressmen, being pragmatists, came upon a plan to
soothe the savage breasts of their constituents and still get their
(c) They made it a part of the Social Security Act that the
number was not to be used as identification for any purpose other than
for Social Security. This is why all Social Security cards bear the
legend "Not to be used for Identification."
(d) Many years later, around 1973, this was set aside when
Military Service numbers were abandoned in favor of using Social
Security numbers to identify military service personnel.
(e) Even today the Social Security card is not generally
accepted as identification, not because of the original objection, but
because it does not have a photo of the bearer.
2. The ancients, in seeking to bring order and under- standing to
their world, developed the concept of the Elementals.
a. They recognized that everything was the result of the
interaction of four great natural forces.
b. These Elementals were not seen as what the world was made
of, like todays' elements in chemistry, but a shorthand way of
explaining the way things interacted.
c. After a while the process of visualizing the Elementals as
personifications of the natural forces produced thoughtforms which
were able to act independently of their creators.
(1) The major force that exhibited the principle of motion was
ascribed to the Element of Air.
(a) In visualizing airy beings the race of Sylphs were
actualized on our planet. These creatures had wings of gossamer, with
very slight and tiny bodies, their facial features were made up of
sharp planes and they tended to very short attention spans, and this
usually left them in very good spirits because it was not their nature
to brood. Childhood stories retain a racial memory of the Sylphs in
our present day Fairies, much as Walt Disney drew Tinkerbell.
(2) When the natural attribute of a force was expansion it was
said to have a Fiery nature.
(a) The Elemental creatures of Fire were the Salamanders.
These creatures loved to play in the warm ashes of fireplaces and
their skin glowed with alternating colors just like a hot piece of
charcoal.They were quick to take offense and could carelessly allow a
fire outside of the fireplace, if the family they chose to live with
allowed the ashes to get too cold for them to be comfortable. With our
present dependence on natural gas and electricity to provide our heat,
we have lost touch with the fire Elementals, but the big brothers of
the Salamanders were dragons, which possessed the airy quality of
flight, the fiery quality of being able to exhale fire and the earthy
quality of being fascinated by bright jewels and glittering gold.
(3) The natural force of contraction was assigned to the
Elemental of Water.
(a) The race of water Elementals were called Undines after
the undulating property of water, which rises and falls in
synchronization with the movements of the Moon. The Undines were
thought to be related to the Sylphs but of a stouter character. They
were slow to anger and slow to soothe, and steadfast unless stirred up
by the Sylphs.
(4) The epitome of the solid earthiness the last Elemental was
the Gnome and his burrowing cousin the Dwarf.
(a) Gnomes and Dwarves were as big hearted as they were
diminutive, but they did not take kindly to anyone who harmed the
earth. The forest was the natural habitat of Gnomes and they knew all
the secrets of each bud, leaf, root, and tree. The Dwarves lived
inside the earth and mined the treasures that were uncovered by dint
of their delving. Skill in metalsmithing developed alongside their
shrewd sense of trading and woe to the person who got between a
Dwarf and his treasure or bested him in a deal.
d. In the early stages of humanity's development, the
personifications of the Elementals lived on the fringes of human
settlements, and developed their own societies and kingdoms.
(1) But as humans started to infringe upon their domains and
closed themselves off to seeing the Elementals, they in turn withdrew
into the higher planes.
(a) Since they were originally expressions of natural
forces on earth, they are bound to it and serve as caretakers for the
earth until humankind is wise enough to care for it without their
(b) Because they were actualized on this plane by the
strength of human thought, they owe a debt of brotherhood to the human
race and will appear and help those humans who learn how to summon
3. Confronting the twin mysteries of Birth and Death, early
humanity was forced to consider the existence of a Supreme Being
responsible for these Mysteries.
a. Why some societies chose to see these forces as warring or
opposite, while others chose to view them as mutually beneficial or
complementary, we can only guess.
(1) What we can be sure of is that a lot of their rituals and
magical acts were motivated by their particular world view.
(a) The body of accepted rituals and magical acts were
codified and served as the basis of the religion which would grow up
to explain how the world began, how someone was supposed to act while
in it, and what happened after s/he died.
4. Imitative and Sympathetic Magic evolved as a means of
influencing the world around the Ancients.
a. These two forms of magic were based on the principles of
mimicry, contagion, and the belief that man is a microcosm of the
(1) Imitative magic is the general category which covers magic
performed on a model,doll or actor representing the real world
counterpart, which is to be affected.
(a) Examples of this type of magic would be cave drawings
depicting successful hunts, love poppets and Voodoo dolls, and the
survival of ancient folk dances wherethe dancer dons the skin and
horns of an animal while the other dancers act out the stalking and
killing of the "sacrifice."
(b) Mimicry of a real life situation, while utilizing parts
of the subject to form a bond is the basis for imitative magic.
(c) Underlying imitative magic is the Theory of Contagion,
which holds that parts of a living being contain the essence of its
life, even after being separated. In simple terms, a magical link
exists between ourselves and our parts.
(d) American Indians and Orientals did not want their
pictures taken, for fear of losing their spirits inside of the camera.
(e) Many of the Grimoires from the Middle-ages warn against
allowing nail clippings, locks of hair, or old articles of clothing to
fall in the hands of your enemies for fear of the harm your enemies
could bring against you by harming them.
(f) As a side note, the dancers in the mummers plays took
great care to ensure that the skins and horns of the animals that were
used in their dances were taken from male animals, this ensured that
the females were left to breed and produce new game for the future.
(2) Sympathetic magic is based on the belief that man is a
miniature reproduction of the universe, that he is the microcosm to
the universes macrocosm.
(a) This is based on the drawing of analogies between two
(b) Many of the important magical analogies are not natural
to most peoples minds today, but have been handed down by tradition
from the remote past.
(c) Salt is used to ward off demons. All demons are
supposed to detest it and no salt should be used in ceremonies
designed to attract them. Salt is anti-demonic because it is a
preservative. Since demons are creatures that corrupt and destroy,
anything that has a preservative quality is contrary to their nature
and is disagreeable to them.
5. Attempts to group observations into a codified system of
relationships resulted in the development of the many Tables of
Correspondences, which have been handed down through the ages and
serve as source documents for creating new rituals.
a. These tables usually ascribe variously corresponding items to
one of the old Astrological Planets.
(1) Each planet is ruled by a Goddess or a God from the local
pantheon and has its own number, color, musical note, metal, gem
stone, hour of the day, herbs and flowers, and attributes.
III. WESTERN TRADITIONS OF CEREMONIAL MAGIC
A. Hermetic Magic
1. This is the main tradition of the West and has been championed
by many secret societies such as the Freemasons, Golden Dawn Society,
and the Builders of Adytum.
a. Franz Bardon has written three volumes of instructions for
aspiring Hermetic Magicians.
2. What we know of Hermetic Magic dates from the first century AD.
a. Hermetic Magic is a mixture of traditions. It combines
Egyptian knowledge with ideas of the Greeks and Jews who lived in
Egypt, principally in Alexandria, at the time of Jesus.
b. These three groups all claimed that the knowledge they held
in common was divinely inspired. There are two different accounts of
how the knowledge had been received.
(1) The first account derives from the apocryphal Book of
(a) In a passage that amplifies Genesis 6:1-5, Enoch tells
how 200 angel descended from heaven to Mount Hermon and took wives
from the "daughters of man."
(b) The angels taught their knowledge to these women and to
the children they bore. For this presumption, the angels were thrown
out of heaven.
(c) Hermetic scholars recognize in this account a parallel
to the myth of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
(d) In the Gnostic interpretation of Adam and Eve's fall,
Jehovah is not The Deity, but a powerful though lesser spirit, who
built the material world and rules over it.
(e) Because of his jealousy and pride Jehovah forbade
knowledge to Adam and Eve hoping they would worship him as the Highest
(f) The serpent, in this interpretation, is not Satan, but
the spirit Ouroboros, sent by Wisdom (Sophia) to liberate the minds of
men and women.
(g) Magical knowledge is thus seen to be a higher and more
pious wisdom than obedience to Jehovah and the serpent Ouroboros, far
from being humankinds enemy, is seen as one of its greatest saviours.
(2) In a second account, magical knowledge came from Hermes
Trismegistus (Thrice Great Hermes) who has given his name to the
(a) Hermes was a god of Greek settlers in Egypt, and was
also identified with the Egyptian God Thoth.
(b) Through the agency of an ancient Egyptian king, this
god gave humankind 42 books of knowledge, of which 14 short fragments,
in Greek, survive.
(c) The most important of these is the Emerald Tablet.
(d) What we derive from Hermes above all is the Doctrine of
Correspondence: "That which is above is like that which is below."
(e) In other words, each man and woman is a small model of
the cosmos. Each mind is a model of the Divine mind.
(f) The four material elements - water, earth, wind and
fire - are models of the four universal principles.
(g) The Ptolemaic scheme of the solar system is a model of
the system of the astral spheres.
(h) The Doctrine of Correspondence is essential to magic,
and to all occult studies.
c. From Hermetic Tradition we derive not only Ceremonial Magic,
but also Alchemy.
(1) Magicians have usually practiced both sciences; and both
are said to have been taught by the angels of the Book of Enoch and by
(a) The difference between them is that, in alchemy, the
magician tries to bring about a special physical manifestation of
ether. This is the Philosophers Stone, the prima materia. With it the
Alchemist can transmute base metals into gold, which is the highest
(b) The Ceremonial Magician on the other hand, manipulates
the ether to call upon spirits and to learn from them.
(c) Obviously, these are two similar, though very different
branches of one science.
B. Faustian Magic
1. Faustian magic is the evocation of demons, and it began to
develop well before the 16th century when Faust lived.
a. We do not know how much Faustian magic the 16th century
wizard, Dr. Johann Faust, actually practiced.
(1) There are several copies extant of a book attributed to
(a) Doctoris Iohannis Fausti magiae maturalis et
innaturalis, printed in Passau in 1505.
b. The most significant of the magical practices advocated by
these books is the use of a book of spirits or Liber Spiritum.
(1) The Liber Spiritum must be written on virgin paper.
(a) On the left hand pages are pictures of demons and on
the right hand pages are oaths that those demons have taken to serve
(b) Each oath is signed by the demons mark.
(c) The book must be consecrated by a priest, who says
three holy masses over it.
2. The process the good doctor had to go through to evoke the
demons and force them to swear oaths to him was very involved.
a. Here is a short biography of Faust.
(1) Johann Faust (ca. 1480 - ca. 1540 ) probably born in
Swabia and was described by a contemporary as "a most filthy beast,
the midden of numberless devils." He was as notorious for his
homosexuality as he was for his reputed pact with Mephistopheles. When
he died there was "a great noise and shaking of the house that
night......In the morning he was found dead, with his neck rung behind
him; the Divell whom he served having carried his soule into Hell."
Although he sold his soul for material gain, he seems to have died in
C. Enochian Magic
1. What we know of Enochian Magic comes from a book called "A True
and Faithful Relation of What Passed For Many Years Between Doctor
John Dee and Some Spirits", edited by Meric Casaubon and published in
a. The book is a memoir of the Welsh scholar John Dee (1527-
1608), concerning the experiments he conducted with the aid of the
psychic Edward Kelley (c. 1553-1595).
(1) John Dee was a mathematician and astrologer at the court
of Elizabeth I of England, while Edward Kelley was a psychic; he was
also probably a sorcerer and necromancer.
b. Dee learned the Kelley had a gift for contacting spirits by
means of crystal gazing, and from 1582 to 1587 he used Kelley in
arduous attempts to learn the wisdom of the angels.
(1) Kelley, for his part, was never sure he was communicating
with angels and he constantly tried to with- draw from the
experiments, but Dee convinced him to continue.
c. Eventually, the spirits (chiefly a guide named Enoch)
communicated through Kelley a spiritual language.
(1) This Enochian language had an alphabet of 21 letters. The
spirits supplied 19 invocations in this language and they translated
these for Dee. They also dictated magical diagrams, primarily squares,
some of them containing as many as 2,401 letters and instructions for
2. Despite the wealth of knowledge it encompassed, Enochian magic
fell into obscurity for many years.
a. It was revived by the Order of the Golden Dawn and is
currently on the market titled "The Book of Enoch", and claims to
present the complete Enochian system in a simplified and easy to use
D. Abramelin Magic
1. This branch of magic is based on an 18th century french
manuscript titled "The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage".
a. Abramelin set forth the semi-Gnostic doctrine that the world
was created and is maintained by demons who work under orders from
(1) A magician given the help of a Guardian Angel, could learn
to control the demons for his own purposes.
(a) An adept depends heavily on word magic in the process
and especially on palindromic magic squares.
IV. THE GREAT BOOKS OF MAGIC
A. All great fairy tales mention the Magic Book of Spells, kept by
the great magicians of times long ago.
1. These are records of incantations and gestures that have been
tried out hundreds of times before and proved to be most effective.
2. Medieval magaicians collected any and all books on magic they
could get their hands on.
a. There was an explosion of magical books in the Middle Ages.
(1) Most were imperfect copies of each other as they were
translated from language to language and back again.
(a) These books were called Grimoires, perhaps an
adulteration of the french word for Grammer, which was applied to
books used to teach the basics of different subjects to the children.
b. Actually there were only about five books of magic which had
any claim whatsoever of being authentic and most of the others were
incomplete, and usually incorrect, copies of these basic five.
B. History of the Grimoires
1. The Testament of Solomon is the first great book of magic known
a. It was published in Greek between 100-400 AD.
(1) Probably copied down by hand in the 2nd century.
(a) Speaking of the book as being published is of course
strictly a convention since all books were hand copied until the
invention of the printing press.
b. This book purports to be Solomon's autobiographical memoir of
the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, which he accomplished with
the slave labor of devils.
(1) With the help of a ring given to him by the angel Raphael,
Solomon bound the vampire devil Ornais and forced him to work on the
(a) Solomon learned the names of the other devils from
Ornias and bound them as well.
(2) By the 12th or 13th century, a list of 51 useful demons
had crept into copies of the Testament of Solomon.
(a) These were demons who could be persuaded to bring
material benefits to the sorcerer.
2. The Key of Solomon is perhaps the most famous of all the
a. There are many versions in various languages.
(1) The bulk of these are in French and Latin, some dating
from the 18th century.
(a) The Grimoire itself is believed to be much older. In the
1st century AD Josephus referred to a book of incantations for
summoning evil spirits supposedly written by Solomon.
(b) A Greek version in the British Museum may date back to
the 12th or 13th century.
b. The Key was prohibited as a dangerous work by the Inquisition
in 1559, although like most books of magic, the local clergy were
allowed to keep (and to use) copies as long as they did not step out
of line and/or defy the authority of Rome.
c. The Key was concerned almost wholly with the practice of
magic for personal gain.
(1) It contained no hierarchy of demons, but it did offer a
system of magic based on the drawing of pentacles, which are five
pointed stars inscribed with charms.
(a) These were grouped according to astrological signs.
(b) The pentacles for Saturn, for instance, were useful for
causing earthquakes, inciting demons to fall upon victims, and in
general bringing about ruin, destruction and death.
3. The Lemegeton, or Lesser Key of Solomon, appeared mot long
after the Key of Solomon.
a. It was divided into four parts.
(a) Wier, Agrippa's pupil was said to have drawn on the
Goetia for his Grimoire called Psuedomonarchia Daemonium.
(2) Theurgia Goetia
(3) The Pauline Art
(4) The Almadel
(a) The Almadel was mentioned in writings dating back to the
b. The Lemegeton included a complete hierarchy of 72 demons,
whom the sorcerer could evoke for his benefit.
c. The origin and meaning of the Lemegeton is unknown.
4. The Constitution of Honorius first appeared in 1629.
a. It was attributed to Pope Honorius III (1216-1227) and its
main contribution was to put a strongly Roman Catholic construction on
(1) Manuscript copies (corrupt ones) of the Constitution of
Honorius made their way to Germany well before 1629. These had been
translated from Latin to French leading some to believe that it had
made its way into France before coming to Germany, where it was
translated from French into German.
b. Elements of the Constitution mingled with certain other
available texts and from these arose the strange mixture of practices
that can properly be called Faustian magic.
5. The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage is another puzzling text
with no definite source.
a. As far as we know, it began as an 18th century French
manuscript, dated 1458, and it claimed to have been translated from
(1) MacGregor Mathers, who founded the Order of the Golden
Dawn, came across the text in the British Museum and translated it
into English. Since then it has had a strong influence on the practice
C. Other Grimoires
1. As previously noted, there was an explosion of Grimoires in the
Middle Ages and they continued to proliferate with the advent of the
a. Most of these Grimoires were rip offs of the Key of Solomon
or later additions by lesser known magicians to works attributed to
well known magicians.
(1) Grimorum Verum, written in French and supposedly published
in Memphis by Alibeck the Egyptian in 1517, although it probably dates
from the 18th centuryand seems to be based on the Key of Solomon.
(2) Grand Grimoire, was written in French and dating from the
(3) The Red Dragon, a version of the Grand Grimoire
(4) True Black Magic or The Secret of Secrets, a French
version of the Key of Solomon published in 1750.
(5) The Arbatel of Magic, published in Latin at Basle,
Switzerland in 1575.
(6) The Black Pullet, supposedly published in Egypt in 1740,
it probably dates from the late 18th century.
(7) The Fourth Book, added to Agrippa's Occult Philosophy
after his death, and rejected by his pupil Wier as a forgery.
(8) The Magical Elements of Heptameron
(a) Attributed to Peter of Abano, who died in 1316. It was
probably written in the 16th century as a supplement to the Fourth
I. THE TRAINING OF A MAGICIAN
A. How Ceremonial Magic Works
1. We have seen that magical texts always appeared in print many
years after they were written.
a. By that time, the texts had become corrupted, secrets had
been suppressed, and whole new doctrines had been grafted onto the
2. The practice of magic is a highly individual matter.
a. A true adept works out his own methods of evocation after
sifting through all the available material and adopting techniques
that resonate with his own inner self.
(1) Magic is an inner discipline. The errors that crept into
the magical texts were errors of form as opposed to errors of
(a) The inner meaning is what gives the work its power.
What matters is the magician's state of mind, which produces the
psychic force he invests in the invocation.
3. Before one can practice magic he must attain a high level of
development in the mental, psychic and physical planes.
a. In order to practice ceremonial magic it is necessary to
strengthen and develop the physical and etheric.
(1) Become expert in the techniques of astral travel and psi.
(a) And master the symbols of the Universal Mind in all
4. Magicians are reputed to be able to make spirits appear and
talk to them face to face, materialize balls of fire or watery globes
and set them to work, penetrate people's minds, and travel to the
farthest parts of the world as quickly as thought.
a. They area said to be able to do these things by mastering the
use of the universal energy called ether.
(1) Some call the universal energy AKASHA which is a Sanskrit
word meaning bright or shining.
(2) Ether is not matter, but it is the origin, or substratum,
of all matter.
(a) It infuses the entire universe. The universe being
considered to be nothing but ether in its various states of existence.
(3) Ether emanates directly from the Deity. At its purest, the
point at which it is closest to the Deity, it is pure light.
(a) As it emanates outward in all directions it becomes
more and more gross.
(b) The different levels of what we call the astral plane
are levels of ether.
(c) What we call the material plane is the lowest, grossest
form of ether.
5. Magicians use the Ptolemaic scheme of the universe as a map of
the etheric levels.
a. In this scheme, the universe is made up of 10 astral spheres
and four material spheres.
b. It is further grouped into the Higher Astral, Lower Astral,
and the Material Planes.
(1) The Higher Astral Plane
(a) Primum Mobile (First Mover)
(b) Crystal firmament
(c) Fixed stars
(2) The Lower Astral Plane
(3) The Material Plane
c. In describing the Material plane magician use the ancient
division of four elements: earth, water, air and fire.
(1) Ether serves as the fifth element or (in Latin) the quinta
essentia, or quintessence.
(a) Because ether (or akasha or quintessence) has no bounds
of time or space, anyone who learns to use it will be able to
penetrate all levels of the universe thoroughly and instantly.
(b) The magician who is adept in his craft can thus work
equally well on the mental, astral, and material planes.
B. The Apprenticeship
1. It is possible to stumble across your hidden talents, but it is
better to follow a set course of study in magic.
a. This provides guidance along the way and because you are
following a path that has been trodden before, you will come across
milestones that will help you gauge your progress.
b. The following information is derived from a 10-stage program
of initiation based on the contemporary German magician Franz Bardon's
book Initiation into Hermetics.
2. Before you begin you must give up the idea that you own your
a. Most people believe their thoughts are part of their minds,
just as their hands are a part of their bodies.
(1) Your thoughts live freely in your mind, just as wild
animals roam freely through a forest.
(a) Each mind is connected to the Universal Mind and
thoughts, as well as thought-forms, swim through it occasionally
surfacing in this mind and that.
(b) This concept must be mastered if you are to understand
and master the process of magical evocation.
b. The spirits you will evoke inhabit your mind just as
independently as your thoughts. They live in your mind because it is a
part of the Universal Mind.
(1) For this reason if you evoke a spirit of the sphere Venus,
it will not arrive from outer space but from within your own mind.
(a) The spirits originate in the mind but they are quite
real. The spirits do appear and work on the material plane, but you
must look within yourself for them.
(b) The point is that whatever you seek must be looked for
within, for you only delude yourself when you look for the answers
3. Once you have grasped the material above fully, you can begin
the ten stages of the initiation.
a. tThe exercises will prepare you menetally, psychically, and
physically for the practice of magic.
(1) Mental- Now that you are awarea that your thoughts are
like living beings, you must become more awaare of them. Meditation,
perhaps coupled with yoga, is a good way of doing this.
END LESSON 4
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