|Owing perhaps to the circumstance that the indispensable “Baedecker” accords only a three or four line notice to the “Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal”; but few English or American visitors to Paris are acquainted with its name, situation, or contents, though nearly all know at least by sight the “Bibliothèque Nationale” and the “Bibliothèque Mazarin”.|
|This “Library of the Arsenal,” as it is now called, was founded as a private collection by Antoine René Voyer D’Argenson, Marquis de Paulny, and was first opened to the public on the 9th Floréal, in the fifth year of the French Republic (that is to say, on 28th April, 1797), or just a century ago. This Marquis de Paulny was born in the year 1722, died in 1787, and was successively Minister of War, and Ambassador to Switzerland, to Poland, and to the Venetian Republic. His later years were devoted to the formation of this library, said to be one of the richest private collections known. It was acquired in 1785 by the Comte D’Artois, and today belongs to the State. It is situated on the Right Bank of the Seine, in the Rue de Sully, near the river, and not far from the Place de la Bastille, and is known as the “Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal”. In round numbers it now possesses 700,000 printed books, and about 8000 manuscripts, many of them being of considerable value.1|
|Among the latter is this Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin, as delivered by Abraham the Jew unto his son Lamech; which I now give to the public in printed form for the first time.Many years ago I heard of the existence of this manuscript from a celebrated occultist, since dead; and more recently my attention was again called to it by my personal friend, the well-known French author, lecturer, and poet, Jules Bois, whose attention has been for some time turned to occult subjects. My first-mentioned informant told me that it was known both to Bulwer Lytton and Eliphas Levi, that the former had based part of his description of the sage Rosicrucian Mejnour on that of Abra-Melin, while the account of the so-called observatory of Sir Philip Derval in the Strange story was to an extent copied from and suggested by that of the magical oratory and terrace, given in the eleventh chapter of second book of this present work. Certainly also the manner of instruction applied by Mejnour in Zanoni to the neophyte Glyndon, together with the test of leaving him alone in his abode to go on a short journey and then returning unexpectedly, is closely similar to that employed by Abra-Melin to Abraham, with this difference, that the latter successfully passed through that test, while Glyndon failed. It would also be especially such experiments as those described at length in the third book, which the author of the Strange Story had in view when he makes Sir Philip Derval in the MS. history of his life speak of certain books describing occult experiments, some of which he had tried and to his surprise found succeed.|
|This rare and unique manuscript of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin, from which the present work is translated, is a French translation from the original Hebrew of Abraham the Jew. It is in the style of script usual at about the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries, and is apparently by the same hand as another MS. of the Magic of Picatrix2 also in the “Bibliothèque de L’Arsenal”. I know of no other existing copy or replica of this Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin, not even in the British Museum, whose enormous collection of occult manuscripts I have very thoroughly studied. Neither have I ever heard by traditional report of the existence of any other copy.3 In giving it now to the public, I feel, therefore, that I am conferring a real benefit upon English and especially American students of occultism, by placing within their reach for the first time a magical work of such importance from the occult standpoint.|
|The manuscript is divided into three books, each with its separate title page, surrounded by an ornamental border of simple design, in red and black ink, and which is evidently not intended to be symbolical in the slightest degree, but is simply the work of a conscientious caligraphist wishing to give an appearance of cleanness and completeness to the title page. The wording of each is the same: “Livre Premier (Second or Troisième, as the case may be) de la Sacrée Magie que Dieu donna à Moyse, Aaron, David, Salomon et à d’autres Saints Patriarches et Prophetes qui enseigne la vraye sapience Divine laissée par Abraham à Lamech son Fils traduite de l’hébreu 1458“. I give the translated title at the commencement of each of the three books.On the fly-leaf of the original MS. is the following note in the handwriting of the end of the eighteenth century: —
“This volume contains three books, of which here is the first. – The Abraham and the Lamech, of whom there is here made question, were Jews of the fifteenth century, and it is well known that the Jews of that period possessing the Cabala of Solomon passed for being the best sorcerers and astrologers.” Then follows in another and recent hand: –
The style of the French employed in the text of the MS. is somewhat vague and obscure, two qualities unhappily heightened by the almost entire absence of any attempt at punctuation, and the comparative rarity of paragraphic arrangement. Even the full stop at the close of a sentence is usually omitted, neither is the commencement of a fresh one marked by a capital letter. The following example is taken from near the end of the third book; “Cest pourquoy la premiere chose que tu dois faire principalement ates esprits familiers sera de leur commander de ne tedire jamais aucune chose deuxmemes que lorsque tu les interrogeras amoins queles fut pour tavertir des choses qui concerne ton utilite outon prejudice parceque situ ne leur limite pas leparler ils tediront tant etdesi grandes choses quils tofusquiront lentendement et tu ne scaurois aquoy tentenir desorte que dans la confusion des choses ils pourroient te faire prevariquer ettefaire tomber dans des erreurs irreparables ne te fais jamais prier en aucune chose ou tu pourras aider et seccourir tonprochain et nattends pas quil tele demande mais tache descavoir afond,” etc. This extract may be said to give a fair idea of the average quality of the French. The style, however, of the first book is much more colloquial than that of the second and third, it being especially addressed by Abraham to Lamech, his son, and the second person singular being employed throughout it. As some English readers may be ignorant of the fact, it is perhaps as well here to remark that in French “tu,” thou, is only used between very intimate friends and relations, between husband and wife, lovers, etc.; while “vous,” you, is the more usual mode of address to the world in general. Again, in sacred books, in prayers, etc., “vous” is used, where we employ “thou” as having a more solemn sound than “tu”. Hence the French verb “tutoyer,” = “to be very familiar with, to be on extremely friendly terms with any one, and even to be insolently familiar”. This first book contains advice concerning magic, and a description of Abraham’s travels and experiences, as well as a mention of the many marvellous works he had been able to accomplish by means of this system of Sacred Magic. The second and third books (which really contain the magic of Abra-Melin, and are practically based on the two MSS. entrusted by him to Abraham, the Jew, but with additional comments by the latter) differ in style from the former, the phraseology is quaint and at times vague, and the second person plural, “vous,” is employed for the most part instead of “tu”.
Though the chapters of the second and third books have special headings in the actual text, those of the first book have none; wherefore in the “Table of Contents” I have supplemented this defect by a careful analysis of their subject matter.
|The idea of the employment of a child as clairvoyant in the invocation of the guardian angel is not unusual; for example, in the “Mendal,” a style of oriental divination familiar to all readers of Wilkie Collins’ novel, The Moonstone, ink is poured into the palm of a child’s hand, who, after certain mystical words being recited by the operator, beholds visions clairvoyantly therein. The celebrated evocation at which the great Mediaeval sculptor, Benvenuto Cellini, is said to have assisted, also was in part worked by the aid of a child as seer. Cagliostro4 also is said to have availed himself of the services of children in this particular. But for my part I cannot understand the imperative necessity of the employment of a child in the angelic evocation, if the operator be pure in mind, and has developed the clairvoyant faculty which is latent in every human being, and which is based on the utilisation of the thought-vision. This thought-vision is exercised almost unconsciously by everyone in thinking of either a place, person, or thing, which they know well; immediately, coincident with the thought, the image springs before the mental sight; and it is but the conscious and voluntary development of this which is the basis of what is commonly called clairvoyance. Among the Highlanders of Scotland, the faculty, as is well known, is of common manifestation; and by the English it is usually spoken of as “second sight”.|
|Unfortunately, like far too many modern occultists, Abraham the Jew shows a marked intolerance of magical systems differing from his own; even the renowned name of Petrus di Abano5 is not sufficient to save the Heptemeron or Magical Elements from condemnation in the concluding part of the third book. Works on magic, written conjurations, pentacles, seals, and symbols, the employment of magical circles, the use of any language but one’s mother tongue, appear at first sight to be damned wholesale, though on a more careful examination of the text I think we shall find that it is rather their abuse through ignorance of their meaning which he intends to decry, than their intelligent and properly regulated use.|
|It will be well here to carefully examine these points from the occult standpoint of an initiate, and for the benefit of real students.Abraham in several places insists that the basis of this system of Sacred Magic is to be found in the Qabalah. Now, he expressly states that he has instructed his eldest son, Joseph, herein as being his right by primogeniture, even as he himself had received somewhat of Qabalistic instruction from his father, Simon. But this system of magic he bequeaths to his younger son, Lamech, expressly as a species of recompense to him for not being taught the Qabalah, his status as a younger son being apparently a serious traditional disqualification. This being so, the reason is evident why he warns Lamech against the use of certain seals, pentacles, incomprehensible words, etc.; because most of these being based on the secrets of the Qabalah, their use by a person ignorant hereof might be excessively dangerous through the not only possible but probable perversion of the secret formulas therein contained. Any advanced student of occultism who is conversant with Mediaeval works on magic, whether MS. or printed, knows the enormous and incredible number of errors in the sigils, pentacles, and Hebrew or Chaldee names, which have arisen from ignorant transcription and reproduction; this being carried to such an extent that in some cases the use of the distorted formulas given would actually have the effect of producing the very opposite result to that expected from them. (I have commented at length on this subject in my notes to the Key of Salomon published by me a few years ago.) Wherefore Abraham the Jew it appears to me, in his anxiety to save his son from dangerous errors in magical working, has preferred to endeavour to fill him with contempt for any other systems and methods of operation than the one here laid down. For also besides the unintentional perversions of magical symbols I have above mentioned, there was further the circumstance not only possible but probable of the many black magic grimoires falling into his hands, as they evidently had into Abraham’s, the symbols in which are in many cases intentional perversions of Divine Names and seals, so as to attract the evil spirits and repel the good.
For the third book of this work is crowded with Qabalistic squares of letters, which are simply so many pentacles, and in which the names employed are the very factors which make them of value. Among them we find a form of the celebrated Sator, Arepo, Tenet, Opera, Rotas, which is one of the pentacles in the Key of Salomon. Abraham’s formula is slightly different: —
and is to be used for obtaining the love of a maiden.
Or in Latin letters:
In the Key of Solomon it is (as being a pentacle) inscribed within a double circle, wherein is written the following versicle from Psalm lxxii, v. 8 “His dominion shall be also from the one sea unto the other, and from the flood unto the world’s end”. In the Hebrew, this versicle consists of exactly twenty-five letters, the number of the letters of the square. It will be at once noticed that both this form and that given by Abraham the Jew are perfect examples of double acrostics, that is, that they read in every direction, whether horizontal or perpendicular, whether backwards or forwards. But the form given as a pentacle in the Key of Solomon the King is there said to be of value in adversity, and for repressing the pride of the spirits.
|In Appendix C to the Introduction I will, for the sake of comparison, give some examples of angelic invocation taken from other sources.|
|Abraham the Jew repeatedly admits, as I have before urged, that this particular system of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin has its basis in the Qabalah. It is well to examine what is here meant. The Qabalah itself is divided into many parts; the great bulk of it is of a mystic doctrinal nature, giving the inner occult meaning of the Jewish sacred writings. Also it employs the numerical values of the Hebrew letters, to draw analogies between words, the total numerical value of whose letters is the same; this branch alone is a most complicated study, and it will be foreign to our purpose to go into it here; the more so as my work, the Kabbalah Unveiled, treats at length of all these points. The so-called practical Qabalah is the application of the mystic teachings to the production of magical effects. For the classification of divine and angelic names; of hosts and orders of angels, spirits, and demons; of particular names of archangels, angels, intelligences, and demons, is to be found carried out even to minute detail in the Qabalah, so that the knowledge hereof can give a critical appreciation of the correspondences, sympathies, and antipathies obtaining in the invisible world. Therefore what Abraham means is, that this system of Sacred Magic is thoroughly reliable, because correct in all its attributions, and that this being so, there is no chance of the operator using names and formulas on wrong occasions and in error.But also it is notable that Abraham the Jew (probably again with the intent of confusing Lamech as little as possible) speaks only of two great classes of spirits: the angels and the devils; the former to control, the latter to be controlled; and leaves entirely out of consideration, or rather does not describe that vast race of beings, the elemental spirits, who in themselves comprise an infinitude of various divisions of classification, some of these being good, some evil, and a great proportion neither the one nor the other. Evidently, also, many of the results proposed to be attained in the third book, would imply the use of the elemental spirits rather than that of the demons. No advanced adept, such as Abraham evidently was, could possibly be ignorant of their existence, power, and value; and we are therefore forced to conclude either that he was unwilling to reveal this knowledge to Lamech; or, which is infinitely more probable, that he feared to confuse him by the large amount of additional instruction which would be necessary to make him thoroughly understand their classification, nature, and offices. This latter line of action would be the less imperative, as the correctness of the symbols of the third book would minimise chances of error; and what Abraham is undertaking to teach Lamech, is how to arrive at practical magical results; rather than the secret wisdom of the Qabalah.
It is entirely beyond the scope of this introduction for me to give here any lengthy dissertation on the natures, good or evil, of spiritual beings. I will, therefore, only state briefly and concisely the principal differences between angels, elementals, and devils.
We may then conclude that angels, though themselves divided into numerous orders and classes, possess generally the following characteristics: That they are entirely good in nature and operation, the conscient administrators of the divine will upon the plane of the material universe; that they are responsible, not irresponsible agents, and therefore capable of fall; and that they are independent of the currents of the infinite secret forces of Nature, and can therefore act beyond them, though their classification and qualities will cause them to be more sympathetic with certain among these forces than with the rest, and this in varying degree. Also that they are superior in power to men, spirits, elementals, and devils.
The elementals on the other hand, though consisting of an infinitude of classes, are the forces of the elements of nature, the administrators of the currents thereof; and can therefore never act beyond and independently of their own particular currents. In a sense, therefore, they are irresponsible for the action of a current as a whole, though responsible for the part thereof in which they immediately act. Therefore also they are at the same time subject to the general current of the force, wherein they live, move, and have their being; though superior to the immediate and particular part of it which they direct. Such races, superior to man in intuition, and magical powers; inferior to him in other ways; superior to him in their power in a particular current of an element; inferior to him in only partaking of the nature of that one element; are of necessity to be found constantly recurring in all the mythologies of antiquity. The dwarfs and elves of the Scandinavians; the nymphs, hamadryads, and nature spirits of the Greeks; the fairies good and bad of the legends dear to our childish days; the host of mermaids, satyrs, fauns, sylphs, and fays; the forces intended to be attracted and propitiated by the fetishes of the Negro race; are for the most part no other thing than the ill-understood manifestations of this great class, the elementals. Among these, some, as I have before observed, are good; such are the salamanders, undines, sylphs, and gnomes, of the Rosicrucian philosophy; many are frightfully malignant, delighting in every kind of evil, and might easily be mistaken for devils by the uninitiated, save that their power is less; a great proportion are neither good nor evil, irrationally working either; just as a monkey or a parrot might act; in fact such closely resemble animals in their nature, and especially combinations of animals, in which forms distorted and mingled, would lie their symbolic manifestation. Another very large class, would not act irrationally in this manner; but with intent, only always following the predominant force either good or evil in their then entourage; a spirit of this kind, for example, attracted into an assembly of good persons would endeavour to excite their ideas towards good; attracted among evil-minded persons would incite them mentally to crime. Among how many criminals is not their only excuse that “they thought they kept hearing something telling them to commit the crime”! Yet these suggestions would not always arise from elementals alone, but frequently from the depraved astral remnants of deceased evil persons.
Devils, on the other hand, are far more powerful than elementals, but their action for evil is parallel to that of the good angels for good; and their malignancy is far more terrible than that of the evil elementals, for not being, like them, subjected to the limits of a certain current, their sphere of operation extends over a far greater area; while the evil they commit is never irrational or mechanical, but worked with full consciousness and intent.
I do not agree entirely with the manner of behaviour, advised by Abraham towards the spirits; on the contrary, the true initiates have always maintained that the very greatest courtesy should be manifested by the exorciser, and that it is only when they are obstinate and recalcitrant that severer measures should be resorted to; and that even with the devils we should not reproach them for their condition; seeing that a contrary line of action is certain to lead the magician into error. But, perhaps, Abraham has rather intended to warn Lamech against the danger of yielding to them in an exorcism even in the slightest degree.
The word “demon” is evidently employed in this work almost as a synonym of devil; but, as most educated people are aware, it is derived from the Greek “daimon,” which anciently simply meant any spirit, good or bad.
A work filled with suggestive magical references is the well-known Arabian Nights, and it is interesting to notice the number of directions in the third book of this work for producing similar effects to those there celebrated.
For example, the ninth chapter of the third book gives the symbols to be employed for changing human beings into animals, one of the commonest incidents in the Arabian Nights, as in the story of the “first old man and the ind,” that of the “three calendars and the five ladies of Bagdad,” that of “Beder and Giauhare,” etc., etc.; as distinct from the voluntary transformation of the magician into another form, as exemplified in the “story of the second calendar,” the symbols for which are given in the twenty-first chapter of our third book.
Again these chapters will recall to many of my readers the extraordinary magical effects which Faust is said to have produced; who, by the way, as I have before remarked, was in all probability contemporary with Abraham the Jew.
But the mode of their production as given in this work is not the black magic of pact and devil worship, against which our author so constantly inveighs, but instead a system of Qabalistic magic, similar to that of the Key of Solomon the King and the Clavicles of Rabbi Solomon, though differing in the circumstance of the prior invocation of the guardian angel once for all, while in the works I have just mentioned the angels are invoked in each evocation by means of the magical circle. Such works as these, then, and their like, it could not be the intention of Abraham to decry, seeing that like his system they are founded on the secret knowledge of the Qabalah; as this in its turn was derived from that mighty scheme of ancient wisdom, the initiated magic of Egypt. For to any deep student at the same time of the Qabalah and of modern Egyptology, the root and origin of the former is evidently to be sought in that country of mysteries, the home of the gods whose symbols and classification formed so conspicuous a part of the sacred rites; and from which even to the present day, so many recipes of magic have descended. For we must make a very careful distinction between the really ancient Egyptian magic, and the Arabian ideas and traditions prevailing in Egypt in recent times. I think it is the learned Lenormant who points out in his work on Chaldean magic, that the great difference between this and the Egyptian was that the magician of the former school indeed invoked the spirits, but that the latter allied himself with and took upon himself the characters and names of the gods to command the spirits by, in his exorcism; which latter mode of working would not only imply on his part a critical knowledge of the nature and power of the gods; but also the affirmation of his reliance upon them, and his appeal to them for aid to control the forces evoked; in other words, the most profound system of white magic which it is possible to conceive.
The next point worthy of notice is what Abraham urges regarding the preferability of employing one’s mother tongue both in prayer and evocation; his chief reason being the absolute necessity of comprehending utterly and thoroughly with the whole soul and heart, that which the lips are formulating. While fully admitting the necessity of this, I yet wish to state some reasons in favour of the employment of a language other than one’s own. Chief, and first, that it aids the mind to conceive the higher aspect of the operation; when a different language and one looked upon as sacred is employed, and the phrases in which do not therefore suggest matters of ordinary life. Next, that Hebrew, Chaldee, Egyptian, Greek, Latin, etc., if properly pronounced are more sonorous in vibration than most modern languages, and from that circumstance can suggest greater solemnity. Also that the farther a magical operation is removed from the commonplace, the better. But I perfectly agree with Abraham, that it is before all things imperative that the operator should thoroughly comprehend the import of his prayer or conjuration. Furthermore the words in these ancient languages imply “formulas of correspondences” with more ease than those of the modern ones.
Pentacles and symbols are valuable as an equilibrated and fitting basis for the reception of magical force; but unless the operator can really attract that force to them, they are nothing but so many dead, and to him worthless, diagrams. But used by the initiate who fully comprehends their meaning, they become to him a powerful protection and aid, seconding and focussing the workings of his will.
At the risk of repeating what I have elsewhere said, I must caution the occult student against forming a mistaken judgment from what Abraham the Jew says regarding the use of magic circles and of licensing the spirits to depart. It is true that in the convocation of the spirits as laid down by him, it is not necessary to form a magic circle for defence and protection; but why? — Because the whole group of the bedchamber, oratory, and terrace are consecrated by the preparatory ceremonies of the previous six Moons; so that the whole place is protected, and the magician is, as it were, residing constantly within a magic circle. Therefore also the licensing to depart may be to a great extent dispensed with because the spirits cannot break into the consecrated limit of the periphery of the walls of the house. But let the worker of ordinary evocations be assured that were this not so, and the convocation was performed in an unconsecrated place, without any magical circle having been traced for defence, the invocation to visible appearance of such fearful potencies as Amaymon, Egyn, and Beelzebub, would probably result in the death of the exorcist on the spot; such death presenting the symptoms of one arising from epilepsy, apoplexy, or strangulation, varying with the conditions obtaining at the time. Also the circle having been once formed, let the evocator guard carefully against either passing, or stooping, or leaning beyond, its limits during the progress of the exorcism, before the license to depart has been given. Because that, even apart from other causes, the whole object and effect of the circle working, is to create abnormal atmospheric conditions, by exciting a different status of force within the circle to that which exists without it; so that even without any malignant occult action of the spirits, the sudden and unprepared change of atmosphere will seriously affect the exorciser in the intensely strained state of nervous tension he will then be in. Also the license to depart should not be omitted, because the evil forces will be only too glad to revenge themselves on the operator for having disturbed them, should he incautiously quit the circle without having previously sent them away, and if necessary even forced them to go by contrary conjurations.
I do not share Abraham’s opinion as to the necessity of withholding the operation of this Sacred Magic from a prince or potentate. Every great system of occultism has its own occult guards, who will know how to avenge mistaken tampering therewith.
At the risk of repeating myself I will once more earnestly caution the student against the dangerous automatic nature of certain of the magical squares of the third book; for, if left carelessly about, they are very liable to obsess sensitive persons, children, or even animals.
Abraham’s remarks concerning the errors of astrology in the common sense, and of the attribution of the planetary hours are worthy of careful note. Yet I have found the ordinary attribution of the planetary hours effective to an extent.
In all cases where there is anything difficult or obscure in the text, I have added copious explanatory notes; so many indeed as to form a species of commentary in parts. Especially have those on the names of the spirits cost me incredible labour, from the difficulty of identifying their root-forms. The same may be said of those on the symbols of the third book.
Wherever I have employed parentheses in the actual text, they shew certain words or phrases supplied to make the meaning clearer.
In conclusion I will only say that I have written this explanatory introduction purely and solely as a help to genuine occult students; and that for the opinion of the ordinary literary critic who neither understands nor believes in occultism, I care nothing.
87 Rue Mozart, Auteuil, Paris.
Hebrew and Chaldee Alphabet.
Sound or Power.
Signification of Name.
|1.||a (soft breathing)||à||1*||A||Ismaell||Ox, also Duke, or Leader.|
|2.||b, bb (v)||á||2||B||Beth||House.|
|3.||g (hard), gh||â||3||G||Gimel||Camel.|
|4.||d, dh (flat th)||ã||4||D||Daleth||Door.|
|5.||h (rough breathing)||ä||5||H||Hé||Window.|
|6.||v, u, o||å||6||V||Vau||Peg, Nail.|
|7.||z, dz||æ||7||Z||Zayin||Weapon, Sword.|
|8.||ch (guttural)||ç||8||Ch||Cheth||Enclosure, Fence.|
|10.||i, y (as in yes)||é||10||I||Yod||Hand.|
|11.||k, kh||ë Final = ê||20 Final = 500**||K||Kaph||Palm of the hand.|
|13.||m||î Final = í||40 Final = 600||M||Mem||Water.|
|14.||n||ð Final = ï||50 Final = 700||N||Nun||Fish.|
|16.||o, aa, ng (guttural)||ò||70||O||Ayin||Eye.|
|17.||p, ph||ô Final = ó||80 Final = 800||P||Pé||Mouth.|
|18.||ts, tz, j||ö Final = õ||90 Final = 900||Tz||Tzaddi||Fishing-hook.|
|19.||q, qh (guttural)||÷||100||Q||Qoph||Back of the head.|
|22.||th, t||ú||400||Th||Tau||Sign of the Cross.|
|Note: – It is to be remembered that in Hebrew the vowels are supplied by certain points and marks added to the letters; and that the transliteration into Roman letters given in the fifth column of this table is not intended to give the full power of the Hebrew letters; which is shewn in column two.* Thousands are denoted by a larger letter; thus an Ismaell larger than the rest of the letters among which it is, signifies not 1, but 1000.
** The Finals are not always considered as bearing an increased numerical value.
Employment of a child-clairvoyant by Cagliostro.
The well-known Joseph Balsamo, Count Cagliostro, is said to have been born at Palermo in 1743. On his trial at Rome in 1790, and at Zurich in 1791, he was accused of “having practised all kinds of impositions; of gold making, and of possessing the secret of prolonging life; of teaching Cabalistic arts; of summoning and exorcising spirits; of having actually foretold future things especially in small and secret assemblies, and chiefly by means of a little boy whom he took aside with him into a separate room, in order to fit him for divining.”
With regard to the manner in which he employed this child clairvoyant, the documents of the trial give the following information:– “This child had to kneel before a small table, on which a vessel of water and some lighted candles were placed. He then instructed the boy to look into the vessel of water, and so commenced his conjurations; he next laid his hand on the head of the child, and in this position addressed a prayer to God for a successful issue of the experiment. The child now became clairvoyant, and said at first that he saw something white; then that he saw visions, an angel, etc.”
Again the documents say, “That he worked through the usual ceremonies, and that all was wonderfully corroborated through the appearance of the angel”.
Cagliostro is also said at Milan to have availed himself of the services of an orphan maiden of marriageable age as clairvoyant.
It will be remarked that this modus operandi differs strongly from that employed by the mesmerists and hypnotists of today with their clairvoyants. For here the whole force of the operator was concentrated on a magical ritual of evocation, the hand being merely laid on the child’s head to form a link; and it in no way appears that the child was reduced to the miserable condition of automatic trance now practised, and which a really advanced occultist would be the first to condemn, as knowing its dangers.
On the other hand, there seems to be a distinct similarity between Cagliostro’s method, and the system of oriental divination called the Mendal, to which I have previously referred.
Examples of other methods of angelic evocation.
|For the benefit of the occult student I here give two other systems of angelic evocation. The first is taken from that part of the book called Barrett’s Magus (1801), which is entitled “the Key to Ceremonial Magic”. The second is copied from my Key of Salomon the King.|
From The Perfection and Key of . . . Ceremonial Magic; being the second part of the second book of The Magus or Celestial Intelligencer;6 by Francis Barrett, F. R. C.
|“The good spirits may be invocated of us, or by us, divers ways, and they in sundry shapes and manners offer themselves to us, for they openly speak to those that watch, and do offer themselves to our sight, or do inform us by dreams and by oracle of those things which we have a great desire to know. Whoever therefore would call any good spirit to speak or appear in sight, he must particularly observe two things; one whereof is about the disposition of the invocant, the other concerning those things which are outwardly to be adhibited to the invocation for the conformity of the spirit to be called.”It is necessary therefore that the invocant religiously dispose himself for the space of many days to such a mystery, and to conserve himself during the time chaste, abstinent, and to abstract himself as much as he can from all manner of foreign and secular business; likewise he should observe fasting, as much as shall seem convenient to him, and let him daily, between sun rising and setting, being clothed in pure white linen, seven times call upon God, and make a deprecation unto the angels to be called and invocated, according to the rule which we have before taught. Now the number of days of fasting and preparation is commonly one month, i.e., the time of a whole lunation. Now, in the Cabala, we generally prepare ourselves forty days before.
“Now concerning the place, it must be chosen clean, pure, close, quiet, free from all manner of noise, and not subject to any stranger’s sight. This place must first of all be exorcised and consecrated; and let there be a table or altar placed therein, covered with a clean white linen cloth, and set towards the east: and on each side thereof place two consecrated wax-lights burning, the flame thereof ought not to go out all these days. In the middle of the altar let there be placed lamens, or the holy paper we have before described, covered with fine linen, which is not to be opened until the end of the days of consecration. You shall also have in readiness a precious perfume and a pure anointing oil. And let them both be kept consecrated. Then set a censer on the head of the altar, wherein you shall kindle the holy fire, and make a precious perfume every day that you pray.
“Now for your habit, you shall have a long garment of white linen, close before and behind, which may come down quite over the feet, and gird yourself about the loins with a girdle. You shall likewise have a veil made of pure white linen on which must be wrote in a gilt lamen, the name Tetragrammaton; all which things are to be consecrated and sanctified in order. But you must not go into this holy place till it be first washed and covered with a cloth new and clean, and then you may enter, but with your feet naked and bare; and when you enter therein you shall sprinkle with holy water, then make a perfume upon the altar; and then on your knees pray before the altar as we have directed.
“Now when the time is expired, on the last day, you shall fast more strictly; and fasting on the day following, at the rising of the Sun, enter the holy place, using the ceremonies before spoken of, first by sprinkling thyself, then, making a perfume, you shall sign the cross with holy oil on the forehead, and anoint your eyes, using prayer in all these consecrations. Then open the lamen and pray before the altar upon your knees; and then an invocation may be made as follows:–
AN INVOCATION OF THE GOOD SPIRITS.
“In the name of the blessed and holy Trinity, I do desire ye, strong and mighty angels (here name the spirit or spirits you would have appear), that if it be the divine will of him who is called Tetragrammaton, etc., the holy God, the Father, that ye take upon ye some shape as best becometh your celestial nature, and appear to us visibly here in this place, and answer our demands, in as far as we shall not transgress the bounds of the divine mercy and goodness, by requesting unlawful knowledge; but that thou wilt graciously shew us what things are most profitable for us to know and do, to the glory and honour of his divine majesty who liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen.
|“Now the lamen which is used to invoke any good spirit must be made after the following manner: either in metal conformable or in new wax mixed with convenient spices and colours; or it may be made with pure white paper with convenient colours, and the outward form of it may be either square, circular, or triangular, or of the like sort, according to the rule of the numbers; in which there must be written the divine names, as well general as special. And in the centre of the lamen draw a hexagon7 or character of six corners; in the middle thereof write the name and character of the star, or of the spirit his governor, to whom the good spirit that is to be called is subject. And about this character let there be placed so many characters of five corners, or pentacles,8 as the spirits we would call together at once. But if we should call only one, nevertheless there must be made four pentagons, wherein the name of the spirit or spirits with their characters are to be written. Now this lamen ought to be composed when the Moon is in her increase, on those days and hours which agree to the spirit; and if we take a fortunate planet therewith, it will be the better for the producing the effect; which table or lamen being rightly made in the manner we have fully described, must be consecrated according to the rules above delivered.|
|“And this is the way of making the general table or lamen for the invocating of all spirits whatever; the form whereof you may see in plates of pentacles, seals, and lamens.|
|“We will yet declare unto you another rite more easy to perform this thing: Let the man who wishes to receive an oracle from a spirit, be chaste, pure, and sanctified; then a place being chosen pure, clean, and covered everywhere with clean and white linen, on the Lord’s day in the new of the Moon, let him enter into that place clothed with white linen; let him exorcise the place, bless it, and make a circle therein with a consecrated coal; let there be written in the outer part of the circle the names of the angels; in the inner part thereof write the mighty names of God; and let be placed within the circle, at the four parts of the World,9 the vessels for the perfumes. Then being washed and fasting, let him enter the place, and pray towards the East this whole Psalm:– “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, etc.”. Psalm CIX.|
|Then make a fumigation, and deprecate the angels by the said divine names, that they will appear unto you, and reveal or discover that which you so earnestly desire; and do this continually for six days washed, and fasting. On the seventh day being washed and fasting, enter the circle, perfume it, and anoint thyself with holy oil upon the forehead, eyes, and in the palms of both hands, and upon the feet; then with bended knees, say the Psalm aforesaid, with divine and angelical names. Which being said, arise, and walk round the circle from east to west, until thou shalt be wearied with a giddiness of thy head and brain, then straightway fall down in the circle, where thou mayest rest, and thou wilt be wrapped up in an ecstasy; and a spirit will appear and inform thee of all things necessary to be known. We must observe also, that in the circle there ought to be four holy candles burning at the four parts of the World, which ought not to want light for the space of a week.”And the manner of fasting is this: to abstain from all things having a life of sense, and from those which do proceed from them, let him drink only pure running water; neither is there any food or wine to be taken till the going down of the Sun.
“Let the perfume and the holy anointing oil be made as is set forth in Exodus, and other holy books of the Bible. It is also to be observed, that as often as he enters the circle he has upon his forehead a golden lamen, upon which must be written the name Tetragrammaton, in the manner we have before mentioned.”
|In The Key of Solomon the King10 (Book II – Chapter XXI)) will be found other directions for invoking spirits as follows:-|
|“Make a small book containing the prayers for all the operations, the names of the angels in the form of litanies, their seals and characters; the which being done thou shalt consecrate the same unto God and unto the pure spirits in the manner following:-|
|“Thou shalt set in the destined place a small table covered with a white cloth, whereon thou shalt lay the book opened at the Great Pentacle which should be drawn on the first leaf of the said book; and having kindled a lamp which should be suspended above the centre of the table, thou shalt surround the said table with a white curtain;11 clothe thyself in the proper vestments, and holding the book open, repeat upon thy knees the following prayer with great humility:-|
“Adonai, Elohim, El, Eheieh Asher Eheieh, Prince of Princes, Existence of Existences, have mercy upon me, and cast thine eyes upon thy servant (N.) who invoketh thee most devoutly, and supplicateth thee by thy holy and tremendous name, Tetragrammaton, to be propitious and to order thine angels and spirits to come and take up their abode in this place; O ye angels and spirits of the stars, O all ye angels and elementary spirits, O all ye spirits present before the face of God, I the minister and faithful servant of the most high conjure ye, let God himself, the Existence of Existences, conjure ye to come and be present at this operation; I the servant of God, most humbly entreat ye. Amen.