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Yaakov Moelin Abramelin the Mage: The Book of the Sacred Magic [3 eBook PDF]

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Name:Yaakov Moelin Abramelin the Mage: The Book of the Sacred Magic [3 eBook PDF]

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Yaakov Moelin   Abramelin the Mage: The Book of the Sacred Magic [3 eBook   PDF] preview 0

The Book of Abramelin tells the story of an Egyptian mage named Abramelin, or Abra-Melin, who teaches a system of magic to Abraham of Worms, a German Jew presumed to have lived from c.1362 - c.1458. The magic described in the book was to find new life in the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to Mathers' translation, The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, its import within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and later within the mystical system of Thelema (adapted from the philosophy of François Rabelais in 1904 by Aleister Crowley).

The provenance of the manuscript

The grimoire is framed as a sort of epistolary novel or autobiography in which Abraham of Worms describes his journey from Germany to Egypt and reveals Abramelin's magical and Kabbalistic secrets to his son Lamech. Internally the text dates itself to the year 1458.

The book exists in the form of six manuscripts and an early printed edition. The provenance of the text has not been definitively identified. The earliest manuscripts are two versions that date from about 1608, are written in German and are found in Wolfenbüttel[1][2] Another two manuscripts are in Dresden, and date from about 1700 and 1750 respectively.[3][4] The first printed version, also in German, dates to 1725 and was printed in Cologne by Peter Hammer.[5] A partial copy in Hebrew is found in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and dates from around 1740.[6] A manuscript copy existed in French in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal in Paris, an institution founded in 1797. The French copy has since disappeared, but is available on microfilm.

All German copies of the text consist of four books: an autobiographical account of the travels of Abraham of Worms to Egypt, a book of assorted materials from the corpus of the practical Kabbalah (including some which is duplicated in the German-Jewish grimoire called "The Sixth and 7th Books of Moses") and the two books of magic given by Abramelin to Abraham. The well-known English translation by S.L. MacGregor Mathers from the French Manuscript in Paris contains only three of the four books. The Hebrew version in Oxford is limited to Book One, without reference to the further books.

Of all the extant sources, the German manuscripts in Wolfenbüttel and Dresden are taken by scholars to be the authoritative texts. According to respected Kabbalist Gershom Scholem, the Hebrew version in Oxford was translated into Hebrew from German.[7] An analysis of the spelling and language usage in the French manuscript indicates that it dates to the 18th century, and that it was also likely copied from a German original. Although the author quotes from the Jewish Book of Psalms, the version given is not from the Hebrew; rather, it is from the Latin Vulgate, a translation of the Bible employed by Roman Catholics at that time.

The Abramelin operation

The text describes an elaborate ritual whose purpose is to obtain the "knowledge and conversation" of the magician's "Holy Guardian Angel." The preparations are elaborate, difficult, and long. All of the German texts describe a duration for the operation of eighteen months before any divine contact is known. In the Mathers translation, the initial phase of working the system lasts only six months.

During the period of the work, the magician must daily pray before sunrise and again at sunset. During this preparatory phase, there are many restrictions: chastity must be observed, alcoholic beverages refused, and the magician must conduct his business with scrupulous fairness.

After the preparatory phase has been successfully completed, the magician's guardian angel will appear to reveal to the magician magical secrets. Once this is accomplished, the magician must evoke the twelve Kings and Dukes of Hell (Lucifer, Satan, Leviathan, etc) and bind them. Thereby, the magician gains command of them and removes their negative influence from his life. Further, these spirits must deliver a number of familiar spirits (four principle familiars, and several more associated with a set of magickal word-square talismans provided in the Abramelin's Book Four).

The magical goals for which the demons can be employed are typical of those found in grimoires: the practitioner is promised the ability to find buried treasure, cast love charms, the ability of magical flight, and the secret of invisibility- to list a small number of examples.

Magic squares feature prominently in the instructions for carrying out these operations, as does a recipe for an anointing oil (taken from Exodus 30), popularly used by ceremonial magicians under the name "Abramelin Oil". There are also several further tools - such as a holy Lamp, a Wand made of an almond branch, a recipe for incense known today as "Abramelin Incense" (also taken from Exodus 30), various Robes, a square or seven-sided plate of silver or (bees) wax, etc.

Because the work involves evocation of demons, the Abramelin operation has been compared to Goetic magic, especially by European scholars. However, the text's primary focus is upon the invocation of the guardian angel, and modern works on the subject tend to focus upon this aspect as well.

Not the most reliable source as this reveals:

This interesting grimoire was published by S.L. Mathers in 1898, based on a flawed French manuscript. The elaborate and lengthy method it describes for attaining magical knowledge and power is considerably different from the Solomonic grimoires, which it disparages. The flamboyant occultist Aleister Crowley considered it of great importance and underwent the magical operation described. The noted occultist Franz Bardon was familiar with and used the 1725 edition of Peter Hammer.

The text was evidently originally written in German, and a German edition which compares the known manuscripts has been published recently by Georg Dehn. (Abraham von Worms. Buch Abramelin. Ed. G. Dehn, Saarbrücken 1995.) Although Dehn was impressed by how closely Mathers rendered the French text, it is clear that Mathers' exemplar did not fully understand the text it was based on, so cannot be entirely relied upon.

These older German manuscripts have additional material, and reflect a more elaborate operation. One notable difference is that the operation lasts a year and a half, not six months as described in Mathers' text. Dehn's edition also contains an additional book (mostly a collection of recipes) not found in Mathers' edition. Another problem with Mathers' text is that it did not fill in most of the letters in the magical squares, so many of Mathers' comments on the same are irrelevant. Note that with the corrections, there is a close connection between the lists of spirits and the magical squares.

Dehn regarded the name "Abraham of Worms" as a pseudonym for the well known scholar Rabbi Jacob ben Moses ha Levi Moellin, more commonly known as "The MaHaRIL." However, see comments by Gershom Scholem in Kabbalah (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House: 1974, p. 186) who was not impressed with it. According to Scholem, the author, although possessing an uncommon knowledge of Hebrew, was not in fact Jewish. He sums it up thus: "It shows the partial influence of Jewish ideas but does not have any strict parallel in kabbalistic literature."

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