Alex’ Abramelin Challenge

The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage

The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage

What can one do when you are forced to stay at home for at least six months due to COVID 19? For some people it means investing in ZOOM, Netflix, drinking wine from 9am in the morning, etc. I however am taking the opportunity to fulfil a long ambition, and actually do the Abramelin operation.

I started it the day after Easter, as one is supposed to, This will be an ongoing thing for the next six months, i.e. until the middle of October.

In the meantime, it occurs to me that one of the details of the original Abramelin operation was that Abraham the Jew donated “ten golden florins” to initially receive the Sacred Magic – this Abramelin donated to those in need. I have often thought that this is an important part of the challenge undertaken by the aspirant.

In order to accomplish this in modern times, I therefore intend to do a “sponsored Abramelin operation” – all funds raised will go straight to a UK based charity which helps poor and vulnerable families during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

To sponsor me, therefore, please follow the link below. Thanks!

The Alex Sumner Abramelin Operation


All thanks to God and to my Holy Guardian Angel for giving me the opportunity to perform this work.

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Review: “Meditations for Every Week,” by Paul Sédir

Meditations for Every Week,” by Paul Sédir, translated by Sergio Prezioso.

At first reading, this appears to be a book of fifty-two meditations which follow a fairly conventional path of Christian devotion. On closer inspection, one notes some curious departures from orthodox Christianity. Why, for example, does the author talk about having past incarnations (Chapter LI, “Insubordination”)? Why does he attach so much importance to St John the Baptist (Chapter V, “The Precursor”)? Why, even do we get this curious comment:

“Esotericism studies, among other problems, the means of producing natural miracles. … We will only have the legitimate right to command Nature when she sees that we are masters of ourselves, when we have followed the school of the Gospel to the end… Before any action, ask the Father for His consent.”
Chapter XXIX, “The Miracles of Jesus.”

Thankfully, one can readily discern the answer in the biographical note, helpfully provided by the translator, Signor Prezioso. Paul Sédir (born Yvon Leloup, 1871) as a young man in his late teens / early twenties became an enthusiastic member of just about every occult society going in Paris in the fin-de-siècle period, falling in with the likes of Papus, Jules Doinel, etc. As such he would have been familiar with Martinism, Gnosticism, the Order Kabbalistique de la Rose Croix and various shades of Rosicrucianism, Egyptian Rite Masonry, etc, etc etc. However in 1897 he met Maitre Phillipe of Lyon, who appears to have had a sobering effect on young Sédir, as he resigned from every order of which he was a member, and devoted the rest of his life to Christian mysticism.

As an aside: Sédir would have been coming up to his first Saturn return when he took the decision to step back from the esoteric societies of which he had been a member, and as such he would naturally felt a desire to re-evaluate his life as he said goodbye to the follies of youth and entered adulthood-proper. Coincidentally, Maitre Phillipe seems to have had a similar effect on Papus himself when the latter first met him: Papus had taken umbrage at Phillipe for some reason, and was about to work some supposedly fearsome black magic on him, when the Maitre “pulled a Plotinus” on him, causing him to drop his magic sword – both literally and metaphorically. Assuming that Maitre Phillipe’s effect on him was similar to that on Sédir, it says a lot about Papus that Martinism was to his former sorcery what Christian Mysticism was to Sédir’s Martinism!

Anywho, the present book – “Meditations for Every Week” – may be summed up as mostly Christian in character, but displaying the vestiges of memories of esotericism – which sums up Sédir’s life-path. From the rather obvious pentacle on the front cover, it appears that the translator intends the book to be most useful to students of Martinism, even though Sédir had resigned from office in Papus’ order. Or in other words: “You can take the man out of Martinism, but you can’t take Martinism out of the man.”


“Meditations for Every Week,” by Paul Sédir, translated by Sergio Prezioso. ISBN-13 9798643208631. Available from Amazon.

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Alex Sumner’s answer to Is tarot reading magic? – Quora

The Hermit

(a2a) It can be magical, and in the tradition which I practice, it is magical. By “magic” I am here referring to what is sometimes referred to as “magick” or the art and science of causing in change in conformity with Will, or in other words, the occult.

Tarot is magical at many different levels. For example: the actual act of interpreting the symbols of the cards stimulates the intuition of the reader, in which case Tarot becomes a key to unlocking the reader’s psychic powers. More generally there is at least one tradition of ceremonial magic which integrates tarot reading into the actual magical ceremony, so that one realises that the same techniques of clairvoyance and magical invocation for use in an occult ritual generally can unlock the full potential of tarot as a divinatory tool specifically.

Ultimately, because having a Tarot reading can be viewed as a quest to go out of the Darkness of ignorance into the Light of knowledge, one can draw parallels between it and the quest for spiritual illumination which is at the heart of true occultism.

Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to Is tarot reading magic? – Quora

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Alex Sumner’s answer to Who are the secret chiefs of the Masons? – Quora

Most Worshipful Brother Francis Bacon

The Theosophist, Charles Leadbeater, alleged that the Secret Chief or “the Head of all true Freemasons” is Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban. (Note the use of the present tense despite the fact that Bacon is popularly believed to have died in 1626).

Some Memphis-Misraim rites believe that the Secret Chief of Freemasonry is a character named “Elias Artista,” whom Paracelsus first described as a sort of mythical patron saint of Alchemy. There are probably people who believe that Francis Bacon and Elias Artista are the same person.

Of course, whether you chose to believe this is another matter. Most Worshipful Brother Bacon has requested his name not be disclosed, so all true Freemasons will deny the existence of a Secret Chief of Freemasonry – as witness the other answers to this question.

Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to Who are the secret chiefs of the Masons? – Quora

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Alex Sumner’s answer to What tarot card is number 11? – Quora

(A2A) The answer to this has changed over the course of history.

In every Tarot deck inspired by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – including, most importantly, the Rider Waite Deck – Tarot Key 11 is “Justice.” However in every other deck, including every deck devised before the Golden Dawn, Tarot Key 11 is “Strength.”

Confusingly, the Crowley Thoth deck, which undoubtedly is GD-inspired in part, has its equivalent of “Strength,” i.e. “Lust” as number 11, and the counterpart of “Justice,” i.e. “Adjustment” as Key 8. This is not, as some believe, because Crowley was using his ipsissimus super-powers to change the order of these two trumps, he was simply keeping the numbering found in ancient tarot decks.

VIII Adjustment, in the Crowley Thoth Deck. Numbered 8, but nevertheless attributed to Lamed and Libra all the same.

The reason there is any confusion at all is that the GD came up with the idea that if Keys 8 and 11 were Strength and Justice respectively, they would correspond to Leo and Libra, and if you put the Fool at the head of the Tarot Trumps, the whole sequence would qabalistically map onto the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Hence the innovation was made by the GD in making Justice number 11: Crowley just changed the numbering back – although he did retain the astrological signification.


Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to What tarot card is number 11? – Quora

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The Hermit’s Lamp: The Continuing Tradition of the Modern Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

A blog post written by Aaron Leitch – via The Hermit’s Lamp: The Continuing Tradition of the Modern Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

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June 14, 2020 · 1:50 pm

Mathers’ Abramelin Manuscript

As much for my own benefit as anyone else’s reading this site…

480050

S L MacGregor Mathers

The Manuscript which Mathers famously found at the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal and translated into English as The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, and which was for almost a hundred years thought to be the only manuscript extant – which gave birth to the much over-used and abused phrase “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel” – is available online. It has been scanned and made digitally available here:

Ms-2351 . « La sacrée magie que Dieu donna à Moyse Aaron, David, Salomon, et à d’autres saints patriarches et prophètes, qui enseigne la vraye sapience divine, laissée par Abraham à Lamech son fils, traduite de l’hébreu. 1458 »

Despite the shortcomings of the manuscript – yes the word squares really do have big gaps in them – the handwriting is actually the best quality of all the Abramelin Mss I’ve seen so far – i.e. a lot nicer than the crabbed scrawl of the Dresden and Leipzig versions.

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First page of book three of the Mathers Abramelin manuscript


If you have enjoyed reading this article, please consider making a donation to my Just Giving page – raising money for poor and vulnerable families affected by the Covid 19 lockdown. All thanks to God and my HGA for being able to participate in the Sacred Magic.

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Abramelin Musings: Square Dancing

Better to shave it all off instead of having an embarrassing lockdown haircut!

Following on from my previous two posts on the subject (i.e. this one and this one), after having given more thought to the question “How can you tell what is and is not an authentic Abramelin word-square?” it occurred to me that a convenient method of answering this had been provided by Aleister Crowley.

In his “autohagiography” he described what happened when he tried teaching clairvoyance to a student:

I would, for example, give him a talisman which he had never seen before, and ask him to discover its nature. We would then compare the result of his investigation with the book from which I had taken the talisman, and he would find that he had judged correctly. (For instance, I would give him a square containing thirty-six characters in Enochian, which he could not read. He would pass in his astral body through an imaginary door on which this square was inscribed, and tell me that he had come out upon a balcony overlooking the sea, where a violent storm was raging. I would then refer to The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin identify the square, and note that its virtue was to arouse a tempest.

This, I would submit, suggests a practical solution to how to verify an Abramelin word-square, or reconcile apparent differences between different Abramelin source manuscripts. I.e. take the word-square one wishes to investigate, and pass through it as if going on a tattva-journey. By thus scrying one will get a clear impression whether the word-square is correct for you, or if there is something wrong and requires further investigation.

There is, however, one criticism which I would make of Crowley’s method. At the time of incident he described, Crowley had gone through the Abramelin operation, or at least purported to – he certainly did not complete the operation in the manner originally envisaged by Abraham the Jew, the author of the Book of the Sacred Magic. Nevertheless, if we accept for one moment that Crowley had completed the operation, the student whose clairvoyance he was testing had not.

The Golden Dawn says that when undertaking these sorts of scrying exercises, one should call for a guide to protect oneself on the astral landscape. An Abramelin alumnus, investigating a word-square in this manner, will have the best possible spirit-guide upon which to call – his or her own Holy Guardian Angel. Crowley’s student presumably had not connected with his HGA in the Abramelin-manner or at all, and yet he attempted to scry into a word-square empowered by demons which Crowley had already evoked!

Needless to say, like a lot of people in Crowley’s life, the student came to a bad end. This may not have been the Great Beast’s fault, as the student had a pre-existing Cocaine addiction which compromised his mental health, but it would not be altogether churlish to speculate that Crowley’s intervention probably didn’t help. Hence, I would recommend that it is best to attempt this after one has attained KCHGA, just to remain on the safe side.


If you have enjoyed reading this article, please consider making a donation to my Just Giving page – raising money for poor and vulnerable families affected by the Covid 19 lockdown. All thanks to God and my HGA for being able to participate in the Sacred Magic.

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666-step Reframing: NLP and Goetic Evocation

Re-blogging this post from 2009, as it reflects some of the thoughts I am having whilst doing my current Abramelin challenge. Speaking of which, if you enjoy reading this article, please consider making a donation to my Just Giving page – raising money for poor and vulnerable families affected by the Covid 19 lockdown. (All thanks to God and my HGA for being able to participate in the Sacred Magic.)


In this blog post I shall be discussing the Dark Side, and attempting to argue that that which is commonly called “black magic” may in fact be turned to a wholesome end.

The Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon

“Goetia” as a general term refers to magic which deals with “evil” spirits. More specifically it also refers to a portion of the mediæval grimoire The Lesser Key of Solomon, which was made famous in modern times by being a favourite of Aleister Crowley (1875 – 1947). The term “goetia” derives from a Greek word for “howling spirits,” and is thus a direct translation of the Arabic Djinni (Geni), who were the howling desert spirits of middle-eastern folk-lore.

I have heard some people try to claim that the spirits of the Goetia are somehow not evil. However I disapprove of this notion: because denying they are evil is one step away from denying they are powerful. The fact of the matter is that they are dangerous. Somewhat like electricity is dangerous. But if properly handled, Goetic spirits – also like electricity – can be made to do remarkable things.

Also, going from past experience, I would say that all of the well-known horror stories – of bizarre creatures appearing, of succubi, of demons trying various schemes whereby to trick the magician, etc – are in fact all true. There is a saying in the occult: “it does not matter whether the gods exist or not, because the Universe behaves as if they do.” Unfortunately, the same can be said for Goetic spirits as well.

The only qualification I would make to the statement that they are all true, is that these phenomena do not appear physically, but to the psychic consciousness of the magician – before the “mind’s eye” as it were. Nevertheless, these visions do produce actual effects in the real world.

I have also discovered that, during my researches into Lucid Dreaming I noticed that such magical operations also affect one’s dream-life as well. To illustrate this I will give an example of a Goetic operation which I did badly: I offer it to my readers so that they can learn from my mistakes. The night after performing a goetic operation I retired to bed and had a vivid but non-lucid dream of a highly erotic or pornographic nature. This I went along with, stupidly not thinking anything of it. Many days later it transpired that the intended result of the operation had not come to pass, thereby indicating that it had ended in failure. It was only later that the penny-dropped: the dream I had experienced was in fact the spirit I had evoked, appearing as a Succubus! Clearly, what I should have done was: (a) recognise it for what it was; (b) become lucid; (c) astrally use the techniques of ceremonial magick to compel it to do my bidding, e.g. force it into a Triangle of Art, command it by the various Divine Names, etc. Since then, with the benefit of experience I have performed operations which were more fruitful.

The fundamental point to understand is that the person who follows the path of pure Theurgy is seeking after something that is good, is trying to make contact with beings (e.g angels) who are more than willing to assist the individual, and who are inherently beneficial to him or her. Goetia however is a completely different technique: the Goetic magician has to do the magical equivalent of wearing protective clothing and using force to conjure a spirit, because of its troublesome nature. I write all this not to encourage the reader to practice Goetic magic, but to give you fair warning. None of this should be taken as implying that one should treat the subject with superstitious terror, but rather with a sense of due caution.

Now some people may balk at the idea of actually wanting to deal with a supposedly-evil spirit (whilst others might embrace the idea a little too readily), but I say this: qualitatively, what is the real difference between this and, say, working on re-integrating the Shadow Persona, as C G Jung would describe it? Or, to adopt a Freudian idiom, the abreaction of psychoneuroses contained within the unconscious? Mental problems, emotional problems, behavioural problems – mankind has suffered from them since antiquity, the only difference being that in ancient times they were demonised and given names like “Paimon,” “Buer,” etc, but nowadays they are called “Repression,” “Neurosis” and all the rest.

Therefore, if I am correct in my suspicion that Goetic-magick is really ancient man’s attempt to confront the demons of his unconscious (by taking the metaphorical for the literal), how much more would it be improved if it were re-interpreted in the light of what is known about psychology?

With this in mind, I have been working on a particular method of Goetic-Magick-As-Therapy, by incorporating some of the principles of neurolinguistic programming therein. Specifically the NLP technique of “6 Step Re-framing.” The rationale for this is that supposed problems are assumed to be caused by parts of the psyche which are in fact well-meaning, but which apply their powers in methods which are incongruent and thereby cause disharmony. Hence, by confronting these parts of the psyche, the technique aims to persuade them to fulfil their objectives by abandoning their old, unhelpful, and incongruent methodologies with harmonious new congruent ones.

I immediately saw the parallel with Goetic Magick. The parts of the psyche which “6 Step Re-framing” attempts to address are analogous to the spirits of the Goetia, whilst the actual process of confrontation, negotiation and re-framing is akin to the kind of interaction with a spirit which takes place in an evocation ceremony. I have thus sketched out a structure which attempts to show how one would indeed incorporate 6-Step Re-framing into an actual Goetic operation, below. In the method I refer to the actual Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon itself.

1. Determine the cause of the problem – probe in depth to see the underlying characteristics. Compare to astrological chart if necessary.
The Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon is a grimoire which is closely based on astrology. Hence by relating the perceived problem to an astrological basis, one will be able to translate it more easily into the Goetia’s idiom, and that of ceremonial magick generally.

2. Identify which Goetic spirit most “personifies” the cause of the problem identified in step 1 above.
This can be done in two ways. By following the astrological method, one will notice that the spirits of the Goetia are associated with certain parts of the Zodiac, and with certain planets. Hence, by noting the position of the planets in one’s own astrological chart and comparing with the Goetia, one may work out which of the 72 spirits are likely to be most relevant to oneself.

3. Prepare for and proceed with evocation in the normal manner. In my personal work I try to be as authentic as possible, with regard to temple furnishings, preparations, etc. Once everything is in place and I am ensconced within my magic circle, the order of the ritual would go like this:

a. Banishings – i.e. with Lesser Banishing Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram.
b. The Preliminary Invocation (otherwise known as the “Bornless Ritual.”)
c. Specific pentagram and / or hexagram rituals as appropriate. These will be determined by the astrological sign with which the Spirit is associated, and also the Spirit’s planet.
d. Evocation – the “First Conjuration of the Goetia.”
I usually only use the First Conjuration, as the subsequent ones sound less and less like forcefully commanding the Spirit, and increasingly like plain old whining.
e. The “Welcome to the Spirit” (from the Goetia) on its manifestation.
Note that, as I have explained elsewhere, this refers to manifestation to the psychic consciousness or within the skrying medium (e.g. dark mirror), not literally appearing out of thin air.
f. Negotium – this is the actual Reframing. I describe it in detail below.
g. “Licence to Depart,” followed by final Banishings to close the ceremony.

4. The Negotium follows this specific structure:

a. Identify Spirit; identify problem to be changed; express appreciation for what the Spirit has done so far (i.e. for the intention, not how it has done it); reassure Spirit that you are not going to get rid of it.
b. Go inside and ask “Will N. communicate with me in consciousness now?” Be alert for internal sights, sounds, feelings. If signal occurs, try to repeat consciously; ask again until signal occurs which cannot be controlled consciously.
Ask Spirit to increase the signal to indicate “Yes,” and to decrease it for “No.” When it does –
c. Thank Spirit for co-operating. Ask: “Will N let me know what it is trying to do?”
On “Yes” signal and revelation, thank for information and for doing this. If there is a “No” signal, explore circumstances in which Spirit would be willing to reveal its intentions. (Otherwise assume positive intentions).
Ask: “If you were given ways to accomplish this intention at least as well if not better than what you are doing now, would you be willing to try them out?”
If “Yes” – proceed to next step. If “No,” the Evocation is flawed. Go back to step 4(b) or start the whole thing again.
d. Ask the Spirit to communicate its positive intention to your own Higher Genius.
Ask your Higher Genius to generate ways that will accomplish the same purpose.
Ask Spirit to choose only those it considers good or better than original behaviour, which are immediate and available. Ask it to give “Yes” signal when it makes choice. Do this three times. Then thank your Higher Genius when finished.
e. Ask Spirit if it will agree to do new choices rather than old behaviour in next (e.g.) two weeks? (NB: this is an arbitrary figure – choose a time-frame to suit if more appropriate).
On “Yes,” proceed to next step.
On “No,” tell Spirit it can still use old behaviour but you would like it to use the new choices first. If it now gives “Yes,” proceed to next step.
If however it still gives a “No,” reframe the objecting part and take it through the 6 steps again.
f. Ecology. Ask: “Do any other spirits object to these new choices?”
Be alert to signals.
If there are no signals, thank Spirit and proceed to Licence to Depart.
If there is a signal, ask the new Spirit to intensify it if it really objects.
If not, proceed as before to Licence to Depart.
Otherwise, either go back to step 4(b) with regard to new Spirit, or ask your Higher Genius to come up with new choices in consulting with the new objecting part. (Submit these to Ecology Check as well).

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Abramelin Musings: The Dresden Manuscript

 

The first page of Book 4 of Magia Abraham oder Underricht von der Heiligen Cabala – Mscr.Dresd.N.111 – a version of Abramelin held in the University of Dresden Library and accessible online.

You are able to access yet another original Abramelin manuscript – this time from the University of Dresden’s archives. This post is as much for my own reference as anyone else’s, however: if you have a need to inspect one of the source documents that Georg Dehn used to research The Book of Abramelin, the Saxon State and University Library has an electronic copy available online.

This one is called Magia Abraham oder Underricht von der Heiligen Cabala (i.e. “The Magic of Abraham or teaching of the Holy Qabalah.”) The Word Squares of book four can be found on Folio 243 (page number 240) onwards – you’re welcome. 😉



If you have enjoyed reading this article, please consider making a donation to my Just Giving page – raising money for poor and vulnerable families affected by the Covid 19 lockdown.

All thanks to God and my HGA for being able to participate in the Sacred Magic.

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Abramelin musings: dogs, lions and monkeys

Part of the Abramelin process is preparing the word squares – all two hundred and fifty five of them – for use in the final ritual. Which leads me to wonder: how do I know that any of the word squares are in fact correct?

This thought arose when I was going through each of them in the Book of Abramelin – when I noticed that one of the squares – the 12th square of chapter 5 in book four – to obtain servant spirits in the form of an ape – contained a mixture of six and five letter words – there was not indication how words of differing lengths were expected to fit into a square.

Enquiring on a Facebook alerted me to the fact that one Abramelin manuscript is located in the University of Leipzig’s library, where it is called Cabala mystica Aegyptionorum et Patriarchum, das ist das Buch der wahren alten und gottlichen Magia geschrieben von Abraham den Sohn Simonis an seinen jungern Sohn Lamech – Cod. Mag. 15., i.e. “Mystical Cabala of the Egyptians and Patriarchs, which is the book of the true, ancient and Sacred Magic, written by Abraham the son of Simon, to his younger son Lamech.”

If you are able to read German, you can download the actual book here – but it is only available fifty pages at a time (there are four hundred and seventy pages in total).

Searching through the manuscript, I came to a word square which at first glance looked like the one I was after – although there were several differences in spelling, e.g. “CEHHER” instead of “Cephir” in both Dehn’ and Mathers’ version.

The word square in question as it appears in the Leipzig Manuscript.
CEHHER – ELAALE – HARRAH – HARRAH – ELAALE – CEHHER



On looking closer it quickly became apparent that the order and attributions in the manuscript differed to both Dehn and Mathers. For example, the 10th, 11th and 12th squares in the Leipzig version were:


KELEP in the form of a dog
CEHHER in the form of a lion
KOBHA in the form of an ape.



Whereas Dehn gave:


KELEF in the form of a lion
KOBHA in the form of a dog
CEPHIR in the form of an ape.



I presume Dehn decided on his own attributions by comparing it with yet more manuscripts. This makes me wonder, though, although we may be able to find the manuscripts and look at them, how can we possibly know if any of them are “correct,” in the magical sense? Is a mistake really a copyist’s error, or was it written down by an actual magician who found that that particular variation happened to work for him?

The word squares in chapter five are supposedly under the presidency of the Holy Guardian Angel himself. So ultimately, the only way we can be sure is after attaining Knowledge and Conversation, and thrashing out the problem with the HGA itself.



If you have enjoyed reading this article, please consider making a donation to my Just Giving page – raising money for poor and vulnerable families affected by the Covid 19 lockdown.

All thanks to God and my HGA for being able to participate in the Sacred Magic.

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