Tag Archives: Abramelin

Abramelin Adventures: Magical Books

Square 2 of Book IV, chapter 11 – “to obtain lost Magical books.”

I would like to express my gratitude to Duke Magoth and his servant Hyrys for my latest Abramelin work with this square. It occurred to me that this is one of the few word-squares that a serious magician could use to further his or her own magical development – i.e. to research obscure magical lore. The other one I have used so far being that for obtaining the secrets of Alchemy. More prosaically it helps when one has dropped an important volume in one’s wizard’s tower, and now one can’t find it!

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Ode to a Young Aspirant, On Beginning the Abramelin Operation

(Tune: Che Sera Sera).

When I started Abramelin,
I asked my genius, “What will I be?
Will I be powerful, mighty and rich?”
“You’ll have to wait and see.
K-C-H-G-A!
The future’s not yours to see,
Except with chapter one, square three –
K-C-H-G-A!”

Square 3, of Book IV, chapter 1.
NB I know that technically square 2 might also work, but that didn’t rhyme!

Just a reminder that this year’s Abramelin season begins on Monday 5th April 2021, which is only four weeks away! I am currently editing the journal I wrote when I did it in 2020, which I hope will be ready later this year . It’s 103 thousand words so far, so it’s going to be pretty chunky when it is done. Meanwhile, I heartily recommend reading my blog posts which I have tagged Abramelin – if for no other reason than to be warned in advance of the issues I myself identified.

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Stop: Hammer Time!

Perhaps this is the ceremonial regalia of an order of which I’m not a member?

This is a follow-up to posts I made last year regarding original Abramelin sources online, to wit: the Dresden Manuscript, the Leipzig Manuscript, and that of the Biblioteque D’Arsenal (which Mathers translated to create the first English edition). All of these posts were basically for my own benefit, so that I at least would know where to go on the internet to find them.

Copy of the Hammer edition of Abramelin held at the Humboldt University of Berlin


I can now add another one: the “1725” Peter Hammer edition. If the date of 1725 is to be believed, this would be the earliest known printing of Abramelin, although I was under the impression that the only available versions of the Hammer edition date from facsimiles made in 1850.


EDIT: No sooner had I published this post but on further searching I actually found a better quality scan – held at the Humboldt University of Berlin. A previous version of this blog post referred to a low quality scan on Internet Archive, which is barely readable. I have now updated the links accordingly.


The magic squares being on page 243.

Incidentally, the attribution of Peter Hammer of Köln (i.e. Cologne) is spurious. There was no such person as “Peter Hammer,” and the imprint wasn’t based out of Cologne, but rather Amsterdam. The fact is that because of the repressive nature of continental Europe the late 17th and early 18th centuries, if you wanted to publish an anonymous book that was in anyway criticial of the monarchies of France or Germany (as was) or was otherwise controversial (e.g. it was a Grimoire which would probably upset the religious authorities), one would take it to “Pierre Martel” (NB Un martel is a kind of hammer) or “Peter Hammer” if in German, who would print it in Amsterdam but say it was done in Germany to throw off the scent.

Interestingly, Mathers himself said that he had heard of an Amsterdam manuscript, so perhaps he actually meant the Hammer edition?

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Abramelin Adventures: Alex vs COVID-19

An image based upon square 4, chapter 18 of Book IV of Abramelin – “To Heal Plague.”
© Alex Sumner 2020
For a full explanation, read on…

Following on from my previous post on Alchemy, my thoughts turned to whether it is possible to use the Sacred Magic to help with the current COVID-19 pandemic. Looking through my book of word-squares I noted that square 4 of chapter 18 is entitled “To Heal Plague.” I figured that this was the closest thing, the moreso because the name COVID-19 didn’t exist in the fifteenth century.

The square given by Dehn – which corresponds to the versions in both the Dresden and Leipzig manuscripts – goes thus:

D E B H E R
E R A O S E
B A R I O H
H O I R A B
E S O A R E
R E H B E D

NB: “Debher” is a phonetic rendering of the Hebrew דבר meaning a “plague, murrain or pestilence” – this at least makes the association of the square with healing plagues plausible, especially compared to “Bebher” (sic), the equivalent in Mathers’ Biblioteque Arsenal manuscript.

Now: riffing on a theme I mentioned in my previous Abramelin post, the word squares are meant to incorporate the names of various spirits in them. This particular Square is under the presidency of Amaymon – however: it does not contain the name of either Amaymon himself or any of his servant spirits. The third line, Barioh, however, is one letter away from the name Bariol – who is  one of Amaymon’s servants. At least according to Dehn, Dresden and Leipzig – Mathers’ version gives this spirit as “Buriol,” just to confuse matters. Hence, the Sumner Family Brain Cell cogitated, might this square be actually governed by “Bariol,” and if so, is this square lettered correctly?

As it happened, when I did some magical work on the subject, I received a message that although the word in the third line is indeed inspired by the name Bariol, instead of changing the lettering a more suitable way to link the energy of the spirit with the word-square would be to enclose it in a circular border, thus:

Alex Sumner’s version of square 4, ch18 of Book IV. © Alex Sumner 2020

I have therefore attempted to deploy this word-square to save this planet from the current Pandemic – hence the illustration at the top of this blog post. Ironically, however, in the short time between me planning this magical operation and me getting around to actually carrying out, I note that a vaccine has now been approved for use, although at the time of writing it has not been yet widely distributed, so this new word-square will probably only become relevant for the next pandemic…

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Abramelin Adventures: Alchemy

I P O M A N O
P A M E R A M
O N A L O M I
M E L A C A H
A R O R A M I
N A M A L O N
O M I H I N I

The third word square of Book IV, chapter 7 of the Book of Abramelin (Dehn), “To learn all sorts of alchemical arts from the spirits.”
Note that I have altered the sixth line from that given in Dehn, as explained below.

This post follows on thematically from Abramelin Musings: Square Dancing, which I wrote back in June, or as I call it, Day 53. In the previous post I suggested a method of how to verify the correct lettering of any given word-square, by skrying into it – an idea inspired by Aleister Crowley. I therefore decided to put my money where my mouth was, by actually trying this out myself, selecting the third square of chapter 7, book IV of the Book of Abramelin.

Chapter 7 is entitled “To have the spirits make alchemy work,” whilst the third word-square is described as “to learn all sorts of alchemical arts from the spirits.” The word-squares of this chapter are given by the Holy Guardian Angel and are under the presidency of Ashtoreth and Asmodi – it is also said that the works of this chapter can also be carried out by the serving spirits. I did not choose this word square arbitrarily or at random, neither did I do it out of curiosity. Instead I had an eye to my long-term magical career, thinking that improved knowledge of Alchemy could only be a good thing – it is the Great Work, after all!

Dehn gives this as IPOMANO, PAMERAM, ONALOMI, MELACAH, ARORAMI, NANAMON, OMIHINI.  Now it so happens that on the third day of Convoking the Dæmons – the day on which one conjures them specifically to empower the word-squares of “signs” as to which they are referred – it is implied that the signs may contain the name(s) of the spirits which rule them. “Aha!” I thought. “Surely if this square contains the name of a spirit, it would be one of those listed as being the servants of Ashtoreth and Asmodi?” However, consulting this list drew a blank – at least at first. However, I did notice that one of the spirits named was NAMALON – the upshot of my attempts at clairvoyance suggested that this should replace the sixth line of the word square (see the results at the top of this page).

Why however should the Royal Art be in the province of Demons at all? Why should such a noble science as Alchemy be associated with black magic? The answer, I believe, lies in achieving a full understanding of what’s going on with the Abramelin process. Attaining Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is all about sublimating supposedly evil forces to a good end. Thus the true Adept, having integrated the Demonic powers with his Holy Guardian Angel, sees Alchemy’s full spiritual potential as a means of attaining the loftiest goals of Hermeticism (and conversely: a true Alchemist who is firmly committed to the spiritual path is undoubtedly being led by angelic forces). The “puffer” however, meets the Demon of Alchemy without it being conjured to play nicely with one’s HGA, with the result that he misses its spiritual side and is seduced by the lure of materialism, seeking after ordinary gold instead of its Philosophical equivalent.

I hesitate to be dogmatic about my findings, and would encourage others not to take my word for it and investigate the word-squares to verify them for themselves. As to whether I myself have discovered all the secrets of Alchemy through this process – well I certainly can’t claim to have completed the great work by any means, although I do think the experience helped my understanding of internal alchemy, showing me how it fits in nicely with the writings of Sendivogius, Kirchweger, Paracelsus and, of course, the Emerald Tablet. Whether I am on the right track or not will be the subject of a future blog post, if I am still incarnated in a physical body by that time.


Thanks to my Holy Guardian Angel, my familiar spirits, Ashtoreth, Asmodeus and the spirit Namalon.

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‘Satanist’ fears over development of former occultist’s Scots home grow despite ‘secular’ promises – Daily Record

Shock! Horror! The Boleskine House Foundation has the temerity to want to be on good terms with Thelemites! The outrage!

It’s a slow afternoon, and this story appeared in my Google News feed. You can take the measure of the standard of journalism on offer by the following quote:

Crowley – who died in 1947 – drank blood and staged huge orgies there fuelled by heroin and cocaine.

(They say this like it’s a bad thing?)


In an article uncovered by the Record, the foundation who manage the Loch Ness property say they plan to uphold the occult legacy of the house.

Source: ‘Satanist’ fears over development of former occultist’s Scots home grow despite ‘secular’ promises – Daily Record

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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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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 group 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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