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TRANSCENDENTAL MAGIC

TRANSCENDENTAL MAGIC

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ITS DOCTRINE AND RITUAL

by ELIPHAS LEVI'S

A COMPLETE TRANSLATION OF "DOGME ET RITUEL DE LA HAUTE MAGIE " WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE

by ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE
AUTHOR OF "DEVIL WORSHIP IN FRANCE," ETC. ETC.

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Book Details
 Price
 3.00
 Pages
 444 p
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 ISBN
 3-1761-01483539-1   
 Copyright©   
 1896

Introduction
BEHIND the veil of all the hieratic and mystical allegories
of ancient doctrines, behind the shadows and the strange
ordeals of all initiations, under the seal of all sacred
writings, in the ruins of Nineveh or Thebes, on the crumbling
stones of the old temples, and on the blackened visage
of the Assyrian or Egyptian sphinx, in the monstrous or
marvellous paintings which interpret to the faithful of
India the inspired pages of the Vedas, in the strange
emblems of our old books of alchemy, in the ceremonies
at reception practised by all mysterious societies, traces
are found of a doctrine which is everywhere the same, and
everywhere carefully concealed. Occult philosophy seems
to have been the nurse or god-mother of all intellectual
forces, the key of all divine obscurities, and the absolute
queen of society in those ages when it was reserved exclusively
for the education of priests and of kings. It
reigned in Persia with the magi, who at length perished, as
perish all masters of the world, because they abused their
power; it endowed India with the most wonderful traditions,
and with an incredible wealth of poesy, grace, and
terror in its emblems ; it civilised Greece to the music of
the lyre of Orpheus ; it concealed the principles of all the
sciences and of all human intellectual progress in the bold
calculations of Pythagoras ; fable abounded in its miracles,
and history, attempting to appreciate this unknown power,
became confused with fable ; it shook or strengthened
empires by its oracles, caused tyrants to tremble on their
thrones, and governed all minds, either by curiosity or by
fear. For this science, said the crowd, there is nothing
impossible ; it commands the elements, knows the language
of the stars, and directs the planetary courses; when it
speaks, the moon falls blood-red from heaven ; the dead rise
in their graves and articulate ominous words as the night
wind blows through their skulls. Mistress of love or of
hate, the science can dispense paradise or hell at its
pleasure to human hearts ; it disposes of all forms, and
distributes beauty or ugliness ; with the rod of Circe it
alternately changes men into brutes and animals into men ;
it even disposes of life or death, and can confer wealth on
its adepts by the transmutation of metals and immortality
by its quintessence or elixir compounded of gold and light.
Such was magic from Zoroaster to Manes, from Orpheus to
Apollonius of Tyana, when positive Christianity, at length
victorious over the brilliant dreams and titanic aspirations
of the Alexandrian school, dared to launch its anathemas
publicly against this philosophy, and thus forced it to
become more occult and mysterious than ever. Moreover,
strange and alarming rumours began to circulate concerning
initiates or adepts ; these men were everywhere surrounded
by an ominous influence ; they killed or drove mad those
who allowed themselves to be carried away by their honeyed
eloquence or by the fame of their learning. The women
whom they loved became Stryges, their children vanished at
their nocturnal meetings, and men whispered shudderingly
and in secret of bloody orgies and abominable banquets.
Bones had been found in the crypts of ancient temples,
shrieks had been heard in the night, harvests withered and
herds sickened when the magician passed by. Diseases
which defied medical skill at times appeared in the world,
and always, it was said, beneath the envenomed glance of
the adepts. At length an universal cry of execration went
up against magic, the mere name became a crime, and the
common hatred was formulated in this sentence :
"Magicians to the flames!" as it was shouted some centuries earlier:
" To the lions with the Christians !
" Now the multitude
never conspires except against real powers ; it possesses not
the knowledge of what is true, but it has the instinct of
what is strong. It remained for the eighteenth century to
deride both Christians and magic, while infatuated with the
homilies of Eousseau and the illusions of Cagliostro.
Science, notwithstanding, is at the basis of magic, as at
the foundation of Christianity there is love, and in the
Gospel symbols we see the Word incarnate adored in his
cradle by three magi, led thither by a star (the triad and
the sign of the microcosm), and receiving their gifts of gold,
frankincense, and myrrh, a second mysterious triplicity,
under which emblem the highest secrets of the Kabbalah
are allegorically contained. Christianity owes, therefore, no
hatred to magic, but^luiman^ ignorance has ever stood in fear
of the unknown. The science was driven into hiding to
escape the impassioned assaults of a blind love ; it clothed
itself with new hieroglyphics, dissimulated its labours, denied
its hopes. Then it was that the jargon of alchemy was
created, a permanent deception for the vulgar, a living
language only for the true disciple of Hermes.
Extraordinary fact ! Among the sacred books of the
Christians there are two works which the infallible Church
makes no claim to understand and has never attempted to
explain ; these are the prophecy of Ezekiel and the Apocalypse,
two Kabbalistic Keys assuredly reserved in heaven
for the commentaries of magician Kings, books sealed with
seven seals for faithful believers, yet perfectly plain to an
initiated infidel of the occult sciences. There is also another
book, but, although it is popular in a sense and may be
found everywhere, this is of all most occult and unknown,
because it has the key of all others ; it is in public evidence
without being known to the public; no one dreams of seeking
it where it actually is, and elsewhere it is lost labour to
look for it. This book, possibly anterior to that of Enoch,
has never been translated, but is still preserved unmutilated
in primeval characters, on detached leaves, like the tablets
of the ancients. A distinguished scholar has revealed,
though no one has observed it, not indeed its secret, but its
antiquity and singular preservation ; another scholar, but of a
mind more fantastic than judicious, passed thirty years in the
study of this book, and has merely suspected its whole
importance. It is, in fact, a monumental and extraordinary
work, strong and simple as the architecture of the pyramids,
and consequently enduring like those a book which is the
sum of all the sciences, which can resolve all problems by
its infinite combinations, which speaks by evoking thought,
is the inspirer and regulator of all possible conceptions, the
masterpiece perhaps of the human mind, assuredly one of
the finest things bequeathed to us by antiquity, an universal
key, the name of which has been explained and comprehended
only by the learned William Postel, an unique text,
whereof the initial characters alone exalted the devout spirit
of Saint Martin into ecstasy, and might have restored reason
to the sublime and unfortunate Swedenborg. We shall
speak of this book later on, and its mathematical and precise
explanation will be the complement and crown of our
conscientious undertaking. The original alliance of Christianity
and the science of the magi, once it is thoroughly
demonstrated, will be a discovery of no second-rate importance,
and we question not that the serious study of magic
and the Kabbalah will lead earnest minds to the reconciliation
of science and dogma, of reason and faith, heretofore
regarded as impossible.
We have said that the Church, whose special office is the
custody of the Keys, does not pretend to possess those of
the Apocalypse or of Ezekiel. In the opinion of Christians
the scientific and magical clavicles of Solomon are lost ; yet,
at the same time, it is certain that, in the domain of intelligence
ruled by the Word, nothing which has been
written can perish ; things which men cease to understand
simply cease to exist for them, at least in the order of the
Word, and they enter then into the domain of enigma and
mystery. Furthermore, the antipathy, and even open war,
of the official church against all that belongs to the realm
of magic, which is a kind of personal and emancipated
priesthood, is allied with necessary and even with inherent
causes in the social and hierarchic constitution of Christian
sacerdotalism. The Church ignores magic for she must
either ignore it or perish, as we shall prove later on ; yet
she does not the less recognise that her mysterious founder
was saluted in his cradle by the three magi that is to
say, by the hieratic ambassadors of the three parts of the
known world and the three analogical worlds of occult
philosophy. In the school of Alexandria, magic and Christianity
almost joined hands under the auspices of Ammonius
Saccas and of Plato ; the doctrine of Hermes is found almost
in its entirety in the writings attributed to Denis the Areopagite;
and Synesius sketched the plan of a treatise on
dreams, which was later on to be annotated by Cardan, and
composed hymns which might have served for the liturgy of
the Church of Swedenborg, could a church of the illuminated
possess a liturgy. With this period of fiery abstractions and
impassioned warfare of words there must also be connected
the philosophic reign of Julian, called the Apostate because
in his youth he made an unwilling profession of Christianity.
Everyone is aware that Julian was sufficiently wrongheaded
to be an unseasonable hero of Plutarch, and was, if one may
say so, the Don Quixote of Roman Chivalry ; but what most
people do not know is that Julian was one of the illuminated
and an initiate of the first order ; that he believed
in the unity of God and in the universal doctrine of the
Trinity ; that, in a word, he regretted nothing of the old
world but its magnificent symbols and its exceedingly
gracious images. Julian was not a pagan ; he was a
Gnostic allured by the allegories of Greek polytheism, who
had the misfortune to find the name of Jesus Christ less
sonorous than that of Orpheus. The Emperor personally
paid for the academical tastes of the philosopher and
rhetorician, and after affording himself the spectacle and
satisfaction of expiring like Epaminondas with the periods
of Cato, he had in public opinion, already thoroughly Christianised,
anathemas for his funeral oration and a scornful
epithet for his ultimate celebrity.
Let us skip the little men and small matters of the Bas
Empire, and pass on to the Middle Ages. . . . Stay, take
this book ! Glance at the seventh page, then seat yourself
on the mantle I am spreading, and let each of us cover our
eyes with one of its corners. . . . Your head swims, does it
not, and the earth seems to fly beneath your feet ? Hold
tightly, and do not look around. . . . The vertigo ceases ;
we are here. Stand up and open your eyes, but take care
before all things to make no Christian sign and to pronounce
no Christian words. We are in a landscape of Salvator
Rosa, a troubled wilderness which seems resting after a
storm ; there is no moon in the sky, but you can distinguish
little stars gleaming in the brushwood, and you can hear
about you the slow flight of great birds, who seem to whisper
strange oracles as they pass. Let us approach silently that
cross-road among the rocks. A harsh, funereal trumpet winds
suddenly, and black torches flare up on every side. A
tumultuous throng is surging round a vacant throne; all
look and wait. Suddenly they cast themselves on the
ground. A goat-headed prince bounds forward among
them ; he ascends the throne, turns, and by assuming a
stooping posture, presents to the assembly a human face,
which, carrying black torches, every one comes forward to
salute and to kiss. With a hoarse laugh he recovers
an upright position, and then distributes gold, secret
instructions, occult medicines, and poisons to his faithful
bondsmen. Meanwhile, fires are lighted of fern
and alder, piled over with human bones and the fat of
executed criminals. Druidesses crowned with wild parsley
and vervain immolate unbaptised children with golden knives
and prepare horrible love-feasts. Tables are spread, masked
men seat themselves by half-nude females, and a Bacchanalian
orgie begins ; there is nothing missing but salt, the
symbol of wisdom and immortality. Wine flows in streams,
leaving stains like blood ; obscene talk and fond caresses
begin, and presently the whole assembly is drunk with wine,
with pleasure, with crime, and singing. They rise, a disordered
throng, and hasten to form infernal dances. . . .
Then come all legendary monsters, all phantoms of nightmare
; enormous toads play inverted flutes and blow with
their paws on their flanks ; limping scarabaei mingle in the
dance ; crabs play the castanets ; crocodiles beat time on
their scales ; elephants and mammoths appear habited like
Cupids and foot it in the ring ; finally, the giddy circles break
up and scatter on all sides. . . . Every yelling dancer drags
away a dishevelled female. . . . Lamps and candles formed
of human fat go out smoking in the darkness. . . . Cries
are heard here and there, mingled with peals of laughter,
blasphemies, and rattlings of the throat. Come, rouse yourself,
do not make the sign of the cross ! See, I have brought
you home ; you are in your own bed, somewhat worn-out,
possibly a trifle shattered, by your night's journey and
dissipation ; but you have witnessed something of which
everyone talks without knowledge ; you have been initiated
into secrets no less terrible than the grotto of Triphonius ;
you have been present at the Sabbath. It remains for you
now to preserve your reason, to have a wholesome dread of
the law, and to keep at a respectful distance from the
Church and her faggots.
Would you care, as a change, to behold something less
fantastic, more real, and also more truly terrible ? You
shall assist at the execution of Jacques de Molay and his
accomplices or his brethren in martyrdom. . . . Do not,
however, be misled, confuse not the guilty and the innocent !
Did the Templars really adore Baphomet ? Did they offer
a shameful salutation to the buttocks of the goat of Mendes ?
What was actually this secret and potent association which
imperilled Church and State, and was thus destroyed unheard
? Judge nothing lightly ; they are guilty of a great
crime ; they have allowed the sanctuary of antique initiation
to be entered by the profane. By them for a second time
have the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil been gathered and shared, so that they might become
the masters of the world. The sentence which condemns
them has a higher and earlier origin than the tribunal of
pope or king :
" On the day that thou eatest thereof, thou
shalt surely die," said God Himself, as we see in the book of
Genesis.
What is taking place in the world, and why do priests
and potentates tremble ? What secret power threatens tiaras
and crowns ? A few madmen are roaming from land to
land, concealing, as they say, the philosophical stone under
their ragged vesture. They can change earth into gold, and
they are without food or lodging ! Their brows are encircled
by an aureole of glory and by a shadow of ignominy ! One
has discovered the universal science and goes vainly seeking
death to escape the agonies of his triumph he is the
Majorcan Raymond Lully. Another heals imaginary
diseases by fantastic remedies, giving a formal denial in
advance to the proverb which enforces the futility of a
cautery on a wooden leg he is the marvellous Paracelsus,
always drunk and always lucid, like the heroes of Rabelais.
Here is William Postel writing naively to the fathers of the
Council of Trent, informing them that he has discovered the
absolute doctrine, hidden from the foundation of the world,
and is longing to share it with them. The council does not
concern itself with the maniac, does not condescend to condemn
him, and proceeds to examine the weighty questions
of efficacious grace and sufficing grace. He whom we see
perishing poor and abandoned is Cornelius Agrippa, less of
a magician than any, though the vulgar persist in regarding
him as a more potent sorcerer than all because he was sometimes
a cynic and mystifier. What secret do these men bear
with them to their tomb ? Why are they wondered at
without being understood ? Why are they condemned unheard
? Why are they initiates of those terrific secret sciences
of which the Church and society are afraid ? Why are they
acquainted with things of which others know nothing ?
Why do they conceal what all men burn to know ? Why
are they invested with a dread and unknown power ? The
occult sciences ! Magic ! These words will reveal all and
give food for further thought ! De omni re scibili et quibusdam aliis.

Table of Contents

BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE ...... v
EXPLANATION OF THE FIGURES CONTAINED IN THIS WORK . xxi
THE DOCTEINE OF TEANSCENDENT MAGIC
INTRODUCTION ........ 3
CHAPTER I. THE CANDIDATE. Unity of the Doctrine Qualifications
necessary for the Adept ...... 27
CHAPTER II. THE PILLARS OF THE TEMPLE. Foundations of the Doctrine
The Two Principles Agent and Patient . . .37
CHAPTER III. THE TRIANGLE OF SOLOMON. Universal Theology of
the Triad The Macrocosm ..... 44
CHAPTER IV. THE TETRAGRAM. Magical Virtue of the Tetrad-
Analogies and Adaptations Elementary Spirits of the Kabbalah . 51
CHAPTER V. THE PENTAGRAM. The Microcosm and the sign thereof
Power over Elements and Spirits . . . .60
CHAPTER VI. MAGICAL EQUILIBRIUM. Action of the Will Impulse
and Resistance Sexual love The Plenum and the Void . . 67
CHAPTER VII. THE FIERY SWORD. The Sanctum Regnum The
seven Angels and seven Genii of the Planets Universal Virtue of
the Septenary ....... 75
CHAPTER VIII. REALISATION. Analogical reproduction of Forces
Incarnation of Ideas Parallelism Necessary Antagonism . 79
CHAPTER IX. INITIATION. The Magical Lamp, Mantle, and Staff
Prophecy and Intuition Security and stability of the Initiate in
the midst of dangers Exercise of Magical Power . . .86
CHAPTER X. THE KABBALAH. The Sephiroth The Semhamphoras
The Paths and Gates Bereschith and Mercavah Gematria and Temurah ........ 89
CHAPTER XI. THE MAGIC CHAIN. Magnetic Currents Secrets of
great successes Talking Tables Fluidic Manifestations . . 97
CHAPTER XII. THE GREAT WORK. Hermetic Magic Doctrines of
Hermes The Minerva of the World The grand and unique
Athanor The Hanged Man . . . . .106
CHAPTER XIII. NECROMANCY. Revelations from the other World-
Secrets of Death and of Life Evocations . . . .111
CHAPTER XIV. TRANSMUTATIONS. Lycanthropy Mutual possessions,
or embryonic state of souls The Wand of Circe The Elixir
ofCagliostro ... . . . . .120
CHAPTER XV. BLACK MAGIC. Demonomania Obsessions Urban
Grandier Girard The work of M. Eudes de Mirville . . 126
^CHAPTER XVI. BEWITCHMENTS. Dangerous forces Power of life and
death Facts and Principles Remedies Practice of Paracelsus . 128
CHAPTER XVII. ASTROLOGY. Knowledge of Men by the Signs of their
Nativity Phrenology Chiromancy Metoposcopy Planets and
Stars Climacteric years Predictions by means of Astral Revolutions
........ 137
CHAPTER XVIII. CHARMS AND PHILTRES. Venomous Magic
Powders and Pacts of Sorcerers The Jettatura at Naples The
Evil Eye Superstitions Talismans . . . .144
CHAPTER XIX. THE STONE OF THE PHILOSOPHERS ELAGABALUS.
What this Stone is Why it is a Stone Singular Analogies . 152
CHAPTER XX. THE UNIVERSAL MEDICINE. Extension of Life by
means of Potable Gold Resurrection Abolition of Pain . .157
CHAPTER XXI. DIVINATION. Dreams Somnambulism Presentiments
Second Sight Divinatory Instruments Alliette and his
discoveries concerning the Tarot . . , . .160
CHAPTER XXII. SUMMARY AND GENERAL KEY OF THE FOUR SECRET
SCIENCES. The Kabbalah Magic Alchemy Magnetism or
Occult Medicine . . 165
INTRODUCTION ........ 175
CHAPTER I. PREPARATIONS. Dispositions and Principles of Magical
Operation Personal Preparations of the Operator . . 191
CHAPTER II. MAGICAL EQUILIBRIUM. Alternative use of Forces-
Oppositions necessary in the Practice Simultaneous attack and
resistance The Sword and Trowel of the Builders of the Temple . 200
CHAPTER III. THE TRIANGLE OF PANTACLES. Use of the Triad in
Conjurations and Magical Sacrifices Triangle of evocations and
Pantacles Triangular Combinations The Magical Trident of
Paracelsus ........ 206
CHAPTER IV. THE CONJURATION OF THE FOUR. Occult Elements
and their Use Manner of overcoming and subjecting Elementary
Spirits and Maleficent Genii . . . . .214
CHAPTER V. THE BLAZING PENTAGRAM. Use and Consecration of the
Pentagram........ 224
CHAPTER VI. THE MEDIUM AND MEDIATOR. Application of Will to
the Great Agent The Natural Medium and the Extra-natural
Mediator ........ 229
CHAPTER VII. THE SEPTENARY OF TALISMANS. Ceremonies, Vestments,
and Perfumes proper to the seven days of the week Composition
of the Seven Talismans and Consecration of Magical Instruments
........ 234
CHAPTER VIII. A WARNING TO THE IMPRUDENT. Precautions necessary
for the accomplishment of the Great Works of Science . 248
CHAPTER IX. THE CEREMONIAL OF INITIATES. Its end and intention 251
CHAPTER X. THE KEY OF OCCULTISM. Use of Pantacles Their
ancient and modern mysteries Key of Biblical obscurities Ezekiel
and St John ....... 256
CHAPTER XL THE TRIPLE CHAIN. Methods of its formation . 260
CHAPTER XII. THE GREAT WORK. Its Processes and Secrets Raymond
Lully and Nicholas Flamel . . . . .264
CHAPTER XIII. NECROMANCY. Ceremonial for the Resurrection of
the Dead and for Necromancy ..... 270
CHAPTER XIV. TRANSMUTATIONS. Methods for changing the nature
of things The Ring of Gyges Words which accomplish Transmutations. . 281
CHAPTER XV. THE SABBATH OF THE SORCERERS. Rites and special
evocations of the Sabbath The Goat of Mendes and its worship
Aberrations of Catherine de Medecis and Gilles de Laval, Lord of
Retz 288
CHAPTER XVI. WITCHCRAFT AND SPELLS. Ceremonial for the same
Mode of defence against them ..... 306
CHAPTER XVII. THE WRITING OF THE STARS. Divination by Stars
Planisphere of Gaffarel How the Destinies of Men and Empires
may be read in Heaven ...... 313
CHAPTER XVIII. PHILTRES AND MAGNETISM. Composition of Philtres
How to influence Destinies Remedies and Preventives . . 326
CHAPTER XIX. THE MASTERY OF THE SUN. Use of the Philosophical
Stone How it must be preserved, disintegrated, and recomposed 335
CHAPTER XX. THE THAUMATURGE. Therapeutics Warm and cold
Insufflations Passes with and without contact Imposition of
hands Diverse virtues of saliva Oil and Wine Incubation and
Massage ........ 339
CHAPTER XXI. THE SCIENCE OF THE PROPHETS. Ceremonial for
Divinatory Operations The Clavicle of Trithemius Probable
future of Europe and of the world..... 346
CHAPTER XXII. THE BOOK OF HERMES. After what manner all
science is contained in the occult work of Hermes Antiquity of
this book Labours of Court de Gebelin and of Etteilla The
Theraphim of the Hebrews according to GafFarel The Key of
William Postel A book of Saint Martin The true shape of the
Ark of the Covenant Italian and German Tarots Chinese
Tarots A German Medal of the sixteenth century Universal
Key of the Tarot Its application to the Symbols of the Apocalypse
The seven seals of the Christian Kabbalah Conclusion of the entire work . 355
SUPPLEMENT TO THE RITUAL.
THE NUCTEMERON OF APOLLONIUS OF TYANA.... 387
THE NUCTEMERON ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS . . .395
INDEX . 401


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