Of all of the magick words the one that is probably best known is abracadabra. This generic word of power that is invoked by prestidigitators to bring their magic tricks to their culminations has a long history with far more esoteric beginnings. It is also an excellent example of how modern Hermetic magicians have re-crafted an old magick to fit a contemporary discipline.
The dictionary defines abracadabra as:
A cabalistic word, formerly used as a charm, and believed to have the power, when written in a triangular arrangement, and worn round the neck, to cure agues, etc. Now often used in the general sense of a spell, or pretended conjuring word; a meaningless word of mysterious sound; jargon, gibberish1.
This only touches on the meaning that was once ascribed to this word and to understand how it has been repurposed it is necessary to understand where it originated.
Posted in Abrahadabra, Ankh af na Khonsu, Books of Magick, English Qabalah, Gematria, Golden Dawn, Key to the English Qabalah, Lessons in Magick, Magick, Occult, Qabalah, The Book of the Law, The Sacred Magick, Thelema
Tagged abrahadabra, Agrippa, Aleister Crowley, Ankh af na Khonsu, Books of Magick, ceremony, English Qabalah, Gematria, Golden Dawn, Hermetic Order, initiation, Key to the English Qabalah, Lessons in Magick, Magick, magick instruction, Occult, pentagram, Qabalah, The Book of the Law, Thelema
The most fundamental error that most Neophytes in the study of magick make is to mistake the symbols of the occult for the things that they represent. The basic misapprehension begins with the simplest set of magickal symbols, the Platonic Elements. Almost every manual of occult instruction invokes this set of symbols but throughout the long history of the literature of magick very few have attempted to explain what they are.
The Elements According to Plato and Aristotle
Although Plato indicates that the concept of the elements predates his use of them he was the first to develop them into their current format. The origins of the Elements derive from the four ‘roots’ described by Empedocles. He referred to them metaphorically as rhizomata which implied that they are the source or a more developed cognition of our empirical experiences. Plato developed the idea and made these roots into the basic building blocks, the smallest divisions of cognition, the most fundamental observations that we can make of our experiences1. Aristotle went on to delineate the classifications of the sense impressions that are implied by the Elements as being hot or cold and wet or dry and admixtures of these qualities.
Aristotle went on to postulate that the material Elements must have been generated out of their pure forms at the creation of the Universe2. This led to the thought that these Elements are the basic building blocks of the material universe. We have since learned that this is not the case and the classical Elements of fire, water, air and earth do not make up the most basic composition of all things.
Posted in Elements, Lessons in Magick, Magick, Occult, Powers of the Sphinx, Qabalah, theurgy
Tagged Agrippa, Ankh af na Khonsu, Books of Magick, elements, Lessons in Magick, Magick, magick instruction, Occult, Qabalah, the elements, the powers of the sphinx, theurgy, Wicca, YHVH
There is more to magick than knowing which spells to recite and which herbs to use. There are aspects of magick remain consistent regardless of which tradition or school of magick that you pursue. The most important part of any magickal working has to be the Magickal Link which connects the magician to the objective of his magick. Without this link there is no avenue that the magick can use to transfer its intention and choosing an appropriate magickal link can make the difference between success and failure.
the one technical point on which I insist above all others is the Magical Link. More failure comes from neglect of this than from all other causes put together.- Magick Without Tears, Aleister Crowley
Conjuration or self indulgence?
The importance of the magick or object link has been understood since ancient times as being something that connects the magician to the object of their magick. Possessing some tangible connection with another person made it possible to influence them by the subtle forces of magick. To the mind of an ancient scholar this was a scientific method of magick, an accepted and vital part of all sorcery and one that came to be taken for granted so thoroughly that modern occultists are rarely aware of its importance.
The idea that to possess a physical link with someone gives a magician power over them is a strong component in the theory of sympathetic magick. It is also more complicated than collecting a few fingernail clippings and different kinds of magickal operations will require differing sorts of object links. There are also two types of object links, personal and impersonal, and choosing which one is right depends upon the sort of magick that is being used and the objective that is desired to result from it. Magick operates between one or more people and upon one or more planes and the variety of object links reflect this.
Preparing to Journey on the Planes
Learning to use the astral planes is central to the practice of magick of any sort. Whether it is conscious or not, using a set of sympathetic correspondences to induce a particularly defined state of awareness, however mundane, is a manipulation of the energy that forms the astral light. This energy is our awareness and learning to use this awareness is the key to becoming aware of yourself. Travelling on the astral planes is a journey within ourselves, no matter how much it appears to be the opposite.
On Considering the Reality of Astral Experiences
Questions about the reality or unreality of the astral body or the astral planes is irrelevant to the practice and best left until sufficient experienced has been acquired to develop an informed opinion. The object of these efforts is to experience them as a step towards self knowledge or Gnosis.
The symbols and entities that are encountered are not to be considered as having any importance in themselves but rather are significant only to those that experience them. Similarly, they are not to be trusted and must be tested before their veracity can be accepted as proven and even then any truth must be considered as personal rather than universal.
Posted in Ankh af na Khonsu, astral travel, Books of Magick, Lessons in Magick, Magick, Occult, theurgy
Tagged Ankh af na Khonsu, astral travel, Books of Magick, ceremony, Lessons in Magick, Magick, magick instruction, Occult, Silence, theurgy