Also known as Abramelin the Mage.
A 15th century German Jew who created a body of magical works that influenced magicians for centuries afterwards.
Abramelin claimed to have obtained his expertise of magic from angels. He was an authority on the Kabbalah, which served as the foundation for his system of magic.
The fundamental principle of Abramelin magic is that our material world is the creation of evil spirits, or demons, who work under the supervision of good spirits, or angels. Abramelin maintained that every human has an angel and a demon that attends him or her.
Abramelin’s magic was contained in his three-volume work, The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, which allegedly was written in Hebrew in 1458, although scholars have cast doubt on this claim. The book was translated into French in the 18th century and was translated into English at the turn of the 20th century by S. L. MacGregor Mathers, one of the original members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The English translation deeply influenced Aleister Crowley, who, through Crowley’s influence on Gerald Gardner, in turn influenced contemporary Neopagan Witchcraft.
According to its preface, the book represents the teachings of Abramelin, passed on by him to his student, named Abraham, and by the latter to his son Lamech. The work contains a large number of magic squares that are used to accomplish invisibility, flight, shape-shifting , command of spirits, and necromancy. According to his student Abraham, this is the only valid magical system in the world, requiring the adept to devote 6 months of continuous prayer, repentance, and intricate rituals in order to achieve magical enlightenment. The student was obliged to acquaint himself with his Guardian Angel to gain insight on how to use spirits as his servants. After a long apprenticeship, the student would be able to command and control spirits and demons through talismans composed of letters combinations.
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The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage developed a sinister reputation in the early part of the 20th century, when grim accidents and mental imbalance plagued those who had a copy of the original printing, or who tried to make use of the talismans therein.
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Sources: (1) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Lewis, James R., Witchcraft Today - An Encyclopedia of Wiccan and Neopagan Traditions, A B C Clio Publishers; (3) The Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Handy Volume Edition, Oxford University Press; (4) Greer, John Michael, The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, Llewellyn Publications.
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