Abramelin the Mage
Written and compiled by George Knowles
should never be forgotten for a single moment that the central and essential
work of the Magician is the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the
Holy Guardian Angel. Once he has achieved this he must of course be left
entirely in the hands of that Angel, who can be invariably and inevitably relied
upon to lead him to the further great step—crossing of the Abyss and the
attainment of the grade of Master of the Temple.
Aleister Crowley - Magick Without Tears, Ch.83
Abramelin the Mage (or Abra-Melin) is the name or pseudonym of an Egyptian sage who taught a powerful form of Kabbalistic magic. Little is known about him except for what is contained in a medieval manuscript preserved in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal in Paris. The actual manuscript was a French copy of a 17th or 18th century original manuscript written in Hebrew called: “The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, as delivered by Abraham the Jew unto his son Lamech, A.D. 1458”.
The manuscript reveals a Sacred Ritual operation by which a magician or spiritual aspirant might prepare for, invoke and finally meet with his Holy Guardian Angel. S.L. MacGregor Mathers of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn translated the manuscript into English in 1899, and incorporated some of its attainments into the Golden Dawn’s working rituals when compiling them. Since then the Holy Guardian Angel has found its way into many areas of modern Western mysticism.
Representative of one’s truest divine nature, the Holy Guardian Angel is equivalent to the Genius of the Golden Dawn, the Augoeides of Iamblichus, the Atman of Hinduism and the Daemon of the Gnostics. In Ceremonial Magic or High Magic, the single most important goal is to connect with one’s own Holy Guardian Angel, a process called the “Knowledge and Conversation” in which the magician or spiritual aspirant becomes fully aware of his own True Will. This concept of a Holy Guardian Angel and the importance of gaining contact with him, has greatly influenced modern Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism and perhaps to a lesser extent Neo-Paganism.
The author of the book is believed to have been Abraham of Würzburg (Abraham of Worms), a Jewish physician, Kabbalist, Magus and political advisor to such men as Emperor Sigismond of Germany (1368-1437). The book is divided into three parts or book’s, Book I contains his autobiography in which he describes his years of wondering in a quest for the “True and Sacred Source of Wisdom”. During his travels he learned about several systems of magic, but found the most of them disappointing.
just as he was about to give up his quest, he finds Abramelin in a small town
called Arachi (or Araki)
situated on the banks of the River Nile. There
he lived in a house atop a small
hill surrounded by trees. He
describes Abramelin as a man of venerable age, a courteous and kind man leading
a simple well-regulated life, who talks about nothing but his Fear of God and
avoiding the acquisition of wealth and riches.
Abramelin agrees to teach him the Sacred Magic, but in return extracts a promise that he give up his false dogmas and live in the Way and
Law of the Lord.
then gave Abraham two manuscript books to copy and asked for ten gold florins,
these he takes and distributes to the poor people in Arachi. On his return some days later, Abramelin explains the Sacred
Magic embedded within the two manuscripts, and instructs Abraham to follow the
procedures given therein precisely. When
his own time came, Abraham was to pass on his knowledge of the Sacred Magic only
to those he knew well.
In accordance with Jewish tradition, Abraham grants the mysteries of the Holy Kabbalah to his eldest son, but not wanting to leave his younger son Lamech without a means of spiritual fulfilment, he wrote and gave him the “Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage”. The first book ends with Abraham instructing his son Lamech on the kind of life he must lead if he completes the Sacred Ritual, and how its Sacred Magic should be used and properly employed.
After describing how he came to learn the Sacred Magic of Abramelin, in the second and third book Abraham explains in greater detail the entire Ritual operation (which takes six months to complete), as copied from Abramelin’s original manuscript books. Book II starts with the selection of an appropriate place for the summoning of various spirits and demons, for which a separate room called an Oratory (prayer room) must be kept and maintained in utmost purity. Here carefully detailed preparations need to be performed by the magician or spiritual aspirant while wearing specific vestments. The preparations include: protections, asceticism’s, purifications, prayers and evocations, which after the six months it takes to complete the Ritual, will result in the appearance of his own Holy Guardian Angel.
The most importance part of the operation is the invocation, or the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. The Holy Guardian Angel is considered to be an aspect of the “higher Self”, which when attained, assists the magician or spiritual aspirant through the remainder of the operation. Once the Holy Guardian Angel takes over as his mentor, it is from him that the True and Sacred Source of Wisdom and Magic are revealed. The next step of the process is to evoke other spirits and demons and force them to obey the Will of the magician. Once the magician has mastered the evocation of spirits and demons, and on an Oath of obedience and allegiance is able to command them to do his bidding, he can begin to put them to work as his familiars.
Book III the final book, is a collection of Magic Squares or Talismans, which the spirits and demons must swear upon when giving their Oaths. Each square or talisman can then be used to command a spirit or demon to perform certain magical tasks, similar to those used in other grimoires like the Key of Solomon the King, such tasks include: clairvoyance, divining metals and treasure, transmutation, magical self-defence, levitation or flying, metamorphosis, invisibility, necromancy, healing illness and various other feats of magic.
The first part of the operation, the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, is the perfection and purification of the conscious “higher Self” and opens a path of communication between man and the Divine. In the second part of the operation, the demons who are sometimes considered a man’s unconscious “lower Self” are evoked and brought under control by force of Will and Magic. It need be stressed here that to attempt the second part of the operation without the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, the magician or spiritual aspirant could become enslaved to those demons he initially desired to command.
It is difficult to be sure how much of this system of magic comes directly from Abramelin, or how much was embellished and added too by Abraham’s extensive knowledge of the Kabbalah. Despite this the Book of Abramelin the Mage still presents a viable, although archaic, method for achieving the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. As with many medieval grimoires of the past, magicians and others over time have rewritten the “Abramelin Operation”, and while maintaining the same core formula, have updated its procedures to reflect the advances of the modern age. The most notable of these rewrites is Aleister Crowley’s Liber Samekh.
Abramelin the Mage will always remain a mysterious figure in the history of occult mysticism, but the legacy of his system of magic will continue to live on for a long time to come. Today “The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage” is probably the most used and read of all the old grimoires.
First written and published on the 07th September 2007 - © George Knowles
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek
Mythology) / Esbats &
Full Moons / Links
to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft
Resources / What's a spell? /
Circle Casting and
Sacred Space / Pentagram
- Pentacle / Marks
of a Witch / The Witches
Power / The Witches Hat
esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism
Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1
/ Part 2 / Part
3 / A
history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope
Innocent VIII /
papal Bull /
Malleus Maleficarum /
An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum
/ The letter of approbation
Nider’s Formicarius /
Heinrich Kramer /
/ Montague Summers /
/ The Albigenses
The Hussites / The
/ Shielding (Occult
and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Rituals:
Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder. Also see: The Willow Tree (Folk Music)
Rocks and Stones:
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin: / Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murder by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A. Kelly / Albertus Magnus “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders "the King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary / Carl Llewellyn Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard (Dave Smith) / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Dorothy Morrison / Doreen Valiente / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gerald B. Gardner / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater "Horrible Herman" / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell / Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell “Lady Sheba” / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave (the White Fox) / John Michael Greer / John Score / Johannes Junius the Burgomaster of Bamberg / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau the " Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the Desiderata / Monique Wilson the “Queen of the Witches” / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellers / Mrs. Grieve "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and "The White Goddess" /Rudolf Steiner / Rosaleen Norton “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids / Sabrina - The Ink Witch / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather / Thomas Ady / Vera Chapman / Victor Henry Anderson / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest
Many of the above biographies are brief and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with aditional information, please cantact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
"FAIR USE NOTICE"
While I have taken due care and dilligence to credit all sources where possible, this website may contain copyrighted material which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. My use of making such material available here is done so in my efforts to advance our understanding of religious discrimination, the environmental and social justice issues etc. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the information for research and educational purposes. For more information about 'fair use' see: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this wedsite for purposes of your own that goes beyond this 'fair use' statement, you must obtain permission from the relevant copyright owner yourself.
My online email discussion group:
Dove of Peace
Help send a message of peace around the world! The Dove of Peace flies from site to site, through as many countries as possible. It does not belong to ANY belief system. Please help make a line around the globe by taking it with you to your site, by giving it to someone for their site, by passing it on to another continent or to the conflict areas of the world. May trouble and strife be vanquished in it's path.
Please take time to sign my Guest Book.