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 Three Books of Occult Philosophy:

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Stacey/Cirrius
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PostSubject: Three Books of Occult Philosophy:   Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:01 pm

First drafted in 1509-10 by Henry Cornelius Agrippa (student of Johannes Trithemius), this is the single most important grimoiric text in existence. It is not, in fact, a practical manual, but is instead a compendium of the theories and philosophies upon which Medieval and Renaissance magick are based.

Agrippa divided his work into three distinct sections (or books): the first focuses upon natural or earth-magick. The second outlines the more intellectual techniques such as Qabalah, Gematria, mathematics, and divination. The third book concerns religious observances and interaction with Angelic beings. There are no ceremonies outlined, and no chapters dedicated to “how to” instructions. Instead, it is a sourcebook or reference without which the other grimoires would be nearly useless today. One could spend a lifetime with this book, and still discover new treasures of ancient thought within its pages.

More than any other, this book (especially Book II) has had a major impact on our modern magickal cultures. It seems to have been a favorite of John Dee, as many of its correspondences and magickal wisdom appear throughout the Enochian system of magick. It was also a major sourcebook for the founders of the Golden Dawn, and most of their lists of Angels and Divine Names can be found in its pages. The seven magickal squares, or planetary kameas (used in many traditions from the Golden Dawn to Wicca), are found in Agrippa’s work. The four philosophical Elements, the gnomes, sylphs, salamanders, and undines, construction of talismans, gematria, the Shem haMephoresh and more are all outlined here. And these are merely a few examples; due to its overshadowing influence on today, it would be impossible to list all of the modern borrowings from the Three Books in this small space.
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