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Abra-Melin


Abramelin the Mage (1362-1460), a Jew from Wurxburg, Germany. Abraham, or Abramelin, also known as Abraham the Jew or Abra-Melin composed a body of magical works which left their mark on Alexander Sanders and Aleister Crowley. Abra-Melin was an expert of the Kabbalah and proclaimed that he was taught magical knowledge by angels. They told him how to conjure and tame demons to become his personal servants and workers. He also was taught how to raise storms. His magic is frequently referred to as Abra-Melin magic.

He proclaimed that demons who created everything in the world worked under the direction of angels, and that each individual had a demon and angel as familiars. He stated the basis for his magic could be found in the Kabbalah.

Abra-Melin generated much lore which surrounded him. It credits him as creating 2,000 spirit cavalrymen to help Frederick, the elector of Saxony. Supposedly he helped the earl of Warwick in his escape from jail. Also he helped save the antipope John XXIII (1410-1415) from the Council of Constance.

The magic of Abra-Melin was supposedly contained in The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, which was actually a collection of three books. The French manuscript supposedly written in the 18th century is supposed to be a translation of Abra-Melin’s original Hebrew work, dated 1478. This manuscript, at the Biblotheque de I’ Arsenal, Paris, was again translated by S. L. MacGregor Mathers, an influential member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Aleister Crowley is said to have copied from the book to compose his rituals for mastering demons.

Abra-Melin magic resembles that found in The Key of Solomon grimoire. The basis of the magic lies in the power of numbers and sacred names and the construction of numerous magical squares for the purposes of invisibility, flying, commanding spirits, necromancy, metamorphosis, and other magical feats. All rituals for the magical practices must be adhered to exactly and in strict accordance to astrological observances.

Mathers’ translation was published about 1899. It was reissued by Causeway Books, New York, 1974, and Dover Publications, New York, 1975. A.G.H.


Sources: 4, 9.