acred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, frequently known as the Book of Abramelin, is steeped in Jewish exoticism. The document has become a classical text of ceremonial magick and is attributed to the fourteenth century Jewish scholar Abramelin von Worms (see Abraham the Jew). The purpose of its usage is to achieve conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel, a heavenly being, and during this conversation all of the demons, literally hundreds, named in the work are required to be subservient to the operator, magickan. The work was translated by Samuel Liddel MacGragor Mather in 1898 from a fifteenth century French manuscript which at the time was the only material available to him. Mather received some criticism of his translation but later Abramelin scholar Georg Dehn discovered that the manuscript which Mather used was corrupted, not his translation. Dehn is credited for the discovery of much Abramelin material which has been published. The Book of Abramelin has been indispensible in the comparison of surviving manuscripts especially with the names of the demons.
Seeking the conversation with the magickan’s Holy Guardian Angel is called the «operation.» The preparation is elaborate, difficult, and long. All German translations have this period lasting eighteen mouths; Mather reduced it to six. The magickan must lead a rigid lifestyle including daily praying before sunrise and a sunset, complete chastity must be observed, alcoholic beverages are to be refused, and all business is to be conducted in a scrupulously fair manner.
At the completion of this preparation period, if successful, the magickan’s Guardian Angel will appear revealing magickal secrets. Then the magickan must evoke the twelve Kings and Dukes of Hell (Lucifer, Satan, Leviathan, Belial, etc.) and bind them. This way the magickan therefore gains command over them thus dismissing their negative influence from his life. Then these demons are obliged to deliver familiar spirits ((four principal familiar spirits plus several more associated with a set of magickal word-square talismans described in Abramelin’s Book Four.)
The magickan’s goals for which he employs the demons, particularly those found in grimoires, are to gain the ability to find buried treasure, to cast love charms, hexes, to magically fly, and have invisibility just to name a few. All magickans like magick are not alike; the magickan’s intention directs his magick, if this magickan’s is good then his magick is good, if evil then magick is evil. Magick is colorless, no black or white. The intention of the magickan directs the purpose of his magick. This is why the Abramelin magic has produced treacherous results and given it a sinister reputation.
Magic Squares play a prominent role in conducting the Abramelin operations as does a recipe for anointing oil (taken from Exodus 30) popularly used by ceremonial magickans and commonly known as «Abramelin’s Oil. » Other tools include a holy Lamp, a Wand made of an almond branch, a recipe for «Abramelin incense» (taken also from Exodus 30), various Robes, a square or seven-sided silver plate or (bees) wax, and other tools.
Abramelin magick has been compared to Goetic Magick since both invoke demons but there is one major difference between the two: the chief aim of Abramelin magick is the conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel.
Magical squares composing the talismans in Abramelin magick are composed of letters, unlike magical squares usually composed of numbers, so to serve as teaching aids to students and operators. Since the focus of Abramelin magick is mystical each word or name within the square should relate to the magickal goal which the magickan is striving to attain. The words are similar to the famous «SATOR, AREPO, TENET, APERA, ROTAS» word square.
In Abramelin certain words have specific significance. A square entitled «To walk under water as long as you want» contains the word MAIAM, the Hebrew and Arabic word for «water.» The square used for the recovering of treasurers of jewelry begins with the word TIPHAREH, a variant of tiferet, which can mean «golden ring» and is also the name of the sphere for Beauty,» also a planetary attribute of the Sun, on the Kabbalistic Tree of_Life.
The 1898 translation of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, having a reputation for being a sinister grimoires, by Samuel L. M. Mather had a great influence on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In 1904 as a young member of the Golden Dawn Aleister Crowley prepared to carry out the operation. Crowley had roomed with Allan Bennett a Buddhist in poor health suffering terribly from asthma. Drugs were the one thing that relieved his suffering. Crowley learned much from Bennett’s tutoring and was impressed by his intelligence. It was with this knowledge that Crowley prepared to perform the Abramelin operation. But Crowley was interrupted in 1907 when having to help Mather with organizational matters of the Golden Dawn.
Before interrupting the Operation Crowley wrote that the «demons connected with the Abramelin do not wait to be evoked; the come unsought.» During his attempts at the Operation there were strange occurrences. Once, for example, Crowley and another Dawn member observed semi-materialized beings march around the room in almost endless procession. They speculated they were using a powerful magickal practice.
This article is an opened article because as demons associated with Abramelin are found their names will be added:
Belanger, Michelle. The Dictionary of Demon: Names of the Damneds. Llewellen Publications. 2010. ebook.
The Book of Abramelin. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_the_Sacred_Magic_of_Abramelin_the_Mage>