Thaumaturgy (Greek, thaumaturgeia, from thaumata, “wonders” and ergeia, “work”) is a branch of magic practiced to cause change with the sensible universe. This type of magical practice mainly concerns making a physical change in the universe without invoking divine help of the gods as opposed to theurgy. Some Neo-pagan traditions employ thaumaturgic work.
Thaumaturgy refers to the ability of a saint or a magician to work miracles and magic. According to Isaac Bonewits, Thaumaturgy is defined as the use of magic for non-religious purposes; the art and science of ‘wonder-working’; using magic to actually change things in the physical world”.
Thaumaturgy can also be translated into wonderworking. Anyone practicing Thaumaturgy is called thaumaturgus, miracle worker, thaumaturgist or thaumaturge.
Thaumaturgy is derived from the Greek language and it is a Greek word for “work”, “marvel” or “miracle”. In Christianity, the term Thaumaturgy refers to saints and can be translated to wonderworker or an individual through whom God works miracles as a matter of course. Some of the famous ancient Christian Thaumaturges are highlighted below:
- Saint Andrew Corsini (1302-1373).
- The Carmelite Bishop of Fiesole.
- Saint John of Kronstadt (1829-1908).
- Saint Gerard Majella (1726-1755).
- Saint Ambrose of Optina (1812-1891).
- Saint Philomena.
- Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231).
- Saint Nicolas of Myra (270-343).
- Saint Menas of Egypt (285-c. 309).
- Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus (c.213-270).
Kings of England and France are traditionally considered as Thaumaturges and they are able to heal scrofula.
Aside from Christianity, several other religions also recognize Thaumaturgy and have their individual definitions for this phenomenon. However, the meanings given to this term by each of these religions are similar.
In Hinduism, Thaumaturgy is a term ascribed to Godmen, who are seen as charismatic gurus. These individuals have a high-profile presence and are also capable of attracting people’s attentions. They also attract a lot of support from a large group of people in society. These individuals claim to possess supernatural or paranormal powers, which include the following:
- The ability to read minds
- The ability to influence or see future events
- The ability to heal
Islam is also not left behind. Several Thaumaturgy evidences are recorded in the Quran. Miracles are present in threefold sense in Islam, which are:
- In sacred history
- In relation to revelation
- In connection with the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Thaumaturgy in Islam is defined as the means via which the Prophet overwhelms and confounds his opponents. Thaumaturgy in Islam also refers to verses in the Quran, which are believed to be the divine speech in the language of human and presented by the Prophet as his chief miracle. It also refers to miracles and signs of creation. Thaumaturgy also earns a mention in Judaism, the same as magic. The word Thaumaturgy gained a presence in the English language in the 16th century, which means magical or miraculous powers.
Aside from religion, the term Thaumaturgy also has a place in various cultures. The term has also featured severally in different games and novels. It is equally used as a synonym for magic. It is equally used as the science of magic or a particular sub-school of magic.
It is usually used as a name for magic in various novels. The word “thaum” is the basic unit of magical energy.
It is equally referred to as the physics and science of magic in RPGs like GURPS, Perdido Street Station.
Thaumaturgy is among the five disciplines of magic in magic’s trilogy written by Lyndon Hardy. The term also features prominently in Master of the Five Magics, her first book. It has also featured in several games like Minecraft, Path of Exile and so on.
It is considered as the power to work miracles and healings as described above.
Levels of rituals
Defense of the sacred haven: this particular ritual helps to prevent the sunlight from gaining access to an area within 20 feet of the ritual casting, causing mystical darkness it covers the area and keeping the light away. The sunlight directed towards the room will reflect off windows and the light will always fail to pass through the door. The caster will draw sigils on the affected doors and windows in her blood. The ritual will last for as long as Tremere stays in the 20-foot-radius. The ritual requires up to one hour. During the ritual, the Thaumaturge will inscribe glyphs and recite incantations. The ritual requires one blood points.
Wake with evening freshness
This is yet another type of ritual related to Thaumaturgy. The ritual permits a Tremere to wake up at any sign of danger, which is common during the day. If a potentially harmful situation comes up, the Tremere will rise immediately with full readiness to face the problem. The ritual requires the ashes obtained from burned feathers to be spread and the ritual needs to be carried out immediately before the Tremere settles to slumber for the day.
Communicate with Kindred Sire
A Tremere may join minds with her sire and will communicate telepathically over virtually any distance. The communication can be prolonged until either part ends it or until after the rituals.
Other level one rituals are:
- Widow’s Spite
- Blood Rush
- Illuminate Trail of the Prey
- Bind the Accusing Tongue
- Scent of the Garou’s Passing
- Will O’Wisp
- Domino of Life
- Rite of Introduction
- Rebirth of Moral Vanity
- Purity of Flesh
- Engaging the vessel of Transference and so on
Aside from the level one rituals, you also must consider the level two rituals, some of which are highlighted below:
- Ward versus Ghouls
- Principle focus of Vitae infusion
- Blood walk
- Craft bloodstone
- Mourning life curse
- Burning Blade
- Donning the mask of shadows
- Warding circle versus ghouls
- The open passage
- Eyes of the night hawk
- Impassable Trail and many others.
Next, we will mention some of the very important level three rituals, which include the following:
- Incorporeal Passage
- Gentle Mind
- Pavis of Foul Presence
- Sanguine Assistant
- Flesh of fiery touch
- Noncorporeal passage
- Illusion of peaceful death
- Shaft of belated Quiescence
- Ward versus lupines
- Summon mischievous spirit
- Fire in the blood
- Eldritch Glimmer
- Clinging of the insect
- Ruror’s hand
The different levels of rituals are up to eight in number and each of these rituals is essential.
Greer, John Michael. The New Encyclopedia of the Occult. St. Paul, MN, Llewellyn Worldwide. p. 478