Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage

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HE aforesaid Operation being finished, it is necessary, in order to render this instruction complete, to say how we should manage the Operations which he who operateth wisheth to put into practice.

Firstly, then, having come unto the end, and having obtained all that is necessary; you cannot sufficiently praise and honour God, and His Most Holy Name, even although you had a thousand tongues; neither also can you sufficiently magnify and thank your Holy Angel Guardian as he meriteth. However, you ought to render thanks proportionate to your estate and to the Great Treasure which you have received. It is necessary also that you should fully understand how you ought to enjoy these immense riches, so that they may not be in your hands unfruitful, or even harmful. Because this Art is like a Sword in your hand, capable of serving for all kinds of evil and for hurt unto your neighbour. But in putting it into practice for that sole end for which it hath been made, namely for vanquishing therewith the DEMON and Enemies, then shall you be making a good use hereof. I wish also further to give you some instruction upon certain necessary and principal points.

The Operation of the Spirits being finished, you shall continue a whole week to praise God; and as regardeth yourself personally, you shall do no servile work during the Seven Days, neither shall you make any Convocation of the Spirits in general, nor of the Familiars; and afterwards, when the Seven Days be passed, you shall commence to exercise your power, as. shall be hereafter said:--

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(1) Take heed before all things to perform no Magical Operation soever, or Invocations of the Spirits on the Sabbath Day, during the whole period of your life, seeing that that day is consecrated unto God, and is the day on which you should repose and sanctify yourself, and you should solemnise it by prayers.

(2) Keep yourself as you would from the Eternal Fire, from manifesting unto any living being that which your Guardian Angel shall have confided unto you; excepting unto him who hath given unto you the Operation, unto whom you have as it were a greater obligation than unto your own father.

(3) As far as lieth in your power take heed in no way to make use of this Art against your neighbour; except for a just Vengeance; although I counsel you even in this particular to imitate God, who pardoneth even you yourself, and there is not in the world a more meritorious action than to pardon.

(4) In the case of your Angel dissuading you from some Operation, and forbidding you to do the same, keep well from becoming obstinate therein, for you would in such a case ever repent it.

(5) Fly all kinds of (Evil) Science, Magic, and Enchantments, because they be all Diabolical Inventions; also put no trust in books which teach them, though in appearance they may seem reliable to you, for these be nets which the perfidious BELIAL stretcheth out to take you.

(6) In conversing with Spirits Good or Evil, never employ words which you do not understand, because even so will you have shame and hurt.

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(7) You shall never demand of your Guardian Angel any Symbol wherewith to operate for an Evil end, seeing that you would grieve him. You will find only too many persons who will beseech you to do thus; see that you do it not!

(8) Accustom yourself as much as possible to purity of body and cleanliness of raiment, seeing that this is very necessary; for the Spirits, both Good and Evil alike, love purity.

(9) As far as possible shun the employment of your Wisdom for others in evil things; but first well consider him to whom you would render a service; because it often happeneth, that in doing service unto another one worketh evil for oneself.

(10) In no way attempt to procure the Operation of the Holy Angels unless you have extreme need thereof, seeing that these Holy Angels be so far above you that it is useless for you to wish to compare yourself unto Them, you being nothing in comparison of Them Who are the Angels of God.

(11) If the Operations can be performed by the Familiar Spirits, it is not necessary to employ others therein.

(12) Though it should be an easy matter for you to employ your Familiars to annoy your neighbour, seek to abstain therefrom, unless it were to repress the insolence of such as might attempt aught against you personally. Never keep the Familiar Spirits in idleness, and should you wish to give one over unto any person, see that such person be distinguished and meritorious, for they love not to serve those of base and common condition. But should

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such person unto i whom you give them have made some express Pact (with Spirits) in such case the Familiar Spirits will fly in haste to serve him.

(13) These three Books of this present Operation ought to be read and re-read an infinitude of times; so that in the space of Six Months before commencing, he who operateth should be fully instructed and informed therein; and if he be not a Jew, he should further be conversant with many of the customs and ceremonies which this Operation demandeth, so as to become accustomed unto that retirement which is so necessary and useful.

(14.) Should he who performeth this Operation during the Six Months or Moons commit voluntarily any mortal sin prohibited by the Tables of the Law, be certain that he will never receive this Wisdom.

(15) Sleep in the day-time is entirely forbidden, unless absolutely requisite, owing to some infirmity, or to old age, or to debility of constitution; for God is always willing to employ mercy 1 towards mankind, because of their infirmities.

(16) If you have not the fixed intention of continuing the Operation, I counsel you on no account to commence it; because the Lord doth not care to be mocked, and He chastiseth with corporal maladies those who make a mock of Him. Howbeit, he who is hindered from continuing through some unforeseen accident, sinneth in no way.

(17) It is impossible for him who hath passed fifty years of age to undertake this Operation. Thus also was

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it the custom in the true and ancient Jewish Law concerning the Priesthood. Also, he should not be less than twenty-five years of age.

(18) You shall not permit the Familiar Spirits to familiarise themselves too much with you, through your disputing and arguing with them; because they will propound so many affairs and things at once as to confound and trouble the mind.

(19) With the Familiar Spirits you should not make use of the Symbols of the Third Book, unless it be those of the Fifth Chapter thereof; 1 but if you desire anything, command them aloud to perform it. Never commence many Operations at once and in the same time, but when you have finished one then begin another, until you are perfect in the practice; for an Apprentice Artist doth not become a Master suddenly, but little by little.

(20) Without reasons of the very last importance, the Four Princes 2 or the Eight Sub-Princes 3, should never be summoned, because we must make a great distinction between these and the others (who are inferior to them).

(21) In operating, as rarely as possible insist upon the Spirits appearing visibly; 4 and thus you will work

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all the better, for it should suffice you for them to say and do what you wish.

(22) All Prayers, Orations, Invocations, and Conjurations, and in fact everything you have to say, should be pronounced aloud and clearly, without however shouting like a madman. 1 but speaking clearly and naturally, and pronouncing distinctly.

(23) During the Six Moons, you shall sweep the Oratory every Sabbath Eve, and keep it strictly clean, for it is a place dedicated unto the Holy and Pure Angels.

(24) Take heed that you commence no Operation at night if it be important, unless the need be very pressing.

(25) Your only object during your whole life should be to shun as far as possible an ill-regulated life, and especially the vices of debauchery, gluttony, and drunkenness. 2

(26) Having completed the Operation, and being now the Possessor of the True Wisdom, you shall fast three days before commencing to put it in practice.

(27) Every year you should make a commemoration of the Signal benefit which the Lord hath conferred upon you; at such time feasting, praying, and honouring your Guardian Angel that day with your whole strength.

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(28) During the Three Days on which you constrain the Spirits you shall fast, for this is essential, so that when you are working you may find yourself freer and more tranquil both in body and mind.

(29) Note that the fasts are to be understood as commencing always from the first nocturnal Star, and not otherwise.

(30) Keep as an indubitable precept never to give this Operation unto a Monarch, 1 because Solomon was the first who abused it; and if you should do the contrary, both you and your successors would alike lose the Grace hereof. With regard to this command, I myself having been sought by the Emperor Sigismond, gave him willingly the best Familiar Spirit which I had; but I steadily refused to give him the Operation; and it should not be given unto Emperors, Kings, or other Sovereigns.

(31) You may assuredly give, but it is not permissible to sell, this (Operation), for this would be to abuse the Grace of the Lord who hath given it unto you, and should you act contrariwise unto this, you would lose its control.

(32) Should you perform this Operation in a town, you should take a house which is not at all overlooked by any one; seeing that in this present day 2 Curiosity is so strong that you ought to be upon your guard; and there ought to be a garden (adjoining the house) wherein you can take exercise.

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(33) Take well heed during the Six Moons or Months to lose no blood from your body, except that which the expulsive Virtue in you may expel naturally of its own accord.

(34) Finally, during that whole time, you shall touch no dead body of any description soever.

(35) You shall eat during this whole period neither the flesh nor the blood of any dead animal; and this you shall do for a certain particular reason. 1

(36) You shall bind by an Oath him unto whom you shall give this Operation, neither to give nor sell it unto any avowed Atheist or Blasphemer of God.

(37) You shall fast for three days before giving the Operation unto any; and he who shall receive it shall do likewise; and he also shall hand over unto you at the same time the sum of Ten Golden Florins, or their value, the which you should with your own hand distribute unto poor persons whom you shall charge to repeat the Psalms, Miserere Mei Deus, etc., "Have mercy upon me, O God and the De Profundis, etc., "Out of the Depths".

(38) It will be a good thing, and one which will facilitate the Operation, for you to repeat all the Psalms of David, seeing that they contain great power and virtue; and to say them at least twice in the week.

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Also you shall shun gaming as you would the plague; because it ever is an occasion of Blasphemy.

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[paragraph continues] Also during this time prayer, and the study of the Sacred Books, should take the place of gaming with you. 1

All this advice, and much more which you would be certain to receive from your Angel Guardian, I have here set down, so that by observing the same perfectly, without failing in the slightest particular, you shall at the end of the Operation find the value thereof. I am now, therefore, about to give you distinct and sufficient information how to employ the Symbols 2 and how to proceed if you wish to acquire others.

You are then to understand that once he who operateth hath the power, it is not necessary (in all cases 3) to use written Symbols, but it may suffice to name aloud the Name of the Spirit, and the form in which you wish him to appear visibly; because once they 4 have taken Oath, this sufficeth. These Symbols, then, be made for you to avail yourself of them when you be in the company of other persons; also you must have them upon you, so that in touching or handling them simply, they may represent your wish. Immediately then he 5 unto whom the Symbol appertaineth will serve you punctually; but if you should desire something special which is in no way connected with or named in the Symbol, it will be

By "jeu," here is evidently meant gaming or gambling, and not simple recreation and amusement, which latter would be almost a necessity during this period, to prevent the brain giving way from the intense nervous strain.

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necessary to signify the same at least by showing your desire by two or three words. And here it is well to observe, that if you use prudence, you can often reason with those persons who be with you in such a manner that the Spirits, having however been beforehand invoked by you, will understand what they are to do; but it is necessary to discover your intent unto them by words. For they be of such great intelligence, that from a single word or a single motive, they can draw the construction of the whole matter; and although they cannot penetrate into the inmost parts of the human mind, yet nevertheless by their astuteness and subtlety they be so adroit that they comprehend by perceptible signs the wish of the person in question.

But when it is a grave and important matter, you should retire into a secret place apart, provided it be appropriate, for any place is good to invoke the Spirits proper unto the Operation. There give them their commission regarding that which you wish them to perform, the which they will either execute then or in the days following. But always give them the signal by word of mouth, or in any other manner that may be pleasing unto you, whenever you wish them to begin to operate. Thus did ABRAMELIN in Egypt, JOSEPH in Paris, and as for myself, I have always acted in the same manner. I have also made myself a very great man, and especially one who hath been of service unto Princes and great Lords.

I will hereafter tell clearly what Operations belong unto this or unto that Spirit, and how it is necessary to act.

Now will I teach you how all those (Symbols) which be in this Book, as well as those which you will (hereafter) receive from the Spirits (themselves), ought to be written down and acquired. For the number of Operations is infinite, and it would be an impossibility to set them all down in this work. If therefore you should

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wish to perform certain fresh Operations by the use of a Symbol not set down in any way in the Third Book [I am speaking of good and permissible Operations], 1 you shall make the demand thereof from your Guardian Angel in this manner:--

Fast the day before, and on the following morning you, being well washed, shall enter into the Oratory, put on the White Tunic, illumine the Lamp, and put the Perfume in the Censer. Then lay the Lamen of Silver upon the Altar, whereof the two Angles shall be touched with the Holy Anointing Oil; fall upon your knees and make your Orison unto the Lord, rendering unto Him grace for the benefits which you have received in general.

Then shall you supplicate Him to be willing to send unto you your Holy Angel, that he may instruct you in your ignorance, and that he may deign to grant your demand. After this, invoke your Holy Guardian Angel, and pray him to favour you with his vision, and to instruct you how you should design and prepare the Symbol of the Operation desired. Also you shall remain in prayer until you shall see appear in the room the Splendour of your Angel. Then wait to see if he shall expound or command anything touching the form of the Symbol demanded. And when you have finished your supplication, arise and go to the Plate of Silver, whereon you shall find written as it were in drops of dew, like a sweat exuding therefrom, the Symbol as you ought to make it, together with the Name of the Spirit who should serve you for this Operation, or else that of his Prince. And without touching or moving the Lamen, copy at once the Symbol just as it appeareth, and leave the Plate of Metal upon the Altar until the even; at the which time, after having made your ordinary Orison, and returned your thanks, you shall put it away in a piece of clean silk.

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The most convenient Day for procuring these Symbols is the Sabbath; because by such an Operation, we do not in any way violate (its sanctity), neither do we injure the same at all. Also we can prepare all things necessary the day before. But if the Angel should not appear, and should not in any way manifest unto you the Symbol, then may you be certain that the pretended Operation, although it may appear good in your eyes, is not so considered by God and by your Guardian Angel and in such case you shall change your demands.

Now, as regardeth the Symbols for Evil Operations, these shall you obtain more easily; seeing that after (putting on) the Perfume, there is nothing else to do but to make your Orisons. Then being clad in your White Tunic, you shall put on over it the Silken Vestment and the Girdle, and after that the Crown, taking the Wand in your hand, and placing yourself at the side of the Altar towards the Terrace. Then, holding the Wand, conjure in the same manner as you did on the Second Day. And when the Spirits shall have appeared, you shall command them in no way to quit the place, until they shall have manifested unto you the Symbol of the Operation which you desire, together with the Names of the Spirits capable of putting the same into execution, together with their Symbols. And then you shall see the Prince unto whom the Operation appertaineth avow, write, and sign upon the Sand the Symbol, together with the Name of the Spirit who is to serve for this Operation. Then shall you take the Surety and Oath of the Prince upon the Symbol, and also of his Ministers, as you will have previously done in accordance with the (directions given in the) Fourteenth Chapter. 1 And should several Symbols be given, make them take Oath upon them all. This being done, you can dismiss them

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in the manner we have already described, taking heed before this to copy the Symbols which they shall have traced upon the Sand, because in departing they will destroy the same. And when they have gone, take the Censer and perfume the place, as before said.

I do not however write this, so that you may hereby, as well as by the use of certain of the Symbols described in the Third Book, work Evil; I have in no way written them down for such an end; but only that you may understand the full perfection of this Art, and what we can herewith perform. For the Evil Spirits be exceeding prompt and exceeding obedient in the working of Evil; it is to be wished that they were as much so for the Good. However, take heed that you be upon your guard.

And remember, that as there is a God to write these aforesaid Symbols, there is no particular preparation necessary of Pens, of Ink, and of Paper; nor yet of elections of particular Days, nor other things to be observed, which the False Magicians and Enchanters of the Devil would have you believe. It sufficeth that the Symbols should be clearly written with any kind of Ink and Pen, provided that we may easily discern unto what Operation each Sign appertaineth, the which also you can easily do by means of a properly arranged and drawn up Register of them. But the greatest part of the Symbols of the Third Book I counsel you to make before commencing the Operation, keeping them until that time in the interior of the Altar. And after that the Spirits shall have taken Oath thereupon, you shall carefully keep (the Symbols) in a safe place, where they can neither be seen nor touched by any other person, because thus great harm might befal such person.

Now will we declare unto you what Symbols be manifested by the Good Angels and what by the Evil, and unto what Prince each Operation is subject, and lastly, what should be observed as regardeth each Symbol.


126:1 In MS., "User d'humanitè".

127:1 Entitled: "How we may retain the Familiar Spirits bond or free, in whatsoever form".

127:2 Viz. Lucifer, Leviathan, Satan, and Belial.

127:3 Viz. Ashtaroth, Maguth, Asmodeus, and Beelzebub; Oriens, Paymon, Ariton or Egyn, and Amaymon.

127:4 For not only does constraining them to visible appearance require reiterated conjurations, but also they must be in some way provided with the necessary elements wherefrom to build up a body to manifest in.

128:1 In the Original: "Sanspourtant crier comme unfou".

128:2 I have by this phrase translated the expression in the Original "Le vice de crapule".

129:1 This also seems like mere prejudice on the part of Abraham.

129:2 Remember that "this present day" means of course the period when Abraham was writing this work, i.e., 1458. In this particular of curiosity the world has doubtless changed little since.

130:1 Probably implying that the Evil Spirits could easily obsess such animal, so as to act upon the Operator through whatever he might eat of it.

131:1 In the Original MS.: "Vous fuirez lejeu comme la peste parcequiloccasionne toujours du blaspheme outreque dans ce temps la leveritable jeu est loraison et la lecture des livres sacrez".

131:2 I.e., those of the Third Book.

131:3 I have here interpolated "in all cases," as otherwise this passage would clash with remarks elsewhere.

131:4 I.e., the Spirits, who have sworn allegiance to the Operator at his convocations of them.

131:5 I.e., that Spirit.

133:1 This Parenthesis is Abraham's.

134:1 I.e., of this Second Book. The Chapter is entitled: "Concerning the Convocation of the Spirits".

Next: By Whom the Symbols of the Chapters of the Third Book be Manifested


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