5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2002
This book expounds upon many theories in relation to practicle magick, but with a book like this one, it is quite easy to be deceived into the black arts. It is quite obvious that we are not masters, not all knowing beings that can summon the most powerful forces in the solar system and keep them at bay--although our pride would like to think so. No one should read this book and attempt to practice any of the practices on their own, this would be foolish and dangerous. Most of the pseudo-esoteric students like to summon forces from this grimiore, WITHOUT EVEN DOING THE PRELIMINARY EXCERSISES!!! No one can awaken consciousness without a true teacher. No one can learn the path without guidance, not even the character in this grimioure, Abraham the "Jew". One needs to learn oneself, to KNOW THYSELF... Start with understanding esoteric psychology, buy the book "Revolutionary Psychology" by Samael Aun Weor. Buy the book "Sane Occultism" by Dion Fortune. Don't just allow your mind to fantasize in those medival grimoirs, thinking yourself to be a magician, this is a waste of time. Learn how to change yourself, only then will the laws of nature serve you-and this, all the initiates would say, is the true magick.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2003
This interesting grimoire was published by S.L. Mathers in 1898, based on a flawed French manuscript. The elaborate and lengthy method it describes for attaining magical knowledge and power is considerably different from the Solomonic grimoires, which it disparages. The flamboyant occultist Aleister Crowley considered it of great importance and underwent the magical operation described. The noted occultist Franz Bardon was familiar with and used the 1725 edition of Peter Hammer.
The text was evidently originally written in German, and a German edition which compares the known manuscripts has been published recently by Georg Dehn. (Abraham von Worms. Buch Abramelin. Ed. G. Dehn, Saarbrücken 1995.) Although Dehn was impressed by how closely Mathers rendered the French text, it is clear that Mathers' exemplar did not fully understand the text it was based on, so cannot be entirely relied upon.
These older German manuscripts have additional material, and reflect a more elaborate operation. One notable difference is that the operation lasts a year and a half, not six months as described in Mathers' text. Dehn's edition also contains an additional book (mostly a collection of recipes) not found in Mathers' edition. Another problem with Mathers' text is that it did not fill in most of the letters in the magical squares, so many of Mathers' comments on the same are irrelevant. Note that with the corrections, there is a close connection between the lists of spirits and the magical squares.
Dehn regarded the name "Abraham of Worms" as a pseudonym for the well known scholar Rabbi Jacob ben Moses ha Levi Moellin, more commonly known as "The MaHaRIL." However, see comments by Gershom Scholem in Kabbalah (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House: 1974, p. 186) who was not impressed with it. According to Scholem, the author, although possessing an uncommon knowledge of Hebrew, was not in fact Jewish. He sums it up thus: "It shows the partial influence of Jewish ideas but does not have any strict parallel in kabbalistic literature."
Although Mathers' edition will give a good idea of Abramelin's methods, Dehn's German edition must be considered indispensible until an English translation based on his texts is available.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2003
It boggles the mind as to why so many occultists and their organisations recommend this horrifingly bad work. My best guess as to why Crowley and his A.A put it on their reading list is to show the young initiate how *not* to act and what *not* to believe. Sadly, chances are this is not the case.
If you have an intense desire to read blantant lies (Abraham makes all sorts of amazing claims, from summoning great wealth, to conjuring armies), paragraphs of contradictions (you can believe in whatever diety you want, as long as it's the Hebrew god), and embarrassing ceremonial acts (you want me to stick find-a-word puzzles to my forehead?), well this book is for you.
Abra-Melin's "sacred magic" is amateur and childish at best - if you desire to read some proper occult work, look elsewhere.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2001
this is an incredible work............ of fiction that is. if you think your really going to fly, turn invisible have the spirits serve you meat cheese and wine, get real!. this book preaches holiness until you get to those fun fun squares where then you discover the authors true alience those functions are mainly controlled by evil spirits and "devils" guess what unlike solomonic magic your not controling them they are controlling you through those supposed functions every time you use most of those squares your giving yourselves to them. the only thing this book is good for is burning
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2001
Everyone is saying this book is fantastic and the magic squares work wonders... Sure! Ha!
Yep, you can travel (fly) without airplane or helicopter or balloon (pg 209), and can demolish buildings and strongholds (pg 227) --- terrorists might be interested,... Want to be Invisible Man, refer to pages 198-200. Even Aleister Crowley tried to make his shadow invisible but failed... maybe you will have better luck.
The Emperor just isn't wearing anything if you ask me.
Just because many people say so, doesn't mean so.
on April 19, 2003
This is a complex book and the rituals involved should not be attempted by any initiate, and especially not by the un-initiated. It involves the Practical aspects of the Qabalah, what Abraham the Jew (the supposed author) describes as a Lesser Form of the Theoretical Qabalah known as the "Sacred Magic".
The most significant part of the book involves the Ritual to Attain to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn this mystical ritual was described as Seeking the Higher Genius. Aleister Crowley adopted the language of the Sacred Magic when he utilized Aiwass 418 as his own Holy Guardian Angel. However, the Jewish Qabalists refer to it as the Maggid or Angelic Preacher, and it was a major aspect of the Safed school.
The Sacred Magic is essential in that it is the only manual available that so eloquently describes the process by which one might attain to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Maggid. This is the Heart of the Tree of Life glyph. It is Tifareth (Beauty or Harmony). It is the apex of the Meditative Qabalah, as well as the Theoretical and the Practical.
The Sacred Magic is divided into 3 Sections:
Section 1 is an autobiography of Abraham b. Simon the Jew. Since Lamech is his second-born son, he provides him with the Lesser Qabalah, whereas he provided his first-born son, Joseph, with the Greater Qabalah. Abraham descibes the process by which he received this Tradition from Abramelin the Jew of Egypt.
Section 2 describes the ceremonial magic (theurgy) by which one might obtain to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. These rituals often require a deep knowledge of Judaica
Section 3 describes the actual Sacred Magic, which involves Magical Squares by which one subjugates the Evil Spirits to perform miraculous feats for the Adept. These Qabalistic Squares are complex and require a deep knowledge of Hebrew and Gematria.
The Sacred Magic promotes actions that might be considered immoral by our modern society. Abraham appears to have been a Bogomil, and therefore, one should have a deep knowledge of history in order to comprehend the maning. Otherwise, Abraham appears to promote an anti-female bias, and even appears to promote child-endangerment with his use of the Child Clairvoyant.
The translator S.L.M. Mathers provides excellent commentary throughout, unfortunately, the Old English is often difficult to understand. It is like reading the King James Bible. And, the overall appearance of the book and the pages of the book appear to be rather antiquated as well. But, this is the only version of the book that is available right now, and it is an excellent Resource.
Shalom - Soror Samhain
on March 16, 2003
This historical book is a depiction of one method to "Attain The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel," thus leading to working with Ceremonial Magick, Magick Squares and retaining the Service of various Entities for Magickal purposes.
Although this is a definitive source for information regarding "The Attainment of The Holy Guardian Angel," the method is extremely out-dated and of little use "as-is" to most Modern Individuals (especially, anyone with a JOB!). This book was written many centuries ago, when the Oppressive Death Cult of Xtianity held-sway over minds, bodies and lives--therefore, the methods depicted in this book are determined by an Xtian / Repressive mindset (e.g., that one must be "Chaste" and "undefiled by women" and other silliness to be "Holy"). This book is written from a Patriarchal, Misogynistic, "Old Aeon" point of view that is mostly irrelevant, now. However, the basic ideas, concepts, theories and methods can be easily UPDATED by anyone studying this book, to comply with a person's own Perspective about what is "Holy" and Enlightening..... After-all, religion and Spirituality are in the eye of the beholder.
Although this book may be rather offensive to Modern-thinking Individuals (esp., women and open-minded, intelligent men), if a person reads between the lines and keeps in-mind that people were burned for Free-Thinking until quite recently, it makes-sense that the author would tow the Party Line to some degree.
Regardless of the rather Patriarchal format of the book, I see no reason why any individual could not adopt the basic premise and "Interpret" the Rituals as they see-fit to "Attain The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel," for themselves. In fact, Thelemites are aware of Crowley's personal take on this matter, and I am sure many people have made personal attempts, making-up their own version of this method of Magickal evocation.
I consider this book to be a Primer / Grimoire of ONE METHOD of contacting "The Holy Guardian Angel" --this Grimoire is the equivalent of a Cookbook.... this Recipe worked for Abramelin The Mage, but others may need to substitute various ingredients and/or add to or subtract from the Original Recipe, to Attain results to their own tastes.
on September 15, 2002
First, I would like to disagree with the statement from the book that the book can summon things on its own and also that the tablets have great powers which should not be shown to animals or childrens. - I do practice magick so I'm not a skeptic to magick, and I'm saying this as a practitioner - it seem that this is a bit of an overstatement. If books can really summon things on its own, then the warehouse of Amazon.com and many other bookstores are probably infested with netherworld beings. The tablet, like all sigils and symbols have its own energy and power - that is a fact, but it is not that extreme that it can not be shown to children or animals.
Now, about the book, yes its powerful. But you will need discipline to follow up with the 6 month preparation course. I really don't like the part where you have to involve a child. This is also introduced in Goetia. Thinking of it, I think using the Magick Mirror like in Goetia is safer. All in all, I would recommend the book for those who are interested in Evocation. This is a really powerful Magick, since the forces to work on the Magick, is not on the caster but on beings power (I wouldn't call them demons - since some are fallen angels, some are higher beings of another universe, some are consciousness beyond our understanding, etc).
I give it 4 since I find Goetia accessible than this. You can summon the same entity with Goetia anyways.
on January 21, 2002
This book-- in a somewhat outdated fashion-- describes the methods of attaining a deep state of spiritual inner understanding. A How-To for Magical Mysticism to put it bluntly. It does not necessarily have to be accomplished in the medieval methods described-- women are particularly disadvantaged-- but, it would be advisable to stick to rules as close as one can in most cases. Many books propose to offer a practitioner magical transformations. This one, if followed honorably, actually does just that. And it does it in the safest, most godly [that is, theurgical] manner. I don't know that I would recommend it for beginners because I have strong doubts that beginners would have the sticking power to make it through the six months required. As for the "terribly dangerous" magical squares-- those were particular to the writer. No one knows what their ending will be until it arrives. If you are a magical person-- with or without the "k"-- and you want to progress deeply, you have found the right book. Even the errors in translation, and there are some, don't stop this from being one of the truly greatest magical tools of all time. And one that is still being used, if you care to read it for that information.
Some caveats: though it purports to be written by a Jew, it is very Christian in its methods, unlike many modern mages, and, secondly, there have been some later translations from the German that indicate the time involved was to be tripled. Three periods of six months each. Still, neither "problem" interferes with the efficacy of the book. However, I would advise a person of a different religious orientation from Christianity to adjust their use of it accordingly. The book is not a toy to be played with hypocritically.
on September 4, 2001
I must first reject opinions that this book isn't for the beginner. I wish that I had such useful instruction when I began. Abramelin, through the wise scholarship of Abraham of Wurstburg, sets down the ground rules for the pious scholar who wishes to learn true magic(k) and not be drawn into the traps of the unrighteous....
The translation is not without its errors, though. For instance, Mathers translates what I believe was "creator" as "architect of the universe," a cleary masonic term. Also, although the day was divided into 12-hour increments since Egyptian times, the term "o'clock" could not have been a proper term in the 1460's. I must disagree with Crowley, however, who blamed his initial lack of success with this book on its translator. Abraham insists on periods of prayer, meditation, and yes, celibacy before attempting any feat-- a regiment the undisciplined Crowley could clearly not stick to.
The scholar who wishes to learn and practice magic-- not false concepts of astrology, numerology, and the tricks of charlatans-- should read and study this as their first real instruction. This is truly the one book that any magus cannot live without.