Three Books Of Occult Philosophy Book I

Three Books Of Occult Philosophy Book I Image

Book: Three Books Of Occult Philosophy Book I by Henry Cornelius Agrippa

Book I of The Three Book of Occult Philosphy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa

The Three Book of Occult Philosphy purports to be the work of Henry Agrippa, the 16th century author of "Three Books of Occult Philosophy". But the 4th Book was obviously not written by Agrippa and bears no resemblance to his style of writing. Although it can be traced back to the 16th century as it is mentioned by Agrippa's student, Johann Weyer in his "De Praestigiis Daemonum", the work remains of uncertain provencance.

In part a partial summary of some of Agrippa's writings, this facsimile of the English translation by the 17th century Cambridge scholar Robert Turner, comprises spurious essays on Geomancy and Magick under the name of Agrippa, The Heptameron of Peter of Abano, and books on Astrology and Demonolgy, concluding with the Arbatel, a largely Judeo-Christian outlook on the dangers of magic.

It is a very quick and easy read, despite the portions dealing with Geomancy and Astrology that even those serious about such subjects would find largely frustrating and incomprehensible.

The work largely remains of pure historical interest with not much of serious substance to an undertanding of Magic and Occult Philiosphy.

This volume is a facsimile of Robert Turner's English translation (1654); the original volume first appeared (in Latin) in Marburg around 1554. The original volume included a large number of short texts of varying interest, but Robert Turner's (1654) (for unclear reasons) decided only to translate a few of them. This edition includes 6 short texts: Of Geomancy (H.C. Agrippa); Of Occult Philosophy the Three Book (pseudo-Agrippa); Heptameron or Magical Elements (pseudo-Peter de Abano); Isagoge: An Introductory Discourse on the Nature of... Spirits... (Georg Pictorius Villinganus); Of Astronomical Geomancy (Gerard of Cremona); and the anonymous Arbatel of Magic. Only the Geomancy is actually by Agrippa, and it doesn't fit well with the other texts. The Three Book is, as another reviewer noted, certainly spurious; it purports to be Agrippa's "secret key" to the Occult Philosophy, of which he spoke in a letter to a friend. The Heptameron and the Arbatel are grimoires of some interest for those interested in black magic, as indeed is the Three Book itself; the Isagoge is a rather dull dialogue about spirits; and the Astronomical Geomancy is more or less impenetrable but perhaps interesting in a peculiar way. There have been a number of reprints of this volume, some now surprisingly valuable despite their modernity; all, however, have trimmed out one or more of the already few texts. As such, this is probably the best edition available. It is, like all Kessinger products, a cheaply-bound xerox facsimile of the original 17th-century text, but it's readable and includes everything. If you collect grimoires or magical texts, this is a very famous one, and you ought to have it; copies of the various Latin printings turn up with some regularity, and those with access to Latin would do better with those, although they are of course quite expensive. If you're looking for works by Agrippa, the Geomancy is all you'll find here, but it's interesting in a number of respects. If you want to know about Agrippa's ceremonial magic, however, you need to read book 3 of the Occult Philosophy, available in a nice Llewellyn edition.

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Philosopher Stone

Philosopher Stone Image

Book: Philosopher Stone by Israel Regardie

This book presents text and analysis of three major alchemical works, approached symbolically, using the symbol systems and viewpoints of magic and psychology. According to author, Alchemy "aspires towards the development of an integrated and free man who is illumined."

Francis Israel Regardie was an occultist, author and one time secretary to the legendary Aleister Crowley. As an adept of the now defunct secret order known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, he became infamous among the occultists of his day for breaking his oath of secrecy and publishing the order’s complete rituals in his book “The Golden Dawn”. Today this book is a classic best seller and has been revised and re-issued several times. Overshadowed by his association with Crowley, much of his work has been left unappreciated by those outside of the realms of high magic and occultism.

Regardie was born Francis Israel Regudy in London, England on the 17th November 1907. His parents were poor Jewish immigrants and during the course of WW1 when his older brother joined the army, his name was accidentally written down as “Regardie”. Rather than change it, it was then adopted as the family name. Later Regardie also dropped the use of Francis, preferring to be known simply as Israel Regardie.

In August 1921 at the age of 13, his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Washington D.C. There Regardie was educated and studied art in schools in Washington and Philadelphia. A bright an intuitive scholar, even at that age, he became interested in the theosophical works of Madame Blavatsky, yoga, and Hindu philosophy. He would often be found at the Library of Congress conducting his own studies. Soon after he found a Hebrew tutor who taught him to read Hebrew, an ability that aided him enormously when he started his Qabalistic studies.

On the 18th February 1926, Regardie applied for membership to the Washington College of the Societas Rosicruciana in America (S.R.I.A.). He was initiated into the Neophyte grade on 18th March 1926 and advanced to the Zelator grade on 2nd June 1927. It was during this time that Regardie became interested in occultism and having discovered a book by Aleister Crowley, was soon captivated by his activities and writings.

Regardie wrote to Crowley in Paris and eventually received a reply. Soon after he was offered the job as his secretary in Paris. Regardie saw this as an opportunity to learn magic from a published authority, and in October 1928 he traveled to France and accepted the job. For the next three years Regardie tried to get Crowley to teach him the magical arts. However Crowley never offered and Regardie, a reserved and modest young man, did not pursue the matter. Instead he continued to study on his own, reading every book, article or manuscript that became available to him.

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Philosopher Stone

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