Look Inside. Filling a huge gap in our spiritual culture, here—at last—is a comprehensive and elegant translation of the French masterwork of occult philosophy. Hall, and the New Age revolution. Greer, a respected occult scholar, and Mikituk, a masterful translator, collaborate to restore this landmark work—complete with its original illustrations and symbols—to the center of the alternative spiritual canon. To this end, this new translation is admirably suited.
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Translated by A. Waite Offered by VenerabilisOpus. Every uncurbed passion, every selfish pleasure, every licentious energy of humanity, and all its tyrannous weakness, go before the sordid mistress of our tearful valley, and, scythe in hand, these indefatigable labourers reap their eternal harvest. That queen is old as time, but her skeleton is concealed in the wreckage of women's beauty, which she abstracts from their youth and love. Her skull is adorned with lifeless tresses that are not her own.
Spoliator of crowned heads, she is embellished with the plunder of queens, from the star-begemmed hair of Berenice to that-white, but not with age-which the executioner sheared from the brow of Marie Antoinette. Her livid and frozen body is clothed in faded garments and tattered winding-sheets.
Her bony hands, covered with rings, hold diadems and chains, scepters and crossbones, jewels and ashes. When she goes by, doors open of themselves; she passes through walls; she penetrates to the cabinets of kings; she surprises the extortioners of the poor in their most secret orgies; she sits down at their board, pours out their wine, grins at their songs with her gumless teeth, takes the place of the lecherous courtesan hidden behind their curtains.
She delights to hover about sleeping voluptuaries; she seeks their caresses, as if she hoped to grow warm in their embrace; but she freezes all those whom she touches and herself never kindles. At times, notwithstanding, one would think her seized with frenzy; she stalks slowly no longer; she runs; if her feet are too slow, she spurs a pale horse and charges all breathless through multitudes. Murder rides with her on a russet charger; shaking his mane of smoke, fire flies before her with wings of scarlet and black; famine and plague follow on diseased and emaciated steeds, gleaning the few sheaves which remain to complete her harvest.
After this funereal procession come two little children, radiating with smiles and life, the intelligence and love of the coming century, the dual genius of a newborn humanity.
The shadows of death fold up before them, as does night before the morning star; with nimble feet they skim the earth and sow with full hands the hope of another year. But death will come no more, impiteous and terrible, to mow like dry grass the ripe blades of the new age; it will give place to the angel of progress, who will gently liberate souls from mortal chains, so that they may ascend to God.
When men know how to live they will die no longer; they will transform like the chrysalis, which becomes a splendid butterfly. The terrors of death are daughters of ignorance, and death herself is only hideous by reason of the rubbish which covers her, and the sombre hues with which her images are surrounded. Death, truly, is the birth-pang of life. There is a force in Nature which dieth not, and this force perpetually transforms beings to preserve them.
It is the reason or word of Nature. In man also there is a force analogous to that of Nature, and it is the reason or word of man. The word of man is the expression of his will. By the word of his reason man becomes conqueror of life, and can triumph over death. The entire life of man is either the parturition or miscarriage of his word. Human beings who die without having understood or formulated the word of reason, die devoid of eternal hope.
To withstand successfully the phantom of death, we must be identified with the realities of life. Does it signify to God if an abortion wither, seeing that life is eternal? Does it signify to Nature if unreason perish, since reason which never perishes still holds the keys of life?
The just and terrible force which destroys abortions eternally was called by the Hebrews Samael; by other easterns, Satan; and by the Latins, Lucifer. The Lucifer of the Kabalah is not an accursed and ruined angel; he is the angel who enlightens, who regenerates by fire; he is to the angels of peace what the comet is to the mild stars of the spring-time constellations.
The fixed star is beautiful, radiant and calm; she drinks the celestial perfumes and gazes with love upon her sisters; clothed in her glittering robe, her forehead crowned with diamonds, she smiles as she chants her morning and evening canticle; she enjoys an eternal repose which nothing can disturb, and moves solemnly forward without departing from the rank assigned her among the sentinels of light.
But the wandering comet, dishevelled and of sanguinary aspect, plunges hurriedly from the depths of heaven and flings herself athwart the peaceful spheres, like a chariot of war between the ranks of a procession of vestals; she dares to face the burning spears of the solar guardians, and, like a bereft spouse who seeks the husband of her dreams during widowed nights, she penetrates even unto the inmost sanctuary of the god of day; again she escapes, exhaling the fires which consume her and trailing a long conflagration behind; the stars pale at her approach; constellate flocks, pasturing on flowers of light in the vast meadows of the sky, seem to flee before her terrible breath.
The grand council of spheres assembles, and there is universal consternation; at length the loveliest of the fixed stars is commissioned to speak in the name of all the firmament and offer peace to the headlong vagabond. What evil have we wrought thee? And why, instead of wandering wildly, dost thou not fix thy place like us in the court of the sun? Why dost thou not chant with us the evening hymn, clothed like ourselves in a white garment, fastened at the breast with a diamond clasp? Why float thy tresses, adrip with fiery sweat, through the mists of the night?
Ah, wouldst thou but take thy place among the daughters of heaven, how much more beautiful wouldst thou be! Thy face would burn no longer with the toil of thine incredible flights; thine eyes would be clear, thy smiling countenance white and red like that of thy happy sisters; all the stars would know thee, and, far from fearing thy flight, would rejoice at thine approach; for then thou wouldst be made one with us by the indestructible bonds.
God hath appointed my path, even as thine, and if it appear to thee uncertain and vagrant, it is because thy beams cannot penetrate far enough to take in the circumference of the ellipse which has been allotted for my course. My fiery hair is God's beacon; I am the messenger of the suns, and I renew my strength continually in their burning heat, that I may dispense it on my journey to young worlds which have as yet insufficient warmth, and to ancient stars which have grown cold in their solitude.
If I weary in my long travellings, if my beauty be less mild than thine own, and if my garments are not unspotted, yet am I a noble daughter of heaven, even as thou art. Leave me the secret of my terrible destiny, leave me the dread which surrounds me, curse me even if thou canst not comprehend; I shall none the less accomplish my work, and continue my career under the impulse of the breath of God!
Happy are the stars which rest, which shine like youthful queens in the peaceful society of the universe! I am the proscribed, the eternal wanderer, who has infinity for domain. They accuse me of setting fire to the planets, the heat of which I renew; they accuse me of terrifying the stars which I enlighten; they chide me with breaking in upon universal harmony, because I do not revolve about their particular centres, though I join them one with another, directing my gaze towards the sole centre of all the suns.
Be reassured, therefore, O beauteous fixed star! I shall not impoverish thy peaceful light; rather I shall expend in thy service my own life and heat.
I shall disappear from heaven when I shall have consumed myself, and my doom will have been glorious enough! Know that various fires burn in the temple of God, and do all give Him glory: ye are the light of golden candelabra; I am the flame of sacrifice. Let us each fulfil our destinies. Thus Satan appeared and disappeared in the allegorical narratives of the Bible.
Truth is thought as it is in itself, and formulated thought is speech. The untreated. Now, the Intelligence which God diffused by the breath of His mouth, like a star given off from the sun, took the form of a splendid angel, who was saluted by heaven under the name of Lucifer.
And suffering has been the condition imposed upon freedom of being by Him who alone cannot err, because He is infinite. For the essence of intelligence is judgement, and the essence of judgement is liberty. The eye does not really possess light except by the faculty of closing or opening. Were it forced to be always open, it would be the slave and victim of the light, and would cease to see in order to escape the torment. Thus, created Intelligence is not happy in affirming God, except by its liberty to deny Him.
Now, the Intelligence which denies, invariably affirms something, since it is asserting its liberty. It is for this reason that blasphemy glorifies God and that hell was indispensable to the happiness of heaven.
Were the light unrepelled by shadow, there would be no visible forms. If the first angels had not encountered the depths of darkness, the child-birth of God would have been incomplete, and there could have been no separation between the created and essential light.
Never would Intelligence have known the goodness of God if it had never lost Him. Never would God's infinite love have shone forth in the joys of His mercy had the prodigal Son of Heaven remained in the House of His Father. When all was light, there was light nowhere; it filled the breast of God, who was labouring to bring it forth.
The negation of the angel who at birth refused slavery constituted the equilibrium of the world, and the motion of the spheres commenced. The infinite distances admired this love of liberty, which was vast enough to fill the void of eternal night and strong enough to bear the hatred of God.
But God could hate not the noblest of His children, and He proved him by His wrath only to confirm him in His power. So also the Word of God Himself, as if jealous of Lucifer, willed to come down from. Possibly Lucifer, in his fall through night, carried with him a rain of suns and stars by the attraction of his glory. Possibly our sun is a demon among the stars, as Lucifer is a star among the angels.
Doubtless it is for this reason that it lights so calmly the horrible anguish of humanity and the long agony of earth -because it is free in its solitude and possesses its light. Some, like the Ophites, adored the demon under the figure of a serpent; others, like the Cainites, justified the rebellion of the first angel and that of the first murderer. All those errors, all those shadows, all those monstrous idols of anarchy which India opposes in its symbols to the magical Trimurti, have found priests and worshippers in Christianity.
The demon is mentioned nowhere in Genesis; an allegorical serpent deceives our first parents. The word Nahash, explained by the symbolical letters of the Tarot signifies rigorously 14 5 Thus, the word employed by Moses, read kabalistically, gives the description and definition of that magical Universal Agent, represented in all theogonies by the serpent; to this Agent the Hebrews applied the name of OD when it manifested its active force, of OB when it exhibited its passive force, and of AOUR when it revealed itself wholly in its equilibrated power, as producer of light in heaven and gold among metals.
It is therefore that old serpent which encircles the world and places its devouring head beneath the foot of a Virgin, the type of initiation —that virgin who presents a little new-born child to the adoration of three Magi and. So does doctrine serve in all hieratic religions to veil the secret of natural forces which the initiate has at his disposal.
Religious formulae are the summaries of those words full of mystery and power which make the gods descend from heaven and become subject to the will of men. Judea borrowed its secrets from Egypt; Greece sent her hierophants and later her theosophists to the school of the great prophets; the Rome of the Caesars, mined by the initiation of the catacombs, collapsed one day into the Church, and a symbolism was reconstructed with the remnants of all worships which had been absorbed by the queen of the world.
According to the Gospel narrative, the inscription which set forth the spiritual royalty of Christ was written in Hebrew, in Greek and in Latin: it was the expression of a universal synthesis. Hellenism, in fact, that grand and beauteous religion of form, announced the coming of the Saviour no less than the prophets of Judaism.
The fable of Psyche is an ultra-Christian abstraction, and the cultus of the Pantheons, by rehabilitating Socrates, prepared altars for that unity of God, of which Israel had been the mysterious preserver. But the synagogue denied its Messiah, and the Hebrew letters were effaced, at least for the blinded eyes of the Jews.
The Roman persecutors dishonoured Hellenism, and it could not be restored by the false moderation of the philosopher Julian, surnamed perhaps unjustly the Apostate, since his Christianity was never sincere. The ignorance of the Middle Ages followed, opposing saints and virgins to gods, goddesses and nymphs; the deep sense of the Hellenic mysteries was less understood than ever; Greece herself did not only lose the traditions of her ancient cultus but separated from the Latin Church; and thus, for Latin eyes, the Greek letters were blotted out, as the Latin letters disappeared for Greek eyes.
So the inscription on the Cross of the Saviour vanished entirely, and nothing except mysterious initials remained. But when science and philosophy, reconciled with faith, shall unite all the various symbols, then shall the magnificences of the antique worships be restored to the memory of men, proclaiming the progress of the human mind in the intuition of the light of God.
But of all forms of progress the greatest will be that which, restoring the keys of Nature to the hands of science, shall enchain for ever the hideous spectre of Satan, and, explaining all abnormal phenomena, shall destroy the empire of superstition and imbecile credulity. To the accomplishment of this work we have consecrated our life, and do still devote it in the most toilsome and difficult researches.
We would emancipate altars by overthrowing idols; we desire the man of intelligence to become once more the priest and king of Nature, and we would preserve by explanation all images of the universal sanctuary. The prophets spoke in parables and images, because abstract language was wanting to them, and because prophetic perception, being the sentiment of harmony or of universal analogies, translates naturally into images. Taken literally by the vulgar, these images become idols or impenetrable mysteries.
The sum and. Symbolism comes therefore from God, though it may be formulated by men. Revelation has accompanied humanity in all ages, has been transfigured with human genius but has ever expressed the same truth.
Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual
Behind the veil of all the hieratic and mystical allegories of ancient doctrines, behind the darkness and strange ordeals of all initiations, under the seal of all sacred writings, in the ruins of Nineveh or Thebes, on the crumbling stones of old temples and on the blackened visage of the Assyrian or Egyptian sphinx, in the monstrous or marvellous paintings which interpret to the faithful of India the inspired pages of the Vedas, in the cryptic emblems of our old books on alchemy, in the ceremonies practised at reception by all secret societies, there are found indications of a doctrine which is everywhere the same and everywhere carefully concealed. Occult philosophy seems to have been the nurse or god-mother of all intellectual forces, the key of all divine obscurities and the absolute queen of society in those ages - when it was reserved exclusively for the education of priests and of kings. It reigned in Persia with the Magi, who perished in the end, as perish all masters of the world, because they abused their power; it endowed India with the most wonderful traditions and with an incredible wealth of poesy, grace and terror in its emblems; it civilized Greece to the music of the lyre of Orpheus; it concealed the principles of all sciences, all progress of the human mind, in the daring calculations of Pythagoras; fable abounded in its miracles, and history, attempting to estimate this unknown power, became confused with fable; it undermined or consolidated empires by its oracles, caused tyrants to tremble on their thrones and governed all minds, either by curiosity or by fear. For this science, said the crowd, there is nothing impossible, it commands the elements, knows the language of the stars and directs the planetary courses; when it speaks, the moon falls blood-red from heaven; the dead rise in their graves and mutter ominous words, as the night wind blows through their skulls. Mistress of love or of hate, occult science can dispense paradise or hell at its pleasure to human hearts; it disposes of all forms and confers beauty or ugliness; with the wand of Circe it changes men into brutes and animals alternately into men; it disposes even of life and death, can confer wealth on its adepts by the transmutation of metals and immortality by its quintessence or elixir, compounded of gold and light. Such was Magic from Zoroaster to Manes, from Orpheus to Apollonius of Tyana, when positive Christianity, victorious at length over the brilliant dreams and titanic aspirations of the Alexandrian school, dared to launch its anathemas publicly against this philosophy, and thus forced it to become more occult and mysterious than ever.
Dogma and Ritual of High Magic. Book I
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Transcendental Magic Its Doctrine and Ritual by Eliphas Levi
The work is structured into 22 chapters, which parallel the Tarot. Waite added a biographical preface and footnotes. A revised edition of this translation was published in The work has recently attracted the attention of scholars for its views on the study of magic , religion and natural science. Taylor's , that magic or religion is inherently irrational and has been superseded by modern science. Instead he posits magic as an "esoteric science" and suggests that Hermeticism could be adapted to find the underlying truth behind all magical systems, calling for a "comparative magic.