As some of you may or may not be aware of, we have started on the laborious task of translating some of the older grimoires (such as the Petit Albert, Grand Albert, The Grand Grimoire, The Heptameron, The Enchiridion and so on and so forth). While busy with the translations, a thought occurred to us – which will serve as the topic of this blog post.
To those of you who are no strangers to the older grimoires, you will know well that, although they tend to be full of vagueness, dubiousness, pomp and at times outright humour to us today, underneath all of the…peasantries…of those who came before, lies some of the cornerstones of magick – if of course you have the wit to be able to discern it from the nonsense.
Nonetheless, it occurred to us that many of these cornerstones of magick that are all over the older grimoires is unknown to most of those who passes today as “practitioners”. This is a sad but true thing…which frustrates us no less than the superstition of the ages past.
Many modern-day practitioners are unaware of some of the bare basics such as Planetary Days and Hours, certain correspondences, the Hermetic Laws and many more basics than even these…yet, they would, say, attempt an evocation and nothing happens. Hm.
The very first grimoires that we personally encountered and studied from the very beginning of our path are some of these “classics”…The Three Books of Occult Philosophy, The Magus and many others filled our days and nights. Yet, how many modern-day practitioners have even read one of these books in its entirety and actually understood the contents?
We referred to the process of translating these grimoires as “laborious”, however, in all honesty, it is rather a labour of love…because, although they may be flawed, these are the writings of those who came before; those who were like us, practitioners. Irrelevant of their eccentricities – they tend to reveal more about the practice of Magick than most books of today.
There is a lesson in this to all who wants to step into the world of the Occult Arts – before you scoff at the old grimoires, don’t. You only gain that right, once you have read and understood the content thereof. Nothing in life is free nor easy, if you want to know and understand something in its entirety, grow-up and do some legwork. In our early days, we had to physically go to libraries to find these books, but now, no one has any excuses – you have the damn internet.
While going through the old grimoires, you are likely to find concepts that may upset or disturb you, but, dear readers – that is the nature of knowledge. By knowing what those of the past have written and practiced, you can know and understand your own path, your own preferences, your own nature…and gain some knowledge during the process.
So, let no one again give us a blank expression when we mention the basics of magick – the whole compendium of history is at your fingertips, a library far greater than those of legend from Alexandria. Those of the past would do anything to have had even a taste of all this information we have today. Enlighten yourselves.
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