The Magus has proved to be the most sought after set of books on magic and alchemy ever published. There is very good reason for this. These books are powerful, and were considered so dangerous that for many years, rare copies could only be found in certain libraries, locked away from the general public and from those who would use (or misuse) its ...
The Magus has proved to be the most sought after set of books on magic and alchemy ever published. There is very good reason for this. These books are powerful, and were considered so dangerous that for many years, rare copies could only be found in certain libraries, locked away from the general public and from those who would use (or misuse) its power. The original set of books was first published in 1801 by its author, Francis Barrett, who had an extensive background in the medieval and occult sciences. He spent many years of diligent study before releasing them. His premise for the material, that is, before putting anything into these books, Barrett first subjected the various theories to certain tests that had to be "substantiated by nature, truth, and experiment" first. They were written for those seeking the key to the philosopher's stone and the powers of magic. The illustrations in this book were taken from ancient and medieval texts, magical tables, planetary tables, talismans and images of angels and demons. Book One covers natural magic, amulets and charms, potions, precious stones, lights, candles, alchemy, the philosopher's stone, transmutation, the four elements, numbers, and planets. Book Two covers magnetic powers. Cabalistic magic, the names of angels and spirits, the performing of invocations, conjuring spirits, magic circles, receiving oracles in dreams, positive and evil spirits, and concludes with a major biographical sections on the great magicians of history.
I purchased this book based on subject matter and topic description alone. When reading reviews on this, it described the contents of the book to contain many things I am actively in study of or at least, find very interesting. While subject matter itself is very interesting, this book is intended for a readers with specific interests and quite possibly, a goal. Much of the information falls within commonly accepted and contemporary themes of Hermetic knowledge. Astrology, Qaballah, Magic & Theurgy. Much of the book is devoted to a study of Solomon's Seals, which I find particularly interesting. I have used this book to enrich understanding of planetary talismans as well as the Angelic hierarchy described by Solomon himself. The images and old drawings of the seals and talismans are definitely worth having around, again, if one is aware of these within practice or a interesting body of knowledge.
I wouldn't recommend this book just based on the description of the contents. Someone who is interested in fundamentals of Alchemy, Astrology, Hermetic thought, would do well to start with more specifics books. I thinks this is an excellent reference for one who already has the vocabulary and understanding to decode what Barrett is using. As well, the language and rhetoric is from a different time and a different understanding. It is somewhat difficult, to fully mesh this book in, with contemporary understanding of similar knowledge.
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