The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #21

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #21

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Agnostic

(Gnostic) Someone who claims that they do not know or are unable to know whether God exists.

Altruism

(Philosophy) Actions performed for the sake of others are altruistic. Altruism is the hypothesis that morality involves acting for the sake of others.

Belief

Trust.

Clairvoyance

(Magick, divination) Literally, “clear seeing,” also known as skrying or scrying. The astral art of acquiring visions, images and other information. The actual technique used is very similar to Astral Projection. Clairvoyance has been taught by numerous magical orders in order to investigate the archetypal nature of magical symbols, or to view real-life locations. It was extensively used in England during WWII to spy on the Nazis and again in Russia during The Cold War to spy on the U.S.

Foundationalism

(Philosophy) An epistemological view which maintains that there are two kinds of knowledge or beliefs: basic beliefs, which are obvious or self-justifying, and non-basic beliefs, which are justified by basic beliefs. The basic beliefs explain why the justification of knowledge does not involve an Infinite Regress.

Hatha Yoga

(Yoga) Sanskrit. Gives mastery over the breath, and leads to the control of the physical body and vitality.

Iosis

(Alchemy) The third and final stage of alchemical transformation. Because it is marked by the purpling or reddening of the material during the Coagulation operation, it is also known as the “Purple Phase.”

Kala

A ray, star, digit of time, radiance, essence, perfume. The vital psychosomatic essence which is manifest as a result of Maithuna (linking, joining, as in Tantra), these are considered to be 16 in number, 8 manifesting from the female and 8 from the male. The Tantric “glow” of the Kala will be different according to the digit in time where, when, and with whom the Tantra is worked.

Logic

(Philosophy) The branch of philosophy that deals with the formal properties of arguments and the philosophical problems associated with them. Central questions in logic include: What is a good argument? How can we determine if an argument is good or not? What are paradoxes? Can they be resolved? How can we talk meaningfully about objects that don’t exist, such as God or fairies?

Paten

(Ecclesiastic) A plate, usually of gold or silver that is used to hold the host during the Mass. Also called a “patina.”

©2008-2013 Gerald del Campo. Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #20

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #20

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Alembic

(Alchemy) In alchemy, the top part of a still. Often used to refer to a complete still. An instrument used for distillation.

Archigenitor

(Gnostic) The “first begetter”. A Greek reference to Yaldabaoth.

Cenobite

(Ecclesiastic) A member of a religious order choosing to dwell within a convent, monastery or a community, as opposed to a hermit, who lives in solitude.

Evocation

(Magick, Religion) Literally, “calling out.” Evocation is the application of magick to cause the physical or astral guise of a spirit to appear. See Invocation.

Filtration

(Alchemy) A process of separation, in which material is passed through a sieve or screen designed to allow only pieces of a certain size to pass through. In alchemy, the procedure is illustrated by the sign of Sagittarius.

Gunas

(Yoga) Sanskrit The Gunas are the three basic principles in Ayurvedic medicine that represent the process through which the subtle becomes gross. They are defined as consciousness or essense (sattva), activity (rajas), and inactivity (tamas). These principles also correspond with the alchemic principles of Mercury, Sulfur and Salt.

Psychological Egoism

(Philosophy) The doctrine that a person actually pursues nothing but his own interests. Note carefully how it differs from Ethical Egoism.

Rationalism

(Philosophy) The doctrine that genuine knowledge is not established by sense-experience, or at least not by sense-experience alone, and so is wholly or at least to a significant extent A Priori. Contrast Empiricism.

Triangle

(Alchemy, magick, general usage) One of the most stable geometric designs. In alchemy, the triangle represents the three alchemical principles: Mercury, Sulfur and Salt. In magick, demons are invoked into a triangle.

Undine

(Alchemy) One of a class of fabled female water spirits. They have the advantage of receiving a human soul by intermarrying with a mortal.

©2010 by Gerald del Campo.
Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #19

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #19

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Akashic Record

(Yoga, Theosophy) A term invented and popularized by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The idea is that the Akasha is a thought substance which can be imprinted by experience, making it possible to retrieve otherwise inaccessible information from the past, such as a person’s past life. This is remarkably close idea to the concept of Jung’s Universal Unconscious and may in fact be a reference to the same phenomena.

Aponia

(Gnostic) Literally, “Unreason.” The act of misusing thought.

Child

(Alchemy) A naked child symbolizes the perfect intelligence, the innocent soul. In alchemy and in magical tomes, the child represents the Union of Opposites. A crowned child or child clothed in purple robes signifies Salt or the Philosopher’s Stone.

Descriptive Meaning

(Philosophy) A statements or declaration whose meaning is shown in terms of reporting or describing actual or possible facts have descriptive meaning. Compare to Emotive Meaning.

Egg

(Alchemy) The egg represents the hermetically sealed vessel of creation. In alchemy, corked retorts, coffins, and sepulchers represent the same principles.

Gold

(Alchemy) The most perfect of all the metals, gold in ages past represented the perfection of all matter on any level, including that of the mind, spirit, and soul. The Sun is often used to hint to gold.

Maggid

(Qabalah) Hebrew Master or teacher. Synonymous with the Holy Guardian Angel, Higher Self, etc.

Mercury

(Alchemy, Roman mythology) The smallest of the inner planets and the one nearest the sun. The Roman god of pranks, thievery and commerce, which says something of how Romans conducted their business affairs. Called Hermes by the Greeks, Mercury is the messenger for the other gods, as well as being the god of science and travel, and patron saint of athletes. He is typically represented as a young man wearing a winged helmet and sandals and holding a caduceus. Mercury is also a heavy, metallic silver poisonous element that is liquid at room temperature. Often used in scientific instruments. Also called also quicksilver, alchemists acquired it by roasting cinnabar (mercury sulfide). The mercury would sweat out of the rocks and drip down where it could be collected. When mixed with other metals, liquid mercury has a tendency to bond with them and develop amalgams. These properties seemed to make mercury the master of duality in solid and liquid states; earth and heaven; life and death, and the Above and Below.

Philosophy of Science

(Philosophy) The branch of philosophy which scrutinizes the nature and results of scientific inquiry. Central questions include: Do scientist describe reality or just appearances? Can we have good reason to believe in the existence of unobservable entities (e.g. quarks)? What happens when one scientific theory replaces an older theory?

Ruach ha Kodesh

(Qabalah) Hebrew The child of the Supernals, she is the unmanifested essence that lingers like a curtain beneath her parents. Marked on the Tree of Life by the illusive, non-Sephirah Daath, or Knowledge. It is a portal through which the Absolute may enter to intervene directly with existence. Mystic Christians think of Daath as The Holy Spirit.

©2009 by Gerald del Campo.
Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

Book Review: Real Alchemy

October 22, 2009 by  
Filed under alchemy, books, magick, mysticism, qabalah, reviews

Book Review: Real Alchemy

Real Alchemy: A Primer of Practical Alchemy
Robert Allen Bartlett
Ibis; 3rd edition (May 1, 2009)
ISBN: 978-0892541508
224 pages
Reviewer: Lupa
Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star
 

Most of the books you’re going to find on alchemy these days talk history, metaphor, or other theoretical concepts. This is one of the very few that goes into the actual practice of alchemy, step by step. Originally self-published by Bartlett, it’s now available more widely through Ibis, part of Weiser. You’ll have to look twice to tell the difference, though, at least at first glance, since the cover (which I happen to like) is the same. I haven’t read the first edition, so I can’t speak to the differences between the two, just so you know.

I’m not particularly well-versed in alchemy; it’s one of those topics that I think is interesting, but I haven’t had a chance to real sink my teeth into. So as an almost complete novice, I set up the challenge that the book was going to have to give me at least a basic understanding of the practice of alchemy. Thankfully, it delivered! From the brief historical treatment, to the explanation of what all that talk about sulfur, salt and mercury is about, I was able to get the jist of the very basics. However, the book doesn’t stop there!
Beyond the basic theoretical concepts, Bartlett goes into detail discussing what you actually do with all the arcane terminology and the processes they describe. Want to create a tincture or elixir? The directions are here. The author does make it clear that this should not be your only text on alchemy, but the instructables in this one should make it invaluable.

There are some interesting crossovers between alchemy and other disciplines. Astrology and qabalah are the two most notable examples of this, and those who are interested in either of these disciplines may well want to pick up this text for the relevant material. Additionally, as the book does give a basis in alchemy, astrologers and qabalists who were previously unfamiliar with the main topic should have little trouble finding context.

Overall, I found this to be a good way to give myself enough of an understanding of classic alchemy, particularly European, to get what the fuss is all about. Thorough understanding does require actually utilizing the practices, so armchair magicians and the merely curious will no doubt miss out on a lot. But it’s clear even from my novice perspective that this is an essential text.

Five pawprints out of five.

Review ©2009 by Lupa
Edited by Sheta Kaey

Lupa is the author of Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic, A Field Guide to Otherkin, and co-author of Kink Magic, among other works. You can read her blog at http://therioshamanism.com and see her website at http://www.thegreenwolf.com.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #17

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #17

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Agnosia

(Gnosticism) The state of not having insight or Gnosis. This is the root for the word “agnostic,” also meaning a person who does not have Gnosis.

Barbelos

(Gnosticism) A very confusing concept due to plethora of ways it has been used. It is masculine gender, but is used to stand for Sophia as a woman who is “the first male virgin.” Sophia has hermaphroditic associations. It is the highest or lowest form of Sophia depending on the myth, with Zoe being its countercharge.

Ceration

(Alchemy) The alchemical Fermentation process in which a waxy substance (the ferment) flows from the putrefied matter. This substance is forerunner of the Stone.

Mysticism

(Religion, magick) Immediate consciousness of the transcendent or ultimate reality or God. A mental exercise designed to still the mind so that it is able to experience the highest and most abstract conception of Godhead. Traditional forms of mysticism can be found in the The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the The Spiritual Guide of Miguel Molinos, as well as in many of the writings of Sufism, Yoga, Buddhism, Zen, and Taoism. Unorthodox forms can be found in Gnosticism and the Hermetic Qabalah, etc.

Personal Unconscious

(Psychology) Opposite of Collective Unconscious. It includes forgotten dreams and memories, shocking and unbearable ideas (purposely oppressed), and perceptions not yet accessible for consciousness.

Prana

(Yoga) The breath is seen as one of the primary source of life-giving energies or forces of the universe. Similar to the Chinese concept of Chi.

Self

(Psychology) The archetype of personal totality and the governing nucleus of the psyche, and that influence that surpasses the ego.

Trituration

(Alchemy) To grind or pulverize a solid into a powder with a mortar and pestle.

Wine

(Alchemy, Ecclesiastic) A symbol to allude to the process of Fermentation and the spiritualization of matter. In Eucharistic religious ceremonies, wine is symbolic of the Blood of God by virtue of Transubstantiation. See Transubstantiation.

Yechidah

(Qabalah) Hebrew The level of the soul that connects the individual to God. The most ephemeral level of the soul, corresponding to Kether.

Gerald del Campo is the author of A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed, among other works. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his website at http://thelemicknights.org. Gerald serves as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

©2009 Gerald del Campo
Edited by Sheta Kaey

Gerald del Campo is the author of A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed, among other works. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his website at http://thelemicknights.org. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #16

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #16

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Air

(Alchemy) One of the Four Elements of alchemy believed to carry the archetypal properties of spirit into the visible world. It is linked to the process of Separation and corresponds to the metal Iron.

Cassock

(Ecclesiastic) A full-length gown with sleeves and collar worn priests, bishops and helpers.

Nephesh

(Qabalah) Hebrew The animal soul that corresponds to animal/ vegetable levels of consciousness. It is said to reside at the level of Yesod and Malkuth. It is mostly corresponds with the automatic bodily functions and ego. Also known as the automatic consciousness. This body does not survive death, as does the Ruach and Neshama. This really upsets people who practice Astral Travel as a way to cheat death, since the Astral Body is a projection of the Nephesh.

Neschama

(Qabalah) Hebrew Corresponds to the purest aspirations of the soul and the Soul itself and corresponds to Binah on the Tree of Life. It is where the individual Soul merges with the Oneness or God. From this plane we may approach the collective unconscious. The Neschama is composed of three parts: Yechidah, Chiah, and Neschama.

Omnipotence

(General religious, Philosophy) Omnipotence is all-powerfulness. Many religions view God as omnipotent. Descartes (and most Gnostics) postulated the possibility of an omnipotent demon who could manipulate our thoughts and deceive us.

Path of Zadek

(Qabalah) Hebrew A reference to the path illustrated by the Temperance tarot card between Yesod and Tiphareth. This path traverses the path of normal consciousness between Netzach and Hod. It is the border line between the ego and the true Self. It is called “the path of the honest man” because it is only accessible to those rare individuals who have liberated themselves of self-deception and psychological slothfulness.

Qlipha

pl. Qliphoth (Qabalah) Hebrew Literally, “shells” or “excrement.” A reference to the remnants of the previous, failed universes. The pieces of these shattered vessels are said to have fallen into Assiah, where Malkuth is now engrossed in them. In their present state, they serve to test and prove worthiness. The Qliphoth project the illusion of duality, making it so that we perceive one another as separate and isolated individuals. Largely due to superstition and a lack of understanding of the purpose of duality, the Qliphoth have been unfairly labeled as evil.

Ruach

(Qabalah) Hebrew Literally “breath.” It is one of the three parts of the human soul corresponding to personal self-awareness or false self, the emotional self, intellect and ego. It resides within Sephiroth 4 through 9, between Meschamah and Nephesh. The Neschamah seeps into the Ruach, but it is rarely noticed by the ego, which is a shame since the effects of the Neschamah can only observed by the Ruach.

Samadhi Yoga

(Yoga) Gives mastery over the self, and leads to the control of the powers of ecstasy.

Zodiac

(Astrology) An area of the sky (sometimes called a “belt”) divided into twelve parts through which most of the planets appear to move. Each part has a name and symbol, and is connected with an exact time of year. According to Hermes Trismigestus, “As Above, So Below” indicates that the direction of the stars correspond and allude to the course of human evolution.

©2009 Gerald del Campo
Edited by Sheta Kaey

Gerald del Campo is the author of A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed, among other works. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his website at http://thelemicknights.org. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #13

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #13

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Aludel

(Alchemy) An earthenware condenser used in the sublimation process of alchemy. It is a symbol for the last stages of transformation. Also known as a Hermetic Vase, or the Philosopher’s Egg.

Arcana

Pre-existing powers that have the potential of transmuting, changing, and restoring. In alchemy, the “One Mind.” Synonymous with the secret workings of the mind of God and/or the Greek logos. In the tarot, the arcana manifest as symbolic drawings that the reader must work out through meditation. In the Qabalah, the arcana manifest as the obscure properties of the Hebrew letters and their relation to the Tree of Life. In the I Ching, the arcana appear in the form of sixty-four trigrams. In alchemy, the arcana are hidden everywhere, particularly in chemical compounds, metals and the transmutation of one thing into another.

Chi

In Taoism, the vital force believed to be inherent in all things. The unhindered flow of Chi and a balance of its negative and positive energies in the body are held to be essential to good health in traditional Chinese medicine. Similar to the Hindu prana.

Dalmatic

(Ecclesiastic) A wide-sleeved garment worn by Deacons over the alb during the celebration of Mass.

Elyonim

(Qabalah) Hebrew “Those who dwell above.” A reference to the angels and archangels that exist in the three higher worlds in the Tree of Life. A reference to the Elyonim is made in Genesis 1:26 in the form of “fish” and the “fowl” that swim in the Waters of Yetzirah and fly in the Air of Briah.

Shadow

(Psychology) Opposite of persona. An unconscious aspect of the self, neither good nor evil, which the ego has never acknowledged or repressed. The realization of the shadow is inhibited by the persona. Repressed desires, uncivilized impulses, fantasies, resentments, even positive moral values: anything the individual does not like about himself has the potential of becoming a shadow. If these qualities remain suppressed, they can often be experienced in others through the mechanism of projection, and this is the greatest tool at the hands of the magician for discovering them. There is no sure operation for absorbing the shadow; it is more a matter of subtlety and diplomacy. The first step is to accept the existence of the shadow. Next, one has to become aware of its nature and purpose through the observation of one’s moods, fantasies and impulses. The magi can then Qabalistically interpret its nature to find a manner in which the shadow can be creatively expressed. Another, more risky method which should not be used without guidance is to allow the persona and the shadow to utterly destroy one another, thereby allowing a new form of consciousness to arise from the ashes; this is illustrated in the Phoenix myths. The shadow often makes its appearance in dreams, as a member of the same sex.

Solipsism

(Philosophy) A form of skepticism, the belief that nothing exists except my mind and the creations of my mind.

Sufficient condition

(Philosophy) X is a sufficient condition of Y, if where there is X, there is also Y. Therefore, raising a child is a sufficient condition of being a parent, and having a driver’s license is a sufficient condition of knowing how to drive. Contrast with necessary condition.

Zel Shaddai

(Qabalah) Hebrew The Shadow of God. The visible world and natural occurrence are regarded as the consequences of God’s concealment. Nature is regarded as God’s shadow. For example: Shadows divulge the existence of light. Death is what gives our lives meaning.

©2008-2013 Gerald del Campo. Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #12

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #12

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

A posteriori

(Logic) The opposite of a piori. A posteriori knowledge can be established only by experience or reasoning from experience. Example: There are nine planets in the solar system. Empirical is a synonym for a posteriori.

Epistemology

(Logic) A branch of philosophy that involves the study of knowledge.

Materialism

(Philosophy) The assertion that only material things exist. Often used in Philosophy of Mind, in response to the claim that mental objects and events cannot be reduced to physical objects and events.

Nachash

(Qabalah) Hebrew The serpent in Genesis that convinced Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. It is the power which imprisons and sets free.

Necessary condition

(Philosophy) X is a necessary condition of Y if there cannot be Y without X. Therefore, being a parent is a necessary condition of raising a child. Compare with sufficient condition.

Notarikon

(Qabalah) A way of creating acronyms and/or new words from other words or phrases that are believed to contain magical powers. For example: The biblical phrase “Thou art great forever, Lord” — Ateh Gibor Le Olahm Adoni can be summed up as AGLA.

Ontology

(Philosophy) The branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence. Some central questions include: What kinds of objects exist? What does it mean for something to exist?

Pelican

(Alchemy) A circulatory container with two arms feeding condensed vapors back into the body. It has a cunning similarity in shape to a pelican pecking at its own breast.

Political Philosophy

(Philosophy) The branch of philosophy that discusses freedom, justice, rights, democracy and other political issues. Central questions include: Is democracy the best form of government? How can we balance rights and responsibilities?

Thelemapoly

(From the author’s personal lexicon) 1) The present day phenomenon of grabbing as much as the Crowleyan pie as possible, such as copyrights and the status that “knowing” Crowley endows upon the insecure, culture-lacking pseudo-intellectuals. 2) a popular board game played by Crowleyites where the object is to use ones Crowleyness to grab a big a part of ThelemaLand as possible at any cost.

©2008-2013 Gerald del Campo. Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #11

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #11

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Abramelin

(Magic) The main character in The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, a medieval grimoire in three parts, translated and edited by S. L. Macgregor Mathers and popularized by Aleister Crowley.

Ablution

(Religious usage) A spiritual washing with water. In the process of ablution, one faces one’s emotions and then lets them go so that innocence and purity can be restored.

Deductive argument

(Logic) An argument in which the premises are intended to provide a guarantee of the truth of the conclusion. In this type of argument, the premises are intended to provide such strong support for the conclusion that, if the premises were true, it would be impossible for the conclusion to be false. For example:
All philosophers are wise. — premise
Socrates is a philosopher. — premise
Therefore: Socrates is wise. — conclusion

Enochian magick

(Magick) A distinct magical system pioneered by Dr. John Dee and Sir Edward Kelley in England during the 16th century. Dee and Kelley claimed to have received the system from angels who had been in contact with Enoch himself, hence the name Enochian. This system is reportedly much more powerful than most traditional forms of ceremonial magick, and there is no shortage of stories warning the user against jumping in without preparation. Enochian magick is an important part of the Golden Dawn’s work.

Eroturgy

(Hermetic) The practice and study of sex magick.

First person authority

(Logic) A classic example of a first person authority is the claim that one is in pain. This cannot be falsely believed.

Geber

(Alchemy) The Latin name for the father of Islamic and European alchemy, Jabir ibn Hayyan (721 – ??? A.D.). He lived in what is now known as Iran, and spread the doctrines of the four elements and the mercury-sulfur theory of the generation of the metals. The date of his death is unknown, although some scholars suggest it may have been in 815 A.D. He was the son of a druggist, and a Sufi who may have had allegiance with the infamous Assassins of Hashim, who fed on hashish and committed political assassinations. He wrote that the base of all metals were mercury and sulfur, and by breaking down worthless metals (such as lead) to these components, one could make gold by recombining these elements in the right proportions. This was allegedly accomplished via a substance he called “elixir,” which could not itself change gold into another metal — but by adding elixir to gold, one could produce a liquid or substance believed to confer (among other things) immortality. It seemed perfectly logical to assume that a substance so miraculous could also have other medicinal properties, such as restoring youth, prolonging life, or curing all disease. Hence, he popularized the idea of the Philosopher’s Stone, or Elixir of Life, which would obsess the minds of alchemists and magicians for hundreds of years. He discovered ammonium chloride, and illustrated how to process white lead. He pioneered the use of weak acids, such as vinegar and nitric acid, and made many advances in metal refining. Perhaps his most important contribution is the care he took in recording his chemical experiments.

Goetia

(Magick) Greek, literally meaning “howling.” As a common term, Goetia indicates a so-called “low magick,” involving the evocation and manipulation of evil spirits. The idea is that these lesser demons can be forced into service of the magician to help him achieve his goals. “The Goetia” is a section of a grimoire known as the Lesser Key of Solomon which was translated by Macgregor Mathers and later edited by Aleister Crowley. Evidently, this work led to their falling out.

Lead

(Alchemy) In Hermetic Qabalah, lead is attributed to the planet Saturn, and the third sephirah Binah, which means Understanding. In alchemy, lead is the first and oldest of the seven metals.

Line of succession

(Religion, magick) The assumption that only a properly initiated teacher can effectively initiate others. The idea is that genuine initiates should be able to show an unbroken line of succession, back to the originator their tradition. This was probably borrowed from Catholicism, which claims to have Apostolic Succession and that the Pope can trace his origins back to Christ himself. Some magical organizations have deliberately faked their own origins to impress students.

Lucid dreaming

(Magick) A phenomenon, perhaps a form of astral projection, in which one is aware of dreaming without waking up, and can therefore control the direction and content of the vision. It is possible to teach oneself how to lucid dream and many magicians employ various techniques and tools to accomplish this state. One such method is to take mega dozes of specific dietary supplements.

©2008-2013 Gerald del Campo. Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #10

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #10

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Begging the question

(Logic) Flawed reasoning in which one needs to already to have established the conclusion in order to be entitled to assert one of the premises offered in support of the conclusion one is trying to establish. Consequently, the argument assumes the truth of the very point one is trying to prove. (e.g., Joe did not steal this money because he is not a thief.) Compare with circular argument.

Briah

(Qabalah) Hebrew The World of Creation. The world of ideas.

Builders of the Adytum

(Magical institution) A magical order with its roots in Hebrew and Christian mysticism, founded by Paul Foster Case in 1921 after having allegedly met with one of The Masters, known as Rakocsi, in a New York hotel room. Similarly fashioned after the Golden Dawn, but with a strong emphasis on the tarot and a system of called “The Cube of Space.”

Chiah

(Qabalah) Hebrew The true Will, the immortal component of the Soul. The creative will, which causes one to reach outside one’s perceived limitations.

Circular argument

(Logic) Flawed reasoning in which it is argued both that A is the case on the grounds that B is the case, and that B is the case on the grounds that A is the case. (Consider the argument that there is a god because it is reliably stated in our holy book, and that the holy book is reliable because it is divinely inspired.) Compare with begging the question.

Transignification

A term used to describe the physical presence of the subject invoked during Mass. In the Roman Catholic Mass, it is a term to describe the real presence of Christ at Mass. We see it used in Liber XV when the Lion and Serpent are called by the Priest. The theory is that the subject doesn’t become substantially present, but that at the words of consecration the elements take on the real significance of Christ, so that He is sacramentally present. This concept is based on the thought that there are two kinds of presence, local and personal. Jesus is personally, but not locally, present at the Mass.

Tzuddakah

(Qabalah) Hebrew Charity. Giving without a sense of attachment, to the extent of not even feeling good about oneself for doing so.

Yantra yoga

(Yoga) Gives mastery over form, and leads to the control of the powers of geometrical form.

Zahzahoth

(Qabalah) Hebrew The three unmanifest principles symbolized by the Three Pillars, or Hidden Splendors, which preside over the ten sephiroth: Mildness, Mercy, and Severity, or Will, Justice, and Mercy.

Wolf

(Alchemy) An animal depicted in alchemy to mean antimony. See antimony.

©2008-2013 Gerald del Campo. Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

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