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Are Hebrew Based Grimoires Useless In The West?


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#21 violetstar

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 09:13 PM

Thank you for your input and assessment in which you employ a Perennialistic philosophy in attempt to address my argument.

However,the Solomnic type Grimoires are reliant upon the Hebrew God Names,each of which express specific ideas within their cultural context.Most magical texts ignore this and employ those Names without any notion of exactly what the Names actually represent or the mysticism underpinning them.
Instead they are slotted in to give a sense of 'Holiness' and authority to their work.

As you say and the magician identifies God as YHVH, the Tetragrammaton: the supreme Creator, Ruler, and Judge.

That is about as Judaic as it gets.
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#22 Imperial Arts

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 10:18 PM

View Postvioletstar, on 08 April 2017 - 09:13 PM, said:

Most magical texts ignore this and employ those Names without any notion of exactly what the Names actually represent or the mysticism underpinning them.
Instead they are slotted in to give a sense of 'Holiness' and authority to their work.

The selection of books we have at present is obviously a product of much editing by people who had little idea of what they were copying, but there is some sense in the way the names are used. In some texts, like the Sword of Moses, it is quite clear that the author has absolutely no clue what the names were supposed to mean.

One great example from the Goetia conjurations involves the story of Kora, Dathan, and Abiram, who conspired against Moses while he was off receiving the Ten Commandments. In using the name in this context, the magician is not merely trying to speak a name which is holy or powerful, but also making an oath of his own. In this example, the magician recounts the condemnation of those who revolt against authority. If the magician is himself in a position like that of Kora (the instigator of rebellion), Dathan (reluctant to accept law), or Abiram (complicit in the work of the former two), he loses the authority gained by use of the Name, regardless of any supposedly inherent power the name might have. The use of the name has less to do with its implicit power and more to do with the way in which it reminds the spirit of power the magician already has over it.

The Goetia employs a Bible-based system to express what the magician wants to communicate to the spirit. A Hindu might (for example, and I mean no disrespect to those of Hindu faith) might instead invoke Svayam Bhagavan and command spirits by the Name Govinda or by the Name Madhusudhana, etc... Use of the names would not carry any more potency than it does for a non-Hindu, except in that they would be employed to express a truth about the existing relationship between the magician and the spirit, regardless of whether one were a follower of the Hindu religion. A popular fishing spell from Oklahoma involves the phrase "You buejays are all wizards" in its command to the spirits of a pond to release the fish, and this doesn't mean that bluejays have magical powers; but that the enchanter follows the examples which Blue Jay demonstrates in the lore of the Chickamauga, and so he mentions this to the pond-spirit to remind them that he has followed the related spiritual teachings and therefore has a right to catch the fish.
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#23 violetstar

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 11:36 PM

We must consider how the Cherokee view it as an example of my argument that you cannot perform magic using a language that one is unfamiliar with.

" One can well understand why a magical igawesdi, if not delivered in the language in which it was created, is devoid of all power of enchantment."
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#24 alkeides

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 07:16 AM

View PostImperial Arts, on 08 April 2017 - 10:18 PM, said:

The selection of books we have at present is obviously a product of much editing by people who had little idea of what they were copying, but there is some sense in the way the names are used. In some texts, like the Sword of Moses, it is quite clear that the author has absolutely no clue what the names were supposed to mean.

One great example from the Goetia conjurations involves the story of Kora, Dathan, and Abiram, who conspired against Moses while he was off receiving the Ten Commandments. In using the name in this context, the magician is not merely trying to speak a name which is holy or powerful, but also making an oath of his own. In this example, the magician recounts the condemnation of those who revolt against authority. If the magician is himself in a position like that of Kora (the instigator of rebellion), Dathan (reluctant to accept law), or Abiram (complicit in the work of the former two), he loses the authority gained by use of the Name, regardless of any supposedly inherent power the name might have. The use of the name has less to do with its implicit power and more to do with the way in which it reminds the spirit of power the magician already has over it.

The Goetia employs a Bible-based system to express what the magician wants to communicate to the spirit. A Hindu might (for example, and I mean no disrespect to those of Hindu faith) might instead invoke Svayam Bhagavan and command spirits by the Name Govinda or by the Name Madhusudhana, etc... Use of the names would not carry any more potency than it does for a non-Hindu, except in that they would be employed to express a truth about the existing relationship between the magician and the spirit, regardless of whether one were a follower of the Hindu religion. A popular fishing spell from Oklahoma involves the phrase "You buejays are all wizards" in its command to the spirits of a pond to release the fish, and this doesn't mean that bluejays have magical powers; but that the enchanter follows the examples which Blue Jay demonstrates in the lore of the Chickamauga, and so he mentions this to the pond-spirit to remind them that he has followed the related spiritual teachings and therefore has a right to catch the fish.

That's one of the clearest explanations of your views on evocation I've read so far IA, thanks a lot.

From what you've written in the past though, I gathered that you didn't begin your practice of following the Lemegeton with a fully fledged "philosophy" on the whole thing -- your current views have been shaped through your own experiences with the spirits?

To what extent did you have any sort of view on the whole system when you started off and do you think it's necessary for a beginner?

Thanks

#25 Spida

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 01:37 PM

You bring up some interesting points Violet, I have an idea where all this is going. But I won't go out on a limb here, least not that far.

It is true that the Hebrew God Names are quite specific, and perhaps even overdone a bit. But they are in reference to a thing that literally has an infinite set of attributes. Whether or not ALL of them are valid, or perhaps practical. I can't say for sure. But given my current knowledge, I would say some definitely are, e.g. Elohim the Creator God, so on and so forth. If the need arose, because of a pending ritual for example. I would research the relevant names.

I am not Hebrew/Jewish, ergo things of this context are rendered invalid for my application?

I politely disagree with the above statement. Just because a group/individual is fit to be given Divine Knowledge, does not equate to they are the only ones fit to make use of it.

If the Hebrew language is unfamiliar to you. THEN LEARN IT! As I am. Slowly but surely. Not to become fluent, but what is necessary for practical purposes.

I have taken great care in correct enunciation of God Names, and other names of power. And am quite sure that I do it just as efficiently, if not more so than those who are of Hebrew origin, but may have deviated from this particular context at hand. I don't think God is racist. If God will judge you, then it will be by your work. not your ethnicity, although perhaps some would like to believe this. It is they who are wrong. That is what I believe.

This reminds me of when I went to a Synagogue a couple years ago for Yom Kippur. Partially dressed in white, eager to speak with Jews about Qabalah. Well, as it turned out there was one person there that did have a modest knowledge of this. It was me. I was slightly disappointed, but it was fun. And as it turned. I felt good about this.

Good day ladies and gentlemen
See you later
:)

Edited by Spida, 09 April 2017 - 01:40 PM.


#26 violetstar

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 02:28 PM

Please feel free to disagree Spida.Your personal belief is your own subjectivity.If that brings your expected result then I wish you well.

However,as you say 'Whether or not ALL of them are valid, or perhaps practical. I can't say for sure' seems to me an expression of uncertainty.I find this currently permeating all your replies within this thread most of which you answer in Qabalistic philosophical terms rather than addressing my arguments directly.

I do not wish to learn pronounciation of Hebrew but since you bring this up may I ask which format you are basing it on? ie ancient or modern?Medieval,Mishnaic or Tannaitic?
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#27 Imperial Arts

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 11:28 PM

View Postalkeides, on 09 April 2017 - 07:16 AM, said:

To what extent did you have any sort of view on the whole system when you started off and do you think it's necessary for a beginner?

There are so many grimoires available these days, but when I began it was not so. I encountered the Goetia early, via Waite and Barrett, and in those days it was Ye Olde Trve Black Arte as there were so few similar specimens for comparison. I don't mean that those are all somehow invalid, but that they were not a part of my world and instead I had a text which might have well been titled Open Interdimensional Portals in Your Garage For Fun and Profit but which was otherwise known as the Goetia.

For me, at least, this aspect of approach allowed me to enter into the spirit of the work with little bother about making philosophical judgment. I was at the time entirely opposed to the idea of religion altogether, thought the whole lot of it was absolute fantasy and social control. I saw the practice of magical rituals and so forth as something that tuned-in to otherwise dormant psychic powers, not necessarily representative of proof of God, souls, spirits, or anything so much as a symbolic way to get from here to there in life without doing the usual routines.

I had, for several years before beginning with the Goetia, practiced several other forms of magic including a variety of folk charms, kamea talismans, Golden Dawn rituals, and the tutelage of a Native American firearms maniac, and had found all of them interesting and useful. I turned to the Goetia as something beyond those things and closer to my fundamental interest in magic as an art that puts one in a position to affect all of the world rather than just my little corner of it.

And so, while I understand your meaning, I don't really think of the Goetia as something for a "beginner." As you are aware, but for the benefit of others, I think the remainder of the Lemegeton serves that purpose and provides the equivalent ground-work as one would gain in the Elemental Grades or the Abramelin ritual or Planetary anything. In those other methods of working with the spirits, most of the time in a hands-off approach where you are not directly acknowledging them as in a spell, a person acquires familiarity with the way the spirits operate and gain authority over them. First and foremost, I think that a person has to be willing to enter into the kind of compact which calling spirits demands, that it must be genuine on all accounts, and insistent beyond measure. Even if you don't know what you're saying, you should really and truly mean it.
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#28 violetstar

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:11 PM

Even if you don't know what you're saying, you should really and truly mean it.

Huh?
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#29 R. Eugene Laughlin

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:58 PM

View Postvioletstar, on 19 April 2017 - 04:11 PM, said:

Even if you don't know what you're saying, you should really and truly mean it.

Huh?

Perhaps I can clarify that for you from the perspective of an observer; I've been reading IA's post for years. It's my impression that he believes that the only path to success in evocative art is pleasing the spirits, and while he's been reluctant to state it explicitly, he believes that one of the key factors is sincerity. That basic idea underpins the inclusion of the so-called Barbarous Names in conjuration speeches, and may translate to some as something like, how sincerely you can recite a list of names that are truly unintelligible could serve as a measure of sincerity that the spirits readily recognize.

Maybe I can further clarify the attitude as a well-read person. Here's what Iamblichus says of the use of such names, after a brief mention of the habit of the inquisitive (passionate) Greeks to investigate novel things, and adapt/transform them to more familiar forms as a matter of practicality:

But the Barbarians are stable in their manners, and firmly continue to employ the same words. Hence they are dear to the Gods, and proffer words which are grateful to them; but which it is not lawful for any man by any means to change. And thus much we have said in answer to you concerning names, which though they are inexplicable, and are called Barbaric, yet are adapted to sacred concerns.

--From On the Mysteries


Iamblichus is saying there's no need to know what the names mean, but there is pressing need to rehearse them faithfully.

Edited by R. Eugene Laughlin, 19 April 2017 - 05:14 PM.

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#30 violetstar

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:00 PM

Ok,Your example,taken from Neoplatonic ideology.I assume IA is a Theurgist which may put him at odds with Goetic thought or may not depending if he has made additions to the basic structure.

An example here is the Neoplatonic idea of 'One'.Expressed as the God beyond existence this has links to Hebrew Qabalah where we find Ayin the 'Nothingness'.
In witchcraft-and for some Sorcerers..One means something entirely different encompassing a whole theological idea-which appears to have been shared by the Celtic peoples.
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#31 R. Eugene Laughlin

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:38 PM

View Postvioletstar, on 19 April 2017 - 08:00 PM, said:

Ok,Your example,taken from Neoplatonic ideology.I assume IA is a Theurgist which may put him at odds with Goetic thought or may not depending if he has made additions to the basic structure.

He already explained his concept of a generalized monotheism and his beliefs about how that figures into the magick he practices.

Any further thoughts I could interject at this point are already contained in post #4.
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#32 violetstar

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:06 PM

Thank you for your learned input and help in clarifying the matter.

Due to the problematics surrounding the pronounciation of Hebrew and other names deemed sacred,do you see an alternative say in visualisation of the name in a colour associated with it?This is already known to the Qabalist who in order to avoid profaning the sacred utilise that method.A suitable correspondence could be drawn from 777 or even a personal schema as long as there is cohesion and consistency.
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#33 R. Eugene Laughlin

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:09 AM

View Postvioletstar, on 19 April 2017 - 11:06 PM, said:


Due to the problematics surrounding the pronounciation of Hebrew and other names deemed sacred,do you see an alternative say in visualisation of the name in a colour associated with it?This is already known to the Qabalist who in order to avoid profaning the sacred utilise that method.A suitable correspondence could be drawn from 777 or even a personal schema as long as there is cohesion and consistency.

My Pagan heart rejects everything that stems from Abrahamic traditions, increasingly so as I age.

My magick practice is intentionally devoid of spoken language, but not for fear or profaning sacred names. That's rank superstition in my opinion. I hold no names nor words to be sacred. My practice evolved away from spoken words primarily because it's more effective for me, in practice. I started down that road after realizing that I could express my thoughts without internal speech. We can call that pre-linguistic thought, and learning to use it led to the discovery that I establish a better rapport with the spirits in my world that way.
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#34 violetstar

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:47 AM

Rank superstition yes but as I found from another thread on here people are still constrained by it.And my suggestion of an alternative was primaliry aimed at those who do subscribe to vibrating names and who may have lingering doubts about their own proficiency in doing so.
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#35 Imperial Arts

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:36 PM

When you buy a home, even without the bank involved, the title company will usually present you with a stack of papers to sign. They review the major points (by law, they didn't always), but hardly anyone actually reads them all and almost nobody analyzes the details. Some people are surprised to discover the nature of the details, which become problems later if unforeseen circumstances arise. Nonetheless, if you sign, you are legally bound by the terms.

It's not so much a matter of knowing the precise terms to which you agree, but it is important that you understand that you are accepting them, and in a legal sense it is important that you abide by them or else there might be serious consequences.

A similar situation exists with any of those online forms (like joining a forum) where you agree to abide the rules by clicking the "I agree" box even if you have not read them. Your level of sincerity is of no importance, only that you do agree and do abide, beyond which you give the person on the other end of the deal a certain amount of leverage over you.

In the grimoire tradition, God is the arbiter in the deal, and the spirits are the third party which might lay claim to you or your work. It is of no account whether you please the spirits so long as you abide the mutual accord which the ceremony recognizes in symbolism and in reference to the mythic background of the grimoire.


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#36 violetstar

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:57 AM

So a kind of pact with God.Makes a change from drawing up a contract with the Old Enemy!
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#37 violetstar

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:52 PM

Another interesting thing is that the Hebrew based Grimoires were in fact written in the West-not the Middle East.They were also written in Latin or Greek and composed by Theologians and Monks often German based.
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#38 Spida

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:00 AM

It does seem a bit precarious to rely on such information. One way that I receive guidance is by altering consciousness combined with a Ritualistic setting. This establishes a link with the Spirit World where I can receive bits and pieces here and there. Usually at a subconscious level that then rises to conscious awareness. I continuously recieve input, during the Rituals, and also in between.

This eliminates the Middlemen completey. And knowledge is derived from a higher source. Much in the same way it was originally.

#39 violetstar

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:37 AM

View PostSpida, on 19 May 2017 - 05:00 AM, said:

It does seem a bit precarious to rely on such information. One way that I receive guidance is by altering consciousness combined with a Ritualistic setting. This establishes a link with the Spirit World where I can receive bits and pieces here and there. Usually at a subconscious level that then rises to conscious awareness. I continuously recieve input, during the Rituals, and also in between.

This eliminates the Middlemen completey. And knowledge is derived from a higher source. Much in the same way it was originally.
I like this idea of cutting out the Middlemen because they are in fact the Catholic Church.

We have evidence that the main collectors and distributors of Grimoires during the period 1300-1750 were European Catholic Monks.We also know they stored other magical texts including Alchemical treatise.We do not however,have any hard evidence the texts were actually employed within the Monasteries.

It will follow that the Grimoires themselves are composed in a liturgical style similar to the Orders of Service used by the Monks.
I have a copy of the Rites of Committal which is the handbook for Catholic burial procedure.The way the liturgy is laid out is so near the usual Grimoire style that if we substitute the theme of burial for that of evocation it fits nicely.

For example the RoC has Signs of Farewell which in a magical working can be adapted as the Banishing of entities called forth.

If we were composing our own Grimoire the wonderful style of the Catholic Liturgy would be my first choice on which to base the script of our Ritual upon.

WREN may have already seen this in the post on Service Chapbooks.
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#40 wren

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:47 PM

Yep. That was the basis of the post. I have come to think of the magic/religion divide as being about social politics more than actual structural differences. So, if you throw out that divide these manuals and services become "grimoires" as books intended to somehow or other influence the "spiritual" world. Also, if every little 20 congregant church can throw together a "grimoire" every Sunday with a twenty dollar printer and some eggshell paper, why can't occultists?





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