The Practical Art of Divine Magic: Contemporary & Ancient Techniques of Theurgy
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The ancient world of Egypt, Greece, and Rome was home to a set of magical and spiritual technologies, called theurgy, that unite the practice of magic with the aims of religion. Theurgy, or "godwork," is the art of creating a stronger bond between the theurgist and his or her deities. The results of this stronger bond were imminently practical: stronger magic, more meaningful existence, and a better life. With the fall of Rome, these techniques faded into obscurity, and many of them were lost forever.
This book revives, restores, and reinvents these practices for a contemporary pagan or magical practitioner. A mixture of scholarly research and examination of source texts and daring experimentation and extrapolation leads to a complete and workable system that can inform a variety of practices, all presented in a relaxed, lighthearted, and readable way.
Whether you practice witchcraft, ceremonial magic, or chaos magic, you can benefit from the practice of theurgy. You will learn techniques to create stronger bonds with divine forces, call up and communicate with spiritual beings, summon a magical assistant, create statues imbued with divine spirit, and master your own mind. The ultimate goal is union with the divine, but theurgy is a practical path, and every step on that path is designed to improve your life.
chapter 3 The Addresses of the Gods If you wish to contact me, a mortal, there are many ways you can do it. You can write to my publisher, whose address is in the front of this book. You can ask me for my home address and write me there. You could find my email address and email me.36 You could look up my phone number and call me. What do these modes of communication have in common? Each of them requires a sort of address: a symbolic representation of my location to which you can appeal.
terms that a modern reader cannot help but regard as epileptic.95 It was a common belief that drawing a god into oneself was dangerous, because it is too much power for the body to hold. We find relatively few rituals in ancient sources for direct invocation and identification with deities in distinction to other polytheistic religions like Vodou or Candomblé. Modern magical practices such as assuming the godform were not—as far as I can tell—common in classical and late ancient magic. On the
winter, when the sun entered the part of the sky named after the constellation of Capricorn, and the days became their shortest. What, then, could this mean for the other planets? Could their placements also have an effect on the earth? “Effect” is used loosely here. Even ancient astronomers didn’t all think (although some did) that the planets had a literal causative effect on the earth. The sun entering Aries didn’t make farmers plant crops. It just meant it was time to do that, and farmers
and offer the heat to the genius by holding your palms up and imagining it rising upward like smoke; you can imagine this smoke taking on the forms of the preferred sacrifices and expanding to fill the available space.127 This technique isn’t necessarily original to ancient magical practices, but I find it useful. Step 6: Spend some time in the contemplation of the genius, remaining receptive to any answer it may offer you. Agrippa’s description of the three types of genius can be interpreted
is a preservative and was used as an embalming fluid in ancient times. Similarly, oil is offered to the dead, sometimes poured on their grave markers as a means of making it glisten, thus recalling the goal of rising upward into the light of the Nous. While eating food specifically dedicated to the dead was seen as improper, one could eat in their presence. Picnics at gravesites were common throughout antiquity, and the family would bring its own food as well as a share for the dead, which was