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Author Topic: The Magus a Complete System of Occult Philosophy  (Read 3596 times)


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The Magus a Complete System of Occult Philosophy
« on: August 19, 2012, 02:28:00 pm »

Title: The Magus a Complete System of Occult Philosophy
Author(s): Francis Barrett
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing
Publication Date: May 2010
ISBN: 1161367314
ISBN-13: 978-1161367317
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1801. In this work, the author has collected many curious and rare studies and ideas in regard to the subject of natural magic, the Cabala, celestial and ceremonial magic, alchemy, and magnetism. Selected contents: use of astrology, amulets and charms, stones, alchemy, the four elements, magnetism, cabalistical magic, the composition of the magic circle. Illustrated with number charts, mystical alphabets, etc.

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[size=+1]Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.[/size]
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Re: The Magus a Complete System of Occult Philosophy
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2015, 10:29:21 am »
Quote from: RandallS;69783
Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.

My view on the publisher Kessinger is very ambivalent. I am grateful that Kessinger publish many works otherwise unavailable, but the size of their books is unmanageable,  the quality of their covers are often poor, and the body is considerably heavier than books from other publishers, due to the choice of paper, none of which makes reading easier. I would advice anyone interested in The Magus to buy an edition from another publisher.

The Magus is about ceremonial magic, and was initially gathered together for the use of a group of Christian magicians in Regency England. The Magus is not an original work, but neither does it claim to be. Barret, who was the leader (or teacher) of this group of Christian magicians, wished to make several magical books, no longer available to the general public, available in a handy way within one pair of covers. The book is therefore a collection of quotes from Agrippa's Three Books on Occult Philosophy, an angel-magical experiment ascribed to the Benedictine abbot John Trithemius, and a few other minor works.

The Magus filled the same purpose in its day, that Agrippa's Three Books filled in the renaissance, and that Regardie's two bulky books about Golden Dawn fills for many ceremonial magicians today, at least in the English speaking world. Perhaps it could be described as the equivalent of Kraig's Modern Magick for contemporaries of Napoleon.

Those, who feel uncomfortable with a magical system in which the Holy Trinity is the source of the worlds, would probably not find the system in this book useful. Those, who do not have any issues with a worldview containing Abrahamitic angels and Graeco-Roman deities simultaneously (but the angels are the focus here), would find the book to be of interest, at least as an illustration of the stage of development ceremonial magic had reached in an era between Agrippa and the Golden Dawn.

This is a book written more than 70 years before the foundation of the Theosophical Society, so there will be no tatwas from Hindu Samkhya philosophy here, nor will there be any telesmatatic images of the sort clairvoyantly achieved by WW Westcott in the 1880's, any use of tarot, or assumptions of Egyptian godforms.

A reader who is aware of the cultural gap between the world of the 21'st century and the world of the early 19th century, will find this book a fascinating peek into a lost world, but anyone who expect a glossy, dumbed-down 101 book with pink fluffy unicorns of love and light is in for a shock. Please be prepared.


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