Friday, June 21, 2013

Comments from a Post on the Arbatel from my other Blog



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A comment string from one of my entries about the Arbatel (http://sophia-dione.livejournal.com/12045.html) written some years ago. The upcoming book on the Arbatel presents updated and expanded (and corrected) information about my "Arbatel Working" and other essays, including those appearing in this blog.

(Anonymous) (31.109.65.52)
Feb. 14th, 2013 07:28 am (local)
Arbatel of Magick
Dear Sophia, The reason why only one tome of this work has been published is seen in the first septenary of aphorisms. Thus: "Do not give holy things to dogs, nor cast precious jewels before swine". The wisdom spoken of in this work is for those who are pre-destined to recieve it-as the author states. Is their any doubt in your mind that if all the other tomes of Magick had been printed, they would have been abused left,right and center? I have this morning just seen an example of this where the seals of the Olympic spirits are been offered for sale on T shirts! Their is also no doubt that those who practise "dark magick" would also abuse great wisdom-in service of their master. Hence, I applaud the wise precaution of the original author of this work.
sophia_dione (184.75.102.5)
Feb. 14th, 2013 01:48 pm (local)
Excellent point. But here are my thoughts: One writer about the Arbatel--I don't remember where I read this, unfortunately-- commented that the original material reads more like a notebook or the preliminary ideas meant for a more ambitious text. I personally think--though it is only opinion--that the rest of the material was planned but never written or written and not ever found. I also believe that a lot of material that comes down to us through "grimoire" or through coded alchemy texts--and very much including the material by Dee & Kelly--were meant to be personal revelations and operations of the author(s) of the text and not material for public consumption across ages. Even Crowley's Book of Law and other tracts, Dion Fortune's visions, and the writings of AO Spare seem to me to be mystical reveries of the authors in which documentation of the ineffable or singularly personal interpretations of mystical (or kataphatic) experience is attempted. The content is then spun out into doctrines, standards, and observances (either by the authors tripping over their self-sabotaging egomania or others) and palatably intelligible meanings imposed on them.

Unfortunately, unlike in the East where mystical traditions have been preserved for eons, too much of the Western mysteries tradition is lost, in part, because of secrecy imposed on initiates during the classical era and also because of the West's habit of censoring, diabolizing, and destroying the intellectual and spiritual legacies of its conquered demimondes . We are left with reconstructions, which may or may not do justify to the original paradigms.

(Anonymous) (31.111.102.167)
Apr. 12th, 2013 05:57 am (local)
Arbatel of Magick
Dear Sophia, there are various websites of people who claim to have invoked the Olympic Spirits-which no doubt you have read-but they all agree on one thing; none of them have said anything "new" about these entities. I concede that perhaps the spirit may have told them not to reveal anything that they are told-but one would think that some magickal information would filter out-but none is apparent. This lack of information tends to make me think, that these people have not really been in contact with any spirit, and that they have been largely imagining and fooling themselves. Also, have you noticed they mention using magic circles,banishing rituals,ritual equipment,etc, all of which is unknown in the Arbatel text itself. These people also have quite obviously gained nothing materially from any of these spirits,ie: wealth, knowledge,serving spirits,etc. The reason I believe, is simply because,as with alchemy; many are called, but few are chosen.


sophia_dione (75.24.78.24)
Apr. 13th, 2013 01:54 pm (local)
Re: Arbatel of Magick
You make several excellent points. The Arbatel was composed long, long before the HOGD (Thelema etc) and its rituals monopolized hermetic magic. It was also written before Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry (which strongly influenced the HOGD). Further, the Arbatel is not in the same vein as Solomonic magic that was a adapted into standard Western Occultism. The introduction of the Arbatel claims that the Arbatel is supposed to be a series of books on different types of classical-era magianism. Those books do not exist or exist anymore, unfortunately, but the introductiont refers to magic based in Jewish tradition as “ prophetic” (ie, Kabalistic) magic, not Solomonic. Solomon is not mentioned at all in the Isagoge. The Arbatel identifies goetic magic as “Apollonic.”

As for the spirit model, I have mixed feelings. There are some postmodern magicians who like to keep the idea open about whether otherworldly entities really do exist “out there” and visit during evocation or invocation-- or prayer for that matter or whether one is experiencing mind stuff.
I had been of the opinion that the impressions I received during evocation work were just imagination and archetypal stuff within my own consciousness. My experience with the Arbatel, however, caused me to modify my view. I began to consider that I might really be in communion with otherworldly intelligences. Whatever was actually happening, it proved to be a very interesting and worthwhile transpersonal l experience. Whether our explanations for these experiences are “real” or not, the experiences themselves are real and does so the experiences in and of themselves can be valued without have to attach them to doctrines.
The rigmarole that some apply to working with the Olympic Spirits is not only unnecessary but insulting to them, I think. I believe that much of the content about how to approach the Olympic Spirits and why is an exoteric cover text for something of greater substance of a transcendental nature. A small few other people who I have communicated with the about the Arbatel and who have decided to forgo formalities and work with the Olympic spirits as I did, have reported having more robust, insightful, and encouraging experiences than they did when they tried to evoke these energies through formal ceremonial magic practices.

(Anonymous) (178.99.33.234)
Jun. 21st, 2013 11:17 am (local)
Arbatel of Magick
Dear sophia, have you also noticed how very short and straight to the point,the invocation of the Olympic Spirits is? Also the absence of any so-called, "words of power"(unless the name of Jesus Christ is a substitute for these). Contrast this with any of the other classical grimoires where demons are being invoked,which are full of incomprehensible words. Even those works which speak of calling angels have much longer prayers than that of the Arbatel. Again, I believe the reason for the short prayer comes down to a person being pre-destined to use it: wheras those who are not pre-destined obtain no result. In the end of course, it boils down to God having mercy upon those he chooses to have mercy on- but what do you think?


sophia_dione (76.199.90.18)
Jun. 21st, 2013 07:45 pm (local)
Re: Arbatel of Magick
Greetings and much thanks for the input. You make an excellent observation about the Arbatel, and everyone I have ever advised about it has come back to tell me that the simpler and most amiable but respectful approach was the best, including folks who first dabbled with Enochia. They go on to become Arbatel enthusiasts. The highly ritualized approach to evocation, used by what we now call “traditional” ceremonial magicians is based in various medieval grimoire in the vein of Solomonic magic and other ancient ritual fanfare in a world where gods and other entities had to be approached in specific ways to obtain their good graces and maintain The Order of the Universe. Historians who specialize in the study of magic in culture have noted that a lot of material in medieval grimoire are mashups of godnames and jargon from different cultures and also garbled language and terms from more ancient sources, the originally meaning, intent (and proper spelling and pronunciation) of which were very often long lost—and some of it was glossolalia from trance reverie. When this is brought to the attention of a ceremonialist, the response it that it does not matter; “it” works. From here, I must quote the guys who formally established Chaos Magick (Peter Carroll and Ray Sherwin): “Belief is a tool.” If you really believe that if you do A, that C will happen, then you are doomed to that paradigm and that is how the world works for you (and I am here talking about ritualized activity and prejudices and preferences, not other belief sets). This is called “having a process.” It is not the be-all and end-all; it is just a pattern of formation that a person has bought into (or has been indoctrinated or programmed into). As for your second point, Christian piety and use of the name of Christ to establish authority was standard in medieval grimoire—much of which was put together by men affiliated with the Church (who were the people who could read and write and have access to scholarly reading material). I'm not sure whether predestination figures into efficacy. All I know is that I approached it innocently but also from a background steeped in "Advaita" philosophy, and I got a very robust response.

Go to post about the Arbatel Working

Go to pictorial guide to the Olympic Spirits post

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