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March 6th, 2005

MAGICK IN THE 1700s

THE AUTHENTIC MAGICAL TRADITION IN THE 18th & 19th CENTURY
[adapted from THE ROOTS OF MODERN MAGICK 1700-2000: An Anthology]

“The letter F, placed in the center of a Blazing Star, signifies the active principle of the Creative Elohim.”
A.E. Waite, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross

“The female organs of generation were revered as symbols of the generative powers of nature or matter, as the male were of the generative powers of God. They are usually represented emblematically, by the Shell, or Concha Veneris, which was therefore worn by devout persons of antiquity, as it still continues to be by pilgrims, and many of the common women of Italy…The male organs of generation are sometimes found represented by signs of the same sort, which might properly be called the symbol of symbols. One of the most remarkable of these is a cross, in the form of the letter T, which thus served as the emblem of creation and generation, before the church adopted it as the sign of salvation; a lucky coincidence of ideas, which, without doubt, facilitated the reception of it among the faithful. To the representative of the male organs was sometimes added a human head, which gives it the exact appearance of a crucifix…”
Richard Payne Knight, 1786

Special Prolegomena For My Live Journal Friends

My intent, in compiling my most recent book, was to collect the best of my short essays on magical history, written over the last twenty years, edit them for anachronisms, errors, and more recent information, and publish them more-or-less in chronological order, from 1700 to 2000. I tacked on an appendix with some experimental work that I thought might prove profitable in the years ahead, and set out to write an introduction, which, as it turned out, proved largely to be a completely new essay with some fresh insights into the central gnosis of magick in the 18th and 19th Centuries.Read more...Collapse )

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