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The Magus, A Complete System of Occult Philosophy, Book 2

Francis Barrett


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The Magus, or Celestial Intelligencer; being a Complete System of Occult Philosophy is a handbook of the occult and ceremonial magic. This is Book 2 of 2. Few people, even today, know that The Magus is a compilation, almost entirely consisting of selections from Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy attributed to Agrippa and the Robert Turner's 1655 translation of the Heptameron of Peter of Abano. Barrett made a few modifications and modernized the spelling and syntax of these selections. It deals with the natural magic of herbs and stones, magnetism, talismanic magic, alchemy, numerology, the elements, and biographies of famous adepts from history.

This book has 214 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1801.

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Excerpt from 'The Magus, A Complete System of Occult Philosophy, Book 2'

IT is here convenient that we say something about the means used by exorcists to raise up what are usually termed evil spirits to the circle, and, the methods of calling up the ghosts or souls of those who have died a violent or premature death.

Now, if any one would call any evil spirit to the circle, he must first consider and know his nature, and to which of the planets it agrees, and what offices are distributed unto him from the planet. This being known, let there be sought out a place fit and convenient, and proper for his invocation, according to the nature of the planet and the quality of the offices of the same spirit, as near as it can be done; as if their power be over the sea, rivers or floods, then let the place be the sea-shore, and so of the rest. Then chuse a convenient time both for the quality of the air (being serene, quiet, clear and fitting for the spirits to assume bodies); as also of the quality of and nature of the planet and the spirit, as on his day and time in which he rules; he may be fortunate or unfortunate sometimes of the day, and sometimes of the night, as the stars and spirits do require.

These things being judiciously considered, let the circle be made at the place elected, as well for the defence of the invocant as the confirmation of the spirit. And in the circle write the divine general names, and all those things which do yield defence to us; and, with them, those divine names which do rule his planet, and the offices of the spirit himself; likewise write therein the names of the good spirits which bear rule in the time you do this, and are able to bind and constrain that spirit which we intend to call. And if we will further strengthen and fortify our circle, we may add characters and pentacles agreeing to the work; then also, if we will, we may either, within or without the circle, frame an angular figure with the inscription of such convenient numbers as are congruent amongst themselves to our work, which are to be known according to the manner of numbers and figures delivered in our first Book.

Further we are to be provided with lights, perfumes, unguents, and medicines, compounded according to the nature of the spirit and planet which agree with the spirit by reason of their natural and celestial virtue.

Then we are to be furnished with holy and consecrated things necessary, not only for the defence of the invocant and his companions, but also serving for bonds to bind and constrain the spirits; such as holy papers, lamens, pictures, pentacles, swords, scepters, garments of convenient colour and matter.

Then, with all these things provided, let the exorcist and his companions go into the circle. In the first place, let him consecrate the circle and every thing he uses; which being done in a solemn and firm manner, with convenient gesture and countenance, let him begin to pray with a loud voice after the manner following. First, by making an oration or prayer to God, and then intreating the good spirits; but we should read some prayer, or psalm, or gospel, for our defence in the first place. After those prayers and orations are said, let him begin to invocate the spirit which he desireth, with a gentle and loving enchantment to all the coasts of the world, with a commemoration of his own authority and power. Then rest and look round to see if any spirit does appear; which if he delays, then let him repeat his invocation, as above said, until he hath done it three times; and if the spirit is obstinate and will not appear, then let the invocator begin to conjure him with divine power; but so that all his conjurations and commemorations do agree with the nature and office of the spirit, and reiterate the same three times, from stronger to stronger, using contumelies, cursings, punishments, suspension from his power and office, and the like.

And after these courses are finished, cease; and if the spirit shall appear, let the invocant turn himself towards the spirit, and courteously receive him, and, earnestly entreating him, let him ask his name, which write down on your holy paper, and then proceed by asking him whatsoever you will; and if in any thing the spirit shall appear to be obstinateambiguous, or lying, let him be bound by convenient conjurations; and if you doubt any thing, make, without the circle with the consecrated sword, the figure of a triangle or pentagon, and compel the spirit to enter into it; and if you receive any promise which you would have confirmed with an oath, stretch the sword out of the circle, and swear the spirit by laying his hand on the sword. Then having obtained of the spirit that which you desire, or are otherwise contented, license him to depart with courteous words, giving command that he do no hurt; and if he will not depart, compel him by powerful conjurations; and if need require expel him by exorcisms and by making contrary suffumigations. And when he is departed, go not out of the circle, but make a stay, and use some prayer giving thanks to God and the good angels; and also praying for your future defence and conservation, which being orderly performed you may depart.

But if your hopes are frustrated, and no spirit will appear, yet for this you need not despair; but leaving the circle after licensing to depart (which must never be omitted whether a spirit appears or not,) return at other times, doing as before. And if you think that you have erred in any thing, then you shall amend by adding or diminishing; for the constancy of repetition encreases your authority and power, and strikes a terror into the spirits, and compels them to obey.

And often the spirits do come although they appear not visible (to cause terror to him who calls them,) either in the thing which he uses, or else in the operation itself. But this kind of licensing is not given simply, but by a kind of dispensation, with suspension, until they shall render themselves obedient: also, without a circle, these spirits may be called to appear, by the way we have delivered in the consecration of a book. But when we intend to execute any effect where an apparition is not needful, then that is to be done, by making and forming that which is to be to us an instrument; as whether it be an image, ring, character, table, writing, candle, sacrifice, or any thing else; then the name of the spirit is to be written therein with his character, according to the exigency of the experiment, either by writing it with blood, or otherwise using a perfume agreeable to the spirit. Likewise we are often to make orations and prayers to God and the good angels before we invocate any evil spirit, conjuring him by divine power.

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