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HERMETICISM, POETRY AND MAGIC

HERMETICISM, POETRY AND MAGIC

April 29th, 2018 - In order to enter into Magic, one has to refer to the ancient hermetic treatises entitled : Liber Hermetis Trismegistis (3rd century BC) and Corpus Hermeticum and the Asclepios (first centuries of our era). "Our ancestors discovered the art of creating gods ... they conjured the souls of demons or angels and, by pious and sacred mysteries, introduced them into the images of the gods, and thus they received the power to do good and evil".

This idea of an image created by the man which can be changed into a magic object exercised a great influence in many civilizations (Indian, African, Western ...). Talismans, for example, are still today a regularly exploited application. Its manufacturing derives simply from a magic theory : the doctrine of correspondences which is the idea that every material element of our universe is the reflection of some cosmic principle.

The pearl for example is a reflection of the cosmic principle personified by the Moon. The association of sounds, perfumes, colors and forms in the Law of Correspondences would therefore make it possible to conceive of an effective ritual. In the example of the Moon, the association of divine names sung on a certain frequency, myrrh, violet, lunar cruiser, the number nine (nine purple candles), etc ... will generate a special mood encouraging the manifestation of adequate intelligences. But whatever the correct manufacturing of the symbolism carried by a talisman, it will do not work until a magician comes to give it life by proper rites.

In Western magic, at the time of the treaty of Asclepius, in order to make a healing talisman, it was necessary to have recourse to the god Jupiter who has the gift of healing with the aid of tin (the metal of Jupiter) or a parchment tinged with purple (the color of Jupiter) on which it was necessary to engrave geometrical figures, seals, numbers and power names corresponding to the god. The symbolic representation of the cosmic force of Jupiter was obtained by the magician who formulated rites of banishment, took the object to charge him with his own energy, burned the incense devoted to Jupiter and finally, transmitted to the object mental images of the energy of the god.

The Correspondence theory has inspired many poets and writers like Goethe, Novalis, Balzac, Nerval, Rimbaud, Mallarmé or Baudelaire. The French poet Charles Baudelaire wrote "Correspondences" which is the fourth sonnet of the Flowers of Evil :

Nature is a temple in which living pillars
Sometimes give voice to confused words ;
Man passes there through forests of symbols
Which look at him with understanding eyes.

Like prolonged echoes mingling in the distance
In a deep and tenebrous unity,
Vast as the dark of night and as the light of day,
Perfumes, sounds, and colors correspond.

There are perfumes as cool as the flesh of children,
Sweet as oboes, green as meadows
— And others are corrupt, and rich, triumphant,

With power to expand into infinity,
Like amber and incense, musk, benzoin,
That sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses.

Charles Baudelaire (1857)

The concept of the hermetic language conveying magic and transcended by poetry was taken up and exalted by the mage Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). In The Book of Law, he explains that the growth of certain periods of universe and humanity correspond to vast "stars" that we can described as the Gods Isis, Osiris and finally, Horus who rules our present era since 1904 for 2000 years.

The light is mine ; its rays consume
me : I have made a secret door
Into the House of Ra and Tum,
Of Khephra and of Ahathoor,
I am thy Theban, O Mentu,
The prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu !

By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat ;
By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell.
Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit !
Bid me within thine House to dwell,
O wingèd snake of light, Hadit !
Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit !

Aleister Crowley (1904)

At least but not at last, we'll retain the quote from John William Brodie-Innes (1848-1923) of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn's Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh :It is relatively unimportant whether the gods, the qliphotic forces or even the unknown superiors really exist. The important thing is that the universe behaves as if they exist.

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