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Review: The Book of Abramelin

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  • ianrons
    I ve just posted a review of this book to http://www.themagickalreview.org/reviews/book-of-abramelin.php There is some stuff about the MaHaRIL, and other bits
    Message 1 of 6 , May 16, 2010
      I've just posted a review of this book to
      http://www.themagickalreview.org/reviews/book-of-abramelin.php

      There is some stuff about the MaHaRIL, and other bits and pieces.

      Ian
    • AaronL
      ... Good review, Ian. I have also been highly suspicious of the identification of Abraham of Worms with the MaHaRIL. How do you feel about the theory that
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 14, 2010
        --- In abramelin@yahoogroups.com, "ianrons" <ianrons@...> wrote:
        >
        > I've just posted a review of this book to
        > http://www.themagickalreview.org/reviews/book-of-abramelin.php
        >
        > There is some stuff about the MaHaRIL, and other bits and pieces.
        >
        > Ian
        >

        Good review, Ian. I have also been highly suspicious of the identification of Abraham of Worms with the MaHaRIL. How do you feel about the theory that Abraham's story may in fact be a "Judaified" retelling of the life of Paracelsus?

        LVX
        Aaron
      • AaronL
        Oh, and another thought on this subject - I have long suspected that the story of Christian Rosencrutz may have been a Christianized re-telling of the
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 14, 2010
          Oh, and another thought on this subject - I have long suspected that the story of Christian Rosencrutz may have been a "Christianized" re-telling of the Abraham of Worms story. The existence of the Abramelin manuscript in Germany just prior to the appearance of the Fama Fraternatis is what leads me to think they are related.

          LVX
          Aaron



          --- In abramelin@yahoogroups.com, "ianrons" <ianrons@...> wrote:
          >
          > I've just posted a review of this book to
          > http://www.themagickalreview.org/reviews/book-of-abramelin.php
          >
          > There is some stuff about the MaHaRIL, and other bits and pieces.
          >
          > Ian
          >
        • ianrons
          Hi Aaron -- we have to stop meeting like this ;-) ... This would presuppose that the dates given in Abraham of Worms are wrong, and that it s a complete
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 14, 2010
            Hi Aaron -- we have to stop meeting like this ;-)

            > I have also been highly suspicious of the identification of Abraham of
            > Worms with the MaHaRIL. How do you feel about the theory that Abraham's
            > story may in fact be a "Judaified" retelling of the life of Paracelsus?

            This would presuppose that the dates given in Abraham of Worms are wrong, and that it's a complete fiction; but I don't think there's any particular reason to think it is fiction, unless one takes a materialist attitude and dismisses all magick as unlikely/fiction. And whilst I dispute the MaHaRIL identification, there are points such as Abraham's credible identification of the town "Araki", and some tentative evidence suggesting Abraham's position as being close to Emperor Sigismund and his presence at the Council of Constance (as "Abraham aus Leipzig"), and one or two other interesting possibilities -- e.g. perhaps Richard de Beauchamp was near the area in 1409/10, so could have been known to Abraham as the Earl/Duke of Warwick. I think the second English edition of The Book of Abramelin will build upon all this, and have more details on Abraham's magickal exploits -- the MaHaRIL identification isn't vital to the reality of Abraham at all.

            Nevertheless, I do have my doubts about whether Abraham was Jewish, unless those lists of demons were additions in a later manuscript. And that speaks to whether it was a Judaized grimoire of some sort. However, I don't think any definite conclusions can be reached without seeing the original manuscript; which may seem convenient, but it also happens to be true!


            > Oh, and another thought on this subject - I have long suspected that the
            > story of Christian Rosencrutz may have been a "Christianized" re-telling
            > of the Abraham of Worms story. The existence of the Abramelin manuscript
            > in Germany just prior to the appearance of the Fama Fraternatis is what
            > leads me to think they are related.

            Maybe...

            Best wishes,

            Ian
          • AaronL
            ... I rather enjoy meeting like this. :) ... My suspicions are not that it is outright fiction. However, it wouldn t shock me (as a student of history) nor
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 16, 2010
              --- In abramelin@yahoogroups.com, "ianrons" <ianrons@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Aaron -- we have to stop meeting like this ;-)

              I rather enjoy meeting like this. :)

              > > I have also been highly suspicious of the identification of Abraham of
              > > Worms with the MaHaRIL. How do you feel about the theory that Abraham's
              > > story may in fact be a "Judaified" retelling of the life of Paracelsus?
              >
              > This would presuppose that the dates given in Abraham of Worms are wrong, and that it's a complete fiction; but I don't think there's any particular reason to think it is fiction, unless one takes a materialist attitude and dismisses all magick as unlikely/fiction.

              My suspicions are not that it is outright fiction. However, it wouldn't shock me (as a student of history) nor offend me (as a practitioner) to discover that the story was an allegory. That is, an example of a popular inspirational legend (the life and times of Paracelsus) with the names, dates and setting changed to make it relevant to a new audience. It seems this happens often enough in mythology, especially as it migrates around.


              >And whilst I dispute the MaHaRIL identification, there are points such as Abraham's credible identification of the town "Araki", and some tentative evidence suggesting Abraham's position as being close to Emperor Sigismund and his presence at the Council of Constance (as "Abraham aus Leipzig"), and one or two other interesting possibilities

              The skeptic in me wants to suggest that this Abraham Leipzig person could have been willfully introduced into the story, as part of the very attempt to contemporize it.

              could have been known to Abraham as the Earl/Duke of Warwick. I think the second English edition of The Book of Abramelin will build upon all this, and have more details on Abraham's magickal exploits -- the MaHaRIL identification isn't vital to the reality of Abraham at all.
              >

              Second English edition? What do you know about that?

              > Nevertheless, I do have my doubts about whether Abraham was Jewish, unless those lists of demons were additions in a later manuscript.

              This is another head-scratcher for me. The prose in the Dehn edition of the book seems to have a much more genuinely Jewish feel to it. And I do know that there was some adoption of Christian ideas into Judaism - such as the concept of a single Satan who opposes mankind, rather than the more traditional haSathan order of Angels. Could the author of Abramelin have been Jewish but, because of his wider study of magick, have also adopted foreign demonic hierarchies into his cosmology?

              >And that speaks to whether it was a Judaized grimoire of some sort.

              I guess I'm asking if it might be a Christianized Judaic text.

              However, I don't think any definite conclusions can be reached without seeing the original manuscript; which may seem convenient, but it also happens to be true!
              >

              Yep :)

              > > Oh, and another thought on this subject - I have long suspected that the
              > > story of Christian Rosencrutz may have been a "Christianized" re-telling
              > > of the Abraham of Worms story. The existence of the Abramelin manuscript
              > > in Germany just prior to the appearance of the Fama Fraternatis is what
              > > leads me to think they are related.
              >
              > Maybe...

              If so, it would be further evidence of an older tale being updated and propagated as "new."

              LVX
              Aaron
            • ianrons
              Hi Aaron, ... He wasn t mentioned by Abraham von Worms. He only came into it because of Robert Brautigam s research into Emperor Sigismund, and he cropped up
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 23, 2010
                Hi Aaron,

                --- In abramelin@yahoogroups.com, "AaronL" <kheph777@...> wrote:
                > The skeptic in me wants to suggest that this Abraham Leipzig person
                > could have been willfully introduced into the story, as part of the very
                > attempt to contemporize it.

                He wasn't mentioned by Abraham von Worms. He only came into it because of Robert Brautigam's research into Emperor Sigismund, and he cropped up again in the register of Jews attending the Council of Constance. Abraham von Worms doesn't mention Leipzig at all, though it is reasonable to suppose he owned several dwellings if he was as rich as he said, and that he travelled about on "business" quite a lot.


                > Second English edition? What do you know about that?

                That's for Georg to answer, and I hope I haven't been premature in mentioning it. I know that Georg regards his research as ongoing, and is willing to include new pieces of information and update the book as new evidence comes to light. There will be some substantial additions and clarifications in the introduction and appendices of the second edition, I believe, but it's too early to say more.


                > This is another head-scratcher for me. The prose in the Dehn edition of
                > the book seems to have a much more genuinely Jewish feel to it. And I do
                > know that there was some adoption of Christian ideas into Judaism - such
                > as the concept of a single Satan who opposes mankind, rather than the
                > more traditional haSathan order of Angels. Could the author of Abramelin
                > have been Jewish but, because of his wider study of magick, have also
                > adopted foreign demonic hierarchies into his cosmology? I guess I'm
                > asking if it might be a Christianized Judaic text.

                Well, from my perspective the "stumbling block" (or, "that which opposes") is the first mention of Satan, and that's quite close to his usage, but yes there seems to be wholesale appropriation of Christian demonology, although I don't see that as conclusive one way or the other with respect to Abraham's own religion or to the text itself.

                Best wishes,

                Ian
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