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Eliphas Levi - Geschichte der Magie In German (copyrighted book, review only)

Cover of Eliphas Levi's Book Geschichte der Magie In German
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In German language. First published in 1913, this classic text is an invaluable source book on the history and practice of magic and occultism. The contents include: Magic of the Magi, Magic in Ancient Greece, the Kabalah, Primitive Symbolism, Mysticism, Oracles, Magical Monuments, Magic and Christianity, Pagan Magic, Kabalistic Paintings and Sacred Emblems, Sorcerers, Magic and Freemasonry, the Illuminati, and more.We are all intruigued by the mysteries of magic. But this book makes the most preposterous claims about magic,... More >>>
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Category 1:  Mystic and Occultism
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Author:      Eliphas Levi
Format:      eBook
In German language. First published in 1913, this classic text is an invaluable source book on the history and practice of magic and occultism. The contents include: Magic of the Magi, Magic in Ancient Greece, the Kabalah, Primitive Symbolism, Mysticism, Oracles, Magical Monuments, Magic and Christianity, Pagan Magic, Kabalistic Paintings and Sacred Emblems, Sorcerers, Magic and Freemasonry, the Illuminati, and more.

We are all intruigued by the mysteries of magic. But this book makes the most preposterous claims about magic, ritual, history and god knows what else, that I have ever seen. Far from the claim (in a review below) of his "empiricism," Levi does not seem to have been in the least informed by the sciences of his day. The real mystery is why the great esotericsit A.E. Waite bothered to translate it from the French at all. Need an example? India is described as "the Mother of all heresies" [laughable, were it not so pathetic an example of judeochristian resentiment]. And he seriously believes that the the books of the Old Testament describe the literal anthropology & history of the peoples of the Mideast, Ishmael=Islam and all the rest [fundamentalism so naive it would make a Trent Lott blush!]. The book's organization reflects the author's romance with Quaballah, but the chapters themselves are random collections of "ideas" on topics unrelated to the chapter titles [a stream-of-consciousness style the anticipated the great Joyce by half a century, albeit to no effect, aesthetic or otherwise]. The single high point of the book is Levi's description of spiritual love: "The true man elevates himself not by trying to possess the object of his desire but by raising himself to Her through devotion" [its a pity he didn't know anything about Sufism or the key difference between magic and devotion]. Try Israel Regardie instead, who is at least steeped in Renaissance memory training, neo-Platonism and other worthies. Remember that it is but a small (backwards) step that separates dog from god. (Reader's review)

About Author:

Eliphas Levi (the pen name of Abbe Louis Constant, 1810-1875), was a French occultist who is credited for reviving interest in magic in the 19th century. Levi's writings have been appraised as being highly imaginative but not very accurate. His first and probably most important work was The Dogma and Ritual of High Magic. It was followed by A History of Magic, Transcendental Magic, The Key of Great Mysteries, and other occult books. Levi "believed in the existence of a universal 'secret doctrine' of magic throughout history, everywhere in the world."

In The Dogma and Ritual of High Magic, Levi devoted 22 chapters to the 22 trump cards, or Major Arcana, of the tarot. He linked each to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and to aspects of God.

Levi also proclaimed a theory of astral light based on his belief in animal magnetism. In his theory, astral light was similar to either, a fluidic life force that fills all space and living beings. This concept was not original but held by others in the 19th century. Levi stated, "To control the astral light was to control all things; a skilled magician's will was limitless in power."

Levi stated he was influenced by an earlier writer and occultist Francis Barrett. In turn he influenced another writer and occultist Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, with whom he visited in London in 1861. Bulwer-Lytton wrote The Last Days of Pompeii and other occult books helping to make magic fashionable to the last of the 19th century. They both became members of an occult group, which perhaps Bulwer-Lytton may have organized, that studied scrying, magic, astrology, and mesmerism. In his popularity he drew a cult following, influencing others to write their own books.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded in London in 1888, adopted much of Levi's magic. Aleister Crowley, a former member, was born the year that Levi died and claimed to be the reincarnation of Levi.

Levi is well know for four main books, The Dogma and Ritual of High Magic, A History of Magic, Transcendental Magic and the The Key of Great Mysteries, and other occult books. Levi "believed in the existence of a universal 'secret doctrine' of magic throughout history, everywhere in the world."
In The Dogma and Ritual of High Magic, Levi devoted 22 chapters to the 22 trump cards, or Major Arcana, of the tarot. He linked each to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and to aspects of God.
Levi's most well known work covers Transcendental magic which is a far more practical from text an occult perspective than Levi's other works. The work is split into two parts. Part 1 covers theory, and examines traditional interpretations of magic and religion. Part II covers the practical aspects of ritual magic.

His other works are:

- Clefs Majeures et Clavicules de Salomon
- Dogma et Rituel de la Haute Magie Part I
- Dogma et Rituel de la Haute Magie Part II
- Elements of the Qabalah
- The Conjuration of the Four Elements
- The Key of the Mysteries
- The Magical Ritual of the Sanctum Regnum.