The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy

Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Language: English

Pages: 370

ISBN: 0816060487

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


With more than 500 entries, this work serves as a reference to the history of the Western magical and alchemical traditions, sorting history from myth and folklore and examining mystical beliefs through the ages. It covers such topics as history, lore, famous people, philosophies, procedures, materials, rituals, and relationships to science.

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It is my hope that this work will contribute to an open and honest examination of them so that we may better understand and use our natural powers for the advancement of all. —Rosemary Ellen Guiley ENTRIES A–Z s s s s A the end, inquisitors had to be content with the burning Peter of Abano in effigy. A century later, Abano’s memory Abano, Peter of (1250–1316) Italian physician condemned by the Inquisition for his alleged infernal knowledge and magical practices. Peter of Abano wrote on ASTROLOGY and GEOMANCY but was not likely to have been a magician.

The ancients especially used astrology to forecast auspicious times for matters of state, including war, and to predict weather and natural disasters. Two types of astrology evolved: horary, which determines auspicious times for action, and mundane, which predicts disasters and other great happenings and is concerned with countries, races, and groups of people. 23 Astrological arts have been practiced around the world. Chinese astrology was documented as early as 2000 b. c. e. The emperor was considered the high priest of the heavens and made sacrifices to the stars to stay in harmony with them.

Azoth also is a name for cel est ial dew. A woodcut of par acel sus shows him holding a roundheaded staff bearing the name Azoth. s several languages—Hebrew, Latin, and Greek—and philosophy. In about 1247, Bacon read The Secret of Secrets, a spurious work on the occult attributed to Aristotle. Prior to that, Bacon had evidenced skepticism about alchemy, stating in lectures that transmutation of metals was not possible based on philosophical grounds. The Secret of Secrets stimulated his interest in medicine, ast r ol ogy, alchemy, and magic, and he began a search for a universal science that would integrate all things.

The rituals were performed in the middle of the night, with the appropriate angel invoked for the hour in which the ritual was done. The Papyri Graecae Magicae states that the sender should invoke Selene to “give a sacred angel or a holy assistant who serves this very night, in this very hour . . . and order the angel to go off to her, NN (“so-and-so”), to draw her by her hair, by her feet; may she, in fear, see phantoms, sleepless because of her passion for me and her love for me, NN, come to my consecrated bedroom.

C. e. The only extant detailed account of a Druid ceremony comes from Pliny and concerns the harvesting of mistletoe. On the sixth day of the moon, a Druid who was garbed in a white robe climbed an oak tree and, with the left hand, cut the mistletoe with a gol d sickle (more likely it was a gilded bronze sickle since gold is too soft to cut mistletoe). The mistletoe, not supposed to fall to the ground, was caught in a white cloth. Two white bulls were sacrificed, and a feast held. In interpreting omens, the Druids observed the hare or such birds as the crow and the eagle to foretell events.

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