Peter de Abano: Heptameron, or Magical Elements

This concise handbook of ritual magic appeared as an appendix of Agrippa’s Opera, following Agrippa’s Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy. The edition I used for the Latin text is Lyon 1600 (?). An English translation by Robert Turner was published in 1655, and appeared in a collection of esoteric texts along with Agrippa’s Fourth Book. Its attribution to the famous physician Peter de Abano (1250-1316) may be spurious, as his accepted works ‘betray no acquaintance with the occult sciences.’ Note however that Agrippa refers to de Abano in his Third Book as being his source for the Theban alphabet of Honorius of Thebes. The Heptameron (“seven days”) details rites for conjuring angels for the seven days of the week. It is heavily based on texts of the Solomon cycle, and in fact appears in the Hebrew Key of Solomon (Mafteah Shelomoh) fol 35a ff under the title the Book of Light (though without the Christian elements). It was also apparently one of the chief sources for the Lemegeton.

Full Text: Esoteric Archives.

2 Comments

  1. Very cool, thanks.

  2. The idea of astrological theurgy (or whatever you want to call it) is vastly underused, IMHO, especially with the advent of modern astronomy and computer based astrological programs.

    Perhaps there first needs to be a clearing away of the cobwebs as has been done in post-modern illumination of the hermetic sciences ala chaos magic?

    The astrologer/magicians of olde had only vestigal and atrophied knowledge kept alive from ancient sumeria/egypt/greece and much of it occult dogma.

    In example: “LEt the Moon be increasing and equal, if it may then be done, and let her not be combust.”

    “via combusta” or the “combust path” refers to a swath of sky in the constellation scorpio, which according to the adepts of the day, was all things creepy crawly. Modern Astrologers, thanks in huge part to Carl Jung, now understand this archetype (death/shadow/ect) to be an essential element to wholeness and not to be shunned and feared.

    And this is just one fairly obvious philosophical element. The practical elements are vast, perhaps endless. We now have, not only, the known planets visible to the naked eye but also thousands of Asteroids, transplutonian objects, and an endless array of theoretical points. Lets also consider the accumulation (and synthesis) of other culture’s systems and methods (arabian, hindu, mayan, ect) and the ability to forecast lunar/solar/planetary transits down the second, some of which were not even known until the 20th century.

    For the creative mage, employed with computer (or web based) astrology software, there is an entire galaxy opportunities…

    Free astrological charts and services:

    http://www.astro.com/

    —————————–
    *and don’t forget that “sun sign astrology” (daily newspaper horoscopes) compared to “real” astrology is like comparing the tarot to a fourtune cookie.

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