A Picatrix Miscellany

Better Essays
A PicA Trix MiscellAny

Underground Edition 2007 e.v.

On the Picatrix I. Introduction to the Picatrix (The Aim of the Sage) of al-Majriti, Maslamati ibn Ahmad II. Summary of the Contents of the Picatrix III. Excerpt from a Lecture on Alchemy by Terence McKenna On the Moon and the Lunar Mansions IV. Extracts on the Moon V. The Mansions of the Moon: “On the Creation, Proportion and Composition of the Heavens for the Fashioning of Images” VI. The Picatrix: Lunar Mansions in Western Astrology VII. W. B. Yeats and “A Vision:” The Arab Mansions of the Moon On Ritual and Talismans Picatrix Astrological Magic Aphorisms Extracts on Planetary Ritual Clothing Twenty Two Benefic Astrological Talismans Astrology, Magical Talismans and
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A glance at the table of contents is enough to show that the sequence of chapters is erratic and closer inspection reveals that the scope of individual chapters is far wider than appears at first sight. Philosophic doctrines (which, according to the author, are the basis of the talismanic art), theory of magic, astronomical, astrological and physical lore, extensive directions for the practice of the art, and accounts of the peoples by whom it is employed are jumbled together throughout the book, with no discernible guiding principle. If a systematic arrangement is anywhere perceptible, it is in the astrological and astronomical material, though even this is far from selfcontained or methodically ordered. Subjects which belong together are separated (e.g., the geographical sections on pp.171 ff. and 394 ff.), long, discursive definitions, appearing in unexpected places, further break the sequence (e.g., pp.78 and 343)-. and there is a great deal more to make the reader’s task more difficult. This manner of writing may well be intentional, whether to make the magical sections appear less suspect by interlarding them with theoretical passages, or to make certain doctrines seem less strange by administering them in small doses, or to demonstrate the equal validity of the magical and philosophical material, or for a combination of all three reasons. At all events, a similar method of
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