Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual
Written by Eliphas Levi in the mid-19th century, Transcendental Magic offers seekers of occult knowledge a bounty of guidance and arcane analyses. Informed by research spanning many centuries of arcane arts, the author offers us profound guidance to the ceremonial rituals one must perform in order to make contact with spirits and other non-corporeal entities of the universe.
In Levi’s explanations we encounter various figures of occult lore. Monad is synonymous with God; the creator of everything contained in our physical plane. Derived from the Pythagorean school, through Levi we learn how Monad interacts with the creation. This discussion is related to the Kabbalah, which attempts to define the relationship between what is infinite and what is finite.
Together with discussions of magic, and methods of harnessing such a mysterious force, Levi explains other aspects of time and space. Sacred minerals such as the philosopher’s stone, and a thorough explanation of astrology’s role in the occult, are detailed. This book is also celebrated by occultists for linking aspects of the tarot with the Tree of Life, uniting two of the world’s oldest mythologies. Magical potions and philters, and their effects, are noted.
The second part of this collection is more overtly ritualistic in tone. We receive a substantial education, with illustrations, of the various symbols and icons important to occult learning. The pentagram and pentacles are accompanied by a long series of prayers and incantations, followed by details of ceremonies vital for those aspiring to practice the arcane rites.
Although Levi and the translator Arthur Waite are at pains to present this information clearly, by necessity Transcendental Magic occasionally ventures to the complex. Readers who desire insight must be attentive, that they may understand the wisdom imparted.
The translation to English is by Arthur Edward Waite, whose own writings on the occult demonstrate a deep knowledge of the esoteric lore. This edition contains the original illustrations; these symbols, insignia and charts are vital to understanding the text. Finally, the insightful Nuctemeron supplements are also appended at the conclusion.