Sacred Texts  Grimoires  Esoteric 

The Magic Circle, John William Waterhouse, 1886

The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage

Translated by S.L. MacGregor Mathers


This remarkable grimoire was translated by S.L.M. Mathers from a 15th century French mauscript. This text has had a huge influence on modern ceremonial magic, and has been cited as a primary influence on Aleister Crowley. Abraham of Würzburg, a cabalist and scholar of magic, describes a quest for the secret teachings which culminated in Egypt, where he encountered the magician Abramelin, who taught him his system in detail. The procedure involves many months of purification, followed by the invocation of good and evil spirits to accomplish some very worldly goals, including acquisition of treasure and love, travel through the air and under water, and raising armies out of thin air. It also tells of raising the dead, transforming ones appearance, becoming invisible, and starting storms. The key to this is a set of remarkable magic squares, sigils consisting of mystical words which in most cases can be read in several directions. Of course, these diagrams are said to have no potency unless used in the appropriate ritual context by an initiate. Mathers analyzed these words in an extensive set of notes and gives possible derivations from Hebrew, Greek and other languages.

Title Page
Table of Contents
Appendix A: Hebrew and Chaldee Alphabet
Appendix B. Employment of a Child-Clairvoyant by Cagliostro
Appendix C. Examples of Other Methods of Angelic Evocation

The First Book

The First Chapter
The Second Chapter
The Third Chapter
The Fourth Chapter
The Fifth Chapter
The Sixth Chapter
The Seventh Chapter
The Eighth Chapter
The Ninth Chapter
The Tenth Chapter
The Eleventh Chapter
The Twelfth Chapter

The Second Book

The First Chapter: What and How Many be the Forms of Veritable Magic
The Second Chapter. What We Should Consider Before Undertaking This Operation
The Third Chapter. Of the Age and Quality of the Person Who Wisheth to Undertake This Operation
The Fourth Chapter. That the Greater Number of Magical Books are False and Vain
The Fifth Chapter. That in This Operation it is not Necessary to Regard the Time, Nor the Day, Nor the Hours
The Sixth Chapter. Concerning the Planetary Hours and Other Errors of the Astrologers
The Seventh Chapter. Regarding What it is Necessary to Accomplish During the First Two Moons...
The Eighth Chapter. Concerning the Two Second Moons
The Ninth Chapter. Concerning the Two Last Moons Which Must Be Thus Commenced
The Tenth Chapter. Concerning What Things a Man May Learn and Study During These Two Moons
The Eleventh Chapter. Concerning the Selection of the Place
The Twelfth Chapter. How One Should Keep Oneself in Order to Carry Out This Operation Well
The Thirteenth Chapter. Concerning the Convocation of the Good Spirits
The Fourteenth Chapter. Concerning the Convocation of the Spirits
The Fifteenth Chapter. Concerning What You Should Demand of the Spirits...
The Sixteenth Chapter. Concerning the Sending Them Away
The Seventeenth Chapter. What We Should Answer Unto the Interrogations of the Spirits, and How We Should Resist Their Demands
The Eighteenth Chapter. How He Who Operateth Should Behave as Regardeth the Spirits
The Nineteenth Chapter. A Descriptive List of the Names of the Spirits...
Notes to the Foregoing Lists of Names of Spirits
The Twentieth Chapter. How the Operations Should be Performed
By Whom the Symbols of the Chapters of the Third Book be Manifested
Unto What Prince the Operations of Each Chapter are Submitted
Instructions and Explanations...

The Third Book

The Prologue
The First Chapter: To Know All Manner of Things Past and Future
Notes to the Chapters of Magical Symbols: Introduction
Notes to Chapter I
The Second Chapter. To Obtain Information Concerning, and to be Enlightened Upon All Sorts of Propositions and All Doubtful Sciences
Notes to Chapter II
The Third Chapter. To cause any Spirit to appear, and take any form, such as of Man, Animal, Bird, etc.
Notes to Chapter III
The Fourth Chapter. For Divers Visions
Notes to Chapter IV
The Fifth Chapter. How we may retain the Familiar Spirits bond or free in whatsoever form
Notes to Chapter V
The Sixth Chapter. To cause Mines to be pointed out, and to help forward all kinds of work connected therewith
Notes to Chapter VI
The Seventh Chapter. To cause the Spirits to perform with facility and promptitude all necessary Chemical labours and Operations, as regardeth Metals especially
Notes to Chapter VII
Th Eighth Chapter. To Excite Tempests
Notes to Chapter VIII
The Ninth Chapter. To transform Animals into Men, and Men into Animals; etc.
Notes to Chapter IX
The Tenth Chapter. To hinder any Necromantic or Magical Operations from taking effect...
Notes to Chapter X
The Eleventh Chapter. To Cause All Kinds Of Books to be Brought to One, and Whether Lost or Stolen
Notes to Chapter XI
The Twelfth Chapter. To Know the Secrets of Any Person
Notes to Chapter XII
The Thirteenth Chapter. To Cause a Dead Body to Revive...
Notes to Chapter XIII
The Fourteenth Chapter. ... To Render Oneself Invisible Unto Every Person
Notes to Chapter XIV
The Fifteenth Chapter. For the Spirits to bring us anything we may wish to eat or to drink...
Notes to Chapter XV
The Sixteenth Chapter. To Find and Take Possession of All Kinds of Treasures...
Notes to Chapter XVI
The Seventeenth Chapter. To Fly in the Air and Travel Any Whither
Notes to Chapter XVII
The Eighteenth Chapter. To Heal Divers Maladies
Notes to Chapter XVIII
The Nineteenth Chapter. For Every Description of Affection and Love.
Notes to Chapter XIX
The Twentieth Chapter. To Excite ... Hatred and Enmity, Discords, Quarrels, etc.
Notes to Chapter XX
The Twenty-First Chapter. To Transform Oneself, and Take Different Faces and Forms
Notes to Chapter XXI.
The Twenty-Second Chapter. [How to] ... Cast Spells, and Work Every Kind of Evil
Notes to Chapter XXII
The Twenty-Third Chapter. To Demolish Buildings and Strongholds
Notes to Chapter XXIII
The Twenty-Fourth Chapter. To Discover Any Thefts That Hath Occurred
Notes to Chapter XXIV
The Twenty-Fifth Chapter. To walk upon, and operate under, Water.
Notes to Chapter XXV
The Twenty-Sixth Chapter. To Open Every Kind Of Lock...
Notes to Chapter XXVI
The Twenty-Seventh Chapter. To Cause Visions to Appear
Notes to Chapter XXVII
The Twenty-Eighth Chapter. To Have as Much Gold and Silver as One May Wish...
Notes to Chapter XXVIII
The Twenty-Ninth Chapter. To Cause Armed Men to Appear
Notes to Chapter XXIX
The Thirtieth Chapter. To Cause ... Music and Dances to Appear
Notes to Chapter XXX
Essential Remarks Upon the Foregoing Symbols