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Beginning Practice need help!

To: alt.magick,alt.lucky.w
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Beginning Practice need help!
Date: Fri, 01 Aug 2003 19:28:12 GMT

CryofStSebastian wrote:
> Greetings
> After having some contact, I found that the "modern" occult 
> world, mainly occultism coming from the late 19th Century 
> onward, left a bad taste in my mouth.  After aquiring 
> Agrippa's three books of Occultic Philosophy, I found
> that I'm fascinated with this marvelous earlier occultism.  
> I even decided that I think I'd like to found my magical 
> practice based upon Medieval, Renaissance, and maybe up 
> to early 19th Century, thought and ritual. Sadly, beyond 
> Agrippa, I don't know where to go. I have the following 
> texts: the spurious 4th Book, The Magus, Transcendental 
> Magic, Selected Writings of Paracelsus, and a few Grimoires 
> here and there.  When it comes to literature about that 
> period I have Conjuring Spirits, Forbidden Rites, Ritual 
> Magic, and Magic in the Middle Ages.
> What I'm asking for are first hand texts about:
> 1. Theory
> 2. Ritual
> 3. Technique
> 4. Books of Spirits
> Any modern books analyzing magic of that period are
> certainly welcome.  

I would like to recommend a book called "The Rotting
Goddess" by Jacob Rabinowitz. It is an examination of
witchcraft in late Classical antiquity, predating your
Medieval area of interest, but providing a solid scholarly
underlayment for the study of how "high magic" and
"witchcraft" developed along their separate paths after the
fall of the Roman empire. 

From Agrippa, you may also wish to take off in the direction
of the spurious Albertus Magnus. There are several such
compilations in print and out of print. The from Oxford
University press is good. 

Down the time-stream, the spurious Albertus Magnus books
resurface in 19th century folk magic as "The Egyptian
Secrets of Albertus Magnus" and "Pow Wows of the Long Lost
Friend" by Hohman. At that point they embed deeply in
African American hoodoo magic, being grafted onto an oral
tradition of African (diasporic) magic. 

In the African American melange of rootwork and conjure, the
theories and techniques of late Medieval and early
Renaissance occultists can be found to this day, albeit in
simplified form. This is because the African American
community was largely outside of and unaffected by the 19th
century Hermetic-Christian-Occult revival and thus carried
unbroken the dual streams of African tradition and
pre-Hermetic European occult tradition, to which was also
appended a grounding in the Native American medical and
magical uses of plants indigenous to the Americas. 

African diasporic methods of working with spirits who are
invoked by means of visual diagrams have intriguing
resonances with early European methods of spirit
conjuration. A web search will reward your efforts. Try
keywords like 
     sigil veve firma crossroads quincunx spirit conjuration

> I request that any replys (which I would be MOST grateful
> for) be sent to me at so as not
> to clog up the message board.

Sorry, i don't do email. Read it here or don't read it. 

Good luck, 

cat yronwode 

Herb and Root Magic ---

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Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
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