To the Reader
For the Theurgist or practicing Magician of nearly any system of Magic extant, there is no more crucial working knowledge than that of Kabbalah. This complex theological, philosophical, and theosophical structure serves not only as the backdrop against which the magician's thoughts, ideas, ritual, and ceremonial performances are placed, but it is also a living force that breaths life into one's secret occult practices.
Kabbalah is the font and wellspring from which the magician draws the necessary intellectual, emotional, and psychic energy that first through study and mental assimilation, and later through magical practice, becomes integrated into the practitioner's subconscious state of Subjective Synthesis. This process of assimilation and practice does not simply allow the magic to work: it is the mechanism that actually causes the magic to produce the desired effects.
Despite the numerous books on 'Qabalah' available today, and the various Encyclopedias and Cyclopedias that have appeared on the subject, none of them seem to give those johnny-on-the-spot attributions, correspondences, and key concepts in a user-friendly style that allows for immediate access. That is, not until now.
In this Kabbalistic Handbook for the Practicing Magician, I have attempted to cut through the red tape of lengthy, preliminary, artificial, proprietary knowledge that has come to typify those Kabbalistic elements that are more often than not either not needed by the Goetiaist, Magician, or Theurgist for his or her immediate work, or which otherwise are unavailable at a moment's notice.
Rather than wade through the voluminous chapters of many different books on the subject, I have tried to insure that the Kabbalistic knowledge the practitioner needs at any given instant---and depending upon the type or branch of magic being engaged in---can be easily located in this uniquely structured and formatted book on Kabbalah. By providing this information, doubt and error are thus eliminated and valuable time is saved, clearing the field for the practitioner's main objective, which is the realization of his or her wants and desires, manifested for all to see, through properly executed ritual and ceremonial work.
This said, it may be that readers acquainted with my two earlier efforts, Ceremonial Magic and the Power of Evocation, and Kabbalistic Cycles and the Mastery of Life, might raise the objection as to why this book is being written for today's practicing magician. Clearly, current day magicians almost exclusively practice some form of Golden Dawn Magic, Crowley-based Magic, or any number of variations of their offshoots, all of which can most certainly be dubbed as being "New Age."
You might be saying, isn't this the same author who spent so much time downgrading the New Age and its contemporary ritualistic foundation in his earlier books? You might wonder what I am up to, or indeed, if this present book represents some type of turnaround for me. Maybe I am trying to creep quietly back into mainstream modern magic? Or perhaps I'm simply looking for new material to write more books, hoping no one will notice my change of heart?
Let me put the reader's mind at ease, and answer these questions in a sequence that I trust will make sense. First of all, I make no apologies for any cutting remarks about the New Age and its brand of so-called Magic, or Magick, if you prefer. My opinions of the bulk of clap-trap out there that cloaks itself in the guise of the New Age, still stands and it will not change. Forty years of working within its artificial boundaries of intellectual vagaries and theoretical hedging, imbalanced 'systems,' and outright incorrect and therefore dangerous practices, have taught me all I need to know about the New Age and its myriad forms of ramblings.
As I have stressed before, the ritualistic and ceremonial practices that are designated as Modern Magic(k) are in one form or another either directly founded upon, or extrapolated from any number of earlier Hermetic, Dark Ages, Medieval, Renaissance, or Transition Era systems of magical thought, whether contemporary books on the subject admit to it or not. This is true whether these present day books carry the name of Golden Dawn, or what have you.
Because of this fact, even though my primary personal magical involvement is in Old System (Medieval and Renaissance Magic) as defined in my earlier title on Ceremonial Magic, neither I nor any other serious student of magic are therefore excluded from engaging in ritual performances that are currently attributed to the so-called New Age. But maybe this statement sounds like I am talking in circles. The answer to any doubt that may still linger in the reader's mind is simplicity itself, so allow me to elaborate a bit further on this matter.
As I have pointed out on earlier occasions, New Age material has by and large been derived directly from the grimoires (Grammars of magic) of the Old System of magic, primarily from Three Books of Occult Philosophy, and Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, both attributed to Henry Cornelius Agrippa, and from a plethora of earlier Hermetic, Dark Ages, Medieval, Renaissance, and later Transition Era magical tracts.
In fact, there is nothing new about the New Age at all, other than its fragmented, imbalanced attempts to eclectically synthesize the magic from these earlier sources into its own peculiar 'modern' system(s). It is because of this latter condition, coupled with the current absolute lack of Kabbalistic analysis of ritual and ceremonial performance, that this book was written.
Thus, this book, along with the others I have written, are a reaction against what is loosely called the New Age. This is a reaction not only against its ineffective attempt at eclectic synthesis, but a reaction against a further determination to weld that attempted synthesis into a type of syncretism: the action of combining diverse forms of religious and philosophical beliefs into a new quasi-religious system---a system that simply does not work.
The resulting theological pabulum, theosophical mishmash, and Kabbalistic abuse that fills the pages of so many "contemporary" books on the subject, provides the modus operandi behind this absolute failure. The practitioner may have already realized this---or will---after his or her diligent attempts to apply the tenets of these new systems that fall under the heading of New Age. The result? Personal magical failure, all around.
The oft abused Golden Dawn system of magic as it appears today in so many variations, is the example of failure I have in mind. Thus, because this book is a reaction against the New Age with material anything but new, I do not have to concern myself with creeping back into the mainstream of modern magic. Indeed, it is my opinion that there is no modern magic, except insomuch as Hermetic, Dark Ages, and Old System material has been edited, distorted, interpreted, re-interpreted, re-applied, re-reapplied, and twisted into new forms, all in an attempt to fit the contrivances of New Age dandies who fancy themselves magicians, by continually deluding themselves as to any results of their 'magical work.'
In effect, my disdain is not for the material the New Age claims as its own, but for its dilettante treatment of that material. If the reader will carefully reread this argument, he or she will quickly see my position could not therefore be otherwise.
This book will deal with the theoretical underpinnings---the foundational substance and theoretical substructure---which must be applied to any and all of the ritual and ceremonial performances of contemporary magical thought, before those rites will bear the fruit desired by the genuine aspirant to magic. Magic is not a personal convenience. Neither is it an intellectual contrivance nor a quick-fix for any of life's challenges. Magic is a Work that extends over years, decades, and yes, over lifetimes. It is the most grueling discipline ever conceived of, and devised by, humankind. Magic is a discipline that eventually results in an eclectically-balanced, personal System of Magical Practice, the individual elements of which are the particular practices specific to each magician's own inner nature.
Why do I so adamantly stress a personal system of magical practice? One size fits all does not apply here. That is why any cookbook approach to the subject is doomed to fail. No two individuals are the same in any way, much less the same as to their objective understanding of any given subject and the subjective methods in which they apply that understanding to their inner and outer conditions and circumstances. Hence the need for a carefully designed, carefully constructed state of personal, subconscious Subjective Synthesis. Unless the magician's mind is so trained, such that his or her subconscious (or unconscious, if you prefer) contains within it a structured, clear, well-connected understanding of the theoretical principles and operational mechanisms not only behind a specific magical action but also of its supporting theoretical substructure---the Kabbalah---the individual will end up receiving no results, partial results, or worst of all, negative results.
This process of developing one's subconscious magical structure, which I refer to as the individual's State of Subjective Synthesis and which has been thoroughly explained in my previous book on Ceremonial Magic, will be greatly aided by the practitioner's judicious use of this Handbook. This is a Handbook---literally a concise reference book---that is meant to be studied closely, and used daily.
By doing so, the individual practitioner of magic will not only integrate his or her existing knowledge of Kabbalah into an ordered subconscious whole, thereby achieving a dynamic state of Subjective Synthesis, but will have at the ready a wealth of those pertinent attributions, correspondences, theological principles, and sundry philosophical details that can very well turn empty ritual results into living, powerful achievements for the practicing magician.
But my readers should also be aware of something else that may be as great an aid to them in their practical magical work, as are the consequences of the study of the theoretical Kabbalistic material presented herein. While writing this book, I came to realize that a handbook for Kabbalah, as important as this may be, was actually insufficient in and of itself. Why?
Because it became glaringly apparent that due to the prevalence of the Golden Dawn current and its associated offshoots, this handbook would be of no use to the aspirant to magic if the information it provided was introduced in the same tired, patched together manner found in the seemingly unlimited presentations of present day Golden Dawn type material. That is, no matter how hard I tried to provide a unique, usable format, questions as to its use in ritual and ceremonial practices were still left wanting.
Thus, although I did not originally intend to do so, I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to add a course component to this handbook, to aid the practitioner to effectively coordinate the Kabbalistic information provided herein, with their practice of Golden Dawn type magical material. As I continued to write, I further realized that the course component would have to be an exposť of the unique system of Western Magic that I hammered out for myself over a period of three-plus decades, and which I have privately taught to a considerable number of others.
In effect, you the reader now possess not only a highly functional handbook of Kabbalah, but also a 'system' that will effectively instruct you in the proper practice of Golden Dawn type ritual and ceremonial acts. Use this book well. Make it your constant companion during the planning phases of your ritual and ceremonial work. I guarantee that if you do, you will bless the day you accepted this council.
Above all, use this book as you continue to make a methodical study of the Kabbalah proper, which is what you must do if you are serious about growing as a human being, and developing and balancing all of your magical abilities. That is, study the Kabbalah as it exists beyond the compendious form presented here. I have provided some references at the end of this book to help you in this study. Consider them well. While what is presented in this volume is not in cookbook style, of necessity, it is concise.
How can something be concise without exhibiting cookbook properties? Because it is meant for those who already have some knowledge of Kabbalah and are willing to acquire more, as well as for those who are willing to undertake this fascinating journey into Kabbalah, but do not know where to start. Make no mistake about it. Your mastery of the Kabbalah---that is, glimpsing its deepest philosophical aspects, comprehending its most beautiful doctrines, obtaining the vision of its host of spiritual insights, as well learning to apply it in its practical applications---is absolutely necessary if you are to succeed in your overall life's work.
In my opinion, your overall life's work should be one of growth, in the order of intellectual, emotional, psychic, material, and spiritual growth. If you follow this Path, sparing yourself no end of labor and toil, you will arrive. Nor will you will need to depend upon luck as you make the journey. For Luck is a fickle mistress as you have so often heard. But it is equally true that chance favors the prepared mind, and with your growing knowledge of Kabbalah and this handbook---designed to help you in both your theoretical investigations and their practical applications---you will find the opportunities Lady Luck presents to you will, in the main, work to your advantage.
Why do I say this? Because when you prepare your mind in advance through your tireless efforts of learning and applying the Kabbalah, the most sublime form of all philosophical wisdom, you will see matters in a new light. You will perceive yourself, others, and the tides of fortune differently. The fabric of your daily reality will actually undergo a transformation, as you come to understand and know the inner workings of issues and circumstances at levels which may be beyond your immediate consciousness, but are still accessible to your reasoning mind and intuitive faculties, just when you need them.
These are not promises. They are guarantees. They are not made by me to you, but by the Kabbalah itself, and these guarantees stand fast as they have throughout nearly two millennium, for all who undertake its methodical study, rigorous mental discipline, and daily practice. Do this and you will succeed in your life's work..
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