Another wonderfull work by Donald Tyson. This time Tyson extensively treats the “Enochian magic” system received by John Dee and Edward Kelly. Tyson even manages to make it relatively understandable, even though it isn’t. There are gaps in the system as Dee got it and Tyson tries to fill them with his own theories. This is nice, but not everybody agrees that he got it right. Anyway, if you want to learn about Enochian magic or John Dee, get this fairly cheap ($ 14,95) book. More about the system in my article about angel magic.
De Occulta Philosophia * Henry Cornelius Agrippa * 1533
I had read quite a lot about this book and its writer and I have paged through this translation more than once, but it wasn’t until recently that I finally got a copy. To review!
H.C. Agrippa from Nettesheim can be regarded as the summum of the Renaissance occult tradition. Like most of his colleagues he saw himself as a good Christian being involved in good magic. This last he pushed to the limits which is the reason why he had such a bad name. Like many of his predecessors Agrippa combined the Christian Cabala of Giovani Pico (from Mirandola) and especially that of his master Johann Reuchlin with the angelic magic of Trithemius and the hermetic tradition that followed after Marsilio Ficino’s translations of the major hermetic scriptures.
Also in Agrippa’s vision creation can be divided in three worlds and this division is reflected in the three parts that the english title refers to. First there is the elemental world and the first book is about the natural magic in the Ficino-tradition. It involves the cooperation with natural forces to reach a certain goal by using talismans and musical incantations. This is in contradiction to the more “strong” magic concerning the using of these forces. The second world is the celestial world and the second book is about celestial magic. Here you can think of mathematics, music, optics, astromony, numerology and the summoning of angels. The last world is the supercelestial or intellectual world and the third book deals with ceremonial magic.