Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Notes on the Magickal Alphabets Section of "Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard"

I mentioned Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard in a previous post. I have mixed feelings about the book. First off, I love the idea of a general magical text book for young readers. BUT, I see many things in the book that I would do differently. I also see many errors in the text. Although I could just move on and never write anything about the errors, I am bored. So, here's another post.

Being bored tonight, I opened the Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard and thumbed through. The table titled "Ancient & Magickal Alphabets" (page 145) really stuck out. I like the look of it. So I started reading the text.

Hermetic Alphabets: Chaldean; Malachim

Often called sacred or hermetic alphabets, these are used almost exclusively by Ceremonial Magicians, though occasionally you may find an individual Witch or Wizard using them on a talisman. The best-known scripts are: Passing the River, Celestial, and Malachim. Celestial is also known as Angelic or Enochian, and it is still used in the higher degrees of Masonry. It came from Dr. John Dee's work with Edward Kelly, who in 1581 produced a set of 21 symbols which he claimed had been revealed to him as the true alphabet of the angels, used to compose the names of the heavenly hosts. These symbols became the foundation of Dee and Kelly's Enochian system, used to invoke angels and demons. The figures of Malachim are said to be derived from the constellations--though which ones, it is impossible to say. Malachim is sometimes confused with the "Writing of the Magi."


The Theban script is also called Honorian in honor of its creator, Honorius III (Pope 1216-1227)."

This all sounds fine if you haven't done any reading, but breaks down on the slightest effort to check the facts.

If we open Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, we see several of the scripts mentioned by the Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard. Reading the text we see it is the Celestial script that is supposedly from the stars (thus the name), but is obviously based on Hebrew letters. It is the Malachim that is the writing of Angels.

The publication date of Agrippa's third book is 1533. What are the chances that Agrippa was referencing the work produced by John Dee in 1581?

The Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard credits Pope Honorius III with the creation of the Theban script. As I wrote about previously, this script was created by a man named Honorius who is from Thebes. Pope Honorius III was from Rome.

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