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The Serpent of Wisdom

This post was written by Anna
on July 23, 2013 | Comments (0)

Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Donald Tyson, author of several books, including The Demonology of King James I, Necronomicon, The Power of the Word, and the new Serpent of Wisdom: Essays on Western Occultism.

Donald TysonThe thing that has always fascinated me about magic is how it actually functions. What lies at the root of magic? Amid all the bewildering diversity of magical practices around the world, and throughout human history, what is the underlying core of magic that never changes? And how can we reconcile this most ancient of all the human arts with the materialistic and scientific viewpoint of modern times?

I began my own magical odyssey nearly forty years ago with a study of occult symbolism. Over time, as I acquired a broader knowledge of the use of symbols in magic around the world, I realized that there was a universal meaning in symbolism at the most basic level. The line meant something. The circle meant something. The spiral meant something.

Similarly, I discovered that amid all the diversity of magical systems, there was an underlying foundation upon which all magic was built. By understanding the essential meaning of the most basic symbols, and the foundation stones of magical practice, I realized that it was possible to construct a completely unique, yet entirely personal, system of magic.

This was the basis for my first book, The New Magus, and I’ve never stopped seeking to understand as clearly as possible the basics of the magician’s art—its building blocks, its alphabet, if you will. This latest book, Serpent of Wisdom, is a collection of essays, each of which attempts to get to the root of a different part of the Western occult tradition.

I suppose what I’ve really been seeking these past forty years is the universal key to magic. These essays represent my attempt to express the fruits of a portion of that quest. It is my hope that what I’ve learned will be of use to others who seek a true gnosis of magic.


Our thanks to Donald for his guest post! For more from Donald Tyson, read his article “Serpent of Wisdom: Essays on Western Magic.”

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