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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: theurgy


Theurgy: Magick, and especially the use of rituals, for the purpose of becoming more spiritual or achieving oneness with the Divine. Also refers to working with Divine spirits as opposed to lower entities or demons.


A spiritual tradition founded on the belief that specific rituals (if they are associated with a moral commitment and philosophy) can be used in order to raise the soul and ascend to the Divine, the goal of our terrestrial life.

According to the oral tradition, the word Theurgy was invented by the elder Julian—father of "Julian the young," who wrote the famous Chaldean Oracles. (The Oracles were destroyed by Christian fanatics during the first few centuries of the Common Era. A few excerpts were miraculously preserved as quotations in various books.)

Both Magic and Theurgy agree on and accept the existence of a spiritual world that is invisible to your physical senses. Both also accept the existence of a spiritual and invisible body deeply linked to your physical body by way of your current life.

The Magus uses his knowledge to perform rituals to obtain material results without any intention of raising his soul to the Divine. The Magus works with the chthonic daemons in order to obtain what he wants. By contrast, the Theurgist relies on his relationship with the Divinities for his spiritual work. Thus, the Theurgist is focused on a higher and purer form of magic called Theurgy. The essence of Theurgy is the liberation of the soul and the ascent to the Divine by the use of precise ceremonies. This is a vertical ascent and relationship between the humanity and Divinities. The Theurgist uses a conjunction of piety, devotion, and ritual.

Jean-Louis de Biasi


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