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A word that frequents occult, historical, and scholarly texts of all varieties is Hermeticism. The word is derived from the name of the Greek-Egyptian mythic figure Hermes Trismegistus, meaning "thrice-great Hermes," and refers to the spiritual and religious movement that occurred after the Greek conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE. Alexander's death shortly thereafter (323 BCE) began what is known as the Hellenistic Period, in which old worldviews were threatened by cultural merging. The centuries of transition between Alexander's conquests and the beginning of the Common Era marked the rise of a pagan variant of Gnosticism now termed Hermeticism. Because readers come ...

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Image by Wil Kinghan. Used with permission.   I've been searching for the Grail for many years. I have visited a dozen or more places where it is supposed to be found. The Blue Bowl in Glastonbury, the Antioch Chalice in the New York Metropolitan Museum, the Valencia Chalice in Spain, the Nanteos Cup in Wales, and many more. I discovered that all of these are Grails, but none of them are the Grail. In fact, I'm not even sure there is a the Grail—and this is part of its fascination. It remains almost as mysterious now as it did when I started my own quest many years ago. And yet…I keep looking. The Grail is illusive. It leaps into focus on the road ahead, then vanishes ...

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Mystics, magicians, Wiccans, and Neo-pagans of all stripes identify their practice with the figure of the pentagram. But, it is unlikely that any group has incorporated the pentagram into its ritual work more than the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Not only does the pentagram play an essential role in the practical workings of our tradition, it is also used to classify all aspects of Golden Dawn Magic. The pentagram, or five-pointed star, undoubtedly the best-known symbol of magic, is often said to resemble the figure of a human being; the upper point corresponds to the head while the remaining four points match the out-stretched arms and legs. The legs of our archetypal ...

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I've been trawling the depths of another magical manuscript for more rituals and incantations. Let me share with you some of the spirits who appear within. So much of today's ceremonial magic is based on the model of the Goetia, the book edited by MacGregor Mathers and Aleister Crowley. The Goetia is centered upon a list of seventy-two spirits, commanding multiple legions of spirits. Each spirit possesses an office such as duke or president, and a set of services they can perform for the magician. Since then, many other examples of spirit lists have been published. For example, the spirit list in The Book of Oberon includes three figures at the top of the hierarchy omitted from the list ...

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FEATURED ARTICLE
A Culture of One: Creating Your Own Elfland
by Linda Raedisch
J.R.R. Tolkien created his Middle-earth with inspiration and imagination, and it continues to inspire us today. What if we were to create our own place of imagination? Linda Raedisch, author of The...
        
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