The Book of Ceremonial Magic
§ 5. Summary of Transcendental Magic
This concludes our examination of the Rituals of so-called Transcendental Magic, comprising all those to which any currency has been given. There are no doubt other treatises which exist only in manuscript and possess no literary history, but they scarcely come within the scope of the present inquiry. I do not believe that anything has remained
in obscurity which is more entitled to come into notice than those which have been mentioned briefly in the first chapter. But if I am wrong it signifies nothing, for there has been enough and to spare already.
The general conclusion which must follow from the examination is naturally of a foregone kind. As premised at the outset, the Rituals with which we have been dealing are not worthy of the name Transcendental, nor does it belong to them. We have, on the one hand, a collection of prayers, falsely attributed and modern in their origin, to which
no occult significance can be reasonably attached. Devotionally, they are innocent enough; applied after the manner of a charm, they are offices of vain observance. On the other hand, we have a bald rite for the Invocation of Olympic Spirits, which, despite the grandiloquent claims of the unknown author, is rather childish than exalted, for it may be
assumed that no person is naïve enough at the present day to take the angelical offices literally, and to believe, for example, that by the evocation of Aratron the contents of his coal-cellar will be transformed into real treasures. Transcendental Magic is, therefore, hyperbolical in its promises, while these from the
MYSTIC FIGURES OF THE ENCHIRIDION
mystical standpoint would be frivolous if they could be construed literally. The occult student will derive no light from such processes, but the subject is at the same time a very curious and fantastic branch of bibliographical research, in which I have been able, moreover, to clear up some doubtful points, and in this sense it has been worth prosecuting. The conclusion, then, in respect of the Rituals of Transcendental Magic is that there are no Transcendental Rituals, and that the truth is not in them.
FROM ST. GEORGE V. THE DRAGON. FLEMISH SCHOOL, LATE FIFTEENTH CENTURY