The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage

THE SECOND BOOK OF THE SACRED MAGIC. Chapters Sixteen through Eighteen


Concerning the sending them away.

Concerning the sending away of the spirits as well during the three days, as hereafter:
It is not necessary to observe many ceremonies in order to send away the spirits,1 because they themselves are only too glad to be far away from you. This is wherefore you need not otherwise license them to depart; that is to say that during the three days, having finished speaking with the four sovereign princes, and afterwards with the eight sub-princes, and received their oath (of allegiance), you shall say unto them that for the present they can go unto their destined place; and that every time that they shall be summoned, let them remember their oath made upon the symbols.
(And you shall send away) the familiar spirits and all other spirits with the aforesaid words.
It is true, however, that as regardeth the familiar spirits you shall tell them that at the time when they are on guard-duty they shall remain near you visible or invisible, in whatever form shall please you, in order to serve you during the destined six hours.


What we should answer unto the interrogations of the spirits, and how we should resist their demands.

The wicked Devil knoweth full well that you are in no way obliged unto him, and that you have commenced this operation under the grace and mercy of God, and under the protection and defence of the holy angels; nevertheless, he will not fail to try his fortune, and he will seek to turn you aside from the veritable path; but be you constant and courageous, and swerve not in any way, either to the right hand or to the left. If he showeth himself proud with you, render unto him the like, and in your turn show him your pride. If he be humble, be in no wise too rude and severe toward him, but be moderate in all things. If he asketh you some matter, you shall make answer unto him according to the instruction which the guardian angel shall have given you; and understand that the four princes,1 more than all the rest, will powerfully tempt you, saying unto you, "Who is he who hath given thee so great authority?" They will reproach you with your hardihood and presumption in summoning them, knowing how powerful they are, and contrariwise, how weak and sinful you yourself are. They will reproach you with your sins, and will especially seek to dispute with you concerning your religion and your faith in God: if you be a Jew they will tell you that your faith and your religion have been refuted by God himself, and that you observe not the true law as it should be (observed): also if you be a pagan they will say, "What hath God to do with you or his creatures either, seeing that you know not God?" If you be a Christian they will say unto you, "What business is it of yours to have to do with Hebrew ceremonies which are tainted with idolatry, and the like?" But let none of this disquiet you in the least; answer them in few words, and laughingly, that it is none of their business to discuss these matters with you, and to deliver their opinions concerning them; and that although you may be a worthless wretch and a great sinner, you will yet hope that the true and only God, who hath created the Heaven and the Earth, and who hath condemned them2 and brought them into submission under your feet, will forgive you your sins, both now and in future, whatever may be the religion which you profess. (Further that) you wish to know, understand, confess, and honour no other than the great and only God, the Lord of light, by whose power, virtue, and authority you command them to obey you.
When you shall have spoken unto them thus, then will they sing another song, telling you that if you wish them to serve and to be obedient unto you, that you must first come to terms with them. Then shall you answer them on this wise:
"God our Lord hath condemned and sentenced you3 to serve me, and I do not treat as an equal with those who are accustomed to obey".
Then will they demand of you some sacrifice or courtesy if you wish to be served and obeyed promptly. You shall reply that sacrifice is not to be made unto them, but rather unto the only God.
They will then entreat you not to hinder or bring to shame by means of this wisdom any of their devotees and enchanters in their operations and enchantments. You shall then make answer that you are obliged to pursue the enemies of God and the Lord, and to repress their malice, and also to save and defend your neighbour, and any who are offended and hurt by them.
Then with much verbiage, and an infinitude of different ways will they make severe attacks upon you, and even the familiar spirits will rise up against you in their turn. These latter will demand and beseech of you that you will in no way give them over unto others (to serve them). Hold firm, however, and promise nothing either to one class (of spirits) or another; but reply to them that every true and brave man is obliged to aid and serve his friends to the best of his ability, and with all his possessions, among the which they must assuredly also be comprised.
When at length they see that they have lost all hope of making you prevaricate, and that they can obtain nothing notwithstanding all their requests; they will definitely surrender, and will ask nothing else of you unless it be that you shall not be too rude and insulting in commanding them. You shall make answer to this, that if they prove themselves to be obedient and prompt in serving you, that it may be that your angel, by whose instruction and command you are governing yourself, may instruct you not to be so rigid and severe with them if they shall obey, and that in such case you will act as may be right.


How he who operateth should behave as regardeth the spirits.

We have already seen how one should constrain the spirits, and what one should ask of them; also how to dismiss them without hurt, and how we should make answer unto their demands and presentments.1
All that I am about to say unto you now is superfluous, because it is certain that anyone who shall have observed with a true heart and firm resolution the advice which I have given regarding the six Moons, will be instructed with so much thoroughness and clearness by his guardian angel, that no doubtful point will present itself which he will not be able easily to clear up of himself.
We have also already sufficiently shown how on every or any occasion, he who operateth should comport himself as regardeth the spirits; that is to say as their Lord, and not as their servitor. Yet in all matters there should be a reasonable mean, seeing that we are not treating with men, but with spirits, of whom each one knoweth more than the whole Universe together.
Now if you shall make some demand unto a spirit, and he shall refuse to execute it; first well and carefully examine and consider whether it be in the power and nature of the spirit to whom you make such demand, to fulfil the same. For one spirit knoweth not all things, and that which appertaineth unto the one, another knoweth not. For this reason, see that ye well take heed before endeavouring to force them to perform a matter. Yet if, however, the inferior spirits be disobedient, you shall call their superiors, and remind them of the oaths which they have taken unto you, and of the chastisement which awaiteth the breaking of such vows.
And immediately, on beholding your steadfastness, they will obey you; but should they not, you ought then to invoke your guardian angel, whose chastisement they will quickly feel.
Yet, notwithstanding, we should never employ harsh means, in order to have that which we can obtain by gentleness and courtesy.2
If during the invocation they should appear with tumult and insolence, fear nothing; neither give way to anger; but appear to make no account thereof. Only show them the consecrated wand, and if they continue to make a disturbance, smite upon the altar twice or thrice therewith, and all will be still.
It should be noted, that after you shall have licensed them to depart, and they shall have disappeared, you shall take the censer from the top of the altar, and having put perfume therein, take it out of the oratory onto the terrace whereon the spirits shall have appeared, and you shall perfume the place all round; for otherwise the spirits might work some evil unto persons entering by chance therein.
Now should you be willing to content yourself with the symbols which be in the third book here following; you shall the day after take away all the sand from the terrace and cast it into a secret place; but above all things take care not to throw it either into a river or into the navigable sea.
But should you desire to procure for yourself various other symbols and secrets, leave the sand and all things in place, as we shall also describe more particularly in the last chapter.
Also, should you wish it, you can retain your arrangements in place, and keep the apartment of the oratory proper and clean, as well as the altar; which latter you may place in a corner, should it incommode you in the centre of the room. For in this apartment, if it be not contaminated nor profaned, you may every Saturday enjoy the presence of your guardian angel; the which is one of the most sublime things which you can desire in this sacred art.

The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage

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