The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage
edited by S. Liddell MacGregor Mathers
Forward by Joseph H. Peterson
This interesting grimoire was published by S.L. Mathers in 1898, and a second edition was published in 1900 by J.M. Watkins, London. Aleister Crowley also considered it of great importance and underwent the operation described.
Robert Ambelain published the French text in 1959. (La Magie Sacrée ou Livre d'Abraham le Mage, Transcrite, présentée et annotée par Robert Ambelain. Repr. Paris: Bussière édit. 1986)
The text was evidently originally written in German. Earlier versions are now known to exist, and a German edition which compares the various versions has been recently published by Georg Dehn. (Abraham von Worms. Buch Abramelin. Ed. G. Dehn, Saarbrücken 1995.) These texts have additional material and reflect a more elaborate operation. One notable difference is that the operation lasts a year and a half, not six months as described in Mathers' text. It also contains an additional book (mostly a collection of recipes) not found in Mathers' edition.
Although Dehn was impressed by how closely Mathers rendered the French text, it is clear that Mathers' exemplar did not fully understand the text it was based on, so cannot be entirely relied upon. It also did not fill in most of the letters in the magical squares, so many of Mathers' comments on the same are irrelevant. Dehn regarded the name "Abraham of Worms" as a pseudonym for the well known scholar Rabbi Jacob ben Moses ha Levi Moellin, more commonly known as "The MaHaRIL."
I have included some variants from the German text marked [D: ...]. Note that with the corrections, there is a close connection between the lists of spirits and the magical squares.
Some of the texts used by Dehn include:
MSD1 Dresden "TS". SLUB MS N 111. Badly written, ca. 1700. MSD2 Dresden anonym. SLUB MS N 161. Carefully written manuscript, ca. 1750. Apparently from a manuscript tradition independent of the Wolfenbuttel manuscripts. MSO Bodleian Oxford. MS. Opp. 594. Ca. 1740. Text in Hebrew. Gershom Scholem judged it to be a poor translation from the German, but according to Dehn "the Hebrew text shows scholarship and is interesting." (MSW) Wolfenbüttel, Codex Guelficus 10.1. ca 1612. MSW Wolfenbüttel, Codex Guelficus 47.13. Anno 1608. This is apparently the text on which the French translation (used by Mathers) was based. PH Peter Hammer, Die egyptischen großen Offenbarung, in sich ... Köln 1725. Reprinted by J. Scheibel, Stuttgart, ca. 1850. BA Anon. French manuscript from the Bibl. de l'Arsenal. Ca. 1750. Apparently based on MSW. This was the manuscript used by Mathers, Ambelain, and Beecken. SMÜ Samuel (Liddell MacGregor) Mathers. 1893. English translation of the French manuscript in the Bibl. de l'Arsenal.
The noted occultist Franz Bardon evidently was familiar with and used the 1725 edition of Peter Hammer.
•APPENDIX B. Employment of a child-clairvoyant by Cagliostro. •APPENDIX C. Examples of other methods of angelic evocation. •CHAPTER 1. •CHAPTER 2. •CHAPTER 3. •CHAPTER 4. •CHAPTER 5. •CHAPTER 6. •CHAPTER 7. •CHAPTER 8. •CHAPTER 9. •CHAPTER 10. •CHAPTER 11. •CHAPTER 12. •Prologue •CHAPTER 1. What and how many be the forms of veritable magic. •CHAPTER 2. What we should consider before undertaking this operation. •CHAPTER 3. Of the age and quality of the person who wisheth to undertake this operation. •CHAPTER 4. That the greater number of magical books are false and vain. •CHAPTER 5. That in this operation it is not necessary to regard the time, nor the day, nor the hours. •CHAPTER 6. Concerning the planetary hours and other errors of the astrologers. •CHAPTER 7. What should be accomplished during the first two Moons of the beginning of this veritable and sacred magic. •CHAPTER 8. Concerning the two second Moons. •CHAPTER 9. Concerning the two last Moons. •CHAPTER 10. Concerning what things a man may learn and study during these two Moons. •CHAPTER 11. Concerning the selection of the place. •CHAPTER 12. How one should keep oneself in order to carry out this operation well. •CHAPTER 13. Concerning the convocation of the good spirits. •CHAPTER 14. Concerning the convocation of the spirits. •CHAPTER 15. Concerning what you should demand of the spirits who are divided into three different troops and convoked on three separate days •CHAPTER 16. Concerning the sending them away. •CHAPTER 17. What we should answer unto the interrogations of the spirits, and how we should resist their demands. •CHAPTER 18. How he who operateth should behave as regardeth the spirits. •CHAPTER 19. A descriptive list of the names of the spirits whom we may summon to obtain that which we desire. •CHAPTER 20. How the operations should be performed. •CHAPTER 1. •CHAPTER 2. •CHAPTER 3. •CHAPTER 4. •CHAPTER 5. •CHAPTER 6. •CHAPTER 7. •CHAPTER 8. •CHAPTER 9. •CHAPTER 10. •CHAPTER 11. •CHAPTER 12. •CHAPTER 13. •CHAPTER 14. •CHAPTER 15. •CHAPTER 16. •CHAPTER 17. •CHAPTER 18. •CHAPTER 19. •CHAPTER 20. •CHAPTER 21. •CHAPTER 22. •CHAPTER 23. •CHAPTER 24. •CHAPTER 25. •CHAPTER 26. •CHAPTER 27. •CHAPTER 28. •CHAPTER 29. •CHAPTER 30.