Although this first book serveth rather for prologue than for the actual rules to acquire this divine and Sacred Magic; nevertheless, O! Lamech, my son, thou wilt therein find certain examples and other matters (1) which will be nonetheless useful and profitable unto thee than the precepts and dogmas which I shall give thee in the second and third books. Wherefore thou shalt not neglect the study of this first book, which shall serve thee for an introduction (2) unto the veritable and Sacred Magic, and unto the practice of that which I, Abraham, the son of Simon, have learned, in part from my father, and in part also from other wise and faithful men, and which I have found true and real, having submitted it unto proof and experiment. And having written this with mine own hand, I have placed it within this casket, and locked it up, as a most precious treasure; in order that when thou hast arrived at a proper age thou mayest be able to admire, to consider, and to enjoy the marvels of the Lord; as well as thine elder brother Joseph, who, as the first-born, hath received from me the holy tradition of the Qabalah. (3)

1. Des exemples et des circonstances.

2. D'acheminement.

3. I consider this a truer orthography of the word than the usual rendering of "Cabala". 


Lamech, if thou wishest to know the reason wherefore I give unto thee this book, it is that if thou considerest thy condition, which is that of being a last-born son, thou shalt know wherefore it appertaineth unto thee; and I should commit a great error should I deprive thee of that grace which God hath given unto me with so much profusion and liberality. I will then make every effort to avoid and to fly prolixity of words in this first book; having alone in view the ancientness of this venerable and indubitable science. And seeing that truth hath no need of enlightenment and of exposition, she being simple and right; be thou only obedient unto all that I shall say unto thee, contenting thyself with the simplicity thereof, be thou good and upright, (1) and thou shalt acquire more wealth than I could know how to promise unto thee. May the Only and Most Holy God grant unto all, the grace necessary to be able to comprehend and penetrate the high mysteries of the Qabalah and of the Law; but they should content themselves with that which the Lord accordeth unto them; seeing that if against his divine will they wish to fly yet higher, even as did Lucifer, this will but procure for them a most shameful and fatal fall. Wherefore it is necessary to be extremely prudent, and to consider the intention which I have had in describing this method of operation; because in consideration of thy great youth I attempt no other thing but to excite thee unto the research of this Sacred Magic. But the manner of acquiring the same will come later, in all its perfection, and in its proper time; for it will be taught thee by better masters than I, that is to say, by those same holy angels of God. No man is born into the world a master, and for that reason are we obliged to learn. He who applieth himself thereunto, and studieth, learneth; and a man can have no more shameful and evil title (2) than that of being an ignorant person.

1. Réel.

2. This is identical with the oriental doctrine that ignorance is itself evil and unhappiness. 


Therfore do I confess, that I, even I also, am not born a master; neither have I invented this science of my own proper genius; but I have learned it from others in the manner which I will hereafter tell thee, and in truth.

My father, Simon, shortly before his death, gave me certain signs and instructions concerning the way in which it is necessary to acquire the holy Qabalah; but it is however true that he did not enter into the holy mystery by the true path, and I could not know how to understand the same sufficiently and perfectly as reason demanded. My father was always contented and satisfied with such a method of understanding the same, and he sought out no further the veritable science and magical art, which I undertake to teach thee and to expound unto thee.

After his death, finding myself twenty years of age, I had a very great passion to understand the true mysteries of the Lord; but of mine own strength I could not arrive at the end which I intended to attain.

I learned that at Mayence there was a Rabbi who was a notable sage, and the report went that he possessed in full the divine wisdom. The great desire which I had to study induced me to go to seek him in order to learn from him. But this man also had not received from the Lord the gift, and a perfect grace; because, although he forced himself to manifest unto me certain deep mysteries of the holy Qabalah, he by no means arrived at the goal; and in his magic he did not in any way make use of the wisdom of the Lord, but instead availed himself of certain arts and superstitions of infidel and idolatrous nations, in part derived from the Egyptians, (1) together with images of the Medes and of the Persians, with herbs of the Arabians, together with the power of the stars and constellations; and, finally, he had drawn from every people and nation, and even from the Christians, some diabolical art. And in everything the spirits blinded him to such an extent, even while obeying him in some ridiculous and inconsequent matter, that he actually believed that his blindness and error were the veritable magic, and he therefore pushed no further his research into the true and Sacred Magic. I also learned his extravagant experiments, and for ten years did I remain buried in so great an error, until that after the ten years I arrived in Egypt at the house of an ancient sage who was called Abramelim (2), who put me into the true path as I will declare it unto thee hereafter, and he gave me better instruction and doctrine than all the others; but this particular grace was granted me by the almighty Father of all mercy, that is to say, almighty God, who little by little illuminated mine understanding and opened mine eyes to see and admire, to contemplate, and search out his divine wisdom, in such a manner that it became possible unto me to further and further understand and comprehend the sacred mystery by which I entered into the knowledge of the holy angels, enjoying their sight and their sacred conversation, from whom (3) at length I received afterwards the foundation of the Veritable Magic, and how to command and dominate the evil spirits. So that by way of conclusion unto this chapter I cannot say that I have otherwise received the true instruction save from Abramelim (4) and the true and incorruptible magic save from the holy angels of God.

1. Yet the true Qabalah is undoubtedly derived from the Egyptian and Eastern wisdom.

2. This name is spelt "Abramelin" in some places and "Abramelim" in others. I have consequently carefully in all cases put the orthography as it there occurs in the MS. -SLM. D (p. 54): Abramelym; MSO: Rabbi Abraham Alim.

3. I.e. from the angels.

4. D: Abramelins. MSO: Abra Malim. 


I have already said in the preceding chapter that shortly after the death of my father, I attached myself unto the research of the true wisdom, and of the mystery of the Lord. Now in this chapter I will briefly mention the places and countries by which I have passed in order to endeavour to learn those things which are good. And I do this in order that it may serve thee for a rule and example not to waste thy youth in petty and useless pursuits, like little girls sitting round the fireplace. For there is nothing more deplorable and more unworthy in a man than to find himself ignorant in all circumstances. He who worketh and travelleth learneth much; and he who knoweth not how to conduct and govern himself when far from his native land, will know still less in his own house how to do so. I dwelt then, after the death of my father, for four years with my brothers and sisters, and I studied with care how to put to a profitable use what my father had left me after his death; and seeing that my means were insufficient to counterbalance the expenses which I was compelled to be at, after having set in order all my affairs and business as well as my strength permitted; I set out, and I went into Vormatia (1) to Mayence, in order to find there a very aged Rabbi named Moses, in the hope that I had found in him that which I sought. As I have said in the preceding chapter, his science had no foundation such as that of the true divine wisdom. I remained with him for four years, miserably wasting all that time there, and persuading myself that I had learned all that I wished to know, (2) and I was only thinking of returning to my paternal home, when I casually met a young man of our sect, named Samuel, a native of Bohemia, whose manners and mode of life showed me that he wished to live, walk, and die in the way of the Lord and in his holy Law; and I contracted so strong a bond of friendship with him that I showed him all my feelings and intentions. As he had resolved to make a journey to Constantinople, in order to there join a brother of his father, and thence to pass into the Holy Land wherein our forefathers had dwelt, and from the which for our very great errors and misdeeds we had been chased and cast forth by God. He (3) having so willed it, the moment that he (4) had made me acquainted with his design, I felt an extraordinary desire to accompany him in his journey, and I believe that almighty God wished by this means to awaken me, for I could take no rest until the moment that we mutually and reciprocally passed our word to each other and swore to make the voyage together.

1. "Vormatie"; that is to say, the district under the government of the town of Worms called in Latin "Vormatia" anciently.

2. In the previous chapter he says that he remained in this path of study for ten years.

3. I.e., God.

4. Samuel. 

On the 13th day of February, in the year 1397, we commenced our journey, passing through Germany, Bohemia, Austria, and thence by Hungary and Greece unto Constantinople, where we remained two years, and I should never have quitted it, had not death taken Samuel from me at length through a sudden illness. Finding myself alone, a fresh desire for travel seized me, and so much was my heart given thereto, that I kept wandering from one place to another, until at length I arrived in Egypt, where constantly travelling for the space of four years in one direction and another, the more I practised the experiments of the magic of Rabbin Moses, the less did it please me. I pursued my voyage towards our ancient country, where I fixed my residence for a year, and neither saw nor heard of any other thing but misery, calamity, and unhappiness. After this period of time, I there found a Christian who also was travelling in order to find that which I was seeking also myself. Having made an agreement together, we resolved to go into the desert parts of Arabia for the search for that which we ardently desired; feeling sure that, as we had been told, there were in those places many just and very learned men, who dwelt there in order to be able to study without any hindrance, and to devote themselves unto that art for which we ourselves were seeking; but as we there found nothing equivalent to the trouble we had taken, or which was worthy of our attention, there came into my head the extravagant idea to advance no farther, but to return to my own home. I communicated my intention to my companion, but he for his part wished to follow out his enterprise and seek his good fortune; so I prepared to return.


On my return journey I began to reflect on the time which I had lost in travelling, and on the great expense which I had been at without any return, and without having made any acquisition of that which I wished for and which had caused me to undertake the voyage. I had, however, taken the resolution of returning to my home on quitting Arabia Deserta by way of Palestine, and so into Egypt; and I was six months on the way. I at length arrived at a little town called Arachi, situated on the bank of the Nile, where I lodged with an old Jew named Aaron, where indeed I had already lodged before in my journey; and I communicated unto him my sentiments. He asked me how I had succeeded, and whether I had found that which I wished. I answered mournfully that I had done absolutely nothing, and I made him an exact recital of the labours and troubles which I had undergone, and my recital was accompanied by my tears which I could not help shedding in abundance, so that I attracted the compassion of the old man, and he began to try to comfort me by telling me that during my journey he had heard say that in a desert place not far from the aforesaid town of Arachi dwelt a very learned and pious man whose name was Abramelino, (1) and he (2) exhorted me that as I had already done so much, not to fail to visit him, that perhaps the most merciful God might regard me with pity, and grant me that which I righteously wished for. It seemed to me as though I was listening to a voice, not human but celestial, and I felt a joy in mine heart such as I could not express; and I had neither rest nor intermission until Aaron found me a man who conducted me to the nearest route, by which walking upon fine sand during the space of three days and a half without seeing any human habitation I at length arrived at the foot of a hill of no great height, and which was entirely surrounded by trees. My guide then said, "In this small wood dwelleth the man whom you seek;" and having showed me the direction to take he wished to accompany me no further, and having taken his leave of me he returned home by the same route by which we had come, together with his mule which had served to carry our food. Finding myself in this situation I could think of no other thing to do than to submit myself to the help of the divine providence by invoking his very holy name, who then granted unto me his most holy grace, for in turning my eyes in the aforementioned direction, I beheld coming towards me a venerable aged man, who saluted me in the Chaldean language in a loving manner, inviting me to go with him into his habitation; the which courtesy I accepted with an extreme pleasure, realising in that moment how great is the providence of the Lord. The good old man was very courteous to me and treated me very kindly, and during an infinitude of days he never spake unto me of any other matter than of the fear of God, exhorting me to lead ever a well-regulated life, and from time to time warned me of certain errors which man commits through human frailty, and, further, he made me understand that he detested the acquisition of riches and goods which we were constantly employed in gaining in our towns through so severe usury exacted from, and harm wrought to, our neighbour. He required from me a very solemn and precise promise to change my manner of life, and to live not according to our false dogmas, but in the way and law of the Lord. The which promise I having ever after inviolably observed, and being later on again among my relatives and other Jews, I passed among them for a wicked and foolish man; but I said in myself, "Let the will of God be done, and let not respect of persons turn us aside from the right path, seeing that man is a deceiver".

1. Thus spelt here.

2. Aaron the Jew. 

The aforesaid Abramelin, knowing the ardent desire which I had to learn, he gave me two manuscript books, very similar in form unto these which I now bequeath unto thee, O Lamech, my son; but very obscure: and he told me to copy them for myself with care, which I did, and carefully examined both the one and the other. And he asked me if I had any money, I answered unto him "Yes". He said unto me that he required ten golden florins,* which he must himself, according to the order which the Lord had given unto him, distribute by way of alms among seventy-two poor persons, who were obliged to repeat certain Psalms; (3) and having kept the feast of Saturday, which is the day of the Sabbath, he set out to go to Arachi, because it was requisite that he should himself distribute the money. And he ordered me to fast for three days, that is to say, the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday following; contenting myself with only a single repast in the day, wherein was to be neither blood nor dead things; (4) also he commanded me to make this commencement with exactness, and not to fail in the least thing, for in order to operate well it is very necessary to begin well, and he instructed me to repeat all the seven (5) Psalms of David one single time in these three days; and not to do or practise any servile operation. The day being come he set out, and took with him the money which I had given him. I faithfully obeyed him, executing from point to point that which he had ordered me to do. His return was fifteen days later, and being at last arrived he ordered me the day following (which was a Tuesday), before the rising of the Sun, to make with great humility and devotion a general confession of all my life unto the Lord, with a true and firm proposal and resolution to serve and fear him otherwise than I had done in the past, and to wish to live and die in his most holy law, and in obedience unto him. I performed my confession with all the attention and exactitude necessary. It lasted until the going down of the Sun; and the day following I presented myself unto Abramelin, who with a smiling countenance said unto me, "It is thus I would ever have you". He then conducted me into his own apartment where I took the two little manuscripts which I had copied; and he asked of me whether truly, and without fear, I wished for the divine science and for the True Magic. I answered unto him that it was the only end and unique motive which had induced me to undertake a so long and troublesome voyage, with the view of receiving this special grace from the Lord. "And I," said Abramelin, "trusting in the mercy of the Lord, I grant and accord unto thee this holy science, which thou must acquire in the manner which is prescribed unto thee in the two little manuscript books, without omitting the least imaginable thing of their contents; and not in any way to gloss or comment upon that which may be or may not be, seeing that the artist who hath made that work is the same God who from nothingness hath created all things. Thou shalt in no way use this sacred science to offend the great God, and to work ill unto thy neighbour; thou shalt communicate it unto no living person whom thou dost not thoroughly know by long practice and conversation, examining well whether such a person really intendeth to work for the good or for the evil. And if thou shalt wish to grant it unto him, thou shalt well observe and punctually, the same fashion and manner, which I have made use of with thee. And if thou doest otherwise, he who shall receive it shall draw no fruit therefrom. Keep thyself as thou wouldst from a serpent from selling this science, and from making merchandise of it; because the grace of the Lord is given unto us free and gratis, and we ought in no wise to sell the same. This veritable science shall remain in thee and thy generation for the space of seventy-two (6) years, and will not remain longer in our Sect. Let not thy curiosity push thee on to understand the cause of this, but figure to thyself that we are so good (7) that our sect hath become insupportable not only to the whole human race, but even to God himself!" I wished in receiving these two small manuscript books to throw myself on my knees before him, but he rebuked me, saying that we ought only to bend the knee before God.
*. D: zehn Goldgulden. Gewicht ca. 3,25g. Zusammensetzung 2/3 Gold, 1/3 Silber.

3. The Qabalistical reader will at once remark the symbolism of the numbers "ten" and "seventy-two" the first being the number of the Sephiroth, and the second that of the Schemahamphorasch. But as many readers may be ignorant of the meaning and reference of these terms I will briefly explain them. The ten Sephiroth are the most abstract ideas and conceptions of the ten numbers of the ordinary decimal scale, and are employed in the Qabalah as an ideal means of explaining the different emanations or attributes of the Deity. It was thus that Pythagoras employed the abstract ideas of numbers as a means of metaphysical instruction. The Schemahamphorasch or "Divided Name" is a Qabalistical method of investigating the natures of the Name of four letters I H V H (Jehovah), which is considered to contain all the forces of Nature. There are in the book of Exodus three verses in the fourteenth chapter, describing the pillars of fire and of cloud forming a defence unto the children of Israel against the Egyptians. Each of these three verses consists in the Hebrew of seventy-two letters, and by writing them in a certain manner one above another, seventy-two columns of three letters each are obtained; each column is then treated as a name of three letters, and the explanation of these is sought for in certain verses of the Psalms which contain these names; and these latter would be the verses of the Psalms alluded to in the text, which the seventy-two poor persons were told to recite.

4. This would not necessarily exclude eggs or milk.

5. So in the MS.

6. Note again the number of seventy-two.

7. This is evidently said ironically. 

I avow that these two books (8) were so exactly written, that thou, O Lamech my son, mayest see them after my death, and thou shalt thus recognise how much respect I have for thee. (9) It is true that before my departure I well read and studied them, and when I found anything difficult or obscure I had recourse unto Abramelin, who with charity and patience explained it unto me. Being thoroughly instructed, I took leave of him, and having received his paternal blessing; a symbol which is not only in use among the Christians, but which was also the custom with our forefathers; I also departed, and I took the route to Constantinople, whither having arrived I fell sick, and my malady lasted for the space of two months; but the Lord in his mercy delivered me therefrom, so that I soon regained my strength, and finding a vessel ready to depart for Venice I embarked thereon, and I arrived there, and having rested some days I set out to go unto Trieste, where having landed, I took the road through the country of Dalmatia, and arrived at length at my paternal home, where I lived among my relatives and my brothers.

8. He probably means the copies he himself had been ordered by Abramelin to make, and not the originals.

9. "Et tu connoiteras la deference dont je me sers avec toy." 


It is not sufficient to travel and journey abroad and see many lands, if one does not draw some useful experience therefrom. Wherefore, in order to show unto thee a good example, I will in this chapter speak of the mysteries (1) of this art which I discovered in one way and another while travelling in the world, and also of the measure and understanding of their various sciences; while, in the sixth chapter following, I will recount the things which I have learned and seen with some among them, and whether in actual practice I found them true or false. I have already before told you that my first master had been the Rabbin Moses at Mayence, who was indeed a good man, but entirely ignorant of the true mystery and of the veritable magic. He only devoted himself to certain superstitious secrets which he had collected from various infidels, and which were full of the nonsense and foolishness of pagans and idolaters; to such an extent that the good angels and holy spirits judged him unworthy of their visits and conversation; and the evil spirits mocked him to a ridiculous extent. At times, indeed, they spake to him voluntarily and by caprice, and obeyed him in matters vile, profane, and of no account, in order the better to entrap, deceive and hinder him from searching further for the true and certain foundation of this great science.

1. Mistères, evidently a slip for Maistres, Masters. 

At Argentine I found a Christian called James, who was reputed as a learned and very skilful man; but his art was the art of the juggler, or cup-and-balls player; and not that of the magician.

In the town of Prague I found a wicked man named Antony, aged twenty-five years, who in truth showed me wonderful and supernatural things, but may God preserve us from falling into so great an error, for the infamous wretch avowed to me that he had made a pact with the demon, and had given himself over to him in body and in soul, and that he had renounced God and all the saints; while, on the other hand, the deceitful Leviathan had promised him forty years of life to do his pleasure. He made every effort, as he was obliged to by the pact, to persuade me and drag me to the precipice of the same error and misery; but at first I kept myself apart from him, and at last I took flight. Unto this day do they sing in the streets of the terrible end which befel him, may the Lord God of his mercy preserve us from such a misfortune. This should serve us as a mirror of warning to keep far from us all evil undertakings and pernicious curiosity.

In Austria I found an infinitude, but all were either ignorant, or like unto the Bohemians.

In the Kingdom of Hungary I found but persons knowing neither God nor Devil, and who were worse than the beasts.

In Greece I found many wise and prudent men, but, however, all of them were infidels, among whom there were three who principally dwelt in desert places, who showed unto me great things, such as how to raise tempests in a moment, how to make the Sun appear in the night, how to stop the course of rivers, and how to make night appear at midday, the whole by the power of their enchantments, and by applying superstitious ceremonies.

Near Constantinople, in a place called Ephiha, there was a certain man, who, instead of enchantments, made use of certain numbers which he wrote upon the earth; and by means of these he caused certain extravagant and terrifying visions to appear; but in all these arts there was no practical use, but only the loss of soul and of body, because all these only worked by particular pacts, which had no true foundation; also all these arts demanded a very long space of time, and they were very false, and when these men were unsuccessful they had always ready a thousand lies and excuses.

In the same city of Constantinople I found two men of our Law, namely, Simon and the Rabbin Abrahame, whom we may class with Rabbin Moses Of Mayence.

In Egypt the first time I found five persons who were esteemed and reputed as wise men, among whom were four, namely, Horay, Abimech, Alcaon, and Orilach, who performed their operations by the means of the course of the stars and of the constellations, adding many diabolical conjurations and impious and profane prayers, and performing the whole with great difficulty. The fifth, named Abimelu, operated by the means and aid of demons, to whom he prepared statues, and sacrificed, and thus they served him with their abominable arts.

In Arabia they made use of plants, of herbs, and of stones as well precious as common. The divine mercy inspired me to return thence, and led me to Abramelin, who was he who declared unto me the secret, and opened unto me the fountain and true source of the sacred mystery, and of the veritable and ancient magic which God had given unto our forefathers.

Also at Paris I found a wise man called Joseph, who, having denied the Christian faith, had made himself a Jew. This man truly practised magic in the same manner as Abramelin, but he was very far from arriving at perfection therein; because God, who is just, never granteth the perfect, veritable and fundamental treasure unto those who deny him; notwithstanding that in the rest of their life they might be the most holy and perfect men in the world. I am astonished when I consider the blindness of many persons who let themselves be led by evil masters, who take pleasure in falsehood, and, we may rather say, in the demon himself; giving themselves over unto sorceries and idolatries, one in one manner, another in another manner, with the result of losing their souls. But the truth is so great, the Devil is so deceitful and malicious, and the World so frail and so infamous that I must admit that things cannot be otherwise. Let us then open our eyes, and follow that which I shall lay down in the following chapters; and let us not walk in another path, whether of the Devil, or of men, or of books which boast of their magic; for in truth I declare unto thee that I had so great a quantity of such matters written out with so much art, that had I not had these of Abramelin, I could herein have given thee those. However, it is true that just as there is only one God, that not one of these books is worth an obolus. (2) Yet with all this there are men so blind that they buy them at exorbitant prices, and they lose their money, their time, and their pains, and which is worse, very often their souls as well.

2. A coin of base money formerly in use, its value being about a halfpenny. 


The fear of the Lord is the true wisdom, and he who hath it not can in no way penetrate the true secrets of magic, and he but buildeth upon a foundation of sand, and his building can in no way last. The Rabbin Moses persuaded me to be wise, while he himself, with words which neither he himself nor any other person understood, and with extravagant symbols made bells to sound, and while with execrable conjurations he made appear in glasses him who had committed a theft, and while he made a water causing an old man to appear young (and that only for the space of two hours and no longer). All the which things he indeed taught me, but the whole was but vanity, low curiosity, and a pure deception of the demon, leading to no useful end imaginable, and tending to the loss of the soul. And when I had the veritable knowledge of the Sacred Magic, I both forgot them, and banished them from mine heart.

That impious Bohemian, (1) with the aid and assistance of his associate, performed astounding feats. He rendered himself invisible, he used to fly in the air, he used to enter through the keyholes into locked-up rooms, he knew our greatest secrets, and once he told me things which God alone could know. But his art cost him too dear, for the Devil had made him swear in the pact that he would use all his secrets to the dishonour of God, and to the prejudice of his neighbour. Ultimately his body was found dragged through the streets, and his head without any tongue therein, lying in a drain. And this was all the profit he drew from his diabolical science and magic.

1. I.e. Antony, of whom he makes mention in the preceding chapter. 

In Austria I found an infinitude of magicians who only occupied themselves in killing and maiming men, in putting discord among married people, in causing divorces, in tying witch-knots in osier or willow branches to stop the flow of milk in the breasts of nursing women, and similar infamies. But these miserable wretches had made a pact with the Devil, and had become his slaves, having sworn unto him that they would work without cessation to destroy all living creatures. Some of these had two years (for their pact) to run, some three, and after that time they underwent the same fate as the Bohemian.

At Lintz I worked with a young woman, who one evening invited me to go with her, assuring me that without any risk she would conduct me to a place where I greatly desired to find myself. I allowed myself to be persuaded by her promises. She then gave unto me an unguent, with which I rubbed the principal pulses of my feet and hands; the which she did also; and at first it appeared to me that I was flying in the air in the place which I wished, and which I had in no way mentioned to her.

I pass over in silence and out of respect, that which I saw, which was admirable, and appearing to myself to have remained there a long while, I felt as if I were just awakening from a profound sleep, and I had great pain in my head and deep melancholy. I turned round and saw that she was seated at my side. She began to recount to me what she had seen, but that which I had seen was entirely different. I was, however, much astonished, because it appeared to me as if I had been really and corporeally in the place, and there in reality to have seen that which had happened. However, I asked her one day to go alone to that same place, and to bring me back news of a friend whom I knew for certain was distant 200 leagues. She promised to do so in the space of an hour. She rubbed herself with the same unguent, and I was very expectant to see her fly away; but she fell to the ground and remained there about three hours as if she were dead, so that I began to think that she really was dead. At last she began to stir like a person who is waking, then she rose to an upright position, and with much pleasure began to give me the account of her expedition, saying that she had been in the place where my friend was, and all that he was doing; the which was entirely contrary to his profession. Whence I concluded that what she had just told me was a simple dream, and that this unguent was a causer of a phantastic sleep; whereon she confessed to me that this unguent had been given to her by the Devil.

All the arts of the Greeks are enchantments and fascinations, and the demons hold them enchained in these accursed arts so that the foundation of the true magic may be unknown to them which would render them more powerful than they; and I was the more confirmed in this opinion because their operations were of no practical use whatever, and caused injury unto him who put them into practice, as in fact many of them avowed plainly to me, when I had the true and Sacred Magic. There are also many operations which they say are handed down from the ancient Sibyls. There is an art called White and Black; (2) another angelical, Teatim; in which I avow that I have seen orations so learned and beautiful, that had I not known the venom therein hidden, I would have given them herein. I say all this because it is very easy to him who is not constantly upon his guard to err.

2. ? the Book Ambrosius. 

One old scribbler of symbols (3) gave me many enchantments which only tended to work evil. He performed other operations by means of numbers, which were all odd, and of a triple proportion, in no way similar to the other, and for proof of this, he caused by such means in my presence a very fine tree which was near my house to fall to the ground, and all the leaves and fruits were consumed in a very short time. And he told me that in numbers there was hidden a very great mystery, because that by the means of numbers one can perform all the operations for friendships, riches, honours, and all sorts of things, good and evil; and he assured me that he had tried them, but that yet some that he knew to be very true had not yet succeeded with him. With regard to this particular, I found out the reason through the wise Abramelin, who told me that this came and depended from a divine ministry, that is to say, from the Qabalah, and that without that, one could not succeed. All these things have I beheld, and many others, and those who possessed these secrets gave them to me out of friendship. I burned these recipes afterwards in the house of Abramelin, they being absolutely things very far removed from the will of God, and contrary to the charity which we owe unto our neighbour. Every learned and prudent man may fall if he be not defended and guided by the angel of the Lord, who aided me, and prevented me from falling into such a state of wretchedness, and who led me undeserving from the mire of darkness unto the light of the truth. I have known and felt the effects of the goodness of the wise Abraha Melin, (4) who of his own free will, and before I had asked him so to do, accepted me for his disciple. And before that I had declared my wish unto him he would accomplish and fulfil my desire; and all that I wished to obtain from him he knew before I could open my mouth. Also he recounted to me all that I had seen, done, and suffered from the time of my father's death down to this moment; and this in words obscure and as it were prophetic, which I did not then comprehend, but which I understood later. He told me many things touching my good fortune, but, which was the principal thing, he discovered to me the source of the veritable Qabalah, the which according to our custom, I have in turn communicated unto thine elder brother Joseph, after that he had fulfilled the requisite conditions without the accomplishment of which the Qabalah and this Sacred Magic cannot be exercised, and which I will recount in the two following books. Afterwards he did manifest unto me the regimen of the mystery of that Sacred Magic which was exercised and put into practice by our forefathers and progenitors, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon, among whom the last misused it, and he received the punishment thereof during his life.

3. Evidently the man mentioned in chapter V, as living at Ephiha, near Constantinople. The word I have rendered by "scribbler of symbols" is grifas.

4. So written here in the MS. 

In the second book I will describe the whole faithfully and clearly, in order that if the Lord God should wish to dispose of me before that thou shalt have attained a competent age, thou shalt find these three small manuscript books as forming at the same time both an inestimable treasure and a faithful master and teacher; because there are very many secrets in the symbols of the third book which I have seen made experiment of with mine own eyes by Abramelim, (5) and to be perfectly true, and which afterwards I myself have performed. And after him I found no one who worked these things truly; and although Joseph at Paris walked in the same path, nevertheless God, as a just judge, did not in any way wish to grant unto him the Sacred Magic in its entirety, because he had despised the Christian law. For it is an indubitable and evident thing that he who is born Christian, Jew, Pagan, Turk, infidel, or whatever religion it may be, can arrive at the perfection of this work or art and become a master, but he who hath abandoned his natural law, and embraced another religion opposed to his own, can never arrive at the summit of this sacred science. (6)

5. Thus spelt here.

6. Many occultists will doubtless not be of this opinion. It is one thing to simply quit one debased and materialised form or sect of religion for another, which is perhaps little if any better; and quite another thing to seek out the true religion which is at the basis of all, and which could not be entirely true, were it not free from sect. -SLM. In the original German (per PH), the objection is not to any convert whatsoever, as implied here, but to “an unfaithful Jew and convert who has left his natural law” (ein abtrünniger Jude und Konvertit, der einmal sein natürliches Gesetz verlassen). -JHP 


God, the father of mercy, having granted unto me the grace to return safe and sound into my country; I paid unto him according to my small power, some little portion of that which I owed him; thanking him for so many benefits which I had received from him, and in particular for the acquisition of the Qabalah which I had made at the house of Abramelim. (1) It now only remained for me to reduce to practice this Sacred Magic, but many things of importance and hindrances presented themselves; among the which my marriage was one of the greatest. I therefore judged it fitting to defer putting it in practice, and a principal obstacle was the inconvenience of the place in which I dwelt. I resolved to absent myself suddenly, and go away into the Hercynian forests, and there remain during the time necessary for this operation, and lead a solitary life. It was not possible for me to do it sooner for many reasons and dangers of which latter I ran a risk in that place, besides which it would be necessary to leave my wife, who was young and now enceinte. (2) Finally, I resolved to follow the example of Abramelin, and I divided my house (3) into two parts; I took another house at rent, which I in part furnished, and I gave over to one of my uncles the care of providing the necessaries of life and the needs thereof. Meanwhile I with my wife and a servant remained in my own house, and I began to accustom myself to the solitary life, which it was to me extremely difficult to support, because of the melancholic humour which dominated me, and I lived thus till the season of Easter which I celebrated with all the family according to custom. Then first, on the following day, in the name and to the honour of God almighty the creator of Heaven and of Earth, I commenced this holy operation, and I continued it for six Moons without omitting the slightest detail, as thou wilt understand later. And the period of the six Moons being expired, the Lord granted unto me his grace by his mercy; according to the promise made unto our forefathers, since while I was making my prayer unto him he deigned to grant unto me the vision and apparition of his holy angels, together with which I experienced so great joy, consolation and contentment of soul, that I could neither express it nor put it into writing. And during the three days, while I was enjoying this sweet and delightful presence with an indicible contentment, my holy angel, whom God the most merciful had destined from my creation for my guardian, spake unto me with the greatest goodness and affection; who not only manifested unto me the Veritable Magic, but even made easier for me the means of obtaining it. He confirmed as being true the symbols of the Qabalah which I had received from Abramelin; and he gave me the fundamental means by which I could have an infinitude of others in my operations according to my pleasure, assuring me that he would instruct me fully thereon. (These symbols are all like those of the third book.) He gave me further very useful advice and admonition, such as an angel could give; how I should govern myself the following days with the evil spirits so as to constrain them to obey me; the which I duly followed out fulfilling always from point to point his instructions very faithfully, and by the grace of God I constrained them to obey me and to appear in the place destined for this operation; and they obligated themselves to obey me, and to be subject unto me. And since then even until now, without offending God and the holy angels I have held them in my power and command, always assisted by the power of God and of his holy angels. And this with so great a prosperity of our house, that I confess that I held myself back from the vast riches which I could have accumulated; although I possess enough to be counted among the number of the rich, as thou wilt know when thou shalt be more advanced in age. May the grace of the Lord, and the defence and protection of his holy angels never then depart from me, Abraham, nor from my two sons Joseph and Lamech; nor from all those who by your means and by the will of God, shall receive this operation! So be it!

1. D'embrasser le parti d'Abramelin.

2. I.e. pregnant. -JHP

3. Probably meaning "household". 


In order to show that man ought to make use of the good things of the Lord by applying them unto a good end, that is to say, unto his honour and glory, both for his own use and that of his neighbour; I will describe in a few words in this present chapter many and the most considerable operations which I have carried out; and the which, with the aid of the all-powerful Lord and of the holy angels, by the means of this art I have easily conducted unto the desired end. And I write not this description in any way to vaunt myself, nor out of vainglory, the which would be a great sin against God, because it is he who hath done the whole, and not I; but only do I write this that it may serve for instruction unto others, so that they may know wherein they ought to avail themselves of this art, as also that they may use it to the honour of him who hath given this wisdom unto men, and glorify him; and in order that each one may know how great and inexhaustible are the treasures of the Lord, and render unto him particular thanks for so precious a gift. And especially (do I thank him) for having granted unto me, who am but a little worm of Earth, through the means of Abramelin the power to give and communicate unto others this sacred science. After my death a book will be found, which I commenced to write at the time when I was beginning to put in practice this art, which, reckoning the number of the years, was in 1409, until today on which I am arrived at the 96th (1) year of mine age, with all honour and augmentation of fortune; and in this book can be read in detail even to the very least thing which I have done. But here, as I have aforesaid, I will describe only the most remarkable.

1. As this MS. bears the date of 1458, Abraham must have been born in 1362, and was consequently 47 years old in 1409. 

Up till now I have healed of persons of all conditions, bewitched unto death, no less than 8413, and belonging unto all religions, without making an exception in any case.

I gave unto mine Emperor Sigismond, (2) a very clement prince, a familiar spirit of the Second Hierarchy, even as he commanded me, and he availed himself of its services with prudence. He wished also to possess the secret of the whole operation, but as I was warned by the Lord that it was not his will, he contented himself with what was permitted, not as Emperor, but as a private person; and I even by means of mine art facilitated his marriage with his wife; and I caused him to overcome the great difficulties which opposed his marriage.

2. Sigismond, Emperor of Germany, was born the 14th February, 1368, and died at Znaïm on the 9th December, 1437. Son of the Emperor Charles IV and of Anne of Silesia, he received an excellent education. At ten years of age his father gave him the Margravate of Brandenburg, and two years later he was betrothed to Mary, the daughter of Louis the Great of Hungary, whom he afterwards married. He was nominated by his father-in-law his successor on the throne of Poland. But the nobles preferred Ladislaus, the nephew of Casimir the Great. However, in 1386, he took possession of Hungary, repulsed the Poles, overcame the rebellious nobles; and then marched against the Wallachians and Turks, but he was beaten, and later, notwithstanding the help of France and England, he lost the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396. He escaped on board a vessel in the Black Sea, and for eighteen months was a fugitive from his kingdom; and at the moment of his re-entering Hungary he was made prisoner by the discontented nobles, and shut up in the citadel of Ziklos. Escaping thence into Bohemia, he, however, reconquered his throne, and in 1410 was raised to the Empire by one party among the Electors, while Josse, Marquis of Moravia, and Wenceslaus were elected by other factions. A remarkable coincidence, seeing that at this moment when three Emperors possessed the Empire, the Papacy had also three Popes, viz.: John XXIII (Balthazar Cossa), a Neapolitan; Gregory XII (Ange Conrario), a Venetian; and Benedict XIII (Pierre de Lune), a Spaniard. The death of Josse, and the resignation of Wenceslaus, left Sigismond sole master of the Empire. After having received the Silver Crown at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1414, he went to preside at the Council of Constance, where John Huss was condemned, notwithstanding the safe conduct which he had obtained from the Emperor. He endeavoured to end the differences between the Roman and Greek Churches, visited France and England under pretext of reconciling Charles VI and Henry V, but, as some say, in order to form a league with the latter against France, so as to recover the ancient Kingdom of Arles. The death of his brother, Wenceslaus, in 1419, rendered him Master of Bohemia, at the moment when the revolt of the Hussites was at its height. He commenced a war of extermination against them, but was defeated by Ziska in 1420, and a war of fifteen years' duration ensued. In 1431 whilst he was being crowned King of Italy at Milan, his troops experienced such severe defeats that he was forced to concede advantageous terms to the rebels. But dissensions arose among them, and Sigismond profited by this to completely crush them at length and make Bohemia submit. He reigned twenty-seven years as Emperor of Germany, eighteen years as King of Bohemia, and fifty-one years as King of Hungary. His second wife, Barbe, has been called by some, the Messalina of Germany. 
I delivered also the Count Frederick (3) by the means of 2000 artificial cavalry (the which I by mine art caused to appear according unto the tenor of the twenty-ninth chapter of the third book here following), free out of the hands of the Duke Leopold of Saxonia; the which Count Frederick without me would have lost both his own life, and his estate as well (which latter would not have descended) unto his heirs.

3. Frederick I, surnamed the Quarreller, Duke and Elector of Saxony, was born at Altenburg in 1369, and died in 1428. He was son of the Landgrave and Margrave Frederick the Severe, and of Catherine, Countess of Henneberg. At only four years of age, Frederick had been betrothed to Anne, daughter of the Emperor Charles IV, later on he had serious disputes concerning this matter with the Emperor Wenceslaus (the brother of Anne), who had disposed of her hand to another, but who ultimately consented, in 1397, to pay Frederick a considerable sum by way of damages. In 1388 he fought as ally of the Burgrave of Nuremberg in the war of the German towns; and gained his knightly spurs in 1391, in the war which he, in concert with the Teutonic knights, waged against the Lithuanians. Next, he fought against Wenceslaus. He married Catherine of Brunswick in 1402, and after various wars and quarrels, the University of Leipzig was founded in 1409. The indefatigable activity which this prince displayed from 1420 against the movements of the Hussites, who were directly menacing his possessions, pointed him out as a valuable auxiliary to the Emperor Sigismond, who was then in a very critical position. In order to assure himself definitely of the alliance of Frederick the Quarreller, the Emperor conferred upon him the Electorate and Duchy of Saxony; but the former could not long enjoy his new found dignities in peace, for the Emperor shifted the whole weight of the war with the Hussites on to his shoulders. As the other German princes did not respond readily to the Elector's appeal, the latter had the misfortune to lose the greater part of his army near Brux in 1425. But his wife, Catherine, summoned the whole of Catholic Germany to unite in a crusade against the innovating Hussites; while 20,000 strange and foreign warriors came unexpectedly to range themselves under the standard of Frederick. It is to be noted that Abraham the Jew puts the artificial cavalry he supplied at 2000 (though this may easily be a slip for 20,000) and rumour would of course soon magnify the number. But the Elector was at length defeated at the disastrous battle of Aussig in 1426, where the élite of the German warriors fell. The following year again witnessed a fresh defeat of the Elector, and the chagrin which this excited, ultimately led to his death. He was succeeded by his son, Frederick II, called "the Good" born in 1411, who began to reign in 1428, and died in 1464 (see Dict. Larousse). 
Unto the Bishop of our city also, I showed the betrayal of his government at Orembergh, one year before the same occurred; and I say no more concerning this because he is an Ecclesiastic, (4) passing over in silence all that I have further done to render unto him service.

4. The same ambiguity exists in the French as in the translation, as to whether it is Abraham or the Bishop who passes over the matter in silence. Et je n'en dis pas davantage acause quil est un eclesiastique passant sous silence ceque joy fait deplus pour luy rendre service. (I preserve the orthography of the French original.) 
The Count of Varvich (5) was delivered by me from prison in England the night before he was to have been beheaded.

I aided the flight of the Duke, (6) and of his Pope John, (7) from the Council of Constance, who would otherwise have fallen into the hands of the enraged Emperor; and the latter having asked me to predict unto him which one of the two Popes, John XXIII and Martin V, should gain in the end, my prophecy was verified; that fortune befalling which I had predicted unto him at Ratisbon.

5. By "Count of Varvich" Abraham evidently means "Count of Warwick" as throughout the MS. a "w" is never used, but always a "v", wherever the former occurs in a proper name. This Count of Warwick is probably Henri de Beauchamp, the brother-in-law of Warwick the "King-Maker" and son of that Richard de Beauchamp, so infamous for his instrumentality in bringing about the torture and burning of the heroic Joan of Arc. Henri de Beauchamp was at first deprived of his goods by Henry VI; but in 1444 that Monarch created him Duke of Warwick, and later, King of the islands of Wight, Jersey, and Guernsey. He did not long survive to enjoy these honours (Dict. Larousse).

6. Probably Albert V of Austria.

7. Pope John XXIII (Balthazar Cossa), Pope from 1410 to 1415, was born at Naples. He had been a corsair in his youth, and at first, after his entry into holy orders, was only notable for his debauches, his exactions, and his violence. Pope Boniface IX nevertheless appointed him Cardinal in 1402, and afterwards Legate of Bologna, where he is said to have given himself up to such excesses that Gregory XII thought it necessary to excommunicate him. Notwithstanding this Cossa was elected to the Papacy at the time when the Church was shaken by internal dissension. He promised at first to renounce the Pontificate, if on their side Gregory XII and Benedict XIII would abandon their claims. However, he mounted the Papal throne, and declared for the side of Louis d'Anjou in the war between the latter and Ladislaus regarding the throne of Naples. At length, after the taking of Rome by Ladislaus, he was forced to implore the support of the Emperor Sigismond. The latter consented to grant him his protection, but on the sole condition of the convocation of the Council of Constance. After much hesitation, and after having taken every possible precaution to ensure his personal safety, John XXIII consented to the assembling of the Council, which he opened 7th November, 1414. Being then summoned to lay aside the Papal mitre, he judged it prudent to consent; but a few days later, he succeeded in escaping in disguise, during a tournament given by the Duke of Austria. He retired to Lauffembourg, and protested against the abdication, which he declared to have been obtained from him by force. The Council was for a moment struck with fear and consternation, but the firmness of the Emperor Sigismond, coupled with the effect of the declaration of J. Gerson that the general councils had higher authority than the Papacy, prevailed. John XXIII was summoned to appear before the Council, but refused; and soon after, being abandoned by the Duke of Austria, who was too weak to resist the power of the Emperor, he was arrested at Fribourg, and conducted to Rudolfcell. On the 29th May, 1415, this Pontiff was solemnly deposed by the Council of Constance as being given to simony, impudent, a secret poisoner, and a spendthrift of the wealth of the Church; and was imprisoned in the castle of Heidelberg. At the end of four years he recovered his liberty, on payment of 30,000 golden crowns, and went to Rome, where he made his submission to Martin V, and was by him appointed Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati, and Senior of the Sacred College. He died a few months later at Florence, either of anxiety or by poison. 
At the time when I was lodged at the house of the Duke Of Bavaria, (8) my Lord, for matters of the greatest importance; the door of my room was forced, and I had the value of 83,000 Hungarian pieces stolen from me in jewels and money. As soon as I returned, the thief (although he was a Bishop!) was forced to himself bring it back to me in person and to return with his own hands to me the money, jewels, and account books, and to give me the principal reasons which had forced him to commit the theft, rather than any other person.

8. Either Ernest or William I of Bavaria. They were brothers, and reigned conjointly. From his calling the Duke of Bavaria, his Lord, it would appear that he was living under his dominion, but it is curious that up to this point Abraham has never mentioned the name of his own town. 
Six months ago I did write unto the Grecian Emperor, (9) and I warned him that the affairs of his Empire were in a very bad condition, and that his Empire itself was on the brink of ruin, (10) unless he could appease the anger of God. As there only remaineth unto me but a little while to live, those who remain after me will receive the news of the result of this prophecy.

9. Constantine Palæologos, who was the thirteenth and last Greek Emperor. He was killed, and Constantinople taken by the Turks under Mahomet II. The direct descendant of Constantine Palæologos today is the Princess Eugénie di Cristoforo-Palæologæ-Nicephoræ-Comnenæ.

10. A deux doigts de sa perte. 
The operation of the thirteenth chapter of the second book, (11) I have twice performed; once in the house of Savonia; (12) and another time in the Marquisate of Magdeburgh, and I was the cause that their estates were handed down unto their children.

11. This chapter is entitled "Concerning the convocation of the good spirits".

12. Thus in MS. -- ? Saxonia. 

Now when once the faculty of being able to avail oneself of the Sacred Magic hath been obtained, it is permissible to demand from the angel a sum of coined money proportionate unto thy birth, quality and capacity, the which without difficulty will be granted unto thee. Such money is taken from the hidden treasures. It is, however, necessary to note that in all treasures one is allowed to take the fifth part, God permitting the same, although some braggart chatterers (13) do say that there be an infinitude hereof which be destined and reserved unto Antichrist, I do not for a moment say that this may not be true; but undoubtedly from the same treasures one may also take the fifth part. There are yet more which be destined unto others. Mine own particular treasure was assigned unto me at Herbipolis; (14) and I performed the operation of the eighth chapter of the third book; (15) it was not in any way guarded, and was very ancient. It was of gold, which had never been struck into ingots; and which I afterwards caused to be beaten out and converted into its equivalent weight of golden florins, by the spirits; the which was done in a few hours; (and I did this operation seeing that) mine own possessions were few and of little worth; and so poor was I that in order to marry a person who had a considerable dowry, I was forced to make use of mine art, and I employed the fourth sign of the third book and the third sign (16) of the nineteenth chapter; and I married my cousin with 40,000 golden florins as a dowry, the which sum served as a cover to my fortune.

13. Quelques hableurs.

14. Herbipolis is the Latin mediaeval name of the town of Wurtzbourg in Bavaria. It seems from this passage that it was probably the city of Abraham the Jew, and therefore the one intended a few paragraphs before where he speaks of the "Bishop of our town". Wurzbourg and the surrounding district formed a Bishopric, and in the time of Abraham it was the scene of constant struggles between the Bishop and his party, and the burghers. Later, formidable persecutions against the Jews took place there, and many edicts were promulgated against witchcraft.

15. This is evidently an error for either the sixth, the sixteenth, or the twenty-eighth chapter; probably the latter.

16. To make oneself loved by a relation. 
All the signs which are in the eighteenth chapter (17) have been made use of by me so many times that I could not count them. However, they are all given in the book (18) already mentioned.

17. The eighteenth chapter is entitled "How to heal divers maladies".

18. I.e. the third book. 

I made great and wonderful experiments with the signs of the second (19) and eighth chapters (20) of the third book. The first sign (21) of the first chapter of the third book is the most perfect.

19. The second chapter is entitled: "How to obtain information and be enlightened concerning every kind of proposition and all doubtful sciences".

20. The eighth chapter is entitled: "How to excite tempests".

21. "To know all sorts of matters past and to come, which are, however, not opposed to God and to his holy will." 
It is necessary to be prompt and adroit in all these operations, seeing that in the things which belong unto God we can easily commit still greater errors than those into which Solomon fell.

All these signs have I worked with great ease and pleasure, and with very great utility (unto myself and others). All these operations and others in infinite number have I performed by the signs which be in the third book, and never have I failed in attaining mine end. I have always been obeyed (by the spirits), and everything hath succeeded with me because I have myself obeyed the commandments of God. Also I have from point to point followed out that which mine angel hath counselled and prescribed unto me; following out also exactly that which Abra-Melin (22) had taught me, the which is the same that I shall write in the two following books, and which I shall exemplify and explain more clearly; because the instructions which I received, although in very obscure words and hieroglyphics, have caused me to attain mine object, and have never permitted me to err and fall into pagan, strange, and superstitious idolatries; I being always kept in the way of the Lord, who is the true, the only, the infallible end, for arriving at the possession of this Sacred Magic.

22. Thus spelt here. 


The infamous Belial hath no other desire than that of obtaining the power of hiding and obscuring the true divine wisdom, so that he may have more means of blinding simple men and of leading them by the nose; so that they may always remain in their simplicity, and in their error, and that they may not discover the way which leadeth unto the true wisdom; seeing that otherwise it is certain that both he and his kingdom would remain bound and that he would lose the title which he giveth himself of "Prince of this World," having become the slave of man. This is wherefore he seeketh to annul and destroy utterly this sacred wisdom. I, however, do pray all and singular to be upon their guard, and in no way to despise the way and wisdom of the Lord, nor to allow themselves to be seduced by the demon and his adherents; for he is a liar and will be so eternally; and may the truth forever flourish; for in following out and obeying with fidelity that which I have written in these three books, not only shall we arrive at the desired end, but we shall sensibly know and feel the grace of the Lord, and the actual assistance of his holy angels, who take an incredible pleasure in seeing that they are obeyed and that you intend to follow out the commandments of God, and that their instructions are observed. Such then are the particular points upon which I insist.

This wisdom hath its foundation in the high and holy Qabalah (1) which is not granted unto any other than unto the first-born, even as God hath ordained, and as it was observed by our predecessors. Thence arose the difference, and the truck or exchange (2) between Jacob and Esau; the primogeniture being the Qabalah, which is much nobler and greater than the Sacred Magic. (3) And by the Qabalah we can arrive at the Sacred Magic, but by the latter we cannot have the Qabalah. Unto the child of a servant, or of an adulterer, the Qabalah is not granted, but only unto a legitimate child; as occurred in the case of Isaac and Ishmael; but the sacred wisdom through the mercy of God all can acquire, provided that they walk in the right path; and each one should content himself with the gift and grace of the Lord. And this must not be done out of curiosity, and with extravagant and ridiculous scruples, wishing to know and understand more than is right; seeing that temerity is certainly punished by God, who then permitteth him who is presumptuous not only to be turned aside out of the true way by the Second Causes, (4) but also the demon hath power over him, and he ruineth and exterminateth him in such a manner, that we can only say that he himself is the sole cause of his own ruin and misery. It is certain that the Old Serpent will attempt to contaminate the present book with his venom, and even to destroy and lose it utterly, but O Lamech! as a faithful father I entreat thee by the true God who hath created thee and all things, and I entreat every other person who by thy means shall receive this method of operating, not to be induced or persuaded to have any other sentiment or opinion, or to believe the contrary. Pray unto God and ask him for his assistance, and place all thy confidence in him alone. And although thou canst not have the understanding of the Qabalah, nevertheless the holy guardian angels at the end of the six Moons or months (5) will manifest unto thee that which is sufficient for the possession of this Sacred Magic.

1. As I have pointed out in my Kabbalah Unveiled, I consider this a truer orthography than "Cabala," or "Kabbalah".

2. Troque ou change.

3. That is to say the true and unwritten Qabalah, which is the ancient Egyptian magical wisdom; and not later Hebrew perversions thereof.

4. That is to say the administrators of the First Cause, i.e. the various divine powers, or gods and goddesses, who act more directly on matter.

5. Abraham here alludes to the period of preparation required from the neophyte, as described later. 
Wherefore all the signs and symbols given in the third book, are written with letters of the fourth hierarchy; (6) but the mysterious words wherein consisteth the secret (7) have their origin in and are drawn from the Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Chaldean, Persian, and Arabian languages by a singular mystery and according unto the will of the most wise Architect and Fabricator of the Universe, who alone dominateth and governeth it by his all-power; all the monarchies and kingdoms of the world are submitted unto his infinite power, and unto this Sacred Magic and divine wisdom.

6. Regarding the hierarchies, see end of the Third Book.

7. Thus in the Indian "mantras" the force and mystery of the words themselves is especially insisted on. 


It being understood that in this operation we have to do with a great and powerful enemy, whom through our own weakness and human strength or science we cannot resist without particular aid and assistance from the holy angels, and from the Lord of the good spirits; it is necessary that each one should always have God before his eyes, and in no way offend Him. On the other hand, he must always be upon his guard, and abstain as from a mortal sin from flattering, obeying, regarding, or having respect to the demon, and to his viperine race; neither must he submit himself unto him in the slightest thing, for that would be his ruin and the fatal loss of his soul.

As it happened unto all the seed descended from Noah, Lot, Ishmael, and others who did possess the blessed land (before our forefathers) who inherited this wisdom from father to son, from family to family; but in the course of time having lent an ear unto the treacherous enemy, they let themselves be turned away from the veritable path, and did lose the true science which they had received from God by the means of their fathers, and gave themselves over unto superstitious sciences, and unto diabolical enchantments, and unto abominable idolatries, the which was the cause that thereafter God did chastise them, defy (1) them, and chase them from their country; and did introduce in their stead our predecessors; from which same errors again later came the cause of our present misery and servitude, the which will last even unto the end of the world; since they in no way wished to know the gift which God had given unto them, but instead abandoned it to embrace and follow the deceits of the demon.

1. Les deffit. -SLM. D: Weshalb sie, von Gott bestraft, aus dem Vaterland vertrieben und ausgerottet, unsere Väter aber eingesetzt wurden. ("That is why God punished them, and drove them out and exterminated our forefathers from their native country.") -JHP 
This is wherefore each one should take care to submit himself unto him (2) neither by acts, nor by words, nor by thoughts, because he is so adroit and prompt that he can seize one unexpectedly; just as a spider may take a bird. (3) Let that miserable Bohemian and the others whom I have before mentioned, serve thee for an example to avoid (even as they did unto me).

2. I.e., the demon.

3. There is a very large species of spider, which can even capture and kill small birds, but it is only met with in tropical regions, especially in Central America and Martinique; the zoological name of this species is Mygalé. 
In the commencement of the operation there appeareth a man of majestic appearance, who with great affability doth promise unto thee marvellous things. Consider all this as pure vanity, for without the permission of God he can give nothing; but he will do it unto the damage and prejudice, ruin and eternal damnation of whomsoever putteth faith in him, and believeth in him; as we may see in the Holy Scripture in the matter of Pharaoh and his adherents, the which despised the veritable and certain wisdom of Moses and Aaron, and were in the beginning backed up by the Devil who showed them by the means of enchantments that he could both do and put in practice all the works of the aforesaid holy men, whence he ultimately did reduce them to such a condition of obstinacy and blindness, that without perceiving their own error and the deceit of the demon, they were cruelly chastised by God with divers plagues, and were at last all drowned in the Red Sea. This is wherefore in conclusion I say unto thee in few words, that we must rely upon God alone, and put all our confidence in him.


God be my witness that I have not learned this science out of curiosity, nor in order to avail myself of it for an evil purpose, but rather to use it for the honour and glory of my, (1) for mine own use, and for that of my neighbour; and I have never wished to employ it for vain and vile things, but I have always laboured with all my strength to aid all creatures, friends and enemies, faithful and unfaithful, as well the one as the other, with a perfect will and a good heart, and I have also made use of it for the animals.

1. Here a word is evidently omitted in the MS. by a slip. It should probably read "of my God". -SLM. D: "... aus Liebe zur Weisheit des Herrn, auch meinem Nächsten zu dienen..." ("but for love of the wisdom of the Lord, and to serve my neighbors...") -JHP. 

I have before cited certain examples in order to show unto thee that God Almighty doth not in any way grant the art or the science unto a person in order that he may use it for himself alone, but in order that he may provide for the needs of others, and of those who do not possess this sacred science. This is why I pray everyone to follow mine example, and if he doeth otherwise the malediction of the Lord will fall upon him, and as for myself I shall be excusable and innocent before God, and before all men.

In the third book there will be found a very beautiful garden, (2) the like of which assuredly no one hath ever made, and which no king nor emperor hath ever possessed. He who shall wish to be as an industrious bee therein, can there suck the honey which it containeth in abundance; but if he shall maliciously wish to transform himself into a spider, he can also draw poison from thence. God, however, accordeth and giveth his grace, not unto the evil, but unto the good; and if it seemeth unto thee that some chapters of the third book can be rather applied unto evil and unto the hurt of our neighbour, than unto a useful end; each one shall know that I have so placed them, in order that we may understand that this science can be applied alike for evil or for good, as I will show thee more fully in the other books. We must then study to flee the evil and to obtain all the forces of good. He who shall act thus all the days of his life shall have the succour and assistance of the faithful, benign and holy angels; and he who shall use it for evil shall be abandoned by the same angels, and shall be in the power of the treacherous enemy, who never faileth to obey the commands of such an one to work evil, in order to render him his slave. It is necessary to have as a general rule and maxim which never faileth, that whenever thou shalt see a man filled with an extraordinary desire to procure this operation for himself, if thou wishest to give it unto him, it is necessary to test his sincerity and his intentions, and delay him, according to the instructions which I give unto thee in these three books. And if he seeketh to obtain it by indiscreet methods, and sayeth unto thee that this operation may be true or not true, feigning doubts in order to compel thee to give it unto him, or that he maketh use of other stratagems, thou mayest then conclude that such a man walketh not in the Way of the Lord. If any person wisheth it in a way opposed to that which God employeth to grant it, this would be presumptuous.

2. This is a very usual expression in Qabalistic books to denote a valuable collection of occult or magical information. 
And if any person seeketh to obtain it not for himself, (but for either) a child or a relative, who is not such as he should be who receiveth so great a treasure; he who shall grant it unto him shall be culpable of a great evil, and shall himself lose the grace and wisdom of the Lord, and shall deprive his heirs of the same eternally.

If a man of evil life, whom one shall feel by means of this sacred science will persist in his evil way of life, shall come unto thee to seek this sacred science, it is probable that such a man doth not desire to use it for good and in a right intention, but that having received it, he will use it for evil. I have also in such case myself, however, seen and felt that God, who penetrateth the secret of our hearts, hath put by indirect means obstacles in the way of such an one's success, causing difficulties to arise of one kind and another. So that he who at the first wisheth to possess this science in order to use it against his neighbour, and to commit all sorts of abominations, manifesteth himself as an unworthy person unto him who had resolved to give it unto him.

Shun commerce, and the converse of those who actually in the search for this science shall do and say all things which tend to evil; seeing that such men can become the enchanters of the Devil. Thou shalt know the rest hereafter in the other books. Here I am very prolix upon this point, and I am exaggerating much, because it is certain that once the operation is given in due form, it is an irrevocable act.

But if, on the other hand, after an exact examination and inquisition thou shalt find a person tranquil and sincere, thou must aid him, because God who hath aided thee wisheth also to aid him; unto this end hath he put into thine hands this sacred science.

Thou must make every effort to procure peace amongst those who are at discord, and sworn enemies among themselves; and it is imperative to do good unto everyone, this being the sole and true means of rendering favourable unto thee, God, the angels, and men; and of making the demon thy slave, and obedient in all and through all. And such an one shall pass the rest of his life with a good and right conscience, in honour and peace, with contentment, and useful unto all beings. I entreat those who shall be possessors of a so great treasure to employ it in the proper manner, and never to cast it before swine.

Thou shalt use it for thyself, O Lamech, my son, but of the fruit which thou shalt draw therefrom, thou shalt make partakers those who have need, and the more thou shalt give, the more shall thy means increase. The same shall happen unto him to whom thou shalt give it.

In these regions and countries we are slaves, and justly afflicted for our sins and those of our fathers; however, we ought to serve the Lord in the best manner which shall be possible unto us.

And by such an one shall the treasure be kept secret, and shall be given unto his heirs as far as he can, being ware of disinheriting them in order to give it unto others, and of causing it to fall into the hands of the infidels, or of rendering the wicked possessors thereof.


Mine intention was in no way to be so prolix in this first book; but what will not paternal love do? and the importance of the matter permitteth it.

Let each one who will carry out this glorious enterprise rest in peace and surety, because in these three books is comprised all that can be necessary for this operation. For I have written it with much care, attention, and exactitude; so that there is no phrase which doth not give thee some instruction or advice. However, I pray such an one for the love of God, who reigneth and will reign eternally, to commence no operation unless beforehand for the space of six months he hath read and re-read this book with care and attention, considering all points in detail; for I am more than sure that he will not encounter any doubtful matter which he will not be able to solve himself, but further day by day will he assume unto himself a great and ardent desire, pleasure, and will, to undertake this so glorious operation; the which can be effected by any person of any religion soever, (1) provided, however, that during the six Moons he hath not committed any sin against the Law and commandments of God.

1. It is noticeable how constantly Abraham the Jew insists upon this point. 
Now it remaineth unto me, O Lamech, my son, to show unto thee the marks of my extreme paternal tenderness, by giving thee two principal pieces of advice, by the means of which, and observing all the other particulars which I shall describe, thou (and any person unto whom thou shalt accord this sacred science) mayest indubitably arrive at the perfection of this same wisdom. It is necessary, however, to understand that many have undertaken this operation; and that some have obtained their wish; but that there are others who have not succeeded, and the reason of this hath been because their good angel hath not appeared unto them in the day of the conjuration, their angel being by its nature Amphiteron, (2) because the angelic nature differeth to so great an extent from that of men, that no understanding nor science could express or describe it, as regardeth that great purity wherewith they (3) be invested.

2. This word in Greek would mean "exhausted in every way" or "hemmed in and hindered on every side".

3. I.e., the angels. 

I do not wish that thou, Lamech, my son, and thy successor, and friends, should be deprived of a so great treasure. I in no way wish to abandon thee in so essential a matter. The other point is the Psalm which I will tell thee also; and though thou givest the operation unto another person, although he be a friend, thou shalt in no wise communicate this unto him, because this Psalm is the preservative against all those to whom thou shalt have given the holy magic, should they wish to make use of it against thee; and thou shalt be able thyself to make excellent use of it against them. This was granted by the Lord unto David for his own preservation.

For the first point: the day being come when it is necessary to perform the orations, prayers, and convocations of thy guardian angel, thou shalt have a little child (4) of the age of six, seven, or eight years at the most, who shall be clothed in white, the which child thou shalt have washed from head to foot, and thou shalt place upon his forehead a veil of white silk very fine and transparent, which covereth the forehead even unto the eyes; and upon the veil it is necessary to write beforehand in gold with a brush a certain sign made and marked in the manner and order as it will be shown in the third book; the which doth serve to conciliate and to give grace unto the mortal and human creature to behold the face of the angel. He who operateth shall do the same thing, but upon a veil of black silk, and shall put it on in the same manner as the child. After this thou shalt make the child enter into the oratory and thou shalt cause him to place the fire and the perfume in the censer, then he shall kneel before the altar; and he who performeth the operation shall be at the door and prostrate upon the ground, making his oration, and supplicating his holy angel that he will deign to appear and show himself unto this innocent being, (5) giving unto him another sign if it be necessary in order to see him himself (6) on the two following days.

4. The following instructions recall some of Cagliostro's methods of magical working.

5. I.e., the child.

6. I.e., the operator. 

It is requisite that he who shall operate shall take heed to in no wise regard the altar, but having his face towards the ground let him continue his orations, and as soon as the child shall have seen the angel thou shalt command him to tell thee, and to look upon the altar and take the lamen or plate of silver which thou shalt have placed there for this purpose, in order to bring it unto thee if it be necessary, and whatever other thing the holy angel shall have written thereon, wherewith thou oughtest to work on the two following days. The which being done he will disappear. Which being carefully done, the child will tell thee (for this, it is necessary to have instructed him beforehand), and thou shalt command him to bring unto thee the little plate, (7) by the which when thou hast received it thou shalt know what the angel hath ordered thee to do. And thou shalt cause it to be replaced upon the altar, and thou shalt quit the oratory, thou shalt close it, and thou shalt in no wise enter therein during the first day, and thou shalt be able to send away the child. And he who shall perform the operation shall prepare himself during the rest of the day for the morrow following, to enjoy the admirable presence of the holy guardian angel, in order to obtain the end so earnestly desired, and which shall not fail thee if thou followest the path which he shall show unto thee. And these two signs are the key of the whole operation. Unto the glory of the most holy name of God and of his holy angels!

7. I.e., the lamen of silver, previously alluded to. 


The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage

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