In this episode, we turn back the clock 170 years, and revisit what is perhaps THE great foundational text of magick of the 19th and 20th century - Transcendental Magick, by the French magus Éliphas Lévi.
Éliphas Lévi Zahed, born Alphonse Louis Constant (8 February 1810 – 31 May 1875), was a French esotericist, poet, and author of more than 20 books on magic, Kabbalah, alchemical studies, and occultism. He pursued an ecclesiastical career in the Catholic Church until, after great personal struggle, at the age of 26, he abandoned the Roman Catholic priesthood. At the age of 40, he began professing knowledge of the occult, and becoming a reputed ceremonial magician.
The pen name "Éliphas Lévi", was a transliteration of his given names "Alphonse Louis" into the Hebrew. Levi gained renown as an original thinker and writer. His works attracted the attention of the heterogeneous ambiences of the era in Paris and London; from esotericists to artists of romantic or symbolist inspiration. He also expressed his independence by leaving the Masonic lodge of the "Great Orient", believing that it was a form of modern secularization, where knowledge of the original meanings of symbols and rituals was lost. "I ceased being a freemason, at once, because the Freemasons, excommunicated by the Pope, did not believe in tolerating Catholicism."
Many authors influenced Levi's political, occultic and literary development, such as the French monarchist Joseph de Maistre, whom he quotes in many parts of his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, Paracelsus, Robert Fludd, Swedenborg, Fabre d'Olivet, the Rosicrucians, Plato, Raymond Lull, and other esoterics.
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