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Ritual Magic Exploration of ritual magic from the Golden Dawn to the myriad modern offshoots

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Old 04-22-10   #1
Lilith
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Default Iamblichus: Theurgia or On the Mysteries of Egypt

Iamblichus, also known as Iamblichus Chalcidensis, (ca. 245 C.E.- ca. 325 C.E., Greek: Ιάμβλιχος) was a neoplatonist philosopher who determined the direction taken by later Neoplatonic philosophy, and influenced Jewish, Christian and Islamic theology. A student of Porphyry, he played an important role in the transmission of Platonic ideas into the thought of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Iamblichus established a Neoplatonic curriculum which was followed for the next two centuries. To the Neoplatonic theory developed by Plotinus, he introduced modifications such as the detailed elaboration of its formal divisions, a more systematic application of Pythagorean number-symbolism, and a mythic interpretation of cosmological hierarchy. He departed from his Neoplatonic predecessors, who regarded matter as corrupt, by declaring matter to be as divine as the rest of the cosmos.
Iamblichus was primarily concerned with the salvation of the soul, and did not believe, like Porphyry, that it could be achieved by elevating the intellect through reason alone. Instead he emphasized the need for religious symbolism and ritual to awaken the human soul to its own divinity. His writings on theurgy were later reinterpreted and some of his concepts were adopted into the ritual of the Roman Catholic Church. His ideas also had a profound influence on the thinkers of the Italian Renaissance and later Christian mystical thinkers.


His influential treatise Theurgia, or On the Mysteries of Egypt deals with a 'higher magic' which operates through the agency of the gods. Agrippa refers frequently to Iamblichus in his Occulta Philosophia. Iamblichus also had a strong influence on other Renaissance occultists like Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and Giordano Bruno. Iamblichus is also explicitly mentioned in the Grimorium Verum.


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Iamblichus: Theurgia or On the Mysteries of Egypt
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Old 04-22-10   #2
HetHert
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Default Re: Iamblichus: Theurgia or On the Mysteries of Egypt

I came to study up on Iamblichus due to Agrippa. Thank you for redirecting my thoughts back to his work. It's been quite a few years since I've read it and I can tell that my thoughts have changed greatly over the course as I'm reading it again with new eyes.

Thanks!
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Old 04-22-10   #3
Lilith
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Default Re: Iamblichus: Theurgia or On the Mysteries of Egypt

You welcome, I think it is important for practitioners to return to the roots from time to time, to get reconnected, and for beginners to know where it all comes from.. And as you say, every time it is through the "new eyes" .
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Old 04-22-10   #4
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Default Re: Iamblichus: Theurgia or On the Mysteries of Egypt

I am particularly attracted to this statement:
"Further still, the races of Superior beings are not in the bodies, but govern them from outside. Hence they do not undergo changes with the bodies. Yet they give from themselves to the bodies every such good as the latter are able to receive, but they themselves receive nothing from the bodies. Hence they cannot have received from them any peculiarities. For if they were as habits of the bodies, or as material forms, or some other body-like quality, it might be possible for them, perhaps, to undergo change together with the different conditions of the bodies. But if they preexist separate from bodies, and unmingled with them, what rational distinction originating from the bodies can be developed in them? In fact, this proposition in regard to these races makes the bodies actually superior to the divine races, since by such a hypothesis they furnish a vehicle for the superior causes and fix in them the peculiarities incident to their essence. Nevertheless, it is plain that if the allotments, distributions and assignments of those that govern are arranged with those that are governed this authority will be given to the more excellent. For it is because those that are placed over others are such that they receive thereby such an allotment, and give this a specific character; but the essence itself does not become assimilated to the nature of the corporeal receptacle."

If this is so, and it seems to be so, it explains the nature of that which we are likely to call "Holy Guardian Angel".

And that gives me much food, for thought, and for transmutation.
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