Albert Pike referred to “high Magic” as a “Sacredotal Art” or the “Royal Art” when he referenced the priesthoods and royalty of ancient “Egypt, Greece and Rome.” Moreover, “every philosophy” has been hostile to this type of worship, only because this mystery was deemed too energetic for the multitudes to handle such “Divine Power” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1872, p. 98).
Furthermore, Magic was an instrumental part of an initiation; that “all true initiates” had to recognize the “usefulness of toil and sorrow.” Like Dante’s Divine Comedy, which was “preserved for us” as a “monument” to the “Magical” demonstration “of the Great Arcanum.” Pike wrote, “He who passes behind the veil that hides this mystery, understands that it is in its very nature inexplicable, and that it is death to those who win it by surprise, as well as to him who reveals it.” Magic is a “secret,” it is the “royalty of the sages” and the “crown of the initiate.” Understanding the Magical grand arcanum “makes him master of gold and the light;” and he who “possesses the philosophical stone” is an adept who understands the work of nature and the “harmonies of heaven,” which grants “eternal life” (p. 101).
The Christian Magical Star, which represented Divinity, came about by way of the “Kabalah,” that originated from “Egyptian symbols.” This original idea led to the belief that these early Christians worshiped an ass, only because of its relationship to the “emblem of Anubis,” whose name was changed to “Nibbas,” which had the “head of an ass.” It is for this reason, only because misunderstandings always present themselves to the profane,
‘the Truth close at hand, is forced to disguise it, to induce the multitudes to accept it. Fictions are necessary to the people, and the Truth becomes deadly to those who are not strong enough to contemplate it in all its brilliance. If the sacerdotal laws (High Magic/see above) allowed the reservation of judgments and the allegory of words, I would accept the proposed dignity on condition that I might be a philosopher at home, and abroad a narrator of apologues and parables. In fact, what can there be in common between the vile multitude and sublime wisdom? The truth must be kept secret, and the masses need a teaching proportioned to their imperfect reason (p. 103).’
To further reference the concept of the star, we see that the “Blazing Star of five points” is actually an “allusion” of Divine Providence; yet this “fanciful” star is important because it was what the “Magi” (an ancient Magician) used to guide themselves (p. 14).
Moreover, “the first Druids were the true children of the Magi, and their initiation,” like so many other cultures, “came from Egypt and Chaldea,” and that of the “Kabalah” (p. 104). Therefore, these Magi were nothing more than a priest or a magician; Magi was an “older word for a practitioner of Magic, to include astronomy/astrology, alchemy and other forms of esoteric knowledge.” It was also Hermes, the “Master of Learning,” who gave credence to the “sacred and potent sign or character of the Magi” (p. 15).
Indeed, man is a natural seeker of the “wonders of nature,” like the Magic of “spring time,” when life is born and reborn again (p. 244). Many ancient peoples, including the Babylonian Kings, held the Magi in high esteem; which can been seen through the life of “Danayal,” who was the “Chief of the College of the Magi at Babylon” (p. 255). In fact, history has clearly recorded “the Magi of Babylon” as “expounders of figurative writings, interpreters of nature, and of dreams, astronomers and divines” (p. 256).
Moreover, “the sciences taught by Hermes” were secrets that were styled upon the “Sacerdotal Art,” which included “alchemy, astrology, Magisim (magic)” and “the science of spirits.” These “secret sciences” were “regarded sacred,” and were “concealed in the most secret places of the temple” (p. 365).
Additionally, the “Druids were originally Buddhists,” and the “word Druidh, like the word Magi, signifies wise or learned men.” Hence, the “Druidical ceremonies undoubtedly came from India,” who were all “philosophers, Magistrates (Magi-strate) and divines.” As such, “there was a surprising uniformity in the Temples, Priests, doctrines, and worship of the Persian Magi and British Druids” (p. 367). Likewise, the “Kings of Egypt often exercised the functions of the priesthood; and were initiated into the sacred science as soon as they attained the throne.” As well, “at Athens the first Magistrate (Magi-strate)” managed and arranged the mysteries. This union between the “Priesthood and Royalty” clearly sought to align religion and politics (p. 380).
Moreover, “Magic illusion” and “spectacles” were propagated by “poets and mystagogues” to enhance the “doctrines of the soul’s immortality” and “certain punishments of sin and vice” (p. 383). Likewise, “mystic words and Magical representations” were pressed upon an initiate to strongly influence the “doctrine of a future life;” but, such Magical doctrines were only truly “known to the adepts alone” (p. 385).
The art of Magic has two avenues, White and Black, or Good and Evil; and this belief is further reinforced when Pike wrote about those who performed the Magic arts for “trickery” or “trade,” like “Charlatans,” or “impostors” and those “pretending to be possessed by evil spirits, were excluded from the sanctuaries” (p. 390).
Thus, it is clear that the “Mysteries inculcated” the great moral truths, which were often “veiled with a fable of huge proportions.” These “spectacles” were often “exhibited in the sanctuaries,” along side art and the use of “natural Magic;” often used to make an initiates initiation all the more “imposing.” They used “fearful” ideas and “horrors” to guide the student to a “happier state” (p. 396).
One does not normally associate Magic with the “transmigration of souls,” but that is exactly what Pike implied, when he associated both the “Persians” and the “Magi” with such doctrine (p. 399). He also maintained the idea that a “dogma of providence” is administered by “means of Intermediary Powers,” which connected man with Divinity through the mysteries of the “Magi” (p. 416). Likewise, ancient initiations into the mysteries were conducted with “frightful scenes, alternations of fear and joy, of light and darkness; by glittering lightning and the crash of thunder,” and even “Magical illusions” (p. 433). As well, the “Magi of Persia,” like that of the “astronomers of Egypt,” followed the “Seven Stars” circling the “North Pole,” also known as “Ursa Major, or the Great Bear” (p. 456). The Magi also “worshiped fire, above all other elements and powers of nature” (p. 459).
Furthermore, “the advent of Christ” was “announced by a star from the East, replacing the common belief in the “power of Magic” (p. 511). But this advent did not immediately stop this doctrinal belief.
Yet, like many ancients, the Magi were known to have met in caves, who “illuminated” caverns to enhance “celestial” realities and the rising of “souls” (p. 518). Similarly, the ancients used noise and especially music to further demonstrate the powers of the heavens, like the “Magic melody of the instrument of Paganini” (p. 528).
The integration of the mysteries was seen by “Manes” the “founder of the Sect of the Manicheans,” and “distinguished among the Persian Magi,” who “profited by the doctrines” of the Gnostic’s, “Zoroasterism” and even “Christianity” (p. 565). Additionally, the “Magian religion” held an annual “Feast” to honor “Mithras,” the “Sun-God of the Persians (p. 587). Clearly, the Magi worshiped Mithras, who was considered “not only light, but intelligence,” and was exemplified through its “liturgies” or ritual and worship; like their annual “Passover,” a “symbolical atonement or pledge of moral and physical regeneration” (p. 613). As well, the influences of the Magi migrated as far as the “British Druid” (p. 617); who also used its Magical powers for “public service” (p. 618).
You see, “Magic is not a vain and chimerical act;” no, many sages “among the Egyptians, the Magi in Persia,” and even “the Brahmins in India” utilized it as part of their overall spiritual experience (p. 620). In fact, the Magi mysteries influenced a great many civilizations, including “the Greeks, Egyptians, Chaldeans, Persians, and Assyrians,” who they themselves received them originally from the “orientals” (p. 661 & 662). Within Magi doctrine, “Ormuzd” or God, in human form, was “Light” and the “soul of truth.” On the other hand, the “sacred egg of the Magi” encased “twenty-four good and twenty-four evil Deities,” which are representative of the “forty-eight constellations of the ancient sphere” that are “equally divided between the realms of Light and Darkness” (p. 663).
Indeed, “occult philosophy” has been the nurse “of all religions,” and the “secret lever of all the intellectual forces.” At one time, “it was exclusively reserved for the education of Priests, like that of the “Magi” (p. 729 & 730). Yet, as time progressed, the mysteries changed hands; like today, “Masonry is identical with the Ancient Mysteries… the “sacerdotal power,” or priestly instructions and guidelines, of the Magi remain through its moral and philosophical teachings (p. 624 & 625).
We also see Pike writing about the Eastern philosophy of a “Magical transformation… in the work of a Perfect Bring” (p. 686). At the same token, the number seven is a “sacred number,” only because “it is composed of 3 and 4,” and it “represents the Magical power in its full force” (p. 727). As well, the “Cherab, or symbolic bull,” which Moses placed at the “gate of the Edenic world, holding a “blazing sword” is essentially a “Sphinx,” with the “Body of a bull and a human head.” This “old Assyrian Sphinx” embodied “combat and victory of Mithras,” and is used to “keep watch at the door of initiation, to repulse the profane. It also represents the grand Magical Mystery” (p. 728). This was the “Magic” of “Zoroaster,” “Manes,” “Orpheus” and “Apollonius Thyaneus” (p. 730).
Yet, history is clear, “at the bottom of Magic” is “science,” like the “bottom of Christianity” has “love.” But “Christianity should not have hated Magic,” because it feared what it could not control; for out of this fear created the “jargon of alchemy” to deceive the “vulgar herd” of the living language of the “true disciples of Hermes” (p. 730). Correspondingly, the Christian world has “two works which the infallible church does not pretend to understand, and never attempts to explain;” the “prophecy of Ezekiel and the Apocalypse. They are “two cabalistic clavicules,” which were reserved for the “Magian Kings” in heaven; “closed with Seven Seals for all faithful believers” who had been initiated into the “occult sciences.” As such, for the Christian world, “the scientific and Magical clavicules of Solomon are lost,” but to the open minded, “nothing that is written is lost. Only those things which men cease to understand no longer exist for them, at least as Word; then they enter into the domain of enigmas and mystery” (p. 731).
How far has the mysterious founding of the Christian Church fallen, which once saluted the “three Magi” as its own; note: the three wise men that visited Jesus upon birth were Magi (Magicians). In fact, “in the school of Alexandria, Magic and Christianity” almost took “each other by the hand under the auspices of Ammonius Saccoa and Plato,” thereby demonstrating their once closeness (p. 731). All the same, Christianity was led astray by “substituting faith for science,” and waging a “war of extermination” against Magism. History recorded this turning point through the murder of “Hypathia” of Alexandria;” his adversaries “sought for the secret of the Great Work, or the Philosophal Stone.” This “universal medicine” was part of the “Grand Magical Secret” (p. 732 & 733). No doubt, countless powerful and intelligent men have, and still do, sought the “true Philosopher’s Stone; Magical elixir.” The destruction of Magism was only one such effort (p. 737).
Clearly, Pike held that within the “primitive tradition” of the “Kabalah” rested the “single dogma of Magism” or the “universal law” of the “opposition of two forces;” from the “physical to the metaphysical equilibrium” would result in “reason and the self-rule of Supreme Will” in man (p. 769). Like Adam, who is the “human Tetragram” and is exemplified within the “transcendent Kabalistic and Magic word” (p. 771). Therefore, “like all the mysteries,” Magism held the “Secrets of the Great Work.” The “Magical agent” of the “Great Work,” which the Ancient Hermetic Philosophers disguised under the name of Prima Materia” that formed the “modifiable Substance Alchemists formulated into the “universal medicine” (p. 733). Thus, the “Hermetic Art is, therefore, at the same time a religion, a philosophy, and a natural science… it is that of the Ancient Magi and the initiates of all ages;” it holds the “universal Magical power” that so many have sought throughout the ages (p. 774).
Pike so intelligently stated, “The Great Work of Hermes is, therefore, an operation essentially Magical, and the highest of all, for it supposes the Absolute in Science and in Will. There is light in gold, gold in light, and light in all things” (p. 775). It is “Azoth, the universal magnetic force, the grand Magical agent, the astral light, the light of life,” fertilized by “mental force, the intelligent energy… on account of its affinities with the Divine Fire” (p. 778). In truth, “Paracelsus, the great Reformer in medicine, discovered magnetism… this initiation into the Magic of the ancients, who understood the grand Magical agent better than we do, and did not regard the Astral Light, Azoth, the universal magnetism of the Sages… emanating only from certain special beings” (p. 791).
Essentially, as Pike clearly stated,
“The Occult Science of the Ancient Magi was concealed under the shadows of the Ancient Mysteries; it was imperfectly revealed or rather disfigured by the Gnostics; it is guessed at under the obscurities that cover the pretended crimes of the Templars; and it is found enveloped in enigmas that seem impenetrable, in the Rites of the Highest Masonry. Magism was the Science of Abraham and Orpheus, of Confucius and Zoroaster. It was the dogmas of this Science that were engraven on the tables of stone by Hanoch and Trismegistus (p. 839).
“Magic is that which it is; it is by itself, like the mathematics; for it is the exact and absolute science of Nature and its laws. Magic is the science of the Ancient Magi: and the Christian religion, which has imposed silence on the lying oracles, and put an end to the prestiges of the false Gods, itself reveres those Magi who came from the East, guided by a Star, to adore the Saviour of the world in His cradle (p. 841).
Indeed, truth will one day come back into this world, and when it does, the “Star of Knowledge” will once again advise mankind, like it once did for the Magi, that “by means of Intelligence of the Hierarchy and the practice of obedience, that one obtains” through “initiation,” we will again “cheerfully obey” (p. 843).
So Mote It Be!
Blue Lodge Master Mason – Scottish Rite Mason – York Rite Mason – Knight Mason – Allied Mason – York Rite College – Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest – Red Cross of Constantine – Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis