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The Magician's Dictionary


    Preface    A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I     J     K     L

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Another name for Set.


The Chaldean version of Set, according to Grant, and the divine seed of manifestation (the divine spermatozoon or serpent). As Nuit, according to Crowley, is "infinite space," so Hadit is the infinitely small or atomic center. By extension, Hadit is the equivalent of Lucifer, who is his own Holy Guardian Angel and the "seed" of our hell-world. Hadit can also be the manifestation of Nuit, as the child, Horus, is the manifestation of the Mother. The Isis-Horus connection to Xtian madonna and child, after all, is well established.

Finally, Hadit can stand for the entire Aeon that humanity has just endured: The Age of Pisces, Christ, Buddha, Mohammed and Osiris.


The ancient narrative, prophetic tradition and written code of Islam.


Crowley's name in Somerset Maugham's roman ŗ clef, The Magician.


(Hť, or "window.") Another name for Yog-Sothoth, the window to the other universe.


Usually translated as "Praise the Lord;" actually "Praise ye Jehovah."


Contemporary America has recently begun to reverse its saccharine tendency to allow this holiday (see SAMUIN) to degenerate into a nursery excursion for the amusement of two-year-olds. But it still has far to go if it is to answer its deepest thanaterotic bloodcall. For this is the night when the King of Death causes evil souls to assume animal shapes and to offer horror as the antidote to fear. We would drink the cup of henbane, dine with vampyre and hop with horned toad. We would go to any length to avoid Middle America's vapid sop to carnivals past. We can sympathize with Poe's need to inform us of the hapless M. Valdemaar who was hypnotized into remaining alive, even though his body had already begun to rot. We can understand Burroughs's compulsion to have us shudder deliciously over his Cities of the Red Night and its corrupt fornications bred of death and disease. If these be but scarecrows, why does real blood spurt from their severed limbs? We see here (closed eyelids affording no obstruction of the inner eye's vision) the fulfillment of all necrotic fantasy as we arrive at the other extreme of this dark spectrum, in Sacheverell Sitwell's Journey to the Ends of Time the 3-faced babe, the thing with no body but arms and legs growing out of the head like a spider, the bewitching infans deformis bicorporeus monocephalus et janiceps and all the other hideous postnatalities. So much for children's holidays.


The 12th Arcanum, lettered Mem. This is the sacrificed God (Odin, Christ, etc.). We should observe that the figure is upside-down: divine consciousness brought to earth. In other words the sacrifice is the transformation of hell. Every magician is a Hanged Man. the purpose of the Will is to surrender it to the service of higher energy. The letter Mem refers to the "water" in which self is dissolved. Everything is composed of twelve basic components, every act of twelve steps, every wheel of 12 spokes. Therefore, the Hanged Man is the crown of the earth experience. Thirteen is the harvest of the completed twelve, the cosmic acceptance of the sacrifice. Hereafter, the soul moves on the second half of the Tarot's wheel. In Crowley's terms, this is the "Son Slain," one of the aspects of Life.


White goose or swan, vehicle of the Asvins. Corresponds in the West to the pelican of alchemy.


Ancient Persian divinity choosing to manifest as a sacred (psychedelic?) plant (similar to, if not the same as) the Hindu soma. Mixed with milk and water it conferred immortality.


Once a conscious effort has successfully warded off an impending disease, the disease will immediately seek re-entry via the pathways of the unconscious, through some new area of neglect or even through the very point of weakness whose sentry has just been discharged as "no longer necessary." (Also see PREMISE.)


The heart was the center of instinct and the precious kernel of immortality and it was this which was weighed in the balance against the feather of truth, known as Maat. For the Ancient Egyptians the purpose of life was the perception of Truth which could only be gained by the cultivation of discernment and the guiding of the instincts. This was the whole meaning of initiation. Everything served that end. So the heart of enlightenment was the cultivation of discernment. To fail to develop this power of perception was the greatest sin and carried the automatic penalty of that heart's immediate and total annihilation. (Adapted from R. G. Torrens's The Golden Dawn, The Inner Teachings.


The positive spiral. The condition of the world as seen through the lens of mysticism or magic mushroom. All infinite connections bespeak a shimmering reflection of the holomovement in the individual points of light. The celestial nature of the lesser worlds is clearly seen to sparkle all the way through to their deepest, richest interiors.


The goddess of the new moon or darkness (as opposed to Diana, goddess of light of the full moon).


(The sphere of the Demiurge, lower than the Ogdoad.) Seven divides perfectly into the elemental quaternity from the 28 days of the lunar month. Set of seven, as the seven planets, the seven metals, Shakespeare's seven ages of man. In Mithraism: the 7 ceremonial steps. The Ziggurat of seven-metalled planes. Stairway of Alchemy: Quicksilver, Copper, Iron, Tin, Lead, Silver, Gold -- corresponding to the successive triads of the Tarot. The Gnostics and others claimed that the elohim were the seven gods of Creation.


The names of the signs and planets (with planetary angels) are as follows:

Sign Planet and Planetary Angel
Aries Taleh Sun Shemesh -- MICHAEL
Taurus Shur Moon Levanah -- GABRIEL
Gemini Thomim Mercury Kokab -- RAPHAEL
Cancer Sartan Venus Nogah -- HANAEL
Leo Ariah Mars Madim -- ZAMAEL
Virgo B'thulah Jupiter Tzedek -- SACHIEL
Libra Moznaim Saturn Shabbathai -- CASSIEL
Scorpio Arqrav
Sagitarrius Qashat
Capricorn G'di
Aquarius D'li
Pisces Dagim


The Egyptian word for "Magic." Hekau also are the sacred words of banishment used by the sun god (or the dead person) in his passage through the 12 dungeons of the Underworld. (From the Am tuat, or "Book of the Gates," according to Drury). The word probably derives from h-, "candle" (or wick), an artificial light for the ka, "soul or spirit."


The negative vortex. The state of the world as it awaits the transmogrifying ourgos of the magician. In the infernal state, the world contains an infinite number of physical, mental and spiritual torments that usually pass unnoticed by the damned who have grown accustomed to them. Only when some new and particularly hideous catastrophe strikes do the victims remember where they are and where they have been all along.

Hell is as much an illusion as earth. There is a possibly apocryphal anecdote related by Mrs. Melitta Rubia, a latterday disciple of HPB, in which she dreams that she has been transported to a lovely, warm garden of dazzling beauty in which all of her wants are provided. Here she dwells, day after halcyon day, in sweet idleness and luxury. One evening, as she descends to the crystal clear lake to drink the divine nectar that crowns her perfect existence, she suddenly discovers that she has been living a hideous delusion. The truth is that she is really a loathesome parasite whose lovely garden is simply her host's skin and the crystal lake her host's bloodstream.


According to Pliny, an increaser of intelligence, but latterly used in treatment of the mentally ill. The poisonous root of this strange weed is also an extreme purgative, heart stimulant and insecticide. It has various old world and new world names: Christmas rose, stinking hellebore, American false hellebore, Indian Poke and Itch Weed.


There have been many. Cerberus and Orthos, the guardians of the Gates of Hell are notorious enough, but there was also Garn, the Moon dog; the hellhound of Arwan; Falinis, the hound of Lush; the Hound of the Baskervilles; the whelp of King Ioruaidhe (who turned water into wine) -- and numerous others, from Egypt's most exalted Psychopomp of the Dead, the Dog-God, Anubis, to Walt Disney's gentle pup, Pluto, who was indeed named (tongue well in cheek) after the self-same God of the Underworld.

Dogs are quite naturally associated with death and the lower reaches. It is fitting that it should be they, after death, who conduct us who led them in life. Not only do our canine friends watch over us by night, guarding against every intruder and nocturnal peril that menaces the sleeping household, but they are quite at home in underground caves and even expert at digging. They are unperturbed by corpses or corruption. And, although their vocabularies of human words are exasperatingly limited, they are, as every dog owner knows, fluent in the silent, non-linguistic communication of ESP.

For the above and many other reasons, demons were once believed to take the form of dogs, especially black dogs. The Devil himself, in fact, has a black dog as his companion. White dogs are more likely the companions of white magic.


The fifteenth sentinel of the Qliphotic Tree. She is the mother or wet-nurse. Her magickal gift is astrology. Grant says she was raped by a variant of the Holy Ghost and, whilst fleeing from him, fell over backwards, whereupon her breasts became the two streams of Aquarius. Corresponds to the Empress.


There are those who believe that suicide is never an option and death "advice" is strictly black magic. But this world is not the Garden of Eden. The Cathari were right to teach that reproduction is a crime on this plane of reality. The Buddha was right to offer Nirvana as an escape from the wheel of incessant life and rebirth. The only reason for anyone to remain in Hell (which is what our world is) is if he is capable of transforming it -- however slightly, however temporarily. Those who merely suffer or who only make others suffer need not be encouraged to remain.

At any rate, the American Hemlock Society publishes a book entitled Let Me Die Before I Wake containing accounts of those who chose suicide when they had a fatal disease. The British Hemlock Society's publication, we've been told, is quite explicit, but we understand that if we peruse the watered-down American version carefully enough, we can extrapolate medications and dosages from it. Datura, which is easily obtainable, is apparently the poison of choice. The problem with most poisons is proper dosage. Too much may be rejected before it does its job and too little can cause such permanent and incapacitating brain or liver damage that further opportunities for experimentation may lie beyond the subject's capacity. There is said to be an acupuncture point that can cause instant death, but its secret is most fiercely guarded.


Monolatry of a tribal God (Allah, Jehovah, Christ).


Since he connects all the others and serves as a link between human and divine reality, he is the greatest of the Gods. His counterpart occurs in all mythologies (Odin, Mercury, Thoth). Hermes is the God of language, hence the inspiration of all writers (also frequently the pen-name of ancient writers who felt they were merely the God's amanuensis). It was Thoth-Hermes whom the scribes of Egypt always honored with a libation of ink before beginning their day's work.


(Probably Apollonius of Tyana.) His major teaching: "As above, so below." (Or as we can add, "As within, without.")


(From Hermes Trismegistus.) The Hermetic sciences are Astrology, Magic, Qabalah and (ultimately) Egyptology. Hermetic philosophy is to be distinguished from Scholastic philosophy ("scholastic" meaning that which was taught in schools) derived from Aristotle, who believed all questions could be resolved either by reason or by debate stemming from a logic based on never-to-be-questioned premises (axioms). Science as we know it today is neither scholastic nor hermetic, but is founded strictly on empirical evidence. Hermetic science is based on universal symbols present within the collective unconscious and therefore available to inner revelation, rather than to ordinary objective experience. Hermes is, like the metal mercury, the amalgamation and contradiction of scattered opposites, the divine marriage (or hieros gamos) of polarities. As the God of messengers, he is a fitting symbol also of the Western version of Eastern Taoism and Buddhism.


The 9th Arcanum, lettered yod. As the Yod (or "I") of IHVH it is the singularity of all things. It's evident that there is only one being at the center and no other identity is real. The dark-cloaked figure who, knowing that self outside the center is but illusion, shuns outer reality in order to concentrate on the center of the cosmos within.

The Hermit (zodiacal sign of the Virgin) was to Crowley, " the hidden god" that is present in every man, the dormant genius it was his hope eventually to release. The Hermit of the Tarot is not just an ordinary wanderer nor does he represent even a Holy Man, living in the desert, eating locusts and wild honey. A true hermit has no need to set himself apart, even in a crowd there is only himself.

Each of us is a hermit!

Or rather, each of us is the One Hermit, who is God, utterly without company in the entire reaches of time and space. For our individual differences are but illusion and the being who looks out of the million-windowed room is the One Mind that inhabits all things. Teachers draw our attention to the endless line of identical cowled monks marching single file up the icy mountains of consciousness and then down into the valleys of death.


Heru, or Hru, is the "Great Angel of the Tarot" and means Horus. (Harpocrates = Child of Horus).


An uncommon belief amongst "homs" (homosexuals), that the worst villians of history have been heterosexual and have, through their wicked influence, imposed a heterosexual tyranny on the world.


In the Mysteries, this refers to the "finding" of the lost body of Osiris. "Heuristic" now means "proceeding by hunches, in the face of many possibilities or simply by general rules of thumb..."


Apart from its association with the Star of David, the 6 points remind us of the 3 dichotomies: Will and Passivity; Rejection and Choice; Light and Dark.


The demon of self-hatred (most human-looking).


"Army of Allah." It should be noted that though this translates as "The party of Allah," the Hezb- is also a chapter of the Koran, so it is, thus, a "chapter" of Allah. This would be the equivalent of our calling the U.S. Army "The Army of God."


(From Greek: "sacred carvings.") To the ancients all writing was magical or sacred, insofar as it could relate or influence events happening at distances of time (past, present, future) and space (heaven or earth). But to the Egyptians, particularly, their language was sacred already and Thoth-given. Pharaoh himself was "The Great Word." Indeed it is from the Egyptians that the Greek Logos ("word") came to have its occult meaning. The Egyptian word for "word," medu, also meant a "sceptre," "magic wand" or "sacred staff." Medu-Neter = "hieroglyph."


The 5th Enigma, lettered vav. The power of the priest and established religion. We should not discredit established religion entirely. Without tradition, distorted and perverted though it may be after the passage of millenia, there would be no vehicle of transmission for the most ancient wisdom. Tradition is essential if we are not continuously to repeat the same mistakes. By this yardstick we can commend the Vatican and the Orthodox Rabbinical libraries, but cannot criticize Islam enough for its arrogant destruction of historical material.

But popes and priests are only lowly mediators, after all, go-betweens representing human greed as often as divine inspiration. It is not their job to transform the world, but merely to maintain the status quo. Imagination is not their strong suit. Crowley presents the papal figureas pointing downwards rather than upwards, to show that the pope is a curse, rather than a blessing to mankind.


The 2nd Arcanum, lettered gimel. She stands above the Abyss on the Tree of Life, between Kether and Tiphareth, but her path crosses Dašth, as does none other; thus she herself represents the Abyss. Since Dašth is a trackless desert, it is fitting that she be associated with Gimel, the "camel." Two is the unholy number of the split between heaven and earth. The High Priestess has been equated with the lunar goddess, but principally suggests Isis, the Goddess of the Occult. We must never forget, however, that Isis is a fluid Goddess who changes identity, analogically, with many other divinities. Such fluid changeability is a basic characteristic of the Moon.


A person who narrows his skepticism to a single person or object and decides that that person or object is too dangerous for the public. Nothing, apparently, can exist without its opposite number. John A. Keel, in his Disneyland of the Gods, writes at length of a man named Hendershot who, in 1928, produced a small machine that ran on "the earth's magnetic field." He demonstrated that it worked without wires, fuel or batteries and he managed to win substantial support for the device, until a certain Dr. Frederik Hochstetter, from his own home town, began to follow him about, hound and harass him. Finally he succeeded in forcing Hendershot and his machine to disappear forever underground. Keel makes the interesting point that whenever anyone attempts to make an impact on the world, to promote a new idea or demonstrate some unusual achievement, whetehr it be in science, metaphysics, culinary art or stamp collecting, there inevitable arises along with the champion a personal, sinister shadow-enemy or crank in the form of a Hochstetter who will make it his business to discredit him at every opportunity. The same uniqueness that produces the innovator also produces his mirror-imaged, tailor-made destroyer.


The 8th qabalistic power chakra on the Tree of Life. It is intelligence and reason, abode of Mercury. It means "splendor," that is, the bedazzlement of the mind.


"The part contains the all." Man, for instance, is a hologram of the earth. What we do to the earth we do to ourselves. A cancer cell is a hologram of the body. In a short time it can transfer its qualities to all the normal cells of the body, thus making them cancerous as well.


Boehm's word for things being enfolded in themselves: all consciousness is "implied" by any mind, all time in one nanosecond, all matter in any atom, &c. The universe and mind are the same substance. The holomovement embraces insight, implicate and explicate orders of being plus potentiality. The parts reach out to the whole and thereby create events. At the same time, for instance, the whole mind is available to any individual, but only explicitly. The brain is the medium for insights from the implicate order, as a radio is a medium for a speech or a song. Mind requires a brain for its perception of physical existence, but physical existence is only one manifestation of mind.


When magi speak of "the knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel," they refer to that particular manifestation of spirit which is their own experience. The principle is the same, whether it is the great Aumakua of the Hawaiian Hunas or the visitation of the Archangel Gabriel for someone in our culture. The purpose of M/magic(k) is not worship, but transformation. And the purpose in evoking the Holy Guardian Angel is to obtain information that is essential to the work of transformation. (See AUGOEIDES.)


Another of Philip K. Dick's words. It is the template of the universal healed man, a god in his own right. (See PLASMATE.)


A "little man" (less than a foot high) artificially created. The magician's sperm, along with other materials such as bones and fur, is placed in a vessel and buried in a heap of mare dung for forty days. At the end of this period the vessel is removed, opened and fed more blood. It is then replaced for an additional 40 days, with the heat from the decomposing dung providing the heat to begin spontaneous generation. This should produce an embryo. In Crowley's version of the Hermit, the wheat germ is a symbol of the homunculus seed. The medieval homunculus obsession finds its counterpart in modern man's attempt to create artificial intelligence and robots.

Throughout history, moreover, there has been a constant search for the "perfect image". This led to all the schools of painting and sculpture. With the invention of photography in the 19th Century, the quest took a new turn and the image became more and more subjective with cubism, futurism, abstract art, etc. With the cinema the image not only assumed exactness but also acquired motion and sound. The image, now perfected at last, turned to cartoons and animated film in which the perfected image could not be extended into the fantastic and bizarre. Attempts to create "realistic" cartoons and animations is a mistake because that interferes with the creative and experimental character of the image.

We should recognize that virtual reality has, in the last few years, produced homunculus-like images of more certain creation. Cloning plus genetic re-scripting could in actuality create a homunculus of exactly the sort that medieval alchemy struggled to produce.


(The Blind Horus.) Represents ordinary consciousness.


The future. So designated because "vertical" time is thought of as traversing simultaneous tiers of eternity hinging on all dimensions. The future lies on the horizontal plane, because it extends circularly in infinite directions from the center of the Herenow. The past is not located in horizontal time, since it is no longer potential, but completed. The historical past, however, extends in all directions also, so that in one dimension Lincoln was never shot and in another Washington was never born, etc. (See TIME.)


As god of the rising sun, he is the Egyptian version of the Greek god, Apollo (Ra is the noon-day sun). His eye, lost in avenging Seth's murder of his brother, Osiris, is the symbol of his sacrifice (the sun is endlessly self-sacrificing). As Seth imprisons us, Horus liberates us.


The American stage illusionist (1874 - 1926). It is commonly believed that Houdini's pact with his wife, that, if possible, he would manage to communicate with her after his death, was never fulfilled. Her failure to receive Houdini's message is frequently offered as proof that all spritualism is bunk. According to Dr. Clifford Wilson, The Alien Agenda (Signet, 1988), one Rev. Arthur Ford was the medium of a spirit called "Fletcher", who did convey a message to Mrs. Houdini after all. She acknowledged it as being in a code known only to her and to her husband.


(Domarum Mercurii.) A series of sigils presented by Crowley, distinguished from the "Prisons of the Qlipoth." Since for Crowley the Atus of Tahuti are the "Houses of Thoth," which make up the ordinary deck of Tarot, and the Carcerum Qlipoth are the "dark tarot" -- then the Houses of Mercury might suggest a mysterious third deck of the Tarot (a higher level, perhaps?). However, it's necessary to remember that Thoth is simply the Mercury of Egypt, therefore the domarum mercurii are nothing more than the Latin equivalent of the "Houses of Thoth." The sigils so depicted, therefore, comprise an additional and very helpful key to the Tarot, which as far as I can tell, has been ignored.

For an account of the Domarum Mercurii, see AC's Liber CCXXXI (Gems from the Equinox), but the numbers 0, infinity, 3, 10 and 8 are not explained. (See V.V.V.V.V..) Apparently the study and/or invocation of the Qlipoth is illuminating in the Lower Grades -- but then ultimately abandoned. The glyphs of light, however, can be further understood only by their shadows, hence the carcerum. (See TUNNELS OF SET.)


Deity personifying authoritarian utterances (therefore, sometimes signifying the Sphinx). In the Egyptian religion, Hu refers specifically to the god Thoth in his aspect as the "Tongue of Ptah and Ra."


The old God of Mecca.


Founder of Scientology. Perhaps his most useful and important teaching was that we can extinguish things by focusing our attention upon them. That derives from the psychological fact that when we make things enter ourselves they become unreal, because things are our world, not the world.


Odin's ravens ("Thought and Memory") which fly out over the world every day and report to him the news every evening:

"I fear for Thought, that he come not back,
But I fear yet more for Memory."

They are the sides of the mind of the magician as it is propelled into "astral" experience. (See ODIN.)


Nothing horrifies civilized society more than the notion of human sacrifice. Only the most ignorant and illiterate cults practice the secret ritual killing of men or animals in the name of primitive gods. No initiate of any degree of enlightenment could possible condone such a thing, for it violates the entire concept of sacrifice, which can only be self-administered and voluntary.

Even self-sacrifice must serve a legitimate, clear purpose. It must somehow better the world. In practice, sacrifice is more likely to involve the humble dedication of one's life in some act of noble heroism. The Aztecs and their bloody dawn rites, the children thrown to Moloch and the cannibals of the Philippines are no more. We no longer, like the Druids, burn victims in wicker baskets, nor like the Romans, condemn criminals to the gladiatorial arena. Gone are the medieval witch burnings and dunking stools. We congratulate ourselves that we have sublimated our violence with football, but the 20th Century has known both genocide and political terrorism.

Meanwhile, you and I believe sanctimoniously that our collective bloodlust and sadism have been set aside. We think our shadow is no longer there. But there are still the gas chamber and the electric chair -- there is even, for that matter, the constant toll of automobile and airplane. We need look only to the millions of lives sacrificed daily to slave labor, to unjust penal institutions, to miserable, cruel communities and wretched families from which they can never escape. We need only think of how we persecute whole segments of our society so devilishly that we drive them to suicide or drug addiction. We allow the medical machine to decide who is to live and who is to die. And aren't we still prepared to send adolescent boys to war, if it comes to that? Don't we continue to poison one another with lethal pesticides and radioactivity? Don't we eagerly turn to television's murders for entertainment, night after grisly night?


A Babylonian demon, a son of Pazuzu. A monster set to guard the forests of cedars. His beard was composed of human entrails. His breath had the odor of death and excrement, and he was the future corruption of all living things. In becoming a demon he was decapitated by Gilgamesh and Enkidu.


Materialism, the worship of which is called "Hyleticism".


Parapsychism, the universe is alive:

  1. Each object is independently alive;
  2. Everything is one unitary entity, i.e., the entire universe is alive with one mind.

In short: "There is no God but Matter" = Hylotheism; "All matter is alive" = Hylozoism; "All matter is sentient" = Hylopathism.


J. G. Bennett's term from The Dramatic Universe. Defined as "will-time" or the "region in which the will is free to make decisions to introduce something new and uncaused into the world process." From Greek hyparcho, "make a beginning."


A teacher of Neoplatonism who was dismembered and brutally murdered by a congregation of Xtians in 415 A.D. at the instigation of Bishop Cyril. She taught the liberating philosophy of Plato and Plotinus to the detriment of Xtian progress. The bishops had borrowed freely what they needed from the Greeks to justify Xtian nonsense, while rejecting what was difficult or detrimental to their beliefs. Hypatia ran into trouble when she proceeded to complete the lessons the lessons of Plato in their entirety, thus revealing how Xtianity as then constructed was a flimsy hodge-podge of borrowed half-truths.


The space around us that contains all the parallel universes.


The flashing of one's life history at the moment of death.


Literally, an "underlying principle." Specifically, of the same Divine substance, but separate, like the persons of the Xtian Trinity. It should be distinguished from "nature" (as "the two natures of X: human and divine"). In the early days of Xtianity, Wisdom or Sophia was a hypostasis of God.

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