88 Temples

One of my all time favorite occult texts is Epistle 52 of the Brethren of Purity, titled simply ‘On Magic.’ It emerges from the same backdrop of Arabic occultism expressed in the Picatrix, perhaps predating and laying the basis for it. These texts not only get us out of the narrow corridor of ‘Western esotericism’ but provide us with a glimpse into ideas and practices that could have diffused along the length and breadth of the Arabic world. That is pretty crazy when you think about it–Arabic influence extended all over the Old World, from Africa to Europe, from the Middle East well into Asia and the Southeast Asian islands.

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To Know Home, Not Go Home

The story of Adam Kadmon always sits up against the story of the dismembered giant that pervades the Indo-European mythologies. In the case of Adam Kadmon, you have this figure in the mind of God that serves as the blueprint for the work of creation. Adam the created, the Adam of the Garden, clearly partakes of this figure’s nature in some way, too, for while he does not possess the force of Adam Kadmon to create, he still possesses the names of things which activates those forces. The dismembered giant, by contrast, tends to be a monster or tyrant who must be destroyed and broken apart to provide the material for the created world.

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