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Doctrine of Correspondences.

“Furthermore, there usually is a strong holistic trait in esotericism where the godhead is considered manifest in the natural world—a world interconnected by so-called correspondences. Man is seen as a microcosm of the macrocosm, the divine universe. Through increased knowledge of the individual self, it is often regarded as possible to achieve corresponding knowledge about nature, and thereby about God. However, the interpretation of what gnosis “actually is,” or what the correspondences “actually are,” differs considerably in the history of Western esotericism.”

–Henrik Bogdan, Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation, 2007, pg. 5.

Words of Power.

“The pronunciation of yhwh as Yahweh is a scholarly guess. Hebrew biblical mss were principally consonantal in spelling until well into the current era. The pronunciation of words was transmitted in a separate oral tradition. The Tetragrammaton was not pronounced at all, the word adonay, “my Lord,” being pronounced in its place; elohim, “God,” was substituted in cases of combination adonay yhwh (305 times; e.g. Gen 15:2). Though the consonants remained, the original pronunciation was eventually lost.” The Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992) Vol. VI, 1011.

–Henrik Bogdan, Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation, pg. 203

Augustine on Magic.

“In this model, magic appears in the context of the theory of signs as an act of communication with demonic powers (while Christian rituals are also acts of communication, but only with the divine sphere).

Thus, all superstitious practices, including divination and astrology, presuppose an implicit or explicit pact with demons. This is valid even in the case where the operator—deceived by the demons—is not aware of the pact, because this pact is secured by the magical language, signs, and rituals he has applied.

For a reader of Augustine, basically every instance of magic—however innocent it may seem—seems to be ultimately associated with idolatry and demonolatry, and becomes consequently harmful. Augustine was well aware of the common features and elements of the rituals of magic and those of religion (prayers, sacraments, and the cult of relics).

It is true—he wrote—that what magicians do is often similar to what saints do: the difference lies not in the visible realm but in what is secretly implied. While saints communicate with divine powers for the greater good, magicians seek their own, selfish ends.”

Benedek Láng, Unlocked Books: Manuscripts of Learned Magic in the Medieval Libraries of Central Europe, 2008: pg. 20.

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