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Three Books of Occult Philosophy (Llewellyn's Sourcebook)
by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, James Freake, Donald Tyson
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (01 February, 1994)
list price: $39.95 -- our price: $26.37
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Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book on Occultism
I just purchase Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosphy and I must say so far it has been one of, if not the best, book I've read on occultism, magic, or western occulticism/religion/metaphysics.Here are a few of the things that really impressed me:

For starters, Agrippa seems very modern in that, whether he was aware of it or not, he brings up two points that I've only heard from more contemporary occultists. First, much of his book, to me, seems to tie in with Joseph Cambell's The Power of Myth(which discusses world myths and comparative religion).Agrippa, often when discussing a single concept, simultaneously pulls from hebrew and the Qabalah, christianity and the Bible, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology, and Greek philosophers such as Plato and Pythagoras.It seems that in his mind, all these beliefs and philosophies hold truths in them and he takes them all into consideration, like a scientist would take in all the facts he recieves from the natural world.I'm certain that if Agrippa was fimilair with far east philosophy, such as Taoism and the concept of Yin and Yang, he would have incorporated that too, since it easily ties into a lot of the concepts he already elobarates on through the ideas of multiple religious and spiritual schools of thought.And secondly, the idea that what a magician is really doing is using words, symbols, etc. to focus and strengthen the mind and will, and that it is really the human mind and will that creates all the magic, is also suggested by Agrippa.I've read this theory from Aliester Crowley and another modern occultist (Brennan, I think).Agrippa states that words, numbers, and symbols have power because of the way they interact with our souls and that it is our souls that are actually effecting the world, not the words, symbols, etc. themselves. Further more, while the book has no apparent actual magic rituals, spells, etc., it provides the philosophy and concept behind the magic, which I feel is ultimatly more important.The book is thoroughly annotated, to the point were the footnotes are often longer than the chapters, so that everything is understandable to a modern reader, and provides a great springboard for further and more indepth study into all of Agrippa's sources and influences, and into some of the most important spiritual and philosophical writings in western history.And, just to make me love it more, Agrippa is probably the first occult writer who doesn't write with that annoying pompous, or arrogant attitude, nor talks down or oversimplifies things as if he thinks his readers are to stupid to understand.So many occult writers come off this way, either oversimplifying or overdoing it to the point of sounding arogant or full of themselves.Agrippa talks like an educated scientist, talking to someone of equal intellegence on a subject that is serious, but accessable to all.in his words, occultism and magic don't seem to be some mysterious, shadowy, and dark subject, but rather a divine science and wisdom that can and should be used to elevate all mankind.

So far I've been extremely inspired, pleased, and excited with this book.I strongly suggest this book to anyone and everyone interested in not only occultism, but also religion, spirituality, metaphysics, and even history.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Timeless Masterwork of the Arch-Magus
Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy - a volume which is literally worth a barrow-load of today's contrived and wearisome pseudo-esoteric tomes. All the more amazing when you consider that this towering encyclopedic exposition of the Renaissance Magical Tradition was written when Agrippa Von Nettesheim was but 23 years old - clearly a 'fiery genius' as Erasmus termed him.Herein Agrippa guides the student through the three realms of the universe unfolding the Magical mysteries and technical lore along the way in fulsome and fascinating detail, ascending the Platonic Chain of Being from the sublunary or Natural World, through the astral and mathematical harmonies of the Celestial World high into the archetypal realms of Demons, Angels, Spirits and Gods in the Divine World, winging ever upwards beyond all multiplicity toward the unio mystica with the transcendent One, the Summum Bonum or Agathon of Plotinian philosophy.

Agrippa's vast cosmic vision of the spiritual universe of the traditional Magus is entirely sublime and endlessly inspiring - one can only marvel at the richness and rigorous clarity of his exposition, the sonorous literary textures of his compact chapters, shot through and through with shimmering notes of poetic utterance and mystic profundity. The radiant teachings of the Magical Tradition revealed in this theurgic odyssey through the Three Worlds are a complete and integral vision of the Western Esoteric doctrines, bringing together the operative techniques of Marsilio Ficino's Astrological Magic and the Arab Nigromancy of the Picatrix with the arcane Angelology of Johann Trithemius and the lofty Christian Cabala of Pico Della Mirandola: the exalted mysteries of the Orphic-Pythagorean-Platonic current form the living philosophic foundation of Agrippa's Magical mindset orientated within the religious context of his intense Catholic faith and his deep grasp of Pauline theology.

This book is a pivotal and perennial encapsulation of Western Magic in the Hermetic-Neoplatonic tradition at it's most glorious flowering in the Northern Renaissance and the sheer quality, solid reliability and astonishing scope of theknowledge this tome conveys to the Magical seeker cannot be lightly underestimated - this is real Magic as taught, studied and practised prior to the shadow of confusions which obscured the subject from the 18th century 'Enlightenment' onwards.

Many modern-day magicians may find Agrippa's austere and majestic teaching of the Magical Wisdom too challenging to engage and implement practically and the fashionable preoccupations of todays occultnik scene will find little support in these densely-articulated pages : let such stay with the modern didappers, mountebanks and posturers they so vainly idolize -for those of us with eyes to see and ears to hear and wit to understand Cornelius Agrippa Von Nettesheim stands as the grand Arch-Magus of the Northern Renaissance and this volume a testament to his burning genius as an authentic expositor of the 'Invincible Magical Discipline'. Buy this work, immerse yourself in its arcana, closely read and re-read it time and time again, meditate upon its chapters, imbibe the crystalline draught of its theurgic truths and make them a vital part of your soul - live with and apply its concepts and teachings in your practise and you will be receiving the true Tradition from a master mentor. This book is really all you will need to accompany you on your journey through the Perennial Wisdom of genuine Western Magic. (With a few select companions such as William Lilly's 'Christian Astrology', the 'Corpus Hermeticum', The 'Enneads' of Plotinus you will have pretty much all you need in the way of texts.) Agrippa's book is literally worth its weight in gold to the practising Magus.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Foundation Book of Western Occultism
Everyone with even a passing interest in the occult has heard of Agrippa's three books. It has rightfully been called THE sourcebook of western magic (or at least of the Renaissance rediscovery of the Art.). It is recorded that the magus Dr. John Dee always kept a copy open on his desk at Mortlake for ready reference. Even today many of us keep Agrippa's masterpiece out and ready- some for reference, others to merely impress. This edition edited by Donald Tyson is probably the best that has ever been produced. It is clear, clean, and appropriately illustrated. Further, while I usually ignore editor's notes and appendixes in a source work, in this case, they add considerably to the understanding of the work. He even points out errors that have stood for nearly 500 years now.

The basic, uniting principle of this mammoth volume is the Soul of the World. This is the traditional Greek concept (Agrippa was clearly a Neo-Platonist) of an intermediary world-soul that mediates between the One and the material world. This is the basis of all natural magic. This is what interconnects all of Agrippa's vast system of astrology, numerology, alchemy, Kabala, seals, talismans, lists of correspondences, etc. Everything in the cosmos emanates downward from the highest Source. Moreover, hidden currents and vibrations interconnect the lower with the higher in sympathetic union.

As much as I value this classic book, if I wanted a single volume for practical use and reference I would probably choose _The Magician's Companion_ by Bill Whitcomb (another Llewellyn publication.) However, I would still keep this book in my master collection with the rest of the great source works. ... Read more

Isbn: 0875428320
Sales Rank: 31600
Subjects:  1. Body, Mind & Spirit    2. Early works to 1800    3. Magic    4. Magick Studies    5. New Age    6. New Age / Parapsychology    7. Occult Sciences    8. Occultism    9. Parapsychology - General    10. Reference    11. Rosicrucianism   


De Occulta Philosophia Libri Tres (Studies in the History of Christian Thought, Vol.48)
by Cornelius Agrippa, Cornelius Agrippa, V. Perrone Compagni, V. Perrone Campagni
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (01 October, 1992)
list price: $325.00 -- our price: $325.00
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Get your library to buy this now
If you don't know who Agrippa was, you shouldn't be reading this review, unless you're a librarian who's been asked to buy the volume.Do an author search for "Agrippa occult" and start there.

Now, assuming that you know who Agrippa (1486-1535) was, and roughly what his Occult Philosophy was, let's talk about this volume.

This is a scholarly critical edition.The copious annotations do not so much explain the text as tell you what Agrippa is quoting or referring to, so you can look up more texts.The introduction is functional, but not terribly helpful to the nonspecialist.On the other hand, when I wrote my book on Agrippa, this thing was a constant and trusty companion; boy am I ever glad I shelled out for this!

Agrippa's book itself is obscure and difficult, but at the same time it is the seminal attempt to develop a philosophical framework for magic as a practice.If you just want to read the book, read it in English (buy the Llewellyn edition) unless your Latin is stunningly good.So if you don't already know the book well, you shouldn't be spending money on this.

The editing is meticulous, including constant explications of Agrippa's many references and sources.There is a wonderful index and bibliography, making the volume exceptionally useful -- Agrippa himself is deliberately confusing and at times seems disorganized.On top of everything else, the editor has included angle braces and further notes so that we get a complete edition of the Juvenile Draft (1510) woven into the final edition (1531/33).I can't say enough good things about the edition.

Every library with a serious early modern collection should have this.Brill's books are extremely expensive, of course, but they are permanent.The paper is acid-free, the binding is very toughly stitched, and so forth.If you shell out for this text, you will still have it a long time from now.If you are not in control of a library's budget, though, you'd better try to get your librarian to order this.

In short, this is a volume for a library, a specialist, or a wealthy Latinist.If you are wealthy enough to afford this and just want a cool edition, bear in mind that you can sometimes find Agrippa's _Opera_ in early 17th C editions for about what this volume costs --- no critical material, of course, but pretty.If you have good reason to want a critical edition, though, this one is not likely to be superseded.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally a scholarly edition of this classic.
This book should be at the top of the reading list for anyone interested in Western occultism or magic.

The original Latin text of Agrippa's classic is presented along with critical apparatus clearly showing variant readings in the editions.Includes a great introduction (in English) with a detailed analysis of Agrippa's sources and as well as an insightful and in-depth analysis of Agrippa's extensive 1533 expansion and revision of the text.Complete with helpful bibliographies and indices.

The only disappointment I had was the fact that this edition does not include Agrippa's lengthy recantation, which was included in the 1533 edition.

This is one of the most expensive books I've ever bought, but worth the price, especially for those with a command of Renaissance Latin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Edition. Much Expected.
Renaissance Scholarship needed such a critical edition of this work. For deep study on the matter. Undoubtedly, the best edition in the market. ... Read more

Isbn: 9004094210
Sales Rank: 2314818
Subjects:  1. Architecture    2. Interior Design - General    3. Parapsychology - General    4. Religion    5. Renaissance Philosophy   


Three Books on Life (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies)
by Marsilio Ficino, Carol V. Kaske, John R. Clark
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (01 September, 1989)
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ian Myles Slater on: A Difficult Job Done Well
In the second half of the twentieth century, readers of English who were interested in the Renaissance had their attention drawn to Ficino's "Three Books on Life" (known by various titles, such as "Liber de Vita" and "De Vita Triplici") by several influential books. Chief among them were D.P. Walker's "Spiritual and Demonic Magic: From Ficino to Campanella" and Frances A. Yates' "Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition." The many readers of Robert Burton's seventeenth-century masterpiece "The Anatomy of Melancholy" had already encountered frequent citations of "Ficinus" on melancholy, its causes and cure. Any attempt to find an English translation, or even a good text of the Latin original, however, came up with nothing.

For a moment it seemed that Charles Boer had provided one with "The Book of Life," originally published in 1980, and currently in print. It was an attractively printed and extremely readable translation. Unfortunately, it was not only based on unreliable versions of the Latin, but it paid little if any attention to the vast scholarship needed to understand Ficino. Since Boer was dismissive of the existing Ficino scholarship, hostile reviews were perhaps to be expected, but I can testify from experience that Boer's work was more frustrating than useful.

Fortunately, a far superior translation, along with a carefully edited Latin text, useful introduction and helpful notes, and glossarial indexes, was already in progress. It appeared about a decade later, and, like Boer's, has been reprinted several times. It is an impressive accomplishment, providing a rich source of information on Ficino's theological, philosophical, medical, astrological, and magical readings and world-view, and how they interact.

Ficino, famous in his day and in histories of philosophy as the pioneering translator of Plato and the Neo-Platonists (a distinction made long after his time), was the son of a physician, which in those days meant an astrologer. He was trained in his father's profession, but also as a priest, and read the Aristotle of the late Scholastics as well as Plato and his followers, and his supposed source, the books attributed to the Egyptian sage, Hermes Trismegistus. Bits and pieces of all of these interests, and others, appear in the "Books on Life," which are in large measure an attempt to avoid the negative implications of Ficino's own horoscope, which was dominated by the influence of Saturn, seeming to doom him to lethargy and sickness.

In the process, he worked a minor revolution in European thought, which is still with us today. He did this by finding good aspects to melancholy, which in the tradition he had inherited was a disease, combining aspects of depression and mania. He argued that it was also a producer of scholarship and wisdom, helping to launch both the modern idea of "genius" and the suspicion that it has some connection with insanity.

Ficino also argued for special diets to control the negative aspects (lots of sugar and cinnamon), and, in a controversial final section, for astrological talismans to concentrate good forces and repel bad ones. This was dangerous ground, obviously shading into magic, and protesting that he was vindicating Free Will against astrological determinism was not much of a cover.

Although a very high proportion of the thousands of websites mentioning Ficino seem interested mainly in Ficino the Great Astrologer or Ficino the Renaissance Platonist, he was a lot more complicated, as Kaske and Clark make clear. Nothing will make ""Three Books on Life" easy reading, but they have done everything possible to make it intelligible to modern readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Key Work by Renaissance Mage
Marsilio Ficino, born in Florence in 1433, was one of the greatestexemplars of the Renaissance as a rebirth of classical learning.Ficinowas the leader of the Florentine Platonic Academy and translator of manyneo-Platonic and Hermetic works, including at the urging of Cosimo deMedici, the Corpus Hermeticum.

Three Books on Life is not a translation,but an original work by Ficino written for the benefit of scholars andintellectuals, who being under the dominion of Saturn and Mercury, suffermelancholy and related health concerns.

The third book, is however, themost interesting as it details Ficino's world view and gives his methods ofastrological magic.Ficino, a priest and devout Christian, saw no realcontradiction between the teachings of ancient philosophy and Christianity.He therefore felt free to use astrological magic particularly for healingand other medicinal purposes.

What is most significant about Three Bookson Lifeis Ficino's ability to provide a theoretical framework forastrology and magic as well as practical examples of how to practiceastrological magic.

Kaske and Clarke have done an excellent job in the MRTS edition of Three Books on Life.Their introduction is good, despite afew errors only noticeable to an expert on traditional astrology and thetext with the Latin original facing the English translation is quiteuseable.This translation is much better than the Charles Boer'sedition.

For those interested in Neo-platonic and Hermetic thought,astrology and magic in the Renaissance this is an essential primary source. ... Read more

Isbn: 0866980415
Sales Rank: 128458
Subjects:  1. Astrology    2. Astrology - General    3. Early works to 1800    4. History    5. History - General History    6. History Of Medicine    7. Literature: Classics    8. Medicine, Medieval    9. Renaissance   


Syncretism in the West : Pico's 900 Theses (1486) : The Evolution of Traditional Religious and Philosophical Systems : With a Revised Text, English Translation, and Commentary
by S. A. Farmer, Giovanni Conclusiones Nongentae Pico Della Mirandola
Hardcover (October, 1998)
list price: $32.00 -- our price: $32.00
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Isbn: 0866982094
Sales Rank: 266983
Subjects:  1. 1463-1494    2. Christianity - Theology - General    3. Conclusiones nongentae    4. History    5. History & Surveys - General    6. History & Surveys - Modern    7. Philosophy    8. Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni    9. Renaissance    10. Renaissance Philosophy    11. Syncretism (Religion)    12. Theology    13. Theology (General)   


Witches, Devils, and Doctors in the Renaissance: Johann Weyer, De Praestigiis Daemonum (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies)
by Johann Weyer
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (01 April, 1991)
list price: $40.00
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional book on witchcraft and demonology....
While other works (Malleus Maleficarum, Demonolatry, Daemonologie,Compendium Maleficarum, Saducismus Triumphatus, ect.)dealing with the subjecton witchcraft and demonology, taught that the individuals were,"Servants of Satan."Johann Weyer reported that many of theseindividuals were mentally disturbed aswell as having an illness. Weyerbelieved in demons and hell, however, did notbelieve that every personaccused of witchcraft was in league with the devil. A very important bookon the reality witchcraft and demonology. A must read forany occultist,historian, and layman. ... Read more

Isbn: 0866980830
Sales Rank: 975578
Subjects:  1. Demonology    2. Early works to 1800    3. History: American    4. Magic    5. Mental illness    6. Occult Sciences    7. Witchcraft    8. Demonology & Satanism    9. Religion   

Hermetica : The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation, with Notes and Introduction
by Brian P. Copenhaver
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (12 October, 1995)
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth a lifetime of study
This is a fantastic translation of the Pymander or Corpus Hermeticum and Asclepius.Since it's the only one I've read, I don't know how to compare it to others.This text was apparently rediscovered by the court of Cosimo di Medici in the 1400's, probably obtained from some source in Harran.Texts such as this were at the forefront of the syncretic mysticism and platonic/classical revival of the Italian Renaissance.This text might be something like a pagan hellenistic answer to scriptures or very obscure mystical and gnostic texts which describe very esoteric ideas that can only be understood through some kind of experience.On many levels it is very compatible with Christianity, Judaism or Islam because it may represent a kind of philosophical precursor of these religions from late antiquity.Even many of the early patriarchs of the orthodox christian tradition understood this compatibility and considered this text to represent a kind of sanctified pagan tradition or philosophy of sorts, which they actually used as proof of the validity of christianity.They did this by arguing that since pagans could come up with ideas so close to christianity, that this supported a belief in the new faith.For this reason, on the level of mundane theological and philosophical history, this text is very important for an understanding of how early christians and other monotheists viewed their relationship to paganism in a world that was still very pagan.The notes in this book are also extremely helpful and worthwhile.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well-researched edition of a vital document
Much like the Chaldean oracles, the Corpus Hermeticum is a vital document for all those who have an interest in the eclectic thought of the period covering the first centuries AD; this recent edition is certainly worthy of being added to the library of the scholar and curious reader alike. It includes the seventeen Greek treatises which have been brought together over the centuries as the Corpus Hermeticum, in addition to the Latin `Asclepius', which is by far the longest piece of them all. No Greek or Latin text accompanies the translation, but Copenhaver provides extensive notes, many of which directly address specific points of the translation and pick up where studies in hermetism had left off. In these notes, there are numerous references to previous editions of the Hermetica, especially to the work of A.D. Nock/A.-J. Festugière (in French) and of W. Scott (in English). The introduction also does a good job of describing both the context in which these pieces emerged, and the way they have been read and edited in the following centuries.

5-0 out of 5 stars In the footsteps of the 'Thrice Greatest' Hermes
This translation of the Greek 'Corpus Hermeticum' and the Latin 'Asclepius' has been specifically undertaken for English-speakers. However,the real benefits of the translation are the excellent introduction and inexcess of 260 pages of notes on the text making significant references toprevious translations such as those of Zielinski, Reitzenstein, Festugiere,Mahe and Fowden. 'Hermetica' will be a fascinating journey for all thoseinterested in Egypto-Hellenistic philosophy or for those searching for analternative to the rigid orthodoxy of some other religious systems.However, there is little here for those who seek to become a spell-castingmagus - this is Hermetism, rather than populist Hermeticism! In thethanksgiving at the end of Asclepius, the spells which were present in thePapyrus Mimaut and also in Nag Hammadi Codex VI.6 are omitted. Thesecentral texts of Hermetism are learned, philosophical treatises as opposedto popular, occultist writings - "a blend of theology, cosmology,anthropology, ethics, soteriology and eschatology."

Most readers willprobably find some degree of confusion within the Corpus Hermeticum.Different authors of the various treatises appear to have taken part inPeripatetic-Platonic-Stoic debate within the surviving texts. Much of theprevious criticism however has focussed on the Egyptian - Hellenicargument; Hermes Trismegistus being a syncretic fusion of the Greekmessenger of the gods with the Egyptian Thoth (pr. something akin toT-HO-TI). Just to be confusing, the character 'Tat' is also a variant ofThoth is some of the Corpus' texts. Linked with this Peripatetic-Platonicdebate is the Corpus' attitude towards dualism which should be adistinguishing feature between Hermetism and early Gnostic Christianity -but sometimes isn't all that clear-cut. Further complications arise throughCopenhaver's extensive references to the Chaldean Oracles.

The textsopen with POIMANDRES, 'the shepherd man' (poimen aner) although some stillsearch for a Coptic root. The nature of 'true reality' (see Plato's'Timaeus') establishes itself as the central focus in the very first lineof CH I. It is Mind which will free the soul from the fleshy darkness ofits bodily incarceration. The texts then move on to the universal discoursebetween Hermes and Tat opening up a Stoic - Peripatetic debate on whetherthere is a void or non-entity without the Cosmos. A third alternative ispresented : that the surrounding space both encircles and moves theCosmos.

The most Peripataetic of texts according to Zielinski is CH IV inwhich activity is clearly seen as positive and passivity as negative. Thereare some indications of common authorship between I and VII although anumber of Western translators have found evidence of strong Judaicinfluences in VII. CH VII also introduces the metaphor of the 'chiton'(vestment, cloak, shawl) as a symbol of the body which fed through into thewritings of Philo, Plotinus and the Valentinian Gnostics - this must beshed for the soul's ascent. The tenth discourse introduces another image ofthe chiton. Unlike the chiton of CH VIII, this garment must be acquired torise and to take on a demonic cloak. With a good mind the soul can pass onto something greater, but to nothing lesser.

Within the 17 Greektreatises the Stoic concept of 'sumpatheia' (the organic unity of theCosmos) is only mentioned specifically once in CH VIII although itsinfluence can be elsewhere. Scott suggested that one of the latest of theextant logoi was XIII, the diexodikos logos, on account of its dependenceon CH I and XI. This is essentially concerned with `palingenesia' whichBuchsel sees as the Stoic opposite of ekpurosis - the great conflagrationinto which the currently existing Cosmos would disappear only to berestored under apokatastasis.

The historical development of translationsof the texts has given them rather illogical numberings. In theory CH IXshould take place immediately after the Latin Asclepius - as the latter isa translation of the 'perfect discourse', the 'teleios logos' rendered byLactantius as the 'Sermo perfectus'. It is an exposition of the discourseon sensation which clearly rejects the Platonic position in favour of amore Stoic interpretation. Thanks to Adrien Turnebus' translation in 1554there is no Corpus Hermeticum XV (Ficino's translation ended atXIV).

Mind only appears as interlocutor in CH I and XI. CH XI is alsodistinctive in that aion (eternity) appears 27 times within the text andonly 3 times elsewhere. Aion was the supreme deity of Westernised Mithraismand is connected with Zrvan Akarana, Saturnus and Kronos, with Orpheism, inphilosophical terms with the Stoic heimarmene (which appear elsewhere inthe Corpus), perhaps even with the Phoenician Ba'al Shamin, and - inastro-magical texts - with the 'holy Agathos Daimon'. There is also theAion of the Chaldean Oracles, which - according to Lewy - is 'not only adivinity, but also a noetic hypostasis'. Here, as in CH XIV, there is onlyone maker. This is a direct rebuttal of the Gnostic position and,internally, of the position outlined by I and XIII.

Asclepius (orImhotep in the original Egyptian) is most likely a collection of fragmentsfrom other texts. The Hermetic praise of human dignity stops distinctlyshort of the physical and sexual aspects of the human condition.Asclepiusis far more apocalyptic and laden within divine retribution than theCorpus. Copenhaver finds references to the Egyptian apocalyptic story ofPotter's Oracle in his predecessors' translations centred around a Khnum, aram-headed creator-god. But the message in Asclepius is clear, Egypt - this`image of heaven' - will forget its Hermetic ways and "will be filledcompletely with tombs and corpses" and "the reverent will be thought mad".

We should all try to learn something from Hermetica, for beneath thecomplexities is real truth.

Then he said to me : "Keep all in mind thatyou wish to learn, and I will teach you." Saying this, he changed hisappearance and everything was immediately opened to me...(Corpus HermeticumI) ... Read more

Isbn: 0521425433
Sales Rank: 53770
Subjects:  1. Ancient Philosophy    2. Ancient and Classical    3. Fiction    4. General    5. Literary    6. New Age / Parapsychology    7. Fiction / Literary    8. Other prose: classical, early & medieval    9. Unexplained phenomena   


Giordano Bruno: Cause, Principle and Unity : And Essays on Magic (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
by Giordano Bruno, Richard J. Blackwell, Robert de Lucca, Alfonso Ingegno, Karl Ameriks, Desmond M. Clarke
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (26 November, 1998)
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5-0 out of 5 stars The ... Science
Giordano Bruno is not only a writer of marvelous wit and virtuosity, and the only one since Plato to breathe life into the philosophical dialogue, but also a thinker of great consequence, imagination and purity.While he is generally seen to stand at the threshold between the medieval and the modern, cabilistic magic and scientific rationality, it is wrong to regard him merelyas an anticipation of Leibniz and Spinoza. In certain respects, indeed, he goes farther in freeing thought from the residues of Scholasticism, and if his understanding of the coincidence of absolute potentiality and absolute actuality as the ground of Being points the way to Schelling, the freer winds of his thinking, with its wondrous openness towards the possibilities of the body as the possibilities of life, make him a kindred spirit of Nietzsche.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Look at Giordano Bruno's Philosophy
This book consists of 2 parts.The first part "Cause, Principle and Unity" is about his theory of an infinite universe.While you may either agree or disagree with him on certain points, I think (maybe you, too) will find the idea of a "world-soul" intriguing.This part consists of 5 dialogues.

The other part comprise two essays, one on magic and the other is his treatise on bonding in general.This part presents some ideas which I think would be interesting not just to magicians but anybody who wants to know and wonder, from a philosophical point of view, what magic is and bonding in general.

Any student of philosophy is likely to enjoy this book (either the first or second or both). ... Read more

Isbn: 0521596580
Sales Rank: 107885
Subjects:  1. Early works to 1800    2. History & Surveys - Modern    3. History & Surveys - Modern - Renaissance Era    4. Magic    5. Metaphysics    6. Philosophy    7. Philosophy / General    8. Philosophy of science    9. Renaissance & Humanist philosophy   


The Hermetic Museum
by A. E. Waite
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (01 September, 1999)
list price: $60.00
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars What a Book!
I found this book very helpful and good. I recommend it highly if you are interested at all in Hermeticism. An instant classic in the field! ... Read more

Isbn: 087728928X
Sales Rank: 773900
Subjects:  1. General    2. New Age / Parapsychology    3. Occultism    4. Philosophy    5. Philosophy Of The 16th And 17th Centuries   

The Book of Black Magic
by Arthur Edward Waite
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (01 June, 1972)
list price: $17.95 -- our price: $12.21
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Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Black Magic Explained
Not a book of black magic spells, but black magic explained by a master. This is biased because I am a member of the Golden Dawn. But I still think what I say holds true that this an excellent book. Most books carried in finer bookstores' New Age or similiar sections are on Wicca. Maybe try something more original. Wiccans are just as bigoted or even more bigoted than conservative Christians. They always moan over inverted pentagrams, etc. Do not complain about anything you don't need to subject yourself to. WAite explains theories behind black magic. From what I've seen, all of WAite's about 50 books have a combined total of about 1 million copies sold. Waite is one of the better occult authors. Unlike most, he doesn't force his group in this case the Golden Dawn on you. Recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ian Myles Slater on: An Old Standard
Arthur Edward Waite (1860-1942) was a professed mystic, an historian of mysticism, alchemy, magic, and secret societies, an industrious translator, and a man unusually willing to turn 180 degrees from a published opinion when faced with new and better evidence. His variously titled "Book of Black Magic and of Pacts" (1898, privately printed; public edition, 1911), or "Book of Ceremonial Magic," etc. (it is currently in print under the latter title as well), shows Waite rejecting the misinformation and misrepresentations of his old source and model, "Eliphas Levi" (real name Alphonse Louis Constant, c.1810-1875) and his sometime-associate in the Order of the Golden Dawn, S.L. MacGregor Mathers (1854-1918), and trying to offer the interested public a responsible survey of the literature of ceremonial magic.

The book in question, under a variety of similar titles, is frequently reprinted, although it is now very badly dated. Most of those editions I have seen seemed to be identical; I can't be sure of all them. The present, Weiser, edition, seems to be a reprinting of the original, somewhat shorter, and apparently less (or un-)illustrated, edition of 1898. (I would like to be clearer, but it's been several years since I actually handled it, and, to judge from information on Amazon, some of my recollections of it seem to have been wrong.)

In any version, the book also contains a number of oversights and errors of fact, but it retains considerable value and interest, and is worth reading with care, and *critical* attention.

Waite makes interesting points on the presuppositions of the genuinely early grimoires (books of spells and rituals) which he describes and excerpts, and useful comments on the (un)reliability of the then-current translations, many of which have been reprinted in recent years. Anyone attempting to use it as guide to practicing such magic should heed Waite's warning that he has taken care to present an incomplete or corrupt form of any ritual involving harm to animals, rendering the spells, by the magical hypothesis, ineffective; entirely out of concern for the animals, not the would-be-magicians, he explains. Indeed, Waite has little patience with the operative magician in general, and with those who supply the demand for spellbooks in particular. He points out that, in terms of procedures and intentions, the magical literature allows no real distinction between "white" and "black" magic; indeed, what is presented as "white" magic, is, by making direct use of religious rites and objects, sometimes the more objectionable. He also points out that the medieval and early modern magicians generally seemed unaware that what they were doing could be considered blasphemous.

Among its other merits, Waite's book provides extended excerpts and illustrations from the leading pseudo-grimoires published in cheap editions in (mainly) France in the nineteenth century. He points out the origins of some of these tracts in more respectable "occult" writings of the eighteenth century. (A rather wavering line probably could now be drawn back all the way to the Hermetic enthusiasts of the Renaissance, and ultimately to Hellenistic Egypt, but all genuine Egyptian content, except mention of the Pyramids and Pharaohs, had vanished along the way.)

Waite attempts, albeit with inadequate data, to establish the medieval date and Christian origins of the various "Books" and "Keys" of Solomon, a task still not complete in detail, and compares these texts to explicitly Christian works, some masquerading as highly effective devotions. The book is concerned with the relatively elite practice of ritual magic, including its many vulgarizations, and not with European witchcraft, nor with Satanism as such. As Waite points out, the grimoires promise to teach how to compel, bribe, and trick devils, not worship them (although from a theological point of view, as he makes equally clear, the distinction is meaningless). Pacts are attempts to force supernatural beings to serve humans, not promises of one's own soul -- except where the intention is to break the pact.

The nearest successor to Waite's book to appear in English was Elizabeth M. Butler's "Ritual Magic," first published by Cambridge University Press in 1949, and recently reprinted. It shows a dependence on Waite (in the 1898 edition, with the original page numbering) for materials unavailable to its author in wartime and post-war Britain, but has considerable additional material on actual and supposed magicians (including Gilles de Rais), and on nineteenth century magicians, pseudo-magicians, Satanists, pseudo-Satanists, and hoaxes, and provides an invaluable context for understanding Waite's writings. Her book can be read as a follow-up, if not an introduction.

Butler, more importantly, fills a gap in Waite's coverage. "Ritual Magic" offers a good discussion of the various German (and generally Central European) books purporting to contain the magic of Faust; these are generally duller than the French pamphlets described by Waite, but seem to be rather more likely to reflect real attempts to practice the "black arts," and represent a different geographic area. "Ritual Magic" was, in fact, the middle volume of a trilogy on the Faust tradition (including "The Myth of the Magus" and "The Fortunes of Faust'), and Butler's literary interests are clear throughout.

Those with a genuine interest in current research on the history of European traditions of magic will probably want to turn to the essays in "Conjuring Spirits: Texts and Traditions of Medieval Ritual Magic," edited by Claire Fanger (1998), and Richard Kieckhefer's "Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer's Manual of the Fifteenth Century" (1997). These all, especially the latter, contain excerpts of texts to compare to those offered by Waite. (Kieckhefer gives a long Latin text as well.) A shorter survey, covering a number of other topics, and with briefer quotations, is Kieckhefer's "Magic in the Middle Ages" (Cambridge University Press, 1989; the Canto paperback of 2000 has a useful new Preface with updated bibliography). Kieckhefer also provides a good introduction to the historical literature on witch beliefs and persecutions, and how these relate to elite magic; a subject on which the second edition of Norman Cohn's "Europe's Inner Demons" is also enlightening.

1-0 out of 5 stars Just any right now
Do you have any that I can study on? ... Read more

Isbn: 0877282072
Sales Rank: 252498
Subjects:  1. Body, Mind & Spirit    2. Magic    3. Magick Studies    4. New Age    5. New Age / Parapsychology   


The Discoverie of Witchcraft
by Reginald Scot
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (01 June, 1989)
list price: $16.95 -- our price: $11.53
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read.
This is a good book. This is the oldest book known to contain methods of producing magical effects. It's not a book about witchcraft as much as a book exposing the methods used to cause an accusation of witchcraft to be made. It was written in the 16th century, so take that into account when reading it. There are other places to read this book online, but it's much easier to read a real book than an e-book. Dover has put the book into an easier to read format as well.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Difficult Read
This book is a difficult read considering the old English; otherwise it is entertaining and educational.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Voice of Reason in the Darkness
This is the reprint of the Montague Summers edition of Reginald Scot's "Discoverie of Witchcraft". Scot's treatise was first published in 1584, just at the height of the European witchcraze, and was one of the few published works that argued vehemently against the belief in witches and demons.

Scot argued that a belief in witches was fallacy and ran counter to the classical Christian view as given in the Canon Episcopi that stated that belief in witches and demonic magic was a delusion and that witches were not working in league with the Devil but were rather deluded persons who needed guidance in the ways of religion rather than death and torture. Scot goes on at length to discuss the illusion of supposed witchcraft and magic and that God alone, not Devils or witches, controls the elements and that he alone dictates the fate of men.

Scot, like his contemporary Johann Weyer, was met with hostility from the learned demonologists and theologians of the day. His work was condemned and ordered burned by King James I of England. Rather than being hailed as a rational and sensible humanist thinker for his valiant atttempt to stem the tide of the burnings of human beings, Scot was accused by some as promoting the heresy of Sadducism (a disbelief in spirits) while others dismissed his arguments and beliefs as being thinly veiled atheism and argued that witches were in fact real and dangerous and that the bonfires of witches must continue. The credulous and eccentric Montague Summers himself argues this viewpoint in his shamelful introduction. Summers even stoops so low as to essentialy accuse Scot and Weyer of Satanism! Nonetheless, Scot's work gave hope that some in the 16th century were not overcome with belief in witches and demonic pacts and was skeptical of the popular fears that devils and demons were lurking around every corner, waiting to inflict evil and death on the unsuspecting populace. Unfortunately, it would be another 200 years before the murderous pyres of the witchhunters were finally snuffed out. ... Read more

Isbn: 0486260305
Sales Rank: 46373
Subjects:  1. General    2. History: American    3. New Age / Parapsychology    4. History / General   


The Malleus Maleficarum of Kramer and Sprenger
by Montague Summers
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (01 June, 1971)
list price: $15.95 -- our price: $10.85
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Reviews (62)

4-0 out of 5 stars This Doesn't Feel Good
The Malleus Maleficarum is not a book you would read for the sheer pleasure of it. Even considering the dark nature of its subject material, the style is interminably monotonous. The authors were considered pre-eminent in their day and attempt to present a reasonably thorough defence of killing people. They also use numerous examples from cases that are known to them in order to demonstrate their points.

The book presents a fairly cold and calculating side when dealing with the punishment of people. References to villages in which dozens of souls were executed are without emotion or the slightest tinge of regret.

For people interested in the Medieval period and its fears, beliefs and the world that people saw around them, this book presents a unique insight into their mentality. It is also a testimony to the way in which religion can be used to justify even the most despicable treatment of human beings by people.

At once fascinating and disturbing, this book is both special and vile. You won't feel good and there are no happy endings. However, the deepened knowledge and the lessons one can learn for today are worth the effort.

5-0 out of 5 stars The essence of witchcraft was heresy and apostasy
The Apocalypse is supposed to occur when Christianity dominates the religious scene and is able to defeat all comers.Recent History reflects this thesis in Europe, and also in the Moslem world according to its own beliefs, not to mention the genocide so prevelant in Africa.This book was authorized when defection from the dogma of Catholics was becoming rampant.It was, after all, "the" CHURCH, until the defection from the ranks became so numerous as to require a new weapon to preserve the homegeneity of its members.But there were among the members persons of intelligence(Humanists)who sought to reform what the Church had become.Martin Luther was not the first, but he played a vital role in converting others (contrary to his own will) that his form of Protestantism should be institutionalized as it was.

The Malleus Maleficarum was a device intended to convince those defectors from the faith of their errors, and prescribed the punishment as a consequence.Protestants began to establish institutions of their own, and turned the Malleus against the Catholics so that what once was the sole possession of the latter became the very instrument to justify heresy and apostasy from Protestantism.Between them, Reformers and the Counter Reformationists (neither would admit error as the Voice of God), succeeded in killing over a period of three hundred years and more, some ten million members.Salem, Mass. evenimported the pratice of destroying so-called witches into the New World.Knowing this, it is easier to understand why our forefathers elected to establish our government on the basis of separation of church and state.Those familiar with the history of religions, per se, are better prepared to understand why the insurgents of Iraq and the Middle East are so fierce in defense of their religion against our determination to democratize their governments.Religion is the servant of tyranny that converts its members into terrorists, either outright or by concensus.

Oddly, in the beginning, Christianity denounced witchcraft, via the Cannon Episcopi, as false when practiced by competitors.Constantine, who in the forth century made Christianity his religion of state, was himself a Pagan who belived in witches, and when the Church felt the need of a more effective method to overcome defections, it adopted a new definition of heresy and apostasy wrapped into one, and called them witches, the greatest scourge of all, who were to be judged and punished according to what Pope Innocent VIII (see the Introduction) blessed.What was good enough for the Pope was good enough for the Protestants.

The Introduction by Rev. Montague Summers is worthy of critical consideration as he leads his readers 'in one sentence' from the dogma of "witches do not exist," to confirmation that they do.Catholic authors eventually, in spite of what they may first say, return to the dogma fold.They are, after all, purveyors of religious bigotry.Readers should be aware of the subtleties of such authors (not all are so dedicated) and be aware of the awfulness of what they are about to read.Keep in mind that it has been barely three hundred years since the end of Witchcraft as we know it, but it has not been eliminated entirely. The Inquisition set the stage for much of what would follow.I see now that the Church has begun to teach courses in demonology, of which it is said, there are many against it.From such small beginnings have monstrosities such as witchcraft been born.

5-0 out of 5 stars think....renew your convictions
Those who seem to think evil is dead, or that it must come in the form of a man with horns and pitchfork has been severely mislead. Though this book was supposedly used to kill thousands of "innocent" lives, it does provide a unique insight into some peoples methods of dealing with the evils of witchcraft and vampirism, among other things. Killing witches is wrong, but changing them and destroying their practice is right.Some may claim their form of witchcraft isn't involved with evil.This is only the power of Satan hiding the true nature of his intent, which is carryed out by his people.
This book is not pure fiction. It does contain many remedies, powers of witches, and many other things which are true. Do not use this book as an opportunity to kill witches,nor to criminalize the entire Catholic Church (which will live forever, no matter what persecutions are put forth.) Christians ought to use the power of Holy Mother Church to vanquish evil, not murder or hatred.
If you want a true example of a slaughter of innocents, look at abortion, not this book on the inquisition. ... Read more

Isbn: 0486228029
Sales Rank: 12307
Subjects:  1. Body, Mind & Spirit    2. Criminal procedure (Canon law)    3. Demonology    4. Early works to 1800    5. General    6. Medieval    7. New Age    8. Occultism    9. Sociology    10. Witchcraft    11. History / General   


Robert Fludd: Western Esoteric Masters Series
by William H. Huffman
Paperback (09 September, 2001)
list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
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Isbn: 1556433735
Sales Rank: 192925
Subjects:  1. 1574-1637    2. Fludd, Robert,    3. General    4. New Age / Parapsychology    5. Parapsychology - General    6. Philosophy   


Investigations Into Magic : Martin del Rio (Social and Cultural Values in Early Modern Europe)
by Martin del Rio, P.G. Maxwell-Stuart
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (15 December, 2000)
list price: $74.95 -- our price: $64.02
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4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent English Translation of Important 16th Century Work
This is the first and only English translation of Martin Del Rio's famous treatise "Disquisitionum Magicarum Libre Sex", a voluminous and comprehensive analysis of the occult, first printed in 1599.Del Rio (1551-1608) was a Jesuit priest and scholar who felt that Christianity was threatened by heresy from witches, alchemists, and sorcerers and wrote his encyclopedic tome as not only a thorough discussion on the various aspects of the occult, but as a practical guide for inquisitors and secular authorities to investigate, convict, and punish witches, sorcerers, and occultists in general.In a time when the Catholic Church was besieged on all sides by the perceived heresy of the Reformation, it is clear why Del Rio wrote this long account.The witchhunting craze was at its peak in Del Rio's time, and the populous was ripe with fear and superstition.The Church was struggling with it's own Counter-Reformation and looked to purge the church, and it's followers, of any lingering traces of paganism and non-orthodox elements.It is interesting to see to what lengths Del Rio goes to defend the sacred rituals of the Catholic Mass amid accusations by the Protestants that the very core of Catholicism was tainted by magic and paganism.He carefully sets out what constitutes what is Godly and divine in origin, and what is clearly diabolical and heretical in nature.This book was considered one of the definitive works on witchcraft and the occult for over 150 years and was used by ecclesiastical and secular courts to convict suspected witches.Del Rio himself takes his place next to other well-known anti-witch writers of his time such as Jean Bodin, Nicolas Remy, and Francesco Maria Guazzo.The book itself provides an interesting insight into the mind of the 16th century man amid the constant fear of Satan and his minions. ... Read more

Isbn: 0719049768
Sales Rank: 97605
Subjects:  1. Body, Mind & Spirit    2. Magick Studies    3. New Age    4. New Age / Parapsychology    5. Occult Sciences    6. Parapsychology - General    7. Body, Mind & Spirit / Witchcraft & Wicca   


The Occult in Early Modern Europe : A Documentary History (Documents in History)
by P. G. Maxwell-Stuart
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (13 November, 1999)
list price: $35.95 -- our price: $35.95
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Insight
PG Maxwell Stuart offers a variety of texts concerning the occult thatwere heretofore unavailable in an English translation.Texts are groupedinto categorial chapters and translated into concise modern English. Includes works by authors such as Martin Luther, Newton and Nicodemus. ... Read more

Isbn: 0312217536
Sales Rank: 562887
Subjects:  1. Body, Mind & Spirit    2. Europe    3. Europe - General    4. General    5. History    6. New Age    7. New Age / Parapsychology    8. Occultism    9. Parapsychology - General    10. Sources    11. Religion / Cults, Demonism, the Occult   


On the Art of the Kabbalah/De Arte Cabalistica
by Johann Reuchlin, Martin Goodman, Sarah Goodman
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (01 November, 1993)
list price: $15.00 -- our price: $15.00
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars An important text of Christian Cabala...
Reuchlin was one of the first Christian authors to attempt to make the Jewish Kabbalah accessible to a Latin-reading audience. The publishers of this work are to be thanked for printing such a classic.

However, this edition is not without its faults. As others have noted, there is no scholarly apparatus, which would have helped the reader make sense of what admittedly is a difficult text. The format of the text on the page is poor (although the Latin pages seem to be reproducing the pages from the first printed edition, so for that half of the book, the formatting is excuseable). I find the English translation to be idiosyncratic, and just plain erroneous in points. Fortunately, with the Latin right there, these mistakes are not that difficult to spot.

But for someone willing to put up with these problems, this edition of Reuchlin's work can be a helpful entre into the world of Christian Cabala.

4-0 out of 5 stars Valuable edition of a seminal work
Johannes Reuchlin (1455-1522) wrote _De arte cabalistica_ (1517) as a kind of synthesis of his Kabbalistic thought.It is constructed in the form of a conversation among three thinkers, the most important being Simon, the Jewish explicator of Kabbalah.This work is in a sense a sequel to Reuchlin's _De verbo mirifico_ [On the wonder-working word], but focuses almost entirely on the Kabbalistic side of things.

As an introduction to Kabbalah in an ordinary sense, the text is not particularly useful, since Reuchlin has his own somewhat idiosyncratic spin on what is most important.As an introduction to Christian Kabbalah, however, it is a seminal work, and along with _De verbo mirifico_ and Pico's _900 Theses_ required reading.Reuchlin's opinions probably did more than anything else to encourage the spread of Jewish mystical thought into the Christian West, and this is one of the books at the heart of that movement.

The edition is useful, including both an English translation and a facsimile of the Latin text.Unfortunately the layout is poor, so that the translation often ends up several pages off from the Latin, preventing direct comparison.The translation itself is good, although it would be improved by more scholarly apparatus and notes, which are conspicuously thin.Fortunately the volume is inexpensive, which makes up for quite a bit.

A decent library of early modern occult thought should have this book.The modern practitioner will not, I suspect, find it terribly useful, nor will those interested primarily in Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah.The principal value of the book is that it makes available a text which greatly influenced later Christian occult thinkers, notably Agrippa, Dee, Bruno, Fludd, and others. ... Read more

Isbn: 0803289464
Sales Rank: 287900
Subjects:  1. Art    2. Cabala    3. Early works to 1800    4. History    5. Judaism    6. Judaism - Kabbalah & Mysticism    7. Judaism - Sacred Writings    8. Subjects & Themes - Religious   


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