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The Complete Picatrix: The Occult Classic in One Volume

The Complete Picatrix: The Occult Classic in One Volume (Used)

by Greer, John Michael

Publisher: Renaissance Astrology

Binding: Paperback



Translated from Latin by John Michael Greer & Christopher Warnock.

The Complete Picatrix is 6 x 9 inches, 308 pages, extensive introduction, over 400 footnotes, 6 large black and white illustrations by Nigel Jackson, glossary, bibliography, index.

The Picatrix or Ghayat al Hakim, the Aim of the Wise, is one of the most important books ever written on astrological magic. Composed in Arabic in Andalusia around 1000 A.D., the Picatrix is an encyclopedic work, considerably larger than most other medieval grimoires or books of magic. It was translated into Latin in 1256 for the Castilian king Alfonso the Wise.

Picatrix is a strange mixture of the most exalted philosophy and the crassly material, explanations of the nature of the One and "confections" composed of blood, brains and urine. We can, however, clearly perceive the influence of the Harranian Sabians, who pursued their worship of the astral deities and the tradition of Hermetic philosophy well into the Middle Ages. The Harranians added much to the astrology of the advanced Islamic civilization which flourished between 800-1400 A.D., and produced such well known astrologers as Thabit Ibn Qurra, Al-Sufi and the alchemist, Jabir ibn Hayyyan, known to the West as Geber.

Picatrix is a compilation of many earlier works and represents, along with De Imaginibus "On Images" of Thabit Ibn Qurra, the height of astrological magic in terms of complexity and scope. Picatrix explains not only how to create and ensoul magical statues and talismans, but even speaks of whole cities constructed using the principles of astrological magic. This combination of practical application and theoretical rigor made Picatrix a key source for Renaissance mages like Cornelius Agrippa and Marsilio Ficino.

The Four Books of the Latin Picatrix

A table of contents for the Latin Picatrix appears at page lxxi of David Pingree's edition, "The Book of the most wise and most skilled philosopher Picatrix" This work is divided into four parts or books:

BOOK I: Of the heavens and the effects they cause through images made under them

  • Chapter 1. Of the science of understanding in what degree you are
  • Chapter 2. What is magic and what are its properties
  • Chapter 3. What are the heavens and of what are they made
  • Chapter 4. Of the kinds, properties, and composition of the heavens needed to make images of the Mansions of the Moon
  • Chapter 5. Of examples of what has been proposed, and of those things we need to make images
  • Chapter 6. In what degree is the microcosm, and how it is assimilated to the macrocosm
  • Chapter 7. In what degree anything in the world is, and of many other profound things hidden by the wise that we propose to reveal in this book

BOOK II: Of the figures of the heavens in general, and of the general motion of the sphere, and of their effects in this world

  • Chapter 1. How it is possible to learn this science
  • Chapter 2. Of the figures of the heavens and their secrets
  • Chapter 3. Of the works of the planets, the sun, and the moon
  • Chapter 4. Of the general motion of the sphere and the fixed stars
  • Chapter 5. Of the division of this science among peoples, and how different peoples possess different parts of it
  • Chapter 6. Of the power of images, and in what manner it can be had, and how images are able to receive the power of the planets, and this is the root of science and images
  • Chapter 7. Of how to work dialectically with these secrets of images, and what part this ought to have in this science
  • Chapter 8. Of the order of natural things, and how you ought to enter upon this science
  • Chapter 9. Of examples of figures, and the forms of imagery that call down the help of the planets
  • Chapter 10. Of the stones appropriate for each planet, and of the making of figures of them, and of the figures of the planets
  • Chapter 11. Of the figures of the faces of the signs and their effects
  • Chapter 12. Of the figures and degrees of the signs and their effects according to the opinion of the Hindus, and how this follows from the contemplations of this science, and in what manner spirits of the upper realms are attracted by the virtues of bodies, according to the opinion of those who have notable secrets
BOOK III: Of the properties of the planets and signs, and of their figures and forms made in their colors, and how one may speak with the spirits of the planets, and of many other magical workings
  • Chapter 1. Of the parts of the planets that proceed into plants, animals, minerals, and many other things, being an explanation of the virtues of the planets and of doing what you wish by their seals
  • Chapter 2. Of the parts of the signs in the aforesaid three existences (that is, plants, animals, and minerals) so that each sign has its properties in things, first of Aries, and then of the other signs
  • Chapter 3. Of the figures, colors, garments, and incenses of the planets, as well as of making their tinctures
  • Chapter 4. How secrets that are hidden in this science can be understood from familiar things
  • Chapter 5. Of the demonstration of the proper virtues in animals and noble things necessary in this science, and how the spirits of the planets are attracted by figures and incenses
  • Chapter 6. Of the magistery of attracting the spirits of the planets by natural things, and how it is that an image of this kind can have this power
  • Chapter 7. Of attracting the powers of the planets, and how it is possible to speak with them, and how this is done for each planet, including the figures, offerings, prayers, incenses, proportions, and state of the heavens necessary for each planet
  • Chapter 8. Of the kind of prayer prayed by Neptinus to the Sun and Saturn, and how he conversed with them and their spirits and the effects he brought about
  • Chapter 9. How to attract the powers of each planet and the powers of their spirits, naming them according to their parts, as well as how to accomplish this by speaking their names
  • Chapter 10. Of examples of confections of the spirits of the planets, and of averting harmful workings, and magic of miraculous effect, and the foods, incense, unguents, and perfumes that ought to be used to work by the spirits of the seven planets, and the proper effects of the planets, and of workings that are worked only by sight
  • Chapter 11. Of the effects of images in diverse things, and of altering appearances so that things seem to be other than they are, and also of how to poison by sleep, gaze, or work, and of their remedies
  • Chapter 12. Of the rules necessary in this science

BOOK IV: Of the properties of spirits, and of those things that are necessary to observe in this most excellent art, and how they may be summoned with images, suffumigations and other things

  • Chapter 1. Whence the power and strength of spirits proceeds, and what the properties, bodies, senses, intellects, and souls of spirits are, as well as what differences are among them
  • Chapter 2. How the vigor of the spirit of the Moon is drawn into things here below, and by which the seven planets ought to be invoked
  • Chapter 3. In which is said what the Chaldeans believed about the profundities or secrets of this science, and what was taught by them
  • Chapter 4. Of the images and reasonings that greatly help this science
  • Chapter 5. What are the ten sciences that are necessary to this art, and how by them this science is assisted, and what the root of the science of magic is Chapter 6. How incenses of the stars ought to be made, and certain compounds needed in this science
  • Chapter 7. Of those things of the art of magic that were found in the book Nabataean Agriculture that Abudaer Abemiaxie translated into Arabic from the Chaldean tongue
  • Chapter 8. Of images possessing miraculous virtues, that were discovered in a book that was found in the temple of Coredib and in the book of Queen Folopedia, and also concerning some corrections necessary in working with images

Translation by John Michael Greer

There are four different versions of The Complete Picatrix: handmade leatherbound, handmade clothbound, Print-On-Demand hardcover and Print-On-Demand paperback.

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