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Revival of the Occult Philosophy, The (Cabalistic magic and the Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn)

by Butler, Alison L.

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Abstract: It is essential that we include the history ofthe western rnagica.1 tradition in any study of intellectuai history. The belief in and practice of magic is part of an interpretation of existence with a long history. That humanity continues to tuni to magic for answers about the universe, hurnan beings, and their interaction with the world demonstrates that it is not a mode of thinking which can be dated to a certain time period, The history of the western rnagical tradition defied the existence of a world process of rationalisation. This thesis wdl show how the tradition did so in the Renaissance and continued to do so in a revival of that same magicai system in nineteenth-century Engiand. Specifically, in this study we will focus on the establishment and development of cabalistic magic and how it provided the ideai systern in which many currents of esotericism could be assimiIated. We wiil show how this synthesis began in the Renaissance by scholars such as Pico della Mirandola, Johannes Reuchlin and Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, and we will show how the process was concluded by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, a cofounder of a nineteenth-century English magical society, The Hemetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Along the way we v d discuss the contributions of various scholars and occultists and demonstrate their roles in either maintainhg and, or expanding the system of cabalistic magic.




Hermetic kabbalah, Golden Dawn, Historical

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