In the Picatrix or an ancient magical grimoire, a variety of rituals and spells are laid out that teach the user how to use and obtain cosmic energy. By utilizing such energy, the practitioner can supposedly obtain immense power.
According to various reports, the Picatrix or Ghayat al Hakim could possibly be one of the most important books on astrological magic. Written in Arabic back in 1000 A.D, it serves as a magical encyclopedia of sorts that are quite larger than most other medieval grimoires, or magical books. It was later translated into Latin in 1256 for Alfonso the Wise.
Researcher David Pingree has referred to it as the “most thorough exposition of celestial magic in Arabic,” and describes it as the “Arabic texts on Hermeticism, Sabianism, Ismailism, astrology, alchemy and magic produced in the Near East in the ninth and tenth centuries A.D.”
The book is divided into four books:
- Book I – “Of the heavens and the effects they cause through images made under them”
- 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”
- 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”
- 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”
And each of the books is then divided into several chapters containing information on magic, the planets, the order of natural things, along with various other magical topics.
It is believed that the Picatrix was written by Abū- Maslama Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn ‘Abd al-da’im al-Majrīt, who was an astronomer, mathematician, and alchemist of Al-Andalus who gathered a variety of knowledge of the Middle East from the 8th and 9th centuries.
And while it contains a variety of topics including numerology and astrology, it also contains much more than that. Bizarre recipes are also included that involve hashish, opium and other psychoactive plants to alter consciousness and induce altered states. Then, in other parts, it teaches users how to contact spirits by using blood, sperm, urine, earwax, tears and saliva.
Magic was highly involved with spirituality in ancient times, and because of that, ancient grimoires have become a treasure trove of knowledge for the taking. Not only does this provide us with a deeper insight regarding ritual magic, it also shows us where the roots of astrology, astronomy, and other forms of mysticism have come from. As this knowledge has made its way down through the generations much of it has changed, but quite a bit of it remains intact.
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