Thoughts on PGM Reconstruction

Syncretic Egyptian / Graeco-Roman magic from the collection of texts known as the Papyri Graecae Magicae.
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dionysiandame
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Thoughts on PGM Reconstruction

Post#1 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:19 pm

One of the interesting things I've noticed as I've delved into the PGM is the stunning parallels some of the rituals have with classical Hellenic domestic worship; at least as much as we know about it. Of course, domestic worship and folk practices varied so much there was no definitive practice that every household followed though there were certain elements that were generally present (lighting incense, offerings, etc).

With this in mind, I can't help but wonder if maybe we, in our rigorous quest for research and reconstruction are removing the very essence of the PGM that makes it such a fascinating, and useful, body of work. It shows the flexibility of the magical systems of this period and how fluid people were with altering ritual- sometimes even on the fly.

In Ancient Magic and Ritual Power, Smith notes how the PGM represents the commercializing of Greco-Egyptian folk magical practices but, in turn, are we "ceremonializing" the material? Attempting to make it more rigid to match the ritual structures many of us are familiar with?

How cool are you with winging it? Are you going for a reconstructionist approach to the workings? We know the PGM is syncretic so are there any "foreign" elements you've brought in?
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Nashimiron
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Re: Thoughts on PGM Reconstruction

Post#2 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:43 pm

I think you are right. The PGM is very loose and you can see in the text itself, the same spell will appear more than once and slightly modified to suit different situations. I think the whole thing is one big copy & paste job, and I continue this approach myself.

One thing I've found useful is mixing the PGM with the Picatrix. The Arabic Hermetica provides a Platonic framework to guide you in using PGM rites, and the Picatrix's Lunar Mansions and Decans and planetary spirits can benefit from the PGM's prayers as an over-ruling theological element.

An example - Picatrix Lunar Mansion talisman consecration:

Invocation to Hekate from PGM
Rite of the Three reads from PGM, modified to repeat the intent of the talisman to the three directions of the crossroads.
Draw and suffumigate talisman using charge from Picatrix.

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nipha333
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Re: Thoughts on PGM Reconstruction

Post#3 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:40 pm

Research is important, but magic dies and becomes philosophy when winging it is removed from the repertoire. Also, there is a big difference between winging it, and running on inspiration. Inspiration in my opinion relies on an exterior and interior base. Interior base for inspiration is limited by your collected information. My head always makes connection from something Im doing/readng/exeriencing/ to at least 5 different authors/texts. If i hadnt done all that research and reading and note taking, none of that would happen. The exterior inspiration is from spirits, and from spells etc. Both are legitimate, but oddly if you dont do the research and extensive reading, your mind id left with nothing but nothing to work with when in an inspired state. This is my personal opinion of why chaos magic not only became super popular with, but super degraded by late millenials and early generation z. The obsession with laziness and JUST HAND IT TO ME! mentality gave way to, well im already a television zombie, lets invoke buffy the vampire slayer because i have no real mythological context to work in and dont want to put the energy into gaining one.
to restate, with a wealth of knowledge at your disposal, winging it is what a magician does once that wealth of accumulated knowledge pushes them outside predesigned complete systems.
'Goetic Magic … if properly understood would regenerate Western magic and underline its immense cultural significance, on a level equal to any spiritual tradition in the world.' -JSK

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Nashimiron
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Re: Thoughts on PGM Reconstruction

Post#4 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:25 am

nipha333 wrote:Research is important, but magic dies and becomes philosophy when winging it is removed from the repertoire. Also, there is a big difference between winging it, and running on inspiration. Inspiration in my opinion relies on an exterior and interior base. Interior base for inspiration is limited by your collected information. My head always makes connection from something Im doing/readng/exeriencing/ to at least 5 different authors/texts. If i hadnt done all that research and reading and note taking, none of that would happen. The exterior inspiration is from spirits, and from spells etc. Both are legitimate, but oddly if you dont do the research and extensive reading, your mind id left with nothing but nothing to work with when in an inspired state. This is my personal opinion of why chaos magic not only became super popular with, but super degraded by late millenials and early generation z. The obsession with laziness and JUST HAND IT TO ME! mentality gave way to, well im already a television zombie, lets invoke buffy the vampire slayer because i have no real mythological context to work in and dont want to put the energy into gaining one.
to restate, with a wealth of knowledge at your disposal, winging it is what a magician does once that wealth of accumulated knowledge pushes them outside predesigned complete systems.


Great post!

This reminds me of something I read years ago about one of the benefits of learning a chosen system. When Illumination comes, light requires something to light up. When you have thoroughly absorbed a system, be it the Old Testament or the G.'.D.'. tarot on the Tree of Life, or whatever, your illumination is able to "light it up" and you see it from the illuminated perspective. So you have a language with which to process the experience. If you have no internal system to light up, the light just shines in an empty void and shows you nothing but the phantoms brought on by the last bacon sandwich you ate. And so your "UPG" produces nought but the Gospel of the Bacon Sandwich.

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nipha333
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Re: Thoughts on PGM Reconstruction

Post#5 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:18 pm

Nashimiron wrote:
nipha333 wrote:Research is important, but magic dies and becomes philosophy when winging it is removed from the repertoire. Also, there is a big difference between winging it, and running on inspiration. Inspiration in my opinion relies on an exterior and interior base. Interior base for inspiration is limited by your collected information. My head always makes connection from something Im doing/readng/exeriencing/ to at least 5 different authors/texts. If i hadnt done all that research and reading and note taking, none of that would happen. The exterior inspiration is from spirits, and from spells etc. Both are legitimate, but oddly if you dont do the research and extensive reading, your mind id left with nothing but nothing to work with when in an inspired state. This is my personal opinion of why chaos magic not only became super popular with, but super degraded by late millenials and early generation z. The obsession with laziness and JUST HAND IT TO ME! mentality gave way to, well im already a television zombie, lets invoke buffy the vampire slayer because i have no real mythological context to work in and dont want to put the energy into gaining one.
to restate, with a wealth of knowledge at your disposal, winging it is what a magician does once that wealth of accumulated knowledge pushes them outside predesigned complete systems.


Great post!

This reminds me of something I read years ago about one of the benefits of learning a chosen system. When Illumination comes, light requires something to light up. When you have thoroughly absorbed a system, be it the Old Testament or the G.'.D.'. tarot on the Tree of Life, or whatever, your illumination is able to "light it up" and you see it from the illuminated perspective. So you have a language with which to process the experience. If you have no internal system to light up, the light just shines in an empty void and shows you nothing but the phantoms brought on by the last bacon sandwich you ate. And so your "UPG" produces nought but the Gospel of the Bacon Sandwich.


Another great aspect of this, is when those intuitive leaps happen, at least for me, one of the things that is also illuminated, is what data i collected that are useless or dead ends, and it allows you to prune branches and roots off your tree, and keep the plant thriving, and the energy going where it will be most useful. As Ive stated elsewhere, as someone who started as a crowleyite when i caught my HUGE breakthrough and illumination, it was instantly clear to me what is useless in his system in the sense that it is irrelevant to the book of the law or thelemic philosophy, and I was able to move forward with a much more clear vision of what the track was and where it was going.
'Goetic Magic … if properly understood would regenerate Western magic and underline its immense cultural significance, on a level equal to any spiritual tradition in the world.' -JSK

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