Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic - Add the Usual

Syncretic Egyptian / Graeco-Roman magic from the collection of texts known as the Papyri Graecae Magicae.
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Nashimiron
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Re: Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic - Add the Usual

Post#21 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:20 am

Brother_Moloch_969 wrote:I'm not stating that the intentional misdirection of the reader is not some how wrong; rather I'm not certain I agree fully with your premise that this is a blatant screw up here.


I can't help but think that Skinner's representation of "add the usual" as "do the usual" is a semantic sleight of hand which allows him to slip his argument in support of circles and ceremonial swords past the casual reader. It's simply not possible for someone who has studied the text in any depth to make a mistake like this. If it is an innocent mistake, it suggests that what he thought was in the PGM had a greater hold on him than what he actually read. This doesn't say much for his scholarship.

Brother_Moloch_969 wrote:So if two occult scholars like Webb and Dr. Flowers suggest a circle, what is so wron with Dr. Skinner's suggestion of using one?


Alas! For occult scholarship. Give me the days of ruthless academic vigour when such luminaries as Papus produced great works that have stood unchallenged by lesser scholars over the decades! How things have changed! [/irony] :lol:

Brother_Moloch_969 wrote:All over the mistranslation of a word and its variants? In fact, I do not believe Dr. Skinner had anything to do with that himself rather I believe that was Betz especially if Webb & Flowers drew the same conclusion.


You're missing the point I am making, that Skinner misrepresents the English, never mind the Greek. Have a thumb through the PGM and find me an instance of "do the usual" where it could be interpreted as "cast a circle".

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Leonardo_Drakon
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Re: Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic - Add the Usual

Post#22 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:58 pm

Nashimiron wrote:
Leonardo_Drakon wrote:This is a really fascinating!
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... koina%2Fn0

"common", "impart", "partner", "communicate" ...all seem to resonate with your statement. I can get behind this definition


Also, look at the context where the word appears. It's always at the point where you have evoked the god / spirit and would expect to be talking to it.



Honestly Nashimiron I think you are making some stellar observations and bringing to light an important topic.

I did go through the PGM last night (the Greek text in the Preisendanz ed.) and fully agree with your points. The context of where κοινός appears and its variants(i.e. κοινή, κοινόν) seems to always follow a spoken invocation or written formulae...seems much more like a interjection for the practitioner to add their own petition or speak directly to the manifest spirit rather than anything regarding a ritual framework that precedes the ritual. The error seems to stem from the first English translations (Betz, etal.), my German is scheisse so I can't speak for Preisendanz's translation.

Overall there are several translation issues with Betz' edition and hence why when working with the PGM I return to the Greek text and translate it myself. We have to keep in mind that Betz' audience was academic and thus the nuances that a practitioner will identify as important to performing the ritual were not given the priority and scrutiny they deserve in the initial translations.
----------γνῶθι σεαυτόν----------


tai
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Re: Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic - Add the Usual

Post#23 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:54 am

I remember meeting Ian Rons once at Treadwells and having a conversation about Egyptology. He used to be active in the London OTO and Lashtal until "something" happened...
Nashimiron wrote:The pic I posted is indeed Bes as Akephalos, from the spell where you draw him on your hand.

Hmmmmm if I may point out the obvious the entity in your pic has a head whereas the entity in Preisendanz' manuscript is headless. Are you sure they are the same?
Nashimiron wrote:Skinner includes it in his section on the ceremonial sword where he continues his argument from the section on the circle, that the very fact that no rites call for the use of a sword shows that its use was taken for granted and hence prolific. The image of Bes with the caption identifying it as a PGM magician with sword is no doubt intended to bolster his argument.

On a similar note Daniel Ogden notes striking analogies between Greek necromantic practises and subsequent European ceremonial magick. His scholarly comparisons are so brilliant that I suspect he started with CM and "read into" Greek necromancy.

Great post btw.

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Nashimiron
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Re: Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic - Add the Usual

Post#24 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:57 am

tai wrote:I remember meeting Ian Rons once at Treadwells and having a conversation about Egyptology. He used to be active in the London OTO and Lashtal until "something" happened...


Now I'm getting scared again. I need a phylactery....one that can guard against daimons, against phantasms and against every sickness and suffering...one that I can wear all the time wherever I go! I wonder if I can find one in the PGM... ;)

tai wrote:
Nashimiron wrote:The pic I posted is indeed Bes as Akephalos, from the spell where you draw him on your hand.

Hmmmmm if I may point out the obvious the entity in your pic has a head whereas the entity in Preisendanz' manuscript is headless. Are you sure they are the same?


Yes. PGM VIII 64.

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nipha333
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Re: Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic - Add the Usual

Post#25 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:08 pm

Leonardo_Drakon wrote:
Having met Dr. Skinner, I agree that he is a class act and more than welcomes intelligent discussion and critique regarding his work.... I also think that Techniques is a fantastic resource for those hoping to better understand the PGM; however, I do agree with certain points made by Nashimiron.

My biggest critique of Techniques is that Dr. Skinner tends to over-emphasize the Egyptian elements while de-emphasizing the archaic Greek traditions (i.e goetia) that undoubtedly also contributed to the rituals of the papyri. As a counter-balance to Skinner's work, I point people to Jake Stratton-Kent's Geosophia (who takes it in the opposite direction, entirely focusing on the chthonic realm and the archaic Greek goetic tradition). Together these works paint a much more holistic picture of the PGM and the precursor traditions that influenced the scribes.

I too have a bone to pick regarding Skinner's conclusions about the ritual circle...I just don't see any evidence of it in the papyri and I just don't believe it was part of "the usual" preparations made for ritual. The protective elements are almost always clearly defined in the papyri as phylacteries - or lamens - worn by the magician and generally described in great detail...if the scribes go to the extent of describing these protective elements, why would they entirely omit the circle if indeed they were using it?

As a general statement and one based entirely on my practice and experiences, I believe much regarding the practical applications of PGM spells can be grasped when seen in light of spirit-working traditions such as those found in the ATRs/ADRs instead of the overly-ritualized (and overly -intellectualized) forms of ceremonial magic that have become popular in modern western occultism. Many of the spells are focused on creating spirit-vessels or fetishes (whether it is creating stones, rings, wax figurines or 'deifying' animals via the waters of the Nile) as physical vessels to interact with spirit. Again, here we find parallels to modes of working with spirits more akin to the living African and other indigenous traditions than the literary grimoires.

However, we undoubtedly find elements that resonate with the so-called Solomonic and Cyprianic grimoires, in particular I like to point people to PGM IV. 154-285 which is in itself a mini grimoire with language that clearly resonates with the invocations of the Heptameron. But even in this 'most grimoire-like' spell, the protective element is clearly defined as a lamen worn by the practitioner and no mention of a circle is even made...the invocation of the spirit(s) occur initially outdoors atop a roof (with the initiate enacting a ritual 'death' wrapped in burial shrouds) to make initial contact with Helios and Typhon as the authoritative spirit for later operations. The ritual that follows (the lecanomancy rite, which I believe Skinner correctly identifies as a "Evocatory scrying practice" rather than 'bowl divination" as it is often understood) is explicit in the type of water to use, the type of oil to use, the invocation, and the protective lamen (engraved with Typhon's 100-letter name)...but with zero reference to a circle, and indeed when we look at classical Greek art depicting similar practices individuals are shown looking into bowls often seated with no indication of a drawn circle. I find it much more likely that the circles as protective 'spaces' made their way later into the western traditions via Arabic magical traditions, but that is a topic for another day.


Took the words from my mouth mostly, and said it better than i would have lol.

Though I will also say that I dont see a problem mixing some new with the old, and for me circles are a large part of this. My own circle style (the more complicated version anyway) is a five elements set up where the four directions are the elements, and i have a robe that has the fifth on the breast like a lamen.

In general I tend to have a 50/50 agree/disagree relationship with skinner and his work with rankine. They make some points i agree with, but i find both of their styles of writing and some of their approaches rub me the wrong way.

Leonardo_Drakon wrote:
As a general statement and one based entirely on my practice and experiences, I believe much regarding the practical applications of PGM spells can be grasped when seen in light of spirit-working traditions such as those found in the ATRs/ADRs instead of the overly-ritualized (and overly -intellectualized) forms of ceremonial magic that have become popular in modern western occultism. Many of the spells are focused on creating spirit-vessels or fetishes (whether it is creating stones, rings, wax figurines or 'deifying' animals via the waters of the Nile) as physical vessels to interact with spirit. Again, here we find parallels to modes of working with spirits more akin to the living African and other indigenous traditions than the literary grimoires.


This statement in particular is so important, and applies to the grimoires in general as well. Im not sure what the source of the huge pushback to this idea is, but it is surely very much contested for some reason.
'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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