Transcendental magic Free PDF book , its doctrine and ritual by Eliphas Lévi (1896)

Transcendental magic, its doctrine, and ritual by Eliphas Lévi Translated by Arthur Edward Waite

Transcendental magic, its doctrine

ELIPHAS LEVI ZAHED is a pseudonym that was adopted in his occult writings by Alphonse Louis Constant, and it is said to be the Hebrew equivalent of that name. The author of the Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie was born in humble circumstances about the year 1810, being the son of a shoemaker. Giving evidence of unusual intelligence at an early age, the priest of his parish conceived a kindly interest for the obscure boy and got him on the foundation of Saint Sulpice, where he was educated without charge, and with a view to the priesthood. 


He seems to have passed through the course of study at that seminary in a way that did not disappoint the expectations raised concerning him. In addition to Greek and Latin, he is believed to have acquired considerable knowledge of Hebrew, though it would be an error to suppose that any of his published works exhibit special linguistic attainments. He entered on his clerical novitiate, took minor orders, and in due course became a deacon, being thus bound by a vow of perpetual celibacy. Shortly after this step, he was suddenly expelled from Saint Sulpice for holding opinions contrary to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. 


The existing accounts of this expulsion are hazy and incorporate unlikely elements, as, for example, that he was sent by his ecclesiastical superiors to take duty in country places, where he preached with great eloquence what, however, was doctrinally unsound; it was closed to him and what he did, or how he contrived to support himself, is unknown. By the year 1839, he had made some literary friendships, including that of Alphonse Esquires, the forgotten author of a fantastic romance, entitled " The Magician";* and Esquires introduced him to Garneau, a distracted prophet of the period, who had adopted the dress of a woman, abode in a garret, and there preached a species of political illuminism, which was apparently concerned with the restoration of la vraie UgitimiU. He was, in fact, the second incarnation of Louis XVII. " come back to earth for the fulfillment of a work of regeneration."  Constant and Esquires, who had visited him for the purpose of scoffing, was carried away by his eloquence and became his disciples. 


Some element of socialism must have combined with the illuminism of the visionary, and this appears to have borne fruit in the brain of Constant, taking shape ultimately in a book or pamphlet, entitled " The Gospel of Liberty," to which transient importance was attached, foolishly enough, by the imprisonment of the author for a term of six months. There is some reason to suppose that Esquires had a hand in the production, and also in the penalty. His incarceration over, Constant came forth undaunted, still cleaving to his prophet, and undertook a kind of apostolic mission into the provinces, addressing the country people, and suffering, as he himself tells us, persecution from the ill-disposed.




Author: Eliphas Lévi
 Publication Date: 1896

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