The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage – the second edition Troy Book’s series of classic grimoires, was translated into English by Occultist S. L. Mac Gregor Mathers from a French document in 1897. Whilst the text purports to be of 15th century origin, the earliest known versions of the manuscript, which are in German, date to the 17th and 18th centuries.
The text tells the story of how ‘Abraham of Worms’ encountered an Egyptian mage named Abramelin, from whom Abraham received the secrets of a powerful Kabbalistic magical system. It is this system and its secrets we read of as Abraham passes his knowledge to his son Lamech.
The system revealed within the text consists of lengthy and elaborate rites and preparatory practices, in order to gain the ‘knowledge and conversation’ of one’s ‘guardian angel’ via whom magical secrets will be revealed unto the practitioner. Via evocations of the twelve Kings and Dukes of Hell, the practitioner will obtain a number of familiar spirits of aid to the operative magic encountered within the ‘third book’ of this text.
As head of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at the time, Mathers' The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage became very import and influential to the pactices of the order, via which it was to have a profound influence upon the practices of Aleister Crowley.
The operative magic of the book, which like the operative content of other popular grimoires became incorporated into folk-magical practices, is centered around 242 magic word square talismans. Via the use of these squares the practitioner may gain an array of powers, many of which are those sought after within the folk-magical and cunning arts, such as knowing the past and the future, the conjuration of various spirits and visions, weather magic, to gain treasures and wealth, to cure various maladies, to excite love or hatred, to discover thefts and to open locks. More dramatic powers may be granted by the squares and include the ability to fly or walk beneath the water, to revive dead bodies unto life, to transform men into beasts and beasts into men, to become invisible and to raise magical armies.