(3) Original French editions of Eliphas Levi’s famous books on magic: Histoire de la magie (“The History of Magic”), 1860 – First edition + La Clef des grands mystères (“The Key to the Great Mysteries”), 1861 – First edition + Dogme et rituel de la haute magie (“The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic”), 1861 – Second Edition.
Precious set of 3 works by Eliphas Levi on magic in matching, original leather bindings.
Eliphas Levi (1810-1875), born Alphonse Louis Constant, was a sage, poet and author of over twenty esoteric books. He began writing at 22 years of age and was imprisoned twice for the critical nature of his work. Eliphas Levi was steeped in the Western occult tradition and a master of the Rosicrucian interpretation of the Qabalah, which forms the basis of magic as practiced in the West today.
3 vol. i n-8 (21.6 × 13.2 cm), half red chagrin with corners, back with nerves decorated with golden motifs (the wicks of the time).
Condition: A little used bindings, including rubbed bits. Foxing See Photos. TEXT IS COMPLETE
1. Histoire de la magie (“The History of Magic”). Paris, Germer Baillière, 1860.
18 figures lithographed out of text.
Histoire de la magie or the History of magic is a great introduction into the esoteric tradition of the 19th century. It tells a reader about the principles of Kabbala, astrology, Tarot, and many more. The author gives us the keys to the history and practice of magic from antiquity to his times and presents a great theoretical and practical point of reference. This book is considered one of the treasures of esoteric literature. It has been constantly republished since its publication.
“Considerable work whose analysis would require several pages. It is not only the history of the phenomena of occultism since the highest antiquity, it is also a prodigiously documented work of the high Kabbalah” (Caillet).
2. La Clef des grands mystères (“The Key to the Great Mysteries”). Paris, Germer Baillière, 1861.
18 (out of 20) lithographed figures out of text.
The “Key of the Mysteries” represents the culmination of Levi’s thoughts and is written with subtle and delicate irony. It reveals the mysteries of religion and the secrets of the Qabalah, providing a sketch of the prophetic theology of numbers. The mysteries of nature, such as spiritualism and fluidic phantoms, are explored. Magical mysteries, the Theory of the Will with its 22 axioms are divulged. And finally it offers “the great practical secrets.” The true greatness of this work, however, lies in its ability to place occult thought firmly in Western religious traditions. For Levi, the study of the occult was the study of a divine science, the mathematics of God.
3. Dogme et rituel de la haute magie (“The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic”). Paris, Germer Baillière, 1861. 2 volumes in one volume.
Second edition (greatly enlarged).
9 figures lithographed out of text and figures in the text.
Born Alphonse Louis Constant, French magician Éliphas Lévi (1810-75) wrote prolifically on the occult sciences. This highly popular two-volume treatise on practical magic attempts to initiate the reader into the mysteries of occult philosophy. It is structured in two volumes between 1854 (Dogme) and 1856 (Rituel). Each volume is structured into 22 chapters, which parallel the Tarot. Identifying magic as the ‘nurse or godmother’ of all intellectual forces, Lévi proclaims his firm belief in man as microcosm of the universe, the strength of human willpower and the effectiveness of sympathetic magic. Taking a more practical focus than the first part, this second volume, ‘The Ritual of Transcendental Magic’, focuses on the rituals and ceremonies of Western occult philosophy, offering explanations for magical equilibrium, the use and consecration of the pentagram, talismans, necromancy, transmutations, the Sabbath of the sorcerers, witchcraft, and the alchemical work of Nicholas Flamel and Raymond Lull.
“The most important work of the greatest modern occultist” (Caillet).
1. Dorbon-îné, Bibliotheca esoterica, No. 1467. Caillet, n° 2576.
2. Dorbon-îné, Bibliotheca esoterica, No. 1458 (announcement
20 boards). Caillet, No. 2567.
3. Dorbon-îné, Bibliotheca esoterica, No. 1461. Caillet, No. 2571.