"Theurgic union is attained only by the perfective operation of unspeakable acts correctly performed, acts which are beyond all understanding, and by the power of unutterable symbols which are intelligible only to the Gods"
Iamblichus, De Mysteriis. 2,11
"... by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate, and the night;
By all the operation of the orbs
From whom we do exist, and cease to be;"
King Lear. Act 1, Scene 1.
This part of the website is primarily devoted to the late antique hieratic praxis of Theurgy (Greek: θεουργία Latin: Theurgia) as expounded predominantly by the divine Iamblichus of Chalcis, Proclus the Platonic Successor and in the Chaldean Oracles attributed to Julianus the Theurgist.
The aim of the Theurgic art is the "purification (κάθαρσις), liberation (ἀπόλυσις) and salvation (σωτηρία) of the soul" (De Myst. X, 7) through the divine acts (θεῖα ἔργα) of sacred rites. These ineffable Theurgic rites were praised by Proclus as "a power higher than all human wisdom, embracing the blessings of prophecy and the purifying powers of initiation." (Theologia Platonica, I, 25)
The ultimate aim of this category is to gather all available non-copyrighted English and Greek texts relevant to the study of Theurgy and related Neoplatonic materials.
The divine Iamblichus' key text, On the Mysteries (De Mysteriis Aegyptιorum / Περὶ τῶν αἰγυπτίων μυστηρίων) is the focal point for the study of Theurgy. To facilitate this study I have produced the first online edition of the first English translation of Thomas Taylor, (which, although deficient in many ways was until recently the best of the two translations previously available) and an electronic facsimile of my copy of the 1678 editio princeps of the Greek text edited and translated into Latin by Thomas Gale. I have also produced an edition of the Greek text of the Chaldean Oracles with Roman transliteration along with a facsimile of William Kroll's De Oraculis Chaldaicis. I also hope to eventually collect all ancient references to Theurgy with special focus on the praxis of Theurgy. The so called Mithras Liturgy is perhaps the most illustrative and complete text of a Theurgic rite that has come down to us. I have produced a version of Greek and English text of the Mithras Liturgy with the vowel lengths of the Voces Magicae correctly indicated.
For the first time since the second publication of 1701, I am making available the text of Thomas Stanley's History of the Chaldaick Philosophy containing his outline of Theurgy, natural magic, apparitions, divination, planetary worship, demonology and cosmology as found in the religious traditions of the Chaldeans, Persians and Sabians and also in the late Platonic milieu surrounding the Chaldean Oracles. While not being a terribly useful work in terms of modern scholarship, Stanley's history is a fascinating read and was very influential among the various protagonists of the 19th century occult revival. The work includes Stanley's translation (the first in English) of the Chaldean Oracles along with the Latin translation of Francesco Patrizi and the Greek text.
As you will no doubt note, there are many pages on this site that are still in the process of completion. Please do check back from time to time as I am constantly adding new texts and update works in progress.
In the future I also hope to touch on other more general aspects of spiritual practice in the late Platonic milieu and the question of Christian Theurgy with particular reference to the profound influence of the Athenian Neo-Platonic school of Proclus on the Pseudo-Dionysian corpus and other early Patristic writers.
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