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Comment by SunTiger on August 7, 2018 at 10:45pm

Interesting that you equate "philosopher" with the definition of "magician" from 2,000 years ago. It would seem to me that a philosopher is all about thoughts (East/air sign) with ideas that can burn within (South/fire sign), while a magician is all about moving emotional, West/watery, and North/earthly, material matter. I agree with your definition about philosophy trying to figure out where you fit within the gazillion of objects and passions in this world. Yet a magician would be controlling the object elements, physically. No?   

Comment by Robert Powell on August 8, 2018 at 1:19am
I think you may have the wrong idea of a philosopher. These were the magicians the time historically. Many of thm were summoning spirits is you read Plotinus. They also had a demonology, especially the Neoplatonists like Plotoninus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Proclus. Iamblichus. They covered sublunary spirits which never left us historically. There were two forms of magick: transcendental and non-transcendental. Non-transcendental more along the veins you are talking about and these methods can be found in the ”London and Leiden Papyrus” and Greek Magical Papyri. Transcendental magic falls into another catagory that has ethics, morals, a cosmology, scientific knowledge, astronomy, and wisdom. Heraclitus writes that when you study his philosophy you are given special powers. Philosophers believed knowledge was power, much like the Egyptians. So they can use thier skills in math, theology, politics, grammar, navigation of the stars, and skills to assist politicians in making change. The philosopher at this time was a person who was literate too.

To only focus on manifestation and not wisdom is very close to materialism and materialistic philosophy. The philosophers like Lucious Seneca worked for the emperor to serve the people of Rome. The Greek concepts of math gave us more materials than if we had without existence. Their magic was in their works for the public. These transcendental philosopher magicians did make change, so much so they laid out the bedrock of western Occultism and culture in a good education. Even plato mentions the mysteries of how things come from the invisible to the visible. Yes, philosophers cared about how things materialized and in many cases practiced it in mathematics, chemistry, or some other science. So to say the philosophers thought and never acted is a real fallacy. Plotinus and other philosophers lay out an entire instruction guide on metaphysics and how to do it.
Comment by Robert Powell on August 8, 2018 at 1:32am

There was no elemental break down of this world either, as you posted, this a a post alchemical thought that was used in the Golden Dawn. The Philosophers really only used this terminology of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water to to describe things more complex. I would like to say that if you want a good book on this it would be Magic and Magicians in the Graeco-Roman World by Matthew W. Dickie. 

Comment by Robert Powell on August 8, 2018 at 1:52am

Cornelius Agrippa wrote the one book that solidified Western Magic, The Three Books of Occult Philosophy. I made a blog about hit and like the philosophers before him, he learned how to organize this knowledge and use it. Even his definition of magic is different than modern times and this man influenced later occult groups. 

Magic is a faculty of wonderful virtue, full of most high mysteries, containing the most profound contemplation of most secret things, together with the nature, power, quality, substance and virtues thereof, as also the knowledge of whole Nature, and it doth instruct us concerning the differing and agreement of things amongst themselves, whence it produceth its wonderful effects, by uniting the virtues of things through the application of them one to the other.


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