I have went through many phases in my life with magick. Some of the practices I was involved with was Wicca, Neo-Paganism, Thelema, the Heremetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the writings of Cornelius Agrippa; but is all very pale in comparison to this ancient practice I have found 2 years ago. The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation with Demotic Spells is a text that has opened my eyes to a new world view of magick. The system of magick from this 2,000 year old text has changed my life, more so than any other style of magick I delved into in the past. It provides more practice with less theory, the PGM contains material you have to memorize to perform, and it has a perfect admixture of ancient cultures, the PGM allows the magician to get more creative with his magick, and follows the perfect balance of high magick and low magick.
Initially it is so easy to read a book and regurgitate information you have learned from many sources. It is quite easy to complicate things in the world of occultism. We can formulate theories on the mechanics of magick works night and day. This ancient magick is entirely different from most modern systems. The Greek Magical Papyri seems to use several theories from classical mystery schools, religions, and personal conjecture from independent magicians. Bear in mind each of these have their own ideologies and theories, but the PGM has a way of lumping them together. In the theory the sun deity is the general ruler for most spirits (Daimones) in general and the second most powerful entity seems to be the lunar goddess. This is a system of practice that is in heavy use of spirits, gods, daimones, and entities. Therefore, it is quite simple to understand the perspective of these magicians who practiced this magick. So the practice was far more important than the simplistic theory that these daimones would assist you with the work. This paradigm has simplified my model of magick to be more focused on the work, rather than worrying about what will work and will not work. It has help me become a very simple person in real life too.
Secondly, this system requires a magical memory. So reading from a script will make the magick far less effective (as is indicated by some spells to help you memorize many of the rites). Some of the spells are from priests and mystery schools, thus it was crucial to memorize several parts of the spells. In full admittance, I found memorizing these spells has made my life far more conducive with remembering even the most perplexing details of an event. My reading has vastly improved and the smaller details seem to have far more relevance in my life. I guess in some ways the people who I find most intelligent in my life have a taste for remembering the minor details about people and events, it makes their stories so much more entertaining.
Thirdly, this magick perfectly accompanies my passion for history by observing the multi-culturalism involved in the manuscript. I have a love for both ancient Greece and ancient Egypt. The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation with Demotic Spells offers the best of both worlds. When I first read the book (PGM I. Line 1) I realized how many hybrid ideas were created from the intermingling of these two cultures. There was a market of ideas as daemons and gods were seen as the same with very different names. This was aesthetically pleasing to my duality in my head. There is one half of me that knows these are separate entities historically, then the other half of me knows for the sake of evolution this had to be seen as the same. This also ties into some of my Hermetic roots of associating one symbol to another. The art of this text and its description of each deity demonstrates an open market of ideas that has broadened my own horizons on understanding ancient deities.
Fourthly, magick is an art. Art can be written with words or painting a simple image. The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation with Demotic Spells does both! There are parts of the text that make pictures from the Greek letters. These letters can spell phrases, barbarous names, god names, angel names, foreign deity titles, and more. Many times the PGM simply uses the seven vowels from the ancient Greek language as a device for magick. It is the root for the source of IAO and several other combinations that are purely vowel created names. Many times, these words are believed to have power to manifest, hence why they have steles the magician would engrave spells on for pure magick. So words being magick was not an exaggeration in this system. I believe that this book is the core to the phrase, “Names have power,” in the magical community. I always knew this rule of thumb, but never realized how far the envelope could be pushed with this system. Magically and practically, this system has been a reminder of how I should treat words with care every time I speak and/or write.
Lastly, the PGM has a system that is right balance between high magick and low magick. It seems Thaumaturgy (low magick) and Theurgy (high magick) are a false dichotomy in my world view. This ancient system of magick has opened my eyes to the reality that the world today is so far divided. There has to be some unification somewhere, the PGM is perfect system equalizer. The magician would pick a plant, do spirit offerings, light his incense, do his ceremonial gestures with prayer, and conduct his ritual in a structured manner. A part of me considers this system organized shamanism. I came from a high magick background and to be acquainted to the art of more primitive based magick really made me want to explore other avenues of magick in more tribal cultures. It has opened my awareness to a new perception that demands attention.
The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation with Demotic Spells is my personal cup of tea that has allowed me to be a better person in character and carry more respect for things I do not comprehend. Since I broke through that wall that modern magick has built with modern dichotomies it feels like I have been liberated without boundaries. I have a fire that allows me to look further and deeper into the mysteries of myself and the world. I have been practicing more magick, memorizing longer poetry, fulfilling my love of history, getting more creative with words and art, and looking beyond black and white thinking. This work has truly changed my life. If anyone is willing to take this practice serious it could change their lives too!