eliphas levi

That Angel who was brave enough to buy his independence at the price of eternal suffering and torture; beautiful enough to have adored himself in full divine light; strong enough to still reign in darkness amidst agony, and to have made himself a throne out of his inextinguishable pyre.

History of Magic, Éliphas Lévi

or, when you try to show that “the Satan of the Republican and heretical Milton”, “the fake Lucifer of the hetorodox legend” sucks but utterly, epically, terribly fail.

The philosopher’s stone, the universal medicine, the transmutation of metals, the squaring of the circle, and the secret of perpetual movement are neither scientific hoaxes nor wild dreams; they are terms that must be understood in their true sense and express all the different uses of the same secret, the different characters of the same operation, that we define in a more general manner by simply calling it the Great Work.

There also exists in nature a force much more powerful than steam. With its use, a single man who could seize it and direct it, could disrupt and change the face of the world. This force was known to the ancients: it consists of a universal agent whose supreme law is balance and whose control is directly related to the great arcanum of transcendental magic. Through the control of this agent, we can even change the order of the seasons, produce daytime phenomena at night, communicate instantly from one end of the world to another, see like Apollonius what is happening on the other side of the world, heal or strike at a distance, give speech a real impact and a universal effect. This agent, which just barely revealed itself with the fumbling of Mesmer’s disciples, is precisely what the adepts of the Middle Ages called the raw material of the Great Work. The Gnostics made of it the flaming body of the Holy Spirit, and it was that which they adored in the secret rites of the sabbath or of the temple, under the hieroglyphic figure of Baphomet or of the androgynous goat of Mendes.

—  Éliphas Lévi - The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic: A New Translation p.14-15

The angel of liberty was born before the dawn of the first day, before even the awakening of intelligence, and God called him the morning star.

O Lucifer! Voluntarily and disdainfully thou didst detach thyself from the heaven where the sun drowned thee in his splendour, to plow with thine own rays the unworked fields of night!

Thou shinest when the sun sets, and thy sparkling gaze precedes the daybreak!

Thou fallest to rise again; thou tastest of death to understand life better!

For the ancient glories of the world, thou art the evening star; for truth renascent, the lovely star of dawn.

-  The Key of the Mysteries (La Clef des Grands Mystères)By
Eliphas Levi

Virtue presupposes action; for the reason why it is usually contrasted with our passions is to make it clear that it is never something passive.
Not only is virtue strength, it is the governing reason behind strength. It is the equilibrant of life.
The great secret of virtue, virtuality and life, whether temporal or eternal, may be formulated thus:
The art of balancing forces so as to keep movement in equilibrium.
The equilibrium we are looking for is not that which produces immobility, but that which regulates movement. For immobility is death, and movement is life.
—  Eliphas Levi

Eliphas Levi, 1861

Each letter is an universal and an absolute conception, governed only by the number represented by the letter. The science of signs begins with the science of letters.

Letters are absolute ideas. Absolute ideas are numbers. Numbers are perfect signs.

In using ideas with numbers, one can operate upon the ideas like one can operate upon number and arrive at the mathematics of truth.

(Course of Kabalistic and Occult Philosophy, The Kabalistic and Occult Tarot of Eliphas Levi, 1861)


Scans of Eliphas Levi’s “The History Of Magic, Including A Clear And Concise Exposition, Its Rites, And Its Mysteries” published in 1922 and translated, with preface and notes, by Arthur Edward Waite. The images are placed according to their order of appearance and these are 11-20.