The translations of The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage are supposedly based an original Hebrew manuscript dated 1458 written by Abramelin the Mage (1362–1460), a Jew from Würzburg, Germany, for his second son, Lamech. It is a classic text in modern occult circles and was held in high regard by Aleister Crowley.
The Abramelin Operation, is an intense six or eighteen month ritual [depending on which translation is used], at the culmination of which the magician attempts to access their Holy Guardian Angel [HGA]. The HGA is equated with the Higher Genius or Divine Self by many modern occultists.
The Operation is incredibly progressive, considering the time it was written in:
“For it is an indubitable and evident thing that he who is born Christian, Jew, Pagan, Turk, infidel, or whatever religion it may be, can arrive at the perfection of this work or art and become a master, but he who hath abandoned his natural law, and embraced another religion opposed to his own, can never arrive at the summit of this sacred science.” – Sacred Magic of Abramelin: First Book: Sixth Chapter [SL MacGregor Mathers’ translation]
Abramelin is essentially saying his Operation will work for anyone regardless of their religion, but cautions readers to not change the religion of their birth. [Personally, I’m inclined to think that changing your religion just prior to performing the Operation would compromise your chances of success, but those who had changed their religion many years prior, should be fine.] Those coming from a Judeo-Christian background have it easy as the sample prayers and the use of the Book of Psalms have a strong Jewish flavor. Those coming from any other religion would have to source their own prayers and sacred texts to read daily.
In Helios Unbound: Pagan Theurgy to Connect to Your Higher Genius, Nick Farrell provides a working system based on the Abramelin Operation to contact the divine self through combining modern ceremonial magical techniques with pagan practices. “Rather than prayers, it involved ritual purification and consecration and similar techniques but forced the person to follow an intense, disciplined approach. It ended up being seven months of going upwards through the Moon, planets, stars and finally meeting with your Higher Genius.”
The system is not for a beginner unless they are willing to immerse themselves in the bibliography and develop an understanding of Hellenistic Astrology.
Importantly, the issue of failure is addressed towards the end of the book, as not every candidate will succeed. Knowledge of the possible causes of failure can go a long way to making the process more effective and minimize the chances of failure. As an example, each of the seven months can be extended to two or three months should the goals of the month not be met – tuning into intuition is a very important skill to develop. Reading the entire book from beginning to end ensures that there are no surprises for the candidate.
I would recommend this text for anyone contemplating the Abramelin Operation within a ceremonial magic and pagan paradigm with no Judeo-Christian elements. I would also recommend it to magicians and pagans wanting to take their practice to the next level.