Picatrix on Texts with Double Meaning

Picatrix Rubeus pages 54-55:

“The concealment and profundity of words is the subtlety of the wise in their reasonings, so that they cannot be understood without much contemplation. Their meaning lies hidden therein until intelligence extracts it from its concealments, and then it is extracted from a different meaning that is understood by the intellect at first glance. This science of magic is divided into two parts, of which one is manifest, and the other deeply hidden. The part deeply hidden is profound, and there are profound perceptions that cannot be grasped except with others that come before them through hard work, until their relationship becomes apparent and they are uncovered.

“If anyone thoroughly studies this according to the dictum just given, he will have all that he desires, and secrets will be opened to him, and thereby he will attain what he wishes. The byways and highways leading to this attainment are many, however. Some of them are to take proofs from the manifest and apply them to the hidden, and returning the branches to the root in order to join them together, and to assemble in one’s consciousness and thought the credible sayings of saintly men or of some particular saint.

“In this way you will reach completion and perfection, and you will attain what you wish, and the manifest and concealed meaning of these words will be revealed to you. Likewise, you will be granted the right to pass freely on the roads just mentioned, so that you will be able to attain knowledge and penetrate and uncover hidden things—because by each of the aforesaid roads you will be able to attain what you wish, and understand knowledge and its meanings, and understand all things, and perceive all things in their proper order.”

I think this passage is other than it appears and may contain some of the most powerful secrets of Picatrix.

Picatrix as a Kabbalistic Talisman

Page 57 Picatrix Rubeus:

“All that we have said in this context we say only to sharpen the intellect and illuminate awareness, because the aforesaid words and reasons that we have stated are spiritual images and the word that Adam received form the Lord God. They cannot be understood except by the sages who have labored faithfully in knowledge and have understood how created beings attain truth. You should understand all of this and retain it in your intellect, because what we have said up to this point in this book of ours constitute the foundations of the art of magic, if you understand it well.”

  1. So, basically he’s saying that large chunks of Picatrix are talismans of a kind in textual form. What do they do? Probably helps the student comprehend the rest of the text– and man, do we need that help sometimes.
  2. The word given to Adam is a veiled reference. According to Jewish folklore, Kabbalah was given to Adam by God after the expulsion from Eden because the punishment was too severe, with the intent that it be passed down to his favored sons for their succor. Since Kabbalah is a largely non-astrological form of magic (in its practical expression) which is almost exclusively textual, this makes sense that it be referred to when describing a text-based enchanted object. A book on magic, which is itself a magical book.
  3. Some would say that Judaic Kabbalah was a medieval phenomenon, but I strongly disagree and think there is evidence for its existence during the development of the Talmud. So a reference to it in a 700AD text would not be anachronistic.