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  The Greek Qabalah
Magick Posted by Uskorpius 777 on January 24, 2001 @ 10:10 AM
from the down-for-the-count dept.

The Greek Qabalah
by Kieran Barry
Samuel Weiser, Maine: 1999. 224 pages.
ISBN: 1578631106

In the syllabus for prospective Argentum Astrum initiates, Master Therion listed the as-yet-unpublished Greek Qabalah. In other accounts, Therion reported concerns with the construction of this dictionary. Because Magick contained Greek and Coptic elements, such a dictionary would be quite important.


Nearly seventy years later, Kieran Barry fills this void with his scholarly treatise, one which takes us from the origin of the alphabet through classic antiquity to the medieval development of modern Magick. Although his didactic, ascerbic, "take no prisoners" style may abrade some contemporary readers, Barry has provided an important work. 53 pages of appendices in this book contain the largest collection of Greek gematria (or "isopsephy," in Barry's terminology) yet assembled, along with other relevant magical data.

This book is highly recommended. It will greatly increase the practical and theoretical resources of any modern student of Magick. Despite Barry's antiseptic, presumably detached approach, he makes it abundantly clear that he presents his work with that goal in mind. He makes no secret of his desire to appeal to -- and please -- a very broad audience.



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    Re: The Greek Qabalah
    by h MacKiernan on Friday January 26, @02:33PM
    A .: A .: Doesn't stand for "Argentum Astrum."

    =)

    But other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, this book is indeed fabulous. The thing that particularly stood out in my mind were the chapters on the history and development of alefbets.

    Barry was indeed a bit cold, if not snooty in his presentation, but I guess that's better than effusive and gushy.

    And hey, his first name is similar in spelling to the base of my last name "Kieran/Kiernan" -- I haven't done the numbers on it yet. Irish/Gaelic Kabbalah anyone?

    • Re: The Greek Qabalah
      by Samael on Monday February 19, @04:12PM
      "A .: A .: Doesn't stand for 'Argentum Astrum.'"

      Not only that, the Latin for "Silver Star" should be "Argenteum Astrum". Mind you, I'm not faulting the person who posted it, as that person's source likely misspelled it too. In fact I've seen it misspelled far, far more often than not.

      Ignorance of Latin being so universal these days....

      That aside, I recommend Barry's book highly too.


    • Re: The Greek Qabalah
      by Kieren Barry on Sunday March 04, @06:34PM
      Er, well sorry if the tone offended you. I was anxious to restore some objectivity and be academically neutral since no other book like that on the topic had been written. E.G. try Stephen Flowers' "Hermetic Magic" and you'll see how badly it could have been done... Also, i was aiming at a double market - the Universities and Classic departments, as well as practising magi and Qabalists like, presumably, yourself.

      Anyway, very glad that you otherwise liked it.

      best regards,
      Kieren Barry


      • Re: The Greek Qabalah
        by Mark Wogan on Sunday March 11, @10:44PM
        93 Kieren
        wandering how to contact you ,friends in New Zealand put me onto this site hence this posting .By the way brought your book ,much easier to read than those earlier draughts!.
        Shaped up great ,good addition to my library .
        9393/93
        Mark.


    Re: The Greek Qabalah
    by Malgwyn on Saturday January 27, @01:22PM
    Barry's exploration of how influential "Cabala" was on the early Christians is excellent. It was apparently quite common understanding at the time, and quite integral to the meaning of many of the scriptures. This knowlege became quite muddled in latter translations.

    Mr Barry also takes on Gershom Sholem's theories on the origin of Kabbalah,attributing the earliest forms of that art to the Greeks, not the Hebrews.

    I found this especially useful, I was never very comfortable with Hebrew Kabbalah, as it inevitably drags one back into Old Testament history/Theology. The lack of vowels in Hebrew also jarr with our more modern writing systems and allow "wiggling" in interpretation, especially with those of us who have only a passing understanding of Hebrew.

    Re: The Greek Qabalah
    by David R. Jones on Monday January 29, @09:44AM
    Do what thou wilt

    Shall be the whole of the Law.

    "In the syllabus for prospective Argentum Astrum initiates, Master Therion listed the as-yet-unpublished Greek Qabalah."

    This is a particularly appalling statement, as it attributes a nomenclature to Crowley, i.e. the Master Therion that he never intended. Why can't people who clearly don't know what they are talking about, or aren't quite sure about something learn to use subjunctive language or qualified terms, instead of putting categorical statements into the mouths of others, as a means of pretended authority. The irony here is that the real name/names are clearly obvious through the use of Greek gematria. If Barry said this, then say “according to Barry . . . ,“ if someone else then cite or identify them, either directly or obliquely. Crowley put a lot of effort into a certain kind of demystification, designed to free occult wisdom from the very kind of obfuscation that this indicates.

    Love is the
    law, love under will.

    David R. Jones aka ^333^
    djones@rogue.cc.or.us

    • Re: The Greek Qabalah
      by Samael on Monday February 19, @04:39PM
      93, Mr. Jones.

      " 'In the syllabus for prospective Argentum Astrum initiates, Master Therion listed the as-yet-unpublished Greek Qabalah.'"

      If by this the person intended "prospective" to mean those who were not yet Probationers, the above statement would be untrue, as the Student Syllabus does not list that work. The Probationer Syllabus does list "The Greek Qabalah", Liber MCCLXIV in Class B.

      "This is a particularly appalling statement, as it attributes a nomenclature to Crowley, i.e. the Master Therion that he never intended."

      I am unclear what nomenclature you are refering to. If you meant "The Greek Qabalah", Crowley in fact used this title for an unpublished Greek "Sepher Sephiroth", the bulk of whose intended contents have been published elsewhere on the web.

      If you are refering to "Astrum Argenteum" I am in full agreement with your remarks below:

      "Why can't people who clearly don't know what they are talking about, or aren't quite sure about something learn to use subjunctive language or qualified terms, instead of putting categorical statements into the mouths of others, as a means of pretended authority. The irony here is that the real name/names are clearly obvious through the use of Greek gematria."

      Respectfully yours,
      --Samael


    Re: The Greek Qabalah
    by RIKB on Tuesday January 30, @11:01PM
    93!

    Barry's word list isn't really the largest ever assembled -- just the largest published so widely. His book is a real landmark; I'd rather read his erudite but dry presentation of the topic than any number of more exciting but inaccurate or speculative ones. All the same, it would have been nice to see some of Barry's own work, as I'm sure he has a number of insights to offer.
    For the largest online word-list for Greek gematria, calculated in standard and serial numeration, see my Greek Gematria Database:
    http://www.horusset.com/greek
    My list is not based on Barry's, but there is significant overlap, as we've used essentially the same resources.

    93 93/93
    RIKB

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