Afterword by the Editor

The text and diagrams of this book were taken directly from a copy of Sloane Manuscript 2731. The handwriting in this section was small and cramped, even in comparison with the rest of the manuscript. It is very difficult to distinguish between the copyist’s “o”, “e”, and “a”; thus there is some variation from other published editions in the names of various angels. They are as accurate as I can make them, given the state of the original materials. Punctuation marks and capitalization are virtually non-existent in the manuscript, particularly in the parts describing the individual angels and their subordinates. The punctuation in this edition represents my own best guess as to how the run-on strings of words are divided into sentences.

The Ars Paulina is, in one way, the most sophisticated of the books of the Lemegeton. Unlike the other books, effective practice of its methods required a detailed knowledge of both mathematics and astronomy, possessed in those days only by those who could afford the full course of the traditional Liberal Arts education. As well, a tremendous amount of effort went into the preparations for any single operation of the Art. Calculating a single astrological chart by hand, without even the aid of a pre-calculated ephemeris, could consume many hours.

There is one flaw in this sophistication, and it appears in the first paragraph of the book. There the author describes how the power governed by the angels ruling the dawn hour varies according to the day; Lunar on Monday, Martial on Tuesday, etc. Presumably the angels of the remaining hours either govern the same power, or follow something akin to the traditional cabalistic system of planetary hours, described in the Greater Key of Solomon and many other places. The problem with this is that the procedures described in the remainder of the book suggest that an entirely different system is being used to determine the invoked powers.

To create the seal for the angels of a particular hour, the magician first casts the astrological chart for that hour in the day the work is to be done. The planetary glyph to be drawn in the center of the seal is the planet ruling the sign on the Ascendant of the chart. The glyphs of the remaining planets are drawn counterclockwise around the rim of the seal, starting with the fastest planet and ending with the slowest. Finally, for reasons not explained, the sign that is on the cusp of the twelfth astrological house is drawn in the center next to the ruler of the Ascendant.

Therefore the planet emphasized in the seal may be different from the planet ruling the day of the week. For example, the date of the author’s examples fell on a Wednesday, but since Aries was rising at dawn, the central planet in the seal for that hour is Mars. The planet ruling the day only shows up in the seals when a sign it rules is rising at the beginning of an hour.

To invoke the angel of the hour, the magician is instructed to lay the Seal upon the Table of Practice. But he lays it upon the sigil of the planet ruling the rising sign, not upon the sigil of the Planet ruling the day and hour according to the cabalistic system of hours.

Further, the invocation used makes no mention of the cabalistic ruler of the Day and Hour. It does mention elements of the Seals, and also refers to the angels’ “rays”; this term is frequently used in medieval documents when discussing the action of the planets on the world, but I have never seen it used in relation to the cabalistic system of attributes.

So every symbolic and operational element of this magick seems geared towards using the Lord of the Ascendant as the power ruling the hour. The preliminary mention of the Ruler of the Day, with its implied reference to the cabalistic method of rulership, is not supported by anything that comes afterwards.

For the Seals shown in Part 1 of the book, the author chose the date of his example carefully. March 10, 1641 in the Old Style calendar (“according to the old account”) is March 21 in the New Style, the first full day after the Spring Equinox. This was no doubt done to ease the process of calculations, since this is one of only two days during the year when the magickal “hours” of the day and night are of equal length, and are almost exactly one clock hour in length. At any other time of the year the day and night hours are longer or shorter, and this would have made the process of calculating the astrological charts for each hour rather more tedious and error-prone. Even so, it seems that he made a few small errors in his calculations, which show up in the example seals. A modern magician, with the assistance of a good computer and astrology software, can easily avoid this.

The author calculated his charts for the date specified, and for a place at approximately the latitude of London, England. Comparing his seals with calculated charts for that date, it appears that he used a system of house calculations resembling the old Meridian or Porphyry systems. The Placidus house system more commonly used today produces results substantially different from those shown in the seals.

It should also be noted that, despite the assertions of one commentator on this book, the author used the Tropical, precession-adjusted zodiac for his calculations, not any version of a sidereal or constellation-oriented zodiac. The example seals can only be produced if the Tropical zodiac is used.

Benjamin Rowe
June 22, 1999

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