Sacred Magick

 

Sacred Magick, published in 1879, is a book of occult philosophy and Mina Germond’s only work and key text within all arcane magickal studies. Though the work has often been criticized as the plagiarized writings of a hysterical woman, with scholars noting how Germond extensively copied ideas from many other occult writers of the time while drawing her own conclusions, it is still recognized by modern scholars to be a fundamental work within Western Occultism and Witchcraft.

Sacred Magick discusses occult science and the hidden and unknown forces of the universe, exploring such subjects as; curses, omens, dimensions, familiar spirits, elementals, psychic phenomena, magick, spirits, angels, demons, dreams, time, and the complexity of the totality of human beings.

The book is argued by many modern scholars such as Mathew Laurence-Gray to be a fundamental work within Occultism. Germond gathered a number of beliefs within the magickal community and interpreted them in relation to current developments within science and through the insight she gained through her experiences within the arcane practices. In doing so, Sacred Magick reflected many contemporary beliefs and engaged in a discussion that appealed to intelligent individuals interested in practices of magick and Witchcraft. It was Germond’s combination of original insights, backed by scholarly and scientific sources that accomplished a merging of science and spirituality that had never before been academically presented.

Detractors often accuse Germond of extensive plagiarism, a view first seriously put forth by Gérard Encausse shortly after publication. He expressed that, “Sacred Magick combines religion, spiritualism, pseudoscience, and fantasy in a mélange that presents superficial research and unacknowledged borrowing.” In later works published by Encausse some of the material originally presented in Sacred Magick appeared within it unaltered, drawing in question among those in the occultism community as to the true author of Sacred Magick. Germond asserted when questioned that she, without any contributions from Encausse or any other published occultist, authored her work.

Chester J. Farrar, a contemporary journalist and magician, described Germond’s work as “an assortment of absurdities, pseudo-science, mythology, and folk-lore, arranged in chaotic fashion, with an utter disregard of logical sequence.” While it is unarguable that Sacred Magick makes use of many sources that were popular among occultists of the time, occasionally directly copying lines of text, Germond was a woman who had original thoughts and unprecedented insights to some of the most complex theories within occultism. Through her writing she sought to integrate the history of the occult sciences and esoteric movements with the practicality found within folk magick and European Witchcraft and in doing so she formulated a unique and powerful expression of thoughts and ideas that would be proven to catapult magickal practitioners into the modern era. Occultism gained a level of sophistication through the adoption of many of Germond’s insights presented within her work, Sacred Magick.

 

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