Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Joseph Smith: A Cautionary Tale

“And, in a frenzy of fear and paranoia at the growing power of this latter-day Prophet, he is murdered by an angry mob on June 27.
He was wearing his Jupiter amulet at the time of his death, a photo of which can be seen in Quinn's book.
It is incorrectly engraved.
The Hebrew characters on top of the magic square of Jupiter in the original – to be found in The Magus and other places – reads “AL AB,” which means “The Father” and which is a holy name of Jupiter, which was Smith's ruling planet.
Unfortunately for Smith, his talisman is missing the final “B” character. Thus, the characters are A. L A, which in Hebrew means “but” or “only” or “except,” a preposition instead of a Divine Name of Jupiter. As any authority will tell you, one must be faithful to every letter and mark in a Grimoire and not edit the words, the signs or seals lest disaster befall. The other characters of the seal are correct, with one word being “ABA” or “Father” and the other “YHPYAL” or “Johphiel,” which is the “Intelligence of Jupiter.” With AL AB reduced to the preposition ALA, we are tempted to read the seal as “Father except Johphiel,” certainly a distressing combination implying that Johphiel is nowhere present.
The word “YHPYAL” according to Hebrew Qabala (cabala, kabbala, etc.) adds to the number 136, the same number on the seal of Jupiter which is a magic square, the sum of whose numbers in any row add to 136. The word “ABA” adds to four. The word “ALA” adds to thirty-two. It should have been “AL AB” which would have resulted in thirty four, and a grand total of 174. With the rror in AL AB, and reducing it to ALA, the total is 172.
According to Liber 777, which is a famous compendium of qabalistic numerology begun by the Golden Dawn and later compiled by Aleister Crowley, we read that the value of the number 174 will give us “Torches” and “Splendor ei per circuitum,” a pleasant enough attribution. The valuation for 172, however, gives us “cut, divided” and “The heel, the end”.
And so it was for Joseph Smith.”
- Peter Levenda, Sinister Forces: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft (Book One: The Nine).
Joseph Smith, friends. A cautionary tale, indeed. I believe my links are correct. Please, if I've made a mistake, correct me so that it's easy to follow. Warnock appears to have both Barrett's and a picture of Smith's amulet. But I can't really get a good look at the picture of Smith's amulet to tell if Levenda is 100% correct.


Ananael Qaa said...

Since the link only shows the back of the original talisman there's no way to tell if the final Beth is missing on the original. The replica shown does have the Beth, for what that's worth, but it may have been fixed so that the replica would be correct. still, if that's the case, the replica wouldn't exactly be a Joseph Smith talisman, now, would it?

When I make an Agrippa-style Jupiter talisman I don't even include the magic square, so it's not clear to me that omitting the one Hebrew letter in the inscription would make much of a difference. Those instructions may be in Barrett, but The Magus is more a knockoff of Agrippa with some original (and some outright incorrect) material than it is a "living tradition" grimoire.

the Valentines said...

Thats a lot of uproar over a missing Beth but then again I guess the stakes were pretty high for old Joe.

@Ananael - what information in Barrett is outrightly incorrect?

Ananael Qaa said...

Most of the errors in Barrett are copied from the version of Agrippa that he adapted into the book, such as problems with the tables and lettering. There are also quite a few typos, at least in the editions that I've seen. That was awhile back, so it's possible there's a newer edition out with those problems fixed.

One of the technical pieces that I have found to be wrong all the way back to Agrippa is the idea that the Intelligence is good and the Spirit is evil. From working with those entities for many years I can tell you they don't work that way. Simply put, the Intelligence is for knowing and the Spirit is for doing. You can't do much practical magick with just the Intelligence no matter how virtuous your intentions are.

the Valentines said...

Ya .. I have seen some of the work thats been done on the squares and what-not. I stole my copy of the Magus from a public library in Vancouver! It doesn't have the corrected plates.

I always liked him for his weird correspondences and the inverse angels and all that shit. Different perspective, akin to the True Grimoire. Demon Qaballah.

Thats interesting regarding the planetary spirits and intelligences .. I myself have had some success in practical work with only the Spirit but never with only the Intelligence. Most often I utilize both .. though to be honest it isn't my style of planetary magic.

Anonymous said...

Just an observation:

In the Joseph Smith talisman, the sigil itself is incorrect. It seems that he took it from a book that had a printing error, and copied that error unto the talisman.


Pallas Renatus said...

Copying errors aside, you'd think these mistakes would be caught if the person who made the talisman had any idea what the fuck they were doing. I'm not convinced that you can make an effective talisman by having "copy this squiggly and this square out of a book" as your entire design plan.