The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic


Israel Regardie wrote The Tree of Life, a book many consider his magnum opus, in 1932. It has continued to sell for decades. And no wonder. Up until the time this book was published, very little information about true high magic was available to the public.

In this book, Regardie reveals the secrets of real magic. He begins with an explanation of what magic is and, just as importantly, what magic is not. He explains that it is a spiritual study and practice which, along with ...

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Israel Regardie wrote The Tree of Life, a book many consider his magnum opus, in 1932. It has continued to sell for decades. And no wonder. Up until the time this book was published, very little information about true high magic was available to the public.

In this book, Regardie reveals the secrets of real magic. He begins with an explanation of what magic is and, just as importantly, what magic is not. He explains that it is a spiritual study and practice which, along with forms of yoga, forms the two branches of the tree that is mysticism. Magic is not being a medium or a psychic. Then he explains the tools of the magician, what they mean, and how to use them. He explains the techniques of evocation and invocation, skrying, and astral travel. He shows how the Qabalah unites everything. He even gives a description of the secrets of sexual magick. All of this is in a clear, lucid writing style. This book is simply a must for anyone who is, or aspires to be, a real magician.

Although Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero were friends of Regardie and are Senior Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, what changes could they have made to this classic book? Well, they did change the spelling from British style to American. And they did change his transliterations of Hebrew into the more popular style he used in his later books. But nothing vital was changed or removed. Everything else they added was complementary to the text that was there. And what incredible additions they are! Extensive annotations throughout every chapter; over 100 illustrations; more descriptive contents pages; a glossary, a bibliography and an index. They've even added a biographical note on Regardie and the importance of this book to him and to the occult world.

This book contains some of the finest occult writing that has ever been produced. And with the new material by the Ciceros, it becomes a must-have for any magician!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567181326
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2000
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 552
  • Sales rank: 585,432
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis I. Regardie, born in London, England, November 17, 1907; died in Sedona, Arizona, March 10, 1985.  Came to the United States in August 1921, educated in Washington D.C. and studied art in school in Washington and Philadelphia.  Returned to Europe in 1928 at the invitation of Aleister Crowley to work as his secretary and study with him.  Returned to London as secretary to Thomas Burke 1932-34, and during that time wrote A Garden of Pomegranates and The Tree of Life.

In 1934 he was invited to join the Order of the Golden Dawn, Stella Matutina Temple, during which time he wrote The Middle Pillar and The Art of True Healing, and did the basic work for The Philosopher's Stone.

Returning to the United States in 1937 he entered Chiropractic College in New York, Graduating in 1941, and published The Golden Dawn.  Served in the U.S. Army 1942-1945, and then moved to Los Angeles where he opened a chiropractic practice and taught psychiatry.  Upon retirement in 1981, he moved to Sedona.

During his lifetime, he studied psychoanalysis with Dr. E. Clegg and Dr. J. L. Bendit, and later studied psychotherapy under Dr. Nandor Fodor.  His training encompassed Freudian, Jungian and Reichian methods.
Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero are Senior Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.  They share an enthusiasm for the esoteric arts.  They live in Florida with their cat, Lealah, where they work and practice magic.

Sandra Tabatha Cicero is a Senior Adept of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and holds a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts.  

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Read an Excerpt

Have you ever heard of Elbert Hubbard? After being a soap salesman he founded the Roycrofters (part of the handicraft movement) and the Roycroft Press, which printed magazines and books filled with inspiration and information. He was popular in the early 1900s. Most people today have never heard of him.

On the other hand, you've probably heard of Israel Regardie. About his book, The Tree of Life, famous occultist Dion Fortune wrote, " is going to be one of the classics of occultism." She was right.

The Tree of Life was a book of its time. And just as poor Elbert is pretty obscure today, so, too, are many of the references in Regardie's book. It was time, not to change the book, but to update it for modern readers.

The ideal people to do this were Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero, Senior Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and respected writers and lecturers. The actual changes they made were few - they Americanized some British spellings and carefully turned the transliterations of Hebrew into the modern system that Regardie used in his later books. But that was just the beginning.

Next, they made numerous explanatory notes for each chapter so that everyone can now fully understand the book. Then, to make it easier to use and more valuable they added a glossary, a bibliography, an index, and information on each chapter for the contents pages. To show its importance, they included a biographical preface giving information about Regardie and the book. And finally, to make it even more attractive, they've added over 100 illustrations. Now, this classic from the year 1932 is again a classic for the 21st century. Elbert Hubbard may be forgotten, but this book is fresh and lively. Again, if you get a book on real magic, this should be it!

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xvii
Introduction to the Third Edition xxiii
Introduction xxxiii
Part 1 Preliminaries
Chapter 1 Mysticism: Magic and Yoga 3
The Chaos of Modern Civilization 3
The Destruction of National Organizations 3
Negligence to Enter into Communion with Reality 4
A Possible Cause of this Disruption 7
Traditional Philosophy of Magic 7
The Real Nature of Genius 8
Its Root is a Spiritual Experience 11
Magic as the Key to Creativity 14
Yoga and Magic are the Two Branches of Mysticism 14
Definitions of Both Systems 17
Theurgists are the Light of the World 19
Eliphas Levi and the Heavenly Man 22
Chapter 2 In Defense of the Magical Art 27
Attacks against Theurgy 27
Their Gross Injustice and Absurdity 27
Man is a Child of the Gods, and to Them Must He Aspire for Union 29
Magic is Not Psychism 29
Has No Relation to Witchcraft 31
Does Not Lead to Mediumship 31
Bases of the Magical Philosophy 32
The Tree of Life of the Qabalists 35
Chapter 3 The Qabalah 39
Necessity for Philosophic Training Prior to Undertaking Practical Work 39
Relation of Egyptian Magic and the Qabalah 41
The Nature of Number and the Significance of Symbols 43
Outline of Magical Theory of the Universe 45
Tetragrammaton and the Four Worlds 49
Levi's Magical Dogma 60
Spiritual Hierarchies in Space 61
Theurgy as Conceived by Iamblichus 65
Chapter 4 The Astral Light 71
Definition of Astral Light and its Place in the Magical System 71
How it is Conceived by Modern Science 72
The Space-time Continuum 74
Two Aspects are Observed in that Light 77
The Moon and Mana 81
Amentet and the Tuat 82
The Use of the Divine Astral, and how the World may be Transformed 87
Chapter 5 Man the Microcosm 93
The Age-old Problem of Philosophy 93
Is the Universe Objective or Subjective? 93
In What Way the Magicians Conceive of the Magical Hierarchies and the Human Constitution 95
A Minutum Mundum 96
The Mystical Sacrifice of the Ego 102
The Ascent of the Ladder of Jacob to the Summit in God 110
Chapter 6 The Gods 115
Union with the Divine is Magical Objective 115
Divine is Comprehended under Many Hypostases and Guises 116
A Consideration of the Gods of the Egyptians 116
Each God Symbol Bears a High Significance 116
The Implication of the Animal Masks 140
Part 2 Theory and Practice
Chapter 7 Magical Correspondences, Tools, and Techniques 147
A Magician's Equipment of Art 147
How This Has Been Misunderstood 148
Magic is a Mnemonic Process 150
How Every Sense and Power is Used to Create a Spiritual Idea 150
Signs and Sigils 151
Perfumes 153
True Meaning of Magical Circle 157
Symbol of Infinite and Human Consciousness 157
Names of God 159
William Quan Judge 159
Circle Restrains Hostile Influences 160
The Altar and the Lamp 162
Wand 163
Wand Symbolizes Will; its Preparation and Consecration 164
Cup, Sword, and Pantacle 164
Imagination and its Essential Formative Nature 167
Fawcett's Hypothesis 170
Loyola's Spiritual Exercises 172
How to Develop the Imagination for Magical Work 173
The Tattvas of the Hindus 174
Chapter 8 The Training of the Will 179
Patanjali and the Will 179
What is the Will? 179
A Magical Method of Increasing this Power 180
The True Significance of Asceticism 180
Its Dangers 180
A Threefold Vow 181
Pranaynma an Excellent Adjuvant 189
Objections to Will-Development 190
What Causes Success in the Operations of Ceremonial? 191
Instances of Gross Failure 193
An Example of Imbecility 193
Reason Provided by Barrett 194
The Answer of the Chaldaean Oracles 194
The Mantic Frenzy and Enthusiasm 194
Chapter 9 The Vibration of God-names and Words of Power 201
How does the Mantram Work? 201
Various Occult Viewpoints 201
Vibration of God-names is Associated with Evocation of Magical Forces, States Blavatsky 202
The Power and Value of Sound 202
How to Pronounce the Magical Names? 205
What Then Happens 205
The Secret of Invocation 205
Barbarous Names of Evocation 207
Examples of South American, Egyptian, and Enochian Words 208
Mode of Qabalistic Analysis 211
Magician Should Not Permit Meaningless Words to Enter His Sphere 211
Technical Employment of the Barbarous Words 212
Dancing and Music 213
The Knocks 213
Necessity and Effect of Circumambulation 217
Chapter 10 Skrying and Astral Projection 221
Essential Task of Magic 221
Necessity for Training the Will and Imagination 221
Employment in Formation of Body of Light 222
Blavatsky's Remark That He Who Travels in the Astral Body at Will an Adept 222
Educating the Subtle Body 223
Best Method for Traveling on the Astral 223
Ritual and Assistance 224
Visions 225
How to Check Them Scientifically 227
Precautionary Measures 229
Egyptian Plans of the Astral 230
The Magical Pylons 231
How Death is Conquered, and Immortality While in the Body Assured 238
Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram 239
Its Power and Explanation 239
Will and Imagination to Form the Star of Fire 241
The Dog-Guardian 247
Chapter 11 The Assumption of Godforms 253
The Most Powerful Adjunct to Invocation 253
The Key of All Magical Progress 253
God-forms 253
How this Technique Proceeds 255
Danger of Magic 255
Egyptian Deities 257
Maspero's Triumphant Address 258
Invocation of Ra, the Sun-God 259
The Results of Fellowship with the Gods 259
Iamblichus 260
Chapter 12 The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage 263
Purity Required in Magic 263
What This Means 263
The Holy Guardian Angel 265
When Evocations May Be Undertaken 265
For What Special Reasons They May Be Performed 265
Genius and the Angel's Mode of Manifestation 266
The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage 267
A Method of Entering into Communication with the Higher Self 267
Full Directions in this Ancient Technique 269
The Steps Necessary 270
The Vision and the Perfume 276
The Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel 279
Chapter 13 Grimoires and Magical Evocation 291
The Evocation of the Princes of the Evil of the World 291
A Rationale of the Rites of Ceremonial Evocation 293
Instruction to Bride before the Mystical Marriage 293
The Building of the Pyramid 295
Nature, the Great Exemplar 295
Its Correlation with Modern Psychological Research 296
The Magical System of the Key of Solomon the King 299
Uniting the Egyptian Method in Practice with the Qabalistic One 301
The Goetia 308
The Book of the Angel Ratziel 314
Why Amateur Visions go Wrong 317
Invasion of Field of Consciousness 317
The Tracing of Parallels between Yoga and Magic 318
How Essentially They are Identical 324
How Powers are to be Treated 324
Chapter 14 Initiation and Group Ritual 329
Dramatic Rituals in Egypt, Tibet, and India 329
Fundamentals of this Branch of Magical Ceremony 330
The Rationale 330
Commemoration 333
An Osirian Passion-play 333
Third Degree of Masonic Fraternity 334
Adeptus Minor Ritual of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn 334
Fragments of Initiating Ritual in Egyptian Book of the Dead 337
Milarepa and Marpa 339
Initiation Rituals 339
A Splendid Ritual in the Bacchae of Euripides 340
Necessity for Personal Work 341
Work Requires Patience and Imperturbability 341
An Ibis and the Uraeus Serpent 343
Chapter 15 Theurgy Versus Spiritualism and Black Magic 349
Is There a Connection Between Magic and Spiritualism? 349
A Great Gulf Between them 349
The Will is the Guide of the Theurgist 349
Medium is a Negative Instrument 349
Magical Theories Concerning Death 350
What Happens when Body Dies 351
Qliphotic Obsession 352
Astral Shells are the Spiritualistic "Spirits" 352
Why Mediums Resort to Fraud 353
Their Physical Phenomena 353
How a Sincere Medium May Utilize the Magical Technique 355
What is Black Magic 356
Evocation of Tattvic Forces 356
Operations of Invisibility and Transformation 356
Necromancy and Vanity 360
Further Instruction on Astral Technique 360
How to Employ Pentagram and Rose-cross Symbols 361
Angelic Guardians of the Pylons 363
Refining the Body of Light 363
Harpocrates Formula 363
The Eucharist 364
Porphyry on Rising on the Planes 365
The Road to Ain Soph 366
Chapter 16 Alchemy and the Mass of the Holy Ghost 369
Intention to Make Clear This Outline of Magic 369
An Exception to be Made 369
A Secret Method of Working 370
The Mass of the Holy Ghost 370
It is the Quintessence of all Techniques of Magic 370
Tetragrammaton and Alchemical Symbolism 371
The Elixir of Life and Talismanic Consecration 374
How to Employ This Mass Together with Ceremonial 374
Chapter 17 Prayers, Hymns, and Invocations 381
An Enquiry into Ritual 381
The Various Aspects of Ceremonial Invocation 381
Its Eight Distinct Phases 381
Several Examples of Each Type of Invocation from Egyptian, Qabalistic, Rosicrucian, Gnostic, Greek, Enochian, and Poetic Sources 382
Appendix I Books Recommended for Study 421
Appendix II Sources For Illustrations 423
Glossary 433
Bibilography 487
Index 495
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2002

    Much clearer than Crowley

    I've been branching into Ceremonial Magick after practicing The Craft for several years after starting with Modern Magick. Regardie is one of the authors recommended in Modern Magick and I picked this one up along with Book 4 by Aleister Crowley. I must say Regardie is much easier to understand than Crowley! I equate Crowley with have to be in the mood to put that much effort and concentration into reading, but it's very rewarding if you do. Regardie is much lighter reading (though does require some effort). The Tree of Life is a very interesting read for those wanting to expand on the Kaballah and Ceremonial Magick.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 6, 2010

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    Posted March 15, 2009

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