For the Love of the Gods: The History and Modern Practice of Theurgy

For the Love of the Gods: The History and Modern Practice of Theurgy

by Brandy Williams

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Overview

For the Love of the Gods: The History and Modern Practice of Theurgy by Brandy Williams

Follow the Footsteps of History and Discover the Path to the Gods

For the Love of the Gods tells the epic story of theurgy, from its roots in ancient Egypt to its modern day practice. The lives and passions of the early Pagan philosophers come alive in these pages, immersing you in the bustling cities and diverse cultures that spawned theurgy as we know it today. Theurgy is best understood when it is deeply experienced. The stories presented here re-create the experience of these ancient practices and show how they were passed down through generations of teachers and students of differing ethnicities, genders, and ages.

It's commonly believed that ancient Pagan theurgy traditions were erased from the earth and replaced by monotheistic religions—but this is a myth. The way to the gods was never lost. For the Love of the Gods shares step-by-step instructions for theurgic rituals, so that you can create relationships with the gods and love them as the ancients did. Discover how to offer devotionals, create living statues, invoke into yourself and others, and achieve personal communion so that you, too, may dwell in the happy presence of the divine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738744698
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 09/08/2016
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 1,202,047
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Brandy Williams (Washington) is a Wiccan high priestess and ceremonial magician who has been practicing and teaching magic for over 25 years.

In 1997, Williams founded the Seattle Pagan Scholars, and she has served as director ever since. She also is involved with numerous organizations including Ordo Templi Orientis, and the Temple of Light and Darkness, a Ceremonial group based on the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn. She served as President of Covenant of the Goddess in 1990 and 1991.

Williams has conducted many lectures and workshops on the subject of practical magic, including the School of Night, an intensive non-denominational course with six other teachers. She also gave a presentation entitled "Wiccan Devotionals" to the Parliament of World Religions in 1993. Williams has made numerous festival appearances and continues to present lectures and workshops about her work.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS
Acknowledgments: xix
Introduction: 1
Part One: Stories from the Ancestors
One: Priestess of Kemet .................................................7
I Give You My Daughter: 7
Geographic and Historic Egypt: 9
People of Kemet: 11
Nubia: 14
Learning Ma'at: 16
The Kemetic Academy: 17
Serving the Divine: 19
Kemetic Temples and Priesthood: 21
Flood: 23
Kemetic Cosmology: 24
Duties: 27
Colonialization: 30
Alone with Amun: 31
Stilling the Mind: 32
A Young Seshat: 33
Chance Survivals: 34
Burying Mothers: 35
The Kemetic Soul: 36
Succession: 38
The Lessons of Neitokrity: 39
Notes on the Story: 41

Two: Plato.....................................................................43
A Death in the Family: 43
Classical Greece: 46
Trial of a Teacher: 47
Pythagoras: 51
A New Beginning: 53
Greek Cosmology: 55
Going Home: 58
Greek Temples and Priesthood: 60
The Groves of Academe: 61
Plato's Worldview: 62
The Most Famous Plato: 64
Plato's Afterlife: 65
The Lessons of Plato: 67
Notes on the Story: 68

Three: Plotinus.............................................................69
A Picky Student: 70
Aristotle and Macedonia: 72
All Roads Lead to Rome: 73
The Roman Empire: 74
The Dutiful Father: 76
Roman Temples and Priesthood: 77
Spirit Guides: 78
Roman Spirits: 80
An Unexpected Visit: 82
Plotinian Cosmology: 82
The Final Union: 83
Porphyry and Plotinus: 85
The Lessons of Plotinus: 86
Notes on the Story: 86

Four: Sosipatra.............................................................89
When the Student Is Ready, the Teacher Appears: 90
The Chaldean Magi: 94
True Journey Is Return: 95
The Chaldean Oracles: 98
A Marriage of Philosophers: 99
Paideia: 101
Pergamon: 102
Julian and Sallustius: 103
The Lessons of Sosipatra: 105
Notes on the Story: 106

Five: Proklos and Asklepigenia..................................107
Too Dangerous for Pagans: 107
Alexandria: 109
A Young Philosopher: 112
Iamblichus Soter: 113
A Spinning Top: 115
Gods and Fate: 117
A Prudent Departure: 118
Hypatia and Synesius: 120
Athena Lives: 123
Christianization and Triumphalism: 125
A Theurgic Life: 129
Studying at the Academy: 130
Dearest Friend: 131
Successors of Proklos: 133
The Lessons of Proklos and Asklepigenia: 134
Notes on the Story: 135

Six: Boethius...............................................................137
Plato and Aristotle: 137
Byzantion: 139
Mathematics and Magic: 140
The Costs of Empire: 141
Lady Philosophy: 143
Pagan Conversion: 144
The Lessons of Boethius: 144
Notes on the Story: 145

Seven: Geber...............................................................147
Silver for the Moon God: 148
Harran and Bagdad: 150
The Lessons of Geber: 152
Notes on the Story: 152

Eight: Psellos...............................................................153
A Precious Text: 154
Jewish Neo-Platonists in Spain: 156
The Philosopher Politician: 157
The Lessons of Psellos: 160
Notes on the Story: 161

Nine: Plethon..............................................................163
An Emperor's Favor: 164
The Byzantine Empire During the Crusades: 165
Irreconcilable Differences: 167
The Florentine Academy: 171
The Only Copy: 173
Lessons of Plethon: 174
Notes on the Story: 175

Ten: Tullia D'Aragona................................................177
Lover of Knowledge: 178
Renaissance Humanism: 179
A Woman of Letters: 180
Dialogue on the Infinity of Love: 183
Lessons of Tullia: 184
Notes on the Story: 185

Eleven: Thomas Taylor..............................................187
Choosing Love: 187
Neo-Platonists in the Seventeenth Through Nineteenth Centuries: 188
Patron of Knowledge: 189
Lessons of Thomas: 192
Notes on the Story: 193

Twelve: Modern Theurgists.......................................195
Theosophy: 196
Twentieth-Century Occultists: 197
Golden Dawn: 197
Thelema: 199
Witchcraft: 199 Lessons from the Teachers: 200
Theurgy Is a Literate Tradition: 201
Theurgy Is Rooted in Kemet: 201
Theurgy Owes a Debt to India: 202
Theurgy Rests on the Work of Plato: 202
Theurgy Is an Urban Tradition: 203
Theurgy Is a Religious Tradition: 203
Theurgy Meets the Challenge of Christianity: 203
Women Are Important to Theurgy: 204

Thirteen: The Survival of Theurgic Ritual...............205
The Priest: 206
Learning from Living Teachers: 207
The Collector: 209
Skeptical Discipleship: 210
Jean d'Anastasi: 212
Learning from Texts: 212
Albrecht Dieterich: 213
Perennial Philosophy: 214
Karl Preisendanz: 216
Re-Paganisation: 217
Hans Dieter Betz: 218
Linking Platonic Philosophy to Theurgic Practice: 219
Notes on the Story: 220

Part Two: The Living Tradition
Fourteen: Preparing for Practice...............................225
Settle the Body: 225
Still the Mind: 227
Contemplate the Divine: 227

Fifteen: Studying Theurgic Religious Philosophy...229
What Is Philosophy?: 230
Pagan Theology: 231
The Nature of the Divine: 232
The First God: 233
The Second God: 234
The Third Goddess: 234
The Triple Deity: 235
The Three Worlds: 236
The Journey: 237
The Divine Hierarchy: 238
The Gods: 238
New Gods: 240
Spirits: 241
Daimones: 241
Iynges and Synoches: 242
Teletarches: 242
The Neo-Platonic Soul: 244
Christian Theurgy: 245
Updating the System: 246

Sixteen: Crafting a Theurgic Practice.......................251
Hellenistic Operations: 252
Evocation into a Statue: 253
Invocation into a Person: 254
Invocation into Yourself: 257
Contemporary Practice: 257
Ritual Garb and Ritual Space: 258
Devotional to a Deity: 259
Evocation into a Statue: 260
Collect Synthema: 261
Obtain Image: 262
Evoke Deity: 263
Make Offerings: 264
Invocation into a Person: 266
Invocation into Yourself: 268
advantages and disadvantages: 269
Advanced Theurgic Operations: 271
Meeting with One's Own Daimon: 272
Rising through the Worlds: 276
Seventeen: Theurgic Ritual Workbook.....................279
Meditation to Clear Thought: 279
Ritual of Honoring the Ancestors: 280
Create the Altar: 280
Light the Ancestor Candle: 281
Call to the Ancestors: 281
Invocation to Mnemosyne: 281
Hymn to Iamblichus: 282
Hymn to Asklepigenia: 282
Hymn to Proklos: 282
Speaking the Names: 283
Offering and Petition: 283
Conclusion: 284
Ritual of the Theurgist: 284
Set Up Altar: 284
Dedication: 284
Working: 285
Conclusion: 285
Ritual of Devotional to a Deity: 285
Choose Deity: 285
Create Altar: 286
Conduct the Ritual of the Theurgist: 286
Read Names of Deities: 286
Evoke the Deity: 286
Read Prayers and Hymns: 286
Make Offering: 287
Give Thanks: 287
Conclusion: 288
Ritual to Discover Synthema: 288
Conduct the Ritual of the Theurgist: 288
Honor the Deity: 288
Invoke Iynges: 288
Meditate: 289 Conclusion: 289
Outline: 289
Ritual to Animate a Statue: 289
Conduct the Ritual of the Theurgist: 289
Purify and Consecrate the Statue: 290
Honor the Deity: 290
Animate the Statue: 290
Make Offering: 290
Meditate: 290
Conclusion: 290
Outline: 291
Ritual of Daily Devotional to Animated Statue: 291
Outline: 291
Ritual to Call the Personal Daimon: 291
Outline: 292
Ritual of Invoking Deity into Another: 292
Synthema: 293
Prepare Space: 293
Call Deity: 293
Release Deity: 294
Ground: 295
Outline: 295
Ritual of Invoking Deity into Yourself: 295
Outline: 296
Ritual of Rising through the Worlds: 296
Evoke the Teletarches: 296
Call Personal Daimon: 297
Ascend: 297
Conclusion: 297
Outline: 297

Eighteen: The Story Yet to Be Written......................299
Appendix A: Theurgy FAQ, A Dialogue between Teacher and Student: 301
"What is theurgy?:" 301
"Who practiced theurgy?:" 301
"What kind of philosophy?:" 301
"Who was Plato?:" 302
"Who were the Neo-Platonists?:" 302
"Were women also Neo-Platonists?:" 302
"Were all the Neo-Platonists white and European?:" 303
"Is Neo-Platonism dead?:" 303
"Is Neo-Platonism just a philosophy?:" 303
"Why does this matter?:" 303
"What does philosophy have to do with ritual practice?:" 304
“What does a theurgist do?:" 304
“How do I practice theurgy now?:" 304
Appendix B: Theurgic Study Course: 305
How to Read the Texts: 305
African Wisdom Texts: 306
The Pyramid Texts: 306
Coffin Texts: 306
Book of Going Forth by Day: 306
Kemetic Ritual Practice: 307
The Works of Plato: 308
Platonic Philosophers: 309
Plotinus: 309
Iamblichus: 309
Hypatia: 310
Proklos: 310
Ritual Texts: 311
Chaldean Oracles: 311
Kemetic and Greek Ritual Texts: 312
Graeco-Egyptian Source Works: 312
Hermetica: 312
Appendix C: Glossary 315
Bibliography: 317
Index: 331

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