This is an early interview that I did with Georg Dehn in 2014 regarding his book he compiled, The Book of Abramelin. This book came into prominence thanks to McGregor Mathers translating the French manuscript and Aleister Crowley doing the rite at the Boleskin house. This gave the book a tarnished name as many claim that the house was haunted. Eventually the guitarist of Led Zepplin purchased the house that Crowley performed the rite.
Sadly, on December 23rd at 2015 the infamous house was reported to be on fire and the damage was done to the house. There was an outcry by the occult community to save the home. However, we cannot forget the mark that this house and its owner played in making The Book of Abramelin so immortalized. Many occultists came to realize when you start a ritual you must complete it after Crowley made the mistake to go visit Mathers in France.
The Book of Abramelin was said to be written in the 15th century according to George Dehn. However, some of the manuscripts we have dated go back to the 18th century. The author was Abraham von Worms. Dehn makes the claim it was Rabbi MAHIRIL. It has been described as the ‘anti-grimoire grimoire’. So it was very unconventional grimoire for its time. We see a strange mixture of Jewish and Christian ideas together. However there are few things that make this book unique on its own terms.
A. The Author despised astrological timing.
B. There were magic squares in the fourth book that were full of spirit names, some names which Dr. Sledge says are more Sephardic than Ashkenazi Hebrew based.
C. The first book contains the authors travels.
D. The spirits are dealt with in a more shamanic way and are controlled by Adonai.
E. The emphasis on holiness makes this book stand out.
F. The Book of Abramelin mentions a being called the Holy Guardian Angel, a being that every person has and it can guide us.
There is a complex rite to make contact with the Holy Guardian Angel that makes this rite legendary.
In order to comprehend the importance of Dehn’s work we must look at Mather’s translation from the French manuscript. Mather’s did a fine job with his translation. However, his manuscript contained some key differences when we look at earlier sources.
A. There were 3 books.
B. The Holy Guardian Angel rite took 6 months to complete.
C. The magic squares in the third book were filled with holes and had random numbers and letters.
It was Dehn who quickly discovered earlier manuscripts that filled these issues that the French manuscript had:
A. There were four books. The second book had more practical magical recipes most consisting of honey, beeswax, and bred. There were a few other items mentioned based on the spell, but these were the most common.
B. The other manuscripts stated it takes 18 months to complete the rite. It starts on Pesach (Passover) and takes a year and a half to finish.
C. There is a demonology and the demon names fill the squares in the fourth book. Although the demons slightly change from each manuscript.
So it is fairly easy to see why the Dehn and Guth compilation is very important. It fills the gaps that Mathers had translated and sadly was said to have cursed Crowley. Crowley would not even let people see the squares with missing holes because they would bring misfortune. If only Crowley would have known the truth about the other grimoires out there of Abramelin then maybe things would be different.
George Dehn went as far as Egypt to prove to see if the story was made up. Oddly enough he found it was not. He so happened to find the place be believes to be Araki. So he laid out the grounds to show the first book was not fiction and there may have been a real Abramelin.
It was since this interview with Georg Dehn there have been great commentary on this book that I must make one aware of. Before we take any deep-rooted conclusions we must see The Book of Abramelin, as a grimoire that scholars have not taken the time to study in any depth. Dr. Justin Sledge has extra commentary that you may want to consider after listening to Georg Dehn. I hope all of you enjoy this podcast and learn something from all the resources. This grimoire needs far more academic attention.