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Abramelin is the name of a hermit and mage claimed to have lived in Egypt before the 15th century. The information we have about Abramelin comes by way of Macgregor Mathers and a spiritual society he resided over called the Golden Dawn. In the 19th Century, Macgregor published a translation of a book entitled The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin, the Mage. The book was apparently written in the 15th century by Abraham the Jew. Abraham claims that he traveled through Europe and down though Africa seeking wisdom after being instructed in Qabalah (or kabalah.) In Egypt he met Abramelin and became his student, learning many magical rites and occult practices. Abramelin taught him a ritual that would allow Abraham to discover his Holy Guardian Angel that lived within his �Higher Self.� The underlying idea involving the Guardian angel included a colorful story of good and evil spirits that could be guided by the mind to act as servants for humans. The ritual required various methods that were said to provide mastery over the self through self-denial and control. The special powers of the spirits could then be used for magical purposes.
Skeptical Perspective
The existence of Abramelin can not be verified in historical records and considering the relatively recent time he is said to have lived, leads people to believe his story is somewhat of a legend. Mastering the self through various techniques and practices is a common element to be found within both ancient and new age ideas. Even mainstream psychology and self-help outlets discuss the benefit of gaining self-control and understanding your needs and desires. The idea that there is an actual higher level to be reached, however, and that it can provide special powers that are not natural, has no evidence in its favor. The additional mystery and paranormal properties of this claim are not necessary to achieve �mastery� over the self and there is nothing mystical or abnormal about understanding yourself for the purpose of improving your life.
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