Translated by S.L. MacGregor Mathers
Around the turn of the century, when Aleister Crowley was working out his system of Magick, the source that he turned to for basics was the system of Abramelin of Egypt. From Abramelin he took his concepts of protections, purifications, evocations, vestments, and dromena down to specific detail.
This system of Abramelin the Mage is known from a unique 15th century manuscript preserved in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal in Paris. In it, Abraham of Wnrzburg, a cabalist and connoisseur of magics, describes a tour that he made of the then civilized world, visiting sorcerers, magicians and cabalists, estimating their powers and virtues. This quest is in itself as fascinating as the similar tours of Gurdjieff.
The high point of Abrahams's travels was found in a small town on the banks of the Nile, where he encountered the great magician Abramelin, whose complete system Abraham thereupon sets out in detail. This amounts to a complete course in ceremonial magick (both white and black), which the stundent can pursue by himself. Abramelin, whose system is based mostly on Hellenistic theurgy of the Iamblichan sort, but with Jewish increments from the Qabalah, explains the qualifications needed to become a magician, purifications and asceticisms to be practiced month by month studies and activities permitted during this period, selection of place and time for working magic, equipment needed, prayers and formulas, evocation of good and evil spirits, commanding spirits to do one's will, overcoming rebellious spirits, and similar material. Specific instructions are offered to develop such powers as clairvoyance, divining metals and treasures, warding off evil magic, healing illness, levitation, transportation, rendering oneself invisible, creating illusions and glamour, reading minds, placing compulsions, working black magic, and a host of other abilities.