Olympic Spirits Spirits who dwell in the firmament and stars who govern the operations of the world. The Olympic Spirits are discussed in the Arbatel of Magic, a GRIMOIRE of anonymous origin and Christian influences dating to the 16th century.
According to the Arbatel, the universe is divided into 196 Olympic Provinces (the first edition of the grimoire gave 186 as the number, but this appears to have been a printer’s error that was corrected in later editions). The provinces are ruled by seven governors who divide the number of provinces unequally among them. The governors preside over both operations in the natural world and also certain magical operations. The Arbatel states that correct pronunciation of the spirits’ names is not necessary in magical work with them. Rather, the magician should call upon their offices and not use names at all, except for those given directly by the evoked spirits. Thus, different writers gave variations in the names of the Olympic Spirits, as well as variations in the details of their offices and other characteristics.
In the Arbatel, the seven governors and their offices, powers, functions, and characters (see SEALS) are:
Aratron. Aratron rules 49 Olympic Provinces and governs things that are influenced by Saturn. He teaches Alchemy, Magic, medicine, and the secrets of INVISIBILITY. He confers FamiliarS, fertility, and longevity. Aratron can transmute coal into treasure and treasure into coal and can change any living thing into stone. He reconciles subterranean spirits with humans (see Elements). He should be invoked on Saturday in the first hour of the day, using his character given and confirmed by himself.
Bethor. Bethor rules 42 provinces and all affairs influenced by Jupiter. He comes quickly when evoked. He confers familiars and can extend life to 700 years, providing it is in accordance with the WILL of God. Bethor assists in finding large treasures. He reconciles the spirits of the air to humans so that they will give true answers in divination, transport precious stones, and concoct miraculous medicines.
Phaleg. Phaleg rules 35 provinces and things governed by Mars. He is especially helpful in military matters and can help a soldier or an officer advance in his career.
Och. Och rules 28 provinces and is a spirit of perfection. He extends life to 600 years with perfect health, confers excellent familiars, and concocts perfect medicines. He is the ultimate alchemist and is able to transmute any substance into the purest metals or precious jewels. He bestows GOLD and a purse “springing with gold.” Whoever possesses his character will be worshiped as a god by the kings of the world.
Hagith. Hagith rules 21 provinces and venereal matters. He confers faithful serving spirits. He converts copper into gold and gold into copper. Whoever possesses his character will be adorned with beauty.
Ophiel. Ophiel rules 14 provinces and all things influenced by Mercury. He teaches all arts, including the ability to change quicksilver (mercury) instantly into the Philosopher’s Stone. He confers familiars.
Phul. Phul rules seven provinces and all things governed by the Moon. He transmutes all metals into SILVER, heals dropsy, and confers spirits of water to serve humans in a visible form. He prolongs life to 300 years.
The governors are served by kings, princes, presidents, dukes, and ministers, all of whom have legions of inferior Olympic Spirits working for them.
Evocation and Dismissal
The Arbatel gives instructions for evoking the governors. The EVOCATION should be done on the day and in the hour of the planet associated with the governor and with the following Christianized PRAYER:
O Eternal and Omnipotent God, who hast ordained the whole creation for Thy praise and Thy glory, as also for the salvation of man, I beseech Thee to send Thy Spirit N., of the Solar Race [or appropriate designation] that he may instruct me concerning those things about which I design to ask him [or that he may bring me medicine, etc.]. Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done, through Jesus Christ, Thine only-begotten Son, who is our Lord. Amen.
The spirit should be engaged for no more than an hour. It is discharged with the following:
Forasmuch as thou camest in peace and quietness, having also answered unto my petitions, I give thanks unto God, in whose Name thou camest. Now mayest thou depart in peace unto thine own order, but return unto me again, when I shall call thee by thy name, or by thine order, or by thine office, which is granted from the Creator. Amen. [Then add:] Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou art upon earth; therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through a multitude of business, and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.—Eccles. v. 3, 4.
- Waite, Arthur Edward. The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts. 1899. Reprint, York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1972.
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