Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Modern Translation of Book One of Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy

I am very pleased to announce the first volume of three of a new modern translation of Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy!!! Three Books of Occult Philosophy Book One.

Picatrix is the only rival to Three Books of Occult Philosophy and where Agrippa omits some details of magic ritual and is not so focused on astrological magic as Picatrix, he more than makes up for it with his systematic exposition of how magic and astrology works. The three books of TBOP correspond to the three worlds, Material, Celestial/Imaginal and Divine/Archetypal/Angelic. If you understood Agrippa, you would truly be a mage!

Agrippa wrote TBOP in Latin in 1533 and so far we've had to get by with the 17th century JF translation. It's spotty, has mistakes and JF, (whoever he was) was weak on astrology. Tyson did his best with the Llewellyn version, but he didn't read Latin and didn't know traditional astrology. Frankly I basically ignore all of Tyson's comments on astrology they will lead you astray, except for really basic stuff like which star the text is referring to.

There is, however, a modern Latin critical edition. This is very expensive, over $200, and you need to be able to read Latin to use it. It is very useful, however, because the editor carefully looked at all the different versions of Agrippa and came up with the most accurate one possible.

Now Eric Purdue has come along and translated the Latin critical edition, so we finally have a true modern translation! Obviously it's going to be similar to the JF translation, but it is surprising how much JF and Tyson missed or misunderstood. This edition, which we are calling the Academic Edition, tries to be as literal a translation as possible, while still using modern English. Plus it is extensively sourced and has over 1,000 footnotes! This is Agrippa as close to the original as possible.

Now we are starting with Book One, which deals with the Material World, with occult virtues of natural things and natural magic. Very key part of magic, very important section of TBOP. We do hope to finish the complete TBOP and I can understand how readers might say, "oh, I'll just wait for the complete version to come out" Couple of things. First, TBOP is not translating itself, and there is not some big team of paid translators beavering away. Eric is doing this on his own time, with no guarantee of remuneration. The complete version may never come out! It is also going to take a long time, I would not expect to have Books 2 & 3 finished until late into 2013. Finally, by buying the individual volumes you support the ongoing translation effort as well as the translator and Renaissance Astrology. We are not government funded and not amateurs, we aim to continue to bring professional skill and professional quality translations to the contemporary esoteric community. Plus buy now and you get it NOW!

So, for the next 8-10 weeks, the new modern translation of TBOP Book One will be available just from the Renaissance Astrology website and for just $19.95 plus shipping. Once it shows up on Amazon, the price will be $24.95.

If you are a student of mine, if you are serious about traditional astrology and particularly traditional astrological magic, you need to get a copy of this new translation! Absolutely essential reading!


Apuleius Platonicus said...

This is excellent news!!

J.C. said...

Chris, I'm looking forward to purchasing and studying the whole set once they are completed.

Christopher Warnock, Esq said...

I'm not sure if that's such a good idea! We need support NOW to get the translation finished. If everyone waits to buy it, then it won't be finished.

Jaycen Hier said...

I have long been unhappy with the Tyson edition which contains commentary that is both inaccurate and obviously from a perspective outside of the worldview of the medieval magician. This edition looks to be the replacement I've been searching for. I'll certainly be purchasing each volume as it is produced in order to support such a useful project.