Magick & Divination in Arabia
Magick in Arabic is “sihr” and means “to produce illusion on the eyes”. The origin of magick in Arabia is believed to be in Babel. It, supposedly, was revealed there by two angels, “Harut” and “Marut”, who instructed mankind in the art.
Unlike the ancient Egyptians, the use of magick in Arabia was not looked upon kindly. In fact, it was forbidden, and proven practice of the art lead to the death penalty. Those convicted were not allowed to repent.
The Arabs used magick for different purposes, most popular of which was to separate lovers, or on the other hand, to provoke love. “Jinns”, good and evil spirits, were recognized, and played an a role in the Arab practitioner’s “sihr”. They were invoked and commanded to do the magicians bidding or to inspire divination.
With the coming of Islam, some of the negativity surrounding magick was lifted as the Muslim Arabs, began to believe that the use of magickal prayers would counteract the “evil eye” and snake poison.They practiced crystal-gazing, and used the entrails of slaughtered animals to aid them in the prediction of future events. An example of this, is the use of the shoulder-blade of a dead animal to foretell if the year that lies ahead is a good or bad one, they would examine the shoulder-blade and the lines on it caused by the formation of the bone to determine this.
Communication with the dead was also practiced by the Arabs, and was made possible by the use of the “Magic Mirror”. This was a mirror made out of metal or glass with a polished surface, on which the spirit was believed would appear.In spells, the Arabs used names they believed possessed magickal powers. The magician would write the names on parchment paper which he then places in water. This water is believed to cure various ailments. In a love spell, the same process is used, and when the object of one’s desires drinks that water, he or she is immediately smitten with love.
The use of talismans and charms was popular amongst the Arabs. Charms, usually in the form of necklaces were made and worn as protection from danger. To protect the living from the ghost of a victim of murder, the Arabs would “nail down the ghost”. This practise, literally involved the driving of a brand new nail into the spot where the person was killed, thus trapping the ghost.
The Arabs were avid believers in Astrology. In “The Goal of the Sage”, a book on Sorcery, written by “Maslamah” in Madrid in 1008, the author states that the planet Mars, for example, possesses powers of natural attraction for natural science, surgery, toothdrawing, the gall, heat, hatred, bitter tastes and divers other things, Maslamah said “Those who desire the services of the planets should bow down to them and address them by their names in Arabic, Greek or Indian”.
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