Skip to main content

Arithmancy, part I


So....arithmancy. No one uses it anymore, and it's one of the old-school divinatory arts. An interesting and useful art, and a shame that it  isn't utilized more. At least, I've thought so. I went ahead and did something about it and have written a pamphlet about Arithmancy and Arithmantic magic. I'm going to release it in parts as blog posts, and then the lot will be downloadable from here. Hope you find something useful in it!


          Arithmancy is a method of divination rooted in number and numerology; it was known to the Chaldeans and Greeks, and of course to the Renaissance Magicians. As with many of our modern divinatory and magical methods, Henry Cornelius Agrippa is our primary source of wisdom in its use and method.

            In his Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Agrippa gives us the occult meaning of Number, and understanding as to its use and application in divination and magic. The text itself is sometimes difficult to understand for those who aren’t familiar with the style of English written at the time. This text aims to present the art of Arithmancy in a way that straight forward to understand.

            The method presented here will be rooted primarily in the Agrippa method, with changes and alterations made by myself in the course of creating a practical and working Arithmantic practice. For the pure method of Agrippa, or reference the Chaldean method, I recommend study of those primary texts.

            There is a special power in number, in that it allows us to discover hidden connections to things that we may otherwise not have been able to work upon.

The Power of Numbers and their Use

            In Chapter III, Book II of his “Three Books of Occult Philosophy” Agrippa expounds upon the virtue inherent in number, and it’s efficacy in both the natural and the supernatural. He states:

“…simple numbers signify divine things: numbers of ten; celestial: numbers of an hundred; terrestrial: numbers of a thousand; those things that shall be in a future age. Besides, seeing the parts of the mind are according to an arithmetical mediocrity, by reason of the identity, or equality of excess, coupled together: but the body, whose parts differ in their greatness, is according to a geometrical mediocrity, compounded: but an animal consists of both, viz. soul and body, according to that mediocrity, which is suitable to harmony: hence it is that numbers do work very much upon the soul, figures upon the body, and harmony upon the whole animal.” Pg.240, Book II Chapter III, Three Books of Occult Philosophy Henry Cornelius Agrippa

It’s important to note that “mediocrity” in the above quote referenced an average measure, something commonplace and regular; quite different from the modern use that alludes to something below average or of little worth.

In the above we have the whole of existence being signified by number, and as we can create effect through the power of sympathy, we can make connection with all things through the symbols and meanings inherent to number. Agrippa also says:

“…that all things which were first made by the nature of things in its first age, seem to be formed by the proportion of numbers, for this was the principal pattern in the mind of the Creator. Hence is borrowed the number of the elements, hence the courses of times, hence the motion of the stars, and the revolution of the heaven, and the state of all things subsist by the uniting together of numbers. Numbers therefore are endowed with great and sublime virtues.”pg.237, Book II Chapter II, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Henry Cornelius Agrippa

          From Pythagoras, who has said “Number is that by which all things consist”, to Agrippa who has gone at length to give understanding of the value of number, we find that our wisest minds appreciate the efficacy of number in thought and in practical use. My intention is to communicate a simple system of Arithmancy for Divination and Arithmatic Magic for thaumaturgy and theurgy, so that the magic of number is put to use in our age as it was in ages past. 

(continued in next part)


  1. Did I mention that I love that you do pamphlets? Because I do! I am glad you are staying ahead of the curve here I tend to agree with Gordon that the middle of publishing isn't going to do so well, but digital and pamphlets as well as the hand bound artisan stuff will stick around, at least in occult publishing. Good job dude!

  2. Thank you kindly, bro! I agree with you both on that; pamphlets and beautiful talismanic books are where it's going to be, most definitely.

  3. And I tend to think you both rock.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick overview of Simple Spagyric Technique

The following is a simple rundown for creating Spagyric tinctures and Elixirs, from the manuscript 'Book of the Blossoming Flower." I wrote it so that there would be a baseline, unobfuscated understanding of how to make Spagyric products with extremely basic tools. I posted something similar earlier, but without explaining much as far as how the steps relate to the classic alchemical progression. So, here we are!
Making a Spagyric Tincture
1.Take up your plant, and on the Day/Hour corresponding to the energy you wish to refine (Planet, Element, or Sign.) Chop the plant into fine pieces on your cutting board, beginning the Mortificatio stage. Sunrise on the Day corresponding to a planet is best-for astrological forces. I had success capturing the Astrological powers by beginning the work when the Sign is in the Ascendant, preferably during an Elemental Tide that corresponds to the Triplicity the Sign is associated with. For Elemental powers, I have found that beginning the work …

Bullshit Siddhis

Nsala malongo,
So.....powers. They exist. You work your alchemy, and they start popping up.
It isn't what you expect.
It's not like the comics.
Subtle things happen. You get a little something here, a big something there. Some of them appear useless at first.
Some years ago, after work in the upper cinnabar field, I gained the dubiously awesome ability to see a sort of spirit double floating around people. At first I was BEYOND stoked, and thought I was well on my way toward ascension from my normal state into a vicious and powerful spiritual overlord, as was foretold. By me. When I was like, fourteen.
Then, after the wonder wore off, I realized that this was absolutely useless. The double gave me no information about the person, no power to manipulate myself or the other. It was just there. So. Countless hours of heat and concentration, and the end result was this?

Of course it *was* useful in the long-run, as a mark of my developing spiritual sight. And continuing to wor…

Palo Mayombe


I've been engaged in a deep study of Frater Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold's work Palo Mayombe, and have been steadily amazed at the deep understandings within it. For a long time I've known some small measure of what Palo is--that it is a worship-centered religion, that it is necromantically powerful. I've also known what it isn't-- Palo is not just black magic, it isn't a club an African/Afro-Latino sorcerer wields to beat people over the head. That being said, engaging in metaphysical contests with it's practitioners is generally un-wise....they don't mess about. Palo Mayombe is a fierce religion, but it Is a religion.

What I didn't know was the true depths of it's Wisdom and alchemical understanding. That's right,alchemical understanding. Palo Mayombe isn't a simple practice. It's a multi-layered and living religious and alchemical practice, and it's grasp of the forces of life are unparalleled. It's spiritual technolo…