For a long time, sacred knowledge existed only in spoken words – from master to pupil. The one who received knowledge in some mystical spiritual school, would take a vow never to share what he learned with anyone else. This vow was rarely ever violated.
Ancient cultures knew perfectly well the responsibility of knowing about secret worlds, magic, and information about the natural and exact sciences.
The creation of records, chronicles and holy texts carved onto rocks was a result of necessity – endless wars, diseases, and natural disasters which endangered those who carried important knowledge. But even then, those records which were kept on parchments or rocks were only available to a small circle of priests. And there were serious reasons for all the secrecy.
As initiative of the ancient Indian emperor, Ashoka, the secret society of The Nine Unknown was created. The society consisted of 9 great Indian scientists and sages whose task was the systemization of all knowledge gained from ancient holy manuscripts, experiments, and observations.
Each one of The Nine Unknown wrote a book dedicated to a different field of study. The work of the society was kept secret – Ashoka, a religious Buddhist and set opponent of war, was perfectly aware of the power of knowledge and he couldn’t allow for it to be used for destruction or war.
Ashoka did indeed have a reason to worry – the knowledge which was available to his scientists was quite incredible, even from a modern point of view. For example, one of the books was about overcoming gravity, controlling it, and creating artificial weightlessness on the ground.
The work of The Nine Unknown is mentioned in numerous ancient Indian written sources; however, not one of these sources has been discovered by archeologists. It is believed that some of the books are being kept in monasteries in Tibet and India to this day, and Buddhist lamas are doing everything in their power so the books don’t end up in the hands of modern society.
Scientists gave up on their doubts as to the high level of technical and scientific development of ancient Indian civilizations in 1875 when the works of Bharadwaja (author of several hymns from the holy “Rigveda”, who lived during the 5th century BC) were discovered. His book was called “Vaimanika Prakarana” (“Tractate of Flying”), and was one of the sections from the fundamental texts “Vaimānika Shāstra” (“Science of Aviation”). This incredible work of aeronautics contained detailed descriptions of several types of flying machines, information about flying them, and even a guide for new pilots.
The book, “Vaimanika Prakarana” was met quite conservatively from Indian specialists in the fields of exact knowledge. Interest peaked when the Chinese government spoke out that they owe all their achievements in the field of aerospace to information from the works of ancient civilizations dating back several thousand years.
When Christianity became a leading religion in Europe, practically all works of ancient authors, pertaining to magical and natural sciences, ended up on the wrong side of the law. Texts of Jewish Kabbalah became favorites among medieval European sorcerers. Authorship of the texts was often attributed to Biblical patriarchs, such as King Solomon, for example. The most popular and honored among the texts were The Keys of Solomon and The Book of Abramelin the Mage.
According to legend, The Keys of Solomon was written by the Biblical King Solomon for his son, Rehoboam and translated from ancient Hebrew to Latin. And later, in 1634, it was translated into French. The knowledge of the book of ceremonial magic gave power to its possessor to rule over all ghosts and demons – it devoted him to the nature’s secrets and the world. Also, it would gift the mage with earthly treasures and honors.
The Keys of Solomon is traditionally divided into Big Key and Small Key. The Big Key (which includes two books) is entirely about the creation of special instruments and artifacts for conducting magical operations, and the overall preparedness of the mage for such complex knowledge. The Small Key is known among mages and occultists as „Lemegeton“and it consists of 5 parts.
The first part contains complete information about all evil spirits and demonic creatures – their names, seals, as well as ways to dominate and force them to fulfill the wishes of the mage. The second is dedicated not only to evil spirits, but to good ghosts and angels as well. The third and fourth contain information on astrology. And the last of the parts, called “New Art”, contains prayers which Solomon uttered before God. It is believed that this part of “Lemegeton” was given to Solomon by Archangel Michael, and many of the prayers in the manuscript were written by the Creator himself.
The Book of Abramelin the Mage wasn’t as popular as “Lemegeton”, but that did not stop adepts of cult studies to use it when they needed help with magical operations. Most researchers believe that the real author of the book was a mage who lived during the 14th-15thcenturies.
The Book of Abramelin the Mage is very different from The Keys of Solomon which pay great attention to magical ceremonies and rituals, the making of talismans and spell objects with magical powers. It is more about the connection between every magic spell with the holy names of Gods, cult formulas, and anagrammatic suggestions made on the basis of Kabbalah laws.
The so-called magical squares play a particular role in the studies of Abramelin. They were usually illustrated on parchments or paper and divided by intersecting lines in several sections, in which letters were written in a specific sequence, resulting in a magical formula. The author of the book claims that proper application of the magical squares will provide the mage with practically endless possibilities – control over elements and people, gain of wealth, the power to become invisible and control over spirits.
But the knowledge of the “damned” books was not nearly enough for those who engaged in the practice of magic. Almost every charlatan or mage possessed several “magic notebooks” – unique manuscripts, or magic diaries, with spells, descriptions of ceremonies, signs and superstitions, and sometimes, even legends, ancient tales or just thoughts of the owner.