The idea that any connection exists between Freemasonry and magic is to be attributed to the French writers, especially to Ragon, who gives many pages of his Masonic Orthodozy to the subject of Masonic magic; and still more to Alphonse Louis Constant, who has written three large volumes on the History of Magic, on the Ritual and Dogma of the Higher Magic, and on the Key of the Grand Mysteries, in all of which he seeks to trace an intimate connection between the Masonic mysteries and the science of magic (see Levi, Eliphas). Ragon designates this sort of Freemasonry by the name of Occult Freemasonry But he loosely confounds magic with the magism of the ancient Persians, the medieval philosophy and modern magnetism, all of which, as identical sciences, were engaged in the investigation of the nature of man. the mechanism of his thoughts, the faculties of his soul, his power over nature, and the essence of the occult virtues of all things.
Magism, he says, is to be found in the Sentences of Zoroaster, in the Hymns of Orpheus, in the Invocations of the Hierophants, and in the Symbols of Pythagoras; it is reproduced in the Philosophy of Agrippa and of Cardan, and is recognized under the name of Magic in the marvelous results of magnetism. Cagliostro, it is well known, mingled with his Spurious Freemasonry the Superstitions of Magic and the Operations of Animal Magnetism. But the writers who have sought to establish a scheme of Magical Freemasonry refer almost altogether to the supposed power of mystical names or words, which they say is common to both Freemasonry and magic. It is certain that on omatology, or the science of names, forms a very interesting part of the investigations of the higher Freemasonry, and it is only in this way that any connection can be created between the two sciences. Much light, it must be confessed, is thrown on many of the mystical names in the advanced Degrees by the dogmas of magic; and hence magic furnishes a curious and interesting study for the Freemason (see Magic Squares and Alchemy).
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