The Greek text was first published after an ancient manuscript by Gilbert Gautrinus, in De Vita et Moyris, Lib. 111, p. 206, and was reproduced subsequently by Laurentius Moshemius in his Sacred and Historico-Critical Observations, Amsterdam, 1721. It is now translated und interpreted for the first time by Eliphas Levi.
Nuctemeron signifies the “day of the night” or “the night illumined by day.” It is analogous to the “Light Issuing from Darkness,” which is the title of a well-known Hermetic work. It may be translated also “The Light of Occultism.” This monument of transcendent Assyrian Magic is sufficiently curious to make it superfluous to enlarge on its importance. We have not merely evoked Apollonius, we have possibly resuscitated him.
In unity, the demons chant the praises of God: they lose their malice and fury.
By the Duad, the Zodiacal fish chant the praises of God; the fiery serpents entwine about the caduceus and the thunder becomes harmonious.
The serpents of the Hermetic caduceus entwine three times; Cerberus opens his triple jaw, and fire chants the praises of God with the three tongues of the lightning.
At the fourth hour therevisits the tombs; the magical lamps are lighted at the four corners of the circle: it is the time of enchantments and illusions.
The voice of the great waters celebrates the God of the heavenly spheres.
The spirit abides immovable; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm down upon it, and does not fear.
A fire, which imparts life to all animated beings, is directed by the will of pure men. The initiate stretches forth his hand, and pains are assuaged.
The stars utter speech to one another; theof the suns corresponds with the exhalation of the flowers; chains of harmony create unison between all natural things.
, the number which must not be divulged.
The key of the astronomical cycle of the circular movement of human life.
The wings of the genii move with a mysterious and deep murmur; they fly from sphere to sphere, and bear the messages of God from world to world.
The works of the light eternal are fulfilled by fire.
These twelve symbolical hours, analogous to the signs of the magical Zodiac and to the allegorical labors of Heracles, represent the succession in works of. It is necessary, therefore:
(1) To overcome evil passions, and, according to the expression of the wise Hierophant, compel the demons themselves to praise God.
(2) To study the balanced forces of Nature and learn how harmony results from the analogy of contraries; to know also the Great Magical Agent and the twofold polarization of the universal light.
(3) To be initiated in the triadic principle of all Theogonies and all religious symbols.
(4) To overcome all phantoms of imagination and triumph over all illusions.
(5) To understand after what manner universal harmony is produced in the center of the four elementary forces.
(6) To become inaccessible to fear.
(7) To practice the direction of the magnetic light.
(8) To foresee effects by the calculus of the balance of causes.
(9) To understand the hierarchy of instruction, to respect the mysteries of dogma and to keep silence in presence of the profane.
(10) To make a profound study of astronomy.
(11) To become initiated by analogy into the laws of universal life and intelligence.
(12) To effect great works of Nature by direction of the light.
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