The Adept’s Powers

In the Introduction to Transcendental Magic, Eliphas Levi quotes a sixteenth-century manuscript that lists the 22 powers of an adept, illustrated by the 22 major arcana of Tarot.

These words are allegorical, signposts that show you in which direction to think/meditate. The true meanings of these words can’t be put into words. It is best if you meditate on their meanings together with the corresponding Tarot cards.

These are the powers and privileges of the man who holds, in his right hand, the clavicles of Solomon, and, in his left, the branch of the blossoming almond.

The Seven Chief Powers

Aleph, The Fool: He beholds God face to face, without dying, and converses familiarly with the seven genii who command the entire celestial army.

Beth, The Magician: He is above all afflictions and all fears.

Gimel, The High Priestess: He reigns with all heaven and is served by all hell.

Daleth, The Empress: He disposes of his own health and life, and can equally influence that of others.

Heh, The Emperor: He can neither be surprised by misfortune, nor overwhelmed by disasters, nor conquered by his enemies.

Vav, The Hierophant: He knows the reason of the past, present, and future.

Zain, The Lovers: He possesses the secret of the resurrection of the dead and the key of immortality.

The Seven Medial Powers:

Cheth, The Chariot: To find the philosophical stone.

Teth, Strength: To enjoy the universal medicine.

Yod, The Hermit: To be acquainted with the laws of perpetual motion, and to be in a position to demonstrate the quadrature of the circle.

Kaph, The Wheel of Fortune: To change into gold not only all metals, but also the earth itself, and even the refuse of the earth.

Lamed, Justice: To subdue the most ferocious animals and be able to pronounce the words which paralyze and charm serpents.

Mem, The Hanged Man: To possess the Ars Notaria which gives the universal science.

Nun, Death: To speak learnedly on all subjects, without preparation and without study.

The Seven Lower Powers

Samekh, Temperance: To know at first sight the deep things of the souls of men and the mysteries of the hearts of women.

Ayin, the Devil: To force nature to make him free at his pleasure.

Peh, the Tower: To foresee all future events which do not depend on a superior free will, or an all undiscernible cause.

Tzaddi, The Star: To give at once and to all the most efficacious consolations and the most wholesome counsels.

Qoph, The Moon: To triumph over adversities

Resh, The Sun: To conquer love and hate.

Shin, Judgement: To have the secret of wealth, be always its master and never its slave. To know how to enjoy even poverty and never become abject or miserable.

Tav, The World: Let us add to these three septenaries that the wise man rules the elements, stills tempests, cures the diseased by his touch, and raises the dead!


At the same time, there are certain things which have been sealed by Solomon with his triple seal. It is enough that the initiates know, and as for others, whether they deride, doubt, or believe, whether they threaten or fear, what matters it to science or to us?

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