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Johann Trithemius -

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Johann Trithemius -

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:02 am

Still digging into the cryptography thread, this is excerpted from "The Occult Renaissance":

It is said that Johann Heidenberg (1462-1516) couldn’t read until he was 15 years old. Then he had a vision in which he was given the choice between the knowledge of language and the knowledge of images. Thinking that the word was the power of creation, Johann chose the knowledge of language and so it was and he started writing. Born in Trittenheim in Germany, he named himself after his village of birth and Heidenberg has ever since been known as ‘Trithemius’.

After his vision the development of Trithemius went fast. He met the Reuchlin in Heidelberg -as said- and at the age of 21 Trithemius already was abbot of a Benedictine monastery in Sponheim. There he studied the medieval system of the hierarchies of angels of the pseudo-Dionysus (the Areopagite) as many occultists did before him. According to the Areopagite there are nine hierarchies of angels. Trithemius largely expanded this system and taught that there are angels ruling over hours of the day (book II Steganographia-see later) and regions of the world (book I Steganographia). These angels are ruled by seven planetary angels (book III Steganographia). I have schemes of these angels in a text called The art of drawing spirits into crystals, but I haven’t been able to find out from what book of Trithemius this is. The most famous work of this German is the Steganographia which has existed as manuscript for many many years, but wasn’t published until 1606. Followers and Trithemius himself thought that it would be too dangerous to publish and it is a strange work for sure!

On first sight it seems to be a work to summon angels. You have to find the appropriate angel first. You have to find the correct angel of the hour by dividing the hours that it is light (or dark of course) in twelve and look up the angel in a table. This angel you summon by using the numerological value of his name and an ununderstandable incantation. Then you can use this angel to have a message brought to someone. Also Trithemius hoped that he could get angels to give him information and/or images of things that happen on another part of the world.

As has been known for a long time Trithemius was very fond of cryptography (which is the literary translation of “steganographia”) (writing secret messages) and however he gives a ‘key’ to the first two books of the Steganographia in his Clavis Steganographia it wasn’t until 1996 that the codes have been cracked. The Steganographia turned out to be nothing more than Trithemius writing secret messages in the vein of: “see how I can write secret messages”!! So there are different layers of purposes in one of the strangest works of the Renaissance I asume.

Trithemius used magic to invent the early telephone and television, but he put much stress on the difference between magic and superstition (‘witches and wizards’) an opinion that people after him would take over.
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ankh_f_n_khonsu

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Re: Johann Trithemius -

Post  yonderboy on Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:51 pm

I'd be interested in comparing Trithemius' angels against the ones in Brit Menucha or elsewhere in Kabbalah.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shemhamphorasch
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muqatta%27at
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3926/is_200401/ai_n9362060/

Definitely something there... I think in The Sufis Idries Shah insinuated that the Bible and Quran were encrypted documents like Trithemius' Steganogrophia, with the first chapter of the Quran somehow working as a key with the Muqatta'at to unlock the hidden meaning. But the Quran itself says the Muqatta'at letters are just there to mislead people, who are unable to recognize the obvious meaning that's visible right on the surface.

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Re: Johann Trithemius -

Post  yonderboy on Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:39 pm

Here's more...

In the German-speaking part of Europe, the works of the enigmatic Benedictine abbot Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516) had acquired many followers, most notably Agrippa and Paracelsus. His work Steganographia, which was published posthumously in 1606, treated a peculiar art of magic disguised in the form of cryptography. His aim was to enable the magician to have access to a universal knowledge, and to allow him to communicate over great distances. Furthermore, the ultimate goal of Trithemius's occult writings was a mystical vision of God, or the conveyance of the magician's soul from earth to heaven. It was this ultimate goal that, according to Trithemius, separated his peculiar form of magic from the demonic magic of sorcerers and witches, a debased form of magic that Trithemius strongly condemned.

Henrik Bogdan, Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation, p. 58.

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