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"Joseph's Magick Talisman" -

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:24 pm

Excerpted from Lucifer Link:

Joseph's Magick Talisman
by Larry Hall

Before the medallion was properly identified, it was known as the "Masonic Jewel of the Prophet Joseph Smith." In the shape of a silver dollar, the piece measures exactly 1-9/16 inches in diameter and is probably made of silver or tin (see photo). A copy of the Jupiter talisman can be seen in Francis Barrett's occultic book The Magus, page 174.

Dr. Durham's Discovery

Apparently, nobody really knew what Joseph Smith's "Masonic Jewel" was before April 20, 1974. It was on that day that Dr. Reed Durham presented his discovery in his address before the Mormon History Association.

As President of the Association and Director of the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah, Dr. Durham probably had their full attention when he spoke: "...I should like to initiate all of you into what is perhaps the strangest, the most mysterious, occult-like esoteric, and yet Masonically oriented practice ever adopted by Joseph Smith....All available evidence suggests that Joseph Smith the Prophet possessed a magical Masonic medallion, or talisman, which he worked during his lifetime and which was evidently on his person when he was martyred."(7)

After describing the medallion, Dr. Durham then added, "...[the talisman] originally purchased from the Emma Smith Bidamon family, fully notarized by that family to be authentic and to have belonged to Joseph Smith, can now be identified as a Jupiter talisman. It carries the sign and image of Jupiter and should more appropriately be referred to as the Table of Jupiter." (8)

Dr. Durham was correct. The table, also called the Kamea, can be depicted in either English numbers (as shown in the talisman found in The Magus) or in Hebrew (as used by Smith). According to Barrett, the table "...consists of a square drawn into itself; it contains sixteen particular numbers, and in every line and diameter four, making thirty-four; the sum of all is one hundred and thirty-six. There are over it divine names, with an intelligence to that which is good, and a spirit to bad; and out of it is drawn the character of Jupiter and the spirits thereof; if this is engraven on a plate of silver, with Jupiter being powerful and ruling in the heavens, it conduces to gain riches and favor, love, peace and concord, and to appease enemies, and to confirm honors, dignities, and counsels;" (9)

Mormon History Association President Durham admitted, "...in some very real and quite mysterious sense, this particular Table of Jupiter was the most appropriate talisman for Joseph Smith to possess. Indeed, it seemed meant for him, because on all levels of interpretation: planetary, mythological, numerological, astrological, mystical cabalism, and talismatic magic, the Prophet was, in every case, appropriately described.... In astrology, Jupiter is always associated with high positions, getting one's own way, and all forms of status...Talismatic magic further declared that anyone who worked skillfully with the Jupiter Table would obtain the power of stimulating anyone to offer his love to the possessor of the talisman, whether from a friend, brother, relative, or even any female." (10)

Dr. Durham did not determine just when Smith obtained his talisman, but states that its description was discovered "...in a magic book printed in England in 1801, published in America in 1804, and I traced it to Manchester, and to New York [where Joseph Smith grew up]. It was a magic book by Francis Barrett and, lo and behold, how thrilled I was when I saw in his list of magic seal the very talisman which Joseph Smith had in his possession at the time of his martyrdom." (11)

The fact that the talisman was on Joseph's person at the time of his death has been absolutely established. Mormon scholar LaMar C. Berrett tells us, "This piece was in Joseph Smith's pocket when he was martyred at Carthage jail." (12)

According to the Charles E. Bidamon affidavit (who sold the talisman to the Wood collection), "Emma Smith Bidamon the prophet's widow was my foster mother. She prized this piece very highly on account of its being one of the prophet's intimate possessions....I certify that I have many times heard her say. when being interviewed. and showing the piece. That it was in the prophets pocket when he was martyred at Carthage Ill." (13)

Even though Dr. Durham was a very influential Mormon Historian, his honesty regarding the truth behind Joseph Smith's magic talisman must be applauded. It caused him a great deal of difficulty with the Mormon hierarchy, however. According to Jerald and Sandra Tanner, the discovery by Durham "...was so startling that it caused great consternation among Mormon scholars and officials....Because of his frank method of dealing with these matters he was severely criticized..." (14)

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Re: "Joseph's Magick Talisman" -

Post  neutralrobotboy on Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:55 am

Joseph Smith was one goddamned weird character. It's hard to tell what character of scam artist he was: Inspired but delusional? Cynically manipulative? The links to Masonic rites are pretty strong, what the hell was that all about? Wish I knew. Maybe it was just to keep people mystified. Maybe he was trying to make (his modified forms of) them the possession of everyone. Anyone's guess. In any case, he created a monster.

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Re: "Joseph's Magick Talisman" -

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:48 pm

neutralrobotboy wrote:Joseph Smith was one goddamned weird character.

He was definitely iconoclastic. I'd love to learn more about his inner circle's practice of hierogamy... A few tantalizing snippets have leaked through, but there's been a concerted effort to obfuscate the connections Mormonism has with ceremonial magick, so accounts are sparse.

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Re: "Joseph's Magick Talisman" -

Post  Hadrianswall on Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:59 am

There is a yahoo group called mormon-mystic, full of mormon kabbalists, mages, mystics and masons. A very warm and very knowlegable bunch. Happy hunting Smile

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mormon-mystic/

Mormon-Mystic is a welcoming, respectful, intelligent, inter-religious discussion of the mystical path. Here we investigate mormonism, mysticism, freemasonry, kabbalah, tarot, mormon fundamentalism, comparative religion, scriptural tradition, the zohar and related topics from a "mystical mormon" perspective.

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Now burn all your books, including mine. - Sendivogius

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Re: "Joseph's Magick Talisman" -

Post  worlock93 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:01 pm

neutralrobotboy wrote:Joseph Smith was one goddamned weird character. It's hard to tell what character of scam artist he was: Inspired but delusional? Cynically manipulative? The links to Masonic rites are pretty strong, what the hell was that all about? Wish I knew. Maybe it was just to keep people mystified. Maybe he was trying to make (his modified forms of) them the possession of everyone. Anyone's guess. In any case, he created a monster.

Smith believed he could make Mormonism the religion of Freemasonry and attempted to fuse the two together. Smith was very much an old testament sort of "christian" and if you consider Freemasonry's reliance upon the old testament stories for their myths and rituals I think you'll be able to more understand his Masonic leanings. As an interesting piece of trivia: Joseph Smith's third wife was with widow of William Morgan, whose death lead to the "Morgan Affair" and kick started the anti-masonry movement in the US.

As a side note, while I find the occult interests of Joseph Smith interesting, it appears to me that people discussing it either understate it or overstate it far too much. Smith's occult pursuits seem to rest in the pursuit of treasure hunting and not much else. In Owen Davies latest book "Grimoires" there's a chapter that covers this time period in the US and has a section on Joseph Smith that may help to illuminate some of this if you're interested. While it's silly to take the official LDS stance that occultism was non-existant in Smith's earlier years (understatement) some folks seem convinced that Smith was some sort of all out practicing magician (HUGE overstatement). Smith's occult pursuits were fairly common for the period (i.e. treasure hunting, scrying, spirtism, etc.)

As to what type of person Smith was, a conman taking advantage of the religious fervor of the time to pursue his own goals of power and sex would probably sum it up nicely..

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Re: "Joseph's Magick Talisman" -

Post  neutralrobotboy on Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:49 am

There is a yahoo group called mormon-mystic, full of mormon kabbalists, mages, mystics and masons. A very warm and very knowlegable bunch. Happy hunting

Very interesting indeed.


While it's silly to take the official LDS stance that occultism was non-existant in Smith's earlier years (understatement) some folks seem convinced that Smith was some sort of all out practicing magician (HUGE overstatement). Smith's occult pursuits were fairly common for the period (i.e. treasure hunting, scrying, spirtism, etc.)

I don't regard him as a practicing magician necessarily, but have you every read up on some of the Mormon temple rituals? My understanding is that they're quite similar to Masonic rites, and used to be more so. Actually, for a long time there were implicit penalties of death for revealing what goes on in there.

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Re: "Joseph's Magick Talisman" -

Post  worlock93 on Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:30 pm

neutralrobotboy wrote: I don't regard him as a practicing magician necessarily, but have you every read up on some of the Mormon temple rituals? My understanding is that they're quite similar to Masonic rites, and used to be more so. Actually, for a long time there were implicit penalties of death for revealing what goes on in there.

As I said before, Smith had an infinity for the old testament and I believe he saw in Freemasonry a preexisiting line he could attach himself to. Yes there are many things Smith lifted from the initiations of Freemasonry. The penalties for example were taken, almost verbatim from the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft degree. The Five Points of Fellowship are also there directly. Years ago there was a website that showed the similarities side by side, I don't know if that website is still around, but you can still find the original endowment ceremony online and compare it with a copy of Duncan's ritual for example.

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