The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, or Moses' Magical Spirit-ArtUpdated May 30, NOTE: An expanded printed edition of this text is now available:. If you are interested in discussing this text, I have set up a forum on Yahoo Groups. The so-called Sixth and Seventh books of Moses in particular consists of a collection of texts which purport to explain the magic whereby Moses won the biblical magic contest with the Egyptian priest-magicians, parted the Red Sea, and other miraculous feats. Many manuscripts and printed pamphlet versions had circulated in Germany, when Johann Scheible, undertook to collect the major variants. Subsequent revised and expanded editions were supplemented with excerpts from writings on Jewish folklore and esoterica. All the English editions thus far have consequently been deficient in many ways, with poorly executed drawings and Hebrew lettering, drawings printed upside down, mistakes in transcription and translation, passages censured and other substantial omissions.
The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, or Moses' Magical Spirit-Art
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The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses is an 18th- or 19th-century magical text allegedly written by Moses , and passed down as hidden or lost books of the Jewish Tanakh. Self-described as "the wonderful arts of the old Hebrews , taken from the Mosaic books of the cabala and the Talmud ," it is actually a grimoire , or text of magical incantations and seals, that purports to instruct the reader in the spells used to create some of the miracles portrayed in the Bible as well as to grant other forms of good fortune and good health. The work contains reputed Talmudic magic names, words, and ideograms, some written in Hebrew and some with letters from the Latin alphabet. It contains "Seals" or magical drawings accompanied by instructions intended to help the user perform various tasks, from controlling weather or people to contacting the dead or Biblical religious figures. Copies have been traced to 18th-century German pamphlets, but an printing, aided by the appearance of the popular press in the 19th century, spread the text through Germany and Northern Europe to German Americans and eventually helped popularize the texts among African Americans in the United States , the Caribbean , and Anglophone West Africa. It influenced European Occult Spiritualism as well as African American hoodoo folk magic , and magical-spiritual practices in the Caribbean, and West Africa. An older magical text, a fourth-century Greek papyrus entitled Eighth Book of Moses otherwise unrelated to the Sixth and Seventh Books, was found in Thebes in the 19th century and published as part of the Greek Magical Papyri.