Here’s a fun article I just stumbled on. The great thing about this list is that I have never heard of 9 out of the 10 mages included on it (but of course they’re all men unfortunately, of course). It’s a bit frustrating to know that things like magick have existed ever since there have been people, and in the last 100 years or so like 80% of all articles written about it anywhere involve Aleister Crowley or someone tangentially related to him. Almost seems a bit convenient if you ask me, like this stuff was intentionally written out of the collective unconscious of western society and replaced with the pretentious ramblings of a gothed out drunken junkie. Oh wait, that’s exactly what I’ve been shown in various trance states. It does seem quite amazing that we know so little about what could honestly be considered experimental psychology if you look at it right. It’s a mostly lost art who’s history is still hiding right in front of our faces.
Edward Kelley is actually the only sorcerer I’ve ever heard of on this list (I’m not going to tell you where he’s ranked, you’ll have to read the thing), but some daemon summoning church bro named St Cyprian comes in at number 6:
“Legend says that St. Cyprian was a magician of Antioch in league with the devil. At the request of an amorous young man, he conjured a demon to arouse the maiden Justina so that the youth could seduce her. Justina recognized the attack on her sanctity and defeated the demon by making the sign of the cross.
His magic thwarted, Cyprian summoned the devil himself to tempt the maiden, but he was defeated in same manner. Disgusted that Satan could be beaten by a mere maiden, Cyprian cast off his sorcery and converted to Christianity. In time, he became the bishop of Antioch and was martyred for his faith.
The pair of Cyprian and Justina were declared saints and received their own feast day in the Catholic calendar. Historical records show no bishop of Antioch named Cyprian, however, and modern religious scholars now believe their existence to be suspect.
I personally love how John Dee isn’t included here. I think one of the most intriguing aspects of Dee is that he was wise enough to realize he didn’t possess the sort of skills necessary for something like channeling. So he was a wise man as well as a smart one, and knowing his own psychical limitations was a true sign of that wisdom. It’s the exact sort of wisdom lacking in these modern day transhumanist freaks, although I have a feeling they’ll figure it out eventually.