Translated and interpreted by
Eliphas Levi
Boston – Cambridge
The Greek text was first published after an ancient manuscript, by Gilbert
Gautrinus, in De Vita et Morte Moysis
, Lib. III., p. 206 ; and subsequently
reproduced by Laurent Moshemius in his Sacred and Historico
Observations. Amsterdam, 1721. Translated and interpreted for the first time by
Eliphas Levi.
NUCTEMERON signifies the day of the night or thet illumined
by day. It is
analogous to the " Light Issuing from Darkness," which is the title of -known
a well
Hermetic work. It may also be translated THE LIGHT OF OCCULTISM. This
monument of transcendent Assyrian magic is sufficiently curious to make it
superfluous to enlarge on its importance. We have not merely evoked Apollonius,
we have possibly resuscitated him.
The First Hour.
In unity, the demons chant the praises of God ; they lose their malice and fury.
The Second Hour.
By the duad, the Zodiacal fish chant the praises of God ; the fiery serpents
interlace about the caduceus, and the lightning becomes liarmonous.
The Third Hour.
The serpents of the Hermetic caduceus entwine three times ; Cerberus opens his
triple jaw, and fire chants the praises of God with the three tongues of the
The Fourth Hour.
At the fourth hour the soul revisits the tombs ; the magical lamps are lighted at
the four corners of the circle ; it is the time of enchantments and illusions.
The Fifth Hour.
The voice of the great waters celebrates the God of the heavenly
The Sixth Hour.
The spirit believes itself immovable ; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm
down upon it, and does not fear.
The Seventh Hour.
A fire, which imparts lifeto all animated beings, is directed by the will of pure
men. The initiate stretches forth his hand, and pains are assuaged.
The Eighth Hour.
The stars utter speech to one another ; the soul of the suns corresponds with the
exhalation of the flowers; ch
ains of harmony create correspondence between all
natural things.
The Ninth Hour.
The number which must not be divulged.
The Tenth Hour.
The key of the astronomical cycle and of the circular movement of human life.
The Eleventh Hour.
The wings ofthe genii move with a mysterious and deep murmur; they fly from
sphere to sphere, and bear the messages of God from world to world.
The Twelfth Hour.
The works of the light eternal are fulfilled by fire.
THESE twelve symbolical hours,alogous
to the signs of the magical Zodiac and
to the allegorical labours of Hercules, represent the schedule of the works of
initiation. It is necessary therefore (1) To overcome evil passions, and, according
to the expression of the wise Hierophant, comp
el the demons themselves to
praise God. (2) To study the balanced forces of nature, and know how harmony
results from the analogy of contraries ; to know also the great magical agent and
the twofold polarisation of the universal light. (3) To gain initiati
on into the triadic
principle of all theogonies and all religious symbols. (4) To know how to overcome
all phantoms of imagination, and triumph over all illusions. (5) To understand
after what manner universal harmony is produced in the centre of the four
elementary forces. (6) To become inaccessible to fear. (7) To practise the
direction of the magnetic light. (8) To learn prevision of effects by the calculus of
the balance of causes. (9) To understand the hierarchy of instruction, to respect
the mysteriesof dogma, and to keep silence in presence of the profane. (10) To
study astronomy exhaustively. (11) To become initiated by analogy into the laws
of universal life and intelligence. (12) To fulfil the great works of nature by
direction of the light.
Here follow the names and attributions of the genii who preside over the twelve
hours of the Nuctemeron. By these genii the ancient hierophants understood
neither angels nor demons, but moral forces or personified virtues.
Genii of the First Hour:
PAPUS, hysician.
SINBUCK, judge. KASPHUIA, necromancer. ZAHUN, genius of
scandal. HEIGLOT, genius of snowstorms. MIZKUN, genius of amulets. HAVEN,
genius of dignity.
We must become the physician and judge of ourselves in order to vanquish the
witchcrafts of the necromancer, conjure and contemn the genius of scandal,
triumph over the opinion which freezes all enthusiasms, and confounds
everything in the same cold pallor, like the genius of the snowstorms; know,
finally, the virtue of signs so as tonchain
the genius of amulets that we may
reach the dignity of the
Genii of the Second Hour:
SISERA, genius of desire. TORVATUS, genius of discord. NITIBUS, genius of the
stars. HIZARBIN, genius of the seas. SACHLUPH, genius of plants. BAGLIS,
ius of gen
measure and balance. LABEZERIN, genius of success.
We must learn how to will and thus transform the genius of desire into power ;
the hindrance to will is the genius of discord, who is bound by the science of
harmony. Harmony is theenius
of the stars and of the seas; we must study the
virtue of plants, and understand the laws of the balance of measure in order to
attain success.
Genii of the Third Hour:
HAHABI, genius of fear. PHLOGABITUS, genius of adornments. EIRNEUS,
destroyinggenius of idols. MASCARUN, genius of death. ZAROBI, genius of
precipices. BUTATAR, genius of calculations. CAHOR, genius of deception.
When you have conquered the genius of fear by the growing force of your will,
you will know that dogmas ar
the sacred adornments of truth unknown to the vulgar ; but you will cast down all
idols in your intelligence ; you will bind the genius of death ; you will fathom all
precipices and subject the infinite itself to the ratio of your calculations ; and
s thu
you will ever escape the ambushes of the genius
of deception.
Genii of the Fourth Hour:
PHALGUS, genius of judgment. THAGRINUS, genius of confusion. EISTIBUS, genius
of divination. PHARZUPH, genius of fornication. SISLAU, genius of poisons.
genius of bestial love. ACLAHAYR, genius of sport.
The power of the magus is in his judgment, which enables him to avoid the
confusion consequent on antinomy and the antagonism of principles ; he
practises the divination of the sages, but
he despises the illusions of enchanters
who are the slaves of fornication, artists in poisons, ministers of bestial love ; in
this way he is victorious over fatality, which is the genius of sport.
Genii of the Fifth Hour:
ZEIRNA, genius of infirmities.
genius of fascination. TACRITAU, genius of
goetic magic. SUPHLATUS, genius of the dust. SAIR, genius of the stibium of the
sages. BARCUS, genius of the quintessence. CAMAYSAR, genius of the marriage of
Triumphing over u
hman infirmities, the magus is no longer the sport of
fascination ; he tramples on the vain
and dangerous practices of goetic magic, the
whole power of which is but dust driven before the wind ; but he possesses the
stibium of the sages ; he is armed with
all the creative powers of the