Table of correspondences


Table of correspondences

A table of correspondences is a table or list of objects, beings, or concepts thought to be linked through supernatural connections. Tables of correspondences appear in modern books on magic and the occult. They are provided as reference tools in creating spells and casting magic circles. At its most basic, a table of correspondences can be a simple list of colors with their spheres of influence. A complicated table or set of tables can grow to book-length and co-ordinate deities, spirits, and symbols from religions and mythologies around the world. The Wikipedia article on the four humours contains a table of correspondences based on ancient Greek medicine.

History

The belief that apparently unconnected things share a mystical connection is common to most cultures; it is one of the principles of sympathetic magic identified by anthropologist James George Frazer in "The Golden Bough". Examples of the theory of interconnectedness in Western culture include the concept of macrocosm and microcosm in the philosophy of the followers of Plato, expressed in Hermeticism by the aphorism, "as above, so below"; the doctrine of signatures advocated in the Renaissance by Paracelsus; the Jewish mystical practice of Kabbalah, which Renaissance humanists attempted to Christianize; and the doctrine of correspondence in the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Lists of correspondences are very old and are not limited to books on spellcasting. Gnostic books in the Nag Hammadi Library contain lists of aeons and archons (good and evil beings), correlating them to different virtues and vices. The First Book of Enoch lists fallen angels and their spheres of influence. Medieval grimoires included lists of correspondences.

Magic underwent a revival in the Renaissance partly due to its association with Neoplatonism. In 1531 Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa published his "Three books of occult philosophy", which contained many lists of correspondences. Francis Barrett's "The Magus, or Celestial Intelligencer" (1801, frequently reprinted) repeated many of Agrippa's lists.

Organization

A common organizing principle for tables of correspondence is number.
*Two: the binary concepts of Yin and Yang, black and white, left and right, etc.
*Four: the Western classical elements, the four directions, the suits of the Minor Arcana in Tarot decks (also number of court cards in each suit), magical weapons, the canonical gospels, etc.
*Seven: the planets, the days of the week, the archangels, etc.
*Ten: the sefirot of the Tree of Life of the Hebrew Kabbalah and the Ten Commandments, the number of pips in each Tarot suit
*Twelve: the months of the year, the signs of the zodiac, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the twelve Olympians, etc.
*Twenty-two: the number of major arcana (counting The Fool) in Tarot; the number of paths in the Tree of Life
*Seventy-two: the Shemhamphorasch, numbers of angels, goetica demons, psalms, tarot, zodiac circle

References

* Bill Whitcomb, "The Magician's Companion", Llewellyn's High Magic Series. (Many tables of correspondence with some discussion and overview).

External links

* [http://dcwilson1.tripod.com "The Occult Science of Talismanic Correspondences" by David Cramb Wilson]


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