Claude Lecouteux is a former professor of medieval literature and civilization at the Sorbonne. He resides in Paris and is the author of numerous books on medieval and pagan beliefs and magic. I’ve not had the opportunity to explore his work, that is until in late October, when I woke up from a dream I had one evening…
Dreams are very important to me and I pay great attention to them. I’ve remembered my dreams since childhood and can on any given day recall at least three dreams from the previous evening. Over the years, I’ve categorized my dreams into three types, teaching dreams (when my higher self journeys to the other side to explore and learn), prophecy dreams (where I intuitively dream about people, places and things to come) and being human dreams (where I dream about things on my mind that I am working through in my daily life). I teach about Dream Interpretation and share with my students how to determine what each of their dreams mean, how to take action on them and how to become a “lucid dreamer”, where you are aware that you are in a dream state and can alter the dream at will.
With this in mind, back in late October, I woke from a dream in the middle of the night. The dream was about Claude Lecouteux. In the dream, one of my spirit guides was telling me that I should connect with Claude Lecouteux. I woke up from this dream puzzled, as I had no idea who Claude Lecouteux was. I quickly fell back asleep, only to wake up again in a few hours from another dream about Professor Lecouteux, where I was hearing his name being whispered to me over and over, with a voice saying, remember his name. In my sleepy state, I mumbled ok and went back to sleep, giving myself a mental note to remember his name in the morning. Early morning came soon enough and I awoke again from a third dream about Lecouteux, where my guide was telling me to look into his books and that he has done an important job researching and recording a great deal of esoteric information. At that point, I was awake and grabbed my iPad and began to Google Claude Lecouteux. After all, when someone from spirit world takes the time to communicate with me in all three of my dreams in one evening, one has to take notice and follow this conscious stream of information.
Upon looking into his work, it quickly became apparent that his research is an invaluable resource in the esoteric wisdom realms. I reached out to his publisher to see if I could interview him about some of his books, as I’d like to bring more attention to his work, so that esoteric students and scholars around the world can access this information. As the Fates would have it, I was able to connect quickly with his publisher and as I had finished reading one of his books, we arranged to have a print interview, which I am happy to present to you here in this blog. Enjoy and don’t forget to pay attention to your dreams and where they lead…. *~Kala~*
The first book I picked up to read from Claude Lecouteux, is The Book of Grimoires: The Secret Grammar of Magic (Inner Traditions). Drawing on his private collection of grimoires and his extensive and privileged access to the rare book archives of major European universities, Lecouteux offers an extensive study of the ancient books of magic including the secret alphabets, magical practices and esoteric symbols and codes. His book provides an overview into the Western Mystery Traditions and shares a variety of spells, protection rituals, and exact reproductions of secret magical alphabets, symbols and glyphs. Of particular interest to me was his research on Paracelsus, who defines the six different types of magic.
In keeping with my interview style of asking authors five questions about their book, here are my questions to Professor Lecouteux and his replies:
Hello Professor Lecouteux, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Here are my five questions:
Kala: 1. Cryptic symbols are portrayed on the front cover of your book. What type of language is this and what are you saying here on the cover?
Lecouteux: Magic works with secret scripts and symbols in order to reserve the reading of spells and rituals to initiates. The front cover shows a painting by Rembrandt in which names that are allegedly powerful when spoken, appear. It is a simple example of encryption. The rays surrounding the pentacle refer to the influence of the celestial bodies whose inflow is the source of a spell or object’s (a talisman, for example) magical power.
Kala: 2. As a professor of medieval literature, one can see how you would come across this information in your vast research. From all of the material that you were exposed to in your line of work, what piqued your interest in pagan beliefs and magic?
Lecouteux: As a historian of ways of thinking and a specialist in cultural anthropology, I am trying to understand how our ancestors were able to believe in the efficacy of magic. One ancient author says that it only works if one believes in it. Now, how is it possible to believe in it when analyzing it as a whole scientifically and without any preconceptions? There are many strange recipes that piqued my curiosity. I wanted to learn who was using them and passing them on—often it was men of the Church! I wanted to know who copied them and whence came the originals, and whether they were a specific features of a single culture—that of the medieval West.
Kala: 3. There is an old saying that whatever we turn our attention to, turns its attention back to us. Over the years as you’ve written numerous books including The Return of the Dead, The Secret History of Vampires, Phantom Armies of the Night and The Book of Grimoires, how has focusing on this work affected you personally? Has it changed any of your belief systems?
Lecouteux: There are three reasons that my belief system has not been changed by my study of such singular subjects. 1. I chose these fields of research because the medievalists had neglected them and it was nigh impossible to find any serious information on them; 2. I have always kept my distance with regard to these subjects, which I consider solely for their scientific and cultural interest. I have the outlook, so to speak, of an entomologist. 3. I refrain from making any kind of value judgment; my analyses are phenomenological in nature.
Kala: 4. In The Book of Grimoires, you share that Paracelsus explains the six types of magic as “arts of wisdom”. Do you agree with his assessment?
Lecouteux: I agree with Paracelsus! The study of white magic leads to wisdom by making humans aware of the fact that they know nothing about the secrets of nature, the cosmos, God, or the gods. The study of magic, which is long and arduous, leads to humility because it also requires asceticism and tenacity. It is a quest for the sacred whose powers manifest throughout the entire universe for those people who have learned how to perceive them. Black magic is the complete opposite!
Kala: 5. Have you practiced any of the charms, prayers or incantations that you included in the book? If so, did you find the results to be satisfying and revealing?
Lecouteux: I have just put the finishing touches on a dictionary of magic words and spells with more than 1,000 entries. So I have had to say many esoteric spells touching on a wide array of different domains—without any result! For they only reflect the wishes, hopes, fears, and dreams of humanity and are only turned to when all other means have failed.
————- end of interview questions ————————–
Because of my dreams and how importantly it was stressed that Professor Lecouteux’s work reach more people, I will continue to read his books and to share my thoughts about each of his books.
I’ll also be reaching out to him to see if he is willing to answer questions about his other books, as his time permits. If you have any interest in Grimoires and Magic, I highly recommend his book, The Book of Grimoires for your library.
Next up, I’m reading his book, Witches, Werewolves and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages.
About Kala Ambrose: Award winning author, national columnist, inspirational speaker, and host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, Kala Ambrose’s teachings are described as discerning, empowering and inspiring. Whether she’s speaking with world-renowned experts on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, writing about empowering lifestyle choices or teaching to groups around the country, fans around the world tune in daily for her inspirational musings and lively thought-provoking conversations.
A highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire, Kala teaches and writes about ancient wisdom teachings and how their techniques can be used in modern day living.
Her books, The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body and 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled both cover these topics. In addition, Kala shares her love of history, travel and the spirit world in her books Spirits of New Orleans and Ghosthunting North Carolina. Her books are designed to explore the history of cities in an entertaining manner while sharing haunted stories and offering travel tips on how to best see the cities to shop, dine, stay, and visit the haunted sites.
Kala writes for the Huffington Post, the Examiner, AOL, Yahoo and Fate Magazine and presents workshops nationally on the Mind/Body/Spirit connection including Auras and Energy Fields, Developing Entrepreneur Intuition, Haunted History, and Wisdom Teachings at the Omega Institute, John Edward Presents Infinite Quest, Edgar Cayce’s ARE, the Learning Annex, LilyDale Assembly, Daily Om and her school, the Academy of Mystical Arts & Spiritual Sciences. More about Kala at ExploreYourSpirit.com