Progress Update

Dear Supporters,

Prompted by a much-improved living situation, I have made great progress toward the completion of Interlinear Magic since the last update. With this in mind, and with an eye toward several follow-up projects, I have decided on an inflexible April 3 deadline to complete the remaining writing, research, and editing. On April 4, if not before, I will begin proofreading and compositing. I remain hopeful that the book will be printed in May, with delivery following soon after, but this may involve factors beyond my control.

The sacred animal commentary (discussed in the last update) is now complete, except for some minor editing and cross-referencing. In the process of comparing the sets of animal symbols in the four ritual-texts (chapters 4, 7, 8, and 12), I realized that the only symbol present in the Solar Consecration (PGM IV.1596-1715) that I hadn’t covered elsewhere was the donkey, so I decided to include that as well.

This is an interesting overlapping set of symbols. If we remove the non-animal symbols from the set (mostly from chapter 7, the lunar rite), there are exactly 24 animal symbols remaining, all of which are Egyptian sacred animals, and none of which are attested in all four ritual-texts. Among other things, this shows that the claims of some scholars – i.e., that the animal symbols of these ritual-texts are all drawn from the so-called Dodekaoros – simply cannot be true. The greatest overlap occurs between Rite-7 (28-day lunar symbolic system) and Rite-12 (12-hour solar symbolic system), but these two sources share only eight animal symbols between them.

I will be publishing some of these findings on my Patreon site (100% free content until after the book is complete) regarding this set of 24 animal symbols. If this interests you, please consider following me there. (If you are creating a free Patreon account for the first time, simply scroll down and click “skip for now” when asked if you would like to donate.)

Even after the book is done and I start to release members-only content, I will continue to release free content as well. And Patreon will be the first place I post anything free.

As soon as the book is sent off to be printed, I will begin recording the videos for the free course promised to Kickstarter supporters. My goal here is to start releasing videos as soon as you receive your copies of the book.

This book has been an incredible challenge to write. The connections between individual ritual-texts blossomed exponentially, both with the addition of extra material from stretch-goals, and along with my increased knowledge of the (Greek and Egyptian) religious backgrounds of these documents. Although this has been very time-consuming and painstaking work, the rewards have been well worth it, and this research will continue to inform my upcoming projects. Most significantly, I will be refocusing more of my time and attention on the historical reconstruction of the theurgic practice of Iamblichus, using the PGM and related ritual-texts as an essential set of sources. I will also continue to produce new translations (Greek, Egyptian, Demotic, and Coptic), as well as new online courses.

Thank you again for your patience as Interlinear Magic enters its final stages.


Brian P. Alt, PhD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *