Posism: An Article by Milan Nakonečný

Internal Material from the Archive: Posism
Written by Milan Nakonečný (Between the Years 1960 – 1970)
Translation by Astrid Haszprunarová & Matthew Blankenburg

Milan Nakonečný is one of the oldest living Czech Hermetics, who has written books on the subject of Hermeticism and Psychology along with having written a book on the subject of Czech Hermeticism itself (which is accepted as the classic and authoritative work on this subject within the Czech Hermetic canon). We are incredibly fortunate to have been granted permission from Mr. Nakonečný, himself, to translate and publish this article from a private archive which documents the history and practices of Posism, concisely.


Posism by Milan Nakonečný

The position of the body, or Posism, plays an important occult role, especially in magical self-training, but also in magical practice as a whole. The occult system of India has a number of so-called asanas, that is, positions which are occupied through meditations and yoga exercises. In Indonesian occultism, these positions are complemented through very impressive magical gestures of the arms and hands, along with extraordinarily long nails. The meaning behind a gesture in magic is already given in the guidelines for an imperative position for the evocation of demons: Hands are spread over the head, with bent fingers and palms facing downward.

The basic Posistic elements in magical practice have already been described by Agrippa von Nettesheim in chapter 52 of his Occult Philosophy. The meaning behind magical gestures and poses are also expressed here – they have a receptive and emissive function (in which they act as parabiological or paraphysical antennas). Agrippa even goes as far to say that it even depends on the way in which magical plants are torn, for example, whether we cut the leaves of a Hellebore from the bottom up or vice versa.

Posism has a retrospective effect on its performer, if it is a more permanent posture and a more permanent production of gestures. An example of this is the usual postures throughout their day: a depressing mood is also reflected in the depression of the body (a flaccid posture) and, on the other hand, exhilaration is always associated with movement and excitement of the body – from the posture of the body, we can assess one’s personality traits (or so-called psychology of expression). In accordance with the law of induction on the other hand, it is possible to bring certain mental states through certain poses and gestures. This is what so-called psycho-gymnastics is largely based on. Movements and postures are not only expressing, but also forming one’s psychological makeup. Therefore, Posism is an important component for adaptation, i.e., for the personal preparation of the Mage. According to P. de Lasenic, the definition of Posism is the tuning of an individual to the appropriate vibration, which allows for a smoother emission and reception.

A sophisticated system of Posism was used by the order of Eulis, however, this system was also known to the ancient Egyptians, who also knew that the Posisim for a plea must be realized quite differently than that of an order. A different Posism is used for a sacrifice and a different one for reception. Of particular significance, is the Posism  of sexual magic, which is an especially complementary position of the mage and the partner, during a magical sexual act. Posism is assigned astrologically, which means that the pose and gesture should always express the nature of the planet which controls the time during when such a gesture or pose is being realized.

The immense importance of Posism was also expressed through so-called Eurythmia, whose cultivation is especially associated with the name of Gurdjieff and his school in Fontainebleau. Gestures and poses are the physical analogy of a word – a formula – in which the mage uses to express their will; the correct pose helps to vitalize this formula.

J. Kefer (1936) correctly pointed out that ancient Egyptian Posism expresses a different magical culture than that of India. The Posism of ancient Egypt , according to him, is magical because “it has faith in the fact that whatever I send out is returning to me.” In addition to the prescribed gestures and poses (such as Martinistic, Saturnian, and others – according to the nature of the operation), the Hermetic must master the natural, everyday Posisms, which express the magnificence of their journey and their personality. Unfortunately, in most of the books that are publicly available on magic, Posism is often neglected, with the exception of the Czech Hermetic Tradition (J. Kefer and P. de Lasenic).

Milan Nakonečný