The Three Wise Men

Nicolaj over at Speculum Celestae reminds us that today is the the Day of Kings, also observed as the Epiphany. This is the day that the three Magi; Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar - following some kind of astrological indicator, it seems, found and recognised Jesus.

It's a meaningful day for me because it is from the last Magi that I took my conjure name, changing the "s" to "z" so that it matches the numerology of my birth date. Also, the 'z', like totally, crackles with magic.

The entrance of these mysterious foreign magi into the nativity narrative always fascinated me. It struck me even as a child as a thoroughly magical inclusion in the story. Recently I was pleased to discover that Robert Conner in his stellar Magic in the New Testament makes a rather convincing case that the part about the star stopping above the place of Christ's birth seems to be an extract from a spell in the Greek Magical Papyri.

The book is in a box somewhere in the chaos that is my home after the recent move so I can't get into any more detail without looking at his exact argument but what I can say is that he does comparison and there is a rather disturbing copy-and-paste quality between the two ancient texts. If you haven't heard of this book you should make the effort to check it out - it totally baked my noodle.

Blown minds aside, the special role of these three characters symbolically and magically in relationship to the bible seems something worth thinking about and celebrating today.


  1. Continuing to love your blog as always...so glad to see you've recovered from the horrible virus that had given you a kick.Wishing you great prosperity in 2011!

  2. plus which the kings have a wonderful song written for them! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QxYjr88oHg thanks for the book recommendation.

  3. Thanks Susan! Very happy to have your readership, and a wonderful 2011 to you too.

    Thanks for the song link petoskystone! :)

  4. Happy Epiphany Balthazar!

    May the blessings of the wise kings be upon you.

    20 C+M+B 11

  5. Jesus the conjure man, and all of his apprentices

  6. Likewise Jason. May you always be guided by a star.

  7. I've always had an affinity for the Three Magi. You know, the whole wise men from the east thing.