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Medieval Grimoires - The Grimoire Of Honorius (506.0 Kb)

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The Grimoire of Honorius, attributed to an eighth-century bishop of Rome. It seems, however, to be a seventeenth-century product first published in 1629. It purportedly gave the sanction of the papal office to the practice of ritual magic.The Grimoire of Honorius was credited to Pope Honorius III, who succeeded Pope Innocent III in 1216. The Grimoire of Honorius is full of Christian benedictions and formulae for the control of the fallen angels and gaining their assistance in accomplishing certain magical requests.Translated... More >>>
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Author:      Medieval Grimoires
Format:      eBook
The Grimoire of Honorius, attributed to an eighth-century bishop of Rome. It seems, however, to be a seventeenth-century product first published in 1629. It purportedly gave the sanction of the papal office to the practice of ritual magic.

The Grimoire of Honorius was credited to Pope Honorius III, who succeeded Pope Innocent III in 1216. The Grimoire of Honorius is full of Christian benedictions and formulae for the control of the fallen angels and gaining their assistance in accomplishing certain magical requests.

Translated by Ms Kim Ch'ien from the old German of 1220. The Grimoire not only instructed priests in the arts of demonology but virtually ordered them to learn how to conjure and control demons, as part of their priestly duties. It therefore purportedly gave the sanction of the papal office for priests to practice of ritual magic.

The manuscript appears to be a mixture of other magical Grimoires. From a Christian perspective this Grimoire raises some important questions, if the Church requires the powers to be able to banish (exorcise) evil spirits, in reality this means that he controls them (through Gods power) and therefore is he not therefore able to conjure them also?

The Grimoire of Honorius was described by A.E. Waite as "perhaps the most frankly diabolical of the Rituals connected with Black Magic". In deals directly with the most hated and feared of demons found within Judeo-Christian traditions, such as Lucifer and Astaroth. In addition, its reputation was built up by famed Nineteenth Century French occultist Eliphas Levi, who described it as horrible, wicked, and profane. Honorius amalgamates elements from other grimoires, such as the Key of Solomon and the Grimorium Verum, with Catholic priestly ritual. The result is truly bizarre.



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Detailed books of magic rituals and spells, often invoking spirit entities. The term derives from grammarye or grammar, as magic was in times past intimately connected to the correct usage of language. Several of the more important grimoires were attributed the wise biblical king Solomon, while others were said to be the work of other ancient notables.

Grimoires began to appear during medieval times, when Western society was controlled by the Roman Catholic church, and the early grimoires reflect the conflict with Catholicism's supernaturalism. The grimoires called upon spirits generally thought to be evil by the church and were thus often branded as instruments of black magic. Some grimoires directly challenged church authority. One book of black magic was attributed to a pope. In the last century, a new form of ceremonial magic that operates outside the Christian sphere has arisen. Grimoires have thus taken on the trappings of an alternative religious worldview that assumes a neutral position with regard to Christianity.

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, students of magic have tracked down many grimoires, some rare copies of which survived in the British Museum and the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal in Paris, and made them available to the public. The Magus, published by Francis Barrett in London in 1801, stands as the fountainhead of these efforts. Barrett had access to a number of magic documents from which he took bits and pieces to construct a section of his book, which he titled The Cabala or The Secret Mysteries of Ceremonial Magic Illustrated. It includes not only instructions for working magic but also imaginative drawings of the various evil spirits he discusses. The Magus is important in being the first modern publication with sufficient instruction to actually attempt magic rituals.

The next major step in preserving grimoires came in the mid-nineteenth century with the writings of Eliphas Levi. His 1856 book, The Ritual of Transcendent Magic, enlarges upon Barrett's presentation and discusses several grimoires. In The History of Magic (1971) he includes a lengthy discussion of The Grimoire of Honorius (1629). Levi's books did much to create a revival of magic which then took embodiment in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the first modern group to create a whole system of ritual magic. As a result of the order's activities, several of its members took important steps in publishing grimoires.