Solomonic Grimoires - Grimoirum Verum Or The True Grimoire The Most Approved Keys Of Solomon (184.0 Kb)
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The 'Grimorium Verum' (Latin for True Grimoire or The Grimoire of Truth), is a book on magic, or grimoire, allegedly written by "Alibeck the Egyptian" in Memphis in 1517. Scholars agree that such claim is untrue, as Memphis had long been in ruin by 1517, and that book really stems from 18th century, with the first editions appearing in French and Italian. Large portions of this short book were translated by Arthur Waite and published in The Book of Ceremonial Magic in 1911, where Waite wrote:"The date specified in the title ... More >>>
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The 'Grimorium Verum' (Latin for True Grimoire or The Grimoire of Truth), is a book on magic, or grimoire, allegedly written by "Alibeck the Egyptian" in Memphis in 1517. Scholars agree that such claim is untrue, as Memphis had long been in ruin by 1517, and that book really stems from 18th century, with the first editions appearing in French and Italian. Large portions of this short book were translated by Arthur Waite and published in The Book of Ceremonial Magic in 1911, where Waite wrote:
"The date specified in the title of the Grimorium Verum is undeniably fraudulent the work belongs to the middle of the eighteenth century, and Memphis is Rome."
One version of the Grimoire was included as "The Clavicles of King Solomon: Book 3" in one of the French manuscripts S. L. MacGregor Mathers incorporated in his version of The Key of Solomon, but it was omitted from the 'Key' with the following explanation:
"At the end there are some short extracts from the Grimorium Verum with the Seals of evil spirits, which, as they do not belong to the Key of Solomon proper, I have not given. For the evident classification of the 'Key' is in two books and no more."
Grimorium Verum is based to some extent upon the "Key of Solomon the King" and is quite honest in its statement that it proposes to invoke devils. It refers to the four elements, so these would appear to be elementary spirits. A part of the account it gives regarding the hierarchy of spirits is taken from the Lemegeton, or Lesser Key of Solomon.
The work is divided into three portions. The first describes the characters and seals of the demons, with the forms of their evocation and dismissal the second gives a description of the supernatural secrets that can be learned by the power of the demons and the third is the key of the work and its proper application. But these divisions only outline what the Grimorium Verum purports to place before the reader, since the whole work is a mass of confusion. The plates that supply the characters do not apply to the text. The book really consists of two parts--the Grimorium Verum itself, and a second portion consisting of magic secrets. The first supplies directions for the preparation of the magician based on those of the Clavicle of Solomon. Instructions are given for the manufacture of magic instruments and for the composition of a parchment on which the characters and seals are to be inscribed, as well as the processes of evocation and dismissal.
The second part contains the "admirable secrets" of the pretended Albertus Magnus, the "Petit Albert," and so forth. The work is only partially diabolical in character, and some of its processes might be classified as white magic.
The medieval Solomonic grimoires are, in fact, a sub-set of a larger literary genre - the folkloric "receipt-book." (The word "receipt", used in this sense, is an archaic form of the word "recipe.") A receipt-book was a hand-written journal of family and local folklore, passed down from generation to generation.
Solomonic grimoires attributed to King Solomon (as several others were). The known copies originated in the Middle Ages and later. The books contains several paragraphs and terms inspired by Talmudic texts and the Jewish Kabbalah teaching.
It is possible that the Key of Solomon inspired later works such as the Lemegeton, also called The Lesser Key of Solomon, although there are many differences between both books. What may have inspired the Lemegeton are the conjurations and rituals of purification, and in a less important way, the clothing and magic symbols.
Several versions of the Key of Solomon exist, in various translations, and with minor or significant differences. Most manuscripts date to the 16th or 17th century, but a prototype in Greek still survives from the 15th century.
The Solomonic mystics were unique because they were among the first humans in history to have access to the technology of paper and bound books. (They were very often scholars, scientists or scribes.) Therefore, they naturally recorded much of their tradition into manuscripts called textbooks or "grammars" (French: grimoire). The appearance of these grimoires shocked Roman Catholic and many Protestant authorities so deeply, it triggered the Inquisitions and mass book burnings. What we know of Solomonic mysticism today comes largely from the grimoiric manuscripts that survived.
Today, there are many ceremonial groups that make limited use of the Solomonic material - most of them descended from or influenced by a late Victorian quasi-Masonic lodge called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. There have even been a number of modern Orders that focus entirely on the grimoires, though even they are influenced by post-Golden Dawn magickal methodology. Toward the end of the 20th Century, several books were released that present methods for summoning Angels and spirits based upon (or influenced by) Golden Dawn techniques.