This trade paperback volume contains both The Key of Solomon the King (The Greater Key) and The Lesser Key of Solomon, including all of the original illustrations, diagrams and annotations to aid the reader in their understanding of the Solomon Key.
The Key of Solomon the King was originally researched and translated by S.L. MacGregor Mathers from ancient manuscripts in the British museums. Included by Mathers is the Order of the Pentacles of Solomon, the Ancient Fragment of the Key of Solomon, The Qabalistic Invocation of Solomon, and 15 plates full of figures, seals and charts, as well as the original text giving detailed instruction for spells and invocations.
The work is traditionally divided into two books detailing the Key of King Solomon. Book One explains the operation of conjurations, curses, spells and other magical works. Book Two instructs the practitioner on the proper attire, purification rituals and other means of obtaining the goals of the Goetia. Between these two books is the list of plates that contain numerous illustrations and secret seals of Solomon, including the Mystical Seal of Solomon, the Pentacles of Solomon, and the Mystical Alphabet, which impart the mechanisms and requirements for the invocation of spirits and demons.
The Lesser Key of Solomon, or the Clavicula Salomonis Regis, or Lemegeton, is a compilation of materials and writings from ancient sources making up a text book of magic or “grimoire.” Portions of this book can be traced back to the mid-16th to 17th centuries, when occult researchers such as Cornelius Agrippa and Johannes Trithemisus assembled what they discovered during their investigations into their own great works.
As a modern grimoire, the Lesser Key of Solomon has seen several editions with various authors and editors taking liberty to edit and translate the ancient writings and source material. In 1898, Arthur Edward Waite published his The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, which contained large portions of the Lemegeton. He was followed by Mathers and Crowley in 1904 who published The Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon. Many others have assembled their own version of this ancient material since, and it is important to realize that it is the contents rather than the book itself that make up the Lesser Key. Traditionally, the source material is divided into five books: Ars Goetia, Ars Theurgia Goetia, Ars Paulina, Ars Almadel, and Ars Notoria. Mathers and Crowley indicate their edition is a translation of the first.
In the preface to this edition, it is explained that a “Secret Chief” of the Rosicrucian Order directed the completion of the book. The original editor was a G. H. Fra. D.D.C.F. who translated ancient texts from French, Hebrew, and Latin, but was unable to complete his labors because of the martial assaults of the Four Great Princes. Crowley was then asked to step in and finish what the previous author had begun. Traditionally, S. L. MacGregor Mathers is credited as the translator of this edition, and Crowley is given the title of editor.
Scholars believe these books of Solomon and their many iterations derive from the ancient practices of Jewish Kabbalah and Arab Alchemy. After time, it is thought Greek and Roman influences were added until, finally, the work was used and molded by high Renaissance magicians. This book, as well as other King Solomon books, such as the Magical Treatise of King Solomon and the Testament of Solomon, were brought back to modern times through the labors of occult practitioners such as S. L. MacGregor Mathers, Aleister Crowley and others around the turn of the last century.
Sacred Texts Grimoires
S.L. MacGregor Mathers and Aleister Crowley
This edition of the Lesser Key of Solomon is based on manuscripts from the British Museum, edited by two prominent occultists. Although Mathers took lead on the body of the text, Crowley's literary fingerprints are all over this book, such as the polite sniping at A.E. Waite, the Preliminary Invocation, and the essay The Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magic, which is classic Crowley.
This is a considerably cleaned up and modernized version of the Lesser Key, which is obviously intended to be used as a working document for serious magicians, rather than a rigorous transcription of the source manuscripts. However, the information presented here dovetails with the other Goetic grimoires and this version is considered one of the best of this literature.
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GoetiaThe Initiated Interpretation Of Ceremonial Magic
Preliminary Definition Of Magic
Classified List of the 72 Chief Spirits
The Magical Circle
The Magical Triangle Of Solomon
The Hexagram Of Solomon
The Pentagram Of Solomon
The Magic Ring Or Disc Of Solomon
The Vessel Of Brass
The Secret Seal Of Solomon
The Other Magical Requisites
The Adoration At The Bath
The Conjuration To Call Forth Any Of The Aforesaid Spirits
The Second Conjuration
The Invocation Of The King
The General Curse, Called The Spirits' Chain, Against All Spirits That Rebel
The Conjuration Of The Fire
The Greater Curse
The Address Unto The Spirit Upon His Coming
The Welcome Unto The Spirit
The License To Depart
Explanation Of Certain Names Used In This Book LemegetonExplanation Of Certain Names Used In This Book Lemegeton
The Explanation Of The Two Triangles In The Parchment
An Explanation Of Solomon's Triangle
Atte Ye Bathes Of Art
Atte Ye Induynge Of Ye Holy Vestures
Ye Fyrste Conjouratioun
Ye Secounde Conjouratioun
Ye Potent Invocatioun Of Hys Kynge
Ye Generall Curse Yclept Ye Spirits' Chayne, Against All Spirits Yt Rebelle
Ye Conjouratioun Of Ye Fyre
Ye Greter Curse
Ye Addresse Unto Ye Spirit On Hys Coming
Ye Welcome Unto Ye Spirit Dygnytie
Ye License To Ye Spirit Yt He Maye Depart