On the Shelf – The Consecrated Little Book of Black Venus, Part 2

Last time, we discussed the appearance of this newly-translated grimoire.  But what of its contents?  Let’s look at the grimoire itself, leaving the commentary for later.

The Tuba Veneris is an operation intended for calling up spirits linked to the planet Venus and residing under the governance of the angel Anael.  Those familiar with planetary magic will know that each of the seven classical planets (Mercury through Saturn, minus Earth and with the addition of the moon and the sun) are associated with a particular angel and category of spirits who may be called for a particular purpose.  Thus, this book covers a particular subset of a broader magical tradition.

What about the Black Venus?  Is it a reference to some aspect of the planet, or the pagan goddess?  It’s hard to tell, frankly; Venus as an entity does appear here and there, but she does not impact the rite much, and no mention is made of why she should be considered “black,” save perhaps for the dark nature of the spirits summoned.  This will lead to considerable confusion in the commentary, as we will see.

As with many grimoires, the magician must manufacture a number of tools to carry out the operation, including a circle, seals for both the planet Venus and the particular spirits involved, and a Liber Spirituum.  Most of these are to be made in the day and hour of Venus (that is, Friday, in the first, eighth, fifteenth, and twenty-second hours).  Added to this list of implements is a horn engraved with particular signs connected with the planet Venus through which the magician must summon the spirits, much like a mystic megaphone.  One unusual addition to the normal grimoire toolkit is an engraved bull’s horn, through which the magician speaks the conjurations of the spirits like a mystical megaphone.  In an interesting twist, both wands and swords – staples of the grimoire tradition – seem to be missing from this operation.

Once the magician has assembled these items, he (and any assistants) repair to an isolated place, such as a forest, and call up the spirit.  The book provides us with six different ones, each one having a separate set of voces magicae necessary to conjure it.  No guidance is given on the different functions of the spirits, as a book such as the Goetia was wont to do; each one can fill the magician’s desires, with treasure-hunting being a case that is explicitly mentioned.

Next time – the commentaries.

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Published in: on July 5, 2008 at 1:12 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. One unusual addition to the normal grimoire toolkit is an engraved bull’s horn, through which the magician speaks the conjurations of the spirits like a mystical megaphone.

    Inspired by the shofar, perhaps? Though that’s a ram’s horn.

  2. Steven,

    I believe there’s some speculation as to that in the commentaries.

  3. […] the Shelf – The Consecrated Little Book of Black Venus, Part 3 Last time, we examined the contents of the Tuba Veneris itself.  This time, we’ll be turning to the […]


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