A Grimoire Wish List: The Magical Treatise of Solomon, Part 2

Following up on my last post regarding the Magical Treatise of Solomon, Joe Peterson points out that a section of the Magical Treatise known as the Hygromanteia has already been published.  What’s more, it was released as an appendix to Torijano’s Solomon the Esoteric King, and I even mentioned it in my review thereof.   Thanks to Joe for reminding me that at least part of this has been published.

Still, there’s a substantial amount of material in the Magical Treatise that has yet to be published, including a magical procedure that might be the predecessor for the other Solomonic rites of spirit evocation.  I’ve tried as best I’m able to reconstruct the details based upon what Greenfield and Torijano relate.

The magician is to have made a number of the usual magical implements – the amulet, or ourania, of Solomon to be worn on the breast, a robe of white linen, a black-handled knife, and (oddly) gloves made of white leather.  From the time of the new moon until that of the full, the magician is to abstain from sex and eating flesh, and, in, the last three days, they must dine strictly on bread and water.

On the night of the full moon, the magician takes a virgin child out with them to a lonely and desolate place – the site of a murder, a cave, a seashore, a crossroads, or a hilltop – and draws a circle on the ground with the knife.  After fumigating the space, the demons of the four directions are called to serve the magician.  Following this, the child looks into a vessel and relates what he or she sees.

The question becomes, then, if this is the prototype of the medieval and Renaissance systems of evocation, and if so, what sources are closest to it.  Another rite Greenfield mentions includes the demons swearing on a book that they bring to the magician that they will serve him.  This sounds similar to a Liber Spirituum, a magician’s book that allows him to call up spirits quickly, which appeared originally in pseudo-Agrippa’s Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy.  Is there a parallel, and, if so, what does it tell us?

Joe also tells us that a translation of this important work is underway.  I look forward to it, though I do regard it with some trepidation.  Apparently a few of the rituals therein contain ingredients that are difficult to acquire without the death of someone, so I do have a few qualms.  Nonetheless, I think the best interests of scholarship will be served by bringing this into print.

Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 10:17 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] of magic.   Slightly more common is a component that requires someone to be killed.  Both the Magical Treatise and the Simon Necronomicon require a blade that has killed a person or people for a ritual […]

  2. I’m very interested in the rituals, preparation and design specifics of this sole knife. Any info on this by chance?

    • Try the Greenfield and Torijano books above. I think that might be the closest you get, until someone publishes the text itself.

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