Honorius Versus Honorius: The Sworn Book and the Grimoire, Part 5

I’ll wrap up my short series on Honorii with a quick look at the contents of the Grimoire itself.  Are these at all similar to what appears in the Sworn Book?

If you guessed the answer was, “not really,” you’d be correct.  The Grimoire represents a prime example of the spirit conjuration as epitomized in such sources as the Goetia.  The editions I am examining differ slightly in their preparations, but the essential form of the ritual remains.

The magician goes to a secluded spot, draws a circle (or places one drawn on a sheepskin on the ground), and enters into it bearing a consecrated book similar to the Liber Spirituum and a pentacle attributed to Solomon.  Once inside, he calls upon the demon princes who dwell in the four directions, and then to the spirit of that particular day of the week who can answer questions, find treasure, or grant the favor of the powerful.  For some spirits, the summoning requires a special offering, such as burnt bread, a mouse, or a hair from your head (which the Grimoire informs us to replace with a fox’s hair).  After the business with the spirit is transacted, the magician displays the pentacle and sends them back whence they came.

As is apparent, this is quite a different work than the Sworn Book.  Instead of constituting a series of prayers aimed at achieving various ends, among which was a vision of God, we have a rite aimed at calling up demons to grant the magician his worldly desires.  It bears noting, however, that the Grimoire hardly stands out among the tradition of grimoires, the claims of Eliphas Levi to the contrary.  The 1800 edition does include a nasty rite to kill a rooster and a sheep, but such sacrifices are par for the course in many grimoires.  Indeed, it is the Sworn Book that could be considered the anomaly within the tradition.

That’s all, unless folks have any questions.

Published in: on November 13, 2008 at 6:30 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. No questions, but thanks.


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