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ceragonstarfire
24 Jan 2011, 14:31
I am not sure where to put this post, so feel free to move it Admin. I was doing some research on some old grimoires. Like the lesser key of solomon etc. Where are all of these original books? they have some of these books for sale on amazon which are of course copies, but i am just curious where they get all the info etc.

B. de Corbin
24 Jan 2011, 16:16
Large libraries with big manuscript collections, mostly in Europe, like the British Library or The Bibliothèque nationale in France. Other than that, private collectors.

A lot of the original magic books existed originally only as manuscripts - and not the ones that were being copied in monasteries, either ;) .

GypsySeaWitch
24 Jan 2011, 17:48
I used to wonder about that too and what languages there were originally written in.

perzephone
24 Jan 2011, 18:09
I am not sure where to put this post, so feel free to move it Admin. I was doing some research on some old grimoires. Like the lesser key of solomon etc. Where are all of these original books? they have some of these books for sale on amazon which are of course copies, but i am just curious where they get all the info etc.


The honest truth is that a lot of the material, along with all their allusions & references to 'ancient manuscripts, Egyptian texts, Greek texts, etc. & so forth' were made up by the original authors - and most of them were written in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Copyright laws around the turn of the century weren't as thorough as they are today, and a lot of spiritualists, occultists and characters of ill repute whole-handedly copied one another's writings and published them in other forms, which is why the 'obscure' origins of these books remains so 'obscure'.

The Lesser Key of Solomon seems to be a product of Samuel Liddel MacGregor Mathers (who 'found' the 'ancient grimoire dating from the 1600s'), published by Aleister Crowley (who 'stole' said ancient manuscript) under his own name, and re-published in the US around 1915 by an American thief, L. W. DeLaurence. L. W. DeLaurence was a huckster of many of the first 'Voodoo' spell ingredients like Compelling Powder, Goofer Dust, Follow-Me oil & other occult-store staples that you still see today. He had a habit of picking up lesser-known occult & spiritualist works and putting his own name on them.

B. de Corbin
25 Jan 2011, 04:52
I don't know much about The Lesser Key, or The Greater Key, or, for that matter, The Backdoor Key of Solomon, but I do know that Perzephone knows what she's talking about, so I'm sure she's right.

But - there actually are some grimmoires floating around. I have a copy of a manuscript - Harley 6482 from the British Library. The editor gave it the title A Treatise on Angel Magic, and it does, indeed, contain long, tedious, and repetitive conjurations for angels, as well as assorted other "occult" information. It seems to be somebody's notebook, and contains bits of Enochian magic. The editor dates the actual manuscript to about 1700, but indicates that it is probably a copy of an earlier text (Enochian magic dates back only to the 16th century).

Also, from around 1200 -1700 (I'm taking this info from the introduction to a book published by Oxford Press, so I figure the authors know something about their subject) there was a genre of literature which you might call "Wonderbooks" which was quite popular. These books would give the "magic" properties of plants and stones, and often contained sections on magic working.

The reprint I'm looking at is titled The Book of Secrets of Albertus Magus of the Virtues of Stones, Herbs, and Certain Beasts, Also a Book of the Marvels of the World (although attributed to Albert, it's unlikely that he actually wrote it), dated 1550.

In it you can find exciting information like this:

'A marvelous operation of a lamp, which if any man shall hold, he ceaseth not to fart until he shall leave it

Take the blood of a Snail, dry it up in a linen cloth and make of it a wick, and lighten it in a lamp, give it to any man thou wilt, and say lighten this, he shall not cease to fart, until he let it depart, and it is a marvelous thing.'

Haven't had a chance to try it out yet...

So, anyway, there are such books. Mostly I find them somewhat disappointing, and often outright flakey - but it's sources like these which Mathers would have pulled together and added to in order to construct some sort of complete system.

Early European books would almost always be in Latin - it's the language which people who could read read, but later books would have been in the language of the writer, as writing in ones native language became more common.

perzephone
25 Jan 2011, 07:54
In it you can find exciting information like this:

'A marvelous operation of a lamp, which if any man shall hold, he ceaseth not to fart until he shall leave it

Take the blood of a Snail, dry it up in a linen cloth and make of it a wick, and lighten it in a lamp, give it to any man thou wilt, and say lighten this, he shall not cease to fart, until he let it depart, and it is a marvelous thing.'

Haven't had a chance to try it out yet...


OMFG! That's awesome ;D My husband has already come up w/a practical medical usage for that lamp.



I don't know much about The Lesser Key, or The Greater Key, or, for that matter, The Backdoor Key of Solomon, but I do know that Perzephone knows what she's talking about, so I'm sure she's right.


Aw, thanks.

I was gonna be a liberrian until I found out it took a Master's Degree. That and the old manuscript collections at like, the Library of Congress & such, aren't nearly as exciting as I once imagined them.

KashakuTatsu
27 Jan 2011, 21:27
This was brought up during a class when we were discussing Agrippa, Barret and Pope Honorius. It seems that the library in the Vatican has a private sector with original manuscripts of many old grimoires, many in latin or the language of the time/region they were written in.

magusjinx
28 Jan 2011, 18:04
But do you think they are gonna let them out to the general public? ... Or even transcriptions to researching Abrahamic believers? ...

B. de Corbin
28 Jan 2011, 18:33
There are a lot of wild stories about the Vatican Library, but it is most likely true that it contains copies of books that were deemed heretical or otherwise not fit for human consumption. It wouldn't be at all surprising if a few magic books aren't in there...

It would be interesting to find out what's really squirreled away in the stacks.

perzephone
28 Jan 2011, 21:53
There are a lot of wild stories about the Vatican Library, but it is most likely true that it contains copies of books that were deemed heretical or otherwise not fit for human consumption. It wouldn't be at all surprising if a few magic books aren't in there...

It would be interesting to find out what's really squirreled away in the stacks.


The thing that I really, really want to know about the Vatican's alleged collection is how well maintained are their stacks? Is it climate-controlled and properly humidified? Do they have a silverfish or mold problem? Any basement flooding going on? Leaky pipes, that kind of thing. I mean, I've seen institutional storage rooms before & most agencies can't even keep their computer equipment stored according to recommended guidelines.