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The Grimoires: Books of Black Magic and Witchcraft

Grimoires were very popular from 1600 C.E. thru 1900 C.E. The Black Pullet, Red Dragon and the Black Screech Owl are all examples of grimoires or magickal texts. The term "Grimoire" is a derivative of "grammar". Grammar describes a fixed set of symbols and the means of their incorporation to properly produce well-formed, meaningful sentences and texts. Similarly, a Grimoire describes a set of magickal symbols and how best to properly combine them in order to produce the desired effects. True grimoires contain elaborate rituals, many of which are echoed in modern Witchcraft rites. Sources for the information in the various Grimoires include Greek and Egyptian magical texts from 100-400 C.E. and Hebrew and Latin sources. Ceremonial magicians often used these texts to conjure and control demons, angels and spirits.

Black PulletThe Black Pullet : Science of Magical Talismans
The Black Pullet was most likely written in Rome in the late 18th century. First surfacing in France, The Black Pullet is a guide to the construction and use of magical talismanic rings. With the use of these rings, people attained extraordinary powers. Perhaps the most wonderful secret revealed is the power to produce the Black Pullet, otherwise known as the "Hen with the Golden Eggs." Unlimited wealth was granted to the person who achieved the creation of this incredible Hen. Includes complete instructions for creating the Black Pullet. Some people believe The Black Pullet was written in the 18th century by an anonymous French officer who served in Napoleon's army. Perhaps because the text takes the form of a narrative centering on the French officer during the Egyptian expedition led by Napoleon when his unit are suddenly attacked by Bedouins.

Grimoire of ArmadelThe Grimoire of Armadel
The Grimoire of Armadel Translated from the original French and Latin of a manuscript in the Biblotheque l'Arsenal in Paris, this Christian grimoire contains many of the important seals and sigils of the various demons and planetary spirits. The Grimoire of Armadel is a do-it-yourself book of ceremonial magic. It contains detailed descriptions of the natures and offices of the various evil spirits. The sigils-seals giving power over demons-related to the various spirits are reproduced together with their practical uses. With more than 40 spells, plus detailed diagrams and conjuring charts. It was originally part of British Library manuscript Lans. 1202 as "The Key of King Solomon by Armadel; Book 4: The Spirits which govern under the Orders of the sovereign Creator" (Clavicules du Roi Salomon, Par Armadel. Livre Quatrieme. Des Esprits qui gouvernent sous les Ordres du Souverain Createur), but was translated to English and published as a separate grimoire by S.L. MacGregor Mathers.

Lesser Key of SolomonThe Lesser Key of Solomon
The Lesser Key of Solomon, also known as The Lemegeton, is a famous grimoire that contains the most correlations with Witchcraft rites. It has been suggested that Gerald Gardner adopted much of the material to fill the missing gaps in some rituals. It has also been suggested that Aleister Crowley aided or encouraged these adaptations. Compiled from original manuscripts and fragments in the British Museum Library, Joseph Peterson's new presentation is the most complete and accurate edition of this famous magical grimoire, "The Lesser Key of Solomon the King." He goes to great length to establish the provenance of each part, and possible derivative works, including critical analyses of all major variations, utilizing fresh translations of earlier magical texts such as Johann Trithemius's Steganographia, The Archidoxes of Magic by Paracelsus, and newly discovered Hebrew manuscripts of the original Key of Solomon. Abundantly illustrated, Peterson includes reproductions of the original magical circles, tools, and seals of the spirits with variations of certain drawings from various sources and notae missing from earlier editions. Source list. Appendices. Index.

Greater Key of SolomonThe Greater Key of Solomon : Including a Clear and Precise Exposition of King Solomon's Secret Procedure, Its Mysteries and Magic Rites
The Greater Key of Solomon is one of the most famous of all magical textbooks. The Key of Solomon the King, was translated by S. Liddell MacGregor Mathers, who was a well known 19th century magician and head of the Order of the Golden Dawn. The ancient manuscripts were found in the British Museum and are believed to be the actual words and instructions of King Solomon himself. In these texts he instructs his followers on how to summon and master spiritual powers, including how to obtain answers to problems from the spirit world. A section called "Solomon, the Wise Man" details nothing of his magic, but shares many stories of Solomon's great wisdom. This same kind of wisdom is an important prerequisite to engaging in this magical work. The work here can be very powerful. The processes involved show the complexity in which European ritual magic was performed. This book also explains how the choice of time and place, preparation procedures, incantations, fasting, robes, fumigations, and various trappings play an integral part in the annals of magic. Other topics include days, hours, and virtues of the planets, prayers and conjurations, medals and pentacles, invisibility, magic carpets, and more.

Occult Philosophy and MagicThree Books of Occult Philosophy or Magic
Three Books of Occult Philosophy or Magic was written in the last half of 1509 and the first months of 1510 when, Cornelius Agrippa, known in his day as a Magician, gathered together all the Mystic lore he had obtained by the energy and ardor of youth and compiled it into the elaborate system of Magic, in three books, known as Occult Philosophy, the first book of which Natural Magic constitutes the present volume. Partial List of Contents: Natural Magic; What Magic Is; Four Elements; Three-fold Consideration of Elements; Kinds of Compounds; Occult Virtues of Things; Of the Spirit of the World; How Inferior Things are Subjected to Superior Bodies; What Things are Lunary; What Things are under the power of: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury; What Things are Under the Signs; Of the Union of Mixed Things; Of Bindings; Of Sorceries; Of Perfumes or Suffumigations; Magical Rings; Of Light Colors; Of Divination; Of divers certain Animals; Of Geomancy; Of the Reviving of the Dead; Of Divination by Dreams; Of Madness; Passions of the Mind; Of Speech; Of many Words joined together; Virtue of Writing. (Note: this is the same book as The Philosophy of Natural Magic only it was originally published under both names.)

Occult PhilosophyFourth Book of Occult Philosophy
Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, Of Geomancy, Magical Elements, Astrological Geomancy, the Nature of Spirits, Magic of the Ancients. Contents: Commendatory Poems; Of Geomancy; Of Occult Philosophy, or Of Magical Ceremonies: The Fourth Book, Henry Cornelius Agrippa; Heptameron: or, Magical Elements, Peter de Abano; Isagoge: An Introductory Discourse on the Nature of such Spirits as are exercised in the Sublunary Bounds; their Original, Names, Offices, Illusions, Posers, Prophecies, Miracles; and how they may be Expelled and Driven away, Georg Pictorius Villinganus; Of Astronomical Geomancy, Gerard Ceremonensis; Of the Magick of the Ancients, Arbatel. (Henry Cornelius Agrippa's fourth book of occult philosophy and geomancy: magical elements of Peter de Abano : astronomical geomancy : the nature of spirits : and Arbatel of magick / translated into English by Robert Turner | Neither Agrippa nor Abano wrote the works here ascribed to them; the Heptameron, or Magical elements also was ascribed to Agrippa under the title: Les oeuvres magiques, with Abano as translator | Translation of a work variously titled as Liber de ceremonijs magicis; and his De occulta philosophia, liber quartus)

Red Dragon - The Grand Grimoire
Red Dragon is another "black book" that is also known as a "Grand Grimoire". It was published in 1822. It allegedly dates back to 1522, however there is no concrete evidence to substantiate this. The Red Dragon is considered by some to be THE source of black magic and demonic evocation. A grimoire, or text of instruction for use in ceremonial magic. It was supposedly edited by one Antonia del Rabina from a copy transcribed from the genuine writings of King Solomon. The Grand Grimoire is divided into two parts, the first containing the evocation of "Lucifuge Rocofale" and the second concerned with the rite of making pacts with demons. The first portion of The Grand Grimoire describes a process for evoking evil spirits to assist the operator in discovering hidden treasure. The second part suggests the surrender of the magician's body and soul to the demon, but the pact is grossly unfair to the devil, for it is such that the magician can readily slip through his fingers. The work has been regarded as one of the more atrocious grimoires.

"The Grand Grimore is regarded as one of the most atrocious of its class; it has a process in Necromancy which is possible, say some occult writers; in the geniality of a lucid interval -- only to a dangerous maniac or an irreclaimable criminal... Eliphas Levi says that it pretends to confer the Power of Projection, the great Mystery of the Sages...

There is, of course, no question that the Grand Grimoire is a book of Black Magic, and it is contrary to the nature of things that a book of Black Magic should be otherwise than diabolical... The first part of the Grand Grimore, like the Grimoriusm Verum, is simply a process for the evocation of evil spirits to obtain the enforced surrender of hidden treasure. In the second part the magician is certainly expected to give himself, body and soul, to the demon who serves him meanwhile, and there can be no hesitation in admitting that this creates a sharp distinction, not only between the Grand Grimoire and all the Composite Rituals, but also between the Grand Grimorie and the other Liturgies of Black Magic. It is only a palliation to say that the compact is worded as a subterfuge, and in reality gives nothing to the demon, who here, as so frequently in folklore, is bamboozled, receiving the shadow in place of the substance.

— A.E. Waite, "Of Black Magic and Of Pacts", from the Introduction to "The Grand Grimoire", Seattle: Trident Books, 1996.

A List of Grimoires:

Index to The grimoirium verum
Grimorium Verum (The True Grimoire)
The Great Grimoire of Pope Honorius III
Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin
Index to Waite's 'the Book of Black...
The Magus : A Complete System of Occult...
Liber Juratus, or the Sworn Book of Honorius

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