|The Veritable Key of Solomon. Clavicula Salomonis. Grimoire. Ceremonial Magick. Dr. Stephen Skinner. David Rankine|
I recently read through the Greek Magical Papyri and the Hygromanteia. In keeping with the chronological order of Grimoires, I'm now taking a renewed look at the 15th Century Clavicula Salomonis (Key of Solomon). I also have the classic version edited by S.L. MacGregor Mathers, but this book by Dr. Stephen Skinner (and all the others in his Source Works of Ceremonial Magic series) adds so much depth and context.
"The Key of Solomon" is the most famous and infamous of the Grimoires ever produced. Yet amazingly only one version of it has ever been published, by S L MacGregor Mathers, over 100 years ago. What Mathers may not have known is that there were much more detailed and complete versions of this grimoire available in many other languages. This is not just a variant of Mathers' text, but a translation of three completely different and beautifully illustrated 1796 French manuscripts of the Key of Solomon. These are the most beautiful and complete manu-scripts of "The Key of Solomon" ever published. Much of the detail omitted from Mathers' edition is given here, providing a complete and workable system of high magic with full details of implements, procedures, and a wide range of talismans. Much material not available to Mathers is also found in this extraordinary book, including planetary prayers, names of angels and demons, and a vast array of pentacles, as well as material on the Olympic Spirits, Planetary Spirits and Intelligences. The commentary by two of the best known scholar-magicians provides much additional material, a full survey of all the extant manuscripts of this famous grimoire and how they relate to each other, as well as the historical influence of the Key of Solomon on the development of magic from the Renaissance until now. The pentacles as drawn by Fyot, the original scribe, are reproduced here, with more than twice as many pentacles as were produced in Mathers' text. "The Key of Solomon" is the most significant magical grimoire ever penned, certainly for the period from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth century. This present work finally restores "The Key of Solomon" back to its place at the heart of practical Western magic.