Grimoires & Spellbooks
The term grimoire is a general
name given to a variety of texts setting out the names of demons and instructions
on how to raise them. Effectively a grimoire is a book of black magic, a book
on which a wizard relied for all the necessary advice and instruction on raising
spirits and casting spells. To be effective, the wizard should be initiated
in the art of reciting the formula and following the rituals that are associated
with the spells. Some superstitions claim that Grimoires must be in manuscript
and in red ink, bound in black or in human skin, and that they must be given
to the user as part of a witch's legacy. If money is involved, all powers
are cancelled out.
Grimoires were very popular from 1600 AD thru 1900 AD. The Black Dragon,
Red Dragon and the Black Screech Owl are all examples of grimoires or magical
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 magical 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 A.D. and Hebrew & Latin sources. Grimoires were used
much more by sorcerers, wizards, and early church officials than by witches.
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Al Azif (The Necronomicon).
Philadelphia: Owlswick Press, 1973
|Ars Notaria: the notary art of Solomon the King
Seattle: Trident, 1997
The Key of Solomon is probably the most famous
of all Grimoires, and the best known translation is that by Mathers
The oldest of the manuscripts used by him is probably 16th century
but there are however older texts, including several English manuscripts,
three Hebrew manuscripts and an ancient Greek manuscript version of
Fourth book of occult philosophy ...
Heptangle Books, 1985
De Nigromancia ...
Heptangle Books, 1988
De Nigromancia, or, Concerning
the Black Art, is a Latin manuscript attributed to Roger Bacon,
first appearing some time in the 16th century. The text is concerned
with Goetic summonings, especially of wraiths. Goetia is the common
name for that branch of Ceremonial Magic that deals with the conjuration
of infernal spirits or demons.
The Magus or celestial intelligencer; being
a complete system of occult philosophy
York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser Inc.,(1978)
|Le Dragon noir: ou, les forces infernales soumises a l’homme…
Mayer: Editions Bussiere, 1995
A scarce French grimoire text, considered
the companion volume to the infamous Le Dragon Rouge or Red
Dragon, a French version of the medieval Grand
Grimoire. It contains, with specific instructions on making
a demonic pact and diagrams of talismans.
|Le Dragon Rouge: ou, l’art de commander les espirits celeste
Cergy: Editions Pesthuis, n.d.
Le Dragon Rouge or the 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.
|Grimoire of Armadel. Translated by ... S.L. McGregor
London: Routledge, 1980
The Grimoire of Armadel is supposedly
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
|Grimoir of Pope Honorius
Seattle: Trident, 1999
Another grimoire is the Grimoire of Honorius,
a catalogue of fallen angels and how to raise them. This book was
credited to Pope Honorius III, who succeeded Pope Innocent III in
1216. The book is full of Christian benedictions and formulae. "It
not only instructed priests in the arts of demonology but virtually
ordered them to learn how to conjure and control demons, as part of
their job." It was recommended that the sorcerer wrote the grimoire
with his own hand to obtain the power of the spells.
||Grimoirium verum ...translated from the Hebrew by Plangiere
Seattle: Ars Obscura, 1995
The True Grimoire. Originally
claimed to be published in French, by an Egyptian named Alibek, in
1517 in Memphis (Egypt). The book claims a connection to Solomon but
many believe that it was really written in the 18th century. The work
concentrates on rituals for summoning of demons, and gives "Characters"
for some of these demons.
|The Grand Grimoire. Translated by Gretchen
Seattle: Ars Obscura, 1996
Also known as the Red
Book, the Grand Grimoire is a name given to a collection
of invocations, spells and elementary magic, supposedly from the pen
of King Solomon, but almost certainly no older than the sixteenth
century. This text constitutes one of the more famous and outrageous
Grimoires of black magic. A. E. Waite pronounced this the most fantastic
of the texts of the Black Magic cycle, and "one of the most atrocious
of its class.
|Pneumatologia occulta et vera: (manuscript)
|Les Secrets merveilleux de la magie naturelle du petit Albert
It is claimed that this text was written by Albertus Magnus in 1272,
in French. The work contains instructions for the creation of such
magical aids as the Hand of Glory, often featured in trials for witchcraft.
The Necronomicon …
New York: Schlangekraft Inc, 1980
The Necronomicon was written in Damascus in 730 A.D. by
Abdul Alhazred. The Necronomicon (literally: "Book of Dead Names")
is not, as is popularly believed, a grimoire, or sorcerer's spell-book.
It was conceived as a history, and hence "a book of things now
dead and gone". An alternative derivation of the word Necronomicon
gives as its meaning "the book of the customs of the dead",
but again this is consistent with the book's original conception as
a history, not as a work of necromancy.