THE LESSER KEY OF SOLOMON
Compiled and Translated
S.L. “MacGregor” Mathers
Editing and Additional Material
This translation of the FIRST BOOK Of the “Lemegeton” which is now for the first time made accessible to students of TALISMANIC MAGIC was done, after careful collation and edition, from numerous Ancient Manuscripts in Hebrew, Latin, and French, by G. H. Fra. D.D.C.F., by the order of the Secret Chief of the Rosicrucian Order. 1 The G. H. Fra., having succumbed unhappily to the assaults of the Four Great Princes (acting notably under Martial influences), it seemed expedient that the work should be brought to its conclusion by another hand. The investigation of a competent Skryer into the house of our unhappy Fra., confirmed this divination; neither our Fra. nor his Hermetic Mul. were there seen; but only the terrible shapes of the evil Adepts S.V.A. 2 and H., whose original bodies having been sequestered by
Justice, were no longer of use to them. On this we stayed no longer Our Hand; but withdrawing Ourselves, and consulting the Rota, and the Books M. and Q. did decide to ask Mr. Aleister Crowley, a poet, and skilled student of Magical Lore, and an expert Kabbalist, to complete openly that which had been begun in secret. 3 This is that which is written: “His Bishoprick let another take.” And again: “Oculi Tetragammaton.” This is also that which is said: “Nomen Secundum refertur ad Gebhurah; qui est Rex Bittul atque Corruptio Achurajim Patris et Matris hoc indigitatur. “
And so saying we wish you well.
Ex Deo Nascimur.
In Jesu Morimur.
Per S.S. Reviviscimus.
Given forth from our Mountain of A., this day of C.C. 1903 A. D.
1 Mr. A. E. Waite writes (“Real History Of The Rosicrucians,” p. 426) : "I beg leave to warn my readers that all persons who proclaim themselves to be Rosicrucians are simply members of pseudo-fraternities, and that there is that difference between their assertion and the fact of the case in which the essence of a lie consists!” It is within the Editor’s personal knowledge that Mr. Waite was (and still is probably) a member of a society claiming to be the R.C. fraternity As Mr. Waite constantly hints in his writing that he is in touch with initiated centres, I think the syllogism, whose premises are given above, is fair, if not quite formal.-ED.
2 It was owing to our Fra. receiving this S.V.A. as his Superior, and giving up the Arcana of our Fraternity into so unhallowed a power, that We decided no longer to leave Our dignity and authority in the hands of one who could be thus easily imposed upon.
(For by a childish and easy magical trick did S.V.A. persuade D.D.C.F. of that lie.)
3 He that is appointed to complete in secret that which had been begun openly is R.R., and to be heard of at the care of the Editor.
Thee I invoke, the Bornless one.
Thee, that didst create the Earth and the Heavens:
Thee, that didst create the Night and the Day.
Thee, that didst create the Darkness and the Light.
Thou art Osorronophris: Whom no man has seen at any time.
Thou art Jäbas
Thou art Jäpos:
Thou hast distinguished between the Just and the Unjust.
Thou didst make the Female and the Male.
Thou didst produce the Seed and the Fruit.
Thou didst form Men to love one another, and to hate one another.
I am Mosheh Thy Prophet, unto Whom Thou didst commit Thy Mysteries, the Ceremonies of Ishrael:
Thou didst produce the moist and the dry, and that which nourisheth all created Life.
Hear Thou Me, for I am the Angel of Paphro Osorronophris: this is Thy True Name, handed down to the Prophets of Ishrael.
Ar: Thiao: Rheibet: Atheleberseth:
A: Blatha: Abeu: Ebeu: Phi:
Thitasoe: Ib: Thiao.
Hear Me, and make all Spirits subject unto Me: so that every Spirit of the Firmament
and of the Ether; upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land and in the Water: of
Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire: and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me.
I invoke Thee, the Terrible and Invisible God: Who dwellest in the Void Place of the
Modorio: Phalarthao: Doo: Ape, The Bornless One:
Hear Me: etc.
Roubriao: Mariodam: Balbnabaoth: Assalonai: Aphniao: I: Thoteth: Abrasar: Aeoou:
Mighty and Bornless One!
Hear me: etc.
I invoke thee: --
Ma: Barraio: Joel: Kotha:
Hear Me: etc.
Aoth: Abaoth: Basum: Isak:
This is the Lord of the Gods:
This is the Lord of the Universe:
This is He Whom the Winds fear.
This is He, Who having made Voice by His Commandment, is Lord of All Things;
King, Ruler and Helper.
Hear Me, etc.
Ieou: Pur: Iou: Pur: Iaot: Iaeo: Ioou: Abrasar: Sabriam: Do: Uu: Adonaie: Ede: Edu:
Angelos ton Theon: Aniaia Lai: Gaia: Ape: Diathanna Thorun.
I am He! the Bornless Spirit! having sight in the feet: Strong, and the Immortal Fire!
I am He! the Truth!
I am He! Who hate that evil should be wrought in the World!
I am He, that lighteneth and thundereth.
I am He, from Whom is the Shower of the Life of Earth:
I am He, Whose mouth ever flameth:
I am He, the Begetter and Manifester unto the Light:
I am He; the Grace of the World:
“The Heart Girt with a Serpent” is My Name
Come Thou forth, and follow Me: and make all Spirits subject unto Me so that every
Spirit of the, Firmament, and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry
Land, or in the Water: of whirling Air or of rushing Fire: and every Spell and Scourge of
God, may be obedient unto Me!
Such are the Words!
THE INITIATED INTERPRETATION OF
It is loftily amusing to the student of Magical literature who is not quite a fool — and rare is such a combination! — to note the criticism directed by the Philistine against the citadel of his science. Truly, since our childhood has ingrained into us not only literal belief in the Bible, but also substantial belief in Alf Laylah wa Laylah, and only adolescence can cure us, we are only too liable, in the rush and energy of dawning manhood, to overturn roughly and rashly both these classics, to regard them both on the same level, as interesting documents from the standpoint of folk-lore and anthropology, and as nothing more.
Even when we learn that the Bible, by a profound and minute study of the text, may be forced to yield up Qabalistic arcana of cosmic scope and importance, we are too often slow to apply a similar restorative to the companion volume, even if we are the luck holders of Burton’s veritable edition.
To me, then, it remains to raise the Alf Laylah wa Laylah into its proper place once more.
I am not concerned to deny the objective reality of all “magical” phenomena; if they are illusions, they are at least as real as many unquestioned facts of daily life; and, if we follow Herbert Spencer, they are at least evidence of some cause. 4
Now, this fact is our base. What is the cause of my illusion of seeing a spirit in the triangle of Art?
Every smatterer, every expert in psychology, will answer: “That cause lies in your brain.”
English children (pace the Education Act) are taught that the Universe lies in infinite Space; Hindu children, in the Akasa, which is the same thing.
Those Europeans who go a little deeper learn from Fichte, that the phenomenal Universe is the creation of the Ego; Hindus, or Europeans studying under Hindu Gurus, are told, that by Akasa is meant the Chitakasa. The Chitakasa is situated in the “Third Eye,” i.e., in the brain. By assuming higher dimensions of space, we can assimilate this fact to Realism; but we have no need to take so much trouble.
This being true for the ordinary Universe, that all sense-impressions are dependent on changes in the brain 5 we must include illusions, which are after all sense-impressions as much as “realities” are, in the class of “phenomena dependent on brain-changes.”
Magical phenomena, however, come under a special sub-class, since they are
4 This, incidentally, is perhaps the greatest argument we possess, pushed to its extreme, against the Advaitist theories.
5 Thought is a secretion of the brain (Weissmann). Consciousness is a function of the brain (Huxley).
willed, and their cause is the series of “real” phenomena, called the operations of ceremonial Magic.
These consist of
The circle, square, triangle, vessels, lamps, robes, implements, etc.
As under (1).
The combination of all these and reflection on their significance.
These unusual impressions (1-5) produce unusual brain-changes; hence their
summary (6) is of unusual kind. Its projection back into the apparently phenomenal
world is therefore unusual.
Herein then consists the reality of the operations and effects of ceremonial magic,6
and I conceive that the apology is ample, as far as the “effects” refer only to those
phenomena which appear to the magician himself, the appearance of the spirit, his
conversation, possible shocks from imprudence, and so on, even to ecstasy on the one
hand, and death or madness on the other.
But can any of the effects described in this our book Goetia be obtained, and if so,
can you give a rational explanation of the circumstances? Say you so?
I can, and will.
The spirits of the Goetia are portions of the human brain.
Their seals therefore represent (Mr. Spencer’s projected cube) methods of stimulating or regulating those particular spots (through the eye).
The names of God are vibrations calculated to establish:
(a) General control of the brain. (Establishment of functions relative to the subtle world.)
(b) Control over the brain in detail. (Rank or type of the Spirit.)
(c) Control of one special portion. (Name of the Spirit.)
The perfumes aid this through smell. Usually the perfume will only tend to
6 Apart from its value in obtaining one-pointedness.
control a large area; but there is an attribution of perfumes to letters of the alphabet enabling one, by a Qabalistic formula, to spell out the Spirit’s name.
I need not enter into more particular discussion of these points; the intelligent reader can easily fill in what is lacking.
If, then, I say, with Solomon:
“The Spirit Cimieries teaches logic,” what I mean is:
“Those portions of my brain which subserve the logical faculty way be stimulated and developed by following out the processes called ‘The Invocation of Cimieries.’ “
And this is a purely materialistic rational statement; it is independent of any objective hierarchy at all. Philosophy has nothing to say; and Science can only suspend judgment, pending a proper and methodical investigation of the facts
Unfortunately, we cannot stop there. Solomon promises us that we can (1) obtain information; (2) destroy our enemies; (3) understand the voices of nature; (4) obtain treasure; (5) heal diseases, etc. I have taken these five powers at random; considerations of space forbid me to explain all.
(1) Brings up facts from sub-consciousness.
(2) Here we come to an interesting fact. It is curious to note the contrast between the noble means and the apparently vile ends of magical rituals. The latter are disguises for sublime truths. “To destroy our enemies” is to realize the illusion of duality, to excite compassion.
(Ah! Mr. Waite, the world of Magic is a mirror, wherein who sees muck is muck.)
(3) A careful naturalist will understand much from the voices of the animals he has studied long. Even a child knows the difference of a cat’s miauling and purring.
The faculty may be greatly developed.
(4) Business capacity may be stimulated.
(5) Abnormal states of the body may be corrected, and the involved tissues brought back to tone, in obedience to currents started from the brain.
So for all other phenomena. There is no effect which is truly and necessarily miraculous.
Our Ceremonial Magic fines down, then, to a series of minute, though of course empirical, physiological experiments, and whoso will carry them through intelligently need not fear the result.
I have all the health, and treasure, and logic, I need; I have no time to waste.
“There is a lion in the way.” For me these practices are useless; but for the benefit of others less fortunate I give them to the world, together with this explanation of, and apology for, them.
I trust that the explanation will enable many students who have hitherto, by a puerile objectivity in their view of the question, obtained no results, to succeed; that the apology may impress upon our scornful men of science that the study of the bacillus should give place to that of the baculum, the little to the great—how great one only realizes when one identifies the wand with the Mahalingam, up which Brahma flew at the rate of 84,000 yojanas a second for 84,000 mahakalpas, down which Vishnu flew at the rate of 84,000 croces of yojanas a second for 84,000 crores of mahakalpas—yet neither reached an end.
But I reach an end.
PRELIMINARY DEFINITION OF MAGIC.
LEMEGETON VEL CLAVICULA SALOMONIS REGIS.
Magic is the Highest, most Absolute, and most Divine Knowledge of Natural Philosophy, 7 advanced in its works and wonderful operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult virtue of things; so that true Agents 8 being
applied to proper Patients, 9 strange and admirable effects will thereby be produced.
Whence magicians are profound and diligent searchers into Nature; they, because of their skill, know how to anticipate an effort, 10 the which to the vulgar shall seem to be a miracle.
Origen saith that the Magical Art doth not contain anything subsisting, but although it should, yet that it must not be Evil, or subject to contempt or scorn; and doth distinguish the Natural Magic from that which is Diabolical.
Apollonius Tyannaeus only exercised the Natural Magic, by the which he did perform wonderful things.
Philo Hebraeus saith that true Magic, by which we do arrive at the understanding of the Secret Works of Nature, is so far from being contemptible that the greatest Monarchs and Kings have studied it. Nay! among the Persians none might reign unless he was skilful in this GREAT ART.
This Noble Science often degenerateth, from Natural becometh Diabolical, and from True Philosophy turneth unto Nigromancy. 11 The which is wholly to be charged upon its followers, who, abusing or not being capable of that High and Mystical Knowledge do immediately hearken unto the temptations of Sathan, and are misled by him into the Study of the Black Art. Hence it is that Magic lieth under disgrace, and they who seek after it are vulgarly esteemed Sorcerers.
The Fraternity of the Rosie Crusians thought it not fit to style themselves Magicians, but rather Philosophers. And they be not ignorant Empiricks12 2 but learned and experienced Physicians, whose remedies be not only Lawful but Divine.
THE BRIEF INTRODUCTORY DESCRIPTION.
(N.B. This is taken from several MS. Codices, of which the four principal variations are here composed together in parallel columns as an example of the close agreement of the various texts of the Lemegeton.
For in the whole work the differences in the wording of the various Codices are not sufficient to require the constant giving of parallel readings; but except in the more ancient examples there is much deterioration in the Seals and Sigils, so that in
7 This Preliminary Definition of Magic is found in very few Codices, and is probably later than the
body of the work.
8 Or Actives.
9 Or Passives.
10 Or Effect.
11 Or the Black Art, as distinct from mere Necromancy, or Divination by the Dead.
12 Or Quacks and Pretenders. Vide note on p. 10.
this latter respect the more recent exemplars are not entirely reliable.)
CLAVICULA SALOMONIS REGIS,
which containeth all the Names, Offices, and Orders of all the Spirits that ever he had converse with, with the Seals and Characters to each Spirit and the manner of calling them forth to visible appearance:
In 5 parts, viz.:
(1) THE FIRST PART is a Book of Evil Spirits, called GOETIA, showing how he bound up those Spirits, and used them in general things, whereby he obtained great fame.
(2) THE SECOND PART is a Book of Spirits, partly Evil and partly Good, which is named THEURGIA-GOETIA, all Aërial Spirits, etc.
(3) THE THIRD PART is of Spirits governing the Planetary Hours, and what Spirits belong to every degree, of the Signs, and Planets in the Signs. Called the PAULINE ART, etc.
(4) THE FOURTH PART of this Book is called ALMADEL or SOLOMON, which containeth those Spirits which govern the Four Altitudes, or the 360 Degrees of the Zodiac.
These two last Orders of Spirits are Good, and to be sought for by Divine seeking, etc., and are called THEURGIA.
(5) THE FIFTH PART is a Book of Orations and Prayers that Wise Solomon used upon the Altar in the Temple. The which is called ARS NOVA, which was revealed unto Solomon by that Holy Angel of God called MICHAEL; and he also received many brief Notes written with the Finger of God, which were declared to him by the said Angel with Claps of Thunder; without which Notes King Solomon had never obtained his great knowledge, for by them in a short time he knew all Arts and Sciences both Good and Bad; from these Notes it is called the NOTARY ART, etc.
THE WHOLE LEMEGETON OR CLAVICULA.
Now this Book containeth all the Names, Orders, and Offices of all the Spirits with which Solomon ever conversed, the Seals and Characters belonging to each Spirit, and the manner of calling them forth to visible appearance:
Divided into 5 special Books or parts, viz.:
(1) THE FIRST BOOK, or PART, which is a Book concerning Spirits of Evil, and which is termed THE GOETIA OF SOLOMON, sheweth forth his manner of binding these Spirits for use in things divers. And hereby did he acquire great renown.
(2) THE SECOND BOOK is one which treateth of Spirits mingled of Good and Evil Natures, the which is entitled THE THEURGIA-GOETIA, or the Magical Wisdom of the Spirits Aërial, whereof some do abide, but certain do wander and abide not.
(3) THE THIRD BOOK, called ARS PAULINA, or THE ART PAULINE, treateth of the Spirits allotted unto every degree of the 360 Degrees of the Zodiac; and also of the Signs, and of the Planets in the Signs, as well as of the Hours.
(4) THE FOURTH BOOK, called ARS ALMADEL SALOMONIS, or THE ART ALMADEL OF SOLOMON, concerneth those Spirits which be set over the Quaternary of the Altitudes.
These two last mentioned Books, the ART PAULINE and the ART ALMADEL, do relate unto Good Spirits alone, whose knowledge is to be obtained through seeking unto the Divine. These two Books be also classed together under the Name of the First and Second Parts of the Book THEURGIA OF SOLOMON.
(5) THE FIFTH BOOK of the Lemegeton is one of Prayers and Orations. The which Solomon the Wise did use upon the Altar in the Temple. And the titles hereof be ARS NOVA, the NEW ART, and ARS NOTARIA, the NOTARY ART. The which was revealed to him by MICHAEL, that Holy Angel of God, in thunder and in lightning, and he further did receive by the aforesaid Angel certain Notes written by the Hand of God, without the which that Great King had never attained unto his great Wisdom, for thus he knew all things and all Sciences and Arts whether Good or Evil.
CLAVICULA SALOMONIS REGIS,
which containeth all the Names, Offices, and Orders of all the Spirits with. whom he ever held any converse; together with the Seals and Characters proper unto each Spirit, and the method of calling them forth to visible appearance:
In 5 parts, viz.:
(1) THE FIRST PART is a Book of Evil Spirits, called GOETIA, showing how he bound up those Spirits and used them in things general and several, whereby he obtained great fame.
(2) THE SECOND PART is a Book of Spirits, partly Evil and partly Good, which is called THEURGIA-GOETIA, all Aerial Spirits, etc.
(3) THE THIRD PART is of Spirits governing the Planetary Hours, and of what Spirits do belong to every Degree of the Signs, and of the Planets in the Signs. This is called the PAULINE ART, etc.
(4) THE FOURTH PART of this Book is called ALMADEL OF SOLOMON, the which containeth those Spirits which do govern the Four Altitudes, or the 360 Degrees of the Zodiac.
These two last Orders of Spirits are Good, and are called THEURGIA, and are to be sought for by Divine seeking, etc.
(5) THE FIFTH PART is a Book of Orations and Prayers which Wise Solomon did use upon the Altar in the Temple. The which is called ARS NOVA, the which was revealed to Solomon by that Holy Angel of God called Michael; and he also received many brief Notes written with the Finger of God, which were declared to him by the said Angel with Claps of Thunder; without which Notes King Solomon had never obtained his Great Wisdom, for by them in short time he gained Knowledge of all Arts and Sciences both Good and Bad; from these Notes it is called THE NOTARY ART, etc.
THE BOOK OF EVIL SPIRITS.
THE KEY OF SOLOMON, which contains all the names, orders, and offices of all the Spirits that ever Solomon conversed with, together with the Seals and Characters belonging to each Spirit, and the manner of calling them forth to visible appearance:
In 4 parts.
(1) THE FIRST PART is a Book of Evil Spirits, called GOETIA, showing how he bound up those Spirits and used them in several things, whereby he obtained great fame.
(2) THE SECOND PART is a Book of Spirits, partly Good and partly Evil, which is named THEURGIA-GOETIA, all Aërial Spirits, etc.
(3) THE THIRD PART is a Book governing the Planetary Houses, and what Spirits belong to every Degree of the Signs, and Planets in the Signs. Called the Pauline Art.
(4) THE FOURTH PART is a Book called the ALMADEL OF SOLOMON, which contains Twenty Chief Spirits who govern the Four Altitudes, or the 360 Degrees of the Zodiac.
These two last Orders of Spirits are Good, and called THEURGIA, and are to be sought after by Divine seeking.
These Most Sacred Mysteries were revealed unto Solomon.
Now in this Book LEMEGETON is contained the whole Art of King Solomon. And although there be many other Books that are said to be his, yet none is to be compared hereunto, for this containeth them all. Though there be titles with several other Names of the Book, as THE BOOK HELISOL, which is the very same with this last Book of Lemegeton called ARS NOVA or ARS NOTARIA, etc.
These Books were first found in the Chaldee and Hebrew Tongues at Jerusalem by a Jewish Rabbi; and by him put into the Greek language and thence into the Latin, as it is said.
(1.) BAEL. - The First Principal Spirit is a King ruling in the East, called Bael. He maketh thee to go Invisible. He ruleth over 66 Legions of Infernal Spirits. He appeareth in divers shapes, sometimes like a Cat, sometimes like a Toad, and sometimes like a Man, and sometimes all these forms at once. He speaketh hoarsely. This is his character which is used to be worn as a Lamen before him who calleth him forth, or else he will not do thee homage.
(2.) AGARES. - The Second Spirit is a Duke called Agreas, or Agares. He is under the Power of the East, and cometh up in the form of an old fair Man, riding upon a Crocodile, carrying a Goshawk upon his fist, and yet mild in appearance. He maketh them to run that
stand still, and bringeth back runaways. He teaches all Languages or Tongues presently. He hath power also to destroy Dignities both Spiritual and Temporal, and causeth
Earthquakes. He was of the Order of Virtues. He hath under his government 31 Legions of Spirits. And this is his Seal or Character which thou shalt wear as a Lamen before thee.
(3.) VASSAGO. - The Third Spirit is a Mighty Prince, being of the same nature as Agares.
He is called Vassago. This Spirit is of a Good Nature, and his office is to declare things Past and to Come, and to discover all things Hid or Lost. And he governeth 26 Legions of Spirits, and this is his Seal.
(4.) SAMIGINA, or GAMIGIN. - The Fourth Spirit is Samigina, a Great Marquis. He appeareth in the form of a little Horse or Ass, and then into Human shape doth he change himself at the request of the Master. He speaketh with a hoarse voice. He ruleth over 30 Legions of Inferiors. He teaches all Liberal Sciences, and giveth account of Dead Souls that died in sin. And his Seal is this, which is to be worn before the Magician when he is
(5.) MARBAS.—The fifth Spirit is Marbas. He is a Great President, and appeareth at first
in the form of a Great Lion, but afterwards, at the request of the Master, he putteth on Human Shape. He answereth truly of things Hidden or Secret. He causeth Diseases and cureth them. Again, he giveth great Wisdom and Knowledge in Mechanical Arts; and can
change men into other shapes. He governeth 36 Legions of Spirits. And his Seal is this,
which is to be worn as aforesaid.
The Lesser Key of Solomon (Sigils 10 through 35) - Page Two The Lesser Key of Solomon (Sigils 36 - 72) - Page Three The Lesser Key of Solomon (THESE be the 72 Mighty Kings and Princes) Page Four The Lesser Key of Solomon (The Magical Circle.) Page Five The Lesser Key of Solomon (The Secret Seal Of Solomon) Page Six The Lesser Key of Solomon - Explanation of Certain Names used in this Book Lemegeton. Page Seven