The Three Magical Books of Solomon: The Greater and Lesser Keys & The Testament of Solomon

Aleister Crowley (Author) S. L. MacGregor Mathers (Author)
& 1 more
Available

Description

For the first time, the three great magical works of King Solomon are together in one volume. The Greater and Lesser Keys give a practical guide to the operation of his magic. The testament gives a historical account of its use by Solomon himself.

The Key of Solomon the King was originally researched and translated by S.L. MacGregor Mathers from ancient manuscripts in the British museums. Included by Mathers is the Order of the Pentacles of Solomon, the Ancient Fragment of the Key of Solomon, The Qabalistic Invocation of Solomon, and 15 plates full of figures, seals and charts, as well as the original text giving detailed instruction for spells and invocations.

The work is traditionally divided into two books detailing the Key of King Solomon. Book One explains the operation of conjurations, curses, spells and other magical works. Book Two instructs the practitioner on the proper attire, purification rituals and other means of obtaining the goals of the Goetia. Between these two books is the list of plates that contain numerous illustrations and secret seals of Solomon, including the Mystical Seal of Solomon, the Pentacles of Solomon, and the Mystical Alphabet, which impart the mechanisms and requirements for the invocation of spirits and demons.

The Lesser Key of Solomon, or the Clavicula Salomonis Regis, or Lemegeton, is a compilation of materials and writings from ancient sources making up a text book of magic or "grimoire." Portions of this book can be traced back to the mid-16th to 17th centuries, when occult researchers such as Cornelius Agrippa and Johannes Trithemisus assembled what they discovered during their investigations into their own great works.

As a modern grimoire, the Lesser Key of Solomon has seen several editions with various authors and editors taking liberty to edit and translate the ancient writings and source material. In 1898, Arthur Edward Waite published his The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, which contained large portions of the Lemegeton. He was followed by Mathers and Crowley in 1904 who published The Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon.

In the preface to this edition, it is explained that a "Secret Chief" of the Rosicrucian Order directed the completion of the book. The original editor was a G. H. Fra. D.D.C.F. who translated ancient texts from French, Hebrew, and Latin, but was unable to complete his labors because of the martial assaults of the Four Great Princes. Crowley was then asked to step in and finish what the previous author had begun.

The Testament of Solomon is a pseudepigraphical work attributed to King Solomon the Wise of the Old Testament. Written in the first-person narrative, the book tells the story of the creation of the magical ring of King Solomon and how Solomon's ring was used to bind and control demons, including Beelzebub. In this book of King Solomon, the discourses between the King and the various spirits are told, and the story shows how Solomon uses his wisdom to withstand the demons' tricks and guile and enlist their aid in the building of his temple.

The manuscripts from which this work was discovered date from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. All were written in Greek. This dating makes most experts believe that the work is medieval. But some scholars, including D.C. Duling, argue that it is likely that the work comes from the 5th or 6th centuries.

Product Details

Price
$39.99  $36.79
Publisher
Mockingbird Press
Publish Date
August 02, 2017
Pages
282
Dimensions
5.98 X 9.02 X 0.69 inches | 1.17 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781946774101
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

ALEISTER CROWLEY, born Edward Alexander Crowley; 12 October 1875 - 1 December 1947, was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He was the founder of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life. Born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Crowley rejected his fundamentalist Christian faith to pursue an interest in Western esotericism. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where some biographers allege he was recruited into the British intelligence agency. In 1898 he joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and trained in ceremonial magic under Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Allan Bennett. Moving to Boleskine House by Loch Ness in Scotland, he went mountaineering in Mexico with Oscar Eckenstein, before studying Hindu and Buddhist practices in India. He married Rose Edith Kelly, and in 1904 they honeymooned in Cairo, Egypt, where Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, who provided him with The Book of the Law, a sacred text that served as the basis for Thelema. Announcing the start of the Æon of Horus, The Book declared that its followers should adhere to the code of "Do what thou wilt" and seek to align themselves with their Will through the practice of Magick. After an unsuccessful attempt to climb Kanchenjunga and a visit to India and China, Crowley returned to Britain, where he attracted attention as a prolific author of poetry, novels, and occult literature. In 1907, he and George Cecil Jones co-founded a Thelemite order, the A∴A∴, through which they propagated their religion. After spending time in Algeria, in 1912 he was initiated into another esoteric order, the German-based Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), rising to become the leader of its British branch, which he reformulated in accordance with his Thelemite beliefs. Through the O.T.O., Thelemite groups were established in Britain, Australia, and North America. Crowley spent the First World War in the United States, where he took up painting and campaigned for the German war effort against Britain, later revealing that he had infiltrated the pro-German movement to assist the British intelligence services. In 1920, he established the Abbey of Thelema, a religious commune in Cefalù, Sicily where he lived with various followers. His libertine lifestyle led to denunciations in the British press, and the Italian government evicted him in 1923. He divided the following two decades between France, Germany, and England, and continued to promote Thelema until his death. Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and an individualist social critic. He was denounced in the popular press as "the wickedest man in the world" and a Satanist. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over Western esotericism and the counter-culture, and continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema.
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers was born in 1854 in London, England. He attended Bedford School and, after graduating, began work as a clerk in Dorset. His father died while he was a young boy, and his mother died while he was in his thirties. Shortly after his mother's death, he moved from Dorset to London. He was married to Monia Bergson, the sister of the philosopher Henri Bergson. Mathers was a freemason - raised as a Master Mason in 1878. In 1882 he was admitted to the Metropolitan College of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) as well as a number of fringe Masonic degrees. Working hard both for and in the SRIA, he was awarded an honorary 8th Degree in 1886. Upon the death of William Robert Woodman in 1891, Mathers assumed leadership of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He moved with his wife to Paris on 21 May 1892. After his expulsion from the Golden Dawn in April 1900, Mathers formed a group in Paris in 1903 called Alpha et Omega (its headquarters, the Ahathoor Temple). Mathers assumed the title of Archon Basileus. Mathers was a polyglot; among the languages he had studied were English, French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Gaelic and Coptic - though he had a greater command of some languages than of others. His translations of such books as The Book of Abramelin (14thC.), Christian Knorr von Rosenroth's The Kabbalah Unveiled (1684), Key of Solomon (anonymous 14thC.), The Lesser Key of Solomon (anonymous 17thC.), and the Grimoire of Armadel (17thC.), while probably justly criticized with respect to quality, were responsible for making what had been obscure and inaccessible material widely available to the non-academic English speaking world. His works have had considerable influence on the development of occult and esoteric thought since their publication, as has his consolidation of the Enochian magical system of John Dee and Edward Kelley. Mathers died in November 1918 in Paris. The manner of his death is unknown; his death certificate lists no cause of death. Violet Firth claimed his death was the result of the Spanish influenza of 1918. While this seems likely, few facts are known about Mathers's private life, verification of such claims is difficult.