Author Topic: The Grimoire Tradition  (Read 288 times)


The Grimoire Tradition
« on: May 13, 2018, 01:37:10 am »
I've been working my way through DuQuette books as it's helped me reverse-engineer the Goetia and therefore Solomonic magick. So let's get the first thing out of the way, a lot of the old grimoires have way too much Christian influence for personal taste. I'm looking through Book of Oberon right now, which is a grimoire from the Elizabethan era, and that especially has Christian(specically prayers in the name Jesus Christ which I'm not a fan of despite being okay with conjurations in the name of God which seems more abstract). It's a shame because it has a LOT of great rituals and spirits you won't find elswhere. I was attracted to it as it's one of the only grimoires with notable fairy spirits- particularly some fairies from Midsommer's Night Dream by Shakespeare.

However, this is not a problem. We're lucky to have a wealh of information on how to compose a ritual and can therefore modify it. Peter J. Carrol listed all the several types of gnosis and their effects as well as paradigms in Liber Null & Psychonaut, Crowley's Liber Samekh is him altering a Greco-Magical Papyri ritual to fit in with ceremonial magic. In my experience, the one main thing is to understand the ritual- the carthasis and the point. For example, Goetia work typically isn't meant for deals(though one may have success with that)- they're often referred to as exorcisms and several notable Occults in Thelemic and Hermetic traditions argue they're representations of in your head. Esentially the purpose of a Goetic evocation is to connect to what you view as your higher self and put your problems/personal demons in service to you to further your will. I'm not saying demonaltry doesn't work- you can peform that and get results without any psychological/spiritual blowback if you know what you're doing(let's be honest- most of the spirits come from Psuedomuen Demonica before the Goetic system) but it doesn't achieve the same carthasis as intended in Goetia. There's a copy of Crowley's Illustrated Goetia that basically boils down the system to the bare basics and how to alter those basics to your specific paradigm(it has a thelemic circle as an example but it can be used for any- I generally mix kemeticism and thelema. side note- set is one of the god names I use for the circle.) Similarly, you can look at the Abremalin Operation and see that it's meant to cause a nervous breakdown/consuming obsession and isolation isn't required but keeps you from harming your social life- as Peter J. Carrol says Coronzon is the shadow of the HGA and Grant Morrison describes that demon as "the last gasp of the existential self." If a ritual instructs you to fast for 3 days, it may be effective to follow it but I assume you can cross-reference Liber Null and pick a similar gnosis style.

Despite the christian influences there's a lot to be gained for a LHP practicioner from these grimoires:

Planetary Magick

All manners of spirits (demons being common) including one or two famous grimoires that have a ritual to summon Lucifer for a pact.

Barbarous words.

While prayers aren't entirely helpful to us, it may help to read them to see how to write rituals. I once read an annotated verson of Greco Magical Papyri rituals that highlighted why and how the prayers were constructed- it involved comparing a greek deity like Hermes to Abrasax, for example, as a way to impress/suck up to Hermes for a planetary invocation. This, to me, demonstrates that many rituals should be written as if they were poetry to the specific abstract concept, emotion, spirit, or deity you'd like to invoke.

Famous Grimoires of interest are: Grimorium Verium, The Picatrix, Book of Oberon, Red Dragon, Grand Grimoire, The Goetia, Book of Oberon, Sorcerer's Screed, Galdrbok and Icelandic Magick by Edred Thorrson(translations of old galdr grimoires), The True Grimoire(a version of the Grimorium Verum that unlocks the key to this grimoire's system), The Magus(condenses the three books of occult philosophy), and you can find many modern grimoires in Ixaxaar, Fallofman, and Scarlet Imprint but these are often more philosophy than practicality- (shout out to Liber Isfet for the surprising ammount of seals.) Sure, a passing knowledge of occult basics and chaos magick basics renders all this completely pointless as you can create your own seals- but it is fun to look at other artist's work to understand your own. This may be composition of seals but I would say that you truly have to perform and interact with said seals, sigils, and ritual to truly comprehend and understand them- and there's a bit of a benefit to using something that feels archaic, taboo, and has had energy and belief poured into for hundreds of years.

Anyone have an experiences or thoughts on the grimoires of old?


Re: The Grimoire Tradition
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 11:01:57 pm »
Awesome topic.

There is a thin line between eloquence and prolixity. Fore sure, one can discard lots of peculiarities
linked to the historical times in which the books were written, no doubt about that.

The only problem is if you change the essence of some tradition into something so trivial that it becomes a game lacking sustenance.


Re: The Grimoire Tradition
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 03:23:22 am »
Yeah, the trick is really to figure out what were blinds and what can be still be effective even if not done to tradition. I'd argue most of the Goetia is blinds or stuff that can be changed like the names around the circle and triangle and mean the same thing. I don't think the Seal of Solomon has to be made in the same planetary hours although that definitely may help. You can combine stuff like Abremalin the Mage, Goetia, and similar Solomonic magick for more info there and everyting but you run into the problem where some systems might require somethin special- the magickal squares of Abremalin for example.