Part 1. Seems this is going to take longer than i thought, so many grimoires.
The Various magical Grimoires
Oh there are so many! Most of them are for calling various spirits; some of them are for the creation of talismans. Most of them started out with handwriting about as messy as all of ours when we take quick notes after a working in our notebook. We are very fortunate today in that many authors have both translated as well as transcribed the old manuscripts for us. It is far easier than ordering microfilm from the British Library, then going to the local university to view it on the reader there! Which also was much easier than back in say John Dee’s time where it was physical copies which one hand to find, or borrow from someone else and make your own hand copy of. I think if most magicians today could only work from the books that we ourselves hand copied…… we could know so much more about magic! This is because there were be more focus on one specific grimoire or path. OK so back on track lol, hand copying grimoires does really help the magician to focus on that particular work though so it is highly recommended.
We are also fortunate that we can purchase grimoire for only $20-$40 each! Sometimes even free online ;). Though, there does become a bit of a problem with this sometimes, so many and difficult to keep track! Recently I handed about 10 grimoires to someone, then a few days later expected them to keep track of them all when I talked about them lol. I do sometimes forget that not everyone has been reading and studying the grimoires for over 25 years! Since it was this easy for me to forget, it does show you what sort of company I usually keep though :D.
So I will cover the ones which are good for calling spirits, since well, they are the most interesting, to me at least. The most famous one of course is the Goetia. Mathers only had so much free time though, running the Golden Dawn and all, that he only made it partway through the Lemegeton manuscripts for us. So for many years, until Peterson dug deeper, that is all we had. Well OK Ben Rowe did as well. The Goetia part itself though which is by far the most famous and well known one, even though Mathers did public books on the other parts of the Lemegeton. The Goetia is pretty much comprised of methods for calling up 72 or so (the or so part is if one looks at the various other Goetia manuscripts and compares notes) Daemons. The Goetia part originated with the Pseuodmonarchia Daemonium, which was written by Johanne Weyer at the end of one of his long and awesome books on magic. The Pseudomonarchia Daemonium lists 69 spirits all together; I guess Weyer and Decarabia didn’t get along ;).
In the Goetia there are explicit instructions, with hand drawn pictures even for reference on the designs for the circle of practice and the triangle to call the Daemons into. Though if one wants more details on the other tools used, such as the sword, daggers, robe, shoes and so forth, then looking through the Greater Key of Solomon as well is essential. Though the Greater Key of Solomon is more about talismans and local spirits than Daemons. Also the proper preparations, conjurations and baths beforehand are covered quite extensively. See it was important back in the day to not only call upon God to be safe from these evil demons, but also to be safe from any witch hunters who might burn you more quickly if they didn’t see 10,000 references to god almighty in the books you had around.
The Goetia is also pretty famous for its very long conjurations! They are quite wordy, first the aforementioned prayers to Deity, then the calling and threatening the Daemons one is calling. Not the most polite method by far, but it does seem to work for some, and most the Goetia Daemons are quite patient. Keeping in mind that all the Daemons which did make it into this book are ones which left the summoner both alive and well enough to take notes after the workings. A license to depart is included as well, because it is definitely important to tell the spirit you just called and asked for help of to leave the area….. Though then again the methods specified in this grimoire do seem to work quite well for some. Personally I prefer a much more friendly manner, and hope that the aforementioned magicians never make it to upper management where many people work under them!
In the Goetia, and Lemegeton the spirit seals are given, as well as a short description on each Daemon and what they specialize in. The Pseudomonarchia Daemonium on the other hand, doesn’t give the Daemon seals, only the descriptions for each. In Latin. Hey it’s a good study project, to learn Latin to be able to read about the spirits one is working with. Well OK or one can cheat a little and read Joseph Peterson’s awesome website (or book). The Goetia was also around in other languages such as French and Italian. This is quite useful since each manuscript is a bit different, from perhaps differing sources, which gives clues to other teachings or influences that were brought into each person who wrote them. There are always extra bits with each translation, which can bring about greater understanding if one has the patience to go through them. It does take quite a bit of time though, as it tends to usually require transcription of words in a language which one often doesn’t know fluently. Having done with with a few over the years though I would say it is most definitely worth the effort even if one only does this with one grimoire. The manuscripts don’t just stop and start at where Mathers, or any other author for that matter, has published in a book. Also, does one always want to trust someone else’s translation? ;)
Now the Lemegeton proper, it also contains the Ars Theurgia. This is another interesting grimoire containing lists of spirits, complete with their seals. It however doesn’t go into quite as much detail on each one as say the Goetia. Still it does give us enough to work with. The spirits in the Theurgia are Angels, yet from my personal experience are quite a bit different than the Tree of Life set that many are used to working with. Also this crew seems more up for being called on closer to this particular plane. The Theurgia is based on chief Angels, then the ones directly under them in particular. Grimoires, they just love hierarchies! Though with some grimoires I don’t think it is as cut and dried as things make out ;).
Some of the spirits on the Theurgia Goetia and referred to as wandering Princes, Wandering dukes and so on, and are most definitely also of a different nature than your standard Angel. The others are considered not wandering but are instead of under the Princes. Though any type of spirit can be an Angel really, as serving their Deity. There are not specific instructions in this particular part of the Lemegeton, but one can perhaps use the Goetia circle, or the Greater Key of Solomon circle for the calling of these spirits, or other standard methods for the calling of Angels. I’m partial to the methods employed by John Dee and Edward Kelly, as skrying is a useful method for obtaining information from various types of entities, if one has some natural ability at it. With practice and learning to trust one’s impressions it does tend to grow stronger over the years. Speaking of skrying, I would like to point out that nowhere in the original manuscripts of the Goetia, Lemegeton is a skrying mirror ever mentioned, and most definitely nothing even insinuating hat a magic mirror goes into the center of the triangle, except for the fact that there is a coloured in dark area in the center of it.