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Exploring the Key of Solomon

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

Wizard making a talisman

The Key of Solomon, also known as the Clavicula Salomonis in Latin or מפתח שלמה (Mafteah Shelomoh) in Hebrew, is a pseudepigraphical grimoire traditionally attributed to the legendary King Solomon. This ancient text, often referred to as the Greater Key of Solomon, is believed to have originated during the Italian Renaissance in the 14th or 15th century.

Fascinatingly, the Key of Solomon has significantly influenced subsequent grimoires and magical texts. One notable example is the Clavicula Salomonis Regis, the Lesser Key of Solomon or Lemegeton, published in the 17th century. While there are similarities between these works, there are also notable differences in terms of content, structure, and approach to magical practices.

The Key of Solomon provides a captivating glimpse into the world of Renaissance magic, exploring the intricate practices and rituals employed by practitioners during that time. It presents a comprehensive collection of spells, rituals, and techniques that were supposedly used by King Solomon himself, showcasing his profound knowledge and mastery of the occult arts. The book covers various aspects of ceremonial magic, including the summoning and commanding of spirits, the construction and consecration of magical tools, and the creation of talismans and amulets.

This revered text serves as a valuable resource for those interested in the historical and mystical aspects of magic, offering a window into the beliefs and practices of the Renaissance era. It is a testament to the enduring fascination with the mysterious figure of King Solomon and his alleged connection to the supernatural realm. Exploring the Key of Solomon grants us a deeper understanding of the complexities and intricacies of Renaissance magic, allowing us to appreciate the rich tapestry of beliefs and traditions that have shaped our mystical heritage.

The Key of Solomon continues to captivate and intrigue scholars and practitioners of the occult. Its blend of ancient wisdom, mystical symbolism, and esoteric practices makes it a valuable resource for those interested in the history and study of magic. With its detailed descriptions and insights, the Key of Solomon offers a profound exploration of occult rituals, symbols, and mysteries, providing an even more comprehensive understanding of the fascinating world of Renaissance magic.

Picture of an ancient grimoire

Various Versions of The Key of Solomon

During the Renaissance, a remarkable collection of grimoires emerged, believed to be attributed to the legendary King Solomon. These mystical texts, steeped in ancient wisdom and profound knowledge, were heavily influenced by the earlier works of Jewish kabbalists and Arab magicians. They artfully blended the enchanting elements of Greco-Roman magic from Late Antiquity, creating a captivating fusion of traditions.

Among these treasured manuscripts, the Key of Solomon is a testament to the enduring legacy of ancient wisdom. However, it exists in various versions with subtle yet significant differences in different translations. Two surviving versions of a Hebrew text provide further insight into the rich tapestry of this mystical tradition.

One version, currently held at the British Library, was initially believed to date back to the 16th century. However, further research suggests it may be younger, possibly dating to the 17th or 18th century. Another Hebrew text was discovered in the library of Samuel H. Gollancz and published by his son Hermann Gollancz in 1903, accompanied by a facsimile edition in 1914. This manuscript, written in a Sephardic cursive script, provides a unique perspective, although it is less legible than the BL version.

It is important to note that the Hebrew text is not considered the original. Instead, it represents a later Jewish adaptation of a Latin or Italian Clavicula text. The BL manuscript is likely the primary source for the Hebrew translation, while Gollancz's manuscript serves as a copy of the BL version, adding a layer of complexity to the study of these mystical texts.

The origins of the Key of Solomon, a grimoire of great occult significance, are shrouded in captivating mystery. While its emergence remains elusive, scholars widely speculate that the original text surfaced in the 14th or 15th century, most likely Latin or Italian. Over time, the Key of Solomon gained significant influence across different cultures, as evidenced by surviving copies that predominantly date back to the late 16th, 17th, or 18th century.

Among the surviving manuscripts, one notable early Greek manuscript stands out, closely associated with the text. This manuscript hints at the widespread reach and impact of the Key of Solomon. Notably, the profound secrets of the text have been further explored through the discovery of several important Italian and later Latin manuscripts. These valuable findings have allowed scholars to dive deeper into the esoteric teachings.

The rich tapestry of the Key of Solomon extends beyond the Latin and Italian manuscripts, encompassing the realm of French manuscripts. These predominantly date back to the 18th century, offering additional insights into the mystical wisdom of the grimoire. It is worth mentioning that an exceptional French edition, "La Véritable Magie Noire ou Le Secret des Secrets," is meticulously preserved at the prestigious Bibliothèque Nationale de France. This remarkable work, translated from Hebrew by the renowned Iroé-Grego, dates back to 1750, providing readers with an immersive journey into the captivating world of ancient mystical practices.

The Key of Solomon, with its mysterious origins and diverse collection of manuscripts, continues to fascinate and intrigue those who seek to uncover its ancient knowledge and explore the realms of mysticism.

Wizard working magic from a grimoire

What The Key of Solomon Says

Notably, an English edition based on the manuscripts housed in the esteemed British Library, which contained ancient and arcane wisdom, was brought to light by the highly regarded S. L. MacGregor Mathers in 1889. With meticulous care and scholarly expertise, Mathers unveiled the secrets hidden within the pages, allowing seekers of esoteric knowledge to begin on a transformative journey.

Mathers' Key of Solomon deals with magical operations to contain and command the spirits of the dead and demons and teaches spells for various practical applications. It also details the preparations for magick operators who work with Solomonic Magick.

Building upon Mathers' illustrious edition, the esteemed L. W. de Laurence, a renowned mystic and occultist, dug deeper into its mystical contents. In 1914, he unveiled a fascinating rendition titled "The Greater Key of Solomon," which expanded upon the original text, offering profound insights and intricate rituals to those who dared to explore its sacred contents.

However, it is worth mentioning that De Laurence, driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to spread the wisdom of the ages, introduced certain modifications to the text. In his earnest endeavor to promote his mail-order business, he infused the work with a touch of his own mystique, enhancing its allure and adding to the mystery that surrounded this extraordinary piece of literature.

Thus, the English edition of "The Greater Key of Solomon" stands as a testament to the dedication and intellectual prowess of both Mathers and De Laurence, inviting seekers of hidden knowledge to unravel its secrets and immerse themselves in its magical and transformative teachings.

The Key of Solomon is divided into two books. Within its pages, one can find detailed instructions on creating specific drawings essential for each magical operation. Unlike later grimoires such as the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum (16th century) or the Lemegeton (17th century), the Key of Solomon does not explicitly mention the signature of the 72 spirits confined by King Solomon in a bronze vessel. Instead, all magical operations are conducted through God's divine power, to whom all invocations are devoted. The Key of Solomon holds a rich and ancient tradition, offering seekers of mystical knowledge a glimpse into the profound mysteries of the occult world.

Before any of these intricate operations can be undertaken, the operator must engage in a solemn ritual of self-purification and seek divine protection by confessing his sins. This meticulous process involves the construction of each apparatus required for the experiments, carefully selecting the appropriate materials, and adorning these items with specific magical symbols. Each step is accompanied by the utterance of sacred words that add an aura of mystique and power to the proceedings.

This ancient manuscript provides comprehensive instructions on the purification and preparation of all substances needed for the intricate magic drawings and potent amulets. Additionally, it explores the fascinating utilization of the Transitus Fluvii occult alphabet, which finds its mystical presence in numerous symbolic representations.

King Solomon conjuring spirits

Legends of the Key of Solomon

According to the mythical history of the document, as recorded in its introduction, Solomon, renowned for his wisdom and knowledge, wrote the book specifically for his beloved son, Rehoboam. With great reverence and foresight, Solomon commanded his son to safeguard this precious book, entrusting him with the responsibility to conceal it within his sepulcher upon his eventual passing.

Time passed, and the book remained hidden until fate intervened. A group of Babylonian philosophers tasked with repairing Solomon's tomb stumbled upon this ancient treasure. Curiosity consumed them, yet the occult text remained an enigma. Though well-versed in their philosophical studies, the philosophers needed help to unlock the profound wisdom held within the pages.

Then, Iohé Grevis, a wise and discerning philosopher among them, suggested seeking divine intervention. Recognizing the limitations of their mortal intellects, he proposed that they humbly pray to the Lord for understanding. In a moment of divine grace, the Angel of the Lord manifested before Iohé Grevis, bestowing upon him the gift of divine insight.

In exchange for this sacred knowledge, the Angel extracted a solemn promise from Iohé Grevis: to guard the book diligently, ensuring it would remain concealed from those unworthy of its wisdom and the wicked who would exploit its power. To fulfill this vow, Iohé Grevis invoked a spell. This mystical enchantment rendered the workings of the book ineffective and inaccessible to those who lacked reverence, wisdom, or fear of the Almighty.

Thus, the book continued to be shrouded in secrecy, safeguarded from those who would misuse its profound teachings. Its wisdom remained a cherished secret, waiting for those with the requisite qualities and pure intentions to unlock its transformative power.

Contents of the Key of Solomon

Book I is a comprehensive guide that unveils an array of powerful conjurations, invocations, and curses. Its purpose is to summon and constrain the spirits of the departed and the shrouded realm of demons, compelling them to execute the operator's desires dutifully. This captivating tome also provides intriguing insights on how to recover stolen items, master the art of invisibility, cultivate favor and affection, and much more. Immerse yourself in its pages and unlock the secrets that lie within.

Book II provides detailed instructions on the purifications the operator, or the "exorcist," should undergo. It moves further into the proper attire they should don, the meticulous construction of magical implements specifically designed for their operations, and even elaborates on the specific animal sacrifices that should be made to appease the spirits. By examining these intricacies, the text offers a comprehensive guide for those seeking to engage in these mystical practices.

It is not merely a collection of spells and incantations but a profound exploration of the relationship between humanity and the spiritual realm. The book explores temptation, greed, and the consequences of seeking power without wisdom or reverence. Its teachings implore readers to approach magic with caution and respect for the seen and unseen forces at play. In this way, Book II serves as a contemplative and reflective guide for those seeking to journey into the unknown.

Overall, the Grimoire is a captivating read that offers more than just spells and incantations. It challenges readers to think deeply about their desires and motivations for seeking out magic and to approach the practice with caution and reverence. Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or a curious beginner, this text provides valuable insights into magic and spirituality.

The Pentacles of the Key of Solomon

This grimoire contains a compilation of 44 sigils that establish a connection between the physical plane and the subtle planes.

My preferred method of working with these sigils is to meticulously recreate them on paper using inks corresponding to the specific planet and my desired outcome. A simple inscription of my request or desire suffices on the back of the seal. To further empower the talisman, I often anoint it with a fragrance associated with the planet I am working with. I burn a candle of the corresponding planetary color on top of the completed talisman. Once charged, I discreetly conceal the talisman within my home until my desire has manifested; at this point, I tear it up and throw it away with little ceremony.

These sigils serve as potent symbols, capturing and activating occult forces from the Cosmos, planets, stars, nature, and the Inner Worlds within us. They remind us of the hermetic adage: "As above, so below," reflecting the profound connection between the energy of the macrocosm and the microcosm of humanity, as elucidated by Hermes Trismegistus.

In addition to the traditional purposes mentioned below, the pentacles serve many other functions. I am excited to announce that I will be offering a course on the Key of Solomon soon, exploring the extensive applications of these mystical seals.

Some of the sigils (also called Pentacles) found in the Key Of Solomon are as follows:

The Mystical Figure of Solomon contains the Ten Sephiroth, representing the Tree of Life. The name Solomon appears on both sides. The surrounding characters represent the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew Alphabet.

The seven pentacles of Saturn

The First Pentacle of Saturn is highly valuable for instilling fear in Spirits. When shown to them, they submit, kneel, and obey.

The Second Pentacle of Saturn is highly valuable for countering adversaries and suppressing the pride of the Spirits.

The Third Pentacle of Saturn should be created within a Magical Circle. It is suitable for use at night when invoking the Spirits of the nature of Saturn.

The Fourth Pentacle of Saturn's primary purpose is to carry out experiments and operations involving ruin, destruction, and death. When flawlessly created, it can also assist the Spirits that convey news. They can be invoked from the side of the South.

The Fifth Pentacle of Saturn defends those who invoke the Spirits of Saturn during the night and chases away the Spirits that guard treasures.

The Sixth Pentacle of Saturn has each name symbolized as it should be. When pronounced against a person, they shall be obsessed by Demons.

The Seventh and Last Pentacle of Saturn is fit for exciting earthquakes. The power of each order of Angels invoked is sufficient to make the whole Universe tremble.

The seven pentacles of Jupiter

The First Pentacle of Jupiter serves to invoke the Spirits of Jupiter, especially those whose names are written around the Pentacle. Parasiel is the Lord and Master of Treasures and teaches how to become the possessor of places wherein they are.

The Second Pentacle of Jupiter is proper for acquiring glory, honors, dignities, riches, and all kinds of good. It also helps in discovering Treasures and chasing away the Spirits who preside over them.

The Third Pentacle of Jupiter defends and protects those who invoke and cause the Spirits to come. When they appear, show them this Pentacle, and they will immediately obey.

The Fourth Pentacle of Jupiter serves to acquire riches and honor, and to possess much wealth. Its Angel is Bariel.

The Fifth Pentacle of Jupiter has great power and serves for assured visions. Jacob beheld the ladder reaching heaven when armed with this Pentacle.

The Sixth Pentacle of Jupiter serves for protection against all earthly dangers. By regarding it each day devotedly and repeating the surrounding versicle, one shall never perish.

The Seventh and last Pentacle of Jupiter has great power against poverty. By considering it with devotion and repeating the versicle, it also serves to drive away Spirits who guard treasures and to discover the same.

The Seven Pentacles of Mars

The First Pentacle of Mars is proper for invoking Spirits of the Nature of Mars, especially those written in the Pentacle.

The Second Pentacle of Mars serves successfully against all kinds of diseases when applied to the afflicted part.

The Third Pentacle of Mars is of great value for exciting war, wrath, discord, and hostility. It resists enemies and strikes terror into rebellious Spirits. The Names of God the All-Powerful are expressly marked within.

The Fourth Pentacle of Mars is of great virtue and power in war. Without a doubt, it will give victory.

The Fifth Pentacle of Mars, when written upon virgin parchment, is terrible unto the Demons. Its presence causes them to obey, for they cannot resist it.

The Sixth Pentacle of Mars has such great virtue that when armed with it, one shall not be injured or wounded when fighting against an attacker. The attacker's weapons shall turn against them.

The Seventh and Last Pentacle of Mars should be written upon parchment paper in the day and hour of Mars. It should be uncovered within the circle, invoking the Demons Spirits of the Nature of Mars. Immediately, hail and storm shall be seen.

The Seven Pentacles of the Sun

The First Pentacle of the Sun: "It represents the Countenance of Shaddai the Almighty, who commands all creatures and receives reverence from Angelic Spirits on bended knees."

The Second Pentacle of the Sun: This Pentacle, along with the preceding and following ones, is associated with the nature of the Sun. They suppress the pride and arrogance of the Solar Spirits, known for their inherent pride and arrogance.

The Third Pentacle of the Sun: "In addition to the effects of the two preceding ones, it aids in acquiring Kingdom and Empire, causing loss, and gaining renown and glory. This is primarily achieved through invoking the Name of God, Tetragrammaton, which is mentioned twelve times within it."

The Fourth Pentacle of the Sun: This enables the visibility of Spirits when they appear invisible during invocation. "Once uncovered, they will immediately become visible."

The Fifth Pentacle of the Sun: "It is used to invoke Spirits capable of transporting you over long distances in a short time."

The Sixth Pentacle of the Sun: "It effectively aids in achieving invisibility when correctly crafted."

The Seventh and Last Pentacle of the Sun: If someone happens to be imprisoned or held captive in iron fetters, the presence of this Pentacle, engraved in Gold on a day and hour of the Sun, will result in immediate liberation and freedom.

The Five Pentacles of Venus

The First Pentacle of Venus: Enhances and strengthens new friendships and existing relationships.

The Second Pentacle of Venus: These Pentacles are useful for obtaining grace, honor, and fulfilling desires related to Venus.

The Third Pentacle of Venus: By showing this to someone, it attracts love. Its angel, Monachiel, should be invoked on a day and hour of Venus at one o'clock or eight.

The Fourth Pentacle of Venus: It possesses great power as it compels the Spirits of Venus to obey. This Pentacle forces any person you desire to come to you instantly.

The Fifth and Last Pentacle of Venus: When shown to someone, it marvelously invites and arouses love in them.

The Five Pentacles of Mercury

The First Pentacle of Mercury: It is used to invoke the Spirits under the Firmament.

The Second Pentacle of Mercury: Also known as the Solomonic Pentacle of Mercury or Seal of Mercury, this Pentacle allows the Spirits whose names are inscribed on it to execute desires contrary to the natural order and unrelated to any other section.

The Third Pentacle of Mercury: This and the following Pentacles invoke the Spirits subject to Mercury, especially those mentioned within this Pentacle.

The Fourth Pentacle of Mercury: It is suitable for acquiring understanding and knowledge of all created things. It also aids in discovering and uncovering hidden things and commanding the Spirits called Allatori to perform tasks. They readily obey.

The Fifth and Last Pentacle of Mercury: "It commands the Spirits of Mercury and opens closed doors by any means." Nothing can resist it.

The Six Pentacles of the Moon

The First Pentacle of the Moon: This pentacle is used to call forth and invoke the spirits of the moon. It also helps in opening doors, regardless of how they are fastened. (Students of the Basic Angel Magic course will recognize this pentacle as the Invoking Lunar Tablet).

The Second Pentacle of the Moon: It provides protection against dangers and perils related to water. If you are terrified by intense rain caused by the Spirits of the Moon, show them this pentacle, and the rain will stop quickly.

The Third Pentacle of the Moon: When carried during a journey, it offers protection against nighttime attacks, dangers, and perils related to water.

The Fourth Pentacle of the Moon: It defends against all sources of evil and harm to the soul or body. Its Angel, Sophiel, grants knowledge about the virtues of herbs and stones. Invoking Sophiel will grant you all knowledge.

The Fifth Pentacle of the Moon: It provides answers in dreams. The Angel Iachadiel can cause destruction and loss, as well as the destruction of enemies. You can also call upon Abdon and Dalé to protect against nocturnal apparitions and summon departed souls from Hades.

The Sixth and Last Pentacle of the Moon: When engraved on a silver plate, it is highly effective in invoking heavy rain. Submerging it in water will cause rain as long as it remains there. It should be engraved, drawn, or written on the day and hour of the Moon.

Look for my new course on the Key of Solomon coming soon!

Blessed be

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Thanks Ariel, this is a great explanation and easily understood. I have a couple of books on this subject by the Author Dr. Stephen Skinner which are not so easy to decipher. Thanks

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