Including A Clear And Precise Exposition Of King
Solomons Secret Procedure,
Its Mysteries And Magic Rites,
Original Plates, Seals, Charms And Talismans.
Translated From Ancient Manuscripts
In The British Museum, London.
By S. Liddell MacGregor Mathers
The Key Of Solomon, save for a curtailed and incomplete copy published in France in the seventeenth century, has never yet been printed, but has for centuries remained in manuscript form inaccessible to all but the few fortunate scholars to whom the inmost recesses of the great libraries were open.
The fountain-head and storehouse of Qabalistical Magic, and the origin of much of the Ceremonial Magic of Mediaeval times, the Key has been ever valued by Occult writers as a work of the highest authority; and notably in our own day Eliphaz Levi has taken it for the model on which his celebrated Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie
was based. It must be evident to the initiated reader of Levi, that The Key Of Solomon was his text book of study, and at the end of this volume, I give a fragment of an ancient Hebrew Manuscript of The Key of Solomon, translated and published in the Philosophie Occulte, as well as an Invocation called the Qabalistical Invocation of
Solomon, which bears close analogy to one in the First Book, being constructed in the same manner on the scheme of the Sephiroth.
The history of the Hebrew original of The Key of Solomon is given in the Introductions, but there is every reason to suppose that this has been entirely lost, and Christian, the pupil of Levi, says as much in his Histoire de la Magie. I see no reason to doubt the tradition which assigns the authorship of the Key to King Solomon, for among others Josephus, the Jewish historian, especially mentions the magical works attributed to that monarch; this is confirmed by many Eastern traditions, and his magical skill is frequently mentioned by the Old Adepts.
There are, however, two works on Black Magic, the Grimorium Verum, and the Clavicola di Salomone ridolta, which have been attributed to Solomon, and which have been in some cases especially mixed up with the present work; but which have nothing really to do therewith; they are full of evil magic, and I cannot caution the
practical student too strongly against them.
There is also another work called Legemeton, or the Lesser Key of Solomon the King, which is full of seals of various Spirits, and is not the same as the present book, though extremely valuable in its own department.
In editing this volume, I have omitted one or two experiments partaking largely of Black Magic, and which had evidently been derived from the two Goetic works mentioned above; I must further caution the practical worker against the use of blood; the prayer, the Pentacle, and the perfumes, or Temple Incense, rightly used, are sufficient as the former verges dangerously on the evil path. Let him who, in spite of the warnings of this volume, determines to work evil, be assured that evil will recoil on himself and that he will be struck by the reflex current.
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