Editor and translator S. L. MacGregor Mathers was a leader of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an influential group of magicians and mystics whose members included Arthur Machen, W. B. Yeats, and Evelyn Underhill. MacGregor Mathers based this extraordinary book on seven manuscripts from the British Museum's collections. Its formulas for conjuring up spirits and performing rituals offer a rich source of study for students of comparative religion, psychology, and the history of ideas. For working occultists, this classic provides a valuable and important guide to the execution of magical ceremonies.
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About the Author
S. L. MacGregor Mather was a 19th century magician and head of the Order of the Golden Dawn, who translated and edited this volume from manuscripts in the British Museum.
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The Key of Solomon the King
By S. L. MacGregor Mathers
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 2009 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
CONCERNING THE DIVINE LOVE WHICH OUGHT TO PRECEDE THE ACQUISITION OF THIS KNOWLEDGE
SOLOMON, the Son of David, King of Israel, hath said that the beginning of our Key is to fear God, to adore Him, to honour Him with contrition of heart, to invoke Him in all matters which we wish to undertake, and to operate with very great devotion, for thus God will lead us in the right way. When, therefore, thou shalt wish to acquire the knowledge of Magical Arts and Sciences, it is necessary to have prepared the order of hours and of days, and of the position of the Moon, without the operation of which thou canst effect nothing; but if thou observest them with diligence thou mayest easily and thoroughly arrive at the effect and end which thou desirest to attain.CHAPTER 2
OF THE DAYS, AND HOURS, AND OF THE VIRTUES OF THE PLANETS
WHEN thou wishest to make any experiment or operation, thou must first prepare, beforehand, all the requisites which thou wilt find described in the following Chapters: observing the days, the hours, and the other effects of the Constellations which may be found in this Chapter.
It is, therefore, advisable to know that the hours of the day and of the night together, are twenty-four in number, and that each hour is governed by one of the Seven Planets in regular order, commencing at the highest and descending to the lowest. The order of the Planets is as follows: SHBTHAI, Shabbathai, Saturn; beneath Saturn is TzDQ, Tzedeq, Jupiter; beneath Jupiter is MADIM, Madim, Mars; beneath Mars is SHMSH, Shemesh, the Sun; beneath the Sun is NVGH, Nogah, Venus; beneath Venus is KVKB, Kokav, Mercury; and beneath Mercury is LBNH, Levanah, the Moon, which is the lowest of all the Planets.
It must, therefore, be understood that the Planets have their dominion over the day which approacheth nearest unto the name which is given and attributed unto them—viz., over Saturday, Saturn; Thursday, Jupiter; Tuesday, Mars; Sunday, the Sun; Friday, Venus; Wednesday, Mercury; and Monday, the Moon.
The rule of the Planets over each hour begins from the dawn at the rising of the Sun on the day which takes its name from such Planet, and the Planet which follows it in order, succeeds to the rule over the next hour. Thus (on Saturday) Saturn rules the first hour, Jupiter the second, Mars the third, the Sun the fourth, Venus the fifth, Mercury the sixth, the Moon the seventh, and Saturn returns in the rule over the eighth, and the others in their turn, the Planets always keeping the same relative order.
Note that each experiment or magical operation should be performed under the Planet, and usually in the hour, which refers to the same. For example:—
In the Days and Hours of Saturn thou canst perform experiments to summon the Souls from Hades, but only of those who have died a natural death. Similarly on these days and hours thou canst operate to bring either good or bad fortune to buildings; to have familiar Spirits attend thee in sleep; to cause good or ill success to business, possessions, goods, seeds, fruits, and similar things, in order to acquire learning; to bring destruction and to give death, and to sow hatred and discord.
The Days and Hours of Jupiter are proper for obtaining honours, acquiring riches; contracting friendships, preserving health; and arriving at all that thou canst desire.
In the Days and Hours of Mars thou canst make experiments regarding War; to arrive at military honour; to acquire courage; to overthrow enemies; and further to cause ruin, slaughter, cruelty, discord; to wound and to give death.
The Days and Hours of the Sun are very good for perfecting experiments regarding temporal wealth, hope, gain, fortune, divination, the favour of princes, to dissolve hostile feeling, and to make friends.
The Days and Hours of Venus are good for forming friendships; for kindness and love; for joyous and pleasant undertakings, and for travelling.
The Days and Hours of Mercury are good to operate for eloquence and intelligence; promptitude in business; science and divination; wonders; apparitions; and answers regarding the future. Thou canst also operate under this Planet for thefts; writings; deceit; and merchandise.
The Days and Hours of the Moon are good for embassies; voyages; envoys; messages; navigation; reconciliation; love; and the acquisition of merchandise by water.
Thou shouldest take care punctually to observe all the instructions contained in this chapter, if thou desirest to succeed, seeing that the truth of Magical Science dependeth thereon.
The Hours of Saturn, of Mars, and of the Moon are alike good for communicating and speaking with Spirits; as those of Mercury are for recovering thefts by the means of Spirits.
The Hours of Mars serve for summoning Souls from Hades, especially of those slain in battle.
The Hours of the Sun, of Jupiter, and of Venus, are adapted for preparing any operations whatsoever of love, of kindness, and of invisibility, as is hereafter more fully shown, to which must be added other things of a similar nature which are contained in our work.
The Hours of Saturn and Mars and also the days on which the Moon is conjunct with them, or when she receives their opposition or quartile aspect, are excellent for making experiments of hatred, enmity, quarrel, and discord; and other operations of the same kind which are given later on in this work.
The Hours of Mercury are good for undertaking experiments relating to games, raillery, jests, sports, and the like.
The Hours of the Sun, of Jupiter, and of Venus, particularly on the days which they rule, are good for all extraordinary, uncommon, and unknown operations.
The Hours of the Moon are proper for making trial of experiments relating to recovery of stolen property, for obtaining nocturnal visions, for summoning Spirits in sleep, and for preparing anything relating to Water.
The Hours of Venus are furthermore useful for lots, poisons, all things of the nature of Venus, for preparing powders provocative of madness; and the like things.
But in order to thoroughly effect the operations of this Art, thou shouldest perform them not only on the Hours but on the Days of the Planets as well, because then the experiment will always succeed better, provided thou observest the rules laid down later on, for if thou omittest one single condition thou wilt never arrive at the accomplishment of the Art.
For those matters then which appertain unto the Moon, such as the Invocation of Spirits, the Works of Necromancy, and the recovery of stolen property, it is necessary that the Moon should be in a Terrestrial Sign, viz.:—Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn.
For love, grace, and invisibility, the Moon should be in a Fiery Sign, viz.:—Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius.
For hatred, discord, and destruction, the Moon should be in a Watery Sign, viz.:—Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces.
For experiments of a peculiar nature, which cannot be classed under any certain head, the Moon should be in an Airy Sign, viz.:—Gemini, Libra, or Aquarius.
But if these things seem unto thee difficult to accomplish, it will suffice thee merely to notice the Moon after her combustion, or conjunction with the Sun, especially just when she quits his beams and appeareth visible. For then it is good to make all experiments for the construction and operation of any matter. That is why the time from the New unto the Full Moon is proper for performing any of the experiments of which we have spoken above. But in her decrease or wane it is good for War, Disturbance, and Discord. Likewise the period when she is almost deprived of light, is proper for experiments of invisibility, and of Death.
But observe inviolably that thou commence nothing while the Moon is in conjunction with the Sun, seeing that this is extremely unfortunate, and that thou wilt then be able to effect nothing; but the Moon quitting his beams and increasing in Light, thou canst perform all that thou desirest, observing nevertheless the directions in this Chapter.
Furthermore, if thou wishest to converse with Spirits it should be especially on the day of Mercury and in his hour, and let the Moon be in an Airy Sign, as well as the Sun.
Retire thou then unto a secret place, where no one may be able to see thee or to hinder thee, before the completion of the experiment, whether thou shouldest wish to work by day or by night. But if thou shouldest wish to work by night, perfect thy work on the succeeding night; if by day, seeing that the day beginneth with the rising of the Sun (perfect thy work on) the succeeding day. But the Hour of Inception is the Hour of Mercury.
Verily, since no experiments for converse with Spirits can be done without a Circle being prepared, whatsoever experiments therefore thou wishest to undertake for conversing with Spirits, therein thou must learn to construct a certain particular Circle; that being done surround that Circle with a Circle of Art for better caution and efficacy.CHAPTER 3
CONCERNING THE ARTS
IF thou wishest to succeed, it is necessary to make the following Experiments and Arts in the appropriate Days and Hours, with the requisite solemnities and ceremonies contained and laid down in the following Chapters.
Experiments, then, are of two kinds; the first is to make trial of what, as I have said, can be easily performed without a Circle, and in this case it is not necessary to observe anything but what thou wilt find in the proper Chapters. The second can in no way be brought to perfection without the Circle; and in order to accomplish this perfectly it is necessary to take note of all the preparations which the Master of the Art and his Disciples must undertake before constructing the Circle.
Before commencing operations both the Master and his Disciples must abstain with great and thorough continence during the space of nine days from sensual pleasures and from vain and foolish conversation; as plainly appeareth in the Second Book, Chapter 4. Six of these nine days having expired, he must recite frequently the Prayer and Confession as will be told him; and on the Seventh Day, the Master being alone, let him enter into a secret place, let him take off his clothes, and bathe himself from head to foot in consecrated and exorcised Water, saying devoutly and humbly the prayer, 'O Lord Adonai,' etc., as it is written in the Second Book, Chapter 2.
The Prayer being finished, let the Master quit the water, and put upon his flesh raiment of white linen clean and unsoiled; and then let him go with his Disciples unto a secret place and command them to strip themselves naked; and they having taken off their clothes, let him take exorcised water and pour it upon their heads so that it flows down to their feet and bathes them completely; and while pouring this water upon them let the Master say:—'Be ye regenerate, renewed, washed, and pure,' etc., as in Book II., Chapter 3.
Which being done, the Disciples must clothe themselves, putting upon their flesh, like their Master, raiment of white linen clean and unsoiled; and the three last days the Master and his Disciples should fast, observing the solemnities and prayers marked in Book II., Chapter 2.
Note that the three last days should be calm weather, without wind, and without clouds rushing hither and thither over the face of the sky. On the last day let the Master go with his Disciples unto a secret fountain of running water, or unto a flowing stream, and there let each of them, taking off his clothes, wash himself with due solemnity, as is rehearsed in Book II. And when they are clean and pure, let each put upon him garments of white linen, pure, and clean, using the prayers and ceremonies described in Book II. After which let the Master alone say the confession. The which being finished, the Master in sign of penitence will Kiss the Disciples on the forehead, and each of them will Kiss the other. Afterwards let the Master extend his hands over the Disciples, and in sign of absolution absolve and bless them; which being done he will distribute to each of his Disciples the Instruments necessary for Magical Art, which he is to carry into the Circle.
The First Disciple will bear the Censer, the Perfumes and the Spices; the Second Disciple will bear the Book, Papers, Pens, Ink, and any stinking or impure materials; the Third will carry the Knife and the Sickle of Magical Art, the Lantern, and the Candles; the Fourth, the Psalms, and the rest of the Instruments; the Fifth, the Crucible or Chafing-dish, and the Charcoal or Fuel; but it is necessary for the Master himself to carry in his hand the Staff, and the Wand or Rod. The things necessary being thus disposed, the Master will go with his Disciples unto the assigned place, where they have proposed to construct the Circle for the Magical Arts and experiments; repeating on the way the prayers and orations which thou wilt find in Book II.
When the Master shall have arrived at the place appointed, together with his Disciples, he having lighted the flame of the fire, and having exorcised it afresh as is laid down in the Second Book, shall light the Candle and place it in the Lantern, which one of the Disciples is to hold ever in his hand to light the Master at his work. Now the Master of the Art, every time that he shall have occasion for some particular purpose to speak with the Spirits, must endeavour to form certain Circles which shall differ somewhat, and shall have some particular reference to the particular experiment under consideration. Now, in order to succeed in forming such a Circle concerning Magical Art, for the greater assurance and efficacy thou shalt construct it in the following manner:—
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CIRCLE.
Take thou the Knife, the Sickle, or the Sword of Magical Art consecrated after the manner and order which we shall deliver unto thee in the Second Book. With this Knife or with the Sickle of Art thou shalt describe, beyond the inner Circle which thou shalt have already formed, a Second Circle, encompassing the other at the distance of one foot therefrom and having the same centre. Within this space of a foot in breadth between the first and the second circumferential line, thou shalt trace towards the Four Quarters of the Earth, the Sacred and Venerable Symbols of the holy Letter Tau. And between the first and the second Circle, which thou shalt thyself have drawn with the Instrument of Magical Art, thou shalt make four hexagonal pentacles, and between these thou shalt write four terrible and tremendous Names of God, viz.:—
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Table of Contents
NOTE BY EDITOR,
CHAPTER I - CONCERNING THE DIVINE LOVE WHICH OUGHT TO PRECEDE THE ACQUISITION OF THIS KNOWLEDGE,
CHAPTER II - OF THE DAYS, AND HOURS, AND OF THE VIRTUES OF THE PLANETS,
CHAPTER III - CONCERNING THE ARTS,
CHAPTER IV - THE CONFESSION TO BE MADE BY THE EXORCIST,
CHAPTER V - PRAYERS AND CONJURATIONS,
CHAPTER VI - STRONGER AND MORE POTENT CONJURATION,
CHAPTER VII - AN EXTREMELY POWERFUL CONJURATION,
CHAPTER VIII - CONCERNING THE MEDALS OR PENTACLES, AND THE MANNER OF CONSTRUCTING THEM,
CHAPTER IX - OF THE EXPERIMENT CONCERNING THINGS STOLEN, AND HOW IT SHOULD BE PERFORMED,
CHAPTER X - OF THE EXPERIMENT OF INVISIBILITY, AND HOW IT SHOULD BE PERFORMED,
CHAPTER XI - TO HINDER A SPORTSMAN FROM KILLING ANY GAME,
CHAPTER XII - HOW TO MAKE THE MAGIC GARTERS,
CHAPTER XIII - HOW TO MAKE THE MAGIC CARPET PROPER FOR INTERROGATING THE INTELLIGENCES, SO AS TO OBTAIN AN ANSWER REGARDING WHATSOEVER MATTER ONE MAY WISH TO LEARN,
CHAPTER XIV - HOW TO RENDER THYSELF MASTER OF A TREASURE POSSESSED BY THE SPIRITS,
CHAPTER XV - OF THE EXPERIMENT OF SEEKING FAVOUR AND LOVE,
CHAPTER XVI - HOW OPERATIONS OF MOCKERY, INVISIBILITY, AND DECEIT SHOULD BE PREPARED,
CHAPTER XVII - HOW EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIMENTS AND OPERATIONS SHOULD BE PREPARED,
CHAPTER XVIII - CONCERNING THE HOLY PENTACLES OR MEDALS,
CHAPTER I - AT WHAT HOUR AFTER THE PREPARATION OF ALL THINGS NECESSARY, WE SHOULD BRING THE EXERCISE OF THE ART TO PERFECTION,
CHAPTER II - IN WHAT MANNER THE MASTER OF THE ART SHOULD KEEP, RULE, AND GOVERN HIMSELF,
CHAPTER III - HOW THE COMPANIONS OR DISCIPLES OF THE MASTER OF THE ART OUGHT TO REGULATE AND GOVERN THEMSELVES,
CHAPTER IV - CONCERNING THE FASTING, CARE, AND THINGS TO BE OBSERVED,
CHAPTER V - CONCERNING THE BATHS, AND HOW THEY ARE TO BE ARRANGED,
CHAPTER VI - OF THE GARMENTS AND SHOES OF THE ART,
CHAPTER VII - OF PLACES WHEREIN WE MAY CONVENIENTLY EXECUTE THE EXPERIMENTS AND OPERATIONS OF THE ART,
CHAPTER VIII - OF THE KNIFE, SWORD, SICKLE, PONIARD, DAGGER, LANCE, WAND, STAFF, AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS OF MAGICAL ART,
CHAPTER IX - OF THE FORMATION OF THE CIRCLE,
CHAPTER X - CONCERNING INCENSE, SUFFUMIGATIONS, PERFUMES, ODOURS, AND SIMILAR THINGS WHICH ARE USED IN MAGICAL ARTS,
CHAPTER XI - OF THE WATER, AND OF THE HYSSOP,
CHAPTER XII - OF THE LIGHT, AND OF THE FIRE,
CHAPTER XIII - CONCERNING THE PRECEPTS OF THE ART,
CHAPTER XIV - OF THE PEN, INK, AND COLOURS,
CHAPTER XV - OF THE PEN OF THE SWALLOW AND OF THE CROW,
CHAPTER XVI - OF THE BLOOD OF THE BAT, PIGEON, AND OTHER ANIMALS,
CHAPTER XVII - OF VIRGIN PARCHMENT, OR VIRGIN PAPER, AND HOW IT SHOULD BE PREPARED,
CHAPTER XVIII - OF WAX AND VIRGIN EARTH,
CHAPTER XIX - CONCERNING THE NEEDLE AND OTHER IRON INSTRUMENTS,
CHAPTER XX - CONCERNING THE SILKEN CLOTH,
CHAPTER XXI - CONCERNING CHARACTERS, AND THE CONSECRATION OF THE MAGICAL BOOK,
CHAPTER XXII - CONCERNING SACRIFICES TO THE SPIRITS, AND HOW THEY SHOULD BE MADE,
ANCIENT FRAGMENT OF THE KEY OF SOLOMON, - TRANSLATED FROM THE HEBREW BY ELIPHAZ LÉVI; and given in his' Philosophie Occulte,' Serie II., page 136.,
THE QABALISTICAL INVOCATION OF SOLOMON,