The Lesser Key of Solomon

The ‘Lesser Key of Solomon’, also known as the Clavicula Salomonis Regisor Lemegeton, is an anonymously written ‘grimoire’ or spell book on the concept of demonology. While its true origins are lost in antiquity, it was actually compiled way back in the mid-1700s. However, the current compilation of the materials is also at least a couple of hundred years or so older.

The book itself has been divided into five volumes that are as follows:

  • The Ars Goetia
  • The Ars Theurgia Goetia
  • The Ars Paulina
  • The Ars Almadel
  • The Ars Notoria

The Ars Goetia

The main source for the Ars Goetia is Johann Weber’s Pseudomonarchia Dae and appears to be from the period circa 1550. In this volume, the demons have been described as being under the command of the four kings as per the four directions. They are as follows:

  • Corson (West),
  • Amaymon (East),
  • Ziminiar (North), and 
  • Gaap (South).

The Ars Theurgia Goetia

This volume has been derived from Trithemius’s Steganographia. In this book, most of the summoned spirits are tied to multiple points on the compass. It mentions four Emperors that have been tied to the main direction points:

  • Amenadiel in the West
  • Carnesiel in the East 
  • Demoriel in the North
  • Caspiel in the South

The Ars Paulina

This volume has been derived from book II of Trithemius’s Steganographia. Due to the fact that there are multiple mentions of firearms in this book, it can be safely deduced that it was written at least somewhere in the later part of the seventeenth century.

The Ars Almadel

Copyright – Joseph H. Peterson. Weiser Books, 30 Nov 1999

This volume has been mentioned by both Trithemius as well as Weyer. As a matter of fact, Weyer had also claimed that this volume had Arabic origins and overtones. A copy, believed to be from the 1400s, has been attested by many historians. There are also many Hebrew copies in existence, discovered way back in the early decades of the 20th century. Basically, the core purpose of the Ars Almadel was to instruct enterprising magicians on the art and science of creating a wax tablet. This tablet, with its specific designs, intended to allow the aspiring magician to get in touch with angels from heaven via scrying or divination.

The Ars Notoria

This is the oldest known portion of the ‘lesser key of Solomon’ or the Lemegeton. The volume has been mentioned as far back as the early 1200s and it is probable that it dates back to a much earlier period. The core purpose of the volume is to help the aspiring magician to attain a photographic memory so that he could use the various incantations in the other volumes with ease.

The main purpose of the lesser key of Solomon was to grant a person the ability to commune with higher beings, both demons as well as angels and become a powerful magician in their own right.

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