The Grimorium Verum
A grimoire, or textbook of magic instructions, first published
in 1517 and purported to be translated from the Hebrew.
It is based to some extent upon the ‘‘Key of Solomon the
King’’ and is quite honest in its statement that it proposes to
invoke devils. It refers to the four elements, so these would appear
to be elementary spirits. A part of the account it gives regarding
the hierarchy of spirits is taken from the Lemegeton, or
Lesser Key of Solomon.
The work is divided into three portions. The first describes
the characters and seals of the demons, with the forms of their
evocation and dismissal; the second gives a description of the
supernatural secrets that can be learned by the power of the demons;
and the third is the key of the work and its proper application.
But these divisions only outline what the Grimorium
Verum purports to place before the reader, since the whole work
is a mass of confusion. The plates that supply the characters do
not apply to the text. The book really consists of two parts—the
Grimorium Verum itself, and a second portion consisting of
magic secrets. The first supplies directions for the preparation
of the magician based on those of the Clavicle of Solomon. Instructions
are given for the manufacture of magic instruments
and for the composition of a parchment on which the characters
and seals are to be inscribed, as well as the processes of evocation
and dismissal.
The second part contains the ‘‘admirable secrets’’ of the pretended
Albertus Magnus, the ‘‘Petit Albert,’’ and so forth. The
work is only partially diabolical in character, and some of its
processes might be classified as white magic.