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A magickal workbook which contains various information on rituals, formulae, correspondences, and preparation of ritual tools and space.

Similar to a Book of Shadows.

So the first question. What is a Grimoire?

This is an ancient text that includes how to make talismans and aluments. The grimorie is a book of magic. Similar to a book of shadows, this book is typically handed down from witch to witch or within families in European traditions. While other similar types of books are found in just about every culture, the terminology of the Grimoire and the use of them today within the pagan communities is a modern revamping of older European creations.

They contain spells, potions, remedies, bindings, curses, and other magical incantations and jargon. Traditionally, unlike the book of shadows, Grimoire will have final work that has been perfected listed in them where the book of shadows may be a book of trial and error.

The grimoire will typically have a more finished look to it and be completed. During the 18th century grimoire came back into popularity and many of the pagan reference books of the time such as the ‘Grand Grimoire’ and ‘Grimorum Verum’ became sought after books regarding occultism. At the time occult theory geared largely towards demons, the devil, and other Christian mythology and until the 20th Century they mostly contained information regarding conjuring, spell-craft, and high magic. It wasn’t until Gerald Gardener (see GARDENARIAN) in the 1940’s that a neo-pagan or Wiccan grimoire truly existed.

Traditions of the Grimoires

There are ancient Grimoires to create the demon evocation and conduct black magic. These Grimoires contain instructions that are complex. For those who have watched the movie “The Evil Dead” demon possession is easily explained. This is an American film made in 1981. It is supernatural and a horror movie about demonic possession. Grimoire's are are based on the Necronomicon by P. Lovecraft, which is basically a story. This story is based on the myths and legends of three books for black magic. The books have details of manuscripts of how ancient Grimoires provide instructions to conjure demons and spirits from other dimensions. From ancient Egypt to the Vampire slayers, there has been thousands of Grimoires – these books are full of magic spells which have ended up influencing science, and religion.

Here are some of the most famous Grimoires:

The Clavicle of Solomon

It is one of the oldest Grimoires in existence, a mystical book which is purported to have been written by King Solomon and was in circulation in the Mediterranean during the first centuries. Hundreds of copies were in circulation by the 15th AD and were in the hands of clergymen and scientists. Though some people dismissed them, some clergymen were keen to follow them with an ambition to obtain wisdom while others had the ambition to enrich themselves by discovering treasures and vanquishing the spirits which guarded them.

The Red Dragon

The Gospel of Satan is the other name given to the Red Dragon which was discovered in Solomon’s tomb in 1750 and is written in either Aramaic or Biblical Hebrew. It is a book which is owned by the Roman Catholic church and kept in the Secret Archives of the Vatican and not available to the general public. The church claims the official ownership and that is how its existence is known.  Its writing is based on the apocryphal Honorius of Thebes who possessed by Satan. It has proved of the existence of occult spells and evocation with details on how the newly elected popes turn slowly to the wisdom of Satan.

The Voynich Manuscript

It is considered to be one of the mysterious manuscripts which contain a ciphered alphabet, which is unknown written on vellum. It depicts zodiac like astronomical charts, bizarre plants and tiny naked people who are intertwined in a bathtub. Linguistic, cryptographers, mathematicians have been unable to decipher the book. It is believed that it was written in the medieval period of 1404 and 1438.

Demonic Magic in the Manual of the Munich

It contains evocations of demonic spirits used in the 15th century. It contains three major magic spells which are found in the Grimoires: the Divinity, the Illusionist, and the Psychological. The Psychological spells are used to leverage political or emotional power over people; the illusion is used to fool the users that they are seeing armies or castles; divinatory actions are meant to extract information from the past or the future.  It has passages which describe how the mythological creatures. The book focuses entirely on classical exorcisms and black magic and completely ignores angel folklore.

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By Florance Saul
Oct 2, 2012