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The Lesser Key of Solomon

Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers

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This edition of the Lesser Key of Solomon is based on manuscripts from the British Museum, edited by two prominent occultists (mostly Mathers and probably Aleister Crowley). This is a considerably cleaned up and modernized version of the Lesser Key, which is obviously intended to be used as a working document for serious magicians, rather than a rigorous transcription of the source manuscripts. However, the information presented here is linked with the other Goetic grimoires and this version is considered one of the best of this literature. Also available on this site is The Greater Key of Solomon the King.

This book has 104 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1904.

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Excerpt from 'The Lesser Key of Solomon'

MAGIC is the Highest, most Absolute, and most Divine Knowledge of Natural Philosophy, advanced in its works and wonderful operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult virtue of things; so that true Agents being applied to proper Patients, strange and admirable effects will thereby be produced. Whence magicians are profound and diligent searchers into Nature; they, because of their skill, know how to anticipate an effort, the which to the vulgar shall seem to be a miracle.

Origen saith that the Magical Art doth not contain anything subsisting, but although it should, yet that it must not be Evil, or subject to contempt or scorn; and doth distinguish the Natural Magic from that which is Diabolical.

Apollonius Tyannaeus only exercised the Natural Magic, by the which he did perform wonderful things.

Philo Hebraeus saith that true Magic, by which we do arrive at the understanding of the Secret Works of Nature, is so far from being contemptible that the greatest Monarchs and Kings have studied it. Nay! among the Persians none might reign unless he was skilful in this GREAT ART.

This Noble Science often degenerateth, from Natural becometh Diabolical, and from True Philosophy turneth unto Nigromancy. The which is wholly to be charged upon its followers, who, abusing or not being capable of that High and Mystical Knowledge do immediately hearken unto the temptations of Sathan, and are misled by him into the Study of the Black Art. Hence it is that Magic lieth under disgrace, and they who seek after it are vulgarly esteemed Sorcerers.

The Fraternity of the Rosie Crusians thought it not fit to style themselves Magicians, but rather Philosophers. And they be not ignorant Empiricks, but learned and experienced Physicians, whose remedies be not only Lawful but Divine.


(N.B. This is taken from several MS. Codices, of which the four principal variations are here composed together in parallel columns as an example of the close agreement of the various texts of the Lemegeton.

For in the whole work the differences in the wording of the various Codices are not sufficient to require the constant giving of parallel readings; but except in the more ancient examples there is much deterioration in the Seals and Sigils, so that in this latter respect the more recent exemplars are not entirely reliable.)


which containeth all the Names, Offices, and Orders of all the Spirits that ever he had converse with, with the Seals and Characters to each Spirit and the manner of calling them forth to visible appearance:

In 5 parts, viz.:

(1) THE FIRST PART is a Book of Evil Spirits, called GOETIA, showing how he bound up those Spirits, and used them in general things, whereby he obtained great fame.

(2) THE SECOND PART is a Book of Spirits, partly Evil and partly Good, which is named THEURGIA-GOETIA, all Aërial Spirits, etc.

(3) THE THIRD PART is of Spirits governing the Planetary Hours, and what Spirits belong to every degree, of the Signs, and Planets in the Signs. Called the PAULINE ART, etc.

(4) THE FOURTH PART of this Book is called ALMADEL or SOLOMON, which containeth those Spirits which govern the Four Altitudes, or the 360 Degrees of the Zodiac.

These two last Orders of Spirits are Good, and to be sought for by Divine seeking, etc., and are called THEURGIA.

(5) THE FIFTH PART is a Book of Orations and Prayers that Wise Solomon used upon the Altar in the Temple. The which is called ARS NOVA, which was revealed unto Solomon by that Holy Angel of God called MICHAEL; and he also received many brief Notes written with the Finger of God, which were declared to him by the said Angel with Claps of Thunder; without which Notes King Solomon had never obtained his great knowledge, for by them in a short time he knew all Arts and Sciences both Good and Bad; from these Notes it is called the NOTARY ART, etc.


Now this Book containeth all the Names, Orders, and Offices of all the Spirits with which Solomon ever conversed, the Seals and Characters belonging to each Spirit, and the manner of calling them forth to visible appearance:

Divided into 5 special Books or parts, viz.:

(1) THE FIRST BOOK, or PART, which is a Book concerning Spirits of Evil, and which is termed THE GOETIA OF SOLOMON, sheweth forth his manner of binding these Spirits for use in things divers. And hereby did he acquire great renown.

(2) THE SECOND BOOK is one which treateth of Spirits mingled of Good and Evil Natures, the which is entitled THE THEURGIA-GOETIA, or the Magical Wisdom of the Spirits Aërial, whereof some do abide, but certain do wander and abide not.

(3) THE THIRD BOOK, called ARS PAULINA, or THE ART PAULINE, treateth of the Spirits allotted unto every degree of the 360 Degrees of the Zodiac; and also of the Signs, and of the Planets in the Signs, as well as of the Hours.

(4) THE FOURTH BOOK, called ARS ALMADEL SALOMONIS, or THE ART ALMADEL OF SOLOMON, concerneth those Spirits which be set over the Quaternary of the Altitudes.

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