Tag Archives: Solomon

7 Angels all around me, 7 Devils in my house

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On March 1st, I began a series of rituals involving the Spirit Binaries of the Weekdays as recorded in The Magical Treatise of Solomon, or the Hygromantiea. The Binaries include an Angel and Demon for all 24 hours of the day, with the entities of the first hour being regarded as presiding Archangel and Archdaemon of that day. It was the 7 Archangels and 7 Archdaemons that I decided to work with. I formulated a ritual based off from the material present in The Magical Treatise. The Magical Treatise is a collection of manuscripts that form a Byzantine Grimoire from about the 14th century or earlier. It was only translated into English as recently as 2011 by Ioannis Marathakis and published by Golden Hoarde Press.

The-Magical-Treatise-of-Solomon-or-Hygromanteia-Hardcover-L9780738731407The grimoire provides a method of working very familiar to the Solomonic magician, but at the same time holding treasures unique to the time, place, and people who wrote, circulated, and used these manuscripts. References to The Testament of Solomon are peppered about the book, as are several hallmark methods that appear in later Solomonic grimoires, thus providing the missing link between Classical Hellenic magic and Medieval Ecclesiastical magic.

I decided that I would create 7 Lamens for each Binary and wear them during my rituals. While there are specific lamens mentioned in The Magical Treatise, these particular ones are my own innovation. I used several seals, signs, and symbols of the Planetary Powers along with the name of the Planet, Angel, and Demon written in Greek magical alphabets from The Magical Treatise. Other innovations of mine were the choice of incenses and sacrament to be consumed for Communion. The ingredients for the planetary incenses recommended in The Magical Treatise aren’t the easiest to acquire, so I went with my standard blends I can make on-hand. As for the sacraments, I usually try to observe some sort of sacred meal in my rituals and in this one specifically it would be an act of cementing the ritual into reality by literally consuming its essence. And besides, transubstantiation is sexy.

Although I began this work on a Saturday, I recommend beginning on Sunday at Sunrise. These rituals are supposed to ideally be performed as soon as the sun rises, but they can be done at any time of the day. If you were doing a working with any of the other spirits in The Magical Treatise, the ritual would have to be performed during the specific hour that spirit rules. But since this is designed for interaction between the Archangels and Archdaemons you have a broader range of when to do the ritual.

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To begin you will need to acquire parchment, ink & pen, a Ring of Solomon (any ring blessed for these purposes will work, but one with a pentagram or hexagram on the bezel is most traditional), a Black-hilted Knife (again, any blessed black-hilted knife will do, it is most traditional to have a wizard-smith forge one on Tuesday and affix it to a handle carved from a black goat horn), and comfortable ritual clothing (I wear black, but white is acceptable, or even seven different colored outfits for each day). I find it best to have everything arranged much earlier before the ritual begins. Afterword, I like to spend a few moments taking notes and reflecting on my experience.

Day of the Week

Planet

Archangel

Archdaemon

Sunday

Helios/Sol

Michael

Asmodai

Monday

Selene/Luna

Gabriel

Mammonas

Tuesday

Ares/Mars

Samael

Liteidos

Wednesday

Hermes/Mercury

Ouriel

Loutzipher

Thursday

Zeus/Jupiter

Raphael

Meltiphron

Friday

Aphrodite/Venus

Agathouel

Goulion

Saturday

Kronos/Saturn

Sakatiel

Eliditor

Ritual Outline

  • Purification Bath
  • Blessing of the Ring of Solomon
  • Blessing of the Black-hilted Knife
  • Blessing of the Parchment
  • Blessing of the Ink
  • Blessing of the Pen
  • Prayer to God Almighty
  • Prayer of the Planet of the Day
  • Conjuration of the Angel and the Demon
  • Meditation
  • Communion
  • License to Depart
  • Prayer to God Almighty
  • Reflection

Blessing of the Ring of Solomon “KYRIE HO THEOS, LEON, SABAOTH, BIONIA, ELOI, AOA, IAO, IASOU, SOUIEOA, AENIOU, OUOUNIOU, IOU, IRO. Holy Angel of God, as you did for Solomon the Wise, so do for me. AMEN.”

Blessing of the Black-hilted Knife “RHAKHOR, RHADIA, KONIL, ARONI, APHINES. Holy Angel of God, be with me now. AMEN.”

Blessing of the Parchment

“OLAI, ALBAI, ARRENETAN, IAZAKH, SEMAMEPHORA, IEOU, IAKH, NEROU, AROUTH, BAROUKH, ATTA, ADONAI, IEOU, IAOU, BAOU, IA, IABA, TETRAGRAMMATON, MESOPHAR, holy name, mighty and pure, cleanse this skin from every contamination and miasma, from every impurity, so that everything I will write on this will be pure, good, and effective. AMEN.”

Blessing of the Ink

“GEKHIEL, ATZAEL, ANATZIPH, RHATZIELE, KABIMEM, NAPHAEL, IORAM, PERTANAEL, MENTEPHHOUL, STEMOEL, RHANDOUEL, INDOUS, LAMIAR, PHATAEL, holy angels, give grace to this material at once, so that this ink will be beneficial, successful and true. AMEN.”

Blessing of the Pen

“OKTIEL, ADONAN, RHOGEETH, TERKOETS, AGIMAE, LEINAPH, THEOPHIL, OITOS, I conjure you, holy angels, to be my assistants in this action, Make all I write holy, beneficial, effective, successful, and true. AMEN.”

Prayer to God Almighty

“In your holy names, SABAOTH, ADONAI, KAMEKH, SANTAI, LAMANTOU, LANMATAN, TETRAGRAMMATON, ARCHE KAI TO TELOS, AGIOS, AGIOS, AGIOS, KYRIOS SABAOTH, the whole heaven and earth are full of your glory, Our Father who art in heaven, uphold us with your holy names, AGIOS THEOS SABAOTH, by the prayers of ENOS, CAINAN, MAHALAEEL, METHOUSELAH, SETH, ENOCH, NOAH, MELCHIZEDEK, JOSHUA SON OF NUN, ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB, SOLOMON AND REHOBOAM, by your holy prayers Lord Our God, come to our help. AMEN.”

Prayer of the Sun, on Sunday

Incense: Frankincense & Nutmeg

IMG_20140301_131111 “In the name of the almighty and supreme God, I conjure you KYRIOS HELOS, the illuminator, the King of all stars, the begetter of vision. O HELIOS, who nourishes and causes the herbs and trees to bear fruit, who adorns who whole world with majesty, who banishes adversities in the darkness, and who divides the beautiful things from the ugly ones; O HELIOS, the embellishment of the priceless things, the beauty and the majesty of pearls, gold and precious stones, the glory of the Kings and the thought of the judges, I conjure you, HELIOS, KYRIOS HELIOS, inconceivable, incomprehensible, who sees the powers of heaven and understands the splendors of the supreme God SABAOTH. I conjure you, lord HELIOS, candle that burns before the dreadful god SABAOTH, do not disobey me. I conjure you in the following names: PITHANKOUZ, DORIEL, SINAE, MADOEL, LYTROPHAR, PHRYKTOUEL, PELKADON, ANDRAPHOR, IYMEDON, ALIANOS, GARAROUEL. In your above names, grant your grace, power, and virtue in the work I am going to attempt. AMEN.”

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Prayer of the Moon, on Monday

Incense: Myrrh & Benzoin

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“Lord almighty, supreme, creator, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who created and fashioned man, who embellished the heavens with stars and who adorned the earth with flowers and animals, before the sight of whose power ever creature, visible or invisible, trembles. I, your unworthy servant, beg you and I entreat you to hear me and subdue to me the virtue of this planet, KYRIA SELENE, the order and knowledge of the world, the figure of heaven, the consolation of the night and the queen of the constrained spirits, KYRIA SELENE, the indication of time, the sign of all celebrations and festivals, I conjure you, SELENE, by the Throne of God, by the Solar Rays, by the Rest of God on the Sabbath, by the Cherubim and Seraphim, by all the Orders of the holy angels, and in the following names: KHARIOMO, GALLAGIL, BENOUEL, AGRAMOUEL, ADEKAEL, THYELOEL, RAPHAEL, ZYGOTHOEL, GALAEL. For your above names, do not disobey me, but grant your grace, power and virtue to the work I am going to attempt. AMEN.”

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Prayer of Mars, on Tuesday

Incense: Dragon’s Blood, Red Sandalwood, Tobacco

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“O Lord, powerful and mighty, whose anger dries the bottom of the sea, whose powerful glance breaks mountains, the mountains feared you and the abyss was terrified of you. Every choir of the Angels and Archangels worshipped you. In your name, Lord, I dare to attempt every work. I conjure you, ARES, bellicose ARES, by the heart of the mighty lion and by the flame of the strong, burning fire, to obey me. I conjure you ARES, sanguine and daring, by the air, by the earth, and the center of the earth, to obey me. O ARES, who rejoices in calamity, I conjure you by Him who every planetary creation fears, and in your following, fiery names: AGLA, ASER, PIORIROTH, ALBAND, ENDOR, OMER, SKONAPHOR, KALONOS, ALMANOS. In your above names, grant your grace and your virtue to this present weak. AMEN.”

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Prayer of Mercury, on Wednesday

Incense: Elemi & Lavender buds

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“In the name of the omni-benevolent God, AMEN, O Lord who dewells on high and beholds the humble, who searches the reins and the heart, the Lord of Spirits, the King of Heaven and Earth, grant your grace to me, the sinner, O Lord, in order to subdue the Powers of the Planet  HERMES. O HERMES, the most skilled in logical arguments, the effective and most excellent in wisdom and science, who divides and distributes the art and craft of each person, the experienced and skilled soldier, since without you all things mobile or immobile, cannot exist; O HERMES, creator, philosopher, greatest among orators who rules over minds, I conjure you by God who created you and placed you in Heaven. I conjure you by your heaven, your sphere, by the treasure and the secret wisdom of God, by His strong and immeasurable hand and by the myriads of angels, do not disobey me. I conjure you in the following names: SIBORAZ, HYIELISPHAK, IAGROU, HYSREONO, EILIOPH, NAENDOR, GELSTAMOT, KHASELON, AREOULOUEL, TERATOUON, SPHALIKON, KYRAMEN, BARNIDON. In your above names, grant me your grace and your virtue, in order that any work I attempt be effective and true, by the omnipotence of God. AMEN.”

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Prayer of Jupiter, on Thursday

Incense: Copal Oro & Cloves

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“Lord our God, the great, praised and incomprehensible, whose height of divinity is immeasurable, unto you I pray. I, the unworthy, beg the height of your compassion, hear me and make the work I want to do highly effective. I conjure you, most valorous and most beneficial ZEUS, by the immeasurable thought of God, do not disobey me. I conjure you, ZEUS, by the grace of all herbs. I conjure you, ZEUS, by your valor and justice, by your miraculous virtues and in your following names: MISTHAN, MESAOU, ALASIGNO, PELKHAOUS, AABIO, KEDESOD, OLABER, SEDIO, AOLOI, AZANOR, MERRAN. In your most great and valorous names, grant your grace and virtue to the work I am going to attempt. AMEN.”

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Prayer of Venus, on Friday

Incense: Benzoin, Rose petals, Cinnamon

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“In the name of the supreme God, in His most desirable name, I conjure you, most harmonious, most beautiful, and most fair KYRIA APHRODITE, who lies in valor and in the might of love, who tortures the human flesh from within. O APHRODITE, who rules over passion and distributes love, most comely APHRODITE, who leads every yearning in the heart of men and women and moves the entrails of people; O APHRODITE, crowned whith the wreath of love, I beseech for your power. I conjure you, APHRODITE, by God, who created you and placed you in the heaven. I conjure you by the seal that is in your heart, by your wreath, by your heaven, and in your following names: MONTOARAN, MAUGORAN, KTIOEL, PYRGETON, LIOIKON, IKARIZI, IAKOR, LADOKON, PARINOS, PHREKTIOUZ, PHALOUMPOL, KRAIPOPHON, ALLEOPON, ESTOGE, IASEPH, ZAGLYTAI, KRIGENOS, OOULAN. In your above names, do not disobey me, but grant your grace and your virtue in the work I am going to attempt. AMEN.”

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Prayer of Saturn, on Saturday

Incense: Myrrh & Mullein

IMG_20140312_145144“Lord Our God, the Great and Supreme, who created and fashioned man, the Abyss saw you and feared, the living saw you and became lifeless. In His name and by His great and mighty power do I conjure you, KRONOS, do not disobey me. By your antiquity and by your preeminence I conjure you again, O cold KRONOS, who has authority over every harm, who gives treasures and who offeres everything. I conjure you, O Kronos, in your following names: ARPHIN, ORKIP, OULIOB, BERIK, OURAPHON, SAROK, TAIMON, ODEL, SIGEP, SOTAD, grant your grace and your virtue to every work I want to attempt. AMEN.”

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Conjuration of the Angel and Demon

“I conjure you angel _____________, who rules this day and who is appointed for the provision and services of mankind, angel _____________, who is always eager, strong, renowned, and brave. I conjure you by God who ordered you to guard this day to assist me, together with your submissive demon _____________, who is ordered to serve and attend you, and be your slave during this day. For this reason, cooperate with me, and make my work effective and true. AMEN.”

Communion

“I bless this sacrament of _____________, in the presence of _____________ , _____________, and Almighty God. May it nourish my body, mind, and. AMEN.”

License to Depart

“In the holy names of SABAOTH, ADONAI, TETRAGRAMMATON, IAO, I conjure you angel _____________, and you demon _____________, to go in peace, each one of you to your own dwelling, and come back whenever I invoke you again. AMEN.”

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Jake Stratton-Kent’s Manifesto against Masonic-style Magic

Over at Aaron Leitch’s blog Ananael (The Secrets of Wisdom), he posted an open letter from collegue Jake Stratton-Kent, author of the eye-opening Geosophia. Jake posted this letter on Aaron’s Solomonic Yahoo Group, which caused something of a stir. Aaron and Jake are friends, which made for some interesting debate. I’m not going to post Aaron’s responses since you can read them on his blog. I just thought that Jake’s open letter was, for all intents and purposes, correct. I do not believe in an eradication of the Golden Dawn and other Masonic-style lodge workings, nor do I believe that there shouldn’t be secretive societies- it is beneficial for certain groups to operate under a degree of anonymity. What Jake rails against are the mistakes perpetuated by the magical groups that came out of the late 1800’s, the fallible concept of “secret knowledge”, as well as mentioning his distaste for the “darker than thou” Lovecraft-Satanic-Qlipothic stream in  certain branches of Occultism.

I am posting Jake’s manifesto because 1) I agree with his point of view, and 2) Jake is an academic magician, like me, who has taken the study of magic to be his vocation, not just his spiritual pursuit or  hobby, and 3) before I even came across Jake’s work about the origin of Goetia in Ancient Greek shamanism, I myself was beginning to realize these mysteries, which makes me feel that there is a current flowing through modern Occultism wherein many scholars and practitioners are moving in a certain direction. I believe that direction is being pointed out by Jake Stratton-Kent throughout all his work.

“Goetia versus secrecy, Masonry & bogus history

opening remarks

This is close to an outline manifesto, relevant to the POV of my writings and distilled from over 4 decades of involvement in magic, public and private. I’m sure many will reject it out of hand, or mount a defence of aspects of occultism it attacks – but nothing said here is unconsidered; while the unquestioning retention of what it opposes desperately requires critique. Some of it explains why I’m a controversial figure, who many traditionalists find too radical, and ‘post moderns’ consider old fashioned. These easy dismissals are neat ways of avoiding important issues, when in fact the similarities between the extremes are more extensive than the differences, which is part of the problem, as I outline below.

*Goetia versus secrecy, Masonry and bogus history in modern occultism*

The historical links between goetia and shamanism are very strong. If you are familiar with the ‘Greek shaman’ thesis of Burkert et al, ‘goes’ was originally the Greek for shaman, especially as psychopomp. Funnily enough the same word, in its later devalued sense could also mean ‘witch’. Properly understood goetia is – essentially – the one authentic and continuous link the modern Western tradition has with the past, and that includes modern witchcraft (as I believe Hutton pointed out, and he is certainly right historically speaking).

There are various reasons I find the ‘Masonic’ model a dead loss in the many, many areas of modern magic where it applies. I see two reasons for Masonry in magic, one good enough, the other p*** poor. The good enough one was as a cover for free thinkers in an age when – for example – non-attendance at Anglican church was an imprisonable offense in England. That time is over. The other I will come to later.

The whole Secret Society model is not only unhelpful, but actively counter-productive. It is the principle reason why so much energy is expended fighting tiny little wars between factions (between witch groups, between rival Golden Dawns, between thelemic groups etc etc). Energy that could be better spent elsewhere – like incorporating the real advances in recovering our tradition made possible by *non-secretive* sources like academia. Indeed, one reason parts of the grimoire community are advancing faster than any other area nowadays is that it doesn’t automatically include this model! Which, whether in Magical Orders or Witchcraft leads to infighting, stagnation and parochialism. I also have no more time for ‘invented history’, which the entire occult world seems to rely on to an alarming extent. But lets start with secrecy.

Nothing I’ve heard from witch groups or magical orders in the last forty plus years has led me to feel they possess *any* privileged information – let alone insights – regarding goetia. Its been more of the same for decades, indeed since the C19th it has hardly moved at all – at least, not among occultists.

From my perspective, what I’ve learned about goetia in the occult world as manifest since the C19th is very unimpressive. Even if someone is jealously guarding material from deeper into the C18th/C19th it still lacks a lot of context, info and insights now available from modern scholarship, the papyri etc. Things have stood still for so long that modern research has got further along without them, and they don’t want to catch up! Where magic is going is not like where it has been since early modern times, but very few have caught on to that.

Which brings me to the Bertiaux/Grant end of the spectrum, what I call ‘dark fluff’, a major epidemic in recent modern occultism. There are so many ‘darker than thou’ types out there playing silly games with the Qliphoth, Necronomicon, Atlantean initiations and such. The grasp of the roots of magic in this ‘niche’ is even more bogus than the ‘occult establishment’ of the C19th and its offshoots. Indeed, they are much more similar to that establishment than they imagine. Spookying up the Golden Dawn, Crowley and modern witchcraft with a dash of Lovecraft and Qliphoth etc is no more informed about the real roots of Western magic in goetia. Its just more of the same in all but the most superficial details.

Which brings me to the other aspect of ‘why we used masonry’. It was as a *substitute* for elements of the magical tradition we’d either lost, or felt uncomfortable with in a more orthodox religious environment than currently exists. Virtually every western school has relied on Masonry to fill in the gaps for so long that they are no longer very interested in recovering what it was substituting for. There is so much Masonic bathwater that has to go to make room for real babies in the bath, and change frightens people. Hence bogus history and Masonry predominate, even though there is much better information and different structures available.

The *real* roots of what has been called ‘black magic’ by later philosophies and religions, is in fact an incredibly rich tradition distinct from them, *not defined by opposition to them*, or even reliant on similar terms (qabalistic or neoplatonist).

In short, through clinging to bogus history and the secret society model, we are selling ourselves very short indeed as Western magicians.

ALWays

Jake”

Benvenuto Cellini’s Encounter with the Spirits

Benvenuto Cellini was a Florentine sculptor living in 1500’s Italy. He is famous for a statue of Perseus commissioned by Cosimo d’Medici that he worked on for 9 years. Not only did he leave behind beautiful sculptures and works of metal and jewels, Cellini wrote an autobiography detailing the memories of his experiences. You can read the book for free online: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/cellini/benvenuto/autobiography/index.htm.

Statue of Perseus, Piazza della Signoria, Flor...

Statue of Perseus, Piazza della Signoria, Florence – Canon S45 Holding medusa head. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His story begins, as it should, in his youth. At one point he describes a scene in which his father, playing an instrument and singing, notices a tiny lizard at the center of the fire burning in the hearth. He calls his children, Cellini and his sister, to see the marvelous creature. His father tells them that no person has ever been credible enough to prove it’s existence. Whether or not Cellini actually witnessed a Salamander, as the tiny flame lizard was called, if it was just a trick of fire and glowing coals or a made-up fantasy to enliven his autobiography, this particular anecdote shows that Cellini, even in youth, had a taste for the mysterious and occult- which I believe greatly influenced his art.

Growing into manhood, Cellini makes friends with Roman dignitaries, including Pope Clement. While in Rome, he meets with a curious priest who knows a good deal of arcane languages and reveals his knowledge on the art of necromancy and evocation. Cellini, desiring all his life to see an operation of necromancy, conspires with the priest to perform a ceremony at the Colosseum in Rome. Here I will leave you with an excerpt from his autobiography that details his encounter with the spirits.

“IT happened through a variety of singular accidents that I became intimate with a Sicilian priest, who was a man of very elevated genius and well instructed in both Latin and Greek letters. In the course of conversation one day we were led to talk about the art of necromancy; apropos of which I said: “Throughout my whole life I have had the most intense desire to see or learn something of this art.” Thereto the priest replied: “A stout soul and a steadfast must the man have who sets himself to such an enterprise.” I answered that of strength and steadfastness of soul I should have enough and to spare, provided I found the opportunity. Then the priest said: “If you have the heart to dare it, I will amply satisfy your curiosity.” Accordingly we agreed upon attempting the adventure.

The priest one evening made his preparations, and bade me find a comrade, or not more than two. I invited Vincenzio Romoli, a very dear friend of mine, and the priest took with him a native of Pistoja, who also cultivated the black art. We went together to the Coliseum; and there the priest, having arrayed himself in necromancer’s robes, began to describe circles on the earth with the finest ceremonies that can be imagined. I must say that he had made us bring precious perfumes and fire, and also drugs of fetid odour. When the preliminaries were completed, he made the entrance into the circle; and taking us by the hand, introduced us one by one inside it. Then he assigned our several functions; to the necromancer, his comrade, he gave the pentacle to hold; the other two of us had to look after the fire and the perfumes; and then he began his incantations. This lasted more than an hour and a half; when several legions appeared, and the Coliseum was all full of devils. I was occupied with the precious perfumes, and when the priest perceived in what numbers they were present, he turned to me and said: “Benvenuto, ask them something.” I called on them to reunite me with my Sicilian Angelica. That night we obtained no answer; but I enjoyed the greatest satisfaction of my curiosity in such matters. The necromancer said that we should have to go a second time, and that I should obtain the full accomplishment of my request; but he wished me to bring with me a little boy of pure virginity.

I chose one of my shop-lads, who was about twelve years old, and invited Vincenzio Romoli again; and we also took a certain Agnolino Gaddi, who was a very intimate friend of both. When we came once more to the place appointed, the necromancer made just the same preparations, attended by the same and even more impressive details. Then he introduced us into the circle, which he had reconstructed with art more admirable and yet more wondrous ceremonies. Afterwards he appointed my friend Vincenzio to the ordering of the perfumes and the fire, and with him Agnolino Gaddi. He next placed in my hand the pentacle, which he bid me turn toward the points he indicated, and under the pentacle I held the little boy, my workman. Now the necromancer began to utter those awful invocations, calling by name on multitudes of demons who are captains of their legions, and these he summoned by the virtue and potency of God, the Uncreated, Living, and Eternal, in phrases of the Hebrew, and also of the Greek and Latin tongues; insomuch that in a short space of time the whole Coliseum was full of a hundredfold as many as had appeared upon the first occasion. Vincenzio Romoli, together with Agnolino, tended the fire and heaped on quantities of precious perfumes. At the advice of the necromancer, I again demanded to be reunited with Angelica. The sorcerer turned to me and said: “Hear you what they have replied; that in the space of one month you will be where she is?” Then once more he prayed me to stand firm by him, because the legions were a thousandfold more than he had summoned, and were the most dangerous of all the denizens of hell; and now that they had settled what I asked, it behoved us to be civil to them and dismiss them gently. On the other side, the boy, who was beneath the pentacle, shrieked out in terror that a million of the fiercest men were swarming round and threatening us. He said, moreover, that four huge giants had appeared, who were striving to force their way inside the circle. Meanwhile the necromancer, trembling with fear, kept doing his best with mild and soft persuasions to dismiss them. Vincenzio Romoli, who quaked like an aspen leaf, looked after the perfumes. Though I was quite as frightened as the rest of them, I tried to show it less, and inspired them all with marvellous courage; but the truth is that I had given myself up for dead when I saw the terror of the necromancer. The boy had stuck his head between his knees, exclaiming: “This is how I will meet death, for we are certainly dead men.” Again I said to him: “These creatures are all inferior to us, and what you see is only smoke and shadow; so then raise your eyes.” When he had raised them he cried out: “The whole Coliseum is in flames, and the fire is advancing on us;” then covering his face with his hands, he groaned again that he was dead, and that he could not endure the sight longer. The necromancer appealed for my support, entreating me to stand firm by him, and to have assafetida flung upon the coals; so I turned to Vincenzio Romoli, and told him to make the fumigation at once. While uttering these words I looked at Agnolino Gaddi, whose eyes were starting from their sockets in his terror, and who was more than half dead, and said to him: “Agnolo, in time and place like this we must not yield to fright, but do the utmost to bestir ourselves; therefore, up at once, and fling a handful of that assafetida upon the fire.” Agnolo, at the moment when he moved to do this, let fly such a volley from his breech, that it was far more effectual than the assafetida. 1 The boy, roused by that great stench and noise, lifted his face little, and hearing me laugh, he plucked up courage, and said the devils were taking to flight tempestuously. So we abode thus until the matinbells began to sound. Then the boy told us again that but few remained, and those were at a distance. When the necromancer had concluded his ceremonies, he put off his wizard’s robe, and packed up a great bundle of books which he had brought with him; then, all together, we issued with him from the circle, huddling as close as we could to one another, especially the boy, who had got into the middle, and taken the necromancer by his gown and me by the cloak. All the while that we were going toward our houses in the Banchi, he kept saying that two of the devils he had seen in the Coliseum were gamboling in front of us, skipping now along the roofs and now upon the ground. The necromancer assured me that, often as he had entered magic circles, he had never met with such a serious affair as this. He also tried to persuade me to assist him in consecrating a book, by means of which we should extract immeasurable wealth, since we could call up fiends to show us where treasures were, whereof the earth is full; and after this wise we should become the richest of mankind: love affairs like mine were nothing but vanities and follies without consequence. I replied that if I were a Latin scholar I should be very willing to do what he suggested. He continued to persuade me by arguing that Latin scholarship was of no importance, and that, if he wanted, he could have found plenty of good Latinists; but that he had never met with a man of soul so firm as mine, and that I ought to follow his counsel. Engaged in this conversation, we reached our homes, and each one of us dreamed all that night of devils.”

In his next chapter, Cellini goes on to describe the necromancer-priest’s efforts to persuade Cellini to visit an occult master in Norica, a place infamous for witches, herbalists, and poisoners. While Cellini desires to consecrate a book of magic with the priest, especially to dissuade the demons from doing harm to him, he refuses to do so until he finishes his work. He then admits that he eventually forgot all about the demons, his Angelica, the priest, and the book.

Circle of the Art from The Treatise of Solomon, the Greek Forebearer of the Italian Key of Solomon

Now, Cellini either actually encountered these demons in the Colosseum or he was fortunate enough to come across a book of magic and, with a good imagination, wrote a story of how he though such an operation would go. Either way, when I came across this story I was just beginning to study the Solomonic Arts, beginning with one of the oldest manuscripts available The Treatise of Solomon. I was surprised to see that Cellini describes the operation, and it’s effects, very similarly to how the Treatise details the ritual.

For example, the Treatise instructs the magician to perform the ceremony in several auspicious places, one of which being “at a place where someone was killed in old times.” The Colosseum fits this perfectly. The necromancer dons his robes, traces circles in the ground, chants his invocations, all the while incense burns. The demons appear and the priest tells Cellini to ask them what he wants, which is a lover, Angelica. Interestingly enough, the operation in the Treatise comes with two conjurations that follow the Circle ceremony, one for Love and one for Money.

The following night they assemble once again in the Colosseum. This time the priest requested Cellini to bring a young, virgin boy with him. Virgins are not peculiar in the Solomonic Art, they attend these ceremonies to be mediums and seers, not sacrifices. The young boy tells the priest and Cellini that he sees multitudes of demons, flames approaching them from every side, and four giant demons. This also parallels the operation in the Treatise and other grimiores, as there are usually four great demon kings that rule from one of the cardinal directions. In the Treatise they are named Loutzipher from the East, Asmodai in the North, Astaroth in the West, and Beelzebub in the South.

When the group wishes to banish these demons using the time-tested method of burning Asafoetida, which is quite palatable but reeks of sulphur, Agnolo cannot break away from his fear to put the herb on the fire. When Cellini shouts at him that this is no time to be afraid, he lets out a great blast from his bottom. Some translators of Cellini’s Autobiography will carefully describe this scene, as not to offend the more sensible types. Other translators will tell it how it is, that Agnolo shit his pants. This was enough to make the virgin boy begin to laugh and report that the demons were fleeing the Colosseum.

I love this story because it is a rare example of someone’s honest (if not false) experience with the Solomonic arts in the Renaissance. It has also given me a glimpse into what may happen, or is expected to happen, when I have finally assembled my Solomonic implements and regalia to trace the circle and venture into it. Though, my endevors will not be seeking Love or Money though demonic forces, but rather take upon myself what Solomon sought to do in the ancient Testament of Solomon. I shall converse with the spirits and ask “Who are you and what do you do?” I believe there is more to the relationships between Magician and Spirit than the mere words of the grimoires reveal.