Are you an interested onlooker trying to decide if the Grey School of Wizardry is right for you? An apprentice curious as to what the various Departments have in store? A magister planning your next class, perhaps?
The Grey School of Wizardry has more than 400 classes spanning 16 Departments, covering facets of magick from meditation to herbalism to ritual and ceremony, just to name a small sample. We understand that this can be overwhelming even to experienced students. To help give our friends and students some guidance, Grey Matters will be offering a series of excerpts from these exciting classes for your perusal and enjoyment. Please join us below the break for a brief sample from one of our many classes.
Class: Solomonic Folk Magick
Department: Magickal Practice (Gold)
Introduction—Origins of the Solomonic Tradition and the Influences on Folk Magic
“Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry. And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life. For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him. And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.” 1 Kings 4: 20-21, 24-25, 29-34
The origins of Solomonic magick, which are distilled in The Key of Solomon the King, The Variable Key of Solomon, The Geotia, The Lesser Key of Solomon, The Book of Ambramelin, The Magus, etc., are forged from an esoteric canon of religious mysticisms derived from the oldest spiritual practices, such as Paganism, folk magick, and shamanism. The work is also heavily influenced from Gnosticism, Christianity, Arabic Sufism, Judaism, and Greek and Egyptian magick.1
These esoteric secrets were derived from such “grammars” or grimoires as, The Greek Magickal Papyri, The Sepher haZohar, Liber Razielis, Liber Iuratus Honorii, Hygromanteia, The Three Book of Occult Philosophy, Heptameron, and Arbatel.2
In my opinion, the inspiration biblical work, The Testament of Solomon, is the foundational keystone in which the Solomonic tradition originates. The Testament of Solomon chronicles the mythology of King Solomon’s experience of communication and subjugation of spirits to build his temple. The text is a taxonomy of daemons, in which King Solomon questions to discover their function and opposing “angel,” which holds dominion over them. Through this divine authority he is able to bind those into service to complete the work of the temple.2
While this legendary story has become popular in modern magickal culture and is certainly an effective system, the relevant magickal operations focus on The Lesser Key of Solomon also known as The Clavicula Salomonis Regis, The Lemegeton, or The Goetia rather than the angelic and planetary energies within The Greater Key of Solomon, which will we be discussing.
Solomonic magick is a tactical and effective practice, which is essentially an amalgamation of cultural and spiritual mysticisms, personal interpretation, and experimentation, which is presented in various translations of the work that are widely available to the modern day ceremonial practitioner.
In the same “spirit” of mystical and practical influence, in which the Solomonic system was developed, shaped and worked, this grimoire also wove its way into other systems of folk magick over the ages.
During the time of European immigration and Trans-continental slave trade, immigrants and slaves brought their religions, spiritual and magickal practices to New England and various parts of the American south (including Cuba and the Caribbean). These aforementioned spiritual initiatory systems evolved from hybridizations of European folk magick (or witchcraft), medieval grimoire magick, mixed Kabbalah, African traditional religions, and Native American Herbalism, which incorporated elements from the tradition of Solomon and other medieval grimoires. We know these practices more commonly as modern witchcraft, Wicca, Santeria, Palo and Voudon.3-4
Another magickal practice that emerged from this hybridization was the southern-American folk tradition referred to as Hoodoo, root work, or sorcery conjure. While many root workers and traditional practitioners of folk magick utilize the seals, sigils, and talismans from various medieval grammars to incorporate into their works, they are not interested in following the rigorous ceremonial operations outlined in the medieval texts. Thus the popular imagery of the grimoires (specifically The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, The Black Pullet, The Key of Solomon the King, Grimorium Verum, and The Goetia), are utilized in a myriad of ways in magickal works. For instance, practitioners may draw or trace the sigils on paper or other materials and place them in gris gris or various types of magickal condition bags, bury or hide them in various places; such as in the construction of homes or along foot paths, burn them to incorporate into powders, upon wounds or areas on the body that require healing, or under candles as they are burned.3-4
These talismans, sigils, and seals would be empowered through several methods, which included verbal and gestural incantations or the intonation of words of power, anointing the object with specifically prepared oils for various conditions, reciting pertinent biblical or other religious passages and possibly enclosing it within a holy book for a period of time—typically 7 days.3-4
Solomonic Folk Magick is another such hybridization, which incorporates mixed Kabbalah, the Solomonic Tradition, and elements of conjure or folk magick to establish the spiritual authority, communication, and resonance of a specific current to perform relevant workings without the complete Solomonic operation, which some believe to be overly rigorous and cumbersome.
While I will discuss this simplified or abridged methodology, we will still be working with traditional celestial and planetary energies, which require the proper tools, consecrations, and ritual timing specified within The Greater Key of Solomon.
The Key of Solomon Grimoire
The 14th century text, The Key of Solomon (KOS) is comprised of two books of consideration and operation for the ceremonial magician—the art of spiritual summoning and the preparations needed to do so.
The first book discusses the magickal art of spirit summoning and the creation of planetary talismans, in which the spirit(s) arrives upon the edge of the sacred space, at which time the magician presents the talisman or lamen to gain spiritual authority—thus he/she is able to question the summoned spirit concerning the various functions with their specific condition, which are outlined in the KOS. Various conditions exist, such as the protection against specific elemental perils, poison, sorcery, terror, insects, etc.
The second book is a grimoire of preparatory instructions or operations used to conduct purifications, the construction of magickal tools of the art; such as the aspergillum (water sprinkler), wand, incense, holy water, etc., and discusses the hours and conditions in which these operations are to be conducted.
I will be touching on both books, as we discuss the relevant preparations needed to work in this system, as well as, the conditions and creation of the talismans and relevant tools.
1. Leitch, Aaron. Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires: The Classical Texts of Magick Deciphered. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications, 2005. Print.
2. Leitch, Aaron. Secrets of Solomon: Grimoire Magick 101 Online Course. Doc Solomon’s Online Courses. 2017.
3. Leitch, Aaron. Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires: The Classical Texts of Magick Deciphered. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications, 2005. Print.
4. Leitch, Aaron. “Modern Grimoire Magick: Folk Magick and The Solomonic Path.” Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition. 20 Mar. 2006. Web. <http://jwmt.org/v1n10/modern.html>.
Thanks for joining us for this brief sample from one of our many wonderful classes. A world of wizardly education awaits you at the Grey School of Wizardry. Visit www.greyschool.org to learn more or https://registered.greyschool.com/user.php?op=check_age&module=NewUser to sign up today.