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Lesser Key of Solomon: Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis [Hardcover]

Joseph Peterson , Joseph H. Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser (1 Jun 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157863220X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578632206
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 26.4 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The Lesser Key of Solomon Compiled from original manuscripts and fragments in the British Museum Library, Joseph Peterson's new presentation is the most complete and accurate edition of this famous magical grimoire, "The Lesser Key of Solomon the King." He goes to great length to establish the provenance of each part, and possible derivative works, including critical analyses of all major variations, utilizing fresh transl... Full description

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The first principall spirit is a king ruling in ye East, called Bael. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Head and shoulders above the rest........ 1 Jun 2002
By A Customer
This book should be in every magicians libary, beautifully hardbound, it contains all the books of Solomon : Goetia, Theurgia Goetia, Art Pauline, Almadel Art, The notary art of Solomon. This is in my eyes THE book of Solomon to own, the writer of it has taken a very scholarly approach, he compares the various different sloane editions, and people's translations of them.
My advice, this is the only Solomonic book that you will ever need. Buy it NOW!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 17 Oct 2009
Well researched and presented book. Authors notes are extensive with full latin translations with beautiful sigils on acid free paper.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The new standard for the Lemegeton 23 Aug 2007
By M. Stone - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For many years the occult community had to make due with the smattering of titles and partial titles brought out of obscurity by Mathers and Crowley. Today we are literally witnessing a Hermetic Renaissance as more complete titles come forth to replace their partial or unedited folio predecessors.

Here we have not just the Goetia, but the entire Lemegeton, put together in a uniquely scholarly fashion. Compiled from original manuscripts and fragments from the British Museum Library, this is the most complete and accurate Lemegeton ever offered to the public.

Peterson has done a wonderful job at compiling and editing this work. His continued commentary on derivative works, and analytical comparisons of the variations in the historical manuscripts, is an unprecedented boon to the student. Nearly every page is 20% footnotes and editorial comment, making it particularly valuable for anyone exploring the Solomon cycle.

The copious footnotes go to heroic lengths to contrast different readings or additional materials from other editions. Unlike previous editions of the Lesser Key, you really feel like you have the benefit of the British Museum Library at your fingertips.
If the footnotes weren't curriculum enough for the aspiring Goetic Magician, then the 55 pages of appendices should fill the bill.
Appendix I is a list of addenda from Sloane 2731 and Sloane 3648.
Appendix II - Pseudomonarchia Daemonum - Translated to English.
Appendix III Comparison of Goetia spirits with Weyer's list.
Appendix IV is made up of alternate drawings from other editions of the Lemegeton.

There is only one section that I am not fond of. Peterson gives a breakdown of previous editions of the Lemegeton/Goetia (missing a couple along the way) and it seems to me the judgments he hands out here may not be even handed. His primary beef with earlier editions is that none of them were critical, and most rely on a single manuscript, rather that trying to piece together the original tradition from a survey of all fragments at hand. While that is a true observation, I am not sure that any of these earlier works claimed to be anything other than exactly what they were. The incomplete Mathers/Crowley edition which simply contains the first book of the Lemegeton, "The Goetia" is easy enough to attack. After all, it was pretty sloppy with some unexplained material that doesn't even belong to the Goetia. However his treatment of Mitch Henson's edition is a little on the harsh side. He complains that Henson doesn't include the 5th book, "The Notary Art of Solomon". Henson explains his logical omission of this work very well in his edition. In fact Peterson goes on to explain that there is "no one work" by that name.

I have to say that last gripe would pass right past most readers, and even the ones that agree with me would find it only the most minor of annoyances. It doesn't take a single star from my review of this monumental and over-due work.

The only down side to having so many alternate readings, seals, sigils, and spellings, would be that you are never quite sure again, who you are summoning, and just what he can do once he gets here. Something else that anyone who uses the Mathers/Crowley version of the Goetia will notice, is that these seals are rough, and not inside of a double circle. If you want to augment this book with cleaned up artwork (which means recently altered for production value.) then you might want to also pick up a copy of Mitch Henson's Lemegeton. The seals are all redrawn beautifully.

This is truely the new standard edition of the Lemegeton. King Solomon is dead. Long live the king!
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent edition! 19 Sep 2001
By S. parker - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This edition of the Lesser Key is probably the most complete, and completely supported I've seen. Not only does it provide a complete, annotated translation of all 5 sections, it offers scholarly and bibliographic details unavailable in other works.
This edition isn't particularly focused on practical application, but it does assume that practitioners will read it, and is respectful of that work.
All in all, an excellent edition - probably the best single volume presentation of the material itself to have.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Lemegeton yet! 23 April 2002
By Thabion - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Recently (since 1995) we've had a surge of interest in Solomonic magick and several versions of the Goetia, and even the complete Lemegeton, have become available. Finally we have a definitive edition carefully compiled, annotated and commented upon in a scholarly fashion. It is also handsomely published in hard covers and (at the present reduced price) quite a bargain. Unlike most backyard Goetias and Lemegetons, Peterson does not rely solely on Sloane MS. 2731 but chooses the more complete Harley MS. 6483 as his base text with comparative notes referencing other MSS. He also traces the origins of all the five books in his concise but highly detailed introduction. Several points that Peterson's augmentations from other manuscripts bring forth are of considerable interest--especially to those of us working Solomonic systems. I was happy to see the circle in the center of the Triangle of Art "blacked in" in two other versions of the Goetia besides Sloane 2731, lending more confirmation to our dark mirror theory. I was also happily surprised to discover that Harley MS. 6438 used the Shemehamphorash invocations on the back of their Brass Vessel sigils just as we decided to do (before we were aware of the precedent) in our practice (see *The Book of Solomon's Magick*).
Peterson also cites and presents the Almadel type drawing from *Sepher Schelomoh* (that we also displayed) and a similar sketch from a newly acquired (at the Brit. Lib.) Hebrew version of the Almadel. All considered Peterson's *The Lesser Key of Solomon* is probably the best reference Lemegeton we will see for many years to come. But in order to work the system you still need to consult the practical manuals by Steve Savedow, Lon Milo DuQuette and Poke Runyon.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete picture 16 Dec 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are doing any serious study of Goetic magic this book will singlehandedly take care of 75% of your work. Peterson has done a phenomenal job of referencing and cross referencing manuscripts and terminology. My 1979 issue copy of the Lesser Key is filled with margin notes, slips of paper, drawings and re-drawings as I found more and more inconsistencies and questions. I could have spent so much more time practicing rather than chasing down demons in the script if I had had this fantastic work.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best edition in English 25 April 2008
By Zadzaczadlin - Published on
A definitive edition of this work would require separate critical editions of its 5 parts, based upon a thorough examination of all extant manuscripts in many languages. That such a Herculean task might ever be accomplished seems set to remain a rather improbable eventuality, and until such a time we are lucky to have Peterson's slightly less ambitious volume.
Peterson has produced a reliable English version based on Sloane 3825 in the British Library, giving some variant readings from other manuscripts in the same collection, and testimonia from such authorities as Trithemius. The result is an edition superior to any previously published. The Ars Notoria section, however, is just a reprint of Turner's widely available translation. At the back, the index omits the many Angelic names which comprise the essence of the text. You can get a preview of this edition at his website
Aside from the question of scholarship, the physical book is quite a nice production. One might wish that the many sigils had been professionally redrawn for this publication; or, failing that, at least some regularity might have been brought to their size. The text might have benefitted from wider outer margins also, but these are minor quibbles.
At the time of writing, April 2008, this edition has just gone out of print. Second hand prices have skyrocketed. Perhaps this will give incentive to the publisher to bring out a second edition.
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