Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon the King Paperback – 15 Feb 1996
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Through the entire book Mathers draws parallels to other books of this sort. It contains an initial interpretation of ceremonial magic. The main chapter is entitled "Shemhamphorash" and it contains desriptions of all 72 demons. Finally it has a chapter called "The magical requisites" which contains the hexagram of Solomon, the pentagram of Solomon, the magic ring/disc of Solomon, and the secret seal of Solomon. It also has Enochian conjurations and astrological tables of spirits in the Goetia.
I own both versions (and two books by Joseph H. Peterson) - to me he does not appear to understand the material, merely diligently copy the oldest version he could find word for word with the odd footnote here and there. (His book of John Dee's writing is even worse, its in olde English with Latin appendices at the end - really helpful !). His pictures of the demonic signs look like something my 3 year old would draw !
Aleister Crowley & founder member of the Golden Dawn S. L McGregor Mathers were without a doubt the most famous and accomplished magicians of their day and they collaborated on this version of the Goetia, making the text more understandable, clearer, editing out a lot of the nonsense and 'red herrings' and redrawing the signs so they are clear and easy to copy and use. Whats more, this version has some very impressive (but not definitive) pictures of the demons themselves, including Crowley’s rather infantile sketches of them.
Judge for yourselves which version of the Goetia you would prefer !
Both (and more) copies of both books are available on various websites and I would urge anyone struggling to decide on which version to get to look there first. Joseph H. Peterson's version is there in its entirety and you'll see what I mean !!
This is a somewhat inferior edition however, with several notable flaws and innaccuracies. Seek out if you can, Joseph H. Peterson's "The Lesser Key of Solomon: Detailing the Ceremonial Art of Commanding Spirits Both Good and Evil" as it is a much more accurate and concise study of the text.
In it the flawed symbols of this edition are corrected shown alongside their flawed counterparts and the FULL text (parts I - V) of the Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis is given.
The edition reviewed here will serve the interests of the merely curious, but I recommend Peterson's edition to the serious practical occultist.
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