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Library of the Masters

translated and edited from manuscripts in the British Museum by S. LIDDELL MACGREGOR MATHERS

127 pages, many illustrations

The Key of Solomon is the most famous, or infamous, of all magical textbooks and influenced many of the other grimoires or "grammars" of magical practice. This edition of the Key by MacGregor Mathers, the influential nineteenth-century magician, had been out of print for many years before this reissue with a new foreword by Richard Cavendish. The Key of Solomon is of unknown but considerable antiquity. MacGregor Mathers, who prepared the present edition from seven manuscripts in the British museum, accepts the traditional authorship of King Solomon himself for the work. The King instructs his disciples in incantations which will summon and master the spirits. The processes of summoning these beings illustrate the extraordinary and exhausting complexity of European ritual magic-the choice of a favorable place and time, the preliminary prayers, fastings and preparations, as well as the manufacturing of the magical equipment, the robes, trappings and fumigations. This work is of interest not only in making available the most celebrated of the European magical texts, but because it is edited by MacGregor Mathers. He was, at the turn of the century, head of the Order of the Golden Dawn, probably the most gifted and influential of all modern magical groups. Mather's high-minded detestation of black magic is very evident in this volume. The Key itself amply demonstrates that the usual theoretical distinction between black magic and white, evil magic and good, is not so simply drawn. First Paper Edition, 1989 published by Weiser.

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