Monday, 27 June 2016


I get frequent comments, emails and requests about this blog. Now, this is not by any means to be seen as an angry rant, nor an excuse, just a setting straight of things.

Many people ask about one manuscript or another, if I can post it, if I can write about it, if I can do the illustrations. The short answer is no.

Not because it s not important, but because of the following:

1. If I was able to, I would have done it already. I m not sitting atop a hoarde of ready-to-be published images and manuscripts, all written in full, but shy away from doing so. If I have something ready, believe me, I m the first to put it online.

2. I cannot do this work all the time, I am not a proffesionally employed graphic designer, nor a Latinist, nor a Lecturer on magic. My researches are done in my spare time. And of that, I have quite little. I tend to no less than 20 other blogs and pages, mostly unrelated to this content, when not binding books for a living.

3. I do this for free, but it costs me to do it. The books I need are quite expensive, and except for kind people like Russ Clayton and Jacob Swart who offered my books in exchange for nothing, I have to work to get access to the information I share here freely. Every book I have or manuscript scan I aquired I either bought with my own money, or traded work or services for it. Best thing to free is a manuscript found after hours of tiddeous online research, because these things don t just pop up on Google when you type in Magic Old Thingy. I am not asking for free books, I am asking people to understand that there is a financial dynamics behind my free work, and what seems free is actually quite expensive.

4. A code of honor I highy upholds prevents me from publically sharing a work, be it book or manuscript, I was given in confidence by a colleague. And I will not break, I m sorry. What things I am free to post, I post, the rest, please do not ask for.

And yes, please stop asking me of ways to summon demons or get girls to like you. You have Dr.Phil and Oprah for that.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Faustian Grimoire from the Bodmerian Library

This short Faustian grimoire is housed in the Bodmerian Library and is titled, as we might have guessed, The Threefold Coercion of Hell.

It is not a practical grimoire as the Key of Solomon, but rather a Liber Spirituum: it contains minimal ritualistic presciptions, but the bulk of the work would be the conjurations of demons along with their appearences and seals. We see full page drawings of seven antropomorphic demons, unnamed in Latin script except for Lucifer, which we might presume to be the seven demonic princes found throughout the Hoellenzwangs. Each demon has his own Citation or Calling (Citation) used to conjure him when needed, his Coercion or Binding (Zwang) used to make him obey the conjurer having appeared and his Dissmisal or Licence to Depart (Abdanckung) used to send him back peacefully. In many cases the symbols of the Dismissal are the ones of the Citation, in reverse order, showing that they are most likely words of power with no other etymollogy other than the one agreed upon by the hypotetic magician dealing with the hypotethic demon in an equally hypothetic interaction...

Another version of this work, from Prague, with colored plates, will be dealt with separately. 

The images, much like the ones in the Hebrew Sapientsia Salomonis, are full-figured and dressed according to the planet under which the prince resides and are very similar to the ones in Scheible s Kloster.

Very little is written in German, most is written in code. The code itself is alphabetical and semi-logographic, which I will deal with in another post altogether. Suffice to say it s written left to right when in rows and clockwise when in circular patterns. A point of beggining in it s decyphering is the names of the spirits spelled in this code within their seals.

Since the manuscript is 24 pages long and is mainly drawings and cryptograms, I will post it in it in it s entirety. The original color version can be found Here, below are my own black-and white, printer-friendly, graphically enhanced images. 

If you steal  them and use them commercially of course, prince Marbuel will do nasty things to you in your sleep ;)

Dochder Iohannes Favst III.fager Hollen.Zwank.Schwarze.Magie vnd Kvnstz vnd. Wvnder Bvch. Schribde Ciceron. Ge.Machd. In. Lieon. In. Iar.

Doctor Johannes Faust s Threefold Coercion of Hell, A book of black magic, arts and wonder. Written by Ciceron. Made in Lyon in the year (missing).

An alegorical image of the world: A crowned queen holding a wand and a ring, before a globe encircled by a crowned snake. The cross of the globe is mounted by three ravens, omniprezent in Faustian Hollenzangs, two holding rings in their beaks, the third holding a ring with a triangular lock by the mouth of the queen.

Noethige . Stvcke . Avs. Den. VI. Den Bvch. Mosis
Necessary parts out of the Sixth Book of Moses.
Criptogram 1 (69 signs)

Magical circle.
Outer section: Criptogram 2 (32 signs)
Mid section: Criptogram 3 (31 signs)
Inner section: + Achadorvm. +Raon. +Glama. +Dallora +.Aorboro. +.Acrioa. +.Ballor. +. Forrias.


Mid. Diesen. Kvnstz. Vnd. Wvnder. Bvch Sind Alle Vnder Irdische Geister In Der Erden. Cv. Ciddiren Vnd. Cv. Be. Schweren. Vnd. Alle.Vnder. Irdische. Schetze. Cv. Hewen.Zitire. Den. Orsted Geist. For. Marbo. Segne. Dich. Rechd. Ein. Vnd. Bede Dieses. Gebet. Wie. Folged
Cryptogram 4 (23 signs)
Drei . Mal.
Three times.

(German transcription and translation to be added shortly)

(German transcription and translation to be added shortly)
 Image of the wand, Cryptogram 5 (30 signs)

Cvdation (Citation): Cryptogram 6 (40 signs)
Zwanck (Coercion): Cryptogram 7 (45 signs)
Abdanckvng (Dismissal): Cryptogram 8 (27 signs)
These are presumably the conjurations for the first spirit.

Image of the first demon. A young man in noble clothes, holding a cane, piercing through a seal with a Cancer, sorrounded by a cryptogram (No.9) of 9 signs. I E L

Cvdation (Citation): Cryptogram 10 (28 signs)
Zwanck (Coercion): Cryptogram 11 (32 signs)
Abdanckvng (Dismissal): Cryptogram 12 (32 signs)
These are presumably the conjurations for the second spirit.

Image of the second demon. A young man in simple clothes, in front of a circle, holding a spike in his right hand while the left is grasping a large ring in which his seal can be seen. The seal is rurrounded by his name, Cryptogram 13 (6 signs).

Cvdation (Citation): Cryptogram 14 (46 signs)

Das. Heiliche. Christofflvs. Ge. Bebed. Das. Stet. Hin. Der. Der. Hand.
The Prayer of Saint Cristopher (..) back of the hand. 

Abdanckvng (Dismissal): Cryptogram 15 (36 signs)
These are presumably the conjurations for the third spirit.


Image of the third demon. A bearded man dressed like a soldier, with a helmet, kneals down, holding a spear in his left hand and a shield in his right. The shield has a cryptogram (no.16, 13 signs) and the phrase:
+ Chrisdoffllvs. In. Sigel. Schadz. Meister. Vwer. Alle. Schetze.
(Christopher in the seal, Tresurer over all the tresures)

Cvdation (Citation): Cryptogram 17 (27 signs)
Zwanck (Coercion): Cryptogram 18 (32 signs)
Abdanckvng (Dismissal): Cryptogram 19 (30 signs)
These are presumably the conjurations for the fourth spirit.

Image of the fourth demon. A young man with indistinguished clothes and covered head (perhaps clergy) holding a full cloth bag. His seal is partially absconded by the image of a raven or hawk, around which the name is writen in code (Cryptogram 20, 9 signs)

Cvdation (Citation): Cryptogram 20 (28 signs)
Zwanck (Coercion): Cryptogram 21 (34 signs)
Abdanckvng (Dismissal): Cryptogram 22 (32 signs)
These are presumably the conjurations for the fifth spirit.

Image of the fifth demon. A young cleric figure with winged back and winged feet, the left being a hoof, carries a large pot. To the left, his seal in the likeness of two crossed keys surrounded by it s name, cryptogram 23 (12 signs or 10).

Cvdation (Citation): Cryptogram 24 (28 signs)
Zwanck (Coercion): Cryptogram 25 (33 signs)
Abdanckvng (Dismissal): Cryptogram 26 (26 signs)
These are presumably the conjurations for the sixth spirit.

The image of the sixth demon. A curious, vaguely antropomorphic  creature, covered in dark fur, with gazelle horns, prolongued muzzle, human hands, avian legs and long winding tail, holding it s seal in the right hand, with it s name interspersed (Cryptogram 27, 5 signs)

Cvdation (Citation): Cryptogram 28 (28 signs)
Zwanck (Coercion): Cryptogram 29 (35 signs)
Abdanckvng (Dismissal): Cryptogram 30 (28 signs)
These are presumably the conjurations for the sixth spirit.

The image of the seventh demon, Lucifer himself, only one to have his name written plainly and only one without a conventional seal, if we do not count the flaming dark heart. A chained and shackled hairy humanoid, with hermaphrodite features (breasts and beard), four horns (a bovine set and a caprine set) amidst two donkey ears, horse tail, bear claws and hoofed legs.

An.foderung (Requirement)
Entiry coded, Cryptogram 31 (90 signs)

Circular diagram with the image of a severed right hand, holding a nail, inscribed with code (Cryptogram 32, 34 signs)

Noethige . Stvcke . Avs. Den VII. Den Bvch. Mosis
Necessary parts out of the Seventh Book of Moses.
Entiry coded, Cryptogram 33 (81 signs)

Friday, 11 September 2015

Faustian Cycle: The Black Raven. A manuscript

Upon researching the Faustian cycle of magical writings for a current project, I came to discover that there seem to be a plethora of manuscripts scanned and hosted online the likes of which I could not find a few years ago, in different locations. 

I will be taking upon myself the delicate task of finding them and bringing them to public attention.

Many of them find their published content in Scheible s Kloster, but we will dwell on that more when time permits. 

The following manuscripts are from the Darmstadt Digital Collections. The first one is called Der Schwarze Rabe, namely, the Black Raven, one of the most common names of the Faustian grimoires, albeit with a different content each time. 

Shelfmark: Hs-2543
Der schwarze Rabe / The Black Raven
Internal date: Passau, 1519- 30 July 
                                    15 April 1515
Pages: 34
Material: Paper, most likely. Black ink throughout. 
Binding: Quarter binding with blue paste-paper and brown marbled leather (?).

Digital Collectios Darmstadt - Manuscripts (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt)
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tudigit-50299  
Metadaten: METS

The seals are coded as follows: F(aust)S(chwarze)R(rabe).(page)1.(figure)1.=FSR.1.1  

The Black Raven. I ve yet to determine if this black raven with a ring in it s beak has any connection to the coat of arms of the Korwin/Corvin nobiliary line, from Poland to Transylvania. 

Typical cryptogram for a conjuration, seen throughout such texts of the Faustian Cycle, to be studied at a later date.




Complex Seal

Circular Seal





Circular seal.

Circular seal

Small seal. 

Circular seal


This last set seems to be a key for the cryptogram used, at least in part, detailing the symbols used to name the seven Olympic spirits of the Arbatel, with seven angelic overseers, presumably.

FSR.31.1. Aratron - Derdiel
FSR.31.2. Bethor - Miseriel
FSR.31.3. Phaleg - Seraphiel
FSR.31.4.Och - Asfariel
FSR.31.5. Hagith - Salomiel
FSR.31.6. Ophiel - Saleriel (?)
FSR.31.7. Pfuel (?) - Iachiel

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Tractatus de Nigromantia

While searching the web in hopes of new material I have stumbled upon a curious picture which in turn lead me to the Chetham Library Blog. 

The manuscript described there was new to me, and as I later found out, to my collegues as well, so my find was even more exciting. 

I wrote a letter to the Library staff, with little hope of finding any understanding in my research for images of the manuscript, if not a full scan at least scans of the diagrams. 

To my surprise, I found a reply for them, namely from mister Michael Powell, who was not only thrilled to find that I was fascinated with it and want to examin it on this page, but offered to me the entire manuscript in high-resolution PDF form, for which I am greatly indebted. 

After completeing the last two articles dedicated to the Compendium Rarrisimum, I shall turn my attention to this manuscript and publish the illustrations, with close attention to the planetary seals it lists at the beginning.

The manuscript in question, Mun.A.4.59, is 150 pages long, half of which is occupied by the pseudo-baconian Tractatus de Nigromatia, also called Bacon s Nigromancy or Thesaurum Spirituum. 

It contains experiments of fairy magic such as the Seven Sisters and the Operation of Micob, shared by many other sources and a few experiments with seals that I suspect are related to the Psalms. 

I promise to be back with all the seals in the manuscript!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Compendium rarissimum: Part I

The full title of this recent, short, yet astounding manuscript is Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros. Anno 1057. Noli me tangere, which means Most rare summary of the entire Magical Art put together by the most famous Masters of this Art. Year 1057. Do not touch me.

The year as we might gather, is fictitious and we might guess the author subtracted about seven centuries from the date of its compilation, making 1775 a far more likely candidate. 

It s held by the Wellcome Library (MS1766), estimated at the same date of 1775 (with the obvious questionmark), and described as: 

”In German and Latin. On white, brown and grey-green paper. The title within an ornamental border in wash, with skulls, skeletons and cross-bones. Illustrated with 31 extraordinary water-colour drawings of demons, and three pages of magical and cabbalistic signs and sigils, etc. At the end the figures are in red, and part of the text is written in white on the grey-green paper.”

The Wellcome Library graciously shared high-quality scans of the entire manuscript, with download options including a full PDF of the entire document, HERE.

I have made efforts to extract all seals and graphical figures from the treatise and render them to a higher quality. Also, since the images hosted online go simply from 1 to 112, including pictures of the object and separate typewritten material, I will refer to the content after the pencil numbering of the folios found on the upper-right cornrer and to the typed pages as p.1-4, keeping in brackets the image number of the source website.

The numbering of the seals is my own and follows their occurrence in the text. In subsequent studies of the imagery I will refference them as C(compendium)R(arissimum), followed by the number. The headings are translated from the manuscript unless otherwise mentioned.

The manuscripts begins with three pages of seals, of which only two have headings: the first illustrates the characters of evil spirits, the second records the characters of elemental spirits and the third, those of the good spirits.

I. Characters of the Evil Spirits

On f.30v. we find a description of the demonic hierarchy employed:

The four Kings: 

Lucifer. Leviathan. Satan. Belial. 

Their eight Dukes:

Astaroth. Magoth. Asmodai. Belzebub.
Oriens. Baimon. Aritton. Amaimon.

And twelve subjects:

Morech. Nabhi. Tirama. Nudaton.
Zagrion. Carufur. Rigalon. Zugula.
Ramaison. Kilik. Sumuran. Aloggiell.

This system correspond closely, albeit with differences in spelling, with those found in The Book of Abramelin (Dehn, Guth, 2006) down to the names of the first 12 spirits subjected to the dukes. These are the closest in their forms to the Peter Hammer edition, published in 1727 in Cologne.
 There is little consistency between the hierarchy and the seals presented.

1. Eliles 

2. Leviathan (?)

3. Astharot

4. Belzebub

5. Belial

6. Sathan

II. Characters of the Elemental Spirits,
of Fire, Water, Earth and Air.

These twelve seals, found on f.3r, often with astrological siglae included, have no spirit names attached. I shall continue the numbering, placing in brackets the astrological assignment.

7. (Venus)

8. (Venus)

9. (Pisces. Jupiter)

10. (Venus)

11. (Moon)

12. (No astrological siglae)

13. (No astrological siglae)

14. (No astrological siglae)

15. (No astrological siglae)

16. (No astrological siglae)

17. (No astrological siglae)

18. (Venus)

III. Characters of the Good Spirits

Third page of seals, f.4r, is dedicated to the good spirits. Unnamed as well, these are mainly planetary characters found in Agrippa s Occult Philosophy, Book I, chap.XXXIII, but also characters I have yet to identify.

19. Cf. Agrippa, Saturn, seal 3

20. Cf. Agrippa, Saturn, seal 4

21. Cf. Agrippa, Saturn, seal 5

22. Cf. Agrippa, Jupiter, seal 7

23. Cf. Agrippa, Mercury, seal 1

24. Cf. Agrippa, Mercury, seal 5

25. Cf. Agrippa, Sun, seal 1

26. Cf. Agrippa, Sun, seal 5

27. Unidentified. Magical Calendar?

 28. Cf. Agrippa, Sun, seal 2

29. Unidentified.

30. Unidentified.

The following two articles pertaining to this Compendium will analize the miscellaneous seals found throughout the images (part II) and two seriesof seals of the archangels (part III).