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The Book of Grimoires

The Secret Grammar of Magic

An extensive study of ancient books of magic and the magical practices preserved in the few surviving grimoires

• Includes spells, talisman formulations, and secret magical alphabets reproduced from the author’s private collection of grimoires, with instructions for their use

• Explains the basic principles of medieval magic, including the doctrine of names and the laws of sympathy and contagion

• Offers an overview of magic in the Western Mystery tradition

Grimoires began simply as quick-reference “grammar books” for sorcerers, magicians, and priests before evolving into comprehensive guides to magic, complete with spell-casting rituals, magical alphabets, and instructions to create amulets and talismans. With the advent of the printing press, some grimoires were mass produced, but many of the abbreviations were misinterpreted and magical words misspelled, rendering them ineffective. The most powerful grimoires remained not only secret but also heavily encoded, making them accessible only to the highest initiates of the magical traditions.

Drawing on his own private collection of grimoires and magical manuscripts as well as his privileged access to the rare book archives of major European universities, Claude Lecouteux offers an extensive study of ancient books of magic and the ways the knowledge within them was kept secret for centuries through symbols, codes, secret alphabets, and Kabbalistic words. Touching on both white and black magical practices, he explains the basic principles of medieval magic, including the doctrine of names and signatures, mastery of the power of images, and the laws of sympathy and contagion. He gives an overview of magic in the Western Mystery tradition, emphasizing both lesser-known magicians such as Trithemus and Peter of Apono and famous ones like Albertus Magnus and Hermes Trismegistus.

Creating a universal grimoire, Lecouteux provides exact reproductions of secret magical alphabets, symbols, and glyphs with instructions for their use as well as an illustrated collection of annotated spells, rituals, and talismans for numerous applications including amorous magic, healing magic, and protection rites. The author also examines the folk magic that resulted when the high magic of the medieval grimoires melded with the preexisting pagan magic of ancient Europe.

Claude Lecouteux is a former professor of medieval literature and civilization at the Sorbonne. He is the author of numerous books on medieval and pagan afterlife beliefs and magic, including The Book of Grimoires, Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells, and The Tradition of Household Spirits. He lives in Paris.

“Lecouteux is a genius. I have been gratefully following his research--which provides information I have never found in other locations--for years. As someone who has seen no small amount of grimoires, I can attest to the practical as well as scholarly nature of this book. Whether you are hunting for healing charms or just trying to find out more about the history of grimoires, this work will not disappoint you. Lecouteux’s brilliant observations are the icing on the cake for this amalgamation of various works, outlining workable incantations and valuable lost techniques. I was particularly pleased to find a list of Solomon’s demons with their diseases and remedies within the pages. This book is a serious contribution to occult work and a joy to read.”

– Maja D’Aoust, White Witch of L.A., astrologer, counselor, and coauthor of The Secret Source

“A grimoire is a textbook of magic that typically include instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets, how to perform magic spells, charms, and divination, and how to summon the dead or supernatural spirits. This book is a far-reaching study of magical books and shares the techniques and instructions mentioned above. The book is well documented and extensive, though not exhaustive. It isn't really for the novice but one with a deep interest in magical arts.”

– David H., Book Bargains, February 2014

More books from this author: Claude Lecouteux