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eBook formatNook, (torrent)En
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Release date 03.09.2011
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Editor’s note.

The text of this electronic edition of The Greater Key of Solomon was taken from the American edition of 1916 published by L.W. deLaurence. It substantially duplicates that edition with the following exceptions:

• Several long, irrelevant interjections by deLaurence have been removed, as have his self-promoting frontispiece and splash pages.
• The footnotes have been eliminated as contributing nothing of significance to the meaning of the text. They consisted largely of pompous “admonishments” by deLaurence, advertisements for his products, and opaque source notes.
• Where possible, illustrations have been moved close to the place where they are referenced in the text.
• The formatting has been changed to conform to modern conventions.

The scanned illustrations have been optimized for printing at 300 dpi; with some combinations of computer monitor and driver software, the onscreen images may appear blocky or crude.
For the best reading experience, I recommend printing this document on nonglossy paper tinted a light ecru or tan color.
Benjamin Rowe March 23, 1999
Preface To Book One.

The Key Of Solomon , save for a curtailed and incomplete copy published in France in the seventeenth century, has never yet been printed, but has for centuries remained in manuscript form inaccessible to all but the few fortunate scholars to whom the inmost recesses of the great libraries were open.

The fountain-head and storehouse of Qabalistical Magic, and the origin of much of the Ceremonial Magic of Mediaeval times, the Key has been ever valued by Occult writers as a work of the highest authority; and notably in our own day Eliphaz Levi has taken it for the model on which his celebrated Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie was based. It must be evident to the initiated reader of Levi, that The Key Of Solomon was his text book of study, and at the end of this volume, I give a fragment of an ancient Hebrew Manuscript of The Key of Solomon, translated and published in the Philosophie Occulte, as well as an Invocation called the Qabalistical Invocation of Solomon, which bears close analogy to one in the First Book, being constructed in the same manner on the scheme of the Sephiroth.

The history of the Hebrew original of The Key of Solomon is given in the Introductions, but there is every reason to suppose that this has been entirely lost, and Christian, the pupil of Levi, says as much in his Histoire de la Magie.

I see no reason to doubt the tradition which assigns the authorship of the Key to King Solomon, for among others Josephus, the Jewish historian, especially mentions the magical works attributed to that monarch; this is confirmed by many Eastern traditions, and his magical skill is frequently mentioned by the Old Adepts.

There are, however, two works on Black Magic, the Grimorium Verum, and the Clavicola di Salomone ridolta, which have been attributed to Solomon, and which have been in some cases especially mixed up with the present work; but which have nothing really to do therewith; they are full of evil magic, and I cannot caution the practical student too strongly against them.

There is also another work called Legemeton, or the Lesser Key of Solomon the King, which is full of seals of various Spirits, and is not the same as the present book, though extremely valuable in its own department.

In editing this volume, I have omitted one or two experiments partaking largely of Black Magic, and which had evidently been derived from the two Goetic works mentioned above; I must further caution the practical worker against the use of blood; the prayer, the Pentacle, and the perfumes, or Temple Incense, rightly used, are sufficient as the former verges dangerously on the evil path. Let him who, in spite of the warnings of this volume, determines to work evil, be assured that evil will recoil on himself and that he will be struck by the reflex current.

This work is edited from several ancient MSS. in the British Museum which all differ from each other in various points, some giving what is omitted by the others, but all unfortunately agreeing in one thing, which is the execrable mangling of the Hebrew words through the ignorance of the transcribers. But it is in the Pentacles that the Hebrew is worse, the letters being so vilely scribbled as to be actually undecipherable in some instances, and it has been part of my work for several years to correct and reinstate the proper Hebrew and Magical characters in the Pentacles. The student may therefore safely rely on their being now as nearly correct in their present reproduction as it is possible for them to be.

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