The Origins Of The Goetia

Discussion in 'Esoterica' started by Anonymous, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Has any historian attempted to find the historical origin of the Occult Grimoire ; The Goetia ( The Lesser Key of Solomon).

    I know there are Paris manuscripts but is there a version that precedes the Paris manuscripts? German ? Italian?

    Feedback welcome.
     
  2. Yithian

    Yithian Parish Watch Staff Member

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    Pass. But it is probably based on Johann Weyer's
    Pseudomonarchia Daemonum (1577) which is an appendix to De Praestigiis Daemonum et Incantationibus ac Venificiis (1563)
     
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  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    While we're on the subject, how on earth is Goetia pronounced?
     
  4. MisterHyde

    MisterHyde Fresh Blood

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    Threadrot - we really need a pronunciation thread around here.

    I always thought is was either Go-eesh-ya or Go-eti-ka. Neither of which seem especially impressive now I come to think of it.
     
  5. byroncac

    byroncac Devoted Cultist

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    WEBSITE:
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    I suspect that the number of people who can pronounce 'Goetia' correctly are so few you can count them on the fingers of one hand.

    I'd go with something along the lines of "goat-ear" - the trick is to say it as if you mean it, say it loudly and with confidence and others who may have doubts will think your correct! ;)
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Goetia.

    The traditional way to pronounce it is "GOEESHAA".

    It means "Howling/The Howling".

    Anyway back to my point; Has any historian done detective work on the origins of the Goetia/Lemegeton.

    Are their any copies in Arabic?
     
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  7. OldTimeRadio

    OldTimeRadio Antediluvian

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    Re: Goetia.

     
  8. Yithian

    Yithian Parish Watch Staff Member

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    Well, if it's Greek aren't you [Traditionally] supposed to pronounce everything so nothing is lost? Something like Go-eh-tee-a. (Pretty short sound at the end, stress on second syllable)

    I tried to write in phonetics but the symbols won't cut and paste correctly. Here's a bash:

    /g@u'eIti:a/

    Where @=Schwa. (Which won't copy but should be an inverted 'e')

    Though perhaps the final /a/ could be a Schwa. Slight difference.
     
  9. Twin_Star

    Twin_Star Abominable Snowman

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    I doubt a "straight" historian would attempt such an investigative task, as it would almost certainly be doomed to failure. Unless i'm grossly mistaken, almost everybody accepts that the historical reality of this text has its origins during about the black death / hundred years war period (mid 14th C). Agrippa, Paracelsus are all thrown into the mix, but even allowing for interpretive errors in translation of the "original" sources, much of the imagery of the work can be traced to medieval or new testament motifs. Examples include the 48th entity - Haagenti - having the ability to turn water into wine. The 32nd and 66th manifestations ride beasts of war, either dragons or horses, which preclude an Egyptian origin.

    Moses De Leon's translation of the Zohar - The Book of Splendour - in the mid 13th century also arguably sowed seeds for magical thinking to be formalised into a more ceremonial format. Yith was right earlier when he said that Weyer's latin text could quite possibly have been the source material.

    HERE is a very good pdf, tracing the origins of many grimoires and magical texts, including the first book of the lesser KoS - The Goetia.

    You can find a complete (sigils and all) version of the GoetiaHERE

    A Wiki-esque encylopedia entry for the complete lesser KoS can be found HERE

    and lastly, good old amazon offers a complete version of text, collated magisterially by Joseph Peterson HERE

    And here's a snippet on the origin of the term Ars Goetia:

    Goety - "Magic Involving the Employment of Evil Spirits or Demons; A Sorcerer who Employs Spirits or Demons in Magic." This word is generally archaic. It was sometimes misspelled "geoty" in a confusion of etymology, were some believed it to be from "geo" = "earth." In Early Modern English, "goety" was often contrasted against "magia," seen as "white magik." It could also be seen as opposite of "theurgy." English derives the word from the French "goetie." The word still exists in French, though it is generally marked "rare" in dictionaries. "Goetie" is also the proper German spelling. As with most words English derives from French, the word comes from Greek through Latin. The Latin form is "goetia," meaning "black magic." The primary word in Greek is "goetiea," meaning "witchcraft, jugglery," from "goes," meaning a "sorcerer, wizard" or a "juggler, cheat." Other Greek forms of the word are "goeteuma" = "a spell or charm," "goeteusis" = "sorcery," "goeteutikos" = "sorceress," "goetiuo" = "to bewitch, fascinate" and "goetis" = "bewitching, fascinating." The root of all these is generally the idea of "howling" or "murmering." This can be seen in the related words "goes" = "wailer," "goos" = "weeping, wailing," "goao" = "to groan, weep," "gongustes" = "mutter, mumble," and even "goi goi," the sound of pigs grunting. Exactly where the word came to mean specifically dealing with evil spirits is either in the French or in English.

    Don't believe everything Al Moore says ;)
     
  10. Yithian

    Yithian Parish Watch Staff Member

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    Right. Case closed. :D
     
  11. ramonmercado

    ramonmercado CyberPunk

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    heres a new book about paracelsus.

     
  12. Emeth6332

    Emeth6332 Fresh Blood

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    Weyer's list is based on a text entitled Liber Officiorum Spirituum, sev Liber dictus Empto Salomonis, de principibus & Regibus daemoniorum. A work of a similar title is referred to by Trithemius in his Antipalus Maleficiorum (1508) but I've found nothing earlier than that. Curiously, two of the other books that form the Lemegeton, Theurgia Goetia and the Pauline Art, contain names derived from Trithemius' Steganographia (1606, although it had circulated in manuscript during the 16th Century).
    I'm not aware of any surviving medieval manuscripts that contain similar directories of spirits, although some might exist.
     
  13. Twin_Star

    Twin_Star Abominable Snowman

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    Certainly there are earlier extant texts that had a tradition of yielding the names, ranking and powers of demons and archangels.

    A f'rinstance would be the Gnostic script On the origin of the world. It's one of the Nag Hammadi scrolls, so let's both agree on early hundreds CE for its provenance.

    An excerpt here: "Thus, when the prime parent of chaos saw his son Sabaoth and the glory that he was in, and perceived that he was greatest of all the authorities of chaos, he envied him. And having become wrathful, he engendered Death out of his death: and he (viz., Death) was established over the sixth heaven, <for> Sabaoth had been snatched up from there. And thus the number of the six authorities of chaos was achieved. Then Death, being androgynous, mingled with his (own) nature and begot seven androgynous offspring. These are the names of the male ones: Jealousy, Wrath, Tears, Sighing, Suffering, Lamentation, Bitter Weeping. And these are the names of the female ones: Wrath, Pain, Lust, Sighing, Curse, Bitterness, Quarrelsomeness. They had intercourse with one another, and each one begot seven, so that they amount to forty-nine androgynous demons. Their names and their effects you will find in the Book of Solomon.

    The Testament of Solomon, related in Solomonic lore to the above Gnostic text, could be studied for a doctorate. Just one more fragment of an enormous, mainly Hebraic, industry around the man. Stories around him were told as often as the 1001 Arabian Nights, and bear in mind, Solomon is just one source for the lemegeton.

    The first pdf i linked earlier has a great section that describes the vibrant fusion of ideas that were happening in those far off centuries, gematraic techniques mingled with images of the christ, crucified, awe-inspiring i would have thought. anyway

    These writings were added to, over time, as entropy generally awards. More material was combined. recensions,,redactions,all found their way in to the corpus.

    The jewish diasporas, other exodimovement of the people:), amalgamated disparate strains of sociomagical-religious thinking.

    Bacon introduced Arabian translations of Taoist Alchemical books.

    Alchemy, in the East the search for life eternal. In the West, to somehow transmute lead into ingots auriferous.

    The printing press. An emerging social class with enough money to buy exotic books and grimoires, and enough time on their hands to read them.

    Point is, the existence of scientifically datable medieaval grimories only as far back as the 15th century seems perfectly reasonable. For all the reasons above, and many more, this was a time of critical mass in history for this material to be combined into different kinds of witches almanacs.

    Other "how-to" books were around at the time of the LKOS. The Liber Iuratus, the Grimorium Verum to name but two.

    As with so many other things, it's a melange. Despite the best efforts of brilliant contemporary minds to unlock the secrets of the past, to capture the voice of the ancient scribes, as usual were stumbling around in the dark pretty much fucking things completely up. ;)
     
  14. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Abominable Snowman

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    Having looked into the matter, the pedigree of the Lesser Key of Solomon is certainly not older than the 16th Century. There are no examples of it before that time. This of course begs the question of whether it is merely a fraud, and what exactly is it? So I'm going to float an idea.

    One of the most crucial elements in the LKoS is often utterly overlooked.

    Lesser Key.jpg
    Please note the triangle and circle with the names of God around it at the top of the page (marked East). The circle in that image is supposed to contain a black mirror, and that mirror is supposed to face the circle. Apparently it is within this mirror that the manifestations can be seen.

    So, given this small piece of evidence, the question arises, where in the history of European occultism does the use of a black mirror have a precedent? The answer is "nowhere". If we look further afield however , we find that in Mesoamerica, the Aztec worship of Tezcatlipoca uses an obsidian mirror as a ritual aid. Tezcatlipoca in fact means "Lord of the Smoking Mirror", and he was a Jaguar god, a trickster, and God of the Sun to whom most of those sacrificed hearts were offered.

    Now if we look briefly at history, Hernan Cortez had destroyed the Aztec Empire (with a lot of help from the many local tribes who deeply hated the Aztecs, whom Cortez's translator Malinal aka Dona Marina unified under Spanish command). This was largely concluded by 1521. Now the Aztecs were a literate civilization, and the Catholic Church went to a good deal of trouble to destroy their written culture, and so we only have a few extant codices of Aztec literature available to us today.

    Now word goes back to Spain about this amazing culture of obvious Satanists and Devil Worshipers whom the conquistadors have subdued and brought to mother church. No doubt there are those in Spain who are actual practicing Satanists at this time. Some of the most notorious Spanish Brujah (witches) were actually members of the clergy, in fact. So it is would seem pretty likely that they would be interested in finding out what the Aztecs knew before the Church burned all the books and melted all the idols. So, given the time frame, and the style of occult practices in grimoires that immediately predate the LKoS, I will suggest that what we are looking at is a fusion of an Aztec codex and a European grimoire.

    Consider if you will, the descriptions of the devils in the LKoS. They are often described as physically extraordinary, and not out of keeping with the denizens of the Aztec underworld of Xibalba.

    On a related note, it might surprise people to discover that the Sacred Heart that is so prominent in Catholic iconography had little prominence prior to the Conquest of New Spain. The doctrine that converted the Aztecs was that there was no more need to sacrifice hearts to keep the Sun alight, as the heart of the Savior Jesus Christ had been offered to that purpose (lets just ignore the fact that the notion of sacrificing Jesus to Tezcatlipoca never actually occurred, and would be more than a little blasphemous by Judeo-Christian standards if it had).
     
  15. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ... Staff Member

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    That's an interesting hypothesis.

    However, I feel the need to point out you're blending references to at least 3 distinct Meso-American cultures as if everything traces back to the Aztecs alone.

    For example:

    - The Aztecs did have a writing system, but they apparently adopted it from the separate Mixtecs.

    - It may be a bit of an overstatement to call the Aztecs "a literate civilization", to the extent it can be parsed as suggesting reading and writing were widespread beyond certain elite classes or roles.

    - The codex motif wasn't an Aztec invention - it was adopted / derived from the Mixtec and Mayan cultures.

    - Xibalba is the underworld of the Mayans - a different culture that had collapsed and survived in diminished form by the time the Europeans arrived.

    - The use of mirrors (or the mirror surrogate of water) for divination pre-dated the Aztecs, though the use of specifically obsidian mirrors correlates with the Post-Classical period during which the Aztecs arose and thrived.
     
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  16. skinny

    skinny Antediluvian

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    ^ I just wanted to say I like the way you think, man. I like the way you speak too, man.
     
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  17. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Abominable Snowman

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    I would have said 2 rather than 3. The Nahua around Lake Mexico had adopted the Mixtec writing system well in advance of the arrival of the Aztecs, and so the Aztecs adopted it after their arrival too. The crux of the argument that I can't yet demonstrate is that there was someone adequately proficient in the script to provide a translation for a European audience.

    Agreed. This doesn't really detract from my argument. We also have Spanish historical records of their burning Aztec texts on the grounds that they were deemed to be demonic.

    By literate, I merely mean that they had a written language. I would describe Feudal Europe as literate in the same way, though we both know only a tiny fraction of the population could read. What I meant was that they produced literature, i.e. written documents for various purposes.

    My understanding of the Aztec codices was that they were an effort by Spanish missionaries to belatedly make some attempt to get the Aztec priests to record their knowledge for posterity. For example, the Florentine Codex was comissioned by Fr. Bernadino de Sahagin

    Yes, I meant Mictlan. My Mesoamerican studies were years ago and I am clearly going senile.

    All that matters for the purpose of my argument is that the practice pre-dates Cortez and the LKoS, which it does.
     

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