The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005
The Picatrix or the Ghayat al-Hakim (“The Aim of the Wise” or “The Goal of the Wise”)
Books of Magic and Witchcraft
The Picatrix is highly unusual because it is a survival of an Arabic book of magic in Europe. Because it was translated into Latin at an early stage, The Picatrix remained accessible to Europeans when almost all other Arabic metaphysical knowledge was not.
The Picatrix was apparently composed in Andalusia in approximately 1000 CE at a time when most of what is now Spain was under Muslim rule. Although the book is attributed to the Andalusian mathematician al-Majriti who died c. 1005, there is little indication that this attribution is any more reliable than those of other grimoires. Some believe that the book was actually composed and/or compiled in the twelfth century. The book now popularly known as The Picatrix was translated into Latin in 1256 for the Castilian king Alfonso the Wise.
The Picatrix is substantially larger than other grimoires. It is a compendium of four books and may offer the most complete magical system of any grimoire. It is mainly a compilation of astral, sympathetic, and talismanic magic, grounded in Arabic and classical magic, with reference made to Hermes Trismegistus. Among the stated aims of the book’s spells are the acquisition of love and longevity, healing, escape from captivity, and gaining control over one’s enemies.
Although it was always rare, it was also highly influential. Latin, French, Spanish, and German translations are available. The first two books of The Picatrix were finally translated from Arabic into English in 2002 and published by Ouroborus Press.
See HALL OF FAME: Ficino; Trithemius.