The True Grimoire or Grimorium Verum - Books of Magic and Witchcraft

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The True Grimoire or Grimorium Verum
Books of Magic and Witchcraft

This is a strange grimoire full of interesting details, inaccuracies, and controversy. S. L. MacGregor Mathers described it as “full of evil magic, and I cannot caution the practical student too strongly against[it].” Another work attributed to King Solomon, it is sometimes sold as The True Clavicles of Solomon. As clavicles means “keys” the implication is that this work is superior and more authentic than the renowned, popular Key of Solomon. This may be opinion or it may be audacity; there are those who believe that the bulk of The True Grimoire is cribbed from the Key and the Lemegeton.

Be that as it may, The True Grimoire was allegedly translated from the Hebrew by a “Dominican Jesuit” (which doesn’t exist—there is no such religious order) and allegedly published by Alibeck the Egyptian in Memphis, Egypt in 1517. (Arthur Waite says Memphis is really Rome.) Its author and origins are unknown. Some experts date it no earlier than 1750 although others disagree and accept the alleged publication date. Some claim that this text was among those used by the diabolical Abbé Guibourg in the seventeenth century.

The True Grimoire offers a complete course in summoning and compelling demons and was at one time extremely popular—it was the most popular grimoire in Europe by the nineteenth century, particularly in France. Similar in style and nature to The Grand Grimoire, it contains instructions for conjuring and compelling demons, including sigils and descriptions of demons’ powers. Like The Grand Grimoire, The True Grimoire was considered a diabolical book

Although it is now a notorious book and many avoid it for fear of being tainted by association, The True Grimoire is a particularly fascinating example of the grimoire genre. It is unusual in that grimoires virtually always assume that practitioners and readers are exclusively male: The True Grimoire uniquely contains some instructions offering variations depending upon whether the magician is male or female. It is also comparatively respectful towards demons. Instead of merely commanding and compelling, the reader is informed that such powerful spirits won’t do anything without payment. This may be construed as referring to offerings or sacrifice and indeed, pretty disgusting instructions are included for preparing a sacrificial goat, although these instructions correspond to no spiritual traditions’ notions of sacrifice.

Diabolical or not, whoever wrote The True Grimoire must have been a book-lover. Among the various demons and their powers that The True Grimoire identifies is Humot who, the text assures, will instantly provide the conjuring sorcerer with any book he or she might demand.