The Secrets of Solomon: A Witch's Handbook from the trial records of the Venetian Inquisition - Review

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The Secrets of Solomon: A Witch's Handbook from the trial records of the Venetian Inquisition - Review

Post#1 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:16 am

I have just finished reading Joseph Peterson's latest "The Secrets of Solomon: A Witch's Handbook from the trial records of the Venetian Inquisition" and thought I would take the step over the threshold and write a review.

The text comprises four books dealing with:

1- The Cthonic Spirits
2-The Amalthai spirits
3-Planetary Intelligences
4-The Stone

Parts of this text have been published elsewhere, but always incomplete. The first book, of course, is likely the source of the Grimorium Verum while first two books are in the Universal Treatise published by Skinner and Rankine in "The Veritable Keys of Solomon" - but particularly regarding the Cthonic spirits, in greatly reduced form.

The Planetary Intelligences seems to be taken from Agrippa's Fourth Book and the Heptameron. The fourth book, on the making of the stone seems unique to this text.

So, we all know by now that this seems to be the manuscript source that the Grimorium Verum was compiled from. Looking through it and comparing it to Verum, and the Key of Solomon from Lansdowne 1202 which is in the appendix of Peterson's Verum, one can see how they correspond and also where they break off. It seems likely that some of the advanced Latin was too hard for copyists who in the later texts have just missed parts out. The text does not openly present the ritual process, so it seems other texts such as Lansdowne 1202's Key of Solomon and Verum, despite their seeming confusion were actually trying to put together a coherent system, though why Verum misses out the lamen / first character I've no idea. Maybe they were missing the front page...

Some cool things in this book... you will be greatly amused when you discover what Elestor uses to overcome you with blows in the Americas.

The Barbarous Names of evocation in the book on the stone are in the language of one of the rudest races of Barbarians ever to offend our Holy Roman Empire - English! This is actually a great way to see how Nomina Barbara come from a real language and due to the copyists unfamiliarity with that language, deteriorate over time and repetition.

When summoning the Cthonic spirits there is a rite which instructs you to stand upon the wand while incanting. This is an old traditional way of creating a liminal space, and anyone who has seen the movie "Dust Devil" has seen a very well presented illustration of this. We also discover a reason why Verum appears to suggest you should have two wands.

In many ways the stuff in book 1 over shadows the rest due to its historical importance. But I also quite like the content of book 4 - basically making an idol using astrological reckoning. Could this be done to make an idol of your Guardian Daimon using your Al-Muten planet? The talismans in book 2 are very nice, though note that the Hebrew letter names are spelled out in Latin text to enable accurate copying, they should of course be written as the Hebrew letters themselves.

Ultimately, I don't think the four books are actually related to each other, but like the collection of texts gathered with Agrippa's Fourth Book, they could be complimentary.

Is it worth getting the book? Well, if you have any interest in the Verum's family of texts then obviously this is essential research, as it contains complete versions of passages that are truncated or missed out entirely in the later versions. You will get an idea of how Verum was put together and the thinking behind the decisions made in compiling it. However, it is a book full of mysteries. It is designed so that it can only be used by someone who devotes serious study to it, and perhaps has a little guidance from Below. Perhaps make the Stone first and ask your Daimon for guidance.


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