Introduction to the Greater Key of Solomon & the Pentacles of Solomon
The figure of King Solomon and his wisdom and power exerted an almost hypnotic influence over magicians and esotericists since ancient times. Solomon’s wisdom was seen as extending to astrology and magic, particularly the evocation and binding of spirits. By the Middle Ages and Renaissance a whole variety of grimoires, books of ceremonial magic, were attributed to the authorship of Solomon. One of the most famous was the Clavicula Solomonis or the Greater Key of Solomon. Many different manuscripts of the Greater Key exist and you can see more about the variant versions at Joseph Peterson’s Esoteric Archives. The most famous and widely available translation of the Greater Key is by S. Liddell MacGregor Mathers first published in 1889.
The Greater Key does contain much of interest for astrological magic. For example it provides a whole list of astrologically appropriate times using the planetary days and hours for various activities and types of magic. You can see the Greater Key planetary day/hour timing. The most important use of astrology in the Greater Key of Solomon are the planetary pentacles. These are similar to astrological talismans and are used for invoking the spirits of the planets. The Mathers edition of the Greater Key of Solomon lists forty four different pentacles each with different powers and properties.
There is a certain amount of confusion, probably stemming from the variant manuscripts regarding the proper materials and timing for the pentacles. In Book I, chapter 8, the magician is advised that the pentacles of all the planets should be made on Mercury day (Wednesday) and Mercury hour, with the Moon in an air or earth sign, as well as waxing and on an even day after the New Moon. In addition, colors are given for the pentacles and the instructions make clear that the pentacles are to be constructed of paper and the design written on them. However, in Book I, chapter 18, of the Greater Key of Solomon the standard planetary metals are listed and the magician advised to make the pentacles in the day and hour of the planet itself. Paper is listed as an alternative material.
The pentacles of Solomon are no longer available at Renaissance Astrology as of May 25, 2016. We are restocking and as pentacles become available will offer them here!
Astrological Magic Course & Spiritus Mundi Discussion Group
If you are interested in discussing and learning about Renaissance Astrology, particulary Astrological Magic, you may wish to subscribe to Spiritus Mundi my e-group devoted to traditional (pre-1700) astrology or my Renaissance Astrology blog.
For those that desire to delve deeper into Astrology and Magic I offer an Astrological Magic Full Course which teaches students the complete theory and practice of the Renaissance astrological magic of Cornelius Agrippa, Marsilio Ficino and Picatrix.
I also offer the smaller, self-contained Mansions of the Moon Mini-Course and Planetary Magic Mini-Course. Please Contact me if you have further questions regarding astrological magic or my web courses.
by Renaissance Astrology
Leave your questions here