Friday, 3 April 2020

The Rings of Messalah: Rawlinson 252 Fragments

Rawlinson Ms. 252, fol.80r

1. Source 

Bodleian Library Manuscript Rawlinson 252, known in the literature as the Rawlinson Necromantic Manuscript, is a 15th century fascinating collection of experiments and magical treatises in Latin and English, excerpts of which can be found in Frank Klaassen`s Transformations of Magic  and Richard Kieckhefer`s Forbidden Rites.

Only three fragments from our treatise are contained in it, namely the rings of Jupiter and Mercury and the planetary consacration, the latter being very seldom met with in English versions, corresponding closely to the Darmstadt text. 

I am indebted to professor Frank Klaassen and to Joseph Peterson for their kind help in supplying information used to write this article, whom I duly thank. 

2. Text and translation 

Annulus [Jovis] fit ergo una parte de [Solis] et alia parte de lune et fiat dies [Jovis] et eius hora. Iste annulus est bonum ad omninos lucrationem ad deliberandum homines qui sunt condamnati et eciam ad omninos accionem, ad faciendum eam monetam quam trades aliam alteri venire ad te vel quecumque alius dederis. Quando volueris hoc experimentum facere, ieiuna die [Jovis] vsque ad noctem, et in nocte cum sanguine galli fac istum karacter

The ring of [Jupiter] is made of one part [Sun/gold] and the other part Moon [silver] and it is to be made in the day of [Jupiter] and in his hour. This ring is good for all workings and for freeing men that are imprisoned and also for all actions, and for making a coin that you or another has spent come back to you or whomever gave it. When you wish to make this experiment, fast on the day of [Jupiter] until night-time and at night make this character with the blood of a cock

et scribe nomen angeli quod est phitonias1 in pelle vitulli et fac bursam inde vel aliter ponem in ista cedula qualcumque volueris moneta vel alius qud vis rehabere statim et da et statim ad te reveniet.2

and write the name of the angel that is phitonias1 in calfskin and make a pouch where you or another will put this document whenever you or some other will wish to get the coin back immediately, and give it and immediately it shall return to you.

Anulus mercurij debet fieri de cupro sicut est mars, ad habendum
omnem scientiam et victoriam in omni placito cuiuscunque domini, et quod non condempnaberis ab aliquo iudice. Quando vis operare, sis ieiu[n]us die .[mercurii]. usque ad noctem. Eodem nocte, cum sanguine vulpis vel mureligi, fac istum carecterem

The ring of Mercury ought to be made from copper, just like Mars, in order to have all knowledge and victory in every struggle with any lord, and that you will not be condemned by any judge. When you wish to operate, fast on the day of Mercury to the evening. That same night, make this character with the blood of a fox or cat on the skin of a he-goat

et nomen angeli, quod est yparon in pelli hirci, et quando venis coram
iudice vel aliquo alio homine, [80v] scribe hunc karacterem in pectore tuo vel in fronte cum nomine Angeli, et tene cedulam in manu tua, et ipse non habebit potestatem condempnandi te, et facies anulum in die [mercurii] et eius hora.3

and the name of the angel, which is Yparon, and when you come before the judge or any other man, [80v] write this character on your chest or forehead with the name of the Angel and hold the document in your hand, and he will not have the power to condemn you, and make the ring in day of Mercury and his hour.4
Consecratio planetarum

Exorcizo vos creaturas planetarum dedicatas eorum spiritibus et in earum horis fabricatas et earum potencia factas, per Vryel, Salatiel, Acoel, et per potenciam, que vobis condonata est in creacione vestra in principio, quibus dicens Relinquo munera que sunt preciosa, ita quod vos ad illa adiuuetis que desiderare volo et patere, et quod tale adiuuamentum prebeatis ad quales particlos, estis fabricate vel scripte estis per virtutem per quam vos constrinxi estis, prestante deo in secula seculorum amen.5

Consecration of the planets

I exorcise you, creatures of the planets, consecrated to their spirits and constructed in their hours and made by their power, through Uryel, Salatiel, Acoel, and through the power which was bestowed upon you in your creation in the beginning, saying to them: “I relinquish gifts which are precious” so that you may furnish benefit to those things which I wish to desire and seek, and so that you may furnish such benefit to those particulars, you [i.e., the rings] were constructed or you were inscribed through the power by which I have constrained you: you exist with God disposing forever and ever, amen.5

3. Notes

1. Possibly phitomians.
2. Transcription and translation of the Jupiter portion by myself. 
3. Klaassen, p.239, note 81.
4. op. cit., p.144.
5. op. cit., p.239, note 82.

4. Comparative seal chart

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

The Rings of Messalah: Kassel Version

1. Source

Kassel University Library 4° Ms. chem. 66, fols.200r-202r. So far I have no date for this manuscript, but a quick look over its content and hand would suggest the late 15th - early 16th century. Any information in this direction would be welcomed. 

The manuscript is available HERE but lately I have had trouble accessing the website, so I`ve decided to put the edited manuscript pages here:






2. Text and translation

Transcript and translation by myself. I have updated the punctuation, spelled out in full the abbreviations including the astrological siglae and added rubrication. 


Incipiunt explanationes signorum mirabilium et septem
planetarum sapientem Mescalach. 


Here begins the explanations of the miraculous signs and seven planets of the sage Mescalach.

[1] Dixit Mescalach: Incipiam cum adiutorio Altissimj explanare signi mirabilis experimentum, dicitur autem mirabile eo quod ipsem mirabilia operantur.  Nominatur aut breve signum quia per ipsum multa breviter possunt sciri, quoniam et ipsius opera consumauerunt que scire non poterant si post multorum librorum nigromantiarum et astronomorum noticiam et est signum istud mirabili valde mirandum in quo sunt secreta altissimj, Signum est per quod omnia pre interpossunt effici, ad honorem, ad divinitas, et ad amorerem, ad odium, ad fruitus producendos, cum non sit tempus fructum, ad invisibilitatem, ad aquarum concursus in locis siccis.

[1] So sayeth Mescalach: We begin, with the help of the Most-High [God], the explanation of the wonderous experiments of the miracle, having called  wonderous that by which miracles are worked. It is to be called the minor miracle because through it many minor things can be made known, forasmuch its workings may come to pass that cannot be known unless after taken heed of  many books of the nigromants and astronomers and this is a miracle that is quite wonderful and marvelous in which there are the secret of the Allmighty, this miracle is one through which all can be accomplished, for honor, for divinity, for love, for hatred, for producing fruits when it is not the time of the fruit, for invisibility, for making water flow in a barren place [etc.]

[2] Annulus Solis ex auro; Lunae, ex argento; Martis, ex ere; Mercuris, ex cupro; Jovis, ex electro; Veneris, ex plumbo;  Saturnis, ex ferro; Capitis Draconis, ex calibe.1

[2] The ring of the Sun [is made] in gold; of the Moon, in silver; of Mars, in bronze; of Mercury, in copper; of Jupiter, in electrum; of Venus, in lead; of Saturn, in iron; of the Head of the Dragon, in steel.

[3] Annulus Solis fit hoc modo:  in die dominica ieiunabis usque ad noctem, et tunc hora eiusdem facias fierj annulum, in quo sculpes karacterem et nomen Angeli eius2 hoc modo. Hunc annulus serva cum mente curiosa et serva in loco mundissimi et involue in serico rubeo.  Hec sunt eius opera:

[3] The ring of the Sun is made in this fashion: on the Lord`s Day you shall fast until nightfall, and in then in its hour the ring should be made, in which you shall engrave the character and the name of its angel in this fashion.  Guard this ring with a dilligent mind and keep it in a most-clean place and wrap it in red silk.
These are its works:


Igitur ad operandum cum hoc annulo ieiunes dies Solis usque ad noctem; in nocte sacrificium facies de ave non domestica prope aque litus discurrente cum eius sanguine scribe karacterem Solis et nomen angelj eius3 in carta virginea4 et tecum porta, et cum volueris de una [201r] terra transire ad aliam, karacterem Solis et nomen angeli eius depingi in terram et veniet tibi niger equus qui te turbine quo volueris ducet
dextra habens cart chartham, sinistra annulum.

Therefore, to work with this ring, you shall fast on the Sun`s day until nightfall; during the night, make a sacrifice of a non-domestic bird near the water, on the bank of a river. With its blood write the character of the Sun and the name of its angel in virgin paper and bear it with you, and when you will want to pass from one land to another , draw the character of the Sun and the name of its angel on the earth and a black horse shall come to you and shall bear you upon a whirlwind to where you will desire to go, having the paper in the right hand and the ring on the left.

[4] Annulus Lunae hoc modus fit sicut annulus Solis, sculpando secundum karacterem et nomen angeli eius in annulo die Lunae et hora eiusdem. Ad operando cum hoc annulo aportet te ipso die ieiunare usque ad noctem, nocte autem facies sacrificium de anguilla fluvialj; cum eius sanguine scribe in pelle catuli, nomen angeli et karacterem eiusdem et in pelle anguille involue et reserua, et cum volueris ut apparent flumen ver arbor cum fructu scribe in terram nomen angeli et karacterem et nomina quemque vis invocans angelum aperi chartam ut appareat; ut non apareat, claude eam. Hic est annulus:

[4] The ring of the Moon is made in the same fashion as the ring of the Sun, engraving afterwords the character and the name of its angel in the day of the Moon and in its hour. To work with this ring it is necessary that you fast on this same day until nightfall and during the night make a sacrifice of a river eel; with its blood write upon the skin of a whelp the name of the angel and its character and wrap it in the skin of the eel and keep it, and when you wish to make appear a river or a tree bearing fruit, draw on the ground the name of the angel and its character and name what you wish while invoking the angel. Open the paper (skin) in order to make it appear and to make it dissapear close it. This is the ring:

[5]Annulus Martis fier ut superiors, facto annulo cum  volueris aliquid probare primo sacrificio de animalia rapaci, intraque  domum ad ignem scribe nomen et karacterem ut supra cum sanguine eiusdem animalis, et cum volueris ut appareant milites armatij et castello et turres in ludo et civitates in prelio, scribe karacterem et nomen in terra, carta aparte, nomina quod vis et hac accipes ut habeat claude. Hic este annulus:

 [5] The ring of Mars is like the above, make this ring when you want to try [its virtues]: first make a sacrifice of a animal of prey inside your house, in the fire, write the name and the character as above, with the blood of the said animal, and when you will want to make appear armed soldiers and a castle with towers in a siege(?) and people fighting, write the character and name on the earth, open the paper and name what you want and [to dissapear] close it.  This is the ring:

[6] Annulus  Mercurii hoc modo fier sicut fiunt alij fier sacrificium  de vulpe vel de cato in loco diserto scribens karacteres et nomina angeli eius in pelle edj de sanguine ipsius animalis tingens cum accessoris ad Judicem, scribe karacteres et nomina angeli et in fronte tinge et non condempnaberis, cartam habens in manu. Hic est annulus:

[6] The ring of Mercury is in this fashion made, like all the others: make a sacrifice of a fox or cat in a deserted place, write the caracter and name of the angel in kidskin with the blood of that animal and touch it with it. Should you be with your fellows before a Judge, write the character and the name of the angel and touch it to your forehead and you shall not be condemned, while holding the paper in your hand. This is the ring:

[7]Annulus Jovis  fac ut super, fiat sacrificium de gallo karacteres et nomina angelj scribe in pelle vitullj vituli in qua si involueris  denarium, quocies erogaueris ipse reuertetur. Hic est annulus:

[7] The ring of Jupiter ist to be made as above, make the sacrifice of a cock, write the character and the name of the angel in calfskin in which, if you shall wrap a coin, it will return to you.  This is the ring:

[8] Annulus Veneris: fit sicut supra, fiat igitur sacrificium de columba alba in loco virentj  karacteres et nomina in  pelle leporis, quoties in manu tenueris si
mulierj ostenderis  sequar  te nihil loquens. Hic est annulus:

[8] The ring of Venus: do as above, and make therefore a sacrifice of a white dove in a green place, [write] the character and the name in a hare`s skin which, if you will hold in your hand and show to a woman she will follow you without speaking. This is the ring:

[9] Annulus Saturni fier ut supra, fier sacrificium de capreto intra vepres,  karacteres et nomina angeli scripte in pergame [201v] no vetori; cum inter duos vis  miscere odium, ipsorum  nomina in pergameno scribe et karacteres et nomina angelj et in  ignem pones nomina que vis. Hic est annulus:

[9] The ring of Saturn is as the above, the sacrifice is of a young goat among brambles, the character and name are to be written in old parchment; When you will want to put hate between two people, write their names and the character and the name of the angel in the parchment and place in fire the names you want. This is the ring:

[10] Annulus Capitis Draconis: fiat sacrificium de cane inquadriuio;  karacteres et nomina angelj in pelle capreto; cum  aliquod volueris intoxicare, in potu eius intinge annulum. Hic est forma annuli:

[10] The ring of the Head of the Dragon: make a sacrifice of a dog at a crossroads; the character and name of the angel [are to be written] on kidskin; when you want to poison someone, touch his drink with the ring. This is the ring:

[11] Sequitur de generalibus mandatis. Primum annulus, Solis,  habendus et in parvo digito sinistre  manus in omni sacrificio et nomina angeli eius et nomen planete pro quo fit tam in memoria quaque in lingua teneatur; carte mundissime reseventur nec appareant noctis tempore nis necessitus ingrueris.

[11] Here follow the general rules. The first ring, that of the Sun, once had, it is to be worn on the little finger of the left hand in all the sacrifices and keep the name of the angel and of the planet for which [the sacrifice is made] both in your mind and upon your tongue.  The paper must be kept in utter cleanliness and you shall not open during the night unless the need will overcome you.

[12] Infra talem circulum et fiat sacrificium et cum scripsisti karacteres et nomina angeli in subiectij predictis tum intra circulum prescriptum et dic hanc invocationem: “O, Tu angele .N. sacrificium tue laudis suscipe!” et hoc dicto probiu cartas extra circulum.

[12] Beneath is the circle and make the sacrifice and once you write the caracters and the names of the angels above-mentioned, you shall then enter the circle described above and say this invocation: „O, thou angel, N., receive this sacrifice made to your praise!” and this being said, throw the papers outside the circle.


[202 r]
Nomina Angelorum

-Jovis: Phytones :~
-Solis: Ocarat:~
-Lunae: Carmelan:~
-Martis: Cocazim:~
-Mercurii: Ypaton:~
-Veneris: Abhanci:~
-Saturnis: Gilgheti:~
-Capitis Draco: Orthorix:~

[202 r]
The names of the Angels:

-Jupiter: Phytones .
-Sun: Ocarat.
-Moon: Carmelan.
-Mars: Cocazim.
-Mercury: Ypaton.
-Venus: Abhanci.
-Saturn: Gilgheti.
-Head of the Dragon: Orthorix.

3. Notes:

1. It must not surprise us that the Caput Draco is treated as a planet and given a ring as well. As we have seen in later editions, it is eliminated, but Arabic astro-magical recipes will often list it as such.  Also, the metallic attributions must not vex us, as there was no proper consensus of one general way the metals were attributed to celestial bodies, before Cornelius Agrippa and Paracelsus. As we can see here, while the Sun and the Moon keep gold and silver throughout, the lesser planets vary greatly, which lead modern authors to deem them as mistakes. We must not make the mistake to judge one scale of attribution as the correct one just because it became more popular since the 15th century onward.

2. The expression karacterem et nomen Angeli eius would lead us to think that both the character and the name belong to the same angel, ruled by the Sun.

3. The expression karacterem Solis et nomen angelj eius  would lead us to think that the character belongs to the Sun and the name to the spirit, quite a different logic from the phrase used above.

 4. It is hard to ascertain carta virginea truly means virgin (unused) paper or virgin parchment. The consensus is that parchment is rendered either as pergameno or as pelle (skin), followed by the animal of origin, while unborn parchment would be vellum. Carta or charta usually is the term used for paper, from the Greek  χάρτης (khártēspapyrus, paper).

4. Synthetic chart

Wild fowl
River bank
Virgin paper
River eel
A place
3 ways
Whelp skin
Eel skin.
Animal of
Paper (?)
or cat
White  dove
Young goat
Head of

5. Comparative seals chart