Thursday, 3 December 2020

Seals of the Archangels in the Vadian Manuscript

 The Vadian Manuscript (VSG) contains one instance of De Abano's Elucidarium Nigromantiae, that means it contains the seals of the archangels popularised by the Heptameron. 

The seals are presented on pages 2 and 3, in weekely order, from Raphael (Sunday) to Cafriel (Saturday).  They have been recorded in a chart by Joseph Peterson, with one minor exception: there is an overlooked seal of Raphael (noted VSG.1.II). On page 16.3, the exemple circle of conjurations contains his seal, but differs slightly from the one presented in the text, hinting to at least two sources employed in the manuscript's redaction. 

Most of the seals bare great resemblance to the Ghent Manuscript variant Seals, showing either direct influence or very close source used. 

The Seal of Raphael (VSG.1.1)

Crude match to GM1 in the terminal portion. 

The Seal of Raphael (VSG.1.2)

Crude match to GM2 overall. 

The Seal of Gabriel (VSG.1)

Close match to GM4 and the Munich Manual.

The Seal of Samael (VSG.3)

Matches superficially all known versions.

The Seal of Michael (VSG.4)

A most unusal version, matches GM7 the most.

The Seal of Satquiel (VSG.5)

Matches to GM9 the most. 

The Seal of Anael (VSG.6)

Novel version with dashed circle, matches the Halle version the most, as Peterson's chart shows (to be published).

The Seal of Cafriel (VSG.7)

Matches GM11 mostly, with features of the last characters shared with the Munich Manual.

Conclusion: Great resemblance to the Second version of the Ghent Manuscript, the Munich manual, Halle Manuscript (to be published) and through these, some versions of the Sepher Urim in the Sepher Mafteach Shelomoh. 

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Wednesday, 2 December 2020

The Vadian Clavicula: Overview

 One of the finds of the year comes from Joseph Peterson, whose kind permission was grated to post this. 

Grand Lamen, p. 115

The manuscript he found contains good portions of the Elucidarium Nigromantiae of Petrus de Abano, one of the missing links in the European ritual magic texts, some portions of the Clavicula Salomonis, as far as I can tell, and other interesting experiments extracted from the Iberic tradition. 

Officially known as  Vad. Slg. ms. 334 in  this beautifully penned manuscript can also be seen and downloaded from his website as a PDF

 It s date roughly to 1533-1566. 

Except the graphics presented in this article, I will will make two separate posts, one with all the seals contained therein, and one with the seven angelic seals and a comparison of its versions. 



 Elenchus, eorum quae continentur in sequenti Lucidario Domini et preclarissimi Magistri Petri de Abbano.

P. 3: 

In nomine Dei omnipotentis. Incipit Lucidarium Magistri Petri de Abbano in arte Magica. Prologus in eodem Libello. Multi experimentatores diuersimode operantur in hac scientia Diuina, etc.

p. 19: 

Semiphoras Moysi. Incipit: Hic habes Semiphoras Moysi, que dici debent post inuocationem angelorum versus quatuor partes mundi.

P. 25: 

Incipit Liber Clauicule Salomonis, filii Dauid Regis Israel etc. The Hebrew lettering is exceptionally well executed. (2 books to p. 125).

Pp. 127-144: 

Ad inveniendum Ugxeazcu [=thesaurum] vel maao [=bona] abscondita.

On last page: 

Sequuntur varia experimenta Regis Alphonsi.

Planetary characters from two sources. P.143

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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

A true treasure: The Book of Figures Of Hermes

I've come across this following manuscript completely by accident, and what a wonderful accident it was. 

The Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel uploaded many of its manuscripts, among which is this beauty: Cod. Guelf. 30.1 Aug. 4°

Libri VII experimentorum magicorum Hermetis Trismegisti. Et sunt secreta magica regum Aegypti. Ex thesauro Rodolphi II Romanorum imperatorum dignissimi, that is The Seven Books of magical experiments of Hermes Trismegistus, from the treasury of the most-esteemed Roman Emperor Rudolph II.

The catalogue entry lists it as 17th century (certainly agreeing with the reign of Rudolf as a Holy Roman Emperor , 1776-1612) but most likely of a later redaction. 

The text is so far largely inaccessible to me due to language and script, except for a few more legible parts. 

The drawings are exquisite: 69 figures, mostly antropomorphic, with a very well rehearsed line in ink, with characters and names on their foreheads and chests. 

These are astrological images, inherited from the Arabic tradition, which are to be either drawn, either constructed of other materials, unde clearly indicated astrological times, to obtain specific results.

Fol. 24v

 Detail: Seals of Datsocy. 


 Detail: Seals of Arornath.
Name on forehead: Hans 


Detail: Seals of Yeotoreth
Names on forehead: Caros, Karon (Saron?) 

Other manuscripts, more or less complete:

[42] Est aliud volumen Hermetis de compositione imaginum, quod in plures libros dividitur, et continet Imagines Mercurii omniumque planetarum de annulis atque sigillis et sic incipit: Dixit expositor hujus libri, oportet quaerentem substantiam. Item Hermetis volumen aliud, in multos etiam libros divisum, quod praenotatur Liber Veneris, et continet varias compositiones, partim naturales, partim superstitiosas. Nec est finis vanitatum ejus. Incipit autem: Dixit compilator, quod Venus est. Et est alius liber Hermetis, qui praenotatur Liber Solis, continens similiter imagines, annulos, et characteres, et incipit: Lustravi imaginum scientias.16 Item est liber imaginum Martis, quem Hermeti similiter adscribunt, qui sic incipit: Hic est liber Martis, quem tractat Hermes. Est etiam alius ejusdem liber Jovis, qui sic incipit: Hic est liber Jovis, quem tractat Hermes. Item liber Saturni, qui sic incipit: Hic est liber Saturni, quem tractat Hermes. Est etiam alius ejusdem de imaginum compositione liber, qui sic incipit: Tractatus octavus in magisterio imaginum Hermetis. Et est liber Hermetis de annulis VII planetarum, de qua Picatris multa suscepit, qui sic incipit: Divisio lunae, quando semiplena fuerit.

Darmstadt Hs1410: 54r -66v  Translated from Arabic by ”Robertem Castrensem”, Robert of Chester, active in Spain in the kingdom of Navarre in the 1140s. 

1410, 19r-34r liber lunae, solis, martis, iovis saturni

firenze ii iii 214, 15r-23v liber lunae, solis, saturni

lubeck stadtsbibliothek math. 4 9, 1589, cart 174, 11r-119v

vatican, b a v , lat 10803, ff 215, 60r-62v, martis iovis

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Monday, 27 April 2020

Planetary Characters from Konrad Gsellius

The volume Nigromantisches Kunst-Buch (A Nigromantical Manual) was published by Georg Konrad Gsellius in Köln in 1743, at Peter Hammer`s publishing house. We cannot rule out that the author and year of printing is as real as the fictitious Peter Hammer. A translation of this work was recently published by Enodia Press, but since I do not possess it yet, I cannot make any statements that could have been covered by the publisher's preface. 

I have chosen to bring this work to the public's attention both for furthering the editorial efforts of the good people of Enodia Press, but also to present these little known seals. 

Although the book is abundant in such elements, I will only reproduce the planetary characters, with the hope that I will be able to find their sources in the future. 

The first set of planetary characters is problematic, containing errors, and being presented in a vertical table. I have done my best to rearrange them horizontally for practical reasons and clean them to the best of my abilities. 

The second set is complete (the main reason I choose to present it first), the characters being associated to the days of the week and enclosed in double circles. This shape makes us think that they were meant to be either engraved as medals (like Paracelsus or Arnold of Villanova) or made into rings (such as the images of Belenus). The order, as well as multiple instances of the hexagram, would indicate a Jewish oririgin. 

I. Seals of the Days of the Week

1. Seal of Sunday (Sun)

2. Seal of Monday (Moon)

3. Seal of Tuesday (Mars)

4. Seal of Wednesday (Mercury)

5. Seal of Thursday (Jupiter)

6. Seal of Friday (Venus)

7. Seal of Saturday (Saturn)

II. Characters of the Planets

1. Characters of the Sun

2. Characters of the Moon

3. Characters of Mars

4. Characters of Mercury missing.
Due to mislabelling, the missing characters seem to be those of Jupiter or Saturn.

5. Characters of Jupiter. 
Quite possibly a misabelling, the final character is Venus.

6. Characters of Venus. 
Quite possibly a misabelling, the final character is Mercury.

7. Characters of Saturn. 
 Due to mislabelling, these may be the characters of Jupiter. 

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Sunday, 26 April 2020

Bookshelf: Hazards of the Dark Arts (Kieckhefer)

The books presented in this series are bought exclusively from Patreon donations. Thank you. 

Although the title is somewhat general, Richard Kieckhefer brings us two very important treatises aimed at the education of princes: Johannes Hartlieb`s "Book of All Forbidden Arts" and Ulrich Molitoris "On Witches and Pythonesses".

Largely forgotten but nevertheless an intellectual force of his time, Johannes Hartlieb is one of those cleric advocates against magic and witchcraft, whose vast knowledge in the field makes us wonder, much like in the case of Abbot Trithemius, if he was a closeted practitioner of the arts he publically denounces. His treatise is dedicated to the Margrave Johann of Brandenburg and seems an unfinished exposition of certain species of magic that was never carried out in full.  Each book discusses seven magical disciplines, more or less accurately, with high empasis on divinatory practices: Nigramancy (calling forth demons and dead people), Geomancy (casting lots), hydromancy (divination and magical experiments by water), aeromancy (the same, involving air), pyromancy (fire), chiromancy (the study of the hand) and spatulamancy (divination via examination of a shoulder blade bone). 

His work is also important for citing contemporary works on magic, much like Trithemius in his Antipalus Malleficarum: The Seal of Solomon, The Key of Solomon, The Hierarchy, Shemhamphoras, Kiranides, De annulis inpensis of Pseudo-Arnaldus, The Consecrated Book, The Ars Notoria, Liber razielis, Picatrix, The Book of the Holy Three Kings and The Book of Lots of Pythagoras.

Hartlieb`s attitude towards these discipline is skeptical and rooted in logic, doubled by ecclesiastical maledictions. When the witches and wizards are not merele tricked by the devil with various illusions, they are mere charlatans. The description of the practices of a certain woman widely rumored to make accurate predictions is scrutinised by our skeptic and concluded as cold reading, one of the first occurrences in history of this technique. 

In the other pole of the spectrum, in his treatise constructed as a dialog between Archduke Sigismund of Austria and himself, Ulrich Molitoris makes claims of the vanity of magic and witchcraft in a more sensationalist manner.

 He quotes biblical passages, legends of saints and even fables or myths to make his point, much to the Archduke`s skepticism, who oftentimes concedes. 
In some cases, such as the interactions between women and demons, he comes to even more complicated conclusions. When his patron inquites if the demons can copulate with mortal women, as many stories attested, including a chapter in Genesis, Molitoris rejects it stating that demons have no semen of their own. When his patron argues that some demonologists tell of demons having sex with men, gathering their seed and copulating with women, thus impregnating them, Molitoris argues that the Devil merely makes the woman think she is pregnant for nine months with "a swelling wind", then come time of birth, the devil steals a baby from some other woman in another part of the world and makes his consort think that it is her offspring. How can that occur? Unbaptised, thus vulnerable babies, of course. A delightful piece of logic of the times. 

While Hartlieb`s logical and healthy-skeptical treatise circulated as a manuscript for a time and was forgotten, the sensationalist and well-illustrated treatise of Molitoris was widely published and distributed. With tragic consequences, oftentimes. 

Richard Kieckhefer`s volume is a must-read for any history student and a must-have for any student of the history of magic and superstition. Not to mention psychologists. 

Friday, 24 April 2020

A Necromantic Miscellany: Heidelberg CPG.263

This manuscript, brought to my attention by Daniel Clark if I`m not mistaken, caught my attention a long time ago when my palaeographic talents were nascent, mainly because of its magical diagrams, and did not pay much attention to it, but I believe it to be an important part of many puzzles. 

Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, Cod. Pal. germ. 263 is fully digitised and the images are in public domain.  Although the quality is not as high as others, it is sufficient to be grounds for research, with a bit of adjustment. 

The drawings presented in this article are raw, keeping the manuscript`s liniation. Once transcribed and reworked I plan to do a full restitution of the graphics at a higher resolution with clean background. 

The writing is a late 15th century bastarda hand, very clean, constant and with little to no contractions or siglae, so a transcription should be fairly easy to produce. 

This fragment is important in many ways

-it contains a version of the Pseudo-Baconian Thesaurum Necramantiae

-it contains many unknown diagrams that have obviously had a wider diffusion, such as the triangle in 271v, which seems as this is the origin of the magical triangle included in the Florentine Seal of Jupiter

-it contains (261r) the names of the angels of the 15 fixed stars, a detailed omitted from the Quindecum Stellis as far as I know, so presumably the seals we all know and love, included those from Agrippa, actually belong to them. 

Caput algol
Canis maior
Canis minor
Cor leonis
Cauda vrsema
Ala corvi
Cor scorpi
Vultur cadens
Cauda capricornj

Magical circle for operations 

Characters for invisibilty 

Characters for compelling a spirit to answer

Characters for obtaining visions 

Characters for uncovering theft

Sigils of the Planetary Spirits

Sigills (magical squares) of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Sun. 270v.

Sigills (magical squares) of Venus, Mercury and Moon. 271r.

The seal of Amicables.

A seal used to pacify two parties. 

Angelic characters of Gabriel, Racfier and Hamael

Divine names diagram 

Magical mirror 

Magical Circle.


For a comprehensive synopsis of the contents I am greatly indebted to Dr. Karin Zimmermann (Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg). Her full article can be found HERE.  The list was edited and updated by myself, and added English translations. 

-Regule Necessarie ad artem Magicam. Necessary rules of the magical art. (257v) 

-De Consecratione Gladij. Of the consecration of the sword. (257v) 

-De annulo. Of the ring. (258v)  

-De Sceptro. Of the scepter. (258v) 

-Ad propositum. Of the goal. (259r) 

-Coniuratio Obedientiales. The Conjuration of the obedients. (259v) 
-Coniuratio astrictionis. The forcing conjuration. (259vr) 
-Si res erit pro furtu. For stealing (?) (260r) 
-Licentia. Charge. (260v)
-Forma Circuli. The form of the circle.  (260v)
-Expositio siue misterium nominis [AGLA]. The explanation or the mystery of the name [AGLA].(260v)
-Nomina angelorum que presunt faciebus signorum. The names of the angels that are set over the faces of the signs. (260v) 
-Nomina angelorum 16 (sic) Stellarum prime magnitudinis. The names of the angels that are set over the 16 stars of the first magnitude. The list contains the 15 Behenian stars. (261r) 
-Spiritus Somniorum. The spirits of sleep. (261r)
-Spiritus Imaginationum. The spirits of imagination. (261v) 
-Experimenta Necromantica et primo de Inuisibilitate. Necromantic experiments, and the first one, for invisibility. (261r) 
-Licentiatio Spirituum. The charging of the spirits. (263r)
-Eduus [Equus?] Alberti Magni. The horse [experiment] of Albert the Great. (263v)
-Secretum ad inueniendum Thesauros absconditos. The secret pertaining to the discovery of hidden treasures. (263v)
-Visio vnius Spiritus bonj. The vision of a good spirit. (264v)
-Experimentum Inuisibilitatis. Experiment for invisibility.  (265r)
-Ad habendum Spiritum respondentem ad omnia interrogata.  To have a spirit answer to everything it is asked. (265v)
-Alia visio. Another vision. (265v) 
-Visio personalis. A personal vision. (265v)
-Licentia. Charge.(266r) 
-Visio puerilis in Cristallo. A vision in a cristal by means of a young boy. (266v) 
-Licentia. Charge.(266v)
-Alia visio in phiala in die veneris circa meridiem. Another vision, in a vial [of water], in the day of Venus about noon. (266v) 
-Licentia. Charge.(266v) 
-Alia visio facilis in aqua. Another easy vision in water. (267r)  
-Experimenta ad Amorem. An experiment for love. (267r) 
-De Ruta. Of rue.(267v)
-Aliud experimentum. Another experiment. (267v)
-Experimentum de vitinnibus corilinis quibus Maxima secreta possunt explorarj. Experiment of the hazel rod, by which great secrets can be explored.  (267v) 
Ad manifestandum furtum. To make theft known. (269r)
-Ad sciendum secreta. To know secrets. (269r)
-Ad amorem. For love. (269r)
-Ad sciendum mortem hominis egreti. To know of the death of  a man. (269v) 
-Ad maritus citius mortatur Vel vxor. To make a husband or a wife die sooner. (269v) 
-Quedam in naturali magia Et primo de Spiritibus 12 Signorum et Septem planetarum. Certain things pertaining top natural magic, and first, of the spirits of the 12 signs and of the 7 planets. (269v) 
-Demones 12 Signis celestibus subditj. The demons subjected to  the 12 signs. (270r) 
-Planetarum demones. The demons of the planets. (270r)
-Intelligentie Planetarum. The intelligences of the planets. (270r) 
-Sigilla Spirituum Planetarum. The seals of the spirits of the planets. (270v) 
-Sigilla planetarum. The seals of the planets. (270v)  
-Figure amicabiles. Amiable figures. (271r) 
-Ad idem alio modo. For the same, another way.  (271v)
-Ad pacificandum duas Ciuitates. For peacemaking between two paries. (272r) 
-Ad facilitandum partum. For easing childbirth. (272r) 
-Imagines Ptolemej Et primo ad congregandum serpentes. The images of Ptolemy, and first one, for gathering snakes together.  (272r)  
-Vnium Impetentem reddere. For returning one`s attack. (272r)  
-Nauem Immobilem efficere. To make ships stand still. (272r) 
-Seras aperire. For opening locks. (272v)
-Vt Canes non latrent. To stop dogs from barking. (272v)
-Vt Equi stent. To make a horse stand still. (272v)
-Arbores et Vineas destruere. To destroy trees and vines. (272v)
-Serpentes fugare.  To chase away serpents. (272v)
-Vrsos colligere.  To gather together bears. (272v)
-Collumbas colligere. To gather together doves.  (272v)
-Instrumenta musicalia ligare. To bind musical instruments. (272v)
-Muliere in probam Cognoscere. To know a woman under suspicion. (272v)
-Amorem prouocare. To entice love. (273r)
-Parietes et domos destruere. To destroy walls or houses.  (273r)
-Vt mulieres ludam. To make women play. (273r)
-Grandinem incertis locis prohibere. To stop hail from whatever place. (273r)
-Fabres inducere. To make smiths (?). (273r)
-Coruos colligere. To gather together ravens. (273r)
-Oues in uno loco detinere. To keep eggs together. (273r)
-Focum destruere. To quench a fire. (273v)
-Vt homines cantent. To make men sing. (273v)
-Principem, bonum reddere. To receive good things from a prince. (273v)
-Pisces capere. To catch fish. (273v)
-Homines excetare. To entice men. (273v)
-Homines denudare. To make men undress. (273v)
-Vt mulieres cantent et ludent. To make women sing and dance.(273v)
-Contra latrones et fures. Against thieves and robbers. (274r)
-Vasa aque frangere. To break a vessel of water. (274r)
-Ad ligandum Columbas. To bind doves.  (274r)
-Visio Junenilis in aqua. A vision of a youth in water. (274r)
-Visio 27 Angelorum. A vision of the 27 angels. (274v) 
-Forma Speculi. The form of the mirror. (274v)
-Ad Includendum Spiritum. To inclose a spirit. (276v) 
-Septuaginta duo nomina Dei Vera et Justa. The 72 true and right names of God. (277v) 
-Experimentum Securitatis Vt non ledaris ab aliquo. An experiment of safety, that no one should superseed you. (277v) 
-Aliud experimentum. Another experiment. (278r) 
-Aliud experimentum. Another experiment.(278r)


A brief presentation was published at OmegaMagick.

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