Grimoires in Theory and Practice

9-10 april 2022
15:00 to 19:30 (GMT+2) Sat/Sun
Hosted by David Rankine



In an age where spirit work is ever more popular, the appeal of the grimoires, spanning the last millennia of practice, and with their roots in the magic of the ancient world, has never been stronger. This weekend will explore the grimoires in theory and practice, looking at the whole corpus of grimoires and dipping into the magical traditions which they evolved from (Greco-Egyptian, Jewish and Arabic).


Although popularly seen as focusing on spirit work, when seen as a body of work it is clear that the grimoires also contain a wide range of divination practices and a huge plethora of charms. All three of these strands will be examined, with an emphasis on practicality and utility.


For spirit work the strands covered will include preparation and purification, paraphernalia, incense, materia magica, timing and location, the magic circle, the conjuration sequence (including license to depart), the spirits, and purpose. Drawing on over forty years of practice of grimoires, the emphasis will be on the balance of tradition and function for achieving the best results through the cultivation of magical momentum from planning through to practice.


For divination the different techniques will all be discussed, focusing on methods such as book and key, bowl or basin, dream and mirror. For charms there will be consideration of the common purposes for charms and the different forms these take, including magic rings, pentacles, wax figures, herb use and many others.


The different spirit hierarchies and types of spirits will be considered, including angels, demons, fairies, Olympic and other spirits, looking at considerations for spirit interaction, offerings, do’s and don’ts, and especially the relevance of different spirits for different types of work.


There will be a tour through the major and many of the minor grimoires, including classics like the Key of Solomon, Heptameron, Abramelin, Arbatel, Lemegeton, Grimorium Verum, Grimoire of Pope Honorius and Picatrix. Important works which have received less attention like Janua Magica Reserata, Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis and key cunning texts will also be considered.


When the grimoire tradition is explored as a whole, the theme of the liminal sorceror is clearly established, and this weekend will work towards establishing what is required to occupy this function/lifestyle.


David Rankine is an author, esoteric researcher and sorceror who has been practising magic and grimoires for over 40 years. He has been making major contributions to the occult revival since the 1980s, through lectures, workshops, presentations, articles and books. His esoteric expertise covers a wide range of topics, including the Grimoire tradition, Qabalah, Greco-Egyptian magic, Ceremonial magic and British folk magic. His esoteric knowledge and scholarship can be seen in the thirty-one books he has authored, his essays in various anthologies, and hundreds of articles for magazines, journals, international part-works and websites. In recent decades he is best known for his work on titles like The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet, The Book of Gold and The Complete Grimoire of Pope Honorius; and for his work with Stephen Skinner, writing six books together, including The Goetia of Dr Rudd, The Veritable Key of Solomon, Clavis Inferni and The Cunning Man’s Grimoire.