from a Necromancer
from the 15th century, recently edited and published by Richard Kieckhefer
, a specialist in medieval magic
at Northwestern University
. It is the first spell in the collection. It should be clear as you read that the first part is missing (notably the creation of the cloth and some sort of bird sacrifice
). Don't try this at home
. The title, Latin original, and formatting are his; the translation (though inelegant
and overly literal
) and notes are mine. If you find errors, let me know. It is rather long, but makes for an interesting read. It is, of course, merely academic. *cough*:
Turning to the east, say:
Apolin, Maraloth, Berith, with such things I exorcise you and summon you by the power of the omnipotent God, who ordered you by your Lost to enter into the caverns of the deep, that you should send to me some spirit skilled in the knowledge of all the sciences, who would be kind to me, faithful, and peaceful, to teach every science which I might desire, coming in the form of a professor1, that I might feel no terror. Let it be done. Let it be done. Thus I summon you
That you, the three greatest kings and my allies in seeking make effort to send me one of your underlings, who might be a teacher of all the sciences and arts, coming peacefully and splendidly to me in human form, and teaching me with love, thus and in such a way that I may be able to come to such a knowledge by the end of thirty days time, permitting after the assumption of such knowledge to give to him license to return.
- by the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
- and by these holy names by whose virtue I have bound: Indeed, Dobel, Uriel, Sabaoth, Semoni, Adonai, Tetragrammaton, Albumay, Siloth, Moreth, Sadabin, Rodobel, Domiel, Perarabiel, Alatuel, the name, the names, Usobel,
And even so this should be said.
And when these things have been spoken, put aside the sword and wrap it in the aforementioned cloth, and lie down upon this bundle, and sleep for a while. After your dream rise and get dressed, because when the bundle has been made the man strips himself and enters his bedroom, placing the aforementioned bundle under his head. However, it must be known that when these conjurations have been spoken a dream will come by divine virtue. In the dream will appear to you the three greatest kings with innumerable attendants, soldiers, and servants, among whom, lo!, will appear some tutor, under the command of these three kings. You will see that he himself comes prepared to you. You will indeed see three kings shining in marvelous beauty, who will speak to you in the aforementioned dream with a living voice, saying, 'Behold, we give to you what so many times you requested'. And they will say to that tutor, 'That one will be thy student, whom we command thee to teach every science or art which he wishes to hear. Show him thusly and teach, that among others he will have the pinnacle of knowledge of whatever science he desires by the end of thirty days'. And you will see that he responds, 'My lords, most freely will I do whatever you wish'. When these things have been said, the kings will disappear, and the tutor alone will remain, who will say to you, 'Rise, and behold your teacher'. When these things have been said, you will awake; immediately you will open your eyes, and see a tutor richly dressed, who will say to you, 'Give me the sword which you have under your head'. You will say, 'Behold your student, prepared to do what you wish'. Nevertheless, you should have pen and paper, and write all that he says to you.
Firstly, you should ask, 'O teacher, what is your name?'. When he tells you, write it down. Secondly, ask his rank, and similarly record it. When these are written down, you should offer him the sword; when he has it, he will leave, saying, 'Wait for my return'. Say nothing. The tutor will indeed leave and take the sword. After his departure, you will unfold the cloth so that it appears lesser.2 Then, write in the aforementioned circle his name, which you recorded, and write it in the aforementioned blood. When it is written, wrap up the cloth and hide it well.
When you have done these things, eat only some bread and pure water, and on that day do not leave your room. After breakfast, take up the cloth and enter the circle, turning to Apolin. Speak thusly: 'O king Apolin, great one, powerful, and venerable, I, your servant, trusting in you and having full faith that you are strong and mighty, ask by your unfathomable majesty that your servant and subject, such a one, my tutor, should come to me as quickly as he can, by sake of your virtue and power, which is great and the greatest unto all the ages. Amen'. And similarly you should turn to Maraloth, by changing the name. And similarly to Berich. After saying these things, take up some of the aforementioned blood and write your name in the middle of the circle with the chord mentioned above, that it appears inside3. Then write with that cord these names in the folds of the sheet, so that they appear thusly. If however the blood of a single bird is not enough, you can kill however many you please.
When this is done, sit throughout the entire day in the circle, looking at it, saying nothing. When it starts to get late, fold the cloth, strip yourself, and enter into the bedroom, placing it underneath your head. When you lie down, speak thusly in a clean voice:
O Apolin, Maraloch, Berith, Sathan, Beliath, Belzebuc, and Lucifer, I entreat you to inform my tutor, in the place of (the one to be named) that he should come to me tomorrow before the rising of the sun and teach me such science without deception, by the power of the one who is to come to judge the living and the dead and the age by his holy fire. Amen'.
Beware therefore and take special care not to make the sign of the cross, because of the great danger in your sleep. Know that you will see that your tutor comes to you throughout the whole night, asking what science you wish to learn. And when you say 'such a one', that he will speak with you about that one throughout the night. When thus you wake, which will be in that night, rise and light a candle, and take up the cloth and unfurl it, sit upon it in the part of the circle where your name is written and however you are comfortable, and call the name of your tutor, saying:
O such (name), of such a rank, given over to me by your three greater kings, I ask that you come in pleasant form, to teach me such a science, in which I might surpass all mortals, teaching it with great joy, without any pain, and with all tediousness removed. Come, therefore, by the power of your betters, who reign throughout all the ages. Amen. Let it be done, let it be done, let it be done.
When these things are said, then looking and turning to the east you will see your tutor approach with many students, whom you will ask to order all the others to depart, and immediately they will leave. When this is done, The tutor himself will say, 'What science do you desire to hear?'. You will say 'Such a one', and then you will begin.
Keep in mind that however much he says to you, so much will you learn and commit to memory. And when you want him to come, unfold the cloth, and suddenly he will appear there, continuing in his lectures. After the end of 30 days, after you have been instructed in the best knowledge, make him give your sword back4 and say that he should leave, and depart in peace. You should say that he should return again when you invoke him to gain knowledge of other sciences, and he will say that he is prepared to return at your pleasure.
The end of the chapter on science.5
, translated variously throughout the passage as 'tutor', 'professor', or 'teacher'. Latin literally means 'master'.
2I still haven't decided what this means; the Latin is: "...tu dissolues pannum ut apparet inferius".
3Kieckhefer gives a reproduction of the image from the manuscript; it is two circles, one within the other, inscribed into a square. Inside the inner circle are the words 'nomen magistri', 'de tali ordine', and 'nomen discipuli'. I will try to figure out some way to post the image, or at least add the address of my homepage when I add it there.
4It always struck me as one of the greatest mysteries how you were supposed to do this; it seems like one of those things that just begs for a tragic end, a la Faust.
5The full reference for the book is Kieckhefer, Richard. Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer's Manual of the Fifteenth Century. (1997). This can be found beginning on page 193.