Some books hide hidden meanings. Some hide hidden powers. In this article we’ll list 10 ancient books that teach supernatural powers. Take a read through the list below and be sure to add your own favourites in the comments below.–
The Book of Abramelin tells the story of an Egyptian mage named Abramelin, or Abra-Melin, who taught a system of magic to Abraham of Worms, a German Jew presumed to have lived from c.1362 – c.1458.
The system of magic from this book regained popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries due to the efforts of Mathers’ translation, The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, its import within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and later within the mystical system of Thelema (created in 1904 by Aleister Crowley).
As the title testifies, students were sworn to secrecy before being given access to this magic text, and only a few manuscripts have survived. Bits of its teachings, such as the use of the magic whistle for summoning spirits, are alluded to in other ancient books. Another key element of its ritual, the elaborate “Seal of God,” has been found in ancient books and amulets throughout Europe.
Purporting to preserve the magic of Solomon in the face of intense persecution by religious authorities, this text includes one of the oldest and most detailed magic rituals. It contains a complete system of magic including how to attain the divine vision, communicate with holy angels, and control aerial, earthly, and infernal spirits for practical gain.
Clavicula Salomonis: The Key of Solomon the King
This most celebrated of all magical ancient books, believed to be written by King Solomon himself, details the processes for summoning and mastering the spirits.
This book demonstrates that the usual theoretical distinction between black magic and white, evil magic and good, is not so simply drawn.
One of the lengthier grimoires of the medieval period, the Ars Notoria, commonly referred to as the Notary Art of Solomon, promises the reader a series of orations, prayers, and invocations, which may be used to secure the favor of the christian god, enhancing the memory, eloquence, and general academic capability of the one performing such rituals.
Originally its own text, based on even older sources not yet fully documented, this text is commonly wrapped up into the Lesser Keys of Solomon along with such works as the Ars Goetia- some editions of the latter omit this work. Prayers contained herein invoke not just the god of christianity, but Jesus Christ and various angelic powers as well
In many ways, Arbatel is unique among ancient books on magic. Unlike the vast majority of writings, it is clear, concise, and elegantly written. The practical instructions are straightforward and undemanding. When it first appeared in 1575, it attracted the attention of people with a surprisingly broad range of agendas, including some of the finest minds of the time. Often quoted and reprinted, both praised and condemned, its impact on western esoteric philosophy has been called “overwhelming.”
Arbatel’s magic is full of wonder and free from the sinister elements usually associated with ancient books on the subject. But it is about more than magic; filled with gnomic wisdom, it urges us to help our neighbors, be positive and grateful, and use time wisely. Above all, it teaches us to pay attention, looking for the wondrous and miraculous. In fact, to the author this virtually defines the magus.
The Galdrabók (Icelandic Book of Magic) is an Icelandic grimoire dated to ca. 1600. It is a small manuscript containing a collection of 47 spells. The grimoire was compiled by four different people, possibly starting in the late 16th century and going on until the mid-17th century. The first three scribes were Icelanders and the fourth was a Dane working from Icelandic material.
The various spells consist of Latin and runic material as well as Icelandic magical staves, invocations to Christian entities, demons and the Norse gods as well as instructions for the use of herbs and magical items. Some of the spells are protective, intended against such problems as trouble with childbearing, headache and insomnia, previous incantations, pestilence, suffering and distress at sea. Others are intended to cause fear, kill animals, find thieves, put someone to sleep, cause flatulence or bewitch women.
The Picatrix is the most famous grimoire of astrological magic and one of the most important works of medieval and Renaissance magic. Picatrix takes its rightful place as an essential occult text. Picatrix is an encyclopedic work with over 300 pages of Hermetic magical philosophy, ritual, talismanic and natural magic.
The Ars Almadel (The Art of the Almadel) is the fourth part of The Lesser Key of Solomon. It tells how to make the almadel, which is a wax tablet with protective symbols drawn on it. On it are placed four candles.
This book has the instructions concerning the colours, materials and rituals necessary for the construction of the almadel and the candles.
This ancient book first surfaced in France in the 18th century, The Black Pullet is a guide to the construction and use of magical talismanic rings. With the use of these rings, people attained extraordinary powers.
Perhaps the most wonderful secret revealed is the power to produce the Black Pullet, otherwise known as the “Hen with the Golden Eggs.” Unlimited wealth was granted to the person who achieved the creation of this incredible Hen.
“The Greek magical papyri” is a collection of magical spells and formulas, hymns, and rituals from Greco-Roman Egypt, dating from the second century B.C. to the fifth century A.D.
Each Papyri contains a number of magical spells, formulae, hymns and rituals. The materials in the papyri date from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. The manuscripts came to light through the antiquities trade, from the 18th century onwards. One of the best known of these texts is the so-called Mithras Liturgy.