Grim Editions – The Grimoire of the Spirit of a Place

14884746Great news for all grimoire lovers! In search of some more info on the so-called Grimoire of the Spirit of a Place (an anonymous manuscript written in Old French which is kept Bibliotheque de l’Arsenal de Paris), I contacted Philippe Pissier, who transcribed and translated it for publication by Caduceus Books (2007). Philippe replied to my mail, including a link to scans of all of the 20 pages of this manuscript, which are available through his blog (click here). The files are quite large and readable, so maybe someone could make a transscription and translation for thoses poor students that can’t afford the pricy limited edition by Caduceus? Maybe I’ll do an attempt in the near future. Anyway, Philippe Pissier allowed me to share these scans with you, note however that this grimoire was discovered by Pissier himself, and if you’re about to write something about this grimoire, please give him the proper credits by linking back to his blog!!

Caduceus on their 2007 edition of the Grimoire Pour Conjurer l’Esprit d’Un Lieu:

The text is remarkable. It seems to describe a ritual that the writer carried out. Protection is sought from a demonic Trinity before Christian powers are used to evoke an infernal spirit, specially associated with the place of the working, into a piglet that is led into a magic circle where it is slain. This releases the spirit but it he is constrained within the circle until he signs the Grimoire of the title, which has been prepared according to certain specifications.  The book is then treated like a child, being baptised with a godparent present and so forth. The text states that if you are in possession of the original Grimoire “..or one like it” then you do not have to perform the complete ritual but just read out the conjurations. The original spirit will then send one of his minions to assist you.

The writer states that he was given the ritual by a sea captain. Whilst the generation glamours of grimoires always owe more to imagination than reality this text is an interesting halfway house between the scholarly magic of intellectuals working under the patronage of princes (such as Dee) and the folk magic of those who must, at all costs, protect their crops and livestock. Examples of the latter can be found in some of the spells in the appendices of the Society of Esoteric Endeavour edition of the Gimoire of Pope Honorius. The Grimoire of the Spirit of the Place does have cosmopolitan, Mediterranean references. There is mention of the Ass Headed God which occurred in Italian and Egyptian traditions. The conjurations were written in Latin by someone who was able, but no scholar.  They made mistakes that proved an interesting test for a modern academic translator to unravel so as to accurately capture the writer’s intent. Both the original Latin and the translation are given, printed in different colours for sake of clarity. The conjurations have curious Biblical references that owe more to folk traditions than a reading of the actual Testaments. The writer clearly realises he is describing a dangerous path that would be seen as profoundly delinquent and there are great admonitions to secrecy. Also, it is stated, no one should attempt the ritual unless they are terrified of making a mistake, however minor. Clearly it is intended that the operator should be in an extreme state of mind when performing the ritual. The Grimoire uses the assumed superiority of Christian powers over Infernal spirits to compel one to appear and to assist operator. One wonders if this might be considered a Gnostic impulse. Swimming in a world that is shades of grey it feels natural to use the forces of light to control the forces of darkness to ease ones way. The actual structure of the ritual, the way the spirit is conjured into the pig and released into the circle and so forth, is sophisticated and not present in other Grimoire texts. The baptism of the Grimoire as a child in particular seems very modern, reminiscent of post-Crowley notions of the Magickal Child.

14884746

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