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Friday, July 17, 2009

A Picatrix Miscellany

A Picatrix Miscellany Cover

Book: A Picatrix Miscellany by Anonymous

The Ghayat al-Hakim fi'l-sihr, or Picatrix, as it is known in the West, is an important Arabic magical text. It is perhaps the largest and most comprehensive of the grimoires, or handbooks of magic. The attribution to the Andalusian mathematician al-Majriti (or al-Madjriti) (d. ca. 1004-7) is considered pseudo-epigraphic. The Latin translation dates to 1256 and the court of Alphonso the Wise, king of Castille, and exerted a considerable influence on Western magic thereafter. It is said that much of Ficino's astrological magic derives from the Picatrix (see I.P.Couliano, Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, University of Chicago Press, 1987, p. 118). The Picatrix is mentioned by Johannes Trithemius in Book 2 of his notorious Steganographia (1500) and in his Antipalus Maleficiorum (c. 1500). One copy (British Library, Sloane manuscript 3679) passed down from Simon Forman (d.1611) to Richard Napier (d. 1634) to Elias Ashmole (d. 1692) to William Lilly (d. 1681).

E.M. Butler wrongly associates it with Gio. Peccatrix, (no doubt a pseudonym) who edited an Italian version of the Key of Solomon (British Library, Sloane manuscript 1307). Misled by some comments by Mathers and others, Dr. Butler incorrectly concluded that the Picatrix was “an Italian edition of the Clavicle, strongly impregnated with black elements" (Ritual Magic, 1949, p. 135.)

Find Anonymous's book in
A Picatrix Miscellany

Recommended reading (pdf e-books):

Reformed Druids - Anthology 07 Miscellany
Hellmut Ritter - Picatrix In German
Anonymous - A Picatrix Miscellany