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The Lesser Key of Solomon Hardcover – July 17, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books (July 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157863220X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578632206
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 10.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joseph Peterson has been studying esoteric texts for decades, intrigued by the Renaissance intellectual and experimental approach to spirituality. After years of collecting and digitizing rare texts for his own research, in 1995 he created the avesta.org and esotericarchives.com websites to share them with a wider audience. They have enjoyed an amazing popularity, with over 3 million document requests per month. He has translated many religious and esoteric texts, and loves trying to unravel their often complex relationships and influences. Peterson has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, where he also studied various languages and religions. He lives near Rochester Minnesota.

Customer Reviews

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REad the entire book in 2 days.
anon
Nearly every page is 20% footnotes and editorial comment, making it particularly valuable for anyone exploring the Solomon cycle.
M. Stone
Some like to think that this is just some crap or something that is fiction.
Dallas Baldwin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By M. Stone VINE VOICE on August 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For many years the occult community had to make due with the smattering of titles and partial titles brought out of obscurity by Mathers and Crowley. Today we are literally witnessing a Hermetic Renaissance as more complete titles come forth to replace their partial or unedited folio predecessors.

Here we have not just the Goetia, but the entire Lemegeton, put together in a uniquely scholarly fashion. Compiled from original manuscripts and fragments from the British Museum Library, this is the most complete and accurate Lemegeton ever offered to the public.

Peterson has done a wonderful job at compiling and editing this work. His continued commentary on derivative works, and analytical comparisons of the variations in the historical manuscripts, is an unprecedented boon to the student. Nearly every page is 20% footnotes and editorial comment, making it particularly valuable for anyone exploring the Solomon cycle.

The copious footnotes go to heroic lengths to contrast different readings or additional materials from other editions. Unlike previous editions of the Lesser Key, you really feel like you have the benefit of the British Museum Library at your fingertips.
If the footnotes weren't curriculum enough for the aspiring Goetic Magician, then the 55 pages of appendices should fill the bill.
Appendix I is a list of addenda from Sloane 2731 and Sloane 3648.
Appendix II - Pseudomonarchia Daemonum - Translated to English.
Appendix III Comparison of Goetia spirits with Weyer's list.
Appendix IV is made up of alternate drawings from other editions of the Lemegeton.

There is only one section that I am not fond of.
Read more ›
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By S. parker on September 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This edition of the Lesser Key is probably the most complete, and completely supported I've seen. Not only does it provide a complete, annotated translation of all 5 sections, it offers scholarly and bibliographic details unavailable in other works.
This edition isn't particularly focused on practical application, but it does assume that practitioners will read it, and is respectful of that work.
All in all, an excellent edition - probably the best single volume presentation of the material itself to have.
Ian
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Thabion on April 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recently (since 1995) we've had a surge of interest in Solomonic magick and several versions of the Goetia, and even the complete Lemegeton, have become available. Finally we have a definitive edition carefully compiled, annotated and commented upon in a scholarly fashion. It is also handsomely published in hard covers and (at the present reduced price) quite a bargain. Unlike most backyard Goetias and Lemegetons, Peterson does not rely solely on Sloane MS. 2731 but chooses the more complete Harley MS. 6483 as his base text with comparative notes referencing other MSS. He also traces the origins of all the five books in his concise but highly detailed introduction. Several points that Peterson's augmentations from other manuscripts bring forth are of considerable interest--especially to those of us working Solomonic systems. I was happy to see the circle in the center of the Triangle of Art "blacked in" in two other versions of the Goetia besides Sloane 2731, lending more confirmation to our dark mirror theory. I was also happily surprised to discover that Harley MS. 6438 used the Shemehamphorash invocations on the back of their Brass Vessel sigils just as we decided to do (before we were aware of the precedent) in our practice (see *The Book of Solomon's Magick*).
Peterson also cites and presents the Almadel type drawing from *Sepher Schelomoh* (that we also displayed) and a similar sketch from a newly acquired (at the Brit. Lib.) Hebrew version of the Almadel. All considered Peterson's *The Lesser Key of Solomon* is probably the best reference Lemegeton we will see for many years to come. But in order to work the system you still need to consult the practical manuals by Steve Savedow, Lon Milo DuQuette and Poke Runyon.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are doing any serious study of Goetic magic this book will singlehandedly take care of 75% of your work. Peterson has done a phenomenal job of referencing and cross referencing manuscripts and terminology. My 1979 issue copy of the Lesser Key is filled with margin notes, slips of paper, drawings and re-drawings as I found more and more inconsistencies and questions. I could have spent so much more time practicing rather than chasing down demons in the script if I had had this fantastic work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Zadzaczadlin on April 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A definitive edition of this work would require separate critical editions of its 5 parts, based upon a thorough examination of all extant manuscripts in many languages. That such a Herculean task might ever be accomplished seems set to remain a rather improbable eventuality, and until such a time we are lucky to have Peterson's slightly less ambitious volume.
Peterson has produced a reliable English version based on Sloane 3825 in the British Library, giving some variant readings from other manuscripts in the same collection, and testimonia from such authorities as Trithemius. The result is an edition superior to any previously published. The Ars Notoria section, however, is just a reprint of Turner's widely available translation. At the back, the index omits the many Angelic names which comprise the essence of the text. You can get a preview of this edition at his website esotericarchives.com.
Aside from the question of scholarship, the physical book is quite a nice production. One might wish that the many sigils had been professionally redrawn for this publication; or, failing that, at least some regularity might have been brought to their size. The text might have benefitted from wider outer margins also, but these are minor quibbles.
At the time of writing, April 2008, this edition has just gone out of print. Second hand prices have skyrocketed. Perhaps this will give incentive to the publisher to bring out a second edition.
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