ANCIENT FRAGMENT OF THE KEY OF SOLOMON,
TRANSLATED FROM THE HEBREW By ELIPHAZ LÉVI; and given in his ‘Philosophie Occulte,’ Serie II., page 136.
I will now give unto thee the Key of the Kingdom of the Spirits.
This Key is the same as that of the Mysterious Numbers of Yetzirah. 1
The Spirits are governed by the natural and universal Hierarchy of things.
Three command Three through the medium of Three.
There are the Spirits of Above, those of Below, and those of the Centre; then if thou invertest the Sacred Ladder, if thou descendest instead of ascending, thou wilt discover the Counter-Hierarchy of the Shells, or of the Dead Spirits.
Know thou only that the Principalities of Heaven, the Virtues, and the Powers, are not Persons, but dignities.
They are the Degrees of the Sacred Ladder upon which the Spirits ascend and descend.
Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and the others, are not Names but Titles.
The First of the Numbers is the Unity.
The First of the Divine Conceptions called the Sephiroth is Kether or the Crown.
The First Category of the Spirits is that of Chaioth Ha-Qadesh or the Intelligences of the Divine Tetragram, whose Letters are symbolised by the Mysterious Animals in the Prophecy of Ezekiel.
Their empire is that of unity and synthesis. They correspond to the Intelligence.
They have for adversaries the Thamiel or Double-Headed Ones, the Demons of revolt and of anarchy, whose two Chiefs, ever at War with each other, are Satan and Moloch.
The second Number is two; the second Sephira is Chokmah or Wisdom.
The Spirits of Wisdom are the Auphanim, a Name which signifieth the Wheels, because all acts in Heaven like immense Wheels spangled with Stars. Their Empire is that of Harmony. They correspond to the Reason.
They have for adversaries the Chaigidel, or the Shells which attach themselves to Material and Lying Appearances. Their Chief, or rather their Guide, for Evil Spirits obey no one, is Beelzebub, whose Name signifieth the God of Flies, because Flies haunt putrefying corpses.
The third Number is three. The third Sephira is Binah or Understanding.
The Spirits of Binah are Aralim, or the Strong. Their empire is the creation of ideas; they correspond to activity and energy of thought.
They have for adversaries the Satariel, or concealers, the Demons of absurdity, of intellectual inertia, and of Mystery. The Chief of the Satariel is Lucifuge, called falsely and by anti-phrase Lucifer (as the Eumenides, who arc the Furies, are called in Greek the Gracious Ones).
The fourth Number is four. The fourth Sephira is Gedulah or Chesed, Magnificence or Mercy.
The Spirits of Gedulah are the Chaschmalim, or the Lucid Ones. Their empire is that of beneficence; they correspond to the imagination.
They have for adversaries the Gamchicoth or the Disturbers of Souls. The Chief or Guide of these Demons is Ashtaroth or Astarte, the impure Venus of the Syrians, whom they represent with the head of an ass or of a bull, and the breasts of a woman.
The fifth Number is five. The fifth Sephira is Geburah or justice.
The Spirits of Geburah are the Seraphim, or the Spirits burning with zeal. Their empire is that of the chastisement of crimes. They correspond to the faculty of comparing and of choosing.
They have for adversaries the Golab or incendiaries, Genii of wrath and sedition, whose Chief is Asmodeus, whom they call also Samael the Black.
The sixth Number is six. The sixth Sephira is Tiphereth the Supreme Beauty.
The Spirits of Tiphereth are the Malachim, or the Kings. Their empire is that of the Universal Harmony. They correspond to the judgment.
They have for adversaries the Tagaririm, or Disputers, whose Chief is Belphegor.
The seventh Number is seven. The seventh Sephira is Netzach, or Victory.
The Spirits of Netzach are the Elohim or the Gods, that is to say the
representatives of God. Their empire is that of progress and of life; they correspond to the Sensorium or to sensibility.
They have for adversaries the Harab-Serapel, or the Ravens of Death, whose Chief is Baal.
The eighth Number is eight. The eighth Sephira is Hod or eternal order.
The Spirits of Hod are the Beni-Elohim or Sons of the Gods. Their empire is that of order; they correspond to the inner sense.
They have for adversaries the Samael or jugglers, whose Chief is Adramelech.
The ninth Number is nine. The ninth Sephira is Yesod, or the fundamental principle.
The Spirits of Yesod are the Cherubim or Angels, those powers which fecundate the earth, and which are represented in Hebrew symbolism under the form of bulls. Their empire is that of fecundity. They correspond to true ideas.
They have for adversaries the Gamaliel or obscene, whose Queen is Lilith, the Demon of debaucheries.
The tenth Number is ten. The tenth Sephira is Malkuth, or the kingdom of Forms.
The Spirits of Malkuth are the Ischim, or the virile ones; they are the souls of the Saints whose Chief is Moses. (Let us not forget that it is Solomon who speaks.–Eliphaz Lévi.)
They have for adversaries the wicked ones who obey Nahema, the Demon of Impurity.
The wicked are symbolised by the five accursed nations whom Joshua was to destroy.
Joshua, or Jehoshua the Saviour, is a symbol of the Messiach.
His Name is composed of the Letters of the Divine Tetragram changed into the Pentagram by the addition of the Letter Schin (see Figure 94).
Each letter of this Pentagram represents a power of good attacked by the five accursed nations.
For the real history of the people of God is the allegorical legend of Humanity.
The five accursed nations are:–
2. The Geburim or Violent Ones;
3. The Raphaim or Cowards;
4. The Nephilim or Voluptuous Ones;
5. The Anakim or Anarchists.
The Anarchists are vanquished by the Yod, which is the Sceptre of the Father.
The Violent are vanquished by the Hé, which is the Gentleness of the Mother.
The Cowards are vanquished by the Vau, which is the Sword of Michael, and Generation by travail and pain.
The Voluptuous are vanquished by the second Hé, which is the painful bringing forth of the Mother.
Lastly, the Aggressors are vanquished by the Schin, which is the Fire of the Lord and the equilibrating Law of justice.
The Princes of the Perverse Spirits are the False Gods whom they adore.
Hell has then no other government than that fatal law which punishes perversity and corrects error, for the false Gods only exist in the false opinion of their adorers.
Baal, Belphegor, Moloch, Adramelech, have been the idols of the Syrians; idols without soul, idols now destroyed, and of whom the Name alone remaineth.
The True God hath vanquished all the Demons as Truth triumphs over Error. That is past in the opinions of men, and the Wars of Michael against Satan are the symbols of movement, and of the progress of Spirits.
The Devil is ever a God of refusal.
Accredited idolatries are religions in their time.
Superannuated idolatries are Superstitions and Sacrileges.
The Pantheon of Phantoms, which are then in vogue, is the Heaven of the Ignorant.
The Receptacle of Phantoms, whom Folly even wisheth for no longer, is the Hell.
But all this existeth only in the Imagination of the Vulgar.
For the Wise, Heaven is the Supreme Reason, and Hell is Folly.
But it must be understood that we here employ the word Heaven in the Mystical sense which we give it in opposing to it the word Hell.
In order to evoke Phantoms it is sufficient to intoxicate oneself or to render oneself mad; for Phantoms are ever the companions of drunkenness and of vertigo.
The Phosphorus of the imagination, abandoned to all the caprices of over-excited and diseased nerves, fills itself with Monsters and absurd visions.
We can also arrive at hallucination by mingling together wakefulness and sleep by the graduated use of narcotics; but such actions are crimes against nature.
Wisdom chaseth away Phantoms, and enables us to communicate with the Superior Spirits by the contemplation of the Laws of Nature and the study of the Holy Numbers.
(Here King Solomon addresseth himself to his son, Roboam):–
Do thou, O my son Roboam, remember, that the Fear of Adonai is only the beginning of Wisdom.
Keep and preserve those who have not Understanding in the Fear of Adonai, which will give and will preserve unto thee my crown.
But learn to triumph thyself over Fear by Wisdom, and the Spirits will descend from Heaven to serve thee.
I, Solomon, thy father, King of Israel and of Palmyra, I have sought out and obtained in my lot the Holy Chokmah, which is the Wisdom of Adonai.
And I have become King of the Spirits as well of Heaven as of Earth, Master of the Dwellers of the Air, and of the Living Souls of the Sea, because I was in possession of the Key of the Hidden Gates of Light.
I have done great things by the virtue of the Schema Hamphorasch, and by the Thirty-two Paths of Yetzirah.
Number, weight, and measure determine the form of things; the substance is one, and God createth it eternally.
Happy is he who comprehendeth the Letters and the Numbers.
The Letters are from the Numbers, and the Numbers from the Ideas, and the Ideas from the Forces, and the Forces from the Elohim. The Synthesis of the Elohim is the Schema.
The Schema is one, its columns are two, its power is three, its form is four, its reflection giveth eight, which multiplied by three giveth unto thee the twenty-four Thrones of Wisdom.
Upon each Throne reposeth a Crown with three Rays, each Ray beareth a Name, each Name is an Absolute Idea. There are Seventytwo Names upon the Twenty-four Crowns of the Schema.
Thou shalt write these Names upon Thirty-six Talismans, two upon each Talisman, one on each side.
Thou shalt divide these Talismans into four series of nine each, according to the number of the Letters of the Schema.
Upon the first Series thou shalt engrave the Letter Yod, symbolised by the Flowering Rod of Aaron.
Upon the second the Letter Hé, symbolised by the Cup of Joseph.
Upon the third the Letter Vau, symbolised by the Sword of David my father.
And upon the fourth the Hé final, symbolised by the Shekel of Gold.
These Thirty-six Talismans will be a Book which will contain all the Secrets of Nature. And by their diverse combinations thou shalt make the Genii and Angels speak.
(HERE ENDETH THE FRAGMENT OF THE KEY OF SOLOMON.)
121:1 The ‘Sepher Yetzirah,’ or ‘Book of Formation,’ one of the most ancient Books of the Qabalah.