"Solomon represents the alphabet by seventy-two names, written upon thirty-six talismans. Eastern initiates call these "little keys" the clavicles of Solomon." ~ Éliphas Lévi, 1810-1875.
"He who goes with the Wise will become Wise." ~ Mishlei - Proverbs 13:20.
"What was is far off, and it is very deep, who can find it? I turned about with my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness and madness." ~ Kohelet - Ecclesiastes 7:23:24.
MUCH has been written over the ages about the knowledge and understanding of Wise King Solomon. For there are many legends about how Wise and Blessed with knowledge and understanding he was; but there are also many legends about how the King acquired his knowledge. As well as his knowledge and Wisdom of Magick and his formidable Magical abilities. Interestingly, in the Apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon, it mentions that the King was ordained by the almighty with divine esoteric wisdom. As he received the “spirit of Wisdom" from the most high. Through which he knew and understood all the secrets of the universe and the forces of spirits or powers of spirits that govern within. As its well noted that king Solomon was a mighty Mage, and blessed with the ability to control and command the hierarchical groups of Angels and Demons. For its believed that Solomon had Supernatural powers and abilities through which he could communicate with the higher forces. Intriguingly in the Renaissance period, there was a number of occult magical manuscripts and texts called 'grimoires' that were allegedly said to be penned by the wise king. Whether this is true or not is to be debated. But what I can say about these mysterious texts, is that they hold some rather profound wisdom and knowledge of the secret workings of the universe, the soul and G'd.
In this article we will look explore the magical history of King Solomon and supply a few extracts from some of the magical texts that have been reputed over the years to have been written by the King himself. As in this piece I hope to illustrate and trace some of the roots of how King Solomon became such a powerful influence in the studies of Occult Metaphysics and Magick.
"Now King Solomon transcended all the kings of the earth in affluence and wisdom. And all the inhabitants of the earth sought Solomon's presence to hear the wisdom with which God had endowed him." ~ Melachim I - I Kings - 10:23:24
"Fortunate is the man who has found wisdom and a man who gives forth discernment, for its commerce is better than the commerce of silver, and its gain is better than fine gold; it is more precious than pearls, and all your desirable things cannot be compared to it." ~ Mishlei - Proverbs 3:13:14:15.
King Solomon was the son of Bathsheba, a direct descendant of Ishmael, whom Hagar bore unto Abraham. King David, through the house of Judah, was a direct descendant of Issac. Thus, the two great families founded by Abraham were united in Solomon. It's said he was about 14 years old when he was anointed King of Israel in Gihon, and about 21 at the death of King David, he became king. Its been said by this time, the young King was fully established on the throne, and was familiar with the elaborate designs and abundant preparations for the building of the great Temple. As it's been taught that solomon, having been carefully nutured by his G'd-fearing queen mother, had grown into a young man of great mental vigor. Having been schooled under the greatest masters of the times, and reared in one of the richest and most brilliant courts of the then known world at that time. As he was preeminently gifted for the stupendous task before him, as its been said he undertook this task of building the Holy temple with enthusiasm.
As the great secret of Solomon's success is faithfully portrayed in his request to G'd for the ability to discern, to Understand and judge wisely. For its said that the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and asked Solomon what, He should give unto him. Solomon answered by requesting "for an understanding heart" that he might discern between good and evil. So that he might know how to walk before his people, and judge wisely. This submission to G'd, this desire to have G'd make manifest through him the wisdom and understanding, reason and righteousness of Truth, was the first indication of solomon's future greatness. As he got older, its said he gathered about himself the wonders of the world and Nature, both of animal, vegetable and plant life, and he drew from them the secrets of their existence. Learning that G'd was made manifest in the heavens above and in the earth below. 'As above - so below.' For he seen that the blessed holy One was All and in Everything.
"I applied my heart to inquire and to search with wisdom all that was done under the heaven." ~ Kohelet - Ecclesiastes 1:13.
Subsequently after Solomon became king, he soon set about the task to fulfill the wishes of his father and to glorify the Most High by creating a Holy Temple. Which was to be monumental in its design, exceedingly magnificent in its architecture, and peculiarly fitted to glorify and amplify the great mysteries of G'd. To accomplish this great task he took counsel with the wisest men of the world. As it's been said that Solomon held conference with friends and allies alike, and sought out Master Builders from all the great nations of the world. To help him in this great task of building a temple worthy to venerate the glories of g'd. Thus when he was satisfactory equipped to carry out this mission, it's said Solomon himself helped to lay the foundations of this great structure. Upon its completion, it was said that Solomon's temple was not only a supreme place worthy to worship the most High in, but it was also a magnificent structure of dazzling architectural glory. Intriguingly in a few Solomonic texts, it emphasises that Solomon used magick and alchemical, magical practices and processes in the construction of this temple. (See mysteries of the shamir)
Intriguingly, rather alot of stories of wise king Solomon and the processes, procedures and people he employed and used in the construction of his temple, has inspired much of the Western esoteric occult traditions. As within the rich k-c-qabalistic symbolism of Ancient Craft Masonry, two symbols or symbolic themes are predominate. One is the "Search for Light - Lux Fiat Et lux Fit." The other is the "Labor of Building - Laborare Est Orare." The trestle Board, is the acknowledged symbol of the Divine Law of the Grand Architect. The first source of light is in the Holy Bible, and the grand representation of the Builder's Art is the construction of King Solomon's Temple." (""The candidate travels slowly towards the East, as he pursues his quest for light. He learns on his travels the way to use the working tools of the stone craftsman, until at last he finds himself portraying the character of the greatest of all legendary builders, the master and chief architect of King Solomon's Temple, Hiram abiff."'")
It is also noted that; at one time the Dionysians referred to themselves as Sons of Solomon and one of there most important symbols, was the Seal of Solomon in ✡ two interlaced triangles. ""This motif is frequently seen in conspicuous parts of Mohammedan mosques. The Knights Templars, who were suspected of anything and everything--where believed to have contacted these Dionysiac artificers and to have introduced many of their symbols and doctrines into mediæval Europe. But Freemasonry most of all owes to the Dionysiac cult the great mass of its symbols and rituals which are related to the science of architecture.""~ Manly P. Hall 1901-1990.
Interestingly, Manly P Hall, also stated; "The name Solomon may be divided into three syllables, SOL-OM-ON, symbolizing light, glory, and truth collectively and respectively. The Temple of Solomon is, therefore, first of all "the House of Everlasting Light," its earthly symbol being the temple of stone on the brow of Mount Moriah. According to the Mystery teachings, there are three Temples of Solomon, as there are three Grand Masters, three Witnesses, and three Tabernacles of the Transfiguration, the first temple is the Grand House of the Universe, in the midst of which sits the sun - SOL ☉ upon his golden throne. The twelve signs of the zodiac as Fellow-Craftsmen gather around their shining lord. Three lights, the stellar, the solar, and the lunar, illuminate this Cosmic Temple. Accompanied by his retinue of planets, moons, and asteroids, this Divine King "SOLOMON" the Wise King whose glory no earthly monarch shall ever equal, passes in stately pomp down the avenues of space. Whereas signifies the invisible but all-powerful, spiritual and intellectual effulgency."
As a True King like Solomon, should posses a special level of wisdom and knowledge. To be crowned and decked with the precious crown of wisdom and understanding and adorned with princely garments of intellect, reason and sound mind, that of a sage monarch. Lighted by a ray of the Divine Intelligence. For light is always revealed to those who partake in the great work; and the sacred source of all light is clearly indicated in Genesis 1:4 "And G'd saw the light that it was good.” and again in Genesis 1:21;"And God saw all that He made, and behold, it was very good.” But the search to discover such Absolute in the infinite, the indefinite and the finite, is the Great Work of the sages, that which is termed as the Work of the Sun. For complete illumination must be eternal. To be a builder of temple therefore, is the allegory that rises from a physical to a spiritual Temple; "A house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." This is done through the unending search for light and that labor towards perfection, that begins at birth, and must continue with the initiated throughout their life.
""So important, indeed, is "Light" that of Lux, or Light, to signify that it is to be regarded as that sublime doctrine of Divine Truth by which the path of him who has attained it is to be illuminated in his pilgrimage of life."" ~ Albert G Mackey 1807-1881.
'""Solomon said: Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings, and learn the wonders of G'd. For, on a certain night, when I laid me down to sleep, I called upon that most holy Name of G'd, YHVH and prayed for the Ineffable Wisdom, and when I was beginning to close mine eyes, the Angel of the Lord, even Homadiel, appeared unto me, spake many things courteously unto me, and said: "Listen O Solomon! thy prayer before the Most High is not in vain, and since thou hast asked neither for long life, nor for much riches, nor for the souls of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself wisdom to perform justice.'""~ The Clavicula Salomonis - The Greater Key of solomon.
"According to the Talmudic legends, Solomon understood the great mysteries of the k-c-qabbalah. As it's been reputed that Solomon was also an adept Alchemist, Magician and Necromancer, being able to control the dæmons, and other inhabitants of the invisible worlds, from which he secured many great secrets and much of his wisdom."
""In the Name of the holy and undivided Trinity, beginneth this most holy Art of Knowledge, Revealed to SOLOMON, which the Most High Creator by his holy Angel ministred to Solomon upon the Altar of the Temple; that thereby in a short time he knew all Arts and Sciences, both Liberal and Mechanic, with all the Faculties and Properties thereof: He had suddenly infused into him, and also was filled with all wisdom, to utter the sacred mysteries of most holy words.""~ Ars Notoria - the Notary Art of Solomon.
As one of the great mysteries and legends of King Solomon, is that of his magical Seals. Said to reflect the cosmic order, and the perpetual flow between heaven and earth, also between the elements of Air, Water, Earth and Fire. As Solomon's Seals represent and symbolise super-human power, wisdom and the rule by divine Grace. The legend of the magical Seals of Solomon was said to be developed primarily by medieval Jewish and Arabic writers, who related that the mighty king was given a magical ring, that was engraved by G'd. Said to have be given to him directly from heaven.
This is why king Solomon's Seals and his Signet ring, called the "Seal of Solomon" Is regarded to be a highly magical symbol. The various other Seals or sigils of Solomon, have also been attributed to King himself. Who was bestowed with the knowledge and understanding of symbols from the angel Michael. Which he used on amulets and talismans, for talking to the animals, exorcism and the summoning of other Angels & Demons or Djinn. As it is believed he was given these seals and sigils by the angel of the Lord, Michael. According to some of the legends and ancient traditions, these various seals were used by the king in magical rituals and to evoke spirits in order to achieve the building of the great temple, and other benevolent and just goals. On that point, Solomon's magical symbol or Seal of Solomon found on his signet ring, is often considered today to be the Star of David. As this magical emblem was also believed to be on the Shield of King David, ✡. Known in Hebrew as the Magen David, for today Its generally recognised to be the symbol of modern Jewish identity. The earliest Jewish usage of this symbol however, was said to be inherited from medieval Arabic literature by the Kabbalist's. While others disagree and say it's much older, dating back to late antiquity.
The use of talismanic protective amulets, known as a segulot Or segula סגולה, סגולות meaning "remedy" or "protection" is still found today. For the seal of Solomon, has become major part of k-c-qbbalah, Magick and also Alchemy. As it's still a highly valued symbol used by many occultists today for its protective purposes. For Solomon's seal and his sigils are well known within the esoteric, spiritual, occult community's; as being a great source of wisdom and power, some would declare it to be the greatest. As it states in the testament of Solomon, that: "Solomon, son of David, who was king in Jerusalem; Mastered and controlled all spirits of the air, on the earth, and under the earth. By means of them also he wrought all the transcendent works of the Temple. Telling also of the authorities they wield against men, and by what angels these demons are brought to naught."
In the Grimoire, Clavicula Salomonis Regis or Lemegeton, it's states that Solomonic Magic; "Is the Highest, most Absolute, and most Divine Knowledge of Natural Philosophy, advanced in its works and wonderful operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult virtue of things; so that true Agents being applied to proper Patients, strange and admirable effects will thereby be produced. Whence magicians are profound and diligent searchers into Nature; they, because of their skill, know how to anticipate an effort, the which to the vulgar shall seem to be a miracle. By which we do arrive at the understanding of the Secret Works of Nature, is so far from being contemptible that the greatest Monarchs and Kings have studied it. For none might reign unless he was skilful in this GREAT ART."
However i do not recommend drawing these sigils, seals, icons, or partake in the practice of Solomonic magick without the proper knowledge and understanding of what these sigils, seals, icons and symbols truly Mean. Also its extremely dangerous to make sport of the Mysteries of Solomonic Magic; and it is above all excessively rash to practice its rites from curiosity or to exploit higher forces for selfish reasons. As Solomonic magick is a highly complex issue to master and even when mastered it can still be dangerous. Even the notorious Alister Crowley 1875-1947, stated that;, "Magick is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the Sciences and Arts. Because of its complexity, as their is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgement and practice than in any other branch of physics.” So because of the dangerous in this practice. Many of the earlier magicians and rabbinical Kabbalists. Deemed the Solomonic magical sides of k-c-qabbalah, to be extremely unpredictable and hazardous discipline. So whatever you may choose to do with the seals or sigils of Solomon, and whatever powers you choose to attribute to them. Is down to your own beliefs, knowledge and understandings. At least to those who do not posses the ability to understand their true nature.
""Solomon, The Son Of David, King Of Israel, hath said that the beginning of our Key is to fear G'd, to adore Him, to honour Him with contrition of heart, to invoke Him in all matters which we wish to undertake, and to operate with very great devotion, for thus G'd will lead us in the right way. When, therefore, thou shalt wish to acquire the knowledge of Magical Arts and Sciences, it is necessary to have prepared the order of hours and of days, and of the position of the Moon, without the operation of which thou canst effect nothing; but if thou observest them with diligence thou mayest easily and thoroughly arrive at the effect and end which thou desirest to attain.""~ The Clavicula Salomonis - The Greater Key of solomon.
""I composed a certain work wherein I rehearsed the secret of secrets, in which I have preserved them hidden, and I have also therein concealed all secrets whatsoever of magical arts of any masters; any secret or experiments, namely, of these sciences which is in any way worth being accomplished. Also I have written them in this “Key,” so that like as a key openeth a treasure-house, so this Key alone may open the knowledge and understanding of Magical arts and sciences. These works have been divided into Two Books. In the first thou mayest see and know how to avoid errors in Experiments, Operations, and in the Spirits theirselves. In the second thou art taught in what manner of Magical Arts may be reduced to the proposed object and end. It is for this reason that thou shouldst take great heed and care that this Key of Secrets fall not into the hands of THE FOOLISH, THE STUPID and THE IGNORANT, For he, she who is the possessor hereof, and who availeth himself, herself, hereof according to the ordinances herein contained, will not only be able to reduce the Magical Arts herein unto their proposed end, but will, even if they findeth certain errors herein, be able to correct them."" ~ The Clavicula Salomonis - The Greater Key of solomon.
On that point, the original manuscript to the Keys Of Solomon, save for a few curtailed and incomplete copies published in France in the seventeenth century, have for centuries remained in manuscript form. Inaccessible to all but the few fortunate and privileged scholars to whom the innermost recesses of the great libraries were open. As the keys of Solomon are seen to represent as the fountain-head and storehouse of k-c-qabbalistic Magick, and the origin of much of the Ceremonial Magick of Mediaeval times. As the greater Keys of Solomon have been ever valued by Occult writers as a work of the highest authority. More notably by Eliphas Levi. As auld eliphas took it for the model on which his celebrated Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie was based. For it is highly evident to the initiated reader of master Levi, that The Keys Of Solomon was his text book of study. He also gave a fragment of an ancient Hebrew Manuscript of The Key of Solomon, translated and published in the Philosophie Occulte, as well as an Invocation called the k-c-qabalistical Invocation of Solomon, which is found in his text, The Sanctum Regnum.
As you see, the history of the original Hebrew manuscript of The Keys of Solomon is said to have been entirely lost. As Lévi says as much in his Histoire de la Magie. However their is no reason to doubt the tradition which assigns the authorship of King Solomon to the writing of the Greater Keys. For Josephus, the Jewish historian especially mentions the magical works attributed to that monarch; this is also confirmed by many Eastern traditions. However there are a few grimoires and other works on Black Magic, such as the Grimorium Verum, the Clavicola di Salomone ridolta, the Clavicula Salomonis Regis or Lemegeton. Which have been falsely attributed to King Solomon, as most historic scholars would say they have nothing really to do with King Solomon himself.
""For every one knoweth in the present day that from time immemorial Solomon possessed knowledge inspired by the wise teachings of an angel, to which he appeared so submissive and obedient, that in addition to the gift of wisdom, which he demanded, he obtained with profusion all the other virtues; which happened in order that knowledge worthy of eternal preservation might not be buried with his body. Being, so to speak, near his end, he left to his son Roboam a Testament which should contain all the Wisdom he had possessed prior to his death. The Rabbins, who were careful to cultivate the same knowledge after him, called this Testament The Clavicle, or Key of Solomon, which they caused to be engraved on pieces of, the bark of trees, while the Pentacles were inscribed in Hebrew letters on plates of copper, so that they might be carefully preserved in the Temple which that wise king had caused to be built."" ~ Rabbi Abognazar.
To summerise, according to the Tanakh - Hebrew Orthodox Bible, king Solomon is the last ruler of a united Kingdom of Israel. After He dies of natural causes at around 80 years of age; it's said his son, Rehoboam, succeeded him. However, ten of the Tribes of Israel refused to accept him as king, splitting the United Monarchy in the northern Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam, while Rehoboam continued to reign over the much smaller southern Kingdom of Judah. Here is said to be the last words that wise king Solomon left for his beloved Son.
Solomon's Epistle to Rehoboam - from the Clavicula Salomonis - The Greater Key of Solomon...
TREASURE up, O my son Roboam! the wisdom of my words, seeing that I Solomon, have received it from the Lord." Then answered Roboam, and said: How have I deserved to follow the example of of my father Solomon in such things, who hath been found worthy to receive the knowledge of all living things through (the teaching of) an Angel of God? And Solomon said: Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings, and learn the wonders of God. For, on a certain night, when I laid me down to sleep, I called upon that most holy Name of God, YHVH and prayed for the Ineffable Wisdom, and when I was beginning to close mine eyes, the Angel of the Lord, even Homadiel, appeared unto me, spake many things courteously unto me, and said: Listen O Solomon! thy prayer before the Most High is not in vain, and since thou hast asked neither for long life, nor for much riches, nor for the souls of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself wisdom to perform justice. Thus saith the Lord: According to thy word have I given unto thee a wise and understanding heart, so that before thee was none like unto thee, nor ever shall arise.
And when I comprehended the speech which was made unto me, I understood that in me was the knowledge of all creatures, both things which are in the heavens and things which are beneath the heavens; and I saw that all the writings and wisdom of this present age were vain and futile, and that no man was perfect. And I composed a certain work wherein I rehearsed the secret of secrets, in which I have preserved them hidden, and I have also therein concealed all secrets whatsoever of magical arts of any masters; any secret or experiments, namely, of these sciences which is in any way worth being accomplished. Also I have written them in this “Key,” so that like as a key openeth a treasure-house, so this Key alone may open the knowledge and understanding of Magical arts and sciences.
Therefore, O my son! thou mayest see every experiment of mine or of others, and let everything be properly prepared for them, as thou shalt see properly set down by me, both day and hour, and all things necessary; for without this there will be but falsehood and vanity in this my work; wherein are hidden all secrets and mysteries which can be performed; and that which is (set down) concerning a single divination or a single experiment, that same I think concerning all things which are in the Uni- verse, and which have been, and which shall be in future time.
Therefore, O my son Roboam, I command thee by the blessing which thou expectest from thy father, that thou shall make an Ivory Casket, and therein place, keep, and hide this my “Key”; and when I shall have passed away unto my fathers, I entreat thee to place the same in my Sepulchre beside me, lest at another time it might fall into the hands of the wicked. And as Solomon commanded, so was it done. And when, therefore (men) had waited for a long time, there came unto the Sepulchre certain Babylonian Philosophers and when they had assembled they at once took counsel together that a certain number of men should renew the Sepulchre in his (Solomon’s) honour; and when the Sepulchre was dug out and repaired the Ivory Casket was discovered, and therein was the Key of Secrets, which they took with joyful mind. And when they had opened it none among them could understand it in account of the obscurity of the words and their Occult arrangement, and the hidden character of the sense and knowledge, for they were not worthy to possess this treasure.
Then, therefore, arose one among them, more worthy (than the others), both in the sight of the gods, and by reason of his age, who was called Iohé Grevis, and said unto the others: Unless we shall come and ask the interpretation from the Lord, with tears and entreaties, we shall never arrive at the knowledge of it.Therefore, when each of them had retired to his bed, Iohé indeed falling upon his face on the earth, began to weep, and striking his breast, said:What have I deserved (above others), seeing that so many men can neither under- stand nor interpret this knowledge, even though there were no secret thing in nature which the Lord hath hidden from me! Wherefore are these words so obscure? Wherefore am I so ignorant?
And then on his bended knees, stretching his hands to Heaven, he said: O God, the Creator of all, Thou Who knowest all things, who gavest so great Wisdom unto Solomon The Son Of David The King; grant unto me, I beseech Thee, O Holy Omnipotent and Ineffable Father, to receive the virtue of that wisdom, so that I may become worthy by Thine aid to attain unto the understanding of this Key Of Secrets.
And immediately there appeared unto him, the Angel the Lord, saying: Do thou remember if the secrets of Solomon appear hidden and obscure unto thee, that the Lord hath wished it, so that such wisdom may not fall into the hands of wicked men; wherefore do, thou promise unto me, that thou art not willing that so great wisdom should ever come to any living creature, and that which thou revealest unto any let them know that they must keep it unto themselves, otherwise the secrets are profaned and no effect can follow? And Iohé answered: I promise unto thee that to none will I reveal (them), save to the honour of the Lord, and with much discipline, unto penitent, secret, and faithful (persons) Then answered the Angel: Go and read the “Key,” and its words which were obscure throughout shall be manifest unto thee.
And after this the Angel ascended into Heaven in a Flame of Fire, Then Iohé was glad, and labouring with a clear mind, understood that which the Angel of the Lord had said, and he saw that The Key Of Solomon was changed, so that it appeared quite clear unto him plainly in all parts. And Iohé understood that this Work might fall into the hands of the ignorant, and he said: I conjure him into whose hands this secret may come, by the Power of the Creator, and His Wisdom, that in all things he may, desire, intend and perform, that this Treasure may come unto no unworthy (person), nor may he manifest it unto any who is unwise, nor unto one who feareth not God. Because if he act otherwise I pray God that he may never be worthy to attain unto the desired effect. And so he deposited the “Key,” which Solomon preserved, in the Ivory Casket."
The Magick of Wise King Solomon שְׁלֹמֹה سُليمان Σολομών.
By - Paul Francis Young.