Why “Lemegeton”

Maybe that’s best answered as a “what” question. Lemegeton is an old 17th century grimoire also known as a “The Lesser Key of Solomon.” I first became acquainted with this book back in the late 1980’s when I was still floundering about with New Agey stuff.

I remember someone from one of the BBS’es I subscribed to getting very excited when he received his copies of the Lesser and Greater Keys of Solomon – he couldn’t wait to go evoke some spirits.  Now you have to remember, back then these books had been out-of-print for quite some time – they’re readily available today though.

Anyways – like I said I was quite the occult aficionado back then and had many books on the subject from the likes of Aleister Crowley, Francis Barrett, Eliphas Levi, and a host of other “old school” new agers. So I wanted to get my hands on copies of The Keys as well.  Eventually I found one and ordered it at significant expense – I think $80 or so.   Again recall that these books were not being published at the time…

What I got actually was quite interesting – the guy had photocopied the original 17th century document – I’m not sure how he was able to do that, but he did.  So on one page was the (extremely poor quality) photocopy of the original hand-written book (Olde English, and illustrations), and on the opposing page was his typed “transcription” into (semi)legible English. 

In a way, I’m really glad I got this version – the transcribed English was obviously very hastily done since mistakes were prevalent. I had to go decipher a lot of the olde English hand-writing myself to make head-or-tails of some of the mis-transcription. Thank goodness he had included a photocopy of the original to compare to.  I can also compare it to the modern versions that are being sold today – most of which repeat some of the errors in transcription.

I eventually bought the domain name “lemegeton.com” which is basically a “dead” site now, but I use it to store my screen-shots and do some web programming testing and stuff.  I may resurrect it again someday in some other form, but for the last several years it has just kind of been sitting there abandoned.

What I do use it for, to this day, is to name my gaming characters. My “mains” are almost always some variant of Marchosias. I’m not really sure why I picked that name, but I used it in my first online game character and it has stuck ever since.  The increased availability of the book and its information has also given others the same idea though, so I don’t always get to be “Marchosias.” And you’ll often find other various “demons” wandering about the virtual worlds.   

One thing I thought was kind of interesting were some of the words that I had to research to figure out what these demons were supposed to look like.  Two in particular were “dromedary” and “xenophilus.” For example, Paimon is said to ride on a dromedary, and Guison is said to appear as a xenophilus. Through quick research I found that a dromedary was a camel, but xenophilus was a bit more problematic.  Eventually I found that it meant “dog headed monkey,” (or man) and then I found that that term meant baboon!  It’s modern spelling is Cynocephalus.

So that’s the story.  Basically I use the Lemegeton’s list of 72 demons to provide names for my gaming characters. Eventually I hope to use lemegeton.com for something other than image storage. But until then, it’s my own personal character-name generator, LOL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.