Medieval Grimoires and our Books of Shadows

Hexagram SolomonThe rituals in the Coven of the Catta’s Books of Shadows, which I hand copied from Lady Phoebe’s books in the early 1980s, are from a variety of sources. Most are after a pattern of rituals in The Grimoire of Lady Sheba and other Gardnerian lineage writings available at that time. I and others have noticed some passages are similar to those in the Grinoirium Verum and the Grand Grimoire from Idries Shah’s The Secret Lore of Magic. Here are some quotes from both showing that comparison.

tetragramaton pentatgramFrom the Grand Grimoire:

O Lord Adonai, who hast formed me, Thy unworthy servant, in thine image, from plain earth: bless and sanctify this work, for the cleansing of my soul and body, and may no deceit or stupidity be her. O Most Powerful God! Through whose power the people were able to walk through the Red Sea from Egypt; give me this grace, purified and cleansed by this water, pure in Thy Presence! 

From the Grimoirium Verum:

Lord God Adonay, who has formed man out of nothing to Thine own image and likeness, and me also, unworthy sinner as I am, deign, I pray Thee, to bless and sanctify this water, that it may be healthful to my body and soul, that all delusion may depart from me.  O Lord God, Almighty and Ineffable, who didst lead forth thy people from the land of Egypt, and didst cause them to pass dry-shod over the Red Sea. Grant that I may be cleansed by this water from all my sins, and may appear innocent before thee. Amen.

From the Books of Shadows of the Coven of the Catta:

Priest hold up cup of holy water to the gods saying:

O Lord Adonai, who has formed me from plain earth in thine image, bless and sanctify this work for the cleansing of the body and soul. Let no deceit or stupidity dwell herein, O most powerful God. Give me this grace, purified and cleansed by water and by salt.

Priest makes fire invoking pentagram on his forehead and then on the coveners saying:

Be thou cleansed, regenerate, and purified, so the spirits will neither harm thee nor abide in thee.

From the Grand Grimoire:

May all devils flee, and particularly those who are inimical to this operation! When we enter herein we call with humility that God the Almighty entering this Circle will cast down diving pleasure and prosperity and joy and charity and greeting.

May the Angels of Peace help and defend this Circle: may discord disappear from it!

Help and magnify us, O Lord. Thy Most Holy Name bless our meeting and our speech. O Lord our God, bless our entry into this Circle, for Thou art blessed for Ever and Ever! Amen.

From the Books of Shadows of the Coven of the Catta:

Priest/ess makes deosil circle with sword on ground saying:

May all evils flee, and particularly those who are inimical to this operation which we enter herein. We call with humility that our Gods be with us to cast down divine pleasure and charity, prosperity and greetings.

Priest/ess makes second circle with athame at breast level saying:

May the keepers of peace help and defend this circle. May discord, discontent and disorder disappear from it.

Priest/ess makes third circle at head level swinging censor of incense east west three times then north south three times then deosil in a circle three times saying:

Help and magnify us. Bless our Sabat and our speech. Bless our entry into thy sacred circle.

So as you can see someone in the Coven of the Catta, most likely Dr Santee, used and adapted phrases from these old grimoires into their rituals.


2 thoughts on “Medieval Grimoires and our Books of Shadows

  1. You had talked about the Eight Tenets in another Post, your find they came from Ye Bok of ye Art Magical by Gerald Gardner. One thing that i find funny is that Bok of ye Art Magical did not come to light untill years after Leeks talked about them, and they did not carry over into the Gardnerian BOS. So i would like to Know the Connection between Leeks and if she did not Keep a BOS, why is much of her basic stuff the same as Geralds, i wonder if she was not a member of the New Forest Coven along side Gardner.. just my thoughts.

    • I was in contact with a Sybil Leek expert from the west coast and he also says he can find no evidence of a formal BOS they may have written regarding rituals but probably kept more of a journal of herbal and astrological information, most of which she probably published. I think there may have been more than one coven in the new forest, and she admits most of her learning there was from the gypsies and a relative who sent her to France for her real formal initiations.

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