In this book the author takes an interesting approach to the explanation of medieval Grimoires and their use by various sorcerers and magicians of the time. Lecouteaux is an author of numerous books on medieval, pagan, and magical beliefs. He begins with a brief history of Grimoires and their beginnings as handwritten folios to the printed and bound examples we see today.
Within this historical account, he also incorporates definitions of magic and sorcery, explaining the varying typed of folk magic and ritual magic that existed. The titles of magician and sorcerer have often been used interchangeably with little distinction which has led to much confusion, and Lecouteaux offers a clear distinction between the two.
By by dispelling this confusion in the beginning, the author is able to go into more detail on the specifics of the Grimoire’s content. While many books written on this topic often mainly consist of historical information on the origins and of who used magic books. Lecouteaux conscisely lists the major tiles and historical figures and quickly moves on to discussing the actual content and its practical application.The majority of the text focuses on defining the different types of magical practice found within the pages of these codices. Lecouteaux goes into detail on various magical practices, such as: magical healing, remedies, love magic and protective magic. Also common to many Grimoires is the magical characteristic of the planets and the listing of various demonic spirits and the illnesses they cause. Another common topic was the making of magical talismans, most commonly for protection but also virtually every other type of magical intent across the board. The author explains the use of planetary symbolism and occult alphabets in the construction of various magical artifacts.
Lecouteaux’s academic background makes his writing easy to understand and provides an unbiased historical account of medieval magic as it was practiced. This is a great read for the learned occultist, and the language is suited for the beginner as well. This is a wonderful book to introduce one to Grimoiric studies, as it outlines a broad spectrum of important relatable topics. There are many unique details that keeps one’s attention. It is a shorter text, but contains a wealth of knowledge and practical information. It also provides detailed illustrations of planetary seals, ritual symbols, and occult alphabets.