A grimoire is a textbook of magic. Books of this genre, typically giving instructions for invoking angels or demons, performing divination and gaining magical powers, have circulated throughout Europe since the Middle Ages.
Magicians were frequently persecuted by the Christian church, so their journals were kept hidden to prevent them from being burned. Such books contain astrological correspondences, lists of angels and demons, directions on casting charms and spells, mixing medicines, summoning unearthly entities, and making talismans. Magical books in almost any context, especially books of magical spells, are also called grimoires.
Similar magical writings have existed from antiquity, and although these are not in the same genre of medieval magic, they are sometimes described as grimoires.
The first grimoires appear in the High Middle Ages, growing out of earlier traditions, notably of medieval Jewish mysticism, which continued traditions dating back to Late Antiquity. Thus, the 13th century Sefer Raziel Ha-Malakh is significantly based on the Sefer Ha-Razim (ca. 4th or 5th century), which is in turn influenced by Hellenistic Greek magical papyri.
Notable 13th to 17th century grimoires include:
The Voynich manuscript has never been deciphered, and is difficult to date, but may also qualify as a 15th century grimoire.
In the late 19th century, several of these texts (including the Abra-Melin text and the Key of Solomon) were reclaimed by para-Masonic magical organizations such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Ordo Templi Orientis.
Many false or poorly translated grimoires have been circulated since the 19th century (many original texts are in French or Latin, and are quite rare), however faithful editions are available for most of the above titles.
The 2000 PlayStation game Vagrant Story makes heavy use of the term as items/scriptures found through the adventure to help the main character the learning of magical abilities useful during the game. The 2006 PlayStation 2 RPG Final Fantasy XII, developed by the same team of Vagrant Story, also makes reference to grimoires and magick.
The 2008 Nintendo DS game Final Fantasy Tactics A2 carries the subtitle "Grimoire of the Rift" and features a grimoire which the main character finds in a library and which opens a portal to the game's world.
In Final Fantasy XI, another MMORPG, the job class Scholar uses a Grimoire to cast certain types of magic.
In Charmed The Book of Shadows also has an evil counterpart known as the Grimoire. The Grimoire is a large brown book with an unknown demonic symbol of an upside down pentagram and skull on the cover. The pages of the Grimoire are said to be blackened by its evil. Much like the Book of Shadows, the Grimoire possesses the power to protect itself from its enemies or anything Good. Its spells and incantations are written in Latin. It makes only a few appearances and is later orbed under a mountain of rock in the West Andes by Leo. Bianca and her family of assassin witches possess a grimoire which contains their family's spells, although this is simply a grimoire and not the Grimoire. The book had a symbol of two snakes intertwined with each other added to its cover for the episode. The book was sold on eBay in late 2007 and reached a final bid of $405.00. In the episode Bride and Gloom, The Charmed Ones' Book of Shadows began to change itself into a grimoire once the girls turned to evil, even transforming once good spells into new dark spells.
New Page Books.(Magickal Crafts)(Grimoire of Magickal Correspondences: A Ritual Handbook)(Working With Fairies: Magick, Spells, Potions and Recipes to Attract and See Them)(Brief article)(Book review)
Jan 01, 2006; New Page Books PO Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417 www.newpagebooks.com Take a dose of craft traditions, mix it with a spiritual...
New Page Books.(Holland's Grimoire of Magickal Correspondences: A Ritual Handbook)(Brief article)(Book review)
Jan 01, 2007; New Page Books Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417 www.newpagebooks.com Take a dose of craft traditions, mix it with a spiritual...