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(French for "grammar.")

A grimoire is a handbook of magic, that provides instruction in the methods of conjuring angels, spirits and demons. The earliest known grimoires date back to the middle ages, but new ones are still written, to reflect the needs and experiences of modern practitioners.


The 'classic' grimoires were written in the middle ages and renaissance, and later editions were very popular in the seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries. Some examples are clearly the notebooks of working magicians, while others make an attempt to teach a systematic approach to dealing with spirits. Some grimoires require extended periods of fasting, prayer, study and preparation, leading to mystical experiences of the angels and the divine. Even those books go on to include magical methods of acquiring great wealth and power, love, and harm to enemies.

The medieval grimoires are still consulted by students of ceremonial magick. The most useful of them give precise instructions for the magician about what to wear, prayers and invocations, and what tools to use during the ceremonies. Grimoires are also rely on astrology, and hours of the day and hours of the night for magickal timing. Also included are recipes for incense, descriptions for creating magickal objects such as amulets and talismans. Grimoires also contributed to the popular use the magic circle, a sphere of energy that protects the magician from harm from spirits.

Classical grimoires usually include writings passed down from Hermetic traditions and from Hebrew and Graeco-Egyptian ritual magic. The grimoires include both techniques of theurgy, meant to produce divine awareness and spiritual growth, and goety, which employs lesser spirits for more worldly goals.

Grimoires today

Modern Witches use grimoires, and have a strong tradition of keeping a handwritten (or at least hand-typed) book of spells and rituals. The most famous witch's grimoire is called the Book of Shadows. The original Book of Shadows is the ritual book of so-called Gardnerian witchcraft, but it is now common for any practitioner to refer to their book as a Book of Shadows. A neopagan Witch's grimiore will usually include written rituals devoted to pagan deities of pre-Christian cultures, and forms of folk magic and spells. A Book of Shadows may also include prayers, meditations, and divination techniques.

Another modern variety of grimoires are Lovecraft-inspired Necronomicons based upon Howard Phillip Lovecraft's weird fiction writings.

Some you of those you can find online, such as

List of popular classical grimiores

  • The Greater Key of Solomon
  • The Lesser Key of Solomon (The Goetia)
  • Grimoirum Verum
  • Grimoire of Horonius
  • The Book of Sacred Magic of Abre-Melin the Mage
  • The Book of Black Magic and Pacts
  • The Grand Grimoire
  • Red Dragon
  • The Magus
  • The Black Pullet
  • The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses


  • The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Resources to find grimoires