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 Sworn Book of Honorius (Liber Sacer Juratus)

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Stacey/Cirrius
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PostSubject: Sworn Book of Honorius (Liber Sacer Juratus)   Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:08 pm

The oldest copies of the Latin Sworn Book we have today are Sloane MS 313 and 3854, both of which date to the fourteenth century. Based on evidence in the text itself, Robert Mathiesen suggests that the material was composed “sometime in the first half of the 13th century.” Overall, there are six known copies of the book.

The introduction of the Sworn Book gives the story that the book was fashioned in response to the Medieval inquisitions. As the officials of the Church sought to destroy all works of magick, a large council of adepts gathered with the purpose of somehow preserving the sacred science. One among them- Honorius, son of Euclidus- was chosen for the actual performance of the task. As is common in classical grimoiric literature, the master entered into conversation with an Angel who directed the reception of the magick. In this case, the Angel’s name was Hochmel- obviously a version of the Hebrew word “Chockmah” (Wisdom). The Sworn Book of Honorius was the result of this action. Each adept was allowed to make no more than three copies of the book, and each copy was to be either buried before his death, interred in his grave with him, or given into trusted hands.

The Sworn Book is a specifically Catholic text which seems closely related to the Ars Notoria. Joseph Peterson points out the similarities in the prayers used in both manuscripts, and suggests that the two are directly connected. Both texts indeed utilize pure prayer, divorced for the most part from typical grimoiric techniques, in order to achieve their high magickal goals. However, where the Ars Notoria focuses upon the gaining of rhetorical knowledge, the Sworn Book promises the gaining of the “Beatific Vision.” This is simply the Christian version of the vision of the Merkavah- wherein one achieves a vision of the Face of God through purification, fasting, and prayer.

Robert Mathiesen explains that the operation lasts for twenty-eight days. It is divided into two principal parts: the first part lasts twenty days, and concerns the purification of the operator for the work of the second part. The second part (the actual magickal ritual) is a mere eight days long. This appears similar in style to the Book of Abramelin, which instructs one to enter an extended six-month period of purification, followed by a much shorter seven-day rite to gain the vision of the Holy Guardian Angel and to bind the Demonic Princes.

Interestingly, John Dee owned a copy of this work (Sloane 313). Like the tools of the Almadel of Solomon, Dee also adopted an aspect of this work into his Enochian system. The text describes the inscription on parchment of a “Seal of God,” which Dee used as the basis for his “Sigillium Dei Ameth.” I will go into this somewhat below
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