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Lost demon of the Goetia

To: alt.magick
From: "Joseph H. Peterson" 
Subject: Lost demon of the Goetia
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 02:20:25 GMT

Here's one for your goetic milk cartons!  A lost demon, missing for over
400 years, may have much to tell about the Lemegeton, one of the most
famous of magical handbooks (Grimoires).

It has long been recognized that the first book of the Lemegeton,
Goetia, corresponds closely with the catalog of demons published by
Johann Weyer as Pseudomonarchia daemonum, included as an appendix to his
De Praestigiis Daemonum (1563).  Weyer referred to his source manuscript
as Liber officiorum spirituum, seu Liber dictus Empto. Salomonis, de
principibus & regibus dæmoniorum ("Book of the offices of spirits, or
the Book of sayings of Empto. Solomon concerning the princes and kings
of the demons")  It includes variations in the names of many of the
demons, showing that it had been redacted by the time Weyer obtained it,
so it was evidently much older than 1563.  In Weyer’s text there are no
demonic seals, and the demons are invoked by a simple conjuration, not
the elaborate ritual found in the Lemegeton.

 The most striking difference between Weyer’s text and the Goetia is the
order of spirits.  I see no explanation for the difference; it’s almost
as if a stack of cards got scrambled.  There are also four additional
spirits in the Goetia (number 3, and the last three).

Another anomaly may be of more significance:  The fourth spirit in
Weyer’s text, Pruflas alias Bufas, was accidently left out of  Reginal
Scot’s English translation (found in his highly rational 1584 Discovery
of Witchcraft), or was already missing from the edition of Weyer used by
Scot.  It is also the only spirit from Weyer’s list that is not found in
the Lemegeton.  If a specific edition can be found which introduced this
defect, it may thus be possible to fix the date of the composition of
the Goetia in its present form.

Here is the text in question (apologies for my rough translation):

   § 4. Pruflas, alibi invenitur Bufas, magnus Princeps & Dux est cujus
mansio circa turrim Babylonis, & videtur in eo flamma foris, caput autem
assimilatur magno nycticoraci. Autor est & promotor discordiarum,
bellorum, rixarum & mendaciorum.  Omnibus in locis non intromittatur.
Ad quærita respondet abunde.  Sub sunt huic legiones vinginti sex,
partim ex ordine Throni, partim Angelorum.

   (4) Pruflas, otherwise found as Bufas, is a great prince and duke,
whose abode is around the Tower of Babylon, and there he is seen like a
flame outside.  His head however is like that of a great night hawk.  He
is the author and promoter of discord, war, quarrels, and falsehood.  He
may not be admitted into every place.  He responds generously to your
requests.  Under him are twenty-six legions, partly of the order of
Thrones, and partly of the order of Angels.

Weyer was a firm believer in magic, and was in fact a student of one of
the most famous occultists of all time, H. C. Agrippa. His Praestigiis
Daemonum was basically a point-by-point rebuttal of the hateful witch
hunter's handbook, Malleus Maleficarum.  His book includes interesting
reports of Faust, Agrippa, and Trithemius from a contemporary witness.

I'm trying to track down early editions of Weyer to see what happened to
this generous but elusive demon, but in the meantime I would appreciate
any leads from the demon spotters among us.

I will add the complete Latin text, along with translation, to my
website ( as soon as I get a chance.


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