of Goetic spirits, old gods, demons and fairies are all part of a rich
heritage of the magical search for treasure trove. During the Middle
Ages and Renaissance the British Monarchy gave out licenses to people
seeking treasure in an effort to control such practices, and this is one
reason why so many grimoires are full of conjurations and charms to
help the magician find treasure.
for the first time, from a long-ignored mid-seventeenth century
manuscript in the British Library (Sloane MS 3824), is the conjuration
said to have been performed at the request of King Edward IV, with other
rites to reveal treasure, to have treasure brought from the sea, and to
cause thieves to bring back stolen goods. Conjurations to call any type
of spirit are also included, recorded by the noted alchemist and
collector Elias Ashmole, as is an extract on conjuration practices from
the Heptameron, transcribed into English for practical use by a working
group of magicians, before its first English publication by Robert
Turner in 1655.
These conjurations demonstrate
the influence of earlier classic grimoires and sources, with components
drawn from the Goetia, the Heptameron, and Reginald Scot’s Discoverie of
Witchcraft. The material includes spirit contracts for the fallen
angels Agares and Vassago, and the demon Padiel, as well as techniques
like lead plates for binding, and summoning into a glass of water, which
hark back to the defixiones of Hellenistic Greece and the demonic magic
of the Biblical world.
This material forms
part of a corpus of conjurations all written in the same hand and style
of evocation, linking Goetic spirits and treasure spirits with the
archangels and planetary intelligences (Sloane MS 3825), and demon kings
and Enochian hierarchies (Sloane MS 3821), making it a unique bridge of
style and content between what are often falsely seen as diverse
threads of Renaissance magic.