An Original Solomonic-Catholic Exorcism Ritual: CLM 10085

CLM 10085 - f 2r

CLM 10085, folio 2r. “If someone wishes to exorcize or expel demons…”

If you remember a little over a year ago, I promised we’d do an exploration of the Manuals, and I haven’t forgotten. If anything I’ve spent that time collecting documents, teaching myself how to read paleography, transcribing, and translating, part of which is presented in the new book Medieval Rituals of Catholic Exorcism.

Actually, there will be more. I’m presently sitting on top of 3,000+ pages worth of documents and primary source materials, and am slowly sifting through what I have. But one of the Manuals stands out above and beyond the rest, bearing the unpresumptuous name Teilrituale (“Part-Ritual”), perhaps better known by its catalogue number of CLM 10085.

There’s something about this particular Manual that has people coming back to it, and my researches find it referenced as early as 1909, with snippets transcribed in the footnotes of Adolph Franz’ Die Kirchlichen Benediktionen im Mittelalter. In more recent years we also encounter snippets in Nancy Caciola’s Discerning Spirits (2003) and Francis Young’s A History of Exorcism in Catholic Christianity (2016).

I am also told a transcription exists within the Francosphere (Florence Chave-Mahir and Julien Véronèse, Rituel d’exorcisme ou manuel de magie, 2015). The nearest library that has it is four hours away from me which wasn’t a problem (gas was cheap in 2020 and I like road trips), but alas their COVID policies barred me from entry, meaning I was not able to access this book and thus had to rely on my own reading and transcription. The most I have been able to learn about this book comes from this review in the July, 2017, issue of Speculum.

So, what’s so special about this Manual that fascinates academics and gets its own blog post here at THAVMA? Well, what’s so special is that it’s considered one of the first Manuals to contain an explicitly Solomonic exorcism ritual.

Popular Unawareness

This may be a good place to point out that while the Grimoires have a wide “public awareness” within the occult community, the Manuals are more or less unknown and even less studied. The first time anyone in the community became aware the Manuals exist was likely 1997 when Richard Kieckhefer transcribed the majority of CLM 849 in his Forbidden Rites, even though the Verus Jesuitarum Libellus (another magicalized Manual) had been sitting under their noses for almost a century.

It likewise doesn’t help that the Manuals are more or less the province of specialized scholars who can understand Latin and can read paleography, thus there’s been no real need for translation or even transcription except when sharing a passage or two for the sake of readers unfamiliar with the material. This situation seems especially prevalent in the Anlgosphere where Philip Weller may mention “magical practices” in medieval rituals of exorcism (Roman Ritual, 1952), but absent certain skills, the curious individual will have much difficulty finding examples of such rites in their entirety.

Fortunately, a number of these Manuals can be found in digitized form online, and so their reading and study need no longer be limited to specialist academics. However, the lack of readily-available transcriptions and/or translations means that in order to be accessible to the general public, we have to start from scratch.

Potential Problems

Alongside the lack of popular awareness or accessibility, there comes yet another problem: the risk of misunderstanding the material if one doesn’t understand the context in which it was created. We see this risk of misunderstanding all the time, typically if one goes outside his/her academic discipline (for example Margaret Murray’s work in Egyptology was nothing short of inspired, but her writings on the witch-cult are nothing short of laughable), or if someone with no understanding of the source thinks it’s a good day to play Dunning-Kruger (for example, every time a Fundamentalist Protestant tries quoting the Bible).

Much like with study of the Grimoires, any serious study of the Manuals will need to take into account the culture and society of the medieval period, the worldview (religious, scientific, and secular), and the mindset of the exorcists and/or priest-magicians who used these ritual books in their work. Transcription and translation may be at the beginning of the work, but an acquaintance with medievalism in general and the Medieval Church in particular is essential for understanding the words written on the pages.

My Own Journey with the Manuals

I remember back in 1996, when I got my first “whiff” there was something more than what the modern rituals suggest. I was on the 6th floor of UD’s library and had picked up a copy of Weller’s Roman Ritual, where his introduction contained the following words about exorcism: “And by the time we come to the fourteenth century, magical practices have been introduced into the ceremonies.”

This made me curious as to exactly what kind of magical practices had been introduced. And for the longest time, the closest tidbit I had was Omne Genus Demoniorum, poem #54 of the Carmina Burana. Considering the satirical nature of the Codex Buranus, I’d figured CB 54 was intended as a parody and left it at that. No library trip and no search engine term would avail me of further information.

I finally came into better knowledge after a lucky google search couple years ago, when I discovered the Carmina Burana parody exorcism was, in fact, based on a real formula from a manuscript in Sweden. Yet while I was researching some historical sections for Handbook of Exorcism and Deliverance, that’s what I started hitting the motherlode!

Toward late 2019, I had acquired copies of Caciola and Young, and started tracking the citations in their footnotes. This led me to digitizations in libraries, which in turn led to recognizing a need to learn how to read paleography (a very special thanks to Dr. Mary Hayes for pointing me toward Cappelli’s Lexicon). At long last, I had found these so-called “magical practices” that individual clerics intertwined with the Church’s rites and had developed the skill set to read and understand them.

It also didn’t take me long to understand why all these ritual-books became forbidden in the 18th century. But I want to return to this point later on.

Transcribing Paleography for CLM 10085

Of all the Manuals I had transcribed, this one proved one of the most difficult. In the first place, I was working with a less-than-stellar digitization. Beyond that, the handwriting was such that certain letters looked alike. A “u” and an “n” could look alike and an “o” could sometimes be confused for either of them. An “in” could look like an “m,” the “t” and “c” looked alike in many places, and in the early days it was easy to confuse “ci” for an “a” before I figured out the “a” was distinct in every instance. At some points the manuscript could be quite maddening. (It should be noted that these problems were recognized even when the manuscript was written; the early 15th century saw the beginning of the “Humanist Hand” in Italy, and the invention of the printing press began the long march for blackletter styles to be made neater initially, and to be abandoned completely by the 1940s – and yes, this sentence is a massive oversimplification).

A direct result of the handwriting style is that any two scholars could transcribe the same manuscript and come up with three different readings. This is why context is important, and I’d like to share an example from the Exorcism Prayer attributed to Emperor Carolus IV. Here’s the original text:

CLM 10085 - 11v - Novi et Eterni

I transcribed this as “novi et eterni testamenti,” which translates “of the new and eternal covenant.” Yet in another transcription, Zdenko Vozár gives us “novi et [v]eterui [sic!] testamenti,” that is to say “of the new and to-the-old covenant,” with the “[sic!]” chalking it up to a grammatical error on the author’s part. (Page 152 at this link.)

Both transcriptions are defensible. I’d mentioned above that the “n” and “u” often looked alike, leading a transcriber to see the word as either “eterni” or “eterui.” The context of the sentence: “Novi et ____ testamenti” lends itself to either the “New and Old Testaments” of the Bible, or the “New and Eternal Testament” of the Mass. If one sides with the New and Old Testaments, then the choice is to assume the author made a typo (“eterui” in the place of “veteris”), and supply the missing letters in brackets. There is nothing wrong with this conclusion.

So why did I go with “eterni” instead? I did so because of the context of the preceeding  sentence:

Imperamus et per mistica verba incarnacionis Christi, et per verba consecracionis corporis ejus in sacramento altaris in oblacione panis et vini, et in figura secundum ordinem Melchisedech, in re secundum sacramentum cene Domini nostri Jesu Christi. In institucione novi et eterni testamenti.

The sentence clearly references the Eucharist, and the Manual itself would’ve been written by a priest. This implies the words “novi and eterni testamenti” would’ve been closer to the author’s thought because these are part of the Words of Consecration (“Hic est enim calix sanguinins mei: novi and eterni testamenti,” etc.). Lastly, I went with the general trend of the author’s proficiency in Latin: the grammar may be fluid as par for Medival Latin and the prayer nonsensical at some points, but the author was generally proficient enough not to mix up a third-declension genitive (“veteris”) with a fourth-declension dative (“veterui”).

At the end of the day, though, sometimes it’s just a matter of “making your best guess” and being ready to explain why you made a given judgment call.

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Codex Latinus Monacensis 10085

Onto the Manual itself. CLM 10085 is not one exorcism ritual, but a collection of rituals and conjurations. What makes this Manual stand out so much is the level of magical material found within its exorcisms, including material borrowed whole-cloth from the Grimoires.

The most-quoted section is the beginning, with the bizarre diagnostic formula of putting the operator’s right thumb in the patient’s mouth and saying the words “Abremonte abrya, abremonte consacramentaria ypar ypar ytumba opote alacent alaphie.

This is followed by a conjuration commanding the spirits to “rise up into the tongue and give me a laugh,” and an instruction that if the spirits do not respond, then “know that mute spirits are there.”

I find this is a rather credulous diagnostic, its premise being the assumption “the spirits are there even if there is no response,” its biggest flaw being that there is no room for falsification. Remember that these books were written within a culture where exorcisms were public spectacles and a stigma came with being branded a demoniac, and we can already see one of the downfalls in this process. (Also part of why I told my readers not to try these rituals. Several times.)

The exorcist is also told he must know what type of spirit is possessing the alleged energumen: incubi, succubi, dragons, satellites of Pluto, subjects of Satan, disciples of Astaroth, from the east, west north, south, and whether of air, earth, water, or fire. Like with the medievals in general, this is certainly a more extensive demonology than what prevails in our time!

The exorcist is given further instructions about fasting and prayer, and the alleged energumen is led into the church, clad in stole and chasuble, and instructed to lie down face-up with the body in the form of a cross, head facing the altar. This section finishes with the Pater noster, the Adjutorium nostrum versicle, and the Litany of the Saints.

By our standards, all of this is most certainly bizarre. However, I have seen other Manuals which prescribe similar things, generally coming from the same time and region (most notably CLM 23325). This opens the question of whether CLM 10085 was simply recording and expanding on a custom prevalent at the place and time, or whether CLM 10085 was the trend-setter that precipitated the others.

The Vinculum Salomonis

Grimoire magicians will be familiar with the Vinculum Salomonis, a conjuration likened unto a chain of words by which Solomon bound and commanded the spirits. In some form or other, it has been staple of magical literature since at least the Lucidarium Magiae ascribed to Pietro d’Abano.

CLM 10085 - f 4r

The “Vinculum Salomonis” on folio 4r. The conjuration begins about halfway down the page.

Vinculum - VSG 334 - page 12

The “Vinculum” as found in the Lucidarium Magice, page 12. Begins at the final large “P” in red.

The vinculum here begins with a prologue, “Here begins the bond by which the malign spirits are overcome,” and an explanation that it is not for the “insipid” but must only be passed on to the “wise of counsel.” Fair enough, as not just anybody should be playing with magical conjurations anyway.

Now as an aside, a few months ago I posted a partial translation in a group where I moderate and told everybody “This is incomplete, do not say this out loud.” Wanna guess what two people did? They read it out loud, and about two sentences in they reported weird stuff happening around their homes (sadly I’m not at liberty to share the details). So again, I mean it when I warned everybody not to try this at home.

The vinculum itself it pretty straightforward, the first sentence being the name of God and the demon Abadon: “Through the most powerful and empowered and strong and wondrous name of the Lord God almighty El, I contest and exorcise and conjure thee, prince Abbadon, and I command you other demons through him who spake and things were made, unto whom all creatures obey!

This is followed by a long series of barbarous names, with a format along the lines of: “Through the name (barbarous name) which (biblical personage) heard/named, and (biblical event happened).” For example, “And through the name Oristion which Moses named and every river boiled and frogs went up into the homes of the Egyptians!”

The conjuration is very long, and names events from both the Old and New Testaments, even going so far as to excommunicate the demons in the name of the Pope:

May the excommunication of our lord and bishop the Pope, and the vows of all holy priests, widows, and virgins, and the power of the Holy Ghost’s excommunication, excommunicate you immediately and curse, constrain, and cast you down into the place of perpetual sulfur and everlasting habitation, awaiting the coming of the great God in the day of judgment! And may every power names bind you in the aforesaid habitation by way of the sinning soul, and with chains fiery, strong, and unbreakable!

This version of the Vinculum even contains the most colorful passage I have seen in any conjuration:

Which if you will not do [as I have commanded], I shall repeat the conjurations a thousand times over and compel you to enter into a most vile depth of feces!

The actual word isn’t “feces,” but I translated it that way in hope of keeping this family-friendly. Feel free to fill in the blanks with your imagination.

This is followed with another conjuration and then by the “Prayer of Emperor Karolus IV,” which I’d mentioned above. I won’t give this prayer its own section, and will only say I believe its attribution apocryphal. The grammar is as times nonsensical, the prayer changes voice from supplicating Jesus to addressing the demon without notice, and it just doesn’t read like something from the mind or pen of an educated man.

“I Conjure Thee, Nakakon”

Beyond the Vinculum, CLM 10085 contains more features of magic. Something I didn’t transcribe for the book is a conjuration beginning on the bottom of folio 14r:

“I conjure thee, Nakakon, prince-to-be-exorcized of all things, with all thy princes and satellites: whether thou art from the air, from fire, from earth, from water, from the swamps or from caverns of stone, or from the woods or rivers, of from the roads or from within the roads, or from whatsoever place, or from the four parts of the world: whether thou art King Farfax or King Marimon or King Paymon. I conjure thee through + On + Ton + Ron, that thou wilt hear my and exit from this vessel without disturbance to his body or that of all other Christian men: through the voice which Jesus cried out in the cross: Hely + Hely + Hely + King Sabaoth, why has thou forsaken me? I conjure thee, etc.

 Original: Conjuro te Nakakon princeps omnium exorcisonte [exorcizande?] cum omnibus principibus tuis atque satellitibus tuis sive es de aëre sive es de igne sive es de terra sive es de aqua sive es de paludibus sive es de cavernis petrarum sive es de silvis sive es de rivis sive es de viis sive de in viis sive es de quibusdam locis sive es de quatuor partibus mundi sive es rex Farfax sive es rex Marimon sive rex Paymon.Conjuro te per + On + Ton + Ron ut audias me et de isto vase exeas sine perturbacione corporis ejus et aliorum omnium hominum christianorum per vocem quam clamavit IHS in cruce: Hely + Hely + Hely + rex Sabaoth quare dereliquisti me. Conjuro te, etc.

CLM 10085 - 14r - Conjuro te Nakakon

Conjuration of the Demon-Kings and all their servants, folio 14r.

The name “Nakakon” seems unique to this manual, and Joseph Peterson’s Index of Angel Names, Magical Words, and Names of God would seem to confirm this, listing the name as “Prince of demons in Rituel d’exorcism.” Yet the pattern of Nakakon/Farfax/Marimon/Paymon fits that of the “Four Demonic Kings” known to magical literature since at least the time of William of Auvergne, who writes in his De Universo:

In that necromantic work which is called the “Major Circle,” the teachers of this kind of work have said four Demon-Kings come together from the four parts of the earth, and before each one a multitude of men-at-play [men who have been tricked?], and singers on harps, which multitude can [consist] not only of demons.

Original: In oprere illo necromantico, quod dicitur major circulus, dixerunt doctores hujusmodi operum, convenire quatuor Reges demonum a quatuor partibus mundi, & coram unoquoque multitudinem virorum joculatorum, & citharedorum, que multitudo nonnisi demonum esse potest.
(Quoted from the 1674 edition of Guilielmi Alverni Opera Omnia)

We need not dwell on this much longer, only realize that what we’re seeing here is a potential direction Catholicism could’ve gone if not for the Renaissance and (more especially) the Protestant Revolt: we are quite literally witnessing some components of the Grimoire tradition beginning to be baptized into the Catholic Church by way of this Manual.

If the Barque of Christ hadn’t been blown so far off this course by the Tempest of 1517, who knows what kinds of Catholic devotionals we’d be seeing today?

Holy Water

Moving away from these conjurations, the next section contains multiple blessings for Holy Water, starting with the Ordo ad Faciendam Aquam Benedictam known to the Roman Ritual (as I’d mentioned in my last blog post, the blessing for Holy Water had been consistent since the seventh century). However, the Manual gives multiple alternate formulae, though it does not give the text for a “Blessing of Solomon” mentioned in the original rubrics. I am not sure whether this can be substituted with a formula from the grimoires, or if the author had a formula in mind that he did not share.

I have transcribed and translated the formulae that are different from the Roman Ritual, the most notable being:

Almighty God, may thy blessing descend upon this creature of salt and water, and do thou protect and defend thine entire family, grant medicine of the body, and powerfully turn aside the infestations of the devil.

 O almighty eternal God, who led four rivers out of the wet fountain of paradise: who through thine angel showed Agar the fountain and from it gave drink to the thirsting Ismael: who heard the prayers of Abraham’s boy at the fountain and fulfilled all his desires: who sent thy servant moses to strike the rock with a rod, and gave the people drink in the wilderness: who called bitter water back to sweetness by the placing-in of wood: we beseech the magnitude of thy power, that is to say thy sacred benediction upon this creature of salt and water, so that wheresoever it may be sprinkled or carried in thy majesty’s name, it shall fight against and send back all the enemy’s cruel temptations. That we also ask and beseech, that as thou sent thine angel Raphael to the house of Raguel to bind the demon Asmodeus, may [this creature] likewise be of benefit to this house, that wheresoever this water is sprinkled or carried: deign, O Lord, to be merciful there: that the enemy of the human race may not prevail to dwell there, but shall fleee, being put to flight by thy mercy. Through.

 Bless, O Lord, this creature of salt which we bless in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: that it may be a burning fire against the devil’s snares, and toward the healing of [someone] suffering sorrow. Through.

 Bless, O Lord, these waters for casting out the enemy of the human race: even as thou gavest [the waters] for abolishing the crimes of sins: thou art salvation’s creator, O Lord: anoint thy Holy Ghost upon this creature so that, armed with heavenly virtue, it may pave the way unto salvation. May the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of all the saints give honor unto his Son: so that the name of this, which we acknowledge through whom health is given to us, so that he may make us healthy and whole.

 Grant upon this creature of salt and water, O Lord, a salutary remedy: that it shall produce healing wheresoever it may interceed for body and soul. Through.

 Almighty God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, and of the Holy Ghost: vouchsafe, I beseech thee, to send thy benediction and heavenly and divine medicine, thy protection, upon this creature of salt and water and bread, that it may proffer salvation to whichsoever men it is given, and be it for them perfectly shown. Through the same.

Masses for the Demon-Touched

Having read that there were sets of Mass propers for exorcism but never having found the actual Mass-texts, this section of the Manual made me quite happy.

In the first place, I noticed the propers in this Manual were not unique to this Manual (CLM 23325 has more or less the same set, but with more Collects, Secrets, and Postcommunions). This indicates that there was a custom already in place – at least in southwest Germany – at the time these Manuals were written. The custom of saying Mass before an exorcism survives in the Roman Ritual, although no set of propers is given (one could pray a Votive Mass or the Mass of the Day, as rubrics allow and preference suggests).

The Mass itself is cobbled together from other propers throughout the Missal, with Salus Populi as the Introit and prayers taken from votive Masses as well as from the Proper of the Time (especially Lent). The Manual does not always list its sources, but generally gives a note at the bottom saying “responds to the (place in the Missal).” As the pericopes were not given in full, I took the liberty of adding them for the reader’s convenience (in bracket and italics, with the English from the Douay-Rheims Version).

My own thought about this Missa pro Energumenis (my name for it) is that this is a Mass intended for the conjuration and command of spirits. However, it could only qualify as “simple rank” if it were permitted by liturgical law, and is a Missa prohibita if we interpret liturgical law strictly. This may be why the Grimoires typically prescribe the Votive Mass of the Holy Ghost or some other Mass that’s actually in the Missal, because there are a lot of clergy who quibble about liturgical permissions even if they couldn’t care less about the rest of the moral teaching.

With all that said, we have to consider that the notion of liturgy as imposed from the top-down is a relatively recent product of the Catholic Reformation, which in turn jettisoned all the creative ferment happening within the Medieval and Renaissance Church just because some rando nailed a piece of paper to a church door. If the Protestant Revolt had never happened …

I Was a Bad Boy

The goal was to give a sampling of medieval exorcism rites, not to transcribe the Manuals in their entirety (something I may do in future). Since these were the really “meaty bits,” I skipped to the end which contained a set of instructions for during and after the exorcism:

[The exorcism] should happen to the obsessed for seven days; the possessed always present and fasting, and if he is not liberated after the course of twelve continuous days, let him beware that meanwhile the possessed should not eat anything except unleavened bread and fish, prepared with blessed salt and water. Let her eat nothing hot, not wine, not eating heavily, nor drink beer during the interim. All his food and drink should be mixed with blessed water and salt, and let him eat once a day at suppertime. Let the place in which he dwells each night be sprinkled; for a year let him not consume wine and bread. On Sundays, neither fruit nor meat killed on that day, nor beer brewed on that day.

Actually it translates “beer cooked on that day,” but “brewed” is more natural for the English language (one of the challenges for a translator!).

The author runs it together, and the most sense I could make out of the directions are that the author believes the exorcism should take no less than seven days and could take longer, that during that time the alleged energumen should keep a strict fast of bread and fish sprinkled with Holy Water; alcohol and hot foods are especially to be avoided. For a year after the alleged energumen has been freed, he or she should not brink wine or eat bread – the wine I understand, but the prohibition on bread makes no sense – and fresh foods are to be avoided on Sundays. The sprinkling of the home with Holy Water each night makes sense.

I can only consider this section a jumble of common sense mingled with superstition, and would certainly not recommend such a dietary pattern unless the situation were desperate and I had 100% confirmation that was the only thing that would prevail.

Did Anyone Actually Use this Book?

All in all, this is our tour of the Manual that’s captured scholars’ attention for more than a century, and about which the general public has been kept unaware (even most enthusiasts for exorcism!). So, what are my impressions?

My first impression is that we don’t have enough information about this Manual’s use. This may have been the anonymous author’s private handbook, or it may have been a thought experiment on his part, asking the question “What would such an exorcism look like” without necessarily putting any of it into practice. That’s an unsolvable riddle from where we stand 600 years later.

What we can tell, though, is that certain parts of the book were in actual use, notably the Missa de Energumenis which shows up in other Manuals, and likely the “Prayer of Karolus IV” which has a different style than the author’s (meaning he may have copied it from another source). There are also about ten folios’ worth of German-language conjurations in the back of the book, which would also likely have seen use.

We can also attest that the book has had more than one owner. There is a marginal note on folio 29v, written by a different hand: “And let the four gospels be read: first according to S. Matthew, S. Mark, third S. Luke, and fourth S. John.”

CLM 10085 - 29v - Marginal Note

Note in the left margin of folio 29v.

Likewise on folio 33r, we find the words “grex porcorum” written over in a different hand, with the genitive plural given a more standard “rx”-looking abbreviation, rather than the author’s abbreviation that looks more like a small capital “E.”

CLM 10085 - 33r - Grex Porcorum

Edit on folio 33r. The abbreviation for the genitive plural is different from the rest of the manuscript.

Likewise, on folio 1r there is an antiphon and prayer to St. Nicholas inscribed in what look like yet another hand.

CLM 10085 - 1r - St Nicolas

Antiphon and Prayer to St. Nicholas, folio 1r. The handwriting is different from the main body of the book.

This means the book may not have been the author’s personal “Book of Exorcism Shadows” as it were, or if it was, then it changed hands either by gifting or after the author’s death. This raises the chances the book saw actual use, but again the riddle remains unsolved and unsolvable.

Will These Exorcisms Work?

This is a difficult question for me to answer, as I have had no firsthand experience with them. Thus my thoughts in this section are strictly hypothetical, and I ask that you treat them as such.

From just looking at the structure of the exorcisms, I do believe them workable, and certainly more effective than the exorcism rite book the Vatican tried imposing on exorcists back in 1999 (I would like to thank the Italian Bishops’ Conference for making the 1999 ritual accessible to the public, while the American conference chose to restrict it to their bishops’ eyes only).

In general, the conjurations we’ve discussed thus far represent a reclamation and a fusing of traditions: on the one hand, a reclamation of the extraliturgical exorcism tradition that was borrowed by the Grimoirists, and on the other hand a fusing of that tradition with that of the grimoires. Unlike Charismatic and Post-Vatican II ideas about exorcism being “pneumatological” in character, we have here two traditions for whom conjuration and exorcism (which they viewed as synonymous!) are Christological in character, as shown by the invocation of Christ’s name throughout the literature. The emphasis on conjuration as Christological is something the Manuals and Grimoires both share in common with the liturgical exorcism tradition spanning from the Gelasian Sacramentary to the Roman Ritual!

So yes, I do think the conjurations would work, the same way they worked for the Grimoirists and might have worked for successive owners of this Manual, and for authors, compilers, and owners of Manuals incorporating similar material. I am not, however, all that quick to “F.A.F.O.” at first hand, and am satisfied with the Exorcismus in Satanam which I’ve found the most effective in my own experience.

I am not, however, going to recommend trying this unless you are a very experienced exorcist and equipped to handle everything that can potentially go wrong physically, medically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, and legally. We’re treading on forgotten ground that has been undisturbed for centuries, and we have no way of knowing how any entity responded to these rituals then, or how they would respond to them now. Or if they ever responded at all.


I don’t have any conclusions, largely because I feel the book is incomplete. I’d originally wanted to do a sampling of Manuals from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment – the Renaissance is when the Manuals started obsessing about witchcraft and when things really got weird! – but the question of size dictated I stick to the Middle Ages, with the other periods getting their own compilations as I am able.

This has been a fascinating journey for me, however, and I continue to be amazed at both the richness of Medieval exorcism rites, and the refusal of the modern Church to discuss the content of these rites in any detail, or even to teach her clergy anything about them. There are many techniques in these Manuals that have merit even today, especially when it comes to countering the vapidity and random curse-throwing that comes out of the modern Occulture (something my friend Frater S.C.F.V. found out the hard way when sharing what he learned about the St. Cyprian cultus).

As an aside, I make a firm distinction between Occultism and the modern Occulture, and I am convinced that the modern Occulture is either demonic or under the sway of the demonic. I say this because I repeatedly encounter the Occulture’s misunderstandings of Crowley, its open profession of “demonolatry,” its pretense of charging sigils under the all-knowing gaze of Ceiling Cat, and the perennial desire by many to claim “I’m a wizard” without a willingness to do the actual work of balancing, integration, and becoming.

(The difference is that Occultists actually “do the damn work,” while Occulturists would rather just wear the biggest pentacle to the club and talk smack from behind a keyboard.)

So yes, the techniques in the Manuals are potentially very helpful for solving modern problems related to exorcism, but first the material would have to be field-tested – in tandem with psychologists and medical professionals – by exorcists who have immense experience and the wisdom to know how to fix things if something goes wrong.

About Agostino

Originally from Queens, N.Y., and having grown up in Dayton, OH, Agostino Taumaturgo is a unique figure. He is the product of the unlikely combination of coming from a Traditional Roman Catholic background and a spirituality-friendly home. It was in this home that Agostino first learned the basics of meditation, prayer, and spiritual working. In time Agostino completed his theology studies and was ordained to the priesthood and was later consecrated a bishop. He has since left the Traditional movement and brings this knowledge to the “outside world” through his teaching and writing, discussing spiritual issues and practical matters through the lens of traditional Christian theology.
This entry was posted in Angels, Saints, and Entities, Church, Pastoral, and Ministry, exorcism, history, Rituals and Spells and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to An Original Solomonic-Catholic Exorcism Ritual: CLM 10085

  1. john says:

    I believe we are putting round pegs in a square hole. The beliefs and understanding of nature in these Mid-Evil times were very limited and based off hundreds of years of unproven superstitions , fear , and control in all aspects of spirituality back then. Example: most people who were diagnosed as “under the spell by some devil” were in fact people suffering from mental illness or some other physical or metal problems, same in the time of Jesus. I think we in 2021 are trying to base our beliefs off someone’s else’s objective reality up to a thousand years ago, or a hundred years ago, which is crazy insane; most church denominations use this as some type of control freak kind of thing IMO, much like the church did with the book of indulgences . Lets see the proof in 2021 of someone being under demonic possession, lets see it; lets see all the supernatural claims etc .. on video or in a clinical environment. I seen people on PCP who you would think were like this , and lets see all these so called magicians who claim to conjure up spirits , do it live on video tape or in a testing setting in a lab, proofs in the pudding!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agostino says:

      I like you, John, but that’s a nice fedora you got there. You might also be misunderstanding my motives: I have not presented these as something to say “Hey let’s try and use these.” I have presented these rites as historical curiosities, and in the book I make that clear while repeatedly telling the reader “Do not try this at home” with further explanation if something is truly dangerous (e.g. one rites tells the exorcists to force-fumigate the patient with sulphur to “smoke the demons out”).

      That said, I have no issue with a lab setting, and you’re right about the necessity of distinguishing between mental illness, chemical alteration, etc. (another thing I’ve insisted on); when I was doing exorcism work I had medical and psychological investigating the case with me, and would only proceed if they couldn’t find a natural/biological cause (“causes” could also include radon gas and power lines in the vicinity). As we’ve discussed previously, there’s also the chance for things such as the ideomotor effect, adventitious reinforcement, and all other sorts of self-deception mechanisms that can come into play.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Prepping Le Petit Albert Review, Trolls Galore, Magical Exorcism, The Book of Four Wizards | Papers Falling from an Attic Window

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