In every generation, the burden must be taken up anew.
Ceremonial magic is by its nature an art defined by mysticism and mystery, which is to say, by obfuscation. This is doubly true of goetia, with its frightening demonic drama and its grandiose claims. The impenetrable allegories, the coy vagueness, the secrets and initiations, the smoke-and-mirrors… These things are integral to the sorcery, they are part of what makes it work, and so they cannot be lightly tossed aside to assuage a skeptical public. All sorcerers are liars, and there is good reason for it.
But the fact remains that our society is gluttonous for information, and that magicians and would-be magicians have as much share in the gluttony as anyone else. At some point, someone must pull back the curtain and account for what is actually going on, at least to some extent. There is a demand for understanding, and so there will be a supply. If the understanding does not come in the form of lucid truth, then it will come in the form of fraudulent nonsense, or else in the form of a sneering dismissal: “it’s all charlatanry and crankery.” The nature of the craft must be explained in the idiom of the day, or else the craft as a whole will suffer the consequences.
This is where The Key of Zev ben Avram comes in. Devoid of any unnecessary prose, this quintessential grimoire delves directly into the specifics of 72 demons, each with its own sigil and detailed description, in a highly practical way. This grand catalogue of Goetic Spirits is the heart of the book, followed by explicit instructions about the necessary tools and rituals to work with the spirits described within it. Although far from the Solomonic demons, which are among the mightiest servitors of hell, the entities introduced in this grimoire are less awful in their wrath, proving easier to work with and bind them to one’s will.