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Views of Solomon's Magic
When the magic of Solomon is mentioned one appropriately thinks of the Biblical Solomon, son of David, King of Israel. Magical practices are ascribed to him although not mentioned in the Bible, yet a vast amount of material exists based upon oriental tradition. Although without factual evidence the depiction of Solomon's magic remains legendary and makes it valid within the magical sense even today. Objectively speaking, this validity is presumably more imaginary than real, but belief creates reality.
With the Suleimans, a pre-historic race with seventy-two monarchs who ruled for a thousand years, one discovers the origins of the Arabian and Persian traditions of the Solomon legends. From Yarker one learns the Suleimans presumably associated with Solomon but they were excellent rulers of the Djinns and other elemental spirits.
Furthermore, the name Suleiman is associated with a Babylonian god. Kenealy, translator of the Halia, said that the earliest Aryan teachers were called Mohn, Bodles or Solymi, and that Suleiman was an ancient title meaning royal power, synonymous with "Sultan" or "Pharaoh."
Accompanying these revelations is the Persian legend that the mountains of Kaf can be reached only by the ring of Solomon. Within is the gallery built by the giant Arseak, which houses the statues of a race once ruled by the Suleimans, wise Kings of the East. Also to be found is the great chair or throne of Solomon, hewn out of solid rock on the confines of Afghanistan and India known as Takht-i-Suleiman or throne of Solomon, its ancient Aryan name being Shanker-Acharga.
Possibly the occultism of Solomon originated with the ancient Suleiman legends. As common with the repetition of legends such traditions have become intermingled with the tradition of the Israelite King and his temple. Such traditions supposedly stemming from Solomon formed many of the current Masonic activities.
Solomon's knowledge to expel and control daemons came from God, according to Josephus. In this science, or art, which proved useful and attractive to men, he composed incantations that served also as exorcisms to drive away daemons as well as distempers. Such a force was very great to have, men possessed it, one was Eleazar who performed curative feats in the presence of others including Vespasian, his sons, captains, and soldiers. The exorcism took placed as thus: he with a ring took a root of a substance mentioned by Solomon, place it to a nostril and the man immediately fell down; he then recited the incantations he had composed; then he admonished the spirit to return to him no more. As for the proof of his claimed power Eleazar set a bowl or cup of water not too far away, as the spirit let the person he overturned the water which the spectators saw. From other sources the substance in the ring was known to be mandrake.
The Qur'an also alludes to Solomon especially his power over the wind, he rode on his throne each day and it returned to Jerusalem every night. The throne was situated on a green silk carpet, sufficiently broad enough to hold his men on his right and the Djinns on his left. There are various legendary tales about Solomon's carpet. Many beautiful birds formed a canopy over it to shield the king, his attendants and soldiers from the sun; a various number of evil spirits were made subject to him to carry out work; and other devils were permitted to tempt him trying to destroy his character of which they were not successful. Supposedly various books were written and hidden under his throne, allegedly after his death when they were dug up these books would divulge Solomon's power to control the Djinns and the wind to the chief men. However, these men, thinking themselves more learned and enlightened, refused to believe the contents of the books, labeling then superstitions. The Mahomedans asserted Jewish priests had published this scandalous about Solomon, which was believed until Mohamed, commanded by God, declared him to be no idolater.
According to the Mahamedans Solomon received dominion over the winds from God. It was through his collection and love of horses. It is alleged that he brought a thousand from Damascus, others he inherited from his father King David who seized them from the Amalekites, and others from out of the Red Sea having wings. Once when Solomon wished to inspect all of his horses he ordered them paraded before him and became so attentive to their symmetry and beauty that his inspection ran long after sun down. Sensing he had missed evening prayers after it was too late, he ordered all his horses except a hundred of the best killed and offered to God. For this amble recompense Solomon received dominion over the winds.
The Mahomedans also comment on Solomon's building of the Temple. The foundation was laid by his father David but Solomon was to finish its construction. According to legend he employed Jinn, not men, to do this. Possibly the legend originates from the First Book of Kings, 6:7, that the Temple was " built of stone, made ready before it was brought thither, so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house while it was building." Also, accordingly, the Rabbis noticed a worm with a power to cause the stones to separate into chiseled blocks that assisted the workmen. During the erection of the Temple Solomon found his end sealed by the Jinn until the building was finished. Accordingly, his wish, the building of the Temple, was granted. He died while praying, leaning on his staff which supported his body for a full year, and the Jinn who thought him to be alive continued their work. At the expiration of the year the building was completed, the King was discovered. Unexpected to the Jinn a worm had eaten through the staff and he was found dead.
It is believed by the inhabitants of the valley of Lebanon that the celebrated city and temple of Baalbec were erected by the Jinn under Solomon's instructions. There are various purposes given for the erection: it was meant to be the resident of the Egyptian queen whom Solomon married; or it was built for the Queen of Sheba.
As it is observed much the information surrounding the Biblical King Solomon is based on legendary lore which provided much ground for magical work for past and modern day magicians. Solomon is greatly recognized in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament the activities of Solomon are mainly described in I Kings, chapters 3-11. Even here Solomon is an enticement for magicians, a man of spirituality, determination and power. Many might think the attribute of wisdom should be included here to because people often refer to the Wisdom of Solomon, as shall be seen, this description does include wisdom. Solomon is described as asking God for wisdom which God gave him. He supposedly demonstrated such wisdom when threatening to cut an infant child in half giving each to two women claiming to be the mother, knowing the real mother would surrender the child to the other woman rather than seeing it killed. Was this wisdom or common knowledge of a mother's love for her child?
Solomon supposedly prayed to God for understanding of the heart in a dream. A wish which God granted him this wish saying that there was none like him before him nor would there be none after him. This is mystic, a communication between God and man where a wish is fulfilled. Solomon marrying an Egyptian princess, a common practice in that era to strengthen political and commercial ties, did not set too well with his Israelite God because Solomon allowed his wife and attendants to practice Egyptian religious beliefs; it is claimed he practiced some of them as well. However, God forgave him these offenses because he built the Temple that his father King David started and placed God's things in it. A.G.H.
Spence, Lewis. An Encyclopaedia of Occultism. New
York. University Books. 1968. pp. 372-373
Unger, Merrill F. Unger's Bible Dictionary. 3rd. ed. Chicago. Moody Press. 1985. pp. 1035-1037