Deals with the Devil: the Red Dragon’s Demons

Let me begin with a significant disclaimer:

Kids, don’t try this at home.

To be a little more serious about it, today’s topic is demonology; specifically, the demons found in Le Veritable Dragon Rouge, also known as The Grand Grimoire. Le Veritable Dragon Rouge, which is the French title, translates to the True Red Dragon.

Now, depending on your level of Biblical literacy, you may recognize the Red Dragon from the closing book of the New Testament, Revelation:

And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.

— (Rev. 12:3-4, KJV)

Likewise, depending on your interest in art, you might be aware of the Great Red Dragon paintings done by the poet, artist and mystic William Blake:

Blake 1 The_Great_Red_Dragon_and_the_Woman_Clothed_with_the_Sun
William Blake (British, 1757-1827) The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun (Rev. 12:1-4), ca. 1803-1805  (Brooklyn Museum)
Blake 2
The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun (National Gallery, Washington D.C.)
Blake 3
The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea, (National Gallery, Washington D.C.)
Blake 4
The Number of the Beast is 666, the Rosenbach Museum & Library

As  a side-note, the first of these paintings, The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun, serves a crucial plot point in the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, which introduced the world to everyone’s favorite cannibal, Hannibal Lecter.

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Back to the True Red Dragon, aka the Grand Grimoire:

The book itself was authored by one Antonio Ventiana Del Rabina, with editions dating to 1421, 1521 or 1522, though modern critical consensus is the dates are forgeries, with the text actually being compiled in the 18th or 19th centuries. Either way, Del Rabina claims that text were originally composed by King Solomon (yes, the Biblical King Solomon); through the conjurations contained within, Solomon was able to amass enough wealth to build the First Temple.

Or so Del Rabina claims [Note: many works on demonology, for example the Lesser Key of Solomon, are attributed to the king; perhaps the reasons were religious – after all, how could such work be unchristian, let alone Satanic, if they were written by Solomon?]

The whole point of the Grand Grimoire is simple: to sign a pact with Lucifer, or his Infernal Prime Minister, Lucifuge Rofocale. To this end, there are instructions on constructing a magic wand, creating a magic circle, as well as preliminary ritual purifications and the required blood sacrifice of a baby lamb.

The work is divided into two books (some editions contain a third, middle book that deals with necromancy, which is the art of talking to the dead)

As you might imagine, the Devil is in the details, the rest of which I’m skipping. You can read an online version at esotericarchives.com or grimoire.org; both are translations by Joseph H. Peterson (a prolific writer/translator of occult works).

So beyond Lucifer, the King of Hell, let’s look at his primary officers:

[note: Del Rabina uses a special term for someone engaged in this line of work; he calls them a karcist instead of a magician or sorcerer; this might be another example of him downplaying the real intent of the Grand Grimoire]

  • The first is the great Lucifuge Rofocale, the infernal Prime Minister who possesses the power that Lucifer gave him over all worldly riches and treasures. He has beneath him Bael, Agares and Marbas along with thousands of other demons or spirits who are his subordinates.
  • The second is the great Satanacha, the Great General who has the power to make all young or old. Women submit to him; he commands a strong legion of spirits and has beneath him Pruslas, Aamon and Barbatos.
  • Agaliarept, General, has the power to uncover the most well-hidden secrets of all of the courts and cabinets of the world and reveals the greatest mysteries; he commands the second legion of spirits and has Guer, Gusoyn and Boris etc.. under his command.
  • Fleurety, Lieutenant General, has the power has the power to do whatever thing one could want at night-time. He makes hail fall wherever he deigns and commands a considerably body of spirits and has Bathim, Hursan and Eligor etc.. beneath him.
  • Sargatanas, Brigadier, has the power to render one invisible and to transport you anywhere, to open all of the keyholes and to let you see what is going on in other houses and to teach you Necromancy. He commands other brigades of spirits and has beneath him Loray, Valefar and Farai, etc..
  • Naberus, Field Marshal, or Inspector General, has the power to do evil to whomever he pleases and enables one to find the Hand of Glory and teaches the qualities of minerals, vegetables and of all of the animals, pure and impure, possesses the art of foretelling the future, being one of the best Necromancers of all of the Infernal Spirits. He can go anywhere and inspects all of the Infernal Militias and has beneath him Ayperos, Naberus and Glosialobolas, etc..

So let’s consider what this is really about:

If you want money, you invoke Lucifuge Rofocale.

If you want sex, Satanacha’s your man devil.

If you want Earthly power through knowing the secret machinations of governments, you go to Agaliarept.

If you want to control the weather (not to mention having all your nocturnal wishes granted), it’s Fluerety’s help you want to seek out.

If you want invisibly and the ability to transport anywhere and spy on anyone, Saragtanas will get you there. Along the way, he can also let you talk to the dead.

Naberus can get you the Hand of Glory. What’s that, you ask? Here is the answer:

The Hand of Glory is a magical candle, made from the hand of a hanged man – presumably a criminal – or made from his fat. It makes you invisible, and assists in thievery, for example, the ability to pick locks.

So, if you want to steal, look to Naberus. Plus he understands the ways of plant, minerals and animals, not to mention he can tell the future.

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What’s the take away?

This list of demonic gifts reads like my sixth grade wish list.

That and the wish list of every grown up tyrant.

Money, sex, power, storm control, cloaking devices, transporter beams, channeling ghosts, criminality without consequences, clairvoyance…

Oh, who am I kidding? I kinda still want most of those things. Maybe all of them.

I’m just not willing to make a Deal with the Devil for them.

One wonders about some of our leaders, home and abroad…

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As mentioned above, one translation can be found at esotericarchives.com. It is provided by Joseph H. Peterson.

Tarl Warwick is another frequently cited translator. Warwick’s translation goes under the title The Grand Grimoire: The Red Dragon; Tarl is another prolific writer and blogger on all things occult (and political).

Finally, in case your wondering if there’s a definitive edition of the Red Dragon, the answer is yes! Unfortunately, it requires access to the Vatican Secret Archives. The Church has acknowledged possession of the text in four volumes, but as it location implies, it is not open to the public.

For more on Deals with the Devil, check out our earlier post, Trivia and the Devil’s Blues.

red dragon vatican
The True Red Dragon
Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion c.1944 by Francis Bacon 1909-1992
Header Image: Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion c.1944 Francis Bacon, 1909-1992. Presented by Eric Hall to the Tate Britain, London, 1953. http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N06171

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