As a child sitting in Sunday School, I was fascinated by the stories of King Solomon. I remember sitting quietly in church and praying to him (yes, I know, a heresy) for wisdom. Then I learned about the Lesser Keys of Solomon in a book on witchcraft I found in a forgotten part of the school library. I would sneak the book out and read it; feeling hot and flushed as I traced the forbidden pentacles into my notebook. Then the Exorcist premiered in the local theaters. And that was when I, the good Church of Christ girl I was, got scared and quit.

The remnants of that adolescent fear stayed with me throughout adulthood, and even though I picked up the Lesser Keys of Solomon many a time in local New Age bookstores, I always put it down and picked up something I considered tamer. 

And then Sorcery of Solomon came up for review, and I couldn't resist. It was as if King Solomon himself prodded me forward. A forbidden book. Forbidden knowledge. I was so tempted.

So I did.

And I'm thrilled I did because it is the perfect primer I needed to engage in Solomon's wisdom and magic. The fruit was not forbidden. It was delicious. Demons didn't jump out of the pentacles, ghosts didn't harass me, I didn't become possessed. But what I learned within these pages was remarkable. It opened a whole new pathway into magic that is extremely powerful and yet, simple in its own way.

In easy to understand language, Ms. Mastros guides us through the history of King Solomon,how to set up a feast for him, how to invoke him during rituals and how to don his mantle. She teaches us words of power that tap into Divine, and―here comes the fun part―creating our own book of planetary pentacles. Yes, our own grimoire filled with pentacles we compose ourselves for our own use.

The exercises found in the book teaches us how to create and operate the Great Seal, and from there, we can “teach” our book various planetary pentacles as we go through the lessons. I have to admit, I felt a little like Dr. Strange when I started playing with the Great Seal. The Seals and Pentacles depicted in the text are very powerful. Just seeing and reading about them produced powerful energy. I had to ground and center after each reading. And it left me feeling flushed and excited, like it did when I was tracing them out when I was a kid. 

This book is a delight to work with, and I can't wait to engage in further study on Solomon's magic. It took me a long time to get to this point in my magical education, and I'm glad I took the steps toward that. 

~review by Patricia Snodgrass

Author: Sara L. Mastros
Weiser Books, 2024
p. $29.95, pp. 250