The Simon Necronomicon is a grimoire which some consider the best-known version of the fictional Necronomicon. Its authorship is unknown, but Peter Levenda is a widely cited possibility. The title is often simplified to The Simonomicon.
It is called the “Simon Necronomicon” because it is introduced by a man identified only as “Simon”. The book is largely based on Sumerian mythology, and its introduction attempts to identify the fictional Great Old Ones (and other creatures introduced in Lovecraft’s Mythos) with gods and demons from Sumeria. The tales presented in the book are a blend of Mesopotamian myths (not only Sumerian, but Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian as well), and a storyline of unknown authenticity about a man known as the “Mad Arab.”
The book was released in 1977 by Schlangekraft, Inc. in a limited leatherbound edition of 666, which was followed by a clothbound edition of 3333, and (in March 1980) by an Avon paperback. It has not been out of print since 1980, and had sold 800,000 copies by 2006, making it the most popular version of the Necronomicon to date.
The introduction to the book (comprising about 50 pages of a total of around 250) is the only part that Simon indicates that he wrote. It relates how Simon and his associates were said to have been introduced to a copy of the Greek Necronomicon by a mysterious monk. The introduction also attempts to establish links between Lovecraft, Aleister Crowley and Sumerian mythology, as well as draw parallels to other religions (such as Christianity, Wicca, and Satanism). Some of the discussion is based on ideas concerning the connection between Crowley and Lovecraft first put forward by Kenneth Grant.
Much of the book is a guide to magic and conjuration. Many magical incantations, seals and rituals are described. Most of these are used to ward off evil or to invoke the Elder Gods to one’s aid. Some of them are curses to be used against one’s enemies. The incantations are written in a mix of English and ancient Sumerian with a few possible misspellings in the Sumerian words.
The many magical seals in the book usually pertain to a particular god or demon, and are used when invoking the entity. In some cases there are specific instructions on how to carve the seals, including the materials that should be used and the time of day it should be carved in other cases, only the seal itself is given.
For some rituals, the book mentions that sacrifices should be offered. One ritual in particular describes a human sacrifice of eleven men, needed to enchant a sword which can summon Tiamat (p. 160-161).
Both the introduction and the book’s marketing make sensational claims for the book’s magical power. The back blurb claims it is “the most potent and potentially, the most dangerous Black Book known to the Western World”, and that its rituals will bring “beings and monsters” into “physical appearance”. The book’s introduction gives readers frequent warnings that the powers it contains are potentially life threatening, and that perfect mental health is needed otherwise the book is extremely dangerous. It claims a curse hit those who helped publish the book. It also claims that the Golden Dawn methods of magical banishing will not work on the entities in this book.
IN THE MID – 1920’s, roughly two blocks from where the Warlock Shop once stood, in Brooklyn Heights, lived a quiet, reclusive man, an author of short stories, who eventually divorced his wife of two years and returned to his boyhood home in Rhode Island, where he lived with his two aunts. Born on August 20, 1890, Howard Phillips Lovecraft would come to exert an impact on the literary world that dwarfs his initial successes with Weird Tales magazine in 1923. He died, tragically, at the age of 46 on March 15, 1937, a victim of cancer of the intestine and Bright’s Disease. Though persons of such renown as Dashiell Hammett were to become involved in his work, anthologising it for publication both here an abroad, the reputation of a man generally conceded to be the “Father of
Gothic Horror” did not really come into its own until the past few years, with the massive re-publication of his works by various houses, a volume of his selected letters, and his biography. In the July, 1975, issue The Atlantic Monthly, there appeared a story entitled “There Are More Things”, written by Jorge Luis Borges, “To the memory of H.P. Lovecraft”.
This gesture by a man of the literary stature of Borges is certainly an indication that Lovecraft has finally ascended to his rightful place in the history of American literature, nearly forty years after his death. In the same year that Lovecraft found print in the pages of Weird Takes, another gentleman was seeing his name in print; but in the British tabloid press.
The Complete Simon Necronomicon