No other book has been considered more notorious in the magical arts as the Goetia, which is part of the (in)famous grimoire known as “The Lesser Key of Solomon.” (Please note, this book is different than “The Greater Key of Solomon,” which is usually termed to be white magic, the lesser being termed black magic.)
I believe it was 1904 that a new English translation of the book was produced by McGregor-Mathers and Crowley. They conducted a great deal of hard work with the collected manuscripts of the book at the British Museum.
Within the book, a great deal of it defines how to conjure and constrain the 72 evil spirits or genii of the brass vessel that were at one time trapped and made to work by King Solomon himself in order to build his famed temple at Jerusalem.
The book covers how to make the circle and the other items needed, such as the sigils (signatures) to bind bind and constrain the spirits, how to make the magical implements such as the famed magic ring of King Solomon and how to make pentacles to protect yourself from them harming you after they have been summoned.
The listing of the 72 genii are interesting indeed… It talks about the leaders, the princes and how many other spirits or spirit armies they lead and have at their command… Dukes, grand dukes, princes, etc.
Other old grimoires also include a lot of information concerning The Goetia in a higher level overview, such as the classic grimoire by Arthur Edward Waite titled, “The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts.”
The Goetia has had wide influence on our culture, and one only has to watch a movie (such as “Bed knobs and Broomsticks” staring Angela Lansbury) to hear demon names such as “Astaroth” and popular television shows such as “Charmed” to hear names such as “Belthazar” to know how wide of influence it has had.
Other names you may be familiar with are Leviathan, Baal, Asmodeus, Barbas, Belial, Shax, Vassago, etc.
Some folks stay clear and as far away from this book and its genii as possible.
But today, some groups do exist that have done much scholarly research into “The Lesser Key of Solomon” or “The Lemegaton.” One magical lodge stands out above the others in this front, and that is the O.T.A., also known as “Order of the Temple of Astarte.” They use Solomonic Arts for use of positive ends and means and have made great strides in understanding it. They can be found at: http://www.templeofastarte.com/
They do have a great book out explaining it and their discoveries called: “The Book of Solomon’s Magic” by P. Runyon.
They also have a DVD available too explaining much, sharing discoveries and also recording an actual ritual in their temple using the arts to summon the spirit into the magic triangle.
Many other books exist on the market today that are invaluable.
Tread carefully, and as many old sorcerers will tell you, “Don’t pick up what you can’t put down.”