Below is a selection of free texts on Obeah. All are in the public domain and are free to download. Many are used in our Obeah Courses. This is just a brief selection of Obeah and merely touches the surface. Many texts are instructional, or grimoires, which explain in detail how to perform rituals and spells. Others are metaphysical and theoretical. They explain the nature of the spirits, the hidden world and how exactly spells work. Yet others are historical in nature and explain Obeah from a historical/anthropological point of view. No single book here should be taken as solely authoritative or the end of the matter. None are perfect and, if you become initiated into Obeah, you will learn to spot the errors and keep the effective portions.
A few of the texts may contain content that is objectionable to some readers. It is important to remember the cultural and historical contexts of the texts. They do reflect the biases of the authors, the time period they wrote in and the personal beliefs that they held. None is a Bible directly from God; they are merely collections of occult material that have proven mostly effective and useful in the practice of Obeah throughout history. Similarly, some texts reflect the stories of African cultures. They are not meant to be taken literally, but as symbolic and allegory. To believe them as literal is folly and to ignore them completely will leave you devoid of the ability to understand and spiritually assimilate the magical currents of Obeah within your soul.
As a final note, these are essentially a beginner's library of Obeah. The vast majority of Obeah practices are passed orally and kept as highly guarded secrets. To advance to the level where you are able to receive these mysteries and practice Obeah at an advanced level you must first have a mastery of the information in the texts below.
This is a fundamental text of Obeah. It was outlawed and for many years illegal. It was available only through black market sources in many Caribbean countries, including my native homes of Trinidad as well as in Jamaica, for many years. This describes details of working with important spirits for Obeah rituals and spells.
This is a follow up of rituals relating to the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses. Explains the convergence of Egyptian, Greek and Hebrew ritual, particularly that used by Moses in the Bible to destroy the serpents called forth by the magicians of Pharaoh. This is a less authoritative source than the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, but is of value in Obeah nonetheless.
A classical text of Obeah by L.W. De Laurence, the full title of which is “The Great Book of Magical Art, Hindu Magic and East Indian Occultism now combined with The Book Of Secret Hindu, Ceremonial, and Talismanic Magic.” This book comments extensively on the use of magical talismans, seals and symbols. This is an extensive work, often referred to as the “Bible of Obeah,” which spans over 600 pages.
The Keys of Solomon are also fundamental texts of Obeah and other Ritual/Ceremonial Magic. They have been used in all Western Occult traditions as well as the syncretic traditions of Obeah, which mix traditional Western Occultism with African Obeah. They provide a foundation of ritual working and a full understanding of these is required for the practice of Obeah.
Written by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, the Three Books of Occult Philosophy are a compendium of occult theory and lore dating to the 15th century. This is an extremely lengthy source book covering every aspect of occult lore and study from Kabbalah to geomancy. No practitioner of Obeah will be unfamiliar with this book, but it is so expansive that it is impossible to truly “master” it in full.
Also known as the Lemegton, or the Clavis Salomonis, this text explains how to summon and confine spiritual beings to work on your behalf. The details are extensive and the rituals are lengthy, but very effective. They are a staple of Obeah magic.
The Grand Grimoire has been a staple of not only Obeah, but of Secret Societies in Europe as well as in the Vodou traditions of Haiti. It is also known as “The Red Dragon” or “Le Dragon Rouge” in Haitian Vodou. This is one of the older grimoires and texts of occult lore. It deals primarily with black magic and is meant for advanced study and work.
Divided into three parts, this book explains a lengthy and difficult ritual for purification and communication with our higher spirits and the intermediaries with God. This is an advanced text in Obeah and also Western Occult traditions.
The Sepher Yetzirah is arguably the oldest book of Hebrew mysticism and magic. The title itself means the Book of Creation. According to the traditions, mastery of this book enabled men to create living creatures. Its origins date to before the second century BC. This is a very cryptic text which requires a mastery of Hebrew occultism and esoterica to use effectively. Te Sepher Yetzirah comments extensively on the formation of living beings, including the way that the formation of mankind (the microcosm) relates to the whole of creation (the macrocosom).
The Testament of Solomon is historically attributed to King Solomon and details the use of magical talismans to control demons and spirits. Specifically, the use of a ring with a hexagram that is designed to control spirits and demons. This book can help to instruct in the nature of various spirits and how they are to be controlled.
A foundational text of Obeah by L.W. De Laurence, the full title of which is “The Mystic Text Book of The Hindu Occult Chambers, the Magic and Occultism of India, Hindu and Egyptian Crystal Gazing, the Hindu Magic Mirror.”
The Spirits Book is a collection of communications by spiritual entities recorded by Allan Kardec. The first edition was released in 1857. This is an extensive and detailed book that provides vast insights into the nature of the hidden spiritual world. Kardec himself and in groups communicated extensively with spirits in the forms of questions and answers, recording them in this work.
A manual of practical occultism as well as occult theory by Eliphas Levi. This is a foundation of magic both in Obeah and other magical traditions worldwide. The text covers magical symbols, spell casting, charms, black magic, necromancy, Tarot and more. A thorough understanding of this work is essential for more advanced practice in Obeah.
The Book of Enoch is a literary work of mysticism that is used in the Biblical canons of the Ethiopian Hebrews, or Falashas. This book is a foundational text for understanding Hebrew mystic terms and traditions. This book highlights an astronomical system as well as a detailed series of dreams and dream symbolism.
The Kebra Nagast, or “Glory of the Kings,” is the historical account of the lineage of King Solomon. This is a book that is both historical and magical in nature. This is an important book for both the native Hebrews of Ethiopia, or the Falashas, as well as the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. It reveals many examples of magical acts performed by King Solomon as well as heavily veiled instructions to perform these works.
An antiquated anthropological work describing the beliefs and history of psychic phenomena, Myalism, Obeah and witchcraft in Jamaica. This is strictly an anthropological work and it does reflect the biases of the author, both cultural and those expected from the date of the text (who recorded his previous experiences of Jamaica in 1906), including some racist undertones. Despite its shortcomings it is an important work particularly for those who are not natives of the Caribbean and do not have first hand experience with Obeah and magic in a Jamaican context.
The Myths of Ife is a collection of various stories from the Yoruba. Similar to the Anansi stories, these are important for understanding the history and culture of Obeah.
An extensive history of the Kongo kingdoms of West Africa, as well as the magical traditions and practices therein. Information on sacred animals, ritual objects, ceremonies for working with African spirits and omens.