Paimon (also Paymon) is a spirit named in the Lesser Key of Solomon (in the Ars Goetia), Johann Weyer's Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, the Livre des Esperitz (as "Poymon"), the Liber Officium Spirituum, The Book of Abramelin, and certain French editions of The Grimoire of Pope Honorius (as "Bayemon"); as well as Sloane MS 3824.
Rank and relation to other spirits
Paimon appears as the ninth spirit in the Goetia the twenty-second spirit in the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, and in the Dictionnaire Infernal. In the Liber Officium Spirituum, he is first listed as the sixth spirit and later as the third king.
The Goetia, Weyer, de Plancy, Livre des Esperitz, Liber Officium Spirituum, and Sloane 3824 all rank Paimon as a king. The Livre des Espiritz, Sloane 3824, and the Grimoire of Pope Honorius specify that Paimon is king of the west. In the Book of Abramelin (where his appearance is given no description), he is instead one of the eight dukes.
The Goetia, Weyer, and de Plancy warn that if Paimon appears alone, a sacrifice must be made to summon Bebal and Abalam, two kings who serve under him but do not always accompany him. These three sources state that he rules 200 legions of spirits, some of which are of the order of Angels and the rest Powers. The Livre des Esperitz, on the other hand, credits him with just 25 legions of spirits. Sloane MS 3824 mentions him as commanding a "bishop" named Sperion, among other spirits.
Critical editions of the Lesser Key of Solomon list him as a former Dominion. Weyer notes a confusion over whether he was a former Dominion or Cherub. According to Thomas Rudd, Paimon is opposed by the Shemhamphorasch angel Haziel.
Practicing occultist Carroll "Poke" Runyon suggests that the name ultimately derives from "a Middle Eastern Pagan Goddess", on the grounds that some manuscripts depict Paimon as a young woman riding a camel, and that the name "Paimon" purportedly meant "a tinkling sound" in an unspecified language, in turn a claimed reference to Isis. This is part of an overall claim that the Lesser Key of Solomon was by Solomon and rooted in Mesopotamian mythology.
In the Goetia, Weyer, de Plancy, Livre des Esperitz, Liber Officium Spirituum, and Sloane 3824, he is described as a man riding a Dromedary camel, preceded by men playing loud music (particularly trumpets). Sloane 3824 describes the camel as crowned, while the rest describe Paimon himself as crowned. The Goetia itself makes no mention of Paimon's face, while the rest describe him as having a woman's face but still refer to him using masculine pronouns.
Sloane 3824 and the Liber Officium Spirituum describe him as having a "Hoarse Voice," and those works, Weyer, and the Goetia note that he must be commanded to speak plainly, with the Liber Officium Spirituum specifying that Paimon will speak in his native language until commanded to converse in the summoner's own language.
The Goetia, Weyer, Livre des Esperitz, and the Liber Officium Spirituum all describe him as teaching science and answering other questions. The Goetia and Weyer specify that his knowledge includes all arts and "secret Things," [sic] such as knowledge regarding the Earth, its waters, and the winds. The Livre des Esperitz and the Liber Officium Spirituum broaden this to truthfully answering all questions asked of him, with the former source also claiming that he can reveal hidden treasures and the latter highlighting that he knows all the affairs of the world. The Goetia, Weyer, and the Livre des Esperitz also claim he has the ability to bestow dignities and lordships. The Goetia and Weyer credited him with granting familiars (who are likewise good at teaching). The Liber Officium Spirituum uniquely gives him command over fish. Sloane MS 3824 mentions Paimon in "An Experiment to Cause a Thief to Return."
In Abramelin, Paimon's powers include knowledge of past and future events, clearing up doubts, making spirits appear, creating visions, acquiring and dismissing servant spirits, reanimating the dead for several years, flight, remaining underwater indefinitely, and general abilities to "make all kinds of things" (and) "all sorts of people and armor appear" at the behest of the magician.
- Peterson 2001, pp. 10-14.
- Weyer 1563, par. 20-29.
- de Plancy 1853, pp. 380-389.
- Boudet 2003, par. 2, 25, 28, 24, 38.
- Porter 2011, pp. 10-19.
- Porter 2015, pp. 191-207.
- von Worms 2006, p. 119.
- Banner 1999, pp. 80-89.
- Peterson 2007, p. Peterson, p.10, footnote 3.
- Ashmole 2009, pp. 55, 59, 60, 162-172.
- Porter 2011, pp. 30-39.
- Porter 2015, pp. 208-215.
- Rudd 2007, pp. 366-376.
- Runyon 1996, p. 148.
- Rudd 2007, pp. 51-52.
- von Worms 2006, p. 133.
- von Worms 2006, pp. 145-149, 158, 165, 179, 180, 185.
- Ashmole, Elias (2009). Rankine, David, ed. The Book of Treasure Spirits. Avalonia Books. ISBN 978-1-905297-27-6.
- Banner, James, ed. (1999). The Grimoire of Pope Honorius. Translated by Ch'ien, Kineta (first ed.). Seattle, Washington: Trident Books. ISBN 1879000091.
- Boudet, Jean-Patrice (2003). "Les who's who démonologiques de la Renaissance et leurs ancêtres médiévaux". Médiévales (in French) (44). Revues.org.
- Peterson, Joseph H., ed. (2001). Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis: The Lesser Key of Solomon, Detailing the Ceremonial Art of Commanding Spirits Both Good and Evil;. Maine: Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-220-X.
- Peterson, Joseph H., ed. (2007). Grimoirium Verum. CreateSpace Independent Publishing. ISBN 1434811166.
- de Plancy, Jacques Collin (1853). Dictionnaire infernal (in French). Paris: Sagnier et Bray.
- Porter, John (2011). Campbell, Colin D., ed. A Book of the Office of Spirits. Translated by Hockley, Frederick. Teitan Press. ISBN 0933429258.
- Porter, John; Weston, John (2015). Harms, Daniel; Clark, James R.; Peterson, Joseph H., eds. The Book of Oberon: A Sourcebook for Elizabethan Magic (first ed.). Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 978-0-7387-4334-9.
- Rudd, Thomas (2007). Skinner, Stephen; Rankine, David, eds. The Goetia of Dr Rudd. Golden Hoard Press. ISBN 073872355X.
- Runyon, Carroll "Poke" (1996). The Book of Solomon's Magick. Church of Hermetic Sciences, Incorporated. ISBN 096548811X.
- Weyer, Johann (1563). Peterson, Joseph H., ed. Pseudomonarchia Daemonum (Liber officiorum spirituum). Twilit Grotto: Esoteric Archives (published 2000).
- von Worms, Abraham (2006). Dehn, Georg, ed. The Book of Abramelin: A New Translation. Translated by Guth, Steven. Lake Worth, Florida: Ibis Press. ISBN 978-0-89254-127-0.