In the Middle Ages, scientific knowledge was at a very little advanced stage and society as a whole was guided by convictions of an esoteric and magical type. In this context, books dedicated to magic and witchcraft became fashionable: the spellbooks. They addressed various topics, such as curses, satanic pacts and white magic rituals. Likewise, forms of healing, astrological interpretations, talismans and indications for preparing spells appeared. Grimoire
These were manuals dedicated to topics of an esoteric character. In current terminology it is called pseudoscience.
As for the term grimoire, it comes from the Latin word grammaire, which literally means grammar (in the Middle Ages, the word grammar was used to refer to any manual that conveyed a basic knowledge).
Scholars of these texts claim that they are a combination of magical knowledge from different cultures (Greek, Egyptian, Jewish and Christian). These books achieved great popularity in France and Italy from the late Middle Ages to the 18th century and were known as black books. Grimoire
They were usually written anonymously, as their authors feared the punishment of the Inquisition
Although they are books banned by the Vatican, they contain a deep Christian spirit, in fact, many of the spells described are accompanied by prayers from the Christian tradition.
The presence of the four elements in the spellbooks expresses the fusion between science and magic
In the various rituals that appear in the grimoires, the elements used have, of course, a spiritual and supernatural dimension. Thus, water was interpreted in two ways: a revitalizing agent or else a destructive force.
The wind was conceived as a duality, as it could be what gives life or something devastating. Grimoire
The earth was interpreted as a source that provides food for men and at the same time a place that gives shelter to the dead.
Fire was a winning light that defeats darkness and, at the same time, an element that can destroy everything.
In the Middle Ages there was no clear boundary between magic and science. In this way, the “scientific” idea of the four elements was accepted and, in parallel, a supernatural dimension was proposed on their meaning.
Some rituals were intended to drive out evil spirits
Some spellbooks (especially “The Key of Solomon”) were used to resolve cases of demonic possession. In this way, when ultra-terrestrial powers were invoked or using some kind of magic, one tried to expel the devil from the possessed’s body. Grimoire