How Witchcraft Skepticism produced the Lesser Key of Solomon, Modern Demonology & Psychiatry

Johann Weyer's 1563 De Praestigiis Daemonum (On the Deceptions of the Demons) would prove to be an important opening salvo for skepticism concerning the early modern Witch Trails. In it, Weyer argues that demons can only perform illusions and that the women accused of witchcraft are often suffering from "melancholia" or mental illness and should be helped rather than persecuted. In later editions, Weyer would also include a demonological text he entitled the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum ("False Kingdom of the Demons") to mock the pretensions of would-be necromancers. Ironically, this text would go on to become the foundation of the Goetia in the Lesser Key of Solomon!