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Book of Ceremonal Magic
ISBN 0806502088 / 9780806502083 / 0-8065-0208-8
Publisher Citadel Press
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Arthur Edward Waite writes The Book of Ceremonial Magic as a newer and more accurate edition of his previous title The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, written in 1898. As most ancient texts on magical literature are rare and hard to come by, it becomes very difficult for modern scholars to ascertain an accurate knowledge of ancient spells and rituals. Waite responds to this lack of accessible literature and approaches this text as a methodical and systematic account of magical procedures of the past. He remains faithful to the original sources before making any conclusions by way of his thorough research methods.
Part I provides the reader with essential passages from leading magical texts from the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. Part II is a more systematically organized version of these ancient texts, adapted by A.E. Waite to the ways of the modern academic. This volume remains one of the best sources of magical procedure, touching on such topics as gods, costume, and the planets and their relation to the supernatural. Although disapproving of the application of magic and the black arts in his introduction, Waite nonetheless defends those victims persecuted throughout history because of their participation in these superstitious beliefs. He also speaks positively about astrology and alchemy, noting them as more important categories of the magical arts. Through this volume, the contemporary reader can finally begin to understand the beliefs in the black arts that were so deeply rooted in our civilization's past.[via]