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Book Ceremonial Magic (Kegan Paul Library of Arcana) Hardcover – January 27, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0710311535 ISBN-10: 0710311532

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Product Details

  • Series: Kegan Paul Library of Arcana
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (January 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0710311532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0710311535
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,343,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CONCERNING THE INVOCATION OF EVIL SPIRITS

If we would call any evil Spirit to the circle, it first behoveth us to consider and to know his nature, to which of the planets it agreeth, and what offices are distributed to him from the planet. This being known, let there be sought out a place fit and proper for his invocation. according to the nature of the planet and the quality of the offices of the same Spirit, as mear as the same may be done. For example, if his power be over the sea, rivers or floods, then let a place be chosen on the shore, and so of the rest. In like manner, let there be chosen a convenient time, both for the wuality of the air--which should be serene, clear, quiet and fitting for the Spirits to assume bodies--and for the quality and nature of the planet, and so too of the spirit, to wit, on his day, noting the time wherein he ruleth, whether it be fortunate or unfortunate, day or nguht, as the stars and spirits require.

These things being considered, let there be a circle framed at the place elected, as well for the defence of the invocant as for the confirmation of the Spirit. In the circle itself there are to be written the general Divine Names, and those things which do yield defence unto us; the Divine Names which do rule the said planet, with the offices of the Spirit himself; the names, finally, of the good Spirits which bear rule and are able to bind and constrain that Spirit which we intend to call. If we would further fortify our circle, we may add characters and pentacles agreeing to the work. So also, and within and without the circle, we may frame an angular figure, inscribed with such numbers as are congruent among themselves to our work. Moreover, the operator is to be provided with lights, perfumes, unguents and medicines compounded according to the nature of the planet and Spirit, which do partially agree with the Spirit, by reason of their natural and celestial virtue, and partly are exhibited to the Spirit for religious and superstitious worship. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By J. H. Peterson on December 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
A.E. Waite (1857-1942) was one of the most important and influential figures in Western occultism. Perhaps best known as the creator of the enormously popular Rider-Waite tarot deck, he was a prolific author and had a leadership role in several occult groups (including the Golden Dawn), some of which he founded.
His Book of Ceremonial Magic (first published in London, 1911?) is a revision of his Book of Black Magic and Pacts (Edinburgh, 1898) It contains a treasurehouse of drawings and quotes from rare handbooks of magic, but it does have some shortcomings. Excerpts often are quoted out of context, without representing any one system intact. Translations are not always reliable and mistakes are surprisingly frequent.
Although Waite himself practised ritual magic, his treatment of the literature here represented is highly critical. I suspect that Waite deliberately chose passages from the most corrupt manuscripts possible to strengthen his invective. For example, he bases his extracts from the Lemegeton on Sl.2731 which is one of the least accurate manuscripts of that text. Also he uses a text titled True Black Magic (La Vraie Magie Noire) to exemplify techniques from the Key of Solomon method, when other versions are clearly more accurate.
This book also suffers from a lack of any form of critical apparatus, bibliography, and index.
Waite did us a service by assembling excerpts from a wide selection of magical texts, giving us a fairly good flavor for the genre, but I advise serious researchers and would-be practitioners of ceremonial magic to use it with caution. Those looking for a much more thorough survey of magical literature would do well to consult E.M. Butler's Ritual Magic, and Lynn Thorndike's History of Magic and Experimental Science.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ian M. Slater TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
Arthur Edward Waite (1860-1942) was a professed mystic, an historian of mysticism, alchemy, magic, and secret societies, an industrious translator, and a man unusually willing to turn 180 degrees from a published opinion when faced with new and better evidence. His variously titled "Book of Black Magic and of Pacts" (first edition, privately printed 1898; public edition, 1911), or "Book of Ceremonial Magic" (etc.) shows Waite rejecting the misinformation and misrepresentations of his old source and model, "Eliphas Levi" (real name Alphonse Louis Constant, c.1810-1875) and his sometime-associate in the Order of the Golden Dawn, S.L. MacGregor Mathers (1854-1918), and trying to offer the interested public a responsible survey of the literature of ceremonial magic.

The book in question is frequently reprinted, under a variety of similar titles, although it is now very badly dated; I have reviewed another edition, published as "The Book of Black Magic," and repeat my observations here. Under any title, it contains a number of oversights and errors of fact, but it retains considerable value and interest, and is worth reading with care, and *critical* attention. Some titles do raise (various and different sets of) false expectations, however. I have not seen all editions; with the exception of the recent Weiser edition as "The Book of Black Magic," which appears to reprint the shorter, and apparently less (or un-) illustrated, 1898 edition, those I have seen seemed to have identical texts (but there may be differences I've missed).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Frater AChDAE on February 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Waite never meant to make this book practical in any sense; instead, he sought to create a reference book. For those interested in Magickal Grimoires, but without the intent to practice from them, this book is a great souce-book. It includes snippets of (and commentary on) various medieval Grimoires, for the edification of the curious.
Though at times, rather harsh in his judgments of Magick in general, and the Golden Dawn system specifically, he does provide a good deal of information in one package.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
What you've got to understand is that this isn't meant to be a guide to practical magic(k). Like many of Waite's other books (such as The Holy Kabbalah) it is a guide to the literature of, and a summary of the teaching of, a specific esoteric tradition. Viewed from this perspective, this is a very useful book for both the scholar and, if he has an open mind, the practical magician. Just don't expect Waite to hold you by the hand and tell you what to do.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The hardcover edition of Waite's "Ceremonial Magic..." is the comprehensive version of what has since been published as an abbreviated volume in paperback form. If you get any, get the hardcover.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book's primary value is as a survey of the methods of medieval Western Ceremonial Magic. It consists mainly of excerpts from the better known renaissance grimoires, accompanied by commentary from the author. The material is deliberately incomplete, and Waite's style is verbose, pompous and quite tedious at times. To these flaws must be added his scornful attitude toward his subject matter. Although at times, one does wonder why he bothered to write it in the first place, as a starting point for the study of the Western Esoteric tradition, it is a very valuable survery. A plus for content, D for style.
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