- Paperback: 373 pages
- Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 40th Revised ed. edition (January 1, 1983)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399500359
- ISBN-13: 978-0399500350
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Black Arts: A Concise History of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology, and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) Paperback – January 17, 1968
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Top Customer Reviews
Usually, the sceptics are too busy de-bunking, and the believers too busy being credulous, so the whole subject ends up being tedious. Unless, of course, you are determined to try some magic yourself, in which case, you will need all the credulity you can muster. Cavendish treats it all with a light hand, and gives a nice overview of the subject.
Have fun. Read this before you plunge into the study of the occult - it'll save you a lot of floundering around.
The author makes no effort to distinguish between "black magic" and "white magic" (except to mention that sorcerers always apply the former label to the other guy -- never themselves). He apparently considers all sorcery to fall under the category of "Black Arts", and the phrase is apparently little more than a synonym for "Magic" -- at least to the extent that the term covers all the practices forbidden by (for instance) the Book of Leviticus.
An opening chapter describes the mind of the magician, which he characterizes as driven by the hunger for power and (ultimately) by the desire to become God. Subsequent chapters deal with the subjects of Numerology, Cabala & the Tarot, Alchemy, Astrology, Ritual Magic & Invocation, and (finally) Devil Worship. I found some chapters (for example those on Numerology) to be rather dry reading, compared to (say) the chapters on Ritual Magic or Devil Worship. But of course, you can always skip around.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Definitely something that I'm a bit embarrassed to have in my collection... Some of the viewpoints are outlandish, even for black arts, and it definitely seems like it was written... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Hannah Rose Saples
I believe this was one of the first truly occult type book I read some 20-25 years ago. You will not get alot of depth but you will get a broad brush treatment of information to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by David Stanton
This was my first book on the Arcane Arts. I was 14 years old, when I started reading this book. It covers a lot of different areas of the Hidden Arts. Read morePublished 5 months ago by S. M. Hodnett