Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $18.00
  • Save: $4.07 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Black Arts: A Concise... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Black Arts: A Concise History of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology, and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) Paperback – January 17, 1968

4.3 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.93
$8.49 $6.50

Top 20 lists in Books
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Black Arts: A Concise History of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology, and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee)
  • +
  • Grimorium Verum
  • +
  • The Dictionary of Demons: Names of the Damned
Total price: $48.30
Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • 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)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
_The Black Arts_ by Richard Cavendish covers a great many topics dealing with the magical arts, particularly black magic. According to Cavendish, the primary motivating factor behind black magic is the hunger for power. This is expressed in the biblical story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis where the serpent tempts Adam and Eve by telling them that if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they would be as gods. The traditional Christian perspective is that the black magician invokes demons or Satan himself and that his power comes from the Dark One. The magician however may believe that man and God are inseparable or that man can attain Godhood. The author begins by noting how magical principles operate, being based on the ideas of imitation, mimickry, and analogy. One fundamental principle believed in by most magicians is expressed by the phrase "as above, so below" meaning that the macrocosm is a reflection of the microcosm and vice versa. Indeed, it is in the writings attributed to the semi-mythical Hermes Trismegistus ("thrice-greatest Hermes") that this principle is most clearly expressed. In most traditional cultures, the left hand side is associated with evil, explaining why black magic is often regarded as the Left Hand Path among magicians. Cavendish next turns his attention to the modern magicians, including such figures as the notorious Aleister Crowley, Eliphas Levi, MacGregor Mathers, and A. E. Waite. The influence of secret societies such as the Golden Dawn and the O. T. O. of Crowley are explained and their role in the practices of these magicians is examined. Following this, Cavendish turns his attention to the mysteries of numbers and numerology. He explains how fortunes can be told by numbers associated with each letter in a name.Read more ›
2 Comments 56 of 60 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Being a natural cynic, i ordered this book more with the idea of picking holes in every single arguement it put forward, rather than as a serious interest of mine. When i recieved it, my first reaction was, " my god, what a cheezy cover!". Not being one to judge a book by the proverbial, however, i soon delved into the dubious pleasures inside... and was actually pleasantly surprised. Instead of preaching to the unconverted or unconvertable, Mr Cavendish has put forward a fine, well researched report into many different areas of the "black arts", from numerology to black magic, without sounding pretentious or subscribing to the usual "bow down to your master" playground psychology that these sort of authors usually find themselves hankering after. Hence he makes the book not only readable, but also very enjoyable, and in parts even made me wonder if there was more to all this mumbo-jumbo than first meets the eye. Well done, sir!
2 Comments 74 of 84 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best-written, most lucid accounts of black magic that I've read, and believe me, I've read a lot of them. I don't care if Cavendish believes a word of it, his review of what's what is fun.
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.
3 Comments 77 of 88 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Cavendish's book is interesting insofar as it comes from an unusual perspective for those writing about the so-called Black Arts. His Christian bias is obvious, and nearly all examples he gives are shown through a Christian filter, but--unlike so many others--he isn't preachy. He doesn't condemn or support any of the practices within the book--this isn't a how-to guide or a religious tract, after all--despite his constant returns to the subejct of devil- or demon-worship. The quality of writing is fair and stays reasonably engaging throughout. The chief failing of this book--aside from the bias and emphasis on demon-worship--is his attempt to cover so much material in so little space. The chapter on the Kabbalah is particularly confused and rushed. He brushes past a great number of important details and doesn't always elaborate on his own discussions enough for the reader to pick up on the key details necessary for understanding.
Comment 29 of 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Many reviewers here -- occultists, or would-be occultists -- here have reviewed this as though it were a "how to" book. Only a few seem to have picked up on some rather heavy hints that the author's outlook of sorcery and sorcerers is not exactly flattering. But for the most part, Cavendish writes in a neutral tone, as befits a scientific work of history or sociology, which is how this work presents itself. Thus his own attitudes rarely intrude on the text, making it often hard to tell if he is a disapproving Christian, a disapproving modern rationalist, or a practicing occultist with a frank and unsentimental attitude towards his own dark philosophy. Regardless, it is very informative, and told with a sense of humor.

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.
Comment 10 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Black Arts: A Concise History of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology, and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee)
This item: The Black Arts: A Concise History of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology, and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee)
Price: $13.93
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: kabbalah magic, fiction art history