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Transcendental Magic Paperback – January 15, 1968

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kessinger Publishing reprints over 1,500 similar titles all available through --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Alphonse Louis Constant, better know by his pen name Eliphas Levi, was a master of the traditional Rosicrucian interpretation of the Kabbalah. He was born in France in 1810, and through the offices of the parish priest, was educated for the church at Saint-Sulpice. He was later expelled from seminary for teaching doctrines contrary to those of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1824 Levi began studying the occult sciences, and wrote about magic and the Kabbalah for the next three decades. His other books include Transcendental Magic, Mysteries of the Qabalah, and The Book of Splendours.

A.E. Waite (1857-1942) is one of the best-known authors and translators of magic and the occult. He is the creator of the Rider-Waite tarot and is the author of several books including Book of Black Magic and Pictorial Keys to the Tarot.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books; 2nd edition (January 15, 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877280797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877280798
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eliphas Levi (1810-1875), born Alphonse Louis Constant, was a sage, poet and author of over twenty esoteric books. He began writing at 22 years of age and was imprisoned twice for the critical nature of his work. He married at age 36 and began writing under the name of Eliphas Levi eight years later. His first publication under his new pen name was titled Dogma of High Magic, and was first translated into English 42 years after its initial publication. His main activities in public involved the spreading of information, by publishing various magazines, poems, books and so on. In one of his posthumous works, he writes, "Ignorance is the cause of all mistakes, of all crimes and of all the evils tormenting humanity." His literary work was dedicated to doing justice by spreading truth, for he loved humanity and always cherished the hope of a better world for future generations.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By rareoopdvds VINE VOICE on December 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Perhaps one of the most elusive books on the occult market is Eliphas Levi's "Transcendental Magic: It's Doctrine and Ritual". Originally written in French with the title "Dogme et Ritual de la Haute Magie" (1855-1856, published in two volumes), translated literally as "The Dogma and Ritual of High Magic", revised to the current title by translator and commentator, the questionable Arthur Edward Waite.
"Transcendental Magic" is broken into two books, appropriately "Doctrine" and "Ritual". Both books are divided up into 22 chapters. While it seems evident to any occult student that they equate to the tarot deck and Hebrew letter/number system, A. E. Waite immediately rejects this as only coincidence by stating "that which emerges, however, is its utter confusion." Waite apparently had difficulty relating the first chapter, "The Candidate" to the Juggler (Waite was part of the Golden Dawn which alters various symbols from the O.T.O, A.'.A.'., and other occult schools). Furthermore, the second book begins with "Preparations", which Waite believes makes no correspondence to "The Candidate" or The Juggler. Waite who translated the book to a very readable and exciting version is too hung up on historical accuracy, which accounts for most of his confusion. Waite is trying to fit square pegs into round holes.
Eliphas Levi, a priest of the Catholic Church, although wrote about occultism, still maintained faith in the Church. As one reads his other works, such as "The Great Secret" or "The Mysteries of the Qabalah", you will see his faith in Christianity is still evident from his exposition on the Christian and Jewish myths. "Transcendental Magic", however, still stands as his most impressive and complete work, which, as well has touches of Christianity within its pages.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A. Farbouti on August 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
This enigmatic book presents the Great Arcanum of all mystical traditions in such a beautiful, rich way, but yet it will remain inaccessible to those who are as yet uneducated in the true Secret Path. This knowledge was NEVER given publicly until 1950 when "The Perfect Matrimony" was written by Samael Aun Weor. Regardless, once you know the keys, Mr. Levi's book becomes a priceless gem, filling the heart of the reader with endless wonder at the incredible truths of the Secret Doctrine. Unfortunately, very few have such keys, so most read this book and forget it, or they form an opinion based on their own point of view and hawk that as the truth. Few realize that the Secret Doctrine is a firm and unwavering Law, into which opinion cannot enter. "The Law is the Law and the Law will be fulfilled." As Mr. Levi states in the first chapter:
"The man who is enslaved by his passions or worldly prejudices can be initiated in no wise (meaning he can never be initiated); he must reform or he will never attain; meanwhile he cannot be an adept, for this word signifies a person who has acheived by will and by work. The man who loves his own opinions and fears to part with them, who suspects new truths, who is unprepared to doubt everything rather than admit anything on chance, should close this book; for him it is useless and dangerous. He will fail to understand it, and it will trouble him, while if he should divine the meaning, there will be a still greater source of disquietude.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Levi is extremely eloquent, clear, penetrating, and evocative in his writing of theory. Unfortunately, although his ritual is often sound, he does not write it with the same precision of expression or fullness of explanation, which could lead to confusion or unintended results.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JE Farrow on December 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
TRANSCENDENTAL MAGIC stands out as the premiere post-18th century treatise on Western/Judaic magic and the occult. It has inspried such occult practioners as A.E. Waite (who translated the book from french to english), Helene Blavatsky and Aleister Crowley (who penned a commentary on the contents of TRANSCENDENTAL MAGIC). Even today the book is reguired reading for a number of occult societies & organizations.

Here is a brief sample of material covered in TRANSCENDENTAL MAGIC:
The Doctrine of Transcendental Magic
The Pentagram
The Great Work
Black Magic
The Ritual of Transcendental Magic
The Conjuration of the Four
The Sabbath of the Sorcerers
The Book of Hermes
& more.

People unaquainted with the popular writing style of the 19th century may find this book problematic. For example, basic sentence construction tended to be much longer than it is today, and requires more concentration. Also bear in mind that we're referencing to a time when reading really WAS popular. I neither condemn or recommend the style.

In way of alerting readers to Levi's particular writing style, I quote the opening section of chapter 12: The Great Work:

"The Great Work is, before all things, the creation of man by himself, that is to say, the full & entire conquest of his faculties and his future; it is especially the perfect emancipation of his will, assuring him universal domination over Azoth and domain of Magnesia, in other words, full power over the Universal Magical Agent.
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