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The Book of Black Magic Paperback – March 30, 2004
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The book in question, under a variety of similar titles, is frequently reprinted, although it is now very badly dated. Most of those editions I have seen seemed to be identical; I can't be sure of all them. The present, Weiser, edition, seems to be a reprinting of the original, somewhat shorter, and apparently less (or un-)illustrated, edition of 1898. (I would like to be clearer, but it's been several years since I actually handled it, and, to judge from information on Amazon, some of my recollections of it seem to have been wrong.)
In any version, the book also 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.Read more ›
Due to the rather comparative nature of the work, it was necessary for Waite to be rather sketchy in his examination of the grimoires. That is quite forgivable. He made no claim that he was including the ancient texts word for word, or even complete instruction from them.
As a sort of sampler, it is quite excellent. A person interested in the darker sides of magic can use this book to find what they might be looking for and then seek the actual text Waite quoted from in his excerpts. The older the better, since the modern reprints sometimes have left out bits the publishers feared might be "objectionable".
My one real displeasure in the reading was noting Waite's comment on the formula referred to as "The Composition of Death", where he mentions that it appears to him that the formula would result in a liquid rather than a powder. This indicated that he settled for available english translation of the time and did not bother to check the older versions. If he had, he would have known that the formula in the english version was incomplete.
That small displeasure was more than balanced by his reminder to readers that while in modern times the sacrifice of a lamb or goat to get parchment may seem bloodthirsty, it was an everyday occurrence since paper was not actually available when many of the old grimoires were written.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a historical literary work and not written by a practicing magician. In fact Waite did not believe in magic at all and hated ceremony because it went against his... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Woodacre
I ordered this book not only because I am interested in magic and the occult but also because the author, Arthur Edward Waite, had a major hand in creating the standard tarot deck. Read morePublished 1 month ago by GGG
tried to reach the devil and work out a deal. didnt work.Published 3 months ago by so many hobbies so little time
Well written its not my personal favorite book on black magic but it's still perfect for anyone seeking knowledge on the subject.Published 5 months ago by luna dunnigan
It's a great book. It is a comparative literary criticism on ancient grimoires. I've seen people complain about that on Amazon, I suppose they thought it was going to teach them... Read morePublished 5 months ago by mike loos
Sent to a friend who is incarcerated who like it..found it interesting and helpfulPublished 11 months ago by Carol Peloquin