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Ritual Magic (Magic in History) Paperback – January 1, 1999
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About the Author
Elizabeth M. Butler (1885–1959) was Schröder Professor of German at the University of Cambridge.
Top customer reviews
"For the inventors & practitioners of the rites/often gave proof to Art/to the advantage of the Literature which has survived/its means show evidence of highly creative instincts, poetical imagination and great feeling for beauty & drama/This is what makes the study of Ritual Magic so interesting today"
Butler speaks with a respective authority that avoids disrespect of her human, all too human subjects; all the while exacting the magical crux of the ritual matter without sacrificing the scholarly critical outside-looking-inside perspective. She writes with a surgeon's sharp intelligibility, without becoming cold as the over-scrutinizing scalpel she wields like a pro. A more profound exegesis and wider span of written works of Ritual Magic is to me, inconceivable. Voluminous quotations from original first & critical second-hand sources graces Butler's pages, revealing the odd often monstrous apparitions that people mankind's collective psyche, which have found a wide deep harbor in the texts and treatise' Ritual Magic, whether they be of Nec-Romantic, Goetic & Theurgic persuasion.
From Akkadian Tableture & Greco-Egyptian papyri; to the great Epic Poems of Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome,& even Iceland; to the Hebrew wisdom of Old-testifying Clavicles of Solomon along with Cabalistic Magic tomes; and of course the French Grimoires (those infernal Grammar books of the underground crypts); and finally, into the very heart of Butler's work: The Germanic works of both Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis, as told of FAUSTUS & MEPHISTOPHELES and All the progenitors, Disciples and Poets of each of these categories and sub-categories; from olden times to new.
Butler's works is..."as subtle and as rich as Sprenger, Bodin, Wierus or de Lancre ever imagined; a whole world of wicked spirits, whose personalities are carefully distinguished, their attributes precisely determined, and their hierarchy learnedly classified" (Lenormant's work on the Magic of Chaldea; Butler,5).
Elizabeth Margaret Butler fearlessly summons all the Harrowings of Hells, the Raising of the spirits of Cain. Spanning through brilliant biographical summations of all variety of Black Magi, she treads on Holy and Accursed grounds. From the Wiley likes of Casanova, the Infernal court records and murderous inhuman charges against poor suffering Bluebeard of Orleans; the penultimate renaissance man of viceful passions Cellini and that Nigromant of Norcia; Dee and that earless rogue Kelly and all exponents of the Dark Arts until finally, after extending her hand carefully into the epitome of more modern times she draws many insightful conclusions from the works of LEVI, Francis Barrett, Mathers, Waite, and even Crowley; until laying a stake through the heart of The Myth Of Satanism, she sets the stage for part three. There the Origins of Faustian Literature in Ritual Magic shall have the same genius applied to them in an equally brilliant exposition on the MAGIC OF LITERATURE----having just come in this work from the dangerous adventure of surmising the LITERATURE OF MAGIC---and as pt.2 was to Occultism, exploring Ritual Magic by means of generous quotations and examples drawn from historical and biographical detail; so shall the next work, The Fortunes of Faust, bring Butler's trilogy round full circle, that snake eating itself continuously, the Ouroboros of the world's magical History, which is Our Own.
Postcryptum: Part one of Butler's Faustian work is entitled 'The Myth of the Magus', and is presently available at the Amazonian encampment through Cambridge press Canto editions. Pts.2 & 3 are (re)published by Penn State's Press's extraordinary 'Magic In History' series, perhaps thanks to the Societas Magica, an entirely scholarly unsecret society dedicated to the discipline and adventure of assessing honestly, and finally, the History of Magic.