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The Book of Ceremonial Magic

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  375 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Arthur Edward Waite writes The Book of Ceremonial Magic as a newer and more accurate edition of his previous title The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, written in 1898. As most ancient texts on magical literature are rare and hard to come by, it becomes very difficult for modern scholars to ascertain an accurate knowledge of ancient spells and rituals. Waite responds to t ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Cosimo Classics (first published 1911)
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Kerry-Anne Samuel
Very interesting book if you are interested in calling the Demons for help ;)
Dec 13, 2015 Wayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The notorious grimoires of antiquity can only be so to those who've never read them (when you do you realize they are more absurd than notorious and of dubious antiquity). In Waite's own words they are "frivolous, fantastic and foolish."

Maybe the serious student of hermeticism, the occult and/or magick could better spend her/his time than attempting to evoke Gremory in hopes of finding hidden treasure. One wonders if the goetic grimoires came about, in part, when the allegorical became the liter
Aaron Meyer
Jan 10, 2014 Aaron Meyer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: occult
Anybody who is 35 years or older and got into the occult early on probably has read this book, considering it was one of the few books you could actually find with somewhat ease. Considering the time it was a good book to have as an introduction but A.E. Waite was notorious for leaving critical stuff out of what he put into his books. So nowadays be happy we have so many original source material so readily available and don't have to rely upon this. I give it three stars mainly for the nostalgia ...more
Apr 16, 2011 Starland rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: occult
This is actually an infamous book. It is,according to his "Confessions", the first occult title that Aliester Crowley read when first learning about magick! He attacked it viciously and even wrote Waite, who recommended some other titles to him. Later the two men would belong to the infamous "Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn" English magickal order of the late 19th century. Crowley detested Waite. He criticized this book in The Equinox of The Gods....calling it "crapulous!
Apr 26, 2016 Lizy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Note: I gave up on page 100, after skipping ahead to part 2 and realizing the whole book, to me, is a waste of words.

I don't know what I expected this book to be about when I bought it. Maybe I thought it would be about how to perform ceremonial magic. Maybe I thought it'd be insightful. Maybe I should have questioned why "Jehovah," and "Emmanuel" were on the cover of the book. Maybe I will finally learn my lesson to read the inside cover to see what the book is about before I fork over $7.50 f

Description: The Book of Ceremonial Magic by Arthur Edward Waite was originally called The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts. It is an attempt to document various famous grimoires, explain the history behind them (refuting many of the legends surrounding them), discuss the theology contained therein (e.g. raising the question why good angels would be summoned to kill an enemy), and to synthesize many famous grimoires into one system.

Chapter I: The Antiqui
Feb 15, 2015 Heyitsosiel rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 24, 2011 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The authour's research and attention to detail has to be commended, it's interesting for the fact that he manages to debunk, with quite a bit of humour, the philosophy behind black magic while still giving some interesting insights into the history and culture of this subject.

The long tracts of rambling incantations of supposed warlocks is rather hard going, I used it as a aid to getting me to sleep when I had insomnia, worked a treat.
Peter J.
Nov 19, 2013 Peter J. rated it it was ok
Good information as always by Waite yet very slow and dry reading. I got bored and quit at maybe 50%. I love how Waite gloats that he manipulated all of the goetic ceremonies at critical points to "protect fools from their folly."
Malcolm Forman
An interesting book on the topic. Definitely not for everyone considering the subject matter but I personally believe all sides of a subject deserve equal time. You can't know light without darkness.
Ed Chen
Feb 24, 2013 Ed Chen rated it liked it
I read this book when I was in 4th grade, and visiting Thailand. It was the only English language book at my cousin's place. It scared the shit out of me and probably affected me in deep and weird ways.
Jack Lhasa
Mar 03, 2012 Jack Lhasa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true classic of the common sense that should be involved in the study of the Western Mysteries.
Rosa Jamali
Jul 24, 2009 Rosa Jamali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The charts and wheels here are fantastic , it takes you to the past!Quite inspiring!
Mar 24, 2010 Betty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wordy and bizarre (but I think it is the point). Who on earth has time?
Nahallac Nayarb
Feb 28, 2010 Nahallac Nayarb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Morail' quitatarzamarat?!"
Jan 21, 2008 George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
How to annoy infernal spirits
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Arthur Edward Waite was a scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. As his biographer, R.A. Gilbert described him, "Waite's name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism - viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the ...more
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