The Book of Ceremonial Magic- Arthur Edward Waite
The Book of Ceremonial Magic Arthur Edward Waite - The Book of Ceremonial Magic by Arthur Edward Waite was originally called The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts. It was first published in a limited run in 1898, and distributed more widely under the title The Book of Ceremonial Magic in 1910. 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.Readers reviews:This is essentially a compilation and distillation of various medieval grimoires, with snarky commentary by Waite, the ubiquitous wet blanket of occultism. While his scholarship is impressive and the historical context of these writings instructive, Waite's obvious contempt for his subject matter puts a somewhat of a damper on things. Additionally, he has made deliberate alterations or omissions from most of the included rituals with the aim of making them unusable (a puzzling practice, since he steadfastly claims not to believe in any of them.)In its day, this must have been quite a valuable resource, but since most of these grimoires are now readily available in English translation, it has become somewhat redundant. Still, it's a handy reference work, although by no means essential.This book combines several works from the middle ages, all of them based around spells, invocations, experiments, black and white magic. what makes this book so interesting is the commentary from Waite. He is very critical and in my opinion thus ahead of his time. he first of all shows how the distinction between black and white magic is often stretched.. calling on a demon to do a good deed is still black magic? calling on an angel to do some mischief is still white magic? also Waite seems to not believe in any of the invocations and compiled them out of historical interest and interest in the occult. this book thus is exactly what i'd like to read, with more modern commentary, also thoughts on the origin and how most books are younger than what clerics tried to sell them for. there must have been a lot foul play in it, too. i was most amused by some spells in the grimoire, when there is an exact copy of the reply the demon will make. yeah, right, whatever demon i call upon will answer in the same fashion :D there is a lot ridiculous stuff, but then again it's from the middle ages.