Part I provides the reader with essential passages from leading magical texts from the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. Part II is a more systematically organized version of these ancient texts, adapted by A.E. Waite to the ways of the modern academic. This volume remains one of the best sources of magical procedure, touching on such topics as gods, costume, and the planets and their relation to the supernatural. Although disapproving of the application of magic and the black arts in his introduction, Waite nonetheless defends those victims persecuted throughout history because of their participation in these superstitious beliefs. He also speaks positively about astrology and alchemy, noting them as more important categories of the magical arts. Through this volume, the contemporary reader can finally begin to understand the beliefs in the black arts that were so deeply rooted in our civilization's past.
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