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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
09/07/2010 12:05 pm  

Has anybody else read this classic tome by Richard Cavendish? Though its got some great and exhaustive information on magick, the author tends to lump everything into the "black arts" bag, Crowley comes out as "black magician". Most who read this tome say its not biased...but my impression is, and because of Cavendish's background (his father was a minister), it tends to undermine much of the material he writes about. But if you ignore that, the tome on a whole is impressive for its time...


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michaelclarke18
(@michaelclarke18)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1264
09/07/2010 6:43 pm  

It has something of the ''Dennis Wheatley'' school of occultism about it.

A bit dated but it does have some useful information.


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phthah
(@phthah)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 210
09/07/2010 6:49 pm  

93,

"michaelclarke18" wrote:
It has something of the ''Dennis Wheatley'' school of occultism about it.

A bit dated but it does have some useful information.

Yes, I read this book very early on in my studies. I found it quite useful as an elementary learning tool at the time. It does cover a lot of territory. I would say that it is worth reading in that regard.

93 93/93
phthah


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
10/07/2010 9:26 pm  

This was one of the first books I read back in the early 1970's when I was at school. I agree it does have a Dennis Wheatley feel to it but it got me hooked on the subject even so.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
13/07/2010 5:02 am  

When I was a teenager, I told my brother I was going to L.A. to visit relatives and that I'd be going to an occult shop to pick up some books. I asked him if he had anything in mind that I should look for. He told me that the mother of a friend of his had two occult books, one called White Magic, the other called Black Magic - and she would never let them see this second volume. So he asked me to see if they had that.

I went to the shop (The Magic Circle, in Pasadena) and asked after the book in question. They didn't have it, and weren't sure which book I meant, but advised me to pick up The Black Arts, which they basically described as a classic. ("This is probably what he meant" I think he said.)

I bought it and read it and loved it. Yes, it has a smoky, wary quality to it - and mixes useful information with loads of legends - but this is just what the young rebel needed! The portrayal of Crowley was especially effective, and made me an immediate fan of The Great Beast. I went on to seek out everything Crowley I could find...

It does cover a lot of territory, not just the chief personalities of Occult Science, but also various areas, including tarot, astrology and even geomancy, if I recall aright. I liked the way it was written, and the wonderful old-book smell of my particular copy. It compares favorably to Wilson's The Occult, and I can't really think of any other book that's a better introduction to the subject, overall. It was informative and fun and just eldritch enough, you know? But clearly I've got a soft spot for it.

BTW, while I was paying for this book and a few other items at that little shop in Pasadena, I proceeded to pass right the feck out. Twitching on the floor apparently. (I'm sure it was just heat-stroke...)

~a.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
09/08/2011 11:02 pm  
"Starman" wrote:
the author tends to lump everything into the "black arts" bag, Crowley comes out as "black magician".

The german fun band Knorkator wrote a song about the attraction of "evil" on young minds (in the original "boese") 😀

I'm in a sinister sect
That awakened in me the knowledge
That our short life time is
More fun if you're nasty
Now I was very well educated
I've never stolen and never lied
But in the future I will strive
To give myself completely over to evil

I'm so eeeevil eeevil!

I want to go across the street at red
Especially when seeing small children
Touch the fork with my right hand
And let my other arm hang
I'll eat Nutella with a spoon
And with the knife I cut potaters
And if there's only two slices of sausage left
I'll eat them both!

I'm so eeeevil eeevil!

I'll open on first December
All doors from my Advent Calendar
I'm gonna whisper in the presence of other people
I'll crackle with bags in the cinema
Climb trees wearing new trousers
Point my finger at people
Babble in when others are talking
Eat boogers, chewi fingernails

I'm so eeeevil eeevil!
Unspeakably horribly eeevil

I'll tie my shoes in the future
With only one knot
Keep my hands in pockets
And secretly snack after brushing my teeth
3x bite into the apple
And then throw away the rest
Piss standing on foreign loos
Then never rinse and don't close the no lid

I'm so eeeevil eeevil!
Unspeakably horribly eeevil

😈


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William Thirteen
(@williamthirteen)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1090
10/08/2011 7:40 am  

ah yes, The Black Arts. read it at the tender age of thirteen. it was in the small public library i passed on my way home from school and i think i kept it checked out the better part of a year. definitely part of the introductory canon for my impressionable young mind. anyone have a scan of the cover?


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michaelclarke18
(@michaelclarke18)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1264
10/08/2011 9:14 am  

anyone have a scan of the cover?

Try these:-

I always loved the cover to The Encyclopaedia of the Unexplained by Cavendish:-


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William Thirteen
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Posts: 1090
10/08/2011 4:27 pm  

thanks Michael! that second *bibtopia* image is the cover of the book that haunted my youthful bookbag. i can now enjoy a proustian moment of reverie...


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Walterfive
(@walterfive)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 856
10/08/2011 7:30 pm  

Yours too? Yes, that second pic brought some memories rushing back!


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
11/08/2011 12:02 pm  

It was reissued c.1990 in the Penguin Arkana series with the alternative title The Magical Arts. His A History of Magic (published in the same series) is a concise and sensible survey. I think it can be picked up at a reasonable price on Amazon.


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