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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More fun than you should be allowed to have
This is one of the best-written, most lucid accounts of black magic that I've read, and believe me, I've read a lot of them. I don't care if Cavendish believes a word of it, his review of what's what is fun.
Usually, the sceptics are too busy de-bunking, and the believers too busy being credulous, so the whole subject ends up being tedious. Unless, of course, you...
Published on 12 Aug 1999

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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting....but beware all you witches!
This book covers a wide range of subjects within the area of the occult, from Astrology and Numerology right through to the Black Mass! However, if you are a witch - then I advise to avoid this book as you WILL be offended - Cavendish refers to all witches as evil, states that they worship the devil and that they say the Lord's Prayer backwards at their Sabbats and have...
Published on 19 July 2001 by Hope (hope_angelus@hotmail.com)


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More fun than you should be allowed to have, 12 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) (Paperback)
This is one of the best-written, most lucid accounts of black magic that I've read, and believe me, I've read a lot of them. I don't care if Cavendish believes a word of it, his review of what's what is fun.
Usually, the sceptics are too busy de-bunking, and the believers too busy being credulous, so the whole subject ends up being tedious. Unless, of course, you are determined to try some magic yourself, in which case, you will need all the credulity you can muster. Cavendish treats it all with a light hand, and gives a nice overview of the subject.
Have fun. Read this before you plunge into the study of the occult - it'll save you a lot of floundering around.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do you expect me to talk? No Mr Bond, I expect you to die., 29 April 2003
This review is from: The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) (Paperback)
I think alot of people get this wrong. This isn't a recipe book to summon demons, or your typically pro-occult book. It tells the story more of the fusing together of various belief systems, to create the occult beliefs of the middle ages. I for one am pleased that there is a book that neither denounces nor condones these belief or practices but lets you decide for yourself. Cavendish style is easy to read, and his explainations are clear. A must for those wishing to explore to history of all things occult, without any annoying bias.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars take a walk on the dark side, 1 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) (Paperback)
If you are interested in witchcraft or magic, you will want to read this book. The parts I found most interesting was the first chapters, which give a theory of magic, and the latter chapters about witchcraft and Satanism, and for me these made the book worth reading by themselves. The others chapters about Astrology, Numerology, etc I wasn't too fussed with, others might appreciate them more.

A previous reviewer said that practicing witches should beware because it conflates witchcraft and Satanism. Not quite - The Black Arts presents the traditional view of European witchcraft, and discusses the witch trials, where of course those accused of witchcraft were believed to be in league with the Devil.

Modern witches must be aware of this, and must also be aware that their current beliefs are a reinterpretation of traditional witchcraft, and whether or not traditional witchcraft had anything to do with Satan, they were certainly believed to be his followers.

In short this book gives an excellent summary of European withcraft and magic. I've taken it down 1 star because I personally wasn't that interested in the middle chapters. Even still, I found it excellent

One final word of warning, this is the same book as 'The Magical Arts'
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Cavendish's Black Arts, 31 Mar 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) (Paperback)
Cavedish presents a good overview of occultism in general and this is an excellent text for beginners. The Black Arts is in much the same vein as Bonewits' Real Magic, without being caustic. The material is somewhat dated, though the scholarship, insofar as a brief overview goes, is superlative. If nothing else, this book has superb aesthetic appeal on one's bookshelf to convey that sinister magician feel we all love.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb introduction to history of the Occult, 8 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) (Paperback)
This is a well-written and entertaining book that wears its very real scholarship lightly. It is a high level introduction to occult practices. A very enjoyable read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wickid book! ;), 25 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) (Paperback)
Thought it was a well rounded, interesting take on some of histories darkest subject. Unbiased and told both sides of the story... I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested about learning about a whole new subject matter!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 12 May 2013
By 
India M. Drummond (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) (Paperback)
I bought this for research, but was surprised to find it's a very engrossing read. If you're looking for a book that will provide understanding of witchcraft through the ages, the whys and hows, then I would recommend this book. I don't know how practical it would be for someone who wanted to try to DO the things in the book, but for research and educational purposes, it's very well done. It does show a very particular view of witchcraft which doesn't mesh with some of the wicca practitioners I've known personally, but as with any belief system, there can be variations from one group of adherents to another.

Well written. The best reference I've found on the subject so far.
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting....but beware all you witches!, 19 July 2001
This review is from: The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) (Paperback)
This book covers a wide range of subjects within the area of the occult, from Astrology and Numerology right through to the Black Mass! However, if you are a witch - then I advise to avoid this book as you WILL be offended - Cavendish refers to all witches as evil, states that they worship the devil and that they say the Lord's Prayer backwards at their Sabbats and have to have sex with a devil (or a goat!) at their initiation! I am not sure why he thinks that witches worship the devil as the devil is a Christian concept....but there you are! A good base for future study - but take with a pinch of salt.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Birthday treat., 5 May 2014
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This review is from: The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) (Paperback)
I had to by this last minute for a friend's birthday as their original gift still hasn't arrived yet, (The birthday was at the start of April) It went down a treat. It came much quicker than I expected it to, and was in wonderful condition. My friend loved it and finds it extremely interesting. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big thumbs up., 26 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages (Perigee) (Paperback)
I really like this book. I recomned it to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of wicca.
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