Top critical review
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on 15 June 2012
This is a classic foudation for 19th century European occultism, both in England and on the continent. Levi's influence is strongest in his description of the conjuration of the elements, and the Tarot. Modern day occultists still argue about just how to interpret Levi on the latter point: generally, continental occultists tend to take his attributions literally, whilst those from English-speaking occultists tend to assume he was only being suggestive.
Levi wrote in a romantic / florid style for 19th century audiences. He has been unfairly accused of being turgid and verbose, but we must remember that in this volume he is being seen through the filter of A E Waite's translation. This is my main criticism of the book - Waite's editorial comments make him (Waite) sound like a bit of a prick at times.