CEREMONIAL MAGIC by Daniel Cohen

CEREMONIAL MAGIC

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Defined here as the magic of the educated (as opposed to folk charms and spells) and frequently used to designate what might as well be called book magic, ceremonial magic is a broad enough topic to cover the Pythagoreans and the Rosicrucians and the Masons; Egyptian papyri and medieval texts of all sorts; and such familiar figures as Urbain Grandier, Dohn Dee and Edward Kelley, Gilles de Rais, Doctor Faust, Cagliostro, the over-exposed Aleister Crowley and his contemporary apostle Anton LaVey. Ceremonial magic is not, however, enough of a theme to impose any new order or special perspective on this much-exploited material. Cohen emphasizes the difference between summoning the demons (as many practitioners did attempt) and worshipping the devil (as they were accused of doing); he debunks rumors of Black Mass celebration; and, in keeping with the emerging backlash against faddish credulity, he comes out firmly on the side of science. Yet here he is, still stirring up the same old cauldron.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1979
Publisher: Four Winds