THE BLACK ARTS by RICHARD CAVENDISH

A very informative collection of brief histories and ideologies based upon different aspects of Occult practices, this book serves as a good guide for beginning Left-Hand enthusiasts. A lot of the categories discussed are concisely summarized with specific lore, practices, and histories contained therein. For someone just getting into Occult philosophy, it can serve as a nudge in the direction of what topics may interest you most.

 On the downside, though, I found the book in parts to be somewhat monotonous and repetitive. There was also less objectivity from the author than I like, as he often times inserted demeaning words on ideas he didn’t particularly buy into, a fad that a lot of Left-Hand Path veterans sadly seem to partake in, which I find funny because the path is supposed to be about finding knowledge on your own and opened-mindedness, yet we have a crowd of people who theorize about a belief system which carries a ton of theories and very little proof. The arrogance makes one shake their head, especially when it comes from the author of a book speckled with a lot of improper grammar and missing words. It’s a bad example to set for someone about to embark on an alleged path to knowledge and enlightenment.

 I did enjoy the read, though, and it opened my eyes to the possibilities of astrology and the influence of cosmic energy, which was a practice I used to scoff at; and though I am not a full supporter of the practice as a whole, I do believe there is a lot to be learned from it and it’s not quite the hoax people believe it to be. I also found some of the information about the Black Mass and Devil Worship fascinating, too. There is definitely a lot to consider when you take into perspective the amount of fear-mongering religious fanatics used to utilize in order to stamp out ideas that were different from theirs, and then compare those legends to the mindsets we have today. The writing on the wall is almost too bold to ignore, yet people do, in my opinion.

 If you’re looking for a Grimoire of spells, you won’t find it here. But, if you’re looking for a short account of different aspects of the black Occult practices, and a fair reference guide for some of the better known authors and practitioners, this book is a good place to begin your journey on the Left-Hand Path.

 3.50 out of 5.

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