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Library of the Masters

ELIPHAS LEVI translated by A. E. Waite

384 pages, published by Weiser, 1999.

Originally published in 1860 as Histoire de la Magie, this English edition was translated by A. E. Waite in 1913. An invaluable source on the tradition of magic and occultism, The History of Magic is a classic text that includes clear and precise exposition of the procedures, rites, and mysteries of the occult sciences. When Waite said "there is nothing in the occult literature to compare with it," he meant that it details every aspect of esoteric doctrine and practice, and every authority is cited. In his preface, Waite also says, "I have put on record an opinion that The History of the most arresting, entertaining and brilliant of all studies on the subject." The contents include: Magic of the Magi, Magic in India, Hermetic Magic, Magic in ancient Greece, the Qabalah, Primitive Symbolism, Mysticism, Oracles, Magical Monuments, Magic and Christianity, Pagan Magic, Qabalistic Paintings and Sacred Emblems, Sorcerers, magic and Freemasonry, the Illuminati, Mesmerists and Somnambulists, Magical Literature, Occult Sciences and more. Alphonse Louis Constant, better known by his pen name Eliphas Levi, was a master of the traditional Rosicrucian interpretation of the Kabalah. Levi was born in France in 1810, and through the offices of the parish priest, was educated for the church at Saint-Sulpice. He was later expelled from the seminary for teaching doctrines contrary to those of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1825 Levi began studying the occult sciences, and wrote about these subjects for the next three decades. He is also the author of Transcendental Magic, Its doctrine and Ritual (1856). Levi died in 1875.

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