The Book of Black Magic and Ceremonial Magic
by Arthur Edward Waite
With this book the author has assembled together a number of magical spells and treatises from a variety of obscure sources. The result is a great overview of magic from one of the most important figures in Western occultism. When critical at times of Eliphas Levi and Waite's former associate, S. L. MacGregor Mathers, it shows an attempt at being honest with his views on magic. He also covers many of the original early grimoires, sometimes quoting them, and points out flaws in the more recent translations of his time. This is an expanded, updated version of his previous work, The Book of Black Magic. The book is a gold-mine of smaller magical pamphlets published in France in the nineteenth century, which were reproductions of earlier eighteenth-century works, now preserved in this book and valued for their content. All in all this is not so much a book of rituals to perform, which are plentiful and easy to find. It is instead a great reference book on ritual magic, of which only a few good ones exist today. In this regard, it is considered one of the best.
Arthur Edward Waite (October 2, 1857 - May 19, 1942) was a scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. As his biographer, R.A. Gilbert described him, "Waite's name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism - viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion.