Black magic is what most of us think about when we think of magic. We imagine a witch or a dark robbed man mumbling evil sounding words or perhaps sacrificing a living being on a self-made altar.
And this wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Black magic is part of the magical tradition as much as white magic. Gandalf and Saruman are equally representative of this tradition, and most people find the Dark Side to be more interesting and powerful.
The best way to learn about black magic is through books. Luckily, many old tomes have been digitalized so they are available online. There are also a few excellent newer works by modern occult writers that have to be mentioned.
Having read over 50 books that are directly or indirectly related to black magic, this is my top 5 list. This list will serve well those individuals who are interested in practicing black magic as well as those wish to indulge in their curiosity on this eternally controversial subject.
1. The Black Arts: A Concise History of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology, and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages
Those looking for an overview of black magic and related magical fields should look no further than The Black Arts. Richard Cavendish has made an excellent job of exploring various fields of magic and presenting them in an easy to digest manner.
And very entertainingly as well! I’ve read this book in two days. Each chapter discusses one part of black magic folklore. The World of the Black Magician, Names and Numbers, Cabala, Alchemy, Astrology, Ritual Magic, The Worship of the Devil.. these are the chapters.
This may seem like general information, but Cavendish has done a great job of extracting the black magic portion out of these different practices. Overall, highly enjoyable and enlightening modern book.
Get the book here.
2. The Book of Black Magic and Ceremonial Magic
This book is very similar to the previous one in its purpose. However, the information is different because it focuses more on popular black magic grimoires such as The Grimoire Verum and the Grimoire of Honorius among others, explaining their history and logic behind them.
I like this book as a historical excursion into the minds of black magicians from the past. If you want to learn about the writings which inspired magicians from the Renaissance up to this day, this is a great book written by one of the most highly acclaimed occultists of all time, Arthur Edward Waite.
Other than the before mentioned information, there’s also a lot of practical information on how black magic and ceremonial magic are performed. So you can for example learn all about creating a staff or a wand and utilizing them to perfection.
Get the book here.
3. Demons of Magick: Three Practical Rituals for Working with The 72 Demons
As we speak, I’m working with two demons, Mammon and Astaroth. One is providing me with financial aid, the other with knowledge of “liberal sciences”. In other words, I wish to amass wealth and learn as much as possible, and these demons are in the job of supplying me with the power and advice for accomplishing both tasks to the best of my abilities.
Some people will say that demons are nothing but projections of the mind, others will say they’re actual entities with free will, residing in a different reality. Whatever the case may be, they are real, and you would be foolish not to take advantage of communicating with them if there’s a way to do so.
I’ve found the three practical rituals presented in this book to be very powerful and I’ve used them ever since. The demons of Goetia are waiting to communicate with you, you just need to have the right number to ring them up (metaphorically speaking). All the necessary instructions are found in the Demons of Magick.
Get the book here.
4. Magickal Attack: Silence, Bind and Crush Your Enemies With The Art of Occult Warfare
Let’s face it, black magic isn’t used for self veneration only. It’s main purpose is to crush our enemies, see them tremble before us and hear the lamentation of their loved ones. Yes, this is why black magic gets a bad rep.
While the previously recommended books provide insight into a more general framework of black magic, Magickal Attack is all about utilizing black magic to crush your enemies.
That awful boss you’ve been dealing with for months, the boyfriend who cheated on you, the “friend” who’s lying behind your back.. all of these people could learn about the realities of magic if you decided to do so. And Magickal Attack will teach you the exact rituals and preparations necessary for occult warfare.
On top of that, Winterfield also shares ritualistic practices for increasing your own power so that you can increase the potency of your magic and regain the upper hand in your life.
All in all, Magickal Attack is a powerful work that gained a cult following almost instantly following its release on Amazon.
Get the book here.
5. The Complete Book of Demonolatry
If you want to delve deep in demonological black magick, this is the book you’re looking for. S. Connolly presents an entire overview of various demon-related practices and rituals, especially those practiced by Theistic Satanists.
In fact, this book is used by the traditional Demonolatry Priesthood and its followers for both practical and theoretical insight on demonology. These topics include the history, prayers, offerings, sigils, religious rites, and magick of demonolatry.
So if demonic magic is your primary field of interest in the wide field of black magic, I suggest getting this book along with Demons of Magick, the #3 recommendation on the list.
Get the book here.
Other books worth mentioning
All of the recommended books are relatively new. They’re condensed versions of various grimoires from centuries ago, along with new discoveries and peculiarities of the writer in question. If you haven’t read occult classics on which most of these works are based on, perhaps you should also include them on your reading list. These are the most important ones:
- The Lesser Key of Solomon – This is a foundational work of most of the black magic performed in modern occult circles. It was translated by the high ranking Golden Dawn members, Aleister Crowley and S. L. MacGregor Mathers. Here you will find descriptions of the 72 demons of Goetia.
- The Book of Abramelin – While not necessarily black magic, this book also deals with controlling demons to your advantage. The Abramelin ritual is incredibly difficult, lasting over a year. It requires serious purification of one’s spirit and body through fasting, silence and other ascetic practices. After this is finished, the magician is able to communicate with his Guardian Angel. From there on, the magician can control successfully any demon, at any moment and derive the most powerful benefits of this communion. This is one of the most advanced rituals of all occultism, which Aleister Crowley tried and failed at. A very interesting and rewarding read even if considered white rather than black magic by some.
- Consider also reading the older black magic grimoires, namely The Book of Forbidden Knowledge, The Grimoire of Pope Honorius and the notorious Grimorium Verum
Final Word: Best Black Magic Books
While I enjoy an occasional E.A Koetting video, reading is still the best way of learning about any form of magic. The reason why I recommended mostly modern works first is because the writers condensed and extracted the most important information from older works.
I still find that reading The Lesser Key of Solomon and old grimoires can be a rewarding investment of my time, but it’s not an entirely beginner friendly to learning magick.
Most of the time the language is cryptic and designed to confuse the reader rather than explain the contents in a concise manner. This is the area in which some modern authors, like the ones mentioned on this list, excel.
So I hope you’ll find my top 10 list of black magic books helpful, and hopefully you’ll use your newly acquired knowledge in a way that isn’t entirely morally indefensible.