The Magus by Francis Barrett - Books of Magic and Witchcraft

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Magus by Francis Barrett
Books of Magic and Witchcraft

Written in 1801 in England, this is considered a primary source for modern ceremonial or high ritual magic. For a long time it was very rare and sought after, although always very controversial. The Magus evokes strong reactions. Many consider it a masterwork; others consider it an act of theft. Is it a compilation or did Barrett claim to be author?

Francis Barrett was a British chemistry professor. He also taught private classes in the magical arts. He translated many occult texts previously unavailable in English.

The Magus is unusual as a grimoire written in English, which may or may not have contributed to the hostility toward it. Those who favor the book believe that Barrett compiled it in an attempt to stimulate the survival and growth of ceremonial magic, which he perceived as endangered.

The Magus is divided into sections, the last being a series of biographical sketches of various magical masters. It is somewhat out of character with the rest of book and there have been allegations that this section was added by the printer as “padding.” (Adding insult to injury, some consider this the best part of the book.)