Godspeed Richard Cavendish

It seems fitting, I think, that I have just learned of the passing of one of the great voices in occult scholarship whilst fumbling about in a haunted ruin amidst the sounds of disembodied whispers and the footsteps of unseen forces.


Like most, I was introduced to Richard Cavendish via his seminal work, The Black Arts. I’ll never forget stumbling upon that book in my small town’s library. It must have been 1976 or so. Books on the occult were a rarity, mind you, especially in Converse. But there were a few, mostly contemporary witchcraft related works with a sensational, pop-culture bent.

The Black Arts was different. It certainly fired my 10 year old fascination, expanding my worldview, and introducing me to strange and unusual practices far beyond anything I could imagine.

Cavendish’s body of work offered a tantalizing glimpse into arcane rites, dark magic, and divination. I imagine these were the primers for most occultists of my generation.

Richard Cavendish (12 August 1930 – 21 October 2016) left an indelible mark on those whose interests dared to look beyond accepted reality.

He will be missed.

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