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Friday, April 30, 2010

Blackbringer by Laini Taylor


A long time ago when the world was relatively young the Seven Jinn who created the world along with a Faerie named Belatrix captured all the devild that lived in the world and imprisoned them in bottle. Belatrix the heroine lost her lover in those final battle and went away somewhere to disappear.

Jump ahead a couple thousand years and Magpie is born. She spends a brief childhoold time in Dreamdark a kingdom of faeiries, then her family takes off to gather all the Faerie magic before it disappears. As she grows up she end ups in the company of crows fighting any devil that get freed from their bottle. Blackbringer is one such devil that is freed from his bottle and he devours everything in sight. Literally!
Magpie and her crow friends track him to Rome where they find out that he has killed one of the Jinn. The Jinn's name is Vritra. It seems they are too late. Yet Magpie picks up a sword called "Skulldraig" a sword once wielded by Bellatrix. A sword that will kill all who try to wield it unless they are heirs of Bellatrix.

The trail leads back to Dream Dark, Magpie's former home. Upon reaching Dreams Dark they are greeted warmly by some who remember her and coldly by those who do not. THe Queen Vesper, supposedly an heir of Bellatrix is not so warm on them. Magpie has maqic that turns Vesper's hair to worms.

There are several imps in this story. THe good one is Snoshti the one who took care of Magpie and had all the animals bless her because Magpie was the prophecied one.
Batch Hangnail has a knack for finding hidden treasures and he is the one who discovers the Magruen the slumbering fire Jinn who created living things and al mankind. He is the one who created the tapesty which ios now falling apart.

Blackbringer is the one who sent Batch to to fnd a pomegranite from Magruen. But batch gets thrown out. Blackbringer is alos eating the fairies unles they are in Nver Haven which is magically protected. Blackbringer is not any devil he is a being that helped the Jinn create the world.

Eventually Magruen wakes up from his slumber and the final battle begins. Magpioe is the product of dreams and has a special destiny. Remeber that Faeries can live forever and when they dies they go to the moonlit garden.

THis is a great book for children. This is one I would reccomend.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I have finished reading the book. There is one chapter that talks about the "Tarot Dance" this used Tarot cards not only for divination but also as tools for personal change. My favorite was the two card reading. You want to change and you pull out a card from the deck. It could me any card let us say the fool. So you act like the fool. Carefree unobservant and maybe lacking in knowledge. You want to change for the better. The second card is the magician. He is confident, competent and in control. You sit in another chair and begin to act like him. This has an effect on your aura and personality.

The author has had experience with the Golden down has written instructions on how to do the Cabbalistic Cross and the lesser banishing ritual. Rather than go into details here I will let you read the book. Needless to say I find the Cabbalistic cross useful in anointing myself before I go out. The banishing ritual could be used prior to a spell or prayer session. Remember magick is constantly evolving and it is about using what works for you.

Amulets are best created on a waning moon and are used to keep negative things away. Talismans are best created during a waxing moon and are used for attracting positive things into our lives. There are two ways to consecrate or charge your amulet/talsiman. The first one derived from Wicca is forming your two hands into a triangle. In the space capture the image of the moon. Focus on it and then bring your triangle onto the Tarot card. You should raise your energy and direct it into the card. After the energy is transferred you clap your hand to seal the energy.
The second way is from the Golden Dawn system. Where in you step forward with your left foot and thrust both hands out in front of you palms down fingers straight. Put your hands over the object you wish to consecrate. When the energy is transferred close the ritual with a hand clap.

The final chapters focus on sex magick. That is a book I plan on reading at a later date. The basics of this are getting sexually aroused and focusing on your target or goal. There is also discussion of exploring the dark tree or the evil tree. The author makes note that this is not evil but in fact different and unexplored. I recommend this book very highly. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tarot and Astral Projection


Astral projection the soul leaves the body. It happens every night supposedly when we dream. Some Occultist tell you it could be dangerous that you could cut the grey thread silver lining that connect the body to the soul. Astral projection is not as dangerous as it seems in fact it is quite safe. If anything dangerous happns you will just wake up....zap! Cutting the silver thread lining is very difficult to do...almost impossible. But why do it? You do it because wishes and wants that manifest on the astral realm materialize in the physical realm.

In order to astral project you realy have to want it. A deep burning desire! Visualizing is the key you have to see the stuff in your head. One thing you may want to do is build your self an Astral temple. This is your safwe haven while out of your body. Now the Astral world has several maps the best known one is the Kabbalistic tree of life. The tree of life is composed of way station or sephirot.

THe first step is getting prepared sit in a chair and relax. The second trhing you do is bansih your area from any negative influences. One way is to walk around with incense and make a statement thay you are purifying the area. Next you stand in the center of your circle and declare " It is my intention to astral project and contact my guardian angel. Sit back in your chair and enter a hypnogic state by taking in three deep beaths and leting them out. Next you visualize an exact double of your self and load in your information. When this is done you should se your self sitting in te chair go exploring and try to contact your guardian angel. Remember that you may meet all sorts of astral entities. Any advice they give you should be treated the same way as the advice from a stranger on the street....with a grain of salt.

THere is a variation of this using the tarot card. Mucha s was done before with the relaxation, the banishing and the creating of an imaginary body. THis time you will focus on a certain tarot card. As part of this you will see your self inside a card and you will walk along a path until you are blocked and can go no further. YOu need to know the password. THe password will be the name of of an angel and they are according to the Sephira 10) Sandalphon,9) Gabriel, 8) Michael, 7) Haniel , 6) Raphael, 5)Khamael and 4)Tzadkiel,3)Tzaphkiel, 2)Ratziel and finally 1) Metatron. Say the angels name in order to pass. THe first name you will be asked for wil be Gabriel.

The Sephirot correspond to different astrological influences:

9) pertains to the moon and safe journeys
8) Mercury which is success in writing , business and communication and divination.
7) Venus Beauty, love, pleasure and art
6) Sun Health, friendship and harmony
5)Mars hunting, conflict, energy and vitality
4) Jupiter specualtion wealth and gambling
3) Saturn , Elderly, ending, reincarnation
2)Radio Television film, ESP
1) Basic invention

Kabblistically there are four different worlds of being and theyu correspond to differnt symbol in the Tarot Spread

Plane world suit meaning
One Assiyah pentacle Action
Two Yetzira swords Formative world
3 Briya Cups Creative World
4 Azilot wands Archetypal world

Enjoy your astral travel tommorrow we discuss the Tarot Dance and the Lesser banishing pentagram ritual plus how to charge objects.

adapted from Tarot and Magic by Donald Michael Kraig

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Magic of the Tarot

Donald Michael Kraig is one of the premier occultists of his day. His knowledge and experience in magick is widely attested and many wil tout his praise. Mr. Kraig brings magick down to a practical and doable level. Of his several books I am curently reading "Tarot and Magic" While no one really knows where the Tarot originate from there are several speculations. They have been used in Italy since the 1500's for divination. Now we are realizing that they can be used for magical purposes. As the author goes through his discussion on Tarot cards he refers to 4 basic sets The Golden Dawn Tarot, Universal Tarot, Thoth Tarot and the Shadow Tarot.


The Basics of Magic

Magick is the ability to make changes in your life controlled by your will. There are couple of things one must keep in mind when dealing with Magic. First off for every magical actions there is a reaction. We do magic all the time but sometimes we negate our magic. Cast a spell for improved finances and bemoan all the bills you have to pay and how hard it is only serves to weaken your magick. To do magic you have to raise direct and manipulate magical energy. One very important rule is that what manifests on the physical plane must be first manifested on the Astral (mental plane). You should also cast a spell for what you realy want. If you want to buy a car do not do a spell for the money needed , rather do a spell for the car that you really want. Magical energy is simplyt that magical energy it is neutral. How it is defined depends on how it is used and for what outcome. One should alsways use magick for positive outcome even to negative situation. It is a science and an art performing magic. Magick will change you and posiively afect your energy field.




When you set up to do your ritual there are things you need to keep in mind. First consider the following charts.
This chart deals with colors

Black: evil, negativity confusion and discord. Burning the blackl candle rids evil influence

Gray if for cancellations and neutrality

White stands for purity and truth
Pink is honor and love.
Red is for strengths and courage
Yellow is attraction, persusions and charm
Greenish yellow is for sickness, cowardice nger and jealousy
Green is finance, fertility and luck
light blue is for tranquility, understanding, patience and health
Dark blue is for imopulsiveness, depression and travel
Purple is for tension, ambition, business
Brown is for hesitation and uncertainty

Colors matches to astrological signs

Aries-red, Gemini-Orange,Cancer-Amber,Leo-Greenishyellow,Virgo-Yellowish green, Libra Green, Scorpio-Greenish blue, Saggitarius- Blue, Capricorn -indigo, Aquarious-violet, Pisces -dark red.

Colrs as they relate to the days of the week.
Monday-white, Tuesday-Red, Wednesday -Orange,THursday- Blue,Friday-Green, Saturday Black and Sunday yellow.

Casting a spell is not diffuclt one can right them, use visualization, props whatever works for you. When doing love spells put the spell on your self not on another. One can use a poem that rhymes or does not rhyme in order to write a spell.
Down below is the suggested altar set up

Incense Burner

Goddess Bandle God Candle

Day of week candle Your Astro Sign

Color candle for
Spell objective


Tarot card

Tommorrow I shall further elaboarate on the process of the ritual and touch a bit on Astral Projection and it's relations to the Tarot and the Kabballah.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Returns of Zionism by Gabriel Piterbert


1947 marked the rebirth of the state of Israel. For Jews it was something joyous that words could not begin to describe. For the Palestinian Arabs living their it was one of the worst disasters comparable to the Babylonian Exile of the Israelite. It was called the Nakhba. This scholarly epistle examine the mythology of Zionism with a critical eye. The professor who teaches at UCLA is definitely one of those Israelis who has sympathies for the Palestinian tragedy.

Zionism was both a reaction to and a child of European Nationalism. Europe even after the Emancipation never fully accepted Jews. While they may have been allowed to leave their confines of the Ghettos they were still in a social ghetto as people did not wish to interact with them. Jews were not considered manly warrior types they were viewed sort of as the third sex. There were two reactions to this one of the most famous is that of Theodor Herzl who proposed that the Jews have a state of their own. The other was Bernard Lazares who thought that Jews as the ultimate Pariah could bring a about a general emancipation of Europe from Mental bondage. To be sure both were assimilationist.

Herzl felt that by having their own land the Jews could rebuild themselves into the manly image of a European male. This would enable them assimilate more readily if they had a state of their own. Even his works show Jews interacting as equal with gentiles in the Jewish State.

The Zionist ideology is based on three suppositions which are analyzed in full. The negation of exile, the return to the land and the return to History. For Ben Gurion and other Zionist leaders the Exile is something off an anomaly a blip in history that they choose to gloss over. The Diaspora must disappear and Jews must come live in Israel. What ever happened out there in exile must bee discarded or places on the backburner. Focus on Jewish history in the land. Of course not all Jews moved to Israel. There was a movement called Canaanism which called on adopting a Hebrew identity and discarding Judaism totally.Some of it still remains.

The Next is the return to the land. Making a Jewish state in the land. This attitude refused to take into account the inhabitants already living their. Not much mention is made of the Arabs in the literature. In fact they called it a land without a people and a people without a land. Piterberg gives full analysis of Zionist documentation and shows that the original Zionist ideology was in fact to get the Arabs to move out of the Jewish state. Their only inclusion was to be used as a workforce and then driven out by economic means. Eventually the Zionist enterprise would strive to dominate the labor sector. An example of Zionist attitude towards Arabs is the labor strike of Arab and Jewish workers in the British Railway. Ben Gurion thought of using them and then discarding them or giving them a section in the Histrdut as partial members until they became more sophisticated. Chaim Arlsoff said no way they could never join forces. They wanted to exclude thee Arabs

Kibbutzim and Moshavs were not products of Israel or socialism as a matter of fact they were copied from the the Nationalist Germans who were trying to reclaim land that had many Polish people living on it. The projects failed as the Polish People organized and refuse to be driven off their land.

THe final cornerstone is the return to history. They believed that the Jews or any other nation without a land of their own could in no way shape or form take and active part in history. The history and accomplishments in exile are over looked and focus is on Jewish history in the land. The Talmud and Mishna are overlooked and the bible is focused upon especially the book of Joshua which details the armed conquest of Canaan over the sinful Canaanites.

While Ben Gurion may use the Bible as justification there are many flaws with his approach. First off there are no external indicator that the Jews were in fact slave in Egypt. No proof has been found of the Patriarchs existence and there is no evidence of the Exodus. There was no lightning quick conquest as mentioned in Joshua the assumption of the Israelite was slow and gradual. In fact the Israelites were not pure monotheists until Josiah's time.

THe book of Joshua is modeled after Assyrian literature which detail conquests and treaties. The model of Joshua was used by Josiah to prepare the nation to reclaim land taken by the receding Assyrian empire.

In the end Israeli literature speaks mournfully about how the establishment of the state obliterated the biblical landscape. Several authors also document abuses against Palestinians and how they drove out the villagers at gun point. there is a level of guilt written on the lines of Israeli literature.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Exploring the Northern Tradition


Lately I have been taken in by Asatru, the worship of the Norse Gods. Odin is the father god and Frigga is his wife. Perhaps the most famous of the Gods are Thor and his mighty hammer. The Gods of Norse are numerous and many. Neo Paganism is coming on strong and Heathenism or the worship of North European Gods is the strongest movement.

Heathenism is often a misunderstood term. Many people think of savages or uncouth people with no civilization. Of course the opposite is true. The original heathens the viking had a very developed society and were very sophisticated.

The word Heathen is a definition for a very broad group of people. Not all Norse People worshiped the same God or Goddess yet they had the same mythology and same pantheon. The same holds true to day. Some people or very devoted to the Sky Gods while others are devoted to the Land Gods. Still others have devoted themselves to the Jotun or giants. Many heathens are not very accepting of the Jotun as they are enemies of the Gods. In the end of days there will be a final battle called Rokknagar.

Within the heathen community there are several fault lines that serve to divide the community. THe first fault line revolves around the debate between relying on strict observance of written material and the use of personal gnosis or visions from the Gods. Another fault line is folkish vs. Universal. The folkish believe that only those of Anglo-Saxon descent should bee following the ways of the old Norse God. The Universalist believe that anyone can worship the old Norse Gods. Theodish believe in a series of oath and recreating the community structure as it was of old.
This is an excellent book. It covers the mythology of how the world was created and a description of the various gods and what they did. On some of the Gods there was even a mention of a meditation that could be devoted to them. Before every god or Goddess is described there is a prayer that can be offering up to them.

Heathen do not consider themselves to be neo-pagans. One way they differentiate themselves is that they follow a warrior code. The Warrior code is summed up in nine principles. The principle are courage, truth, honor, fidelity, discipline, hospitality , industrious, self reliance and perseverance. Many heathen live by the warrior eethic and study martial arts and firearms to live by that noble spirit. Many Heathen are also involved in the Military and law enforcement as it is honorable to protect your community. There is a big emphasis on honoring oath and honoring ones ancestors.

Within Heathenism there are several core concepts. The first one is Wyrd which can be roughly translated as your personal destiny. A lot goes into making your personal destiny. Your Wyrd is affected by your behavior and that of your ancestors and community.

Blots are celebrations or rituals that have a sacrifice which honor one of the Gods or Goddesses. Usually the area is spiritually cleansed and a deity invoked. Some times there is a sacrifice or feast depending on ones group. Another ritual is the Symbel which is to strengthen kindred ties in the group.

There is also a division of the soul. As well mention of the Holidays. There are several divisions of the soul. The first is the the Lik or the physical body. The Next soul part is the Aedem or divine breath. Odin gave mankind their breath. It is our breath that connects us to the divinities. The third is hamingja your personal luck. Next is Maegen Our vital force or Ki as the Japanese call it. The next one is our Willa this is how we focus our desires upon the world. The next two are intellect and memory. Memory is deemed more important than the intellect for it is the memory that connects us to our tribe and ancestors. Wod is or passion and Ecstasy, Fylgia our guardian spirits . Orlog is our personal destiny, Hama thee ethereal soul skin, We also have self consciousness.

This book is short and very comprehensive. there is a glossary in the back as well as suggested reading and a Bibliography.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner




An excellent book has been written for writers who want to use Tarot cards to spur on their creativity. Several authors like Stephen a King and Italo Calvino have used a deck of Tarot cards to inspire them in their writing. The most common Tarot deck is the Rider Waite deck developed back in the earlier part of this century. Use of other Tarot cards goes back to the Early 14oo’s

There are several spreads that one can use to help their writing. The first one is a two card reading . This is used to determine the good parts and the bad parts of a characters. The three card spread can be used to determine the past present and future of your story. You can also use the Celtic cross spread or a more elaborate spread that involves ten cards or more. One of the more extensive ones involves using he paradigm of the heroes journey. The Horse shoe spread is shaped like an upright horse shoe. Card number one begins on your left side and goes up. This is helpful for the plots 1) Past, 2)present 3) Future, 4) Self which pertains to the subjects attitudes thought and feelings about the situation, 5) Friens and family which tells how others see and affect the situation, 6) tells the obstacles that must be over come and 7) is the likely out come of the situation. Last is the Celtic spread which is rather complicated. 1) The person 2) The situation 3) current influences 4)) Foundation of situation 5) Recent past 6) Highest ideal of current situation 7) Near future or what happens in the next six months 8) Self image how the situation looks from the main characters point of view 9) Public image or how others see it 10) Hopes and fears related to the situation and 11) is the most likely outcome,

The above paragraph just covered some of the spread available. Included in the book or also numerous writing exercises on how to promote the writing of ideas. What are even more useful are the descriptions of each of the Tarot Cards. The Tarot Cards are divided into two major categories. The Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana which means major secrets and minor secrets. The minor Arcana is divided into swords, clubs, cups and pentacles. Swords indicate and air sign which pertains to the realm of wit and intelligence, next is the cup which pertains to the element of water which deals with emotions. Next is the clubs which are ignitable this deals with spirituality and pentacle which pertain to the Earth deal with wealth and materiality.

The last part of the book has a glossary and tells what each of the cards symbolize with in depth explanation. I may find a used copy of this book and buy it despite the fact that I loaned it from the library.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner

The followers of the Northern Tradition are far and few between. In any given city it might be very difficult to put together a group of people who practice Norse Paganism. Exactly what is is Norse Paganism . Well that can be a broad definition depending on the time and place in Northern Europe where it was practiced. So there is no real definition of what Norse Paganism is. Needless to say under the banner of Norse Paganism there are many fault lines and divisions. There are some who worship Odin while others follow the path of Asatru. Asutru people worship the sky gods of Asgard. One such fault deals with who is a reconstructions and who using reconstruction as a starting point and then branches off on their own. Re constructionist scour the ancient texts and try to piece together the way Norse Heathen used to practice. In short they try to keep it as authentic as possible. On the other side of the spectrum there are those who value private meditation and personal gnosis. After all this is a religion that has been recently revived and the community has to settle on a correct definition. There is a another fault line with regards to who may practice the Northern Tradition. The Folkish Heathens tend to to think that one has to be descended from Germanic or Anglo- Saxon people in order to worship the Northern European Gods. Then there is the question of which gods are to be worshiped. Some heathens worship primarily the air gods and the land gods secondly but not all off them,some worship the Jotnar Gods and the Rokkar gods wha are seen as enemies off the air gods.

The book is filled with interviews with many people. On e of the things they interview people about is devotion. What is devotion. To certain people it may mean one thing while to other people it means something else. To some devotion to a god or goddess may mean doing something that the deity like and doing it well. Many people will choose to use prayer beads with repetitious prayer while others choose to make altars and statues of their gods. If they are able to. May make food offering or animal sacrifices ( the animal is eaten for the most part).




What ever falls under the Northern Tradition there are several salient points. The first is belief in the Ygrdrasil or the universal tree. This holds all he worlds in place. There are three upper worlds, three central worlds and three lower worlds.
The three top worlds are Asgard (home of the air gods), Ljossfelheim (home of the light elves),and Vanaheim ( home of the agriculture gods).

The three middle worlds are Jotunheim ( home of the elemental gods), Midgard ( Home of Men) Muspelheim ( the home of heat and fire)

The three lower worlds are Svartelheim (world of Dark elves and dwarves), Niflheim ( the world of Ice and frost) and Helheim ( world of the dead).

The myth of creation is the same the world of ice and frost collides with the world of fire. From this comes the primordial man and a cow. From them will come the Gods and the men.

The nine virtues of Norse heathen are Courage,Truth,Honor,Fidelity,Discipline,Hospitality,Industriousness,Self-Reliance and Perseverance.

Last salient point is Wyrd. This is sort of like Karma but in way it is also an embodiment of obligation, consequences fro both your life and your family lines life.

This is an over all great book for someone who is just checking out the Northern tradition or someone who is seriously considering that path. I think it is a great book for beginners. They have suggestions for altars to the different deities and what they like. The Norsemen have a strong sense of honor correct actions and keeping ones word are very important. More over it is a new community and the religion is in the process of being recreated.

Baba-Sali

Baba-Sali
Holy Morroccan Sage engaged in Prayer

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