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Friday, August 20, 2010

Good Arabs by Hillel Cohen


Hillell Cohen has written a fascinating follow up to his previous book "Army of Shadows". This book documents how Israel used collaborators with in Palestinian society in order to control the Palestinians living under their rule.Palestinian collaborators would spy on their neighbor's political activity, potential armed resistance and another families acceptance of cross border infiltrator. In return the collaborator might receive monetary rewards eased travel restrictions, the right to carry a weapon, or some benefit towards other family members.Israeli penetration into Palestinian society was deep. Often times Mayors, and other political leaders were supported by the Israeli government in order to make thePalestinians have an attitude that was more favorable to the state. This included setting up Arab parties that toed the Zionist line. Opposition in the form of Palestinian Nationalist parties was forbidden. The communist party was allowed because they were an Arab -Jewish party and supported Israel's right exist. But the communists did not have an easy time of it. Often times their rallies would be banned due to lack of permits. Leaders would get arrested or exiled from their communities.Collaborators also assisted the Israeli government in another way with regards to cross border infiltrators. It was Palestinians who would report them to the Israeli authorities in exchange for some reward. Infiltrator were usually Palestinian refugees just trying to return to their homes. Once the Israeli security apparatus caught them often times they would be deported to Jordan . Infiltrator were also smugglers and terrorists. Smugglers were caught with the help of collaborating Palestinians who often reported them and sometimes it was Palestinians who infiltrated the smuggling ring and lead the smugglers right to Israeli Law enforcement. The same tactic was also used with terrorist infiltrators.With thee use of collaborators the Israeli government was able to control the Palestinian people living in their border. It was not smooth though. Many Palestinian were angered over land expropriations and the loss of income it entailed. Many Palestinians were also angry with thee collaborators and sometimes this lead to verbal and physical altercation.A result of this collaboration forced the Palestinians to censure themselves with regards to Palestinian history and in their view the Nakba of 1948. This censorship often extended in to wedding songs, the Palestinian education infrastructure and conversation in the home .This book is one of the first books to use declassified documents to show the extent the Israeli authorities used collaborator to control their Palestinian inhabitants

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Witch's Guide to Faery Folk by Edain McCoy






Fairies used to play a more central role in magicackal ritual. Over the last several centuries their role has gotten smaller and smaller. Many pagans do not have the specific knowledge of fAERIES AND who they are as did the Pagans of old. Their specific identities and roles have been forgotten. In many of our rituals they are reduced to mere spirits or elemental. Edain McCoy would like to revive the knowledge of Faeries and start using them more in rituals.

Irish Celtic mythology seems to be the richest source of knowledge and folklore when it comes to Faeries. Indeed their are places in Ireland, Scotland and Britain where the people still see the faerie folk and hear them and their music. Feiries who live primarily in Summerland and Faerie land exist in the astral realms which are separated from our world by a few psychic layer. Most faerie sighting are in forest, the sea shore and by the rivers. Around the oceans of Ireland and Scotland sailors still report seeing faerie Island that are there one minute and gone the next.

In magical workings fairies are grouped with one of the four elements which are in turn connected with one of the four cardinal directions. West is with land, North with Water, south with fire and East with air. When a magician works with faeries or the fae they have to be very careful. Not all of the fae like humans in fact there are many who have an ambivalent attitude towards human folk. A good number hate humans. Faeries are often pranksters who enjoy a good laugh so they play lots of tricks. Still faeries can add lots of energy to a ritual and many of them are allied to specific deities which can even be more helpful. Gremlins are noted to have a strong hatred for humans while the Tuatha De Danan are very helpful.

There are several things to keep in mind when working with the fae. One is that when working your rituals it is always wisest to stay inside your circle and keep the fairies outside of your circle. You can place your offering outside the circle for the fae to enjoy and they can add energy to your ritual outside of the circle. When working with the Fae in gratitude for their assistance you are supposed to leave them an offering but do not thank them profusely as they do not like that. When visiting the land of the Fae one should not eat or drink anything they offer but politely decline. Dancing can be a bad idea if you get caught up and become unaware of how much time has elapsed. For visiting the land of the fae in your astral travels you should set up your own Astral temple that is stocked with an altar and magical supplies. Even when doing your rituals their when requesting assistance from the fae stay inside your circle. In working with the fae your astral temple should be right on the edge bordering the land of the fae.

Edain McCoy offers several tip in her book on working with faeries. The most valuable information is on protection against malevolent faeries and how to create your own thought forms. The book does have a glossary of over 230 faeries many of whom do not have any magical value or have a negative value. The helpful ones are in the minority. I have also found some listing that maybe spiritual but to me do not qualify as faeries. Dybuks in Jewish lore are disembodied spirits not faeries neither are Golems for that matter yet they are in their. The book does sport a good bibliography for future reference and further reading. I would give this book 3.5 stars out of five.

Protection against malevolent fairies

1. Iron is their enemy as is smoke and ashes. Sleep with Iron or keep some Iron in your breast pocket to drive away malevolent fairies. Smoke can be used for banishing and ashes can be used for a protective circle.

2. Certain herbs are very helpful. Besom can be kept by a hearth to drive away the fae or keep them out. Mirrors and broken mirrors keep the bad fae away. Put a fully intact mirror at your entrance as faeries don't like to look at their reflections in the mirror. Broken mirror shards in a container at the foot of your house also keeps them away. Making a satchel with Rowan in also effective in keeping them away.

Creating Faeries

1. Rubs your hands together for twenty minutes ass this creates the energy next visualize the faeries form and give it a job. they have to be recharged from time to time,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

American Folk Magick by Silver Raven Wolf


Pow Wow magick sometimes called Hex magick was primarily practiced in the state of Pennsylvania. It was a combination of Norse magickal practices, Christianity and Native American magickal practice. The state of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, a member of Britain's upper class. His father was a judge. William was a rather free thinker who believed in the rights of women and the right to choose your spiritual practices. He was rather outspoken about these beliefs and his father worried that could cause lots of problems, these were the times that anyone who disagreed with the church could be tried for witchcraft and burned at the stake. Eventually Great Britain gave him a tract of land as one of the colonies. He did so and it was one of the colonies that granted lots of religious freedom.

This was a boon for Europeans who engaged in magickal practices. Many of the colonist who came to settle in Pennsylvania hailed from the black Forest which the Rhine River flowed through. There were two groups of Germans who settled there. THe first group were protestants who tended to be simple austere people. The second group were German Catholics who tended to be wealthier and more colorful.

Pow Wow practitioners tended to be a quiet lot of people who did not want their practices to be associated with Witchcraft or magick. They tended to use herbs and chants for healing people. They also had spells to catch criminals, stop fires and wild dogs. Very rarely did they have practices pertaining to obtaining love or money.

Silver Ravenwolf has written a great book about this dying art of Magick. Herself a Wiccan she does note that there are differences between the two magickal systems. The Pow Wow being relatively inexpensive in terms of gathering material. While Pow Wow has been primarily Christian in it's outward orientation she has reworked some of the chants to a Wiccan perspective which is just as effective. Some may like this and some may not. Then again what magick is totally pure. They all have borrowed from others.

Pennsylvania was home to a variety of practioners. Some people practiced European Ceremonial Magick while others were Mason or British witches. There were also Rosicurians in Penn state as well. They all had to have had an influence on each other, Some Pow Wow practitioners communicated with these Ceremonial magicians via letter writing.

I originally got this book from the library but I was so impressed with it that I went ahead and ordered a used copy from Amazon.com. The book is out of print but if you are a beginner in magick this book is an excellent starting point.

Baba-Sali

Baba-Sali
Holy Morroccan Sage engaged in Prayer

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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