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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ash, Birch and Willow

Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days

by RAVEN GRIMASSI, WEISER BOOKS

10/01/2011



Meditate for a few moments on the image of the witch. Tell me what do you think? Chances are it is one of two images, an old hag doing evil spells or a young pretty woman dedicated to the Goddess doing benificial spells with the blief of harm ye none. The Old Witch was nothing like that at all. Noted author Raven Grimassi for the first part of this book goes thorugh ancient historical text dating all the way to Greco-Roman Times to give us an accurate as possible mental picture of the ancient witch. Tracing a definition from the Greek work pharmokote which meant worker of plants. THe witch was someone who worked with the numen or life force of plants for various aims. THe opld withc was not bound by the three fold law or harm ye none creed. They could do good just as well as malevolent. It was not until the medievil times that the image of the witch became tarnished by the Christian priests eager for an enemy and to convert the population. Witches never called upon or worked with demons. In addition to calling on the spirit of plants they also called upon rather commonly on Goddesses such as Hekate, Diana and Prosperina. There is no direct mention of a male God. Witches also called upon stars adn planets for aid as well.




The second part of the book focuses on a new paradigm that is based on Ancient principle. From my observations it is a practical paradigm that seems to be informed from Traditional British Witchcraft in part. There is some Wiccan practices and concepts brought into the paradigm. THe God is called the o"One of the 'Deep Forest' and the Goddess is called she of the rounded white. THe tools employed are besom knifes, wands, cauldron, chalice and mortar and pestle. In the grimouire section there are rituals, spells and instruction on how to connect to the shadow and other realms. THe paradigm is called 'Ash, Birch,Willow". It is practical and useable.





Over all excellent book. Some of the rituals I am uncomfortable with as they require pricking the finger and using your own blood. That is my personal preference. Also in modern times it is difficult to find a crossroads or even do a ritual publicly at the crossroad. Later on the author does give you an alternative to finding a crossroad. Another ritual calls for bringing dirt from the crossroad and having it under your pillow for three night in a sack of course. My question is of hygiene. How safe is the dirt. The book could use a few more picture and illustrations especially of the stang and the staff for the Goddess. It give this book 4 stars out of five. Buy it as this one book you will definitely use

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Radiant Shadows




Radiant Shadows
Melissa Marr, Har[per Collins
February, 2011

Ani is half faery and half mortal daughter of Gabriel leader of the hunt's wolf pack. Her mother was supposedly killed when she was young leaving her a survivor along with her brother rabbit, and sister Tisha. As of late she has been living with Gabriel's hound who are not allowed to fall in love with her unless they can beat Gabriel in battle. Ani is going through changes, her faery blood is over taking her mortal blood. She feeds off of emotions like most of the faeries of the dark court do. But she also feeds off of skin contact. She get's energy from it.

Devlin is a product of Sorcha queen of the high court and Bananach queen of the Chaos court. He has both of their blood lines running through his veins. His past is connected with Ani's. He spared her life and kept it from Sorcha his sister/ mother. Devlin is also breaking out on his own and has a unique destiny that he will share with Ani.

Banach wants Ani for her unique blood. It can make the faeries more powerful. Devlin is sworn out of desire to defend Ani. The ending is pleasant and surprising. The wall between the fae and mortal is re established. Balance is restored as Devlin and Ani fiond their place.

This book is real good. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it not only for the excellent story but also for hints of mythology that shine through the cracks. THis author has done her research. Great book for adult, kids and faery lovers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fight Racism and Antisemitism Tooth and Nail

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AND PASS THIS ON TO YOUR LISTS.

 

Anti-Semitic website

A website named "jewwatch" is now available on Google.  With 500,000 signatures we can have it removed. Its contents are disgraceful and should be taken extremely seriously:  I opened it and was sick.

 

http://www.jewwatch.com

 

Please go to

 

http://www.petitiononline.com/rjw23

and sign the petition NOW

 

If we each do nothing to make a difference, then the world will never change.

 

MANY THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS AND PLEASE FORWARD THIS ON TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS.

 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Sages of Morocco


Abir Yaacov is a book that cover the lives of all the saintly patriarch of the Abuchatzira clan. The most noted patriarch of this Jewish Dynasty was Baba Sali who lived out his days in Netivot, Israel which is close to Beersheva. The family which hails from Tafilat Morocco had their roots in Jerusalem. The father of the dynasty Rabbi Shmuel Hatizira is the one who moved his family to Damascus Syria. He was well noted for his miracles. He could make a boat cruise across the mediterannean in a couple of hour. He was known for taking his magic carpet and gliding along side a boat. When he arrived in Damascus he would confront two sorceresses. One trapped him for a while and forced him to make carpet and another would way lay morners at a funeral.

Eventually the family moved to Morocco. The head of the family who was in Morocco helped a Jewish women divorce her husband. Later on the wife and the head of the family had a dream where the head of the family was told to take her as a second wife. From this second wife was born Yaacov Abuchatizira , better known as the Abir Yaacov" He would be the Saint of his generation. His miracles would revive the dead, heal the sick and save the Jewish people from calamity. He built his Yeshiva "Abir Yaacov" His miracle would continuen even after his death when enroute to the Holy Land he passed away and was buried in Diamanhor Egypt. To this day his gravesite is a pilgrimage for Jews and non Jews alike.

He left behind him four sons. R. Masud, R Aharon, R Yisthak and R. Avraham. Rebbe Massud would carry on leader ship of the dynasty while, Rebbe Aharon made sure that Abir Yakov's books were getting published. Rebbe Yitzhak was a heavy drinker but it helped him study torah. He could also command natural elements. Reb Avraham who paeed away at 52 was a rather reclusive doing many tikkunim.

After Reb Massud passed on. The crown of the dynasty fell in the quiet Reb David the Baba Sali's older brother. After his murder by a mudererous rebel the Baba Sali took over.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Magical Beginnings of Wicca

Wicca Magical Beginnings : A study of the historical origins of the magical rituals, practices and beliefs of modern Pagan Witchcraft.Wicca Magical Beginnings : A study of the historical origins of the magical rituals, practices and beliefs of modern Pagan Witchcraft. by Sorita D'este

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Do you want to get down to the roots of Wicca and understand the magic behind behind the religion that Gerald Gardner introduced/ invented in the early 1950's. If the answer is yes then this awesome over view is for you. Since the emergence of what is what is called "Wicca" in the 1950's there has been much controversy as to whether Gerald Gardner invented this religion or was initiated into it. The book covers the magical history of all the practices contained in Wicca, offering a different approach then Ronald Hutton who gives over a straight history of development.

Practice by practice the author's Sorita d'Este and David Rankine give the most recent history of each idea and then go back to it's most ancient historical practice. Starting with the emergence of Wicca the authors state the controversy of Wicca's beginning and then give you there hypothesis which sound rather agreeable. Gerald Gardner was initiated into a coven that practiced witch craft but when he released it to the public he added a whole bunch of stuff. Most of the material he added into his religion derived from the works of Aleister Crowley, Charles Leland,Key of Solomon and Frazier's Golden Bough. While many practices and chants were derived from these Ceremonial Magic sources.They also had antecedent many stretching back to Ancient Egypt and Babylonia.

The religion of Wicca may seem dubious for a variety of reasons. One is that Gerald Gardner himself made many false statements. The reasoning behind these false statements could be that Gerald Gardner was being unethical in trying to promote Witchcraft or was he merely protecting oath bound material.

What is the meaning behind Wicca? When was it used by Gardner? In fact he himself may never have used Wicca as a name for his religion, especially in his earlier works. The word Wicca goes back many centuries and the term "Wica" actually did mean witch or one who could bend reality. The meaning though was not positive as many societies even one that predated Christianity like the Norse and the Greeks had negative views of witches. Wiches were workers of evil. Something which Wiccans were not. big questions as to why he used the term witchcraft which carried such a negative connotation. If they had used a different term might Wicca have been more positively viewed. The practices of Wicca are more closely aligned to the practitioners in the Ancient Temple then they were to witches.

Charles Leland's book on Aradia was thought by many to be dubious and non scholarly. However, written works going back to the 14-15th century tell of witches dancing naked under the moon worshiping Diana at the shores of lake Nehme. In interesting side fact was that Diana was sometimes referred to as the "Queen of Heaven" and association given to many female deities from the Middle East most notable Ashtoret who was a Canaanite/Phoenician Goddess. Aradia was the name of a city founded by the Phoenicians in Tuscany before the Etruscans became a society. The influence can be most profound.

The idea of a mother Goddess who is all goddesses is nothing new. In Crowley's works there is Nuit the mother Goddess who came from Egyptians mythology. There is also Ashera from the Canaanite pantheon. The Shechina is god's wife in Judaism as Sophia is the Goddess of wisdom. In a work called the "Golden Ass" Isis is mentioned as the mother goddess of all. Then comes the question of a horned god. Most know of him as Cernunnos "The Horned One" the idea of a horned god was prevalent in many ancient cultures. Amon ra being a great example. In India there was a goddess and a horned god who died for part of the year and was reborn. Much like Cernunnos. In many Wiccan practices Cernunnos a Celtic deity is a paramour of Aradia, an Italian Deity. One wonders how this is possible. Yet archaeological evidence shows that Cernunnos had shrines in Italy.

This book is a profound addition to any collection on magical books. The reader will be blessed with an informative and very interesting read. The book is so interesting and written in reader lay person friendly manner that one will breeze through and be glad for the experience wishing it could go on longer. 5 stars out of five stars.



View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An Investigation into Irish Witchcraft


I debated at first as to whether to give this book a three star or a four star review. I voted a four star and I can tell you why. The first chapter cuts through a lot of BS and myth. She tells you clear cut that there is a difference between being a Wiccan and Witch . There is also a difference between being a Pagan and a witch. Lot's of people call themselves Wiccans or eclectic Wiccans even when they practice is pulled to together from many different books and really does not even remotely resemble Wicca.

The Next dose of common sense is the importance of learning about the Irish culture and traveling to Ireland if you want to practice Irish Witchcraft. If you want to communicate with the Irish Gods and Goddesses then learn Irish or at least make the effort. They will appreciate you for it. The author advocates moving to Ireland at least for a bit. I must say that in this respect I agree with her wholeheartedly. If you want to practice this system then immerse yourself.

She goes through a list of all the Gods and and Goddesses and tells us what areas of specialty they are involved in. Dgda is a god of fertility. Morgana is a goddess of war and magic. It is important to study and know these deities if we want to work with them. She gives good sources at the end of the book for further research. Something I advise checking out.

The Section on faeries is heft and informative. They are not like Tinker bell at all and some could be rather vicious. treat them with respect and have your courage ready to over come any fear. Faeries do not like people who grovel. She discusses where faeries live and a few stories connected to faeries and how they tutored some humans in magic. Lora does a good job separating them from spirits of the trees, genus loci and the Sidhe. She gives some techniques on how to connect with the spirits of the trees.

I liked her personal anecdote of going into Morgana's cave. There is definitely a line between a true spiritual seeker and a tourist who comes to visit a faery site and pretends to get something out of it.Her encounter with Morgana was frightening and it is no light thing to dedicate oneself to a deity.

While the book is very common sensical I got the feeling that the book had a lot of Wiccan input regardless. I mean what exactly is Irish Witchcraft. The author states that her coven which used to be Wiccan is now more eclectic pulling from different sources such as Crowley's OTO. She says in the beginning of her book that she will not spoon feed the reader or give over any spells. I have nothing solid on which to base Irish witch craft on. No model technique. Do Irish Witches draw circles or is that up to the individual practitioner. I have nothing against freestyle magicians or sorcery whcih is really what the book seems to be save that she gave it the title "Irish Witchcraft" Every sort of witch craft and magical system has a set of techniques. We need sample so we can create our own in the spirit of Irish witchcraft.

That being said the author's Wiccan influence comes in strong and steady. Nothing wrong with that just label it as what it is. Wicca with an Irish twist. The initiation and degree system is Wiccan with the exception that they use Irish Terms. The book give a good over view for the non Irish into Irish culture which is definitely of value. The book is a starting point and definitely good for the beginner. For the more advanced they may wish to go a little deeper.

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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