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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fragile Eternity


Fragile Eternity
Melissa Marr, Harper Collins
2009

Aislin is now firmly established on the Summer throne of the court. Keenan her king wants to turn the relationship into a romantic relationship, only one problem Aislin's heart still belongs to Seth her human lover. The arrangement that Aislin made with Keenan seems to be unraveling. Seth is getting jealous and being with his human turned faery lover is ratehr dangerous as everytime they touch Seth gets burned. It eventually dawns on everyone that eventually Seth will die as will all of Aislin's human friends and family. Seth and Aislin want to e together forever.

On the outskirts of the story awaits Bannanach the faery of war and Soercha tghe high queen of fay. Sorchaq has the power to change everything. Bananach is itching for war. Seth gets around the faeries rather well. Some faries want Seth killed but seth is protected by Niall the king of the dark court.

Finally Bananach lead Seth to the world of fairy. It is a wonderful place where humans who dwell there doing nothing but engage in artistic projects to please their queen. Seth will make a deal with Sorcha that will solve his problem but with a price.

Reading this story I can neasily ascertain that Melissa Marr has researched her mythology and fairy lore rather well. The story reminded me of how Demeter was taken down to Hades and of how she was rescued and what the conditions were. Enjoyable read that gets four stars out of five stars.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Laws of Attraction




The Secret
Rhonda Byrne,Beyond Words
November 28, 2006

It has been known by a select few since ancient times, they were the ones in power and they wanted to stay in power. So they kept the secret to themselves. Through out the ages various people like Leonardo DaVinci, Henry Ford, Abraham Lincoln and Einstein have all known about the secret. Yet they kept it to themselves.

Rhonda Byrne was facing some life changing difficulties and thing were falling apart until she discovered the secret. The Secret is called the "Law of Attraction" kn own by a select few sionce ancient times. I have difficulty with that statement because I remember reading a booked called " Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain back when I was in high school. So the secret was out even back then. There was also the Silva Mind control method even then which basically said the same thing.
Aleister Crowley the famous occultist said this much himself "thought are things" Every time you think is a magical action. Crowley also taught that we are gods in the making. We are stars.

The law of attraction states that what you think or hold in your mind comes to fruition in your life. Think about success and you will achieve success. Think about finding 100 dollars lying on the floor you will find it. This in reality is true especially if you believe in the "Law of Attraction" The Law of Attraction is no secret and the concept has been taught or available to the masses for a while now. Yet "Creative Visualizion" came out years ago and people need to have their memory refreshed especially the younger generation that has never hear of the "Law of Attraction" They need this book.

To the experience metaphysician or spiritualist this may seem a shallow treatment that lacks depth. Yet my wife who has never heard of the "Law of Attraction" was sold on it. The infection spread and so I advise reading it. The book has input from some great people like John Assaraf, a multi millinaire tycoon, Beckwith and other great authors also have input. The book is filled with stories and anecdotes of people using the "Law of Attraction" and achieving success. There is great input and great resources for further learning. This has started a journey.

Now some of us are into our own religions, some are into Magick and want to achieve results. This book while it is not an end all, will jump start your process. It will teach you how to improve your prayer technique and or magical technique to get results. If you believe in God or Gods remember ask, believe and recieve. Know you will get what you prayed for. The God or Gods will anwer you. Always focus on the positive and never on the negative. Throw away negative beliefs as the world will conform to what you believe. Stop complaining because the universe will always say your wish is my command.

I reccomend for further study Shakti Gawain's "Creative Visualization", Richard Bachs " Illusions" the first book will really give you strong technique in programming your minde to work the laws of attraction. The book does have different technique than other books I read. So I gave it a four although to be honest the"Law of Attraction" is really not a secret. Sh do not tell anyone.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Urban Primative

Urban Primitive: Paganism in the Concrete JungleUrban Primitive: Paganism in the Concrete Jungle by Raven Kaldera

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Many Pagans are striving to for the spirit of getting back to nature. Within the Pagan community the wooded area of nature is extolled over the vices of the city. Yet if you really think about it most pagans live in the city. In ancient times there Pagan temples developed in big cities not out in forests. This book written by Raven Kaldera and Tannin Shcwartzstein is a survival guide for poor and down on their luck pagans who live in the city. Besides who says cities are so bad after all they are vibrant filled with energy and with lots of people it is very easy for a Pagan to go by unnoticed.



In many ways this book functions as a sort of beginners guide for Pagans and magical workers. The first thing a pagan wants to learn about is spells. There are two types of spells one type relies upon your own energy and the other type gets assistance from deity. To do an effective spell you first generate energy. 2)Move the energy to where you want it to go. 3) bounce back effects from the spell.



With spell crafting there are two modes of thinking. One is that rituals items are not needed save only their value in unlocking the power from the unconscious. Tools are just props and their power is dependent on what they mean to the user. The second view it that ritual items do give their energy towards a goal especially if you are more ceremonial.



The viewpoint in this book is on practicality and tend toward the first mode of thinking in both instances. the authors are really into relying on their own juice to power up a spell. You do not have the ingredients needed for a magical working heck use substitute which they give you enough of.

Cannot afford expensive ritual items have no fear substitute can be found in trash dumps and garage sales. Plastic cups can be used for a chalice, plastic knifes for an athame, cigarette buts to represent fire. Salt packets for earth elements and cheap incense for air. Cities and areas within the city have their own spirit. These spirits can become your ally and the authors advise leaving offering. Different and ancient deities can be reached at various places in the city. Go underground ora subway to reach Hades, a library for Athena, Hospitals for Hesceplius. For Aphrodite you can give gift with the expectation of nothing in return to working girls.



Contacting the element is rather unique for air obviously leaving offering or requests in the wind can be efective. But their are mini rituals for using the telephone and stereo. For fire turn on a candle or gas stove. For water there are lake and Oceans but also running faucet and land is about anywhere.



Contacting the dead is risky business and they do not like to be disturbed. Not all dead people are nice and most of our beloved who have passed on have reincarnated in to another life. It is ok to leave offering for the dead and maybe we can ask blood relative who we had a good relationship with for help.



The authors talk plenty about body modification and tattoes. I have a personal bias against that unless done in a cultural context so that rather turned me off. At least they address safety concerns



The authors have developed a paradigm which can be effective in accessing the subconsious if not the super natural. Their totem consists of city animals and what their attributes are. I tend to see myself as a raccoon. They also have a triple Goddess and triple god. Once again their own paradigm. I will let you read more to find out.



I found the book interesting and I did pull some useful suggestions from it. Their path may not be for every pagan. Many of us {Pagans are not into body mod and feel that we would rather deal with traditional deities and leave offering in our home. After all Gods can be present anywhere no? Perhaps what I am learning from all this is that the power to change or transform our lives comes from within.



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Friday, November 18, 2011

The Rites of Hekate


To know Hekate is to love Hekate. Scholars David Rankine and Sorita d'Este do an excelent job of informing us about who Hekate is. This awesome book tells us the origins of Hekate and inform's us about the rituals that were dedicated to Hekate. The book comes fully armed with a bibliography and references.

Hekate the liminal cthonian Goddess was extrmely popular in Greece. There were several temples dedicated to her and shrines dedicated to her in Temples dedicated to Demeter and Persephone. A common sacrifice tyo Hekate was dogs. Dogs were not usually sacrificed to Greek born deities but were regualarly sacrificed to deities who came from abroad. Where was Hekate from origninally? THe fact that she was often depicted with lions might hint that she came from the Middle East? In fact she did come from elsewhre. Her origins are Thracian mostly from the city of Caria. She was considered a Titan that was allowed to remain after Zeus and cohorts asserted their supremacy over the Titans. She is mentioned in several different texts and their are several different accounts of her parentage. The most commonly accepted is that her parents are Parceles and Arestia. Parceles is the Persian sun God and Aresstia is the star Goddess.

He daughters or priestesses are Circe and Medea. They have the power the to draw lunar power from the sky. They also had the ability to work with Herbs and cast spells. In addition to these there were several pertinent follower, Emphedocles was a well known follower who urged vegetarianism as did several of his other followers. He is famous for having informed the world about the elements of air, fire,water and land in the use of magic. He also believed himself to be immortal and he tried to prove this by jumping into a volcano. He was never seen again and al that was left was a bronze sandal.

Porphrys was another follower of Hekate who was of Phoenician descent. He alos advocated vegetarianism and he even changed or improvised some of the rituals and sacrifices for Hekate. He turned the worship away from the use of animals towards the use of incense atr certain times of the day.

Hekate was usually invi=oked in loves spell and binding spells. Many spells involving her were used to call upon spirtits who had met a violent death. It was believed thpower for magic was extremely powerful. Poppets were used as were herbs. The withces of THessaly were often known for their root work and their devotion to Hekate.

Hekate was linked to many Goddess and she also aborbed many Goddesses. She aborbed Brimo and Baubo as lunar Goddesses and many times she was summoned using these name. In certain other works she is linked to Isis, Erishkigal, Selene, Cybil and Diana just to name a few. When linked to another Goddess she is called upon using a hyphenated name like Isis-Hekate.

Hekate is ofent called a three faced or three headed goddess. THe head in many of the illustrations were animals heads such as a dogs head,goat heador a snakle head to name a few. Hekate is also unique in that she is named in charms that invoke Hebrew names for deity and also angels and king Solomon. This is indicative of a crossover between Greek and Jewish Magic.

THis is one incredible book one that I stongly advise getting.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Rebirth of Witchcraft


Doreen Valiente is a household name among the practitioners of witchcraft. She was first initiated into the craft by Gerald Gardner in the New Forrest Coven. She would later rewrite almost entirely Gardner's book of Shadows taking out many of the Crowleyisms and making the speech of the craft up to date.

Valiente has worked with such greats as Gardner, Robert Cockrane and Leslie Roberts. She gives an insiders view into the rebirth and history of the craft. Up until 1952 the practive of witchcraft was illegal and the most recent trial was the trial of Helen Duncan for the crime of contacting the dead. This landmark case caused a landslide in popular opinion which lead to the repeal of the witchcraft acts. For amny years withcraft had been an underground sort of thing mostly kept alive in family traditions or very secret coven.

Valiente examine the role of such works gnerated by such author's as Charles Leland, William Frazier and their books on withccraft and the sacrificial king. Charles Lelands works bring some light onto the practive of withc craft that they worshipped the Goddess Diana and met monthly for their rite, mostly skyclad.

Interest in the occult was also simmering. Aleister Crowley made a splash in the media calling himself the great beast while Dion Fortune was famous for starting "The Society of Inner Light" Helena Blavatzky also found "THe Theosophical Society.

Incontrast to what others may think Doreen had a rather positive impression of Gerald Gardner. She believes his claim that he was indoctrinated into a working coven of witches. Gardner did meke changes by incorparating words and phrases used by Aleister Crowley and Leland. He also incorparated some elements of Masonism and he brought in several elements from Ceremonial Magic. She reports that withces used to draw their circles with wands or wooden branches rather than with athames. Witches never really had a "Book of Shadow" hereditary kinowledge of witchcraft was passed down orally as most witches back in the day could neither read nor write. Grimoires were used by Ceremonial Magicians. In Doreen Valiente's view Withccraft in it's true form is most akin to Shamanism an is very simple.

Doreen left Gardner's group over some sharp differences of opinioon over publicity. Gerald Gardner was a very flamboyant person and this lead to a lot of negative press. Doren would next work with Robert Cochrane. He was very different from Gardner. He worked robes as opposed to skyclad. He also used hallucinogens in his work and often times came close to endangering some of his followers with these hallucinogens. Cochrane has a militant attitude that was very anti Gardnerian. Valiente found many instances of dishonesty and false claims in Cochrane's claims and parted company with him as well.

Doreen Valiente continues to describe her experience with the likes of the reporter Robert Leslie. Some one judging from her description was too good hearted and nice that people drained off of him. Trends in withcraft point to an awkening of female consiusness and a shaking off of male dominated things. Her mediations tell thaat practitioner can work individually and do not need the validation of the coven. She c=encourages practitioner to learn theoru expereience and meditation as opposed to book and other riged learning style.

For those into Witch Craft this book gives and insiders view that is rarely affored. Enjoy your foray into witchdom.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Money Magick

The Witch's Coin: Prosperity and Money MagickThe Witch's Coin: Prosperity and Money Magick by Christopher Penczak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is one of the best books on magic and money that I have ever read. It covers a lot of ground by starting off in the area of most importance, our consciousness. Many people suffer from poverty consciousness and the only remedy for that is to develop prosperity consciousness. Mr Penczak takes us on a literal journey that embraces exercises, meditations and embracing and changing our self image. I have copied lots of stuff from this book and put it in my book of shadows.

What is exactly is prosperity and what is abundance? are the two the same? According to the author definitely not. Prosperity is having everything that we want and need along with the ability to accomplish what we set out to do. Abundance means just having plenty of something. Abundance does not address fulfillment or satisfaction.

Often times our biggest obstacle to prosperity is our mindset. Is the world rich and abundant or is the world limited in resources. The magical mindset strives to be in balance between the two. Often times our ability to earn wealth is affected by our self image or how we see ourselves. If we have a negative image that means we are tapping into a negative archetype. Such negative archetypes include, the starving student, the artist, the miser or the gambler just to name a few. What we want to do is to adapt a more positive image of ourselves and tap into the energy of a more positive archetype.

To change our consciousness we need to work with our seven chakras. In the book there are descriptions of the chakras and accompanying exercises to go along with them. These include gratitude and goal lists, getting rid of stale energy, self image work etc.

After this section the author discusses Karma and true will. Basically we are provided with what we need to carry out or true will which is development of the soul. Being poverty stricken is not a sign of spirituality. You cannot be spiritual if you are starving on the street. To help with wealth the book also tells us that nothing comes for free that there is a price. If you want success there are no shortcuts you have to put in the work and the effort. If someone does you a favor you have to be prepared to return the favor.

To address the magical aspect of prosperity you must first clear away the negative this could range from rituals used to banish negativity and uncrossing rituals for someones hex. The book has a very thorough list of Deities, herbs and stones that will assist you on your path to prosperity. THE BOOK CONTAINS recipes and many freestyle rituals to help you.

The final part of the book talks about ethics of making money for your magical services. After all if you are providing a service like a doctor does should you not be paid for it. The author brings in wisdom from many different sources including Astrology and Feng Shui. Don't check this book out from the library...buy it.



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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Codex of Aleppo



Crown of Aleppo
Hayim Tawil and Bernard Scheider, The Jewish Publication Society
May 12, 2010

The Crown of Aleppo the codex written in the Jewish town of Tiberias in the 10th century ad is considered the oldest surviving codex in existence. What exactly is a codex? A codex is written in book form and it has the entire biblical text along with pronunciation marks and how to sing the words. Such a codex is needed because the Torah used in synagogue is written on parchment in scroll form with now vowel or cantillation guides. The Codex was written by Aaron ben Asher and Scholar Ben Buya. Ben Buya wrote the text straight while Aaron wrote the vowel and cantillation marks. It was an interesting collusion as both were from different schools in Tiberias. Aaron came from the Ben Asher school as his name would suggest. Ben Buya came form another school and he was their star pupil. Tiberias at the time was the Jewish capital of Israel because the Romans and later Byzantine Christians would not allow them to live in Jerusalem. It was the Muslims who later allowed Jews back into Jerusalem.

Later persecutions and invasions by Mongolians and others would prompt the codex to be removed from Tiberias to Jerusalem, Ashkelon and later Fostat, Egypt. In Egypt the Codex was used by Rambam in his mishneh Torah. Later when he died and his son died, the grandson David Maimonides would move to Aleppo. It is believed that he brought the codex with him. How the Codex got to Aleppo is a mystery. Some people believe thieves brought it. In any case the Codex was there after 1492 definitely and was held in what was called "Elijah's Cave" behind an iron door and kept in a safe. Very few people were allowed to look at it and even then under guard and it was never allowed to leave the cave.

The Jews and the Codex lived safely in ALEPPO for many years. Political events and the Zionist enterprise in the Middle East lead to a deterioration the the Jewish position. This culminated in riots where in the entire Jewish quarter of Aleppo was destroyed. It is believed that people in authority collaborated with the rioters and assisted them in the endeavor. Fire truck came with benzene instead of water. Benzene is like gasoline. In this event the codex was believed to have been destroyed.

An interesting note about human relations, most Jews in Aleppo were non zionist and in fact many were anti Zionist. Why the Jews of Aleppo should suffer because of the Zionists is beyond me as they had nothing to do with it. Another interesting factor is that many Muslim neighbors risked their lives defending Jews or hiding Jews in order to protect them from the rioters. That speaks of a very noble character. Nazi thought and ideology was brought by a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, who wanted an Arab nationalism inclusive of Christians and Muslims but not Jews. This man brought over the antisemitic teachings and brown shirts.

Who and how the codex was speared total destruction is another mystery that has not been solved. There are seven different stories, however a man named Faham is central to all of them. He was also the one who brought the codex to Israel after 1957. After it's return to Israel where it is now housed in the "Shrine of the Book" More mystery and controversy were to follow. Most of the Aleppo community had been relocated to Israel at this point. Faham was told by Rabbi Tawil to bring the Codex to Israel and give it to someone who would properly care for it. It was given to Yitzhack Ben Tzvi. Members of the Aleppo community in Israel wanted it in their possession. Battle with the Bet Din raged.

Several pages were also missing. No one knows what happened. The codex was not damaged by fire and the pages were not carelessly ripped out as thieves of non Jews would do. It is believed for various reason members of the Aleppo Jewish community took them. Today the codex is housed in Jerusalem.

For a short book this one is really packed with great information. The authors give a great historical background to event that occur surrounding the codex. The author's also tell in detail the effort of the Jewish agency to remove with permission of the Aleppo community the codex to the safety of Jerusalem. Their arguments fell on deaf ears.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Walking the Tides


Walking the Tides
Nigel Pearson, Capall Bann
April 8,2009


If you are looking for a great book on the seasonal practices of natural crafter and traditional British Witchcraft then this book is for your. Author Nigel Pearson firmly believes in following the natural cycles of the year without using the crutch of the calendar. For each tide there is a corresponding season. The year starts off in November with the first cycle of winter. February starts the spring cycle, May the summer cycle and August the fall cycle. For each tide or cycle there are several sections. There are sections that tell about the star constellations that are visible along with the connecting mythology for each. There are great sections on which plants or herbs are active. Contained in this section is how to harvest them, magical uses and even medicinal uses. The author does caution the reader about which ones are poisonous and which ones are sacred to the faery folk. Ones that are sacred to the faery folk are best not messed with with. The fae are not too fond of the human beings encroaching in on their world. Mr. Pearson also includes seasonal dishes that sound delicious. Something I would like to try. Other sections include rituals to be done in the home and which animals are out and about at this time. This book is loaded with information yet the author makes it so interesting that it breezes through like a quick read of lighter reading. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and finished it in less then a week. This is a book that I will defintley reread and consult probably on a monthly basis so I can gather more information to keep in sync with the worlds energies.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Daughters For Life


I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity
Izzeldin Abuelaish, Walker & Company; 1 edition
(January 4, 2011)

During the Gaza siege Shlomi Eldar a news caster on Israeli television interviewed a fertility expert from Gaza. Live and on air the viewer had the window of opportunity to see and experience Palestinian pain. Live and on the air over a cell phone a doctor from Gaza recounted how an Israeli tank fired a shell that smashed through the wall of this doctor's house killing his three daughters and niece. Shlomi Eldar could not hang up the fun and excused himself from the newscast. Backstage he contacted the Israeli Defense Forces to get help for the his friend the doctor. The video is shown a over youtube.

Who was this doctor Abuelish that his home should be shelled by an Israeli tank? Was he a wanted Hamas terrorist? A Fatah soldier? Far from it he was a peace loving fertility doctor who treated both Israeli and Palestinian patients with equal care and professionalism. His Israeli colleagues spoke highly of him and admired his dedication to his profession and patients. Dr. Abuelish believed in peace, love, brotherhood and humanity. He believes in a two state solution and in equal honor and respect for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Izzeldin Abuelish was born and raised in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza. His family voluntarily left their native village in the Negev and settled in the Gaza strip. His father met his second wife on the way and divorced his first wife but left her well provided for. Izzeldin worked selling eggs and other good in order to make money for his family to survive. Before the first intifada broke out he held jobs working on Israeli Moshavs and farms building Chicken coops. It was while working in Israel that he formed relationships with Israelis and he found out they were not the monsters he had always believed they were.

While growing up his mother Dalal forced him to study and take his studies carefully. She was rather forceful about it and to this day the good doctor is greatful. Education was the key to escaping poverty. Dr. Izzeldin travelled abroad and received degrees both in Israel and abroad. It is through the medical profession that he sought to build bridges between Israeli Jews and PALESTINIANS.

Life in Gaza has always been a struggle especially after the second intifada. Dr. Abuelish describes his experience crossing over Israeli checkpoints and the degrading experience that many Palestinians receive at the hands of Israeli soldiers. Thaks to check points and searches journeys that should be not more than a half an hour end up taking half the day. Modern day life in Gaza is a prison with Egypt shut completely off and Israeli war ships monitoring the water a mile and a half off the coast nothing gets in or out without Israeli approval. Often times food and vital medicine is blocked and the only way to get this material is though smugglers tunnels which are routinely blocked or bombed. Trying to travel around is difficult for Palestinians and that is an understatement. Life in Gaza is one of deprivation. There is rubble and destroyed building everywhere. Open sewers flow through the streets and people are packed in quarters like sardines.

Izzeldin Abuelish was dedicated to peace before his daughters and niece perished in the attack and he remains dedicated to peace. His daughters attended peace camps in the US making friends with other Israeli teenager. The experience was profound, both Israelis and Palestinians learned to over come their trust issues and see the other as humans just like they are.

Dr. Abuelish has since formed an organization called "Daughters for Life" The organization is dedicated towards peace and bettering he life of Palestinians. I give this book five stars. Well written with great attention given to details. Dr. Abuelsih looks with a critical eye at both sides and objectively sees the flaws and good points within them both. He is truly a worker for peace.

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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