Moon Phases

CURRENT MOON

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Book of Mysteries

Sepher Ha-Razim: The Book of MysteriesSepher Ha-Razim: The Book of Mysteries by Michael A. Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Noah received "The Book of Mysteries" from an angel. The prophet wrote down the information on tablets of sapphire. Contained in this book were the seven levels of Heaven and their angelic make up. Applicable to man was the ability to call upon these angelic powers in order to heal, raise up a ruler, defeat and adversary and to see into the future. For those interested in the angelic history of the Jewish mystical texts this is a must read book. The information is very syncretistic as it includes invocations to such Greek/Roman deities as Venus and Sol (the Sun God). There are also a few invocations to the moon. For the modern practitioner some of these rituals cannot be performed because they call for the sacrifice of such animals as dogs and lions. No way that one can slaughter an animal these days so some of the rituals must be modified. Something that I found refreshing was the call for spiritual purification before doing the rituals. Such things would be watching your speech, fasting, abstaining from sex, wine and meat. These bring about spiritual strength. The angels name are written in English transliteration but since Hebrew has no vowels proper pronunciation is rather difficult. The Hebrew in the back makes it easier for someone who can read Hebrew. But the lack of vowelization makes it difficult for the practitioner and researcher a like.

For each level of heaven their is a list of the angels names given, the ruling angels and a ritual for each ruling angel depending on how the firmament of Heaven is divided up. Before each ritual the reader will be given a purpose and time that the given angel or ruler can be called to accomplish. There are some sigils contained with in. On thing I liked about the rituals is that there are is no procedure to follow for casting a circle. The rituals or those rituals that can performed are simple and straight forward. It is a matter of performing the ritual at the proper time, saying the proper words and names and burning the proper herbs. I love simplicity.

The book is very short numbering some 86 pages. I read it in one morning and could not put it down. It was also reasonably priced which make int even better.

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New Fire Moon Ritual: Isilnarvinyë

Casting the Circle As you walk the perimeter of your circle say: By the power of this sacred Athame "I hereby draw Down the ethereal light of the great stars to cast this circle of power. Calling the Quarters Walk to the edge of the circle in each direction and speak, hold up the proper sacred object. Speak these words I call to Formen, the north, and its power and strength. I call to the Dwarves, Durin’s folk, masters of metalcraft. Join me in my circle. Aiya. Hold up a stone I call to Rómen, the east, and its glory. I call to the Elves, the Eldar who bring learning and beauty to Middle-earth. Join me in my circle. Aiya. Hold up Athame. I call to Hyarmen, the south, and its untrodden wilds. I call to the Hobbits, people of the Shire with joyful spirits. Join me in my circle. Aiya. Hold up wand I call to Númen, the west, and its mysteries. I call to the Vanyar, first and smallest of Tol Eressëa across the western sea. Join me in my circle. Aiya. Hold up chalice Light the Left candle and invoke the Goddess Yavana Vala Yavanna great goddess of the harvest giver of fruits that spring forth from the earth. The Children of Arda honor please nurture us with plentitude and bounty. Aiya Light the Right Candle and invoke Aule Arator Aule great lord of the Valar. Molder of the earth great blacksmith fashioner of Gold and rock. You have built the Arda and in your hurry you have fathered the dwarves. Leaving them into the Earth to be born after the coming of the elves. Aiya Light the Middle White Candle My Creator Eru, bestow Thy blessings and Thy mercies on all persons and on those souls who abide in the Halls of Mandos for whom I am in charity, gratitude, or friendship bound and have the desire to pray. Aiya Begin Ritual: On This night we celebrate this ritual to welcome the Elven Moon of New Fire, Isilnarvinyë. Tonight we honor the Arator Aule and his spouse Yavana. He is the Lord of Smith Craft and she the Goddess of Harvest. With this let the celebration begin as we recite a tale of Legenderium. It was in the blessed Isle of Valinor that the gifted Mahtan learned the art of smithcraft from the Arator Aule. He became one of the greatest smith in all of Noldor. From Mahtan the knowledge would flow to the great Feanor. It was in Feanor that a great fire burned. Hail Feanor the greatest of the deep elves. Called Curufinwe taking the sacred fire of Miriel. He soon took Nedarnel to wife, daughter of Mahtan. Oh Feanor was great creator making Jewels and Gems. Lamps that made their own light and Palantiri that enable one to see great distances. With the great light of the two trees he made the Silmarils. But no glory would not last forever. For soon the Dark Lord Melkor was released. The Noldorin made weapon and the trickster assisted. But he wanted revenge and revenge he had. The light from the two trees was laid to waist and the Silmarilion he did take. Ungoliant drank teh light and Finwe was slain great Feanor vowed revenge. Refusing to listen and heed the counsel of the Valar he rode forth seeking his just deserved vengeance and quest to recover the Silmarils. The journey out of the Valinor was a hard and dangerous one, fraught with betrayal and bloodshed, and many of the Deep Elves turned back, led by Fëanor's half-brother Finarfin. Fëanor himself drove onward into the cold north, denying even the Valar's warning to return, and passed across the narrow icy seas into Middle-earth. Almost immediately, battle was joined. Morgoth's armies flooded through the mountains and descended on the host of the Noldor in Mithrim, but Fëanor and his sons were utterly victorious. That battle was fought for ten days in the darkness before the Moon's first rising, and is therefore called the Battle-under-Stars, Dagor-nuin-Giliath. After the rout of his enemies, Fëanor's spirit burned hot, and he set out to assault Morgoth himself. With a tiny force, he charged forward, but before he could come to Angband, he encountered Balrogs. Gothmog their lord gave him a mortal wound, but was driven off by Fëanor's sons, who carried their father's body from the field. With his last breath, Fëanor cursed Morgoth, and called on his sons to fulfil their Oath and avenge him. When he died, the fire of his spirit burned away his body, leaving nothing but ash. So the spirit of Fëanor passed back over the Sea to the Halls of Waiting, where it still remains. His legacy was to leave his people in Beleriand, sworn to the impossible task of overcoming the Dark Lord and recovering the Silmarils. From that legacy of Fëanor grew the legends of the First Age of Middle-earth. Spell of the Bay Scented Candle We now dance in clockwise motion around the altar. Chanting Lady Yavana bring us plenty, Lady Yavana bring us bountiful harvest, Lady Yavana Bring us us great wealth. Let this year be one of great plentitude. Light the candle and say the prayer. Lord Aule and Lady Yavana please herar our plea and bring us great prosperity. ( Visualize Prosperity) Extinguish the Candle Great Vala Aule master smith of the Earth great Arator and father of dwarves I bid thee thanks and farewell. Laita Great Goddess Yavana, Mistress of the harvest who causes the good to grow from the land. I bid thee thanks and farewell. Great Eru Illuvatar Divine creator. I bid thanks for your divine mercies an beneficences. With love I bow and bid you farewell Holy Father. Laita Númen, west, holy Vanyar, thank you for your presence this night. I bid you farewell as I return to my own realm. Laita. Hyarmen, south, dear Hobbits, thank you for your presence this night. I bid you farewell as I return to my own realm. Laita. Rómen, east, blessed Elves, thank you for your presence this night. I bid you farewell as I return to my own realm. Laita. Formen, north, stalwart Dwarves, thank you for your presence this night. I bid you farewell as I return to my own realm. Laita. Facing the altar, say: My circle is open but unbroken, No longer sacred, this space I decree. Words of wonder have been spoken, In faith and unity blessed be. Laita.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

All Hail Krampus the Yule Lord

Krampus: The Yule LordKrampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have Been a fan of Krampus ever since I saw his visage in a local occult shop. Finally a story worthy of the name. Krampus is well known in the alpine countries as a Christmas devil who punishes bad kids.Every December 5 th is his official day. In this story he starts off as being imprisoned at the foot if the hill for about 500 years. He was the Yule lord the fertility horned God. Santa has stolen his bag and has used it to give gifts to children. Only one thing Santa Clause is not Saint Nicholas. He is really the immortal God Balder who has survived Ragnar ok.

The story start out with a musician named Jesse who is drunk and down and out.. He wants to end it all. Until he views Krampus 's followers attack Santa. The followers succeed in destroy Santa's sleigh but they do not get the bag, Jesse does. Jesse uses it give his daughter gifts and even tries to use it to generate some Income. Jesse's wife and daughter are now living with a corrupt 60 year old cop named Dilliard.Now. both these guys work for the general. Jesse run a foul with the local gang when Krampus followers ambush him to take the sack back.They get the sack back and Krampus and company go after Santa and kill him.Krampus makes his name know again but Balder does not stay down. He gets revived and goes after Krampus with the help of angels who follow the Godess. The ending is ambiguous leaving g you to think one side won but the other side still.has some grumbles.
The author does a great job connecting with Norse Mythology. Very entertaining read.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Elven Yule Ritual from the Middle Earth

Casting the Circle As you walk the perimeter of your circle say: By the power of this sacred Athame I hereby draw Down the power of the great stars to cast this circle of power. Calling the Quarters Walk to the edge of the circle in each direction and speak, hold up the proper sacred object. Speak I call to Formen, the north, and its power and strength. I call to the Dwarves, Durin’s folk, masters of metalcraft. Join me in my circle. Aiya. Hold up a stone I call to Rómen, the east, and its glory. I call to the Elves, the Eldar who bring learning and beauty to Middle-earth. Join me in my circle. Aiya. Hold up Athame I call to Hyarmen, the south, and its untrodden wilds. I call to the Hobbits, people of the Shire with joyful spirits. Join me in my circle. Aiya. Hold up wand I call to Númen, the west, and its mysteries. I call to the Vanyar, first and smallest of Tol Eressëa across the western sea. Join me in my circle. Aiya. Hold up chalice Light golden candle Invocation to Manwe Lord of Arda, lord of light, Manwë sits on Everwhite Till unforgiving darkness fall Where the brightest shine of all The silver-lucent fire-flowers Sown in ancient dawning hours, When youth was in his shining face, Greatest, eldest of his race. Lord of Arda, lord of light, Manwë sits on Everwhite Light silver candle Invocation to Elbereth Elbereth From The Fellowship of the Ring Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear! O Queen beyond the Western Seas! O Light to us that wander here Amid the world of woven trees! Gilthoniel! O Elbereth! Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath, Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee In a far land beyond the Sea. O stars that in the Sunless Year With shining hand by her were sown, In windy fields now bright and clear We see your silver blossom blown! O Elbereth! Gilthoniel! We still remember, we who dwell In this far land beneath the trees, Thy starlight on the Western Seas Light large white candle. Invocation to Eru Illuvatar My Creator Eru, bestow Thy blessings and Thy mercies on all persons and on those souls who abide in the Halls of Mandos for whom I am in charity, gratitude, or friendship bound and have the desire to pray. Amen In this season of great cold we stand at the turning point. When the nights are at their longest and the darkness seems to hold dominion. The powers of the sun and the light are born yet again. With the coming of spring the sun will now wax strong. This is the Turuhalme that celebrate this eve. The drawing of logs we celebrate with fire, story and feast. As it is thus told in the Book of Lost Tales The day of Turuhalme was come, and the company from Mar Vanwa Tyalieva went into the snowy woods to bring back firewood on sleighs. Never was the Tale-fire allowed to go out or to die into grey ash, but on the eve of Turuhalme it sank always to a smaller blaze until Turuhalme itself, when great logs were brought into the Room of the Tale-fire and being blessed by Lindo with ancient magic roared and flared anew upon the hearth. Vaire blessed the door and lintel of the hall and gave the key to Rumil, making him once again the Door-ward, and to Littleheart was given the hammer of his gong. Then Lindo said, as he said each year: ‘Lift up your voices, O Pipers of the Shore, and ye Elves of Kor sing aloud; and all ye Noldoli and hidden fairies of the world dance ye and sing, sing and dance O little children of Men that the House of Memory resound with your voices ...’ Then was sung a song of ancient days that the Eldar made when they dwelt beneath the wing of Manwe and sang on the great road from Kor to the city of the Gods. So now we tell our tale of old with both a tear and a smile longing for the days of sweetness many eon ago. And it came to pass that within his Crown the wicked lord Morgoth held the Silmarils. Try as they could the elves could redeem the sacred jewels. So Earandil set sail to Valinor in order to plead for the aid of the Valar. The Lords and Ladies were moved by his entreaty. Long enough had the wicked Morgoth been free to wreak his havoc. The Valar would move the pieces of battle forward. Eonwe , the Herald of Manwe went to war leading the people of Vanyar and Noldor who remained in Aman to wage war against the Wicked Morgoth. Thus began the War of Wrath. The forces of the Valar sweapt through the lands.upon the ships of Teleri did they sail. An Morgoth and his forces were routed. All was destroyed save for a scattering of Orcs, Dragons and Balrogs. The silmarrillion were recovered . Great rejoicing sweapt through the hearts of the elves. Morgoth was imprisoned and held beyond the realms of the world. During the war the lands of Beleriand submerged and the Middle Earth was changed forever after. All Hail the valiant deed of the Valar. We praise thee oh mighty ones. So mote it be After speaking, extinguish the candles in reverse order from which they were lit. Speak Lady Elbereth, Queen Githoniel Star light wonder thank you for the beauty and mystery of the elven awakening and the Turuhalme I will carry in my heart this great and treasured memory I bid you farewell. Laita. Lord Manwe great warrior and father thank you for the beauty and radiance of the sun. I will carry in my heart the memory of your golden deeds I bid you farewell. Laita. Great Eru Illuvatar Divine creator. I bid thanks for your divine mercies an beneficences. With love I bow and bid you farewell Holy Father. Laita
Númen, west, holy Vanyar, thank you for your presence this night. I bid you farewell as I return to my own realm. Laita. Hyarmen, south, dear Hobbits, thank you for your presence this night. I bid you farewell as I return to my own realm. Laita. Rómen, east, blessed Elves, thank you for your presence this night. I bid you farewell as I return to my own realm. Laita. Formen, north, stalwart Dwarves, thank you for your presence this night. I bid you farewell as I return to my own realm. Laita. Facing the altar, say: My circle is open but unbroken, No longer sacred, this space I decree. Words of wonder have been spoken, In faith and unity blessed be. Laita.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Change Your Habits , Change Your Life

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and BusinessThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Habits are things that can raise us up to the pinnacle of heaven or plunge us to the depths of misery. The author examines the habit loop and gives a thorough analysis of how it impacts our life and how we can use this influence to make positive changes. Thorough research was done in the writing of this book. Companies like Starbucks, Febreze, Pepsodent and and Alcoa were looked at as models of success and how the habit loop works. They also make for very entertaining reading on what might be a very dry subject.

The part of the brain responsible for habits is the basal ganglia, not memory. The habit loop itself is a circular model that starts with a cue,then proceeds with a routine and then finishes with a reward. To create positive habits and /or eradicate new habits one must tweak the elements of the habit loop. The most effective habit changes involve modifying the routine part of the habit loop. In a sense you are already modifying a current habit. So to start a new habit you need to get in a new routine. Before the advent of Pepsodent, people really did not brush their teeth. Yeah that meant bad breath and a film over your teeth. Gross and yuck and yeah the nation suffered from poor hygiene. To sell toothpaste though you needed a new habit and yeah this one caught on. The reward part was manipulated here and thee reward was white teeth (which could be obtained by eating an apple) and that sharps sparkling taste in your mouth when you are done. The lather in shampoo serves the same function. Febreze used it as well. It was discovered on accident in a lab. It did such a great job killing odors that once you used it you put it in the closet and forgot about it. Not great for sales so you tweak the reward. After a good cleaning people liked a heavily perfumed spray just to finish things off. The company modified the formula.

But sometimes changing the routine is not enough. In alcoholics anonymous which is a spiritual program they work with two or three things. One is the inventory which helps you identify the cues that make you want to drink. The second part is belief, you have to believe that things can get better . That is where the belief in a higher power comes in. Another example of belief playing a role was the team called the Bucs, a losing football team. The coach came in and taught them to memorize a few key plays by wrote. They drilled these routines to death until they knew them cold. They were successful all the way until the finals and then they started slipping up. They did not win the super bowl and the coach ended up transferring to another team he repeated the same process but with the new team something changed. The change was a a death in the coaches family of his son. It forced the team to pull together and believe. They won the super bowl. Belief and a support group.

Starbucks has one of the best training programs hands down and they treat their employees right. The training not only gives them great work skills some of which can be used for college credit but they also give you life skills. One worker could not even hold down a job. He was the product of a broken family and his inner anger lead to temper flare ups at work among other things. Starbucks had something called a notebook where you write up a problem that arises then you write down your solution to the problem and then you practice it. This guy ended up getting a position in management. Bravo Starbucks. The book also analyzes how Howard Schultz bought the company and built it up to what it is today.

A new CEO steps up at Alcoa. He totally shocks everyone by telling them he is going to focus on safety. A real turn off because people really care about money not worker safety. The CEO sets up a communication system that allows for employees to communicate with their supervisors and even the CEO himself. It also calls for interdepartmental communication. They end up with a near perfect safety record and they also boost productivity and stock values soar. This shows the power of changing key habits to change the over all scene.

An analysis of how markets work is included by showcasing how Target Dept. Stores use computer to track consumer spending habits so they could determine which coupon they should send to you. They were so accurate that it creeped out the customer. Solution make it appear more random, so instead of sending a pregnant woman a bunch of ads for diapers and baby products they would mix it up with ads and coupons for a lawn mower. Make everything regular and familiar. Of course they use this to sell you stuff you will want in the future even before you know you'll want it. Familiarity and regularizes also help hit songs become successful.

The last two chapters focus on societal habits by examining the growth of the Saddle Back Church and the Montgomery bus strike involving Rosa Parks. This first chapter puts the leadership not in the hand of one person but in the hands of the people and it works. The Saddle back Church focuses on small weekday study groups that meet in people's homes with or without the pastor. In the Montgomery Bus strike it showed the power of Personal Connections and also what is called weak links or what I call loose associations. We know it as peer pressure to invoke change.

Finally there is the trick Casinos use.They reward you with all sorts of bonuses to get you to come to their casino. The flush of winning, free travel feel good. You also end up gambling away your life savings. Are you free to stop are you compelled to keep gambling. The story is contrasted to night terrors and sleep walking. Habit happen unconsiously when we sleep. fortunately for most our brain paralyzes us so we cannot move but for other they at function does not works. The subconscious is free to cause you to sleep walk, act out in violent fear. Force of habit.


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Monday, December 17, 2012

Darkest Place of the Faery World.

Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely, #5)Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This represents the final installment of the "Wicked Lovely" series. Great series but I am glad it is over. I definitely plan on reading the author's other books as she is a great writer who takes the reader to another world. Perfect story for young reader. My two young boys did not take to it like I did but they do enjoy the fantasy genre. Not a whole lot of testosterone here. I think young girls will take to this rather easily. Would be cool though if the author wrote faery books but took it to the adult level of Anne Rice's series on Vampires. Sounds steamy and delicious.

The story is rather simple and easy to follow. Bannanach the faery of war, the polar opposite of Sorcha the faery of reason has decided to open a court in the realm of the mortals. Devlin has sealed off the Faery world from our world and Far Sorcha and his mate the two death faeries have been running rather freely in our realm. The story takes up where the last one leaves off and we are dealing with the aftermath of bannach's attack against Irial and Niall's tattoo shop. Irial, former king of the dark court, is killed which leaves Niall totally devastated. He cannot think straight an in his rage he is striking down both friend and foe alike.

Keenan has left Aislin in charge of the summer throne. He is building an alliance against Bannanach. He is also still in love with Donia who was forced to become the winter queen. Hence we have a double triangle. Keenan loves Donia and yet is with Aislin and Aislin is in love with Seth, who was recently turned into a faery by Sorcha. This will get resolved.

Seth gets trapped and put in a cage by Niall after he leaves the land of the fae. In the end there is a final battle with all the courts going against bannanach as none are powerful enough to stop her on their own. The universe must retain balance and their will be new roles assigned to each of the key players.


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Monday, December 10, 2012

Ye Book of Magic Spells

The Only Wiccan Spell Book You'll Ever Need: For Love, Happiness, And ProsperityThe Only Wiccan Spell Book You'll Ever Need: For Love, Happiness, And Prosperity by Marian Singer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great book for those just getting into the craft. Loaded with simple many simple spells that are easy to do, do not require many materials and do not call any deities specifically. The Spells conver a wide range of areas that include love, money, home, spells for children ( that even adults can do), spells for health, luck spells, spells for lean times, creativity and business, home selling, travel etc. In a second part of my review which will not go on Amazon or Goodreads I will jot down the spells that I found worth keeping in my book of shadows. Part 2 will be posted on my blog Granovitch.blogspot.com

The first part of the book covers Wiccan basics. Chapter 1 discussed the concept of witches and the concept of magic. Witches are practitioners of magic and have been around for ages. Just because one is a witch does not mean they practice Wicca. Magic is basically energy directed towards a goal that is empowered by belief, intent and emotional content. Some witches like to do the heavy rituals and others like to do very simple spells . Both are Ok. Wiccans since they have to work with nature normally have a special relationship with nature and are intent on working to help the environment.

Chapter two covers internal dynamics. Our beliefs effect our magic and if we believe we are competent, deserving and magic is real then our magic will be effective. Spells ar done to acquire things that we want and the main tools are intent and desire. The natural world assists us our desires. Waxing to full moon are used for manifesting something. Waning to dark for banishing. Dark moons are for divination and planting seed. There are various times of day that are beneficial to magic. Certain days of the week are good for certain types of magic. Night time is the usual best time for magical work.

Chapter three talks about circle casting and creating sacred spaces. In this chapter the reader learns how to cast circles and call quarters. After the ritual you can release the space. The book also teaches about how to find power spots and how to build altars.

Chapter four discusses tool. Now witches do not have to use tools but they can be helpful. The use of the athame, wand, cauldron, candle, chalice and costumes are discussed. Chapter five talks about different types of magic especially sympathetic magic by using like to effect like. There are instruction how make knots and other magic. Verbal spells, Written spells, amulets and talismans are discussed.

For the beginning and intermediate witch this is a great book. For the advanced witch well you are probably making your own spells by now.



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Friday, December 7, 2012

Seed Folks

SeedfolksSeedfolks by Paul Fleischman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One can never tell just how deeply one simple action can change the world or your community. A young girl named Kim who came from Vietnam lives in an innner city area of Cleveland Ohio. She is mourning the deth of her father at an ancestral altar. He was a farmer before he was killed in a war. To cultivate a connection she plant thre beans in an abandoned lot. THe three seeds gow into plants but whatalso starts a snowball effect of a whole lot of positive. Elderly Ana looks down from her apartment and spies on the girl. Later she goes and checks it out. When she finds it is just beans she is relieved. Ana is a long time resident hwo has seen generations of immigrants come and go thorugh the neighborhood. Wendell her neighbor is clled to check on things and accidentally surpises young Kim. Eventually he persuades her that he is safe. Afterall he was just helping her garden. He too decides to plant. Gonazalo is a new immigrant from Guatemala, who is tasked with baby sitting his uncle Juan. Young people pick up English quick while the elders don't. THis leaves the elders to be like children and helpless. The garden gains momentum. Juan was a farmer in Guatemala. The garden gives him new life. Leona begins to grow golden rod which she beleives is a miracle cure for everything. Her grandmother swore by it. She takes a personal interest in the garden and takes her fight to the goverrmnt. In time more and more people friom various background come to the garden and start growing things. THe garden melds people form differnt backgrounds into one community. The end is climactic with a big festival that shows how they have become one. Whether one is directly involved in the garden it is still the pride of the community and it changes people..for the better. Excelent little read.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Haunted Jewish Winebox.

The Dibbuk BoxThe Dibbuk Box by Jason Haxton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jason Haxton has a very regular life working as a curator for a medical museum in Kirksville. Jason’s life was about to change with a simple purchase from Ebay. Jason had good health, family, kids and a decent house. As a curator he liked to handle low maintenance workers and Brian was just such a worker. Brian also had a roommate named Joespeh who bought a really interesting item off EBay, the Dibbuk Box. The Dibbuk box contained a Kiddush cup, two octopus candle holders, locks of hair and an engraved stone with the word shalom etched into it. Somewhere on this wine cabinet which opened up when the bottom drawer was pulled was the “Shema” prayer. When Joseph bought this strange item bizarre things started happening. All of the sudden light bulbs would explode, odors of cat urine would reek through out the living space. People who owned this strange object began developing health problems.

At night the group from the museum thought to investigate the Dibbuk box on the EBay sight. A guy named Kevin Mannis put it up for sale. He claimed to have bought it from an estate sale from and elderly woman who died at age 103. He bought it for a low price and after his purchase he wanted to give it back but the grand daughter who ran the sale said that once he bought it that it was his. Kevin started experiencing all the strange happening. His mother had a stroke and his shop would get raided by the police forcing him to close down. The brother of a worker gets killed after knocking it over unintentionally.

Eventually Jason buys it on behalf of Michael Calhan who wants to use it as part of his magic show. Jason is stuck with it. Now plagued with dancing shadows, health problems and a family that wants non part of the box Jason is now plagued with numerous health problems that have no explanation. This prompts Jason to investigate the past of this mysterious box. All along Jason suspect that there was something that Kevin was leaving out of his narrative on EBay.

After several tried of connecting with Kevin Jason finally learns the back story. From the estate sale one of the great grandmothers summoned a spirit of a demon from the dark side into the winebox. Since it’s introduction into our realm of existence it has been responsible for numerous catastrophes that have effected the world. Jason still thinks something is amiss. There is some speculation that the box was from Kevin’s family.

Further investigation brings up different versions of the story, including that the Dibbuk box was a hoax. None the less it is invested with real power and although the spirit is summoned with Jewish magic called Kishuf, the author uses a Wiccan spell to contain it and finally traps it in an acacia box. All along the way he is helped by members of the occult community.

Readers you will find this a fast riveting read. I found it an intense roller coaster ride.


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Biblical Magic

Bible SpellsBible Spells by William Alexander Oribello
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The bible is one of the most powerful and magical works around. Many fundamentalist Christians will try and tell you that magic is wrong but they are so confused. The magic is simple to do and a breath of fresh air to those who are overwhelmed by the complex rituals of Wicca and Ceremonial magic. Plus not everyone that does magic wants to work with Pagan deities. I could careless so long as the job gets done.

This sort of magic is often called "Granny Magic", "Folk Magic", "Hoodoo" and even Voodoo. It was brought over to the Pennsylvania area by German Christians who believed that humans were co-creator of the world along with god. Later on it got combined with Native American elements and herb lore and also it combined with African Folklore. These Germans had a strong background in Kabballah.

Those who practiced magic or knew of it's essence were usually part of a mystery school. The mystery schools taught that the stories in the religion were not real but were meant to carry out a certain and vital truth. These mystics used theurgic magic to better themselves and learn the power of love and faith.

What follows are four types of spell. The first type of spell is strictly reading from the bible. The next sort of spells are candle spells, crustal spells and incense spell. The final chapter deals with some folk spells collected from some very reluctant volunteers. I guess there is still persecution from Christian.

For now I would like to share some of the things I have learned. First about candle colors.
Red = Energy or love Pink= love Green= money or good fortune. Blue = Healing or psychic development. Purple = power over enemies and personal power, spiritual attainment or get rid of negativity.

Next is about incense: Frankincense= draws solar energy and creates sacred space, consecrates objects. Jasmine=luck especially in love. Musk= courage, vitality and vigor. Myrrh= protection, healing and purification. Patchouli= money and attraction spells. Pine you burn for strength and to reverse neagativity. Rose =love Sandalwood= all purpose.

The list for crystals is rather long so I will not bother. Rather I shall now discuss the power of verse. Bear in mind that with all magic the main ingredient is your personal power and the preparation for magic is mental preparation. You must teach yourself to focus on what you want which is your reason for doing magic. Concentrate on the finished project.

To get started you close your eyes and visualize yourself surrounded with white light in a word a bubble. When you do your spell focus on the finished product. Moon phases are essential waxing moon for attraction and waning moon for banishing or destroying. Do not talk about your spell as it weakens the magic.

After your bubble think about what you want or write it down. For example if you want new job or want romance then right your statement as " I will find a new job" or " I will find true love"

Next you select a bible verse and read it three times for three days in a row the same time each day. If you are doing this for a person then make sure you mention their name three times after repeated the bible verses. If you are doing a healing make sure no running water stand between you and your patient as water tend tp carry the energy away.

A little note on Ironweed. If you have kids like I do you may want your kids to carry it so that they will enjoy education. Finishing off on healing here is cure for headache something which I get rather often. Say the following " Tame thou flesh and bone, like Christ in paradise; and who will assist the, this I tell thee (name) for your repentance sake", Say the verse three times taking three minutes to say it each time.

Next is Candle magic. I like this as it is nice and simple. You only have to use olive oil to anoint. To attract you put some olive oil on the bottom and anoint up to the center.Then you put some atop and anoint toward the center. To repel you anoint the center of the candle and go down ward. Next put some oil to the center and anoint toward the top. When the candle is burned to the stub you can wrap it in cloth and bury it your property, throw it to a larger fire or throw it into running water.

When making candle you will carve in Schaddei for attraction and Aha he for repelling. Once the preparation is complete you then light your candle, repeat your bible verse, ask for help in your own words, last visualize yourself reaching the goal. Finally just forget about it.

Working with crystals: to clear a crystal you can run it under water and visualize the negativity being forced out, warm it in the sun as light purifies the crystal. Or burn some sage and pass it several times through the smoke.

To charge a crystal hold the stone in your right hand.Visualize your magic need and pour energy from your body into the stone.Once you feel the vibration you will know that it is charged.

To use the crystals first focus on what you want to achieve.While holding the crystal in your hand. You can also write down your desire. Repeat your bible verse 1-3 times. For added power say for a total of seven day.

For incense spells you light your incense focus on your goal and then when you are ready repeat your bible verse three times. For added power chant three days in a row if not working repeat in three weeks times.
Here are some spells and they mostly have to do with money. I am a greed guy I guess or is it the only thing I need is money.

Crystal spell for lottery. Use Sapphire stone then say "and take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand, peradventure it was an oversight.

Crystal spell for wealth. Use Citrine stone and say " bring ye all tithes into the storehouse, that there maybe meat in mine house, and prove me now here with, saith the lord of host, If I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be enough room to receive it.

Crystal spell to keep away those who would hurt you: Use Cat's eye and say " For he shall be like the heath in the desert and shall not see when the good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places of the wilderness in a salt land not inhabited

Here are some incense spells:

Incense spell to calm a troubled youth. Burn passion flower and say the verse " These things command and teach. Let no man despise they youth; but be thou an example to them that believe in the word; in manner of life; in love, in faith, in purity. Till I come give heed to reading to exhortation , to teaching .

Incense spell to banish spirits. Light violet incense and say "Put on the armor of god, that ye maybe able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

Incense spell for making money: burn cinnamon incense and then sayn "Bring ye all tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in mine house and prove me now here with saith the lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be enough room to receive it."

Incense spell to attract wealth: Burn Ginger incense and say "Ask me and I will give you nation as your inheritance. and the ends of the earth as your own possession."

Incense spell luck with lottery burn chamomile and say " Honor the lord with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow .

Incense spell never to have money worries . burn Patchouli incense and say "Give no occasions of stumbling either to jews or greeks or to the church of god even as I also please all me in all things not seeking mine own profit but the profit of many that they may be saved"

You say this every morning to be blessed at all times every morning when arising from the bed say " I conjure thee, sword, sabre or knife that mightiest injure me or harm me by the priest of prayers who had gone into the temple at Jerusalem. and said An edged sword shall piece your soul that you may not injure me who am a child of god"

Keep poverty at bay you take a measure of black thread for unused spool . Starting from the bottom you tie seven knots and say aloud " For we are god's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Which god prepared in advance for us to do." thread is then placed in a bag and carried by who ever needs it.

Finally to have good fortune say this biblical verse three time before the sun rises " and they that are wise shall shine as bright as the firmament and they that turn many to the righteous as stars forever and ever.

Keep the faith.


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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Real Midgard

The Real Middle-Earth: Magic and Mystery in the Dark AgesThe Real Middle-Earth: Magic and Mystery in the Dark Ages by Brian Bates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Middle Earth was a real place or should I say time and place. Most readers have head the term before as the mythical setting for the Lord Of the Rings and the Hobbit and assume it was a fiction that existed in J.R.Tolkien’s mind. Tolkien often admitted that his sources of inspiration came from different mythologies. One of his main sources was Norse Mythology.

The Middle Earth occupied Northern Europe and parts of England. It was a time and place occupied by Vikings ,Norse Tribe s and Celtic tribes. Their mythologies and beliefs have many overlapping points in common. To these residents of the Middle Earth the forest and land was a place infused with vital lifre force and imagination. These people lived close to nature and liked being in close proximity to the spirits of nature.
Dragons as we know it are huge scaly creatures who guard treasure buried in a cave. It cannot be taken as there is no getting a gift without owing something in return. Dragon did not give it away in fact it could be said that they represented greed. One never knew when they would step on a dragon. They were underworld creatures. Who were feared even if they could not be seen. Often times Romans were seen as dragons. They violated nature’s codes and were thus punished as a result. That is why when the Norse came they avoided the remaining Roman villas despite their relative comfort.
The Earth was a place of enchantment. Rivers, trees, nights and well were all places of magic imbued with particular spirit. Elves were nature beings supposedly made of starlight. They were believed to inhabit the other world or underworld. To mess with their dwellings or run against a ley line could incur sickness or wrath. Elves infected people with elf arrows small tiny pin like objects. This would make a person sick. Some times this was combatted with a chanting of psalms and some herbs. Herbs or [plants had spirits that could help heal a person when combined with incantations and prayers. Wells often led to underground and were scene as portals to the underworld. People prayed there for health and future spouse. They left offering of food and sometimes needles so the elves could make use of them.
There were many creatures mentioned in the Lord of the Rings and in the Middle earth in general. Ravens who ate the remains of the dead were seen as being able to fly to both this world and the underworld. They were also seen as messengers. For the Celts , Ravens were associated with Morrigan and for the Anglo-Saxon they were associated with Odin. Wolves were sometimes viewed as a threat a they would attack if hungry enough and they often ate the same food as men did. Bears were supposedly a lot like humans. They walked and had round head. They would die for the winter and then revive. They were considered underworld animals and also the strongest in battle. Boars also had lots of repsect. Shape shifters would don a wolf hide or wear a token of the animal that served to connect them to the animals energy. There spirit would change shape byt not the body. Sibnce berserkers often shape shifted into a bear they could prove to be very dangerous fighters on the battle field. Odin it was said went on a wild rade to collect souls to take to the underworld.
Certain of the creatures in Tolkien’s mythos were showcased in the ancient world. Ents represented giants of the world who had fallen. We must remember that the giants gave birth to the gods and that eventually the Gods waged war on the giants and exiled them to an island on the outer reams of midgard. Dwarves made jewelery and craftsmanship, in fact they did it so well that the gods even came to them for stiuff. The giant spider Shelob has an ancient counterpart. In North Europeans Shamanism the spider is the one who takes the future shaman to the other world . A rather positive role.
Many of the elements discussed in this article were somehow featured in Tolkien’s classic works. They maybe altered a bit but if you study both the text and the Middle Earth chronicles you will see the parallels. Excellent work.


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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Faery tale Rituals

Fairy Tale Rituals: Engage the Dark, Eerie & Erotic Power of Familiar StoriesFairy Tale Rituals: Engage the Dark, Eerie & Erotic Power of Familiar Stories by Kenny Klein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When it comes to Grimm's Faery Tale's you are seriously going to have to forget what you know and try to learn about them with an open mind. What you may have read in the Grimm's faery tale or seen on the big screen is nothing but a sanitized and watered down version of what the real faery tale was. The Grimm brothers had started out with a privileged life , it was while studying in the University that they became enamored in folk tales. So they began to collect them. To make them palatable to everyone else they sort of cleaned them up and made them all light and fluffy.

The first tale is about Snow White and the most famous right now. In the original tale though it was not the stepmother who wanted Snow White killed it was rather the real mother. Why would a real mother want to kill her own child. Well in the original the father is the one who wishes for the daughter and while riding through the snow on their carriage they find a young forest nympth. The father is taken by her and the mother grows jealous. The huntsman is supposed to kill her. He doesn't and Snow White literally becomes wife to seven dwarves with the older one having special privilege over her.The queen tries to kill her several times but fails the ends up eating some apple that gets lodged in her throat. A bumbling prince find her and wakes by accidentally knocking the coffin over and dislodging the apple.

Hansel and Gretel are children to a starving couple at the forests edge. Hans the smart is the guy who leaves bread crumbs which are disposed of by the evil ,mother. Later he uses silver pieces . Through there story they are helped by birds. In the faery like forest where thy are lured into a witches trap . Actually there are several faeiries that eat people also. Wiches were perfect bad people. In faeland things reverse and Gretel is the smart one who tricks the witch. When they come back mother is dead. (She was the witch).

Briar Rose is the real Sleeping beauty. She placed in a country estate and then found by a king who is married. He has his way with her while she sleeps and then goes away. In his absence she gives birth to twins.The king picks her up later on but his wife is rather jealous. No matter she gets tortured to death in the end anyways.

Little broomstick is the original version of "beauty and the beast". In here the father picks a rose for his daughter. He is then captured by the beast and has to spend his time there in the castle or have a family member stay in his place.First he tries to get broomstick to take his place but the beast see through it so pious little beauty does it. She ends up sleeping with the bear and falling in love. She leaves for a bit then comes back and absence which almost kills the beast.He is revived with cabbage. The family ends up living living there.

Of course those are just a few of the stories with a different retelling. If you want to find out more then get the book I recommend it. After each story there is a ritual that goes along with it. Some rituals are coming of age, love, friendship and or keeping away unwanted attention. Kenny Klein is well read man and offers many comparison both to Paganism, religion and other nationality folktales. The thing of it is that he should tell the who tale first and then make his comparisons.


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tolkien on Norse Legend

The Legend of Sigurd and GudrunThe Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

JRR Tolkien made famous by his Hobbit book the the Lord Of the Rings trilogy, was an author who created his own world complete with a set of gods, languages and people. He has several sources of inspiration and one of those sources is Norse Mythology. JRR now undertakes a retelling of a famous Norse tale.

The retelling of this story was unearthed by Christopher Tolkien who found several of his father's notes. This mark another posthumous publication. JRR culled this retelling from a variety of sources. The most famous of these resources being the Poetic Edda. He also pulled from the Lay of the Volsungs and the Lay of the Niblungs. Before launching into the retelling we are treated to a rather boring an loing forward by Christopher Tolkien which is unsuitable unless one is a super scholar. JRR himself gives an introduction somehow pulled from sketching and notes of speech he devlivered. Two important thing s that I learned is that the Scandinavians and the Germanic tribes once having been the same branched off and became two different people. The Germans built their lavish castles and kingdoms and dominated the European landscape. The Scandinavians were more pastoral an tened to be much poorer and more peaceful until they became Vikings. An analysis of the Pagan practices tells us that belief in the Ancient gods was all but dead or a fossil before they became Christians. They were a godless people who believed in self-reliance and indomitable will.
The story starts off in the area of the Volsungs. 10 brothers venture over to another kingdom based on peaceful premises only to be tricked. The brothers are bound in the forest and everyone but Sigmund gets devoured by a wolf. There is a sister who predicted this all and she gets revenge. She bears a sun named Sinjotifil and together him and Sigmund wreak havoc on the kingdom . When all is settled Sigmund takes a wife from the enemy camp who is somewhat resentful at the forced marriage and the death of her brothers and father. She gets her revenge by poisoning Sigmunds nephew. But no bad deed goes unpunished. As Sigmund gets older he marries a young woman and she conceives. Unfortunnately he dies during a battle thanks to the treachery of Odin. Odin has a nasty habit of killing those that are loyal to him so that he can claim them for Valhalla. These warrior will later fight in the Ragnarok where everyone get's killed.
This young wife is first brought to another kingdom as a vassal and then is made the wife of a king. The son of Sigmund named Sigurd is given to Regin as a fosterling. Regin teaches Sigurd about Runes , magic and fighting. Sigurd during this time receives a horse named Grani and a sword called Grim. Regin makes the sword himself. Finally when Sigurd is older Regin convinced him to go up against a dragon named Fafnir.
Now there is some backstory that needs to be covered here. First off at the beginning Odin went travelling to the realm of the dark elves along with Loki, and a very not oft mentioned God Hoenir. Loki , a trickster, a manages to kill an otter that is killing a salmon. Turns out that this otter is the some of Hreidmar a demon. He catches the three of them and they are bounded. The ransom for this killing an otter skin full of gold. Loki steals this from the dwarf Andvari along with a ring that is cursed. Loki gioves over the gold and all are free. Greed overtakes Fafnir who slays Hreidmar and he takes all the gold and hides it in a cave.
Sigurd kills Fafnir only to realize that later on Regin was a brother to Fafnir. Sigurd does not give him the gold. They do eat Fafnirs heart. Sigurd it should be mentioned is of Odin's seed. He will a play a part in Ragnarok. A word from the birds sends Sigurd to awaken a sleeping beauty, one who is a warrior Valkyrie that is forced by Odin to give up fighting and wed. She will not marry nayone unless they are a king and so Sigurd meets up with the Gjuking and conquers back his kingdom. The Gjuking have a beautiful daughter named Guden. Grimhild is a sorcereress who gives Sigurd a potion that makes him fall for Guden. As fate would have it Brinhilde the sleeping beauty gets married by Gunnar the king. She wanted Sigurd. Though wile and deception she convinced Gunnar to kill Sigurd. Gunnar realizes his mistake at the end and both Sigurd and Brinhilde die together.
Several years later Attila the Hun is laying waste to Europe. Gunnars kingdom is taken over and Guden is forced to marry Attila the Hun. She gets her revenge with sorcery

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Modern Root Work and Hoodoo

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American ConjureHoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure by Catherine Yronwode
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I remember a while back buying some money drawing oil from the local occult shop and really liking the smell. The person who sold me the blend told me it was a Hoodoo blend. I also learned that many folks like to use Hoodoo or root work when doing money magic or other magic geared toward getting some physcial result. When I asked where the formula was from this book was shown to me. Now there were no recipies for the money drawing oil but there was everything else.

Catherine Yronwode, Jewish by background, had an intense interest in African American folklore and spellcraft. Her introduction at the beginning of the book is highly informative. She tells the reader the history of Hoodoo here in America. It all started with African slaves being bought over on ships and forcibly beeing resttled here in America. They bropught with them their religion, magic and root knowledge. These African religions mixed together and coagulated with European magick brought over by the slave owner and native American lore. Hoodoo has several advantages over Wicca and Ceremonial Magic. It does not have all the high ceremony and it is practical as it uses rocks, bones, herbs and graveyard dirt. There is no religious system per se in Hoodoo but there are at certain occasions calling for a prayer to Mary, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Of course while there is no heavy duty ceremony there was an influence of grimoire magic back in the day. This influenced there crafft greatly. Now of course I must mention another advantage. Root worker use the herb it is as perfect as God above craeated it. There is no need to harvest at a particular time or plant at a particular time. Modern Paganism is really into lunar fazes and planetry hours. While some of that is in Hoodoo, because there are certain magical actions that call for doing it during a waxing moon and a waning moon. Some Pagans might take issue with the use of Jesus, Mary and the Holy Ghost.

Ceremonial Magic and Wicca have some corrolaries or limits to the use of there magic as sometimes there can be a negaitve result. Hoodoo does not have such limitation. There is nothing to protect yourself from. There is also no Wiccan rede or three fold law.. Quite liberating. Now there are several incense blends, recipes for Gris Gris bags and what have you.
So what exactly is your aim? Hoodoo has it. Is it money, revenge, love, psychic powers, curses, controlling someones behavior, keeeping a spouse faithful, dominating your lover etc. The list could go on there is spell craft for just about everything.

Now the question why didn't I give this book a five? My first qualm involved the fact that the ingredients called for certain powder and oils which were not given a recipe for in the book or at least I could not find it. The author has a website so you will have to order some of those products from her website or shop. Would be great if she put the recipes out front so we could even be more empowered and make the stuff. Although truth be told things like a bat heart, badger tooth or gator paw you most likely would order from her shop. Some Hoodoo calls for placing object on someone's property or quite literally on their doorstep. These days with security cameras and high tech surveillance equipment. Good luck.

As I type this review my wife has just read to me something about wearing bat blood around your neck for gambling luck. Where will I obtain bat blood. What about a recipe for goofers dust, or commanding oil?

This is the best book on Hoodoo you will find. Everyone raves about it and for good reason. There are plenty of practical magical actions that you can do with what you have on hand. This book is a must read.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Children of Hurin

The Children of Húrin (Middle-Earth Universe)The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everyone familiar with the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Familiar with Sauron well Morgoth was his master and teacher. During the first age in Middle Earth even before there were Hobbits there were Elves and Men. The Elves were the first born and many migrated East with the Valar. The ones that stayed behind were called Dark Elves. Those that went with were called Light Elves, especially those that went to Valinor or the isle of the blessed. The ones that chose to stay on the West coast and not complete the journey were called "Grey Elves" Light Elves made it all the way to Valinor. Morgoth was the highest of the Valar but he basically rebelled and started his own kingdom. He destroyed the Golden and Silver Tree from Valinor and swiped Feanor's Silmarrillion. Feanor went after him but never really got the Silmarrillion back.

Jump ahead many years after that and you have Noldor as a kingdom along, with Doriath and Nothrolomad. They are elven kingdom. There is also a hidden elf kingdom called Gondolin. Men have also come from the East many of whom are fleeing Morgoth. These men are given are given land and they form kingdoms that are allied with the elves. Some houses of men are the houses of Hador and Haleth. Hurin is of the line of Hador. Hurin and his brother Huar are the leaders. During an initial skirmish with Angabond they are separated from their group. They eventually are taken by eagle flight to Gondolin where they reside for a year. After which they return and of which they say nothing of. Morwen is Hurin's wife and he has two children Lalaith and Turin. Lalaith dies from a plague sent by Morgoth. Turin is left surviving. Another battle ensues where elves and men try to resit Morgoth and his orcs. Hurin's side is utterly routed. Hurin himself is captured by Morgoth and in return for his resistance Hurin gets to watch his family cursed. Now bear in mind that Morgoth is helped by a giant Dragon called Glauron. As Dorlomin is overtaken by savage men from the east. Morwen is able to hold on to the castle for a bit because people think she is a witch. After all she has elf friends and hence magic. Turin stay there for a few more years and then goes to the Elven king of Doriath, where Thingol is the king. Turin grows up there and becomes a warrior of some stature. But some elves do not like uncouth humans. Saedros provoke Turin and eventually attack Turin. After Turin kills him he flees the kingdom and joins a band of outlaws. From there they run into Mim one of the last dwarves in the Middle Earth. Mim is resentful of the outlaws and Beleg, Turin's elf friend who tries to persuade him to return to Dorlomith. Eventuyally the orc take over and Turin find himself in Nagrothond. Eventually Glauraung sacks that castle as well. Having failed to save an elven maiden and the city Turin flees to his old homeland to find it in ruins. He joins some woodsmen and for while they resist the orc invasion. Things end with Turin reuniting with a younger sister he never met, meeting a maiden and a sad parting and an ending of honor and battle very reminiscent to the ending of Beowulf.


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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Majestic Quest of JRR Tolkien

Tolkien's Heroic QuestTolkien's Heroic Quest by Robert Rorabeck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A nifty book that examines a wide range of J.R.R.Tolkien's literature and gives a thorough and scholarly insiders view of his philosophy that is easily read by the laymen. Mr. Tolkien was a Philologist who taught at Oxford University. He was part of a group of people called the "Inklings" which included CS Lewis. His writing has often been considered a travel to the land of faeries. His work was also heavily influenced by life event, Norse Mythology and his Catholic Background. His writing was also a critique if society in general. Mr. Tolkien it should be noted lived through two world wars.

For Tolkien writing was both a journey into the faerie world and the faerie world which was based on the real world was also meant to convey social criticism. Two themes in general that concerned Mr. Tolkien were Ofermod and industrialization. Ofermod could be described as too much pride, and power hunger. Such a trait exhibited by our leaders in his opinion would lead the world to ruin. Industrialization was another concern. Man was distancing himself too far from nature and the machines were also ruining the landscape. Man was being dehumanized into a mere cog in the machine.

Tolkien believed in some divine order that was superior to man made order. The book is not that exact but he does criticize Ofermod and chivalry. In the Battle of Modon the leader of the anglosaxons could have crushed the Viking before they crossed the river but to follow the rules of warfare he allowed them to brook on the other side to make the fight fair. The anglosaxon lost the battle and died. Oaths that should not be followed are also deemed destructive. Tolkien's hero the Hobbit, Frodo or Gawain the Green Knight are not invincible fighters but rather dedicated servants who are very humble. They do not quest for power but rather strive to divset themselves of it. Tolkien does not have that much romance in his books. The books focus on male to male bonding....brotherhood.

Tolkien also believed that humans like his main God Iluvatar had the ability to create. We did this by works of Art and writing. In the Niggle Story the artists world does become real. All I can say is that I enjoyed reading this simple and educational work. Safe Journey's my friends.


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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Teaching Tolkien in the Classroom

Reader and Educator Guide to Reader and Educator Guide to "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Considering that this came to me for free, who am I to complain. It helps if you have read the Tolkien books previously. This book was also put out by the company that is publishing the Tolkien books. That being said as a teacher I wonder if I will ever get the opportunity to teach Tolkien to Middle School Children. If it is not aligned to the standards the probably not.

For someone just delving into Tolkien and wants to go further this book is worth reading. It has nine chapters that conver different concepts that Tolkien wanted to elucidate in his writing. Each chapter comes complete with unit specific goals learning goals, comments or suggestions to teachers, preliminary quizzes, important vocabulary, required materials, topics for discussion, suggested activity and bibliography for future reading.

To elucidate Tolkien's philosophy and point of view, the company uses other sources such as Tolkien's "Simarrillion, Tolkien's letters and essays he has written to paper. The main focus of the book is the "Hobbit" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Character's actions are analyzed from different scenes, literary techniques are examined as well as Tolkien's themes.

As many Tolkien fans will know from other literary analysis and critiques Tolkien was very concerned about the environment as during his lifetime he saw the agricultural way of life obliterated and factories spring up all over the place. This was something he lamented. He also criticized the concept of chivalry during a time of war when the other side was trying to kill you. Tolkien was also against the concept of power hungry leaders who he felt were leading the world to the brink of despair. Tolkien also had a differing concept of evil. While most would divide the two sides of good and evil as opposing forces, Tolkien believed that evil was nothing but the absence of good.

Tolkien's writing was influenced strongly by his Catholic upbringing as shown by his one true God Eru Illuvatar who created the universe through song and then had his demigods or angels enhance his creation by adding their own melodies. His act of subcreation via speech and words was his way of acting in the image of his creator. The elves could make gems and jewels it seems. Tolkien was a pholologist and he studied the language and literature of the Norse and Old Anglo Saxon. That was another source of inspiration for his creation of the Middle World. One this book will do for you is open a few doors if they have not already been opened. There are passages from Norse mythology, Finnish mythology and mythology from further east so that one has a point of comparison and that one can see the source of his illustration.

Great book for teachers and those just getting into Tolkien.


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Entering the World of Faeries

Faery Craft: Weaving Connections with the Enchanted RealmFaery Craft: Weaving Connections with the Enchanted Realm by Emily Carding
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lately the Fairy path has been calling out to many people, myself included, perhaps even more so then the Pagan Gods and Goddesses. I have read many books on fairy some have been simple and others have been complex. This book strikes a balance often times giving a through review. of what may have been read previously along with new information and insight. To explain the world of fairy the author uses the Septagram or seven pointed star as an out line. The Septagram was held sacred to the Goddess Inanna of ancient Sumeria. Along with a layout of the fairy world there are interviews with such gifted authors as John and Caitlyn Mathews, RJ Stewart, Charles De Lint and a whole bunch of others. Interviews are also given to Brian and Wendy Froud, Marc Potts, Karen Martinez and a slew of others. Singers and musicians are well represented also groups like Dolmen and SJ Tucker are interviewed often giving great insight in to the world of fairy. For those new to the fairy community there are resources for organizations and faerie festival. Alas I am jumping to the end of the book.
Top start with the beginning we must go with knowledge. Chapter one tells us several possibilities of who the fairies are. Some theories trace them back to old gods, other people posit they are aliens and the list goes on to spirits of the dead, fallen angels to expressions of the world soul. Some deities associated with faeries are Freya, Morrigan and Hekate. The first chapter also gives a thorough discussion on etiquette. Faeries hate Iron, be careful as to when you [partake of faerie food. Give them the first offering of a nhewly opened bottle of water, milk or alcoholic beverage. Leave food for them. About thanking faeries well perhaps follow through is very important. Always be honest when approaching the fae.

The other chapters include Connection, Trust, Honour, Magick, Joy and Inspiration. The book gives a thorough how to an doing rituals, finding tools and building a relationship with the faeries. At the end of the chapter there are exercises which help your spiritual advancement. They are worth doing as they help connect you to the environment and the fairy world. The book does not sell it self as a bible or a must do but rather as a gathering of tools as there is no room in spirituality for absolute authority.

For those seeking to walking the path of the fae or build a closer connection to them. I would advise reading this book. What is said there in will not conflict with any previous held beliefs. All hail the world of the fae.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Twilight for the Sword of Truth

Phantom (Sword of Truth, #10)Phantom by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well it seems that this installment is an improvement over the last several books. The actions and story telling are compelling enough to keep the reader interested. There is less dwelling on the past that made his previous books very boring at times and caused them to lag. There is a suitable amount of action and surprises to keep the reader glued. I finished the book in 4 days. The book has many subplots brewing in this yarn and they all weave together quite nicely.

Kahlan Amnell is a prisoner to the sisters of dark. She has no memory o0f her previous life. The Boxes of Orden have been stolen by Kahlan and she is invisible to everyone except for a few people, most notably an inn keeper, Jillian the priestess of the bones and Jagang. The sisters take Kahlan to Coska where Richard found the chainfire book in the last installment. Along the way an innkeeper is dispatched and young Jillian is rescued. Jagang can see Kahlan because believe it or not he was inside the sisters of the dark's mind the whole time. Their false vow to Richard served them not. In Coska the sisters of the dark will face a nice surprise.

At the Wizard's Keep in Aydindril we learn that from a previous book that the Chimes witch where released into the world were destroying magic. Even once they were contained again their contamination befouled magic permanently and creatures of magic are dying out as are the memory of them. We learn that thousands of years ago Baraccus the first wizard put the chimes back in the Temple of the Wind but he knew that one day Lothain who is a wizard against magic would give rise to a dream walker. Richard was gifted both positive anhd subtractive magic to combat Jagang. Richard's army faces annihilation by the numerous troops of Jagang but Richard has a plan which involveds taking the offensive and fighting the old world without fighting the old world. Richard is still being attacked by the beast and he will lose his magic and bventure to the land of the Night wisps. Richard's adventures will lead him to the heart of Jagang's empire and right next to Kahlan.

Jebra and Shota inform Ritchard about the wiched witch named 6. She teams up with Violet to hatch a plot of vengeance against Richard with the help of a stolen sword of truth. I look forward to the last or supposedly last installment. Hopefully I will not be disappointed.



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Monday, October 15, 2012

THe Life of the Witchfather

a href="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14532258-witchfather" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px">Witchfather: A Life of Gerald Gardner, Volume 2--From Witch Cult to WiccaWitchfather: A Life of Gerald Gardner, Volume 2--From Witch Cult to Wicca by Philip Heselton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Philip Heselton is an authjor that cuts to the chase and get's down to the core of everything. He has written some fascinating books on Wicca and more importantly it's sources. Now he has written a thorough biography and has done his research into related sources. His biography relies a lot or has taken a major beginning from Bracelin's earlier work and Gerald Gardner's writings. He has taken the various claims and investigated their veracity. Not an easy thing to do.

Gerald Gardner was born in Bundensellands just North of Liverpool to William and Lois Gardner. The family had patriarch bought several houses in that new area of Bundenselands also known as the "Glen" The patriarchs name was Joseph. The family made their money making blockstops out of wood in the far east. Later on they made their money in the rubber production business. The Gardners were also involved in the Customs department. As a youngster Gardener was taken with asthma and could not thrive in those English winters. His nanny nicknamed "Com" took all around the mediterranean, and Africa. He has no formal education and thus taught himself to read and write. Com was a real party animal who sported lots of lovers and drank massive amounts of alcohol.
When he was around 18 years of age he interned on a plantation. From the tea plantation he himself went into the lumber and rubber business. While in Malaysia and Borneo Gerald befriended the natives and learned many things about their culture, religion and magic. He bacame an expert an the Malaysian weapon called the Keris. He was an amateur archaeologist who made some importatn finds about Malaysia. Later on he himself would work for British customs and was in charge of enforcing British opium laws. Gerald himself did take bribes.

Towards the end of his career he met Donna and got married. He took leave and used stored up vacation time to retire early. He later moved to New Forest and was involved in a nudist club. He would later meet the witches throught the Rosicrucian Theater in the town of Christchurch. Dafo or eEith Grimes initatiated him. THe book talks about his begining in the Witch cult and about the relations that he formed.

One must remember that Gerald was a trickster who was very capable of stretching the truth and telling tall tales. Sometimes what he said could not be verified. He even bought a doctorate from an Americans Unioversity that had a miserable reputation. yet he also shed light on Malaysia, archaeolgy and witchcraft. Great book if you wanna be come more familiar with the "Father of Modern Witchcraft"

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Sword of Truth is Getting Rusty

Chainfire (Sword of Truth, #9)Chainfire by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is interesting to see how this author carried the series on for so long. My kids absolutely loved the books. I find that I can read them rather quickly and that the stories themselves are rather good yet there are several problems. Perhaps the first problem is the length of the book. We are talking a 700 page book here that totally lacks the elements of a proper story line. Most of the books are burdened down with recapping the past. Come on that is redundant. The story winds on for the most part with ever getting the reader past identifying the problem and then having a build up of action. Plenty of build up no rising action or very little of it and then the author takes the reader on a shortcut into the climax or the turning point of the story and it is never dramatic as one would expect it to be.Like letting air out of the tires. The story would be helped if there was more action and a proper story line to speak of. Also keeping the length of the story to around 400 pages would be a good idea. Time to edit out all the recap.

The stories do have some saving points. To merit the author he does seem have studied up a bit on Norse and Celtic mythology. Richard does have that warrior spirit, a warrior spirit that is not entirely comfortable with magic yet he is supposed to be the magic against the magic. When does he actually start doing some spells? There is a character or rather a Raven named Lokey. Ravens are trickster animals and are also very intelligent. Loki is a trickster god in Norse mythology. The sword of truth is all too reminiscent of Excalibur, then again almost all fantasy stories use the sword motif. Zed is like Merlin, Richard the warrior's adviser. Jagang is the epitome of evil but we never see him in the story. Of course there is a Pagan motif that I find rather enjoyable and it is of a woman bestowing sovereignty to the king by presenting him wit the sword or other memorabilia. Hearken back to the first book and recall that it is Kahlan's arrival to Richards homeland that declare or plays a part in him being named the seeker. It is Shota the witch, who playing the part of the crone who takes away the sword of sovereignty when the king is unworthy. Just how worthy is Richard of being the leader of Dhara? He is never with his troops fighting Jagang's invincible army. Of course as you may note in the story Shota takes Richard's sword in exchange for some information. The sword though did belong to her before Zed took it.

The plot is simple. Richard wakes up after having been wounded by the enemy's arrow. He is passed out for several days and is on the verge of death. Nicci the sorceress heals him but when he comes to Kahlan is gone and he is the only one who remembers her. Everyone else thinks he is delusional. So begins his quest to find Kahlan and rescue her. His journey takes him out of Altur Rang where the citizens of the Old world fight off Jagangs troops and win with the help of Nicci. This is also Jagang's hometown. Through out his adventures Richard is haunted by blood beast. An underworld creature that is bent on killing Richard. The creature kills everyone who gets in it's way. Richard and Cara his Mord Sith companion venture into Shota's swamp. After surviving a near death ambush by Samuel her so called assistant. Richard get's information from Shota at the price of returning the Sword of Truth to her. Interesting to learn is that this Samuel character is not quite human. He used to be but the Sword of Truth warped him. His yearning to get it back reminds me oft of Golem in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Richard learns from Shota the nature of the blood beast an how it was created. He is also given some keyword with which to work with. "beware of the four headed serpent", "Chainfire" and the "Deep Nothing" Riddle that the seeker must somehow figure out.

Back in Dhara Zed and other's doubt Richard's thesis of Kahlan's existence. He is on his own wit the help of Nicci and Cara. During his advenure Richard learns that Kahlan was kidnapped by the sisters of the dark and is being used to gather the Boxes of Orden to bring the Keeper of the Dead to the Earth. One get's killed interestingly enough by Samuel. Richard finds the book Chainfire and realizes that a spell has been cast that erases all memory of Kahlan and starts erasing prophecy. Richard does not find Kahlan in the book. I guess we must wait for the next installment.

But seriously now there is a prophecy that says if Jagang wins there will be darkness and this battle or war is crucial. Instead of looking at the bigger picture why is Richard seeking Kahlan? I scratch my head at the logic.


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Monday, October 8, 2012

Fast of Girls of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Girls of RiyadhGirls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was definitely fun reading and maybe even truthful to some extent, but definitely sensationalistic. I have heard that stories of a similar vein do in fact happen in this part of the world. A part of the world that is rich in traditions and has managed to keep their way of life intact despite the encroachment of technology and modernity. Yet it is also a world rife with double standards and inequality.

"The Velvet Class" is Saudi Arabia's uper class. These people live in palaces and have drivers chauffer them to where ever they wish to travel. Some families own houses in more than one continent. A definite minority and definitely not the majority. The story is framed in a series of emails that supposedly caused a major uproar and controversy. The four girls spoken about are Gamra, Sadeem, Lamees and Michelle. These four girls walk a fine line between modernity and tradition, not an easy thing to do.

The story starts out with Gamra getting married. She is joyous that this is the best night of her life. Yet, she is not the center of attention. Sadeem is shown to be more beautiful and the one the match makers are after. She even outshines the bride. Gamrah should be lucky but there is only one problem he is not interested in Gamrah whatsoever. Turns out her bride has a another girlfriend that he is in love with. After Gamrah gets pregnant with this guy. He divorces her and sends her back to Riyadh in humiliation. She must raise the baby on her own.

Sadeem gets engaged to Waleed and things are going really good for a while, but hold on good things never last. After they get engaged and sign the contract, which makes them legally maried. None the less he convinces her to go a little too far. Sadeem thought that just because she acceded to his request he would be good to hear. No such luck, Waleed breaks off the relationship which devastates Sadeem. After the break up she is so devastated that she fails all her classes and goes to London to try and forget. On the way back she runs into Firas who seems like the best thing in the world but ends up just stringing her along. Her father dies in the3 course of things and she ends up going to her aunt's house quite against her will. Tariq her cousin looks after her rather well. While Sadeem may not be the hapiest camper in the world she does end up achieving some measure of happiness.

Lamies is smart but also a trouble maker. She smuggles in secular videos to her class and gets a teacher to help hide them, She is not that dedicated to her studies, while her her sister Tamadour is a total grade grubber. Sghe ends up making friends with Jumana, a Shiite. Believe me I thought relations between Arab and Jew were bad. Sunnis and Shiite's do not like or trust each other. Sunnis beleive that Shiite's will poison their food just for the fun of it. Jews say the same things about Palestinians in Israel and their are Islamic verses waring against the treacheries of the Jews.

Michelle is half Arabian and Half American. Rather free spirited doing ok in school. Shje goes to San Francisco a bit and enjoys it but on a summer break they decide to move into Dubai which ends up being a good thing. She gets a job in the media and is really independent from men.

One will be surprised at the contradictions and deceptions. Woman have no rights. They must rely on a father or husband's permission to travel. They cannot inherit property it seems. Men cruise by in ex[pensive cars and SUV's and number girl for discreet conversation. Marriage partners will check out each others phone bill 6 months prior to marriage. Courtship consists of talking over the phone.


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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Financial Sorcery

Financial Sorcery: Magical Strategies to Create Real and Lasting WealthFinancial Sorcery: Magical Strategies to Create Real and Lasting Wealth by Jason G. Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hands down this is one of the best book on financial improvement I have read to date and I have read several. By far the best one for money magick. Jason Miller deals with common sense and shuns al the miracle crap. Sorcery can improve your odds of success but it is no guarantee he will tell ya. He is right. A bad business idea cannot be saved no matter how much magick you use. Wanna win the lottery as a wealth strategy think again. Most books on magic cover deities, spells and herbs related to magic. Jason gives you magic but he does not rely too heavily on it. Complementing the magic he gives the reader strategies to get out out debt, job hunting skills, how to get ahead at the work place, how to deal with negative situation. Magic and sorcery are to be used every step of the way not just for emergencies. The path to wealth is one of work and planning there are no overnight solutions. There are some great tactics and tips for emergency situations when you need fast money. That means magic and secular means for getting money and the suggestions are good.

I am not usually one for strict formulas and I always variate from them anyways. THe author does not weigh the reader down with rigid rituals. I sometimes I wish he did so I would have something to deviate from. The book has great meditation techniques and cover techniques from Hoodoo, High magic and the far east. I would recommend getting his book strategic sorcery before reading this one it will give you a much fuller picture. Happy Trails on the road to riches.


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Monday, October 1, 2012

True History of Witchcraft

A History Of Witchcraft, Sorcerers, Heretics, And PagansA History Of Witchcraft, Sorcerers, Heretics, And Pagans by Jeffrey B. Russell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Magick and sorcery have been with mankind since the beginning. Witchcraft being the most popular branch of of has perked the curiousity of many people. This book give a real accurate accounting of it's developement spanning from man's humble beginnings up until the present. This book lays it out in a simple to understand format with the main ideas of the author expressed and then supported by trackable facts. There are a few details that are left out that those who are familiar with the modern craft would know should defintley be included. There are three phases to witchcraft. I shall call them sorcerous, diabolical and neo-pagan.

Early sorcerey recognized that there were hidden connections between various objects like words, herbs, stones and other things. The sorcerer knew how to exploit these and get results. Often times sorcerers were accused of blighting crops, sickening cattle and occasionally striking people with magic. If one was convicted of sorcery one could get lashes of a fine. Sorcery and witchcraft seem to have the same associations world over regardless of origins. Witches were knows to fly at night, haunt little babies and suck the blood of their victims. this holds true whether in Europe, Africa or South America. One African tribe has it that there are people who practice good magic, bad magic and then there are witches who seem to have the power within. The core magick practices come from the Graeco-Roman era. This is the basis for many practices associated with witches. Sorcery used folk magic, pagan religion and other local things. The Roman goddess Diana was the goddess of witchcraft. Artemis was a virgin huntress of the moon who Diana was patterned after. Later she got conflated with Holda or Perchta who were Norse fertility deities. This added a lust.fertility aspect to Diana. Diana's darker aspect was Hekate a three faced goddess of the underworld. The early pagans brooked no issue with having female deities or deities that could be both good and bad. Christianity did.

Christianity did not over take Europe so quickly. Paganism survived until 1100 in many places. Still Christianity was brital in the way it snuffed out opposition. It is argued that Paganism did not survive but rather there were customs and practices that survived from PAganism into Christianity. Many of these like Saint Hallows Eve, Christmas (Yule and Saturnalia), Walpugis night and others did not die away but survived in Christian form. It was during the Rennaissacne time that sorcery and witch craft got linked up with Satanism. Hersy was considered Satanic, practicing magic was considered Satanic. Witches and hereetics were accused of noght time revels cavorting with the devil and all sort of inaapropriate things. Witches were considered demon worhsipper. For this they were burned at the stake and murdered. There was no benefit of fair trials and the means of execution were horrid.Often times those accused were not actual witches but rather they were defenseless old ladies who served convenient scapegoat. This was know as the burning times.

During the 18th-19th century author's like Michelet proposed the theory that witches were good. They were remanants of an ancient Pagan religion that had a god and goddess. In a sense a fertility cult that withsttod the tyranical onlsaught of Christianity. Frazier would pick with the idea of the sarificial king in his Gold Bough. Charles leland wrote about about Italain Withccraft and the continued worship of Diana. Margaret Murry wrote on the Witchcult of Europe. All these were later discredited by the academic community yet these works also helped birth neopagan withccraft.

Most people think that gerald Gardner made up Wicca. So do I. yetr is still valid as a religious system because it answeers a need. All religions were made up at one point hence they aare all false and man made. The last part of teh book covers the bracnches of wicca and the people who made changes. It leaves out some keyplayers in the witchcraft world. Robert Cohrane for one who was one of Gardners opponents. He was a practitioner of "The Clan of Tubal caine" Victor and Cora Andersen who practiced the Feri tradition of Witchcraft were only made small mention of . These two branches though not Wicca are definitre branches of withcraft that should have been discussed. they have a goddess and god tradition as well and they do come beffore Wicca. Also there was no mention of Lamas Night whne witches used magic to repel Hitler's forces. Gardner and Crowley were supposedly part of this. Why no mention of such an important event?

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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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