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Friday, July 26, 2013

Wandering Djinn

Wandering Djinn: An Anthology of FantasyWandering Djinn: An Anthology of Fantasy by Ahmed Al-Sheikh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

That's it just 41 pages. The stories are good and I wanted more the only problem is that it was not there. Well for 99 cents do I really have the right to complain. I think not. Some of the stories were a bit simplistic like the first one where he Malik Ibn Ibrahim meets Quin, a hardened chick bounty hunter. After Malik surprises her at the scene of the murder they strike up a friendship that seems all to quick for the purpose of taking down a charming serial killer. I would expect a bit more resistance on Quinn's part after meeting a Djinn with all it's powers I think she would want to get the you know out of there. Over all it was a good story. They finally bring down the killers guardian Jaffur, a troublesome Ifrit in a game of wits. Everyone gets their just deserts. The story was still entertaining.

Malik Ibn Ibrahim is one of those Djinn who thinks well of the human race and tries to help out when he can. The second story involves a troubled teen ager who gets into fights. His temper rages further and further out of control in each successive day. Seems that he is controlled by other Djinn and it is up to Malik to save the day for this troubled youth. In the third story he is conjured by professor Freeman quite against his will. Rather then be angry Malik offers some insight into the future healing of professor Freeman's son.

The last story involves a battle for a sword. I will let you read it in order to find out more about it.

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Wizards First Rule

Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first book of any series is always the best. Most of the subsequent books did not match up to this first one until the author's later writing. Funny that I read this book last of all the others. The TV series "Legend of the Seeker" was not true to the book. The TV series changed things up and left a lot out. The Mud people and Scarlett the dragon were left out of the TV series. Darken Rahl was Richards father in the book not Panis Rahl as in the TV series.

The story starts off with Richard wandering in the woods of Westland for three weeks after his father is brutally murdered. He comes across some trees that are near the boundary between the Midlands and Westland. Snake vines are growing and killing the trees. Richard Cypher himself gets stabbed by one of their thorns. The boundary is acting a bit weird these days things are coming out that should not be coming out. Richard notices a huge flying beast come from over the boundary. As he wanders back to Hartland he has his encounter with Kahlan. In hot pursuit are 4 Dharan soldiers. Richard and Kahlan are victorious. They head back to Hartland to watch Richard's brother Michael become anointed as first counselor. Michael says some pretty strange things.
When Richard finds his house ransacked and trashed they make their way over to Zed's house.

It is at Zed's house that Richard finds his true destiny, confronts a mob and then sets off on a journey to the Midlands.On the way to passing over to the Midlands our three heroes join up with Chase. On the way over they encounter Harthounds, Adie ( a bonewoman) and Gars. Once they reach the Midlands Richard and Kahlan become guests of the Mudpeople and eventually are initiated. From their they journey to Shota the witch to here her prophecies and then finally over to Queen Milena's to get the third box of Orden. This journey has Richards coming to terms with the sword of truth and learning how to use it. Along the way Kahlan will reveal her secrets and let Richard in on why despite the fact that the two people love each other they can never be together.

Darken Rahal is a blond haired blue eyed monster who bears a long held grudge against Zed for killing his father Panis Rahl. He wants to find the Book of Counted Shadows and the last box so he he can rule the world. He is cruel and not above deceiving children and killing them in order to reach his goals. He has some dark secrets regarding Richard as well which are revealed at the end of the story.

After Shota's visit they come to Queen Milena's who had the Box of Orden but thanks to Giller ( A wizard) and Rachel ( princesses abuse playmate)the box of Orden is liberated from the Castle. Richard gets himself captured and trained by the Mord Sith only to be released. In the end their is a confrontation between good and evil that is solved by wit and wisdom rather then battle.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Shamanic Healing Journey

Gift of the Dreamtime - Awakening to the Divinity of TraumaGift of the Dreamtime - Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma by S. Kelley Harrell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read this book in one night. Easy to read and gripping narrative. Those who have survived abusive situations will find this book easy to relate to. I have not but still enjoyed reading it. The authoress herself has survived an incest encounter with an unnamed family member. She has had to deal with guilt, shame, hate and the fact that her family not only never helped her to heal but embraced the offending family member. I would have felt lots of anger if I were her.

The authoress begins her shamanic journey by traveling into the lower world. By accessing this place thorough a waterfall she finds herself meeting different animals and almost gets trampled by horses. It is in the lower world that she meets Allusius, an owl who acts as her spiritual guide. He is the one who teaches her about depression and how to get past it.

Other journeys take her to the realm of the stars where she meets angels, saints and more human like spirit guides. This is the domain of Simon her celestial spirit guide. He is somewhat the artist who is constantly creating and mostly painting with multi colored charcoal. He teaches her the mind body connection and the impact of hate. In order to heal the body one must heal hate.

The Cailleachs an old crone and hag from Irish legend appears in all three world. It is at once an older version of the authoress herself and a teacher who facilitates healing. The caileachs is an old warrior who does not heal but stands by while you heal yourself. Healing is a do it yourself kit.

In her mediations she learns that she is from a dark skinned tribe call the sun people who were scattered and reborn into many different tribes. She is to be there representative somehow. Books play a major role as she absorbs them into herself and sometimes at the expense at getting a headache.

The journeys help her get past her tragedy. She learns forgiveness, letting go and unconditional loving. While I tend to view what she did not so much as Shamanism, i tend to view it as a visualization process similar to what I have done. The book resonated with me and changed my consciousness. My mediation sequences were much like hers where the dialogue of the spiritual guides was simple and quite similiar.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Tale of the First Confressor

The First Confessor (The Legend of Magda Searus, #1)The First Confessor by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Terry Goodkind is developing into a good writer. His story telling ability improves with each book. His characters are believable and like able. Magda Searus is a hero we can all relate too. Would not be a bad idea to have a Magda Searus/ Merritt series. It shows lots of potential. I know I would read future installments .

The story goes back to the first war between the New World and the Old world. Certain thems tend to repeat themselves like Emperor Sakuxgas conquering both world attempting to wipe out magic. Of course he wants to control the magic not wipe it out . Magda Searus is First Wizard Barracus's wife. Magdas life goes into a tail spin when Barracas kills himself. Lothain the head prosecutor persecuted Magda with several false accusation. This phase of the war introduces the dream walkers and Alric Rahl's verse of protection. Not only has the Old World created dream walker but also half people and dead people that fight . The half people have lost their souls and will eat other people in an attempt to get a soul. Sounds a bit like the current zombie craze. The Wizards Keep has been penetrated and compromised . The new world creates two new weapons to fight back. Confessors and the sword of truth. The sword of truth is used to find the boxes of prden. Will the Confessir route out the enemies? Read the book and find out.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Helrunnar.....Chaos Working with the Runes

Helrunar: A Manual Of Rune MagickHelrunar: A Manual Of Rune Magick by Jan Fries
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For me this book could be the end all. Yet I would recommend some simpler books for beginners just working with the runes. After you have read some others you will find that this one is one of the best.Jan Fries breaks through the dogma and forced patterns that bind most magicians and stifle their creativity. He tells you to find your own way whick is just as valid as any of the traditional ways. Gods bless the freethinkers like him who liberate our minds. Jan Fries is one magician who believes that the deities are reflections of the deep mind or our subconscious. Our magic must reflect this.

Jan Fries knows his stuff. HE has done the research and yet he is both humble enough and knowledgeable enough to know that what he has printed is subject to change. New research comes about that disproves the old. Many old research techniques are flawed. Science is based on as much faith as religion is with just about as much accuracy. The tastiest part of this book is the man's overview of history. He gives it straight no dogma or ideological constraints.

The book covers a broad history of Europe and then goes into several exercises to enhance our magical and spiritual abilities. At the end there is a sort of glossary describing the runes. The description gives us the runes, their meaning, the rune poem statement and the body posture associated with it. Jan Fries is a believer in ecstatic dancing to reach gnosis and his approach is very Chaos Magick.

Early man survived some pretty tough vicissitudes in ice age Europe. They were nomadic and forced to hunt large animals. They lived in small family units. Homo Habilis was a lot more advanced then they were given credit for. They hunted in packs, had tools and were well organized. After the Ice Age many of the power animals went further north. There were some people who followed them and others who stayed behind. Those who stayed behind became more sedentary agriculturalists. Neanderthals came about or were existing along side them for several hundred to maybe thousands of years. The Neanderthals had burial rights and were aware of or had the concept of the soul. Caves seem to have been used for religious purposes. Several drawings indicate Shamanistic behavior. Later on came the Cro-Magnon who is said to have wiped out the Neanderthal. Of course new research is showing that they lived side by side and maybe even interbred with each other. The Cromagnon had a lot to learn about survival from the Neanderthal.

Religion went through many changes. The Early men believed in power animals an totems. later on they would believe in Gods. The Norse gods went through changes. For example Odin the all father to the Vikings started out as Wotan a storm god. He would later evolve into a god of ecstatic trance. Tyr the one handed God who subdued Fenris started out as a bisexual or dual sexual god named Tuisto who bore Mannus. Later he would evolve into a male. Odin's original wife was Freya as the myths evolved. His wife would change to Hela and then finally to Frigga. Hela was an underworld Goddess who was charged with running the world of the dead.

History is not so clear cut as to who were the Celts and who were the Germanic tribes. There was no real unified religion among the groups and many customs were similar between the Celts and Germans. It is speculated that they came from Indo-European tribes that originated in Central Europe. For the invading Romans it was hard to tell the two apart. More Germans tended to be concentrated in then north and the further north you went the more isolated and independent they became.

The techniques covered in the books go over divination, using runes for magic , chanting and body postures. There is a lot of interdisciplinary input to this as the author pulls from Ceremonial Magic techniques, Chaos magick techniques and far eastern mediation techniques. For the intermediate to advanced practitioner you will find this book a worthy addition to your library. The end got a little bit slow but other then that this book is an awesome read.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Messiah's from Another World

The Law of NinesThe Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On some other world perhaps thousands of years ago Richard Rahl defeated Jagang's forces by exiling all those people to the planet Earth. Earth is a place without magic, Earth is a place of technology and electricity. Along with those from Jagang's forces came a bunch of Rahls who were magically ungifted. For many a year the planet of Richard Rahls had lived in peace, but he is long dead and a new leader Radell Cain has arisen and want to obliterate magic so he can conger the planet.

In comes Alexander Rahl, a down on his luck artist, just happens to cross the street in times to see a pirate plumbing truck drive recklessly down the street. He saves a hot chick named Jax Amnell. (I did not think there would be any Amnell's left) . It also happens to be his 27th birthday. The same age that his mother went insane. Thinks start happening for Alexander. Someone buys his painting but scrawls profanity all over it before returning it. His grandfather tells him about an inheritance and a whole bunch of land loaded with stipulations. Everything is connected to nines. His birthday, age, the floor his mother is on in the Mental institution.

Turns out that Jax is from another planet, Richard's planet as is Radell Caine and his henchmen who like to break necks and spy on people through mirrors. They can also appear out of no where. They want to capture Alexander and learn the secret of the gateway that connects the two worlds. Individual travel can be done but they cannot bring anything with them. The Gateway will allow Raddel Cain to bring Earthen Technology through. Easy conquest once Richard's world is stripped of magic. The key of course lies on the land Alexander is about to inherit, more specifically castle rock. Jax and Alexander are not alone in their quest to stop the bad guys. The Dagget trust was aware of everything an try to help Alexander but in the end it is his skills area warrior that will help win the day.

Seems that Terry's strength lies in writing sci fi like the fair presented in this book. In read this in two days and was hooked. This could well translate into a movie. There are two things though. First off names like Raddel and Jax, couldn't he find something more believable. Jax Amnell, I thought Kahlan was the last Amnell or at least the last confessor. Who knows.

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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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