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Monday, August 26, 2013

Three Rays of Inspiring Magick

Well Christopher has went and done it again, he wrote another awesome book. Basing this book on a theory put forward by Helena Blavatsky in Theosophy and later expounded upon by Alice Bailey Christopher explains how we too can use the three rays to improve or use for or own magic. Theosophy is based primarily on Eastern Philosophy and mysticism and translated into modern western terms. Theosophy is also one of the building blocks for Modern Ceremonial Magic and present day Wicca. Most people are very unaware of this. I would recommend studying up on theosophy especially in light of the fact that Wicca is changing rather rapidly in Neo-Wicca and a lot is changing. What this book does is to weave various different strands into a system of magic that has bits and and pieces from Modern Ceremonial Magick, Shamanism, Kundalini, Hinduism, traditional British witchcraft and Conjure Magick. This book has lots of information and the author Christopher Penczak is well read and well studied. A lot of information though can be both a good thing and a bad thing. As stated in the introduction modern witches today have a huge bag of tricks or tools to choose from but they do not always work well or go together in a working philosophy or theology. The first ¾ of the book reads rather smoothly and everything seems systematic and useable but after75% of the book the reader feels over whelmed and swamped with just too much information and once again taken from many threads that are attached to the philopsy of the three ways. The three rays of Theosophy are three in number. The first one is read and it represents will. This ray is normally associated with warriors and kings and is meant to embody true purpose. In modern times this translates into politicians, explorers and executives. Since this is will this will normally correspond to working with angels. Angel work is done in Enochian or Ceremonial Magick. The second ray is that of love and is the color of blue and corresponds to Christ like love which is healing all accepting. The third ray is yellow and it represents intelligence. Since there are three rays one will not be syurprised that everything goes by threes in this book. The Goddess can be described in three and as can deity in general. Pulling from Modern Druidic Religion. Oak trees are strong and powerful and works with will , sky gods and Kings. Ash has association with Faery Realms. The Ash which acts as a gateway between our world and the spirits is used for intelligence. Hence the names Straight Path, Bent Path and Crooked path correspond in 123 order. Spiritual anatomy both within ourselves and without happens of a level of three. We are seen a a microcosm of the universe. As Above so below. If we want to effect change then we must be prepared to make changes internally in our own consciousness and energy system before we can hope to have them manifest in the outer world. The three worlds we are used to are the upper world of Gods and Angels, the Middle Earth being where we live and the lower world which consist of the world of the dead. It corresponds well with trees who have branches reaching to the heavens , trunk place in our present world and the roots going down to the underworld. The book makes full use of techniques from Kabballah, Druididism and Faery lore . There are mediations and rituals which one will find very use ful. The information can get over whelming but worth the read.

Monday, August 19, 2013

History of the Black Jews of America and Africa

Black Jews in Africa and the AmericasBlack Jews in Africa and the Americas by Tudor Parfitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Perceptions of Jews and African especially in their perceptual relationship to each other and how the outside world has perceived them have gone through many phases. Perhaps in the Medieval times where neither enjoyed full equality in Europe or the Americas being of African descent and Jewish was perceived almost as that of an impossibility. The Africans had their own God while the Jews worshipped the same God as the Christians.
Yet things began to change. Blacks and Jews were perceived of as being related. Jews were thought to have had some black blood that got diluted or the African Blacks were perceived to have come from Jewish blood. Most Christian white Europeans would comment that both groups of people were cheap, unclean and dishonest. The Jews wanted to be accepted in Gentile society so they tried to distance themselves from those people with African descent.
Before when Jews had African slaves they would often have them convert to Judaism as it was deemed desirable to convert their slave to Judaism. These African Jews would have the right to rea\d the torah, marry Jews and be buried in a Jewish Cemetary. In order for the Jews of America to be accepted into Gentile white society they started peeling back on the rights of these African Jews.
In America both Jews and Africans felt affinity. Often times they would mingle together and even act like each other. As in Europe though the need to be accepted lead to a rift. The Bible itself was used to justify slavery and the vilification of the African person. Africans would soon learn to use the bible as a tool to resist oppression. They found in it an identity for themselves.

Missionaries and colonialist often times foisted the Israelite identity on such African tribes as the Zulu, Tutsis, Yoruba and Igbo. As the Europeans gave it the Africans accepted it. They gave themselves an identity. In America those of African descent found inspiration in the Bible as they identified with Moses, the Exodus and other parts of the Bible calling for freedon.

Europeans have never given Africa credit for it’s development. If they saw a sign of high culture or development they would assume that the tribe came from outside of Africa. This is a shame as many of the Jewish like customs are believe to be coming from outside of Africa I believe that the Mayb e the Jews learned their stuff from the Africans and not vice versa.
There are now several groups of Africans who have adopted Judaism or believe they are descended from Israelites. Abyaduda in Uganda, Falashas of Ethipia and the buba clan in zimabawe. The Buba clan tested positive for Israelite DNA. The Falashas do not. I believe they converted during the time of Solomon. How will the Jewish community respond to these new sub communities. Only time will tell.


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Goddess Arrive. The Making of a Myth

A Goddess ArrivesA Goddess Arrives by Gerald B. Gardner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What is your take on reincarnation? Do you believe that groups of people can reincarnate together in groups based on who they knew in their past lives? Or does the soul move on to Heaven, Hell or purgatory after the physical body dies away?
Set in London during the 1930’s and 40’s , Robert Denvers is having marital troubles with his wife Mina. She is having an affair with a man named Hank Heyworth a person involved in the legal system. Denvers himself is an archaeologist with some intense psychic ability. Hank from some unknown reason hates Denvers with a passion. His reason behind stealing Mina away has not so much to do with his attraction for the woman but rather for some unknown hatred against Denvers.
Needless to say the impact of the affair is devastating and Denvers still loves Mina and has ultimate faith in her. Denvers can see things clearly in a visualization down to the nearest detail. He can also read the thought of people while stuck in his vision. Before zoning off into a deep trance, Denvers is examining a Cypriot Temple while clutching hold of a Golden Snail.
Flash back to a dream of the past life or just a day dream that lasts for two weeks. Cyprus is under occupation from Egypt. Many of the countries on that island have fallen to to Egyptian might, except for Karpass. Before the onslaught there is much debate as to whether Egypt will try to over take them. Denvers is cast as Kiranyas, Hank becomes the traitor Hange. Ereli a mercenary is granted kingship by the council. Kinyras and his brother Zadoug are in charge of constructing a wall and military strategy to keep the invading Egyptians out. While spying out Adirgha , Zadoug learns knowledge of a princess held in bondage , and of her escape.
No sooner does Zadoug come home bearing news that Dayonis the pricess arrives at the kingdom’s gates stark naked with Egyptian forces hot on her tail. In company with Kinyras and his soldiers she fights bravely against the Egyptians. She is given admission into the kingdom and into a secret brotherhood of warrior. Mean while hange maneuvers against the Karpassians by spreading rumor that Dayonis is a witch. Ereli, Dayonis and Kinyras have their hands full stopping Hange’s intrigues. At one point Dayanis and Kinyras are forced to flee. They embark on military raid against the Egyptians and fight side by side. Later they will escape to Aghirda and bet married under the auspices of a fictitious god named Jaske. Jaske is an earthquake god who is the patronof Daynis and the Aghirdans. Through out this adventure Kinyras will escape Egyptian capture, meet royal kindred in Paphos. Dayanis become elevated to Goddess status.
But the battle goes on life after life. Will good prevail or evil prevail. You find out.
Gerald Gardner wa s the founder of Modern Wicca, and has written two book of fiction both of which I enjoyed reading immensely. Too bad he did not produce more, he comes up with great stories and plotn lines. Had he focused on this he could have become a famous writer. The book does need some editing. The language can be hard to understand and there are spelling errors and typos.


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Friday, August 9, 2013

Mythical Creatures

The Golem and the JinniThe Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In traditional lore Jinn or Jinni are spiritual creatures roaming the desert with their bodies consisting of smoke and fire. Golem are being made of virgin clay and are usually mute. Golems were made for the protection of the Jewish people. Jinni are part of Islamic lore and have free will much like men. Jinni can also assume different forms and not all of them are friendly towards man kind.
In the story “The Golem and the Jinni” these two characters meet up in the late 1800’s New York. Perhaps the only place they could meet up as the golem is a European Jewish thing and the Jinni is an Arabian, Middle eatern thing. Chava our female golem was created by a rogue kabbalist named Yehudah Shallman at the express request of Mr. Rotfeld. Mr. Rotfeld wanted her to be endowed with certain characteristics so she could become his ideal wife. Of course Golems cannot have children. Mr. Rotfeld packs her in a box and ships her to America. He is warmed not to wake her up before arriving to America. Of course he does not heed this advice and end up dying on the way over.
Boutros Arbeely lives in “Little Syria” on Washington Street. Coffee shop owner Marian Fadal gives him a bronze vase to fix at his metal smith shop. When he rubs it out pop “Ahmad” the Jinni. Arbeely takes him in and makes him partner as they share the work of metal smithing. No one can really know that Ahmad is a Jinni so they say he is a Bedouin from Syria. Ahmad is prone to take long walks at night and meet up with various kinds of people. The golem is also taken to nighttime strolls.
After Avraham Meyer the Rabbi who takes her in passes away the two mythical people meet up on a weekly basis to take walks in the city and share their various secrets and challenges. The friendship can be rocky at times with many ups and downs. The plot is spiced up with a marriage to Michael ,Avrahams nephew. Ice Cream Saleh a former doctor in Syria is able to see Ahmad for who he truly is.
As the relationship progresses the two find out they have a common foe who they must defeat, the Wizard who imprisoned the Jinn in the first place. Yehuda Shallman comes to America for unsavory purposes regarding the golem and takes up in Michaels Hospice. Things edge towards a final showdown with the evil wizard.
Great piece of work for a new author. The book gives great insight into the lifestyle of new immigrants coming to new York during the 1890’s. Life was not easy and the author gives us a very vivid picture. The book is also about relationship and individuals from different communities learning to get along with common challenges and how communities used certain strategies to both stick together and cope with the challenge of living in a new land.
Yet what makes it amateurish is that from the get go it is not obvious what the story’s objective is .I saw a relationship developing and two very rare individuals learning to adjust but what was the point. It does not become clear until later. Still it was an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading the author’s future works.


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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Three Wisemen

Buddha, Christ, Merlin: Three Wise Men for Our AgeBuddha, Christ, Merlin: Three Wise Men for Our Age by Christopher Penczak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Written with an open mind and based somewhat on Theosophical writing. Three rays constitute spirituality and they are gold for wisdom, red for power and blue for love. Buddha stood for wisdom and represent detachment from the material world. Jesus represented love and his color was blue. Merlin was red for power.

A biography on each is included and for Jesus and Buddha there is inclusion of rituals. Over all great book I would question some of the facts. For example I question whether Jesus was really and essene Jew. Some scholarly opinion supports him being a a Pharisee. I did find some typographical errors in the text mostly spelling. I found that he did a good job for sourcing his Merlin material but for the other chapters on Jesus and Buddha I did not find such. There was no bibliography either. Such a great book as this could only be enhanced with a proper bibliography.


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Friday, August 2, 2013

An Exercise in Artificial Entities

Conjuring Up Philip: An Adventure In PsychokinesisConjuring Up Philip: An Adventure In Psychokinesis by Iris M. Owen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe in poltergeists? The wrapping on the wall and the moving of furniture has all been documented and proven. But is it really ghosts that are doing all this. Sure many incidence are fraudulent, some might be ghosts and other incidences might be psychokinesis or moving things with the mind.

A psychic society in Toronto, Canada came together and decided to create a fictional entity named Philip. This group of people numbering close to 8 -10 people met regularly to perform this experiment. first they brainstormed and came up with a fictional story for this guy Philip, a story that could no way be real. Then they had practice sessions where they would meditate and then try to conjure this fictitious ghost ,Phillip. For the first year they were unsuccessful. After about a year of trying and not producing any tangible results they decided to switch up their tactics.

They began copying from the spiritualists who conjured spirits in a group called a séance but with some major differences. Like the spiritualists they would gather in a group. But instead of mediating like they did before they copied the technique of socializing before conjuring. Instead of using a psychic medium they agreed that no one would play that role and instead if using dimly lit rooms they would use a well lit room.

Purpose was strictly scientific. Their goal was to produce a visible phantom generated by their psychic energy. Ultimately in this goal they were not successful. They did however manage to communicate with this invisible entity. A communication system of knock for yes and no communication was set up. Under laboratory conditions this entity moved tables, made knocking sounds and produced other phenomena. Belief and expectation are needed for results. this book will change the way you look at psychic phenomena and the paranormal.

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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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