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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Memories of Death

MEMENTO MORI A Collection of Magickal and Mythological Perspectives On Death, Dying, Mortality and BeyondMEMENTO MORI A Collection of Magickal and Mythological Perspectives On Death, Dying, Mortality and Beyond by Julian Vayne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

survey of death

Those who are born are destined for death. Are you afraid of what comes after? Where do we humans go once we die and our soul leaves it's body. Do we go to Heaven, He'll or do we reincarnate. This book will present you with many points of view and your opinion will be up to you.

The philosophies covered vary from Haitian Vodou, Celtic views, Egyptian views. Finally at the end the reader is treated to some poems and songs dealing with death.

papa Ghede is one of the principals of the dead. He is also one of the lustiest and raunchiest of the Loa. It is meant to show that Thanatos and Eros are firmly connected. The Ghede are the dead who died unbsptised or angry. They still roam around the earth. Most spirits who die dive into a Great Lake and parts of their soul become the lowa.

Zombies are present in European theology, voodoo and Chinese Zimbies. In the Norse world there are several types of Zombies the most famous is the Druagar. The body dies but then comes back and lives in a funeral barrow. It also eats flesh and guards it's treasure. The Voodoo method involve burying someone alive, giving them psychoactive drugs and then digging them up. The brain damage makes them pliable. The voodoo practitioners believe they capture part of the soul so they can control the individual. The Jiang Shi is a Chinese zombie that eats flesh.

In the Celtic world you have tradition witches who sea the lord and lady as both agents of light and darkness. They act as psychosomatic to the real area of the dead. The versions of the Greek afterlife, Celtic are presented in detail.

Egyptian cannibalism and Sets revealing of the secrets of the after life are discussed
This book has contributions from several great authors. Enjoy!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

traversing the Left Hand Path

Uncle Setnakt's Essential Guide to the Left Hand PathUncle Setnakt's Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path by Don Webb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No this is not a guide on summoning demons, the devil or some other nefarious entities, rather the book is a guide with pointer on how to be sovereign , independent and more perfect . It is a path that requires hard work and discipline.

The left hand path wants the practitioner to preserve and reinforce their individuality not merge with some puffy fluffy version of god head.

This quest for attainment of sovereignty has four basic goals. Rulership of the inner world, outer world, royal power in the outer world and then inner world .

Humans are like robots with the potential to become gods. We are creatures of habit reacting automatically to symbols. To achieve inner sivereignty we must break the program and force ourselves to do the opposite . We must mock those outer symbols that control us

For Rulership of the outer we must know what we truly like and what we are ready to give up to attain our goals . Not easy when it has been prepackaged and mentally installed on your brain.

royal power in the outer world comes with identifying our fears and over coming them. Within this realm we realize that we are microcosms of a vast universe that has several levels. The surface is where we interact with the universe, medial level is our level
Of programming , core level is our personality and our daemonic level interacts with magical currents of the universe. There are correspondences in the universe . To start the intimate on this path there is a very long intimation ritual that comes complete with diary writing , purification and journaling. It is intense.

At the end of the book are resources for further growth along the path. If you are looking to perfect yourself and become as a god then this is a path you definitely want to research.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Real Life Vampires

Vampire NationVampire Nation by Arlene Russo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Do you believe that there are vampires living among us, hidden in the general population hidden behind veils of secrecy? Define a vampire. What is your image of a vampire? There are many such images and your definition of a vampire might be different from the person sitting next to you. In fact the person next to you might well be a vampire.

Vampires are definitely the most popular of all cinematic monsters. Made famous by the suave count Dracula portrayed by Bela Lugosi. Vampires are viewed as sexy, seductive, aristocratic and cool. There have been a bajillion movies and books made about vampires or on their theme.

The folkloric version of the vampire is a revenant or a corpse of a dead person risen from the grave that drinks the blood of people and then goes back to it’s grave. Usually vampires are suicides, non baptized or buried in unhallowed ground. They come up as a rotting corpse and they are not at all considered attractive. In folk lore they do not have fangs, ain’t afraid of garlic and they cannot turn into bats. The movie version gives the vamp all of that and makes them look attractive. That started with Polidori’s story “The Vampire” and continued with Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” The peak of the Vampire craze started with Anne Rice’s “Interview with a Vampire” that made them super sexy and super cool.

Now the vampire scene is really thriving especially here in the states. There are different types of vampires and no they do not look anything like they do in the fiction. They are not immortal, indestructible and they cannot change into mist or bats. They are people like you and I.

Sanguniarians are the vampiores that drink blood. Usually if they are smart they get the blood from a donor who gives it willingly. They use sterile syringes and lancets. Donors are to be treated with respect. Psychic vampires feed off of excess energy. Liestyler know aht they are pretending to be vampires.

This book centers on the vamp scene in the UK and touches quite heavily on the vamp scene here in America. In America you are finding more outrageous examples o blood drinker and psy vamps. In the UK things are more subdued and most of the people involved in the vamp scene are life styler whop are aware that they playing a role.

The information might be somewhat dated as it appears to be writing at 2006 the latest. It covered some vampire crimes which hurt the movement, although I think the vampire movement has made a significant comeback. The book touches on organization for vampires, the code of ethics for these organization and some of the occult and religious organizations that cater to the spiritual needs of vampires. The author was a writer and found of a vampire magazine. If your into vampires then this book should be both an informative and interesting read.


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Art of Seing Faeries

How to See FaeriesHow to See Faeries by Brian Froud
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So young wizards and witches do you wanna see faeries? Well if you are a young adult or a serious practitioner then this book might not be the book for you. Quite frankly I am a bit surprised as John Matthews is an expert on Celtic and faerie lore. Brian Froud is world renowned for his faerie art work. I was somewhat shocked as I expected a bit more substance.

Yet to be fair this is an excellent children’s book and I am talking young elementary school children. The writing is simplistic and cute , perfect appeal for kindergarten through 2and grade. The art work from Brian Froud as awesome as always, and maybe that alone is worth the price of the book. There are some excellent portal drawings which if you meditate on them serious wizard or witch you just might be able to enter the realm of the faeries.

Now the purchase is not a total loss, as you do learn a few things about being able to see faeries. First off always speak in rhymes, faeries love rhymes. The next thing you need to know is that there are no rules when it comes to seeing faeries. The third is thing is slow down and take the time to see faeries, they are everywhere but we are just too rushed to noticed.

The faeries are there, located in those liminal spaces and times. Perhaps at sunset and sunrise trooping to and fro. Check beneath the and in between the leave maybe they are hiding there. Let us not forget that their world occupies the same space as ours. They are tricky little fellows.


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Academic View of the Jinn

Islam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the JinnIslam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn by Amira El-Zein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Similar to the European fairies, Indian and Persian Devas and paris, are the Jinn. Legendary creatures made of wind and smokeless fire. They inhabit an invisible world between the realm of angels and the realm of man. They interact directly with our world but are banned from entering the realm of angels. Men who seek to find them usually travel to desolate out of the way places in the desert.

The angels are made with bodies of light, ours of clay. The Jinn used to be able to enter the realm of angels and bring back the news from heaven to mankind’s ears. With the advent of Islam the Jinn were banned from entering heaven. Their leader Iblis who may have been a lower level angel or high ranking Jinn, depending on the source refused to bow down to Adam so he was expelled to the planet earth.

Now Jinn are not necessarily evil, they have a choice. They can come in any religion or none at all. Both Jinn and man will be judged for their deeds in judgment day. Yes there are Muslim Jinn. Some are good to people and other are bad.

What follows is a scholarly examination of the Jinn concept in Arabia. Sources are pulled from pre Islamic works, Orthodox Islam and popular Muslim folklore. The concept of Jinn is compared to similar phenomena in other cultures, covering a range from Arabic, Persian, Greek, Roman, Indian and European folklore.

Covered first if the cosmology of the Islamic heaven, briefly touched upon previously. The Muslim cosmology believes in seven earths each one differing from the other and each Earth contains worlds and universes. The consonants JN mean hidden or invisible . Such a concept could apply to angels, demons and other unseen being. It was thought that prior to the revelation of the Koran that the Jinn roamed the Earth and Heaven and in certain instances were thought of as Gods. The female Deities had wings and were treated much like angels or consorts to male gods. Some believe that the old Gods were in fact Jinn. After all they were unseen.

Jinn can take many forms and sometimes they just keep on changing. The Gods in the Ancient world could also shape shift and be tricky. The Egyptian gods were part animal part features of humans. Some animals like the dear were holy to the Jinn. They liked deer. Snakes were considered both good and evil and in some instances were reviled and in others worshipped.

In strict Islam the Jinn were prohibited from marrying humans yet coupling did happen. Usually the mission was to create a hybrid offspring. In folklore it happened with the hybrid having special powers. The book posits several examples. The Jinn lore is very similar to faerie lore from Europe.

The book goes on to discuss how Jinn inspire poets and the different types of Jinn. This is an good beginning primer for those interested in the lore of the Jinn.


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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Life of Kabuko the Jinn

Kabuko the DjinnKabuko the Djinn by Hamraz Ahsan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Parting is such sweet sorrow. The decisions we make affect us for the rest of our lives. This story is one of those stories that engage in such themes.

Unlike most other jinn stories this one takes place in Pakistan . But them jinn live all over the place . Kabuko is a member of a jinn tribe that makes bird like sounds and communicate with birds. Kabuko is a jinn that longs to understand the human existence and glean some occult knowledge that humans know . His parents and other tribe members are not so understanding. To help him in his endeavor he consults a lady named Kiya. They engage in a relationship and she teaches him what he needs to learn.

Kabuko's first attempt to inhabit a human body ends up in failure so he decides to try again. His parents try to stop him. The boy he inhabits , Ajee Shah, is a sayed, a descendant of Muhammad. Ajee's uncle gives the ok.

So Kabuko experiences life through Ajee's eyes. Together they expose Jinn learning in a madrassa, jinn inhabiting a tree who fell in love with Ajee's ancestors. They feed a snake named Babaji who protects treasure and guides people through the woods. Encounter a snake charmer who introduces Ajee to a prostitute to teach him About love.

Ajee's brother , Kerman shah gets involved with alchemy. Making to mercury balls go solid. Bhoa last teaches some secrets. In the end Ketman perishes in a flood.

Bhao lar takes Ajee under his wing and introduces him to a dervish. Together they explore spiritual worlds and discover enlightenment .

Ajee also falls in love with a female Jinn. They marry and have a child.

Things proceed to the end but I will leave that for you to r

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Painful History of Wadi Salib

A Confiscated Memory: Wadi Salib and Haifa's Lost HeritageA Confiscated Memory: Wadi Salib and Haifa's Lost Heritage by Yfaat Weiss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Wadi Salib was formerly an Arab Muslim neighbor situated in the central part of modern day Haifa. Now a days it houses Mizrachi Jews hailing from the North African country of Morrocco. The book Confiscated memory give the reader a back and forth history of the neighborhood rather then documenting things in Chronological order.

In 1959 Wadi Salib was the focal point of Mizrachi riots. What started out as a drunken man frustrated with his lot who went from coffee shop to coffee shop smashing things up, his friends tried to stop him but the police intervened rather strongly and harshly and ended up shooting the man named Akiva. This would start days worth of riots where in windows were smashed and property was destroyed. Many residents of Wadi Salib were convinced that Akiva was dead. The intellectual leader behind the riots of David Benharush.  He was also organizing an organization for the Mizrachi Jews. Since he was outside the labor party and hsitradut the authorities looked down on them. It was at a Labor party rally bordering on Hadar and Wadi Salib where clashes broke out. In the end David Benharush served a 10 month sentence.

What was the background story for these Moroccan Jews? Why were they so frustrated?  Upon their arrival they were placed in relocation camps like tin corrugated shacks while Jews from Europe were given the better housing and better opportunities. The Mizrachi Jews were not given greart opportunities. They were looked down upon as uneducated and primative. Most of them in Wadi Salib were squatters who did not own the building they were living in. Before the Jews came from Morroco the Jewish agency visited a Jewish Ghetto or Melah and found out how dirty it was and how sick with trachoma the Moroccan Jews were.

The Zionist authorities tried to shunt these Jews off to agricultural settlements in the country side. Many of the Morroccan  Jews did not not have agricualtural skills, plus the community was split up and divided which destroyed their cohesion. In Morrrocco they were merchants and business men while in Israel they were just laborers with no means of advancement.
The Zionists also wanted to discourage city settling andd promote rural settling. This was done to help populate the land, seecure border areas and become agicultuarally independent.

Wadi Salib had it's history as well. Founded by a Bedouin Sheik the area was a tiny port town until some zionists and Europeans thought to build it up. THe Ottoman empire would build up the rail way line connecting Haifa to all the cities in the Middle East and Central Asia. When the Ottomans lost Haifa the Britsih would build up the harbor. Through these building projects amny people would be attracted. Wealthy Muslims, Christians and Jews. Building railroad and port also brought laborers who would build homes near their place of work. Haifa could have been a city of some importance but after Israel's war and her isolation from the rest of the Middle East Haifa was just a qquiet port town.

As mentioned earlier Wadi Salib was a Muslim Arab neighborhood. During 1949 ARab and Jewish forces had divided the city. Fauzi Kaukji's Army which was from outside Palestine would fire ion Jewish areas and the Hagganah would fire on ARab neighborhoods. This had thee effect of cousing many Arabs to flee the area. Haifa fell to the HAgana in days. The remaining Arabs were forces into to Christian neighborhood of Wadi Nisnas. THe abandoned homes would be given to Jews first with a wink and an under the table agreement and later on in the fifties when Morrocan Jews snuck back in because rural settlement did not do it for them.

In all this book is an excellent work, documenting both the history of a neioghborhood and people. It also shows European Zionist contempt for anything comiong from the Middle East . This applies to thier attitude towards the Palestinian Arabs and the Jews from Middle Eastern countries. For those studying the Middle East and even more so for those who focus on Israel then you must read this book.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pazuzu's Return

Pazuzu UnboundPazuzu Unbound by Saurav Dutt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He is back, that wicked demon from the Exorcist. Thought he was permanently trapped in Hell but his followers plan on releasing him.

The center point of this story converges on the New Terminal Hotel. This hotel is a refuge for drug addicts, people on the run and wasted out prostitutes. The story itself consisted of several short stories whose end point is the New Terminal Hotel.

One story is about a veteran cop and his hot rookie partner setting a trap for a fraudulent psychiatrist with a knack for getting drugs. The second story involves two runaway teenagers, fleeing from abusive homes. Their need for money drives them to rob a pawnshop and shoot the owner. The third story involves a mob hit man on the run for a botched job. He takes on the task later on for Killing a cancer patient . The killing will take place at the hotel.

Complete with plot turns, sacrificing young girls and hooded acolytes doing rituals behind hotel walls this story is a page turner . Quick easy read,

The author is no Stephen King, however. The characters need more development and more fuller descriptions would be much in order. The author could also flesh out the it and make the story more complex.

Still a good read. If you like Pazuzu then this story is for you. Pazuzu ain't all that bad as the Chritians make him out to be. Check out Sumerian mythology.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reviewin the 48 Laws of Power

The 48 Laws of PowerThe 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

48 laws of power

I will not begin this review with a list of the 48 laws but I will tell you that this is one effective book. True we are past the age of kings and queens and royal courts are no longer dens of aristocracy striving for power . None the less there are small fiefdoms , work places and parties where people jockey for position and power. The quest for power has to be in a civilized fashion. Outburst and violence will not be tolerated.

The book starts off each chapter with the given law of power then goes into application. The first application is transgression, what happens when you fail to follow the law. After that the author goes into how to properly observe the law and apply it. In some chapters it does talk about reversing the law.

Every chapter is filled with incidents pulled from history. On the side lines are fables and stories that help illustrate the point. The history alone makes this book top notch. Macciavelli, Baltasar Gracian, aesops fables are richly quoted here. mr. Greene is a student of the history of power.

I cannot enthusiastically reccomend this book enough. Mr. Greene has several other books out and I plan to read them . No matter your walk of life or aspiration you will get something out of this.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Housekeeping Magical Style.

Magical Housekeeping: Simple Charms & Practical Tips for Creating a Harmonious HomeMagical Housekeeping: Simple Charms & Practical Tips for Creating a Harmonious Home by Tess Whitehurst
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Your outer world is a direct reflection of your inner world. As within so without. So it makes sense that if your house is a mess then so is the rest of your life. If your house is in order ....... Well you know.

Tess Whitehurst who is a practicing magical worker and feng shui specialist tells you how to get your house in order so you can get the rest of your life back in order.

Every thing in here is really simple to perform . No fact wands, athames or any else of that nature . What Tess represents is very Visualization based.

First you need to clean all the clutter out of your house. That means anything g you know longer use or love needs to go. The cleaning is accompanied by rituals. Later on she I trucks the reader how to magically clean their inside house .

The book includes rituals for every purpose. Perhaps you need to bring in money or clear out some negative vibes. There are also rituals and visualization involving angels, and different deities z there are also correspondences for herbs, colors and essential
Oil .

Book is great for the beginner because it gives you the basics and then puts it all together for you . I am a sucker for simplicity. She also gives over some Feng Shui basics.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Krampus is Calling

Letters From KrampusLetters From Krampus by Thomas Raven
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The North Pole had been taken over by a corrupt Kobold who was originally hired to help Santa and Krampus with making toys and getting them delivered.

Santa has been drugged and taken prisoner while Krampus has been driven into exile. Since the Kobokd took over he has corpratized the North Pole. Making elves work for slave wages and destroying forests to build more factories. Fewer and fewer children are getting gifts and Krampus has been given a bad rap.

From his place in exile, Krampus sends a series of letters to the young Anne peregrine . On December 5 of every year for 10 years straight. In all he asks for her to believe and in every year he tells her about the fight against Corvus the Kobold .

The letters tell how he befriends snow cats, wolves and bats to fight against Cirvus. He tells how he destroys a factory and how he enlists the elves to go against Corvus z he tells about spy attempts and how he rescues Santa. The final battle takes place in a gorge.

Seems like a nice book for children or young teen agers . Not classical material but good light entertaining g reading. Nice to hear that people are recognizing Krampus, even if they have despooked him .

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Story of Green

Green Angel (Green Angel, #1)Green Angel by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Starts off living life on an optimistic note. Life is like an unwritten book with blank pages waiting for her to fill in. The family owns a farm overlooking a river. The family consists of Green, mother, father and her younger sister. Oh yeah there is a dog called Onion. The parents are hard working folk and the younger sister is very active with stark white hair that attracts moths. Green herself is the expert on farming.

One day the family goes to town in order to sell their goods in the market. Green is left behind feeling ultra resentful. That is also the day that disaster strikes. What the author describes as a huge fire decimates the town and and everything is covered in soot. All plant life dies and whoever is left behind is wandering around in a daze. Soon people  are looting and banditry returns to the roads.  Looting is rampant and teenagers that have survived have taken to drink and dancing around a fire in order to forget.

Green goes through a transformation calling herself Ashe. She puts nails in her fathers boots, thorns in her leather jacket and cuts off all her hair. Green/Ash takes to inking herself with black ink tattoes. She transforms into a rugged survivor. People are very afraid of her as well.

Soon she takes in Onion the dog and a white dashhound who she helps heal. Diamond a young man with a burned face who does not talk comes by and helps her about. Green also feeds an ailing neighbor.

Soon within time another transformation takes place and the black ink tattoos turn green. A short children's story about life, loss and redemption. Great childrens book and this authoress seems to have knowledge of folk cures and the use of herbs.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

The Birth of Gothic Monsterz.

The Poet and the Vampyre: The Curse of Byron and the Birth of Literature's Greatest MonstersThe Poet and the Vampyre: The Curse of Byron and the Birth of Literature's Greatest Monsters by Andrew McConnell Stott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vampyres have been around for centuries if not millennia. Traditionally they were portrayed as decaying corpses come to life only to drink blood and then hide back in their grave. John Polidori’s story changed all that and the vampire became an aristocratic figure full of charm and seduction. The birth of this new vampire coincided with the firth of a new kind of monster one created by man.

John Polidori, who wrote, “ The Vampyre” was trained traditionally to be a doctor. Forced by his Italian immigrant father to study medicine, the London born John first studied in Amplworth and then wnet to medical school in Edinburgh. Some things macabre jump out from this experience. To understand the anatomy medical students used to steal corpses from the local cemetery and cover up their crime so they would have something to work with.

Upon graduating from medical school, John Polidori became the physician to a fallen Aristocrat named Lord Byron. Lord Byron skyrocketed to fame with his poem “The Child Harolde” In this sudden rise to fame Lord Byron womanized, drank and held outrageous parties. Whenhe got married to Anna Milbanke the marriage lasted but two to three years. She filed for divorce and the rumors spread like wild fire. Lord Byron left for the European continent. Taking off by boat with John Polidori the two toured the countryside of France and Luxemborg going all the way to Geneva. The country was ravages by war with Napoleon and Austria.

It was in Geneva at Lake Leman in Switzerland that Lord Byron was slated to meet with Claire Clairmont, step sister of Mary Shelly. Mary Shelly was famous for writing “Frankenstein.” Her real name though was Mary Godwin. Wolstonecraft was the name of her grandmother. The family was of political free thinkers and feminists. Mr. Shelley her husband eloped with her leaving his first wife Harriet behind.

At the in a Villa called “Diodati” the group of people explored literary ideas, experienced boredom and had their dalliances. One such union was between Lord Byron and Claire. It produced a child but Byron would not recognize he child nor acknowledge it. One day they were all bored and decided to have a ghost story writing contest. This contest produced “Frankenstein” and the Vampyre.

The Vampyre was inspired by Lord Byron. He was a charming womanizer with a streak of cruelty. He lead a debaucherous life and was quite egocentric. While Polidor’s Vampyre story would hit big time he would barely scrape by. After being released from Lord Byron’s service he traveled Italy and wnet about Europe trying to procure employment. Lord Byron settled in Venice and sent his daughter via Claire to a nunnery where she dies of neglect. Lord Byron would die in 1824 helping the Greeks against the Turks. John Polidoria would die in his sleep a debt ridden wreck and the Shelley’s had a somewhat normal life. Claire eneded up dying in her 80’s shaken by her life experiences.

Awesome book especially if one wants a glimpse into the debauched life of the poet. It is not all riches and glory and the writing life is not always the best. Love the book though it is about the author not the vampires themselves.


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lazy Man's Quabalah

The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford: Dilettante's Guide to What You Do and Do Not Need to Know to Become a QabalistThe Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford: Dilettante's Guide to What You Do and Do Not Need to Know to Become a Qabalist by Lon Milo DuQuette
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lon Milo Duquett is one of the most entertaining and informative writing on the subject of Quabalah and Ceremonial Magick. Using humor and wit the author uses an amusing character of a rebellious rabbi to teach the difficult and heady concepts of Quabalah . Rabbi Lamed Ben Clufford is a play on the author's real name.

A word about the spelling of Quabalah , Kabballah , and Caballah. Spelling counts here. Spelling with a K indicates Jewish mysticism , while C indicates the Christian version of things and the q is the super mystical which involves magic, tarot and numerology.

The author starts the reader off with a fictional biography of his fictional character. Then informs us that Chicken Quabalah is for people who wish to take a less painful and less dogmatic route to the study of Quabalah . There is also his fiction school. Zerubabel's institute.

Going into a rant which has his version of the ten utterances, we are informed that the universe was created from nothingness and that everything is one and interconnected . Heaven and Earth mirror each other and all of creation is reflected into everything .

The world was created by the utterance of Hebrew letters. Each Hebrew letter has numerical value and symbolic meaning. The author delves into that making the info easy to assimilate and yet giving the reader a full picture. He also gives the tarot correspondences .

Next the tee of life is examined and compared to the Hebrew letters and tarot cards. There is also discussion on gematria, notoricon and temura. Gematria is the numerical value of the words and sentences to squeeze out hidden meanings . Notoricon involves making acronyms out if works and sentences and teruma is letter replacement .

This book is a great primer for the Quabalah newbie and a good read for the advanced practitioner. As you ascend the tower if the deities name and scour the four worlds if creation you will find this book invaluable .

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Life of a Jewish Girl in Yemen

The Tainted ShadowThe Tainted Shadow by Maleeha Kamal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sarah seemed to be doomed to a life of solitude and pain. Born and raised in the poor village of Rawa, she helps the family survive by selling dolls. All the while dreaming of making money at doing herbal facial masks. Her father Andrew is an alcoholic and beggar king, who farms his wife out as a prostitute. Sara is also Jewish. Her life and fate take a sudden turn when her father sells her off into slavery. Her younger sister sneaks on board and both are fortunate enough to be maids for a kind Sheik who ships coffee. During their tenure they befriend Lulu, and Rawia. Sara puts her doll making skills to good use. After living their for 10 years the sheik Atif falls in love with her. They are set to get married but intrigue and disaster get in the way. The story is a work of fiction no doubt. The writing is choppy at time with character coming into the story without proper introduction. The plot and dialogue could use develop enemy as well. The time period of the story is unclear but I am guessing that it takes place around the 15th century shortly after z1492. The authoress mentions that many of these Jews came from Spain and Turkey. Reality is that Yemenite Jews were there even before the Muslims and Inam not so sure the Turkish and Spanish made their way to Yemen in an meaningful number. It is clear this author has knowledge of herbs but what is presented in the book seems like modern knowledge rather then what they would have used back then

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Magic Made Simple

Homemade Magick: The Musings & Mischief of a Do-It-Yourself MagusHomemade Magick: The Musings & Mischief of a Do-It-Yourself Magus by Lon Milo DuQuette
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is only recently that I have been exposed to the works of Lon Milo Duquette, and boy I am glad to have been introduced to his works. This work like the others is easy to read, witty and makes the arduous path of magic a whole lot easier to follow. Homemade magic is a gret read for both the beginner and the more advanced practitioner.

Starting off with an introduction of a young California kid forced to move away from paradise to a boring backwater Nebraska, he teels about adjusting to new climes and meeting his future wife Candace. His description of himself I meant to inform us that only she could deal with a man like him. Baba Lon sure has a sense of humor. His life story goes through the sixties, his college life and musical career and tells about his initiation into the OTO.

The first chapter or section gets the new practitioner initiated and makes the newbie ask some very essential questions about who they are. There is a lesson about coming up with your own magical motto. Now who we are is always changing, we are constantly being reinitiated and we will always come up with new magical mottos.

The book then moves into telling the magician how to get his magical weapon and how to consecrate them. You know the chalice, wand, sword, club and pentacle. To make them Lon’s way is the best and easiest way and for someone like me who is not that hands on and is a bit lazy this is the way to go.

Lon then goes on to tell the neophyte how to turn his home into a lodge and how to make your own set of Tarot cards. THE best way to learn magic is to teach magic according to the master. He tells you some great books and then you have to read the stuff and learn it. There is no room for ego and always accept that you can be wrong. In making a magical household there is away the challenge of raising the children. Of course they should be included to the extend that they can handle it and things should not be kept hidden or spooky. I like the way he tells the reader how to use the tarot card to make a magic circle. A bit detailed and will have to be read over. Take good note.

Getting started in magic is difficult and things are not always what they seem. But getting the essentials and simplifying down to the important stuff eases the transition into magic. This is one book that I will use. Even if I do not use everything there are lots of things I will pull out and use. For example at the end he gives over Eliphas Levi’s invocation to the four directions. I will use that in may faerie workings. The Morning-Afternoon-evening salutions to the Egyptian deities is simple and easy to use. I plan on using it. His rites to Demeter are useful even if I end up modifying it to meet my own needs.

Let me leave off with a few final things and maybe two. As a husband you know everything but your wife is always right. You know how tough marriages can be, especially between two magicians. Demons in human form who disrespect you for your flagrant flaws can really end up saving your life.


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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oppression of the Yemenites in Israel

Israeli Media and the Framing of Internal Conflict: The Yemenite Babies AffairIsraeli Media and the Framing of Internal Conflict: The Yemenite Babies Affair by Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oppression of the Yemenite by Their Ashkenazi Brethren

It was at the beginning of the nation state's history that almost the entire Jewish population of Yemen was airlifted to Israel in what was called "operation magic carpet". The story made front page and everyone thought they would live happily ever after. Unfortunately their was a very dark side to this "In gathering of the Exiles" thousands of babies were kidnapped or went missing depending on who your listen to.

The Yemenite Jews complained but no one in the government listened. Today it is still open wound. A wound that will nOt heal until a proper investigation occurs and the truth is revealed. The obstacle to this revelation is the Istaeli govt.

Yemenite author , shoshana madmoni Gerber, has investigated the Israeli government's cover up of this issue through the lenses of scholarly critique and a thorough analysis of how the Israeli government has historically treated the Jews from the Middle East.

From the beginning Israel has maintained itself as a European country smack dab in the Middle East. Anything Arabic or Middle Eastern was deemed as primative and barbaric, that included Middle Eastern Jews. In order to reduce their dependency on local Palestinian labor the Ashkenazi Zionists imported Middle Eatern or Mizrachi Jews over as cheap labor.

Once brought over the Muzrachim were doused with DDT and put into tin shacks, while Ashkenazi Jews were given better housing and living conditions. The Yemenites were traAted even worse. They were subject to physical abuse, theft of sacred objects and the kidnapping of their children. When they tried to make their voices heard the Israeli press was instrumental in silencing them.

The press which is dominated by the goverenment portrays the Mizrachim as primitive and backward. The press created the impression that the Yemenites were unclean and did not care for their children , yet the opposite was true . They did care for their children and when they spoke up and took action against their plight the press and goverent made them seem like violen separatists bent on destroying national unity . Three inquiries were set up which could only ask questions yielded nothing.

This is one of the greatest tragedies in Israel's history. Jews oppressing fellow Jews. A good documentation of Israel's real face one thT she tries to hide from the world .

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Druze of Israel

The Olive and the Tree: The Secret Strength of the DruzeThe Olive and the Tree: The Secret Strength of the Druze by Ruth Westheimer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Druze of the Holy Land

Situated in the north of what is recognized today as the Modern State of Israel, lies a community that is a minority within a minority. The Arabs are minorities in Israel and the Druze are a minority amongst the Arabs. Little is known about these hill dweller who have villages in the Carmel, Galilee and Golan. Their religion is secret even amongst themselves, their history though available to all is by and large unstudied. The Israeli Jews go up there for great deals, good food and warm hospitality. The Druze are known for the loyalty to the state. They serve in the Israeli Defense forces and have lost a high proportion of their numbers in the IDF defending the country, even a higher proportion then Israeli Jews do. The Druze believe in a concept of taqiyah which abides them to go along with the sovereign of where they live.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer , noted author on many books on sex, has delved into this little known community with the help of Gil Sedan. Her research started off as a documentary which then turned into a book. She has a Jewish background and is both a survivor of the Holocaust and a veteran of the Jewish Haganah. Her book is very even handed and those who know nothing about the Druze will find this book to be both a light read and very informative. Not many are able to plumb into the depths of the community as she has.

She covers several topics in this book such as relations to the state,religion , customs and more. As noted earlier the Druze are loyal to the state of residence, and there are Druze in Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Each Druze community is loyal to  the state and their own people.The Druze loyalty to Israel has put some friction between the Israeli Druze and the others. Yet they believe in loyalty to the Druze.Such a stance has alienated them from other Arabs.

As for religion it is very secretive even amongst themselves. Most Druze are not religious in fact they have few rituals and very few religious commandments. Like Muslims they are to refrain from adultery, alcohol and smoking. Most of them though do smoke. The ones who know and study the religion are called the "Wiseones" and the ones who are the majority and secular are known as "Ignorant ones" When a Druze becomes observant they shave their head, grow a handlebar mustache and wear a turban like hat. In the Druze religion both men and women are deemed equal and both can become knowers of the religion.

This equality extends onto other areas of life. Both can work and hold jobs and pursue education. A woman can also divorce a man as a man can divorce a woman. Once they are divorced however, there is no going back. The equality does not extend into all  areas of life. While the Druze way may not include honor killings that are present in Arab culture it is still  there. Both male and female druze are not allowed to marry outside of the community, For men the penalty would be banishment, loss of inheritance, children not part of  the community and for a woman the penalty is death. The Druze have been known to carry out this penatly. This is followed more strictly in Israel then it is in Syria or Lebanon.

THe religious extremist among the Druze have tried to limit womens freedom but have not been successful. They wanted women in the home and not be allowed to drive a car. The community did not listen. In Israel the Druze identity is more solid and reinforced then it is in other countries. In ARab countries they identify themselves as Arab while in Israel they are definitely Druze. As noted earlier the Druze are loyal  to the state but that special relationship has been strained at times.

While the Druze serve in the army, other ARab like Muslims and Christians go to university and get higher paying jobs.  When the Druze leave the army they are often lagging behind in education and are often unemployed while their Christian and Muslim counterparts are working and building homes for their family.  The Druze are often treated with both trust and mistrust and do not have the same opportunities as the Jews do. This has caused tension between the communities.

The Jews and Druze have been allies since post World War 1. Yet the Druze are not treated equally and in many respects lose out. Another factor complicating things has been Israels favoritism of the Christians over the Druze when Israel invaded Lebanon. Some of the Druze revolted and joined the Lebanese Druze against Israel. Not all Druze identify with Israel some have identified with the Palestinian cause and have advocated against serving in the IDF.

The Druze of the Golan are a different category, being Syrian citizens under Israeli occupation. After the 1967 war they found themselves under Israeli rule and at first they availed themselves of the many opportunities it provided them. Yet when Israel returned the Sinai desert to the Egyptian they started becoming more Syrian. The author makes it like thhey appreciate living in Israel but if the land is ever returned to Syria they will be asked why they were so cozy with the Israelis.

Another interesting aspect of their religion is the belief in reinacarnation. They believe that after they die they will be born into another Druze body and this is something that they believe strongly. They have stories of memories andd of knowing people form past lives.

The book gives a brief sketch of their over all history, on how they came to live in Israel and a bit more in depth view of their relationship with Israel. If you wish to learn more about the Druze this is a good place to start.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hawaiian Magic

Hawaiian Religion & MagicHawaiian Religion & Magic by Scott Cunningham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Scott Cunningham most noted for his works on Wicca and witchcraft had spent considerable time in Hawaii and became enamored with the culture. What follows is an informative easy to read book that gives the reader insight into some of the ways of Hawaii's spirituality. At best the book An in depth overview that could leave one hungering for more. Fortunately for those with more than a passing interest there is a nice sized bibliography in the back .

While much of Hawaiian spirituality may have been lost with the coming of Christian missionaries there is still plenty that remains. I am willing to wager that Scott Cunningham knew more then what he put in the pages and the potential magician may have found a world view that he or she can apply to their magic but the book is sparse I magical techniques. Still it provides a very enjoyable and informative read.

Some of the subjects discussed are the history of the Hawaiian people and their deities. Most known is Pele but there are others and they are known as the akua. The amakua are the deified ancencestors Hawiian families. Sometimes the Amakua take in animal forms or simply appear to guide their descendants. Kapu were prohibitions or taboos. If a certain families amakua came back as sharks it would be forbidden fir that family to eat sharks. Not all the deceased became amakua. Some ghosts found their way to the after life by finding to right cliff to dive off of. Those that did not find their way remained to haunt others and steal their food ,

Chiefs were called Ulii and were considered to have possessed more mana then regular people . People did not defile their shadow and oft time prostrated themselves before the chief. The chief like others had their clothing guarded so sorcerers could not curse them . On fact every one protected their cothing. Kahunas were priests or experts. Beneath them were prophets. After that were the common folk .

The Hawaiians believed that everything possessed mana or life energy. Different types of people had differnt types as did plants, animals and stones.

The book discussed some sacrifice to the gods for different thing. It also discussed magical uses for stones and plants. The lunar month and important days was elaborated upon and the astrology was touched upon.

The book serves as a nice introduction into Hawaiian spirituality .

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Contacting your Holy Guardian Angel

After the AngelAfter the Angel by Lon Milo DuQuette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

nteresting diary of how working the Abramelin working over a period of several months altered and changed the life of the author. The working was done over a nine month period and the author like most of us had to interact with the secular/mundane world.Like most of us we could not just retire from the world and do our working,so modifications had to be made. While doing this working the author noted many changes in his world that affected both him and his family members. Having to do operations and prayer andd meditation along with fasts tended to make one feel somewhat disconnected from reality. The working brings about change and confusion. Dreams are effected as well as the author was flooded with memories and very strange dream that often times invovled religious experience both Pagan and monotheistic. His family member were also visited by dreams and sometimes even nightmares. In the physical world things would begin to knock over, cats would hiss and the family would hear strange sounds both day and night.

What is the purpose of the Abramelin working you might ask? The purpose is conversation and contact with your holy guardian angel. Contact with your angel changes your reality. It brings you enlihgtenment and disorientation. The results are worth it but In will add my own caveat. Such a working should probably be done under some contact of guidance of an actual physical mentor or teacher. The book does not give any in depth ritual steps or incense recipes and on the surface of things it gives you a rather cursory glance.

For me the book opened up several doorways. First off it is reconnecting me to the deep spiritual tradition of Western Mysticism. This includes Sufi, Kabballah and Christian mysticism. There is some deep stuff there that any magical worker should not ignore. There are also references to several awesome books to read for further investigation. I may never do the working in my life time but I did pull out several things that could assist me in developing my spiritual practice. I will most likeley include them in a longer review included on my blog granovitch.blogspot.com. I gave this book 4/5 stars.

View all my reviews Extended note Say psalm 23 for protection. Inspirational poem Climb thou onward and uphill still, Bravely , joyously mount the hill. Love and mercy are shining over. All life's journey by sea and shore. Thou nothing knowest of the road thou goest. Yet be thou strong all the way long. Know the guide before thee . Rectify us with good advice before you. By Rebbe Nachman Books to read Angels and Mortal Anthony Duncan Book of Lilith Black goddess and the sith sense The wise wound Essential paper on Hasidism Irina Tweedy Way of Kabballah Kabballah of prayer Unto thee I commit myself with the promise of love and fidelity I beg you protect me against my own weakness and against the attacks of the wicked spirits. Enlighten my mind and my heart so that I may always know and accomplish the will of God. Come forth of secret star teach the soul to know it self. Lord o my soul oh lord my god thou art very grate. Thou art clothed with honor and majesty: who cover thyself with light as with a garment ; who stretch out the heavens like a curtain who layeth beams of his chambers in water, who makes clouds his chariot, who walks upon the wings of wind, who makes angels his spirits; his ministers of fire. blessed are those who hunger and thirst for a foundation of peace between the warring parts of themselves. They shall find all around the materials Four Dark FamiliRs Midnight to 6 am palgoth 6 am to noon demina pleasing woman Noon to 6 pm shadrik hulking brute who removed obstacle 6 to midnite zenos. Hooded knower of secrets

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tolkien's Mythology

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

The Silmarrillion

This is the story of how the world was created. Illuvatar was the one and only god. From him came the Ainur, sort of like gods or angels who served under Illuvatar. With the Ainur, Illuvatar made music.THis music would create the world and the universe. Our world was called Arda. Now there was was one glitch in the system. Melkor, sort of like the Bible's Lucifer, went into a rebellion and strove to corrupt thing.He disrupted Illuvatar's song several time. Once Arda was created several of the Ainur went down to govern it. Those Ainur who went down to Arda were called the Valar.

What follows is a tale that spans across all three ages of elves, the fourth age belonging to man. THe book tells how Melkor destroyed the works of Illuvatar and how the Valar had to fight him. THe first time Melkor was subdued by Tulkas and chained in the halls of Mandos Lord of the Underworld. It was around this time that the elves were first born at Cuiven. They woke up and say the stars and from that point on revered Elberteth Gilthoniel, consort to Manwe who is head of the Valar. Orome went to guide them to Valinor. Some elves stayed behind under the sway of Melkor and these are called Dark Elves or Avari. Those that followed are called Eldalie. THey that arrived in Valinor were divivided into three tribes. Ingve led the Vanyar, who were most loyal to the Valar. Next were the Noldoli who were builder and crafters like Aulie, crafter of the Valar. Finally there were the Teleri, the boat builders.

Aftr Melkor served his time and was released he did not give up his evil schemes. he seduced the Nildoli and convinced them to rebel  against the Valar. WIth the Help of Ungoliant he also destroyed the two saced trees of Valinor and stole the Silmarrillion. The Silmarrillion were three jewels crafted from the light of the trees. After Melkor stole them, the sons of Finwe, rulers of the Noldoli went after him.

Second age tells how Melkor fought against the elves and how he dominated Middle Earth. It tells how Thingol met Luthien and formed a kingdom in Doriath. His wife, Melian was of the Maia, which are a little less in power then the Valar. THese two have a cheld named Luthien. She falls for the human named Beren who retrieves one of the Silmarillion. and dies yet there love is eternal . THe book also tells of the tale of Turambar and the madness he is afflicted with because of Melkor. The kingdom of Doriath falls over greed and desire for possession of the Silmarillion.

Turgon also sets up a kingdom that is hidden from Melkor but soon that falls as we'll. Such was fortold by Ulmo, lord of the sea. After there realm is destroyed the survivors flee and link up with the survivor of Doriath. From them produced the heir called Elrond.

The book tells also the tale of Numenor and how Suaron swayed them against the Valar. Such betrayal led to their destruction.  I will not blow the ending by telling you what happened to Melkor and Sauron. Needless to say there is an encapsulating of the last war against Sauron which many of you are familiar with as the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. This story will give you good background into some of the things you see in the movies that is not explained in the book "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" Such background would give depth and understanding, especially with the Hobit movies that have been stretched into a trilogy.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Drawing Down the Pagan Vibes

Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in AmericaDrawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America by Margot Adler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a classic, written in the 1980’s and has had several editions put out later. Due to the age of the book there may have been many developments in the Pagan arena , so some of the information might still seem dated. The authoress herself passed away on July 28, 2014.



Since Gerald Gardner birth the modern witchcraft revival, the Witch Craft Pagan community has grown by leaps and bounds. The most popular facet of the Pagan movement is the growth of Wicca, Gerald’s child. The face of the craft has changed a lot since it’s inception, especially here in America. Using interviews and research Margot Adler gave us an accurate picture of the Pagan movements growth. In the beginning Wicca centered around the God and Goddess and one had to be initiated into a coven in order to practice.



Once the craft moved over to the United States of America things began top change radically. The first change as marked by the Susan B. Anthony Coven founded by Z Budapest represented the feminine version of the craft which is wholly Goddess centered. This is called Dianic Wicca. In terms of participation Wicca and Paganism have become les coven centered and more festival and group oriented. There was also a movement away from tradition towards being eclectic but now that is reversing.



The book not only covers the current trends in Wicca but also covers the history of witches and how people perceive them. The most noted controversy regards the birth of the craft. Some people say that Gerald made it all up and that there were no witches stretching back to the beginning of time. Some like Margerite Murray feel that it was around. In ancient sources there are mentions of Witches working Hekate and ISIS. Practitioners like Isaac Bonewits feel that there may have been pocket of groups that worshipped the Goddess, but not certainly all of them. The medieval witches may have been a figment of the inquisitors imagination. In any case there are three types of witches. The first type of witch is the Family Traditional Witch. Many of these are non coven based and very individualistic. Their practice is not entirely pure as it has been contaminated with modern ideas. The second type is the gothic witch who model themselves after the Inquisition witch. The third is the modern Wiccan.



In terms of Wiccans there are many branches or schools. The first is obviously the Gardnerians and then the Alexandrians. But there have cropped up other types like the Algards which combine the first two. There are also Georgians and they have their own way of doing rituals. Other orders that are new creations have popped up in San Francisco like the New Order of the Reformed Golden Dawn. One of it’s founder Aidan Kelley has since moved back to Catholocism. He believes the Goddess most pof the Pagans are worshipping is actually the Virgin Mary. She has the compassion.



In addition to covering witchcraft there is also coverage of Druidic and Egyptian orders in the Pagan Sphere. Some have found their own path to the Gods like the Church of Aphrodite and Ferfaria. The Church of All Worlds was creted with inspiration from Stranger in a Strange Land.



By and large Pagan if they wish to call themselves tend to be rather well educated city dwellers who have a strong ecological bent. Many will want to use the term witch due to negative connotations while other’s wish to reclaim the word. Some believe in secrecy to avaoid trouble while others are out in the open about things.



A great book for those just getting started into paganism

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Light Bringer's Rebellion

Lucifer's Rebellion: A Tribute to Christopher S. Hyatt, PH.D.Lucifer's Rebellion: A Tribute to Christopher S. Hyatt, PH.D. by Shelley Marmor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Rebellion

No the title is not about Lucifer rebelling against God or storming the gates of Heaven to take over. In fact the book is not even about the devil. The idea behind the book is liberation of the self to pursue you own true will and peruse the great work if you even want to call it that. Written in dedication to magicians and therapist Christopher Hyatt who espoused  a radical philosophy that was considered to dangerous by the establish, the work comprises works by many different authors and contributors. Among the contributor are Osho, Israel Regardie, William Hyatt,Austin Osman Spare, Peter Conte, Lon Milo Duquetten and several others. The topics they cover are Marquise De Sade, Prayer, the use of language, martial arts and a few others.

Like I said the book is about liberation and breaking free from the crowd and choosing your own path. Our society and our parent have programmed us from the get go on what we are supposed to do , what to like and who to love. Often times this programming tells us to go against our own interest and not pursue our true will. Included in these messages are thought or recording that make us feel inferior or down, they eat away at our self confidence. This book is about breaking those chains that society has placed on us. This is dangerous to the powers that be, the church, the state and the multimillionaires who exploit the working class. This is the left hand path, recognizing your own god hood and letting everyone else realize theirs.

Starting off with an essay about Marquis De Sade, most known for his delight in torturing women. He ended up being imprisoned and died in an insane asylum. He was not imprisoned for what he did to the women he was imprisoned for defaming Christianity.Marquise saw it all. People in power engage in behavior that is not only immoral and hypocritical but also down right cruel to the people underneath them. They go off on hurting people. But De Sade wrote about self liberation and about an elite core of supermen who ran things and were more enlightened. They ran things. Most of his writing were suppressed as they brought up things that threatened the power structure.

Who are these enlightened being. In other essays they are people who have realized their own godhood and are pursuing their true will. They are not like sheep  that follow the heard where ever they go rather they strike their own path. THey do not get their rocks off by exploiting others. As for slaves they do not serve these enlightened ones rather they go about their psychic slumber and do what everyone else does. They are slaves.

The world is in deep trouble and their are some addresses of the political. But before that one must do the work inside and change the software in order to improve the hardware which is their brain. Robert Anton Wilson is a big proponent of changing how we use language.Change the language then change the perception of what you see and hear. Most people will that the computer is white...no room for interpret at . What we should say if that the computer appears to be white. This leave room for different interpretation and flexibility for new information.

Osho, a philosopher from India, state that revolution have occurred constantly. The powerless take the power from those who hold it but nothing really changes. What he calls for is a rebellion that stems from the word yes rather then no and that rebellion takes place with. Start with love and opening the mind to better possibilities and watch it spread from person to person.

Some of the essays talk about politics.One particular essay is on the issue of gun control and how it pertains to the constitution. We have the right to own weapons for self defense. Yet the author is against registering them for fear a nzi like government will take them away. Another essay talks about Obama and his Obama care. I get the concept and the line of though but in terms of politics I believe to each their own and would not have placed such in a book like this.

On Christianity which has been hypocritical and bloody has reduced the populace to the thinking of sheep. Thanks to Christianity people believe in a cocent of armageddon. Such mistaken thinking is based on faulty translation and misunderstanding. We now now believe in it that we will probably create our own Armegedden. 

Over all excellent works by the authors. While my review gives a good over view and some depth I strongly advise you get the book and read it. It is only 4.99 on Amazon kindle. I took aery from this book a desire to plumb deeper into quantum psychology and that our language forms our thought which influences strongly our perception of reality.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

For the Love of the Jinn

حوجنحوجن by Ibraheem Abbas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hawjan

Set in Jeddah Saudi Arabia, A jinn and his family find that someone is moving into their abandoned house. A family of humans and the house according to humans had been left abandoned. For a moment they think of fleeing away from the humans to a town of Najaf Jinn called Yatmah. Najaf Jinn are Muslim jinn who believe in Allah. But Hawjan has a SLIGHT PROBLEM. He is in love with a human girl called Sawsan. Their contacts start out with the two communicating through a ouija board and then progress to a tablet. All the while Hawjan's mother warns him against getting overly involved with a human lover.

Things get complicated when Hawjan's cousin Xanam shows up. Xanam is acting as an agent of the Jinn King Hayaf. THe marids have magical  abilities and they want Hawjan to marry Jumara his cousin sonnthey can give the baby to King Hayaf. Sawsan also has brain cancer which keeps getting worse. Her father Dr. Abdulraheem has been taken in by sorcererors. It is us to Hawjan to save her. 

What follows are battle in the Jinn world so remote from human understanding. Hawjan learn to harness his powers and get along in our world. There are several confrontation between human and Jinn. Possessions occur as well.

While in the main this book may  never become a classic it made for entertaining reading. Thoroughly enjoyable as well as quick.THe book has been under some censure in Saudi Arabia and it may have been banned. But you can get it here.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Understanding the Concept of Dhimmi

Understanding DhimmitudeUnderstanding Dhimmitude by Bat Ye'or
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THe publication and my reading of this book could  not have been more timely . Owing too the current crisis happing in Iraq and Syria with Christians being slaughtered by ISIS, a fundamentalist group, this book examine the place in society occupied by Christians, Jews and other people of the book. The book means the Bible. The concept of Dhimmi is supposed to to convey a protected status, albeit one that is not completely equal with the majority stakeholders of society. In Islamic and Arabic society the majority stakeholder were Muslims and  the minorities were mostly Christians and Jews.

To be a Dhimmi meant that one had to pay a protection tax, could not own land and even had to pay a tax onland that was not yours but only that you were using. Once the tax was paid the Dhimmi was left alone in almost complete autonomy. Yet, there were other strictures that had to be complied with. Christians and Jews could not repair their houses of worship save by special permission from Muslim authorities this led in certain places to houses of worship being in a state of disrepair. In other places the Muslims were more liberal about this and their were some pretty nice houses of worship .
Dhimmis could not own weapons, nor could they defend themselves, if faced with an attack they could only beg for mercy. Dhimmis could not defend or testify in a court of law.

That being said there is considerable debate both within the Jewish community and without as to whether the Jews in Arab lands fared better or worse then their co religionists in Europe. Jewish authors like Mark Cohen and Joel Benin would argue that Jews had a good time, while other scholars which the current author Bat Ye'or would maintain that the concept of Dhimmitude made life miserable for Christians and Jews. Of course things depended on where you lived and on how the authority choose to interpret Islamic Law. Some places were more lenient then others.

The author argues and with a certain amount of validity that the concept of Dhimmitude was designed to humiliate and subjugate Christians and Jews who were following a corrupted religion based in the the true revelation. THe author notes that prior to the first wave of conquest from Islam the Arab lands were mostly Christians with strong Jewish communities. Dhimmitude made the original inhabitant slaves in their own land. Dhimmitude was meant to waste away the community and fossilize it.

While the author maintain that life as a dhimmi was bad it did get better under colonial administration post World War 1. Then there was equality. When the colonial powers left. Things got bad for the Jews because of Zionism. Christians joined with the Muslims against Zionism in order to cement their place in society and escape Dhimmitude. This ended up back firing.

THe author paints a negative picture of Islam,  and I am not so shire that it was all that negative. First off it was Christians who were the first anti-Semites . The Dhimmi laws were inherited from the Byzantines. It was Christians who   promulgated the first ant- Jewish laws. Many Christians helped the Muslims conquer their lands both out of self gain and because their Christians government became corrupted. It was Muslim armies who allowed some Jews to be resettled in Israel/Palestine after the Romans expelled them. Christian clerics upon being conquered so long as the Jews were right beneath them.  In Iraq scholars from the three monotheistic faiths would consult on another on various religious issues. Rambam had many positive things to say about the Muslims and Islam.

In the end I would say that Jews and Christians enjoyed both prosperous times and times of persecution depending on the time and place. At least their were no major holocausts like their were in Europe. The book comprises 21 speeches or lectures given over by the author along with some given over by her late husband David Littman.  The past needs to be studied more objectively from both angle and I think that as we move toward the future the best solution is a separation of religion and state and that secular democracy is the way to go.  

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Seers of Old

Priestesses Pythonesses Sibyls - The Sacred Voices of Women Who Speak with and for the GodsPriestesses Pythonesses Sibyls - The Sacred Voices of Women Who Speak with and for the Gods by Sorita D'este
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In ancient times women had a much bigger part to play in religious affairs then they do now in the current monotheistic mode. Not only were they priestesses serving alongside the priest conducting rites to
The gods as they were in Egypt but they were also seers and oracles. In communication with the Gods they would deliver the divine message to the supplicant who came asking for their future or an augury. Sometimes it would be a priest or a female helper who would help interpret the message.

Sorita d'Este compiled a collection of essays and edited them. The essays give a broad over view of the practice and gives a sampling of broad and basic techniques. It can get you started and it can give you an overview if your interest is academic. However , if you wish to be an oracle or pursue these spiritual practices you will have to do further research or maybe find a group that will help you grow , fortunately in the back of the book there are more resources listed in a very thorough bibliography,

Author's like Katie Gerard and Janet Farrar who I
Am more then a little familiar with have made their contributions to this work, many others who I am not so familiar with made their contribution as well.

The essays cover a wide gambit of territory. There are contributions from Wiccan priestesses, Norse Shaman, Voudou practitioner, Egyptoan Priestesses and some historical Christianity.

Stories range from experiences all the way to historical research on the role of women prophets in early Christianity.

Techniques seem to by large fall I to the general category of ecstatic dancing leading roman exhausted trance state and sitting in a high chair listening to music in order to achieve trance.

The book is well worth the read . It would mark the first step of your journey . Enjoy and happy trails.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Evolution of Feri Craft

Evolutionary WitchcraftEvolutionary Witchcraft by T. Thorn Coyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THe Evolving Craft of Faerie

This is definitely not a book of rituals or spells, this is a book that is all about working on your self. Feri Witchcraft is not Wicca by any stretch of the imagination . The theology is different as is the method of circle casting.
T THorn Coyle who reports that she grew up catholic has been rather eclectic herself. Having studied Kabballah, Sufism, Gurdjief philosophy in addition to Feri she has a lot to offer in her teaching. The founders of Feri Craft were wide versed as well in their spirituality especially Hawaiian Mystics. Feri Craft is rather ecstatic and not sexually oriented as Wicca is . Their belief is that we have feminine and masculine currents running within us an can be accessed as will.

In Feri Craft there is no circle casting but rather you are casting a sphere. This forms the basis of practice outlined in the book. You have east-air, south -fire, west-water, north -earth . You have the above for accessing stellar power, down below to access chthonic energy and then the center. For each direction there are tools to be charged and spiritual exercises to help work on yourself. I have included some in this review. For more in depth you might want to see the review on my blog or friend me on Facebook . My blog is granovitch.blogspot.com

mirror exercise stand in front of a mirror and when you have something negative about someone else to say say to the person in the mirror. look and notice your reactions.

Shower exercise: after a rough day of work cover yourself with soap or bath salts. As you let the water rinse you off say the name of each bothering situation or person that bothers you. After wards you are clean visualize yourself as a bright shiny light that glows brighter and brighter.

Bowl of water cleansing exercise: take a bowl of water. say blessed be creature of water breathe on it. Take your salt and say "Blessed be creature of salt" pour into water and stir counter clockwise. When done stirring say "inner and outer may all be cleansed." anoint yourself with some of the water and then dump the rest down the drain or on the sidewalk.

Sphere Casting

This technique works with a sphere of blue light. A good preliminary exercise is to breath in and fill your belly to head with light.and then push out the light though your feet using the muscle of your belly. Remember to use keys for centering. ANother exercise to improve the power of your blue flame. is to light a candle and focus on the blue flame. When you feel you have had enough imagine your self being filled with the blue light and then snuff the candlde.

To actually cast your circle breathe in to draw energy through your feet. Imagine a red iron earth with it's center a blue flame. Combine the the blue flame with your chi. Let the blue fire flow down your right arm. Facing the north draw an invoking pentagram and say "by the Earth that is her fertile body" then turn to the east leaving a trail of blue fire and then face the east. Draw your invoking pentagram and say "by the air that is her vital breath" GO to the south doing the same procedure as above. Draw your pentagram and say "By the fire of her quickening spirit" Then go to the west draw your pentagram and say"by the living water of her teaming womb" Draw the flame above your head Draw your pentagram and say "By the ethereal powers above" then go over your head and bring it down below draw your pentagram and say "by all the powers below" finally bring it to the center and say " by the circumference which isthe circumference of all"

to strengthen the circle say

O hallowed earh i walk with a blade of will in the presence of the gods chaos and still.Blue shining flame of beauty marking the sphere. None cross it but the reverent. Sacred here into this magic portal.None shall see save for those who bear the keys of mystery. By breath,bon be and blood
So mote it be.

Invoking pentagram Banishing

1 2
4 3 4 5

1 3
2 5

Blue sphere exercised : Imagine a blue sphere of fire in the center of your gut. Breath in and visualize it getting larger until it gets as large as you need. Then say "I am sacred" When you are finished shrink it and let it pop into nothingness. say your name three time.

Posture is very important.When sitting notice your body and the positions of it's different part. Notice where the breath goes.Carry these observations into your daily life.

we all have the potential to become more fey which is more connected to life and intouch with the spirit of things. great writing exercise would be to divide a paper into three parts. First part write about what in life makes you different. second what stops you from being more fey and thirdly what changes would you make to become more fey. When in nature try to become more in tune too things center and ground experience things, leave offering and clean up trash.

A great meditation would be to relax and drain out all your negativity. Walk down a path and come to clearing you come to your power spot. You will face different directions east is intellect,south desire,, west emotion, North is body while center is place of connection. What is in each of these directions for you. be ready to receive allies and gifts.

Primary deity of Feri is the star goddess Quakoralina. She is the source of all and is infused into the fabric of all reality. Prayer to her before all working goes like such

Holy Mother in whom we live move and have our being. From you all things emerge and unto you all things return.

There are three parts of the soul. Sticky energy part which is our animal drive.Shining body which is our aura and the dove whic is the halo above our head.

Wish bird exercise for the sticky body, energy ball for the auric body. Dove meditation become a drop of water merge with salty sea and let the dove nourish and repair other body parrts that need spiritual nourishment

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Sacred Fires of the Goddess

Hekate Her Sacred FiresHekate Her Sacred Fires by Raven Digitalis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Avalonia has went ahead and put out another anthology dedicated to Hekate. This would mark the second of such a work  . Grand total  I think they have put out about four or five books dedicated to Hekate. This attest her popularity among the neo-pagans. Several well known authors in the pagan community have made their contributions to this work among them are: Shani Oates,John Canard, Emily Carding, Vikki Bramshaw, Rqaven Digitalis, Katherine Sutherland plus several others including David Rankine and Sorita D' Este.

A little background on Hekate is called for. Originally she is one of the titans and after the war between the Titan and the Gods she was one of the few that were not imprisoned in Tartarus. She was allowed to keep her domains as Goddess of Earth-Land-Sea. Her parents were Asteria, Goddess of the stars and Perses, a solar deity. Hekate took Asteria's jobs after she left the Earth. Through out the mytholgy she has been conflated with Persephone, Demeter,Isis and Ereskigal just to name a few. She is not known for her dalliances with other Gods but according to legend she has coupled with Hermes, and Zeus with a possible liason with Hades the king of the underworld.

Triplicate Goddesses appear a lot in ancient mythologies and Hekate is often depicted as having three heads, sometimes in animal form. She is the Goddess of the crossroads where three roads meet. Hekate like Hermes is a psychopomp which means that she guides people too the underworld and sometimes back . Dogs, owls, raven, pigs and wolves are sacred to her as are such herbs as aconite, wormwood, mugwort, cannabis and nightshade. She likes red wine, roses and jewel. She was a popular goddess back then and her popularity is growing with her resurgence.

Many of the authors or authoresses have had experiences where they went through loss and the worst part of their life and it was Hekate who guided them out of it or at least held their hand through it all. One woman had an abusive husband who beat her and killed her only son. She went to jail but ended up getting released in the end. One gentleman dedicated his life to Hekate and she took him to the next level. He lost everything and went through the lowest point in his life. This was part of an initiatory experience.

The reader will gain a lot of knowledge reading this book. Howver if one wishes to work with Hekate on a regular basis I would also like to advise reading Tara Sancehz's book "The temple of Hekate"

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Morning Rituals

Morning Ritual Washing the hands use bracha May the gods watch over my family may the bless them with health and wellbeing. May they strengthen my family for a thousand days and for ten thousand years unto eternity. Bastet cat goddess of Egypt Daughter of Ra , protector of Egypt slayer of demons Oh bright shiny one who battle the serpent Apophis in the midst of the night. Please cast your umbrella of protection over this household safe guarding everyone within. Should any demons strive to enter into this house hold please slay them tear their bodies to shreds and cast their remains to the four corners if the universe. Should any negative influences strive to enter this household please send them back from whence they came, I bid you thanks for having protecting me at place of work allowing none to speak evil against me or do me wrong. For your protection I am great ful. Also I bid you thanks for having protected my family from dangerous situations, life threatening situation or frightening situations. Please co continue to protect me at my place of work allowing none to speak evil against me or do me wrong . Should anyone strive to speak evil against me or do me wrong please bind their powers rendering them unable to carry out their designs. Also please continue to protect my family both with in and without this household and allow to travel freely through out the city with any fear of life threatening situation , frightening situation or dangerous situations. So now with this candle I illuminate all Praise to you Isis-Hathor, Mother of God, Lady of the Sky, Mistress of Abaton, Queen of the Gods. You are Horus’s divine mother, The Powerful Bull, his father’s protector, Who defeats the rebels. Praise to you Isis-Hathor Mother of God, Lady of the Sky, Mistress of Abaton, Queen of the Gods. You are Horus’s divine mother, Min-Horus, the hero who knocks down his enemy, And who commits a massacre in it. Praise to you, Isis-Hathor, Mother of God, Lady of the Sky, Mistress of Abaton, Queen of the Gods. You are Horus’s divine mother, Khonsu-the powerful, the royal son of the God of Eternity, Master of Nubian, sovereign of foreign lands. Praise to you Isis-Hathor, Mother of God, Lady of the Sky, Mistress of Abaton, Queen of the Gods. You are Horus’s divine mother, The powerfull bull, who has built the temples of Ennead, And gives shape to every divine image. Praise to you Isis-Hathor, Mother of God, Lady of the Sky, Mistress of Abaton, Queen of the Gods. You are Horus’s divine mother, The Powerful Bull who protects Egypt, God of the Name*, always. Praise to you Isis-Hathor, Mother of God, Lady of the Sky, Mistress of Abaton, Queen of the Gods. Adorations unto Sekhmet Adoration unto You, Beloved Sekhmet. Adoration be upon the gleaming eye of Ra. Adoration onto You, Source of all Power. Beautiful is the Terror You evoke. I adore You, Mistress of Hekau. I adore You, Roamer of the Desert. I adore you Lady of Fetters, Who binds the evildoer. I adore You, Who guards the path to Amenti. I adore You, Mother of the Dead. I adore You, Bringer of Judgment I adore You, Lady of the Tomb. I adore You, Lady of the House of Life. I adore You, Surgeon of Surgeons. I adore You, Mistress of Plagues. I adore You, Destroyer of Rebellions. I adore You, Ever-Victorious One. I adore You, Fierce Warrior. I adore You, Goddess of Battle. I adore You, Who destroys by Fire. I adore You, Who Protects Her Children. I adore You, Lady of Intoxication. I adore You, Who Devours. I adore You, all encompassing fire. I adore You, all encompassing force. I adore You, Who rouses the body. I adore You, Conqueror of the heart. I adore You, Unrivaled in Power. I adore You, Most Ancient of the Gods. I adore You, Who brings ecstasy. I adore You, Who opens the way. I adore You, Beloved of Ptah. I adore You, ancient Guardian. I adore You, Destroyer of obstacles. I adore You, Protector of Her people. I adore You, Against Whom No Opponent may stand. I adore You, Who does not allow Her children to fall. I adore You, Who cannot be defeated. I adore You, Who cannot be tamed. I adore You, Who causes the evil doer to tremble. I adore You, Who causes the devout to rejoice. I adore You, Who drives men to their knees. I adore You, Bestower of the blazing kiss. I adore You, Lady of Flame. I adore You, Light of the Desert. I adore You, Implacable One. I adore You, Whose right hand is Ma’at. I adore You, Upholder of Order. I adore You, Who purifies the World. I adore You, Bestower of the Waters of Life. I adore You, Mistress of death. I adore You, Vanquisher I adore You, Lady of Passion. I adore You, Who delights in courage. I adore You, for Whom strength is an adornment. I adore You, Beautiful of Countenance. I adore You, Whose heart is fire. I adore You, Who challenges Her people. I adore You, Who tempers Her chosen. I adore You, Giver of blessings. I adore You, Who makes the heart ache. I adore You, Who inspires longing. I adore You, Who grants no quarter. I adore You, Who requires commitment. I adore You, Who requires excellence. I adore You, Lady of Discipline. I adore You, Cunning Strategist. I adore You, Lady of the bloodbath. I adore You, Who orders the cosmos. I adore You, Mighty Lioness. I adore You, Who guards the darkness. I adore You, Who guards the light. I adore You, Mother of Power. I adore You, Sweetest Source. I adore You, Great One of Healing. I adore You, Great One of Magic. Adoration be unto You, Who gives life to the land. Adoration unto You, Who inspires my heart. Adoration unto You, Lady of the Scarlet-Colored Garment, Unknowable Desire. Beloved Sekhmet . For Wednesday Prayer to Hermes by Kyrene O Hermes, you lucky most fortunate god Bringer of good will and victory in chance to mortals Son of Zeus, inventor of the lyre, I sing praises to you, o most worthy god You are in a shower of coins at a casino The luck of a draw, the winning hand The traveling companion with a wink and a smile Who would not readily sing praises to Hermes, patron god of the fortunate? The glint of silver is akin to the twinkle in your eye Who would boast of good fortune, must also boast of Hermes For they are one and the same, o good god! Hermes, your cunning and skillful ways are beloved to us all. Lead us to victory in all things big and small, dear Hermes Share with us your random wisdom Let us laugh at your jokes Travel with us on our journeys And remind us that above all else, life is one big random adventure. For Friday "Mighty Anahita with splendor will shine. Incarnated as a youthful divine. Full of charm her beauty she will display. Her hip with charming belt she will array. Straight-figured, she is as noble bride, Freeborn, herself in puckered dress will hide. Her cloak is all decorated with gold, With precious dress, Anahita we shall behold."

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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