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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Homemade Jewelry

Amulets and Talismans: Simple Techniques for Creating Meaningful JewelryAmulets and Talismans: Simple Techniques for Creating Meaningful Jewelry by Robert Dancik
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is not so much about magic as it is about arts and crafts. While there is some discussion about magic this is a do it yourself guide to making amulets and Talismans. I myself am not one for the do it yourself stuff unless it is really simple. Nor am I one to spend lots of money on tools and supplies which in the end cost as much as buying one yourself, Especially if all you want is just one.

Now a word about magic, or should I say a few. Amulets ward off negative things while Talismans draw the positive stuff your way. There is a little talk about intent and belief but after that it is all about arts and crafts. Such an approach is good for someone who wants to do this as a hobby or build a small business. Not for me.

Although I did learn a few things. I did learn about faux bone and heating it to make different shapes that you may wish to do. I also learned about working with wire and wrapping it around rocks for some jewelry. The author does make use of nuts , bolts and screws as well as glue some of the time.

I won’t give this book a bad review as it is quite good for people who like arts and craft. The book has great step by step instructions along with cool color photographs to go along with. Filled within the pages are some really professional looking items that you might be able to do. Most of it looked cool but not high end professional, I guess it depends what you are looking for.


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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Keeping Company with the Spirits

In the Company of Demons: Unnatural Beings, Love, and Identity in the Italian RenaissanceIn the Company of Demons: Unnatural Beings, Love, and Identity in the Italian Renaissance by Armando Maggi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the Company of Demons


During the Renaissance era even such politically astute individuals like Machiavelli were aware or believed in the presence of spirits that lived in the air. Machiavelli believed that these spirits tried to contact people and help them. It was believed that these spirits had our welfare in mind. The Church took a dimmer view. Throughout the Renaissance several different authors took to writing about these spirits.

In the introduction, we read about an author named Menghli who knew of a young man that was visited by a spirit familiar. The spirit familiar would often run errands for him and help him out. This spirit took many forms sometimes that of a teacher, a noble man etc. These spirits since they had no corporeal body could assume any form they wished and usually they chose a form that the person they were trying to communicate with could comprehend or find familiar. These bodies were formed by compressing air or forming their fantasm like bodies.

Who exactly were these spirits? Giovan Francesco Pico dela Mirandola felt that they were demons who seduced people in the name of the Devil. His focus was on the strix or the screech owl. The strix was half owl and half woman. The condition was brought about as punishment for aligning with the devil. In one of his works he talks about a witch being put on trial and falling in love with a demon who maybe a ghost of a dead Roman general who betrayed Ceasar.

Strozzie Cigogna wrote treatises on Demonology. His works talk about God, his angels , demons and finally about people and how Demons try to interact with people. Demons were fallen being or angels who have no chance at salvation so they try to sabotage Gods plan and corrupt humanity. They seek our perdition. Demons or devils can mate with people or copulate but they have no feeling.

Pompeo Della Barba wrote treatises on love. How this connected with the rest of the book was a bit shaky. Basically the image of the beloved is perceived by the lover and it’s image awaken in his soul vial perception from the spirit. Body and soul give off spirit. These spirits sometimes hang around their graves if they were violently murdered or they stay earthbound if they feel the need to look after someone. This kind of spirit if angry and perverse enough could transform into a demon. Such a spirit which haunts others is a larvae. A lares is a household spirit that does beneficial things for the family or household. Genius loci is sometimes the spirit of an area.

Sinistari wrote books about Demoniality where in human –spirit sexual relations are frowned upon. The author of this treatise does discuss fallen angels an angels that were sent to guard people yet they fell in love and made giants. These giants were morally debased yet had great strength. Since spirits come from Fire, air, water and Earth. Fire being the strongest Those giants that came before Noah’s flood were in fact fire spirits. Now most giants are descended from water spirits and are not as strong. Yet they stay hidden.

The book offered discussion on not only angels and demon but also on Incubi and Succubi which could experience salvation. Elemental spirits were discussed and nature spirits yet they were classified as demons. The author did do a fairly nice job of comparing too the classical litaerature.

Yet I must add that demon is used as a blanket term for all types of spirits including jinn. Elves and faeries. Remember that demon came off the term Daimon. Daimon was a personal guardian that every human was born with.


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The True Story Behind the Da Vinci Code

The Priory of Sion - Shedding Light on the Treasure and Legacy of Rennes-Le-Chateau and the Priory of SionThe Priory of Sion - Shedding Light on the Treasure and Legacy of Rennes-Le-Chateau and the Priory of Sion by Jean-Luc Chaumeil
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ever since the publication and subsequent movie ‘The Da Vinci Code” the world has been obsessed with Rene Le Chateaux and the surrounding legend. Most people believe that the official legend is that Mary Magdalene married Jesus and fled to the Languedoc area after he was crucified. This child was called the Holy Grail and would spread the line of Jesus, the real king of Israel. Some would say that the Merovingian’s were from the line of Jesus.

Of course, the legend do not stop there. In reality there was a Jewish kingship that was established in France to someone from the line of David. But in reality that is neither here nor there. The real legend according to this book is something entirely different.

One must remember that Southern France has always been a hotbed of spiritual and political activity. The Cathars dwelt there until they were wiped out by the Albigensian Crusades. It was also a place were Druids and Celts dwelt and it was an area of contact between Arab and European culture. The real legend revolves around the Merovingians.

Rene Le Chateaux used to be called Rhada which meant chariot in Visigoth language. The Merovingians were Visogoths who descended by Cicambrians who ended up settling in the Northern regions of Poland. Part of their historiography claims that they came from the tribe of Benjamin. In any case it was when the Roman empire was in decline that the Visigoths sacked Rome and took a bunch of treasure with themselves. Among those treasures was the looted menorah from the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. As the Merovingian fortunes fell they would move their treasures about to different parts of France.

It was with the fall of the Merovingians that things got set into motion. The Carolingians and other so called royal family wanted to wipe out the Merovingian line. They tried to kill Dagobert the last son but he was rescued by Levi Moreaux. Dagobert would later have a son named Sigbert and a daughter.

The Priory of Zion was dedicated to keeping these royal heir alive and their identity hidden. The Priory of Zion and the Templars at first started out as being unified. It was only after the defeat of the Christians during the Crusades that they split apart. Godefoy De Boullion was of Merovingian descent and he was the Crusader king of Jerusalem.

Now through all of this there was Father Saunier who supposedly found gold and used it to enrich himself and build up his church. This is subject to some debate as some say that the treasure is not gold but scrolls. Father Saunier built a tower dedicated to Mary Magdalene and had installed a guardian named Asmodeus, a Solomonic Demon.

The book is loaded with tons of symbolism, of which the explanation is a challenge to grab. Translating over from French makes following along rather difficult and the writing style is choppy. It seems like instead of writing a narrative the author chose to put different documents together in an attempt to make a book. There are plenty of references spliced throughout the book of further reading material but no bibliography. Most of these sources are in French so good luck. Good book that is very enlightening but the writing style is hard to follow.


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Monday, March 17, 2014

Calling of the Wild Witch

Craft of the Wild Witch: Green Spirituality & Natural EnchantmentCraft of the Wild Witch: Green Spirituality & Natural Enchantment by Poppy Palin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Perfect book for those who are new to the craft, especially if you are not into the ceremenonial or Wiccan aspects. The Wild Witch is very different from your typical witch. The wild witch it seems usually works alone out in the wild communing with nature. Their path is different and to be a wild witch you must learn to stand alone despite what everyone else says or does. You are dedicated to helping nature and having power with nature rather then over nature.

At first I thought the book would be a poetic adventure of Unverified Personal Gnosis, but as I read on I realized that it was quite a bit more. The book is not meant to be a bible but rather it is meant to be a starting point to where you can do what works for you. Not complicated which is what I really love about this book. Spell work can be simple as chopping herbs and chanting or visualizing.

The book renders information on how to contact out spiritual companions and faery helpers. There is a word of warning to be wary of any entity you meet in your astral travels. Some mean you harm while other are just dangerous because their nature is similar to that of wild animals. To protect us from dangerous entities you can use cold blue fire and point it at the entity thus forcing it to reveal it’s true nature. Or you can show a mirror at it which makes the entity reveal it’s true nature. The cold blue fire can be used to create a circle of protections.

Of course before going on to any astral journey it is wise to create a circle of protection, which is advised before even beginning a prayer. It can be envisaged as a suits covering your body or envisaged as a hard bubble of sparkling white light. The protection should b e pliable and not too hard as you do not wish to block anything out.

After every working one should use one of several grounding techniques to get oneself centered. Such techniques may include putting one’s hands to the ground and releasing the energy back to the earth. One can also journal their experiences or eat some food.

The book comes complete with some trance path working meditations. There are also some techniques of drawing down energy from natural elements to power your work. The author also discusses the Sabbats in a way that honors the increasing and decreasing power of the sun. The phases of the moon are discussed along with some working that go with each phase.

The author does not simplify things with Wiccan model of god and goddess. Rather there is a reference to Sun father, Earth mother, feminine moon and Jack of the Green. There are also technique for building your astral dwelling that is preferred to be nature driven.

I found the book enjoyable with good practical working suggestions for the beginning witch. It might serve as a review for those of intermediate reading or learning. Guess I would call it a Witchcraft 201 book.


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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lord of Frenzy

DIONYSOS Exciter to FrenzyDIONYSOS Exciter to Frenzy by Vikki Bramshaw
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Dionysus is the Lord of Frenzy, well actually a whole more than that. I realize that when I say Dionysus people tend to think of wine and vines, but that is only part of it. This wonder and informative book by Vicki Bramshaw opened up a whole new vista.

The origins of Dionysus seem to stem from the island of Crete, where there was a horned God called Zagrreuss. Yet Dionysus has another origin coming from Thrace, and this horned god was called Sabazios. In fact there are many gods who fed into the Dionysus current and included amongst those are Osiris and Tammuzi, of Babylon.

Dionysus is a true Lord of the Hunt, he is associated with animals and with hunting. In fact he is an eater of raw flesh. Yet he is also vegetarian. Dionysus was a true liminal god who embraced opposites.

According to Greek legend Dionysus was born from an illicit affair between Persephone and Zeuss. Zeuss took the form of a snake and then seduced her in a cave. From this union Dionysus was born. Hera in her jealousy wanted Dionysus destroyed. So she hired some Titans to do the job. They distracted him with a mirror and got his lightning bolts from him. They killed him and devoured him. Zeuss in his anger zapped them with a lightning bolt and from their ashes created man kind and he ate Dionysus’s heart. This represent one of the phases of Dionysus. The Zagreuss Dionysus from Crete who is associated with wine and mead is the Dionysus of the underworld. He brings winters relief from the summer’s scorching sun.

As things progressed Dionysus was reborn from a mortal woman named Semele. Hera in her jealousy convinced her to ask Zeuss if she could see him in real form. Zeuss’s real form was lighting and this quick view burned Semele to ash. Zeus then took Dionysus and put him in his thigh. Dionysus’s second birth corresponded to Sabazios or bromios. This was the hunter god who went into a frenzy and would devour raw flesh. Hew was the Lord of the Summer Sun.

Dionysus’s final form was that of Iachen, this too has some precedence in Egypt and Thrace. Dionysus goes down to the underworld to rescue Ariadne from death. He does so and ascends to Heaven.

Dionysus was a god of physical passions, mead, wine, hunting , protection and liberation. He was the only God of the Greek pantheon who could possess his follower. Often times they held their rights outside of the city and the government was not always favorable toward them. Dionysus fought many battle. Associated with Dionysus are pine, goats, bulls, grapes honey, snakes, panther and figs. This review is only the tip of the iceburg. Book is loaded with tons of information on Dionysus.


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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Life of the Witch Queen

Fire Child: The Life & Magic of Maxine Sanders 'Witch Queen'Fire Child: The Life & Magic of Maxine Sanders 'Witch Queen' by Maxine Sanders
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the early pioneers of Witchcraft, Maxine Sanders, wife of Alexander Sanders tells her story from beginning all the way to present times. Her autobiography is as much about her as it is about the growth and development of the craft.

Since childhood Maxine seems to have been destined for a life in the craft. Like most other accounts of witches that I have read Maxine had a troubled childhood and one that brought about the recognition of her gifts. Her father, Victor was a tall, large sized Gemini who could not hold down a job for very long, hence it became the job of her mother to be the bread winner. Victor was also abusive. He could get violent and he sexually abuse Maxine as a child.

At an early age Maxine noticed her affinity for fire, hence the title, Fire Child. Being fascinated with the flame of fire and the burning embers that remained after the fire would die down young Maxine would stare for long periods of time at the fire. One time she went in to commune with the ember, which she called Fire Mice. The commune burned her body but she did not feel pain.

Maxine also had the ability to astral project without any training. This ability made it easy for her to spy on people. This is something that her mother would try to exploit both for financial gain and to spy on Victor and see what he was doing.

Abusive men seemed to follow Maxine thorough out her life right alongside of spiritual growth. She met Alex Sanders through her mother. He was a healer at a church. Alex had been the son of an illegitimate union between his father and another woman., who stayed together despite him being married to another woman. It was Alexander that would prompt her involvement into the craft.

But Maxine was no stranger to different forms of spirituality. Her mother helped her get involved in an Egyptian spiritual order. They were very strict and demanding and not to mention wealthy. Once could feel the strength of the movement. Also in part thanks to her mother Maxine would get involved with the teachings of Gurdjieff.

When she got closer to Alex he would involve her in his coven and temple. Alex was also a publicity seeker which would land the young Maxine in trouble with her parents and force her to move to London for a spell. Upon her return she would reunite with Alex get married and form the temple of the Goddess. She was involved as a trainer of very high standards and Alex at the same time being a gifted and wise magician would be involved with affair behind Maxine’s back. He would try to force her to bear a moon child and could be emotionally abusive. Through the marriage they would have two children together. Maya and Victor. The autobiography traces the ups and down of her life and anyone pursuing the craft will want to pick up this gem and read it.



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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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