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Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Vampyre's Grimoire

Vampyre Magick: The Grimoire of the Living VampireVampyre Magick: The Grimoire of the Living Vampire by Father Sebastiaan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Father Sebastian founder of the Sabre Tooth Clan and Strigoi Vii has written his third book about Vampyre spirituality. Notice that vampire is spelled with a y indicating that this is not the same as the blood sucking vampire as Count Dracula. Though truth be told he has written in the iontroduction that vampyres who consume energy were prevalent in Romania and Hungary.

This installment touches on the over all philosophy of vampyres who tend to be chaos magicians that use different paradigms based on preference or what is most feasible for the goal at hand. Such pardignms that they use would include Asatru, Wicca, Ceremonial magic and other.
Vampyre’s of Stigoi Vii follow on the Elorath current. There are some sample rituals for the various vampire holidays that somewhat correspond with Pagan holidays. There are also morning rituals, twilight rituals and evening riutals. There are also exercises included for mediation, astral projecting, chakra balancing and opening. There are also techniques discussed that show the semi Awakened vampire how to feed harmlessly off other.
The Vampyre is the most advanced stage of evolution according to the author but that does not mean that the vampire has a right to kill or torture others. In fact the need to feed off of prana or energy can be quite good for the vampire and the person being fed off. Reiki like techniques make it possible for the vampire to recycle energy.
But life is competive and the strongest do survive. This spirutality does embrace a brutal realism that nature is not always nice. There is a cycle of creation and destruction. It cannot be helped even if it does sound a bit Darwinian. Of course this does not mean that we do not help others when in need.
The vampyre’s ultimate goal is to survive the second death where in the astral body disintegrates and the spiritual identity is lost forever. The object is to keep the astral body living on the astral realm permanently. Usually the body generates and creates prana as well as storing it. During the process of decay the astral body can still feed off of it. The feeding can be rather pleasurable. Once the energy runs out th astral body disapates. Awakend vampyres manage to find energy with out harmfully draining others. Some of the ancestors may feed off of offering left by living spiritual descendants. Other have it stored elsewhere. Some are like a succubus or incubus that attack people while they are dreaming.
This system is all about balance. Vampyres live in and are part of this society. They must master their dayside skills along with their nighttime skills. Day skills are social skills, dressing nice and being charming . Nightime skills are things like shaapeshifting, feeding and astral travel. Has some really good techniques. Could have used some more embellishment of the techniques but a good place to starts and a good companion for Sanginomicon.


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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Unfinished Tales of Numenor

Unfinished Tales of NĂºmenor and Middle-EarthUnfinished Tales of NĂºmenor and Middle-Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one volume that I am glad to have read. It has stories going all the way the first age all the way through to the third age where in the Lord of the Rings occurs. During the first age the reader is treated to an account of how Tuor found the city of Gondolin after having escaped Morgoth;s slave camp. Led by Ulmo , the sea God and elves Tuor is charged with delivering a message. But does Thingol the King of Gondolin heed that message. The second story is the tragic tale of Turin son of Hurin. Hurin a grat warrior is captured by Morgoth and forced to watch the down fall of his children through a crystal ball. Some of you maybe familiar with the tale of “children of Hurin” Well this is another version of the story.
The second age is about the Island of Numenor. Gifted to men after the first age for fighting against Morgoth. The island was pentacle shaped with a central mountain in the center used for worshipping Eru Illuvatar. The royalty lived for a very long time but were not immortal like the elves. The land was rich in forestry and things were pretty mellow with people travelling by horse and there were plenty of crops. The tale of “Aldarion and Erendis” tells how Aldarion heir to the throne goes about travelling by ship on long extended voyages to the Middle Earth. The man is in love with the sea. His extended voyages strain relations between him and his family especially with Erendis his wife. Things get to a point where she raised the daughter on her own and the daughter ended up becoming queen. It must be noted that Aldarion helped men and elves against the forces of Sauron. The next chapter tells the list of kings and queens and finally how the shadown of Sauron brought about the downfall of Numenor. Greed and oppression of men in the Middle Earth turned people against N umenor.
The second age also has a section about Lady Galadriel. Telling how she left Valinor in anger against Manwe’s permission, she held an endless grudge against Feanor and Noldor for going against the Valar. She travels over the Misty Mountain and with Cereborn they found their kingdom. She refuses Manwe’s invitation to return and only finally returns after Sauron is defeated and the elves go off to Valinor. “The disaster of Gladden Fields tells of how the rings were made and how one man named Isuldur defeats Sauron and steals his ring. He dies in a river and loses the ring. We all know that Gollum finds it. The tale then tales Cirion and Erol. Erol fights with Gondor against Sauron and the wainriders. For this he is given Rohan as a land to rule over as kings and the riders from that realm are called the Rider’s of Rohan .

Things sequay with the “Quest of Erebor” This story gives a lot more background the “Hobbit” especially if you are perplexed about the mentioning of the Shadow in the Hobbit movies. I never remembered reading about that in the Hobbit the first time. Aparentally Gandal knew what was up. He chose Bilbo for a reason as he knew his ultimate destiny to hand the ring to Frod. The hunt for the ring tells how the witch king became the leader of the nine riders. But they have no will of their own save for Suron’s. They are used for quickness. When they captured and tortured Gollum after he lost the ring to Bilbo he was tortured and questioned . Fiortunately for the Hobbits Suaron really never heard of Hobbits.
The last part of the book tells about the people of Halth, a warrior group of people who have a female warrior queen. Going further it deals with the origin of the wizards, communication stones and other denizens of the Middle Earth. A must read for Tolkien fans.


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

From the Halls of Montezume to the Shores of Tripoli: William Eaton Pirate Hunter

The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines & the Secret Mission of 1805The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines & the Secret Mission of 1805 by Richard Zacks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s European shipping and that of the nation called the USA were being harassed by pirates in the Mediterranean Seas. There bases of operation were located in the Northern Coast of Africa nominally under the control of the Ottoman Empire. Tripoli, Tunis and Algeria were the main pirate ports. In the late 1700’s the Pirates attacked the island of Sardinia and made everyone who they captured into slave. Of course in the Ottoman Empire if you were a Muslim would automatically be redeemed. One of the people captured was a young girl called Anna Porcine. Her fate would have been marrying some minor sultan unless she could be ransomed. No one came to her aid and her father a small time diplomat did not have the fund. One brave American soul stepped up to the plate and got a loan for 5,000 dollars. The young girl was redeemed but he was in dept. The Turk that he bought her from would later jack the dept up to 40 thousand dollars. Eaton would later return to the states as a minor disgrace.

Years later in the 1790’s the pirates would continue their merciless plunder and the US under president Jefferson had decided it appropriate to take military action. So the Navy was sent. One ship in particular engaged the Tripoli navy only to end up getting beached upon a reef outside of Tripoli. 300 Navy men were captured and 7 officers. The Navy men were put into, fed meager rations and worked like slave. The officers were taken to Pasha Yuseff’s apartment and were fed with fine foods and drink. Their captivity would last four years.

The man who volunteered for the job of rescuing the imprisoned Americans was William Eaton. Along with 7 other Marines his job was to find Pasha Hemet Bey the rightful ruler and with an army of irregulars he would lead a ground assault against Tripoli and put Hemet in power. Hemet would not condone piracy and would not make the Americans or anyone else pay tribute.

William Eaton had quite an adventure. The United States government was less then truthful. Various officer would tie up the delivery of needed fund . The irregulars would often balk and try to skim for higher wages then what was originally bargained for. The irregulars consisted of Muslims and Middle Eastern Christians an these two groups did not get along. The US pursued a diplomatic tact and a military one. The two would sort of cancel each other out.

Eaton became a hero for a while and Jefferson was temporarily noted for being soft. Eaton would later be bitter at the American weakness and end up turning into an alcoholic. But seriously read the book it has juicy details.


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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Witches Tribe

The Tribe of Witches: The Religion of the Dobunni and HwicceThe Tribe of Witches: The Religion of the Dobunni and Hwicce by Stephen J. Yeates
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This book read more like an archaeological survey of place names and people names that were connected to old time deities then it was about examining an actual so called tribe of witches. The book was a bit over the top on a scholarly read and was as interesting as reading a textbook for college. To be sure the book was loaded with details, so loaded in fact that one tended to gloss over the details and just glide over the book. The main ideas stuck and there are conclusions after each chapter that recap what you had just read.

The area in question lies in England, in Cotswold and Severn Valley. The area used to belong to a tribe called the Dobunni and after they went extinct or lost their label the area became home to a tribe of witches called the Hwicce. The time frame being examined is the bronze-iron age witch some references to Roman times and input with a smattering of references to Christianity. Most of the relics have been eroded so people are just making conjectures half the time with no solid proof. It also helps to have a strong background in Old English because terminology is explored in depth.

The name Cotswold is a reference to a Goddess with a vessel called Cuda. Her statures and carvings have been found extensively in the Dobunni area. Along side of her are three hooded figures called Cuculis or hooded ones. The books does not provide a clear definition of who they are but other gods are referenced. The first one is Camula, he is a war god oft associated with Mars or conflated to him. The second one is Nodens, and his function is like that of a sky god or bringer of fortune. The third god was Cunomaglos, he was a hunters God who went after the heart. He is accompanied by a hound and hawk.

The rivers with a given name often spawn the name of a goddess, For example the river Goddess Severn was connected to that river. Most of the rivers had a patron Goddess and the forests had a genius loci or guardian spirit. Each tribe had their own patron god or goddess as well. Folk names often were named after the river they lived near. Hence a name would be the Folk of the river Severin. Horses were important as well, espiially Epona. Across the continent the patron god was often worshipped or depicted along side the Goddess Epona.

The rivers usually had a shrine built over the spring source or somewhere along side the river. Broken swords and other metallic object were dumped in the river usually as a sacrifice of gift to the deities. Other areas were sacred as well. Forests were sacred, nemeton or sacred groves were important as well. Trees were also places of worship.

Horses were sacred animals, in fact they were the most sacred animals. Sometimes they would be buried with someone or sacrificed.

Getting down to the point. The mother Goddess was Cuda and the father god was Mercury. Thanks Roman influence for that. The Goddess did have a cauldron and she did have three facets in some depictions. Something for neo pagans to chew on. The book with it’s connections to literature gets way more interesting in the end.


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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Babylonian Oil Magick up to the Talmud

Babylonian Oil Magic in the Talmud and in the Later Jewish Literature (1913)Babylonian Oil Magic in the Talmud and in the Later Jewish Literature by Samuel Daiches
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oil has been used extensively in the Middle East for a variety of things. Most noteable is it’s use in the bible and other Middle Eastern documents for divination, anointing and consecrating. Assyrian and biblical text show how oil is used to anoint a holy stone or a king.

The books main thrust was about it’s use for oil divination. Pulling from ancient Babylonian, Assyrian and Jewish text, the author describes rituals on how to use oil to divine. Mind you that many of the methods are not useable as they involve the use of minor who has not known sin and pollution. The first method talked about was having oil in your left hand, which was not blessed and some oil in a decanter which was blessed. Oil used for magic could be used for naught else. The petitioner anointed themselves and then said a charm or blessing.

In most of the methods involving an innocent child, A circle was drawn with a black handled knife. The child and practitioner were seated in it’s center facing east as the sun rose. The practitioner would then whisper certain phrases inn the child’s ear. Next a figure would appear and would then be commanded to give over the desired information.

Other oil divination included finding out if a sick person would live or if a pregnant woman was carrying a live fetus. The oil would be put into the water and if it sunk the answer was negative or not desirable. If it rose then everything would be cool.

In learning how to cast the circle this book shed some very informative light. The circle held back the demons that would try to enter. There was a formula for blessing the gods of Babylon who worked in magic. One would cast their circle and then fumigate it with Cedar Wood. Ea (God of the Sea), Samas (Sun deity), marduk (warrior god who is connected to the sun) and maybe Sin (moon god) would be invoked.

Procedures had to be relatively exact or they would fail. There is a small notation on Princes of Eggs and oils being prone to lying which may explain their somewhat incorrectness. This could also cast divination in a bad light. Eggs could be used for divination or for protection against demons. It is thought that spirits of sort lived in finger nails and oil.

Liver, oil, finger nails and steel were used for divination due to their shininess. If someone was sick they could look into a somewhat shiny surface and if their reflection appeared the outcome would be good. If not then the outcome would be bad.

This book is a bit dated and new research may have lead to new finding not stated in the book. It was also forty pages which is rather short. Some of the pages were missing from it when I read it . But for those interested in ancient esoteric Babylonian and Jewish practices this is a good book to delve into. Since everything came from Mesopotamia those neo pagans might want to read this as well after all most of their practices came from this land.


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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Crowley's Grimoire

Grimoire of Aleister CrowleyGrimoire of Aleister Crowley by Rodney Orpheus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well I do not know if I would call this a grimoire per se of Aleister Crowley. A magician like that most likely had several grimoires. None the less if you bought the book you will probably still get a lot out it. After all you will now have a copy of his rituals. The rituals have been modified for group use and they are of the thelemic rituals. Of course Crowley himself modified his own rituals and this guy has enough experience so you know that what you are getting is something real and not faked. None the less rituals I feel probably much like this author should be modified based on current circumstances and what is good for the practitioners.

Perhaps even more valuable then the rituals is the essence of the book and the little whispering of wisdom that one gets on the in between. He has a nice little section on safety. Rather important and I imagine that in the past many magicians have been injured do to unsafe working conditions.

There is a nice section on Ritual leadership where in the author draws a line between someone leading a ritual or guiding the group as opposed to someone who is ultra tyrannical. A good breath of common sense. The common sense continues with him saying that under no circumstances should children be involved in ritual, no matter how innocent.

The book opened my eyes as to the nature of demons and why it is ok to work with them. I think we all know by that Heaven and Hell are not real places but rather metaphorical references. Demons live within our own subconscious and are evoked to come out of us. They get some karmic credits for helping humans do things especially if they are righteous.However if your acts are unrighteous then you will lose the respect of the demon. Demon can be hard to deal with and very dishonest which is why it might seem needed to constantly hammer them with divine quabbalistic energy.

Included are rituals likie mark of the beast, invocation of Horus, Ritual to invoke Hice, rite of isis, mithraic liturgy,Baccahanal andd a few chapters on Goetia. The Goetia is used to summoning a demon and getting some answers. I found this to be the strongest part of the book and the part I enjoyed the most. You will see or learn that Crowley went from complex Golden Dawn style rituals to more simplified rituals. You will enjoy the poetic language of Crowley’s rituals and even if you are not into Ceremonial Magic or do not want to tread upon the path of Crowley what you find here will definitely help your rituals.


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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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