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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fall of Glorious Carthage

Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient CivilizationCarthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization by Richard Miles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Carthage, once the ruling naval power of the Mediterranean, only to be reduced to dust and ashes after three long protracted conflicts with the Romans. Richard Mills does an excellent job of outlining and writing about the history of Carthage starting from the beginning going all the way even past the end of the cities existence.

The Carthaginians were originally Phoenicians, who originated from the city of Tyre. Assyrian domination and wars in that area forced the Queen Dido to leave Tyre and look for a more pleasant clime. She found it in what is today modern Tunisia. The Phoenicians had been known for setting up trading colonies all over the Mediterranean. These colonies became cities that traded with the locals. The Phoenicians were also master ship builders and their trade empire brought goods from Greece and Europe , plus gold and silver all the way to the Middle East. Of course some goods went the other way as well.

Tyre had relations with the Israelite and even helped build their temple. Their official God was Melquart and the Goddess Astarte. Melquart may have been king Ahab’s invention to weaken the power of the priest. The Phoenicians were called Phoenicians because of their renown in producing a purple dye from mollusks. The Phoenicians themselves knew themselves as Canaanites.

The Carthaginians had control over the entire Mediterranean until the onset of the first Punic war with Rome. The first battle happened on the Isle of Sicily and involved the several battle wit the Greek city state Syracuse. After several battles Rome stepped in and took over all of Sicily. The Carthaginians put up a stiff fight but were not match for the steadfast Romans. The Romans conquered Sicily and imposed a very humiliating peace agreement on Carthage. Rome went back on the word several times. This would lead to the second Punic war.

After having lost all their island in the Mediterranean, Hannibal Barca, set up a Phoenician colony in Spain. Something sparked off the second war and the Romans were looking for an excuse. Hannibal did the unthinkable, he marched with a huge mercenary army along several elephants over the Swiss alps and Pyrenees. His forces devastated Rome and Italy for 15 years. The Romans won in the in end after 15 years of bitter war and an humiliating peace agreement.

The third war started when Carthage went to war against the Numidians, allies of Rome. This time Carthage was crushed. Over all great book, the author gives viewpoints of various Greek and Roman Historians and covers how war shaped the viewpoint Greek and Roman societies held of the Carthaginians. The book is a fun easy read and you will learn a lot.


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Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Spirit of War

Metaphysics of WarMetaphysics of War by Julius Evola
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What is war these days? Is it something to be glorified like it was in the past? Or rather should we say screw the fools who think it glorious? In the past war was fought with swords, knives and hands. War was waged by the elite. These days war is fought with planes, tanks and bombs and everyone except the rich gets in the mix. In the past war was considered glorious, to die on the battlefield was an honor. Today we think only fools would choose top die in battle, after all why be a tool for the rich.

Julius Evola was an Italian writer, who penned his idea during World War I, the interim between the World Wars and World War II. He went though stages of admiring fascism and Nazism. He eventually became disillusioned with them. But he still holds some racial views that I find disagreeable. He does not profess any admiration for communism, which puts the running of society into the hands of workers or slaves as he calls, or democratic capitalism which put power in the hands of the petty merchants.

Evola wanted to restore the glory and folk soul of Europe and he believed that reviving Ancient traditions held the key to such. Ancient Europe was antithetical to communism and democracy. His ideal society was one based on the indo-European model where in the Brahmins (Spiritual Leaders) ran society and then subordinate to that came the warrior class, merchants and finally the slaves. Evola believed that society should be based on spiritual values.

One of those values was war. Whether fighting and remaining victorious or dying in battle, he believed that in living in a society of spiritual values, war could lead to transcendence, uniting mind and spirit to reach enlightenment. HE believed in fighting for a spiritual cause.

To support his contention he describes war in such various cultures as the Norse, Persian, Indian, Romans and Muslims. I these cultures there is the concept that he who fights in battle earns merit and holiness. If one dies in battle then the dead warrior experiences immortality in Paradise and maybe called upon to fight again in spiritual battles involving the dark and the light. War could reveal your higher nature. The book is loaded with more details which a skimpy review cannot delve into.

The author does look down on certain groups, like the Jews and other minorities, as being connected to slaves or the bourgeoisie. However when he talks about grouping people by morals and soul, I would find that agreeable if only he left the racism out.


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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Divine Path of the Goddess

Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine DivineGoddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine by Joseph Campbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Joseph Campbell is a well known scholar of mythology who has taught a number if years at the University level and has authored numerous books. His material is gold  as far as I am concerned . AT the same time as being scholarly his style is also highly readable and enjoyable. Read this and you will get lots of information. Beware though because this book may well change your perspective on things.

Change it did. Many scholars such as Margaret Murray and Marija Gambutas have stated that in man kinds beginning there was a whorl wide religion that revered the Goddess. Now perhaps that was an overstatement but there were places that venerated the Goddess. Three such areas were identified  South Eastern Europe plus Greece and Mesopatamia, South East Asia and part of Central AMerica. THese three areas had mastered agriculture and planting. THe societies tended to be settled into communities and there was at the time no threat of invasion or violence. THe Goddesses reign lasted from the Paleolithic to Neolithic times.

The Earth was seen as the mother. From her came all life and at the end all life returned to her. You did not have to be awesome to pick some fruit. Women were cultivators, admired for their beauty. Men were idolized based on how they performed their tasks. In the houses one would find figurines or Venus statues, These could be goddess statues or fertility votives. Men had their rituals in underground caves which were highly representative of the Goddesses womb. The sun was a feminine sign as was the lion and the cat and the snake. The sun radiated on the earth and represented freedom from time and space. Lions were royalty and serpents represented wisdom and life force.

For the male representation it was the bull. The bull was lunar. It's horns represented  the crescent of the moon. The male figure was the child of the goddess who grew into her lover and then dies only tobe born again much like the moon.

During the Iron age when the feminine world was being invaded by Indo Europeans in the north and Bedouin tribes from the south things began to change. The Indo- Europeans were semit nomadic warrior who cultivated livestock mostly cows. THe Bedouin cultivated sheep and goats. As was tendency once these warrior tribes took over the feminine lands they did not eradicate the goddess but rather had there moveable gods move and and marry them. Of  course this would change the whole mythology 

Joseph Campbell covers these ideas and their evolution by going over Hindu Culture, heavy emphasis on Greco=Roman myth and Middle Eastern Mythology.  Carefully showing how three once powerful Goddess was reduced to a subordinate undeeer the ancient paganism to how she was merely venerated under monotheism. But you cannot keep a good woman down. SHe rises up during the romantic period of courtly love and she is making her voice heard again. This book is a must read

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Lost Magic of the Native Americans

Lost Indian Magic: A Mystery Story of the Red Man as He Lived Before the White Men Came (1918)Lost Indian Magic: A Mystery Story of the Red Man as He Lived Before the White Men Came by Grace Moon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

THis is an old story written down by Grace Moon. It is is fiction inspired by what I hope would be some solid research or at least someone who spent time with the native AMericans. I googled some of the terms and found nothing. None the less it was an interesting piece of fiction.

Somewhere out there in the deserts of America there existed several tribes on of them was the Nag a pahs and their magic has been missing and ever since then things have definitely deteriorated. Kawah is a young brave justy turned 18 and is of the habit of going out around sunrise to observe the view.One day he is jumped by two braves from the Totomec tribe. They steal a pouch from his neck and bring it to the enemy tribe.

Within the Totomec tribe there is sort of a civil war going on between the medicine man and the the chief, Waukama. Waukama is a blood thirsty chief who has a penchant for war. THe ways of the medicine man a rem more peaceful.

WIth the Nag am pahs things are different . Disnay the medicine man runs things there. Among them is a Totomec girl who had a father for a spy. When Disnay hears the story he sends the young Kawama to go get the pouch back fearing that it might be Nag am pahs magic

As he goes over ther, Kawama gets captured and mangages to escape, THe chief want to kill him but the medicine man wants a trial. Kawama fights with the rival chief injures him and then flees into the desert. receiving injuries from his attempt at escape he is taken in by the bear witch, who takes care of him.

Later on with the help of the Totomec maiden he makes his way baack to the village where he learn the truth about his tribes magic and about his own destiny and identity.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Those Indian Fakers

Hindu magic: an expose of the tricks of the yogis and fakirs of IndiaHindu magic: an expose of the tricks of the yogis and fakirs of India by Hereward Carrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Those fakers in India can the really do magic? Depends whAt you call magic. Is it sleight if hand, getting results or consiousness . The author wrote this 50 page plus pamphlet / book on how these fakers do their magic. More like stage magic.

The publication was written during the British occupation of India. The author himself is part Indian .

Such tricks discussed would be making a mango tree grow from a seed, charming snakes, live burials, 7 day sleeps and climbing into the sky on a rope.

In India a fakir will take a mound of earth and place a seed in it. Within minutes a mango tree grows. The trick only works with mango trees that can be folded into second seed which then expands when massaged.

Or when a boy goes into a basket and disappears . The fakir pokes a sword through the basket . The boy moved around .

Or the diving duck that has a hair attached to it to make it dive upon will.the ground around the pot is moistened to hide the leaking water.

7 day hypnotic trances are accomplished by a semi hypnotic trance but the patient is fed and drunk clandestinely.
Burial much the same way but with a tunnel going to a dead tree. Then when they are ready to dig up the subject he crawls back in.

Snakes are defanged and fed milk which makes them kind if buzzed . Easier to charm.

Despite common myth no one can climb on a rope and fade away into the sky .

Neat little book that explains away the magic trick and let's you know that these magicians have no occult powers.

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

THE ChURCH OF SATAN

The Church of Satan IThe Church of Satan I by Michael A. Aquino
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Church of Satan

One thing that I have become acutely aware of since becoming involved with the Pagan?Occult World, is that you should not readily drink the Kool-Aid.
Not everyone is exactly as they say they are and the stories are always subject to embellishment and fabrication . This applies to Gerald Gardner, Robert Cochrane, ALEISTER Crowley and last but not least Anton Lavey.

The book is poignantly written by Michael Aqino, for level four priest in the Church of Satan. Having joined up with "The Church of Satan" from it's beginning on Walpurgis Night 1966, when Anton Lavey walked into as San Francisco dressed in Satanic gear, he was with the church until it's real end in 1975. Michael Aquino was active in building the church and was a confidante of Anton Lvaey up until the Churches downfall when Micael Aqino founded the Temple of Set.

Michael Aquino is very truthful about the subject he is writing about and ins very knolwedgeable in his occult knowledge. Yet when it comes to his career in the Army I have heard from certain sources that he was not in Psyops but rather just another desk jockey. Perhaps an embellishment. For Anton Lavey , much of what he said is fabriccaTION. 

CONTRARY TO popular report he was not born Anton Szander Lavey but rather Hoawrd Standon Levi.  Anton maintained he worked in the carnivals , but as Michael Aquino let's us know there is no record substatiting this report nor of even ANton Lavey being a photographer for the police. What is true is that prior to forming the Church of Satan, ANton founded the Magic Circle which taught magic and occultism to student who were interested . Later he expandced it into the Church of Satan.

Dressed in Satanic gear and with impressive charisma and character Anton Lavey was the spokesman for his brand of Satanism. Ever the showman people did not get too alarmed or too frightened. His message was not the love of evil or some evil entitly but rather an acknowwlwdgement of our nature which is vain, greedy, lustful and power hungry. Satan was an embodiment of the ultimate individualism. We were not to be slaves to Jehjovah but rather we were to become gods unto ourselves. Kings of our own universe. The philosophy was atheistic, no real belief in the afterlife only that we were here on this earth once and should do our best to both improve ourself and enjoy it.

As the church of Satan grew , Anton expressed a desire that candidates be a higher caliber or excellent human being. He wanted super people, achievers into it for themselves, Yet loving the Church of Satan. Anton himself would later not live up to these ideals. As the Church expanded they added more grottos to the central office on 6114 Calfiornaina street in San Francisco. THis brought the benefit of spreading the word and it also brought forward controversy and mediocrity . These factors would later burn out Anton Laway.  People like Lilith Sinclair, John Ferro and Michael Aquino would be dynamos, yet others like John Dehaven would bring disreprepute by being involved with drugs and theft. Anton also charred another member named Steenburger for not defending Satanism public ally when teen age devil worshippers committed sacrilegious murders. As the church progressed things began to fall apart.

Rival churches sprung up and changes in doctrine had to be embraced along with a whole milieu of issues. In the end Anton was let down by the caliber of membership and finally in 1975 he sold titles to the priesthood. This irked many member including Micahel Aquino. Things fell apart, Diane Lavay , Anton's long term live in filed for Palimony and amidst heavy courtroom drama we see how the Church and ANton deteriorated.

The book gives the reader a real good inside look as to what goes on in the church and his involvement. HE has admiration foor  the subject as well as critical eye. The book is overly long and laden with stories and detail.This is but a brief summary. Many letters and excertpts are reprinted sometimes hard to tell where one begins and another ends off. At the end of the book I was praying for the bloody thing to just end. It is still a good book though.

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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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