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Monday, August 31, 2015

A Sample of Tantra

Tantra Sadhana: A Practical Introduction to Kaula MagickTantra Sadhana: A Practical Introduction to Kaula Magick by Mogg Morgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What comes off as a book dedicated to Ghanesha turns out to be be more about the over all picture of Tantra. THe first sections of the book are definitely about Ghanesha but the book later veers into the legends of Ghanesha and then turns into the history of Tantra. At the end there are some notes on politics within the different organizations spreading the word of tantra.

First thing to consider is the definition of Tantra. Tantra are basically religious texts from both Hinduism and Buddhism which places a value on carnal knowledge or gnosis obtained through whole body sensation. Sadhana is the practice of Tantra. THe practice has five main exercises. THen first is a the matra where in a typical phrase is repeated over and over again. Words have power. Mandala or Yantra is a holy design set up behind the alter. It represent the deity. Good tool to focus on. Mudra are hand gestures. Nyasa is the installing of diety power into their mandala. Dhyana is meditation. Puja are physical rituals. Lat but not least ios Diksha which is being initiated into an order. Tantra speaks of liberation through the breaks of social taboos. Tantra contains magic for results and and for personal betterment.

There are schools of tantric though that maybe available in the west. Among them are AMOOKOS which brings over traditional tantric practices but also realized that the system was highly compatible with the working of Crowley. There is also the International Order of Naths. There are five schools in the far east.

To effectively practice Tantra one must be initiated. Which is where the two previous organizations come in. THe book outlines some practices that one could do on their own in the mean time. Practices like praying to Ghanesh or certain mediations like creating your own astral temple. THer are also some ritual samples.

Tantra according to the author are the religious praqctices of the Indian population prior to the coming of the Hindu Aryan. THe ARayan were warrior who over road India bringing with them their religion. At the outset Hindus venerated warriors. Later things would morph into being more priest centered. The demons of Tantra were the Gods of the previous siciety. Vrious  lingustic proofs can attest to this.

Ghanesh has two legends surrrounding him. Firswt he was created by Shakti. Acting as a guard she gets his head severed. Shiva finds him another one donated by an elephant.Another version has him being born of Shiva and Shakti. A magician states at Ghanesh and kills him. An elepjhant head is used to revive him. Ghjanesh is a god for money and removing obstacle.

The book over all is rather good. The authorr gives to the reader an over all good view if history and background in an easy to understand format. Some of the working are good as well and will give the beginner something to work with both as a sample and as a tide over until initiation. I did not like the last part about the politics of the International Order of Naths and AMOOKOS. I do not care for politics when reading spirituality.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Cunning Folk : Another Perspective

Popular Magic: Cunning-folk in English HistoryPopular Magic: Cunning-folk in English History by Owen Davies
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THey used to be numerous in pre victorian Britain, but now they are not even a handful if they are around at all. Owen Davies has written several well informed books on Witchcraft and Grimoires , several of which I have reviewed. This is also the only other book that I am aware of that deals with the cunning folk on a scholarly level that is available to the modern day reader. Emma Wilby  has a another one out which I have reviewed. The two authors cover the same subject but I would say from different vantage points. Owen cover the social integration of Cuhnning folk while Emma Wilby covers the inner spiritual working to an extent.

The Cunning Folk were called upon in Old Britain to counter witchcraft . They were also called upon to find lost or stolen goods, to win love and to find treasure. Records of them go back all the way to like the 1400's but they may have been around long before that,they just went by a different name. Wicce was one of those name and it meant wise ones .

THe Cunning Folk have always hovered around a grey area in society. Not completely trusted and not completely loved. When suspected witches were being rounded up the cunning folk were left alone. After all it was the cunning folk or white witches who fought against the witches. Yet many church officials did not like the cunning folk because after all they did use magic. In fact the Chrurch despised them even more. Calling themselves white witches gave them a disguises and they were just trickier servants of the devil whther they realized it or not.

When the legal maelstrom hit the fan the cunning folk were not entirely immune. They could not be punished ihn secular courts of law but they did receive flogging and banishment from church courts on occasions. They were also sued in civil courts. Their claims of who stole whose property often times did not pan out and this caused social problems. THe wrongly accused would sue them for slander. Oft times their cures did not work and those they accused of witchcraft turned out not to be witches.

Later on when laws were promulgated against using magic to find treasure, often ment that cunning folk could find themselves in a bit of a bind especially when there was non treasure to be found. I personally think that many a cunning folk used fraudulent means to drum up business. Often times though they had other careers beside being cunning folk. Which of the two careers generated more income well that is up for grabs. Back i old times it was pretty difficult to distinguish between an astrologer, doctor or cunning man.

Cunning folk collected grimoires and displayed them on their shelves. this made them look educated. THey usually were not so ceremonials but they did employ bits and pieces taken from Ceremonial magic book. Written charms were oft tiimes written up and sealed with wax. Kept on the person of benefit for no one else to see they were often times sewn up in clothing . THe written charms had biblical verses and invocations from Grimoires. 

Compared to other cunning type folks in other parts of Europe penalties against cunning folk  wer mild. Now it must noted that it is ann open question as to whether true cunning folk still exist. THere are neo pangs out there who are trying to revive things. But bear in mind Cunning folk were not pagans they were Christians. THeir use died out well because who really is looking for buried treasure? Who is being curesed by witches? If you are sick you go to the doctor.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

War of the Jinn and the Wolves

Kiss of the Silver WolfKiss of the Silver Wolf by Sharon Buchbinder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Werewolves have gotten more than their fair share of fantasy/ horror coverage over the the years and it seems that the Jinn are finally getting their place in the son. Usually when werewolves fight against other creatures it is usually vampires, no vamps in this book. This time the Jinn and the werewolves are fighting it out this time. Never happened before.

Authoress Sharon Buchbinder has produced a wonderful story that just about anyone can read and enjoy. I read this story and found myself wanting for more. I am hoping that she will generate several sequels to this work and I hope they are a lot longer. This has all the element of a great story and if the movie producers ever get a hold of it I trust it will translate to the screen very well.

Charlene the main character is left traumatized by the sudden death of her parents. Bereft and alone wallowing in debt, she is left to care for a special needs older brother and the monumental task of completing her doctorate in medicine. The death itself is a mystery as her father has his face torn up and there are strange hairs all over the place. Something about her mother's past was deliberately hidden.

Elaina Solomon a sephardic.Ethiopian Jewess who works for homeland security is investigating paranormal activity near Eden, Kentucky which is were her mother Johanna comes from. Wouldn't you know it there is a feud between the Jinn and werewolves. Going back to the time of Solomon when the werewolves were meant to keep the Jinn under control, th Jinnin their anger have sworn vengeance on the werewolves . The conflict involves killing, rape and vengeance.

At her parent fuineral she learns part of the truth and events in the story propel her to move back to Eden to learn the full truth. Mixed in with a bit of romance this story is riveting. Eliana Solomon is much like the X files, David Mulder, only with more history. People do not take Jinn and werwolves seriously but numbers start adding up that people cannot deny. The war between the Jinn and werewolves goes on.

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Psychology of the Vampire

Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern VampirismVampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism by Joseph Laycock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

IT's about time that someone analyzed the vampire movement and backed it up with some good field work, interviews and research into sociological theories and psychology. Joseph Laycock has produced such a book and it stands out from the rest. Joseph also demonstrates respect for those who identify themselves as vampires.He treats it liker a legitimate classification , which to many vampires it is.

But how do you define vampire? Those self identified vampires do not seem to have a definition. Before one could use literature and mythology to identify and define one but now a days that will not cut it. Even in literature they are evolving. These days vampires are not limited to wandering in nocturnal darkness, nor are they prevented from crossing streams or repelled by crosses and garlic. Now they can eat steak, lounge in the sun. I  think you get it now.

There are categories of vampire that are much discussed. The first category is the lifestyler. This person knows that he is not a vampire but acts out the role in pretend. They go to clubs, play LARP and dress gothic. They also do not believe in the existence of vampires. The next category of vampire is the sanguinarian vampire. This vampire drinks blood. Psychic Vampires feed off of people energy. Hybrids can feed between the two. Last there are those individuals who get  intiated into a magical order and become a vampire. This contrast with many vampires who awakened into their natural being.

That is quite a few categories. Literature has oft times imbued us with images of the undead. But literature is changing as well. Before the vampire was a living corpse that fed off human blood. With John Polidori the image of the vampire began to change. THe vampire became aristocratic, charming and seductive. WIth writers like Anne Rice it bace even more more sexy, outcastish and rock and roll rebellious. 

Indeed how vampires see themselves is largely an interaction with literature. Lit defines their experiences it is used as an identifier. Some psi vamps cclaim they were born this way and it was not a choice. Psychologists have examined this trend to figure out what exactly caused vampirism and why some people think they are vampires. Porphyria causes pale skin, red eyes, patches of hair and sometimes even fangs. All symptoms of the vampire. Mental health experts have come up with "RenField Syndrom" where in someone is deluded into thinking they are a vampire or can become one . What type of people tend to identify as vampires. Experts say that child hood trauma and abuse is a common factor in those who identify as vampires. It gives them a way disassociate from the pain and form an alter ego  . Other experts will sight that self identified vampires have a narcissistic personality disorder and they have a need to be worshipped and looked up to.

There are also general trends that need to be looked at as well. Big question, why are people embracing Vampire spirituality. There are some over all trends in society that contribute to this. Since the early seventies the vampire movement has grown, gone above ground and become more self aware. THe reason for growth is in part due to the narcissism of the modern world. Ever since world war two Americans and Westerners have become more self loving and interested. It is all about us. We have become more narcistic  . Another trend is the market place spirituality attitude. People can now shop for the religion and spirituality that best suits them. The general public is just not into organized religion like it used to be. Another reason why alternative spirituality and pagan religion in general are cropping up is that life has become too mundane and technological. We are looking for a way to re enchant the world. 

Michael Focault had some steps that make the vampire identity a peace of "Self technology" a way to build oneself into who they want to be. THe first step is identification, then changing definition and removing the harmful image.Finally come the individuation and self mastery .Needless to say both Maslow and Jung are discussed.

There is also a great analysis of the different vampire order. Like the Temple of Set's "Order of the Vampire" and Satanic Church's "Temple of the Vampire. Michelle Belanger is interviewed or at least quoted quite extensively. Her collaboration with Sebastian Van Houten is well documented and so is how her work has influenced Van Houten. Van Houten is a fang smith who started off as a dental technician, then made fangs at ren faires and then went on to found his own vampire orders and promote vampire events. His ideology is borrowed heavily from his work with Bellanger (or so the author reports) Temple of the Vampire and White Wolf's Role playing games.

THe last part of the book delves into vampire crimes.Most of those who commit these heinous acts are often mentally unbalanced and have severe family problems. Yet somehow vampirism and witchcraft always get the bad rap. Great psychology book and easy to read.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Allure of the Undead

Allure Of The Vampire: Our Sexual Attraction To The UndeadAllure Of The Vampire: Our Sexual Attraction To The Undead by Corvis Nocturnum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Allure of the Undead

Would not be so presumptuous as to call vampires dead or undead when they seems to be peeking in their popularity. In fact they are very much alive. People are magnetically drawn to vampires and there is no questions about that. What draws people to these vampires or nocturnal beings that prey upon humans as food?  Author Corvus Nocturnem does a thorough job of analyzing the vampire going all the way back to John Polidfori's vampire and covering a whole scope of literature up to an including modern times. Corvusd also delves into the movies and moves all the way through to the modern vampire scene.

THe vampire has always been an outsider. Living and lurking in the shadows he preys on human victims, his fangs piercing their flesh he drains his victims of their blood.  Vampires are about sex, they are seductive and alluring. THey do not chase their pray like some devious maniac but rather they seduce their victims so they come willingly. THey are the escape valve of our repressed fantasies. THey are allowed to do the things that we are not allowed to do. In Victorian times when the Vampire was most feared and reviled was at the same time quite well loved. Victorians had sexual fantasies oft of forbidden nature yet they never spoke of it. THe Vampire was allowed to pull it off. They could get away with being gay, multiple partner and being dominant. THe vampire is the anti hero who lives our dreams.

Our dreams are many. The vampire is the horrific embodiment of those dreams. THe vampire lives forever,he can seduce who ever he wants. His fangs piercing the flesh is a metaphor for another type of penetration. Victims can also get their needs met. After all if your compelled by the vamp it ain't your fault.

Corvus has done some thorough research as is evidenced by what he writes and the sources available to look up at the back of the book. a log the way I learned several tidbits. Bram Stoker was best buds with Teddy Roosevelt, this president later became the model for Van Helsing.Washington Irving  was a suave debonaire gent who later became the model for Count Dracula. Teddy hated the vamps by the way. Bram Stoker did not have normal relations with his wife and there are homo erotic overtones in his work.

For Anne Rice the issue was a metaphor for gay rights, as the vampire was the metaphorical homosexual, an out case shunned and mistreated. With the Twilight series the vampires try to be good guys by drinking animal blood and getting involved in a caring relationship with a human. What is not to like the guy lives forever, so can she by the way and he has accrued enough assets to provide quite well. Many of the books and movies delve into the suxually erotica up to the point of becoming erotic in and of themselves.

Not everything about vampires is sexy though. Before going into all that let us say that there are different types of vamps. Some are sanguinarian and they maintain that they need to feed off human blood every so often. Not too much though or it makes you sick. Some vamps called psi or psy vamps feed off of energy. Then there are the life styulers who get into goth stuff and just look like a vamp. The vamp movement has spawned many wannabes , several murders and several clothing lines, wine lines and energy drinks.

Chaos Magickinans recognize that the vampire is a powerful archetype to access and a whole gang of fang merchandise has risen up around. THe book is very thorough and very light enjoyable reading. In hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Modern Day Book of Seth

Necrominon: Egyptian Sethanic MagickNecrominon: Egyptian Sethanic Magick by Michael W. Ford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A left handed path grimoire dedicated to the deities of Ancient Egypt but with a twist. This book is not based entirely on the Ancient Egyptian way of worshipping or workining with the gods, but rather it is working with the deities as deific masks in order to attain your own individualistic will and stand out. Originally based on a Grimoire called the Hararate and the Book of Tehuti by Charles Pace this volume gives over the left handed path of Setians by Michael Ford.

In this book I have went through the trouble of sharing copious notes. THe book discusses a wide array of topics. These topics would include a historical overview of the Pharaohs, deities, and several sections of ritual and spell. Each of the Pharaohs represented something to the author. For example Ramses would teach that if you approach a challenge as a battle you will approach your problems with a strategy leading to success.

There were also some notes on Alexander the Great. As we all know when he conquered Egypt he somehow assimilated the pantheons of Egypt and Greece into one. The assimilated theology of Athens deified the hero or individual who demonstrates the potential of self excellence in benefaction, cultural growth and conquering spirit. Very Luciferian.

Since this volume is of the Luciferian hilt it would be good to know that strength of individual is paramount for obtaining results. When performing invocations and spells visualize in your circle that you are becoming a god manifest and that in those moment of performing sacred art you are the center of the universe. Every word chanted should be done with passion, investing belief in every image and sound in which you shape your future desires into being. Heka is the Egyptian word for magic and in Heka...thought, action, image and power are in unity, especially when they are endowed with Heka. When you are invoking deity allow your imagination to be stimulated to use intensity and focus towards each utterance.

In the Egyptian way of things , especially when combined with Luciferian thinking the soul is divided into parts so to speak. Ren is the Agathademon or true will. Ib is the conscious heart and personality. Shadow is the astral body assuming the form of darkness containing the conscious mind. The Ba is the manifestation of the qualities or power of an individual god. Ka is the vital life essence of an individual or deity. There are other terms but I feel for this review I have mentioned enough so I will go on to say that you should let the myths serve you and never become a slave to them. This will help you ascend and achieve your true will.

An aspect of Luciferian philosophy is not that the gods are individual deities but rather that they were reflections or personification of universal forces at work both within the human being and in the universe. This can be evidenced by the way deities were combined. Further support for this viewpoint comes from Hermeticism, a magic theory influenced by Judeo Christian mysticism. The philosophy maintained that thee gods were a creation of the universal mind and an abstraction of being. They were images of specific archetypes.
Each of these masks or abstractions had power which the individual can imbue them self with. That power is called Sekhem which is a power of divine characteristic.

Seth himself was a god of conquering obstacle and questioning all. Beer and wine were acceptable offerings for Seth. Anyone familiar with Egyptian mythology would be aware that Seth the younger, was a foe of Seth. Reality in Egypt was  different. Early Egyptians especially viewed Seth and Horus as one. This dual god of a unified Egypt was called Antywey hrwy fy. Apophisn  is another supposed foe of Seth. Remember that Seth spears Apophis on the boat of a million years. Sethanist and Luciferians view Apophis ass a primal and violent power of our survival instinct, lust and drives which our cosnious mind must channel. Some Luciferians view Apophis as a darker more energetic aspect of Seth. Remember that in Nature theere is no good and evil there is only balance.

Going back to Horus, when the greeks came by Harpocates represented a version of Horus the younger. He was veery popular and was thought to compel destructive energy to stay away. Horus also had four sons  who represented the four cardinal directions in the underworld. The Pharaoh when alive was a manifestation of Horus and when he died he was a manifestation of Osiris. In a sense the Pharoah was a god himself, something which Luciferians strive to realize in themselves. The Gods could also devour other gods and assume their characteristics. Unas the Pharaoh supposedly did such a thing.

This book offers a lot for the individual trying to reach his or her own potential. There is a lot more info in this book and cannot possibly give it all over. It is in my private notes. Those seeking this information should ask me or read the book.

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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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