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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Diary of a Slave Girl

Harem Girl: A Harem Girl's JournalHarem Girl: A Harem Girl's Journal by Mariyah Saalih
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fictional Diary of a Slave

DId not see too many reviews for this, in fact on Amazon I say none at alll. THe book has been out for several years. I would call this work entertaining. Set in the time period around the turn of the twentieth century, and taking place in Tunisia and Arabia this is partly erotica along the lines of Anne Roqulelures Sleeping Beauty series, Story of O and 50 Shades of Grey. Seriously I thought there would be more S & M in this but there was plenty of sex. Edward Said would be turning over in his grave. THe West often times imagines the Arabic world to be what their fantasies conjure up. I am not sure how realistic this book is but look at it as serious entertainment.

Young Maariya started off in life as the daughter of a french woman and an Arabic father. He worked in the foreign service for France. At around 14 Maariyah starts to like boys.  Not much later she marries Jamal, an Arabian horse trader. After years of a barren marriage and not much love she produced no children. Jamal takes a second wife, who does bear him children. The relationship between Maariyah and Jamal starts to lose momentum. Along comes Ahmad, a slave trader among other things. Maariyah wants to check out life in the Harem but that is forbidden unless she is a slave or a concubine. Secretly she asks Ahmad to get her into one, disguised as a French Tutor. Ahmad and the Jamal agree. But she is tricked by Ahmad. She becomes a slave and word is out that she dies in a desert storm. Ahmad shaves her completely and annoints her with a foul smelling ointment that makes her real smooth. He also rapes her that night and whips her. She is  then loaned to slave master Ali for a certain period.

Ali trains her or at least has his Eunuchs and senior slaves train her. Eunuch love to use implements of  torture as did Ali's father. But Ali is different and more humane. HE refuses to use whips and  beating to keep  his slave girls in line. Maariyah enjoys life in the Harem. After things get boring she suggests to Ali that he bring things in from the outside to nurture the minds of  the slave girls. He also is convinced to let them out of the Harem. Soon Ali respects herand starts to solicit her opinion. Along the way he does share her with other masters, and he ven loans her out to a British Arms dealer. Eventually though after his brother's death, Ali frees his slaves and marries Maariyah. I will let you read the tale to find out more details.

Needless to say I found the book entertaining, and not bad for erotica. It did not go over the top in terms of erotic description like the "Sleeping Beauty Series" It is apparent that some research went into this. Yet having been to the Middle East myself and having married a Middle Eastern girl I know that no Middle Eastern Man would marry a woman who used to be a sex slave and has slept with more than one man. THey like to marry virgins. MAybve the book was a little bit romanticized. Maybe we project our views on the Middle East when really those views apply to the parts of our society that  we would not like to see.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

OPeration Nemesis: Armenian Vegeance for the Genocide

Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian GenocideOperation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide by Eric Bogosian
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Year 1915 was the year of the great Genocide against the Christians who were living in the Ottoman Empire. Three groups in particular were affected: The Armenians, the Assyrians, and the Greeks.  Since the Armenians lost 1.5 million of their people to the Genocide carried out by the Turks, the Armenian Revolution Federation decided to cary out justice against those who planned the Genocide, the Young Turks.

THe book starts out by the author, Eric Boghosian, telling about the experience of growing up in AMerica and hearing stories that his grandfather told him about life for an Armenian under the Turks and about the Genocide. Mr. Boghosian thinking himself and American gets a bit uncomfortable .

None the less Mr.  Boghosian delves into Armenian, Turkish and World History. THe brief sketch of Armenian history gives one a taste of such warriors as Vartan Mamikom who fought to preserve Christianity among the Armenians or Mesrop Mashtots who invented the Armenian alphabet. In 301  the Nation adapted Christianity. THe Turks on the other hand came from an area near Mongolia. First the Seljuks took over and then the Ottomans. THe Turkish sultans loved to live lavishly and often had several wives whgo were slaves. THe oldest son was next in line for succession. The other sons we're killed or sequester in another part of the castle. THe world itself is important to learn about as many nations besides the Turks engaged in killing off large amounts of people. Most notable would be the European powers who colonized different parts of the third world. THe invention of weapons like guns and howitzers made killing lots of people really easy.

THe major thrust of the book focuses on Soghomon Telirian and how he planned and succeeded in Killing Talat Bey. Talat Bey was the interior minister at the time and was the leader of the Triumviarate. The other two young Turks were Enver Pasha, and Dejedved Bey. Soghomon Telirian was considered to be a young physics student studying in Berlin, who had happened to be very shaken by what he saw during the Genocide and about how his family was killed. The truth is that the ARF cobbled together a team to take out the young Turks. Soghomans real story is that he left Trueky before the Genocide and lived with his father and brother in Servbia. When World War 1 rolled out he joined the ARF as a medic but also saw action in Turkey. When he got to his village he saw that it had been all wiped out. THe images of death haunted him. He had to take action. When he caught he told the whole Genocide story. He was declared innocent and allowed to go free. 

Eric Bohosian does an excellent job of giving the reader the behjjiod the scenes look at the politics of what went on during that time andd the3 background of the people who carried out operation nemesis. THe images of what the Armenians had to endure are haunting. This book is a must read for anyone studying that period of time.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fevered Vampyre Dreams in New Orleans

Fevre DreamFevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Vampire they have been roaming he planet since before the dawn of man, they are the top of the food chain . They have hunted men and animals ever having to build a civilization. They they learned from humans their primary source of food. Rumor has it they had a city undeground where thy never had to to look Te sun,

Coming from the pen Gsorge RR Martin most famous for his Game of Thrones series comes of vampire story that takes place on the rivers of Louisianna during the year 1857. His take in vampires is rather unique and a lot more realistic . Vampires are a different species that is related to mankind. They are anatomically different. Sometimes they live forever. Women give birth to children but die in the process. They are sensitive to the sun but they cannot turn other people into vampires. Garlic does not phase them . According to legend they had an underground city that the pale king would lead them back to.

Captain Abner Marsh lost most of his steamboats to a bad winter. His business is about to collapse. But the portly captain with a warted face is save by a bizzAre proposition by an enigmatic Joshua York. Joshua is suave and debonnaire. Together they build the Fever Dream. His salvation for vampires. Soon Joshuas strange behavior arouses suspicion and rumor. It trouble Captain Marsh and challenges their relationship . Eventually Captain MRsh hears the whole truth.

Joshua York is challenged by an ancient vampire with different plans. For a while DMon Julian and his wicked crew hold sway. The story concludes in 1870 when most everyone is dead. Joshua,and Captain Marsh must confront Damon Julian and his wicked crew.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Welsh Folk Tradition and Peasant PRactices

Cambrian Superstitions, Comprising Ghosts, Omens, Witchcraft, Traditions &C.to Which Are Added a Concise View of the Manners & Customs of the Principality & Some Fugitive PiecesCambrian Superstitions, Comprising Ghosts, Omens, Witchcraft, Traditions &C.to Which Are Added a Concise View of the Manners & Customs of the Principality & Some Fugitive Pieces by William Dean Howells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A rather dated book but sometimes dated materials are the most pristine [rue and accurate. The author is clearly of a modern bent for his time. From the style of his writing and that way he describes some of the superstitions you can tell that he is protestant or a member of the The Church of England. While looking down at several of the superstition , he is also quite prould of his Cambrian Welsh heritage and the impact it has had on European mythology.
The book covers several areas ghosts, omens, witches, faeries and customs.

The author himself does not believe in ghost and seems to feel that it is only the week minded that are the ones to perceive ghosts. There are three types of sprits that in habit a person and upon burial each goes to a different place. The first part of the spirit goes to Heaven, the second hangs around the grave of thee body,  the third part descends to the underworld. Usually a ghost will appear to a person when it wants to show them treasure or it wants them to do something for them that they the ghosts cannot do.

Omens are like telling the future through certain signs like if a dog or vervain animal appears in your path something will happen. Some feel that seeing a crow at a certain juncture could pertain to a future death.  There still was a belief in the Banshee, the ghost whose scream means that someone is going to die.

WItches are known for their spell casting. and blighting peoples crops. Back i the authors time almost every village had a wizard or cunning man that used magic to heal or retrieve things. Witches were often perceived as being able to harness an animal and ride it to their celebrations. THey also visited babies in the night and drained their blood or energy. This was after all how they fed themselves. THey could also assume the shape of cats, rats or anyn other animals. THey did this in addition to having familiars.

Faeries are another factor in Welsh mythos.  THe author is not sure if faery lore of England and by extension that of Europe was strongly influenced by Middle Eastern or Iranian sources. He believes that much of European faery lore is informed by Welsh Faery Lore. Faeries are of many different types of species. There are sylphs, elves, dwarves and trolls along with your average pixies. THe fae are vicious warriors when provoked. IT is said that some live on an island and that they used to let people visit during certain holiday times. Once when someone stole a golden leaf the privilege was revoked. THere are several accounts of people chancing upon  a faery ring and then joining the dance. SOmetimes it seems like they are dancing for ever and yet they come back only a moment later. Other times the dance lasts for well over a  100 years and when the mortal returns everything has changed. Moments after returning thug the mortal turns to dust.

THe last chapter discusses verious Welsh customs for marriage and holiday . The author takes pride in discussing Welsh bravery and hospitality. In particular he writes about their love for freedom and how they will fight like devils to keep it. THey used to practice archery, quarter staffs and fencing.
A nifty little book.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Enter the Temple of Set

The Temple of Set IThe Temple of Set I by Michael A. Aquino
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Enter the Temple of Set

Going backward in order to further the cause of evolution. Michael Aquino founder of the Temple of Set having frown frustrated with the Church of Satan decided along with other members of the Church to branch off and found a new organization. This book by Michael Aquino documents why he left the Church of Satan and went on to found the Temple of Set. THe book outlines differences between the two organizations and why The Temple of Set is the step in the next direction of evolution.

The Church of Satan, which started on Walpurgis Night 1966 lasted until 1975. It promoted an atheistic and hedonistic style of life. As much it was based around the colorful personality of Anton Lavey. The Church itself was filled with contradiction and Anton Lavey dealt his organization the death blow when he decided to sell priesthoods and degrees for financial contribution instead of having them do the hard work to earn those degrees.
The Church itself had many contradictions. In one it claimed that after we died that was it , we were gone. It also claimed that there were no deities and the rituals were just for psychodrama . The contradiction was that privately it was taught that Satan was the master of darkness and to a great extent personal freedom.

After 1975, Michael Aquino founded a new organization which he documents quite thoroughly in this book. A detailed account that sometimes reads like meeting notes. One problem with the image of Satan is that it was tided up in Judeo-Christian imagery and cabalistic coding. THe Temple of Set tried to get away from all of that and get back to an earlier image of the prince of darkness. after all in Christian myths Satan is destined to lose. So they chose Set. Personally I like Set.He is bad ass.THE temple of Set went back to the beginning, Egypt. THE Temple of Set does believe in life after death and have adopted the seven parts of soul according to Ancient Egyptian Religion and a history of Egypt. Set was not always the bad guy, in fact he was called upon to defend Egypt and many Pharaohs were named after him. It was the priesthood of Osiris that demonized him.

Going from the organization of the temple , the author gives us a surgery of Setian beliefs. What follows is an adventure into Greek Philosophy, Egyptian mysticism, Mesopotamian legend, Ouspensky, and Gurdjieff. Discussion focus on wakefulness versus psychic slumber. Michael Aquino also discussed topics such as the subjective universe versus the objective universe. Very informative and very enlightening. He also compared and contrasted the degree system between such magical orders as the Golden Dawn, Church off Satan and Temple of Set.

Next is a discussion on Right Hand Path and LEft hand path. THE Right hand path which seeks to dissolve our seperate identity into the greater whole is thought by Setians to be naught but illusion. We were meant to be seperate from the Objective Universe. The LEft Hand Path strives to enhance our individuality.

MAgic, there are four type of magic. White magic is like prayer, you pray and it enacts the alpha wave making one very open to suggestion . It is a form of delusion . Lesser Black Magic uses natural laws to manipulate the Objective universe. Much like a stage magician or a crafty sales person. Greater Black Magic aims at using our personal pawer to manipulate ourn subjective universe so we can apply that to the objective universe. The Medial Black magic is a combination of the two. THE best way to describe it is like the witch Angeliqe in that well known movie where if she wishes to do a magical action she merely lights a candle or stares out into the moon and states her will. So it happens simplicity is the key and complex rituals are for people who need training wheels.

For your ritual you will need to prepare the chamber. Make it dark minimal candle. Dress for your workingn in a way that is most comfortable and one that is appropriate for the direction of your working. Ring your bell 9 times in each direction. Light your black flame and invoke Set.

Invocation

In the name of Set the prince of darkness. I enter into the realm of creation to work my will upon the universe. O majesty of set hear me look upon me and go with me on my hourney. Enfold me with the powers of darkness let them become as one with me as I becomeOne with the Eternal Set whose seat is behind the constellation of the thigh As I stand forth my most exalted and sublimee self armpit within the pentagram of Set and the scepter of Tcham that it may defy all constraint , dismay challengers and cast doown all that is moved to appear against it.

Leet then my eyes become the eyes of Set, My strengths become the strengths of Set My will become the Will of Set AS a fire in the darkness I am become as air in the sky. I am become as Earth in Space I am become as warted in the desert I am become. I dwell in the fane of the flame Time bows before my will I am the lord of life, Death and life in death, HErar then this doom which i pronounce and beware the ka which now comes into being tour the art which is mine to command

Drink from the grail. Summon the elements, do the working, Extinquish the flame, ring the bell say "Son it is done"

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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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