Moon Phases


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chaos Music

KLF: Chaos Magic Music MoneyKLF: Chaos Magic Music Money by J.M.R. Higgs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Rise and Fall of KLF.

KLF was a British musical duo that I had never heard of until I read this book. No wonder because at sometime in the mid nineties they decided to call it quits and erase everything they had done from public record. They also went to Jura for the sole purpose of burning a million pounds and televising it.

Jump back to the early 70's when Bob Shea and Robert Anton Wilson wrote a book called the illuminatus trilogy. The premise is about the illuminati trying to control the world and make everything super orderly. The Justified Ancients of Mumu want chaos and freedom. This was a influential book for Drummond even if he never read the whole thing. He would be involved with plays in this topic and then he would go to make singles with his own record company. His music took the direction of lifting entire segments from songs and remixing it. This lead to some lawsuits where he had to destroy the singles he had made.
His next step was to form a band called JAM ( justified ancients of my mu)
They had a run for several years and then morphed into KLF. KLF did rave music in the nineties and early part of the 21st century. Then they called it quits. They would form an art organization.
Now why burn the money. Some say it was to Get their soul back from the devil. Other day it was a ritual against money s control over everything. None the less while this might not get read by many it is filled with synchronicity and coincident. You wil! See the philosophical input not only of Robert Anton Wilson, but also Jung, Alan Moore and Timothy Leary. Who know their big might have been a giant ritual from the collective ideaspace.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Esther of Khazaria

The Book of EstherThe Book of Esther by Emily Barton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The year is 1942 and in an alternate universe the Kingdom of Khazaria still stands. However, it is under attack by Nazi Getmany. Of course, Hitler is never mentioned and neither are the Nazis. It is called the Dark Khaganate or Grrmanii.

Esther is the daughter of Josephus an important minister to the Khagan bek or commander in chief. As Jewish refugees come streaming in from Europe and as she over heard bits and pieces of conversation it is apparent that Germany intends to attack Lhazaria and kill all the Jews. To stop this she must play of Joan of Arc or Mulan and go out to fight. However, she is a sixteen year old girl about to be married to Shimon, future Rabbi of Khazaria.

Her only hope is to find Yetzirah, a town of Kabbalists and see if they will change her into a man. On the way to village she confronts Jewish Khaxars , Uighur oil barons and some other adventures.

The Kabbalist refuse her sex change request but Amit has a way. Esther does cobble and army together. The army of golems, Uighur, Jews , karate a etc and does mount a good fight. The thing is does Khazaria still hold out?

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Friday, June 16, 2017

If You Listen to Fools the Israeli Mob Rules

Blood & Volume: Inside New York's Israeli MafiaBlood & Volume: Inside New York's Israeli Mafia by David Copeland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you listen to fools the Israeli mob rules. They had by far one of the quickest run in the New York crime scene. The Italians and the Columbians have been around forever and the Russians have picked up from where the Israelis left off in the 90's and are still,going strong.

This true tale centers around Ron Gonen. Born Roman Gonen in he Ukraine and then moving to Israel at around 11, Ron found it easy to get into trouble. Starting out with stealing he soon would move up in the world of crime. As a troubled teen after his mom would send him to kibbutzim in order to straighten him out. It did not work instead he bounced around from Kibbutz to kibbutz. He had a fondness for Tobacco and hashish. Trying to enlist in the navy early only to get caught, Ron would eventually end up in the merchant marine .

Ron started off with jewelry heists and safe cracking. Later he would move to Europe where another Israeli expat named, Sammy Merckel, taught him the ropes. Getting caught at least twice he served time in European prisons. There he would meet Ran Ephraim and Johnny Attias. Ran would be a friend and partner in crime. Johnny he would never get close to but Johnny would prove potentially dangerous. In London Ron would be guilty of fraud. Ron would travel through South America committing crimes.

In the early 80's Ron, Ran and someone else eeked out a plan to deal cocaine. Then it was off to New York to set up his coke dealership. In New York he met his second wife Honey Tessman. She was married before and had a kind from another marriage. She was also a drug addict. She would help Ron with his business and also cost him lots of money.

In the end Johnny Attias would enter New York rather violently. Killing all who got in his way, he wanted to pressure Ron into working for him. That and cancer would start to take their toll. ron's adventure end with an arrest and testifying against his former comrades. Jonny Attias would die by assassination.

The Israeli mafia had a brief but violent run in New York before they were taken down. They are the most unorganized and least traditional of all the crime groups. Their coming opened a door for the Russian mafia to slip in.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thirteen Rites Dedicated to the Horned One

The Devil's Dozen Thirteen Craft Rites of The Old OneThe Devil's Dozen Thirteen Craft Rites of The Old One by Gemma Gary
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

He is a figure shrouded in mystery, the Christians call him the devil, but to witches he has a variety of names. Known he is as the man in black, auld horny, the goat food god etc. He come to ritual when properly bidden. The man in black is the central deity in traditional witchcraft. The devil is the one who initiates you into the mysteries, he stands in the great in between in fact he is the in between.
Gemma Gary has produced another small masterpiece that contains thirteen ritual dedicated to the old one. Mind you these are not Wiccan rituals these are based on traditional witchcraft. The directions are different and the tools have a slightly different use. One tool that Wicca does not have is that of the stang. The stang represents the horned god but it also represent the male and female aspects of deity and the approach is unity and love.
The first rite is a “calling the man in black” like the rest of the rituals this one should occur far away from human habitation, like out in nature or in some abandoned building. This first ritual pulls you away from the strictures of civilized man and pulls you back into the carnal forces of nature. When you summon the man in black he can appear at any times and in several; different forms. Sometimes he comes in the form of a hound, a hare , a cat, a crow or a man in a black hat and jacket. Keep your eyes open.
The next ritual is a self initiation. This one dedicates you to the path of the man in black. This ritual is done in an abandoned churchyard on a full moon light. Churches have holy power and are connected with divine energy and energy of those who have invested in that religion. Plus there is an aspect of rebellion against oppressive authority here.
The third ritual empowers the witch’s nowl. The witch’s nowl is an Iron nail that is magically empowered with divine energy. The divine energy comes from the red serpent who lives in the ground of the earth. Once the nail is empowered it is nailed into the ground t empower the working place.
The third ritual leads to the fourth ritual where in the practitioner obtains a stang and empowers it with magic or energy. An iron nail is nailed in the bottom to seal the energy in. It has horns on the top. It represents the horned god but also the masculine and feminine. It could have magical uses like that of the wand or it could be used as an object of devotion and veneration.
Now that was a sampling o the rituals that are offered. The book is small but the directions are full, complete and easy to follow. I read through the book in one day, it was that good. This is a book that any level of practitioner can use.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Yemeni Tale

A Yemeni PassageA Yemeni Passage by Derek Franck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Land is an important commodity in the Middle East, sometimes more valuable that the lives of your family members. The worst thing you can do to an Arab from the Middle East is destroy his house that is a punishment worse than death. In the Middle East brothers do not always get along, in fact both can be the most fierce of rivals as they vie their way to power. Yemen is a land that is fiercely independent and has had to fight such outside forces as Saudi Arabia, The Ottoman Empire. There have also been civil wars and conflict aplenty in Yemen. Regardless of the injustice that reign’s truth will be set a right in the end.
Safir is a young man living in an island off India, he is of low cast and makes a living selling salt. The death of his brother tells him that it is time to move on. Taking a dow to Yemen on the Monsoon winds, Safir finds adventure aplenty by surviving storms and pirate attacks. Forced to wade to shore alone he travels the Yemen with barely the shirt upon his back. The Dawshan tells him how to survive an together thy travel to Al bautim , a prosperous city in the midst of a Yemeni desert. Once in this trading city and after some initial suspicion, Varma , a fellow Indian takes him under wing. In the city the learn to read and write and becomes a record keeper of sorts.

Not everything is so good as it seems on the surface. The governor Mutaher supposedly set up the city and made it prosperous. He hails from the Bani Hawlan, tribesmen who are rough and wild. This tribe led by Mutaher’s brother Saqaf has claims t the city. Throughout the story there is a prevalent conflict between the two groups. In the end there is a final conflict, where in the tribe attacks the city and the governor’s forces attack the village.

A little more background, an Imam came though Yemen attacking the tribes and bringing them under his rule. The imam took hostages from the vanquished tries to ensure their loyalty. Mutaher was the one taken hostage and he became governor. The bani Hawlan had diverted a river to the town which enable it to become prosperous. They crave to have it back. The governor rules the city by fear and eventually people end up fleeing the city and joining the tribesmen.

A very good story and quick moving. Storyline is original. The author does get hung up on details which makes focusing on the story rather difficult. If you love Middle Eastern literature , especially in light of the current situation in the Middle East.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Beginner's Guide to Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology: The Beginner's GuideNorse Mythology: The Beginner's Guide by University Press Biographies
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is definitely written for beginner or newbies to the world of Norse Mythology, in fact it might even be called a children’s book. The author explains in some very brief pages the Norse beginnings of the world, who the gods are, various creatures and beings, the different realms and some Viking History. If you are well versed in Asatru or Norse Mythology you are going to want to pass this book up.

In the very beginning there were to worlds, MuspelHeim and Niffelheim. Respectively the worlds of Ice and Fire. This of course was ordained by a god of gods, father of all. From this steam came a giant named Ymir. Ymir was soon slain by Odin and Vili and Valey and from the giant’s parts came our world and mankind. Now these Norse legends have been culled from the writing of Snori Stulson and te like. These Saga like the Poetic Edda and the Icelandic Saga are the sources for Norse Mythology. These sources in many cases were written by Christians, so the sources might have a Christian like flavoring.

The Norse Realms are divided into three levels. The first level is Asguard home of the Gods. The Asgard deities include Odin, Thor, Tyr, Frigga etc. Another world contained in the upper Asgard realm is Vanaland, home of the Vanir. These land deities include Frey, Freya and the lord of the sea.

The middle Level is called Midgard, this is here our realm is and on tis plane it might be neighboring some other worlds like Svartleheim ( Home of the dark elves) Alfheim (Home of the light elves)
Then there is the lower world which has Hela (Realm of the dead) and the roots of the World Tree.
On the world tree, Ygdrasil, their lives three creatures constantly agitating each other. The eagle on top, the snake on the bottom and squirrel in between. The squirrel tries to snake and the eagl to fight each other. At the roots of the world tree. Lives the three norns who write everyone’s fate including that of the gods. There is also Niedhof who sucks with poison at the roots of the world tree. There is also an end of day’s scenario called Ragnarok. In that end the gods and giants duke it out. Thor is killed by the world serpent, Odin is slayed by Fenris and Freyr is slain by Surt, a fire god. In the end after the world is destroyed everything gets reborn and the children Asgard inherit this world.

There is a good little bit on the Vikings. The Vikings had a three hundred year reign. Starting of rom countries like Norway, Denmark and Sweden they conquered parts of England, France and even there wa an alliance with Byzantines where in they conquered much of the Middle East. Thereis a chapter on famous Viking Kings. Included in this is the famous Ragnar Lothbrook and his son Ivar the Boneless an a slew of others. Several myths about Vikings are debunked as well. They did have slaves an no they did not wear horned helmets

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

KosherTorah Protection

Protection from Evil - E-Book EditionProtection from Evil - E-Book Edition by Ariel Bar Tzadok
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every once in a while one finds that they feel there is some negative energy following them and jinxing everything that they touch. If you are a New Ager or some follower of an arcane occult tradition you may find yourself doing a ritual to protect yourself or ward off the energy. Most religious Jews will probably not feel this way, cause mainstream Judaism by and large no longer really believes in the occult. They may believe in idol worship but do not practice it. Yet some occultist might try to influence the mind of an orthodox Jews. The author believes that thy use some fort of hypnosis or hypnotic suggestion to get into the mind of the Jew or any individual for that matter. The best practice is not to sin. The author does not go into too much detail about Wicca, Voodoo or Santeria. On one hand he says the practitioner occult ability is not based on working with spiritual powers but rather hypnotic techniques or power of suggestion. Other times he will say that there power is derived from unholy spiritual powers of the Sitra Achra. He does not really fear these curses put out by these people.

There are two spiritual beings that humans must be fearful of. The first are the Shedim, demons who were half formed during the days of creation and never completed. They tend to fed off the spiritual essence of offerings and energy. When people leave offering for gods or other entities many of the time it is demons disguising themselves as these gods? This happens even during meditative communication. How can we know if anyone is who they say they are on the astral realm? Demons feed off of sinful energy and sometimes psychic energy of sorcerer. They also feed of on blood offering. Shedim want to sign pacts with us so they can dominate us and our families. The second one is an earth spirit or Dybbuk. The displaced spirit is drawn to sin full behavior and want to take over the hosts body so it can live sinfully once again.

There are many spiritual creatures that we share the planet with. One is an angel called Mazal that directs the life force of the divine into our vessel. There are other angels who take on a name based on the temporary job they are tasked to do. Different angels can be a Michael and an angel can be a Michael or an Uriel. Mazal acts like a guardian angel and in the past people would attack their victims Mazal rather than them directly. There are also warrior angels. The author does believe in Earth spirits like faeries and dwarves. He states that most want nothing to do with us unless they want to drain our energy.

Fear of the evil eye is prevalent. The author one time was walking down the street with a female acquaintance when she noticed another woman more smartly dressed than she was. The acquaintance called the “smartly” dressed woman a nasty name. Moments later the woman was hit by a bus. The glance of envy is given without the giver even noticing it. The best way to avoid the evil eye is to dress modestly and do not show off.

Many sorcerers try to get into your mind especially advertisers. The way to beat this is to close your mind and eyes from sin. Take a verse from the bible and some of your own stuff and prey.

If you believe in the possibility of psychic attack, this book will tell you the spiritual strategies to protect yourself but more importantly the author will instruct the reader to live righteously. No point in locking the gates against evil when you allow evil in through the back door.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

A Guide to Extreme Living

The Psychopath's Bible: For the Extreme IndividualThe Psychopath's Bible: For the Extreme Individual by Christopher S. Hyatt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not s a book for everyone , in fact most people will find its objective intolerable and will not bother to read it. The books viewpoint does not speak charitably about the state of mankind. In the past many books have been written about psychopaths and sociopaths, but no books have been written for them! The two terms , psychopaths and sociopaths have been used interchangeably that they now mean the same thing. Psychologists have now invented a new term called Antisocial personality disorder. When describing the psychopath usually such terms as violent, impulsive, no respect for Authority are flung around. rhe DSM 4 has quite an sack definition. Yet, psychopaths walk among us and they are too smart to be violent. You tyrants, politicians, CEO's are in many cases good examples of a psychopath .

In the book the psychopath is referred to as a toxic magician, master, master manipulator etc. His goal is the destruction of the human race so that it can make way for another more advanced and useful life form can take over. I wonder how many people would agree to this objective? Most people are very weak minded . They are followers or sheep who are easily controlled , they just do not know it. Many people think they want to be free but that is an illusion. What they really want is to be controlled in a way they find acceptable. That is a view point I can easily agree with. Now the toxic magician must reach his aims non violently. In fact he does not want to. Kill off weak people he wants them around so he can manipulate them. Some times you destroy people by giving them exactly what they want. So you want to doom the human race, support programs that feed the poor. This will then create a drain in the natural resources and when they run out there will not be enough to feed the people thus causing a more massive die off. He makes a point but I am not sure I want to wipe out the human race.

The book has excellent techniques , although subtle , on how to manipulate people. Let's face it the world out there is a jungle. People are always manipulating you and others. Just the hard cold truth. Face it! We live in a concrete jungle where the stronger survive . You have no real rights or possession because the government can take it away from you at any time , so can a more powerful person. The real criminal are the government and big business they steal more from you than the common steer thug. Yet we pursue the street thug with such vigor.

I class this book up thee with Sun Tzu's Art of War, the 48 Laws of Power and the Prince. The manipulation techniques are truly subtle and sublime,yet truly effective. Read this book,at least three times to really learn it. Oh yes the author has graciously included a course of books for further learning.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Journey to the Underworld

Lost GodsLost Gods by Brom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The gods are battling it out again, deities ranging from
A variety of ancient religions. The story starts off with the ghost of a young boy trapped in a cemetery, where he is constantly tormented by two demon boys. Good thing they cannot get him or they would tear him apart.

Enter Chet Moran, just out of prison for a drug dealing charge. His girlfriend is the daughter of a judge who does not approve of drug dealers. When he goes to retrieve his pregnant girlfriend a chase ensues where in he runs over his old PE coach.

Guilty of murder with an angry judge on their tail they decide to hide out at grandmother Lamia's house. She is a healer and a witch with a dark secret. The cemetery is near her house as are a hoard of ghost children. When Chet wanders out well they tear him apart.

Now a spirit he must rescue his girlfriend and unborn daughter from a terrible fate. He journey to the underworld to retrieve a key that can save everyone. In purgatory the old gods are struggling to hang on. The colonel and his green oats are killing the old gods with the help of demons from Hell. Chet gets caught up in the mess and a great adventure ensues.

Reminded me a lot of Neil Gaumans American Gods which I liked as well. Borrowing motifs from several religions the reader will
Enjoy the romp through the underworld.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Heiress Dracula

And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)And I Darken by Kiersten White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lately there has been trend to transform male characters into female character for a modern retelling. It was done with Starbuck in the “Battlestar Galactica “ reboot. Marvel comics is doing it with Thor. This one does it with Dracula. Her name is Ladislava.

Vlad Dracul is a member of the “ Order of the Dragon” set up by the Pope of the Catholic Church to fight infidels. Infidels meaning Muslim Turks. Of course Dracul is a member of the Byzantine Orthodox Church and at times he makes treaties with the Ottoman Turks only to break them. Radislava is the first born and she is female, definitely not a mark of prestige. Yet she grows up behaving like a man. She fights, she is brave and daring qualities of a good warrior. Her younger brother Radu is a boy but weak, pretty and charming. Dracul begin to favor his daughter. Growing up in Tirgoviste Radu is bullied upon by the other boyar children and by his older brother Mircea. Ladislava fights his battle for him. When things get shaky in Tirgoviste Dracul barters his children away to gain a treaty with Sultan Murad.

In the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Edirne. They grow up in a luscious ottoman court where a tutor teachers them the tents of Islam and the ways of Turkey. Soon they befriend Mehmet the Sultans third son and end up going with him to Amasya. Together they have adventures and get cauht up in court intrigues. Radu finds out about himself and his forbidden desires. Ladislava learns to fight and trains it the Janniseries. She fights for the Sultan and saves his life.
A great book for young adults although there are some things that I would not deem suitable for Young Adult, like having wo guys making out. They can be exposed to that later. The rest of the book is good and shows the complexities of growing up in court and being a teenager

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Secret History of the Jews in The Latin World

Secret Jews: The Complex Identity of Crypto-Jews and Crypto-JudaismSecret Jews: The Complex Identity of Crypto-Jews and Crypto-Judaism by Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1492 was recorded as one of th lost disastrous for the Jewish people residing in Spain. The three choices were simple conversion, death or leave Spain. In reality, though, their terror began in 1391, the Visogoths forced all,the Jews to convert or die. Many Jews chose to convert . Some Jews survived by fleeing to another kingdom but as the years rolled by the antisemitism would,catch up and they would face pogroms. Between the years 1391 to 1492 the Jews would face several outburst of antisemitism.

Much of the antisemitism was Church inspired and rhe peasantry were the ones who carried out the violence. Sometimes the nobility would try to protect them but to no avail , the mob rules. Jews who converted to Catholicism were known by several names Marrano (pigs), conversos and Anusim . Once convert they went to church and outwardly tried to be the best Christians possible. Inwardly though many Anusim continued to practice whatever Judaism they could at home and practice Christianity on the outside. Conversos were never fully accepted. The neighboring Chrisitisns regard them with suspicion . In fact conversos never got much of a Christian education any wonder they practiced their Judaism. Many were accused of Judaizing.

The book examines rabbinical,attitudes toward the Anusim and how the other Jews interacted with them. Never quite fitting in once they left many would make an open return while,others would hide. The hiding continues to is day with many in Latin American countries claiming descent from Anusim. Gaining acceptance into,e Jewish community has many challenges and the Jewish community has a variety of ways it responds.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Journey to the Witchlands

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For Safiya and Iseult it is another adventure gone wrong. Trying to rob stagecoaches in the witch lands can be hazardous especially if it is someone important, like guild master or royalty. They try tomstopmtheir bomb from going off and end up fleeing to an abandoned lighthouse in Catorra. But getting away will not be easy. A blood witch is on their tail and they are relentlessly pursued by Cartoran soldiers. All this happens during truce talks where in e the three empires and one small state are to begin negotiations. Prince Merrick wants to feed his people as his country Nuvrecnan has been destroyed by magic.

Safiya is in the run not only from Royal guards but also her destiny. She is a truthwitch, someone who can tell if one is telling the truth or lying. She is valuable to the leaders of empires.she is also a Donna or female nobility but she wants no part of that. Her drunk uncle Eron is a hell bard who protects her from other hell bards. The Emperor of Cartorra wants to marry her and it is at a royal dance that she makes her disappearance ,

Iseult, her best friend and a thread witch , bail in different directions . Iseult returns to her home only to find it silently ruled by a purist. She and her mother are driven out. In the process she is grievously wounded. Safiya flees with Merrick to get to Lwjna. All the while pursued by a blood witch.

Plenty of intrigue in the thinning quite a few good plot turn, when I read this I could not put it down. It is young adult fiction and they do use the sh word. But other than that everything else is appropriate . I look forward to reading more from this author.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Sloppy Tour of the Bible

Return To MeccaReturn To Mecca by Dennis Avi Lipkin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the cover of the book is an image of the teffilin with a background of the Kaaba in Mecca. The Kabah is that black square stone that the Muslims circle around 7 times when they make their pilgrimage. The author argues that the teffilin are a replica of the kaabah and that at one time prior to the Israelites leaving Egypt it was a place of extreme spiritual importance. Being one who subscribes to the theory that when the Israelites were wandering the desert for forty years they were not wandering the Sinai Peninsula which was then under Egyptian control. Rather they were wandering around the Arabian Desert. To me it made sense. I mean after all Queen Helena from Rome said that what we call the Mount Sinai in Egypt is the real one based on the flimsiest of pretexts. Jabal El Lawz tends to make more sense. Several authors have written on this subject and their works are much better. In fact this one leaves a lot to be desired.

I was looking for more proof, ore information that would strengthen this thesis that teffilin are in fact a replica of Kaaba and that the Israelites in fact had dwelt in Arabia. While there was good information, most of the book seems to be a cut paste version of the bible onto the book. I already have bible. Don’t need it in this book. Avi Lipkin also has the outlook of a right wing Jews who wants to expand the borders of Israel. He also states that Islam is evil but Muslims are good. He figures if the world capture Mecca and Medina and deIslamifies the Arab world it will be blessing to the Arabs. He call Allah Satan. Sorry bit I am not looking for political tripe and Islam bashing.
Yet there was some good information. Going off the genealogy of Abraham he discusses the family ties between Ishmael, Midianites etc. Jethro was descended from the children of Abraham and Ketura. He was a priest of the Midianites. Avi Lipkin proposes that he made pilgrimages to Kaabah, which is in the collective memories of all the Children of Abraham. Midian could also be another name for Medina. Medina has other names like Yathrib (Sounds lie Yitr0) it is also called Menawarah (Similar to Menorah).
The Muslims circle the Kaabah 7 times while the Jews wrap the leather of the teffilin around their arm 7 times. The Itrureans lived in the Galilee were descended supposedly from the Kenites, ho ere Midianites. The box of teffilin was meant to guide he Jewish people out of Egypt.
One also gets a different historical background derived from other historians like Josephus and Manetho. Some of this jibes with the thesis but then it is interesting how Moses was a military leader who helped conquer Ethiopia and married an Ethiopian woman. Interesting alternative history.

I am going to give this book three stars. Much o I was cutting and pasting verses of the bible. He does have an agenda which is not needed if you are looking for facts. There is some good info out there that can be found elsewhere in better sources.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Condensed Sorcery

Condensed Chaos: An Introduction to Chaos MagicCondensed Chaos: An Introduction to Chaos Magic by Phil Hine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow this book was awesome. Short powerful and too the point. wish I had read this earlier in my quest. This book is pure magical technique. If you want to get started with magic this book is a great place to start. If it is piffy little spells you are looking for then this will not be what your looking for. Chaos magick is a very unique form of magick. . There are several paradigms of magic; Ceremonial, Wicca, Voodoo etc. Chaos is not exactly it's on paradigm yet it is a philosophy that let lets you paradigm hop so as to do the form of magic that is best suited for what your goal is. Belief is a tool and you can basically believe in a paradigm while you are working with it and when you are done you can sort of move on to another paradigm. Chaos magic is results oriented magic. If you do a working and it worked then you will have the physical results you were working for. Very real and down to earth. Chaos spurns the mentality that rejects the physical world over the spiritual . In a way physical is most important. Magic id done for results Becoming a magician does require commitment and drive. It is something that you have to want to do. One has to do magic at their level. Phil Hine crumbs on the magus's or people who think they are all that. He I against these inflated egos. Magic is meant to be fun and the value of laughter in dispelling negative magic is unspeakably powerful.

Other items covered in this book are how to make Chaos servitors, energy creation that do our bidding. It tells about ho o do it, the pitfall and how to do it safely. Ego magiick tells about dissolving the identity so a to make oneself more fluid flexible and able to take needed action. Our demons are those little buggers in our subconscious that act up as jealousy or anger. The book tells how to del with it and how to make use of it. The Shamanic path is discussed as well.

If you like magic then whatever you path this one is for you. Great technique which are easy to understand and easy to use. This is one book I will refer back to time and again.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Manson the Cult Leader

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles MansonManson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The murders of Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring foisted the infamously murderer, Charles Manson into the spotlight. There was more to Charlie Manson then being a serial killer and it ain't all that good. His mother, Kathleen Maddox, was raised in a very strict Christian Environment and she used to rebel.. One act of rebellion was to slip into bars for illicit romance. The result of such an affair with Col. Scott was the birth of Charlie, of course this man never knew Charlie. She later married a guy with the last name of Manson. The name stuck. She herself went through a multitude of guys and ended up serving several terms in prison .

Charlie's childhood was about moving around from one relatives house to another. Usually his bizarre behaviors would become too much for his relatives to bear. He also ended up in a multitude of juvenile detention centers. It was while he was in prison that Charlie picked up a love of Scientology and Dale Carnegie's "How to Make Friends and Influence People". He would use these tactics to start his own cult.

From prisons and Juvenile detention centers, Manson made his way west to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles. It was in San Francisco that Manson made a home and started recruiting members for his family . He would later to move to Los Angeles. The family lived on two ranches . Spahn Ranch in Los Angeles and Barker Ranch out in Death Valley. Manson and the family made their way by mooching off people and having his girls dig through trash cans.

The family episode would close with the family being caught and found guilty of multiple murders. Charlie spent his time behind bars and is still there. Many of his followers after being rehabilitated went on to different things.

The book is great in that not only does it give a good biography of Manson but it tells how charismatic a he could be when he wanted. Manson was a master manipulator . He had th girls in the family under his complete control. He made his girls look fore food. He proatitutd them and he dealt him drugs. His cult was based a on a.coming race war. The book did a bang em up job of describing the environment of the sixties both for Los Angeles and. San Francisco . If serial killer or the sixties are your ing I ink you will enjoy this book.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Healing the World with the Goddess

Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages & Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation ThealogyGoddess Calling: Inspirational Messages & Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy by Karen Tate
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every once in a while there comes along a goddess book that is seriously worthwhile reading. This book is one of them. Once I got started I was able to complete it in a couple of days. The book was well written, organized and easy to comprehend.. The book is divided into three parts. The first part of the book is about politics and changing the world, the second part is meditations and finally there is further resources for the reader to delve into.
Dr. Tate's message for politics is that it needs to become more goddess centered and incorporating those values the Goddess holds dear. Now Dr. Tate subscribes to the opinion that at one time the world was matriarchal and was a much better place to live in. This has been sort o proven inaccurate but it was more balanced. Our future is bleak when it comes to politics and we are heading for a train wreck. One way to change the future is to change the past or at least the memories of the past. The politics of the Goddess are simple. We need to look after each other and share the wealth. We need to take care of our environment because thing are going bad. The WASP mal dominated world we live in promotes bullying and racism and a host of other ills. I am not much o goddess person but after reading her essays I cannot help but agree we need a new direction and we are very male centered much to our detriment..
The second section is composed of mediations. They are simple an easy to follow. If you want you can read them into a recorder and play it back while you meditate. The mediation work with Sekkment, Artemis, Aphrodite, Minerva an several others. Many take place in a cave or in other natural environments. Some of them focus on prosperity, others on letting go the negative and improving ourselves and the world or the future.
The working are simple and easy to do. No elaborate ritual preparation. You just meditate. Thing are safe also. No drawing blood or working it your dark side here, everything basks in the light. The focus is on healing humanity and the world. Maybe what some people want while others ay strive for different focuses.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

The End of Prophecy

Warheart (Sword of Truth, #15; Richard and Kahlan, #4)Warheart by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book concludes the Richard and Kahlan series . Thank the gods as it was going on and on. While certain books n the sword of truth series became redundant and repetitive , this last trilogy seems to have avoided those pitfalls. Starting off with Richard in the world of the dead, Kahlan and company journey to a Wichita named Red. Traveling through a perilous country on the look out for half people, they meet the witch who tells them how to release Richards spirit from the realm of the dead . It takes great sacrifice to bring him back, the death of someone who loves him. Getting Richard back from the dead will not make the problems with Saluchan and zhannis Arc go away. Richard still has the poison on him. It is a race against time to defeat his foes and to save himself .

Richard is the one who will end prophecy . Prophecy comes from the world of the dead. The Omen Machine or the Regulais what brought prophecy to the world in the first place. Richard must put it back in the world of the dead. Once accomplished free will reign, life affirming . Saluchan and zhannis Arc wish to erase the barrier between the living and the dead

Those who enjoyed the earlier books should find enjoyment in this final tome. Will Richard defeat his foes? Will he even survive? His foes are powerful and relentless . The poison is killing Richard , blocking his ability to use his gift.

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Waking Up Jewish

Suddenly Jewish: Jews Raised as Gentiles Discover Their Jewish RootsSuddenly Jewish: Jews Raised as Gentiles Discover Their Jewish Roots by Barbara Kessel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Suddenly Jewish

Madeline Albright brought this issue into focus when she announced and figured out that she was not really the Cheistian she was raised to be but rather someone with Jewish roots. Many a so called Gentiles have grown up in the non Jewish world have an unexplainable pull towards things that are Jewish. Thes people ,aye drawn to Judaism, have Jewish friend or just plain be drawn to Jewish environments. The discovery that they have Jewish blood coursing through their vein can say me times come as a major shock or as an aha kind of moment that explains things. These hidden Jews are present in Converso or Anusim communities, hidden children, holocaust survivors and adoptees.

In 1492 Spain issued an edict commanding all Jews to flee, die or convert to Catholicism. Even after the Jews converted them were still persecuted. Many perished rather than convert, while others fled. Many who on the heels of Columbus to America were conversos or Anusim. Outwardly they were Catholic but secretly they were Jews. I vent with their Catholic ruse the inquisition was hot on their heels. To maintain their ruse they would become member of the clergy, publicly eat pork. Inside their house they would Light Shabbat candles, sweep the floor a certain way, even maintain underground synagogues. They tried to maintain the practice of marrying among themselves.

The next group is the hidden Jews. Abraham Foxman , director of the ADL, was one such child that fully illustrates this concept. To ensure his survival during the holocaust his parent gave him to a nanny. For the first five years of his life he was raised catholic l. After the Holocaust was over the parent tried to retrieve him but by that point the nanny had become attached to him and would not let him go. The parents got him back but it was several years before he shed all his Catholic practices. There are many like him who grew up unaware of the year their Jewish heritage.

Others are children of Holocaust survivors, who upon arriving from the blood stained sands of Europe drooped all ties to their former religion. Why suffer persecution again? Why subject your children to such stigma? Many nominally converted to other religions, some actively became even atheists. The children are often times upset becaus they may have swallowed some antisemitic beliefs. Other kind of always knew it sometimes there is resentment for having their Judaism kept hidden away from them and many times it will provoke a quest into the realm of Jewish thought and life.

The adoptees are the final category. There is the story of someone who grew up with a staunch Mormon background. This individual knew they were different because of their dark complexion. This discovery would later fuel a quest to explore the Judaic world. Another young woman was adopted into a conservative Jewish family. Her real parents were a Palestinians father and an Irish mother. Reuniting caused friction to be sure and it propelled her to immerse herself more deeply into the Palestinian world.

The book is short yet it covers lots of ground. Mostly comprised of interviews and so subjects relating their story. Very enjoyable and very informative. Wish there were more like it.

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Wild Wyoming

Wild Horse Country in WyomingWild Horse Country in Wyoming by Jack Price
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the 1930's South Dakota was a dust bowl. There was no rain, crops were failing and there were dust storms that choked on everything that tried to breathe. So Jack Price's father decided to move the family out to Wyoming. The state of Wyoming was still a pioneer state in many ways. True cars were used to a small extent but people still travelled about on horses and mules. Schools were one room contraptions with sometime funny episodes going down. Looking by the Teton Mountsins near Rock Port, there was work in coal mining, and ranching. Wyoming was and is still filled with colorful characters. Wild hors s could be could in the desert.

Stuttering Dick was one guy who when he got older, would travel from ranch to ranch to stay for a few days. He could not do much work but he was entertaining to listen to. He never overstayed his welcome. One day during a blizzard he was caught in the snowfall and froze to death. Some school tales involve a very strict teacher who enjoyed smoking. He went to the outhouse for a smoke and the kids would turn it over or block the door. They sure taught that teacher a lesson. Some of the characters were horses themselves.. One hors was a former race hors called L. He escaped Kentucky and ended up with the horses on a ranch. One of th best horses. Another horse was half and half. They could never catch him but he always ran free and although other horses he was herding with did caught. The famous half and half never got caught.

Wyoming my the horses ran free and wild on the plain. People would herd sheep and horses out on the desert plain. The herders had shelter set up for them to live in. People would capture wild horses and tame them out in the corrals. Eventually the family moved back to South Dakota. Jack and the other 8 brothers would go off and fight in different wars. One of them died fighting in world war 2. His mother died in Wyooming. The father almost died from coal mines. Either way Wyoming makes a lasting impact and stays in your memory. It is a place close to nature.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dark Divinity

Unholy Goddesses of the Dark SideUnholy Goddesses of the Dark Side by Daemon Barzai
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dark Goddesses

Well if working with the Dark feminine is your thing then this book is for you. I found the book to be easy to read and comprehend. The book does not go into an in depth history and the rituals are easy to follow. Simplicity is something that I rather like. Since the rituals are easy to follow this book is for those who want a direct experience with the Goddesses.
The goddesses come from all the different pantheons. Naamah and Lilith from the Judeo Christian tradition. Dismay and Ereskkigal from the Mesopotamian traditions. There is Kali from the Hindu tradition, along with Qualitu who is a newly emerged Goddess who is either descended from Lilith or an aspect of mask of her. There is also a female deity from Lovecraft lore, Shub Niggurath. We cannot forget that Hecate and Venus are included as well. I apologize to any goddess i forgot to mention.
The format for the book is simple. First the author Damon Barzai , give over some history and things to know about the Goddess. There are roughly three working for each goddess. First is an invocation to the Goddess then an evocation and then a meditation.. The rituals and working can be modified to meet the need. I like to combine evocation with meditation.
The energies these goddesses contain are extremely powerful. The energies are connected with the Eros and the thanatos. The magician must have inner strength and self control to work with these deities.. Many of the working call for black and red candles, dragon blood incense and as a recommends a use of your blood. If you are squeamish then only one of the deities requires bloid. Be wary these deities can be vampiric.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Travels within the Soul of the Goddess

Savage Breast: One Man's Search for the GoddessSavage Breast: One Man's Search for the Goddess by Tim Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Savage Breast is not about a set of breasts on a savage woman, rather it is about ne man’s explorations into the realms of the Goddess. In my eyes it is a three pronged journey. The first prong which is readily distinguishable is about a visiting different sites around the world dedicated to this goddess or that Goddess. The second prong is a journey into the anima of man and how the male anima, or female part of the psyche is stunted. The third prong is a journey into the author’s mind in order for him to confront this own personal issues.

Dealing with the inner issues, the author readily explains his own issues with women. In my mind it seems as though he has a love hate relation with them and he consistently berates himself for seeing them only as sex objects. In the books beginning he can never form satisfactory relationship with a woman. AS a result he ends up having numerous one night stands to fil that ever growing hunger with in. Men seem to see women as mothers or lovers or limit them to certain roles. Men have made women subservient, they have clipped t females wings and limited her power and in doing so have limited themselves in the process and cut their own wings.
While our spirituality would benefit from being more inclusive of the feminine and allowing more room for spiritual leader, I find all this male self-criticism to be a bit problematic. I am not sure if dissing patriarchy is the way to go. Sure we defiantly need more equality, but putting one down over the other is not the answer. Being totally honest I feel that man and women of modern times are spiritually immature and under developed. As an observer of this time frame I find that women can veer towards materialism, manipulation and less than forthright communication. Men suffer from using women for carnal purposes and can be quite rough.

Perhaps my favorite part was about Athena. She may have had her origin on some other Greek isle an she may be a newer version of an older goddess. In a way she is Zeus’s first born with his wife Methis. Like Cronus before him, he swallows his offspring. Athena is born from a headache and in the original version she is sprouting angel wings. The eternal battle hardened virgin, she is a model for many women who have defeminized themselves to make it in man’s world. Of course some of this is understandable because the game is patriarchal, rules written by men t lay many game in a manly sort of way. Tim Ward, the author, always tries to impress this kind of woman an finds himself coming up short. Yet you also learn that women tend to get along better with men than they do other women. As a co-worker of mine states “Women attack other women, they do not go after men” there is a competition between them and when women communicate they’re constantly trying to probe each other mind to find out what they’re thinking.
Tim’s journey leads him to a fruitful relationship after years of research, traveling and hard work. Along the way shrines to goddesses like Gai, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hecate and several Central European goddesses are discussed and visited. They are part of the anima and dwell in each man and in each woman. The Goddesses are part of the soul.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pre-Islamic History of Arabia

Arabia and the ArabsArabia and the Arabs by Robert G. Hoyland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Arabia and the Arabs

THe period before the Arabian Peninsula adopted Islam is called jahaliya or the age of ignorance. Not much was known before modern archaeologist were able to unearth remnants of those earlier civilizations . THe revealed truths i9s that these civilizations were quite advanced. The societies were not all Arab either. THere were several kingdoms, each with it's own language and culture. It was not until right before that the denizens of Arabia were called Arabs. You see on the South West side of Arabia you had the Sabeans and the Himyarites , just to name a few. On the North Eastern side you had Dimun and a few others. The Arabs were thought to be nomads who roamed the desert with their livestock.

Many of these small kingdoms often times allied themselves with larger empires Botha for political benefit and for material benefit. Empire that the kingdoms allied with were Egyptioans, Mesopotamians, Persians etc. Of times the kingdoms would fight against the nomad Arabs. Their main trade was frankincense which the trade routes connecting to all the empires. THeir religion was simple. They had a plethora of gods and an altar, they would slaughter an animal and shed its blood on the altar. Usually they were asking for something. THeir poems extolled virtues like hospitality and bravery. The weapon they used were spear, arrows and bows. Later they would have leather shields. The book covers every aspect of ARabian life.

It is believed that the breaking of the Maarib damn caused the ARabians to migrate further north. THey would later become the Lakhmids and the Ghassanids. They would adopt lifestyles of the major empires both with intent of integrating but also conquest for their fellow brethren . For any ones interested in ARabian history this book is a must read.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

The Ghosts of Illinois

Ghosts of the Prairie: History & Hauntings of Central IllinoisGhosts of the Prairie: History & Hauntings of Central Illinois by Troy Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I downloaded this book expecting it to be real heavy on narratives of peopke encountering ghosts or experience of people coming to haunted pkaces. what i got instead was an exhaustive history about various places in Illinois. The author gives the reader an extensive history of a certain place ,even the history of the ghost who might be there. It is light on the ghost experience. At the end of the section the reader is informed that people report seeing an apparition that gives them the chills and then goes away. There is the usual drop in temperature, along with people being touched mysteriously along with items being moved without explanation. I found this book to be more of a history book than a ghost book. i am not complaining. i like reading history and i learnec a lot about the history of Illinois. History is cool and many ghost books would benefit by including the history if various places. Illinois was named after the illinkwet Indians. Many European settlers traipsed through Illinois en route to the west. most who came to settle in Illinois were miners looking for gold. The Mormon came through as well but were driven on to Utah after one of their leaders was killed there. Illinois was known for crime and there is,a lot of crime there on many levels. Everything from bandits and highway robber on through to the mafia and corrupt politicians. Law and order was so scarce out there that vigilante gangs used to catch and hang criminals.a group called the regulators was set up to stop these bandits. Lincolns history out there is extensive as well. The book documents his beginning all the way through to hus assassination and beyond. After he was assasinated his train took his body on a tour so people could wish their president good bye. It is said that a long that route there is a ghost train that goes through even though the teacks are gone. Once Lincoln was buried there were attempts ro steal his body, so a secret society was established to protect his body. The biok not only covers politics and mines, but also hotels, theaters, schools and sanitariums. There are cases if victims being unable to move on, possession and ghosts that just enjoy their place. The book is long and like i said heavy on The history, low on the paranormal.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rise of the Mchanical Monsters

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Clockwork Angel

The story starts off with a demon that is murdering young women. That demon is soon deposed by two brave shadow hunters. Something foul is a foot in Victorian London. Tessa , a young girl from New York, come to London at the behest of her brother. Little does she know what is in store for her. As soon as she steps foot on British soil she is whisked away by the Dark Sisters. Trapped by two evil sisters she is taught to use a new ability she never thought she even had. Shape shifting . She makes several attempts to escape but they all end in failure. The sister are training her for the magister. If she tries to escape her brother will experience harm. It is William Herrondale that rescues her.

Once at the institute Tessa learns her identity, why she was born and some horrifying new secrets. Together her and the clave join forces to rescue her brother and take down the magister. On the way to their adventure they use Tessa's shape shifting ability to infiltrate a vampire coven. They wipe it out. During their quest to find the magister both the clave and Tessa will experience betrayal and shock. Alliances will be broken and new friendships will be forged. The magister is mustering a threat against the clave that magic and sorcery cannot over come. It is a threat that is made of neither heaven or earth. This is not the zombie apocalypse but something close something kind of futuristic. The sanctuary will be attacked and yes the magister will survive for another round.

Lots of teen bonding in this one as young warriors not only fight off vampires, demons and other baddies but also their inner issues. Some have issues with their parents while some have lost their parents . Jem lost his parents to a demon that injects him with a poison that keeps him addicted to demon blood. He needs it like a drug to live. Jem also strikes up an interesting friendship with Tessa, who although undefined is considered a downworlder. This enters a taboo field of triangulation and forbidden love. Much to enjoy here for the young reader.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Literary History of Trolls

Trolls: An Unnatural HistoryTrolls: An Unnatural History by John Lindow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Never before have I seen a book on the history of trolls, but here you finally have it. Trolls are part of the Scandinavian landscape and people seriously believe in them. Tell someone you saw a troll and not only will they not think you are nuts but they will believe you. Of course if your in the cultural milieu tricks of the eye can be interpreted as seeing a mystical creature like a troll. First mentioned in Norwegian -Vikiung Poetry a brave warrior runs into a female troll. Troll have a connection with magic in fact they can even be shape shifters. Trolls will teach people verses and songs but you better remember what they teach you or it could be fatal. Trolls are sometimes conflated with Giants or the Jotunheim. They are also thought t be formerly dead people who wise from the dead. People can be turned into trolls or trolls can shapeshift. They are not to bright.

The author covers trolls all the way through the Earliest trolls going through the Genre of Medieval trolls, folk lore trolls, fairy tale trolls, trolls in literature all the way to the present marketing schemes too sell troll dolls to children. As time progresses the trolls can become bigger and more unbelievable . THey have magic and sometimes witches use them for magical purposes. AS time rolls on the trolls become more benevolent and much cuter. They are not always giant monster , sometimes they are rather diminutive . In their earlier carnation they were portrayed as being quite harmful to people, but as the newer stories come it they become less and less harmful. They get to the point of being helpful too people if the people help them.
In the stories Trolls are depicted as eating people and other animals.

Trolls are definitely members of the fey community, sometimes it is hard t distinguish them from elves and dwarves cause al fairy species were deemed harmful to humans and names of fey species were turned around quite a bit. Somethings about Trolls cannot be attributed to other fey species. OF course trolls are conflated with dragon and the trolls can have multiple heads. When the sun comes up they either explode or turn to stone . Troll legends borrow from Greek mythology. You wil have strikes of where three trolls share the same eye. Much. The three fates from Greek mythology.

In various literatures Trolls are sometimes conflated with witches but mire often than not they are conflated with noon Christian people. Some literature call certain people trolls. Now a days the terms troll refers too different things, like someone who disrupts a group on the Internet and causes problem. Trolls can also be those cute little dolls. The trolls of old evoked fear much like the raggedy homeless person who lives under a bridge, is totally unkempt and may frighten animals and children. The troll has not gone away but it has evolved.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Toughen up Spartan Style

Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in LifeSpartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life by Joe De Sena
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mixed Martial arts is the fastest growing sport and right after that are obstacle course marathon’s that test the competitor in a variety of way. This book is about a certain type of obstacle race that is both grueling yet meant to be a vehicle for personal growth. I effect if serves to toughen one up and yet gives more.
The Spartan race is much like obstacle race and yet somewhat more. The competitors will slog thorough waist deep mud, go through ice cold water, crawl under barbed wire and scale a 12 foot wall that is covered with grease. Competitors are left out in the wilderness to find their way back. It developed of the “Death Race” which was far more intense and sometimes life threatening. The Spartan Race is not as dangerous but it is still tough. No less people come to these events in droves.
What drives people to do these somewhat beyond insane races? One is that going through something so tough gives one a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Your confidence level goes up so much that anything after the Spartan Race seems easy. It forces you out of your comfort zone. The commitment forces you to train and you are not the same person you were after you cross the finish line.

Spartan Races go beyond just a group of people running an intensely challenging race. They have become a community, a community based on the warrior ideals of Sparta. The competitors goes against each other yet they help each other out. Even while people help each other it also fosters a sense of independence. The Spartan were a warrior society that took the hard way out. The youth were removed from the home at 6 or 7 and then sent to live in the wilderness on their own. It was either sink or swim. It was a rite of passage.

Spartans do not take eth easy way out in fact they go for the most stringent way. There are no shortcut on this path. It is al hard work to make you the best you can be. The author has lots to say in this book that could make your life better even if you do not ever wish to enter a Spartan Race. The author talks about exercise and diet, the two most important medicines to keep you well .He criticizes the alienation of modern kids to nature and slams down the helicopter parents who are so overprotective of their children. They need to toughen up and be ready for the outdoor world. He has a critical view of technology our over reliance on it. Most important of all is development of grit or determination to persevere despite the difficulty and in a nutshell that is hat people need to obtain. You will like this book as it is not a feel good New Agey book.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ghost Town of the Mountain West

Ghost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, MontGhost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Mont by Philip Varney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Author, Philip Varney, has written like 7 books on Ghost Towns. This book represent kind of like the best of the ghost towns. The guide covers the best ghost towns in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada. The ghost town are in various state of repair, some are completely abandoned while some are partially inhabited. Believe it or not some are being regentfrified and rein habited. Other are converted to tourist attracting to bring in money, The author has divided the ghost towns up by state . The author gives a history of the town which includes how it is founded and it’s life over the time and it’s ultimate demise. After the history then you get the low down on what is there for the tourists to see. Finally there are directions on how to get there. Many of these towns have colorful history.

Exploration in the west started after the US purchased the land from France and the Lewis and Clark expedition mapped out the territory. Many people came out looking for silver and gold. The miner’s would come out and settle towns around the mining industry. Once the mines went dry of gold and silver dried up the town’s population would dwindle until it was nothing or almost nothing. The building would fall into various states of disrepair. Things would get worse because vandals would take things or destroy things for whatever reason. These historical landmarks have to be preserved.

The miner and settler faced hostile Native American, sickness and plague. It was definitely the Wild Wild West. I read this book in two days. If checking out ghost towns is your thing then this book is for you. Filled with plenty of color photographs this book makes for a good coffee table book. With the information of history this book is great if you just want to read up on the history of ghost towns then this book is it , even if you do not want to visit a ghost town. Of course after reading this book you will want to visit a ghost town

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mind Your Own Business

Mind Your Own Business: A Maverick's Guide to Business, Leadership and LifeMind Your Own Business: A Maverick's Guide to Business, Leadership and Life by Sidney Harman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mind Your Own Business

What follows from Sydney Harmon, CHief executive officer of Harmon Kadmon hi if speakers is part auto-biography , part how to run your business. Harmon Kadmon Speakers are used on almost every computer. THey make great hi-if speakers and the company was a pioneering company in making speaker. To start with there are two business models that represent two extremes in the business world. THe old model is top down administration where everything is rigid and creativity is lacking. Things get stuffy. The new model is technology based , very creative. In fact to creative that honesty is forsaken. Profit is the main thing even if the numbers have to be played with. Totally web based. Neither one is a perfect model and each have their flaws which is why Dr. Harmon is advising a third way that combines elements of these two business models.

Dr. Harmon tells how he made money with his paper route and expanded it. He talks about candy shops and how they do business. He talks about how he worked with David Bogen for ten years and he discusses what he learned. During Word War Two he worked in the communications department. After that he would acquire a company with Kadmon. Together they revolutionized the speaker industry by making things sound better and by making the products easier to use. Remember technolgy is subservient to those who need to use it not the other way around. Later he would leave and join the Presidents cabinet as a technolgy minister and when he was done with that he would re acquire the company . He also taught at Friends World College and was involved in the Civl Rights movement when desegragation was being challenged by state . He felt threatened by the racists on several occasasins.
He was 84 when he wrote the short book that has acquired much acclaim.

His belief is that everyone who works for the company is like a jazz quartet , you have to make the music harmonious by listening too everyone. The executive need to know what is going on and see the whole picture. That means they go put on the production floor and do some work there and speak to the people. THe executive is to set an examp-le in integrity and honesty and the rest will follow suit. He believes in building up a quality of life for the employees by providing health care and education. He is against cooking the books t make companies look profitable. If the language is too strange ask the speaker to make it simpler. Writing helps you read your own mind and speeches should be done without liking at the notes.

A refreshing honest approach to business and I am not into business. Honesty is the best policy and this man seems to be a living avatar of that ideal .

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Monday, January 30, 2017

The Most Holy Death

La Santa Muerte: Unearthing the Magic & Mysticism of DeathLa Santa Muerte: Unearthing the Magic & Mysticism of Death by Tomás Prower
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

She is the female grim reaper, worshiped in Mexico among the poor, oppressed and destitute. HEDr veneration has spread here and her followers are not limited to the Latino community but followers from all races. She is popular among criminals, law enforcement, drugs dealers, prostitutes and the lower economic class. What drives people into the arms of La Santa Muerte. For one she is non judge mental . She does not care who you are because death come for us all regardless. She will also answer your petitions with just no judgement. In other words if you ask for it you will get it.

This is in contrast to the practices of Wicca and the three fold law. In Wicca you cannot or are not supposed to do negative magic or magic that will harm someone and if the spirits do not think it is to your benefit then they will not grant your request. La Santa Muerte is different . She answers all your request . Even so the author talks about Karma and the law of equal exchange. If you do negative Magick against someone it will come back to you just the same. There is the law of exchange which means that if you get something you have too give something in return. The author has definitely dipped his feat into the pools of new paganism and immersed himself in the ways of Santa Muerte. The result could be a new path. Most followers of Santa Muerte are of the Catholic persuasion, although anyone can be a follower f Santa Muerte.

Death has been venerated since ancient times and death was not personified as evil, in fact the Greeks thought that Hades was a good guy . The Sumerians worshipped Ereskkigal and the Egyptians worked with her for gay Magic . Pluto was one who gave wealth. The Greeks had the three fates that last one was the crone who cut the cord determining the end of your life. In the Roman Pantheon she was called La Porce.

THe book covers the history of the following of Santa Muerta. At the end there are spells forgo love, money , protection and winning in court. There is a chapter on color correspondences, herbs and incense. The spell are easy to perform and not overly complicated. I also think you can use sme of the knowledge towards working with other deities. This book is great for someone who loves Santa Muerte and it is God for the ne pagan just getting introduced to her. Awesome for beginning and intermediate practitioners of Magic . Great book and I hope the author writes more.Hail Sana Muerte.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

South Pass Wyoming

South Pass and Its TalesSouth Pass and Its Tales by James L. Sherlock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book represent my first foray into American History. It deals with the founding of South Pass in Wyoming. The author , James Sherlock , collected the stories from his blind uncle. Peter , the blind uncle, used to tell tales in front of the hardware shop where he used to work. Despite being blind he knew where everything was in the store.

James Sherlock is an established family member. His relations played an important part in the towns life . They built a hotel, dance hall and several other businesses. His style is to first tell about the towns founding and then look at old houses and building and tell the tales and history associated with that building.

If you are a glutton for detail then this is your book. Not only does he relay the history but he also describes the materials used to build the building and what technique the construction workers used. Most of this went in one eye ball and out the other. many of the tails are amusing and show what life was like back in the early days.

The photographs give you a good picture of what it was like . Log cabins , dirt roads, horse and buggy . It was a land that could be rough yet had law and order. Disputes could be resolved peacefully or someone could get shot. That is how it works. There were threats from marauding Indians and the cold snowy winds of nature . A must read for those who love Wyoming.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Will the Real Monsters Please Stand Up

Monsters Among UsMonsters Among Us by Brad Steiger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who are the monsters that roam among us? Is it the vampires, werewolves and other creatures from our folklore? Or perhaps the most dangerous monster of all is mankind. After all I am more frightened of gang bangers, rapists and corrupt politicians than I am of werewolves and vampire. Of course if you are lost in the woods or you are swimming in the sea you might be afraid of some monsters coming out to get you. Back in the day we feared trolls, witches and dragons, that fear has seemed too subside.

There is a thread here. We have monsters that we believe in. This book talks about sea monsters, UFO's, Big foot, dragons, werewolves and vampire . I might have missed a few.
What is the origin of these monsters? Are they products of a fertile imagination? Or perhaps there is a kernel of truth to these legends.Some would say they are survivors from earlier prehistoric times and have managed to stay hidden from mankinds general view. Sea Monster may very well be dinosaurs, or Bigfoot is a hominid remnant of earlier man. Scientists are discovering new species daily. Maybe these creatures exist in another realm or dimension and every so often they traipse into our realm. or their homes could be in caves or deep inside the Earth. The sea is fathom less and deep. It could well be the home of some surviving sea creatures. People report seeing things but gathering proper evidence can be a challenge. In Africa there are legends of Sauropods lurking the jungles. These creatures might be the basis of dragon legends. Of course so could giant snakes and mammoth bones. The Bigfoot or Yeti has been seen the world over. Numerous sightings have been reported yet obtaining solid proof is difficult. These creatures have been known to flee mankind,yet if cornered they will turn aggressive. Native American legends abound with these creatures who are known to hunt men, abduct women and practice a primitive religion. Could these guys be a Neanderthal hold over? Perhaps is such a creature, many descriptions render it similar to Bigfoot. When people used to go hunting or wage war they would wear different animal skins to obtain the animal power. People had rituals that could supposedly turn them into werewolves. Lycanthropia could be a form of psychosis. Vampires may exist but it is the human ghouls who should frighten us. Ghouls devour human flesh. There are stories of french soldiers dining on corpse flesh. A seductress who kills her lovers to dine on them. There is more where that came from. The book discusses in great detail curses, ghosts, the hollow earth theory and more. Ultimately you have to decide if this all real or bunk. What are the origins of these stories and who is the ultimate monster?

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Transmuting the Tree of Life

Qabala Treatise: How to Navigate the Tree of Life for TransmutationQabala Treatise: How to Navigate the Tree of Life for Transmutation by Jymie Darling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What should have been a five star book written by a very experienced practitioner who know her stuff comes what could have been an awesome book on using the tree of life to transmute yourself and evolve. I got the kindle version and read it. Great information highly useable but there are several editing issues, especially toward the beginning. Pictures and illustration in several places of the book blot out entire paragraphs or sentences. Guess what you miss out on the information. I would advse that you do not get the kindle version through amazon but rather contact Panpipes magical supply in Hollywood and get the book. Other than that this book has awesome stuff that you can use, I myself took detailed notes cause I am gonna use this stuff.

The beginning of the book tells you ritual foundations and how to design a ritual an it’s phases. The book then goes into the four Qabblsitic worlds and their relation to the tree of life. There is some discussion of the sephirote but it I the thirty two paths that are the meat of this an you are given the tools you need to traverse the path but like a do it yourself kit you have to put it together. At the books beginning there is a correspondence of gods to the sephirot, most of the tree though are cut in half so you lose information. The book covers paths32-11 what happened t the first 10?

The structure I simple the path is discussed along with it’sgoals. Intelligencees are covered, alchemical works, tarots associations are covered along with animals an herbs. I will give example below.

Path 31: Shin the realm of judgment- Fire

Take something and transform it so you can take it in Connects Hod to Malchut. This involves taking stockinto what cn actually be achieved. Learning the new alongside the old. Path of perpetual intelligence cause it regulate the son and the moon.

Virtue: Planning and passion. Vice: Over critical Element is fire

Colors Aziluth: Seeing, Orange scarlet

Beriah: Detached, Vermillion

Yetzirah: Perseptive, Scarlett flecked with gold

Assiah: Caution, Vermillion flecked with emerald and crimson.

Tarot: Judgement

Affirmation: I respond to the universes call of my energy. I feel awakened (or alive) I live a just life

Magic structures: Pyramids, wings, sun, stars, moon

Myths: Study judgement myths, Hestia, Vestia. Vulcan

Herbs: Hyssop, Yarrow, dandelion, Balsam poplar, dragons blood, clove and pepper

Animal s the hawk

Great book to work with, I would advise that if you are a beginner then you should supplement this with other fuller volumes that give more additional insight. This book gets a 4 out of 5. 1 point off from editing errors.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Another False Messiah

The Mixed Multitude: Jacob Frank and the Frankist Movement, 1755-1816The Mixed Multitude: Jacob Frank and the Frankist Movement, 1755-1816 by Pawel Maciejko
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Frankists were offshoots of the Sabbatian Heresy which began in the Ottoman Empire during the 1500s. After converting to Islam the donmeh broke off into different groups. One such group was the faction under Jacob Frank. Arriving in Podolia in 1755, Frank and his group engaged in a ritual that would shock the lical Jewish community and involve tge Catholic authority. While there behavior was blasphemous tge Catholic clergy sided with the Frankists over the rabbinic establishment. Later Jacib Frank would offer to convert his sect to Catholic religion. Of course they would keep certaun Jewish Practices in tact. They would also ask for territory and tge right to have a militia which could be used against the Ottomans. This fell through. Eventually he would fund himself locked away un a monastery that revered the mother Mary. Eventually he settled in Offenbach where he had a small mini kingdom. He passed from a stroke in 1791.

The book discusses the beginning and growth of the Sabbattian movement that pushes through to greater development of trends in Europe and the Polish Jewish community. For those interested in the donmeh, this book is for you.

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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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