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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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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Aromatherapy Oils

Aromatic Oils & Magick: A guide to their use in Magick, Healing and PerfumeryAromatic Oils & Magick: A guide to their use in Magick, Healing and Perfumery by Ray Sherwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ray Sherwin is one of the big deals when it comes t the realm of chaos magick. This work is what I would call effective but in a more medicinal way. Not really a how to book or how to use oils for magic spells but rather how to use essential oils for perfumery and healing. That is what this book is all about. It is about aromatherapy.

I way it is sort of like a travelogue based on oils. Born in 1952, in England Ray had the pleasure of working for Scientology, Morton Press and finally as an Aroma therapist. In Leeds is here he opened up his shop. How did he get into this? Well the story starts off with Patchouli. Originally it was used to line or pack in with shawls rom India. The clothes were sprinkled with stuff and that is how you could tell if what you got was from India, that Patchouli smell. Eventually counterfeiters figured it out and started adding patchouli leaves or oil. It is also known as an aphrodisiac because it depresses the sympathetic nervous system. It is also good for skin infections like eczema and cuts. Patchouli was also used by hippies.
Ry then goes to write on how labdanum came from scything roses in Africa. Laudanum had lots of uses in Egypt and even helped a dynasty rise to power. Next we learn about the disinfectant properties of Frankincense and that there is a male and female version. The female version is softer and chewier and used for internal problem. His travels to Egypt take him t the Khan Khalili Bizarre where we learn about Musk oil, Civet oil and Ambergris, the three ingredients to Crowley’s Ruthvah formula.
After enjoying his travelogue consider the health information on the seed oils we use and how harmful they are. He advises using fractionated coconut oil. Ray has a lot of backlash for the pharmaceutical companies and the governments especially on how they promote dangerous drugs over herbs that are heling and beneficial. In the back you will find various uses for different essential oils matches to the ailment. There is also a description on how the oils are made. For a good base work on essential oils this book is a great starter.



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Monday, December 12, 2016

Mortal Instruments #1

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Things are about to get rather dicey for the young Clarisse Frey, what she thought would be another night out in a club, turns out to be a glimpse into another world. She was not supposed to see Jace and Alec killing a demon but she did. When her friend Simon walked in on her all he could see was her talking to herself. As though things could not get worse and ugly demon attacks her house and kidnaps her mother. Enter Jace and Alec again and Clary goes to the institute. At the institute she learns about another world, a world that her father and mother were connected to. Clary now finds that her life has a central purpose, to find The Mortal Cup. The mortal cup turns mortal into fighters against evil.

Clary is now seeing a world where vampires exist and have feuds with werewolve, both of whom are infected with demon disease. There are warlocks and witches the spawn of human and demon love. The Nephilim are the sons and daughter of angel an human love. Clary is not supposed to see this world after all she is a mortal. So off she travels to the city of bones to have the silent brothers open her mind and tell her why she can see this world. Next she goes to Magnus Bane who put the spell on her mind in the first place.
In a fast paced adventure to rescue her mom and stop Valentine from getting the mortal cup Clary and company will travel through portals, fight of vampires and learn secrets about her past that she has never known before. This story has romance , inner conflict an romantic triangles. A must read or the young adult reader


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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Wars of Count Dracula

Dracula's Wars: Vlad the Impaler and His RivalsDracula's Wars: Vlad the Impaler and His Rivals by James Waterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finally a book that focuses on Dracula's military career that does not elude to him being a vampire, which he never really was. The book is military history, it talks about the political intrigues with the Ottoman Empire, the Baltic states and Walachia itself. It also tells about Dracula's life and how political events shaped it.

Contrary to popular opinion the Turks or the Ottomans engaged in conquest not to enlarge the borders for the Islamic world, called Ghazi, but rather their expansion and movement westward was driven by tensions further east. Moreover loyalties were not based strictly on religious ground but rather they were based on personal interest. Turks or Christians could be loyal to just about anyone if it merited their survival and personal interest. This was true of Turkish tribes and Baltic princedoms.

In these fiefdoms like Transylvania and Walachia things were rather tense. The were small and almost powerless. They would Allie with the strongest party in order to keep their throne and kingdom. Inner politics were tricky as well. In Walachia there was the Voivod or king but there were also Boyars and Daxon merchants who wielded enough power to unseat a voivode. This could lead to civil war, which it often did and to outside powers leaning into their business .

Dracula's grandfather was the first Voivode and after him came Vlad Dracul II, Dracula's father. Dracula's father was sworn into the king of Hungry's Order of the Dragon. Designed to defend Catholicism from the Turks. Vlad was Eastern Orthodox and sometimes he switched sides and helped the Turks. This would put him at odds with the likes of Jonas Hunyadi form Hangary. At times Vlad would switch and fight for the Christians. All the while Dracula and his brother Radu were hostages to the Sultan. When Dracula's father died, Dracula would be released to assume the throne.

Dracula would have three reigns. At times he was deposed and had to flee for his life. Once he was imprisoned in Hungary at times he was o. The run from rival kings. During his tenure Dracula would deal with internal threats quite harshly and deal the Turks devastating blows. Dracula is remembered as a monster by some and a hero by others. Read the book and make a decision .

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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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