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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Strange Dreams of Weep

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lazlo Strange was one orphan of many in a Great War in Zosmos. Like most orphans he was sent to the monastery and raised to be a monk. Born with mtalic skin that soon turned normal, young lazlo had a vivid imagination and was always playing in the field and dreaming of faraway places. One of his favorite past times was listening to a monk tell stories of a mythical city in the desert called Tizkarin. One day while playing in the fields he realized everyone forgot the city’s name and its existence. Yet he rembered it. It became an obsession. Later on Lazlo becomes a librarian which gives him ample time to do research and prove to himself the city does exist.

One day the opportunity arrives for him to go to the city.The Godslayer comes to Zosmos recruiting people to help them with a problem in the Weep as the city is now called. A huge angel shaped citadel floats above the city. It is a remnant left over from godlike being called Mestarthim. The citadel is made from a strange metal called Mestarthium. The object is to get that citadel removed to the city can experience sunlight again. The Mestarthim basically enslaved the people of the weep. The Godlsaysr killed these godlike being and freed the people. He also killed off the godspawn, hybridized children of human and god.

Five survived in the citadel each with a different magical ability. Some want to fight, others like Sarai want peace. She enters peopl s dreams by expelling moths from her body. She connects with Lazlo. It is here thst Lazlo finds his destiny. Will peace prevail or will there be all out war.

A rich story with a cast of well developed characters. The story is over 500 pages and I read it in 3 days. Enjoy!

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Essence of Rebbe Nachman

The Essential Rabbi NachmanThe Essential Rabbi Nachman by Avraham Greenbaum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When it comes to Judaism you cannot beat the spirituality of Rebbe Nachman. This book is a primer meant specifically for the beginner or someone just newly exposed to Rebbe Nachman. If course those more familiar with his works can glean some benefits as well. The author gives a biography of Rebbe Bachman along with a compendium of his books and works.
The book renders his teaching on a while variety of subjects , including prayer, serving hashem , repentance and a host of other subjects.Rebe Nachmans spirituality is Crystal clear, direct and simple. His philosophy is one of joy and optimism. His formost command is to always be joyous. One must never give up hope because of you can damage then you must believe you can fix. No sinner is even so low that Hashem will never forgive them for Hashem is there even in the lowest pit of hell. Worried about your lack of focus while praying then never fear. Just do the part that resonates with you while davening with intent. For that part of the prayer resonates with your soul. Why do families fight? Because parts of their soul that resonates with the different nations. Different nations fight.
The book also tells several of his stories. They tell a lot like faery takes but they convey a certain meaning. Many of them will tell how it is important for the Jew to bind himself with the tzaddik. The tzadik knows how to fix the soul and is the one who leads his chassids or followers to the her after. Rebbe Nachman introduced some new practices that are really useful. The first one is hisbodedute this is like freestyle prayer where you pour out your heart to Hashem. You tell Hashem what is troubling you, what is in your mind and how you plan to improve. In fact the Rebbe believed you should write your own prayers and even base them in Torah lessons. Another practice is the general remedy. You say 10 of certain psalms as a remedy for problems.The Rebbe was keen on waking up at midnight to say tikkun hatsote. This is mourning for the beit hamikdash. Rebbe Nachman was buried in uman in a Jewish cemetery where the martyrs of a massacre are buried. It is a big thing for his followers to go to his grave on Rosh Hashanah. Rebbe Nachman will alwAys intercede for his followers.

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Dark Twisted Tales

Occasional Beasts: TalesOccasional Beasts: Tales by John Claude Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is dark and I mean really darker. It makes reading Stephen King, Clive Barker and HP Lovecraft like reading an innocent fairy tale for children. The book is compromised of some of the most eeriest short stories I have ever read. If horror is your thing then this book is for you. A word to the wise ,none of these stories have a happy ending.

In this world there are dark things that have only threw vilest and most evil intent for mankind. Some of it lies beyond the veil and some of it is right under our nose. Stories like the glove deal with aliens possessing humans for a time to explore our planet. When an Alien child is kidnapped the whole of humanity could be compromised. Enter a psychic investigator to find it in the nick of time. Innocent dandelions which are so good for your liver could end up to be man eating plants that will feast on you for all eternity. Several stories take place in a small town , always beware of small towns you might never be able to leave. That was the case in the story about the dandelions and in the last story Jeff goes to a broke down town where every one acts like schizo drug addicts. They are changed by the land lord.

The characters themselves must deal not only with the horrors that they are experiencing but also their own personal issues. Many struggle with drugs and alcohol. Some are in abusive relationships lie the one where the poet turns into a beast and eats her boyfriend. People come in but they do not come out. Dark twisted stories like this will more than chill. Your bones but dark stories like this never become classics because they scare and freak people out too much.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Baba Yaga : a Different Telling

Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in VerseFinding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse by Jane Yolen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the whole I rather like Jane Yolens work even if the writing could use a bit more attention to detail. I liked this as well but with some caveats. First it was way too short. The story could have been fleshed out more with a few more plot twists added to make the story more exciting. The story is also lacking details and not very descriptive. It needs more of this. I am not a big fan of telling stories or tales thorough poetic verse I much prefer the narrative approach.

This tale of Baba Yaga has been reworked from the Russian fairy tale thus bringing it into modern times. Natasha is a girl that lives in what could be a household marred with arguments and fighting. Her father forbids her to use profanity and washed her mouth out with soap every time she used profanity. In a moment of tearful desperation she decides to run away. Alone in an unnamed city she roams the streets for seven days . Hungry, dirty and alone it is no fun being homeless. So she wanders into a forest and comes upon Baba Yaga’s house.

Now Baba Yaga is an old crone from Russian faery tales. An old woman with an Iron nose and teeth she gets around on a flying pestle. Her favorite dish is children who wander in her domain . Usually it is bad kids that get eaten up. At Baba Yagas she meets Vasilia who falls in love with a princes and she meets Kotschai the deathless. Baby Yaga has a hut that is armed with a modern kitchen and a microwave . In the end Natasha’s destiny is revealed.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Philosophical Words of Ordo Dracul

The Prophesy of the Ordo Dracul: The Philosophy of the VampireThe Prophesy of the Ordo Dracul: The Philosophy of the Vampire by William Allan Lavey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From two great vampires comes a massive philosophical tome that gives off lesson to make us better human beings that are filled with warmth and love. Filled with great advice and anecdotes, it is one of those book I took my time reading so as to absorb the teaching as best i could. Kudos to Andreas Bathory and WD Allan for putting out one of the most humanistic books ever read. The book is close to a thousand pages and believe me when I tell you , get a highlighter or take good notes cause you will want to refer back them. I myself got the kindle version and i have made several high lights on this book.

This tome touches on several issues. The thrust that got my attention came toward the end of my reading was the focus on individuality and spirituality. In essence we are all individuals who must blaze our own path in life as well as in spirituality. We should not be expected to rely upon others to validate our path or spirituality cause each individual has their own way and their own destiny. People are moving away from the standard religions and embracing other spiritual ideals. It is becoming more individual. People are getting into meditation, wholistic health and yoga just to name a few. The church leaders are not to happy about this because they have less congregant which boils down to less money. THe established religions are losing their hold on the collective consciousness . Individualism also entails our relationships . We cannot have the heard mentality where we must rely upon the opinion of others. In fact it is most important to become/best friends with ourselves before we can become best friends to others. We must remember that the human mind seems to designed to seek out modes of spiritual transcendance. Let us seek. In the paragraph below a few quotes pulled out from the book will be shared.

When was the last time you took the time to attend to that innermost part of who you truly are within yourself and sat alone with yourself in silence so you could see, feel and listen to how you felt? Really took the time to notice what was affecting you and changing your inner vibrations, your inner resonance, that part of your core that is the “you”

This means getting in touch with your inner self and become aware of your feelings and how they affect your life. Sounds like good advice to me.

Happiness is another of those relative concepts that you occasionally come across that most seek, some claim to find, and others remain quite insistent that they have found while yet others will attest that there is no real happiness except what you create.

Read into this that you can and must create your own happiness but also think about how your smile can uplift someone else’s day despite all that they went through. The same can happen to you when someone smiles at you.

Drawing the grief of the past up for a re-experiencing again and again to the pain of all.

Speaks for itself. Grieve and then leave it in the past. Do not keep bringing it up.

If you are looking for darkness or arcane rituals go elsewhere . This is a tome of light love and humanity.

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Take This to the Trashbin

Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and WalesCeltic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales by Alwyn Rees
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was terrible. It is supposed to be a classic but it clearly lacks the making of a true classic. It is neither scholarly nor entertaining. If you wish to understand Celtic Heritage I am sure there are better books out there. It is not clear where the paraphrase stories begin and end before jumping off into explanation. There needs to be a clear delineation of things in order to be fully comprehendsble. There needs to be fuller biography of the heroes and characters in the story . This book lacks that. So this book has good information but the formatting is terrible. The writing is muddled making it hard to ascertain the point.

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Friday, April 12, 2019

The Clan of Tubal Caine

The Robert Cochrane Tradition:CTC: Tubal's Mill Revised: An AutobiographyThe Robert Cochrane Tradition:CTC: Tubal's Mill Revised: An Autobiography by Shani Oates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A has been said about the Robert Cochran’s Clan of Tubal Cain and according to Shani Oates, maiden of the CTC, much of it is untrue and comes from outsiders looking in. This book is meant to deal with the distortions and misinformation that is out there . I for one am glad because believe me there is lots of confusion.

Shani starts off with explaining some basic tenets of Robert Cochran’s philiosophy and some of their praxis. She does Ltd the similarities between Wicca and the Clan of Tubal Cain. Last there is discussion on the possible origins of the clan.

Some of the most recent rumors devolve around three or four issues. There is speculation as to where the tradition originated. Some say he made it up, while some others believe it was a family tradition . Cochran’s family was Methodist . The Royal Windsor Coven is a rumored coven that Robert Cochran started or belonged to prior to starting the Clan of Tubal Caine. No evidence of this coven has been found and there is no mention of it in Robert Cochran’s writing or letters. Further more associates close to him like Evan John Jones, Doreen Valiente and Bill Grey make no mention of it.

Another rumor on the mill is that the regency Coven which sprung up after Robert Cochran’s passing was part of Tubal Cain. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was started by Robert White and George Standard. They were banished from the Clan and is not part of the tradition. Another rumor is that they are Luciferian, not true. They do not pay homage to Satan or Lucifer. They blend Northern Tradition with some Old Testament myths .the closest approximation of what they work with is Hermes, Hecate and Saturn.

If you are looking for Clan of Tubal Cain or to get involved with them then I Suggest you avoid Joe Wilson’s 1734 Tradition and avoid Ann Finnins Ancient Celtic Church which Claim or did Claim they were part of the CTC. Their material may have recieved inspiration and some teaching from the CTC but it ain’t CTC.

Shani Oates is the spokesperson for this tradition and no other. She mentions others who are responsible for spreading misinformation. Among those names are Michael Howard, Dave and Ann Finnin ,John of Montsmouth.

The world of crafters is a small world and there is often times misinformation out there meant to fool you or lure you in. Shani Oates sets the record straight .

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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.