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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

Trolls

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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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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