Moon Phases


Friday, October 21, 2016

The Darkspears in World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft: Vol'jin: Shadows of the HordeWorld of Warcraft: Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde by Michael A. Stackpole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tying in books to video games has become en vogue for a good many years now. This series is based on the online subscription game World of War Craft. The story centers around a troll named Vol’jin leader of the Dark Spears. The rest of the characters are dog like or furry creatures called Pandaren and of course they live on Pandaria, an island continent that kin of reminds me of Australia. The shado Pan are Pandarian monks ho practice martial arts that enhance their mental powers. These monks are clearly based on the Shaolin Monks of China.
A little background on the story. Pnadaria used to be controlled by the Mogu, giant magical beings that seems to live forever. They ha been buried a god long time an no want to rise with the help of the Zandalari, powerful troll nation. An armed conflict I raging between the human Alliance and the trollish Horde. The trolls, or at least many of them wish to revive the old troll empire an rule the world. The story line itself is rather simple, Chen a brewmaster is called to a river in order to rescue and heal a wounded troll. That troll is Vol’jin who was set up by his leader Garrosh. Being ambushed in a cave by Surok creatures and ogres, Vol’jin is thought to be dead. While healing at the monastery he befriends a human named Tarathan. Together they become friends and allies against a Zandalari /Mogu invasion.During the invasion they offer resistance, get captured and then set traps for the invaders. At the end is an intense conflict.

The story line to this rather simple as you have just read above, there is a lot of going inside the characters head and dealing with l their thought. Some of them are rather extraneous and not important to the plot nor story line. The book was somewhat difficult at times to get into. But over ll an enjoyable read.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Nordic Folk Magic

Trolldom - Spells and Methods of the Norse Folk MagicTraditionTrolldom - Spells and Methods of the Norse Folk MagicTradition by Johannes Gårdbäck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally a book on Norse Folk magic! The book is mostly a collection of various spells used for a variety of reasons. The spells are based on pre Christian methods but in reality a variety of spiritual entities are called upon. Occasionally Thor and Odin will show up in a spell, on even more occasions the devil and his demons will be summoned, and finally most of all the Christian deities of Jesus, Mother Mary and the Holy Ghost are invoked. The reason the methods survived and not the belief in deity is that when Christianity took over, the Norse used the same spells and prayer but adopted them too different saints and other spiritual creatures in the Christian Pantheon. So the saints after a while get the prayers.

Trolldom is any sort of magic that falls outside the official purview of the Church. The spells include the usual gambit of blessing the field and cattle, protecting the cattle and farmstead from both magic and regular human assault. There are a variety of spells for revenge, hunting luck, getting Justice , so forth and so on. There is also extensive discussion on divination and talk of the different spiritual creatures that are still worked with.

While I am not too sure about how many people use this magic, I think the numbers are dwindling. The spells are relatively simple which would qualify this as low magic, or magic to obtain things. Some of them are impractical cause they ask you to take the parts of a dead man, or hair of an intended lover or put something in their food. No one is going to do that. There are other spells that can be used and they are simple to perform.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Meet the Krampus: The Christmas Devil

The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric DevilThe Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil by Al Ridenour
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dang where do I begin. This book is totally awesome. It tells you everything about the Krampus and then then some. Being the first time that someone puts out an information book about Krampus and on that does not get caught up in any Neo _Pagan craziness or New Agey stuff just makes m want to jump up and down for joy. I am going to apologize in advance because there is so much information and so many details that any summary I give will not do this justice. There are many German names that I will not get straight and I have to hand it to Al he did a bang em up job going to all the towns in the Alpine area which is Krampus’ home and doing the research and reporting on the various Krampus events.
Krampus is not that old. Having ben put on posts cards in the 1850”s his existence is perhaps one to two hundred years. Yet his roots stretch back been further. The Krampuslauf or Krampus run seems to have started perhaps around the turn of the century. In different towns like Gastein there are Krampuspasses or Krampus clubs. They require permits now days. But in the past performers wore wood carved masks that resemble in some cases African masks. Making the masques is an art and there is frowning down upon innovations that alter the Krampus outfit. Now according to lore the Krampus helps Saint Nicholas by punishing bad kids while he gives out the gifts. The book traces th evolution of Church plays and Saint Nicholasmarches into how they evolved into the Krampus run. The book also covers a variety of Krampus like creatures.
The Krampus and by the ay that is not a character name but rather the name of his species sem to have origins that go back to the German Goddess Perchta. She I a goddess who would lead a procession during select days of the Christmas season. In her train are various creatues called Perchten, and they come in light and dark varieties. Perchta or Frau Holle had a dual role. Mostly associated with the spindle and house cleaning chores she would reward those who left food out for her and kept the house clean. Those who kept a messy house she would punish by eating, burning and what not. The wild Hunt with Odin leading a menagerie of people who dies early or whatever provides another source for he Krampus run.
The Perchten also had their runs but the traditions which in many ways are similar. Oten borrow from each other.Borth developed separately on to tracks but ten t seems like they are looking for each other. What has been rendered in this review is a partial summary. Read the book for more details’ strongly advise it.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Life of a Kurdish Girl in Turkey

The Little Virgin WhoreThe Little Virgin Whore by KA SEFIKA
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you are a non-Turkish girl in Turkey things can get really rough for you. By non-Turkish I mean Assyrian, Armenian, Greek and Kurdish. Minorities have no real rights in Turkey even if they are Muslim. If you ae a female it is even tougher. Women are treated like second class citizens. They are subject to abuse by males with no recourse to defend themselves. Females are exploited, harassed and even raped at times. Fathers beat their daughters and a female offspring is viewed as a burden.

The story starts off with Seren, a young Kurdish girl from Adana, Turkey who is studying at a college in Smyrna. After debates with her friends she graduates but none of her family even shows up. An Uncle Alp shows up though and pretends to have fatherly feelings toward her. When she returns to Adana, her abusive father can do nothing but curs her or being alive and her enabling mother just goes along with it. After a few days her father throws her out of the house. Seren goes back to Smyrna to find a job as a nurse. Uncle Alp takes her in. Pretty soon though neighbors’ tongues are wagging with all sorts of speculation. In addition to finding a job, she lots has to cope with epilepsy. When she does land a job in the dialysis unit she realizes that they are treated no better than slaves. On a daily basis she is subjected to intimidation and nosiness. She does her best to hide her Kurdish origins. Corruption reigns supreme when a patient commits suicide after contracting hepatitis from the unit. Al the nurses are forced to sign document or lose their jobs. Seren in the meantime is exploited by Uncle Alp. A neighbor assaults her and takes pictures and after realizing that she is Kurdish like him he ends up feeling remorseful and repents to Allah. He will get his just deserts. Later on she goes to Ankara to train for more advancement. The story peeks into the lives of girls who can e harassed on the street at will, raped or even impregnated by a boyfriend who ends up leaving them. Once a woman’s virtue is gone it is hard for her to get married. In the end she realizes she must leave Turkey if she can ever self-actualize.

I would give this book three stars based on the virtue of its insight into Turkish society and what females there have to endure. The writing style is very choppy and sort o hard to get into. The translation rigid and non-flowing. The dialogue is like cardboard. If they could do a better job of editing this book might earn a higher rating.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Daughters of the Moon (Book 1)

The Witch of Painted Sorrows (The Daughters of La Lune, #1)The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally a fictional book comes along that gives you the feeling of medieval magic. Complete with hidden covens, underground meeting and secret liaisons. The setting is Paris 1894, a time when magical groups flourished, like the Theosophists, Ceremonial Magicians, kabbalists and alchemists. The French are also imbued with an easier attitude toward love. Marriage is official and dalliances are for passion.

Sandrine Salome is a young Jewish woman from New York who descend matrilineal from La Lune, a courtesan witch. She built the La Lune mansion and it has been inherited from mother to daughter for generations. Sandrine is fleeing from a bad marriage and a family tragedy. Upon arriving in Paris she discover that her grandmother is turning the mansion into museum and is living in an apartment. During her sojourn in Paris she explores, with architect Julian, the bell tower where painting are stored and old grimoires of magic. The grandmother warns her that danger is lurking and Sandrine must leave. Meanwhile she falls in love with Julian, wears La Lunes jewelry and pretty soon a change come over. Slowly she becomes more artistic and seductive. Tragedy also ensues. Deaths occur and accidents. The danger come from La Lune. One of the deaths comes from a rabbi trying to banish the ghost of La Lune. The grandmother’s conditions worsen and the husband comes to Paris looking for her. Might be good to know that her father is the son of the grandmother.

There is a pleasant ending to this book and magical seekers will enjoy some of the insights. The reading is very entertaining and I would recommend this book for adults over 18 due to some of the sensual content. Many details have been left out but I would not wish to spoil the plot now would I?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dracula the Librarian

The HistorianThe Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Persistent rumors abound of Dracula’s grave being located at the monastery island of Snagov. Mysteriously enough when the grave in front of the alter was unearthed all they could find were animal bones, which begs the question, what happened to Dracula’s body? The facts speak for themselves, Bram Stokers novel which depicts him as a vampire is nothing but fiction. The real Dracula was much like a blood thirsty warlord defending his land from the blood thirsty Ottoman Empire. Dracula had foes everywhere.
This book too, is work of fiction, albeit more elaborate than Bram Stokers work. Telling a different story and forgoing Bram Stoker’s predecessor, the book does not devampirise this historical character. It has some element in common in that not only is Dracula a vampire, but it is also told from several points of view, mostly in letter and journal form. Dracula has a love of books and he admires other historians.
The book is a mystery about a three generational search for Dracula or at least his resting place. Chronologically speaking it starts off with Prof. Rossi receiving a woodcut book the image of a dragon. This mysterious book is kind of casually left at his side while doing research. This propels him to search out Dracula leading him ultimately to Istanbul here he find that Dracula is not really buried at Snagov but rather somewhere else. Sometime after discovering this a Turkish looking official confiscates the documents. Rossi goes back to his university and pursues other things. But life does not remain quiet forever.
Paul, a student of his, finds a similar book. O it is exactly the same. What is going on here? Paul consults his professor and does some research in the local library. Some unseen hand is messing things up, Rossie is kidnapped and his assistant is killed. This propels Paul to search not only for Dracula’s grave but also for his mentor. His search takes him though Istanbul, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. He meets Helen Rossi’s illegitimate daughter and they search together. Helen is connected by blood to Dracula but I will let you read this book to find out more.

The book really starts off later in the future when Paul’s daughter happens upon some letters. Paul explains them to her little bit by little bit. As they penetrate the mysteries of Dracula new things emerge. People disappear including Paul so now the daughter must search out her father using clues. The girl is also motherless as her mother supposedly died by falling off a cliff. The happy ending will leave you with a warm feeling. A mystery solved and there is so much to learn. Dracula is a librarian, warrior and vampire.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

The Human Origins of UFO's

Origin: The 19th Century Emergence of the 20th Century Breakaway CivilizationsOrigin: The 19th Century Emergence of the 20th Century Breakaway Civilizations by Walter Bosley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 1897 a UFO supposedly crashed somewhere in Texas. Everyone assumed that these flying saucers were from another planet. According to this author nothing could be further from the truth. Those saucers were part of mankind on Earth's invention. That is right people made them based on very ancient principles. The does subscribe to the theory that along time ago there was a technologically advanced society of humans, who built something like Atlantis. These humans may have come from another planet but that was a long time ago. So the question remains , how did we get this technology and manage to put flying bells and disks in the air before we had the Wright brothers airplane?

Back along time ago these humans came to ur planet and they were far more advanced that we are. Early Earth man thought they were gods and these humans from outer space wanted early earth man to think that. THey may have lived in the sea or underneath the ground. THey are called Nymza which means "name;less ones" In any case they had this tech to build things and then some cataclysm came abut and the society was wiped out. Yet the knowledge remained hidden in ancient teaching hidden form mankind. The author believes that the knowledge was housed in the library of Alexandria. After that library was burned he believes that most of the manuscripts found their way into other large repository of ancient text. One f those places was the great library in Constantinople. THe fourth crusade saw German knights marching with the Templars in Constantinople and sacking the Christian city. THe Knights brought something back with them. THe knowledge would flow through Masonic teaching and end up in the hands of Bavarian or Saxon nationalists. This group which incidentally calls itself Njmza was a German nationalist group that may have been behind the Nazis. Their goal was a unified German state and world domination. With the help of German bankers and finding land in the AMericas they worked on their project . These were the airships. THey gave rise to another group in California , mostly Italian immigrants and they would use energy lines to fly the ship. There was also a special field which helped them build gravity defying machines. Their work began in 1856. Even Lincoln wanted to use these ships for aerial reconnaissance . In 1897 one of these ships crashed. This group in Califrnai was a competing group against the Nuymza. Interest in gold, land and archeology are pursued with gusto. It is believed that in 1903 they managed too fly a ship to Mars and decided to stay there. THe organizations are still around.

Pretty fascinating stuff. Most of it is believable especially the way se3cret societies operate. THe knowledge was always there it was just waiting for the right time to be expressed. I find it difficult to believe that people have already made it to Mars though .

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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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