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Monday, November 21, 2011

Urban Primative

Urban Primitive: Paganism in the Concrete JungleUrban Primitive: Paganism in the Concrete Jungle by Raven Kaldera

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Many Pagans are striving to for the spirit of getting back to nature. Within the Pagan community the wooded area of nature is extolled over the vices of the city. Yet if you really think about it most pagans live in the city. In ancient times there Pagan temples developed in big cities not out in forests. This book written by Raven Kaldera and Tannin Shcwartzstein is a survival guide for poor and down on their luck pagans who live in the city. Besides who says cities are so bad after all they are vibrant filled with energy and with lots of people it is very easy for a Pagan to go by unnoticed.

In many ways this book functions as a sort of beginners guide for Pagans and magical workers. The first thing a pagan wants to learn about is spells. There are two types of spells one type relies upon your own energy and the other type gets assistance from deity. To do an effective spell you first generate energy. 2)Move the energy to where you want it to go. 3) bounce back effects from the spell.

With spell crafting there are two modes of thinking. One is that rituals items are not needed save only their value in unlocking the power from the unconscious. Tools are just props and their power is dependent on what they mean to the user. The second view it that ritual items do give their energy towards a goal especially if you are more ceremonial.

The viewpoint in this book is on practicality and tend toward the first mode of thinking in both instances. the authors are really into relying on their own juice to power up a spell. You do not have the ingredients needed for a magical working heck use substitute which they give you enough of.

Cannot afford expensive ritual items have no fear substitute can be found in trash dumps and garage sales. Plastic cups can be used for a chalice, plastic knifes for an athame, cigarette buts to represent fire. Salt packets for earth elements and cheap incense for air. Cities and areas within the city have their own spirit. These spirits can become your ally and the authors advise leaving offering. Different and ancient deities can be reached at various places in the city. Go underground ora subway to reach Hades, a library for Athena, Hospitals for Hesceplius. For Aphrodite you can give gift with the expectation of nothing in return to working girls.

Contacting the element is rather unique for air obviously leaving offering or requests in the wind can be efective. But their are mini rituals for using the telephone and stereo. For fire turn on a candle or gas stove. For water there are lake and Oceans but also running faucet and land is about anywhere.

Contacting the dead is risky business and they do not like to be disturbed. Not all dead people are nice and most of our beloved who have passed on have reincarnated in to another life. It is ok to leave offering for the dead and maybe we can ask blood relative who we had a good relationship with for help.

The authors talk plenty about body modification and tattoes. I have a personal bias against that unless done in a cultural context so that rather turned me off. At least they address safety concerns

The authors have developed a paradigm which can be effective in accessing the subconsious if not the super natural. Their totem consists of city animals and what their attributes are. I tend to see myself as a raccoon. They also have a triple Goddess and triple god. Once again their own paradigm. I will let you read more to find out.

I found the book interesting and I did pull some useful suggestions from it. Their path may not be for every pagan. Many of us {Pagans are not into body mod and feel that we would rather deal with traditional deities and leave offering in our home. After all Gods can be present anywhere no? Perhaps what I am learning from all this is that the power to change or transform our lives comes from within.

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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