Moon Phases


Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Paths to Personal Power

The Gates of WitchcraftThe Gates of Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Inner change must precede outer world change. The secret to magic is entering that state of mind called Gnosis or entering a trance state. The power lies within and Mr. Penczack teaches you how to enter that trance state to get the power. Gerald Gardner in his Book of Shadows detailed 8 different ways to access the Gnosis or trance state. Mr. Penczak has added a few more more. Drawing from a rich multitude of traditions like Ceremonial Magick,Wicca, British Witchcraft,and Shamanism Christoper gives the reader a wide variety of choices and entrance ways into their own power.

Within us lies a certain energy or power. Some would call it Chi, Ki and some would call Prana. The techniques that are taught come in two categories. The first category is ecstatic. This involves dancing and singing and raising energy. It projects the energy out of yourself. The second set of techniques draws you into yourself. THe object is to lower your brainwave count to 1-4 hertz and get to a trance state. In Gerald Gardner's BOS the eight gates to your personal power are meditations and concentration, trance or astral projection, Rites and Chants,Incense and drugs, dance, blood and breath control, scourging and the Great Rite. Christopher Penczak changes it up a bit and gives you these meditation, breath,sound, movement, isolation, intoxication, physical relations and pain. In addition to giving an altered list of the eight paths to power Christopher has added another five and they are : Land,Time, Ritual clothing and dreams.

Wiccan philosophy does not preach power over but rather power with. It is hard work to learn how to work with nature and the flow of events. In this work you will find out how to work with the fae and other spirit forms along with some divination. As for my own personal opinion I found most of it to be useful and have taken notes on those parts. Working with the land and the important aspects of ritual clothing may be different to some in the community but no less very valuable. Working in liminal places between the wilds and society, high cliffs, caves or beaches can add lot of power to your work. Times can be taken advantage of as well. Midnight is the witching hour, the dawn and noon are good times to access as well. Our ritual clothing should be used for rituals only. Regular clothes should not be worn to ritual either. Our clothing puts us in a ritual state of mind. There are great techniques for accessing the power of our dreams.

Perhaps the most useful were the chapters on meditation, breath, sound, movement and isolation. I took extensive notes on these. I found the other stuff good for general knowledge. I must admit to being very adverse to working with fluids or blood. Drugs I do not think I will use either.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Calling to the Craft

A Deed Without a Name: Unearthing the Legacy of Traditional WitchcraftA Deed Without a Name: Unearthing the Legacy of Traditional Witchcraft by Lee Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say this is a great book for those who feel a calling for traditional witchcraft of a non-wiccan variety. I would say that the book gives a great overview for those just starting on the path. As for those who have read a lot of material and are practicing on their own without a mentor this book will teach you a few things as well. Several notable author's are referred to which will give one further fuel to continue their quest. Such greats as Emma Wilby, Carlo Ginzburg,Claude Lecoeux and a few other.

The book covers a liminal space between myth and scholarship while giving a good strong taste of both. Some of the topics covered are how witches are called to the craft, forming alliances with the different spirits, different animals the witch will ally with and the parts of the soul. This great overview offers a quick read and a very enjoyable experience. The end of the book has some working that you can do to discover your daimon, allies and doubles.

Witches are called to the craft in a variety of ways just as their are a great variety of witches. Some care called forth in dreams where they meet their spirit guide or dead ancestor. Sometimes they will endure great sickness before receiving their powers. Traditional Witchcraft is more aptly compared to Shamanism. Shaman's will have plant, animal and spirit allies. Most cross over to the spirit world to bring good to the community while the bad ones may do it for selfish cause or to do harm. The Benadnati in Italy are ones who fight for the good. Sometimes witch will be marked by being born with a caul, six fingers or extra teeth. It ccould alos be the seventh son of the seventh son. The witch can cross into the realm of spirit both the realm of the dead and nature spirits. A witch will make a pacts with the faerie royalty, devil and damme Sans Merci at the crossroads which could be physical or a cross meeting place between the world of spirit and the physical world.

The witches initiation also can coincide with a carnal relationship of sorts with the devil, faerie queen or spirit guardian. It is of described as being hard and cold. Spirit allies are fed by the humans. This can be done with blood, milk fat or other sorts of fat. If the spirit ally gets nourishment from the witches blood there could be a tell tale mark, like between the knuckles, on the feet or near the breast.

The soul can be divided into three so to speak. The Daimon is a guardian spirit usually inherited from the family. It is usually the opposite gender of the witch. The next level is the astral double which can human form or animal form. It is usually powered by the shadow. The second skin can sometimes be taken and used by someone elses shadow. They refer to this as being hag ridden

The witch can release their inner beast. But it has got to be kept in balance with the flame of human reason. Just as animals can ridden so too can plants. THe double enables witches to commune with the dead, march with faeries , astral travel and go to sabbats. Getting to the spirit realm one must come upon a power spot. It is here that one must make friends with the guardian dragon in order to enter.

This easy to read book covers lots of material. To find out more I advise that your read it.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Reingite the Flame of Canaan

The Horned Altar: Rediscovering & Rekindling Canaanite MagicThe Horned Altar: Rediscovering & Rekindling Canaanite Magic by Tess Dawson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get ready to reacquaint yourself with the Canaanite Deities and really get to work with them at their core. The author Tess Dawson has done her homework and read all that there is to read and gave us the information in in an easy to read and understand format. The books beginning gives the reader an insight into the Canaanite mind set and their deities. The Canaanites viewed their deities as separate individual identities. Modern Quadishuma also hold to this belief. The names of all gods are given and what areas of life they control. As someone coming from a somewhat Middle Eastern mind frame I found it refreshing that there was an emphasis on doing good in the community as a way of strengthening your personal power. To do bad deed would weaken your power and degrade your relationship with the gods. All too often in modern paganism this part seems t be missing. There is no law of three fold return as in Wicca or "Do what thou wilt but harm ye none" there is a place for aggressive magic at times.

Tess Dawson gives a break down into which magic is permissible and where. In the temple it was mostly good magic that was to be performed and it was usually done by the priest and that was done for community benefit,healing etc. Other forms of magic were performed outside of the temple. Healing and other magic would fall in this category but also love magic and stuff for more personal gain. Aggressive magic could be used against someone who wronged you or was The only forbidden magic was magic that was meant to do personal harm for no reason. Such magic carried with it a punishment.

There were three types of laws in the Canaanite City state.They were laws that violated the community, cultural laws and ritual laws. Adultery was looked down upon as was pork. Highly uncommon was it for a man to take more then one wife.

The Ugaritic, Phoenician and Hebrew alphabets are covered and what their divinatory meaning are. Also covered are how the
Canaanite Priests used animal entrails and fetus's to divine omens. Note that these methods by and large cannot be used to today but the author does present alternatives. To use the letters one can make Tarot like cards and there are several spreads that help the person divine. Tess also teaches how to use dice to make divination. Even the modern technique of using coffee grounds is mentioned.

Before doing magic one is supposed to do a divination to see if it is in the will of the Gods. Doing magic is called Charshu and it draws mainly form the strength of your napshu and that of the deity you are working with. The gods were powerful but not all powerful. Their strength could wane and it was offering that increased their strength. To do magic you need to strengthen you napshu and that of the deities. For the magician that means doing good deeds. Breaking laws weakened that. The steps of magic involve setting up your space and cleansing it. Then you must cleanse your self and then praise the deities and finally your act of magic. This differs from Wicca and other modern magical systems which claim you are raising energy and then directing it. This is deity driven.

Further instruction include composing prayers, curses, making ritual space, amulets and different lettering system. The book is packed with useful info and easy to use. Refreshing.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Elven Nation

The Dragon Legacy: The Secret History of an Ancient BloodlineThe Dragon Legacy: The Secret History of an Ancient Bloodline by Nicholas, Prince de Vere
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Going along the same lines as Laurence Gardner, Nicholas De Vere, a member of the Dragon court documents the history of the Dragon Royalty who once ruled over humanity in an enlightened fashion that brought on a period of the Golden Age. They originated in the Carpathian Mountain near Transylvania and archeologists have found evidence of a pre Sumerian Language mentioning Enki and Enlil. The language samples pre-date the Sumerian civilization by a couple thousand years. This has been proven. From there these Scythians moved Southward into Sumeria were they set up their civilization. From their they would move to Egypt and set up the Sobekh or crocodile Dynasty. Other royals moved Eastward into Europe. In Egypt and other Middle Eastern centers Dragon kings were anointed with crocodile fat and were called messeh (anointed). Flooding drove them down into the different regions.

The Gods were not viewed so much as Gods but rather as ancestor spirits. Since the Dragon royalty had a different blood and somewhat different brain structure then the rest of humanity, these shining ones could communicate with their dead ancestors. Faery raths or barrows being similar to Sumerian Ziggurats and Egyptian pyramids were used as places for communing with the dead. This earned these folks the title of witches.

Their superiority rests in the enlarged pineal gland which could produce more melatonin which brought about transcendent trance like states which enabled them to see further into the future and be better leaders. They were oft called Oupir or over lords. Ouppir is central European for Vampire. These over lords would connect with a grail maiden who of Dragon blood and they would share blood consensually. The blood was rich in hormones like melatonin which gave the Dragon King more foresight and longevity. If a Dragon king wanted his sovereignty he had to marry a dragon queen, even if it was his sister. Since most melatonin is produced at night they tended to be nocturnal.

The Donation of Constantine changed all that . The document an obvious forgery stated that Constantine, himself a Dragon King, gave the Church permission to appoint kings in Europe. The legitimate Merovingians were deposed and those of Dragon Blood were hunted down and deligitimised.

Nicholas De Vere has put together a pretty tight picture. He has delved into European lore and connected all the pieces. The book is loaded with details and in depth explanations that make what he says very believable. De Vere comes forward with lots of common sense.

For would be occultists he warns that not everyone can do magick. You need to have the dragon blood. His views along with mine are tending to support this. There are lots of people who are doing rituals that produce no results. Maybe they do not believe enough or maybe the rituals are not complicated enough. Or they just don't have the blood. For wanna be vampires the lash of common sense is not spared. He lays to waste the theory of psychic vampire and fools that try to drink blood thinking they will get a benefit. he lambasts even more severely those who try to take the blood by force.

Historical fact seems to indicate that the Sumerians came from Central Europe. This has been proven in professional archaeology. The kings of Scotland, Judea and Egypt are all connected somehow or at least that is what the author states. The interconnectedness of royalty is a view that is gaining more acceptance. The Jewish presence in Egypt has lead to an acceptance that the Davidic Line descended from Pharoah. Highly plausible. Jesus's bloodline then went to southern France and was part of the Merovingian lines. This theory is starting to bear fruit in recent research. What makes it more convincing is that the Davidic line had a princedom in southern France more particularly the area of Narbonne.

There also seems to be evidence pointing to a race of beings that preceded todays mankind. They had an advanced civilization and they were the ones who enlightened mankind in general. Sometimes there are described as elves or short people. The bible would call them Nephilim or the Annunaki. JRR Tolkien would have them be his first born elves. There is something to this.

Yet I cannot find myself buying into this thesis whole heartedly. Nicholas De Vere has read his books and he does quote them in his writing yet he does not have a bibliography. He should have one. Some of his facts are wrong. While he has a right to maintain that his Dragon people have been the most persecuted, he gets it wrong on some of the numbers. While mentioning that the Jews have suffered as much he quote the number murdered in the Holocaust as four million. The number was six million plus. he also states that Left Handed spirituality aims at uniting with god head. My research has indicated that Right Hand Spirituality aims at unifying with god head and that left hand spirituality aims at individual deification and realization of potential. If he got this wrong it makes me question what else has gotten wrong.

The enlightened being I can accept but super humans holding at a level that man can never attain. I think man can evolve to their level and develop spiritually. Some groups may have advance more due to environmental circumstances. The blood drinking OK I get that some societies back in the day worked wit blood and sexual fluids but Nicholas De Vere needs to prove his point with some documentation.

Over all I would say that I agree with a good portion of the book even if I do question the thesis a little bit. This article might be interesting. There could be something to the bloodlines.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Another Installment of Richard Rahl and Kahlan

The Omen Machine (Sword of Truth, #12)The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The war with Jagang has been over for several years and life is just getting back to normal . Trade relations are starting to sprout. Everyone wants in. Benjamin, a Dharan General, is getting married to Cara, a mired sith. This is something that never happens. Surrounding leaders are all here to attend the event. But danger is lurking in the shadows. A boy prophecies to Richard and Kahlan giving them both a nasty scratch on the hand. Two women kill their children to avoid prophecy. Baying black dogs represent a threat. Visitors in the castle feel they are being watched . Guests turn up dead and everyone wants Richard to follow prophecy.

Behind it all is a nasty necromantuc Hedge maid from the Dark Lands and a very mad bishop named Hannis Arc. Hannis Arc had his family killed off by Panis Rahl so he wants his revenge on the house of Rahl.

Deep I side the mountain of the people palace is the omen machine itself. It gives out prophecies on metal tabs and to people at random. Everyone is prophecizing with bad results . Kahlan gets pursued by a pack of vicious dogs and is held Captive by the hedgemaid. Rest assured there will be a follow up.

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pagan Roots of Rock and Roll

The Secret History of Rock 'n' RollThe Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll by Christopher Knowles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rock and Roll music has affected all of us in one way or another. I too have had my mystical experience listening to to some awesome mind blowing album or going to some off the hook concert. Rock music is a spiritual experience with it's roots going all the way back to stone age Paganism. Rock and Roll offered it all as did the ancient Pagan religion.

Perhaps it began all the way back in Egypt based as it was on the agricultural cycle as personified by the Osiris cycle. The ancient Egyptians were based on the annual flooding of the Nile as it gave water for their crops. During the year there were times of little water and plenty of water. That meant food. To push this along the Egyptians invented ritual. Osiris was the original Greenman the vegetative God in a shortened version of the story his brother kills him a couple of time and Isis resurrects him only to have him killed again. Horus their son grows up to take revenge and Osiris becomes kindg of the Underworld. Horus was born by the say on December 25. The mystery cults would have rituals to celebrate fertility and crop growth. These involved the consumption of intoxicating substances, orgiastic behavior and loud rhythmic music. There were other festival like this to honor the Gods like in honor of Sekhmet where people would get really drunk and then fornicate in the marshes. Sekhment, the Lion Goddess went on a killing spree and only stopped after drinking red beer that she thought was blood. She then gets turned in Hathor, a goddess of booze, sex and good time. Bastet was another cat goddess who was honored with feasting and drinking. Her followers would get blitzed and then expose themselves in boat going down the Nile. The partying ended off in trump of love making.

Some of these mystery cults made their way to Greece. The Cabeiri or mighty ones though may have been Trojan or sea faring Indo Europeans. They were connected to Hephestus a smith god. Being half man and half crab these guys would show up and help people unexpectedly. Located as they were in Samothrace there were other deities who were worhsipped like Persephone, Hecate and the Phallic God Hermes. Most Samothracian mysteries were open to everyone and special sevices were held in the house of lords. In these rituals were blood sacrifices, confessions and meditations. Sound familiar?

The Elusinian mysteries were dedicated to Demeter who lost her daughter to Hades. In grief she traveled the world looking for her and all the crops died in the process. We all know shee gets her back but has to go back to Hades for parts of the year. Clearly based on the agricultural cycles like the Isis-Osiris chronicles, Demeter is called Isis-Sothis and is connected to the Egyptian Goddess. Both lost someone to the undderworld who comes back temporarily. Both lived with mortal caring as a nanny for their children. Both burn the mortality out of the children. While living with the mortal Demeter has a shrine built for herself and she teaches the mysteries to the people living their.The mysteries she taught them extol the joys of parenthood. The lesser mystery rites happens once a years and the greater rites happen every five years. The five year rites wer open to initiates only and it was not easy to join. Something called kykeon was consumed and it was an intoxicating beverage. It was believed that the ecstacy brought one in communion.

Dionysis/ Bachus believed to be derived from Osiris has a sort of scandalous reputation. He was the god of wine and and harvest. He had female disciples called Maenads. These female followers of his would reach such a frenzy that they could rip up animals and become extremely hysterical. Modest women would become immodest. The partying would become so crazy that the Romans felt that the cult was dangerous to Roman unity so they quashed or at least tried to. Dionyus was born to Zeus in and adulterous fling. Hera his jealous wife had him killed and fed to the titans. Zeus zapped the Titans with lightning and from this mankind was made. Later he would be born again.

The Korybantes were warrior mad men who would raise a racket and sing until their throats were raw. They followed Cybelle a mother goddess in Phrygia. They are oft confused with the Kouretes and dactyls. Legend has it that the Korybantes protected Dionysis while the Kourets protected Zeus from Chronos. The Dactyls did the Olympic games. Historians get mixed up n these guys quite frequently.

The Galloi were gender benders. Often castrating themselves like Attis Cybels male consort. They had an hermaphrodite appears and sang with a high voice. They were sacred priests. Gender bending and homosexuality were not seen as sinful byt the Pagan population. In fact such activities could lead one closer to the deities. Later Rock and Roll stars would adopt this and other things. Orpheus was one such deity so saddend by his wifes demise and his failure to deliver her from the Underworld that he refuses all female contact. Some say he had male lovers he end up getting torn apart by meanad for turning down their advances.

The Romans who succeeded the Greeks adopted many foreign Gods. Cybeele was adopted in the 3rd century after some disasters and victories. Isis was really popular and Mithras a God from Persia became popular amongst the Roman military. Their main meeting place was on today's Vatican hill/ They also partook of his blood and body. Sound familiar.

Roman ideas would spread all over Europe. As would the musical ideas. When the Christians rose from being persecuted underdogs to the upper ruling class they took over . They burned down Pagan shrine and what they could not eradicate they adopted as their own. Paganism amy have been underground but it was not dead. Groups like the Masons, Rosicrucians and Freemason kept the mystery teaching alive. Celtic musicians would bring their music to the shores of America and West Africans who inherited Relgion and Music from the Egyptians would bring their stuff over as well. Many Rock stars studieds the works of occultist like AE Waite, Alester Crowley and others.

Of course there were Gods that I failed to mention and they inmpacted Music just as much. Apollo was a sun god and the god of poetry and prophecy. Often times his singers would couch big ideas in catchy tunes. Such would include the like of Elvis Presley,beach Boys and the Police. The wild Dionysian rockers would include Van Halen, the Doors and the Greatful Dead. Earth mOthers o Demeter types would be Tina Turner and Janis Joplin. The Gender benders of the neo Galloi woulld be New York Dolls, Prince and Queen. THe witchy women who were like Isis the mistress of magic would be the likes of Stevie Nicks, Patie Smith and Kate Bush.

Hermetic rockers are kind of like Hermes. He was a wordsmith and psychopomp. He could be super intellectual and be locked in a basement trying t figure things out. Pink Flod and Hendrix fit well into this ctegory. They can be inventive as well. The list goes on and on and I have given you more than a taste. If you want to find out more you will have to by the book. Well worth the read.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pagan Roots of the Old Testament

The Old Ones in the Old Book: Pagan Roots of the Hebrew Old TestamentThe Old Ones in the Old Book: Pagan Roots of the Hebrew Old Testament by Philip West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Any serious student of the Bible realized that the Ancient Israelite Religion has it's roots in the Pagan religion of the Near East. Yet if I were a fundamentalist Jew or Christian this book would not convince me.

The book starts out identifying the three patriarch of the Bible and describing them as mighty brings as opposed to tribes or gods. They were also situated in different areas of Canaan. More over each of their gods has a different name For Abrahan it is El Eliyon and for Isac his god is called "The Dread of Isaac"and for Jacob it is called " The Might of Jacob". I agree that the Old Testament God might be a fusion of different deities but the example he sites here could well be different titles for the same god. The use of El pertains to God.

There are different strands of the Bible. There is the Priestly strand, there is the J strand , E Strand and the prophet . Each set of authors had a different perspective and name for god. The first part of Genesis calls god Elohim, the J calls him Yahweh.

The bible was put together during the Babylonian exile and was used to promote a monotheistic god who was kind, loving and wise . The first Israelite were polytheistic or at least henotheistic.

Philip West subscribed to the view that the Israelite left Egypt and became acquainted with Yahweh, the Midian storm god of the desert. He controlled weather to get the Israelites out of Egypt.But at that time he was not alone. Examples of magic are used where on staffs turn to serpents and Moses holds up his hands to have his army be victorious. If his hand fall his army begins to lose. They also use a bronze image of a serpent to cure it'd venom. The circumcision ceremony may have bee protective magic.

Yahweh was a warrior, jealous and kind of mean. He demanded absolute obedience. Worship only him, no images which can control him. Magic was forbidden .

Their entry into Canaan was slow and gradual. Along the way they adopted many things from the Canaanites. Holidays, custom and building structure. Yahweh took on the characteristics Baal and El. They even took to worshipping Anat and Ashera. To stop worshipping those goddesses invited trouble.

David took on the zadokite / Camnanite priesthood upon conquering Jerusalem . Israel was polytheistic . As the Bible was redacted they borrowed elements from Babylonian mythos.

In the end a narrative was formed and it questionable how good monotheism was. After all it could kit examine suffering , took us away from nature and the feminine divine, magic and personal power are diminished.

There are some faults to this book. One is that the sources for theist part are studies on the Old Testament. Where are the sources on Pagan religions. There are also many theories regarding the Israelites he only focused on one. Biblical narrative Abraham came from Sumeria. This is not dealt with in he same seriousness as the
Exodus . Egyptian Pagan contributions are completely ignored.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ancient Gods of the Near East they really ever left us

Anointed: A Devotional Anthology for the Deities of the Near and Middle EastAnointed: A Devotional Anthology for the Deities of the Near and Middle East by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally a book dedicated to the deities of the Near East. Imagine that a book all for themselves Kudo to Tess Dawson for putting it together. Sumerian, Akkadian, Canaanite, Hittitite and Persian deities are written about and given honor in this book. Now I would have given it 6 stars out of 5 save for the fact that it is missing one one honors or writes about Pazuzu. What gives? Since I work with Illu and Ashera a lot I am comforted that the Canaanite material seems to have a stronger emphasis although there is plenty of the other stuff to keep follwers of the others pantheons more than satisfied.

The book is divided into parts. Chpter one deals with praises and is called "To Honor" this section has most of it's praises geared toward Sumerian Seities. By saying this I am also including Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrians deities as they all come from Mesopatamia. Chapter two offers us essays that make us think and is called "To Contemplate" This has a mix of Hittite, Canaanite, Mesopotamian, Etruscan and even Kabballah. The Kabballah part is written by David Rankine and I must tell you it is my favorite. I am a fan of David Rankine and Sorita D'Este. Chaptere three is to pray. This section has rituals dedicated to the deities and also rituals with a purpose. Some of the prayers and rituals are for protection while others are for healing or cleansing. this has a strong Mesopotamian, Jewish and Canaanite blend to it. Chapter four is two create and has more rituals. THe rituals in this section have more depth and are more complex. Some of them call for making energy webs, invoking a state of mind and conquering a way your fear. Andrieh Vitmu, a Chaos magician wrote one of the rituals both for individual format and group. Good stuff!

Perhaps the most informative for the history buff is chapter 5 "To Understand. In this section the reader gets some in depth knowledge on such deities as Choron, Ashera and Qudshu. This is only a small taste of what is in store for the reader. I loved learning how Ereshkigaal, not too popular in Mesopatamia became connected to Hekate in Greek magical manuals. Chapter six spoke about belonging and regrowing the Middle Eastern Pagan community. If it is challenging to be a Pagan here in the US then it is even more so in the Middle East where most of these deities are from. In Israel it is possible, in Lebanon it is even tougher while in the rest of the Middle East admitting you are a Pagan means taking your life in your own hands. The final chapter gives off a list of deities and name places.

This is one book that I shall refer to again and again. Both for reference and making my rituals. Cheers and enjoy.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Lays of Beleriand

The Lays of Beleriand (The History of Middle-earth, #3)The Lays of Beleriand by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

this third installment makes it abundantly clear that some of Tolkien's tales may well havbe more then 3-4 versions, each one with different ending, character names and what not. None the less It is still enjoyable to read. Tolkien wrote several of his stories in poetry form. Now normally I am not a fan of reading poems as their meaning is totally lost on me. With JRR Tolkien I can grasp what he is saying. The explanatory notes by Christopher help fill in any gaps. Clearly Christopher is showing improvement in this area or I am just getting used to it. They were useful and painless.

Every Tolkien fan should be familiar with the Children of Hurin. He tells it a little bit differently every time. In this version all of mankind abandon the elves to fight Morgoth alone, except for Hurin and his army. Thingol is the elven king I believe and he has an underground kingdom that or an enchanted kingdom that Morgoth cannot find. the names get confusing as not only are they elvish but in different versions they are quite interchangeable. Hurin is captured and Morgoth want him to reveal the location of turgon's kingdom but Hurin is steadfast. Hurin's wife is sick with worry and knows not where Hurin is whether alive or dead. Turin grows up in poverty and eventually the mother the mother sends him to Thingol's kingdom to grow up. Turin knows the pain of loneliness and being different. He still becomes and awesome warrior. Things go awry when a royal guest mocks him. Turin throws a drinking stein in his face thus destroying his face and killing him. Turin flees. He joins an individual hunter who and they hunt orcs and goblin. This unit of hunters will be betrayed. Vengeance will bee had. Turin gets captured and rescued by his hunter friend. Turin kills him on accident. The poem ends with him going to another kingdom and his mom visting Thingol's realm. The least complete of the versions.

In the Lay of Lethian, Bern a Mortal comes to Doriath which Thingol is king and Melian is queen. Their daughter Luthien falls in love with the mortal Beren. This differs from the Tale of Tinuviel. Beren is not an elf and Queen Melian is not fae. Thingols does not approve of Luthien's love for Beren so Thingol sends Beren off on a suicide mission to get 0ne of the Simarrilion of Morgoth's crown. Beren and a group of people from Norgrothond ambush a bunch of orcs take their uniforms and infiltrate the Wolven island. they are discovered and imprisoned. The wolf Thu eats one of them every evening, In the Tale of Tinuviel there was no wolf but Teveldo the cat. Noorgrathond is lead by Cuiven and Celigwen stand inplace rulers while the king rots in Morgoth's prison. Needless to say Huam the hound kills the wolves rescues beren but the real king of Norgrthiond dies Luthien gets them back in and there is a battle with werewolves at the end with a wolf swallowing a Simaril along with Beren's hand. THey get the Simaril and in the end Beren and Luthien become Mortals.

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