Anointed: 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 thing....no 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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