The 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 harming.you. 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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