Moon Phases


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Aromatherapy Oils

Aromatic Oils & Magick: A guide to their use in Magick, Healing and PerfumeryAromatic Oils & Magick: A guide to their use in Magick, Healing and Perfumery by Ray Sherwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ray Sherwin is one of the big deals when it comes t the realm of chaos magick. This work is what I would call effective but in a more medicinal way. Not really a how to book or how to use oils for magic spells but rather how to use essential oils for perfumery and healing. That is what this book is all about. It is about aromatherapy.

I way it is sort of like a travelogue based on oils. Born in 1952, in England Ray had the pleasure of working for Scientology, Morton Press and finally as an Aroma therapist. In Leeds is here he opened up his shop. How did he get into this? Well the story starts off with Patchouli. Originally it was used to line or pack in with shawls rom India. The clothes were sprinkled with stuff and that is how you could tell if what you got was from India, that Patchouli smell. Eventually counterfeiters figured it out and started adding patchouli leaves or oil. It is also known as an aphrodisiac because it depresses the sympathetic nervous system. It is also good for skin infections like eczema and cuts. Patchouli was also used by hippies.
Ry then goes to write on how labdanum came from scything roses in Africa. Laudanum had lots of uses in Egypt and even helped a dynasty rise to power. Next we learn about the disinfectant properties of Frankincense and that there is a male and female version. The female version is softer and chewier and used for internal problem. His travels to Egypt take him t the Khan Khalili Bizarre where we learn about Musk oil, Civet oil and Ambergris, the three ingredients to Crowley’s Ruthvah formula.
After enjoying his travelogue consider the health information on the seed oils we use and how harmful they are. He advises using fractionated coconut oil. Ray has a lot of backlash for the pharmaceutical companies and the governments especially on how they promote dangerous drugs over herbs that are heling and beneficial. In the back you will find various uses for different essential oils matches to the ailment. There is also a description on how the oils are made. For a good base work on essential oils this book is a great starter.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Mortal Instruments #1

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Things are about to get rather dicey for the young Clarisse Frey, what she thought would be another night out in a club, turns out to be a glimpse into another world. She was not supposed to see Jace and Alec killing a demon but she did. When her friend Simon walked in on her all he could see was her talking to herself. As though things could not get worse and ugly demon attacks her house and kidnaps her mother. Enter Jace and Alec again and Clary goes to the institute. At the institute she learns about another world, a world that her father and mother were connected to. Clary now finds that her life has a central purpose, to find The Mortal Cup. The mortal cup turns mortal into fighters against evil.

Clary is now seeing a world where vampires exist and have feuds with werewolve, both of whom are infected with demon disease. There are warlocks and witches the spawn of human and demon love. The Nephilim are the sons and daughter of angel an human love. Clary is not supposed to see this world after all she is a mortal. So off she travels to the city of bones to have the silent brothers open her mind and tell her why she can see this world. Next she goes to Magnus Bane who put the spell on her mind in the first place.
In a fast paced adventure to rescue her mom and stop Valentine from getting the mortal cup Clary and company will travel through portals, fight of vampires and learn secrets about her past that she has never known before. This story has romance , inner conflict an romantic triangles. A must read or the young adult reader

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Wars of Count Dracula

Dracula's Wars: Vlad the Impaler and His RivalsDracula's Wars: Vlad the Impaler and His Rivals by James Waterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finally a book that focuses on Dracula's military career that does not elude to him being a vampire, which he never really was. The book is military history, it talks about the political intrigues with the Ottoman Empire, the Baltic states and Walachia itself. It also tells about Dracula's life and how political events shaped it.

Contrary to popular opinion the Turks or the Ottomans engaged in conquest not to enlarge the borders for the Islamic world, called Ghazi, but rather their expansion and movement westward was driven by tensions further east. Moreover loyalties were not based strictly on religious ground but rather they were based on personal interest. Turks or Christians could be loyal to just about anyone if it merited their survival and personal interest. This was true of Turkish tribes and Baltic princedoms.

In these fiefdoms like Transylvania and Walachia things were rather tense. The were small and almost powerless. They would Allie with the strongest party in order to keep their throne and kingdom. Inner politics were tricky as well. In Walachia there was the Voivod or king but there were also Boyars and Daxon merchants who wielded enough power to unseat a voivode. This could lead to civil war, which it often did and to outside powers leaning into their business .

Dracula's grandfather was the first Voivode and after him came Vlad Dracul II, Dracula's father. Dracula's father was sworn into the king of Hungry's Order of the Dragon. Designed to defend Catholicism from the Turks. Vlad was Eastern Orthodox and sometimes he switched sides and helped the Turks. This would put him at odds with the likes of Jonas Hunyadi form Hangary. At times Vlad would switch and fight for the Christians. All the while Dracula and his brother Radu were hostages to the Sultan. When Dracula's father died, Dracula would be released to assume the throne.

Dracula would have three reigns. At times he was deposed and had to flee for his life. Once he was imprisoned in Hungary at times he was o. The run from rival kings. During his tenure Dracula would deal with internal threats quite harshly and deal the Turks devastating blows. Dracula is remembered as a monster by some and a hero by others. Read the book and make a decision .

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Enter the Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Throne of Glass

Locked in the deathly salt mines of Endovier, Caelana Sardothien, is left to whither away and die. Once the most feared assassin in Ardalan,now just a prisoner slaving to death in themself mines. Her land Terrassen was taken over by Ardalan and her parents essentially butchered. Taken in by the assassin king she learned the deadly art of murder.
The king of Ardalan is having a contest to see who will be his champion, crown Prince Dorian , has chosen Caelana. Released from bondage and p!aced under heavy guard , she is housed in the castle of Glass and is trained and fed. If she win the championship she will serve 4 years as the kings assassin and then she will be freed. But the contest is wrought with danger. Magic and foul play are at hand. A monster from the realm of the dead is murdering the contestants. It it is up to Caelana to get to the bottom of things. Her nights are filled with dreams of an ancient queen who tells her of her important mission. Love triangles develop,friendship and loyalty are tested.
A well written book filled with intrigue,action and romance. Clearly a well written fantasy and if that is your thing then this book is for you. Enjoy reader and may your quest be fruitful

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Introducing the Demons

Introduction to Demonology: Small TreatiseIntroduction to Demonology: Small Treatise by Jymie Darling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Treatise on Demonology

Local magician , Jymie Darling, has generated a small but very informational treatise on various types of demons that spans across several cultures and philosophies. Stating off with the ancient Sumerians she describes the demons that plagued our first society and then goes through the Judeo Christian , indian ,native american and finally Gnostic traditions. The information provided in this book is top notch. The book is not a how to but rather an excellent overview. I have no complaints about her knowledge or writing style, rather there are editing issues that I noticed occurred with the kindle edition. The biggest problem is that the photos and illustrations cover over the text in many places. This blots out lots of information. A major drag. Having known the author and conversed with her let me tell you she is supernaturally intelligent. I wish she would write a much longer book. In fact I wish this book was longer.
In Sumerian mythos which carries into Assyrian and Babylonian demons. The first class of demons are the demons who are god like. In a sense they are gods and goddesses of evil. The second class of demons are those wandering spirits of the undead , who may be angry or vengeful. The last kind of demon are those that are half human half demon. There were also winged demons who could bring evil to people or guard against evil. The author warns that when working with demons it is important to use incantation that are specific to their home religion. In other words you cannot threaten a demon like Labartu, Sumerian demon with the name adinai or Jesus as he would not know who they are. Important of note is that demons and gods tend to evolve,especially as they go through different religion's. They will get different names and characteristic. Still! Context is important.

In Egypt demons did not have specific names, rather when they were called upon they would be called based on a certain characteristic. An example!e would be the demon of anger. Next is the Judeo Christian tradition. Everyone is familiar with Satan and Lucifer they are supposedly names of the same being .Lucifer and Satan have different meaning as does Baalzebub . different names for the devil noting his different characteristics. Many of the demons were in fact formerly pagan gods.Look through the key of Solomon. Demons I. This philosophy can possess and harass. Several demand names are mentioned and what they do.

In India rakashas and asuras are prevalent demonic figures. There are also vitelas, pishachas and Bhutas. Vitelas tend to inhabit cadaver of rotting flesh. Some times they attach to the living and cause various misfortune. Bhutan spirits are angry spirits that haunt certain locales. Pishachas feed on flesh..The treatise next goes into Buddhist demons called Narakas who dwell in our world below.The demons are hot and cold narakas. Their leader is Mara.

Next the author covers Native American demons. These demons tend to harrass rather than possess, although that can happen. The most famous of these is the Wendigo, a human turned demon due to cannabilism .Going from native american philosophies the author covers Gnosticism. Demons here are of an internal nature , like greed, anger and lust . There are seven manifestation of these inner demons. Lastly there is a huge list of demob names at the end.a great addition would be a bibliography. I reccomend this book highly but get the printed version not the kindle.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Do You Believe in Faeries

The Fairy-Faith in Celtic CountriesThe Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries by W.Y. Evans-Wentz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book might be old but it is not dated. I think most people these days that right on Faery-Craft often times refer to this book. I would call it the bible of the Faery faith.
Back around the turn of the century the author went on a little tour of the Celtic countries in order to assess the Faery faith. He travelled to Iraeland, Wales, Scotland, and Britany in France. In this book he talks with people who have stated that they have had Faery experiences. Information from the interviews is presented along with historical research. The Faery faith might not be too much alive in the city but in the country side it was being practiced more regularly.

There are several theories as to what the faeries are and what their origins are. The one the author favors is the psychological theory where in the faeries or belief in them stems from a need to explain phenomena in nature. Other theories would suggest that the faeries descends from the Tuatha De Danan, or Celtic gods. They have been reduced to small being thanks to Christianization. This theory hold weight in Ireland. They are often described at being of light and extremely tall. Driven underground by Milesian invader they dwell in underground dwellings. They come out at night sometimes riding in a crowd. People will leave offering for them on their front steps so as to placate them and avoid vengeance.

In Scotland they are viewed as fallen angels. It was said that during Satans rebellion, the renegade Angels were cast out of heaven. Some went to Hell others were trapped on Earth. In Wales they are considered the spirits of the dead who can come back at certain times. In Brittany it is more animist where they are the spirits of the trees and plants. The faeries no matter where they are or their origins seem to behave the same. They need offerings in rider to gain their favor and keep vengeance at bay. They can steal a baby and replace it with a changeling. Sometimes a Faery can possess a human being.

So not only is the lore examined but also ancient religious belief of the Celts. They believe that every living thing had a nu men or life essence. They believed in reincarnation where once someone died they would come to life in another body. The world of the fae is sometimes underneath the sea, the ground r in the land of the dead. Sometimes not much distinction is rented between the dead and the fae as they share the same characteristics.. In some places they are larger than humans and in others they have are smaller.

You want too read a good book on the fae well then right this way.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sacred Tanta forthe Modern Day: DMK Study series #4

Modern Tantra: Living One of the World's Oldest, Continuously Practiced Forms of Pagan Spirituality in the New MillenniumModern Tantra: Living One of the World's Oldest, Continuously Practiced Forms of Pagan Spirituality in the New Millennium by Donald Michael Kraig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Here come a tour de force by Donald Michael Kraig, unfortunately this is also his last work and too bad for that. DMK was a luminary to the pagan world and he was every knowledgeable so that everyone learned from. I have read his book on Tarot magic and I have his book Modern Magick, which I still have to read.

Tantra is probably the oldest form of pagan spirituality that is still intact. It was an oral tradition with nothing written down till , historically speaking, quite recently. It was the practice of the Harrapan people or the Saraswati. Once the indo European took over they subsumed the spirituality of the natives and what was not useful they banned. Tantra might be what they banned. It involves free thinking and the smashing of taboos. There are many traditions within Tantra and sometime they are in agreement and sometimes at odds.

According to legend there was an enlightened group of people living in Shambala. A mad man set off a primative bomb that devastated the place. The king and queen took everyone to live underground. Eventually the brother and sister parted ways each developing separate yet related spiritual traditions. In reality there must have been a disaster that sent the people out in different directions. Their culture and influence had a profound impact on the world culture in general.

For a western pagan this is a good primer. Some kabbalistic ideas are brought in for comparison, especially in comparison to chakras and the tree of life. The main deities of Tantra are Shiva and Shakti. Shiva, the male, represents form while the goddess represents the animTing energy. A couple of terms are worthy of note. Brahman is the suprem deity. All other deities are a reflections of him. Atman is the highest spiritual nature of man. Prana is energy. Chakras connect the five bodies of man and act as a nexus for energy.

The book contains good instruction on banishing an area, summoning deity and some sound meditations. Rituals for occasions and purposes are included along with tools you might need. Mantras and bij mantras are included for given purposes. The author spent a lot of t time discussing Shri yantra. A shape representing the goddess.

This book is a great start, you can add subtract as you will. Everything is individual. Namaste

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Sacred Whore of Babylon

The Red GoddessThe Red Goddess by Peter Grey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It just goes to show you cannot keep a good goddess down. Much is made of Babalon, sex goddess so revered by Aleister Crowley. Outside of Crowley's work and that of his protégés you may not hear much about Babalon, but fear not she is there. Perhaps the most recent thing we hear about her is thousands of years old, the Book of Revelations, written by John Patmos in some meditative state.

The whore of Babylon is ultimately put down as the most evil thing about. She seduced men with the grail filled with her filth and polluted wine of whoredom. Of course Revelations was written during the time the Romans had control over Judea. They were not talking about Babylon but rather Rome. She was the whore of Babylon. But the whore of Babylon who makes it with a dragon and gives birth to the antichrist was in fact a pagan goddess.

So who was this pervasive goddess who hides silently in the shadows waiting for the right moment to emerge. Now many have confused her with Lilith, various Egyptian goddesses like Isis, Hathor or Sekhment. Of these she is neither. Lilith who lives in a tree and oft associated with owls , snakes and flying demons that suck the life out of men in fact may have been the niece of this goddess. Liliths were also sacred priestesses or concubines of this goddess.

This was a goddess of love and war. She is hot burning passion riding on a lion into battle. She takes any man she desires and lives for sec not necessarily to ha e kids. This goddess had temples everywhere. She challenged death and won to rescue her lover. The siburi sometimes gave men intoxicating el mental like opium,hash, shrooms and alcohol to reach that divine state of bliss.

This books does contain some tips on sex magic and using roses in the ritual. Oops did I forget to tell you who this goddess was? Guess you will ha e to read the book to find out

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Grimoire of Pope Honorious

The Complete Grimoire of Pope Honorius (Hb)The Complete Grimoire of Pope Honorius by David Rankine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Could you believe that Catholic Popes used to practice magic? Yeah that is write they summoned demons, Angels and other spirits to do their bidding. This Grimoire is one of the oust famous. It has had an impact on several other European grimoires. Most notable would be the Red Dragon Grimoire. It maybe have been influenced by the keys of Solomon and the works of Cornelius Agrippa. There were also several addition to this Grimoire.

The Grimoire has it's most value as a historical document to study. The book has several invocations including one to have the book bless the owner. There are several ways of calling quarters and casting a circle depending on how you want too do your working. There are also secrets or folk magic spells on how to win games , cure sicknesses, win over a lover and to dominate a lover. The appendices are rather lengthy and at times they seem to be space fillers. Several entries will say that the spell is mentioned elsewhere.

A big question that remains is how useful is the book. The invocations can used and adopted for those who are pagans r anything but CHristian. Some of the working call for serial days of fasting and some of them call for items that would involve the harm of animals to obtain. Such things are not useful, especially when it comes to hurting animals to get stuff. Fasting is rather difficult. The authors name various intelligences and when to work with them. This is useful.

I myself grind Grimoire magic rather complicated and hard t figure out. I prefer something a bit more on the simple side. Reading vast amounts of material and experimenting can help you figure that out.

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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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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

into the magisterium

The Iron Trial (Magisterium, #1)The Iron Trial by Holly Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story starts off with the Mage Allistairs hunt scaling a cliff to save his family and other. When he reaches the top he finds to his horror that everyone is dead except his child , Callum. Beside his dead wife is a message exhorting him to kill the child. Allistair wants nothing to do magic. But Callum has a destiny.

Here is where things get Harry Potter like. Callum is selected to take a test in order to be admitted into a magic school called Magisterium. Callum tries to fail, only to find himself an apprentice to the Mage Rufus. Together with Aaron and Tamara the explore the world to world of magic and the caves of the magisterium. Along the way they meet new friends and make new enemies. Callum befriends a fire lizard and a chaos driven wolf.

Callum has a special destiny as does his friend Aaron. All is revealed at the end. Callum finds out why his father does not want him learning magic. Constantine Madden has plans for Callum. The enemy of death, Constantine, brings foul magic into our world so as to cheat deTh. But immortality comes with a price.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Witch Mother...Story of Doren Valiente

Doreen Valiente WitchDoreen Valiente Witch by Philip Heselton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Without her the craft of the wise, or the Old Religion would not look the way it does now. Doreen Valiente would argue rather strongly against the term mother as she would not want to birth children into this cruel world. At an early age she was drawn int the world of the occult. Born Doreen Edith Dominy in Mitcham county England, she had a strong calling for the occult and mystical form a very early age.On her mother's side there were relatives who could see and speak with faeries or spirits. This ability seems to have passed on to Doreen. Many times she would see apparition that no one else could see. She also started working with sympathetic magic at an early age without even knowing it. One spell she cast, plagued a worker who was harassing her mother. A black crow would constantly follow this woman until she left the place of employment. Do what thou wilt but harm ye none.

Her father was a droughts an working in construction , never quite made it as a architect and the family seems to have gone through financially difficult times. As a student Doreen was very bright, this go her a scholarship into a convent or religious school , but it was not her. So she left. THe rest of her life is a whirl wind of adventure. She studied verses occult works and occultist such as Crowley, THeosophy and the Golden Dawn. Doreen also studied spiritism and seances. Later n armed with knowledge she would come into contact with Gerald Gardner.Gerald would both teach her and in turn be taught by her.She helped rewrite his entire book of shadows and his rituals, thus eliminating a wall the forgeries of Crowley. Later on she tire of Gerald Gardners publicity seeking antics and break away from him. Later on she went to join the Covenant of Athos. Once she became familiar with them she broke away. THey were trying to get information from her without giving her information in return. THEn she joined up with Robert Cochrane's < Clan of Tubal Caine.

Doreen lead an adventurous life.not only communing with the Ancient ones in the Hills at night. She was also a poet who wrote poetry for her rituals and to be published, although not until after her death. She also worked at Bletchely during World War II helping to decipher enemy communications. She work for the bureagh of Unempoyment doing desk work. Doreen also infiltrated the National Front, perhaps as a spine or perhaps as someone's seriously considering joining a racist white wing British group. In her life she had three loves. THe first husband Nicolo Vlachmous died at sea. Casemiro her second husband stayed with her until he died. He was an atheist but did not object to Doreen's practice of witch craft. Finally she ended up with her soul mate Ron Cooke. She died in 1999 having authored several books and collaborated with several well known witches. Great book! Well researched by Philip Heselton with input from Janet Farrar, Patricia Crowther and Ronald Hutton.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

The Devil's Daughter

Zeena LaVey - The Fallen DaughterZeena LaVey - The Fallen Daughter by Franco Halycon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Definitely. Not Rosemary's but a whole lot more pleasant to look at. A biography of Anton Lavey's daughter, Zeena Schreck. Though by no means official or very thorough, none the less offers a critical and honest look at Both a celebrity in her own right and the daughter of a celbrity. Starting out as a high priestess for the Church f Satan she eventually had a falling out with the organization only two later on join ranks with the temple of Set and then later on her own.

Zeena Lavey was born in San FRancisco a couple of years later her father would baptise her in his Satanic Church. Before a naked woman and a few onlookers she was baptized. She would grow up with a twisted childhood where in she had numerous boyfriends and was finally pregnant at age 15 with Howard Stanton. She spent several years living on the street trying to take her of her needs. Eventually she moved back with her father. Promiscuity was a hallmark of her life, a lifestyle choice her father did not discourage. Having romps with her father's associates and believing that it was good for her fathers business, Anton Lavey merely smiled. Later on in life she would become a high priestess in her fathers organization. She also met Nicholas Screck, someone who the author describes as a nobody with grand ambitions. He wanted to become a high priest or someone important in the Church of Satan. Anton Lavey was not to keen on Nicholas. In rider to be someone important in the Church off Satan you have to be a person of importance in the outside world.

Zeena and Nicholas would eventually bot the Church of Satan and end up joining the Temple of Set. Once again not satisfied with their lack of importance in the new organization they would end up bolting the temple f Set as well. Independently , they formed the Order f the Werewolf and a werewolf band. THe band never amounted to much and their organization never really attracted too many members. They also opened a store on Holywood Blvd, which did not turn out well either. SOo they have their order of the werewolf with not too many members and both are rather quiet these days and are not generating too much publicity.

There are several things I liked about this book. One was the brutal honesty in which it describes the workings of the Satanic Church and the Temple of Set. It also separates the fiction from the Truth. Anton Lavey was fond of making boast that had no basis in reality. Many of these occultist make it like they have accomplished something major while the reality presents a different story. Zeena and co do speak some hard truths about organized religion and paganism. The goddess is not always seems as a mother but sometimes as the apex predator. Zeena and her husband have formed their own brand of self taught sex magic and left hand path practices. What they are doing now who knows.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Voodoo and hte History of Liberia

Behind Devil's Rock: The 1977 Maryland Ritualistic KillingsBehind Devil's Rock: The 1977 Maryland Ritualistic Killings by Dr. Sylvester Youlo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Voodoo Story Liberia

Liberia is an African city state founded by freed African Slaves from America back in the 1860"s. The African nation is dominated by a class of ruling elite descended from former American slaves. The nation like other nations in that region is super corrupt with the elite treating the natives like dirt. I would call this novel a work of historical fiction.

High School student, Dan Freeman, is looking it over the ocean concerned about the resurgence of ritual killings. Bodies of people kidnapped and mutilated. Mo is a rising singer who gets an opportunity to make the spotlight by fronting for a band called "Trumpeters" Mo is also having an affair with Sarah, an unhappy wife of Mr. Boyle. After seeing the husband beat his his wife Mo intervenes . Boyle vows revenge.

THe power elite are losing their elections and feel that they need some ju ju in order to make things go their way. Shortly after his peak performance Mo is kidnapped. FOr a few days his friends d not know his whereabouts. Eventually witnesses me forward , the public gets involved and Mo's body is found. Behind Devil's Rock. This time the power elite are sheen to their core .Justice will be served but evil will always have the last word.

Over all good back. THe story keeps you riveted, filled with action and expanses of the Liberian coruption. THe dialogue could use some work and there were a few editing and spelling errors which diminishes the professionality of the book.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Impact of Freemasonry on Modern Paganism

The Square And The Circle: The Influences of Freemasonry on Wicca and PaganismThe Square And The Circle: The Influences of Freemasonry on Wicca and Paganism by Payam Nabarz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I almost gave this book a two or three star rating. That would have been pretty bad considering the author was Payam Nabarz whose work I enjoy very much. Now why would I give this book a three. Well first off it is rather short. I was hoping it would be a bit longer and packed with more details. In the end it had those details which is what earned it a 4. The book had a another problem , I read the kindle edition , and it had illustration or other pictures plastered over the text , sometimes obliterating half a paragraph. Anyone who read "Triumph of the Moon" by Roonald Hutton would be well aware that Wicca was strongly influenced by Freemasonry.

It is a well known fact that Gerald Gardener, the founder of Modern Wicca, was both a Freemason and a member of Crowley's OTO. The Golden Dawn , OTO and other Ceremonial Magic lodges were founded by Masons. Crowley was a Mason. The ritual works of Wicca in many cases were forgeries or direct lift off of Golden Dawn Rituals and Masonic Rituals. Besides the lifting of ritual materials, Wicca borrows terminology and ritual movements from the Mason, albeit in moderated form. Terms like Merry Meet and Merry part were taken from Masnic works and modified. The term Cowan refers to someone who is not an initiate of Wicca or Freemasonry. Both call their practice "The Craft" Both Circe sun wise around a a circle and they both call their tool well tool. Although there tools are different . Wiccans use a black handled Athame, white handled boline, a wand ceremonial sword and pentacle. Mason use the pentacle and also a hammer and other construction tools.

Masonic groups seem too be on the decline while modern pagan movement influenced by the Mason seem to be on the rise. Marry relies more on scripted ritua.s and is only open to initiates. While modern Pagan movements are less scripted, open to anyone and more open too change. Mason's believe in helping people and perfecting character while Wicca preaches do what though wilt but harm your none.

The main selling point of this book is the appendix. It is in the appendix that the author does a good job explaining how Masonry influenced and interacted with the Modern Druids, Clan of Tubal Cain, Sufi mysticism etc. This is why I gave the book a 4 star rating.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

History of the Vampire

The Vampire: His Kith and KinThe Vampire: His Kith and Kin by Montague Summers

This by far is one of the best books about vampires I have ever read.Some for you might feel that Montague Summers is dated but in. Reality when people write about vampires they will invariably consult his works. The book talks about exactly whet the title says , Vampires and things that are related to vampires. Vampires are all over the place: they can be seen in China, Ancient Mesopootamia, Egypts, Malaysia, Europe and Iraq. They share many of the same characteristics yet they can be different .

To be come a vampire in Europe, usually you have to be a suicide or buried upside a proper cemetery , like the crossroads. If someone is excommunicated or cursed by a church official their body will not decay. To rectify this situation the church official who executed the ban or consequence must be called in to renounce what he uttered. If not available then some other church official can lift the ban. This non composition of body does not pertain to the vampire yet it is somewhat related . In Asian societies the ancestors are venerated or remembered. People will place food and incense by the grave to nourish the spirit. If the spirits are neglected they can be vengeful toward the neglectful family members. THese instances are related somewhat t0 vampires.

What are vampires supposed too bee like, well prior to the movies and novels which glamorized theme. THe real appearance is pale skin with patches of hair on the palm of the hand. The nails grow up real long and there are long fang like teeth in certain instances. The breath wreaks like foul flesh. Vampires can be turned into vampires by a bite from one. Or like mentioned earlier suicides and those buried outside a cemetery or had a violent death may end up becoming a vampire. Werewolves can be become vampires after death. THe big question remains is what is the nature of the vampire. Is it a demon that animates the body or is it the soul that is trapped and earthbound. Some think it is the persons astral body that turns into the the vampire. Another question is how do they exit their grave without disturbing the dirt, Some researches have found that there are small holes in the grave which enable the vampire to slip through. Now is this a demon making a new body, or does the p[hysical body have a way of slipping through. Maybe the astral body can materialized outside the grave suickinjg ectoplasm along with the astral body.

When vampires strike sometimes they bring a plague to a whole town. Someone wil waste away slowly. To kill one it would be necessary to burn it, cut off its head and or drive a stake through its heart. Many strategies are discussed in the book.
Sometimes family obligations bring about the vampire. In Greece if some one was murdered a family member must avenge the death or the dead relative becomes a vampire and seeks vengeance on their killer and the family member. THe family member them self might become a vampire.

In China the bones f a dead person can become reanimated by the po or the lower soul. The Chinese vampire is called a Chang Shieh. In Mesopotamia there are the Lilin, night time spirit creatures who seduce men and suck their energy and blood. THere is also the Emmiku a wandering spirit that is neglected by family or remains unburied. They suck the life energy out of a wandering person. In the Middle East there are ghouls that being female demon that feast on flesh. In other parts fun the world there is the bagjang and other vampiric creatures.

The book finishes off with an examination of the vampire in literature and plays. I found this p[art a bit boring and uninteresting. I like to stick with the legend and lore. THis book was awesome.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Hidden Stories of Morocco

The Djinn in the Skull: Stories from hidden MoroccoThe Djinn in the Skull: Stories from hidden Morocco by Samantha Herron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Samantha Herron is an author who has spent considerable time in Morocco. From her experience in Morocco she has been exposed to many stories. A portion of those has landed in the book. The stories are much like faery tales sometimes containing spirits and Jinn , other times they contain humor with a moral. The stories are set in modern times which means that these little tales will have cell phones , cars and other modern devices. I read this book in one morning.

The book is 102 ages long so it is a bit short. I will summarize about two or three tales here to give you a taste . In the first tale a man does not want to trade his donkey for a peddlers merchandise , so he says the donkey is dead. Later when the peddler sees the donkey roaming about he thinks it has escaped from its grave so he buried it again in the person's front yard. Another tale has a person named Ali and his wife taking in a stranger named Muhammed. They feed him then give him money to see his family after eid. Months later they will see in the news that he disappeared and his family is searching for him. The title tale , djinn in the skull, has a boy finding a skull in the dried out river bed. He disturbs the skull and has a very bad experience.

The book was way too short and the stories were simplistic. But then again these are tales told by the camp fire or souk. The author merely recorded them. For a glimpse into the Moroccan mind this book might be interesting .

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Monday, August 8, 2016

In Search of a Lost Civilization

Fingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth's Lost CivilizationFingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth's Lost Civilization by Graham Hancock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Is it possible that before the age of man, we know it, there was an advanced civilization buried beneath the aeons of time? Could we be experiencing a species wide amnesia. Author Graham Hancock believes so. In this book he presents compelling evidence that this society did exist. Legends abound of a mythical Atlantis that was both technologically advanced and spiritually advanced and then it was swallowed up by the sea. There is some truth to this.

Starting with the Piri map uncovered in 1511 in Constantinople. The map was an accurate cartography Antartica before it was covered with ice. Complete with illustration showing rivers, seas, lake and mountain ranges. This was later confirmed with modern technology and infrared ex Ray photography. Darn accurate.It was not officially discovered until the 18 hundreds. Go figure.

Next the author takes a journey to South America. Flying above the area where there is a field there are accurate rock illustrations of animals , and other formations which are only intelligible from the air. The carbon dating places them at a much older age than man has supposedly been around. There is also an illustration of a spider which was known from the fairway Amazon forest. Journeying further into the Inca and OLmec interior one finds advanced pyramids with stones weighing several tons that are perfectly fit together. How did they carved and move these stones . They are much too advanced for primitively man and they appeared suddenly with no show of progression. There is a lake city in the Mountains called Teohuancun by the lake of a similar name. There is a legend that Viracocha a white bearded man came and dispensed wisdom all over South AMerica. THere are similar characters liked him using different names. Supposedly he came and went on a raft made of snakes.
The Aztecs had a similar figure named Qutzacaclle. He was a plunged serpent that dispensed wisdom to the people. He left on a boat as well.

In Egypt the serpent meant wisdom. They'd too have pyramids manifestly build seeming coming up from a void. Later pyramids which should have been better constructed fall far short of the ideal. It is believed that the three pyramids build by Khefru ( actually they appear to be far older) and the Sphinx are much needed older. THe pyramids originally thought to be tombs might really be star clocks . They have similar legends to the Native Americans and a break down of four different ages. They say Osiris came from the sea and taught them civilization.

All the great civilizations of old have legends of flooding, volcanic eruption and ice sheets. This points to the last ice age some ten ton twelve thousand years ago and human society may even be older than that. In Sumerian there is star lore that oops much too advanced for early humans and it came there suddenly, there is no sign of progression. Supposedly they were taught by Oannes, a being that was half fish half human. Viracocha figures also show being dressed as fish. Too many coincidences.

Atlantis has been disproven if anything. Searching all the oceans there is no trace of a sunk continent . Plate tectonics, continental shift, changing of magnetic poles may point too the cause of disaster and so much movement . After all several Native American calendars are predicting that the end is near. Where was this civilization found, go back to the beginning.

The book has a lot strong points, by bringing up the interconnectedness of ancient civilizations. Yet I think other arguments should be entertained. THe Egyptians had boats buried in their pyramids. They had advanced knowledge of astral star positions. This could have come about from someone who was used to traversing the seas. I wonder if the author is aware that the Phoenicians had extensive contact with the Egyptians. They knew how to build ships and use the stars to navigate . The Phoenician also did business with the people of Malta. The Maltese were excellent stone smiths. It is believed by some sources that these Maltese were brought to Egypt by the Phoenicians. I have two more criticism of this book . One is that it is just too long. I tend to get tired of reading really long books. The second is that the explanations of the early science f mapping stars and tracking the earths processions got too dry and technical for my likes. If they could leave that out and shorten the book by 100 pages it would be perfect.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Adoptees Finding Their Birth Family

Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNAFinding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA by Richard Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For children who were adopted and raised by parents who were not their own are faced with questions that need to be answered . Questions that center on identity , belonging and acceptance. In certain cases they are not even told they were adopted and the adoptee finds out through some medical fluke, or a elate spilling the beans . There seems to be a wall of conspiracy to Kerr the adoptee from finding the truth. Doctors, family and even friends know about it except the adoptee. Their search for the truth is further complicated by official documents that purposely contain misnormatiin. The adoptee has no rights to see their original birth certificate or adoption papers.

Richard Hill found out he was adopted in college when a new physician inadvertently let it slip. He never brought the issue up with his parents and he n ear would have guessed. When his dad was on his deathbed he brought up the subject of the adoption. He urged Richard to find his half brother . Thus began a great adventure if sleuthing around to first find his birth mother and then other half siblings. Richard tracks down his mother Jackie by doing some old fashioned detective work. He later tracks down his half brother.

Funding his dad was another issue. A lot false leads and lies . Thanks to DN A texting he found out who his dad was. He also located some siblings. Over all good book with great advice on how to use DNA testing to find relatives.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Where Did the Bible Happen

Egypt knew no Pharaohs nor IsraelitesEgypt knew no Pharaohs nor Israelites by Ashraf Ezzat
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Biblical archaeology has always been in a conundrum. The archaeology does not support the narrative of the Old Testament. No proof of the patriarchs, no strong proof of the First Temple. Egyptian records scarcely mention the Israelites who had been slave there for over four hundred years. No left overs of the Israelite exodus in the Sinai desert and nothing remains from King David and Solomon. This has lead many in Israel and abroad to speculate that the bible is naught but a collection of Faery tales.

Other historians, most notably in the Arab world, feel that the Biblical stories are true. After all they are repeated in the Koran. They supposedly happened elsewhere, in Southern Arabia and North Yemen. Historically Egypt had never been called Misr or Mizraim. It was always called gobt or copt. Kemerovo was an orientalist name attached to the country. So this author contends. I have my doubts in this. Egypt has kings and queens not pharoahs. Pharoahs actually meant house in ancient Egyptian. This I know to be true. The descriptions of land scape do not match what is described in Egypt rather a walled fortress in Arabia. In the Asir region of Arabia there is a town or village called Misra and it was lead by a titular office of Faroan. Plutarch and Herodotus went rough Egypt and there was no mention of Israelites. Had the story take place there, along with the ten plagues the Egyptians would have definitely remembered. Nor was there any mention of Jews or Israelites mentioned in the land of Canaan. More over when the Israelites supposedly escaped the Holy Land was under Egyptian control. It has been noted that during the tenth century BC there is no evidence that Jerusalem was capital of the kingdom many of the place names correspond to p,aces in Arabia as do the tribal names corresponding to tribes in Arabia. The author contends that the Baby.onian and Assyrian invasions were meant to control the spice trade routes which never crossed into what we call Canaan. What started this so called fraud why the Septuagint written by 70 Rabbis.

The author is not the only one subscribing to this theory. Back in the 1980's the theory was advanced by professor Kamal Salibi, who noticed e similarity of biblical place names in Arabia. I found him much more level headed in his presentation. This author is highly opinioted often times criticizing Zionism and calling their information and beliefs propaganda. Such talk has no place in a book of this nature. Stick to facts. For sources I would say that sadly half of them were from Wikipedia and the other half legitimate. Too bad because it looks like it could be a hypothesis worth investigating if the Saudis would allow archaeological digs to take place there. There was once a Jewish Himyarites kingdom there and Jews do have extensive history there. I do believe Mount Sinai is located in Arabia and that part of their wandering so took place there.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Jewish Tales of the Supernatural

Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the SupernaturalLilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural by Howard Schwartz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Asmodeus and Lilith are the crown regent of the sitra achra or the other side. They rule over all the demon. Both King an Queen are spoken of quite frequently in Jewish literature. Asmodeus threw King Solomon out of his palace and too, his place for a number of years. Lilith rebelled against Adams superiority trip and fled the Garden of Eden. She gives birth to demons. I legend she seduces men and kills children unless they are protected with a certain amulet.

This book is a collection of 50 stories regarding the supernatural, collected from the Jews in Europe and from Jewish communes in the Middle East . In these stories Rabbis serve as powerful magicians doing battle against demons, supernatural creatures and other sorcerers . These Rabbis cast circle on the ground , see into the future, raise the dead and caste spell. A good number of stories include Asmodeus and Lilith. In one story a gold smith is about to die in the forest and in order to survive he makes a deal with Asmodeus. He marries his daughter and she lives in the cellar of the goldsmiths shop. He frequent her there and they even have kids. After The affair is discovered. The demon goddess lives there with the offspring until generations later rabbis compel then to leave. In another story Lilith or Queen Sheba seduces a man and lives in siniliar circumstance .

I enjoyed reading this collection and finished it in two days. Th stories pull motifs from Jewish sources like the bible, Talmud and Kabbalah . Yet they also draw from Faery lore. You have women marrying demons and then living with them at the bottom of the ocean. Lots of Faery kings have seduced many a human in so a fashion. In one story two friend are reunited after one dies. They study Torah for a few hours, but the passes quickly and 150 years go by. In the Faery world time moves in such a fashion.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Treasury of Jewish Folktales

Gabriel's Palace: Jewish Mystical TalesGabriel's Palace: Jewish Mystical Tales by Howard Schwartz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Jewish religion contains a treasure trove of fairy tales and legends. Spanning all the way from biblical times all the way to present times. The midrash contains stories of the patriarchs, the Mishna ( Oral Torah) contains legends of rabbi Akiva and the Rashbi. The Talmud was redacted during the second temple period. Later on in Jewish history the author covers tales of the kabbalistc mystic like the Arizal. Next he jumps into chassidic tales and hen goes into some tales told in modern times.

All the stories contain miracle performed by rabbis or tzaddkim. By using different permutations of gods name they are able to summon angels and drive away demon, sometimes the rabbis can travel to heaven and back. The rabbis are much like medieval Magicians who could wield magic to curse or cure. The tales are filled with variety of mystical creatures much like a Grimm's fairy tale.

The book is filled with stories from each time period in Jewish History. The introduction gives a long and detailed explanation of these time periods along instruction on different mystical concepts. The end part contains detailed foot notes and explanations . I , myself learned several new things while reading this book. I did not know that Sandalphon was the Angels whom takes our prayer and weaves a crown for God . Tzadkiel takes the soul after death and prepares it for the world to come. Ash modal and Lilith are the regents of the demons realm. An ibbur is a heavenly soul that mixed with a person in order to tach them Torah

If stories are your thing or if furthering your knowledge of Judaism is what you are after then I strongly recommend you read this book.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul

Sacred Pain: Hurting the Body for the Sake of the SoulSacred Pain: Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul by Ariel Glucklich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pain is something we often shy away from at every opportunity. It is something to be driven away with pills and medication. We are afraid of pain. But this has not always been the attitude toward pain. In many religious circles ranging from Native American all the way through Christianity pain is embraced . Monks in monasteries will flog themselves , aboriginal tribes will pierce their chest muscles and be suspended by rope, Jews, Muslims and African Tribesmen will perform circumcision rights at various times during a mans life. While true the medical establish tries to evade pain, but this was not always the case. In earlier times pain was seen as something healing.

There are reason why people inflict religious pain on themselves. One reason is to atone for a sin. Better to punished now than in the afterlife. It could also be used to build empathy in a community members to their leader. Some will inflict pain in order to fight the body and egotistical desires. Sometimes pain will bring one closer to divinity and drive evil away. Pain as mentioned earlier is used in initiating ritual.
Pain has an integrating effect and a disintegration affect . Pain is used at times to allow the follower to be possessed by an entity.

The book has some strong points. I the first chapter that gave a thorough and understandable treatment of pain in the various religion. Chapter 4 related it well to possession and all the different aspect of personality thT come about or our through religious pain. The last chapter spoke of pain and psychology. Other than that I found this work to be very dry and uninteresting. I had to stay interested in. Too academic.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sworn to Secrecy: From Templar Knightd to Freemason

Sworn in Secret: Freemasonry and the Knights TemplarsSworn in Secret: Freemasonry and the Knights Templars by Sanford Holst
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Freemasons, where did they originate? Was it the guilds of stonecutter and worker In medieval Europe who became or evolved into the Freemasons? Or did their practices come from the Templar Knights after they were forcefully disbanded in 1308.? Author Sanford Holst contends that the organization of Freemasons comes from the Templars. Holst has written previous works on the Phoenicians. He includes some of tier history as well as he he seems think there is a link.

Starting off with a battle during Aamerica's war for Independence, George Washington helps an injured brother in need. This was one of the big concepts for both Templars and Freemasons. The Knights Templar were big on this concept as well as secrecy. Starting out during the Crusades with a mission to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. Hugh De Payens and 8 other Knights set out to the temple of Solomon with the popes permission . Later their ranks word grow as more junior noblemen sought to join this order as opposed to joining a religious order of monks. Most noted for being horse mounted warrior standing against Saracen Infidels, there were also other functions in the organization. The Warriors wore white tunics with a Red Cross . Yet they also had a band of clerics who were well educated, could read , write and balance the books. They wore green with a Red Cross. These are the guys that manage Templar owned estates, managed the money and just about kept the whole thing running.

A perfect fit for the clerical position were the Lebanese Christians who were proficient in languages, master negotiators, and knew how to keep a secret. They learned this from their Phoenician forebears. So it is they were absorbed into the Templar organization. When the Templars were forced to disband thanks to King Philip of France , the Catholic inquisition only caught a small fraction of the Templars. King philip wanted their money, but he did not get a lot of it. The money and the Templars vanished into a secret Underground Railroad .

At first it was thoughts that the surviving Templars morphed into the Masonic Stonecutter guilds and then to Freemason. Holst examines history, looks at group characteristic and explains the various connections between the groups as well as historical trends. He builds a strong case that the Freemason is an organization descended from the Knights Templar .

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Here Comes the Story of Hurricane

The 16th Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472The 16th Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472 by Rubin Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What does it take to make someone a great fighter like Rubin "Hurricane" Carter? This book might tell you what it takes and then a whole lot more. THe book will definitely tel you what it is like to ba an African American growing up in racist New Jersey. You see it was this hard life pelted with racism that made the Hurricane who he was. Born a fighter coming out of the womb, he was the son to a Lutheran preacher who was rather strict around the house. Hurricane one time saw someone stealing his families coal, and beating up one of his brothers, so Hurricane beat him up. Instead of being praised for defending the coal his father punished Hurricane without even hearing his side of the story .

Hurricane's father would later move to a nicer house in a crappier neighborhood . It was here that Hurricane would get introduced to the Apaches. THe local neighborhood gang which would organize fights with rival gangs and steal clothes . It was on one of these occasions where Hurricane had stolen a bunch of clothes that his father turned him in to the cops. This got his feet wet in the juvenile system and exp[osed him t the racism inherent in our nation's legal system. Later in his young life Huirricane and his friends would be hanging around a local river when a local pervert tried to molest Hurricane and a few friends. It turned out that Hurricane ends up stabbing the pervert which results in him getting incarcerated till he was 21. In the system Hurricane details and explains how racist the system is with prison guards and cops constants i9nsulting African AMericans, using racial epithets , and down right cruel physical abuse. The guards are sadistic and they are extra mean to African AMericans. White prisoners were not subjected to such treatment, in fact it is the cops who get off and making African AMerican lives difficult and would not lose sleep if they killed one.

Hurricane would later join the military after escaping the facility . He became a paratreooper and discovered the Muslim faith. It was in the military that he discovered his love for boxing and what he was meant to do. Upon returning to the states he would get incarcerated again for the crime of doing nothing. Later in his frustration he would pick pocket someone's purse and get locked up for a nether three years. It was here that he honed his desire to become a prize fighter.

THE world of prize fighting is not as pretty as ne might think. Promoters make the money while the fighter gets cheated and ripped off. A promoter will use a fighter until they are no good and then throw them to the proverbial scrap yard when they can fight no longer. Things are even worse if you are African AMerican.

Things culminate for Hurricane when he is accused of a triple murder he did not commit. Reading his account of what happened will give you insight into how cruel our system was and perhaps still is to African AMericans. The clear intent of the state was to lock up and possibly kill Rubin Carter. He was outspoken in telling his people to defend themselves against white cop oppression . The trial was a pic circus and a =joke with so many mistakes from law enforcement it was sad. Great autobiography and after reading this you will feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Toltec Path to Freedom

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal FreedomThe Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those simple yet profound spiritual works of art that make you want too say wow! And then run around and share it with everyone else. Yes to is that good . I read this one in a few sittings cause I totally loved it and the wisdom resonated with me.

The author starts off with discussing that the Toltecs were the wise men amongst the Native American population. They were warriors and they were dream masters. They secluded themselves and their wisdom and only released it to those who were worthy or would make proper use of the wisdom knowing full well that one day there would be a time for this wisdom to be widespread and shared with humanity.

There is a dichotomy of dreams, one is the world dream and the other is our personal dream. When we were young we lived in our own dream, totally free too be ourselves but then the world dream imposed itself on our personal dream. So we became domesticated so we could fit in with society. We wear masks hiding our true selves believing that our real selves are not good enough. Society, friends, parents and school chastises us for noon conformity . Inside our own heads the judge punishes us relentlessly for our mistakes. We feel the victim because we tackle the insults people say to us personally. The belief system acts like a parasite using our body and energy to sustain itself.

To free ourselves we have to master the four agreements. The first agreement is be impeccable in your words . Our words create the world we live in. As we speak we create. If we send positive words of gratitude and love then we are magician of light. If we use words to insult people and make them miserable we are doing black magic
The next agreement is do not take things personally . If someone insults us or delivers some other negative comment. It is not abut us rather it is about them. no we we realize this their black magic can not put us in Hell rather it will be easier to remain in a mental heaven. The third agreement is do not make assumptions . We assume if someone smiles they like us. We assume our partner knows what we like and have the appropriate expectations ton go along with. When our assumptions are proven wrong we take it personal and get angry . We need ask questions and communicate. The forth agreement is do your best. Your best varies and fluctuates. We may not succeed at first but we must be warriors and continue to make the effort.

We make agreements order to meld isn't society . Many of these agreements are self limiting. We must reject them . Mitoote isn't when the the cacophony of our fears drowns the dialect of our mind. We must fight this. We must remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent .Too be be truly free we must embrace the angel of death and realize that tommorow or today could be our last.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Ember in the Ashes of a Desert World

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For a Young adult fiction this an awesome book. I picked it up and read through a hundred pages in each sitting. The books his filled with betrayal, action, intrigue and a great story. I will definitely want to read the sequel when it comes out. The story centers around two main characters, Elias and Laia. Elias is from the Martial nation, a ruthless Spartan or Mongolian empire that is taking over the entire world. Laia is from the scholars, a nation of learned bookish people who are overran by the Martials and put under a humiliating occupation.

The story gets started with a raid on Laia's house . Her brother, Darin, is on the run with a book of sketches on Martial weapons. THe chase leads to her grandparents house where in they are killed, her brother captured and she escapes. Upon escaping she soon contacts scholar resistance to set up a plan to rescue her brother. THingking that her mother former ties to the resistance might help , a plan is devised to get her to spy on the military school Blackcliff. In exchange for information the resistance verbally agrees to help rescue her brother.

Elias is the son of the cruel commandant in charge of Blackcliff. Elias wants to flee the empire and live a life of freedom. He is stopped by an Augur. AUgurs are psychic like people who can read minds and predict future events. Elias is told that if he leaves he will become what he hates most . This gives hi pause to reconsider. The commandant,his mother is ruthless. She tortures slaves for fun and she hates her only son who she abandoned to the desert to die. He is raised by the tribes and then chosen at a young age to be a mask. A mask is an elite warrior that wears a mask which adheres to their face. THey are great fighters and experts at torture.

THe main line going through the story is a contest of 4 trials used to determine who will be the new emperor. THe Augurs have predicted the old emp[eror will die without leaving an heir . THE story progresses through the trials, as it progresses each step we learn about the complexities of the different relationships between the various characters. It is a novel of shifting loyalties and young adults uncovering secrets about each other along the way. THe story is also filled with Ghuls and Jinn, who abhor humans. There is a back drop war between human and Jinn. THis is one YA fiction book that demands to be read.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Book of the Loup Garou

The Book of Were-WolvesThe Book of Were-Wolves by Sabine Baring-Gould
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book may well be dated but it presents the information in a simple to understand fashion. It sticks more to the earth than most works coming out about Werewolves these days. The Book is to the point and the author explains their salient facts and then supports them with stories and legends produced from around the world.

Anyone interested in the concept of Werewolves would do well to check out this work. It covers the mythology on lycanthropy from all over the world. It is a factual breakdown into the exact nature of this mythological character.

One can imagine that on a darkened night maybe in France or some other part of Europe you are walking on the the road and you hear a bone chilling howl. Suddenly a large loping figure appears and it is coming right for you. Werewolf legend and indeed other shapeshifter legends go back all the way to Greek and Roman times. We have instances of the Gods being offended by mortals and changing them into animals of sorts. King Lyacon offended Zeus and was turned into a wolf for seven years. Apuleius story the "The Golden Ass" has him being changed into a donkey and finally being able to change back.

The old Norse has their berserkers who could put on a wolf skin and change into a wolf . Other versions of Norse shapeshifting include the witch being able to throw their fetch and take over the body of another animal. Legends abound of people cursed with having to be a werewolf for a certain amount of years and then being able to change back. Others have to change into wolves during certain times of the year. Others are blessed to only have to turn once.

Lycanthropy was art of changing into a werewolf. It was the ability not of sorcerers and witches. THey would take an ointment that would let them change or give them the feeling of turning into a wolf. At first Lycanthropy was taken seriously but then eventually it was regarded as madness. There are Werewolf like creatures the world over. There are also those who can shapeshifting into other animals. Hyena men of Ethiopia change into that animal. Rakasha are vampire like creatures and there is crossover into the vampire realm from the werewolf realm. In Poland and Slavaopkia they believe that once a werewolf dies he becomes a vampire. Ghouls are jinn that eat corspes like vampires during the day that have the shape of the wolf. I got this book three days ago and have already completed it. Enjoy

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