Moon Phases


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Outer Edge of Magic

Magic on the Edge: An Anthology of Experimental OccultismMagic on the Edge: An Anthology of Experimental Occultism by Taylor Ellwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The outer edge of magic, it is a place of experimentation, trying new things and seeing what ultimately works and what does not. Taylor Ellwood is a pioneer in the magic world cutting across accepted boundaries by doing new things and recording his results so he can share what works with his reader ship. Taylor has bone beyond Chaos magic and is a pioneer in Pop cultural magic. Working with superheroes as well as gods Taylor delivers on the good.

This book has contributions from several authors. Among these authors are Taylor himself, Lupa, Tony Mierzwicki, Agent 139, Sarah Lafirefox, and a slew of others. The subject spoken about range froom Time magic where in the magical operator does a working an they visualize themselves doing things differently in the past. The untimate goal of the working is to change you as a person or change the present circumstances. A couple of authors talk about this subject. Lupa and Taylor discuss working with collages an invoking people or other events into your life. It is a simple piece of magic that is easily performed and even has a variation written about in that oh so famous book , The Secret. Lupa gives good discussion on Robert Anton Wilson’s Prometheus and the four divsions of the personality and how to integrate them and become more familiar with them. Tony discusses fractal meditation by invoking the spheres of our chakras and calling or Egyptian gods. Tony always has good stuff. There is also magic instruction on sigil making, healing and pain and body Mod.

If you are looking for a new direction in your magic and spiritual studies I am going to strongly advise that you buy this book and read it. Personally I am finding that I enjoy Taylor’s easy to follow down to earth approach to magic.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Reclaiming the Dark Goddess

Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark GoddessMysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess by Demetra George
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is one of those books that I enjoyed so much more than I thought I would. The book is geared towards females and one of the thrusts is about women discovering or regaining their power, especially in the cronw phase of their life. As a male I thought it was relavent.

The dark moon corresponds to other phases of our life and the dark moon also relates to the dark goddess and her many guises. The dark moon is when things come to an end. It is the Breaking down and dissolution of old patterns before something new comes about. It is the winter of the year when everything is dormant and waiting to be revived. The dark goddess and moi. Have gotten a bad wrap. But the goddess herself was resting much like the leafless tree in winter. The goddess will be reborn.

Among the many things discussed by this book are the dark times of our life and on the solar wheel there is whT I call a grand discussion on position in the stars that deals with our evolution. There is also a chapter on how the goddess was eclipsed by the make driven religions that came after it. Chapter three talks about the many guises of the dark goddess.

I found the book most illuminating. When you read it I hope you will feel the same.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Flying Witches of Veracruz

The Flying Witches of Veracruz: A Shaman's True Story of Indigenous Witchcraft, Devil's Weed, and Trance Healing in Aztec BrujeriaThe Flying Witches of Veracruz: A Shaman's True Story of Indigenous Witchcraft, Devil's Weed, and Trance Healing in Aztec Brujeria by James Endredy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Deep in the Taxulta Mountains there is witches festival that goes down attracting all the witches in Mexico and then some. Magic is a alive and well in Mexico. In the cities it is blended with Catholicism, Voodoo and Native American Magic. Up in the hills many tribes still hold on to their ancient ways unadulterated. For the practitioner of magic this sounds like, just be careful who you upset or you might get witched.

The book starts off with the author waking up in a cave almost blind and scared out of his wits. The people who talk him through it are Don Vicente and Marisol. A firs they thought him demon possessed but he proved them wrong. This was the start of a great adventure that I read through in literally two days.

James Endredy no stranger to the shamanistic way of Mexico and the Native Americans, ends up attending this festival ,meeting several witches, curanderos (healers), and Brujos (Sorcerers) . Meeting with a bright witch named Marisol he is introduced to Don Julian who is a curandero, brujo and medical doctor. He is a master witch. His son Rafael is no good. He poisons James with stramonium so he ends up in a cave. After his resuce he is taken to an initiation of sorts. In a graveyard he confronts a monkey kils it and uses the gall bladder for protection. An ancestor gives him a knife of obsidian. Later on he must confront Rafael in front of the witches council where in Rafael is killed for murdering a young virgin and eating half her heart.

Florinda introduces James to a high sea cave, garden of strmonium plants and the art of dreaming. James learns o fly in his ondor body and make cut outs of his guardians. So he can cal on them in an hour of need. His teachers give him many tests to imprve his magical combat skills.

Further on in the book James goes on adventure with his friends. He does everything form rescue a governors daughter, fight a blood sucking witch, cure a man of being possessed by a shell of his former life

This is one book you will enjoy reading. Remember do not use any of these substances at home or alone as they arte dangerous. These chemicals can make you literally go crazy or kill you. But I do enjoin you to rad the book and try to use some of the mediation techniques that can be gleaned from the pages.

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Falsified Take Over of America.

America's Trojan WarAmerica's Trojan War by Robert Owens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is definitely not Tom Clancy or any other espionage military type novel. The object of this inexpensively purchased book off Amazon Kindle is to spread fear among Americans. The objects of this fear are the government and the Muslims. This is something Donald Trump would love along with the tea partiers and patriots would love.
Since 9/11 and the terrorist attacks in France people are very wary of Islam and Muslims.

The premise of the book is simple, Muslims are coming in droves from Syria and other parts of the Middle East in order to live in America. A good number of them are members of ISIS and Al Quaida. They form sleeper cells waiting to be activated. In Maay of 2016 they become active. They start off by taking over National Guard facilities and seizing weapons. Since they are dressed in army uniforms they go by unchallenged for the most part and anyone who so much as raises an eyebrow gets wasted. They take over hospitals armories and pretty much take over Washington DC. They obliterate the White House , Congress and the Supreme Court. Slowly but surely their plan unfolds and they start laying waste to the country. Militants storm US embassies across the globe. American is taken hostage. The president is dead and so is the Vice President. The military, patriot militias and the fire crew set about to rescue Washington DC. Cabinet member Patricia Parker takes over and orders strikes to level Raqqa and fight back. She herself gets killed as a joint drug cartel ISIS army lays waste her Arizona residence. THer is some intrigue as the speaker of the house is arrested for trying to assume his rightful place of power. In the end America wins but it is also a victory for the liberals.

This is not a great peace of literature, nor do I think it was meant to be. I discussed the scenario with some former military people and they said something of that magnitude could not happen. I imagine there could be more terrorist attacks like 9-11 and terrorist groups could ally with the cartel and street gangs in order to destabilize America. Radicals are recruiting in the prisons and on the stret and that gives them an advantrage. I would suggest that refugees should be vetted thoroughly before coming or at least have a background check. The characters are not fully developed and sometimes even physical descriptions are lacking. The battle scenes are intense and realistic. President Obanyon is obviously a play on Obama. Patrica Parker might be a play on McCain savetht she is female. If paranoia is your things then good fine and well this book is for you. I do not believe that Muslims are athreat but I do feel that ISIS, Al Quaida and their ilk must be obliterated.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Pictorial History of the Templars

An Illustrated History of the Knights TemplarAn Illustrated History of the Knights Templar by James Wasserman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

History seems to never change. Turn on the TV and you are inundated with images of conflict between European Culture and the Middle East. The conflict appears to bee the same Christianity vs. Islam. Things are a bit more complicated than they appear. A glimpse below the surface and you will see many things.

At the tail end of the 5th century Europe was in the dark ages , totally steeped in superstition and ignorance.The Middle East was more advanced, they had lighting in the streets and plumbing while the European needed to learn about bathing. In 611 the religion of Islam was born. After the conquest of the Arabian peninsula the bedouin warriors shifted their focus onto Mesopotamia from their they would make forays into Europe. Alomst 100 years later Muslim Turks would take over Jerusalem and the rest of the Byzantine holdings. This enraged Christians because they felt this was the Holy City of the Bible.Jerusalem is Holy to Islam, Christianity and Islam . Around the 11th century the first crusade was established by the Catholic Church. THE armies of four nations would travel to the Middle East to liberate Jerusalem. Ultimately they would be successful and Christian kingdoms would be established in the heart of the Islamic world.

A short time after it became apparent that Christian pilgrims would require protection from Muslim marauder and wild animals. In response to this Knightly orders were established. Among them were the Templars and the Hospitallers. These two Knightly orders were spiritual based and focussed on both religion and combat. The Templars were functioning like the Popes private army. They had great autonomy within the church and enjoyed great privilege and as an organization became very wealthy. While not part of the first Crusade they would play a part in the other seven crusades that followed.

In the Middle East there was conflict between Christianity and Islam, so it would appear on the surface. Things are not always what they seem. The Christians were far from united. The four Christian Kingdoms were far from united . They often fought amongst each other. The different knighly order would also fight among each other and take various sides. In the Islamic world there were factions as well. THe assassins, Sunni and Shiite Muslims were equally divided. It was not unheard of for a Christian faction to get together with a Muslim faction to fight a common enemy.

The second crusade saw the Crusader along with the Templars and other decisively defeated Saladin. Jerusalem was lost to the Christians. The third crusade would find King Richard restoring some of the lost Christian lands. Future Crusades would also be fought against rival Christians. Among gthe Christians attacked by the Catholic crusades were the Byzantines who longs Constantinople to the Pope for a limited time. The Cathars were also victimized by the templars and crusaders. After the 8th crusade the European crusaders and the knightly orders were kicked ouit of the Middle East.

The finishing of the crusades would lead to the downfall of the Templars. People were jealous of their wealth and privilege. First there was talk of consolidating the orders. Later on France would require wealth and lead an inquisition against the Templars in order to steal their weealth. Under great torture they were disbanded. Accused of heresy they wre considered devil worshipper. After a brief two hundred years they were gone .

The book gives a great over all summary of the Knights Templar complete with names and dates. The author gives the reader a pciuture of the unique spirituality practiced by the Templars and some of the inspirations that led to this spirituality. On the surface things have not changed much but you got to look beneath the surface.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

The Old Magic of Yuletime

The Old Magic of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the YearThe Old Magic of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year by Linda Raedisch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beneath the veneer of the snowy season, toys and all their fanciful wrappings and the icon of Santa Clause delivering presents lies a dark shadowy pagan past. Filled with dark spirits that came out when the veil between life and death is thin is a holiday season just as scary as Halloween but glossed over entirely. The season for winter or Christmas began around the end of October/ beginning of November and dos not end till sometime on January or February.

Woe to those caught outdoors on the wrong night of the season as all sorts of creatures were seen wandering about. On those holy night Frue Holle could be seen flying about with her retinue. She was also called Perchta and Bertha and a few other names. The base goddess for these was Frigga, mother goddess of the Norse.

In many castle across Europe there is legend of ladies in white that still haunt and rule over the castles. In some fairy tales she is the snow queen. At times she dispenses gifts to the deserving and chastisement to those who have been less than worthy.

Frau Holle is not the only one who travels the nighttime sky at this time. The one eyed Grimm with his strange floppy hat travels the nightly in his sled Along with his pack of dogs and wandering souls. Best not be out when he is around lest you go insane or be forced to join the pack. If t your barn has double leave them open so the wild hunt can pass through.

These are just some of the pagan Yuletide goodies or nuggets you will find in this book. All throughout this book there are chapters and references on the elves and their role without n the holiday season. There are also dark creatures sometimes called Krampus or Certain who help Saint Nick punish the bad kids. There are also dark monks and terrifying straw men. Certain holiday tradition are discussed. At the chapters end there are arts and crafts that one can do or make to get your holiday going. There are also recipes as well.

The book has a list of holiday herbs and different days of importance that have special holiday meaning. The book is well researched and the author describes the holiday season both with a strong living passion along with a just enough healthy skepticism to keep things balanced.

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

7 Gates of the Under/Outerworld

The Gates of the NecronomiconThe Gates of the Necronomicon by Simon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What is the best way to shoot a bulls eye? One method is to perfect your aim and shoot your arrow accurately, or you can shoot your arrow and then paint the target around it. Is the Necronomicon real or a hoax? That one is still up in the air. It could well have been written by “The Mad Arab” who studied Middle Eastern Grimoires and compiled the Necronomicon or it could have been written by Simon, who may have studied or read up on Egyptology, Sumeriology, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Native American spirituality and myth. If Simon wrote it then he created or gave birth to a system of magic or spirituality that is both valid and correct. When reading this book , I would try not to base the books merits on whether or not the Necronomicon is ral or fake but in the the strands of commonality there are between all the worlds spiritual systems and how they are all interconnected. Simon does a good job in that field.

Perhaps one should ask what it reality and what is fantasy? Reality linguistically relates to the realm of the monarch of which he or she presides over.. The king decides what is real and true and what is not to be accepted. Fantasy is what is in in the dark and is waiting to come into being. Since fantasy is outside the real and may pose a threat to monarchs rule is deemed as nonsensical, dangerous and even d downright false. To traipse in this domain is deemed a threatening action despite the lack of real danger to the accepted order of things. The church and all religious institutions regard this as wrong. To traipse means to do it alone or in a select group of secret initiates out of the view of authorities.

What is the difference between insanity and spiritual liberation? Then mentally ill suffer a nervous breakdown while the Shaman goes through a nervous breakthrough. The symptoms of the two are the same. Hallucinations, being torn apart by inner demons etc are part of the deal.. The difference lies in definition and role in society.

The number 7 is also quite relavent. It does not relate to the 7 planets that revolve around us in the Solar System but rather it pertains to the 7 visible stars of the Big Dipper. Each star represents a level or gate to another realm. The Ancient believed that the outer world and the underworld were in fact one and the same. Of course you first had to descend 7 level much like Ishtar did before you could ascend into the heaven. As above so below. The seven stars also symbolized the 7 Rishis in Hindusim. The 7 gods of Sumeria. The big dipper itself also symbolized Set, the warrior god of Egypt. It was the bulls legs and Seth was a bull. It was also the shape of the Adze which was used in the Egyptian Ceremony of Opening the mouth. The Big Dipper also represented the bear, which was a symbol for king Arthur.

The polaris star is now the main star of the Big Dipper, some feel it was the Draco star. This shift in stars has many meaning. Draco represented the reptiles or the Ancient Ones, when the star fell the Elder Gods rose to prominence. This could be linked with the panspermia theory, where in lifeless earth was at first populated by nasty reptiles who were defeated by nicer elder gods. After intense battle dead organic matter littered the planet. It was from this that life sprang. In Sumerian mythology we have reptilian Tiamat being slain by Marduk. From her dead matter and his breath came the human race.

The book does an excellent job of connecting all the various mythologies and illustrating the common point or motifs as the same but with different dressing. It all came from one source and got diffused. Sort of like the same window but with different dressing. Only drawback are the table in the back which are painful and tedious to wade through. He also relies a lot on Egyptologist Budge and his translations are deemed out of date as more current information is available. There were good instructions on how to to the gate rituals for ascencion. Great book.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Tales of Finn the Half Great

Finn the half-GreatFinn the half-Great by Theo Caldwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I came across the interesting bit of fiction in the used book section at the library. It is a based somewhat on Celtic Mythology with bits and pieces of references to biblical mythos thrown in. While definitely not a classic nor does it seem to be destined to reach great heights it was a rather entertaining read and could be suitable for junior high and high school students.

Legend has it that the mightiest giant was Gogmagog (biblical name) who was the strongest. Back in those days giants lived to eat and fight and usually met their end in battle and to them that was best. One day they discovered that it would be better to die of natural causeses. So thy stopped fighting until they died. They discovered that they could live forever. They were immortal. Life did get boring so they decided to sleep underground.

Finn Macuhail is the son of a mortal women and a male giant, His mother died in child birth and his father was a mighty warrior. His father, Cuhail, died in battle fighting against the Fomorian named Ymir (Norse name) Finn grows up with two aunts and an uncle until one day adventure calls him to go to war against Ymir. Now the frost giants have been lulling the regular giants to sleep with an elf’s music. The giants are about to be wiped out. So Finn gets together with Goll and an elf who makes music and they build a cause way to the island of the Frost Giants. Finn kills his father’s murderer.

Next he gets married to Onagha and lives on top of Knockmany. His next fight is with Cuhulain/ Cuhalin wants to to fight and he goes around knocking out the various giants to gain kingship. Onagha gets him in her house and feeds him bread laced with crushed rocks. He goes away with stomache aches A couple of other stories have him checking on his causeway and seeing it damaged. He also visits Leviathan ( biblical Name) who assures him that Jorgmandr (Norse name) is not threat to the Isle of Ireland.

All through out these little adventures there are humans who want to waste the giants. Lead by Dunbar and helped by Jack the Green they go about stealing rings of stones and killing giants. While Finn is out on an adventure they burn down his stronghold and kidnap his wife. So another quest begins where he meets a banshee, a necromancer, ghost of dead giants and what not. In the end everyone gets ready for a royal battle. I will not spoil the ending for you read it yourself.

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Holy Morroccan Sage engaged in Prayer

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