Moon Phases


Thursday, August 17, 2017

French Art of Seduction

French Women Don't Sleep Alone:French Women Don't Sleep Alone: by Jamie Cat Callan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

American men love international women, they are mysterious, exotic and alluring . The French women have this kind of allure and enchantment over all men who come into contact with them. How do they do it? They are much more interesting than American women and this book tells why.

This book was written by an AMerican woman who is an admirer of the French and has spent some time there. It is a guide for American women on how's to be seductive like French women are. While it is a book for women I think the men can learn a thing or two from it as well .

First off French women do not date. Dating is boring and stressful and to me totally unromantic . French women have a circle or coterie of friend, both male and females . They invite friends over to dinner parties and basically mingle with everybody and everybody mingles with everybody else. You are not closed or boxed into the two hour interview. Men and women can see each other in a natural environment. They can also converse and be flirtatious which means that the man has to compete with others for the French woman attention. IF a woman or man like each other they will often go for a walk in the park for further conversation. This lets the man observe that the woman is being admired by other men and that if he does win her heart he can still be replaced by other admirers.

French men know they can never fully possess the French woman which helps keep it interesting . He can lose her in a second if can he fails to properly attend to her. French women always maintain the mysterious so as to keep the guy guessing. They never get to familiar. French women make have their secrets and they enjoy and employ constant change. There's coterie of friends keep her confident and alive. They do not collapse into relationships and forget about everyone else. THey do things separate from their lover. Remember familiarity breeds contempt.

The author discuses several techniques for a woman to look and feel sexy. French women definitely take care of themselves . They cultivate their minds and skin. Education and really nice creams for the skin. They also eat in moderation. Enjoy everything but do not pig out. They wear lingerie underneath their clothes and even if men cannot see the lingerie the woman feels sexy and that shows.

I learned many things from this book and I recommend it highly. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Herbal Remedies

Herbal Remedies A-Z: Your Complete Guide to Natural Health and BeautyHerbal Remedies A-Z: Your Complete Guide to Natural Health and Beauty by Infinite Ideas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Herbal Remedies A-Z

This nifty book has just about every herb listed and what it can be used to treat. The description of the herbs gives formulas and preparations for various ailments.

More and more people are switching and /or starting to use herbs. For one herbs are cheaper than medications and have fewer side effects. Besides if you have the sniffles or stomach upset you do not want to run to the doctor or I ingest medication that has side effects. Plus Trump might take away your health care.

Here are some notes from
What I read.

Caraway seeds are great digestive agents and a noted anti-flatulence remedy. In north-European cookery they are often added to gas producing dishes such as cabbage.

Arnica to treat bruises, sprains, strains, swelling and fractures, and calm the pain that they cause. It’s a marvellous remedy.

Cayenne is a warming spice that helps to thin mucus, so can be helpful for bronchitis. It can also improve circulation for problems like varicose veins. Hot cayenne pepper delivers a terrific boost to the immune system.

For body odour, especially under the arms, James Duke, a leading US authority on healing herbs, suggests using cider vinegar. Swab the underarms with it. Steep several leaves of sage in it for a couple of weeks, to make it even more effective.

Those are just a few remedies. It is not the complete end all but for the price it is a good read with lots of good information;

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Moroccan Intrigue

The Lioness of MoroccoThe Lioness of Morocco by Julia Drosten
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those easy read stories that grabs you and totally engrosses you. The Lioness of Morocco is one of those stories that could be reworked into a movie or a tv series. In a nutshell this was a surprisingly enjoyable read. The story line is not your typical beginning, rising action and the climax, rather it is a story that documents the life of a fictitious woman in the mid 1800's Mogador, Morocco.

The story starts off in London at Spencer and Son's shipping. Syballah is an intensely independent woman with an extremely shrewd business acumen. Syballah also tends to flaunt safety rules by bringing her carriage into the docking area. Which leads to her meeting Benjamin Hopkins. Benjamin Hopkins is a rather ambitious young man who wants to get ahead and is willing to cut corners to do it, evidenced by his future plantation in Cuba and his dabbling in the slave trade. The carriage topples over into the water and Benjamin rescues Syballah. This leads to marriage although Syballah does not really love Benjamin. After their marriage Benjamin does not hesitate to boost his wardrobe and other nifties.

The two are later sent to Morocco to open up trading . Benjamin runs the trading while Syballah makes clothes and trades with the ladies in the Sultan and the governor's harem. She is also very respectful of the culture, while her husband is totally opposite. His negative attitude towards Moroccan culture sometimes leads to higher tariffs and taxes for the company. It also makes him enemies. One day he tips off a beggar and then finds himself locked in the Mogador dungeon on charges of dealing with slavery.
Syballah also has a French friend,named Andre Rouston. Together they come up with a plan to rescue him but political events cause a bombing raids against Mogador by the French and Benjamin goes missing. Needful to note both Syballah and Benjamin are having extra marital affairs.

A brief affair with Andre after Benjamin's disappearance produces a young girl named Emily who is raised by, Syballah. The affair with Sybala and Andre comes to an end when as part of a gift from the Sultan , Andre gets an estate and a young woman named Aynur. Andre is drugged and ends up marrying Aynur. The next adventure occurs when Emily finds her father and the estate is attacked by locusts and Berber raiders. Behind it all is a mysterious person.

If you enjoy stories about the Middle East , especially during colonial times then you will enjoy this one. It has plenty of intrigue and plotting along with several love triangle to keep things moving. Lots of forbidden love and definite insights into Moroccan life and culture.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Eddas Translated

The Poetic Edda - Six Old Norse Cosmology PoemsThe Poetic Edda - Six Old Norse Cosmology Poems by Maria Kvilhaug
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Poetic Eddas

Translating poems from the Viking or Norse times can prove to be a challenge. Certain Norse words can have multiple meanings in the given language being translated to, this of course could change the meaning of the entire poem. Then there is the issue of capturing the spirit of the poem. These two items can prove to be a challenge. Characters like Loki and others were mentioned rather extensively yet there is no record of them having a place to be worshipped. Others had several places to be worshipped yet are hardly mentioned in the Eddas at all. Moreover it is important to note that deities were not just characters but rather served or could serve as metaphors to move the story forward. The poems themselves were never meant to be taken literally but were rather vehicles to convey a hidden truth.

Maria Kvilhaug has done a fine job translating the poems and rendering to the reader what possible meaning they may have. Perhaps these poems might not be the most entertaining they are worthy of study and if one wants that deeper understanding then this is one book along with perhaps several others that should be read. Perhaps there is one issue I might have with this is that instead of using the Norse names she renders it in the exact translation. That makes it a bit confusing and hard to follow along with. It must be noted that several of the adventures are really symbolic initiations where in the initiate is symbolicly burned three times before they are initiated or given their powers. Freya the goddess of the Vanir is burned three times before she is given immortality.

In several of these poems there are verbal battles like when the all knowing dwarf wants to marry Thors daughter he answers a bunch of riddles to prove his worth. There is also another poem where in Odin is debating one being or another and a verbal question and answer period begins. The Norse were also big on lineages as in the first poem when the gods are at a feast they encounter the three fares and they inform them of the worlds history.

If you are interested in reading the Eddas I would advise reading Snirri Stulson or some other core translator and then read this book to get the deeper meaning.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Djinn Falls in Love

The Djinn Falls in Love & Other StoriesThe Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories by Mahvesh Murad
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The djinn are coming into their own it seems, now a days we are seeing an explosion of literature and movies about the Djinn. This is a book of short stories about or including the Djinn. These beings called fhe Djinn are being created by Allah of smokeless fire. Angels are being of light and we humans are made of clay .

This compilation is filled with a slew of Djinn stories by way too many authors that I could even begin to name. Some have never been published while others are small,time. Quite a few have put out books about the Djinn or at least Djinn fiction. Most notable of these authors are Neil Gaiman and Sami Shah.

The excerpt is taking from Gaiman's book "American Gods" in this vignette a young man comes from the Middle East to sell,souvenirs to companies. The salesman is down on his luck. Then he meets a Djinn cab driver and the two hit it off romantic stuyle. This must be a nod in depicting gay lovers in lit as there is another story that involves gay lovers. In this other story, not by Gaiman, a pawnshop owner loses a wish gun and the Djinn huntress has come to receive it. Low and behold the pawn shop owner is killed by this gun. In the end he is reunited with his lover, a Christian priest.

Sami shah is aPakistani writer and comedian. he has written " Boy of Fire" about a boy who is half djinn. In this short story the American military is keeping an eye on a Taliban village. While observing this they witness a djinn girl murder a villager and a Taliban terrorist. In the end she is seemingly executed but how can humans kill Djinn?

In the other stories we have Djinn possession of astronauts in space. Other stories have a post apocalyptic world where it humans and Djinn against corporations. Some stories involve kids pulling out an old tome and conjuring the Djinn. If the djinn are your thing then this book is for you.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Jerusalem of the Balkans; The Heart of Sephardic Jewry

Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern GreeceJewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece by Devin Naar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Salonica, once hailed as a Jewel,of the Balkans was once home to a very vibrant Sephardic Jewish community. The city was called " the Jerusalem of the Balkans" and the heart of Sephardic Jewry. The city was so completely Jewish that not only were a good many were Jews in Salonica but the city businesses were closed on STurday. Many Jewish leaders, especially the liberal ones proposed that Salonica be homeland for the Jewish people instead of Palestine. Of course this was not to be.

Ultimately the community of 50,000 Jews perished in the holocaust when the Nazis took over . Despite the fact that Jews were such an integral part of Salonica, many Orthodox Christians helped the Nazis round up Jews and deport them to Aushwitz. Only 2000 Jews remained and when they returned they found their cemetery bet achain was taken over. Their synagogues were destroyed with decorative motifs stolen to aggrandize other churches and private homes. Parts of a Torah scroll were used to make soles of someone's shoe. Tombstones were used by Mason's for various construction purposes. Total,desecration. Even a church leader exhorted his corelifionist to help the Greek Jews. The plea fell on deaf ears. The survivors have move forward while maintaining the memory of Salonica.

The genesis of this community occurred after the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492. The sultan allowed them into Ottoman lands. Under the Ottomans the Jews were called th most loyal millet. They had almost complete autonomy and there was no pressure to speak the Turkish language. The Jewish community appointed their Hachamm Bashi to deal,with the central government . The rabbis ran their community like a fiefdom. They had control over their own education.

After World War I Salonica was part of Greece. Life for the Jews of Salonica took a turn not necessarily for the better but not a state of decline like some would like to think. With treaty of Lusane there was massive population shift between Turkey and Greece. All th Muslims in Greece went to Turkey and all the Orthodox Christians of Turkey were moved to Greece. Most of these Christians were not so Greek. They spoke and were Slavic. Greece for their survival and Natioanl interest had to create a Greek society.

For the Jews this meant less autonomy and lots of changes. The first was their autonomy. Where as back in the day they completely ran their affairs like a state within a state, now they had to cooperate with the central govt. this presented a challenge for the Jewish community both within and with their neighbors. With were challenges of selecting a rabbi. Who should it be? Should the rabbi be modern? More Sephardic more ashkenazi? There were changes in the education. The courses for secular studies had to be in Greek, students had to learn Greek history. Education was meant to Greekify everyone. The Jews also had to deal with rising antisemitism and land expropriation.

This book gives a very thorough history of the Salonica Jewish community from the ending of Ottoman rule all the way through a the interwar years culminating with annihilation in World War II. Let the memory of Salonica live on.

I do not like to delve into politics but this history just goes to show that no matter how good the Jews may have it in a certain location in the end they always suffer a massacre or major pogrom. It underscores the need for Jewish homeland somewhere on this planet. I will not speculate on there "where should it be?"

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Susannah's Song

Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6)Song of Susannah by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Continuing where Wolves of Calla left off, the ka tat, or group is on the trail of Susannah. Sometime after the battle, Susannah was taken over by Mia and is carrying Mia's child Mordred. Mordred is the son of Roland and much like the Arthurian myth Mordred is destined to kill his father . But that is for later.

Stephen King likes to center on walk ins and doorways to other dimensions and alternate Earths. Susannah went through the door and wound up in New York 1999. Things are rather strange. Susannah must flee to a computer center in her mind. It is called the Dogan and from here she can control things and speak with her friends. In New York she finally has some legs but they are white and she is African American. Using a charm she hypnotized a diplomat and convinces him to give her money. She is waiting to give birth to the chap at the " Dixie Pig" all the while Susannah and Mia both struggle with each other and learn each other's story.

Roland and Eddie Dean end up in Maine during the 70's or 60's by a lake. They are immediately set upon by gangsters who shoot up a liquor store trying to get them. Next they travel to force someone to sell them some land with a rose on it. It is connected the tower and beams that are falling apart. Finally they meet Stephen King himself and convince him to continue his story and of course they are hunting for clues.

Jake and Father Callahan end up in New York as well. After a scuffle with a cab driver and a meeting with another priest they go off searching for Susanah. In the end they'll meet at the Dixies pig and boy is everyone in for a surprise.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sumerian Spells from the Necronomicon

Necronomicon SpellbookNecronomicon Spellbook by Simon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a short fast read for anyone interested. The book starts off with a bit of history as to how the book " Necronomicon " came to the surface and some of its printing history.

After a brief history the book tells the reader the steps in creating a Necronomicon spell. There are about seven steps and they are readily easy to understand instructions.

The next section of the book covers the fifty names of Marduk and for what purpose those names should be invoked. Included are sigils and explanations.

The final part of the book says that it is ok to be skeptical, just work a few spells and record your results. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The spells are supposed to be safe and you do not have to believe in Sumerian religion to do this magic as this magic gave birth to the Sumerian religion. Give it a try . It can't hurt.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chaos Music

KLF: Chaos Magic Music MoneyKLF: Chaos Magic Music Money by J.M.R. Higgs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Rise and Fall of KLF.

KLF was a British musical duo that I had never heard of until I read this book. No wonder because at sometime in the mid nineties they decided to call it quits and erase everything they had done from public record. They also went to Jura for the sole purpose of burning a million pounds and televising it.

Jump back to the early 70's when Bob Shea and Robert Anton Wilson wrote a book called the illuminatus trilogy. The premise is about the illuminati trying to control the world and make everything super orderly. The Justified Ancients of Mumu want chaos and freedom. This was a influential book for Drummond even if he never read the whole thing. He would be involved with plays in this topic and then he would go to make singles with his own record company. His music took the direction of lifting entire segments from songs and remixing it. This lead to some lawsuits where he had to destroy the singles he had made.
His next step was to form a band called JAM ( justified ancients of my mu)
They had a run for several years and then morphed into KLF. KLF did rave music in the nineties and early part of the 21st century. Then they called it quits. They would form an art organization.
Now why burn the money. Some say it was to Get their soul back from the devil. Other day it was a ritual against money s control over everything. None the less while this might not get read by many it is filled with synchronicity and coincident. You wil! See the philosophical input not only of Robert Anton Wilson, but also Jung, Alan Moore and Timothy Leary. Who know their big might have been a giant ritual from the collective ideaspace.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Esther of Khazaria

The Book of EstherThe Book of Esther by Emily Barton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The year is 1942 and in an alternate universe the Kingdom of Khazaria still stands. However, it is under attack by Nazi Getmany. Of course, Hitler is never mentioned and neither are the Nazis. It is called the Dark Khaganate or Grrmanii.

Esther is the daughter of Josephus an important minister to the Khagan bek or commander in chief. As Jewish refugees come streaming in from Europe and as she over heard bits and pieces of conversation it is apparent that Germany intends to attack Lhazaria and kill all the Jews. To stop this she must play of Joan of Arc or Mulan and go out to fight. However, she is a sixteen year old girl about to be married to Shimon, future Rabbi of Khazaria.

Her only hope is to find Yetzirah, a town of Kabbalists and see if they will change her into a man. On the way to village she confronts Jewish Khaxars , Uighur oil barons and some other adventures.

The Kabbalist refuse her sex change request but Amit has a way. Esther does cobble and army together. The army of golems, Uighur, Jews , karate a etc and does mount a good fight. The thing is does Khazaria still hold out?

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Friday, June 16, 2017

If You Listen to Fools the Israeli Mob Rules

Blood & Volume: Inside New York's Israeli MafiaBlood & Volume: Inside New York's Israeli Mafia by David Copeland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you listen to fools the Israeli mob rules. They had by far one of the quickest run in the New York crime scene. The Italians and the Columbians have been around forever and the Russians have picked up from where the Israelis left off in the 90's and are still,going strong.

This true tale centers around Ron Gonen. Born Roman Gonen in he Ukraine and then moving to Israel at around 11, Ron found it easy to get into trouble. Starting out with stealing he soon would move up in the world of crime. As a troubled teen after his mom would send him to kibbutzim in order to straighten him out. It did not work instead he bounced around from Kibbutz to kibbutz. He had a fondness for Tobacco and hashish. Trying to enlist in the navy early only to get caught, Ron would eventually end up in the merchant marine .

Ron started off with jewelry heists and safe cracking. Later he would move to Europe where another Israeli expat named, Sammy Merckel, taught him the ropes. Getting caught at least twice he served time in European prisons. There he would meet Ran Ephraim and Johnny Attias. Ran would be a friend and partner in crime. Johnny he would never get close to but Johnny would prove potentially dangerous. In London Ron would be guilty of fraud. Ron would travel through South America committing crimes.

In the early 80's Ron, Ran and someone else eeked out a plan to deal cocaine. Then it was off to New York to set up his coke dealership. In New York he met his second wife Honey Tessman. She was married before and had a kind from another marriage. She was also a drug addict. She would help Ron with his business and also cost him lots of money.

In the end Johnny Attias would enter New York rather violently. Killing all who got in his way, he wanted to pressure Ron into working for him. That and cancer would start to take their toll. ron's adventure end with an arrest and testifying against his former comrades. Jonny Attias would die by assassination.

The Israeli mafia had a brief but violent run in New York before they were taken down. They are the most unorganized and least traditional of all the crime groups. Their coming opened a door for the Russian mafia to slip in.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thirteen Rites Dedicated to the Horned One

The Devil's Dozen Thirteen Craft Rites of The Old OneThe Devil's Dozen Thirteen Craft Rites of The Old One by Gemma Gary
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

He is a figure shrouded in mystery, the Christians call him the devil, but to witches he has a variety of names. Known he is as the man in black, auld horny, the goat food god etc. He come to ritual when properly bidden. The man in black is the central deity in traditional witchcraft. The devil is the one who initiates you into the mysteries, he stands in the great in between in fact he is the in between.
Gemma Gary has produced another small masterpiece that contains thirteen ritual dedicated to the old one. Mind you these are not Wiccan rituals these are based on traditional witchcraft. The directions are different and the tools have a slightly different use. One tool that Wicca does not have is that of the stang. The stang represents the horned god but it also represent the male and female aspects of deity and the approach is unity and love.
The first rite is a “calling the man in black” like the rest of the rituals this one should occur far away from human habitation, like out in nature or in some abandoned building. This first ritual pulls you away from the strictures of civilized man and pulls you back into the carnal forces of nature. When you summon the man in black he can appear at any times and in several; different forms. Sometimes he comes in the form of a hound, a hare , a cat, a crow or a man in a black hat and jacket. Keep your eyes open.
The next ritual is a self initiation. This one dedicates you to the path of the man in black. This ritual is done in an abandoned churchyard on a full moon light. Churches have holy power and are connected with divine energy and energy of those who have invested in that religion. Plus there is an aspect of rebellion against oppressive authority here.
The third ritual empowers the witch’s nowl. The witch’s nowl is an Iron nail that is magically empowered with divine energy. The divine energy comes from the red serpent who lives in the ground of the earth. Once the nail is empowered it is nailed into the ground t empower the working place.
The third ritual leads to the fourth ritual where in the practitioner obtains a stang and empowers it with magic or energy. An iron nail is nailed in the bottom to seal the energy in. It has horns on the top. It represents the horned god but also the masculine and feminine. It could have magical uses like that of the wand or it could be used as an object of devotion and veneration.
Now that was a sampling o the rituals that are offered. The book is small but the directions are full, complete and easy to follow. I read through the book in one day, it was that good. This is a book that any level of practitioner can use.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Yemeni Tale

A Yemeni PassageA Yemeni Passage by Derek Franck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Land is an important commodity in the Middle East, sometimes more valuable that the lives of your family members. The worst thing you can do to an Arab from the Middle East is destroy his house that is a punishment worse than death. In the Middle East brothers do not always get along, in fact both can be the most fierce of rivals as they vie their way to power. Yemen is a land that is fiercely independent and has had to fight such outside forces as Saudi Arabia, The Ottoman Empire. There have also been civil wars and conflict aplenty in Yemen. Regardless of the injustice that reign’s truth will be set a right in the end.
Safir is a young man living in an island off India, he is of low cast and makes a living selling salt. The death of his brother tells him that it is time to move on. Taking a dow to Yemen on the Monsoon winds, Safir finds adventure aplenty by surviving storms and pirate attacks. Forced to wade to shore alone he travels the Yemen with barely the shirt upon his back. The Dawshan tells him how to survive an together thy travel to Al bautim , a prosperous city in the midst of a Yemeni desert. Once in this trading city and after some initial suspicion, Varma , a fellow Indian takes him under wing. In the city the learn to read and write and becomes a record keeper of sorts.

Not everything is so good as it seems on the surface. The governor Mutaher supposedly set up the city and made it prosperous. He hails from the Bani Hawlan, tribesmen who are rough and wild. This tribe led by Mutaher’s brother Saqaf has claims t the city. Throughout the story there is a prevalent conflict between the two groups. In the end there is a final conflict, where in the tribe attacks the city and the governor’s forces attack the village.

A little more background, an Imam came though Yemen attacking the tribes and bringing them under his rule. The imam took hostages from the vanquished tries to ensure their loyalty. Mutaher was the one taken hostage and he became governor. The bani Hawlan had diverted a river to the town which enable it to become prosperous. They crave to have it back. The governor rules the city by fear and eventually people end up fleeing the city and joining the tribesmen.

A very good story and quick moving. Storyline is original. The author does get hung up on details which makes focusing on the story rather difficult. If you love Middle Eastern literature , especially in light of the current situation in the Middle East.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Beginner's Guide to Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology: The Beginner's GuideNorse Mythology: The Beginner's Guide by University Press Biographies
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is definitely written for beginner or newbies to the world of Norse Mythology, in fact it might even be called a children’s book. The author explains in some very brief pages the Norse beginnings of the world, who the gods are, various creatures and beings, the different realms and some Viking History. If you are well versed in Asatru or Norse Mythology you are going to want to pass this book up.

In the very beginning there were to worlds, MuspelHeim and Niffelheim. Respectively the worlds of Ice and Fire. This of course was ordained by a god of gods, father of all. From this steam came a giant named Ymir. Ymir was soon slain by Odin and Vili and Valey and from the giant’s parts came our world and mankind. Now these Norse legends have been culled from the writing of Snori Stulson and te like. These Saga like the Poetic Edda and the Icelandic Saga are the sources for Norse Mythology. These sources in many cases were written by Christians, so the sources might have a Christian like flavoring.

The Norse Realms are divided into three levels. The first level is Asguard home of the Gods. The Asgard deities include Odin, Thor, Tyr, Frigga etc. Another world contained in the upper Asgard realm is Vanaland, home of the Vanir. These land deities include Frey, Freya and the lord of the sea.

The middle Level is called Midgard, this is here our realm is and on tis plane it might be neighboring some other worlds like Svartleheim ( Home of the dark elves) Alfheim (Home of the light elves)
Then there is the lower world which has Hela (Realm of the dead) and the roots of the World Tree.
On the world tree, Ygdrasil, their lives three creatures constantly agitating each other. The eagle on top, the snake on the bottom and squirrel in between. The squirrel tries to snake and the eagl to fight each other. At the roots of the world tree. Lives the three norns who write everyone’s fate including that of the gods. There is also Niedhof who sucks with poison at the roots of the world tree. There is also an end of day’s scenario called Ragnarok. In that end the gods and giants duke it out. Thor is killed by the world serpent, Odin is slayed by Fenris and Freyr is slain by Surt, a fire god. In the end after the world is destroyed everything gets reborn and the children Asgard inherit this world.

There is a good little bit on the Vikings. The Vikings had a three hundred year reign. Starting of rom countries like Norway, Denmark and Sweden they conquered parts of England, France and even there wa an alliance with Byzantines where in they conquered much of the Middle East. Thereis a chapter on famous Viking Kings. Included in this is the famous Ragnar Lothbrook and his son Ivar the Boneless an a slew of others. Several myths about Vikings are debunked as well. They did have slaves an no they did not wear horned helmets

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

KosherTorah Protection

Protection from Evil - E-Book EditionProtection from Evil - E-Book Edition by Ariel Bar Tzadok
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every once in a while one finds that they feel there is some negative energy following them and jinxing everything that they touch. If you are a New Ager or some follower of an arcane occult tradition you may find yourself doing a ritual to protect yourself or ward off the energy. Most religious Jews will probably not feel this way, cause mainstream Judaism by and large no longer really believes in the occult. They may believe in idol worship but do not practice it. Yet some occultist might try to influence the mind of an orthodox Jews. The author believes that thy use some fort of hypnosis or hypnotic suggestion to get into the mind of the Jew or any individual for that matter. The best practice is not to sin. The author does not go into too much detail about Wicca, Voodoo or Santeria. On one hand he says the practitioner occult ability is not based on working with spiritual powers but rather hypnotic techniques or power of suggestion. Other times he will say that there power is derived from unholy spiritual powers of the Sitra Achra. He does not really fear these curses put out by these people.

There are two spiritual beings that humans must be fearful of. The first are the Shedim, demons who were half formed during the days of creation and never completed. They tend to fed off the spiritual essence of offerings and energy. When people leave offering for gods or other entities many of the time it is demons disguising themselves as these gods? This happens even during meditative communication. How can we know if anyone is who they say they are on the astral realm? Demons feed off of sinful energy and sometimes psychic energy of sorcerer. They also feed of on blood offering. Shedim want to sign pacts with us so they can dominate us and our families. The second one is an earth spirit or Dybbuk. The displaced spirit is drawn to sin full behavior and want to take over the hosts body so it can live sinfully once again.

There are many spiritual creatures that we share the planet with. One is an angel called Mazal that directs the life force of the divine into our vessel. There are other angels who take on a name based on the temporary job they are tasked to do. Different angels can be a Michael and an angel can be a Michael or an Uriel. Mazal acts like a guardian angel and in the past people would attack their victims Mazal rather than them directly. There are also warrior angels. The author does believe in Earth spirits like faeries and dwarves. He states that most want nothing to do with us unless they want to drain our energy.

Fear of the evil eye is prevalent. The author one time was walking down the street with a female acquaintance when she noticed another woman more smartly dressed than she was. The acquaintance called the “smartly” dressed woman a nasty name. Moments later the woman was hit by a bus. The glance of envy is given without the giver even noticing it. The best way to avoid the evil eye is to dress modestly and do not show off.

Many sorcerers try to get into your mind especially advertisers. The way to beat this is to close your mind and eyes from sin. Take a verse from the bible and some of your own stuff and prey.

If you believe in the possibility of psychic attack, this book will tell you the spiritual strategies to protect yourself but more importantly the author will instruct the reader to live righteously. No point in locking the gates against evil when you allow evil in through the back door.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

A Guide to Extreme Living

The Psychopath's Bible: For the Extreme IndividualThe Psychopath's Bible: For the Extreme Individual by Christopher S. Hyatt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not s a book for everyone , in fact most people will find its objective intolerable and will not bother to read it. The books viewpoint does not speak charitably about the state of mankind. In the past many books have been written about psychopaths and sociopaths, but no books have been written for them! The two terms , psychopaths and sociopaths have been used interchangeably that they now mean the same thing. Psychologists have now invented a new term called Antisocial personality disorder. When describing the psychopath usually such terms as violent, impulsive, no respect for Authority are flung around. rhe DSM 4 has quite an sack definition. Yet, psychopaths walk among us and they are too smart to be violent. You tyrants, politicians, CEO's are in many cases good examples of a psychopath .

In the book the psychopath is referred to as a toxic magician, master, master manipulator etc. His goal is the destruction of the human race so that it can make way for another more advanced and useful life form can take over. I wonder how many people would agree to this objective? Most people are very weak minded . They are followers or sheep who are easily controlled , they just do not know it. Many people think they want to be free but that is an illusion. What they really want is to be controlled in a way they find acceptable. That is a view point I can easily agree with. Now the toxic magician must reach his aims non violently. In fact he does not want to. Kill off weak people he wants them around so he can manipulate them. Some times you destroy people by giving them exactly what they want. So you want to doom the human race, support programs that feed the poor. This will then create a drain in the natural resources and when they run out there will not be enough to feed the people thus causing a more massive die off. He makes a point but I am not sure I want to wipe out the human race.

The book has excellent techniques , although subtle , on how to manipulate people. Let's face it the world out there is a jungle. People are always manipulating you and others. Just the hard cold truth. Face it! We live in a concrete jungle where the stronger survive . You have no real rights or possession because the government can take it away from you at any time , so can a more powerful person. The real criminal are the government and big business they steal more from you than the common steer thug. Yet we pursue the street thug with such vigor.

I class this book up thee with Sun Tzu's Art of War, the 48 Laws of Power and the Prince. The manipulation techniques are truly subtle and sublime,yet truly effective. Read this book,at least three times to really learn it. Oh yes the author has graciously included a course of books for further learning.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Journey to the Underworld

Lost GodsLost Gods by Brom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The gods are battling it out again, deities ranging from
A variety of ancient religions. The story starts off with the ghost of a young boy trapped in a cemetery, where he is constantly tormented by two demon boys. Good thing they cannot get him or they would tear him apart.

Enter Chet Moran, just out of prison for a drug dealing charge. His girlfriend is the daughter of a judge who does not approve of drug dealers. When he goes to retrieve his pregnant girlfriend a chase ensues where in he runs over his old PE coach.

Guilty of murder with an angry judge on their tail they decide to hide out at grandmother Lamia's house. She is a healer and a witch with a dark secret. The cemetery is near her house as are a hoard of ghost children. When Chet wanders out well they tear him apart.

Now a spirit he must rescue his girlfriend and unborn daughter from a terrible fate. He journey to the underworld to retrieve a key that can save everyone. In purgatory the old gods are struggling to hang on. The colonel and his green oats are killing the old gods with the help of demons from Hell. Chet gets caught up in the mess and a great adventure ensues.

Reminded me a lot of Neil Gaumans American Gods which I liked as well. Borrowing motifs from several religions the reader will
Enjoy the romp through the underworld.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Heiress Dracula

And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)And I Darken by Kiersten White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lately there has been trend to transform male characters into female character for a modern retelling. It was done with Starbuck in the “Battlestar Galactica “ reboot. Marvel comics is doing it with Thor. This one does it with Dracula. Her name is Ladislava.

Vlad Dracul is a member of the “ Order of the Dragon” set up by the Pope of the Catholic Church to fight infidels. Infidels meaning Muslim Turks. Of course Dracul is a member of the Byzantine Orthodox Church and at times he makes treaties with the Ottoman Turks only to break them. Radislava is the first born and she is female, definitely not a mark of prestige. Yet she grows up behaving like a man. She fights, she is brave and daring qualities of a good warrior. Her younger brother Radu is a boy but weak, pretty and charming. Dracul begin to favor his daughter. Growing up in Tirgoviste Radu is bullied upon by the other boyar children and by his older brother Mircea. Ladislava fights his battle for him. When things get shaky in Tirgoviste Dracul barters his children away to gain a treaty with Sultan Murad.

In the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Edirne. They grow up in a luscious ottoman court where a tutor teachers them the tents of Islam and the ways of Turkey. Soon they befriend Mehmet the Sultans third son and end up going with him to Amasya. Together they have adventures and get cauht up in court intrigues. Radu finds out about himself and his forbidden desires. Ladislava learns to fight and trains it the Janniseries. She fights for the Sultan and saves his life.
A great book for young adults although there are some things that I would not deem suitable for Young Adult, like having wo guys making out. They can be exposed to that later. The rest of the book is good and shows the complexities of growing up in court and being a teenager

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Secret History of the Jews in The Latin World

Secret Jews: The Complex Identity of Crypto-Jews and Crypto-JudaismSecret Jews: The Complex Identity of Crypto-Jews and Crypto-Judaism by Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1492 was recorded as one of th lost disastrous for the Jewish people residing in Spain. The three choices were simple conversion, death or leave Spain. In reality, though, their terror began in 1391, the Visogoths forced all,the Jews to convert or die. Many Jews chose to convert . Some Jews survived by fleeing to another kingdom but as the years rolled by the antisemitism would,catch up and they would face pogroms. Between the years 1391 to 1492 the Jews would face several outburst of antisemitism.

Much of the antisemitism was Church inspired and rhe peasantry were the ones who carried out the violence. Sometimes the nobility would try to protect them but to no avail , the mob rules. Jews who converted to Catholicism were known by several names Marrano (pigs), conversos and Anusim . Once convert they went to church and outwardly tried to be the best Christians possible. Inwardly though many Anusim continued to practice whatever Judaism they could at home and practice Christianity on the outside. Conversos were never fully accepted. The neighboring Chrisitisns regard them with suspicion . In fact conversos never got much of a Christian education any wonder they practiced their Judaism. Many were accused of Judaizing.

The book examines rabbinical,attitudes toward the Anusim and how the other Jews interacted with them. Never quite fitting in once they left many would make an open return while,others would hide. The hiding continues to is day with many in Latin American countries claiming descent from Anusim. Gaining acceptance into,e Jewish community has many challenges and the Jewish community has a variety of ways it responds.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Journey to the Witchlands

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For Safiya and Iseult it is another adventure gone wrong. Trying to rob stagecoaches in the witch lands can be hazardous especially if it is someone important, like guild master or royalty. They try tomstopmtheir bomb from going off and end up fleeing to an abandoned lighthouse in Catorra. But getting away will not be easy. A blood witch is on their tail and they are relentlessly pursued by Cartoran soldiers. All this happens during truce talks where in e the three empires and one small state are to begin negotiations. Prince Merrick wants to feed his people as his country Nuvrecnan has been destroyed by magic.

Safiya is in the run not only from Royal guards but also her destiny. She is a truthwitch, someone who can tell if one is telling the truth or lying. She is valuable to the leaders of empires.she is also a Donna or female nobility but she wants no part of that. Her drunk uncle Eron is a hell bard who protects her from other hell bards. The Emperor of Cartorra wants to marry her and it is at a royal dance that she makes her disappearance ,

Iseult, her best friend and a thread witch , bail in different directions . Iseult returns to her home only to find it silently ruled by a purist. She and her mother are driven out. In the process she is grievously wounded. Safiya flees with Merrick to get to Lwjna. All the while pursued by a blood witch.

Plenty of intrigue in the thinning quite a few good plot turn, when I read this I could not put it down. It is young adult fiction and they do use the sh word. But other than that everything else is appropriate . I look forward to reading more from this author.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Sloppy Tour of the Bible

Return To MeccaReturn To Mecca by Dennis Avi Lipkin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the cover of the book is an image of the teffilin with a background of the Kaaba in Mecca. The Kabah is that black square stone that the Muslims circle around 7 times when they make their pilgrimage. The author argues that the teffilin are a replica of the kaabah and that at one time prior to the Israelites leaving Egypt it was a place of extreme spiritual importance. Being one who subscribes to the theory that when the Israelites were wandering the desert for forty years they were not wandering the Sinai Peninsula which was then under Egyptian control. Rather they were wandering around the Arabian Desert. To me it made sense. I mean after all Queen Helena from Rome said that what we call the Mount Sinai in Egypt is the real one based on the flimsiest of pretexts. Jabal El Lawz tends to make more sense. Several authors have written on this subject and their works are much better. In fact this one leaves a lot to be desired.

I was looking for more proof, ore information that would strengthen this thesis that teffilin are in fact a replica of Kaaba and that the Israelites in fact had dwelt in Arabia. While there was good information, most of the book seems to be a cut paste version of the bible onto the book. I already have bible. Don’t need it in this book. Avi Lipkin also has the outlook of a right wing Jews who wants to expand the borders of Israel. He also states that Islam is evil but Muslims are good. He figures if the world capture Mecca and Medina and deIslamifies the Arab world it will be blessing to the Arabs. He call Allah Satan. Sorry bit I am not looking for political tripe and Islam bashing.
Yet there was some good information. Going off the genealogy of Abraham he discusses the family ties between Ishmael, Midianites etc. Jethro was descended from the children of Abraham and Ketura. He was a priest of the Midianites. Avi Lipkin proposes that he made pilgrimages to Kaabah, which is in the collective memories of all the Children of Abraham. Midian could also be another name for Medina. Medina has other names like Yathrib (Sounds lie Yitr0) it is also called Menawarah (Similar to Menorah).
The Muslims circle the Kaabah 7 times while the Jews wrap the leather of the teffilin around their arm 7 times. The Itrureans lived in the Galilee were descended supposedly from the Kenites, ho ere Midianites. The box of teffilin was meant to guide he Jewish people out of Egypt.
One also gets a different historical background derived from other historians like Josephus and Manetho. Some of this jibes with the thesis but then it is interesting how Moses was a military leader who helped conquer Ethiopia and married an Ethiopian woman. Interesting alternative history.

I am going to give this book three stars. Much o I was cutting and pasting verses of the bible. He does have an agenda which is not needed if you are looking for facts. There is some good info out there that can be found elsewhere in better sources.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Condensed Sorcery

Condensed Chaos: An Introduction to Chaos MagicCondensed Chaos: An Introduction to Chaos Magic by Phil Hine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow this book was awesome. Short powerful and too the point. wish I had read this earlier in my quest. This book is pure magical technique. If you want to get started with magic this book is a great place to start. If it is piffy little spells you are looking for then this will not be what your looking for. Chaos magick is a very unique form of magick. . There are several paradigms of magic; Ceremonial, Wicca, Voodoo etc. Chaos is not exactly it's on paradigm yet it is a philosophy that let lets you paradigm hop so as to do the form of magic that is best suited for what your goal is. Belief is a tool and you can basically believe in a paradigm while you are working with it and when you are done you can sort of move on to another paradigm. Chaos magic is results oriented magic. If you do a working and it worked then you will have the physical results you were working for. Very real and down to earth. Chaos spurns the mentality that rejects the physical world over the spiritual . In a way physical is most important. Magic id done for results Becoming a magician does require commitment and drive. It is something that you have to want to do. One has to do magic at their level. Phil Hine crumbs on the magus's or people who think they are all that. He I against these inflated egos. Magic is meant to be fun and the value of laughter in dispelling negative magic is unspeakably powerful.

Other items covered in this book are how to make Chaos servitors, energy creation that do our bidding. It tells about ho o do it, the pitfall and how to do it safely. Ego magiick tells about dissolving the identity so a to make oneself more fluid flexible and able to take needed action. Our demons are those little buggers in our subconscious that act up as jealousy or anger. The book tells how to del with it and how to make use of it. The Shamanic path is discussed as well.

If you like magic then whatever you path this one is for you. Great technique which are easy to understand and easy to use. This is one book I will refer back to time and again.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Manson the Cult Leader

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles MansonManson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The murders of Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring foisted the infamously murderer, Charles Manson into the spotlight. There was more to Charlie Manson then being a serial killer and it ain't all that good. His mother, Kathleen Maddox, was raised in a very strict Christian Environment and she used to rebel.. One act of rebellion was to slip into bars for illicit romance. The result of such an affair with Col. Scott was the birth of Charlie, of course this man never knew Charlie. She later married a guy with the last name of Manson. The name stuck. She herself went through a multitude of guys and ended up serving several terms in prison .

Charlie's childhood was about moving around from one relatives house to another. Usually his bizarre behaviors would become too much for his relatives to bear. He also ended up in a multitude of juvenile detention centers. It was while he was in prison that Charlie picked up a love of Scientology and Dale Carnegie's "How to Make Friends and Influence People". He would use these tactics to start his own cult.

From prisons and Juvenile detention centers, Manson made his way west to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles. It was in San Francisco that Manson made a home and started recruiting members for his family . He would later to move to Los Angeles. The family lived on two ranches . Spahn Ranch in Los Angeles and Barker Ranch out in Death Valley. Manson and the family made their way by mooching off people and having his girls dig through trash cans.

The family episode would close with the family being caught and found guilty of multiple murders. Charlie spent his time behind bars and is still there. Many of his followers after being rehabilitated went on to different things.

The book is great in that not only does it give a good biography of Manson but it tells how charismatic a he could be when he wanted. Manson was a master manipulator . He had th girls in the family under his complete control. He made his girls look fore food. He proatitutd them and he dealt him drugs. His cult was based a on a.coming race war. The book did a bang em up job of describing the environment of the sixties both for Los Angeles and. San Francisco . If serial killer or the sixties are your ing I ink you will enjoy this book.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Healing the World with the Goddess

Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages & Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation ThealogyGoddess Calling: Inspirational Messages & Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy by Karen Tate
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every once in a while there comes along a goddess book that is seriously worthwhile reading. This book is one of them. Once I got started I was able to complete it in a couple of days. The book was well written, organized and easy to comprehend.. The book is divided into three parts. The first part of the book is about politics and changing the world, the second part is meditations and finally there is further resources for the reader to delve into.
Dr. Tate's message for politics is that it needs to become more goddess centered and incorporating those values the Goddess holds dear. Now Dr. Tate subscribes to the opinion that at one time the world was matriarchal and was a much better place to live in. This has been sort o proven inaccurate but it was more balanced. Our future is bleak when it comes to politics and we are heading for a train wreck. One way to change the future is to change the past or at least the memories of the past. The politics of the Goddess are simple. We need to look after each other and share the wealth. We need to take care of our environment because thing are going bad. The WASP mal dominated world we live in promotes bullying and racism and a host of other ills. I am not much o goddess person but after reading her essays I cannot help but agree we need a new direction and we are very male centered much to our detriment..
The second section is composed of mediations. They are simple an easy to follow. If you want you can read them into a recorder and play it back while you meditate. The mediation work with Sekkment, Artemis, Aphrodite, Minerva an several others. Many take place in a cave or in other natural environments. Some of them focus on prosperity, others on letting go the negative and improving ourselves and the world or the future.
The working are simple and easy to do. No elaborate ritual preparation. You just meditate. Thing are safe also. No drawing blood or working it your dark side here, everything basks in the light. The focus is on healing humanity and the world. Maybe what some people want while others ay strive for different focuses.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

The End of Prophecy

Warheart (Sword of Truth, #15; Richard and Kahlan, #4)Warheart by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book concludes the Richard and Kahlan series . Thank the gods as it was going on and on. While certain books n the sword of truth series became redundant and repetitive , this last trilogy seems to have avoided those pitfalls. Starting off with Richard in the world of the dead, Kahlan and company journey to a Wichita named Red. Traveling through a perilous country on the look out for half people, they meet the witch who tells them how to release Richards spirit from the realm of the dead . It takes great sacrifice to bring him back, the death of someone who loves him. Getting Richard back from the dead will not make the problems with Saluchan and zhannis Arc go away. Richard still has the poison on him. It is a race against time to defeat his foes and to save himself .

Richard is the one who will end prophecy . Prophecy comes from the world of the dead. The Omen Machine or the Regulais what brought prophecy to the world in the first place. Richard must put it back in the world of the dead. Once accomplished free will reign, life affirming . Saluchan and zhannis Arc wish to erase the barrier between the living and the dead

Those who enjoyed the earlier books should find enjoyment in this final tome. Will Richard defeat his foes? Will he even survive? His foes are powerful and relentless . The poison is killing Richard , blocking his ability to use his gift.

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Waking Up Jewish

Suddenly Jewish: Jews Raised as Gentiles Discover Their Jewish RootsSuddenly Jewish: Jews Raised as Gentiles Discover Their Jewish Roots by Barbara Kessel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Suddenly Jewish

Madeline Albright brought this issue into focus when she announced and figured out that she was not really the Cheistian she was raised to be but rather someone with Jewish roots. Many a so called Gentiles have grown up in the non Jewish world have an unexplainable pull towards things that are Jewish. Thes people ,aye drawn to Judaism, have Jewish friend or just plain be drawn to Jewish environments. The discovery that they have Jewish blood coursing through their vein can say me times come as a major shock or as an aha kind of moment that explains things. These hidden Jews are present in Converso or Anusim communities, hidden children, holocaust survivors and adoptees.

In 1492 Spain issued an edict commanding all Jews to flee, die or convert to Catholicism. Even after the Jews converted them were still persecuted. Many perished rather than convert, while others fled. Many who on the heels of Columbus to America were conversos or Anusim. Outwardly they were Catholic but secretly they were Jews. I vent with their Catholic ruse the inquisition was hot on their heels. To maintain their ruse they would become member of the clergy, publicly eat pork. Inside their house they would Light Shabbat candles, sweep the floor a certain way, even maintain underground synagogues. They tried to maintain the practice of marrying among themselves.

The next group is the hidden Jews. Abraham Foxman , director of the ADL, was one such child that fully illustrates this concept. To ensure his survival during the holocaust his parent gave him to a nanny. For the first five years of his life he was raised catholic l. After the Holocaust was over the parent tried to retrieve him but by that point the nanny had become attached to him and would not let him go. The parents got him back but it was several years before he shed all his Catholic practices. There are many like him who grew up unaware of the year their Jewish heritage.

Others are children of Holocaust survivors, who upon arriving from the blood stained sands of Europe drooped all ties to their former religion. Why suffer persecution again? Why subject your children to such stigma? Many nominally converted to other religions, some actively became even atheists. The children are often times upset becaus they may have swallowed some antisemitic beliefs. Other kind of always knew it sometimes there is resentment for having their Judaism kept hidden away from them and many times it will provoke a quest into the realm of Jewish thought and life.

The adoptees are the final category. There is the story of someone who grew up with a staunch Mormon background. This individual knew they were different because of their dark complexion. This discovery would later fuel a quest to explore the Judaic world. Another young woman was adopted into a conservative Jewish family. Her real parents were a Palestinians father and an Irish mother. Reuniting caused friction to be sure and it propelled her to immerse herself more deeply into the Palestinian world.

The book is short yet it covers lots of ground. Mostly comprised of interviews and so subjects relating their story. Very enjoyable and very informative. Wish there were more like it.

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Wild Wyoming

Wild Horse Country in WyomingWild Horse Country in Wyoming by Jack Price
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the 1930's South Dakota was a dust bowl. There was no rain, crops were failing and there were dust storms that choked on everything that tried to breathe. So Jack Price's father decided to move the family out to Wyoming. The state of Wyoming was still a pioneer state in many ways. True cars were used to a small extent but people still travelled about on horses and mules. Schools were one room contraptions with sometime funny episodes going down. Looking by the Teton Mountsins near Rock Port, there was work in coal mining, and ranching. Wyoming was and is still filled with colorful characters. Wild hors s could be could in the desert.

Stuttering Dick was one guy who when he got older, would travel from ranch to ranch to stay for a few days. He could not do much work but he was entertaining to listen to. He never overstayed his welcome. One day during a blizzard he was caught in the snowfall and froze to death. Some school tales involve a very strict teacher who enjoyed smoking. He went to the outhouse for a smoke and the kids would turn it over or block the door. They sure taught that teacher a lesson. Some of the characters were horses themselves.. One hors was a former race hors called L. He escaped Kentucky and ended up with the horses on a ranch. One of th best horses. Another horse was half and half. They could never catch him but he always ran free and although other horses he was herding with did caught. The famous half and half never got caught.

Wyoming my the horses ran free and wild on the plain. People would herd sheep and horses out on the desert plain. The herders had shelter set up for them to live in. People would capture wild horses and tame them out in the corrals. Eventually the family moved back to South Dakota. Jack and the other 8 brothers would go off and fight in different wars. One of them died fighting in world war 2. His mother died in Wyooming. The father almost died from coal mines. Either way Wyoming makes a lasting impact and stays in your memory. It is a place close to nature.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dark Divinity

Unholy Goddesses of the Dark SideUnholy Goddesses of the Dark Side by Daemon Barzai
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dark Goddesses

Well if working with the Dark feminine is your thing then this book is for you. I found the book to be easy to read and comprehend. The book does not go into an in depth history and the rituals are easy to follow. Simplicity is something that I rather like. Since the rituals are easy to follow this book is for those who want a direct experience with the Goddesses.
The goddesses come from all the different pantheons. Naamah and Lilith from the Judeo Christian tradition. Dismay and Ereskkigal from the Mesopotamian traditions. There is Kali from the Hindu tradition, along with Qualitu who is a newly emerged Goddess who is either descended from Lilith or an aspect of mask of her. There is also a female deity from Lovecraft lore, Shub Niggurath. We cannot forget that Hecate and Venus are included as well. I apologize to any goddess i forgot to mention.
The format for the book is simple. First the author Damon Barzai , give over some history and things to know about the Goddess. There are roughly three working for each goddess. First is an invocation to the Goddess then an evocation and then a meditation.. The rituals and working can be modified to meet the need. I like to combine evocation with meditation.
The energies these goddesses contain are extremely powerful. The energies are connected with the Eros and the thanatos. The magician must have inner strength and self control to work with these deities.. Many of the working call for black and red candles, dragon blood incense and as a recommends a use of your blood. If you are squeamish then only one of the deities requires bloid. Be wary these deities can be vampiric.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Travels within the Soul of the Goddess

Savage Breast: One Man's Search for the GoddessSavage Breast: One Man's Search for the Goddess by Tim Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Savage Breast is not about a set of breasts on a savage woman, rather it is about ne man’s explorations into the realms of the Goddess. In my eyes it is a three pronged journey. The first prong which is readily distinguishable is about a visiting different sites around the world dedicated to this goddess or that Goddess. The second prong is a journey into the anima of man and how the male anima, or female part of the psyche is stunted. The third prong is a journey into the author’s mind in order for him to confront this own personal issues.

Dealing with the inner issues, the author readily explains his own issues with women. In my mind it seems as though he has a love hate relation with them and he consistently berates himself for seeing them only as sex objects. In the books beginning he can never form satisfactory relationship with a woman. AS a result he ends up having numerous one night stands to fil that ever growing hunger with in. Men seem to see women as mothers or lovers or limit them to certain roles. Men have made women subservient, they have clipped t females wings and limited her power and in doing so have limited themselves in the process and cut their own wings.
While our spirituality would benefit from being more inclusive of the feminine and allowing more room for spiritual leader, I find all this male self-criticism to be a bit problematic. I am not sure if dissing patriarchy is the way to go. Sure we defiantly need more equality, but putting one down over the other is not the answer. Being totally honest I feel that man and women of modern times are spiritually immature and under developed. As an observer of this time frame I find that women can veer towards materialism, manipulation and less than forthright communication. Men suffer from using women for carnal purposes and can be quite rough.

Perhaps my favorite part was about Athena. She may have had her origin on some other Greek isle an she may be a newer version of an older goddess. In a way she is Zeus’s first born with his wife Methis. Like Cronus before him, he swallows his offspring. Athena is born from a headache and in the original version she is sprouting angel wings. The eternal battle hardened virgin, she is a model for many women who have defeminized themselves to make it in man’s world. Of course some of this is understandable because the game is patriarchal, rules written by men t lay many game in a manly sort of way. Tim Ward, the author, always tries to impress this kind of woman an finds himself coming up short. Yet you also learn that women tend to get along better with men than they do other women. As a co-worker of mine states “Women attack other women, they do not go after men” there is a competition between them and when women communicate they’re constantly trying to probe each other mind to find out what they’re thinking.
Tim’s journey leads him to a fruitful relationship after years of research, traveling and hard work. Along the way shrines to goddesses like Gai, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hecate and several Central European goddesses are discussed and visited. They are part of the anima and dwell in each man and in each woman. The Goddesses are part of the soul.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pre-Islamic History of Arabia

Arabia and the ArabsArabia and the Arabs by Robert G. Hoyland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Arabia and the Arabs

THe period before the Arabian Peninsula adopted Islam is called jahaliya or the age of ignorance. Not much was known before modern archaeologist were able to unearth remnants of those earlier civilizations . THe revealed truths i9s that these civilizations were quite advanced. The societies were not all Arab either. THere were several kingdoms, each with it's own language and culture. It was not until right before that the denizens of Arabia were called Arabs. You see on the South West side of Arabia you had the Sabeans and the Himyarites , just to name a few. On the North Eastern side you had Dimun and a few others. The Arabs were thought to be nomads who roamed the desert with their livestock.

Many of these small kingdoms often times allied themselves with larger empires Botha for political benefit and for material benefit. Empire that the kingdoms allied with were Egyptioans, Mesopotamians, Persians etc. Of times the kingdoms would fight against the nomad Arabs. Their main trade was frankincense which the trade routes connecting to all the empires. THeir religion was simple. They had a plethora of gods and an altar, they would slaughter an animal and shed its blood on the altar. Usually they were asking for something. THeir poems extolled virtues like hospitality and bravery. The weapon they used were spear, arrows and bows. Later they would have leather shields. The book covers every aspect of ARabian life.

It is believed that the breaking of the Maarib damn caused the ARabians to migrate further north. THey would later become the Lakhmids and the Ghassanids. They would adopt lifestyles of the major empires both with intent of integrating but also conquest for their fellow brethren . For any ones interested in ARabian history this book is a must read.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

The Ghosts of Illinois

Ghosts of the Prairie: History & Hauntings of Central IllinoisGhosts of the Prairie: History & Hauntings of Central Illinois by Troy Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I downloaded this book expecting it to be real heavy on narratives of peopke encountering ghosts or experience of people coming to haunted pkaces. what i got instead was an exhaustive history about various places in Illinois. The author gives the reader an extensive history of a certain place ,even the history of the ghost who might be there. It is light on the ghost experience. At the end of the section the reader is informed that people report seeing an apparition that gives them the chills and then goes away. There is the usual drop in temperature, along with people being touched mysteriously along with items being moved without explanation. I found this book to be more of a history book than a ghost book. i am not complaining. i like reading history and i learnec a lot about the history of Illinois. History is cool and many ghost books would benefit by including the history if various places. Illinois was named after the illinkwet Indians. Many European settlers traipsed through Illinois en route to the west. most who came to settle in Illinois were miners looking for gold. The Mormon came through as well but were driven on to Utah after one of their leaders was killed there. Illinois was known for crime and there is,a lot of crime there on many levels. Everything from bandits and highway robber on through to the mafia and corrupt politicians. Law and order was so scarce out there that vigilante gangs used to catch and hang criminals.a group called the regulators was set up to stop these bandits. Lincolns history out there is extensive as well. The book documents his beginning all the way through to hus assassination and beyond. After he was assasinated his train took his body on a tour so people could wish their president good bye. It is said that a long that route there is a ghost train that goes through even though the teacks are gone. Once Lincoln was buried there were attempts ro steal his body, so a secret society was established to protect his body. The biok not only covers politics and mines, but also hotels, theaters, schools and sanitariums. There are cases if victims being unable to move on, possession and ghosts that just enjoy their place. The book is long and like i said heavy on The history, low on the paranormal.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rise of the Mchanical Monsters

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Clockwork Angel

The story starts off with a demon that is murdering young women. That demon is soon deposed by two brave shadow hunters. Something foul is a foot in Victorian London. Tessa , a young girl from New York, come to London at the behest of her brother. Little does she know what is in store for her. As soon as she steps foot on British soil she is whisked away by the Dark Sisters. Trapped by two evil sisters she is taught to use a new ability she never thought she even had. Shape shifting . She makes several attempts to escape but they all end in failure. The sister are training her for the magister. If she tries to escape her brother will experience harm. It is William Herrondale that rescues her.

Once at the institute Tessa learns her identity, why she was born and some horrifying new secrets. Together her and the clave join forces to rescue her brother and take down the magister. On the way to their adventure they use Tessa's shape shifting ability to infiltrate a vampire coven. They wipe it out. During their quest to find the magister both the clave and Tessa will experience betrayal and shock. Alliances will be broken and new friendships will be forged. The magister is mustering a threat against the clave that magic and sorcery cannot over come. It is a threat that is made of neither heaven or earth. This is not the zombie apocalypse but something close something kind of futuristic. The sanctuary will be attacked and yes the magister will survive for another round.

Lots of teen bonding in this one as young warriors not only fight off vampires, demons and other baddies but also their inner issues. Some have issues with their parents while some have lost their parents . Jem lost his parents to a demon that injects him with a poison that keeps him addicted to demon blood. He needs it like a drug to live. Jem also strikes up an interesting friendship with Tessa, who although undefined is considered a downworlder. This enters a taboo field of triangulation and forbidden love. Much to enjoy here for the young reader.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Literary History of Trolls

Trolls: An Unnatural HistoryTrolls: An Unnatural History by John Lindow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Never before have I seen a book on the history of trolls, but here you finally have it. Trolls are part of the Scandinavian landscape and people seriously believe in them. Tell someone you saw a troll and not only will they not think you are nuts but they will believe you. Of course if your in the cultural milieu tricks of the eye can be interpreted as seeing a mystical creature like a troll. First mentioned in Norwegian -Vikiung Poetry a brave warrior runs into a female troll. Troll have a connection with magic in fact they can even be shape shifters. Trolls will teach people verses and songs but you better remember what they teach you or it could be fatal. Trolls are sometimes conflated with Giants or the Jotunheim. They are also thought t be formerly dead people who wise from the dead. People can be turned into trolls or trolls can shapeshift. They are not to bright.

The author covers trolls all the way through the Earliest trolls going through the Genre of Medieval trolls, folk lore trolls, fairy tale trolls, trolls in literature all the way to the present marketing schemes too sell troll dolls to children. As time progresses the trolls can become bigger and more unbelievable . THey have magic and sometimes witches use them for magical purposes. AS time rolls on the trolls become more benevolent and much cuter. They are not always giant monster , sometimes they are rather diminutive . In their earlier carnation they were portrayed as being quite harmful to people, but as the newer stories come it they become less and less harmful. They get to the point of being helpful too people if the people help them.
In the stories Trolls are depicted as eating people and other animals.

Trolls are definitely members of the fey community, sometimes it is hard t distinguish them from elves and dwarves cause al fairy species were deemed harmful to humans and names of fey species were turned around quite a bit. Somethings about Trolls cannot be attributed to other fey species. OF course trolls are conflated with dragon and the trolls can have multiple heads. When the sun comes up they either explode or turn to stone . Troll legends borrow from Greek mythology. You wil have strikes of where three trolls share the same eye. Much. The three fates from Greek mythology.

In various literatures Trolls are sometimes conflated with witches but mire often than not they are conflated with noon Christian people. Some literature call certain people trolls. Now a days the terms troll refers too different things, like someone who disrupts a group on the Internet and causes problem. Trolls can also be those cute little dolls. The trolls of old evoked fear much like the raggedy homeless person who lives under a bridge, is totally unkempt and may frighten animals and children. The troll has not gone away but it has evolved.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Toughen up Spartan Style

Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in LifeSpartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life by Joe De Sena
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mixed Martial arts is the fastest growing sport and right after that are obstacle course marathon’s that test the competitor in a variety of way. This book is about a certain type of obstacle race that is both grueling yet meant to be a vehicle for personal growth. I effect if serves to toughen one up and yet gives more.
The Spartan race is much like obstacle race and yet somewhat more. The competitors will slog thorough waist deep mud, go through ice cold water, crawl under barbed wire and scale a 12 foot wall that is covered with grease. Competitors are left out in the wilderness to find their way back. It developed of the “Death Race” which was far more intense and sometimes life threatening. The Spartan Race is not as dangerous but it is still tough. No less people come to these events in droves.
What drives people to do these somewhat beyond insane races? One is that going through something so tough gives one a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Your confidence level goes up so much that anything after the Spartan Race seems easy. It forces you out of your comfort zone. The commitment forces you to train and you are not the same person you were after you cross the finish line.

Spartan Races go beyond just a group of people running an intensely challenging race. They have become a community, a community based on the warrior ideals of Sparta. The competitors goes against each other yet they help each other out. Even while people help each other it also fosters a sense of independence. The Spartan were a warrior society that took the hard way out. The youth were removed from the home at 6 or 7 and then sent to live in the wilderness on their own. It was either sink or swim. It was a rite of passage.

Spartans do not take eth easy way out in fact they go for the most stringent way. There are no shortcut on this path. It is al hard work to make you the best you can be. The author has lots to say in this book that could make your life better even if you do not ever wish to enter a Spartan Race. The author talks about exercise and diet, the two most important medicines to keep you well .He criticizes the alienation of modern kids to nature and slams down the helicopter parents who are so overprotective of their children. They need to toughen up and be ready for the outdoor world. He has a critical view of technology our over reliance on it. Most important of all is development of grit or determination to persevere despite the difficulty and in a nutshell that is hat people need to obtain. You will like this book as it is not a feel good New Agey book.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ghost Town of the Mountain West

Ghost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, MontGhost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Mont by Philip Varney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Author, Philip Varney, has written like 7 books on Ghost Towns. This book represent kind of like the best of the ghost towns. The guide covers the best ghost towns in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada. The ghost town are in various state of repair, some are completely abandoned while some are partially inhabited. Believe it or not some are being regentfrified and rein habited. Other are converted to tourist attracting to bring in money, The author has divided the ghost towns up by state . The author gives a history of the town which includes how it is founded and it’s life over the time and it’s ultimate demise. After the history then you get the low down on what is there for the tourists to see. Finally there are directions on how to get there. Many of these towns have colorful history.

Exploration in the west started after the US purchased the land from France and the Lewis and Clark expedition mapped out the territory. Many people came out looking for silver and gold. The miner’s would come out and settle towns around the mining industry. Once the mines went dry of gold and silver dried up the town’s population would dwindle until it was nothing or almost nothing. The building would fall into various states of disrepair. Things would get worse because vandals would take things or destroy things for whatever reason. These historical landmarks have to be preserved.

The miner and settler faced hostile Native American, sickness and plague. It was definitely the Wild Wild West. I read this book in two days. If checking out ghost towns is your thing then this book is for you. Filled with plenty of color photographs this book makes for a good coffee table book. With the information of history this book is great if you just want to read up on the history of ghost towns then this book is it , even if you do not want to visit a ghost town. Of course after reading this book you will want to visit a ghost town

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