All posts by Gesigewigu's

About Gesigewigu's

Ges is a Buddhist Ceremonial Magickian living in Toronto. Ges recently finished attending university for multiple degrees in fields of study including history and English, and is now hiding in the corporate world.

The Secrets of Tantric Buddhism, by Thomas Cleary

By | Leave a comment

The Secrets of Tantric Buddhism, by Thomas ClearyThe Secrets of Tantric Buddhism, by Thomas ClearyThe Secrets of Tantric Buddhism: Understanding the Ecstasy of Enlightenment, by Thomas Cleary Weiser Books, 9781578635689, 226 pp., 1998, 2014The Secrets of Tantric Buddhism is collection of 46 writings from more than 20 prominent siddhis within the Carya-Gira from the 10th century, translated by Thomas Cleary. The mystic poets discuss the nature of reality, the processes of the self, and the path to enlightenment, often framed as the relationship between the practitioner, and a beloved partner (representing at different times reality, self, or enlightenment). These writings are a form of mystic poetry, not surprisingly very reminiscent of the Bhakti devotional mystical poetry from Bengal.Cleary does a great job with translating the poetry, always a more difficult text than translating prose, especially when the poetry is focused towards an abstract mystical understanding. Each section contains the poem as a whole, and then over the course of the next few pages it is pulled apart and built upon a few lines at a time. While the book comes with an introduction, I wish Cleary had spent more time explaining who the poets were, as well as his process of translation. Read More

Liber Nox, by Michael Howard

By | Leave a comment

Liber Nox, by Michael HowardLiber Nox, by Michael HowardLiber Nox: A Traditional Witch's Gramarye, by Michael Howard Skylight Press, 9781908011855, 217 pp., 2014Liber Nox is subtitled "A Traditional Witch’s Gramarye" in order to distinguish it from various forms of Wicca and contemporary Paganism, and to emphasize that it’s not in those traditions, but dealing with something older.The book covers what one might expect from a basic text of witchcraft: the deities, the tools, initiation, circle casting, and the Wheel of the Year. In this regard it’s a good book, and if you need another guide to the Wheel of the Year and the mythology and rituals behind it, or the tools of the craft, then Liber Nox can get you started. Read More

Jesus the Magician, by Morton Smith

By | Leave a comment

Jesus ChristJesus the Magician, by Morton SmithJesus the Magician, by Morton Smith Hampton Roads Press, 97815747150, 309 pp., 1978, 2014The historical existence of Jesus has long been debated with varying degrees of bias on any side of the argument. The problem in the quest for the existence of Jesus is not so much if he existed, but who and what he was if he did live: sorcerer, fraud, divinity in flesh, healer, prophet? Unfortunately the sources we have detailing his life are almost exclusively Christian, making harder to sort out the real man due to the fact that Christian sources would want to push a certain image of Jesus, so things might be shifted, added, or deleted from his life.This is where Morton Smith comes in with this classic book reprinted after more than 35 years, for he attempts to analyze the Biblical and Christian sources, as well as the few non-Christian sources in order to parse out who Jesus was, and how he was understood at the time. Read More

The Angel and the Abyss, by J. Daniel Gunther

By | Leave a comment

The Angel and the Abyss, by J Daniel GuntherThe Angel and the Abyss, by J Daniel GuntherThe Angel and the Abyss: The Inward Journey, Books II and III, by J. Daniel Gunther Ibis Press, 9780892542116, 399 pp., 2014In 2009 J. Daniel Gunther published Initiation in the Aeon of the Child, Book I of his Inward Journey series, and it was a great book. (Ed note: See Ges' earlier review of Initiation in the Aeon of the Child.) Now five years later he releases The Angel and the Abyss, Book II and III of the series, and a more than worthy successor to the original. Read More

The Inner Light, by P.T. Mistlberger

By | 1 comment

The Inner Light, by P T MistlbergerThe Inner Light, by P T MistlbergerThe Inner Light: Self-Realization via the Western Esoteric Tradition, by P.T. Mistlberger Axis Mundi Books, 9781846946103, 585 pp., 2013The Inner Light is a book geared around self-realization in the Western magical system. It seeks to help the reader find and understand the path to one's self, how to peel away the layers of falsity to find their core.As a reader, it is sometimes hard to tell if a book is right for me, so I’m happy to see when the author discuss whom the book is written for. Mistlberger describes the text as being for “spiritual seekers who desire some historical rigour and background theory,” as well as “academics or intellectually oriented students of the esoteric paths who desire to undertake some practical ‘inner work,’“ in addition to “the curious general reader,” and lastly the “serious student of inner work.” So this book is for occultists and non-occultists, as well as beginners and seasoned practitioners, and people interested in history and theory and people interested in practical work. Needless to say I wasn’t reassured by the sweeping claim of the book being for everyone literate, but that’s just the intro and authors need to sell their books, so let’s look deeper at The Inner Light and see who it is really for. Read More

The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, by Nyanaponika Thera

By | Leave a comment

The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, by Nyanaponika TheraThe Heart of Buddhist Meditation, by Nyanaponika TheraThe Heart of Buddhist Meditation: The Buddha's Way of Mindfulness, by Nyanaponika Thera Weiser Books, 9781578635580, 257 pp., 1954, 2014
This book is issued in the deep conviction that the systematic cultivation of Right Mindfulness, as taught by the Buddha in his Discourse on Satipatthana, still provides the most simple and direct, the most thorough and effective, method for training and developing the mind for its daily tasks and problems as well as for its highest aim: mind’s own unshakable deliverance from Greed, Hatred and Delusion.
The Heart of Buddhist Meditation is a classic of Western Buddhism from the '50s, which Weiser has just republished on its 50th anniversary. It’s one of the first serious books on Vipassana meditation written for a Western audience. “This is the book that started it all -- the book that, with great clarity and ardour, introduced Vipassana and mindfulness to the West.," says Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness for Beginners. Read More

Page 1 of 912345...Last »