Naga Magick: The Wisdom of the Serpent Lords, by Denny Sargent
Original Falcon Press, 978-1-935150-59-6, 216 pp. (incl. glossary, bibliography, and resources), 2014
Naga Magick is an interesting find on many levels. Denny Sargent has written an erudite and fascinating glimpse into a world at once mysterious and paradoxical.
Naga Magick began life as a research project which then blossomed into this book. As a practicing tantric and historian, Denny Sargent can speak with authority about these mysterious and powerful serpent entities who have been the object of veneration for millennia in India and other parts of Asia. Serpents as an archetype and reality arouse both fear and awe in humans, they haunt the depths of our subconscious and manifest in many areas of human culture; a relic, perhaps, of a primeval fear from our ancient past. Continue reading
The Path to the Guru: The Science of Self-Realisation According to the Bhagavad Gita, by Scott Teitsworth
Inner Traditions, 978-1-62055-321-3, 342 pp. (incl. prologue, introduction, epilogue, notes, bibliography, and index), 2014
In The Bhagavad Gita, guru Krishna employs a “secret dialectic” with his pupil Arjuna. “Teacher and taught begin as polar opposites in whom a kind of osmotic interchange takes place, each stimulating and edifying the other, until they become as one in realization.” The oppositional stance Teitsworth takes in The Path to the Guru seems intended to provoke the same kind of response in the reader.
It strikes me that this review is a commentary on a commentary on other commentaries about a story of a guru guiding a guru guiding a guru. I feel like the Hindu deity on the cover, waving a thousand arms in front of a mirror, my image refracting into reflection upon reflection — one of the more pleasant effects of reading Teitsworth’s dense and thought-provoking book. Continue reading
Creating the Soul Body: The Sacred Science of Immortality, by Robert E. Cox
Inner Traditions, 9781594772214, 263 pp., 2008
Creating the Soul Body is largely unlike what I expected from the synopsis and title, I expected it to focus on the Soul, and perhaps reincarnation, but instead it takes another route altogether. The immortality in the title refers not to a physical immortality or a spiritual immortality dependant on reincarnation, but a mental/spiritual immortality in the sense of Enlightenment and Oneness with everything, though this notion was largely cast aside in favour of the theories of the knowledge it reveals. This book was also not in the least on the practical side, but a book purely of theory and information, and that made for an interesting read.
This immortality is often expressed in terms of Continue reading
The Chaos Cookbook, edited by DJ Lawrence
Chaosmagic.com, 221 pp. (incl. bibliography), 2004
The Chaos Cookbook is a result of the combined effort of the Dead Chaoists’ Society, edited by its founder, Dead Jellyfish. It’s an interesting assortment of brief essays and ready-made group and solitary rituals for a variety of occasions.
Chaos magick theory is only briefly touched upon in a few short essays at the start of the book, as a brief introduction as to what is to come. Indeed, chaos magick itself is only ever loosely defined; Lawrence states that ‘…Chaos Magick does not use a concrete theoretical focus, the emphasis in Chaos Magick is on the Doing rather than the Explaining…Thus, in Chaos Magick a system of belief is a means to an end and is not an answer to the mystery of Life, the Universe and everything’. Continue reading