Tag: inner traditions

Christian Mythology, by Philippe Walter

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Christian Mythology, by Philippe WalterChristian Mythology, by Philippe WalterChristian Mythology: Revelations of Pagan Origins, by Philippe Walter Inner Traditions, 9781620553688, 213 pp., 2003, 2014We all know the story: as Christianity moved into Europe it absorbed and transformed elements from Paganism to help convert the population. Pope Gregory told Saint Augustine not to destroy Pagan temples, but to exorcise and bless them, not to ban festivals but “let some other solemnity be substituted in its place, such as a day of dedication or the festivals of the holy martyrs whose relics are enshrined [in the converted temples].” The idea was that by adopting Pagan places and festival dates it would be easier to convert people through familiarity.In Christian Mythology: Revelations of Pagan Origins, the question Philippe Walter raises is this: how much of Christian mythology and celebration is a carry-over from a pre-Christian Pagan Europe? Walter is a professor of medieval French literature, so he is very well-read in the literature and folk tales of the times, which he believes preserve the Pagan elements before they were completely lost into Christianity. Read More

Awakening Higher Consciousness, by Dickie

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Awakening Higher Consciousness, by Lloyd M. Dickie and Paul R. BoudreauAwakening Higher Consciousness, by Lloyd M. Dickie and Paul R. Boudreau Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer, by Lloyd M. Dickie and Paul R. Boudreau Inner Traditions, 978-1-62055-394-7, 246 pp. (incl. appendices, notes, bibliography, and index), 2015The ideas expressed in Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer are paradoxically both simple and multi-layered. It may sound strange, but when I started reading the book, my experience was of peeling back the layers of the proverbial onion, but without the tears!Lloyd M. Dickie and Paul R. Boudreau -- both of whom have backgrounds in ecology, biology and a deep interest in Egyptology -- have produced a highly readable book for those seeking to unlock their highest potential through myth and its symbolism. To that end, they explore the myths of several ancient cultures, with Akkad, Egypt, and Sumer being the main focus of their studies. The authors express quite complex and esoteric ideas in language that is accessible to the non-specialist. Dickie and Boudreau’s passion for their subject matter comes through quite plainly. They are academics, but I also suspect they are sincere seekers after illumination and truth. As the subject matter has been a lifelong interest of mine, I approached Awakening Higher Consciousness with a sense of excitement and curiosity. This is a book that needs to be read through once and then again to assimilate the symbols within your psyche. What the conscious mind appears not to take in, the subconscious mind will readily embrace. Read More

Manual of Psychomagic, by Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Alejandro JodorowskyManual of Psychomagic, by Alejandro JodorowskyManual of Psychomagic: The Practice of Shamanic Psychotherapy, by Alejandro Jodorowsky, translated by Rachael LaValley Inner Traditions, 978-1-62055-107-3, 243 pp. (incl. appendix and index) 2009, 2015In essence a self-help spellbook, Alejandro Jodorowsky begins Manual of Psychomagic with a brief introduction outlining his perspective. He believes that many of an individual’s problems (including physical ailments such as psoriasis, cancer, and infectious disease) stem from the effects of misguided parental actions and sociocultural restrictions on one’s unconscious. To allow one’s unconscious to release the tension it holds one must undertake a dramatic ritual. Through the ritual’s performance and the symbolic fulfillment of desires or release of bonds, the unconscious will be satisfied and one’s problems will dissipate.Jodorowsky’s method is as follows: he uses the tarot to discover and diagnose a consultant’s issue and then prescribes them an act to undertake. He states explicitly that psychomagic is not in fact magick, but acts directly on the individual’s psyche. Unfortunately Manual of Psychomagic suffers from a number of endemic flaws -- including one piece of critically misguided advice. Read More

Magia Sexualis, by Paschal Beverly Randolph

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Magia Sexualis, by Paschal Beverly Randolph and Maria de NaglowskaMagia Sexualis, by Paschal Beverly Randolph and Maria de NaglowskaMagia Sexualis: Sexual Practices for Magical Power, by Paschal Beverly Randolph and Maria de Naglowska, translated by Donald Traxler Inner Traditions, 9781594774188, 174 pp. (incl. notes, bibliography, and index), 2012Paschal Beverly Randolph's Magia Sexualis has often been called the most influential book about sex magick ever written. It survives through Maria de Naglowska's French translation and adaptation in an edition of 1,007 copies published more than 50 years after Randolph's death.Pashal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875) was an African American doctor, and the occultist who introduced sex magick to North America. He began his studies with the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, and went on to author several books, founded the Brotherhood of Eulis, became a Rosicrucian, and was a rival of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The Brotherhood of Eluis was an initiating group, which sought to examine "occult data in the light of contemporary science." Read More

The Sacred Rite of Magical Love, by Maria de Naglowska

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The Sacred Rite of Magical Love, by Maria de NaglowskaThe Sacred Rite of Magical Love, by Maria de NaglowskaThe Sacred Rite of Magical Love: A Ceremony of Word and Flesh, by Maria de Naglowska Inner Traditions, 9781594774171, 122 pp. (incl. appendices, notes, bibliography, and index), 2012Maria de Naglowska was a Russian-born writer, translator, and journalist living in Paris in the 1930s, and this is the third volume in the series of Naglowska's books Donald Traxler has translated.Unlike the first two books, The Light of Sex and Advanced Sex Magic, The Sacred Rite of Magical Love is an allegorical novella, possibly incorporating autobiographical elements. It was first published under a pseudonym, Xenia Norval, and serialized in her street newspaper La Fleche, organe d'action magique, from 1930-1931, and later rereleased as a supplement in the journal in 1932 under her real name. Read More

The Path to the Guru, by Scott Teitsworth

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The Path to the Guru, by Scott TeitsworthThe Path to the Guru, by Scott TeitsworthThe 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), 2014In 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. Read More

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