Feeling down? How ’bout a big hug?
In the tarot, the Death card means many things to many people. Barbara Moore has noticed a shift in her understanding of the card.
When the chips are down we all need a little bit of luck. An incantation is a deceptively simple spell designed to come into effect when read aloud. They are dramatic and powerful; ideal when you need to change your fortunes. Through experimentation I have developed a system for writing effective incantations. Writing an incantation is very much like writing a song or poem. All three arrange words to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Continue reading
Gnostic Healing: Revealing the Hidden Power of God, by Tau Malachi and Siobhan Houston.
Llewellyn, 9780738719832, 178 pp. (incl. appendices), 2010
Most of us are familiar with systems of energy healing such as Reiki, or magickal healing of various traditions, but is there a parallel in Christianity? That’s what Gnostic Healing sets out to teach and explore. Over all I was impressed by this book and the teachings, but several parts of the book left me annoyed. I’ll voice several of my complaints before moving into why I enjoyed this book.
“The Sophian lineage has been, up until the last few years, a wholly oral tradition, which probably had its origins around the seventeenth century as part of the ‘Rosicrucian Enlightenment.’” Nowhere in the introduction or the rest of text do the authors offer any proof for what to me is a rather incredulous claim of an unknown oral lineage of spiritual healers surviving for a few hundred years under the radar, and we’ll see later why this is even more unlikely. Personally I think the content of the book is good enough that it doesn’t need a mythic history to give it credibility. Continue reading
The religions of Japan are among the least understood by members of Western society. This happens for a number of reasons, most prominently because they are so much an organic part of the culture that even many Japanese don’t give them much thought. In fact, one often hears Japanese say that they are not religious, even as they are participating in some festival, or entering/leaving a shrine. The religions are simply a part of daily life, and thus not considered a separate religious aspect.
Generally, religion in Japan breaks down into one of two major types – Shinto or Buddhism – but that is as simplistic as saying religion in the West is either Christian or non-Christian; true to an an extent, but failing to capture the shear breadth of the religious experience. Each of the two groups has unique observances, yet commonalities exist. Continue reading
Planetary Spells & Rituals: Practicing Dark & Light Magick Aligned with the Cosmic Bodies, by Raven Digitalis.
Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738719719, 317 pp. (incl. appendices), 2010
While modern Paganism often revolves the cycles of year and the lunar calendar, most of the sky is often ignored. Raven Digitalis brings this into focus: the planets, the luminaries, and their importance in magick. He takes things beyond the Sun and the Moon and including the other important figures in our solar system (like Pluto!) and cultural mythology. Continue reading
Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Workby Isaac Bonewits
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738711993, 264 pp. 2007
One of the things I have always admired about Isaac Bonewits is his ability to make complex subjects comprehensible to the average person without “dumbing down” the topics. He takes the time to explain his terminology before beginning and then proceeds to explain his position and/or beliefs in 3easy to understand, logical steps. This is not to say that his ideas are simplistic; they most certainly are not; nor are they necessarily non-controversial, in fact they are almost always thought provoking, if not debate inspiring.
I will confess, here and now, that I haven’t read a lot of Isaac’s literary output (only Real Magic: An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic and The Pagan Man: Priests, Warriors, Hunters, and Drummers), but I have followed many of the debates his work has inspired, as well as being familiar with some of his work on the subject of Druidic research. I also had the pleasure of meeting him and attending a ritual he created many years ago at a Pagan gathering in the Midwest. I haven’t always agreed with him, but I have learned from him.
Isaac is sure to offend some readers Continue reading