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review 2017-08-01 10:37
Original Magic
Original Magic: The Rituals and Initiations of the Persian Magi - Flowers, Stephen E., Ph.D.

by Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D

 

This book claims to reveal for the first time the origins of the study of magic, specifically Zoroastrianism. This origin comes from Ancient Persia, now Iran, the etymology given as Mazdan -> Magian -> Magician.

 

The author asserts that his intention is that Western students of magic will use this information as a basis to further explore their own methods, but with knowledge of a 4000 year old history that forms the basis of much of what has been filtered through many cultural influences over that time to develop into modern magic as we know it.

 

There are five chapters followed by seven appendices. The first chapter is entitled It's Time to Life the Ban and is about the basic training system for a Mazdan and the knowledge they are to accrue over a twelve month period. The chapter explains the significance of an initiatory path and defines terms for the purposes of the book, explaining the difference between magic and sorcery as well as various cultural terms. I really enjoyed reading about history of this culture from a philosophical perspective rather than a political one.

 

The second chapter goes into more detail about the history of Iranian magic. The ideas of Zarathustra (called Zoroaster by the Greeks) and the progression of religion all the way up to current Muslim prevalence in Iran is covered as well as the idea of magic as religion.

 

Chapter three is called Theories of Mazdan Magic. Here we go into cultural ideas of duality and cosmology that look rather a lot like the roots of Judeo-Christian religious structure and morality, but with Astrology providing a cosmological model. Then chapter four brings us to Initiation to Magic. The author emphasises the importance of initiation and lays out a twelve month process for accomplishing a self-initiation according to Mazdan practices. Here it is easy to see the basis for many systems of elaborate daily ritual using specific ritual equipment.

 

As a historical record, this is brilliant. The exercises themselves present a solid structure of discipline, but is culturally based in a basically monotheistic religion that is the basic for the Abrahamic religions. I can't imagine that Western practitioners would benefit much from reciting the formulae in the Avestan language. It's a strong academic work that would be of value in the reference library of anyone interested in the history and study of magic on a spiritual level.

 

The fifth chapter is on Rituals of Mazdan Magic. The author starts by stressing importance of using original languages for manthras and of both inside and outside environments for performing the rituals. These rituals are very ceremonial and steeped into the belief system of the Persian Mazdan.

 

After these chapters we have seven appendices. The first is a brief history of Eranshahr, which is basically cultural background for the beliefs and practices of what this book is about. In just a few pages, the author explains several hundred years of Middle Eastern peoples, migrations and empires in a straightforward narrative that I personally found fascinating, as someone who has an interest in history.

 

Appedix B is a pronunciation guide for the Avestan language, then Appendix C details the Three Major Avestan Manthras. Appendix D lists 101 names of God to be used in the manthras, then Appendix E explains basic Mazdan astrological lore. Appendix F is resources; addresses online to find further information.

 

The Appendices are followed by a glossary, notes, then a bibliography and reading list, and of course an index.

 

I found the book historically fascinating, though the belief system involved doesn't fit with my own beliefs. It is certainly well-researched and a gem of a historical record. A very interesting read.

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review 2017-05-07 20:20
Finding The Secret To True Happiness
Finding The Secret To True Happiness: [A Practical Guide To Finding Inner Peace And Harmony] - Alton E. Joseph Ph.D.
Source: hwww.createspace.com/7033854
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text 2017-05-07 07:35
I am going use this book for my 5th Roll
Teaching Christ's Children About Feeling Angry - Almar Denso,Corine Hyman Ph.D.

I did Roll on May 4th. Which is when I finished my book. I got an 11 (5+6) and landed on Tomorrow Land 34 - Buzz Lightyear Auto Blasters. I am to read a book with YA or Middle Grade or Read a book with a child or Children toys on the Cover.

 

My book has 2 children on it. I hope it will work.

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text 2017-04-28 06:16
Bow of Hart Saga by P.H. Solomon Blog Tour and Giveaway
 
The Bow of Destiny
The Bow of Hart Saga: Book 1
by P.H. Solomon
 
Genre: Epic Fantasy
 
 
Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.
 
Athson has seen things that aren't there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he's not sure it's real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what's worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but Athson isn't always sure what's real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.
 
 
 
 
Free Prequel short stories to The Bow of Hart Saga:
Trading Knives - Kobo, iBooks & Barnes & NobleSmashwords and on Amazon
 
 
 
Excerpt 1: An Arrow Against the Wind
Please note: this is copyrighted material and may not be reproduced except by permission.

The touch of a cold hand drew Limbreth out of the depths of slumber. Her watch already? But her eyes only fluttered open and shut. Hastra said nothing. That touch—it was far colder than the weather. It crept deep into her sluggish thoughts and along her spine.
Limbreth groaned and turned her head. Her eyes flared wide at the sight of a black hand. It grasped her arm. Her jaw worked, but she uttered not a sound. Her heart slammed in her throat, and her chest heaved. The Bane dragged her toward the door where Gweld squatted.
The figure of the Bane swallowed all the light in the small space even though the fire still burned well. Limbreth found some strength and flopped as the Bane pulled her to the door's threshold and then ducked out.
Limbreth's lungs strained to utter any noise. It was a spell! She fought for a sound and croaked a whimper. The Bane pulled her right arm out the door.
Why wouldn't Gweld do anything?
Limbreth fumbled with her free hand and snagged the rock edge of the doorway. The Bane yanked at her arm. Her breath came in gasps but made no viable sound.
She drew the deepest of breaths and mustered all her strength, which passed her lips in a feeble whisper: "Help." Not enough to wake anyone. You’re on your own. Gweld never moved. 

The Bane yanked her torso into the blizzard outside. Her hand grasped the doorway fast and her left arm locked in pain. A groan escaped her lips.
 
 
 
 
 
An Arrow Against the Wall
 
The Bow of Hart Saga Book 2
 
Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Buffeted like an arrow in the wind.
 
The hunt for the Bow of Hart continues for Athson and his companions. They have escaped the clutches of Magdronu and Corgren, but they are still pursued. In need of answers to deep mysteries revealed in Chokkra, Athson must gain possession of the mythic bow to face both his enemies and his tragic past. But Magdronu's reach stretches among Athson's companions, endangering Limbreth and even Hastra in schemes to entrap them all. With each turn of the search for the Bow of Hart, long hidden secrets surface that threaten to destroy Athson. Will he falter like an arrow against the wind?
 
Releases April 30th!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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review 2017-02-27 00:56
Disappointing.
Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and ... Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation - Jasmine Syedullah Ph.D.,Lama Rod Owens,Rev. angel Kyodo Williams

I had read another book of Rev. angel Kyodo williams and jumped at the chance to read this one. While not Buddhist I was intrigued by the topics of the book supposedly addressing racial injustice, white supremacy, etc. in Buddhist communities and wondered what I could take away from that.

 

And initially it was fascinating. The purpose of the book, the need to address these issues both within and without Buddhisim, what some of the terminology meant, etc. It sounded like it would be an interesting read.

 

Unfortunately it goes downhill after the introduction or so. The book reads very much like a conversation between the three authors. And while that is a format that can work, I can understand why people felt disappointed. It seemed like a conversation that was very much for them and their community. There's nothing wrong with that in itself, but the text does seem jargon-y and "isolated" for reasons mentioned above. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be getting from the book or their conversation.

 

It was interesting to read the perspectives of these practitioners and I felt I could somewhat get some of the points they were discussing. But ultimately the text was unapproachable for me. I don't know if someone who is an actual Buddhist might get more out of it but based on other reviews that might be a bit of a toss-up. 

 

I regret buying it but this wasn't readily available at my local library. I'm not sure I'd recommend this. You may have to read through a few chapters (as williams says, you can read this pieces) to see if it's something that is for you.

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