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review 2020-04-16 13:03
Beltane
Beltane: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for May Day - Melanie Marquis,Llewellyn

by Melanie Marquis

 

I liked that the series introduction acknowledges the differences in the northern and southern hemispheres and how they fit into the wheel of the year. There's some really good comments about various beliefs in entities that made me expect good things from the book.

 

This book is well researched, but a little dry and academic. Sometimes it feels like a list of historical information bytes. Before I read the author's history in the back, I had no sense of her having any personal experience or connection to ritual.

 

She seems unaware that traditions like Morris dancing are still widely practiced in England and much of the information was very much from an American perspective, especially the 'denominations' of Paganism that might practice Beltane. What I found most 'off' in this section was the explanation of Eclectic Witchcraft, which the author seems to connect specifically with sex magick. In my experience, sex magick is more often practiced by magicians and Eclectic Wicca is just a name for those who borrow rituals and traditions from a variety of sources.

 

There's a section on festivals, but none of the really well-known ones like Starwood seem to have been included.

 

This seems to be directed mainly at beginners. There are a few simple rituals, which are pretty elementary, and there is a section on recipes and crafts. No traditional Honey Cakes, but the 'Sun cakes', which are basically orange cookies, sound nice. There are instructions for wand and crown decorating that many may find useful.

 

There's a section called Prayers and Invocations which provides some rituals of celebration, but they put too much emphasis on deity for my personal taste. Also given are Correspondences for Beltane, which is basically a collection of lists.

Further reading is also suggested, which included material from Ron Hutton which I would certainly recommend.

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review 2020-04-03 19:55
A deserved and loving homage to a true caring profession
Rituals & Myths in Nursing: A Social History - Claire Laurent

Thanks to Rosie Croft, from Pen & Sword, for providing me a paperback copy of this book, which I freely chose to review.

This is not the first book about nursing from Pen & Sword that I review, but it seems a particularly appropriate moment to read it and comment on the changes that have taken place in a profession that is right now at the forefront of everybody’s mind. The hard work all the healthcare professionals are doing, at a high personal risk, should not be underestimated, and I hope this health crisis (the coronavirus pandemic) will make governments realise that there are certain things that we should never try to make savings on, because the consequences can be catastrophic. But, let’s talk about the book.

The above description captures perfectly the essence of this book. It is packed full of anecdotes by nursing staff from different generations, as the long list of acknowledgments at the beginning of the book reflects. It is a wonderful combination of fun, bizarre, and touching episodes, memories of uniforms, strange cures (and I’ve heard of some of them, so yes, fashions change over the years), strict cleaning routines that would have made army sergeants proud (including how to make a bed properly), ghosts,  cooking breakfast in the wards, what used to pass for medication… all of them steeped up in the social circumstances of the period and reflecting the changes, not only in Medicine and Nursing (from learning on the job, nursing became a university degree, and from tradition and usage they moved onto evidence-based practice), but in society at large. Although I haven’t worked in a hospital for a few years, one of my best friends is a nurse; I have worked and met many nurses, and all the stories rung true for me.

The book includes some wonderful black and white illustrations, a bibliography (with blogs and websites as well as books and articles), a detailed index and even a chart of medical slang. The book is divided into twelve chapters: Without Rhyme or Reason (talking about training and the reasons why women [and later on, men also] decided to go into the job, in many cases out of family tradition); Nurses Who Rustle (uniforms, badges and related items); Handover and Hierarchy (times have changed and the way things are done have also changed, mostly for the better, although there is plenty of nostalgia and some true characters most nurses will never forget); Hygiene and Hijinks (cleaning protocols have changed in so many ways…); Egg White and Oxygen (treatments that had very little, if any, scientific base, but were followed religiously at the time); Bladders, Bowels and Bodily Functions (I don’t think I need to explain this); Medicines and Mystical Powers (this chapter deals not only with medications and drugs that would never be used now and were probably quite dangerous, but also with the procedures and routines imposed in the past that are almost impossible to believe now); Things that go Bump in the Night (ghosts stories… What proper old hospital does not have one ghost or many? And of course, the ghosts of nurses are hard at work ensuring the wellbeing of patients even after death); Dust, Dirt and Domesticity (cleaning protocols past and present); Once the Dust has Settled (gloves, potions, kits…); Theatre theatricals (being in a surgical theatre is an experience as nurses know only too well); Life and Death (births, deaths and everything in between).

This book is a delight. It’s full with many different voices, from different eras, from nurses that had worked in a variety of specialities, all sharing personal stories or stories that they had heard on their jobs. Some are emotional, some funny, and I must warn people who are squeamish about illnesses and bodily functions, as there are some anecdotes that might make them cringe. But anybody who enjoys books about nursing, social history, or just a genuine story with plenty of heart, should read this book. And if you know any nurses or anybody interested in the topic don’t forget to recommend it. It’s a great homage to a profession that has always been and remains, a true caring profession.

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url 2019-11-15 16:41
Pythagoras Spiritual Wisdom and Philosophy. Learning from Rome oldest Pythagorean Temple

Pythagoras Spiritual Wisdom and Philosophy. Learning from  The Porta Maggiore Basilica where Neopythagoreans held their meetings in the 1st century, in Rome (discovered 1915) 

 

Esoteric teachings of Golden Citizens of Ancient Greece

Pythagoras Endless Wisdom One of the greatest Greek philosophers, a teacher, and a sage

Pythagoras lived at the same time as Buddha and Lao Tzu and he taught his disciples that a  goes through an endless wheel of reincarnations until we purify and return to the .

Pythagoras formed The Pythagorean Brotherhood, one of the first un-priestly scientific societies teaching philosophy and science. Both men and women were allowed to become members of the order.

Pythagoras of Samosa was an ancient Ionian Greek philosopher. His teachings influenced the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and the Western .

Source: www.artof4elements.com/entry/7/pythagoras
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url 2019-10-30 09:36
Goddess Axen and Athena
Ama Dios: 9 AoL Consciousness Books Combined - Nataša Pantović Nuit

 

Belief in one God in ancient Egypt and 400 Amarnu Letters 1350 BC

European Neolithic Advanced Civilizations about X and SH of JeShu and Serbian NiSh

Sounds of Neolithic Medditeranean

Ancient Scripts De-Coding Research into Symbols by Nataša Pantović

Ancient Greek Canaan Tablets or Ancient Egyptian Amarna Letters 1,350 BC

When you get such an important archaeological findings, as the first ever stone letters written in 1,350 BC, found in Ancient Egypt called Ancient Greek, you start to wonder... The lingua franca used during the Late Bronze Age in the area was Akkadian. In 1887, a local Egyptian woman has uncovered a cache of over 300 cuneiform tablets now known as Amarna Letters.

Research and excavations of Amarna Letters

The letters are written in cuneiform and from 382 tablets: 350 are letters from the Pharaoh to his Rulers in Babylonia, Assyria, Mittani, Arzawa, Alashia and Hatti. You can explore them following your own research in the places all over the world:

  • 203 in Berlin (Vorderasiatisches Museum)

  • 49 or 50 in the Cairo Museum

  • 95 in the British Museum

  • 22 in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (found by Petrie)

  • 7 in the Louvre

  • 9 in private collections

  • 2 in the Metropolitan Museum New York (acquired by M. Chassinat)

Pharaohs of Canaan and Babylon

Currently known as Canaan (that within its name hid all the important God's sounds “aa”) was in Ancient Egypt and it is most famous for its Amarna Letters from the time of the Babylon Kingdom sent by the Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh AKHeNaTeM during his reign 1,350 BC to 1,330 BC, to his Rulers around the country. Canaan is also known as Phoenicia or present day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel.amarna letters

 

Source: www.artof4elements.com/entry/261/goddess-axen-and-athena
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quote 2019-09-22 19:08
The seasons change while the Earth continues its journey through the space and time. Spiritual art of our ancestors and their Rituals at the Equinox time, honour the balance between light and darkness.
Spiritual Symbols With their Meanings - Nataša Pantović Nuit

from Spiritual Symbols by Nataša Pantović book excerpt. Magic of Equinoxes http://www.artof4elements.com/entry/41/magic-of-equinox

 

Happy Equinox 2019!

Source: www.amazon.com/gp/product/9995754126
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